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2016 University of the Philippines

College of Law
Bar Reviewer

Dean Overall Head

Dean Danilo L. Concepcion Desiree Sokoken

Associate Dean Faculty Adviser

Prof. Concepcion L. Jardeleza Prof. Concepcion L. Jardeleza

College Secretary Subject Head

Prof. Ma. Gisella N. Dizon-Reyes Nadaine Tongco

Bar Operations Commissioner

Lazaro Kevin G. Pabiona

Academics Committee Heads

Evert Callueng
Paulo Faustino
Carlos Hernandez
Audrey Ng
Desiree Sokoken



UP Law Bar Operations Commission 2016

UP Law Bar Operations Commission 2016
BAR OPS 2016
Table of Contents
LEGAL ETHICS 1 B.4. Participation in the improvement
and reforms in the legal system 18
I. SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF THE B.5. Participation in legal education
C. To the Legal Profession 21
A. Constitutional Basis 2 C.1. Involvement in the IBP 21
B. Regulatory Powers 2 C.2. Upholding the dignity & integrity of
the profession 22
II. PRACTICE OF LAW 2 C.3. Courtesy, fairness & candor towards
professional colleagues 23
A. Concept 2 C.4. No assistance in unauthorized
A.1. Privilege 3 practice of law 25
A.2. Profession, not business 3 D. To the Courts 27
B. Qualifications 3 D.1. Candor, fairness & good faith
B.1. Citizenship 4 towards the courts 27
B.2. Residence 4 D.2. Respect for courts & judicial officers 28
B.3. Age 4 D.3. Assistance in the speedy & efficient
B.4. Good Moral Character 5 administration of justice 30
B.5. Legal Education 5 D.4. Reliance on merits of his cause &
B.6. Bar Examinations 6 avoidance of any impropriety which tends
C. Appearance of Non-Lawyers 8 to influence or gives the appearance of
C.1. Law student practice 8 influence upon the courts 34
C.2. Non-lawyers in courts 8 E. To the Clients 35
C.3. Self-representation 9 E.1. Availability of service without
C.4. Agent or friend 9 discrimination
C.5. Non-lawyers in administrative E.2. Candor, fairness and loyalty to clients 38
tribunals 9 E.3. Clients moneys and properties 42
C.6. Proceedings where lawyers are E.4. Fidelity to clients cause 44
prohibited from appearing 10 E.5. Competence and diligence 44
D. Sanctions for Practice or Appearance E.6. Representation with zeal within legal
Without Authority 10 bounds 46
D.1. Lawyers without authority 10 E.7. Attorneys fees 47
D.2. Persons not lawyers 10 E.8. Preservation of clients confidences 51
E. Public Officials and Practice of Law 10 E.9. Withdrawal of services 53
E.1. Prohibition or disqualification of
former government attorneys 10 IV. SUSPENSION, DISBARMENT, AND
E.2. Public officials who cannot practice DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS 54
law or with restrictions 11
F. Lawyers Authorized to Represent the A. Nature and Characteristics of Disciplinary
Government 11 Actions against Lawyers 54
G. Lawyers Oath 11 A.1. Confidential 55
A.2. Other characteristics 55
LAWYER 12 B. Grounds 56
Misconduct in private capacity 57
A. In General 12 C. Proceedings 57
B. To Society 13 D. Discipline of Filipino Lawyers Practicing
B.1. Respect for law and legal processes 13 Abroad 58
B.2. Efficient, convenient legal services 15 E. Discipline of Lawyers in Government 58
B.3. True, honest, fair, dignified & F. Quantum of Proof 58
objective information on legal services 16 G. Disciplinary Measures 58
H. Effect of Executive Pardon 60

I. Effect of Compromise Agreements 60 C. Impartiality 78

D. Propriety 82
F. Competence and Diligence 89
A. Lawyers Who Have Been Suspended 60
B. Lawyers Who Have Been Disbarred 60 III. DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS OF THE
C. Lawyers Who Have Been Repatriated 61 JUDICIARY 92


EDUCATION (MCLE) 61 A.1. Impeachment 92
A.2. Impeachment of former Chief Justice
A. Purpose 61 Corona 92
B. Requirements 61 B. Judges of the Lower Courts and Justices
C. Compliance 62 of Court of Appeals and Sandiganbayan 93
D. Exemptions 62 C. Grounds and Sanctions 95
E. Sanctions 63
F. Bar Matter 2012: The Rule on Mandatory III. DISQUALIFICATIONS OF JUSTICES AND
Legal Aid Service 63 JUDGES 97

VIII. NOTARIAL PRACTICE 65 A. Compulsory Disqualification 97

B. Voluntary Disqualification 98
A. Qualifications of Notary Public 65
B. Term of Office of Notary Public 65 IV. POWERS AND DUTIES OF JUDICIAL
C. Powers and Limitations 65 OFFICERS 98
C.1. Powers 65
C.2. Limitations 66 A. Administration of Justice 98
D. Notarial Register 67 B. Publicity of Proceedings 98
D.1. Entries 68 C. Publicity of Records 98
D.2. Closing 68 D. Enforceability of Court Process 99
D.3. Submission 69 E. Inherent Powers of Courts 99
E. Jurisdiction of Notary Public and Place of F. Means to Carry Jurisdiction into Effect 99
Notarization 69 G. Trial, Hearings and Other Acts 100
F. Revocation of Commission 69 H. Interlocutory Orders out of Province 100
G. Competent Evidence of Identity 70

A. Origin 71 A. Clerks of Court 101

B. Legal status 71 A.1. Office of the Clerk of Court 101
A.2. Duties of the Clerk of Court 101
JUDICIAL ETHICS 72 A.3. Taking of Records from Clerks Office 102
B. Stenographers 102
I. SOURCES OF RULES IN JUDICIAL C. Dockets and other Records of Inferior
ETHICS 73 Courts 102

A. The New Code of Judicial Conduct for the VI. LEGAL FEES 103
Philippine Judiciary (Bangalore Draft) 73
B. Code of Judicial Conduct 73 A. Manner of Payment 103
B. Fees in Lien 103
II. QUALITIES 73 C. Persons Authorized to Collect Legal Fees 103

A. Independence 73 VII. COSTS 104

B. Integrity 77


PAGE 1 OF 104

I. Supervision and II. Practice of Law

Control of the Legal
Profession A. CONCEPT
The practice of law is any activity, in or out of
court, which requires the application of law,
A. CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS legal procedure, knowledge, training and
experience. It is to give notice or render any
[1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Sec. 5(5)] kind of service, which device or service
The Supreme Court has the power to requires the use in any degree of legal
promulgate rules pleading, practice, and knowledge or skill [Cayetano v. Monsod, G.R.
procedure in all courts, the admission to the No. 100113 (1991)].
practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal According to Justice Padilla, in his dissent in
assistance to the under-privileged. Cayetano v. Monsod, the following factors are
The provision recognizes the disciplinary considered in determining whether there is
authority of the Court over the members of practice of law [HACA]:
the bar to be merely incidental to the Court's (1) Habituality Practice of law implies
exclusive power to admit applicants to the customarily or habitually holding one's
practice of law [Garrido v. Garrido, A.C. 6593 self out to the public as a lawyer. It is
(2010)]. more than an isolated appearance for it
In the judicial system from which ours has consists in frequent or customary action.
been evolved, the admission, suspension, a. However, an isolated appearance
disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at may constitute practice of law
law in the practice of the profession and their when there is a rule prohibiting
supervision have been disputably a judicial some persons from engaging in
function and responsibility [In re: Cunanan, the exercise of the legal
94 Phil 534 (1954)]. profession.
(2) Application of law, legal
B. REGULATORY POWERS principles, practice or procedure
It calls for legal knowledge, training and
The power to regulate the practice of law experience.
(3) Compensation Practice of law implies
(1) Authority to define practice of law; that one must have presented himself to
(2) Prescribe the qualifications of a be in the active and continued practice of
candidate to and the subjects of the bar the legal profession and that his
examinations; professional services are available to the
public for compensation.
(3) Decide who will be admitted to practice;
(4) Attorney-client relationship
(4) Discipline, suspend or disbar any unfit Where no such relationship exists, such
and unworthy member of the bar; as in cases of teaching law or writing law
(5) Reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely books or articles, there is no practice of
suspended attorney; law.
(6) Ordain the integration of the Bar; In view of the definition of the majority in
Cayetano v. Monsod:
(7) Punish for contempt any person for
unauthorized practice of law; and (1) Giving advice for compensation regarding
the legal status and rights of another and
(8) In general, exercise overall supervision of for ones conduct with respect thereto
the legal profession. constitutes practice of law [Ulep v. The
Legal Clinic, Inc., A.C. L-553 (1993)].
PAGE 2 OF 104

(2) Preparation of documents requiring (5) Produce before the Supreme Court
knowledge of legal principles not satisfactory evidence:
possessed by ordinary layman [Ulep v.
a. Of good moral character;
The Legal Clinic, Inc., A.C. L-553 (1993)].
b. That no charges against him,
(3) Teaching law is considered practice of
involving moral turpitude, have been
law because the fact of their being law
filed or are pending in any court in the
professors is inextricably intertwined with
Philippines [Sec. 2, Rule 138].
the fact that they are lawyers [Re: Letter
of UP Law Faculty, A.M. 10-10-4-SC
Requisites for the practice of law:
(1) Admission to the bar:
The practice of law is a privilege bestowed (a) Citizenship;
only to those who are morally fit. A bar (b) Residence;
candidate who is morally unfit cannot
practice law even if he passes the bar (c) Age (at least 21 years old);
examinations [Aguirre v. Rana, B.M. 1036 (d) Good moral character and no charges
(2003)]. involving moral turpitude; The
purposes for this requirement are:

A.2. PROFESSION, NOT BUSINESS 1. To protect the public;

Lawyering is not a business; it is a profession 2. To protect the public image of
in which duty to public service, not money, is lawyers;
the primary consideration [Burbe v. Magulta, 3. To protect prospective clients;
A. C. 99-634 (2002)]. and
4. To protect errant lawyers from
B. QUALIFICATIONS themselves [Dantes v. Dantes,
A.C. 6486 (2004)].
Any person admitted to the bar and who is in
good and regular standing is entitled to (e) Legal education (consisting of pre-
practice law [Sec. 1, Rule 138]. law and law proper);
Every applicant for admission as a member of (f) Pass the bar examinations;
the bar must be: (g) Take the lawyers oath;
(1) Citizen of the Philippines; (h) Sign the roll of attorneys.
(2) At least 21 years of age; (2) Good and regular standing:
(3) Of good moral character; (a) Remain a member of the Integrated
(a) This requirement is not only a Bar of the Philippines (IBP);
condition precedent to admission (b) Regularly pay all IBP dues and other
to the practice of law, its lawful assessments
continued possession is also
essential for remaining in the (c) Faithful observance of the rules and
practice of law [In the Matter of ethics of the legal profession (e.g.:
the Disqualification of Bar (MCLE));
Examinee Haron S. Meling In The (d) Be continually subject to judicial
2002 Bar Examinations and For disciplinary control [Agpalo (2004)].
Disciplinary Action As Member of
The Philippine Sharia Bar, B.M. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to
1154 (2004)]. become an attorney-at-law. Two essential
requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to
(4) Resident of the Philippines; be performed, namely: his lawyers oath to be
PAGE 3 OF 104

administered by this Court and his signature person who intends to practice his profession
in the roll of attorneys [Aguirre v. Rana, B.M. in the Philippines must apply with the proper
1036 (2003)]. authority for a license or permit to engage in
such practice. Thus, in pursuance to the
General rule: Only members of the bar are
qualifications laid down by the Court for the
entitled to practice law.
practice of law, the OBC requires the
Exceptions: The following are also allowed following:
in exceptional circumstances:
1) Petition for Re-Acquisition of
(1) Law students; Philippine Citizenship;
(2) By an agent/friend; 2) Order (for Re-Acquisition of
Philippine citizenship);
(3) By the litigant himself.
3) Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines;
4) Identification Certificate (IC) issued by
The practice of all professions in the the Bureau of Immigration;
Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens
save in cases prescribed by law [Sec. 14, Art. 5) Certificate of Good Standing issued
XII, 1987 Constitution]. by the IBP;
Every applicant for admission as a member of 6) Certification from the IBP indicating
the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines. updated payments of annual
[Sec. 2, Rule 138, RoC] membership dues;
Ratio: Citizenship ensures allegiance to the 7) Proof of payment of professional tax;
Republic and its laws. and
The loss of Filipino citizenship ipso jure 8) Certificate of compliance issued by
terminates the privilege to practice law in the the MCLE Office. [Petition to Re-
Philippines except when citizenship is lost by acquire the Privilege to Practice Law of
reason of naturalization and reacquired Muneses, B.M. 2112 (2012)].
through RA 9225 [Petition to Resume Practice
of Law of Dacanay, B.M. 1678 (2007)].
A Filipino lawyer who has lost and reacquired
Every applicant for admission as a member of
his citizenship under RA 9225 (Citizenship
the bar must be... a resident of the
Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003) is
Philippines. [Sec. 2, Rule 138, RoC]
deemed not to have lost his Philippine
citizenship. However, he still needs to apply Ratio: His/her duties to his client and to the
with the Supreme Court for a license or court will require that he be readily accessible
permit to engage in such practice after and available.
compliance with the following:
(1) Updating and payment of annual B.3. AGE
membership dues in the IBP; Every applicant for admission as a member of
(2) Payment of professional tax; the bar must be at least 21 years of age. [Sec.
2, Rule 138, RoC]
(3) Completion of 36 hours of MCLE;
Ratio: Maturity and discretion are required in
(4) Retaking of the lawyers oath [Sec. 5(4), the practice of law.
RA 9225].
A Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of
another country and later re-acquires his
Philippine citizenship under RA 9225,
remains to be a member of the Philippine Bar.
However, the right to resume the practice of
law is not automatic. RA 9225 provides that a
PAGE 4 OF 104


Every applicant for admission as a member of I. Pre-law
the bar must be of good moral character and
An applicant for admission to the bar
must produce before the SC satisfactory
examination shall present a certificate issued
evidence of good moral character, and that
by the proper government agency that,
no charges against him, involving moral
before commencing the study of law, he or
turpitude, have been filed or are pending in
she had pursued and satisfactorily completed
any court in the Philippines. [Sec. 2, Rule 138,
in an authorized and recognized university or
college, requiring for admission thereto the
Good moral character is a continuing completion of a four-year high school course,
qualification required of every member of the the course of study prescribed therein for a
bar, it is not only a qualification precedent to bachelor's degree in arts or sciences.
the practice of law [Narag v. Narag, A.C. 3405
A Filipino citizen who completed and
obtained his or her Bachelor of Laws degree
Absence of a proven conduct or act which has or its equivalent in a foreign law school must
been historically and traditionally considered present proof of having completed a separate
as a manifestation of moral turpitude. The act bachelor's degree course. [Sec. 6, Rule 138,
or conduct need not amount to a crime; and RoC; Re: Letter of Atty. Mendoza, B.M. 1153
even if it does constitute an offense, a (2010)].
conviction upon a criminal charge is not
II. Law proper
necessary to demonstrate bad moral
character although it may show moral All applicants for admission shall, before
depravity [Agpalo (2004)]. being admitted to the examination,
satisfactorily show that they have successfully
Good moral character is what a person really
completed all the prescribed courses for the
is, as distinguished from good reputation, the
degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent
estimate in which he is held by the public in
degree, in a law school or university officially
the place where he is known [In the Matter of
recognized by the Philippine Government or
the Disqualification of Bar Examinee Haron S.
by the proper authority in the foreign
Meling In The 2002 Bar Examinations and For
jurisdiction where the degree has been
Disciplinary Action As Member of The
Philippine Sharia Bar, B.M. 1154 (2004)].
No applicant who obtained the Bachelor of
The Supreme Court may deny lawyers oath-
Laws degree in this jurisdiction shall be
taking based on a conviction for reckless
admitted to the bar examination unless he or
imprudence resulting in homicide (hazing
she has satisfactorily completed the following
case). But after submission of evidence and
course in a law school or university duly
various certifications he may now be
recognized by the government:
regarded as complying with the requirements
of good moral character xxx he is not 1) Civil Law
inherently of bad moral fiber [In re: Argosino, 2) Commercial Law
A.M. 712 (1997)].
3) Remedial Law
Concealment of pending criminal cases 4) Criminal Law
constitutes lack of good moral character (in
5) Public International Law
petition to take the bar examinations) [In the
Matter of the Disqualification of Bar Examinee 6) Private International Law
Haron S. Meling In The 2002 Bar 7) Political Law
Examinations and For Disciplinary Action As 8) Labor and Social Legislation
Member of The Philippine Sharia Bar, B.M. 9) Medical Jurisprudence
1154 (2004)].
10) Taxation
11) Legal Ethics

PAGE 5 OF 104

A Filipino citizen who graduated from a the academic freedom of institutions

foreign law school shall be admitted to the of higher learning;
bar examination only upon submission to the
d) accrediting law schools that meet the
Supreme Court of certifications showing:
standards of accreditation;
1) Completion of all courses leading to
e) prescribing minimum standards for
the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its
law admission and minimum
equivalent degree;
qualifications and compensation of
2) Recognition or accreditation of the faculty members;
law school by the proper authority;
f) prescribing the basic curricula for the
course of study aligned to the
3) Completion of all the fourth year requirements for admission to the
subjects in the Bachelor of Laws Bar, law practice and social
academic program in a law school consciousness;
duly recognized by the Philippine
g) establishing a law practice internship
Government. [Sec. 5, Rule 138, RoC;
as a requirement for taking the Bar
Re: Letter of Atty. Mendoza, B.M. 1153
which a law student shall undergo
with any duly accredited private or
public law office or firm or legal
assistance group anytime during the
Legal Education Board
law course for a specific period that
Under R.A. No. 7662 (Legal Education the Board may decide, but not to
Reform Act od 1993), a Legal Education exceed a total of twelve (12) months.
Board (LEB) was created in order to For this purpose, the Board shall
undertake appropriate reforms in the legal prescribe the necessary guidelines for
education system, require proper selection of such accreditation and the
law students, maintain quality among law specifications of such internship
schools, and require legal apprenticeship and which shall include the actual work of
continuing legal education. a new member of the Bar; and
It is comprised of a former justice of the SC or h) adopting a system of continuing legal
CA (who serves as the Chairman), a education.
representative of the IBP, a representative of
the Philippine Association of Law Schools
(PALS), a representative from the ranks of B.6. BAR EXAMINATIONS
active law practitioners, a representative from I. W hen to file permit
the law students' sector (regular members),
and the Secretary of the Department of All applicants for admission shall file with the
Education or his representative (ex clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence
officio member). required at least 15 days before the beginning
of the examination. They shall also file within
The functions of the Board include: the same period the affidavit and certificate
a) administering the legal education required by Sec. 5 [Sec. 7, Rule 138, RoC].
system in the country; ii. Notice
b) supervising the law schools in the Notice of applications for admission shall be
country; published by the clerk of the Supreme Court
c) setting the standards of accreditation in newspapers published in Filipino, English
for law schools taking into account, and Spanish, for at least ten days before the
among others, the size of enrollment, beginning of the examination [Sec. 8, Rule
the qualifications of the members of 138, RoC].
the faculty, the library and other
facilities, without encroaching upon

PAGE 6 OF 104

iii. Conduct of exam inations v. Passing average

Persons taking the examination shall not A candidate is deemed to have passed his
bring papers, books or notes into the examinations successfully if he obtained a
examination rooms. The questions shall be general average of 75 percent in all subjects,
the same for all examinees and a copy without falling below 50 percent in any
thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given subject [Sec. 14, Rule 138, RoC].
to each examinee. Examinees shall answer
The relative weights of the subjects used in
the questions personally without help from
determining the average are as follows:
Subject %
Upon verified application made by an
examinee stating that his penmanship is so Civil Law 15%
poor that it will be difficult to read his
answers without much loss of time, the Labor and Social Legislation 10%
Supreme Court may allow such examinee to Mercantile Law 15%
use a typewriter in answering the questions.
Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to Criminal Law 10%
be used. Political and International Law 15%
The committee of bar examines shall take Taxation 10%
such precautions as are necessary to prevent
the substitution of papers or commission of Remedial Law 20%
other frauds. Examinees shall not place their Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises 5%
names on the examination papers. No oral
examination shall be given [Sec. 10, Rule 138,
RoC]. vi. Com m ittee Of Exam iners
Examinations shall be conducted by a
iv. W hen and where to take committee of bar examiners to be appointed
examinations by the Supreme Court. This committee shall
be composed of a Justice of the Supreme
Examination for admission to the bar of the Court as chairman, and eight members of the
Philippines shall take place annually in the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office
City of Manila. They shall be held in four days for a period of one year. The names of the
to be designated by the chairman of the members of this committee shall be
committee on bar examiners [Sec. 11, Rule published in each volume of the official
138, RoC]. reports [Sec. 12, Rule 138, RoC].
Morning Political and Pursuant to Bar Matter No. 1161 (2009), two
First International Law examiners are designated per bar subject.
Day Afternoon Labor and Social The Bar Confidant acts as a sort of liaison
Legislation officer between the court and the Bar
Morning Civil Law Chairman on the other hand, and the
Second individual members of the committee on the
Day Afternoon Taxation other. He is at the same time a deputy clerk of
Morning Mercantile Law court.
Day Afternoon Criminal Law
vii. Results
Morning Remedial law
Fourth Not later than February 15th after the
Day Afternoon Legal Ethics and
examination, or as soon thereafter as may be
Practical Exercises
practicable, the committee shall file its report
on the result of such examination. The
examination papers and notes of the
committee shall be filed with the clerk and
PAGE 7 OF 104

may there be examined by the parties in officer, to represent indigent clients accepted
interest, after the court has approved the by the legal clinic of the law school [Sec. 1,
report [Sec. 15, Rule 138, RoC]. Rule 138-A].
The appearance of the law student shall be
under the direct supervision and control of a
viii. Flunkers
member of the Integrated Bar of the
Candidates who have failed the bar Philippines duly accredited by the law school.
examinations for three times shall be Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs,
disqualified from taking another examination memoranda or other papers to be filed, must
unless they show to the satisfaction of the be signed by the supervising attorney for and
court that they have enrolled in and passed in behalf of the legal clinic [Sec. 2, Rule 138-
regular fourth year review classes as well as A].
attended a pre-bar review course in a
The Rules safeguarding privileged
recognized law school.
communications between attorney and client
shall apply [Sec. 3, Rule 138-A].
ix. Disciplinary m easures The law student shall comply with the
No candidate shall endeavor to influence any standards of professional conduct governing
member of the committee, and during members of the bar. Failure of an attorney to
examination, the candidates shall not provide adequate supervision of student
communicate with each other nor shall they practice may be a ground for disciplinary
give or receive any assistance. Any violator action [Sec. 4, Rule 138-A].
shall be barred from the examination, and Sec. 34, Rule 138 is clear that appearance
the same to count as a failure against him, before the inferior courts by a non-lawyer is
and further disciplinary action may be taken allowed, irrespective of whether or not he is a
in the discretion of the court [Sec. 13, Rule 138, law student [Cruz v. Mina, G.R. 154207
RoC]. (2007)]. Thus, a law student may appear
under the circumstances of Sec. 38, as an
x. Civil service eligibility agent or a friend of a party litigant, without
complying with the requirements of Rule 138-
Under RA 1080, as amended by RA 1844, the A, e.g., supervision of a lawyer.
Bar examinations is declared as civil service
examinations equivalent to:
(1) First grade regular examination for C.2. NON-LAWYERS IN COURTS
appointment to a position which requires In the court of a municipality a party may
proficiency in law; and conduct his litigation in person, with the aid
of an agent or friend appointed by him for
(2) Second grade regular examination for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney.
appointment to a position which does not In any other court, a party may conduct his
require proficiency in law. litigation personally or by aid of an attorney,
and his appearance must be either personal
or by a duly authorized member of the bar
Public policy demands that legal work in
C.1. LAW STUDENT PRACTICE representation of parties should be entrusted
A law student who has successfully only to those possessing tested qualifications
completed third year of the regular four-year [PAFLU v. Binalbagan, G.R. No. L-23959
prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a (1971)].
recognized law school's clinical legal
However, the Supreme Court, in the exercise
education program approved by the Supreme of its judicial power, can validly authorize a
Court, may appear without compensation in layman to represent a litigant in court
any civil, criminal or administrative case [Agpalo (2004)].
before any trial court, tribunal, board or
PAGE 8 OF 104

A non-lawyer conducting his own litigation is (3) The attorney declines for a valid reason
bound by the same rules in conducting the (e.g., conflict of interest) [People v. Serzo,
trial of his case. He cannot, after judgment, G.R. No. 118435 (1997)].
claim that he was not properly represented
[Agpalo (2004)].
When appointed or chosen, the agent or
C.3. SELF-REPRESENTATION friend is not engaged in the practice of law,
In any court, a party may conduct his since there is no habituality in the activity and
litigation in person. no attorney-client relationship exists. He is
only permitted to appear in the municipal
An attorney who is otherwise disqualified to
trial court.
practice law, or has been disbarred or
suspended from practice, can validly In criminal cases, in localities where members
prosecute or defend his own litigation, he of the bar are not available, the court may
having as much right as that of a layman appoint any person (i.e., non-lawyer), who is a
[Danforth v. Egan, 119 N.W. 1021 (1909)]. resident of the province and of good repute
for probity and ability to defend the accused,
When a person conducts his litigation in
in lieu of a counsel de oficio [Sec. 7, Rule 116].
person, he is not engaged in the practice of
In relation to Sec. 34, Rule 138, this is only
law [Agpalo (2004)].
allowed in the municipal trial court.
A juridical person may also appear through
its non-lawyer agents or officers in the
municipal trial court. C.5. NON-LAWYERS IN ADMINISTRATIVE
Sec. 34 does not distinguish between civil TRIBUNALS
and criminal cases. However, in criminal A party may also appear on his own behalf,
cases, the rule is qualified: his organization or members thereof, before
administrative bodies. This is also expressly
(1) Under Sec. 1(c), Rule 115, the accused may allowed in Art. 222 of the Labor Code.
defend himself in person when it
sufficiently appears to the court that he There are laws which allow representation of
can properly protect his rights without another by non-lawyers before such bodies.
the assistance of counsel. (1) The 2011 NLRC Rule of Procedure,
(2) Under Sec. 7, Rule 116, in determining promulgated pursuant to Art 218(a),
whether a counsel de oficio should be Labor Code, allows (a) non-lawyers, who
appointed, or, for that matter, whether a are not necessarily a party to the case, to
counsel de parte should be required represent a union or members thereof, (b)
(conversely, whether the accused should non-lawyers who are duly-accredited
be allowed to defend himself in person), members of any legal aid office
the gravity of the offense and the recognized by the Department of Justice
difficulty of the questions that may arise or Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and
should be considered. (c) non-lawyer owners of establishments,
to appear before it.
While the right to be represented by counsel
is immutable, the option to secure the (2) Under Sec. 9, Act 2259 (Cadastral Act), a
services of counsel de parte is not absolute. claimant may appear by himself, or by
The court may restrict the accuseds option to some person in his behalf, before a
retain a counsel de parte if: cadastral court.
(1) He insists on an attorney he cannot In order that these laws will not infringe upon
afford; the power of the Supreme Court to regulate
the practice of law, the following limitations
(2) He chose a person not a member of the must be observed:
(1) The non-lawyer should confine his work
to non-adversary contentions and should
PAGE 9 OF 104

not undertake purely legal work (i.e., (5) Administrative complaint against the
examination of witness, presentation of erring lawyer or government official;
(6) Criminal complaint for estafa against the
(2) The services should not be habitual; person who falsely represented himself
as a lawyer to the damage of another.
(3) Attorneys fees should not be charged
[Agpalo (2004)].
(1) In small claims cases, no attorney shall E.1. PROHIBITION OR DISQUALIFICATION
appear in behalf of or represent a party at
the hearing, unless the attorney is the
plaintiff or defendant. If the court Under Sec. 7(b), RA 6713, public officials and
determines that a party cannot properly employees during their incumbency shall not:
present his/her claim or defense and (1) Own, control, manage or accept
needs assistance, the court may, in its employment as officer employee,
discretion, allow another individual who consultant, counsel, broker, agent,
is not an attorney to assist that party trustee or nominee / in any private
upon the latter's consent [Sec. 17, Rules enterprise regulated, supervised or
of Procedure in Small Claims Cases]. licensed by their office / unless expressly
(2) In all katarungang pambarangay allowed by law;
proceedings, the parties must appear in (2) Engage in the private practice of their
person without the assistance of the profession unless authorized by the
counsel or representative, except for Constitution or law, provided that such
minors and incompetents who may be practice will not conflict or tend to
assisted by their next of kin who are not conflict with their official functions;
lawyers [Sec 415, Local Govt Code].
(3) Recommend any person to any position in
a private enterprise which has a regular
D. SANCTIONS FOR PRACTICE OR or pending official transaction with their
These prohibitions shall continue to apply for
a period of one year after resignation,
D.1. LAWYERS WITHOUT AUTHORITY retirement or separation from public office,
Under Sec. 27, Rule 138, corruptly or willfully except in case of the second.
appearing as an attorney for a party to a case
without authority to do so is a ground for Also, the one year prohibition applies to
disbarment or suspension. practice of profession in connection with any
matter before the office he used to be with.


