SEC v. Ripple scheduling order signals XRP lawsuit over before Christmas, says expert

Rick Steves

While attorney Hogan found a “pleasant surprise” in the court’s order, James K. Filan isn’t as optimistic and predicts summary judgment rulings on or before 31 March, 2023. The right outcome is worth the wait, he added.

Following a 22 April, 2022 joint letter proposing a summary judgment briefing schedule, with both Ripple and the SEC agreeing on a detailed timeline, Judge Analisa Torres has ruled on the dates that will see a new chapter unfolding.

By July 12, 2022, the parties will file any motions to exclude expert testimony. Their oppositions shall be filed by August 9, 2022. Replies will be filed by August 30, 2022.

By September 13, 2022, the parties shall file any motions for summary judgment, the court ordered. Oppositions and responses will take place until October 18, 2022, and replies are due November 15, 2022.

“OH! That’s a pleasant surprise. Judge Torres has, sua sponte (fancy Latin for “because she wants to and can”), moved up the schedule for summary judgment briefs to November 15″, said attorney Jeremy Hogan, Partner at Orlando-based Hogan & Hogan law firm. “What do I take from that? She wants the Ripple v. SEC case over before Christmas.”

Judge Torres follows 6 month rule to avoid public shaming

James K. Filan, a Connecticut-based securities lawyer who has been commenting on the XRP lawsuit, said Judge Torres ended up ruling this way because that was the schedule that worked best for the court.

“Separate schedules were set for the motions challenging experts and for the Summary Judgment motions. That is important because of the “6 Month Rule,” which incents Judges to decide motions within 6 months after they are filed (the clock on the rule actually starts ticking 30 days after the motion is filed so the Judges get a 30 day grace period).

“The “6 month lists” are published twice a year, on March 31st and September 30th, and only list motions pending longer than six months that are still pending on those dates. There is no real consequence for a Judge’s name to appear on the “6 month list,” but Judges generally want to avoid the public shaming and Judge Torres has not, based on my research going back to September 30, 2013, ever been on the 6 month list”, he added.

As the opening expert motion briefs will be filed on July 12, 2022, attorney Filan expects decisions on those on or before the “6 month list” is published on March 31, 2023.

As the Summary Judgment motions are due on September 13, 2022, those could slide past the March 31, 2023, but attorney Filan predicts that Judge Torres will decide both the expert motions and the Summary Judgment motions at the same time – on or before March 31, 2023.

“That is what she did in the Goldman Sachs case I discussed last week. This is guess work, but predictions that the case will be decided before the end of the year are, respectfully, in my opinion, off the mark. I just don’t see the Judge deciding all these motions in 45 days.”

There is much at stake in such a precedent-setting lawsuit like the SEC v. Ripple. Taking that into account, Mr. Filan reminded the public that it is better to get a good outcome rather than a fast end to the case.

“While everyone wants things to move faster, it’s better for the court to get it right than get it done fast, and the right outcome is worth waiting a few more months for. Ripple’s lawyers have consistently shown that they know what they are doing, so I would sit back, be patient, and watch them work their craft now.”

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