Judge orders trial in October with trial on trial agreement

Tuesday’s hearing was marked by harsh arguments from both sides – including a Twitter lawyer who at one point referred to Musk as a “devoted enemy” – who set the stage for what will surely be a controversial legal battle.

William Savitt, Twitter’s lead lawyer, spoke out against Musk at the start of the hearing in favor of a speedy trial. Savit said the company’s continued uncertainty about the deal and the pending lawsuits “hurt Twitter every day, every hour, every day.” He also noted what he described as Musk’s continued contempt for Twitter, including on his own platform.

“Musk was and remains contractually obligated to do everything in its power to complete this transaction,” Savitt said. “What it does is the exact opposite; it is sabotage. ”

Andrew Rosman, Musk’s lawyer, defended Musk, saying Musk “has no reason to maintain this suspension for long,” noting that the billionaire remains one of the biggest contributors to Twitter. He also noted that Twitter did not sue Musk for his alleged breach of the agreement until he closed the deal, suggesting that the wait for the company lifted his desire for the expedition. (The judge said in his comments that Twitter’s timing was not “unreasonable”.)

Musk’s team suggested the dispute be tried early next year. “We are not against a complete shutdown of the expedition, nor are we asking for years,” Rossman said. “What we offer instead, Your Majesty, is an incredibly fast and reasonable schedule.”

After arguing from both sides, the judge overseeing the case, Delaware Court Counsel Kathleen St. Judd McCormick that Musk’s side “underestimates this court’s ability … to handle complex lawsuits quickly.”

“The truth is that delay threatens to cause irreparable damage.” [to Twitter] When he announced the scheduling plan, McCormick said … the longer the delay, the greater the risk. She added that although there are a few cases that require a trial longer than five days, she will receive a request from both sides to extend the trial if necessary. .

Even with this early data agreement, the stakes were high for Twitter. The company struggled to grow its user base and advertising business before Musk became involved, and now the company and several other technology companies are pulling costs amid fierce inflation and fears of a recession. Twitter needs a quick fix to its battle with Musk to reduce the uncertainty for its shareholders, employees and customers and any contagious effects on his business that could be exacerbated by costly and lengthy lawsuits.

While Tuesday’s session was largely procedural, it provided a look at how both sides are handling what is likely to be a chaotic lawsuit. It can also provide an insight into how the judge overseeing the case will approach the case disagreement.

“There may be hints of what you’re asking about and what you say and what they say during the hearing that could tell us something,” said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond Law School.

The case has already hit a minor flaw: While the hearing was originally scheduled in person, McCormick sent a letter to the parties on Monday, warning them that she had tested positive for Covid-19 and would move the hearing to Zoom.

Less than three months later, Hot Deal signed Musk Go to the end of the deal. Twitter has been accused of violating the agreement by making misleading statements about the number of bot accounts and spam on the platform and by allegedly withholding data that Musk says he needs to to assess the extent of the problem.
Twitter responded last week in a more than 60-page lawsuit alleging that Musk had violated the agreement. In the lawsuit, Twitter suggested a mask He uses bots as an excuse to try to make a deal where he now feels remorse for the buyer, in the wake of a market downturn that decimated both Twitter and Twitter shares Tesla (TSLA)which the billionaire is partly dependent on to finance the deal.

Rossman on Tuesday called the idea that Musk’s concerns about robots were an excuse to get out of the deal “nonsense.”

“We have reason to believe, based on what we have seen so far, that the real numbers” [of bots and fake accounts on Twitter] much higher [than Twitter has publicly reported]Rossman said Twitter’s allegations that Musk violated the agreement were “artificial to try to deprive Mr Musk of his claim that he can terminate the agreement”.

Twitter asked the court to force Musk to complete the acquisition of the company. While many legal experts say Twitter probably has the strongest argument in the dispute, some also expect the company to take a stand against the billionaire if things get out of hand, in an attempt to curb the disruption of his business.

As with the dispute in general, Twitter and Musk disagreed on whether there should be a speedy trial. In its article, Twitter said the campaign was necessary to ensure that the agreement was terminated before October 24, when the two sides had previously agreed to close the agreement, and to “protect Twitter and its shareholders from persistent market risk and operational damage from Musks trying to work its way out of an airtight merger agreement. ” “.

In Friday’s trial, Musk’s lawyers called … Twitter asked for a “maximum expedition” and claimed that the dispute is “very real and requires many experts and it will take a lot of time to resolve it.” They also claimed that the original agreement stated that the delivery deadline would not apply if one of the parties sued the deal and called Twitter’s request an “argument” and that A 10-day trial period is scheduled for February 13, 2023 or later.

Twitter’s lawyer on Tuesday rejected Musk’s teams’ claim that the discovery process would take months because it would require investigating details about the number of bots and fake accounts on the platform. Savit said the robot’s question was “unequivocally and clearly out of court in this case”.

“Nothing in the merger agreement reverses this issue and there is no representation or warranty in the merger regarding the number of counterfeit accounts that may exist on Twitter,” Savit said. He added that “Musk could have worked hard on this case” before signing the deal, but he did not.

Meanwhile, Twitter continues to take the necessary steps to push the acquisition through. The company sent a letter to shareholders on Friday urging them to vote on a deal to sell Twitter to Musk for $ 54.20 a share. outstanding share at a closed meeting later this year on an unpublished date and time. statutory deposit. Twitter’s board previously unanimously recommended that shareholders vote for the deal, a position it reiterated in the letter.

Despite Musk’s decision to close the deal, “we are determined to complete the merger at the price and terms agreed with Mr. Musk,” the letter said Friday. “Your vote in the closed session is crucial to our ability to complete the merger.”

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