Can I record my business phone calls without permission from both parties?

UPDATED: May 27, 2011

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Can I record my business phone calls without permission from both parties?

I work for a first aid company and do outside sales.

Asked on May 27, 2011 under Personal Injury, Washington


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

WA is what is known as a "all-party consent".  This means that both parties to a conversation(in person/telephone) must consent to it's recording.  This means that if a conversation is recorded all parties must consent to it.  That is unless there is no expectation of privacy.  In other words, was the conversation considered to be private?  Almost all telephone conversations are presumed to be.  However, in-person conversations are not necessarily private. As a general rule, in-person conversations which can be naturally overheard (i.e. without use of any special devices) are not considered private communications.

Failure to obtain such consent can result in a personal injury lawsuit, and in some cases criminal charges as well. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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