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ADM. CASE NO.

6876

March 7, 2008

HEIRS OF LYDIO "JERRY" FALAME, namely: MELBA FALAME, LEO FALAME and JERRY FALAME, petitioners, vs. ATTY. EDGAR J. BAGUIO, respondent. FACTS: Respondent Atty. Baguio jointly represented Lydio and Raleigh as defendants in the first civil case. As defense counsel in the first civil case, respondent advocated the stance that Lydio solely owned the property subject of the case. In the second civil case involving the same property, respondent, as counsel for Raleigh and his spouse, has pursued the inconsistent position that Raleigh owned the same property in common with Lydio, with complainants, who inherited the property, committing acts which debase respondent's rights as a co-owner. ISSUE Whether or not Atty. Baguio is guilty of representing conflicting interests between his clients. RULING: Yes, Atty. Baguio is guilty. A lawyer may not act as counsel for a person whose interest conflicts with that of his present or former client as provided in Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The rule holds even if the inconsistency is remote or merely probable or the lawyer has acted in good faith and with no intention to represent conflicting interests. Furthermore, the termination of attorney-client relation provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client. The client's confidence once reposed should not be divested by mere expiration of professional employment or even death. .

A.C. No. 6705

March 31, 2006

RUTHIE LIM-SANTIAGO, Complainant, vs. ATTY. CARLOS B. SAGUCIO, Respondent.

FACTS:
Respondent Atty. Sagucio, was the former Personnel Manager and Retained Counsel of Taggat Industries, Inc., until his appointment as Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Tuguegarao, Cagayan in 1992. When employees of Taggat ("Taggat employees") filed a criminal complaint entitled "Jesus Tagorda, Jr. et al. v. Ruthie Lim-Santiago, Atty. Sagucio was assigned to conduct the preliminary investigation. He resolved the criminal complaint by recommending the filing of 651 Informations 10 for violation of Article 288 11 in relation to Article 11612 of the Labor Code of the Philippines. Complainant now charges respondent with the violation of engaging in the private practice of law while working as a government prosecutort respondent received retainers fee from Taggat employees.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondents act of receiving fees from Taggat for legal services while serving as a government prosecutor is an unlawful conduct, which constitutes a violation of Rule 1.01.

RULING:
Yes.Under Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, "[a] lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct." Unlawful conduct includes violation of the statutory prohibition on a government employee to "engage in the private practice of [his] profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided, that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with [his] official functions." Respondents admission that he received from Taggat fees for legal services while serving as a government prosecutor is an unlawful conduct, which constitutes a violation of Rule 1.01.

TEODORO R. REGALA, EDGARDO J. ANGARA, AVELINO V. CRUZ, JOSE C. CONCEPCION, ROGELIO A. VINLUAN, VICTOR P. LAZATIN, and EDUARDO U. ESCUETA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN, First Division, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, ACTING THROUGH THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT, and RAUL S. ROCO, respondents.1996 Sep 20En Banc G.R. No. 105938
FACTS: PCGG want to build up their case against Eduardo Coujuanco for the anomalies in the COCO LEVY FUNDS. PCGG wants petitioners divulge that Cojuangco indeed was a client of their firm, as well as other information regarding Cojuangco. Issue: Can the PCGG compel petitioners to divulge its clients name? RULING: NO. As a matter of public policy, a clients identity should not be shrouded in mystery. The generaL RULE is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of his client. 1) the court has a right to know that the client whose privileged information is sought to be protected is flesh and blood. 2) the privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has been established. The attorney-client privilege does not attach until there is a client. 3) the privilege generally pertains to the subject matter of the relationship. Finally, due process considerations require that the opposing party should, as a general rule, know his adversary. A party suing or sued is entitled to know who his opponent is. He cannot be obliged to grope in the dark against unknown forces.

[A.C. No. 5085. February 6, 2003] PABLITO SANTOS, complainant, vs. ATTY. ALVARO BERNABE LAZARO, respondent. Respondent failed to win the cause of his client. Failed to follow proper procedure in submitting memorandums for client with feeble excuses. Demanded unconscionable amount of legal fees considering the grinding poverty his client. ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent negligent in protecting the interest of his client.

RULING: Yes. Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility explicitly provides that negligence of lawyers in connection with legal matters entrusted to them for handling shall render them liable. It is a basic postulate in legal ethics that when a lawyer takes a clients cause, he covenants that he will exercise due diligence in protecting his rights. The failure to exercise that degree of vigilance and attention expected of a good father of a family makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust reposed upon him by his client and makes him answerable to him, to the courts and to society. By neglecting to file the memorandum/brief, respondent set off a chain of events which eventually ended in the demolition of complainants home. Respondents failure to exercise due diligence in attending to the interest of complainant caused the latter material prejudice. As a lawyer, respondent was wanting in the exercise of reasonable care demanded of every member of the Bar; his measure of diligence is several notches below the standard required of his office.