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TECHNIQUES IN ANSWERING BAR QUESTIONS BY

ATTY. REY TATAD JR.


REASON/S BEHIND THE LAW
1. The purpose of the law is
2. The law is designed to
3. It is intended to shield
4. It is primarily aimed at protecting ____________ from unwarranted
__________
5. The rationale behind the law is
6. The spirit of the law is to the effect that
DEFINITION / EXPLANATION
1. ________________ is a comprehensive term used to describe
_________.
2. _________________, in its generally accepted sense, refers to .
3. It is a safeguard and guarantee provided by the 1987
Constitution..
4. It is a kind of relief granted to a ______________ by the
5. ________________ is a branch of public law (or private law) which
deals with..
6. It pertains to
7. It connotes a .
8. is a doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) which refers to
9. is a principle in (i.e. Criminal Law) which states that
10. It presupposes
11. Its principal identifying feature is..
12. It is akin to
13. The function of which is to
14. The office of which is to
ENUMERATION
1. In capsule form, the following are the elements of the crime of
2. In a nutshell, the following are the elements of the crime of
3. The following elements are generally considered in the
determination ofthe presence of (i.e. employer-employee relationship)
4. Among the (i.e. defenses/remedies) available to (i.e. Mr. X) as
provided for by/in the (i.e. Civil Code) are:
(1)
(2)
5. The following are the requisites for
6. In order that a case for (i.e. B.P. 22) to prosper, the following
elements must be attendant/present:
7. To constitute (i.e. homicide), the following requisites must
concur:
8. (i.e. Legal compensation) requires the concurrence of the
following conditions:
9. To establish a persons culpability under (i.e. estafa), it is
indispensable that
* Tips on answers that require enumerating something. (i.e.
elements). If you can enumerate all, write it in bulleted or numbered
form to highlight the fact that you know all of them and for more
convenient-reading purposes. If you cannot enumerate all, write it in

paragraph form so that it would not easily be noticeable that you


missed something. (I got the above tip from our mentor Atty. Gafar
Lutian)
DISTINCTION
When being asked to distinguish, do not state its definition. If you
give its definition, you are in effect asking the examiner to extract
out the differences of the two [or more] from your definition. Do not
also give their similarities. You are asked to differentiate and
contrast, so similarities are not included (That was a tip I learned
from my professor in Civil Law Review I, Atty. Virgilio Gesmundo).The
number of distinctions you will give must also be proportionate on
the points allotted for such. If it is only worth two points, do not
give 8 distinctions. The examiner cannot give you 8 points for
that.... For a two point distinction question, perhaps, three would
be enough (four is not too much).
1. The (i.e. two) may be distinguished from each other in the
followings
ways:
a.
b.
2. In the first, it is necessary that there be.., whereas in the
second it is sufficient
that there be .
3. In the former, while in the latter
4. The former requires while the latter
5. on the other hand ______________ is
ANSWERING QUESTIONS WITH VAGUE FACTS (or which requires
qualification)
But if the facts are complete in itself, do not attempt to add facts
or assume anything.
1. We must distinguish. If (or As far as the __________ is
concerned)
2. It depends. If(or As far as the __________ is concerned)
3. The question requires a qualified answer. If
4. I will qualify. If
5. On the assumption that
6. My answer must be qualified.
JURISDICTION
1. The case is beyond the ambit of the jurisdiction of the (i.e.
Regional TrialCourt)
2. It is within the ambit of the (i.e. Secretary of Labors) power.
3. It is not within the province of the (i.e. Municipal Trial Court)
4. It is clearly within the powers of the (i.e. Labor Arbiter) to
5. The case of (i.e. ejectment) lies with the Municipal Trial Court.
6. The case is cognizable by the (i.e. Regional Trial Court)
7. The case is covered by the (Rules on Summary Procedure).
8. The law vests upon the (i.e. Secretary of Justice) the power to
ELABORATING/EXPOUNDING ANSWERS
Go straight to the point. The length of answers and expounding the

