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(Techniques and Ideals of the Filipino Lawyer)

The Complete Guide to Handling Cases in Court

Lecture Outline

A. Presentation of Evidence........................................................................................................ 3
a.1. why present evidence
a.2. task of a lawyer
a.3. functionally
B. Three Things to Win a Case................................................................................................... 3
b.1. good case
b.2. good lawyer
b.c. good judge
C. Qualities of a Good Lawyer ................................................................................................... 3
c.1. integrity/honesty
c.2. courage
D. Effective Lawyer to Present Evidence ................................................................................... 4
d.1. get evidence
d.2. get a retainer record
d.3. make a witness guide
d.4. make trial evaluation
d.5. be meticulous, be prepared
DD. Know the Rules on Evidence
dd.1. make your own trial manual
dd.2. always be observant in the courtroom
DD.A. Preserve your record on appeal
DD.B. Keep adverse party's evidence out
dd.b.1. proper objections
dd.b.2. motion to strike out
dd.b.3. when I should not cross examine
a) has the testimony of the witness bust my case at all?
b) can I demolish that testimony by other incontrovertible evidence?
c) is he a truthful witness?
E. Specific Tasks of a Lawyer .................................................................................................... 5
e.1. be able to offer admissible evidence
e.2. prove every disputed element of client's cause of action
e.3. prove theory of case
e.4. prove inherently right for the judge to decide the case in client's favor
- direct examination
e.5. be able to keep out opponent's evidence
- effective cross-examination
e.6. strengthen and rehabilitate any part of his case that opponent succeeded in
- re-direct examination
e.7. preserve offer of proof
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e.8. prepare a persuasive memorandum
e.9. summary:
1. conduct direct exam and present exhibits
2. make motions and motions to strike out
3. cross-exam; impeach and rebutt
4. re-direct and corroborate
5. make offer of proof
6. submit persuasive memoranda
F. Qualities of a Persuasive Lawyer........................................................................................... 6
f.1. earn the respect of the court
f.2. judge must recognize lawyer as a fighter
f.3. judge must respect lawyer's ability, knowledge of the law, but also judgement
f.4. judge respects lawyer's integrity
G. Skills of a Trial Lawyer ......................................................................................................... 6
g.1. ability to listen to what is being said and to understand. patience to listen.
g.2. must have the skill to speak clearly, distinctly, and understandably.
g.3. able to think on his feet. make decisions quickly.
H. Plan the Trial in Advance ...................................................................................................... 6
h.1. know all the things you have to prove
h.2. how and what order you will prove
h.3. as the case progress, to know what was/were proven and what still to prove
h.4. before resting case, to be sure that everything was proved
I. Things to Do .......................................................................................................................... 6
J. After the Mechanics, Lay Down the Priorities ...................................................................... 7
j.1. plan order of proof. start with a strong witness that can give a general picture of
the case
j.2. weak witness, to be presented in the middle
j.3. right after him, present somebody who can corroborate this witness on other
j.4. defendant: create a favorable impression on the judge
j.5. hit the judge quickly with your 1st witness to overcome the psychological effect
of the plaintiff's witness
K. Tips in Presenting a Witness .................................................................................................. 7
k.1. whatever words used during the interview, use the same words in court. don’t
surprise the witness by changing words
k.2. don’t change your language
k.3. never ask a witness any exhibit you never discussed
k.4. if witness going to identify exhibit, explain ritual
k.5. if possible, get stipulations on your exhibits
k.6. final tip: if you want to become a trial lawyer, try cases. you will only learn by
doing it
L. Seven Problems in the Presentation of Evidence ................................................................... 8
l.1. know the facts you have to prove
l.2. review; weight and sufficiency of evidence; burden of proof
l.3. determine which facts are deemed established without need of proof
l.4. determine who must establish the facts that have to be proved
l.5. know the degree of proof required

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l.6. determine the admissibility of available evidence
1. best evidence rule
2. parole evidence rule
3. rule on hearsay and exceptions thereto
4. problems of admissions, opinion rule, character evidence and proof of
similar acts
5. dying declaration
6. testimonial qualifications
l.7. obtain and preserve the evidence for trial
l.8. present and offer evidence effectively and preserve excluded evidence for trial

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Presentation of Evidence
 The first question to be asked is why are we presenting evidence?
 On what is our task as trial lawyers?
 To let justice triumph.
 Functionally, our task as trial lawyers is to convince the court that our client is correct.
 In short, we are glorified salesman seeing our product.
 Don Ramon Diokno, Sen. Jose W. Diokno’s father. His client’s would ask “mananalo
ba tayo?” (Are we going to win the case?)

