The Effectiveness of an Arbitrator’s Decision in the Stormy Daniels/Trump Saga
In 2016 Stormy Daniels’ signed a confidential settlement agreement, which included a non-disclosure clause, that she would not discuss with others the details of her 2006-2007 alleged affair with President Trump. Stormy received $130,000.00 for signing the agreement.
In January, 2018, Stormy appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s television show and alluded to the alleged affair.
On February 27, 2018, President Trump’s attorney sought, and obtained a temporary restraining order from a California Arbitrator temporarily preventing Stormy from talking about the alleged affair with Trump. Trump’s attorney is eventually seeking from the Arbitrator one million dollars from Stormy for each time she breaches the agreement and discusses the alleged affair.
The question though is the effectiveness of said temporary restraining order. What if Stormy doesn’t comply with the order and talks to others about her affair with the President? What can the President do?
Normally a person who is the subject of a temporary restraining order would voluntarily comply in order to be viewed favorably by the Arbitrator with the Arbitrator ultimately deciding whether or not Stormy has breached the agreement. This could potentially cost Stormy millions of dollars and is important evidence with respect to the Arbitrator’s decision.
But if Stormy refuses to comply, Trump’s only recourse is to seek judicial intervention to enforce the temporary restraining order.
In New York State, the temporary restraining order would most probably be enforced. In other states, the answer is uncertain as courts normally only enforce final orders which are issued after a complete hearing, not temporary orders.
On March 12th, 2018, Stormy offered to return the $130,000.00 hush fund monies, in order to terminate the confidential settlement agreement. She wants the non-disclosure clause deemed null and void so she can tell her story of the months-long affair with President Trump while he was newly married to his third wife Melania.
Stormy is attempting to unilaterally terminate the contract in which she initially agreed to the terms of same. In New York, the confidential settlement agreement is a contract and a court cannot change the agreement if the parties who entered into the agreement have not agreed to such a change. Given these circumstances, it is questionable that Ms. Daniels will succeed in her attempt to nullify the contract. However, creative minds will most likely continue efforts to keep this story in the public eye. Tune in for more soap opera as Stormy keeps herself in the limelight and Donald continues his denials.
Contact an experienced attorney at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates to discuss your legal remedies regarding your own contractual and arbitration matters.