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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Director of Religious Affairs vs Bayot Facts The respondent, who

is an attorney at law, is charged with malpractice for having published an advertisement in the Sunday Tribune that reads as follows:
"Marriage "license promptly secured thru our assistance & the annoyance of delay or publicity avoided if desired, and marriage arranged to wishes of parties. Consultation on any matter free for the poor. Everything confidential." Legal assistance service 12 Escolta, Manila, Room 105

! ! ! Issue Whether or not the disputed advertisement violates the ethical standards of the law profession. ! Held Violates ethical standards. ! It's undeniable that the advertisement was a flagrant violation by Bayot of the ethics of his profession, it
being a brazen solicitation of business from the public. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.

! It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is
a profession and not a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and adopts the practices of mercantilism by advertising his services or offering them to the public. The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, * * * is the establishment of a well merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but must be the outcome of character and conduct.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Jesus Cui vs Antonio Cui Facts The office in contention is that of Administrator of the Hospicio de San Jose de Barili. The Hospicio was established by the Sps. Cui. The founders had initial management jointly but, in case of their incapacity or death, to "such persons as they may nominate or designate, in the order prescribed to them. The Sps. Cui executed a Document X establishing the preferences for the position for this purpose.

! The founders died and administration passed to their descendants. Thereafter, beginning in 1932, a series of

controversies and court litigations ensued concerning the position of administrator. In 1960, then incumbent administrator, Dr. Teodoro Cui, resigned in favor of Antonio Ma. Cui pursuant to a "convenio" entered into between them and Antonio took his oath of office. Upon Teodoro's death, Jesus wrote a letter to Antonio demanding that the office be turned over to him; the demand went unheeded.

! Issue Whether or not Jesus or Antonio has the preference for the role of administrator. ! Held Antonio. ! Jesus is the older of the two and therefore under equal circumstances would be preferred. However,

Document X gives preference to the one therein named, "que posea titulo de abogado..."The specific point in dispute is the meaning of the term "titulo de abogado." Jesus holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws from UST but is not a member of the Bar, not having passed the examinations to qualify him as one. Antonio, on the other hand, is a member of the Bar, and although disbarred by this Court in 1957 was reinstated by resolution promulgated on 1960.

! The term "titulo de abogado" means not mere possession of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but ! Admission to the Bar and to the practice of law is under the authority of the Supreme Court. Such admission

membership in the Bar after due admission thereto, qualifying one for the practice of law. A Bachelor's degree alone, conferred by a law school upon completion of certain academic requirements, does not entitle its holder to exercise the legal profession. This term has a fixed and general signification, and has reference to that class of persons who are by license officers of the courts, empowered to appear, prosecute and defend, and upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities are devolved by law as a consequence. requires passing the Bar examinations, taking the lawyer's oath and receiving a certificate from the Clerk of Court, this certificate being his license to practice the profession. The academic degree of Bachelor of Laws in itself has little to do with admission to the Bar, except as evidence of compliance with the requirements that an applicant to the examinations has "successfully completed all the prescribed courses, in a law school or university, officially approved by the Secretary of Education."

! But it is argued that although the latter is a member of the Bar he is nevertheless disqualified because

Document X disqualifies persons with lack of evident sound moral character. Reference is made to the fact that the defendant was disbarred by this Court on 1957 for immorality and unprofessional conduct. It is also a fact, however, that he was reinstated on 1960, before he assumed the office of administrator. His reinstatement is a recognition of his moral rehabilitation, upon proof no less than that required for his admission to the Bar in the first place. When the defendant was restored to the roll of lawyers the restrictions and disabilities resulting from his previous disbarment were wiped out. !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Alawi vs Alauya1

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Philippine Lawyers Association vs Agrava Facts Agrava issued a circular announcing that he had scheduled an examination to determine who are qualified to practice as patent attorneys before the Philippines Patent Office, the said examination to cover patent law and jurisprudence and the rules of practice before said office. According to the circular, members of the Philippine Bar, engineers and other persons with sufficient scientific and technical training are qualified to take the said examination.

! Philippine Lawyer's Association contends that one who has passed the bar examinations and is licensed by ! Issue
Whether or not appearance before the patent Office and the preparation and the prosecution of patent applications, etc., constitutes or is included in the practice of law.

the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines and who is in good standing, is duly qualified to practice before the Philippines Patent Office, and the Directors examination requirement is in excess of his jurisdiction and is in violation of the law.

! Held Included in the practice of law. ! The Supreme Court has the exclusive and constitutional power with respect to admission to the practice of
law in the Philippines. Any member of the Philippine Bar in good standing may practice law anywhere and before any entity, whether judicial or quasi-judicial or administrative, in the Philippines.

! The practice of law includes such appearance before the Patent Office, the representation of applicants,

oppositors, and other persons, and the prosecution of their applications for patent, their oppositions thereto, or the enforcement of their rights in patent cases. In the first place, although the transaction of business in the Patent Office involves the use and application of technical and scientific knowledge and training, still, all such business has to be rendered in accordance with the Patent Law, as well as other laws, including the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Patent Office in accordance with law. Not only this, but practice before the Patent Office involves the interpretation and application of other laws and legal principles, as well as the existence of facts to be established in accordance with the law of evidence and procedure. All these things involve the applications of laws, legal principles, practice and procedure. They call for legal knowledge, training and experience for which a member of the bar has been prepared.

! However, the Director of Patents, if he deems it advisable or necessary, may require that members of the bar
practicing before him enlist the assistance of technical men and scientist in the preparation of papers and documents, such as, the drawing or technical description of an invention or machine sought to be patented.

! In conclusion, members of the Philippine Bar authorized by this Tribunal to practice law, and in good

standing, may practice their profession before the Patent Office, for the reason that much of the business in said office involves the interpretation and determination of the scope and application of the Patent Law and other laws applicable, as well as the presentation of evidence to establish facts involved; that part of the functions of the Patent director are judicial or quasi-judicial, so much so that appeals from his orders and decisions are, under the law, taken to the Supreme Court.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In re Cunanan Facts Congress passed Republic Act No. 972, popularly known as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953." which reduced the passing general average in bar examinations to 70 per cent effective since 1946.

! Issue Whether or not RA 972 is constitutional. ! Held Unconstitutional. ! The law is contrary to public interest because it qualifies law graduates who confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession, as was exactly found during the bar exams. ! The ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to this Court, and the law

passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the license.The admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been disputably a judicial function and responsibility.

! The Constitution has not conferred on Congress and this Tribunal equal responsibilities concerning the
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admission to the practice of law. The primary power and responsibility which the Constitution recognizes continue to reside in this Court. Congress may repeal, alter and supplement the rules promulgated by this Court, but the authority and responsibility over the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law and their supervision remain vested in the Supreme Court.2 Congress cant substitute or take the place of this Tribunal in the exercise of its primary power on the matter. The Constitution does not say nor mean that Congress may admit, suspend, disbar or reinstate directly attorneys at law, or a determinate group of individuals to the practice of law. Its power is limited to repeal, modify or supplement the existing rules on the matter, if according to its judgment the need for a better service of the legal profession requires it.

! The law isnt a legislation; it is a judgment a judgment revoking those promulgated by this Court during
the pertinent years affecting the bar candidates concerned; and although this Court certainly can revoke these judgments even now, for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this Court, and not the legislative nor executive department, that may do so. Any attempt on the part of any of these departments would be a clear usurpation of its functions, as is the case with the law in question.

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Such power of Congress, founding the 1973 Constitution, has already been repealed in the 1987 Constitution.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Echegaray vs Secretary of Justice Facts Echegaray has been convicted to suffer the death penalty and the SC issued a TRO delaying the judgements execution.

! Issue Whether or not the SC loses jurisdiction over a case once the judgement becomes final and executory. ! Held SC doesnt lose jurisdiction. ! The power to control the execution of its decision is an essential aspect of jurisdiction. It cant be the subject ! It bears repeating that what the Court restrained temporarily is the execution of its own Decision. The Court, contrary to popular misimpression, did not restrain the effectivity of a law enacted by Congress. ! Courts have been conceded the jurisdiction to enforce their final decisions. In accord with this unquestioned

of substantial subtraction for our Constitution vests the entirety of judicial power in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. The courts have been conceded the inherent and necessary power of control of its processes and orders to make them conformable to law and justice.

jurisdiction, this Court promulgated rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure which, among others, spelled out the rules on execution of judgments. These rules are all predicated on the assumption that courts have the inherent, necessary and incidental power to control and supervise the process of execution of their decisions. It should be stressed that the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure was granted by our Constitutions to this Court to enhance its independence. Most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure. In fine, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so with the Executive.

! The rule making power of this Court was expanded by the Constitution. This Court for the first time was !

given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. The Court was also granted for the first time the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Cayetano vs Monsod Facts Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC. Cayetano opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod didnt possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Nevertheless, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.

! Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar but has mostly worked in business and finance, where he has distinguished himself. ! Issue Whether or not Atty. Monsods activities constitute practice of law. ! Held Constitute practice of law. ! Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. ! To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession.
Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.

! Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law, particularly the modern
concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyerentrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Catu vs Rellosa Facts Catu owns a lot and the building erected thereon. He contested the possession of Elizabeth C. Diaz-Catu and Antonio Pastor of one of the units in the building. The latter ignored demands for them to vacate the premises. Thus, a complaint was initiated against them in the Lupong Tagapamayapa. Rellosa, as punong barangay, summoned the parties to conciliation meetings. When the parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement, Rellosa issued a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court. Afterwards, Catu filed a complaint for ejectment against Elizabeth and Pastor in the MTC. Rellosa entered his appearance as counsel for the defendants in that case. Because of this, Catu filed the instant administrative complaint, claiming that Rellosa committed an act of impropriety as a lawyer and as a public officer when he stood as counsel for the defendants despite the fact that he presided over the conciliation proceedings between the litigants as punong barangay. Issue Whether or not Rellosas appearance as counsel for defendants, despite being the punong barangay, constitutes unauthorized practice of law. Held Constitutes unauthorised practice of law.

! ! Rule 6.03 applies only to former government lawyers. Rellosa cant be found liable for violating said rule
Rule 6.03 A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he intervened while in said service.

because he was an incumbent punong barangay at the time he committed the act complained of.

Further, RA 6713 prohibits public officials and employees, during their incumbency, from engaging in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions. This is the general law which applies to all public officials and employees. For elective local government officials, RA 7160 governs. This is a special provision that applies specifically to the practice of profession by elective local officials. As a special law with a definite scope it constitutes an exception to RA 6713. Under RA 7160, governors, city mayors and municipal mayors are prohibited from practicing their profession or engaging in any occupation other than the exercise of their functions as local chief executives. On the other hand, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan may practice their professions, engage in any occupation, or teach in schools except during session hours. As punong barangay, Rellosa wasnt forbidden to practice his profession. However, he should have procured prior permission or authorization from the head of his Department, as required by civil service regulations. A civil service officer or employee whose responsibilities dont require his time to be fully at the disposal of the government can engage in the private practice of law only with the written permission of the head of the department concerned. Rellosa shouldve therefore obtained the prior written permission of the Secretary of Interior and Local Government before he entered his appearance as counsel for Elizabeth and Pastor. Rellosas failure to do so constitutes a violation of his oath as a lawyer: to obey the laws. He not only engaged in the unauthorized practice of law but also violated civil service rules

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche B.M. 2540 Facts Medado graduated from UP with Bachelor of Laws in 1979 and passed the bar exams the same year. In 1980, he took the Attorneys Oath at the PICC and was scheduled to sign the Roll of Attorneys but failed to do so because he misplaced the Notice to Sign the Roll of Attorneys. He mistakenly thought the attendance record at the PICC was the Roll of Attorneys. Several years later, Medado found the Notice and only then did he realize he had not signed the roll. During this time, Medado was already working as a lawyer and he didnt think signing in the Roll was important.

! Later, in an MCLE seminar in 2005, he was required to provide his roll number but couldnt provide any. In 2012, Medado filed this petition to be allowed to sign in the Roll. ! Issue Whether or not Medados petition should be granted despite the long years of neglect to sign in the Roll. ! Held Medados petition is granted. ! Medado has demonstrated good faith and good moral character when he filed the instant petition. He himself ! However, Medado cant be fully exculpated for his years of inaction. Several years after taking the oath, he ! However, Medado is suspended for 1 year and fined for delinquent IBP dues. !

called attention to his omission, although only after more than 30 years. Further, he hasnt been subject to any action for disqualification from the practice of law. Also, he appears to be a competent and able legal practitioner. realized he didnt sign the Roll of Attorneys. Notwithstanding this, he continued to practice law and consequently, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. Further, he doesnt have any justifiable reason for delaying the signing in the Roll of Attorneys. His only excuse being apprehension and fear of what might happen. Unauthorized practice of law constitutes indirect contempt of court and violates Canon 9 of the CPR.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Diao vs Martinez Facts Diao passed the bar examinations and 2 years later, Martinez charged him with falsely representing in his application to the bar exams that he had the requisite academic qualifications. An investigation revealed that he in fact didnt complete, before taking up law subjects, the required pre-legal education.

! Issue

Whether or not Diao is qualified as a lawyer, having passed the bar, but not having the required pre-legal education

! Held Diao isnt qualified. ! The rules require that previous to the study of law, he had successfully and satisfactorily completed the required pre-legal education, as prescribed by the Department of Private Education. ! Diao never obtained his degree from Quisumbing College but his application falsely represented him as a graduate of said college. He only obtained his degree during his law course. ! Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations; but due to his false

representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and was thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such admission having been obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he hurdled the Bar examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally essential.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In re Lanuevo3

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In re Argosino Facts Argosino passed the bar examinations held in 1993. The Court however deferred his oath-taking due to his previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting In Homicide.

! The criminal case which resulted in petitioner's conviction, arose from the death of a neophyte during

fraternity initiation rites sometime in September 1991. Petitioner and seven (7) other accused initially entered pleas of not guilty to homicide charges. The eight (8) accused later withdrew their initial pleas and upon rearraignment all pleaded guilty to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. The RTC convicted Argoniso and sentenced him to prison. Later, Argosino was admitted to probation and sometime later, was discharged from probation.

! Issue Whether or not Argosino is now worthy of being accepted into the legal profession. ! Held Argosino is now worthy. ! The practice of law is a privilege granted only to those who possess the strict intellectual and moral

qualifications required of lawyers who are instruments in the effective and efficient administration of justice. It is the sworn duty of this Court not only to "weed out" lawyers who have become a disgrace to the noble profession of the law but, also of equal importance, to prevent "misfits" from taking the lawyer's oath, thereby further tarnishing the public image of lawyers which in recent years has undoubtedly become less than irreproachable show that hes a devout Catholic with a genuine concern for civic duties and public service. The Court is persuaded that Argosino has exerted all efforts to atone for the death of Raul Camaligan. We are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice of the general tendency of youth to be reash, temerarious and uncalculating.

! The Court recognises Argosino isnt inherently of bad moral finer. On the contrary, the various certificates ! The lawyer's oath is NOT a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law. Every lawyer should at ALL
TIMES weigh his actions according to the sworn promises he makes when taking the lawyer's oath. If all lawyers conducted themselves strictly according to the lawyer's oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility, the administration of justice will undoubtedly be faster, fairer and easier for everyone concerned.

! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In re Ladrera Facts Ladrera passed the 1954 bar examinations. Before he could participate in the scheduled oath taking of successful bar examinees, an administrative complaint for immorality was filed against him by Lucila C. Casas. The immorality charge was based on Ladrera having married a 2nd time to Casas while already married to another woman. On the basis of the administrative complaint, the SC suspended his oath taking and later disqualified him from taking the lawyers oath.

! After 32 years, Ladrera now seeks to be allowed to take the lawyers oath. ! Issue Whether or not Ladrera has proven himself worthy to be part of the legal profession after 32 years. ! Held Ladrera is worthy. ! An applicant for admission to the bar must be of good moral character. The Court, in the past, consistently

denied the annual petitions of Ladrera that he be allowed to take the lawyer's oath. He claimed that when he married his second wife, he sincerely believed that his first wife was already dead. He married his third wife only after the first wife had been declared presumptively dead and after his second marriage had been annulled. There may have been compliance with a strict or narrow interpretation of the letter of the law but the Court was of the view that Ladrera had failed to live up to the high moral standards required for membership in the Bar.

! All of that, however, is in the past. Ladrera now states that if he has committed an act which justified the
suspension from taking the lawyer's oath, the time that has elapsed is more than sufficient punishment. He submits that "he humbly believes with all candor and sincerity that he has more than atoned for it by living a very moral and exemplary life since then.

! There was moral deliquency in Mr. Ladrera's younger days but he has made up for it by observing a ! !

respectable, useful, and religious life since then. 32 years of rejecting his petitions are enough for chastisement and retribution. Considering that the respondent has realized the wrongfulness of his past conduct and demonstrated a sincere willingness to make up for that moral lapse, the Court has decided to admit him to membership in the Philippine bar.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Aguirre vs Rama Facts Rama was among those who passed the 2000 Bar Examinations. Later, 1 day before the scheduled mass oath-taking of successful bar examinees, Aguirre filed against respondent a Petition for Denial of Admission to the Bar. Complainant charged respondent with unauthorized practice of law, grave misconduct, violation of law, and grave misrepresentation.

! The Court allowed respondent to take his oath as a member of the Bar during the scheduled oath-taking.

However, the Court ruled that respondent could not sign the Roll of Attorneys pending the resolution of the charge against him.

! Issue Whether or not Rama is entitled to become a lawyer despite the charges against him. ! Held Rama isnt entitled. ! Respondent took his oath as lawyer on 22 May 2001. However, the records show that respondent presented himself as counsel prior to 22 May 2001, before he took the lawyers oath. ! Respondent was engaged in the practice of law when he appeared in the proceedings before the MBEC and
filed various pleadings, without license to do so. Evidence clearly supports the charge of unauthorized practice of law. Respondent called himself counsel knowing fully well that he was not a member of the Bar. Having held himself out as counsel knowing that he had no authority to practice law, respondent has shown moral unfitness to be a member of the Philippine Bar.

! The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege. It is limited to persons of
good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege presupposes possession of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment, and even public trust since a lawyer is an officer of the court. A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice law simply by passing the bar examinations. The practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even from one who has passed the bar examinations, if the person seeking admission had practiced law without a license.

! True, respondent here passed the 2000 Bar Examinations and took the lawyers oath. However, it is the

signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally makes one a full-fledged lawyer. The fact that respondent passed the bar examinations is immaterial. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law. Respondent should know that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be performed, namely: his lawyers oath to be administered by this Court and his signature in the Roll of Attorneys.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In re: Petition to Sign on the Roll of Attorneys4!
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The Medado Case

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Re: Financial Audit of Atty. Raquel G. Kho Facts In a resolution, Atty. Raquel G. Kho, former clerk of court of the RTC, was found guilty of gross misconduct for his failure to make a timely remittance of judiciary funds in his custody as required by OCA Circular. He was ordered to pay a fine but the matter did not end there. Because his malfeasance prima facie contravened Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, he was ordered to show cause why he should not be disciplined as a lawyer and as an officer of the court.

! Issue Whether or not Atty. Kho violated the CPR despite the lack of criminal intent. ! Held Atty. Kho violated the CPR. ! His omission was a breach of his oath to obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities and of his duties under Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. ! It is no accident that these are the first edicts laid down in the Code of Professional Responsibility for these
are a lawyers foremost duties. Lawyers should always keep in mind that, although upholding the Constitution and obeying the law is an obligation imposed on every citizen, a lawyers responsibilities under Canon 1 mean more than just staying out of trouble with the law. As servants of the law and officers of the court, lawyers are required to be at the forefront of observing and maintaining the rule of law. They are expected to make themselves exemplars worthy of emulation. This, in fact, is what a lawyers obligation to promote respect for law and legal processes entails.

The least a lawyer can do in compliance with Canon 1 is to refrain from engaging in unlawful conduct. By definition, any act or omission contrary to law is unlawful. It does not necessarily imply the element of criminality although it is broad enough to include it. Thus, the presence of evil intent on the part of the lawyer is not essential in order to bring his act or omission within the terms of Rule 1.01 which specifically prohibits lawyers from engaging in unlawful conduct.

! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Chua vs Mesina Facts Respondent was, for years, petitioners legal counsel and adviser upon whom they reposed trust and confidence. Petitioner was in fact a lessee of a building owned by respondent. The property was mortgaged by respondent in favor of the Planters Development Bank to secure a loan.