For persons not lawyers as well as lawyers
who appear without authority, the following
may be availed of:
(1) Petition for injunction;
(2) Declaratory relief;
(3) Contempt of court;
(4) Disqualification and complaints for

PAGE 10 OF 104

E.2. PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO CANNOT agency, or instrumentality of the

PRACTICE LAW OR WITH RESTRICTIONS government is the adverse party;
b. Appear as counsel in any criminal
E.2.A. ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION case wherein an officer or employee
(1) Judges and other officials or employees of the national or local government
of superior courts as [Sec. 35, Rule 148]; is accused of an offense committed
in relation to his office;
(2) Officials and employees of the Office of
the Solicitor General [Sec. 35, Rule 148]; c. Collect any fee for their appearance
in administrative proceedings
(3) Government prosecutors [Lim-Santiago v. involving the local government unit
Sagucio, A.C. 6705 (2006)]; of which he is an official; and
(4) President, vice-president, cabinet d. Use property and personnel of the
members, their deputies and assistants government except when the
[Sec. 15, Art. VII, Consti]; sanggunian member concerned is
(5) Chairmen and members of constitutional defending the interest of the
commissions [Sec. 2, Art. IX-A, Consti]; government [Sec. 90(b), RA 7160].
(6) Members of the Judicial Bar Council [Sec.
(7) Ombudsman and his deputies [Sec. 8 (2), Under Sec. 1, RA 910, the pension of justices
Art. X, Consti]; therein is provided with a condition that no
retiring justice, during the time that he is
(8) All governors, city and municipal mayors receiving said pension shall:
[Sec. 90(a), RA 7160];
(1) Appear as counsel before any court in any
(9) Civil service officers or employees whose civil case wherein the Government or any
duties require them to devote their entire subdivision or instrumentality thereof is
time at the disposal of the government the adverse party;
[Catu v Rellosa, A.C. 5738 (2008)];
(2) In any criminal case wherein and officer
(10) Those who, by special law, are prohibited or employee of the government is
from engaging in the practice of their accused of an offense committed in
legal profession. relation to his office; or
(3) Collect any fee for his appearance in any
E.2.B. RELATIVE PROHIBITION administrative proceedings to maintain
(1) No senator or member of the House of an interest adverse to the Government,
Representatives may personally appear insular, provincial or municipal, or to any
as counsel before any court of justice or of its legally constituted officers.
before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-
judicial and other administrative bodies
[Sec. 14, Art. VI, 1987 Consti]; F. LAWYERS AUTHORIZED TO
a. The word appearance includes not REPRESENT THE GOVERNMENT
only arguing a case before any such Any person appointed to appear for the
body but also filing a pleading on Government of the Philippines shall be
behalf of a client [Ramos v Manalac, allowed to appear in court, subject to
G.R. L-2610 (1951)]. pertinent laws.
(2) Sanggunian members may practice law
except during session hours and provided
they shall not: G. LAWYERS OATH
a. Appear as counsel before any court An applicant who has passed the required
in any civil case wherein a local examination, or has been otherwise found to
government unit or any office, be entitled to admission to the bar, shall take

PAGE 11 OF 104

and subscribe before the Supreme Court the

corresponding oath of office [Sec. 17, Rule III. Duties and
Responsibilities of a
The lawyer's oath is not a mere ceremony or
formality for practicing law. Every lawyer Lawyer
should at all times weigh his actions
according to the sworn promises he makes
when taking the lawyer's oath. If all lawyers A. IN GENERAL
conducted themselves strictly according to
Under the Rules of Court, it is the duty of an
the lawyer's oath and the Code of
Professional Responsibility, the
administration of justice will undoubtedly be (1) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of
faster, fairer and easier for everyone the Philippines and to support the
concerned [In re: Argosino, A.M. 712 (1997)]. Constitution and obey the laws of the
(2) To observe and maintain the respect due
I, ___________________, do solemnly swear
to the courts of justice and judicial
I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of
(3) To counsel or maintain such actions or
the Philippines;
proceedings only as appear to him to be
I will support its Constitution and obey the just, and such defenses only as he
laws as well as the legal orders of the duly believes to be honestly debatable under
constituted authorities therein; the law;
I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the (4) To employ, for the purpose of
doing of any in court; maintaining the causes confided to him,
such means only as are consistent with
I will not wittingly or willingly promote or
truth and honor, and never seek to
sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit,
mislead the judge or any judicial officer
nor give aid nor consent to the same;
by an artifice or false statement of fact or
I will delay no man for money or malice, and law;
will conduct myself as a lawyer according to
(5) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and
the best of my knowledge and discretion
at every peril to himself, to preserve the
with all fidelity as well to the courts as to my
secrets of his client, and to accept no
clients; and
compensation in connection with his
I impose upon myself this voluntary clients business except from him or with
obligation without any mental reservation or his knowledge and approval;
purpose of evasion. So help me God.
(6) To abstain from all offensive personality
and to advance no fact prejudicial to the
honor or reputation of a party or witness,
unless required by the justice of the cause
with which he is charge;
(7) Not to encourage either the
commencement or the continuance of an
action or proceeding, or delay any mans
cause, from any corrupt motive or
(8) Never to reject, for any consideration
personal to himself, the cause of the
defenseless or oppressed;

PAGE 12 OF 104

(9) In the defense of a person accused of A lawyer may not be disciplined for failure to
crime, by all fair and honorable means, pay her obligation [Toledo v. Abalos, 315
regardless of his personal opinion as to SCRA 419 (1999)], but unwarranted obstinacy
the guilt of the accused, to present every in evading the payment of a debt has been
defense that the law permits, to the end considered as a gross misconduct.
that no person may be deprived of life or [Constantino v. Saludares, 228 SCRA 233
liberty, but by due process of law [Sec. (1993)]. However, issuance of bouncing
20, Rule 138]. checks reflects on the lawyers moral
character and he may be disciplined. [Lex
Pareto, Bar 2001, 2002]
B. TO SOCIETY A lawyer is obligated to promote respect for
legal processes. This includes order of the
commission on Bar discipline of the IBP. (The
lawyers oath likewise says, I will obey the
PROCESSES duly constituted authorities.) [Lex Pareto,
Canon 1. A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, Bar 2002]
obey the laws of the land and promote respect
for law and legal process.
Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, GROSSLY IMMORAL ACTS
dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. (1) Wanton disregard for the sanctity of
marriage as shown when the lawyer
pursued a married woman and thereafter
NOTE: Canon 1 = 3rd top source of Qs on CPR. cohabited with her [Guevarra v. Eala, A.C.
It was asked 18 times in the last 20 years as No. 7136 (2007)]
of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
(2) Rape of a neighbors wife, which
constitutes serious moral depravity, even
UNLAWFUL CONDUCT if his guilt was not proved beyond
reasonable doubt in the criminal
An unlawful conduct is act or omission which prosecution for rape [Calub v. Suller, A.C.
is against the law. Dishonesty involves lying No. 1474 (2000)]
or cheating [Agpalo (2004)]


CONDUCT DISTINGUISHED (1) Mere intimacy between a man and a
woman, both of whom possess no
Immoral conduct involves acts that are willful, impediment to marry, voluntarily carried
flagrant, or shameless, and that show a and devoid of deceit on the part of the
moral indifference to the opinion of the respondent, even if a child was born out
upright and respectable members of the of wedlock of such relationship; it may
community. Immoral conduct is gross when it suggest a doubtful moral character but
is so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act, or not grossly immoral [Figueroa v.
so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a Barranco, SBC Case No. 519 (1997)]
high degree, or when committed under such
scandalous or revolting circumstances as to (2) Stealing a kiss from a client [Advincula v.
shock the communitys sense of decency. The Macabata, A.C. No. 7204 (2007)]
Court makes these distinctions, as the
supreme penalty of disbarment from conduct
requires grossly immoral, not simply immoral,
conduct. [Perez v. Catindig, A.C. No. 5816 Moral turpitude includes everything which is
(2015)] done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or
good morals. It involves an act of baseness,
vileness, or depravity in the private duties
which a man owed his fellowmen, or to
PAGE 13 OF 104

society in general [Barrios v. Martinez, A.C. No. action but ignorant of legal rights and court
4585 (2004)]. procedure.
Murder, estafa, rape, violation of BP 22, A lawyer may be disciplined in his
bribery, bigamy, adultery, seduction, professional and private capacity. The filing
abduction, concubinage and smuggling are of multiple complaints reflects on his fitness
considered crimes involving moral turpitude. to be a member of the legal profession. His
conduct of vindictiveness a decidedly
undesirable trait especially when one resorts
Rule 1.02. A lawyer shall not counsel or abet to using the court not to secure justice but
activities aimed at defiance of the law or at merely to exact revenge warrants his
lessening confidence in the legal profession. dismissal from the judiciary. [Saburnido v.
Madrono, A.C. No. 4497 (2001)]

The promotion of organizations, with

knowledge of their objectives, for the purpose AMBULANCE CHASING AND BARRATRY
of violating or evading the laws constitutes DISTINGUISHED [Lex Pareto (2014)]
such misconduct in his office [In re: Terrell,
G.R. No. 1203 (1903)]
Refers to personal Refers to any action
Rule 1.03. A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt injury
motive or interest, encourage any suit or
Refers to cases Refers to suits before
delay any mans cause.
brought before judicial or non-
judicial bodies judicial bodies
The offense of inciting or stirring up quarrels, Rule 1.04. A lawyer shall encourage his clients
litigation or groundless lawsuits, either at law to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will
or otherwise [Bouvier] admit of a fair settlement.
(1) Volunteering advice to bring lawsuits,
except where ties of blood, relationship or
trust make it a duty to do so The function of a lawyer is not only to conduct
litigation but to avoid it where possible, by
(2) Hunting up defects in titles or other advising settlement or withholding suit. He
causes of action in order to be employed must act as mediator for compromise rather
to bring suit or breed litigation than an instigator and conflict [Agpalo

AMBULANCE-CHASING It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client,

ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and
Unethical practice of inducing personal injury vagaries of the law, on the merit or lack of
victims to bring suits. The practice of lawyers merit of his case. If he finds that his client's
in frequenting hospitals and homes of the cause is defenseless, then it is his bounden
injured to convince them to go to court [Lex duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and
Pareto (2014)] submit, rather than traverse the
Accident-site solicitation of any kind of legal incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the
business by laymen employed by an attorney whims and caprices of his client, and temper
for the purpose or by the attorney himself. his clients propensity to litigate. A lawyer's
oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior
Supports perjury, the defrauding of innocent to his duty to his client; its primacy is
persons by judgments, upon manufactured indisputable [Castaeda v. Ago, G.R. No. L-
causes of actions and the defrauding of 28546 (1975)]
injured persons having proper causes of

PAGE 14 OF 104

B.2. EFFICIENT, CONVENIENT LEGAL legal advice if the reason for not accepting
SERVICES the case is that there involves a conflict of
Canon 2. A lawyer shall make his legal interest between him and a prospective client
services available in an efficient and or between a present client and a prospective
convenient manner compatible with the client. [Agpalo (2004)]
independence, integrity and effectiveness of
the profession.
Rule 2.03. A lawyer shall not do or permit to
Rule 2.01. A lawyer shall not reject, except for be done any act designed to primarily solicit
valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or legal business.
the oppressed.

A well-known lawyer has been engaged to

NOTE: Asked 4 times in the last 20 years as run a program in which he encourages
of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)] indigent party litigants to consult him free of
charge about their legal problems over a
radio and television network. Has he violated
Membership in the bar is a privilege any ethical rules? YES, as it involves indirect
burdened with conditions. It could be that for advertising and solicitation and is likewise
some lawyers, especially the neophytes in the violative of the confidentiality of lawyer-client
profession, being appointed counsel de relationship. His act may also be considered
oficio is an irksome chore. For those holding as a form of self-praise hence subject to
such belief, it may come as a surprise that discipline [In re: Tagorda, 53 Phil 37, cited in
counsel of repute and of eminence welcome Lex Pareto (2014); Unsangan v. Tolentino,
such an opportunity. It makes even more 598 SCRA 133 (2009)]
manifest that law is indeed a profession
dedicated to the ideal of service and not a Law is not a business but a profession. Unlike
mere trade. It is understandable then why a a businessman, the lawyer has:
high degree of fidelity to duty is required of (1) Relation to the administration of justice
one so designated. [Ledesma v. Climaco, G.R. involving sincerity, integrity and reliability
No. L-23815 (1974)] as an officer of the court;
Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial (2) Duty of public service;
bodies and adequate legal assistance shall
not be denied to any person by reason of (3) Relation to clients with the highest
poverty. [Sec. 11, Art. III, 1987 Consti] degree of fiduciary;

Legal aid is not a matter of charity. It is a (4) Relation to colleagues at the bar
means for the correction of social imbalance characterized by candor, fairness and
that may and often do lead to injustice, for unwillingness to resort to business
which reason it is a public responsibility of methods of advertising and
the bar [IBP Handbook, Guidelines Governing encroachment on their practice, or
the Establishment and Operation of the Legal dealing directly with their clients [Agpalo
Aid Office]. (2004)]
Thus, the practice of soliciting cases at law
for the purpose of gain, either personally or
Rule 2.02. In such cases, even if the lawyer through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to malpractice [Sec. 27, Rule 138].
render legal advice to the person concerned if
only to the extent necessary to safeguard the
latters rights. Rule 2.04. A lawyer shall not charge rates
lower than those customarily prescribed
unless the circumstances so warrant.
Advice may be on what preliminary steps to
take until the client has secured the services
of counsel. But he shall refrain from giving
PAGE 15 OF 104

Reason for rule 2.04 is that the practice of (c) Address;

law is profession and not a trade. It is
(d) Phone numbers;
improper to lower your legal rates just
because another lawyer has offered a lower (e) Branches of law practiced;
legal fee. [Lex Pareto (2014)]
(f) Birthday;
This rule prohibits the competition in the
(g) Day admitted to the bar;
matter of charging professional fees for the
purposed of attracting clients in favor of the (h) Schools and dates attended;
lawyer who offers lower rates. The rule does (i) Degrees and distinctions;
not prohibit a lawyer from charging a reduced
fee or none at all to an indigent or to a person (j) Public or quasi-public offices;
who would have difficulty paying the fee (k) Posts of honor;
usually charged for such services [Agpalo
(2004)] (l) Legal authorships;
(m) Teaching positions;
B.3. TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED & (n) Associations;
OBJECTIVE INFORMATION ON LEGAL (o) Legal fraternities and societies;
(p) References and regularly represented
Canon 3. A lawyer in making known his legal clients must be published for that
services shall use only true, honest, fair, purpose [Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Inc.,
dignified and objective information or B.M. No. 553 (1993)];
statement of facts.
(3) Publication of simple announcement of
Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use or permit the opening of law firm, change of firm;
use of any false, fraudulent, misleading,
deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or (4) Listing in telephone directory but not
unfair statement or claim regarding his under designation of special branch of
qualifications or legal services. law;
(5) If acting as an associate (specializing in a
branch of law), may publish a brief and
NOTE: Canon 3 = 5th top source of Qs on CPR. dignified announcement to lawyers (law
Asked 12 times in the last 20 years as of 2014 list, law journal);
[Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
(6) If in media, those acts incidental to his
The most worthy and effective advertisement practice and not of his own initiative;
possible, even for a young lawyer, and
especially with his brother lawyers, is the (7) Writing legal articles;
establishment of a well-merited reputation (8) Activity of an association for the purpose
for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. of legal representation.
This cannot be forced, but must be the
outcome of character and conduct [Canon 27, The law list must be a reputable law list
Canons of Professional Ethics; In re: Tagorda, published primarily for that purpose; it
G.R. No. 32329, (1929)]. cannot be a mere supplemental feature of a
paper, magazine, trade journal or periodical
which is published primarily for other
(1) Ordinary simple professional card;
(2) Publication in reputable law list with ENTERING INTO OTHER BUSINESSES
brief biographical and other informative For it to constitute as inconsistent with the
data which may include: lawyers profession, it is advisable that they
(a) Name; be entirely separate and apart such that a
(b) Associates;
PAGE 16 OF 104

layman could distinguish between the two Ratio: All partners by their joint efforts over
functions. a period of years contributed to the goodwill
attached to the firm name, and the removal
The lawyer must make it clear to his client
of the deceased partners name disturbs the
whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another
client goodwill built through the years.
Firms may not use misleading names
showing association with other firms to
PROHIBITED ADVERTISEMENTS purport legal services of highest quality and
ties with multinational business enterprise
[Sec. 27, Canon of Professional Ethics]
especially when such firm attached as an
(1) Through touters of any kind whether associate cannot legally practice law in the
allied real estate firms or trust companies Philippines [Dacanay v. Baker and McKenzie,
advertising to secure the drawing of A.C. 2131 (1985)].
deeds or wills;
(2) Offering retainers in exchange for
executorships or trusteeships to be Rule 3.03. Where a partner accepts public
influenced by the lawyer; office, he shall withdraw from the firm and
his name shall be dropped from the firm
(3) Furnishing or inspiring newspaper name unless the law allows him to practice
comments concerning the manner of law concurrently.
their conduct, the magnitude of the
interests involved, the importance of
lawyers position, and all other like self- Purpose: To prevent the law firm from using
laudation. his name to attract legal business and to
A lawyer may not properly publish his brief avoid suspicion of undue influence.
biographical and informative data in a daily A civil service officer or employee whose duty
paper, magazine, trade journal or society or responsibility does not require his entire
program in order to solicit legal business time to be at the disposal of the government
[Khan v. Simbillo, A.C. 5299 (2003)]. may not engage in the private practice of law
It is highly unethical for an attorney to without the written permit from the head of
advertise his talents or skill as a merchant the department concerned [Agpalo (2004)].
advertises his wares. The law is a profession It is unlawful for a public official or employee
not a business. Solicitation of cases by to, among others, engage in the private
himself or through others is unprofessional practice of their profession, unless authorized
and lowers the standards of the legal by the Constitution or law, provided that such
profession. [In re: Tagorda, supra]. practice will not conflict or tend to conflict
In the last analysis, where to draw the line is with official functions [Samonte v. Gatdula,
a question of good faith and good taste. A.M. No. P-99-1292 (1999)].
If the unauthorized practice on the part of a
person who assumes to be an attorney causes
Rule 3.02. In the choice of a firm name, no damage to a party, the former may be held
false, misleading or assumed name shall liable for estafa.
be used. The continued use of the name of
a deceased partner is permissible provided
that the firm indicates in all its ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE PROHIBITION OF
communications that said partner is PUBLIC OFFICIALS FROM PRACTICE OF
deceased. LAW:
When any of those absolutely prohibited
officials is appointed/elected/qualified, he
The continued use of the name of a deceased
ceases, as a general rule, to engage in the
partner is permissible provided that the firm
private practice of law and his right to
indicates in all its communications that said
partner is deceased [Agpalo (2004)].
PAGE 17 OF 104

practice is suspended during his tenure in EXAMPLES

(1) Presenting position papers or resolutions
for the introduction of pertinent bills in
Rule 3.04. A lawyer shall not pay or give
anything of value to representatives of the (2) Submitting petitions to the Supreme
mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, Court for the amendment of the Rules of
publicity to attract legal business. Court.
The Misamis Oriental Chapter of the IBP has
been commended by the Supreme Court
Purpose: To prevent some lawyers from when it promulgated a resolution wherein it
gaining an unfair advantage over others
requested the IBPs National Committee on
through the use of gimmickry, press agentry Legal Aid to ask for the exemption from the
or other artificial means.
payment of filing, docket and other fees of
This rule prohibits from making indirect clients of the legal aid offices in the various
publicity gimmick, such as furnishing or IBP chapters [Re: Request of NCLA to Exempt
inspiring newspaper comments, procuring his Legal Aid Clients from Paying Filing, Docket
photograph to be published in connection and Other Fees (2009)].
with cases which he is handling, making a
courtroom scene to attract the attention of
newspapermen, or arranging for the purpose B.5. PARTICIPATION IN LEGAL EDUCATION
an interview with him by media people PROGRAM
[Agpalo 2004]. Canon 5. A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal
It is bad enough to have such undue publicity developments, participate in continuing legal
when a criminal case is being investigated by education programs, support efforts to
the authorities, even when it is being tried in achieve high standards in law schools as well
court; but when said publicity and as in the practical training of law students
sensationalism is allowed, even encouraged, and assist in disseminating information
when the case is on appeal and is pending regarding the law and jurisprudence.
consideration by this Tribunal, the whole
thing becomes inexcusable, even abhorrent,
and this Court, in the interest of justice, is Bar Matter No. 850
constrained and called upon to put an end to (Dated Feb. 15, 2015. Effective Mar. 1, 2015)
it and a deterrent against its repetition by
meting an appropriate disciplinary measure, Re: Rules on Mandatory Continuing Legal
even a penalty to the one liable. [Cruz v. Salva, Education for Active Members of the
G.R. No. L-12871 (1959)] Integrated Bar of the Philippines
xxx The Court Resolved to REQUIRE all
members of the Integrated Bar of the
B.4 PARTICIPATION IN THE IMPROVEMENT Philippines to file a written entry of
AND REFORMS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM appearance indicating their MCLE exemption
Canon 4. A lawyer shall participate in the or compliance number for the current or
development of the legal system by initiating immediately preceding compliance period
or supporting efforts in law reform and in the and date of issuance thereof before
improvement of the administration of justice. appearing as counsel or engaging in oral
argument in open court or before a quasi-
judicial body. However, counsels who affixed
NOTE: Asked 2 times in the last 20 years as their signatures in their pleadings and
of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)] indicated their MCLE exemption or
compliance number in their pleadings need
not file a separate entry of appearance.
Henceforth, all counsels, including partners
of law firms whose names appear in the said
PAGE 18 OF 104

pleadings, shall also indicate their MCLE public service. A lawyer in public service is a
exemption or compliance number. keeper of public faith and is burdened with a
high degree of social responsibility, perhaps
This resolution shall take effect on March 1,
higher than her brethren in private practice
2015 following its publication in a newspaper
[Vitriolo v. Dasig, A.C. 4984 (2003)].
of general circulation."
May a former government lawyer appear in a
case against the government? YES, he may
MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL appear in a case unless there is a specific
EDUCATION (MCLE) PROGRAM ethical rule or provision of law which
prohibits him from doing so. [Lex Pareto
A program which requires lawyers to show
(2014 ed)]
proof of having undertaken improvement in
their knowledge as a precondition for When may a former government lawyer be
renewing their license to practice [Lex Pareto prohibited from accepting a legal
(2014)] engagement? [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
There is no doubt that Atty. Flores failed to a. A lawyer shall not after leaving the
obey the trial courts order to submit proof of government service accept
his MCLE compliance notwithstanding the engagement or employment in
several opportunities given him. "Court connection with any matter in which
orders are to be respected not because the he had intervened while in said
judges who issue them should be respected, service;
but because of the respect and consideration b. Retired members of the judiciary
that should be extended to the judicial
receiving pensions form the
branch of the Government. This is absolutely government should not practice law
essential if our Government is to be a where the government is the adverse
government of laws and not of men. Respect
party or in a criminal case involving a
must be had not because of the incumbents government employee in the
to the positions, but because of the authority
performance of his duties as such
that vests in them. Disrespect to judicial
incumbents is disrespect to that branch the
Government to which they belong, as well as
Rule 6.01. The primary duty of a lawyer
to the State which has instituted the judicial
engaged in public prosecution is not to
system." [Rodriguez-Manahan v. Flores, A.C.
convict but to see that justice is done. The
No. 8954 (2013)]
suppression of facts or the concealment of
witnesses capable of establishing the
innocence of the accused is highly
reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary
Canon 6. These canons shall apply to lawyers action.
in government service in the discharge of
their official duties.
A public prosecutor is a quasi-judicial officer
with the two-fold aim which is that guilt shall
NOTE: Asked 5 times in the last 20 years as not escape or innocence suffers. He should
of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)] not hesitate to recommend to the court the
acquittal of an accused if the evidence in his
Ratio: The rule is a reiteration of the
possession shows that the accused is
principal in public law, which is that a public
innocent [Agpalo (2004)].
office is a public trust and a public servant
owes utmost fidelity to the public service. In criminal cases, a public prosecutor should
be present for the following reasons: [Lex
A member of the bar who assumes public
Pareto (2014 ed)]
office does not shed his professional
obligation. Lawyers in government are public 1. To protect the interest of the State (As
servants who owe the utmost fidelity to the the criminal case is in reality a crime
against the State)
PAGE 19 OF 104

2. To see to it that justice is done (Rule professional obligations as their disreputable

6.01) Naturally, the private prosecutor is conduct is more likely to be magnified in the
interested only to convict the accused. public eye [Huyssen v. Gutierrez, A.C. 6707
However, the primary duty of the public (2006)].
prosecutor is not to convict, but to see
Sec. 7 of RA 6713 generally provides for the
that justice is done.
prohibited acts and transactions of public
A prosecuting attorney, by the nature of his officials and employees. Sec. 7(b)(2)
office, is under no compulsion to file a prohibits them from engaging in the private
particular criminal information where he practice of their profession during their
is not convinced that he has evidence to prop incumbency. As an exception, a public official
up the averments thereof, or that the or employee can engage in the practice of his
evidence at hand points to a different or her profession under the following
conclusion. This is not to discount the conditions: first, the private practice is
possibility of the commission of abuses on authorized by the Constitution or by the law;
the part of the prosecutor. But we must have and second, the practice will not conflict, or
to recognize that a prosecuting attorney tend to conflict, with his or her official
should not be unduly compelled to work functions. The prohibitions continue to apply
against his conviction. In case of doubt, we for a period of one year after the public
should give him the benefit thereof. A official or employees resignation, retirement,
contrary rule may result in our courts being or separation from public office, except for
unnecessarily swamped with unmeritorious the private practice of profession under
cases. Worse still, a criminal suspect's right subsection (b)(2), which can already be
to due process - the sporting idea of fair play undertaken even within the one-year
- may be transgressed. So it is, that in People prohibition period. As an exception to this
vs. Sope, this Court made the pronouncement exception, the one-year prohibited period
that "[i]t is very logical that the prosecuting applies with respect to any matter before the
attorney, being the one charged with the office the public officer or employee used to
prosecution of offenses, should determine the work with. [Query of Karen Silverio-Buffe, 596
information to be filed and cannot be SCRA 378 (2009)].
controlled by the offended party." [People v.
Pineda, G.R. No. L-26222 (1967)]
Rule 6.03. A lawyer shall not, after leaving
government service, accept engagement or
Rule 6.02. A lawyer in the government service employment in connection with any matter in
shall not use his public position to promote or which he had intervened while in said service.
advance his private interests, nor allow the
latter to interfere with his public duties.
In relation to Rule 3.03, Canon 3, if the law
(1) Retirement;
allows a public official to practice law
concurrently, he must not use his public (2) Resignation;
position to feather his law practice. Moreover,
(3) Expiration of the term of office;
he should not only avoid all impropriety.
Neither should he even inferentially create a (4) Abandonment;
public image that he is utilizing his public (5) Dismissal
position to advance his professional success
or personal interest at the expense of the General rule: Practice of profession is
public [Agpalo (2004)]. allowed immediately after leaving public
It bears stressing also that government
lawyers who are public servants owe fidelity Exceptions: The lawyer cannot practice as
to the public service, a public trust. As such, to matters with which he had connection
they should be more sensitive to their during his term. This prohibition lasts:

PAGE 20 OF 104

(1) For one year, if he had not intervened; upgrading of the standards of the legal
profession, and its proper regulation.
(2) Permanently, if he had intervened.
The basic postulate of the IBP is that it is
The matter contemplated are those that
non- political in character and that there
are adverse-interest conflicts (substantial
shall be neither lobbying nor campaigning in
relatedness and adversity between the
the choice of the IBP Officers. The
government matter and the new clients
fundamental assumption is that the officers
matter in interest) and congruent-interest
would be chosen on the basis of professional
representation conflicts. Intervention
merit and willingness and ability to serve. The
should be significant and substantial which
unseemly ardor with which the candidates
can or have affected the interest of others
pursued the presidency of the association
[PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 151809-
detracted from the dignity of the legal
12 (2005)].
profession. The spectacle of lawyers bribing
or being bribed to vote did not uphold the
honor of the profession nor elevate it in the
C. TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION publics esteem [In re: 1989 Elections of the
IBP, A.M. 491 (1989)].
Canon 7. A lawyer shall at all times uphold
the integrity and dignity of the legal ii. General Objectives of the IBP
profession and support the activities of the (1) To elevate the standards of the legal
Integrated Bar. profession;
(2) To improve the administration of justice;
i. Bar Integration (3) To enable the bar to discharge its public
responsibility more effectively.
The Supreme Court may adopt rules of court
to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar
under such conditions as it shall see fit in
iii. Purposes of the IBP
order to raise the standards of the legal
profession improve the administration of (1) To assist in the administration of justice;
justice and enable the bar to discharge its
(2) To foster and maintain on the part of its
public responsibility more effectively. [Sec. 1,
members high ideals of integrity,
RA 6397].
learning, professional competence, public
Integration does not make a lawyer a service and conduct;
member of any group of which he is not
(3) To safeguard the professional interest of
already a member. He became a member of
its members;
the Bar when he passed the Bar
Examinations. All that integration actually (4) To cultivate among its members a spirit
does is to provide an official national of cordiality and brotherhood;
organization for the well-defined but
(5) To provide a forum for the discussion of
unorganized and uncohesive group of which
law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading,
every lawyer is already a member [In the
practice and procedure, and the relations
matter of the IBP, 49 SCRA 22 (1973)].
of the bar to the bench and to the public,
The IBP is essentially a semi-governmental and publish information relating thereto;
entity, a private organization endowed with
(6) To encourage and foster legal education;
certain governmental attributes. While it is
composed of lawyers who are private (7) To promote a continuing program of
individuals, the IBP exists to perform certain legal research in substantive and
vital public functions and to assist the adjective law, and make reports and
government particularly in the improvement recommendations thereon.
of the administration of justice, the

PAGE 21 OF 104

[Note: Purposes of the IBP is one of the such case, his membership in the IBP could
favorite questions asked in the Bar. Faculty have been terminated and his obligation to
Ed.] pay dues discontinued [Letter of Atty. Arevalo,
B.M. 1370 (2005)].

iv. Mem bership and Dues

RoC, Rule 139-A, Sec. 9. Every member of the
IBP shall pay such annual dues as the Board INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION
of Governors shall determine with the Canon 7. A lawyer shall at all times uphold
approval of the Supreme Court. the integrity and dignity of the legal
profession and support the activities of the
A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent of the Integrated Bar.
collection from each Chapter shall be set
aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled
members of the Chapter and the compulsory Rule 7.01. A lawyer shall be answerable for
heirs of deceased members thereof. knowingly making a false statement or
suppressing a material fact in connection
with his application for admission to the bar.
RoC, Rule 139-A, Sec. 10. Default in the
payment of annual dues:
(1) For six months shall warrant suspension A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. While a
of membership in the IBP; and lawyer has the solemn duty to defend his
clients rights and is expected to display the
(2) For one year shall be a ground for the utmost zeal in defense of his clients cause,
removal of the name of the delinquent his conduct must never be at the expense of
member from the roll of attorneys. truth [Young v. Batuegas, A.C. 5379 (2003)].

A membership fee in the IBP is an exaction PENALTIES

for regulation, while the purpose of a tax is
revenue. If the Court has inherent power to (1) Disqualification of the applicant from
regulate the bar, it follows that as an incident taking the bar, if the concealment is
to regulation, it may impose a membership discovered before he takes the bar
fee for that purpose. It would not be possible examinations;
to push through an Integrated Bar program (2) Prohibition from taking the lawyers oath,
without means to defray the concomitant if the concealment is discovered after the
expenses. The doctrine of implied powers candidate has taken the bar
necessarily includes the power to impose examinations;
such an exaction [In the matter of the IBP, 49
SCRA 22 (1973)]. (3) Revocation of license to practice, if the
concealment was discovered after he has
A lawyer can engage in the practice of law taken his lawyers oath [In re: Diao, A.C.
only by paying his dues, and it does not 244 (1963)].
matter if his practice is limited. Moreover,
senior citizens are not exempted from paying A declaration in ones application for
membership dues [Santos v. Llamas, A.C. admission to the bar examinations that the
4749 (2000)]. applicant was single, when he was in fact
married, was a gross misrepresentation of a
In a case involving a Filipino lawyer staying material fact made in utter bad faith, for
abroad, the Supreme Court said that there is which the applicant should be made
nothing in the law or rules, which allows his answerable. It indubitably exhibits lack of
exemption from payment of membership good moral character [Leda v. Tabang, A.C.
dues. At most, he could have informed the 2505 (1992)].
Secretary of the Integrated Bar of his
intention to stay abroad before he left. In It is the fact of concealment and not the
commission of the crime itself that makes
PAGE 22 OF 104

him morally unfit to become a lawyer. [In Re: ACTS ADVERSELY REFLECTIVE OF A
Galang, A.M. 1162 (1975)] LAW YERS FITNESS TO PRACTICE
(1) Having adulterous relationships or
Rule 7.02. A lawyer shall not support the
keeping mistresses;
application for admission to the bar of any
person known by him to be unqualified in (2) Siring a child with a woman other than
respect to character, education, or other legal wife [Zaguirre v. Castillo, A.C. 4921
relevant attribute. (2003)];
(3) Conviction of a crime involving
moral turpitude;
A lawyer should volunteer information or
cooperate in any investigation concerning (4) Commission of fraud or falsehood.
alleged anomaly in the bar examination so
that those candidates who failed therein can
be ferreted out and those lawyers responsible To justify suspension or disbarment, the act
therefor can be disbarred [In re: Parazo, G.R. must not only be immoral, it must be grossly
082027 (1948)]. immoral as well. A grossly immoral act is one
that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a
A lawyer should not readily execute an criminal act or so unprincipled or disgraceful
affidavit of good moral character in favor of as to be reprehensible to a high degree.
an applicant who has not live up to the [Reyes v. Wong, A.M. 547 (1975)]
standard set by law [Agpalo (2004)].
Mere intimacy between a man and a woman,
either of whom possesses no legal
Rule 7.03. A lawyer shall not engage in impediment to marry, voluntarily carried on
conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness and devoid of any deceit on the part of the
to practice law, nor shall he, whether in lawyer, is neither so corrupt nor so
public or private life, behave in a scandalous unprincipled as to warrant imposition of
manner to the discredit of the legal disciplinary sanction against him, even if as a
profession. result, the woman begot a child [Soberano v.
Villanueva, A.C. 215 (1962)].
The term moral turpitude means anything
It is not necessary for a lawyer to be convicted which is done contrary to justice, honesty,
for an offense before a lawyer can be modesty or good morals, or to any act of
disciplined for gross immorality [Agpalo vileness, baseness or depravity in the private
(2004)]. and social duties that a man owes his
There is no distinction as to whether the fellowmen or to society, contrary to the
transgression is committed in the lawyers accepted rule between man and man. [In re
professional capacity or in his private life or in Gutierrez, G.R. L-363 (1962)]
his private transaction because a lawyer may In general, all crimes of which fraud and
not divide his personality so as to be an deceit is an element or those which are
attorney at one time and a mere citizen at inherently contrary to rules of right, conduct,
another [Funa]. honesty or morality in a civilized community,
involve moral turpitude. [Agpalo (2004)]


Canon 8. A lawyer shall conduct himself with
courtesy, fairness and candor toward his
professional colleagues, and shall avoid
harassing tactics against opposing counsel.

PAGE 23 OF 104


(1) Take advantage of the excusable (1) Behaving without due regard for the trial
unpreparedness or absence of counsel court and the opposing counsel and
during the trial of a case; threatening the court that he would file a
petition for certiorari [Bugaring v.
(2) Make use, to his or to his clients benefit,
Espanol, G.R. No. 133090 (2001)];
the secrets of the adverse party acquired
through design or inadvertence; (2) Filing of a civil case against the opposing
counsel without justification but only to
(3) Criticize or impute ill motive to the lawyer
get a leverage in the pending case [Reyes
who accepts what in his opinion is a weak
v. Chiong, A.C. 5148 (2003)];
(3) Calling an adverse counsel as bobo or
(4) Proceed to negotiate with the client of
using the word ay que bobo in
another lawyer to waive all kinds of claim
reference to the manner of offering
when the latter is still handling the civil
evidence [Castillo v. Padilla, A.C. 2339
case [Camacho v. Pangulayan, A.C. 4807
(4) Stating that justice is blind and also
(5) Steal another lawyers client;
deaf and dumb [In Re: Almacen, G.R.
(6) Induce a client to retain him by promise L-27654(1970)].
of better service, good result or reduced
The highest reward that can come to a lawyer
fees for his services;
is the esteem of his professional brethren.
(7) Disparage another lawyer, make That esteem is won in unique conditions and
comparisons or publicize his talent as a proceeds from an impartial judgment in
means to further his law practice; professional trials. It cannot be purchased.
[Agpalo (2004)]
(8) In the absence of the adverse partys
counsel, interview the adverse party and Lack or want of intention is no excuse for the
question him as to the facts of the case disrespectful language employed. Counsel
even if the adverse party was willing; cannot escape responsibility by claiming that
his words did not mean what any reader must
(9) Sanction the attempt of his client to
have understood them as meaning [Rheem of
settle a litigated matter with the adverse
the Philippines v Ferrer, G.R. L-22979 (1967)].
party without the consent nor knowledge
of the latters counsel.
Rule 8.02. A lawyer shall not, directly or
indirectly, encroach upon the professional
Rule 8.01. A lawyer shall not, in his
employment of another lawyer; however, it is
professional dealings, use language, which is
the right of any lawyer, without fear or favor,
abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.
to give proper advice and assistance to those
seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful
A lawyer should treat the opposing counsel
and his brethren in the law profession with
courtesy, dignity, and civility. They may do as
adversaries do in law: strive mightily but eat
and drink as friends [Valencia v. Cabanting, (1) Accept employment to handle a matter
A.M. 1302 (1991)]. previously handled by another lawyer:
A lawyers language should be forceful but (a) Provided the other lawyer has been
dignified, emphatic but respectful as befitting given notice of termination of service
an advocate and in keeping with the dignity lest it amounts to an improper
of the legal profession [Surigao Mineral encroachment upon the professional
Reservation Board v. Cloribel, G.R. L- 27072 employment of the original counsel
(1970)]. [Laput v. Remotigue, A.M. 219 (1962)];
PAGE 24 OF 104

(b) In the absence of a notice of (2) Preparation for clients of documents

termination from the client, provided requiring knowledge of legal principles
he has obtained the conformity of the not possessed by ordinary laymen;
counsel whom he would substitute; or
(3) Appearance for clients before public
(c) In the absence of such conformity, a tribunals, whether, administrative,
lawyer must at least give sufficient quasi- judicial or legislative agency.
notice to original counsel so that
original counsel has the opportunity
to protect his claim against the client. ILLEGAL PRACTICE OF LAW EXAMPLES
(2) Give advice or assistance to any person (1) Appearing as counsel even before taking
who seeks relief against an unfaithful or lawyers oath [Aguirre v. Rana, B.M. 1036
neglectful lawyer; (2003)];
(3) Associate as a colleague in a case, (2) Using the title Attorney in his name
provided he communicate with the even though he is a Sharia lawyer [Alawi
original counsel before making an v. Alauya, A.M. SDC-97-2-P (1997)].
appearance as co-counsel:
(a) Should the original lawyer object, he
A corporation cannot engage in the practice
should decline association but if the
law directly or indirectly. It may only hire in-
original lawyer is relieved, he may
house lawyers to attend to its legal business.
come into the case;
A corporation cannot employ a lawyer to
(b) Should it be impracticable for him, appear for others for its benefit. A corporation
whose judgment has been overruled cannot perform the conditions required
by his co- counsel to cooperate membership to the bar. In addition, the
effectively, he should ask client to confidential and trust relation between an
relieve him. attorney and his client cannot arise if the
attorney is employed by a corporation.
(1) Automobile club that solicits
Canon 9. A lawyer shall not, directly or membership by advertising that it offers
indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice free legal services of its legal
of law. department to members;
(2) Collection agency or credit exchange
that exploits lawyers services;
Generally, to engage in the practice of law is
to do any of those acts which are (3) Bank using lawyers name as director in
characteristic of the legal profession. It advertising its services in drawing wills
embraces any activity, in or out of court, and other legal documents.
which requires the application of law, legal Unauthorized practice of law applies to both
principle, practice or procedure or calls for non-lawyers and lawyers prohibited from the
legal knowledge, training and experience. private practice of law.
[Philippine Lawyers Assn v. Agrava, G.R. L-
12426 (1959)] The practice of law is not a natural, property
or constitutional right but a mere privilege [In
Re Edillon, A.M. 1928 (1978)].
EXAMPLES OF PRACTICE OF LAW The purpose is to protect the public, the court,
(1) Legal advice and instructions to clients the client and the bar from the incompetence
to inform them of their rights and or dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice
obligations; law and not subject to the disciplinary control
of the court [Phil. Assoc. of Free Labor Union v.
PAGE 25 OF 104

Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., G.R. L-23959 Rule 9.02. A lawyer shall not divide or
(1971)]. stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with
persons not licensed to practice law, except:
(a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement
Rule 9.01. A lawyer shall not delegate to any
with a partner or associate that, upon
unqualified person the performance of any
the latters death, money shall be paid
task which by law may only be performed by a
over a reasonable period of time to his
member of the bar in good standing.
estate or to persons specified in the
agreement; or
Ratio: The practice of law is limited only to (b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete
individuals who have the necessary unfinished legal business of a deceased
educational qualifications and good moral lawyer; or
character. Moreover, an attorney-client
(c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-
relationship is a strictly personal one.
lawyer employees in a retirement plan,
Lawyers are selected on account of their
even if the plan is based in whole or in
special fitness through their learning or
part, on a profitable sharing
probity for the work at hand.


