According to a CNBC report on Saturday (7th), lawyers for Tesla and Musk asked a federal judge in San Francisco to move the upcoming trial from Northern California to West Texas, saying that the court could not find impartial jurors and saying that the local Californian People have “negative emotions” towards Musk.
Musk and other current and former Tesla board members are set to face a jury in a shareholder class action that accuses Musk of manipulating Tesla stock in 2018 when he tweeted that he was considering a $100 per share. Take Tesla private at $420 a share and have “funding secured” to do so.
Trading in Tesla’s stock was initially halted, and in the weeks following the tweet, the stock price fluctuated wildly. Shares of Tesla (TSLA-US) closed up 2.47% on Friday to $113.06 per share.
Northern California Senior District Judge Edward M. Chen, who oversaw the trial last year, ruled that Musk’s 2018 statements were false and that he had made them knowingly.
The upcoming trial and jury will decide whether Musk’s now-infamous tweets mattered to shareholders, whether and how the tweets affected Tesla’s stock price, and whether the company or its directors should be held accountable for damages.
In an agreement to move the location, lawyers representing Tesla and Musk said negative publicity was widespread in California after Tesla took over Twitter in October 2020. Musk was booed when comedian Dave Chappelle asked him to take the stage during his most recent public appearance in San Francisco.
Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro stated in the document that due to the recent financial resources of one of Musk’s companies, a large part of the jury in the region may have personal and material prejudice against him, because some former jurors and his friends, Relatives may be personally affected. The negative and tampering local buzz surrounding the matter exacerbates, amplifies and reinforces existing basic prejudices.
He added in the document that the negative impact on Musk is not limited to the media, and there are often protests in front of the San Francisco office, and some protesters are even supported and encouraged by local politicians.