! As respondent failed to meet the obligation to the bank, respondent convinced petitioner to help by way of
settling his obligation in consideration for which the leased property would be sold to petitioner. Accommodating respondents request, petitioner paid the loan. Respondent antedated the deed of sale to avoid paying the capital gains tax. Later, Tecson, one of respondents lessees filed a criminal case against respondent for an issue involving the leased propertys sale to petitioner.

! Respondent thereupon hatched a plan to dodge the criminal case by simulating a deed of sale. Some years

later, respondent approached petitioner and told her he would borrow the owners copy of the title with the promise to transfer the name in petitioners name. However, respondent never followed through with his promise.

! Issue Whether or not Mesina is guilty of misconduct. ! Held Mesina is guilty. ! First, by advising complainants to execute another Deed of Absolute Sale antedated to 1979 to evade ! Second, when respondent convinced complainants to execute another document, a simulated Deed of
Absolute Sale wherein they made it appear that complainants reconveyed the Melencio property to his mother, he committed dishonesty.

payment of capital gains taxes, he violated his duty to promote respect for law and legal processes, and not to abet activities aimed at defiance of the law; That respondent intended to, as he did defraud not a private party but the government is aggravating.

! Third, when on May 2, 1990 respondent inveigled his own clients, the Chua spouses, into turning over to ! That the signature of Felicisima M. Melencio in the 1985 document and that in the 1979 document are markedly different is in fact is a badge of falsification of either the 1979 or the 1985 document or even both. ! In fine, respondent violated his oath of office and, more specifically, the following canons of the Code of
Professional Responsibility:

him the owners copy of his mothers title upon the misrepresentation that he would, in four months, have a deed of sale executed by his mother in favor of complainants, he likewise committed dishonesty.

CANON 1. A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES. Rule 1.01. - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Rule 1.02. - A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system. CANON 7. A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR. Rule 7.03. - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession. CANON 15. A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENTS. Rule 15.07. - A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness. CANON 17. A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Soriano vs Dizon Facts Dizon was a lawyer and was driving his car while drunk when a taxi overtook him. Incensed that a taxi overtook him, he followed the taxi and confronted the driver, Soriano. The confrontation led to Dizon shooting Soriano. The RTC convicted Dizon for frustrated homicide. Later, Soriano filed an administrative case for disbarment against Dizon on the ground that the latter was convicted for a crime involving moral turpitude.

! Issue Whether or not conviction for frustrated homicide is a ground for disbarment. ! Held Conviction for frustrated homicide is a ground but must look at the attending circumstances. ! Conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude is a ground for disbarment or suspension. By such ! When lawyers are convicted of frustrated homicide, the attending circumstances not the mere fact of their

conviction, a lawyer is deemed to have become unfit to uphold the administration of justice and to be no longer possessed of good moral character. Moral turpitude has been defined as "everything which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals. conviction would demonstrate their fitness to remain in the legal profession. In the present case, the appalling vindictiveness, treachery, and brazen dishonesty of respondent clearly show his unworthiness to continue as a member of the bar.

! Dizon was the aggressor, he employed treachery, and was extremely arrogant and self-important having

overreacted to a simple traffic incident. He also possessed an unlicensed firearm and unjustly refused to satisfy his civil liability despite a court order to that effect. Further, he lied and fabricated a story in his testimony in court.

! Conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude may relate, not to the exercise of the profession of lawyers,
but certainly to their good moral character. Where their misconduct outside of their professional dealings is so gross as to show them morally unfit for their office and unworthy of the privileges conferred upon them by their license and the law, the court may be justified in suspending or removing them from that office.

! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche De Ysasi III vs NLRC

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Angalan vs Delante Facts Angalan is illiterate and belongs to the Samal Tribe. Later, Angalan borrowed money from the Sps. Eustaquio. As security, Angalan mortgaged his property. The Spouses Eustaquio prepared a document which Angalan signed. When Angalan tried to pay the loan, the Sps. Eustaquio refused. Angalan learned that the document which he signed was a deed of absolute sale and not a real estate mortgage. Also, title to the mortgaged property was already transferred to the Sps. Eustaquios name. Angalan engaged the services of Delante to recover their property. In a receipt, Delante acknowledged receipt of full payment for his professional fees. Delante filed the corresponding case and later, Angalan and the Sps. Eustaquio entered into an amicable settlement. Angalan didnt have the repurchase price for the property, pursuant to the compromise agreement, so Delante lent the amount to Angalan. In return, Delante could possess the property until paid. Later, when Angalan tried to recover the property, Delante refused and title was already in his name.

! Issue Whether or not Delate is guilty of gross misconduct in refusing to return his clients property upon demand. ! Held Guilty of gross misconduct || Disbarred ! Here, the evidence shows Angalan engaged the services of Delante concerning recovery of the mortgaged ! Delante alleged that complainants executed a motion to withdraw the complaint for disbarment and an

property and paid him his professional fees. Further, its also proven that, pursuant to the compromise agreement, Angalan validly repurchased the mortgaged property from the Sps. Eustaquio. affidavit of desistance. This is immaterial. The RoC state, No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance, settlement, compromise, restitution, withdrawal of charges, or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same. Delante violated Canons 16 and 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Canon 16 states that lawyers shall hold in trust all properties of their clients that may come into their possession. Delante should have held in trust the mortgaged property and returned it to Angalan upon demand. Instead of holding in trust the mortgaged property, Delante transferred title to his name, refused to return the same, and referred to Angalans charges as malicious and untruthful. Canon 17 states that lawyers shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in them. Delante should have been mindful of the trust and confidence Angalan reposed in him. Angalan alleges that he is illiterate and that the Spouses Eustaquio took advantage of him. Angalan engaged the services of Delante in the hope that he would help him recover his property. Instead of protecting the interests of Angalan, Delante took advantage of Anglaan and transferred the title of the property to his name. A person who takes the property of his illiterate clients and who is incapable of telling the truth is unfit to be a lawyer.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Ella Tabang and Concepcion Tabang vs Atty. Glenn C. Gacott Suarez vs Platon Ramos vs Imbang PCGG vs Sandiganbayan

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Soberano vs Villanueva Facts Soberano filed with this Court a petition alleging that, after inducing her to take part in a fake wedding under the belief, on her part, that it was a genuine and valid one, respondent Villanueva cohabited with her and later lived with her as husband and wife, as a consequence of which she bore him two (2) children, and that, subsequently, he abandoned her and their children, and praying, therefore, that he be disbarred.

! Issue Whether or not having an extra-marital relationship is a ground for disbarment or disciplinary action. ! Held Extra-marital relation isnt a ground but must look at the circumstances of each case. ! The first question for determination is whether or not there has been a simulated marriage between the

parties herein. The only evidence thereon is complainant's testimony. Although she introduced, by way of corroboration, the testimony of one Beatriz Juada, the latter merely claimed to have seen a printed form of marriage contract, with the names of the complainant and the respondent typewritten at the bottom thereof. Beatriz did not even notice whether or not there were signatures at the bottom of said instrument.

! Upon the other hand, complainant's behavior belies her claim to the effect that, believing, in view of the

alleged marriage ceremony, that respondent was her husband, she consented to cohabit with him, and later lived with him as his lawful wedded wife. Indeed, in her letter to respondent sent three (3) years after the aforementioned ceremony she reminded him of his unfulfilled promise to marry her after he passed the bar examination, thus leaving no room for doubt that she did not consider him as her husband and that there had been fake wedding.

! Further, respondent was able to have sex with complainant at his pleasure without marriage, it is most incredible that respondent would subsequently resort to a simulated wedding order to cohabit with her. ! The next question is whether the extra-marital relations between the parties, before respondent's administration to the Bar, warrant disciplinary action against him. ! Intimacy between a man and a woman who are not married, especially in the light of the circumstances

attending this case, is neither so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act nor so unprincipled as to warrant disbarment or disciplinary action against the man as a member of the Bar. This is particularly true in the case under consideration, for no less than the Executive Judge of the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, where respondent practices his profession, as well as Dean Jeremias Montemayor of the College of Law of the Ateneo de Manila, and the Hon. Guillermo Santos, formerly Chairman of the Agricultural Tenancy Commission, then Presiding Judge of the Court of Agrarian Relations and Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila, have vouched for the good moral character of said respondent as a worthy and distinguished member of the Bar, attested by his subsequent election as president of the Negros Occidental Bar Association.

! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Royong vs Oblena Facts In a verified complaint, complainant Josefina Royong charged the respondent Ariston J. Oblena, a member of the Philippine Bar, with rape allegedly committed on her person

! *The gist of the story is Atty. Oblena maintained a common-law relationship with Angeles. Later, he also maintained a relationship with his common-law wife's niece, Royong. ! Issue
Whether or not the illicit relations with Royong and open cohabitation with Angeles are sufficient grounds to disbar Oblena.

! Held The illicit relations are sufficient grounds. ! It is an admitted and uncontroverted fact that the respondent had sexual relations with the complainant

several times, and as a consequence she bore him a child; and that he likewise continuously cohabited with Briccia Angeles, in an adulterous manner.

! It is true that respondent has not been convicted of rape, seduction, or adultery and that the grounds upon

which the disbarment proceeding is based are not among those enumerated by the Rules of Court for which a lawyer may be disbarred. But it has already been held that this enumeration is not exclusive and that the power of the courts to exclude unfit and unworthy members of the profession is inherent. A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from office as a lawyer for other than statutory grounds. Indeed, the rule is so phrased as to be broad enough to cover practically any misconduct of a lawyer.

! Here, the moral depravity of the respondent is most apparent. His pretension that before complainant

completed her eighteenth birthday, he refrained from having sexual intercourse with her, so as not to incur criminal liability, as he himself declared and that he limited himself merely to kissing and embracing her and sucking her tongue, indicates a scheming mind, which together with his knowledge of the law, he took advantage of, for his lurid purpose. Moreover, his act becomes more despicable considering that the complainant was the niece of his common-law wife and that he enjoyed a moral ascendancy over her who looked up to him as her uncle.

! Respondent's conduct though unrelated to his office and in no way directly bearing on his profession, has nevertheless rendered him unfit and unworthy of the privileges of a lawyer. ! Next, one's own approximation of himself is not a gauge to his moral character. Moral character is not a

subjective term, but one which corresponds to objective reality. Moral character is what a person really is, and not what he or other people think he is. Respondent did not possess a good moral character at the time he applied for admission to the bar. He lived an adulterous life with Briccia Angeles, and the fact that people who knew him seemed to have acquiesced to his status, did not render him a person of good moral character. It is of no moment that his immoral state was discovered then or now as he is clearly not fit to remain a member of the bar.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche De Los Reyes vs Aznar Facts Complainant, a second year medical student of the Southwestern University (Cebu), alleged in her verified complaint that respondent Atty. Jose B. Aznar, then chairman of said university, had carnal knowledge of her for several times under threat that she would fail in her Pathology subject if she would not submit to respondent's lustful desires. Complainant further alleged that when she became pregnant, respondent, through a certain Dr. Gil Ramas, had her undergo forced abortion.

! Issue

Whether or not Aznar's action of threatening to flunk complainant if she doesn't have sexual intercourse with her is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Such action is a ground for disciplinary action. ! Respondent failed to adduce evidence sufficient to engender doubt as to his culpability of the offense

imputed upon him. With the exception of the self-serving testimonies of two witnesses presented on respondent's behalf, the records are bereft of evidence to exonerate respondent of the act complained of, much less contradict, on material points, the testimonies of complainant herself. While this is not a criminal proceeding, respondent would have done more than keep his silence if he really felt unjustly traduced. proper person to enjoy continued membership in the Bar. He cannot dispense with nor downgrade the high and exacting moral standards of the law profession.

! It is the duty of a lawyer, whenever his moral character is put in issue, to satisfy this Court that he is a fit and ! Complainant submitted to respondent's solicitation for sexual intercourse not because of a desire for sexual ! Next, the fact that he is a rich man and does not practice his profession as a lawyer, does not render respondent a person of good moral character. ! Under Section 27, Rule 138, "(a) member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as ! !
gratification but because of respondent's moral ascendancy over her and fear that if she would not accede, she would flunk in her subjects. As chairman of the college of medicine where complainant was enrolled, the latter had every reason to believe that respondent could make good his threats.

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 admission to practice, ... " In the present case, it was highly immoral of respondent, a married man with children, to have taken advantage of his position as chairman of the college of medicine in asking complainant, a student in said college, to go with him to Manila where he had carnal knowledge of her under the threat that she would flunk in all her subjects in case she refused.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Tomas P. Tan vs Atty. Haide V. Gumba Facts Complainant narrated that respondent asked to be lent "350,000.00. Respondent assured him that she would pay the principal plus interest after one year. She likewise offered by way of security a parcel of land registered in her fathers name, showing an SPA for the purpose. Thus, complainant agreed to lend money to respondent. With the help of Atty. Payte, respondent executed in complainants favor an open Deed of Absolute Sale over the said parcel of land. Complainant was made to believe that if respondent fails to pay the full amount of the loan with interest on due date, the deed of sale may be registered.5 Accordingly, he gave the amount of "350,000.00 to respondent.
"

! Respondent, however, defaulted on her loan obligation and failed to pay the same despite complainants ! Issue

repeated demands. Left with no recourse, complainant went to the Register of Deeds to register the sale, only to find out that respondent deceived him since the SPA did not give respondent the power to sell the property but only empowered respondent to mortgage the property solely to banks. Whether or not Gumbas action of deceiving Tan into thinking the former had proper authority to encumber the property is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Such action is a ground for disciplinary action. ! A lawyer may be disciplined for misconduct committed either in his professional or private capacity. The test

is whether his conduct shows him to be wanting in moral character, honesty, probity, and good demeanor, or whether it renders him unworthy to continue as an officer of the court.

! Here, respondents actions clearly show that she deceived complainant into lending money to her through the

use of documents and false representations and taking advantage of her education and complainants ignorance in legal matters. As manifested by complainant, he would have never granted the loan to respondent were it not for respondents misrepresentation that she was authorized to sell the property and if respondent had not led him to believe that he could register the open deed of sale if she fails to pay the loan. By her misdeed, respondent has eroded not only complainants perception of the legal profession but the publics perception as well. Further, after filing a Motion for Extension of Time to File a Responsive Pleading, respondent wantonly disregarded the lawful orders of the IBP-CBD to file her answer and to appear for the mandatory conferences despite due notice. Respondent should bear in mind that she must acknowledge the orders of the IBP-CBD in deference to its authority over her as a member of the IBP.!

5 !

Isnt this a case of pactum commisorium?

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Barandon vs Ferrer Facts Complainant Atty. Bonifacio T. Barandon, Jr. filed a complaint-affidavit with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD) against respondent Atty. Edwin Z. Ferrer, Sr. for the following offenses:

! 1.

Atty. Ferrer, as plaintiffs counsel in a civil case, filed a reply with opposition to motion to dismiss that contained abusive, offensive, and improper language which insinuated that Atty. Barandon presented a falsified document in court. 2. Atty. Ferrer filed a fabricated charge against Atty. Barandon in the same civil case for alleged falsification of public document. 3. At the MTC before the start of hearing, Atty. Ferrer evidently drunk throated Atty. Barandon saying Laban kung laban, patayan kung patayan, kasama ang lahat ng pamilya. Wala na palang magaling na abogado sa Camarines Norte, ang abogado na rito ay mga taga-Camarines Sur, umuwi na kayo sa Camarines Sur, hindi kayo taga-rito

! Issue

Whether or not Ferrers malicious imputation of falsification and use of foul language against Barandon is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Such malicious imputation is a ground for disciplinary action. ! Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility commands all lawyers to conduct themselves with

courtesy, fairness and candor towards their fellow lawyers and avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel. Atty. Ferrers actions do not measure up to this Canon. The evidence shows that he imputed to Atty. Barandon the falsification of the Salaysay Affidavit of the plaintiff in the civil case. He made this imputation with pure malice for he had no evidence that the affidavit had been falsified and that Atty. Barandon authored the same. Moreover, Atty. Ferrer could have aired his charge of falsification in a proper forum and without using offensive and abusive language against a fellow lawyer.

! Atty. Ferrer had likewise violated Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which enjoins lawyers

to uphold the dignity and integrity of the legal profession at all times. Several disinterested persons confirmed Atty. Ferrers drunken invectives at Atty. Barandon shortly before the start of a court hearing. Evidently, he uttered these with intent to annoy, humiliate, incriminate, and discredit Atty. Barandon in the presence of lawyers, court personnel, and litigants waiting for the start of hearing in court. This language is unbecoming a member of the legal profession. Though a lawyers language may be forceful and emphatic, it should always be dignified and respectful, befitting the dignity of the legal profession. The use of intemperate language and unkind ascriptions has no place in the dignity of judicial forum. Atty. Ferrer ought to have realized that this sort of public behavior can only bring down the legal profession in the public estimation and erode public respect for it. Whatever moral righteousness Atty. Ferrer had was negated by the way he chose to express his indignation. !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Rodrigo Tapay vs Atty. Bancolo Facts Tapay and Rustia were charged before the Ombudsman by Nehimias Divinagracia, Jr. (Divinagracia). The Complaint was allegedly signed on behalf of Divinagracia by Bancolo of the Jarder Bancolo Law Office. However, Atty. Bancolo denied that he represented Divinagracia since he had yet to meet Divinagracia in person. Atty. Bancolo declared that the signature naming him as counsel for Divinagracia was not his. Atty. Bancolo signed an affidavit denying his supposed signature appearing on the Complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman. Using Atty. Bancolos affidavit and other documentary evidence, Tapay and Rustia filed a counter-affidavit accusing Divinagracia of falsifying the signature of his alleged counsel, Atty. Bancolo.

! The Office of the Ombudsman provisionally dismissed the Complaint and ordered that separate cases for ! Tapay and Rustia filed with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) a complaint to disbar Atty. Bancolo and Atty. Jarder, Atty. Bancolos law partner. ! Issue

Falsification of Public Document and Dishonesty be filed against Divinagracia, with Rustia and Atty. Bancolo as complainants. Thereafter, Divinagracia denied that he falsified the signature of Bancolo. Divinagracia presented as evidence an affidavit by Richard A. Cordero, the legal assistant of Atty. Bancolo, that the Jarder Bancolo Law Office accepted Divinagracias case and that the Complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman was signed by the office secretary per Atty. Bancolos instructions.

Whether or not Bancolos actions of allowing his secretary to sign his name in the pleadings is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Such action is a ground for disciplinary action. ! Atty. Bancolo admitted that the Complaint he filed for a former client before the Office of the Ombudsman ! ! ! The lawyers duty to prevent, or at the very least not to assist in, the unauthorized practice of law is founded
CANON 9 A LAWYER SHALL NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ASSIST IN THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW. Rule 9.01 - A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the Bar in good standing.

was signed in his name by a secretary of his law office. Clearly, this is a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides:

on public interest and policy. Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited to those individuals found duly qualified in education and character. The preparation and signing of a pleading constitute legal work involving the practice of law which is reserved exclusively for members of the legal profession. Atty. Bancolos authority and duty to sign a pleading are personal to him. Although he may delegate the signing of a pleading to another lawyer, he may not delegate it to a non-lawyer.

! In the Answer, Atty. Bancolo categorically stated that because of some minor lapses, the communications and !

pleadings filed against Tapay and Rustia were signed by his secretary, albeit with his tolerance. Undoubtedly, Atty. Bancolo violated the Code of Professional Responsibility by allowing a non-lawyer to affix his signature to a pleading.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Alcantara vs Pefianco Facts The complainant, Atty. Antonio A. Alcantara, alleged that while Atty. Ramon Salvani III was conferring with a client in the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) a woman approached them. Complainant saw the woman in tears, whereupon he went to the group. At this point, respondent Atty. Mariano Pefianco, who was nearby, stood up and shouted at Atty. Salvani and his client, saying, Why do you settle that case? Have your client imprisoned so that he will realize his mistake.

! Complainant was surprised at respondent Pefiancos outburst and asked him to cool off, but respondent
continued to fulminate at Atty. Salvani. Respondent refused to listen and instead continued to scold Atty. Salvani and the latters client. Complainant then went out to attend a hearing, but when he came back he heard respondent Pefianco saying: Atty. Alcantara said that he would send me out of the PAO, what an idiot. Then, upon seeing complainant, respondent pointed his finger at him and repeated his statement for the other people in the office to hear. At this point, according to complainant, he confronted respondent Pefianco and told him to observe civility or else to leave the office if he had no business there. Complainant said respondent resented this and started hurling invectives at him.

