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Castro | Del Rosario | Desquitado | Digao

Fumar | Gonzales | King | Malit | Mallari
Manuel | Salazar | Soco | Tolentino
Tristeza | Velasco | Vinluan
CHAPTER I. THE LAWYER AND SOCIETY - amicus curiae an experienced and impartial attorney
invited by the court to appear and help in the disposition of
A. INTRODUCTORY issues submitted to it.
- bar legal profession
- bench judiciary
- Legal ethics embodiment of all principles of morality and
refinement that should govern the conduct of every member of
- A practicing lawyer is constantly confronted with conflicting
the bar; the branch of moral science which treats of the duties
loyalties which he must reconcile.
which an attorney owes to the court, his client, his colleagues
- He should no nothing which may tend to lessen in any degree
in the profession, and to the public.
the public confidence in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of
- lawyer that class of persons who by license are officers of
the legal profession.
the court and who are empowered to appear, prosecute, and
- Hence, professional standards serve as the lawyers chart and
defend and on whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and
compass to resolve difficult questions of duty and help
liabilities are devolved by law as a consequence.
minimize ethical delinquencies.
o Those who pass the Sharia Bar are not entitled to be
- In 1917, the Philippine Bar Association adopted as its own,
called attorneys, unless they have also been
Canons 1-32 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the
admitted to the Philippine Bar.
American Bar Association.
- counsel de parte is an attorney retained by a party litigant,
- In 1946, it again adopted as its own, Canons 33-47 of the ABA.
usually for a fee, to prosecute or defend his cause in court.
- A sense of identity and the necessity of restating the canons to
implies freedom of choice either on the part of the attorney to
conform with present-day realities and reflect the local
accept or decline the employment, or on the part of the litigant
customs, traditions and practices of the bar dictate that the
to continue or terminate the retainer at any time
Philippine Bar formulates its own Code.
- counsel de oficio attorney appointed by the court to
- Hence, in 1980, the IBP proposed the Code of Professional
defend an indigent defendant in a criminal action. no other
Responsibility, which was passed to the SC for approval. It was
choice by the litigant than the acceptance of whoever is
promulgated by the Supreme Court on June 21, 1988.
appointed as his counsel
- The Code consists of 22 Canons and 77 Rules, which are divided
- attorney of record attorney whose name, together with his
into four chapters, namely:
address, is entered in the record of a case as the designated
o The Law and Society
counsel of the party litigant in the case, and to whom judicial
o The Lawyer and the Legal Profession
notices relative thereto are sent.
o The Lawyer and the Courts
- of counsel experienced lawyer, who is usually a retired
o The Lawyer and the Clients.
member of judiciary, employed by law firms as consultant

- The Code establishes norms of conduct and ethical standards NATURE OF OFFICE OF ATTORNEY
for all lawyers, including those in the government service, to - He occupies a quasi-judicial office because he is in fact an
observe in their professional, official, and private capacities. officer of the court.
- The Code is binding upon all lawyers and failure to live up to - As an officer of the court, he is subject to the disciplinary
any of its provisions is a ground for disciplinary action. authority of the court and to its orders and directives with
- Its inculcation must begin with the student and end with the respect to his relation to the court as well as to his client.
judge, for student, lawyer, and judge alike must have a Continuous accountability
thorough understanding and appreciation of the true meaning - Court scrutinizes his transactions with his client and protects
and purpose of the standards of professional conduct. the client form undue disadvantages.


- Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession - A lawyer has the privilege and right to:
from business are: o Practice law during good behavior before any judicial,
a. A duty of public service, of which emolument is a quasi-judicial or administrative tribunal
by-product, and in which one may attain the o Be immune, in the performance of his obligation to his
highest eminence without making much money client, from liability to a third person insofar as he does
b. A relation as officer of the court to the not materially depart from his character as a quasi-
administration of justice judicial officer.
c. A relation to client in the highest degree fiduciary His statements, if relevant to the case, are
d. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by absolutely privileged regardless of their
candor, fairness, and unwillingness to resort to defamatory tenor and of the presence of
current business methods of advertising and malice
encroachment on their practice, or dealing directly He can speak freely and courageously in the
with their clients. course of judicial proceedings without the risk
- These characteristics make the law a noble profession, and the of incurring a criminal prosecution or an action
privilege to practice it is bestowed only upon individuals who for damages.
are competent intellectually, academically and morally. o Protest, in a respectful language, any unwarranted
- Its basic ideal is to render service and to secure justice for treatment of a witness or any unjustified delay in the
those who seek its aid. administration of justice
- Lawyers must at all times conduct themselves in their o In passing the bar exams, he has first grade civil service
professional and private dealings with honesty and integrity in eligibility for any position in the classified service in the
a manner beyond reproach. government the duties which require knowledge of
law; or second grade civil service eligibility for any

other govt position which does not prescribe NECESSITY OF REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL.
proficiency in law as a qualification - In a democratic and civilized country where the rights of a
- These privileges and rights are designed to encourage a lawyer person are determined in accordance with established rules,
to be courageous and fearless in the prosecution or defense of the employment of a person acquainted with those rules
his clients cause. becomes a necessity both to the litigants and to the court.
- Only a lawyer, who by mental and moral fitness previously
DUTIES OF OFFICE, GENERALLY ascertained possesses the required training in law, can
- The lawyer has the duty to: properly and effectively extend such assistance.
o Maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines - There can be no fair hearing unless a litigant is represented or
o Support the Constitution and obey the law assisted by counsel.
o To observe and maintain the respect due the courts - To exact from the attorney his faithful devotion to his clients
and its officers cause, the SC subjects him to disciplinary action and
o To counsel such actions only as he believes to be administrative liability for his failure to properly attend to the
honestly debatable under the law interests of his client.
o To employ such means only as consistent with truth
o Never to mislead the judge by an artifice or false - A party litigant needs the assistance of counsel in all
statement of fact or law proceedings, administrative, civil or criminal. As he isnt a
o Preserve the secrets of his client lawyer, he is ignorant of the substantive and procedural laws
o Etc. which are applied to resolve disputes.
- BASICALLY THE CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. - And even if he is a lawyer, his personal and at times emotional,
involvement may adversely affect his handling of the case, to
PUBLIC VERSUS PRIVATE AND PERSONAL DUTIES his prejudice. Hence, even lawyers, who are parties in a case,
- Three-fold capacity in which an attorney operates need the guiding hand of counsel.
o Faithful assistant of the court - Constitutional rights (right to remain silent; have competent
o Trusted agent of his client counsel preferably of his choice; any confession made in
o Self-employed businessman violation of such provision shall be inadmissible in evidence
- Public duty obey the law, aid in the administration of justice against him importance of the presence of counsel in any
- Private duty his obligation to faithfully represent the interest police investigation, so as to ensure that it conforms to the
of his client dictates of the privilege against self-incrimination. Notice!
- Personal obligation what he owes to himself - Right to counsel absolute, immutable, and never subject to
waiver. Otherwise, there would be a grave denial of due

e. If the incompetence, ignorance or inexperience of
WHEN APPEARANCE BY COUNSEL NOT OBLIGATORY counsel is so great and the error committed as a
- In the municipal trial court, a party may conduct his litigation in result thereof is so serious that the client is
person or with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him prejudiced and denied his day in court, the litigation
for the purpose of an attorney. may be reopened to give the accused another
- In the RTC and appellate courts, a party in a civil suit may either change to present his case.
conduct his litigation personally or by attorney unless the party f. Where the failure of the defense to present its
is a juridical person. evidence is due to the absences of the counsel, the
- In administrative proceedings, the right to counsel is not accused should be given another chance to present
indispensable to due process. If a respondent had chosen to evidence.
represent himself without the assistance of counsel, he could g. When the accused has persistently disavows
not later claim that he had been denied due process. knowledge of the lawyer who allegedly assisted him
- It must be emphasized however, that the fact that a person in the taking of his extrajudicial admission during
may conduct his own litigation in person does not detract from custodial investigation and the lawyer has failed to
the necessity or diminish the importance of assistance of show his role therein, the confession is not
counsel. admissible in evidence
- Applies only in civil and administrative cases. The rule does not h. The accuseds confession given to a prosecutor
apply in criminal cases involving grave and less grave offenses. without the assistance of a counsel is inadmissible
as well.
CONSEQUENCES OF DENIAL OF RIGHT TO COUNSEL i. When the trial court conducts hearing even in the
- Denial of right to counsel has the following consequences: absence of the counsel for the accused, any
a. Admission of guilt, including receipts he signed for decision of conviction shall be null and void,
items which are inculpatory in nature, are not warranting a new trial
admissible in evidence
b. If the judgment of conviction had become final, it WAIVER OF RIGHT TO COUNSEL IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
may still be recalled - Right to counsel of an accused is absolute or immutable.
c. If it was found that his lawyer was not really a - However, his option to secure the services of counsel de parte
lawyer, he is still entitled to have his conviction set is not absolute. The trial court may restrict his option to retain
aside and a new trial undertaken a counsel de parte if the accused insists on an attorney he
d. Resolution of the Court of Appeals dismissing an cannot afford, or the chosen counsel is not a lawyer, or the
appeal for failure to file the appellants brief may be attorney declines to represent the accused for a valid reason,
recalled and the appeal reinstated, if the lawyer in which case the court should appoint a counsel de oficio to
failed to file it represent him.

- Section 1 of Rule 115 provides that Upon motion, the
accused may be allowed to defend himself in person when it Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful conduct
sufficiently appears to the court that he can properly protect
A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
the rights without the assistance of counsel.
o Implies that the accused may waive his right to
counsel. But if he cannot sufficiently protect his rights - A lawyer shall make himself an exemplar for others to emulate
without the assistance of such, the court should advise with respect to the duty to uphold the Constitution.
him to secure a counsel de parte or, if he cannot or - Unlawful conduct act or omission which is against the law
refuses to do so, the court should appoint a counsel de - Dishonest act act of lying or cheating
oficio. - Immoral or deceitful conduct one that involves moral
- The denial of due process cannot be successfully invoked turpitude, anything done contrary to justice, modesty or good
where a valid of waiver of rights has been made. morals.
- However, the right to counsel during custodial investigation
may not be waived except in writing and in the present and Rule 1.02 A lawyer shall not counsel illegal activities
assistance of counsel, otherwise his confession during such A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law
investigation will not be admissible in evidence.
or at lessening confidence in the legal system.

B. UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTION AND OBEYING - He shouldnt subvert the law by counseling or assisting in
THE LAW activities which are in defiance of the law.
- He should not promote an organization known to be violating
the law nor assist in a scheme which he knows is dishonest.
CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE - He should not allow his services to be engaged by an
LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL organization whose members are violating the law, to defend
PROCESSES. them when they get caught.
- An example would be the anomalous election of IBP Officers in
1989 where the SC nullified its results after finding that the
Society has entrusted to the legal profession the administration of law
election was characterized by electioneering activities and
and the dispensing of justice. This requires lawyers to be in the
extravagance on the part of the candidates.
forefront in the observance and maintenance of the rule of law and the
preservation of its democratic institutions and liberties.
Rule 1.03 A lawyer shall not encourage lawsuits
For a lawyer is the servant of the law and belongs to a profession to A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any
which society has entrusted the administration of law and the suit or proceeding or delay any mans cause.
dispensing of justice.

Rule 1.04 A lawyer shall not encourage amicable settlement
- A lawyer owes to society and to the court the duty not to stir A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy
up litigation. if it will admit of a fair settlement.
- Unprofessional acts which come within the prohibition:
a. Volunteering advice to bring lawsuit, except in rare
- Useful function of a lawyer not only to conduct litigation but
cases where ties of blood, relationship or trust
to avoid it where possible, by advising settlement, or
make it his duty to do so
withholding suit.
b. Hunting up defects in titles or other causes of action
- He should be a mediator for concord and a conciliator for
and informing thereof in order to be employed to
compromise rather than an instigator of controversy and a
bing suit or collect judgment
predator of conflict.
c. Employing agents or runners for like purposes
d. Paying reward to those who bring or influence the
bringing of such cases to his office
e. Remunerating policemen, court or prison officials, C. MAKING LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE
physicians, hospital attaches or others who may
succeed under the guise of giving disinterested CANON 2 - A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN
f. Searching for unknown heirs and soliciting their INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVE-NESS OF THE PROFESSION.
employment of him
g. Initiating a meeting of the members of club and
inducing them to organize and contest legislation Necessity of representation by counsel AND right to council in
under his guidance all judicial proceedings and, at times, administrative
h. Purchasing notes to collect them by litigation at a proceedings gives rise to CORRELATIVE DUTY on the part of
profit the legal profession TO MAKE LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE in a
i. Furnishing credit reports in expectation of possible EFFICIENT and CONVENIENT MANNER to those who NEED such
employment services CANON 2 and its implementing rules makes such
j. Agreeing with a purchaser of future interests to duty CLEAR and SPECIFIC
invest therein in consideration of his services. IBP Committee that DRAFTED the code explained: person
- Purpose of the prohibition prevent ambulance chasing who needs legal services should be able to find a qualified
solicitation of almost any kind of legal business by laymen lawyer
employed by an attorney for the purpose or by the attorney o responsibility of the bar to make such services available
himself. o wide gap between NEED and SATISFACTION because
1) poverty inability to pay ;)

2) ignorance NEED of legal services and o Show practice of law is a PROFESSION
WHERE to find competent and dependable o Demonstrate efficient discharge of duties not depend
lawyer upon payment or amount of fees
**FEAR of delays, legal technicalities, and IBP in performance of its PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY to render
overreaching and overcharging lawyers FREE LEGAL SERVICES to the POOR and OPPRESSED IBP
THUS, profession should use METHODS, compatible with Committee on LEGAL AID has ESTABLISHED LEGAL AID OFFICES
ethics and dignity TO BRING THE SERVICES of its members to throughout the country
ADVICE to AVOID litigation NATIONWIDE BASIS legal services in favor of POOR
Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject the cause of the defenseless o OPERATION of these legal aid offices basic policy:
legal aid is not a matter of charity means for
A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the
correction of a social imbalance that may often lead to
defenseless or the oppressed.
injustice public responsibility of the bar spirit of
public service should underlie in all legal aid offices
stems from one of OBLIGATIONS INCIDENT to STATUS and
PRIVILEGES of being a lawyer REPRESENT the POOR and Rule 2.02 - A lawyer shall not refuse to render legal services
OPPRESSED (prosecution of claims/defense of rights) In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not
o even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not
refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the
refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned if
only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latters extent necessary to safeguard the latters rights.
DUTY of a lawyer to ACCEPT cause of defenseless and Lawyer MAY REFUSE to ACCEPT cause of defenseless or the
oppressed EMPOWERS COURTS to REQUIRE HIM to RENDER oppressed for VALID REASONS when he is NOT in a POSITION
professional services to any party in any case (if the party is w/o to CARRY OUT the WORK EFFECTIVELY or COMPETENTLY
means to employ a lawyer, services of lawyer are necessary to NONETHELESS, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he
protect rights and secure ends of justice) or TO DESIGNATE him shall not refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned
as COUNSEL DE OFICIO for an accused if the latter is UNABLE to if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latters rights
EMPLOY a COUNSEL DE PARTE such as advising him preliminary steps to take until he secures
o Counsel de officio and counsel de parte lawyer own counsel HOWEVER, he should REFRAIN from giving such
assigned to render effective legal services; if he fails or legal advice if reason if conflict of interests (bet him and
neglects to do so, subjected to disciplinary sanction prospective client or prospective and present clients) because
Each lawyer should welcome assignment OPPORTUNITY to EXTENDING SUCH LEGAL ADVICE will CREATE AND ESTABLISH an
o Render public service attorney-client relationship between them may INVOLVE

VIOLATION of rule prohibiting a lawyer from representing Rule 2.04 A lawyer shall not charge lower rates to attract business
conflicting interests (unless circumstances so warrant)
A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily prescribed
Rule 2.03 - A lawyer shall not solicit legal business
unless the circumstances so warrant.
A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to
solicit legal business.
Unethical practice of INDIRECT SOLICITATION of legal business
OFFERING LOWER RATES that that prescribed by others for
Law PROHIBITS lawyers from soliciting cases for PURPOSE of SIMILAR WORKS of SERVICE
o Personally Rule PROHIBITS COMPETITION (in matter of charging
o Through paid agents or brokers professional fees for the purpose of attracting clients IN FAVOR
Makes the act malpractice of the lawyer who offers lower rates)
The rule PROHIBITS LEGAL TOUTING Rule does NOT PROHIBIT a lawyer from charging a REDUCED FEE
Among those that FALL under the prohibition would be or NONE AT ALL to an indigent or to a person who would have
o Lawyer who recommends employment of self, partner, difficulty paying the fee usually charged for such services
associate, or member of legal staff to a NON-LAWYER
who has NOT SOUGHT his advice RE EMPLOYMENT of a
o Compensate and gives ANYTHING OF VALUE to a person KNOWN LEGAL SERVICES
or organization to RECOMMEND or SECURE his
Lawyer who agrees with non-lawyer to divide attorneys fees
paid by clients supplied or solicited by the nonlawyer guilty
of MALPRACTICE (form of solicitation of cases)
General rule: a lawyer can not advertise his talent as a
shopkeeper advertises his wares (inflexible rule)
o Reasons:
Lawyer member of honorable profession

Primary purpose is to render public service and o Corruption of public officials
help secure justice o Attacks on marital stability
Renumeration is a mere incident o Encourage lawyers to engage in overreaching,
o Make lawyer radically DIFFERENT from a shopkeeper, overcharging, underrepresentation, and
trader, manufacturer, money lender primordial aim = misrepresentation
private gain; principal tool ADVERTISINGto SELL o Doubtlessly increase lawsuit and result in needless
PRODUCT or SERVICE litigation and inciting to strife otherwise peaceful
To allow a lawyer to advertise his talent or skill citizens
LOWER the profession in PUBLIC
CONFIDENCE and LESSEN INABILITY to render Proper or permissible advertising or solicitation
efficiently that high character of service which
Origin: practices in the Inns of Court of England young men, IN SE
in the early days of the bar, came to Inns of Court in England to What makes advertising or solicitation improper?
STUDY in order to become barristers practically ALL SONS of EMPLOYMENT of METHODS incompatible with the
WELL-TO-DO parents who DID NOT have to WORRY about TRADITIONAL DIGNITY of a lawyer AND maintenance of correct
all forms of trade and competition regarded law as primarily augment the publicity that normally results from what a lawyer
a FORM OF PUBLIC SERVICE gaining livelihood was but a does CLEAR DELINEATION in that regard
SECONDARY CONSIDERATION attitude became a recognized Canons of profession tell the BEST ADVERTISING POSSIBLE for a
custom and tradition of legal profession brought to the US and lawyer isA WELL-MERITED REPUTATION for PROFESSIONAL
then to the Philippines CAPACITY and FIDELITY TO TRUST which must be EARNED as the
A FORM OF PUBLIC SERVICE legal profession acquired a o Good and efficient service to CLIENT as well as to the
Proscription against advertising and solicitation AIMS to CATCHING PUBLIC ATTENTION.
o Advertising INESCAPABLY INVOLVES self-praise or o A good and reputable lawyer NEEDS NO ARTIFICIAL
puffing if permitted, conscientious and ethical will STIMULUS to generate it and to magnify his success
unavoidably be a the mercy of the braggart easily sees the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN a
o Advertising may also lead to ASSERTION OF Normal by-product of able service aaaand
FRAUDULENT CLAIMS The unwholesome result of propaganda

