On October 14, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ("Court of Appeals") issued an order setting the briefing schedule for the litigation challenging the "proxy access" rules (new Rule 14a-11, together with its amended Rule 14a-8 and other related amendments) adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") August 25, 2010. The order was issued in response to a Motion for Expedited Consideration jointly filed October 8, 2010, by Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as the petitioners, and the Commission. As proposed in the motion, the briefing schedule calls for the petitioners' opening brief to be filed by November 30, 2010, and the final briefs to be filed by February 25, 2011. The order directs the clerk of the court to schedule oral argument in the case on the first appropriate date following the completion of the briefing, which will likely be in April.

As we previously reported, the Commission entered a stay on October 4, 2010, of the proxy access rules that were scheduled to become effective November 15, 2010, pending the Court of Appeals' decision in this matter. The briefing and oral argument schedule further confirms that the new proxy access rules will not be in effect for the 2010-2011 proxy season.

If you have questions or would like additional information on the material covered in this Alert, please contact one of the authors or the Reed Smith lawyer with whom you regularly work.