Legal Briefs: News from Around NH
AG pushes FCC for robocall clarity, new attorneys appointed ... and more
Attorney Amanda Steenhuis Joins Shaheen & Gordon
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. has welcomed Attorney Amanda Steenhuis to the firm’s Nashua office.
Steenhuis’ practice focuses on estate planning, guardianships, and probate and trust administration, where she will help individuals and families create estate plans that meet their needs.
Prior to entering private practice, Steenhuis spent more than a decade at the New Hampshire Public Defender, where she helped vulnerable people navigate the legal system. Her background in criminal law provides insight into the impact of substance use and mental illness on families.
“The demand for estate planning attorneys in New Hampshire has grown exponentially over the last decade,” says Benjamin Siracusa Hillman, Chair of the Trusts, Estates, & Guardianship Group at Shaheen & Gordon.
“Amanda is already serving clients in the Greater Nashua region, but we’re thrilled to have her join our team and excited to help grow her practice. Her client-centered approach is a perfect fit for our firm.”
Steenhuis is admitted to practice in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces assistant U.S. attorney appointments
U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announced the appointment of Jeff Strelzin as an assistant U.S. Attorney, and the appointments of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kasey Weiland as the senior litigation counsel and Jarad Hodes as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force coordinator.
Strelzin has over 25 years of experience as a prosecutor, most recently as the associate attorney general, director of the Division of Public Protection at the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, where he oversaw the Criminal Bureau, Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau, and the Environmental Protection Bureau. Strelzin is expected to investigate and prosecute a variety of federal crimes, including violent crime, firearm and drug offences, and immigration cases.
Weiland is a federal prosecutor with at least five years of experience, and has been recognized as an outstanding litigator. They will be responsible for in-office trainings of other assistant U.S. attorneys. Weiland will also continue to serve as the Project Safe Childhood coordinator and the human trafficking coordinator.
Hodes will be responsible for leading the district’s specialized investigation and prosecutions of drug trafficking and money laundering criminal conspiracies.
AG Formella urges FCC to clarify rules for telemarketing and robocalls
Attorney General John M. Formella has joined a coalition of 28 state attorneys general calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify the federal rules requiring telemarketers to obtain consent between an individual consumer and one specific seller or business entity before making telemarketing robocalls and texts.
“Consumers should have complete control over when and to whom their email and phone number is shared,” said Formella. “These proposed changes will close loopholes in current regulations and put control back in the consumer’s hands.”
The comment letter was filed in response to an FCC notice of proposed rulemaking. In the notice, the FCC sought comment on a proposed amendment to its rule concerning prior express written consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as well as proposals to strengthen protections against illegal text messages.
The attorneys general, in their letter, support the FCC’s proposal to formally clarify that National Do Not Call Registry protections apply to text messages.
The FCC is proposing to amend its rule concerning consent to close a so-called “lead generator loophole.” As stated in the letter, lead generators are entities that collect personal information (like telephone numbers) from consumers and sell it to third parties, who then use that information to solicit consumers to purchase goods or services.
A common lead generation practice is to offer to give the consumer a quote for a good or service online (like insurance products), and in order to receive the quote, the consumer has to agree to receive calls and/or texts from the lead generator’s marketing partners, which often include thousands of different businesses offering numerous different goods or services. If these separate businesses are identified anywhere, it is usually on a separate webpage only accessible via a hyperlink.
The FCC’s proposed amendment adds language to the existing rule to allow a consumer to consent to robocalls and texts from multiple entities, provided the entities are “logically and topically associated” and are all listed on the webpage where the consumer provides consent.
The attorneys general contend, in their letter, that the FCC’s proposed action could create more ambiguity and that, rather, clarification to existing single seller-to-individual consumer language would be more effective.