In a recent letter, Ripple offered a harsh rebuke to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) move to block documents crucial to the case.
The U.S SEC vs Ripple lawsuit is still revolving around the revelation and verdict of former director Bill Hinman’s Infamous Ethereum Speech. In the last few sittings, the court has even revised the summary judgment Schedule to draw a conclusion about the case. Meanwhile, Ripple Defendants have filed an opposition to the commission’s claim over the Speech and notes.
The court has directed the commission to display the disputed memos related to the 2018 speech. The SEC has been hesitant to produce them. At first, they even try to shield it under the deliberative process privilege (DPP). Lately, the commission is trying to claim that the memos now come under the Attorney Client Privilege.
Ripple cites four reasons why what the SEC did is wrong:
1) As per the case recordings Hinman gave the speech in his personal capacity. He took advice from the SEC’s staff to prepare the speech. According to the second circuit law, the discussed legal concepts among them don’t fill in for Attorney client privilege.
2) Hinman has the authorisation to receive legal advice and communicated with SEC lawyers. However, the content of his personal remark does not come under the scope of attorney client relationship.
3) The discussion over the issue does not involve any confidential information concerning the agency which should be protected under the same privilege.
4) However, the commission completely fails to establish the claim as the privilege belongs to Hinman.
Let the court decide
The defendants have demanded that the SEC should now produce the DPP redactions or any memos to be withheld under the Attorney client Privilege for an In camera inspection. They even requested the court to review the redaction by themself.
The court should evaluate any attorney-client relationship between Hinman and the SEC staff regarding the speech draft. If there is any, then the court decides to include them as legal advice or confidential information shielded by the privilege.