By: Edward A. Maldonado, Esq. May 24, 2020 Coral Gables, Florida – Categories FCC Practice
Many moons ago, I was handed my first FCC Enforcement Action to defend. The NAL allegations looked daunting. Moreover I was hard-pressed find any insight on how the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau was discovering violations or reaching their findings of fact. At the time, most of that information required a FOIA request. The FCC has since become more transparent and modernized its website.
Now FCC Enforcement Advisories, Citations, NALs, NOVs, NUOs, Forfeiture Orders and federal court rulings from major NAL appeals are posted regularly on the Enforcement Bureau’s webpage. Albeit these carry official Commissioner Statements and Press Releases that tend to reinforce the findings of the Bureau with an occasional dissent. They are helpful but do not trend the direction of future potential violations. They also don’t provide a clear bright line what compliance measures should be implemented to avoid problems, or at the very least what should be avoided and abandoned if you are running afoul of the Communication Act and FCC Rules.
By reading the “Who Got Whacked and Why” blog posts, it is hoped licensees and the public can better insight and understanding as to where the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is drawing its interpretive “line” on rule and statute violations. The Who Got Whacked and Why Blog posts will also track Court Appeals from the FCC on certain cases to verify if the Courts agree with the FCC’s interpretation of statutes and rules, or if the Courts have found the Commission to have over-stepped its authority, acted arbitrarily, or in a manner that requires to sets its own guidelines for FCC when it reviews future or potential violations. The reporting format will provide a quick picture and links for further review directly at the Commission. We realize we cannot cover everything at the FCC Enforcement Bureau, but, we’ll strike to cover what we believe most relevant to our clients. We will also provide links and information to the FCC so that you can read the FCC’s position for yourself. The goal is to learn and avoid from the woes of others who have been NAL’d.