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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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