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Legal Technique and Logic

(Thursday, 5:30 - 7:30 P.M.)

Marie Therese Rionile A. Cañeda Atty. Berne Guerrero
Student Number 2017-0333 07 February 2019

Logic -is the study of the principles and methods of good
Legal Reasoning -is expressed through arguments, and it is with
arguments that logic is chiefly concerned.
Argument -in logic, is a claim put forward and defended with
-is a group of statements in which one statement is
claimed to be true on the basis of another
Conclusion -the statement that is being claimed to be true.
Premise -the statement that serves as the basis or support of
the conclusion.
Categories of Arguments -logical or illogical
-valid or invalid
-sound or unsound
Ccomponents of Legal Reasoning:
1. Issue (What is being argued) -is any matter of controversy or uncertainty; an issue
is a point in dispute, in doubt, in question, or simply
up for discussion or consideration. It is always
formulated in interrogative sentence. In law, it
specifically pertains to a legal matter; it is not just
any controversial question.

2. Rule (What legal rules govern the issue)

-to argue a legal case one must be able to cite a rule
(a statute or an ordinance) and apply it to a set of
- Three parts of Rule according to Richard
a) a set of elements, collectively called a test.
b) a result that occurs when all the elements are
present ( and the test is thus satisfied)
c) a causal term that determines whether the result is
mandatory, prohibitory, discretionary, or declatory.

3. Fact (What are the facts that are relevant

to the rule cited) -for the purpose of legal analysis, we look for
“material” facts. These are the facts that fit the
elements of the rule. The rule would be satisfied if
the facts of the present case cover all the elements of
the rule.

4. Analysis (How applicable are the facts to -is the part where our argumentation and illustration
the said rule) come out. This part supposed to show the link
between the rules and the facts we presented to
establish what we are claiming in our argument. The
concern here is wether the material facts truly fit the

5. Conclusion (What is the implication of -is the ultimate end of a legal argument. It is what
applying the rule to the given facts) the facts, the rules and the analysis of the case
amount to.
Two general criteria in evaluating legal arguments:


-can be explained by looking at the two main
processes involved in legal reasoning: -deals with the question Arew the premises provided
a) Presentation of facts which pertains to the in the argument true or acceptable? It is necessary
question of truth. for the conclusion of a legal argument to be grouded

on factual basis, for if the premises that are meant to
establish the truth of the legal claim (conclusion) is
questionable, the conclusion itself is questionable.

-is mainly about the question of logic. Is the

reasoning of the argument correct or logical?
b) Inference (deriving a legal claim or -does the conclusion of the argument logically
judgment from the given laws and facts) follow from its premises? The premises of the
which pertains to the question of logic. argument must not only be factual but the
connection of the premises to the conclusion must
be logically coherent, that is, the movement from the
facts, to the analysis, and to the main claim must be

Rules of Court -is an issuance of the High Court that defines and
governs the conduct of proceedings before all courts
of the land.
Burden of Proof -is the duty of any party to present evidence to
establish his claim or defense by the amount of
evidence required by law, which is preonderance of
evidence in civil case.
-basic rule in evidence that the burden of proof lies
upon him who asserts it, not upon him who denies,
since the nature of things, he who denies a fact
cannot produvce any proof of it.
Equipose Doctrine -when the evidence of the parties are evenly
balanced or there is doubt on which side the
evidence preponderates, the decision should be
against the party with the burden of proof.
Evidence -is the means sanctioned by the Rules of Court, of
ascertaining in a judicial proceeding the truth
respecting a matter of fact.
“Best Evidence Rule” Encapsulated in Rule 130, Section 3 , of the Revised
Rules of Civil Procedure applies only when the
content of such document is the subject of the
inquiry. The original document must be produces
whenever its contents are sublect of inquiry; a
photocopy, being mere secondary evidence, is not
admissible, unless it is shown that the original is
Admissibility and Relevance of Evidence -evidence is deemed admissible if it is relevant to the
issue and more importantly, if it is not excluded by
the provision of law or by the Rules of Court.
-as to relevance, such evidence must have such
relation to the fact in issue as to induce belief in its
existence or non-existence.
Testimony of Witnesses -is generally confined to personal knowledge; and
therefore excludes heresay.
-Section 36, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on
evidence, states that a witness can testify only to
those facts which he knows of or comes from his
personal knowledge, that is, which are derived from
his perception.
Hearsay Rule -A witness that testifies as to ehat he merely learned
from others either because he was told, or he read,
or he heard the same. Such testimony is considered
hearsay and may not be received as proof of truth of
what he has learned.
a) entries in official record made in the performance
of duty by a public officer
b) necessity and trustwothiness of witness.
Expert Testimony -refers to statements made by individuals who are
considered as experts in a particular field.
Examination -the crediibility given by trial courts to prosecution
witnesses is an important aspect of evidence which

