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Early Loss for Musk as October Date Set for Twitter Trial

July 19, 2022 by Madeline Hughes
Early Loss for Musk as October Date Set for Twitter Trial
Delaware Chancery Court Vice Chancellor Kathaleen S. McCormick (Photo by by Eric Crossan)

GEORGETOWN, Del. — Twitter’s lawsuit will move forward in a five-day trial in October, Delaware Court of Chancery chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick ruled Tuesday.

The ruling was a win for Twitter as the company had requested an expedited trial in September while Elon Musk asked for a delay of several months, until February.

Musk’s schedule would excessively delay the trial, McCormick said, adding, Musk’s team, “underestimate the ability of this court … to quickly process complex litigation.” 

“The reality is that delay threatens irreparable harm [to Twitter] … the longer the delay, the greater the risk,” McCormick said

The lawsuit to ensure the world’s richest man either purchases the social media company or pay the $1 billion breakup penalty came after Musk attempted to back out of his $44 billion deal to buy the social media company and take it private.

Referring to the expedited trial, Musk’s lawyer, Andrew Rossman of Quinn Emanuel, said, “We would be doing that for no reason other than Twitter wants to rush.” 

Rossman centered his concerns around user data Musk’s team has been asking for, particularly how the company calculated fewer than 5% of users are “bot” accounts.  

Twitter’s lead counsel William Savitt argued Musk had no intention of ever closing the $44 billion deal, and that there isn’t a need to dig too deeply into the user data issue. Instead, it is too damaging to the company to drag the trial out.

Savitt cited the disclosure that explained Twitter’s process that labeled fewer than 5% of the social media company’s accounts as bots, but said  that number could be higher.

The company is wary of revealing too much internal information because Musk said he might create a competitor, Savitt said. It is also damaging to the company to drag the trial out, he added.

“Musk wants to delay this trial long enough to ever face reckoning,” Savitt said. “Justice delayed is justice denied, and he’s banking on it.”

Both sides have accused the other of publicity stunts throughout this process. 

Twitter’s lawsuit called Musk’s pursuit of the company an “elaborate joke,” citing Musk’s own tweets throughout the 60-plus page lawsuit. 

“The question is who is creating the chaos here, Twitter is creating its own chaos,” Rossman said. 

Maddie can be reached at maddie@thewellnews.com

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