Skip to content

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, codified as 47 U.S.C § 227 (TCPA), and its implementing regulations (to the extent applicable) have caused confusion since their enactment.1 At times, determining who may be called, texted, or faxed seems like playing a game of three-dimensional chess. Gaining an understanding of the statute and its regulations is the first step to ensure compliance and avoid potentially costly litigation and liability, which could include, among other things, individual and putative class-action lawsuits brought by consumers and governmental investigations and actions seeking monetary forfeitures. To that end, this GT Advisory seeks to give readers a basic understanding of the TCPA and some of its principal regulations. Our accompanying flowchart will further assist readers in determining whether their practices may potentially trigger liability under the TCPA. The advisory and flowchart are not comprehensive. They cannot be. Put simply, the TCPA, its regulations, regulatory rules/orders, and case law are too voluminous and complex to summarize in a relatively short advisory and one-page flowchart. Nonetheless, we hope the advisory and flowchart provide some preliminary insight into the enigma that is the TCPA.

Continue reading the full GT Alert.

View the full-sized version of our flowchart on TCPA liability.

________________________________________
1 See, e.g., Gonzalez v. Hosopo Corp., 371 F. Supp. 3d 26, 34 (D. Mass. 2019) (“In summary, the TCPA is an unusually confusing statute.”); Ruffrano v. HSBC Fin. Corp., No. 15CV958A, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132674, at *33 (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 17, 2017) (“One commentator noted that while clarifying certain aspects of the TCPA, the 2015 FCC Order resulted in confusing, conflicting rules . . . ”) (internal quotes omitted); Baird v. Sabre Inc., 995 F.Supp.2d 1100, 1106 (C.D. Cal. 2014) (noting that FCC regulations of the TCPA are “not a model of clarity”); Weitzner v. Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., No. 3:11-cv-2198, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138188, at *3 (M.D. Pa. Sep. 26, 2013) (“Interpretation of the language in § 227(b)(3) has caused substantial confusion . . . ”).

Print:
EmailTweetLikeLinkedIn
Photo of David G. Thomas David G. Thomas

David Thomas serves a Co-Chair of the Boston Litigation Group. He is a litigation, trial, and appellate attorney focusing on defending companies against unfair or deceptive business practices claims in individual and putative class action settings. Among other things, David represents (1) manufacturers

David Thomas serves a Co-Chair of the Boston Litigation Group. He is a litigation, trial, and appellate attorney focusing on defending companies against unfair or deceptive business practices claims in individual and putative class action settings. Among other things, David represents (1) manufacturers and retailers facing false advertising claims arising out of alleged violations of federal and state consumer protection statutes, including the Federal Trade Commission Act and “little FTC Acts” like Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A – the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, and (2) lenders, mortgage brokers and servicers facing predatory lending and unfair servicing claims arising out of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and state laws governing consumer financing and mortgage loan servicing. David also has represented companies and individuals facing securities law claims in an individual and class action setting and companies responding to civil investigative demands under the False Claims Act and state laws and enforcement actions brought by federal and state regulatory agencies, including the United States Department of Justice, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, and other federal and state agencies.

Photo of Angela C. Bunnell Angela C. Bunnell

Angela Bunnell represents clients in a broad range of commercial litigation matters in both state and federal court. She focuses her practice on white collar criminal matters, government investigations, and diverse employment matters. She has experience litigating both individual and putative class action

Angela Bunnell represents clients in a broad range of commercial litigation matters in both state and federal court. She focuses her practice on white collar criminal matters, government investigations, and diverse employment matters. She has experience litigating both individual and putative class action claims of unfair or deceptive business practices.

In addition, Angela has experience with eDiscovery including coordinating the strategy for records preservation, collection, review, and production of ESI.

Before joining the firm, Angela served as a federal law clerk, providing valuable insight and understanding of the court system and litigation process.

Photo of Alison T. Holdway Alison T. Holdway

Alison “Ali” T. Holdway is a member of the Litigation Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Boston office. She represents clients in all phases of litigation, from early-stage investigations through appeals. She has experience litigating False Claims Act, medical device products liability, patent infringement, breach

Alison “Ali” T. Holdway is a member of the Litigation Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Boston office. She represents clients in all phases of litigation, from early-stage investigations through appeals. She has experience litigating False Claims Act, medical device products liability, patent infringement, breach of contract, unfair or deceptive business practices, class actions, and general commercial cases. Ali also has experience defending clients in white collar matters, including DOJ investigations, SEC investigations, state prosecutions, and internal investigations. In addition, Ali has deep legal writing experience and has drafted complex pleadings, motions, memoranda, and appellate briefs.

Prior to joining the firm, Ali served as a law clerk for the Honorable Mark G. Mastroianni in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She also previously worked for a Boston-based law firm where she represented clients before state and federal courts.

Photo of Debra McGuire Mercer Debra McGuire Mercer

Debra McGuire Mercer focuses her practice on communications regulation, and judicial and administrative litigation. She has practiced before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state public utility commissions and trial and appellate courts. Debra’s litigation experience encompasses civil, criminal and regulatory issues related to

Debra McGuire Mercer focuses her practice on communications regulation, and judicial and administrative litigation. She has practiced before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state public utility commissions and trial and appellate courts. Debra’s litigation experience encompasses civil, criminal and regulatory issues related to telecommunications, government contracts, international trade and commercial disputes. Debra’s regulatory experience includes counseling companies on regulatory and licensing issues arising in business, contract and transactional matters. Her experience spans all types of communications media, including broadcast, cable, Internet, satellite, telecommunications, and wireless.

Photo of Gustavo Ribeiro Gustavo Ribeiro

Gustavo Ribeiro is an associate in the Litigation Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Boston office. Prior to joining the firm, Gustavo served as a law clerk for the Honorable William G. Young in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Gustavo also

Gustavo Ribeiro is an associate in the Litigation Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s Boston office. Prior to joining the firm, Gustavo served as a law clerk for the Honorable William G. Young in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Gustavo also lectures at Boston University School of Law.