Clippers sale is completed as Donald Sterling files challenge with appeals court (CA)

A probate judge’s final order on Tuesday cleared the way for the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

The sale was completed as Donald Sterling sought an emergency order from a California appeals court to unwind the sale, report the Los Angeles Times and Courthouse News Service. Judge Michael Levanas signed a court order authorizing the sale on Tuesday “and we were ready,” Ballmer’s lawyer, Adam Streisand of Loeb & Loeb, said in a statement. “Within minutes, the deal was signed, sealed and delivered.” The New York Times and CNN also have stories on the sale of the team.

A press release credits Streisand for developing the strategy to seek a court order under California Probate Code section 1310(b), “a provision so rarely invoked that most probate attorneys were unaware of its existence before the Sterling case.” The section allows a probate court to issue an order allowing a trustee to complete a transaction pending an appeal if a delay would cause irreparable injury or loss.

“Even if, and it’s a huge if, Donald Sterling could get a different result from the Court of Appeal, the sale is a done deal as allowed by the probate court’s 1310(b) order,” Streisand said in the press release.

Levanas had issued a tentative ruling on July 28 that Donald Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, could sell the team as sole trustee because Donald Sterling was incapacitated and unable to serve as co-trustee. Doctors hired by Shelly Sterling had concluded Donald Sterling had early Alzheimer’s.

Still pending is a $1 billion antitrust suit filed by Sterling against the NBA, the Times says. On Monday the NBA filed a counterclaim alleging Sterling had caused “incalculable harm” to the association for making racist statements caught on tape.


Clippers sale is completed as Donald Sterling files challenge with appeals court
Debra Cassens Weiss
August 13, 2014