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DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW

Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2018

LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES


Animo Notes Pre-Week Reviewer
Chel Sy
LCBO Chairperson Tet Valeza Gel Yatcco
Academic Affairs Legal Ethics and Practical
Nico Garcia Chairperson Exercises Chairperson
LCBO Vice Chair for
Internals Azanith Payad Donna Santy
Rod Zantua Legal Ethics and Practical
Steph Griar Academic Affairs Deputy Exercises Chairperson
LCBO Vice Chair for Chairpersons
Externals Ian Aquino
RJ Cal
Pat Costales Dane Chua
LCBO Executive Secretary Nolan Domingo
Saibert Santos
Ces Naga Legal Ethics and Practical
LCBO Executive Treasurer Exercises Team Membe
LEGAL ETHICS

Q: Define Practice of Law.


A: The practice of law is any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience. It 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. (Cayetano v. Monsod, 1991)

Q: Explain the nature of the practice of law.


A: It is so delicately affected with public interest that it is both the power and duty of the state to control
and regulate it in order to promote and protect the public welfare. (In Re: Dacanay, 2007)

Q: Is the practice of law a privilege or a right?


A: The practice of law is a privilege bestowed only to those who are morally fit. Membership in the legal
profession is a privilege demanding a high degree of good moral character, not only as condition
precedent to admission, but also as a continuing requirement for the practice of law (Wilkie v. Limos,
2008).

Q: What are some of the characteristics of the legal profession which distinguish it from business?
A: The primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from business are:
(1) Relation, as an “officer of the court”, to the administration of justice involving thorough
sincerity, integrity and reliability;
(2) Duty of public service, of which the emolument is a byproduct, and in which one may attain the
highest eminence without making much money;
(3) Relation to clients in the highest degree fiduciary;
(4) Relation to the other members of the bar characterized by candor, fairness and unwillingness to
resort to current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice, or dealing
directly with their clients. (In Re: Sycip Salazar Feliciano Hernandez v. Castillo, 1979).

Q: What are the qualifications for admission to the bar?


A: Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be:
(1) Citizen of the Philippines;
(2) Resident of the Philippines;
(3) At least 21 years of age;
(4) Of good moral character;
(5) Produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence:
a. Of good moral character;
a. That no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in
any court in the Philippines.

Q: What are the continuing requirements for the practice of law?


A: The following are the continuing requirements for the practice of law:
(1) Good and Moral Standing
(2) Membership in the IBP
(3) Payment of IBP dues
(4) Payment of professional tax
(5) Compliance with MCLE
(6) Posession of good moral character
(7) Citizenship

Q: Explain the Law Student Practice Rule.

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Animo Notes
A: A law student who has successfully completed the 3rd year of the regular 4-year prescribed law
curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school’s clinical legal education program approved by the
Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before
any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the
law school (Rule 138-A, Sec. 2, Rules of Court).

Q: Are non-lawyers allowed to appear and litigate in court?


A: Yes. Rule 138-A, Section 34, Rules of Court provide that appearance by non-lawyers before the inferior
courts are allowed, irrespective of whether or not he is a law student.
(1) In cases before the MTC, a party to the litigation may conduct his own case or litigation in
person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose; (Sec. 34, Rule 138)
(2) Before any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally but if he able to get another
person to aid him, that person must be an authorized member of the Bar; (Ibid.)
(3) In criminal cases before the MTC in a locality where a duly licensed member of the Bar is not
available, the judge may appoint a non-lawyer who is a:
a. Resident of the province; and
b. Of good repute for probity and ability to aid the accused in his defense; (Sec. 6, Rule 117)
(4) Any official or other person appointed or designated to appear for the Government of the
Philippines in accordance with law. Such person shall have all the rights of a duly authorized
member of the bar to appear in any case in which said government has an interest direct or
indirect. (Sec. 33, Rule 138)
(5) A party may also appear on his own behalf, his organization or members before administrative
bodies as allowed in Article 222 of the Labor Code.
(6) In cadastral proceedings, a non-lawyer may represent a claimant before the Cadastral Court (Sec.
9, Act 2259).

Q: Which laws allow representation of another by non-lawyers before administrative tribunals?


