Flowcharts Property Law by asu11102


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									                 cr oss examination

                                      Picture Perfect

                                       Reviewer 1: Reviewed by Al Harrison, a            planning, which includes calendars, time-

                                       Houston-based intellectual property attorney      lines and project planning for family law;
                                       specializing in computer technology, patent law
                                                                                         flowcharts; organization charts; criminal

                                       and related mediation.
                                                                                         law; estate planning; intellectual property

                                                                                         and patents for engineering, Information
    Templates and L                       awyers are professionals trained in            Technology, science and software; med-

                                          legal matters ranging from prosecut-           ical malpractice and personal injury; and
        tools for                     ing tax filings to resolving controversies         real estate for building plans, maps and

                                      via litigation or dispute resolution. That         image layouts.

                                      said, what is the link between the prac-                Keep in mind these few examples of
     effective trial                  tice of law and drawings creation?                 templates, symbols and schematics are a
                                                                                         mere fraction of the panoply of the pro-
     presentation. Significance of a
                     Drawing Application
                                                                                         gram’s available resources. To invoke any
                                                                                         appropriate resource, you can click on
                                      Attorneys routinely include visuals such           the “Symbols” tab or the “Wizard” tab on
                                      as pictures, images, charts and diagrams           the left side of the screen. The “Symbols”
                                      in exhibits intended for use during client         tab presents you with the inventory of
                                      conferences, settlement negotiations,              templates from which you make your
                                      alternate dispute resolution procedures,           selections. The “Wizard” tab interfaces
                                      pretrial conferences and during trial.             with a “Wizard” function that walks you
                                           Typically, to meet specific deadlines         through the prerequisite steps to selecting
    SmartDraw                         for creating these types of images, and to         and using a plurality of templates and
                                      avoid incurring prohibitive costs assoc-           more. Once you learn how to operate
    Legal Solution                    iated with creating drawings, lawyers fre-         SmartDraw, you can double-click a tem-
                                      quently are compelled to accept out-               plate to load it into the “Drawing
                                      sourced drawings that bear at least a              Workspace” screen for editing.
                                      reasonable relationship to the visuals that
                                      were contemplated for reaching the target          Adaptability of
                                      audience. However, by using SmartDraw              Selected Templates
                                      Legal Solution by SmartDraw.com as a               Once a template for a particular scenario
                                      presentation tool, attorneys and firms can         has been selected, you can invoke the
                                      conveniently and inexpensively create              program’s drawing tools to customize
                                      effective drawings in-house.                       and adapt the template in which a
                                                                                         professional visual aid has been created.
                                      Availability of Templates                          To adapt a template, you can use the
                                      SmartDraw Legal Solution has all the               appropriate toolbar button correspond-
                                      enhancements of the company’s latest               ing to a particular editing command,
                                      release, SmartDraw 7, but it also includes         which operates on the template located
                                      about 1,000 templates designed to be               in the “Drawing Workspace” screen.
                                      adapted to a diversity of law practice con-        Alternatively, you can invoke a comm-
                                      centrations. The categories of templates           and from SmartDraw’s “Tool Bar” menu
                                      include accident reconstruction; case                     see HARRISON REVIEW on Page 40

       As reviewed in the October/November 2005 issue of LAW OFFICE COMPUTING ▲ www.lawofficecomputing.com
Reviewer 2: Reviewed by Jason E. Havens of             yers, from accident reconstruction and                    uations not covered by the program’s
Havens & Miller, which focuses on complex              corporate flowcharts, to estate plann-                    preloaded templates. However, even if
estate and charitable gift planning, with offices
in Florida and Louisiana.                              ing techniques and real estate illustra-                  a template doesn’t exist, you can use
                                                       tions. Based on my experience, the                        SmartDraw Legal Solution to custom-
                                                       best way to communicate estate plan-                      ize an illustration using its extensive

M     ost lawyers would like the ability to
      illustrate concepts, timelines and
other related legal information for their
                                                       ning information is by using illustra-
                                                       tions. Pictures literally are worth a
                                                       thousand words for attorneys and
                                                                                                                 capabilities, or you can design your
                                                                                                                 own template from scratch.
                                                                                                                      SmartDraw Legal Solution incl-
clients. However, many lawyers fear                    their clients.                                            udes the following template categories,
using presentation software applications                    SmartDraw allows me to create a                      each with multiple templates available:
such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Corel                 simple illustration to communicate a                      accident reconstruction, calendars, time-
Presentations. To some extent, their fear              complex topic. With SmartDraw Legal                       lines, project planning, family law, flow-

is well-founded because there is a dearth              Solution, I can choose the “Charitable                    charts, organizational charts, criminal,

of templates available, which could                    Lead Trust” template or the “Chari-                       estate planning, medical malpractice,
prove confusing and time-consuming to                  table Remainder Trust” template, and                      real estate and many more.

