Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 52

INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL ETHICS

1. DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS V. BAYOT, 74 Phil. 749 (1944)

It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares.
Law is a profession and not a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and
adopts the practices of mercantilism by advertising his services or offering them to the public.

The most worth and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer is the establishment of a
well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but must be
the outcome of character and conduct.

2. LEDESMA V. CLIMACO, G.R. No. 12815, June 28, 1974

What is readily apparent therefore, is that petitioner was less than duly mindful of his obligation as
counsel de oficio. He ought to have known that membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with
conditions. It could be that for some lawyers, especially the neophytes in the profession, being appointed
counsel de oficio is an irksome chore. For those holding such belief, it may come as a surprise that
counsel of repute and of eminence welcome such an opportunity. It makes even more manifest that law is
indeed a profession dedicated to the ideal of service and not a mere trade. It is understandable then why
a high degree of fidelity to duty is required of one so designated.

3. CUI V. CUI, 11SCAR 39 (1982)


In this jurisdiction admission to the Bar and to the practice of law is under the authority of the Supreme
Court. According to Rule 138 such admission requires passing the Bar examinations, taking the lawyer's
oath and receiving a certificate from the Clerk of Court, this certificate being his license to practice the
profession. The academic degree of Bachelor of Laws in itself has little to do with admission to the Bar,
except as evidence of compliance with the requirements that an applicant to the examinations has
"successfully completed all the prescribed courses, in a law school or university, officially approved by the
Secretary of Education."

4. VILLEGAS V. LEGASPI 113 SCRA 39 (1982)

Appearance by legislators before CFI should be limited to cases where said courts exercise appellate
jurisdiction.

5. ENRIQUEZ V. GIMENEZ, 107 Phil. 932 (1960)

Under the provision of Sections 2241, 1682 and 1683 of the Revised Administrative Code the provincial
fiscal is the legal adviser of the mayor and council of the various municipalities of a province and it is his
duty to represent the municipality in any court except when he is disqualified by law. When he is
disqualified to represent the municipality, the municipal council may engage the services of a special
attorney.

6. SALCEDO V. HERNANDEZ, 61 Phil. 724 (1935)

It is right and plausible that an attorney, in defending the cause and rights of his client, should do so with
all the favor and energy of which he is capable, but it is not, and will never be so for him to exercise said
right by resorting to intimidation or proceeding without the propriety and respect which the dignity of the
courts require. The reason for this is that respect of the courts guarantees the stability of their institution.
Without such guaranty said institution would be resting on a very shaky foundation.

7. ALAWI V. ALAUYA, 268 SCRA 87 (1979)

The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) inter alia
enunciates the State policy of promoting a high standard of ethics and utmost responsibility in the public
service. Section 4 of the Code commands that" (p)ublic officials and employees . . . at all times respect
the rights of others, and . . . refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public
policy, public order, public safety and public interest." More than once has this Court emphasized that
"the conduct and behavior of every official and employee of an agency involved in the administration of
justice, from the presiding judge to the most junior clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy burden
of responsibility. Their conduct must at all times be characterized by, among others, strict propriety and
decorum so as to earn and keep the respect of the public for the judiciary.

8. PANGAN V. RAMOS, 93 CSRA 87 (1979)

As stated in paragraph 29 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics: "The lawyer should aid in guarding the Bar
against the admission to the profession of candidates unfit or unqualified because deficient in either
moral character or education. He should strive at all times to uphold the honor and to maintain the
dignity of the profession and to improve not only the law but also the administration of justice.

9. PHILIPPINE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION V. AGRAVA, 105 Phil. 175 (1959)

Under the present law, members of the Philippine Bar authorized by this Tribunal to practice law, and in
good standing, may practice their profession before the Patent Office, for the reason that much of the
business in said office involves the interpretation and determination of the scope and application of the
Patent Law and other laws applicable, as well as the presentation of evidence to establish facts involved;
that part of the functions of the Patent Director are judicial or quasi-judicial, so much so that appeals
from his orders and decisions are, under the law, taken to the Supreme Court.

In sum, the practice of law covers any activity in or out of court, which requires the application of law,
legal procedures, principles or practice and calls for legal knowledge, training and experience. And, only
the Supreme Court has the exclusive and constitutional power with respect to admission to the practice of
law.

10. UI V. IRIS BONIFACIO, 333 SCRA 38 (1963)

All the facts taken together leads to the inescapable conclusion that respondent was imprudent in
managing her personal affairs. However, the fact remains that her relationship with Carlos Ui, clothed as it
was with what respondent believed was a valid marriage, cannot be considered immoral. For immorality
connotes conduct that shows indifference to the moral norms of society and the opinion of good and
respectable members of the community. Moreover, for such conduct to warrant disciplinary action, the
same must be “grossly immoral,” that is, it must be so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or
so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree.

11. DELES V. ARAGONA, 27 SCRA 633 (1969)

Statement made in the course of judicial proceedings are absolutely privileged — that is, privileged
regardless of defamatory tenor and of the presence of malice — if the same are relevant, pertinent or
material to the cause in hand or subject of the inquiry. And that, in view of this, the person who makes
them— such as a judge, lawyer, or witness — does not thereby incur the risk of being found liable
thereon in a criminal prosecution or an action for the recovery of damages.
12. BLANZA V. ARCANGEL, 21 SCRA 1 (1967)

A lawyer has a more dynamic and positive role in the community than merely complying with the minimal
technicalities of the statute. As a man of law, he is necessarily a leader of the community, looked up to as
a model citizen. His conduct must, perforce, be par excellence, especially so when, as in this case,
he volunteers his professional services.

13. ZORETA V. SIMPLICIANO, 443 SCRA 1 (2004)

Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. A lawyer has the privilege and right to
practice law only during good behavior and can only be deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and
declared by judgment of the court after opportunity to be heard has been afforded him.
The Court has characterized a lawyer’s act of notarizing documents without the requisite commission
therefore as reprehensible, constituting as it does not only malpractice but also the crime of falsification
of public documents.

14. A-1 FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. V. VALERIO, 622 SCRA 616

Deliberate failure to pay just debts and the issuance of worthless checks constitute gross misconduct, for
which a lawyer may be sanctioned with suspension from the practice of law. Lawyers are instruments for
the administration of justice and vanguards of our legal system. They are expected to maintain not only
legal proficiency but also a high standard of morality, honesty, integrity and fair dealing so that the
people’s faith and confidence in the judicial system is ensured. They must at all times faithfully perform
their duties to society, to the bar, the courts and to their clients, which include prompt payment of
financial obligations. They must conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and norms of
the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility.
15. 2003 BAR EXAMINATION BAR MATTER NO. 1222, 421 SCRA 703

Penalties, such as disbarment, are imposed not to punish but to correct offenders. While the Court is ever
mindful of its duty to discipline its erring officers, it also knows how to show compassion when the penalty
imposed has already served its purpose. In cases where we have deigned to lift or commute the supreme
penalty of disbarment imposed on the lawyer, we have taken into account the remorse of the disbarred
lawyer and the conduct of his public life during his years outside of the bar.
ADMISSION TO PRACTICE
1. IN RE LANUEVO, 66 SCRA 245 (1975)

Section 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964, in connection, among others, with the
character requirement of candidates for admission to the Bar, provides that "every applicant for
admission as a member of the Bar must be ... of good moral character ... and must produce before the
Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him involving
moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines."
It should be stressed that once the bar examiner has submitted the corrected notebooks to the Bar
Confidant, the same cannot be withdrawn for any purpose whatsoever without prior authority from the
Court.

2. FIRST LEPANTO CERAMICS, INC. V. CA, 237 SCRA 519 (1994)

The Board of Investment is the agency tasked with evaluating the feasibility of an investment project and
to decide which investment might be compatible with its development plans. The exercise of
administrative discretion is a policy decision and a matter that can best be discharged by the government
agency concerned and not by the courts. In Felipe Ysmael, Jr. & Co., Inc. vs. Deputy Executive Secretary,
we have already said and now still reiterate that -x x x while the administration grapples with the complex
and multifarious problems caused by unbridled exploitation of these resources, the judiciary will stand
clear. A long line of cases establish the basic rule that the courts will not interfere in matters which are
addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities
coming under the special technical knowledge and training of such agencies.
3. IN RE: CUNANAN, 94 Phil. 534 (1954)

The judicial function of the Supreme Court in admitting candidates to the legal profession, which
necessarily involves the exercise of discretion, requires: (1) previous established rules and principles; (2)
concrete facts, whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals; and (3) a decision as to
whether these facts are governed by the rules and principles

4. KURODA V. JALANDONI, 83 Phil. 171

There is nothing in Executive Order No. 68 which requires that counsel appearing before said commission
must be attorneys qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules of Court. In
fact, it is common in military tribunals that counsel for the parties are usually military personnel who are
neither attorneys nor even possessed of legal training.

