TCPA Update -- FCC Issues Long-Awaited Rulemaking/Order

TCPA Update -- FCC Issues Long-Awaited Rulemaking/Order


The April 30, 2015 edition of Business Litigation Notes explained the potential danger under the TCPA of automating your customer contacts.  That article noted that the Federal Communications Commission had not yet issued its order further defining certain ambiguous issues under the TCPA.  On July 10, 2015, the FCC issued its declaratory ruling and order.  Despite vigorous dissents from two of the FCC commissioners, the FCC’s order significantly expands the definition of “automated telephone dialing system” and narrows the definition of express written consent for companies to use automated systems to contact consumers, especially on wireless telephones.

Two arguable bright spots in the ruling are the creation of a one-call “Safe Harbor” for calls to wireless numbers that have been reassigned and an exemption for certain financial institutions making identity theft and security breach related calls to consumers.  We expect the ruling to engender an even further increase in the number of TCPA class actions, and recent filings are demonstrating just that. 

The ruling is available on the FCC’s website at  Several companies have sued to challenge the FCC ruling, but thus far, no court has taken definitive action.

Donald E. Bradley is a partner in Musick, Peeler & Garrett’s Orange County, California, office, and is the Chair of the firm’s Business Litigation Practice Group. He specializes in consumer credit and privacy issues, including individual and class action defense under the TCPA, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and numerous other federal and state consumer protection statutes. His full bio and contact information can be found at

Business Litigation Practice Group

Musick Peeler’s business litigation attorneys have been preeminent in California for decades. The Business Litigation Group represents clients in a wide variety of business and corporate litigation matters, ranging from simple contract disputes to class-action defense and other complex multi-party commercial disputes. Our attorneys have a long track record of success in jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and appeals with superior results for our clients. Our Business Litigation Group represents a full panoply of business and commercial clients including publicly traded, Subchapter S closely held, and non-profit companies, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Our clients are leaders in numerous key industries, including construction, communications and media, financial services, information systems, manufacturing, printing/graphic arts, real estate, technology, transportation, chemical, oil/gas, and professional services.

We offer a depth of experience in federal and state courts as well as arbitration panels. We have an excellent reputation with the courts and our legal colleagues. We have years of proven success in complex, multi–party, high exposure cases such as lender liability, shareholder disputes, corporate governance, unfair competition, contract and lease disputes, real estate, construction, trusts, and fair credit reporting.

We recognize that, in a global economy, clients’ interests involve matters in domestic and international courts. We handle such disputes and work closely with experts and our network of international resources. The group also includes attorneys who are active in several other Musick Peeler practice groups, including construction, intellectual property, white collar, environmental, and consumer credit/privacy.

In addition to actively litigating cases, our business litigation attorneys counsel clients regarding strategies for avoidance of liability in these areas. We focus first on understanding client business philosophies and business objectives in any legal dispute. We listen and apply those objectives to potential litigation budgets, analysis of adverse claims and parties, and applicable insurance coverage. We direct our efforts to early and cost effective resolution recognizing that our overburdened courts involve expense with unavoidable delays. When you contact us we will place the highest priority on responding to your legal issues.

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