Klein & Wilson

LA Clippers sale imminent after probate court ruling

The legal drama surrounding the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appears to be winding down. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Donald Sterling’s wife, Shelly who authorized the sale earlier this summer. Donald Sterling previously claimed that she defrauded him, and that she did not have the authority to go ahead with the sale. 

Shelly had indicated that the 80-year-old did not have the mental capacity to continue to run the team, and that his permanent ban from the NBA was part of her argument. The trial had its tense moments, as Sterling vehemently denied that he no longer had the mental capacity to make important decisions about the team. Nevertheless, the court found that Shelly was well within her right to act for the Sterling Family Trust that owned the team.

High value litigation is where experienced attorneys help their clients. While the amount of money at issue is certainly important, the ability to analyze fine issues of law and the foresight to make compelling arguments can be the difference between obtaining a large judgment or crippling a company financially for years to come.

The Sterling litigation is one example of this, given that the Clippers were poised to sell for $2 billion, which would likely lead to a $1.4 billion windfall for the family trust.

In the meantime, the oral order given by the judge will likely be reduced to a written order by August 13. The sale of the Clippers is to be finalized by August 15.

Source: Nbcnews.com “Judge rules against Donald Sterling clearing way for Clippers sale,” Maria Elena Fernandez, July 28, 2014

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