5. OMICO MINING & INDUSTRIAL CORP. V. VALLEJOS, 63 SCRA 285 (1975)

The contract of professional services entered into between private respondent and the petitioners, while
the former was still a judge of the Court of First Instance, constituted private practice of law and in
contravention of the express provision of Section 35 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. The
aforecited Rule was promulgated by this Court, pursuant to its constitutional power to regulate the
practice of law. It is based on sound reasons of public policy, for there is no question that the rights,
duties, privileges and functions of the office of an attorney-at-law are so inherently incompatible with the
high official functions, duties, powers, discretions and privileges of a judge of the Court of First Instance.
24 This inhibitory rule makes it obligatory upon the judicial officers concerned to give their full time and
attention to their judicial duties, prevent them from extending special favors to their own private interests
and assure the public of their impartiality in the performance of their functions. These objectives are
dictated by a sense of moral decency and the desire to promote the public interest.
6. PEOPLE V. VILLANUEVA, 14 SCRA 109 (1965)

Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in the
active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to
the public for a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services.

7. DIA – ANONUEVO V. BERCASIO, 68 SCRA 81 (1975)

The rule disqualifying a municipal judge from engaging in the practice of law seeks to avoid the evil of
possible use of the power and influence of his office to affect the outcome of a litigation where he is
retained as counsel. Compelling reasons of public policy lie behind this prohibition, and judges are
expected to conduct themselves in such a manner as to preclude any suspicion that they are representing
the interests of a party litigant.

Although every office in the government service is a public trust, no position exacts a greater demand on
moral righteousness and uprightness of an individual than a seat in the Judiciary. A magistrate of the law
must comport himself at all times in such a manner that his conduct, official or otherwise, can bear the
most searching scrutiny of the public that looks up to him as the epitome of integrity and justice.

8. DE GUZMAN V. VISAYAN RAPID TRANSIT CO., 68 Phil. 469 (1939)

No hard and fast rule can be stated which will serve even as a guide in determining what is or what is not
a reasonable fee. That must be determined from the facts in each case.

Professional services, to prepare and advocate just claims for compensation, are as legitimate as services
rendered in court in arguing a cause to convince a court or jury that the claim presented or the defense
set up against a claim presented by the other party ought to be allowed or rejected. Parties in such cases
require advocates; and the legal profession must have a right to accept such employment and to receive
compensation for their services; nor can courts of justice adjudge such contracts illegal, if they are free
from any taint of fraud, misrepresentation, or unfairness.

9. CAYETANO V. MONSOD, 201 SCRA 210 (1991)

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts
which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind
of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill." (111 ALR
23)

10. IN RE: EDILLON, 84 SCRA 554 (1978)

Integration does not make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is not already a member. He
became a member of the Bar when he passed the Bar examinations. All that integration actually does is
to provide an official national organization for the well-defined but unorganized and incohesive group of
which every lawyer is a ready a member.
Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not attend
the meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. The
only compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues. The Supreme Court, in order to
further the State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require
that the cost of improving the profession in this fashion be shared by the subjects and beneficiaries of the
regulatory program — the lawyers.

11. TAJAN V. CUSI, JR., 57 SCRA 154 (1974)


The power to exclude unfit and unworthy members of the legal profession stems from the inherent power
of the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law and the admission of persons to engage in that
practice. It is a necessary incident to the proper administration of justice. An attorney-at-law is an officer
of the court in the administration of justice and as such he is continually accountable to the Court for the
manner in which he exercises the privilege which has been granted to him. His admission to the practice
of law is upon the implied condition that his continued enjoyment of the right conferred, is dependent
upon his remaining a fit and safe person to exercise it. When it appears by acts of misconduct, that he
has become unfit to continue with the trust reposed upon him, his right to continue in the enjoyment of
that trust and for the enjoyment of the professional privilege accorded to him may and ought to be
forfeited. The law accords to the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance the power to investigate
and suspend members of the bar.

12. ALCALA V. VERA, 56 SCRA 30 (1974)

"An attorney is not bound to exercise extraordinary diligence, but only a reasonable degree of care and
skill, having reference to the character of the business he undertakes to do. Fallible like any other human
being, he is answerable to every error or mistake, and will be protected as long as he acts honestly and in
good faith to the best of his skill and knowledge. Moreover, a party seeking damages resulting from a
judgment adverse to him which became final by reason of the alleged fault or negligence of his lawyer
must prove his loss due to the injustice of the decision. He cannot base his action on the unsubstantiated
and arbitrary supposition of the injustice of the decision. (Tuzon vs. Donato, 58 O.G. 6480)."

13. CANTIMBUHAN V. CRUZ, 126 SCRA 190 (1981)

The permission of the fiscal is not necessary for one to enter his appearance as private prosecutor. In the
first place, the law does not impose this condition. What the fiscal can do, if he wants to handle the case
personally is to disallow the private prosecutor’s participation, whether he be a lawyer or not, in the trial
of the case. On the other hand, if the fiscal desires the active participation of the private prosecutor, he
can just manifest to the court that the private prosecutor, with its approval, will conduct the prosecution
of the case: under his supervision and control. Further, We may add that if a non-lawyer can appear as
defense counsel or as friend of the accused in a case before the municipal trial court, with more reason
should he be allowed to appear as private prosecutor under the supervision and control of the trial fiscal.

14. HYDRO RESOURCES CONTRACTORS CORP. V. PAGALILAUAN, 172 SCRA 399 (1989)

A lawyer, like any other professional, may very well be an employee of a private corporation or even of
the government. It is not unusual for a big corporation to hire a staff of lawyers as its in-house counsel,
pay them regular salaries, rank them in its table of organization, and otherwise treat them like its other
officers and employees. At the same time, it may also contract with a law firm to act as outside counsel
on a retainer basis. The two classes of lawyers often work closely together but one group is made up of
employees while the other is not. A similar arrangement may exist as to doctors, nurses, dentists, public
relations practitioners, and other professionals

15. RAMOS V. RADA, 65 SCRA 179 (1975)

No officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business, vocation, or profession or be
connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural or industrial undertaking without a written permission
from the head of Department: Provided, That this prohibition will be absolute in the case of those officers
and employees whose duties and responsibilities require that their entire time be at the disposal of the
Government

16. BELTRAN V. ABAD, 132 SCRA 452 (1984)


Only those licensed by the Supreme Court may practice law in this country. The right to practice law is not
a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege. It is limited to persons of good moral character with
special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege presupposes possession
of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment and even public trust, since a lawyer is an officer of
the court. A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice law simply by passing the bar
examinations. The practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even from one who has passed the
bar examinations, if the person seeking admission had practiced law without license.

17. BACARRO V. PINATACAN, 127 SCRA 218 (1984)

One of the indispensable requisites for admission to the Philippine Bar is that the applicant must be of
good moral character. This requirement aims to maintain and uphold the high moral standards and the
dignity of the legal profession, and one of the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the practice of this
noble profession only those persons who are known to be honest and to possess good moral character.
"As a man of law, (a lawyer) is necessary a leader of the community, looked up to as a model citizen." He
sets an example to his fellow citizens not only for his respect for the law, but also for his clean living.
Thus, becoming a lawyer is more than just going through a law course and passing the Bar examinations.
One who has the lofty aspiration of becoming a member of the Philippine Bar must satisfy this Court,
which has the power, jurisdiction and duty to pass upon the qualifications, ability and moral character of
candidates for admission to the Bar, that he has measured up to that rigid and Ideal standard of moral
fitness required by his chosen vocation.

18. DIAO V. MARTINEZ, 7 SCRA 475 (1963)

Admission to the Bar obtained under false pretenses must be revoked. Passing such examination is not
the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the
regular manner is equally essential.
19. IN RE ARGOSIÑO, 270 SCRA 26 (1997)

The practice of law is a privilege granted only to those who possess the strict intellectual and moral
qualifications required of lawyers who are instruments in the effective and efficient administration of
justice. It is the sworn duty of this Court not only to "weed out" lawyers who have become a disgrace to
the noble profession of the law but, also of equal importance, to prevent "misfits" from taking the lawyer's
oath, thereby further tarnishing the public image of lawyers which in recent years has undoubtedly
become less than irreproachable.

