Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Shelly Sterling seeks protections for her witnesses

AP, LOS ANGELES

Shelly Sterling’s attorneys were yesterday to ask a judge to order Donald Sterling and his attorneys not to threaten, harass or intimidate his wife’s legal team and doctors who determined the Los Angeles Clippers’ co-owner was mentally incapacitated.

A person with knowledge of the legal proceedings told The Associated Press that the urgent request seeks protection for witnesses including three doctors who may be witnesses in next month’s scheduled trial to determine if Shelly Sterling can sell the Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer for US$2 billion.

The individual was not authorized to comment and spoke on Wednesday night on condition of anonymity.

Donald Sterling’s attorney, Maxwell Blecher, said a representative would be in court, but would not comment further.

Representatives for Shelly Sterling and her attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, declined comment.

Shelly Sterling’s deal with Ballmer was struck after Donald Sterling’s racist remarks to a girlfriend were recorded and publicized. The NBA moved to oust him as team owner, fined him US$2.5 million and banned him for life.

O’Donnell said doctors determined the 80-year-old Donald Sterling was mentally “incapacitated,” thereby making her sole administrator of the family trust, which owns the team, according to its terms.

Donald Sterling is fighting that contention and her authority to sell. The deal would be record-breaking if approved by the NBA’s owners.

The decision to go to court was precipitated by several incidents in which Donald Sterling’s attorney or Donald Sterling himself contacted the two doctors who examined him last month and determined him to be mentally incapacitated, the individual said.

A third doctor reviewed their findings and the brain scans and reached the same conclusion.

Donald Sterling’s attorney sent letters to James Spar and Meril Platzer warning that they would release his medical records, in violation of his privacy rights, and that they should put their insurance carriers on notice and have their legal counsel contact him, the individual said.

Another individual with knowledge of the legal proceedings said Donald Sterling personally left aggravated voice-mails for both doctors alleging they violated his rights.

The voice-mails were characterized as threatening and intimidating.

The individual was not authorized to speak and insisted on anonymity.

The terms of the trust, released in court documents, state that both parties agree to waive the doctor-patient privilege with respect to the results of an examination for incapacitation.

Donald Sterling is also suing the NBA for US$1 billion in federal court and alleges the league violated his constitutional rights, committed breach of contract and violated antitrust laws.

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