Class Action Procedure

Phone and gavelPerhaps not surprisingly, there was no vacation this summer for TCPA litigation.  We already addressed the 11th Circuit’s big decision on Article III standing in Salcedo.  But we’ve also combed through the 150+ TCPA-related decisions over the summer to keep you apprised of the latest developments in this area of the law.  We’ve compiled the most noteworthy decisions since our last report, and they’re listed below by issue category in alphabetical order.

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For the vast majority of Americans, receiving a single unsolicited text message is a mere annoyance that does not warrant a federal lawsuit.  But spurred by the language of the TCPA and a series of judicial decisions nationwide, a cottage industry has sprung up around filing putative class action lawsuits centered around this sort of alleged “harm.”  Last week, the 11th Circuit dealt a significant blow to such cases, finding that receipt of a single unsolicited text message in violation of the TCPA is not sufficient to establish standing.


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GavelOn April 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision touching a number of hot button issues and litigation threats facing American businesses — including class actions, arbitration agreements and data privacy.

The case, Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 17-988, 2019 WL 1780275 (U.S. Apr. 24, 2019), stemmed from a data breach in which a hacker posing as a company official “tricked” a Lamps Plus employee into disclosing the tax information of approximately 1,300 workers.  Among those 1,300 workers was Frank Varela, the named plaintiff.  Id. at *2.  Following the data breach, Mr. Varela became the victim of identity theft when a fraudulent federal income tax return was filed in his name. 
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Clients regularly ask: If we win this putative class action, can the opposition just file another one on behalf of another as-yet-unidentified putative class representative?  Until June 11, the answer was “Maybe?”  Now, the answer is clearly no.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court (in reversing the Ninth Circuit) clarified