Fool Proof File Organization Made Easy with Bates Stamping

Fool Proof File Organization Made Easy with Bates Stamping

Who hasn’t been in this situation before? Whether it’s dealing with the manuscript for an anticipated play, a comprehensive university thesis, or a crucial project report for your manager, we’ve all had to face the daunting task of reassembling a scattered stack of papers. Page numbers are a saving grace in such situations, simplifying the process of reordering. But what if you have several multi-page documents and find yourself with multiple-page threes? This conundrum can make the task significantly more challenging.”

A common way to keep documents organized in the legal, medical, and business fields is Bates stamping. This method assigns a unique alphanumeric sequence to each document page, simplifying organization and identification. In this article, we’ll explore Bates stamping history, its importance through real-life examples, and tips for its effective application.

A Patent That Would Change Everything

In 1892, the same year the University of Chicago held its first classes, Edwin Granville Bates patented his innovative consecutive-numbering machine. This handheld device, crafted from metal, wood, felt, and rubber, featured four rotating number stamps. With each press on a document, the machine left a mark, and the number of dials automatically advanced to the subsequent sequence.

Bates’s invention saw wide acceptance in the late 19th century. Its systematic numbering transformed file organization, especially in law and medicine. These fields deal with thousands of documents, all potentially needing access or reference at a moment’s notice.

Over the past 131 years, the Bates Automatic Numbering machine has evolved. It now features more than four numeric wheels, breaking its initial 9,999 page limit. The machine even incorporates letters in the sequence. Today, it’s a standard in the legal system, used by almost every U.S. law firm.

View of the U.S Supreme Court Building from the front

United States ex rel. Proctor v. Safeway, Inc.

Bates stamping isn’t universally adopted, as illustrated by the Supreme Court lawsuit involving Safeway Inc. In 2017, Thomas Proctor served document requests to Safeway Inc., specifically for their pharmacy-related files. Allegations surfaced that the company had intentionally defrauded the U.S. government by misfiling paperwork for Medicare and Medicaid

Safeway Inc. responded by providing thousands of unmarked documents, which posed significant sorting challenges. The court overseeing the case demanded Safeway Inc. to apply Bates stamping to the documents and resubmit them. Without this organization, crucial evidence could have easily gone unnoticed.

Bates Stamping Your Documents

Bates stamping, now commonly referred to as Bates numbering, has evolved with technological advancements. The original stamp is considered outdated due to the surge in digital documents like PDFs and TIFF files. Hence, digital Bates stamping has become prevalent. Even for physical documents, pre-filled stickers with Bates numbering are now widely used.

For organizations like law firms or hospitals managing hundreds or thousands of document pages, efficient Bates stamping is crucial. Therefore, investing in capable software is essential. CaseGuard Studio, an all-in-one redaction software, offers more than AI capabilities. Its document management tools include adding watermarks, merging and editing PDFs, and importantly, applying Bates numbering

As illustrated in the brief gif below, customizing and applying Bates stamping to your documents is a breeze. This method can work on a single file, as shown, or in bulk for more extensive document loads. For instance, with the bulk processing feature, you can upload an unlimited number of documents to CaseGuard. Simply add the Bates Stamping tag with your desired options in the ‘Apply Watermark’ section, and the process runs automatically. Consequently, this can save your organization not only valuable time and money but also prevent hand cramps from using the traditional mechanical stamp.

Step by step showing how to add bates stamping to documents from the watermark section of caseguard studio.

Not Just A One Trick Pony

As highlighted earlier, CaseGuard Studio is a comprehensive redaction solution. It can handle video, audio, image, and document files. Thus, it allows you to redact your documents before or after applying Bates stamping. It boasts a variety of manual redaction tools, like ‘Find & Redact’ and ‘Pattern Redaction’. However, the standout feature is undoubtedly the AI Text Analysis.

AI Text Analysis provides the ability to detect, categorize, and redact all forms of personally identifiable information (PII) within documents. This can be achieved on a single document or in bulk, without any limitations. The video below illustrates the simplicity of redacting with AI Text Analysis using CaseGuard

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Interested in purchasing CaseGuard for your organization? Click here to request a live demo with one of our dedicated team members.

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