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Preliminary Conference and Trial on the Issues

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1 Preliminary Conference and Trial on the Issues
Rules 22 and 24 Atty. Victor P. Lazatin

2 Technical Working Group
Members Consultants: Hon. Roberto A. Abad Atty. Victor P. Lazatin Hon. Raul Bautista Villanueva Atty. Vicente M. Joyas Hon. Selma P. Alaras Atty. Laurence Arroyo Hon. Caridad Walse-Lutero Atty. Roberto Mendoza Hon. Jose Lorenzo R. Dela Rosa Atty. Emily Manuel Hon. Maria Rowena Modesto San Pedro Hon. Marjorie T. Uyengco-Nolasco Hon. Barbara-Aleli H. Briones

3 OUTLINE Preliminary Conference (Rule 22) Trial of Issues(Rule 24)

4 JUDICIAL AFFIDAVITS AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
OVERVIEW INITIATORY PLEADING SUMMONS ANSWER/REPLY/ OTHER PLEADINGS JUDICIAL AFFIDAVITS AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE Sec. 22.2 TERMS OF REFERENCE Sec. 22.4 PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE Secs TRIAL OF ISSUES JUDGMENT APPEAL EXECUTION JDR (Failed) ` Rule 22 Rule 24

5 I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
POLICY OBJECTIVES Require parties to make a full disclosure of known facts and to submit the affidavits and documents that evidence their claims (GOAL: To enable the court to accurately identify the issues) 2. Treat litigations as a collective effort (not adversarial) to search for truth and to render justice to all

6 I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
POLICY OBJECTIVES Empower the judge to take a direct role in examining the witnesses Efficient use of the court’s time without sacrificing quality—Parties/Counsel to do certain things such as (1) Drafting TOR; and (2) Drafting Decision 5. Raise level of professionalism of court and counsel

7 I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
KEY FEATURES Mandatory disclosure of evidence (Sec. 22.2) Judicial Affidavit Rule (JAR): Judicial Affidavit as Direct testimony of a witness Documents and object evidence attached and marked as Exhibits C, C-1, C-2, and so on (Complainant), Exhibits P, P-1, P-2, and so on (Plaintiff or Petitioner), Exhibits R-1, R-2, R-3, and so on (Respondent), Exhibits D, D-1, D-2, and so on (Defendant) in the Judicial Affidavit shall be deemed offered and admitted ** Reply Judicial Affidavits on matters not touched upon by initial Judicial Affidavit within 15 days from receipt of adverse party’s Judicial Affidavits. ** Subject to exclusion / cross-examination

8 I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
KEY FEATURES 2. Use of discovery procedures (Sec. 22.3) 3. Terms of Reference (Sec. 22.4) Raffle to a Different Branch/Joint Motion to Retain JDR Judge (Sec. 22.2) Appearance of parties (Sec. 22.6) Non-appearance excused only for valid cause shown or if represented by another fully authorized to act

9 I. PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
KEY FEATURES Decision by default (Secs to 22.8) For failure to appear at the scheduled preliminary conference, decision on the other party’s claims will be based solely on the evidence already submitted Matters to be taken up (Sec. 22.9)

10 CONTROLS SCOPE OF TRIAL
Terms of Reference TERMS OF REFERENCE Summary of admitted facts Summary of totality of facts that the evidence (Petitioners’ and Respondents’) appear to have established Statement of factual issue(s) List of witnesses Statement of actual or potential legal issues that the case presents CONTROLS SCOPE OF TRIAL

11 Terms of Reference (“TOR”)
PROCEDURE A. If both parties submit B. If Petitioner does not submit PETITIONER SUBMITS DRAFT TOR COURT TO DIRECT RESPONDENT TO SUBMIT DRAFT TOR 15 DAYS RESPONDENT SUBMITS Draft COMMENT COURT FINALIZES TOR ON THE BASIS OF RESPONDENT’S DRAFT 15 DAYS COURT FINALIZES TOR

12 MATTERS TO BE TAKEN UP AT THE PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
Determine (in consultation with the parties and their counsel) if there is a need to make changes in the contents or wordings of the Terms of Reference. If yes, the court shall enter those changes on the face of the documents. If a party insists that the court try an excluded issue = included, provided such party makes a deposit of P10,000-50,0000 for court costs.

