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Volume 24 No. 114

Labor and Agents

CAA Sports agent Aaron Mintz will seek damages against his former employer, Priority Sports & Entertainment, in a trial to be held next week, according to court papers filed in the case. “We are going forward with a trial for damages based upon the court’s finding of an invasion of privacy in violation of the California Penal Code,” said Skip Miller, Mintz’ new attorney in the case. The trial is set to begin in federal court in L.A. on Tuesday. L.A. Federal Court Judge Stephen Wilson last Friday issued an order finding, among other things, that Priority violated a California law by hacking into Mintz’ private Gmail account after he left Priority for CAA Sports in March. “On March 25, 2012, Priority Sports’ General Counsel, Rick Smith, instructed another employee, Bradley Ames, to access Plaintiff’s [Mintz’] personal email account (a.k.a. the 'Gmail account') without Plaintiff’s permission,” Wilson wrote in his order. “Ames obtained a temporary password without Plaintiff’s consent and accessed Plaintiff’s Gmail account for at least twenty minutes,” Wilson wrote. Smith, Ames and their attorney did not return calls or e-mails for comment. In court papers filed by Priority, the agency contends that Mintz did not suffer any damages from an invasion of his privacy or the violation of the California law. “Mintz has failed to disclose or produce any evidence of damages arising from violation of either of these two claims to date,” Priority said in its court filing. “Accordingly, Priority Sports will argue that Mintz should be precluded from asserting unsupported damages claims, including claims for compensatory damages as well as emotional distress. "If this case proceeds to trial on the damages claim, Priority Sports anticipates calling CAA executives, Mintz’ girlfriend Jenna Mannos and Mintz’s therapists at trial to rebut Mintz’s allegations regarding purported emotional and physical distress arising from these claims,” Priority said in court papers. Miller: “There are no therapists on any witness list. I don’t know what they are talking about.” He declined to say what damages Mintz was seeking. “We will leave that up to the jury,” Miller said.