same, must always be proportionate to the points allotted for such


particular question. The higher the points, the more in-depth the
elaboration should be. However, it must not appear na nambobola ka
na. Sometimes, if your answer is too long, it is an indication that
you are not sure of the answer so there is that need of getting
around the bush. Remember that most of the times, MORE TALK, MORE
MISTAKE!!! (I got this tip from my professor in Political Law, Dean
Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr.)
1. It should be borne in mind that
2. It must be noted that
3. It may be recalled that
4. It is worth observing
5. It must be taken into consideration that
6. More importantly, .
7. Significantly,
8. Corollarily,
9. Furthermore,
10. Moreover,
11. Similarly,
12. Parenthetically,
13. In other words,
14. Otherwise stated,
15. Simply put,
16. Simply stated,
17. Stated more concretely
18. The reasons are obvious. (expound)
19. The reasons are well-known. (expound)
20. The reasons are plain. (expound)
21. Under the same line of reasoning,
22. As regards
23. With regard to (it is error to state with regards to)
24. Anent the (i.e. first issue),
25. As far as the ________________ is concerned,
26. This is indicated by the fact that
27. The language of the law leaves no room for doubt that,
28. Justice and fair-play dictates that,
29. Applying the principle of.
30. For all its conceded merits, (i.e. equity is available in the
absence of lawand not as its replacement)
31. The law is categorical with regard to
32. Notwithstanding the (i.e. execution of the document)
33. It is beyond debate that,
34. It is imperative to look at,
35. This is consistent with the time-honored maxim (i.e. nullum
crimen nulla poena sine lege).
36. As it is imbued with public interest,
37. In like manner,
38. In the same manner,
39. In the same vein,
40. In the same breath,
41. Likewise,..
42. In fine,
43. It bears articulating that
44. The controlling element in the (i.e. crime of estafa) is
45. By analogy,
46. Suffice it to state that..
47. Emphasis must also be placed at

48. Manifestly, there was (i.e. grave abuse of discretion amounting


to lack or excess of jurisdiction)
49. Needless to stress that
50. It goes without saying that
51. The Supreme Court frowns upon the (i.e. illegal practice of forum
shopping as it erodes the administration of justice and makes a
mockery of the justice system).
52. There is no denying in this case, that (i.e. the petitioner never
raised the issue of jurisdiction throughout the entire proceedings in
the trial court; case of Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy)
53. It is now too late in the day for the respondent/defendant to
(i.e. raise the issue
of )
54. Equally telling is the (i.e. factual finding of the lower court)
that
55. The gravamen of the (i.e. the crime of rebellion is an armed
public uprising against the government)
56. It cannot be denied that (i.e. the petitioner is also guilty of
negligence)
57. Attention must be drawn to the fact that
58. ___________ and ____________ are two mutually exclusive remedies.
An application of one precludes the application of the other.
59. To amplify,
60. It must be pointed out that
61. Notably,
62. At the outset, the (i.e. defendant)
63. Coming now to the issue of (i.e. prescription),
CITING LAW PROVISIONS
1. No less than the (i.e. 1987 Constitution) provides for the
2. The (i.e. Rules of Court) substantially provides in part that
3. Under the broad principles of (i.e. due process clause)
4. Under the all-encompassing doctrine of (i.e. incontestability
clause)
5. Under the law
6. According to the (i.e. Family Code)
7. The law is explicit on the matter.
8. The law explicitly expresses in part that
9. By express provision of law,
10. By operation of law
11. As a matter of law
12. Worth remembering is the rule on _______________ which provides
in part that
13. Decisive on the matter is the pertinent provision of the (i.e.
Law on Property)
14. The law prescribes certain rules on
15. By legislative fiat
QUOTING SUPREME COURT DECISIONS
1. The Supreme Court in one case, had the occasion to rule that
2. In a long-line of cases decided by the Supreme Court, it has
always been (consistently) held that
3. In a litany of cases decided by the Supreme Court,
4. In a long-string of cases decided by the highest court of the
land,
5. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court,

6. In a series of cases decided by the Supreme Court,


* Do not use the words series, litany or long-line
if there is only one decision/jurisprudence for that topic.
7. In one case decided by the highest court of the land, it was held
that
8. In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that
9. It has been said that
10. In a recent case, the Supreme Court has laid to rest the issue of
whether or not
11. It is well settled in this jurisdiction
12. It is well settled in this country
13. The Supreme Court has steadfastly adhered to the doctrine which
states that
14. In a case with similar facts, the Supreme Court ruled that
15. In several notable Supreme Court decisions, the highest court
declared that
16. The Supreme Court has often stressed that
17. In the landmark case of _____________, (if the case is so famous)
the Supreme Court laid down the doctrine which substantially provides
that
18. In the leading case of
19. As enunciated by the Supreme Court in one case,
20. The court has repeatedly ruled
21. A case in point is a case already decided by no other than the
highest court of the land, where the Supreme Court held that
22. There is likewise an array of cases in this jurisdiction where
the Supreme Court has consistently declared that
23. Deeply rooted is the jurisprudence which provides that
24. In one case, the Supreme Court was emphatic when it ruled that.
EMPHASIZING CASE DOCTRINES / JURISPRUDENCE
1. It is hornbook doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) that
2. Immortal is the rule that
3. Well settled is the rule
4. Well entrenched is the principle that..
5. Elementary is the rule that..
6. The cardinal rule in (i.e. labor law) is that
7. It is a familiar canon in (i.e. political law) that
8. By well settled public law
9. Basic is the rule in (i.e. Criminal Law)
10. It is an elementary principle in
11. It is a fundamental doctrine in
12. Well accepted is the rule that
13. It is axiomatic in (i.e. Civil Law) that
14. Enshrined in the 1987 Constitution is the rule that (i.e. no
person shall be deprived of life, liberty or Property without due
process of law)
15. Consonant with the rule on
16. It is a recognized doctrine in (i.e. Civil law) that
17. It is a basic tenet in (i.e. Commercial Law)
18. Consistent with current jurisprudence
19. It is a legal presumption, born of wisdom and experience, that
(i.e. official duty has been regularly performed; that the
proceedings of a judicial tribunal are regular and valid and that
judicial acts and duties have been and will be duly and properly
performed. The burden of proving irregularity in official conduct is
on the part of the petitioners.)

