Judge rejects Elon Musk’s bid to move trial from S.F.

CEO, Tesla Inc. Elon MuskA request to move Trump’s upcoming securities fraud trial out of San Francisco was denied by a federal judge, dismissing a vigorous argument that Musk faces a biased jury pool in the Bay Area. I was.

The decision means a serious civil trial will move forward with jury selection next week.

Citing nearly 200 juror surveys showing that 82% of all potential Bay Area panelists with a billionaire opinion view him negatively, Musk said the jury He argued that the member pool was biased against him.

The lawsuit is based on Musk’s 2018 tweet about taking Tesla private. His lawyers argue that much of the prejudice he faces in San Francisco has to do with his social media, his use of his platform, and his honesty about it. He stressed that his reputation in San Francisco has been damaged by the press coverage. Mods for Twitter Incwhich he bought in October for $44 billion.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Cheng expressed confidence at a hearing Friday that he would be able to select an impartial panel, saying a fellow judge at a nearby court was the founder of the disgraced Theranos Inc. Alluded to how an “unbiased” jury could be assembled for a criminal trial. Elizabeth Holmes.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Chen said. A lawyer for Musk pointed to the negative responses to the poll, but said, “Mr. Musk has a lot of fans.”

Some of the poll responses were neutral, others were mixed, but one juror candidate was “not so enthusiastic about how he handles Twitter.” There was an answer, Chen said.

Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, argued amidst all the media controversy surrounding Musk, “I don’t think we can get a fair trial in this district, period, or end.”

“Media coverage is character assassination,” added Spiro. The “taste and purpose” of “character report” is about “the person who decides to shoot” on Twitter. He said he was “not dissipated by the evidence” presented at trial.

Musk’s lawyers have suggested the trial could move to Texas, and Musk moved Tesla’s headquarters to Austin about a year ago.

Cases, especially civil cases, are rarely transferred to another district for pretrial publicity, said Tim Crude, a securities and criminal defense attorney. “We really have to show that juries are too dirty to get a fair trial.”

Investors said Musk’s August 2018 tweet that he had “secured the funding” to take the electric car maker private was “undoubtedly false” and fueled the volatility in Tesla’s stock. , which claims to have suffered billions of dollars in losses. Musk claims Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has agreed to support his attempt to take Tesla private.

Musk’s request to change the venue of the trial sparked a heated and sarcastic exchange between Musk’s attorneys and the attorneys representing the investors. Shareholders said in court filings that none of the potential jurors work for Twitter, and that only a few potential panelists knew anyone employed by the company.

“The potential for bias stemming from Musk’s control of Twitter does not exist,” they said. In separate court filings, they said Musk has received negative attention everywhere, including Texas. I pointed out the article listed in the first place.

Chen denied the idea of ​​transferring the case to Austin, saying the city had nothing to do with the case.

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