USDT issuer Tether wants law firm Roche Freedman to be ‘terminated’ as Bitfinex and Tether class action lawyer following Kyle Roche’s motion to be removed attorney’s duties in the case.
In an August 31 court order request by Elliot Greenfield of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, the law firm representing Tether and Bitfinex requested that Roche’s law firm be deleted entirely from the case and to certify that they have returned or destroyed all documents issued by the defendant and that they have not shared them with any third party, including Ava Labs.
The request comes shortly after Roche submitted a notice of motion to opt out of the Tether class action amid ongoing fallout from a recent expose by CryptoLeaks, which alleged the US attorney had a secret pact to “ harm” Ava Labs competitors in exchange for AVAX tokens and Ava Labs Equity.
Greenfield said Roche’s statements posted on the CryptoLeaks website raise a “serious concern” that Kyle Roche “might abuse the discovery process” and “misuse the information” he learns through litigation.
“He states that he is Ava Lab’s ‘cryptography expert’ because he ‘continues[s] half of space companies” and “know[s] where is this market going,” as he has “seen the innards of every crypto company.”
Greenfield said the concerns were highly relevant to the case, pointing out that Roche Freedman LLP “served a number of document requests seeking information that has no apparent connection to the claims and defenses in this court case”.
The attorney also pointed to the need to suppress the documents, “because they contain not only confidential and competitively sensitive information about the defendants’ activities, but also information which, if disclosed, would be life threatening. privacy and safety of defendants and their clients”.
While Kyle Roche has filed motions to withdraw from the case and others, Greenfield said Roche’s withdrawal “does little to address the serious concerns about the potential misuse of the discovery.” .
“Even though he is no longer counsel of record, he would still have access to discovery documents, retain the ability to direct the conduct of other counsel in his firm, and benefit from any potential recoveries in this lawsuit.”
Greenfield added that the “revocation would not prejudice the plaintiffs” as they would continue to be represented by “two other large and experienced firms”, including Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC and Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP.
The class action lawsuit filed in 2019 alleged that Tether and Bitfinex manipulated the crypto market by issuing unbacked Tether (USDT) “in an effort to signal to the market that there was huge organic demand for crypto products.”
Over the past few days, Roche has also withdrawn from lawsuits against Binance, Solana, Tron, BitMEX, Nexo, and Dfinity.