Three Things to Win a Case

Show to the court that you have the law and justice on your side.
 Who is ready to follow the law and justice.
 “I guarantee you the first two, I cannot guarantee the 3rd"

Qualities of a Good Lawyer

1st IMPORTANT: Integrity or Honesty, not only to your client, not only to the courts, but
most importantly, honesty to yourself.
 There is one lesson that psychology teaches us and it is that if you repeat a lie often
enough you got to believe it yourself.
 And when you begin to believe lies, you are deceiving not somebody else but
 The lawyer QUINTILLAN in 88 AD said: “the advocate must be skilled in
speaking but above all he must possess the quality which is best and the way nature
of things the greatest and most important – that is, he must be a good man!!”
 He further said, those of us in the practice “There is no greatest benefit that we can
confer our clients than this, that we should not cheat by giving them empty boast
of success.” In short, an honest lawyer tells his client that his case is no good when
he thinks that it is no good.
 The first requisite for an effective presentation of evidence is integrity on the part
of the lawyer.
 Judges have often told “him” of some of our brethren or the bar who they will not
believe even if they come to court with 30 witnesses.
2nd The 2nd important quality of a lawyer is Courage.
 A lawyer with courage will persuade a judge much more easily than a lawyer
without courage.

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 When the judge knows you will fight him all the way, as high as necessary, you can
be sure that the judge will study your cases very well and make sure that the
judgements, if they are going to be against you, are well studied.
 The practical reason why we have to have courage – our job is to prosecute – to

Effective Lawyer to Present Evidence

A. First, get the evidence
 You cannot present an evidence that you have not gotten
 Practical example: not connected with law.
- All of you are familiar with Japanese watches. They are inexpensive. They are
- Do you know how they become good? The manufacturers sent their technicians to
Switzerland. They bought an old, complete Omega watch factory. They were
trained by Omega people. Then they transplanted the whole factory to Japan. After
they transplanted the whole factory to Japan, they made improvements on the
machinery and on the working methods. And now you have Japanese watches
outselling Swiss watches throughout Southeast Asia.
- In the same way, lawyers learn from watching others, imitating them or improving
on them.
1. Make a Retainer Record
- To avoid mistakes… a client before, now you are suing her.
2. Use a Witness Guide
- See: Doikno on Trial, page 13.
- Witness: Middle-aged cigarette vendor living in a squatter area.
3. Make a Trial Evaluation
4. Be Meticulous, Be Prepared
B. Know the Rules on Evidence
1. Make your own trial manual.
2. Always be observant in the courtroom.
C. Preserve your record for appeal
Q1: Suppose your evidence won’t go in because the judge won’t allow it in?
A1: Then, you make an offer of proof. If your exhibits have been rejected, you must
insist that they be attached to the record so that they may be brought up on appeal.
Q2: Suppose it is not an exhibit but a testimony?
A2: Tell the court your witness would have testified on this fact on his own knowledge.
In saying what you expected him to testify, make sure that you use the language

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that indicates that the witness has personal knowledge of the facts or that he would
testify to facts of his own knowledge and are not hearsay or opinion evidence.
D. Keep the adverse party’s evidence out
 How to use the proper objections
 Rules requires us to be specific
 Irrelevant, impertinent, immaterial are general objections and unless the question is too
general, general objections are not to be used
Q: When I should not cross-examine?
A: 1) Has the testimony of this witness hurt my case at all:
2) Can I demolish that testimony by other incontrovertible evidence?
3) Is he a truthful witness?

Specific Tasks of a Lawyer

 Technique and ideals must go hand-in-hand.
 It is the means to an end.
 We have to convince the judge that a right and just judgement be rendered for our clients.
In short, it is not enough as the lawbook tells you to have a theory of your case. You must
also have an image of your case – something in your case that appeals to the reason and
sense of justice of the judge, something that would make him say “Indeed, this person is
right and the law isn’t that way, maybe I can interpret it so that it will be that way.”

