Sterling v. SterlingAnnotate this Case
Donald T. Sterling seeks to regain ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers (Clippers), a professional basketball team Steven Ballmer purchased on August 12, 2014. A charge before the NBA’s board of governors indicated that on April 26, 2014, a tape recording of Donald’s “deeply offensive, demeaning, and discriminatory views toward African Americans, Latinos, and ‘minorities’ in general” was made public. Donald was subsequently banned from participating in the league and the NBA sought to terminate the Sterlings' ownership of the Clippers. Due to Donald's refusal to sign the sale agreement, his wife removed him as trustee of the Sterling Family Trust and filed an ex parte petition seeking confirmation of Donald's removal as trustee and instructions relevant to the sale. At issue on appeal is the probate court's order following the ex parte petition. The court concluded that the evidence credited by the probate court overwhelmingly showed that Donald was properly removed as trustee; the credited evidence overwhelmingly supported the probate court’s conclusion that exigent circumstances warranted the sale of the Clippers to prevent extraordinary loss to the trust; the probate court’s sanctioning the sale was correct even though Donald, who initially agreed to the sale, purportedly revoked the trust in an effort to block the sale; and Donald fails to demonstrate any legal error and fails to consider the facts in accordance with the proper standards on appeal. Accordingly, the court affirmed the probate court's order.