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The Meetings Show

When ‘pocket calls’ go wrong

The dreaded ?pocket call? ? we?ve all done it. Unknowingly dialling a number and then treating the person at the other end to banal conversation or dreadful singing during the drive to work. No harm done, aside from slight embarrassment.

But in a recent case in the United States, an executive assistant was privy to a 91-minute long ?pocket call?, in which a discussion was had about replacing her boss. James Huff, the then chairman of a Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport board, inadvertently pocket-called Carol Spaw, who worked as an executive assistant to the airport?s CEO. 

Spaw told a state court that she heard a discussion about replacing her boss, and she and another employee recorded the conversations electronically in addition to taking notes.

The executive assistant eventually shared the recordings with other board members of the airport, prompting Huff and his wife to file a complaint alleging Spaw had violated federal law by intercepting their oral communication.

The court ruled that Spaw had done nothing wrong due to the fact that Huff lacked a ?reasonable expectation for privacy? in his statements, because the third party gained access to him through a call he had placed.

While Spaw and her legal team celebrate the court?s verdict, there?s a lesson to be learned for all ? always make sure you?ve locked your phone. You never know who might be listening?

The full story appeared on and can be read at