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.
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