Clippers Sale to Ballmer May be Delayed

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The Los Angeles Clippers’ $2 billion sale to ex-Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US) Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer may not close by a July 15 deadline after what a lawyer for Shelly Sterling called her husband’s “ploy” to block the sale by delaying a trial over its legitimacy.

Donald Sterling, 80, had his wife’s state court case moved to federal court last week, throwing into doubt a trial set to start today in the California court over whether she followed the rules of a family trust in having him declared incapacitated and unable to negotiate the sale.

Shelly Sterling and Ballmer yesterday filed an emergency application in federal court to send the case back to Superior Court in Los Angeles, according to court electronic records. No ruling was issued immediately.

“Donald is calculating that he can delay the probate court’s ruling on Shelly’s petition long enough to jeopardize the closing occurring before July 15,” according to Shelly Sterling’s filing. “This case cries out for a swift rebuke to Donald’s cynical abuse of the judicial process.”

via Edvard Pettersson and Phil Milford of Businessweek