Ratio: Allowing non-lawyers to get
attorneys fees would confuse the public as to
(1) The computation and determination of whom they should consult. It would leave the
the period within which to appeal an bar in a chaotic condition because non-
adverse judgment [Eco v. Rodriguez, G.R. lawyers are also not subject to disciplinary
L-16731 (1960)]; action.
(2) The examination of witnesses or the An agreement between a union lawyer and a
presentation of evidence [Robinson v. layman president of the union to divide
Villafuerte, G.R. L-5346 (1911)]. equally the attorneys fees that may be
awarded in a labor case violates this rule, and
is illegal and immoral [Amalgamated
MAY BE DELEGATED TO NON-LAWYERS: Laborers Assn. v. CIR, G.R. L-23467 (1968)].
(1) The examination of case law; A donation by a lawyer to a labor union of
(2) Finding and interviewing witnesses; part of his attorneys fees taken from the
proceeds of a judgment secured by him for
(3) Examining court records; the labor union is improper because it
(4) Delivering papers and similar matters. amounts to a rebate or commission [Halili v.
CIR, G.R. L-24864 (1965)].
A contract between a lawyer and a layman
granting the latter a percentage of the fees
collected from clients secured by the layman
and enjoining the lawyer not to deal directly
with said clients is null and void, and the
lawyer may be disciplined for unethical
conduct [Tan Tek Beng v. David, A.C. 1261
While non-lawyers may appear before the
NLRC or any labor arbiter, they are still not
entitled to receive professional fees. The
statutory rule that an attorney shall be
entitled to have and recover from his client a
reasonable compensation or remuneration
PAGE 26 OF 104

for the services they have rendered should yield to his duty to deal candidly with
presupposes the existence of an attorney- the court. For no client is entitled to receive
client relationship. from the lawyer any service involving
dishonesty to the courts [Comments of IBP
Such a relationship cannot exist when the
clients representative is a non-lawyer [Five J
Taxi v. NLRC, G.R. 111474 (1994)].
Some cases of Falsehood Committed by
1. Falsely stating in a deed of sale that
property is free from all liens and
D.1. CANDOR, FAIRNESS & GOOD FAITH encumbrances [Sevilla v. Zoleta, 96
TOWARDS THE COURTS Phil 979 (1955)];
Canon 10. A lawyer owes candor, fairness and 2. Falsifying a power of attorney to use
good faith to the court. in collecting the money due to the
principal and appropriating the
money for his own benefit [In Re:
A lawyer is, first and foremost, an officer of Rusiana, A.C. 270 (1959)];
the court. Accordingly, should there be a
conflict between his duty to his client and 3. Denying having received the notice to
that to the court, he should resolve the file brief which is belied by the return
conflict against the former and in favor of the card [Ragasajo v. IAC, G.R. L-69129
latter, his primary responsibility being to (1987)];
uphold the cause of justice [Cobb Perez v. 4. Presenting falsified documents in
Lantin, G.R. L-22320 (1968)]. court which he knows to be false
Candor in all of the lawyers dealings is the [Bautista v. Gonzales, A.M. 1625
very essence of honorable membership in the (1990)];
legal profession [Cuaresma v. Daquis, G.R. L- 5. Filing false charges or groundless
35113 (1975)]. suits [Retia v. Gorduiz, A.M. 1388
A lawyers conduct before the court should be (1980)].
characterized by candor and fairness. The
administration of justice would gravely suffer
if lawyers do not act with complete candor Rule 10.02. A lawyer shall not knowingly
and honesty before the courts [Serana v. misquote or misrepresent the contents of a
Sandiganbayan, G.R. 162059 (2008)]. paper, the language or the argument of
opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or
A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. While a authority, or knowingly cite as law a provision
lawyer has the solemn duty to defend his already rendered inoperative by repeal or
clients cause, his conduct must never be at amendment, or assert as a fact that which
the expense of truth. [Young v. Batuegas, A.C. has not been proved.
5379 (2003)].

A lawyer who deliberately made it appear

Rule 10.01. A lawyer shall not do any that the quotations in his motion for
falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in reconsiderations were findings of the
court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the court Supreme Court, when they were just part of
to be misled by any artifice. the memorandum of the Court Administrator,
and who misspelled the name of the
complainant and made the wrong citation of
A lawyer should not conceal the truth from authority is guilty of violation of this rule
the court, nor mislead the court in any [COMELEC v. Noynay, G.R. 132365 (1998)].
manner no matter how demanding his duties
to clients may be. His duties to his client

PAGE 27 OF 104

It is the bounden duty of courts, judges and Observing respect due to the courts means
lawyers to reproduce or copy the same word- that a lawyer should conduct himself toward
for-word and punctuation mark-for- judges:
punctuation mark the decisions of the
(1) With courtesy everyone is entitled to
Supreme Court. Ever present is the danger
expect [Paragas v Cruz, G.R. L-24438
that if not faithfully and exactly quoted, the
decisions and rulings may lose their proper
and correct meaning, to the detriment of (2) With the propriety and dignity required by
other courts, lawyers and the public who may the courts [Salcedo v Hernandez, G.R. L-
thereby be misled [Insular Life Employees Co. 42992 (1935)].
v. Insular Life Association, G.R. L-25291 (1971)].
Lawyers are duty bound to uphold the dignity
The legal profession demands that lawyers and authority of the Court to promote the
thoroughly go over pleadings, motions and administration of justice. Respect to the
other documents dictated or prepared by courts guarantees the stability of other
them, typed or transcribed by their institutions. [In re: Sotto, 82 Phil 595 (1949)].
secretaries or clerks, before filing them with
If a pleading containing derogatory, offensive
the court. If a client is bound by the acts of his
and malicious statements is submitted in the
counsel, with more reason should counsel be
same court or judge in which the proceedings
bound by the acts of his secretary who merely
are pending, it is direct contempt, equivalent
follows his orders [Adez Realty, Inc. v. CA, G.R.
as it is to a misbehavior committed in the
100643 (1992)].
presence of or so near a court or judge as to
interrupt the administration of justice. Direct
contempt is punishable summarily [In re:
Rule 10.03. A lawyer shall observe the rules of
Letter of Atty. Sorreda, A.M. 5-3-04 (2006)].
procedure and shall not misuse them to
defeat the ends of justice. Liberally imputing sinister and devious
motives and questioning the impartiality,
integrity, and authority of the members of the
Filing multiple actions constitutes an abuse Court result in the obstruction and perversion
of the courts processes. Those who file of the dispensation of justice [Estrada v.
multiple or repetitive actions subject Sandiganbayan, G.R. 148560 (2000)].
themselves to disciplinary action for Even as lawyers passionately and vigorously
incompetence or willful violation of their propound their points of view, they are bound
duties as attorneys to act with good fidelity to by certain rules of conduct for the legal
the courts, and to maintain only such actions profession. This Court is certainly not
that appear to be just and consistent with claiming that it should be shielded from
truth and honor [Olivares v. Villalon, A.C. 6323 criticism. All the Court demands are the same
(2007)]. respect and courtesy that one lawyer owes to
A lawyer should not abuse his right of another under established ethical standards.
recourse to the courts for the purpose of There is no exemption from this sworn duty
arguing a cause that had been repeatedly for law professors, regardless of their status
rebuffed. [Garcia v. Francisco, A.C. 3923 in the academic community or the law school
(1993)]. to which they belong [Re: Letter of the UP
Faculty, A.M. 10-10-4-SC (2011)].


OFFICERS Rule 11.01. A lawyer shall appear in court
Canon 11. A lawyer shall observe and maintain properly attired.
the respect due to the courts and to judicial
officers and should insist on similar conduct
by others. Respect begins with the lawyers outward
physical appearance in court. Sloppy or
informal attire adversely reflects on the

PAGE 28 OF 104

lawyer and demeans the dignity and Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, G.R. L-
solemnity of court proceedings. 27072 (1970)].
A lawyer who dresses improperly may be Lawyers may use strong language to drive
cited with contempt [Agpalo (2004)]. home a point; they have a right to be in
pursuing a clients cause [The British Co. v De
Los Angeles, G.R. L-33720 (1975)].
However, the use of abusive language by
Male: Long-sleeved Barong Tagalog or coat counsel against the opposing counsel
and tie constitutes at the same time disrespect to the
dignity of the court justice. Moreover, the use
Female: Semi-formal or business attires
of impassioned language in pleadings, more
Judges: Same attire as above under their often than not, creates more heat than light
robes [Buenaseda v. Flavier, G.R. 106719 (1993)].
Courts have ordered a male attorney to wear Lawyers cannot resort to scurrilous remarks
a necktie and have prohibited a female that have the tendency to degrade the courts
attorney from wearing a hat. However, the and destroy the public confidence in them [In
permission of a dress with a hemline five Re: Almacen, G.R. L-27654 (1970)].
inches above the knee was held to be
The court does not close itself to comments
acceptable as such had become an accepted
and criticisms so long as they are fair and
mode of dress even in places of worship
dignified. Going beyond the limits of fair
[Aguirre (2006)]
comments by using insulting, disparaging
and, intemperate language necessitates and
warrants a rebuke from the court. While it is
Rule 11.02. A lawyer shall punctually appear
expected of lawyers to advocate their clients
at court hearings.
cause, they are not at liberty to resort to
arrogance, intimidation and innuendo
[Sangalang v. IAC, G.R. 71169 (1988)].
Punctuality is demanded by the respect
which the lawyer owes to the court, the
parties, and the opposing counsel [Funa].
Rule 11.04. A lawyer shall not attribute to a
Inexcusable absence from, or repeated Judge motives not supported by the record or
tardiness in, attending a pre-trial or hearing have no materiality to the case.
may subject the lawyer to disciplinary action
as his actions show disrespect to the court
and are therefore considered contemptuous Such act would undermine the confidence of
behavior [Agpalo (2004)]. the people in the honesty and integrity of the
Non-appearance at hearings on the ground members of the court, and would
that the issue to be heard has become moot consequently lower or degrade the
and academic is a lapse in judicial propriety administration of justice [In Re: Almacen, G.R.
[De Gracia v. Warden of Makati, G.R. L-42032 L-27654 (1970)].
(1976)]. The rule allows criticism so long as it is
supported by the record or it is material to the
case. A lawyers right to criticize the acts of
Rule 11.03. A lawyer shall abstain from courts and judges in a proper and respectful
scandalous, offensive or menacing language way and through legitimate channels is well
or behavior before the courts. recognized [Agpalo (2004)].
The cardinal condition of all such criticism is
that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill
A lawyers language should be forceful but
over the wall of decency and propriety
dignified, emphatic but respectful, as
[Zaldivar v. Gonzales, G.R. 79690-707 (1989)].
befitting an advocate and in keeping with the
dignity of the legal profession [Surigao
PAGE 29 OF 104

Any serious accusation against a judicial All persons shall have the right to a speedy
officer that is utterly baseless, disposition of their cases before all judicial,
unsubstantiated and unjustified shall not be quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.
countenanced [Go v. Abrogar, G.R. 152672 [Sec.6, Art. III, 1987 Constitution]
It is the duty of an attorney not to encourage
The constitutional right to freedom of either the commencement or the continuance
expression of members of the bar may be of an action or proceeding or delay any mans
circumscribed by their ethical duties as cause from any corrupt motive or interest.
lawyers to give due respect to the courts and [Sec. 20(g), Rule 138].
to uphold the publics faith in the legal
The filing of another action containing the
profession and the justice system [Re: Letter
same subject matter, in violation of the
of UP Faculty, A.C. 10-10-4-SC (2011)].
doctrine of res judicata, runs contrary to this
canon [Siy Lim v. Montano, A.C. 5653 (2006)].
Rule 11.05. A lawyer shall submit grievances
against a Judge to the proper authorities
Rule 12.01. A lawyer shall not appear for trial
unless he has adequately prepared himself
The duty to respect does not preclude a on the law and the facts of his case, the
lawyer from filing administrative complaints evidence he will adduce and the order of its
against erring judges. preference. He should also be ready with the
original documents for comparison with the
Can still act as counsel for clients who have
legitimate grievances against them.
Without adequate preparation, the lawyer
However, the lawyer shall not file an
may not be able to effectively assist the court
administrative case until he has exhausted
in the efficient administration of justice.
judicial remedies which result in a finding
that the judge has gravely erred [Agpalo
It has been held in Maceda v. Vasquez that in
(1) The postponement of the pre-trial or
criminal complaints against a judge or other
hearing, which would thus entail delay in
court employees arising from their
the early disposition of the case;
administrative duties, the Ombudsman must
defer action and refer the same to the (2) The judge may consider the client non-
Supreme Court for determination whether suited or in default;
said judges or court employees acted within
(3) The judge may consider the case
the scope of their administrative duties.
deemed submitted for decision without
Otherwise, in the absence of any clients evidence, to his prejudice
administrative action, the investigation being [Agpalo (2004)].
conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches
into the courts power of administrative
supervision over all courts and its personnel, Half of the work of the lawyer is done in the
in violation of the doctrine of separation of office. It is spent in the study and research.
powers. Inadequate preparation obstructs the
administration of justice [Martins Legal
Ethics (1988)].
A newly hired counsel who appears in a case
EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE in the midstream is presumed and obliged to
Canon 12. A lawyer shall exert every effort and acquaint himself with all the antecedent
consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and processes and proceedings that have
efficient administration of justice. transpired in the record prior to his takeover
[Villasis v. CA, G.R. L-34369 (1974)].
PAGE 30 OF 104

Some Acts Which Amount to Obstruction in (2) The institution of involving the same
the Administration of Justice: parties for the same cause of action,
either simultaneously or successively, on
1. Inadequate preparation;
the supposition that one or the other
2. Instructing complaining witness in a court would come out with a favorable
criminal action not to appear at the disposition [Araneta v. Araneta, G.R.
schedule hearing so that the case 190814 (2013)].
against the client would be
An indicium of the presence of, or the test for
determining whether a litigant violated the
3. Asking a client to plead guilty to a rule against, forum shopping is where the
crime which the lawyer knows his elements of litis pendentia are present or
client did not commit; where a final judgment in one case will
amount to res judicata in the other case.
4. Advising a client who is detained for
crime to escape from prison;
5. Employing dilatory tactics to frustrate REQUISITES OF LITIS PENDENTIA
satisfaction of clearly valid claims;
(1) Identity of parties, or at least such
6. Prosecuting clearly frivolous cases or parties as represent the same interests in
appeals to drain the resources of the both actions;
other party and compel him to submit
(2) Identity of rights asserted and relief
out of exhaustion;
prayed for, the relief being founded on
7. Filing multiple petitions or the same facts; and
complaints for a cause that has been
(3) Identity of the two preceding particulars
previously rejected in the false
is such that any judgment rendered in
expectation of getting favorable
the pending case, regardless of which
party is successful, would amount to res
8. Other acts of similar nature [Funa]. judicata in the other [HSBC v. Catalan,
G.R. 159590 (2004)].

Rule 12.02. A lawyer shall not file multiple

actions arising from the same cause. RES JUDICATA REQUIRES THAT:
(1) There be a decision on the merits;
Ratio: There is an affirmative duty of a (2) It be decided by a court of competent
lawyer to check against useless litigations. jurisdiction;
His signature in every pleading constitutes a (3) The decision is final; and
certificate by him that to the best of his
knowledge there is a good ground to support (4) The two actions involved identical
it and that it is not to interpose for delay. The parties, subject matter, and causes of
willful violation of this rule may subject him action.
to appropriate disciplinary action or render
him liable for the costs of litigation [Agpalo].
(1) He has not theretofore commenced any
CIRCUMSTANCE OF FORUM SHOPPING action or filed any claim involving the
(1) When, as a result or in anticipation of an same issues in any court, tribunal or
adverse decision in one forum, a party quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of
seeks a favorable opinion in another his knowledge, no such other action or
forum through means other than appeal claim is pending therein; if there is such
or certiorari by raising identical causes of other pending action or claim, a
action, subject matter and issues. complete statement of the present
status thereof;
PAGE 31 OF 104

(2) If he should thereafter learn that the explanation for his failure to do so.
same or similar action or claim has been
filed or is pending, he shall report that
fact within five days there from to the The court censures the practice of counsels
court wherein his aforesaid complaint or who secures repeated extensions of time to
initiatory pleading has been filed. file their pleadings and thereafter simply let
the period lapse without submitting the
pleading on even an explanation or
Rules of Court, Rule 7, Sec. 5. Failure to manifestation of their failure to do so. There
comply with the foregoing requirements shall exists a breach of duty not only to the court
not be curable by mere amendment of the but also to the client [Achacoso v. CA, G.R. L-
complaint or other initiatory pleading but 35867 (1973)].
shall cause for the dismissal of the case
An attorney is bound to protect his clients
without prejudice, unless otherwise provided,
interest to the best of his ability and with
upon motion after hearing.
utmost diligence. A failure to file brief for his
client certainly constitutes inexcusable
negligence on his part [Ford v. Daitol, A.C.
3736 (1995)].
Rule 12.04. A lawyer shall not unduly delay a
(1) Shall constitute indirect contempt of case, impede the execution of a judgment or
court; misuse court processes.
(2) Without prejudice to the corresponding
administrative and criminal actions.
It is one thing to exert to the utmost ones
ability to protect the interest of ones client. It
IF ACTS OF THE PARTY OR HIS COUNSEL is quite another thing to delay if not defeat
CONSTITUTE WILLFUL AND DELIBERATE the recovery of what is justly due and
FORUM SHOPPING: demandable due to the misleading acts of a
lawyer [Manila Pest Control v. WCC, G.R. L-
(1) Be a ground for summary dismissal with 27662 (1968)].
Once a judgment becomes final and
(2) Constitute direct contempt; executory, the prevailing party should not be
(3) Be a cause for administrative sanctions. denied the fruits of his victory by some
subterfuge devised by the losing part.
The rule against forum shopping and the Unjustified delay in the enforcement of a
requirement that a certification to that effect judgment sets at naught the role of courts in
be complied with in the filing of complaints, disposing justiciable controversies with
petitions or other initiatory pleadings in all finality [Aguilar v. Manila Banking Corporation,
courts and agencies applies to quasi-judicial G.R. 157911 (2006)].
bodies, such as the NLRC or Labor Arbiter
[Agpalo (2004)]. If a lawyer is honestly convinced of the futility
of an appeal in a civil suit, he should not
It is the duty of the lawyer to resist the whims hesitate to inform his client. He should advise
and caprices of his client and to temper his his client to accept the judgment of the trial
clients propensity to litigate. [Castaeda v. court and thus accord respect to the just
Ago, G.R. L-28546 (1975)]. claim of the opposite party. [Agpalo (2001)]

Rule 12.03. A lawyer shall not, after obtaining Rule 12.05. A lawyer shall refrain from talking
extensions of time to file pleadings, to his witness during a break or recess in the
memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse trial, while the witness is still under
without submitting the same or offering an
PAGE 32 OF 104

examination. (3) Not to be examined except as to matters

pertinent to the issues before the court;
(4) Not to give an answer which will tend to
Ratio: The purpose is to prevent the
subject him to a penalty for an offense
suspicion that he is coaching the witness unless otherwise provided by law;
what to say during the resumption of the
examination; to uphold and maintain fair play (5) Not to give an answer which will tend to
with the other party and to prevent the degrade the witness reputation, but a
examining lawyer from being tempted to witness must answer the fact of any
coach his own witness to suit his purpose previous final conviction for a criminal
[Callanta]. offense.

Rule 12.06. A lawyer shall not knowingly PD 1829 PENALIZES THE FOLLOWING:
assist a witness to misrepresent himself or to (1) Threatening directly or indirectly another
impersonate another. with the infliction of any wrong upon his
person, honor or property or that of any
immediate member or members of his
Art. 184, RPC. The lawyer who presented a family in order to prevent such person
witness knowing him to be a false witness is from appearing in the investigation of, or
criminally liable for offering false testimony in official proceedings in, criminal cases, or
evidence. The lawyer is both criminally and imposing a condition, whether lawful or
administratively liable. unlawful, in order to prevent a person
from appearing in the investigation of or
in official proceedings in, criminal cases;
Subornation of perjury is committed by a
person who knowingly and willfully procures (2) Giving of false or fabricated information
another to swear falsely and the witness to mislead or prevent the law
suborned [or induced] does testify under enforcement agencies from
circumstances rendering him guilty of perjury apprehending the offender or from
[US v. Ballena, G.R. L-6294 (1911)]. protecting the life or property of the
victim; or fabricating information from
the data gathered in confidence by
Rule 12.07. A lawyer shall not abuse, investigating authorities for purposes of
browbeat or harass a witness nor needlessly background information and not for
inconvenience him. publication and publishing or
disseminating the same to mislead the
investigator or to the court.
It is the duty of a lawyer to abstain from all
offensive personality and to advance no fact
prejudicial to the honor and reputation of a Rule 12.08. A lawyer shall avoid testifying in
party or witness unless required by the justice behalf of his client, except:
of the cause with which he is charged [Sec (a) On formal matters, such as the mailing,
20(f), Rule 138]. authentication or custody of an
instrument, and the like; or
RIGHTS OF WITNESSES (b) On substantial matters, in cases where
his testimony is essential to the ends of
[Sec. 3, Rule 132] justice, in which event he must, during
(1) To be protected from irrelevant, his testimony, entrust the trial of the
improper or insulting questions and from case to another counsel.
a harsh or insulting demeanor;
(2) Not to be detained longer than the Ratio: The underlying reason for the
interests of justice require impropriety of a lawyer acting in such dual
PAGE 33 OF 104

capacity lies in the difference between the It is improper for a litigant or counsel to see a
function of a witness and that of an advocate. judge in chambers and talk to him about a
The function of a witness is to tell the facts as matter related to the case pending in the
he recalls then in answer to questions. The court of said judge [Austria v. Masaquel, G.R.
function of an advocate is that of a partisan. L-22536 (1967)].
It is difficult to distinguish between the zeal
of an advocate and the fairness and
Rule 13.02. A lawyer shall not make public
impartiality of a disinterested witness. The
statements in the media regarding a pending
lawyer will find it hard to disassociate his
case tending to arouse public opinion for or
relation to his client as an attorney and his
against a party.
relation to the party as a witness [Agpalo].
When a lawyer is a witness for his client,
except as to merely formal matters, such as Ratio: Newspaper publications regarding a
the attestation or custody of an instrument pending or anticipated litigation may
and the like, he should leave the trial of the interfere with a fair trial, prejudice the
case to other counsel. Except when essential administration of justice, or subject a
to the ends of justice, a lawyer should avoid respondent or an accused to a trial by
testifying in court in behalf of his client [PNB publicity and create a public inference of guilt
v. Uy Teng Piao, G.R. L-35252 (1932)]. against him [Agpalo].
Public statements may be considered
D.4. RELIANCE ON MERITS OF HIS CAUSE contemptuous when the character of the act
done and its direct tendency to prevent and
& AVOIDANCE OF ANY IMPROPRIETY obstruct the discharge of official duty.
THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCE UPON Once a litigation is concluded, the judge who
decided it is subject to the same criticism as
any other public official because then, his
ruling becomes public property and is thrown
Canon 13. A lawyer shall rely upon the merits open to public consumption. In a concluded
of his cause and refrain from any impropriety litigation, a lawyer enjoys a wider latitude of
which tends to influence, or gives the comment or on criticism of the judges
appearance of influencing the court. decision or actuation. [In re Gomez, 43 Phil
376 (1922)]
In the original decision of the Supreme Court
Rule 13.01. A lawyer shall not extend in Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial
extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor in the Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases
seek opportunity for cultivating familiarity against Former President Joseph Estrada
with Judges. (2001), it was stated that the propriety of
granting or denying the petition involve the
weighing out of the constitutional guarantees
A lawyer should avoid marked attention and of freedom of the press and the right to
unusual hospitality to a judge uncalled for by public information, on the one hand, and the
the personal relations of the parties because fundamental rights of the accused, on the
they subject him and the judge to other hand, along with the constitutional
misconceptions of motives. [Canon 3]. power of a court to control its proceedings in
In order not to subject both the judge and the ensuring a fair and impartial trial. It was held
lawyer to suspicion, the common practice of that when these rights race against one
some lawyers of making judges and another, the right of the accused must be
prosecutors godfathers of their children to preferred to win, considering the possibility of
enhance their influence and their law practice losing not only the precious liberty but also
should be avoided by judges and lawyers the very life of an accused.
alike [Report of IBP Committee].

PAGE 34 OF 104

In the resolution of the motion for E.1. AVAILABILITY OF SERVICE WITHOUT

reconsideration, the Supreme Court allowed DISCRIMINATION
the video recording of proceedings, but Canon 14. A lawyer shall not refuse his
provided that the release of the tapes for services to the needy.
broadcast should be delayed. In so doing,
concerns that those taking part in the
proceedings will be playing to the cameras
i. Services Regardless of a Persons
and will thus be distracted from the proper
performance of their roles whether as
counsel, witnesses, court personnel, or Rule 14.01. A lawyer shall not decline to
judges will be allayed. represent a person solely on account of the
latters race, sex, creed or status of life, or
because of his own opinion regarding the
Rule 13.03. A lawyer shall not brook or invite guilt of said person.
interference by another branch or agency of
the government in the normal course of General Rule: A lawyer is not obliged to act
judicial proceedings. as legal counsel for any person who may wish
to become his client. He has the right to
decline employment.
Ratio: The rule is based upon the principle of
separation of powers [Aguirre (2006)].
A complaint against justices cannot be filed
with the Office of the President. [Maglasang v. (1) A lawyer shall not refuse his services to
People, G.R. No. 90083 (1990)] the needy [Canon 14]
(2) A lawyer shall not decline to represent a
person solely on account of the latters
E. TO THE CLIENTS race, sex, creed or status of life, or
because of his own opinion regarding the
guilt of said person. [Rule 14.01]
The attorney-client relationship is:
(3) A lawyer may not refuse to accept
(1) Strictly personal; representation of an indigent client
(2) Highly confidential; unless:

(3) Fiduciary. a. He is in no position to carry out the

work effectively or competently;
b. He labors under a conflict of interest
A written contract, although the best evidence between him and the prospective
to show the presence of an attorney-client client or between a present client
relationship is not essential for the and the prospective client. [Rule
employment of an attorney. 14.02]
Documentary formalism is not an essential (4) A lawyer may not refuse to accept
element in the employment of an attorney; representation of an indigent client
the contract may be express or implied. To unless:
establish the relation, it is sufficient that the
advice and assistance of an attorney is sought a. He is in no position to carry out the
and received in any matter pertinent to his work effectively or competently;
profession [Pacana v. Pascual-Lopez, A.C. No. b. He labors under a conflict of interest
8243 (2009)]. between him and the prospective
client or between a present client
and the prospective client. [Rule

PAGE 35 OF 104

It is the duty of an attorney, in the defense of as the offended party or accused [Sec. 1,
a person accused of a crime, by all fair and RA 6033]
honorable means, regardless of his personal
(2) Any indigent litigant may, upon motion,
opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to
ask the Court for adequate travel
present every defense that the law permits, to
allowance to enable him and his indigent
the end that no person may be deprived of
witnesses to attendant the hearing of a
life or liberty, but by due process of law [Sec.
criminal case commenced by his
20(i), Rule 138]
complaint or filed against him. The
Ratio: It is a declared policy of the State to allowance shall cover actual
value the dignity of every human person and transportation expenses by the cheapest
guarantee the rights of every individual, means from his place of residence to the
particularly those who cannot afford the court and back. When the hearing of the
services of counsel [RA 9999 or Free Legal case requires the presence of the indigent
Assistance Act of 2010]. litigant and/or his indigent witnesses in
court the whole day or for two or more
RA 9999 provides incentives for free legal
consecutive days, allowances may, in the
service. Thus, a lawyer or professional
discretion of the Court, also cover
partnerships rendering actual free legal
reasonable expenses for meal and
services shall be entitled to an allowable
lodging [Sec. 1, RA 6034].
deduction from the gross income,
(3) A stenographer who has attended a
(1) The amount that could have been
hearing before an investigating fiscal or
collected for the actual free legal
trial judge or hearing commissioner of
services rendered OR
any quasi-judicial body or administrative
(2) Up to 10% of the gross income tribunal and has officially taken notes of
derived from the actual performance the proceeding thereof shall, upon
of legal profession, whichever is written request of an indigent or low
lower. income litigant, his counsel or duly
authorized representative in the case
This is different from the 60-hour mandatory
concerned, give within a reasonable
legal aid services under Bar Matter 2012.
period to be determined by the fiscal,
judge, commissioner or tribunal hearing
INDIGENT: the case, a free certified transcript of
notes take by him on the case [Sec. 1, RA
(1) A person who has no visible means of 6035]
income or whose income is insufficient for
the subsistence of his family, to be
determined by the fiscal or judge, taking ii. Services as Counsel de Oficio
into account the members of his family
dependent upon him for subsistence Rule 14.02. A lawyer shall not decline, except
[Sec. 2, RA 6033] for serious and sufficient cause, an
appointment as counsel de oficio or as amicus
(2) A person who has no visible means of curiae, or a request from the Integrated Bar of
support or whose income does not exceed the Philippines or any of its chapters for
P300.00 per month or whose income rendition of free legal aid.
even in excess of P300.00 per month is
insufficient for the subsistence of his Rules of Court provides:
family [Sec. 2, RA 6035] (1) It is the duty of an attorney never to
reject, for any consideration personal to
himself, the cause of the defenseless or
LAW S ON INDIGENTS OR LOW oppressed [Sec. 20(h), Rule 138];
(2) A court may assign an attorney to render
(1) All courts shall give preference to the professional aid free of charge to any
hearing and/or disposition of criminal party in a case, if upon investigation it
cases where an indigent is involved either
PAGE 36 OF 104

appears that the party is destitute and assign a counsel de officio to defend him,
unable to employ an attorney, and that [Sec. 6, Rule 116];
the services of counsel are necessary to
(2) It is the duty of the clerk of the trial court,
secure the ends of justice and to protect
upon filing of a notice of appeal, to
the rights of the party. It shall be the duty
ascertain from the appellant, if confined
of the attorney so assigned to render the
in prison, whether he desires the
required service, unless he is excused
Regional Trial Court, Court of Appeals or
therefrom by the court for sufficient cause
the Supreme Court to appoint a counsel
shown [Sec. 31, Rule 138]
de officio [Sec. 13, Rule 122];
(3) The clerk of the CA shall designate a
Counsel de oficio - one appointed or counsel de oficio if it appears from the
assigned by the court. case record that:
Counsel de parte- one employed or (a) The accused is confined in prison,
retained by the party himself.
(b) Is without counsel de parte on
appeal, or
W HO MAY BE APPOINTED AS (c) Has signed the notice of appeal
COUNSEL DE OFICIO: himself, the clerk of Court of
Appeals shall designate a counsel
(1) A member of the bar in good standing
de oficio.
who, by reason of their experience and
ability, can competently defend the
An appellant who is not confined in prison
(2) In localities without lawyers: may, upon request, be assigned a counsel de
officio within ten days from receipt of the
(a) Any person resident of the province
notice to file brief and he establishes his right
and of good repute for probity and
thereto [Sec. 2, Rule 124]
ability [Sec. 7, Rule 116];
(b) A municipal judge or a lawyer
employed in any branch, subdivision iii. Valid Grounds for Refusal
or instrumentality of the government
Rule 14.03. A lawyer may not refuse to accept
within the province [Sec. 1, PD 543].
representation of an indigent client unless:
(a) He is in no position to carry out the work
CONSIDERATIONS IN THE effectively or competently;
(b) He labors under a conflict of interest
between him and the prospective client
(1) Gravity of the offense; or between a present client and the
prospective client.
(2) Difficulty of the questions that may arise;
(3) Experience and ability of the appointee.
A lawyer shall not decline an appointment as
counsel de oficio or as amicus curiae, or a
W HEN THE COURT MAY APPOINT A request from the IBP or any of its chapters for
COUNSEL DE OFICIO (IN CRIMINAL rendition of free legal aid except for serious
ACTIONS): and sufficient cause.
(1) Before arraignment, the court shall Reason: One of the burdens of the privilege
inform the accused of his right to counsel to practice law is to render, when so required
and ask him if he desires to have one. by the court, free legal services to an indigent
Unless the accused is allowed to defend litigant.
himself in person or has employed
counsel of his choice, the court must
PAGE 37 OF 104

