Jan 7, 2023 - Technology
Musk asks judge to move shareholder trial over negative news coverage
Elon Musk asked a federal judge Friday to move his trial for an upcoming Tesla shareholder lawsuit out of San Francisco, claiming negative local news coverage has made potential jurors biased against him, per AP.
Driving the news: Musk's lawyers argued in a filing that the trial, set to begin Jan. 17, should be relocated to Texas, where Tesla moved to in 2021.
- If a relocation for the trial isn't possible, they asked that it be postponed until negative publicity around Musk's Twitter acquisition subsides, AP reports.
What they're saying: "For the last several months, the local media have saturated this district with biased and negative stories about Mr. Musk,” attorney Alex Spiro wrote in the court filing obtained by AP.
- He said those stories personally blamed Musk for the layoffs at Twitter, adding that about 1,000 of those who were let go were San Francisco area residents.
- "A substantial portion of the jury pool ... is likely to hold a personal and material bias against Mr. Musk as a result of recent layoffs at one of his companies as individual prospective jurors — or their friends and relatives — may have been personally impacted,” the filing states.
- Spiro did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
Context: Tesla shareholders filed a lawsuit against Musk and the company, accusing him of securities fraud.
- Shareholders said some of Musk's 2018 tweets claiming he would take Tesla private was an attempt to manipulate the company's stock price and ruin plans for short-sellers.
- A federal judge ruled in shareholders' favor last year, saying the tweets at hand were false and reckless.