Monday, November 30, 2015

Federal Judge Gives Green Light To Class Action Lawsuit Against Presidential Candidate, Trump University Alleging Violations Of State Deceptive Practices Laws In Connection w/ Peddling Real Estate Seminars Teaching "Insider Success Secrets" To Consumer Public

A post from Rebecca Tushnet's 43(B)log (False advertising and more) reports that the class action lawsuit against Donald Trump & Trump University (a purported educational program intended to teach enrollees how to succeed in the real estate business) has been allowed to continue by a federal court in California. An intro to the post:
  • Charlatan and budding fascist Donald Trump failed to get rid of many consumer protection claims against him and his “Trump University” (now renamed). Can’t wait to see how he’ll explain why this means he’s great.

    In 2004, Trump helped found Trump University, a private, for profit entity offering real estate seminars and purporting to teach Mr. Trump’s “[i]nsider success secrets.” TU shifted to live events in 2007. Consumers were first invited to a ninety-minute Free Preview, preceded by an orchestrated marketing campaign:   
  • [excerpted from the court ruling] For example, consumers were sent “Special Invitation[s] from Donald J. Trump” which included a letter signed by Mr. Trump that stated “[m]y handpicked instructors and mentors will show you how to use real estate strategies.” Newspaper advertisements displayed a large photograph of Mr. Trump, stating “[l]earn from Donald Trump’s handpicked expert,” and quoted Mr. Trump as saying: “I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you.” 
  • Similarly, TU’s website displayed large photographs of Mr. Trump and included statements such as “Learn from the Master,” “It’s the next best thing to being his Apprentice,” and “Insider success secrets from Donald Trump.” Further, TU advertisements “utilized various forms of recognizable signs to appear to be an accredited academic institution” such as a “school crest that was ubiquitous and used on TU letterhead, power point presentations, promotional materials and advertisements.” Plaintiffs have provided evidence that Mr. Trump reviewed and approved all advertisements.
For more, see If only the last Trump would sound: Trump University case continues.

For the court ruling, see Makaeff v. Trump University, LLC, 2015 WL 7302728, No. 10cv0940 (S.D. Cal. Nov. 18, 2015).

For more on this lawsuit, see Makaeff v. Trump University, LLC - Frequently Asked Questions.

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