Donald Sterling negotiating dismissal of federal lawsuit against NBA

Donald Sterling became owner of the Clippers in 1981.
(Los Angeles Times file)

Attorneys for Donald Sterling and the NBA are negotiating the possible dismissal of his federal antitrust lawsuit against the league, according to court filings Thursday.

The development grew out of a meeting last week between Maxwell Blecher, representing the former Clippers owner, and one of the NBA’s attorneys, Jason Russell.

“During that meeting, Mr. Russell and I began negotiating a possible dismissal of this action,” Blecher wrote in a declaration filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Sterling sued the NBA in May, the day after Shelly Sterling agreed to sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, seeking damages of more than $1 billion. The league countersued in August, saying that Sterling’s recorded remarks about blacks that became public in April caused “devastating and incalculable harm” to the league.


Over the summer, the 80-year-old Sterling pledged to sue the NBA for the remainder of his life. But last week, he dropped a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing his wife, Shelly, the NBA and Silver and of fraud in the $2-billion sale of the Clippers.

Blecher declined to elaborate on Thursday’s filing; Russell didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A federal judge granted their request to delay filing a pre-discovery report until next month to continue the dismissal negotiations. The judge also postponed a scheduling conference to Dec. 4.

Twitter: @nathanfenno