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(For 2011 Bar Examinations) Dean Lope E. Feble


Struggling writers think that others the natural writers somehow find writing easy. They think that those lucky few are gifted with an ability to sit down and immediately write a polished draft. The truth is that writing is not easy; and a skilled writer has developed his or her talent by mastering a process that leads to a clear, well-organized detailed final draft. The process is not the same for every writer. We all begin, stop, make progress, stop and begin again. Thus, the process is sometimes recursive rather than direct. We can, however, identify three stages in the writing process: (1) pre-writing/planning; (2) writing/drafting; and (3) revising/editing.

Most students and even lawyers who have problems in writing spend too little time in the prewriting stage. They begin to write before they are clear about what they intend to say and about what strategies and steps they mean to use. These students and lawyers know only where they are to start and roughly where they intend to arrive. Too often they end up somewhere else. Even if they do arrive at the planned destination, they may have traveled a circuitous and long path to get there. There is a better way.

Before beginning to write, you must be clear about purpose and audience/reader. You must have analyzed the problem, established a solution and developed a strategy for explaining that solution. You must have organized your ideas so that you know where you are going before beginning to write.

PURPOSE The first consideration in pre-writing is understanding the purpose of the writing assignment. In the bar examination, you may be asked to discuss and decide all issues, or the rights and liabilities of all the parties, or to address particular issues. Those writing instructions are sometimes referred to as the call of the question, and they established your immediate task. There is, however, more to purpose than the call of the question. You must think of the writing assignment as the place where you will demonstrate the clarity of your thinking, your skill in analysis, your ability to explain, your logical reasoning, and your clear and effective writing.

The purpose of a memorandum assignment is not only to determine if you can arrive at a right answer, it is to test your ability to analyze, synthesize, organize, and explain the law. When you understand that you have to do much more than come up with the right answer, you can begin to plan a successful response to a memorandum writing assignment.

At first glance, the question of audience/reader may appear to have a simple answer: the bar examiner is your audience/reader. But to understand the importance of your audience/reader in your writing, you need to ask a few more questions and clarify your assumptions. It is true that you are writing for the bar examiner, the one who will evaluate your work.

What is it about your audience/reader that will help you prepare to write? What will your audience/reader be looking for? What will appeal to him? What is expected of you? The answers lie not so much in the personalities of the bar examiner/s but in their shared expectations and assumptions. The audience/reader for memorandum writing expects rational, logical discussion. Your reader wants to see a clear demonstration of the depth of your understanding, the quality of your analysis, and the clarity of your expression. Your bar examiner doesnt want conclusions that are not fully supported. It is these qualities that will help you shape your memorandum.

ANALYSIS In your examination in memorandum writing, you will be given a problem to solve. You must examine the hypothetical situation, distinguish between relevant and irrelevant facts, spot the issues, apply the law to the given facts, and lead your reader through your reasoning process to a logical conclusion. You may use a number of problem solving strategies to analyze the question and identify the issue/issues and the key facts. Here are some analytical techniques. 1. Brainstorming. This involves an unrestrained flow of ideas. The key to brainstorming is turning off your internal cursor that says No, that cant be right; or But Im not sure about that. As you read through the fact pattern, make notes indicating all possible issues or sub-issues you can imagine. Note the arguments, reasons, points to consider, supporting evidence everything that you can think of that could bear on the issue. Establishing the relative order and importance of your ideas will come later. Even if you decide to delete later, this free flow of ideas can help you examine all the possibilities you can imagine.

2. Graphics. Many of us can understand things better if we prepare a graphic representation of the situation. We can create a time line to help us keep a sequence of events clear in our minds. We can sketch out the details of a traffic accident or the location of houses or property. We can divide assets and liabilities graphically and see their relationships. We can draw lines between related items, circle others, and help ourselves to see things that words may not make clear. 3. Anticipating counter-arguments. Another important technique in analyzing the problem is consciously to anticipate all defenses, counterarguments, and alternative reasoning. You have to examine all issues from all sides before reaching a conclusion. If you dont try to anticipate counterarguments, you may wind up with one sided and unconvincing analysis. This method of analysis is called in rhetoric the proleptical argument. The writer anticipates and counters any opposing arguments. Your task is similar. You must identify all defenses and arguments counter to your own position. You must then discuss them, showing how you reached your conclusion. Make this a conscious step so dont overlook contrary evidence.

4. Organization. Some orderly sense must be made of all those notes and diagrams you have compiled. You need to decide what is at issue, what facts are important, and how to demonstrate your impeccable logic as you explain the whole situation to your reader. 5. Outline. Too many students and lawyers, after spending some time determining the issues, skip the next step. They begin writing before composing any kind of outline. However simple, an outline can help. Taking just a few minutes, even at the beginning of a timed examination, will allow you to spend less time juggling and twisting ideas and evidence while writing. It can prevent those paragraphs that begin, As should have been mentioned earlier. An outline can also prevent those hastily written paragraphs in the margin, connected to the main body of the paper by strange lines and arrows. It can also force you to include all important steps in your reasoning as you examine the outline. Above all, an outline can help you avoid straying from the point.

