Charles Doyle, Wiretapping, Tape Recorders, and Legal Ethics: an Abridged Overview of Questions Posed by Attorney Involvement in Secretly Recording Conversation

CRS Report for Congress R42649

The report describes the view of American jurisdictions on attorneys recording of conversations.

In the majority of jurisdictions a “recording with the consent of one, but not all, of the parties to a conversation is not unethical per se unless it is illegal or contrary to some other ethical standard” (e.g. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Vermont).

In a minority of jurisdictions a lawyer should hesitate “to record without the knowledge of all parties” (e.g. New Mexico).

All other jurisdiction have yet to announce an opinion.

Relevant Law: Model Rules 4.4, 8.4(b)

Mentioned Ethics Opinion: ABA Formal Opinion 01-422

The full text is available at: http://www.fas…

Related documents Crystal, Professional Responsibility – Problems of Practice and the Profession