! This caused a commotion in the office.

Atty. Pepin Marfil and Mr. Robert Minguez, the Chief of the Probation Office, tried to pacify respondent Pefianco. Two guards of the Hall of Justice came to take respondent out of the office, but before they could do so, respondent tried to attack complainant and even shouted at him, Gago ka! (Youre stupid!) Fortunately, the guards were able to fend off respondents blow and complainant was not harmed.

! Issue Whether or not Atty. Peflancos actions are a ground for disciplinary action. ! Held Such actions are a ground for disciplinary action. ! The evidence on record indeed shows that it was respondent Pefianco who provoked the incident in question.
Respondent shouted and hurled invectives at him and Atty. Salvani and even attempted to lay hands on him (complainant).

! Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility admonishes lawyers to conduct themselves with
courtesy, fairness and candor toward their fellow lawyers. Lawyers are duty bound to uphold the dignity of the legal profession. They must act honorably, fairly and candidly toward each other and otherwise conduct themselves without reproach at all times.

! In this case, respondents meddling in a matter in which he had no right to do so caused the untoward

incident. He had no right to demand an explanation from Atty. Salvani why the case of the woman had not or could not be settled. Even so, Atty. Salvani in fact tried to explain the matter to respondent, but the latter insisted on his view about the case.

! Respondent said he was moved by the plight of the woman whose husband had been murdered as she was

pleading for the settlement of her case because she needed the money. Be that as it may, respondent should realize that what he thought was righteous did not give him the right to demand that Atty. Salvani and his client, apparently the accused in the criminal case, settle the case with the widow. Even when he was being pacified, respondent did not relent. Instead he insulted and berated those who tried to calm him down. Respondent ought to have realized that this sort of public behavior can only bring down the legal profession in the public estimation and erode public respect for it. Whatever moral righteousness respondent had was negated by the way he chose to express his indignation. An injustice cannot be righted by another injustice.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Camacho vs Pangulayan Facts Respondent lawyers stand indicted for a violation of the Code of Professional Ethics, specifically Canon 9 thereof, viz:

! "A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented by

counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party not represented by counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law."

! Atty. Manuel N. Camacho filed a complaint against the lawyers comprising the Pangulayan and Associates
Law Offices. Complainant, the hired counsel of some expelled students from the AMA Computer College ("AMACC"), in a civil case charged that respondents, then counsel for the defendants, procured and effected on separate occasions, without his knowledge, compromise agreements ("Re-Admission Agreements") with four of his clients in the aforementioned civil case.

! Issue

Whether or not Pangulayans action of securing a compromise agreement with the opposing party without informing the counsel of the latter is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Such action is a ground for disciplinary action. ! It would appear that when the individual letters of apology and Re-Admission Agreements were formalized,
complainant was by then already the retained counsel for plaintiff students in the civil case. Respondent Pangulayan had full knowledge of this fact. Although aware that the students were represented by counsel, respondent attorney proceeded, nonetheless, to negotiate with them and their parents without at the very least communicating the matter to their lawyer, herein complainant, who was counsel of record. This failure of respondent, whether by design or because of oversight, is an inexcusable violation of the canons of professional ethics and in utter disregard of a duty owing to a colleague. Respondent fell short of the demands required of him as a lawyer and as a member of the Bar.

! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Linsangan vs Tolentino Facts This is a complaint for disbarment filed by Pedro Linsangan of the Linsangan Linsangan & Linsangan Law Office against Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino for solicitation of clients and encroachment of professional services.

! Complainant alleged that respondent, with the help of paralegal Fe Marie Labiano, convinced his clients to ! Complainant also attached respondents calling card. ! Issue

transfer legal representation. Respondent promised them financial assistance, loans, and expeditious collection on their claims. To induce them to hire his services, he persistently called them and sent them text messages.

Whether or not Tolentinos actions of soliciting and stealing clients away from other lawyers is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Such solicitation and client-grabbing is a ground for disciplinary action. ! Lawyers are prohibited from soliciting cases for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents

or brokers. Such actuation constitutes malpractice, a ground for disbarment. The rule proscribes ambulance chasing (the solicitation of almost any kind of legal business by an attorney, personally or through an agent in order to gain employment). Through Labianos (Tolentinos paralegal) actions, respondents law practice was benefited. Hapless seamen were enticed to transfer representation on the strength of Labianos word that respondent could produce a more favorable result. Settled is the rule that a lawyer should not steal another lawyers client nor induce the latter to retain him by a promise of better service, good result or reduced fees for his services. 16.04. The rule is that a lawyer shall not lend money to his client. The only exception is, when in the interest of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses, such as filing fees, for a matter that he is handling for the client. The rule is intended to safeguard the lawyers independence of mind so that the free exercise of his judgment may not be adversely affected. It seeks to ensure his undivided attention to the case he is handling as well as his entire devotion and fidelity to the clients cause. If the lawyer lends money to the client in connection with the clients case, the lawyer in effect acquires an interest in the subject matter of the case or an additional stake in its outcome.

! Moreover, by engaging in a money-lending venture with his clients as borrowers, respondent violated Rule

! A final word regarding the calling card presented in evidence by petitioner. A lawyers best advertisement is ! Professional calling cards may only contain the following details:
(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) lawyers name; name of the law firm with which he is connected; address; telephone number and special branch of law practiced.

a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust based on his character and conduct. For this reason, lawyers are only allowed to announce their services by publication in reputable law lists or use of simple professional cards.

! Labianos calling card contained the phrase with financial assistance. The phrase was clearly used to entice

clients (who already had representation) to change counsels with a promise of loans to finance their legal actions. Money was dangled to lure clients away from their original lawyers, thereby taking advantage of their financial distress and emotional vulnerability. This crass commercialism degraded the integrity of the bar and deserved no place in the legal profession.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Khan vs Simbillo Facts This administrative complaint arose from a paid advertisement that appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which reads: ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE Specialist 532-4333/521-2667.

! A staff member of the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court, called up the published telephone
number and pretended to be an interested party. She spoke to Mrs. Simbillo, who claimed that her husband, Atty. Rizalino Simbillo, was an expert in handling annulment cases and can guarantee a court decree within four to six months, provided the case will not involve separation of property or custody of children. Mrs. Simbillo also said that her husband charges a fee of P48,000.00, half of which is payable at the time of filing of the case and the other half after a decision thereon has been rendered.

! Further research by the Office of the Court Administrator and the Public Information Office revealed that similar advertisements were published in the Manila Bulletin and The Philippine Star. ! Issue Whether or not the advertisements are a ground for disciplining Simbillo. ! Held The advertisements are grounds for disciplinary action. ! The practice of law is not a business. It is a profession in which duty to public service, not money, is the !

primary consideration. Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a money-making venture, and law advocacy is not a capital that necessarily yields profits. The gaining of a livelihood should be a secondary consideration. The duty to public service and to the administration of justice should be the primary consideration of lawyers, who must subordinate their personal interests or what they owe to themselves. The following elements distinguish the legal profession from a business:
1. A duty of public service, of which the emolument is a by-product, and in which one may attain the highest eminence without making much money; 2. A relation as an officer of the court to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity, integrity and reliability; 3. A relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary; 4. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness, and unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice, or dealing directly with their clients.

! Nonetheless, the solicitation of legal business is not altogether proscribed. However, for solicitation to be

proper, it must be compatible with the dignity of the legal profession. If it is made in a modest and decorous manner, it would bring no injury to the lawyer and to the bar. Thus, the use of simple signs stating the name or names of the lawyers, the office and residence address and fields of practice, as well as advertisement in legal periodicals bearing the same brief data, are permissible. Even the use of calling cards is now acceptable. Publication in reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by the canon, of brief biographical and informative data is likewise allowable. !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Ulep vs Legal Clinic Facts Petitioner prays this Court "to order the respondent to cease and desist from issuing advertisements and to perpetually prohibit persons or entities from making advertisements pertaining to the exercise of the law profession other than those allowed by law.

! (See case for actual advertisement) ! Issue

Whether or not the complained advertisements violate the code of professional responsibility and degrade the lawyering profession.

! Held The advertisements violate the CPR and degrade the bar. ! The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer's advertisement of his talents. A lawyer cannot, ! The canon of the profession tell us that the best advertising possible for a lawyer is a well-merited reputation

without violating the ethics of his profession. advertise his talents or skill as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The prescription against advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal business rests on the fundamental postulate that the practice of law is a profession. for professional capacity and fidelity to trust, which must be earned as the outcome of character and conduct. Good and efficient service to a client as well as to the community has a way of publicising itself and catching public attention. That publicity is a normal by-product of effective service which is right and proper. A good and reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to generate it and to magnify his success. He easily sees the difference between a normal by-product of able service and the unwholesome result of propaganda.

! However, not all types of advertising or solicitation are prohibited. The canons of the profession enumerate ! The first of such exceptions is the publication in reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with the standards !

exceptions to the rule against advertising or solicitation and define the extent to which they may be undertaken. The exceptions are of two broad categories, namely, those which are expressly allowed and those which are necessarily implied from the restrictions. of conduct imposed by the canons, of brief biographical and informative data. The law list must be a reputable law list published primarily for that purpose; it cannot be a mere supplemental feature of a paper, magazine, trade journal or periodical which is published principally for other purposes. The second is the use of an ordinary simple professional card.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Foodsphere vs Mauricio Facts Alberto Cordero (Cordero) purportedly bought from a grocery in Valenzuela City a CDO liver spread. Later, as Cordero was eating bread with the liver spread, he found the spread to be sour and soon discovered a colony of worms inside the can. Cordero thus filed a complaint with the Bureau of Food and Drug Administration (BFAD).

! Cordero demanded P150,000 as damages from complainant but complainant refused. Meanwhile, respondent

sent complainant a copy of the front page of the would-be issue of the tabloid Balitang Patas which contained articles maligning, discrediting and imputing vices and defects to it and its products. Respondent threatened to publish the articles unless complainant gave in to the P150,000 demand of the Corderos.

! The Corderos eventually forged a KASUNDUAN3 seeking the withdrawal of their complaint before the
BFAD. The BFAD thus dismissed the complaint. Respondent, who affixed his signature to the KASUNDUAN as a witness, later wrote in one of his articles/columns in a tabloid that he prepared the document.

! Later, respondent sent complainant an Advertising Contract asking complainant to advertise in the tabloid

and a TV program. As a sign of goodwill, complainant offered to buy at reduced prices but respondent was disappointed with the offer. Respondent threatened to proceed with the publication of the articles/columns. Respondent then published in his Radio and TV programs articles and statements putting complainant in a bad light concerning the CDO liver spread fiasco.

! Issue Whether or not Mauricios actions against Foodsphere is a ground for disciplinary action. ! Held Such actions are a ground for disciplinary action. ! Respondent violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which mandates lawyers to refrain ! He also violated Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates: ! ! For despite the pendency of the civil case against him and the issuance of a status quo order restraining/
A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.

from engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. For, as the IBP found, he engaged in deceitful conduct by taking advantage of the complaint against CDO to advance his interest to obtain funds for his Batas Foundation and seek sponsorships and advertisements for the tabloids and his television program.

enjoining further publishing, televising and broadcasting of any matter relative to the complaint of CDO, respondent continued with his attacks against complainant and its products. At the same time, respondent violated Canon 1 also of the Code of Professional Responsibility, for he defied said status quo order, despite his (respondents) oath as a member of the legal profession to "obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities."

! The power of the media to form or influence public opinion cannot be underestimated. On reading the
articles respondent published, not to mention listening to him over the radio and watching him on television, it cannot be gainsaid that the same could, to a certain extent, have affected the sales of complainant.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In Re Sycip6 Facts Two separate Petitions were filed before this Court 1) by the surviving partners of Atty. Alexander Sycip and 2) by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio Ozaeta praying that they be allowed to continue using, in the names of their firms, the names of partners who had passed away.
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! Issue Whether or not a Law Firm can continue using the name of a deceased partner. ! Held Law firm cant use the name. ! Prescinding the law, there could be practical objections to allowing the use by law firms of the names of ! A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or for

deceased partners. The public relations value of the use of an old firm name can tend to create undue advantages and disadvantages in the practice of the profession. An able lawyer without connections will have to make a name for himself starting from scratch. Another able lawyer, who can join an old firm, can initially ride on that old firm's reputation established by deceased partners. business. A partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. It is a mere relationship or association for a particular purpose. It is not a partnership formed for the purpose of carrying on trade or business or of holding property.

! It must be conceded that in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allows the continued use of a ! The continued use of a firm name after the death of one or more of the partners designated by it is proper only where sustained by local custom and not where by custom this purports to identify the active members. ! The possibility of deception upon the public, real or consequential, where the name of a deceased partner

deceased or former partner's name in the firm names of law partnerships. Firm names, under our custom, identify the more active and/or more senior members or partners of the law firm. A glimpse at the history of the firms of petitioners and of other law firms in this country would show how their firm names have evolved and changed from time to time as the composition of the partnership changed.

continues to be used cannot be ruled out. A person in search of legal counsel might be guided by the familiar ring of a distinguished name appearing in a firm title.!

6 !

Case is already bad law. Law firms can use the name of a deceased partner

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Dacanay vs Baker McKenzie Facts Lawyer Adriano E. Dacanay, admitted to the bar in 1954, in his 1980 verified complaint, sought to enjoin Juan G. Collas, Jr. and nine other lawyers from practising law under the name of Baker & McKenzie, a law firm organized in Illinois.

! In a letter dated November 16, 1979 respondent Vicente A. Torres, using the letterhead of Baker &
McKenzie, which contains the names of the ten lawyers, asked Rosie Clurman for the release of 87 shares of Cathay Products International, Inc. to H.E. Gabriel, a client.

! Attorney Dacanay, in his reply dated December 7, 1979, denied any liability of Clurman to Gabriel. He ! Issue Whether or not Respondents can continue practicing under the name of a foreign law firm. ! Held Respondents can continue such practice. ! We hold that Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the Philippines. As admitted

requested that he be informed whether the lawyer of Gabriel is Baker & McKenzie "and if not, what is your purpose in using the letterhead of another law office." Not having received any reply, he filed the instant complaint.

by the respondents in their memorandum, Baker & McKenzie is a professional partnership organized in 1949 in Chicago, Illinois with members and associates in 30 cities around the world. Respondents, aside from being members of the Philippine bar, practising under the firm name of Guerrero & Torres, are members or associates of Baker & Mckenzie.

! As pointed out by the Solicitor General, respondents' use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie constitutes a

representation that being associated with the firm they could "render legal services of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises and others engaged in foreign trade and investment". This is unethical because Baker & McKenzie is not authorized to practise law here.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In Re Integration of the Bar of the Philippines Facts The Commission on Bar Integration submitted its Report with the "earnest recommendation that the SC ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar as soon as possible through the adoption and promulgation of an appropriate Court Rule.

! Issue Whether or not an Integrated Bar is constitutional. ! Held The Integrated Bar is constitutional. ! Integration of the Philippine Bar means the official unification of the entire lawyer population of the ! The Court is of the view that it may integrate the Philippine Bar in the exercise of its power, under Article ! Freedom of Association
VIII, Sec. 13 of the Constitution, "to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law." The power to integrate is an inherent part of the Court's constitutional authority over the Bar. To compel a lawyer to be a member of an integrated Bar is not violative of his constitutional freedom to associate (or the corollary right not to associate). Integration does not make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is not already a member. He became a member of the Bar when he passed the Bar examinations. All that integration actually does is to provide an official national organisation for the well-defined but unorganised and incohesive group of which every lawyer is already a member.

Philippines. This requires membership and financial support (in reasonable amount) of every attorney as conditions sine qua non to the practice of law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court.

! Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not attend the meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. ! Besides, such compulsion is a valid exercise of police power. ! Regulatory Fee ! Freedom of Speech

A membership fee in the Integrated Bar is an exaction for regulation, while the purpose of a tax is revenue. If the Court has inherent power to regulate the Bar, it follows that as an incident to regulation, it may impose a membership fee for that purpose. It would not be possible to push through an Integrated Bar program without means to defray the concomitant expenses. The doctrine of implied powers necessarily includes the power to impose such an exaction. A lawyer is free, as he has always been, to voice his views on any subject in any manner he wishes, even though such views be opposed to positions taken by the Unified Bar.

! Advantages & Disadvantages

In all the foreign jurisdictions where the Integrated Bar has been tried, none of the abuses or evils feared from integrating the Bar has arisen; on the other hand, it has restored public confidence in the Bar, enlarged professional consciousness, energised the Bar's responsibilities to the public, and vastly improved the administration of justice.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Santos Jr vs Llamas Facts This is a complaint for misrepresentation and non-payment of bar membership dues filed against respondent Atty. Francisco R. Llamas.

! Indeed, respondent admits that since 1992, he has engaged in law practice without having paid his IBP dues. ! Issue

He likewise admits that, as appearing in the pleadings submitted by complainant to this Court, he indicated "IBP-Rizal 259060" in the pleadings he filed in court, at least for the years 1995, 1996, and 1997, thus misrepresenting that such was his IBP chapter membership and receipt number for the years in which those pleadings were filed. Whether or not Respondents failure to pay his IBP membership dues and misrepresentation of his IBP chapter is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Non-payment of membership dues and misrepresentation is a ground for disciplinary action. ! Respondent can engage in the practice of law only by paying his membership dues, and it does not matter ! By indicating "IBP-Rizal 259060" in his pleadings and thereby misrepresenting to the public and the courts
that he had paid his IBP dues to the Rizal Chapter, respondent is guilty of violating the Code of Professional Responsibility.

that his practice is limited as he alleges. While it is true that R.A. No. 7432, 4 grants senior citizens "exemption from the payment of individual income taxes: provided, that their annual taxable income does not exceed the poverty level as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for that year," the exemption does not include payment of membership or association dues.

! Respondents failure to pay his IBP dues and his misrepresentation in the pleadings he filed in court indeed

merit the most severe penalty. However, in view of respondents advanced age, his express willingness to pay his dues and plea for a more temperate application of the law, we believe the penalty of one year suspension from the practice of law or until he has paid his IBP dues, whichever is later, is appropriate. !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Fernandez vs De Ramos-Villalon Facts Palacios, in a civil case, alleged that he was the owner of a lotaaJM//////. Later, he became aware that his lot was being eyed by a land-grabbing syndicate. The syndicate attempted to obtain a copy of the Torrens title by filing a Petition for Judicial Reconstitution of Lost Owners Duplicate Original Copy. Palacios received information that Fernandez could help him oppose the syndicates petition. Thus, Palacios approached Fernandez, and they eventually succeeded in causing the withdrawal of the Reconstitution case.

! Afterwards, Palacios learned that his lot being sold by Fernandez. Upon investigation, he discovered that Fernandez had falsified a Deed of Donation that he (Palacios) purportedly executed in Fernandez favor. ! Palacios then employed the services of respondent Atty. Villalon to file a Complaint for the declaration of ! Issue

nullity of the Deed of Donation that became the basis for the issuance of a title in Fernandez name. Later, Fernandez filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Villalon for alleging that Atty. Villalon, acting as Palacios counsel, deceitfully suppressed the existence of the Deed of Absolute Sale and induced a certain Heredia to sign a false affidavit to bolster his case. Is Villalons act of suppressing the alleged Deed of Absolute Sale, assuming he knew of the same, a ground for disciplinary action?

! Held No. ! A lawyer, as an officer of the court, has a duty to be truthful in all his dealings. However, this duty does not
require that the lawyer advance matters of defense on behalf of his or her clients opponent. A lawyer is his or her clients advocate; while duty-bound to utter no falsehood, an advocate is not obliged to build the case for his or her clients opponent.

! The respondents former client, Palacios, approached her to file a complaint for the annulment of the Deed of

Donation. Assuming arguendo that the respondent knew of the presence of the Deed of Absolute Sale, its existence, is, indeed, a matter of defense for Fernandez. We cannot fault the respondent for choosing not to pursue the nullification of the Deed of Absolute Sale. The respondent alleged that her former client, Palacios, informed her that the Deed of Absolute Sale was void for lack of consideration. Furthermore, unlike the Deed of Donation, the Deed of Absolute Sale was not registered in the Registry of Deeds and was not the basis for the transfer of title of Palacios property to Fernandez. Under the circumstances, it was reasonable for a lawyer to conclude, whether correctly or incorrectly, that the Deed of Absolute Sale was immaterial in achieving the ultimate goal the recovery of Palacios property.