Even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he Confidences of clients Secrets of clients
shall not refuse to render legal advice to the
person concerned if only to the extent handled). disclosure of which
would be
necessary to safeguard the latters rights.
[Rule 2.02, Canon 2] embarrassing or
would likely be
detrimental to the
client (i.e.,
Rule 14.04. A lawyer who accepts the cause of
information not
a person unable to pay his professional fees
exactly pertinent to
shall observe the same standard of conduct
the case).
governing his relations with paying clients.
If a lawyer volunteers his services to a client,
and therefore not entitled to attorneys fees, Communication may be transmitted by any
he is still bound to attend to a clients case form of agency, such as a messenger, an
with all due diligence and zeal. [Blanza v. interpreter or any other form of transmission.
Arcangel, A.C. No. 492 (1967)] It is immaterial whether the agent is the
agent of the attorney, the client or both.
Question of privilege is determined by the
E.2. CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY TO court. The burden of proof is on the party who
CLIENTS asserts the privilege.
Canon 21 enjoins a lawyer to preserve the
Canon 15. A lawyer shall observe candor, confidence and secrets of his client even after
fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and the attorney-client relation is terminated.
transactions with his clients.
i. Confidentiality Rule ii. Privileged Com m unications
Purpose: To protect the client from possible
Rule 15.02. A lawyer shall be bound by the
breach of confidence as a result of a
rule on privileged communication in respect
consultation with a lawyer [Hadjula v.
of matters disclosed to him by a prospective
Madianda, A.C. No. 6711 (2007)]

Confidential com m unication-

information transmitted by voluntary act of REQUISITES (LRCI)
disclosure between attorney and client in (1) The person to whom information is given
confidence and by means which so far as the is a lawyer. However, if a person is
client is aware, discloses the information to pretending to be a lawyer and client
no third person other than one reasonably discloses confidential communications,
necessary for the transmission of the the attorney-client privilege applies;
information or the accomplishment of the
(2) There is a legal relationship existing,
purpose for which it was given [Mercado v.
except in cases of prospective clients;
Vitriolo, A.C. No. 5108 (2005)].
(3) Legal advice must be sought from the
attorney in his professional capacity
Confidences of clients Secrets of clients with respect to communications relating
to that purpose. The information is not
Refer to information Refer to
privileged if the advice is not within
protected by information gained
lawyers professional capacity;
attorney-client in the profession
privilege under the relationship that (4) The client must intend the
Rules of Court (i.e., the client has communication be confidential.
information pertinent requested to be
to the case being held inviolate or the
PAGE 38 OF 104

PERSONS ENTITLED TO PRIVILEGE An attorney cannot, without the consent of

his client, be examined as to any
(1) The lawyer, client, and third persons who
communication made by the client to him or
by reason of their work have acquired
his advice given thereon in the course of
information about the case being
professional employment; nor can an
handled, including:
attorneys secretary, stenographer, or clerk be
(a) Attorneys secretary, stenographer examined, without the consent of the client
and clerk; and his employer, concerning any fact the
knowledge of which has been acquired in
(b) Interpreter, messengers, or agents
such capacity [Sec. 24(b), Rule 130].
transmitting communication;
(c) Accountant, scientist, physician,
engineer who has been hired for General rule: As a matter of public policy, a
effective consultation; clients identity should not be shrouded in
mystery. Thus, a lawyer may not invoke the
(2) Assignee of the clients interest as far as
privilege and refuse to divulge the name or
the communication affects the realization
identity of this client.
of the assigned interest.
(1) When a lawyer is accused by the client
and he needs to reveal information to
(1) Does not cover transactions that occurred defend himself;
beyond the lawyers employment with the
(2) When the client discloses the intention
client [Palm v. Iledan, Jr., A.C. No. 8242
to commit a crime or unlawful act
[Aguirre (2006)].
(2) Period to be considered is the date when
the privileged communication was made
by the client to the attorney in relation to (1) The court has a right to know that the
either a crime committed in the past or client whose privileged information is
with respect to a crime intended to be sought to be protected is flesh and
committed in the future. If the crime was blood.
committed in the past, the privilege
(2) The privilege begins to exist only after
applies. If it is still to be committed, the
the attorney-client relationship has been
privilege does not apply, because the
established. The attorney-client privilege
communication between a lawyer and his
does not attach unless there is a client.
client must be for a lawful purpose or in
furtherance of a lawful end to be (3) The privilege generally pertains to the
privileged [People v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. subject matter of the relationship.
No. 115439 (1996)].
(4) Due process considerations require that
(3) Limited only to communications which the opposing party should, as a general
are legitimately and properly within the rule, know his adversary.
scope of a lawful employment of a
Exceptions to exceptions: Client identity
lawyer. It does not extend to those made
is privileged in the following instances:
in contemplation of a crime or
perpetration of a fraud. It is not within the (1) Where a strong probability exists that
profession of a lawyer to advise a client as revealing the client's name would
to how he may commit a crime. [Genato v. implicate that client in the very activity
Silapan, A.C. 4078 (2003)]. for which he sought the lawyer's advice.
(4) Embraces not only oral or written (2) Where disclosure would open the client
statements but also actions, signs or to civil liability, his identity is privileged.
other means of communications.
(3) Where the government's lawyers have no
case against an attorney's client unless,
by revealing the clients name, the said
PAGE 39 OF 104

name would furnish the only link that iii. Conflict of Interest
would form the chain of testimony
necessary to convict an individual of a Rule 15.01. A lawyer, in conferring with a
crime, the client's name is privileged. prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as
practicable whether the matter would involve
a conflict with another client or his own
Information relating to the identity of the interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the
client may fall within the ambit of the prospective client.
privilege when the clients name itself has an
independent significance, such that
disclosure would then reveal client Rule 15.03. A lawyer shall not represent
confidences [Regala v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. conflicting interests except by written consent
No. 105938 (1996)] of all concerned given after a full disclosure
of the facts.
There is conflict of interest when a lawyer
General rule: The protection given to the
represents inconsistent interests of two or
client is perpetual and does not cease with
more opposing parties. [Hornilla v. Salunat,
the termination of the litigation, nor is it
A.C. 5804 (2003)].
affected by the clients ceasing to employ the
attorney and retaining another, or by any
other change of relation between them. It
even survives the death of the client [Bun
Siong Yao v. Aurelio, A.C. No. 7023 (2006)] (1) There are conflicting duties;
Exception: Some privileged (2) The acceptance of the new relations
communications lose their privileged invites or actually leads to unfaithfulness
character by some supervening act done or double-dealing to another client; or
pursuant to the purpose of the (3) The attorney will be called upon to use
communication (e.g., a communication against his first client any knowledge
intended by the client to be sent to a third acquired in the previous employment.
person through his attorney loses
confidential character once it reached the
(1) Whether the acceptance of a new
EXAMPLES OF PRIVILEGED M ATTERS relation will prevent an attorney from the
full discharge of his duty of undivided
(1) Work product of lawyer (his effort, fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite
research and thought contained in his suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-
file); dealing in its performance.
(2) Report of a physician, an accountant, an (2) If the acceptance of the new retainer will
engineer or a technician, whose services require the attorney to perform an act
have been secured by a client as part of which will injuriously affect his first client
his communication to his attorney or by in any matter in which he represented
the attorney to assist him render him and also whether he will be called
effective legal assistance to his client; upon in his new relation to use against
(3) Records concerning an accident in which the first client any knowledge acquired
a party is involved; through their connection [Frias v.
Lozada, A.C. No. 6656 (2005)].
(4) Consultation which has to do with the
preparation of a client to take the (3) Whether or not in behalf of one client, it
witness stand. is the lawyers duty to fight for an issue
or claim, but it is his duty to oppose it for
the other client. In brief, if he argues for
one client, this argument will be
PAGE 40 OF 104

opposed by him when he argues for the Rule 15.04. A lawyer may, with the written
other client. This rule covers not only consent of all concerned, act as mediator,
cases in which confidential conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes.
communications have been confided, but
also those in which no confidence has An attorneys knowledge of the law and his
been bestowed or will be used. reputation for fidelity may make it easy for
the disputants to settle their differences
(4) Whether the acceptance of a new amicably. However, he shall not act as
relation will prevent an attorney from the counsel for any of them. [Agpalo (2004)]
full discharge of his duty of undivided
fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite
suspicion of unfaithfulness or double- iv. Candid and Honest Advice to
dealing in the performance thereof Clients
[Pacana v. Pascual-Lopez, A.C. 8243
(2009)]. Rule 15.05. A lawyer when advising his client
shall give a candid and honest opinion on the
(5) Whether the lawyer will be asked to use merits and probable results of the clients
against his former client any confidential case, neither overstating nor understating the
information acquired through their prospects of the case.
connection or previous employment
[Palm v. Iledan, Jr., A.C. 8242 (2009)] A lawyer is bound to give candid and honest
opinion on the merit or lack of merit of
Note: The test to determine whether there is
clients case, neither overstating nor
a conflict of interest in the representation is
understating the prospect of the case. He
probability, not certainty of conflict.
should also give an honest opinion as to the
probable results of the case [Agpalo (2004)]
EFFECTS OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST The signature of counsel constitutes a
certificate by him that he has read the
Representing adverse interest may result in:
pleading; that to the best of his knowledge,
(1) Disqualification as counsel in the new information, and belief there is good ground
case; to support it; and that it is not interposed for
delay [Sec. 3, Rule 7]
(2) If prejudicial to interests of latter client,
setting aside of a judgment;
(3) Administrative and criminal (for betrayal v. Not to Claim Influence
of trust) liability;
Rule 15.06. A lawyer shall not state or imply
(4) Forfeiture of attorneys fees. that he is able to influence any public official,
tribunal or legislative body.

General rule: A lawyer may not represent Ratio: To protect against influence peddling.
two opposing parties at any point in time. A [Agpalo (2004)].
lawyer need not be the counsel-of-record of
either party. It is enough that the counsel had
a hand in the preparation of the pleading of vi. Com pliance with Laws
one party. Rule 15.07. A lawyer shall impress upon his
Exception: When the parties agree, and for client compliance with the laws and
amicable settlement [Agpalo (2004)] principles of fairness.
At a certain stage of the controversy, before it It is the duty of an attorney to counsel or
reaches the court, a lawyer may represent maintain such actions or proceedings only as
conflicting interests with the consent of the appear to him to be just, and such defenses
parties [Dee v. CA, G.R. No. 77439 (1989)] only as he believes to be honestly debatable
under the law [Sec. 20(c), Rule 138].

PAGE 41 OF 104

A lawyer is required to represent his client Lawyers cannot acquire or purchase, even at
within the bounds of law. He is enjoined to a public or judicial auction, either in person or
employ only fair and honest means to attain through the mediation of another, the
the lawful objectives of his client and not to property and rights which may be the object
allow his client to dictate the procedure in of any litigation in which they take part by
handling the case. virtue of their profession [Art. 1491(5), Civil
A lawyer appears in court in representation of
his client not only as an advocate but also as Ratio: The prohibition is based on the
an officer of the court. To permit lawyers to existing relation of trust or the lawyers
resort to unscrupulous practices for the peculiar control over the property.
protection of the supposed rights of their
clients is to defeat the administration of
justice [Agpalo (2004)] REQUISITES (RLCP)
(1) There is an attorney-client
vii. Concurrent Practice of Another
Profession (2) The property or interest of the client is in
Rule 15.08. A lawyer who is engaged in
another profession or occupation (3) The attorney takes part as counsel in
concurrently with the practice of law shall the case;
make clear to his client whether he is acting (4) The attorney purchases or acquires the
as a lawyer or in another capacity. property or right, by himself or through
Exercise of dual profession is not prohibited another, during the pendency of
but a lawyer must make it clear when he is litigation [Laig v. CA, G.R. No. L-26882
acting as a lawyer or when he is acting in (1978)]
another capacity, especially in occupations Any scheme which has the effect of
related to the practice of law [In re: Rothman, circumventing the law comes within the
12 N.J. 528 (1953)] prohibition [Agpalo (2004)].
Ratio: Certain ethical considerations may be
operative in one profession and not in the
A lawyer is not barred from dealing with his
client but the business transaction must be (1) Even if the purchase or lease of the
characterized with utmost honesty and good property in litigation is in favor of a
faith. Business transactions between an partnership, of which counsel is a
attorney and his client are disfavored and partner [Mananquil v. Villegas, A.C. No.
discouraged by policy of law because by 2430 (1990)]
virtue of a lawyers office, he is an easy (2) If the purchase is made by the wife of the
position to take advantage of the credulity attorney [In re: Calderon, G.R. No. L-
and ignorance of his client. Thus, there is no 2409 (1907)]
presumption of innocence or improbability of
wrongdoing in favor of lawyers [Nakpil v. (3) Mortgage of property in litigation to the
Valdez, A.C. No. 2040 (1998)] lawyer. In this case, acquisition is merely
postponed until foreclosure but effect is
the same. It also includes assignment of
E.3. CLIENTS MONEYS AND PROPERTIES property [Ordonio v. Eduarte, A.M. No.
3216, (1992)].
Canon 16. A lawyer shall hold in trust all
moneys and properties of his client that may The purchase by a lawyer of the property in
come into his possession. litigation from his client is void and could
produce no legal effect [Article 1409(7), Civil

PAGE 42 OF 104

INSTANCES W HEN PROHIBITION IN his personal purposes without the clients

ART. 1491 DOES NOT APPLY: consent. [Daroy v. Legaspi, A.C. No. 936
(1) When the attorney is not a counsel in the
case involving the same property at the
time of acquisition;
iii. Delivery of Funds
(2) When purchaser is a corporation, even if
the attorney was an officer [Tuason v. Rule 16.03. A lawyer shall deliver the funds
Tuason, G.R. No. L-3404 (1951)] and property of his client when due or upon
demand. However, he shall have a lien over
(3) When sale takes place after termination the funds and may apply so much thereof as
of litigation, except if there was fraud or may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees
use/abuse of confidential information or and disbursements, giving notice promptly
where lawyer exercised undue influence; thereafter to his client. He shall also have a
(4) Where property in question is stipulated lien to the same extent on all judgments and
as part of attorneys fees, provided that, executions he has secured for his client as
the same is contingent upon the provided for in the Rules of Court.
favorable outcome of litigation and, When an attorney unjustly retains in his
provided further, that the fee must be hands money of his client after it has been
reasonable. demanded, he may be punished for contempt
as an officer of the Court who has
misbehaved in his official transactions; but
i. Fiduciary Relationship proceedings under this Sec. shall not be a bar
Rule 16.01. A lawyer shall account for all to criminal prosecution [Sec. 25, Rule 138]
money or property collected or received for or Money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a
from the client. judgment in favor of his clients is held in trust
and must be immediately turned over to
Ratio: The lawyer merely holds said money
them [Busios v. Ricafort, A.C. No. 4349
or property in trust.
When a lawyer collects or receives money
The failure of an attorney to return the
from his client for a particular purpose (such
clients money upon demand gives rise to the
as for filing fees, registration fees,
presumption that he has misappropriated it
transportation and office expenses), he
for his own use to the prejudice of and in
should promptly account to the client how
violation of the trust reposed in him by the
the money was spent. If he does not use the
client [Jinon v. Jiz, A.C. No. 9615 (2013)]
money for its intended purpose, he must
immediately return it to the client [Belleza v. However, an attorney has a lien upon the
Macasa, A.C. No. 7815 (2009)] funds documents and papers of his client
which have lawfully come into his possession
The fact that a lawyer has a lien for fees on
and may retain the same until his lawful fees
money in his hands would not relieve him
and disbursements have been paid and may
from the duty of promptly accounting for the
apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof
funds received [Daroy v. Legaspi, A.C. No.
[Sec. 37, Rule 138]
936 (1975)]

iv. Borrowing or Lending

ii. Com m ingling of Funds
Rule 16.04. A lawyer shall not borrow money
Rule 16.02.A lawyer shall keep the funds of
from his client unless the clients interests are
each client separate and apart from his own
fully protected by the nature of the case or by
and those of others kept by him.
independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer
A lawyer should not commingle a clients lend money to a client except when, in the
money with that of other clients and with his interest of justice, he has to advance
private funds, nor use the clients money for
PAGE 43 OF 104

necessary expenses in a legal matter he is confidence reposed in him by complainant.

handling for the client. Instead, he deceived complainant and misled
him into parting with P400,000 for services
that were both illegal and unprofessional
A LAW YER IS PROHIBITED FROM [Stemmerik v. Mas, A.C. No. 8010 (2009)]
Ratio: The canon presumes that the client is
disadvantaged by the lawyers ability to use Canon 18. A lawyer shall serve his client with
all the legal maneuverings to renege on her competence and diligence.
obligation [Frias v. Lozada, A.C. No. 6656
Rule 18.03. A lawyer shall not neglect a legal
The profession demands of an attorney an matter entrusted to him, and his negligence
absolute abdication of every personal in connection therewith shall render him
advantage conflicting in any way, directly or liable.
indirectly, with the interest of his client
[Barnachea v. Quiocho, A.C. No. 5925 (2003)]
A LAW YER IS PROHIBITED FROM A lawyer must exercise ordinary diligence or
LENDING M ONEY TO HIS CLIENT that reasonable degree of care and skill
having reference to the character of the
Ratio: The canon intends to assure the
business he undertakes to do, as any other
lawyers independent professional judgment,
member of the bar similarly situated
for if the lawyer acquires a financial interest
commonly possesses and exercises. He is not,
in the outcome of the case, the free exercise
however, bound to exercise extraordinary
of his judgment may be adversely affected.
diligence [Pajarillo v. WCC, G.R. No. L-42927
Exception: When, in the interest of justice, (1980)]
he has to advance necessary expenses in a
A client is entitled to the benefit of any and
legal matter he is handling.
every remedy and defense authorized by law,
and is expected to rely on the lawyer to assert
every such remedy or defense [Garcia v. Bala,
A.C. No. 5309 (2005)]
Canon 17. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause
of his client and he shall be mindful of the
trust and confidence reposed in him. i. Adequate Preparation
The failure to exercise due diligence and the Rule 18.02. A lawyer shall not handle any
abandonment of a clients cause make such a legal matter without adequate preparation.
lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client
has reposed on him [Cantilller v. Potenciano, A lawyer should safeguard his clients rights
A.C. No. 3195 (1989)] and interests by thorough study and
preparation, mastering applicable law and
Once he agrees to take up the cause of the facts involved in a case, and keeping
client, no fear or judicial disfavor or public constantly abreast of the latest jurisprudence
unpopularity should restrain him from the full and developments in all branches of the law
discharge of his duty [Santiago v. Fojas, A.M. [Agpalo (2004)]
No. 4103 (1995)]
A lawyer should give adequate attention, care
By advising complainant that a foreigner and time to his cases. This is the reason why a
could legally and validly acquire real estate in practicing lawyer should accept only so many
the Philippines and by assuring complainant cases he can handle. [Legarda v. CA, G.R. No.
that the property was alienable, the lawyer 94457 (1991)]
deliberately foisted a falsehood on his client.
He did not give due regard to the trust and
PAGE 44 OF 104

ii. Negligence latter to look for another lawyer to

represent them while counsel was in the
If by reason of the lawyers negligence, actual
hospital [Ventura v. Santos, 59 Phil. 123
loss has been caused to his client, the latter
has a cause of action against him for
damages. [Callanta] 8) Failure to appear simply because the
client did not go to counsels office on
General rule: A client is bound by the
the date of the trial as was agreed upon
attorneys conduct, negligence and mistake
(Alcoriza v. Lumakang, A.M. No. 249
in handling the case or in management of
litigation and in procedural technique, and he
cannot be heard to complain that result 9) Failure to pay the appellate docket fee
might have been different had his lawyer after receiving the amount for the
proceeded differently. purpose [Capulong v. Alino, A.M. No. 381
Exceptions: He is not so bound where the
ignorance, incompetence or inexperience of
lawyer is so great and error so serious that
iii. Collaborating Counsel
the client, who has good cause, is prejudiced
and denied a day in court [People v.
Manzanilla, G.R. No. L-17436 (1922); Alarcon v. Rule 18.01. A lawyer shall not
CA, G.R. No. 126802 (2000)] undertake a legal service which he
knows or should know that he is not
qualified to render. However, he may
render such service if, with the consent
of his client, he can obtain as
1) Failure of counsel to ask for additional collaborating counsel a lawyer who is
time to answer a complaint resulting in a
competent on the matter.
default judgment against his client
(Mapua v. Mendoza, G.R. L-19295
2) Failure to bring suit immediately, as W HETHER FOR A FEE OR NOT, HIS
when it was filed when the defendant ACCEPTANCE IS AN IMPLIED
had already become insolvent and REPRESENTATION:
recovery could no longer be had;
1) That he possesses the requisite degree
3) Failure to ascertain date of receipt from of academic learning, skill and ability
post office of notice of decision resulting necessary in the practice of his
in the non-perfection of the appellants profession;
appeal [Joven-De Jesus v. PNB, G.R. No.
L-19299 (1964)] 2) That he will exert his best judgment in
the prosecution or defense of the
4) Failure to file briefs within the litigation entrusted to him;
reglementary period [People v. Cawili,
G.R. No. L-30543, (1970)]; 3) That he will exercise ordinary diligence
or that reasonable degree of care and
5) Failure to attend a trial without filing a skill demanded of the business he
motion for postponement or without undertakes to do, to protect the clients
requesting either of his two partners in interests and take all steps or do all acts
the law office to take his place and necessary thereof [Uy v. Tansinsin, A.C.
appear for the defendants [Gaerlan v. 8252 (2009)]; and
Bernal, G.R. No. L-4039 (1952)];
4) That he will take steps as will adequately
6) Failure to appear at pre-trial [Agravante safeguard his clients interests [Islas v.
v. Patriarca, G.R. No. L-48324 (1990)]; Platon, G.R. No. L-23183 (1924)]
7) Failure of counsel to notify clients of the
scheduled trial which prevented the
PAGE 45 OF 104

A lawyer should not accept an undertaking in It is the duty of an attorney to employ, for the
a specific area of law which he knows or purpose of maintaining the causes confided
should know he is not qualified to enter. to him, such means only as are consistent
[Agpalo (2004)] with truth and honor, and never seek to
mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an
artifice or false statement of fact or law [Sec.
iv. Duty to Apprise Client 20(d), Rule 138]
Rule 18.04. A lawyer shall keep the client A lawyer should not file or threaten to file any
informed of the status of his case and shall unfounded or baseless criminal case or cases
respond within a reasonable period of time to against the adversaries of his client designed
clients request for information. to secure a leverage to compel adversaries to
yield or withdraw their own cases against the
It was unnecessary to have the clients wait, lawyers client. [Pena v. Aparicio, A.C. No.
and hope, for six long years on their pension 7298 (2007)]
claims. Upon their refusal to cooperate, the
lawyer should have forthwith terminated their
professional relationship instead of keeping ii. Clients Fraud
them hanging indefinitely. [Blanza v. Arcangel,
A.C. No. 492 (1967)] Rule 19.02. A lawyer who has received
information that his client has, in the course
of the representation, perpetrated a fraud
CLIENT SHOULD MAKE PROPER upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call
INQUIRIES upon the client to rectify the same, and
failing which he shall terminate the
The client should not, however, sit idly by. It is relationship with such client in accordance
also his duty to make proper inquiries from with the Rules of Court.
his counsel concerning his case, in keeping
with that standard of care which an ordinarily This rule merely requires the lawyer to
prudent man bestows upon his important terminate his relationship with the client in
business. the event the latter fails or refuses to rectify
the fraud. [Agpalo (2004)]


LEGAL BOUNDS iii. Procedure in Handling The Case
Canon 19. A lawyer shall represent his client Rule 19.03. A lawyer shall not allow his client
with zeal within the bounds of the law. to dictate the procedure on handling the
A lawyer should present every remedy or case.
defense authorized by law in support of his
clients cause regardless of his personal views.
[Legarda v. CA, G.R. No. 94457 (1991)] Within clients control Within counsels
The cause of action, All the proceedings in
i. Use of Fair and Honest Means the claim or demand court to enforce the
sued upon, and the remedy, to bring the
Rule 19.01. A lawyer shall employ only fair and subject matter of the claim, demand,
honest means to attain the lawful objectives litigation are all cause of action, or
of his client and shall not present, participate within the exclusive subject matter of the
in presenting or threaten to present control of a client. suit to hearing, trial,
unfounded criminal charges to obtain an determination,
improper advantage in any case or An attorney may not judgment, and
proceeding. impair, compromise, execution, are within
settle, surrender, or the exclusive control
destroy them without of the attorney
his client's consent. [Belandres v. Lopez
PAGE 46 OF 104

Sugar Central Mill, (3) When the stipulated fees are

G.R. No. L-6869 unconscionable or unreasonable;
(4) When the stipulated fees are in excess of
what is expressly provided by law;
(5) When the lawyer is guilty of fraud or bad
faith in the manner of his employment;
Canon 20. A lawyer shall charge only fair and
reasonable fees. (6) When the counsels services are
worthless because of negligence;
An attorney is entitled to have and recover
from his client no more than a reasonable (7) When the contract is contrary to laws,
compensation for his services with a view to: morals, and good policies.

(1) The importance of the subject matter of

the controversy; W HEN THERE IS NO EXPRESS
(2) The extent of the services rendered; and CONTRACT
In the absence of an express contract,
(3) The professional standing of the
attorney. payment of attorneys fees may be justified by
virtue of the innominate contract of facio ut
No court shall be bound by the opinion of des (I do and you give) which is based on the
attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper principle that no one shall enrich himself at
compensation but may disregard such the expense of another [Corpuz v. CA, G.R.
testimony and base its conclusion on its own No. L-40424 (1980)]
professional knowledge.
NOTE: RA 5185. Sec. 6. Prohibition Against
Practice. A member of the Provincial Board or
A written contract for services shall City or Municipal Council shall not appear as
control the am ount to be paid therefore counsel before any court in any civil case
unless found by the court to be wherein the province, city or municipality, as
unconscionable or unreasonable. [Sec. 24, the case may be, is the adverse party:
Rule 138, RoC] Provided, however, That no member of the
Provincial Board shall so appear except in
The mere fact that an agreement had been behalf of his province in any civil case wherein
reached between attorney and client fixing any city in the province is the adverse party
the amount of the attorneys fees, does not whose voters are en-franchised to vote for
insulate such agreement from review and provincial officials, nor shall such member of
modification by the Court where the fees the Provincial Board or City or Municipal
clearly appear to be excessive or Council appear as counsel for the accused in
unreasonable [Tanhueco v. De Dumo, A.M. any criminal case wherein an officer or
No. 1437 (1989)] employee of said province, city or
municipality is accused of an offense
committed in relation to the latter's office,
W HEN A LAW YER CANNOT RECOVER nor shall he collect any fee for his appearance
THE FULL AMOUNT STIPULATED IN in any administrative proceedings before
THE CONTRACT: provincial, city or municipal agencies of the
(1) When the services were not performed, province, city or municipality, as the case may
and if the lawyer withdrew before the be, of which he is an elected official.The
case was finished, he will be allowed provisions of this Sec. shall likewise apply to
only reasonable fees; provincial governors and city and municipal
(2) When there is justified dismissal of an
attorney, the contract will be nullified
and payment will be on quantum meruit

PAGE 47 OF 104

Rule 20.01. A lawyer shall be guided by the reasonably to notify him that lawyer expects
following factors in determining his fees: compensation.
(a) The time spent and the extent of the
services rendered or required;
(b) The novelty and difficulty of the
(1) The agreement as to counsel fees is
questions involved;
invalid for some reason other than the
(c) The importance of the subject matter; illegality of the object of performance;
(d) The skill demanded; (2) There is no express contract for
attorneys fees agreed upon between the
(e) The probability of losing other
lawyer and the client;
employment as a result of acceptance of
the proffered case; (3) When although there is a formal contract
of attorneys fees, the stipulated fees are
(f) The customary charges for similar
found unconscionable or unreasonable
services and the schedule of fees of the
by the court;
IBP chapter to which he belongs;
(4) When the contract for attorneys fees is
(g) The amount involved in the controversy
void due to purely formal matters or
and the benefits resulting to the client
defects of execution;
from the service;
(5) When the counsel, for justifiable cause,
(h) The contingency or certainty of
was not able to finish the case to its
(i) The character of the employment,
(6) When lawyer and client disregard the
whether occasional or established; and
contract of attorneys fees;
(j) The professional standing of the lawyer.
(7) When there is a contract but no
stipulation as to attorneys fees.
(1) A fixed or absolute fee which is payable
(1) Time spent and extent of the services
regardless of the result of the case; rendered. A lawyer is justified in fixing
(2) A contingent fee that is conditioned upon higher fees when the case is so
the securing of a favorable judgment and complicated and requires more time and
recovery of money or property and the efforts to finish it.
amount of which may be on a percentage (2) Importance of subject matter. The more
basis; important the subject matter or the
(3) A fixed fee payable per appearance; bigger value of the interest or property in
litigation, the higher is the attorneys fee.
(4) A fixed fee computed by the number of
hours spent; (3) Novelty and difficulty of questions
involved. When the questions in a case
(5) A fixed fee based on a piece of work;
are novel and difficult, greater efforts,
(6) A combination of any of the above deeper study, and research are bound to
stipulated fees. burn the lawyers time and stamina
considering that there are no local
precedents to rely upon.
(4) Skill demanded of the lawyer. The
Means as much as a lawyer deserves. totality of the lawyers experience
provides him the skill and competence
Essential requisite: Acceptance of the
admired in lawyers.
benefits by one sought to be charged for
services rendered under circumstances as
PAGE 48 OF 104

A determination of all these factors would Champertous Contract Contingent Contract

indispensably require nothing less than a
full-blown trial where private respondent can A champertous A contingent
contract is one where contract is an
adduce evidence to establish its right to
lawful attorney's fees and for petitioner to the lawyer stipulates agreement in which
with his client that he the lawyers fee,
oppose or refute the same [Metrobank v. CA,
G.R. No. 86100 (1990)] will bear all the usually a fixed
expenses for the percentage of what
The above rules apply in the case of a counsel prosecution of the may be recovered in
de parte. case, the recovery of the action, is made
A counsel de oficio may not demand from the things or property to depend upon the
accused attorneys fees even if he wins the being claimed, and success in the effort
case. However, subject to availability of funds, the latter pays only to enforce or defend
the court may, in its discretion, order an upon successful the clients right. The
attorney employed as counsel de oficio to be litigation. lawyer does not
compensated in such sum as the court may undertake to
This contract is void
fix. shoulder the
for being against
expenses of
public policy
The criteria in fixing the amount are still: It is a valid
(1) The importance of the subject matter of agreement.
the controversy;
(2) The extent of the services rendered; and Rule 20.02. A lawyer shall, in cases of
(3) The professional standing of the referral, with the consent of the client, be
attorney. entitled to a division of fees in proportion to
work performed and responsibility assumed.
The referral of a client by a lawyer to another
i. Acceptance Fees lawyer does not entitle the former to a
Acceptance of money from a client commission or to a portion of the attorneys
establishes an attorney-client relationship fees. It is only when, in addition to the referral,
and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to the he performs legal service or assumes
clients cause. [Emiliano Court Townhouses responsibility in the case that he will be
Homeowners Association v. Dioneda, A.C. No. entitled to a fee [Agpalo (2004)]
5162 (2003)]
Failure to render the legal services agreed
Rule 20.03. A lawyer shall not, without the
upon, despite receipt of an acceptance fee, is
full knowledge and consent of the client,
a clear violation of the Code of Professional
accept any fee, reward, costs, commission,
Responsibility. [Macarulay v. Seria, A.C. No.
interest, rebate or forwarding allowance or
6591 (2005)]
other compensation whatsoever related to his
It is the duty of an attorney to accept no professional employment from anyone other
compensation in connection with his clients than the client.
business except from him or with his
knowledge and approval [Sec. 20(e), Rule Ratio: The rule is designed to secure the
138] lawyers fidelity to the clients cause and to
prevent that situation in which receipt by him
of a rebate or commission from another in
ii. Contingency Fee Arrangem ents connection with the clients cause may
interfere with the full discharge of his duty to
A distinction should be made between a his client.
champertous contract and a contingent
contract with respect to attorneys fees:

PAGE 49 OF 104

iii. Attorneys Liens (4) The attorney has a claim for attorneys
fees or advances statement of his claim
has been recorded in the case with
RETAINING LIEN notice served upon the client and
An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, adverse party.
documents and papers of his client which
have lawfully come into his possession. Thus:
(1) He may retain the same until his lawful Retaining lien Charging lien
fees and disbursements have been paid; Nature
(2) May apply such funds to the satisfaction Passive lien. It Active lien. It can be
thereof. [Sec. 37, Rule 138] cannot be actively enforced by
enforced. It is a execution. It is a
general lien. special lien.
(1) Attorney-client relationship;
Lawful possession Securing of a
(2) Lawful possession by lawyer of the of funds, papers, favorable money
clients funds, documents and papers in documents, judgment for client
his professional capacity; and property belonging
(3) Unsatisfied claim for attorneys fees or to client
disbursements. Coverage
Covers only funds, Covers all
CHARGING LIEN papers, documents, judgments for the
and property in the payment of money
He shall also have a lien to the same extent
lawful possession of and executions
upon all judgments for the payment of money,
the attorney by issued in pursuance
and executions issued in pursuance of such
reason of his of such judgment
judgments, which he has secured in a
litigation of his client. This lien exists from
and after the time when he shall have
(1) A statement of his claim of such lien to
be entered upon the records of the court As soon as the As soon as the claim
rendering such judgment, or issuing lawyer gets for attorneys fees
such execution; and possession of the had been entered
funds, papers, into the records of
(2) Written notice thereof to be delivered to documents, the case
his client and to the adverse party. property
From then on, he shall have the same right Applicability
and power over such judgments and
May be exercised Generally, it is
executions as his client would have to enforce
before judgment or exercisable only
his lien and secure the payment of his just
execution, or when the attorney
fees and disbursements [Sec. 37, Rule 138]
regardless thereof had already secured
a favorable
judgment for his
(1) Attorney-client relationship;
(2) The attorney has rendered services; Notice
(3) A money judgment favorable to the Client need not be Client and adverse
client has been secured in the action; notified to make it party need to
and effective notified to make it
PAGE 50 OF 104

iv. Fees and Controversies with E.9. PRESERVATION OF CLIENTS

Rule 20.04. A lawyer shall avoid controversies Canon 21. A lawyer shall preserve the
with clients concerning his compensation and confidence and secrets of his client even after
shall resort to judicial action only to prevent the attorney-client relation is terminated.
imposition, injustice or fraud. Ratio:
(1) Unless the client knows that his attorney
JUDICIAL ACTIONS TO RECOVER cannot be compelled to reveal what is
ATTORNEYS FEES: told to him, he will suppress what he
thinks to be unfavorable and the advice
(1) An appropriate motion or petition as an which follows will be useless if not
incident in the main action where he misleading;
rendered legal services;
(2) To encourage a client to make full
(2) A separate civil action for collection of disclosure to his attorney and to place
attorneys fees. unrestricted confidence in him in matters
Only when the circumstances imperatively affecting his rights or obligations.
require should a lawyer resort to lawsuit to It is the duty of an attorney to maintain
enforce payment of fees. This is but a logical inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to
consequence of the legal profession not himself to preserve, the secrets of his client
primarily being for economic compensation. and to accept no compensation in connection
[Agpalo (2004)] with his clients business except from him or
with his knowledge and approval. [Sec. 20(e),
Rule 138]
v. Concepts of Attorneys Fees
Ordinary concept Extraordinary concept
An attorneys fee is An attorneys fee is
the reasonable an indemnity for 1) Upon any lawyer who, by any malicious
compensation paid damages ordered by breach of professional duty or of
to a lawyer for the the court to be paid inexcusable negligence or ignorance,
legal services he has by the losing party to reveals any of the secrets of the latter
rendered to a client. the prevailing party learned by him in his professional
Its basis of this in litigation. The capacity.
compensation is the basis of this is any of 2) Upon a lawyer who, having undertaken
fact of employment the cases authorized the defense of a client or having received
by the client. by law and is payable confidential information from said client
not to the lawyer but in a case, undertakes the defense of the
to the client unless opposing party in the same case, without
they have agreed the consent of his first client. [Art. 209,
that the award shall RPC]
pertain to the lawyer
as additional
compensation or as i. Prohibited Disclosures and Use
part thereof [Traders
Royal Bank Rule 21.02. A lawyer shall not, to the
Employees Union- disadvantage of his client, use information
Independent v. NLRC, acquired in the course of employment, nor
G.R. No. 120592 shall he use the same to his own advantage
(1997)]. or that of a third person, unless the client
with full knowledge of the circumstances
consents thereto.

