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SBD/November 5, 2012/Labor and Agents
Judge Finds For Mintz In Priority Case; Sets Court Case For Nov. 13
Published November 5, 2012
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EXPLAINING THE DECISION: Wilson explained in a 26-page order why he granted Mintz’ and CAA’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss each of the 12 causes of action in Priority’s counterclaim. Those claims, filed in a lawsuit in April included breach of contract; breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; breach of the duty of loyalty; misappropriation of trade secrets; intentional interference with contractual relations; intentional interference with present and prospective economic advantage and business relationships; conversion; violation of California Penal Code 502; defamation; trade libel; conspiracy; and violation of unfair competition laws. Wilson found there was no evidence to support the claims nor evidence that Priority had suffered any damages or the law did not support the claims as a triable issue. For example, in dismissing Priority’s claim that Mintz breached his duty of loyalty to the firm, Wilson noted that Priority alleged that Mintz prepared to leave while still employed at the firm and CAA agreed that it would pay future litigation expenses. Wilson wrote, “Even if these facts are true, they do not create a triable issue for two reasons. First, under California law, an employee does not breach his duty of loyalty merely by preparing to compete with his employer. ... Second, and in any event, Priority Sports has presented no facts that describe how it was harmed by Plaintiff’s preparatory steps.”
THREE CAUSES REMAIN OUTSTANDING: The case was scheduled to go to trial on Nov. 13, but Wilson noted in his order that the only causes of action that remain are Mintz’ claims for defamation, interference with prospective economic relations and a violation of unfair competition laws. Wilson has previously stated that Mintz’ former and current basketball player clients would need to testify to prove these claims and his attorneys have stated in court that the players may be unavailable to testify.