(canons of profession enumerate) EXCEPTIONS to the RULE Fact of listings in other reputable law
EXTENT to which they are undertaken TWO BROAD Names and addresses of references
Examples (pp. 33 36) Law list must be REPUTABLE and published
consistent with standards of conduct imposed by the Cannot be a mere supplemental feature of a
canons, of BRIEF BIOLOGICAL AND INFORMATIVE DATA paper, magazine, trade journal or periodical
Such data must not be misleading which is PUBLISHED PRINCIPALLY for other
May include only purposes for that reason, a LAWYER may
Names of professional associates BIOGRAPHICAL and INFORMATIVE DATA in a
Addresses daily paper, magazine, or society program
Telephone numbers NOR permit his name to be published in a law
Cable addresses listthe conduct, management or contents of
Branches of law practiced which are calculated or likely to DECEIVE OR
Date and place of birth INJURY the public or the bar or to LOWER THE
Date of admission to the bar DIGNITY OR STANDING OF THE PROFESSION
Schools attended with dates of o 2) USE of an ORDINARY SIMPLE PROFESSIONAL CARD
graduation Statement of name
Degrees and other educational Name of law firm connected with
distinction Address
Telephone number
Public or quasi-public offices
Special branch of law practiced
Posts of honor
Legal authorships
Legal teaching positions
PARTNERSHIP, associates, firm name or office
Membership and offices in bar addressbeing for the convenience of the profession
associations and committees thereof o 4) LISTED IN TELEPHONE DIRECTORYNOT under a
Membership in legal and scientific designation of a special branch of law
societies and legal fraternities o 5) A lawyer engaged in a particular branch of law and
available to act as an associate of other lawyers in that

specific branch of legal service may SEND TO LOCAL o 6) SEEKING OF APPOINTMENT in a PUBLIC OFFICE
LAWYER ONLY and PUBLISH in a LOCAL LEGAL (which can be filled up ONLY BY A LAWYER) is NOT
JOURNALa brief and dignified announcement of his solicitation within the meaning of the proscription
AVAILABILITY to SERVE OTHER LAWYERS in connection o 7) ADVERTISEMENT, in a dignified manner, seeking full-
therewith time position as counsel for a CORPORATION
announcement or representation distinction betweenapplication for such
should be in A FORM WHICH DOES NOT position w/c would take lawyer out of general
constitute a statement or practice (permitted) VS application to handle a
representation of SPECIAL EXPERIENCE particular matter while continuing general
or EXPERTNESS and practice (proscribed)
NO REFERENCE to his supposed o **NOT IMPROPER for lawyer
QUALIFICATIONS 8) to permit his name to be published in a law
may NOT BE sent to persons who are journal in connection with an account of a legal
NOT LAWYERS matter of current interest, in which he is acting
cannot be published in any publication counsel
other than in a law list or local legal 9) in a foreclosure proceeding to advertise for
journal sale, over his name, the property involved
nor can it be carried on his letterhead incidental part of professional service
**When is a particular service specialized? o 10) ACTIVITY of an ASSOCIATION for the purpose of
e.g. a patent, trademark and copyright constitution
practice is specialized legal service but o 11 the PROFFER of FREE LEGAL SERVICES to the
NOT A SERVICE of preparing brief or INDIGENT, eve when broadcast over the radio or
rendering legal opinion (the other being tendered through circulation of printed matter to the
a normal service of a general general public defense of indigents citizens without
practitioner compensation carried throughout the country by
fact that lawyer is engaged in a lawyers representing legal aid societies not only with
specialized service DOES NOT EXEMPT approval but with commendation of those acquainted
HIM from complying with the rules and with the work
ethics of the profession NOR does it the rule of proscribing advertising or solicitation of business is
justify the solicitation of employment AIMED AT COMMERCIALIZATON OF THE PROFESSION (and has
from one lawyer to another on a to do with the effort to obtain remunerative business)
reciprocal basis

NEVER AIMED at a situation in which a group of lawyers will furnish free legal advice to its
announce that they are willing to devote some of their time and members
energy to the interests of indigent citizens. Giving of advice on legal matters through a newspaper column,
radio, television broadcast is IMPROPER
o Cannot be undertaken by a layman because the service
Writing legal articles constitutes a practice of law
o Cannot be undertaken by lawyer because work involves
publications in which he gives information upon the law; but HE RELATION of ATTORNEY AND CLIENT, and a breach of
SHOULD NOT ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT FROM SUCH traditional standards of the profession
PUBLICATIONS TO ADVISE INQUIRIES in respect to their o **writing a column in a newspaper sooner or late
individual rights WILL VIOLATE ETHICAL PRINCIPLES readers dont
WITHIN THE PRESCRIPTION OF THIS CANON want a general discussion but something practical they
o Lawyer may properly write and sell for publication can apply to their own experience which is what
ARTICLES OF A GENERAL NATURE ON LEGAL SUBJECTS publishers will make sure that they getand a lawyer
o Send upon request his picture for publication with the answering that is apt to follow what he thinks his
article in a law journal readers want to hear about and to answer the personal
o Or submit for publication to a bar association journal an problem he sees behind the questions
unsolicited article on a legal subject
What should be guarded against isthe violation of ethical
principles concerning: Engaging in business or other occupation
o A) improper advertising by a lawyer
o B) giving of legal advice to one with whom no attorney- NOT UNCOMMON to combine law practice with some other
client relationship exists lawful occupation
o C) aiding of a layman to engage in unauthorized practice Fact that one is a lawyer DOES NOT PRECLUDE HIM FROM
**e.g. lawyer may not IMPROPRIETY arises when BUSINESS is of such nature or in such
counsel for a bankers association manner as to be INCONSISTENT with lawyers duties as a
write a legal bulletin to be issued to the member of the bar
member Such INCONSISTENCY arises when business is one that will
allow his name to be carried in a READILY LEND ITSELF as a MEANS of procuring professional
magazine representing that he is an employment for him cloak for indirect solicitation
attorney for a named organization and To AVOID SUCH INCONSISTENCIES, always desirable and usually
necessary that lawyer KEEPS BUSINESS IN WHICH HE IS

ENGAGED INSEPARATE AND APART FROM HIS PRACTICE OF o or concerning the manner of their conduct, magnitude
THE LAWmust, in any event, conduct it with due observance of interest involved, importance of the lawyers position
of the standards of conduct required of him as a lawyer AND OTHERS LIKE SELF-LAUDATION
MUST MAKE IT CLEAR TO CLIENT IF HE IS ACTING AS A LAWYER (other examples of improper advertising or solicitation) <pp. 38-39>
Businesses so closely related to the practice of lawmay readily o use of card: as a notary, he can <do this and that for
become means of indirect solicitation: you>, as a lawyer <he can do this and that for you>.
o Adjustment of claims Come or write to himOffers free consultation and is
o Incorporating of companies willing to help the poor
o Handling of matters before governmental commissions o causing to be published in newspaper the ff ad:
and boards and in government offices marriage license.consultation on matter free to poor.
o Collection agency Everything confidential. Legal assistance service.
o Real estate brokerage o Distribution of a diary or appointment book which has
o Insurance agency an attorneys card printed on the cover
o Mortgage service o Or of a circular concerning specific fields of law in which
o Tax service a lawyer will engage in
o Consultancy o Or containing a digest of laws on a particular subject
**If any of these and similar business and the lawyers law with lawyers name and address
practice are CONDUCTED IN THE SAME OFFICE, the public could o Posing for photos of incidents connected with case
NOT be expected to distinguish his dual capacities and know lawyer is handling photos to be used as illustrations
when he is acting as a lawyer or a layman. in a newspaper article securing photos with name,
address and vocationto be published by paying cost
Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use false statements regarding his thereof;
o Or newspapers repeated publication of a laudatory
qualification or service
announcement regarding the attorney
A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, o Procuring a lawyers name to be written in an
misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or automobile insurance or other policy WITH DIRECTION
claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. to the insured to contact attorney incase of accident (or
other real probable liability under the policy)
o Using in his letterhead the phrase remedial law
he should not resort to indirect advertisements such as o Subscribing to a booklet as the condition for the
o furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments inclusion of his biography therein
o procuring his photograph to be published in connection o Furnishing credit reports to an agency in return for
with causes in which the lawyer has been or is engaged
promise of future employment and offering free legal

services to an association with expectation of ultimately in group of lawyers should hold themselves as lawyers if not
profiting thereby partnership actually exists
o Accompanying an announcement of the opening or DECEASED PARTNER, keep name as long as communication
transferring of a law office with statement that indicate partner is deceased reason of keeping name: all
members INTEND TO SPECIALIZE IN CERTAIN TYPES OF partners by their joint efforts over a period of years contributed
LEGAL WORK to the goodwill attached to the firm name this GOODWILL is
o Announcing retirement of a lawyer from a govt office disturbed by a change in firm name every time a partner dies
with statement telling resumption of practice of law Name of law firm need not identify individual members of
describing his experience and EXTOLLING HIS ABILITY the firm
o Publishing a professional card in a newspaper Continued use of firm name after death of partner NOT A
o Requesting business from other lawyers seeking DECEPTION
employment Filipino lawyers cannot practice law under the name of a foreign
o a newspaper ad secret marriage. Php560 for valid law firm (dacanay vs baker and mckenzie: local firm associated
marriageinfo on guam divorcefree with bakerhighest quality to multinational businesses)
booksimmigrationvisacall marivic UNETHCIAL because foreign law firm can NOT practice here
above illustrations IMPROPER ADVERTISING OR use of their firm name in Phils ins unethcial
SOLICITIATION in unmistakeable terms
where to draw the line? There are always honest differences of Rule 3.03 - A partner who accepts public office should withdraw from
opinion as to WHAT IS IDEAL or IMPROPER in advertising or
the firm; exception
solicitation question of good faith and good taste
common sense and spirit of fairness, if no judicial guideline, Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from the firm
should be RELIED UPON in determining the question and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law
allows him to practice law concurrently.
Rule 3.02 - A lawyer shall not use false or misleading firm name
In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name Purpose of rule:
shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is o PREVENT LAW FIRM from using his name to attract legal
permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications business
that said partner is deceased. o To avoid suspicion of undue influence
General rule: appointment or election of attorney in govt
office DISQUALIFIES him from engaging in PRIVATE PRACTICE of
partnership among lawyers ins common law
in the formation of partnership non-lawyer should be o Reason: public office is a public trust
admitted or held out as a member

Perform duties with highest degree of APPEARANCE arguing case and filing a
responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency pleading on behalf of a client (filing a formal
and EXCLUSIVE FIDELITY motion, plea or answer
Preserve the public trust in a public office o Senator or congressman
Avoid conflict of interests or possibility thereof CAN NOT FILE PLEADINGS
Assure people of impartiality in the CAN NOT allow his name to appear in such
performance of public functions pleadings BY ITSELF or AS PART OF A FRIM
Promote public welfare NAME under the signature of another qualified
Public officials ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED from engaging in lawyer (bec signature of an agent amounts to a
PRIVATE PRACTICE OF LAW or GIVING PROFESSIONAL ADVICE signing by non-qualified senator or
TO CLIENTS as members of the bar congressman) by such act APPEARS before
o Judges and other officials or employees of the courts a court or quasi-judicial or administrative body
o Office of the solicitor general and of other government violation of constitutional prohibition
prosecution offices what is prohibited directly is prohibited
o President, vice-president, and members of the cabinet indirectly
and their deputies and assistants Name should accordingly be dropped from firm
o Members of constitutional commissions nameof whch he is name partner, whenever
o Civil service officers or employees WHOSE DUTIES AND firm files pleading on behalf of client.
RESPONSIBILITIES require that their entire time be at LOCAL CHIEF EXECUTIVES (governors, city and municipal
the disposal of the government mayors) CAN NOT ENGAGE in the PRACTICE LAW
o **when any one of these officials is appointed or o Under LGC, prohibited from practicing their profession
elected and has qualifiedhe CEASES, as a general rule, or engaging in any occupation OTHER than the exercise
to engage in the private practice of law and HIS RIGHT of their functions a LOCAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE
LAWYER MEMBER OF LEGISLATURE NOT ABSOLUTELY o Not appear as counsel before any court in any civil
PROHIBITED casewherein LGU or any office, agency, or
o Only prohibited from appearing as counsel before any instrumentality of the govt is the ADVERSE PARTY
court of justice or before the electoral tribunals, or o NOT appear as counsel in any CRIMINAL CASEwherein
quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies (1987 the officer or employee of the national or local govt is
more restrictive than 1973 constitution) accused of an offense committed in relation to his office
o What is prohibited? APPEARANCE in court and other o NOT COLLECT ANY FEE for their appearance in
which he is an official

o NOT use property or personnel of government EXCEPT corporate) lawyer who violates rule or makes possible illegal
when sanggu member concerned is defending the practice of law by layman is LIABLE FOR CONTEMPT and may be
interest of the govt DISCIPLINED, SUSPENDED or DISBARRED for misconduct as an
CIVIL SERVICE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE whose duty or officer of the court
responsibility does NOT REQUIRE his entire time to be at the LEGAL REMEDIES to suppress the unauthorized practice of law
disposal of the government may NOT ENGAGE in the o Petition for injunction
PRIVATE PRACTICE of LAW WITHOUT the written permit from o Petition for declaratory relief
the head of the department concerned with the permit, he o Petition for contempt of court
can engage in the practice of law o Petition for disqualification
GOVT OFFICIAL who, by express mandate of law, are o Complaints for disbarment
PROHIBITED from practicing law EVEN WITH THE CONSENT o Aaaand criminal complaints for estafa (as mentioned
practice of law **he may, in an isolate case, act as counsel o ****Any of these proceedings may be initiated by
LAWYER during his suspension PROHIBITED from engaging in o with reference to APPEARANCE of an ATTORNEY who,
the practice of law by virtue of his govt position, is DISQUALIFD from
o Any such person who practices law or assumes to be a engaging in the private practice of law, ADVERSE PARTY
lawyer contempt of court punishable by FINE, MAY ASK FOR DISQUALIFICATION
IMPRISONMENT, or BOTH (discretion of court)
Fact that a person SIGNS a COURT PLEADING as an agent of a Rule 3.04 - A lawyer shall not seek media publicity
litigant or HOLDS HIMSELF out as a lawyer in association with a A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of
duly licensed attorney will NOT EXEMPT HIM from liability for
the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract
unauthorized practice he cannot do INDIRECTLY what he
cannot do DIRECTLY. legal business.
Unauthorized practice of person assuming to be attorney causes
damage (even if successful in litigation) ESTAFA media publicity as a NORMAL BY-PRODUCT of EFFICIENT LEGAL
GOVT OFFICIAL forbidden to practice law may be held SERVICE NOT IMPROPER
CRIMINALLY LIABLE for doing so whats improper? Lawyer resorts to ADROIT PROPAGANDA to
Officer or employee of civil service, without written permit of secure media publicity for the purpose of attracting legal
dept. head concerned administratively liable business
ETHICS of legal profession FORBID ATTORNEY from permitting PURPOSE: prevent lawyers from GAINING UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
his professional services or his name to be used in over others through the use of GIMMICKRY, PRESS AGENTRY or

o Procuring his photo to be published in connections with EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE HIGH STANDARDS IN LAW SCHOOLS AS WELL AS
cases he is handling
o Making a courtroom scene to attract the attention of
Or arranging for the purpose of an interview with him by media people JURISPRUDENCE.

Rule 5.01 Continuing Legal Education

Lawyers in the active practice of law and JUDGESshould put
this to heart
JUSTICE. o Changes in the law
IMPERATIVE that JUDGES should be conversant with
Not a STRICT duty but a DUTY that flows from lawyers SENSE o basic legal principles
OF RESPONSIBILITY o Changes in the law
Improvement can not be done by dreaming in a vacuum o Latest decisions and precedents
lawyer must RECOGNIZE that LAW IS PART OF A VAST SOCIAL Active practice of law and service in judiciary REQUIRE
NETWORK whether he likes it or not, he has to interact with continuous study and research on law form beginning to end
the rest of society thus NEED for lawyer to TRANSCEND THE If neglect/fail to do so can not competently and diligently
NARROW LIMITS OF TECHNICAL LAW discharge obligations as lawyer and judge; May be susceptible
Law and social fabric intricately wovenlegal profession to mistakes
cannot afford to CONFINE ITSELF TO NARROW LIMITS of Legal education should be a CONTINUING CONCERN
TECHNICAL LEGAL QUESTIONS After admission to practice, lawyer incurs a 3-FOLD OBLIGATION
Lawyer must BROADEN OUT and CONTINUE TO GROWin o 1st - owes it TO HIMSELF to continue improving his
KNOWLEDGE and COMPETENCEin order to be able to make knowledge of the law
law SOCIALLY RESPONSIVE o 2nd - owes it TO HIS PROFESSIONto take an active
interest in the maintenance of high standards of legal
o 3rd owes it TO THE LAY PUBLICto make the law a part
of its social consciousness

o ** in the discharge of such duties, he must see to it that A public prosecutor is quasi-judicial officer who represents the
his activities do not develop into solicitation of legal sovereignty whose obligation is to govern impartially
business or popularity-hunting As a public prosecutor, the primary goal is not to reach conviction of
CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION is REQUIRED of MEMBERS of the accused to but to ensure that justice prevail through any
the IBP to ENSURE that throughout their career, legitimate means
o they keep abreast with LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE, Prosecutor should maintain the impartiality of his office, and should
o maintain the ethics of the profession and strictly adhere to conduct that would protect the same from being a
o enhance the standards of the practice of law pawn of political wills
IBP to achieve such purpose
o Members of the IBP not exempt under Rule 7 ROLE OF PRIVATE PROSECUTOR
o Shall complete every 3 years
The role of the private prosecutor is to represent the offended party
o At least 36 hours of continuing legal education activities
in a civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from a crime,
o With appropriate penalties if they fail to do so
NOT to seek punishment for the crime
In accordance with Rules on MCLE
The offended party and the private prosecutor can intervene in the
criminal proceedings in order to demand civil liability except in the
following cases:
F. APPLICABILITY OF CODE TO GOVERNMENT 1. When the crime does not give rise to a civil liability
LAWYERS 2. When the offended party has waived his right to civil liability or to
institute a separate civil action
CANON 6 - THESE CANONS SHALL APPLY TO LAWYERS IN GOVERNMENT 3. When the offended party has instituted a separate civil action
Code applies to lawyers in government service because they do not
shed their obligations upon assuming public office in fact their For courts which have their own prosecutors (unlike municipal
moral transgressions are more severely magnified in the public eye courts), when the active conduct of the trial is turned over by the
because of their double obligation as public servants and lawyers prosecutor to a private prosecutor, any evidence presented during
at that time cannot be used as evidence for the criminal
Government lawyers may be held administratively liable for breach
proceedings IF the public prosecutor AND his assistant AND a
of Code
special authorized counsel are all absent
However, private prosecutors may be authorized in writing by the
Chief of the Prosecution Office to conduct legitimate criminal trials
when the public prosecutor is unavailable

Offended party cannot take a stand opposite to that of the public during his tenure as a public official, except on behalf of this same
prosecutor and neither can he revive a case dismissed upon motion public office he once held
of the latter


Public prosecutor should not allow criminal proceedings to be

hijacked by private prosecutors into becoming trials purely for the
satisfaction of private malice

Rule 6.02 - A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public
position to promote his private interest
A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position to
promote or advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to
interfere with his public duties.

If law allows a government lawyer to practice, he must not use

public position for gains in his private practice
If the law does not allow him to practice, he must not be a silent
partner in a firm, and must not receive attorneys fees for securing
businesses for an associate
He must not even give the image that his public and private
functions interfere or benefit each other

Rule 6.03 Former official may not accept certain employment

A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept
engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he
had intervened while in said service.

After leaving government service, a lawyer cannot accept ANY

employment connected with any matter he may have intervened in

CHAPTER II. THE LAWYER AND THE LEGAL 8. In fulfilment of other requirements which the SC may deem fit to
CITIZENSHIP AND RESIDENCE (because aliens cant maintain allegiance
A. UPHOLDING INTEGRITY OF PROFESSION to Philippines and to our administration of justice)


DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF Continued standard even after the bar because, is a ground not just
THE INTEGRATED BAR. for non-admission to the bar, but also for cancellation of license
Requirement maintains high moral standard and dignity of the legal
Apart from doing the bar proud by dispensing of their duties with
Moral character refers to the objective reality of what a person
diligence and integrity, lawyers should also actively support
actually is, as opposed to what people perceive him to be
activities of the IBP and should not limit himself to the payment of
o Basic honesty
dues #pushthelimit #hardsell
o Deference to moral norms
The IBP seeks to foster justice, integrity, learning, competence,
o Loss of good moral character does not necessarily hinge upon
public service, cordiality etc.
committing a crime
Rule 7.01 A person shall make no false statement in his application for EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
admission to the bar
A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or Public policy requires education and degree of proficiency for
suppressing a material fact in connection with his application for proper practice of law and for proper protection of life, liberty, and
admission to the bar.
Applicant must have completed the following in an authorized
university or school:
Every student applying for admission into the practice of law must 1. 4-year high school course
be: 2. Bachelors degree for arts or science (focus on political science,
1. A citizen of the Philippines logic, English, Spanish, history, economics)
2. A resident of the Philippines 3. Bachelors degree in law (with civil, commercial, remedial, criminal,
3. At least 21 years of age public intl, private intl, political, labor, social legislation, medical,
4. A person of good moral character taxation law and legal ethics)
5. Free of charges involving moral turpitude
6. Possess the educational qualifications DISCLOSURE OF INVOLVEMENT IN ANY CRIMINAL CASE
7. Pass the bar examinations
Ensure that applicant is of good moral character

Whether or not a crime imputed upon the applicant involves moral But mere sex without any impediments to marriage, and having a
turpitude is up to the SC to decide child out of wedlock is not grossly immoral and does not warrant
Concealment of a crime, even if it is not one involving moral discipline UNLESS lawyer disowns child or refuses to support him or
turpitude, makes the applicant morally unfit to become a lawyer her
Rule 7.02 - A lawyer shall not support unqualified applicant to the bar Essentially any crime with fraud or deceit inherently contrary to
A lawyer shall not support the application for admission to the bar of conduct, honesty, or morality involve moral turpitude
any person known by him to be unqualified in respect to character, Results in suspension or disbarment
education, or other relevant attribute.
Administrative disciplines for frauds committed in private affairs
Must not execute a certificate of good moral character in favour of Shows lawyers unfitness to be trusted with the legal business
an applicant whom he knows has not lived up to such standard Includes false deeds of sale, simulated contracts, falsification of
Volunteer information and cooperate in investigations concerning power of attorney, etc.
anomalies among bar candidates
Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall always conduct himself ethically and morally
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.

