• On May 10, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed two district court orders dismissing separate complaints brought against T-Mobile USA, Inc. challenging the carrier’s practice of billing customers both a Universal Service Fund fee and a Regulatory Programs Fee. The Northern District of California district court had dismissed various California state law claims for unfair competition, false advertising, and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, as well as a federal claim for unjust and unreasonable practices under section 201(b) of the Communications Act. The United States District Court for the Western District of Seattle had dismissed similar claims brought under Washington and federal law. The Ninth Circuit affirmed both district courts on the ground that T-Mobile's contracts with those consumer plaintiffs, including its incorporated “terms and conditions” document, expressly allows for the charges. 9th Cir. Nos. 09-15770, 09-35201.
  • On May 13, 2010, Paetec Communications, Inc. filed its Petition for Permission to Appeal Pursuant to FRAP Rule 5 and 28 U.S.C. section 1292(b) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Paetec seeks review of the district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of defendant CommPartners, LLC, represented by Michael Hazzard of our Telecom Group, in a case seeking payment of access charges for VoIP traffic. The district court had held that Paetec’s tariff, which purports to impose access charges for VoIP-originated traffic, cannot require payment as a matter of law. D.C. Cir. Case No. 10-8002.