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Paul Isaac M. Sto. Domingo G04 11880651 Nov.

11, 2018

What are the Four C’s of effective decision writing? Explain each.
Completeness
Legal requirements on the contents as mandated by the constitution and by rules of
court for decisions include the need for the facts and legal basis, that denials be written and
prepared by a judge with facts and law, that convictions include the legal qualification of the
offense, the participation of the accused, the penalty imposed, and any civil damages, while
acquittal needs to state whether there is absolute failure to prove guilt or merely failure to
break reasonable doubt. Resolutions must clearly state their reasons. Decisions that fail to
follow these requirements may be reversed and the judges given administrative liabilities for
negligence or abuse. The required parts of a decision include the caption and title, the
statement of the case, fact findings, issues, the court ruling, and disposition.

Correctness
The decision must conform to law and jurisprudence. The Appellate court will also be
a possible audience, and a mastery of law is essential as ignorance of law or jurisprudence
will be subject to disciplinary action. Form is also important; use correct English of Filipino.
Grammar, clarity, and well-positioned wording will be important.

Clarity
A decision should be easy to read and understand. Simple language, less words,
consistent parallelisms, and generally following proper formatting will aid in clarity.

Conciseness
The length of a decision depends greatly on the facts and issues involved. Judges
are not stenographers and must synthesize, summarize, and simplify, lest there be delay
and foot-dragging.
(The Four “Cs” of Effective Decision Writing: An Introduction for Newly Appointed Justices,
Artemio V. Panganiban, The PHILJA Judicial Journal, Vol. 4, Issue 14, October December
2002, available at http://philja.judiciary.gov.ph/assets/files/pdf/journal/vol4issue14.pdf (last
accessed August 2016))

What are the basic methods of formulating arguments? Define and explain each.
Standard Logical Technique
Inductive reasoning formulates a legal proposition from a series of particular
holdings. Deductive reasoning starts with a major premise, such as an accepted legal
doctrine, then from there digs down to the intended legal proposition for the case. A fortiori
arguments hold that as one fact exists, a similar, less improbable fact should also exist,
drawing a conclusion inferred to be more certain than the premise.

Handcuff Technique
A logical chain of propositions emanating from a simple abstract general proposition
or premise, much like an A, B, therefore C argument, constitutes the Handcuff Technique.

Emphasizing the Purpose of a Rule


Conclusions can be reached from the purpose of rules, useful for situations not
directly covered by a rule but can be reached by deriving the intended purpose of one rule,
including interpreting vehicles based on whether a rule involving vehicles actually involves
peace and order, and not strictly the presence of a vehicle.

Paradigm Case
Paradigms are clear or typical examples. Such paradigms can be used for
comparisons, even if hypothetical or deriving from prior cases applying a similar statute,
thereby showing that the current case also falls under the same statute.

Hypothetical Cases
Assuming facts not too different from the instant case for the purpose of discussing
an applicable law and then asserting the not-so-different nature of the hypothetical and the
instant case can also be used as an argument.

Extreme Consequences
Hypotheticals are again used but instead to demonstrate potential adverse effects
from a rule, such as costs, disruption, and potential harm, but may disregard likeliness and
possible absurdities.

Policy Arguments
Conflicting legal rules may need to be argued on. Lesser of Two Evils dictates that
neither solution is very satisfactory but one or another should be chosen for being less
painful a choice. Floodgates can also be used to consider possible subsequent adverse
consequences from a decision, be it unlimited liability, fraudulent claims, or court burdens.
Economic and Social Policy arguments can be formed based on cost distribution, cost
efficiency, and economic efficiency.
(Case Analysis and Legal Writing, Myrna S. Feliciano, The PHILJA Judicial Journal, Vol. 4,
Issue 14, October December 2002, available at
http://philja.judiciary.gov.ph/assets/files/pdf/journal/vol4issue14.pdf (last accessed August
2016))

According to Christopher Pyle, how should you brief a case?


A good student brief comprises of a title and citation, the case facts, issues,
decisions, rationale, separate opinions, and analysis. The title shows who is opposing whom,
and the citation makes locating the case easier. Facts in a case are usually summarized for
only pertinent facts, such as the nature of litigation, who sued whom, on what occurrences,
and lower court decisions. Issues or questions of law raised by the facts are often explicit.
Phrase them as Yes or No questions, and include only the key issues. Decisions are the
answers to the issue, and the rationale is how the judges explain it. Separate opinions
should also be evaluated as well. An analysis should be done on the significance of the case
as well, and the rightness of the decision.
(How to Brief a Case, Christopher Pyle, available at
https://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/research/brief.html (last accessed August, 2016))

Differentiate between civil and common law. What system does the Philippines use?

Civil law is a legal tradition from Roman law which is highly systematized and
structured, relying on declarations of broad, generic principles, often ignoring details. It is
usually written up into codes. Common law originated from England, with principles
appearing mostly in reported judgements of higher courts, with more detailed prescriptions.
The Philippines uses a mixed system with elements from both civil and common law, but
predominantly civil, with a side of unrelated Muslim law in the south. While courts will cite
jurisprudence, if the law is unambiguous they will prefer the law over jurisprudence which
cannot be the source of brand new judicial legislation.

(Mixed Jurisdictions: Common Law v. Civil Law (Codified and Uncodified), William
Tetley, 60 La. L. Rev. (2000), available at
http://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5822& context=lalrev (last
accessed August 2016))