20. It is an oft-repeated rule that


21. The Philippines adhere to the principle of
REFERRING BACK TO THE CASE (correlating the facts with the
law/jurisprudence)
Note: In my personal opinion, it is not proper to use the statements
in the case at
bench or in the case at bar when answering. Although I guess it is
very tempting
because it sounds good and professional to state, in the case at
bar/bench, we must
not forget that the cases given in the Bar are only theoretical. The
statements in the
case at bench and in the case at bar are more appropriately used
in pleadings in
court. After all, you can use the statements In the instant case, In
the facts given,
In the problem given and In the question presented.
1. Applying the said law/doctrine in the instant case,
2. From the facts given, noteworthy is the
3. From the facts of the case, it is readily observable that
4. In the instant case, it may be observed that
5. It is crystal clear from the facts presented that (i.e. the crime
of treason) is present (or was committed).
6. In the present case, it is immediately noticeable that the element
of __________ is wanting (or lacking).
7. Under the circumstances, the proper remedy would be
8. The case obtaining indicates a case of (i.e. B.P. 22)
9. It logically follows
10. It goes without saying
11. Even assuming arguendo, for the sake of argument that
12. The situation in the case at hand
13. The situation presented evinces a case of...
14. The facts sufficiently indicated
15. In the given facts, it is immediately apparent that
16. It is evident that
17. In the same token
18. Under the facts stated in the problem,
19. In the case under consideration,
20. Worth stressing is the fact that
21. Worth emphasizing is the fact that
22. The facts would reveal that
23. A careful perusal of the facts of the case would reveal that
24. A careful scrutiny of the actuations of the accused would reveal
that
25. A careful reading of the (i.e. Deed of Absolute Sale) would
reveal that
26. A cursory examination of the
ANSWERING IN THE POSITIVE
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

The
The
The
The
The

petition is meritorious.
contention has legal basis.
case will prosper.
argument is proper.
provision is perfectly applicable.

6. The action is tenable.


7. The motion should be granted.
8. The Judge is correct.
9. The petition is impressed with merit.
10. Yes. It is a (i.e. patent violation) of the
11. There is merit in the petition.
12. The petitioners contention is sustainable.
ANSWERING IN THE NEGATIVE
1. The contention does not hold water.
2. With all due respect to the judge, his decision is apparently
erroneous or is not in accord with law and existing jurisprudence.
3. The contention is totally misplaced.
4. It is now too late in the day to raise the issue of
5. The petition is not meritorious.
6. The evidence presented deserves scant consideration.
7. The contention has no legal basis.
8. The argument is bereft of merit.
9. The petition is devoid of merit.
10. Petitioners reliance on the (i.e. doctrine of) is
inappropriate. The doctrine of does not apply in cases where / of
11. It is a futile gesture on the part of the respondent to invoke
the rule on
12. The theory/argument has no ground to stand upon.
13. The contention has no leg with which to stand on.
14. The position of the petitioner runs counter with the doctrine
of
15. The case will not prosper.
16. The case is not tenable.
17. The act of the accused in is of no moment.
18. The assertion lacks substance.
19. The decision is erroneous.
20. The court cannot countenance the (i.e. inconsistent postures of
the petitioner)
21. The testimony that, cannot be given credence.
22. The evidence presented has no probative value.
23. The allegation is belied by the fact that
24. To put it otherwise would be to render the law on _____________
useless/futile.
25. The actuations of the accused in (i.e. fleeing and hiding)
negates (i.e. innocence)
26. While it is true that _______________ is a (i.e. constitutional
guaranteed right of a person), it does
not, however mean
27. It is not correct to say that
28. It is not proper to state that
29. It is not accurate to conclude outright that
30. A contrary conclusion would erode the rule that provides in part
that
31. To sustain the contention would be to render the law on
____________ nugatory.
32. It would be absurd and incongruous to sustain the argument that
33. It is not enough that
34. The fact that is immaterial since
35. The fact that is irrelevant since
36. In itself, mere is not sufficient (i.e. to warrant conviction)
.

