Court filings have revealed the names of the two United States District Court Judges that will preside over the Coinbase and Binance lawsuits brought against them by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The case of SEC v Coinbase will be heard by District Court Judge Jennifer H. Rearden in the Southern District of New York, filings show.
Meanwhile, District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson will tackle the case of SEC v Binance in the District of Columbia, according to recent filings.
SEC v Coinbase: Judge Jennifer H. Rearden
Judge Rearden, aged 53, was appointed as a United States District Judge in January 2022. In the U.S. district judges are appointed by the chief judge of that court.
While Rearden’s tenure has been fairly short, she recently ruled on a crypto-related matter which involved a brush with Binance.US.
On March 27, Rearden approved the U.S. DOJ’s emergency motion to temporarily halt a $1.03 billion deal between Binance.US and the bankrupt crypto lending platform Voyager Digital.
The decision meant that impacted Voyager customers would have to wait longer to be paid out.
Rearden applied the “balance of hardship” test to arrive at the decision in favor of the U.S. government:
This later proved to be a deal breaker for Voyager, with Binance.US pulling out of the deal a month later, citing a “hostile and uncertain regulatory climate in the United States” for its change in heart.
Voyager’s bankruptcy plan was finally approved on May 17 — however not by Rearden.
Prior to serving as a judge, Rearden worked as a commercial litigator and received her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School in 1996.
It should be noted that a judge's background, experience, or previous rulings in other cases are not an indication of the outcome of future cases.
SEC v Binance: Judge Amy Berman Jackson
Judge Jackson, aged 68, was appointed as a United States District Judge in March 2011 by former U.S. President Barack Obama. Prior to that, she received her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.
While Jackson has provided opinions in 888 cases, it appears that none of them have related to cryptocurrency-related disputes.
The SEC v. @Binance case has just been assigned to D.C. Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
Judge Berman Jackson previously served as a federal prosecutor, but she has also worked on the criminal defense side.
She was appointed to the bench by President Obama in 2010.
She has presided…
— MetaLawMan (@MetaLawMan) June 7, 2023
She has, however, adjudicated on several highly-political disputes in recent times.
Jackson sentenced Paul Manafort Jr and Roger J. Stone Jr — former advisors and friends of former U.S. President Donald Trump — to 43 and 40 months imprisonment respectively over a series of charges related to a Russia investigation in 2019.
Trump shared negative sentiment towards Jackson and her decision.
Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking! https://t.co/Fe7XkepJNN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
In May, Jackson approved a motion filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to block a deposition of former U.S. President Donald Trump related to two other lawsuits filed by former FBI officials.
Jackson served as an Assistant to the U.S. Attorney in D.C. between 1980-1986.
Whilst there, she received Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards for her work on several several high-profile murder and sexual assault cases.
The SEC sued both Binance on June 5 and Coinbase on June 6, alleging the exchanges broke various securities rules, most notably for purportedly offering cryptocurrencies that the regulator considers to be unregistered securities.
Binance was accused of operating illegally in the United States.
Binance and Coinbase have both confirmed they will “vigorously” defend the lawsuits laid against them.