WRITING/DRAFTING We have to think about the writing or drafting stage of the writing process in two (2) ways. In the case of a timed examination, like the forthcoming bar examination, your first draft is practically also your final draft. You may have time to do a little editing and may be some minor revision. Researched assignments, on the other hand, allow for major revising and editing. As you write either kind of draft, however, you will have a number of writing concerns to keep in mind. You need some ideas about introductions and conclusions, about unity, clarity, and development, and about mechanics, transitions, usage and style.

Introductions and conclusions. Too much concern with an introduction is a waste of time. You are not scoring any points until you say The first issue is . . ., or The only issue is . . . Some professors or instructors prefer no introductions at all. For others, a few lines referring to the case or situation in question is enough.
The introduction should only serve to get you into the problem. Once there, you will be able to address the first cause of action, or substantive issue or procedural issue.

Conclusions should be thought of in two (2) ways. First, each issue you discuss requires that you reach a conclusion. You have to decide if the defendant had a legal privilege or right to act as he did, or if an act was the proximate cause of a particular injury. In that sense, you will have a conclusion for each issue, and each conclusion acts as a signpost showing where you are in your analysis. You will then be able to decide whether someone has liability, or whether someone should be charged with a crime. You need not have a separate conclusion at the end of an examination in memorandum writing. Because you have already offered conclusions for each issue, a separate paragraph summing up the various actions would only be redundant. The more issues you discuss in your answer, the less effective is a separate concluding paragraph. Instead, be sure that you provide clear, supported conclusions within your paper as you lead the reader through your reasoning on each issue.


A memorandum has to be accurate, brief and clear to be effective. Let us discuss these qualities of effective writing: ACCURACY, BREVITY, CLARITY AND COHERENCE. 1. ACCURACY. The first quality of effective memorandum writing is accuracy. This quality is primarily concerned with the way you present your statements of facts and lay down the grounds and basis for the relief/reliefs prayed for in the pleading.

Accuracy requires a student or lawyer to set forth the facts and the law with honesty, candor and specificity. Candor and honesty will certainly inspire confidence. For instance, you should see to it that all your assertions of facts must be supported by the record because a diligent examiner or litigants lawyer or a judge will in time ferret out unsupported material.
Inaccuracy in the statement of fact whether arising from mistake or from intentional misstatement, inevitably tends to invalidate the conclusions drawn therefrom. A memorandum is accurate when it conforms to the facts, law, and settled jurisprudence. It must be written in correct English. The requirement is to cite the law without misrepresentation as to its applicability or meaning, and to rely on jurisprudence which is appropriate, controlling and relevant.

Brevity means putting only so much as needed into ones memorandum writing. The length of a memorandum depends on the facts and the issues involved. Brevity requires mastery of the facts and the law, careful planning, condensation, and attention to the essentials.

The writer of a memorandum should not be reportorial. He must know how to synthesize, summarize, and simplify.

A memorandum made unusually long, without any effort to separate the material from the immaterial, is to be condemned. Legal writing should be taut, clean and clear, without an ounce of fact or an excess word. Ideally, memorandum writing is taut. To tighten your style, run your pen through every other word on the page. Strike out every slack syllable. Make every word tell. Verbosity must be avoided. Verbiage should be rooted out. These are not easy.
Brevity is not equated simply to the number of pages in a memorandum. Thus, brevity should be flexible standard of conciseness in relation to the complexity of the case. A brief statement of fact, for example, is not necessarily a statement containing a few short paragraphs, for everything germane should be included. Events must be described succinctly and testimony compressed.

But achieving brevity is a difficult task. The student or lawyer who writes a memorandum must first master the facts and law and then summarize them without distorting the true picture.
Brevity should not ignore essential facts. Nor should it ignore the evidence presented by the opposing parties.

Edit your own work. Know how to cut it out. Do not hesitate to cross out what is not necessary to support your legal and factual conslusions.

Clarity is defined as clearness, directness, orderliness and precision of thought or expression. To achieve clarity, a memorandum should be easy to read and understand. I will now discuss useful pointers in writing your facts, texts, titles, and headings, italicization, setting off words, numbers, date, abbreviation, period, and quotation marks.

a. Facts
Facts refer to actual events which have to be in the record of the case. They represent the reality of events or things whose actual occurrence is to be determined by evidence. Facts have to be established and have to be in the record. The facts should be presented in an orderly manner. The supporting evidentiary facts must be stated in the memorandum for that statement is what is called a finding of fact.

b. Text.
Avoid wordiness. Be simple minimize the use of highfalutin language, legalese, and foreign words and phrases, although they may add dignity and majesty to a memorandum when used sparingly and in the proper context. They expose not erudition but exhibitionism and amateurism when excessively used. Faulty: In common or ordinary parlance and its ordinary signification, the term shall is a word of command, one which has always or which must be given a compulsory meaning as denoting obligation. It has a peremptory meaning. And it is generally known as peremptory or mandatory. This paragraph is verbose.

