2013 (Legal Ethics) Bar Exam Questions: Essay Question 6

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An audit team from the Office of the Court Administrator found that Judge Contaminada committed serious infractions through the indiscriminate grant of  petitions for annulment of marriage and legal separation. In one year, the judge granted 300 of such petitions when the average number of petitions of similar nature granted by an individual judge in his region was only 24 petitions per annum.

The audit revealed many different defects in the granted petitions: many petitions had not been verified; the required copies of some petitions were not furnished to the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor; docket fees had not been fully paid; the parties were not actual residents within the territorial jurisdiction of the court; and, in some cases, there was no record of the cross-examinations conducted by the public prosecutor or any documentary evidence marked and formally offered. All these, viewed in their totality, supported the improvident and indiscriminate grant that the OCA found.

If you were the counsel for Andy Malasuerte and other litigants whose marriages had been improperly and finally annulled, discuss your options in administratively proceeding against Judge Contaminada, and stat where and how you would exercise these options. (8%)


  1. File for disciplinary action with the Supreme Court. The actions of Judge Contaminada clearly run against the standards set by the Canon on Competence under the Code of Judicial Conduct. While not all infractions by a judge constitute gross ignorance of the law, Judge Contaminada’s blatant disregard for the rules and the indiscriminate granting of annulment and legal separation judgements without sufficient legal basis speak of his glaring lack of competence as a member of the judiciary. Judge Contaminada should be dismissed.

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