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Canon 16

Daniel Lemoine, complainant vs. Atty. Amadeo Balon Jr.


Failure to give proceeds to client
Facts:
Complaint against Atty. Amadeo Balon Jr. for estafa and misconduct before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. The case
was referred to the Comission on Bar discipline
Respondent rendered services to complainant with regards car insurance claim with the Metropolitan Insurance. In relation to
this, respondent advised the complainant of his legal service charge
25%of actual amount to be recovered
Advance of 50k
1k appearance and conference fee
And other legal expenses
Before the complainant left for France, he signed a special power of attorney authorizing respondent to take legal actions
against Metropolitan Insurance. This was issued at the same date when Metropolitan Insurance issued a check to settle
complainant s claim.
This however was without the knowledge of the complainant and thus upon knowing, he demanded the respondent to turn
over the proceeds
Respondent acknowledged having possession of the money but insists on not returning it unless the attorneys fees are being
collected.
Complainant decried the continued possession of the respondent of the proceeds. In his counter-claim, respondent made
mention that what he did was lawful highlighting the time, effort and other expenses incurred while pursuing complainants
case
The investigation committee found respondent guilty of misconduct and recommended that he be disbarred as well as to
directly turn over the insurance claim of complainant
A motion for reconsideration was file but the court concurred with the findings of IBP (violations refer to full text)
Held:
A lawyer who practices or utilizes deceit in his dealings not only violates his duty of fidelity, loyalty and devotion to the clients cause but
also degrades himself and besmirches the fair name of the honorable profession

In case of disagreement in payment fees, a lawyer must file appropriate actions in the proper court and should not arbitrarily apply the
funds which are in his possession

In the case at bar, respondent stubbornly and in bad faith held on to complainants funds in order to push him to agree to the charges
sought.

Thus, Atty Amadeo E. Balon is disbarred and ordered within 30 days to return the amount of 525,000.00

Flaviano Pelmoka vs. Judge Felix Diaz Jr.
Facts:
Flaviano Pelmoka filed charges of serious misconduct against Judge Felix Diaz Jr., Facundo T. Bautista and Inocencio B. Garampil.

The charge against Judge Diaz is for gross ignorance of the law and judicial proceedings due to his failure to protect the complainants
charging lien as one of the lawyers who intervened in a former civil case
- A case for partition and reconveyance

It was ascertained that the case could be decided without resorting to a formal hearing

Held:
Judge due to failure to protect complainants charging lien is reprimanded

Unity Development Corporation vs Atty. Danilo G. Macalino
Complaint for disbarment against Atty. Danilo Macalino for having violated Canon 16
Background:
Macalino became the counsel of petitioner due to its merging with Frabal Fishing and Plant Corporation which during that time
was in dispute with Wheels Distributor
Respondent advised petitioner to sever all contracts with Wheels to eventually terminate contract of lease between parties.
The 50000 guarantee deposit was also asked to be returned to Wheels Inc
The suit finally ended through an amicable settlement after 7 years. However, respondent was no longer the petitioners
counsel inhere
It was then when Petitioner knew that the 50000 never reaches Wheels. As a result, they wrote a letter to respondent asking
him to explain such misconduct where there was no reply

