The SEC is still adamant that attorney-client privilege protects William Hinman’s 2018 speech.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reiterates that the 2018 speech that declared Ethereum (ETH) as a non-security made by its former Director of Corporation Finance William Hinman is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
#XRPCommunity #SECGov v. #Ripple #XRP The SEC has filed its reply in support of its April 29, 2022 letter claiming that the attorney-client privilege protects internal SEC documents relating to Hinman’s speech.https://t.co/jTiOZlDYeg
— James K. Filan 🇺🇸🇮🇪96k+ (beware of imposters) (@FilanLaw) May 19, 2022
The motion filed today by the SEC supports its April 29, 2022 letter claiming that the attorney-client privilege protects Hinman’s 2018 speech and, as such, cannot be made available to be used as a defense by the Ripple and Individual Defendants.
Plaintiff dismissed Ripple’s assertion that Hinman’s 2018 speech was delivered in his personal capacity as the Director for Corporation Finance.
According to the security agency, the court has never ruled that the speech was delivered in Hinman’s personal capacity; instead, it has always maintained that the speech contained the former Director of Corporation Finance’s personal views.
The SEC argued that regardless of whether the speech contained personal views, it would not have been relevant to Ripple if a junior agency employee had made it.
The Securities and Exchange Commission maintained that Hinman developed the speech after consulting with numerous attorneys at the agency, who deployed their legal expertise in drafting and editing the speech before it was delivered to the public.
“Therefore, regardless of whether the final Speech contained ‘personal views,’ as opposed to official agency policy, the attorney-client privilege protects the legal advice Director Hinman obtained from SEC counsel during the development of the Speech,” an excerpt of the SEC’s recent motion reads.
It is worth noting that the SEC’s letter comes less than a week after Ripple challenged the agency’s attorney-client claims over Hinman’s document.
Ripple Against SEC Claims
In its response to the SEC over the weekend, Ripple gave four reasons why Hinman’s 2018 speech was not protected by attorney-client privilege as claimed by the security agency.
Defendants argued that the fact that Hinman sought input from his colleagues, who are legal practitioners, did not make the documents to be protected by the attorney-client privilege.
The blockchain company also added that the former Director of Corporation Finance has every right to receive legal advice from his colleagues, which does not fall within the attorney-client scope.