Lawyer should be an exemplar for others to emulate

In general.
No acts or omissions against the law
No acts contrary to justice, modesty or good morals Membership in the bar imposes upon lawyers certain obligations to one
No acts of depravity in private or social duties another, which makes the practice of law a profession:
1) Observance of honorable, candid, and courteous dealings with
2) Fidelity to known and recognized customs and practices of the
Personal immorality in private relations with the opposite sex bar.
(#heteronormative) puts his moral character in doubt
For an act to justify suspension and disbarment, act must be
GROSSLY immoral
Seduction, concubinage, bigamy = ALL BAD

Candor, fairness and truthfulness.
A lawyer should not ignore recognized customs and practices of the Do as adversaries do in law: strive mightily but eat and drink as
bar. He has a duty to restrain clients from improprieties and to friends. Whatever may be the ill-feelings between the clients should
terminate his relation with client who persists in wrongdoing. not influence counsel in their conduct and demeanor toward each
A lawyer should not avoid performance of an agreement that was other, and that lawyers should scrupulously avoid all personalities and
made fairly. If status quo of a pending case was agreed upon to be personal history or personal peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of the
preserved, a lawyer should not disturb or change the status quo other.
without informing court and counsel. Excusable unpreparedness or
absence of counsel during trial of a case should not be taken The fact that one lawyer conducts himself improperly does not relieve
advantage of by a lawyer; nor should a lawyer make use of secrets of another from professional obligation in relation with him, which should
the opposing party acquired through inadvertence for his or clients enable the erring lawyer to realize the impropriety of his actions.
benefit. If a lawyer has a family relationship with counsel for the Unjustified recriminations and offensive personalities between lawyers
opposing party, he should withdraw from case if he inadvertently detract from the dignity of the legal profession and constitute highly
gets information about the opposing party. unprofessional conduct subject to disciplinary action.
A lawyer who thinks a case is weak may not criticize the lawyer who
accepts it, much less attribute to him evil motive for taking up the The highest reward that can come to a lawyer is the esteem of his
clients cause. professional brethren.
A lawyer may accept employment to compel another lawyer to honor Rule 8.02 - A lawyer shall not encroach upon the business of another
the just claim of a layman. His action toward such end, as writing a A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional
letter of demand to the lawyer, is not unethical since it is mere honest employment of another lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer,
effort to serve the interest of the client. without fear or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those
seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel.
Rule 8.01 A lawyer shal use temperate language
A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is Efforts, direct or indirect, in any way to encroach upon the professional
abusive, offensive or otherwise improper. employment of another lawyer, are unworthy of a lawyer.
A lawyer should not steal another lawyers client nor induce the client
His arguments, written or oral, should be gracious to both the court and to retain him by promise of better service, good result or reduced fees
the opposing counsel, and be of such words used to properly address for his services. Neither should he disparage another, make
one gentleman to another.

comparisons or publicize his talent as a means to further his law Association as a colleague in a case.
practice. A clients proffer of assistance of additional counsel should not be
regarded as evidence of want of confidence but the matter should
It is, however, the right of a lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper be left to the determination of the client.
advice to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel. A A lawyer retained as additional counsel (second lawyer) should first
lawyer may accept employment to handle a matter previously handled communicate with the original counsel (first lawyer) before making
by another lawyer, provided that the other lawyer has been given notice an appearance in a case. Should the first lawyer object, the second
of termination of service. lawyer should decline association, but if the first lawyer is relieved,
second lawyer may come into the case.
The notice will enable the lawyer to be changed (first lawyer) to assert
and protect his rights to compensation that he can claim or possess. When there is conflict of opinions between two lawyers jointly
Without such notice, the replacing (second) lawyer shall only appear associated in a case, the client should decide. The clients decision
once he has obtained conformity or has, at the very least, given should be accepted unless the nature of the difference makes it
sufficient notice of contemplated substitution to the first lawyer. impracticable for the lawyer whose judgment has been overruled to
cooperate effectively. In this event, it is the lawyers duty to ask client to
A lawyers appearance in the case without notice to the first lawyer relieve him/her.
amounts to an improper encroachment upon the professional
employment of the original counsel.
Negotiation with opposing party.
A lawyer should not, in the absence of the adverse partys counsel, CANON 9 - A LAWYER SHALL NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ASSIST IN
interview the adverse party and question him as to the facts of the THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.
case even if the adverse party was willing to do so. Neither should a
lawyer sanction the attempt of his client to settle a litigated matter In general.
with the adverse party without the consent nor knowledge of the Canon 9 requires that a lawyer should know what practice of law is,
latters counsel. who are entitled to practice, and what constitutes unauthorized

Practice of law, generally. cannot be said to be engaged in the practice of profession as a
The term practice of law is incapable of exact definition, and lawyer.
whether a particular activity comes within the meaning of the term
depends upon the circumstances of the case. The court, however, Characteristics of term practice of law.
has laid down general principles and doctrines to explain the The term practice of law implies customarily or habitually holding
meaning and scope of the term. oneself out to the public as a lawyer, for compensation as a source of
livelihood or in consideration of his services. Appearance as counsel
Generally, to engage in the practice of law is to do any acts in one occasion is not conclusive as determinative of engagement in
characteristic of the legal profession. It includes any activity, in or the practice of law. An isolated appearance, however, may amount
out of court that requires the application of law, legal principle, to practice in relation to the rule that prohibits some persons from
practice or procedure, and calls for legal knowledge, training and engaging the exercise of the legal profession, such as that in the Art.
experience. It is not limited to the conduct of cases in court, but VI, Sec. 14 of the 1987 Constitution.
includes legal advising and counseling, and preparation of legal
instruments and contracts by which legal rights are secured. Representation before the court.
The practice of law as customarily understood is the rendering of
In the practice of the legal profession, a lawyer engages in three service to a person, natural or juridical, in a court of justice on any
principal types of professional work: matter pending therein through its various stages and in accordance
1) Providing legal advise and instruction to clients to inform with established rules of procedure. It includes:
them of their rights and obligations; 1) Appearance before the court
2) Preparing for clients documents requiring knowledge of legal 2) Preparation and filing of pleadings, motions, memoranda or
principles not possessed by laymen; briefs for an action or proceeding in court
3) Appearing for clients before public tribunals that posses 3) Conduct of litigation, such as:
power and authority to determine the rights of life, liberty a. Determination of procedural steps to be taken
and property according to law, in order to assist in the b. Examination of witness
proper interpretation and enforcement of law. c. Presentation of evidence or exhibits
4) General management and control of proceedings in court
Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the existence of an
attorney-client relationship; where a lawyer undertakes an activity Representation before other agencies.
requiring knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client The appearance before any quasi-judicial, administrative or
relationship, such as teaching law or writing books/legal articles, he legislative agency, which includes interpretation and application of

laws and presentation of evidence to establish certain facts, Persons entitled to practice law, generally.
constitutes practice of law. Only those who are competent, honorable and reliable may practice
law, and every lawyer must pursue only the highest standards in the
The service to prepare and prosecute a just claim before a quasi- practice of his calling.
judicial or administrative agency is as legitimate as the service
rendered in court in arguing a cause. The character of the service, Any person who has been duly licensed as a member of the bar in
and not the place where it is performed, is the decisive factor in the accordance with the statutory requirements, and who is in good and
question of whether the service constitutes a practice of law. regular standing is entitled to practice law.

Activity outside of court. Two basic requirements that must be complied with before a person
The practice of law also includes work performed outside of court, can engage in the practice of law:
such as giving of legal advice on a large variety of subjects, and 1) Must have been admitted to the bar, which involves various
preparation and execution of legal instruments covering an extensive phases consisting of:
field of business and trust relations and other affairs. No valid a. Furnishing satisfactory proof of educational, moral,
and other qualifications;
distinction can be drawn between that part of the work of a lawyer
b. Passing the bar examinations;
involving appearance in court, and that of a lawyer drafting legal c. Taking the lawyers oath before the Supreme Court;
instruments in his office. d. Signing the roll of attorneys and receiving from the
Supreme Court clerk of court a certificate of the
In Cayetano vs. Monsod, particularly J. Padillas dissent sums up the license to practice.
criteria determinative of engaging in the practice of law:
1) Habituality more than an isolated appearance 2) After admission to the bar, must remain in good and regular
2) Compensation for rendering of professional legal services standing a continuing requirement, which means that a
3) Application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure lawyer must:
calls for legal knowledge, training or experience a. Remain a member of the Integrated Bar of the
4) Attorney-client relationship existence of which is necessary Philippines (IBP);
to claim practice of law b. Regularly pay all IBP membership dues and other
lawful assessments, as well as the annual privilege tax;
c. Faithfully observe the rules and ethics of the legal
d. Be continually subject to judicial disciplinary control.

These rules were designed to admit only those who are adequately Constitution. No court or court-martial can deny a lawyer without
prepared mentally and morally to discharge the duties of an valid statutory limitation or grounds for disqualification, the right to
attorney, and to exclude to perform those who cannot live up to its appear before it in representation of a client. A quasi-judicial or
exacting standards. administrative agency cannot restrict privilege to practice law by
imposing discriminatory conditions, nor by requiring the passing of
Right and privilege to practice. an examination that is not sanctioned by law to be able to appear
The practice of law is not a natural, property or constitutional right, before such agency. In this sense, the practice of law is a right that
but a mere privilege. It is not a right granted to any one who cannot be lightly or capriciously restricted or taken away.
demands it, but a privilege to be extended or withheld in the
exercise of a sound judicial discretion. It is in a nature of a franchise Practice without admission.
conferred only for merit, and which must be earned by hard study, To a certain extent, some persons not duly licensed to practice are
learning, and good conduct. It is a privilege accorded only to those allowed limited representation on behalf of others. A layman of good
who measure up to certain rigid standards of mental and moral repute for probity and ability is permitted by the Supreme Court to
fitness, which are neither dispensed with nor lowered after appear for another, but only in the municipal or metropolitan trail
admission to the bar. court; and he cannot, even in a single occasion, represent another in
any other court, nor can he be appointed by any court other than a
As an officer of the court, he is continually accountable to the court municipal trial court, to aid a defendant in his defense, in the
for the manner in which he exercises the privilege of practicing law, absence of authority from the Supreme Court.
which should be suspended or terminated if he is no longer fit or
safe to be entrusted with the responsibilities and obligations of a These are the rules for a layman in representing another in court:
lawyer. 1) A layman should confine his work to non-adversary
contentions, and should not undertake purely legal work
Although the practice of law is a privilege, a lawyer cannot be (such as cross-examination of witnesses or presentation of
prevented from practicing law except for valid reasons. As long as a
2) A layman should not render representation habitually (see
lawyer is in good behavior, he cannot be deprived of the privilege; previous paragraph), as habitually is a condition of a valid
unless he commits misconduct ascertained and declared by court practice of law;
judgment after due process. 3) A layman should not charge or collect attorneys fees, as
there cannot exist an attorney-client relationship.
The state cannot exclude a lawyer from practicing law for reasons
that contravene the due process or equal protection clause of the

A layman who engages in practice of law may be held liable for A lawyers responsibilities and qualifications are individual, hence his
unauthorized practice. relation to a client is personal and his responsibility is direct.
Intervention by any lay agency, personnel or corporate, between
Right of party to represent himself. lawyer and the client is forbidden. He should avoid all relations
An individual may be permitted to manage, prosecute and defend his which direct the performance of his duties by or in the interest of
own actions, but his representation on behalf of himself is not such intermediary.
considered to be a practice of law. One does not practice law by
acting for himself any more than he practices medicine by rendering A lawyers employment should not include the rendering of legal
first aid to himself. services to members of an organization in respect to their individual
affairs; however, a charitable society rendering aid to the indigent is
In criminal cases involving grave and less grave offenses, a layman not an intermediary within the meaning of the rule.
must always appear with counsel; he cannot conduct his own
defense, as his right to counsel may not be waived without violating Preventing unauthorized practice of law.
his right to due process of law. Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited to those
individuals found duly qualified in education and character. The
A juridical person must always appear in court represented by a duly permissive right conferred on the lawyer is an individual and limited
licensed member of the bar, except in the municipal trial court privilege subject to withdrawal if he fails to maintain proper
where a layman may represent it. standards of moral and professional conduct. The purpose is to
protect the public, the court, the client, and the bar from
Practice by corporation. incompetence and dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice law
A corporation or juridical entity cannot engage in the practice of law and not subject to the disciplinary control of the court.
in representation of others, but may hire an attorney to attend to The law makes it a misbehavior on the part of a lawyer to aid a layman
and conduct its own legal business or affairs. in the unauthorized practice of law. A person not admitted to the bar
may not hold himself out to the public as engaged in the practice of law,
Intervention of intermediary. either alone or as associated with a practicing attorney under a firm
A lawyers duty not to assist, directly or indirectly in the name. (US v. Ney (1907)
unauthorized practice of law prohibits him from allowing an
intermediary to intervene in the performance of his professional

Rule 9.01 - A lawyer shall not delegate legal work to non-lawyers Generally, a lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for
A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the performance legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, which is a
of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the necessary consequence of the rule against layman from practicing
Bar in good standing. law; however, there are three exceptions:
1) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or
A lawyer should not delegate to a layman any work that involves the associate that, upon the latters death, money shall be paid over
application of law, such as: a reasonable period of time to his estate or to persons specified
1) The computation and determination of the period within in the agreement.
which to appeal and adverse judgment; 2) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished or legal
2) Examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence. business of a deceased lawyer.
3) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in
A lawyer may employ secretaries, investigators, detectives, and a retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part,
researchers, as long as they are not involved in the practice of law, on profit-sharing arrangement.
such as not writing of pleadings, appearing in court, etc. He may also
employ law students to do lawyers work, such as examination of The first two exceptions to the rule represent compensation for legal
case laws, finding and interviewing witnesses, examining court service rendered by the deceased lawyer during his lifetime, which is
records, delivering papers, and other similar matters. paid to his estate or heirs. Impropriety arises where the effect of the
arrangement is to make the estate or heir a member of the
Rule 9.02 - A lawyer shall not divide fees with non-lawyers partnership along with the surviving partners, or where the estate or
A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services heir is to receive a percentage of fees that may be paid from future
with persons not licensed to practice law, except: business of the deceased lawyers clients. Such fees no longer
a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate represent compensation for past services of the deceased lawyer.
that, upon the latters death, money shall be paid over a reasonable
period of time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement; or The third exception to the rule does not involve, strictly speaking, a
b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of division of legal fees with non-lawyer employees. The retirement
a deceased lawyer; or benefits in the form of pension represent additional deferred wages or
c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a compensation for past services of the employees.
retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a
profitable sharing arrangement.

CHAPTER III. THE LAWYER AND THE COURTS A lawyer is obliged to observed the rules of
procedure and not to misuse them to defeat the
COURT Lawyers conduct: Truthfulness, Frankness, Candor and
CANON 10 - A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO Should not suppress material and vital facts
THE COURT. Volunteer development which renders issue raised
moot and academic
Lawyers duties to court, generally Disclose to the court any decision (though it be
As an officer of the court, a lawyers first duty is to the adverse to his position), which was not considered
administration of justice in deciding the case
His conduct ought to and must always be scrupulously HOWEVER, he can make proper arguments in support of
observant of the law and ethics of the profession any legal point even if he is not convinced of its inherent
He is an instrument to advance the ends of justice; His soundness; he is under no duty to obligation to suggest
primary responsibility is to uphold the cause of justice arguments against his position
Should there be conflict, he should resolve it against his His personal belief in the soundness of his cause is
client and in favor of the court irrelevant!
He must not render service that will disrespect the judicial
office Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood
Utmost good faith and punctilio de honor must be observed A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in
Court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any
A lawyer should be candid and truthful artifice.
If not, administration of justice will suffer as a result
SC says: The oath he swore embodies the fundamental duties of a
Courts are entitled to expect only complete honesty lawyer, which he must honor
from lawyers Conduct himself to the best of his knowledge and
Candor is the very essence of honorable discretion with all good fidelity to the court and his
membership in the legal profession client

Use honorable and truthful means in conducting a They should not be used as such, for they are instruments in
case the speedy and efficient administration of justice
Never seek to mislead the court by an artifice or A lawyer should not use his knowledge of law to harass a
false statement of fact or law, or by concealing the party or misuse judicial processes
truth Ex: Arguing a case that has been repeatedly
A lawyer must not make false allegations in a pleading rebuffed; Filing petitions to frustrate final and
executory judgment
Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent Courts must guard themselves against schemes that prolong
A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the contents of attempts to end controversies
paper, the language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the text of SC expresses disapproval of those who intentionally misread
a decision or authority, or knowingly cite as law a provision already laws to circumvent around or violate them, for it put
rendered inoperative by repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that lawyers in public distrust
which has not been proved.


SC says:
Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the
Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the
Duty of courts, judges and lawyers to reproduce such
decisions to the letter (or, verbatim)
This prevents the loss of proper and correct meaning, which
could be misleading Respect due to courts
A lawyer must observe and maintain the respect due to the
courts of justice and judicial officers
Rule 10.03 - A lawyer shall not misuse the rules of procedure He must conduct himself with courtesy toward judges and
with propriety toward the courts
A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them
The respectful attitude maintains the supreme importance
to defeat the ends of justice.
of the judicial office and guarantees the stability of their
Rules of procedure offer opportunities and means for delay

Duty to observe respect also applies to those who choose to Rule 11.01 - A lawyer shall appear in proper attire
enter the profession A lawyer shall appear in court properly attired.

