CNET’s article Document shows SCO prepped lawsuit against BofA is a textbook study of the potentially embarrassing (or worse) issue of lawyers circulating Word documents without removing metadata hidden in the document.
In this example, we get to see comments, revisions and, perhaps worst of all, an intended defendant that was later dropped from the suit that was filed. The only good news for the law firm involved is that the CNET article temporarily spared the firm the embarrassment of being named in the article. I’m betting that the name of the firm will become quite well known in the very near future.
Resources other law firms unaware of the metadata issue might want to check are:
EZ Clean – http://www.kklsoftware.com/products/ezclean/details.asp
Metadata Assistant – http://www.payneconsulting.com/public/products/ProductDetail.asp?nProductID=34
Office 2003/XP Add-in: Remove Hidden Data – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=144E54ED-D43E-42CA-BC7B-5446D34E5360&displaylang=en
Note to clients of law firms: Do you know what your lawyers are leaving in your documents?