The Illegal Phone Recording: Basics
- I skimmed over the "Dossier" an anonymous Latino law student assembled to try to get Professor Chua in trouble, It's pretty amazing. It doesn't reflect badly on Professor Chua at all, but it sure does reflect badly on the author. We get a picture of someone who lies to a fellow student who seems to be a pretty close friend and to secretly hate and be envious of him. The Dossier Writer is an unabashed snake, whom nobody would want to have as a fellow office secretary, much less employ as a lawyer. His legal skills are also called into question by his confession to a criminal act: illegal phone recording.
Here's the relevant passage from the Dossier (my boldfacing):
John Doe sends me a Signal around 3 PM asking me to have a quick call. I assume that, somehow, it had leaked out that I went forward, and so I record the call in case I'm either blackmailed or threatened with retaliation. On the call, John Doe asks if I've told anyone about his dinner with Chua. I deny it, and say that I did not tell anybody but think it is a widely known rumor, as shown by the fact I already heard about it from someone else. ...My friend sends the recording from John Doe, which confirmed that he attended the dinner, and the Signal from Jane Doe admitting I knew about her going, to Dean Cosgrove.
There are several interesting features to this passage. Note, first, that according to John Doe, Jane Doe, and Amy Chua, there was no "dinner". Rather, the students visited Professor Chua in the afternoon, bringing a bottle of wine which they drank but she didn't, and she served them some snacks, but nobody else, including her husband, was in the room.
- First, it is an example of the closeness between the Dossier Writer and John Doe. John Doe seems amazed at the possibility his friend the Dossier Writer might be the one who turned him in, but the Dossier Writer tells an elaborate lie to him and intends to use everything he says against him.
- Second, the Dossier writer tells us that he recorded the call "in case I'm either blackmailed or threatened with retaliation," but on the same page he says that the same day he has another friend (since he wants to cover his own tracks and keep spying on John Doe) send the recording to Dean Cosgrove, the administrator investigating John Doe, to "confirm that he attended the dinner," The Dossier Writer doesn't notice that he has revealed his true motivation to us just a few sentences after his self-justifying claim that the recording was for defensive, not offensive, purposes!
- Third, in Connecticut it is illegal for one person to record a phone conversation with another person without their consent.
Connecticut recording law stipulates that at least one party’s consent is required to record an in-person conversation. Failure to comply with this law is regarded as eavesdropping. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-187(a)(2).
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-570d(a) Connecticut recognizes civil actions concerning illegal recording of private telephonic communications.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-570d(c): Persons who illegally record telephonic conversations may be liable to the aggrieved individuals for damages and litigation costs including reasonable attorney’s fee.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-189: Eavesdropping (wiretapping or mechanical overhearing) in Connecticut is classed as a Class D felony which carries a sentence of 1 to 5 years.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-188: Tampering with private communications by obtaining contents of a private communication without the consent of the sender or receiver or by divulging the contents or nature of a telephonic or telegraphic communication to another person is considered a Class A misdemeanor which a carries a sentence of up to 1 year in jail.
("Connecticut Recording Laws," Recordinglaw.com.)
The Illegal Phone Recording: Details from the Connecticut Statutes
- "STUDENT & ALUMNI LETTERS" from 2021.
- 2021 Atlantic article, investigative reporting that shows how a student betrayed his friend so as to try to bring down Chua. The Yale Law administration is evil.
- Summary of 5 articles from 2020 by David Lat at Substack.
- Lawsuit Complaint against Dean Gerken for retaliation against two anonymous law students for not agreeing to lie about Professor Chua.
- The "Dossier" a student assembled to try to get Professor Chua in trouble, which appears now in the Doe lawsuit against Dean Gerken.