Telecommunications

  • January 2, 2017

    Telecom Cases To Watch In 2017

    The presidential transition has shifted the telecom spotlight from court fights against regulatory actions to a new Federal Communications Commission that could unwind them, but key cases on net neutrality and the jurisdictional lines between agencies remain unresolved. Here are the top cases to watch in 2017 in telecom.

  • January 2, 2017

    Telecommunications Policy To Watch In 2017

    President-elect Donald Trump's victory has turned the outlook for telecommunications policy on its head, with experts expecting Republicans to dial back the Open Internet Order and reverse course on media ownership. Here are the top issues in telecom policy to watch in the coming year.

  • December 23, 2016

    Phone Co. Accused Of Abusing Lifeline Program To Pay $30M

    A company accused of fraudulently enrolling more than 30,000 duplicate customers in the low-income Lifeline discount phone service program and taking millions in improper Universal Service Fund payments will pay $30 million and end Lifeline participation to settle the allegations, the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday.

  • December 22, 2016

    DOJ Must Produce Surveillance Records For Judge To Review

    A California federal judge overseeing an Electronic Frontier Foundation records request suit ordered the government Thursday to show her in private more than 250 documents it’s holding back on a telephone surveillance program tied to AT&T Inc. call data.

  • December 22, 2016

    EU Data Retention Slam Offers Telecoms Cloudy Path Forward

    The European high court's declaration Wednesday that bulk data retention mandates can't fly provides certainty to telecoms about what they can't do under national laws, but the court's lack of clarity on what data they should still hold on to for law enforcement is likely to leave service providers in a bind.

  • December 22, 2016

    Rural Broadband Group Urges Caution In Next-Gen TV Rollout

    A trade group representing rural pay-TV providers urged the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday to take a cautious approach as it mulls new rules to advance “Next Generation” TV broadcasting, requesting the commission issue a notice of inquiry prior to any rulemaking.

  • December 22, 2016

    AT&T Can't Scrap Age Discrimination Verdict, Judge Says

    A Pennsylvania federal judge has rejected AT&T's bid to toss a jury verdict awarding $370,000 to a longtime customer service executive allegedly fired for his age, saying there was "ample evidence" to support the jury's findings.

  • December 22, 2016

    Win For Apple, Samsung As PTAB Scraps IXI Patent Claims

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated claims Wednesday in three IXI IP LLC patents that cover wireless hot-spot technology, after rival smartphone makers Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. teamed up to challenge the patents before the board.

  • December 22, 2016

    TD Bank, Target Trim Robocall Suit, But Not Calif. Claim

    TD Bank and Target may have put a dent in a putative class action over repeated unsolicited phone calls to customers, but according to a New Jersey federal court ruling Tuesday, they could not defeat a consumer’s claim for violating a California debt collection law at the dismissal stage.

  • December 22, 2016

    Texas Cable TV Co. Reaches $750K Deal To End FLSA Suit

    A Texas cable TV company and a proposed class of 238 employees who claimed it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by withholding overtime compensation and other pay have asked a Georgia federal judge to approve a $750,000 settlement agreement between the parties.

  • December 22, 2016

    FTC Can't Exclude Evidence As Sanction In DirecTV Ad Row

    A California magistrate judge declined Wednesday to exclude certain evidence DirecTV plans to present in the Federal Trade Commission’s federal court case over the company’s allegedly deceptive sales practices as sanctions for its alleged failure to preserve website data, holding that both sides could have been more proactive.

  • December 22, 2016

    Tech Support Cos. Agree To $10M Judgment Over Scam

    The Federal Trade Commission and Florida’s attorney general announced Thursday that Inbound Call Experts LLC and several related companies have agreed to a $10 million judgment for allegedly duping consumers into buying unnecessary tech support services and computer software.

  • December 22, 2016

    Nortel Says $565M PBGC Deal Boosts Odds Of Ch. 11 Exit

    Nortel Networks told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Wednesday that a proposed settlement affording the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. a $565 million allowed claim marked a "material compromise" that will put the fallen telecommunications giant on a path to exit Chapter 11.

  • December 22, 2016

    Missouri Seeks Judgment In TCPA Suit Against Charter

    The state of Missouri on Wednesday sought a quick win in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act suit against Charter Communications Inc., saying the evidence indisputably shows the cable company made unwanted sales calls to residents on state and federal do-not-call registries.

  • December 21, 2016

    American Eagle To Pay $14.5M To End Spam Text Dispute

    American Eagle Outfitters has agreed to shell out $14.5 million to settle a proposed class action accusing the clothing company of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by blasting consumers with unsolicited text-message advertisements, according to documents filed in New York federal court Wednesday.

  • December 21, 2016

    House Group Warns Against Proposals To Weaken Encryption

    A bipartisan House group tasked with tackling the thorny legal and policy issues surrounding encryption recommended on Tuesday that Congress refrain from taking steps to require service providers to help law enforcement bypass security measures, but instead explore alternatives such as encouraging increased collaboration between the public and private sectors. 