A: The following laws allow representation of non-lawyers in administrative bodies:
(1) The 2011 NLRC Rule of Procedure, promulgated pursuant to Article 218(a), Labor Code allows
non-lawyers, who are not necessarily a party to the case, to represent a union or members
thereof, and non-lawyer owners of establishments, to appear before it;
(2) Under Section 9, Act 2259, a claimant may appear by himself, or by some person in his behalf,
before a cadastral court.

Q: Are the laws allowing non-lawyers to represent others before administrative bodies limited?
A: In order that these laws will not infringe upon the power of the Supreme Court to regulate the practice
of law, the following limitations must be observed:
(1) The non-lawyer should confine his work to non-adversary contentions and should not undertake
purely legal work;
(2) The services should not be habitual;
(3) Attorney’s fees should not be charged.

Q: Cite the instances where lawyers are prohibited from appearing as counsels.
A: Lawyers are prohibited from appearing as counsel in the following:
(1) In small claims cases, no attorney shall appear in behalf of or represent a party at the hearing,
unless the attorney is the plaintiff or defendant. If the court determines that a party cannot
properly present his/her claim or defense and needs assistance, the court may, in its discretion,
allow another individual who is not an attorney to assist that party upon the latter's consent (Sec.
17, Rules of Procedure in Small Claims Cases).
(2) In all Katarungang Pambarangay proceedings, the parties must appear in person without the
assistance of the counsel or representative, except for minors and incompetents who may be
assisted by their next of kin who are not lawyers (Sec 415, Local Government Code).

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Animo Notes
Q: What is the effect of appearing as an attorney without authority?
A: Corruptly or willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so is a
ground for disbarment or suspension (Rule 138, Sec. 27, Rules of Court).

Q: Can persons not lawyers be sanctioned for appearing without authority?


A: Yes. For persons who are not lawyers, the following may be availed of:
(1) Petition for injunction;
(2) Declaratory relief;
(3) Contempt of court;
(4) Disqualification;
(5) Criminal complaint for estafa against the person who falsely represented himself as a lawyer to
the damage of another.

Q: Who are the public officials absolutely prohibited from the practice of law?
A: Prohibition can be absolute or relative. The following are public officials who absolutely cannot
practice law in the Philippines:
(1) Judges and other officials or employees of the Supreme Court
(2) Officials and employees of the Office of the Solicitor General
(3) Government Prosecutors
(4) President, Vice-President. Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants
(5) Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commission
(6) Ombudsman and his deputies
(7) Governors, city and municipal mayors
(8) Those who, by special law, are prohibited from engaging in the practice of their legal profession

Q: Who are relatively prohibited from the practice of law?


A: The following public officials are relatively prohibited from the practice of law:
(1) No senator or member of the House of Representatives may personally appear as counsel before
any court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative
bodies (Art . VI, Sec. 14, 1987 Constitution).
(2) Sanggunian members may practice law except during session hours and provided they shall not:
a. Appear as counsel before any court in any civil case wherein a local government unit or
any office, agency, or instrumentality of the government is the adverse party;
b. Appear as counsel in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the national or
local government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office;
c. Collect any fee for their appearance in administrative proceedings involving the local
government unit of which he is an official; and
d. Use property and personnel of the government except when the Sanggunian member
concerned is defending the interest of the government (RA 7160, Sec. 90(b)).

Q: Although public officials are prohibited either relatively or absolutely, may lawyers representing
the Government appear before in court?
A: Yes. Any person appointed to appear for the Government of the Philippines shall be allowed to appear
in court, subject to pertinent laws.

Q: State the Lawyer’s Oath.


A: I _________ of __________ do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines; I will support the Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly
constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not
wittingly nor willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or give aid nor consent to
the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 5


Animo Notes
best of my knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I
impose upon myself this voluntary obligations without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So
help me God.

Q: Atty. N was suspended by the IBP because of his failure to pay rentals to his landlords, the Spouses
E. During his suspension, he was subsequently appointed as Assistant Prosecutor of Quezon City, and
he was appearing before court despite the suspension. Atty. N claims that failure for him to do his job
would be a violation of his duties as a public official. Is his claim tenable?
A: No. When the Court orders a lawyer suspended from the practice of law, he must desist from
performing all functions requiring the application of legal knowledge within the period of suspension.
This includes desisting from holding a position in government requiring the authority to practice law.
The government office of Assistant City Prosecutor requires its holder to be authorized to practice law.
Hence, respondent's continuous discharge of his functions as such constitutes practice of law and, thus, a
clear defiance of the Court's order of suspension against him. (Sps. Eustaquio v. Atty. Navales, 2015)

Q: What are the four-fold duties of a lawyer?


