Bar exam questions feature Attorney Woo, Kobe, Namjoon, other pop culture references

November 21, 2022 - 12:15 PM
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Photo shows BTS member RM, Bea Alonzo as Bobbie in the movie "Four Sisters and a Wedding," Park Eun-bin as Attorney Woo, Klaus, Vanya, and Luther from "Umbrella Academy," and basketabll legend Kobe Bryant (eunbining0904/Instagram; BTS/Facebook; Los Angeles Lakers/Facebook; Netflix/Philippines; Umbrella Academy/Facebook; Philstar.com / Erwin Cagadas; Artwork by Interaksyon/James Patrick Cruz)

After four dreading days, more than 9,000 aspiring lawyers finished the Bar exam on Sunday, November 20. 

Some of the questions from the Remedial Law I and II (with Basic Tax Remedies) and Legal Ethics stood out because of their references to notable personalities from sports, Kdrama, Kpop and Hollywood. 

Here is the rundown of the questions featuring pop culture: 

Lebron 

The first question in Remedial Law I features someone named Lebron, the namesake of the Los Angeles Lakers player. The question read:

“Lebron, a Makati resident, obtained a Php 350,000.00 loan from a bank secured by a real estate mortgage (REM) over his lot located in Quezon City with an assessed value of Php 500,000.00. Lebron failed to pay despite written demands. The bank intends to file an action for judicial foreclosure of the REM. 

Where should the action for judicial foreclosure of the REM be filed and in which court? Explain briefly.”

Kobe

The namesake of the basketball player Kobe also made it to the Remedial Law’s second question, which read:

Asya, Inc. sued Kobe, a resident of Bukidnon. To serve summons, the sheriff waited in the lobby of Makati Hotel (MH), where Kobe stays whenever he is in Manila. The sheriff failed to serve the summons because Kobe left the hotel for an emergency. Hours later, the sheriff asked the front desk about Kobe’s whereabouts and his room number. The hotel refused to disclose on grounds of confidentiality. The sheriff tried again the next day, but Kobe was in a conference until midnight. So, the following day, the sheriff left the summons and a copy of the complaint with MH’s chief security officer (CSO), even as the CSO refused because Kobe had already checked out by then. The sheriff thereafter filed his return, stating the dates, times and places of his attempts, the name of the CSO, and the fact that the complaint was served with the summons. When Kobe did not file an Answer, Asya, Inc. moved to declare him in default. 

Was there a valid substituted service of summons? Explain briefly.”

‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ – Attorney Woo, Han 

The characters from the hit Korean series “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” were also included in the bar exam. Item 6 stated:

“Attorney Woo, the newly-hired lawyer of a law firm, booked Samurai Express, a duly accredited courier service within the National Capital Judicial Region, to serve a copy of a motion for reconsideration to Attorney Han, counsel for the adverse party, whose office is in the City of Manila. Attorney Han moved to deny the motion for failure to contain a written explanation as to why the motion was not served personally.” 

Given this scenario, the Bar examinees were asked the following:

  • Was the motion for reconsideration properly served? Explain briefly.
  • What shall be considered as proof of service of this motion? Explain briefly.

The Kdrama follows the story of Woo Young Woo, portrayed by Park Eun-bin, a brilliant lawyer with autism. She is the daughter of Attorney Han. 

Namjoon

After BTS members Yoongi and Jungkook were featured in the bar exam a few days ago, Namjoon’s name appeared in one of the questions on the last day of the licensure exams. The examinees were presented with the following scenario: 

“Namjoon, a Korean national, and Regine, a Filipina, were married in Makati City on February 14, 2012. Unfortunately, their relationship shortly turned sour and ended with a divorce by mutual agreement in South Korea. The local court in Korea granted the divorce. Wanting to marry her new boyfriend Taehyung, Regine filed a petition for recognition of the foreign decree of divorce in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu where she resides. 

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) opposed the petition contending that the proper remedy is a special proceeding for cancellation or correction of entries in the civil registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court, which can only be filed in the RTC of Makati where the marriage was celebrated and recorded in the Civil Registry of Makati.

Is the OSG’s contention tenable? Explain briefly.”

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Notting Hill

The 1999 film “Notting Hill” starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant was also mentioned in the Bar exam. Item 9 read:

“Notting Hill Corp. filed an action for forcible entry against the ten occupants of a parcel of land it owns. After the summary proceedings, the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) rendered judgment against the ten defendants. The defendants filed a notice of appeal, but failed to file a supersedeas bond to stay the judgment to vacate. Upon Notting Hill Corp.’s motion, the MTC issued a writ of execution.

When Hugh, the sheriff, was implementing the writ of execution, he discovered that the land was occupied by a number of families who all claimed that they were legitimate lessees of the ten defendants. Julia, one of the lessees, pleaded with Hugh, beseeching: ‘I’m just a lessee, standing in front of a sheriff, asking him to let me stay in my home.’

May Hugh implement the writ of execution against the lessees? Explain briefly.”

Umbrella Academy

The characters from the Netflix series based on the comic book “Umbrella Academy” can be spotted on question 14 of the Remedial Law I. The statement read: 

“Klaus was drinking in front of his rented apartment when he suddenly heard a gunshot which came from inside the apartment owned by Luther. Klaus then saw Igor, a neighbor, going down the stairs and leaving the scene holding a gun. Klaus also witnessed Luther fall from the stairs with blood oozing from his chest. Vanya, Luther’s daughter, also rushed to Luther when he fell. 

During Igor’s trial for Murder, Vanya testified and presented a flash drive containing the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages of the scene. Said footages showed a man appearing to be Igor, armed with a gun, proceeding up the stairs and entering Luther’s apartment. In the video, the same man was seen hastily leaving the premises. Vanya further testified that she was the one who transferred to the flash drive the video footages from the barangay-owned CCTV that was located outside their apartment. 

When the footages were played in court and an enlarged screenshot was presented, Vanya identified the shooter as Igor. The defense objected on the ground that Vanya was not the recorder of the video footages.”

The question asked examinees whether the CCTV footages are admissible as electronic evidence. 

Four Sisters and a Wedding – Alex, Bobbie, Gabbie

Under Remedial Law 2, the three Salazar sisters, Alex, Bobbie and Gabbie from the “Four Sisters and a Wedding,” were also mentioned. The examinees were presented with the following scenario:

“Alex, Bobbie, and Gabbie were charged with the crime of Murder. Finding them to have acted in conspiracy, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted them of Homicide. Only Bobbie appealed the conviction with the Court of Appeals (CA). Consequently, an entry of judgment was issued as against Alex and Gabbie. 

Subsequently, the CA modified Bobbie’s conviction from Homicide to Murder. In the same judgment, the CA likewise modified Alex and Gabbie’s conviction from Homicide to Murder. 

Upon learning of the CA’s decision, Alex and Gabbie confronted Bobbie, saying: ‘Bakit ka pa ba nag-appeal? Tumaas tuloy ang sentensya namin. Nadamay pa kami!’ Bobbie snapped back: ‘Bakit parang galit kayo? Pero bakit kasalanan ko? Parang kasalanan ko?'”

Examinees were asked to assess and explain if the Court of Appeals was correct in modifying the judgment as to Alex and Gabbie. 

The onsite exams are held in 14 testing centers across the country, with five of them in Metro Manila.

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