LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge has refused to shift the Donald Sterling trial to federal court.

Monday's ruling means the trial can now begin in state court on whether Sterling's estranged wife had authority to negotiate a $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Shelly Sterling struck the deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after Donald Sterling's racist remarks to a girlfriend were publicized and the NBA moved to oust him as team owner.

Two doctors declared her husband mentally incapacitated — and thus unable to take a role in the sale.

But his lawyers claimed there were medical privacy violations and asked for the change of venue. His wife's lawyers claim that was just a tactic to run out the clock on the Clippers sale.

NBA owners are supposed to vote on the deal on July 15.


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