PAGE 51 OF 104

Rule 21.03. A lawyer shall not, without the Rule 21.07. A lawyer shall not reveal that he
written consent of his client, give information has been consulted about a particular case
from his files to an outside agency seeking except to avoid possible conflict of interest.
such information for auditing, statistical,
bookkeeping, accounting, data processing, or
any similar purpose. Read in relation to:
The work and product of a lawyer, such as his Rule 15.01. A lawyer, in conferring with a
effort, research, and thought, and the records prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as
of his client, contained in his files are practicable whether the matter would involve
privileged matters. Neither the lawyer nor, a conflict with another client or his own
after his death, his heir or legal interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the
representative may properly disclose the prospective client.
contents of such file cabinet without clients
Rule 14.03. A lawyer may not refuse to accept
representation of an indigent client unless:
Rule 21.05. A lawyer shall adopt such
measures as may be required to prevent (b) He labors under a conflict of interest
those whose services are utilized by him from between him and the prospective client or
disclosing or using confidences or secrets of between a present client and the prospective
the client. client.

Professional employment of a law firm is

equivalent to retainer of the members thereof THE PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
even though only one partner is consulted. RULE APPLIES EVEN TO
When one partner tells another about the PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS
details of the case, it is not considered as
The disclosure and the lawyers opinion
disclosure to third persons because members
thereon create an attorney-client relationship,
of a law firm are considered as one entity.
even though the lawyer does not eventually
The clients secrets which clerical aids of accept the employment or the prospective
lawyers learn of in the performance of their client did not thereafter actually engage the
services are covered by privileged lawyer. By the consultation, the lawyer
communication. It is the duty of lawyer to already learned of the secrets of prospective
ensure that this is being followed (e.g., client. This rule, of course, is subject to
execution of confidentiality agreements). exception of representation of conflicting
Ratio: The prohibition against a lawyer from
divulging the confidences and secrets of his
clients will become futile exercise if his
ii. Disclosure, W hen Allowed
clerical aids are given liberty to do what is
prohibited of the lawyer. Rule 21.01. A lawyer shall not reveal the
confidences or secrets of his client except:
(a) When authorized by the client after
Rule 21.06. A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet acquainting him of the consequences of
conversation about a clients affairs even with the disclosure;
members of his family.
(b) When required by law;
A lawyer must also preserve the confidences
and secrets of his clients outside the law (c) When necessary to collect his fees or to
office, including his home. He should avoid defend himself, his employees or
committing calculated indiscretion, that is, associates or by judicial action.
accidental revelation of secrets obtained in
his professional employment.

PAGE 52 OF 104

Rule 21.04. A lawyer may disclose the affairs Rule 22.01. A lawyer may withdraw his
of a client of the firm to partners or associates services in any of the following cases:
thereof unless prohibited by the client. (a) When the client pursues an illegal or
immoral course of conduct in connection
with the matter he is handling;
(b) When the client insists that the lawyer
Canon 22. A lawyer shall withdraw his
pursue conduct violative of these canons
services only for good cause and upon notice
and rules;
appropriate in the circumstances.
(c) When his inability to work with co-
counsel will not promote the best
CAUSES OF TERMINATION OF interest of the client;
ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP (d) When the mental or physical condition of
(1) Withdrawal of the lawyer; the lawyer renders it difficult for him to
carry out the employment effectively;
(2) Death of the lawyer;
(e) When the client deliberately fails to pay
(3) Disbarment or suspension of the lawyer
the fees for the services or fails to comply
from the practice of law; with the retainer agreement;
(4) Declaration of presumptive death of the
(f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed
lawyer; to public office; and
(5) Conviction of a crime and imprisonment
(g) Other similar cases.
of the lawyer;
(6) Discharge or dismissal of the lawyer by
the client; A lawyer may retire at any time from any
action or special proceeding:
(7) Appointment or election of a lawyer to a
government position which prohibits (1) With the written consent of his client
private practice of law; filed in court and copy thereof served
upon the adverse party; or
(8) Death of the client;
(2) Without the consent of his client, should
(9) Intervening incapacity or incompetence
the court, on notice to the client and
of the client during pendency of case;
attorney, and on hearing, determine that
(10) Full termination of the case. he ought to be allowed to retire. [Sec.
26, Rule 138]

General rule: The client has the right to

discharge his attorney at any time with or General rule: The withdrawal in writing,
without just cause or even against his consent. with the clients conformity, does not require
the approval of the court to be effective.
Exception: If no new counsel has entered
(1) The client cannot deprive his counsel of
his appearance, the court may, in order to
right to be paid services if the dismissal
prevent a denial of a partys right to the
is without cause.
assistance of counsel require that the
(2) The client cannot discharge his counsel lawyers withdrawal be held in abeyance until
as an excuse to secure repeated another lawyer shall have appeared for the
extensions of time. party [Villasis v. CA, G.R. No. L-34369 (1974)]
(3) Notice of discharge is required for both Although a lawyer may withdraw his services
the court and the adverse party. when the client deliberately fails to pay the
fees for the services, withdrawal is unjustified
if client did not deliberately fail to pay
[Montano v. IBP, A.C. No. 4215 (2001)]
PAGE 53 OF 104

IV. Suspension,
Rule 22.02. A lawyer who withdraws or is
discharged shall, subject to a retaining lien, Disbarment, and
immediately turn over all papers and
property to which the client is entitled, and Discipline of Lawyers
shall cooperate with his successor in the
orderly transfer of the matter, including all
information necessary for the proper
handling of the matter. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST
(1) Disciplinary proceedings are sui generis.
REQUIREMENTS OF A VALID (2) They are neither purely civil nor purely
SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL criminal. They are not intended to inflict
(1) The filing of a written application for punishment.
substitution; (3) They do not involve a trial of an action or
(2) The clients written consent; a suit, but is rather an investigation by
the Court into the conduct of its officers.
(3) The consent of the substituted lawyer if There is neither a plaintiff nor a
such consent can be obtained; and, in prosecutor.
case such written consent cannot be
procured; (4) They may be initiated by the Court motu
proprio. The Court merely calls upon a
(4) A proof of service of notice of such member of the Bar to account for his
motion on the attorney to be substituted actuations as an officer of the Court with
in the manner required by the Rules the end in view of preserving the purity of
[Sec. 26, Rule 138] the legal profession and the proper and
At the discretion of the court, a lawyer, who honest administration of justice in the
has been dismissed by a client, is allowed to exercise of its disciplinary powers.
intervene in a case in order to protect the (5) Public interest is the primary objective,
clients rights [Obando v. Figueras, G.R. No. and the real question for determination is
134854 (2000)] whether or not the attorney is still a fit
person to be allowed the privileges as
such [In Re: Almacen (1970), Itong v.
Florendo, A.C. 4428 (2011)].

The Supreme Court held that the

complainants have personality to file the
disbarment case. Any interested person or
the court motu proprio may initiate
disciplinary proceedings. The right to institute
disbarment proceedings is not confined to
clients nor is it necessary that the person
complaining suffered injury from the alleged
wrongdoing. Disbarment proceedings are
matters of public interest and the only basis
for the judgment is the proof or failure of
proof of the charges. [Figueras v. Jimenez, A.C.
9116 (2014)]

PAGE 54 OF 104

A.1. CONFIDENTIAL questions have no application to

Rule 139-B, Sec. 18. Proceedings against disbarment proceedings [Pimentel, Jr. v.
attorneys shall be private and confidential. Llorente, A.C. 4680 (2000)].
However, the final order of the Supreme (4) The proceedings are distinct from and
Court shall be published like its decisions in proceed independently of civil or criminal
other cases. cases. Thus, whatever has been decided
PURPOSE OF THIS RULE in the disbarment case cannot be a
source of right that may be enforced in
(1) To enable the Court to make its another action. At best, such judgment
investigations free from any extraneous may only be given weight when
influence or interference; introduced as evidence, but in no case
(2) To protect the personal and professional does it bind the court in the civil action
reputation of attorneys and judges from [Esquivias v. CA, G.R. 119714 (1997)].
the baseless charges of disgruntled, (5) The disbarment proceeding does not
vindictive, and irresponsible clients and violate the due process clause. The
litigants; proceeding itself, when instituted in
(3) To deter the press from publishing proper cases, is due process of law [In Re:
administrative cases or portions thereof Montagne, G.R. 1107 (1904)].
without authority [Saludo, Jr. v. CA, G.R. (6) In a disbarment proceeding, it is
121404 (2006)]. immaterial that the complainant is in pari
In the absence of a legitimate public interest delicto because the proceeding is not to
in a disbarment complaint, members of the grant relief to the complainant, but to
media must preserve the confidentiality of purge the law profession of unworthy
disbarment proceedings during its pendency members, to protect the public and the
[Fortun v. Quinsayas, G.R. 194578 (2013)]. courts [Mortel v. Aspiras, G.R. L-9152
Confidentiality is a privilege/right which may
be waived by the very lawyer in whom and for (7) The rule in criminal cases that the penalty
the protection of whose personal and cannot be imposed in the alternative
professional reputation it is vested, pursuant applies in administrative disciplinary
to the general principle that rights may be cases, which also involve punitive
waived unless the waiver is contrary to public sanctions [Navarro v. Meneses III, CBD
policy, among others [Villalon v. IAC, G.R. A.C. 313 (1998)].
73751 (1986)]. (8) Monetary claims cannot be granted
except restitution and return of monies
and properties of the client given in the
A.2. OTHER CHARACTERISTICS course of the lawyer-client relationship
(1) Proceedings may be taken by the
Supreme Court motu proprio, and the IBP
Board of Governors may also motu A.3. PRESCRIPTION
proprio initiate and prosecute proper Sec. 1, Rule VIII of the Rules of Procedure of
charges against erring attorneys [Sec. 1, the Commission on Bar Discipline, which
Rule 139-B]. provided for a prescription period of two (2)
(2) Investigation is not interrupted or years from the date of the professional
terminated by reason of the desistance, misconduct, was struck down for being
settlement, compromise, restitution, ultra vires. [Frias v. Bautista-Lozada, A.C.
withdrawal of the charges, or failure of 6656 (2006)].
the complainant to prosecute the same In Isenhardt v. Real (2012), however, the said
[Sec. 5, Rule 139-B]. prescriptive period was still construed to run
(3) Laws dealing with double jeopardy or from the discovery of the misconduct.
prescription or with procedure like
verification of pleadings and prejudicial
PAGE 55 OF 104

B. GROUNDS causes damage, it gives rise to an action in

Rule 138, Sec 27. Attorneys removed or tort [Tan Tek Beng v. David, A.C. 1261 (1983)].
suspended by Supreme Court on what
grounds. A member of the bar may be
removed or suspended from his office as Gross misconduct is any inexcusable,
attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, shameful or flagrant unlawful conduct on the
malpractice, or other gross misconduct in part of a person concerned in the
such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by administration of justice which is prejudicial
reason of his conviction of a crime involving to the rights of the parties or to the right
moral turpitude, or for any violation of the determination of the cause. Such conduct is
oath which he is required to take before the generally motivated by a premeditated,
admission to practice, or for a wilfull obstinate or intentional purpose [Yap v.
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior Inopiquez, Jr., A.M. RTJ-03-1760 (2003)].
court, or for corruptly or willful appearing as Immorality connotes conduct that shows
an attorney for a party to a case without indifference to the moral norms of society
authority so to do. The practice of soliciting and the opinion of good and respectable
cases at law for the purpose of gain, either members of the community. The conduct
personally or through paid agents or brokers, must be grossly immoral (i.e., so corrupt
constitutes malpractice. and false as to constitute a criminal act or so
unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high
degree) to warrant disciplinary action [Ui v.
GROUNDS FOR DISBARMENT OR Bonifacio, A.C. 3319 (2000)].
(1) Deceit, malpractice or other gross
misconduct in office; Moral turpitude involves an act of baseness,
vileness, or depravity in the private duties
(2) Grossly immoral conduct; which a man owes to his fellow men, or to
(3) Conviction of a crime involving moral society in general, contrary to the accepted
turpitude; and customary rule of right and duty between
man and woman, or conduct contrary to
(4) Any violation of the lawyers oath; justice, honesty, modesty or good morals
(5) Willful disobedience of any lawful order [Barrios v. Martinez, A.C. 4585 (2004)].
of a superior court;
(6) Corruptly or willfully appearing as an OTHER STATUTORY GROUNDS
attorney without authority so to do
(1) Purchase by a lawyer of his clients
property in litigation [Art. 1491, Civil
Deceit is false representation of a matter of Code] constitutes a breach of
fact whether by words or conduct, by false or professional ethics for which a
misleading allegations, or by concealment of disciplinary action may be brought
that which should have been disclosed which against him [Bautista v. Gonzales, A.M.
deceives or is intended to deceive another so 1625 (1990)].
that he shall act upon it to his legal injury (2) Under Art. 209, Revised Penal Code,
[Alcantara v. CA, G.R. 147259 (2003)]. administrative and criminal sanctions
Malpractice ordinarily refers to any may be imposed upon any attorney-at-
malfeasance or dereliction of duty committed law or solicitor who:
by a lawyer. It consists of a failture of an (a) By malicious breach of professional
attorney to use such skill, prudence and duty or of inexcusable negligence or
diligence as lawyers of ordinary skill and ignorance, shall prejudice his client,
capacity commonly possess and exercise in or reveal any of the secrets of the
the performance of tasks which they latter learned by him in his
undertake, and when such failure proximately professional capacity; or

PAGE 56 OF 104

(b) Having undertaken the defense of a C. PROCEEDINGS

client or having received
confidential information from said
client in a case, shall undertake the PROCEDURE FOR DISBARMENT
defense of the opposing party in the Institution either by:
same case, without the consent of (a) The Supreme Court, motu proprio, or
his first client. (b) The IBP, motu proprio, or
(c) Upon verified complaint by any person

The enumeration is not to be taken as a

limitation to the general power of courts to
suspend or disbar a lawyer. The inherent
powers of the court over its officers cannot be Six copies of the verified complaint shall be filed
restricted [Quingwa v. Puno, A.C. 389 (1967)]. with the Secretary of the IBP or Secretary of any of
its chapter and shall be forwarded to the IBP
Board of Governors.
General rule: Lawyer may not be
suspended or disbarred, and the court may
not ordinarily assume jurisdiction to Investigation by the National Grievance
discipline him, for misconduct in his non- investigators.
professional or private capacity.
Exception: Where the misconduct outside of
the lawyer's professional dealings is so gross Submission of investigative report to the IBP Board
a character as to show him morally unfit for of Governors.
the office and unworthy of the privilege which
his licenses and the law confer on him, the
court may be justified in suspending or
removing him from the office of attorney [Co v. Board of Governors decides within 30 days
Bernardino, A.C. 3919 (1998)].

MISCONDUCT PRIOR OR INCIDENT TO Investigation by the Solicitor-General

A lawyer may be disbarred for
misrepresentation of or false pretense SC renders final decision for disbarment/
relative to the requirements for admission to suspension/ dismissal.
practice. Thus, the fact that a lawyer lacked
any of the qualifications for membership at
the time he took his oath is a ground for his
disbarment [Agpalo (2004); see In Re: Diao, All charges against the following shall be
A.C. 224 (1963) and Lim v. Antonio, A.C. 848 filed with the Supreme Court:
(1971)]. (1) Justices of the Court of Appeals;
(2) Justices of the Sandiganbayan;
(3) Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals; and
(4) Judges of lower courts [Sec. 1 (2), Rule
Charges filed against justices and judges
before the IBP shall immediately be
forwarded to the Supreme Court for
disposition and adjudication, including those
PAGE 57 OF 104

filed prior to their appointment in the F. QUANTUM OF PROOF

Judiciary [Sec. 1 (2), Rule 139-B].
The proof required is clear, convincing
D. DISCIPLINE OF FILIPINO LAWYERS and satisfactory evidence.
The disbarment or suspension of a member OF INNOCENCE
of the Philippine Bar by a competent court or
The burden of proof in disbarment and
other disciplinary agency in a foreign
suspension proceedings always rests on the
jurisdiction where he has also been admitted
shoulders of the complainant. The Court
as an attorney is a ground for his disbarment
exercises its disciplinary power only if the
or suspension if the basis of such action
complainant establishes the complaint by
includes any of the acts hereinabove
clearly preponderant evidence that warrants
the imposition of the harsh penalty. As a rule,
The judgment, resolution or order of the an attorney enjoys the legal presum ption
foreign court or disciplinary agency shall be that he is innocent of the charges made
prima facie evidence of the ground for against him until the contrary is proved. An
disbarment or suspension. [Sec. 27, Rule 138, attorney is further presumed as an officer of
as amended by Supreme Court Resolution the Court to have performed his duties in
dated Feb 13, 1992] accordance with his oath [Joven and Reynaldo
C. Rasing v. Cruz and Magsalin, A.C. 7686
General rule: A lawyer who holds a
government office may not be disciplined as a (1) Warning, an act or fact of putting one on
member of the Bar for misconduct in the his guard against an impending danger,
discharge of his duties as a government evil consequences or penalties.
official. (2) Admonition, a gentle or friendly reproof,
Exception: If that misconduct as a mild rebuke, warning or reminder,
government official is of such a character as counseling, on a fault, error or oversight;
to affect his qualification as a lawyer or to an expression of authoritative advice.
show moral delinquency, then he may be (3) Reprimand, a public and formal censure
disciplined as a member of the bar on such or severe reproof, administered to a
ground person in fault by his superior officer or a
In People v. Castaneda, G.R. 208290 (2013) body to which he be-longs. It is imposed
the lawyers representing the offices under the on a minor infraction of the lawyers duty
executive branch were reminded that they to the court or client
still remain as officers of the court from (4) Suspension, a temporary withholding of a
whom a high sense of competence and fervor lawyers right to practice his profession as
is expected. The Court reminded the lawyers a lawyer for:
in the government that the canons embodied
in the Code of Professional Responsibility (a) A definite period; or
equally apply to lawyers in government (b) An indefinite period, which amounts
service in the discharge of their official tasks. to qualified disbarment, in which
They should exert every effort and consider it case, lawyer determines for himself
their duty to assist in the speedy and efficient for how long or how short his
administration of justice. suspension shall last by proving to
court that he is once again fit to
resume practice of law.
PAGE 58 OF 104

(5) Censure, an official reprimand. (8) Physical or mental disability or

(6) Disbarment, the act of the Philippine
Supreme Court in withdrawing from an (9) Delay in disciplinary proceedings;
attorney the privilege to practice law and (10) Interim rehabilitation;
striking out the name of the lawyer from (11) Imposition of other penalties or
the roll of attorneys. sanctions;
(7) Interim suspension, the temporary (12) Remorse;
suspension of a lawyer from the practice (13) Remoteness of prior offenses;
of law pending imposition of final
(14) Others:
discipline. It includes:
(a) Good Faith;
(a) Suspension upon conviction of a
(b) Want of intention to commit a wrong;
serious crime.
(c) Lack of material damage to the
(b) Suspension when the lawyers complaining witness;
continuing conduct is likely to cause
(d) Desistance of complainant;
immediate and serious injury to a client
or public. (e) Error in judgment;
(f) Honest and efficient service in various
(8) Probation, a sanction that allows a lawyer
government positions;
to practice law under specified
conditions. (g) Ready admission of the infraction
coupled with explanation and plea for
OTHER SANCTIONS AND REMEDIES (h) Clean record of professional service in
(1) Restitution; the past;
(2) Assessment of costs; (i) Rendered professional services out of
pure generosity;
(3) Limitation upon practice;
(j) Punished in another capacity for a
(4) Appointment of a receiver;
misconduct for which he now faces a
(5) Requirement that a lawyer take the bar disbarment proceeding;
examination or professional responsibility
(k) Old Age & long membership (may also
be an aggravation de-pending on the
(6) Requirement that a lawyer attend circumstance);
continuing education courses;
(7) Other requirements that the Supreme
Court or disciplinary board deems
consistent with the purposes of sanctions. (1) Prior disciplinary offenses;
(2) Dishonest or selfish motive;
MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES (3) A pattern of misconduct;
(1) Absence of a prior disciplinary record; (4) Multiple offenses;
(2) Absence of a dishonest or selfish motive; (5) Bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary
proceeding by intentionally failing to
(3) Personal or emotional problems;
comply with rules or orders of the
(4) Timely good faith effort to make disciplinary agency;
restitution or to rectify consequences of
(6) Submission of false evidence, false
statements, or other deceptive practices
(5) Full and free disclosure to disciplinary during the disciplinary process;
board or cooperative attitude toward
(7) Refusal to acknowledge wrongful nature
of conduct;
(6) Inexperience in the practice of law;
(8) Vulnerability of victim;
(7) Character or reputation;
(9) Substantial experience in the practice of
PAGE 59 OF 104

(10) Indifference to making restitution. [See

IBP Guidelines 9.22] V. Readmission to the
(11) Others: Bar
(a) Abuse of authority or of attorney-client
(b) Sexual intercourse with a relative;
(c) Making the institution of marriage a
(d) Charge of gross immorality;
(e) Previous punishment as member of the
(1) Upon expiration of the period of
suspension, respondent shall file a sworn
(f) Defraud upon the government; statement with the court, through the
(g) Use of knowledge or information, Office of the Bar Confidant, stating
acquired in the course of a previous therein that he or she has desisted from
professional employment, against a the practice of law and has not appeared
former client. in any court during the period of his or her
H. EFFECT OF EXECUTIVE PARDON (2) Copies of the sworn statement furnished
(1) Conditional pardon: disbarment case will to the local chapter of the IBP and to the
not be dismissed on such basis executive judge of the courts where the
respondent has pending cases handled
(2) Absolute pardon granted before by him or her, and/or where he or she has
conviction: disbarment case will be appeared as counsel;
(3) The sworn statement shall be considered
(3) Absolute pardon granted before as proof of respondents compliance with
conviction: No automatic reinstatement the order of suspension [Maniago v. De
to the bar. It must be shown by evidence Dios, A.C. 7472 (2010)].
aside from absolute pardon that he is
now a person of good moral character
and fit and proper person to practice law. B. LAWYERS WHO HAVE BEEN DISBARRED


(1) The applicants character and standing
prior to disbarment;
The compromise agreement between the
(2) The nature or character of the
complainant and the lawyer, or the fact that
misconduct for which he is disbarred;
the complainant already forgave the latter,
does not necessarily warrant the dismissal of (3) His conduct subsequent to disbarment
the administrative case. [Cui v. Cui, G.R. L-18727 (1964)];
Exception: When as a consequence of the (4) His efficient government service [In re:
withdrawal or desistance, no evidence is Adriatico, G.R. L-2532 (1910)];
adduced to prove the charges [Banaag v.
(5) The time that has elapsed between
Salindong, A.C. 1563 (1984)].
disbarment and the application for
reinstatement and the circumstances
that he has been sufficiently punished
and disciplined [Prudential Bank v.
Benjamin Grecia, A.C. 2756 (1986)];
(6) Applicants appreciation of significance of
his dereliction and his assurance that he

PAGE 60 OF 104

now possesses the requisite probity and

integrity; VI. Mandatory
(7) Favorable endorsement of the IBP and Continuing Legal
local government officials and citizens of
his community, pleas of his loved ones Education (MCLE)
[Yap Tan v. Sabandal, B.M. 44 (1989)];

FOR JUDICIAL CLEMENCY OF DISBARRED Continuing legal education is required of
LAWYERS members of the IBP to:
(1) There must be proof of remorse and (1) Ensure that throughout their career, they
reformation. These include testimonials keep abreast with law and jurisprudence;
of credible institutions and personalities;
(2) Maintain the ethics of the profession;
(2) Sufficient time must have lapsed from the and
imposition of the penalty to ensure a
period of reformation; (3) Enhance the standards of the practice of
law [Sec. 1, Rule 1, BM 850]
(3) The age of the person asking for
clemency must show that he still has
productive years ahead of him that can be B. REQUIREMENTS
put to good use by giving him a chance to
redeem himself;
Members of the IBP shall complete, every
(4) There must be a showing of promise (e.g., three years, at least 36 hours of continuing
intellectual aptitude, contribution to legal legal education activities approved by the
scholarship), and potential for public MCLE Committee. Of the 36 hours:
(5) Other relevant factors to justify clemency
[Re: Letter of Judge Diaz, A.M. 07-7-17-SC Subject # of Hours
(2007)]. Legal Ethics 6 hours
Trial and Pre-trial Skills 4 hours
C. LAWYERS WHO HAVE BEEN Alternative Dispute Resolution 5 hours
Updates on substantive and 9 hours
Lawyers who reacquire their Philippine
procedural laws and
citizenship should apply to the Supreme
Court for license or permit to practice their
profession. [Sec. 5(4), RA 9225] International law and 2 hours
International Conventions
Legal Writing and Oral 4 hours
Other MCLE prescribed 6 hours


(1) Attending approved education activities
like seminars, conferences, conventions,
symposia, in-house education programs,
workshops, dialogues or round table
PAGE 61 OF 104

(2) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as the month of admission or readmission and

assigned panelist, reactor, commentator, shall end on the same day as that of all other
resource speaker, moderator, members in the same compliance group.
coordinator or facilitator in approved
education activities;
(3) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a
bar review class; (1) Where four months or less remain of the
initial compliance period after admission
or readmission, the member is not
NON-PARTICIPATORY LEGAL EDUCATION required to comply with the program
requirement for the initial compliance;
(1) Preparing, as an author or co-author,
written materials published or accepted (2) Where more than four months remain of
for publication, e.g., in the form of an the initial compliance period after
article, chapter, book, or book review admission or readmission, the member
which contribute to the legal education shall be required to complete a number
of the author member, which were not of hours of approved continuing legal
prepared in the ordinary course of the education activities equal to the number
members practice or employment; of months remaining in the compliance
period in which the member is admitted
(2) Editing a law book, law journal or legal
or readmitted. Such member shall be
required to complete a number of hours
Other activities, such as rendering mandatory of education in legal ethics in proportion
legal aid services pursuant to Sec. 8, Bar to the number of months remaining in
Matter No. 2012, may be credited as MCLE the compliance period. Fractions of
activities. hours shall be rounded up to the next
whole number [Sec. 5, Rule 3, BM 850].

The IBP members covered by the requirement D. EXEMPTIONS
are divided into three compliance groups: EXEMPTED MEMBERS FROM THE MCLE
(1) Compliance Group 1 consists of members (1) The President and the Vice President of
in the National Capital Region (NCR) or the Philippines, and the Secretaries
Metro Manila; and Undersecretaries of Executives
(2) Compliance Group 2 consists members
in Luzon outside NCR; and (2) Senators and Members of the House of
(3) Compliance Group 3 consists of
members in Visayas and Mindanao. (3) The Chief Justice and Associate
Justices of the Supreme Court,
The initial compliance period shall begin not
incumbent and retired members of the
later than three months from the constitution
judiciary, incumbent members of the
of the MCLE Committee. The compliance
Judicial and Bar Council and
period shall be for 36 months and shall begin
incumbent court lawyers covered by
the day after the end of the previous
the Philippine Judicial Academy
compliance period. [Sec. 1, Rule 3, BM 850]
program of continuing judicial
For those admitted or readmitted after the education;
establishment of the program, they will be
(4) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State
permanently assigned to the appropriate
Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of
compliance group based on their chapter
the Department of Justice;
membership on the date of admission or
readmission. (5) The Solicitor General and the Assistant
Solicitor General;
The initial compliance period after admission
or readmission shall begin on the first day of
PAGE 62 OF 104

(6) The Government Corporate Counsel, E. SANCTIONS

Deputy and Assistant Government (1) A member who, for whatever reason, is in
Corporate Counsel; non-compliance at the end of the
(7) The Chairmen and Members of the compliance period shall pay a non-
Constitutional Commissions; compliance fee.

(8) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy (2) Any member who fails to satisfactorily
Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsmen comply shall be listed as a delinquent
and the Special Prosecutor of the Office member by the IBP Board of Governors
of the Ombudsman; upon the recommendation of the MCLE
Committee, in which case, Rule 139-A,
(9) Heads of government agencies Rules of Court, governing the IBP, shall
exercising quasi-judicial functions; apply [Sec. 1 and 2, Rule 13, BM 850]
(10) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and Under BM 1922 (2008), practicing members
professors of law who have teaching of the bar are required to indicate in all
experience for at least ten years pleadings filed before the courts or quasi-
accredited law schools; judicial bodies, the number and date of issue
(11) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and of their MCLE Certificate of Compliance or
members of the Corps of Professors Certificate of Exemption, as may be
and Professorial Lectures of the applicable, for the immediately preceding
Philippine Judicial Academy; compliance period.

(12) Governors and Mayors. Failure to disclose the required information

would cause the dismissal of the case and the
(13) Those who are not in law practice, expunction of the pleadings from the records.
private or public; and
(14) Those who have retired from law
practice with the approval of the IBP F. BAR MATTER 2012: THE RULE ON
Board of Governors [Sec. 1 and 2, Rule MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE
A member may file a verified request PURPOSE
setting forth good cause for exemption (e.g., To enhance the duty of lawyers to society as
physical disability, illness, post graduate agents of social change and to the courts as
study abroad, proven expertise in law) from officers thereof by helping improve access to
compliance with or modification of any of the justice by the less privileged members of
requirements, including an extension of time society and expedite the resolution of cases
for compliance, in accordance with a involving them. Mandatory free legal service
procedure to be established by the MCLE by members of the bar and their active
Committee. [Sec. 3, Rule 7, BM 850] support thereof will aid the efficient and
effective administration of justice especially
When a member ceases to be exempt, the in cases involving indigent and pauper
compliance period begins on the first day of litigants [Sec. 2, BM No. 2012 (2009)]
the month in which he ceases to be exempt
and shall end on the same day as that of all
other members in the same Compliance SCOPE
Group. [Sec. 4, Rule 7, BM 850] The rule governs the mandatory requirement
Proof of exemption: Applications for for practicing lawyers to render free legal aid
exemption from or modification of the MCLE services in all cases (whether, civil, criminal or
requirement shall be under oath and administrative) involving indigent and pauper
supported by documents. litigants where the assistance of a lawyer is
needed. It shall also govern the duty of other
members of the legal profession to support
the legal aid program of the IBP.