! In disbarment proceedings, the burden of proof rests on the complainant. A lawyer may only be disbarred or ! First, the original affidavit and the retraction stand uncorroborated by any other evidence and, in our view,

suspended if there is clear, convincing, and satisfactory proof that he or she committed transgressions defined by the rules as grounds to strip him or her of his professional license. In this case, theres no clear evidence we can satisfactorily accept showing that the respondent improperly induced Heredia to sign the affidavit as alleged in Heredias affidavit of retraction. stand on the same footing. Neither affidavit provides clear, convincing and satisfactory proof of what they allege.

! Second, the allegations in both sworn statements are so contradictory that we can only conclude that Heredia had grossly lied in either or even in both instruments. ! ! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Rivera vs Corral Facts A Decision was penned by the Honorable Presiding Judge Gorgonio Y. Ybaez on Civil Case for Ejectment. Such decision was received by Annaliza Superio, Secretary of Atty. Napoleon Corral. Later, a NOTICE OF APPEAL was filed in court by Atty. Napoleon Corral.

! Afterwards, Atty. Napoleon Corral came to the Office of the Clerk of Court, and changed the date February

23, 1990 to February 29, 1990. Realising later that there is no 29th in February 1990, he filed a REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS MANIFESTATION claiming therein that he received the Decision not on the 29th in (sic) February 1990 but on the 28th of February 1990.

! Rivera alleges Atty. Napoleon Corral violated the proper norms/ethics as a lawyer by tampering with court
records particularly by personally and manually changing entries in the courts record without the Courts prior knowledge and permission, conduct unbecoming of a member of the Philippine Bar much more so because in so doing he was found to have been motivated by the desire of suppressing the truth.

! Issue

Is Atty. Corrals act of changing the date to make it appear the appeal was filed within the reglementary period a ground for disciplinary action?

! Held Yes. ! The correction introduced by respondent was made not to reflect the truth but to mislead the trial court into

believing that the notice of appeal was filed within the reglementary period. Respondent filed the Notice of Appeal clearly out of time. To extricate himself from such predicament, respondent altered the date when he allegedly received the Decision. Realizing that there was no February 29, 1990 in the calendar, he sought to change the date again to February 28, 1990 by means of a reply to Plaintiffs Manifestation.

! Respondents claim that the correction was made in the presence of the Clerk of Court and other court
employees was denied by Nilda P. Tronco, the Branch Clerk, who declared that the alteration was surreptitiously made and would have been left unnoticed were it not for the timely discovery thereof.

! By altering the material dates to make it appear that the Notice of Appeal was timely filed, respondent

committed an act of dishonesty. It should be stressed that brazenly resorting to such a legal subterfuge to mislead the court and to cover up for his failings toward his client is not only a disgraceful indictment on respondents moral fiber and personal fitness to his calling as a lawyer. It is also an embarrassment to his brethren in the Bar.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Bueno vs Atty. Ramos Facts In her complaint, Bueno related that she hired Atty. Raeses to represent her in a Civil Case. Bueno alleged that Atty. Raeses asked for P10,000.00. This amount would allegedly be divided between him and Judge Nidea, the judge hearing the Civil Case so that they would not lose the case. Atty. Raeses told Bueno not to tell anyone about the matter. Afterwards, Atty. Raeses asked for another P5,000.00.

! Bueno later discovered that the trial court had required Atty. Raeses to comment on the adverse partys offer
of evidence and to submit their memorandum on the case, but Atty. Raeses failed to comply with the courts directive. According to Bueno, Atty. Raeses concealed this development from her. In fact, she was shocked when a court sheriff arrived sometime in May 1991 to execute the decision against them.

! Bueno went to Atty. Raeses office to ask him about what happened to the case. Atty. Raeses told her that
he had not received any decision. Bueno later discovered from court records that Atty. Raeses actually received a copy of the decision. When she confronted Atty. Raeses about her discovery and showed him a court-issued certification, Atty. Raeses simply denied any knowledge of the decision.

! Issue

Is Atty. Raneses blatant disregard for his client and soliciting money to allegedly bribe the judge a ground for disbarment?

! Held Yes. ! Once lawyers agree to take up the cause of a client, they owe fidelity to the cause and must always be
mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in them." A client is entitled to the benefit of all remedies and defenses authorized by law, and is expected to rely on his lawyer to avail of these remedies or defenses.

! In this case, Atty. Raeses alleged failure to file a comment on the adverse partys offer of evidence and to

submit the required memorandum would have amounted to negligence. However, as noted by Commissioner Limpingco, Bueno did not support her allegations with court documents that she could have easily procured. This omission leaves only Buenos bare allegations which are insufficient to prove Atty. Raeses negligence. We support the Board of Governors ruling on this point. same time maligned both the judge and the Judiciary. These are exacerbated by his cavalier attitude towards the IBP during the investigation of his case; he practically disregarded its processes and even lied to one of the Investigating Commissioners regarding the notices given him about the case.

! However, Atty. Raeses committed an even graver offense. He committed a fraudulent exaction, and at the ! He extracted money from his client for a purpose that is both false and fraudulent. It is false because no
bribery apparently took place as Atty. Raeses in fact lost the case. It is fraudulent because the professed purpose of the exaction was the crime of bribery. Beyond these, he maligned the judge and the Judiciary by giving the impression that court cases are won, not on the merits, but through deceitful means a decidedly black mark against the Judiciary. Last but not the least, Atty. Raeses grossly disrespected the IBP by his cavalier attitude towards its disciplinary proceedings.

! From these perspectives, Atty. Raeses wronged his client, the judge allegedly on the "take," the Judiciary as
an institution, and the IBP of which he is a member.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Josabeth Alonso vs Atty. Relamida Facts Jennifer Ebanen filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal against Servier Philippines, Incorporated (Servier). Afterwards, the Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of Servier. Ebanen appealed at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). The NLRC, CA, and SC all affirmed the decision. The Courts Resolution has already become final and executory and the corresponding Entry of Judgment issued. However, despite said entry of judgment, Ebanen, thru her counsel, Atty. Relamida, filed a second complaint for illegal dismissal based on the same cause of action against Servier before the NLRC.

! Issue Is Atty. Relamida guilty of forum shopping? ! Held Yes. ! In the instant case, it is clear that Atty. Relamida is guilty of forum shopping and violation of the rule on res

judicata. Atty. Relamida should have refrained from filing the second complaint against Servier. He ought to have known that the previous dismissal was with prejudice, since it had the effect of an adjudication on the merits. He was aware of all the proceedings which the first complaint went through as by his own admission, he participated in the preparation of the pleadings and even signed as counsel of Ebanen occasionally. He knew that the decision in the subject case had already attained finality. Atty. Relamida was well aware that when he filed the second complaint, it involved the same parties and same cause of action, albeit, he justified the same on the ground of nullity of the previous dismissal.

! His allegation that he was not the original counsel of Ebanen and that his intention was only to protect the

rights of his clients whom he believed were not properly addressed in the prior complaint deserves scant consideration. He should know that once a case is decided with finality, the controversy is settled and the matter is laid to rest. The prevailing party is entitled to enjoy the fruits of his victory, while the other party is obliged to respect the courts verdict and to comply with it.

! The essence of forum shopping is the filing of multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of
action, either simultaneously or successively, for the purpose of obtaining a favorable judgment. It exists when, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion in another, or when he institutes two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause to increase the chances of obtaining a favorable decision. An important factor in determining its existence is the vexation caused to the courts and the parties-litigants by the filing of similar cases to claim substantially the same reliefs. Forum shopping exists where the elements of litis pendentia are present or where a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in another.

! Thus, the following requisites should concur: ! ! ! ! !

(a) identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same interests in both actions, (b) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts, and (c) the identity of the two preceding particulars is such that any judgment rendered in the other action will, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the action under consideration.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Anastacio Teodoro III vs Atty. Romeo S. Gonzales Facts In his complaint, Teodoro Ill related that Atty. Gonzales acted as counsel of Araceli Teodoro-Marcial in two civil cases that the latter filed against him. The first case, Special Proceeding, involved the settlement of the intestate estate of Manuela Teodoro. While the settlement proceeding was pending, Atty. Gonzales assisted Teodord-Marcial in filing Civil Case for Annulment of Document, Reconveyance and Damages, without indicating the special proceeding earlier filed. The filing of the civil cases, according to Anastacio, was a deliberate act of forum shopping that warrants the disbarment of Atty. Gonzales.

! Issue is Atty. Gonzales guilty of forum shopping? ! Held Yes. ! There is forum shopping when the elements of litis pendencia are present or where a final judgment in one
case will amount to res judicata in another. They are as follows: (a) identity of parties, or at least such parties that represent the same interests in both actions, (b) identity of rights or causes of action, and (c) identity of relief sought.

! Under this test, we find that Atty. Gonzales committed forum shopping when he filed Civil Case while Special Proceeding was pending. ! Identity of Parties ! Identity of causes of action

In both cases, the initiating parties are the same. All claimed to be the legitimate heirs of Manuela and coowners of the land that she held in trust for them. Meanwhile, Anastacio, the oppositor in Special Proceeding, is also the sole defendant in Civil Case. In both cases, he espoused the same interest, as transferee-owner of the lot allegedly held in trust by Manuela. The test of identity of causes of action does not depend on the form of an action taken, but on whether the same evidence would support and establish the former and the present causes of action.The heirs of Manuela cannot avoid the application of res judicata by simply varying the form of their action or by adopting a different method of presenting it.

! In both cases, the issue of whether Manuela held the lot in Malate, Manila in trust had to be decided by the
trial court. The initiating parties claim in the two cases depended on the existence of the trust Manuela allegedly held in their favor. Thus, the evidence necessary to prove their claim was the same.

! Identity of relief sought ! ! ! !

While the reliefs prayed for in the initiatory pleadings of the two cases are different in form, a ruling in one case would have resolved the other, and vice versa. To illustrate, had the lot been declared as part of the estate of Manuela in Special Proceeding there would have been no need for a decision annulling the sale in Civil Case No. 00-99207. Conversely, had the sale in Civil Case No. been annulled, then the property would go back to the hands of the heirs of Manuela. Placing the property under administration, as prayed for in Special Proceeding would have been unnecessary.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Fudot vs Cattleya Land7

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Too long, will digest later

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche In Re Supreme Court Resolution in GR 145817 and 1458228

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Sebastian vs Bajar Facts Respondent is a lawyer of the Department of Agrarian Reform who represented Fernando Tanlioco (Tanlioco) in numerous cases which raised the same issues. Tanlioco is an agricultural lessee of a land owned by complainants spouse and sister-in-law (landowners). The landowners filed an Ejectment case against Tanlioco on the basis of a conversion order of the land use from agricultural to residential. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) rendered judgment ordering Tanliocos ejectment. The RTCs judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

! Respondent, as Tanliocos counsel, filed another case for Specific Performance to produce the conversion ! Issue

order. The RTC dismissed the complaint due to res judicata and lack of cause of action. Respondent then filed another case for Maintenance of Possession with the DARAB. The case raised the same issues of conversion and disturbance compensation. Is Atty. Bajars wilful disregard of the Courts resolutions during the administrative investigation a ground for disciplinary action? How about the act of filing numerous cases when the issues have already been decided with finality?

! Held Yes || Yes ! The evidence presented shows that respondent failed to comply with the Courts lawful orders in two instances: ! 1. In the 25 March 1992 Court Resolution, respondent was required to file a rejoinder within 10 days from ! A Courts Resolution is not to be construed as a mere request, nor should it be complied with partially, ! Next, the procedural requirement observed in ordinary civil proceedings that only the real party-in-interest

notice. However, she only submitted the rejoinder on 11 November 1993. 2. In the 7 October 1992 Court Resolution, respondent was required to comment on complainants manifestation. She instead submitted a manifestation on 3 February 1993. inadequately, or selectively. Respondents obstinate refusal to comply with the Courts orders not only betrays a recalcitrant flaw in her character, it also underscores her disrespect of the Courts lawful orders and the judicial institution as a whole. must initiate the suit does not apply in disbarment cases. In fact, the person who called the attention of the court to a lawyers misconduct is in no sense a party, and generally has no interest in the outcome. Anyone can institute an administrative case for disciplinary action against an erring lawyer.

! Lastly, respondent abused her right of recourse to the courts. Respondent, acting as Tanliocos counsel, filed ! !

cases for Specific Performance and Maintenance of Possession despite the finality of the decision in the Ejectment case which involves the same issues. It is evident from the records that respondent filed other cases to thwart the execution of the final judgment in the Ejectment case.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Plus Builders vs Revilla Facts Plus Builders Inc. filed before the Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite (PARAD) of DAR a DARAB CASE against certain tenants/farmers. The Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite (PARAD) rendered a consolidated Decision in favor of Plus Builders and against tenants/farmers.

! Both the CA and SC affirmed the PARAD decision. ! Enraged by his defeat, Respondent filed a verified "Action to Quiet Title" before the Regional Trial Court of
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Imus, Cavite praying for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), among others, to stop the enforcement of the Decisions of the higher courts to implement the PARAD Decision. In his petition for the TRO, Respondent concealed his clients defeat before the PARAD and higher courts. Issue Is Atty. Revillas actions of filing successive suits to stop the PARAD decisions implementation a ground for disciplinary action?

! Held Yes. ! In the present case, respondent claims good faith in pursuing the cause of his clients. The records show,
however, that his course of legal action was obviously a stratagem. It was meant to delay unduly the execution of the provincial adjudicator's Decision.

! It must be noted that when the Court of Appeals and this Court upheld that Decision, respondent resorted to a

different forum to pursue his clients' lost cause. In the disturbance compensation case, he represented his clients as tenants and acknowledged that complainants were the owners of the subject land. In the action to quiet title, however, he conveniently repudiated his previous admission by falsely alleging that his clients were adverse possessors claiming bona fide ownership. Consequently, he was able to obtain a temporary restraining order preventing the execution of the provincial adjudicator's Decision.

! Clearly, he was shielding his clients from the Order of execution. Contrary to his later claim of ownership of
the land, he cannot feign ignorance of his previous admission of a tenancy relationship existing between his clients and complainants.

! The propensity of respondent for doublespeak was also revealed in his declaration that his clients were ! !

pauper litigants. His prayer for an exemption to pay court fees, on the ground that they did not have sufficient income, was granted by the trial court. Earlier, however, he admitted that they had engaged the services of his legal office for a fee of P20,000, in addition to P2,500 per appearance in court. Also, in the action to quiet title, he even alleged that they were willing to post a bond to answer for damages, in the event that the court ruled in favor of the defendants. These facts contravene his claim that his clients could not afford to pay the appropriate court fees.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Hegna vs Paderanga Facts Complainant was the lessee of a Lot owned by the heirs of Sabina Baclayon. The heirs of Baclayon, through their representative Gema Sabandija, entered into a contract of lease with complainant.

! Afterwards, complainant filed a complaint for forcible entry against therein defendants. The MTCC rendered
affidavit, respondent claimed that he was the owner of a LOT and vehicle, which he bought from therein defendants, both of which could be erroneously levied by a writ of execution issued in the civil case.

a Decision in favor of complainant, ordering therein defendants to vacate the leased premises. The MTCC granted the Motion for Execution of Judgment filed by complainant, and issued a Writ of Execution.

! Subsequently, respondent Atty. Goering G.C. Paderanga filed an Affidavit of Third-Party Claim. In the said ! The Sheriff tried to levy therein defendants parcel of land and motor vehicle, but failed to do so because of the third- party claim filed by respondent. ! Issue
Is Atty. Paderangas action of non-registering the deed of sale to avoid paying taxes a ground for disciplinary action?

! Held Yes. ! Although respondent denied having acted as counsel for therein defendants, the Spouses Panaguinip, in the
forcible entry case filed by complainant, his involvement in the said case was still highly suspect. After the writ of execution had been issued, he went with defendants-spouses to amicably settle with complainant on two separate occasions, ostensibly to protect his own interests. Complainant maintained that it was only after said meetings had transpired that he received the affidavit of a third-party claim executed by respondent, stating that the latter was the owner of the property and motor vehicle.

! Had respondent been the rightful owner of a parcel of land and motor vehicle that were still registered in the
agreement, respondent came forward as a third-party claimant to prevent the levy and execution of said properties.

name of defendants-spouses, he should have immediately disclosed such fact and filed a third- party claim, as time was of the essence. Moreover, defendants-spouses did not mention any transfer of ownership of the said properties to respondent, as the former still believed that they owned the same.

! The Court is more inclined to believe that when complainant and defendants-spouses failed to reach an

Notably, in the falsification case earlier filed, complainant was able to cite several irregularities in the documents evidencing the deeds of sale in question. Of these irregularities, only one can directly be attributable to respondent his non-registration of the sale transaction. While the act of registration of a document is not necessary in order to give it legal effect as between the parties, requirements for the recording of the instruments are designed to prevent frauds and to permit and require the public to act with the presumption that a recorded instrument exists and is genuine. However, while the RTC was correct in holding that said omission on respondents part may not be considered falsification, he had shown an intent to defraud the government, which had the right to collect revenue from him, as well as from other persons who may have an interest in said properties.

! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Hilado vs David Facts Hilado brought an action against Selim Jacob Assad to annul the sale of several houses and lot executed during the Japanese occupation by Mrs. Hilado's now deceased husband.

! Later Attorney Dizon (for Hilado) wrote Attorney Francisco (for Assad) a letter urging him to discontinue ! Attorney Francisco's letter to plaintiff stated Atty. Francisco thought Hilados case was weak and the legal
reasons for the same. It also stated that Atty. Francisco couldnt represent Hilado in the case, if ever one is to be filed.

representing the defendants on the ground that their client had consulted with him about her case, on which occasion, it was alleged, "she turned over the papers" to Attorney Francisco, and the latter sent her a written opinion. Not receiving any answer to this suggestion, Attorney Dizon filed a formal motion with the court to disqualify Attorney Francisco.

! Stripped of disputed details and collateral matters, this much is undoubted: That Attorney Francisco's law ! Issue Was an attorney-client relationship created between Atty. Francisco and Hilado? ! Held Yes. ! Mere relation of attorney and client ought to preclude the attorney from accepting the opposite party's retainer in the same litigation regardless of what information was received by him from his first client. ! Communications between attorney and client are a complicated affair. To make the passing of confidential

firm mailed to the plaintiff a written opinion over his signature on the merits of her case; that this opinion was reached on the basis of papers she had submitted at his office; that Mrs. Hilado's purpose in submitting those papers was to secure Attorney Francisco's professional services.

communication a condition precedent; i.e., to make the employment conditioned on the scope and character of the knowledge acquired by an attorney in determining his right to change sides would be prejudicial to the litigant. Hence the necessity of setting down the existence of the bare relationship of attorney and client as the yardstick for testing incompatibility of interests. Only thus can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice.

! So without impugning respondent's good faith, we nevertheless can not sanction his taking up the cause of

the adversary of the party who had sought and obtained legal advice from his firm; this, not necessarily to prevent any injustice to the plaintiff but to keep above reproach the honor and integrity of the courts and of the bar.

! The defense that Attorney Agrava wrote the letter and that Attorney Francisco did not take the trouble of

reading it, would not take the case out of the interdiction. If this letter was written under the circumstances explained by Attorney Francisco and he was unaware of its contents, the fact remains that his firm did give Mrs. Hilado a formal professional advice from which, as heretofore demonstrated, emerged the relation of attorney and client. This letter binds and estop him in the same manner and to the same degree as if he personally had written it. An information obtained from a client by a member or assistant of a law firm is information imparted to the firm. This is not a mere fiction or an arbitrary rule; for such member or assistant, as in our case, not only acts in the name and interest of the firm, but his information, by the nature of his connection with the firm is available to his associates or employers.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Sebastian Enterprises Inc. vs CA Facts Eulogio B. Reyes, now deceased, filed an action for damages with the then Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) against the Director of Public Works, the Republic of the Philippines and petitioner herein, B. R. Sebastian Enterprises, Inc.

