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URGENT — SEC Releases Statement on Conflict Minerals Rule

On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Keith Higgins, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, released an eagerly awaited statement on the effect of the Court of Appeals decision on the conflict minerals rule.  Two weeks ago, the Court of Appeals found that the conflict minerals rule violated the First Amendment when it required reporting … Continue Reading

SEC Commissioners Issue Joint Statement on Conflict Minerals Rule

Today, two SEC Commissioners issued a joint statement indicating that they believe that the effectiveness of the conflict minerals rule should be stayed pending the final outcome of the legal challenge because they believe that the district court could conclude that the entire conflict minerals rule is invalid.   In part, they said: “The First Amendment concerns permeate … Continue Reading

SEC Pressured to Implement the Conflict Minerals Rule Without Delay

Last week, on April 14, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in the legal challenge of the conflict minerals rule and affirmed most of the provisions of the rule, but it found that portions of  the SEC’s conflict minerals rule violated the First Amendment when they required that reporting companies report to the SEC and … Continue Reading

Legal Challenge — Review of the Docket — “Not Conflict Free” Product Description Requirement Violates First Amendment

As you recall, shortly after the SEC issued the Conflict Minerals Rule, several trade groups challenged the rule in federal court. The trade groups challenged the SECs cost-benefit analysis, questioned the SECs discretionary choices, and claimed that certain requirements in the rule violate the First Amendment.  Today, in a 2-1 decision, the D.C. Court of Appeals sided with the … Continue Reading

U.S. Appeals Court Voices Concern at Conflict Minerals Arguments

On Tuesday, January 7, 2014, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in the challenge to the conflict minerals rule. Those attending the arguments observed the court’s skepticism with the rule, specifically from the two conservative judges on the panel, David Sentelle and A. Raymond Randolph, appointees of … Continue Reading

Legal Challenge — A Review of the Docket — Expedited Briefing Schedule Set

In response to the motion for expedited review, yesterday, August 15, 2013, the US Court of Appeals has set the following briefing schedule for NAM v SEC. NAM’s first filing must be made by September 11th. SEC’s reply is due by November 13th. Brief for Appellants September 11, 2013  Appendix September 11, 2013  Brief for Amici Curiae in Support of Appellants  September 18,2013 Brief … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule — A Review of the Docket — Legal Decision Appealed

On July 23rd, the U.S. District Court rejected the National Association of Manufacturers’ legal challenge to the conflict minerals rule. After months of pleadings and procedural activity, the district court in NAM v SEC rejected the petitioners’ claims that elements of the conflict minerals rule were arbitrary and capricious and that the rule violated the … Continue Reading

Conflict Minerals Legal Challenge Rejected

In a decision that has surprised some observers, on July 23rd, the U.S. District Court rejected the National Association of Manufacturers’ legal challenge to the conflict minerals rule. After months of pleadings and procedural activity, the district court in NAM v SEC rejected the petitioners’ claims that elements of the conflict minerals rule were arbitrary … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule – A Review of the Docket – Resource Extraction Rule Vacated and Remanded to the SEC

In a ruling in API vs. SEC on July 2, 2013, the US District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the SEC’s resource extraction rule and sent it back to the SEC for further proceedings.  Observers of NAM vs. SEC are considering what impact the decision in the resource extraction case – and the court’s analysis – may have … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule — A Review of the Docket — Activity in the District Court

Here’s an update on the state of play in the legal challenge to the conflict minerals rule: On May 2, 2013, the US Court of Appeals granted the petitioners’ motion to transfer the case challenging the conflict minerals rule to the US District Court for the District of Columbia. On May 6, 2013, the District … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule — A Review of the Docket – NAM v SEC Decision to be Delayed

On April 29th, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit canceled oral arguments scheduled in the National Association of Manufacturer’s (NAM) challenge to the conflict minerals rule. Following the court’s dismissal of the American Petroleum Institute’s case challenging the resource extraction rule, NAM filed a motion on April 30th to transfer its conflict minerals case to district court. The case will be heard … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule — A Review of the Docket – Oral Argument Cancelled

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has concluded that oral argument is not necessary in the case challenging the conflict minerals rule. In its order, filed on April 29th, the court indicated that it would decide the case based on the filings made by the parties. We will be watching for the court’s decision. In the meantime, you might … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule — Will the Court of Appeals Decide?

If you were waiting to implement your compliance program until after the court reached a decision in NAM v. SEC, you may want to reconsider that strategy. Over the last six months, the petitioners have challenged the SEC’s cost/benefit analysis of the conflict minerals rule and argued that the SEC failed to consider alternative provisions of the rule that could have reduced the burden … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule – A Review of the Docket – Petitioners’ Brief and Amicus Briefs

On October 22, 2012, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (Petitioners) filed an Amended Petition for Review with the US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.  The Petitioners requested that the new Conflict Minerals Rule be modified or set aside in whole or in part.  After the initial … Continue Reading

Unintended Consequences of the Conflict Minerals Rule?

There can hardly be any disagreement with the stated goal of the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule.  Congress directed the SEC to enact rules requiring disclosure about the use of conflict minerals because it believed that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals from the DRC were helping to finance armed conflict there — conflict characterized … Continue Reading

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule — Action on the Docket (January 16, 2013)

As contemplated by the briefing schedule, on January 16, 2013, the Petitioners filed their Opening Brief in their bid for a review of the SEC’s conflict minerals rule.  In their 198-page brief, the Petitioners (Business Roundtable, US Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers) addressed each of the grounds for review that they … Continue Reading

Popular Conflict Minerals Reference Materials and Tools

Even before our blog was introduced last week, clients and friends were using reference materials and resources we posted or developed since the Conflict Minerals Rule was issued in August of 2012. Here are several of the most widely used reference materials and resources. We are making them available so that you can use them as you develop your own policies and procedures: A … Continue Reading
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