Saturday, January 28, 2023

Musk believes he will not get a fair trial in California

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Elon Musk has asked a federal judge to move a shareholder lawsuit out of San Francisco because he believes negative local media coverage biased potential jurors against him.

Instead, in a petition filed Friday night — less than two weeks before the trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 17 — Musk’s lawyers argue that the trial be moved to a federal court in West Texas. Must visit, which includes the state capital, Austin. Musk plans to relocate his electric vehicle company Tesla to Austin in late 2021.

The shareholder lawsuit stems from Musk’s August 2018 tweet, when he said he had enough money to take Tesla private at $420 per share, an announcement that triggered sharp volatility in Tesla’s share price.

In a shareholder victory last spring, Judge Edward Chen ruled that the tweets were false and reckless.

If a change of venue for the trial is not possible, Musk’s lawyers have requested that it be postponed until the negative publicity surrounding the billionaire’s acquisition of Twitter subsides.

“Over the past several months, the local media have saturated this district with biased and negative stories about Mr. Musk,” attorney Alex Spiro wrote in a court filing. Those stories have blamed Musk on Twitter for the recent firings, Spiro wrote, and pointed out that the firings violated the law.

Shareholder lawyers stressed the last-minute timing of the request, saying “Musk’s concerns are unfounded and his proposal is without merit.”

“The Northern District of California is the proper venue for this lawsuit and where it has been active for more than four years,” attorney Nicholas Porritt wrote in an email.

The filing by Musk’s lawyers also said Twitter has laid off about 1,000 residents of the San Francisco metropolitan area since it acquired the company in late October.

“It is likely that a substantial portion of the jury … will have a personal and material bias against Mr. Musk as a result of recent layoffs at one of his companies, as potential jurors, or as personal friends and family of his.” may be affected.” ,” read the petition.

According to the document, Musk has also been criticized by the mayor of San Francisco and other local officials for the job cuts.

Nation World News Desk
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