! The RTC ruled against Petitioner. Petitioner then appealed to the CA through the Baizas Law Office.
However, Petitioner failed to file its Appellants brief within the reglementary period. The CA issued a resolution requiring Petitioner to show cause why its appeal shouldnt be dismissed for failing to file its Appellants brief. Petitioner also failed to comply with the resolution. The CA then dismissed the appeal.

! Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the resolution dismissing its appeal alleging that as a result of ! Issue

the death of Atty. Crispin Baizas, senior partner in the law firm of BAIZAS, ALBERTO & ASSOCIATES, the affairs of the said firm are still being settled and Atty. Rodolfo Espiritu, the lawyer who handled this case in the trial court and who is believed to have also attended to the preparation of the Appellant's Brief but failed to submit it through oversight and inadvertence, had also left the firm. Is Atty. Crispins death, the lawyer handling Petitioners case, causing the Baizas Law Firm to forget the case a valid reason to reinstate the appeal?

! Held No. ! To justify its failure to file the Appellant's Brief, petitioner relies mainly on the death of Atty. Crispin Baizas ! Undoubtedly, there was inexcusable negligence on the part of petitioner's counsel in failing to file the

and the supposed confusion it brought to the firm of BAIZAS, ALBERTO & ASSOCIATES. Petitioner's counsel was the law firm of BAIZAS, ALBERTO & ASSOCIATES and not merely Atty. Crispin Baizas. Hence, the death of the latter did not extinguish the lawyer-client relationship between said firm and petitioner. Appellant's Brief. The "confusion" in the office of the law firm following the death of Atty. Crispin Baizas is not a valid justification for its failure to file the Brief. With Baizas' death, the responsibility of Atty. Alberto and his Associates to the petitioner as counsel remained until withdrawal by the former of their appearance in the manner provided by the Rules of Court. This is so because it was the law firm which handled the case for petitioner before both the trial and appellate courts. That Atty. Espiritu, an associate who was designated to handle the case, later left the office after the death of Atty. Baizas is of no moment since others in the firm could have replaced him. Upon receipt of the notice to file Brief, the law firm should have re-assigned the case to another associate or, it could have withdrawn as counsel in the manner provided by the Rules of Court so that the petitioner could contract the services of a new lawyer.

! The rule is settled that negligence of counsel binds the client. ! Moreover, petitioner itself was guilty of negligence when it failed to make inquiries from counsel regarding

its case. As pointed out by respondents, the president of petitioner corporation claims to be the intimate friend of Atty. Crispin Baizas; hence, the death of the latter must have been known to the former. This fact should have made petitioner more vigilant with respect to the case at bar. Petitioner failed to act with prudence and diligence, thus, its plea that they were not accorded the right to procedural due process cannot elicit either approval or sympathy. !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche PANELCO vs Montemayor Facts Before us is an administrative complaint filed by Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (PANELCO) charging Atty. Juan Ayar Montemayor with negligence in handling the cases assigned to him which caused unwarranted financial losses to the complainant, approximately in the total amount of sixteen million pesos (PhP 16,000,000).

! For several years, PANELCO, a rural electric cooperative retained the services of Atty. Juan Ayar Montemayor as its counsel. ! In its Complaint, PANELCO stated that while acting as counsel for the cooperative, respondent was negligent in handling its cases, alleging the following: ! ! ! ! Issue
The Court of Appeals ordered the Dismissal of the appeal for the failure of Atty. Montemayor to serve and file the required number of copies within the time provided by the Rules of Court. The Court of Appeals considered the appeal Abandoned due to the failure of Atty. Montemayor to serve and file the required Appellant's Brief despite the lapse of the two extensions of time granted. (complainant) confronted Atty. Montemayor on the matter, and he uttered napabayaan ko itong kaso...ano ang gagawin natin;

Whether or not respondent committed gross negligence or misconduct in mishandling complainants cases on appeal, which eventually led to their dismissal, to the prejudice of the complainant?

! Held Grossly negligent || Disbarred ! Manifestly, respondent has fallen short of the competence and diligence required of every member of the Bar ! The records of this case clearly show that respondent failed to live up to his duties and responsibilities as a

in relation to his client. As counsel for complainant, respondent had the duty to present every remedy or defense authorized by law to protect his client. When he undertook his clients cause, he made a covenant that he will exert all efforts for its prosecution until its final conclusion. He should undertake the task with dedication and care, and if he should do no less, then he is not true to his lawyer's oath. member of the legal profession. The appeals of his client were dismissed due to his improper way of filing the appeal and his non-filing of the appellants brief. Respondent did not offer a plausible explanation for not doing his level best in representing his clients cause on appeal; thus, making complainant suffer serious losses.

! He is guilty not only of his unjustified failure to file the appellants brief of his client not only once but twice. ! !

Moreover the Court notes with dismay the huge losses suffered by complainant PANELCO in the total amount of sixteen million pesos (PhP 16,000,000). Lastly, Atty. Montemayor demonstrated an utter lack of regard for the very serious charges against him and a gross disrespect for the Court when he failed to file his comment after being required to file his response to the said charges. Respondent could have presented sufficient justification for his inability to file the appellants briefs but failed to do so.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Belleza vs Macasa Facts This treats of the complaint for disbarment filed by complainant Dolores C. Belleza against respondent Atty. Alan S. Macasa for unprofessional and unethical conduct in connection with the handling of a criminal case involving complainants son.

! Complainant wanted to avail of respondents legal services in connection with the case of her son who was
arrested by policemen for alleged violation of Republic Act 9165. Respondent agreed to handle the case for P30,000. Complainant paid in 3 instalments and for all these payments respondent did not issue any receipt.

! Afterwards, respondent received P18,000 from complainant for posting a bond to secure the provisional ! Issue

liberty of her (complainants) son. Again, respondent did not issue any receipt. When complainant went to the court the next day, she found out that respondent did not remit the amount to the court. Complainant demanded the return of the P18,000 from respondent on several occasions but respondent ignored her. Moreover, respondent failed to act on the case of complainants son and complainant was forced to avail of the services of the Public Attorneys Office for her sons defence. Whether or not Respondents acts of failing to use the P18 thousand to post bond and failure to assist Complainants son, despite being fully paid, are a ground for disciplinary action?

! Held Ground for disciplinary action || Disbarred ! In this case, after accepting the criminal case against complainants son and receiving his attorneys fees,

respondent did nothing that could be considered as effective and efficient legal assistance. For all intents and purposes, respondent abandoned the cause of his client. Indeed, on account of respondents continued inaction, complainant was compelled to seek the services of the Public Attorneys Office. Respondents lackadaisical attitude towards the case of complainants son was reprehensible. Not only did it prejudice complainants son, it also deprived him of his constitutional right to counsel. Furthermore, in failing to use the amount entrusted to him for posting a bond to secure the provisional liberty of his client, respondent unduly impeded the latters constitutional right to bail. the provisional liberty of her son. He never used the money for its intended purpose yet also never returned it to the client. Worse, he unjustifiably refused to turn over the amount to complainant despite the latters repeated demands.

! Respondent never denied receiving P18,000 from complainant for the purpose of posting a bond to secure ! Moreover, respondent rendered no service that would have entitled him to the P30,000 attorneys fees. As a
rule, the right of a lawyer to a reasonable compensation for his services is subject to two requisites: (1) the existence of an attorney-client relationship and (2) the rendition by the lawyer of services to the client. Thus, a lawyer who does not render legal services is not entitled to attorneys fees. Otherwise, not only would he be unjustly enriched at the expense of the client, he would also be rewarded for his negligence and irresponsibility.

! Respondent was undeserving of the trust reposed in him. Instead of using the money for the bond of the
complainants son, he pocketed it. He failed to observe candor, fairness and loyalty in his dealings with his client. He failed to live up to his fiduciary duties. By keeping the money for himself despite his undertaking that he would facilitate the release of complainants son, respondent showed lack of moral principles. His transgression showed him to be a swindler, a deceitful person and a shame to the legal profession.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Overgaard vs Valdez Facts Complainant entered into a Retainer Agreement with respondent. For the amount of PhP900,000.00, the complainant engaged the services of the respondent to represent him as his legal counsel in certain cases filed by and against him. The complainant fully paid the respondent and the latter assured the complainant that he would take good care of the cases he was handling for the complainant.

! Later, the complainant demanded from the respondent a status report on the cases. However, he was unable

to reach him; his phone calls were not answered and his electronic mails were ignored. Upon complainants own inquiry, he was dismayed to find out that, in certain cases, the respondent did not file his entry of appearance and did not inform him that he was entitled to prepare a Counter-Affidavit. That there had already been arraignments for the criminal cases against him, and that there were already warrants of arrest issued for his failure to attend the arraignments. He was constrained to engage the services of another lawyer.

! The complainant alleges that the respondent did not do a single thing with respect to the cases covered under ! Issue

the Retainer Agreement. Not only did the respondent fail to enter his appearance in the criminal cases filed against the complainant, he also neglected to file an entry of appearance in the civil case nor file a Comment. Due to the above lapses of the respondent, the complainant demanded the return of the PhP900,000.00. However, complainant was unable to get any word from the respondent despite repeated and continuous efforts to get in touch with him. Whether or not Valdez actions of getting the money then literally disappearing and failing to handle the cases at all to the clients prejudice are a ground for disciplinary action?

! Held Ground for disciplinary action || Disbarred ! He did not merely neglect his client's cause, he abandoned his client and left him without any recourse but to

hire another lawyer. He not only failed to properly handle the cases which were entrusted to his care, he refused to do a single thing in connection with these cases. He did not file any pleading to defend his client; he did not even enter his appearance in these cases. Moreover, he disregarded the complainant's letters and electronic mails and rejected the complainant's phone calls. All the complainant was asking for was a report of the status of the cases but the respondent could not be reached no matter what the complainant did to get in touch with him. After receipt of the full amount of fees under the Retainer Agreement, he simply disappeared, leaving the client defenceless and plainly prejudiced in the cases against him. Warrants of arrest were even issued against the complainant due to the respondent's gross and inexcusable negligence.

! It was an unmistakable evasion of duty. To hide from the complainant, avoid his calls, ignore his letters, and
leave him helpless is unforgivable; and to commit all these acts and omissions after receiving the full amount of legal fees and after assuring the client of his commitment and responsibility violates the Code of Professional Responsibility. Rather than being of help to the complainant, he prejudiced the client. Respondent's inaction with respect to the matters entrusted to his care is obvious; and his failure to file an answer to the complaint for disbarment against him and to attend the hearings in connection therewith, without any explanation or request for resetting, despite proper notice from the IBP, is clear evidence of negligence on his part.

! Since the respondent did not carry out any of the services he was engaged to perform, nor did he appear in ! !

court or make any payment in connection with litigation, or give any explanation as to how such a large sum of money was spent and allocated, he must immediately return the money he received from the client upon demand. However, he refused to return the money he received from the complainant despite written demands, and was not even able to give a single report regarding the status of the cases.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Angalan vs Delante9

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Already has a previous digest, check that one

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Santos-Tan vs Robino Facts Complainant engaged the professional services of respondent as her counsel to represent her in a civil case. She paid respondent P100,000.00 as acceptance fee. Subsequently, respondent entered his appearance as new counsel.

! After several months had passed, complainant asked respondent about the status of her case. She found out
that her case had not progressed and that the only pleading that respondent had filed was his notice of appearance. Not satisfied with the way respondent was handling her case, complainant and her sister, Miriam Elgincolin (Miriam), went to his office. She demanded that he return the professional fees earlier paid as there was allegedly no professional service rendered by him. And for the purpose of returning a portion of the professional fee, respondent issued to complainant a check. demands, respondent failed to make good or replace the check. In reply to complainants final demand, made through her counsel, respondent wrote a letter dated 25 January 2004 asserting that the check was without consideration and it was issued to stop complainants "acerbic verbal abuse."

! However, respondents check was dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds. Despite several ! Issue
The issues are: (1) whether respondent was negligent in handling complainants case; and (2) whether respondent should be disciplined for issuing a bouncing check.

! Held Negligent? No. Bouncing check? Yes || Suspended for 1 month ! On the issue of negligence on the part of respondent in handling complainants case, based on the facts
presented there was nothing that he could have done to expedite the resolution of the motion for reconsideration then pending before the RTC. The RTC had already ordered that the motion for reconsideration be submitted for resolution. Respondent could not be faulted if the acting presiding judge did not want to act on the motion until the regular presiding judge return.

! Regarding the other issues, by issuing a check in violation of the provisions of this law, respondent is guilty ! The issuance of bouncing check cannot be countenanced nor condoned under any circumstances. The act of a !

of serious misconduct. In issuing a worthless check, respondent showed that he was unmindful of the deleterious effects of his act to the public interest and public order. Respondent violated the Attorneys Oath that he will, among others, obey the laws. lawyer in issuing a check which is drawn against insufficient funds constitutes deceitful conduct or conduct unbecoming an officer of the court. The Court has held that the issuance of checks which were later dishonoured for having been drawn against a closed account indicates a lawyers unfitness for the trust and confidence reposed on him. It shows a lack of personal honesty and good moral character as to render him unworthy of public confidence.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Somosot vs Lara Facts Complainant alleged that she retained the services of the respondent as her counsel in a civil case filed against her for the collection of a sum of money amounting to P1.3 Million. Her defense was that it was the plaintiff who actually owed her P800,000.00. She claimed that she had the evidence to prove this defense at the trial. The respondent agreed to handle the case and duly entered his appearance as counsel after securing his acceptance fee.

! She alleged, that after filing the Answer to the Complaint, the respondent failed to fully inform her of further

developments in the case. She only heard about the case when there was already a decision against her and her co-defendants. She even belatedly learned that the respondent had sought his discharge as counsel without her knowledge and consent.

! After the court denied the respondent's motion to withdraw from the case, the complainant claimed that the
his representation. She found the respondents excuse that he could not contact her because she had changed her office address to be unsatisfactory.

respondent represented her interests in a half-hearted manner, resulting in the grant of the plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings. Allegedly, the respondent failed to properly oppose the motion and she was thereafter deprived of the chance to present her evidence.

! The complainant bewailed the respondent's evasive attitude when she confronted him about her problem with ! Issue
Whether or not Respondents mishandling of the case and failure to give status reports to the client is ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Ground for disciplinary action || Suspended for 3-months ! While it may be said that the respondent did not completely abandon the case, his handing of the complainants defence left much to be desired. ! What lightens the impact of the respondents mishandling of the case is the complainants own failings as a
client. The non-payment of fees is a factor that we cannot simply disregard. Another is her failure to inform her counsel of her change of business address, a serious lapse but one that a resourceful counsel could have easily handled.

! In a balancing, the greater fault still lies with the respondent as he did not appear, based on the records of the

case, to be a lawyer whose practice routine included regular reporting to clients on matters other than billings. We note that he did not bother to report (or even allege that he bothered to report) on the interrogatories and request for admission incidents that can make or break a case as it did break the defendants case before the trial court. Despite knowledge of his clients location gained in late December 2001, he did not likewise bother to inform the complainant of the adverse decision against her in June 2002, taking it upon himself to simply file a motion for reconsideration and to accept the courts ruling when his motion was denied, he didnt even bother to appeal. In our view, these are law practice mortal sins that we cannot allow to simply be glossed over or be penalized by a simple reprimand.

!!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Rural Bank of Calape vs Atty. Florido Facts According to RBCI, respondent and his clients, through force and intimidation, with the use of armed men, forcibly took over the management and the premises of RBCI. They also forcibly evicted the bank manager, destroyed the banks vault, and installed their own staff to run the bank.

! Respondent denied RBCIs allegations. Respondent explained that he acted in accordance with the authority ! Issue

granted upon him by the Nazareno-Relampagos group, the lawfully and validly elected Board of Directors of RBCI. Respondent said he was merely effecting a lawful and valid change of management. Respondent said that the disbarment complaint was filed against him in retaliation for the administrative cases he filed against RBCIs counsel and the trial court judges of Bohol. Whether or not Respondents act of forcibly taking over the Bank, pursuant to his clients order, is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Ground for disciplinary action || 1-year Suspension ! Respondent knew or ought to have known that his clients could not just forcibly take over the management ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

and premises of RBCI without a valid court order. Commissioner Villadolid, Jr. noted that the right to manage and gain majority control over RBCI was one of the issues pending before the trial court in a civil case. Commissioner Villadolid, Jr. said that respondent had no legal basis to implement the take over of RBCI and that it was a naked power grab without any semblance of legality whatsoever.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Briones vs Jimenez Facts Complainant Atty. Briones is the Special Administrator of the Estate of Luz J. Henson. Respondent Atty. Jacinto D. Jimenez is the counsel for the Heirs of the late Luz J. Henson (Heirs).

! Atty. Jimenez filed with the RTC a notice of appeal questioning the payment of commission to Atty. Briones.

Later, Atty. Jimenez filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a Petition assailing the Order appointing the firm of Alba, Romeo & Co. to conduct an audit at the expense of the late Luz J. Henson. Afterwards, Atty. Jimenez filed with the CA another Petition for Mandamus alleging that the respondent Judge therein unlawfully refused to comply with his ministerial duty to approve their appeal which was perfected on time.

! The CA granted the petition and ordered the respondent Judge to give due course to the appeal. Atty. Briones

then filed with this Court a Petition to dismiss the appeal from the Order for the payment of commission to him. Atty. Briones then filed his Complaint for Disbarment against Atty. Jacinto Jimenez for forum shopping and violating the CPR.

! Complainant claims that Atty. Jimenez engaged again in forum shopping when respondent, as counsel for the ! Issue

Heirs, filed a criminal complaint and executed an affidavit against complainant for resisting and seriously disobeying the RTC Order which directed complainant to deliver the residue of the estate to the Heirs in proportion to their shares. Also by filing the unfounded criminal complaint against him to obtain an improper advantage and coerce complainant to deliver to the Heirs the residue of the estate of the late Luz J. Henson. Is Respondent guilty of forum shopping and violating the CPR by filing a criminal case to coerce Complainant to deliver to the Heirs their share in the estate?

! Held Forum shopping: No. CPR: Yes || Reprimand ! The Court agrees with the OBC that respondent is not guilty of forum shopping. Records show that
respondent filed a special civil action assailing the Order appointing the accounting firm of Alba, Romeo and Co. as auditor; and, a regular appeal assailing the Order directing the payment of commission to complainant. It is evident that there is identity of parties but different causes of action and reliefs sought. Hence, respondent is not guilty of forum shopping.

! However, there is sufficient ground in support of complainants claim that respondent violated the Code of

Professional Responsibility. Before respondent assisted the Heirs in filing the criminal complaint against herein complainant, he sent demand letters to the latter to comply with the Order of Judge Tipon to deliver the residue of the estate to the heirs of the late Luz J. Henson. Considering that complainant did not reply to the demand letters, respondent opted to file said criminal complaint in behalf of his clients for refusal to obey the lawful order of the court.

! The Order referred to is the one which directs complainant to deliver the residue to the Heirs in proportion to

their shares. As aptly pointed out by complainant, respondent should have first filed the proper motion with the RTC for execution of the third part of said Order instead of immediately resorting to the filing of criminal complaint against him. A mere perusal of the rest of the Order readily discloses that the approval of the report of complainant as Special Administrator was suspended prior to the audit of the administration of complainant. Consequently, the RTC would still have to determine and define the residue referred to in the subject Order. The filing of the criminal complaint was evidently premature.

! Fair play demands that respondent should have filed the proper motion with the RTC to attain his goal of
having the residue of the estate delivered to his clients and not subject complainant to a premature criminal prosecution.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Pena vs Aparicio Facts Atty. Lolito G. Aparicio (respondent) appeared as legal counsel for Grace C. Hufana in an illegal dismissal case before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Later, complainant received a notice from the Conciliation and Mediation Center of the NLRC for a mediation/conciliation conference. In the conference, respondent, in behalf of his client, submitted a claim for separation pay arising from her alleged illegal dismissal. Complainant rejected the claim as being baseless. Complainant thereafter sent notices to Hufana for the latter to explain her absences and to return to work. In reply to this return to work notice, respondent wrote a letter to complainant reiterating his client's claim for separation pay. The letter also contained the following threat to the company:

! !

BUT if these are not paid on August 10, 2005, we will be constrained to file and claim bigger amounts including moral damages to the tune of millions under established precedence of cases and laws. In addition to other multiple charges like: 1. Tax evasion by the millions of pesos of income not reported to the government. 2. Criminal Charges for Tax Evasion 3. Criminal Charges for Falsification of Documents 4. Cancellation of business license to operate due to violations of laws.

