US lawyer shares take on likely timing of resolution of issues in lawsuit

The legal dispute between Ripple Labs and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may reach a turning point on Monday, December 5, or perhaps December 2. This is according to rumors that have appeared in recent days.

Ripple Vs. SEC: Upcoming Replies Won’t Lift Hinman-Secrets, Attorney Claims

The Hinman records are at the heart of the conjecture. In the course of the court dispute, Ripple has been successful in requiring the disclosure of these papers. Some legal professionals believe this might offer the business a significant negotiating advantage over the SEC.

The records could give context for William Hinman’s assertion, made on June 14, 2018, that only Bitcoin and Ethereum can be classified as securities. Hinman was the former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.

One theory is that a settlement may have already been reached in the background if Ripple does not refer to and publicize Hinman as part of its summary judgment response filing.

By making the documents public, the SEC might aim to prevent significant effects on the regulation of the cryptocurrency sector and may consequently begrudge Ripple the victory. At least, that’s the word on the street.

However, a popular attorney in the XRP community and former federal prosecutor James K. Filan does not give this theory a high chance. “To the extent the Hinman documents are referenced, I think the SEC will redact those references, as they have in the past,” Filan writes. The attorney also disagrees that Judge Torres will rule on sealing documents shortly after Jan. 9, as that “probably isn’t how Judge Torres is going to approach the remainder of this case.”

According to Filan, three major issues currently remain to be resolved by Judge Torres: the summary judgment motions, the expert challenges (“Daubert motions”), and the issues of sealing the expert reports, Hinman documents, and other materials.

Unlike other experts, Filan speculates that Judge Torres will decide everything in one big ruling. This means that she will work backward and that ruling on the summary judgment motions will significantly influence how the other motions are decided. “First, she will draft her summary judgment ruling and identify any of those now sealed or redacted documents she relied on. If she relied on them, they would be discussed in her ruling, and she would seal them”, he stated.

Judge Torres has already used this approach in a Goldman Sachs case involving sealing disputes, expert challenges, and summary judgment motions. “When she decided those issues, she did that simultaneously, in one ruling,” Filan remarked. Thus, she avoided having to decide all the motions individually and trudge through the expert witness and sealing motions, including the Hinman motion.

Thus, Filan does not believe there will be a separate ruling on sealing the expert materials, the Hinman documents, or any other materials. “I believe that she will decide everything together, and it won’t be until she rules on the motions for summary judgment, and it will be in one big written ruling”, he added.

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