The job of a trial lawyer can be broken into three:

First, he must be able to offer admissible evidence and must do so in the right order
and the right time for maximum persuasive effect. He must prove every disputed element of
his client’s cause of action. He must prove the theory of his case and then he must do more,
he must prove that it is inherently right for the judge to decide the case in his client’s favor.
He must see that is done by effective direct examination and proper introduction of exhibits.
Second, he must be able to keep out the opponent’s evidence. He does this by timely
objections and motions to strike out.
Third, he must be able to expose the weaknesses of his opponent’s case. He does this
be effective cross-examination by impeachment and by rebuttal. Then he must strengthen and
rehabilitate any part of his case that his opponent has succeeded in weakening. The lawyer
does this by re-direct examination and presenting corroborating evidence.
Finally, he must preserve the record so that if the trial judge excludes admissible
evidence, then he must take an appropriate offer of proof. And of course, at the end of the
trial, he must depict the stance of the evidence and law into the stronger and most persuasive
picture of his client’s case. He does this normally in this jurisdiction not by oral argument but
by written memoranda.
IMPORTANT: Briefly, the specific tasks of a lawyer: 1. Conduct direct examination
and present exhibits; 2. Make objections and motions to strike out; 3. Cross-examine, impeach
and rebut; 4. Re-direct and corroborate; 5. Make offer of proof; and 6. Submit persuasive

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Qualities of a Persuasive Lawyer
The most important is you to earn the respect of the court.
First, the judge recognizes you as a fighter. If the judge knows that you are not going
to fight, he will ride over you and over your case.
Second, the judge respects your ability as a lawyer, not only your knowledge of the
law but also your judgement.
Third, the judge respects your integrity.

Skills of a Trial Lawyer

First, the most important skill in the one that I have found most lacking especially
among the younger members of the bar is the ability to listen to what is being said and to
Patience to listen.
Second, must have the skill to speak clearly distinctly and understandably and if
possible avoid talking too much.
Third, be able to think on his feet. Make decisions quickly. Sometimes no matter
how well repaired are you will be caught by surprise in court.

Plan the Trial in Advance

 Essential trial technique to plan trial in advance.
 To know all the things you have to prove.
 How and what order u will prove.
 And as the case progresses, to know what you have proven and what you still have to prove.
 And before you rest your case to be sure that you have proved everything that you wanted
to prove.

* You may not know how to cross examine and make objections but if you planned
your case then you have a much better chance than a brilliant cross examiner who has gone to
court without a plan.

Things to Do
A. Control
B. Pleadings
C. Facts
D. Law notes
E. Motions
F. Pretrial
G. Plaintiff’s case
H. Plaintiff’s exhibits
I. Defendant’s case
J. Defendant’s exhibits
K. Trial
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L. Rebuttal
M. Arguments or Trial memorandum
N. Evaluation.

After the Mechanics, Lay Down the Priorities

 Plan your order of proof. Start with the strong witness.
 Strong witness is a person who couldn't stand a searching probing cross examination and
can give the court a general picture of the case.
 Suppose a weak witness has to be presented what will you do or deal with such weakness
- Put him in the middle.
- Right after him put/present somebody who can corroborate this weakness on other
 What about the defendant? Create a favorable impression on the judge.
 What is important to hit the church quickly with your first witness to overcome the
psychological effects of the plaintiff's witnesses
 One more factor about the sentence case very often plaintiffs witnesses testify that the
defendant did or said such and such a thing very many young lawyers are tempted to have
their clients denied it right away.
 The better practice would be this: call the defendant: have him give his testimony in
narrative form: then at the end of the narrative, before you turn over him for cross-
examination, ask him a series of questions like:
Q1: The witness so and so that you have said such and such is true how would you
respond to this
A1:I did not say that sir
Q2: Alright what is it that you really said or did
- Client will now say or explain what you did. this is one way of being able to get
the same story twice before the court without it's being objectionable.
 Know your judge
 Not personally to influence you will get favorable judgment
 One morning go quietly and inconspicuously to his courtroom and sit at the back and watch
how he or she tries a case and you will learn a lot.
 Another way, ask your compañeros/ras who had appeared for him. (Mayabang ba? Bastos?
Matapang? etc. Stricto? etc.)
 Go to his clerk of court or stenographers and ask who is he or she

Tips in Presenting a Witness

NOTE: Whatever words you used in questioning your witness in your office
interview, use those words in court. Don't surprise the witness by changing words he may not
understand. Very few lawyers follow this.

