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Rumors have surfaced in recent days that a landmark day in the legal battle between Ripple Labs and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could be coming up on Monday, December 5, or even tomorrow, December 2.
At the center of the speculation are the Hinman documents. Ripple has succeeded in forcing the release of these documents as part of the legal battle. According to some legal experts, this may give the company an important bargaining chip against the SEC.
The documents could provide background information on why William Hinman, the former director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the SEC, stated on June 14, 2018, that Bitcoin and Ethereum, but no other cryptocurrency, are classifiable as non-securities.
The speculation is that if Ripple does not mention and publish Hinman as part of its summary judgment response filing, a settlement may have already taken place in the background.
The SEC may want to prevent fundamental repercussions on the regulation of the crypto market by publishing the documents, and therefore begrudge Ripple the victory. At least, that’s what the rumors are.
Already as early as tomorrow, a publication of the redacted documents is expected to take place.
This Is How Judge Torres Will Render A Judgment
However, 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 believe, Filan speculates that Judge Torres will decide everything in one big ruling. This means that she will work backwards and that ruling on the summary judgment motions will have significant influence on 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.
No Resolution For Ripple In December?
Judge Torres has already used this approach in a case involving Goldman Sachs that involved sealing disputes, expert challenges, and summary judgment motions.
“When she decided those issues, she did that at the same time, in one ruling,” Filan remarked. Thus, she avoided having to decide all the motions individually, and trudge through the expert witness motions and the sealing motions, including the Hinman motion.
Thus, Filan does not believe that 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.
For the XRP community, this could mean that there will likely be no clear indication of the ruling or any supposed settlement between Ripple and the SEC in December and probably early January.
The XRP price was at $0.3986 at press time and experienced a small uptrend due to the Jerome Powell speech just like the broader crypto market.