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Measure Twice, Redact Once

Tim Kowal     October 23, 2020

If you have ever held a redacted document up to the light to see the redacted text, you know other attorneys are doing the same. In a redacted PDF, you might be able to copy and paste the obscured text. I've also seen redactions made with black boxes that could simply be moved aside.

Here's a trap I hadn't thought of: If you redact text in a deposition transcript, make sure to redact the corresponding entries in the index. Over at Above the Law:
"For example, if there’s a redacted word that comes right after “clients” in the index, and on the corresponding page the phrase “President _______” is redacted, it isn’t too hard to figure out that the redacted word is “Clinton.”"

And in a deposition of Ghislane Maxwell in the sordid Jeffrey Epstein litigation, those following the scandal can easily deduce that Prince Andrew's might be the name that falls alphabetically between "analyzed" and "angeles."

https://lnkd.in/gbDftCB

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at CALpodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys. Contact Tim at [email protected] or (949) 676-9989.
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