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VICTORIA LEGARDA vs. CA, NEW CATHAY HOUSE, INC.

Petitioner was the owner of a parcel of land and the improvements thereon. Petitioner entered into a leased agreement with the respondent thru its representative, Roberto Cabrera, Jr. of the property for a period of five years that the rental is 25K per month with 5% escalation per year. Respondent deposited the down payment but petitioner failed and refused to execute and sign the same despite demands of the respondent. Respondent suffered damages due to the delay in the renovation and opening of its restaurant business. Respondent filed a complaint against petitioner for specific performance. Petitioner engaged the services of the counsel to handle her case. But her counsel failed to take any action for the case. So the property was sold by the sheriff thru public auction. After one year redemption period expired w/out the petitioner redeeming the property and the sheriff issued a final deed of sale. Upon learning of this unfortunate turn of events, petitioner prevailed upon her counsel to seek the appropriate relief. ISSUE: WON the petitioner can recover his property WON the counsel is negligent in handling the case of her client HELD: The Court finds that the negligence of the counsel in this case appears to be so gross and inexcusable. This was compounded by the fact , that after petitioner gave said counsel another chance to make up for his omissions by asking him to file a petition for annulment of the judgment in the appellate court, again counsel abandoned the case of petitioner in that after he received a copy of adverse judgment of appellate court, he did not do anything to save the situation or inform his client of the judgment. He allowed the judgment to lapse and become final. Such reckless and gross negligence should not be allowed to bind the petitioner. Petitioner was thereby effectively deprived of her day in court. Because of the gross negligence of the counsel for the petitioner, she lost the case as well as the title and ownership of the property, which is worth millions. The mere lessee then now became the owner of the property. The Court cannot allow such a grave injustice to prevail. It cannot tolerate such unjust enrichment of the respondent at the expense of the petitioner. As member of the Phil Bar he owes complete fidelity to the cause of his client. He should give adequate attention, care and time to his cases. This is the reason why a practicing lawyer should accept only so many cases he can afford to handle. And once he agrees to handle a case, he should undertake the task with dedication and care. If he should do any less, then he is not true to his oath as a lawyer. In this case, the Sheriffs Cert of Sale and the subsequent final deed of sale covering the same property are null and void. Respondent is directed to reconvey said property to the petitioner and the register of Deeds is ordered to cancel the registration of the said property in the name of respondent and issue a new one in the name of the petitioner. The said counsel for petitioner is required to show cause w/in ten days from notice why he should not be held administratively liable for his acts and omissions.

GLORITO MATURAN vs. ATTY. CONRADO GONZALES Sps. Antonio and Gloria Casquejo instituted their son-in law, Glorito MAturan as their atty- infact, thru a SPA. Said SPA authorized MAturan to file ejectment cases against squatters occupying the lot, located in GEnSan as well as criminal cases against the latter for violation of PD 772 again in connection with the lot. Respondent, prepared and notarized said SPA. Subsequently, Maturan engaged the services of respondent in ejecting several squatters occupying the lot. While the said lot was registered in the name of Celestino Yokingco, Antonio Casquejo had, however, instituted a case for reconveyance of property and declaration, instituted a case for reconveyance of property and declaration of nullity against the former. Respondent declared that he was of the belief that the filing a motion for issuance of a writ of execution was the last and final act in the lawyer-client relationship between himself and petitioner, and that his formal withdrawal as counsel for the Casquejos was unnecessary in order to sever the lawyerclient relationship between them. Furthermore, he alleged that his acceptance of employment from Yokingco was for him, an opportunity to honestly earn a little more for his childrens sustenance. HELD: Respondent here was guilty of representing conflicting interests thus, he was suspended for two years. It is improper for a lawyer to appear as counsel for one party against the adverse party who is his client in a related suit, as a lawyer is prohibited from representing conflicting interests or discharging inconsistent duties. He may not, without being guilty of professional misconduct, act as counsel for a person whose interest conflicts with that of his present or former client. That the representation of conflicting interest is in good faith and with honest intention on the part of the lawyer does not make the prohibition inoperative. The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of atty and client, which is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. As lawyer becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his clients case. He learns from his client the weak points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such knowledge must be considered sacred and guarded with care. No opportunity must be given him to take advantage of clients secrets. A lawyer must have the fullest confidence of his client. For if the confidence is abused, the profession will suffer by the loss thereof. A lawyer-client relationship is not terminated by the filing of motion for writ of execution. His acceptance of a case implies that he will prosecute the case to its conclusion. He may not be permitted to unilaterally terminate the same to the prejudice of his client. NESTOR PEREZ vs ATTY. DANILO DE LA TORRE Perez as brgy. Captain of Binanuaanan, Calabanga, Camarines sur, that in Dec 2001, several suspects for murder and kidnapping for ransom, among them Sonny Boy Ilo and Diego Avila were apprehended and jailed by the police authorities; that respondent went to the unicipal bldg. of Calabanga where the accused were being detained and made representations that he could secure their freedom if they sign the prepared extrajudicial confessions; that unknown to the two accused, respondent was representing the heirs of the murder victim; The extrajudicial confessions included herein the complainant as the mastermind in the criminal activities for which they were being charged.

Respondent claimed that when Ilo sought his assistance in executing his extrajudicial confession, he conferred with Ilo in the presence of his parents and only after he was convinced that Ilo was not under compulsion did he assist the accused in executing the extrajudicial confession. ISSUE: WON the respondent violated Rule 15.03 of CPR HELD: Atty. De la Torre was guilty of violation of Rule 15.03 of CPR. He is suspended for three years from the practice of law. The respondent admitted that his services as a lawyer were retained by both Avila and Ilo. Perez was able to show that at the time that atty. De la Torre was representing the said two accused, he was also representing the interest of the victims family. Under Rule 15.03 of the CPR, a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Respondent is therefore duty bound to refrain from representing two parties having conflicting interests in a controversy. The prohibition against representing conflicting interest is founded on principles of public policy and good taste. In course of a lawyer-client relationship, the lawyer learns all the facts connected with the clients case, including the weak and strong points of the case. It behooves lawyers not only to keep inviolate the clients confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of impropriety and double-dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. His representation of opposing clients in the murder case invites suspicion of double-dealing and infidelity to his clients. What is unsetting is that respondent assisted in the execution by the two accused of their confessions whereby they admitted their participation in various serious criminal offenses knowing fully well that he was retained previously by the heirs of one of the victims. Respondent, who presumably knows the intricacies of the law, should have exercised his better judgment before conceding to accuseds choice of counsel. RUTHIE LIM-SANTIAGO vs ATTY. CARLOS SAGUCIO Atty. Sagucio was the former Personnel Manager and Retained Counsel of Taggat industries, Inc. until his appointment as Asst. Provincial Prosecutor of Tuguegarao, Cagayan in 1992. Employees of Taggat filed a criminal complaint, they alleged that complainant, who took over the management and control of Taggat after the death of her father, withheld payment of their salaries and wages without valid cause. Complainant now charges respondent with the violations Rule 15.03 of CPR and engaging in the private practice of law while working as a govt prosecutor. ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 15.03 of CPR. WON being a former lawyer of Taggat conflicts with his role as Asst. Provincial Prosecutor HELD: The Supreme Court finds no conflict of interests when respondent handled preliminary investigation of criminal complaint filed by Taggat employees in 1997. The issue in the criminal complaint pertains to non-payment of wages that occurred from April 1 1996 to July 15, 1997. Clearly, respondent was no longer connected with Taggat during that period since he resigned sometime in 1992. In order to change respondent for representing conflicting interests, evidence must be presented to prove that respondent used against Taggat, his former client, any

confidential information acquired thru his previous employment. It does not necessarily follow that respondent used any confidential information from his previous employment with complainant or Taggat in resolving the criminal complaint. As the former Personnel Manager and Retained Counsel of Taggat and the case he resolved as govt prosecutor was labor-related is not a sufficient basis to charge respondent for representing conflicting interests. A lawyers immutable duty to a former client does not cover transactions that occurred beyond the lawyers employment with the client. The intent of the law is to impose upon the lawyer the duty to protect the clients interests only on matters that he previously handled for the former client and not for matters that arose after the lawyer-client relationship has terminated. Thus, respondent is NOT guilty of violating Rule 15.03 of the Code. As to the second issue, respondent clearly violated the prohibition in Ra 6718 which constitutes a violation of Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, which mandates that a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.. The respondent here performed acts that are usually rendered by lawyers with the use of their legal knowledge, the same falls within the ambit of the term practice of law. Respondents admission that he received from Taggat fees for legal services while serving as a govt prosecutor is unlawful conduct, which constitutes a violation of Rule 1.01. LETICIA GONZALES vs ATTY. MARCELINO CABUCANA Sheriff Gatcheco and his wife went to the house of Gonzales, they harassed Gonzales and asked her to execute an affidavit of desistance regarding her complaint, Gonzales thereafter filed against the Gatchecos criminal cases for trespass, grave threats, grave oral defamation, simole coercion and unjust vexation; where respondents law firm was still representing Gonzales, herein respondent represented the Gatchecos in the cases filed by Gonzales against the said sps., respondent should be disbarred from the practice of law since respondents acceptance of the cases of the Gatchecos violates the lawyer client relationship between complainant and respondents law firm and renders respondent liable under CPR particularly Rules 10.01, 13.01, 15.02, 15.03, 21.02 and 21.02. Respondent alleged that he never appeared and represented of such case since it was his brother, Atty. Edmar Cabucana who appeared and represented Gonzales in said case. He admitted that he is representing Sheriff Gatcheco and his wife in the cases filed against them bur claimed that his appearance is pro bono and that the sps pleaded with him as no other counsel was willing to take their case. ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 15.03 of CPR HELD: Respondent is guilty violating Rule 15.03 of Canon 15 of the CPR. It is well-settled that lawyer is barred from representing conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Such prohibition is founded on principles of public policy and good taste as the nature of the lawyer-client relations is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. Lawyers are expected not only to keep inviolate the clients confidence but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. The proscription against representation of conflicting

