Author Archives: Scott Nelson

Fourth Circuit Invalidates TCPA’s Government Debt-Collection Exception

In 2015, Congress amended the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to exempt calls made to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the federal government from the TCPA’s ban on unwanted robocalls to cell phones. Last week, in a case called American Association of Political Consultants v. FCC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for […]

They Collect Debts, But They Ain’t Debt Collectors – So Says the Supreme Court

In its latest foray into the poorly drafted provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Supreme Court unanimously decided today in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP that entities who engage in nonjudicial foreclosure either regularly or as their principal business are not (for that reason) "debt collectors" within the meaning of the […]

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down San Francisco Soda Warnings

In an en banc decision late last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a San Francisco ordinance requiring ads for sugar-sweetened beverages to warn of the link between overconsumption and obesity violates the First Amendment. The decision indicates that the Supreme Court's decision last term in National Institute of […]

Judge Young Speaks His Mind About Arbitration

It could have been a routine order directing arbitration in a commercial dispute no one beyond the parties would likely care about. Instead, Judge William Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts used the occasion of a dispute between two companies about the meaning of their arbitration agreement to deliver an […]

Delaware Chancery Court Rejects Corporate Forum Selection Clauses, With Potential Implications for Forced Shareholder Arbitration (Amended)

Alison Frankel of Reuters reports that the Delaware Chancery Court has held that Delaware corporations lack authority to include in their charters "forum selection clauses" applicable to federal securities fraud claims asserted by shareholders. Put more simply, the ruling limits corporate power to tell shareholders where they have to file their claims. As Frankel's article […]

Vaping Wars Move to State Court

The vaping industry's First Amendment challenge to FDA e-cigarette marketing rules remains pending in the DC Circuit, where it awaits decision following oral arguments this past September. But federal officials aren't the only ones trying to regulate the industry's practices: States also regulate vape shops operating within their jurisdictions. And last week, state regulations also […]

“What, never?” “No, never!” “What, never?” “Well, hardly ever!” The Supreme Court, Rule 23(f), and Gilbert & Sullivan

When a federal district court certifies, refuses to certify, or decertifies a class, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) gives a party 14 days to ask a court of appeals for permission to appeal the ruling. But what if a party seeks permission outside the 14-day window because some circumstance prevented action within 14 days or […]

Mulvaney Cites Own Conduct as Prime Reason to Limit CFPB Powers

In case you missed the punchline of Jeff Sovern's post on the CFPB's annual report, the news is not the report itself (which conscientiously recites the CFPB's actions between February and September 2017, before Mick Mulvaney was appointed Acting Director following Richard Cordray's departure), but the cover letter, in which Mulvaney proposes that Congress gut […]

DC Circuit Upends FCC’s Robo-Calling Ruling

In an opinion issued this morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned key provisions of a Federal Communiciations Commission ruling addressing the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's prohibition on the use of automated dialing devices to make unconsented-to calls to cell phones. In what may prove the most […]