Tech: Elon Musk’s legal ‘streetfighter’ – Business Insider

Top of the morning. It’s Jordan Parker Erb here. Today, Elon Musk is expected to field questions from Twitter employees at a company all-hands meeting — so we’re taking this opportunity to introduce you to his “streetfighter” of a lawyer.

Let’s get to it.


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Alex Spiro and Elon Musk in front of stacks of papers and gavels 4x3

Apu Gomes/Maja Hitij/Getty Images; Rachel Mendelson/Insider

1. Meet Elon Musk’s go-to lawyer. Alex Spiro, a brash 39-year-old litigator, has helped Musk defeat a defamation suit, and has been working behind the scenes for the billionaire as he tries to buy Twitter.

  • Musk and lawyers don’t seem to mix — just ask the law firm that lost work from Musk’s companies after refusing to fire a lawyer that Musk didn’t like. But it seems Spiro is different.
  • He’s made a name for himself representing professional athletes and rappers, from NBA star Thabo Sefolosha to hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. Randy Zelin, a defense lawyer who has taught at Cornell Law School, called him “as real as you get.”
  • Some lawyers will stab you in the back, Zelin said. Spiro will “stab me in the chest.”

Read our full profile on Musk’s polarizing attorney.


In other news:

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches players warm up before the start of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in Miami.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

2. The teen who tracks Elon Musk’s jet struck a deal with Mark Cuban. 19-year-old Jack Sweeney agreed to stop monitoring Cuban’s flights on Twitter after the billionaire offered him business advice. Read the DMs between the two.

3. New grads are having their dream tech job offers rescinded days before graduation. Several recent graduates told Insider they turned down other lucrative opportunities, or were in the process of moving across the country, before their job offers were taken back. Now, they’re left scrambling.

4. Kraken will pay employees who don’t agree with the company’s values four months’ worth of wages to leave. According to The New York Times, employees said CEO Jesse Powell made “hurtful” comments around preferred pronouns and demeaning statements toward women. Here’s everything we know so far.

5. Google is betting the future of its products on a new internal AI project. It already lost the battle for machine learning to Meta, insiders say. Now, Google is quietly building out a new machine learning framework, and is hoping to strike gold. What we know about the internal project, called JAX.

6. Amazon is planning to expand into five new countries. Leaked documents show the company — despite scaling back its US retail business — is planning to launch its online marketplace in new locations across Africa, South America, and Europe. Check out all the countries here. 

7. Forget Austin and Miami — people are flocking to other up-and-coming tech hubs. With more affordable home prices and emerging tech scenes, cities in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are luring droves of new residents from nearby areas. These are three of the hottest new tech epicenters.

8. Best Buy is putting on a few sales that rival Amazon’s Prime Day deals. Prime Day isn’t until July, but Best Buy is already running competing sales on TVs, headphones, smartwatches, and more. These are the top tech deals we found.


Odds and ends:

The Airlander 10 over the coast

Hybrid Air Vehicles

9. Your next trip through Europe could be on a helium-filled airship. The airships, which look similar to a blimp, could carry passengers as soon as 2026 — and though they’re considerably slower than passenger jets, they’re also much greener. Get a look at the helium airships.

10. UPS’s new battery-powered cargo cycles have hit the streets. The four-wheeled eQuad electric bikes just made their debut in New York City, where UPS is testing them as a way to navigate congested cities and reduce its carbon footprint. Check out the little delivery cycles.


What we’re watching today:

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.


Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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