The word shall denotes an imperative and indicates a mandatory character. Use specific words that are well-positioned. Vague generalities say nothing. Worse, they may confuse the reader. Learn when and how to put emphasis in your statements. Emphasize a group of words by giving more space to the important rather than to the less important idea of a sentence. Place the more important part in a prominent position which is either at the beginning or at the end of a sentence.

The rule is that no statute, decree, ordinance, regulation, or policy shall be given retroactive effect, unless explicitly so stated. Better: No statute, decree, ordinance, regulation, or policy shall be given retroactive effect, unless explicitly so stated. This sentence can have greater impact when emphasis is correctly placed on a group of words.

iii. Parallelism of Words.

Strive for logical and grammatical parallelism. Faulty: Respondent challenges the credibility of the witnesses who, he says, are all bosom friends of the complainant, and their testimonies contradicts one another.

Respondent challenges the credibility because they are all complainants bosom friends, and because their testimonies contradict one another. The sentence is clearer and has an impact with the use of a specific word or group of words (that is, because) to establish parallelism.

iv. Consistency.
Be consistent in tone, tense, words and images. Faulty: There was no way the victim could ward off the accuseds sexual advances. The accused, being armed and bigger than her, overpowers her.

There was no way the victim could have warded the accuseds sexual advances. The accused being armed and bigger, easily overpowered her. Readers are distracted and confused when there is a shift in verb tenses without warning. Consistent verb tenses clearly establish the time of the actions being described.

V. Titles and Headings. Use topics and titles for distinct ideas, headings, and subheadings. And use numbers or letters for enumerations and succession of ideas. Illustrations: MEMORANDUM FOR THE PROSECUTION

In an information filed by . . . . . EVIDENCE OF THE PROSECUTION I. Testimonial Evidence II. Documentary Evidence


I. Testimonial Evidence II. Documentary Evidence THE ISSUES I. Was the accused insane or sane at the time of the shooting? II. Was self-defense established or not? III. What crime was committed: Murder or Homicide?


VI. Italicization.
Non-English Words. Italicize Non-English words. Non-English words are those not found in the latest unabridged Websters dictionary. When necessary, include a parenthetical explanation or translation immediately after the word. Example: Jueteng (Illegal numbers game) is a major social ill in the country.

Name of newspapers and magazines. Italicize the names of newspapers or magazines. Example: The notice of extrajudicial settlement was published in The Daily Tribune. VII. Numbers. Spell out numbers zero to nine and use numerals for 10 and above. Use commas for large numbers, that is, numbers of four digits or more. Examples: five 50 5.000

If the number is significant, write it in both words and figures and enclose the figures in parenthesis.

The accused was found guilty of eleven (11) counts of violation of the Bouncing Checks Law.
1. Numbers-Grouped for Comparison. If a sentence or paragraph compares numbers in a particular category, use figures for all numbers in that category. Example: Exhibitors from six provinces came to the trade exposition: 20 from Bulacan, 19 from Laguna, 12 from Batangas, 7 from Bataan, 30 from Cavite, and 21 from Pampanga.

2. Adjacent Numbers.
To clarify back-to-back modifiers, spell out the smaller number: if the numbers are the same, spell out one.

The movie was interrupted by 13 tenminute commercials. He bought ten 10-wheeler trucks.

3. Numbers that Begin a Sentence. Spell out numbers that begin a sentence. Example: Two hundred lawyers attended the seminar, but only 75 stayed for the cocktails. 4. Numbers in Dialogue. Spell out numbers in dialogue, except numbers in large amounts. Examples: Meet me at the canteen in thirty minutes, he texted. To be candid, that costs P500,000.00. he said.

5. Numbers in Common Expressions

Spell out numbers in figures of speech or certain common expressions. Examples: Ten Commandments top ten roaring fifties fifty-fifty chance ten-foot pole

6. Ordinal numbers
Treat ordinal numbers the same as cardinal numbers. Spell out the first through the ninth, and use figures for the 10th onwards
Examples: She passed the bar examinations on his third attempt. The 20th century ushered in computers. However, in reference lists, footnotes, tables, use figures to save space. Example: 2nd [or 2d] ed.

