10 Bates Numbering Best Practices

Bates numbering is a way to create unique identifiers for pages in a document. Here are 10 best practices to follow when creating your own bates numbers.

Bates numbering is a method of indexing legal documents for easy identification and retrieval. The system is named after U.S. Judge John Bates, who developed the system in the early 20th century.

Bates numbering is commonly used in eDiscovery, a process in which electronic documents are collected and reviewed for potential use as evidence in legal cases. In eDiscovery, documents are often collected from a variety of sources, including email servers, hard drives, and cloud-based storage services. Bates numbering can be used to index any type of document, including PDFs, images, and text files.

There are a few different ways to apply Bates numbers to documents. The most common method is to add a prefix or suffix to the document number. For example, if a document is numbered “123,” the prefix “ABC” could be added to create the Bates number “ABC123.”

There are a few different best practices to keep in mind when using Bates numbers. Here are 10 of the most important ones:

1. Bates numbering should be done in a single pass

When you Bates number a document, you’re essentially creating a unique identifier for each page. This identifier is typically a number, but it can also be a combination of numbers and letters. The important thing is that each page has a unique identifier.

If you were to go back and add more pages to the document, or even just renumber the pages, you would end up with duplicate identifiers. This would cause problems if you ever needed to refer to a specific page, because you wouldn’t be able to tell which one was which.

Doing it in a single pass ensures that each page has a unique identifier that won’t be duplicated.

2. Bates numbers should not overlap

If two or more documents have the same Bates number, it will be very difficult for anyone reviewing the documents to figure out which document is which. This can lead to confusion and frustration, and it can even cause people to miss important information.

To avoid this problem, make sure that each document has its own unique Bates number. This may mean using a different numbering system for different types of documents, but it’s worth it to avoid any confusion.

3. The first number of the bates range must always be included in the sequence

When a document is produced, the first page of that document is going to be given a Bates Number. That number is going to be used to identify that document throughout the litigation process. If, for some reason, the first page of the document is not included in the production, it can create all sorts of problems.

For example, let’s say that you’re looking at a document and you see that it’s Bates Numbered “1234-5678.” You know that this document was produced by the other side, but you don’t know what document it is. It could be any one of a number of documents, and you have no way of knowing which one it is.

Now, let’s say that you’re looking at the same document, but the first page is missing and it’s now Bates Numbered “5679.” Now you know that this is the second page of a four-page document, and you have a much better idea of what document it is.

This may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually a very important best practice. In order to avoid any confusion or problems down the road, make sure that the first page of every document is included in the sequence.

4. Use leading zeros to ensure that all pages have the same number of digits

Suppose you’re Bates numbering a document with 1,000 pages. If you don’t use leading zeros, the first page will be numbered “1”, the second page will be numbered “2”, and so on. But the 1000th page will be numbered “1000”. This can create problems when you’re trying to sort the pages numerically, because the computer will see the “1000” as being greater than all of the other numbers and will put it at the end of the list.

But if you use leading zeros, then all of the pages will have four digits, so the first page will be numbered “0001”, the second page will be numbered “0002”, and so on. This will ensure that the pages are sorted correctly when you try to order them numerically.

So, to avoid any potential problems, always use leading zeros when Bates numbering your documents.

5. Do not use commas or other punctuation marks in your bates numbers

When you’re dealing with large documents, it’s not uncommon for pages to get lost or misplaced. If your bates numbers contain commas or other punctuation marks, it can be difficult to determine where one page ends and the next begins, which can make it difficult to put the document back together again.

To avoid this problem, always use a consistent numbering system that doesn’t include any punctuation marks. This will make it much easier to keep track of your pages, and it will also make it easier for others to work with your documents if they ever need to.

6. Avoid using special characters such as dashes, slashes, and underscores

When you use special characters in your Bates numbers, it can cause problems when you try to search for documents using those numbers. For example, let’s say you have a document with the Bates number “1234-5678”. If you try to search for that document using the Bates number, you might not be able to find it because the dash is a special character that is often used as a wildcard in searches.

It’s also important to avoid using special characters in Bates numbers because they can sometimes cause problems when exporting data. For example, if you try to export a list of Bates numbers to a CSV file, the special characters might cause problems with the export process.

To avoid these problems, it’s best to stick to using only letters and numbers in your Bates numbers.

7. Make sure you are consistent with the way you format your bates numbers

If you are not consistent with the way you format your bates numbers, it will be very difficult for anyone who is reviewing the documents to know where one document starts and another ends. This can lead to confusion and frustration, and ultimately, it can slow down the review process.

There are a few different ways you can format your bates numbers, but the most important thing is to be consistent. For example, you can include the date in your bates number (e.g., “Bates-0001-20180101”), or you can use a simple numbering system (e.g., “Bates-0001”).

Whatever you decide, just make sure you are consistent with the way you format your bates numbers, so everyone can easily understand and use them.

8. Keep track of what has been produced so far

Suppose you’re Bates numbering a document production, and you get to page 100 of the PDF. But then you realize that you forgot to Bates number the first 99 pages. Now you have to go back and add the numbers to those pages, which can be time-consuming and may require special software.

To avoid this problem, keep track of what has been produced so far in the process. That way, if you make a mistake, you can easily correct it without having to start over from the beginning.

9. Don’t forget about native files

Native files are the original, unedited versions of a document. They can be in any format, but they’re usually Word or PDF documents. If you’re working with Bates numbers, it’s important to remember that native files need to be numbered as well.

The reason for this is simple: if you’re ever asked to produce the originals of a document, you need to be able to show that the Bates numbers on those documents are accurate. If you don’t number the native files, there’s no way to prove that the Bates numbers on the edited versions are correct.

So, when you’re using Bates numbering, make sure to number the native files as well. It’s the only way to ensure that your numbers are accurate.

10. Consider adding additional information to your bates numbers

When you’re dealing with a large document production, it can be helpful to include information like the date or project name in addition to the page number. This will help you keep track of different versions of the document, as well as know which pages belong to which project.

Additionally, if you’re working with a team, it can be helpful to include each person’s initials in the bates number. This way, everyone can easily see who worked on which page, and there’s no confusion about who should be getting credit for what.

Finally, if you’re ever faced with having to redact something from a document, it’s much easier to do so if you have the bates number that corresponds to the page you need to redact. Including additional information in your bates numbers will save you time and hassle down the line.


10 Unifi WiFi Best Practices

Back to Insights

10 Outreach Sequence Best Practices