A: Lawyer have duties:
(1) To society
(2) To the legal profession
(3) To the court
(4) To the client

Q: Does the Code of Professional Responsibility apply to lawyers in Government Service?


A: Yes. These Canons shall apply to Lawyers in Government Service in the discharge of their official
tasks. Rule 6.01 provides that the primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to
convict but to see that justice is done (Cuenca v. Court of Appeals and People, 1995).

Q: What is demanded of a lawyer under Canon 1?


A: A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and
legal process.

Q: Is good moral character a continuing requirement?


A: Yes. Good moral character is a requirement which is not dispensed with upon admission to
membership of the bar. This qualification is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal
profession, but its continued possession is essential to maintain one's good standing in the profession; it is
a continuing requirement to the practice of law and therefore admission to the bar does not preclude a
subsequent judicial inquiry, upon proper complaint, into any question concerning his mental or moral
fitness before he became a lawyer (Zaguirre v. Castillo, 2003).

Q: Define immorality.
A: Immorality connotes conduct that shows indifference to the moral norms of society For such conduct
to warrant disciplinary action, the same must be grossly immoral, must be so corrupt and false as to
constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree (Ui v. Bonifacio, 2000).
An act constituting immoral or deceitful conduct is one that involves moral turpitude.

Q: Cite examples of grossly immoral acts.


A: The following can be considered as grossly immoral acts:
(1) Wanton disregard for the sanctity of marriage as shown when a married lawyer engages in
sexual congress with a married woman who is not his wife (Guevarra v. Eala, 2007).
(2) Rape of a neighbour’s wife, which constitutes serious moral depravity, even if his guilt was not
proved beyond reasonable doubt in the criminal prosecution for rape (Calub v. Suller, 2000).

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Animo Notes
Q: What are examples of crimes involving moral turpitude?
A: Estafa, bribery, murder, seduction, abduction, smuggling, falsification of public documents, forgery,
bigamy, concubinage, murder, illicit sexual relations with a fellow worker, perjury and violation of the
Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.

Q: Atty. A married B, a Filipina. In the meantime, Atty. A was dating C, his Secretary in his law office.
He told C that he will marry her as soon as he secures his divorce decree from the Dominican
Republic. Eventually he got the foreign divorce, and married B in the United States. C, however,
found out that Atty. A was dating D and also promised to marry her once he gets a divorce. B now files
for Atty. A’s disbarment. Will the case prosper?
A: Yes. Contracting a marriage during the subsistence of a previous one amounts to a grossly immoral
conduct. Atty. A knew that the divorce decree he obtained from the court in the Dominican Republic was
not recognized in our jurisdiction as he and B were both Filipino citizens at that time. He knew that he
was still validly married to B; that he cannot marry anew unless his previous marriage be properly
declared a nullity. Otherwise, his subsequent marriage would be void. This notwithstanding, he still
married C. The foregoing circumstances seriously taint Atty. A’s sense of social propriety and moral
values. It is a blatant and purposeful disregard of our laws on marriage (Perez v. Atty. Catindig, 2015).

Q: Atty. X borrowed 100,000 from Y for the funding of the reconstitution of the title of his land. They
had a written agreement that after such reconstitution, the title would serve as security for the loan
and that he would pay an interest of 50,000. However, Atty. X failed to fulfill his obligations. Legal
demands were made to no avail. Y alleged that Atty. X is guilty of violating Rule 1.01. Is this correct?
A: Yes. Rule 1.01 provides that a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.

In this case, Y could not have been defrauded without the representations of Atty. X. Atty. X knew that
his representations were false since the filing fee for a petition for reconstitution in 2001 was only Php
3,145, and other expenses including publication would not cost more than Php20,000. It is clear that he
employed deceit in convincing Y to part with his hard-earned money and the latter could not have been
easily swayed to lend money were it not for his misrepresentations and failed promises as a member of
the bar.

