Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Donald Sterling Dispute Continues


A judge recently ruled that the terms of the Sterling family trust are clear enough to remove Donald Sterling as a trustee and allow his estranged wife to sell the team without his consent.  The trust agreement provides that if two doctors examined Sterling and found he lacked the capacity to manage his own affairs, he would be removed as a trustee, and there is no provision to contest this decision.    

Three doctors examined Donald Sterling and found he exhibited symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  His lawyers argue he should be able to call his own experts at a trial set for July 7th.  However, Sterling’s lawyers insisted they needed a substantial delay in the trial because their expert is going to be gone for weeks speaking at a conference.  

Sterling’s wife, Shelly, is currently trying to sell the team to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer, whose offer will expire on September 15th.  NBA owners are to meet on July 15th to vote on the deal. Shelly’s lawyers say that any delays by Sterling are a ploy to halt the deal, “Delay is the enemy of this deal . . . Mr. Sterling wants to kill the deal.”

See Linda Deutsch, Judge: Family Trust Clear About Removing Sterling, The Olympian, June 23, 2014. 

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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