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Kearney v. Salomon Smith Barney, Inc.

Supreme Court of California
137 P.3d 914 (2006)


Kelly Kearney and other residents of California (Kearney) (plaintiffs) filed a class-action suit in California state court against Salomon Smith Barney Inc. (Salomon) (defendant), a financial institution. Kearney alleged that Salomon recorded telephone conversations between Salomon clients and brokers in the company’s Atlanta, Georgia, office without the clients’ knowledge or consent. Kearney argued that Salomon’s secret recordings violated a California law that required all parties to a telephone conversation to have knowledge of and consent to any recording. Salomon argued that the trial court ought to apply Georgia law, which permitted the recording of a telephone conversation so long as one party to the conversation consented. The trial court agreed and granted Salomon’s motion to dismiss the complaint. Kearney appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court, concluding that Georgia law applied to the matter. The Supreme Court of California granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (George, C.J.)

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