Court hears Roche Freedman could create ‘a sideshow’ in the Tether class action

The fallout from the leaked Kyle Roche videos has continued after two law firms submitted a document to the court asking that his law firm Roche Freedman be removed as interim co-lead from the Tether and Bitfinex Crypto Asset Litigation.

Roche Freedman are acting for plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit initiated in 2019 alleging Tether and Bitfinex manipulated the crypto market by issuing unbacked USDT.

Kirby McInerney LLP (Kirby) and Radice Law Firm, P.C. (Radice), who are also representing three plaintiffs in the case, submitted the request that Roche Freeman be removed to the court on Sept.5.

In the document, the firms argue they should be substituted as lead counsel on the basis Roche Freedman would distract the court from the investors’ claims and “prejudice the rights of the putative class.”

“To avoid a sideshow about the adequacy of counsel or the motives and use of litigation and discovery, a new leadership structure is necessary.”

The controversy began after a CryptoLeaks exposé, which received wide publicity for its allegations that the videos showed Kyle Roche and Ava Labs had a secret agreement to use lawsuits to harm its competitors.

According to court records released on Aug. 31, Kyle Roche withdrew as counsel on several crypto class-action lawsuits, including the Tether and Bitfinex Crypto Asset Litigation. 

Roche Freedman submitted its response on Sept.6, calling the move to have it ousted is an “extraordinary remedy” based on the “recordings of a single lawyer who has since sworn those statements were false or misinterpreted.”

“The Firm also took appropriate steps to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”

Roche Freedman says it “screened him from this case”, and he will “not receive any portion of the proceeds from this litigation.”

It argued that should be the end of the matter because “the five named plaintiffs who actually retained the Firm and stand to lose the most if deprived of their counsel of choice.”

Related: Tether requests Roche Freedman to be booted from class action

One of the defendants in the case, Tether, has already requested that Roche’s law firm be removed entirely and to certify that it has returned or destroyed all defendant-issued documents and had not shared them with any third-party.

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