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Archive through December 29, 1999Jim Flynt12-29-99  10:52 am
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David P Bennett (Whitey)
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2000 - 4:46 pm:   

Well, heres my 2 cents worth on this subject. Any conversation in person or over the phone may be recorded. The key question, is what are you planning to do with the recording. I can only address civil court as I have not been involved with criminal. If you record the conversation without the knowledge of the other party, then the tape can only be used to verify what you said. None of the conversation from the other party can be heard, played for the jury or introduced into evidence. If you plan on using the recording in court, then you need all parties to the conversation to agree to having the recording made and then if requested by the other parties, must provide them either a transcribed copy or a copy of the tape. The above applies in most all county, state and federal courts that I was involved with over the last 11 years. Hope this helps.
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2000 - 11:18 am:   

Describe in your own words the events that occured on the date of loss, please speak clearly.....oh by the way this may be recorded for training purposes of our associates...hmmmm
Chuck Deaton
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 7:49 pm:   

As I handled a lawsuit that involved "telephone recording" I have some thoughts.

(1) Anybody can file suit, even if only in small claims court, for anything.

(2) There is a "civil" aspect to this and a "criminal" aspect.

(3) There is definitely a "state" aspect and there is definitely a "federal" aspect and in some areas "city" and "county" aspects. There was and may still be a federal law that provides for a $10,000 fine per person taped per listener.

The claim I handled was based on a romance between two police officiers. One kicked the other out and the "kickee" put a recording device in the "kicker's" home. In addition to recording himself, he recorded conversations between the "kickee" and several identified persons and several unidentified persons. Then the tape traveled through several hands and was played for several listeners. The "kickee" filed a civil suit in state court. Criminal charges were filed in city and state court and in federal court. Eventually several civil plaintiffs and several defendants were involved. Damages were paid and several people lost their jobs based on the content of the tapes and more lawsuits were filed in criminal and civil court.

After working on this for a length of time it became clear to me that taping conversations whether the other party is aware or not is risky business.

My suggestion is to rely on the golden rule and mind your manners.
Bill Richard (Billr)
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 6:31 pm:   

Ask Linda Tripp if it is legal in Maryland. I also believe that this law is governed on a state by state basis. After several conversations with different legal professionals and law enforcement persons, the concensus is A. for the personal use of recorded "TELEPHONE" conversations to maintain the accuracy of information in an investigation, the lesser degree of notice will apply and one party that participates must be aware B. for the use of a conversation in support of a claim there should either be a court ordered recording made in compliance with state and federal law or a recorded statement taken in the manner acceptable in our industry with both parties knowledge. I was lead to believe that a different set of rules apply when this recording is not over any wire or wireless communications system. We welcome any of the legal eagles that post to this site to quote any specific statute or laws that apply.
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 5:38 pm:   

TO The Phantom:
As per the information I posted in reference to my conversation with a Fed. Marshall and my conversation this a.m. with my judicial friend, Yes is your answer. Yes in this manner: You can us it for reference for yourself BUT if you have to use it in a court room, then my answer is already there. Remember, YOU have to be involded within the conversation to be able to record a conversation LEGALLY otherwise you have a Tripp deal going - VERY ILLEGAL. Hope this helps, if not punch up my E-mail address and go from there.
Big Brother
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 4:55 pm:   

Gee fellas, I thought you knew that WE tape ALL phone conversations all of the time.

PS: We read all of your e-mail too!
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 3:34 pm:   


My original question was, "can one party legally record a conversation he is having with someone else without advising them?" (Like the irate insured when he calls)

We carried this question into the courts before we answered the question. It probably depends on the state law, but I really do not know. Jim advised what was in his telephone directory, but I am not sure even what state he is from. One of the Carolina states I think.

Still cooking! Later!
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 11:28 am:   

I'm back again. Talked to a Judge friend of mine a few mins. ago and here's the deal, at least in Texas. If you plan to use a recording in the court room, you must, when doing the discovery on both sides of the issue, acknowledge that you do have a recording and submit a copy to the other side wheather it be the Defense or Plaintiff. You must also declare that you intent to use it during the hearing and trial.
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 10:57 am:   

Jim, It is my understanding that unless a recording is subpoenaed by a Court of Law then a recording may not be used in a Court of Law during a trial wherther it is before a jury or only the judge. I'll varify this to make sure that I am right.
Russ Lott (Russ)
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 11:11 pm:   

In Iowa at least one of the parties being recorded must have knowledge of the recording. Some claimants object to having their statement recorded but do not object to being "interviewed" with the conversation being recorded. Go figure.
Jim Flynt (Jim)
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 10:36 pm:   

OK. Picture this. YOU are on the witness stand as a witness or expert for the insurance company. In front of a jury. (Who just happen to pay premiums to insurance companies) Now, you are there to testify. You try to explain the reason you "taped" this conversation with the insured or a third party claimant without their permission or knowledge. I am not an attorney and I don't know what is legal or not. But I do know this: how juries operate. And YOU, just lost your case. BECAUSE, they put themselves in the shoes of the insured, and they say: THAT is not FAIR. They say: you tried to or did TRAP the insured. I say that is not ethical. You may want to do it, but because I sometimes have to appear in court, I DON'T.

I still say, without the permission of both parties, you are going to have a tough time using your "evidence" in court. Especially, if you want to WIN.

Sometimes, perceptions become reality.

Tread softly.
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 7:43 pm:   

In 1979 I had a conversaton with a Federal Marshall regarding a matter like this. He told me that when two or more people are in a conversation that the person doing the recording BEST be one of the persons within the conversation. You do not have to notify the other party(s) involved when you are ONE of the people in the conversation. This goes along with The Phanton and his post on info he has gathered up.
Hope you didn't BURN that BEEF reading this.
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 5:25 pm:   

You may legally record without notifying the party they are being recorded. It's when you PROFIT from those recordings that you get into a legal controversy. The carrier will own the rights to those tapes, regardless of who bought the audio equiment. My husband is a police officer, and they carry recorders on all traffic stops. This came from city attorneys, and district attorenys it is ok by law to record...but if you intend to sell them and profit from it - it's against the law! As in such Tripp profited.
Greg A.
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 1:42 am:   

You two guys crack me up.
Keep up the good work and don't let the burgers burn.
If he lets them burn Jim , then you know he's from Texas. They burn everything....even beans!

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