Deleting portions of transcript after the job has been turned in? Really?

I have a question about if it's the reporter's responsibility after a transcript is turned in, to go back and delete words that the attorney says are highly confidential and wants me to "redact" from the transcript. 

I feel this is a Production issue and not my responsibility.  This job is almost 300 pages and they want me to go through my transcript and delete words everywhere.  I've been a reporter for 27 years and have never been asked to do this.  Oh, of course, I have to take my own time for free to do it as well.




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I have never heard of it.   Don't attorneys in those big cases usually designate things confidential after the transcript is produced?   How would you redact it after the transcript has been prepared and produced?

First I've heard of this, too.  Time is money.  You pay you get.  Do it for an hourly fee.

This agency tells me they pay me for when the transcript is "done."  I produced the transcript as a daily and turned it in.  Apparently they're telling me it's not done till the attorney is satisfied with all the redacted portions that I have taken out. 


And yes, this transcript was also designated confidential - source code and still they want me to take out a bunch of testimony.  I'm not at all happy about this.  I'm supposed to go back on this case at the end of the month.  I'm going to decline to take it now knowing I'm expected to do all of this additional work after the job has been turned in.

If it's more than an hour, then I don't blame you.  The job might be worthwhile enough to give that free hour.   What's involved in redacting these words/sentences/paragraphs?  Create a second transcript with xxxxx replacing the selected material?

No.  I'm just going in and putting in [redacted] where they want that one word gone.   I have to look through the whole transcript and find all the places, though.  The job was a very good job, but I don't want to have to do this again. 

I was just curious if anyone else has ever had to do this.  It's new to me.

You could do a find X and replace with [redacted] maybe, but I would, like Marge says, open a new file.  Then do a word list to make sure you got every instance of whatever this redacted word is.  I've been working since '85 and I can only ever remember maybe doing a redacted Social Security number or something really small or marking a complete transcript as confidential, so I'm no help

I just did this on a case this week.  The client indicated the pages and lines and exactly what should be redacted.  It didn't take more than five minutes in my situation. 

I cover work for the same kind of agency, and their mindset is that if the client wants ANYTHING done to that transcript, they will bend over backwards to do it for them.  As said before, they as an agency are not happy until the client is 100% happy.  If that means changing things, so be it.  If the reporter would not change them, production would certainly assign someone to do it, but the reporter would never work for the agency again, that's assured!  The problem is that agencies like this are AFRAID to rub the client the wrong way and say, at the LEAST, Listen, you need to handle this with a transcript designation ... and at MOST, they need to tell them, Sure, we'll make these redactions for you (that your paralegals should be handling) but it's going to COST you production time.  They don't want to alienate Big Clients and lose the Big Work that's associated with it.  Who among us would decline a job if offered with, "We have a GREAT job for you this week, but there will be a little follow-up work for you redacting certain portions of the transcript that will be designated afterwards."  I absolutely understand some of us bristle when this extra work is thrust upon us after the fact, but hey, we make a boatload of money from this kind of work ... thousands of dollars, in fact ... and we can bristle about it, but I for one am not going to turn it down.  No way.

In working as a paralegal/legal assistant, we did redaction on discovery documents.  However, we did it with a black marker, then copied the document and indexed the redacted document separately. 

There is always the chance of future litigation or issues, and you could up with a court order for the original unredacted transcript.  We ALWAYS kept the original version - for just in case situations.  Keep your original for just in case.

I would definitely work from a copy and leave the original pristine on my computer.  I'm on CC and we have a function where we can put the black mark over the word when redaction is called for.  

I have never heard of this being asked of a court reporter either, but Janet and Mary Ann have so it must be somewhat common.

That's why you get the big bucks :)

For what it's worth, I would redact the words with the exact amount of spaces that the word took up, that way the page/line numbers will match up with the unredacted original.

I agree with Judy 100 percent.


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