Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously managed to avoid a temporary restraining order that barred him from publicly discussing lawsuits brought against him by Tesla shareholders ahead of the upcoming trial — but that wasn’t all good news for Musk, CNET reported.
A federal judge dismissed the motion Wednesday, saying the plaintiffs’ request for a restraining order was “too broad” and that despite publicity ahead of trial, musk’s remarks were unlikely to prevent the court from gaining access to impartial jurors.
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In a response to the proposed restraining order filed Wednesday, Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, argued that it would “trample” Musk’s right to free speech. Spiro said in an emailed statement: “This is a good day for free speech. ”
Musk was sued by tesla shareholders for alleged securities fraud after claiming in a 2018 tweet that he had secured funding to take the electric car company private at $420 per share. the group claimed the statements were false and misleading, and the judge agreed.
Judge Edward M. Chen said on Friday that the jury would be informed that the court “has found the August 2018 tweets to be false and made with the necessary scientific attitude,” meaning he knew the statements were false.
According to Nicholas Porritt, the trial, which will take place in January 2023, is about how much Musk will have to pay to the Tesla investor community, which remains to be determined.
In the restraining order’s request, the plaintiffs’ lawyers specifically referred to Musk’s comments at Ted 2022 last week, in which he criticized the financial regulator of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He also went on to reiterate that “funding is indeed secure.” ”
“Musk’s remarks and his blatant disregard for the Written Consent of the SEC, this Court, and his own strongly suggest that Musk may continue to make similar statements before trial,” the restraining motion reads. However, Edward said Musk’s remarks were consistent with the public position he had taken during the litigation and did not meet the criteria for a restraining order.
IN SEPTEMBER 2018, THE SEC SUED MUSK FOR ALLEGED SECURITIES FRAUD FOR MAKING MISLEADING STATEMENTS. AS A RESULT OF THE SETTLEMENT, MUSK AND TESLA MUST EACH PAY A $20 MILLION FINE, AND HIS TWEETS MUST BE APPROVED IN ADVANCE IF THEY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT COULD AFFECT TESLA’S STOCK PRICE.
ACCORDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE SEC LATER CONCLUDED THAT TESLA DID NOT MONITOR MUSK’S TWEETS. MUSK AND HIS LAWYERS ARE NOW ASKING THE COURT TO TERMINATE THE 2018 SETTLEMENT, SAYING IT IS UNTENABLE AND PART OF A “HARASSING CAMPAIGN” THAT RESTRICTS THE CEO’S FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.
Musk also caused a stir last week, saying he would buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, valuing the social network at $43 billion. Musk has said he wants to make Twitter a bulwark of free speech. Twitter has been criticized for the way it regulates content, but the First Amendment applies to government censorship of speech, not companies.