20. COLLANTES V. RENOMERON, 200 SCRA 584 (1981)

The Code of Professional Responsibility applies to lawyers in government service in the discharge of their
official tasks (Canon 6). Just as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials requires
public officials and employees to process documents and papers expeditiously (Sec. 5, subpars. [c] and
[d] and prohibits them from directly or indirectly having a financial or material interest in any transaction
requiring the approval of their office, and likewise bars them from soliciting gifts or anything of monetary
value in the course of any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office (See. 7,
subpars. [a] and [d]), the Code of Professional Responsibility forbids a lawyer to engage in unlawful,
dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (Rule 1.01, Code of Professional Responsibility), or delay any
man's cause "for any corrupt motive or interest" (Rule 103).
THE LAWYER’S DUTIES TO SOCIETY
1. MONTECILLO V. GICA [G.R. No. L-36800 October 21, 1974]

We concede that a lawyer may think highly of his intellectual endowment. That is his privilege. And, he
may suffer frustration at what he feels is others' lack of it. This is his misfortune. Some such frame of
mind, however, should not be allowed to harden into a belief that he may attack a court's decision in
words calculated to jettison the time-honored aphorism that courts are the temples of right. He should
give due allowance to the fact that judges are but men; and men are encompassed by error, fettered by
fallibility.

2. IN RE: GUTIERREZ [A.M. No. L-363. July 31, 1962]

The practice of law is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to certain rigid standards of
mental and moral fitness. For the admission of a candidate to the bar the Rules of Court not only
prescribe a test of academic preparation but require satisfactory testimonials of good moral character.
These standards are neither dispensed with nor lowered after admission: the lawyer must continue to
adhere to them or else incur the risk of suspension or removal.

3. ORONCE V. COURT OF APPEALS [G.R. No. 125766. October 19, 1998]

Eduardo Flaminiano’s, a lawyer, contumacious acts of entering the Gilmore property without the consent
of its occupants and in contravention of the existing writ or preliminary injunction issued by the Court of
Appeals and making utterances showing disrespect for the law and this Court, are certainly unbecoming
of a member of the Philippine Bar. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, he is prohibited from
counseling or abetting activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal
system.

4. DE YSASI V. NLRC [G.R. No. 104599 March 11, 1994]

Rule 1.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility explicitly provides that "(a) lawyer shall encourage his
client to avoid, end or settle the controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement." On this point, we find
that both counsel herein fell short of what was expected of them, despite their avowed duties as officers
of the court. The records do not show that they took pains to initiate steps geared toward effecting a
rapprochement between their clients. On the contrary, their acerbic and protracted exchanges could not
but have exacerbated the situation even as they may have found favor in the equally hostile eyes of their
respective clients.
5. PAJARES V. ABAD SANTOS [G.R. No. L-29543 November 29, 1969]

The cooperation of litigants and their attorneys is needed so that needless clogging of the court dockets
with unmeritorious cases may be avoided. There must be more faithful adherence to Rule 7, section 5 of
the Rules of Court which provides that "the signature of an attorney constitutes a certificate by him that
he has read the pleading and that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief, there is good
ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay" and expressly admonishes that "for a willful
violation of this rule an attorney may be subjected to disciplinary action."
6. PEOPLE V. ROSQUETA [G.R. No. L-36138 January 31, 1974]

They manifest fidelity to the concept that law is a profession and not a mere trade with those engaged in
it being motivated solely by the desire to make money. Respondent's conduct yields a different
impression. What has earned a reproof however is his irresponsibility. He should be aware that in the
pursuance of the duty owed this Court as well as to a client, he cannot be too casual and unconcerned
about the filing of pleadings. It is not enough that he prepares them; he must see to it that they are duly
mailed. Such inattention as shown in this case is inexcusable.

7. DE ROY V. COURT OF APPEALS [G.R. No. 80718 January 29, 1988]

It is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the
Supreme Court particularly where issues have been clarified, consistently reiterated, and published in the
advance reports of Supreme Court decisions (G. R. s) and in such publications as the Supreme Court
Reports Annotated (SCRA) and law journals.

8. FAR EASTERN SHIPPING CO. V. COURT OF APPEALS [G.R. No. 130068. October 1, 1998]

Being an officer of the court, a lawyer has a responsibility in the proper administration of justice. Like the
court itself, he is an instrument to advance its ends -- the speedy, efficient, impartial, correct and
inexpensive adjudication of cases and the prompt satisfaction of final judgments. A lawyer should not only
help attain these objectives but should likewise avoid any unethical or improper practices that impede,
obstruct or prevent their realization, charged as he is with the primary task of assisting in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice.

9. JOSE V. COURT OF APPEALS [G.R. No. L-38581 March 31, 1976]

In this jurisdiction, in not a. few instances, this Court ordered a new trial in criminal cases on grounds not
mentioned in the statute, viz retraction of witness, negligence or incompetency of counsel. Improvident
plea of guilty, disqualification of an attorney de oficio to represent the accused in the trial court, and
where a judgment was rendered on a stipulation of facts entered into by both the prosecution and the
defense. Characteristically, a new trial has been described as a new invention to temper the severity of a
judgment or prevent the failure of justice.
10. PEOPLE V. PINEDA [G.R. No. L-26222 July 21, 1967]

A prosecuting attorney, by the nature of his office, is under no compulsion to file a particular criminal
information where he is not convinced that he has evidence to prop up the averments thereof, or that the
evidence at hand points to a different conclusion.

11. PEOPLE V. MADERA [G.R. No. L-35133 May 31, 1974]

The prosecutor's finest hour is not when he wins a case with the conviction of the accused. His finest hour
is still when, overcoming the advocate's natural obsession for victory, he stands up before the Court and
pleads not for the conviction of the accused but for his acquittal. For indeed, his noble task is to prosecute
only the guilty and to protect the innocent.

12. TAN V. GALLARDO [G.R. Nos. L-41213-14 October 5, 1976].

The role of the private prosecutors, upon the other hand, is to represent the offended parts, with respect
to the civil action for the recovery of the civil liability arising from the offense.
13. PEOPLE V. SENDAYDIEGO [G.R. No. L-33254 & G.R. No. L-33253 January 20, 1978]

Section 13, Rule 112 of the Rules of court, in allowing a Court of First Instance to conduct a preliminary
investigation, does not disqualify it from trying the case after it had found probable cause and after the
fiscal, as directed by the Court, had filed the corresponding information. The rule assumes that the Judge,
who conducted the preliminary investigation, could impartially try the case on the merits.

14. MISAMIN V. SAN JUAN [A.M. No. 1418 August 31, 1976]
Certainly, the fact that the suspicion could be entertained that far from living true to the concept of a
public office being a public trust, he did make use, not so much of whatever legal knowledge he
possessed, but the influence that laymen could assume was inherent in the office held not only to
frustrate the beneficent statutory scheme that labor be justly compensated but also to be at the beck and
call of what the complainant called alien interest, is a matter that should not pass unnoticed. Respondent,
in his future actuations as a member of the bar. should refrain from laying himself open to such doubts
and misgivings as to his fitness not only for the position occupied by him but also for membership in the
bar.

15. PCGG V. SANDIGANBAYAN & MENDOZA [G.R. Nos. 151809-12. April 12, 2005]

Intervention only includes an act of a person who has the power to influence the subject proceedings.
[44]
We hold that this second meaning is more appropriate to give to the word intervention under Rule 6.03
of the Code of Professional Responsibility in light of its history. The evils sought to be remedied by the
Rule do not exist where the government lawyer does an act which can be considered as innocuous such
as x x x drafting, enforcing or interpreting government or agency procedures, regulations or laws, or
briefing abstract principles of law.
THE LAWYER’S DUTIES TO THE
LEGAL PROFESSION
1. RIVERA VS. ANGELES, [A.C. No. 2519. August 29, 2000]

The Court is not oblivious of the right of a lawyer to be paid for the legal services he has extended to his
client but such right should not be exercised whimsically by appropriating to himself the money intended
for his clients. There should never be an instance where the victor in litigation loses everything he won to
the fees of his own lawyer.

2. JOSE S. DUCAT, JR. vs. ATTYS. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, JR. and CRISPULO DUCUSIN, 337
SCRA 622 (2000)

Public confidence in law and lawyers may be eroded by the irresponsible and improper conduct of a
member of the Bar. Thus, every lawyer should act and comport himself in such a manner that would
promote public confidence in the integrity of the legal profession. Members of the Bar are expected to
always live up to the standards of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional
Responsibility inasmuch as the relationship between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in
nature and demands utmost fidelity and good faith.

Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall at all times uphold the
integrity and dignity of the legal profession. The trust and confidence necessarily reposed by clients
require in the lawyer a high standard and appreciation of his duty to them.
3. TAN vs SABANDAL, 126 SCRA 60 (1993)

The legal profession exacts the highest ethical conduct of all its members, and good moral character even
for applicants for admission to the Bar. He could at least have shown his fitness for admission by showing
adherence to and observance of the standards of conduct required by all who aspire to profess the law.

