At UCLA, You Can Take a Class on ‘The Law of Elon Musk’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

At UCLA, You Can Take a Class on ‘The Law of Elon Musk’
Heisenberg Media | Flicker

Elon Musk’s bizarre behavior has sparked a lot of lawsuits over the years, from complaints about his Tweets to allegations that he’s part of Dogecoin scheme. One local professor thinks there’s a lesson to be learned from that long legal history.

Stephen Bainbridge, a UCLA law professor, has launched a new course called “Law of Elon Musk.” According to the course description, the class will explore “some of the ways in which law constrains (or fails to) Musk’s divergences from shareholder interests.”


Musk, the world’s richest man, has given Bainbridge plenty of material to work with. The CEO of Tesla and Hawthorne-based SpaceX is currently locked in a legal battle with Twitter after he tried to escape his agreement to buy the social media company for $44 billion. On Wednesday, a Delaware judge ruled that Musk can’t delay the October trial, but he can use evidence from a Twitter whistleblower who recently claimed the company lied about its security problems.

The Twitter snafu is hardly the only noteworthy legal case involving Musk. In 2018, Musk settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission after he tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private (he did not). Earlier this year, a judge sided with Musk after shareholders claimed Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition of struggling SolarCity amounted to a bailout, since Musk sat on the board of the rooftop solar panel maker, which was founded by his cousins.

All told, Musk and his companies have been parties to at least 1,400 lawsuits, the vast majority of them involving electric automaker Tesla (1,262), according to legal researcher Plainsite. Musk was personally named in 76 cases while SpaceX was party to 73. Musk’s The Boring Company, which until recently called Los Angeles home, was named in just six suits, per Plainsite.

“Musk has generated an enormous amount of corporate law and securities litigation,” the UCLA course description noted. “In many situations, Musk’s push-the-edge-of-the-envelope style led to the creation of new law.”

Bainbridge and a UCLA law spokesperson did not return requests for comment. In an interview with New York magazine, the professor said he thought a corporate law course centered on Musk would grab students’ attention. The class starts next year.

“The story that I see is the story of an incredibly smart and adventurous guy who’s capable of generating ideas that produce enormous amounts of value,” Bainbridge told the magazine. “But [Musk] would be a pain in the butt as a client because he often leaps before he looks.”

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

AmazeVR Wants You To Attend K-Pop Concerts Virtually
Photo courtesy of AmazeVR

Virtual reality startup AmazeVR now has $17 million to further expand its VR concert experience.

The West Hollywood-based company’s latest funding amounts to a bet that virtual shows, a staple of the pandemic, are here to stay. Mirae Asset Capital led the Series B funding round, with Mirae Asset Financial Group subsidiary (Mirae Asset Venture Investment), CJ Investment, Smilegate Investment, GS Futures and LG Technology Ventures investing again. Mobile game maker Krafton joined the group—but South Korean entertainment company CJ ENM’s stake reveals AmazeVR’s plans to expand into K-pop world.

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