Atty. Lazatin

Report
Preliminary Conference
and
Trial on the Issues
Rules 22 and 24
Atty. Victor P. Lazatin
Technical Working Group
•
•
•
•
•
Members
Hon. Roberto A. Abad
Hon. Raul Bautista Villanueva
Hon. Selma P. Alaras
Hon. Caridad Walse-Lutero
Hon. Jose Lorenzo R. Dela
Rosa
Hon. Maria Rowena Modesto
San Pedro
Hon. Marjorie T. UyengcoNolasco
Hon. Barbara-Aleli H. Briones
Consultants:
• Atty. Victor P. Lazatin
• Atty. Vicente M. Joyas
• Atty. Laurence Arroyo
• Atty. Roberto Mendoza
• Atty. Emily Manuel
OUTLINE
I. Preliminary Conference
(Rule 22)
II.Trial of Issues(Rule 24)
OVERVIEW
INITIATORY
PLEADING
PRELIMINARY
CONFERENCE
Secs. 22.5-22.9
ANSWER/REPLY/
OTHER
PLEADINGS
SUMMONS
`
TERMS OF
REFERENCE
Sec. 22.4
JDR
(Failed)
JUDICIAL
AFFIDAVITS AND
DOCUMENTARY
EVIDENCE
Sec. 22.2
TRIAL OF
ISSUES
JUDGMENT
APPEAL
EXECUTION
I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
POLICY OBJECTIVES
1. Require parties to make a full disclosure of known facts
and to submit the affidavits and documents that
evidence their claims (GOAL: To enable the court to
accurately identify the issues)
2. Treat litigations as a collective effort (not adversarial)
to search for truth and to render justice to all
I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
POLICY OBJECTIVES
3. Empower the judge to take a direct role in examining
the witnesses
4. Efficient use of the court ’ s time without sacrificing
quality—Parties/Counsel to do certain things such as
(1) Drafting TOR; and (2) Drafting Decision
5. Raise level of professionalism of court and counsel
I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
KEY FEATURES
1. Mandatory disclosure of evidence (Sec. 22.2)



Judicial Affidavit Rule (JAR): Judicial Affidavit as
Direct testimony of a witness
Documents and object evidence attached and
marked as Exhibits C, C-1, C-2, and so on
(Complainant), Exhibits P, P-1, P-2, and so on (Plaintiff
or Petitioner), Exhibits R-1, R-2, R-3, and so on
(Respondent), Exhibits D, D-1, D-2, and so on
(Defendant) in the Judicial Affidavit shall be deemed
offered and admitted **
Reply Judicial Affidavits on matters not touched upon
by initial Judicial Affidavit within 15 days from receipt of
adverse party’s Judicial Affidavits.
** Subject to exclusion / cross-examination
I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
KEY FEATURES
2. Use of discovery procedures (Sec. 22.3)
3. Terms of Reference (Sec. 22.4)
4. Raffle to a Different Branch/Joint Motion to Retain
JDR Judge (Sec. 22.2)
5. Appearance of parties (Sec. 22.6)

Non-appearance excused only for valid cause shown
or if represented by another fully authorized to act
I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
KEY FEATURES
4. Decision by default (Secs. 22.7 to 22.8)

