Jeremy Hogan: SEC Made A Big Mistake In The Ripple Labs Lawsuit
According to Jeremy Hogan, an attorney and a legal expert on crypto, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made a ‘big blunder’ in its lawsuit against Ripple Labs.
In the lawsuit that started in December 2020, the SEC claimed that Ripple issued XRP as an unregistered security, which according to the regulator it still is today.
Hogan appeared in a recent YouTube video talking about how the SEC has filed a motion for the court of law to reconsider the unsealing of emails related to William Hinman, the ex-SEC Director of Corporate Finance who in a speech said that Ethereum (ETH) was not a security.
The SEC wrote in the motion to the court:
“The speech – itself and the many drafts and comments by SEC staff across different SEC divisions and offices deliberating the agency’s approach to the regulation of digital assets – show that Director Hinman and other SEC staff used the speech to provide public guidance as to how Corp Fin (Hinman’s division) would apply the federal securities laws to offers and sales of digital assets including Ether.
Indeed, SEC regulations provide that Director Hinman’s public statements could be relied upon as representing the views of Corp Fin, the division he led.”
Hogan, however pointed out that Hinman’s comments about Ethereum could be considered as guidance, and that the SEC is making a big mistake by backtracking its previous argument that Hinman’s comments were his merely personal opinion.
“In litigation, you have to have your strategy, your theory of the case or the theory of the issue that you are arguing, and you have to stick with it. In a DUI (driving under influence) defense case for example, your legal position may be that your guy had been drinking, but was not impaired. If that is your position, you get your client straight on it, and you do not waiver. If he gets up on the stand, and says ‘Well, now that I think about it, I don’t think I drank that night,’ you are screwed.”
According to the legal expert, the SEC’s last minute decision to change its argument could turn out to be very risky, as the discovery phase of the lawsuit ends in less than two weeks.
“The entire argument completely backtracks on what the SEC has been saying for almost the last year. What does that mean for a legal strategy standpoint? Look at what the SEC has just done. It’s not good, because it opens up the possibility that the SEC could lose both its pawn, and its bishop…
The judge has already made a very strong determination that as far as she’s concerned, the speech was Hinman’s personal opinion… Now, in this motion for reconsideration, it has given her more very similar documents to review and changed its position on the speech 180 degrees.”