You are on page 1of 2

TIPS ON DIGESTING CASES: http://www.pinoylawyer.

org/t2690-case-digest
[i]You can never escape digesting cases in the College of Law. The objective in digesting cases is to
discover how the law was applied. Your professor is less interested in the brilliancy of the lawyer or the
parties involved or how they won or lost their case. What matters is how the Supreme Court resolved
the issues.[i]
1. DO NOT DIGEST UNLESS YOU KNOW THE CODAL PROVISION. It's a total waste of time. On the
contrary, if you know what the law requires, it is easy to determine if the parties obeyed or disobeyed
the law. The Court always sides with the party who obeyed the law.
2. DO NOT DIGEST CASES SINGLY. [i]Groups of cases must be digested together because they all
apply the same law - sometimes in contrasting manner. Spend the most time thoroughly digesting the
first in a batch of cases. Succeeding cases will simply re-apply the same principle. However, look out
for reversals of rulings.[i]
3. LOOK AT THE DATES. PRIORITIZE DIGESTING LATER CASES. Chances are, the latest case will
contain a recitation of earlier cases - already digested by the ponente (the justice who actually writes
the text of the decision). Not only that - usually, the ponente will compare and contrast related cases,
saving you a lot of time in case you cannot read the full text of the original decision. But set apart a
time to read the original cases anyway.
4. USE BLOCK DIAGRAMS TO REPRESENT THE PARTIES. Reduce the long list of parties into "F filed an
action against C" etc. regardless of how long the full name of F or C is. Make a mental chart of who
filed the original case and then trace it from there - who won in the original jurisdiction, it is always
the loser who appeals if the case was resolved normally. But 80% of cases reaching the Supreme
Court are pre-emptive; filed by one of the parties before a final decision is reached below. But just the
same, the party that goes to the Supreme Court is either the losing party of the party about to lose.
Jump to the dispositive portion and see if the petitioning party was successful or not. Then reconstruct
the arguments in between, using the syllabus of the case (the first portion of every SCRA (text) as
aid.
5. AT THE VERY LEAST, DIGEST AT LEAST ONE CASE FROM EVERY SECTION OF THE COURSE
OUTLINE. It is not the number of cases you digested that matters but the coverage. You must digest
at least one case for every pertinent provision of law. Two, if you have the time. Three, if you
anticipate a graded recitation.
6. SEEK AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISPLAY WHAT YOU LEARNED. If you are called for a recitation on a
case you did not digest, offer to recite on another cases (most professors will allow that, so long as
you offer to recite on the same subject matter.) The point is, let the professor know that you
attempted to understand the principle at work. If embarrassed, do not sulk. Listen to the person
reciting - their digest may be correct and if it is, it will definitely come out in the exams.
7. DO NOT DEVOUR ALL FACTS. YOU DO NOT NEED THEM. You can try applying the reverse analysis
approach. Look at the ruling and then find out how the Court arrived at the ruling. The Supreme Court
throws out may irrelevant facts because it is not a trier of facts. Do not try to smell out every fact if it
did not even concern the Justices.
8. REMEMBER THE "ANGLE OF CONCERN". If you are digesting for a Constitutional Law subject, ignore
the issues that do not concern you. Read the case with particular interest on how the Constitution was
applied. Ditto for other subjects.
9. KEEP YOUR DIGEST. YOU WILL DEFINITELY ENCOUNTER THE SAME CASES IN YOUR HIGHER
YEARS. [i]Most cases involve various aspects of the law. So the cases you digested in Persons are
most likely the same ones you will read in Wills and Succession. Your "angle of concern" will be
different of course, but you will save a lot of time if you are familiar with the facts already.[i]

WAG KANG AAYAW HA! Talagang ganyan ang buhay nating mga ambisyoso.
Xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Here's a TIP that a good friend of mine taught me
#1. Read the codal provision
#2. Read the whole case NOT the digested one
#3. Read the case as if your reading storybooks when you where a kid.

. If & when you were assigned to digest 20cases in one subject. & rulling. issue. go straight on SC decisions you will find the facts.#4. Do write your digest in a yellow pad.