Estate Analyst: Billionaire Blues

Posted on June 7th, 2014 at 3:04 PM

By: Robert L. Moshman, Esq.

Harry Truman once made a distinction between a recession, which is when your neighbor loses his job, and a depression, which is when you lose your job. Life hurts the most when it affects you directly, in your own wallet; that’s when it becomes real.

When a publicly disgraced billionaire loses his job, it is a surreal spectacle that virtually no one can relate to. It is instant karma, a morality play, and a media feeding frenzy in an explosion of news, sports, and reality entertainment. It’s a happening. 

Here, we take an academic look at the tax and legal implications of the forced sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and how the capital gains and estate planning consequences might be addressed by the man of the hour and focal point of this titanic cyclone, Donald Sterling.

“Billionaire Blues” 

Alas, there’s no more room for me in the NBA,

I might as well be poison; my welcome’s overstayed.

My time is almost over, but I wanted one more day,

I know I had it coming, but this is how the game is played.


I told a doozy to that floozy,

and it made the front-page news,

And now I’ve got the billionaire blues.


I don’t want to be a racist; what a bad scene.

I’d rather trade for Bynum! I’d rather lose my spleen!

The end is coming closer and I’d better find some scheme,

Or Microsoft and Oprah will end up with my team.


I know I messed up badly,

but I am getting screwed,

And now I’ve got the billionaire blues.


There is no “I” in “team,” but it is I who pays the taxes,

I read it every day; my accountants send me faxes.

If Shelly flips the Clippers, they will tax us to the maxus;

They’re adding up the gains and sharpening their axes!


In the next life, my ex-wife

Won’t cause me to lose,

But now, I’ve got the billionaire blues.


A Bad Ballclub

The Los Angeles Clippers were basement dwellers of the National Basketball Association for decades. They began as an expansion team in 1970, first in Buffalo, then San Diego, and then settling in Los Angeles in 1984.

The team was awful. It was the punch line of a joke. When purchased by attorney and real estate developer Donald Sterling in 1981 for $12.5 million, the team was averaging attendance of 4,500 per game and was en route to 13 seasons in-a-row of losing records...

Read the full pdf here.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

Tags: Robert L. Moshman, Moshman, Estate Analyst

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You were most helpful with my FINRA deposition. You are a good lawyer and a good person.

Dan B.


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