By Dean Seal. June 1, 2021. (Law360).
In the latest discovery defeat for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in its landmark cryptocurrency case against Ripple Labs, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled that the agency cannot take a look at the advice the firm received years ago about its signature digital asset’s legal status.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on Sunday denied the SEC’s motion for access to documents related to legal advice Ripple received in 2012 about whether the sale of its token, XRP, was legally required to be registered with the securities regulator.
The judge sided with Ripple’s contention that those communications fall under attorney-client privilege and waved off the SEC’s argument that they would speak directly to Ripple’s defense that it “reasonably understood” that XRP was not subject to federal securities law.
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