13 MATTERS TO BE TAKEN UP AT THE PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE
Final attempt to persuade the parties to settle their disputes amicably. The court shall summarize the arrangements in the Preliminary Conference and issue an Order of Trial, copy furnished the parties. May render judgment or cause dismissal of action should a valid ground for the same exists. If evidence is required for adjudicating a ground for dismissal, court shall set case for reception of such evidence.

14 ORDER OF TRIAL Trial of the Issues and not Plaintiff’s or Defendant’s entire case Fix order in which issues are to be tried Identify witnesses who need to be present and testify on such issues Set specific dates for reception of evidence Determine whether regular or simple trial Witness exemption from face-to-face examination—(1) Rule on Examination of Child Witness; and (2)one who is mentally, psychologically, or physically challenged or disadvantaged in a face-to-face confrontation

15 POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL POLICY CONSIDERATIONS Promote a non-adversarial environment Give the judge a more active role in the proceedings Issue-based examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence Equal time for witnesses from opposing sides to give testimony and reply to each other immediately 5. Avoid unnecessary delays (e.g.,objections, postponements, etc.)

16 WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6)
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6) a) Court shall actively examine and determine the truthfulness of the judicial affidavits; b) Witnesses from all contending sides shall appear together and simultaneously swear to the truth of their respective testimonies; c) Witnesses shall sit face-to-face around the table in a non-adversarial environment and answer questions from the court and the parties’ counsel respecting the factual issue under consideration;

17 WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6)
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6) The court shall initiate the inquiry into each factual issue strictly in the sequence provided in the Order of Trial although such inquiry may cover two or more closely related issues; e) Witness or witnesses may testify on one or more issues in accordance with the Order of Trial;

18 II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6) f) Only one person at a time shall speak during the trial and always with prior permission from the court which shall take steps to ensure that the person who speaks is identified for the record; (grounds: rules of civility/courtesy); g) Witnesses shall address their answers to the examining judge or counsel;

19 WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6)
II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL WHAT IT REQUIRES (Secs. 24.3, 24.4,24.5, 24.6) Witnesses shall not pose questions to the other witnesses relating to their testimonies but shall be given equal opportunity and equal time to respond to the same; and Each party shall have take turns to cross examine, redirect, and re-cross the witnesses. Not Face-to-Face trial (Sec ) Rule on Examination of Child Witness; and A person who is mentally, psychologically, or physically challenged, or has a similar condition that puts him at a disadvantage in a face-to-face confrontation

20 II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL KEY FEATURES
Language used during trial (Sec ) English or Filipino If there is language difficulty, conducted in a dialect known to him with interpreter. It is the recording of the actual answers (not the English or Filipino translation), which will be the official and binding testimony of the witness.

21 II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL KEY FEATURES
2. Exclusion of disqualified witness or inadmissible testimonies and exhibits from judicial affidavits before examination (Sec. 24.4) If granted, excluded answer will be placed in brackets under the initials of proper court personnel. If exhibits to be excluded are voluminous, motion in writing before trial. Without prejudice to a tender of excluded evidence.

22 II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL KEY FEATURES
Two-phase examination of witnesses (Sec. 24.7) First: Examination by the Court [Sec. 24.7(a)] Second: Examination by Counsel [Sec. 24.7(g)] Examination of Expert Witnesses (Sec ) Face-to-Face also with leave of court, expert may ask questions directed to the other party’s expert witness

23 II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL KEY FEATURES
Intransferrability of settings (Sec ) Except on grounds of fortuitous event or serious illness otherwise waiver of appearance (parties & counsel). No motion for postponement or resetting on ground of serious illness shall be granted unless a medical certificate is presented stating illness of such gravity to prevent from attending at the scheduled hearing. Judge may require physician to appear or order another physician either government employed or retained by adverse party to verify the truth of the certification. If false, certifying physician shall be held in contempt of court; also the party & counsel, to the extent possible

