Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is seeking to subpoena documents from Fenwick & West. That’s the law firm that served as the outside counsel to FTX, Alameda Research and SBF personally from “early in their development” until the FTX bankruptcy. Now SBF’s legal team wants to use the documents in his defense in the 13-count criminal case against him.
According to a memorandum filed in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, Fenwick has stated that it cannot turn over the documents without the permission of the FTX Debtors. The documents represent advice and other content produced by the firm.
The documents are already in the hands of the FTX Debtors and the government. FTX has waived any claims of attorney-client privilege protections of the documents in at least one case, the memorandum said. It added:
“The FTX Debtors have given the Government full access to its documents, without the need to issue subpoenas, and are so enmeshed in the Government’s investigation that they must be considered part of the ‘prosecution team’ for purposes of the Government’s discovery obligations.”
The documents are grouped into 11 requests that touch on “critical topics that are material to preparing the defense.” The subject matter includes FTX, FTX US and Alameda’s incorporation, financial and legal ties among those organizations, the incorporation of North Dimension and North Wireless Dimension, the organizations’ relations to Silvergate Bank, FTX data retention policies, liquidity and margin lending, registration as a money services businesses and a variety of statements the organizations made.
The memorandum cites Rules 16 and 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which concern disclosure of information used by the government in a trial and subpoenas, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brady decision on evidence disclosure.
SBF has pleaded not guilty to eight charges that could land him in jail for 115 years. Five charges were added to the original eight after his extradition from the Bahamas. He later sought the dismissal of most of the charges.