appelate courts can rely on because of its unique
opportunity to observe them, particularly their
demeanor, conduct, and attitude, during the direct
and cross-examination by counsels.
Direct examination by the proponent -refers to the examination-in-chief of a witness by
the party presenting him on the facts relevant to the
Cross-examination by the opponent -upon the termination of direct examination, the
witness may be cross-examined by the adverse party
as to any matters stated in the direct examination, or
connected therewith.
Re-direct examination by the proponent -after the cross-examination of the witness has been
concluded, he may be re-examined by the party
calling him, to explain or supplement his answers
given during the cross-examination.
Re-cross-examination by the opponent -upon the conclusion of the re-direct examination,
the adverse party may re-cross-examine the witness
on matters stated in his re-direct examination, and
also on such othe matters as may be allowed by the
court in its discretion,
Stare decicis et non quieta movere -when a court has once laid down a principle, and
apply it to all future cases, where facts are
substantially the same, regardless of wether the
parties and properties are the same. Follow past
precedents and do not disturb what has been settled.
Legis interpretato legis vim obtinet -the interpretation placed upon the written law by a
competent court has the force of law.

Deductive Reasoning -when our premisesintent to guarantee the truth of
our conclusion.
-moves from general premises to particular
Common deductive indicator words -certainly, definitely, absolutely, conclusively, it is
logical to conclude that, this logically implies that,
this entails that, it must be the case that
Inductive Reasoning -when our premises are intended to provide good
(but not conclusive) evidence for the truth of our
-moves from particular premises to general
Common inductive indicator words -probably, likely, chances are, one would expect
that, it is plausible to suppose that, it is reasonable to
assume that
Syllogism -is a three-line argument—that is, an argument that
consists of exactly two premises and a conclusion.
-a clear, well-constructed syllogism ensures each
conclusion is well-supported with evidence, and
gives the judge a recognizable basis to evaluate the
strength of the argument.
Types of Syllogism:

a. Categorical Syllogism -composed of categorical statements alone

b. Hypothetical Syllogism -includes both categorical and hypothetical

Categorical Statement -is a statement that directly asserts something or
states a fact without any condition.
Hypothetical Statement -is a compound statement which contains a proposed
or tentative explanation.
Compound Statement -consists of at least two clauses connected to
conjunctions, adverbs, etc., which express the
relationship between the classes as well as our assent
to it.

Properties of a Categorical Statement

a. Quality -the quality of a statement may be affirmative or

-a statement that the terms “no”, “not”, “none” and
“never” is negative. In the absence of such
qualifiers, the statement is affimative.

b. Quantity -the quantity of a statement is either universal or

-the statement is universal when what is being
affirmed or denied of the subject term is its whole
extension; the statement is particular when whatis
being affirmed or denied of the subject is just a part
of its extension.

Parts of Categorical Syllogism

a. Minor Term (S) -the subject of the conclusion (also called the subject

b. Major Term (P) -the predicate of the conclusion (also called the
predicate term)

c. Middle Term (M) -the term found in both premises and serves to
mediate between the minor and major terms
Rules for the Validity ofCategorical Syllogism

Rule 1: The syllogism must not contain two - the rationale behind this rule is that when the
negative premises premises are both negative, the middle term fails to
serve its function of mediating between the major
and minor terms.

Rule 2: There must be three pairs of univocal terms -a univocal term has the same meaning in different
Rule 3: The middle term must be universal at least
once -the reason for this rule is that when the middle term
is particular in both premises itmight stand for a
different portion of its extension in eachoccurence
and, thus, be equivalent to two terms, and, therefore,
fail to fulfill its function of unitingor separating the
major and minor terms.

