Time For A Timeout In TCPA Litigation

In TCPA Blog’s latest Law360 column, Mike Daly, Meredith Slawe, and Dan Brewer discuss why courts should temporarily stay TCPA cases pending the regulatory appeal of the FCC’s July 10, 2015 Order, which is set for oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on October 19, 2016. The article addresses the flaw in plaintiffs’ argument that they are prejudiced while awaiting a decision: Continue reading   »

Oral Argument Scheduled In The Consolidated Appeal From The FCC’s July 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order

Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit scheduled oral argument for October 19, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. in the consolidated appeal from the FCC’s July 10, 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order (“Order”). As we previously reported, ACA International filed the first petition for review on the same day the Order was issued. That and subsequent appeals were centralized in the D.C. Circuit by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.  The Joint Petitioners filed their opening brief on November 25, 2015, Rite Aid filed a separate brief the same day that focused on healthcare-related issues, the FCC responded to both briefs on January 15, 2016, and the parties filed final briefs on February 24, 2016. Continue reading   »

Tippecanoe and the TCPA, Too, Two

Following up on our March 9 reminder, and just in time for Super Tuesday II, the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau issued an Enforcement Advisory on March 14 titled, “Biennial Reminder for Political Campaigns about Robocall and Text Abuse.” The advisory (similar to past advisories) is a reminder to “political campaigns and calling services that there are clear limits on the use of autodialed calls or texts (known as ‘robocalls’) and prerecorded voice calls.” The advisory summarizes the TCPA’s regulations on (1) calls to cell phones, (2) calls to landlines, (3) identification requirements for prerecorded voice messages, and (4) “line seizure” restrictions. The advisory also includes an “At a Glance” summary of regulations as applied to Political Calls and a series of Frequently Asked Questions with contact information for the Enforcement Bureau for those who have unanswered questions or lingering concerns. Continue reading   »

Tippecanoe and the TCPA Too

With election season under way, it bears repeating that candidates for office are not immune from the restrictions imposed by the TCPA. As the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau explained in an advisory that we discussed previously here, while “[p]olitical prerecorded voice messages or autodialed calls—whether live or prerecorded—to most landline telephones are not prohibited, so long as they adhere to the identification requirements” mandated for all prerecorded messages, the “broad prohibition” on calls to cell phones and other specific types of phone numbers (e.g., health care/emergency lines) “covers prerecorded voice and autodialed political calls, including those sent by nonprofit/political organizations.” Candidates (or their supporters) who are not aware of the TCPA (or confused about the difference between the restrictions on informational calls to cellular phones versus such calls to residential landlines and not aware of the difficulties in managing recycled number issues) risk finding their campaign embroiled in litigation, as evidenced by a new TCPA filing last week. Continue reading   »

FCC Responds In Consolidated Appeal From Its July 2015 Omnibus Ruling

On Friday, January 15, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission filed its response to the arguments of the joint Petitioners in the consolidated appeal from its July 10, 2015 Omnibus Ruling. The Commission’s brief addresses the scope of its statutory authority, the definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS”), the meaning of “called party” and the potential liability for calls to recycled numbers, the ability to revoke consent, healthcare-related calls and the emergency purpose exception, and First Amendment challenges to the Commission’s interpretations of the statute. Its main arguments are summarized below.

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Federal Court Grants Defendant’s Motion For Partial Summary Judgment

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (J. James D. Whittemore) recently granted LTD Financial Services, L.P.’s motion for partial summary judgment in a TCPA case involving pre-recorded calls allegedly placed to plaintiff’s cellular telephone. See Estrella v. LTD Financial Services, LP, No. 14-2624, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148249 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 2, 2015). As we have previously covered, district courts across the country have demonstrated a willingness to dispose of cases where the records fail to establish that the calls or text messages at issue were sent using an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”).

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Drinker Biddle & Reath’s TCPA Team Sponsors 2015 TCPA Washington Summit

Drinker Biddle & Reath is a proud sponsor of one of the country’s most highly-anticipated conferences addressing key issues related to the TCPA, including the pending appeal of the FCC’s July 10, 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order.  The PACE TCPA Washington Summit, which runs from September 27-29, 2015, features presentations from FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, FTC Director of Consumer Protection Jessica Rich, and top class action defense lawyers, including our own Seamus Duffy.

More coverage to follow.

TCPA Blog Dissects July 10th Declaratory Ruling For Practical Law

TCPA Blog contributors Brad Andreozzi, Seamus Duffy, Laura Phillips and Michael Stortz recently discussed the July 10th Declaratory Ruling and Order in a Q&A with Practical Law that was published on August 13, 2015.  The Q&A answered a series of questions about the key holdings of the Declaratory Ruling, implications for companies facing potential exposure under the statute, and strategies for defending putative class actions in light of recent developments from the FCC and anticipated rulings from the United States Supreme Court.  Practical Law distributed the Q&A to its subscribers, posted the Q&A on its website, and will include an updated version of the Q&A in the Practical Law Journal this fall.

Debt Collection Agencies File Motion to Intervene in Support of Consolidated Appeal of FCC’s July 10, 2015 Declaratory Ruling

As we previously noted, three petitions for review were filed in the immediate aftermath of the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling and Order, which were then consolidated and randomly assigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On August 7, 2015, MRS BPO LLC, Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC, Diversified Consultants, Inc., and Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, LLC filed a joint motion for leave to intervene in the consolidated appeal of the FCC’s July 10, 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order, or in the alternative, leave to participate as amici curiae in support of petitioner, ACA International.

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