7. Plural Form of numbers a. Plurals of spelled-out numbers are formed by adding s or es. Example:

The winning lotto ticket was two sixes followed by three eights.
b. Plurals of figures are formed by adding s. 100s F-15s 8. Age Age is expressed in figures.

5-year-old child 9 months old

9. Percentage a. Figures are used with either the word percent or the percent sign (%). Place the percent sign directly next to the number. Examples: The Energy Regulatory Board approved the 1 percent increase in rates.

The margin of error was .5%.

b. In pairs of numbers or numbers in series, repeat the percent sign. Examples: 15% to 20% 30%, 40%, and 50%

c. When a percentage is used as a unit modifier, no hyphen is necessary.

Example: a 50% drop in price.

d. Decimals, not fraction, should be used with a percent sign. Example:


10. Fraction a. Spell out common fractions and mixed numbers and use a hyphen. Example: one-half two and three-fourths


When whole numbers, fractions, and mixed numbers appear together, use figures. When expressing mixed numbers as figures, insert a space between the whole number and the fraction. Do not use a hyphen.
Example: The piece of plywood measured 2 by by 12 inches.

11. Decimal.
a. Use figures for decimals.

The typical Filipino household has 5.9 persons. b.1. In text that mixes decimals and whole numbers, a trailing zero is added to the whole numbers. Example: 2.8, 3.5, 4.0, 5.0

b.2. If any decimal number is less than one, a leading zero is added. However, if the quantity will never be greater than one, the zero is not added.
Examples: 0.2 .45 caliber 12. Voting Result Use figures and the comparative term to when reporting voting results.

The vote was 18 to 6 in favor of the proposal.

13. Currency
a. Place the currency sign directly before the number Examples: P500 $100 b. Repeat the currency sign with each number in a pair or series. Do not use any hyphen when the currency amount is used as a compound modifier.

P600 to P900 price range.

c. Use currency abbreviation only when clarity requires it. Leave a space after the foreign currency abbreviation and before the indicated amount. Examples: Php 300 USD 400

14. Unit of measure

a. Spell out units of measure when first used.

Six kilometers 240 square meters

b. Use figures with abbreviation, signs and symbols.

Examples: 6 km 240 sq m 90 C 9 MHz c. Use a hyphen to join a number and a unit of measure used as a modifier.


25-kg sacks 6-cm board 100-m distance

15. Period of Time

a. Express time in figures followed by a.m. or p.m. Examples:

8:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m. b. When referring to 12 a.m. or 12 p.m., eliminate confusion by specifying 12 midnight or 12 noon, respectively.

VIII. Date. a. Either American method (month-day-year) or the British method (daymonth-year) of writing dates is acceptable. However, for consistency, use only one method throughout the text and footnotes.

Plaintiff filed his complaint on January 27, 2011. Plaintiff filed his complaint on 27 January 2011. b. When referring to a date by month followed by the day, do not use the ordinal form. Example: The July 18 hearing. x The July 18th hearing.

c. When indicating a date by month and year only, do not place a comma before or after the year unless the sentence structures requires a comma after the year.

Two lawyers attended the May 2011 deposition. The hearing, which was scheduled for May 2011, was postponed several times.

d. Spell out names of the days and months in the text and footnotes Abbreviate only in formats such as tables, graphs, and catalogs where space is a consideration.

e. When indicating a period of several years, use to or through, not a hyphen. Examples: Judge Yadao was on the bench from 1991 to 2010. x Judge Yadao was on the bench from 1991-2010. f. Use an apostrophe to indicate a period of time. Example: 24 months incarceration. g. Do not use an apostrophe to indicate a decade. Example: 1980s

IX. Abbreviation. On first usage, names customarily abbreviated are spelled out followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Examples: The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) is the education arm of the Supreme Court.

The Department of Education (DepEd) filed a petition for prohibition.

As a rule, spell out Constitution, legislative enactments, treaties, executive and administrative issuances. In exceptional instances when abbreviation are necessary, spell out the abbreviated words on first usage followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.

After first usage specific parts of laws. Example:


Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution enumerates the powers of the Supreme Court. Sec. 5 includes the rule making power of the Court.


1. After a declarative sentence.

Example: I will join you this afternoon. 2. After an imperative sentence ( a command or request) Examples: Go to your room immediately. Please do as your instructor says.

3. After question intended as a suggestion and not requiring an answer. Example: May we now tell you our version of the incident.

4. Outside the parenthesis when a parenthesis comes at the end of a sentence that requires a period.
Examples: Anas birthday party gave her an excuse for not going to the wedding (which she did not intend to do). When the entire sentence is enclosed in parentheses, the period is placed inside.

Anas birthday party gave her an excuse for not going to the wedding. (She did not really intend to go.)

5. Inside quotation marks (never outside). Examples: He blurted, That was the craziest story Ive ever heard.

I shall read Rizals El Filibusterismo.