interests applies to a situation where the opposing parties are present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action. Respondents allegation that it was his brother who represented Gonzales, thus there could be no conflict of interest is no merit. As respondent admitted, it was their law firm which represented Gonzales in the civil case. Such being the case, the rule against representing conflicting interest applies. The court consider however as mitigating circumstances the fact that he is representing the Gatcheco sps pro bono and that it was his firm and not respondent personally which handled the civil case of Gonzales. And it was observed that there was no malice and bad faith in respondents acceptance of the Gatchecos cases as shown by the move of complainant to withdraw the case. Thus, for violation of Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of CPR and taking consideration of mitigating circumstances, Atty. Cabucana is fined the amount of P 2,000 with stern warning that a commission of the same or similar act in the future shall be dealt with more severely. HUMBERTO LIM, JR. in behalf of PENTA RESORTS CORP./ atty-in-Fact of LUMOT JALANDONI vs. ATTY. NICANOR VILLAROSA Mrs. Jalandoni has two sons-in-law, namely Dennis Jalbuena married to her daughter Carmen Jalbuena and Humberto Lim, Jr. herein complainant married to her daughter, Cristina Lim. Mrs. Lumot Jalandoni owned 97% of Penta Resorts Corp (PRC). That the only property of the corp, is as above-stated, the Alhambra Hotel constructed solely thru the effort of the sps Jalbuena on the parcel of land now claimed by the Cabiles family. PRC had a case wherein respondent was its counsel. Later on, complainant had a case against sps Jalbuena where the parties were related to each other and the latter sps. Were represented by the respondent as their retained counsel; after respondent had allegedly withdrawn as counsel for the complainants which respondent averred in his answer, it is incumbent upon Humberto Lim to represent his wife as one of the representatives of PRC and Alhambra Hotel in the administrative complaint to protect not only her interest but that of the family. It is evident that complainant had a lawyer-client relationship wit hthe respondent before the latter retained as counsel by the sps. Jalbuena when the latter were sued by complainants representative. Respondent for having appeared as counsel for the Sps. Jalbuena when charged by respondents former client Jalandoni of PRc and Alhambra Hotel, represented conflicting interests in violation of CPR. ISSUE: WON there existed a conflict of interest in the cases represented and handled by the respondent HELD: The rule on conflict of interests covers not only cases which confidential communication have been confided but also those in which no confidence has been bestowed or will be used. The first part of the rule refers to cases in which the opposing parties are present clients either in the same action or in a totally unrelated case; the second part pertains to those in which the adverse party against whom the atty. Appears is his former client in a matter which is related, directly or indirectly, to the present controversy. The rule prohibitions a lawyer from

representing new clients whose interests oppose those of a former client in any manner, whether or not they are parties in the same action or in totally unrelated cases. The cases here directly or indirectly involved the parties connection to PRC. An atty. Owes to his client undivided allegiance. After being retained and receiving the confidences of the client he cannot, w/out the free and intelligent consent of his client, act both for his client and for one whose interest is adverse to, or conflicting with that of his client in the same general matter. The relation of atty. And client may be terminated by the client, by the lawyer or by the court, or by reason of circumstances beyond the control of the client or the lawyer. An atty may only retire from a case either by written consent of his client or by permission of the court after due notice and hearing, in which event the atty should see to it that the name of the new lawyer is recorded in the case. The appearance of Atty. Alminaza in fact was not even to substitute for respondent but to act as additional counsel. Mrs. Jalandonis conformity to having an additional lawyer did not necessarily mean to respondents desire to withdraw as counsel Respondents speculations on the professional relationship of Atty. Alminaza and Mrs. Jalandoni find no support in the records of this case. Respondent should not have presumed that his motion to withdraw as counsel would be granted by the court. Yet, he stopped appearing as mrs. Jalandonis counsel beginning april 28, 1999, the first hearing date. No order from the court was shown to have actually granted his motion for withdrawal. Thus, Atty. Villarosa is found guilty of violating Canon 15 and Canon 22 of CPR and suspended from practice of law for one year. ROSA MERCADO vs. ATTY. JULITO VITRIOLO Complainants husband filed for annulment of their marriage where Atty. De Leon as counsel of complainant. Respondent entered his appearance as collaborating counsel for complainant when atty. De leon died. That he has been appointed as counsel for the complainant in substitution of atty. De Leon. Respondent filed criminal action against petitioner for violation of art. 171 and 172 (falsification of doc) that complainant made false entries in the Cert. of Live Birth of her children as to the name of her husband and the date of their marriage. Complainant brings this action against respondent. She claimed that, in filing criminal case for falsification, respondent is guilty of breaching their privileged and confidential lawyer-client relationship and should be disbarred. ISSUE: WON the respondent violated the rule on privileged communication between atty and client when he filed criminal case against his former client HELD: The nature of the relationship between atty. And client and the rule of atty-client relationship privilege that is designed to protect such relation is in order. In engaging the services of an atty., the client reposes on him special powers of trust and confidence. Their relationship is strictly personal and highly confidential and fiduciary. The relation is of such delicate, exacting and confidential in nature that is required by necessity and public interest. One rule adopted to serve this purpose is the atty-client privilege: an atty. Is to keep inviolate his clients secrets or confidence and not to abuse them. Thus, the duty of a lawyer to preserve his clients secrets and confidence outlasts the termination of the atty-client relationship, and continues even after the

clients death. It is the glory of the legal profession that its fidelity to its client can be depended on, and that a man may safely go to a lawyer and converse with him upon his rights or supposed rights in any litigation with absolute assurance that the lawyers tongue is tied from ever disclosing it. With full disclosure of the facts of the case by the client to his atty. Adequate legal representation will result in the ascertainment and enforcement of rights or the prosecution or defense of the clients cause. The factors essential to establish the existence of the privilege are as follows: (1) where legal advice of any kind is sought; (2) from a professional legal adviser in his capacity as such; (3) the communications relating to that purpose; (4) made in confidence; (5) by the client; (6) are at his instance permanently protected; (7) from disclosure by himself or by the legal advisor; (8) except the protection be waived. . Without any testimony from the complainant as to the specific confidential information allegedly divulged by respondent without her consent, it is difficult, if not impossible to determine if there was any violation of the rule on privilege communication. Such confidential information is crucial link in establishing a breach of the rule on privileged communication between atty and client. It is not enough to merely assert the atty-client privilege. The burden of proving that the privilege applies is placed upon the party asserting the privilege. Thus, respondent is dismissed for lack of merit. ROMEO SIBULO vs. ATTY. STANLEY CABRERA In the case of Sucaldito vs Marcelo, defendant Marcelo retained the services of the respondent as his lawyer. However, the respondent also entered his appearance as counsel for Sucaldito in the same case, without withdrawing his appearance as counsel for Marcelo. In view of such devt Atty. Reyes Geromo, former counsel of Sucaldito filed a motion to disqualify the respondent on the ground of unethical conduct. Complainant Romeo Sibulo, an intervenor, brought the present admin. Complaint against respondent for the latters removal from or suspension in the practice of law on the ground of unethical practice/ conduct. HELD: Atty. Cabrera admitted the wrongdoing complained of, when he stated that he merely accepted the case from plaintiff and at the same time was the counsel as intervenor of one of the defendants. Such revelation is a categorical interests, which representations or appearances are prohibited by Rule 15.03 of Canon 15 of the CPR. Respondent was bound to faithfully represent his client in all aspects of the subject civil case. The relation of atty and client is based on trust, so that double dealing which could sometimes lead to treachery, should be avoided. Thus, respondent is found guilty of unethical conduct for representing two conflicting interests and hereby fined in the amount of P10,000. DIANA DE GUZMAN vs. ATTY. LOURDES DE DIOS Facts: Complainant engaged the services of respondent as counsel in order to form a corporation, which would engage in hotel and restaurant business in Olongapo City. With the assistance of Atty. De Dios, De Guzman registered with Suzuki Beach Hotel, Inc. with the SEC. Complainant paid respondent a monthly retainer fee of P5K. Later the Corp. required complainant to pay her

unpaid subscribed shares of stocks amounting to P 2, 235, 00. On Jan. 28, 1998, complainant received notice of the public auction sale of her delinquent shares and a copy of board resolution authorizing such sale. Complainant soon learned that her shares had been acquired by Ramon del Rosario, one of the incorporators of SBHI. The sale ousted complainant from the corp. completely. While respondent rose to be pres. of the corp., (because Mr. del Rosario transferred 100 shares to respondent in payment of legal services as evidence by a Deed of Waiver and Transfer of Corporate Shares of Stocks) complainant lost all her lifes savings invested therein. Complainant alleged that she relied on the advice of Atty. De Dios and believed that as the majority stockholder, Atty. De Dios would help her with the management of the corp. Complainant pointed out that respondent appeared as her counsel and signed pleadings in a case where complainant was one of the parties. Respondent, however explained that she only appeared because the property involved belonged to SBHI. She also alleged that complainant misunderstood the role of respondent as legal counsel of SBHI. ISSUE: WON atty. De Dios violated Canon 15.03 for representing conflicting interest HELD: Atty. De dios violated Canon 15.03 and she was suspended from practice of law for six months, with warning that a petition of charges will dealt with more severely. The respondent claims that that there was no atty-client relationship between De guzman has no merit. It was complainant who retained respondent to form a corp. she appeared as counsel in behalf of complainant. There was evidence of collusion between the board of directors and respondent. The board of directors included respondent as president in SBHI. Lawyers must conduct themselves, especially in their dealings with their clients and the public at large, with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach. Clearly, respondent violated the prohibition against representing conflicting interests and engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. As a lawyer, respondent is bound by her oath to do no falsehood or consent to its commission and to conduct herself as a lawyer according to the best of her knowledge and discretion. The lawyers oath is a source of obligations and violation thereof is a ground for suspension. DIANA DE GUZMAN vs. ATTY. LOURDES I. DE DIOS

y y y y y

1995: De Guzman engaged De Dios services to help her form Suzuki Beach Hotel, Inc. (SBHI), a hotel & restaurant business in Olongapo City. 1996: SBHI was registered w/the Securities & Exchange Commission. De Dios was paid a monthly retainer fee of P5,000.00. Dec. 15, 1997: SBHI required De Guzman to pay her unpaid subscribed shares of stock amounting to P2,235,000.00 for 22,350 shares on or before Dec. 30, 1997. Jan. 29, 1998: De Dios received a notice of public auction sale of her unpaid shares authorized by the Board of Directors. Shares were acquired by Ramon del Rosario, an incorporator of SBHI, who transferred 100 shares to De Dios in payment of legal services rendered as proven by a Deed of Waiver & Transfer of Corporate Shares of Stock. De Dios became company president while De Guzman was totally ousted from the corporation.

De Guzman filed a complaint for De Dios disbarment claiming that she represented conflicting interests (prohibited by Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility) and acquired property in litigation (CC Art. 1491). She alleged that she relied on counsels advice & believed that she will help her manage the corporation. De Dios defense:

1. She appeared as counsel for De Guzman to protect the rights & interest of SBHI, which was her client. 2. SBHI belonged to Japanese incorporators & not to De Guzman. 3. De Guzman misappropriated funds & property of the corporation. Unpaid shares were auctioned to save the corporation from bankruptcy.
y

IBP recommendation: De Dios acts were not motivated by ill will. She only acted in the best interest of her client, SBHI. Complainant failed to prove attorney-client relationship except for the pleadings De Dios filed in the trial court were De Guzman was one of the parties.

Issue: WON there was an attorney-client relationship between De Dios & De Guzman which would classify De Dios acts as representation of conflicting interests. YES

Ratio: 1. First of all, De Guzman was a majority stockholder. She paid up P745k during the incorporation stage. Even if the sale of her unpaid shares was proper, what happened now to her original shares? 2. De Guzman was the one who engaged De Dios services. Latter even appeared as counsel in behalf of former. 3. There was evidence of collusion between the board & De Dios, considering that shes now the president of SBHI. Thus, there is a conflict of interest of De Dios. She violated the prohibition against representing conflicting interests & engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (CPR, Canon 1, Rule 1.01). Shes expected to act w/honesty & integrity and to uphold & respect the law.

Holding: De Dios SUSPENDED from the practice of law for 6 MONTHS w/WARNING that a repetition of the charges will be dealt w/more severely.

