May 1, 2014

The Sterling tape: illegal or senile?

California's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. ... The statute applies to "confidential communications" -- i.e., conversations in which one of the parties has an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation. ...  A California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. ...
If you are operating in California, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any conversation that common sense tells you might be "private" or "confidential." In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the California wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. 

Now, V. Stiviano is trying to get around this heap of trouble by saying the octogenarian Donald T. Stirling gave her some sort of blanket permission to record him, apparently because he has a bad memory. From TMZ:
As for why Stiviano taped so many conversations ... as TMZ Sports reported, she told friends the Clippers owner WANTED her to record him and he knew he was being recorded ... partly because he frequently forgot what he said and the tapes refreshed his memory ... at least that's her story.

So, 

A. Either the tape everybody in the world is so outraged about was illegal

or

B. The tape was legally recorded because the octogenarian gave permission because he is going senile, and thus the whole planet is up in arms over what a senile man was coached into saying (which is pretty embarrassing for humanity. When's the ship leaving for that Earth-like planet they just discovered? I think I want to be on it).

Pick one.
     

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

A. Illegal
B. Lack of mental capacity, so still illegal.

This might mean that this evidence cannot be used in court, but it is not clear that California law is the controlling authority when the voting occurs on NBA Owners Island. So I think Sterling is still voted off the island.

DCThrowback said...

Bill Simmons sat behind Sterling on a first class flight a year ago and noticed some things.

http://grantland.com/features/sterlings-fold/

He goes through the normal lamentations before getting to the good stuff. The TL;DR version:

1.) Stiviano was his assistant then and she sat in coach...for a while, then after acting as an intermediary between the fussy Sterling & the put-out staff, she found a seat in 1st class. Fussy is a good word to describe 2 year olds and 80 year olds I find.

2.) Soup makes Donald Sterling happy. It literally turned him from a fussbudget to a loquacious, fun to be around guy. (Simmons wonders: what was in the soup?!?)

3.) The reason for his trip to San Antonio was because the racist owner could scout (ex) Memphis HC Lionel Hollings (black guy).

Simmons extrapolates from the trying experience watching Sterling that he must've been a pain in the ass to work for and feels sorry for the organization that supported him. That's fair, but no one says you have to work for Donald Sterling. That's the rub; if enough people had stood up to him BEFORE this, the problem would've solved itself. But....the goddamn money. It complicates everything.

Polynikes said...

I agree with what you wrote... 100%. But that doesn't excuse his past, which is what they'll use to justify stripping him of the Clippers.

I wish you would look into a little mode why /how the NBA swept this under the rug the 5-10 years ago.

The Rick Sanchez In The Iron Mask said...

"... and thus the whole planet is up in arms over what a senile man was coached into saying (which is pretty embarrassing for humanity."

But the secret courts believe that you would never say bad things, even if you were senile, coached, or a bad drunk on a bender (like Mel Gibson) unless they were in your heart. It is your heart that the secret courts judge.

sunbeam said...

I don't understand this case. Well let me say what I don't understand.

Okay TMZ said that the woman in question said that Sterling gave her blanket permission to record conversations.

Doesn't TMZ have to do due diligence or something to make sure the conversations weren't illegally obtained?

What happens if they were illegal? Is TMZ a target for litigation if so?

I guess I don't have the tools to live in the modern world. I'm not a lawyer.

Jonathan Silber said...

Word to the wise: Choose with care your gold-digging whores.

Luke Lea said...

The most curious thing to me is that Sterling isn't even a bigot by any ordinary standard. "I love black people." he says at one point in passing. How many of his self-righteous accusers ever said that in private?

Ed said...

One issue that has come up is the extent to which the other NBA owners can toss an owner out of the NBA. Does the reason for this have to even be a good reason? Could they toss an owner, for example, for NOT making racist remarks.

Is this guy just a really highly paid employee in an organization with eccentric management policies (or they will just fire any executive that gets them bad publicity, regardless of the facts in the case) in an "at will" state, or does he really own the team. If the latter, the NBA can force the Clippers out of the league -refuse to schedule games for them- but they can't separate the owners of the Clippers out of the Clippers. In other words, does Sterling own the Clippers, or does the NBA own the Clippers and Sterling is essentially a NBA board member.

I suspect Sterling could short circuit this by pulling the Clippers from the NBA and eating the losses for a few years (he could make some money by selling the player contracts to NBA teams through third parties, and convert the organization into essentially a minor league team). In this situation, the NBA may not want the Clippers back.

Anonymous said...

As a defense to the taping charge, one NY Times commenter (useful idiot) offered, in all seriousness, "Stiviano described herself in the past as his "archivist"."

