Posted by: Elmer Brabante | May 4, 2014

TECHNIQUES IN ANSWERING BAR QUESTIONS BY ATTY. TATAD, JR.


TECHNIQUES IN ANSWERING BAR QUESTIONS BY ATTY. REY TATAD JR.

 

REASON/S BEHIND THE LAW

  1.  The purpose of the law is…
    2. The law is designed to…
    3. It is intended to shield …
    4. It is primarily aimed at protecting ____________ from unwarranted __________
    5. The rationale behind the law is…
    6. The spirit of the law is to the effect that…

DEFINITION / EXPLANATION

1. ________________ is a comprehensive term used to describe _________.
2. _________________, in its generally accepted sense, refers to ….
3. … It is a safeguard and guarantee provided by the 1987 Constitution..
4. … It is a kind of relief granted to a ______________ by the …
5. ________________ is a branch of public law (or private law) which deals with..
6. It pertains to…
7. It connotes a ….
8. … is a doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) which refers to…
9. … is a principle in (i.e. Criminal Law) which states that…
10. It presupposes…
11. Its principal identifying feature is..
12. It is akin to…
13. The function of which is to…
14. The office of which is to…
ENUMERATION 

1. In capsule form, the following are the elements of the crime of

  1.  In a nutshell, the following are the elements of the crime of
  2.  The following elements are generally considered in the determination ofthe presence of (i.e. employer-employee relationship)
  3.  Among the (i.e. defenses/remedies) available to (i.e. Mr. X) as provided for by/in the (i.e. Civil Code) are:

(1)…
(2)…
5. The following are the requisites for…

  1.  In order that a case for (i.e. B.P. 22) to prosper, the following elements must be attendant/present:
  2.  To constitute (i.e. homicide), the following requisites must concur:
  3.  (i.e. Legal compensation) requires the concurrence of the following conditions:
  4.  To establish a person’s culpability under (i.e. estafa), it is indispensable that…

 

* Tips on answers that require enumerating something. (i.e. elements). If you can enumerate all, write it in bulleted or numbered form to highlight the fact that you know all of them and for more convenient-reading purposes.  If you cannot enumerate all, write it in paragraph form so that it would not easily be noticeable that you missed something. (I got the above tip from our mentor Atty. Gafar Lutian)
DISTINCTION 

When being asked to distinguish, do not state its definition. If you give its definition, you are in effect asking the examiner to extract out the differences of the two [or more] from your definition. Do not also give their similarities. You are asked to differentiate and contrast, so similarities are not included (That was a tip I learned from my professor in Civil Law Review I, Atty. Virgilio Gesmundo).The number of distinctions you will give must also be proportionate on the points allotted for such. If it is only worth two points, do not give 8 distinctions. The examiner cannot give you 8 points for that…. For a two point distinction question, perhaps, three would be enough (four is not too much).
1. The (i.e. two) may be distinguished from each other in the followings
ways:

  1. b.
    2. In the first, it is necessary that there be….., whereas in the second it is sufficient
    that there be ….
  2.  In the former, … while in the latter…

4. The former requires … while the latter…

5. … on the other hand ______________ is…
ANSWERING QUESTIONS WITH VAGUE FACTS (or which requires qualification)
But if the facts are complete in itself, do not attempt to add facts or assume anything.

1. We must distinguish. If… (or As far as the __________ is concerned)

2. It depends. If…(or As far as the __________ is concerned)

  1.  The question requires a qualified answer. If…

4. I will qualify. If…

5. On the assumption that…

6. My answer must be qualified.
JURISDICTION 

1. The case is beyond the ambit of the jurisdiction of the (i.e. Regional TrialCourt)

2. It is within the ambit of the (i.e. Secretary of Labor’s) power.

3. It is not within the province of the (i.e. Municipal Trial Court)

4. It is clearly within the powers of the (i.e. Labor Arbiter) to…

  1.  The case of (i.e. ejectment) lies with the Municipal Trial Court.
  2.  The case is cognizable by the (i.e. Regional Trial Court)
  3.  The case is covered by the (Rules on Summary Procedure).
  4.  The law vests upon the (i.e. Secretary of Justice) the power to…