Rule 4: If the term in the conclusion is universal, -the conclusion should not go beyond whatthe
the same term in the premise must also be universal premises state.

Three Kinds of Hypothetical Syllogism -conditional syllogism

-disjunctive syllogism
-conjunctive syllogism
Conditional Syllogisms -is a syllogism in which the major premise is a
conditional statement.
Conditional Statement -is a compound statement which asserts that one
memeber (the then clause) is true on conition that the
other memeber (the if clause) is true.
-what is important in conditional statement is the
sequence between the antecedent and the
consequent. It does not matter whether individually
the antecdent or consequent is true or false; what
matters is the reltionship between them
Modus ponens -a form of conditional syllogism when the minor
premise affirms the antecedent, the conclusion must
affirm the consequent.
Modus tollens - a form of conditional syllogism when the minor
premise denies the consequent, the conclusion must
deny the antecedent.

Polysyllogisms -is a series of syllogisms in which the conclusion of
ne syllogism supplies a premise of the next

Inductive Arguments -arguments in which the premises are intended to
provide support, but not conclusive evidence, for the
-it gives us truth or information more that what the
premises are saying. What is claimed in the
conclusion goes beyond the evidence foud in the
Inductive Generalizations -an argument that relies on characteristics of a
sample population to make a claim about the
population as a whole.
-two important questions we must ask when it comes
to determining whether the inductive generalizations
are strong or weak:
a. Is the sample large enough?
b. Is the sample representative?
Analogical Argument -type of inductive argument most commonly used in
law. Analogy is a comparison of things based on
similarities those things share. We find analogies
-Analogy in contrast, makes one-to-one
comparisons that require no generalizations or
reliance in universal rules.
Analogical Reasoning three steps process 1. Establish similarities between two cases.
2. Announce the rule of law embedded in the first
3. Apply the rule of law to the second case

Fallacy -is not a false belief but a mistake or error in thinking
or reasoning.
-in narrower sense, to describe an error in reasoning
rather than a falsity in a statement or claim.
Formal fallacies - identified through mere inspection of form and
- Found in deductive arguments that have
identifiable forms
- Also called illicit major
Informal Fallacies - Detected only through analysis of argument
content which is illogical
- Illogically persuading people to believe or
accept something
Fallacies of Ambiguity - misuse of language; deliberately misleads

1. Equivocation - Leads an opponent to an unwarranted

conclusion by using a term in its different senses
and making it appear to have only one meaning;
it will lead to an absurd conclusion

2. Amphiboly - One allowed a keyword to shift in meaning

in the middle of the argument, while giving
the impression that all instances of the word
have the same meaning; it is difficult to
detect in long arguments in which transition
in meaning is not noticeable; The double
meaning lies not in the word but in the syntax or
grammatical construction.

3. Improper Accent - Presents a claim or argument whose meaning
can be interpreted in two or more ways due to its
grammatical construction.

4. Vicious Abstraction - misleads people by placing improper emphasis

on a word, phrase or particular aspect of an issue
or claim; it misleads people by using vague or
abstract terms
5. Composition
- Consists in inferring that what holds true of the
individuals automatically holds true of the group
made up of those individuals
6. Division
- Consists in wrongly assuming that what is true
in general is true in particular
7. Fallacies of Irrelevance - have a problem with connection of premise and
conclusion; premises are not relevant to
conclusion; misleading because the premises are
psychologically relevant, so the conclusion may
seem to follow from the premises although it
does not follow logically.

- Ignores the issue by focusing on a certain

a. Argumentum ad Hominem (Personal personal characteristics of an opponent; instead
Attack) of addressing the issue presented by an
opponent, this argument makes the opponent the
issue; shifts attention from argument to arguer,
instead of disproving the substance of what is
asserted; argument attacks the person who made
the assertion

- Fallacy attacks the argument based on the

arguer’s reputation, personality or some
personal shortcoming
1) Abusive argumentum ad hominem

- Defending one’s position by accusing his or her

critic or other people of doing the same thing
2) Circumstantial

- This fallacy convinces the people by evoking

feelings of compassion and sympathy when
b. Argumentum ad Misericordiam (Appeal to such feelings, however, understandable, are not
Pity) logically relevant to the arguer’s conclusion; it
persuades others to accept a position by using
threat or pressure instead of presenting evidence
for one’s view.