A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. The trust and
confidence necessarily reposed by clients requires in the attorney a high standard and appreciation of his
duty to his clients, his profession, the courts and the public. The bar must maintain a high standard of
legal proficiency as well as honesty and fair dealing (Sps. Tejada v Atty. Palana, 2007).

Q: What is the purpose on why a lawyer should have continuing good moral character?
A: To protect the public; to protect the public’s image of the lawyer; to protect prospective clients; and to
protect the lawyer from himself (Dantes v. Dantes, 2004).

Q: How should a lawyer make his legal services available?


A: A lawyer shall make his legal services available in an efficient and convenient manner compatible with
the independence, integrity and effectiveness of the profession. (Canon 2, Code of Professional
Responsibility)

Q: What is the basis behind the rule that a lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of
the defenseless or the oppressed?
A: Article III, Sec. 11 of the 1987 Constitution provides that free access to the courts and quasi-judicial
bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.

Q: May a lawyer advertise his services?

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Animo Notes
A: No. The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer's advertisement of his talents. A lawyer
cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession, advertise his talents or skill as in a manner similar
to a merchant advertising his goods. The prescription against advertising of legal services or solicitation
of legal business rests on the fundamental postulate that the practice of law is a profession.

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 (Ulep v. The Legal Clinic,
1993).

Q: What are the allowable or permissible forms of advertising by a lawyer?


A: The allowable forms of advertising are such:
(1) Publication in a reputable law list of brief biographical and honest informative data;
(2) Use of an ordinary professional card;
(3) Announcements of specialization and availability of service in a legal journal for lawyers;
(4) Seeking of appointment to a public office requiring lawyers;
(5) Advertising to seek full-time position as counsel for a corporation;
(6) Offering free legal service to indigents through radio broadcasts or printed matter;
(7) Announcement of opening of law firm, changes of personnel, firm name or office address;
(8) Listings in a telephone directory.

Q: May a law firm continue to use the name of a deceased partner?


A: Yes. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm
indicates in all its communications that said partner is deceased. (Rule 3.02, Canon 3, Code of Professional
Responsibility)

Q: If one of the partners in a firm accepts a public office, what are the steps to be taken?
A: He shall withdraw from the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law
allows him to practice law concurrently. The purpose of the rule is to prevent the law firm from using his
name to attract legal business and to avoid suspicion of undue influence.

Q: Does a lawyer have the duty to participate in the improvements of the legal system?
A: Yes. A lawyer shall participate in the development of the legal system by initiating or supporting
efforts in law reform and in the improvement of the administration of justice (Canon 4, Code of Professional
Responsibility).

Q: What is the three-fold obligation of a lawyer?


A: Under Canon 5, the following are the obligations of a lawyer to elevate the standards of the legal
profession:
(1) He owes it to himself to continue improving his knowledge of the laws;
(2) He owes it to his profession to take an active interest in the maintenance of high standards of
legal education;
(3) He owes it to the lay public to make the law a part of their social consciousness.

Q: What is the duty of the lawyer to the legal profession?


A: A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and support the
activities of the Integrated Bar (Canon 7, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: Is the automatic and compelled membership to the IBP violative of the freedom to associate?
A: No. In Re: Edillon (1978), the Supreme Court held that integration does not make a lawyer a member of
any group of which he is not already a member. A lawyer becomes a member of the bar when he passes
the bar examinations. All that integration actually does is to provide an official national organization for
the well-defined but unorganized and non-cohesive group of which every lawyer is already a member.

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 8


Animo Notes
Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. The only compulsion to which he is
subjected is the payment of annual dues.

Q: Is the payment of membership dues in the IBP mandatory?


A: Yes. Every member of the IBP shall pay such annual dues as the Board of Governors shall determine
with the approval of the Supreme Court. A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent of the collection from
each Chapter shall be set aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the Chapter and the
compulsory heirs of deceased members thereof (Rule 139-A, Sec. 9, Rules of Court).

Q: What is the rationale for the imposition of compulsory annual fees?


A: For the Court to prescribe dues to be paid by the members does not mean that the Court levies a tax. A
membership fee in the IBP 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 purpose. It would not be possible to push through an Integrated Bar program
without means to defray the concomitant expenses. The doctrine of implied powers necessarily includes
the power to impose such an exaction (In the matter of the IBP, 1973).

Q: What is the effect of default in the payment of annual dues?


