The Associated Press reported that a judge in Delaware ordered that the communications between Musk and his in-house counsel are not protected, while ruling that other communications sought by attorneys for shareholders remained protected, including communications between other Tesla board members.
Shareholders have accused Tesla of approving a massive compensation plan for Musk that they believe was crafted by Tesla’s in-house counsel, Todd Maron, and deputy in-house counsel, Jonathan Chang, without input from the board of directors. Tesla has denied the claims.
The company approved a compensation plan for Musk in 2018 that could be worth more than $50 billion. Musk also runs SpaceX, a private spaceflight company, that is aiming to put private astronauts in space around the moon by 2023.
“Leveraging his control, close personal relationships, and reputation for retribution, Musk co-opted Maron and Chang to help him structure the plan free from committee involvement,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote in motions asking for the communications to be released, according to the AP.
“Musk and his agents handed the committee a fully-baked plan,” they reportedly continued.