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Judge rejects Shelly Sterling bid for injunction



By LINDA DEUTSCH
AP Special Correspondent

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A judge Thursday rejected an urgent request by Shelly Sterling's attorney asking that husband Donald Sterling and his lawyers be ordered to stop harassing her legal team and doctors in their dispute over the planned sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.

A petition filed by Shelly Sterling's attorneys quoted allegedly threatening remarks made by Donald Sterling in phone calls and a letter sent by his lawyer to two doctors who declared him mentally incapacitated.

Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas said the matter may involve "high emotions and some litigation posturing" and urged both parties to tone down their communications.

"The court does not feel that the statements set forth in the ... petition rise to the level of great and irreparable injury to a party as called for in the Code of Civil Procedure," Levanas said in a written decision.

Outside court Donald Sterling's attorney Bobby Samini said, "Clearly from the court's ruling it's apparent Mr. Sterling is not a danger to anybody."

A trial next month will look into assertions that Donald Sterling is mentally incapacitated and determine whether he was properly removed as an administrator under the terms of the family trust, which owns the Clippers, leaving Shelly Sterling alone as trustee with authority to sell the team. A $2 billion sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is pending.

The physicians who determined he was mentally incapacitated in May examinations with Donald Sterling could be key witnesses in the trial.

A filing by Shelly Sterling's attorney stated that on June 9 Donald Sterling called Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, threatening lawsuits and said: "I am going to take you out, O'Donnell." O'Donnell understood that to be a death threat.

The document also alleged Donald Sterling called one of the physicians, Dr. Meril Platzer, told her she's "nothing but a fraud and a liar and a cheat" and menacingly warned, "I'm going to see that you lose your license."

He also is said to have threatened to sue Platzer and made similar threats in a profanity-laden message left for a second doctor, James E. Spar.

"I'm gonna get you fired from UCLA because you're nothing but a tramp. How dare you let someone use you that way?" Sterling tells Spar's voicemail. "You know, you rely on doctors. You think that they'll be above it all. But obviously you're not. You'll sell yourself for nothing. How dare you? How dare you give my records to a lawyer for the purposes of using it against me?"

The filing states that Sterling's lawyer Samini, followed up with a letter to each doctor accusing them of being a part of a conspiracy. The document called it a clear attempt to intimidate key witnesses in the case.

Samini said his office had been bombarded with calls from representatives of Shelly Sterling urging them to settle the case.

He contended that the call cited in O'Donnell's papers was made by O'Donnell to his office and he turned the phone over to Donald Sterling.

"They wanted to have a conversation," he said of Sterling and O'Donnell, but he listened from a distance.

"It was quite entertaining," Samini said. "I didn't hear any threats."

Samini said he wrote letters to the doctors because he felt Donald Sterling's medical records were disseminated to the media inappropriately. He also said he believed that the doctors had been hired to give specific evaluations of Donald Sterling, which were suggested to them by Shelly Sterling's team. Samini said he has engaged other doctors to examine Donald Sterling and "the results are different and there are more to come."

He said those would be released in court during the trial now scheduled for July 7.

The terms of the trust state that two licensed physicians can determine a trustee "incapacitated" and both parties must cooperate in any such examination. Both Sterlings signed the terms, which also waive doctor-patient privilege and privacy rights for any "incapacitation" finding.

Outside court, O'Donnell said about the statement by Donald Sterling, "I took that as a threat on my life and I still do." He said Sterling used numerous expletives.

"We think this is evidence of his lack of control, his impulsivity." He pointed out that the comments came the same day that Sterling went on a rant about the NBA, calling its board members "despicable monsters."

He also said the doctors threatened by the 80-year-old Donald Sterling were shaken and one of them, Platzer, said she had misgivings about whether she should have gotten involved in the case at all.

In her declaration she wrote that she believed Donald Sterling and his attorneys are "attempting to bully me into changing my opinion regarding Mr. Sterling's incapacity. I also do not want to be intimidated if I testify in this matter."

O'Donnell said he would ask for an injunction prohibiting Donald Sterling from intimidating witnesses.

"This is not normal behavior in civil litigation," O'Donnell said. "This shows how erratic and volatile he is."

Attached to the motion were letters from Samini to the doctors instructing them to not communicate further with anyone on Donald Sterling's medical condition or treatments without his prior consent.

"Your conduct has already constituted interference with prospective economic advantage as part of a conspiracy," a letter dated June 10 said.

Shelly Sterling's potentially record-breaking 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 $2.5 million and banned him for life.

