The SEC’s new request for an extension by one week reveals, in the footnote, that Ripple proposed a summary judgment schedule with opening briefs and related fillings due in mid-May.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has submitted a request for an extension “until no later than one week” after the individual defendants file their answers in order to inform the court of whether the plaintiff intends on conducting additional discovery.
This requests aims to extend the March 23, 2022 deadline for the parties to propose a discovery schedule for the Individual Defendants. The Individual Defendants oppose the extension and will file a written objection today.
“Although the SEC does not anticipate any additional liability-related discovery, the SEC is unable to commit to a position until after it has had an opportunity to review the individual defendants’ answers, including any affirmative defenses that they may assert and facts they plead in support”.
According to the letter, the attorneys representing Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse told the SEC that they do not seek to conduct liability-related discovery now, but want to reserve their ability to conduct remedies-related discovery until after summary judgment motions are decided.
The SEC’s motion notes that Ripple proposed a summary judgment schedule with opening briefs and related fillings due in mid-May.
Ripple executives and individual defendants, Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse, also plan to proceed with briefing despite the pending discovery-related motions. The SEC disagrees.
“The SEC believes that such a briefing schedule is premature, given that the Individual Defendants have yet to answer the complaint and plead affirmative defenses, and respectfully requests that the court direct the parties to meet and confer regarding a summary judgment schedule once the SEC has advised the court of its position on the need for additional discovery.”
The response from the SEC, that a summary judgment schedule in mid-May is premature, is unsurprising. The plaintiff has systematically delayed the lawsuit, in what is perceived as an attempt to frustrate Ripple’s wishes of putting the lawsuit behind it.
Delay tactics are, probably, the SEC’s biggest leverage against Ripple in the SEC v. Ripple case. The defendants have successfully presented their case in a way that shows intention to abide by the rules.
The SEC, however, has been plagued by infighting and embarassment for the many contradictions and inconsistencies throughout the litigation, with Hinman’s personal opinions vs public guidance being a highlight.
The most recent controversy was the SEC’s latest filing as it tries to introduce a supplemental expert report – a statistical study of how Ripple new affect the price of XRP – despite being against the rules. The expert report itself has been criticized for failing at basic math.