Obeying court orders Barong Tagalog or coat and tie

Court orders must be respected especially by lawyers Respect begins with the lawyers outward physical
Respect and consideration should be extended to appearance in court
the judicial branch of government Sloppy or informal attire adversely reflects on the lawyer
Not because of the incumbents, but because of the and demeans the dignity and solemnity of court
authority that vests in them proceedings
It may happen that counsel possesses greater knowledge of
the law than the judge who presides the court Rule 11.02 - A lawyer shall be punctual
Still, discipline and self-restraint are necessary for
A lawyer shall punctually appear at court hearings.
the orderly administration of justice
The decisions of the judge must be obeyed because
He owes the court and his client the duty to punctually
he is the tribunal appointed to decide
appear at court proceedings
Willful disregard = flagrant misconduct; may subject to
Inexcusable absence from, or repeated tardiness in,
punishment for contempt as well as disciplinary sanction
attending a pre-trial or hearing may subject the lawyer to
disciplinary action and may prejudice his client
Defending judges from unjust criticism
It is the attorneys duty to defend a judge from unfounded
Rule 11.03 - A lawyer shall abstain from offensive language or behavior
criticism or groundless personal attack
Outside the court, a judge lacks power to defend himself A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language
against unfounded criticism and clamor or behavior before the Courts.
If a judges decision is challenged in a higher court, he is
barred from seeking a reversal of his action and the lawyer A lawyers language must be in keeping with the dignity of
is required to refrain from making the judge appear as a the legal profession: forceful but dignified, emphatic but
party suing against the adverse ruling respectful
His arguments should be that as addressed from
one gentleman to another

Use of abusive language constitutes disrespect to If judge starts the insult, the lawyer will retort to such
the dignity of the court of justice impudence as well
BUT he may use strong language to drive home a point
Fear of provoking displeasure must not deter him Upholding courts authority and dignity
from objecting to illegal or erroneous judicial A lawyer should seek to preserve faith in the courts and
decisions, rulings, acts or conduct help build and not destroy the high esteem and regard
He should be courageous, fair and circumspect; he pleads, toward them
not dictate In upholding the courts dignity and authority, he avoids
Should not assail without basis the personal mistrust in the administration of justice, strengthening the
integrity of a judge, or attribute motives not foundation of the judicial power
supported by the record or material to the case
The employment of disrespectful language and behavior Rule 11.04 - A lawyer shall not attribute to a judge improper motives
serves no useful purpose A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by the
Under no circumstance is the use of threatening words record or have no materiality to the case.
A lawyer may think highly of his intellectual A lawyer must not make hasty accusations against the judge
endowment. That is his privilege. And he may suffer without cogent and valid ground
frustration at what he feels is others lack of it. That The rule allows criticism as long as it is supported by the
is his misfortune... He should give allowance to the record or is material to the case
fact that judges are but men; and men are He may expose shortcomings and indiscretions of
encompassed by error, fettered by fallibility. courts and judges
He who uses such language betrays disrespect to the court, He should dissect with detachment flaws and
disgraces the bar and invites the exercise by the court of its inconsistencies of doctrinal pronouncements in law
disciplinary power journals

A judge should be courteous to lawyer to merit respect Rule 11.05 - A lawyer shall submit grievances to proper authorities
Duty to observe respect not one-way
A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to the proper
A judge should also be courteous to counsel, especially the
authorities only.
young and inexperienced

A lawyer may file against administrative complaints (only Rule 12.01 - A lawyer should come to court adequately prepared
after proper circumspection) against erring judges, but it A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless he has adequately prepared
must be filed with the Supreme Court himself on the law and the facts of his case, the evidence he will adduce
SC has administrative supervision over all courts and power and the order of its preferences. He should also be ready with the
to discipline judges of lower courts original documents for comparison with the copies.
Filing unfounded and frivolous charges + use of offensive
language = harassing the judge The rule must be read in relation to Rule 18.02 which
Lawyer must exhaust other judicial remedies first when a requires that: A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter
judge has gravely erred without adequate preparation.
This is important because: without adequate preparation,
the lawyer may not be able to effectively assist the court in
the speedy and efficient administration of justice, nor can
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE he serve his client with his competence and diligence.
Being prepared is an obligation which the lawyer owes to
OF JUSTICE. Rule 12.02 - A lawyer shall not file multiple actions
A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the same cause.
Duty to assist in the administration of justice
As an officer of the court, a lawyer is part of the machinery
A lawyer should not file pointless petitions that would only
in the administration of justice.
add to the workload of the courts. For while he owes entire
Thus, Canon 12 enjoins him to exert every effort and
devotion to the interest of is client, he should not forget
consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient
that he is an officer of the court, bound to assist in the
administration of justice.
speedy and efficient administration of justice.
How? Examples: inform the court, within 30 days, of the
A lawyer shall not resort to forum shopping
death of his client in a pending case, so that such person
Forum shopping- the improper practice of going
may be substituted by his heirs; inform the court of any
from one court to another in the hope of securing a
change of his address
favorable relief in one court to which another court
has denied or the filing of repetitious suits or

proceedings in different courts concerning forum shopping, then the case will be dismissed
substantially the same subject matter. It can also be with prejudice). The lawyer and the party may also
defined as the act of party against whom an adverse be punished with direct or indirect contempt of
judgment has been rendered in one forum, of court.
seeking another or instituting two or more actions It is also the duty of the lawyer to temper the
or proceedings grounded on the same cause on the clients propensity to litigate, i.e. to check whether
supposition that one or the other would make a the litigation is useless or not and to determine
favorable disposition. whether or not is intended merely to harass or to
Test to determine forum shopping: whether the injure the opposite party or to work oppression or
elements of litis pendentia are present or whether a wrong.
final judgment in one case will amount to res
judicata in the other. Simply put, determine Rule 12.03 - A lawyer shall file his pleadings within the period
whether there are identity of parties or interests A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings,
represented rights asserted and relief sought in memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the same
different tribunals. or offering an explanation for his failure to do so.
Certification against forum shopping- purpose: to
enable the the court to determine WON there is It is the lawyers duty to ensure that pleadings are filed
forum shopping. Said requirement is based on Sec. timely. It would constitute negligence if he fails to file the
5 of the Rule 7 of the ROC. same within the original or extended period of filing.
The rule applies to quasi-judicial bodies such as the Such negligence constitutes a breach of duty to both the
NLRC or the Labor Arbiter. court and the client.
The rule requires personal knowledge by the party The lawyer should also explain to the court why he failed to
executing the same and the lone signing plaintiff or file the said documents on the prescribed date. It is
petitioner cannot be presumed to have personal imperative that the lawyer initiate such explanation even
knowledge before an adverse decision is rendered or until he is
Sanctions for violation of the rule on forum required to show cause why no disciplinary action should be
shopping: failure to file the certificate results in the taken against him for such negligence.
dismissal of the complaint or petition without
prejudice. (If the petitioner actually employed

Rule 12.04 - A lawyer shall not delay nor impede execution of judgment Rule 12.06 - A lawyer shall not assist a witness during recess
A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a witness to misrepresent himself or
judgement or misuse Court processes. to impersonate another.

Basis: lawyers oath, it is the lawyers duty to delay no man The lawyer should avoid any action as may be
for money or malice. misinterpreted as an attempt to influence the witness what
The lawyer shall not se procedural rules to delay the to say in court.
execution of judgment. Procedural rules are precisely
designed to accomplice the speedy and efficient Rule 12.07 - A lawyer shall not harass a witness
administration of justice. A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or harass a witness nor needlessly
Litigation is not a game of technicalities. inconvenience him.
It is also the responsibility of the lawyer to discourage
appellate review if he is honestly convince of the futility of It is the duty of the lawyer to always treat adverse
an appeal in a civil suit, he should not hesitate to inform his witnesses and suitors with fairness and due consideration.
disappointed client that most likely the verdict would not be
altered. Rule 12.08 - A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf for a client
Why is it wrong to do so? Because he would only
A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client, except:
plant false hopes in the clients mind, increase the
a) on formal matters, such as the mailing, authentication or custody of
burden on appellate tribunals, prolong litigation
an instrument, and the like, or
unnecessarily and expose his client to useless
b) on substantial matters, in cases where his testimony is essential to
expenses of suit.
the ends of justice, in which event he must, during his testimony,
entrust the trial of the case to another counsel.
Rule 12.05 - A lawyer shall not talk to a witness during recess
A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his witness during a break or
Why is it prohibited? The question is one of propriety rather
recess in the trial, while the witness is still under examination.
than of competency. The underlying reason is that the
lawyer would perform the dual capacity of being a witness
Purpose: Avoid any suspicion that the lawyer is coaching the and at the same time an advocate.
witness what to say during the resumption of the The function of the witness is to tell facts, while the
examination. function of an advocate is that of a partisan.

It would be difficult for the lawyer to disassociate
his relation ot his client as an attorney and his Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not publicly discuss pending cases
relation to the party as a witness . A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a
pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.


The restriction does not prohibit issuance of statements by
INFLUENCE THE COURT public officials who are duty bound to do so
But statement of facts that are likely to create an adverse
CANON 13 - A LAWYER SHALL RELY UPON THE MERITS OF HIS CAUSE public reaction must be avoided
AND REFRAIN FROM ANY IMPROPRIETY WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE, Picketing (it being a form of public expression) must not be
OR GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCING THE COURT held to influence a court to decide a case in a particular way
It is the responsibility of the lawyers of the picketers to
Improper acts which give the appearance of influencing the advise them proper decorum in court
court to decide a case in a particular way lessen the
confidence of the public in the impartial administration of Criticism of pending and concluded litigation
justice and should be avoided. Pending:
Comments may impugn partiality of a judge
Rule 13.01 - A lawyer shall not extend hospitality to a judge Court must be shielded from embarrassment or
A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor influence
seek opportunity for cultivating familiarity with Judges. Concluded:
Ruling becomes public property; judge may be
Lawyers and judges alike should avoid the common practice subject to criticism as any other public official
of being godfather to each others children Lawyer enjoys wider latitude of comment on or
A lawyer must discharge his duty with a self-respecting criticism of judges decision or actuation
independence; he should avoid market attention uncalled
for by personal relations of the parties Limitations on right to criticize
The responsibility is not on the lawyer to refuse All such criticism shall be bona fide, not indecent or
employment, but on the judge not to sit in a case unless he improper
is both free from bias and from the appearance thereof

Wide chasm between fair criticism, and abuse and
Publication that seeks to embarrass the court
destroys public confidence; gross violation of duty
to respect courts
Where by law or SC resolution, disciplinary actions against
judges and lawyers must be confidential until final
adjudication, they should not be given publicity by the press
Respect for the judiciary cannot be had if persons are
permitted to scorn court resolutions adopted for good

Right and duty of lawyer to criticize courts

Rule not intended to prevent criticism of judicial acts of a
Whether the law is wisely or badly enforced is a subject fit
for proper comment
Courts and judges are not sacrosanct; they should expect
critical evaluation of their performance

Rule 13.03 - A lawyer shall not invite judicial interference

A lawyer shall not brook or invite interference by another branch or
agency of the government in the normal course of judicial proceedings.

To invite interference from another government branch or

agency would endanger the independence of the judiciary

CHAPTER IV. THE LAWYER AND THE CLIENT Mandato (contract of agency): a friend on whom reliance
could be placed makes a contract in his name but gives up
A. CREATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP all that he gained by the contract to the person who
requested him.
Modern day understanding:
Lawyer as an advocate, generally Lawyer is more than a mere agent/ servant because he
Primary task of a lawyer->be an advocate: possess special powers of trust and confidence reposed on
Def: represent a party litigant in court him by his client
How: as counsel, public prosecutor, defense counsel Lawyer: independent as a judge (powers are entirely
Gen Rule: Private practitioner is not obligated ti acr as different from and superior to those of an ordinary agent)
counsel for any person whu may wish to become his client Lawyer: officer of the court
Exception: Public prosecutor cannot choose. (This is the ACR:
essence of Canon 14.) strictly personal, highly confidential, fiduciary
Why is it this way? -> Only by characterizing it like this that
Emphasizes: lawyers public responsibility of
a person would be encouraged to repose his confidence in
rendering legal services to the needy.
an attorney
Thus the Gen Rule in this canon becomes: Accepting
Based on: hypothesis that abstinence from seeking legal
employment to the poor. Refusal is the exception.
advice in a good cause is an evil which is fatal to the
Rationale: The poor hesitate to obtain the services
administration of justice
of counsel because of lack of money. Helping the
Most of the rules in the legal profession originate from ACR
needy is also an objective of the IBP.
ACR demands from the lawyer: sense of commitment to the
ideals of the legal profession and a strength of character to
Nature of attorney-client relationship (ACR for brevity).
resist temptations that deviate from existing norms
History in Roman law concepts:
Location conduction operarum (contract of lease of
Pitfalls from both sides:
services): a person lets his services for compensation and
Engaging in the practice of law is to tread a narrow path
another hires them without reference to the object which
Lawyers only safe guide: high moral principle
the services are to be performed
His best shield; clear conscience and an unblemished
personal record

Reward: esteemed reputation varying degrees within limits.)-> deviation from such:
disciplinary measures by the court
Relation is strictly personal
Court or administrative tribunal cannot but recognize its Rules of protective relation
creation on the faith of the clients word Protection of personal, confidential and fiduciary relation in
It should not be established as the result of fear or ACR is for public interest.
deception How: client will trust atty more-> important in the
Underlies prohibition against: advertising or solicitation of administration of justice
employment Injunctive rules to be followed, the lawyer should:
Delegation in favour of another attorney without the 1. Exert his best effort and learning in the protection
clients consent is prohibited and interest of his client
Terminates upon: the death of lawyer or client, when client 2. Promptly account for any fund or property
wants to ( with or without cause) entrusted by or received for his client
Note: cannot terminate upon attorneys sole discretion 3. Not to purchase or acquire any property or interest
(client or the courts consent needed) of his client in litigation
Lawyer should not adopt the clients problems-> he must 4. Forever to keep inviolate his clients secrets or
have a sense of vicarious detachment-> better for lawyer confidence and not to abuse them
not to appear as counsel for relatives or people he is close 5. Not to represent a party whose interest is adverse
to-> else, he should look for another lawyer for them who to that of his client even after termination of the
can detach himself relation
Penalty for not adhering to the aforementioned: disciplinary
Relation is fiduciary and confidential and administrative liability
Demands from a atty.: undivided allegiance, conspicuous
and high degree of good faith, disinterestedness, candor, Concept of term retainer
fairness, loyalty, fidelity and absolute integrity in all his ACR begins from the times an attorney is retained.
dealings and transactions; and an utter renunciation of 2 Concepts which it may refer to:
every personal advantage in any way woth the interest of 1. Act of a client which he engages in the services of
his client an attorney to render legal advice
Responsibilities to client should be reconciled with his 2. Or to defend or prosecute his cause in court
duties to the court. (Each requires fidelity and loyalty in Either:

1. General retainer: purpose is to secure beforehand Ex of implied: atty. Appears on behalf of a party without the
the services of an attorney for any legal problem latter interposing any objection thereto
that may afterward arise
2. Special retainer: has reference to a particular case Employment of law firm
or service Equivalent to a retainer of the member thereof even if only
May also refer to a retaining fee one of them is consulted; employ one= employ the whole
preliminary fee paid to insure and secure his future firm. Why? Member acts in the interest of the firm, all info
services, to remunerate him from being deprived, obtained can be communicated to the other members of
by being retained by one party, is neither made nor the firm
received in consideration for the services One professional advice is sought, relation is established
contemplated Death of a partner handling the case= does not extinguish
Purpose: prevent undue hardship on the part of the the relationship with the firm
atty. Resulting from the rigid observance of the rule Firms negligence is binding on the client
forbidding him from acting as counsel for the other
party after he has been retained by or has given Who can employ attorney
professional advice to the opposite party Gen Rule: any person who has the legal capacity to contract
can employ an atty.
Necessity of retainer Minor can gain capacity through his guardian ad litem
Purpose: to have power to act as counsel An agent clothes by his principal with the power to deal
contract of employment that may be express or implied with the latters property has the authority to engage the
A form or ratification services of an attorney as counsel for the principal
Who else: executor or administrator or trustee, wife (except
Sufficiency of professional employment those involving conjugal property), board of directors of a
Employment: essential feature of ACR corp (but they can delegate to this power to their corporate
Written agreement: best proof to show relation but no real atty. Or a single stockholder)
form is necessary
Sufficient: establish the professional relation through
proving the advice and assistance of the atty was sought
and rendered-> may be express or implied

Rule 14.01 - A lawyer shall not decline to represent unpopular clients b) Attys duty to counsel or maintain such
A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely on account of the actions or proceedings only as to appear to
latters race, sex, creed or status of life, or because of his own opinion him to be just and such defences only as he
regarding the guilt of said person. believes to be honestly debatable under the
He should not decline. Just look at history, there were any c) Hes not to encourage either the
lawyers who were recognized for their distinguished and commencement or the continuance of an
sacrificial services. action of proceeding, or delay any mans
This rule makes it ethically easy for a lawyer to take the cause, for any corrupt motive or interest
defense of an accused whom he knows, or the public knows d) He must decline to conduct a civil cause or
is guilty of the crime. to make a defense when convinced that its
intended to merely harass or injure the
How can a lawyer take a case which he does not
believe in? A) Well, its not good or bad until the opposite party or to work oppression or
judge determines it to be so. B) Its the free choice
3. So if he were to take a bad civil suit, it will either be
of the lawyer.
to exert his best efforts toward a compromise or, if
Easier to apply this in criminal cases than in civil cases
unsuccessful, to advice his client to confess
1. Criminal cases: BRD requirement and its improper
for a lawyer ti assert in argument his personal judgment.
4. He will also invite disciplinary action by the court if
belied in his clients innocence or in the justice of
he will cause delay in the disposition of
his cause.
unmeritorious cases-> clog court dockets
2. Civil cases: (rules of legal ethics enjoin a lawyer
from taking a bad case.
Rule 14.02 - A lawyer shall not decline appointment by the court or by
a) Attys signature in every pleading
constitutes a certification that theres good
cause to support it and that its not A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and sufficient cause, an
interposed for delay and a willful violation appointment as counsel de oficio or as amicus curiae, or a request from
of such rule may subject him to disciplinary the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any of its chapters for rendition
action. of free legal aid.

ACR may also be created by being a counsel de oficio for a Accused in turn may suffer from ineffective assistance
poor or indigent litigant-> lawyer has the same duties to the
indigent client as to the paying client Rule 14.03 - A lawyer may refuse to represent indigent on valid grounds
Gen Rule: Court may assign a counsel de oficio for an A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an indigent client
indigent client. unless:
Exception: In criminal cases where having a counsel is not a a) he is in no position to carry out the work effectively or competently;
right of the accused b) he labors under a conflict of interest between him and the
In criminal cases: prospective client or between a present client and the prospective
The indigent defendant MUST ASK for counsel to be client;
assigned with a counsel de oficio.
Court may not assign a counsel de oficio to defend Gen Rule: A lawyer is not oblige to act as counsel for any person who
an accused and require such counsel to proceed may wish to become his client. He has the right to decline employment.
with trial when the accused has previously Exceptions:
manifested his desire to secure services of a counsel 1. A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.
de parte. 2. Cant refuse because of: race, sex, creed or status of life, or
Accuseds conviction cannot be set aside on the sole because of his opinion of guilty of the person
ground that said counsel was not of his own choice. 3. Cant (except for serious and sufficient cause), an
On appeal: same thing court must assign. If the guy/ appointment as counsel de o. ficio or as amicus curiae or a
girl isnt in prison: court doesnt have to assign request from the IBP or any of its chapters for rendition of
unless it was requested within 10 days from the free legal aid
receipt of the notice to file the appellants brief and 4. Gov. lawyers has to represent any branch of gov unless he is
the right thereto is established by affidavit of disqualified to act as counsel-> else, he will be held
poverty. administratively liable
5. Sol gen. must cannot just exercise his discretion in throwing
Frequent appointment of same counsel is discouraged out gov cases. He must present the court with what he
Burden of an attys regular practice considers could legally uphold the best interest of the gov.
Possibility of the compensation fir counsel de oficio being He should work in towards the best interest of justice in
considered as a source of income which is not envisioned by deciding cases where diff gov. agencies are on opposing
the rule sides.-> Gov. office adversely affected by the position of the
Counsel may be overburdened

Sol. Gen., if it still believes in the merit of its case, appear on It is the duty of the lawyer to disclose and explain to a
its own behalf through its legal officer or representative. prospective client all circumstance of his relations to the
parties and any interest in or connection with the
Rule 14.04 - A lawyer shall observe the same standard for all clients. controversy.
A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to pay his The disclosure if more for the protection of the lawyer than
professional fees shall observe the same standard of conduct governing that of the client. If for instance, a lawyer conceals the fact
his relations with paying clients. that the adverse party used to be his client, the new client
may have reason to suspect, n case of an unfacorable
Purpose of the legal profession: render public service and judgment, tha the circumstance prevented him from the full
secure justice for those who seek its aid. discharge of his duty.
Gaining of livelihood: only a secondary consideration It is the duty of the lawyer to decline professional
employment even though how attractive the fee offered
may be if he would violate any of the rules fo the legal
CLIENTS The lawyer is prohibited from accepting clients who may
adversely affect any interest of his former clients.
CANON 15 - A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND The same prohibition applies in cases where he intervened
Why? The lawyer would find it difficult to disassociate his
relation to his former client.
Canon flows from the nature of attorney-client relationship
which is strictly personal, highly confidential and fiduciary.
Rule 15.02 - A lawyer shall preserve the secrets of a prospective client
Rule 15.01 - A lawyer shall ascertain possible conflict of interest A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privilege communication in
A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, shall ascertain as soon respect of matters disclosed to him by a prospective client.
as practicable whether the matter would involve a conflict with another
client or his own interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the Note that the rule concerns communication of the lawyer
prospective client. and a prospective client.
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 Effects of termination of relation.
or the latter declines the employment.
Why? So that the prospective client would have the freedom to Termination of the relation provides no justification for a lawyer
to represent an interest in conflict with that of the former
discuss whatever he wishes with the lawyer without fear that
client. The clients confidence, once reposed, cannot be
what he tells the lawyer will not be divulged nor used against divested by the expiration of the professional employment. A
him. lawyer owes loyalty to his client even after the relation has
It is not good practice to permit him to defend in another case
C. PROHIBITION AGAINST REPRESENTING other persons against his former client.
Materiality of confidential information.
Rule 15.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests
The attorney-client relationship precludes a lawyer from
A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written accepting employment from the clients adversary either in the
consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. same case or in a different but relation action. The prohibition is
irrespective of whether or not the lawyer has acquired
A lawyer who represents a party and at the same time handles confidential information from his former client.
the legal problems of the opposing party, whether the cases are If the prohibition is made to depend upon whether or not the
related or not, violates the rule against representation of lawyer has acquired confidential information, it will call for an
conflicting interests. investigation of that question. A client may then be afraid to
The test to determine whether there is a conflict of interest is consult or make a full disclosure of facts to him.
probability, not certainty of conflict.
o e.g. conflict between interest of the estate and Foundation of, and reason for, the rule.
creditors of the estate The rule is founded on the principles of public policy and good
Prohibition applies even if the conflict pertains to the lawyers taste. The lawyer has a duty to represent his client with
private activity or in the performance in a non-professional undivided fidelity and to maintain inviolate the clients
capacity, and his presentation as a lawyer regarding the same confidence as well as from the injunction forbidding the
subject matter. examination of a lawyer as to any of the privileged
o e.g. representation as an accountant of a firm and as communications of his client.
the lawyer of another firm The attorney-client relationship is one of trust and confidence.
A lawyers knowledge of things connected to his clients case is
considered sacred and must be guarded with care.

