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Chapter 6 - Computer Concepts and Legal Applications

Graphic Presentations

Graphics software enables one to give a visual impression to the viewer by a picture. The verbal and visual presentation of a concept, relationship or event reinforces it in the viewer’s mind. A variety of graphical programs are available to assist in the creation of visual pictures.

The most common presentation graphical programs are the ones that enable one to create bullet slides, bar graphs, pie charts, timelines, organization charts and a host of other graphical depictions that provides the viewer with a visual impression by pictures and data. Another type of graphics software is a design program commonly called CAD or Computer Aided Design. These programs can design the interior of a home, manufacturing plant, roads, etc. Finally, there are paint programs, such as Microsoft Paintbrush, which enables you to draw a freehand picture of your choice using a mouse or other pointing device.

Slide show presentations are beginning to be used frequently in legal proceedings, such as opening statement, closing argument and examination of witnesses. Slides can be embedded with sounds or linked to other applications, such as animations and so forth. Some presentation systems have runtime versions that enable you to copy and give away the presentation to run without the underlying software.

Some common slideshow presentation graphics programs would include Microsoft PowerPoint and Corel Presentations. This software is easy to use out of the box, and provides a number of user-friendly features, including tutorials, predefined graphic templates, and clip art. They offer a good basic set of drawing and annotation tools. They provide the capability of creating bullet slides, graphs and use of clip art to explain your client’s legal position. They generally come with a “screenshow” feature that enables one to arrange the created slides in whatever order is best suited for the presentation. These programs enable one to create multimedia presentations using graphics, sound, text, animations, and even live video inserted as OLE objects.

Often, special “niche" graphics software can provide valuable assistance in your cases. One niche packages is VISIO™ (www.microsoft.com) which is a graphics program that is complementary to general presentation graphic programs, such as Microsoft PowerPoint™, and enables the user to create specific relationship “type” charts that can then easily be used with a general graphics application program. The program provides numerous stencils to assist in depicting “relationships” important in your cases.

For example, VISIO™ was used below to visually depict concurrent ownership of three corporations by the same key family members in different corporate positions. The family members had Korean names that were confusing if one tried to pronounce them, since they were very similar sounding. However, a graphical representation provided a clear depiction of the interrelationship of the parties.


The following diagram was prepared in 5 minutes using graphics software.


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