Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1410 Posts and Counting

Once You Walk Out Your Front Door, Don’t Expect Privacy

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | November 28, 2015

No. 1,234

Summary:  Don’t expect privacy anywhere.

The ABA Journal Blog reports that the Feds were bugging the area around the front steps of a courthouse.  It seems that lawyers would tell their clients to wait until after leaving the courthouse to talk about their case.  So, they would stand and talk just outside the courthouse.

Untitled 2When the electronic eavesdropping was discovered, the victims sued.  And while that outcome may take a while to work its way through the courts, the result won’t match the optimum — never being overheard at all.

Truth is, there is no place completely safe in the courthouse. Not in the bathroom.  Not in the elevator. Not even in the stairwell.

Not only are there electronic listening devices around, but there are human spies too.  Who is that nicely dressed woman sitting in the back of the courtroom who stands in the hallway near a cluster of people during breaks?  She could be your opponent’s spy.  No kidding.

If you must talk, do it where there might be some ambient noise to mask the conversation and keep moving.  Street sounds during a walk around the block will do nicely.  But keep your eyes open.  Spies are everywhere.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

  • Recent Posts

  • Posts You Might Like

  • Subscribe to our feed