The rule is designed to prevent the lawyer from fraud and being present controversy is related, directly or indirectly to the
put in a position where he may be required to choose between subject matter of the previous litigation in which he appeared
conflicting duties and to protect himself from unfounded for the former client. But he can properly act as counsel for a
suspicion of professional misconduct. new client, with full disclosure to the latter, against a former
client in a matter wholly unrelated to that of the previous
Opposing clients in same or related suits. employment, there being in that instance no conflict of
A lawyer who appears for opposing clients in the same/related interests.
actions puts himself in an awkward position where he will have What a lawyer owes his former client is to maintain inviolate
to contend on behalf of one client that which he will have to the clients confidence or to refrain from doing anything which
oppose on behalf of the other client. He cannot give will injuriously affect him in any matter in which he previously
disinterested advice to both clients. He will be called upon to represented him. Having appeared for a party opposed to the
use confidential information against one client in favor of the probate of a will, he may not go to the opposite side and
other. champion its cause against his former client.
o e.g. husband and wife in a matrimonial action, creditor
and debtor in a recovery suit Conflicting duties.
Even though the opposing clients consent to the lawyers dual A lawyer may not undertake to discharge conflicting duties as
representation, the lawyer should retire from the case when his he may represent antagonistic interests.
clients cannot settle the case amicably. He cannot discharge the o lawyer cannot accept employment as an advocate in
duty of undivided fidelity of his clients without undermining the any matter upon the merits of which he has previously
confidential relations of the attorney and client. intervened as a public official
o he should not, after resignation, accept professional
Opposing clients in unrelated actions. employment in connection with any matter he has
A lawyer should keep inviolate the clients confidence and investigated or passed upon before
should avoid the appearance of treachery and double dealing so
that the litigants can be encouraged to trust their secrets to Attorneys interest versus clients interest.
their lawyers. The nature or conditions of his respective An attorney should not put himself in a position where self-
retainers with his clients will affect the performance of his duty interest tempts him to do less than his best for his client. The
of undivided fidelity to both clients. His defeated client might possibility of conflict between self-interest and that of his client
accuse him of disloyalty or partiality in favor of the successful exists which may affect the performance of his duty of
client. undivided fidelity to his client

New client against former client. Rule applicable to law firm.

A lawyer is forbidden from representing a subsequent client If a lawyer is disqualified, his law firm is also disqualified from
against a former client only when the subject matter of the appearing as counsel in a case of conflict of interests, because

employment of the law firm is equivalent to a retainer of the 1. Did the lawyer change or have the opportunity to
members thereof. change his previous position as counsel for a party in
championing the cause of the new client?
Limitations on general rule. 2. Did the new client suffer prejudice?
Where no conflict of interest exists. Lawyers right to be paid for services rendered in favor of his former
o Once the conflict of interest ceases, the prohibition no client may be affected by the representation of conflicting interests only
longer applies (e.g. administrator in estate of deceased if the 2 matters are related and the former client objected to such
wife, subsequently administrator of deceased husband) representation.
Where clients knowingly consent.
o Disclosure should include a thorough explanation of the
nature and the extent of the conflict and the possible Rule 15.04 A lawyer may act as mediator
adverse effects of dual representation, such as the A lawyer may, with the written consent of all concerned, act as
possible revelation or use of confidential information. mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes.
o Common representation with their advice is sometimes
advisable because the lawyer is in a better position to
work out an acceptable settlement of their difference because of his knowledge of the law and his reputation for fidelity may
o A lawyer may not be allowed to represent conflicting make it easy for the disputants to settle their differences amicably. But
interests even if both parties agree, where there is a the lawyer shall not act as counsel for any of them.
conflict between the attorneys interest and that of a
client, or a private client against the government. D. CANDID ADVICE AND LAWFUL PERFORMANCE OF
Where no true attorney-client relationship exists. DUTIES
o Exception: lawyers secretary, stenographer or clerk;
they acquired confidential information because of the
Rule 15.05 - A lawyer shall give candid advice on merits of case
nature of their work (even if no attorney-client
relationship) A lawyer when advising his client, shall give a candid and honest opinion
on the merits and probable results of the clients case, neither
Effects of representation of conflicting interests. overstating nor understating the prospects of the case.
Professional misconduct which subjects the lawyer to
disciplinary action
When clients asks about the probable cause of his contemplated or
Lawyer may also be disqualified from representing the new
client upon petition of his former client pending litigation, the lawyer:
2 questions: (If yes to both, setting aside of adverse judgment Should study the cause, obtain full knowledge about it
against new client is justified) before giving an opinion

Client is usually a layman in law: so lawyer should explain What lawyers should do:
the in a candid and honest manner Maintain such actions or proceedings that appear to him as
Counsel should advice their clients against making just and raise defences which he believes to be honestly
untenable and inconsistent claims. Lawyers are not mere debatable in law
employees who must unquestionably do the bidding of the Represent his client within the bounds of law- A lawyer is
client, however unreasonable. Counsel must counsel. not a gun for hire.
If civil suit is devoid of merit: lawyer should inform and Dont prosecute patently frivolous and meritless appeals or
dissuade the client from filing the case in the first instance institute clearly groundless actions
or in the second instance, to compromise rather than Thou shall not use a false claim-> the worst thing ever->
traverse the incontrovertible. will foster popular prejudice against lawyers as a class,
If meritorious and ripe for adjudication: lawyer should deprive those who use it of public esteem (only
refrain from making bold and confident assurances of unscrupulous and desperate lawyers use this in order to
success. A lawyer who guarantees the successful outcome succeed in winning his clients cause.)
of a litigation is under a heavy pressure to employ any No client no matter how powerful is entitled to receive nor
means to win the case, a trying situation indeed. should any lawyer render a service or advice involving
He must not state or imply that hes able to influence any disloyalty to the law.->Else, the lawyer would invite and
judge or public official merit stern and just condemnation.
He must observe and advice his client to observe the
Rule 15.06 - A lawyer shall not undertake influence-peddling statute of the law, though until a statute shall have been
A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public construed and interpreted by competent jurisdiction, he is
official, tribunal or legislative body. free and entitled to advice as to its validity and as to what
he conscientiously believes to be its just meaning and
Agpalo basically says its unethical.
A lawyer would find his highest honor in a deserved reputation for
fidelity to public trust and to public duty, as an honest man and as a
Rule 15.07 - A lawyer shall not impress upon clients compliance with law
patriotic and loyal citizen.
A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and
principles of fairness.

Rule 15.08 - A lawyer shall make clear whether he is acting in another
A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or occupation
concurrently with the practice of law shall make clear to his client
whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.

A practicing lawyer may lawfully engage in any other lawful

occupation or business.
He is under no greater obligation to the party than a person
not an attorney would be.
He should make clear to his client whether he is acting as a
lawyer or in another capacity (esp. if the occupation is
related to the practice of law.)
Reason: Certain ethical considerations governing attorney-
client relationship may be operative in one and not in the

CHAPTER V. LAWYER AS TRUSTEE OF CLIENTS -The prohibition is entirely independent of any fraud that might have
intervened. No fraud need be shown and no excuse will be heard.
PROPERTY Prohibition is made absolute to avoid such inquiry.

PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION. -4 elements: a) there must be attorney-client relationship; b) the
property or interest of client must be in litigation; c) the atty. takes part
as counsel in the case; and d.) the atty. by himself or through another
Effects of fiduciary relations, generally purchases such property or interest during the pendency of the
-Position of attorney enables him to put client under his power, and litigation.
opens attorney to the temptation to avail himself undue advantages, -The presence of all 4 elements makes lawyers acquisition of clients
bargains and gratuities by taking advantage of client. property in litigation violative of the law.
-The highly fiduciary and strictly confidential relationship between -Any scheme which has the effect of circumventing the law comes
attorney and client is to remove all such temptation and to prevent within the prohibition. EX. Purchase by wife of atty. for the estate of a
everything of that kind from being done for the protection of the client. decedent.

Dealings with client closely scrutinized Where rule inapplicable

-The court will protect the client from any undue disadvantage resulting -When one of the elements is absent. EX. Where the sale took place
from any situation in which he and his attorney may stand unequal; before it became involved in the suit; where atty. at time of purchase
courts must be vigilant for clients protection. was not counsel in the case; where the property purchased was not
-Business transactions between attorney and client are disfavored and involved in litigation.
discouragedrule is founded on public policy because by virtue of his -Prohibition is not applicable to a contract for attorneys gees
office, attorney can easily take advantage of client. contingent upon outcome of litigation. Why? Because there is a
-However, lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the distinction between purchasing property in litigation as a way for lawyer
business transaction must be characterized with utmost honesty and to abuse clients confidence/litigate on his account, and agreeing in his
good faith. Measure of good faith is a higher standard than that professional capacity to accept compensation contingent on result of
required in business dealings. Burden of proof upon attorney to show litigation.
fairness of transaction.
Effect of prohibited purchase
Purchase of clients property in litigation -Atty. may be disciplined for such misconduct.
-Expressly prohibited by law. Rests on considerations of public policy -Transaction is void ab initio, public policy does not permit compromise
and interest, and is intended to curtail greed of lawyer or any undue or ratification of prohibited contract even after the atty.-client
influence over client. relationship has ceased.

Purchase of choses in action (meaning: A right to personal things of report promptly the money of his client that has come into his
which the owner has not the possession, but merely a right of action for possession.
their possession)
-Is it improper? Agpalo says apply the spirit of the rule. While there is Rule 16.03 - A lawyer shall deliver funds to client, subject to his lien
yet no litigation at the time the assignment took place, litigation is its
A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or
primary reason. Also, by resorting to such, atty. has placed himself in
upon demand. However, he shall have a lien over the funds and may
the category of voluntary litigant for a profit, which renders conduct
imp-roper. apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and
-However, atty. may properly acquire choses in action not in his disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall
professional capacity, but as a legitimate investment. also have a lien to the same extent on all judgements and executions he
has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.
Rule 16.01 - A lawyer shall account for clients funds
A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received -Generally, failure to return clients money upon demand gives
for or from the client. presumption that atty. has misappropriated it for his own use.
-This provision assumes that the client agrees with the lawyer as to the
-The lawyer hold such money or property of his client in trust, and is amount of atty.s fees and as to the application of the clients fund to
under obligation to make a prompt accounting thereof. His failure to pay his lawful fees and disbursement, in which case he may deduct
make an accounting or to return the money if the purpose for which the what is due him and remit the balance to his client, with full disclosure.
money is intended has failed, constitutes blatant disregard of Rule Need clients consent! Otherwise, lawyer has no authority, and should
16.01. return the money to his client, without prejudice to his filing a case to
-Money received from a person who is not his client is also held by atty. recover unsatisfied fees.
in trust, and he is under obligation to account for it.
-However, if duly authorized, an atty. may cash a money order Rule 16.04 - A lawyer shall not borrow from, nor lend money to, client
belonging to chis client and retain part of it in payment of his fees. A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the clients
interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent
Rule 16.02 - A lawyer shall not commingle clients funds advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in the
A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his interest of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal
own and those of others kept by him. matter he is handling for the client.

-Keep funds of each client separate and apart from his own. Should not -Prohibition from borrowing money from client is intended to prevent
use clients money for personal purposes without consent. Should lawyer from taking advantage of his influence over client.

-Prohibition from lending money to client EXCEPT when in interest of
justice, he has to advance necessary legal expense, is intended to assure
the lawyer's independent professional judgment, for if the lawyer
acquires financial interest in the outcome of the case, the free exercise
of his judgment may be adversely affected. Meaning, theres an
additional stake in outcome of the case for the lawyer, which may make
him consider his own recovery rather than that of his client. violation
of duty of undivided fidelity to clients cause.



IN HIM. >>>> To serve with competence and diligence
- A lawyer who accepts employment agrees to serve with
GENERAL RULE competence and diligence ; to be prompt and diligent in
- Lawyer must act either as adviser or advocate for the client the performance of his obligations
- The client is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy - Every case deserves his full attention, skill and
and defense that is authorized by law of the land and he may competence, regardless of its importance and w/n he
expect his lawyer to assert every remedy or defense accepts it for a fee
- The court as guardian of the legal profession also expects a - NOTE that the diligence required is ORDINARY
lawyer to employ all the energies at his command DILIGENCE, and a lawyer is not expected to exercise
EXCEPTION - Impliedly, he represents that:
When lawyer declines employment, SUBJECT 1. He possesses the requisite degree of learning,
TO THE PROVISIONS OF CANON 14 skill, and ability necessary to practice his
NOTE: Personal views, fear of judicial disfavour, profession (QUALIFICATIONS)
or public unpopularity ARE NOT GROUNDS FOR 2. He will exert his best JUDGMENT in the
EXCEPTION prosecution or defense of the litigation
3. He will exercise reasonable and ordinary care
PURPOSE and DILIGENCE in the use and application of his
- To protect public interest: to serve the ends of justice skill and knowledge
- To do honor to the bar 4. He will take such step as will adequately
- And help maintain the respect of the community to the legal SAFEGUARD his CLIENTS INTEREST
EFFECTS IF NEGLECTED - When does duty begin (reckoning pt.)? - From the
- Will cause delay in the administration of justice moment he is employed (i.e. retainer)
- Prejudice the rights of the litigant - When does duty end (reckoning pt.)? to the final
disposition of the whole subject matter of litigation

- FAILURE of client to pay atty fees DOES NOT warrant Rule 18.02 - A lawyer shall not handle a case without adequate
the lawyers abandoning the case preparation
A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate
Rule 18.01 - To render service only when qualified to do so
A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service which he knows or should
know that he is not qualified to render. However, he may render such - Lawyer has a duty to review the case and conduct thorough and
service if, with the consent of his client, he can obtain as collaborating intensive study and preparation
counsel a lawyer who is competent on the matter. - Effects if observed: Lawyer has a higher chance to win the case.
Even if he does not win, he would gain the respect of his
- Applicable in cases where the lawyers field of specialization is adversary and the courts. He will also accord fealty to one of the
not relevant to the clients needs ideas expressive of law as a profession learning.
EXCEPTION is when, with CLIENTS CONSENT, he obtains - Effects if NOT observed: distracts the administration of justice
as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on by skewing the merits heavily on the adverse party and mislead
the subject matter the court into rendering an unjust judgment; discredits the bar;
cast doubts on a lawyers intellectual honesty and capacity;
PRETZYS OBITER disciplinary action or contempt of court.
Canon 2 v Canon 18: Canon 2 GENERAL RULE is that the lawyer Preparation of Pleadings
should not decline from rendering legal services for the defenseless - Pleading: a document embodying the result of his work
/ indigents and furnishing the basis on which to judge his
EXCEPTION is CANON 18 when the lawyer is not competence.
qualified and other VALID reasons (e.g. conflicting - In this document, he must thoroughly discuss the issues
schedules, when date of trial is same as another case) raised
EXCEPTION to Exception is when, with CLIENTS - He should not suppress nor distort material and vital
CONSENT, he obtains as collaborating counsel a facts
lawyer who is competent on the subject matter, - He should not omit relevant and consequential
or Canon 2.02, when the lawyer is ordered to information
render service only to the extent of - He must specify the specific amounts claimed for the
safeguarding the latters interest (i.e. proper assessment of docket fees and also for the
Procedural steps to take) courts to obtain jurisdiction over said claims
Interviewing witnesses in favour of his client
- What is a witness? A witness is the human
instrumentality through which the law and its ministers,

the judges and the lawyers, endeavours to ascertain the - Ordinary diligence is required. NOT EXTRAORDINARY
truth and to dispense justice to the contending parties. DILIGENCE.
- It is his duty to interview them in advance to guide him - Effects if not observed: Client may be declared in default;
in the management of the litigation prescription ; lawyer may be subjected to disciplinary action.
- But he should warn the client to be truthful in admitting - Diligence required depends upon the circumstances.
his conference with the lawyer when asked during 1. Pre-Trial stage. The lawyer must ensure that the client
cross-examination. (I think this is in re. coaching attends pre-trial so that they may not be declared in
witnesses) default.
2. In cases where it is impracticable to continue representing
Interviewing witnesses against his client the client (e.g. conflicts with trial schedules of various
- A lawyer may interview prospective witnesses for the cases),
opposing side in any civil or criminal action without the o If conflict may be remedied, MOVE or ask the court
consent of the opposing counsel or party ; he may do so FOR POSTPONEMENT
even though they are under subpoena for the opposing o If conflict cannot be remedied, he should a) inform
side the client of his predicament and b) ask that he be
- BUT he should avoid any suggestion calculated to allowed to withdraw so that the client may hire
induce the witness to suppress or deviate from the another lawyer
truth or affect his free conduct when on the witness 3. In cases where the client refuses to cooperate, he should
stand ask the court to be discharged from his responsibility.
EXCEPTION: an adverse party who will attend the trial as a Without court approval, he is still considered as counsel.
witness IS NOT CONSIDERED A WITNESS under this canon. Non-performance or difficulty or impossibility in performing
Why? A lawyer is forbidden from communicating upon the DOES NOT release him from his obligation.
subject of controversy with the opposing party 4. Adoption of mail system for timely reception of judicial
EXCEPTION TO EXCEPTION: When the adverse party is notices. Service of notice by registered mail is complete
interviewed with his counsel upon actual receipt thereof by the addressee. If he fails to
claim mail within 5 days from date of first notice of the
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect the matter entrusted to him postmaster, service shall take effect at the expiration of
such time.
A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his
5. If lawyer changed his address, it is his duty to inform the
negligence in connection there with shall render him liable.
court, give notice, and ask that his new address be recorded
in the courts records. Otherwise, non-reception of judicial
- The lawyer must take the procedural steps which, in his notices because it was sent to his old address DOES NOT
judgment, will best serve or advance the interests of his client WARRANT a reopening of the litigation and he may be
declared in default.

