High-exposure class actions asserting claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) are on the rise. Crowell & Moring lawyers have extensive experience advising and defending a wide range of clients on how best to navigate TCPA issues and claims involving the use of the automated telephone equipment, automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, text messages, "do not call" requests, and fax machines.
Our lawyers have successfully defended clients in many different industries –– ranging from telecommunications to retailers –– against class actions asserting TCPA claims in numerous jurisdictions. Outcomes in these cases have resulted in dismissals, nominal settlement of individual claims, and favorable class wide settlements.
We also counsel clients on compliance matters such as reviewing existing compliance frameworks, crafting policies and procedures, and training personnel on legal issues relating to the use of telephones, mobile devices, faxes, e-mails, and "do not call" requests, particularly with regard to telemarketing and debt collection. In addition, we are well-versed in issues involving consumer outreach, telemarketing, and collection regulations monitored by the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission. Representative engagements include:
- Represented a fax broadcaster that was sued along with the advertiser whose faxes it broadcast in two separate cases. In both cases, we negotiated settlements for very low amounts after demonstrating that our client was entitled to take advantage of an FCC exemption for its activities.
- Represented the owners of a conference company sued under the TCPA in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. We removed the case to federal court on diversity grounds and defeated the plaintiffs' motion to remand, which was a precedent-setting decision. The court ultimately dismissed all of the plaintiff's claims.
- Represented a global telecommunications company in the Central District of California for allegedly violating the TCPA by placing outbound collect calls by means of a robotic, recorded voice, to customers’ cell phones. Potential damages in this case were enormous, given the number of calls at issue. We succeeded in getting the case voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs after demonstrating to their lawyers that they did not have standing, because the named plaintiff did not actually own the phone that received the allegedly illegal call.
- Represented several mobile content providers in eight consumer class actions filed throughout the country alleging violation of the TCPA and various state consumer protection statutes stemming from alleged unauthorized charges to cell phone customers. Cases were filed in federal and state courts in California, Illinois, Florida and Wisconsin, and several parallel state attorneys general investigations were also initiated. After extensive negotiations with all segments of the industry, the cases were settled on a favorable nationwide basis.
- Representing a telecommunications company in the defense of a class action alleging violation of the TCPA and state consumer protection statutes based on aggregation and billing services for alleged unauthorized charges to cell phone customers. Case is pending in the Northern District of California.
- Representing a manufacturer in class actions where a telemarketer is alleged to have violated the "do not call" provisions of the TCPA "on behalf of" the manufacturer. Case is pending in the Northern District of West Virginia.