Attorney says Hillsborough jail secretly recorded talks with client – St. Petersburg Times

Interesting article. Attorney’s conversation taped, pulled by HCSO, sent to the State Attorney, then provided in discovery as something the State intends to use at trial.  This brings up SOOOOO many issues.  But let’s skip to the moral of the story: YOUR JAIL PHONE CONVERSATIONS ARE NOT PRIVATE.

Jail calls are recorded – everyone knows that. They are not monitored in real time’; the jail has to pull the calls and listen to them one by one.  As an attorney, I tell my clients NOT TO DISCUSS the facts on the phone.  Never have I let a client say anything remotely incriminating on the phone.  Nonetheless, I have had my calls monitored, and in one instance, the State Attorney filed a motion based on something they thought I was going to do based on a misinterpretation of a conversation with my client (which resulted in a motion to disqualify the prosecutor – not for listening to my call, but for not playing fair).

I do not agree that the HCSO committed an offense here.  I am concerned that the State Attorney’s Office listened to the recording, knowing it was with the man’s attorney, and felt compelled to continue to listen AND to try to use the recording as evidence in a trial.  I believe that the prosecutor had an ethical duty to NOT listen to the conversation once he or she realized it was an attorney/client call, but to notify the defense attorney that he was in possession of the call and to put the defense attorney on notice that the calls were monitored and FUTURE calls would be subject to review.  That may not be the best answer, but it at least offers some semblance of respect for the attorney/client privilege.

One other thing that is bothersome.  Deputy Docobo went WAY overboard in his reaction to this situation.  The only thing he didnt do was insult the attorney’s lineage, family, or personal appearance.  How dare he threaten to go to the Bar over this, when his deputies are routinely violating civil rights with illegal searches and seizures on the street, attacking and beating arrestees on the street (I CAN DOCUMENT THIS WITH A CASE I PERSONALLY HANDLED), and tossing handicapped inmates out of wheelchairs IN the jail.  Nice way to try to deflect the heat, Docobo.  We have not forgotten the problems you and the HCSO have.  I think David Gee should call him down for this.  There is no sense in personally attacking someone, especially an attorney trying to defend not only his client, but the rights of all persons who are in jail awaiting trial.

Attorney says Hillsborough jail secretly recorded talks with client – St. Petersburg Times#comments#comments#comments

Author: Joe Bodiford

Tallahassee criminal defense attorney. Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer, Nationally Board Certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy, and AV* rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Former adjunct professor of law and co-director of the Trial Team at Florida State University College of Law; former adjunct professor of law at Stetson University College of Law (Florida criminal procedure, Trial Advocacy). Curator of Advocacy Underground. Practicing in the area of State and Federal Criminal Trial and Appeals. Visit us at!