ATTY. HECTOR TEODOSIO vs. MERCEDES NAVA

Facts: Herein respondent MERCEDES NAVA alleged that petitioner, ATTY. HECTOR TEODOSIO acted as counsel for Melanie Batislaong in several cases, while also acting as counsel for Letecia Espinosa and Ma. Gilda Palma in cases filed by Espinosa and Palma against Batislaong and respondent. Thus, Nava filed complaint against Atty. Teodosio for representing clients with conflicting interests. n Nava used to be the manager of Batislaongs lending business, and in that capacity, dealt with several clients including Espinosa and Palma. However, due to acts of mismanagement, Batislaong, assisted by Atty. Original, filed a civil case against Nava. Nava in turn charged Batislaong, Espinosa and Palma with estafa. n Pending preliminary investigation, Espinosa and Palma hired Atty. Teodosios legal services to annul trust receipt agreements allegedly falsified by Nava. Thus, a case was filed against Nava and Batislaong. [According to the petitioner, he interpleaded Batislaong in the case because Espinosa and Palma wanted to settle the balance of the amount they had borrowed from Batislaong through Nava but they were unsure whether the payment should be made to Nava or Batislaong as the two had parted ways]. n Only after the case was filed that Batislaong offered to hire him as counsel on all the cases filed against her by Nava. He accepted the offer only after he had fully explained to Batislaong the nature of the complaints filed by Espinosa and Palma against her and Nava. Affidavits executed by Batislaong, Espinosa and Palma were submitted, stating that they have no complaints to the way that Atty. Teodosio handled their respective cases and that they know of the extent of his involvement in the said cases. Issue: WON petitioner represented clients with conflicting interests and is guilty of violating RULE 15.03, CPR? SC: DISMISSED. In the cases filed by him for Espinosa and Palma it is only Nava against whom the former have an adverse interest as it was the latter who allegedly falsified the trust receipt agreements to the prejudice of Palma and Espinosa. Indeed, were it not for the offer of Palma and Espinosa to settle their obligation, there would have been no need to implead Batislaong as a defendant. (Note that since Nava waived her right to the payment, the issue on impleading Batislaong in the civil case has become moot and academic). Whereas in the other cases where Batislaong is a party of the case, Espinosa and Palma are not parties to said cases. As stated in their affidavits, petitioner explained to them the consequences of his representation and that they gave their consent to the same. Indeed, Espinosa and Palma stated that it was they themselves who brought Batislaong to petitioners office so that the latter could engage his services. With regards to the contention of Nava that the affidavits were notarized by an associate in petitioners law firm: The fact that the first set of affidavits were uniformly notarized by an associate in petitioners law firm and that they did not state certain data relating to the residence

certificates of the affiants do not adversely affect their validity absent any proof that the affiants did not execute them of their own volition or that their signature therein are not authentic. ELESIO C. PORMENTO, SR. vs. ATTY. ALIAS A. PONTEVEDRA Facts: Herein respondent, ATTY. PONTEVEDRA is the counsel of herein petitioner, PORMENTO, Sr. and his family. Pormento Sr. claims that the relationship of respondent with his family extends beyond mere lawyer-client relationship, to the point where financial support was also extended to respondent. Rift between petitioner and respondent started when petitioners counterclaim in a civil case was dismissed. Petitioner claims that respondent deliberately failed to inform him of such dismissal, thus, he was deprived of the right to appeal. Further, petitioner alleges that he was constrained to hire a new lawyer in order to recover the (extrajudicially foreclosed) subject property of the said civil case AND petitioner had to initiate a criminal case of qualified theft against the relatives of the new owner of the subject property to protect his rights. Respondent is the counsel of the accused in the criminal case of qualified theft. Petitioner claims that as part of his defense in said criminal case, respondent utilized pieces of confidential information he obtained from complainant while the latter is still his client. n In another incident involving a parcel of land, wherein ownership over the same is still in dispute, petitioner heeded respondents advice to build a house on said land and allow petitioners nephew and his family to occupy the house in order to establish possession. Subsequently, nephew of petitioner refused to vacate the land prompting petitioner to file an ejectment case. Respondent acted as counsel for complainants nephew. n Respondents contention: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. i. he was never a direct recipient of any monetary support coming from the complainant. ii. within two days upon his receipt of the trial court's order of dismissal, he delivered to complainant a copy of the said order, apprising him of its contents. iii. he honestly believes that there exists no conflict between his present and former clients' interests as the cases he handled for these clients are separate and distinct from each other. iv. he took up the cause of the accused in the criminal cases filed by complainant for humanitarian considerations since said accused are poor and needy and because there is a dearth of lawyers in their community. v. With respect to the case for ejectment filed by complainant against petitioners nephew, respondent admits that it was he who notarized the deed of sale of the parcel of land sold to complainant. However, he contends that what is being contested in the said case is not the ownership of the subject land but the ownership of the house built on the said land

Issue: WON respondent is guilty of representing interests which conflict with those of his former client, herein petitioner; WON respondent is guilty of taking advantage of the information and knowledge that he obtained from petitioner.

SC: GUILTY of representing conflicting interests; FINED in the amount of Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos T/C: rule 15.03, canon 21, rule 21.02, canon 6

Test of (+) conflicting interests: 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 A lawyer is forbidden from representing a subsequent client against a former client when the subject matter of the present controversy is related, directly or indirectly, to the subject matter of the previous litigation in which he appeared for the former client. Conversely, he may properly act as counsel for a new client, with full disclosure to the latter, against a former client in a matter wholly unrelated to that of the previous employment, there being in that instance no conflict of interests. Where, however, the subject matter of the present suit between the lawyer's new client and his former client is in some way connected with that of the former client's action, the lawyer may have to contend for his new client that which he previously opposed as counsel for the former client or to use against the latter information confided to him as his counsel conflict of interests when respondent represented herein complainant's nephew and other members of his family in the ejectment case? NONE. The only established participation respondent had with respect to the parcel of land purchased by complainant, is that he was the one who notarized the deed of sale of the said land. On that basis alone, it does not necessarily follow that respondent obtained any information from herein complainant that can be used to the detriment of the latter in the ejectment case he filed. Further, no substantial evidence presented to support claim. Conflict of interests in the criminal case of qualified theft and counsel of petitioner in the counterclaim case? YES! The subject matter is the same parcel of land involved in the criminal case filed by herein complainant against several persons, accusing them of theft for allegedly cutting and stealing coconut trees within the premises of the said lot. Complainant contends that it is in this criminal case that respondent used confidential information which the latter obtained from the former presented tsn. as evidence after reading, no direct evidence to support contention was found. Nonetheless, be that as it may, it cannot be denied that when respondent was the counsel of complainant in Civil Case No. 1648, he became privy to the documents and information that complainant possessed with respect to the said parcel of land. Hence, whatever may be said as to whether or not respondent utilized against complainant any information given to him in a professional capacity, the mere fact of their previous relationship should have precluded him from appearing as counsel for the opposing side.

Moreover, nothing on record would show that respondent fully apprised complainant and his new clients and secured or at least tried to secure their consent when he took the defense of the accused in the case of qualified theft. On defense of good faith, honest intention and motives, and termination of services as counsel: termination of the relation of attorney and client provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client; the prohibition against representation of conflicting interests applies although the attorney's intentions and motives were honest and he acted in good faith. Moreover, the fact that the conflict of interests is remote or merely probable does not make the prohibition inoperative. NAZARIA S. HERNANDEZ (DECEASED), SUBSTITUTED BY LUCIANO S. HERNANDEZ, JR. vs. ATTY. JOSE C. GO Facts: Sometime in 1961, complainants husband abandoned her and her son, Luciano S. Hernandez, Jr. Shortly thereafter, her husbands numerous creditors demanded payments of his loans. Fearful that the various mortgage contracts involving her properties will be foreclosed and aware of impending suits for sums of money against her, complainant engaged the legal services of ATTY. JOSE C. GO, herein respondent. Atty. Go advised her to give him her land titles so he could sell them to enable her to pay her creditors. Complainant agreed on condition that he would sell the lots and from the proceeds pay her creditors. Complainant also owned lots located in Zamboanga City, which were mortgaged to her creditors. When the mortgages fell due, respondent redeemed the lots. Again, he convinced her to execute deeds of sale involving those lots in his favor. As a result, respondent became the registered owner of all the lots belonging to complainant. Sometime in 1974, complainant came to know that respondent did not sell her lots as agreed upon. Instead, he paid her creditors with his own funds and had her land titles registered in his name, depriving her of her real properties worth millions. n Respondents contention: He averred that he sold, in good faith, complainants lots to various buyers, including himself, for valuable consideration. On several occasions, he extended financial assistance to complainant and even invited her to live with his family. His children used to call her "Lola" due to her frequent visits to his residence. He prayed that the complaint be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action. n IBP recommended 6 months suspension from practice of law. IBP Board of Governors modified the penalty to 3 years. Issue: WON respondent violated canon 16 and canon 17, CPR SC: guilty of gross misconduct and is DISBARRED from the practice of law.

His acts of acquiring for himself complainants lots entrusted to him are, by any standard, acts constituting gross misconduct, a grievous wrong, a forbidden act, a dereliction in duty, willful in character, and implies a wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment The records show that complainant reposed such high degree of trust and confidence in herein respondent, that when she engaged his services, she entrusted to him her land titles and allowed him to sell her lots, believing that the proceeds thereof would be used to pay her creditors. Respondent, however, abused her trust and confidence when he did not sell her properties to others but to himself and spent his own money to pay her obligations; respondent is duty-bound to render a detailed report to the complainant on how much he sold the latters lots and the amounts paid to her creditors. Obviously, had he sold the lots to other buyers, complainant could have earned more. Records show that she did not receive any amount from respondent. Clearly, respondent did not adhere faithfully and honestly in his duty as complainants counsel Considering the depravity of respondents offense, we find the penalty recommended by the IBP too light. J It bears reiterating that a lawyer who takes advantage of his clients financial plight to acquire the latters properties for his own benefit is destructive of the confidence of the public in the fidelity, honesty, and integrity of the legal profession MARISSA L. MACARILAY vs. FELIX B. SERIA Failure to render the legal services agreed upon, despite the undisputed receipt of an acceptance fee, is a clear violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Negligence in attending to the needs of a client and a deceitful cover-up of such carelessness likewise constitute major breaches of the lawyer's oath Facts: Sometime in year 2000, Complainant, MARISSA MACARILAY and Jenelyn Balaoro bought a lot from Albaria Mohammad. Complainant and Balaoro, however, could not register the sale with the Register of Deeds and cause the transfer of the title in their names because Mohammad failed to surrender the owner's duplicate certificate of title for lot. Sometime in January or February 2002, one Vic Paule, an employee of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City, advised Complainant to get a lawyer to handle the case. Herein respondent FELIX SERIA was the counsel recommended by Paule to complainant and Balaoro. After the meeting, respondent advised complainant and Balaoro of the proper actions to be taken. He also required an acceptance fee of 20,000.00 before he could act on the matter. Aside from this, he also asked for notarial fees, and filing fees on several occasions to cover for the expenses of the filing of the cases. Towards the middle part of the year, Complainant inquired from Respondent about the status of the case(s) against Mohammad but the latter could not give any further developments other than that the affidavit of adverse claim had already been filed with the Register of Deeds. It appears that Respondent was having problems about the fact that Mohammad's whereabouts are