ELABORATING/EXPOUNDING ANSWERS
Go straight to the point. The length of answers and expounding the same, must always be proportionate to the points allotted for such particular question. The higher the points, the more in-depth the elaboration should be. However, it must not appear “na nambobola ka na”. Sometimes, if your answer is too long, it is an indication that you are not sure of the answer so there is that need of getting around the bush. Remember that most of the times, MORE TALK, MORE MISTAKE!!! (I got this tip frommy professor in Political Law, Dean Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr.)
1. It should be borne in mind that…

2. It must be noted that…

3. It may be recalled that…

4. It is worth observing…

5. It must be taken into consideration that…

6. More importantly, ….

7. Significantly,…

8. Corollarily,…

9. Furthermore,…

10. Moreover,…

11. Similarly,…

12. Parenthetically,…

13. In other words,…

14. Otherwise stated,…

15. Simply put,…

16. Simply stated,…

17. Stated more concretely…

18. The reasons are obvious. (expound)

19. The reasons are well-known. (expound)

20. The reasons are plain. (expound)

21. Under the same line of reasoning,…

22. As regards…

  1.  With regard to… (it is error to state “with regards to”)

24. Anent the (i.e. first issue),…

25. As far as the ________________ is concerned,…

26. This is indicated by the fact that…

27. The language of the law leaves no room for doubt that,…

28. Justice and fair-play dictates that,…

29. Applying the principle of….

30. For all its conceded merits, (i.e. equity is available in the absence of lawand not as its replacement)…

31. The law is categorical with regard to…

32. Notwithstanding the… (i.e. execution of the document)

33. It is beyond debate that,…

34. It is imperative to look at,…

  1.  This is consistent with the time-honored maxim (i.e. nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege).
    36. As it is imbued with public interest,…

37. In like manner,

38. In the same manner,

39. In the same vein,

40. In the same breath,

41. Likewise,..

42. In fine,

43. It bears articulating that

44. The controlling element in the (i.e. crime of estafa) is…

45. By analogy,…

46. Suffice it to state that..

47. Emphasis must also be placed at…

48. Manifestly, there was (i.e. grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction)
49. Needless to stress that…

50. It goes without saying that

51. The Supreme Court frowns upon the (i.e. illegal practice of forum shopping as it erodes the administration of justice and makes a mockery of the justice system).

52. There is no denying in this case, that (i.e. the petitioner never raised the issue of jurisdiction throughout the entire proceedings in the trial court; case of Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy)
53. It is now too late in the day for the respondent/defendant to (i.e. raise the issue
of …)

54. Equally telling is the (i.e. factual finding of the lower court) that…

55. The gravamen of the (i.e. the crime of rebellion is an armed public uprising against the government)
56. It cannot be denied that (i.e. the petitioner is also guilty of negligence)…
57. Attention must be drawn to the fact that…

58. ___________ and ____________ are two mutually exclusive remedies. An application of one precludes the application of the other.

59. To amplify,…

60. It must be pointed out that…

61. Notably,…

62. At the outset, the (i.e. defendant)…

63. Coming now to the issue of (i.e. prescription),…

 

CITING LAW PROVISIONS 
1. No less than the (i.e. 1987 Constitution) provides for the…

2. The (i.e. Rules of Court) substantially provides in part that…

3. Under the broad principles of (i.e. due process clause)…

4. Under the all-encompassing doctrine of (i.e. incontestability clause)…

5. Under the law…

6. According to the (i.e. Family Code)…

7. The law is explicit on the matter.

8. The law explicitly expresses in part that…

9. By express provision of law,…

10. By operation of law…

11. As a matter of law…

12. Worth remembering is the rule on _______________ which provides in part that…

13. Decisive on the matter is the pertinent provision of the (i.e. Law on Property)

14. The law prescribes certain rules on…

15. By legislative fiat…
QUOTING SUPREME COURT DECISIONS 
1. The Supreme Court in one case, had the occasion to rule that…

  1.  In a long-line of cases decided by the Supreme Court, it has always been (consistently) held that…

3. In a litany of cases decided by the Supreme Court,

4. In a long-string of cases decided by the highest court of the land,

5. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court,…

6. In a series of cases decided by the Supreme Court,

* Do not use the words series, litany or long-line

if there is only one decision/jurisprudence for that topic.

