Part of the challenge the case presented was that the tax money AT&T had improperly collected was no longer possessed by AT&T. Instead, AT&T had remitted those monies to the states and local governments in which its customers lived. Thus, in order to recoup the wrongfully collected taxes for the class members, lawsuits had to be filed against thousands of state and local governments. To further complicate matters, each of these thousands of taxing jurisdictions had their own unique rules defining who could file a claim for a tax refund. Some jurisdictions allowed the customers to bring refund actions, while some required that the refund action be brought by the entity that collected and paid the tax—AT&T.
Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader developed a unique solution that allowed the class and AT&T to work together to recoup the near $ 1 billion the state and local governments owed back to AT&T customers. A settlement agreement with AT&T was reached and approved by the Court, which resulted in the class and AT&T jointly pursuing more than a thousand tax refund actions all across the country.