Donald Sterling is suing his wife, Shelly, to regain his share of their family's control of the Los Angeles Clippers; Shelly seized control of and then sold the team after two doctors declared Donald mentally incompetent, a judgment that he says is illegitimate. While his case, to the layman, does not actually seem unreasonable—one of the doctors who made the declaration admits that she had a glass of wine with Shelly after conducting Donald's exam—he may not have made the best impression in court during the first day of the trial, because he didn't show up. From ESPN's Ramona Shelburne:
Donald Sterling was not present when the trial finally began after a morning of delays while a federal court judge rejected a motion to move the case from California probate court.
Sterling's attorneys promised he would be present when court reconvened Tuesday afternoon, explaining his absence as pragmatic as the 80-year-old owner did not expect the trial to commence Monday while jurisdiction was sorted out.
While that sounds plausible, another thing that is plausible is to err on the side of showing up to court when you might be called as a witness in your own billion-dollar lawsuit, which is what ended up happening.
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