Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Dallas Police Sue|Morning News Reporter

DALLAS (CN) - A Dallas Morning News reporter recorded attorney-client communications by leaving a recording device running in the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System's board room after he "purportedly" left for the day, the pension system claims in court.

Dallas Police and Fire Pension System filed a request to depose Steve Thompson, in Dallas County Court.

"Petitioner seeks to investigate a potential claim or suit against Steve Thompson and/or his employer, the Dallas Morning News," the complaint states. "Petitioner anticipates the potential institution of such an action in Dallas County, Texas.

"The subject matter of the anticipated litigation arises from Thompson's action on April 11, 2013 of leaving a digital recording device (which was operating in 'record' mode at the time) in petitioner's Board Meeting Room, even as Thompson purportedly left petitioner's premises for the day. Thompson's digital recording device continued to record after petitioner's Board Meeting concluded, and the recording includes privileged and confidential attorney/client communication between petitioner and its counsel.

"Upon recovering his digital recording device, Thompson purportedly downloaded the recorded content - including those privileged and confidential attorney/client communications that took place with a reasonable expectation of privacy - onto his computer. Thompson has also purportedly destroyed the original recording prior to providing petitioner access to it.

"Petitioner requests authority to take Thompson's deposition in order to investigate potential claims or suit arising from Thompson's actions and any subsequent action, if any, that Thompson (and/or any person or entity acting with his knowledge, at his direction, or on his behalf) has taken with respect to the recorded content (including the privileged and confidential attorney/client communications).

"The likely benefit of allowing petitioner to take the requested deposition outweighs the burden or expense of the procedure. Further, allowing petitioner to take the requested deposition may prevent a failure or delay of justice in an anticipated suit."

The pension system is represented by Robert Witte with Strasburger & Price.

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