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Sarah's practice focuses on class action litigation, complex commercial litigation, and compliance counseling. Her substantive areas of concentration include the antitrust laws and consumer protection statutes such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every facet of society in unpredictable ways, and the laws and regulations governing calls and text messages are no exception. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a recent declaratory ruling clarifying when calls and text messages relating to COVID-19 are permissible under the TCPA’s “emergency purposes” exception, but most businesses will not be able to rely on that exception. In certain states, COVID-19 state-of-emergency declarations have triggered widespread restrictions on telemarketing. In non-COVID-19 news, debate continues over what constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) under the TCPA, and — in a surprising turn of events — the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has joined the 9th Circuit in adopting a broad definition.Continue Reading Most COVID-19 Calls Are Not an “Emergency Purpose,” and Other Unexpected Developments

UpdateOn April 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Facebook v. Duguid, which resolved the circuit split regarding the meaning of “automatic telephone dialing system” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. For more details, see our alert.

Update: The Supreme Court on July 9 agreed to take up the issue of what constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” under the TCPA. For more details, please see our December 15 alert.

As additional appellate courts grapple with the TCPA’s definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS), the split among the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals has become increasingly lopsided, with the 7th and 11th Circuits now joining the 2nd, 3rd and 6th Circuits to construe the term narrowly. The 9th Circuit stands alone in adopting a broad definition of ATDS, but was recently asked to reconsider that ruling.Continue Reading Lopsided Circuit Split Favors Narrow Definition of Autodialer

Earlier this year, the Northern District of Illinois declined to certify a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action even though the key issue in the case – whether class members had provided prior express written consent to receive prerecorded telemarketing calls – appeared to be a common question. In Legg v. PTZ Insurance Agency,