4. IN RE PARAZO, 82 Phil. 230 (1948)

The Supreme Court and the Philippine Bar have always tried to maintain a high standard for the legal
profession, both in academic preparation and legal training, as well as in honesty and fair dealing. The
Court and the licensed lawyers themselves are vitally interested in keeping this high standard; and one of
the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the practice of this noble profession only those persons who
are known to be honest, possess good moral character, and show proficiency in and knowledge of the law
by the standard set by this Court by passing the Bar Examinations honestly and in the regular and usual
manner.

5. SANTAS PANGAN v. ATTY. DIONISIO RAMOS, 107 SCRA 1 (1981)

"The lawyer should aid in guarding the Bar against the admission to the profession of candidates unfit or
unqualified because deficient in either moral character or education. He should strive at all times to
uphold the honor and to maintain the dignity of the profession and to improve not only the law but also
the administration of justice." 8

6. IN RE: DISBARMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ATTY. DIOSDADO Q. GUTIERREZ, 5 SCRA 661


1962)
Of all classes and professions, the lawyer is most sacredly bound to uphold the laws. He is their sworn
servant; and for him, of all men in the world, to repudiate and override the laws, to trample them under
foot and to ignore the very bonds of society, argues recreancy to his position and office and sets a
pernicious example to the insubordinate and dangerous elements of the body politic.

7. FLORA NARIDO vs. ATTY. JAMES LINSANGAN, 58 SCRA 85 (1974)

Mutual bickering and unjustifiable recriminations, between brother attorneys detract from the dignity of
the legal profession and will not receive any sympathy from this court.

8. LAPUT VS. REMOTIGUE, 6 SCRA 45 (1962)

Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall at all times uphold the
integrity and dignity of the legal profession. The trust and confidence necessarily reposed by clients
require in the lawyer a high standard and appreciation of his duty to them.

9. CAMACHO VS. PANGULAYAN, 328 SCRA 631 (2000)

Lawyer should not communicate upon subject of controversy with a party represented by counsel, much
less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but should only deal with his
counsel. Lawyer must avoid everything that may tend to mislead party not represented by counsel and
should not advise him as to law.

10. ROBINSON vs VILLAFUERTE, (G.R. No. L-5346 January 3, 1911)

Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall at all times uphold the
integrity and dignity of the legal profession. The trust and confidence necessarily reposed by clients
require in the lawyer a high standard and appreciation of his duty to them.
11. TAN TEK BENG v. TIMOTEO DAVID, 126 SCRA 389 (1983)

The lawyer may not seek or obtain employment by himself or through others for to do so would be
unprofessional"
The commercialization of law practice is condemned in certain canons of professional ethics adopted by
the American Bar Association. "Unprofessional conduct in an attorney is that which violates the rules or
ethical code of his profession or which is unbecoming a member of that profession

12.
DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS v. BAYOT, 74 Phil. 579 (1944)
Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other things that "the practice of soliciting cases at
law for the purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice." It is
highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is
a profession and not a trade.

13. ULEP vs THE LEGAL CLINIC, 223 SCRA 378 (1993)

The canon of the profession tell us that the best advertising possible for a lawyer is a well-merited
reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust, which must be earned as the outcome of
character and conduct. Good and efficient service to a client as well as to the community has a way of
publicizing itself and catching public attention. That publicity is a normal by-product of effective service
which is right and proper.

14. IN RE: SYCIP, 92n SCRA 1 (1979)

The heirs of a deceased partner in a law firm cannot be held liable as the old members to the creditors of
a firm particularly where they are non-lawyers.. A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to
partnerships formed by other professionals or for business. For one thing, the law on accountancy
specifically allows the use of a trade name in connection with the practice of accountancy
THE LAWYER’S DUTIES TO THE
COURTS
1. CITY SHERIFF, ILIGAN CITY VS. FORTUNADO, 288 SCRA 190 (1998)

A lawyer should bear in mind that a lawyer is, first and foremost, an officer of the court. Atty. Abrogena is
REPRIMANDED for his failure to inform this Court of the death of petitioner and to perform his duty under
Section 16, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court.

2. OCCENA VS. MARQUEZ, 60 SCRA 38 (1974)


We have carefully considered these charges and the answers of intervenor, and, on the basis of the
evidence, We conclude that intervenor I. V. Binamira has deliberately made false allegations before this
Court which tend to impede or obstruct the administration of justice

We find no rule of law or of ethics which would justify the conduct of a lawyer in any case, whether civil or
criminal, in endeavoring by dishonest means to mislead the court, even if to do so might work to the
advantage of his client. The conduct of the lawyer before the court and with other lawyers should be
characterized by candor and fairness. It is neither candid nor fair for a lawyer to knowingly make false
allegations in a judicial pleading or to misquote the contents of a document, the testimony of a witness,
the argument of opposing counsel or the contents of a decision.

3. CHAVEZ VS. VIOLA, 196 SCRA 10 (1991)


Viola alleged in an earlier pleading that his clients were merely lessees of the property involved. In his
later pleading, he stated that the very same clients were owners of the same property. One of these
pleadings must have been false; it matters not which one. Worse, he offered no explanation as regards
the discrepancy.

A lawyer owes honesty and candor to the courts. It cannot be gainsaid that candidness, especially
towards the courts, is essential for the expeditious administration of justice. Courts are entitled to expect
only complete candor and honesty from the lawyers appearing and pleading before them. Atty. Viola was
suspended for 5 months

4. CHAN KIAN VS. ANGSIN, 53 SCRA 295 (1972)

The Court notes with regret that had the counsels, 10 as officers of the courts, but faithfully complied with
their duty to deal with the courts in truth and candor, and promptly manifested to the appellate court the
above developments, all by June, 1965, which have made the principal issue at bar moot and
academic, 11 this case would then have been disposed of and need not have been certified to this Court,
and the time needed by it to devote to the prompt disposition of meritorious cases need not have been
thus
dissipated. 12

At any rate, it is clear that the civil case filed by plaintiff-appellant should merely have been suspended,
not dismissed although without prejudice, by the lower court under the Rule invoked by it. 13 Appellee
concedes as much, stating that the dismissal without prejudice is in effect a suspension pending the
outcome of the criminal case.

5. CASALS VS. CUSI 52 SCRA 58 (1973)


His inaction unduly prevented and delayed for a considerable period the Court's prompt disposition of the
petition. His unsatisfactory explanation evinces a willful disregard of his solemn duty as an attorney to
employ in the conduct of a case "such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek
to mislead" the courts.

Court has in several instances suspended lawyers from the practice of law for failure to file appellants'
briefs in criminal cases despite repeated extensions of time obtained by them, with the reminder that "the
trust imposed on counsel in accordance not only with the canons of legal ethics but with the soundest
traditions of the profession would require fidelity on their part.

6. COMELEC VS. NOYNOY, 292 SCRA 254 (1992)

If Atty. Balbuena was diligent enough, he would have known that the correct name of the complainant in
the case referred to is neither Alberto Naldeza as indicated in the motion for reconsideration nor Alberto
alone as stated in the petition, but ALBERTO NALDOZA. Moreover, the case was not reported in volume
245 of the Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) as falsely represented in the paragraph 16 of the
petition, but in volume 254 of the SCRA. Worse, in both the motion for reconsideration and the petition,
Atty. Balbuena deliberately made it appear that the quoted portions were our findings or rulings, or, put a
little differently, our own words. The truth is, the quoted portion is just a part of the memorandum of the
Court Administrator quoted in the decision. Rule 10.02 of Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the text of a decision
or authority.

Atty. Jose P. Balbuena is ADMONISHED to be more careful in the discharge of his duty to the court as a
lawyer under the Code of Professional Responsibility.

7. MONTENCILLO VS. GICA, 60 SCRA 234 (1974)


Atty. Del Mar, by his contemptuous acts is in violation of his duties to the courts. As an officer of the court,
it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not destroy unnecessarily the high esteem and regard
towards the court so essential to the proper administration of justice.
It is manifest that del Mar has scant respect for the two highest Courts of the land when on the flimsy
ground of alleged error in deciding a case, he proceeded to challenge the integrity of both Courts by
claiming that they knowingly rendered unjust judgment. In short, his allegation is that they acted with
intent and malice, if not with gross ignorance of the law, in disposing of the case of his client.
Del Mar was then suspended indefinitely.

