Judge sets hearing Friday on whether to delay Trump University trial

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Real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) speaks as university president Michael Sexton (L) looks on during a news conference announcing the establishment of Trump University May 23, 2005 in New York City. (Getty Images)

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SAN DIEGO – A San Diego federal judge will hold a hearing Friday on whether to delay the trial of a class-action lawsuit filed by former students at now-defunct Trump University.

The plaintiffs claim they were duped into paying as much as $35,000 for real estate insider secrets from experts supposedly hand-picked by Donald Trump himself.

The six-year-old lawsuit also alleges that Trump University falsely gave the impression that it was an accredited university.

Trump’s lawyers have said many students gave the real estate program positive ratings and those who failed to succeed had only themselves to blame.

In a hearing last Thursday, Trump’s lead attorney Daniel Petrocelli said the president-elect needs the time between now and his Jan. 20 inauguration to get ready to take office.

Petrocelli said the unique circumstances of the case warrant a continuance of the trial, which is currently set to begin Nov. 28. He indicated that he wanted Trump to attend the trial and said not having the nation’s next commander-in-chief at the counsel table would be a big disadvantage.

The judge last week encouraged both sides to consider settling the case, noting that many of the plaintiffs are senior citizens. Petrocelli said he would talk to Trump about that possibility.

In court documents, lead plaintiff Sonny Low and others argued that Trump’s election doesn’t change the legal standard for moving the case forward. The plaintiffs said the time for trial is now.

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