Lawyers representing Elon Musk asked a federal judge to throw out a complaint that called for their removal after plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit by Dogecoin investors accused them of acting improperly. Musk’s lawyers called the request an “insult,” and a waste of the court’s time.
In a biting 17-page filing, Musk’s lawyers said that the allegations they acted out of bounds—including accusations Musk lawyer Alex Spiro leaked a derogatory letter to the press— were baseless and failed to pass the court’s “laugh test.” The laugh test is a legal doctrine (yes, really) that considers the seriousness of a claim.
According to Musk’s lawyers, there is “absolutely nothing funny” about Spencer’s accusations, and that it was he who was acting inappropriately.
“Spencer’s unfounded and audacious allegations of purported conflicts of interest and ethical improprieties by undersigned counsel are so improper that Spencer’s Motion itself is sanctionable,” read the filing.
On June 26, Evan Spencer, the attorney representing Dogecoin investors, filed a motion that accused Musk’s lawyers of showing a pattern of “deprecating and oppressive misconduct” in the case. Specifically, Spencer accused Spiro of resorting to “dirty tactics” by allegedly leaking a letter to the New York Post on June 15 that disparaged his competence as a way to “materially prejudice” the case.
Spencer also requested that the judge dismiss Tesla attorney Allison Huebert over her work for Musk and his company, something he said is a conflict of interest. For this cacophony of alleged wrongdoings, Spencer called for Musk’s lawyers to be financially sanctioned for their conduct.
The Musk team was having none of this.
In regard to the New York Post letter, the billionaire’s legal team countered that Spencer’s leaking accusation was unsubstantiated. At the same time, they argued that even if the accusation was true, it did not breach any ethics rules that forbade speaking with the press.
On the charge that Huebert’s work representing Musk and Tesla was improper, the lawyers said that New York law allowed for representation of executives and their companies at the same time. They clapped back that Spencer’s argument on this was “nothing more than an imaginative manufacturing of Spencer’s own mind.”
The $258 billion court battle between the world’s richest man and the meme coin investors began last June over allegations that Musk was part of a racketeering scheme to back the cryptocurrency.
Musk, who gleefully tweeted for years about his interest in DOGE and who has worked with the token’s founders in the past, denies any wrongdoing.