SEC v. Ripple referred to judge who ordered release of ‘Hinman Documents’

The next phase of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Ripple case is set to move forward, as Judge Analisa Torres of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York filed paperwork on July 17 referring the case to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.

First reported by journalist Eleanor Terrett, the court issued an “amended order of reference to a Magistrate,” transferring judiciary oversight of the case to the magistrate’s office.

The single-page document, which was viewed by Cointelegraph, indicates that the next step will be general pretrial. This stage usually entails discovery and a short window to raise objections.

General pretrial is the most likely portion of the proceedings for a settlement to occur. As Cointelegraph recently reported, experts believe that it’s unlikely the SEC will appeal the previous week’s rulings by Torres.

Related: Judge rules XRP is not a security in SEC’s case against Ripple

In a partial victory for Ripple on July 13, Torres ruled to dismiss the allegation that Ripple broke the law by posting its XRP (XRP) token on public exchanges. This has been taken to mean that XRP is not a security, with implications for the crypto market as a whole.

Remaining, however, are accusations that XRP was sold as a security when Ripple sold it directly to investors via a marketing scheme that highlighted several aspects of XRP that, per the SEC, could lead investors to view it as a security.

Netburn will oversee this ensuing phase, where, as some experts predict, the SEC might be tempted to allow Ripple to settle the case.

Netburn has been involved in the case throughout its existence, including weighing in on several previous motions. Netburn issued the order to release the much-anticipated “Hinman documents,” a collection of SEC files that included text from a speech given by then-Director William Hinman in 2018, which were widely thought to be something akin to a smoking gun.

While the release of the documents may not have had the desired impact in the case the cryptocurrency community had outwardly hoped for, the resulting partial victory for Ripple has significantly impacted overall cryptocurrency sentiment.

Alongside Netburn’s history of challenging the SEC’s assertions in the case, there’s plenty of reason to believe the positive sentiment will carry through. At the time of publication, XRP is trading at $0.72, down from last week’s peak but still up over 56% since July 13. 

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