Musk: Tesla building ‘hardcore litigation department’ to ‘execute lawsuits’
Elon Musk is building a team of litigators for unclear purposes.
The billionaire tweeted on Friday that Tesla was expanding its legal department with the explicit intention of filing lawsuits and was looking to hire. The decision comes a day after reports that Musk may have engaged in sexual misconduct and as a potential legal conflict looms over his deal with Twitter.
“Tesla is building a hardcore litigation department where we directly initiate & execute lawsuits,” Musk tweeted. “The team will report directly to me.”
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Tesla is building a hardcore litigation department where we directly initiate & execute lawsuits. The team will report directly to me.
Please send 3 to 5 bullet points describing evidence of exceptional ability.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2022
Musk said that this department will commit to “never seek victory in a just case against us, even if we will probably win” and to “never surrender/settle an unjust case against us, even if we will probably lose.”
“Looking for hardcore streetfighters, not white-shoe lawyers like Perkins or Cooley who thrive on corruption,” Musk concluded. “There will be blood.”
“Perkins” appears to reference Perkins Coie, a legal firm that previously employed Marc Elias, a lawyer now under scrutiny in several legal cases connected to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Musk has shown an increased interest in the legal conflicts surrounding John Durham’s case against Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann in recent days.
Cooley appears to reference Cooley LLP, a legal firm that Tesla previously employed. Musk asked Cooley LLP to fire one of its attorneys in January 2021 due to the attorney’s past affiliation with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm declined to do so and lost the contract in the process.
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Musk’s decision to announce this legal team coincides with a few other legal interests on the billionaire’s radar. SpaceX reportedly paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle claims of sexual misconduct against Musk, according to Business Insider. Musk dismissed the accusations and claimed that they should be viewed through a “political lens” as an attempt to attack him and stop him from “fighting for a good future and your right to free speech.”
Musk has also been attempting to challenge Twitter over its estimate of spambots. While Musk claims that the deal ‘cannot move forward’ until Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal proves that less than 5% of Twitter users are spambots, Twitter’s executives have maintained that the deal is still proceeding, regardless of what Musk has said on Twitter. If Musk attempted to contest or walk away from the deal, it could lead to a legal conflict between the two parties.
Musk has also run into several conflicts with the SEC, including a potential investigation over his delayed disclosure of his stake in Twitter.