Tether has sought the judge presiding over a class action lawsuit against it to remove the law firm Roche Freedman from the case, which if approved might undermine the case against the stablecoin giant.
Tether Wants Roche Freedman Removed From Case
According to Kyle Roche’s application, Tether, the issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin Tether USDT, wants the law firm Roche Freedman to be removed as counsel in the Bitfinex and Tether class-action litigation.
The law firm representing Tether and Bitfinex, Elliot Greenfield of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, requested that Roche’s law firm be removed from the lawsuit entirely and attest that they have returned or destroyed all defendant-issued papers and have not shared them with any third party, including Ava Labs, in a court order request filed on Wednesday.
The decision comes just days after Roche filed a notice of motion to withdraw from the Tether class-action lawsuit, citing the ongoing fallout from a recent CryptoLeaks exposé suggesting the US lawyer had a hidden arrangement to “damage” Ava Labs competitors in exchange for AVAX tokens and Ava Labs shares.
Greenfield noted that Roche’s statements on the CryptoLeaks website raised “severe concerns” that Kyle Roche “may be abusing the discovery process” and “misusing information” obtained through litigation:
“He states that he is Ava Lab’s ‘crypto expert’ because he ‘sue[s] half the companies in the space’ and ’know[s] where this market is going’ because he has ‘seen the insides of every single crypto company.’”
Greenfield claimed that the concerns are particularly relevant to the case, noting that Roche Freedman LLP “has issued a series of document requests seeking information that has no obvious link to the claims and defenses in this complaint.”
The lawyer has also emphasized the necessity to suppress the documents, “as they include not only confidential, competitively sensitive information about Defendants’ businesses but also information that, if disclosed, would threaten the privacy and security of Defendants and their customers.”
Tether’s Concerns About Discovery Misuse
Despite Kyle Roche’s withdrawal and other motions, Greenfield claimed that Roche’s departure “does little if anything to address the serious issues involving the potential misuse of discovery.”
He added, “Even if he is no longer counsel of record, he would still have access to discovery materials, would retain the ability to direct the conduct of other lawyers at his firm, and would profit from any potential recovery in this lawsuit.”
Greenfield stated that the “removal would have no effect on Plaintiffs,” as they would continue to be represented by “two other substantial and experienced companies,” Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC and Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP.
In 2019, Roche Freedman filed a class action complaint against Bitfinex and Tether, claiming that the plaintiffs suffered $1.4 trillion in damages. The lawsuit accuses a “sophisticated plan” of deceiving investors, manipulating markets, and concealing illegal proceeds.
Roche has also withdrawn out of lawsuits against Binance, Solana, Tron, BitMEX, Nexo, and Dfinity in recent days.