Law Firms Request Disqualification of Roche Freedman From Tether-Bitfinex Case
After one of its Founding Partner – Kyle Roche – made some astonishing claims in an inebriated state, two other law firms – Kirby McInerney LLP (Kirby) and Radice Law Firm, P.C. (Radice) – submitted a document this week to the court to remove the company as interim co-lead from the Tether and Bitfinex Crypto Asset Litigation.
Kirby and Radice are also representing three plaintiffs in the case that alleged stablecoin issuer – Tether – and cryptocurrency exchange – Bitfinex – manipulated the market by issuing unbacked USDT.
Request for Removal of Roche Freedman
The document states that Roche Freedman’s “adequacy (or not) has harmed the prospects of the claims
of the putative class” and that the current situation “creates a serious problem for discovery and class certification.”
“For the benefit of the putative class, the Court should remove Roche Freedman and appoint Kirby and Radice as interim lead counsel. Unless Roche Freedman is removed as interim co-lead counsel, the inquiry into the adequacy of lead counsel’s representation in this and other litigations will prejudice the rights of the putative class.”
It further went on to highlight the necessity of a new leadership structure “to avoid a sideshow about the adequacy of counsel or the motives and use of litigation and discovery.” The removal of Roche Freedman and instituting Kirby and Radice instead would help in the protection of the litigation from the accusation of bias or mismanagement, read requests filed by the two firms.
In response, Roche Freedman called the disqualification an “extraordinary remedy” in a new court document and highlighted the steps taken by removing Roche from its class action practice group.
The law firm also said Roche will not receive any portion of the proceeds from this litigation and that these moves “should be the end of it.” Further arguing that the firm’s disqualification will benefit other movants, the document states that “the five named plaintiffs who actually retained the Firm” stand to lose the most if deprived of their counsel of choice.
The CryptoLeaks Exposé
As per the major expose of CryptoLeaks, Roche allegedly struck a secret pact with Avalanche developer – Ava Labs – to leverage litigation as a weapon against its rivals. A series of secretly-recorded videos shows the attorney describing himself as Ava Labs’ in-house crypto expert.
He was also seen admitting to being responsible for ensuring the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stays distracted and looks for other targets instead.
While Roche called the published footage to be “false” and “highly-edited,” his law firm, on the other hand, told the court that the attorney made up the false statements to impress the meeting attendants. As part of damage control efforts, Roche withdrew as counsel on multiple crypto class-action lawsuits. This included the Tether and Bitfinex case.
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