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Sterling's Discrimination Settlement Kept Out Of Elgin Baylor Suit

A judge in former NBA star Elgin Baylor's discrimination suit against Clippers' owner Donald Sterling has ruled Wednesday that outside evidence of Sterling's alleged bias against minorities cannot be brought in court.

Baylor's attorneys wanted to bring up a record-setting housing discrimination settlement between Sterling and tenants who had sued the sometime landlord for allegedly preferring to rent to Korean-Americans while at the same time trying to boot African-Americans and Latinos from his Koreatown buildings. Sterling settled last year with the tenants and the U.S. Department of Justice for more than $2.7 million.

Baylor, the former Clippers general manager, says he was let go in 2008, after 22 years at the organization, because of his age and race.

Judge Kenneth R. Freeman said he did not believe the law would allow such past evidence to be entered into the case because it stems from a suit that's more than three years old, and it involves some plaintiffs who are not African-American. "I am a referee of the law just like the referee in a basketball game,'' Freeman said.

Baylor's trial will begin in March.


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