FCC TCPA Omnibus Ruling One Year Later: The Impact on Court Cases and Litigation Lessons Learned

Production Date: August 17, 2016 Practice Areas: Privacy & Cybersecurity Estimated Length: 3896 minutes


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Litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) – and the potential for high statutory damage awards – continues to be a thorn in the sides of businesses wanting to reach customers and potential customers by phone, especially on their cell phones. Increases in the number of cases brought continues at the one-third to forty-percent year-over-year pace that has prevailed for some time now. With settlements reaching millions or even tens of millions of dollars, buttoning up compliance in this area, and knowing where defenses may lie, is more critical than ever. 

Last summer the Federal Communications Commission issued an “Omnibus” Declaratory Ruling and Order resolving nearly two dozen petitions by companies seeking clarification of how the TCPA and the FCC rules implementing it apply to key business functions. Many of these tied back to court cases that sometimes went diametrically different directions on the same issue, or that often were decided in favor of TCPA plaintiffs. The Omnibus Ruling addressed such issues as what constitutes an autodialer, a threshold factor for TCPA liability, varying levels of consent needed to use an autodialer and how to get it, revocation of consent, calls to reassigned numbers, who qualifies as a “called party” in assessing consent and who may sue over unwanted calls and texts, and special allowances for one-time call-to-action texts and for certain financial and healthcare calls and texts, among other matters.

So what has been the impact of the Omnibus Ruling in the courts since the FCC acted? Has the Ruling helped businesses avoid liability, or armed companies who have been sued with new ways to escape costly litigation and liability? And what compliance and dispute resolution lessons can be gained from the last year of TCPA cases?

This course, presented by Ronnie London, Of Counsel at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and longtime editor of its privacy and security blog, reviews the key points of the Omnibus Ruling and offers practical advice that can be distilled from the Ruling and from TCPA court decisions in its wake.

Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand basic TCPA principles and how the Omnibus Ruling changed the landscape

II.    Identify the most useful recent cases for defending TCPA litigation and how to leverage them

III.   Convey practical guidance for approaching defense of a TCPA case, including procedural considerations, substantive defenses, and prospects for strategic settlement

Julie A. B.
Hiles, WI

Presenter kindly supplies supplemental case law and applicable FCC materials as a great resource post-program.

Virginia B.
Montclair, NJ

Wow - What a super presentation. The material was explained clearly and in a very interesting and engaging way. I especially loved the fact and case examples. They were very entertaining. Repeating key principles throughout the presentation was also very effective because it reinforced what I learned. I feel like I really know a great deal about this topic after having taken this webinar. Thank you so much for offering it and for selecting such an excellent teacher.

Leslie M.
Vienna, VA

Great course!

Rhonda G. W.
Washington, DC

Thank you for a superb program -- clear, thorough, and well-organized.

Jon I.
Bloomington, MN

Very well done.