Thursday, November 10, 2005


First Case

Just received an email requesting for legal advise on a reckless imprudence case.

This brings back fond but stupid memories. My first case was a 1990 reckless imprudence case that occurred in Mandaluyong City. Lorna Kapunan asked me to handle a jeep collision case involving the chief of security of a taxi company.

As a prudent lawyer, I prepared for the case and read the laws the night before. Next morning when I woke up, I was so scared that I had a case of LBM.

When I appeared at the metropolitan trial court in Mandaluyong City, it was in the sala of Judge Larry Laqui, who years later I would be his co-faculty at the FEU Institute of Law. My first appearance was to argue a motion we filed in court.

I was arguing like any prepared young gung-ho lawyer would do. And all the time, the judge was saying: "We will consider your arguments" but I wanted him to agree with me. It took a good 5 minutes of arguing and Judge Laqui was, I guess being polite, tolerating my aggressive stance. I supposed he sensed that I was a greenhorn.

Finally, some older lawyer, taking a pity on me, just whispered: "Sabihin mo, we submit". And so, when I said: "We submit", Judge Laqui said: Thank you!

From then on, I learned to take the cue from the judge. Since then too, I have also whispered to not so few new lawyers when they are hell-bent on arguing to just say: "we submit" especially after they have made their point.

And every time I did that, I get the feeling that somehow, in some weird way, I have paid a little of my huge debt to society.

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