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But as some have noted, the best lawyers in the world won't help a defendant who's clearly in the wrong. "Hiring Mary Jo White is meaningless—it just means they have a lot of money. You can hire fancy law firms ... but the law is the law," crypto lawyer Stephen Palley, who's skeptical of Ripple's chances, told Decrypt last year.
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All of these procedural developments may, however, prove relatively insignificant in the larger context of the case. According to Preston Byrne, a longtime crypto attorney with Anderson Kill, Ripple is still behind the eight ball when it comes to the so-called Howey Test—a four-part test established by the Supreme Court in 1946 to show whether something is a security.
"The back and forth on the Ripple case is reasonably typical pretrial stuff that doesn't really speak to the merits of the case. I think Ripple's likelihood of success on the merits is low and largely unchanged," said Byrne. "The SEC alleges that the company engaged in a rolling offering of its tokens to the investing public in the manner of an investment contract, a view broadly shared among the members of the American crypto bar."
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