In a setback for the Securities and Exchange Commission and a major win for the mutual fund industry, the U.S. Court of Appeals told the SEC yesterday to hold off on its rule that would require all fund boards to be overseen by an independent chairman as of Jan. 16, 2006.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce won its first appeal in June on the controversial rule, which will also require all boards to be 75% comprised of independent directors--sending the directive back to the SEC for a second vote.

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