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First, don’t change your language dent change the wordings of your questions from
the office interview to the court
Second, don't ever ask any witness about any exhibit you have not discussed with
him at your office
Third, if your witness is going to identify and exhibit explain to your witness all
these big words that you have to go through in court to authenticate and exhibit even if it is a
ritual that has become practically meaningless
Fourth, whenever possible, get admissions or stipulations on your exhibits to
eliminate the need for this ritual identification in court but it is last deep is not an inflexible rule
there May be occasions when you want to keep your exhibit to yourself.
The occasions:
First, when should you ask for stipulations? On direct examination and I am
sure the adverse party knows my clan has those exhibits and I will present them for
stipulation. I lose nothing
But if my documents contain matters that I will use on cross-examination or if
I think the adverse party can prepare a defense, then I keep my documents until the
last minute
NOTE: On July 13 2014, the Supreme Court issued AO No. 03-1-9-SC, effective
August 2004 which states that:

“pretrial in civil cases…”

“2… The parties shall submit at least three (3) days before the
pretrial, pre-trial briefs containing the following:

(d) The documents or exhibits to be presented stating the purpose

thereof. (No evidence shall be allowed to be presented or offered during the trial
in support of a part is evidence in chief other than those that had been earlier
identified and pre mark during the pretrial except if allowed by the court for
good cause shown.)

Seven Problems in the Presentation of Evidence

1. Know the facts you have to prove
(First, what facts must I establish as a lawyer for the plaintiff or for the defendant
if my cause of action or my defense is to succeed.)
First, go to the requirements of substantive law
See: Amendras case – charge against him: 1) he interrupted; 2) by unseemly
conduct; and 3) the holding of a canvass.
For the prosecution to establish its case, it has to show: 1st) there was a canvass
going on – to establish this, they must establish that the Board of Canvassers was in session;
2nd) establish that the canvass was interrupted; and 3rd) the cause of interruption was
unseemly conduct on the part of Sen. Almendras.
- In order to determine the facts, go to substantive law.
- In addition, review rules of court on the weight and sufficiency of evidence
- Burden of proof
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- Presumptions
- All of these indicate the facts that must be established
2. Determine which facts are deemed established without need of proof
(Second, which of these facts - or evidentiary facts tending to prove them – are deemed
proved without my having to present evidence.)
- Here come with the problem of judicial notice and judicial admission.
- In the matter of judicial admissions, one problem that crop up, what happens to an
admission when the pleading has been amended.
- The threshold issue here is whether or not the amendment was accepted by the court
- If the amendment is accepted or admitted, it supersedes the earlier pleading
- This means that the admission contained in the earlier pleading ceases to be a judicial
admission and becomes an extrajudicial admission. An extrajudicial admission, it must
be established by the party seeking to use it as evidence against the other party.
(Javellana vs. D.O. Plaza Enterprises, Inc. [32 SCRA 261])
- Having been amended, the original complaint lot its character as a judicial admission
which would have not required proof, and became merely an extrajudicial admission
of which, as evidence, requires formal offer.
3. Determine who must establish the facts that have to be proved
(Third, who must establish the facts that remain to be proved.)
- More accurate in criminal cases. For instance, possession of a prohibited drug is
penalized under the RPC or the Dangerous Drugs Act except upon prescription of a
- Now, is it the burden of the prosecution or is it the burden of the defense to prove that
there is a prescription by a physician?
4. Know the degree of proof required
(What degree of proof is needed for the remaining facts?)
- Review your rules of court on the weight and sufficiency of evidence.
- The issues here may involve the quantity and quality of one’s witnesses, and the kind
of evidence necessary in particular cases.
- For instance, treason, you need at least 2 witnesses to the overt act or a confession of
the accused in open court.
- An extrajudicial confession alone, without 2 witnesses to the same overt act will not be
- If you have an extrajudicial confession in an ordinary criminal action, you will still
need proof of corpus delicti, independent of the extrajudicial confession. See: Rule 133.
5. Determine the admissibility of available evidence
(What available evidence is admissible to prove these facts?)
- We come up with the basic problems of evidence.
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- All evidence boils down actually to either a witness or object.
- Object may be a document or thing
- We cannot have any evidence unless we have a witness or an object and unless this
witness or object is presented in court.
- And once we have this, it is much easier to understand these rules on relevance,
admission, and the like.
- What is the meaning of relevancy.
- Anything relevant if it tends to establish a fact in issue, or a fact from which a
fact in issue may be inferred.
- Relevance is a logical or transactional relationship
- Ex. A person is shot with .38 caliber revolver.
- Evidently, that is a relevant fact because it intends to establish a fact that the
accused, being an owner of a .38 cal. Revolver, is possibly the person who shot
the deceased.
- So, relevance is simply a logical or transactional relationship
- RULE: anything that is relevant is admissible when it is not excluded by the
- First, most common is the best evidence rule. It applies only to documents.
- Second, the next, the parol evidence rule, which also applies to documents. It says
“when the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, no evidence of the
terms thereof can be presented other than the writing itself.”
- Third, the rule on hearsay and exceptions thereto: dying declaration, declaration
against interest, pedigree, family reputation, common reputation, res gestae, entries
in the course of business, entries in official records, commercial lists, learned
treatises, and testimony at former trial.
- Fourth, the problem of admissions, opinion rule, character evidence, and proof of
similar acts.
- Basic rules of evidence
- In connection with admissions and confessions, normally a person’s statement is
admissible only against him.
- The statement of somebody else made outside the courtroom is not admissible
against this person.
- Ex. 6 persons charged with a crime, 3 have been caught and tried. Before the trial
is over, the 4th defendant is also caught and he gives an extrajudicial statement
admitting his guilt implicating the 3 other defendants.

