Writing sample confidentiality?

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Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:23 am

I want to use my motion filed in court as my writing sample. Since it's a public document, I need not redact client names? Thank you in advance.

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Re: Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:13 am

Even if it's a public document, I'd alter it in ways to make it unidentifiable. My main writing sample is a motion to suppress in a criminal case I worked on. It's public since it was filed and argued, but I changed a lot of it from the actual real thing. I altered the dates, changed names to pseudonyms, altered addresses/street and city names, etc. I got clearance to use it from my old employer, the client, and I have a disclaimer on the top saying something to the effect of, "Key details and identifiable information has been changed, but this is a real motion that was filed in X court in X year and I won a favorable outcome." It's the kind of thing where yeah, you'd probably be fine ethically doing it without altering a thing since it's public, but it shows good sense and judgment to redact things to maintain some confidentiality even where not ethically mandated.

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Re: Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Even if it's a public document, I'd alter it in ways to make it unidentifiable. My main writing sample is a motion to suppress in a criminal case I worked on. It's public since it was filed and argued, but I changed a lot of it from the actual real thing. I altered the dates, changed names to pseudonyms, altered addresses/street and city names, etc. I got clearance to use it from my old employer and the client, and I have a disclaimer on the top saying something to the effect of, "Key details and identifiable information has been changed, but this is a real motion that was filed in X court in X year and I won a favorable outcome." It's the kind of thing where yeah, you'd probably be fine ethically doing it without altering a thing since it's public, but it shows good sense and judgment to redact things to maintain some confidentiality even where not ethically mandated.

dirkdigler

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Re: Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby dirkdigler » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:33 pm

I’m not sure taking the time to redact information already available in the public space demonstrates good sense, especially to any employer who values efficiency. Recognizing that anyone who cared to do so could search my name and the court listed in the caption to find the unaltered version in a matter of seconds, I’ve successfully used pleadings pulled straight from the docket as writing samples without issue.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:51 pm

dirkdigler wrote:I’m not sure taking the time to redact information already available in the public space demonstrates good sense, especially to any employer who values efficiency. Recognizing that anyone who cared to do so could search my name and the court listed in the caption to find the unaltered version in a matter of seconds, I’ve successfully used pleadings pulled straight from the docket as writing samples without issue.


Yeah, I agree with this. The only time I've redacted are to omit sections that are not substantially my own work. But where's the harm in submitting a publicly available document as a writing sample?

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:00 pm

When I submitted a writing sample I obscured the names of the parties as my client had allegedly engaged in improper conduct. Didn't seem in good taste to be circulating a motion referencing that information. It was not difficult - just control f and replace the names.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:11 pm

Okay so long as you different replace the names of the actual litigants with names of real persons as you lose any immunity granted court filings.

If you want to block out names, then substitute with "John Doe" or, better still, with "Fictitious Name".

Fivedham

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Re: Writing sample confidentiality?

Postby Fivedham » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:14 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:If you want to block out names, then substitute with "John Doe" or, better still, with "Fictitious Name".

In one of my samples, I replaced a client's resident's address with "123 Fake Street." Interviewer was keen enough to see it as a Simpsons reference.



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