Donald Sterling has filed suit against the NBA for $1 billion in federal court alleging that the league violated his constitutional rights, committed breach of contract and violated antitrust laws. Sterling has also hired four private investigation firms to dig up potential dirt on the NBA's former and current commissioner and its owners for the case.

Join the discussion

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chvol June 19 2014 at 6:08 PM

The best part is that Donald Sterling is worth billions so all the legal BS thrown at him by the white-against-white and black-against-white racists will cost him about 1 day's income to throw back at them. You go Donald! Sterling 2016!!

Flag Reply +41 rate up
12 replies
jdecarlis June 19 2014 at 6:42 PM

What a bunch of hypocrites, Donald Sterling makes some racist remarks over the phone, which was illegally taped, by his mistress, and is told he must sell his team, while professional ballplayers in all sports get away with rape, killing dogs, doing drugs, shooting people and aren't thrown off the team. What a joke.
To that end there is no fool like an old fool, What was this old man thinking when he started screwing this tramp, that she cared about him.

Flag Reply +37 rate up
8 replies
u8nt4me June 19 2014 at 6:25 PM

Still like to listen to that tape, from what they've released didn't seem bad, but I guess it slipped my mind when the liberals scream racism. Same goes with the Red Skins, enough already.

Flag Reply +31 rate up
8 replies
Gus Richards June 19 2014 at 6:15 PM

That's one for Donald. Good for that judge that he could see this whole thing is a farce by Donald's wife. Hell, for enough money, anyone can get an "expert" to testify on anything you want. The Doctors from both sides give different stories so they most likely cancel each other out, now what's left? Nothing that warrants taking his team away from him, or fining him that stupid amount. Hopefully Donald will win out in court against the NBA, that jackass Silver, and everyone else that's trying to screw over him.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
6 replies
xpphil12 June 19 2014 at 7:11 PM

I didn't hear anything inherently racist in the tapes of Mr.Sterling.He told V.Stifiano not to bring blacks to the games.I believe Sterling knows these black athletes (and whites)will diddle any woman they can and he doesn't want lots of loose talk about his confidant,thats why he doesn't want her too chummy with Magic Johnson and others at the games.Maybe he knows she has been diddled by some athletes and Sterling doesn't want to be seen as a cuckold man.Nothing racist about that.

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8 replies
bps163 June 19 2014 at 6:14 PM

Good for the Judge, hit them with everything you can dig up. And you know there is a lot of dirt there. Donald make this happen prove that no can just come in take what they want. Make them pay you back with every cent they have and keep ( your team ).

Flag Reply +18 rate up
2 replies
orion15stars bps163 June 19 2014 at 6:33 PM

You obviously don't comprehend what happened. Shelly Sterling, the Donald's wife, has taken her husband to court to have him declared mentally incompetent, so she can take over sole control of all the money and assets of the family. He is digging up the dirt and threatening witnesses against him. Those threats could land him in prison. Or, he can allow himself to be declared mentally incompetent, reside in some posh mental institution and stay out of prison instead.

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5 replies
tellthetruthciera bps163 June 19 2014 at 6:54 PM

The team is comprised of players. They make the value of the team. And they should leave the plantation And this racist bully won't even be able to get the going rate $500,000,000. Why should a sick racist be able to get four time the going rate. Because another one is just as sick.

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4 replies
kevinhall1969 June 19 2014 at 7:56 PM

I hope Sterling crucifies the NBA.

Flag Reply +17 rate up
3 replies
Heymickr June 19 2014 at 6:25 PM

This is the classic "catch 22." If Sterling was too mentally incapacitated to serve as a Trustee of his own Trust then he was also too incapacitated to have intended to make racist remarks during the recorded rant for which the NBA has levied a $2.5 million fine and barred him forever from attending any NBA games. The NBA can't rightfully punish a person for doing or saying something when they are mentally incapacitated and his wife can't have him thrown out as a Trustee and then sell the team if he isn't. Remember, he said he was willing to permit the team to be sold to Ballmer (which the NBA wants) when he thought they were going to drop the fine and sanctions against him. However, they won't. Just how petty can the NBA be? Don't they know a good deal when they see one? Compromise folks.

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3 replies
wodelson June 19 2014 at 8:36 PM

I hope the NBA loses this entire deal. I hope Donald keeps his team. He can not lose his team for something he said in his own home, and was being baited by the women. She should be the one on trail now him. You should be allowed to be who you want inside your own home, as long as you are not hurting anyone. Go Donald Go.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
3 replies
plgc1964 June 19 2014 at 6:01 PM

Take your 1 Billion dollars and just GO!!!!...Far Far Away! Nobody likes you! Leave the "party". Just go! ANd take your Thai "Laby-Boy" too! She love you long time!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
6 replies
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