some. Thanks to SmartDraw Legal                        if desired, I can customize it to my
Solution that no longer is the case.                   client’s situation.                                       Adaptability of

                                                                                                                 Selected Templates

Significance of a                                      Availability of Templates                                 SmartDraw templates are easy to
Drawing Application                                    If a lawyer can’t find a template to use                  change. The entire program works as a

SmartDraw Legal Solution goes a step                   within the extensive SmartDraw Legal                      drag-and-drop application, allowing you
beyond SmartDraw 7 by providing                        Solution edition, there just might not                    to click and move any type of object or

many presentation templates for law-                   be a precedent. Certainly, there are sit-                             see HAVENS REVIEW on Page 40

                                                F O R               T H E              R E C O R D

                                                             SmartDraw Legal Solution


                                                              (800) 768-3729
                                   Price: Introductory offer of $297 per license. Regular price is $449.
                                   Windows 98/ME/2000/XP; 100MB to 2.5GB disk space; 128MB RAM.
                                                                 Harrison said:                                                Havens said:
                 Significance of a           With this program, you conveniently and inexpensively        An application like this is important because pictures are
                 Drawing Application         can create effective drawings in-house.                      worth a thousand words for attorneys and clients.

                                                                                                          More templates than you could think of, and even
                                             There are more than enough to work with. A huge

                 Availability of Templates   resource for templates.
                                                                                                          if a template doesn’t exist for your needs, you can
                                                                                                          customize one.

                 Adaptability of             Great tools make it easy to create and adapt templates
                                                                                                          Very easy to change and adapt.
                 Selected Templates          and drawings.
                 The Learning Curve          It’s the easiest drawing application I have ever used.       Easy to use. There is no learning curve.
                                             Tons of templates, icons and tools make it truly             Easy adaptation of extensive legal templates and ease
                 Last Draw                   effective and easy to use.                                   of use make it a great choice.

                                             Its intuitive interface and readily accessible functions
                                                                                                          It’s extremely flexible and has extensive templates in
                                             and features enable attorneys to create client-specific
                 Pros                        and case-specific professional drawings in record speed
                                                                                                          most practice areas. Compatible with other leading
                                                                                                          software applications.
                                             and at minimum cost.
                                             SmartDraw is so versatile and efficient to use, it’s hard

                                             to take when a template is unavailable for a particular      A bit more costly than Microsoft Visio or iGrafx
                 Cons                        visual-aid context. However, the probability of a suitable   FlowCharter, but also tailored specifically to law
                                             template not being available in SmartDraw’s many             with extensive templates.
                                             libraries is minimal.

                 Verdict                              A treasure trove of tools and techniques. No
                                             matter what the practice area, SmartDraw’s convenient                 A powerful illustration tool that can be used to
                        = Best
                                             and easy-to-use reservoir of drawing templates and           create a picture for almost any legal scenario.
                   = Worst                   editing capabilities are without equal.

                 As reviewed in the October/November 2005 issue of LAW OFFICE COMPUTING ▲ www.lawofficecomputing.com
    Harrison Review                                objects by attaching each of its line seg-     the Symbols Libraries. To draw a symmet-
    continued from Page 38                         ments perpendicularly to each object.          rical shape, press the “Control” key simul-
                                                   Therefore, a segmented line is config-         taneously while drawing the shape. To
    under: “Edit,” “Shapes,” “Lines,” “Text,”      ured with a 90 degree bend. SmartDraw          draw a square, click the “Rectangle” button
    “Arrange” and “Tools.”                         Legal Solution automatically performs          and form the shape while pressing the
         The drawing toolbar consists prima-       segment-line attachment as long as the         “Control” key. Similarly, a circle is formed
    rily of four line-drawing tools: “Straight     “Allow Lines to Link” feature is activated     by using the “Ellipse” button while press-
    Lines,” “Arcs,” “Segmented Lines” and          under the “Arrange” menu.                      ing the “Control” key.
    “Automatic Connector Lines.” “Straight              The “Freeform Pen” tool is an inter-
    Lines,” in conventional fashion, constitute    esting example of the fast-and-furious abil-   The Learning Curve
    the shortest path for interconnecting          ity to make changes using SmartDraw’s          SmartDraw Legal Solution probably is
    points on each of two successive objects.                                                     the easiest drawing application I have

