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People v. Tuanda, A.C. 3360 Linsangan v. Tolentino, A.C.

6672
FACTS: A complaint of disbarment was filed by Pedro Linsangan
Respondent Fe T. Tuanda, a member of the Philippine against Atty. Nicomendes Tolentino for solicitation of clients
Bar, asks this Court to lift the suspension from the practice of and encroachment of professional services. Linsangan alleged
law imposed upon her by a decision of the Court of Appeals. In that Tolentino with the help of paralegal Labiano convinced his
1983, Atty. Fe Tuanda received from one Herminia A. Marquez clients to transfer legal representation by promising fiscal
several pieces of jewelry with a total value of P36,000 for sale assistance and expeditious collection to their claims. To induce
on commission basis. In 1984, instead of returning the unsold them, Tolentino allegedly texted them multiple times and called
pieces of jewelry worth P26,250, she issued 3 checks. These them persistently. To support his allegation, Linsangan
checks were dishonored by the drawee bank. Notwithstanding presented the sworn affidavit of James Gregorio attesting that
receipt of the notice of dishonor, Tuanda made no effort to Labiano tried to prevail over him to sever his client-attorney
settle her obligation. Criminal cases were filed, wherein she relationship with Linsangan. Also he attached “respondent’s
was acquitted of estafa but was found guilty of violation of BP calling card”.
22 (The Anti-Bouncing Check Law). The appellate court In his defense, Tolentino denies knowing Labiano and
affirmed the decision of the trial court and imposed further authorizing the printing and circulating of said calling card.
suspension against Tuanda in the practice of law, on the ISSUE:
ground that the offense involves moral turpitude. Tuanda is Whether or not Atty. Tolentino is guilty of advertising his
now appealing to the Supreme Court for her suspension to be services.
lifted. HELD:
ISSUE: Yes. Atty. Tolentino suspended for violating Rules 1.03,
Whether or not the suspension of Atty. Tuanda may be lifted 2.03, 8.02 and 16.04 and Canon 3 of the Code.
HELD: This rule proscribes "ambulance chasing" (the
NO. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that "the solicitation of almost any kind of legal business by an attorney,
offense [of] which she is found guilty involved moral turpitude. personally or through an agent in order to gain employment) as
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude relates a measure to protect the community from barratry and
to and affects the good moral character of a person convicted of champerty. Complainant presented substantial evidence
such offense. Herein, BP 22 violation is a serious criminal (consisting of the sworn statements of the very same persons
offense which deleteriously affects public interest and public coaxed by Labiano and referred to respondent's office) to prove
order. The effects of the issuance of a worthless check that respondent indeed solicited legal business as well as
transcend the private interest of parties directly involved in the profited from referrals' suits. Although respondent initially
transaction and touch the interest of the community at large. denied knowing Labiano in his answer, he later admitted it
Putting valueless commercial papers in circulation injure the during the mandatory hearing. Through Labiano's actions,
banking system public interest. The crimes of which respondent's law practice was benefited. Hapless seamen were
respondent was convicted also import deceit and violation of enticed to transfer representation on the strength of Labiano's
her attorney's oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility word that respondent could produce a more favorable result.
under both of which she was bound to "obey the laws of the Labiano’s calling card contained the phrase “with
land." financial assistance” which was clearly used to entice clients to
change counsels with promise of loans to finance their legal
actions. Money was dangled to lure clients away from their
original lawyers.
Delgado v. De La Rama Ledesma v Climaco

“A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily Facts:
prescribed unless the circumstances so warrant”
Petitioner Ledesma was assigned as counsel de parte for
Facts:
an accused in a case pending in the sala of the respondent
In this case the plaintiff seeks to recover from the
judge. On October 13, 1964, Ledesma was appointed Election
defendant the sum of P60,000 with interest thereon and costs,
Registrar for the Municipality of Cadiz, Negros Occidental. He
as the value of the professional services rendered by him to the
commenced discharging his duties, and filed a motion to
defendant in two civil cases filed in the Court of First Instance
withdraw from his position as counsel de parte. The
of Occidental Negros for damages. In the first of said cases,
respondent Judge denied him and also appointed him as
bearing number 1798, the sum of P1,110,000 was involved,
counsel de oficio for the two defendants. On November 6,
and in the second, bearing number 1799, the sum of P72,952.
Ledesma filed a motion to be allowed to withdraw as counsel de
oficio, because the Comelec requires full time service which
Defendant acknowledged that the plaintiff is entitled for could prevent him from handling adequately the defense.
sum of P5,000 to the rendered legal service, and he stand Judge denied the motion. So Ledesma instituted this certiorari
ready for the payment of the same. However, as counterclaim, proceeding.
he alleged that due to the compromise done, he lost a total of
P70,000 in the process. Both parties appealed the plaintiff Issue:
praying for a higher payment whilst the defendant for the
counterclaim to overrule the demurrer. Whether or not the order of the respondent judged in
denying the motion of the petitioner is a grave abuse of
Issue: discretion?
Whether or not Francisco Delgado is entitled to proper
payment settled by the courts? Holding:

