Sterling trial gets underway after delay

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Judge Keeps Sterling Case in State Court


LOS ANGELES (AP) - A neurologist testified Monday that Donald Sterling likely has Alzheimer's disease as a trial over the $2 billion Los Angeles Clippers sale finally got underway.

Dr. Meril Sue Platzer testified that she was hired by Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, to evaluate him and made the diagnosis based on imaging tests and a two-hour interview at his home with his wife and an attorney present.

"After it was over," she said. "I told him and Mrs. Sterling that he probably has Alzheimer's."

"What was his reaction?" asked Pierce O'Donnell, an attorney for Sterling's wife.

"I'm hungry. I want to eat," Platzer said.

The NBA has moved to oust the 80-year-old Sterling as team owner because of racist remarks he made during a recorded conversation.

17 PHOTOS
Donald Sterling
See Gallery
Sterling trial gets underway after delay
In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, center, and V. Stiviano, right, watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Los Angeles. The NBA is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to his Stiviano. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday, April 26, 2014, that the league is in the process of authenticating the validity of the recording posted on TMZ's website. Bass called the comments "disturbing and offensive." (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Clippers owners Donald Sterling and his wife Rochelle Stein watch the Clippers play the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of their NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
File - In this Dec. 30, 2011, file photo, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, watches the Chicaco Bulls play the Los Angeles Clippers along with Clippers owners Rochelle Sterling, center, and Donald Sterling during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. If Donald Sterling is compelled to sell the Clippers, the list of potential buyers will have more stars than the team's roster. Mayweather Jr. wants to form a group to buy the team. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2011, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling gestures while watching the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. Sterling only dug himself into a deeper hole after slamming Magic Johnson when he was supposed to be atoning for his own racist remarks. But he's not the first celebrity to learn the perils of making a non-apology apology. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, and V. Stiviano, left, watch the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is intent on moving quickly in dealing with the racially charged scandal surrounding Clippers owner Sterling. The NBA league will discuss its investigation Tuesday, April 29, 2014, before the Clippers play Golden State in Game 5 of their playoff series. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling looks on during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2010, file photo, Shelly Sterling sits with her husband, Donald Sterling, right, during the Los Angeles Clippers' NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Los Angeles. An individual with knowledge of negotiations to sell the Clippers says Shelly Sterling has reached an agreement to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. The individual, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly, told The Associated Press on Thursday, May 29, 2014, that Ballmer and the Sterling Family Trust now have a binding agreement. The deal now must be presented to the NBA. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling closes his eyes as he watches the Clippers play the Utah Jazz during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, upper right, watches the Golden State Warriors play the Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, April 10, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, center, and V. Stiviano, right, watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Los Angeles. The NBA is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to his Stiviano. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday, April 26, 2014, that the league is in the process of authenticating the validity of the recording posted on TMZ's website. Bass called the comments "disturbing and offensive." (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: NBA Basketball player Chris Paul (R) Los Angeles Clippers introduces U.S. President Barack Obama at the Walker Jones Education Campus, on July 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama spoke to area youth about My Brothers Keeper Initiative during a town hall meeting. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers stands on the court against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 and J.J. Redick #4 of the Los Angeles Clippers during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers dribbles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots a foul shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 13: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers loses possesion of the ball to Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the final seconds in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 13, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


Platzer was the first witness to testify in a trial to determine whether Sterling's wife was authorized under a family trust to single-handedly make the deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Her lawyers actually called Donald Sterling to the stand first, but he wasn't in the courthouse and was ordered to appear when the nonjury trial resumes in Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, a federal judge rejected a bid by Donald Sterling's lawyers to move the case to federal court.

Donald Sterling's attorneys argued that their client was induced to undergo mental examination under false pretenses and that his private, personal medical records were given to his wife's "handpicked" doctors in violation of federal medical privacy laws.

Platzer testified that she wasn't told that her evaluation was in connection with the Clippers sale.

Shelly Sterling made a brief appearance in court Monday morning but left when the federal court motion temporarily delayed the trial.

Her lawyers claim Donald Sterling has been engaging in tactics to run out the clock on the Clippers sale.

Donald Sterling's probate lawyer, Gary Ruttenberg, hammered away at the need for a postponement.

"We've been railroaded as quickly as possible into a trial where we have very little discovery," he said. "We have not had adequate time to prepare."

O'Donnell replied that the issue had been disposed of earlier, and the judge denied his motion to delay the case. Ruttenberg threatened to object to every question asked by O'Donnell on the same grounds. The judge said he would note that Donald Sterling's lawyers object to every question.

Speaking in a packed courtroom, Ruttenberg said: "This case reads like a Hollywood soap opera. I've called it 'a tale of two Sterlings.'"

Platzer was to undergo cross-examination Tuesday when the trial resumes.

NBA owners are scheduled to vote on the sale to Ballmer on July 15. That's also the day his offer is set to expire - and there is no deal without the judge's approval of the sale.

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

People are Reading