September 14, 2020

Restaurant Law Center Files Amicus in Landmark Supreme Court Case

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On Friday, September 11, 2020, the Restaurant Law Center filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that has created what the group calls an untenable and abusive legal landscape for legitimate businesses and consumers who request to communicate using modern technology.

The brief outlines how the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the case Facebook v. Duguid, erroneously conflated valued communications such as text messages, including those welcomed by consumers, with robocalls as defined under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibition of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (ATDS).  

It also points out that the resulting flurry of lawsuits and legal confusion forces retailers and restaurants to choose between forgoing communications valued by consumers or exposing themselves to potentially crushing TCPA liability given the statutory damages framework.

“Rejecting the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation will enable retailers and restaurants to send customers the information they want and need without facing the inherent risk of arbitrary and massive liability for doing so,” Restaurant Law Center Executive Director Angelo Amador said.

“This case is not about robocalls. It is about important communications that consumers want like reminders and confirmations from familiar businesses. These types of communications, including those requested by consumers, are distinct from the types of intrusive robocalls that triggered Congress to write the TCPA.  Overturning this case will enable customers to communicate with businesses using modern technology and will enable businesses to do so without threat of frivolous lawsuits,” he added.

Click here to learn more about the Restaurant Law Center. Click here to read the group’s full amicus brief.

The Restaurant Law Center is an independent 501(c)(6). The Center's goal is to promote pro-business laws and regulations that allow restaurants to continue growing, creating jobs and contributing to a robust American economy. The Center is the voice of America’s restaurants in the courtroom advancing the policy interests of the industry.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.5 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.