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Elaine Mandel
Elaine Mandel
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Pellicano Wire-tapping Suspect Acquitted

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If your telephone calls are recorded or monitored, and you don’t know and consent to it, at least in California, you are entitled to money damages. Numerous companies have recordings saying “Your call may be recorded or monitored,” but many companies don’t warn callers, and still record or monitor calls. This may be illegal, and class action cases can compensate people whose right of privacy was violated.

In California, wiretapping, recording or monitoring a telephone call is illegal unless BOTH parties agree. It’s common to call a company call center and hear “This call may be recorded or monitored.” But some companies record or monitor calls WITHOUT letting the public know. This is illegal, and people who’ve been recorded or monitored without their knowledge or consent have a right to recover money damages for having their privacy violated.

This problem gained national attention several months ago with the indictment of Anthony Pellicano, the high-profile private investigator who was hired by numerous celebrities and who allegedly wiretapped hundreds of others, including actors Garry Shandling and Sylvester Stallone.

Yesterday, a former SBC (now AT&T) employee who was charged with lying to a grand jury about her contacts with a central figure in the Pellicano indictments was acquitted.

In a setback for government prosecutors, a federal jury in Los Angeles on Monday acquitted a former SBC employee on four felony counts of lying about her contacts with a central figure in the wiretapping case against onetime Hollywood private investigator Anthony Pellicano.

The eight-man, four-woman jury also told U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer that it was deadlocked on a fifth perjury count against Joann Wiggan of Burbank, who was fired in March after 34 years with the telephone company, now known as AT&T.

Wiggan had been charged with lying to a federal grand jury about her contacts with co-worker Ray Turner, who is awaiting trial with Pellicano for allegedly providing the Hollywood private eye with confidential telephone records used in wiretapping.

Class action cases have been brought against numerous companies, including on-line car dealer CarsDirect, for monitoring or recording calls without letting the public know. Kiesel Boucher Larson LLP got settlements for people who had been taped or eavesdropped on by CarsDirect; most of these people didn’t even know they’d been recorded until they received notice of the class settlement. If you’ve been recorded or monitored and you didn’t consent to it, you may have a legal right to recover for invasion of your privacy.