Preparing and presenting your case: Use emotions when appropriate
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
25-May-2008


  Emotion is a powerful persuasive tool. In fact, the ideal case is one where the judge not only is mandated to give what your client is asking for (because your case is solidly supported by the facts and law), but is also emotionally charged to do so (because he feels that what ...   Read More

Effective proposals for stipulation of facts, Part 3
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
10-Apr-2008


More on making effective proposals for stipulation: 3. Limit the proposals to facts. This should be quite obvious because the proceedings is called "stipulation of facts" not "stipulation of arguments". Yet, it is not rare to still encounter a proposal such as this: ...   Read More

Effective proposals for stipulation of facts, Part 2
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
09-Apr-2008


  Here are some thoughts you may find useful in effectively preparing for and making proposals during preliminary or pre-trial conference: 1. Read the pleadings carefully: the complaint, answer, pre-trial brief, and everything else. This should be pretty obvious but, at one time ...   Read More

Good question!
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
02-Apr-2008


During cross-examination, we sometimes let go of a potentially fertile area of inquiry just because we are met with an objection and didn't know how to overcome it by re-phrasing our question properly. For instance, consider this question: "what did the accused mean when he said `I w ...   Read More

Frustration with stipulations
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
27-Mar-2008


  Yesterday, I sat in on one of the cases handled by an associate of ours in the office. The case was a civil case for damages against 3 defendants, and the setting was for preliminary conference. One of the items to be taken up during the conference is stipulation of facts. After t ...   Read More

Does the judge know what you and your witness are talking about?
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
17-Jan-2008


  In one "episode" during the nationally televised impeachment trial of Erap, a senator-judge -- as far as I can recall, it was Sen. Raul Roco -- suggested that the examining counsel distribute copies of the documents he was referring to during the direct examination of ...   Read More

What will be new with you in 2008?
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
02-Jan-2008


A friend of mine made an interesting remark the other day. He said that he read somewhere - I recall he mentioned a book by Deepak Chopra, a physician trained in western medicine but now practising the ancient system of health care called "Ayurveda" which is nati ...   Read More

A tip in preparing your case
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
11-Dec-2007


"Begin with the end in mind", as Stephen Covey mentioned in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is how to prepare a case. Picture how the case will end by writing the draft decision at the beginning, right after the evidence is gathered and the facts collated, ...   Read More

7 tips on practising questioning skills
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
04-Dec-2007


1. Forget that you are a lawyer. Testimony, to be clear and memorable to the judge must use plain and simple language. Lawyer talk serves no purpose but to confuse; 2. Read up on light novels, magazines or newspapers and take note of the words they use. Reading the instructions on applian ...   Read More

Plain and simple
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
03-Dec-2007


I've heard once that the capacity of the human mind to complicate things knows no bounds. More so that of lawyers. How many times have we heard a witness asked "when was the contract of lease executed between you and the defendant?" (Who was executed by what is just what the witn ...   Read More

Pinning down a witness
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
02-Dec-2007


In many criminal cases, the star witnesses are not always the complainant or the defendant. These are strangers to the parties but, by accident or otherwise, are there at the scene when the crime happened. Through time, however, these witnesses either forget the facts, become  indi ...   Read More

10 things to avoid when you're a trial lawyer part 2
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
28-Nov-2007


  Here's the rest of the don'ts when you're a trial lawyer: 6. Improper manifestations. Lawyers ask questions; witnesses answers. That's the rule. Many young lawyers, however, seem to have this the other way around. Once I am on cross-examination. I show the witness a document, ...   Read More

10 things to avoid when you're a trial lawyer part 1
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
27-Nov-2007


  1. Writtten out questions and answers for the direct examination. The lawyer has the script with him to refer to while examining the witness. What about the witness? Does he really expect the witness to memorize the script? Or even more basic, does he really expect that the exa ...   Read More

Rein in your gratuitous witness
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
22-Nov-2007


      Appearing in court and giving testimony is serious business. Every word uttered is recorded; sometimes, even the gestures of the witness find their way into the records. This is why we spend time, sometimes inordinate amount of it, conferring with, preparing and eve ...   Read More

Unconsciously unaware of evidence
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
21-Nov-2007


  Do you know how to ride a bike? If you do, do you think about it? You should not. You are, as they say in psychology, unconsciously unaware of your skill. But we did not start out that way. Most probably, we fell right after our first mount. Then, after more practice, we learn ...   Read More

Who should take the stand first? Part 1
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
13-Nov-2007


When a judge sits to hear a case, she really has no idea at all what it is all about. It is only when the case goes on trial that she starts to form an opinion about it as she sifts through the evidence pouring in. And, since these pieces of evidence are either testified to or produced, ...   Read More

Who should take the stand first? Part 2
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
13-Nov-2007


In presenting witnesses, there are those who say that witnesses should be presented so that they tell the story in a chronological way: the first witness testifies on what happened first, the second on what happened next, and so on. There are also those who say that witnesses should be ...   Read More

Who should take the stand first? Part 3
Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
13-Nov-2007


Protecting, or otherwise enhancing or emphasizing, the credibility of the most important witness of your case should be a main concern. Presenting him last on the stand may be the most logical order. The witnesses preceding him must either corroborate what he will testify to later, or must ...   Read More

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