For failure to appear at the scheduled preliminary
conference, decision on the other party’s claims will be
based solely on the evidence already submitted
5. Matters to be taken up (Sec. 22.9)
Terms of Reference
TERMS OF REFERENCE
I.Summary of admitted facts
II.Summary of totality of facts
that the evidence (Petitioners’
and Respondents’) appear to
have established
III.Statement of factual issue(s)
IV.List of witnesses
V.Statement
of
actual
or
potential legal issues that the
case presents
CONTROLS
SCOPE OF
TRIAL
Terms of Reference (“TOR”)
PROCEDURE
A. If both parties submit
PETITIONER
SUBMITS DRAFT TOR
15
DAYS
RESPONDENT
SUBMITS Draft
COMMENT
15
DAYS
COURT FINALIZES
TOR
B. If Petitioner does not
submit
COURT TO DIRECT
RESPONDENT TO
SUBMIT DRAFT TOR
COURT FINALIZES TOR ON
THE BASIS OF
RESPONDENT’S DRAFT
MATTERS TO BE TAKEN UP AT THE
PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
 Determine (in consultation with the parties and their
counsel) if there is a need to make changes in the contents
or wordings of the Terms of Reference. If yes, the court
shall enter those changes on the face of the documents.
 If a party insists that the court try an excluded issue =
included, provided such party makes a deposit of P10,00050,0000 for court costs.
MATTERS TO BE TAKEN UP AT THE
PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
 Final attempt to persuade the parties to settle their
disputes amicably.
 The court shall summarize the arrangements in the
Preliminary Conference and issue an Order of Trial, copy
furnished the parties.
 May render judgment or cause dismissal of action
should a valid ground for the same exists. If evidence is
required for adjudicating a ground for dismissal, court shall
set case for reception of such evidence.
ORDER OF TRIAL
Trial of the Issues and
not Plaintiff’s or
Defendant’s entire case
Fix order in which
issues are to be tried
Identify witnesses who
need to be present and
testify on such issues
Set specific dates for
reception of evidence
Determine whether
regular or simple trial
Witness exemption from
face-to-face examination—
(1) Rule on Examination of Child
Witness; and (2)one who is mentally,
psychologically, or physically
challenged or disadvantaged in a
face-to-face confrontation
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
1. Promote a non-adversarial environment
2. Give the judge a more active role in the proceedings
3. Issue-based examination of witnesses and presentation
of evidence
4. Equal time for witnesses from opposing sides to give
testimony and reply to each other immediately
5. Avoid
unnecessary
delays
(e.g.,objections,
postponements, etc.)
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6)
a) Court shall actively examine and determine the
truthfulness of the judicial affidavits;
b) Witnesses from all contending sides shall appear together
and simultaneously swear to the truth of their respective
testimonies;
c) Witnesses shall sit face-to-face around the table in a nonadversarial environment and answer questions from the
court and the parties’ counsel respecting the factual issue
under consideration;
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6)
d) The court shall initiate the inquiry into each factual issue
strictly in the sequence provided in the Order of Trial
although such inquiry may cover two or more closely related
issues;
e) Witness or witnesses may testify on one or more issues in
accordance with the Order of Trial;
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6)
f) Only one person at a time shall speak during the trial
and always with prior permission from the court which
shall take steps to ensure that the person who speaks is
identified for the record; (grounds: rules of
civility/courtesy);
g) Witnesses shall address their answers to the examining
judge or counsel;
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6)
h) Witnesses shall not pose questions to the other witnesses
relating to their testimonies but shall be given equal
opportunity and equal time to respond to the same; and
i) Each party shall have take turns to cross examine, redirect,
and re-cross the witnesses.
 Not Face-to-Face trial (Sec. 24.10)
1. Rule on Examination of Child Witness; and
2. A person who is mentally, psychologically, or physically
challenged, or has a similar condition that puts him at a
disadvantage in a face-to-face confrontation
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
KEY FEATURES
1. Language used during trial (Sec. 24.17)
 English or Filipino
 If there is language difficulty, conducted in a dialect
known to him with interpreter.
 It is the recording of the actual answers (not the
English or Filipino translation), which will be the official
and binding testimony of the witness.
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
KEY FEATURES
2. Exclusion of disqualified witness or inadmissible
testimonies and exhibits from judicial affidavits
before examination (Sec. 24.4)
 If granted, excluded answer will be placed in brackets
under the initials of proper court personnel.
 If exhibits to be excluded are voluminous,
motion in writing before trial.
 Without prejudice to a tender of excluded evidence.
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
KEY FEATURES
3. Two-phase examination of witnesses (Sec. 24.7)
First: Examination by the Court [Sec. 24.7(a)]
Second: Examination by Counsel [Sec. 24.7(g)]
4. Examination of Expert Witnesses (Sec. 24.11)
• Face-to-Face also
• with leave of court, expert may ask questions
directed to the other party’s expert witness
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
KEY FEATURES
5. Intransferrability of settings (Sec. 24.14)




