Telecommunications

Attorneys in Munger, Tolles & Olson’s telecommunications practice work one-on-one with executives and in-house counsel for both wireline and wireless carriers, as well as other equipment manufacturers. Our litigators are well versed in the complex regulatory, statutory and constitutional issues that arise in this industry. Our recent work includes representing:

  • HTC in nationwide class actions alleging that the installation and use of Carrier IQ software on smartphone devices violates the federal Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws.
  • Verizon in nationwide class actions alleging that Verizon’s third-party billing and collection system failed to prevent third parties from submitting unauthorized charges. The case settled and court approval is pending.  
  • Verizon Wireless in nationwide class actions in federal and state court and arbitration alleging that carrier’s early termination fees constituted unlawful liquidated damages provisions. The case settled during trial.
  • Verizon and Verizon Wireless in putative class actions challenging the validity of late payment charges.
  • Small local exchange carriers, in a challenge to a decision of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requiring carriers to refund to customers amounts received upon dissolution of the Rural Telephone Bank. The California Court of Appeal annulled the commission’s decision, holding that it violated the Takings Clause and the retroactive ratemaking doctrine.
  • Verizon New Jersey in a challenge to a decision by the board of Public Utilities reducing intrastate access charges.
  • Verizon in putative class actions alleging that telecommunications carriers assisted the government in connection with anti-terrorism activities. The case was dismissed.
  • A major Internet service provider in a case alleging that members of proposed nationwide class had received Internet services at speeds slower of those promised. Obtained dismissal of complaint, followed by affirmance by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
  • A major long-distance provider in proposed class action based on customer service practices that were alleged to violate Washington state statutes on telemarketing and consumer protection. Obtained dismissal at the trial court, based inter alia, on federal preemption under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, followed by affirmance by the 9th Circuit.
  • A major provider of Internet digital subscriber line (DSL) service in a putative class action alleging statutory violations in connection with in-home service appointments. The case was dismissed at the pleading stage after a demurrer to the initial complaint was sustained without leave to amend.
  • Verizon Wireless in a qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act against major wireless carriers alleging overcharging by carriers in provision of wireless surveillance for law enforcement agencies.
  • Verizon in a putative nationwide class action alleging that Verizon overcharged for Caller ID services. We were successful in defeating class certification, after which the case settled on an individual (non-class) basis.

Contact:
Henry Weissmann (213) 683-9150