November 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 331

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TCPA Quick Hitter: Law Firm Not Liable for TCPA Violations Even Though Autodialer Might Have Been Used [VIDEO]

Here’s a quick and fun one for you TCPAWorld.

The law firm Snell & Wilmer was recently sued because of debt collection calls allegedly made by one of its attorneys.

The Plaintiff in suing the firm contended that the calls were made using an autodialer and without consent, triggering the TCPA and its $500.00 per call statutory damage provision.

But the Court in Mehl v. Green, et al. 2022 WL 4056269 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2022) disagreed. It held that only random calls can trigger the TCPA–even if an autodialer was allegedly used:

Plaintiffs allege that each of the calls concerned either specific problems occurring at the subject property or the state court cases, id. at 9-12, thereby dispelling any notion that the calls were made randomly. Several courts have held that when a plaintiff provides their number—which is the only logical explanation in this case—a TCPA claim does not lie—even if the plaintiff claims that the defendant used an autodialer.

The analysis of Mehl is consistent with a number of courts post-Facebook that have suggested only calls to randomly-produced phone numbers trigger the TCPA. While that is not technically true–post-Facebook either production or storage of phone numbers using an ROSNG triggers the TCPA–the shorthand approach adopted by Mehl  undoubtedly reached the proper result as I am certain Snell lawyers aren’t firing up an autodialer to reach people.

Breaking down another recent case holding ATDS only applies to random numbers. 

© 2022 Troutman FirmNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 250
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About this Author

Eric Troutman TCPA Lawyer Troutman Law Firm Orange County, CA
Founder

Eric J Troutman is known as one of the country’s prominent class action defense lawyers and is nationally recognized in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and compliance. He has served as lead defense counsel in more than 70 national TCPA class actions and has litigated nearly a thousand individual TCPA cases in his role as national strategic litigation counsel for major banks and finance companies. Eric also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric's perspective allows him to...

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