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Corazon Nevada vs. Atty. Rodolfo Casuga he was not.

He never adduced evidence showing that he


was duly authorized either by Edwin or Corazon. He also
dialed to adduce evidence proving that he never received
Problem Areas in Legal Ethics – Gross Misconduct – the P90k from Chul. On the contrary, a notarized letter
Malpractice of Law – Misconduct showed that Casuga did receive the money. His
In 2007, Corazon Nevada, filed a disbarment case against misrepresentations constitute gross misconduct and his
Atty. Rodolfo Casuga. Nevada alleged the following: mere denial does not overcome the evidence presented
against him.
That Atty. Casuga acquired several pieces of jewelry
2. Violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional
from her; the jewelries include diamond earrings and
Responsibility: It is his duty as a lawyer to account for
diamond rings amounting P300,000.00. and a Rolex gold
all moneys and property of his client that may come to his
watch worth $12,000.00; that Casuga assured her that he
possession. This is still applicable even though said
will sell them; but despite repeated demands, Casuga
property/money did not come to his possession by virtue
never remitted any money nor did he return said
of a lawyer-client relationship. He failed to adduce
jewelries.
evidence to prove his claim that Nevada pawned said
That in 2006, Casuga, taking advantage of his close
jewelries. He never presented receipts. Further, even
relationship with Nevada (they belong to the same
assuming that Nevada did pawn said items, Casuga was
religious sect), Casuga represented himself as the hotel
still duty bound to return said jewelries upon demand by
administrator of the hotel (Mt. Crest) that Nevada own;
Nevada.
that as such, Casuga was able to enter into a contract of
lease with one Jung Chul; that he negotiated an office 3. Violation of Notarial Rules: He signed a document
space with Chul in said Hotel for P90,000.00; that Casuga (contract of lease) in behalf of another person without
notarized said agreement; that he forged the signature of authorization. His forgery made him an actual party to the
Edwin Nevada (husband); that he never remitted the P90k contract. In effect he was notarizing a document in which
to Nevada. he is party in violation of the notarial rules (Secs. 1 and 3,
Rule IV).
In his defense, Casuga said: 4. Malpractice of Law: As a summation of all the above
violations, Casuga is guilty of Malpractice and
That Nevada actually pawned said jewelries in a
Misconduct. Such act is punishable under Sec. 27, Rule
pawnshop; that she later advised Casuga’s wife to redeem
138 of the Rules of Court. However, the Supreme Court
said jewelries using Mrs. Casuga’s wife; that Casuga can
deemed that disbarment is too severe a punishment
sell said jewelries and reimburse herself from the
against Casuga. He was suspended for 4 years from the
proceeds; that he still has possession of said jewelries.
practice of law. His notarial commission was likewise
That he never received the P90,000.00; that it was
revoked and he is disqualified to be a notary public while
received by a certain Pastor Oh; that he was authorized as
serving his suspension. The Supreme Court emphasized:
an agent by Edwin Nevada to enter into said contract of
the penalty of disbarment shall be meted out only when
lease.
the lawyer’s misconduct borders on the criminal and/or is
ISSUE: Whether or not there is merit in Atty. Casuga’s committed under scandalous circumstance.
defense.

HELD: No. Atty. Casuga is in violation of the following:


1. Gross Misconduct: Casuga misrepresented himself as
a duly authorized representative of Nevada when in fact