April 04, 2006

Orals

The Resolution reads, in part:

“For PETITIONERS, Atty. Theodore Te will argue for a maximum of twenty five (25) minutes and he will decide on how to share his time with the other counsel/s for petitioners.”

Its not my first oral argument before the Supreme Court En Banc—its my fifth (previously on the Death Penalty [People v. Malabago], Oil Deregulation [Edcel Lagman, Joker Arroyo et al. v. Executive Secretary], Visiting Forces Agreement [Jovito Salonga, Wigberto R. Tanada, et al. v. Executive Secretary, Electricity rates [Freedom from Debt Coalition et al. v. ERC and MERALCO]) but the thrill—and the anxiety—is still there.  

Today, the Court set orals for the Calibrated Pre-emptive Response (CPR) issue (Del Prado et al. v. Ermita et al.) and at 1 pm, I will stand before the 15-member Court and once again start with that over-used opening, “May it please this Court. . .

I’ve been preparing for this for what seems like ages and to speak only for 25 minutes.  In an oral argument, however, 25 minutes is like the last two minutes of a basketball game—it can last for hours.  In the  Meralco orals, I started at 10 in the morning with my presentation and ended my presentation at  4 in the afternoon straight (without lunchbreak, coffeebreak or bathroom break);  the orals for that case ended eventually at 9 in the evening.

I pray not only for wisdom, guidance, inspiration but also that I won’t need a bathroom break for hours.


3 comments:

Lindy said...

Sir Teddy, I actually saw you do your oral arguments in People v. Malabago and everyone around, myself included, was very much impressed by your demeanor and your arguments. I was a member of the legal staff of Chief Justice Davide and he called me to his chambers after the session and asked me if I knew you since he was also impressed by you that day. I told him I did --you were the student representative in the panel when I was being interviewed for admission to the College of Law back in 1989. :-) You did all your fellow UP Law Alumni (and according to the grapevine, all the SC justices who were from UP)proud that day. Good luck and God bless!

Punzi said...

Sir,

Looking forward to the oral arguments on Proc. 1017 and your thoughts on the oral arguments you've just gone through.

best regards

secondcup said...

Prof. Te - I hope it went well and hope you'll post about it some time.