In the continuing legal saga between Ripple Labs, its top executives, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres has made critical announcements concerning the upcoming trial dates and associated deadlines.
In an August 9 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Torres indicated intentions to move forward with a jury trial for Ripple, including CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen. The anticipated trial commencement was targeted between April 1 and June 30, 2024. However, with blackout dates submitted from both sides, a slight delay pushes the earliest start date to April 20, 2024.
Upcoming Deadlines For Ripple Vs. SEC
Just in time, Ripple Labs, Garlinghouse, Larsen and the SEC have now filed their applications, which were due by yesterday, August 23. Yesterday, the counsel for Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen have informed Judge Torres the dates they will not be available for trial in the second quarter of 2024. Both are unavailable from April 1-14.
On the flip side, Ripple Labs’ legal representatives filed a letter that the firm is “available for trial anytime in the second quarter of 2024.” The SEC relayed its unavailability for the dates April 15-19, May 1-7, and May 27-31. This means that the trial will start with a little delay, at the earliest on April 20.
Earlier in the case, Judge Torres delivered a partial summary judgment. This significant ruling discerned that Ripple’s institutional sales of XRP were found to constitute an unregistered securities offering, yet their programmatic sales did not fall under this definition.
The upcoming trial will be instrumental in determining the legal culpability of Ripple’s top brass, both accused of aiding and abetting securities laws violations concerning the XRP token. Notably, Ripple Labs has been spared of aiding and abetting charges.
Furthermore, key trial deadlines have been enumerated recently: By December 4, 2023, all parties have to “submit any motions in limine. Oppositions to any motions in limine shall be submitted by December 18, 2023.”
The same date, December 4, mandates the submission of “all required pretrial filings, including their proposed joint pretrial order, requests to charge, verdict form, and voir dire questions.” Both parties are also expected to “deliver to the court one copy of each documentary exhibit sought to be admitted” by December 4.
On another pivotal front, the SEC recently filed its Motion to Certify Interlocutory Appeal on August 18. Judge Torres, having considered submissions from both parties, has green-lighted the SEC’s appeal motion. However, the current filings refrain from explicating the rationale behind this decision.
Responding to the ongoing proceedings, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse remarked on Twitter, “Reminder – the request for appeal (even if granted) doesn’t change the fact that XRP is not a security. That’s not up for debate / trial. But the SEC continues to claim that Chris and I acted recklessly in believing that XRP is not a security. That’s utter nonsense.”
At press time, the XRP price was at $0.53.