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Tendenilla, Jizza Sofia Cristine T.

Legal Technique and Logic


Sunday 4:00pm-6:00pm Moot Court Atty. Michael Vernon Mendiola Guerrero

Chapter 1 – Introduction Evaluating Legal Reasoning:


Logic – is the study of the principles and methods 1. Presentation of facts which pertains to the
of good reasoning. It is a science of question of truth. – This deals with the question:
reasoning which aims to determine and lay are the premises provided in the argument true
down the criteria of good (correct) or acceptable?
reasoning and bad (incorrect) reasoning. 2. Inference (deriving a legal claim or judgment
from the given laws and facts) which pertains to
Argument – is a group of statements in which one the question of logic. – This deals with the
statement is claimed to be true on the basis question: is the reasoning of the argument
of another statement/s. correct or logical? Does the conclusion of the
Conclusion – the statement that is claimed to be argument logically follow from its premises?
true.
Premise – the statement that serves as the basis or Chapter 2 – Fundamental Concepts in Legal
support of the conclusion. Reasoning
Argument and Explanation Distinguished: Burden of Proof – the duty of any party to present
1. Argument is an attempt to show that something evidence to establish his claim or defense by the
is the case, while explanation is an attempt to amount of evidence required by law, which is
show why something is the case. preponderance of evidence in civil case. Lies upon
2. In arguments, the nature of its reasons are him who asserts it, not upon who denies.
intended to provide ground to justify a claim, to Equipoise Doctrine – when the evidence of the
show that it is plausible or true. In explanations, parties are evenly balanced or there is doubt on
these reasons are usually the causes or factors which side the evidence preponderates, the
that show how or why a thing came to exist. decision should be against the party with the
3. Key question for arguments: Is it the speaker’s burden of proof.
intent to prove or establish that something is the
case – that is, to provide reasons or evidence Evidence – is the means, sanctioned by the Rules
for accepting a claim as true? of Court, of ascertaining in a judicial proceeding the
Key question for explanations: Is it his/her truth respecting a matter of fact.
intent to explain why something is the case –
that is, to offer an account of why some event Best evidence rule – encapsulated in Rule 130,
has occurred or why something is the way it is? Section 3, of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure,
applies when the content of such document is the
Unsupported opinions/Statement of belief or subject of the inquiry. Where the issue is only as to
opinion – statements about what a speaker or writer whether such document was actually executed, or
happens to believe. exists, or on the circumstances relevant to or
surrounding its execution, the best evidence rule
Conditional Statements – contains an “if-then” does not apply and testimonial evidence is
relationship. It is made up of two basic components: admissible.
the first is called the antecedent (or the if-clause)
and the second component is called the precedent Admissibility – when the evidence is relevant to the
(or the then-clause) issue and is not excluded by provision of law or by
the Rules of Court.
Components of Legal Reasoning:
Relevance – evidence must have such a relation to
1. Issue (What is being argued?) – In the law, it the fact in issue as to induce belief in its existence
specifically pertains to a legal matter. It is a or non-existence.
point in dispute, in doubt, in question, or simply
up for discussion or consideration. Testimony – personal knowledge; and therefore
2. Rule (What legal rules govern the issue?) – It excludes hearsay. Thus, a witness can testify only
has 3 parts: (a) a set of elements, collectively to those facts which he knows of his personal
called a test; (b) a result that occurs when all knowledge which are derived from his own
the elements are present (and the test is thus perception, except as otherwise provided under the
satisfied); and (c) a casual term that determines Rules of Court.
whether the result is mandatory, prohibitory,
discretionary, or declaratory. Hearsay Rule – a witness may not testify as to what
3. Fact (What are the facts that are relevant to the he merely learned from others either because he
rule cited?) – “material” facts; these are the was told, or he read or heard the same.
facts that fit the elements of the rule. Expert Testimony - refers to statements made by
4. Analysis (How applicable are the facts to the individuals who are considered as experts in a
said rule?) – This part is supposed to show the particular field. Note that under the Rules of Court,
link between the rules and the facts we the opinion of a witness on a matter requiring
presented to establish what we are claiming in special knowledge, skill, experience or training
our argument. which, he is shown to possess, may be received in
5. Conclusion (What is the implication of applying evidence.
the rule to the given facts?) – The ultimate end
of a legal argument.