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- Now quite clearly, the extrajudicial statement of the 4th accused is not admissible
in evidence against hi co-accused who were caught earlier.
- This is simply under our constitution (Art. III, Sec. 14) you are entitled to confront
and to cross-examine the witnesses against you and since this other accused was
not presented in court as a witness, his extrajudicial statement then would only be
admissible as against him, the 4th accused, but not against the 3 accused.
- With respect to hearsay rule, the major problem to be very careful about which we
will always encounter as defense lawyers in fabricated cases against our clients is
dying declaration.
- Ex. The case of “no brains left”
- The the PC in a preliminary investigation presented a dying declaration, signed
by the PC Capt. And attested by a PC Lt.
- First, look at the wounds
- One entered and came out at the back of the brain. Practically no brains left.
- Ask the doctor who performed the autopsy, “How long after these injuries had
been inflicted could this man have talked?”
- Dr. said, “he could have not talked, not even for a few seconds.” Considering
that the shots were fired successively, the moment that one of the bullets got in,
the brain was already blown off so he had no more capacity to talk.
- Dying declaration could be easily fabricated. You only need one person who is
supposed to have talked to the deceased at the moment before his death. Sometimes,
the prosecution makes a mistake and forgets to prove “consciousness of impending
death” so you think you can get away with it and say “I object your honor.” It can
still be admitted as part of res gestae.
- The only advice: “try to trace the actions of the deceased and the persons who
supposedly took the dying declaration. If for instance, the dying declaration was
taken at the hospital then you have the opportunity, because you can question the
nurses, the attendants, the doctors, and they can tell you if truthfully there was a
dying declaration or not. Its okay, still you have a chance to disprove it.
- But what happens in many cases, especially in the rural areas is this: the accused
suffers a wound; then the policeman came and says: “before he died, I was able to
talk to him and this is what he told me.”
- You have no doctor, nobody else is around; only the policeman and the deceased.
So it becomes a question of credibility.
- In those cases, the only advice I can give is this: “present a solid evidence on other
points as you can and try to weaken the testimony of the policeman by showing
bias, prejudice, relationship or monetary considerations.”
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- Ex. A witness came from a very low-income group. When he testified, this was
after xmas, he was wearing a gold watch and la coste shirt at SM and a new
brown florsheim shoes.
- When counsel noticed these, he asked him where did he get those. He admitted
it was a xmas gift from the parents of the deceased.
- And when you get admissions like those, and sometimes you can if you can catch
them by surprise, then you have, to a certain extent, been able to minimize the
damage that fabricated evidence can cause.
- Except in those cases where there is an overriding public interest, that is in the
matter of privileged relationship or privileged communications, any person who
has the capacity to perceive and to make known his perceptions regardless of age
or mental condition, can be a witness.
- The question often asked: “can a person who is insane be a witness?”
- The answer is yes, as long as he is testifying during one of his lucid moments. This
is a matter unlikely occurrence but it can happen. Remember that the definition of
legal insanity and medical insanity are very different.
- As far as law is concerned, a person need not be 100% sane. It is enough that he
understands what is happening around him and he can communicate that.
- That he might believe in ghosts and spirits, these are signs that might indicate
medical insanity but would not affect the testimonial qualifications of a witness.
However, they can affect the weight to be given to his testimony.
- As a rule for excluding witnesses
- Three cases of privileged relationship
1. Marital relationship
No husband can testify against his wife without her consent, or vice versa,
except in a civil case by one against the other.
2. Parental and filial relationship
No descendant can be complied to testify against an ascendant
3. Dead man’s statue
Meaning, in monetary obligations or claim against a deceased person or a
transaction having been taken during the life of the deceased person, the
claimant cannot testify to ay matter of fact that took place during the life of the
deceased person.
- PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS come down to marital confidences which will
apply even when the marriage is terminated. Neither the husband nor wife can be

