California Continuing Education of the Bar Markets FormEasy RunTime
The California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) is a non-profit organization
formed by agreement of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California and The
Regents of the University of California. The California CEB programs assist attorneys to
maintain professional competence. Approximately 90 courses per year are offered around the
state and 10-15 books per year are published by the CEB.
By the mid-1970's the Judicial Council, appointed to administer the Court System,
determined that the Courts were becoming buried in paper work. To petition the Court for
probate, for example, one attorney may have included the information needed in five pages
where another attorney included the information in 15 pages. To eliminate the
inconsistencies the Judicial Council recommended preprinted forms. The preprinted forms
were distributed by the CEB to assist lawyers with the paperwork required by the Courts.
There were still problems, however. To fit the information on the forms required very
small type. The forms were very difficult to align in the typewriters. Often the forms
were copied and the quality of the copies varied greatly. Duplicate information was often
required on different forms for the same case. Sometimes information was requested twice
on the same form.
To cope with these problems the CEB formed a Software Department in 1985. The primary
mission of the Software Department was to automate the forms process. The CEB Software
Department began looking for a forms generation package that worked with the Hewlett
Packard Laserjet II printer and interfaced to a database.
After careful analysis, they chose FormEasy to do the job. According to Richard
Stevens at the Software Department, GDI was very supportive throughout the evaluation and
pilot project. A package of 350 forms was developed with the assistance of GDI. Some of
the forms are two-sided and some of the forms are complicated. Eleven different fonts are
needed to get the exact duplication of the forms required by the Courts. Participating law
firms now simply select the forms, fill in the required fields at their computers, and
print the forms on laser printers. FormEasy automatically fills in duplicate fields.
The look and quality of the output is consistently impressive. In the past the legal
profession had been slow to embrace computer technology. With the assistance of the CEB
and GDI, however, the legal profession is one step closer to the future.
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