! ! Issue Whether or not Atty. Aparicio is guilty of blackmailing Complainant? ! Held Guilty of blackmail || Reprimand ! In fact, respondent does not find anything wrong with what he wrote, dismissing the same as merely an act of
These are reserved for future actions in case of failure to pay the above amounts as settlements in the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

pointing out massive violations of the law by the other party. He further asserts that the writing of demand letters is a standard practice and tradition and that our laws allow and encourage the settlement of disputes.

! Respondent's assertions, however, are misleading, for it is quite obvious that respondent's threat to file the
cases against complainant was designed to secure some leverage to compel the latter to give in to his client's demands. It was not respondent's intention to point out complainant's violations of the law as he so gallantly claims. Far from it, the letter even contains an implied promise to "keep silent" about the said violations if payment of the claim is made on the date indicated.

! The writing of demand letters is a standard practice and tradition in this jurisdiction. In the performance of ! Respondent cannot claim the sanctuary provided by the privileged communication rule under which a private

his role as agent, the lawyer may be tasked to enforce his client's claim and to take all the steps necessary to collect it, such as writing a letter of demand requiring payment within a specified period. However, the letter in this case contains more than just a simple demand to pay. It even contains a threat to file retaliatory charges against complainant which have nothing to do with his client's claim for separation pay. The letter was obviously designed to secure leverage to compel complainant to yield to their claims. communication executed in the performance of a legal duty is not actionable. The privileged nature of the letter was removed when respondent used it to blackmail complainant and extort from the latter compliance with the demands of his client.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Santiago vs Fojas Facts Complainants were officers of the FEUFA. They expelled from the union Paulino Salvador. Salvador then commenced with the DOLE a complaint to declare illegal his expulsion from the union.The DOLE found Salvadors suspension illegal and ordered Complainants to reinstate him into the union.

! Afterwards, Salvador filed a complaint for damages. As the complainants' counsel, the respondent filed a

motion to dismiss. The RTC granted the motion and ordered the case dismissed. Upon Salvador's motion for reconsideration, however, the RTC reinstated the case, and required the complainants herein to file their answer. Instead of filing an answer, the respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and dismissal of the case. This motion having been denied, the respondent filed with this Court a petition for certiorari, which was later referred to the Court of Appeals.

! Although that petition and his subsequent motion for reconsideration were both denied, the respondent still
did not file the complainants' answer in Civil Case. Hence, upon plaintiff Salvador's motion, the complainants were declared in default, and Salvador was authorized to present his evidence ex-parte. The respondent then filed a motion to set aside the order of default and to stop the ex-parte reception of evidence but to no avail. Thereafter, the trial court rendered a decision in Salvadors favour and ordered Complainants to pay damages. The case was elevated to the CA which affirmed the RTCs decision.

! Issue

Whether or not the respondent committed culpable negligence, as would warrant disciplinary action, in failing to file for the complainants an answer in Civil Case for which reason the latter were declared in default and judgment was rendered against them on the basis of the plaintiff's evidence, which was received ex-parte.

! Held Committed culpable negligence || Reprimand ! In his motion for reconsideration of the default order, the respondent explained his non-filing of the required

answer by impliedly invoking forgetfulness occasioned by a large volume and pressure of legal work, while in his Comment in this case he attributes it to honest mistake and excusable neglect due to his overzealousness to question the denial order of the trial court.

! Whether it be the first or the second ground, the fact remains that the respondent did not comply with his

duty to file an answer in Civil Case. His lack of diligence was compounded by his erroneous belief that the trial court committed such error or grave abuse of discretion and by his continued refusal to file an answer even after he received the Court of Appeals' decision in the certiorari case. Pressure and large volume of legal work provide no excuse for the respondent's inability to exercise due diligence in the performance of his duty to file an answer.

! The respondent's negligence is not excused by his claim that Civil Case was in fact a "losing cause" for the ! Then too, if he were unconvinced of any defense, we are unable to understand why he took all the trouble of !

complainants since the claims therein for damages were based on the final decision of the Med-Arbiter declaring the complainants' act of expelling Salvador from the union to be illegal. This claim is a mere afterthought which hardly persuades us. If indeed the respondent was so convinced of the futility of any defense therein, he should have seasonably informed the complainants thereof. filing a motion to dismiss and of questioning the adverse ruling thereon initially with this Court and then with the Court of Appeals, unless, of course, he meant all of these to simply delay the disposition of the civil case. Finally, the complainants were not entirely without any valid or justifiable defense. They could prove that the plaintiff was not entitled to all the damages sought by him or that if he were so, they could ask for a reduction of the amounts thereof.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Edrial vs Quilat-Quilat10!


"

10 #

Too long, will digest later.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche People vs Nadera Facts These cases are before us on automatic review of the decision of the RTC finding accused-appellant Elegio Nadera, Jr. guilty of four counts of rape of his minor daughters, Oleby and Maricris Nadera, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for one count of rape and death for each of the remaining three counts. Accused-appellant was also ordered to indemnify complainants Oleby Nadera and Maricris Nadera.

! Issue

Whether or not Atty. Brotonel (PAO lawyer for Accused) was negligent in failing to cross-examine Oleby, half-hearted attempt at cross-examining Maricris, failure to object to the documentary evidence presented by the prosecution, and present evidence for the accused.

! Held Negligent || Case remanded back to RTC for re-trial ! The cavalier attitude of accused-appellant's counsel, Atty. Manolo A. Brotonel of the Public Attorney's
Office, cannot go unnoticed. It is discernible in (a) his refusal to cross examine Oleby Nadera; (b) the manner in which he conducted Maricris Nadera's cross examination; and, (c) his failure not only to present evidence for the accused but also to inform the accused of his right to do so, if he desires.

! A glaring example of his manifest lack of enthusiasm for his client's cause is his decision not to cross

examine Oleby Nadera. He had the bounden duty to scrutinize private complainant's testimony to ensure that the accused's constitutional right to confront and examine the witnesses against him was not rendered for naught.

! Indeed, cross examining Oleby Nadera becomes indispensable if her testimony is viewed together with the ! The same may be said of defense counsel's treatment of Maricris' testimony. While she was cross examined

results of her medical examination. Considering there were inconsistencies between her testimony and the results of the medical examination. by defense counsel, the examination was at best a half-hearted attempt to comply with a lawyer's obligation. The cross examination centered on what Maricris did or did not do while she witnessed her sister being raped, and on her failure to report the allegedly incestuous rapes against them. Said cross examination did not even touch upon the specific details concerning the rape committed against her.

! Lastly, not only did defense counsel fail to object to the documentary evidence presented by the prosecution,
he even expressed his conformity to the admission of the same. Neither did he present any evidence on behalf of accused-appellant. Worse, nowhere in the records is it shown that accused-appellant was informed, either by his counsel or by the court, of his right to present evidence, if he so desires.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Licuanan vs Melo Facts An affidavit-complaint was filed by Leonila J. Licuanan against respondent, Atty. Manuel L. Melo, for breach of professional ethics, alleging that respondent, who was her counsel in an ejectment case filed against her tenant, failed to remit to her the rentals collected by respondent on different dates over a twelvemonth period, much less did he report to her the receipt of said amounts. It was only after approximately a year from actual receipt that respondent turned over his collections to complainant after the latter, through another counsel, acquired knowledge of the payment and had demanded the same. However, by this time it was already too late because Complainant already filed an administrative case against the Tenant and the latter retaliated with a suit for damages.

! In his Comment on the complaint, respondent admitted having received the payment of rentals from
complainant's tenant, Aida Pineda, as alleged in the complaint, but explained that he kept this matter from the complainant for the purpose of surprising her with his success in collecting the rentals.

! Issue

Whether or not there was unreasonable delay on the part of the respondent in accounting for the funds collected by him for his former client, the complainant herein, for which unprofessional conduct respondent should be disciplined.

! Held There was unreasonable delay || Disbarred ! The actuations of respondent in retaining for his personal benefit over a one-year period, the amount of

P5,220.00 received by him on behalf of his client, the complainant herein, depriving her of its use, and withholding information on the same despite inquiries made by her, is glaringly a breach of the Lawyer's Oath to which he swore observance, and an evident transgression of the Canons of Professional Ethics particularly: has shown himself unfit for the confidence and trust which should characterize an attorney-client relationship and the practice of law. By reason thereof complainant was compelled to file a groundless suit against her tenant for non-payment of rentals thereby exposing her to jeopardy by becoming a defendant in a damage suit filed by said tenant against her By force of circumstances, complainant was further compelled to engage the services of another counsel in order to recover the amount rightfully due her but which respondent had unjustifiedly withheld from her.

! Indeed, by his professional misconduct, respondent has breached the trust reposed in him by his client. He ! Respondent's unprofessional actuations considered, we are constrained to find him guilty of deceit,

malpractice and gross misconduct in office. He has displayed lack of honesty and good moral character. He has violated his oath not to delay any man for money or malice, besmirched the name of an honorable profession and has proven himself unworthy of the trust reposed in him by law as an officer of the Court. He deserves the severest punishment. !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Lemoine vs Balon Facts Complainant filed a car insurance claim with the Metropolitan Insurance, the insurer of his vehicle which was lost. Complainant engaged respondents services. Respondent advised complainant of his attorneys fees and expenses, which includes 25% of whatever is to be awarded to Complainant. Complainant didnt agree with Respondent regarding the attorneys fees.

! Later, Metropolitan Insurance finally offered to settle complainants claim and Respondent accepted the ! Afterwards, Complainant discovered that Metropolitan Insurance had already long settled the case via a ! Issue

offer. Respondent, using an SPA signed by Complainant, received a check from Metropolitan Insurance payable to Complainant as as full settlement of the claim. On inquiry about the status of his claim, Respondent told Complainant that the claim was still pending with Metropolitan Insurance and that it was still subject of negotiations. check given to Respondent. Complainant then demanded from Respondent the checks proceeds. Respondent acknowledged possessing the proceeds of the encashed check which he retained, however, as attorneys lien pending complainants payment of his attorneys fee, equivalent to fifty percent (50%) of entire amount collected. Respondent even countered by threatening to file charges against Complainant if the formers fees arent paid. Whether or not Respondents actions of concealing the progress of the settlement and retaining the proceeds of the encashed check for himself by virtue of an alleged attorneys lien a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Ground for disciplinary action || Disbarred ! Respondent breached Canon 16 of the CPR when after he received the proceeds of complainants insurance ! That respondent had a lien on complainants funds for his attorneys fees did not relieve him of his duty to

claim, he did not report it to complainant. In fact, long after respondent received the check he even had the temerity to state that the claim was still pending. Such misconduct is reprehensible at a greater degree, for it was obviously done on purpose through the employment of deceit to the prejudice of complainant who was kept in the dark about the release of the check, until he himself discovered the same, and has to date been deprived of the use of the proceeds thereof. account for it. The lawyers continuing exercise of his retaining lien presupposes that the client agrees with the amount of attorneys fees to be charged. In case of disagreement or when the client contests that amount for being unconscionable, however, the lawyer must not arbitrarily apply the funds in his possession to the payment of his fees. He can file the necessary action or proper motion with the proper court to fix the amount of such fees. In respondents case, he never had the slightest attempt to bring the matter of his compensation for judicial determination. Instead, respondent stubbornly and in bad faith held on to complainants funds with the obvious aim of forcing complainant to agree to the amount of attorneys fees sought.

! Respondent was, before receiving the check, proposing a 25% attorneys fees. After he received the check
and after complainant had discovered its release to him, he was already asking for 50%, objection to which complainant communicated to him. This smacks of opportunism, to say the least. sanctions from certain government agencies with which he bragged to have a good network reflects lack of character, self-respect, and justness.

! Respondent also falsified the check in order to encash the same. His threat to expose complainant to possible ! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Re: Atty. Maquera Facts Edward Benavente, the creditor of a certain Castro, obtained a judgment against Castro in a civil case. Maquera served as Castros counsel in said case. Castros property subject of the case, a parcel of land, was to be sold at a public auction in satisfaction of his obligation to Benavente. Castro, however, retained the right of redemption over the property for one year. The right of redemption could be exercised by paying the amount of the judgment debt within the aforesaid period. At the auction sale, Benavente purchased Castros property for Five Hundred U.S. Dollars (US$500.00), the amount which Castro was adjudged to pay him.

! Castro, in consideration of Maqueras legal services in the civil case involving Benavente, entered into an ! The Supreme Court of Guam suspended Maquera for 2 years because ! Issue ! Held

oral agreement with Maquera and assigned his right of redemption in favor of the latter. Maquera exercised Castros right of redemption by paying Benavente US$525.00 in satisfaction of the judgment debt. Thereafter, Maquera had the title to the property transferred in his name. Afterwards, Maquera sold the property to C.S. Chang and C.C. Chang for Three Hundred Twenty Thousand U.S. Dollars (US$320,000.00). (1) He obtained an unreasonably high fee for his services. (2) He entered into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquired a pecuniary interest adverse to a client Whether or not a member of the Philippine Bar who was disbarred or suspended from the practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also been admitted as an attorney be meted the same sanction as a member of the Philippine Bar for the same infraction committed in the foreign jurisdiction. Can be disbarred provided the grounds are also grounds for disciplinary action in the Philippines || 1-year Suspension for non-payment of membership dues.

! The Superior Court of Guam found that Maquera acquired his clients property by exercising the right of

redemption previously assigned to him by the client in payment of his legal services. Our Civil Code prohibits the lawyers acquisition by assignment of the clients property which is the subject of the litigation handled by the lawyer.

! The Superior Court of Guam also hinted that Maqueras acts were tainted with deceit and bad faith when it ! It bears stressing that Maqueras suspension from the practice of law in Guam does not automatically result ! Here, it is not certain that Maquera did receive the Notice of Hearing earlier sent by the IBPs Commission

concluded that Maquera charged Castro an exorbitant fee for his legal services. Since, the property had a market value of US$248,220.00, he is liable for misconduct for accepting payment for his legal services way beyond his actual fees which amounted only to US$45,000.00. in his suspension or disbarment in the Philippines. The acts which led to his suspension in Guam are mere grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction, and only if the basis of the foreign courts action includes any of the grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction. Likewise, such judgement only constitutes prima facie evidence of Maqueras unethical acts as a lawyer. More fundamentally, due process demands that he be given the opportunity to defend himself and to present testimonial and documentary evidence on the matter in an investigation to be conducted. on Bar Discipline. Nevertheless, the Court agrees with the IBP that Maquera should be suspended from the practice of law for non-payment of his IBP membership dues!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche De Chavez-Blanco vs Lumasag Facts Complainant alleged that she owned two (2) adjacent parcels of land in Quezon City registered in her name. She authorised Respondent, who was her husbands first cousin, to sell said lots. Respondent reported that he had sold only one lot for the price of P320,000.00 and therefrom he deducted P38,130.00 for taxes and commissions. Complainant was informed by respondent that the other lot remained unsold due to the presence of squatters on the property.

! Afterwards, Complainant discovered that in truth, the two (2) lots had been sold to the spouses Martinez for
the price of P1,120,000.00. Complainant confronted respondent with these facts and demanded respondent to remit the entire proceeds of the sale of the properties. Respondent admitted the sale of the properties and his receipt of its proceeds, but he never tendered the same to complainant. Despite repeated demands, respondent has since not remitted the amount.

! Complainant also averred that the Special Power of Attorney which respondent had used to sell the lots is a forgery and a falsified document, as the signature therein were not the real signatures of complainant. ! Issue
Whether or not Respondents concealment of the sale of the 2nd lot and retaining the proceeds for himself is a ground for disciplinary action.
11
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! Held Ground for disciplinary action || 6-month Suspension ! Records show that two lots had been sold by respondent as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute Sale.

Respondent, however, taking advantage of the absence of complainant from the Philippines and their complete trust in him, deceitfully informed them that he had sold only one. It can be reasonably deduced from the exchanges between the parties that the proceeds of the first lot had been transmitted to complainant. Respondents contention, though, that he had been authorised to retain the proceeds of the second is specious, as complainant could not have given the same, having been left in the dark as regards its sale. And despite repeated demands, to date, there is no showing that the outstanding amount has been paid.

!!

11 #

Seems unfair that hes only suspended, when the act merits disbarment

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Arellano University vs Mijares Facts Complainant Arellano University, Inc. (the University) engaged the services of respondent Mijares for securing a certificate of title covering a parcel of land. The property was the subject of a Deed of Exchange between the City of Manila and the University.

! The University alleged that it gave him all the documents he needed to accomplish his work. Later, Mijares ! Later, Mijares informed the University that he already completed Phase I of the titling of the property, ! Issue

asked the University for and was given P500,000.00 on top of his attorneys fees, supposedly to cover the expenses for "facilitation and processing." He in turn promised to give the money back in case he was unable to get the work done. meaning that he succeeded in getting the MMDA to approve it and that the documents had already been sent to the DENR. The University requested Mijares for copies of the MMDA approval but he unjustifiably failed to comply despite his clients repeated demands. Then he made himself scarce, prompting the University to withdraw all the cases it had entrusted to him and demand the return of the P500,000.00 it gave him. Mijares did not return the money asked of him. Whether or not respondent Mijares is guilty of misappropriating the P500,000.00 that his client, the University, entrusted to him for use in facilitating and processing the titling of a property that it claimed.

! Held Guilty || Disbarment ! Here, respondent Mijares chose not to be heard on his evidence. Technically, the only evidence on record that
the Court can consider is the Universitys evidence that he got P500,000.00 from complainant for expenses in facilitating and processing its title application; that he undertook to return the money if he did not succeed in his purpose; that he falsely claimed having obtained the MMDA approval of the application; and that he nonetheless refused to return the money despite repeated demands.

! Besides, even if the Court were to consider the defense that Mijares laid out in his answer, the same does not

rouse sympathy. He claims that he gave the P500,000.00 to Undersecretary Lacuna, with the Universitys conformity, for a favorable MMDA endorsement to the Mayor of Manila. He also claims that, in a complete turnaround, Lacuna later said that he could not provide the endorsement because, as it turned out, the MMDA had previously given such endorsement of the Universitys earlier application and the Mayor of Manila did not act on that endorsement.

! But, if this were so, there was no reason for Mijares not to face the University and make it see that it had no
cause for complaint, having given him clearance to pass on the P500,000.00 to Lacuna. Instead, Mijares kept silent. He did not deny that the University went all over town looking for him after he could not return the money. Nor did he take any action to compel Lacuna to hand back the money that the University gave him.

! Even more unfortunate for Mijares, he admitted under oath having bribed a government official to act !

favorably on his clients application to acquire title to a dried-up creek. That is quite dishonest. The Court is also not inclined to go along with the IBPs recommendation that the Court include in its decision an order directing Mijares to return the P500,000.00 that the University entrusted to him. The University knowingly gave him that money to spend for "facilitation" and processing. It is not nave. There is no legitimate expense called "facilitation" fee. This term is a deodorized word for bribe money. The Court will not permit the conversion of a disbarment proceeding into a remedy for recovering bribe money lost in a bad deal.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Erlinda Tarog vs Atty. Ricafort Facts The Tarogs engaged Atty. Ricafort as their attorney regarding their bank-foreclosed property. Atty. Ricafort required the Tarogs to pay P7,000.00 as filing fee and to deposit P65,000.00 in court to counter the P60,000.00 deposited by Antonio Tee, the buyer of the foreclosed property. Later, the Tarogs went to the office of Atty. Ricafort to deliver the P65,000.00. When Arnulfo said that he had first to encash the check at the bank, Atty. Ricafort persuaded him to entrust the check to him instead so that he (Atty. Ricafort) would be the one to encash it and then deposit the amount in court. On that representation, the Tarogs handed the check to Atty. Ricafort.

! After some time, the Tarogs visited Atty. Ricafort to verify the status of the consignation. Atty. Ricafort

informed them that he had not deposited the amount in court, but in his own account. He promised to return the money, plus interest. Despite several inquiries about when the amount would be returned, however, the Tarogs received mere assurances from Atty. Ricafort that the money was in good hands.

