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Redaction is the retroactive editing of a document to remove confidential material. Attorneys may often need to redact legal documents to protect attorney-client privilege and confidentiality. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 5.2(a) protects this confidentiality and requires attorneys to redact client’s sensitive personal information and may only include the last four digits of a Social Security or tax ID number, the year of an individual’s birth, a minor’s initials or the last four digits of a financial account number. While redaction often conjures up images of black boxes over text, a Law Business Media article explain that proper redaction requires more than just a black box over a text, and often requires proper software or add-ons to properly redact.

[Last updated in December of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]