With the advent of e-filing, e-discovery and e-production, redaction has moved from something any lawyer can do with a big, fat black Magic Marker to a techno-legal skill-set that has become more complicated and, potentially, more dangerous. After all, what could be more embarrassing to you or damaging to your client than having opposing counsel discover information that he or she was not entitled to have, simply because you didn’t understand how to properly blank it out, and keep it blanked out, in an electronic document? And as electronic redaction becomes the norm rather than the exception, failure to understand how to utilize software to appropriately redact documents before producing them, I predict, will eventually cause lawyers to find themselves outside the standard of competency required by the rules of professional conduct.
Fortunately, if you use Adobe Acrobat to redact electronic documents, you can look to Rick’s Semi-definitive Guide to Redaction in Acrobat, a recent post to Rick Borstein‘s Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog. This post takes you on an illustrated, step-by-step process from selecting the appropriate documents through removing all traces of the information you believe you are entitled to withhold – including metadata.
This blog posts new, helpful, short articles every few days, often with video tutorials, about how to make Acrobat do just about anything you’ll ever need in the law office. With everything from Bates stamping to creating email portfolios for small EDD productions, and information about free training webinars, this site is a wealth of useful, easy to find and follow information for lawyers who use Acrobat and need to learn to use it better. It should be regular reading for all lawyers.
There are many products a lawyer can use to create and manage PDF files. Some of them are cheaper than Adobe Acrobat. Rick Borstein’s Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog is just one of the many reasons that Acrobat is often the best choice for lawyers.