The trial to determine the fate and the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers started yesterday in a Los Angeles probate court, as owners Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling began what is sure to be a contentious march toward a largely inevitable conclusion: that both Sterlings will be out of the NBA sooner or later. Now they’re just arguing over price. A price that seems to be decidedly tilted towards Shelly — as Donald’s attempts to have the case moved to Federal court, as well as his lawyer’s attempts to have his mental evaluations, the ones that had him ruled mentally unfit to halt the sale of the franchise, ignored by the court were both unsuccessful.
“Donald Sterling is arguing that the disclosure of his medical records violates several state privacy laws, and that the neurologist who gave the tests acted unprofessionally by heading out for food and drinks with both Donald and wife Shelly Sterling after administering the tests,” wrote Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer, before noting that Mr. Sterling failed to appear in court on Monday — a situation that occurred because his team expected the decision on where the trial would be held to take longer than it did, explained Sterling’s lawyer. The situation may not have seemed to bleak if Sterling hadn’t been called as the first witness.
During its opening statement, Shelly Sterling’s legal team said that “the evidence will show Donald Sterling submitted to evaluation voluntarily, got scanned voluntarily,” and otherwise knew exactly what he was doing at the time he signed the agreement in 2013, and that he should be legally bound by that agreement. Donald Sterling’s legal team, invoking the “plan B” phraseology that was brought to the public by The New York Times back in June, says that the state of his mental competency would never have come to light if he had agreed to sell the team in the first place.