Project Jurisprudence posted this on their Facebook Page with the caption “Your thoughts?”:

This is  my reaction to this post from Project Jurisprudence:

This is clearly written from the perspective of someone who is not into actual litigation, and relies on his/her knowledge simply on books and other written materials.

“Theory is different from practice” is not a euphemism for “in reality, we don’t follow the rules” – it simply means “no matter how much you’ve read, you will not know the intricacies of real practice because most of the nitty-gritty details are not written in these books.”

An example: There is this so-called professor of criminal procedure in one of the law schools in Cebu who insists that a criminal case not requiring preliminary investigation could be filed directly with an Municipal Trial Court (MTC) or Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC), even without the intervention of a law enforcer, because the rules do not require the intervention of a law enforcer. Hala suwayi, Nyor.

Another example: Sec. 10, R.A. No. 9262 says that an application for a temporary protection order / permanent protection order (TPO/PPO) may be filed before an MTC/MCTC/MTCC (Municipal Trial Court in Cities) if there is no Family Court (FC) in the area. There is no law amending this. There is no Supreme Court regulation saying that MTCs/MCTCs/MTCCs cannot take cognizance of such an application even if there is no FC in the area. But just try filing a TPO/PPO application before an MTC/MCTC/MTCC.

Yet another example: There is no rule requiring that the entire newspaper be marked for a hearing on jurisdictional facts. But some judges require that you submit the entire issue of the newspaper, not just the clipping. Are they wrong? Would you contest such requirement before the appellate court instead of just knowing such requirement beforehand and complying with it?

Just one last example: Prior to the amendments allowing electronic service and filing, one judge in Cebu got the ire of many lawyers for his order to submit electronic copies of pleadings. The rules at that time did not even allow electronic service and filing. Was he wrong? Why was the practice in his court very different from the theory? Was he violating the rules of court, or was his orders to submit electronic copies just and reasonable?

The point is that, through the years, there are certain practices that develop in certain areas. You would be doing a great disservice to your client continuing on your thinking that “theory is different from practice” equals “we don’t follow the rules” equals the dignity of the courts are reduced. The truth is, the court staff are the best persons to know what should and should not be done in a specific court, and this does not mean that the rules are not followed; it simply means that they have some variation of how to do things – variations which are not described in the textbooks.