Facts:
The court required the respondent to comment on the complaint yet after three extensions, still there was no response from
him
The case was then referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation and recommendation. During the formal
investigation, the same attitude was being exhibited by the respondent lawyer where a series of extension and re-hearings
were being done amounting to 6 motions for extensions. But despite this, there was no reply/answer
On account of the foregoing, the investigating commissioner submitted his report stating that:
o There was no denial that there was a misappropriation of funds for personal use. The respondent was made to reply
yet he never submitted a response
o Recommendation: suspension of 2 years and payment of the amount of 50000 with a warning that a similar offense
shall be handled with a more severe penalty
IBP Board of governors adapted the recommendation with modifications: 1 year instead of 2 years
Held:
The relationship between a lawyer and a client is highly fiduciary; it requires a high degree of fidelity and good faith. It is designed "to
remove all such temptation and to prevent everything of that kind from being done for the protection of the client"
Respondent's failure to rebut complainant's evidence clearly reveals his failure to live up to his duties as a lawyer in consonance with
the lawyer's oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. His repeated failure without any valid reason to comply with the orders of
the Court requiring him to comment on the complaint lends credence to the allegations thereof and manifests his tacit admission of the
same
Respondent's wanton failure to make an accounting and to return to his client the amount entrusted to him upon demand give ri se to
the presumption that he misappropriated it, in violation of the trust and confidence reposed on him. His act of holding on to
complainant's money without its acquiescence is conduct indicative of lack of integrity and propriety. A lawyer, under his oath, pledges
himself not to delay any man for money and is bound to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his client.
It is clear, therefore, that respondent, by depositing the check in his own account and subsequently deceiving his client into believing
that he delivered the same to Wheels is undoubtedly guilty of deceit, malpractice, gross misconduct and unethical behavior. He caused
dishonor, not merely to himself but to the noble profession to which he belongs
respondent's repeated failures to comply with the orders of the Court requiring him to comment on the complaint indicate a high degree
of irresponsibility on his part. THUS SUSPENDED FOR 1 YEAR, TO PAY 50000 WITHIN 10 DAYS UPON RECEIPT
Rosario Junio vs. Atty. Salvador Grupo
Complaint for disbarment filed against Atty. Salvador Grupo for malpractice and gross misconduct
Facts:
Complainant alleged that she engaged the services of Grupo to recover a parcel of land titled after the parents of the
complainant
She gave 25000 php to Grupo to be used in the redemption of the property. Respondent however did not redeem the property
which resulted to the lost of the right of redemption. As a result, petitioner demanded the return of the money. However,
respondent continually refused to refund the money entrusted to him and even said that petitioner was informed that the
property can no longer be redeemed and that she lent him the money. This was denied by Junio
The case was referred to IBP where it was postponed due to the respondent as well as failure to reply with required court
responses
Investigating commissioner recommended that the respondent be reprimanded and be ordered to pay the 25k with interest
IBP Board of Governors however ordered the indefinite suspension of respondent and payment of the 25k with 1 year interest
Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration asking that the former be adopted. This was taken as petition for review
Held:
Thus, the respondent concluded that there was, strictly speaking, no attorney-client [relationship] existing between them. Rather, right
from the start[,] everything was sort of personal. Granting, it was assumed that there was in reality a loan in the amount of P25,000.00.
Respondent's liability is thus not for misappropriation or embezzlement but for violation of Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which forbids lawyers from borrowing money from their clients unless the latter's interests are protected by the nature of
the case or by independent advice. In this case, respondent's liability is compounded by the fact that not only did he not give any
security for the payment of the amount loaned to him but that he has also refused to pay the said amount. His claim that he could not
pay the loan "because circumstances . . . did not allow it" and that, because of the passage of time, "he somehow forgot about his
obligation" only underscores his blatant disregard of his obligation which reflects on his honesty and candor. A lawyer is bound to
observe candor, fairness, and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his client.
WHEREFORE, the Court finds petitioner guilty of violation of Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and orders him
suspended from the practice of law for a period of one (1) month and to pay to complainant within 30 days from notice, the amount of
P25,000.00 with interest at the legal rate.

CANON 18
Reyes vs. Vitan

A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence and must not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. He must not delay
no man for money or malice; and conduct himself in proper manner to his fourfold duties.

Administrative complaint for disbarment filed by Reyes against Atty Vitan for gross negligence

Facts:
Vitan is the counsel hired by complainant for services against his sister and law and niece in their refusal to abide with the
decision of RTC Branch 32
Case was referred to the IBP where respondent failed to file his answer and it was only his secretary that represents him
during proceedings
Upon receipt of payment by his client (complainant), he was expected to perform his duties towards his client
IBPs report and recommendation
o Respondent ignored all orders and neither did he comply with it
o He failed to submit responsive pleadings requested in his motions
There was no proof of being sent
The RTC branch and civil case and was left blank
IBP recommends suspension for 2 years + refund of 17,000 to the complainants. This was adopted by the court

CANON 19
Nicanor Gonzales and Salud B. Pantasosas vs. Miguel Sabacajan (LAND TITLE)

Administrative complaint against Atty. Miguel Sabacajan
Facts:
Petitioners were informed by the Registry of Deeds of Cagayan de Oro that their land titles were entrusted to the respondents
secretary who in turn entrusted it to the respondent
The respondent admitted that the land titles are with him. However, when a demand by petitioners to recover said titles,
respondent refused.
The acts of which are considered a sign of arrogance taking advantage of his legal profession when he challenged said
petitioners to file a case in court
The respondent in his answer to the courts summon admitted that he met pantasosas but not Gonzales. He further denied
that he challenged anyone to file a case in court.
He stressed that he was never arrogant and that his holding of the title was on behalf of his client Mr. Uy of which he said the
following petitioners have monetary obligation
The case was referred to the Office of the Bar
Held:
The court finds that Atty. Sabacajan has admitted that he is in possession of the land titles yet he did not surrender the ti tles in spite
demands. At the same time, there was a failure to prove that the holding and refusal to surrender the titles were legally justified.

