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SBD/November 15, 2012/Labor and Agents
Jury Awards Mintz $85,000 In Priority Sports & Entertainment E-Mail Hacking Case
Published November 15, 2012
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INSIDE THE HEARING: During questioning, Mintz said he suffered from anxiety after he learned that Priority employees had accessed his personal e-mail account and reviewed his employment agreement with CAA Sports. Mintz testified that he feared retribution from Priority employees, and especially from his former boss, Bartelstein. Mintz testified that Bartelstein on March 23 told him, “Wait until I tell the world about you. You made your bed. You better be willing to lie in it.” Mintz testified that on March 25 he found that someone from Illinois, where Priority is headquartered, had access to his e-mail for an hour and 55 minutes. He later learned Priority employees had done it. “That tells me they will do whatever they want,” he testified. “I am constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering. I just want to work without fear of what these guys are going to do to me.” Basinger cross examined Mintz on the witness stand for more than two hours yesterday and questioned the severity of all of the health symptoms he complained about.
QUESTIONS OVER E-MAILS: Wilson required Mintz to produce four large boxes of more than 11,000 documents that were printouts of e-mails in his Gmail account. Priority attorneys contended that Ames only looked at three or four e-mails, and only one of those, Mintz’ employment agreement with CAA Sports, was personal. Ames and Smith testified that when Mintz left, they were worried that he would take Priority clients with him. Ames testified that he was reviewing e-mails in Mintz’ Priority business account when he found e-mails that had been forwarded from that account to Mintz’ personal Gmail account, which he did not previously know existed. Ames testified, “It was my idea” to hack into Mintz’ personal e-mail account and that he called Smith and asked him for his advice and opinion whether to do it. He said he did not know it was illegal. Smith testified that he told Ames to follow the e-mails from the Priority business account to Mintz’ personal Gmail account. “The truth is I never went through the exercise of right and wrong,” Smith testified. “It was a mistake.”