unknown and Respondent was not sure what to do about it. Subsequently, Complainant received assurance from Respondent that the case against Mohammad was already filed in court although Respondent could not identify the particular court except that it was pending in the sala of one Judge Regala. Upon verification with the courts and the fiscal's office at Quezon City, Complainant learned that no case, whether criminal or civil, was ever filed by Respondent against Mohammad. Complainant then called Respondent regarding her findings and even suggested service of summons by publication upon Mohammad, having received advice from Atty. Noel Sorreda. Respondent, however, immediately got angry so Complainant did not insist on her inquiries and suggestions. March 24, 2003 -- upon Complainant's request, Atty. Sorreda called Respondent to inquire about the specific branch where the case against Mohammad was supposedly pending. Respondent got angry and hung up the phone. Upon learning this, Complainant authorized Atty. Sorreda to terminate the services of Respondent on her behalf. Atty. Sorreda called Respondent a second time but was able to talk only with presumably Respondent's lady-receptionist or secretary whom Atty. Sorreda requested to just relay to Respondent his message regarding the termination of Respondent's services. Then, Atty. Sorreda, sent a letter to Respondent confirming the verbal termination of services, and also asking for the turnover of the pertinent documents that were with Respondent. Subsequently, Complainant herself wrote Respondent a letter affirming the contents of the earlier letter of Atty. Sorreda. Respondent denied the fact of his termination by Atty. Sorreda and invited Complainant to his office to talk things over. Complainant responded through Atty. Sorreda in a letter by reiterating the termination of Respondent's services and the request for the turnover of documents. In a letter, Respondent enclosed the documents requested. Since it appears from the documents turned over that Respondent never filed a suit against Mohammad, Complainant wrote Respondent demanding the return of the money she paid for the anticipated legal services Respondent was supposed to render but which were not actually rendered. Instead of returning the money, Respondent wrote Complainant a letter denying receipt of any amount from Complainant other than the P20,000.00 acceptance fee and demanding payment of alleged unpaid attorney's fee of P40,000 and fees for notarial services of P3,000.00 which Respondent allegedly advanced for Complainant. Hence, this petition. SC: GUILTY of violating Canons 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months; return to Marissa L. Macarilay, within thirty (30) days from notice, the amount of P40,000, with interest at 6 percent per annum from May 16, 2002, until full payment respondent received the amount of P20,000 as acceptance fee for the cases he had agreed to file on behalf of complainant. Plainly, he was less than candid in his dealings with his client; he displayed lack of honesty and fidelity to her cause. Sufficiently established were the following acts: (1) despite his receipt on May 16, 2002, of P20,000 for filing fees, he did not file the cases he had agreed to handle; (2) he deceived complainant when he lied by saying that a civil

complaint had been filed in the sala of one "Judge Regala" of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City; (3) respondent refused to return the money he had received for the filing fees. respondent neglected a legal matter entrusted to him by failing to file the complaints as he was supposed to. Unbelievable is his claim that the complaints were ready as early as April 5, 2002, but that these were not filed anyway because complainant had refused to sign them, absent the correct address Mohammad. [petitioner repeatedly inquired about the case, but respondent would not give her any clear answer. Later on, he lied to her by saying that the complaint was pending in the sala of one Judge Regala. His deception on top of his failure to file the cases were raised in the letter dated March 26, 2003, written by Atty. Noel Sorreda, her new counsel. In his reply, respondent did not mention anything about the complaints that had allegedly been prepared as early as April 5, 2002]

Where the client gives money to the lawyer for a specific purpose -- such as to file an action or to appeal an adverse judgment -- the latter should, upon failure to do so, immediately return it to the former. The unjustified withholding of funds belonging to the client warrants the imposition of disciplinary action against the lawyer. ATTY. AUGUSTO G. NAVARRO, for and in behalf of PAN-ASIA INTERNATIONAL COMMODITIES, INC., vs. ATTY. ROSENDO MENESES III Facts: Herein complainant charges respondent Meneses with the following offenses, viz.: (1) malpractice and gross misconduct unbecoming a public defender; (2) dereliction of duty, by violating his oath to do everything within his power to protect his client's interest; (3) willful abandonment; and (4) loss of trust and confidence, due to his continued failure to account for the amount of P50,000.00 entrusted to him to be paid to a certain complainant for the amicable settlement of a pending case n Frankwell Management and Consultant, Inc., a group of companies which includes Pan-Asia International Commodities, Inc., through its Administrative Manager Estrellita Valdez, engaged the legal services of respondent Atty. Meneses. One of the litigations handled by him was the case of "People vs. Lai Chan Kow, a.k.a. Wilson Lai, and Arthur Bretaa," pending before RTC Makati. respondent received the sum of P50,000.00 from Arthur Bretaa, the accused in said case, to be given to therein offended party, a certain Gleason, as consideration for an out-of-court settlement and with the understanding that a motion to dismiss the case would be filed by respondent Meneses Despite subsequent repeated requests, respondent failed to present to his client the receipt acknowledging that Gleason received said amount. A verification made with RTC - Makati revealed that no motion to dismiss or any pleading in connection therewith had been filed, and the supposed amicable settlement was NOT finalized and concluded. Meneses deliberately ignored the pleas of herein complainant.

n Upon hearing and investigation, time and again, respondent failed to attend even with due notice and despite grants of postponements and resetting; allegedly, his non-appearance was due to some health problems. Thus, the case was submitted for resolution. IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the recommended penalty submitted3 years suspension from practice of law and to return the 50,000 he received from complainant for settlement of the abovementioned case. Issue: WON respondent violated RULE 16.02, CPR. SC: DISBARRED

Meneses misappropriated the money entrusted to him and which he has failed and/or refused to account for to his client despite repeated demands therefor. Such conduct on the part of respondent indicating his unfitness for the confidence and trust reposed on him, or showing such lack of personal honesty or of good moral character as to render him unworthy of public confidence, constitutes a ground for disciplinary action extending to disbarment

Respondent Meneses' misconduct constitutes a gross violation of his oath as a lawyer which, inter alia, imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay no man for money or malice. He blatantly disregarded Rule 16.01 of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from his client. Respondent was merely holding in trust the money he received from his client to be used as consideration for the amicable settlement of a case he was handling. Since the amicable settlement did not materialize, he was necessarily under obligation to immediately return the money, as there is no showing that he has a lien over it. As a lawyer, he should be scrupulously careful in handling money entrusted to him in his professional capacity, because a high degree of fidelity and good faith on his part is exacted

On the argument that complainant has no legal personality to sue him is unavailing.

Section 1, Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court provides that proceedings for the disbarment, suspension, or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines upon the verified complaint of any person. The right to institute a disbarment proceeding is not confined to clients nor is it necessary that the person complaining suffered injury from the alleged wrongdoing. Disbarment proceedings are matters of public interest and the only basis for judgment is the proof or failure of proof of the charges.

It is settled that a lawyer is not obliged to act as counsel for every person who may wish to become his client. He has the right to decline employment subject, however, to the provisions of Canon 14 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Once he agrees to take up the cause of a client, he owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him. Respondent Meneses, as counsel, had the obligation to inform his client of the status of the case and to respond within a reasonable time to his client's request for information. Respondent's failure to communicate with his client by deliberately disregarding its requests for an audience or conference is an unjustifiable denial of its right to be fully informed of the developments in and the status of its case. CUNANAN vs. ATTY. RIMORIN

IRENE RAYOS-OMBAC vs. ATTY. ORLANDO RAYOS

Facts: January 1985: Respondent induced complainant who was then 85 y.o. to withdraw all her bank deposits and entrust them to him for safekeeping. January 22 1985, respondent deposited the amount of 588000 with Union Bank under the name of his wife in trust for 7 beneficiaries, including his son. May 21, 1985, complainant made a demand on respondent to return the P588,000.00 plus interest. Respondent told her that he has renewed the deposit for another month and promised to return the whole amount including interest on June 25, 1985. Respondent, however, failed to return the money on June 25, 1985. August 16, 1985, respondent informed complainant that he could only return P400,000.00 to be paid on installment. Complainant acceded to respondent's proposal as she was already old and was in dire need of money. memorandum of agreement was executed however, it was not followed through because the checks issued was dishonored due to insufficient funds. Records also show that respondent filed several suits against complainant

Thus, in June 1986, complainant filed with this Court a complaint to disbar respondent on two grounds: (1) that respondent employed clever scheme to defraud complainant, and (2) that respondent filed frivolous cases against complainant to harass her. SC: disbarred. The affidavit of withdrawal of the disbarment case allegedly executed by complainant does not, in any way, exonerate the respondent. A case of suspension or disbarment may proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest of the complainant. What matters is whether, on the basis of the facts borne out by the record, the charge of deceit and grossly immoral conduct has been duly proven. This rule is premised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not in any sense a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a defendant. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare. They are undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of justice from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice in them. The attorney is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorney's alleged misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. Hence, if the evidence on record warrants, the respondent may be suspended or disbarred despite the desistance of complainant or his withdrawal of the charges.

ANDREA BALCE CELAJE vs. ATTY. SANTIAGO SORIANO

Complainant alleged that respondent asked for money to be put up as an injunction bond, which complainant found out later, however, to be unnecessary as the application for the writ was denied by the trial court.Respondent also asked for money on several occasions allegedly to spend for or to be given to the judge handling their case, Judge Milagros Quijano When complainant approached Judge Quijano and asked whether what respondent was saying was true, Judge Quijano outrightly denied the allegations and advised her to file an administrative case against respondent During investigation, it was alleged that complainant remitted to respondent 270,000 on various dates and amounts and in several instances it was not documented nor acknowledged in writing. However, for the alleged amount of 14000 for the injunction bond, some documents in writing were made. It was established that an accumulated amount of 9000 was remitted to respondent and only the unpaid 5800 remains unaccounted for by the respondent. SC: found GUILTY of violating Canon 16, CPR = suspension [2 years] + stern warning a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession.He shall account for all money or property collected or received from his client and shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand it was established that respondent could not account for P5,800.00 which was part of the sum given by complainant to him for the purpose of filing an injunctive bond.Respondent admitted having received from complainant P17,800.00 on April 19, 2002 for the preliminary injunction and admitted to having a balance of P9,000.00 in his promissory note to the Manila Insurance Co., Inc. dated April 23, 2002, which was reduced to P5,800.00 by reason of an additional payment of P4,000.00, leaving an amount of P5,800.00

unaccounted for. The affidavit of the insurance agent, Valentina Ramos, dated December 8, 2005 also states that even up to said date, respondent had not yet paid the balance of P5,800.00 Respondents failure to return the money to complainant upon demand gave rise to the presumption that he misappropriated it for his own use to the prejudice of, and in violation of the trust reposed in him by his client. It is a gross violation of general morality and of professional ethics and impairs public confidence in the legal profession which deserves punishment.

