As practicing litigators, we deal with deadlines every day. Sometimes, these deadlines become so difficult to track. A Motion for Reconsideration must be filed 15 days from receipt of the Decision. However, if it’s an Ombudsman case, it has to be filed within 5 days therefrom. And what’s this confusion about a Motion for Reconsideration before the Office of the City Prosecutor? Should it be filed within 15 days or 10 from receipt?
The list goes on.
I came across Court Days because I was looking for an app that can track legal deadlines in the Philippine jurisdiction. As of now, I cannot find such an app. Court Days, however, is probably the next best thing. It is a simple calculator that helps you determine the date of your deadline.
Here are my thoughts on this app.
- Versions: There are two versions of this app — the “Date Calculator” and the “Rule-Based Calendar”. The second one would have been very useful. In fact, that would have been exactly the kind of app I needed. It determines the deadline for filing a certain pleading based on the applicable rules. The only problem is, it is not applicable in the Philippine Jurisdiction. The app is based on U.S. rules of procedure. Hence, the Date Calculator is the only version of this app that we Filipino lawyers can use.
- Operating System: iOS
- Cost: $0.99 or roughly Php40.00
- File Size: 254 KB
APPEARANCE AND INTERFACE
The app is a very simple date calculator. It helps compute what exact date a certain deadline falls. For example, you need to file an Answer 15 days from receipt of the Complaint. All you need to do is set the “Start Date” to the day you received the Complaint. Thereafter, enter the number 15, representing the number of days you have to file your Answer. The app will automatically compute what date falls on the 15th day.
Court Days has one single menu. On the top part thereof is the “Start Date” button. Obviously, this is where you will enter the starting date of the deadline you want to compute. Under this button are two other ones, “Before Start Date” and “After Start Date”. Usually, we want to count days after the start date. However, the app also gives us the option to count backwards by pressing the “Before Start Date” button.
The next three options are inapplicable in the Philippine jurisdiction. These options are “Sequential Dates”, “Court Holidays” and “Custom Holidays”. I will, however, discuss them nonetheless.
- The “Sequential Dates” option is totally useless. It does not even work. I keep trying it but it does nothing. O well, I’m sure even if it did work, I could not use it for my legal practice.
- If you turn on the “Court Holidays” option, the app will not count pre-determined court holidays in computing deadlines. Again, however, this is not applicable in this jurisdiction for two reasons. The first reason is that the app’s pre-determined court holidays are mostly U.S. Holidays. The second reason is because, in computing deadlines herein in the Philippines, we use calendar days instead of workdays. Hence, holidays would not matter, except of course, if the deadline itself falls on such holiday. Then, the deadline would be moved to the next workday.
- You can edit the app’s holiday list, and even add your own holidays with the “Custom Holidays” option. However, like I said, this would not matter because, based on Philippine rules of procedure, deadlines are computed using calendar days instead of workdays.
Finally, the app gives us the option to compute deadlines using “Court Days” or “Calendar Days”. This is a no-brainer, however. Like I keep on saying, we only use calendar days to compute deadlines. Hence, the “Court Days” option is clearly useless in this jurisdiction.
This app makes it easier for lawyers to compute deadlines. Instead of taking out your calendar and counting the number of days from a starting date, you can simply enter numbers and immediately know when your due date is.
The main complaint I have for this app is that is has so many useless options. I understand, however, that Court Days was not made for lawyers practicing in the Philippines. If I were practicing in the U.S., I am sure I would find the “Court Days” and the “Court Holidays” options very useful. In fact, I am hoping that a date calculator with those kinds of option would be developed for the Philippines.
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The very first question that you might ask is, do you really need this app? Clearly, you can just as easily compute deadlines by manually counting the days in your calendar. It will probably take you about 3 minutes to do so, depending on the number of days you are counting. Would it be worth paying $0.99 or roughly P40.00 just to save 3 minutes of your time?
Truthfully, this app is a non-necessity. You can get by without it. It does not necessarily make our jobs as lawyers any easier.
However, it does have its uses. There was this one time that a colleague of mine missed a deadline because he erroneously computed his deadline. This app will clearly make sure that that will not happen to you.
Is the app worth paying $0.99? Well, why not? But I definitely would not pay anything more than that.