Sterling v. Sterling: The Mrs. can go ahead with Clippers sale, judge rules

Sterling v. Sterling: The Mrs. can go ahead with Clippers sale, judge rules

Shelly Sterling – and the Los Angeles Clippers – scored a clean sweep over Donald Sterling on Monday when a California judge issued a preliminary ruling that paves the way for the $2 billion sale of the team.

Judge Michael Levanas handed down an “oral tentative statement decision” that affirmed Shelly Sterling had the authority to reach an agreement in May to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who has set an Aug. 15 deadline to complete the deal. The judge said he would review objections before issuing a written ruling. …

Even if Donald Sterling continues to fight, included in the judge’s ruling is a provision in California trust law that allows Shelly Sterling to proceed with the sale of the team “as if no appeal were pending,” according to provision 1310(b). …

After plenty of animated testimony in the weeks-long case, Levanas said the evidence showed that Shelly Sterling followed provisions of the Sterling Family Trust in having Donald examined by two doctors – who both found he was mentally incapacitated – and subsequently removed as co-trustee; that she has the authority to complete the sale of the team even though Donald revoked the trust June 9; and that the matter was urgent. …

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Donald Sterling has two other suits pending in the matter — one contending his wife and Ballmer violated corporate law and the other seeking more than $1 billion in damages from the NBA.

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