! The Tarogs further claimed that the RTC had required the parties to file their memoranda. Accordingly, they ! Issue

delivered P15,000.00 to Atty. Ricafort for that purpose, but he did not file the memorandum. When it became apparent to the Tarogs that Atty. Ricafort would not make good his promise of returning the P65,000.00, plus interest, the Tarogs demanded that Atty. Ricafort return the P65,000.00, plus interest, and the P15,000.00 paid for the filing of the memorandum. Yet, they did not receive any reply from Atty. Ricafort. Whether or not Atty. Ricaforts failure to use the clients money for the particular purpose it was intended and instead depositing the same in his personal account is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held A ground for disciplinary action || Disbarred ! Atty. Ricaforts act of obtaining P65,000.00 and P15,000.00 from the Tarogs under the respective pretexts

that the amount would be deposited in court and that he would prepare and file the memorandum for the Tarogs erected a responsibility to account for and to use the amounts in accordance with the particular purposes intended. For him to deposit the amount of P65,000.00 in his personal account without the consent of the Tarogs and not return it upon demand, and for him to fail to file the memorandum and yet not return the amount of P15,000.00 upon demand constituted a serious breach of his fiduciary duties as their attorney. He reneged on his duty to render an accounting to his clients showing that he had spent the amounts for the particular purposes intended. He was thereby presumed to have misappropriated the moneys for his own use to the prejudice of his clients and in violation of the clients trust reposed in him. He could not escape liability, for upon failing to use the moneys for the purposes intended, he should have immediately returned the moneys to his clients.

! That this offense was not the first charged and decided against Atty. Ricafort aggravated his liability. In ! !

Nuez v. Ricafort, the Court found him liable for failing to turn over the proceeds of the sale of realty to the complainant (who had authorized him to sell the realty in her behalf). His failure to turn over the proceeds compelled the complainant to commence in the RTC a civil action to recover the proceeds against him and his wife.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Bengco vs Atty. Bernardo Facts Respondent with the help and in connivance and collusion with a certain Andres Magat (Magat), by using false pretenses and deceitful words, [wilfully] and illegally committed fraudulent acts to the effect that respondent would expedite the titling of the land belonging to the Miranda family of Tagaytay City, who were the acquaintance of complainants.

! Respondent and a certain Magat convinced complainants that if they finance and deliver to them the amount

of P495,000.00 as advance money, they would expedite the titling of the subject land. Respondent represented himself to be the lawyer of William Gatchalian, the owner of Plastic City who was allegedly the buyer of the subject land once it has been titled. Respondent and Magat also represented that they have contacts at NAMREA, DENR, CENRO and the Register of Deeds which representation they knew to be false, fraudulent and were only made to induce complainants to give and deliver to them the amount of P495,000.00. Once in possession of the said amount, far from complying with their obligation to expedite and cause the titling of the subject land, respondent and Magat illegally misappropriated the said amount to their personal use and benefit and despite demand upon them to return the said amount, they failed and refused to do so.

! In view of the deceit committed by respondent and Magat, complainants filed a complaint for Estafa against
the former. Issue Whether or not Respondents false misrepresentations to induce Complainants to hand over their money is a ground for disciplinary action.

! Held Ground for disciplinary action || 1-year Suspension and Return the money ! Further, consistent with his failure to file his answer after he himself pleaded for several extensions of time ! There is no question that the respondent committed the acts complained of. He himself admitted in his

to file the same, the respondent failed to appear during the mandatory conference, as ordered by the IBP. As a lawyer, the respondent is considered as an officer of the court who is called upon to obey and respect court processes. Such acts of the respondent are a deliberate and contemptuous affront on the courts authority which can not be countenanced. answer that his legal services were hired by the complainants through Magat regarding the purported titling of land supposedly purchased. While he begs for the Courts indulgence, his contrition is shallow considering the fact that he used his position as a lawyer in order to deceive the complainants into believing that he can expedite the titling of the subject properties. He never denied that he did not benefit from the money given by the complainants in the amount of P495,000.00.

! As the records reveal, the RTC eventually convicted the respondent for the crime of Estafa. Such criminal conviction clearly undermines the respondents moral fitness to be a member of the Bar. ! ! !!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Regala vs Sandiganbayan Facts The matters raised herein are an offshoot of the institution of the Complaint before the Sandiganbayan by the Republic of the Philippines against Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr., as one of the principal defendants, for the recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth.

! Among the defendants named in the case are herein petitioners and herein private respondent Raul S. Roco,

who all were then partners of the ACCRA law firm. As members of the ACCRA Law Firm, petitioners and private respondent Raul Roco admit that they assisted in the organization and acquisition of the companies included in Civil Case, and in keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as nomineesstockholders of the said corporations involved in sequestration proceedings.

! The PCGG then filed suit against the ACCRA lawyers alleging they were in conspiracy with Eduardo ! Issue Whether or not the clients identity falls within the attorney-client privilege. ! Held As a general rule: no, but there are exceptions and the instant case falls under one of them. ! It is quite apparent that petitioners were impleaded by the PCGG as co-defendants to force them to disclose ! It would seem that petitioners are merely standing in for their clients as defendants in the complaint.

Cojuangco concerning the plunder of the coconut-levy funds. As an escape ticket, PCGG offered to drop the ACCRA lawyers from the suit if they would reveal the identity of their client and deliver the pertinent documents. Roco agreed to the offer but the other ACCRA lawyers refused and invoked the attorney-client privilege.

the identity of their clients. Clearly, respondent PCGG is not after petitioners but the bigger fish as they say in street parlance. This ploy is quite clear from the PCGGs willingness to cut a deal with petitioners -the names of their clients in exchange for exclusion from the complaint. Petitioners are being prosecuted solely on the basis of activities and services performed in the course of their duties as lawyers. Quite obviously, petitioners inclusion as co-defendants in the complaint is merely being used as leverage to compel them to name their clients and consequently to enable the PCGG to nail these clients. The question now arises whether or not this duty may be asserted in refusing to disclose the name of petitioners' client(s) in the case at bar. Under the facts and circumstances obtaining in the instant case, the answer must be in the affirmative.

! The general rule in our jurisdiction is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the !
1) 2) 3)

name or identity of his client. Notwithstanding these considerations, the general rule is however qualified by some important exceptions.
Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the clients name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyers advice. Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability, his identity is privileged. For instance, the peculiar facts and circumstances of Neugass v. Terminal Cab Corporation,[37] prompted the New York Supreme Court to allow a lawyers claim to the effect that he could not reveal the name of his client because this would expose the latter to civil litigation. Where the governments lawyers have no case against an attorneys client unless, by revealing the clients name, the said name would furnish the only link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime, the clients name is privileged.

! Summarizing these exceptions, information relating to the identity of a client may fall within the ambit of the ! The circumstances involving the engagement of lawyers in the case at bench, therefore, clearly reveal that ! !

privilege when the clients name itself has an independent significance, such that disclosure would then reveal client confidences. the instant case falls under at least two exceptions to the general rule. First, disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to establish said client's connection with the very fact in issue of the case, which is privileged information, because the privilege, as stated earlier, protects the subject matter or the substance.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche The link between the alleged criminal offense and the legal advice or legal service sought was duly established in the case at bar, by no less than the PCGG itself. The key lies in the three specific conditions laid down by the PCGG which constitutes petitioners ticket to non-prosecution should they accede thereto:

! (a) The disclosure of the identity of its clients;

(b) Submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and (c) The submission of the deeds of assignment petitioners executed in favor of their clients covering their respective shareholdings.

! From these conditions, particularly the third, we can readily deduce that the clients indeed consulted the

petitioners, in their capacity as lawyers, regarding the financial and corporate structure, framework and setup of the corporations in question. In turn, petitioners gave their professional advice in the form of, among others, the aforementioned deeds of assignment covering their clients shareholdings. legal service to their clients. More important, it constituted an integral part of their duties as lawyers. Petitioners, therefore, have a legitimate fear that identifying their clients would implicate them in the very activity for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations. necessary link for the prosecution to build its case, where none otherwise exists. It is the link, in the words of Baird, that would inevitably form the chain of testimony necessary to convict the (client) of a... crime."

! There is no question that the preparation of the aforestated documents was part and parcel of petitioners ! Furthermore, under the third main exception, revelation of the client's name would obviously provide the !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Pfleider vs Palanca12 Facts The respondent Atty. Potenciano A. Palanca was for sometime the legal counsel of the complainant William C. Pfleider. According to the complainant, he retained the legal services of Palanca and insists that a attorney-client relationship between them began. At all events, the relations between the two must have attained such a high level of mutual trust that Pfleider and his wife leased to Palanca agricultural land known as the Hacienda Asia, for a period of ten years. In their contract, the parties agreed, among others, that a specified portion of the lease rentals would be paid to Pfleider, and the remainder would be delivered by Palanca to Pfleider's listed creditors.
"

! The arrangement worked smoothly until the filing by Pfleider of a civil suit against Palanca for rescission of

the contract of lease on the ground of alleged default in the payment of rentals. With this history in, perspective, we shall now consider the administrative charges of gross misconduct in office brought by Pfleider against Palanca. One of the charges alleged is that Palanca violated Pfleiders trust when the former delivered a list of Pfleiders creditors to parties who had an adverse interest against him.

! Issue Whether or not Palanca can be administratively sanctioned for delving the list of creditors to adverse parties. ! Held Cant be administratively charged || Complaint dismissed ! Final count. It is charged that the list of creditors which Pfleider had "confidentially" supplied Palanca for the
purpose of carrying out the terms of payment contained in the lease contract was disclosed by Palanca, in violation of their lawyer-client relation, to parties whose interests are adverse to those of Pfleider.

! As Pfleider himself, however, in the execution of the terms of the aforesaid lease contract between the

parties, complainant furnished respondent with a confidential list of his creditors. This should indicate that Pfleider delivered the list of his creditors to Palanca not because of the professional relation then existing between them, but on account of the lease agreement. A violation therefore of the confidence that accompanied the delivery of that list would partake more of a private and civil wrong than of a breach of the fidelity owing from a lawyer to his client.

! Moreover, Pfleider fails to controvert Palanca's claim that there is no such thing as a "confidential" list of ! ! ! !

creditors and that the list of creditors referred to by Pfleider is the same list which forms part of the pleadings in civil case 9187 (the action for rescission of the lease contract) now, pending between the complainant and the respondent lawyer, and therefore is embraced within the category of public records open to the perusal of persons properly interested therein.

12 !

The case contained 2 other issues not concerning Attorney-Client relationship.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Mercado vs Vitriolo Facts Complainants husband filed Civil Case for annulment of their marriage with the RTC. This annulment case had been dismissed by the trial court. Later, Atty. Anastacio P. de Leon, counsel of complainant, died. Afterwards, respondent entered his appearance before the trial court as new counsel for complainant.

! Later, respondent filed a criminal action against complainant for falsification of public document under the

RPC. Respondent alleged that complainant made false entries in the Certificates of Live Birth of her children, Angelica and Katelyn Anne. More specifically, complainant allegedly indicated in said Certificates of Live Birth that she is married to a certain Ferdinand Fernandez, and that their marriage was solemnized on April 11, 1979, when in truth, she is legally married to Ruben G. Mercado and their marriage took place on April 11, 1978.

! Complainant denied the accusations of respondent against her and alleged that said criminal complaint for
falsification of public document disclosed confidential facts and information relating to the civil case for annulment, then handled by respondent Vitriolo as her counsel. This prompted complainant Mercado to bring this action against respondent. She claims that, in filing the criminal case for falsification, respondent is guilty of breaching their privileged and confidential lawyer-client relationship, and should be disbarred.

! Issue Whether or not Vitriolo is guilty of breaching the attorney-client privilege. ! Held Not guilty || Complaint dismissed. ! Now, we go to the rule on attorney-client privilege. In fine, the factors are as follows: ! (1) There exists an attorney-client relationship, or a prospective attorney-client relationship, and it is by reason of this relationship that the client made the communication. ! Matters disclosed by a prospective client to a lawyer are protected by the rule on privileged communication
even if the prospective client does not thereafter retain the lawyer or the latter declines the employment. On the other hand, a communication from a (prospective) client to a lawyer for some purpose other than on account of the (prospective) attorney-client relation is not privileged.

! (2) The client made the communication in confidence. The mere relation of attorney and client does not raise a presumption of confidentiality. The client must intend the communication to be confidential. ! A confidential communication refers to information transmitted by voluntary act of disclosure between
attorney and client in confidence and by means which, so far as the client is aware, discloses the information to no third person other than one reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information or the accomplishment of the purpose for which it was given.

! (3) The legal advice must be sought from the attorney in his professional capacity. ! The communication made by a client to his attorney must not be intended for mere information, but for the ! Here, the evidence on record fails to substantiate complainants allegations. Complainant didnt even specify

purpose of seeking legal advice from his attorney as to his rights or obligations. The communication must have been transmitted by a client to his attorney for the purpose of seeking legal advice. If the client seeks an accounting service, or business or personal assistance, and not legal advice, the privilege does not attach to a communication disclosed for such purpose. the alleged communication in confidence disclosed by respondent. All her claims were couched in general terms and lacked specificity. She contends that respondent violated the rule on privileged communication when he instituted a criminal action against her for falsification of public documents because the criminal complaint disclosed facts relating to the civil case for annulment then handled by respondent. She did not, however, spell out these facts which will determine the merit of her complaint.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Genato vs Silapan Facts In this complaint for disbarment filed by William Ong Genato against respondent Atty. Essex L. Silapan, complainant alleged that respondent asked if he could rent a small office space in complainants building for his law practice. Complainant acceded and introduced respondent to Atty. Benjamin Dacanay13 , complainants retained lawyer, who accommodated respondent in the building and made him handle some of complainants cases. Hence, the start of the legal relationship between complainant and respondent.
"

! The conflict between the parties started when respondent borrowed P200,000.00 from complainant. In return, ! Subsequently, respondent failed to pay the amortization on the car and the financing firm sent demand letters ! In the foreclosure case, respondent made the following allegation in his Answer: ! Issue

respondent issued to complainant a postdated check to answer for the interest. He likewise mortgaged to complainant his house and lot. With the money borrowed from complainant, respondent purchased a new car. However, the document of sale of the car was issued in complainants name and financed through City Trust Company. to complainant. Complainant tried to encash respondents postdated check with the drawee bank but it was dishonored as respondents account therein was already closed. Respondent failed to heed complainants repeated demands for payment. Complainant then filed a criminal case against respondent for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 and a civil case for judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage.
where he (complainant) wanted Essex L. Silapan, his former counsel in that case, to offer bribe money to the members of the review committee of the Department of Justiceor, in the event that the said petition for review is denied, he wanted Essex L. Silapan to offer bribe money to the prosecutor assigned at the above-mentioned Court, and even to the presiding Judge, for his eventual acquittalbut also because the complainant confided to him that he was really involved in the commission of the crime that was charged of in the above-mentioned case.

Whether or not Respondent should be administratively sanctioned for revealing Complainants criminal intentions in his pleadings in the foreclosure case.

! Held Should be administratively sanctioned || 6-month suspension ! The only issue in this administrative case is whether respondent committed a breach of trust and confidence ! It must be stressed, however, that the privilege against disclosure of confidential communications or

by imputing to complainant illegal practices and disclosing complainants alleged intention to bribe government officials in connection with a pending case. information is limited only to communications which are legitimately and properly within the scope of a lawful employment of a lawyer. It does not extend to those made in contemplation of a crime or perpetration of a fraud. If the unlawful purpose is avowed, as in this case, the complainants alleged intention to bribe government officials in relation to his case, the communication is not covered by the privilege as the client does not consult the lawyer professionally. It is not within the profession of a lawyer to advise a client as to how he may commit a crime as a lawyer is not a gun for hire. Thus, the attorney-client privilege does not attach, there being no professional employment in the strict sense.

! Be that as it may, respondents explanation that it was necessary for him to make the disclosures in his ! Thus, the Court agrees with the evaluation of the IBP and finds that respondents allegations and disclosures
in the foreclosure case amount to a breach of fidelity sufficient to warrant the imposition of disciplinary sanction against him. !

pleadings fails to satisfy us. The disclosures were not indispensable to protect his rights as they were not pertinent to the foreclosure case. It was improper for the respondent to use it against the complainant in the foreclosure case as it was not the subject matter of litigation therein and respondents professional competence and legal advice were not being attacked in said case.

13 !

Hey, its him again.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Hadjula vs Madianda Facts The case started when, in an AFFIDAVIT-COMPLAINT, complainant charged Atty. Roceles F. Madianda with violating the Revised Penal Code and the Code of Professional Responsibility. In said affidavitcomplaint, complainant alleged that she and respondent used to be friends as they both worked at the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) whereat respondent was the Chief Legal Officer while she was the Chief Nurse of the Medical, Dental and Nursing Services. Complainant claimed that she approached respondent for some legal advice. Complainant further alleged that, in the course of their conversation which was supposed to be kept confidential, she disclosed personal secrets and produced copies of a marriage contract, a birth certificate and a baptismal certificate, only to be informed later by the respondent that she (respondent) would refer the matter to a lawyer friend. It was malicious, so complainant states, of respondent to have refused handling her case only after she had already heard her secrets.

! Continuing, complainant averred that her friendship with respondent soured after her filing of criminal and
disciplinary actions against the latter. What, per complainant's account, precipitated the filing was when respondent, then a member of the BFP promotion board, demanded a cellular phone in exchange for the complainant's promotion. COMPLAINT with the Ombudsman, the charges being based on the disclosures complainant earlier made to respondent. And also on the basis of the same disclosures, complainant further stated, a disciplinary case was also instituted against her before the Professional Regulation Commission.

! According to complainant, respondent, in retaliation to the filing of the aforesaid actions, filed a COUNTER ! Issue
Whether or not Respondent should be administratively sanctioned for using confidential information received in the criminal and disciplinary complaints.

! Held Should be administratively sanctioned || Reprimand. ! As it were, complainant went to respondent, a lawyer who incidentally was also then a friend, to bare what

she considered personal secrets and sensitive documents for the purpose of obtaining legal advice and assistance. The moment complainant approached the then receptive respondent to seek legal advice, a veritable lawyer-client relationship evolved between the two. Among the burdens of the relationship is that which enjoins the lawyer, respondent in this instance, to keep inviolate confidential information acquired or revealed during legal consultations. The fact that one is, at the end of the day, not inclined to handle the client's case is hardly of consequence. Of little moment, too, is the fact that no formal professional engagement follows the consultation. Nor will it make any difference that no contract whatsoever was executed by the parties to memorialise the relationship.

! With the view we take of this case, respondent indeed breached his duty of preserving the confidence of a
client. As found by the IBP Investigating Commissioner, the documents shown and the information revealed in confidence to the respondent in the course of the legal consultation in question, were used as bases in the criminal and administrative complaints lodged against the complainant. compassion, absent compelling evidence that the respondent acted with ill-will. Without meaning to condone the error of respondent's ways, what at bottom is before the Court is two former friends becoming bitter enemies and filing charges and counter-charges against each other using whatever convenient tools and data were readily available. Unfortunately, the personal information respondent gathered from her conversation with complainant became handy in her quest to even the score. At the end of the day, it appears clear to us that respondent was actuated by the urge to retaliate without perhaps realizing that, in the process of giving vent to a negative sentiment, she was violating the rule on confidentiality.!

! The seriousness of the respondent's offense notwithstanding, the Court feels that there is room for

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Rebecca J. Palm vs Atty. Felipe Iledan Facts Complainant is the President of Comtech and Respondent served as Comtechs retained corporate counsel. Complainant personally met with respondent to review corporate matters, including potential amendments to the corporate by-laws. Later, respondent suggested that Comtech amend its corporate by-laws to allow participation during board meetings, through teleconference, of members of the Board of Directors who were outside the Philippines.

! Prior to the completion of the amendments of the corporate by-laws, complainant became uncomfortable ! In a stockholders meeting, respondent attended as proxy for a Director. Two directors were present through ! Afterwards, Comtechs new counsel sent a demand letter to Soledad to return or account for the amount ! Issue
Whether or not Respondent should be administratively sanctioned for revealing the need to amend the bylaws to allow directors to participate through teleconferencing during board meetings.

with the close relationship between respondent and Elda Soledad (Soledad), a former officer and director of Comtech, who resigned and who was suspected of releasing unauthorized disbursements of corporate funds. Thus, Comtech decided to terminate its retainer agreement with respondent. teleconference. When the meeting was called to order, respondent objected to the meeting for lack of quorum. Respondent asserted that the corporate by-laws had not yet been amended to allow teleconferencing. representing her unauthorized disbursements when she was the Corporate Treasurer of Comtech. Due to Soledads failure to comply with Comtech's written demands, Comtech filed a complaint for Estafa against Soledad. Respondent appeared as Soledads counsel.