As the Court has pronounced, when a lawyer receives money from the client for a particular purpose, the lawyer is bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for a particular purpose. And if he does not use the money for the intended purpose, the lawyer must immediately return the money to his client

VILLANUEVA vs. ATTY. GONZALES FACTS: Vivian Villanueva engaged the services of Atty. Cornelius M. Gonzales to transfer the title of property of her mortgagee. She gave him P8K,the propertys TCT and other pertinent documents. However, after receiving such, respondent lawyer avoided the complainant for 3 years and when visited at the IBP office, he refused to meet her or her daughter (sleeping or doing something important). She informed him thru a letter of her lost of trust and demanded that he return the money and documents. Respondent refused to do so. He only returned the money when he was confronted by her daughter. However, he still failed to return the TCT and other documents. Villanueva filed a complaint before the IBP1. Did not perform legal services, 2. Did not inform client of the status of the case, 3. Returned acceptance fee w/o any explanation, 4. Respondent was indifferent. Respondent was directed to answer, but he did not do so. Neither did he attend the mandatory hearings. HELD: YES, he violated Canons 16, 17, 18, and Rules 16.01, 16.03, 18.03, and 18.04 of the CPR 1. Respondent refused to account for and return his clients money (16.01 &16.03) 2. Respondent refused to return his clients TCT and other documents (Canon 16 & Rule 16.03) 3. Respondent failed to serve his client with fidelity , competence, and diligence (Canons 17, 18 & Rule 18.03) 4. Respondent did not keep his client informed of the status of her case and refused to respond to her requests for information (Rule 18.04)

5. Respondent did not file an answer nor attend the mandatory hearing before the IBP (showed lack of respect for IBP and its proceedings, stains the nobility of the profession) BARCENAS vs. ATTY. ALVERO FACTS: Reynaria Barcenas, through her employee Rodolfo San Antonio, entrusted Atty. Anorlito A. Alvero the amount of 300K to be consigned in court to redeem the rights of his father as tenant of a ricefield. Later, they found out that Atty. Alvero was losing a lot of money in cockfights. To check if their money was still intact, they pretended to borrow P80K from the 300K. Respondent replied Akala niyo ba ay madaling kunin ang pera pag nasa korte na? Subsequently, complainant discovered the respondent never consigned the amount in court and instead used it for his personal needs. Despite promising to return the amount, respondent failed to do so. HELD: YES, respondent violated Canon 1, Rule 1.01, Rules 16.01, 16.02, 16.03 of Canon 16. Suspended for 2 yrs. Jurisprudence dictates that a lawyer who obtains possession of the funds and properties of client in the course of his professional employment shall deliver the same to his client when: 1. Becomes due; and 2. Upon demand.

Atty. Alvero cannot take refuge in his claim that there existed no attorney-client relationship between him and Barcenas. Even if it were true that no attorney-client relationship existed between them, case law has it that an attorney may be removed, or otherwise disciplined, not only for malpractice and dishonesty in the profession, but also for gross misconduct not connected with his professional duties, making him unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges which his license and the law confer upon him Atty. Alvero's failure to immediately account for and return the money when due and upon demand violated the trust reposed in him, demonstrated his lack of integrity and moral soundness, and warranted the imposition of disciplinary action. It gave rise to the presumption that he converted the money for his own use, and this act constituted a gross violation of professional ethics and a betrayal of public confidence in the legal profession. a They constitute gross misconduct and gross unethical behavior for which he may be suspended, following Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, which provides: Sec. 27. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court, grounds therefor. - A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before the admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience appearing as attorney for a party without authority to do so ZOILO ANTONIO VELEZ vs. ATTY. LEONARD S. DE VERA

The Court has emphasized that the judgment of suspension against a Filipino lawyer in a foreign jurisdiction does not automatically result in his suspension or disbarment in the Philippines. Judgment of suspension against a Filipino lawyer may transmute into a similar judgment of suspension in the Philippines only if the basis of the foreign court's action includes any of the grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction. The judgment of the foreign court merely constitutes prima facie evidence of unethical acts as lawyer. Complainant must prove by substantial evidence the facts upon which the recommendation by the hearing officer was based. If he is successful in this, he must then prove that these acts are likewise unethical under Philippine law.

On April 11, 2005, Zoilo Antonio Velez filed a complaint for the suspension and/or disbarment of Atty. Leonard De Vera based on the latter's alleged misrepresentation in concealing the suspension order rendered against him by the State Bar of California. Velez averred that Atty. De Vera lacked the moral competence necessary to lead the country's most noble profession. It appears that Atty. De Vera handled an insurance case in California involving a certain Julius Willis III who figured in an automobile accident in 1986. He was authorized by the elder Willis (father of Julius) for the release of the funds in settlement of the case. He then received a check in settlement of the case which he deposited to his personal account. An administrative case was filed against him before the State Bar of California and it was recommended that he be suspended from the practice of law for three years. Thereafter, Atty. de Vera resigned from the California Bar which resignation was accepted by the Supreme Court of California. On April 15, 2005, Atty. De Vera filed a letter-request with the Court for his oathtaking as IBP National President. In a regular meeting on May 13, 2005, the IBP Board, by 2/3 vote, resolved to remove Atty. De Vera as member of the IBP Board and as EVP. Atty. De Vera allegedly made untruthful statements, innuendos and blatant lies during the Plenary Session of the IBP 10th National Convention of Lawyers on April 22, 2005, making it appear that the decision of the IBP Board to withdraw the Petition questioning R.A. 9227, was due to influence and pressure from the Supreme Court, thereby bringing the IBP Board and the IBP as a whole in public contempt and disrepute, in violation of Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers which mandates that a lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others. It appears that the IBP Board approved the withdrawal of the Petition filed before the Court to question the legality and/or constitutionality of R.A. 9227, authorizing the increase in the salaries of judges and justices, and to increase filing fees. Atty. De Vera also allegedly instigated and provoked some IBP chapters to embarrass and humiliate the IBP Board in order to coerce and compel the latter to pursue the aforesaid Petition. Moreover, he was alleged to have falsely accused IBP National President Cadiz, during the said Plenary Session, of withholding from him

a copy of the Court's Resolution granting the withdrawal of the aforesaid Petition, thereby creating the wrong impression that the IBP National President deliberately prevented him from taking the appropriate remedies with respect thereto, thus compromising the reputation and integrity of the IBP National President and the IBP as a whole. On May 13, 2005, the IBP issued a Resolution removing Atty. De Vera as member of the IBP Board and as IBP EVP. Thereafter, IBP National President Cadiz informed the Court of the election of IBP Governor Jose Vicente Salazar as EVP and requested that the latter's election be approved and that he be allowed to assume as National President in the event that Atty. De Vera was disbarred or suspended from the practice of law or should his removal from the IBP Board and as EVP be approved by the Court. Atty. De Vera vehemently insists that there is no proof that he misappropriated his client's funds as the elder Willis gave him authority to use the same and that the latter even testified under oath that he "expected de Vera might use the money for a few days." He also questions his removal from the IBP Board on the ground that he was denied "very basic rights of due process recognized by the Honorable Court even in administrative cases" like the right to answer formally or in writing and within reasonable time, the right to present witnesses in his behalf, the right to a fair hearing. He protests the fact that he was not able to crossexamine the complainant, IBP Governor Romulo Rivera and that the latter voted as well for his expulsion which made him accuser, prosecutor and judge at the same time. Atty. de Vera emphasizes the fact that Atty. Rivera initially inhibited himself from voting on his own motion. However, when his inhibition resulted in the defeat of his motion as the necessary 2/3 vote could not be mustered, Atty. Rivera asked for another round of voting so he could vote to support his own motion. The IBP Board counters that since its members were present during the plenary session, and personally witnessed and heard Atty. de Vera'sactuations, an evidentiary or formal hearing was no longer necessary. Since they all witnessed and heard Atty. de Vera, it was enough that he was given an opportunity to refute and answer all the charges imputed against him. They emphasized that Atty. de Vera was given a copy of the complaint and that he was present at the Board Meeting on May 13, 2005 wherein the letter-complaint against him was part of the agenda. Therein, he was given the opportunity to be heard and that, in fact, Atty. de Vera did argue his case.

ISSUES: 1) Whether or not there is substantial proof that Atty. De Vera violated Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers 2) Whether or not Atty. de Vera was removed for just and valid cause 3) Whether or not Atty. De Vera was denied due process when he was removed from the IBP Board and as IBP EVP

HELD: Atty. De Vera is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for two years. His letter-complaint praying for the disapproval of the Resolution removing him from the IBP Board and as IBP EVP is DISMISSED. The election of Atty. Salazar as IBP EVP for the remainder of the term 20032005 is AFFIRMED and he is DIRECTED to immediately take his oath of office and assume the Presidency of the IBP for the term 2005-2007. There is substantial evidence of malpractice on the part of Atty. De Vera independent of the recommendation of suspension by the hearingofficer of the State Bar of California. The recommendation of the hearing officer of the State Bar of California,standing alone, is not proof of malpractice. No final judgment for suspension or disbarment was meted against Atty. de Vera despite a recommendation of suspension of three years as he surrendered his license to practice law before his case could be taken up by the Supreme Court of California. The Court has emphasized in the case of the Suspension from the Practice of Law in the Territory of Guam of Atty. Leon G.Maquera that the judgment of suspension against a Filipino lawyer in a foreign jurisdiction does not automatically result in his suspension or disbarment in the Philippines. Judgment of suspension against a Filipino lawyer may transmute into a similar judgment of suspension in the Philippines only if the basis of the foreign court's action includes any of the grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction. The judgment of the foreign court merely constitutes prima facie evidence of unethical acts as lawyer. Considering that there is technically no foreign judgment to speak of, the recommendation by the hearing officer of the State Bar of California does not constitute prima facie evidence of unethical behavior by Atty. de Vera. Complainant must prove by substantial evidence the facts upon which the recommendation by the hearing officer was based. If he is successful in this, he must then prove that these acts are likewise unethical under Philippine law. Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence of malpractice on the part of Atty. De Vera independent of the recommendation of suspension by the hearing officer of the State Bar of California. By insisting that he was authorized by the elder Willis to use the funds, Atty. de Vera has impliedly admitted the use of his client's funds for his own personal use. This admission constitutes more than substantial evidence of malpractice. Consequently, Atty. De Vera now has the burden of rebutting the evidence which he himself supplied. Beyond doubt, the unauthorized use by a lawyer of his client's funds is highly unethical. Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility is emphatic about this, thus:A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME TO HIS POSSESSION.Rule 16.01. A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Rule 16.02. A lawyer shall keep the funds of each clientseparate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him. Atty. de Vera's act of holding on to his client's money without the latter's acquiescence is conduct indicative of lack of integrity and propriety. It is clear that he, by depositing the check in his own account and using the same for his own benefit, is guilty of deceit, malpractice, gross misconduct and unethical behavior. He caused dishonor, not only to himself but to the noble

profession to which he belongs. For, it cannot be denied that the respect of litigants to the profession is inexorably diminished whenever a member of the profession betrays their trust and confidence. Atty. De Vera violated his oath to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his client. That the elder Willis "expected de Vera might use the money for a few days" was not so much an acknowledgment of consent to the use by Atty. De Vera of his client's funds. Rather, it was more an acceptance of the probability that Atty. de Vera might, indeed, use his client's funds, which by itself did not speak well of the character of Atty. de Vera or the way such character was perceived. Disciplinary action against a lawyer is intended to protect the court and the public from the misconduct of officers of the court and to protect the administration of justice by requiring that those who exercise this important function shall be competent, honorable and reliable men in whom courts and clients may repose confidence. The statutory enunciation of the grounds for disbarment on suspension is not to be taken as a limitation on the general power of courts to suspend or disbar a lawyer. The inherent power of the court over its officers cannot be restricted. However, the power to disbar must be exercised with great caution.Considering the amount involved here - US$12,000.00 - the penalty of suspension for two years is appropriate.

