Our daily opinion summary writers have pulled a few opinions of note for you to check out this week. If you’re interested in signing up for our free summaries or subscribing to various summary feeds, you can do so here.
Cellco Partnership v. FCC, US DC Cir. (12/04/12)
Communications Law, Constitutional Law
Recognizing the growing importance of mobile data in a wireless market in which smart phones are increasingly common, the FCC adopted a rule requiring mobile-data providers to offer roaming agreements to other such providers on “commercially reasonable” terms. Verizon challenged the data roaming rule on multiple grounds. The court held that Title III of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 151 et seq., plainly empowered the FCC to promulgate the data roaming rule. And although the rule bears some marks of common carriage, the court deferred to the FCC’s determination that the rule imposed no common carrier obligations on mobile-internet providers. In response to Verizon’s remaining arguments, the court concluded that the rule did not effect an unconstitutional taking and was neither arbitrary nor capricious.
Lucero v. Holbrook, Wyoming Supreme Court (11/30/12)
Appellee left her car unattended with the motor running in her private driveway while she briefly returned to her home to retrieve her pocketbook. In the interim, Colbey Emms stole her vehicle. Emms later got into a high-speed chase, which ended when the car he was driving collided with a vehicle driven by Appellant, the mother of two children (collectively, Appellants). Appellant sued Appellee, alleging that Appellee breached a duty of due care to her and her children by leaving her car unattended with the keys in the ignition. The district court granted Appellee’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that no duty was owed to Appellants under either the common law or by statute, and that Appellee’s leaving of her keys in her car with the motor running was not the proximate cause of the accident. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellee’s conduct was not proscribed by statute and therefore did not result in the violation of a statutory duty of care; and (2) Appellee did not owe Appellants a common law duty of care to protect them from the harm that occurred in this case.