The trial in the case of Aaron Mintz v. Mark Bartelstein and Associates Inc. d/b/a Priority Sports & Entertainment is set to begin tomorrow. In anticipation of same, both parties have filed their trial briefs and Priority Sports has submitted a few motions in limine, one of which aims to prevent Mintz from introducing any evidence and making an argument that Mark Bartelstein should be subjected to personal liability. Priority Sports is arguing that Bartelstein not be held liable for his corporation’s acts, specifically with regards to Priority Sports’ senior counsel directing an employee to access Mintz’s personal email account.
Roughly a week ago, the court found that Priority Sports accessed Mintz’s personal email account and violated his right to privacy. The court stated that such conduct was “so serious and offensive that the California legislature subjects the perpetrator to criminal liability under California Penal Code § 502…[and that] no reasonable jury could find that the invasion was not an egregious breach of social norms.”
The damages stemming from Priority Sports’ illegal intrusion of Mintz’s personal email is now the only remaining issue for trial. That is because Mintz, on November 9, decided to voluntarily dismiss his claims of defamation, interference with prospective economic relations and unfair business acts and practices. A jury will be tasked with determining the amount of compensatory and punitive damages to award Mintz based on the invasion of privacy and violation of California Data Access and Fraud Act claims.
Interestingly, Priority Sports says that if the case proceeds to trial, it will call Creative Artists Agency (CAA) executives, Mintz’s girlfriend and Mintz’s therapists as witnesses. Priority Sports’ stated purpose for doing so would be to “rebut Mintz’s allegations regarding purported emotional and physical distress.”