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Volume 24 No. 116

Labor and Agents

A federal court judge yesterday said that he would rule on motions for summary judgment brought by NBA agent Aaron Mintz, his new employer CAA Sports and Mintz's former employer Priority Sports in the next few days. U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson said he would issue an order prior to a pretrial conference set for Thursday at 2:00pm PT. "The court doesn't need argument on many of the issues," Wilson told attorneys yesterday in L.A. federal court. "The evidence or lack of evidence is evident from the papers (filed in the case)," Wilson said. Mintz left Priority to take a job at CAA Sports in March and filed suit the same day, asking for declaratory relief releasing him from restrictive provisions in his employment agreement preventing him from competing with Priority for two years. Mintz has asked Wilson to find that his former employment agreement with Priority was void and to dismiss all counterclaims against him. CAA is asking Wilson to dismiss all of Priority’s counterclaims against the agency. Priority, meanwhile, is asking for a summary judgment that Mintz breached his contract with and duty of loyalty to Priority. Wilson asked the attorneys why summary judgment on Mintz's motion that the restrictions in his employment contract were unenforceable under California law was necessary. California law is much more favorable to employees than other states' laws on restrictions in employment contracts. Lawyers for both Mintz and Priority said they discussed agreeing to a stipulation agreeing not to enforce restrictions. But Paul Salvaty, an attorney for Priority, said attorneys for Mintz wanted a stipulation that was "far too broad." Wilson asked the attorneys if "basketball players" would be testifying at the trial and the attorneys said players might be called, but their schedules may not permit them to testify. If there is no settlement in the case, the trial is set to begin on Nov. 13 in Wilson's courtroom in downtown L.A.