IBP Cebu launches ‘Trial Academy’

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol |May 16,2017 - 10:59 PM
(Seated L-R) Former Assistant Ombudsman for the Visayas Virginia Santiago, former RTC Executive Judge Meinrado Paredes and former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City chapter president Democrito Barcenas lead a group of veteran lawyers in the creation of the “Trial Academy”, an IBP program to prepare new lawyers for court trial.   CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

(Seated L-R) Former Assistant Ombudsman for the Visayas Virginia Santiago, former RTC Executive Judge Meinrado Paredes and former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City chapter president Democrito Barcenas lead a group of veteran lawyers in the creation of the “Trial Academy”, an IBP program to prepare new lawyers for court trial.
CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

As newcomers, they are often considered as inexperienced and a good target of “bullies” during court trial.

But newbie lawyers need not be intimidated.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu Chapter yesterday launched the “Trial Academy” which aims to prepare new lawyers and to equip them with the necessary trainings on the actual practice of law.

“Law schools focus on preparing students to pass the Bar exams. Not much is done to prepare them on the actual practice of law. Based on experience, new lawyers are often bullied, ridiculed, put down, and insulted by veteran lawyers when they go against each other during court trial,” said lawyer Ronnie Gocuan, IBP Cebu Chapter auditor.

“New lawyers appear on their own armed with textbook knowledge, and the courtroom becomes their trial classroom. They look for guidance, and they learn from veterans which may not be proper and correct,” he added.

A maiden project of the IBP Cebu Chapter, the Trial Academy is intended to help new lawyers, elevate the standards of the legal profession, and enhance the administration of justice.

The six-month program introduced during the term of IBP Cebu Chapter president Mundlyn Misal-Martin is available for free and will be held every Saturdays starting June.

“This is one of the services the IBP Cebu Chapter can offer to its members. Anyone, even if they are no longer new to the profession, is welcome to join the program,” said lawyer Ria Lidia Espina, the chapter’s vice president.

The Trial Academy board is composed of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., retired Judge Meinrado Paredes, former Assistant Visayas-Ombudsman Virginia Palanca-Santiago, veteran lawyer and former IBP Cebu City Chapter president Democrito Barcenas, and esteemed lawyers Alice Morada and Paul Labrado.

Lawyer Manuel Elijah Sarausad, who placed sixth in the 2013 Bar Exams and co-chairperson of the academy, said they are hoping that the Supreme Court will adopt the program and make it a requirement for new lawyers.

“The Trial Academy reinforces what law schools have started. Law schools have prepared us for the Bar, but after that we need to deal with our lawyering career,” he said.

Among the modules in the Trial Academy include values of a good trial lawyer, unlocking the difficulties in trial practice, starting a law firm, art of cross-examination, establishing jurisdictional facts, marking exhibits, presentation of evidence, new rules on face-to-face trial, power dressing and social etiquette, dealing with clients, and qualities of a good speaker and good writer. / and Xavier University Intern April Alexis B. Agustin

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