See.. THIS is why I don’t like the National Consumer Law Center.
Sure they pose as this consumer-friendly organization in their highbred holier-than-though manner–won’t even come on my podcast since I am apparently beneath them!– but their real agenda is to promote litigation and support the Plaintiff’s bar.
Here you go.
In an ex parte filing we picked up today, the NCLC revealed that Margot Saunders (their chief spokesperson) met with a critical member of the FCC’s staff to encourage the Commission to change the wording of the NPRM in one very telling way.
Specifically, the NCLC asked the Commission to change the words “extending,” “extend,” and “extension” in relation to the application of text messages to the DNC Registry to “clarifying,” “clarify,” and “clarification.”
Now why–you may ask–does that matter?
Well if you are looking to protect consumers–it doesn’t. The FCC’s chosen course of extending–via NPRM–rather than clarifying–via a declaratory ruling–provides better protection for consumers moving forward. It assures that the resulting rule is final legislative action pursuant to the APA and BULLETPROOF under the Hobbs Act following PDR Resources.
Pivoting away from the strictures of the APA to the less-secure framework of a declaratory ruling would actually WEAKEN the effect of the ruling moving forward and make it subject to attack in courtrooms across the nation.
So why would the NCLC do such a thing? If it really wanted consumers to be safe asserting TCPA claims for texts under the DNC rules, why not let the NPRM process move forward?
Because their actual agenda is to support plaintiff’s lawyers IMO. And the change from “extend” to “clarify” would prop up EXISTING litigating being brought by consumers. That is, the FCC’s NPRM provided ample ground to torpedo existing TCPA class actions brought for violations of the DNC rules by confirming these protections have not yet been granted by the FCC. A declaratory ruling–that the NCLC seeks–would have retroactive effect (travelling, backward in time) giving support to these existing claims. The NCLC doesn’t want to see its friends in the Plaintiff’s bar hurt by this ruling, so it is asking the FCC to weaken consumer rights moving forward to support plaintiff’s lawyers in the hear and now.
That’s how I see it at least.
This is why I don’t take the NCLC seriously and why their claim that they represent “low-income clients” is a baloney in my view. The plaintiff’s lawyers making millions (or tens of millions) a year are the ones that benefit most from their advocacy. And these lawyers help assure good funding for the NCLC by including them as cy pres recipients in all the big TCPA class settlements they enable.
One hand washes the other.
Public Knowledge, on the other hand, is a horse of a different color. Much more intellectual. More focused on getting to the right answer. That’s why this FCC NPRM on the Public Knowledge request needs to be taken so seriously…
Bottom line: TCPA defendants should NEVER use the NCLC as a cy pres recipient.
Read the ex parte here: NCLC Ex Parte