  1.  In one case decided by the highest court of the land, it was held that

8. In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that

  1.  It has been said that…

10. In a recent case, the Supreme Court has laid to rest the issue of whether or not…
11. It is well settled in this jurisdiction…

12. It is well settled in this country…

13. The Supreme Court has steadfastly adhered to the doctrine which states that

14. In a case with similar facts, the Supreme Court ruled that…

15. In several notable Supreme Court decisions, the highest court declared that…
16. The Supreme Court has often stressed that…

17. In the landmark case of _____________, (if the case is so famous) the Supreme Court laid down the doctrine which substantially provides that…

18. In the leading case of …

19. As enunciated by the Supreme Court in one case,…

20. The court has repeatedly ruled…

21. A case in point is a case already decided by no other than the highest court of the land, where the Supreme Court held that…

22. There is likewise an array of cases in this jurisdiction where the Supreme Court has consistently declared that…

23. Deeply rooted is the jurisprudence which provides that…

24. In one case, the Supreme Court was emphatic when it ruled that….
EMPHASIZING CASE DOCTRINES / JURISPRUDENCE 
1. It is hornbook doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) that…

  1.  Immortal is the rule that…

3. Well settled is the rule…

  1.   Well entrenched is the principle that..

5. Elementary is the rule that..

6. The cardinal rule in (i.e. labor law) is that

7. It is a familiar canon in (i.e. political law) that

  1.  By well settled public law…
  2.  Basic is the rule in (i.e. Criminal Law)…

10. It is an elementary principle in…

11. It is a fundamental doctrine in…

12. Well accepted is the rule that…

13. It is axiomatic in (i.e. Civil Law) that

14. Enshrined in the 1987 Constitution is the rule that (i.e. no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or Property without due process of law)

15. Consonant with the rule on…

16. It is a recognized doctrine in (i.e. Civil law) that…

17. It is a basic tenet in (i.e. Commercial Law)

18. Consistent with current jurisprudence

19. It is a legal presumption, born of wisdom and experience, that (i.e. official duty has been regularly performed; that the proceedings of a judicial tribunal are regular and valid and that judicial acts and duties have been and will be duly and properly performed. The burden of proving irregularity in official conduct is on the part of the petitioners.)

20. It is an oft-repeated rule that…

21. The Philippines adhere to the principle of…
REFERRING BACK TO THE CASE (correlating the facts with the law/jurisprudence)
Note: In my personal opinion, it is not proper to use the statements “in the case at
bench” or “in the case at bar” when answering. Although I guess it is very tempting
because it sounds good and professional to state, “in the case at bar/bench”, we must
not forget that the cases given in the Bar are only theoretical. The statements “in the
case at bench” and “in the case at bar” are more appropriately used in pleadings in
court. After all, you can use the statements “In the instant case, In the facts given, Inthe problem given and In the question presented.”
1. Applying the said law/doctrine in the instant case,

  1.  From the facts given, noteworthy is the …
  2.  From the facts of the case, it is readily observable that…
  3.  In the instant case, it may be observed that…
  4.  It is crystal clear from the facts presented that (i.e. the crime of treason) is present (or was committed).
  5.   In the present case, it is immediately noticeable that the element of __________ is wanting (or lacking).
  6.  Under the circumstances, the proper remedy would be…
  7.  The case obtaining indicates a case of (i.e. B.P. 22)
  8.  It logically follows…