6. If client dies, the lawyer should inform the court and his must present all fair and honourable means, including all
clients legal representatives so that they may substitute his the mitigating circumstances permitted by law to save his
client. Effect if not done: binds his client as well as the client from an unrighteous conviction.
latters heirs of adverse judgment rendered by the court 12. Standard of duty required of counsel de officio. He must
7. If clerk of court is negligent. The clerk of court calendars the exert best efforts for an indigent client. Must not just be a
cases for pre-trial and schedules appeals. In case of clerks perfunctory function. Lawyer must provide an efficient and
negligence, it is the lawyers duty to inform the court of the truly decisive legal assistance, no matter how guilty or evil
clerks negligence. He may procure court order or invoke he appears to be. He must not ask to be released from his
contempt power of the court to compel the clerk to act, so obligation for any TRIVIAL REASON (e.g. Ledesma v Climaco,
that the administration of justice will not suffer delay. where lawyer was not allowed to be excused due to his
8. Duty to keep client fully informed. The client is entitled to appointment as an election registrar)
full disclosure of the mode or manner by which his interest Standard of duty when counsel intends to plead guilty. Must be made
is defended or why certain steps are taken or omitted. The voluntarily by the accused, with full awareness of its consequences.
lawyer should inform his client regarding developments in Duty of defense counsel to: a) acquaint himself with the records of the
the case, such as adverse court decision so that the client
case, b) confer with the accused re. his account of the events, c) advise
may decide to appeal or not within the reglementary appeal
period. The lawyer should not provide erroneous him of his constitutional rights, d) thoroughly explain to him the
information regarding the status of the case. consequences of a plea of guilty, and e) see to it that the prescribed
9. Standard of duty required of defense counsel in GENERAL. procedure is strictly followed and disclosed in the court records.
He must not put a witness on the stand whom he knows will
give a false testimony and commit perjury. He should not Rule 18.04
distort facts. He should not cause the transfer of the case to
A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall
another court sala where he believes a more favourable
judgment may be rendered by the judge. He must ensure respond within a reasonable time to clients request for information.
that judgment should be rendered based on merits, and not
based on appeals to misery etc. (fallacies) CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL
10. Standard of duty required of defense counsel IN CIVIL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW.
SUITS. The lawyer may decline to handle civil suit if he is
convinced that the suit is intended only to injure the other
party. -While lawyers zeal in the task of advocacy is commendable and his
11. Standard of duty required of defense counsel IN CRIMINAL persistence in the discharge of his responsibility is understandable, it
SUITS. The lawyer, whether he is counsel de officio or ex should not amount to obstinacy nor should it be carried beyond the
parte, must render effective legal assistance REGARDLESS of limits of sobriety and decorum.
his personal opinion as to the guilt of his client. The lawyer

Prosecuting or defending matrimonial cases
Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means -What is unethical is the lawyers participation in any collusion between
the parties. He must also avoid any act which may invite suspicion of
A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful
objectives of his client and shall not present, participate in presenting or
-What if lawyer has confidential information from client not in collusion,
threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper
the disclosure of which may defeat the action for dissolution of
advantage in any case or proceeding.
marriage, which the client wants? State interest vs. clients interest.
Lawyer owes court honesty and candor; to client, the duty to lawfully
-Honorable means, those consistent with truth and honor. He should secure for him what he desires. Solution: lawyer should favor solution
abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to
which will best serve all his loyalties, by declining the professional
the honor/reputation of a party unless required by the justice of the
cause with which he is charged. employment or terminating the professional relationship.
-In espousing clients cause, a lawyer should not state his personal belief
to the soundness of his case. Why? Because his personal belief has no Rule 19.02 - A lawyer shall rectify a clients fraud
bearing on the case. Also, if expression of belief were allowed, it would A lawyer who has received information that his client has, in the course
give improper advantage to older/better-known lawyers whose opinion of the representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a person or tribunal,
carries more weight. shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the same, and failing which
he shall terminate the relationship with such client in accordance with
Duty to restrain client from impropriety the Rules of Court.
-A lawyer should restrain client from doing those things which himself
ought not to do, particularly with reference to conduct towards the -In the event the client fails or refuses to rectify the fraud, the lawyer is
court, judicial officer, witness, etc. If client persists, lawyer should required to terminate the relationship. He may not volunteer the
terminate their relation. information concerning the clients commission of fraud to anybody, as
it will violate his obligation to keep clients secrets.
Technical defense
-The negative defense of lack of knowledge or information as permitted
Rule 19.03 - A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate on the law
by the rules must be used with sincerity or good faith; it must neither be
used to confuse the adverse party as to what allegations are really put A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the procedure on handling
in issue, nor employed to delay the litigation. the case.

-A lawyer is not a gun for hire or an errand-boy at the beck and call of
his client.

-While it is the lawyers duty to comply with the clients lawful request,
he should resist and never follow any unlawful instruction of his client.
Client should yield to lawyer in matters of law, not the other way
-Lawyer cannot escape responsibility for urging questionable
defenses/suits or filing a pleading with contemptuous allegations, by
saying that he was only following his clients instructions.
-Lawyers duty to court is not secondary to that of his client. No client
has a right to demand counsel to be illiberal, or that he do anything
therein repugnant to his own sense of honor and propriety. Lawyer
must judge for himself!

CHAPTER VII. AUTHORITY OF THE LAWYER Extent of authority of a lawyer when acting on behalf of his
client outside of court: measured by the same test as that which
A.IN GENERAL is applied to an ordinary agent.
Lawyer representing a client in court: MORE than an agent and
Power to bind client, generally. has powers different from and superior to those of an ordinary
General authority if the lawyer: to do on behalf of his client such agent. WHY? Hes an officer of the court with right and
acts as are necessary or incidental to the prosecution or privileges and duties PECULIAR ONLY to a lawyer.
management of the suit entrusted to him or the
accomplishment of its purpose for which he was retained Collection of claims.
Scope of authority: matters of ordinary procedure only Atty. Retained by a creditor to enforce a claim: has the authority
Employment by itself: confers upon the attorney no implied or to take all necessary steps to collect it. (Ex. Sending a letter of
apparent authority to bind the client on SUBSTANTIAL MATTERS demand requiring payment of the obligation within a specified
(i.e. cause of action, claim or demand sued upon the subject period or filing the corresponding action in court in the event of
matter of litigation) the debtors refusal to pay.)
Substantial matters: cannot be novated, compromised, settled, Also authorized to: release debtor from his obligation upon full
surrendered or destroyed without the clients consent or payment thereof in cash and to issue a receipt therefor.
authority-> TEST on WON lawyer can deal with substantial Clients remedy when he has not received the amount due him:
matters rests on a WRITTEN AGREEMENT or a SPECIAL not against the obligor (already discharged from his obligation)
AUTHORITY but against the attorney who holds the money in TRUST for his
Attorney as agent of client. Lawyer has no authority to (unless given special authority):
Atty-client relationship: greatly similar to an agency thus, 1. Discharge his clients claim for less than the amount
general rules on ordinary agency apply to this relation thereof or for the full amount in kind
As an agency these hold true: 2. Encash or endorse a check or draft payable to his client
1. Client is bound by the act or omission of its attorney or deliver the proceeds of a claim to a person other
within the scope of his authority. than to his client.
2. A lawyer signing an appeal bond or a notice on behalf of
a client is acting as agent of client (and can lawfully act Acceptance of service of summons.
on his behalf in any matter in which the client has a Gen. Rule: An attorney has no power to receive or accept on
right or interest to be protected. behalf of his client the service of summons in his bare
professional capacity.-> He is not, in the absence of other

circumstances indicated the contrary, an AGENT within the - Here, it doesnt mean that the one who got
meaning of the rule authorizing service of summons upon an delegated now has an atty-client relation with the
agent of a corporation. client
Ex. A foreign corporation without any agent or officer in this - Neither of them owes the other any obligation
country other than its counsel who is also its sole - Thus, client is not liable for the fees of the associate
representative for setting claims sued for a sum of money and counsel hired by the lawyer in the absence of an
damages, the service of summons made upon its counsel binds agreement to that effect.
the corporation because. 2. Another lawyer can be made to appear on behalf of the
original lawyer in court (presumed to be empowered to
Delegation of authority. act in that capacity)
Since the atty-client relationship: one of utmost trust, lawyers Delegation is prohibited to a: layman-> any work which involves
CANT just: the study of law or its application, such as the computation and
1. Simply delegate the confidence and authority without determination of the period within which to appeal an adverse
the clients express or implied consent judgement.
2. Assign a contract of professional services still to be - WHY? These involve the practice of law which may
rendered in favour of another lawyer without the be undertaken ONLY BY A LAWYER.
clients conformity
But, client can always ratify an unauthorized delegation or the
circumstances of the professional employment may furnish
sufficient basis to assign the retainer, including the authority
A lawyer may not represent another in court unless retained or
implied therefrom.
authorized by the court
His authority to appear for a client commences only from the
Delegation of legal work. time he is retained by the client or his agent.
Its the CONFIDENCE reposed on the lawyer that cant be The authority continues until the termination of the litigation
delegated (without the clients consent) and NOT the WORK. unless revoked or withdrawn by the client.
Implied powers of delegation: No written authority from the client is necessary for a lawyer to
1. Delegation to associate or assistant attorney, under his represent him in court.
supervision and responsibility, part or the whole of the
legal work required to be performed in the prosecution Appearance
or defense of the clients cause Appearance coming into court as a party either as a plaintiff
or as a defendant and asking relief

Thereafter, a lawyer for either party may enter his appearance appearance is presumed to be with the previous knowledge and
in any form consent of the litigant whose representation he assumes until
o By filing a pleading/motion the contrary is shown.
o By attending a hearing in court o Mere denial that one didnt authorize an attorney to
Appearance as counsel is a voluntary submission to the courts appear for him, in the absence of a compelling reason,
jurisdiction by a lawyer to represent and plead the cause of is insufficient to overcome the presumption (esp. if the
another denial comes after an adverse judgment)
The formal method of entering an appearance in a case pending o The appearance of a second attorney does not
in court is to deliver to the clerk of court a written direction authorize the presumption that the first attorney has
asking him to enter his name as counsel for a party and been withdrawn (litigant just employed additional
requesting that copies of notices be sent to him at his address counsel)
with a copy of his appearance furnished the adverse party
o Without formal appearance, counsel is not generally Presumption disputable.
entitled to notice Presumption that an attorney is duly authorized to manage a
litigation is a disputable one and may be overcome by a clear
General and special appearance. evidence to the contrary.
General appearance any action on the part of defendant or his o e.g. litigant is incompetent, foreigner with no
counsel, except to object solely to the jurisdiction of the court knowledge that a lawyer is representing him
over the person of the defendant Authority of an attorney to appear in a case may be challenged
o special jurisdiction over the person in not expressly by the party adversely affected by the attorneys
impugned or if impugned other relief is sought (still representation. (could be the client himself)
o Voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court Disclosure of authority.
over the person of the defendant and takes place of or Presiding judge may require him who assumes the right to
cures any defect in the service of summons upon him appear in the case to produce or prove his authority and to
Special appearance seeks to contest solely the jurisdiction of disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue, the name of the
the court over the person of the defendant and which seeks no person who employed him, based on motion of either party and
relief other than the dismissal of the action exclusively on that on reasonable ground shown
ground Failure to present such authority from the client when his
authority to appear is challenged gives rise to the inference that
Presumption of authority. he has no such authority.
A lawyer is presumed to be properly authorized to represent
any cause in which he appears in all stages of the litigation and
no written authority is required to authorize him to appear. His

Effects of unauthorized appearance. c) He fails to promptly repudiate the assumed
A party who has not authorized an attorney to represent him is authority
not bound by the attorneys appearance in the case nor by the
judgment rendered therein. C. CONDUCT OF LITIGATION
If the unauthorized appearance is willful, the attorney may be Summary: The counsel has an implied authority only with regard to the
cited for contempt as an officer of the court who has direction and management of all the procedural matters of the suit.
misbehaved in his official transactions and can be discipline for Matters relating to the substantive portion of the litigation and the
professional misconduct.
rights of the client shall be left to his own discretion unless counsel is
For his professional protection, an attorney should enter into a
given authority of there is ratification.
written retainer or secure from his client a written authority to
represent him in court.
Ratification of unauthorized appearance. Cause of Action
Unauthorized appearance of an attorney in a case may be
Claim/Demand sued upon
ratified by the patty concerned either expressly or impliedly.
Ratification retroacts to the date of the attorneys first Subject Matter of the litigation
appearance and validates the action taken by him and removes Right to dismiss, settle, or waive his cause
the taint of impropriety in the attorneys conduct as an officer o Includes renunciation of part or all of the proceeds of a
of the court. favourable judgment
o Express ratification assertion by the client that he has - Even without notice to or even in disregard of
authorized the attorney or that he is confirming his
his counsel
authority to represent him in the case
o Implied ratification where a party, with knowledge of - Limitations:
the fact that an attorney has been representing him in a Bad faith/Fraud of client
case, accepts the benefit of the representation or fails Contrary to law, PP, PO, Morals, GC
to promptly repudiate the same. Absence of any Compromise of his rights
renders implied ratification inoperative: o Why? The essence of a compromise is that the client
a) The party represented by the attorney is of
must give up some of his rights in consideration of the
age/competent, or if suffers from disability, has
a duly appointed guardian or legal same act on the part of the other party.
representative o The authority to compromise cannot be lightly
b) The party/guardian is aware of the attorneys presumed

o A compromise executed by counsel without special are to be offered. The order of trial
authority or consent on the part of the client is depends on the courts, not a matter
unenforceable (may be ratified by client) between the parties
Confession of Judgment Prosecution and management of the suit
o Examples: deliberate refusal to make a defense; express Exclusive management of the procedural aspect of the
withdrawal of an opposition to a claim litigation, including the enforcement of the rights and remedies
Dismissal of action of his client
o Dismissal with prejudice lawyer has no authority Making admissions of facts
without clients consent o General Rule: Admissions made by counsel are imputed
A dismissal with prejudice adjudication of the to and are conclusive against the client
action upon its merits o Exceptions:
o Dismissal without prejudice attorney has implied - Where the lawyer oversteps his authority
power - Upon a showing of palpable mistake
Ex. Clients repeated failure to appear at the o Limitations:
hearing - limited to the action in which he is retained
- limited to matters of judicial procedure
ex. No admission re: clients cause, i.e.
All matters of ordinary judicial procedure/procedural questions damages, plea of guilty
o A lawyer who has been retained to prosecute or defend Entering into Stipulations
an action has the implied authority to determine what o General Rule: A stipulation is binding upon the client.
procedural steps to take which will serve the best The fact that the client never authorized his attorney to
interests of his client make a particular statement does not detract from its
Examples: binding effect.
- What action/pleading to file, where to file - Stipulations/admissions must be in writing and
- Theory of the case signed by the accused and his counsel
- Defenses to raise o Exceptions:
- Proof/witness - When the client is allowed to withdraw
But a lawyer may stipulate only as to therefrom with the consent of the other party
facts but not as to the manner the facts

- When the court, upon showing of palpable in both cases, the attorney-client relationship is
mistake, permits him to withdraw from the terminated by operation of law
stipulation - the right to be notified through a counsel may be waived either
- When what the lawyer agreed is that a witness, by the attorney or by the client.
if presented in court, would testify as stated by Notice to one as notice to other counsel; exceptions
the adverse attorney.
- Gen Rule: If a party appears by two or more attorneys of record,
D. MATTERS IMPUTED TO CLIENT notice to one attorney is notice to the others as well as to the
Knowledge acquired by attorney client.
o Regardless if they belong to the same firm or not
- Doctrine of imputed knowledge: assumption that an attorney, o If all lawyers were given notices the earliest date of
who has notice of matters affecting his client, has receipt thereof is the starting point from which the
communicated the same to his principal in the course of reglementary period to comply with what is required is
professional dealings to be counted.
o Applies regardless of whether or not the lawyer - EXCEPTIONS:
actually communicated to the client o 1. Where either by agreement or proper manifestation
o The attorney and his client being one juridical person of one of the attorneys is expressly designated as one to
Notice to counsel as notice to client whom service is to be made
o 2. Where it is admittedly clear that one is a leading
- the law requires that a service of any written notice shall be counsel
made upon his attorney, unless service upon the party himself is
Exceptions to the rule that notice to counsel is notice to client
required by the court
- purpose of the rule is maintain a uniform procedure calculated - Corollary principle: notice to the client is not a notice in law
to place in competent hands the orderly prosecution of the case - This rule may be relaxed if the strict application may foster
and the same has beneficial effect upon the prompt dangerous collusion to the detriment of justice
dispensation of justice. o Would be easy for the lawyer to sell his clients right
- Service of notice is to be made to the counsel of record down the river by alleging that he forgot every process
- Exceptions to notices binding to the client: of the court affecting his client because he was busy, a
o the lawyer is already dead notice to such irresponsible lawyer is not binding upon
o qualified for appointment as Asst. provincial fiscal his client..

o Notice may be served upon the party if there is - GEN RULE: Service of pleadings motions, notices, orders,
uncertainty as to who the counsel of the party is. judgments and other papers shall be made either personally or
by mail.
Mode of service of notice

delivering personally a
copy to the partys

asking its receipt be acknowledged (by his

leaving it in his office

office is not known

by leaving a copy in his
residence (form 8:00 am if no person is found in his
PERSONAL SERVICE 6:00 pm) with a person office
of sufficient age and
discretion residing
therein he has no office

ordered by the court

service to a party (not to
** service to the party his counsel) is not a valid
not represented by service

management of the litigation and in procedural technique, and
he cannot be heard to complain that the result might have been
Service of registered mail different had his lawyer proceeded differently. negligence of
o Deposit to post office counsel binds the client
o Sealed envelope o May result to an unfavourable judgment against the
o Plainly addressed to the party or his counsel at his office client
(if known), otherwise in his residence (if known) o Presupposes the existence of attorney-client
o With postage fully prepaid relationship
o With instructions to postmaster to return the mail to o (see page 271-273 for the list of mistakes and
the sender after 10 days if undelivered negligence binding upon the client)
o *if no registry service available in locality, service may - Relief from the effects of a judgment will not be granted to a
be done by ordinary mail. party who lost a remedy due to the fault of his counsel, unless
When is personal service complete? counsel can show excusable negligence or accident on his part
o Upon actual delivery as well as a good cause or defense on the clients part.
o Ordinary mail expiration of 10 days after maiing - The mistake of counsel in the conduct of the proceedings as a
o Registered mail actual receipt by the addressee, or result of his ignorance, inexperience or incompetence does not
after 5 days from date he received notice of the constitute a ground for new trial
postmaster (whichever is earlier) - A client who suffers prejudice by reason of his counsels
Evidence of notice certification of the postmaster inexcusable negligence
Personal service preferred; explanation required o May file an action for damages against him
o Disbarment proceeding
Sec. 11, Rule 13 of the ROC: Whenever practicable, the service and Both actions can proceed independently
filing of pleadings and other papers shall be done personally. Except
Exceptions to the rule
with respect to papers emanating from the court, a resort to other
modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why the service - error committed by the counsel is purely technical in nature which
or filing was not done personally. A violation of this Rule may be cause does not affect substantially the clients cause.
to consider the paper not filed.
- attorneys departure from procedure may be forgiven where it does
Mistake or negligence of counsel binding upon client not appear to have impaired substantial rights.