24 II. FACE-TO-FACE TRIAL KEY FEATURES
Consequences of failure to appear at trial (Sec ) Counsel = waiver, trial will proceed, witnesses examined in the usual course as if procured by the court Witness = judicial affidavit expunged Regular v. Simple Trial Schedules Memorandum, oral argument and judgment (Sec )

25 DRAFT DECISION BY WINNING PARTY
REGULAR TRIAL Issues are complex or numerous Several witnesses or numerous pieces of evidence 1 or more hearing dates #1 MEMORANDA (15 days) (10 days from #1) ORAL ARGUMENT #2 (90 days from #2) WRITTEN DECISION #3 vs. SIMPLE TRIAL** Issues are simple and few Limited witnesses/evidence ONE-TIME face-to-face hearing (right after hearing) ORAL ARGUMENT #1 ORAL JUDGMENT (right after #1) #2 DRAFT DECISION BY WINNING PARTY (15 days from #2) #3 (30 days from #2) WRITTEN DECISION #4 **Conversion to Regular trial if it turns out to be complex

26 TWO-PHASE EXAMINATION
BY THE COURT No particular sequence on the issues/related issues at hand Court may direct question to one or more of the witnesses from contending sides Other witnesses from the same side may supplement, clarify or qualify answer of first witness Equal time and opportunity to reply Allow divergent exchanges provided new facts or new arguments are introduced; stop when repetitive/judge is sufficiently clarified COURT MAY SUMMARIZE respective positions, then move on BY COUNSEL (may examine on the same issue or related issues in the 1st phase) Unless court orders otherwise, sequence is: Petitioner’s Witness CX/RD/RX –on the Judicial Affidavit & Answer in the 1st phase Respondent’s Witness CX/RD/RX Other Parties’ Witnesses Counsel may object to questions or move to strike out answers given Court shall act on the objections or simply note them

27 EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
JUDGE ASKS QUESTION 1 to WITNESS R MR. R answers JUDGE with Court’s permission, MR. P replies with Court’s permission, MR. R rebuts with Court’s permission, MR. P rejoins JUDGE MAY SUMMARIZE WITNESS P WITNESS R JUDGE ASKS QUESTION 2 to WITNESS P MR. P answers JUDGE with Court’s permission, MR. R replies with Court’s permission, MR. P rebuts with Court’s permission, MR. R answers JUDGE MAY SUMMARIZE

28 TABLE OF OBJECTIONS/EXCEPTIONS
EXCEPTIONS – Questions of the Judge OBJECTIONS – Questions of the Counsel ** --simply state the legal grounds for objection w/no further explanation TYPE of OBJECTION OBJECTIONS TO COURT ACTION Objection as to form Questions which are perceived as: 1) argumentative; 2) leading; 3) multiple; 3) repetitive; 4) vague; 5) improper characterization; 6) confusing; or 7) unfair. The court may: 1) take note; or 2) rephrase the question. ** May also move to strike out answers given

29 TABLE OF OBJECTIONS/EXCEPTIONS
TYPE of OBJECTION OBJECTIONS TO COURT ACTION Objection as to substance Questions which are perceived to elicit answers that are inadmissible on public policy grounds such as: right against self-incrimination; privileged communication; disqualification; Statue of Frauds; 2) rape shield law; 3) bank secrecy laws; AMLA non-disclosure rule; or 5) other similar laws or rules. The court shall promptly rule on such objections.

30 TABLE OF OBJECTIONS/EXCEPTIONS
TYPE of OBJECTION OBJECTIONS TO COURT ACTION Objection as to admissibility Admissibility under the rules governing: 1) best evidence; 2) parol evidence; 3) conclusion or opinion evidence; 4) hearsay evidence; 5) irrelevant evidence; or 6) character evidence. The court may simply take note of the exceptions and consider the same when deciding the case.

31 THANK YOU.


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