The IBP Board removed Atty. de Vera as IBP Governor for just and valid cause. The IBP Board is vested with the power to remove any of its members pursuant to Section 44, Article VI of the IBP By-Laws, under which a member of the IBP Board may be removed for cause by resolution adopted by % of the remaining members of the Board, subject to the approval of this Court. Conflicts and disagreements of varying degrees of intensity, if not animosity, are inherent in the internal life of an organization, but especially of the IBP since lawyers are said to disagree before they agree. However, the effectiveness of the IBP, like any other organization, is diluted if the conflicts are brought outside its governing body for then there would be the impression that the IBP, which speaks through the Board of Governors, does not and cannot speak for its members in an authoritative fashion. It would accordingly diminish the IBP's prestige and repute with the lawyers as well as with the general public. As a means of self-preservation, internecine conflicts must thus be adjusted within the governing board itself so as to free it from [he stresses that invariably arise when internal cleavages are made public. Therefore, the IBP Board was well within its right in removing Ally, de Vera as the latter's actuations during the 10th National IBP Convention were detrimental to the role of the IBP Board as the governing body of the IBP. When the IBP board is not seen by the bar and the public as a cohesive unit, it cannot effectively perform its duty of helping the Court enforce the code of legal ethics and the standards of legal practice as well as improve the administration of justice.

The IBP Board observed due process in the removal of Atty. de Vera as IBP Governor. The constitutional provision on due process safeguards life, liberty and property. It cannot be said that the position of IBP EVI1 13 property within the constitutional sense especially since there is no right to security of tenure over said position as, in fact, .ill that is required to remove any member of the board of governors for cause is a resolution adopted by /^ of the remaining members of the board- Even if the right of due process could be rightfully invoked, still, in administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the opportunity Lo explain one's side. Thus, in certain proceedings of administrative character, the right to a notice or hearing are not essential to due process of law, the constitutional requirement of due process is met by a fair hearing before a regularly established administrative agency Or tribunal. It is not essential that hearings be had before the making of a determination if thereafter, there is available trial and tribunal before which all objections and defenses lo the making of such determination may be raised and considered. One adequate hearing is all that due process requires. The right to crossexamine is not an indispensable aspect of due process. Atty. de Vera received a copy of the complaint against him and that he was present when the matter was taken up. From the transcript of the stenographic notes of the May 13, 2005 meeting wherein he was removed, it is patent that he was given fair opportunity to defend himself against the accusations made by Atty. Rivera. [case of HERNANDEZ v. GO, supra] AMAYA vs. TECSON FACTS: Mario S. Amaya engaged the services of the respondent, Atty. Delano A. Tecson to handle his appeal after his previous counsel suffered a stroke. Atty. Tecson demanded the payment of P20K for the filing of the notice of appeal and P20K for the preparation and filing of the appellants brief. The complainant immediately paid the same on March 24, 2001. Respondent assured him that the appeal would be filed on time. Complainant periodically visited the respondent to follow-up the appeal and was assured that his appeal would be given due course. On the first week of December, he was informed that the appeal was dismissed because respondent filed it one day late. Complainant was shocked because he was diligent in his payments. Respondent said that the CA made a mistake because it did not consider that the post office was closed on Saturdays and Sundays. He assured complainant that the appeal would be resurrected by filing a Motion for Reconsideration and demanded another P10K to personally file the same in Manila. Afterwards, complainant could no longer talk to the respondent as the latter was always out of town. He learned through a friend that the Motion was dismissed. He was forced to hire another lawyer, Atty. Tan to file a second motion for reconsideration, which was also denied.

Respondents Defense: Atty Tecson admitted that he was complainants counsel. He averred that complainant was cocksure of winning the appeal and defendant told the former that he would do his best to help him in his appeal. He also said that there were only a few days left before the end of the15-day period for filing an appeal. That on the last day of paying the docket feea Friday, he decided to pay thru money order, but when he arrived at the post office, his transaction would not be accepted because of their policy not to transact business after 4:30pm, he had heated arguments with that post office and tried other postal offices in Cebu, but none accepted. He was forced to pay docket fees on Monday. He likewise averred that the case was a pro bono one and it was complainant who insisted to pay the 40K, which he promised to return if the appeal would not be successful as in fact he did, evidenced by receipts and that he did not collect an additional 10K. Held:Yes, he violated Rule 18.03, A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. By accepting the case, he owes entire devotion to the interest of his client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his client's rights, and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability to the end that nothing be taken or withheld from his client, save by the rules of law legally applied. His client is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land and he may expect his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense. He was REPRIMANDED and STERNLY WARNED. ABIERO vs. JUANINO Facts: abiero engaged the services of the respondent as counsel de parte in NLRC NCR OCW case by ordering the respondents to pay his unpaid wages. ( employer). Complainant tried to follow up the status of the case but Juanino advised him to call later. The lawyer filed with CA a motion for extension of time to file Petition for Review but Abiero found out that his lawyer never filed a petition for Review. The respondent delayed the filing of the comment for more than 2 yrs. and despite numerous extensions which were all granted, the 12th extension was even filed one day late. Held: yes, Canons 17&18 and 18.03 which states that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. A lawyers duty is to exert best judgement & exercise reasonable & ordinary care or defense on his case. He is not required to seek prior approval from the labor arbiter before he could file a motion for execution. Failure to appeal in CA despite instructions by the client constitutes inexcusable negligence. Once he consents to defend the cause of his client, he owes fidelity to such cause and must at all times be mindful to the trust and confidence reposed in him. It is not enough that a lawyer possess the qualification, he must also give adequate attention to his legal work. ANDERSON vs. CARDEO Facts: Rasmus G. Anderson an American citizen from USA Alaska filed an action before the court of first instance of Rizal to recover the title and possession of a parcel of land against the

sps. Juanito Maybituin and Rosario Cerrado and Fernando Ramos but the case was dismissed declaring the defendants the true lawful owners of the land in question. The CA judgement as not appealed for his lawyer Atty de Guzman died and Anderson was referred to a lawyer Atty. Reynaldo Cardeo. He filed and administrative complain alleging that Atty. Cardeo caused the loss of the case. Atty. Replied that he took the case without personally meeting the client, he only knew half of the information and not knowing the person he was representing. Also he has to uphold in his oath so he refused when complainants friends proposed to employ acts to corrupt the judge.Commision has arrived at a conclusion that theres an apparent lack of interest on the part of the complainant, he could have appeared personally or present evidence to support his allegations not just to send a representative. Held: Violated canon 18, that a lawyer never neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, otherwise his negligence in fulfilling his duty subjects him to disciplinary action, A lawyer owes to the cause of his client and must be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. He shall serve his client with competence and diligence. He must employ every honorable means to secure for the client what is justly due or to present every defense provided by law to enable the latters cause to succeed. An attys duty is to safeguard the clients interest commences from his retainer until his effective release from the case or final disposition of the whole subject matter in litigation. Respondent failed to appear despite the several settings of hearings, failed to perform an obligation which he owes to the client. The respondent stated he filed a motion for reconsideration in the case Anderson vs Maybituin then still pending. But that certain good friends of the complainant made representations to him made arrangements with the presiding judge who thy claimed already bought. Respondednt allowed these persons to take over in the filing of motion for reconsideration and did not even bother to check with the court if the same has been filed of not. He also breached the Honorable supreme court to report corrupt judges. The respondents defenses that the client was uncooperative are unavailaing. It was incumbent upon him to insist on his clients participation, not having depend entirely on the info his client gave, he should have taken more control in handling th case. Suspended 6 mos. REYES vs. VITAN Facts: Carlos reyes hired Atty. Jeremias Vitan for filing a complaint against his sisters in law for both refused to abide on the courts decision ordering the partition of the properties left by complainants brother. The complaint was for the disbarment of Atty. Vitan, after directing him to file an answer he failed to do so and only sent his secretary to represent him. IBP commissioner submitted in IBP and quoted him as he ignored all orders neither did he comply with any of those Orders. Failed to submit the responsive pleadings and the complaint submitted to his sis in law were only a format in the sense not signed completely and no civil case no. there was no proof that said pleading was filed which amounts to a mere scrap of paper and not an authenticated doc. Nothing was done by the client as his client paid legal fees as reflected in the handwritten forms.

Held: Yes. Canon 18, a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. A member of the legal profession owes his client entire devotion to his genuine interest, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights. An atty is expected to exert his best effort and ability to preserve his clients cause ANGALAN vs. ATTY. DELANTE This is a complaint filed by maria, nena, dionicio, Magdalena, francisca, rosario and Josefina (Angalan) against Atty. Leonido Delante. These are the heirs of Angalan Samal( angalan) and Sanaan Samal( Sanaan). 1971 Angalan and complainants borrowed 15k fr. Navarro Eustaquio and Arabella, to secure the loan they mortgaged 8.102 ha of 9.102 ha property and surrendered to the sps. Eustaquio by affixing their thumb marks on the doc. When complainants tried to pay sps. Eustaquio refused and learned that it was deed of absolute sale. Complainants engaged the services of respondent for the purpose of recovering their property. A receipt evidencing payment was issued by the complainants for the full payment of his professional fees was also given. Respondent then filed a complaint with the court of first instance (CFI) now RTC. 1977 Complainants and eustaquio entered into an amicable settlement: a) Complainants offered the sum of 30k as repurchase which defendant accept b) Upon signing plaintiff shall pay 15k the deed of reconveyance shall be executed by the defendant C.)While balance not paid defendants continue to possess and if necessary to gather the produce of the property Complainants didnt have the 30k repurchase price. Respondent advanced the 30k in return complainants allowed respondent to possess the property until he is paid. When complainants tried to repay respondent refused. In 1977 a former Filipino client now a permanent resident in NYork was looking for a property and he was referred to defendant eustaquio and decided to buy and left a money and to buy the said property under defendants name with the understanding to turn over as soon as his family shall have returned to d country. Complainants filed a complaint but parties failed to appear and asked to submit their position papers. Respondent stated that angalan and capul went to his office to seek advice about borrowing money. His client from NY bought the property from the sps.Eustaquio and the complainants executed a motion to withdraw the complaint for the disbarment and an affidavit of desistance.

