Sterling trial gets underway after delay

LOS ANGELES — The legal battle over the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers finally got underway Monday after lawyers for owner Donald Sterling lost a bid to move the case to federal court.

A federal judge rejected Sterling’s motion.

In the afternoon, Sterling was called to the witness stand in Los Angeles County Superior Court but he wasn’t there, prompting yet another delay.

Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly, has struck a deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after her husband’s racist remarks to a girlfriend were publicized and the NBA moved to oust him as team owner.

The non-jury trial will determine whether Shelly Sterling had authority under terms of a family trust to unilaterally negotiate the deal.

She had two doctors examine her 80-year-old husband and they declared him mentally incapacitated and unable to act as an administrator of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.

The court must find that Sterling’s wife acted in accordance with the trust and that the deal still applies — even though the trust has since been revoked by Donald Sterling — for the sale to proceed.

In seeking a move to federal court last week, Sterling’s attorneys argued that their client was induced to undergo mental examination under false pretenses and that his private, personal medical records were given to his wife’s “handpicked” doctors in violation of federal medical privacy laws.

His wife’s lawyers claim Donald Sterling’s legal maneuvers were just a tactic to run out the clock on the Clippers sale.

NBA owners are scheduled to vote on the deal on July 15. It’s also the day that Ballmer’s offer is set to expire — and there is no deal without the judge’s approval of the sale.

If the sale isn’t completed by Sept. 15, the league said it could seize the team and put it up for auction.

More in Sports

High school football at a crossroads

Local high school football participation numbers are following a downward trend.

Patterson: Much changed for Seahawks in bye week

Normally a quiet time for teams, the Seahawks bye week was very eventful.

Seahawks O-line will have new look, again, vs. Giants

Joeckel’s knee surgery means Seattle will use its 3rd different O-line combination in the past 6 games.

No. 15 Washington State blanks Colorado 28-0

Luke Falk throws three touchdowns as the Cougars rebound from a loss by routing the Buffaloes.

Astros beat Yankees 4-0 in Game 7, reach World Series

Houston becomes first franchise to win pennants in both leagues.

Silvertips set for first game with rival Thunderbirds

Everett is looking to snap a three-game losing streak in a meeting with Seattle on Sunday at home.

Everett runs over Meadowdale, clinches playoff berth

The Seagulls rushed for 462 yards as they grabbed their first district playoff spot since 2010.

Friday’s prep football results

Conference championship races are tightening up. (VIDEO)

Oak Harbor beats Arlington 13-7 in 3OT slugfest

The Wildcats clinch a Wesco 3A North playoff berth with the hard-fought, triple-overtime victory.

Most Read