Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sterling Battle Continues in Court

SterlingThe $2 billion sale of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers continues as Donald and Shelly Sterling battle in court over control of the team. 

Shelly Sterling has asked a Los Angeles judge to confirm her as having sole authority to sell the pro basketball franchise to the former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer, after Donald Sterling planned to block the deal.  Attorneys for Mr. Sterling will argue that Mrs. Sterling misled him into submitting to mental-fitness examinations in May which ultimately handed control to his wife when physicians deemed him incompetent to manage business affairs because of early Alzheimer’s disease. 

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Michael Levanas will decide whether Mrs. Sterling acted in accordance with the family trust that owns the Clippers and if Mr. Sterling’s move to revoke the trust after the deal invalidated the sale. 

Mr. Sterling, who has owned the Clippers for 33 years, has also sued the NBA and its commissioner for $1 billion in damages. 

See Reuters, Donald and Shelly Sterlings’ Feud Over$2bn Clippers Sale Heads to Court, The Guardian, July 7, 2014. 

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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