Greenberg Glusker Prevails in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Behalf of Client Barstool SportsJune 14, 2021 – Press Release
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued an opinion in favor of Greenberg Glusker’s client Barstool Sports and Kirk Minihane in connection with Mayor Curtatone’s wiretapping lawsuit.
The dispute arose when a Massachusetts mayor, Joseph Curtatone, criticized the Boston Bruins hockey team for doing a promotion with Barstool. Kirk Minihane, a Barstool podcast host, repeatedly attempted to interview the mayor to press him on his comments. The mayor refused so Minihane pretended to be a Boston Globe reporter to get the interview. He conducted the interview after explaining to the mayor that he would be recording it. Minihane later published the interview in full.
“We’re pleased that the SJC agreed with our interpretation of the Massachusetts Wiretap Act,” commented Aaron Moss, lead counsel for Barstool and Chair of Greenberg Glusker’s Litigation Department. “If a recording isn’t secret, the question of consent is irrelevant. And if government officials make comments for public dissemination, their privacy isn’t violated if those comments are recorded. By focusing on the plain language of the statute, the Court was able to avoid a result which would chill legitimate newsgathering long protected by the First Amendment.”
Moss and Litigation Counsel Steven Stein, along with their colleague Intellectual Property Partner Jesse Saivar and co-counsel Andrew Caplan of Twohig Caplan LLP, have handled this case from the start, obtaining dismissal of the mayor’s lawsuit before the trial court.
Greenberg Glusker is Barstool’s principal litigation firm, handling or overseeing numerous disputes, including IP infringement suits and an ongoing breach of contract and defamation suit in federal court. Greenberg Glusker also handles all of Barstool’s day-to-day transactional matters including its talent deals, content distribution arrangements, branded content agreements, merchandising transactions, IP licensing, backend technology agreements, and its large trademark portfolio.