The order in which an individual witness may be - Quantity of a statement is either universal or
examined is as follows: particular
- The statement is universal when what is
a. Direct examination by the proponent - refers to being affirmed or denied of the subject of the
the examination-in-chief of a witness by the term is its whole extension
party presenting him on the facts relevant to the - The statement is particular when what is
issue; being affirmed or denied of the subject is just
b. Cross-examination by the opponent - Upon the a part of its extension
termination of the direct examination, the
witness may be cross-examined by the adverse Two rules to observe in determining the quantity of
party as to any matters stated in the direct the predicate: predicate of an affirmative statement
examination, or connected therewith, with is generally particular. However, in statements
sufficient fullness and freedom to test his where the subject and the predicate are identical,
accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from the predicate is universal.
interest or bias, or the reverse, and to elicit all
important facts bearing upon the issue; 3 kinds of terms in categorical syllogism:
c. Re-direct examination by the proponent - After 1. Minor term (S) – the subject of the conclusion
the cross-examination of the witness has been (also called the subject’s term)
concluded, he may be re-examined by the party 2. Major term (P) – the predicate of the conclusion
calling him, to explain or supplement his (also called the predicate term)
answer given during the cross-examination. On 3. Middle term (M) – the term found in both
re-direct examination, questions on matters not premises and serves to mediate between the
dealt with during the Cross-examination, may minor and the major terms.
be allowed by the court in its discretion; and
d. Re-cross-examination by the opponent - Upon 3 kinds of statements in a categorical syllogism:
the conclusion of the re-direct examination, the
adverse party may re-cross-examine the 1. Minor premise – the premise which contains the
witness on matters stated in his re-direct minor term
examination, and also on such other matters as 2. Major premise – the premise which contains the
may be allowed by the court in its discretion. major term
3. Conclusion – the statement the premises
Stare decisis et non quieta wovere – from settled support
precedents, there must be no departure; Stare
decisis or the doctrine of adherence to precedents. Rules for the Validity of Categorical Syllogisms:
1. The syllogism must not contain two negative
premises.
Chapter 3 – Deductive Reasoning in Law * The violation of this rule is called the fallacy of
exclusive premises
Deductive Argument – when the premises intend to 2. There must be three pairs of univocal terms.
guarantee the truth of the conclusion. * An equivocal term has different meanings in
Inductive Argument – when the premises are its occurrences; a univocal term has the same
intended to provide good (but not conclusive) meaning in different occurrences
evidence for the truth of our conclusion. * Violation of this rule is called fallacy of the
equivocation
Syllogisms – is a three-line argument – that is, an 3. The middle term must be universal at least
argument that consists of exactly two premises and once.
a conclusion. * Its failure of uniting or separating the minor
and major terms is a violation of this term called
Valid (Deductive) Argument – an argument in which fallacy of particular middle
the conclusion does follow necessarily from the * Exception to this rule: even if the middle term
premises. An argument in which: if the premises are is particular in both premises, but is quantified
true, then the conclusion must be true or the truth by “most” in both premises and the conclusion
of the premises guarantee the truth of the is quantified by “some”
conclusion. 4. If the term in the conclusion is universal, the
Types of Syllogism: same term in the premise must also be
universal.
1. Categorical Syllogism – composed of * If the minor term is universal in the conclusion
categorical statements alone; it is a deductive but particular in the premise, such violation is
argument consisting of three categorical called fallacy of illicit minor
statements that together contain exactly three * If the major term is universal in the conclusion
terms, each of which occurs in exactly two of but particular in the premise, such violation is
the constituent statements. called fallacy of illicit major
2. Hypothetical Syllogism – includes both
categorical and hypothetical statements; it Hypothetical Statement – is a compound statement
contains hypothetical statement as one of its which contains a proposed or tentative explanation;
premises. Compound Statement – consists of at least two
Categorical Statement – is a statement that directly clauses connected by conjunctions, adverbs, etc.,
asserts something or states a fact without any which express the relationship between classes as
conditions. Its subject is simply affirmed or denied well our assent to it.
by the predicate. 3 kinds of Hypothetical Syllogism:
- It has quality and quantity as its properties. 1. Conditional syllogism
- Quality of the statement may be affirmative or 2. Disjunctive syllogism
negative 3. Conjunctive syllogism
Conditional Syllogism – a syllogism in which the reliance on universal rules. It is a process of
major premise is a conditional statement reasoning from particular to the particular.
