Bates Numbering is the process of sequentially numbering legal documents.
Acrobat 8 and 9 Pro allow you to apply and remove Bates Numbers to documents. To try it yourself, choose Advanced—> Document Processing—> Bates Numbering:
The ability to remove Bates Numbers is valuable in case you make a mistake during the numbering process. However, due to the adversarial nature of the legal business, attorneys may desire to limit what the other side can do with documents.
To whit, this email I received from an attorney last week:
What can I use to flatten Bates numbers so that they cannot be altered or removed using the Acrobat Bates numbering process?
I know I can print to PDF, save as TIFF, print-then-scan, etc., but am looking for a solution that will work in batch mode and not degrade the appearance of the file. Also, I don’t favor using security settings because I don’t want to restrict the user’s ability to access the file.
In this article, I’ll discuss how to "lock down" Bates Numbers so that they cannot be removed by Acrobat’s "Remove Bates" option.
Exhibits are documents attached to pleadings or contracts which are referenced by the main document.
Exhibits generally are numbered (1, 2, 3) or lettered (A, B, C) consecutively in the order they are first encountered in the body of the referencing document (brief, contract, etc.).
In order to easily tell one exhibit from another, case documents are often stamped with an easy-to-see exhibit stamp:
Since PDF is the defacto (or often mandated) eFiling standard, it didn’t come as a surprise that I’ve received a few emails on this exhibit stamping PDFs over the last couple of years.
I’ve written previously about creating custom stamps, but an Exhibit Stamp has both a static graphic element and a changing numeric or alphabetic element. I have proposed a workaround using watermarks and the typewriter tool to some firms, but that still was a lot of work.
Only recently have I come across an elegant solution that can accomplish both steps with a click! When you stamp the document, Acrobat will ask you for the exhibit number, then stamp it on the document:
Read the full article to download a special stamp set that does the work for you.
Tablet PCs are growing in popularity in the legal community. Using one of these specialized laptops, you can write directly on the screen.
For example, Lenovo’s X200 Tablet is a convertible which changes from a standard laptop to a tablet by swiveling the screen:
To use the Tablet PC with Acrobat, you’ll need the $69 AutoInk Plug-in from Evermap.
AutoInk installs a toolbar into Acrobat that allows you to write directly on top of PDF documents.
To get a demo of this new plug-in, I went to James Province of the TabletLawyer.com. James is a practicing lawyer who resells Tablet PCs and provides consulting and training.
James was nice enough to let me record him doing a demo of AutoInk on his X200 Lenovo tablet.
Following, I also provide some additional information about using the plug-in.
PDF Portfolios— a new feature of Acrobat 9— are useful for Case Analysis.
In PDF Portfolios for Case Analysis, Part 1, I covered how to:
- Download and use a special Portfolio template for Case Analysis
- Customize the Portfolio Cover Sheet and Header
- Create folders
- Add new columns to capture fielded information
In this article, I will discuss how to:
- Add your own case files to the Portfolio
- Move files to appropriate folders
- Add keywords
- Sort and Filter information
I’ll also include a few tips for working with PDF Portfolios.
Adobe is the custodian for both PDF and TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) formats.
While PDF is superior in many ways, TIFF remains a popular format for use in large case litigation support systems such as Concordance and Summation.
If you have a lot of PDFs in your production it can be a challenge to work with these systems as they do not robustly support PDF and conversion is necessary. These systems want to ingest a . . .
- TIFF file to represent each individual document page
- TEXT file of the text of each page
Processing several hundred documents to individual TEXT and TIFF files is a candidate for some serious automation!
In this article, I’ve included a Tiff-Text Processing Batch Script to download which handles all of this conversion automatically. Here are the results:
Attorneys and other legal professionals use Acrobat comments and annotations to stamp their signature on documents, add highlights, circle important passages, etc.
I recently received this email message from an attorney:
I use the Stamp tool to affix a graphic of my signature to pleadings before e-filing them or sharing them with other counsel. But recipients who fail to choose to print with “Document and Markups” produce a doc that lacks my signature. So, I’ve taken to flattening them by printing to my PDF driver, but that produces a doc of embarassingly poor quality.
