Donald Sterling Declared Competent, Trial Will Go On As Scheduled

Donald Sterling’s tenuous grip on the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, and the decision on that grip, will not be delayed. The trial between Sterling and his wife, Shelly, will go on July 7, according to USA Today. Judge Michael Levanas fielded numerous requests from both sides, including both asking for a specified trial outline, while lawyers for Donald are asking for a delay in starting the trial. One thing both sides have been able to stipulate that Donald’s mental capacity is no longer in question after he was examined over the weekend and was found to be mentally competent. The request for a trial delay by Donald was denied by Judge Levanas. Judge Levanas has worked out a trial outline for both sides, however, now, there will be two points of contention: 1) Did Shelly properly follow the terms of the Sterling Family Trust in having Donald removed, or did Shelly perpetrate a fraud on Donald to wrongfully gain control of the trust and 2) after Donald exercised his right to revoke the trust agreement on June 9, did Shelly still have legal rights to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. The first point of the trial will focus on whether Shelly Sterling somehow coerced Donald Sterling to a series of tests by Drs. Meril S. Platzer and James E. Spar, and what criteria did they use to declare Donald mentally incapacitated. The Sterling Family Trust has specific language that Shelly would have to follow explicitly to get Donald removed from the trust. According to, Donald submitted to CT and PET scans at Cedar’s Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on May 16, and neurological examinations on May 19 and 22. On May 22, Sterling also sent the NBA a letter stating he had given consent for Shelly to sell the Clippers after the examinations were completed. Gary Ruttenberg, one of Donald’s lawyers, stated in court Monday that the letter Sterling sent was a consent for Shelly to negotiate with the NBA for the sale of the Clippers, and not a agreement for Shelly to sell the team outright. After Donald was tested and found competent this weekend by Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, Sterling’s lawyers filed papers with the court Monday alleging that Shelly “duped” and “blindsided” her husband into having the two doctors test and certify in writing that he is mentally incapacitated, which then allowed her to remove Donald from the Sterling Family Trust, clearing Shelly to agree to the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer for $2 billion.

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