Thursday, March 9, 2017

Can Trump U. Settlement Objector Opt Out?

This week, a Florida lawyer and former Trump University student who paid $19,000 in tuition after being upsold to a "Gold Elite" program objected to a proposed $25 million settlement that would end lawsuits against President Trump’s real estate investing education seminars. The proposed settlement is expected to pay around fifty cents on the dollar for what students initially paid to attend the now-defunct program. The class action deal resolved claims that Trump University falsely promised that Donald Trump himself had hand-picked the instructors and that the program was an “accredited university.” Most class action settlements allow individual class members to opt out of the deal just prior to final approval. The facts of this case, in which class members had an opportunity to opt out before the two sides reached a settlement, are particularly unusual. Typically classes are certified at the time of settlement, so class members receive notice of their opt-out rights at the same time they are informed of settlement terms. There’s surprisingly little precedent to guide the court on this issue. Because of the objection filed, San Diego U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel could delay the settlement or even call the entire deal into question. The plaintiff seeking to opt out maintains that by not offering a formal opportunity to opt out, the settlement violates her due process rights and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff's counsel even agreed to waive its litigation fees and costs in order to assure the judge overseeing the case that the firm’s only interest was getting the best possible deal for Trump University students. See more here-- and and and