Dr. Craig Wright has filed a scathing motion requesting that Kyle Roche and Roche Freedman be kicked off the Kleiman v Wright case over leaked videos showing Roche admitting to abusing the legal process to gain a competitive advantage for Ava Labs, a digital asset firm in which he and the firm has a large financial stake.
“In a shocking series of extraordinary, recorded statements, opposing counsel Kyle W. Roche, of Roche Freedman LLP (“the Firm”), has confessed to misusing the legal system for the purpose of unlawfully advancing the commercial interests of AVA Labs (“Ava”), by suing Ava’s competitors and notables in the cryptocurrency industry,” reads the motion, filed by Rivero Mestre on behalf of Dr. Wright.
“Roche—in a shameful display that inherently prejudices the administration of justice in any court where he appears—has publicly denounced his purported clients and all jurors as ‘idiots,’ declared himself ‘crazy,’ and denigrated the entire jury-trial and class-action system as nothing more than a cynical competitive tool.”
Extraordinary is the right word, and any one of the things Roche has admitted to on camera would have likely provoked the same severe response from his opposing lawyers, not just in Kleiman v Wright but in any of the Roche Freedman’s ‘crypto’ suits. The motion highlights four key areas of concern:
- The firm sues Ava Labs competitors using straw plaintiffs, like Ira Kleiman
- The firm uses other improper tactics to benefit Ava, such as feeding sham tips to regulators to draw attention away from Ava and onto its competitors
- Roche elevates his own interests above those of his clients
- Roche demonstrates utter contempt for the administration of justice, calling jurors and his own clients ‘idiots’
Alarmingly, the motion says clearly that the conduct Roche admitted to was evident in the way Roche Freedman behaved in the run up to and during the Kleiman v Wright trial. As an example, the motion accuses Roche of “improperly disclosing a settlement offer to get publicity for the firm, then rejecting it to go to trial, irrespective of his named client’s interests.” This presumably refers to the reported $3 billion settlement offer that Ira Kleiman—a man of apparently limited means—was dissuaded from taking by his lawyers. As a result, Kleiman is now in the position of fighting a lengthy appeal after trial resulted in a comparatively meagre $140 million award—to Craig Wright’s company.
So far, the motion has only been filed in the Kleiman v Wright case, but the same parties are involved in at least two other cases—the Dave Kleiman probate case in which Lynn Wright has already made a claim and Ramona Ang’s lawsuit against Ira Kleiman on behalf of the Tulip Trust. In both cases, Kleiman is accused of improperly taking control of W&K in order to sue one of its members—Dr. Craig Wright.
If the motion is granted, it won’t leave Kleiman without a representation as he continues to pursue an appeal over last year’s loss at trial. He still has attorneys other than Roche Freedman on the record – namely Andrew Brenner of Boies Schiller Flexner, who tagged in for brief stints at the trial.
However, the revelations about Roche Freedman cast a shadow over Kleiman’s dogged pursuit against Dr. Wright despite—as was revealed at trial—a near total lack of evidence that Dave Kleiman had anything to do with Bitcoin’s invention at all. What should now be made of Kleiman’s flagrant destruction of evidence, or the fact that he was in contact with the outlets that doxed Dr Wright as Satoshi before they exposed him publicly, or the presence of forgeries among the evidence submitted for trial?
At this stage, all Dr. Wright and Rivero Mestre are asking is for Roche and the firm to be disqualified from the case as parties prepare for Kleiman’s appeal. But with similar motions being filed by Roche Freedman’s opposition in their many other digital asset lawsuits, it’s difficult to think that a simple disqualification from Kleiman v Wright case will be the end of the matter. Between the firm’s former clients that will now be taking a close look at the quality of their representation and the disqualification motions that already exist, the things Roche has admitted to doing on behalf of Roche Freedman may turn out to be the tip of the iceberg as a comprehensive discovery process seems like an inevitability one way or another.
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