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TITLE: Include the petitioner and respondents of the case and the reference.
Sometimes, students only include the Volume Number of the Supreme Court Reports
Annotated (SCRA)/Philippine Reports (Phil) and the first page where the case
appeared or written. Others only include the Gazette Record Number together with
the Date of the case. Still, others include both. Others even add the ponente or the
justice that penned the case.
FACTS: There is no need to include all the facts. Just include those that are relevant
to the subject. The contents of the facts must be brief and concise. It must be limited
to the main facts of the case which of course should focus on the particular subject
ISSUES: Include only those that are relevant. Issues are usually framed in the form
of questions that are answerable by "yes" or "no," for example, "Is the contract void?"
Sometimes, students frame the question by starting it with the word "whether," for
example, "Whether the contract is void" or "Whether or not the contract is void." The
answer to the question has to be answered in the ruling.Furthermore, the issue must
have some bearing on the facts above written. There must be a connection between
the facts presented and the issued that must be resolved.
RULING: This usually starts with a "yes" or a "no." This is the answer to the
question/s involving the issue. After the categorical yes/no answer, the reason for the
decision will be explained. Of course, the ruling must be based on the facts and issues
written. Concentrate on how the Supreme Court decided on the facts in question. It is
advisable that your digest shows that you understand what the case is all about and
that you can elaborate more on the rulings given by the Supreme Court as long as it is
within the decision of the case.


Law Students are confronted with piles of cases to digest in addition to the law books they are
required to read. Some, especially first year students, are having difficulty on how to do so. They
have no idea what a case digest is in the first place, even where to locate the copy of the cases
also. Hence, here are some tips on how to make your digestion of cases efficient, without much
time to consume.
Because of modernized technology, it has been easier for us to search the web when we want to
locate something. For the full text of cases, the best source in the internet you may visit is
lawphil.net, highly recommended, its frequently used actually among law students, or, you may
just visit your law library and search for the SCRA number given.
Once you have it, make sure it is really the case you are looking for. Check the title and
importantly, the date because some cases may have the same title but different dates. Watch out!
Before you start, prepare your notes, pen, and your highlighter.
You may not read it directly, instead, allow yourself to get familiar with it, dont cram or panic
thinking of many cases to read. Read the title, the first page of it and you may proceed with the last
page regarding the ruling of the Supreme Court. Once you have an idea what the case is all about,
read the whole case for your better understanding.
Sometimes, first timers are not sure of what they are doing, or what to do with the case. Bear in
mind that even before you read the case, you should know under what doctrine or principle of law
the case is about. So that after reading, you may relate the case to said doctrine or principle. With
this, you may have a better grasp of the case when you yourself can formulate the main issue of
the case not just referring with what is mentioned. This is because cases may have many issues,
but focus on what is related with the doctrine or principle of law.
Read with your heart, I mean your interest should be on the paper you are reading. Focus!
Otherwise, you may find yourself reading the case again and again, though that usually happens to
first timers. It would require mastery also.
Well, I am pretty sure you make use of your highlighter and your pen while reading. I advise you to
have a printed copy of the case, not just reading it over a monitor of a computer, so that you may
write unto it whatever remarks you have in mind. It helps! You are at liberty to do so. Your notes
would remind you which part is important, and its easy when you start writing your digest.
Done reading! Start writing your digest of the case. Digest is like a summary of the case about the
facts, the issue/s, and the ruling. Enjoy what you are doing! =)


Digesting cases is a must in the college of law, this is actually regardless if it is being required
by your professor or not. Once cases are assigned, a law student must observe due
diligence and read these cases.
For freshmen law students, you may be wondering how to make case digests or case briefs.
Well, there are a few things to remember and they are:
1. Be aware of the specifics of the case or the syllabus concerned. In one case alone,
there could be multiple topics i.e. Political Law, Remedial Law, Civil Law and there could be
as many sub-topics i.e. for Political Law there could be Police Power and Eminent Domain.
Knowing these can properly guide you with the theme of your digests. But usually, you will
not have a hard time with this because once cases are assigned; your professor would have
specified these in his handouts.
2. Read the full text of the case. And when I say read, dont just breeze through it. Try to
understand it the first time. This will save you time because if you understood it on the first
reading, you wont have to keep going back just to read it all over again. Highlighting
important texts of the case which are related to the topic youre on will help you have a
coherent grasp of the case.
3. Now after reading the case in full, youre now ready to write your case digest. In a
formal case digest, there are five parts which are:
Caption This is just the title of the case. It can be as plain as People vs Juan de la
Cruz or detailed to include the SCRA number, GR number, ponente and the date.
Facts This portion is supposed to answer the Who, What, When, How, Why stuff of
the case.
Issues This is the legal conflict or the legal controversy sought to be resolved by the
Supreme Court.
Ruling This is the decision or jurisprudence laid down by the court.
Concurring/Dissenting Opinions These are not always present in all cases and normally
they do not place any significance to the current ruling being discussed (but they may
serve a significant role in future Supreme Court decisions especially when doctrines are
reversed or totally abandoned). These opinions may also be an additional explanation as
to how certain justices voted, the wisdom behind their votes, and as to how the decision
is reached. Be very wary because some professors would also ask questions pertaining
to these opinions especially when such opinions are adopted as the general rule in
some future cases.
(Ill discuss this part in more detail in an upcoming article).
4. Other things you may want to consider may include: how your professor conducts
recitation, is your professor more of a facts guy or a court ruling guy; either way, you can
custom make your digests in a way that will make you remember the facts and the
jurisprudence of the case. Some students prefer replacing the characters with letters like
X and Y but that may not sit well with other professors especially if they are meticulous
with the facts of the case. Click this for a sample case digest.