The continuing court dispute between both the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and blockchain company Ripple (XRP) has taken a new turn when the presiding judge dismissed the SEC’s demand to seal documents.
According to court records disclosed overnight by Ripple defense attorney James Filan, the SEC was also directed to file a redacted version of the brief and exhibits as required by law. The deadline for the redacted version of the brief submission is June 14, and it will focus “only to the extent necessary to secure information sought to be filed under seal.”
SEC’s motion to seal
The SEC had asked the court to seal the agency’s letter in response to six XRP investors’ desire to file a brief disputing one of the SEC’s experts’ conclusions.
The new decision came after presiding judge Sarah Netburn convened an SEC-Ripple conference to discuss the SEC’s assertions that the attorney-client privilege protects then-director William Hinman’s speech-related records.
According to court filings, intentional process privilege does not appear to protect speech. The SEC has fought tooth and nail to keep the Hinman records out of the Ripple case. The SEC’s case hinges on the final court finding in this case.
Ripple vs SEC
Earlier, Ripple’s lead attorney, Matthew Solomon, claimed that the SEC had shifted positions in the lawsuit to serve its own needs.
New emails have surfaced, as initially disclosed by Finbold, demonstrating the SEC’s potential conflicts of interest. The emails were obtained by Empower Oversight, a nonprofit organization that made public SEC records indicating illegal conduct by several authorities in connection with the Ripple lawsuit.
Former SEC officer Hinman was alerted about a potential conflict of interest with his prior employer, Simpson Thacher, according to the emails.
XRP remains confident that the ultimate decision will be in its favor. After the presiding judge delivered a series of findings in Ripple’s favor, Filan predicted an early victory for the blockchain company.
As the lawsuit grinds on, rumors of a settlement have surfaced, with both parties wanting to seal evidence. The SEC is most likely using the seal to avoid setting any legal precedent in the XRP case.