Judge Torres Denies SEC’s Request
District Judge Analisa Torres has rejected the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) request to certify an interlocutory appeal in the ongoing legal battle with cryptocurrency firm Ripple. The judge’s decision was based on her belief that the appeal wouldn’t significantly expedite the resolution of the lawsuit.
In addition to denying the request for an interlocutory appeal, Judge Torres also dismissed the SEC’s request for a stay, considering it moot. This decision was rendered in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The judge has now set a trial date for April 23, 2024, indicating that both Ripple and the SEC should submit their pretrial filings before the end of the year. However, what makes this development particularly noteworthy is Judge Torres’ suggestion that the parties attempt to settle the matter outside of court.
Judge Torres emphasized the importance of settlement discussions, instructing both legal teams and the involved parties to meet in person for at least one hour before the final pretrial conference. This signifies her willingness to explore alternative avenues for resolving the case rather than solely relying on a trial.
To provide context, the SEC had previously filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, seeking certification for an interlocutory appeal. The SEC argued that the court’s handling of the Ripple case could have a substantial impact on other pending litigations, including those involving top cryptocurrency trading platforms like Binance and Coinbase.
The SEC’s desire for interlocutory appeal primarily revolved around specific aspects of the case, such as the treatment of programmatic sales and other distributions of XRP, particularly in exchange for goods and services.
Notably, Judge Torres had already delivered a mixed ruling in July, determining that some of Ripple’s XRP sales did not violate securities laws while categorizing direct sales of the token to institutional investors as securities. This nuanced decision left both parties with partial victories in the ongoing legal dispute.
It’s worth recalling that the SEC initially filed a lawsuit against Ripple and its executives in 2020. The agency alleged that Ripple had unlawfully raised $1.3 billion through the sale of XRP. Furthermore, the SEC pursued legal action against Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, and co-founder, Christian Larsen, as part of the same lawsuit.
As this legal saga unfolds, the crypto industry will continue to watch closely, as the case’s outcome could have far-reaching implications for how cryptocurrencies are regulated and traded in the United States. Whether the parties can reach a settlement or proceed to a trial, the SEC vs. Ripple case remains a pivotal moment in the cryptocurrency regulatory landscape.
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