LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Several important deadlines are nearing for both sides in Sterling vs. Sterling, or as it’s known best in the news and sports pages: “The Battle To Sell the Clippers.”
CBS2’s Dave Lopez reported from the courtroom Friday, where two important deadlines in the case are making both sides anxious.
“Donald is stalling, stalling, stalling,” Shelly’s attorney Pierce O’Donnell said Friday. “He doesn’t have witnesses available. He’s trying to put me on the witness stand, which the judge totally rejected.”
He was referring to Donald Sterling as the case moves into it’s final three days.
“Its a weird world,” O’Donnell said.
Neither Sterling was in the court Friday, but the attorneys were present when the judge laid out parameters for the final three days of testimony and arguments.
At issue to be decided: Was Donald tricked into agreeing to the medical examination which said he was incompetent to manage the team’s affairs? Did he legally give his wife authority and permission to sell the team? Did he say it was OK for her to sell the team to former Micrcosoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
Adam Streisand, the lawyer representing Ballmer in court, said Donald standing in the way of the sale is not helping matters.
“It’s a suicide mission by a madman,” said Streisand.
Ballmer agreed to buy the Clippers, but his sale deadline is Aug. 15.
Meanwhile, the NBA set a deal for the team to be sold by Sept. 15.
“It’s an absolute drop dead deadline of Sept. 15” said O’Donnell, “between the trust and the NBA. And after the 15th, if the deal hasn’t closed, the NBA can seize and sell the team.”
LA Superior Court Probate Judge Michael Levanas decided that when the hearing resumes Monday, there will be no testimony from O’Donnell.
Levanas also decided the doctor’s reports on Donald Sterling’s health, which said he is mentally incompetent, will stay on the record.
There will be no discussion of possible HIPAA (privacy) violations, and Donald and Shelly can also both be called back to testify.
“I’ve said it many times,” said Donald Sterling attorney, Bobby Samini: “He is not intending to sell the team. And he is not selling the team.”
In court Friday by phone, another Donald Sterling attorney, Gary Ruttenberg, said: “My client is being railroaded on a bullet train,”
Levanas will have to sort through all of it and have to make a decision. There is no jury involved. And he’s aware of all the deadlines coming up.
Streisand was asked Friday if the deadline is not reached and the league takes over, would Ballmer still be interested in buying?
Regarding the looming deadline, Stresisand said: “We’ll wait and see, but I think we are going to get this deal closed.”
Should the team be seized by the NBA, insiders say its unlikely the sale price would remain $2 billion.