WON the respondent committed grave violation of the CPR when he bought the property from his client without their knowledge and against their will? HELD: Angalan and complainants went to respondents office not to seek advice about borrowing money but to engage his services for the purpose of recovering the property where respondent filed a complaint with the CFI, and when they issued a receipt and a letter address to barrio captain stating that he is the lawyer. Respondents allege that his client fr. NY bought the property from the sps. Eustaquio. The court was not impressed first the complainants and Eustaquio entered into an amicable settlement that would repurchase the property. And second a letter to the barrio capt. Stated that the complainants repurchased the property through him. Respondent story is unbelievable for he did not give detail or proof the name of the allege client, the old passport showing immigration stamps. Respondent violated canon 16 and 17. 16 states that a lawyer shall hold in trust all properties of their clients that may come into their possession. He should have returned the property to complainants. Instead he transferred the title to his name refused to return and referred the complainants charges as malicious and untruthful. 17 states that lawyers shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him, complainants allege that they are illiterate sps. Eustaquio took advantage of them, instead of protecting the interest of the complainants he took advantage of them too. C17 constitutes gross misconduct. A person taking 8.102ha to his illiterate clients who is incapable of telling truth is unfit to be a lawyer. It is destructive of the confidence if the public in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of the legal profession. LUZVIMINDA C. LIJAUCO vs. ATTY. ROGELIO P. TERRADO According to the complainant, she engaged the services of respondent sometime in January 2001 for P70,000.00 to assist in recovering her deposit with Planters Development Bank in the amount of P180,000.00 and the release of her foreclosed house and lot located in Calamba, Laguna. Complainant alleged that respondent failed to appear before the trial court in the hearing and did not protect her interests He averred that the P70,000.00 he received from complainant was payment for legal services for the recovery of the deposit with Planters Development Bank and did not include LRC Case No. B-2610 pending before the Regional Trial Court of Bian, Laguna. HELD: On September 21, 2005, the Investigating Commissioner submitted his report finding respondent guilty of violating Rules 1.01 and 9.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provide: Rule 1.01 ' A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Rule 9.02 ' A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, except:

a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that, upon the latter's death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to the persons specified in the agreement; or b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit-sharing arrangement. The Php70,000.00 legal fees is purely and solely for the recovery of the Php180,000.00 savings account of complainant which is too high. Respondent actively acted as complainant's lawyer to effectuate the compromise agreement. By openly admitting he divided the Php70,000.00 to other individuals as commission/referral fees respondent violated Rule 9.02, that a lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law. Worst, by luring complainant to participate in a compromise agreement with a false and misleading assurance that complainant can still recover after Three (3) years her foreclosed property respondent violated Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which says a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Respondent's disregard for his client's interests is evident in the iniquitous stipulations in the compromise agreement where the complainant conceded the validity of the foreclosure of her property; that the redemption period has already expired thus consolidating ownership in the bank, and that she releases her claims against it. Complainant agreed to these concessions because respondent misled her to believe that she could still redeem the property after three years from the foreclosure. The duty of a lawyer to safeguard his clients interests commences from his retainer until his discharge from the case or the final disposition of the subject matter of litigation. Acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorney-client relationship and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to the clients cause. The canons of the legal profession require that once an attorney agrees to handle a case, he should undertake the task with zeal, care and utmost devotion. Respondent's admission[14] that he divided the legal fees with two other people as a referral fee does not release him from liability. A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, except in certain cases. Under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, a member of the Bar may be disbarred or suspended on the following grounds: 1) deceit; 2) malpractice, or other gross misconduct in office; 3) grossly immoral conduct; 4) conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude; 5) violation of the lawyer's oath; 6) willful disobedience to any lawful order of a superior court; and 7) willfully appearing as an attorney for a party without authority.

Rule 18.03 of the CPR is a basic postulate in legal ethics. When a lawyer takes a client's cause, he covenants that he will exercise due diligence in protecting his rights. The failure to exercise that degree of vigilance and attention makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust reposed in him by his client and makes him answerable not just to his client but also to the legal profession, the courts and society. GUILTY of violating Rules 1.01, 9.02, 18.02 and 20.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months. SOLIDON vs. MACALADLAD Facts: Atty. Macaladlad is the Chief of the legal div. of DENR and was given the authority to engage in the practice of law. In his official visit to Samar he was introduced to Atty. SOlidon. Atty. Solidon asked Atty, M to handle the judicial titling of a parcel of land and was for the pd.of 8mos. Paid 50k initial pyt. And bal.when Atty. Solidon received the cert.of the title. Atty.M not filed any petition for registration. Atty. S tried to contact and follow up on the case after 6mos. But however didnt recvd any communication. Held: Yes, Canon 18.03 a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. The act of receiving money as acceptance fee for legal services and failing to render the services is a clear violation of canon 18. a lawyer cant blame to his client for failing to follow up because it was the lawyers duty to inform his client the status of the case. A lawyer so engaged to represent a client bears the responsibility to protect his interest with utmost diligence. Records shoiw that attyM failed to act as he committed when he failed to file the reqd petition. Atty.solidon even tried to reach him if he truly wanted to file the petition he could have acquired the info from atty.S. Also a violation of 16.01 which reqs a lawyer to account for all the money received from the client. Atty M did not immediately account for and promptly return the money even after he failed to render any legal service within the contracted time of engagement. 6mos suspension. Sternly warned. PENA vs. ATTY. APARICIO Facts: Atty. Aparacio appeared as legal cousel for Grace Hufana in an illegal case dismissal before NLRC. The complainant Fernando Martin Pena received a notice for a mediation/conciliation conference. In the conference the respondent in behalf of his client submitted a claim for separation pay arising from her alleged illegal dismissal. Complainant sent notices to Hufana to explain her absences but instead the lawyer wrote a letter reiterating claim for separation pay and a letter containing a threat to the company. That they will file and claim bigger amount including damages, tax evasion by millions of income not reported, criminal charges for tax evasion, and for falsification of docs, cancellation of business license. Held: Yes, canon 19.01,a lawyer should not file or threaten to file any unfounded or baseless criminal case or cases against the adversaries of his client designed to secure a leverage to compel the adversaries to yield or withdraw their own cases against the lawyers client. The threats are not only unethical for violating canon 19 but they also amount to blackmail which is the extortion of money from a person by threats of accusations or exposure or opposition in the

public prints., it is equivalent to and synonymous with extortion, the exaction of money for the performance of a duty.. A lawyer may be tasked to enforce his clients claim and contains more than just simple demand to pay. It even contains a threat to file retaliatory charges against complainant which have nothing to do with his clients claim for separation pay. Lawyer is found liable and meted out of penalty of Reprimand with Stern warning. ADECER vs. AKUT Facts: The complainants were charged with commiting a crime punishable under RPcode (Other Deceits) and the respondent was their legal counsel. Respondent received a copy of the MTCCs Decsion convicting the complainants of Other Deceits and sentencing to pay penalties. The Decision was promulgated in the absence of the complainants who were accorded with due notice. And received a copy via registered mail and has 15days to file an appeal or a petition for probation in behalf of the complainants, but the respondent failed to file a Petition for Probation alleging he was out of town for more important hearings and his attention for his wifes developing tumor. A warrant of arrest was served waited for his lawyer and raised the amount needed to pay the civil indemnity. Claiming (atty) that the complainants had only themselves to blame for failing to file the timely petition, they failed to meet him seasonably for signing and verification of the petition for probation. Held: CPR mandates that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence. He shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation. Nor shall he neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, his negligence in connection shall render him liable. In the case at bar, despite a receipt of a copy of the decision the consequent 15day running pd for the filing of the Petition for Probation respondent went out of town without contacting complainants for advise. The availability of mobile phones or emails was not attended. A lawyer must also give his full attention, skill and competence regardless of his impression that one case or hearing is more important than the other. His failure to file an appeal in a timely manner fir motion for reconsideration renders him liable for negligence. Suspended. 6mos.

VALERIANA U. DALISAY vs. ATTY. MELANIO MAURICIO, JR. Facts: In 2001, Dalisay, engaged respondents services as counsel in a Civil Case. Notwithstanding his receipt of documents and attorneys fees in the total amount of P56,000.00 from complainant, respondent never rendered legal services for her. As a result, she terminated the attorney-client relationship and demanded the return of her money and documents, but respondent refused. Later, the IBP recommended that respondent be required to refund the amount of P56,000.00 to the complainant, and surprisingly, that the complaint be dismissed. Later, upon knowing the Decision, respondent went to MTC to verify the status of the Civil Case. There, he learned of the trial courts Decision holding "the tax declarations and title" submitted by complainant "are not official records. He then filed a complaint against

complainant charging her with violations of Article 1712 and 172,3 and/or Article 1824 of the Revised Penal Code. He alleged that complainant offered tampered evidence. Issue: WON Atty. Mauricio was guilty of malpractice and gross misconduct Held: Yes, he was guilty. Here, Atty. Mauricio violated the principle of confidentiality between a lawyer and his client when he filed falsification charges against his client.Here, atty. Mauricio violated canon 19 and rule 19.02 of the code of Prof. Respnsblity. Here, even if assuming that complainant indeed offered falsified documentary evidence in a Civil Case, it is still not sufficient to exonerate respondent. First, Canon 19 outlines the procedure in dealing with clients who perpetrated fraud in the course of a legal proceeding. Consistent with its mandate that a lawyer shall represent his client with zeal and only within the bounds of the law. Rule 19.02 A lawyer who has received information that his clients has, in the course of the representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship with such client in accordance with the Rules of Court. As a lawyer, respondent is expected to know this Rule. Instead of inaction, he should have confronted complainant and ask her to rectify her fraudulent representation. If complainant refuses, then he should terminate his relationship with her. Understandably, respondent failed to follow the above-cited Rule. This is because there is no truth to his claim that he did not render legal service to complainant because she falsified the documentary evidence in Civil Case No.00-044. This brings us to the second reason why we cannot sustain his fourth argument. The pleadings show that he learned of the alleged falsification long after complainant had terminated their attorney-client relationship. It was a result of his active search for a justification of his negligence in Civil Case No. 00-044. As a matter of fact, he admitted that he verified the authenticity of complainants title only after the "news of his suspension spread in the legal community." To our mind, there is absurdity in invoking subsequent knowledge of a fact as justification for an act or omission that is fait accompli. Obviously, in filing falsification charges against complainant, respondent was motivated by vindictiveness. In fine, let it be stressed that the authority of an attorney begins with his or her retainer.12 It gives rise to a relationship between an attorney and a client that is highly fiduciary in nature and of a very delicate, exacting, and confidential character, requiring a high degree of fidelity and good faith.13 If much is demanded from an attorney, it is because the entrusted privilege to practice law carries with it the correlative duties not only to the client but also to the court, to the bar, and to the public. A lawyer who performs his duty with diligence and candor not only protects the interest of his client; he also serves the ends of justice, does honor to the bar, and helps maintain the respect of the community to the legal profession.14 Indeed, law is an exacting goddess demanding of her votaries not only intellectual but also moral discipline.

