- The SEC maintains that Hinman’s speech drafts “have no relevance to the defense claims” and that “they are internal non-public documents.”
- Ripple labs fired back that attorney-client privilege protects only specific agency decisions and not the personal views of agency staff.
- The SEC consequently holds that Ripple’s position “is premised on legal and factual errors.”
In the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) vs. Ripple Labs case, the SEC fights back with a reply brief in support of its objections to orders mandating it to disclose speech by former director William Hinman.
The SEC’s latest reply still argued that the speech drafts “have no relevance to the claims or defense in this case” and that “they are internal non-public documents that the defendants and other market participants have never seen.” It added that even if they were relevant to the defense, the document is exempt from discovery due to the attorney-client privilege and is unusable as proof in litigation.
Although, according to the paper, Ripple labs had claimed that attorney-client privilege protects only deliberations about specific agency decisions and not reviews that reflect the personal views of agency staff. The SEC consequently holds that Ripple’s position “is premised on legal and factual errors.”
The content of the SEC’s former director’s speech in 2018 has been a point of contention in this legal tussle for many months. In late July, the SEC filed a request to submit a 30-page opening brief and a further 10-page reply brief to support its opposition to three orders by Judge Sarah Netburn regarding the disclosure of Hinman’s speech drafts.
The agency’s recurrent attempt to keep Hinman’s documents hidden is to prevent them from being used to support Ripple’s Fair Notice Defense. Their first attempt earlier in April 2022 was denied.
On December 22, 2020, the SEC filed an action against Ripple Labs Inc. and two of its executives, who are also significant security holders, alleging that they raised over $1.3 billion through an unregistered ongoing digital asset securities offering.