Denver Attorneys Land Significant Victory for Qwest in Minnesota

April 4, 2017 Firm News

Denver attorneys Chuck Steese and Doug Marsh scored a major victory for client Qwest Communications Company in a long-running case against free calling service company (FCSC) Free Conferencing Corp. in U.S. District Court in Minnesota. This is one in a series of cases Chuck has managed for Qwest over a practice called “traffic pumping.”

In their most recent victory, the court awarded Qwest (now CenturyLink) more than $1 million. Free Conferencing, a pioneer of the illegal business plan, contracted with a local telephone company, which obligated the local company to bill Qwest charges in violation of a tariff. In a 94-page opinion, the court found that Free Conferencing’s business tortiously interfered with Qwest’s tariff relationship.

Qwest originally brought the suit for tortious interference with contracts against Free Conferencing and three other defendants in February 2010. One of those defendants settled, and another filed for bankruptcy. In addition to awarding Qwest $1,051,051.93 in consequential damages and attorney’s fees, the court ordered Free Conferencing to pay prejudgment interest at a rate of 10 percent per year, which brings the damages to more than $1.75 million.

As partner and managing attorney of Armstrong Teasdale’s Denver office, Chuck has successfully tried more than 40 complex commercial, telecommunications, and intellectual property disputes in courts and before regulatory bodies across the United States. These cases often involve parallel litigation and regulatory or other proceedings. Clients routinely praise Chuck for his ability to simplify complex cases into manageable issues that judges and juries can comprehend. His engineering background enhances his ability to handle complicated cases efficiently and effectively.

An associate in the Litigation practice group, Doug is experienced in drafting judicial memoranda, orders, and opinions; conducting depositions and preparing related documents; examining and cross-examining witnesses; presenting oral arguments in trial and appellate courts; and drafting and filing briefs and motions. He gained significant knowledge about trial preparation and procedure, case administration, and legal research as a Special Assistant State’s Attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and through federal and state judicial clerkships.

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