OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump got some good legal news this week after a federal judge dismissed a civil trial against him.
The case involved “the former president’s support of a multi-level marketing company,” with the judge “ruling that the Manhattan federal court wasn’t the best place to try the case,” Business Insider reported.
The multi-level marketing case, originally set for trial on January 29, was initiated by a group of plaintiffs who claimed they fell victim to a scam orchestrated by a company named ACN. They asserted that they invested hundreds or even thousands of dollars in registration fees and workshops, aiming to acquire knowledge on selling a “videophone” device that had become obsolete in the era of the iPhone. In their lawsuit, they contended that they were deceived by Trump, who, despite being aware of the situation, continued to showcase the company on “The Apprentice” and participated in numerous promotional videos and live events, the outlet added.
The original case was brought in 2018 and had been making its way through the court system, with Trump and members of his family working for the Trump Organization even sitting for depositions.
In October, Trump secured a victory when the case failed to attain class-action status, thus limiting its reach. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield, an Obama appointee, stated that the Manhattan federal court was no longer the most suitable venue for the trial.
“The only remaining claims are the common law and statutory claims of three Plaintiffs arising respectively under the laws of California, Maryland and Pennsylvania where they respectively reside, with total out-of-pocket losses said to be roughly $7,000,” Schofield wrote in her ruling.
“Even though discovery has been completed and certain motions decided, retaining jurisdiction would not serve economy or convenience,” she added.
That said, Roberta Kaplan, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said that the trial could nevertheless move forward, just in a different venue.
“Today’s decision addresses only where — not if — Plaintiffs’ claims should be brought to trial,” she told Business Insider. “We intend to continue the fight, and our brave clients look forward to their day in court.”
Meanwhile, another federal judge has imposed several limits on what Trump and his legal team can say during an upcoming trial for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.
According to The New Republic, the trial for comments he made while president in 2019 in which he claimed that Carroll accused him of raping her so she could promote her memoir starts on Tuesday. The presiding judge, Lewis Kaplan, has already determined that Trump is liable for defamation, meaning the trial is mostly to set damages.
“Kaplan issued an order Tuesday barring Trump and his lawyers from discussing Carroll’s choice of lawyer or who might be paying her legal fees. They are prohibited from making comments ‘concerning Ms. Carroll’s past romantic relationships, sexual disposition, and prior sexual experiences,’ and they cannot argue that Trump did not sexually abuse Carroll or act with actual malice when making his comments about her,” the outlet reported.
Here’s the list of what he can’t offer as evidence, argument, or comments in the jury’s presence. And while it’s not everything Carroll’s side wanted, it might finally convince Trump that his testifying would be a bad idea. 3/ pic.twitter.com/XLayfVCVdA
— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) January 9, 2024
Lawyers for the former president have argued that Carroll’s lawsuits are politically motivated and have been funded by a left-wing billionaire. They have also claimed that Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan — who is no relation to the judge — is biased because she has also represented several prominent Democrats.
Kaplan, a Clinton appointee, ruled that Trump defamed Carroll by denying in June 2019 that he had sexually assaulted her in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman department store in the 1990s and by accusing her of lying about the incident in order to promote her book.
Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million for the sexual assault by a jury in a civil case in May.