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Lawyer claims Donald Sterling threatened to take him out; judge denies injunction

Posted Jun 19, 2014 2:35 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Corrected: A Los Angeles probate judge has refused to issue an injunction that would bar Donald Sterling from harassing or threatening potential witnesses in a case that seeks to remove him from the trust that owns the Los Angeles Clippers.

Judge Michael Levanas turned down the request by lawyers for Shelly Sterling on Thursday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Shelly Sterling's lawyers said Donald Sterling left threatening voice mails for two doctors who evaluated him last month and also threatened a lawyer in a June 9 phone call. The doctors had concluded Sterling is incapacitated and cannot conduct business affairs.

Pierce O'Donnell, a lawyer for Shelly Sterling, told reporters that he was the lawyer targeted by Donald Sterling in a phone call. Donald Sterling “raised his voice in a menacing manner and said, 'I'm gonna take you out, O'Donnell,' ” the lawyer said. USA Today, the New York Daily News and ESPN covered the request for an injunction.

“I didn’t think he was going to take me out to Spago,” O’Donnell told the New York Daily News. “I took that as a threat on my life.”

Donald Sterling’s lawyers say there was no threat. “He has a short fuse,” lawyer Max Blecher told the Daily News. “It doesn’t mean he’s dangerous or incapacitated.”

Headline corrected on June 20 to state that judge denied injunction.

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