So, if Dr. Platzer said she did everything by the book and Donald Sterling says that she was drunk during the medical evaluation, then the Judge has to determine what weight to give the testimony in determining what the true facts are. If Donald Sterling happens to give a litany of other, rambling, unrelated, inane testimony, then the Judge may be less likely to provide any credence to DTS' testimony and find that the Doctor did everything appropriately.
The first problem we faced was a potential media black out. Apparently, one of DTS' attorneys complained about all the tweets getting out of his testimony and the mocking that ensued. The Judge briefly banned tweeting:
The new sign up outside the Sterling trial courtroom. :( pic.twitter.com/IdEYbmGZtw— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
However, apparently the LA Times lawyer successfully argued for the return of tweeting and all was right with the world.
Tweets are in!!!!— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
If you recall from yesterday's testimony, Dr. Platzer (one of the two doctors that medically evaluated DTS and found him incapacitated) had never provided her file to DTS' lawyers. The Judge ordered her to turn it over and DTS' lawyers were going to resume cross-examination after reviewing that file. Was there some smoking gun in there that would help DST out? It didn't seem like it. There did not seem to be any questioning about specific documents. Instead, DTS' attorney continued with the argument about breach of privacy rights.
I'll boil this down: Platzer thinks she had right to send docs to Shelly and lawyers because of trust waivers/Ruttenberg argue she doesnt— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Dr. Platzer said she believed the Sterling trust was sufficient to waive privacy rights. Judge wants Gary Ruttenberg to move on.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
It wouldn't be a day in this trial if DTS' attorneys weren't annoying the Judge
Judge Levanas getting increasingly annoyed with Gary Ruttenberg's line of questioning regarding HIPAA. Feels it's repetitive.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
Judge Michael Levanas is now basically just making the -______- face at Donald Sterling attorney Gary Ruttenberg.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
Judge Michael Levanas keeps glancing at the clock.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
Judge Levanas, exasperated by Ruttenberg's repetitive line of questioning: "Let's put this to bed. Put one more nail in it."— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
Even the Judge objected to a question by DTS' attorney.
Judge Levanas: "Question was asked and answered." Ruttenberg: "It was?" Dr. Meril Platzer finally excused.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
So, nothing really came out of that. Dr. Platzer defended her right to release the report. At this point, DTS' attorneys are not arguing over whether he has dementia or whether the report was done appropriately. They are arguing over whether she had the right to release the information. What is the purpose of a trust provision based on medical information if nobody can see the medical information? It is a self-defeating line of argument in my view. Logically, you could never remove a Trustee for mental incapacity if you follow DTS' arguments here. Harping on it over and over again has only frustrated the Judge, which is the last thing you would ever want to do.
So, on Tuesday, DTS' testimony was barely relevant to the proceedings. He was caustic and attempted to bully the attorney into submission. Perhaps that has worked his entire life, but it did not work there. He came off like a pathetic lunatic. Could he recover with better testimony today?
In a word, no.
In a longer word, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
In a series of words, HELL TO DA NAW!
In a combination of letters and numerals, n0
In a gif:
First up was the finalization of the cross-examination by Bert Fields, Shelly's hotshot 85 year old attorney. It started off with what must have been a sneaky funny moment.
Judge tells Donald he doesn't need to restate his name. DTS "Donald Sterling."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
And more gamesmanship
Bert Fields: "Have you concluded your answer sir?" Donald Sterling: "Have you finished your question?" Judge: "It's better than yesterday."— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
Fields goes after his credibility even more by trying to catch him in a lie.
Donald Sterling said yesterday that he still runs his businesses each and every day. Bert Fields asks if Don has ever said he's retired.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
Bert Fields citing Don Sterling testimony from 2012, saying he's "totally retired." Sterling says there's no signature on the testimony.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
With that, Fields cross ends and now Max Blecher, DTS' own attorney, starts with direct examination. Direct examination is usually a time when you can get all the key facts out and help your side. However, even here, DTS managed to embarrass himself and go off the rails from his own attorney.
"I just want a yes or no and not a speech." -- Donald Sterling's own lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, to Don.— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
Not a legal expert, but shouldn't DTS's lawyers not ask him questions that he answers "I don't remember" to?— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Donald Sterling, on NBA: "They lied again!" Max Blecher: "I didn't ask a question."— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
It sounds as if he didn't prepare for this very well. Not sure whether that is the arrogance of DTS thinking he does not need to prepare or a bad job by his attorneys or some of the dementia or what. Usually you don't want to ask your own client a series of questions where he cannot remember the answer or goes off on rambling speeches.
