September 19, 2006
Court: A Fax is a Fax even if from a Lawyer
In Stern v. Bluestone, a lawyer who represents plaintiffs in legal malpractice suits sent faxes to lawyers with updates on the law. A lawyer didn't like getting a fax every month, and so sued. The court held that the faxes, because they indirectly indicated the lawyer's availability to represent plaintiffs in malpractice cases by including the lawyer's contact info, was an unsolicited fax that violated a federal statute against spam-faxes. The court rejected the notion that it was informational, and not an indirect solicitation.
The case presented a number of construction issues for the court, including determining the appropriate statute of limitations and determining what "express permission" was, and in a context we can relate to.
Summary judgment for the lawyer who received the faxes; question is damages.
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