The legal duel between the U.S. SEC and Ripple could linger until 2026, with the possibility of appeals.
The SEC v. Ripple lawsuit has continued to see different twists, adding new layers of complexity to the already intricate case. XRP enthusiasts are hoping the lawsuit reaches a resolution this year without any parties appealing the outcome.
However, one of the parties could file an appeal after the remedies phase. An appeal filed by any parties could drag the case beyond the projected 2024 timeline. Notably, the case might linger until 2026 if appealed.
Potential Appeal in SEC v. Ripple
With the lawsuit currently in the remedies phase, experts projected that Judge Analisa Torres would issue her final judgment around the summer of 2024. Consequently, any party seeking to appeal could do so towards the end of the year.
The Second Circuit will look into the matter in 2025 if an appeal is filed. Nevertheless, if the Second Circuit agrees with Judge Torres’ reasoning and none of the parties takes the case to the Supreme Court, the lawsuit could end by 2025 – 2026.
However, if the Second Circuit disagrees with Judge Torres’ reasoning, the decision could cause further delay in the lawsuit’s resolution. In this scenario, the Second Circuit will remand the case back to Judge Torres, which requires her to issue a new ruling, taking the lawsuit to around 2026.
Any of the aggrieved parties can still appeal the new ruling from Judge Torres, thus requiring the Second Circuit to determine again whether the decision is sound. The potential timeline for the lawsuit to be concluded under this scenario is 2026.
Meanwhile, there is a likelihood for the case to linger beyond 2026. This is when either the SEC or Ripple moves the case to the Supreme Court following an unfavorable ruling in the Second Circuit.
Will SEC Appeal?
In the meantime, the SEC is the only party that has indicated interest in an appeal. The commission’s attempt to file an immediate appeal challenging the summary judgment ended in futility last year.
As reported earlier, the SEC sought permission to challenge Judge Torres’ decision on programmatic sales and other distributions, which were earlier found to be non-securities.
However, the court denied the request, ordering the securities regulator to wait until all pending issues are resolved. The remaining pending issue is the remedies litigation, where the court will determine the appropriate penalty to impose against Ripple for violating the law through its institutional sales of XRP.
With the remedies phase expected to end this year, the SEC could resume its quest to challenge the decisions on Ripple’s programmatic sales and other distributions.
Meanwhile, Ripple is expected to produce its financial records, including audited financial statements from 2022 to 2023 and post-complaint contracts governing institutional sales.