Except on grounds of fortuitous event or serious illness
otherwise waiver of appearance (parties & counsel).
No motion for postponement or resetting on ground of serious
illness shall be granted unless a medical certificate is
presented stating illness of such gravity to prevent from
attending at the scheduled hearing.
Judge may require physician to appear or order another
physician either government employed or retained by adverse
party to verify the truth of the certification.
If false, certifying physician shall be held in contempt of
court; also the party & counsel, to the extent possible
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL
KEY FEATURES
6. Consequences of failure to appear at trial (Sec.
24.15)
 Counsel
= waiver, trial will proceed, witnesses
examined in the usual course as if procured by the court
 Witness = judicial affidavit expunged
7. Regular v. Simple Trial Schedules
8. Memorandum, oral argument and judgment (Sec.
24.13)
REGULAR
TRIAL
• Issues are
complex or
numerous
•Several witnesses
or numerous pieces
of evidence
•1 or more hearing
dates
#2
MEMORANDA
ORAL ARGUMENT
(15 days)
(10 days from #1)
•Limited
witnesses/evidence
WRITTEN
DECISION
(90 days from #2)
vs.
SIMPLE
TRIAL**
•Issues are simple
and few
#3
#1
#1
#2
ORAL ARGUMENT
ORAL JUDGMENT
(right after hearing)
(right after #1)
•ONE-TIME face-toface hearing
**Conversion to Regular trial if it turns out to be complex
#3
DRAFT DECISION
BY WINNING
PARTY
(15 days from #2)
#4
WRITTEN
DECISION
(30 days from #2)
TWO-PHASE EXAMINATION
BY THE COURT
No particular sequence on
the issues/related issues at hand
Court may direct question to
one or more of the witnesses
from contending sides
Other witnesses from the same
side may supplement, clarify or
qualify answer of first witness
Equal time and opportunity
to reply
Allow divergent exchanges
provided new facts or new
arguments are introduced; stop
when
repetitive/judge
is
sufficiently clarified
COURT
MAY
SUMMARIZE
respective positions, then move
on
BY COUNSEL
(may examine on the same
issue or related issues in the 1st phase)
Unless court
sequence is:
orders
otherwise,
1. Petitioner’s Witness
CX/RD/RX –on the Judicial
Affidavit & Answer in the 1st phase
2. Respondent’s Witness
CX/RD/RX
3. Other Parties’ Witnesses
CX/RD/RX
Counsel may object to questions or
move to strike out answers given
Court shall act on the objections or
simply note them
EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
JUDGE ASKS QUESTION 1 to
WITNESS R
MR. R answers JUDGE
with Court’s permission,
MR. P rejoins
with Court’s permission,
MR. R rebuts
JUDGE MAY SUMMARIZE
JUDGE ASKS QUESTION 2 to
WITNESS P
MR. P answers JUDGE
with Court’s permission,
MR. R replies
with Court’s permission,
MR. P rebuts
with Court’s permission,
MR. R answers
JUDGE MAY SUMMARIZE
WITNESS R
WITNESS P
with Court’s permission,
MR. P replies
TABLE OF OBJECTIONS/EXCEPTIONS
EXCEPTIONS – Questions of the Judge
OBJECTIONS – Questions of the Counsel **
--simply state the legal grounds for objection w/no further explanation
TYPE of
OBJECTION
OBJECTIONS TO
COURT ACTION
Objection as to
form
Questions which are
perceived as:
The court may:
1)
2)
3)
3)
4)
5)
argumentative;
leading;
multiple;
repetitive;
vague;
improper
characterization;
6) confusing; or
7) unfair.
** May also move to strike out answers given
1) take note; or
2) rephrase the
question.
TABLE OF OBJECTIONS/EXCEPTIONS
TYPE of
OBJECTION
OBJECTIONS TO
Objection as to
substance
Questions which are perceived to The court shall
elicit
answers
that
are promptly rule on
inadmissible on public policy such objections.
grounds such as:
1) right against selfincrimination;
2) privileged communication;
3) disqualification;
4) Statue of Frauds;
2) rape shield law;
3) bank secrecy laws;
4) AMLA non-disclosure rule; or
5) other similar laws or
rules.
COURT ACTION
TABLE OF OBJECTIONS/EXCEPTIONS
TYPE of
OBJECTION
OBJECTIONS TO
COURT ACTION
Objection as to
admissibility
Admissibility under the
rules governing:
The court may
simply take note
of the exceptions
and consider the
same when
deciding the case.
1) best evidence;
2) parol evidence;
3) conclusion or opinion
evidence;
4) hearsay evidence;
5) irrelevant evidence; or
6) character evidence.
THANK YOU.

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