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UNITY FISHING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v.

of one (1) year effective immediately, with a STERN


ATTY. DANILO G. MACALINO WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts
shall be dealt with more severely. He is likewise ordered to
Frabal Fishing and Ice Plant Corporation (Frabal) was the return the sum ofP50,000 to complainant within ten (10)
owner of a parcel of land which was leased to Wheels hereof.
Distributors, Inc. (Wheels), dealer of cars and motor
vehicles.
A dispute arose between them which led to a lawsuit.
Frabal hired the services of respondent Atty. Danilo G.
Macalino as counsel.
Frabal merged and was absorbed by Unity Fishing, ROSARIO JUNIO vs. ATTY. SALVADOR M. GRUPO
assigning and transferring all its business assets and
liabilities to the latter, including all judicial and extra-
Junio engaged the services of Atty. Grupo for the
judicial claims. So Frabal substituted in the formers
lawsuit with Wheels; redemption of a parcel of land. She entrusted to him the
As legal counsel, Macalino advised to severe all amount of P25,000.00 to be used in the redemption of the
contractual relationship with Wheels as a step towards aforesaid property.
eventually evicting the latter from the property they were
occupying and to return the guarantee deposit equivalent However, Grupo did not redeem the property; as a result
to two (2) months rental or the amount of P50,000.00 to
of which the right of redemption was lost and the property
Wheels;
was eventually forfeited.
Macalino volunteered to bring the check to the office of
Wheels himself and to make them accept it so he sent his
representative to Unity Fishings office to get the said Because of his failure to redeem the property, Junio
check; demanded the return of the money. Despite repeated
Thereafter, Macalino represented that he was able to demands, Grupo continuously refused to refund the
deliver the check to Wheels Distributors, Inc.; money entrusted to him.
The suit between Unity and Wheels continued for several
years but Unity changed counsels, replacing Macalino.
In his Answer, he admitted receiving the amount in
Finally the suit ended in amicable settlement. In the question but alleged that:
process of negotiating the terms and conditions of the
settlement, Wheels informed Petitioner that it never
received the refund guarantee deposit of P50,000.00; The subject land could really not be redeemed anymore.
Petitioner wrote to Respondent on May 19, 1994 to When transaction failed, Grupo requested that he be
explain why the check in issue never reached Wheels allowed, in the meantime, to avail of the money because
Distributors and how it was endorsed and encashed he had an urgent need for some money himself to help
despite the fact that it was a crossed check defray his children's educational expenses. Thus, he
Despite receipt of said letter, however, Macalino never executed a promissory note for the amount.
responded nor attempted to explain his side to what
strongly appears to be a gross misappropriation of the
money for his own personal use; Also the family of the complainant and that of the
That he misappropriated the amount of P50,000.00 for his respondent were very close and intimate with each other.
own personal use cannot be denied because an employee That is why, when Junio requested assistance regarding
of UCPB testified that Macalino was the one maintaining the mortgaged property, Grupo had no second-thoughts in
Account to which the crossed check payable to Wheels extending a lending handHe did not ask for any fee and
was deposited his services were purely gratuitous; it was simply an act of
HELD: a friend for a friend. It was just lamentably unfortunate
Respondents wanton failure to make an accounting and that his efforts failed.
to return to his client the amount entrusted to him upon
demand give rise to the presumption that he
misappropriated it, in violation of the trust and confidence Junio however denied that Grupo informed her of his
reposed on him failure to redeem the property and that he just requested
It is clear, therefore, that respondent, by depositing the her to instead lend the money to him.3
check in his own account and subsequently deceiving his
client into believing that he delivered the same to Wheels The case was thereafter referred to the Integrated Bar of
is undoubtedly guilty of deceit, malpractice, gross the Philippines
misconduct and unethical behavior. What is more,
respondents repeated failures to comply with the orders
of the Court requiring him to comment on the complaint
indicate a high degree of irresponsibility on his part.
