Lawyers for Trump stated Saturday that he “does not, and will not, contest [Daniels’s] assertion” that the settlement agreement is invalid, according to a document filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawyers promised that Trump “will not bring any action, proceeding or claim” against Daniels to enforce the terms of the contract.
.. “Nothing has changed,” Avenatti said of the chance he will be able to depose Trump and Cohen in the case. “We’re marching forward.”
Despite building backlash, lawyers say companies will keep using confidential settlements in sexual-misconduct cases
In recent months, revelations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and other high-profile individuals reportedly used such agreements for years to silence their accusers have sparked debate about the merits of requiring secrecy as a condition to pay off sexual-misconduct claimants. Critics say the agreements can end up protecting serial predators and putting psychological stress on victims to keep silent about their experiences.
This month, after filing for bankruptcy protection, Weinstein Co. said it would end any nondisclosure agreement that has “prevented individuals who suffered or witnessed any form of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein from telling their stories.”
.. many lawyers say the use of nondisclosure agreements to settle sexual-misconduct claims is likely to continue. Without promises of confidentiality, they say, companies will be less willing to resolve disputes or pay large settlement amounts. Part of the rationale put forward by companies: keeping settlements secret is necessary to stop other disgruntled employees from seeking similar payouts.
.. Often, victims try to resume their careers and don’t want the public to know they were victimized
.. companies could try to sidestep the rules by re-categorizing sexual-harassment settlements as claims that aren’t subject to the new laws, such as sex or race discrimination
.. The use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual-harassment settlements took off in the 1990s, after federal civil-rights law was amended to allow for bigger monetary awards in employment-discrimination cases, attracting more plaintiffs’ lawyers to the area. As court dockets became overburdened, judges pushed for more cases to settle out of court, leading companies to insist on confidentiality in settlements.
.. in a high-profile case where details are already public, institutions may be reluctant to sue because of concerns about the public-relations backlash... “It can lead to complacency within an organization because they know complaints won’t ever see the light of day,” Ms. Yang said. Eliminating NDAs “could create more incentive for employers to stop it early.”
An assistant general counsel at the president’s flagship holding company intervened in arbitration proceeding in California to enforce a nondisclosure deal with former porn star
Documents marked “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL PROCEEDING” for the first time tie President Donald Trump’s flagship holding company to the continuing effort to silence a former adult-film actress who says she had an affair with Mr. Trump.
.. A Trump Organization lawyer, Jill A. Martin, is listed as counsel in an arbitration demand for Essential Consultants LLC, a Delaware company formed by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and used to pay $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford in exchange for her silence, according to Feb. 22 arbitration documents filed in Orange County, Calif.
.. Mr. Cohen, who was employed by the Trump Organization when he brokered the deal with Ms. Clifford shortly before the 2016 presidential election, has maintained he was acting on his own and has called it a “private transaction.”
.. Proving any violation would require evidence of coordination between Messrs. Cohen and Trump or his campaign, campaign-finance experts say.
.. Ms. Martin emailed a statement from the company that said she facilitated the filing “in her individual capacity” until a New York-based lawyer gained approval to practice in California. “The company has had no involvement in the matter,” the statement said
.. The arbitration filings, revealed by Michael Avenatti, Ms. Clifford’s attorney, show a direct connection between Mr. Trump’s company and the nondisclosure agreement with Ms. Clifford.
.. Ms. Martin signed a declaration listing her office address as One Trump National Drive, which is at the Trump Organization’s Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
.. She was a lead attorney for the Trump Organization in lawsuits alleging Mr. Trump’s real-estate seminars, Trump University, had defrauded customers.
.. Ms. Martin vouched for his character in media interviews during the 2016 campaign, after several women accused him of sexual harassment and assault
.. “Thousands of women have worked for him, including myself, and he’s treated us with nothing but respect and appropriately. And he’s always been someone who none of us would ever imagine he would do something like this,”
.. Mr. Cohen said he hadn’t been reimbursed by the Trump Organization or by Mr. Trump’s campaign, but declined to say if he had been reimbursed by Mr. Trump or anyone else.
.. He was listed as “David Dennison,” also a pseudonym,