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Shaffer Quoted in Law360 on Upswing of Cell Phone Eavesdropping Cases

April 2, 2014

Law360 (subscription required) reported on a recent Ninth Circuit decision covering California Penal Code Section 632.7, which prohibits recording cell phones without the consent of all parties to the call. The ruling, which discarded any requirement that confidential information must be discussed, leaves companies taking customer service calls from California residents vulnerable to consumer class actions under section 632.7. Decades-old statutes often don’t keep up with rapidly evolving technology but the Ninth Circuit adopted an interpretation that defense attorneys say is inconsistent with the legislature’s original intent. Olshan Partner Scott Shaffer noted that “recently the number of cases under Section 632.7 has exploded, and that this decision is going to continue that trend. In cases involving the recording of landline cases, it turns into a dispute about whether the communications are confidential or not, but the Ninth Circuit's decision removed that barrier for cell phone conversations. The fact that the court stated that there is no requirement for the communications to be confidential is only going to encourage plaintiffs.”

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