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Clients sometimes ask us whether telephone and in-person conversations may legally be tape recorded. As is the case with many legal questions, the answer to this one is, “It depends.”

Largely, it depends upon where each of the parties to a given conversation is located. In some states, for example, both parties to the conversation must be aware of, and must consent to, the taping of the conversation. In other states, only one party (the one making the recording) need consent. In law enforcement, a viable court order may result in the taping of a conversation without the consent of either party.

A non-profit organization known as The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press created a web site that offers a practical guide to the issues and laws throughout the country dealing with this interesting topic. To visit that site, click here.

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