SEC v. Ripple: “Complicated privilege issues” arise but deadline is near
“Well, because fact discovery ends in just 3 weeks, and the SEC gets 5 days to respond, I would think that Ripple would file a letter in the next day or two. The issue has no doubt been brewing for some time”, said attorney James K. Filan.
Matthew Solomon, Ripple’s lead counsel, sent a letter to Judge Sarah Netburn about a discovery dispute between both parties with respect to documents withheld by the SEC.
The agency hasn’t handed over the requested documents, despite the Judge’s insistence, as the SEC claims there is deliberative process privilege. The parties want to expose their arguments in 8-page letters addressing the issue.
Commenting on the letter that should help move the discovery forward after months in a limbo state, attorney Jeremy Hogan said:
“About. Time. In this litigation, 8 pages is a large brief so seems like some complicated privilege issues have arisen. I am interested to see what they might be. Cutting it close: this needs approval, then filing, then a reply, then obtain a hearing date – all before the 31st!”
“Well, because fact discovery ends in just 3 weeks, and the SEC gets 5 days to respond, I would think that Ripple would file a letter in the next day or two. The issue has no doubt been brewing for some time”, added attorney James K. Filan.
Fact discovery was extended by 60 days after an SEC request, thus altering the lawsuit agenda as a whole. At the time, Ripple opposed arguing the SEC had sufficient time to investigate this matter before filing suit and because Ripple wants to move for summary judgment as soon as possible.
In early June, Ripple filed a motion to compel the Securities and Exchange Commission to turn over internal documents regarding cryptocurrencies BTC, ETH, and Ripple’s XRP. This followed a prolonged back and forth between the two parties and Judge Netburn.
Judge Netburn told the plaintiff to turn over the documents twice already, but not a single document has been delivered. It should be noted that the Judge can order monetary sanctions or even dismiss the case altogether should the plaintiff remain uncooperative regarding the ordered discovery. A dismissal, however, is highly unlikely at this stage.
Outside the court, Ripple CEO Garlinghouse took the opportunity to compare the SEC’s views on regulatory clarity to an alcoholic in denial.
“In my judgment, if you’re dealing with an alcoholic that doesn’t want to admit they have an alcohol problem, to say that we have certainty, we have clarity, is like the alcoholic saying ‘I don’t have a problem’. This is the elephant in the room.”