8. SURIGAO MINERAL RESERVATION BOARD VS. CLORIBEL, 31 SCRA 1 (1970)

It may happen that counsel possesses greater knowledge of the law than the justice of the peace or judge
who presides over the court. It may also happen that since no court claims infallibility, judges may grossly
err in their decisions. Nevertheless, discipline and self-restraint on the part of the bar even under adverse
conditions are necessary for the orderly administration of justice.
To add, Atty. Santiago’s language is not arguably protected; it is the surfacing of a feeling of contempt
towards a litigant; it offends the court before which it is made. It is no excuse to say that these
statements were taken out of context. They do not in any manner justify the inclusion of offensive
language in the pleadings. It has been said that "[a] lawyer's language should be dignified in keeping with
the dignity of the legal profession."9 It is Sotto's duty as a member of the Bar "[t]o 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 charged.

9. DE GARCIA VS. WARDEN OF MAKATI, 69 SCRA 4 (1976)

In the case at bar, there was a lapse in judicial propriety by petitioner’s counsel who did not even take the
trouble of appearing of the Court on the very day his own petition was reset for hearing, a lapse
explicable, it may be assumed, by his comparative inexperience and paucity of practice before this
Tribunal. It suffices to call his attention to such failing by way of guidance for his future actuations as a
member of the bar. A judge should be courteous to lawyer to merit respect. He should be civil, for it is
unbecoming of a judge to utter intemperate language during the hearing of a case.

10. BUENASEDA VS. FLAVIER, 226 SCRA 645 (1993)

Anent the issue of the Motion for Disbarment filed with the Ombudsman, the same is not proper. It cannot
be filed in this special civil action which is confined to questions of jurisdiction or abuse of discretion for
the purpose of relieving persons from the arbitrary acts of judges and quasi-judicial officers. There is a set
of procedure for the discipline of members of the bar separate and apart from the present special civil
action. However, the lawyers of Buenaseda were reminded not be carried away in espousing their client’s
cause. The language of a lawyer, both oral or written, must be respectful and restrained in keeping with
the dignity of the legal profession and with his behavioral attitude toward his brethren in the profession.

11. SANTOS VS. CRUZ, 100 SCRA 538 (1980)

The transcript of the stenographic notes shows that during the formal investigation conducted on
February 9, 1973 6 the respondent judge, while cross-examining the witness, Alberto T. Cano, lost his
temper and said: "You can go to hell I don't care or where do you want to go Mr. Cano". This language of
the Judge is unbecoming of a municipal judge and deserves administrative penalty.
WHEREFORE, the respondent Judge is hereby EXONERATED of the charge of partiality but is found guilty of
conduct unbecoming a judge by uttering intemperate language during the trial of the case. The
respondent judge is hereby imposed a penalty of a fine equivalent to one (1) month salary and warned
that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely.

12. PEOPLE VS. TANEO, 284 SCRA 251 (1998)

It is unfortunate that cousel for appellant has made hasty accusation against the trial court for the above
pronouncement as “taking a partial and biased position” and having adopted “its own biased
interpretation of the physical evidence.” Counsel should be reminded of his duty to observe and maintain
the respect due the courts of justice and judicial officers. Arguments, written or oral, should be gracious to
both the court and opposing counsel and be of such words as may be properly addressed by one
gentleman to another.

13. URBINA VS. MACEREN, 57 SCRA 403 (1974)

Ths Supreme Court gave credence to Maceren’s statement as opposed to Urbina’s bare allegations which
were not supported by evidence. The Supreme Court also condemned Urbina’s use of disrespectful
language. A lawyer owes fidelity to the courts as well as to his clients and that the filing on behalf of
disgruntled litigants of unfounded or frivolous charges against inferior court judges and the use of
offensive and intemperate language as a means of harassing judges whose decisions have not been to
their liking (irrespective of the law and jurisprudence on the matter) will subject said lawyer to
appropriate disciplinary action as an officer of the Court. This only unduly burdens the courts.

14. CASTANEDA VS. AGO, 65 SCRA 505 (1975)

Despite the pendency in the trial court of the complaint for the annulment of the sheriff’s sale, justice
demands that the petitioners, long denied the fruits of their victory in the replevin suit, must now enjoy
them, for ,the respondents Agos abetted by their lawyer Atty. Luison, have misused legal remedies and
prostituted the judicial process to thwart the satisfaction of the judgment, to the extended prejudice of
the petitioners.- Forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn public servant and his exalted position as an
officer of the court, Atty. Luison has allowed himself to become an instigator of controversy and a predator
of conflict instead of a mediator for concord and a conciliator for compromise, a virtuoso of technicality in
the conduct of litigation instead of a true exponent of the primacy of truth and moral justice.- A counsel’s
assertiveness in espousing with candor and honesty his client’s cause must be encouraged and is to be
commended; what the SC does not and cannot countenance is a lawyer’s insistence despite the patent
futility of his client’s position. It is the duty of the counsel to advice his client on the merit or lack of his
case. If he finds his client’s cause as defenseless, then he is his duty to advice the latter to acquiesce and
submit rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his
client, and temper his client’s propensity to litigate.
15. AUSTRIA VS. MASAQUEL, 20 SCRA 127 (1967)

While it is improper for a litigant or counsel to see a judge in chambers and talk to him about a matter
related to the case pending in the court of said judge, the Court did not consider it as an act of contempt
of court. It is one thing to act not in accordance with the rules and another thing to act in a manner which
amounts to a disrespect or an affront to the dignity of the court or judge. The Court believes that the
circumstances that led the Judge to declare petitioner in direct contempt do not indicate any deliberate
design on petitioner's part to disrespect the Judge or to cast aspersion against his integrity as a judge.
Hence, while it may be conceded that in requesting the disqualification of a judge by reason of his relation
with a party or counsel there is some implication of the probability of his being partial to one side, the
request can not constitute contempt of court if done honestly and in a respectful manner, as was doneby
petitioner in the present case. Perhaps the fault of petitioner, if at all, is his having asked his counsel to
make the request to respondent Judge inside the latter's chamber.

16. MARTELINO VS. ALEJANDRO, 32 SCRA 106 (1970)

In contrast the spate of publicity in this case before us did not focus on the guilt of the petitioners but
rather on the responsibility of the Government for what was claimed to be a "massacre" of Muslim
trainees. If there was a "trial by newspaper" at all, it was not of the petitioners but of the Government.
Absent here is a showing of failure of the court-martial to protect the accused from massive publicity
encouraged by those connected with the conduct of the trial. At all events, even granting the existence of
"massive" and "prejudicial" publicity, since the petitioners here do not contend that the respondents have
been unduly influenced but simply that they might be by the "barrage" of publicity, we think that the
suspension of the court-martial proceedings has accomplished the purpose sought by the petitioners'
challenge for cause, by postponing the trial of the petitioner until calmer times have returned. The
atmosphere has since been cleared and the publicity surrounding the Corregidor incident has so far
abated that we believe the trial may now be resumed in tranquility.
NATURE AND CREATION OF
ATTORNEY – CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
1. REGALA VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, G.R. No. 105938, September 20, 1996

“The very cornerstone of every State's judicial system, upon which the workings of the contentious and
adversarial system in the Philippine legal process are based - the sanctity of fiduciary duty in the client-
lawyer relationship. The fiduciary duty of a counsel and advocate is also what makes the law profession a
unique position of trust and confidence, which distinguishes it from any other calling.”

2. IN RE: SYCIP, 92 SCRA1 (1979)

“It must be conceded that in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allows the continued use of a
deceased or former partner's name in the firm names of law partnerships. Firm names, under our custom,
Identify the more active and/or more senior members or partners of the law firm.”

3. DAROY VS. LEGASPI, 64 SCRA 304 (1975)

"The relation between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in its nature and of a very delicate,
exacting and confidential character, requiring a high degree of fidelity and good faith" (7 Am. Jur. 2d 105).
In view of that special relationship, "lawyers are bound to promptly account for money or property
received by them on behalf of their clients and failure to do so constitutes professional misconduct. The
fact that a lawyer has a lien for fees on money in his hands collected for his clients does not relieve him
from the duty of promptly accounting for the funds received."
4. HILADO VS. DAVID, 84 Phil. 569 (1949)

“There is in legal practice what called "retaining fee," the purpose of which stems from the realization
that the attorney is disabled from acting as counsel for the other side after he has given professional
advice to the opposite party, even if he should decline to perform the contemplated services on behalf of
the latter. It is to prevent undue hardship on the attorney resulting from the rigid observance of the rule
that a separate and independent fee for consultation and advice was conceived and authorized.”

5. STONE VS. BANK OF COMMERCE, 174 US 412 (1899)

“An attorney, in his capacity merely as such, has no power to make any agreement for his client before a
suit has been commenced or before he has been retained to commence one, and if, under such
circumstances, he assumes to act for his principal, it must be as agent, and his actual authority must
appear.”

