As previously announced, a Ripple vs. SEC conference call was held, presided over by Judge Sarah Netburn. Although the final conclusions after the meeting have not yet been made, for some observers, the case seems to be a foregone conclusion.
Conference stirring up a lot of excitement
Last week, in an article titled “Breaking: Court orders SEC and Ripple to meet next week for conference on Hinman emails,” we reported on an event that was scheduled for June 7 and that was expected to significantly advance the course of events of the high-profile case.
The XRP community was obviously very excited about the event, being able to listen to the entire proceedings. Disappointment circulated the market when it became apparent that Judge Netburn had not yet decided on any ruling.
Shortened conference proceedings
SEC representatives during the meeting acted as expected. They maintained their stance on Hinman’s documents, pointing out that they are covered by attorney-client privilege. In their view, Hinman had consulted with the agency’s lawyers on the matter prior to a high-profile 2018 conference call in which he suggested that Bitcoin and Ethereum were not securities. Despite this, the SEC claims that the official’s opinion at the time reflects only his personal views. In this situation, Judge Netburn showed a misunderstanding of seeking legal advice, to shape a personal statement. Quoting:
“I am not sure what legal advice could be given in the course of ‘shaping’ a speech.”
The SEC found a response to this by suggesting that Hinman sought it to avoid his speech violating “securities laws with respect to digital assets.”
This thread was supplemented by an indication that Hinman’s speech was merely advice to market participants and not to any particular project.
The last of the sentences did not escape one of the channel’s top journalists, Fox Business’ Eleanor Terrett. She tweeted this:
“SEC adviser: Hinman was giving advice to the market. Whoa.”
In subsequent posts, Terrett commented on the situation, noting that the advantage seems to be on Ripple’s side:
“No ruling today, but the tone Netburn has set throughout the hearing is clear. I would be very surprised if after this she opts to keep Hinman’s documents confidential.”
Judge Netburn indicated at the conclusion of the conference that she would review all of the data obtained and make a ruling on it as soon as possible. A date for the next hearing has not yet been set.