After a Manhattan federal judge blasted Roche Freedman LLP founding partner Kyle Roche’s public statements, the judge has removed the crypto boutique law firm from the market manipulation lawsuit against Tether and Bitfinex. The recent hearing has shown that U.S. district judge, Katherine Polk Failla, believes the litigation process could be derailed. She further stressed that “the metaphorical baggage” Roche Freedman carries “is not in the best interests of the class.”
Judge Boots Roche Freedman From Class Action Lawsuit Against Tether and Bitfinex
At the end of August, the Roche Freedman LLP founding partner Kyle Roche found himself amid a lot of controversies, as a series of videos published by Crypto Leaks saw him discussing specific relationships with certain crypto businesses. On August 31, Roche removed himself from a number of crypto-related class action lawsuits and he further addressed the Crypto Leaks videos. He said that the leaked videos contained “numerous unsourced false statements” that were “illegally obtained.” Roche added:
[The] highly edited video clips [are] not presented with accurate context.
However, following the leaks, Tether’s legal representation, Elliot Greenfield of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, asked the court to remove the law firm Roche Freedman from the class-action lawsuit. Tether’s lawyer Elliot Greenfield said that the leaks and Roche’s involvement with the class-action lawsuit raises “grave concerns for the defendants regarding the motivations behind the lawsuit.” Furthermore, the crypto exchange companies Bittrex and Poloniex sent a request to the judge as well, asking her to remove Kyle Roche’s law firm from the court proceedings.
Following the requests from Tether, Poloniex, and Bittrex, law360.com reported that the “Manhattan federal judge blasted Roche Freedman LLP founding partner Kyle Roche’s ‘uniquely stupid’ comments.” Then, both Bloomberg Law and law360.com published reports that indicate U.S. district judge Katherine Polk Failla has removed Roche Freedman from the lawsuit. Failla explained that Roche’s public comments were “too detailed to dismiss out of hand.”
The law firms Selendy Gay Elsberg and Schneider Wallace will take the reins in the class action lawsuit, after Roche Freedman’s official disqualification. Failla said that the law firm could still serve as counsel, but she stressed that “the metaphorical baggage” Roche Freedman carries “is not in the best interests of the class.” Bloomberg Law contributor Justin Wise further adds that “Roche Freedman faces disqualification motions in at least four other cases, according to federal court filings.”
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