To Redact Or Not Redact

  • Law
  • The U.S. Supreme Court issued three opinions today including one on the abortion pill. More are expected tomorrow. [SCOTUSblog]
  • Nevada Supreme Court denies rehearing on $48M Badlands ruling. [RJ; News3LV]
  • Governments in Southern Nevada release heavily redacted public records, like what exactly attorneys did for the $6M in attorney fees Las Vegas paid. What’s your opinion on government lawyers or law firms working for the government and public records? Too strict, too lenient? [RJ]
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Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 11:33 am

Re Gov lawyers: Just another group Wyat Earp and his OBC cowboys won’t ever discipline.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 11:44 am

I was sympathetic to the City until I read that ALL of the time entry descriptions were redacted. Really???? I can’t think of one time I submitted invoices to the Court that I redacted ALL of the time entry descriptions. GTFO City of Las Vegas.

I hope the RJ hammers them on this.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 12:48 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Were these time records that had already been filed with a court? Or were they just time records kept on the case but not yet submitted to a court as part of a fees motion?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 25, 2024 8:34 am
Reply to  Anonymous

It shouldn’t be a surprise that a City Attorney with virtually no real legal experience is making these kind of decisions.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 12:52 pm

Government, at all levels, should be transparent. Government increasingly seems to believe that its purpose and work is for itself and not the people.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 1:03 pm

Don’t put confidential information in billing records unless you cannot help it. So there may be a witness name redacted here and there, but overall it should be open.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 1:09 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Newbie question: what if the mention of it would give away something confidential like – tel conf w detective re wifes dui – should I make those more vague?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 1:23 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

No, I think that’s good. You would just redact in when filing with the court so it would say:

“Telephone Conference with [possibly redacted name] regarding [definitely redacted work product/legal strategy]”

The primary purpose of detailed billing is to:

1) inform the client of the work you’re performing, and
2) document the work you actually did (to defend yourself/firm later)

A client probably wouldn’t love getting a big bill that is full of “telephone conference, .7” “draft motion, 6.3”. Detail is important.

And one final note – your billing entry is a good format to follow. It shows what you did and what the context/reason was.

Correspondence/conference with X Person regarding Y Issue/strategy

Evaluation and analysis of X documents in connection with Y upcoming hearing/deposition/strategy

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 1:30 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Thank you very much! I truly appreciate that.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 1:51 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Glad it’s helpful! I think the blog is best when we’re all learning from each other.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 2:15 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

This is how I do almost all my entry descriptions:

“Legal research on claim for breach of contract, re: [Description of cases researched].”

“Call with client, re: [Description of call]”

Put the action first, and the context/description second. That way, no single entry should ever be fully redacted. Usually, a court can effectively evaluate entries if the action is described. The description is then sometimes, but not always redacted.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 3:42 pm

The fact that the vibrant discussions yesterday about bully attorneys got spiked presumably because everyone is afraid of bully attorneys might be the problem with our profession.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 3:46 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

I couldn’t believe it was thwacked. No names and serious addressing to prevent future likely violence from one who has threatened. It won’t affect me but I fear for others truly.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 3:50 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

You could name the firm and not the lawyer? Unless of course it’s a solo.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 4:03 pm

I hate asking questions that I think that I know the answer to but I am going to do it anyway. I have a friend/acquaintance/former colleague who went through some rough times with mental health. This person signed an Affidavit consenting to disbarment under SCR 112. Not to answer my own question but I know SCR 112 says disbarment with irrevocable/permanent etc. This person has gotten their mental health back and came to me asking if there is a way to get reinstated. Anyone know a way?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 4:16 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Not sure if it’s applicable in this situation, but Rule 93(5)(c) states that although resignation is irrevocable, a person can be admitted as a new attorney (passing C&F and the bar exam) – might be something to explore there.

And good on your person for turning things around, that’s not easy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anonymous
Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 4:19 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Nope, your friend is done. Starting over and re-taking the bar exam also isn’t an option because disbarred lawyers can’t apply to admissions, the application and check will be returned.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 4:25 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

We did not use to be an irrevocable disbarment state but it became irrevocable in 2007 (not going to tell you which Justice who had been on the Nevada Supreme Court for 3 years at that time spearheaded that change). We are in the minority of states that make disbarment irrevocable.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 17, 2024 10:00 am
Reply to  Anonymous

There is a rumor that the new NSC makeup is amenable to changing the death penalty and was moving on it, when the Crawford mess reared its ugly head and its now back burnered.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 17, 2024 10:29 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Just to be clear (and I am not disagreeing with you 10 am because I heard the same thing) but it just would be removing the mandatory death penalty. Disbarment can still be forever; just change it back to that it does not have to be forever. Sounds like that is what the OP is really discussing.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 17, 2024 10:36 am
Reply to  Anonymous

10am here. Agreed. The death penalty is not disbarment per se, just the irrevocable nature of it.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 5:45 pm

You should never hire a friend unless you’re comfortable firing that friend. Overlapping social scene. Suggestions?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 13, 2024 6:08 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Have a discussion with them in which you offer them a graceful chance to resign.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 14, 2024 9:10 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I represented a friend, one time only. Said friend was extremely uncooperative with the discovery process. Due to friend now client’s lack of cooperation in the litigation process, the outcome was lackluster. It was foreseeable that making a friend a client would equal the end of the friendship.

One and done.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 14, 2024 10:40 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I used to work in a small office where there were some substance issues but no one got fired because they had too much dirt on each other so no one addressed the issues.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
June 14, 2024 10:57 am
Reply to  Anonymous

If you fire your friend he or she will no longer be your friend, at least for a while. I have hired “friends”, but if they are not pulling their weight I always kept them on longer than I should. I say “friends” as they were never one of me closest friends, but someone I considered a friend and would have drinks with at times.