Privacy Communications & Media Constitutional Law

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Are Changes in Store for the Stored Communications Act?

Last week saw action on two fronts regarding the Stored Communications Act (SCA) – the US federal statute regulating government searches of online accounts in criminal investigations. In Congress, a proposal to reform the SCA...more

Microsoft Sues Justice Department Claiming Statute That Authorizes “Gag Orders” Is Unconstitutional

Adding to the number of recent, high-profile confrontations between the government and tech companies concerning the limits of government investigations and the protection of privacy interests, last week, Microsoft filed a...more

Government Access to Private Data: Microsoft Opens a New Front in the Battle for Consumer Privacy

Prior to the Information Age, sensitive papers were stored in file cabinets and drawers. When home computers arrived, information was digitized and moved to hard drives or other electronic media, still possessed by the user....more

Hulk-Sized Damages in Sex Tape Privacy and Publicity Case

In 2006, Terry Gene Bollea, better known as “Hulk Hogan,” had sex with his best friend’s wife, Heather Clem. Apparently unbeknownst to either of them, his best friend Todd Alan Clem, now legally known as “Bubba the Love...more

Apple Argues It Should Not Be Compelled to Write Software for the F.B.I.

On February 16, 2016, Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym in the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued an order compelling Apple, Inc. to provide technical assistance to the F.B.I. so it can access...more

The Law Behind the Apple vs. FBI iPhone Unlocking Debate

By now, you have probably read about how the FBI is asking Apple to create software that would help the FBI unlock the iPhone of one of the deceased San Bernadino attackers. You have probably heard the talking heads scream...more

Latest German Sausage? Privacy-Wurst by Facebook

Despite not being explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has firmly held that a right to privacy for all Americans is found in several amendments to the Constitution, with almost 100 years of case law...more

Federal Court Orders Apple to Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s Phone

Apple must help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif. assault in December, a federal magistrate judge ruled this week. The ruling handed the government an important victory in an...more

Supreme Court Holds Unaccepted Offers for Full Relief Do Not Moot Class Actions

Relying on “basic principles of contract law,” the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that an unaccepted settlement offer and offer of judgment under Rule 68 are “legal nullit[ies]” that have no effect on whether a live...more

Unaccepted Settlement Offer Cannot Moot Consumer Lawsuits

On Wednesday, January 20, in a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an unaccepted settlement offer, or offer of judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68, cannot moot a plaintiff's case. The ruling...more

Unaccepted Rule 68 Offer Does Not Moot a Plaintiff's Claims, U.S. Supreme Court Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an unaccepted Rule 68 settlement offer does not moot a class action even when the offer would provide the named plaintiff with complete individual relief. The decision in Campbell-Ewald...more

Supreme Court opinion in Campbell-Ewald co. v. Gomez: kicking the can down the road

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857. The question presented was whether an unaccepted offer of full relief on the named plaintiff’s individual claim will render a putative class...more

Ontario Court Finds Cellphone Tower “Metadata” is Private

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Court) recently ruled in R. v. Rogers Communications that broad cellphone “tower dump” production orders are unconstitutional as unreasonable seizures under section 8 of the Charter of...more

Think You Can Moot Plaintiff's Claim With a Rule 68 Offer of Judgment? Think Again

As we have previously noted, federal appellate courts have been split on whether a defendant can moot a class action by making a Rule 68 offer of judgment, agreeing to pay all of the damages to which the named plaintiff seeks...more

Breaking: Supreme Court Rules Today that TCPA Class Action Not Mooted by Unaccepted Settlement Offer to Named Plaintiff

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that a company’s unaccepted offer of complete relief to a named plaintiff in a putative class action does not moot the plaintiff’s case. Before the ruling, authored by Justice Ruth Bader...more

Supreme Court holds that an unaccepted offer of judgment doesn’t moot a class action

Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to “cases” and “controversies.” As the Supreme Court recently explained in Genesis HealthCare Corp. v. Symczyk, a lawsuit does not present an Article...more

FCC Responds In Consolidated Appeal From Its July 2015 Omnibus Ruling

On Friday, January 15, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission filed its response to the arguments of the joint Petitioners in the consolidated appeal from its July 10, 2015 Omnibus Ruling. The Commission’s brief...more

U.S. Government Challenges Preliminary Injunction On NSA Surveillance Program: Update On Klayman v. Obama

On Monday, January 4, 2016, the U.S. government filed a motion in Klayman v. Obama to vacate the preliminary injunction granted by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that limited the National Security...more

5 Big Developments in Privacy Class Actions in 2015, and 3 to Look for in 2016

The burgeoning area of privacy class action litigation showed no signs of slowing down in 2015. Here are some of the most significant developments from the past year, as well as some things to watch for in the coming year....more

Top Posts of 2015

In descending order, here were the top posts from 2015. #7 Will Net Neutrality Kill the Internet 3.0? In February, the FCC passed the net neutrality rules. This seems like one of those issues, like most, that seemed...more

Poetic Justice – 2015 Wrap Up (Part 1 of 2)

This is the time of year to anxiously look forward to all that is anticipated to come in 2016. But it is also the time to look back at all that has happened in 2015. Rather than simply give you links to all of my stimulating...more

Anticipating Decisions In Three Supreme Court Cases With Potential To Impact Class Action Litigation

The US Supreme Court’s October 2015 term includes three cases that may have important implications for class action litigation: Spokeo Inc. v. Robins et al., 13-1339, Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 14-857, and Tyson Foods, Inc....more

Federal Judge Rules Against NSA Telephone Surveillance Program

On Monday, November 9, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled, in Klayman v. Obama, against part of the National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) surveillance program that collects domestic...more

California Enacts Electronic Communication Privacy Statute, Connected Television Privacy Statute

The California legislature recently enacted the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CalECPA”) (Senate Bill 178), which provides greater protections against governmental searches for persons’ electronic...more

Supreme Court denies cert in case involving cell location privacy rights

On July 31, 2015, Quartavious Davis petitioned for certiorari in Davis v. United States, No. 15-146 asking (1) whether the acquisition of a cell phone user’s location data from his cellular service provider constitutes a...more

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