Friday, December 2, 2022
 

Musk’s Bid To Delay Twitter Trial Denied; Whistleblower Claims To Be Added

  • A Delaware court dismissed Elon Musk’s request to delay trial over his attempt to abandon the Twitter deal.
  • Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick ruled that Musk can add a Twitter whistleblower to his countersuit.
  • Musk’s lawyers requested to add claims from Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko, who cited catastrophic security flaws in Twitter.

Per a recent filing made public on Wednesday, a Delaware court has denied Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s request to delay the trial of his attempt to ditch the $44 billion Twitter acquisition deal. However, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, who is presiding over the case, ruled in favor of adding claims from a Twitter whistleblower to the billionaire Tesla CEO’s countersuit.

The judge made her decision after a hearing yesterday afternoon, in which Musk’s attorneys argued for a “meager” few weeks to review new information before the trial’s scheduled start date of October 17.

Meanwhile, Twitter has accused Musk of trying to drag out the trial and “sow chaos” with further document requests, articulating at one point that the social network’s lawyers had been obliged to cease responding to international law enforcement inquiries.

Last week, Musk’s lawyers also requested the judge postpone the trial by about a month so that they could revise their counterclaims in light of the information disclosed by former Twitter security head Peiter Zatko.

Zatko claimed that Musk and the public were lied to by Twitter about the abundance of bots and spam accounts on the platform, a problem that has been crucial to Musk’s justification for terminating the arrangement. 

Last Monday, Musk’s team submitted a second termination letter, citing Zatko’s claims as another justification for Musk to abandon the transaction. These claims include that Twitter has major security problems and that it is in violation of a 2011 FTC compliance decree.

Despite Twitter’s objections, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick ruled that Musk should be allowed broad pre-trial claim amendment rights, adding that she was “reticent to say more concerning the merits of the counterclaims” until after the litigation.

With respect to Zatko’s allegations, which include charges of bad management at Twitter and allegations that executives lied about the number of bots on the platform, Musk and Twitter will negotiate “limited” discovery of additional documents. Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro praised the verdict in a statement.

We are hopeful that winning the motion to amend takes us one step closer to the truth coming out in that courtroom,” said Spiro.

Though Musk had originally requested that the trial be set until early next year, McCormick argued that doing so would cause Twitter unnecessary harm. “The company has been forced for months to manage under the constraints of a repudiated merger agreement,” McCormick wrote

I am convinced that even four weeks’ delay would risk further harm to Twitter too great to justify.

  • A Delaware court dismissed Elon Musk’s request to delay trial over his attempt to abandon the Twitter deal.
  • Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick ruled that Musk can add a Twitter whistleblower to his countersuit.
  • Musk’s lawyers requested to add claims from Twitter’s former head of security, Peiter Zatko, who cited catastrophic security flaws in Twitter.

Per a recent filing made public on Wednesday, a Delaware court has denied Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s request to delay the trial of his attempt to ditch the $44 billion Twitter acquisition deal. However, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, who is presiding over the case, ruled in favor of adding claims from a Twitter whistleblower to the billionaire Tesla CEO’s countersuit.

The judge made her decision after a hearing yesterday afternoon, in which Musk’s attorneys argued for a “meager” few weeks to review new information before the trial’s scheduled start date of October 17.

Meanwhile, Twitter has accused Musk of trying to drag out the trial and “sow chaos” with further document requests, articulating at one point that the social network’s lawyers had been obliged to cease responding to international law enforcement inquiries.

Last week, Musk’s lawyers also requested the judge postpone the trial by about a month so that they could revise their counterclaims in light of the information disclosed by former Twitter security head Peiter Zatko.

Zatko claimed that Musk and the public were lied to by Twitter about the abundance of bots and spam accounts on the platform, a problem that has been crucial to Musk’s justification for terminating the arrangement. 

Last Monday, Musk’s team submitted a second termination letter, citing Zatko’s claims as another justification for Musk to abandon the transaction. These claims include that Twitter has major security problems and that it is in violation of a 2011 FTC compliance decree.

Despite Twitter’s objections, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick ruled that Musk should be allowed broad pre-trial claim amendment rights, adding that she was “reticent to say more concerning the merits of the counterclaims” until after the litigation.

With respect to Zatko’s allegations, which include charges of bad management at Twitter and allegations that executives lied about the number of bots on the platform, Musk and Twitter will negotiate “limited” discovery of additional documents. Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro praised the verdict in a statement.

We are hopeful that winning the motion to amend takes us one step closer to the truth coming out in that courtroom,” said Spiro.

Though Musk had originally requested that the trial be set until early next year, McCormick argued that doing so would cause Twitter unnecessary harm. “The company has been forced for months to manage under the constraints of a repudiated merger agreement,” McCormick wrote

I am convinced that even four weeks’ delay would risk further harm to Twitter too great to justify.

 

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