I should note it is not uncommon for people to get nervous and stressed out when testifying. There is a lot of pressure associated with that. However, DTs is not most people. In his better days, he was a business genius who could probably talk his way through any situation. Now, it's sad.
He also went after Fields a bit despite Fields not even being involved.
Bert Fields motions, and Donald Sterling again yells at him to "Be a man!"— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
So, take away that stuff and what did DTS testify about. He did have some relevant testimony.
Donald testifies he was never told and didn't know he was being examined for the purposes of being removed.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Donald Sterling: "I don't think I was ever disqualified (as a trustee). I don't think they (the doctors) were qualified."— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
"My wife, in her entire life, has never read the trust. She wouldn't know what's in the trust. The trust is complicated....— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
"...I know what's in the trust." - Donald Sterling— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Note that DTS' assertion that he knows what is in the Trust is directly contradicting a previous line of argument about him not realizing some things were taken out of the Trust. They had previously argued that language allowing DTS to attack the dementia diagnoses and bring in his own experts had been in the Trust, but was "inadvertently" removed. They eventually abandoned that line of argument, but DTS' bragging here is the opposite of what he argued earlier.
They talked a lot about the NBA and the scandal over the leaked tapes, which isn't 100% on point, but also not wholly irrelevant.
Donald says he's the most punished man in the history of sports.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Donald Sterling, on the NBA: "They are no worse than any other corporation in America. Only worse."— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
"I will never, ever, ever sell this team. Until I die. I wall be suing the NBA" This should've been in all caps - he's shouting— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
He had so many rants, the media couldn't keep up.
Donald Sterling has had so many successive outbursts, I can't keep up. My fingers are typing on my phone as quickly as possible.— Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) July 9, 2014
With that, DTS was done. The end of an era. A true golden age! Up next, Shelly Sterling.
She testified to some information on DTS' mental state from a lay perspective:
Shelly Sterling said she normally handles Donald's medical issues. "I'm his only caregiver."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Says DTS gets agitated and "mad for no reason."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Shelly said Donald has been getting more forgettable and slurring words over last 2 or 3 years.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
Shelly thought Donald might have had a stroke.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
She did note that piece of information that is directly relevant.
O'Donnell: "Was Dr. Platzer intoxicated during this examination?" Shelly Sterling: "Oh god no."— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) July 9, 2014
That makes the judge's job that much easier. You have two people saying that the Dr. was entirely professional and one bombastic, seemingly untrustworthy person saying that she wasn't. How hard is it now to ignore DTS' testimony?
After Shelly finished, there was a bit of an altercation. She got off the stand and DTS yelled at her.
Shelly Sterling got off the stand and walked over to Donald. He said "stay away from me you pig. How could you lie?"— Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) July 9, 2014
This was odd as previously he seemed happy with her.
During the break, Shelly Sterling approached Donald to say hello. He held her hand and smiled at her as they spoke.— Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) July 9, 2014
But now, it went south.
Shelly Sterling's attorney asked judge to remove Donald from courtroom. Judge told Donald not to speak, calling his remarks disturbing— Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) July 9, 2014
2 sheriffs deputies are now standing next to Donald Sterling as judge talks about what's next in the trial— Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) July 9, 2014
Shelly Sterling was escorted out of the courtroom by 2 deputies while Donald remained in the courtroom.— Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) July 9, 2014
He eventually defended it as follows.
Donald Sterling's attorney on his outbursts "Sometimes he's combative, sometimes charming. It's not a vaudeville act, that's who he is"— Kim Baldonado (@KimNBCLA) July 10, 2014
And that was the end of the day. The only thing remaining was the Judge noting that they will not meet the July 15 deadline. That is when the NBA Board Of Governors will meet and could potentially confirm the sale. However, the September 15 deadline is when the NBA will seize the team if it is not sold.
Judge says "it's not going to happen" is response to whether they could get an order by July 15 BOG meeting. Backtracks & says its unlikely— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) July 9, 2014
So, a lot of huffing and puffing and not a lot today, really. Nothing new from Dr. Platzer. More inanity from DTS. Some key testimony from Shelly Sterling denying DTS' allegations. What are your thoughts on all this?