Elon Musk and Twitter to Face Off at Wide-Ranging Hearing

A hearing in the legal battle between

Elon Musk


Twitter Inc.

TWTR -0.91%

is scheduled Tuesday afternoon in Delaware Chancery Court for oral arguments over a range of issues, including Mr. Musk’s request to amend his countersuit.


Kathaleen McCormick

said in a filing Friday she will consider several pending legal motions from both parties, such as Mr. Musk’s recent request to add allegations from a whistleblower complaint by Twitter’s former head of security,

Peiter Zatko,

to his counterclaims.

Mr. Musk has also requested that the five-day nonjury trial be pushed to November from October.

The hearing is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. ET and each side will be permitted 90 minutes to present arguments. The judge said they would begin with the so-called discovery motions, over each side’s various requests for information, before moving to Mr. Musk’s request to amend his complaint.

The scope of the hearing shows how contentious this legal battle has become and marks another escalation of the dispute, which has already taken a number of dramatic twists and turns. The outcome could grant or block access for either side to more emails, texts, data and legal claims, among other things.

Representatives for Mr. Musk didn’t respond to a request for comment on the hearing. A spokesman for Twitter said the company had nothing to add beyond the court filings.

Twitter sued Mr. Musk in July over his attempt to walk away from their $44 billion merger agreement reached in April. Mr. Musk later filed a countersuit, accusing the company of misrepresenting the condition of its business and key metrics about the users on its platform.

On Friday, Chancellor McCormick said she would allow Mr. Musk’s lawyers to reargue their request to compel Twitter to collect and review documents from a more extensive date range. The judge denied Mr. Musk’s motion in a decision last week.

In that ruling, she cited among other things the additional burden placed on Twitter by her decision to grant him a subset of additional information from Twitter related to spam and fake accounts, after calling a request by Mr. Musk for several years of Twitter data about such accounts “absurdly broad.”

The judge also said she would consider Mr. Musk’s motion regarding Twitter’s Slack messages, and asked both sides to be prepared to discuss whether Twitter would be willing to submit the requested messages to a modified “quick peek” arrangement. That would mean data would be provided to Mr. Musk’s attorneys for a limited duration.

Chancellor McCormick is also expected to hear arguments related to two pending motions from Twitter: its request for Mr. Musk’s emails via accounts at his companies,

Tesla Inc.

and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and for texts between Mr. Musk and

Jared Birchall,

head of Mr. Musk’s family office. Twitter filed a proposed order Friday accusing Mr. Musk of “failure to engage in good faith” during the discovery process over the texts.

The most weighty request Chancellor McCormick is expected to consider is whether Mr. Musk should be allowed to use allegations made in the whistleblower complaint to bolster his case. The complaint, submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission in July and made public last month, accuses the company of failing to protect sensitive user data and lying about its security problems.

Mr. Musk and his lawyers have said that if true, the allegations would demonstrate a breach by Twitter of certain provisions of their merger agreement. Twitter has said the complaint is “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies and lacks important context.”

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at sarah.needleman@wsj.com

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: