Another day, another story about an attorney failing to redact a document properly. News channels reported yesterday that Joseph Bondy, “a criminal defense and cannabis business attorney” according to his profile and attorney for businessman Lev Parnas, filed a letter with the U.S. District Court discussing the U.S. government’s investigation of Rudy Guiliani. The letter details the seizure of email accounts and electronic devices of individuals involved in the case, including Bondy’s client Parnas and several Ukrainians. This information was blacked out in the letter but not redacted properly, CNN first reported. Anyone can view the hidden text by copying and pasting it into another document.
Improper redaction is the most common filing error committed by attorneys according to a court law librarian I heard speak recently. Yet it is so very preventable! The best tool for redaction is Adobe Acrobat Pro, but if you can’t afford it there are other options. Check out this article by Jason Tashea, professor at Georgetown Law and founder of Justice Codes, on how to redact your court filings the right way. Read How to Redact a PDF and Protect Your Clients. Don’t be responsible for the next Parnas or Manafort embarrassment!