Court Denies SEC’s Request For Documents Relating To Ripple’s Lobbying Efforts
Since the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against Ripple Labs, the blockchain firm has had some legal victories. The latest win is no different.
Judge Sarah Netburn of the District Court of New York has denied the SEC's request for documents related to Ripple's lobbying efforts.
Another SEC Motion Denied
The SEC had filed a motion requesting that the court compel Ripple to submit documents that show its lobbying efforts. According to the SEC, the firm paid people to sway their opinion regarding XRP's regulatory status.
The agency also claimed that Ripple paid Chris Giancarlo, an ex-chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to support its litigation position publicly. This was because Giancarlo had declared that XRP does not qualify as a security under US law.
However, Judge Netburn denied the motion stating that Ripple's lobbying efforts are not relevant in the case. The Judge stated, reiterating her stance on the matter,
“In the same vein, Ripple's lobbying efforts regarding the status of XRP are not relevant; and any relevancy argument is outweighed by the burden of production.”
This latest rejection comes after the court denied the SEC from accessing Ripple's legal communication memos. The Judge stated that the attorney-client privilege protected Ripple's legal communications.
In her recent ruling, Netburn also denied the SEC's request to compel the production of documents post-dating its complaint. As a result, the appeal has been dismissed without prejudice, meaning that the regulator can refile later.
In addition, the magistrate judge has in part allowed SEC's motion to conduct more depositions. As such, the regulator will be allowed to depose more Ripple staff, including former chief financial officer Ron Will.
SEC Stalling The Lawsuit
Although most of SEC's motions were denied in Netburn's recent ruling, the Judge approved its request to extend the pre-trial discovery phase by two months.
The SEC, which seemed bent on trying to buy more time in the lawsuit against Ripple, had filed a request for an extension of time. The agency argued that this would enable it to respond to Ripple's motion compelling them to turn over the internal BTC, ETH, and XRP documents.
When the SEC asked for more time in its filing to investigate the case, Ripple opposed, contending that the agency had sufficient time to investigate this matter even before filing suit.
This recent approval of the extension of the discovery phase could cause a setback to Ripple. The San Francisco-based firm recently stated that the SEC had not shown good cause to extend the discovery, and an extension will unduly prejudice Ripple's business.
XRP supporter Attorney Jeremy Hogan said that the 60-day extension had pushed the summary judgment to December this year or January. In other words, if no settlement is reached soon, the case is likely to drag on to early 2022.