A: If there is default for six months, it shall warrant suspension of membership in the IBP. If the default is
for one year, it shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the roll of
attorneys (Rule 139-A, Sec. 10, Rules of Court).

Q: Is an applicant’s declaration in his application for admission to the bar examinations that he was
“single” when, in fact, he was married a violation of the duty to uphold the integrity and honesty of
the profession?
A: Yes. Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer shall at all times
uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and support the activities of the Integrated Bar.
Thus, he shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a material fact in
connection with his application for admission to the bar. (Zaguirre v. Castillo, 2003)

Q: Atty. A passed the 1979 bar examinations and took the Attorney’s Oath on 7 May 1980. He was
scheduled to sign the Roll of Attorneys on 13 May 1980, but he failed to do so, allegedly because he
had misplaced the Notice to Sign the Roll of Attorneys given by the Bar Office when he went home to
his province for a vacation. He filed before the SC asking permission to Sign the Roll only 32 years
after. Should his petition be granted? Can he be suspended?
A: Yes. If Atty. A was not allowed to sign in the Roll of Attorneys, it would be akin to imposing upon him
the ultimate penalty of disbarment, a penalty that reserved for the most serious ethical transgressions of
members of the Bar. However, Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that, “A lawyer
shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice of law.” Previous violations of Canon 9
have warranted the penalty of suspension from the practice of law. As Medado is not yet a full-fledged
lawyer, the Court cannot suspend him from the practice of law.

However, the Court see it fit to impose upon him a penalty akin to suspension by allowing him to sign in
the Roll of Attorneys one (1) year after receipt of the Resolution (In re: Michael A. Medado, 2013).

Q: X passed the Bar Examinations, and took her oath. She, however, prior to signing the Roll of
Attorneys, appeared as counsel in an election case. Was her appearance an unauthorized practice of
law?
A: Yes. It is the signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally makes one a full-fledged lawyer. The fact that
respondent passed the bar examinations is immaterial. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 9


Animo Notes
become an attorney-at-law. Respondent should know that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer
still had to be performed, namely: his lawyer’s oath to be administered by this Court and his signature in
the Roll of Attorneys (Aguirre v. Rana, 2003)

Q: How should a lawyer act towards his opposing counsel?


A: A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his professional colleagues,
and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel (Canon 8, Code of Professional Responsibility). He
shall not, in his professional dealings, use language, which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper
(Canon 8, Rule 8.01, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: Cite examples of improper language towards professional colleagues.


A: The following are actions that constitute improper language:
(1) Behaving without due regard for the trial court and the opposing counsel and threatening the
court that he would file a petition for certiorari (Bugaring v. Espanol, 2001);
(2) Filing of a civil case against the opposing counsel without justification but only to gain leverage
in the pending case (Reyes v. Chiong, 2003);
(3) Calling an adverse counsel as "hobo" or using the phrase ay que hobo in reference to the manner
of offering evidence (Castillo v. Padilla, 1984).

Q: What is prohibited under Canon 9?


A: Canon 9 prohibits lawyers from:
(1) Unauthorized practice of law;
(2) Assisting in the unauthorized practice of law.

Q: What are examples of an illegal practice of law?


A: The following are instances that constitute an unauthorized practice of law:
(1) Appearing as counsel even before taking lawyer's oath (Aguirre v. Rana, 2003);
(2) Using the title "Attorney" in his name even though he is a Shari'a lawyer. Only those who have
been admitted to the Philippine Bar may use the tide "Attorney" (Alain v. Alauya, 1997).

Q: What tasks may be delegated to non-lawyers?


A: A lawyer may delegate the examination of case law, finding of witnesses, examination of court
records, and delivery of papers to non-lawyers. What is prohibited by Canon 9, Rule 9.01 is the
delegation to an unauthorized person of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of
the bar.

Q: May lawyers divide or share fees for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law?
A: As a general rule, no. Canon 9 likewise prohibits lawyers from dividing or sharing fees for legal
services with persons not licensed to practice law, except in the following instances:
(1) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that, upon the latter's death,
money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to persons specified in the
agreement;
(2) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or
(3) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan even if the plan
is based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing agreement.

Q: What is the duty of the lawyer to the courts?


A: A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court (Canon 10, Code of Professional
Responsibility).

