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CANON 19

Case: VALERIANA U. DALISAY, complainant, vs. ATTY. MELANIO MAURICIO, JR., respondent. (A.C. No.
5655. January 23, 2006)

FACTS:

Valeriana U. Dalisay engaged respondent’s services as counsel in Civil Case No. 00-044. Notwithstanding
his receipt of documents and attorneys fees, respondent never rendered legal services. As a result, she
terminated the attorney-client relationship and demanded the return of her money, but respondent
refused.

The Supreme Court in its Decision, found respondent guilty of malpractice and gross misconduct and
suspended him from the practice of law for a period of six months.

Upon learning of the Court’s decision, respondent verified the status of Civil Case No. 00-044. He learned
of the trial court’s

Decision holding that the tax declarations and title submitted by complainant are not official records.
Thereupon, respondent filed a Sworn Affidavit Complaint against complainant alleging that complainant
offered tampered evidence. The respondent then filed a motion for reconsideration for the Supreme
Court Decision and argued that complainant did not engage his services as counsel, and that
complainant offered tampered evidence in Civil Case No. 00-004, prompting him to file falsification cases
against her.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the motion for reconsideration should be granted.

HELD:

The respondent’s motion for reconsideration is denied.

The Court explained that once a lawyer accepts money from a client, an attorney-client relationship is
established. Assuming that complainant indeed offered falsified documentary evidence, it will not be
sufficient to exonerate the respondent. Consistent with the mandate of Canon 19 that a lawyer shall
represent his client with zeal and only within the bounds of the law, Rule 19.02 of the same Canon
specifically provides that a lawyer who has received information that his clients has, in the course of the
representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to
rectify the same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship with such client in accordance with
the Rules of Court. As a lawyer, respondent is expected to know this Rule. Instead of inaction, he should
have confronted complainant and asked her to rectify her fraudulent representation. If complainant
refuses, then he should terminate his relationship with her.