Elon Musk’s Attorneys Argue He Can’t Get a Fair Trial in California

Elon Musk’s Attorneys Argue He Can’t Get a Fair Trial in California

Elon Musk faces a class action lawsuit over tweets saying he provided funding to take Tesla private. His lawyers say the trial should be held in Texas instead of California to ensure justice. Since Musk’s Twitter takeover, potential jurors are biased against the billionaire, they argued. Loading Something is loading.

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Elon Musk’s take on Twitter has made him so unpopular in the state of California that it’s unlikely he’ll be able to get a fair trial, his lawyers argued in a recent court filing.

Tesla’s chief executive is facing a class-action lawsuit over his 2018 tweets that indicated he planned to take the electric vehicle company private for $420 a share and had “secured funds” to do so this.

Just a month after the initial 2018 post, Musk paid a $20 million fine and settled fraud charges with the SEC for making “false and misleading statements.” Although Musk neither admitted nor denied the allegations, he resigned as Tesla chairman and was replaced by Robyn Denholm.

Northern California District Judge Edward M. Chen, who will oversee the class action, ruled last year that Musk knowingly made the false statements, which may have affected Tesla’s stock price. . The upcoming trial will determine whether the posts actually affected Tesla’s stock price, whether the company or its directors should be held liable and whether shareholders are entitled to damages, according to NBC News.

After finalizing his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter last year, the billionaire is left with roughly $13 billion in debt — most of which was secured against his remaining Tesla stake as part of the leveraged buyout. reported The Street, making the financial future of both. deeply intertwined companies.

Since buying Twitter on October 27, Tesla’s stock price has fallen from $225.09 to $113.06 per share, the lowest point since August 2020.

Musk’s business dealings since buying the social media company, including mass layoffs and a culture that current employees describe as “toxic,” could also make it harder for the billionaire to stand trial by a jury of his peers. his in California, according to his lawyers. and should be moved to Texas.

Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, argued in a motion filed Friday that “a substantial portion of the jury pool in this district is likely to have a personal and material bias against Mr. Musk as a result of recent layoffs at one of his companies as an individual. Potential jurors—or their friends and relatives—may have been personally influenced. The existing underlying prejudice has been compounded, expanded, and reinforced by the negative and inflammatory local publicity surrounding the events.”

In December 2021, Tesla moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas. Twitter remains based in San Francisco, California.

Referring to regular protests and picket lines outside Musk’s offices in San Francisco — some of which, Spiro said, have been “endorsed and encouraged by local political figures” — Musk’s lawyers noted in the filing that “the negativity toward Mr. Musk was not isolated. to the press” and “will deprive him of an impartial jury and his constitutional right to a fair trial.”

If the motion to transfer the venue is not approved by the court, Spiro asked for the adjournment to continue, arguing that the judge should allow time for the “passions that have been ignited” by “recent events and biased local media coverage to dissipate “. before the jurors consider the case.

The petition is scheduled to be heard by Judge Chen on Jan. 13, according to the filing, just four days before the trial begins.

Musk, his legal team and Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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