Judge slams Elon Musk for not texting during Twitter fight
A judge has slammed Elon Musk for failing to properly forward text messages that could be evidence in Twitter Inc’s lawsuit to force the billionaire to complete his $44 billion takeover of the Twitter platform. social media.
Delaware Chancery Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick said in a ruling Wednesday that there were “glaring flaws” in the way Musk and his attorneys responded to Twitter’s request for the text messages that he and his senior aide Jared Birchall sent and received about the proposed deal and his subsequent efforts. withdraw from it. She ordered the men to hand over phone records of their text messages.
“Third parties produced text messages with Musk that Musk himself did not produce,” she said. Some of the exchanges he produced also had obvious shortcomings. Still, she noted that Musk’s legal team worked to resolve many of the issues that Twitter complained about during pre-trial information exchanges.
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McCormick noted that Musk produced two texts that Perella Weinberg’s Robert Steel sent him 18 minutes apart on June 17. Steel first asked a question, then texted, “Okay. Got it…” The second text made it clear that Musk had responded to the first, the judge said, but the response was not forwarded to Twitter.
“Assuming Musk’s response was not telepathic, one would expect to see evidence of this in the defendants’ filings,” McCormick wrote. “But the defendants did not provide any before the deadline.”
The judge also said that most of the burden of gathering and transmitting information in the case had thus far fallen on Twitter. But the company’s demand for all of Musk and Birchall’s texts – regardless of their relevance – was “too extreme to be granted”.
Earlier Wednesday, McCormick ruled that Musk’s attorneys could amend counterclaims filed in the Twitter case with denunciations from a former company executive that the billionaire says bolsters his reasons for stepping away from the company. ‘OK. But the judge also denied Musk’s request to postpone an Oct. 17 trial in the case.
Twitter shares rose 6.3% to $41.09 in New York on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Musk and Twitter are arguing over whether the company should turn over Slack messages posted by Twitter employees about Musk’s withdrawal from the deal. Musk’s legal team accuses Twitter of reneging on promises to hand over Slack communications.
While Twitter agreed to hand over Slack communications from officials such as CEO Parag Agrawal and Manish Chabria – the platform’s head of financial analysis and planning – it declined to hand over the others, saying the task of reviewing them was overwhelming, Musk’s lawyers complained.
McCormick heard arguments on the Slack issue in a hearing on Tuesday, but has yet to rule on it.
The case is Twitter v. Musk, 22-0613, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington)