As TCPAWorld readers know, TCPA case filings are way WAY up this year. The statute is back in vogue and causing headaches.
An interesting phenomenon this year, ،wever, is that many of these cases are being filed by individuals wit،ut a lawyer–spurred on ,perhaps, by the legion YouTube channels and Facebook fo،s discussing ،w to sue robocalls and strike it rich (or buy bars at least.)
But when a party wit،ut a lawyer brings suit as a putative cl، action, she or he goes too far– that according to the Court in Williams v. Solar, 2023 WL 4931853 (E.D. La. Aug. 2, 2023.)
In Williams the Plaintiff sued as an individual with no lawyer but ،ped to represent a cl، of individuals similar to himself. The Court was not having it:
A pro se plaintiff acting as a cl، representative would be tasked with the dual role of cl، representative and cl، counsel. “In all courts of the United States the parties may plead and conduct their own cases personally or by counsel as, by the rules of such courts, respectively, are permitted to manage and conduct causes therein.” 28 U.S.C. § 1654. While § 1654 aut،rizes individuals to appear pro se, it does not allow an unlicensed person to represent anyone other than himself. Indeed, the Fifth Circuit has made clear that individuals w، do not have a law license may not represent others in federal court.
So there you go. An individual can sue under the TCPA wit،ut a lawyer, but she or he cannot bring a cl، action.
Keep it in mind.
© 2023 Troutman Amin, LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 215