On May 13, 2022, there was an important piece of information that hit the wires regarding the SEC v Ripple case. In this XRP lawsuit update, you’ll discover what happened, why this is so important in the going legal battle — and what to focus on next. With the ongoing turmoil in the cryptocurrency market, this case may be pivotal for the industry. Ripple’s lawyers have filed a response to the e-mails of former Director of the division of Corporation Finance, William Hinman. The SEC has requested that his emails remain secret; these emails were shielded by the attorney-client privilege.
XRP Lawsuit Update: Ripple’s Response to The Hinman E-Mails & Key Date
The SEC v Ripple case Addressed to Judge Sarah Netburn, the Ripple defense team wrote that the SEC claims are wrong for the following reasons:
1) “The SEC Did Not Establish That Mr. Hinman Communicated With SEC Staff About His Speech For The Purpose Of Obtaining Or Providing Legal Advice.”
2) “Mr. Hinman Did Not Have An Attorney-Client Relationship With SEC Lawyers In His Personal Capacity.”
3) “Disclosure Of The Communications Would Not Reveal SEC Confidences.”
4) “The SEC Lacks Standing To Assert The Attorney-Client Privilege On Behalf Of Mr. Hinman.”
5) “The SEC Should Submit Its DPP Redactions And Any Documents To Be Withheld Or Redacted Under The Attorney-Client Privilege For In Camera Inspection.”
The reply details the five areas above.
Ripple Attorney Plays A Veteran Move In The XRP Lawsuit
Ripple’s attorney played a crucial move in its response to the SEC and one of the focal points of the argument was only Mr. Hinman has the stand to raise attorney-client privilege.
This is wrong for four reasons. First, the record in this case demonstrates that Mr. Hinman delivered his speech in his personal capacity. He sought input from SEC colleagues as to how best to package his remarks.“Letter – #480 in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ripple Labs Inc. (S.D.N.Y., 1:20-Cv-10832).” CourtListener, https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/19857399/480/securities-and-exchange-commission-v-ripple-labs-inc/.
That certain colleagues discussed legal concepts in some of their responses does not imbue them (or the other communications) with any attorney-client privilege.
Second Circuit law makes clear that advice on policy or messaging issues, even from lawyers, is not protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Second, while Mr. Hinman was entitled to communicate with SEC lawyers and to receive privileged legal advice when discharging his role as the Director of Corporation Finance, communications about the substance of his personal remarks are not within the scope of any such attorney-client relationship.
Third, the communications at issue involve no confidential information concerning the agency that would be protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Finally, even if the SEC could establish the elements of the privilege—which it does not—the SEC at most would have identified a privilege claim that it lacks standing to assert because the privilege would belong to Mr. Hinman.
The SEC is expected to reply by May 18, 2022.