6. At the end of an abbreviation. Examples: Fri. Jan. e.g. Mrs. But do not use the period if an apostrophe indicates omission of letters. Examples: govt provl indl

Use the Quotation Mark ( or Interrogation Point) 1. To indicate a direct question.

Example: winners?
Did you mean that we are really the

Do not use it in an indirect question.

He asked whether I would join him.

Use the Exclamation Point 1. In greetings and to express strong feeling: surprise, admiration, appeal, disbelief. Example:

Hello! How can we ever thank you! He really didnt say that! Oh, you wonderful woman!

The comma: The purpose of the comma is to make the sentence clear. In some cases, the comma sets off certain elements; that is, it precedes and follows a given phrase. In other cases, the comma separates the parts of the sentence. Here are the basic rules of comma usage. Use the Comma to Separate 1. Words, phrases and subordinate clauses written in series. Examples: Smoothing back his hair, fixing his tie, and looking at the mirror, Ronilo thought of his date. He remembered the corsage, the dance tickets, and his key to the house. He was glad it was a warm summer night. Note: The comma before and separating words in series may be used or not. Whichever rule you follow, be consistent.

2. The independent clauses of a compound sentence, unless those clauses are short. Ronilo walked to Jennifers house, and he nervously pressed his finger to the doorbell.

3. An introductory adverb clause, participial phrase or series of prepositional phrases.


Because she came to the door so quickly, he thought she must have been waiting.
Throughout the whole afternoon, Jennifer had been hoping that Ronilo would come on time. Do not use the comma in starry winter night or starry summer night because the adjectives are not in a series. Starry modifies the next two words, and not simply night.

Use the Comma to Set Off 1. Appositives

Jennifer, a pretty lass, invited Ronilo into the house.

Exception: Dont use the comma when the appositive and noun form a unit. Examples: My cousin Jennifer The novelist Bienvenido Santos

2. Words in direct address. Example:

How are you, Bert?

3. Reference to the speaker of a direct quotation. Example: Jennifer, called her mother, where are you going?

4. Introductory words, such as yes, no, why, well, now. 5. Parenthetical expressions. Those are words or clauses that do not modify any part of the sentence. Example: Of course, I almost forget them, she said. 6. A contrasting expression introduced by not. Example: Susans mother said, I was looking, not for your shoes, but for your gloves.

7. Every item of a date or address following the first. Example: February 8, 1988, was a date he could never forget. 8. A title following a name.

Antonio Eugenio, president

Use the Comma After 1. The salutation of friendly letters and the complimentary close of all letters.

Dear Carlos, Your friend, Very truly yours, 2. Digits indicating thousands or more. Examples: 20, 320 1,213,505

Do NOT Use Comma

1. To separate complement. a verb from its

Wrong: My favorite friends are, Alvin, Aurora and Adoracion. 2. To separate a subject from its verb. Wrong: That our educational system must be revamped, is now evident to all.

THE COLON Use the Colon 1. After the salutation of a business letter. Examples: Dear Sir: Dear Mr. Navarez: Gentlemen:

2. To introduce a list, an illustration or a statement.

I had only three problems: my forehand, my backhand and my nerve.

Do not use a colon after a list introduced by a verb such as My only problems were my forehand, my backhand and my nerve.

3. To separate numerical hours from minutes.


9:30 a.m.
4. Between chapter and verse in Bible references. Example: Mark 4:16

THE SEMI-COLON Use the Semi-Colon

1. Between parts of a compound sentence when and, but or have been omitted. correct: correct: We searched the whole day and night, but the results were nil. We searched the whole day and night; the results were nil.

THE APOSTROPHE The apostrophe is used in three cases: in forming possessives, in forming certain plurals and in indicating the omission of letters. Forming the Possessive 1. To form the possessive of all singular nouns and of all plural nouns not ending in s, simply add apostrophe s (s)

woman womans men mens ship -- ships mother -- mothers

When the singular noun ends in ce or s, it is often acceptable and sometimes preferable to add simply an apostrophe. Mrs. Rosales mother

2. To form the possessive of plural nouns ending in s, just add an apostrophe nothing else boys boys girls girls coaches coaches 3. To show joint possession, change only the last word to the possessive form. Examples: Rojas, Baclig and Mendozas law office (one firm) Rose and Ginas house (one house)

Dont use the apostrophe 1. To form the plural of any noun. friends moons nickels

2. With possessive pronouns; pronouns used as adjectives.

its yours hers theirs

Exceptions: Indefinite pronouns such as ones, nobodys everybodys Words indicating amount in time or money, when used as possessive adjectives, require apostrophes. a weeks vacation ten centavos worth two years training

