No Roadblocks en Route to Trump University Trial

     SAN DIEGO (CN) — A federal court judge only needed a few pages Thursday to tell Donald Trump why he won’t allow the first trial against his now-defunct Trump University to be delayed any longer.
     U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel denied Trump’s request to delay the Nov. 28 trial set for Low v. Trump University in a brief three-page order made available Thursday afternoon.
     Trump’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli asked Curiel in a filing on Monday to delay the looming trial and reset it to either Dec. 12 or Jan. 2, 2017. Petrocelli cited a conflicting trial in another California court just days before the first Trump University trial is set to begin.
     Lead plaintiff Sonny Low and other Trump University Students sued Trump in 2010 — long before his bid for president — on claims they were duped into paying upwards of $35,000 to learn real-estate secrets from instructors “handpicked” by Trump himself. They are represented by attorney Jason Forge.
     In his order, Curiel found Trump did not prove good cause for moving back the trial date, which was set by the judge four months ago.
     Curiel pointed out the case is 6 ½ years old — one of his oldest, if not the oldest, cases on his docket — and he has accommodated multiple requests by Trump to move potential trial dates around his campaign schedule.
     Trump’s attorney never mentioned a potential scheduling conflict despite, as the class pointed out, having at least four opportunities to do so. Petrocelli did not bring up the conflict until a hearing held late last month.
     Petrocelli is Trump’s fourth attorney to represent him in the Low case. He knew for months there could be a potential conflict between the Low trial and another class action where he is representing satellite radio giant Sirius XM.
     Petrocelli recently asked the judge in Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio to move that trial date to make way for the Trump University case but U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez denied his request.
     If the Sirius trial lasts the estimated seven days, that means Petrocelli would finish that trial on Nov. 23 — the day before Thanksgiving — only to start the Trump University trial the Monday after the holiday.
     Trump’s attorney said he would be prejudiced if Curiel did not postpone the Low trial because he would not have adequate time to prepare and conduct pretrial work. But Low and the other plaintiffs strongly disputed that, saying the “convenience” of one attorney should not delay the years-old case from getting its day in court.
     The class even took it a step further, pointing out Petrocelli is the fourth attorney to represent Trump and therefore far from indispensable.
     “With all due respect to defense counsel, he was not Trump’s first, second or third choice to represent him in this case, so it cannot be credibly asserted that he is somehow indispensable,” the class said.
     But Low and the others did offer somewhat of an olive branch when they suggested Curiel move up jury selection to Oct. 31 to provide a two-day “cushion” at the front-end of the Low trial and avoid the possibility of Petrocelli’s Sirius trial butting into their case.
     Curiel moved up the Nov. 18 hearing on jury instructions to Nov. 10, as Petrocelli will be in the middle of the Sirius trial which is set to begin on Nov. 15.
     The next pretrial hearing in Low v. Trump University is scheduled for Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

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