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SEC v. Ripple: Ripple Kicks Against SEC’s Incessant Delay Tactics in New Motion

Lele Jima

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Ripple and Individual Defendants were not happy with the SEC’s delay tactics as they urged the court to deny the agency’s request to file support for its new claim. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been heavily criticized for the way it has conducted itself throughout its lawsuit against Ripple and the blockchain company’s executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen.

SEC’s Bent on Protecting Hinman’s Documents

The major case that has brought the attention of the public to the SEC’s misconduct is the agency’s determination to protect its internal documents, especially the 2018 speech made by its former finance director William Hinman, from being used as evidence that XRP is not a security.

After Judge Sarah Netburn ordered the SEC surrender Hinman’s documents, the agency fought relentlessly to protect them from Ripple.

The SEC raised a new assertion in its objection to the court’s ruling that the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege.

However, while Ripple’s reply to the SEC’s attorney-client privilege claims over Hinman’s 2018 document is due on May 13, 2022, the agency once again requested that it be granted approval to file a brief in support of its assertions over the internal documents by May 20, 2022.

Ripple Slams SEC’s Delay Tactics

This recent action by the SEC did not go down well with Ripple and the Individual Defendants as they were quick to object to the agency’s request.

According to Ripple’s newly filed motion, the SEC’s request to support its attorney-client privilege claims over Hinman’s documents if granted, will be the sixth time the agency is opposing the Defendant’s August 10, 2021 motion to compel the Plaintiff to surrender the documents.

Ripple noted that the SEC’s planned reply should be regarded as a sur-reply since the court had earlier overruled the agency’s deliberative process privilege objection against providing the documents.

“The SEC now claims that the last year of briefing, oral argument, the Court’s decisions, and their motion for reconsideration were all an academic exercise because it turns out that the documents (every single one of them) are privileged attorney-client communications,” Ripple attorney said.

Ripple argued that any further delay would be prejudicial to the company since discovery closed months ago and that all parties are currently filing motions for summary judgment.

“At a minimum, the SEC should be required to justify its demands for further briefing after it reviews Defendants’ responsive filing. Defendants respectfully submit that the court should deny the SEC’s request,” Ripple concluded.

Ripple Community Reacts

The development has attracted the attention of the entire Ripple community who have given their views on the issue.

Attorney Jeremy Hogan, a partner at Hogan & Hogan law firm, commented on the development, saying:

“FINALLY. I feel like Ripple has taken the gloves off and is talking about how ridiculous the SEC’s litigation tactics surrounding the “Hinman emails” are. The judge may still allow the sur-reply but at least Ripple is calling out the delay tactics strongly.”

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