Senator Warren’s letter to Tesla’s board and her requests for information and possible documents raise many legal issues

I have attached a copy of Senator Warren’s December 18, 2022, letter to Tesla’s board requesting information and possible documents pertaining to Elon Musk and whether or not the board has satisfied its duties as the letter characterizes those duties. The letter also requests a response by January 3, 2023, which in my view is an unreasonable, short time to respond, including over the holidays. A lot of time was spent preparing the letter, which is 8 pages and includes 35 footnotes to authorities and support. The specific requests for information and possible documents number 1-12, but many of which are compound, and run from pages 6 through 8.

Senator Warren’s questions pertain not only to Mr. Musk, but also to the board’s governance and oversight of Mr. Musk. Obviously the response will involve not only the board but also outside legal counsel, in-house corporate general counsel, possible board committees, and others. It has been my understanding that generally Senator Warren does not like Mr. Musk or his political views on at least some issues and subjects. I do appreciate that Senator Warren added her letter to her Senate website as this type of letter and inquiry raises many legal issues relating to the legal authority and standing of the sender, the type of private, privileged and possibly trade secret information and possible documents that are requested, and how the board should best respond. I expect that this letter and type of inquiry/investigation and appropriate responses will become the subject matter of many legal articles.

Here is Senator Warren’s letter:

Thank you for reading. Please do pass this blog and blog post and information to other people who would be interested as it is only through collaboration and sharing that great things and success are more quickly achieved.

* * * * * * *

Best to you,

David Tate, Esq. (and inactive CPA)

  • Business litigation and disputes – business, breach of contract/commercial, co-owners, shareholders, investors, founders, workplace and employment, environmental, D&O, governance, boards and committees.
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  • Mediator and facilitating dispute resolution:
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Remember, every case and situation is different. It is important to obtain and evaluate all of the evidence that is available, and to apply that evidence to the applicable standards and laws. You do need to consult with an attorney and other professionals about your particular situation. This post is not a solicitation for legal or other services inside of or outside of California, and, of course, this post only is a summary of information that changes from time to time, and does not apply to any particular situation or to your specific situation. So . . . you cannot rely on this post for your situation or as legal or other professional advice or representation, or as or for my opinions and views on the subject matter.

Also note – sometimes I include links to or comments about materials from other organizations or people – if I do so, it is because I believe that the materials are worthwhile reading or viewing; however, that doesn’t mean that I don’t or might not have a different view about some or even all of the subject matter or materials, or that I necessarily agree with, or agree with everything about or relating to, that organization or person, or those materials or the subject matter.

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My two blogs are:

http://tateattorney.com – business, D&O, audit committee, governance, compliance, etc. – previously at http://auditcommitteeupdate.com

Trust, estate, conservatorship, elder and elder abuse, etc. litigation and contentious administrations http://californiaestatetrust.com

David Tate, Esq. (and inactive California CPA) – practicing only as an attorney in California.

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