37. The petitioner cannot give any additional meaning to the clear
and plain language of the law.
38. The Supreme Court, in several cases, has struck down the (i.e.
defense of alibi)
39. The attendant circumstances of the case are contrary to the
petitioners assertion.
40. The evidence does not support the theory of the petitioners.
41. There is no cogent reason to disturb the ruling of the (i.e.
Court of Appeals)
42. The claim for (i.e. moral damages) must necessarily fail.
43. The (i.e. respondent) cannot rely on (i.e. mere alibis) to aid
his cause.
CONCLUDING WORDS
1. From the gamut of evidence on hand, it can be gathered/deduced
that,
2. Taken all together,
3. Finally,
4. Hence,
5. Therefore,
6. From the foregoing, it can be deduced that there is really (i.e. a
violation of)
7. From the foregoing, it is now safe to conclude that.
8. Lastly,
9. Consequently,
10. As a necessary consequence
11. The logical implication is that
12. At any rate,
13. In view of the foregoing,
14. As an inevitable conclusion,
15. In the light of the circumstances,
16. Undoubtedly,
17. Indubitably,
18. Clearly, the case at hand falls squarely within the purview of
19. Verily, he/she has committed
20. For this/these reason/s, it is unavoidable to conclude that
21. Based on the facts obtaining,
22. In this light,
23. This being the case
24. Clearly therefore, applying the aforecited ruling in the case at
hand,
25. In light of the foregoing, it is beyond cavil (doubt) that,
26. There is no doubt that
27. To the unprejudiced mind, the actuations of the three, when
analyzed and taken together, leads to no other conclusion except that
(i.e. conspiracy among them existed)
28. Inescapably, therefore,
29. All things considered,
30. It follows therefore that
31. As a logical result
32. In sum,..
33. In view of the fact that,
34. All told,
35. Given the prevailing facts
36. Having stated the foregoing premises,
37. One final point,
38. Accordingly,

MY PERSONAL ADVICE FOR FUTURE BAR CANDIDATES DURING THE REVIEW


Always pray before and after studying.
Turn off your cellular phones. (Turn it on only during your break).
Most or a significant part of our time reviewing is sometimes spent
on non-sense (or not so important) texting-replying-texting-replying.
There is a time for everything. But when you review, avoid
interruptions. Cellular phone, believe me, is one of the major
interruptions. Although it is hard, why not sacrifice a little for
the sake of being a lawyer.
Believe in yourself. If you will not, then who do you expect would
believe in you. (Tip from Sir Bubut Cayco)
Choose a study buddy if you want. But sometimes it is better that
you do
not have one. More study buddies, more interruptions (more kwento).
Without you knowing it, tapos na araw or September na.
Before starting your review, be sure that the tension has already
subsided. (Specifically starting the month of July when tensions
really soars high for most Bar candidates) Bear in mind that we can
comprehend more if we are in a relaxed state of mind.
Set your own pace. Do not compare your pace with others (like
asking others, ilang reading ka na?) This is not a rat race.
Quality reading(studying/reviewing actually) is what is needed. Bar
does not dwell on the amount of pages/books you have read, it is more
of how much you have mastered.
Do not memorize without comprehending. When mental block occurs,
you cannot recall even a single thing. Moreover, in applying the law
in a given theoretical case problem, for sure you can hardly answer
the same if you have memorized without understanding.
Do not highlight the entire reviewer . Sometimes, the problem with
highlighting is that it becomes our security blanket that we have
read and understood what we have read. But more often, we have not.
When you have a query or some matters in mind that needs
clarification, just write it in a piece of paper, pag marami na, ask
it to a professor you believe is competent in that field. Dont ask
your co-barristers. It might only end in a debate and waste of time,
when no reliable answer is concluded. Remember, time is precious
during the pre-bar review.
Set one day for recreations alone. It could rejuvenate your energy
and create hunger for review the following day.
Attend to the needs of your entire being. Physically, mentally,
emotionally and spiritually. This will also help you avoid being
exhausted in the review.
Take vitamins and take your meals on time.
BEFORE THE BAR EXAM PROPER
Make sure you have enough and complete sleep. A well rested mind
can answer and articulate better.
Pray
Review the material you personally believe is a good last minute
tip for you.
Compose yourself, your mind, heart and spirit. Focus on the exam
alone and not on the fear of failing. Stop or reduce your tension.
Tension is normal, as long as it is at a moderate level. After all,
you will already be taking the bar, no turning back. So might as well

