Ripple v SEC Lawsuit Recap: The Developments After the Trial’s Start

TL;DR

  • Ripple and the SEC have been in a significant dispute involving key witness testimony from Andrea Fox.
  • The entities have also clashed over the sealing of certain financial documents, with the regulator viewing this data as critical to the case.

The Clash Over Key Testimony

The infamous legal battle between Ripple and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been ongoing since December 2020. Back then, the regulator accused the firm of raising over $1.3 billion via unregistered securities offering by selling XRP. 

The lawsuit experienced countless ups and downs in the last years before reaching its trial stage on April 23, 2024. Shortly after that date, Judge Sarah Netburn signed a new scheduling order focused on the motion for remedies and entry of final judgment. 

Both parties abided by the rules, handing in necessary documents and presenting essential data that could be useful for resolving the case.

The process could have been smoother, with Ripple and the SEC clashing over a key witness testimony from Andrea Fox. The company initially argued that the declaration represents an unsolicited expert opinion, whereas the watchdog described the process as “standard summary evidence in support of calculations for disgorgement.” 

On April 29, the SEC filed an official opposition to Ripple’s motion, insisting that the testimony “does not rely on specialized experience and does not render any opinions at all.”

“Rather, it applies basic arithmetic to Ripple’s financial records to streamline the presentation of the evidence to Judge Torres… The court should deny Ripple’s motion,” the agency added. 

Ripple struck back a few days later, filing a letter in further support of its initial request. It claimed that the SEC failed to show that the declaration is summary evidence rather than expert testimony:

“Fox is an expert because she purports to use technical or other specialized knowledge to help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue. She does not merely apply basic arithmetic to Ripple’s financial records, as the SEC contends.”

Ripple went further, stating that even if Andrea Fox could be categorized as a summary witness, the regulator failed to disclose her before the end of the discovery process.

Additional Confrontation

Ripple’s request to seal and redact some evidence and financial documents data related to the regulator’s motion for judgment and remedies became another bone of contention. 

“The Court should deny Ripple’s request to conceal financial and securities sales information because that information constitutes “judicial documents” as it is at the heart of the arguments the parties have presented in support of their remedies motion and could, therefore, tend to influence the Court’s remedies decision,” the agency stated in May.

The SEC believes this data could shed more light on Ripple’s past XRP sales and be crucial in the legal proceedings. However, the firm argues that historical contracts are now irrelevant due to recent changes in the sales procedures.

“Ripple is no longer selling XRP through over-the-counter transactions with the characteristics that the Court determined were “Institutional sales” at summary judgment. Ripple’s current sales of XRP to customers for use in connection with Ripple’s ODL product do not have any of the relevant terms of over-the-counter contracts, such as discounts offered to sophisticated counterparties.”

Awaiting the Judge’s Ruling

Despite entering its trial phase, the case’s outcome may be dragged on for years due to the complexity of the legal process and potential appeals from both sides.

One person who envisioned a relatively quick resolution is the American lawyer Jeremy Hogan. He thinks the parties may shake hands on a $100 million agreement as soon as this summer. 

Some view the SEC as the underdog in the legal battle due to Ripple’s three partial court victories secured last year. Each triumph was followed by a price resurgence of XRP, meaning the eventual end of the case could trigger enhanced volatility again.

Those willing to learn more about the lawsuit and its potential impact on the asset’s valuation, feel free to check our dedicated video below:

The post Ripple v SEC Lawsuit Recap: The Developments After the Trial’s Start appeared first on CryptoPotato.

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