The ruling is expected to be announced “as soon as possible”
In his affirmative presentation during a May 21 telephonic conference with Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, Jorge Tenreiro, a senior trial attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, argued that Ripple’s lawyers had told the company that XRP could be a currency and security at the same time:
They were sophisticated players. They hired at least 12 law firms…Ripple’s supposed confusion has to be tested against what it was actually being told.
As reported by U.Today, the SEC is trying to compel Ripple to produce legal advice it obtained from lawyers regarding XRP’s status.
Tenreiro claims that void for vagueness challenges for Howey have been rejected while pointing out that the defendants injected their state of mind into the case:
They have directly inserted their state of mind as part of their defense…
When asked about additional interference into the attorney-client relationships, Tenreiro says it would be “gamer over” for Ripple if it chose not to follow the advice it received from lawyers:
If they received advice and they did not follow, they would lose…What if their lawyer told them, you still have to deal with the SEC? That would be game over for their defense, that they were confused. We don’t know what they have given the exchanges… Ripple tells us, what you were thinking is relevant.
He also argues that Ripple used is legal advice to influence trading platforms with the opinions of the lawyers.
Ripple’s lawyer Gregory Rapawy claims that the advice Ripple received is not the subject of the defense:
It doesn’t matter that we believed and believe that XRP is not an investment contract – it’s strict liability. Our defense is fair notice, not on our state of mind.
In response, Tenreiro asked Ripple to withdraw its affirmative defense.
In addition, Rapawy says that Ripple is not resisting the discovery of non-privileged internal documents, adding that both parties’ internal documentations are potentially relevant to the fair notice defense.
Judge Netburn will announce the ruling “as soon as possible”:
I’m going to take it under advisement. I will get an order out as quickly as possible.
SEC v. Ripple – Court orders plaintiff to ‘answer Ripple’s interrogatories’
Within 24 hours of the court approving the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request to postpone the discovery deadline to January 2022, Judge Sarah Netburn has responded to two pending motions in the SEC v. Ripple Labs lawsuit.
One of the motions was from defendants Ripple Labs and Chris Larsen to compel the SEC to supplement its responses to eleven of its interrogatories and two of Larsen’s. Meanwhile, the other motion from the SEC sought a protective order to relieve it of the obligation to respond to 29,947 separate requests for admission, as per the filing.
Judge Netburn has now granted and denied both motions in part.
The judge ordered the SEC to answer Ripple’s interrogatories and identify the specific terms of the “investment contract” from XRP sales. The order added,
“Ripple’s interrogatory is relevant (and precise) and will clarify whether the SEC contends that the terms of any contract identified in response to Ripple’s Interrogatory No. 1 created an expectation of profits by the purchaser of XRP.”
“Accordingly, Defendants’ motion regarding Ripple Interrogatory No. 2 is GRANTED, and the SEC must supplement its response to Interrogatory No. 2 to identify any specific contractual terms and not just implicit and explicit promises as previously identified.”
The SEC must also respond to whether it contends that “efforts by Ripple were necessary to effect any increase in the price of XRP.” The court granted most of the defendants’ motions to compel answers on interrogatories, except one.
This was the motion from Chris Larsen on when XRPL is fully functional. Judge Netburn denied it without prejudice for being “too vague,” with the parties ordered to confer clarity terms.
Meanwhile, the SEC’s motion for protective orders was also partially granted and denied. The judge granted protection on Defendants’ 28,849 RFAs, noting that “it is hard to view this stunt as anything more than theater.” The order added,
“The motion for a protective order is GRANTED on burden grounds. Having granted the motion to compel a response to Ripple’s Interrogatory No. 2, the protective order is also GRANTED as cumulative and duplicative of another form of admissible evidence.”
As the SEC and Ripple filed their responses, the timeline for the case may extend due to the postponement of the discovery deadline. This deadline was pushed so that the parties could complete the expert depositions and beef up their preparations.
Court Orders SEC to Answer Ripple’s Interrogatories
Ripple, however, has failed to bury the SEC in paperwork, with the judge granting the agency’s motion for a protection order against “unduly burdensome” requests
Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn has ordered the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to answer some of Ripple’s hotly-contested interrogatories, which are meant to determine whether or not the plaintiff’s contentions can be supported by facts.
The agency will have to specify why the company’s XRP sales are investment contracts:
The SEC’s legal theory is not an excuse to avoid responding to Defendants’ factual inquiry. Nor is it a basis to answer a different question than posed.
In addition, the SEC will have to state whether it believes that Ripple’s efforts were key to boosting the price of XRP.
However, Ripple’s interrogatory about whether or not the XRP Ledger was fully functional prior to the start of the securities offering has been denied for being too vague:
The Court agrees that this interrogatory seeks relevant information. But Defendants’ interrogatory is too vague for the reasons identified by the SEC.
Netburn has also granted the SEC’s motion for a protective order, which allows the regulator not to respond to all of Ripple’s “unreasonably burdensome” interrogatories.
The agency claimed that covering all the 29,947 requests would take 104 days without “breaks or sleep.”
Earlier this week, the court also granted the SEC’s motion to extend the expert discovery deadline to Jan. 14, 2022, despite Ripple’s protestations.
Ripple CEO Says the SEC Helped Ethereum to Surpass XRP as No.2 Crypto
- Ripple CEO aired his opinion on the crypto market and regulations.
- Brad Garlinghouse said the US SEC granted Ethereum regulatory green light.
At the DC Fintech Week virtual conference on October 21, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghounse aired his thoughts on the state of the crypto market and regulations. Besides, he holds a grudge over the financial regulator’s approach to Ethereum.
In addition, Garlinghouse declared that the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted Ethereum regulatory green light that enabled it to surpass his firm’s XRP token.
Likewise, the Ripple boss feels that his firm has been played out. But, at the same time, Ethereum’s subsequent success is at least in part down to more favorable treatment by the US SEC. Also, Garlinghouse stated that it is affecting its market. He said,
“Within the last few years, XRP was the second most valuable digital asset. As it became clear the SEC had given a hall pass to ETH, ETH obviously has exploded, and that clarity has helped.”
To clarify, XRP was the second-largest crypto asset by market cap in late December 2017. But, currently, it has dropped to seventh place while Ethereum has kept the second spot ever since.
Furthermore, the reason why XRP dropped is the US SEC pursuing Ripple over claims that XRP is unregistered security. In fact, in January, Ripple filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US SEC demanding to know why it didn’t consider ETH security.
As a result, later in July, a district judge allowed the firm to depose a former official who declared in 2018 that ETH was not a security.