PROCEDURE IN CASES BEFORE THE BUREAU OF LEGAL AFFAIRS
TO : All Parties and Practitioners In Inter Partes Cases
and Administrative Cases Before the
Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA)
THRU : JOSEPHINE R. SANTIAGO
Deputy Director General
FROM : ESTRELLITA B. ABELARDO
Director, Bureau Of Legal Affairs
DATE : 02 April 2001
To ensure the efficient and speedy disposal of cases pending before the Bureau of Legal Affairs, the following procedures shall be observed in the hearing of inter partes cases and administrative cases:
1. The hearing of cases shall start on time. There shall be a first call of the cases, as scheduled in the calendar of cases. Should parties or their counsels not be present during the first call, a second call shall be made thirty (30) minutes thereafter. Should the parties or their counsels not be present during the second call, the Hearing Officer shall, motu proprio or upon motion, order that the absentee/s be declared non-suited or as in default, in case it is a pre-trial conference, or be deemed to have waived its/their right to present evidence or its/their right to cross-examine the witness, or issue any other order as may be appropriate in the case. Payment of fees for the postponement/resetting of hearing shall be for the account of the requesting party. If it is a joint motion for postponement, it shall be for the account of both parties.
2. Cases shall be called for hearing whether or not there is a Motion to Postpone/Reset Hearing or whether or not counsels appear for the hearing. Motions to postpone or to reset hearing shall be in writing and should be filed with the BLA three (3) days before the scheduled hearing date, with proof of service of said motion to the adverse party. Requests for postponement or resetting of the hearing through telephone shall not be considered.
3. Parties and/or their counsels are enjoined from approaching the Hearing Officers/Assistant Director/Director to discuss their cases. Any and all concerns regarding pending cases shall be addressed during the hearing of the case through proper pleadings, manifestations or motions.
4. Pleadings, motions, manifestations or any other document filed in connection with pending cases all bear the correct title. A motion under the guise of a manifestation to avoid the payment of propriate fees, shall not be considered as filed.
This Memorandum Circular shall take effect immediately.
(Sgd.) ESTRELLITA BELTRAN- ABELARDO
Director, Bureau of Legal Affairs