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Showing 9 posts by Marc R. Jacobs.

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Federal Court Paves Way for TCPA Defendants to Attack Class Actions on Constitutional Grounds

A recent, seemingly innocuous decision out of the Western District of New York sheds new light on a compelling constitutional argument against high-dollar class action lawsuits brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In Hannabury v. Hilton Grand Vacation Co., LLC, No. 14-cv-6126, 2016 WL 1181789 (W.D.N.Y. Mar. 25, 2016), the Court held that a named plaintiff’s TCPA claims did not survive his death.  While the decision appears, on its face, limited to a narrow issue, it may in fact have far-reaching significance. In its reasoning, the Court held that the TCPA’s damages provision is “disproportional" to actual damages suffered. This would suggest that (as detailed below), when the disproportionate remedy is aggregated exponentially in the context of a class action lawsuit, the TCPA’s statutory damages provision violates the U.S. Constitution – a finding that should have significant ramifications for ongoing and future TCPA litigation. (Read More)

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Robocall Roulette: Federal Court Hands Significant Victory to TCPA Defendants

Businesses and organizations staring down lawsuits brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) have received welcome news from the federal courts.  In a decision with significant implications, a Florida district court recently entered summary judgment in favor of the Seminole County School Board, reasoning that it is not a “person” that is subject to suit under the TCPA. See Lambert v. Seminole Cty. Sch. Bd., No. 15-0078 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 21, 2016). The decision presents a sizable obstacle for individuals bringing suit against school districts or other governmental entities under the TCPA, which has become an emerging trend. However, the reach of the decision may extend well beyond that.  (Read More)

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FCC Clarifies TCPA Exemptions for Health Care Calls

In 1991, Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), which was enacted to protect the privacy interests of consumers by placing restrictions on unsolicited contacts from automated telephone calls, facsimile machines and automatic dialers. Over the years, the TCPA has evolved with technology, and now encompasses cellular phone and text messaging contacts as well. Essentially, an organization cannot call, fax or text to solicit business or “robocall” people unless that person has given prior express consent to be contacted.  In certain circumstances, the restrictions are even more onerous, requiring prior express written consent. The effects on the health care industry have been enormous, and have impacted the way that industry professionals communicate with patients to provide important health care information—ranging from treatment to follow up, appointment reminders, prescription refills, and even to billing, account and collection related information. (Read more)

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The FCC Speaks Up and Cracks Down on TCPA Rules


On July 10, 2015, the FCC issued its written Declaratory Ruing. On the same day, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals International (ACA) filed a lawsuit seeking judicial review of the ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On July 14, 2015, the Professional Association for Customer Engagement, Inc., a non-profit trade organization dedicated to a multi-channel approach to engaging customers, Sirius XM Radio, Inc. also filed Petitions for review with the Court of Appeals. Numerous additional appellate challenges are expected. To read the Declaratory Ruling in its entirety, click here 

For the first time since October 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has issued new rules clarifying the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  On June 18, 2015, the FCC held a public hearing to debate and clarify nearly two years’ worth of outstanding petitions that sought explanation of the rules with respect to the TCPA, and to ultimately vote on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed new rules.  In a hotly contested 3-2 vote, the FCC approved Chairman Wheeler’s proposed rules.  While the final version of the rule changes has not yet been reduced to a written order by the FCC, the following summarizes the rule changes that businesses which make use of an automatic telephone dialing system should immediately be aware of.  The new rules include the following changes: (Read more)

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Change is Coming for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)

Legitimate businesses nationwide continue to face costly litigation brought under the TCPA, at the great expense of companies making legitimate telephone calls to customers to convey important information. The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) continues to receive petition after petition from businesses seeking clarification over numerous aspects of the TCPA. In fact, in 2008, there were 14 TCPA complaints filed in U.S. courts; in 2013 and 2014, there were 3,770 complaints filed. The increasing flood of litigation over a statute that was enacted to stop telemarketing harassment, as well as the backlog of petitions, has not been lost on the FCC. (Read more)

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IRS Rejects Gymnastics Booster Club's 501(c)(3) Application and Orders It to Pay Back Taxes

The IRS's increasing scrutiny over parent-run booster clubs added a new twist on February 13, 2015 when the agency rejected a gymnastics booster club's ("Booster Club") Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) 501(c)(3) application, and ordered it to pay back taxes for prior tax years, identifying potential tax liability for the gym as well. In IRS Private Letter Ruling PLR 201507023(IRS PLR),the agency determined that the Booster Club failed to establish that its income did not inure to the benefit of private individuals and shareholders, which is prohibited by section 501(c)(3). (Read more)

Operating an IRS-Compliant Gymnastics Booster Club

Marc Jacobs  gave a presentation via webinar on “Operating an IRS-Compliant Gymnastics Booster Club” to gymnasts and their families, coaches, instructors, judges, club owners, administrators, and other members of USA Gymnastics. The presentation focused on the importance of creating a booster club and determining whether or not the club qualifies for nonprofit status. Attendees left the webinar with a better understanding of how to structure and manage their booster club so as to be exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

2014 USA Gymnastics National Congress Trade Show

Marc Jacobs delivered a presentation on “10 Business and Legal Tips to Help Your Gymnastics Club Thrive” at the 2014 USA Gymnastics National Congress Trade Show that took place on August 23, 2014, in Pittsburgh. Marc’s talk focused on the business management side of running a successful gym. In this segment, Marc reviews labor and employment issues gym owners need to keep top of mind when operating their facilities.

Tips for Avoiding Premises Liability Issues

On Sunday, August 17, 2014 Marc Jacobs presented “Top 10 Business and Legal Tips to Help Your Gymnastics Club Thrive” at the USA Gymnastics Region 1 Congress in San Jose, California. Hosted by USA Gymnastics, the event sought to educate and inspire young gymnasts and the coaches who train them. In this video clip, Marc discusses how gym owners can nip premises liability issues in the bud before litigation arises.