10. It goes without saying…

  1.  Even assuming arguendo, for the sake of argument that…

12. The situation in the case at hand…

13. The situation presented evinces a case of…

14. The facts sufficiently indicated …

15. In the given facts, it is immediately apparent that…

16. It is evident that…

17. In the same token…

18. Under the facts stated in the problem,…

19. In the case under consideration,…
20. Worth stressing is the fact that
21. Worth emphasizing is the fact that
22. The facts would reveal that…
23. A careful perusal of the facts of the case would reveal that…
24. A careful scrutiny of the actuations of the accused would reveal that…
25. A careful reading of the (i.e. Deed of Absolute Sale) would reveal that…
26. A cursory examination of the…
ANSWERING IN THE POSITIVE

1. The petition is meritorious.
2. The contention has legal basis.
3. The case will prosper.
4. The argument is proper.
5. The provision is perfectly applicable.
6. The action is tenable.
7. The motion should be granted.
8. The Judge is correct.
9. The petition is impressed with merit.
10. Yes. It is a (i.e. patent violation) of the
11. There is merit in the petition.
12. The petitioner’s contention is sustainable.
ANSWERING IN THE NEGATIVE

  1.  The contention does not hold water.
  2.  With all due respect to the judge, his decision is apparently erroneous or is not in accord with law and existing jurisprudence.
  3.  The contention is totally misplaced.
  4.  It is now too late in the day to raise the issue of…
  5.  The petition is not meritorious.
  6.  The evidence presented deserves scant consideration.
  7.  The contention has no legal basis.
  8.  The argument is bereft of merit.
  9.  The petition is devoid of merit.

10. Petitioner’s reliance on the (i.e. doctrine of…) is inappropriate. The doctrine of … does not apply in cases where / of…

11. It is a futile gesture on the part of the respondent to invoke the rule on…

12. The theory/argument has no ground to stand upon.

13. The contention has no leg with which to stand on.

14. The position of the petitioner runs counter with the doctrine of…

15. The case will not prosper.

16. The case is not tenable.

17. The act of the accused in… is of no moment.

18. The assertion lacks substance.

19. The decision is erroneous.

20. The court cannot countenance the (i.e. inconsistent postures of the petitioner)

21. The testimony that…, cannot be given credence.

22. The evidence presented has no probative value.

23. The allegation is belied by the fact that…

24. To put it otherwise would be to render the law on _____________ useless/futile.

25. The actuations of the accused in (i.e. fleeing and hiding) negates (i.e. innocence)

26. While it is true that _______________ is a (i.e. constitutional guaranteed right of a person), it does

not, however mean…

27. It is not correct to say that…

28. It is not proper to state that…

29. It is not accurate to conclude outright that…

30. A contrary conclusion would erode the rule that provides in part that…

31. To sustain the contention would be to render the law on ____________ nugatory.
32. It would be absurd and incongruous to sustain the argument that…

33. It is not enough that…

34. The fact that … is immaterial since…

35. The fact that … is irrelevant since…

36. In itself, mere …… is not sufficient (i.e. to warrant conviction)….

37. The petitioner cannot give any additional meaning to the clear and plain language of the law.
38. The Supreme Court, in several cases, has struck down the (i.e. defense of alibi)

39. The attendant circumstances of the case are contrary to the petitioner’s assertion.
40. The evidence does not support the theory of the petitioners.