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 10


Animo Notes
Q: Describe the relationship between the lawyer and the courts.
A: A lawyer is an officer of the Courts. As such a lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court
(Canon 10, Code of Professional Responsibility). A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the
courts and to judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others (Canon 11, Code of Professional
Responsibility). A lawyer shall exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice. (Canon 12, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: Whether or not a lawyer-senator who called the Supreme Court “idiots” in a privilege speech failed
to observe the respect due to the Court?
A: Yes. In Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago (2009), the Supreme Court held that the lady senator has undoubtedly
crossed the limits of decency and good professional conduct. It is at once apparent that her statements in
question were intemperate and highly improper in substance. No lawyer who has taken an oath to
maintain the respect due to the courts should be allowed to erode the people’s faith in the judiciary. In
this case, the lady senator clearly violated Canon 8, Rule 8.01 and Canon 11 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which respectively provide:

Canon 8, Rule 8.01. A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive,
offensive or otherwise improper.

Canon 11. A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to the judicial officers and
should insist on similar conduct by others.

Q: May a lawyer unduly delay a case or go around the rules of procedure for the purpose of advancing
a client’s cause?
A: No. While lawyers owe their entire devotion to the interest of the client and zeal in the defense of their
client's right, they are also officers of the court, bound to exert every effort to assist in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice. They should not misuse the rules of procedure to defeat the ends of
justice or unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court processes. The facts
and the law should advise them that a case such as this should not be permitted to be filed to merely
clutter the already congested judicial dockets. They do not advance the cause of law or their clients by
commencing litigations that for sheer lack of merit do not deserve the attention of the courts (Eternal
Gardens Memorial Park Corp. v. CA, 1998).

Q: Define forum shopping.


A: There is forum shopping when a party repetitively avails of several judicial remedies in different
courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same transactions and the same
essential facts and circumstances, and all raising substantially the same issues either pending in or
already resolved adversely by some other court (Sotto v. Palicte, 2014).

Q: Cite instances of forum shopping.


A: The following are examples of a lawyer filing multiple actions arising from the same cause:
(1) When, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion in
another forum, (other than by appeal or certiorari) (New Pangasinan Review, Inc. v. NLRC, 1991);
(2) When he institutes two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause, on the
gamble that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition (Commissioner of Customs
v. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., 2016);
(3) Filing a second suit in a court without jurisdiction. (Villanueva v. Adre, 1989);
(4) Filing an action in court while the same cause of action is still pending in an administrative
proceeding (Earth Minerals Exploration, Inc. v. Macaraig, 1991); and
(5) When counsel omits to disclose the pendency of an appeal, in filing a certiorari case (Collado v.
Hernando, 1988).

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 11


Animo Notes
Q: What is the effect if the acts of the party or his counsel constitute willful and deliberate forum
shopping?
A: It is a ground for summary dismissal with prejudice, constitutes direct contempt and a cause for
administrative sanctions.

Q: What should be avoided under Canon 13?


A: The appearance of influence upon the courts. A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and
refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the appearance of influencing the court.
Likewise, in relation to Canon 3, a lawyer should avoid marked attention and unusual hospitality to a
Judge uncalled for by the personal relations of the parties because they subject him and the Judge to
misconceptions of motives.

Q: As a general rule, a lawyer is not obliged to act as legal counsel for any person who may wish to
become his client. What are the exceptions?
A: Yes. The following are the exceptions:
(1) A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy (Canon 14, Code of Professional Responsibility);
(2) He shall not decline to represent a person solely on account of the latter's race, sex, creed or
status of life or because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person (Canon 14, Rule
14.01, Code of Professional Responsibility);
(3) For serious and sufficient cause, such as when:
a. He is in no position to carry out the work effectively or competently;
b. He labors under a conflict of interest between him and the prospective client or between a
present client and a prospective client (Canon 14, Rule 14.03, Code of Professional
Responsibility).

Q: Does Canon 14, Rule 14.01 apply to civil cases?


A: No. It does not apply because it is the duty of an attorney to counsel or maintain such actions or
proceedings that appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable
under the law (Rule 138, Sec. 20 (c), Rules of Court). However, it applies only to criminal cases because a
lawyer cannot decline to represent an accused or respondent because of his opinion that the said person
is guilty of the charge or charges filed against him.

