April 15, 2020— The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in favor of Kellogg Hansen’s client, Global Tel*Link, in class action alleging claims under the Federal
Communications Act (FCA), 47 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. and state laws.  The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to decertify the class and grant summary judgment for Global*Tel Link.

Kellogg Hansen partner Derek Ho argued the case for Global Tel*Link.  He was joined on brief by Kellogg Hansen associates Matthew Huppert, Benjamin Softness, and Dietrich Hill.  Mr. Ho also represented Global Tel*Link before the district court. 

The Eight Circuit’s opinion builds on Kellogg Hansen’s successful appeal in the D.C. Circuit in Global Tel*Link v. FCC, 866 F.3d 397, 402, 413 (D.C. Cir. 2017), in which the court concluded that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) determination that site commissions were unrelated to the costs of providing services “defies reasoned decisionmaking” and held that the FCC had authority to impose ancillary fee caps such as deposit fee caps on interstate calls, but not on intrastate calls.  The Eighth Circuit found that after the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Global Tel*Link the plaintiff’s theory of class certification became “untenable” and the plaintiffs’ theory that Global violated the FCA if it recovered site commissions through call rates became “unsupportable as a matter of law.

The case is Kaylan Stuart v. Global Tel*Link Corporation (No: 18-2640 and No: 18-2763).