AGs, Carriers' Cooperation Won't Stem Robocall Litigation

Aug 26, 2019

Doug Gansler comments on a new information-sharing partnership between major phone carriers and attorneys general across the country expected to expedite the tracking and prosecution of robocall scammers and the networks that enable them.

Excerpts from “AGs, Carriers' Cooperation Won't Stem Robocall Litigation,” Law360, August 26, 2019:

The partnership positions phone carriers and regulators as allies in the fight against illegal phone traffic, but there is uncertainty about how rigorously carriers will participate and how the agreement will affect robocall-related litigation. 

“What this seemingly does is it aligns the carriers and regulators — in this case the states — to be able to block and identify the bad actor,” said Doug Gansler, a former Maryland attorney general who now heads Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP’s state attorneys general practice group.

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While private parties and state attorneys general often coordinate on cases, Gansler said this action is unusual because it seeks to proactively prevent bad conduct instead of penalizing parties after wrongs have been committed.

“The state AGs are holding the carriers’ feet to the fire in terms of implementing technology that will help them trace and block robocalls,” he said. “What’s different about this is it doesn’t appear to be as a result of an enforcement action taking place against the carriers.”

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According to Gansler, “What this announcement does is sets the industry standard for the companies that signed on and those that did not. Companies can no longer say, ‘It was just the handoff company’s fault.’”

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