Musk risks losing the Tesla Fraud Trial if he takes the lawyers’ bait

(Bloomberg) — Elon Musk needs a judge to believe him if Tesla Inc. managers will avoid suffering six billion dollars in damages in a fraudulent practice.

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On Friday of this week, the confrontation between the Chief Government Officer and lawyers representing businessmen is scheduled to take him to court. in San Francisco. The shareholders argue that his tweets in 2018 about a plan to take the electric car maker secretly and the “guaranteed financing” contained in the lies caused them to lose big from the stock prices on 10 days before the plan is abandoned.

The trial requires the jury to examine Musk’s mind when he sent the messages, and to determine whether the billionaire’s tweets significantly affected transactions.

In his defense, Musk’s attorney told jurors in opening statements that while his tweets were rushed and contained technical errors, they accurately showed he was being honest about the take Tesla together.

The most important thing when Musk is called on stage, experts say, is how he responds to his opponents who try to provoke him in the sardonic way – and some time is very bad – information that makes him famous.

“He’s the guy that everybody’s going to have their eyes on,” said Tim Crudo, a defense and criminal attorney at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass in San Francisco. Lawyers representing shareholders “will try to influence him,” Crudo said. “They will try to pressure him, make slanderous comments about lawyers, but not answer their questions.”

Read more: Musk Jury should be warned before testifying, opponents say

“If they don’t seem to trust him, if they don’t like him, I think that’s going to get into the big legal questions—the stories that the jury will consider,” he added. of Crudo.

Musk has publicly expressed anger at his legal opponents. The case he is currently fighting reflects a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which resulted in his agreeing and refusing to have his future advertisements checked by a Tesla lawyer. He has criticized the agency ever since, saying in a Ted Talk last year that the pressure to solve the case was like holding a gun to his “child’s head.”

Musk is no stranger to the witness stand. In a recent court fight, he showed more restraint. At the November hearing in Delaware about his paycheck, he met with a lawyer for the investors. But it was defeated and calm compared to the bad days he spent on the stage in the same court in 2021 to defend his acquisition of SolarCity.

Musk cannot testify in San Francisco until Monday. When he does, the plaintiff’s attorney must be careful not to cross a line in trying to provoke the CEO, Crudo said. Musk can be competitive when it comes to jurors who are right to answer questions, he said.

“If they get the feeling that the lawyer is baiting him, and they don’t like the lawyer, they will give Musk permission to oppose the lawyer because they will think he should the lawyer,” Crudo said. Lawyers for shareholders “want to let his inner Elon Musk come out. All the things that make him famous and successful, these things may not work for him on the stage.”

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