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Ripple vs SEC Lawsuit Update: Ripple Asks Court to Dismiss SEC Expert Evidence

In the legal showdown, Ripple does not back off from brushing off the SEC’s highly controversial evidence to present in court. 

Here’s the real story behind it:  

Fox’s Role in the Case

James K. Filan, a veteran defense lawyer, reported that Ripple filed a letter in support of its April 22, 2024, request to strike new expert materials and in response to the SEC’s April 29, 2024, opposition. Ripple also claimed that the SEC should have presented Fox’s declaration during the discovery phase since she was an expert witness.

Ripple claims Fox is an expert witness because his accounting skills exceed simple arithmetic. The SEC claims Fox’s function was to summarize financial facts without expertise. The SEC, citing cases such as United States v. Blakstad and SEC v. Treadway, stated that Fox, a summary witness, did not provide expert testimony or opinions in the report. The SEC says the report simplified Ripple’s audited financial record for Judge Analisa Torres using elementary math.

A Clash of Time and Declaration

According to Ripple, the SEC delayed identifying Fox as an expert witness. Ripple says that missing information hampers accurate cross-examination and trial fairness. Ripple cites cases where judges dismissed identical declarations for improper disclosure. They claim that misclassifying and disclosing expert testimony misleads the court and opposing parties. In previous cases, the SEC claims that contextual circumstances allowed summary testimony without expert disclosures.

The courts may rule on the motion to strike at any moment. However, the SEC must submit its remedy-related reply brief by May 6. The remedy-related reply brief will address Ripple’s objection to the SEC’s opening brief seeking punitive damages and an injunction.

Additionally, the court will rule on whether to ban Ripple from selling XRP to institutional investors. The court ruling may affect Ripple’s US expansion.

Potential Impact

This case’s outcome could significantly impact other similar cases. If Ripple successfully strikes Fox’s declaration, it may limit the SEC’s ability to argue for specific penalties. Conversely, upholding the declaration would strengthen the SEC’s case against Ripple. Thus, the resolution holds significant implications for both parties.

In a rare admission, lawyer Jeremy Hogan predicts that the SEC will likely win a motion in court. Even if the court recognizes the witness as an “expert,” Hogan believes Ripple will be allowed to depose her instead of striking her testimony, as done previously. 

Bill Morgan also shares similar thoughts; that Ripple will likely lose the motion, and the judge may acknowledge that Andrea Fox provided some expert evidence. Despite this, the judge might allow Ripple to depose her. Morgan suggests waiting for the SEC’s response on May 6 regarding remedies before making a decision.

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