Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
The mudslinging in the legal battle between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a group of Dogecoin investors suing him has escalated again.
In a filing submitted in a New York federal court on Thursday, Evan Spencer, the lead lawyer in the class-action lawsuit against Musk, reiterated his argument for suspending the billionaire’s lawyers from the case. Spencer characterized their tactics as a harassment campaign against him personally.
"It appears defendants are using their bottomless war chest to finance an unlawful harassment campaign against me and my clients," wrote Spencer.
This accusation continues a running saga in recent filings to the court. On June 26, Spencer filed a request to have Musk’s lawyers thrown off the case and financially sanctioned for resorting to “dirty tactics” in the course of pre-trial proceedings.
At the heart of his accusations, Spencer pointed to a letter written by Musk lawyer Alex Spiro that was reported on by the New York Post on June 15.
The letter demanded the withdrawal of an amended complaint alleging Musk secretly owned or controlled two wallets that sold millions in DOGE during a two-day period in April as part of a bid to manipulate its price. Spiro rejected the allegations and attacked Spencer’s competency as an attorney.
On July 7, Musk’s legal team issued a riposte that called Spencer’s request to dismiss them an "insult," and said his accusations that they leaked to the Post is "unsubstantiated." At the same time, they argued that it would not have breached ethics rules even if it were true.
Spencer countered by saying he had no prior relationship with the Post reporter, and said the leaked letter could only have come from Musk’s team or “an agent” acting on their behalf. He also said the tactics would fit into Musk’s desire for sharp-elbowed lawyers, pointing to a tweet from last May where the billionaire bragged about creating a “hardcore litigation department” at Tesla made up of “streetfighters.”
"Defense Counsels’ misconduct as hereinbefore described is certainly consistent with the ruthlessness Musk evidenced in those tweets,” wrote Spencer.
Going further, the lawyer suggested that more attacks on him were in the works.
"Having managed to publish false claims about me in the media once before, Defense Counsels were and are threatening to place this disparagement of me into the public record again," read the filing.
Spencer did not cite any evidence to support these claims, and he did not point to any other incidents beyond the Post article as proof. When reached by Decrypt, Spencer declined to comment.
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 has worked with the token’s founders in the past, denies any wrongdoing.