Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
On March 17th the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard oral arguments in The State of Tennessee et al. v. FCC. This appeal involves a challenge to the FCC’s March 2015 order that preempted certain provisions of Tennessee and North Carolina state laws, which impose restrictions on the deployment of municipal broadband services. The Sixth Circuit will determine whether the FCC has the power to intervene and define the relationship between state and municipal governments when it comes to providing these services. Our expert discussed the FCC’s order, the parties’ arguments, and the takeaways from the oral argument.
SCOTUScast 3-11-16 featuring Mark Chenoweth
- Raymond L. Gifford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
Mark Chenoweth March 11, 2016
On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez. This case concerns a complaint by Jose Gomez that Campbell-Ewald Company, a marketing consultant for the U.S. Navy, allowed a third-party vendor to send him unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The case presents two questions for the Supreme Court: (1) whether a case becomes moot when a plaintiff receives an offer of complete relief on his claim, including in a class action, and (2) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity for government contractors is limited to claims arising out of property damage caused by public works projects. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had held that Gomez’s individual and class claims were not mooted, and that Campbell-Ewald was not entitled to derivative sovereign immunity. Short Video on Private Servers and the 4th Amendment in the Information Age featuring Amy Peikoff
By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Ninth Circuit, holding that (1) an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff's case, so the district court retains jurisdiction to adjudicate the plaintiff’s complaint, and (2) a federal contractor is not entitled to immunity from suit for its violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when it violates both federal law and the government's explicit instructions. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in the judgement. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia and Alito joined. Justice Alito also filed a dissenting opinion.
To discuss the case, we have Mark Chenoweth, who is General Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.
Amy Peikoff February 10, 2016
Southwestern Law School’s Visiting Associate Professor Amy Peikoff explains the Third Party Doctrine of the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Doctrine. Under the Third Party Doctrine, the government does not need a warrant in order to obtain information entrusted to a third party, such as a bank, cell phone company, or email server. Thus, individuals who utilize their personal server for email may effectively keep their emails private while those using a commercial email server such as gmail do not have the same privacy. Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Mergers and other transactions between large telecommunications companies are always the subject of vigorous public debate, and recent developments in the area provide an excellent opportunity to explore many of the big questions in play. What is the future of media and telecom companies in today’s vast changing technology landscape? How important is scale? How should government assess the competition and public interest benefits and threats of proposed deals? What process should be employed by what agencies? How do the principles of net neutrality play into the equation? Our experts discussed these questions and others.
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
- Hon. Michael Copps, Special Adviser, Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, Common Cause
- William Rinehart, Director, Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum
- Moderator: Hon. Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Director, Center for the Economics of the Internet, Hudson Institute
In October of 2015, the European Court of Justice invalidated the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement that allows for the transfer of personal data by U.S. companies that comply with a set of primary principles. Based in part on the Edward Snowden disclosures, the Court reasoned that U.S. law fails to provide adequate protection for such data. Now, businesses are implementing remediation plans to maintain legal compliance, and EU and U.S. negotiators are negotiating Safe Harbor 2.0. As a condition to a new agreement, some European policymakers are demanding that the U.S. reform its electronic surveillance programs. Our panel discussed these intersecting issues.
- Stewart A. Baker,Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
- Susan L. Foster, Member, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, P.C.
- Moderator: Matthew R.A. Heiman, Vice President, Chief Compliance & Audit Officer, Tyco International