pay for all that paper, plus all the copying (both time and hard costs), handling and shipping costs that paper entails. Storage of court records can be on magneto-optical discs which can hold the same amount of data as paper requiring thousands of times as much space. And the electronic medium is searchable!

IT CAN BE DONE

To make sure this all works smoothly requires cooperation and a willingness to learn. It requires the resolve to give up those musty old books and paper transcripts. Those judges, lawyers, clerks, court administrators and others who want to learn the basics can do so at my educational Web site.

Although lawyers and the courts have lagged behind corporate America, I note that an increasing number are now moving to Windows 95, Windows NT and Microsoft Office Professional. When the benefits of upgrading are more fully appreciated, the pace will pick up and we will leave DOS and other ancient programs behind as fond(?) memories.

Now the legislatures must step in and require that our judicial system move forward with technology solutions that will save the taxpayers money. The cost of inefficiency should fall on those who still insist on being inefficient and maintaining the status quo. Our government needs to be user-friendly.

Richard Power is an attorney residing in Shingle Springs, Calif. E-mail < mrappeal@cwnet.com >, Web site: .

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