PAGE 63 OF 104


Members of the Philippine Bar who appear Should a lawyer fail to render the minimum
for and in behalf of parties in courts of law prescribed number of hours., he shall be
and quasi-judicial agencies, excluding the required to explain why he was unable to do
following: so. If no explanation has been given or if the
National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA)
(1) Government employees and incumbent
finds the explanation unsatisfactory, the
elective officials not allowed by law to
NCLA shall make a report and
recommendation to the IBP Board of
(2) Lawyers who by law are not allowed to Governors for the erring lawyer to be declared
appear in court; a member of the IBP who is not in good
(3) Supervising lawyers of students enrolled
in law student practice in duly accredited After acceptance of the recommendation, the
legal clinics of law schools and lawyers lawyer shall be declared a member not in
of non-governmental organizations and good standing. He will be furnished a notice
peoples organizations, who by the that includes a directive to pay P4000.00
nature of their work already render free penalty which shall accrue to the special fund
legal aid to indigent and pauper for the legal aid program of the IBP.
litigants; and
Any lawyer who fails to comply with these
(4) Lawyers do not appear for and in behalf duties for at least three consecutive years
of parties in courts of law and quasi- shall be the subject of disciplinary
judicial agencies. proceedings to be instituted motu proprio by
the Committee on Bar Discipline. [Sec. 7, BM
(1) Those whose gross income and that of
their immediate family do not exceed an
amount double the monthly minimum
wage of an employee; and
(2) Those who do not own real property with
a fair market value as stated in the
current tax declaration of more than
three hundred thousand (P300,000.00)
pesos. [Sec. 19, Rule 141]


(1) To render a minimum of 60 hours of free
legal aid services to indigent litigants in
a year. Said 60 hours shall be spread
within a period of twelve 12 months, with
a minimum of five hours of free legal aid
services each month
(2) To coordinate with the Clerk of Court for
cases where he may render free legal aid
service and shall be required to secure
and obtain a certificate from the Clerk of
Court attesting to the number of hours
spent rendering free legal aid services in
a case [Sec. 5, BM 2012]

PAGE 64 OF 104

VIII. Notarial Practice

Sec. 13, Rule III, Notarial Rules. A notary public
[Note: Notarial Pratice is one of the favorite may file a written application with the
questions asked in the Bar. Faculty Ed.] Executive Judge for the renewal of his
commission within 45 days before the
expiration thereof.
1. Must be a Filipino citizen;
2. Must be over 21 years old; C. POWERS AND LIMITATIONS
3. Must be a resident of the Philippines
for at least one year; C.1. POWERS
A notary public can perform the following
4. Must maintain a regular place of notarial acts:
work or business in the city or
province where com-mission is to be 1. Acknowledgments;
issued; 2. Oaths and affirmations;
5. Must be a member of the Philippine 3. Jurats;
Bar in good standing, with clearances
from: The Office of the Bar Confidant 4. Signature witnessings; and
of the Supreme Court; and the IBP; 5. Copy certifications [Sec. 1(a), Rule III,
6. Must not have been convicted in the Notarial Rules]
first instance of any crime involving
moral turpitude [Sec. 1, Rule III,
(1) Certifying the affixing of signature by
B. TERM OF OFFICE OF NOTARY PUBLIC thumb or other mark on an instrument or
Sec. 11, Rule III, Notarial Rules. A person document presented for notarization
commissioned as notary public may perform [Sec. 1(b), Rule III, Notarial Rules]
notarial acts in any place within the territorial (2) Signing on behalf of a person who is
jurisdiction of the commission-ing court for a physically unable to sign or make a mark
period of two years commencing the first day on an instrument or document [Sec. 1(c),
of January of the year in which the Rule III, Notarial Rules]
commissioning is made, unless earlier
revoked or the notary public has resigned
under these Rules and the Rules of Court

Definition Common Requisites

Represents to the notary public that (1) Appears in person before the
the signature was voluntarily affixed for notary public and presents an
Acknowledgment the purposes stated in the instrument integrally complete instrument
and declares that instrument was or document;
executed as a free and voluntary act
Avows under penalty of law to the (2) Is attested to be personally
Oath or Affirmation
whole truth known to the notary public or
Sign the instrument and take an oath identified by the notary public
Jurat or affirmation before the notary public through competent evidence of
as to such instrument identity as defined by the
Signs the instrument in the presence of Notarial Rules
Signature witnessing
the notary public

PAGE 65 OF 104

i. Copy Certification (2) The signature of the notary public is

affixed in the presence of two
Refers to a notarial act in which a notary
disinterested and unaffected witnesses to
public: (PC-CD)
the instrument or document;
(1) Is presented with an instrument or
(3) Both witnesses sign their own names;
document that is neither a vital record, a
public record, nor publicly recordable; (4) The notary public writes below his
signature: Signature affixed by notary in
(3) Copies or supervises the copying of
presence of (names and addresses of
the instrument or document;
person and two witnesses); and
(4) Compares the instrument or document
(5) The notary public notarizes his signature
with the copy; and
by acknowledgment or jurat [Sec. 1(c),
(5) Determ ines that the copy is accurate Rule IV, Notarial Rules].
and complete [Sec. 4, Rule II, Notarial
Physically unable to sign does not
This assists litigators in doing away with the
include the situation where a person is
requirement of proving that a copy is a
physically unable to sign because he is in
faithful reproduction of an original
another place [Uy (2004)].
instrument or document. [Uy (2004)]

ii. Certifying the Affixing of Signature
by Thum b/Other M ark i. Relating to Notarial Acts

A notary public is authorized if: A notary public shall not perform a notarial
act outside his regular place of work or
(1) The thumb or other mark is affixed in the business; provided, however, that on certain
presence of the notary public and of two exceptional occasions or situations, a notarial
(2) disinterested and unaffected act may be performed at the request of the
witnesses to the instrument or document; parties in the following sites located within
(2) Both witnesses sign their own names in his territorial jurisdiction:
addition to the thumb or other mark; (a) Public offices, convention halls, and
(3) The notary public writes below the thumb similar places where oaths of office may
or other mark: Thumb or Other Mark be administered;
affixed by (name of signatory by mark) in (b) Public function areas in hotels and
the presence of (names and addresses of similar places for the signing of
witnesses) and undersigned notary instruments or documents requiring
public; and notarization;
(4) The notary public notarizes the signature (c) Hospitals and other medical institutions
by thumb or other mark through an where a party to an instrument or
acknowledgment, jurat, or signature document is confined for treatment; and
witnessing. [Sec. 1(b), Rule IV, Notarial
Rules] (d) Any place where a party to an instrument
or document requiring notarization is
under detention [Sec. 2(a), Rule IV,
iii. Signing on Behalf of a Person W ho Notarial Rules]
is Physically Unable to Sign or Make a
A person shall not perform a notarial act if
A notary public is authorized if: the person involved as signatory to the
(1) The notary public is directed by the instrument or document:
person unable to sign or make a mark to (a) Is not in the notary's presence personally
sign on his behalf; at the time of the notarization; and
PAGE 66 OF 104

(b) Is not personally known to the notary A notary public shall not notarize:
public or otherwise identified by the
(a) A blank or incomplete instrument or
notary public through competent
document; or
evidence of identity as defined by the
Notarial Rules (b) An instrument or document without
appropriate notarial certification [Sec. 6,
Rule IV, Notarial Rules]
A notary public is disqualified from
performing a notarial act if he:
ii. Relating to Notarial Register
(a) Is a party to the instrument or document
that is to be notarized; In the notary's presence, any person may
inspect an entry in the notarial register,
(b) Will receive, as a direct or indirect result,
during regular business hours, provided;
any commission, fee, advantage, right,
title, interest, cash, property, or other (a) The person's identity is personally known
consideration, except as provided by the to the notary public or proven through
Notarial Rules and by law; or competent evidence of identity as
defined in the Notarial Rules;
(c) A notary public is disqualified from
performing is a spouse, common-law (b) The person affixes a signature and
partner, ancestor, descendant, or thumb or other mark or other recognized
relative by affinity or consanguinity of the identifier, in the notarial register in a
principal within the fourth civil degree separate, dated entry;
[Sec. 3, Rule IV, Notarial Rules]
(c) The person specifies the month, year,
type of instrument or document, and
name of the principal in the notarial act
A notary public shall not perform any notarial
or acts sought; and
act described in the Notarial Rules if:
(d) The person is shown only the entry or
(a) The notary knows or has good reason to
entries specified by him;
believe that the notarial act or
transaction is unlawful or immoral;
(b) The signatory shows a demeanor which The notarial register may be examined by a
engenders in the mind of the notary law enforcement officer in the course of an
public reasonable doubt as to the official investigation or by virtue of a court
former's knowledge of the consequences order.
of the transaction requiring a notarial
If the notary public has a reasonable ground
act; and
to believe that a person has a criminal intent
(c) In the notary's judgment, the signatory is or wrongful motive in requesting information
not acting of his or her own free will [Sec. from the notarial register, the notary shall
4, Rule IV, Notarial Rules] deny access to any entry or entries therein
[Sec. 4, Rule VI, Notarial Rules]

A notary public shall not:

(a) Execute a certificate containing D. NOTARIAL REGISTER
information known or believed by the
notary to be false;
A notarial register refers to a permanently
(b) Affix an official signature or seal on a bound book with numbered pages containing
notarial certificate that is incomplete a chronological record of notarial acts
[Sec. 5, Rule IV, Notarial Rules] performed by a notary public [Sec. 5, Rule II,
Notarial Rules]
Rule VI, Sec.s I and 2 of the 2004 Rules of
Notarial Practice require a notary public to
PAGE 67 OF 104

keep and maintain a Notarial Register (f) Reasons for refusal to allow
wherein he will record his every notarial act. inspection or copying of a journal
His failure to make the proper entry or entries entry;
in his notarial register concerning his notarial
(13) Brief description of the substance of a
acts is a ground for revocation of his notarial
contract presented for notarization;
commission [Agadan, et al. v. Kilaan, A.C. No.
9385 (2013)]. (14) In case of a protest of any draft, bill of
exchange or promissory note, a full and
true record of all proceedings in relation
D.1. ENTRIES thereto and shall note therein:
i. By the Notary Public (a) Whether the demand for the sum
Required to be entered at the time of of money was made, by whom,
notarization: when and where;
(1) The entry number and page number; (b) Whether he presented such draft,
bill or note;
(2) The date and time of day of the notarial
act; (c) Whether notices were given, to
whom and in what manner; where
(3) The type of notarial act; the same was made, when and to
(4) The title or description of the instrument, whom and where directed; and
document or proceeding; (d) Of every other fact touching the
(5) The name and address of each principal; same [Sec. 2, Rule VI, Notarial
(6) The competent evidence of identity as
defined by the Notarial Rules if the
signatory is not personally known to the ii. By Other Persons
At the time of notarization, the notary's
(7) The name and address of each credible notarial register shall be signed or a thumb or
witness swearing to or affirming the other mark affixed by each:
person's identity;
1. Principal;
(8) The fee charged for the notarial act;
2. Credible witness swearing or
(9) The address where the notarization was affirming to the identity of a principal;
performed if not in the notary's regular and
place of work or business; and
3. Witness to a signature by thumb or
(10) Any other circumstance the notary public other mark, or to a signing by the
may deem of significance or relevance; notary public on behalf of a person
(11) Reasons and circumstances for not physically unable to sign [Sec. 3, Rule
completing a notarial act; VI, Notarial Rules]
(12) Circumstances of any request to inspect
or copy an entry in the notarial register, D.2. CLOSING
including the:
At the end of each week, the notary public
(a) Requesters name; shall certify in his notarial register the
number of instruments or documents
(b) Requesters address;
executed, sworn to, acknowledged, or
(c) Requesters signature; protested before him; or if none, this
(d) Requesters thumbmark or other certificate shall show this fact. [Sec. 2(g),
recognized identifier; Rule VI, Notarial Rules]

(e) Evidence of requesters identity;


PAGE 68 OF 104

D.3. SUBMISSION 1) Is not in the notarys presence

A certified copy of each months entries and a personally at the time of the
duplicate original copy of any instrument notarization; and
acknowledged before the notary public shall, 2) Is not personally known to the notary
within the first ten days of the month public or otherwise identified by the
following, be forwarded to the Clerk of Court notary public through competent
and shall be under the responsibility of such evidence of identity as defined by
officer. If there is no entry to certify for the these Rules. [Sec. 2, Rule VI, Notarial
month, the notary shall forward a statement Rules]
to this effect in lieu of certified copies herein
required. [Sec. 2(h), Rule VI, Notarial Rules]
AND PLACE OF NOTARIZATION 1. The Executive Judge shall revoke a
notarial commission for any ground on
which an application for a commission
A person commissioned as notary public may may be denied;
perform notarial acts in any place within the 2. In addition, the Executive Judge may
territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning revoke the commission of, or impose
court. [Sec. 11, Rule III, Notarial Rules] appropriate administrative sanctions
This applies even if notarization is allowed in upon, any notary public who:
places other than the regular place of (a) Fails to keep a notarial register;
business of the notary public. [Sec. 2(a), Rule
IV, Notarial Rules] (b) Fails to make the proper entry or
entries in his notarial register
A notary public shall not perform a notarial concerning his notarial acts;
act outside his regular place of work or
business; provided, however, that on certain (c) Fails to send the copy of the entries
exceptional occasions or situations, a notarial to the Executive Judge within the
act may be performed at the request of the first ten days of the month
parties in the following sites located within following;
his territorial jurisdiction: (d) Fails to affix to acknowledgments
1) Public offices, convention halls, and the date of expiration of his
similar places where oaths of office commission;
may be administered; (e) Fails to submit his notarial register,
2) Public function areas in hotels and when filled, to the Executive Judge;
similar places for the signing of (f) Fails to make his report, within a
documents requiring notarization; reasonable time, to the Executive
3) Hospitals and other medical Judge concerning the performance
institutions where a party to an of his duties, as may be required by
instrument or document is confined the judge;
for treatment; and (g) Fails to require the presence of a
4) Any place where a party to the principal at the time of the notarial
instrument or document requiring act;
notarization is under detention. [Sec. (h) Fails to identify a principal on the
2, Rule VI, Notarial Rules] basis of personal knowledge or
A person shall not perform a notarial act if competent evidence;
the person involved as signatory to the (i) Executes a false or incomplete
instrument or document certificate under Sec. 5, Rule IV;

PAGE 69 OF 104

(j) Knowingly performs or fails to G. COMPETENT EVIDENCE OF

perform any other act prohibited or IDENTITY
mandated by these Rules; and
(k) Commits any other dereliction or act
which in the judgment of the Competent evidence of identity means the
Executive Judge constitutes good identification of an individual based on:
cause for revocation of com-mission (1) At least one current identification
or imposition of administrative document issued by an official agency
sanction [Sec. 1(a) and (b), Rule XI, bearing the photograph and signature of
Notarial Rules] the individual; or
(2) The oath or affirmation of:
A notary public should not notarize a (a) One credible witness not privy to the
document unless the person who signed the instrument, document or transaction
same is the very same person who executed who is personally known to the notary
and personally appeared before him to attest public and who personally knows the
to the contents and the truth of what are individual; or
stated therein. Without the personal
appearance of the person who actually (b) Two credible witnesses neither of
executed the document, the notary public whom is privy to the instrument,
would be unable to verify the genuineness of document or trans-action who each
the signature of the acknowledging party and personally knows the individual and
to ascertain that the document is the partys shows to the notary public
free act or deed. documentary identification. [Sec. 12,
Rule II, Notarial Rules]
A notarized document is, by law, entitled to
full faith and credit upon its face. It is for this
reason that a notary public must observe with H. SANCTIONS
utmost care the basic requirements in the
performance of his duties; otherwise, the
publics confidence in the integrity of a The Executive Judge may motu proprio
notarized document would be undermined. initiate administrative proceedings against a
When a lawyer commissioned as a notary notary public and impose the appropriate
public fails to discharge his duties as such, he administrative sanctions on the grounds for
is meted the penalties of revocation of his revocation of commission mentioned [Sec.
notarial commission, disqualification from 1(d), Rule XI, Notarial Rules]
being commissioned as a notary public for a Also, the Executive Judge shall cause the
period of 2 years, and suspension from the prosecution of any person who:
practice of law for 1 year. [Agbulos v. Viray ,
G.R. No. 7350 (2013)] 1. Knowingly acts or otherwise
impersonates a notary public;
Duties of notaries public are dictated by
public policy and impressed with public 2. Knowingly obtains, conceals, defaces,
interest. Notarization is not a routinary, or destroys the seal, notarial register,
meaningless act, for notarization converts a or official records of a notary public;
private document to a public instrument, and
making it admissible in evidence without the 3. Knowingly solicits, coerces, or in any
necessity of preliminary proof of its way influences a notary public to
authenticity and due execution. [Tenoso vs. commit official misconduct.
Echavez, A.C. No. 8384 (2013)]

PAGE 70 OF 104

IX. Canons of adopted are per se binding only on its

Professional Ethics It would be grave error to declare that the
Canons of Professional Ethics, on their own,
A. ORIGIN serves as an indisputable source of
obligations and basis of penalties imposable
upon members of the Philippine legal
In 1917 and 1946, The Philippine Bar profession. This would violate the long-
Association (PBA) adopted the American Bar established constitutional principle that it is
Associations Canons of Professional Ethics. the Supreme Court which is tasked with the
In 1980, the IBP adopted a proposed Code of promulgation of rules governing the
Professional Responsibility, which was later admission to the practice of law, as well as
approved and promulgated by the SC as the the pleading, practice and procedure in all
present Code of Professional Responsibility. courts.
[PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 151809 If provisions of the Canons of Professional
(2005)] Ethics have jurisprudentially been enforced,
or acknowledged as basis for legal liability by
the SC, they may be recognized as a binding
B. LEGAL STATUS standard imposable upon members of the
bar, not because said canons or the PBA itself
said so, but because the SC said so (Tinga, J.,
While the PBA enjoys high regard in the legal Sep. Opinion, PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, G.R.
community, the rules or canons it has No. 151809 (2005)]

PAGE 71 OF 104



PAGE 72 OF 104

I. Sources of Rules In II. Qualities

Judicial Ethics
A. THE NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL Canon 1. Judicial independence is a
CONDUCT FOR THE PHILIPPINE prerequisite to the rule of law and a
fundamental guarantee of fair trial. A judge
shall therefore uphold and exemplify judicial
independence in both its individual and
institutional aspects.
In Nov 2002, at a Roundtable Meeting of
Chief Justices held at the Peace Palace in The
Hague, the Judicial Group on Strengthening
Canon 1 - Asked 11 times in the Bar. [Lex
Judicial Integrity amended and approved the
Bangalore Draft of the Code of Judicial Pareto (2014)]
Conduct, which is intended to be the Universal
Declaration of Judicial Standards. It is founded
Summary of judicial duties under Canon 1,
on the following principles:
Independence [Lex Pareto (2014)]
(1) A universal recognition that a
a. Judges shall exercise judicial function
competent, independent and impartial
judiciary is essential if the courts are to
fulfill their role in upholding b. In performing judicial duties, judges
constitutionalism and the rule of law; shall be independent from judicial
(2) Public confidence in the judicial system
and in the moral authority and integrity c. Judges shall refrain from influencing
of the judiciary is of utmost importance the outcome of litigations and
in a modern democratic society; and administrative cases
(3) It is essential that judges, individually d. Judges shall not allow family, social
and collectively, respect and honor or other relationships to influence
judicial office as a public trust and strive judicial conduct (A companion or EE
to enhance and maintain confidence in of the judge who lives in the judges
the judicial system. household is included in the
definition of the judges family)
On Apr 27, 2004, the draft code was
promulgated as the New Code of Judicial e. Judges shall be free from
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary through inappropriate connections and
A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC and given effect on influence from the executive and
June 1, 2004. legislative branches. (A judge is
entitled to entertain personal views
on political questions. But to avoid
B. CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT suspicion of political partisanship, a
judge shall not make political
speeches, contribute to party funds,
The New Code of Judicial Conduct publicly endorse candidates for
supersedes the Canons of Judicial Ethics political office or participate in other
(1946) and the Code of Judicial Conduct partisan political activities [Rule
(1989). However, in case of deficiency or 5.10, Old Code]
absence of specific provisions, the Canons of
f. Judges shall be independent in
Judicial Ethics and the Code of Judicial
relation to society (A judge shall not
Conduct shall be applicable in a suppletory
accept appointment or designation to
character [New Code of Judicial Conduct].
any agency performing quasi-judicial

PAGE 73 OF 104

or administrative functions [Rule Judges must adhere to the highest tenets of

5.09, Old Code] judicial conduct and must be the
embodiment of competence, integrity and
g. Judges shall encourage and uphold
independence; not only pure but above
safeguards for the discharge of
suspicion. The exacting standards of conduct
judicial duties
demanded from judges are designed to
h. Judges shall exhibit and promote promote public confidence in the integrity
high standards of judicial conduct and impartiality of the judiciary because the
peoples confidence in the judicial system is
founded not only on the magnitude of legal
INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL FUNCTION knowledge and the diligence of the members
of the bench, but also on the highest
Sec. 1. Judges shall exercise the judicial
standard of integrity and moral uprightness
function independently:
they are expected to possess. [Tan v. Rosete,
(a) On the basis of their assessment of the A.M. MTJ-04-1563 (2004)]
Mass media has its duty to fearlessly but
(b) In accordance with a conscientious faithfully inform the public about events and
understanding of the law; persons. However, when a case has received
wide and sensational publicity, the trial court
(c) Free of any extraneous influence,
inducement, pressure, threat or should be doubly careful not only to be fair
and impartial but also to give the appearance
interference, direct or indirect, from any
quarter or for any reason of complete objectivity in its handling of the
case [Gutierrez, Jr., J., Concurring Opinion, Go
v. CA, G.R. 101837 (1992)]
An independent judiciary has been described
as one free of inappropriate outside
influences. Judges frequently experience
pressures in the exercise of their judicial Sec. 2. In performing judicial duties, judges
functions. Once a judge gives in to pressures shall be independent from judicial colleagues
from whatever source, that judge is deemed in respect of decisions which the judge is
to have lost his independence and is obliged to make independently.
considered unworthy of the position.
More than just a breach of the rudiments laid
down in the Code of Judicial Conduct, judges The confessed act of succumbing to pressure
who succumb to pressure and, as a result, is a patent betrayal of public trust. [Ramirez v.
knowingly ignore proven facts or misapply Corpuz-Macandog, A.M. No. R-351-RTJ
the law in rendering a decision commit (1986)]
corruption. Integrity is essential not only to
the proper discharge of the judicial office but
also to the personal demeanor of judges.
In every case, a judge should endeavor Sec. 3. Judges shall refrain from influencing
diligently to ascertain the facts and the in any manner the outcome of litigation or
applicable law unswayed by partisan or dispute pending before another court or
personal interests, public opinion or fear of administrative agency
criticism. The fact that the complainant and
his sympathizers had staged a rally
demanding the issuance of a warrant of Sec. 2 and 3 intend to curb practices or
arrest against the accused is not a sufficient prevent situations whereby a judge influences
excuse for the unjustified haste of respondent the decision in a case not pending before him,
judge's act of fixing bail without a hearing or whereby a judge hearing a case allows
[Libarios v. Dabalos, A.M. No. RTJ-89-286 himself to be influenced by another judge.
(1991)] However, if the consultation is purely on an
academic or hypothetical basis, and the
PAGE 74 OF 104

judge does not surrender his or her associates refrain from creating the
independent decision making, there can be impression that they are in a position to
no breach of Sec. 2 and 3 of the Code influence the judge. [ABA Rule of Law
Initiative, New Code of Judicial Conduct for
In the case of Sabitsana v. Villamor (1991) the
the Philippine Judiciary (Annotated) (2007)]
respondent judge of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) wrote a letter to a lower court judge of "Judges family" includes a judges spouse,
the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) judge seeking son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law,
to influence him to hear a case and even and any other relative by consanguinity or
intimating that he issue an order of acquittal. affinity within the sixth civil degree, or person
The High Court ruled that a judge who tries to who is a companion or employee of the judge
influence the outcome of a litigation pending and who lives in the judges household
before another court not only subverts the [Definitions, New Code of Judicial Conduct].
independence of the judiciary but also
Otherwise, the judge risks undermining
undermines the people's faith in its integrity
public confidence not just in him or herself,
and impartiality. The interference in the
but in the entire judicial institution [ABA
decision-making process of another judge is a
breach of conduct so serious as to justify
dismissal from service based only on a
preponderance of evidence INDEPENDENCE FROM EXECUTIVE AND

INFLUENCE ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT Sec. 5. Judges shall not only be free from
inappropriate connections with, and
Sec. 4. Judges shall not allow family, social or influence by, the executive and legislative
other relationships to influence judicial branches of government, but must also
conduct or judgment. The prestige of judicial appear to be free therefrom to a reasonable
office shall not be used or lent to advance the observer.
public interests of others, nor convey or
permit others to convey the impression that
they are in a special position to influence the The reality in the Philippine political system is
judge. that judges can easily get an appointment or
promotion with some assistance or support
from political leaders, religious groups,
Under the New Code of Judicial Conduct, the military stalwarts, big companies and the
term family is extended beyond that of affluent. The most pervasive influence comes
nuclear members to include those related by from leaders in the legislature and those
blood or marriage up to the sixth civil degree, closely allied with the executive department.
as well as those who belong to the judges [ABA (2007)].
employ and are living in his household. These
familial ties may not influence a judge in his Mere congeniality between a judge and a
or her discharge of judicial duties. governor may not necessarily be unethical,
but it may still create the appearance of
It should be noted that when a judge is impropriety. This congeniality was not
related to one of the parties within the sixth necessarily detrimental to judicial
degree of consanguinity or affinity, his independence, provided that there was no
disqualification is mandatory. This provision showing that such relations were for corrupt
is intended to ensure that judges are spared ends. However, had this case been tried
from potential influence of family members under the New Code of Judicial Conduct, the
by disqualifying them even before any judges acts would likely have created an
opportunity for impropriety presents itself. appearance of an improper connection. To
This gives instruction to judges not to allow the common person, the accommodation
their family members, friends and associates may seem a reason for the judge to ingratiate
to influence them in their judicial conduct or himself towards his benefactors, which may
judgment. Also importantly, a judge should ultimately be perceived as affecting the
ensure that his family members, friends and judges ability to rule independently.
PAGE 75 OF 104

Therefore, whether or not the congenial with litigants outside the office premises
relationship was indeed used for corrupt ends, beyond office hours violate the standard of
it would be advisable for judges to avoid judicial conduct required to be observed by
becoming dependent on other parties, members of the bench. They constitute gross
especially for basic needs like transportation misconduct which is punishable under Rule
to the judges workstation. [Re: Suspension of 140, Rules of Court [Tan v. Rosete, A.M. MTJ-
Clerk of Court Rogelio R. Joboco, A.M. No. 93- 04-1563 (2004)]
10-1296-RTC (1998)].
Granting bail because of the request of a
congressman, despite belief that the
evidence of guilt against the accused is
strong, is reprehensible [Tahil v. Eisma, A.M. Sec. 7. Judges shall encourage and uphold
No. 276-MJ (1975)]. safeguards for the discharge of judicial duties
in order to maintain and enhance the
It is absolutely essential to the proper
institutional and operational independence of
administration of justice that courts have full
the judiciary
control over the official actions of those
through whom the administration of the
affairs of the court precedes. For judicial
independence to be a reality, the least
interference by or influence from other Sec. 8. Judges shall exhibit and promote high
governmental departments is of the essence. standards of judicial conduct in order to
Only this Court has the authority to order a reinforce public confidence in the judiciary
personnel accounting of locally-funded which is fundamental to the maintenance of
employees assigned in the lower courts to judicial independence
determine the necessity of their detail
[Alfonso v. Alonzo-Legasto, A.M. No. MTJ 94-
995 (2002)]. Secs. 7 and 8 instruct judges on what to do to
It is desirable that the judge should, as far as maintain and enhance judicial independence.
reasonably possible, refrain from all relations Sec. 7 requires judges to encourage and
which would normally tend to arouse the uphold safeguards for the discharge of
suspicion that such relations warp or bias his judicial duties in order to maintain and
judgment, and prevent an impartial attitude enhance judicial independence, while Sec. 8
of mind in the administration of judicial focuses on inspiring public confidence. They
duties [ABA (2007)]. are intended to serve as catch-all provisions
for all other acts that would guarantee the
independence of the judiciary, but which may
INDEPENDENCE FROM SOCIETY AND not have been covered in the specific
PARTICULAR PARTIES instances mentioned in the earlier provisions
[ABA (2007)].
Sec. 6. Judges shall be independent in
relation to society in general and in relation The judge should always be imbued with a
to the particular parties to a dispute which he high sense of duty and responsibility in the
or she has to adjudicate. discharge of his obligation to promptly and
properly administer justice. He must view
himself as a priest, for the administration of
justice is akin to a religious crusade
Judges should not fraternize with litigants
and their counsel. In fact, they should make a [Dimatulac v. Villon, G.R. No. 127107 (1998)].
conscious effort to avoid them in order to
avoid the perception that their independence
has been compromised [ABA (2007)]
A judges act of sending a member of his staff
to talk with a complainant and show copies of
his draft decisions, and his act of meeting
PAGE 76 OF 104

B. INTEGRITY impropriety as to be beyond reproach [Tan v.

Rosete, A.M. No. MTJ-04-1563 (2004)].

Canon 2. Integrity is essential not only to the The conduct of a judge must be free of a whiff
proper discharge of the judicial office but of impropriety not only with respect to his
also to the personal demeanor of judges. performance of his judicial duties, but also to
his behavior outside his sala and as a private
individual. There is no dichotomy of morality:
CANON 2 Asked 3 times in the Bar. [Lex a public official is also judged by his private
Pareto (2014)] morals. [In Re: Complaint of Mrs. Marcos
Against Judge Marcos, A.M. No. 97-2-53-RTC
Summary of the duties of a judge under (2001)]
Canon 2, Integrity:
a. Judges shall ensure that not only is their
conduct above reproach but that it is With regard to professional integrity, judges
perceived to be so in the view of a have been penalized for:
reasonable observer. 1. Demanding and/or accepting bribes
b. The behavior and conduct of judges [Tan v. Rosete (2004)];
must reaffirm the peoples faith in the 2. Fraternizing with litigants and/or
integrity of the judiciary. Justice must not lawyers [Dela Cruz v. Bersamin (2000)];
merely be done, but must also be seen to
be done. 3. Altering orders [Rallos v. Gako (2000)];

c. Judges should take or initiate 4. Delay in rendering decisions [Fernandez

disciplinary measures against lawyers or v. Hamoy (2004)];
court personnel for any unprofessional 5. Sexual harassment of employees [Dawa
conduct of which the judge may have v. De Asa (1998)]; and
become aware.
6. Ignorance of the law [Macalintal v. The
Judges must be models of uprightness, (1997)].
fairness and honesty. [Rural Bank of Barotac
Nuevo, Inc. vs. Cartagena, A.M. No. 707-MJ
(1978)] With respect to personal integrity, judges
have been penalized for transgressions in
their private lives such as:
1. Keeping and/or flaunting a mistress
Sec. 1. Judges shall ensure that not only is [In Re: Judge Marcos A.M. No. 97-2-
their conduct above reproach, but that it is 53-RTC (2001)];
perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable
2. Inebriated/drunk behavior [Lachica v.
Flordeliza, A.M. No. MTJ-94-921
(1996)]; and
RATIONALE 3. Frequenting casinos and cockfights
[City of Tagbilaran v Hontanosas, A.M.
To promote public confidence in the integrity
No. MTJ-98-1169 (2002)].
and impartiality of the judiciary because the
peoples confidence in the judicial system is
founded not only on the magnitude of legal
knowledge and the diligence of the members
of the bench, but also on the highest Sec. 2. The behavior and conduct of judges
standard of integrity and moral uprightness must reaffirm the peoples faith in the
they are expected to possess. It is therefore integrity of the judiciary. Justice must not
paramount that a judges personal behavior only merely be done but must also be seen
both in the performance of his duties and his to be done.
daily life, be free from any appearance of
PAGE 77 OF 104

