Speak into the Microphone and Keep Your Voice Up, Please: The Ethics of Secretly Recording Witnesses, Lawyers and Clients

Mark your calendars for the Ninth Annual Session of the Lively M. Wilson Memorial Series on Professionalism (formerly known as the Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court Annual Ethics Program).

This program will examine the ethical issues that arise when lawyers record conversations without the knowledge of one or more participants, during the pretrial investigative stage and throughout trial and post-adjudicative proceedings. The following questions are among those that will be addressed:

  • Is secretly recording conversations with one or more parties inherently deceitful conduct by a lawyer?  May it be justified when necessary to further a legitimate societal end?
  • May prosecutors secretly record as part of a covert investigation, e.g., a sting operation?
  • Is there an exception in the KRPC for secretly recording targets, subjects or witnesses in criminal cases?
  • Are exceptional circumstances needed to justify a lawyer recording a client?
  • May lawyers secretly record conversations with other lawyers? Does it make a difference whether the case is a civil or criminal matter?

Make plans to attend this provocative discussion of a complex area of professional ethics and the practice of law, which has generated considerable disagreement among bar associations, courts and legal scholars.

Panel: Elizabeth Jones Brown, Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney; Professor William H. Fortune, UK Law; Susan D. Phillips, Phillips Parker Orberson & Arnett; Leo G. Smith, Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office. Moderators: Daniel T. Goyette, Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office and Hon. Thomas B. Wine, Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney

This CLE is a partnership with The Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court, the Louisville Bar Association and Stites & Harbison, PLLC





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