On June 21, 2019, Dan Blynn was quoted in Law360 regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in PDR Network v. Carlton & Harris. In their ruling, all of the justices agreed that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) dispute should be sent back to the Fourth Circuit because the inquiry hinged on a pair of issues that were not properly vetted by the appellate court.
According to the article, businesses and consumers are bracing for a wave of conflicting court decisions over the contours of the TCPA after the Supreme Court failed to deliver much-needed clarity on who has the final say on how the law is interpreted.
"Regardless of what the Fourth Circuit does [on remand], other circuits may reach different conclusions on the two questions articulated by the Supreme Court," Blynn said. "That could lead to even more discord among the courts and lack of consistent standards or applications of the law."
Attorneys expect the ruling to leave open to attack the scores of orders the FCC has issued since the TCPA was enacted in 1991 addressing the meaning and applicability of key statutory terms such as autodialer, called party, reassigned number, and vicarious liability, even if those readings aren't necessarily controversial.
"It could open up the floodgates to even more TCPA litigation and debate as to generally settled principles based on FCC rulings, such as text messages being treated the same as calls under the statute and subject to the TCPA's autodialer and other provisions," Blynn said.