Musk says he can’t get a fair trial in California, wants Texas

WASHINGTON (AP) – Elon Musk urged a federal judge to move the trial share case of San Francisco because he says negative local media coverage turned potential jurors against him.

Instead, in a document filed late Friday, Musk’s lawyers argued the trial should be moved to federal court in west Texas, which includes the state capital of Austin. Musk has moved his Tesla electric car company to Austin in late 2021.

If the move is not possible, Musk’s lawyers have called for the trial, scheduled to begin on Jan. 17, to be delayed until the negative publicity surrounding Musk’s purchase of Twitter dies down.

“Over the past several months, the local media has saturated this area with biased and negative stories about Mr. Musk,” attorney Alex Spiro wrote in a court filing. These elements are personally blaming Musk for the recent layoffs at Twitter, Spiro wrote, and charge that the layoffs may have even broken the law.

The case of shareholders derived from Musk’s August 2018 tweets when he said he had enough funding to take Tesla private for $420 a share, an announcement that caused severe volatility in Tesla’s stock price.

IN a win for shareholders last springJudge Edward Chen ruled that the tweets were false and reckless.

The filing from Musk’s lawyers also notes that Twitter has laid off about 1,000 residents in the San Francisco area since he bought the company at the end of October.

“A significant number of jurors … are likely to have a personal and material bias against Mr. Musk as a result of recent layoffs at one of his companies, as individual prospective jurors — or their friends and relatives — may have been personally affected,” the filing said.

Musk has also been criticized by San Francisco’s mayor and other local officials over the job cuts, the filing said.

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