Delaware Supreme Court Judge Kathaleen McCormick yesterday criticized Elon Musk for failing to provide the text messages sought by Twitter. McCormick cited “noticeable shortcomings” in Musk’s document production in an order that partially accepted Twitter’s request for more recordings. writing:
Plaintiff’s Fourth Discovery Act identifies clear deficiencies in Defendants’ document production. Third parties produced text messages with Musk that Musk himself did not produce, and Musk’s own production of text messages revealed obvious shortcomings. As just one example, Defendants produced two texts sent to Musk from Parella Weinberg Partners’ Robert Steel at 9:57 and 10:15 on June 17. The 9:57 text raises a question. The 10:15 text that reads “Okay. Got it…” implies that Musk has responded. Assuming Musk’s response was not telepathic, some evidence of this can be expected in Defendants’ document production. However, Defendants did not submit anything by the deadline to substantially complete the document discovery.
“Musk’s approach to answering queries also leaves a lot to be desired,” McCormick wrote. Musk’s side finalized their response on August 26, after being ordered to “respond to inquiries that required defendants to identify those who knew the relevant facts,” but they did a poor job identifying only a handful of people Twitter knew about. already aware.” The judge wrote that Musk later identified 491 “people with knowledge”, but could provide that information “much earlier.”
“The Defendants have now healed many of the shortcomings complained of by the Plaintiff in the Fourth Discovery Act. They accuse the Plaintiff of bypassing the gun and seeking premature sanctions, but I do not see it that way. I can see why Plaintiff seeks relief. Plaintiff, born[e] the bulk of the reconnaissance burden.”
While Twitter had to “provide a cumbersome “historical snapshot” and “documents from 42 depositories” that was the subject of Defendants’ Second Discovery, Musk’s side “agreed to produce from just two parents,” he wrote. “The defendants had less to do. , but they still failed to fulfill their obligations. Defendants’ previous shortcomings caused Plaintiff to wonder if there were any other shortcomings and to make efforts in third-party discovery.”
and Twitter filing On August 30, “As of last night’s pivotal completion date, Twitter has produced more than 41,000 documents; Defendants less than 2,100.” Twitter also said that the defendants “examined more than 210,000 documents,” more than four times over.
To Judge Musk: No time to ‘joke’
McCormick posted this decision and another after 5pm ET yesterday. this other provisionHe also criticized the billionaire who tried to pull out of a deal to buy Twitter by resolving a motion by Musk to force additional people to produce Slack messages.
“Defendants gave Plaintiff the impression that they were seeking limited Slack depositories, but said they never meant it at the time. In this highly expedited lawsuit, there is no time to ‘joke’. McCormick wrote that the parties must be able to rely on each other’s well-intentioned suggestions for the discovery process to work.
McCormick told a “boring” back and forth between lawyers for the parties that Musk’s side initially sought Slack messages from all 42 of Twitter’s guardians. The correspondence “confirms Plaintiff’s statement that Defendants actually abandoned their initial 42 depository claims in favor of one claim. [for documents from] only eight,” he wrote. But Musk later “changed the team and asked the Claimant to generate Slack messages from all 42 protectors.”
“Defendants cannot now be allowed to re-trade, even if Defendants’ statements were unintentional,” McCormick wrote.
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