Aaron Mintz Rumors
Priority Sports alleged that Mintz did several things to establish a pattern of disloyal conduct, mainly preparing for his move to CAA while under employment at Priority Sports. The Court found that under California law, an employee does not breach his duty of loyalty merely by preparing to compete with his employer. Further, the Court stated that Priority Sports offered no evidence to show that Mintz’s preparatory steps harmed Priority Sports in any way. Therefore, the Court GRANTED Mintz’s motion on the duty of loyalty counterclaim.
Mintz alleged that Priority Sports intentionally intercepted electronic communication. The Court quickly dismissed this claim, because it fails as a matter of law based on the fact that there was no “interception.” The Court stated that for an email to be intercepted in violation of this statute, it must be acquired during transmission, not while in electronic storage. Priority Sports viewed Mintz’s emails while the emails were stored in Gmail. Therefore, the Court GRANTED summary judgment in favor of Priority Sports on the ECPA claim.
The Court concluded that Aaron Mintz did not meet his burden of demonstrating an actual controversy, because Priority Sports assured the Court that it had no intention of seeking to enforce the non-compete clause now or in the future. Mintz argued that Priority Sports refused to enter into a stipulation stating same; however, Priority Sports said it did not enter a stipulation because of its concerns with the “overbreadth” of the stipulation. The Court found declaratory judgment on this point moot.
On page 22 of a lengthy 26 page Order on Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Aaron Mintz/Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Mark Bartelstein & Associates, Inc. d/b/a Priority Sports & Entertainment, U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson wrote, “This is not the first time in this Order that the Court has exposed clear misstatement of evidence by counsel for Priority Sports. Counsel are warned that further errors of such an egregious nature will be construed by the Court as indicative of bad faith, and may be grounds for sanctions.”