! Held No administrative sanction || Complaint dismissed. ! We agree with the IBP that in the course of complainants consultations, respondent obtained the information
about the need to amend the corporate by-laws to allow board members outside the Philippines to participate in board meetings through teleconferencing. Respondent himself admitted this in his Answer.

! In addition, although the information about the necessity to amend the corporate by-laws may have been

given to respondent, it could not be considered a confidential information. The stockholders are aware of the proposed amendments to the by-laws. While the power may be delegated to the board of directors or trustees, there is nothing in the records to show that a delegation was made in the present case. Further, whenever any amendment or adoption of new by-laws is made, copies of the amendments or the new by-laws are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and attached to the original articles of incorporation and bylaws. The documents are public records and could not be considered confidential.

! It is settled that the mere relation of attorney and client does not raise a presumption of confidentiality. The

client must intend the communication to be confidential. Since the proposed amendments must be approved by at least a majority of the stockholders, and copies of the amended by-laws must be filed with the SEC, the information could not have been intended to be confidential. Thus, the disclosure made by respondent during the stockholders meeting could not be considered a violation of his clients secrets and confidence within the contemplation of Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Hilado vs David Facts Hilado brought an action against Selim Jacob Assad to annul the sale of several houses and lot executed during the Japanese occupation by Mrs. Hilado's now deceased husband.

! Later Attorney Dizon (for Hilado) wrote Attorney Francisco (for Assad) a letter urging him to discontinue ! Attorney Francisco's letter to plaintiff stated Atty. Francisco thought Hilados case was weak and the legal
reasons for the same. It also stated that Atty. Francisco couldnt represent Hilado in the case, if ever one is to be filed.

representing the defendants on the ground that their client had consulted with him about her case, on which occasion, it was alleged, "she turned over the papers" to Attorney Francisco, and the latter sent her a written opinion. Not receiving any answer to this suggestion, Attorney Dizon filed a formal motion with the court to disqualify Attorney Francisco.

! Stripped of disputed details and collateral matters, this much is undoubted: That Attorney Francisco's law ! Issue Whether or not an attorney-client relationship created between Atty. Francisco and Hilado. ! Held There was an attorney-client relationship. ! Mere relation of attorney and client ought to preclude the attorney from accepting the opposite party's retainer in the same litigation regardless of what information was received by him from his first client. ! Communications between attorney and client are a complicated affair. To make the passing of confidential

firm mailed to the plaintiff a written opinion over his signature on the merits of her case; that this opinion was reached on the basis of papers she had submitted at his office; that Mrs. Hilado's purpose in submitting those papers was to secure Attorney Francisco's professional services.

communication a condition precedent; i.e., to make the employment conditioned on the scope and character of the knowledge acquired by an attorney in determining his right to change sides would be prejudicial to the litigant. Hence the necessity of setting down the existence of the bare relationship of attorney and client as the yardstick for testing incompatibility of interests. Only thus can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice.

! So without impugning respondent's good faith, we nevertheless can not sanction his taking up the cause of

the adversary of the party who had sought and obtained legal advice from his firm; this, not necessarily to prevent any injustice to the plaintiff but to keep above reproach the honor and integrity of the courts and of the bar.

! The defense that Attorney Agrava wrote the letter and that Attorney Francisco did not take the trouble of

reading it, would not take the case out of the interdiction. If this letter was written under the circumstances explained by Attorney Francisco and he was unaware of its contents, the fact remains that his firm did give Mrs. Hilado a formal professional advice from which, as heretofore demonstrated, emerged the relation of attorney and client. This letter binds and estop him in the same manner and to the same degree as if he personally had written it. An information obtained from a client by a member or assistant of a law firm is information imparted to the firm. This is not a mere fiction or an arbitrary rule; for such member or assistant, as in our case, not only acts in the name and interest of the firm, but his information, by the nature of his connection with the firm is available to his associates or employers.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Nakpil vs Valdes Facts Nakpil and Valdes were close friends since their student days. Their closeness extended to their families and respondent became the business consultant, lawyer and accountant of the Nakpils. Later, Nakpil became interested in purchasing a summer residence, the Moran property. For lack of funds, he requested respondent to purchase the Moran property for him. They agreed that respondent would keep the property in trust for the Nakpils until the latter could buy it back. Pursuant to their agreement, respondent obtained two (2) loans from a bank which he used to purchase and renovate the property. Title was then issued in respondents name.

! When Jose Nakpil died, respondent acted as the legal counsel and accountant of his widow, complainant

Nakpil. Respondents law firm handled the proceeding for the settlement of Joses estate. The ownership of the Moran property became an issue in the intestate proceedings. Respondent excluded the Moran property from the inventory of Joses estate. Later, respondent transferred his title to the Moran property to his company, the Caval Realty Corporation. pendency of the action for reconveyance, complainant filed this administrative case to disbar the respondent charging:
I. II. III. Assigned to his family corporation the Moran property (Pulong Maulap) which belonged to the estate he was settling as its lawyer and auditor. Excluded the Moran property from the inventory of real estate properties he prepared for a client-estate and, at the same time, charged the loan secured to purchase the said excluded property as a liability of the estate, all for the purpose of transferring the title to the said property to his family corporation. Prepared and defended monetary claims against the estate that retained him as its counsel and auditor

! Complainant sought to recover the Moran property by filing an action for reconveyance. During the ! Issue Whether or not Valdes is guilty of ethical misconduct. ! Held Guilty || 1-year Suspension ! Respondent initially acknowledged and respected the trust nature of the Moran property. But later, Respondent was in bad faith in transferring the property to his family corporation and repudiating the trust. ! It ought to follow that respondents act of excluding Moran property from the estate which his law firm was

representing evinces a lack of fidelity to the cause of his client. If respondent truly believed that the said property belonged to him, he should have at least informed complainant of his adverse claim. If they could not agree on its ownership, respondent should have formally presented his claim in the intestate proceedings instead of transferring the property to his own corporation and concealing it from complainant and the judge in the estate proceedings.

! To make matters worse, respondent, through his accounting firm, charged the two loans of P65,000.00 and
P75,000.00 as liability of the estate, after said loans were obtained by respondent for the purchase and renovation of the property which he claimed for himself.

! Further, respondent is guilty of representing conflicting interests. It is generally the rule, based on sound
public policy, that an attorney cannot represent adverse interests. However, representation of conflicting interests may be allowed where the parties consent to the representation, after full disclosure of facts.

! In the case at bar, there is no question that the interests of the estate and that of it creditors are adverse to ! ! ! !

each other. Respondents accounting firm prepared the list of assets and liabilities of the estate and, at the same time, computed the claims of two creditors of the estate. Meanwhile, Respondents law firm represented the estate. There is clearly a conflict between the interest of the estate which stands as the debtor, and that of the two claimants who are creditors of the estate. In fact, at one instance, respondents law firm questioned the claims of creditor Angel Nakpil against the estate.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Hornilla vs Salunat Facts Hornilla and Ricafort filed an administrative complaint with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) against respondent Atty. Salunat for illegal and unethical practice and conflict of interest. They alleged that respondent is a member of the ASSA Law and Associates, which was the retained counsel of the Philippine Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA). Respondents brother, Aurelio S. Salunat, was a member of the PPSTA Board which approved respondents engagement as retained counsel of PPSTA.

! Complainants, who are members of the PPSTA, filed an intra-corporate case against its members of the

Board of Directors before the Securities and Exchange Commission and a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for unlawful spending and the undervalued sale of real property of the PPSTA. Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the PPSTA Board members in the said cases. Complainants contend that respondent was guilty of conflict of interest because he was engaged by the PPSTA, of which complainants were members, and was being paid out of its corporate funds where complainants have contributed. Despite being told by PPSTA members of the said conflict of interest, respondent refused to withdraw his appearance in the said cases.

! Moreover, complainants aver that respondent violated Rule 15.06 of the Code of Professional Responsibility ! Issue
Whether or not a lawyer engaged by a corporation can defend members of the board of the same corporation in a derivative suit.

when he appeared at the meeting of the PPSTA Board and assured its members that he will win the PPSTA cases.

! Held Lawyer cant defend the board members in a derivative suit || Admonish ! There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing parties.

The test is whether or not in behalf of one client, it is the lawyers duty to fight for an issue or claim, but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. In brief, if he argues for one client, this argument will be opposed by him when he argues for the other client.

! A lawyer engaged as counsel for a corporation cannot represent members of the same corporations board of
directors in a derivative suit brought against them. To do so would be tantamount to representing conflicting interests, which is prohibited by the Code of Professional Responsibility.

! In the case at bar, the records show that SEC Case was filed by the PPSTA against its own Board of
Directors. Respondent admits that the ASSA Law Firm, of which he is the Managing Partner, was the retained counsel of PPSTA. Yet, he appeared as counsel of record for the respondent Board of Directors in the said case. Clearly, respondent was guilty of conflict of interest when he represented the parties against whom his other client, the PPSTA, filed suit. case, he filed a Manifestation of Extreme Urgency wherein he prayed for the dismissal of the complaint against his clients, the individual Board Members. By filing the said pleading, he necessarily entered his appearance therein. Again, this constituted conflict of interests, considering that the complaint in the Ombudsman, albeit in the name of the individual members of the PPSTA, was brought in behalf of and to protect the interest of the corporation.

! In his Answer, respondent argues that he only represented the Board of Directors in OMB Case. In the said ! !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Northwestern University vs Aquillo Facts Northwestern University, Inc. and Mr. Ben A. Nicolas accused Atty. Arquillo of engaging in conflicting interest in a case before the National Labor Relations Commission. In a consolidated case, respondent appeared and acted as counsels for both complainants and respondent.

! Complainants, as their evidence, submitted the Motion to Dismiss filed by Jose G. Castro, represented by his

counsel, herein respondent filed before the NLRC. Sixteen (16) days later, respondent filed a Complainants Consolidated Position Paper, this time representing some of the complainants in the very same consolidated case.

! Issue Whether or not Atty. Arquillo is guilty of representing conflicting interest. ! Held Guilty || 1-year Suspension. ! When a lawyer represents two or more opposing parties, there is a conflict of interests, the existence of

which is determined by three separate tests: (1) when, in representation of one client, a lawyer is required to fight for an issue or claim, but is also dutybound to oppose it for another client; (2) when the acceptance of the new retainer will require an attorney to perform an act that may injuriously affect the first client or, when called upon in a new relation, to use against the first one any knowledge acquired through their professional connection; or (3) when the acceptance of a new relation would prevent the full discharge of an attorneys duty to give undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or would invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance of that duty.

! In his two-page Motion for Reconsideration, Atty. Arquillo claims that there was no conflict of interest in his

representation of both the respondent and the complainants in the same consolidated cases, because all of them were allegedly on the same side. Attaching to the Motion the Decision of Labor Arbiter Norma C. Olegario on the consolidated NLRC cases, Atty. Arquillo theorizes that her judgment absolved Castro of personal liability for the illegal dismissal of the complainants; this fact allegedly showed that there was no conflict in the interests of all the parties concerned.

! Atty. Arquillos acts cannot be justified by the fact that, in the end, Castro was proven to be not personally ! !

liable for the claims of the dismissed employees. Having agreed to represent one of the opposing parties first, the lawyer should have known that there was an obvious conflict of interests, regardless of his alleged belief that they were all on the same side. It cannot be denied that the dismissed employees were the complainants in the same cases in which Castro was one of the respondents.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Quiambao vs Bamba Facts In this administrative case for disbarment, complainant Felicitas S. Quiambao charges respondent Atty. Nestor A. Bamba with violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility for representing conflicting interests when the latter filed a case against her while he was at that time representing her in another case, and for committing other acts of disloyalty and double-dealing.

! Complainant was the president and managing director of Allied Investigation Bureau, Inc. (AIB). She avers

that she procured the legal services of the respondent not only for the corporate affairs of AIB but also for her personal case. Particularly, the respondent acted as her counsel of record in an ejectment case. Later, she resigned as AIB president, the respondent filed on behalf of AIB a complaint for replevin and damages against her to recover from her the car of AIB assigned to her as a service vehicle. This he did without withdrawing as counsel of record in the ejectment case, which was then still pending.

! Further, Complaint accused Respondent of inducing her to resign from AIB and form her own security ! Issue ! Held Guilty || 1-year Suspension. ! We do not sustain respondents theory that since the ejectment case and the replevin case are unrelated cases ! It must be noted that the proscription against representation of conflicting interests finds application where

company, SESSI. Respondent was even made an officer in the new security company while still retained as counsel for AIB. Whether or not the respondent is guilty of misconduct for representing conflicting interests in contravention of the basic tenets of the legal profession.

fraught with different issues, parties, and subject matters, the prohibition is inapplicable. His representation of opposing clients in both cases, though unrelated, obviously constitutes conflict of interest or, at the least, invites suspicion of double-dealing. While the respondent may assert that the complainant expressly consented to his continued representation in the ejectment case, the respondent failed to show that he fully disclosed the facts to both his clients and he failed to present any written consent of the complainant and AIB. the conflicting interests arise with respect to the same general matter however slight the adverse interest may be. It applies even if the conflict pertains to the lawyers private activity or in the performance of a function in a non-professional capacity. In the process of determining whether there is a conflict of interest, an important criterion is probability, not certainty, of conflict.

! Since the respondent has financial or pecuniary interest in SESSI, which is engaged in a business competing

with his clients, and, more importantly, he occupies the highest position in SESSI, one cannot help entertaining a doubt on his loyalty to his client AIB. This kind of situation passes the second test of conflict of interest, which is whether the acceptance of a new relationship would prevent the full discharge of the lawyers duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or doubledealing in the performance of that duty. The close relationship of the majority stockholders of both companies does not negate the conflict of interest. Neither does his protestation that his shareholding in SESSI is a mere pebble among the sands. !

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Heirs of Falame vs Baguio Facts Complainants alleged that their father (Lydio) engaged the services of respondent to represent him in an action for forcible entry in which Lydio was one of the defendants. Respondent, as counsel for the defendants, filed the answer to the complaint in the first civil case.

! Complainants claimed that even after the Court had ruled in favor of the defendants in the first civil case, Lydio retained the services of respondent as his legal adviser, ! However, later, in representation of the Sps. Falame, respondent filed a case against complainants allegedly

involving the property subject of the first civil case, (the second civil case). The complaint sought the declaration of nullity of the deed of sale, its registration in the registry of deeds, Transfer Certificate of Title No. 20241 issued as a consequence of the registration of the deed of sale, and the real estate mortgage on the said property. Alternatively, it prayed for specific performance and reconveyance or legal redemption and damages with preliminary injunction and restraining order.

! Issue Whether or not Respondent is guilty of representing conflicting interest. ! Held Guilty || Reprimand ! The termination of attorney-client relation provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest ! In the case at bar, respondent admitted having jointly represented Lydio and Raleigh as defendants in the first

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. Even after the severance of the relation, a lawyer should not do anything which will injuriously affect his former client in any matter in which he previously represented him nor should he disclose or use any of the client's confidences acquired in the previous relation. civil case. Evidently, the attorney-client relation between Lydio and respondent was established despite the fact that it was only Raleigh who paid him.

! 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.

! The fact that the attorney-client relation had ceased by reason of Lydio's death or through the completion of

the specific task for which respondent was employed is not reason for respondent to advocate a position opposed to that of Lydio. Precedents tell us that even after the termination of his employment, an attorney may not act as counsel against his client in the same general matter, even though, while acting for his former client, he acquired no knowledge which could operate to his client's disadvantage in the subsequent adverse employment. And while complainants have never been respondent's clients, they derive their rights to the property from Lydio's ownership of it which respondent maintained in the first civil case.!

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Pacana vs Pascual-Lopez14

"

14 !

Too long, will digest later

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Dr. Teresita Lee vs Atty. Simando Facts Atty. Simando was the retained counsel of complainant Dr. Lee. Atty. Simando went to see Dr. Lee and asked if the latter could help a certain Felicito M. Mejorado (Mejorado) for his needed funds. Mejorado was Atty. Simandos client in a case claiming rewards against the Bureau of Customs. Dr. Lee initially refused to lend money but Atty. Simando persisted and assured her that Mejorado will pay his obligation. He even offered to be the co-maker of Mejorado and assured her that Mejorado's obligation will be paid when due.

! Due to Atty. Simando's persistence, his daily calls and frequent visits to convince Dr. Lee, the latter gave in to her lawyer's demands, and finally agreed to give Mejorado sizeable amounts of money. ! When the said obligation became due, despite Dr. Lee's repeated demands, Mejorado failed and refused to
comply with his obligation. Since Atty. Simando was still her lawyer then, Dr. Lee instructed him to initiate legal action against Mejorado. Atty. Simando said he would get in touch with Mejorado and ask him to pay his obligation without having to resort to legal action. However, even after several months, Mejorado still failed to pay Dr. Lee, so she again asked Atty. Simando why no payment has been made yet. Dr. Lee then reminded Atty. Simando that he was supposed to be the co-maker of the obligation of Mejorado, to which he replied: "Di kasuhan din ninyo ako!"

! Despite complainant's repeated requests, respondent ignored her and failed to bring legal actions against ! Issue Whether or not Respondent is guilty of representing conflicting interest. ! Held Guilty || 6-month Suspension. ! Clearly, it is improper for respondent to appear as counsel for one party (complainant as creditor) against the

Mejorado. Thus, complainant was forced to terminate her contract with Atty. Simando and demand payment from him as well.

adverse party (Mejorado as debtor) who is also his client, since a lawyer is prohibited from representing conflicting interests. He may not, without being guilty of professional misconduct, act as counsel for a person whose interest conflict with that of his present or former client.

! Respondent's assertion that there is no conflict of interest because complainant and respondent are his clients ! !

in unrelated cases fails to convince. His representation of opposing clients in both cases, though unrelated, obviously constitutes conflict of interest or, at the least, invites suspicion of double-dealing. Moreover, with the subject loan agreement entered into by the complainant and Mejorado, who are both his clients, readily shows an apparent conflict of interest, moreso when he signed as co-maker.

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Legal Ethics for Justice Hofilena by Jason Arteche Josephine L. Orola vs Atty. Joseph Ador Ramos Facts Complainants are the children of the late Trinidad Laserna-Orola (Trinidad), married to Emilio Q. Orola (Emilio).

! In the course of the proceedings, the Heirs of Trinidad and the Heirs of Antonio moved for the removal of

Emilio as administrator and, in his stead, sought the appointment of the latters son, Manuel Orola. The RTC granted such motion. Subsequently, respondent filed an Entry of Appearance as collaborating counsel for Emilio in the same case and moved for the reconsideration of the RTC Order.

! Due to the respondents new engagement, complainants filed the instant disbarment complaint before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). ! Issue Whether or not Respondent is guilty of representing conflicting interest. ! Held Guilty || 3-month Suspension. ! Records reveal that respondent was the collaborating counsel not only for Maricar as claimed by him, but for
all the Heirs of Antonio in Special Proceeding. In the course thereof, the Heirs of Trinidad and the Heirs of Antonio succeeded in removing Emilio as administrator for having committed acts prejudicial to their interests. Hence, when respondent proceeded to represent Emilio for the purpose of seeking his reinstatement as administrator in the same case, he clearly worked against the very interest of the Heirs of Antonio particularly, Karen.

! Respondent's justification that no confidential information was relayed to him cannot fully exculpate him for

the charges against him since the rule on conflict of interests provides an absolute prohibition from representation with respect to opposing parties in the same case.

! Neither can respondent's asseveration that his engagement by Emilio was more of a mediator than a litigator and for the purpose of forging a settlement among the family members render the rule inoperative. ! In the foregoing light, the Court finds the penalty of suspension from the practice of law for a period of three
three months to be more appropriate taking into consideration the following factors:
(1) (2) (3) (4) Respondent is a first time offender; It is undisputed that respondent merely accommodated Maricars request out of gratis to temporarily represent her hearings due to her lawyers unavailability; It is likewise undisputed that respondent had no knowledge that the late Antonio had any other heirs aside from Maricar whose consent he actually acquired (albeit shortly after his first appearance as counsel for and in behalf of Emilio), hence, it can be said that he acted in good faith; and Complainants admit that respondent did not acquire confidential information from the Heirs of Antonio nor did he use against them any knowledge obtained in the course of his previous employment, hence, the said heirs were not in any manner prejudiced by his subsequent engagement with Emilio.

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