WHEREFORE, Atty. Danilo G. Macalino is hereby declared
guilty of violation of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, for his failure to immediately return and
deliver the funds of his former client upon demand, and is
hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period
Respondent takes further refuge in the intimate and close At the hearing, Adarne, noting that his attorneys had not
relationship existing between himself and the yet arrived, prevailed upon Atty. Aldaba, who was then
complainant's family on the basis of which his legal present in court, to appear as counsel for them and ask
for the Postponement of the trial. Atty. Aldaba, who is his
services were purely gratuitous or "simply an act of a
third degree cousin, agreed, and entered a special
friend for a friend" with "no consideration involved." Thus, appearance. Upon noticing that the plaintiffs and their
he concluded that there was, strictly speaking, no counsel were not also present in court, Aldaba, instead of
attorney-client relationship existing between them. asking for a postponement, moved for the dismissal of the
Rather, right from the start. case, which was granted. The plaintiffs then appealed.
At the hearing, Atty. Aldaba was again prevailed upon by
A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless Adarne to appear in his behalf. The respondent entered a
the client's interests are fully protected by the nature of the case "special appearance" for the complainant and thereafter
or by independent advice (Rule 16.04, Code of Professional argued that the interest of justice would best be served of
Responsibility). This rule is intended to prevent the lawyer from the defendants were allowed to file an action for quieting
taking advantage of his influence over the client. of title and the case heard jointly with the pending action
for forcible entry. Finding merit, the court ordered Adarne
to file an action for quieting of title within 1 week, after
It would indeed appear from the records of the case that
which both cases would be tried jointly.
respondent was allowed to borrow the money previously
entrusted to him by complainant for the purpose of Thereafter, the court declared the defendants in default
for their failure to appeal at the hearing set for that day
securing the redemption of the property. Respondent,
and directed the plaintiffs to present evidence to support
however, did not give adequate security for the loan and their claim.
subsequently failed to settle his obligation.
Because of this, Cesario Adarne filed the present
complaint against Atty. Aldaba.
As explained in Hilado v. David: To constitute professional
The respondent denied that he ever had any agreement
employment it is not essential that the client should have
with the complainant with respect to the handling of the
employed the attorney professionally on any previous latter's case except for the "special appearance" that he
occasion . . . It is not necessary that any retainer should entered for the complainant, in view of the non-availability
have been paid. promised, or charged for; neither is it of the complainant's lawyers on said dates.
material that the attorney consulted did not afterward
HELD:
undertake the case about which the consultation was
had. If a person, in respect to his business affairs or The judgment by default rendered against the
complainant cannot be attributed to the respondent
troubles of any kind, consults with his attorney in his
attorney. The blame lies with the complainant for having
professional capacity with the view to obtaining engaged the services of several lawyers to handle his
professional advice or assistance, and the attorney case without formally withdrawing the authority he had
voluntarily permits or acquiesces in such consultation, given to them to appear in his behalf as to place the
then the professional employment must be regarded as responsibility upon the respondent. It appeared that there
established . . . have been three changes made of the attorneys for the
complainant in the forcible entry case. However, no
formalities whatever were observed in those changes
WHEREFORE, the Court finds petitioner guilty of violation such that the respondent entered a "special appearance"
of Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for the complainant in order that he could ask for the
and orders him suspended from the practice of law for a dismissal of the case for the failure of the adverse party to
period of one (1) month and to pay to respondent, within prosecute.
30 days from notice, the amount of P25,000.00 with No substitution of attorneys will be allowed unless there
interest at the legal rate, computed from December 12, be filed: (1) a written application for such substitution; (2)
1996. the written consent of the client; (3) the written consent
of the attorney substituted; and (4) in case such written
consent can not be secured, there must be filed with the
application proof of service of notice of such motion upon
the attorney to be substituted, in the manner prescribed
by the rules.

CESARIO ADARNE vs. ATTY. DAMIAN V. ALDABA Besides, the respondent honestly believed that he had
appeared for the complainant only for a special purpose
Sps. Cumpio filed an action for forcible entry against and that the complainant had agreed to contact his
herein complaint Cesario Adarne, Aning Arante, and attorney of record to handle his case after the hearing, so
Miguel Inokando. Atty. Isauro Marmita represented the that he did nothing more about it.
defendants. The case was dismissed by the Justice of the
Peace for lack of jurisdiction and was appealed to the CFI WHEREFORE, the present administrative complaint
of Carigara. The CFI returned the case to the lower court is hereby DISMISSED.
finding that it had jurisdiction. After trial, JOP again
dismissed the case and it was again appealed to the CFI.
Attys. Arturo Mirales and Generoso Casimpan filed the CARLOS B. REYES vs. ATTY. JEREMIAS R. VITAN
answer for the defendants.
Carlos Reyes hired the services of respondent Atty.