6. GUERRERO VS. HERNANDO, 68 SCRA 76 (1975)

“The exhibition of the residence certificate is required whenever a document is acknowledged before a
notary. Such a requirement may enable the notary to ascertain the identity of the person appearing
before him and to unmask impostors.”

7. UY VS. GONZALES, A.C. No. 5280, March 20, 2004

“As a rule, an attorney-client relationship is said to exist when a lawyer voluntarily permits or acquiesces
with the consultation of a person, who in respect to a business or trouble of any kind, consults a lawyer
with a view of obtaining professional advice or assistance. It is not essential that the client should have
employed the attorney on any previous occasion or that any retainer should have been paid, promised or
charged for, neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake the case about
which the consultation was had, for as long as the advice and assistance of the attorney is sought and
received, in matters pertinent to his profession.”

8. RELLORAZA, ET. AL. VS. EASTERN TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHIL., INC., 309 SCRA 566
(1999)

“"Quantum meruit”, meaning 'as much as he deserved' is used as a basis for determining the lawyer's
professional fees in the absence of a contract but recoverable by him from his client. Recovery of
attorney's fees on the basis of quantum meruit is authorized when (1) there is no express contract for
payment of attorney's fees agreed upon between the lawyer and the client; (2) when although there is a
formal contract for attorney's fees, the fees stipulated are found unconscionable or unreasonable by the
court; and (3) when the contract for attorney's fee's is void due to purely formal defects of execution; (4)
when the counsel, for justifiable cause, was not able to finish the case to its conclusion; (5) when lawyer
and client disregard the contract for attorney's fees.”

9. GOVERNMENT VS. WAGNER, 54 Phil. 132 (1929)

“The most effective way by which Murphy could preserve the ownership and possession of his principal’s
property was by accepting service and by defending the rights of the absent owners in the courts. Every
act of Murphy was taken for the benefit of the Wagners. Attorney Mueller handled the case for the
defendants as ably and conscientiously as any attorney could have done.”

10. ORBIT TRANSPORTATION VS. WCC, 58 SCRA 78 (1974)

"The signature of an attorney constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading and that to
the best of his knowledge, information and belief, there is good ground to support it; and that it is not
interposed for delay" with the admonition therein that "for a willful violation of this rule an attorney may
be subjected to disciplinary action." The cooperation of litigants and their attorneys is required so that
needless clogging of the court dockets with unmeritorious cases may be avoided leaving the courts free
to devote their time and attention to meritorious and truly contentious cases. In this, the attorney plays a
major role of advising his client to refrain from seeking further appellate review and action in plainly
untenable cases.”

11. LEDESMA VS. CLIMACO, 57 SCRA 473 (1973)

"It is true that he is a court-appointed counsel. But we do say that as such counsel de oficio, he has as
high a duty to the accused as one employed and paid by defendant himself. Because, as in the case of
the latter, he must exercise his best efforts and professional ability in behalf of the person assigned to his
care. He is to render effective assistance. The accused-defendant expects of him due diligence, not mere
perfunctory representation. For, indeed a lawyer who is a vanguard in the bastion of justice is expected to
have a bigger dose of social conscience and a little less of self-interest."

12. PEOPLE VS. DAENG, 49 SCRA 221 (1973)

“We would, nevertheless, caution all courts against the frequent appointment of the same attorney as
counsel de oficio, for two basic reasons: first, it is unfair to the attorney concerned, considering the
burden of his regular practice that he should be saddled with too many de officio cases; and, second, the
compensation provided for by section 32 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court (a fixed fee of P500 in capital
offense) might be considered by some lawyers as a regular source of income, something which the Rule
does not envision. In every case, the accused stands to suffer because the overburdened counsel would
have too little time to spare for his de officio cases, and also would be inordinately eager to finish such
cases in order to collect his fees within the earliest possible time.”

13. GONZALES VS. CHAVEZ, 205 SCRA 816 (1992)

“That even when "confronted with a situation where one government office takes an adverse position
against another government agency, as in this case, the Solicitor General should not refrain from
performing his duty as the lawyer of the government. It is incumbent upon him to present to the court
what he considers would legally uphold the best interest of the government although it may run counter
to a client's position. In such an instance, the government office adversely affected by the position taken
by the Solicitor General, if it still believes in the merit of its case may appear in its own behalf through its
legal personnel or representative."

14. OPAREL VS. ABARIA, 40 SCRA 128 (1971)

“The relationship being one of confidence, there is ever present the need for the latter being adequately
and fully informed of the mode and manner in which their interest is defended. They should not be left in
the dark. They are entitled to the fullest disclosure of why certain steps are taken and why certain
matters are either included or excluded from the documents they are made to sign. It is only thus that
their faith in counsel may remain unimpaired.”
THE LAWYER’S DUTIES IN
HANDLING CLIENT’S CASE
1. SANTIAGO VS FOJAS, 248 SCRA 68 (1995)

Once he agrees to take up the cause of a client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must always
be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. This means that his client is entitled to the benefit
of any and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land and he may expect his
lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense.

2. CANTILLER VS POTENCIANO, 180 SCRA 246 (1995)

When a lawyer takes a client's cause, he thereby covenants that he will exert all effort for its prosecution
until its final conclusion. The failure to exercise due diligence or the abandonment of a client's cause
makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client had reposed on him.

3. MILLARE VS MONTERO, 246 SCRA 1 (1995)

Advocacy, within the bounds of the law, permits the attorney to use any arguable construction of the law
or rules which is favorable to his client. But the lawyer is not allowed to knowingly advance a claim or
defense that is unwarranted under existing law.

4. CHOA VS CHIONGSON, 253 SCRA 371 (1995)


While a lawyer owes absolute fidelity to the cause of his client, full devotion to his genuine interest, and
warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights, as well as the exertion of his utmost learning and
ability, he must do so only within the bounds of the law. He must give a candid and honest opinion on the
merits and probable results of his client's case with the end in view of promoting respect for the law and
legal processes, and counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just,
and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law.

5. COSMOS FOUNDRY SHOP WORKER'S UNION VS LO BU, 63 SCRA 313 (1975)

His obligation as an officer of the court, no less than the dignity of the profession, requires that he should
not act like an errand-boy at the beck and call of his client, ready and eager to do his every bidding. If he
fails to keep that admonition in mind, then he puts into serious question his good standing in the bar.

6. GAMALINDA VS ALCANTARA, 206 SCRA 468 (1992)


An attorney's duty to safeguard the client's interests commences from his retainer until the effective
release from the case or the final disposition of the whole subject matter of the litigation. During that
period, he is expected to take such reasonable steps and such ordinary care as his client's interests may
require.

7. J.P. JUAN & SONS, INC VS LIANGA INDUSTRIES, INC., 28 SCRA 807 (1997)

Time and again, this Court has stressed that "An unexplained denial of information and belief of a matter
of records, the means of information concerning which are within the control of the pleader, or are readily
accessible to him, is evasive and is insufficient to constitute an effective denial. ..." and that "the form of
denial ... adopted by the appellants, although allowed by the Rules of Court (referring to lack of sufficient
knowledge or information) must be availed of with sincerity and in good faith, — certainly neither for the
purpose of confusing the adverse party as to what allegations of the complaint are really put in issue nor
for the purpose of delay."

8. AZOR VS BELTRAN, 63 SCRA 210 (1975)


Mere assumptions cannot be the basis of any finding against any member of the bar who, as an official of
the court, is presumed to act with the utmost decorum and good faith in all his dealings.

9. VISITACION VS MANIT, 27 SCRA 523 (1969)

An attorney seeking to withdraw must make an applicaiton to the court, for the relation does not
terminate formally until there is a withdrawal of record; at least so far as the opposite party is concerned,
the relation otherwise continues until the end of the litigation.

10. DE ROY VS CA, 157 SCRA 757 (1998)

It is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the
Supreme Court particularly where issues have been clarified, consistently reiterated, and published in the
advance reports of Supreme Court decisions (G. R. s) and in such publications as the Supreme Court
Reports Annotated (SCRA) and law journals.

11. CUARESMA VS DAQUIS, 63 SCRA 1157 (1966)

Every member of the bar should realize that candor in the dealings with the Court is of the very essence
of honorable membership in the profession.

12. VDA. DE ZUBIRI VS ZUBIRI, 18 SCRA 1157 (1966)

The active participation of a lawyer in one party's affairs relating to a pending case in which the said
lawyer is the counsel for the opposing party is brazenly unethical to say the least. The Canons of Legal
Ethics very explicitly declare that "it is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests"

13. DELUAO VS CASTEEL, G.R. No. L-21906, December 4, 1968


It is the duty of the clerk of court — not of the Court — to prepare the trial calendar. But the assignment
or reassignment of cases already pending in one sala to another sala, and the setting of the date of trial
after the trial calendar has been prepared, fall within the exclusive control of the presiding judge.

