Elon Musk and Twitter Argue Over Unresolved Pretrial Data Requests

Legal professionals for

Elon Musk


Twitter Inc.

TWTR 1.37%

debated a number of pending requests for info of their persevering with authorized struggle, with lower than three weeks to go earlier than a scheduled trial over Mr. Musk’s soured $44 billion takeover.

Among the many points mentioned had been whether or not Mr. Musk’s staff ought to have entry to sure paperwork that Twitter has claimed are protected by attorney-client privilege and the proposed phrases round permitting Mr. Musk to include particulars a couple of Twitter whistleblower’s settlement fee into his argument for terminating the deal.

Mr. Musk, the CEO of

Tesla Inc.,

has sought extra details about how Twitter counts pretend and spam accounts, which he alleges are extra prevalent on the platform than the corporate acknowledges. Twitter disputes Mr. Musk’s claims and says he’s utilizing his complaints as a pretext to attempt to get out of the deal after market circumstances worsened.

Twitter’s authorized staff, in flip, mentioned they’ve requested for any analysis from information scientists on which Mr. Musk based mostly his claims about spam and pretend accounts. However Mr. Musk’s staff hasn’t shared analysis supporting his claims, Twitter’s authorized staff mentioned Tuesday.

In response, Mr. Musk’s staff mentioned Twitter’s legal professionals raised new points in the course of the listening to they usually wanted time to reply.

Twitter has handed over a “historic snapshot” of about 9,000 accounts tied to a quarterly audit, in accordance with courtroom filings. Mr. Musk’s staff has requested for extra particulars about these accounts, together with information concerning any account suspensions.

Former Twitter safety government Peiter Zatko, who has accused the corporate of widespread safety failures, mentioned at a Senate listening to that worker entry to consumer information might trigger “actual hurt.” Twitter has pushed again in opposition to the fees, saying his feedback are deceptive. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Pictures

The listening to, at instances contentious, was held remotely by way of Zoom on Tuesday. The general public portion of the listening to lasted greater than three hours. The listening to ended with the decide nonetheless contemplating a number of points, together with disputes over whether or not some paperwork had been protected by attorney-client privilege.

Twitter’s staff, in the course of the listening to, additionally mentioned Mr. Musk had failed to provide required texts and other forms of digital messages. Mr. Musk’s authorized staff disputed Twitter’s allegation.

Delaware Chancery Court docket Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, the presiding decide, has saved the case on a quick monitor, scheduling a five-day nonjury trial beginning Oct. 17. That gave each side roughly three months to arrange for the case, they usually have been jockeying for preliminary authorized benefit by gathering paperwork and sworn testimony. Mr. Musk and Twitter Chief Govt

Parag Agrawal

are amongst these anticipated to be deposed. Twitter’s legal professionals proposed interviewing Mr. Musk over two days starting Oct. 6, in accordance with a courtroom submitting.

Throughout Tuesday’s proceedings, Chancellor McCormick at instances sharply interjected. “Skip the rhetoric and go to the meat,” she mentioned at one level to Mr. Musk’s staff, which was rejecting Twitter’s accusation that Mr. Musk hadn’t sufficiently produced digital messages.

Mr. Musk’s staff has pressed for a spread of knowledge from Twitter, together with worker communications and granular information about spam and pretend accounts. Whereas the decide has granted a few of Mr. Musk’s requests, she has denied others and as soon as known as his staff’s information requests “absurdly broad.”

Twitter has mentioned it didn’t object to Mr. Musk together with particulars of its settlement with whistleblower

Peiter Zatko,

its former head of safety, however requested that Mr. Musk’s staff produce sure paperwork regarding Mr. Zatko in the event that they possess them.


How do you suppose the authorized battle between Elon Musk and Twitter will play out? Be a part of the dialog under.

Mr. Musk’s staff mentioned Tuesday they’re reviewing paperwork which may relate to Mr. Zatko.

Whistleblower Assist, a gaggle that helped file the whistleblower claims, has mentioned Mr. Zatko didn’t communicate with Mr. Musk earlier than making his criticism.

Mr. Zatko alleged that Twitter misled federal regulators and traders about safety and privateness failures. Twitter has mentioned Mr. Zatko’s claims are inaccurate and that he was fired in January for poor efficiency.

Write to Alexa Corse at alexa.corse@wsj.com

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