- GEN RULE: the client is bound by his counsels conduct,

negligence and mistake in handling the case, or in the
- it is not sufficient that a counsel has been grossly negligent to justify a
new trial; it must be shown that the client has good and meritorious
claim or defense and that the client is not himself guilty of the same


- cases where reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client

of due process of law

- when application of the rule results to the outright deprivation of

ones property through a technicality

- This is not necessary to establish clients obligation to pay attys
A. RIGHT TO ATTYS FEES fees. As long as he is honestly and in good faith trying to serve
and represent his clients interest, latter is bound to pay him
- Acts of acceptance is equivalent to a prior engagement
- Clients oibligation to pay attorneys fees arises from the
FEES. INANIMATE CONTRACT OF facis ut des (I do and you give) which
is based on the principle that no one shall unjustly enrish
Generally. himself at the expense of another
- Compensation of a lawyer should be mere incident of the
practice of law Quantum meruit
- The primary purpose is to RENDER PUBLIC SERVICE - If lawyer is employed without an agreed price for his service,
- Because he is an officer of the court charged with the duty of courts will fix amount based on quantum meruit (the amount
assisting the court render impartial justice, what he may collect which his services merit)
as his fees is ALWAYS subject to judicial control - There MUST be an acceptance of the benefits by one sought to
- He must remember that practice of law is a PROFESSION and be charged for the services rendered as reasonably to notify
not a business to take large profits him that the lawyer performing the task is expecting to be paid
- Must avoid controversies concerning compensation compensation
- They may file judicial actions for the recovery of their fees but it - This is a device to prevent undue enrichment based on the
must be righteous and well founded equitable postulate that it is unjust for a person to retain
benefit without paying for it
Right to protection for counsel fees - Attys fees are also fixed on the basis of quantum meruit basis
- A lawyer is entitled to judicial protection against injustice, when the amount stipulated in the written agreement is found
imposition or fraud on the part of his client to be unconscionable or where the client dismissed his counsel
- Courts duty is not alone to see that lawyer acts in a proper and before the termination of the case or the latter withdrew for
lawful manner byt also to see that a lawyer is paid his just fees valid reasons

Requisites for right to accrue Who is liable for attys fees

1. Existence of atty-client relationship - General Rule: Only the client who engaged the services of
- Theres professional contract, express or implied, between a counsel either personally or through an authorized agent is
liable for the attorneys fees
lawyer and his client
2. Rendition by the lawyer of services to the client

- Exceptions: A person who accepts the benefits of the legal
representation impliedly agrees to pay the lawyers service for Liability of assignee
he may not unjustly enrich himself at the expense of the lawyer - Since assignee usually steps into the shoes of the assignor and
- No obligation to compensate in the absence of an express or acquires all of the latters rights and obligations, he may be held
implied contract liable for counsel fees.
- Examples: - It also gives him the right to intervene in the matter of fixing the
o Party who was not privy to the employment contract or amount of fees which may be a proper charge against the
who did not authorize the lawyers retainer is not liable judgment rendered in the action
for counsel fees
o Party to an action who disauthorized the lawyer to
Liability in labor cases
appeal an adverse judgment may not be held liable for
attys fees for the successful prosecution of the appeal - Attys fees in labor cases may not be more than what the law
taken on behalf of other interested parties provides and they may not be checked off from any amount due
o Legatee named in a will who pleaded for its allowance the employees without their written consent
may not be required to contribut to the fees of the - Examples:
lawyer who succeeded in having the will disapproved o It is but just and fair that the lawyer who represented
o A client cant be held liable for the fees of a lawyer the struggling members of the union to benefits for all
whose services were engaged by another on his behalf employees be paid his just fees by all those who
without his authority, in the absence of ratification or received such benefit
estoppel o If company grants same labor benefits to supervising
employees as those awarded to non-supervisory
workers not because of the special efforts of the
Liability of persons benefited by counsels services
latters lawyer but because of the companys policy of
- General Rule: A person who had no knowledge of, or objected non-discrimination, the lawyer is not entitled to claim
to, the lawyers representation may not be held liable for attys attys fees from the supervisors for the benefits they
fees even if it redounded to his benefit received
- Objection must be raised before and not after beneficial
services by the lawyer
Liability in derivative suits
- The liability is based on equity
- Exception: Employment of a private lawyer to represent a - Where the professional services of counsel are beneficial to the
government entity by an official who has no authority in law to corporation, the counsel fees may be properly charged against
do so since the benefits secured by the legal representation corporation funds
cannot take the place of the law and will not create an - Any stockholder on behalf of the corporation may oppose the
obligation of the part of the govt entity to pay the private grant of the said fees
lawyer for his services

Liability in receivership proceedings - In upholding the will, atty is simply serving the departed owner
- The assets under receivership may be liable for the fees of a of the estate and in effect serving the estate
lawyer employed by a receiver to help him in the discharge of - But estate may not be liable for counsel fees for services
his duties rendered to annul a will at the request od the executor; only the
- But the attys fees in a receivership proceeding are personal executor may be liable personally
obligations of the defendant and may not be paid out of the - The benefit of the legal rep is the difference between what they
funds in the hands of the receiver unless services by the lawyer would receive without a will and what they would have received
have redounded to the benefit of the receivership or of the under the will
plaintiff who asked for the appointment of the receiver - Rejection is not a valid ground to deny compensation to the
lawyer as his services proved beneficial to the estate
Liability in trusteeship or guardianship proceedings
- General rule: trustee may be indemnified out of the trust estate Who are entitled to or to share in attys fees
for his expenses in rendering and proving his accounts and for - General Rule: lawyers who jointly represent a common client
the counsel fees in connection therewith for a given fee, without an agreement as to the division of fees,
- Court may determine WON a trustee may be allowed expenses share equally as they are special partners for a special purpose
for attys fees and permitted to charge the same against the - If several lawyers separately employed by a client dont have
trust estate express agreement as to amount of fees, each will be entitled to
- Same rule applies in a guardianship proceedings no more than what his services actually performed are
- Property of ward may be lawfully answer for counsel fees of the reasonably worthy
lawyer employed by the guardian - Court may award attys fee against the proceeds of a judgment
- No assets of the ward may be spent without the prior approval may apportion the amount among the collaborating lawyers
of the guardianship court based on a division of service
- Improper for atty to receive compensation for merely
Liability in estate proceedings recommending another lawyer to his client
- Atty may not hold the estate directly liable for his fees. The
liability for pay,net rests on the ecevutor or administrator who Non-lawyer not entitled to fees
may either seek reimbursement from the state if he has already - A non-lawyer cannot recover attys fee even if there is a law
paid them or include them in his account with due notice to all authorizing him to represent a litigant in court because it
parties interested requires the existence of an atty-client relationship
- To hold estate ultimately liable for attys fees requires:
o That the person to whom the services were rendered
was at the time the executor or administrator
o And the services were rendered in that capacity

Restrictions on some lawyers to charge fees - If he is forced to resign, he may lose his right to fees earned
- A lawyer acting in a fiduciary capacity must not place himself in therein
such a position as to make his interests antagonistic with those - If withdrawal is with the clients written conformity, it is
of his principal presumed that he and his client have agreed to terminate his
- Applied even in the absence of an express statutory provision services
- This operates to: - Withdrawal without the clients written consent but it was for a
o Restrict the right or to justifiable cause made after due notice to the client, the lawyer
o Limit the amount of attys fees which the lawyer may may recover the reasonable worth of his services up to the date
collect of his withdrawal

Right of counsel de oficio to fees Representation of adverse interests

- Counsel de oficio cannot charge government nor the indigent - Simultaneous representation by a lawyer of opposing parties to
litigant for his professional services because it will violate a controversy, in the absence of the clients consent to the dual
constitutional restriction against taking of property without due representation made after full disclosure of the facts, negates
process of law lawyers right to receive compensation from both of them
- WHY? He willingly assumed when he took his oath as a lawyer - Dual representation is improper fi attys fees for services
that he will reder free legal services whenever required by the rendered by the lawyer in that dual capacity is also improper
court to do so
- In ROC, theres token compensation: Lawyers right unaffected by clients conduct
o In light felonies, it must P30-50 - A client cannot, in the absence of the lawyers fault, deprive the
o In grave felonies, P100 lawyer of his just fees already earned
o Grave other than capital, P200 - Client cannot deprive his lawyer of what is justly duehim as
o Capital offense, P500 attys fees unless lawyer waives such right

Attorneys conduct affecting his right to fees Attorneys discharge by client

- The right to recover from his client may be negated by - Discharge without a valid cause before the conclusion of the
misconduct on his part, such as carelessness or negligence, litigation doesn't negate the lawyers right to recover payment
misrepresentation, abuse of the clients confidence or o If theres no express written agreement as to fees,
unfaithfulness lawyer may only be entitled to recover the reasonable
value of his services up to the time he was dismissed
Withdrawal of counsel from the case o If theres express written agreement and fee is:
- The withdrawal which prejudices the client negates his right to
compensate for services rendered because it constitutes breach

Absolute and reasonable, then if discharged Clients compromise of action
without justifiable cause will be entitled for the Client has no right to compromise or waive so much of his knowledge
full amount claim secured through the efforts of his lawyers as would prejudive the
Contingent and dismissed before conclusion of
stipulated fee, whether absolute or contingent, and the adverse party
action, may recover reasonable value of his
services thus rendered has no right to accept such compromise or waiver unqualifiedly
** If contingency occurs or client prevents its
occurrence by dismissing, he is entitled to the
full amount agreed
** Lawyer should question his discharge
otherwise he will be allowed recovery only on a
- Contract of professional services may either be
quantum meruit basis
o Oral
o Written
If with cause, it will not necessarily deprive the lawyer of his - The fee stipulated may be:
right to be paid o Absolute
o Contingent
Clients dismissal of action o May be a fixed percentage of the amount recovered in
- Client may dismiss action even without consent of counsel but the action
he may not deprive his counsel of what is due him as attys fees - Contract may call for a downpayment or provide for fee per
for services rendered appearance, per piece of work or on an hourly basis
o If dismissal is in good faith, may recover only reasonable - Written retainer > oral contract WHY?
worth of his service except when fee is contingent in 1. In case of controversy as to the question of fees, written
which case there will be no recovery controls the amount
o If dismissal is in bad faith and wants to defraud lawyer, 2. In case of dismissal of the lawyerby the client before the
lawyer is entitled to the full amount stipulated in a valid conclusion of the litigation without justifiable cause, atty
written constract or in the absence of contract, it will entitled to the full amount stipulated in the written
just be based on quantum meuit agreement. Without it, he can only recover the reasonable
- Lawyers consent to the dismissal doesn't necessarily negate his worth of his services up to the date of his dismissal
right to compensate unless such consent amounts to a waiver
Kinds of retainer: GENERAL and SPECIAL
1. General retainer or retaining fee

Fee paid to a lawyer to secure his future services as general - Exception: If nullity is due to want of authority on the part of
counsel for any ordinary legal problem that may arise in the one of the contracting parties or to some irregularity in its
routinary business of the client and referred to him for legal formal execution or to the unreasonable amount of fees fixed,
action lawyer can recover what is justly due him for his services on the
Clients pay lawyers fixed retainer fee monthly (depends basis of quantum meruit.
with their agreement) o WHY? Because the services are legitimate and while
These fees are paid WON the cases referred to the lawyer contract will not be enforced because of its formal
WHY? Because it is a compensation for lost opportunity defects, the rule against unjust enrichment will entitle
since lawyer is deprived of the opportunity to render service the lawyer to recover the reasonable worth of his
PURPOSE: insure and secure future service for a particular services
cases and to prevent undue hardship on the part of an atty
These are in addition to what the client has agreed to pay Effect of unconscionability of amount
him for services which he has been employed to perform - Courts may properly modify or disregard a contract of
2. Special retainer professional services whenever the fee therein fixed is
- Fee for a specific case handled or special services rendered by unreasonable
the lawyer for a client - Basis why courts should interfere:
o Provision of law that states that atty shall be entitled
**Counsel fee vs attys fee to have and recover from his client no more than a
- Attys fee is part of the damages which the court may award in reasonable compensation for his services
favor of the prevailing party o Provision of law stating that a written contract for
services shall control amount to be paid unless found by
Validity of Contracy the court to be unreasonable
- A contract of professional services becomes the law between o Because a lawyer is an officer of the court charged with
the parties when stipulations therein are not contrary to law, the duty of assisting the court to administer impartial
good morals, good customs, public policy or public order justice
- Example of a null and void contract: A disqualified judge enters - Effect of unconscionability of amount: it will render the contract
into a professional contract; agreement stipulating an amount INVALID and it will not preclude recovery; it will only justify the
which is more than what a law has authorized court to fix the reasonable worth of the lawyers service on the
basis of quantum meruit
Contingent fee contract
Effect of nullity of contract
- This is a contract between a lawyer and client in which the
- General Rule: Nullity which results from illegality of the object
lawyers professional fee, usually a fixed percentage of what
precludes a lawyer from recovering his fees
may be recovered in the action, is made to depend upo the
success of the litigation

- A much higher compensation is allowed since theres also the Construction of professional contract
risk that the lawyer will not get anything - General Rule: To adopt such construction as would be more
- This contract is under the supervision and scrutiny of the court favorable to the client even if it would work prejudice to the
to protect clients from unjust charges. Courts may reduce lawyer
amount if its unreasonable even if the lawyer manifests - BASIS:
conformity. WHY? Because when he took his oath, he submitted o Because of the inequality in situation between an atty
himself to the authority of the court and subjects professional who knows the technivalities of law and his status as an
fees to judicial control officer of the court on the one hand and a client who
- Must be in writing, without which, they can only recover on the usually is ignorant of the vagaries of the law on the
basis of quantum meruit other hand
- If theres initial fee, its will be a retaining fee independednt of - A lawyer who prepares such contract is presumed to have
or in addition to the contingent fee. It can still be contingent as seized up the entire situation before entering into the
long as the bulk is dependent upon the successful outcome of agreement. He cant complain that the fee mutually fixed is
the action disproportionate to the work called for in the contract
- A contingent fee contract is often the only way by which a poor - Words inserted by a client in his own handwriting are to be
litigant may have his right enforced by a lawyer. But its also for taken in his favor because it is presumed that it was made for
the benefit of the lawyer because he is allowed much higher his benefit
compensation that what he would be entitled if the fee is - A contract of professional services is interpreted in accordance
absolute with its terms and in favor of the greatest reciprocity of interest
Validity of contingent fee
- Generally valid and binding unless obtained by fraud ,
imposition or suppression of facts or the fee is clearly excessive C. MEASURE OF COMPENSATION
as to amount to an extortion
Rule 20.01 - Guidelines in determining amount of fees
Effect of agreement to pay litigation expenses
A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining his fees:
- The rules of the profession forbid a lawyer from agreeing to pay
a) The time spent and the extent of the services rendered or required;
or bear the expenses of litigation but he may, in good faith,
advance the expenses as a matter of convenience but subject to b) The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
reimbursement c) The importance of the subject matter;
- PURPOSE; To prevent a lawyer from acquiring an interest in the d) The skill demanded;
litigation and avoid conflict of interests between him and his e) The probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance
client of the proffered case;

f) The customary charges for similar services and the schedule of fees of
the IBP chapter to which he belongs; The nullity of a contract will preclude a lawyer from recovering
g) The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to compensation for services rendered only if such invalidity proceeds
the client form the service; from the illegality of the object of performance or of the service
h) The contingency or certainty of compensation; performed. Otherwise, he may recover on quantum meruit basis.
i) The character of the employment, whether occasional or established;
and Unconscionable fee that amount which, under the circumstances
j) The professional standing of the lawyer. surrounding the case, constitutes an over exaggeration of the worth of
the lawyers services
General Rule: Where there is a valid written contract fixing the fees, the
contract is conclusive as to the amount of compensation. What is unconscionable depends upon the circumstances of each case;
there is no hard and fast rule. Example: what is a reasonable amount in
Exception: Unless both the attorney and the client expressly or impliedly a hard-fought litigation may be unreasonable in a simple collection case.
set aside the contract and submit the question of reasonableness of the
amount of fees for the court to resolve on quantum meruit basis If a lawyer presents a claim for more than the amount fixed in the
contract and the client not only rejects such claim but also questions the
Quantum meruit as much as a lawyer deserves reasonableness of the amount fixed therein, both of them are deemed
to have impliedly disregarded the contract and placed themselves in the
The court will fix the amount of attorneys fees on quantum meruit position as though there is no express stipulation as to the attorneys
basis in any of the following instances: fees.
a. The agreement as to counsel fees is invalid for some
reason other than the illegality of the object of If there is an acquiescence by the lawyer of his discharge, he may be
performance; entitled to recover his fees merely on quantum meruit basis,
b. The amount stipulated in the contract is notwithstanding the existence of a written agreement for so long as he
unconscionable; never questioned it. However, if there is a valid written agreement as to
c. No agreement as to fees exists between the parties; fees and the lawyers discharge is unlawful or in bad faith, he will be
d. The client rejects the amount fixed as unconscionable entitled to the full amount so agreed.
and is found to be so; and
e. Some act or event has precluded the lawyer from
concluding the litigation without fault on his part.

The value of the lawyers services is in large measure determined by the is contingent. A lawyer whose fee is contingent assumes the risk of not
nature, quality and quantity of such services. The importance and value getting paid for his services.
of his services should be measured and considered as a whole.
The legislature may by law prescribe the limit of the amount of
The time employed is not in itself an appropriate basis for fixing the attorneys fees which a lawyer may charge his client.
amount of compensation, but length of employment may mean more
work and lesser opportunity for other profitable retainers. Rule 20.02 - A lawyer shall be entitled to fees based on work performed
A lawyer shall, in cases of referral, with the consent of the client, be
The skill, experience, and standing of a lawyer bear a direct proportion entitled to a division of fees in proportion to work performed and
to the amount of attorneys fees to which he may be entitled for his responsibility assumed.
It is improper for a lawyer to receive compensation for merely
Generally speaking, the bigger the size or value of the interest or recommending another lawyer to his client for it would tend to
property involved in a litigation the higher the attorneys fee is. germinate the evils of commercialism and to destroy the proper
appreciation of professional responsibility.
The loss of opportunity for other employment on the part of a lawyer
who accepts a retainer is taken into consideration in fixing the amount It is only when, in addition to the referral, he performs legal service that
of the lawyers fee. he will be entitled to a fee.

Test case. Where several actions or possible disputes involve an Rule 20.03 - A lawyer shall not receive fee from another without client's
identical question and one case is litigated as a test case, the value in consent
controversy in all the actions should bear its appropriate proportion to A lawyer shall not, without the full knowledge and consent of the client,
the amount due as fees to the lawyer who prosecuted the test case. A accept any fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or
test case is usually litigated with energy and diligence because the forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever related to his
resolution of the other actions is made to depend on the favorable professional employment from anyone other than the client.
outcome of the test case.

General rule: A lawyer should receive compensation for his services in a

The fact that a lawyer, in spite of his efforts, failed to secure for his
case only from his client and not from another person. This is to secure
client what he desires does not, however, deprive him of the right to
recover compensation for his services except when the fee agreed upon

the lawyers wholehearted fidelity to the clients cause; there should be Cases where the lawyer can recover fees through an
no room for suspicion. independent civil action:
o The court trying the main action in which the lawyers
A corollary of the foregoing rule is the principle that whatever a lawyer services were rendered dismissed the clients action or
receives from the opposite party in the service of his client belongs to awarded nothing to the client
the client. o The court that decided the main litigation had no
jurisdiction over the action or had already lost it
Rule 20.04 - A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning o The person liable for attorneys fees is not a party in the
his fees main action
A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his o The court reserved to the lawyer the right to file a
compensation and shall resort to judicial action only to prevent separate civil suit for the recovery of his fees
imposition, injustice of fraud. o The services for which the lawyer seeks payment were
rendered in connection with a matter not in litigation
Suits to collect fees should be avoided, and only where the An independent civil action for recovery of attys fees is subject
circumstances imperatively require should a lawyer resort to lawsuit to to the usual procedural requirements as an ordinary suit
enforce payment of his fees. The court having jurisdiction to try the main action has also
jurisdiction to pass upon the question of fees
He may take judicial action to protect his right to fees either a) in the The persons who are entitled to or must pay the fees have the
main action where his services were rendered or b) in an independent right to be heard upon the question of their propriety or
civil suit against his client. amount -> necessity of a hearing.


Petition to recover fees should be filed as an incident to the The attorneys fee which a court may, in proper cases, award to a
main action. It cannot be availed of if the client recovers winning litigant is, strictly speaking, an item of damages. It differs from
nothing in the main action. Why? The question of fees cannot that which a client pays his counsel for the latters professional services.
be determined until after the main litigation has been decided The former is an indemnity for damages sustained by the successful
and the subject of recovery is at the disposition of the court party in prosecuting or defending, through counsel, his cause in court.
Enforcement through main action is preferable than an The latter, on the other hand, refers to the compensation for the
independent civil action counsels services.

induce the prosecutor to prosecute, or that the action was filed by a
The fee as an item of damages belongs to the party litigant and not to desire to vex or humiliate him.
his lawyer. It forms part of his judgment recoveries against the losing 5) When the action is clearly unfounded;
party. - The action must be so untenable as to amount to gross and
evident bad faith.
However, the two concepts of attorneys fees are similar in other 6) When defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith;
respects. They both require, as a prerequisite to their grant, the - This is a corollary of the general principle that everyone must, in
intervention of or the rendition of professional services by a lawyer. the performance of his duties, observe honesty and good faith and of
Both fees are also subject to judicial control and modification. the rule that any one guilty of fraud in the discharge of his obligations
shall be liable for damages.
General rule: Attorneys fees in the concept of damages are not 7) In actions for support;
recoverable. It is not the fact of winning alone but the attendance of - The person obliged to give support is also obliged to pay such
any of the special circumstances and, in the case of a public litigant, the attorneys fees as may be necessary to enable the person entitled
existence of the right to private counsel that justify the award of thereto to enforce his rights.
attorneys fees as damages in favor of the prevailing party. 8) In cases of recovery of wages;
- The court may grant attorneys fees in favour of household
Exceptions to the rule (attorneys fees in the concept of damages may helpers, laborers, and skilled workers.
be awarded in the ff circumstances): 9) In actions for indemnity under workmens compensation and
1) When there is agreement; employees liability laws;
2) When exemplary damages are awarded; - The Workmens Compensation Act expressly authorized the
- Exemplary damages are awarded by way of example for the award of attorneys fees in favour of employees in workmens
public good as warranted by the circumstances of the case. compensation cases, but PD 442 repealed this Act and replaced the
3) When defendants action or omission compelled plaintiff to compensation scheme with a state insurance system under the
litigate; administration of the Employees Compensation Commission. Such
- To justify the award of attorneys fees, the act or omission of circumstance, however, does not mean that an employee who appeals
the other party must be in gross bad faith. from an adverse ruling of the Commission may no longer be entitled to
4) In criminal cases of malicious prosecution; an award of attorneys fees for the Civil Code expressly allows the grant
- To entitle a party to recover such fees, he must not only show of attorneys fees in such cases.
that he was acquitted in the criminal action but must also prove that the 10) In a separate civil action arising from a crime;
person who charged him knowingly made a false statement of facts to

- An offended party may recover damages arising from a crime unless the text thereof plainly shows the case comes within one of the
against the offender either in the criminal proceeding itself or in a exceptions.
separate civil action filed for the purpose. But he may be granted
attorneys fees only in a separate civil action to recover all items of In the absence of a showing that the trial court abused its discretion,
damages or in a civil suit to enforce the subsidiary civil liability adjudged the grant of attorneys fees or the denial thereof may not be disturbed
in the criminal proceedings. on appeal. However, the appellate court may, in the exercise of its
11) When at least double costs are awarded; discretion, award attorneys fees or increase or reduce the amount
- Double costs are usually awarded in favor of the winning party thereof whenever the law and the circumstances so warrant.
where the action or appeal is frivolous. A frivolous action or appeal is
one which presents no justiciable question or is so readily recognizable The claim for attorneys fees in the concept of damages and the ground
as devoid of merit on its face that there is little prospect of succeeding. relied upon must be pleaded. In other words, the claim must not only
12) When the court deems it just and equitable; be alleged; the existence of the factual basis and the amount thereof
- To justify such award, there should be factual, legal or equitable must also be proved.
justification which should appear on record. A mere statement by the
court that it deems it just and equitable is insufficient. For it is settled that the award of attorneys fees is the exception rather
13) When a special law so authorizes. than the rule; hence, the trial court should make findings of fact and
law, which would bring the case within the exception and justify the
Their purpose is to lessen unnecessary litigation, as a plaintiff would award.
rather think twice before instituting a clearly unfounded suit.

