Supreme Court to Decide Whether Offer of Judgment Can Moot TCPA Class

abs_classactions_light

Deciding to step in to resolve a splint in the Circuits, the United States Supreme Court announced today that it granted a petition for a writ of certiorari in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857. That means that the Court will finally address an issue left open in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, 133 S. Ct. 1523 (2013): “Whether a case becomes moot, and thus beyond the judicial power of Article III, when the plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claims,” even when the claim is pursued in a class action. Continue reading this entry

UDAAP Council Weekly UDAAP Standards Report - 5/6/15

UDAAPCouncil

Every week, courts around the United States issue decisions addressing aspects of civil UDAAP claims. In an effort to illuminate the UDAAP standards, below is a sampling of some of this week’s UDAAP decisions on the meaning of unfair, deceptive, and abusive.

Unfair or Deceptive

A debtor could not state a claim for unfair or deceptive practices under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act when he alleged that a debt collector had unfairly and deceptively filed a debt collection suit at the main downtown courthouse instead of at the branch courthouse twenty miles nearer his home. The downtown courthouse was a proper venue, and the case could have been transferred to the branch courthouse on request. Moreover, his suit was barred by Illinois’ absolute litigation privilege. Mehra v. Law Offices of Keith S. Shindler, Ltd., United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Continue reading this entry

U.S. Supreme Court Accepts Review of Robins v. Spokeo, Inc.

classactions_dark

The Supreme Court recently accepted review of one of the most talked about privacy class action and consumer cases of the past year, Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., No. 13-1339 (U.S.). The issue before the Court is whether Congress can confer Article III standing on a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, but who can recover statutorily imposed penalties for a mere violation of a federal statute.

In Spokeo, Thomas Robins alleges that “people search engine,” Spokeo Inc., disseminated inaccurate information about him on Spokeo.com, a website that aggregates publicly available information. According to Robins, Spokeo acted as a consumer reporting agency (CRA) when it displayed his information on Spokeo.com. Robins claims that Spokeo violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by failing to provide him with mandatory notices. Robins further claims that Spokeo “caused actual harm” to his employment prospects by reporting that he is wealthy and holds an advanced degree, when, in fact, he experienced difficulty securing employment. Continue reading this entry

UDAAP Council Weekly UDAAP Standards Report - 4/22/2015

UDAAPCouncil

Every week, courts around the United States issue decisions addressing aspects of civil UDAAP claims. In an effort to illuminate the UDAAP standards, below is a sampling of some of this week’s UDAAP decisions on the meaning of unfair, deceptive, and abusive.

Unfair

A plaintiff failed to state a claim against a mortgage lender, where she alleged that the lender violated California’s UDAP statute when it refused to provide her with information regarding a deceased borrower’s debt, and instead declared a default and initiated foreclosure. While the court agreed that the plaintiff should have been given information by the lender, she failed to establish standing to assert a claim for relief because she did not allege she was the executor of the borrower’s estate. Ward v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc., United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Continue reading this entry

Legal Issues in Cause-Related Marketing

regulations

Cause-related marketing is frequently used by businesses to bolster sales, improve brand reputation, and improve public relations. Under the laws of a number of states, when a business advertises that it will make a charitable contribution to a charity when a consumer purchases a product, the business becomes a commercial co-venturer with the charity. Successful commercial co-ventures include Bono’s Red campaign, which has generated more than $300 million to fight HIV and AIDS through consumer purchases of (RED) merchandise branded through the campaign and sold by companies such as Apple and Starbucks. Continue reading this entry