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Trial Tech Tips – TrialDirector Bates Numbering, by Ted Brooks, Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg  


This tip is one of the best ways to use Adobe Acrobat’s Bates-numbering feature. Not to take away from TrialDirector, but you can do this entirely with Adobe Acrobat. It is fast and easy. If you have not tried it, I strongly encourage it. Mr. Brooks’ post will explain why. -CCE

This article is the first in a series entitled ‘Trial Tech Tips.’ Focused on the crossroads of law and technology, and in no particular order, we will share a collection of proven and tested methods for accomplishing a wide variety of common and/or critical tasks encountered during trial preparation or presentation. We will also try to rank them from one to ten on a ‘geek scale,’ with one being not too technical, and 10 being very technical.

On a geek scale of one to ten, this article would be rated at about an 8.

In litigation, it is generally a good idea to make sure that when a certain document is referred to, it is that exact document, and not another version of the same. In situations where there are more than one, and it can be proven, it can result in an interesting trial.

Bates numbering has been around for some time, and is one good method of making sure that everyone is on the same page – literally. Through the years, inked stamps have been used, printed stickers, and nowadays the method most commonly used adds them via software – generally in the lower right corner of each page. Although the most efficient methods can handle a large volume all in one operation, this can also be done at the individual document level.

There are many reasons for adding a Bates number to your exhibits, and there are many for adding yet another Bates number. For instance, if your exhibits have already been numbered according to document productions, it may be helpful to add another set of numbering tied to trial exhibit numbers. This makes it easier for counsel, judges, witnesses and jurors to quickly get to any given exhibit page. Rather than having some lengthy production-based Bates number (e.g., PLTF000024) that may or may not be followed by its next numerical page (PLTF000025) when used in a trial exhibit, we can simply make reference to the trial exhibit and page number (e.g., 0178-002 would be trial exhibit 178, page 2). . . .[Emphasis added.]