    When the “Straight Line” feature is invo-                                                     used. After delving into the myriad feat-

    ked, lines can be drawn at virtually any                                                      ures available, I was married to the pro-
    angle. SmartDraw Legal Solution has a                                                         gram for creating virtually every visual

    built-in bias designed to help draw a                                                         presentation applicable to my law prac-

    horizontal or vertical line.                                                                  tice. Help immediately is available
         Accordingly, when a straight line is                                                     through its pop-up “Hints” window, its

    drawn at an angle close to 180 degrees,                                                       enthusiastic and friendly Wizard and its
    the program automatically snaps the line                                                      online tutorials. The diversity of legal

    into a horizontal position. Similarly, if a                                                   solutions that are expeditiously provided
    straight line is drawn at an angle close to                                                   through the program can alter your atti-

    zero degrees, SmartDraw automatically                                                         tude about how to effectively comm-
                                                   A basic crime scene template in SmartDraw.

    snaps the line into a vertical position. You                                                  unicate with your clients, the judge and
    can change the angle of the line easily by     built-in strictures. The “Freeform Drawing”    jury, and parties and their counsel dur-

    invoking the “Rotate” command, which           tool gives you complete control over a         ing settlement conferences.
    you can find under the “Arrange” menu          drawing object’s size and shape. To add a

    or by right-clicking.                          rectangle to the Drawing Workspace, click      Last Draw

         The “Arc” tool interconnects any          on the “Rectangle” toolbar button and          SmartDraw Legal Solution’s many tem-
    two points on each of two objects using        move the mouse pointer, which now looks        plates, drawing tools, symbols and icons
    the arc of a circle. The configuration or      like a pencil cursor. Then, click and drag     enable you to invoke, for each law prac-
    angle of a particular arc easily is altered    the pencil cursor to form the intended rec-    tice scenario, appropriate templates and
    by dragging and manipulating the posi-         tangular shape. The same methodology is        associated drawing tools, symbols and
    tion of the arc’s handles. The “Seg-           used to form any other shape, and to place     icons to expeditiously create a custom-
    mented Line” tool interconnects two            lines and graphical symbols stored within      ized and professional visual aid.

    Havens Review                                  The Learning Curve                                  Why should you simply rely on
    continued from Page 39                         As previously mentioned, there is              this review of SmartDraw Legal Solu-
                                                   basically no learning curve when you           tion? You can download a free, fully
    element into or out of an illustration.        begin using SmartDraw. However,                functional trial version of the program
    The same comments apply to modifying                                                          from the company’s Web site and
    text or other aspects of a particular tem-                                                    judge for yourself.
    plate. The major difference is the pro-
                                                    Pictures literally are
    gram greatly assists you by snapping
    objects into place, which is very differ-
                                                     worth a thousand                             Last Draw
                                                                                                  SmartDraw Legal Solution offers an
    ent from a presentation program.
    SmartDraw Legal Solution also auto-
                                                    words for attorneys                           important highly valuable addition to
                                                                                                  any lawyer’s arsenal of software appli-
    adjusts spacing and other aspects that
    can be very cumbersome in a traditional
                                                     and their clients.                           cations by providing an easy way to
                                                                                                  illustrate legal information for clients,
    presentation program, especially when          some users will appreciate the helpful         jurors, the court or anyone else. Unlike
    using a template.                              user’s guide and the excellent tutorials,      some other presentation software pro-
         In terms of adaptability, I should        all of which are available online on the       grams, SmartDraw Legal Solution
    note that SmartDraw integrates well            SmartDraw Web site. In addition, you           allows easy adaptation of its extensive
    with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel         can view all of the available templates        legal templates, including easy format-
    and more. The SmartDraw Web site               mentioned earlier on the company’s             ting and snapping of objects, pictures
    includes helpful information on its inte-      Web site. Finally, if there is something       and more. The program is easy to
    gration capabilities. In addition, Smart-      you just don’t understand, SmartDraw           learn and use, and provides an array
    Draw can convert drawings made in              offers a Knowledge Base and free,              of support options, including free e-
    Microsoft Visio, Corel iGrafx Flow-            unlimited e-mail and telephone-based           mail and telephone-based support for
    Charter and other applications.                technical support.                             all users.

            As reviewed in the October/November 2005 issue of LAW OFFICE COMPUTING ▲ www.lawofficecomputing.com

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