Roche Freedman, the law firm behind several legal actions against crypto companies, was removed from representing the plaintiffs in the infamous lawsuit that accused crypto exchange Bitfinex and its sister company Tether of market manipulation.
Filed in 2019, the lawsuit against the two companies seeks total damages up to more than $1 trillion.
Roche Freedman Out of the Picture
According to a Bloomberg report, a United States district judge for the Southern District of New York – Katherine Polk Failla – said the Roche Freedman’s continued participation in the case could “derail litigation.” She further noted that she would change her initial lead counsel appointment to remove the firm.
The Judge also said the firm’s participation as a counsel “with the metaphorical baggage they now carry is not in the best interests of the class.”
Law firms Selendy Gay Elsberg and Schneider Wallace, on the other hand, will remain lead counsel for the proposed class, which is pursuing claims accusing the defendants of manipulating prices.
Kyle Roche Controversy
The development comes a little over a month after Roche Freedman urged a New York federal court judge to deny the two companies’ requests to disqualify it as co-lead counsel. The firm had stated that one attorney’s actions should not hold consequences for the entire practice.
Kyle Roche, the founding partner at the firm, had earlier filed to withdraw himself from multiple class action cases after making some astonishing claims in an inebriated state. A series of secretly recorded videos by CryptoLeaks revealed that the attorney allegedly struck a secret pact with Ava Labs to utilize litigation as a weapon against its competitors. The attorney was seen describing himself as the company’s in-house crypto expert.
In the published footage, Roche admitted to being responsible for keeping the SEC distracted and looking for other targets instead. He later said CryptoLeaks’ claims were “false” and that the videos were “highly edited.” His law firm maintained that the attorney fabricated those statements to impress the meeting attendants.
In addition to Tether and Bitfinex case, Roche had withdrawn from other lawsuits, including the Tron Foundation, HDR Global Trading, Nexo Capital, BAM Trading, Dfinity, and Solana Labs.
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