A judge has the duty to not only render a just C. IMPARTIALITY

and impartial decision, but also render it in
such a manner as to be free from any
suspicion as to its fairness and impartiality, Canon 3. Impartiality is essential to the
and also as to the judges integrity. It is proper discharge of the judicial office. It
obvious, therefore, that while judges should applies not only to the decision itself but also
possess proficiency in law in order that they to the process by which the decision is made.
can competently construe and enforce the
law, it is more important that they should act
and behave in such a manner that the parties CANON 3 Asked 17 times in the Bar. [Lex
before them should have confidence in their Pareto (2014)]
impartiality [Sibayan-Joaquin v. Javellana,
A.M. No. RTJ-00-1601 (2001)].
Sec. 1. Judges shall perform their judicial
DISCIPLINARY ACTION duties without favor, bias, or prejudice.
Sec. 3. Judges should take or initiate
appropriate disciplinary measures against
lawyers or court personnel for Bare allegations of partiality and
unprofessional conduct of which the judge prejudgment will not suffice [Dimo Realty &
may have become aware. Dev. Inc. v. Dimaculangan (2004)]. A judge's
conduct must be clearly indicative of
arbitrariness and prejudice before it can be
Judges should not be lenient in in the stigmatized as biased and partial [Cruz v.
administrative supervision of their employees. Iturralde (2003)].
A judge must ensure that all court personnel
perform efficiently and promptly in the
administration of justice. EXTRAJUDICIAL SOURCE RULE
The inclination to leniency in the Bias and prejudice must be shown to have
administrative supervision of court employees resulted in an opinion on the merits on the
is an undesirable trait. Oftentimes, such basis of an extrajudicial source, not on what
leniency provides the court employees the the judge learned from participating in the
opportunity to commit minor transgressions case. As long as opinions formed in the
of the laws and slight breaches of official duty course of judicial proceedings are based on
ultimately leading to vicious delinquencies. A the evidence presented and the conduct
judge should constantly keep a watchful eye observed by the magistrate, such opinion
on the conduct of his employees. He should even if later found to be erroneous will not
realize that big start small. His constant prove personal bias or prejudice on the part
scrutiny of the behavior of his employees of the judge. While palpable error may be
would deter any abuse on the part of the inferred from the decision or the order itself,
latter in the exercise of their duties. Then, his extrinsic evidence is required to establish bias,
subordinates would know that any bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose [Gochan
misdemeanor will not remain unchecked. The v. Gochan (2003)].
slightest semblance of impropriety on the Truth about Judge Austrias alleged partiality
part of the employees of the court, in the cannot be determined by simply relying on
performance of their official duties stirs the verified complaint. Bias and prejudice
ripples of public suspicion and public distrust cannot be presumed, in light especially of a
of the judicial administrators. The slightest judges sacred obligation under his oath of
breach of duty by and the slightest office to administer justice without respect to
irregularity in the conduct of court officers the person, and to give equal right to the
and employees detract from the dignity of the poor and rich. There should be clear and
courts and erode the faith of the people in the convincing evidence to prove the charge;
judiciary [Buenaventura v. Benedicto, A.C. No. mere suspicion of partiality is not enough. In
137-J (1971)].
PAGE 78 OF 104

this case, aside from being speculative and MINIMIZE INSTANCES OF

judicial in character, the circumstances cited DISQUALIFICATIONS
by the complainant were grounded on mere
Sec. 3. Judges shall, so far as is reasonable,
opinion and surmises. The complainant also
so conduct themselves as to minimize the
failed to adduce proof indicating the judges
occasions on which it will be necessary for
predisposition to decide the case in favor of
them to be disqualified from hearing or
one party. [Antonio M. Lorenzana v. Judge Ma.
deciding cases.
Cecilia I. Austria, RTC, Br. 2, Batangas
City, A.M. No. RTJ-09-2200 (2014)]
The underlying reason for the rules on
disqualification is to ensure that a judge,
sitting in a case, will at all times be free from
Sec. 2. Judges shall ensure that his or her inclinations or prejudices and be well capable
conduct, both in and out of court, maintains to render a just and independent judgment.
and enhances the confidence of the public,
A litigant is entitled to nothing less than the
the legal profession and litigants in the
cold neutrality of a judge. Due process
impartiality of the judge and of the judiciary.
requires it [Parayno v. Meneses (1994)].
The rule of disqualification of judges must
There is undue interference where the judge's yield to demands of necessity. Simply stated,
participation in the conduct of the trial tends the rule of necessity means that a judge is not
to build or to bolster a case of one of the disqualified to sit in a case if there is no other
parties such as when he orders the judge available to hear and decide the case
presentation of specific documentary [46 Am. Jur. 2d Judges 89 (1969)].
evidence without motion from any party or
without participation of the parties as in the
case of Ty v. Banco Filipino Savings and PUBLIC COMMENTS ON PENDING AND
Mortgage Bank (2004). [However,] it is within IMPENDING CASES
the sound discretion of the trial judge to ask
Sec. 4. Judges shall not knowingly, while a
questions from witnesses, if only to clarify
proceeding is before, or could come before
what may appear to be vague points in the
them, make any comment that might
narration. Questions designed to avoid
reasonably be expected to affect the outcome
obscurity in the testimony and to elicit
of such proceeding or impair the manifest
additional relevant evidence are not improper
fairness of the process. Nor shall judges
[Paco et al. v. Quilala (2003)].
make any comment in public or otherwise
A judge may not be legally prohibited from that might affect the fair trial of any person or
sitting in a litigation. But when suggestion is issue.
made of record that he might be induced to
act in favor of one party or with bias or
prejudice against a litigant arising out of This Sec. warns judges against making any
circumstance reasonably capable of inciting comment that might reasonably be expected
such a state of mind, he should conduct a to affect the outcome of the proceedings
careful self-examination. He should exercise before them or "impair the manifest fairness
his discretion in a way that the people's faith of the process. [ABA (2007)]
in the courts of justice is not impaired
In Martinez v. Gironella (1975), a judge was
[Pimentel v. Salanga (1967)].
disqualified from trying a murder case
A judge should behave at all times in a way against the accused (as principal), because,
that promotes public confidence in the in a decision in a prior case involving an
integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. The alleged accessory, he stated that the accused
appearance of bias or prejudice can be as in the present case committed the crime.
damaging to public confidence and the
administration of justice as actual bias or
prejudice [Montemayor v. Bemejo (2004)].
PAGE 79 OF 104

In Palang v. Zosa (1974), the judge, in controversy, or a former associate of the

deciding a previous estafa case, stated that judge served as counsel during their
the charge was a clear concocted story association, or the judge or lawyer was a
which caused great damage to the accused. material witness therein;
When a case for damages was filed by the
(e) The judge's ruling in a lower court is the
accused against the complainant in the
subject of review;
estafa case, the judge voluntary inhibited
himself. The Supreme Court stated that the (f) The judge is related by consanguinity or
judges inhibition reinforced public faith in affinity to a party litigant within the 6th
the impartial administration of justice. civil degree or to counsel within the
fourth civil degree; [Bar 1996, 1999,
In Gutierrez vs. Santos (1961) a judges act of
2001] or
recusing himself from presiding over a case
was upheld by the Supreme Court. While in (g) The judge knows that his or her spouse
private practice, the judge had expressed an or child has a financial interest, as heir,
opinion concerning an issue that would legatee, creditor, fiduciary, or otherwise,
unduly benefit one of the parties. However, in the subject matter in controversy or in
the Supreme Court has recently held that a party to the proceeding, or any other
judges and justices are not disqualified from interest that could be substantially
participating in a case simply because they affected by the outcome of the
have written legal articles on the law involved proceedings.
in the case [Chavez v. Public Estates Authority,
G.R. No. 133250 (2003)]
A judge should abstain from making public
comments on any pending or impending case
[LEX PARETO (2014)]
and should require similar restraint on the
part of court personnel. [Rule 3.07, Old Code
of Judicial Conduct]
In Umale v. Villaluz (1973), a judge inhibited
VOLUNTARY DISQUALIFICATIONS himself from trying a robbery case due to his
personal knowledge of the case. The
Sec. 5. Judges shall disqualify themselves
Supreme Court stated that it is possible that
from participating in any proceedings in
the respondent Judge might be influenced by
which they are unable to decide the matter
his personal knowledge of the case when he
impartially or in which it may appear to a
tries and decides the same on the merits,
reasonable observer that they are unable to
which would certainly constitute a denial of
decide the matter impartially. Such
due process to the party adversely affected by
proceedings include, but are not limited to,
his judgment or decision. Thus, it is best that,
instances where:
after some reflection, the judge, on his own
(a) The judge has actual bias or prejudice initiative disqualified himself from hearing
concerning a party or personal the robbery case and thereby rendering
knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts himself available as witness to any of the
concerning the proceedings; parties subject to cross-examination.
(b) The judge previously served as a lawyer In People v. Gomez (1967), the judge
or was a material witness in the matter dismissed criminal informations on the
in controversy; suspicion, arising from a dinner invitation
from a stranger and a subsequent personal
(c) The judge, or a member of his or her
investigation, that the court was being used
family, has an economic interest in the
as a forum for extortion and exploitation of
outcome of the matter in controversy;
the persons charged. The Supreme Court
(d) The judge served as executor, found this unstated extraneous matter makes
administrator, guardian, trustee, or the dismissal as one affected with partiality
lawyer in the case or matter in and bias. The prayer of the judge to be
PAGE 80 OF 104

disqualified in hearing the case because he (2003)] Moreover, it has been held that bias
has lost all respect in the manner in which and prejudice must be shown to have
the prosecutor has been prosecuting the case stemmed from an extra-judicial source and
was granted. result in an opinion on the merits on some
basis other than the evidence presented
[Aleria v. Velez (1998)].
In Oktubre v. Velasco (2004), a municipal
judge, as private complainant, caused three Disqualification was also allowed when the
criminal complaints to be filed before his own judge has been previously associated with a
court. He also issued a warrant of arrest and party as counsel, [Austria v. Masaquel (1978)]
subpoenas before finally inhibiting himself notarized the affidavit of a person to be
from hearing the cases. The Supreme Court presented as witness [Mateo v. Villaluz
found him guilty of grave misconduct, gross (1973)], if he is a material witness to a case
ignorance of the law and grave abuse of [AmJur; Lewis v. State (2002)]
authority, and dismissed him from service. It
stated that the idea that a judge can preside
over his own case is anathema to the notion UTANG NA LOOB
of impartiality and that his subsequent
Mere fact that a counsel who is appearing
inhibition from the three cases does not
before a judge was one of those who
detract from his culpability for he should not
recommended him to the Bench is not a valid
have taken cognizance of the cases in the first
ground from voluntary inhibition. Utang na
loob per se should not be a hindrance to the
administration of justice. Nor should
recognition of such value prevent the
performance of judicial duties. However,
In Sandoval v. CA (1996), the Supreme Court where the judge admits that he may be
that an Associate Justice who only partly suspected of surrendering to the persuasions
presided over a case in the trial court and of utang na loob, and he may succumb to it
who did not render the final decision cannot considering that he and members of the
be said to have been placed in a position family, no less shall ever remain obliged in
where he had to review his own decision and, eternal gratitude to the recommending
as such, was not legally bound, on this counsel, the judge should inhibit himself.
ground, to inhibit himself as ponente of the [Query of Executive Judge Estrella Estrada, etc,
case. Nevertheless, it was held that he should A.M. No. 87-9-3918-RTC (1987) cited in Lex
have voluntarily inhibited himself for his Pareto (2014)]
earlier involvement in the case constitutes
just or valid reason under Sec. 1, Rule 137. A
judge should not handle a case in which he CLASSMATE OR FRATERNITY BROTHER
might be perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be
A judge should not be disqualified because
susceptible to bias and partiality.
he was a classmate (or a co-member in a
fraternity) of one of the counsels if there is no
proof that such relationship results in actual
bias or prejudice. To allow disqualification
A judge may validly disqualify himself due to would unnecessarily burden other trial judges
his bias and prejudice. [However,] bias and to whom the case will be assigned. Confusion
prejudice cannot be presumed [Soriano v. would result, because a judge would then be
Angeles (2000)]. The mere imputation of bias barred from sitting in a case whenever one of
or partiality is not sufficient for a judge to his former classmates (and he could have
inhibit, especially when the charge is without many) appeared. [Masadao and Elizaga, cited
basis. It must be proven with clear and in Lex Pareto (2014)]
convincing evidence. [Gochan v. Gochan
PAGE 81 OF 104


Sec. 6. A judge disqualified as stated above Canon 4. Propriety and the appearance of
may, instead of withdrawing from the propriety are essential to the performance of
proceeding, disclose on the records the basis all the activities of a judge.
of disqualification. If based on such
disclosure, the parties and lawyers
independently of a judge's participation, all CANON 4 Asked 23 times in the Bar. [Lex
agree in writing that the reason for the Pareto (2014)]
inhibition is immaterial or unsubstantial, the
judge may then participate in the proceeding.
The agreement, signed by all parties and AVOIDANCE OF IMPROPRIETY
lawyers, shall be incorporated in the record of
the proceedings. Sec. 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the
appearance of impropriety in all of their
The decision to continue hearing the case,
despite the existence of reasons for
disqualification should be: (1) coupled with a By prohibiting not only impropriety but even
bona fide disclosure to the parties-in- the appearance of impropriety, the Code
litigation, and (2) subject to express recognizes that even acts that are not per se
acceptance by all the parties of the cited improper can nevertheless be perceived by
reason as not material or substantial; absent the larger community as such [ABA (2007)].
these two, the judge may not be permitted to This is so because the community holds
continue hearing the case. The basis of the judges to higher standards of integrity and
disqualification should be disclosed, not mere ethical conduct than attorneys and other
personal reasons [ABA (2007)]. persons not invested with public trust. [Oca v.
Estacion Jr., A.M. No. RTJ-87-104 (1995)].
The Philippine courts have also
NOTICE acknowledged the irrelevance of the judges
The Court held that there is nothing in Rule V perception of impropriety [Vidal v. Dojilo
or in any other part of the Internal Rules of (2005)]. Thus, acts of judges which are not
the Court of Appeals that specifically requires illegal may still violate the Code:
that the party-litigants be informed of the (1) Hearing cases on the day when the judge
mandatory or voluntary inhibition of a Justice. was supposed to be on official leave [Re:
However, the Court held that henceforth all Anonymous Complaint Against Acua
the parties in any action or proceedings (2005)];
should be immediately notified of any
mandatory disqualification or voluntary (2) Hearing a motion while on vacation in
inhibition of the Justice who has participated the judges room dressed in a polo jacket
in any action of the court, stating the reason [Ignacio v. Valenzuela (1982)];
for the mandatory disqualification or (3) Coming out of a hotel together with a
voluntary inhibition. The requirement of subordinate, even when there is no clear
notice is a measure to ensure that the evidence of sexual congress [Liwanag v.
disqualification or inhibition has not been Lustre (1999)];
resorted to in order to cause injustice to or to
prejudice any party or cause [Re: Letters of (4) Making a joking remark to a litigant
Judge Eduardo (2014)]. suggesting for the latter to prove that he
harbored no ill feelings toward the judge
[Co v. Plata (2005)];
(5) Admonishing the bride and the groom,
after conducting a marriage ceremony,
to sexually satisfy each other so that they
will not go astray [Hadap v. Lee (1982)].

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(6) Posting credentials as judge in Some instances when judges were rebuked:
Friendster and posting a picture with
(1) Making sexually suggestive advances to
indecent attire [Lorenzana v. Austria
women [Mariano v. Gonzales (1982)];
(2) Writing letter to a married woman to
Violent action in a public place, whatever the
come to the sala after 5 pm [Hadap v.
motive, constitutes serious misconduct and
Lee (1982)];
resultant outrage of the community [Arban v.
Boraha (1989)]. (3) Assigning a female stenographer to a
judges chamber [Ritual v. Valencia
It is highly improper for a judge to wield a
high-powered firearm in public and besieged
the house of a perceived defamer of character
and honor in warlike fashion, berating the
object of his ire with his firearm aimed at him
[Saburnido v. Madrano (2001)]. Sec. 3. Judges shall, in their personal
relations with individual members of the
legal profession who practice regularly in
ACCEPTANCE OF PERSONAL their court, avoid situations which might
RESTRICTIONS reasonably give rise to the suspicion or
appearance of favoritism or partiality.
Sec. 2. As a subject of constant public
scrutiny, judges must accept personal
restrictions that might be viewed as
A judge is commanded at all times to be
burdensome by the ordinary citizen and
mindful of the high calling of a dispassionate
should do so freely and willingly. In
and impartial arbiter expected at all times to
particular, judges shall conduct themselves
be a cerebral man who deliberately holds in
in a way that is consistent with the dignity of
check the tug and pull of purely personal
the judicial office.
preferences which he shares with his fellow
mortals. [Oca v. Paderanga (2005)]. Judges
should refrain from inviting counsel for one
While judges are only human, their
side into their chambers after or prior to
acceptance of the judicial position means
sessions in court without disclosing to the
that more is expected from them than from
other counsel the reason for such meetings,
ordinary citizens, as their acts, both public
[Martinez v. Gironella (1975); being aggressive
and private, color the publics perception of
in demeanor towards a lawyer appearing
the judiciary as a whole.
before them, [Royeca v. Aminas (1976)]; and
As subjects of constant public scrutiny, making public comments, or allowing court
personal restrictions that might be viewed as staff to make comments, on pending cases,
burdensome by the ordinary citizen should be [Geotina v Gonzales (1971)].
freely and willingly accepted by a judge. In
Constant company [or fraternizing] with a
particular, he or she must exhibit conduct
lawyer tends to breed intimacy and
consistent with the dignity of the judicial
camaraderie to the point that favors in the
office. Dignified conduct is best described as
future may be asked from a judge which he
conduct befitting men and women possessed
may find hard to resist. The actuation of a
of temperance and respect for the law and for
judge of eating and drinking in public places
with a lawyer who has pending cases in his
Indeed, a judges personal behavior, not only sala may well arouse suspicion in the public
while in the performance of official duties, mind, thus tending to erode the trust of the
must be beyond reproach, being the visible litigants in the impartiality of the judge
personification of law and of justice [Re: [Padilla v. Zantua (1994)].
Anonymous Complaint Against Acua

PAGE 83 OF 104

NOT PARTICIPATE IN CASES WHERE HE While judges are not expected to live a
MAY BE IMPARTIAL hermit-like existence or cease functioning as
citizens of the Republic, they should
Sec. 4. Judges shall not participate in the
remember that they do not disrobe
determination of a case in which any member
themselves of their judicial office upon
of their family represents a litigant or is
leaving their salas.
associated in any manner with the case.
In the exercise of their civil liberties, judges
should be circumspect and ever mindful that
This rule rests on the principle that no judge their continuing commitment to upholding
should preside in a case in which the judge is the judiciary and its values places upon them
not wholly free, disinterested, impartial and certain implied restraints to their freedom. A
independent. A judge has both the duty of judge was admonished for the appearance of
rendering a just decision and the duty of engaging in partisan politics when he
doing it in a manner completely free from participated in a political rally sponsored by
suspicion as to fairness and integrity. The one party, even though he only explained the
purpose is to preserve the peoples faith and mechanics of block voting to the audience
confidence in the courts of justice. [ABA [ABA (2007)].
The use of expletives [In Re Judge Acuna] and
display of unbecoming behavior through
sarcastic comments [Seludo v. Fineza] are
frowned upon by the Court.
Sec. 5. Judges shall not allow the use of their
residence by a member of the legal BE INFOMED OF HIS FINANCIAL INTERESTS
profession to receive clients of the latter or of Sec. 7. Judges shall inform themselves about
other members of the legal profession.
their personal fiduciary financial interests and
shall make reasonable efforts to be informed
about the financial interests of members of
It is grossly improper for a judge to meet with their family.
a litigant at his home and to frequent the
karaoke bar owned by such litigant, enjoying
the use thereof for free [J. King & Sons v. Under Sec. 7(a), RA 6713, public officials and
Hontanosas (2004)]. employees are prohibited from directly or
Fraternizing with litigants tarnishes the indirectly having any financial or material
appearance of impartiality. It is improper for interest in any transaction requiring the
a judge to meet privately with the accused approval of their office.
without the presence of the complainant [De The Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that
Guzman, Jr. v. Sison (2001)].
a judge shall refrain from financial and
business dealings that tend to reflect
adversely on the courts impartiality, interfere
with the proper performance of judicial
Sec. 6. Judges, like any other citizen, are activities, or increase involvement with
entitled to freedom of expression, belief, lawyers or persons likely to come before the
association and assembly, but in exercising court. A judge should so manage investments
such rights, they shall always conduct and other financial interests as to minimize
themselves in such a manner as to preserve the number of cases giving grounds for
the dignity of the judicial office and the disqualification [Catbagan v. Barte (2005)].
impartiality and independence of the

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When may a judge serve as an executor?

A judge may only serve as the executor, Another common violation of this rule is
administrator, trustee, guardian, or other using judicial power to exact personal
fiduciary, for the estate, trust, or person of a vengeance. For example, it was improper
member of the immediate family (spouse and when, after a confrontation between a judges
relatives within the 2nd degree of son and the sons teacher, the judge had the
consanguinity), and then only if such service teacher arrested and arraigned before him.
will not interfere with the proper performance [AmJur; Matter of Edwards (1995)].
of judicial duties. (Rule 5.06, Old Code). He is
not allowed to serve as the executor,
administrator, trustee, guardian, or other CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
fiduciary of estates other than the above. [Bar
Sec. 9. Confidential information acquired by
2005, 2000, 1999, 1995, Lex Pareto (2014)]
judges in their judicial capacity shall not be
used or disclosed by, for any other purpose
related to their judicial duties.
Sec. 8. Judges shall not:
Releasing a draft decision to a party was
(a) Use or lend the prestige of the judicial
considered not as a simple breach of
office to advance their private interests,
confidentiality of the decision-making
or those of a member of their family or of
process in the case of Centrum Agri-Business
anyone else;
Realty Corp. v. Katalbas-Moscardon (1995),
(b) Convey or permit others to convey the but a scheme to extort money from a party.
impression that anyone is in a special
Also, a judges act of personally furnishing a
position improperly to influence them in
party copies of orders issued, without the
the performance of judicial duties.
same passing through the court docket, is
highly irregular, giving rise to the suspicion
that the judge is partial to one of the parties
A judge was re reprimanded after using his
in the case pending before him [Co v. Calimag
letterhead in demand letters in the exercise
of his duties as an administrator of an estate.
Records of cases are necessarily confidential,
This rule has two parts. The first is that a
and to preserve their integrity and
judge may not use judicial office to advance
confidentiality, access thereto ought to be
private interests. The second is that a judge
limited only to the judge, the parties or their
may not give the impression that he or she
counsel and the appropriate court personnel
can be influenced to use the judicial office to
in charge of the custody thereof. It is
advance the private interests of others.
improper to allow a judges wife, who is not a
The court ruled that using the said letterhead court employee, much less the employee
and requiring payment at his office is clearly specifically in charge of the custody of said
intended to use the prestige of his judicial records, to have access thereto [Gordon v.
office to advance private interests [Oktubre v. Lilagan (2001)].
Velasco (2004)].
Another judge who, as creditor, filed a
collection case in a venue where he was one
of the trial judges, was severely censured by Sec. 10. Subject to the proper performance of
the Supreme Court, stating that a sense of judicial duties, judges may:
propriety should have impelled him to desist
(a) Write, lecture, teach, and participate in
from filing in said venue, even when, under
activities concerning the law, the legal
the law, he had the choice of venue. In the
system, the administration of justice or
eyes of the public, it arouses suspicion, rightly
related matters;
or wrongly, that advantage is being taken of
ones position (Javier v. De Guzman, Jr. (1990)]. (b) Appear at a public hearing before an
PAGE 85 OF 104

official body concerned with matters and privileges of a judge. It also aims to
relating to the law, the legal system, the ensure that judges give their full time and
administration of justice or related attention to their judicial duties, prevent
matters; them from extending special favors to their
own private interests and assure the public of
(c) Engage in other activities if such
their impartiality in the performance of their
activities do not detract from the dignity
functions [Carual v. Brusola (1999)].
of the judicial office or otherwise
interfere with the performance of judicial
General rule: Municipal judges may not
This Sec. should be read in conjunction with engage in notarial work.
Sec. 12, Article VIII, Constitution, which Exception: They may do so as notaries
prohibits members of the judiciary from being public ex-officio, in which case, they may only
designated to any agency performing quasi- notarize documents connected with the
judicial or administrative functions. exercise of their official functions. As such,
Thus, membership of a judge in a Provincial they may not undertake the preparation and
Committee on Justice, which discharges acknowledgement of private documents,
administrative functions, will be in violation contracts and other acts of conveyance,
of the Constitution. However, the Supreme which bear no relation to the performance of
Court stated that this does not mean that their functions as judges.
judges should adopt monastic insensibility or Exception to the exception: In far-flung
unbecoming indifference to such institutions municipalities which have neither lawyers nor
and that even as non-members, they should notaries public, municipal judges assigned to
render assistance to help promote the those municipalities or circuits may, in their
laudable purposes for which they exist when capacity as notaries public ex-officio, perform
such assistance may be reasonably incidental any act within the competence of a regular
to the fulfillment of their judicial duties [In Re: notary public, provided:
Designation of Judge Manzano (1988)].
(1) All notarial fees charged be for the
This Sec. allows the judge to participate in account of the Government and turned
legal academia and public discourse on legal over to the municipal treasurer; and
matters with the proviso that there shall be
no interference in the performance of the (2) A certification be made in the notarized
judges primary functions with respect to his documents attesting to the lack of any
or her jurisdiction. However, in dealing with lawyer or notary public in such
the media, the Philippine Judicial Academy municipality or circuit [Tabao v. Asis
suggests that a judge or court should avoid (1996)].
acrimonious debate with reporters and the
public, for a knee-jerk reaction from the court
or judge may only provoke negative follow-up FORMATION OF ASSOCIATIONS
reports and articles [ABA (2007)]. Sec. 12. Judges may form or join associations
of judges or participate in other organizations
representing the interests of judges.
Sec. 11. Judges shall not practice law whilst This rule recognizes a difference between
the holder of judicial office. membership in associations of judges and
membership in associations of other legal
This prohibition is based on public policy professionals. While attendance at lavish
because the rights, duties, privileges and events hosted by lawyers might create an
functions of the office of an attorney-at-law appearance of impropriety, participation in
are inherently incompatible with the high judges-only organizations does not [ABA
official functions, duties, powers, discretion (2007)].

PAGE 86 OF 104

GIFTS, REQUESTS, LOANS appropriate to the occasion on which it is

made provided that such gift, award of
Sec. 13. Judges and members of their families
benefit might not reasonably be perceived as
shall neither ask for, or accept, any gift,
intended to influence the judge in the
bequest, loan or favor in relation to anything
performance of judicial duties or otherwise
done or to be done or omitted to be done by
give rise to an appearance of partiality.
him or her in connection with the
performance of judicial duties.
General rule: Judges and members of their
families are prohibited from accepting any
Under Sec. 7(d), RA 6713, prohibits solicitation token, gift, award or benefit.
or acceptance by public officials and
employees, directly or indirectly, of any gift, Exception: Subject to legal requirements
gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or like public disclosure, they may accept gifts
anything of monetary value from any person provided that it might not reasonably be
in the course of their official duties or in perceived as intended to influence judge.
connection with any operation being As to gifts or grants from foreign
regulated by, or any transaction which may governments, Sec. 7(d), RA 6713 allows:
be affected by the functions of their office.
(a) A gift of nominal value tendered and
The act of a judge in demanding and received as a souvenir or mark of
receiving money from a party-litigant before courtesy;
his court constitute serious misconduct in
office. It is this kind of gross and flaunting (b) A gift in the nature of a scholarship or
misconduct on the part of those who are fellowship grant or medical treatment; or
charged with the responsibility of (c) Travel grants or expenses for travel
administering the law and rendering justice taking place entirely outside the
that so quickly and surely corrodes the Philippine of more than nominal value if
respect for law and the courts without which such acceptance is:
government cannot continue and that tears
apart the very bonds of our polity [Haw Tay v. (i) Appropriate or consistent with the
Singayao (1987)]. interests of the Philippines; and
(ii) Permitted by the head of office,
branch or agency to which he
Sec. 14. Judges shall not knowingly permit
court staff of others subject to their influence,
direction or authority, to ask for, or accept E. EQUALITY
any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to Canon 5. Ensuring equality of treatment to all
anything done or to be done or omitted to be before the courts is essential to the due
done in connection with their duties of performance of the judicial office.

CANON 5 Asked 6 times in the Bar. [Lex

This Sec. complements the previous Sec. and Pareto (2014)]
assures that what the judge cannot do
directly may not be done indirectly through This is a new canon not found in the previous
the use of employees or staff members [ABA codes of judicial conduct. It expands the
(2007)]. measures to promote equality required by
international human rights agreements [ABA
PERMISSIBLE TOKENS AND REWARDS As the guardians of justice, courts must
Sec. 15. Subject to law and to any legal adhere to the principle of equality. People
requirements of public disclosure, judges expect the courts to be unaffected by
may receive a token, gift, award, or benefit as
PAGE 87 OF 104

differences in social status, degree of lead public to believe that cases before them
education, and even physical abilities are being prejudged [Castillo v. Juan (1975)].


Sec. 1. Judges shall be aware of, and Sec. 3. Judges shall carry out judicial duties
understand, diversity in society and with appropriate consideration for all
differences arising from various sources, persons, such as the parties, witnesses,
including but not limited to race, color, sex, lawyers, court staff and judicial colleagues,
religion, national origin, caste, disability, age, without differentiation on any irrelevant
marital status, sexual orientation, social and ground, immaterial to the proper
economic status and other like causes. performance of such duties.

To render substantial justice and maintain Unequal and disparate treatment in the
public confidence in the judicial system, courthouse, whether intentional or perceived,
judges are expected to be aware of the is unacceptable and can negatively impact
diversity in society that results from an the professional lives of attorneys and
increased worldwide exchange of people and employees, the assessment of claims of
ideas. Judges must be able to avoid the litigants, and the respect and credibility of
infiltration of preconceptions into their the justice system [ABA (2007)].
decisions. They should be mindful of the
various international instruments and treaties
ratified by the Philippines, which affirm the NOT TO INFLUENCE STAFF
equality of all human beings and establish a
Sec. 4. Judges shall not knowingly permit
norm of non-discrimination without
court staff or others subject to his or her
distinction as to race, sex, language or
influence, direction or control to differentiate
religion [ABA (2007)].
between persons concerned, in a matter
before the judge, on any irrelevant ground.
Judges should organize their courts to ensure
Sec. 2. Judges shall not, in the performance the prompt and convenient dispatch of
of judicial duties, by words or conduct, business and should not tolerate misconduct
manifest bias or prejudice towards any by clerks, sheriffs and other assistants who
person or group on irrelevant grounds. are sometimes prone to expect favors or
special treatment due to their professional
In every litigation, perhaps much more so in relationship with the judge.
criminal cases, the manner and attitude of a
Court personnel shall not discriminate by
trial judge are crucial to everyone concerned,
dispensing special favors to anyone. They
the offended party, no less than the accused.
shall not allow kinship, rank, position or
It is not for him to indulge or even to give the favors from any party to influence their
appearance of catering to the at times human official acts or duties [Sec. 3, Canon 1, Code of
failing of yielding to first impressions. Conduct for Court Personnel].
He is to refrain from reaching hasty
conclusions or prejudging matters. It would
be deplorable if he lays himself open to the
suspicion of reacting to feelings rather than
to facts, of being imprisoned in the net of his Sec. 5. Judges shall require lawyers in
own sympathies and predilections. proceedings before the court to refrain from
manifesting, by words or conduct, bias or
Judges should avoid private remarks, hasty
prejudice based on irrelevant grounds, except
conclusions, or distasteful jokes that may give
such as are legally relevant to an issue in
even erroneous impressions of prejudice and
PAGE 88 OF 104

proceedings and may be the subject of DUTIES TAKE PRECEDENCE

legitimate advocacy.
Sec. 1. The judicial duties of a judge take
precedence over all other activities.
Verily, a judge may, in the exercise of his
sound discretion, inhibit himself voluntarily
A judge may, in the exercise of his discretion,
from sitting in a case, but it should be based
inhibit himself voluntarily from sitting in a
on good, sound or ethical grounds, or for just
case, but it should be based on good, sound
and valid reasons. No less than imperative is
or ethical grounds, or for just and valid
that it is the judges sacred duty to administer
reasons. No less than imperative is that it is
justice without fear or favor [Parayno v.
the judges sacred duty to administer justice
Meneses (1994)].
without fear or favor [Parayno v. Meneses
Judges should conduct proceedings in court (1994)]
with dignity and in a manner that reflects the
importance and seriousness of proceedings.
They should maintain order and proper PERFORM ADMINISTRAIVE DUTIES
decorum in the court [Rule 3.03, Canon 3,
Sec. 2. Judges shall devote their professional
1989 Code of Judicial Conduct].
activity to judicial duties, which include not
The effect is the same when the insensitive only the performance of judicial functions
act or comment is made by a lawyer and responsibilities in court and the making
appearing in the court and the judge does not of decisions, but also other tasks relevant to
admonish the lawyer for the insensitivity the judicial office or the court's operations.
[ABA (2007)].
Thus, judges have the duty to prevent lawyers
Failure to speedily dispose of cases on
from violating the rights of witnesses. This
account of missing records of cases reflects
complements Rule 12.07, Canon 12, which
an inefficient and disorderly system in the
directs that a lawyer shall not abuse,
recording of cases assigned to a judges sala.
browbeat or harass a witness nor needlessly
Proper and efficient court management is as
inconvenience him.
much the judges responsibility, for the court
Since judges set the tone and environment of personnel are not the guardians of a judges
the court proceedings, they should censure responsibilities. A judge is expected to ensure
lawyers who use sexist language or that the records of cases assigned to his sala
inappropriate behavior in court [ABA (2007) are intact. There is no justification for missing
citing AmJur; In Re Romano (1999)] records, except fortuitous events. The loss of
eight records is indicative of gross
misconduct and inexcusable negligence
F. COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE unbecoming of a judge [Longboan v. Polig
Canon 6. Competence and diligence are
prerequisites to the due performance of MAINTAIN PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
judicial office.
Sec. 3. Judges shall take reasonable steps to
maintain and enhance their knowledge,
Canon 6 Asked 11 times in the Bar. [Lex skills, and personal qualities necessary for
Pareto (2014)]. the proper performance of judicial duties,
taking advantage for this purpose of the
training and other facilities which should be
A judge must be the embodiment of made available, under judicial control, to
competence, integrity and independence, and judges.
be studiously careful to avoid the slightest
infraction of the law, lest it be a demoralizing
example to others [OCA v. Gines (1993)].
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When a judge accepts his position, he owes it Sec. 1, Rule 124 requires that justice be
to the dignity of the court, to the legal impartially administered without unnecessary
profession, and to the public, to know the delay. This principle permeates the whole
very law he is supposed to apply to a given system of judicature, and supports the
controversy. Even in the remaining years of legitimacy of the decrees of judicial tribunals
his stay in the judiciary he should keep [ABA (2007)].
abreast with the changes in the law and with
Prompt disposition of cases is attained
the latest decisions and precedents.
basically through the efficiency and
dedication to duty of judges. In a case, the
civil case was already submitted for
What is gross ignorance of the law? [Bar 1991,
resolution. Being an ejectment case, it is
Lex Pareto (2014)]
governed by the Rules of Summary Procedure
It is failure to follow basic legal commands which clearly sets a period of 30 days from
embodied in the law and the ROC from which the submission of the last affidavit or position
no one is excused, surely not a judge. (Fr. paper within which a decision must be issued.
Guillen v. Judge Canon, AM No. MTJ-01-1381 Despite this, Judge Regencia rendered
(2002)]. judgment only more than 2 years later. While
rules prescribing the time within which
certain acts must be done, should be
BE INFORMED ABOUT THE LAW regarded as mandatory, the Court has
nevertheless been mindful of the plight of
Sec. 4. Judges shall keep themselves
judges and has been understanding of
informed about the relevant developments
circumstances that may hinder them from
of international law, including international
promptly disposing of their businesses and,
conventions and other instruments
as such, has allowed extensions of time due
establishing human rights norms.
to justifiable reasons. However, Judge
Regencia failed to proffer any acceptable
reason in delaying the disposition of the
Subject to the conditions set forth in Sec. 2,
ejectment case, thus, making her
Article II and Sec. 21, Article VII, Constitution,
administratively liable for undue delay in
international law, both customary and
rendering a decision. [Gershon N. Dulang v.
conventional, are part of Philippine law.
Judge Mary Jocylen G. Regencia, MCTC,
The Supreme Court held that not only did Asturias-Balamban, Cebu, A.M. No. MTJ-14-
Judge Bitas deviate from the requirement of a 1841 (2014)].
hearing where there is an application for bail,
Every judge should decide cases with
he also granted bail to Miralles without
dispatch and should be careful, punctual,
neither conducting a hearing nor a motion for
and observant in the performance of his
application for bail. Judge Bitas acts are not
functions for delay in the disposition of cases
mere deficiency in prudence, discretion and
erodes the faith and confidence of our people
judgment on his part, but a patent disregard
in the judiciary, lowers its standards and
of well-known rules. When an error is so
brings it into disrepute. Failure to decide a
gross and patent, such error produces an
case within the reglementary period is not
inference of bad faith, making the judge
excusable and constitutes gross inefficiency
liable for gross ignorance of the law. [Jorda v
warranting the imposition of administrative
Bitas (2014)].
sanctions on the defaulting judge [In Re
Cases for Decisions Submited to Judge Baluma
Sec. 5. Judges shall perform all judicial
duties, including the delivery of reserved MAINTAIN ORDER IN PROCEEDINGS
decisions, efficiently, fairly, and with
Sec. 6. Judges shall maintain order and
reasonable promptness.
decorum in all proceedings before the court
and be patient, dignified, and courteous in
PAGE 90 OF 104

relation to litigants, witnesses, lawyers, and NOT TO ENGAGE IN CONDUCT CONTRARY

others with whom the judge deals in an TO DUTIES
official capacity. Judges shall require similar
Sec. 7. Judges shall not engage in conduct
conduct of legal representatives, court staff
incompatible with the diligent discharge of
and others subject to their influence,
judicial duties.
direction, and control

When a judge accepts his position, he owes it

Under earlier versions of Canons of Judicial
to the dignity of the court, to the legal
Ethics, it was held that the courts are made
profession, and to the public, to know the
for the litigants, not the litigants for the
very law he is supposed to apply to a given
courts. Punctuality was required recognizing
controversy. Even in the remaining years of
that the time of the litigants, witnesses, and
his stay in the judiciary he should keep
attorneys is of value. Judges are not allowed
abreast with the changes in the law and with
to tolerate abuses and neglect by clerks,
the latest decisions and precedents
sheriffs, and other assistants and to exhibit
undue interference, impatience, or Although a judge is nearing retirement he
participation in the examination of witnesses. should not relax in his study of the law and
[ABA (2007)] court decisions. Service in the judiciary means
a continuous study and research on the law
The rights of the accused to a fair trial is far
from beginning to end [Ajeno v. Inserto
more superior to the right of press freedom.
[Perez v. Estrada; Bar 2004; Lex Pareto
(2014)] Judges are not, however, expected to be
infallible; not every error or irregularity
What are the conditions for the intervention
committed by judges in the performance of
of a judge in the presentation of evidence?
official duties is subject to administrative
[Bar 2002, 1996] While a judge may intervene
sanction. In the absence of bad faith, fraud,
in the presentation of evidence to promote
dishonesty, or deliberate intent to do
justice, prevent waste of time or clear up
injustice, incorrect rulings do not constitute
some obscurity, properly intervent in the
misconduct and may not give rise to a charge
presentation of evidence during trial, it
of gross ignorance of the law [Cruz v. Iturralde
should always be borne in mind that undue
interference may prevent the proper
presentation of the cause or the Disciplinary proceedings and criminal actions
ascertainment of truth. (Rule 3.06, Old Code, against judges are not complementary or
applied in a suppletory character; Lex Pareto suppletory of, nor a substitute for, these
(2014)]. judicial remedies, whether ordinary or
extraordinary. Resort to and exhaustion of
A judge was found guilty of committing acts
these judicial remedies are prerequisites for
unbecoming of a judge and abuse of
the taking of other measures against the
authority when he shouted invectives and
persons of the judges concerned, whether of
threw a chair, resulting in wrist and other
civil, administrative, or criminal nature. It is
injuries to the complainant [Briones v. Ante, Jr.
only after the available judicial remedies have
been exhausted and the appellate tribunals
Another judge was found guilty of serious have spoken with finality that the door to an
misconduct and inefficiency by reason of inquiry into his criminal, civil, or
habitual tardiness. He was fined and administrative liability may be said to have
suspended for judicial indolence [Yu-Asensi v. opened, or closed [Maquiran v. Grageda
Villanueva (2000)]. (2005)].