SC DENY respondents motion for reconsideration. Such decision was immediately executory. It found Mauricio guilty of malpractice and gross misconduct and imposing upon him the penalty of suspension from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months. PETER GARRUCHO vs CA, HON. OSCAR B. PIMENTEL, SHERIFF RENATO C. FLORA and RAMON BINAMIRA Facts: Here, Garrucho (as Sec. of the Dept. of Tourism and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Tourism Authority) requested then Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation Domingo to issue Hold Departure Orders against Ramon Binamira and Faustino Roberto. Roberto then requested the lifting of the order but it was denied. Roberto then filed a complaint for prohibition and damages against Garrucho and Commissioner Domingo in RTC. Binamira, on the other hand, filed a complaint-in-intervention in the case. Petitioner Garrucho was represented by private practitioners Remollo & Associates, whose offices were located at Makati City. Later, RTC rendered judgment in favor of respondent Binamira. It declared the hold departure order as void ab initio, unconstitutional and illegal. The decision was later appealed to CA which sent a notice to the petitioners counsel directing the latter to file his brief as appellant. However, the notice was returned to the court.Later, it was resent to the petitioner at his office at the Department of Tourism building.The notice was returned again to the CA. So, CA dismissed the appeal of the petitioner for his failure to file his brief. A copy of the resolution was sent by registered mail to the petitioners counsel, but the said resolution was returned to the court with a notation stamped on the envelope "Return To Sender, Moved Out." Binamiras motion against the petitioner was granted by the trial court. Issue: WON petitioner was deprived of his right to due process when the CA and RTC failed to serve the copies of the assailed resolutions and order. Held: No, petitioner was never deprived of his right to due process when the CA and RTC failed to serve the copies of the assailed resolutions and order. Here, while the CA and the RTC were mandated to take judicial notice of the petitioners resignation and the appointment of his successor, they were not mandated to take judicial notice of the petitioners office address after he resigned from the government, or of the address of his counsel in Dumaguete City, Negros Occidental. It is the duty of the petitioners counsel to inform the trial court of his new office address. Such failure of the petitionerand his counsel to inform the said courts of his address and that of his counsel constitutes inexcusable neglect. Thus, if the petitioners appeal was dismissed on account of his failure to file his brief, he has nobody but himself to blame.

It was held in Bernardo v. CA sLitigants, represented by counsel, should not expect that all they need to do is sit back, relax and await the outcome of their case. They should give the necessary assistance to their counsel for what is at stake is their interest in the case. The party-litigant should not rely totally on his counsel to litigate his case even if the latter expressly assures that the formers presence in court will no longer be needed. No prudent party will leave the fate of his case entirely to his lawyer. Absence in one or two hearings may be negligible but want of inquiry or update on the status of his case for several months is inexcusable. It is the duty of a party-litigant to be in contact with his counsel from time to time in order to be informed of the progress of his case. Petitioner simply claims that he was busy with his gravel and sand and trading businesses which involved frequent traveling from Manila to outlying provinces. But this was not a justifiable excuse for him to fail to ask about the developments in his case or to ask somebody to make the query for him. Petitioner failed to act with prudence and diligence; hence, his plea that he was not accorded the right to due process cannot elicit this Courts approval or even sympathy.

MOBIL OIL PHILIPPINES, INC. vs. CFI OF RIZAL, GEMINIANO F. YABUT and AGUEDA ENRIQUEZ YABUT Facts: In 1972, petitioner filed a complaint 1 in CFI of Rizal against the partnership La Mallorca and its general partners, which included private respondents, for collection of a sum of money arising from gasoline purchased on credit but not paid, for damages and attorney's fees. Later, petitioner filed a complaint against the heirs of the deceased partners as defendants. During the hearing , the parties agreed to submit the case for decision on the basis of the evidence on record adduced by petitioner but "to exclude past interest in the amount of P150,000.00 and to award nominal attorney's fees." Consequently, a Decision 3 was rendered in favor of the petitioner and against defendants. Private respondents thereafter filed a Petition to Modify Decision which was opposed 5 by petitioner. Later, respondent court rendered a decision declaring its decision null and void on the ground that there was no evidence to show that the counsel for the defendants had been duly authorized by their respective clients to enter into a stipulation or facts, a compromise agreement or a confession judgment with petitioner, a ground never raised by the parties. Petitioner then filed a Motion but was denied the court of first instance. Hence, this petition arises. Issue: WON public respondent acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in declaring null and void its earlier decision. Held:Yes. The foregoing Order is not a stipulation of facts nor a confession of judgment. If at all, there has been a mutual waiver by the parties of the right to present evidence in court on the part of the defendants on one hand, and waiver of interest in the amount of P150,000.00 and the

stipulated attorney's fees of 25% of the principal amount on the part of the plaintiff, except a nominal one. The counsels of the parties in this case had the implied authority to do all acts necessary or incidental to the prosecution and management of the suit in behalf of their clients of their clients who were all present and never objected to the disputed order of the respondent court. They have the exclusive management of the procedural aspect of the litigation including the enforcement of the rights and remedies of their client. Thus, when the case was submitted for decision on the evidence so far presented, the counsel for private respondents acted within the scope of his authority as agent and lawyer in negotiating for favorable terms for his clients. It may be that in waiving the presentation of defendants' evidence, counsel believed that petitioner's evidence was insufficient to prove its cause of action or knowing the futility of resisting the claim, defendants opted to waive their right to present evidence in exchange for the condonation of past interest in the amount of around P150,000.00 and the award of a nominal attorney's fees instead of the 25% stipulated in the Sales Agreement and Invoices. In fact, when counsel secured a waiver of the accumulated interest of P150,000.00 and the 25% stipulated attorney's fees, the defendants were certainly benefited. Parties are bound by the acts and mistakes of their counsel in procedural matters. Mistakes of counsel as to the relevancy or irrelevancy of certain evidence or mistakes in the proper defense, in the introduction of certain evidence, or in argumentation are, among others all mistakes of procedure, and they bind the clients, as in the instant case. 11 Having obtained what defendants bargained for and having wrongly appreciated the sufficiency or insufficiency of petitioner's evidence, private respondents are now estopped from assailing the decision dated July 25, 1974. Records would show that private respondents have not submitted any evidence or pleading to contest the authority of their counsel to waive as he did waive presentation of their evidence in exchange for and in consideration of petitioner's waiver of past interest and the stipulated 25% of attorney' fees. Even if We construe the Order of April 1, 1974 to be based on an oral compromise agreement, the same is valid for as held in the case of Cadano vs. Cadano 12 an oral compromise may be the basis of a judgment although written evidence thereof is not signed. It has been said that the elements necessary to a valid agreement of compromise are the reality of the claim made and the bona fides of the compromise. 13 The validity of a judgment or order of a court cannot be assailed collaterally unless the ground of attack is lack of jurisdiction or irregularity in their entry apparent on the face of the record or because it is vitiated by fraud. If the purported nullity of the judgment lies on the party's lack of consent to the compromise agreement, the remedy of the aggrieved party is to have it reconsidered, and if denied, to appeal from such judgment, or if final to apply for relief under rule 38. 14 It is well settled that a judgment on compromise is not appealable and is immediately executory unless a motion is field to set aside the compromise on the ground of fraud, mistake or duress, in which case an appeal may be taken from the order denying the motion. 15

From the foregoing, it is evident that the court a quo erred in issuing the Orders which nullify its earlier decision. SC: the earlier decision favoring the petitioner was reinstated. TEODORO R. RIVERA, ANTONIO D. AQUINO AND FELIXBERTO D. AQUINO vs. ATTY. SERGIO ANGELES

Facts: Atty. Sergio Angeles was the legal counsel of Teodoro Rivera and 2 others in a civil case. Rivera and his 2 co-plaintiffs received a favorable decision. Atty. Angeles received almost PhP 50,000 from one of the defendants in the case as partial fulfillment of the judgement against the latter. Atty. Angeles, however, never told his clients of the amount he had received and never remitted the same to him, leaving them to discover such fact on their own. Rivera and his coplaintiffs filed an administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty. Angeles.

Issue: WON Atty Angeles violated Canon 16 and Rule 16.01.

Held: Yes. Canon 16 A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into possession. Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Here, a certain Silva, one of the defendants in said cases had already given Atty. Angeles a partial settlement of the judgment in the amount of P42,999.00 .Atty. Angeles never informed the undersigned of the amount of P42,999.00 he received from Mr. Silva nor remitted to them even a part of that amount. The Supreme Court repeatedly stressed the importance of integrity and good moral character as part of a lawyer's equipment in the practice of his profession.4 For it cannot be denied that the respect of litigants for the profession is inexorably diminished whenever a member of the Bar betrays their trust and confidence.5 Here, Atty Angeles was incorrect when he argued he has the right to retain the said amount of P42,999.00 and to apply the same to professional fees due him from the complainant being hired as their consel. The Court is not oblivious of the right of a lawyer to be paid for the legal services he has extended to his client but such right should not be exercised whimsically by appropriating to himself the money intended for his clients. There should never be an instance where the victor in litigation loses everything he won to the fees of his own lawyer.

SC: Atty. Angeles was guilty of serious misconduct and was ordered suspended from the practice of law for 1 year. SHIRLEY TOLEDO and ROSIE DAJAC vs. JUDGE KALLOS Facts: Prior to his appointment as a judge, Judge Kallos was complainants counsel of record in a Civil Case involving the recovery of hereditary shares with damages. On 25 March 1979, a judgment was rendered ordering the defendants to, among other things, turn over to herein complainants, the plaintiffs therein, the possession and ownership of the total area of 4,514 square meters of "lot 2082 Albay Cadastre." On appeal, the decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and became final and executor. In 2002, the respondent filed in the same action, a Civil Case for the issuance of an order constituting in his favor an attorneys lien to the extent of one-third over the lot awarded in favor of the complainants representing his attorneys fee. He based his motion on a written contingency agreement on attorneys fees for professional services rendered whereby he is entitled to one-third share of what would be awarded to the complainants. He claimed that this agreement had already been implemented when "one of the three (3) lots levied upon by the sheriff to answer for the award of damages was given to (him) as his one-third share while the other two lots went to the plaintiffs as their two-third share. Later, the complainants filed a complaint praying for three things. First, they pray for an order directing the respondent to stop demanding his "1/3 share attorneys fees. Second, the recovery of the property involved in said Deed of Absolute Sale. Lastly, the removal of the respondent from his position as RTC judge for his alleged abusive conduct unbecoming a judge. Issues: 1.WON respondent has the right to demand his attorneys fees. Held: Yes. Respondent judge was, indeed, complainants counsel in a Civil Case and he should therefore be compensated for his services. The act of demanding payment for his attorneys fees is not a ground for administrative liability.Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility A lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees.As what constitute fair and reasonable fees in this case is not yet certain. The respondents claim for attorneys fees was still being litigated in a Civil Case.Thus, said reasonable fees is not yet certain. As a lawyer, it is but just that he be fairly compensated for his services. And his filing of a claim for attorneys fees in a Civil Case was an appropriate legal remedy. Considering the pendency of such claim, the suspension of the determination of the instant administrative complaint until the rendition of a final judicial ruling on the matter of respondents attorneys fees is just proper. In other words, the complaint is not yet ripe for administrative evaluation. The hearing on the matter being conducted by the trial court should be allowed to run its course as that court is the appropriate forum for a ruling on the dispute.

Here,the duty of the court is not only to see that lawyers act in a proper and lawful manner, but also to see that lawyers are paid their just and lawful fees. 2. WON respondent Judge be removed from his position as RTC judge for his alleged abusive conduct unbecoming a judge Held:No. There was no evidence presented to prove respondents alleged abusive conduct unbecoming a judge. Here, the respondent was not yet a judge when the assailed action or conduct was allegedly committed by him. As such, and to that extent, there is no reason to bind him by the strict standards of the Code of Judicial Conduct for acts committed as counsel to a case prior to his appointment as a judge. SC: the instant administrative complaint was DISMISSED for being premature and for lack of merit. BY: KVBailon, DMPadua, RATumanda, CBarcelona, EJSolano, ASoriano