Sunday, June 12, 2011

Filing Supplies: All About Redwelds

expanding file pockets

It was the bastion of a successful, busy lawyer as little as 15 years ago. It sat on desks, was cradled by counsel, paralegals and secretaries and, undoubtedly, caused many backaches. I am writing of the humble Redweld — that brown, expanding folder that housed nearly every aspect of a matter from motions to correspondence to billing. — Eric Elfman

If you've been in a legal office lately, you may well have seen these files around — even if Elfman writes about them as a thing of the past. And plenty of other people use them, too.

As John's Legal Lexicon explains: "When your lawyer says 'Put it in the Redweld,' he is referring to one of those large, usually red, file folder holders with a red ribbon for tying it shut. The name comes from the colour and the fact that the manufacturer wanted to emphasise the weld-like strength of the glue holding it together."

Notice that Redweld is always capitalized? That's because it's a registered trademark. Technically, the products are Redweld expanding pockets and envelopes. Companies other than Redweld, such as Smead, make similar expanding pockets, but they aren't called Redwelds. And anyone using the term "redwells" is probably just confused about the term.

Want to know why lawyers like Redwelds? Blond Justice explains why she prefers them over binders, and how she uses them when preparing for a trial. The comments are interesting, too, as other lawyers weigh in.

nail polish

And finally, LacquerWear informs us that there's a nail polish which matches the color of a Redweld.


JustGail said...

We use similar folders at work. Some (my favorite) use Tyvek for the accordion part. The front & back covers start to pull away before the bellows wear out. The ones with paper accordion part just don't hold up nearly as well. They are OK for filing, but not the abuse of constantly being carried around and stuffed with papers and other things.

Jeri Dansky said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, JustGail!

Melanie Dennis, CPO said...

Oh what a fun fact! I didn't know they had a special name. I feel so wise now and will be looking for an opportunity to dazzle someone with this knowledge.

Jeri Dansky said...

You are indeed wise, Melanie - go forth and impress people! Because there are LOTS of people who don't know any of this - I sure didn't until a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Someone could make a mint designing nice shelf/cart for lawyers to use behind their desk to hold redelds.

Jeri Dansky said...

That's an interesting idea, Anonymous! I've just seen them shoved into filing cabinets. I wonder if they need to be kept locked up, at least over night.