Do Cali’s Wiretapping Laws Give Donald Sterling The Juice?

April 30th, 2014

“…the invasion of privacy resulting from the continual and increasing use of such devices and techniques has created a serious threat to the free exercise of personal liberties and cannot be tolerated in a free and civilized society.” ~CA Penal Code, Section 630-638

HSK Exclusive - The NBA may have publicly announced Donald Sterling’s “impending punishment” — during yesterday’s now-historical press conference — but sources say the racist at the center of it all “has not been official notified.” “I just spoke with Donald Sterling on the telephone,” Jim Gray reports. “He is unaware of what is going to happen to him. He has not been notified.”

That’s the REAL story — as countless media outlets focus on Sterling’s refusal to sell the Clippers. Know why? The NBA’s April 29th public spectacle may prove to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors… “to kill the noise”. To be sure, not only is 80-year-old Sterling long been known for his racist and shred reputation — clearly displayed in that recently leaked audio — according to California law, that audio was illegally recorded. The NBA is certainly no stranger to Cali’s wiretapping and eavesdropping laws.

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. See Cal. Penal Code § 632. 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. See Flanagan v. Flanagan, 41 P.3d 575, 576-77, 578-82 (Cal. 2002). A California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. See California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (Cal Ct. App. 1989).

Here’s what NBA newbie-commissioner Adam Silver told the press:

“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him. I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force the sale of the team. I will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens.”

Is Staples Center the NBA’s true trump card, those moment The Clippers’ lease expires? Of course! Just ask Magic Johnson.