Trump University may settle to avoid a messy fraud trial

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There's a chance that the American public will be spared the embarrassment of watching their president-elect go on trial for fraud less than three weeks after selecting him. The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting that the parties in the class action lawsuit against Trump University lawsuit, currently in pre-trial hearings in San Diego, may be entering settlement talks.

The suit against the for-profit training program founded by now-president-elect Donald Trump alleges that students were promised rigorous training in business skills and real estate market analysis that would equip them to get rich. What they claim they actually received were sketchily designed courses that came in tandem with high-pressure sales pitches insisting that the only way they could really expect to succeed was by purchasing further Trump University training, even if that required them to go into debt.

Related: Anti-Trump Conservatives Aren't Giving Up Yet

The case received extra attention during the campaign because of Trump's decision to publicly attack the federal judge hearing it, Gonzalo Curiel. The president-elect declared that because the Indiana-born Curiel's parents were Mexican, he was incapable of being impartial in the case. At the time, House Speaker Paul Ryan declared Trump's words "the textbook definition of a racist comment."

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

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Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States.

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Republican presidential elect Donald Trump (L) arrives to speak during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump, shakes hands with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway greet supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

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US President-elect Donald Trump arrives at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Trump stunned America and the world Wednesday, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States.

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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump greets supporters at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

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Vice president-elect Mike Pence speaks to supporters at Republican president-elect Donald Trump's election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States.

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Republican president-elect Donald Trump walks on stage with his son Barron Trump, wife Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States.

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US President-elect Donald Trump greets son Eric after speaking at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Trump stunned America and the world Wednesday, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States.

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Vice president-elect Mike Pence walks on stage with his wife Karen Pence at Republican president-elect Donald Trump election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Americans went to the polls yesterday to choose between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as they go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States.

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US President-elect Donald Trump arrives with his son Baron and wife Melania at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Trump stunned America and the world Wednesday, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, speaks an election night party at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States in a repudiation of the political establishment that jolted financial markets and likely will reorder the nation's priorities and fundamentally alter America's relationship with the world.

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Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump look on as Republican presidential elect Donald Trump speaks during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives to speak during an election night party at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Trump racked up victory after victory in key states Tuesday to put himself in position to threaten Hillary Clinton for the White House, with the results in three Rust-Belt states likely to determine the next U.S. president.

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Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York.

(AP Photo/John Locher)

Attendees cheer during an election night party for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States in a repudiation of the political establishment that jolted financial markets and likely will reorder the nation's priorities and fundamentally alter America's relationship with the world.

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On the Trump side, lead attorney Daniel Petrocelli said in court that he was "all ears" when it came to discussing a potential settlement. At the same hearing, he requested a delay of several months in the trial that is now scheduled to start Nov. 28. Trump's having been elected president, he said, meant that the trial would be a distraction during important transition planning.

Petrocelli did not address the likelihood that once he is inaugurated, Trump isn't likely to have a lot of spare time on his hands, either. Judge Curiel did not signal his intentions one way or another with regard to the request, however he has indicated in the past that he is not interested in further delaying a trial that had been working its way through the courts for years.

Curiel did tell both parties that he had arranged for another federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller, also in San Diego, to be available to mediate settlement talks.

Related: Strict Budget Controls Could Scuttle Trump's Big Spending Plans

Both sides agreed to participate, although plaintiffs' attorney Patrick Coughlin noted to reporters after the trial that in previous settlement discussions, the two sides have been "miles apart."

Regardless of how the attorneys fare in their negotiations, though, the biggest impediment to a settlement may be Trump himself. He has bragged in public and in his books that he never settles court cases, although that is not actually the case.

"I don't know if he has any willingness to settle this case," Petrocelli said in court. "It is my judgment that it is an option that at least needs to be considered. I'm sure he will give it consideration, given all the other responsibilities and obligations that he has."

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