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 Court ordered that: (i) all amici who filed briefs in the Court of Appeals are permitted to participate in the District Court’s proceedings and (ii) the parties were to meet and submit a joint status report by May 22, 2013.
- On May 15, 2013 (before the deadline), the parties filed a Joint Status Report that discussed the need for expedited review and proposed that the briefings filed with the Court of Appeals be considered sufficient for the case at the District Court level.
- On May 16, 2013, District Court Judge Wilkins granted the parties’ motion to expedite consideration and to decide the case on the briefs already filed. Oral argument is scheduled for July 1st.
Although the Court of Appeals’ decision in American Petroleum Institute v SEC has certainly added time to the review of NAM v SEC, the parties agree that it is in everyone’s interest to have a prompt disposition of this case. In their Joint Status Report, they said “Time is even more crucial now than when the Court of Appeals granted expedited review. Six months have passed, and the parties may now have to proceed through two levels of review, this Court and the Court of Appeals.”
The expedited review is an important step in getting to a resolution of the legal challenge. But, the parties (and all those companies impacted by the conflict minerals rule) will have to wait quite some time for this challenge to run its course.