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Sterling trial gets underway after delay

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.



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.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
chall6pk July 07 2014 at 10:46 PM

Give the man a break....Racist remarks are made even by all races about themselves...Not that it's okay ...it's not....but blowing it out of proportion is not okay either...Let's move on

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17 replies
madkono July 07 2014 at 11:24 PM

he called someone a nasty name, and they want him destroyed!!! ray rice beats a woman, and might get a 2 game suspension!!! so what do we learn from this...beat up any woman, but don't you call someone a name!!! the liberal/socialist media, are idiots!!!

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7 replies
lmmbham July 07 2014 at 10:57 PM

What sort or "reasonable accommodation" does the Americans With Disabilities Act require that you make for old people with Alzheimers when they go running their mouths? Can you just take their business away from them?

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12 replies
rvheaney July 07 2014 at 10:53 PM

"I told him and Mrs. Sterling that he probably has Alzheimer's."
The big word is "PROBABLY" .... She is not sure.... She was hired by his wife so probably means he don't have Azheimer's !

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16 replies
bd2thebone July 07 2014 at 11:03 PM

Probably is not definitive and the fact that he said he was hungry means he remembered he needed to eat. I am calling B S on this diagnosis.

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8 replies
bd2thebone July 07 2014 at 11:09 PM

If the NBA seize's the team and puts it up for auction I am guessing they would have to start the bidding at 2 billion since that is now the established value. I am also guessing it will cost the NBA at least another 2 billion before Sterling is through with them.

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7 replies
rpaulbroker July 07 2014 at 11:13 PM

Enough of this story, it is a non story after all this time. Lets deal with more important things already.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
4 replies
Randy1953 July 07 2014 at 10:51 PM

If Donald was smart he'd take that 2 billion and get out of the NBA with all their problems .
Somebody give V a carrot .

Flag Reply +9 rate up
5 replies
Shirley July 07 2014 at 11:26 PM

Donald's high priced atty. says he doesn't have altzheimers...high priced attys. know all the answers...just ask them.

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2 replies
yak5750 Shirley July 08 2014 at 1:20 AM

if she wins, i wonder if the attornies will bill $1 billion. it's deserved. Consider that the $2 B might only be taxed at 20% and that the $1 B fee could save taxes at 40% ( I'm guessing as to the combined fed and state tax rates). However, if they don't report the sale on their income tax returns, the IRS probably won't notice. Everyone knows they're having problems with their hard drives. It's just as easy for a HDD to loose billions $ as e-mails.

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2 replies
vladimir yak5750 July 08 2014 at 5:44 AM

When you lose your billions $ you just blow up the place where the billions $ were stored and then you say that a hijacked airplane flew in to the building, it is easy for ANYONE to lose billions $ or even 2.3 trillion $.

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John yak5750 July 08 2014 at 7:37 AM

or can get Mitt's accountant !

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savannahswithgod Shirley July 08 2014 at 7:21 AM

The poor ones know to make a buck off of jumping on you for the little credit cards bills owed too son, don't leave any lawyers out. But to get the gov funds you need one, so not all bad though needing one still costs!

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Pearl Nestor July 08 2014 at 6:28 AM

So does this mean If I say something that will piss off a liberal that they can take away everything I worked for in my life? Is my pension up for grabs now? Do I have to hand over to them all my assets because I offended their tender little feelings? Shouldn't we all be afraid of what we say and how we say it from now on because we have "speech crime"? We have no more freedoms left. How sad, almost makes me want to off myself. I'm so depressed.

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2 replies
rudniski136 Pearl Nestor July 08 2014 at 7:14 AM

Liberalism is a social disease. They will destroy millions of people and their lives to save a thousand. They are idealists without any grounding in reality and their emotions always trump logical thought.

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troopabn Pearl Nestor July 08 2014 at 7:40 AM

We had an older man and his sister do that a couple days ago in Maryland. Both were failing in health. So sad that this is what is happening in the "Peoples Republic". And after our great governor has raised taxes and fees 40 times since being in office. Maryland is a "Democratsch State", a mirror of what Obummer is doing to the country. And our Gov O'Malley want's to be your next President. He and Lt Gov Brown imploded the healthcare website, just like Obummer did. And Brown wants to be Governor. I wouldn't let him run a Cub Scout pack. America has become so sad.

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