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Ripple Highlights Four Reasons Why SEC’s Attorney-Client Privilege Claim Is Wrong


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Ripple, the San Francisco-based cross-border payment firm, has recently filed its much-awaited response to the SEC’s claim of April 29, 2022. The SEC had claimed that William Hinman’s speech of 2018 is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

According to Ripple and those directly involved in the lawsuit (Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen), the SEC vehemently strives to protect Hinman’s documents. Despite incessant rejections by the court, the regulator continues to devise new means to delay the case.

Ripple: The SEC Is Wrong For Four Reasons

Ripple, in its newly filed response, states that the claim that Hinman’s 2018 speech is protected by the attorney-client privilege is wrong for four reasons.

According to the cross-border payment firm, the fact that Hinman personally sought input from his colleagues at the time does not imply that the speech is protected by attorney-client privilege, as proven in the Second Circuit law.

Secondly, Ripple noted that "while Mr. Hinman was entitled to communicate with SEC lawyers and to receive privileged legal advice when discharging his role as the Director of Corporacion  Finance,  communications  about  the  substance  of  his  personal  remarks  are  not within  the  scope of any  such  attorney-client  relationship.”

Moreover, Ripple noted that the main subject of the matter is not about the SEC as a body. This implies that it does not involve any of the regulator's confidential information, which would have made the speech to be protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Lastly, the blockchain firm noted that even if the SEC could establish the elements of the privilege the SEC at most would have identified a privilege claim that it lacks standing to assert because the privilege would belong to Mr. Hinman.

Ripple further said:

“If the Court finds an attorney-client relationship between Mr. Hinman and the SEC staff with respect to comments on a draft speech given in his personal capacity, Defendants request that the Court review the remaining documents in camera to determine whether they include legal advice or confidential information protected by the privilege.”


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