Forming Plurals The plural of letters, figures, signs and words referred to as words is formed by adding an apostrophe s. gs two as cross your Is They look like ls If the number is written out, do not use an apostrophe; simply use an s. ones twos threes fours

Forming Contractions A contraction is a shortened form of two words. Use the apostrophe to show where a letter or letters were omitted.

its it is couldve could have youre you are theyd they had volcano explosion of 91 volcano explosion of 1991
Here are some additional common contractions: arent cant couldnt didnt doesnt dont hasnt havent hell hadnt Ill Ive wasnt whos well werent youre youve

THE HYPHEN 1. The hyphen is used for continuation of words from one line to the next. When you must divide a word remember:

a. Divide words only at the end of a complete syllable. Do not divide words of one syllable. Thus, you cannot hyphenate please.
b. Do not leave one letter standing alone. Thus, you cannot hypenate among (a-mong), again (a-gain). c. A syllable in the middle of a word usually, but not always, begins with a consonant rather than a vowel. Example: trans-por-ta-tion

d. But when the suffix is pronounced as a separate syllable, the last possible place of division is just before the suffix. Examples: self-ish think-ing

e. A word that ends in a consonant and doubles this consonant when adding a suffix can usually be hyphenated between the double letter. Examples: stop-ping be-gin-ning

2. The hyphen is used between the parts of certain compound words. Examples: bother-in-law half-truth self-made

However, long usage has often resulted in merger (cannot, textbook, headstrong, graybeard).

3. The hyphen is used after the prefix ex and before the suffix elect when they are parts of a title. The ex-President-elect The ex-Senator
4. The hyphen is used in writing compound numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine sixty-nine one hundred and eighty-five

THE DASH 1. Use the dash to indicate a break in thought or a parenthetical thought.

I heard a rustling a noise that stopped as quickly as it begun and I sat there petrified with fear. 2. Use the dash to join an uninterrupted series of numbers in which only the first and last are stated.

1956 1976 Chapters I IX

Punctuation Pairs Some punctuation marks appear in pairs. They enclose a word or a group of words. These include quotation marks and parentheses. QUOTATION MARKS 1. Use quotation marks to enclose a direct quotation (the exact words of a speaker). Example: He said, I shall not fail you this evening. 2. When the quotation is broken by explanatory notes, use another set of quotation marks. Example: I shall not fail, he said, to visit you this evening.

3. Do not use quotation marks to enclose an indirect quotation. Example:

He said that he would not fail us this evening.

4. Start a new paragraph when the speaker changes.

I shall be home before dinner to help you, Eduardo promised.

I know I can count on you, said his father. 5. Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation.

6. Use quotation marks to enclose the titles of short stories, short poems, essays, articles and chapters. Titles of books, magazines, etc. are underlined. Example: The short story, Man at Sea, came from the book, An Anthology of the Worlds Best Short Stories.

7. When you punctuate quotations

a. Always place the comma or period within the quotation marks. Example: I read the story called The Pit and the Pendulum, he said.

b. Always place the colon and the semi-colon outside the quotation marks. Example: He recited the theme of Frosts Mending Wall: that men can never learn to be good neighbors with a wall between them. c. Place the question mark and the exclamation point within the quotation marks when the punctuation belongs to the words in quotes. When it relates to the whole sentence, place it outside. Examples: Stop! shouted the policeman. What is the name of Charles Lambs essay, Dissertation Upon a Roast Pig?

9. Use quotation marks to indicate slang or words used in a special sense. Example: He was really in the groove that night.

ITALICS This sentence is printed in italics. 1. Italics are used for titles of books, magazine, newspapers, works of art (drawing or paintings, symphonies, sculpture), long plays and poems and ships. Do you like Juna Lunas painting Spolarium?

I read the Philippine Star everyday.

2. Foreign words are italicized, unless they have become incorporated into the English Language. Examples: cest la vie coup detat

1. Parentheses are used to set off lettered or numbered divisions within a sentence or paragraph.

The immediate result of the Civil War were: (1) the Union was reestablished, (2) the slaves were freed, and (3) it was determined that states had no right to secede from the Union.

2. To punctuate, follow these rules: a. When parentheses occur within a sentence that requires internal punctuation, never place a comma before the first parentheses. The comma may be placed after the second. Example: When Berting returned (so his brother told the story), he was so excited that he actually wept. b. When an entire sentence is enclosed by parentheses, all punctuation should be within the parentheses.