- Arguments are designed to persuade people by

means of the wording of one of its premises.

c. Argumentum ad Baculum (Appeal to Force)

- States or “assumes as a premise the very thing

that should be proven in the conclusion.”
d. Petitio Principii (Begging the Question)

- “discussing an issue by means of language that

1) Arguing in Circle assumes a position of the very question at issue,
in such a way as to direct the listener to that
same conclusion”

2) Question - Begging Language

3) Complex Question
- This fallacy asks a question in which some
4) Leading Question presuppositions are buried in that question

- Consists in directing the respondent to give a

particular answer to a question at issue by the
manner in which the question is asked
Fallacies of Insufficient Evidence

1. Argumentum ad Amtiquum (Appeal to the - Attempts to persuade others of a certain belief

Ages) by appealing to their feelings of reverence or
respect for some tradition, instead of giving a
rational basis for such belief

2. Argumentum ad Vericundiam (Appeal to - Consists in persuading others by appealing to

Inappropriate Authority) people who command respect or authority but
do not have legitimate authority in the matter at
3. Accident
- Consist in applying a general rule to a particular
case when circumstances suggest than an
4. Hasty Generalization (Converse Accident) exception to the rule should apply.

- Consists in drawing a general or universal

5. Argumentum ad Ignorantiam (Arguing conclusion from insufficient particular cause;
from Ignorance) also consists in assuming that a particular claim
is true because its opposite cannot be proven

- Arises when the premise of an argument

presents us with a choice between 2 alternatives
and assumes that they are exhaustive when in
6. False Dilemma fact they are not.

RULES OF LEGAL REASONING - One would be faced with a single or 2 laws
Rules of Collision dealing with the same subject matter but with
conflicting provisions as far as the treatment and
application of a right.

- Conflicting clauses and provisions may arise.

1. Provisions vis-a-vis Provisions The statute must be construed as a whole and
attempts must first be made to reconcile these
conflicting provisions in order to attain the
intent of the law

- Statute should be given meaning that will not

bring them in conflict with the Constitution
2. Law vis - a -vis Construction

- Where two (2) statutes are of contrary tenor or

of different dates but are of equal theoretical
3. Laws vis - a - vis Laws application to a particular case, the case
designed therefore specially should prevail over
the other.

- Statues treating a subject in general terms and

4. General Laws vis-a-vis Special Laws another treating a part of the same subject in
particularly detailed or specialized manner.

- For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be

5. Laws vis-a-vis Ordinances within the corporate powers of the local
government unit to enact and pass according to
the procedure prescribed by law

Rules of Interpretation and Construction - Interpretation refers to how a law or more
importantly a provision thereof, is to be properly

- Construction relies on material that is extant

from the law itself; the process of using tools,
aid, references extant from the law in order to
ascertain its nature, meaning and intent; One has
to go outside of the language of the statute and
resort to extrinsic aids.; Allows the person to
utilize other reference materials or tools in order
to ascertain the true meaning of the law.;
Construction is allowed if process of
interpretation fails or is inadequate to thresh out
the meaning of the law
Rules of Judgment - Judicial power is the power to hear and decide
causes pending between parties who have the
right to sue and be sued in the courts of law and

- The courts may exercise its power if: (a) An

actual and appropriate case and controversy
exists; (b) A personal and substantial interest of
the party raising the constitutional question (c)
the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the
earliest opportunity (d) The constitutional
question raised is the very lis mota of the case

- A justiciable controversy involves a definite and

concrete dispute touching on the legal relations
of the parties having adverse legal interest

- It involves a definite and concrete dispute

touching on the legal relations of the parties
having adverse legal interest

- It should not be taken to mean that the question

of constitutionality must be raised immediately
after the execution of the state action
complained of; that the question of
constitutionality has not been raised before is
not a valid reason for refusing that it be allowed
to be raised later

Rules of Procedure - Be it quasi – judicial level refers to the process

of how a litigant would protect his right through
intervention of the court or any other
administrative body

- Depending on which fora one goes to would

determine how the rules of procedure would be
interpreted—either liberally or strictly

- Administrative rules of procedure are generally

given a liberal construction