I wrote back that I had never seen an "archivist" who looked like V. Stiviano outside of a porn movie, but they didn't print that.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict?CMP=fb_gu

Zippy said...

Also, if he is senile, then it makes it easier to challenge his transfer of large amounts of property to her.

If he is so senile that he must record his conversations, he's too senile to buy her a Ferrari.

Anonymous said...

"This might mean that this evidence cannot be used in court, but it is not clear that California law is the controlling authority when the voting occurs on NBA Owners Island. So I think Sterling is still voted off the island."

The NBA obviously will argue that as a private organization they can operate according to their by laws which were agreed upon by the owners. In that franchise agreement is the clause that it takes X number of votes from other owners to vote one of their own off the island.

Many in the newspapers have compared this arrangement to private memberships such as those granted by vote of other members to places like Augusta National.

I'm no lawyer, but right off the bat I see a huge difference between the two.

Members of Augusta can't sell off portions of any "ownership" they have in the course and the club. In fact, while they are indeed members, I doubt anything in the agreement they sign with the club gives them "ownership" of that club in the same legal way that Sterling "owns" the Clipper franchise.

Thus, while members of Augusta can be voted off the island (I assume) for what I would imagine is any number of violations of the membership agreement they signed, they can't be forced to sell anything...because they don't "own" anything.

I can't see how the NBA could force Sterling to sell because of his views, privately expressed and then disseminated w/out his consent, rather than for anything he DID.

Guys like Bill O'Reilly are spreading untruths here. O'Reilly often brags about the research his team does; it stinks.

Last night he claimed, in answering an email a viewer sent, that Sterling violated civil rights laws by not allowing people of color to come to his games.

HUH? Shows you just how carelessly his "team" read the transcripts of the conversation.

O'Reilly is always one of the first to rush to prove he's not a bigot. In so doing, he commits many factual errors on air.

Anonymous said...

When's the ship leaving for that Earth-like planet they just discovered? I think I want to be on it.
NO.
When's the ship leaving for that Earth-like planet they just discovered? I think I want to be THE ONLY ONE on it.
Otherwise you're taking the problem with you.

Sean said...

It would be interesting to know if the tape was recorded around the time Sterling's son died.
-----------

Now we understand why billionaires who contribute to immigration restrictionism are like hens teeth.
--------------

Blast off now Steve. Something like a billion and a half will be the asking price, and they can't let Sterling pocket that. They will find something in his tax avoiding and business methods; investigations into that are surely going on right now. Sterling is going to prison.

Anonymous said...

The Daily Mail reports that Floyd Mayweather and Oprah Winfrey will be fighting to take control of the Clippers.

Light Middleweight is the heaviest he went up to so will a Heavyweight like Oprah have the advantage over him?

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but Drudge linked to a video of Netanyahu commenting on how people are slaves to their gadgets and take too many photos rather than living in the present. He displayed a seriousness and strength that seem to be absent in American politicians and public figures. He seemed quite in impressive.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-rants-against-smartphones/

Harry Baldwin said...

Keep track of
how the billionaires are ranked with this handy Bloomberg app.

jon said...

I was watching one of the multitude of shows obsessing over this, and one of the talking heads said Sterling won't pursue the "illegality of the taped conversation" angle because he wouldn't want to deal with the emarassment of what might come up in the depositions.

Donald Sterling!?! The guy who put out the ridiculous, photo-shopped ads, the guy who went into painful detail about his sexual exploits in a prior depo, the guy who brought his mistress to watch the game courtside?

I see this getting really ugly really fast.

Whiskey said...

Why does anyone think it will stop with Sterling? Its either Magic or Oprah and a completely all Black NBA with ownership, coaches, and players is the dream. Which guys like Mark Cuban can recognize.

Black groups and individuals like Oprah have seized upon this opportunity to make a Dodger-like Deal with an exclusive cable sports package for all their games, if they can only pry off the older White owners and gain ownership through a shakedown. Logically this is where it ends.

And I for one welcome an all-Black NBA. Turn it into one giant BET Rap Awards ceremony, make it all Black all the time. Can't wait. Gotta make it happen. So we can see how making a sport one giant never ending rap video plays out.

Anonymous said...

Steve - why would TMZ care if the tapes were illegally obtained. Assange and Snowden had illegally obtained materials whose contents were published by much more prestigious organizations than TMZ. What is your thing for Sterling?

Harold said...

This bad memory shtick is genius.

Stiviano: He let me tape the conversations because of his bad memory.

Sterling: No I didn’t

Stiviano: There goes his bad memory again.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm now thoroughly, thoroughly, confused.

Sterling's wife is suing Stiviano to recoup the goods that Sterling gave her, (the 4 luxury cars and 1.8mil duplex) on exactly what grounds:

Did Stiviano:

1. Steal them from Sterling's house or garage? Did she go thru his pockets, where all the community assets are located a la "There! Yeah, this will do, these cars and money should help to cover my time and expenses."

