SEC vs Coinbase case set for July 13

The highly anticipated legal battle between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Coinbase is scheduled for July 13.

The court order, issued on Thursday, revealed that the SEC will present its response to Coinbase’s initial legal defence on this date. The hearing date has been moved up due to Coinbase’s defence strategy, which involved filing its response 40 days ahead of the August 7 deadline.

According to the rules, the SEC was required to file a response to Coinbase’s defence by July 3. However, the SEC requested an extension of three business days due to the July 4 holiday weekend, which the court granted. Additionally, the court converted the pre-trial conference to a pre-motion conference, which will now take place on July 1, instead of the originally scheduled date of August 24. A pre-motion conference is a proceeding where either the prosecution or defence requests the court to decide on a specific issue before the trial.

In its response to the SEC’s complaint, Coinbase has raised various defences, including the argument that many of the tokens mentioned in the SEC’s case are beyond the Commission’s jurisdiction. Coinbase’s legal counsel stated in a recent letter to the court that the SEC’s action violates due process and represents an abuse of discretion. They also said that the subject matter of the case falls outside the SEC’s authority, a point recognised by the Chair of the SEC two years ago. Coinbase is seeking judgment on the pleadings based on this fundamental issue.

While Coinbase’s tactic of advancing the case through a motion for judgment on the pleadings by filing its response early is not uncommon, it has been considered a “creative strategy” by legal experts. This approach aims to present documents that support Coinbase’s position to the judge through the answer filed. On a motion to dismiss, the judge can only consider the factual allegations in the complaint and any attached or referenced documents. However, on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the judge may consider other pleadings filed in the case, including the defendant’s answer to the complaint.

During the court appearance on July 13, Judge Katherine Polk Failla will decide whether Coinbase will be granted permission to proceed with its motion. Typically, this is a formality, and permission is granted unless the opposing side presents a compelling reason to prevent it.