14. HEIRS OF ELIAS LORILLA VS CA, 330 SCRA 429 (2000)

It is a fundamental concept in any jural system, that even at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of
courts should become final at some definite time fixed by law. Interest rei publicae ut finis sit litim.

15. AVELINO VS PALAÑA, 39 SCRA 129 (1971)

As regards respondent's failure to appear in court on the day set for the trial, We are inclined to accept his
claim that it was due to the fact that early in the morning of that date he had "a severe stomach ache,
followed by constant moving of bowel and vomiting and that as a consequence he became very weak."
But while this might be, to a certain extent, a good excuse for his non-appearance in court, it is obviously
not sufficient to explain his failure to notify his clients in due time of the date of the trial.

16. DIMAN VS ALUMBRES, 229 SCRA 459 (1971)

No party has a right to an extension of time to comply with an obligation within the period set therefor by
law; motions for extension are not granted as a matter of course; their concession lies in the sound
discretion of the Court exercised in accordance with the attendant circumstances; the movant is not
justified in assuming that the extension sought will be granted, or that it will be granted for the length of
time suggested by him. It is thus incumbent on any movant for extension to exercise due diligence to
inform himself as soon as possible of the Court's action on his motion, by time inquiry of the Clerk of
Court. Should he neglect to do so, he runs the risk of time running out on him, for which he will have
nobody but himself to blame.

17. SAULOG VS CUSTOMBUILT MANUFACTURING CORP., 26 SCRA 1 (1968)


Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 20 of the Rules of Court, both client and counsel must appear at the pre-trial.
This is mandatory. Failure of the client to appear is ground for dismissal.

We have not overlooked Section 2, Rule 20 of the Rules of Court, which says that "a party who failed to
appear at the pre-trial conference may be non-suited or considered as in default."

18. PEOPLE VS CASIMIRO, 45 SCRA 554 (1972)

Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his
right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the
person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be
waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.

19. PEOPLE VS NADERA, JR., 324 SCRA 390 (2000)

The right to counsel must be more than just the presence of a lawyer in the courtroom or the mere
propounding of standard questions and objections. The right to counsel means that the accused is amply
accorded legal assistance extended by a counsel who commits himself to the cause for the defense and
acts accordingly. The right assumes an active involvement by the lawyer in the proceedings, particularly
at the trial of the case, his bearing constantly in mind of the basic rights of the accused, his being well-
versed on the case and his knowing the fundamental procedures, essential laws and existing
jurisprudence. The right of an accused to counsel finds substance in the performance by the lawyer of his
sworn duty of fidelity to his client. Tersely put, it means an efficient and truly decisive legal assistance and
not a simple perfunctory representation.

20. TOPACIO NUENO VS SANTOS, 58 Phil. 557 (1933)

The background of the administrative investigation showing the respondent's connection with prohibited
games, under circumstances of the case, can only be taken into consideration in so far as it relates to the
precise charge laid against him. There was a clear violation of the lawyer's oath that he would do no
falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court.
LAWYER’S FIDUCIARY OBLIGATIONS

1. Judge ADORACION G. ANGELES, vs. Atty. THOMAS C. UY JR., 330 SCRAb617 (2000)

The relationship between a lawyer and a client is highly fiduciary; it requires a high degree of fidelity and
good faith. It is designed "to remove all such temptation and to prevent everything of that kind from
being done for the protection of the client.

2. IMELDA A. NAKPIL vs. ATTY. CARLOS J. VALDES, 186 SCRA 758 (1998)

As a rule, a lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the business transaction must be
characterized with utmost honesty and good faith
The measure of good faith which an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings with his client is a
much higher standard than is required in business dealings where the parties trade at arm’s length.
Business transactions between an attorney and his client are disfavored and discouraged by the policy of
the law. Hence, courts carefully watch these transactions to assure that no advantage is taken by a
lawyer over his client. This rule is founded on public policy for, by virtue of his office, an attorney is in an
easy position to take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client. Thus, no presumption of
innocence or improbability of wrongdoing is considered in an attorneys favor.
3. GERVACIO L. LIWAG v. ATTY. GILBERTO NERI, 107 Phil. 852 (1960)

Any amount received by the lawyer from the client shall be held in trust by the former. Such amount shall
be applied specifically for the purpose it was given to the lawyer, and the latter shall account for it. Failure
to apply the amount to its rightful purpose shall give rise to the presumption that the lawyer
misappropriated the amount given by the client.
4. VICENTE DIAZ VS. RUPERTO KAPUNAN, 45 Phil. 949 (1932)

Public policy discountenances combinations or agreements on the part of bidders at execution sales, the
objects and effects of which are to stifle competition.

The courts will consider an agreement between a judgment creditor and one claiming an interest in the
thing about to be sold under an execution, that neither shall bid against the other, as void, unless all
parties concerned know of the arrangement and consent thereto.

5. PATERNO CANLAS V. COURT OF APPEALS & FRANCISCO HERRERA, 164 SCRA 160 (1988)
Justice judges prosecuting attorneys clerks of superior and inferior courts, and other officers and
employees connected with the administration of justice, the property and rights in litigation or levied
upon an execution before the court within whose jurisdiction or territory they exercise their respective
functions; this prohibition includes the act of acquiring by assignment and shall apply to lawyers, with
respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part
by virtue of their profession.

6. ANDREA BALCE CELAJE vs. ATTY SANTIAGO SORIAN, 22 SCRA 281 (1999)
The attorney-client relationship is highly fiduciary in nature. As such, it requires utmost good faith, loyalty,
fidelity and disinterestedness on the part of the lawyer.
The Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), particularly Canon 16 thereof, mandates that a lawyer shall
hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession. He shall account
for all money or property collected or received from his client and shall deliver the funds and property of
his client when due or upon demand.

Failure to return the money to complainant upon demand gave rise to the presumption that he
misappropriated it for his own use to the prejudice of, and in violation of the trust reposed in him by his
client. It is a gross violation of general morality and of professional ethics and impairs public confidence in
the legal profession which deserves punishment.

7. ATTY. PRUDENCIO S. PENTICOSTES, vs. PROSECUTOR DIOSDADO S. IBAEZ, 304 SCRA 281
(1999)

Public office should make a lawyer more sensitive to his professional obligations because a lawyer’s
disreputable conduct is more likely to be magnified in the publics eye. Want of moral integrity is to be
more severely condemned in a lawyer who holds a responsible public office.

8. FERMINA LEGASPI DAROY, LYDIA LEGASPI and AGRIPINO LEGASPI vs. ATTORNEY RAMON
CHAVES LEGASPI 65 SCRA 304 (1975)
A lawyer, under his oath, pledges himself not to delay any man for money or malice and is bound to
conduct himself with all good fidelity to his clients. He is obligated to report promptly the money of his
clients that has come into his possession. He should not commingle it with his private property or use it
for his personal purposes without his client's consent. He should maintain a reputation for honesty and
fidelity to private trust.

9. PLARIDEL SOTTO VS SAMSON (SANSON)

Justices, judges, members of the department of public prosecution, clerks of superior and inferior courts
and other officers of such courts, the property and rights on litigation before the court within whose
jurisdiction or territory they perform their respective duties. This prohibition shall include the acquisition
of such property by assignment.

The prohibition shall include lawyers and solicitors with respect to any property rights involved in any
litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession and office. Statute prohibiting such
sales are designed to curtail any undue influence of the lawyer upon his client on account of their
confidential association.

10. Laig v. Court of Appeals

Those who fail to observe honesty and good faith in the performance of their duties as public officer and
as a member of the Bar or for wilfully or negligently causing damage to another or for wilfully causing loss
or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs and/or public policy shall be
held civilly liable.
11. GO BELTRAN VS FERNANDEZ

Lawyer cannot acquire for himself a property which constitutes the object of the series of litigation
between the parties and he represents one of the parties.
Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises escape its notice, and in regard to which it might go
wrong.
I. Introduction 7. Bench – means the judiciary.
A. Definition of Terms 8. Bar – refers to the legal profession.
1. Lawyer – a member of the Philippine bar; counsel or
attorney-at-law; class of persons who by license are
officers of the court and who are empowered to appear, B. Power to regulate Practice of Law
prosecute and defend and on whom peculiar duties,
responsibilities and liabilities are devolved b law as - The Constitution vests this power of control and regulation in the
consequence. (Cui v. Cui) SC.

