Judge orders Elon Musk and the SEC to put on their 'reasonableness pants' and work things out (TSLA)


Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves Manhattan federal court after a hearing on his fraud settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in New York City, U.S., April 4, 2019.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

  • Lawyers for Tesla CEO Elon Musk sparred with government lawyers in federal court on Thursday.
  • The SEC had accused Musk of violating his settlement agreement with the regulatory agency by tweeting that the company would make 500,000 cars this year.
  • Elon Musk attended the hearing, but did not testify.
  • Judge Alison Nathan ordered the two parties to take two weeks and find a new resolution. 

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Tesla CEO Elon Musk and federal regulators with the Securities and Exchange Commission should hold further mediation to come up with a new way to monitor the billionaire’s tweets.

Musk and the SEC have been embroiled in a legal battle since last August, when the CEO tweeted that he intended to take Tesla private at $420 per share. In a $20 million settlement with the stock regular, Musk agreed to have his external communications vetted by a Tesla lawyer.

That all came to a breaking point in February when the SEC asked a judge to find Musk in contempt of court for allegedly violating that agreement by tweeting that Tesla would make 500,000 cars in 2019.

Read more: Elon Musk and the SEC are in a fierce battle over one of Musk’s tweets — here’s what you need to know about their dispute

In Thursday’s hearing at a packed courthouse in Manhattan, lawyers for Musk and the SEC argued their case in 45-minute oral arguments that ended with a simple order from Judge Alison Nathan: make a new resolution. SEC lawyers also said they want to set up a framework for future violations, including escalating fines. 

“My call to action is for everyone to take a deep breath, put your reasonableness pants on and work this out,” she said, according to reporters in the courtroom.

As he left the courthouse Musk said he was “very happy” with the outcome, according to Bloomberg, and that he was very impressed with the judge’s analysis.

SEE ALSO: Minute-by-minute: How Elon Musk faces off with SEC in court

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