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In re1 Application of Max Shoop for admission to practice law.

November 29, 1920

FACTS:
An application for admission to practice law in the Philippine Islands has been made
by Max Shoop, a practicing lawyer from New York.
His application was based under paragraph four of the Rules for the Examination of
Candidate for Admission to the Practice of Law 2, made effective by the Supreme Court
of the Philippines after July 1, 1920.
Shoop submitted supporting papers that he has practiced for more than five (5)
years in the highest court of the state of New York.
By comity3, the said rule of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands requires the
New York State to confer the privilege of admission without examination under similar
circumstances to Philippine Islands admitted attorneys.
The rule of the New York court4 confers the same privilege to Philippine Island
attorneys, subject to the discretion of its Appellate Division.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Max Shoop can be admitted to practice law in the Philippine Islands?

HELD:
Yes, Max Shoop can be admitted to practice law in the Philippine Islands.

RATIO:
1. On the Philippine Islands (PI) as a territory of the United States (US)
a. Under paragraph 1 of the rule of the New York court, practice in a State or
Territory of the American Union is a basic qualification to be admitted in it.
1
Latin for "in the matter [of]"
2
Par. 4 states: Applicants for admission who have been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United
States or in any circuit court of appeal or district court, therein, or in the highest court of any State or territory of the
United States, which State or territory by comity confers the same privilege on attorneys admitted to practice in the
Philippine Islands, and who can show by satisfactory affidavits that they have practiced at least five years in any of
said courts, may, in the discretion of the court, be admitted without examination.
3
Courts of justice in one state will, out of comity, enforce the laws of another state, when by such enforcement they
will not violate their laws or inflict injury on some one of their own citizens
4
The rule of the New York court states: (1) Any person admitted to practice and who has practiced five years as a
member of the bar in the highest law court in any other state or territory of the American Union or in the District of
Columbia. (2) Any person admitted to practice and who has practiced five years in another country whose
jurisprudence is based on the principles of the English Common Law.
b. Comity would seem to exist if the PI was a territory of the US.
c. However, the word territory has a general and technical meaning and thus
needs to be qualified.
d. PI is not an organized territory, but we are also not a foreign country from the
US perspective.
e. Since the US Congress legislates for the PI, we have been granted a form of
territorial government and to an extent can be considered a territory
according to the US Attorney General, as was held in the case of Porto Rico.
f. It is not believed that the New York court intended the word "territory" to be
limited to the technical meaning of organized territory or it would have used a
more accurate expression.
g. Further, since the PI is not a foreign country within the meaning of the
Cuban Commercial Treaty, it should thus be assumed a part of the US in
certain aspects. Otherwise, it would be a land without statusthat is, a land
neither another country nor a state, nor a territory.
h. Thus, the PI has a basis of comity to satisfy the territorial requirement since
the rule of the New York court indicates a sweeping intention to include all of
the territory of the US, in its broad and general meaning.

2. Qualifying English Common Law (ECL) jurisprudence 5 in paragraph 2 of the rule


of the New York Court
a. Under paragraph 2 of the rule of the New York court, practice in another
country whose jurisprudence is based on the principles of English Common
Law is also a basic qualification for admission.
b. Thus, if ever the dispute on the PI being a territory of the US is unresolved,
the PI, being another country whose jurisprudence is based on the principles
of English Common Law should thus be qualified instead.
c. In doing so, under the principle of comity, we must consider what English
Common Law the New York State was based on.
d. In most of the States, including New York, codification and statute law have
come to be a very large proportion of the law of the jurisdiction, the remaining
proportion being a system of Case Law which has its roots, to a large but not
exclusive degree, in the old English cases.

5
Jurisprudence also referred to as Case Law in the untechnical sense is the groundwork of the written law, or as
Bouvier defines it, The science of lawthe particular science of giving a wise interpretation to the laws and making a
just application of them to all cases as they arise.
e. In speaking of a jurisprudence "based on the English Common Law" it would
seem proper to say that the jurisprudence of a particular jurisdiction is based
upon the principles of that Common Law if its statute law and its case law to a
very large extent includes the science and application of law as laid down by
the old English cases, as perpetuated and modified by the American cases.

3. Common Law adopted by decision in the United States (US)


a. In the US, the ECL is blended with American codification and remnants of the
Spanish and French Civil Codes. A legal metamorphosis has occurred similar
to that which is transpiring in its jurisdiction today.
b. The New York court uses the phrase "based on the English Common Law" in
a general sense.
c. Such Common Law may become the basis of the jurisprudence of the courts
where practical considerations and the effect of sovereignty gives round for
such a decision.
d. If in the Philippines, ECL principles as embodied in Anglo-American
jurisprudence are used and applied by the courts to the extent that Common
Law principles are not in conflict with the local written laws, customs, and
institutions as modified by the change of sovereignty and subsequent
legislation, and there is no other foreign case law system used to any
substantial extent, then it is proper to say in the sense of the New York rule
that the "jurisprudence" of the Philippines is based on the ECL.

