Ripple Labs scored a tactical victory in its legal battle with the US SEC on Sept. 29 as U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled to release the documents written by former SEC Corporation Finance Division Director William Hinman.
The ruling relates to internal speech documents written by Hinman while preparing to deliver an address at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in June 2018. Hinman went ahead to state during the address that Ether (ETH) was not a security.
In her brief, Judge Torres stated that the SEC’s objection to producing the documents ordered by Judge Sarah Netburn in July could not stand. The SEC has objected to producing the documents on the grounds that the documents are not relevant to the case, are protected by deliberative process privilege (DPP), and come under attorney-client privilege.
“The SEC objects to the Orders, arguing that Judge Netburn erred… The Court has reviewed the remainder of the thorough and well-reasoned Orders for clear error and finds none. Accordingly, the Court OVERRULES the SEC’s objections and directs the SEC to comply with the Orders,” she wrote.
Will the SEC turn in the documents?
While Judge Torres’ agreement with Judge Netburn’s ruling on the relevance, DPP, and attorney-client privilege protection of the documents has been welcomed by the theming XRP community, concern remains as to whether the SEC will comply with the order.
In a statement to Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett, the general counsel to Ripple Stuart Alderoty pointed out that the SEC has flaunted the past six orders given by the court compelling it to turn in the documents. This amounts to the SEC deliberately fostering uncertainty in the crypto industry, according to him.
“We’re pleased by the sixth – and hopefully final decision – from the Court to produce these documents, which grants Ripple access to important documents that the SEC has continued to withhold. The SEC continues to deliberately foster uncertainty rather than provide clear guidance, which is why we are vigorously defending this case on behalf of the entire crypto industry,” he said.
Ripple has long considered the documents to be crucial evidence in the case as they show how Hinman arrived at “his personal opinion” that ETH was not a security. Although the SEC can still appeal the latest ruling, John E Deaton, a third-party attorney representing XRP investors in the case, had previously predicted that the case could settle within a 90 days timeline from when the SEC produces the documents.