Oral Arguments for 1502 Conflict Mineral Lawsuit Canceled
The lawsuit by industry trade groups against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding Conflict Mineral Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act has had a recent change of events. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Business Roundtable, filed a motion on April 30th to transfer its conflict minerals case from the DC Court of Appeals to the DC District Court.
The plaintiffs decided to make this request because a similar case against the SEC for Extractives Transparency, Section 1504, was dismissed on April 26th for lack of jurisdiction by the Court of Appeals and transferred to the District Court.
This change of venue will likely delay a decision of the lawsuit, much to the dismay of the industry groups that were hoping to have a decision to the 1502 legal challenge by the end of 2013.
Currently, corporations falling within the mandate of Section 1502 will have to file a Special Disclosure form and possibly a Conflict Mineral report with the SEC by May 31, 2014 regarding information about the materials in their products from fiscal year 2013.
If companies were planning to wait to implement their conflict minerals compliance program implementation until after the court makes a decision, they should rethink that strategy. It could be awhile. And since there is no additional information at this time on the timing of the case, companies should start analyzing the conflict minerals in their products and collecting information from their suppliers on the source of their materials if they have not already begun to do so.
May 31, 2014 will be here before you know it.