Ting v. AT&T
In this case, Public Justice won an important ruling for California long distance phone customers. Phone giant AT&T attempted to impose upon its customers an unfair, one-sided arbitration system, but in February 2003 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down provisions in AT&T’s arbitration clause that (a) stripped consumers of the right to file or participate in a class action; (b) stripped consumers of various rights and shielded AT&T from damages for willful misconduct under California’s consumer protection laws; (c) required consumers to pay expensive fees for arbitration; and (d) contained a gag rule requiring consumers to keep secret any dispute they might have against AT&T.
In October 2003, the Supreme Court let stand Public Justice’s victory for consumers against AT&T. The legal team included Senior Attorney Paul Bland, the Sturdevant Law Firm, former Public Justice attorney Michael Quirk, and former Public Justice fellows Kate Gordon and Khalid Elhassan.