Acrobat offers the ability to print documents with or without comments. If you choose File—>Print, you will see the following option:
If you had a heavily commented document with lots of highlights, you may wish to print a clean copy by choosing the “Document” option.
Once you select an option here, the setting is sticky for the next time you print from Acrobat.
Unfortunately, signature stamps are also a type of annotation. If your client or colleague has recently chosen the “Document” option, the important agreement you worked on won’t have your signature.
Fortunately, there are some good workarounds:
- Flatten the document so that Stamps and Annotations become part of the document layer
- Embed your signature as an image, rather than a stamp
- Add a special “Print with Comments” button to your document.
In this article, I’ll discuss these three workarounds. Read on to learn about them.
Law firms that file the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) need to heed the agency’s specific requirements for PDF generation.
The USPTO PDF specification does not allow PDFs to contain:
- Images (including entire scanned pages) above 300 DPI resolution
- Security of any kind
- Embedded multimedia (e.g. sounds or movies)
TIP: The PDF Optimizer in Acrobat 8 Professional can ensure compliance with these restrictions. Images may be downsampled, layers flattened and security, links and multimedia elements removed. The PDF Optimizer may be accessed using the Batch Processing facility, too!
Many federal agencies have long relied upon PDF because of Acrobat’s ability to faithfully render all aspects of printed pages including layout, tables, images and fonts (typefaces).
The USPTO requires that PDF must be:
- Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) or higher
(See note at end of article)
- No larger than 8.5” by 11” or A4 page size
- Have all fonts embedded and subset
The last item—fonts—is a critical aspect of displaying documents.
Acrobat offers three font choices that balance file size versus view fidelity:
- Fonts Substitution
Acrobat renders—on the fly—a “faux font” representation using typeface information included in the PDF.
- Fonts Embedding
All typefaces necessary to render a font are embedded in the file.
- Fonts Subsetting
Only the typeface characters necessary to render the file are embedded. Typefaces may have thousands of characters. Only embedding the actual characters used can reduce file size.
While Font Substitution keeps file sizes small, it can be problematic for submissions as non-standard fonts and specialized math symbols may not render faithfully for reviewers.
Font Embedding places a copy of the entire typeface in the PDF document.
Font Subsetting balances file size and faithful display because it renders all the characters in a document accurately while keeping file size to a minimum.
Unfortunately, the “Standard” conversion setting in Acrobat does not embed the most common office fonts. These fonts such as Arial and Times Roman are normally installed as part of the operating system.
A recommended best practice is to create a new PDF Conversion setting and employ it for creating all PDFs when filing with the USPTO.
Read on to learn how . . .
Courts and other regulatory agencies typically require firms which eFile to provide a specific version of PDF—most often PDF 1.4, the Acrobat 5 format.
Other times, you may need to change the version of a PDF you have to ensure compatibility with a client or colleague using an older version of Adobe Acrobat.
In this article, I’ll cover the following:
- How to check the version of a PDF document
- How to change the PDF version
I’ll also cover some other related topics about changing PDF version. Read on to learn more.
Attorneys and other legal professionals have discovered that they can scan their scan their signature and easily turn it into an Acrobat stamp.
The resulting stamp, however, has a white background.
When stamped on top of documents, the results are not visually pleasing:
To create a transparent stamp, you must “feed” Acrobat a file with transparency capabilities such as a GIF or Photoshop PDF.
Read on to learn how . . .
Note: Acrobat 8 Pro and up offer true Redaction tools which permanently remove information from the datastream of the document. You no longer need to use the method listed here. Acrobat 8 Standard and up offer true, Metadata removal which can automatically detect covered up text and other problems.
See this Redaction Article for full details.
I’ve received several comments about my article on redaction advocating a different method of producing the redacted PDF.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just add mark-ups covering information and print it to the AdobePDF print driver instead of saving to a TIFF file?
Doesn’t this “flatten” the file eliminating information underneath giving the same results?
Let me state this clearly: No it doesn’t!
Read on to learn why . . .
Note: This article was written before Acrobat 8 shipped which includes built-in bullet-proof redaction tools.<\p>