Ripple gained the upper hand over SEC when Judge Sarah Netburn denied the regulatory agency’s motion to seal William Hinman Docs whilst calling out the agency for its “Hypocrisy”.
According to the July 12 filing, the SEC had filed the lawsuit alleging that co-founders Bradley Garlinghouse, Christian Larsen, and Ripple Labs Inc have engaged in the unlawful offer or sale of securities.
In response to that, the defendants sought certain documents from the SEC to challenge the plaintiff’s allegations.
Following the Court’s ruling on the relevancy of certain documents, the regulator raised objections to the production of these documents on the ground that they are protected by the deliberative process privilege.
After conducting a review, the Court granted the Defendants’ motion to produce the emails related to and drafts of the speech.
The SEC then moved for reconsideration of the Court’s order which was denied saying that it was obligated to produce.
Refusing to bow down, the plaintiff then invoked the attorney-client privilege which protects the production of these documents. However, court documents indicate that the deliberate process privilege does not shield speech.
Judge Lambasts SEC Hypocrisy Towards Ripple
Meanwhile, the presiding judge Sarah Netburn took a critical note of the plaintiff’s move to shield the Hinman documents and at the same time steering away from the former director’s speech.
“The hypocrisy in arguing to the Court, on the one hand, that the Speech is not relevant to the market’s understanding of how or whether the SEC will regulate cryptocurrency, and on the other hand, that Hinman sought and obtained legal advice from the SEC counsel in drafting his Speech, suggests that the SEC is adopting its litigation positions to further its desired goal, and not out of faithful allegiance to the law.”
The unprecedented ruling comes after judge Netburn held an SEC-Ripple conference regarding SEC’s claims that then-director William Hinman’s speech-related documents fall under the attorney-client privilege.
The news generated quite an uproar with some calling the decision a “body slam” to SEC.
“Holy smokes – the judge was direct! Calls them hypocrites, even. She can clearly see what the SEC is up to”, another remarked.
For Ripple, it’s business as usual.
The blockchain firm has announced partnering with renowned Superbike manufacturer Ducati Motor to launch web3 initiatives and bring Ducati NFTs to life using the XRPL.