Sterling probate trial continues

LOS ANGELES – The future of the Los Angeles Clippers is closer to decision as testimony resumes today in a probate trial over whether a deal negotiated by Donald Sterling’s estranged wife to sell the team for $2 billion is authorized under a Sterling family trust.

The team’s volatile owner agreed to the sale, then tried to revoke consent in spite of a signed letter instructing his wife Shelly Sterling to sell for the highest price she could get.

A probate trial to resolve the matter has been under way since last month but was in recess for a week. With three days of hearings ahead, Donald Sterling’s lawyers suggested they would call the battling couple back to testify.

Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas was ambivalent about the need for more testimony from the pair but said he would permit it only if lawyers show that they are raising matters not covered during lengthy testimony by both Sterlings.

“This is a case that has many unusual twists and turns,” said the judge, noting that Donald Sterling’s lawyers had suddenly come up with “witnesses we’ve never heard of.”