Elon Musk’s attorneys filed a letter with the Delaware Chancery Court saying, essentially, that Twitter is not playing well in the pre-trial process and should be forced to do so. The letter, which you can read in full below, is addressed to Chancellor Kathleen McCormick — who will ultimately decide the case over whether Musk can exit from his contract to buy Twitter for $44 billion — and also asks for a trial date to begin on October 17.
Last week, McCormick decided that the trial would begin in October. Twitter pushed to start proceedings as soon as possible, arguing that persistent hoaxes are harming the company and that matters should be resolved as quickly as possible. (Twitter, of course, intends to get Musk to follow through and pay $54.20 per share to buy the company.) Musk’s team has requested a much longer schedule, hoping to begin the trial early next year. But McCormick picked October and told both sides to begin preparations.
Now, Team Musk says it tried to start the discovery process and was repeatedly thwarted by Twitter. “The defendants’ efforts to ensure this case was ready for trial by October were not reciprocated by Twitter, which at every turn sought to delay it,” the lawyers wrote in the letter to McCormick. It appears that Musk’s key corner of the bargain is to prove that Twitter has a spambot problem that it hasn’t accurately represented, and needs the information to prove it. But, of course, that’s not what this case is about. It’s about Twitter’s purchase contract and whether Musk is required to respect it.
Musk’s lawyers cited three main issues hindering the process and asked McCormick to solve them all. The first is the lack of a specific trial date, which the letter says allows Twitter to “delay all other scheduling discussions.” Twitter wants the trial to start on October 10, but Musk wants it to start a week later, saying that an extra week of setup time will be crucial. Second, Musk’s lawyers say Twitter is not producing the documents it needs despite the ease with which they are produced. And third, “Twitter refuses to produce the raw data it keeps in the normal path,” which likely refers to more Twitter data, and Musk’s team says it needs that data by August 1. The letter asks McCormick to force Twitter to produce all that information on Musk’s timeline.
In an experience that has become a volley of legal filings back and forth, Twitter is sure to respond soon enough. He has said in the past that Musk’s data requests are ridiculous and irrelevant to the case at hand and continues to argue that every minute this entire ordeal lasts damages Twitter as a company and a product. And of course, Twitter accused Musk of being confusing and unhelpful in the process.
There are plenty of legal complaints to come in the next few weeks, as both sides vie to give themselves the upper hand in the upcoming court battle this fall. The most interesting thing is how McCormick decided to involve herself here; She’s in charge, and how she sees the fight unfolding can be a clue as to where it might end up.