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Durban Apartments vs Pioneer (G.R. No.

179419; January 1, 2012)

Facts: Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation (Respondent), by right of subrogation,


filled a complaint for recovery of damages against Durban Apartment Corporation
(Petitioner). Respondent is the insurer of Jeffery S, See’s 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara which
was carnapped while it was in the possession of petitioner. During the pre-trial conference,
counsel for respondent was present. Atty. Monina Lee, counsel of record of petitioner was
absent, instead, a certain Atty. Nestor Mejia appeared for petitioner, but did not file their pre-
trial brief. The lower court granted the motion of respondent to present its evidence ex parte
before the Branch Clerk of Court and denied the Motion to Admit Pre-Trial Brief and Motion
for Reconsideration field by petitioner, for being devoid of merit.

Issue: Whether the lower courts erred in declaring petitioner as in default for failure to
appear at the pre-trial conference and to file a pre-trial brief

Ruling: No. Supreme Court finds that the petitioner was in default for failure to appear at the
pre-trial conference and to file a pre-trial brief, and thus, the lower court correctly allowed
respondent to present evidence ex-parte. Likewise, the lower courts did not err in holding
petitioner liable for the loss of Sees vehicle.

Rule 18 of the Rules of Court leaves no room for equivocation; appearance of parties and
their counsel at the pre-trial conference, along with the filing of a corresponding pre-trial
brief, is mandatory, as provided for under, Section 4 and Section 6 of rule 18.

Chan Kent vs Micarez (G.R. No. 185758; March 9, 2011) @Kwesi Delgado

Facts:Petitioner filed a complaint for recovery of real property and annulment of title against
her parents and brother, alleging that the subject residential lot was purchased by her but was
named under her parents, under an implied trust due to the difficulty in registering the
property in her name being married to an American citizen. However, she learned from her
sister that the subject land was sold to her brother. Petitioner failed to attend the mediation
proceedings, thus RTC ruled to dismiss the case.

Issue: WON dismissal is the proper sanction for failure to attend mediation process.

Ruling: NO. The court finds the sanction too severe to be imposed on the petitioner where
the record of the case is devoid of evidence of willful or flagrant disregard of the rules on
mediation proceedings. A.M. No. 01-10-5-SC-PHILJA provides sanction including but not
limited to censure, reprimand, contempt and such other sanctions as are provided under the
ROC for failure to appear for pre-trial. Unless the conduct of the party is so negligent,
irresponsible, contumacious or dilatory as for non-appearance to provide substantial grounds
for dismissal, the courts should consider lesser sanctions which would still achieve the desire
end.