2013 Remedial Law Exam Essay Questions

October 27, 2013
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I.

Alfie Bravo filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan, a complaint for a sum of money against Charlie Delta. The claim is for Php1.5Million. The complaint alleges that Charlie borrowed the amount from Alfie and duly executed a promissory note as evidence of the loan. Charlie’s office secretary, Esther, received the summons at Charlie’s office.

Charlie failed to file an answer within the required period, and Alfie moved to declare Charlie in default and to be allowed to present evidence ex parte.

Ten days later, Charlie filed his verified answer, raising the defense of full payment with interest.

  1. Was there proper and valid service of summons on Charlie?(3%)
  2. If declared in default, what can Charlie do to obtain relief?(4%)

II.

Yvonne, a young and lonely OFW, had an intimate relationship abroad with a friend, Percy. Although Yvonne comes home to Manila every six months, her foreign posting still left her husband Dario lonely so that healso engaged in his own extramarital activities. In one particularlyexhilarating session with his girlfriend, Dario died. Within 180 days from Dario’s death, Yvonne gives birth in Manila to a baby boy. Irate relatives of Dario contemplate criminally charging Yvonne for adultery and they hire your law firm to handle the case.

  1. Is the contemplated criminal action a viable option to bring?(3%)
  2. Is a civil action to impugn the paternity of the baby boy feasible, and if so, in what proceeding may such issue be determined? (5%)

III.

While in his Nissan Patrol and hurrying home to Quezon City from his work in Makati, Gary figured in a vehicular mishap along that portion of EDSA within the City of Mandaluyong. He was bumped from behind by a Ford Expedition SUV driven by Horace who was observed using his cellular  phone at the time of the collision. Both vehicles – more than 5 years old – no longer carried insurance other than the compulsory third party liability insurance. Gary suffered physical injuries while his Nissan Patrol sustained damage in excess of Php500,000.

  1. As counsel for Gary, describe the process you need to undertake starting from the point of the incident if Gary would proceed criminally against Horace, and identify the court with jurisdiction over the case. (3%)
  2. If Gary chooses to file an independent civil action for damages, explain briefly this type of action: its legal basis; the different approaches in pursuing this type of action; the evidence you would need; and types of defenses you could expect. (5%)

IV.

At the Public Attorney’s Office station in Taguig where you are assigned, your work requires you to act as public defender at the local Regional Trial Court and to handle cases involving indigents.

1. In one criminal action for qualified theft where you are the defense attorney, you learned that the woman accused has been in detention for six months, yet she has not been to a courtroom nor seen a judge.

What remedy would you undertake to address the situation and what forum would you use to invoke this relief? (3%)

2. In another case, also for qualified theft, the detained young domestic helper has been brought to court five times in the last six      months, but the prosecution has yet to commence the presentation of its evidence. You find that the reason for this is the continued absence of the employer-complainant who is working overseas.

What remedy is appropriate and before which forum would you invoke this relief? (3%)

3. Still in another case, this time for illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the prosecution has rested but you saw from the records that the illegal substance allegedly involved has not been identified by any of the prosecution witnesses nor has it been the subject of any stipulation.

Should you now proceed posthaste to the presentation of defense evidence or consider some other remedy? Explain the remedial steps you propose to undertake. (3%)

4. In one other case, an indigent mother seeks assistance for her 14-year old son who has been arrested and detained for malicious mischief.

Would an application for bail be the appropriate remedy or is there another remedy available? Justify your chosen remedy and outline the appropriate steps to take. (3%)

V.

The spouses Juan reside in Quezon City. With their lottery winnings, they purchased a parcel of land in Tagaytay City for P100,000.00. In a recent trip to their Tagaytay property, they were surprised to see hastily assembled shelters of light materials occupied by several families of informal settlers who were not there when they last visited the property three(3) months ago.

To rid the spouses’ Tagaytay property of these informal settlers, briefly discuss the legal remedy you, as their counsel, would use; the steps you would take; the court where you would file your remedy if the need arises; and the reason/s for your actions. (7%)

VI.