THE COMPONENTS OF THE TRIAL MEMORANDUM Professors and law practitioners disagree as to what a trial memorandum should contain. Usually, a trial memorandum should include the following:

1. The Parties Names, relationship, litigation status

2. The objectives of the Parties What each side is seeking. 3. The theory of the Litigation The cause of action and the defense. 4. The facts The facts that are key to the resolution of the issues. 5. The Issue/Issues The questions of facts or law

6. Discussion/Arguments The conclusions or answers to issued

7. The Reliefs The reliefs prayed for the party (who is filing the memorandum). Here is an explanation of each term. 1. Parties and their relationship, etc. The names of the parties and their relationship appear in the caption. When multiple parties are involved, list only the names of the first litigant on each side. Even in captions reading In Re: or In the Matter of . . . . . , there are at last two opposing parties, and their names should appear in your memorandum. In this section of your memorandum, indicate as well the status of each party, that is, plaintiff and defendant, petitioner and respondent, appellant and appellee.

2. Legal theories of the parties (causes of action and defense/s): These are the legal rules that form the basis of the plaintiffs claim. The plaintiff always advances one or more legal theories in order to obtain his desired objective. The defendant may also advance one or more legal theories if, instead of merely denying the validity of the plaintiffs cause of action, he raises a separate claim (an affirmative defense). By theories of the parties, we mean a brief statement of the legal grounds upon which each party bases the right to obtain the objective it is seeking. There are two types of theories present in all litigations: the cause of action and the defense

A cause of action is a legally acceptable reason for suing. It is legally acceptable when it is based on a rule of law (e.g. negligence stature), the commission or violation of which entitles the aggrieved party to sue. Since a plaintiff, by definition, is the party initiating the lawsuit raising a claim against the defendant, he/she must always state a cause of action in support of that claim. There may be more than one cause of action in the same lawsuit. The plaintiff may advance several different theories. Moreover, it is possible for its defendant in a lawsuit to raise a claim against the plaintiff called a counterclaim, which must also be supported by a cause of action. A second type of legal theory in every lawsuit is the defense. A defense is a legal theory that is raised in response to and that attempts to defeat the plaintiffs cause of action. Unlike a counterclaim, a defense does not state a new claim against the opposing party. It only effect, if successful, is to defeat the other partys cause of action and thus prevent the latter from obtaining its objective.

Just as a cause of action is normally raised by the plaintiff, the defense is normally raised by the defendant. However, plaintiff may also have occasion to raise a defense. If, for example, the defendant states a counterclaim against the plaintiff, the latter must in turn raise any defense that it may have to that counterclaim.

The most common defense is DENIAL of one or more facts necessary to support the cause of action. The denial is based on a different view of the same rule of law raised by the opponent. The party asserting the denial is saying that the rule of law (e.g. negligence, a statute) that is the foundation of the cause of action cannot be established because of the failure to prove an essential element of that rule of law. Thus, the theory asserted in a simple denial is the legal insufficiency of the opponents theory. There is a more sophisticated defense, often called an AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE. This defense requires the party to affirmatively allege NEW FACTS in addition to those alleged by the plaintiff. An affirmative defense is a rule of law or legal theory that, like a denial is asserted to defeat the cause of action. 3. Facts: The fact section of your memorandum contains a concise summary of the information, often called key facts. Key facts are those facts upon which the court will base its holding or finding.

4. Issues: Issues are the precise legal questions that will be resolved by the court in order to reach its decision in the case under consideration. There are two kinds of legal issues or questions: (1) A question about how one or more rules of law apply to a given set of facts. When a court answers this kind of question, it does so in the form of a HOLDING. (2) A question about what happened (e.g., who did what to whom)

At a trial, both issues are present particularly to second. In appeal, the first kind of issue predominates. Our primary concern here is the first kind one involving the application of rule/s of law to facts.

Legal issues are often phrased in one of two ways: 1. Shorthand statement of legal issue; and 2. Complete statement of legal issue. 1. SHORTHAND STATEMENT a shorthand statement consists mainly of a rule of law along with one or two facts. Was the driver negligent? What standard of care applies to a driver of a public utility vehicle?

Should the summary judgment have been granted.

The rule of law in question in each of the above statements has been italicized.

Shorthand statements of legal issues serve an important function. One of the first steps in the process of identifying facts is to state in shorthand each of legal issues involved.

The danger in using shorthand, however, is that you might forget that it is shorthand, and, as such, is incomplete. Use it solely as a starting point. Your goal should be to learn the phrase legal issues in their complete form.
2. COMPLETE STATEMENT A complete statement of a legal issue almost always has at least two parts:

(1) The rule of law being interpreted and applied or portion of the rule that is the focus of the controversy; and
(2) The key facts that concretely raise this controversy.

Example: 1. Was plaintiff aware of the danger that the flaming oil spilling from the Meralco transformer above her car would fall on her: (a) when she got out of her car upon seeing the flaming oil fall on the hood of her car, and (b) after she was out of the car, when she saw the flaming oil from the said transformer coming and falling towards her and tried to block it with her hare hands to prevent it from hitting her face? 2. Was plaintiff negligent (a) in going out of her car after seeing the flowing oil fall on the hood of the car and while it was still splattering on the street where she was; and (b) in trying to block with her bare hands the flaming oil she saw coming and falling towards her after she got out of her car to prevent it from hitting her face instead of running away from it to a safer place in the street.

