Opinion Number 552
Is it unprofessional conduct for a lawyer to tape record a telephone conversation with another lawyer for possible future use in pending or prospective litigation, without advice that this procedure has been adopted by him?
ANSWER.ANSWER TO QUESTION NO. 552
The Committee deems the conduct in question a violation of Canon 22 of the Canons of Professional Ethics, which requires that all acts of a lawyer be characterized by candor and fairness.
The tape recording of a telephone conversation between two attorneys, whom the Committee assumes are adversaries, by one of the participants for future use in pending or prospective litigation, is underhanded and deceptive, and fails to satisfy the standards of Canon 22, and, consequently, is unethical and nonprofessional (see opinions 624 and 683 of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York).
The Committee has not considered whether the proposed conduct constitutes a violation of any state or federal law.
September 26, 1967.