Donald Sterling's Mental Competence Won't Be Raised in Court (Report)

7:57 PM PST 06/30/2014 by Debbie Emery
Associated Press

The July 7 hearing will not focus on the Clippers owner's mental state, but instead hinge on the technicalities of family trust law.

Attorneys agreed on Monday that Donald Sterling's mental competency will not be the focus of a hearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court next week regarding Shelly Sterling's plans to sell the Los Angeles Clippers in a $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

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Both sides in the argument agreed to narrow the hearing’s scope during a lengthy conference ordered by Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas, reported the L.A. Times. The focus of the July 7 hearing will now be narrowed to look at the family trust's terms alone and not Sterling's mental capacity.

"There are 2 billion reasons why this sale should go through," argued Shelly Sterling's attorney Pierce O’Donnell.

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The judge said another issue likely to be "front and center" during the trial is what happens to a deal that hasn't been closed when a trust is revoked, according to the Associated Press. Donald Sterling revoked the trust on June 9 — weeks after Shelly Sterling negotiated the deal with Ballmer.

"We all agree that he had the requisite capacity to revoke," said Bobby Samini, one of Sterling’s attorneys, on Monday, according to the Times.

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Timing has been an issue throughout the proceedings, with the judge denying a request by Donald Sterling's attorneys to postpone the hearing. An expedited timetable was put forward from the beginning because NBA owners must approve what would be a record-breaking deal and are scheduled to meet July 15 to vote, which is the same day Ballmer's offer is set to expire.

If the sale isn't completed by Sept. 15, the league said it could seize the team and put it up for auction.

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