Trump University Case One Step Closer To Jury Trial
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump scored a victory, of sorts, on Tuesday, April 26 when New York County Supreme Court Judge Cynthia Kern ruled that she would not grant summary judgement in the Trump University fraud case.
Politico.com is reporting New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s consumer fraud chief Jane Azia sought the summary judgement, alleging “extensive evidence in the record already to demonstrate respondent engaged in fraud.”
Trump’s lawyer, Jeffrey Goldman, applauded Kern’s decision, stating the ruling is a victory because the state of New York does not want to take the case to trial. As reported by Politico, Goldman believes Trump is a popular enough figure in the state of New York that the Attorney General fears Trump could be acquitted, asking, “Why would the attorney general, who’s actually representing the constituents of the state of New York, fear the state of constituents of New York determining whether or not he’s right?”
A summary judgement is requested by one party in a case when that party believes there is a preponderance of evidence so that a case need not go to trial. Kern’s decision to not issue summary judgement means there are still “triable issues of fact.” Witnesses, including Trump, could be called to testify.
The effect of the trial, if it does take place, may not influence the presidential election since it is possible the trial could not occur until fall of 2017, according to Goldman.
Goldman told reporters outside the court house that there was no settlement on the table, and did not expect one to be offered.
There are more hurdles to clear before the case can proceed to a jury trial. The appellate court must decide whether to allow Trump’s lawyers to appeal to the Court of Appeals over issues of discovery. Following that issue, Kern will hold a conference with Azia and Goldman to decide whether or not to bifurcate some of the charges contained within the suit.
This latest ruling follows a previous refusal by courts of the state of New York to dismiss the charges, Trump’s lawyers having argued that the suit exceeded the statute of limitations.
The case concerns Trump University, which Schneiderman alleges was unlicensed when it opened for business in 2005, and that defrauded 5000 students of Trump University who believed they would learn Trump’s secrets in how to become wealthy via real estate investments, as was advertised by the University.
Two other federal class action lawsuits are still pending in California.
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