Crypto law firm Roche Freedman struggles to survive in the Bitcoin case after videos surfaced

Crypto law firm Roche Freedman struggles to survive in the Bitcoin case after videos surfaced

Representations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are seen on a screen showing binary codes through a magnifying glass in this illustration taken on September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

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(Reuters) – The fiercely contested disqualification battle in the Eleventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals should provide a good indication of how much damage crypto law firm Roch Friedman is facing after the disclosure last month of confidential video recordings of its partner, Kyle Roach.

Anonymous Crypto Leaks posted videos of Roche, a famous opponent in the crypto space, last month. In the clips, as reported by my Reuters colleague Judy Godoy, Roche appears to be boasting a lucrative financial stake in blockchain company Ava Labs Inc and suggests he has filed class-action lawsuits against Ava’s competitors in favor of the blockchain company. Roche also appears in the videos to criticize the class action plaintiffs as “the 100,000 idiots out there” and criticize the jurors as “stupids.”

Roche, who did not respond to an inquiry sent to him and his partner Velville Friedman, denied any improper litigation behavior, asserting on August 29 Medium post That the videos were illegally recorded by a worker working for a defendant in a class action lawsuit brought by Roch Friedman. Roach also said that the clips were selectively edited, that he was drunk when the recordings were made and that Ava had no say in Roche Friedman’s actions in the crypto class.

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The same company has acknowledged that Roche’s comments about class members and jurors were “inappropriate,” although it also reiterated Roche’s assertion that he was illegally recorded in a “coordinated setup by the defendant.” The company claims that Roche’s bragging about using class litigation to advance Ava’s interests was “clearly false,” describing Roche’s comments as a misleading attempt to impress the alleged venture capitalist it believed he was meeting with.

With that, Roch Friedman Roche . has been removed Among its collective practices, including ongoing cases against stablecoin creator Tether Ltd and crypto exchange Bitfinex, it cited the “unfortunate distraction” that the videos had sparked.

This procedure did not satisfy some critics. Facing Roche Friedman calls for disqualification In Tether’s case not only from the defendants but also from her associate attorneys Selendy Gay Elsberg and Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky. U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Faila of Manhattan has scheduled an October 3 hearing on the disqualification requests, which, among other things, maintains that Roche Friedman’s continued involvement in the class proceedings will obstruct litigation in discovering Roche’s conduct.

But in the meantime, Roche Friedman is also tackling disqualification movement In the eleventh session by Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor who earlier this year was subjected to a $143 million judgment in a case brought by Roch Friedman on behalf of the estate of Wright’s former business partner David Kleiman. I would argue that the result of the Eleventh Circuit’s exclusion will tell us more than the Tether case about the extent of the damage done to the company by Roche tapes.

Roche Freeman’s client, who sought hundreds of billions of dollars from Wright, began 11 resume circuitDespite receiving a court ruling worth $143 million from the Court of First Instance. Roch Friedman and co-counsel from Boies Schiller Flexner argued in the opening memo that the trial judge made several fatal errors before and during the 2021 trial against Wright, which ended with a $100 million jury ruling on one of the estate’s claims, but the defense. Judging by dozens of other demands. Wright did not appeal the ruling.

The schedule is important. Roche and Friedman began representing Kleiman’s estate in 2018, before leaving Boies Schiller to establish their own company. Ava Labs wasn’t around when they first filed the estate’s lawsuit against Wright. According to Roche Freedman, the two nominal partners spent nearly two years in the estate case against Wright before they got engaged to do any legal work for Ava.

So what does Wright’s case have to do with Roche’s videotaped comments about his relationship with Ava?

There is only one direct link, according to the date of September 6 disqualification movement It was filed by Wright’s lead attorney Andres Rivero of Rivero Mestre. Roach allegedly referred to Wright in a Crypto Leaks video as an “enemy” of the Ava founder, suggesting a motive to pressure Wright hard. The disqualification proposal also theorized that Roche’s bragging about his own wealth indicated that he did not feel constrained by putting the interests of his clients over his own. In this case, Wright’s proposal argued that Roche Friedman blew up a potential settlement that would benefit the estate.

But mostly, the brief is an opportunity for Wright and Rivero to highlight Roche’s hateful comments, including his assertion that jurors and class members are “idiots.” The filing, in fact, invites the Eleventh Circuit to join Wright’s denunciation.

“[Roche’s] The admission of wrongdoing shows the company’s illegal “plan of action” and its continued efforts to subvert the fair administration of justice, which constitutes the contempt and abuse of the legal profession and every court (including this one) in which the company has appeared.”

Roche-Friedman’s September 19 response confirmed that Wright’s lawsuit was in progress prior to Ava’s appearance and trial months before Roche was videotaped.

“Wright’s suggestion that this lawsuit was brought with an improper purpose defies logic,” said Roch Friedman. “To make the obvious, this action was lifted because the plaintiffs – who have never met and had no connection with anyone from Ava Labs – believed in good faith that Wright transferred intellectual property relating to their bitcoin and blockchain.”

Friedman clarified via an email the response to the question I sent him and Roche. “Wright’s suggestion is trivial,” he said. “While we understand that he has a personal animosity against the company, we hoped it wouldn’t be reflected in his files. Unfortunately, we were wrong.”

Wright Rivero’s attorney responded, “their response did not even begin to address their acknowledged misconduct.”

Friedman said he did not expect Roche Friedman’s other opponents to follow Wright’s lead. I’ve been writing about litigation long enough to predict that if the Eleventh Circuit agrees to Wright’s proposal, despite the relatively weak correlation between Roche’s recorded comments and his firm’s lawsuit against Wright, we can expect opponents of Roche Friedman to pile in with their exclusion. suggestions.

The Eleventh Circuit movement is essentially a test of whether the justices can tolerate Roach’s behavior. If they can’t, Roch Friedman could be in big trouble.

Read more:

Law firms seek to isolate Roche Freedman in Tether crypto case

Verdict against self-proclaimed Bitcoin balloons to $143M

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