Jeremias Vitan for the purpose of filing the appropriate
complaint or charge against his sister-in-law and her niece
for refusing to abide with the Decision of the RTC ordering
the partition of the properties left by Reyess brother; and
that Atty. Vitan, after receiving the amount of P17,000.00,
did not take any action on complainant's case.
From the IBP investigation, it was found that: ANA F. RETUYA vs. ATTY. IEGO A. GORDUIZ
It was complainant who submitted the supposed letters of Ana F. Retuya filed a claim for workmen's compensation
the respondent Estelita Reyes and Juliet Alegonza but against the employer of her husband who died. The
there were no proofs when they sent and when the same decision awarded her P8,792.10 consisting of (a) P6,000
were received by the addressee. as compensation benefits, (b) P2,292.10 for medical and
hospitalization expenses, (c) P200 as burial expenses and
Likewise, the complaint submitted by Atty. Vitan was only (d) P300 as attorney's fees of Atty. Iego Gorduiz.
a format in the sense that it was not signed by the
respondent; the RTC Branch No. was left blank; there was The employer proposed to compromise the claim by
no Civil Case No. and there was no proof that said paying only one-half of the total award. Ana accepted the
pleading was filed which amounts only to a mere scrap of proposal.
paper and not a pleading or authenticated document in After she had cashed the check, she was not able to
the legal parlance. contact Gorduiz and pay his fee. Then, unexpectedly she
As it is, nothing had been done by the respondent for the was served with a warrant of arrest for estafa.
complainant as his client for the legal fees he collected It turned out that Atty. Gorduiz executed an affidavit
which was paid by the complainant as reflected in the stating that Ana had misappropriated his attorney's fees
receipts issued by the respondent in handwritten forms amounting to three hundred pesos and that he had
and signed by him. demanded payment of the amount from her but, she
Atty. Vitan not only violated Cannon 18 of the Code of refused to make payment and instead, she went to Cebu
Professional Responsibility for having neglected a legal and starved there for a long time.
matter entrusted to him and did not inform complainant The estafa case was not tried. Atty. Erasmo M. Diola, as
the status of his case but also disregarded the orders of lawyer of Ana, offered to Atty. Gorduiz the sum of five
the Commission without reasons, which amounted to utter hundred pesos as settlement of the case. The offer was
disrespect of authority and unethical conduct in the accepted.
practice of his profession, thus, should be sanctioned.
The estafa case was dismissed but inspite of it, Ana felt
HELD: aggrieved by the proceedings therein and she asked for
When respondent accepted the amount of P17,000.00 the disbarment or suspension of Atty. Gorduiz and Judge
from Reyes, it was understood that he agreed to take up Equipilag.
the latter's case and that an attorney-client relationship Retuya testified hat she was willing to pay Gorduiz six
between them was established. From then on, it was hundred fifty pesos as his attorney's fee but he demanded
expected of him to serve his client, herein complainant, a bigger amount. He lodged a complaint for estafa against
with competence and attend to his cause with fidelity, her and was arrested. As already stated above, the estafa
care and devotion. case was later dismissed when Ana paid Gorduiz sum of
The act of receiving money as acceptance fee for legal five hundred pesos.
services in handling complainant's case and subsequently Gorduiz denied that he demanded as attorney's fees an
failing to render such services is a clear violation of Canon amount higher than three hundred pesos. He explained
18 of the CPR which provides that a lawyer shall serve his that he filed the estafa case because after Ana had
client with competence and diligence. received payment of the award, she did not turn over to
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Jeremias R. Vitan is him the attorney's fees of three hundred pesos in spite of
hereby declared guilty of violation of Canon 18 of her promises to pay the same and his demands for
the Code of Professional Responsibility and is SUSPENDED payment
from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months HELD:
effective upon notice of this Decision. He is ordered to
return to complainant within five (5) days from notice the Respondent acted precipitately in filing a criminal action
sum of P17,000.00 with interest of 12% per annum from against his client for the supposed misappropriation of his
the date of the promulgation of this Decision until the full attorney's fees. It is not altogether clear that his client
amount shall have been returned. had swindled him and, therefore, there is some basis for
concluding that, contrary to his lawyer's oath, he had filed
a suit against her and had harassed and embarrassed her.
WHEREFORE, the respondent is from the practice of
law for a period of six months counted from notice
of this decision. A copy of this decision should be
attached to his record in the Bar Confidant's office.