Will the class action lawsuit over Trump University take place before or after the Republican National Convention in July?
On Wednesday, Rachel Jensen, an attorney for the plaintiffs, let the judge know that she prefers a trial “either in June or August” to adjudicate allegations that her clients “were promised an actual university with which Donald Trump was integrally involved, and he wasn’t.”
At a hearing late last week, California federal judge Gonzalo Curiel is said to have acknowledged the Trump side’s concern that a jury trial at this time, given the intense media scrutiny, might be unrealistic. But Jensen says that if Trump is willing to waive the right to a jury, the plaintiffs are fine with having a “bench trial,” meaning one just before the judge.
What’s more, the plaintiffs are willing to take other steps to ensure that a trial five years in the making happens sooner rather than later. In court papers, Jensen says she’s willing to proceed on a couple of the California-based claims — false advertising and unfair competition — while preserving other claims for later. Trump has been tagged as a potential witness at trial, but under this plan, he wouldn’t have to answer for the potentially more inflammatory fraud claims in the midst of election season.
The push for a trial this summer comes with word of the advanced age of some of the plaintiffs — particularly, 74-year-old California class representative Sonny Low — as well as Trump’s comment in deposition that he is “dying to go to court on this case.”