4. On the Philippine Islands (PI) being influenced by English Common Law (ECL)
jurisprudence
a. The extent of the English or Anglo-American Common Law here has not been
definitely decided by the Supreme Court. But there is a similarity to the
quotations from the American decisions cited with reference to the ECL.
b. Alzua & Arnalot vs. Johnson: we apply Anglo-American jurisprudence only in
"xxxso far as they are founded on sound principles applicable to local
conditions, and are not in conflict with existing law; nevertheless, many of the
rules, principles, and doctrines of the Common Law have, to all intents and
purposes, been imported into this jurisdiction, a result of the enactment of
new laws and the organization of new institutions by the Congress of the
USxxx"
c. The Spanish judicial system was abrogated, replaced with a new one
modeled after the judicial systems of the US. Therefore, those Spanish
doctrines and principles in conflict with the new one were abrogated.
d. US. v. De Guzman: For proper construction and application of the terms and
provisions we borrowed from or modeled upon Anglo-Am precedents, we
review the legislative history of such enactments.
e. US. v. Abiog and Abiog: The courts are constantly guided by the doctrines of
Common Law. Neither ECL or American Common Law is in force in this
Islandssave only in so far as they are founded on sound principles
applicable to local conditions and aren't in conflict with existing law."
f. What we have is a Philippine Common Law influenced by the ECL or
American Common Law.
g. A great preponderance of the jurisprudence of our jurisdiction is based upon
Anglo-American case law precedents-exclusively in applying those statutory
laws which have been enacted since the change of sovereignty and which
conform more or less to the American statutes, and-to a large extent in
applying and expanding the remnants of the Spanish codes and written laws.

5. On Philippine Statute Laws


a. The chief codes of Spain that were extended to us were as follows: Penal
Code, Code of Commerce, Ley Provisional, Code of Criminal Procedure, and
Code of Civil Procedure, Civil Code, Marriage Law, Mortgage Law, Railway
laws, Law of Waters.
b. There were also special laws having limited application.
c. The foregoing written laws had acquired the force of statute law by change of
sovereignty.
d. There was no properly called Case Law of Spain since Spanish jurisprudence
does not recognize the principle of Stare Decisis 6.
e. Manresas discussion of Art. 6 of the Civil Code shows how far from a case
law system is jurisprudence. Spanish courts are governed by:
(i.) By written law;
(ii.) By the customs of the place (derives its force because it is the
acknowledged manner on how things are done and not
jurisprudence);

6
A legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions
(iii.) By judicial decision (when in practice, these were considered last; the
development of Case Law was impeded because the courts were
free to disregard any information or decisions of other courts);
(iv.) By general principles of law

6. On Spanish Statute Laws


a. All portions of political law were abrogated immediately with the change of
sovereignty
b. All Spanish laws, customs, and rights of property inconsistent with the
Constitution and American principles and institutions were superseded.
c. It was as if Congress had enacted new laws for the Philippines modeled upon
those same Spanish statutes.

7. On cases under American derived statutes


a. It appears that the bulk of present day Statute Law is derivative from Anglo-
American sources; derivative in a sense of having been copied, and in the
sense of having been enacted by Congress or by virtue of its authority.
b. In all of the cases, Anglo-American decisions and authorities are used and
relied upon to a greater or less degree. Although in many cases, the use is by
way of dictum, nevertheless, the net result is the building up of a very
substantial elaboration of Anglo-American case law.

8. On cases under Spanish Statutes


a. We use Anglo-American cases in interpreting and applying the remnants of
the Spanish statutes. This shows how permanent the hold of the Anglo-
American Common Law has on our jurisprudence.
b. Anglo-American Case Law plays a great part in amplifying the law on those
subjects, which are still governed by the remaining portions of the Spanish
statutes, as exhibited in the groups of cases cited in the footnotes.
c. Anglo-American Case Law has entered practically every field of law and in the
large majority of such subjects has formed the sole basis for the guidance of
the Court in developing jurisprudence.
d. The result is that we've developed a Philippine Common Law which is based
almost exclusively, except in cases where conflicting with local customs and
institutions, upon Anglo-American Common Law.
9. Collateral influences
a. There are no digests of Spanish decisions to aid the study of Bench and Bar
vs. the abundance of digests/reports/textbooks on English/American courts.
b. There is a prolific use of Anglo-American authorities in the decisions of the
court, plus, the available sources for study and reference on legal theories are
mostly Anglo-American
c. Therefore, there has been developed and will continue a common law in our
jurisprudence (i.e. Phil Common Law) based upon the ECL in its present day
form of an Anglo-American Common Law, which is effective in all of the
subjects of law in this jurisdiction, in so far as it does not conflict with the
express language of the written law (where the remnants of the Spanish
written law present well-defined civil law theories) or with the local customs
and institutions.