Did Sterling:

1. Lease the cars and duplex with her and tie it to her direct performance re:.....should be obvious at this point.

2. Sterling, ultimately wants his stuff back because....why? For faulty performance? That Stiviano failed to come to expectations "You didn't fully give me what I wanted, I ain't satisfied, and so I want my stuff back! You hussy!!!"

Really, now! Doesnt seem like there's really anything to gain, indian giving said gifts and then demanding and suing to get them returned is the height of pettiness and is definitely NOT very Sterling in character.

Bottom line: He gave them to her, they're now hers. Finders keepers, losers weepers. And the fact they were together for 4yrs must mean he was at least satisfied with the level of her service up to this point in time.

Of course, perhaps he needs the stuff back because earlier this year he met another girl, a little younger, say about early 30s, and is a nice blonde from Minnesota. NO, no Iowa. Smells of cornhusks.

And so his new potential main squeeze is tired of waiting in the wings and thus the stuff must be returned and that right pronto!

Talk about a frivolous waste of taxpayer monies. After a good three minute guffawing laugh, the judge should do the right thing and either tear up the suit and/or completely dismiss the lawsuit with a stern warning "Now, then, Ms. Sterling, please do go home to your husband and in the the future try and keep a better eye on both him and your community property you claim was taken from you unawares!"

Anonymous said...

>>jon said...
""""""I was watching one of the multitude of shows obsessing over this, and one of the talking heads said Sterling won't pursue the "illegality of the taped conversation" angle because he wouldn't want to deal with the emarassment of what might come up in the depositions.

Donald Sterling!?! The guy who put out the ridiculous, photo-shopped ads, the guy who went into painful detail about his sexual exploits in a prior depo, the guy who brought his mistress to watch the game courtside?

I see this getting really ugly really fast.""""""




Ann Coulter's recent column deals with this aspect:

About 10 yrs ago Sterling already sued a previous paramour over attempting to reclaim his stuff and lots of things in graphic nature were made public since he sued her.

So this isn't anything new for him that these things are being made public. Guess there really is no such thing as bad publicity and maybe in a different sort of way, he kind of relishes his name being associated with obtaining all of these.....unique pieces of rental property.

Anonymous said...

Linda Tripp illegally recorded a telephone conversation and all we heard was what a despicable witch she was for doing so.

Anonymous said...

Top Gear presenter:

Jeremy Clarkson 'begs forgiveness' over N-word footage
Top Gear presenter says his efforts to obscure word while reciting eeny meeny miny moe 'weren't quite good enough'

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/may/01/jeremy-clarkson-begs-forgiveness-n-word-top-gear

Thordaddy said...

It's crazy because the "pro-white" brigade is getting this all wrong. They have slowly folded into the radical liberal camp as the days wear on...

What was actually put forth by this old "senile" man is quite simple...

NO "magic johnsons" around my woman...

The meta-narrative just can't been seen by the masses of "white" de facto homos and the deracinated "white" liberal "Christians."

It is now "racist" to not offer up our white women to the nigel.

That is the real media play.

Anonymous said...

Simmons extrapolates from the trying experience watching Sterling that he must've been a pain in the ass to work for and feels sorry for the organization that supported him.

That's one of the more interesting things about the Sterling flap: how many co-workers and employees (and acquaintances) are now leaking how much of a horrible racist bastard he's always been. You know, those same co-workers and employees that have been working with or for the guy for decades. Here you go folks, here's some more rope. And here's some more, and a little more, and a little more...

Like the black coach who worked for him for 20 years and is only now calling him a racist and suing him for discrimination.

unique pieces of rental property

Maybe that's to be his strategy in court:

"Your honor, we submit that Miz Stiv, being herself a piece of rental property, is legally incapable of owning property."

Svi

Anonymous said...

Thor, I'm having trouble getting het up over a Jewish oligarch winding up in the dock over not letting his mystery meat tranny GF be photographed with black millionaires.

But yes, I acknowledge that "who-whom?" has very much become a part of my thinking. Fight fire with fire, I says. If that makes me a liberal, I'm long past caring. Win, I says.

Svi

Anonymous said...

Linda Tripp illegally recorded a telephone conversation and all we heard was what a despicable witch she was for doing so.

Maybe if she were HAWT! shw would have got away with it. (Giggles!)

Thordaddy said...

svi...

But the general consensus is that because this is a case of liberals eating their own that this self-annihilation will somehow "fool" the radical "black" collective out of believing that "they" are smashing another instance of "white supremacy."

It will not.

Anonymous said...

