A file name should tell the reader everything they need to know to decide whether or not to open the file.
Naming conventions vary from firm to firm, sometimes from office to office, even from lawyer to lawyer. That’s not ideal, but it is workable. What is truly problematic is if there is no set naming convention. A naming convention has to be consistent and it has to useful. Here are some examples of how to name files.
Date CaseName DocumentTItle
2020-03-12 ROGERS BofA January 2020 Bank Statement
2020-12-24 MICHAELSON Emails re Contract
If the document has bates numbers, it is worth considering adding the bates range at the start of the document or at the end, depending on whether you want the documents to self-organized by bates or by date:
BatesRange CaseName Date DocumentTitle
ABC000001-000065 ROGERS 2020-03-04 Contract for Condensate
CORY000343-000859 MAPLE 1999-02-15 Email re: Money Exchanged
If the file name is too long, you may want to remove the case name which would be self-evident if the file is in the casefile to begin with.
Naming files should be done with one goal in mind: anyone working on the case should be able to scan through the folder and identify what is and is not there. Further, once these documents are placed in the Document Tracking Sheet (you can learn more about that at Geek Like a Girl), the titles alone create a timeline of events because it is sufficiently descriptive.
This post is part of Basic Tech Tips for Legal Pros, available for download at http://www.GeekLikeAGirl.net.