Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
 

Donald Sterling's response to the NBA is nothing if not a signal that he plans to, as his lawyer told ESPN, "fight to the bloody end." If he does, the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers could wind up in a three-way court battle while Sterling, his wife and the NBA claim control over the team and its sale. 

I looked at the legal issues today in an AP story. The thing that struck me about Sterling's position is that, while he may have a winning point or two, he would really need to sweep the legal arguments. The NBA constitution is silent on who bears the burden of proof in the trial-type hearing, which is still scheduled for Tuesday. It also says nothing about what standard his fellow owners must use before stripping him of his team -- no "beyond a reasonable doubt," no "preponderance of evidence," no nothing. The league seems to be interpreting that to mean that the Clippers can be seized at will, as long as its own rules are followed. 

We'll see.





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