Trump University

We represent Sherri Simpson in her appeal in the fraud class action against Trump University. Pitching itself as a real university with selective admissions, the company’s aggressive sales staff promised aspiring investors the chance to learn Donald Trump’s real-estate “secrets” from his supposedly “hand-picked” experts.
After she spent roughly $19,000 on a useless three-day seminar and a “mentor” who never returned her calls, Sherri Simpson was determined to sue Trump University on her own. But when she learned of a class action that was already headed for trial, she decided to drop her own efforts. The class notice assured Sherri and her fellow class members that they would be notified of how to “ask to be excluded from any settlement.”
Despite this clear notice language, when the class action settled after the election–for what Trump himself (via Twitter) called a “small fraction” of the total liability–the settlement agreement explicitly cut off Ms. Simpson’s ability to opt out of the settlement. She would be forced to accept only 14% of the value of her potential claim. And there would be no public trial and no admission of wrongdoing.
In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, we’re arguing that the approval of this settlement, because it cuts off a promised opt-out right, violates both due process and the requirements for class actions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Our principal co-counsel is Gary Friedman, who argued for Ms. Simpson in the trial court. Deepak Gupta will argue the appeal for Ms. Simpson in Pasadena, California on November 15, 2017.
Brief of Objector-Appellant Sherri SimpsonReply Brief
Amici Plain-Language Notice Experts, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, and Professors of Consumer Law
Amici Civil Procedure Scholars
Brief of Class Counsel | Brief of Trump University and Donald J. Trump
Long-Form Class Notice | District Court Decision
Coverage:
Sherri Simpson, Donald Trump took $19,000 of my money. And I want him to pay, Vox, May 30, 2017
Jenna Greene, How a Nagging Flaw Could (and Should) Un-Do the Trump U Settlement, The American Lawyer, June 21, 2017
Adam Gabbatt, Donald Trump may face new legal action over Trump University, The Guardian, June 24, 2017
Dylan Scott, The Trump University case isn’t over. An attorney on the case explains what’s next, Vox, July 2, 2017