• Contacts

    MARC ROTH

    Partner

    Co-Chair, TCPA Compliance and Class Action Defense Group
    Advertising, Marketing and Media
    email

    CHRISTINE M. REILLY

    Partner

    Co-chair, TCPA Compliance and Class Action Defense
    Litigation
    email

    TCPA Compliance and Class Action Defense

    The Perils of Mobile Marketing
    Mobile devices have become indispensable, with consumers relying on them for almost anything and everything: to find information, buy products, pay bills, connect with friends or simply be entertained. But before attempting to leverage mobile technology as the powerful marketing communication tool it has already proven to be, companies need to know and understand the ground rules; specifically, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and its implementing regulations. Ignorance is not bliss when even a single allegation that your company violated the TCPA can have serious legal, financial, insurance and reputational consequences.

    Unlike most other law firms, whose capabilities and experience with TCPA matters are limited at best, Manatt has a dedicated team that is uniquely equipped to advise on the law’s varied and complex challenges. And while other firms may provide an overview of the TCPA, or step in to defend you if you’re sued, we provide an integrated and cohesive approach that covers all of the law’s implications and ramifications, from ensuring compliance to fending off or defeating class actions to handling insurance coverage issues. Our 360-degree view is the result of decades of experience counseling major B2C and B2B companies regarding telephone marketing, as well as the call centers and telemarketing solutions providers that serve them. And because we’ve been in the trenches since the law’s passage in 1991, we’re onto the tactics of plaintiffs’ counsel, creative in formulating defenses to classwide claims, and savvy in assessing the obligations of insurance carriers.

    Compliance
    Back when 900 numbers were all the rage, Manatt attorneys were at the forefront of the legal profession in advising clients on the issues and implications posed by this unique billing mechanism. Similarly, when the Federal Trade Commission developed the Telephone Sales Rule, we were front and center in assisting industry leaders in drafting and filing comments on their behalf. Fast-forward to the age of mobile communications and the close-on-its-heels emergence of autodialing and text and prerecorded messaging, and we’re at the forefront again, helping clients structure campaigns that will achieve their marketing objectives in a statutorily compliant manner. We roll up our sleeves and work through the details, right alongside our clients, of developing marketing strategies and campaigns, spotting issues and framing solutions as needed. Our team includes former FTC attorneys and in-house marketing compliance counsel, so we know how to balance the needs of structuring compliance programs with practical business needs.

    Our experience allows us to see the big picture to get the job done.

    Consumer Class Action Defense
    Manatt has defended dozens of companies of all sizes and in various industries who have been sued by class action lawyers under the TCPA. The statute, which protects consumers against unwanted solicitation, covers a broad range of conduct, from autodialed calls and texts to faxed ads, and we’ve seen them all. Some examples:

    • Seaman v. Diageo: We represented Diageo, the leading beverage and spirits distributor in the U.S., in the defense of a putative class action brought under the TCPA in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The complaint alleged that Diageo and Diageo-Guinness sent unsolicited text messages to consumers inviting them to participate in a “Guinness Rate Your Pint” mobile contest to win a trip to Dublin. After we filed our motion to dismiss, the plaintiff voluntarily withdrew the action.
    • Delong v. AT&T: We successfully resolved a major class action brought against AT&T in which the lead plaintiff alleged that the collect call placed to him violated the TCPA because the collect call introduction was prerecorded and the call went to his cellular telephone. In developing the facts of the case and finding that the plaintiff would have standing problems, we secured plaintiff’s agreement to voluntarily dismiss the case with prejudice.

    Our track record speaks for itself when it comes to challenging and defeating TCPA actions.

    Insurance Coverage Disputes
    A significant legal issue that may not immediately come to mind when a business is on the receiving end of a TCPA lawsuit involves insurance coverage. Unlike law firms whose practice is limited to providing compliance advice or answering a complaint, our package of services includes assisting policyholder clients with coverage issues. Defending against a class action (or actions) alleging that unsolicited messages harmed tens of thousands of putative members can be costly, and settlements can be sizable. We are fully familiar with the arguments insurers use to deny coverage in TCPA suits because we’ve defended against them. More important, we’ve done so successfully, convincing carriers to fund the defense of such actions and, in some cases, to pay significant portions of settlements. In addition to helping facilitate claims and settlements, we also review general commercial liability policies at the outset of a marketing campaign to determine whether there’s adequate coverage and, if not, assist clients in obtaining the appropriate coverage.

    Our goal is simple: to help clients secure the insurance protection they seek and to see to it that carriers make good on their coverage obligations when a claim arises. 

    Attorneys & Professionals

    Email
    Name
    Office
    Phone
    Brody, Jesse Los Angeles 310.312.4173
    Chew, Benjamin G. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6511
    Friedman, Clayton S. Orange County 714.338.2704
    Goldstein, Linda A. New York 212.790.4544
    Grutman, Judd Los Angeles 310.312.4282
    Hummel, Chad S. Los Angeles 310.312.4197
    Killalea, David B. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6555
    McGuinness, John W. Los Angeles 310.312.4270
    Mendoza, Lydia M. Los Angeles 310.312.4257
    Platt, Robert H. Los Angeles 310.312.4221
    Raptis, Stephen T. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6550
    Reilly, Christine M. Los Angeles 310.312.4237
    Roth, Marc New York 212.790.4542
    Seiling, Brad W. Los Angeles 310.312.4234
    Shulman, Robert H. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6599
    White, Susan P. Los Angeles 310.312.4310
    Wilkinson, Nigel L. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6637
    Wilson, Donna L. Los Angeles 310.312.4144