Recording the Police, Co-Workers, and Others: What attorneys need to know

Sophia Cope
Jeffrey D. Wohl
James Murray
Sophia Cope | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Jeffrey D. Wohl | Paul Hastings LLP
James Murray | Paul Hastings LLP
Live Video-Broadcast: June 25, 2024
Recording the Police, Co-Workers, and Others: What attorneys need to know

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Program Summary

Session I - The First Amendment Right to Record the Police – Sophia Cope

This presentation will provide an overview of the circuit decisions recognizing a First Amendment right to record the police and the doctrinal basis for these decisions. It will discuss the consensus rule amongst the circuits, as well as special circumstances such as audio recording and livestreaming. It will also discuss practical considerations when recording the police, including why citizen recording is critical for police accountability.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Legal Precedents and Circuit Decisions
  • Consensus Rule and Special Circumstances
  • Practical Considerations for Recording Police
  • Role of Citizen Recording in Police Accountability

Session II - Making a Record: Understanding surreptitious-recording laws – Jeffrey D. Wohl and James Murray

Your smart phone makes it easier than ever to record conversations surreptitiously. But when can you legally press the record button? This session will discuss the current landscape of surreptitious-recording laws, including examinations of recording interactions with law enforcement, recording in the workplace, the legal impacts of recording in public versus private settings, and a discussion of ethical considerations and best practices.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • First Amendment protections
  • One and two-party consent jurisdictions
  • Expectations of privacy, wiretapping, and workplace surveillance

Session III – Ethical Considerations and Best Practices - Jeffrey D. Wohl and James Murray

This session offers insights into recording conversations within legal contexts. It addresses ethical concerns surrounding recording practices and emphasizes the obligation to inform all parties involved. Participants will learn strategies for maintaining confidentiality and preserving attorney-client privilege. Practical guidance will be provided to help attorneys navigate recording-related challenges in their professional endeavors.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Ethical implications of recording conversations
  • Duty to inform parties about recording practices
  • Safeguarding confidentiality and attorney-client privilege
  • Practical guidance for attorneys navigating recording-related issues

Date: June 25, 2024

  • 12:00 pm – 3:20 pm Eastern
  • 11:00 am – 2:20 pm Central
  • 10:00 am – 1:20 pm Mountain
  • 9:00 am – 12:20 pm Pacific

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Sophia Cope_myLawCLESophia Cope | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Sophia Cope is a Senior Staff Attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s civil liberties team, working on a variety of free speech and privacy issues. She has been a civil liberties attorney for two decades and has experience in both litigation and policy advocacy. She previously worked at the News Media Alliance, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the First Amendment Project. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University and University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (UC Law SF, formerly UC Hastings).

 

Jeffrey D. Wohl_myLawCLEJeffrey D. Wohl | Paul Hastings LLP

Jeffrey Wohl is a partner in the Paul Hastings Employment Law Department in San Francisco. Over his four-decade career, Mr. Wohl has practiced every aspect of employment law, including litigation and client counseling in the areas of equal employment opportunity, harassment and retaliation, disability accommodation, wrongful termination, privacy, and wage-and-hour. Mr. Wohl is a frequent speaker on employment law topics and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

 

James Murray_myLawCLEJames Murray | Paul Hastings LLP

James Murray is an associate in the Paul Hastings Employment Law Department in Washington, D.C. Mr. Murray’s practice focuses on employment counseling and collective and class action litigation defense.

Before joining Paul Hastings, Mr. Murray served as the Vice Mayor of Ashland, Virginia, where he gained valuable, first-hand experience with organizational leadership, public relations, crisis planning and communications, and political lobbying.

Agenda

Session I – The First Amendment Right to Record the Police | 12:00pm – 1:00pm

  • Legal Precedents and Circuit Decisions | 12:00pm – 12:15pm
  • Consensus Rule and Special Circumstances | 12:15pm – 12:30pm
  • Practical Considerations for Recording Police | 12:30pm – 12:45pm
  • Role of Citizen Recording in Police Accountability | 12:45pm – 1:00pm

Break | 1:00pm – 1:10pm

Session II – Making a Record: Understanding surreptitious-recording laws | 1:10pm – 2:10pm

  • Understanding Recording Laws | 1:10pm – 1:20pm
    • Definition of recording conversations
    • Federal and state laws governing recording practices
    • Distinction between one-party and two-party consent states
    • Discussion on wiretapping statutes and exceptions
  • Recording Interactions with Law Enforcement | 1:20pm – 1:35pm
    • Rights and limitations when recording encounters with police officers
    • Analysis of the First Amendment implications
    • Review of notable court cases shaping the legal landscape
    • Practical advice for individuals interacting with law enforcement
  • Recording in Public Spaces | 1:35pm – 1:50pm
    • Understanding privacy expectations in public areas
    • Applicability of recording laws in public areas
    • Considerations for recording protests, demonstrations, and public gatherings
    • Balancing First Amendment rights with privacy concerns
  • Recording in Private Spaces | 1:50pm – 2:00pm
    • Understanding expectations of privacy in private residences, businesses, and others
    • Consent requirements for recording conversations in private spaces
    • Legal precedents regarding hidden cameras and audio recording devices
  • Recording in the Workplace | 2:00pm – 2:10pm
    • Legal framework for recording conversations in the workplace
    • Employee rights and employer obligations regarding workplace surveillance
    • Handling disputes arising from workplace recordings

Break | 2:10pm – 2:20pm

Session III – Ethical Considerations and Best Practices | 2:20pm – 3:20pm

    • Ethical implications of recording conversations
    • Duty to inform parties about recording practices
    • Safeguarding confidentiality and attorney-client privilege
    • Practical guidance for attorneys navigating recording-related issues