XRP Lawsuit: Court Grants SEC Motion to Compel Discovery of Ripple’s internal meeting recordings

By Sunil Sharma
November 9, 2021 Updated November 9, 2021
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SEC vs. Ripple Lawsuit

The latest update in the XRP lawsuit saw the court order Ripple in a Text Only Order to conduct a reasonable search of the relevant video and audio-taped recordings, and produce responsive documents of its internal meetings. The court noted that Ripple’s former search of its recorded meetings was “inadequate under the circumstances”.

While ordering discovery, the court also highlighted that human review of over 64,000 recordings would be “unreasonable”, henceforth, Ripple has been advised to include automated transcriptions of recordings, and further use search terms. Additionally, in order to reduce the burden of search, the court has suggested both parties meet and confer to identify a timeline when the recordings could potentially be most responsive in regards to the SEC’s discovery demands.

“Because Ripple represents that it has more than 64,000 recordings, the parties are ORDERED to meet and confer to determine whether there are particular time periods when recordings are most likely to be responsive to the SEC’s discovery demands…the Court recognizes that a human review of the recordings may be unreasonable, a reasonable search could include automated transcriptions of recordings (similar to the common technology used to transcribe voicemail messages) and the use of search terms.”

SEC & Ripple tug-of-war to win the “burdensome” argument

Last month, Ripple had contended the plaintiff’s Motion to Compel discovery arguing that the commission’s “boil-the-ocean” demand was flatly incompatible with the Federal Rules, further claiming that the plaintiff’s request was disproportionate, given the massive amount of material already produced in discovery.

“The SEC’s demand that Ripple review every single recording in the BlueJeans and Zoom databases for responsiveness and privilege is plainly disproportionate under Rule 26(b)(1), and collapses the distinction between a “search” for responsive content and a wholesale review of every recording.”, wrote Ripple.

However, the SEC asserted against Ripple’s objection and argued that the defense can easily have the recordings transcribed and then search the transcribed text to conduct an efficient and effective search, instead of going through hundreds of them at once, which is exactly what the Court has now advised Ripple to do.

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