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Trial Between Aaron Mintz And Priority Sports Will Focus On Damages Stemming From Snooping

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.”

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.