  • December 21, 2016

    EU High Court Strikes Down Mass Data Retention

    Europe's highest court ruled Wednesday that national governments can't require service providers to retain users' electronic communications records en masse, handing a victory to a telecom and politican challenging such mandates and dealing a blow to a new surveillance law in the U.K.

  • December 21, 2016

    Calif. Court Tosses Disability Bias Ruling Against TWC

    A California appeals court Tuesday reversed a $3.4 million disability decision against Time Warner Cable Services LLC over its firing of a warehouse employee for taking prescription drugs for an on-the-job injury, because the company was not aware she had suffered a disabling injury.

  • December 21, 2016

    FCC Approves Wireless Industry Network Resiliency Plan

    The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that it has agreed to an industry-developed framework for improving wireless resiliency and transparency during emergencies without adopting new regulations, saying the voluntary path is a “reasonable approach.”

  • December 21, 2016

    FCC’s Wheeler Defends ISP Privacy Rules To Sen. Flake

    Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has fired back at Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona on privacy rules for broadband providers adopted in October, writing in a letter posted publicly Wednesday that the process before the vote was “commonplace” and the plan protects consumers.

Expert Analysis

  • Politics And The AT&T-Time Warner Merger

    Randy D. Gordon

    Politicians have weighed into the planned merger of AT&T and Time Warner in droves, motivated, it seems, by the current wave of populism flooding the electoral scene in both its “right” and “left” forms. The precise and ultimate consumer consequences of the merger really aren’t the central worry of these populists, says Randy Gordon of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

  • Why Even Insured Businesses Should Beware TCPA Violations

    Leah Threatte Bojnowski

    The Third Circuit recently affirmed a decision that Stevens and Ricci's commercial general liability insurance did not cover consumers' claims after the firm sent unsolicited faxes in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. General liability policies, and even specific TCPA liability policies, cannot guarantee coverage for intentional violations, says Leah Bojnowski of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Apple V. Samsung: Procedural Fairness At The Fed. Circ.

    Derek F. Dahlgren

    Beyond the recent Apple v. Samsung decision’s important substantive issues relating to obviousness and evidentiary standards, this ruling presents an unusual break from Federal Circuit en banc practice, which creates concerns regarding procedural fairness and the appropriate role of the courts, say Derek Dahlgren and Spencer Johnson of Rothwell Figg Ernst & Manbeck PC.

  • Trump Vs. Clinton: Some Antitrust Predictions

    Jay L. Levine

    It appears that no matter who wins the presidential election on Tuesday, we are likely to see greater antitrust enforcement assuming he or she lives up to campaign promises, says Jay Levine, co-leader of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP's antitrust practice group.

  • You May Not Be Covered For That Fraudulent Wire Transfer

    Elaine F. Harwell

    The FBI has recently warned the public about the business email compromise scam, a sophisticated phishing scam that tricks employees into conducting unauthorized transfers of funds. Insurers are arguing that cyberpolices do not cover voluntary transfers to fraudsters, says Elaine Harwell of Selman Breitman LLP.

  • The Role Of Litigation Analytics In Your Case

    Thomas C. Gricks III

    Lawyers often use analytics in the course of an e-discovery review for production, where these tools help them assign documents into buckets such as “relevant” or “privileged.” Increasingly, lawyers are using analytics to see if there is anything unusual within the collection and if there are stories the documents can tell, say Thomas Gricks, Bayu Hardi and Mark Noel of Catalyst Repository Systems.

  • Adapt Or Die: Law Firms In Tomorrow's Economy — Part 5

    Jill headshot 3 0414.jpg

    The clarion call from the top of Corporate America over the past several years to its workers to do more with less, eliminate redundancy, and work cooperatively across disciplines toward the goal of corporate profitability is reaching BigLaw, says Jill Dessalines, founder of Strategic Advice for Successful Lawyers and former assistant general counsel of McKesson Corp.

  • 2016's Thriving M&A Market

    Jeff Haidet

    Despite concerns expressed during our presidential campaign season over the loss of U.S. jobs to international trade, investment in the U.S. by foreign commercial enterprises remains strong. The sectors that serve as bellwethers for future trends and obstacles include technology, media and telecommunications, financial services, and life sciences, say Jeff Haidet and Catherine Dallas of Dentons.

  • Hellas' Lessons On Noncontractual Claims For Noteholders

    Richard E. Farley

    A New York state appeals court’s recent decision in Cortlandt St. Recovery v. Hellas Telecommunications highlights the deceptive complexity of bringing noncontractual claims by or on behalf of noteholders under the seemingly boilerplate remedies provisions in trust indentures, says Richard Farley of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.

  • 4 Ways To Get Associates Trial-Ready

    Stephen B. Crain

    For young trial associates who want to evolve into young trial lawyers, getting the necessary experience is increasingly challenging. The only surefire way associates can become first chair advocates is through effective mentoring, and the best way to achieve effective mentoring is to incorporate it in your approach to cases, say Stephen Crain and Drew Taggart of Bracewell LLP.