Delaware’s first female chief justice of a nationally recognized business court will oversee the case of Twitter Inc., which, according to court records, seeks to hold back Elon Musk in a 44 billion (approximately Rs 3,51,000 crore) deal to buy the social media platform.
Kathleen McCormick took over as chancellor, or chief judge, last year after the retirement of Andre Bouchard, the Court of Chancery, a preferred venue for major corporate disputes.
McCormick’s first decisions will include a request from Twitter for a four-day trial in September, an incredibly tough deadline for such a complex case.
McCormick’s final ruling on the merger may be appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Twitter accuses Musk of a long list of violations of the affiliation agreement. It said the world’s richest man wanted to take a step back from falling stock at Tesla Inc., where he was chief executive of the electric vehicle maker.
Musk has accused Twitter of violating merger agreements because it refused to share information about spam accounts, made misrepresentations, and deviated from its normal course of business by firing executives.
McCormick is also overseeing a lawsuit against Tesla shareholders seeking to cancel Mask’s $ 56 billion (approximately Rs 4,46,700 crore) compensation package from the automaker. He set October as the trial date for the case.
Delaware is a popular incorporation destination for most US public companies, including Tesla and other masked companies such as tunneling venture The Boring Company and Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX.
It gives courts jurisdiction over vast amounts of wealth masking the need to compel consent. Lawyers say the court will detain Musk for contempt and start imposing fines until he orders.
Francis Pileggi, attorney for Louis Brisbois in Wilmington, Delaware, said the court has “sufficient power to enforce his order.”
If Musk continues to ignore a ruling, the court may order Tesla and other Delaware-incorporated companies where Musk owns a share to seize his assets or return the shares.
“He’s going to be treated like a deadbeat dad who doesn’t pay child support,” said UConn School of Law professor Minor Myers. “It won’t be hard.”
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