Formulation (1) suggest that the rule or principle of law being interpreted and applied is the doctrine of assumption of risk. Awareness of the danger of incurring the injuries and damages complained of and voluntarily exposing ones self to them are prerequisites for the application of the rule of law in question. Hence, the presence or absence of these prime requisites are the key facts determinative of the issue. Formulation (2) clearly states that the law being interpreted and applied is Article 217 of the Civil Code on the specific effects of the plaintiffs negligence, i.e., when the plaintiffs negligence is the immediate and proximate cause and when it is merely a cause and when it is merely a contributory cause of his/her injuries and/or damage. It also shows that the same key facts that will support the first rule of law (doctrine of assumption of risk) will support the issue of negligence of the plaintiff or are determinative thereof. There is here an overlapping of the facts that are key to the application of two rules of law, a common law doctrine and a statute.

REVISING The next step in the writing process, and one of the most important, is to revise your draft. To revise, you must examine your draft, looking at it again from several perspectives, asking questions of yourself; and changing, rearranging, or even rewriting various parts. Revision is a crucial step in the process. Revision is your opportunity to delete sections you dont like, rewrite to clarify, change the order to better emphasize a point, and go into more detail in a section you glossed over initially.

Questions for revision Here are questions you may ask yourself as you revise: Is the issue clearly identified? Have I included the theory of law? Are there any facts that should be emphasized? Have I left out any material facts? Have I reached a logical conclusion? Is my conclusion completely supported? Have I shown the reader the steps in my reasoning? Is my writing clear and direct?

Dont be reluctant to make changes in what you have written. Very few writers produce final copy in their first draft. Most of us have to re-arrange, add, delete, and polish before we are satisfied that we have a final draft. Editing The last step in the writing process is careful editing. Editing, as we use the term, is a matter of cleaning up the writing by looking for errors, usually in spelling, punctuation, or grammar, and correcting them. The best time doing out of class is only after you have revised and reached a final draft. To edit a first draft. To edit a first draft is sometimes to substitute the editing phase for the revision phase.

For a timed writing assignment, like the bar examination, you dont have a chance to do much revision. In that situation my best advise is to emphasize the pre-writing stage and plan carefully because you know you will be turning your first draft. Of course, if you still have time to edit. You should try to save a few minutes to reread your paper, looking for errors. In conclusion, remember that writing is a process and not a simple burst of inspired sentences. It involves a number of stages. You must engage in the pre-writing stage of brainstorming, analyzing, organizing and outlining. You must draft your document as clearly and directly as possible. And you must not fail to revise carefully, considering the questions for revision I have provided. Finally, you must proofread and edit before you can submit your memorandum with confidence.

TRANSITION Remember that it is important to think consciously about the relationships among your points and ideas and to show those relationships through same kind of transition. Here are some transition words and their uses.

1. To indicate an additional idea: and, also, again, moreover, in addition, likewise, next, too, finally, besides, similarly, another reason.
2. To indicate an alternative idea: on the other hand, but, still, however, though, although, yet, nevertheless, of course. 3. To indicate a conclusion: therefore, thus, hence, in brief, in short, consequently. 4. To indicate an example: for example, for instance, that is, in other words, namely. 5. To indicate a time relationship: later, earlier, before, after, when, at the same time.

Use connectors carefully. Some connectors are CONJUNCTIONS: BUT, FOR, AND, OR


Sometimes NUMBERS: more connectors Sometimes a WORD REPEATED and preceded by THE or this. Sometimes connectors are not words at all, nut PUNCTUATION MARKS.

Commas as connectors
In legal writing, do not omit the final comma in a series, because its absence may cause problems. For example in the sentence, All of mu assets shall be divided equally among my children: Ven, Victor, Verna and Vener, how may divisions did the testator intend? Should the assets be divided three ways with Verna and Vener sharing a third? If the testator had added a final comma before AND, there would have been no ambiguity.

Replace vague connecting words with specific words. (1) AFTER studying hard, we found the final examination easy RE-WRITE

BECAUSE we studied hard, we found the final examination easy.

(2) HAVING committed a heinous crime, the accused received the maximum sentence.

BECAUSE he committed a heinous crime, the accused received the maximum sentence. (3) Try AND do your best. RE-WRITE Try TO do your best.

Say it affirmatively. Negative statements lack force. They merely deny, so they are less forceful than affirmative statements. Therefore, when possible, state your ideas affirmatively. Compare the following pairs: * He did not fulfill his duty He failed in his duty. * He did not carry out his contract. He breached his contract. * He did not carry out his responsibility. He failed to carry out his responsibility.