Closing Arguments Scheduled In Sterling Trust Case

Closing Arguments Scheduled In Sterling Trust Case

Los Angeles (AFP) — Donald Sterling’s lawyers opted not to call Shelly Sterling as a witness in their court fight to block her sale of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and abruptly rested their case.

The move sets the stage for closing arguments on Monday in the case in which Donald Sterling is challenging his estranged wife’s authority to sell the club for $2 billion to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

The final witness called on behalf of Donald Sterling was doctor Jeffrey Cummings, an expert in Alzheimer’s disease who acknowledged under cross-examination by Shelly Sterling’s lawyer Pierce O’Donnell that the two doctors who found the Clippers owner mentally incompetent did not have to state the reason for their examinations beforehand.

Donald Sterling’s lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, had been expected to call Shelly Sterling, but decided not to after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas said he could not ask his client’s estranged wife about her lawsuit against her husband’s former companion, V. Stiviano, or about the Clippers owner’s antitrust lawsuit against the NBA.

After the court proceedings O’Donnell said that Donald Sterling’s argument that he had been the victim of fraud had “disappeared like that.”

Shelly Sterling negotiated the deal as the trustee of the Sterling family trust, after Donald Sterling’s position as co-trustee was terminated when two medical experts declared him mentally incompetent to handle trust affairs.

The sale was precipitated in April, when recordings of Sterling making racist comments to his would-be girlfriend Stiviano led to his being banned from the NBA for life by league commissioner Adam Silver.

An August 15 deadline to complete the deal is approaching, with the risk that the offer could be withdrawn if it isn’t finalized by then.

O’Donnell voiced confidence that Levanas will see Donald Sterling’s efforts as a “diversion” and refuse to block the sale.

O’Donnell also scoffed at the latest lawsuit filed by Sterling on Tuesday against his wife, the NBA, the Clippers and Silver saying it raised “the same old issues”.

“Donald Sterling is running out of courts in which to file cases,” O’Donnell said, noting that the octogenarian billionaire has filed suits in federal and state court and well as battling his wife in probate court.

Levanas told lawyers for both parties he wants the closing arguments to be focused on whether Shelly Sterling had authority under the family trust to remove her husband as a co-trustee because of his alleged mental incompetence and whether her husband’s subsequent revocation of the trust had any effect on her ability to sell the team to Ballmer.

AFP Photo / David Mcnew

Interested in sports news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Experts: Russia Is 'Already Spreading Disinformation' For 2024 Election

Russian President Vladimir Putin

From military aid to Ukraine to encouraging the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), President Joe Biden has been a major thorn in the side of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

Keep reading...Show less
Sparsely Attended CPAC Ridiculed As 'Shell' What It Once Was

Scene from Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland

Photo by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Reuters

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) — an annual summit of far-right activists, pundits and elected officials — used to be regarded as the beating heart of the conservative movement. However, one columnist recently said CPAC has now become a "joke" given its meager attendance.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ }}