Swier Law Firm recently won a major telecommunications case in the United States District Court - District of South Dakota for its client Free Conferencing Corporation of Long Beach, California.
In the mid-2000s, free calling service companies and various Local Exchange Carriers engaged in access stimulation to maximize profits in a favorable regulatory environment. In response, certain interexchange carriers convinced the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new regulations to prevent access stimulation. The free calling service companies and Local Exchange Carriers still operate, but do so under these new regulations.
At the conclusion of a lengthy trial in Sioux Falls, Federal District Judge Karen Schreier ruled in Free Conferencing's favor. First, in its effort to impose liability on Free Conferencing, Qwest failed to establish tort liability under South Dakota law. Second, Qwest did not show that Free Conferencing improperly interfered with Qwest’s tariff relationship with the Local Exchange Carrier. Third, Qwest did not show that the South Dakota Supreme Court would recognize the tort theory of inducing regulatory violations. Fourth, although Free Conferencing and the Local Exchange Carrier had an agreement to engage in access stimulation, Qwest did not establish that Free Conferencing intended to act unlawfully. Finally, Qwest did not establish circumstances that would justify an equitable remedy.