Clark v. State 159 Tex.Cr.R 187, 261 S.W.2d 339 (1953)
Clark's wife filed for divorce. Soon after, she was found
Clark was arrested and charged with murder.
At trial, the prosecution attempted to introduce testimony
from a telephone operator (Bartz).
According to Bartz, Clark had asked her to connect him to
his lawyer (Martin). Against company rules, she listened to the entire
Bartz claimed that Clark confessed to murdering his wife
to Martin, and that Martin told him to get rid of the weapon and not talk
Clark objected to Bartz's testimony on the grounds that it
was inadmissible as a violation of attorney-client privilege.
The Trial Judge allowed the testimony to be admitted.
The Trial Court found Clark guilty of murder. He
The Appellate Court affirmed. Clark made a motion for a
The Appellate Court noted that generally, evidence
procured by eavesdropping is not admissible.
However, the Court found that under several cases of Texas State law, the attorney-client privilege was found to only be relevant to the
attorney and the client, and when someone overhears the conversation,
they can be called to testify.
Basically, the Court said that the means for preserving
secrecy are in the client's hands, and if they don't care enough to keep
their voice down, then if anyone overhears, it's the client's fault.
The Appellate Court denied the motion for a rehearing.
The Appellate Court denied the motion on entirely
different grounds. The Court looked at the conversation and determined
that Martin had only given Clark illegal advice and as such could not be
said to be acting in the capacity of an attorney. Therefore there was no