Monday, September 25, 2006

Ask Scaebolah!

The 2006 Bar Edition

September is a very special time for lawyers and law students. As the days grow shorter, the kind of depression and loathing that our profession feeds upon is strengthened. And of course, there is The Bar [1]. Colleagues in the bench have asked me to share humorous anecdotes about The Bar, and I must admit that it was a difficult enterprise. The plain and simple explanation is that there is nothing funny or even mildly entertaining about The Bar [2]. It is a stain on the fabric of one’s existence, a pointless, soul-sucking hole in space and time [3]. God, how I hate The Bar.

Still, I must strive to serve the profession as best I can. I have heard your cries for help. Some of this year’s bar questions have been especially challenging, and I have been tapped by the Law Center to shed the law’s guiding light upon these curiosities. Of course, none of this would have been a problem had you enrolled in my review center [4].

Dear Scaebolah,

What are the four In’s of the judiciary?


Dear Incensed,

I am just shocked – shocked - that you don’t know about this. It just goes to show how standards of legal education have declined over the years. Weren’t you told in your Legal Method class that the cleverly-named, temporary, motherhood-statement programs of Chief Justices should be taken to heart? It is foundational in our system of adjudication! Why, during my time, we memorized the three Re’s of the litigation (Remand, Review, Recess) as well as the five tion’s of law (Assumption, Presumption, Redemption, Consumption, Desperation). The Bar exists to ensure that only those whose competence has been tested can practice law, and nothing spells competence better than knowing the latest and greatest rage in the judiciary. So without further ado, here are the four In’s:

Instant Decisions – A model achievement in efficiency, made possible by using a standard format for all decisions (The Case, The Facts, The Issues, The Decision/Resolution). We owe this to Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, The Court’s most prolific ponente [5], who structures his typical day in the same manner (The Bath, The Breakfast, The Drive to Work, The Daily Grind, The Coffee Break…).

In Demand – What judges are these days, considering the vacancies in many of our courts, and the clogging of the dockets. Those who can talk to dwarves need not apply [6].

Insecure – The judiciary is always on guard for possible encroachments to its power. Why should the judiciary be always on guard? Because the judiciary was neglected as a child, that’s why. Growing up, it was always called the “least dangerous branch” of government, which must have been disastrous to its ego. Thus, the judiciary today does not shirk from its power, nay – its duty - of judicial review.

Indirect Contempt – The possible punishment for those who mock the the four In’s, and question their relevance in this year’s bar.


Dear Scaebolah,

Who is the President of the ICJ?


Dear WTF!?!,

You should have seen this coming. Without the element of compulsion that is found in most systems of municipal law, nor a rigorous tradition of stare decisis, it is but natural that International Law come down to a simple matter of personalities. Throw all your naïve notions of long-standing principles like jus cogens or rebus sic stantibus, and start reading about the Who’s Who of the International Law scene. Not only should you know who the current president of the ICJ is [7], but also the name of her husband, her kids, and her favorite color [8].

Rosalyn Higgins, President of the ICJ – Not sexy, but relevant to The Bar

In fact, why stop at International Law? You kids have never bothered to know more about judges and justices, those few unelected old men and women who get to tell what the law actually is, and hence determine the extents of your rights. This question should have been a no-brainer if only you’d look for the latest developments in the ICJ in Wikipedia or Google, instead of just surfing for pictures of Paris Hilton. But then it’s too late now.

Paris Hilton – Sexy, relevant to a different kind of Bar


Dear Scaebolah,

What is a pyramiding scheme?


Dear ICanAlwaysRetake,

To help you learn how a pyramiding scheme works, I am offering you a wonderful opportunity where you can earn up to P50,000 a month from your home or while studying for your finals. Simply bring 10 friends to the Scaebolah Holistic Institute for Training in Law, UP Law Center Basement. I’m sure you can “learn and earn” at the same time.


Scaebolah (completely trustworthy and STD-free since August)


[1]The etymology of this annual examination can be traced from the ancient method of admitting new lawyers into the profession: administering a series of blows to the head with a bar (i.e. a crowbar) made of hard wood, and later of metal. Some barristers have expressed the opinion that this was far more humane.

[2]But then again the Bar is no stranger to funny business. See the hilarious People v. Mapa (G.R. No. 30725, July 31, 1929), the rib-tickling People v. Romualdez (G.R. No. 31012, September 10, 1932) and the side-splitting In Re: Cunanan (Resolution, March 18, 1954).

[3]Read Javellana v. Executive Secretary(G. R. No. L-36283, March 31, 1973) and and La Bugal B’laan Tribal Association v. Ramos (G.R. 127882, December 1, 2004) in the original for a first hand experience of “soul-sucking hole”.

[4]Scaebolah's Holistic Institute for Training in Law.

[5]Not to mention its leading three-point shooter, and all-time ping-pong champion.


[7]It’s Rosalyn Higgins, duh.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one!

Well bar season's over. So is BarOps... what are we to do? Oh yeah... finals. Damn =)


10:19 PM  

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