Following the demand from Kyle Roche to be removed as counsel in the Bitfinex and Tether case, Tether also wants law firm Roche Freedman to be removed as counsel from the class-action lawsuit.
Tether and Bitfinex’s legal team asked for Roche’s legal team to be completely removed from the case and certified that they had returned or destroyed all defendant-issued documents and had not shared them with any third party, including Ava Labs, in a court order request submitted by Elliot Greenfield of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP on Wednesday.
The request was made soon after Roche filed a notice of motion to withdraw from the Tether class action lawsuit due to continued fallout from a recent CryptoLeaks exposé that claimed the American attorney had a covert agreement to “damage” Ava Labs rivals in exchange for AVAX tokens and Ava Labs ownership.
Greenfield expressed “great worry” that Kyle Roche “may be abusing the discovery process” and “misusing material” he obtains through litigation after Roche’s words appeared on the CryptoLeaks website:
“He states that he is Ava Lab’s ‘crypto expert’ because he ‘sue[s] half the companies in the space’ and ’know[s] where this market is going’ because he has ‘seen the insides of every single crypto company.’”
Greenfield emphasized that Roche Freedman LLP “has issued a number of document requests seeking information that has no obvious link to the claims and defenses in this complaint” and said that the issues are very pertinent to the case.
The attorney also emphasized the need for the documents to be suppressed, saying that they contain information that, if made public, would endanger the privacy and security of the defendants and their clients as well as confidential and competitively sensitive information about the defendants’ businesses.
The removal of Kyle Roche “does little if anything to resolve the serious issues about the possible misuse of discovery,” according to Greenfield, despite the fact that Roche has filed motions to withdraw himself from the case and others.
“Even if he is no longer counsel of record, he would still have access to discovery materials, would retain the ability to direct the conduct of other lawyers at his firm, and would profit from any potential recovery in this lawsuit.”
Greenfield continued, saying the “removal would not harm Plaintiffs” because they would still be represented by “two other large and skilled companies,” including Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP and Selendy Gay Elsberg PLLC.
Tether and Bitfinex were accused of manipulating the cryptocurrency market by releasing unbacked USDT “in an effort to communicate to the market that there was massive, organic demand for crypto goods,” according to the class-action lawsuit filed in 2019.
Roche has also recently dropped out of the litigation against Binance, Solana, Tron, BitMEX, Nexo, and Dfinity.