Q. I’m in the process of editing a nonfiction book about a murder trial that took place in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1983. I need to know whether courtroom testimony that the author quotes from the public record—and has set inside quotation marks—must be reproduced precisely as it was transcribed in the courtroom (except for elisions and paraphrases of testimony not set in quotes).
A. Yes, if it’s quoted from the public record, it should be reproduced precisely. If the author has reason to think that the transcription is misleading or faulty, she can say so, either by interpolation or by comments outside the quotation.