Judge Analisa Torres denies SEC motion to seal Hinman Speech documents.
There has been a judicial triumph for Ripple, as the US District Judge denied the SEC’s motion to seal documents associated with the William Hinman Speech. Specifically, the judge flatly denied the possibility that the documents presented by Hinman in 2018 were sealed and kept by the regulatory body.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that the SEC has been denied the motion to seal these documents. Last year, a judge denied the SEC’s attempt to protect the same documents after a court order for the SEC to produce the documents in question.
For better understanding, the Hinman Speech documents refer to a speech given by former SEC Division of Corporate Finance director William Hinman at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in June 2018, where he allegedly stated that Ethereum is not a security.
Judicial Victory for Ripple against the SEC
On May 16, a motion by the US securities regulator to seal the controversial Hinman Speech documents has reportedly been denied. Giving Ripple victory over the SEC.
As a reminder, the SEC filed the motion to seal the documents on December 22 last year. Objecting that his mission outweighed the “public’s right” to access documents that have “no relevance” to the Court’s summary judgment decision.
However, under the most recent order, Judge Analisa Torres of the United States District Court ruled that the documents are “court documents” subject to a strong presumption of public access.
“Hinman’s speech documents would reasonably have a tendency to influence the Court’s decision on a motion,” said Torres.
Judge Torres also said that the court has rejected the SEC’s argument that the sealing of the documents is necessary to preserve “openness and candor” within the SEC, stating that the Hinman Speech documents “are not protected by deliberative process privilege because they do not address an agency position, decision or policy.”
The decision on Ripple vs. SEC may be imminent, legal experts say. In itself, attorney Fred Rispoli expressed his belief that the summary judgment ruling is likely close to completion. Furthermore, he finds the decision to release Hinman’s emails remarkable.
Particularly, Rispoli, believes that the probability of an outright victory for Ripple or the SEC remains low. But the tone of the ruling seems favorable to Ripple, raising hopes for the upcoming summary judgment ruling.
On May 16, Rispoli tweeted the following:
“…settle, yes, but I think the cat’s out of the bag on these docs and eventually some enforcement case would have gotten them publicly disclosed, if not here in Ripple. But the tone of this ruling is pro-Ripple, so let’s hope that carries into the SJ ruling!!!”
Brad Garlinghouse Celebrates
In this regard, Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, responded to the news via Twitter stating the following:
“Another win for transparency! Unredacted Hinman emails to be publicly available soon – stay tuned as the lawyers work through the mechanics to make that happen.”
However, Eleanor Terrett, a journalist for Fox Business, noted that the SEC has the option of filing an interlocutory appeal of the decision. Likewise, the lawyer, Jeremy Hogan, stressed that the SEC now has ten days to file a reconsideration.
By Audy Castaneda