2. Practice of Law – see Ulep v. Legal Clinic - Even in the absence of such constitutional provision, the right to
define and regulate the practice of naturally and logically belongs
3. Legal Ethics – is the embodiment of al principles of to the judiciary represented by the high tribunal since the practice
morality and refinement that should govern the conduct of law is inseparably connected with the exercise of its judicial
of every member of the bar; living spirit of the profession, power in the administration of justice.
which limits yet uplifts it as a livelihood; branch of moral
science which treats of the duties which an attorney owes - Power of the SC to regulate the practice of law includes:
to the court, to his client, to his colleagues in the
1. Authority to define the practice of law;
profession and to the public.
2. Prescribe the qualifications of a candidate to and the subjects of
4. Counsel de Parte – is an attorney retained by a party
the bar examination;
litigant, usually for a fee, to prosecute or defend his court
in court. Implies freedom of choice either on the part of 3. Decide who will be admitted to practice
the litigant to continue or terminate the retainer at any
time. 4. Discipline, suspend, or disbar any unfit and unworthy member of
the bar;
5. Counsel de oficio – is an attorney appointed by the
court to defend an indigent defendant in a criminal action 5. Reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely suspended attorney;
or to represent a destitute party in a case.
6. Ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar;
6. Amicus Curiae – is an experienced and impartial
7. Punish for contempt any person for unauthorized practice of law;
attorney invited by the court to appear and help in the
disposition of issues submitted to it. It implies the friendly 8. In general, exercise overall supervision of the legal profession.
intervention of counsel to call the attention of the court to
some matters of law or acts which might otherwise
C. Nature of Office of Attorney - He can speak freely and courageously in the course of judicial
proceedings without the risk of incurring a criminal prosecution or
- A lawyer occupies what may be called a quasi-judicial office an action for damages.
because he is in fact an officer of the court, whose close and
intimate relationship with the bench is best described by hat - He has the right to protest, in a respectful language, any
phrase. unwarranted treatment of a witness or any unjustified delay in the
administration of justice.
- Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions, one
of the most important of which is mindfulness that a lawyer is an - He is allowed great latitude of pertinent comment in the
officer of the court. furtherance of the causes he upholds.

- He is primarily an officer of the court, a minister in the temple of - The makes his passing the bar examination equivalent to a first-
justice, whose high vocation is to correctly inform the court upon grade civil service eligibility for any position in the classified service
the law and the facts of a case and to assist it in administering in the government the duties of which require knowledge of law, or
impartial justice and arriving at a correct conclusion. a second grade civil service eligibility for any other government
position which does not prescribe proficiency in law as a
- A lawyer is an oath-bound servant of society whose conduct is qualification.
clearly circumscribed by inflexible norms of law and ethics, and
whose primary duty is the advancement of the quest of truth and
justice, for which he has sworn to be a fearless crusader.
E. Duties of Office

- It is his duty to maintain allegiance to the RP and to support the


Constitution and obey the law;

- To observe and maintain the respect due the courts of justice and
judicial officers;

- To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as he


D. Privileges of Attorney believes to be honestly debatable under the law;
- A lawyer has the privilege and right to practice law during good - To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided in
behaviour before any judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative him, such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and
tribunal. never lead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false
- An attorney enjoys the presumption of regularity in the discharge of statement of fact or law.
his duty. - He is to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to
himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no
compensation in connection with his client’s business except from
him or with his knowledge and approval.
- To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact G. When Appearance by counsel not obligatory
prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless
required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged.

- Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of - In Municipal trial court, a party may conduct his litigation in person
an action or proceeding, or delay any man’s cause, for any corrupt or with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that
motive or interest. purpose or with the aid of an attorney.

- Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause - In the Regional Trial Court and Appellate Courts, a party in a civil
of the defenseless or the oppressed suit may either conduct his litigation personally or by attorney
unless the party is a juridical person, in which case it may appear
- In the defense of a person accused of a crime, by all fair and only by attorney.
honourable means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt
of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to - In administrative proceedings, the right to counsel is not
the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due indispensable to due process.
process of law. - The rule that appearance by counsel is not obligatory applies only
in civil and administrative cases. The rule does not apply in criminal
cases involving grave and less grave offenses, where an accused
F. Practice of Law, A profession must be represented by counsel de parte or counsel de oficio and in
which his right to counsel is not waivable.
- The practice of law is a profession, a form of public trust, and the
performance of which is entrusted only to those who are qualified
and who possess good moral character.
CASES:
- Both lawyers and laymen must recognize and realize that the legal
profession is a profession and not a trade, and that the basic ideal
of that profession is to render public service and secure justice for Alawi v. Aluya:
those who seek its aid.

- The law as profession proceeds from basic premise that


membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions and As regards Alauya’s use of the title of “Attorney”, this Court
carries with it the responsibility to live up to its exacting standards has already had occasion to declare that persons who pass the
and honoured traditions. Shari’a Bar are not full-fledged members of the Philippine Bar,
hence may only practice law before Shari’s courts. While one who
- The Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly the ethical rule has been admitted to the Shari’a Bar, and one who has been
against advertising or solicitation of professional employment, rests admitted to the Philippine Bar, may both be considered
on the fundamental postulate that practice of law is a profession. “counsellors”, in the sense that they give counsel or advice in a
professional capacity, only the latter is an “attorney.” The title of
“attorney” is reserved to those who, having obtained the necessary the bar from 1946 to 1952 are denied, and all the candidates who
degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar in the examination of 1953 obtained a GEN Ave. of 71.5% w/o
Examinations, have been admitted to the Integrated Bar of the getting a grade of below 50% in any subject are considered as
Philippines and remain members thereof in good standing; and it is having passed whether they have filed petitions for admissions or
they only who are authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction. not.)

In Re Almacen: Ulep v. Legal Clinic, Inc.:

Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which
the court and as citizen, to criticize in properly respectful terms and requires the application of law, legal procedures, knowledge,
through legitimate channels the acts of courts and judges. training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to
perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession.
Generally, to practice of law is to give advice or render any kind of
As a citizen and as officer of the court, a lawyer is expected service that involves legal knowledge or skill. The practice of law is
not only to exercise the right, but also to consider it is duty to avail not limited to the conduct of cases in court. It includes legal advice
of such right. No law may abridge this right. Nor is he and counsel, and the preparation of legal instruments and contracts
“professionally answerable for a scrutiny into the official conduct of by which legal rights are secured, although such matter may or
the judges, which would not expose him to legal animadversion as may not be pending in a court.
a citizen. Atty. Almacen is suspended from the practice of law until
further orders.

In Re Cunanan:
Cayetano v. Monsod:

That the portion of art. 1 of R.A. 972 referring to the


examinations of 1946 to 1952 and all of art. 2 of the said law are Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which
unconstitutional and therefore void and w/o force and effect. requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training
and experience. “to engage in the practice of law is to perform
those acts which are characteristics of the profession”. Generally,
The part of ART 1 that refers to the examinations to practice of law is to give notice or render any kind of service
subsequent to the approval of the law (1953- 1955) is valid and requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill. Xxx
shall continue in force. (those petitions by the candidates who failed interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term
“practice of law”, particularly the modern concept of law practice,
and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by
the framers of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod’s past work Freedom of speech: Integration does not make a lawyer a
experience as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer- member of any group of which he is not already a member. He
entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a became a member of the Bar when he passed the Bar
lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor-verily more than examinations. All that integration actually does is to provide an
satisfy the constitutional requirement- that he has been engaged in official national organization for the well-defined but unorganized
the practice of law for at least ten years. and incohesive group of which every lawyer is already a member.

Valencia v. Cabanting: Regulatory Fee: A membership fee in the Integrated Bar is


an exaction for regulation, while the purpose of a tax is revenue. If
the Court has inherent power to regulate the Bar, it follows that as
an incident to regulation, it may impose a membership fee for that
Membership in the Bar is a privilege burdened with purpose.
conditions. By far, the most important of them is mindfulness that a
lawyer is an officer of the court. This Court may suspend or disbar a
lawyer whose acts show his unfitness to continue as a member of
the Bar. Disbarment, therefore, is not meant as punishment Freedom of Speech: Since a State may constitutionally
depriving him of a source of livelihood but is rather intended to condition the right to practice law upon membership in the
protect the administration of justice by requiring that those who Integrated Bar, it is difficult to understand why it should become
exercise this function should be competent, honourable and reliable unconstitutional for the Bar to use the member’s dues to fulfil the
in order that courts and the public may rightly repose confidence in very purposes for which it was established.
them, Atty. Antiniw failed to live up to the high standards of the law
profession.

In Re Integration of the Bar:

The Court is of the view that it may integrate the


Philippine Bar in the exercise of its power, under Article VIII, Sec. 13
of the Constitution, “to promulgate rules concerning pleading,
practice, and procedure in all courts and the admission to the
practice of law.”