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Pre-trial Brief: Contents; Time of Filing; Effect of Failure to File


Section 6. Pre-trial brief. — The parties shall file with the court and serve on the adverse party, in such manner as shall ensure their receipt thereof at least three (3) days before the date of the pre-trial, their respective pre-trial briefs which shall contain, among others:

(a) A statement of their willingness to enter into amicable settlement or alternative modes of dispute resolution, indicating the desired terms thereof;

(b) A summary of admitted facts and proposed stipulation of facts;

(c) The issues to be tried or resolved;

(d) The documents or exhibits to be presented stating the purpose thereof;

(e) A manifestation of their having availed or their intention to avail themselves of discovery procedures or referral to commissioners; and

(f) The number and names of the witnesses, and the substance of their respective testimonies.

Failure to file the pre-trial brief shall have the same effect as failure to appear at the pre-trial. (Rule 18, Rules of Court)


When must the pre-trial brief be filed?

A pre-trial brief must be filed at least three (3) days before the pre-trial. Meaning that, at least three (3) days before the pre-trial, the pre-trial brief must have already been filed and served on the adverse party. (Sec. 6, Rule 18, Rules of Court).


What should be contained in the pre-trial brief?

The pre-trial brief shall contain the following matters:
  1. A statement of their willingness to enter into an amicable settlement or alternative modes of dispute resolution, indicating the desired terms thereof;
  2. A summary of admitted facts and proposed stipulation of facts;
  3. The issues to be tried or resolved;
  4. The documents or exhibits to be presented, stating the purposes thereof;
  5. A manifestation of their having availed of or their intention to avail of the discovery procedures or referral to commissioners; and
  6. The number and names of the witnesses, and the substance of their respective testimonies (Sec. 6, Rule 18, Rules of Court).

What is the effect of failure to file a pre-trial brief?

The failure to file the pre-trial brief shall have the same effect as failure to appear at the pre-trial (Sec. 6, Rule 18, Rules of Court). Hence, if it is the plaintiff who fails to file a pre-trial brief, his complaint may be dismissed. If it is the defendant who fails to do so, such failure shall be cause to allow the plaintiff to present his evidence ex parte. Note: A pre-trial brief is not required in a criminal case.

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