Ripple is celebrating a new order from US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn amid lawsuit ongoing

Ripple is celebrating a new order from US Court Judge Sarah Netburn amid the company’s dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Judge orders SEC to produce materials related to Hinman speech in ongoing Ripple legal fight

The legal battle between Ripple and the SEC dates back to December 2020, when the US securities regulator filed a lawsuit against the distributed ledger technology company, alleging that it conducted securities offering unregistered by selling XRP. Ripple fought the case, maintaining that XRP is not a security, and the SEC’s guidance on which tokens constitute security did not clarify the road rules for crypto companies.

In an April 11 decision, Netburn denied the SEC’s request to review an order requiring the agency to produce documents and information related to statements made by previous SEC Director William Hinman, including a comment on why he doesn’t consider bitcoin and ether securities. Previously, the SEC held that the speech included Hinman’s personal views on cryptocurrencies rather than reflecting dealer-wide policy.

Later, to keep the notes, drafts, and discussion of that speech from reaching the courtroom, the SEC argued that the speech did indeed reflect agency policy. Therefore, any email or communications relating to such speech may be protected under consideration privilege (DPP). The DPP allows government sectors to request immunity from detection or disclosure of communications about internal processes.

Netburn took issue with the SEC’s abrupt change of opinion on Hinman’s speech.

“The SEC seeks to have it both ways, but the Speech was either intended to reflect agency policy, or it was not,” said the order. “Having insisted that it reflected Hinman’s personal views, the SEC cannot now reject its position. The Speech was not an agency communication, and the deliberations about its content are not protected by the privilege.”

In the court’s view, Hinman’s speech represents his personal views, which means that the information relating to it is not protected under the DPP. The SEC will have to release information regarding the speech.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse is celebrating the latest court decision. In a fireside chat with CNBC at Paris Blockchain Week, Garlinghouse said the lawsuit has gone “exceedingly well, and much better than I could have hoped when it began about 15 months ago.”

“I think it’s very clear that in the United States, the laws have not been clear, and for the SEC to go back in time and say ‘you should’ve known all along,’ it’s a hard case,” he told CNBC in a separate interview today. “What we’re seeing in the court process, which does continue to play out, is a judicial process that recognizes some of this.”

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