41. There is no cogent reason to disturb the ruling of the (i.e. Court of Appeals)

42. The claim for (i.e. moral damages) must necessarily fail.

43. The (i.e. respondent) cannot rely on (i.e. mere alibis) to aid his cause.
CONCLUDING WORDS 
 

1. From the gamut of evidence on hand, it can be gathered/deduced that,…

2. Taken all together,…

3. Finally, …

4. Hence, …

5. Therefore, …

6. From the foregoing, it can be deduced that there is really (i.e. a violation of…)

7. From the foregoing, it is now safe to conclude that….

8. Lastly, …

9. Consequently,…

10. As a necessary consequence…

11. The logical implication is that…

12. At any rate,…

13. In view of the foregoing,…

14. As an inevitable conclusion,…

15. In the light of the circumstances,…

16. Undoubtedly,…

17. Indubitably,…

18. Clearly, the case at hand falls squarely within the purview of…

19. Verily, he/she has committed…

20. For this/these reason/s, it is unavoidable to conclude that…

21. Based on the facts obtaining,…

22. In this light,…

23. This being the case…

24. Clearly therefore, applying the aforecited ruling in the case at hand,…

25. In light of the foregoing, it is beyond cavil (doubt) that,…

26. There is no doubt that…

27. To the unprejudiced mind, the actuations of the three, when analyzed and taken together, leads to no other conclusion except that (i.e. conspiracy among them existed)

28. Inescapably, therefore,…

29. All things considered,…

30. It follows therefore that…

31. As a logical result…

32. In sum,..

33. In view of the fact that…,

34. All told,…

35. Given the prevailing facts…

36. Having stated the foregoing premises,…

37. One final point,…

38. Accordingly,…

 
MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR FUTURE BAR CANDIDATES DURING THE REVIEW 
· Always pray before and after studying.

· Turn off your cellular phones. (Turn it on only during your break). Most or a significant part of our time reviewing is sometimes spent on non-sense (or not so important) texting-replying-texting-replying. There is a time for everything. But when you review, avoid interruptions. Cellular phone, believe me, is one of the major interruptions. Although it is hard, why not sacrifice a little for the sake of being a lawyer.

· Believe in yourself. If you will not, then who do you expect would believe in you. (Tip from Sir Bubut Cayco)
· Choose a study buddy if you want. But sometimes it is better that you do

not have one. More study buddies, more interruptions (more kwento). Without you knowing it, “tapos na araw or September na”.

· Before starting your review, be sure that the tension has already subsided. (Specifically starting the month of July when tensions really soars high for most Bar candidates) Bear in mind that we can comprehend more if we are in a relaxed state of mind.

· Set your own pace. Do not compare your pace with others (like asking others, “ilang reading ka na?”) This is not a rat race. Quality reading(studying/reviewing actually) is what is needed. Bar does not dwell on the amount of pages/books you have read, it is more of how much you have mastered.

· Do not memorize without comprehending. When mental block occurs, you cannot recall even a single thing. Moreover, in applying the law in a given theoretical case problem, for sure you can hardly answer the same if you have memorized without understanding.

· Do not highlight the entire reviewer . Sometimes, the problem with highlighting is that it becomes our security blanket that we have read and understood what we have read. But more often, we have not.
· When you have a query or some matters in mind that needs clarification, just write it in a piece of paper, pag marami na, ask it to a professor you believe is competent in that field. Don’t ask your co-barristers. It might only end in a debate and waste of time, when no reliable answer is concluded. Remember, time is precious during the pre-bar review.

· Set one day for recreations alone. It could rejuvenate your energy and create hunger for review the following day.

· Attend to the needs of your entire being. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This will also help you avoid being exhausted in the review.

· Take vitamins and take your meals on time.
BEFORE THE BAR EXAM PROPER 
· Make sure you have enough and complete sleep. A well rested mind can answer and articulate better.
· Pray

· Review the material you personally believe is a good last minute tip for you.

· Compose yourself, your mind, heart and spirit. Focus on the exam alone and not on the fear of failing. Stop or reduce your tension. Tension is normal, as long as it is at a moderate level. After all, you will already be taking the bar, no turning back. So might as well do your best. And you can only perform well if you are in a composed mind and heart. (I suggest you close your eyes. Inhale then exhale as you count one to ten. It might help)

· Boost your confidence by telling yourself “Walang (your surname) na di magaling.” Or tell yourself “What kind of celebration will I do if I top or at least pass

the bar?” at least you might laugh kahit kabado .
DURING THE BAR EXAM PROPER 
· I suggest that before answering, formulate on your mind what will be placed on your first, second and third paragraphs. The first paragraph normally contains a one-sentence direct to the point answer to the question. The second paragraph commonly contains legal basis (provision of law in point, jurisprudence, co-relation of the jurisprudence/provision with the facts of the case and application).Third paragraph normally contains the conclusion. When you are already decided of your answer, write it according to your thoughts. In this approach, you will not only be avoiding unnecessary revisions and erasures, you will also maintain the cleanliness of your booklet. Bear in mind that, a dirty booklet is irritating to the eyes of the person checking the same.

