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Rule 15.03.

- A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests


except by written consent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of the facts.
OROLA, ET. AL. v. ATTY. RAMOS
A.C. No. 9860, September 11, 2013

FACTS: The respondent acted as a collaborating counsel with Atty. Ely


Azarraga, J.r. in representing Maricar, Karen, and the other heirs of late
Antonio L. Orola (Heirs of Antonio) in the settlement of the estate of
Trinidad Laserna-Orola. The Heirs of Antonio, together with the Heirs of
Trinidad, who were the complainants in the disbarment case, moved for
the removal of Emilio Orola, the adverse party, as the administrator of
Trinidads estate. Subsequently, respondent appeared as a collaborating
counsel for Emilio, the opposing party, in the same case. Due to this,
complainants filed a disbarment complaint before the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines (IBP) on the ground that the respondent violated the
prohibition against representing conflicting interests under Rule 15.03 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Respondent contended that he never appeared as counsel for the
complainants. He merely represented Maricar temporarily at the latters
request due to the unavailability of Atty. Azarraga and his service was
free of charge. He also contended that he consulted Maricar before he
undertook to represent Emilio in the same case and that no information
was disclosed to him by Maricar or Atty. Azarraga at any instance.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent is guilty of representing conflicting
interests in violation of Rule 15.03 of the Code.
HELD: The Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides that:

Rule 15.03 - A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by


written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.

The above-cited rule is clear and unequivocal that a lawyer is


prohibited from representing new clients whose interests oppose that of
a former client in any manner, whether they are parties in the same
action or on totally unrelated cases.
Three tests were provided in the Hornilla v. Salunat ruling in
determining whether or not there is conflict of interests: whether or not
in behalf of one client, it is the lawyer's duty to fight for an issue or
claim, but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. In brief, if he
argues for one client, this argument will be opposed by him when he
argues for the other client.
Second, there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new
retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously
affect his first client in any matter in which he represents him and also
whether he will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first
client any knowledge acquired through their connection.
Lastly, whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an
attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and
loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing
in the performance thereof.
In the instant case, records reveal that respondent was the
collaborating counsel not only for Maricar as claimed by him, but for all
the
Heirs
of
Antonio.
The
Heirs
of
Trinidad
and
the
Heirs of Antonio succeeded in removing Emilio as administrator for
having committed acts prejudicial to their interests. However, the
respondent clearly violated the prohibition against representing
conflicting interests when he proceeded to represent Emilio for the
purpose of seeking his reinstatement as administrator in the same case.