Conditional Statement – is a compound statement Analogical reasoning (in law) as a 3-step process:
which asserts that one member (the then clause) is
true on the condition that the other member (the if 1. Establish similarities between two cases;
clause) is true. If clause = antecedent; then clause 2. Announce the rule of law embedded in the first
= consequent case, and
3. Apply the rule of law to the second case.
Symbols for Conditional Syllogism:
Circumstantial Evidence – derived from analogical
A – antecedent reasoning. In absence of direct evidence, this could
C – consequent be presented in court and it could be sufficient for
~ – for the negation of the statement conviction if: (a) there is more than one
> – for “implies” circumstance; (b) the facts from which the
– for “therefore” inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the
2 valid forms of Conditional Syllogism: combination of all circumstances is such as to
produce a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
1. Modus Ponens – when the minor premise
affirms the antecedent, the conclusion must Evaluating Analogical Arguments:
affirm the consequent
2. Modus Tollens – when the minor premise 1. Relevance of similarities to the conclusion of
denies the consequent, the conclusion must the argument.
deny the antecedent 2. Relevant dissimilarities between the entities
being compared.
Fallacy of denying the antecedent – invalid form of
conditional syllogism wherein the minor premise
denies the antecedent. Chapter 5 – Fallacies in Legal Reasoning
Fallacy of affirming the consequent – invalid form Fallacy – an error in reasoning rather than a falsity
off conditional syllogism wherein the minor premise in a statement or claim; illogical or incorrect
affirms the consequent reasoning.
Enthymemes – not explicit expression of arguments Formal Fallacies – those that may be identified
and inferences or opinions through mere inspection of the form and the
Polysyllogisms – is a series of syllogisms in which structure of the argument. Found only in deductive
the conclusion of one syllogism supplies the arguments that have identifiable forms.
premise of the next syllogism Informal Fallacies – are those that can be detected
only through analysis of the content of the
argument.
Chapter 4 – Inductive Reasoning in Law
3 categories of Informal Fallacies:
Inductive Generalization – an argument that relies
on characteristics of a sample population to make a 1. Fallacies of Ambiguity – They contain
claim about the population as a whole. This claim is ambiguous or vague language which is
a general claim which makes a statement about all, deliberately used to mislead people.
most, or some members of a class, group, or a set. a. Equivocation – consists in leading an
opponent to an unwarranted conclusion by
Evaluating Inductive Generalizations: using a term in its different senses and
making it appear to have only one meaning.
1. Is the Sample Large Enough? Ambiguity comes from changing meanings
- A sample is large enough when it is clear that of the word.
we have not rushed to judgment, that we b. Amphiboly – consists in presenting a claim
have not formed a hasty generalization or argument whose meaning can be
- Converse Accident – occurs when a person interpreted in two or more ways due to its
erroneously creates a general rule (binding grammatical construction. Ambiguity comes
universal rule) from observing too few cases. from the way the sentence is constructed.
2. Is the Sample Representative? c. Improper Accent – consist in misleading
- A sample is representative if there is diversity people by placing improper emphasis on a
in our sample, that is, the various subgroups word, phrase or particular aspect of an issue
of the whole population are represented in or claim. Also includes the distortion
the selected respondents. produced by pulling a quoted passage out of
- Random Sample – one in which all members context, putting it in another context, and
of the target have an equal opportunity to be then drawing a conclusion that is not drawn
in the sample in the original context.
- Biased sample – when there is no diversity in d. Vicious Abstraction – consists in misleading
our sample and only represent a particular the people in using vague or abstract terms.
portion of the population which would make This fallacy occurs when vague words are
the conclusion questionable. misused.
Analogical Arguments – a type of inductive e. Composition – consists in wrongly inferring
argument. It depends upon an analogy or similarity that what holds true of the individuals
between two or more things. automatically holds true of the group made
up of those individuals.