The court finds that the respondent failed to exercise the good faith and the diligence required of lawyers in handling legal affairs of the
clients. If the petitioners have monetary obligation to his clients, there was however no proof that the titles were given as collateral for
payment of debt.

Canon 19, Rule 19.01 ordains that a lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his cli ent and shall
not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present unfounded charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or
proceeding.

Atty. Miguel Sabacajan is SUSPENDED until he has proven by certificate the receipt of petitioners of their respective land titles.

CANON 20
Ana F. Retuya vs. Atty. Inego Gorduiz

Disbarment case linked to an administrative case filed by herein petitioner against Municipal Judge Equipilag
Facts:
Ana Retuya is a widow who filed a complaint for workmens compensation against Eastern Shipping Lines, the employer of his
husband who died on 1968. A compromise claim which is half the original award was granted to Ana. In her receipt, attached
was a cover letter explaining that her lawyer Gorduiz refused to sign the joint motion to dismiss the claim because he wanted
20% of the award. Ana was however willing to give him 10%
Retuya was however surprised in 1973 when she was served a warrant of arrest for Estafa. She posted for bail wherein she
then filed a motion to quash explaining that there was no payment since Gorduiz demanded 1/3 of the award where she
bargained to 650 php.
Retuya felt aggrieved which resulted to his filing of the case at bar seeking to disbar Gorduiz and Judge Equipilag. The case
was referred to the solicitor general and the court of first instance of southern leyte.
The solicitor general asked the provincial fiscal of southern leyte to investigate on the case of Gorduiz. It was recommended
that the case be dismissed
The solicitor general did not accept the recommendation, rather asked for the SUSPENSION FOR 6 MONTHS of Gorduiz due
to his groundless suit against his client
Gorduiz denied that he asked for payment higher than 300 php
Held:
Respondent acted precipitately in filing a criminal action against his client for the supposed misappropriation of his attorney's fees. It is
not altogether clear that his client had swindled him and, therefore, there is some basis for concluding that, contrary to his lawyer's
oath, he had filed a groundless suit against her and had harassed and embarrassed her.
SUSPENDED FOR 6 MONTHS

Federico Ramos vs Atty. Patricio Ngaseo
Complaint for suspension of respondent Atty. Patricio A. Ngaseo for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Article
1491 of the Civil Code by demanding from his client, complainant Federico N. Ramos, the delivery of 1,000 square meters of land, a
litigated property, as payment for his appearance fees.
Facts:
complainant filed a complaint before the IBP charging his former counsel, respondent Atty. Ngaseo, of violation of the Code of
Professional Responsibility for demanding the delivery of 1,000 sq. m. parcel of land which was the subject of litigation
IBP Commissioner Rebecca Villanueva-Maala found the respondent guilty of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a
lawyer in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended that he be suspended from the practice of law
for 1 year
IBP Board of Governors modified the report changing the suspension into 6 months instead of 1 year
Respondent filed a petition for review assailing IBP Resolution for having been issued without or in excess of jurisdiction. He
also made mention that he can collect the unpaid appearance fee even without a written contract on the basis of the principle
of quantum meruit. He claims that his acceptance and appearance fees are reasonable because a Makati based legal
practitioner, would not handle a case for an acceptance fee of only P20,000.00 and P1,000.00 per court appearance
Held
the report of the IBP Commissioner, as adopted by the IBP Board of Governors in its Resolution No. XVI-2003-47, does not clearly
specify which acts of the respondent constitute gross misconduct or what provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility have
been violated. The recommended penalty of suspension for 6 months is too harsh and not proportionate to the offense committed by
the respondent. The power to disbar or suspend must be exercised with great caution. Only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously
affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the Court and member of the bar will disbarment or suspensi on be
imposed as a penalty. All considered, a reprimand is deemed sufficient and reasonable.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, respondent Atty. Patricio A. Ngaseo is found guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the
legal profession in violation of Rule 20.04 of Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is REPRIMANDED with a warning
that repetition of the same act will be dealt with more severely



Benedicto Leviste vs. The Court of Appeals
Issue:
Whether or not an attorney who was engaged on a contingent fee basis may in order to collect his fees, prosecute an appeal despite
his clients refusal to appeal decision in court