· Allocate the time depending on the number of questions.

· Answer each question one at a time. Focus on one question before thinking or bothering yourself of the succeeding questions.

· Do not stay in a number for so long. Leave at least a sheet for a 5point question. Go to the next number if you do not know the answer. If I am not mistaken, more than one (1) bar candidate had not succeeded because of stocking himself / herself in an item he/she does not know the answer of. As a necessary result, he/she failed to finish the exam. As one of my friends told me, “No matter how grossly wrong your answer may be, do not ever leave an item unanswered. Malay mo, may points for the effort/ink .Kidding aside, a blank sheet will surely get an automatic 0 point. So better answer all.”

· Don’t blame yourself or don’t panic if you failed to answer an item or two. It’s perfectly normal. What is abnormal is if you failed to answer questions that you know the answer of just because you bothered/blamed yourself so much on the items you don’t know. In short, if you failed to finish the exam.
· As my professor Atty. Francis Sababan told us before, “mga bata, avoid passing your booklet too early. The time allocated for each subject may be too much, but it must be used wisely to: (1) write legibly, (2) compose your answers properly, (3) avoid erasures, (4) observe proper margin, and (5) review your answers. After all there are no prizes for early finishers.”
AFTER A BAR SUBJECT (OR ENTIRE BAR EXAM) 
· Do not discuss answers. It is futile because the booklets had already been submitted and it could greatly affect your performance for the remaining subjects. If your noble reason on asking about the answers is for you to know the same, I suggest that you wait until the exam results have been already released. For self-preservation reasons, for sure you will be anxious and fearful if you would discover that you have incurred (just for example) 10 mistakes.
IMPORTANT REMINDER IN ANSWERING 
If you are so sure of the answer, you can directly answer yes or no. But if you are just guessing or not so sure of the answer, you better start citing law provisions and jurisprudence first. 
Logic behind: If you answer yes or no and it happened to be wrong, chances are, you will get an automatic ZERO (0) for that item. The examiner might not read your answer anymore. Come to think of it, it would be a waste of his time reading explanation of a wrong answer. Besides, there are so many booklets to check.
On the other hand, if you cite the law provisions and jurisprudence first, even though your yes or no answer placed in the last paragraph/sentence is wrong, you might get some credit. (The examiner might say, “may alam tong batang to, nalito lang”). Finally, at least, the examiner has read all your answer and explanation before grading you for that item.
CARDINAL RULES IN TAKING THE BAR 
. Do not forget your test permits, Supreme Court color coded Identification card, and other pertinent documents/things as required in the letter coming from the SC allowing you to take the Bar.
. Bring a watch with you to keep you updated of the time left.

. Never be tempted to cheat.

. Keep your focus.

. Carefully read and comprehend the instructions and questions.

. Answer one at a time.

. Answer straight to the point. Be responsive to the question. Answer only what is being asked. Though it is tempting to showcase your knowledge, do not over-elaborate.

. Avoid erasures.

. Do not hurry at the expense of substance (and readability) of your answers.

. Leave a space before starting a new paragraph.

. Review your answers. Scan your booklet before submitting the same. Be sure you have not left any question unanswered.

. Bring extra sign/fountain pens.

. Observe proper margin.
DISCLAIMER!!!

This is only a guide material and will not and cannot assure anyone of passing or even topping the BAR. What is assured only is that it will greatly facilitate the candidates’ presentation of his/her answers.

——–GO O D LUCK! ! ! ——

Atty. Reynulfo C. Tatad, Jr.

September 2006 Bar Exam Passer

 

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Responses

  1. thanks for this. really need this one! God bless!

    Like


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