Analogy – is a comparison of things based on f. Division – consists in wrongly assuming that
similarities those things share; it makes one-to-one what is true in general is true in particular.
comparisons that requires no generalizations or
2. Fallacies of Irrelevant Evidence – They occur of reverence or respect for some tradition,
because the premises are not logically relevant instead of giving rational basis for such
to the conclusion. They are misleading belief.
because the premises are psychologically b. Argumentum ad Verecundiam (Appeal to
relevant, so the conclusion may seem to follow Inappropriate Authority) – consists in
from the premises although it does not follow persuading others by appealing to people
logically. who command respect or authority but do
a. Argumentum ad Hominem (Personal Attack) not have legitimate authority in the matter at
– ignores the issue by focusing on the hand.
personal characteristics of an opponent. c. Accident – consist in applying a general rule
2 Kinds: to a particular case when circumstances
i. Abusive – attacks the argument based suggest that an exception to the rule should
on the arguer’s reputation, personality apply.
or some personal shortcoming. d. Hasty Generalization (Converse Accident) –
ii. Circumstantial – consists in defending consists in drawing a general or universal
one’s position by accusing his or her conclusion from insufficient particular case.
critic or other people of doing the same e. Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (Arguing from
thing. Also called as tu quoqe which Ignorance) – consists in assuming that a
means “you’re another” or you yourself particular claim is true because its opposite
do it. cannot be proven. Arguing from ignorance
* tu quoqe is a valid defense of means using the absence of evidence
provocation. against a claim as justification that it is true
Equitable defense of in pari delicto -”in equal or using the absence for a claim as evidence
fault”, is rooted in the common-law notion that it is false.
that a plaintiff’s recovery may be barred by f. False Dilemma – arises when the premise of
his own wrongful conduct. an argument presents us with a choice
b. Argumentum ad Misericordiam (Appeal to between two alternatives and assumes that
Pity) – convinces people by evoking feelings they are exhaustive when in fact they are
of compassion and sympathy when such not.
feelings, however understandable, are not *Contradictories – exclude any gradations
logically relevant to the arguer’s conclusion. between extremes. There is no middle
c. Argumentum ad Baculum (Appeal to Force) ground between a term and its negative.
– consists in persuading others to accept a *Contraries – allow a number of gradations
position by using threat or pressure instead between their extremes. There is a plenty of
of presenting evidence for one’s view. middle ground between a term and its
d. Petitio Principii (Begging the Question) – opposite.
some arguments are designed to persuade
people by means of the wording of one of its
premises. Chapter 6 – Rules of Legal Reasoning
Different Types:
i. Arguing in Circle – states or assumes as Rules of Collision
a premise the very thing that should be
proven in the conclusion. This circular First order of business is to find ways in which
argument makes use of its conclusion to one can reconcile the conflicting provisions of a
serve as its premise. law or laws dealing with the same subject
ii. Question-Begging Language – consists matter in order to arrive at a proper application
in discussing an issue by means of of the law with the end in view of ensuring that
language that assumes a position of the justice and equity is upheld. Interpretare et
very question at issue, in such a way to concordare legis legibus est optimus
direct the listener to that same interpretandi (to interpret and to harmonize
conclusion. laws with laws is the best method of
iii. Complex Question – consists in asking interpretation).
a question in which some
presuppositions are buried in that  Provisions vis-à-vis Provisions – the statute
question. Another term refer for this must be construed as a whole and attempts
fallacy is loaded question, which must be first be made to reconcile these
suggests that more than one question is conflicting provisions in order to attain the intent
being asked in what appears to be a of the law.
single question.
iv. Leading Question – consists in directing Courts should adopt a construction that will give
the respondent to give a particular effect to every part of a statute, ut magis valeat
answer to a question at issue by the quam pereat or construction is to be sought
manner in which the question is asked. which gives effect to the whole of the statute - its
every word.
3. Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence – also have a
problem with the connection of the premises Where there is in the same statute a particular
and conclusion, in here, the premises fail to enactment and also a general one which in its
provide evidence strong enough to support the most comprehensive sense would include what
conclusion. All though the premises have some is embraced in the former, the particular
relevance to the conclusion, they are not enactment must be operative, and the general
sufficient to cause a reasonable person to enactment must be taken to affect only such
accept the conclusion. cases within its general language as are not
a. Argumentum ad Antiquum (Appeal to the within the provisions of the particular enactment.
