Recent developments over the past few weeks saw the SEC double down in its attempt to block William Hinman, the former director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, from testifying in the SEC v. Ripple lawsuit. In what is the latest update to the same, Ripple, the San Fransico-based fintech firm, has now followed up with a swift reply to further support its position in this ongoing litigation.
In a letter directed to U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn who is overseeing discovery in the case, defendants Ripple Labs and its execs informed the court that the deposition of former lawyer Willian Hinman has been re-noticed for 19 July. The same was first revealed by attorney James Filan after he tweeted,
#XRPCommunity #SEC_NEWS v. #Ripple #XRP BREAKING – Ripple and the Individual Defendant’s have filed a letter with the Court informing Judge Netburn that the William Hinman deposition has been re-noticed for July 19, 2021. pic.twitter.com/VZUh0xXHxR
— James K. Filan 🇺🇸🇮🇪 (@FilanLaw) July 9, 2021
In cases such as these, the party that requests a deposition has to give written notice to every other party involved in litigation that mentions the place and time of the testimony. The succeeding re-notice filed by the defendant changed the initially proposed date to accommodate Hinman’s availability for the same.
However, there’s perhaps more to that. According to Filan, the fact that a date has been put down may have been a marker for the court. He added,
“They’re saying to Judge Netburn that they would like a decision denying the SEC’s Motion to Quash before then so they can take Mr. Hinman’s *deposition* that day.”
It should be clarified, however, that Hinman’s deposition remains an uncertainty primarily because of the pending motion to quash Ripple’s request that was filed by the SEC last month. If approved, Hinman won’t be required to testify in the aforementioned lawsuit.
The defendants’ quest to depose a former high-ranking official of the SEC was met with a lot of backlash and resistance from the agency. As highlighted in the past, the regulatory agency believes that allowing such testimony would set a bad precedent since it would likely deter lawyers from seeking public service jobs. Any such instances have been quashed by the courts in the past, the SEC had argued.
“Director Hinman should not have to endure a lengthy deposition, dominated by the SEC’s assertions of privilege before Defendants challenge the SEC’s privilege assertions before the Court.”
What’s more, as far as Hinman himself is concerned, the agency in its reply supporting its initial motion had claimed that Ripple failed to show that the former exec had “unique, first-hand knowledge of offers and sales of XRP.”