Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 13:18:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Taping tel. conv.

Bethany: Don't know that I would call myself an expert, but, as a long-time
journalist, among other things, I have had to deal with this question a lot.
It is my understanding that it depends to a large extent on what state you
are in. In some states, the law is of the "two-party" variety -- that is to
say, both parties must be aware the conversation is being taped. Then there
are "one-party" laws in some states, like Indiana here, that say only one
party must be aware of the taping.
But, to further confuse the situation, there are states like Maryland
-- and this is what muddied the whole Linda Tripp situation -- that say both
parties must be aware BUT, if the party doing the taping isn't aware of that
law then he/she is off the hook (so to speak) -- creating an "ignorance of
the law IS an excuse" situation!
The best bet, always, is to get the interviewee to sign a
consent/release form.
Also, I have a taping mechanism that hooks directly onto the phone
wires (alligator clips), which is much preferable to the type that sticks on
the outside of the headset. Can't remember where I got it, though.
Hope this has been of some help.

Jerry Miller

P.S. Federal law, I believe, takes the "two-party" approach, but I can't
tell you what that means for you (perhaps that covers inter-state calls, but
I'm not sure).

At 12:17 PM 3/24/98 -0500, you wrote:
Is anyone an expert at taping telephone conversations? Legally, that is?

I am going to interview a person by telephone on Friday a.m. -- she has
given me permission to tape the call.

I have a junky little pickup from Radio Shack that's about 15 years old.
What would be best to use? That's not tres cher?