Testimony Concludes In Testy Sterling Vs. Sterling Hearing
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Testimony has wrapped up in the sometimes-frosty Sterling vs. Sterling hearing, a case to determine who has the legal right to sell the Los Angeles Clippers franchise.
Closing arguments will begin Monday.
Outside the courtroom, CBS2’s Randy Paige said both sides are confident of a victory.
Shelly Sterling was scheduled to take the stand Wednesday but Paige reported Donald Sterling’s attorney’s changed their minds and decided her testimony wasn’t needed.
Shelly Sterling’s attorneys said Donald Sterling’s side was unable to establish undue influence or fraud when Shelly had him removed as a trustee in the family business.
They argued that the terms of the trust were followed properly.
Her lawyers also believe any appeal by Donald’s side will not prevent the $2 billion sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer from going forward.
Shelly Sterling attorney Pierce O’Donnell predicted disastrous consequences for the team if Donald Sterling is allowed to remain owner.
“The Clippers, as we stand here today, are in a death spiral,” O’Donnell said, “and if Donald Sterling stays on as the manager and owner of this asset, Doc [Rivers] won’t coach, Chris Paul won’t play, sponsors will stay away and TV ratings will fall. It is an urgent matter that this sale be closed immediately to Mr. Ballmer and restore some stability, and frankly, dignity to the NBA and Los Angeles.”
Meanwhile, Donald Sterling’s attorneys said they are confident that Judge Michael Levanas would see that Shelly tried to pull a fast one by declaring her husband mentally incompetent on the same day she agreed to the sale to Ballmer.
Donald Sterling’s attorneys also said they believed the judge will rule he cannot weigh in on issues related to the family trust because it ceased to exist June 9, when Sterling revoked the trust.
“What that translates to is, ‘I might make a decision, that I don’t have the ability to issue that ruling’ in which case, this case is over,” said Donald Sterling attorney Bobby Samini.