do your best. And you can only perform well if you are in a composed
mind and heart. (I suggest you close your eyes. Inhale then exhale as
you count one to ten. It might help)
Boost your confidence by telling yourself Walang (your surname) na
di magaling. Or tell yourself What kind of celebration will I do if
I top or at least pass the bar? at least you might laugh kahit
kabado .
DURING THE BAR EXAM PROPER
I suggest that before answering, formulate on your mind what will
be
placed on your first, second and third paragraphs. The first
paragraph normally contains a one-sentence direct to the point answer
to the question. The second paragraph commonly contains legal basis
(provision of law in point, jurisprudence, co-relation of the
jurisprudence/provision with the facts of the case and
application).Third paragraph normally contains the conclusion. When
you are already decided of your answer, write it according to your
thoughts. In this approach, you will not only be avoiding unnecessary
revisions and erasures, you will also maintain the cleanliness of
your booklet. Bear in mind that, a dirty booklet is irritating to the
eyes of the person checking the same.
Allocate the time depending on the number of questions.
Answer each question one at a time. Focus on one question before
thinking or bothering yourself of the succeeding questions.
Do not stay in a number for so long. Leave at least a sheet for a
5point question. Go to the next number if you do not know the answer.
If I am not mistaken, more than one (1) bar candidate had not
succeeded because of stocking himself / herself in an item he/she
does not know the answer of. As a necessary result, he/she failed to
finish the exam. As one of my friends told me, No matter how grossly
wrong your answer may be, do not ever leave an item unanswered. Malay
mo, may points for the effort/ink .Kidding aside, a blank sheet will
surely get an automatic 0 point. So better answer all.
Dont blame yourself or dont panic if you failed to answer an item
or two. Its perfectly normal. What is abnormal is if you failed to
answer questions that you know the answer of just because you
bothered/blamed yourself so much on the items you dont know. In
short, if you failed to finish the exam.
As my professor Atty. Francis Sababan told us before, mga bata,
avoid passing your booklet too early. The time allocated for each
subject may be too much, but it must be used wisely to: (1) write
legibly, (2) compose your answers properly, (3) avoid erasures, (4)
observe proper margin, and (5) review your answers. After all there
are no prizes for early finishers.
AFTER A BAR SUBJECT (OR ENTIRE BAR EXAM)
Do not discuss answers. It is futile because the booklets had
already been submitted and it could greatly affect your performance
for the remaining subjects. If your noble reason on asking about the
answers is for you to know the same, I suggest that you wait until
the exam results have been already released. For self-preservation
reasons, for sure you will be anxious and fearful if you would
discover that you have incurred (just for example) 10 mistakes.
IMPORTANT REMINDER IN ANSWERING

If you are so sure of the answer, you can directly answer yes or no.
But if you are just guessing or not so sure of the answer, you better
start citing law provisions and jurisprudence first.
Logic behind: If you answer yes or no and it happened to be wrong,
chances are, you will get an automatic ZERO (0) for that item. The
examiner might not read your answer anymore. Come to think of it, it
would be a waste of his time reading explanation of a wrong answer.
Besides, there are so many booklets to check.
On the other hand, if you cite the law provisions and jurisprudence
first, even though your yes or no answer placed in the last
paragraph/sentence is wrong, you might get some credit. (The examiner
might say, may alam tong batang to, nalito lang). Finally, at
least, the examiner has read all your answer and explanation before
grading you for that item.
CARDINAL RULES IN TAKING THE BAR
. Do not forget your test permits, Supreme Court color coded
Identification card, and other pertinent documents/things as required
in the letter coming from the SC allowing you to take the Bar.
. Bring a watch with you to keep you updated of the time left.
. Never be tempted to cheat.
. Keep your focus.
. Carefully read and comprehend the instructions and questions.
. Answer one at a time.
. Answer straight to the point. Be responsive to the question. Answer
only what is being asked. Though it is tempting to showcase your
knowledge, do not over-elaborate.
. Avoid erasures.
. Do not hurry at the expense of substance (and readability) of your
answers.
. Leave a space before starting a new paragraph.
. Review your answers. Scan your booklet before submitting the same.
Be sure you have not left any question unanswered.
. Bring extra sign/fountain pens.
. Observe proper margin.