Tether lawsuit judge sets hearing to discuss Roche Freedman concerns

Quick Take

  • The judge overseeing a class action lawsuit against Tether has set a hearing about the possible removal of the lead counsel from the case. 
  • Defendants and other plaintiff lawyers in the case requested the removal of the lead law firm last week, following an anonymously posted video and allegations of conflicts of interest for one of the lead lawyers. 

The federal judge presiding over the Tether class action has set a hearing for Oct. 3 to discuss requests made by parties involved to remove embattled law firm Roche Freedman from the case.

U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla set an in person hearing around multiple requests from parties involved in the case. 

"The parties shall come prepared to discuss the substance of the recently-submitted letters regarding Roche Freedman LLP, and any other relevant matters," Polk Failla said in her order setting the hearing date. Two of those letters came from defendants Tether, Bitfinex, Poloniex and Bittrex, who face allegations of colluding in market manipulation to the detriment of traders.

In recent weeks multiple parties in the case, including two plaintiff law firms, have submitted letters calling for the removal of Roche Freedman as lead counsel in the class action. The legal maneuvering came after the posting of an undercover video in which one of the founding partners of the firm, Kyle Roche, is heard talking about his relationship with Avalanche blockchain developer Ava Labs. The video was published by the anonymous blog Crypto Leaks, which accused him of bringing class actions to benefit Ava Labs. Both Roche and Ava Labs have vehemently denied the claims.

Soon after the videos surfaced, Roche filed to withdraw from several class actions, including the Tether case. Roche Freedman says he has been removed from the class action practice to mitigate concerns over abuse of the discovery process. The two plaintiff law firms calling for Roche Freedman's removal are also seeking to replace the firm as lead counsel in the class action.  

The hearing on Roche Freedman’s possible removal will take place at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in New York City at 3:30 P.M on Oct. 3. 

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