Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A judge said Tuesday he needs more documentation before he can rule on whether Donald Sterling’s onetime companion should pay more than $70,000 in legal fees related to her failed defamation lawsuit against the billionaire’s wife, the Sterling family trust and a former Clippers team entity.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin, who granted the Sterling attorneys’ request to dismiss V. Stiviano’s claim last month, said he wants to see records documenting the time needed to complete each legal task undertaken in preparing the motion.

Fruin also said he was uncertain why one of the Sterling lawyers was charging for time spent on the Internet looking for statements that could have given credence to Stiviano’s claim that she was defamed.

“I don’t know why that was done,” Fruin said.

The judge scheduled another hearing for Jan. 26.

Attorney Pierce O’Donnell, who represents Shelly Sterling, L.A. Sports Properties and the Sterling family trust, said the countersuit alleged unclear allegations that his clients defamed Stiviano via the national news media by calling her a thief and claiming she embezzled funds and other properties from Donald Sterling.

Stiviano’s countersuit was so vague in its details that an Internet search was made to see if there was anything to support her allegations, O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell is seeking attorneys’ fees and costs to compensate his clients in getting Stiviano’s complaint tossed. Donald Sterling’s estranged wife is asking for $45,585; the trust and L.A. Sports Properties want about $25,000.

Shelly Sterling started the litigation with Stiviano on March 7 by suing to obtain the return of any  property jointly owned by the Sterlings. The suit alleged Stiviano, who often attended Clippers games with Donald Sterling, met him at the 2010 Super Bowl, began a sexual relationship with him and used multiple names.

Trial of Shelly Sterling’s case is scheduled for March 9.

After a long legal battle last summer with her husband, who was banned by the NBA for making racist comments, Shelly Sterling sold the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

City News Service

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