LOS ANGELES -- A trial will be held next month to determine whether Donald Sterling, who opposes his estranged wifes planned sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, was properly removed as an administrator for the family trust that owns the team. A probate court judge in Los Angeles Wednesday denied Shelly Sterlings urgent request to confirm her authority as sole administrator of The Sterling Family Trust so that she can unilaterally proceed with a $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Instead, the judge agreed to an expedited hearing because of looming sales deadlines. The development is the latest in a legal tug-of-war following the NBAs decision to ban Donald Sterling for life after racist remarks to a girlfriend were recorded and publicized. Donald Sterling is fighting the decision and suing the league for $1 billion. The league has contended the comments were bad for business and damaged both the Clippers and the NBA. The four-day trial was granted exceptionally quickly and will begin July 7. The deadline for the sale is July 15, which also is the date the NBAs owners hope to vote on whether they will approve the sale. Court filings Wednesday indicated the NBA has set a hard deadline of Sept. 15. If the sale isnt completed then, the league will undertake proceedings to seize and sell the team on its own. Donald Sterlings lawyer, Bobby Samini, left the courthouse without comment after a clerk announced the trial schedule. Neither Sterling was present. "I just want to resolve this as quickly as possible," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told The Associated Press on Wednesday in Miami at an NBA Cares event. The crux of the case will centre on the question of whether the 80-year-old Donald Sterling is mentally competent to be a co-trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which gives him the authority to determine the teams future. According to the trusts terms, he can be ruled "mentally incapacitated" after being evaluated by two doctors, said Pierce ODonnell, Shelly Sterlings attorney. Shelly Sterling activated that clause in negotiating what would be a record-breaking deal with Ballmer as sole trustee. But Donald Sterling challenged the removal in a letter sent Monday to his wifes attorney said "any attempt to remove me as a Trustee of the Sterling Trust is invalid and illegal. Furthermore, any assertion that I am incapacitated... is false and without merit." According to court documents, two doctors examined Donald Sterling in May and concluded that he suffers from "mild cognitive impairment consistent with early Alzheimers Disease" or some other forms of brain disease after examining brain scans and having him undergo other tests. "In my opinion he is substantially unable to manage his finances and resist fraud and undue influence, and is no longer competent to act as trustee of his trust," concluded Dr. James E. Spar, who is affiliated with the division of geriatric psychiatry at UCLA. Sterling voluntarily went to the doctors at the request of his wife, according to a person with knowledge of the proceedings who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the details publicly. A third doctor reviewed the two doctors findings as well as Sterlings brain scans and concurred with their conclusions that he "lacks the capacity to function as trustee." Donald Sterlings attorney, Maxwell Blecher, contested the doctors findings in remarks Tuesday to The Associated Press. "Anybody at his age level on a brain scan would probably show some impairment. But that doesnt mean you forget where your car keys are and youre incompetent," Blecher said. "There isnt the slightest evidence hes incapable of managing his affairs." Donald Sterling said in a statement that hes not just fighting for the Clippers but taking a stand against the NBA, which he called "a band of hypocrites and bullies" and "despicable monsters" who want "to take away our privacy rights and freedom of speech." "As Ive said previously, if Donald chooses to litigate against us, so be it," Silver said. "So its going to take longer than we had hoped for this transaction to close, but itll get done ultimately. Its just a question of time." Ballmers attorney, Adam Streisand, said he was pleased with the trial schedule and "confident that after the trial the court is going to bless this transaction." The NBAs general counsel, Rick Buchanan, warned in a court papers that if the judge didnt confirm Shelly Sterlings sole trusteeship and if her deal with Ballmer "is not promptly consummated, there will be substantial harm" to the Clippers, the NBA and even The Sterling Family Trust -- the last of which would be responsible for the NBAs costs related to the legal proceedings that result. Buchanan said a recent independent survey of more than 500 Clippers fans found the majority would be less likely to support the team if Donald Sterling remained its owner. Buchanan said thousands of NBA fans worldwide have contacted the league directly or via social media to say theyre hurt or embarrassed by his views and arent sure theyll continue supporting the league and its teams. He also cited NBA player worries about the