Class plaintiff's attorney-husband is TCPA specialist

Ann Knef Oct. 24, 2007, 8:38am

The lead plaintiff in a recently filed Lakin class action lawsuit is no ingenue when it comes to litigation involving the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Marilyn Margulis, who proposes to lead a class against Amerifirst, Inc. (dba American Freedom Mortgage, American Freedom Home Lending, American National Brokerage, Inc.) in St. Clair County, successfully sued a telemarketing company in St. Louis County for placing a pre-recorded telephone call to her household.

In 2003, a Missouri appeals court upheld a lower court decision in favor of Margulis.

At trial Margulis asked for $4,500 in damages. Represented by her attorney husband Max Margulis, whose practice is devoted exclusively to prosecuting TCPA claims, Ms. Margulis received $500 following a judge's order granting summary judgment.

The Margulises reside in Chesterfield, Mo.

P&M Consulting Inc. argued that the call made to the Margulis household was a survey, not an advertisement. The company also argued that Max Margulis was the one who actually took the call.

But the appeals court ruled that the statute was violated when the company placed the call to the residence.

In the St. Clair County suit filed by the Lakin Law Firm on Oct. 18, Margulis seeks to represent a class of "at least 39 other" call recipients.

"On or about May 10, 2007, using an automatic telephone dialing system, Defendant called Plaintiff's telephone number which was assigned to a residential telephone service and delivered a message containing a pre-recorded voice message," the complaint states.

Lakin's co-counsel includes Phillip A. Bock of Diab & Bock in Chicago and Brian J. Wanca of Anderson & Wanca in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Plaintiff's counsel is experienced in handling claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the suit says.

"Defendant knew or should have known that it delivered a prerecorded message to Plaintiff advertising the commercial availability of any property, goods, or services and did not have the prior express consent of Plaintiff to make such telephone contact and that no established business relationship existed with Plaintiff," the complaint states.

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