A federal judge on Thursday encouraged both sides in a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his now-defunct Trump University to enter settlement talks weeks before the president-elect takes office.
The class action lawsuit filed in 2010 is set to go to trial Nov. 28. The case was brought on behalf of former customer who claim Trump University was not an accredited school and that they were pressured to spend thousands on "worthless gimmickry."
Trump’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, told the court in San Diego that his client was "all ears" regarding settlement talks, but said he plans to file a request to delay the trial until next year due to his client's need to transition into the White House.
Citing the election, Judge Gonzalo Curiel — who was accused of being biased by Trump because of his Mexican heritage despite actually being born in Indiana — also said the president-elect could testify via video should the case go to trial.
"We're in uncharted territory," he said.
Also on Thursday, Curiel tentatively ruled that information about Trump that came out during presidential campaign could be used in court. That would apply to his tweets, as well as vulgar comments regarding women that were caught on an old Access Hollywood tape.
Among other evidence he indicated would be allowed is testimony by Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus, who says Trump tried to have him fired after he wrote about attending a free 90-minute preview of Tump University.
Trump's attorney argued allowing campaign-related material could prejudice or confuse jurors in the case, and jeopardize his right to a fair trial.
Claudia Rosenbaum is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Rosenbaum at email@example.com.
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