Reply To: New Blog: Know Your Rights: Phone Call Recording Laws by State

Dean A. Beers
Moderator

    Thanks for this info. One thing for PIs – especially new – just because it is legal (or appears to be) does not mean you can record.
    – It must be legal in both states both parties are physically in. With a mobile society, primarily cell phones used, and number portability – a subject thought to be in Colorado (a one-party state) may be in Massachusetts (a two-party state).
    – It must also be ethical. The ABA and state bar associations (all I am aware of) ethics state attorneys and their agents cannot record a call unless the other party gives permission. The exception is if (providing it is legal), in criminal cases only, it is ethical if “In connection with actual or potential criminal matters, for the purpose of gathering admissible evidence.” (the other exception is if the call and recording are personal).
    – Any recording may be disclosed – this is true in civil cases, and in some states for criminal cases. In all states and cases it is true if the recording is going to be used to impeach a witness.

    — In all cases – check with your attorney-client first. As their agent, you must follow both their directives and their ABA / state ethics.
    — If your client is not an attorney, you still need to consider the above – particularly if your recording may become evidence, and as part of your Standards of Practice (every agency should have written ethics and standards as part of their policies & procedures).

    #3599

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