Monday, February 12, 2018

Rojas v. HSBC Card Services (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 9, 2018)

No published opinions from the Ninth Circuit or the California Supreme Court today, and none from the California Court of Appeal yet either.

But here's an opinion from Friday that seems spot on.  And I'm glad the Court of Appeal decides to publish it.

The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant, but the Court of Appeal reverses.  It's illegal to intentionally record confidential phone communications of someone else, but HSBC recorded all of its employees' outgoing calls.  The trial court said that HSBC was entitled to summary judgment because HSBC didn't "intentionally" record a "confidential" communication because HSBC didn't know that the particular 300+ calls at issue -- between plaintiff and her daughter, who worked at HSBC -- were confidential.  But the Court of Appeal seems exactly right when it says that if you record all the calls, you pretty much know for sure that you're going to record confidential calls, so you're liable.  The fact that you didn't know that this particular call was confidential is irrelevant.

Works for me.

Indeed, to me, it's not just that HSBC isn't entitled to summary judgment.  If the facts are indeed as the parties appear to present them, the plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment.  Since it's not just that a reasonable jury "might" conclude that HSBC's practice was intentional under the statute.  To me, every reasonable juror would be required to so conclude as a matter of law.

If only because -- and hopefully this doesn't shock anyone -- people at work sometimes make personal calls from their phone.

Crazy, I know.

Which in turn means that if you record every single call, you know that you're definitely going to be recording these as well.