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Gracia, Jumel Alexander M. Atty.


Civil Procedure (Monday, 4:30pm-9:30pm)

1. Distinctions of Stare Decisis, Conclusiveness of Judgment, and Law of the Case.

a.) The principle of Stare Decisis is the adherence by the lower courts to doctrinal rules established
by the Supreme Court in its final decisions. This is in accordance to the established principle that once a
question of law has been thoroughly examined and decided, it shall be deemed closed to further
arguments. Hence, such principle essentially bars any attempt to relitigate same issues under same
circumstances. This principle is case

The doctrine operates both horizontally and vertically. Horizontal Stare Decisis refers to a court
adhering to its own precedent. A court engages in vertical stare decisis when it applies precedent from a
higher court. Consequently, stare decisis discourages litigating established precedents, thus, reduces

In recent decisions on G.R. No. 181369, G.R. No. 181953, G.R. No. 186635, the Supreme Court
applied the principle of Stare decisis for the reason of securing certainty and stability of judicial decisions.
Citing that the principle of stare decisis et non quieta movere, which means to adhere to precedents, and
not to unsettle things which are established, the Supreme Court ruled that these cases fall under the same
events, and same issues as those which were previously decided by the it, hence pronouncing the same
ruling given to its precedent.

b.) The concept of conclusiveness of judgment states that fact or question which was in issue in a
former suit, and was there judicially passed on and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, is
conclusively settled by the judgment therein, as far as concerns the parties to that action and persons in
privity with them, and cannot be again litigated in any future action between such parties or their privies,
in the same court or any other court of concurrent jurisdiction on either the same or a different cause of
action, while the judgment remains unreversed or unvacated by proper authority. The only identities thus
required for the operation of the judgment as an estoppel x x x are identity of parties and identity of

It has been held that in order that a judgment in one action can be conclusive as to a particular
matter in another action between the same parties or their privies, it is essential that the issues be

In a recently decided case of Escobar vs. People, G.R. No. 205576, November 20, 2017, the
Supreme Court, held that the conclusiveness of judgment bars the relitigation of the issues already
litigated and settled in litigation between identical parties in different causes of action, and on occasion,
has applied this principle in criminal cases. However, it also reiterated that the concept of res judicata is
a civil law doctrine, not to be applied on criminal proceedings, except when civil cases impliedly instituted.

“Stare Decisis.” LII / Legal Information Institute, Legal Information Institute, 5 June 2017,

Nabus vs Court of Appeal. G.R. No. 91670
The case being a criminal case filed before the Sandiganbayan, res judicata as a doctrine in civil law cannot
be appreciated.

c.) The doctrine of Res judicata is set forth in Section 47 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, as follows:

“Sec. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. – The effect of a judgment or final order rendered by
a court of the Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as follows:


(b)In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any
other matter that could have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties and their
successors in interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the action or special proceeding,
litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in the same capacity; and

(c)In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors in interest, that only is deemed to
have been adjudged in a former judgment or final order which appears upon its face to have been so
adjudged, or which actually and necessarily included therein or necessary thereto.”

The principle of res judicata lays down two main rules: (1) the judgment or decree of a court of
competent jurisdiction on the merits concludes the litigation between the parties and their privies and
constitutes a bar to a new action or suit involving the same cause of action either before the same or any
other tribunal; and (2) any right, fact, or matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the
determination of an action before a competent court in which a judgment or decree is rendered on the
merits is conclusively settled by the judgment therein and cannot again be litigated between the parties
and their privies whether or not the claims or demands, purposes, or subject matters of the two suits are
the same. The first rule which corresponds to paragraph (b) of Section 47 above, is referred to as “bar by
former judgment”; while the second rule, which is embodied in paragraph (c), is known as “conclusiveness
of judgment.”

The elements for res judicata to be properly applied were found to be as follows:

a.) The former judgment was final;

b.) The court that rendered it had jurisdiction over the subject matter of the parties;
c.) The judgment was based on merits;
d.) Between the first and second actions, there was an identity of parties, subject
matters, and causes of action.

2.) Analyze and give suggestions for continuous trial of civil cases.

The rules on the continuous trial of civil cases essentially hastens up the proceedings of civil cases
which cuts down the expenses not only of the parties involved but also the government itself. It is worth
noting that the judiciary is taking necessary steps for justice to be served upon those who seek for it, this
is clearly shown but the removal of some motions that only essentially delays the proceeding of the case,
which also hampers the speedy disposition of the trials.
All those being taken into consideration, I think it would be beneficial for the parties as well as
the judiciary system if there will be a more comprehensive dispute settlement that can be had when there
is too little penalty or money involved. Not only that this would save expenses from the government, but
this would also save the parties’ time and money. There should be some sort of encouraging factors that
would influence the parties to arrive at an amicable settlement instead of going to trial and incurring more
expenses in return.

3.) Analysis on Rule 18 of Rules of Court and the SC Circular on Pre-Trial.

Upon taking a closer look on Rule 18 of Rules of court, it can be seen that the burden placed on
the parties under litigation or proceedings is heavier on the part of the plaintiff. It is evident on different
sections of rule 18, such as rule 1, although it has already been amended by the SC Circular, it is still worth
taking note that previously, it was the duty of the plaintiff to move ex parte that the case be set for pre-

Another section that clearly gives a heavier burden upon the plaintiff is section 5 of the same rule,
stating that upon failure of the plaintiff to appear when so required shall be cause for the dismissal of the
action. Such dismissal shall be with prejudice. On the other hand, when the defendant fails to appear, the
rule only gives right for the plaintiff to present evidences and the court to render judgment on the basis
thereof. In summary, the failure of the plaintiff to appear will result to the action to be dismissed with
prejudiced but the failure of the defendant to appear will not guarantee the action to prosper since the
judge will still have to decide based on the merits of the evidences presented upon him.

In view of the foregoing, I think it is only but proper to give a heavier burden upon the plaintiff
since he was the one instituted and filed an action against the defendant, hence he should be more
responsible with his dealings.

The circular provides circumstances that the judge should be proactive on the proceedings and
must almost at all times be engaged therein. The judge is empowered by the circular to try his earnest
and best efforts to convince the parties to settle their differences in considering what could be an
acceptable settlement for both the parties. In pre-trial conference the judge could at the very least limit
the issues that should be involved in the proceedings.

Upon failure of all the settlement efforts prescribed in the circular, it is the only time when the
judge will have to set the pre trial upon the completion of necessary actions that should be done by him
such as adopting the minutes of the preliminary conference as part of pre-trial procedure, confirming of
markings of exhibits, inquiring if the pleadings are all in order, considering the adding or dropping of
parties and etc.