Held: No. Ledesma’s withdrawal would be an act showing his


Yes. The plaintiff is, and for several years passed has lack of fidelity to the duty required of the legal profession. He
been practicing in Manila, where he has a large clientele, and ought to have known that membership in the bar is burdened
is recognized as one of the best lawyers of this forum; that, with conditions. The legal profession is dedicated to the ideal of
moreover, on account of their importance, plaintiff employed service, and is not a mere trade. A lawyer may be required to
all his attention in the study of those cases, thereby causing act as counsel de oficio to aid in the performance of the
him to lay aside others and to be absent from his law office for administration of justice. The fact that such services are
several days to attend personally at the trial of those cases, the rendered without pay should not diminish the lawyer's zeal.
court believes that the sum of P15,000 is a fair compensation
for his professional services.
the profession tell us that the best advertising possible for a
Ulep v The Legal Clinic lawyer is a well-merited reputation for professional capacity
and fidelity to trust, which must be earned as the outcome of
“A good and reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus character and conduct. Good and efficient service to a client as
to generate it and to magnify his success” well as to the community has a way of publicizing itself and
catching public attention. That publicity is a normal by-
Facts: product of effective service which is right and proper.
Mauricio C. Ulep, petitioner, prays this Court "to order
the respondent, The Legal Clinic, Inc., to cease and desist from
issuing advertisements similar to or of the same tenor as that Khan Jr. v Simbillo
of Annexes `A' and `B' (of said petition) and to perpetually
“It is a profession [legal] in which duty to public service, not
prohibit persons or entities from making advertisements
money, is the primary consideration”
pertaining to the exercise of the law profession other than
those allowed by law.” FACTS
It is the submission of petitioner that the advertisements Atty. Rizalino Simbillo was charged for improper
are demeaning of the law profession, and destructive of the advertising and solicitation of his legal services. Respondent
confidence of the community in the integrity of the members of admitted the act imputed to him, but argued that advertising
the bar. and solicitation per se are not prohibited acts.

Issue: This administrative complaint arose from a paid


Whether or not the services offered by respondent, The advertisement that appeared in the July 5, 2000 issue of the
Legal Clinic, Inc., as advertised by it constitutes practice of law newspaper, Philippine Daily Inquirer, which reads:
and, in either case, whether the same can properly be the "ANNULMENT' OF MARRIAGE Specialist 532-4333/521-2667."
subject of the advertisements herein complained of. Further research by the Office of the Court Administrator and
the Public Information Office revealed that similar
Held: advertisements were published in the August 2 and 6, 2000
issues of the Manila Bulletin and August 5, 2000 issue of The
That fact that the corporation employs paralegals to Philippine Star.
carry out its services is not controlling. What is important is
that it is engaged in the practice of law by virtue of the nature On September 1, 2000, Atty. Ismael G. Khan, Jr., in his
of the services it renders which thereby brings it within the capacity as Assistant Court Administrator and Chief of the
ambit of the statutory prohibitions against the advertisements Public Information Office, filed an administrative complaint
which it has caused to be published and is now assailed in this against Atty. Rizalino T. Simbillo for improper advertising and
proceeding. The standards of the legal profession condemn the solicitation of his legal services.
lawyer's advertisement of his talents. A lawyer cannot, without
violating the ethics of his profession, advertise his talents or ISSUE
skills as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his
goods. The proscription against advertising of legal services or Whether or not Simbillos’s actions were in violation of
solicitation of legal business rests on the fundamental the Code of Professional Responsibility
postulate that the practice of law is a profession. The canons of
HELD

Yes. There is no question that respondent committed the


acts complained of. He himself admits that he caused the
publication of the advertisements. While he professes
repentance and begs for the Court's indulgence, his contrition
rings hollow considering the fact that he advertised his legal
services again after he pleaded for compassion and after
claiming that he had no intention to violate the rules. Eight
months after filing his answer, he again advertised his legal
services in the August 14, 2001 issue of the Buy & Sell Free
Ads Newspaper. Ten months later, he caused the same
advertisement to be published in the October 5, 2001 issue of
Buy & Sell. Such acts of respondent are a deliberate and
contemptuous affront on the Court's authority.