While leisurely walking along the street near her house in Marikina, Patty unknowingly stepped on a garden tool left behind by CCC, a construction company based in Makati. She lost her balance as a consequence and fell into an open manhole. Fortunately, Patty suffered no major injuries except for contusions, bruises and scratches that did not require any hospitalization. However, she lost self-esteem, suffered embarrassment and ridicule, and had bouts of anxiety and bad dreams about the accident. She wants vindication for her uncalled for experience and hires you to act as counsel for her and to do whatever is necessary to recover at least Php100,000 for what she suffered.

What action or actions may Patty pursue, against whom, where (court and venue), and under what legal basis? (7%)

VII.

You are the defense counsel of Angela Bituin who has been charged under RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) before the Sandiganbayan. While Angela has posted bail, she has yet to be arraigned. Angela revealed to you that she has not been investigated for any offense and that it was only when police officers showed up at her residence with a warrant of arrest that she learned of the pending case against her. She wonders why she has been charged before the Sandiganbayan when she is not in government service.

  1. What “before-trial” remedy would you invoke in Angela’s behalf to address the fact that she had not been investigated at all, and how would you avail of this remedy? (4%)
  2. What “during-trial” remedy can you use to allow an early evaluation of the prosecution evidence without the need of presenting defense evidence; when and how can you avail of this remedy? (4%)

VIII.

On his way to the PNP Academy in Silang, Cavite on board a public transport bus as a passenger, Police Inspector Masigasig of the Valenzuela Police witnessed an on-going armed robbery while the bus was traversing Makati. His alertness and training enabled him to foil the robbery and to subdue the malefactor. He disarmed the felon and while frisking him, discovered another handgun tucked in his waist. He seized both handguns and the malefactor was later charged with the separate crimes of robbery and illegal possession of firearm.

  1. Where should Police Inspector Masigasig bring the felon for criminal processing? To Silang, Cavite where he is bound; to Makati where the bus actually was when the felonies took place; or back to Valenzuela where he is stationed? Which court has jurisdiction over the criminal cases?(3%)
  2. May the charges of robbery and illegal possession of firearm be filed directly by the investigating prosecutor with the appropriate court without a preliminary investigation? (4%)

IX.

For over a year, Nenita had been estranged from her husband Walter  because of the latter’s suspicion that she was having an affair with Vladimir, a barangay kagawad  who lived in nearby Mandaluyong. Nenita lived in the meantime with her sister in Makati. One day, the house of Nenita’s sister inexplicably burned almost to the ground. Nenita and her sister were caught inside the house but Nenita survived as she fled in time, while her sister tried to save belongings and was caught inside when the house collapsed.

As she was running away from the burning house, Nenita was surprised to see her husband also running away from the scene. Dr. Carlos, Walter’s psychiatrist who lived near the burned house and whom Walter medically consulted after the fire, also saw Walter in the vicinity some minutes before the fire. Coincidentally, Fr. Platino, the parish priest who regularly hears Walter’s confession and who heard it after the fire, also encountered him not too far away from the burned house.

Walter was charged with arson and at his trial, the prosecution moved to introduce the testimonies of Nenita, the doctor and the priest-confessor, who all saw Walter at the vicinity of the fire at about the time of the fire.

  1. May the testimony of Nenita be allowed over the objection of Walter? (3%)
  2. May the testimony of Dr. Carlos, Walter’s psychiatrist, be allowed over Walter’s objection? (3%)
  3. May the testimony of Fr. Platino,  the priest-confessor, be allowed over Walter’s objection? (3%)

X.

As a new lawyer, Attorney Novato limited his practice to small claims cases, legal counseling and the notarization of documents. He put up a solo practice law office and was assisted by his wife who served as his secretary/helper. He used a makeshift hut in a vacant lot near the local courts and a local transport regulatory agency. With this practice and location, he did not have big-time clients but enjoyed heavy patronage assisting walk-in clients.

  1. What role can Attorney Novato play in small claims cases when lawyers are not allowed to appear as counsel in these cases? (3%)
  2. What legal remedy, if any, may Attorney Novato pursue for a client who loses in a small claims case and before which tribunal or court may this be pursued? (4%)
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