Ages) – attempts to persuade others of a
certain belief by appealing to their feelings
Where the instrument is susceptible of two by the latter general act to modify or repeal the
interpretations, one which will make it invalid and earlier special law.
illegal and another which will make it valid and
legal, the latter interpretation should be adopted. Special act and general law must stand together,
one as the law of the particular subject and the
 Laws vis-à-vis Constitution – statutes should be other as the law of general application.
given, whenever possible, a meaning that will
not bring them in conflict with the Constitution.  Laws vis-à-vis Ordinances
Whenever a law is in conflict with the Ordinances – local legislative measure passed
Constitution, the latter prevails. by the local legislative body of a local
government unit.
 Laws vis-à-vis Laws – where two statutes are of
contrary tenor or of different dates but are of Test of a valid ordinance:
equal theoretical application to a particular case, 1. The ordinance must be within the corporate
the case designed therefore specially should powers of the local government to enact and
prevail over the other. pass according to the procedure prescribed
by law;
Every new statute should be construed in 2. Must conform to the following substantive
connection with those already existing in relation requirements:
to the same subject matter and all should be a. Must not contravene the Constitution or
made to harmonize and stand together, if they any statute (essential requisite);
can be done by any fair and reasonable b. Must not be unfair or oppressive;
interpretation. c. Must not be partial or discriminatory;
As regards common-law principles, between a d. Must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
common law principle and a statutory provision, e. Must be general and consistent with
the latter must prevail in this jurisdiction. public policy; and
f. Must not be unreasonable.
In case of amendatory laws whose repealing
clauses are not clear or vague as to its effect to In case of conflict between an administrative
its predecessor law, the changes made by the order and the provisions of the Constitutions, the
legislature in the form of amendments to a latter prevails. Statute is superior to an
statute should be given effect, together with administrative directive and the former cannot
other parts of the amended act. It is not to be be repealed or amended by the latter. Law is
presumed that the legislature, in making such considered higher than an ordinance, thus the
changes, was indulging in mere semantic latter cannot repel or amend the former. An
exercise. There must be some purpose in administrative rule of regulation cannot
making them, which should be ascertained and contravene the law on which it is based.
given effect. In case of conflict between a statute and an
administrative order, the former must prevail. In
If both laws are irreconcilable, lex posteriori case of discrepancy between the basic law and
derogat priori – more recent law should prevail a rule or regulation issued to implement said law,
in case of two conflicting laws. Lex posteriores the basic law prevails because said rule or
priores contrarias abrogant. Rationale: a later regulation cannot go beyond the terms and
law repeals an earlier one because it is the later provisions of the basic law.
legislative will. It is to be presumed that the
lawmakers knew the older law and intended to
change it.
Rules of Interpretation and Construction
 General Laws vis-à-vis Special Laws – Interpretation – refers to how a law or more
Generalia specialibus non derogant (a general importantly a provision thereof, is to be properly
law does not nullify a specific or special law) applied. It refers to the meaning and intent of the
law through an examination of its provisions.
Generalis clausula non porrigitur ad ea quae
antea specialiter sunt comprehensa (a general Construction – process of using, tools, aid,
clause does not extend to those things which are references extant from the law in order to
previously provided for specially) – if both ascertain its nature, meaning and intent.
statutes are irreconcilable, the general statute
must give way to the special or particular Verbal Legis (the word of the law) – if the
provisions as an exception to the general language of the law is clear, then there is no
provisions. need for either interpretation or construction. It is
only when the law admits two or more
In case of conflict between a general provision interpretations or when by its very nature it is
of a special law and a particular provision of a vague, when the need for either interpretation or
general law, the latter will prevail. Special construction arises. Moreover, words should be
provision or law prevails over a general one. read and considered in their natural, ordinary,
commonly accepted and most obvious
Enactment of a later legislation which is general signification, according to good and approved
law cannot be construed to have repealed a usage and without resorting to forced or subtle
special law. In case of conflict between a general construction.
