Whether dealing with vast quantities or even a few dozen discovery documents, organization is critical. Bates Stamping documents makes staying organized much easier. However, if you have Acrobat Pro and are still using an actual Bates stamp or machine, you're making life much too difficult.
For those unfamiliar with Bates stamping, it is a system of putting a prefix and incremental number on the bottom right corner of every page. For example, if I received 100 documents from Plaintiff Smith, I might put SMITH 00001 on the first page, SMITH 00002 on the next, and so forth. Physically stamping this way used to be the practice, and I'm sure some still do that.
But, let me show you how I do it.
First, if you haven't already done so, scan all of your documents into a .pdf file. Save the file. I typically will give it a useful name and then add the word "clean" to the end. This tells me that this is my original, unnumbered set of documents. I then make a copy of the file and add the word "bates" to the end. This is the document I'll number. It is also the document I'll be using from here on.
Open that file in Acrobat Pro. From there, on the right side drawer, go to "Tools" -> "Pages" -> "Bates Numbering". Choose to add bates numbers.
This will pop up a new window. Choose to Add documents and select add open files:
Choose the open file you want, then select Ok. Hit Ok again and you will see a new window open up:
Put the cursor in the "Right Footer Text Box" and then click the "Insert Bates Number" button. In the new window, put in the prefix you want to use remembering to put a single space at the end. You can adjust the starting number and number of leading zeroes if you like. Select Ok and then Ok again.You now have a Bates numbered document, which will help with organization.