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questioned as to what was said to him or her by the other during their marriage. This
holds true even after the marriage is ended.
6. Obtain and observe the evidence for trial
(Sixth, how do I obtain the evidence and preserve it for use at the trial?)
Judicial and extrajudicial methods of getting and preserving evidence.
a) Discovery and depositions under Rules 23 and 29
b) Perpetuation of testimony under Rule 24 and Sections 12, 13 and 15 of Rule 119
c) Subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum under Rule 21
d) Search and seizure or search warrants under Rule 126
- Importance of discovery and depositions
- Discovery and depositions: a case is already filed in court
- Perpetuation of testimony: a case is not yet filed in court, but expected to be filed
- Depositions are important but are expensive. Hire a stenographer and pay a notary
- Admissions, do not have to spend much
- If you have a request for admission which is denied by the adverse party and it can be
proven that their denial was unfounded. You are entitled to payment of costs and
reasonable expenses in proving that evidence.
- Illustration: how important deposition was:
- She was presenting the widow of a general partnership
- It was a partnership of 4 brothers and 1 of them died. She was representing the
- This was shortly after the war
- The articles of co partnership and books of account disappeared
- The important part there was the brothers received war damage amounting to a very
close to a million pesos
- The brothers of X, widow’s husband, was only giving the widow about
- Important to locate the records of the partnership and what was located was only
the income tax returns of the partnership of the last year before the occupation
- However, the ITR does not contain a balance sheet. It did not say the capital of each
partner. It contained only the distribution of the profits among the partners and it
was important to establish that the profits were being distributed according to
capital participation
- Because if it was true and his client’s husband had the highest percentage of profits
in the ITR’s, he would therefore have the highest participation in the capital and
therefore the biggest chare of the million pesos
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- Without the articles of incorporation, without anything else, and the wife did nit
know anything about the partnership, because she was not a member, he had only
to depend on a partner. And all of them were hostile.
- Worried, that if he will bring this out directly, they would come up with some
excuse and say, “since he was the manager, we give him a bigger share in the
profits, but our capital is the same.” Did not know how to go about this, but tried
his luck.
- Took the deposition of one of the partners, the least intelligent among them. In the
middle of the taking of the deposition, he was asked the question very innocently:
“of course, you were dividing your profits in accordance with the capital?”
- Without thinking very much, he answered, “oh yes, we divided the profits
according to capital.”
- Gotten what he wanted, still continued asking questions, so that his lawyer would
not realize what he was after. And the rest “garbage”
- Come the date of trial, presented the deposition and could see the smile on his
opponent’s face.
- After presenting it, presented the ITR, saw opponent’s smile suddenly disappeared
because he realized that he got what he wanted in the deposition.
- He has now the basis to prove his point because his next witness was a CPA, who
testified, according to his computation based on the percentage of profit, my client’s
husband owned 69% of the partnership capital. So on that basis, his client having
no children, approximately 55% belong to her as the surviving spouse.
- Most of the come from clients
- Contracts, letters, documents you depend on your client to furnish you with the
necessary data
- Caution: never accept your client’s documents without submitting them to a very
thorough examination
- Ex. Acknowledgement of a natural child:
 The woman gave a letter admitting the parentage of the child
 But there are other documents signed by the man and when compared, the
letter turned out to be fake.
- Ex. Rape: one of the most important factors that is considered by the courts,
especially when the girl is young and still living with the parents is when she was
free, she did not report the rape to her parents. Why? The normal reaction of a girl

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Atty. N.E. Villanueva
Notes on “Diokno on Trial”
who has been raped the moment she is free and she sees her mother is to cry and
say what happened. So if she did not, then may be the rape was with consent.
- RULE: if it is possible in your first or two questions on cross, put the witness off-
- HOW:
- You may know something about the witness that can affect his credibility that he
does not know you know.
- Ask questions that will bring out some inconsistencies with his answers
- But some judges will tell you that cross-examination is overrated. It is only in
exceptional cases that a case is won or loss by cross-examination. 95% of cases are
won or lost by the strength of the direct evidence and the ability to present it in a way
that it convinces the judge.
- This means you have to know the judge, not in the improper way, but you have to know
how the judge’s mind works, how he reasons.
- 1st impression judges
- 2nd, last impression judges.
7. Present and offer your evidence effectively and preserve excluded evidence for appeal
(How do I offer and present evidence at the trial?)

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