law and a special law, the latter must prevail
regardless of the dates of their enactment. A Semper in dubiis benigniora praeferenda (in
subsequent general law does not repeal a prior doubtful matters the more liberal are to be
special law on the same subject matter unless it preferred). For words are presumed to have
clearly appears that the legislature has intended
been employed by the lawmaker in their ordinary the controversy, and not simply accept the
and common use and acceptation. views of a subordinate; and
7. The board or body should, in all
controversial questions, render its
Rules of Judgment decision in such a manner as would allow
the parties to know the various issues
Judicial power is the power to hear and decide involved and the reason for the decision
cases pending between parties who have the rendered.
right to sue and be sued in the courts of law and
equity. The only entity empowered by the If legislative intent is not expressed in some
Constitution (Art. VIII, Sec. 1, 1987 Philippine appropriate manner, the courts cannot by
Constitution) to interpret and construe laws is interpretation speculate as to an intent and
the judicial branch. supply a meaning not found in the phraseology
of the law.
The Court may exercise its power of judicial
review only if the following requisites are Before conclusion, try again to return to the
present: consideration of the law and see if it would be
1. An actual and appropriate case and possible under any logical interpretation, to give
controversy exists; the law the meaning which the Government
2. A personal and substantial interest of the insists it should have.
party raising the constitutional question;
3. The exercise of judicial review is pleaded at
the earliest opportunity; and Rules of Procedure
4. The constitutional question raised is the
very lis mota of the case. - Be it at the judicial or quasi-judicial level, it refers
to the process of how a litigant would protect his
Justiciable controversy involves definite and right through the intervention of the court or any
concrete dispute touching on the legal other administrative body.
relations of the parties having adverse legal - Should be viewed as mere tools designed to
interest. facilitate the attainment of justice. When strong
The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any considerations of substantive justice are
case submitted to it for decision en banc or in manifest in the petition, the strict application of
division shall be reached in consultation the rules of procedure may be relaxed, in the
before the case is assigned to a Member for exercise of its equity jurisdiction.
the writing of the opinion of the Court. A
certification to this effect signed by the Chief Administrative proceedings are generally summary
Justice shall be issued and a copy thereof in nature. Technical rules of procedure are liberally
attached to the record of the case and served applied to administrative agencies exercising quasi-
upon the parties. Any Member who took no judicial functions. The intention is to resolve
part, or dissented, or abstained from a disputes brought before such bodies in the most
decision or resolution must state the reason expeditious and inexpensive manner.
and the same requirements shall be observed
by all lower collegiate courts. Finally, no The Rules of Court shall govern the procedure to
decision shall be rendered by any court be observed in actions, civil or criminal and special
without expressing therein clearly and proceedings.
distinctly the facts and the law on which it is a. A civil action is one by which a party sues
based nor shall a petition for review or motion another for the enforcement or protection of a
for reconsideration of a decision of the court right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.
shall be refused due course or denied without A civil action may either be ordinary or special.
stating its legal basis. Both are governed by the rules for ordinary
civil actions, subject to the specific rules
Cardinal requirements of due process in prescribed for a special civil action.
administrative proceedings: b. A criminal action is one by which the State
prosecutes a person for an act or omission
1. There must be a right to the hearing, punishable by law.
which includes the right to present one’s c. A special proceeding is a remedy by which a
case, and submit evidence in support party seeks to establish a status, a right, or a
thereof; particular fact.1
2. The tribunal must consider the evidence
presented; The Rules of Court does not apply to election
3. The decision must have some basis to cases, land registration, cadastral, naturalization
support itself; and insolvency proceedings, and other cases not
4. The evidence must be substantial; herein provided for, except by analogy or in a
5. The decision must be based on the suppletory character and whenever practicable and
evidence presented at the hearing, or at convenient.2
least contained in the record and
disclosed to the parties affected; The Rules of Court shall be liberally construed in
6. The tribunal or body or any of its judges order to promote their objective of securing a just,
must act on its own independent speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action
consideration of the law and the facts of and proceeding.3

1 Sec. 3, Rule 1 of Rules of Court. 3 Sec. 6, Rule 1 of Rules of Court.


2 Sec. 4, Rule 1 of Rules of Court.