Can a conversation be recorded unknowingly by a person regarding a business dispute?

I have a dispute with another person in the same business as me. In an

effort to avoid escalating the matter into a legal situation there is no

lawsuits etc currently, I think it would be better to speak and attempt to

resolve it. However I am concerned that in such a conversation, something I

say could be used against me, if it were recorded. Can a conversation be

recorded unknowingly by a person without the other party’s consent and

used against them? If I state that,

Asked on June 19, 2018 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

MA is an all party consent state. This means that all parties to a conversation must give permission for it to legally be recorded. An excepetion being if the conversation takes place in a public space as no expectation of privacy could be expected. If a conversation is illegally recorded, then the offending party can have criminal charges brought against them, as well as be sued in civil court by the injured party (or parties) for damages.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Massachusetts is what is referred to as a "two-party consent" state, though the more-accurate term would be "all party consent": recording a conversation is NOT legal unless everyone in the conversation consents, or agrees, to the recording. If you are recorded without your consent, that is a criminal act, and you could look to press charges.


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