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Shaffer Quoted in Law360 on Effects of Rise in TCPA Class Actions

November 25, 2013

Partner Scott Shaffer was quoted in a Law360 article (subscription required) about the rise of class action lawsuits concerning text messages and how media and technology companies are concerned about the expansive reach of the governing statute, the TCPA. Recently, Twitter Inc. and Path Inc. filed a friend-of-the-court or amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a class action against the Los Angeles Lakers. Twitter and Path are concerned that a ruling in this case could unreasonably restrict businesses' ability to communicate with their customers. The suit involves an automatic reply text the Lakers sent to plaintiff David Emanuel after he messaged the team requesting that his personal message be posted to the arena scoreboard. A California federal judge tossed the suit in April, saying Emanuel had consented to receiving the confirmation text by sending his original message. But the plaintiff filed an appeal, which convinced Twitter and Path to weigh in with the Ninth Circuit. “On the spectrum from completely frivolous to meritorious, this one is very close to the completely frivolous end of the spectrum,” says Shaffer. “I can see why the facts of this case attracted the companies to file the amicus brief.” Marketers claim that many of the TCPA cases filed in the last year have gone beyond the statute's original intent. It is especially important that Twitter and Path have chosen to exercise their voices in this particular action against the Lakers, because of the venue. According to Shaffer, “An adverse ruling by the Ninth Circuit in this case would be very dangerous to any company that sends text messages as part of its business model.”


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