impact for the team with the upcoming NBA draft. "Mr. Sterlings continued ownership is damaging the Clippers and NBAs relationships with existing and potential business partners and licenses," Buchanan wrote. He said nearly all of the Clippers local sponsors have terminated or suspended their relationships with the team, including Adidas, Commerce Casino and Hotel, Red Bull, Mandalay Bay Hotel, Virgin America and Mercedes. Shelly Sterlings court bid aims to have a judge confirm her authority as sole trustee to ensure the Ballmer sale moves forward. Blecher said that a representative for Donald Sterling would be at any hearing, and that the next step is to have other doctors evaluate Donald Sterling. "I have no doubt at the end of the day the court is not going to say hes incompetent," Blecher said. "Thats a very high burden in the probate court -- otherwise people would get their sisters and wife and brother-in-laws and everybody declared incompetent." ------ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report. 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Nel alleged that the Olympic runner changed his aim with his 9 mm pistol to ensure that he hit Steenkamp as she fell back against a magazine rack in a toilet cubicle.BOSTON - Defending Olympic silver medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White earned their sixth consecutive national ice dance title Saturday at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. They finished with 200.19 points for a cushion of almost 20 points over the second-place team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates. Their sixth national championship broke the record for ice dance set by Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto. The reigning world champions gave an energetic and emotional routine dance "Sheherazade" by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov to win. Bates and Chock were second with 181.44 points. Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani 170.44 were third. Earlier, Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli won the pairs championship. The championship ladies free skate was scheduled for later Saturday. The mens championship is on Sunday. The U.S. Olympic figure skating teams will be announced Sunday. The top three in dance and top two in pairs are expected — but not guaranteed — to get spots. After showing up to a mid-week news conference in a Boston Bruins T-shirt and ski cap, Shnapir turned to a Saville Row-style shirt and tie — accessorized by a gun holster — for a James Bond-themed routine with Castelli that earned them the pairs title. "I grabbed her hand and I said, Lets just stay out here for a second and enjoy this moment," Shnapir, of suburban Sudbury, said after the victory put them in position for a spot on the U.S. team for the Sochi Olympics. "Who knows if well ever have an opportunity like this again?" Skating to the music from Skyfall, Castelli and Shnapir totalled 205.71 points to protect the lead they built with the top performance Thursday in the short program. "Right now were just still in shock ourselves," said Castelli, of Cranston, R.I. "Were just trying to process everything." Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay finished second with 201.72 points. Caydee Denneyy and John Coughlin moved up to third, with 201.dddddddddddd43, after receiving the highest score in Saturdays free skate. "We didnt leave anything on the table. We skated just as hard and as passionate as we could," Bartholomay said. "Were both just completely on Cloud 9 right now. We are aware that second place is not locked in. But we gave it everything we had against some tremendous competition." Skating in front of their home crowd on the rink the Bruins call home, Shnapir tossed Castelli high into the air for a triple twist and then threw her into a high-point value quad salchow that she finished with a fall — their only major mistake of the routine. He also did a triple toe loop when she went around twice, costing them some points. They were shaken, but nor stirred. "We left some points on the table, but were really thrilled with the result here," Shnapir said, adding that they did not consider ditching the quad. "There really wasnt a decision. Wed been doing it all year. ... We dont make any changes last minute." When they finished at the centre of the rink where their hometown Bruins play, Shnapir struck the Bond pose: standing sideways with his hands up, ready to turn and fire. The crowd showered them with appreciation and the judges did the same, handing them scores of 132.58 for the free skate — the third best on the day, but good enough to protect their lead. Thats because they finished the short program more than six points ahead of the second-place Zhang and Bartholomay. The 2013 third-place finishers skated a clean program and earned 135.22 points to a mistake-free Les Miserable routine that brought the crowd to its feet. Denney and Coughlin, skating to Phantom of the Opera, earned the highest score of the day with 136.03. After years of narrow pairs fields, this years competition was deeper, with a half-dozen teams capable of reaching the podium at nationals. ' ' '