PAGE 91 OF 104


Members of The On December 12, 2011, the House of
Representatives voted to impeach Chief
Judiciary Justice Corona. They charged him with eight
articles of impeachment alleging:
(1) Betrayal of public trust;
(2) Graft and corruption; and
(3) Culpable violation of the Constitution.
Members of the Supreme Court may be
removed from office on impeachment for, and ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT
conviction of, culpable violation of the
Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and Article I: Partiality and subservience in
corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of cases involving the Arroyo administration;
public trust [Sec. 2, Article X, 1987 Consti]. Article II: Failure to disclose to the public
The impeachment of public officials has been his statement of assets and liabilities;
established for removing otherwise Article III: Flip-flopping decisions in final
constitutionally tenured and independent and executory cases, creating excessive
public officials for culpable violation of the entanglement with Former President Arroyo,
Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and and discussing with litigants regarding the
corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of cases pending before the Supreme Court;
public trust. The power to initiate
impeachment cases rests with the House Article IV: Irregularities in issuing a quo-
while the power to try the same rests with the ante order against the House of
Senate. Representatives in the impeachment of then
Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez;
Based on Sec. 3, Article VI, Constitution, the
steps leading to impeachment are as follows: Article V: Gerrymandering in the case of the
16-newly created cities and promotion of
(1) A verified complaint for impeachment is Dinagat into a province;
filed by a member of the House or
endorsed by him; Article VI: Improper investigation in the
plagiarism case of Associate Justice Mariano
(2) The complaint is included in the order of del Castillo;
business of the House;
Article VII: Granting a temporary
(3) The House refers the complaint to the restraining order to Former President Arroyo
proper committee; and husband Mike Arroyo after the
(4) The committee holds a hearing, Department of Justice prevented them to go
approves the resolution calling for out of the country;
impeachment, and submits the same to Article VIII: Graft and corruption when he
the House; failed and refused to account for the judiciary
(5) The House considers the resolution and development fund and special allowance for
votes to approve it by at least one-third the judiciary collections.
of all its members, which resolution
becomes the article of impeachment to
be filed with the Senate when approved; On January 16, 2012, the Senate, sitting as an
and impeachment court, began the trial. The
prosecution dropped Articles I, IV, V, VI, VII,
(6) The Senate tries the public official under VIII, leaving only Articles II and III as
the article [Abad, J., Separate their grounds for im peachm ent.
Concurring Opinion, Gutierrez v. HOR
Committee on Justice (2011)].
PAGE 92 OF 104

On May 29, 2012, the Senate found Chief B. JUDGES OF THE LOWER COURTS
Justice Corona guilty under Article II of AND JUSTICES OF COURT OF APPEALS
the articles of impeachment for his failure AND SANDIGANBAYAN
to declare his true statem ents of
assets, liabilities and net worth. After
20 senators voted in favor of impeachment TENURE
under this ground, the Senate no longer
voted under Article III. Three senators voted The members of the Supreme Court and
to acquit Corona on that ground. judges of lower courts shall hold office during
a good behavior until they reach the age of
seventy years or become incapacitated to
QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE USED discharge the duties of their office.
An impeachment proceeding is sui generis; it
is neither purely political nor criminal. Thus, it DISCIPLINING BODY IS THE SC
does not require proof beyond reasonable
doubt. In the course of the impeachment trial, The Supreme Court en banc shall have the
the senator-judges expressed differing views. power to discipline judges of lower courts, or
Some argued that it requires clear and order their dismissal by a vote of majority of
convincing proof, while some argued that it the Members who actually took part in the
needs preponderance of evidence. deliberations on the issues in the case and
voted thereon [Sec. 11, Article VIII,
The Senate has traditionally left the choice of Constitution].
the applicable standard of proof to each
individual Senator [Black, Impeachment: A
Handbook (1974)]. General rule: A judge cannot be subjected
to liability civil, criminal, or administrative
for any his official acts, not matter how
IMPEACHMENT (ETHICAL ASPECTS) erroneous, as long as he acts in good faith
Former Chief Justice Corona was the first [Valdez v. Valera (1978)].
justice of the Supreme Court to be impeached Ratio: A judicial officer, in exercising the
and convicted. authority vested in him, shall be free to act
He was found guilty for culpable violation of upon his own convictions, without
the Constitution and/or betrayal of public apprehension of personal consequences to
trust for not correctly declaring his himself.
statements of assets, liabilities and net worth. This concept of judicial immunity rests upon
The prosecution alleged that he inaccurately consideration of public policy, its purpose
declared his peso and dollar deports, and real being to preserve the integrity and
estate properties. independence of the judiciary [Pabalan v.
Guevarra (1976)].
The defense argued that he did not declare
his dollar deposits and peso deposits because
of the banking secrecy and foreign currency HOW INSTITUTED
deposit laws. It was also said that some
undeclared assets are also co-mingled funds Proceedings for the discipline of judges of
that he does not own solely. regular and special courts and justices of the
Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan
may be instituted:
(1) Motu propio by the Supreme Court;
(2) Upon the verified complaint, supported
by affidavits of persons who have
personal knowledge of the facts alleged
therein or by documents which may
substantiate said allegations; or
PAGE 93 OF 104

(3) Upon an anonymous complaint, HEARING AND TERMINATION

supported by public records of
The investigating justice of judge shall set a
indubitable integrity.
day for the hearing and send notice to the
parties. If the respondent fails to appear, the
investigation shall proceed ex parte.
The complaint shall be in writing and shall
state clearly and concisely the acts and The investigating justice or judge shall
omissions constituting violations of standards terminate the proceedings:
of conduct prescribed for judges [Sec. 1, Rule
(1) Within 90 days from the date of its
commencement; or
The right to institute disbarment proceedings
(2) Within such extension as the Supreme
is not confined to clients nor is it necessary
Court may grant [Sec. 4, Rule 140].
that the person complaining suffered injury
from the alleged wrongdoing. The procedural
requirement observed in ordinary civil
proceedings that only the real party-in-
interest must initiate the suit does not apply Within 30 days from termination, the
in disbarment cases. Disbarment proceedings investigating justice or judge shall submit to
are matters of public interest and the only the Supreme Court a report containing his
basis for the judgment is the proof or failure findings of fact and recommendation,
of proof of the charges [Figueros v Jimenez accompanied by the evidence and pleadings
(2014)]. filed by the parties. Such report shall be
confidential and shall be for the exclusive use
of the Supreme Court.
A copy of the decision or resolution of the
Upon the filing of the comment of the court shall be attached to the record of the
respondent or upon the expiration of the respondent in the OCA [Secs. 5 and 12, Rule
period for such filing, which is ten days from 140]
the date of service to him of the copy of the
The Supreme Court shall take action on the
complaint [Sec. 2, Rule 140], the SC shall:
report as the facts and the law may warrant
(1) Refer the matter to the Office of the [Sec. 6, Rule 140]
Court Administrator (OCA) for
evaluation, report, and recommendation;
(2) Assign the case for investigation, report,
and recommendation to:
Pursuant to A.M. No. 02-9-02-SC,
(a) A retired member of the Supreme
administrative cases against justices of the
Court, if the respondent is a justice
Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan,
of the Court of Appeals and the
judges of regular and special courts, and
court officials who are lawyers, shall also be
(b) A justice of the Court of Appeals, if considered a disciplinary action against them,
the respondent is a judge of a if they are based on grounds which are
Regional Trial Court or of a special likewise grounds for the disciplinary action of
court of equivalent rank; or members of the bar for:
(c) A judge of the Regional Trial Court, (1) Violation of the Lawyer's Oath;
if the respondent is a judge of an
(2) Violation of the Code of Professional
inferior court [Sec. 3, Rule 140].
(3) Violation of the Canons of
Professional Ethics; or

PAGE 94 OF 104

(4) Such other forms of breaches of (5) Conviction of a crime involving moral
conduct that have been traditionally turpitude;
recognized as grounds for the
(6) Willful failure to pay a just debt;
discipline of lawyers.
(7) Borrowing money or property from
The respondent is required to comment on
lawyers and litigants in a case pending
the complaint and show cause why he should
before the court;
not also be suspended, disbarred or
otherwise disciplinarily sanctioned as a (8) Immorality;
member of the bar. Judgment in both
(9) Gross ignorance of the law or procedure;
respects may be incorporated in one decision
or resolution. (10) Partisan political activities; and
(11) Alcoholism and/or vicious habits [Sec. 8,
Rule 140].
The word misconduct implies a wrongful
The actuations of a judge seriously affect the
intention and not a mere error or judgment.
public interest inasmuch as they involve the
For serious [or gross] misconduct to exist,
administration of justice. It is for this reason
there must be reliable evidence showing that
that a motion to withdraw a complaint will
the judicial acts complained of were corrupt
not justify the dismissal of the administrative
or inspired by an intention to violate the law,
case against the judge.
or were in persistent disregard of well-known
To condition administrative actions upon the legal rules [In re: Impeachment of Horrilleno
will of every complainant, who may, for one (1922)].
reason or another, condone a detestable act,
In the absence of bad faith, fraud, dishonesty,
is to strip the Supreme Court of its
or deliberate intent to do injustice, incorrect
supervisory power to discipline erring
rulings do not constitute misconduct and may
members of the judiciary [Anguluan v. Taguba
not give rise to a charge of gross ignorance of
the law [Cruz v. Iturralde (2003)].
Complainant's desistance is not an obstacle
to the taking of disciplinary action against a
judge if the record reveals that he had not (1) Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of
performed his duties properly [Espayos v. Lee all or part of the benefits as the Court
(1979)]. may determine, and disqualification
from reinstatement or appointment to
any public office, including government-
C. GROUNDS AND SANCTIONS owned or controlled corporations.
Forfeiture of benefits does not include
accrued leave credits;
Administrative charges are classified as
serious, less serious, or light [Sec. 7, Rule (2) Suspension from office without salary
140] and other benefits for more than three
but not exceeding six months; or
(3) A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not
(1) Bribery, direct or indirect; exceeding P40,000.00; [Sec. 11, Rule
(2) Dishonesty and violations of the Anti- 140]
Graft and Corrupt Practices Law (RA
(3) Gross misconduct constituting violations
of the Code of Judicial Conduct; (1) Undue delay in rendering a decision or
order, or in transmitting the records of a
(4) Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment case;
or order as determined by a competent
court in an appropriate proceeding; (2) Frequently and unjustified absences
without leave or habitual tardiness;
PAGE 95 OF 104

(3) Unauthorized practice of law; account, thus converting the trust fund
to personal use [Barja v. Beracio (1976)];
(4) Violation of Supreme Court rules,
directives, and circulars; (3) Extorting money from a party-litigant
who has a pending case [Haw Tay v.
(5) Receiving additional or double
Singayao (1988)]:
compensation unless specifically
authorized by law; (4) Solicitation of donation for office
equipment [Lecaroz v. Garcia (1981)];
(6) Untruthful statements in the certificate
of service; and (5) Frequent unauthorized absences in
office [Municipal Council of Casiguruhan,
(7) Simple misconduct [Sec. 9, Rule 140]
Quezon v. Morales (1974)];
(6) Delay in the disposition of cases in
(1) Suspension from office without salary violation of the canon that a judge must
and other benefits for not less than one promptly dispose of all matters
nor more than three months; or submitted to him [Balagot v. Opinion
(2) A fine of more than P10,000.00 but not
exceeding P20,000.00 [Sec. 11, Rule (7) Unduly granting repeated motions for
140]. postponement [Araza v. Reyes (1975)];
(8) Unawareness of or unfamiliarity with the
application of the Indeterminate
Sentence Law and duration and
(1) Vulgar and unbecoming conduct; graduation of penalties [In re: Paulin
(2) Gambling in public; (1980)];

(3) Fraternizing with lawyers and litigants (9) Reducing to a ridiculous amount
with pending case/cases in his court; (P6,000.00) the bail bond of the
and accused murderer, enabling him to
escape the toils of the law [Soriano v.
(4) Undue delay in the submission of Mabbayad (1975)].
monthly reports.
(10) Imposing the penalty of subsidiary
Sanctions: imprisonment on a party for failure to
(1) A fine of not less than P1,000.00 but not pay civil indemnity in violation of RA
exceeding P10,000.00; and/or 5465 [Monsanto v. Palarca (1983)].

(2) Censure;
(4) Admonition with warning. Pacalna, A.M. No. MTJ-03 1505 (2013)].
(1) There must be proof of remorse and
ILLUSTRATIVE CASES reformation. These shall include but
should not be limited to certifications or
The following have been subject to discipline testimonials of the officer(s) or chapter(s)
by the Supreme Court: of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines,
(1) Failure to deposit funds with the judges or judges associations and
municipal treasurer or produce them prominent members of the community
despite promise to do so [Montemayor v. with proven integrity and probity. A
Collado (1981)]; subsequent finding of guilt in an
administrative case for the same or
(2) Misappropriation of fiduciary funds (i.e., similar misconduct will give rise to a
proceeds of cash bail bond) by strong presumption of non-reformation;
depositing the check in a personal

PAGE 96 OF 104

(2) Sufficient time must have lapsed from

the imposition of the penalty to ensure a III. Disqualifications of
period of reformation; Justices and Judges
(3) The age of the person asking for
clemency must show that he still has [Rule 137]
productive years ahead of him that can NOTE: Asked 3 times in the Bar; 1994, 1991,
be put to good use by giving him a 2008. [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
chance to redeem himself;
(4) There must be a showing of promise
(such as intellectual aptitude, learning or A. COMPULSORY DISQUALIFICATION
legal acumen or contribution to legal
scholarship and the development of the
legal system or administrative and other No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any
relevant skills), as well as potential for case, without the written consent of all
public service; parties in interest and entered upon the
record, in which:
(5) There must be other relevant factors and
circumstances that may justify clemency. (1) He, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily
interested as heir, legatee, creditor or
otherwise; or
(2) He is related to either party within the
sixth degree of consanguinity or
affinity, or to counsel within the fourth
degree, computed according to the
rules of the civil law;
(3) He has been executor, administrator,
guardian, trustee or counsel; or
(4) He has presided in any inferior court
when his ruling or decision is the
subject of review. [Sec. 1, 1st par., Rule
The rule on compulsory disqualification of a
judge to hear a case rests on the salutary
principle that no judge should preside in a
case in which he is not wholly free,
disinterested, impartial and independent. A
judge has both the duty of rendering a just
decision and the duty of doing it in a manner
completely free from suspicion as to its
fairness and as to his integrity.
The law conclusively presumes that a judge
cannot objectively or impartially sit in such a
case and, for that reason, prohibits him and
strikes at his authority to hear and decide it,
in the absence of written consent of all
parties concerned. The purpose is to preserve
the people's faith and confidence in the
courts' justice [Garcia v. De La Pea (1994)]
The relationship of the judge with one of the
parties may color the facts and distort the law
PAGE 97 OF 104

to the prejudice of a just decision. Where this

is probable or even only possible, due process IV. Powers and Duties
demands that the judge inhibit himself, if
only out of a sense of delicadeza [Javier v.
of Judicial Officers
Comelec (1996)].

Justice shall be impartially administered
Rule 137. Sec. 1., 2nd par. A judge may, in the without unnecessary delay [Sec. 1, Rule 135]
exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify
himself from sitting in a case, for just or valid Courts of justice shall always be open,
reasons other than those mentioned. except on legal holidays, for the:
(1) Filing of any pleadings, motion or other

A judge must maintain and preserve the trust (2) Trial of cases;
and faith of the parties-litigants. He must (3) Hearing of motions; and
hold himself above reproach and suspicion.
At the very first sign of lack of faith and trust (4) For the issuance of orders or rendition
to his actions, whether well-grounded or not, of judgments.
the judge has no other alternative but inhibit
himself from the case.
A judge may not be legally prohibited from
sitting in a litigation, but when circumstances
appear that will induce doubt to his honest General rule: The sitting of every court of
actuations and probity in favor of either party, justice shall be public.
or incite such state of mind, he should
conduct a careful self-examination. He Exception: Any court may, in its discretion,
should exercise his discretion in a way that exclude the public when the evidence to be
the people's faith in the courts of justice is not adduced is of such nature as to require their
impaired. The better course for the judge exclusion in the interest of morality or
under such circumstances is to disqualify decency [Sec. 2, Rule 135].
himself. That way, he avoids being
misunderstood, his reputation for probity and
objectivity is preserved [Bautista v. Rebueno C. PUBLICITY OF RECORDS
Intimacy or friendship between a judge and General rule: The records of every court of
an attorney of record of one of the parties to a justice shall be public records and shall be
suit is no ground for disqualification. That available for the inspection of any person:
one of the counsels in a case was a classmate
of the trial judge is not a legal ground for the (1) At all proper business hours;
disqualification of the said judge. (2) Under the supervision of the clerk having
To allow it would unnecessarily burden other custody of such records.
trial judges to whom the case would be Exception: The court may, in any special
transferred. But if the relationship between case, forbid publicity of records, in the
the judge and an attorney for a party is such interest of morality or decency [Sec. 2, Rule
that there would be a natural inclination to 135].
prejudice the case, the judge should be
disqualified in order to guaranty a fair trial
[Query of Executive Judge Estrada (1987)].

PAGE 98 OF 104


(1) To preserve and enforce order in its
D.1. SUPERIOR COURTS immediate presence;
Process issued from a superior court in which (2) To enforce order in proceedings before a
a case is pending may be enforced in any part person or persons empowered to conduct
of the Philippines: a judicial investigation under its
(1) To bring in a defendant; authority;
(2) For the arrest of any accused person; or (3) To compel obedience to its judgments,
orders and processes, and to the lawful
(3) To execute any order or judgment of the order of judge out of court, in a case
court [Sec. 3, Rule 135] pending therein;
(4) To control, in furtherance of justice, the
D.2. INFERIOR COURTS conduct of its ministerial officers, and of
General rule: Process of inferior courts all other persons in any manner
shall be enforceable within the province connected with a case before it, in every
where the municipality or city lies. manner appertaining thereto;

Exceptions: (5) To compel the attendance of persons to

testify in a case pending therein;
(1) It may be served outside the boundaries
of the province with the approval of the (6) To administer or cause to be
judge of the Regional Trial Court of said administered oaths in a case pending
province, and only in the following cases: therein, and in all other cases where it
may be necessary in the exercise of its
(a) When an order for the delivery of powers;
personal property lying outside the
province is to be complied with; (7) To amend and control its process and
orders so as to make them conformable
(b) When an attachment of real or to law and justice;
personal property lying outside the
province is to be made; (8) To authorize copy of a lost or destroyed
pleading or other paper to be filed and
(c) When the action is against two or used instead of the original, and to
more defendants residing in restore, and supply deficiencies in its
different provinces; and records and proceedings [Sec. 5, Rule
(d) When the place where the case has 135].
been brought is that specified in a
contract in writing between the
parties, or the place of the execution F. MEANS TO CARRY JURISDICTION
of such contract as appears INTO EFFECT
(2) Writs of execution issued by inferior When by law, jurisdiction is conferred on a
courts may be enforced in any part of the court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs,
Philippines without any previous processes and other means necessary to carry
approval of the judge of first instance; it into effect may be employed by such court
(3) Criminal process may be issued by a or officer; and if the procedure to be followed
in the exercise of such jurisdiction is not
justice of the peace or other inferior
specifically pointed out by law or by these
court, to be served outside his province,
rules, any suitable process or mode of
when the district judge, or in his absence
proceeding may be adopted which appears
the provincial fiscal, shall certify that in
conformable to the spirit of said law or rules
his opinion the interests of justices
[Sec. 6, Rule 135].
require such service [Sec. 4, Rule 135].
PAGE 99 OF 104

G. TRIAL, HEARINGS AND OTHER ACTS He shall send the same by registered mail to
the clerk of the court where the case was
heard or argued to be filed therein as of the
All trial upon the merits shall be conducted in date when the same was received by the clerk,
open court and so far as convenient in a in the same manner as if he had been present
regular court room. in court to direct the filing of the judgment.
All other acts or proceedings may be done or If a case has been heard only in part, the
conducted by a judge in chambers, without Supreme Court, upon petition of any of the
the attendance of the clerk or other court parties to the case and the recommendation
officials [Sec. 7, Rule 135] of respective district judge, may also
authorize the judge who has partly heard the
case, if no other judge had heard the case in
H. INTERLOCUTORY ORDERS OUT OF part, to continue hearing and to decide said
PROVINCE case notwithstanding his transfer or
appointment to another court of equal
jurisdiction [Sec. 9, Rule 135]
When within the district but without the
province, a judge of Regional Trial Court shall
nevertheless have power to hear and
determine any interlocutory motion or issue
after due and reasonable notice to the parties.
The hearing may be had at any place in the
judicial district which the judge deems
convenient on the filing, in any RTC:
(1) Of a petition for the writ of habeas
(2) For release upon bail or reduction of bail
[Sec. 8, Rule 135].


It shall be lawful for a judge to prepare and
sign his decision anywhere within the
(1) Whenever a judge, appointed or
assigned in any province or branch of a
Regional Trial Court in a province, shall
leave the province:
(a) By transfer or assignment to
another court of equal jurisdiction;
(b) By expiration of his temporary
(2) Without having decided a case, which
(a) Totally heard by him; and
(b) Argued or an opportunity given for
argument to the parties or their
PAGE 100 OF 104

V. Court Records and iii. Safekeeping Property

The clerk shall safely keep all records, papers,
General Duties of files, exhibits and public property committed
to his charge, including the library of the
Clerks and court, and the seal and furniture belonging to
Stenographers his office [Sec. 7, Rule 136].

[Rule 136] iv. Keeping a General Docket

The clerk shall keep a general docket, each
page of which shall be numbered and
A. CLERKS OF COURT prepared for receiving all the entries in a
single case.
A.1. OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT The following shall be entered in the docket,
The clerks office, with the clerk or his deputy so that by reference to a single page, the
in attendance, shall be open during business history of a case may be seen:
hours on all days, except Sundays and legal
(1) All cases, numbered consecutively in the
holidays. The clerk of the Supreme Court and
order in which they were received;
that of the Court of Appeals shall keep the
office in Manila and all papers authorized or (2) Under the heading of each case and a
required to be filed therein shall be filed in complete title thereof:
Manila [Sec. 3, Rule 136]
(a) The date of each paper filed or issued;
(b) Each order or judgment entered; and
(c) Each other step taken in the case
i. Issuance of Process [Sec. 8, Rule 136].
(1) The clerk of a superior court shall issue
under the seal of the court all ordinary
writs and process incident to pending v. Keeping a Docum ent and Entries
cases, the issuance of which does not Book
involve the exercise of functions The clerk shall keep:
appertaining to the court or judge only.
(1) A judgment book containing a copy of
(2) The clerk may, under the direction of the each judgment rendered by the court in
court or judge, make out and sign letters order of its date; and
of administration, appointments of
guardians, trustees and receivers, and all (2) A book of entries of judgments
writs and process issuing from the court. containing at length in chronological
order entries of all final judgments or
orders of the court [Sec. 9, Rule 136].
ii. Reception of Papers and
Preparation of Minutes
vi. Keeping an Execution Book
The clerk of each superior court shall:
The clerk shall keep an execution book in
(1) Receive and file all pleadings and other which he or his deputy shall record at length
papers properly presented, endorsing on in chronological order each execution, and
each such paper the time when it was the officers return thereon, by virtue of which
filed; and real property has been sold [Sec. 10, Rule
(2) Attend all of the sessions of the court and 136].
enter its proceedings for each day in a
minute book to be kept by him [Sec. 6,
Rule 136].

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vii. Certification of Copies direct him to make findings and include

the same in his report [Sec. 5, Rule 136].
The clerk shall prepare, for any person
demanding the same, a copy certified under
the seal of the court of any paper, record, A.3. TAKING OF RECORDS FROM CLERKS
order, judgment, or entry in his office, proper
to be certified, for the fees prescribed by
these rules [Sec. 11, Rule 136]. No record shall be taken from the clerks
office without an order of the court except as
otherwise provided by these rules.
viii. Indexing Books and Separating However, the Solicitor General or any of his
Cases assistants, the provincial fiscal or his deputy,
(1) The general docket, judgment book, and the attorneys de oficio shall be permitted,
entries book and execution book shall upon proper receipt, to withdraw from the
each be indexed in alphabetical order in clerks office the record of any case in which
the names of the parties, and each of they are interested [Sec. 14, Rule 136]
(2) If the court so directs, the clerk shall
keep two or more of either or all of the
books and dockets above mentioned, It shall be the duty of the stenographer who
separating civil from criminal cases, or has attended a session of a court either in the
actions from special proceedings, or morning or in the afternoon, to deliver to the
otherwise keeping cases separated by clerk of court, immediately at the close of
classes as the court shall deem best such morning or afternoon session, all the
[Sec. 13, Rule 136]. notes he has taken, to be attached to the
record of the case.
It shall likewise be the duty of the clerk to
ix. Keeping Other books and Other
demand that the stenographer comply with
said duty. The clerk of court shall stamp the
The clerk shall keep such other books and date on which notes are received by him.
perform such other duties as the court may
When such notes are transcribed, the
direct [Sec. 12, Rule 136].
transcript shall be delivered to the clerk, duly
initialed on each page thereof, to be attached
x. In the Absence or by Direction of to the record of the case.
Judge Whenever requested by a party, any
(1) In the absence of the judge, the clerk may statement made by a judge of first instance,
perform all the duties of the judge in or by a commissioner, with reference to a
receiving applications, petitions, case being tried by him, or to any of the
inventories, reports, and the issuance of parties thereto, or to any witness or attorney,
all orders and notices that follow as a during the hearing of such case, shall be
matter of course under the Rules of Court. made of record in the stenographic notes
[Sec. 17, Rule 136].
(2) The clerk may also, when directed so to
do by the judge, receive the accounts of
executors, administrators, guardians, C. DOCKETS AND OTHER RECORDS OF
trustees, and receivers, and all evidence INFERIOR COURTS
relating to them, or to the settlement of
the estates of deceased persons, or to
guardianships, trusteeships, or Every municipal or city judge shall keep a
receiverships, and forthwith transmit well-bound labeled docket. He may keep
such reports, accounts, and evidence to two dockets, one for civil and one for criminal
the judge, together with the findings in cases.
relation to the same, if the judge shall
PAGE 102 OF 104

In such docket, he shall enter for each case:

VI. Legal Fees
(1) Title of the case including the name of all
the parties;
[Rule 141]
(2) The nature of the case, whether civil or
criminal, and if the latter, the offense
(3) The date of issuing preliminary and
intermediate process including order of Upon the filing of the pleading or other
arrest and subpoenas, and the date and application which initiates an action or
nature of the return thereon; proceeding, the fees prescribed therefor shall
be paid in full [Sec. 1, Rule 141]
(4) The date of the appearance of default of
the defendant;
(5) The date of presenting the plea, answer, B. FEES IN LIEN
or motion to quash, and the nature of the
The party concerned shall pay additional fees,
(6) The minutes of the trial, including the where the court in its final judgment awards:
date thereof and of all adjournments;
(1) A claim not alleged; or
(7) The names and addresses of all
(2) A relief different from, or more than
that claimed in the pleading.
(8) The date and nature of the judgment,
The additional fees which shall constitute a
and, in a civil case, the relief granted;
lien on the judgment. The clerk of court shall
(9) An itemized statement of the costs; assess and collect the corresponding fees.
[Sec. 2, Rule 141, RoC]
(10) The date of any execution issued, and the
date and contents of the return thereon;
(11) The date of any notice of appeal filed and C. PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT
the name of the party filing the same. LEGAL FEES

He shall also: Except as otherwise provided in Rule 141, the

following officers and persons, together with
(1) Keep all the pleadings and other papers their assistants and deputies, may demand,
and exhibits in cases pending in his receive, and take the several fees hereinafter
court; and mentioned and allowed for any business by
(2) Certify copies of his docket entries and them respectively done by virtue of their
other records proper to be certified, for several offices, and no more:
the fees prescribed by the Rules of Court. (1) Clerks of the Supreme Court, Court of
Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Court of
Tax Appeals;
(2) Clerks of Regional Trial Courts;
(3) Clerks of first level courts;
(4) Sheriffs, process servers and other
persons serving processes;
(5) Stenographers;
(6) Notaries;
(7) Other officers taking depositions.

PAGE 103 OF 104


All fees so collected shall be forthwith

remitted to the Supreme Court. The persons VII. Costs [Rule 142]
herein authorized to collect legal fees shall
be accountable officers and shall be required A. RECOVERY OF COSTS
to post bond in such amount as prescribed by
the law [Sec. 3, Rule 141] A.1. PREVAILING PARTY
It is not simply the filing of the complaint or Unless otherwise provided in the Rules of
appropriate initiatory pleading but the Court, costs shall be allowed to the prevailing
payment of the prescribed docket fee that party as a matter of course, but the court
vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the shall have power, for special reasons, to
subject matter or nature of the action. Where adjudge:
the filing of the initiatory pleading is not (1) That either party shall pay the costs of
accompanied by payment of the docket fee, an action; or
the court may allow payment of the fee within (2) That the same shall be divided
a reasonable time but in no case beyond the between them, as may be equitable.
applicable prescriptive or reglementary No costs shall be allowed against the
period [Sun Life Insurance v. Asuncion, G.R. Republic of the Philippines, unless otherwise
Nos. 79937-38 (1989)] provided by law [Sec. 1, Rule 142]


If an action or appeal is dismissed for want of
jurisdiction or otherwise, the court
nevertheless shall have the power to render
judgment for costs, as justice may require
[Sec. 2, Rule 142]


Where an action or an appeal is found to be
frivolous, double, or treble costs may be
imposed on the plaintiff or appellant, which
shall be paid by his attorney, if so ordered by
the court [Sec. 3, Rule 142]


An averment in a pleading made without
reasonable cause and found untrue shall
subject the offending party to the payment of
such reasonable expenses as may have been
necessarily incurred by the other party by
reason of such untrue pleading. The amount
of expenses so payable shall be fixed by the
judge in the trial, and taxed as costs. [Sec. 4,
Rule 142].


If a witness fails to appear at the time and
place specified in the subpoena issued by any
inferior court, the costs of the warrant of
arrest and of the arrest of the witness shall be
paid by the witness if the court shall
determine that his failure to answer the
subpoena was willful or without just excuse.
[Sec. 12, Rule 142]

PAGE 104 OF 104