Op-eds and Articles

Sweeney for Morning Consult, “Federal Agencies Should Stop, Not Facilitate, Litigation Abuse”

By Rob Sweeney, PPI Center for Civil Justice Contributor 

As a small business owner, I often hear about abusive litigation threats but never thought they would affect me – until now. I own a small technology business based in Kansas City called TextCaster that provides text-messaging services for educational, civic, nonprofit and corporate organizations. Over the past 18 months, my company has been hit hard by plaintiffs’ lawyers who have mastered the art of the legal “shake down.” They demand money from our clients over their perfectly legal texting practices, and in return for a payoff promise not to file the threatened lawsuit.

The ammunition for these abusive litigation tactics is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the related regulations promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission, which are ostensibly intended to protect consumers from unsolicited texts. But TextCaster’s clients have no desire to text those who do not want to receive texts. They send only non-commercial alerts that people affirmatively sign up to receive. And unfortunately, instead of providing clarity about how people who have asked for texts can later opt out, the FCC’s actions of late have just created uncertainty.

Continue reading at Morning Consult.