Elon Musk doesn't think he can get a fair trial in San Francisco
Elon Musk has urged a federal judge to shift a trial in a shareholder lawsuit out of San Francisco because he says negative local media coverage has biased potential jurors against him.
Instead, in a filing submitted late on Friday — less than two weeks before the trial was set to begin on January 17 — Musk's lawyers argue that the trial should be moved to the federal court in the western district of Texas. That district includes the state capital of Austin, which is where Musk relocated his electric car company, Tesla, in late 2021.
If a move isn't possible, Musk's lawyers want the trial postponed until negative publicity regarding Musk's purchase of Twitter has died down.
“For the last several months, the local media have saturated this district with biased and negative stories about Mr. Musk,” attorney Alex Spiro wrote in a court filing. Those items have personally blamed Musk for recent layoffs at Twitter, Spiro wrote, and have charged that the job cuts may have even violated laws.
The shareholder lawsuit stems from Musk's tweets in August 2018 when he said he had sufficient financing to take Tesla private at $420 a share, an announcement that caused heavy volatility in Tesla's share price.
The shareholders' attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a victory for the shareholders last spring, Judge Edward Chen ruled that Musk's tweets were false and reckless.