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In re Luis B.

Tagorda (1929) (card and letter)


Doctrine: The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and
especially with his brother lawyers, is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for
professional capacity and fidelity to trust.
Facts: Luis B. Tagorda was an attorney who was elected as the third member of the provincial board
of Isabela. He admits that prior to his election, he made use of a card2 written in Spanish and
Ilocano, which contains a list of tasks he may undertake as a notary public, and a lawyer, as well
as a general invitation to consult with him for free. Tagorda also admits that after he was elected
into office, he wrote a letter3 to one of his hometowns barrio lieutenants. The letter basically
informed the recipient of Tagordas intention to continue residing in Echague, despite having to
attend board sessions in Ilagan, in order that he may continue to serve his hometown as a notary
public and lawyer. The letter subtly offered information regarding Tagordas office hours,
together with an express request that the recipient spread the word as to his willingness to accept
land registration cases for a fee of P3.00 per title. The government, through the provincial fiscal
of Isabela, together with the Attorney-General, brought this matter to the attention of the Court.
Issue: 1. W/N Tagordas actions constitute malpractice
Held/Ratio: 1. YES. Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2828
expressly provides that the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
personally, or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. This is in accord with the
Canons of Professional Ethics adopted by the Philippine Bar Association in 1917. Canon 27 of
the said document provides that a well-merited reputation serves as a lawyers most effective
form of advertisement.