An attempt by attorneys for Donald Sterling to delay the probate action in Los Angeles Superior Court ended Monday afternoon when a federal judge rejected their request to remove the case to federal court.
U.S. District Judge George H. Wu remanded the case back to Los Angeles Superior Court after the trial’s start was twice delayed Monday while awaiting the ruling.
Six hours of uncertainty ended shortly before 3 p.m. when Judge Michael Levanas noted Wu’s order, then opened the trial that could determine the fate of the $2-billion sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer.
Neither Sterling nor his wife Shelly was present in court, though she appeared earlier in the day.
Another delay quickly cropped up. Pierce O’Donnell called Donald Sterling as his first witness, turned to face the courtroom and noted that the Clippers owner had been subpoenaed to testify. O’Donnell suggested a bench warrant be issued to compel Sterling’s appearance.
Court was recessed for attorneys to ascertain if, in fact, Sterling or a representative had been served with a subpoena.