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ATTY. BERNARDITO A.

FLORIDO
Admitted to the Philippine BAR in February 1962.
Studied at Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, Cebu City, Harvard Law School in Cambridge and
Academy of American and International Law, Dallas.
Former Professor of Law in Mercantile Law Review, USJ-R, Cebu City.
Elected Governor, Cebu Lawyers League in 1965.
Elected President, Rotary Club of Cebu South in 1979.
Elected President, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1979.
Elected President, IBP Cebu City Chapter in 1981.
Elected Eastern Visayas Governor, IBP in 1981.
Husband of 42 years, with 9 surviving children and 10 grandchildren.
Keynote Speech:
Mr. Pres. Mike Yu, judges, my colleagues in the Bar, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Pres. Mike Yu sent me summons to appear before you tonight, thus by imperial edict called, the
Kings command has been obeyed.
I have been in the practice of law for 47 years now. I will capsulize tonight what I have observed
of successful practitioners of law during this period.
I started practicing law in February of 1962 at the age of 23. It took 6 years only to finish law
school. Associate in Arts 2 years and Law Proper 4 years.
The first five years was pure labor. I remember Jun Davide, Emon Fernandez and I saving every
centavo for transportation from Capitol to police station (at old City Hall), to provincial and city
jail (at old Martires St.), and usually by tartanilla at 10 centavos per ride.
At that time, Congressman Manuel Zosa, Alfred Dean, Pabling Garcia and Dean Vicente Faelnar
were on top of the heap, so to speak. Later came Matoy Seno and Joe Palma, Eddie Rosal,
Mocring Barcenas, Judge Ingles, Teddy Almase. I tried to emulate them and discovered that the
common denominator I observed among the fifty (50) or so regular practitioners in court at that
time was work, work and more work! Also I observed their mastery of remedial law.
It should still be the same rule today for the more than 250 active practitioners in Cebu City.
I observed that you earn your spurs only by hard work, discipline and prayers.

You can assist poor litigants with meritorious cases personally or by financial contributions to
IBP Legal Aid programs. They help you get clients by of word of mouth. The word TRUST is the
most precious in a lawyers vocabulary. Preserve it and you will go places.
If you are hardworking and disciplined, you are likely to excel not because you have a caratula
as huge as a truck, but because it is easy to develop other peoples trust in you.
Now, every practicing, dedicated lawyer, must be married to his craft or at least devoted to the
continuous study of law, a jealous mistress. You may not believe it, but some lawyers have not
missed reading the law daily, since they started practicing it.
By this I mean that like a champion boxer, the lawyer will devote his time and effort to improve
his professional performance and when he needs to rest, to seek refuge in his family.
In reality, and when you ponder on it, there is no room in your life for vices. They sap your
strength and weaken your morals and render you vulnerable to unholy habits.
Of course, like all other practitioners of the law, you will have your share of triumphs and
defeats, of run-of-the-mill and of sensational cases and please remember not to gloat in victory
nor be discouraged by defeat. The lawyer who has not lost a case is one who has not been in a
courtroom. You will realize that dedication is far greater than brilliance. Most cases do not
require brilliant lawyers. The need is for long hours of hard work, discipline and sacrifice.
Be punctual in court. Tardiness reveals a sloppy character.
All of us commit mistakes. Rectify them soonest. Be honest and profuse in your apologies.
From what I see all these years, no practicing lawyer has become really rich in the practice of
law. Comfortable maybe but not really financially rich.
Rich lawyers have businesses or investments. You may do the same, particularly in businesses or
investments in realty and blue chip stocks, because they are not that risky and do not occupy nor
demand substantial portion of your time.
Some lawyers think they should befriend judges to succeed in practice. Per se, nothings wrong
with that, except when you use friendship to obtain unjust favors.
I hear of young lawyers complaining that some lawyers fraternize with judges, in camera or
outside chambers. I believe this situation must be avoided. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth,
embarrassing and demeaning to the judges and the lawyers in particular and to the profession in
general. We are lawyers, not fixers.
The friendship is usually misinterpreted in so many unfavorable ways and in so many
exaggerations that put the judge and the lawyer in a bad light. Soon, it becomes a bad reputation.
To recap, I urge you if you are to really succeed in the practice of law, to:

Study, study, study.


Work, work, work.
Pray, pray, pray.
Keep decent distance from judges.
Practice discipline at all times.
Thank you.