Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Update from the Undisclosed Location

I hadn't posted here since January 22?

My goodness. Perhaps I really could quit if I wanted to.

Although I doubt it.

Truth to tell, I've been swamped with a project that I didn't want to start for a client who's recently stopped paying. That's a combination that's guaranteed to increase my inertia.

For obvious reasons, I will not go into too much detail, but the bottom line is that we are expected to efile here in the Northern District of Illinois -- and by Friday afternoon, the deadline for filing the motion, I was looking at an enormous pile of paper exhibits that would have to be turned into .pdf (Adobe) documents and thereafter sliced and diced so no set of exhibits exceeded 2MB in file size.

I called opposing counsel and told the truth: Writing the motion was easy. Scanning the exhibits would be impossible... at least for me... not if I started on Friday afternoon.

He agreed to extend my time to file until Monday.

And Sunday morning, into the office I came, firing up the scanner and converting away.

By late Sunday afternoon, I was drooping again. It wasn't hard work, and no heavy lifting was involved. But it was dull, boring and repetitious and my eyes were hurting and I still wasn't ready to upload the files into the court's system.

Finally, though, I was ready to go: Everything was sized properly. Everything was labeled consecutively. Everything was ready. I went into the efiling system and began attaching exhibit after exhibit after exhibit after exhibit after....

To make a long story even longer, it was around this time that I noticed the redaction requirement. Rule 5.2 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that certain personal information be redacted before filing.

This is not really a silly rule.

I mean, in the bad old days, before privacy, we'd file medical records, social security numbers, all sorts of personal stuff, as exhibits to pleadings or discovery responses. But those materials could be accessed only at the counter in the courthouse by someone who asked to look at the paper court file.

In the modern age, anyone (or at least anyone who signs up for a PACER account) can look at any federal case anywhere in the country and even search by names for interesting things to look at.

Anyway, my case involves a struggle among corporations and LLCs -- not people.

But I was not out of the woods.

Corporations have employees. And employees give depositions. And in their depositions the witnesses are typically asked to give their birth dates -- something that must be redacted under F.R.C.P. 5.2. And when the little box came up that asked if I'd redacted and cited the rule and I looked it up.... Aaaarrrrgghhhhh!

I had to pull out five pages from a pile of nearly a thousand. Five pages on which birth dates were listed. I tried to figure out a way to redact within Adobe Acrobat 7.0 -- but, after awhile, I had to give the job up as hopeless. I went back to my trusty paper copies, made new copies, struck through the offending birth dates with magic marker, scanned the new pages and substituted the new pages into each exhibit.

Then I went back in and uploaded again. I did eventually make it home.

There was an email, though, Monday morning from the Clerk.

I'd still made errors. Nothing fatal -- but still....

Anyway, I'm back -- sort of -- until the next project becomes overwhelming. But that shouldn't be for at least another week. Or so.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

arrgh! i hate it when that happens!!!

smiles, bee