Those following the SEC vs Ripple Labs lawsuit might have expected radio silence for the rest of the year, after the court pushed the discovery deadline to 14 January 2022. However, a new development in early December has caused a splash. Now, it seems that both the SEC and Ripple will need to take action.
Yet another deadline
A filing shared by defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor James K. Filan revealed that Judge Sarah Netburn ordered both parties in the case to file more documents. However, this was due to legal developments in a totally different court case.
Citing the “scope of the deliberative process privilege,” the judge stated,
“In light of this decision, by December 8, 2021, the parties shall simultaneously file letter briefs no longer than three pages to supplement their arguments concerning Defendants’ motion to compel, ECF No. 289.”
What is deliberative process privilege? To refresh your memory, this protects an institution’s decision-making process from external parties – including defendants in the court, if need be.
In simple English, please
Outside the crypto world, the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], which was ordered to produce specific documents about its pesticide policies. The EPA objected to this, and deliberative process privilege was a part of their reasoning for the same.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the EPA didn’t have to show all of its records concerning a policymaker’s role. What’s more, the court issued a new decision regarding what is covered under deliberative process privilege.
Now, Ripple Labs is feeling the ripples. After all, the SEC claimed deliberative process privilege after the blockchain company filed a motion compelling the regulator to produce three additional email documents. As previously reported, Ripple claimed the documents “appear to be Highly Relevant to the Defense.”
Naturally, the XRP community has been wondering whether this update helps or harms Ripple.
For his part, attorney Jeremy Hogan claimed,
“…I’ve read the opinion and the law change slightly favors the SEC. Let’s see what the briefs say!”
In less than five days, both the SEC and Ripple will need to understand the new decision, and quickly submit their arguments. This has huge implications for Ripple’s motion to compel the SEC to produce the three documents.
Rain on Ripple’s parade?
The unexpected court development comes around a week after Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse expressed his optimism regarding the lawsuit. Voicing his belief that the case would end in 2022, he said,
“Clearly we’re seeing good questions asked by the judge. And I think the judge realizes this is not just about Ripple, this will have broader implications.”