To entitle a party to recover attorneys fees as an item of damages, he

must not only show that the case falls under any of the exceptions; he
must have employed and, in the case of a public litigant, must show his
right to employ a private counsel as well. A successful litigant who
prosecuted his action without the assistance of counsel is not entitled to
the award of attorneys fees.

The award of attorneys fees is essentially discretionary with the trial

court. The decision should state the reason why the award is made,

CHAPTER IX. PRESERVATION OF CLIENTS - However, some privileged communications lose this character
by some supervening act done pursuant to the purpose of the
CONFIDENCE communication.
o Examples: communication intended by the client to be
CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND sent to a third person through his attorney, contents of
SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATION IS a pleading prepared by an attorney based on the
TERMINATED communication after the pleading is filed
Reason for the Rule

Duty to preserve clients confidence - Adequate legal representation requires a full disclosure of the
facts by the client to his attorney.
- It is the duty of an attorney to maintain inviolate the - The purpose of the privilege is to encourage a client to make full
confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secret disclosure to his attorney and to place unrestricted confidence
of his client. in him in matters affecting his rights or obligations.
o This duty involves the application of rules of evidence - It is founded proceeds on the premise that the benefits derived
and of professional ethics needed to safeguard the therefrom justify the risk that unjust decisions may sometimes
clients confidence. result from the suppression of relevant evidence. = public policy
- This rule makes the confidential communication between the - It is also to preserve the confidential and trust relation which
attorney and client privileged. Neither of them can be exists between attorney and client.
compelled to disclose any privileged communication. - Information secured is sacred to the employment to which it
- This rule applies to matters disclosed to him by prospective pertains, and to permit it to be used in the interest of the
clients. attorney and other persons or, worse, in the interest of the
adverse party.

Duration of Duty
Requisites of the privilege
- This duty is perpetual. It outlasts his professional employment
and even the death of the client. This professional confidence is 1. Legal advice of any kind
not divested by these events. 2. This is sought from an attorney
- After the severance of the relation, he may not: 3. The attorney does this in his professional capacity
1. Do anything which will injuriously affects his former client 4. It is with respect to communications relating to that purpose
2. Disclose or use against him any knowledge of information 5. The client makes it in confidence.
acquired by virtue of his professional relationship. 6. It permanently protects such communication.
- This may be waived

- If all of them are present, there is evidentiary privilege. discloses the information to no third person other than one
- The question of privilege is for the court to determine and may reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information or
not be passed upon in advance by the appellate court in a the accomplishment of the purpose for which it was given.
certiorari proceeding. - When a third person overhears the conversation, the privilege is
- The nature, circumstances and conditions of the questions or not necessarily destroyed but the third person is not covered by
answers determine if the privilege should be granted. the privilege.
- The party who asserts the privilege has the burden of proof to
establish it.
Form or mode of communication

Relation of attorney and client - The privilege embraces not only oral or written statements but
actions, signs or other means of communication.
- The person from whom legal advice is sought must be an - The only question is whethere they have been intended to be
attorney. However, if a person poses as a lawyer for some part of the communication.
ulterior purpose and a client confides to him confidential - A communication may be transmitted by any form of agency
communications in reliance upon the supposed relations of (ex: messenger, interpreter)
attorney and client, it is privileged.
- A communication not within the attorney-client relation is not
privileged. Persons entitled to claim privilege
- When a person solicits professional employment and volunteers
information to a lawyer, it is not a confidential communication - It applies to the attorney and his client as well as to the
within the meaning of the privilege. attorneys secretary, stenographer or clerk with reference to
any fact acquired in such capacity.
- It also applies to any other agent of transmitting the
Confidentiality communication.
- An expert needed for effective consultation is also covered.
- The client must intend the communication to be confidential. - The fact that a person to whom the privilege extends will be
The mere relation does not automatically assume confidential presented as a witness does not, however, render a
nature. communication, otherwise privileged and acquired by him, not
- The essence of the veil of secrecy is because it is to seek legal privileged.
advice from his attorney as to his rights or obligations. - The privilege is intended primarily for the protection of the
- A confidential communication refers to information transmitted client and incidentally in consideration for the oath and honor
by voluntary act of disclosure between attorney and client in of the attorney.
confidence and by means which, so far as the client is aware,

Application of rule Unprivileged matters

- It may either be privileged or unprivileged within the meaning - Any communication that lacks any element is generally not
of the evidentiary rule against compelling the disclosure of privileged.
privileged communications. This is only important when a - The communication must have been transmitted by a client to
lawyer is called to be a witness but he must still give importance an attorney for the purpose of seeking legal advice.
to propriety and ethics. - Papers given to an attorney for custodial purposes normally
arent covered by the character of privileged communication.
- The privilege does not, as a rule, attach to communications
Privileged matters concerning the creation of the attorney-client relationship and
the name of the client.
- The work product of a lawyer, such as his effort, research and
thought, contained in his files is privileged. Rule 21.01 - A lawyer shall not reveal clients confidence.
- The purchase of the practice and goodwill of a deceased
attorney by another lawyer not his partner may likely involve a A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of his client except:
violation of that rule. a) When authorized by the client after acquianting him of the
- A document privileged upon delivery to an attorney retains its consequences of the disclosure;
privileged character in the hands of the client. b) When required by law;
- A distinction should be drawn between a crime or fraud already c) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his
committed by a client on the one hand and a crime or fraud employees or associates or by judicial action.
being committed or is about to be committed on the other
hand. If it is about to be committed, it is not covered by the
privilege. - The rule also applies to matters disclosed to the lawyer by a
o The litigation should not have commenced. prospective client.
o A third person should not be implicated. - A lawyer may not disclose information other than what may be
o An attorney should not be employed for a future necessary to prosecute or defend his clients cause. A lawyer
criminal transaction. must not send files to the opposing party showing the weakness
o It should not be for the prosecution of a lawyer for a of the case.
criminal offense. - Only the client can destroy the privilege.
- The privilege extends to non-disclosure of the name of the - If a client after his testimony confides to his counsel that he has
client if it will implicate the client or where the disclosure would committed perjury, it then involves a balancing of loyalties.
open the client to civil liability. Either he owes it to the profession and the public to bring the
- Relevant statements made in pleading or in open court are knowledge to the prosecuting authorities or he should endeavor
absolutely privileged regardless of their defamatory tenor. to rectify it together with the client. This conflict may be

reconciled by confining the disclosure to unprivileged - The client may waive either personally or through his attorney.
communications or to those exceptions to the privilege. But when it involves the attoreys relation with his client, only
- Loyalty to the court also consists of the steadfast maintenance the client may waive it. A lawyer may not waive it as an excuse
of principles which the courts themselves have evolved for the to justify his disclosure or use, in favor of a third party, of his
effective administration of justice, one of the most firmly clients secrets.
established of which is the preservation undisclosed of the - The waiver cannot be partial.
clients confidences communicated to the lawyer in his
professional capacity.
- Unless the revelation by a lawyer of his clients confidence falls Disclosure to protect attorneys rights
under any of the exceptions, it constitutes a breach of trusts
sufficient to warrant imposition of disciplinary sanction against - The privileged relation exists only for lawful and honest
him. purposes. It cannot shield wrongdoings.
- Article 209 of the RPC (revelation of secrets) is distinct from the - If the attorney is accused by his client or a third party of
disbarment proceedings against an erring lawyer. misconduct, he may disclose the truth.
- He may do what is needed as is necessary to protect his rights.

Exceptions to rule against disclosure of clients secrets

Communications as to crime
1. When authorized by the client after acquainting him of the
consequences of the disclosure - The privileged communication between attorney and client may
2. When required by law be a shield of defense as to crimes already committed. He may
3. When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his confess guilt and be covered by the privilege.
employees or associates or by judicial action - The protection though does not extend to those made in
4. When it refers to the commission of a contemplated crime or contemplation of a crime or perpetuation of a fraud.
the perpetuation of a fraud - The privilege cannot be used as a weapon of offense to enable a
person to carry out a contemplated crime against society. The
law does not make a law office a nest of vipers in which to hatch
Clients waiver of privilege crimes of frauds.
- The one alleging that the communication is not privileged must
- Since the privilege is intended primarily for the clients show prima facie evidence that ithas some foundation in fact.
protection, only the client can waive it. The exception is when it - However, if a client not knowing a contemplated action to be
is with regard to the attorneys secretary, stenographer or clerk wrong or having some doubt in that respect makes it privileged.
because the attorneys consent is necessary.

It is the duty of an attorney to divulge the communication of his client
as to his announced intention to commit a crime to the proper - The rule is that the professional employment of a law firm is
authorities. His duty to the public obliges him to disclose it. equivalent to the retainer of the members thereof even though
only one of them is consulted; conversely, the employment of
one member of a law firm is generally considered as
Rule 21.02 - A lawyer shall not use clients secrets without his consent
employment of the law firm.
A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, use information - The disclosure is not to a third person because members of
acquired in the course of employment, nor shall he use he same to his associates in the law firm are considered as one person.
own advantage or that of a third person, unless the client with full
knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto. Rule 21.05 - A lawyer shall adopt measures against disclosures of clients
- The revelation by a lawyer of the clients confidence or secret without A lawyer shall adopt such measures as may be required to prevent
his consent is improper but when it is done to benefit the lawyer or a those whose services are utilized by him, from disclosing or using
third person without the clients consent is more reprehensible because confidences or secrets of the client.
it strikes deeply against the attorney-client relationship.
In the discharge of his professional duties to a client, a lawyer may avail
- The profession will suffer by the loss of confidence in the lawyer.
of clerical aid from certain individuals. The information they encounter
is privileged.
Rule 21.03 - A lawyer shall not give information from his files
A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of his client, give Rule 21.06 - A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about clients
information from his files to an outside agency seeking such information affairs
for auditing, statistical, bookkeeping, accounting, data processing, or
A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a clients affairs even
any similar purpose.
with members of his family.

- The work product of a lawyer is included in privileged matters. - This rule is intended to better preserve the clients confidences
- The purchase of the goodwill of a deceased attorney by another and secrets.
lawyer may likely involve a violation of such rule.
Rule 21.07 - A lawyer shall not reveal his having been consulted
Rule 21.04 - A lawyer may disclose affairs of client to partners
A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been consulted about a particular
A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the firm to partners or
case except to avoid possible conflict of interest.
associates thereof unless prohibited by the client.

- The disclosure and the lawyers opinion for a prospective client
creates a relationship even if he does not eventually accept the
He should ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter would
involve a conflict of interest with his other client or his own. If so, he
should not allow himself to be employed with the prospective client.

CHAPTER X. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY, But insofar as the court and the adverse party are concerned, the
severance of the relation of attorney and client is not effective until a
notice of discharge by the client or a manifestation clearly indicating
A. TERMINATION OF COUNSELS AUTHORITY that purpose is filed with the court and a copy thereof served upon the
adverse party. Before that formality is complied with, any judicial notice
CANON 22 - A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR sent to counsel is binding upon the client.
CIRTUMSTANCES. The duty of the lawyer, upon being informed by his client that his
services have been dispensed with, is to file a notice of withdrawal with
the client's conformity.
A client has the absolute right to discharge his attorney at any time with
or without cause or even against his consent. The existence or non-
EFFECT OF DISCHARGE OF ATTORNEY: He cannot pretend to continue
existence of a just cause is important only in determining the right of an
representing his client. However, if he reappears as counsel, it is
attorney to compensation for services rendered.
presumed that he has been reemployed by the client.

The client's loss of confidence in his lawyer deprives the relation of that
DEATH OR INCAPACITY OF CLIENT: As the relation of attorney and client
special element of trust which furnishes the basis of the client's right to
is personal and one of agency, it terminates upon the death of the
dismiss him.
client. Thereafter, the attorney loses his standing in court to represent
the deceased client or the latter's estate, unless he is retained by the
LIMITATIONS ON CLIENT'S RIGHT: The attorney may, in the discretion of
administrator, executor or legal representative of the deceased client.
the court, intervene in the case to protect his right to fees. A client may
not be permitted to abuse his right to discharge his counsel as an excuse
The relation of attorney and client also terminates upon the incapacity
to secure repeated extensions of time to file a pleading or to indefinitely
or incompetency of a client during the pendency of the litigation, the
avoid a trial.
reason being that the client loses the legal capacity to contract or to
control the subject matter of the action.
NECESSITY OF NOTICE OF DISCHARGE: No formal notice of discharge by
the client to his lawyer is necessary. Any act of the client indicating an It shall be the duty of the attorney to inform the court promptly of the
unmistakable purpose to terminate the relation is sufficient. death, incapacity or incompetency of his client and to give the name
and residence of his executor, administrator, guardian or other legal

and the adverse party at least three days before the date set for
Rule 22.01 A lawyer shall withdraw only for good cause hearing. He should moreover present his petition well in advance of the
A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the following cases: trial of the action to enable to client to secure the services of another
a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in lawyer. If the application is filed under circumstances that do not afford
connection with the matter he is handling; a substitute counsel sufficient time to prepare for trial, the court may
b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative of deny his application and require him to conduct the trial.
these canons and rules;
c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the best Until his withdrawal shall have been approved, the lawyer remains
interest of the client; counsel of record. Any notice served upon him is notice to and binding
d) When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it upon the client.
difficult for him to carry out the employment effectively;
e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services or DEATH OF ATTORNEY: A contract of professional employment
fails to comply with the retainer agreement; terminates upon the death of an attorney. But the death of a partner in
f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office; and a law firm does not severe the professional employment between the
g) Other similar cases. law firm and the client. Neither does the dissolution of a law firm in
itself bring about that result.
He may not withdraw or be permitted to withdraw as counsel in a case
if such withdrawal will work injustice to a client or frustrate the ends of ACCEPTANCE OF INCOMPATIBLE OFFICE: A lawyer's qualification to
justice. public office operates to terminate the existing attorney-client
relationship. The court does not, however, take judicial notice of the
A lawyer may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding appointment or election of an attorney to a public office. In the absence
with the written consent of his client filed in court and copy thereof of a withdrawal or manifestation to that effect, the court may still
served upon the adverse party. If no new counsel has entered his regard him as the counsel of record upon whom written notice may be
appearance, the court may, in order to prevent a denial of a party's right served which will bind the client.
to assistance of counsel require that the lawyer's withdrawal be held in

PROCEDURE FOR WITHDRAWAL: The lawyer must file a petition for

withdrawal in court. He must serve a copy of his petition upon his client

B. CHANGE OR SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL chance to have his right to attorneys fees be preserved and
Change of counsel protected

Defective substitution and effects thereof

1) client discharges attorney with or without cause: no consent or
notice to lawyer needed, nor court approval - A defective substitution is one which lacks any of the requisites
2) attorney may initiate move by withdrawing his appearance with for a valid substitution.
written consent of client or with leave of court on some - It does not effect a change of counsel; nor constitute an
justifiable ground appearance of new lawyer, both of whom shall be deemed
3) substitution of counsel in the form of application for that counsel of record; pleadings filed by the new lawyer deemed
purpose: constitutes an appearance of the substituting counsel effective
and is a polite way of effecting change; compliance with
formalities is necessary since it involves ethical considerations Employment of additional counsel

Requirements for substitution - Client has right to as many lawyers as he can afford. Clients
proffer of assistance of additional counsel should not be
1) written application for substitution regarded as evidence of want of confidence.
2) written consent of client - Professional courtesy requires that a lawyer retained as
3) written consent of attorney to be substituted collaborating counsel should at least communicate with counsel
of record before entering his appearance and should decline
**in case written consent of attorney cannot be secured, proof association if objectionable to original counsel.
of service of notice of application upon attorney to be - But if first lawyer is relieved by client, another lawyer may come
substituted. into the case
** in case of death of original attorney, additional requirement
of verified proof of death necessary C. ATTORNEYS LIEN
usually initiated by substituting counsel hence the need to
obtain conformity of original lawyer or at least notice to original Rule 22.02 A lawyers withdrawal or discharge shall be without
lawyer of substitution prejudice to his attorneys lien
consent of original lawyer or notice requirement is designed to A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, subject to a retainer lien,
afford the lawyer the opportunity to protect his right to immediately turn over all papers and property to which the client is
attorneys fees. If he gives consent, it is presumed he has entitled, and shall cooperate with his successor in the orderly transfer of
settled that question. If not, he can ask in same action that his

the matter, including all information necessary for the proper handling PROPERTY TO WHICH LIEN ATTACHES: The general, possessory or
of the matter. retaining lien of an attorney attaches to all property, papers, books,
documents or securities of the client that lawfully come to the lawyer
The law creates in favor of a lawyer a lien not only upon the funds, professionally or in the course of his professional employment, not
documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his necessarily in connection with a particular case but any case or matter
possession until what is due him has been paid (retaining lien) but also a handled for the client.
lien upon all judgments for the payment of money and executions WHEN LIEN ATTACHES: The retaining lien attaches from the moment
issued in pursuance of such judgments rendered in the case wherein his the attorney lawfully obtains and retains possession of the funds,
services have been retained by the client (charging lien). documents and papers of the client.

A retaining lien is a general lien for the balance of the account due to BOND FOR RETURN OF DOCUMENTS: The court may require the
the attorney from his client for services rendered in all matters which he surrender of the lien upon the clients posting of an adequate bond or
may have handled for the client, regardless of their outcome. A charging security to guarantee payment of the lawyers fees.
lien is a special lien in a particular case and presupposes that a favorable
judgment has been secured for the client in that case. If the papers or documents have been improperly or illegally taken from
the custody of the attorney, his lien is not lost thereby, unless by his act
NATURE AND ESSENCE OF RETAINING LIEN or omission he waives his right thereto.

A retaining lien is a passive right and cannot be actively enforced. The SATISFACTION OF LIEN: The lawyer may lawfully apply the clients funds
inconvenience that may cause the client as a result of the retaining lien in satisfaction of his claim. All that is required is for the lawyer to send
exercised by the attorney is the reason and essence of the lien. Such his client an accounting. But where the client disputes the amount, he
inconvenience or disadvantage may induce the client to pay the lawyer should file an action in court to fix the amount of fees.
and his fees and disbursements.
(1) attorney-client relationship A charging lien is a special lien. It is a charge upon the thing which is
(2) lawful possession by the lawyer of the client's funds, documents and protected in equity. It presupposes that the attorney has secured a
papers in his professional capacity favorable money judgment for his client.
(3) unsatisfied claim for attorney's fees or disbursements

(1) attorney-client relationship ASSIGNMENT OF CHARGING LIEN: It may be transferred (i.e. to the
(2) attorney has rendered services surviving partners if the lawyer dies).
(3) money judgment favorable to the client has been secured in the
(4) attorney has a claim for attorneys fees or advances
(5) statement of his claim has been duly recorded in the case with
notice thereof served upon the client and the adverse party

A copy of the claim is served upon the client to give him the opportunity
to object. A copy is also served upon the adverse party so that he may
preserve the attorneys fees and take cognizance of the claim of the

TO WHAT CHARGING LIEN ATTACHES: Payment of money and the

executions issued in pursuance of such judgment. It does not attach to
property or land in litigation. But he cannot have preference over and
better right than the judgment creditor in the payment of his
professional fees. (This means that: a legitimate debt of his client will be
paid first before his lien attaches).

EFFECTS OF CHARGING LIEN: The lien gives the lawyer the right to
collect a certain amount from out of the judgment or award rendered in
favor of his client.

The lien survives the death of the client and need not therefore be
enforced in the proceeding for the settlement of the clients estate.

EXTINGUISHMENT OF CHARGING LIEN: It is extinguished when the client

loses the action.