Impression Paper In fulfilment of a requirement in our subject Trial Techniques and Practice Court, my classmates and I visited the

Davao City Regional Trial Court last June 26, 2012. It was not the first time I visited a court. I visited once as a requirement for another subject and a few other times I accompanied my father when he conducted hearings in the different circuit courts he was in charge of. Similar to my previous visits I was once again struck by the reality that courtrooms are different from what is usually portrayed in the movies and in television shows. Courtroom scenes in movies usually depict lawyers grandstanding in front of the judge and a jury, if it is a foreign film. The courtroom is seen as spacious, well-lit and well-ventilated. In reality, courtrooms are usually small to average size rooms, which looks and feels cramped when it is filled with people. While most court rooms are airconditioned some are still not. We visited the RTC Branch 8. It was average in size with the judge’s bench at the front. In front of that are two tables, one for the prosecutors and the other for the defense lawyers. There were 5 benches on each side of the room for the clients and the public. The left and right walls were lined with cabinets from top to bottom. This is where the records of each and every case the branch is handling are kept. While the room was air-conditioned, it was still warm since it was packed. The Court Interpreter and Stenographer were in front with the lawyers both for the prosecution and the defense. In the benches, the clients, the yellow shirt wearing detainees, the police officers and us, law students, were seated. We were all waiting for the court session to start. Then the Court Interpreter stood and announced the presence of Honorable Judge Salvador Ibarreta Jr. who is the presiding judge of Branch 8. We all stood up to acknowledge his presence, then the session started. The

We next visited RTC Branch 14.Court Interpreter called the name of the cases. In one case. Because of the sensitivity of the matter. Only a few lawyers manifested that they were ready for the hearing of their cases. Of all the cases scheduled for hearing that morning only two were ready to proceed to trial. but she no lawyer showed up to represent him. He was very patient with the witness and was very thorough with his examination. His wife was supposed to find one for him. The accused was told by the judge to make sure to secure a lawyer in his next hearing or he would be inclined to believe that his not having a lawyer was a delaying tactic. the accused had no counsel. and the lawyers for each case entered their appearances as their case is called. One lawyer was not even present when called. Unfortunately we were not able to observe the hearing. The hearing of a murder case has already started when we came in. The prosecution had the difficult job of proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt with only circumstantial evidence. over which Judge George Omelio was the presiding judge. While . It was great to see what we learned in practice. the public is not allowed to be present in the trial of rape cases involving a minor. The judge complained about this fact because the case has already been rescheduled twice because the accused had no counsel to defend him. Unfortunately the process took a long time to finish. he sent his staff to manifest that he was sick and unable to come to court. The prosecutor was doing a very exhaustive examination because there was no witness to the murder of a Chinese national. What we learned in law school is mostly theory. I learned a lot from the court visit that we did. The first case to be heard was a rape case involving a minor. Most were resetted to be heard on another date which were usually months from that day. We were fortunate to see a direct examination of a witness to the case by a prosecutor. The accused was the husband of the victim. Most of the lawyers ask for resetting for various reasons. I appreciated the prosecutor’s conduct of the direct examination.

others are so different from what was taught to us. There were things that I believe that law school will not be able to teach us.some lessons are spot on. things that can only be learned in practice. . I’m hoping that in the very near future I’ll be one of those practicing the noble profession that is law.

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