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Thursday, September 19, 2013

7th Circuit: Estate Planning Attorney Owes $4 Million for Sending Junk Faxes to Hundreds of Accountants

FaxWall Street Journal:  Attorney Owes $4 Million for Junk Faxing:

Gregory Turza, an estate planning attorney, from Park Ridge, Ill., wanted to boost his business by getting his name out to accountants. So he hired a marketing firm to fax hundreds of accountants thousands of promotional ads in the guise of a monthly “newsletter.” ...

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago last month ordered Mr. Turza to pay $500 in statutory damages for each of the 8,430 unsolicited faxes, which works out to more than $4 million.  [Holtzman v. Turza, Nos. 11-3188 & 11-3746 (7th Cir. Aug. 26, 2013)]

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/09/7th-circuit-.html

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Comments

From the decision it appears that the defendant did not raise (a) a free speech argument; (b) an excessive fines argument; or (c) pose any constitutional challenge to the statute.

Posted by: Ed Clinton | Sep 19, 2013 10:37:25 PM

A and C are essentially settled issues with respect to the TCPA, and an award of statutory damages under the TCPA is not a fine (since the government does not receive any part of the award), and therefore not an 8th Amendment violation. It might be possible to argue that it's a due process violation, but other cases arguing that have not been successful, as far as I know (for example: http://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Opinions/Pasco%20v.%20Protus,%2008-3388%20FINAL%20Mem.%20Op.%20and%20Order%20re%20Cross%20MSJs.pdf).

Posted by: Jobs | Sep 20, 2013 3:36:17 PM