Since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Declaratory Ruling and Order from last July on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), several appeals have been consolidated before the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has set a merits briefing schedule through February 2016.
At stake is how federal regulators apply and redefine parts of the TCPA to include different types of technology that didn’t exist in 1991 when the law took effect and statutory damages. The TCPA currently allows statutory damages of $500 up to $1,500 per call, text message or fax with no cap on aggregate damages.
Drinker Biddle partners Seamus C. Duffy, Laura H. Phillips, Bradley J. Andreozzi, Michael W. McTigue Jr. and Michael J. Stortz, spoke with Practical Law on some of the key provisions in the FCC Order and the potential impact on businesses. In this Q&A, the team discussed:
- Effects of the FCC’s expanded definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” and the use of modern technologies to engage in marketing and informational calling and text messaging activities.
- Difficulties faced by companies in determining whether phone numbers have been reassigned.
- Changes to revocation of consent provisions, which could lead to increased litigation.
- Notable dissents from two FCC commissioners, which point out weaknesses in the declaratory ruling that may not hold up on appeal.
Our TCPA Team, comprised of class action litigators and regulatory attorneys, represents a number of leading companies in individual and putative class actions under the statute in jurisdictions across the country. We also counsel many of our clients on how to adapt their practices in light of the changing regulatory landscape.
The Team’s TCPA Blog, established in 2013, is the defense bar’s preeminent online resource analyzing TCPA-related litigation and regulatory developments.