- The Kleiman v. Wright case has been going on since February 2018
- Now, Kleiman’s attorneys want to interview three UK-based witnesses, sending a letter of request for international judicial assistance to interview them
- The UK judge will review letter and decide whether or not to grant the request
by Nelson Rosario
20 hrs ago · 4 min read
Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Nelson Rosario and Stephen Palley. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes.
As always, Rosario summaries are “NMR” and Palley summaries are “SDP”.
Kleiman v. Wright, Case №9:18-cv-80176-BB/BR (S.D. Fla., mailed July 22, 2019) [NMR]
The Kleiman v. Wright case has been underway since February of 2018. That’s 17 months time, and we still have a long way to go in this case, especially if this most recent request is granted. That request relates to witnesses. People that may be able to shed some light on the whole Satoshi issue, and other matters relevant to Kleiman’s case against Craig Wright. The problem is these people are all in the UK. So, what can you do when you want to interview people in the UK? Well, you can have the court send a Request for International Judicial Assistance. A what? Time for a little international law lesson.
For those unaware, there are lots of international treaties between countries all around the world. Lots. Given that lawsuits involving parties in different countries are not new things, you can probably guess that some of those international treaties would deal with how to handle those lawsuits. What happened recently in the Kleiman v. Wright case, is that the Court sent a letter of request to the Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court, Royals Courts of Justice in London. There’s so much more pageantry in London, but I digress. Kleiman’s attorneys prepared this letter for the Court to send via a procedure authorized under the Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, or more commonly known as the Hague Evidence Convention. This treaty was ratified by the U.S. in 1972, and later by the UK in 1976, ergo, lawyers in both countries may leverage the Convention to get evidence when they need it. So, what evidence is Kleiman seeking here?
Well, according to the request, Kleiman’s attorneys want to interview three witnesses: Andrew O’Hagan who wrote the book The Satoshi Affair, Ramona Watts who is Craig Wright’s wife, and Robert MacGregor a business associate of Wright. As you can imagine, these people probably know some things. In the letter of request the particular documentation requested, and the proposed subject matter of questioning is laid out for the UK judge to see.
From O’Hagan the plaintiff wants to ask about the process of writing the Satoshi Affair, as well as, any statements or documents provided by Wright that related to Dave Kleiman, W&K Info, Satoshi, the creation of Bitcoin, etc., Kleiman also wants access to related emails and documents, and notably “many hours of tape” that were used to write the book.
From Ramona Watts, Kleiman’s attorneys want testimony concerning anything non-privileged Wright told her about Dave Kleiman, W&K Info, Satoshi, the creation of Bitcoin, Uyen Nguyen, the ATO investigation, the deal with MacGregor, Matthews, and Ayre, and intellectual property matters. As you can see, there’s some new players on the board. They also want any documents and communications that Watts has “dated prior to February 14, 2018, between Ms. Watts and either (i) Robert MacGregor, (ii) Stefan Matthews, (iii) Calvin Ayre, (iv) or their agents that relate to W&K Info Defense Research, Dave Kleiman, Satoshi Nakamoto, or the Tulip Trust.”
MacGregor was involved in a deal with Wright to sell the life rights to Satoshi’s story, and Kleiman’s attorneys want information about that, as well as anything related to Kleiman, Nakamoto, W&K, the Trust, the ATO investigation, IP matters, and the allegedly mined bitcoin. Just like Watts, the plaintiff wants documents and communications related to Dave Kleiman, W&K Info, Satoshi, the creation of Bitcoin, Uyen Nguyen, the ATO investigation, the deal with MacGregor, Matthews, and Ayre, and intellectual property matters. Needless to say, there is a lot of potential new evidence that may come into this case.
What happens next is that the UK judge will review letter and decide whether or not to grant the request. The UK judge could deny the request, and there wouldn’t be anything that the parties here in the U.S. could do about it. So, hopefully, for Kleiman, the request is compelling and is not an affront to the sensibilities of the UK judge. We shall see.
The Block is pleased to bring you expert cryptocurrency legal analysis courtesy of Stephen Palley (@stephendpalley) and Nelson M. Rosario (@nelsonmrosario). They summarize three cryptocurrency-related cases on a weekly basis and have given The Block permission to republish their commentary and analysis in full. Part III of this week’s analysis, Crypto Caselaw Minute, is above.