By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
Since 1987 the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has struggled with the question of whether it should allow two or only one member of Congress to sit in the body. Last month a divided Supreme Court finally ordered the JBC: You can have only one member of Congress. How much of a difference will that make?
I continue to receive lawyer-bashing e-mails agreeing with the scathing but not untruthful editorial “Lawyer-dominated society” (Inquirer, 3/23/13). No note has been taken of the following portion in that scathing piece: “…The Marcos dictatorship deglamorized the lawyers by idealizing the technocratic state, elevating an elite of number-crunchers backed by a corps of military bone-crushers. And that is why the heroes of the mainstream anti-Marcos movement were the human rights lawyers of the old FLAG and Mabini. Today, that poetic image of lawyering continues to inspire.”
Tumpak po ang March 23 editorial (“Lawyer-dominated society”) ninyo. Sapul po kaming mga lawyers.
By Randy David
In the wake of the shocking Nov. 23, 2009, massacre in Maguindanao, the Ampatuan patriarch and his sons, the principal suspects in this heinous crime, began a frantic search for sharp lawyers who would take up their case and defend them. One of those sounded out was my brother Dante, a litigation lawyer with many years of experience in criminal law. He did not know any of the Ampatuans, but he knew many of those who had been initially hired for this difficult case. A huge acceptance fee was hinted. My brother turned it down without hesitation, politely saying he already had a crowded schedule.
By Kristine Mendoza
My classmate once told me how he had always dreamt of becoming a Supreme Court justice.
By Conrado de Quiros
The personalities in the impeachment have all sorts of advice to give to the new crop of lawyers. Not least of them Renato Corona himself who quipped in a congratulatory speech to them last week: “Kung gusto niyong mag-volunteer as additional defense counsel (for me), puwede na rin kayo.” Others had far more serious things to say, but they were largely in the nature of platitudes. Certainly, they themselves were not the best examples of the idealism and high-mindedness they were encouraging the new entrants to the force to possess.
By Randy David
In any highly publicized courtroom trial, the biggest beneficiary is the law profession itself. Nothing advertises the attractions of lawyering more than the sight of virtuosos and novices displaying their flair (or ineptitude) at direct examination, cross-examination and argumentation. For laypeople, this is what law practice is about. As a result of the impeachment drama now showing daily on television, there will likely be a spike in enrolment at law schools this year—as if there were not already too many lawyers in this country.