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

REASON/S BEHIND THE LAW

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

In a nutshell, the following are the elements of the crime of

The following elements are generally considered in the determination ofthe presence of (i.e.
employer-employee relationship)

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

In order that a case for (i.e. B.P. 22) to prosper, the following elements must be attendant/present:

To constitute (i.e. homicide), the following requisites must concur:

(i.e. Legal compensation) requires the concurrence of the following conditions:

To establish a persons 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:

b.

2. In the first, it is necessary that there be.., whereas in the second it is sufficient

that there be .

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)

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 Labors) 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

The case of (i.e. ejectment) lies with the Municipal Trial Court.

The case is cognizable by the (i.e. Regional Trial Court)

The case is covered by the (Rules on Summary Procedure).

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

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,

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

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.

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

8. In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that


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

Immortal is the rule that

3. Well settled is the rule

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

By well settled public law

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,

From the facts given, noteworthy is the

From the facts of the case, it is readily observable that


In the instant case, it may be observed that

It is crystal clear from the facts presented that (i.e. the crime of treason) is present (or was
committed).

In the present case, it is immediately noticeable that the element of __________ is wanting (or
lacking).

Under the circumstances, the proper remedy would be

The case obtaining indicates a case of (i.e. B.P. 22)

It logically follows

10. It goes without saying

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 petitioners contention is sustainable.

ANSWERING IN THE NEGATIVE

The contention does not hold water.

With all due respect to the judge, his decision is apparently erroneous or is not in accord with law
and existing jurisprudence.

The contention is totally misplaced.

It is now too late in the day to raise the issue of

The petition is not meritorious.

The evidence presented deserves scant consideration.


The contention has no legal basis.

The argument is bereft of merit.

The petition is devoid of merit.

10. Petitioners 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 petitioners 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. Dont 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.
Dont blame yourself or dont panic if you failed to answer an item or two. Its 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 dont 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.