The judge overseeing Twitter Inc.’s $44 billion lawsuit against Elon Musk has a no-nonsense reputation as well as the distinction of being one of the few jurists who has ever ordered a reluctant buyer to close a U.S. corporate merger, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, Kathaleen McCormick took over the role of chancellor or chief judge of the Court of Chancery last year, the first woman assigned that role. On Wednesday, July 13, she was assigned the Twitter lawsuit which seeks to force Musk to complete his deal for the social media platform, which promises to be one of the biggest legal showdowns in years.
Reuters also reported that, in contrast to Elon Musk’s volatile behavior, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick is known for being soft-spoken, approachable and amiable – but a person who stands her ground. She advocates respect among litigants and integrity at legal conferences.
The Chancellor has scheduled the first hearing for Friday, July 19, in Wilmington, where she will consider Twitter’s request to expedite the case and conduct a four-day trial in September.
The Wall Street Journal reported that lawyers for Mr. Musk filed papers with the Delaware Chancery Court, their first public response to the lawsuit filed earlier this week by the social-media company seeking agreement to enforce the terms of their merger agreement. Should the court reject Twitter’s “unjustifiable request to rush this,” they said in their filing.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter asked the court to expedite the proceedings, citing risks from the recent economic downturn and being held in limbo by a buyer. The company requested a trial by mid-September “to protect Twitter and its stockholders from the continuing market risk and operational harm resulting from Musk’s attempt to bully his way out of an airtight merger agreement.”
TechCrunch reported that with Twitter pressing for a quick trial, Elon Musk’s lawyers are making a case to slow things down. TechCrunch also reported: Twitter, likely tired of being in limbo as the drama drags on, requested that the trial be expedited with a start date as soon as September.
According to TechCrunch, in the lawsuit Twitter filed against Elon Musk, Twitter argued that it would only need four days to prove that the court should require Musk to follow through with his agreement to buy it for $44 billion. Twitter stated that not only was Elon Musk trying to back out of the deal but also was dragging the social network through the mud in the process.
Elon Musk’s lawyers reportedly responded that the case will require “forensic review and analysis” of a deep pool of data, referring to his argument that Twitter undercounts its number of spam and otherwise fake accounts. The lawyers for Elon Muck are aiming for a February 13, 2023 trial date.
It appears that the Chancellor assigned to this case “stands her ground”, which could potentially make this case shorter than expected. There are two potential outcomes. The court forces Elon Musk to make good on his offer to buy Twitter. Or, the court decides that Musk’s lawyers show valid reason for him to abandon his offer. Until then, people who use Twitter will probably speculate widely about how they think this case will end.