Bates Numbering in eDiscovery: Adapting to the Digital Era with GoldFynch

16 April 2024 by Anith eDiscovery bates

Takeaway: Bates numbering remains a cornerstone of eDiscovery, but modern challenges require advanced solutions. GoldFynch eDiscovery software offers flexible Bates numbering features to meet the needs of the digital age.

Introduction to Bates Numbering

Bates numbering, traditionally used to uniquely identify document pages in legal settings, originated in the late 1800s by Edwin G. Bates. Utilizing a mechanical stamper, this method was quickly adopted for its simplicity, marking pages with a series from 0000 to 9999. As we’ve transitioned from paper to digital, Bates numbering has adapted to include alphanumeric codes to manage the large volumes of documents in modern eDiscovery.

Challenges and Limitations of Bates Numbering in the Digital Age

In the digital landscape, the relevance of Bates numbering faces scrutiny. Digital documents can vary in layout when moved between platforms or may not fit traditional pagination, like in Excel sheets. Despite these challenges, the need for a unique identifier in large-scale legal cases remains critical. Modern formats like “CompanyName_ProductionNumber - CompanyName_PageNumber” ensure each page is distinctly marked across documents. Originally designed for paper, Bates numbering encounters issues with the fluid nature of digital files, leading some to convert documents to image formats like TIFF for numbering. This method, while effective, can be inefficient and costly.

Hashing as an Alternative to Bates Numbering

Hashing offers a modern alternative by generating unique ‘hash values’ or digital fingerprints, quickly and specifically. While extremely good for identifying files and detecting duplicates, hash values lack the sequential order and permanence needed for legal referencing during trials or depositions.

GoldFynch’s Innovative Approach to Bates Numbering

GoldFynch eDiscovery software provides a robust solution by implementing a file-level Bates numbering system. Using GoldFynch’s production system you can have productions where -

  • Each page is a file (PDF/TIFF/JPEG),
  • Each file is a separate PDF
  • One PDF for all files of a family
  • One single PDF for all files in the production

The naming of files will adjust itself accordingly taking into account the pages that have been stamped within the file. This system simplifies the process while ensuring documents and pages are easily referable. GoldFynch’s software is highly customizable, allowing users to automate Bates numbering and tailor these identifiers to specific needs. Users can also tag documents and choose custom locations for these tags on pages, which enhances the organization and accessibility of legal documents. Additionally, you can search files by Bates number and download and share files using them.
By integrating GoldFynch’s eDiscovery solutions, legal professionals can effectively navigate the complexities of modern document management. This adaptability ensures that Bates numbering continues to fulfill its vital role in identifying and referencing legal documents in the digital age, making GoldFynch an essential tool for the modern legal professional.

Looking for software that lets you customize your Bates numbers, try GoldFynch

It’s an easy-to-use eDiscovery service that’s perfect for small- and midsize law firms and companies.

  • It costs just $10 a month for a 1 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
  • It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (1 GB to 150+ GB) and know upfront how much you’ll be paying. It takes just a few clicks to move from one plan to another, and billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
  • It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch and you’re good to go. Plus, it’s designed, developed, and run by the same team. So you get prompt and reliable tech support.
  • It keeps you flexible. To build a defensible case, you need to be able to add and delete files freely. Many applications charge to process each file you upload, so you’ll be reluctant to let your case organically shrink and grow. And this stifles you. With GoldFynch, you get unlimited processing for free. So, on a 1 GB plan, you could add and delete 5 GB of data at no extra cost – as long as there’s only 1 GB in your case at any point. And if you do cross 1 GB, your plan upgrades automatically and you’ll be charged for only the time spent on each plan. That’s the beauty of prorated pricing.
  • Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?