But the general consensus is that because this is a case of liberals eating their own that this self-annihilation will somehow "fool" the radical "black" collective out of believing that "they" are smashing another instance of "white supremacy."

It will not.


I don't concern myself with what blacks think. That way lies madness.

Svi

jody said...

"One issue that has come up is the extent to which the other NBA owners can toss an owner out of the NBA. Does the reason for this have to even be a good reason? Could they toss an owner, for example, for NOT making racist remarks."

if owners can gang up on any owner, and tell him, we're forcing you to sell your team for price X to buyer Y...why haven't they ever, in the history of professional sports?

probably because they can't. of course this doesn't mean they won't. today, when there is a 'racist' to be punished, they will find any way, ignore almost any law.

plus the NBA under stern was tremendously shady. remember that the NBA itself took ownership of the new orleans hornets. that is, the league could not find a buyer for the team so stern said "We'll run the team until we find a buyer." if you think this might create major conflicts of interest, you are correct.

only a year or two later a perfectly reasonable trade involving the hornets and lakers was blocked by the commissioner for no apparent reason whatsoever. interestingly it involved chris paul, one of the players at the center of the current clippers fiasco. once paul was prevented from being traded to the lakers, he then signed with the clippers of his own free will. he then, notably, demanded the clippers fire their coach and hire an african.

even more outrageously, when the league was trying to find a buyer for the hornets, david stern, quite clearly, rigged the lottery so that the hornets got the number 1 pick in the 2012 draft, so that the team would be more attractive to potential buyers. 2 weeks BEFORE the draft, anthony davis was seen wearing a new orleans hornets baseball cap. the kind they give you on stage when you get drafted and walk up to the podium to shake the commissioner's hand.

yeah, it's pretty much WWE over there in the NBA.

"I'm having trouble getting het up over a Jewish oligarch winding up in the dock over not letting his mystery meat tranny GF be photographed with black millionaires."

he's not important, but what is important is whether they can force you to sell your property for something that is not even illegal. which, if they can, will de facto make it illegal: thought crime.

another important angle is whether people can just go around with small recording devices everywhere and record anything anybody says at any time then present it to the 'authorities' to report other thought crimes.

Anonymous said...

>>Jody said:
"""""""he's not important, but what is important is whether they can force you to sell your property for something that is not even illegal. which, if they can, will de facto make it illegal: thought crime.

another important angle is whether people can just go around with small recording devices everywhere and record anything anybody says at any time then present it to the 'authorities' to report other thought crimes."""""""


Jody, in CA its illegal to record private conversations without first informing the target that they are being recorded. (unless its the FBI, CIA) but since she's not working with the feds, she's committed a felonious crime.

Also, Sterling has a case. He can sue the league if he desires to hold onto his team "NO! I aint sellin, and you cant make me!" What if does that? Technically, the team is his. It's his property, he bought it. He is a trial lawyer so if anyone would know about lawsuits it would be him.

This could be the fight of his life, literally. Why should a victim of a thought crime humbly submit and have his reputation ruined for life? Now, with the NTY labeling him in print as a racist, that could constitute slander if he chose to pursue that avenue.

He should fight. He really can't afford to just submit and let his life and all he worked for be ruined over an illegally taped conversation.

Anonymous said...

plus the NBA under stern was tremendously shady. .... yeah, it's pretty much WWE over there in the NBA.

Cough cough Tim Donaghy cough cough.

Maxwell Power said...

To me this is the only interesting development from it. What, it's like Sterling figured it was time to dictate his apologia pro sua vita? The chosen stenographer wasn't exactly Alex Haley. Did he hope they'd excerpt the highlights from the interview at his upcoming Lifetime Achievement ceremony... Whatever was going through his brain that moment sounds like rich material for several novels, or, maybe not

map said...

I really don't understand this "two-party" consent thing about recording conversations that you are a part of.

If you are a party to the conversation, then how can you eavesdrop and wiretap yourself? If someone decides to talk to you, then there is no presumption of privacy because you are a member of the public. Recording the conversation that a person is having with you is no different than repeating verbatim to a third party what the content of the conversation was.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand this "two-party" consent thing about recording conversations that you are a part of.

If you are a party to the conversation, then how can you eavesdrop and wiretap yourself? If someone decides to talk to you, then there is no presumption of privacy because you are a member of the public. Recording the conversation that a person is having with you is no different than repeating verbatim to a third party what the content of the conversation was.


It's not complicated: corrupt politicians, public employees, and business men find it impossible to get anything done if they're constantly worried about being shopped to the media.

Svi

Anonymous said...

Sure it's different; it doesn't involve hard evidence. Nobody in corrupt places like Chicago and LA care if somebody accuses a big man, they only care if they have proof.

Svi