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Trials & Litigation

Judge scolds Donald Trump and opposing lawyer: ‘This is not a boxing ring!’

Posted May 16, 2013 11:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Donald Trump.
Joe Seer
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A federal judge in Chicago scolded Donald Trump and an opposing lawyer on Wednesday after the two clashed repeatedly during a trial in a suit claiming the billionaire developer failed to deliver promised incentives to condo buyers.

The Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune and NBC Chicago have stories on the warning by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve. “You've been dancing around and boxing with each other for the last 45 minutes," the judge said. “This is not a boxing ring!”

According to the NBC account, the judge told Trump he was "dancing around the questions" and said lawyer Shelly Kulwin was making matters worse by rolling his eyes and asking compound questions.

The plaintiff, 87-year-old Jacqueline Goldberg, claims the Trump International Hotel and Tower breached a promise to allow buyers of hotel condos to share in some of the hotel revenues. According to the Tribune, Trump “took every opportunity” to tell jurors that the contract allowed him to change that plan, Goldberg had asked without success to remove the clause, and she bought two condos anyway.

In prior testimony on Tuesday, Trump told of his successful properties and the fine dining at his Chicago tower, according to another Chicago Tribune story. “I don't want to be braggadocios," he said, "I build great buildings." Kulwin asked for some of Trump’s remarks to be stricken from the record, complaining at one point, “This is not a commercial.”

After Trump wrapped up his testimony, he told reporters in the courthouse lobby that Goldberg was playing “the age card.”

“She’s trying to rip me off, she really is,” he said.

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