Q: Define counsel de officio.


A: Counsel de oficio is a counsel appointed by the Court to represent a party unable to afford a lawyer.

Q: What factors are considered in the appointment of a counsel de oficio?


A: The gravity of the offense, difficulty of the questions that may arise and experience and ability of the
appointee.

Q: Who may be appointed as counsel de officio?


A: Members of the bar in good standing and any person, resident of the province and of good repute for
probity and ability, in localities without lawyers.

Q: May a lawyer refuse to act as a counsel de oficio?


A: Yes. Although the general rule is that a lawyer shall not decline an appointment as counsel de oficio or
as amicus curiae, these are subject to the following grounds:
(1) If there are too many de oficio cases assigned to the lawyer (People v. Daeng, 1973);
(2) Conflict of interest;

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 12


Animo Notes
(3) Lawyer is not in a position to carry out the work effectively or competently;
(4) Lawyer is prohibited from practicing law by reason of his public office which prohibits
appearances in court;
(5) Lawyer is preoccupied with too many cases which will spell prejudice to the new clients (Canon
18, Rule 18.02 & 18.03, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: May a lawyer refuse to accept representation of an indigent client?


A: As a general rule, no. A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an indigent client, unless:
(1) He is in no position to carry out the work effectively or competently;
(2) He labors under a conflict of interest between him and the prospective client or between a
present client and a prospective client (Canon 14, Rule 14.03, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: What does Canon 15 demand of an attorney?


A: It demands of an attorney an undivided allegiance, a conspicuous and high degree of good faith,
disinterestedness, candor, fairness, loyalty, fidelity and absolute integrity in all his dealings and
transactions with his clients and an utter renunciation of every personal advantage conflicting in any
way, directly or indirectly, with the interest of his client (Oparel v. Abaria, 1971).

Q: What is the Confidentiality Rule?


A: Confidential communication is the information transmitted by voluntary act of disclosure between
attorney and client in confidence and by means which, so far as the client is aware, discloses the
information to no third person other than one reasonably necessary for the transmission of the
information or the accomplishment of the purpose for which it was given (Mercado v. Vitriolo, 2005). The
purpose of the rule is to protect the client from possible breach of confidence as a result of a consultation
with a lawyer.

Q: What is considered privileged communication? What are the rules governing privileged
communication?
A: Privileged communication refers to information transmitted by voluntary act of disclosure between
attorney and client in confidence and by means which so far as the client is aware discloses the
information to no third person other than one reasonably necessary for the transmission of the
information or the accomplishment of the purpose for which it was given.

Matters disclosed by a prospective client to a lawyer are protected by the rule on privileged
communication even if the prospective client does not thereafter retain the lawyer or the latter declines
the employment. It covers crimes and offenses already committed by the client.

The privilege continues to exist even after the termination of the attorney-client relationship.

Q: Does the attorney-client privilege terminate after the termination of the attorney-client
relationship?
A: No. The protection given to the client is perpetual and does not cease with the termination of the
litigation, nor is it affected by the client's ceasing to employ the attorney and retaining another, or by any
other change of relation between them. It even survives the death of the client (Bun Siong Yao v. Aurelio,
2006).

Q: Who are the persons entitled to claim the privilege?


A: The following are persons entitled to the privilege:
(1) Lawyer;
(2) Client; and
(3) Third persons who by reason of their work have acquired information about the case being
handled such as:

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 13


Animo Notes
a. Attorney’s secretary, stenographer and clerk;
b. Interpreter, messengers and agents transmitting communication; and
c. An accountant, scientist, physician, engineer who has been hired for effective
consultation (Rule 130, Sec. 24 (b), Rules of Court).

Q: What is the coverage of the attorney-client privilege?


A: It does not cover transactions that occurred beyond the lawyer’s employment with the client, but it
does cover the following:
(1) Communications which are legitimately and properly within the scope of a lawful employment
of a lawyer;
(2) Oral or written statements and actions, signs or other means of communication;
(3) Crime committed by the client in the past.

Q: What are the requisites of privilege communication?


A: The following are requisites for privilege communication:
(1) There is an attorney- client relationship or a kinf of consultancy requirement wth a prospective
client;
(2) The communication was made by the client to the lawyer in the course of the lawyer´s
professional employment;
(3) The communication must. Be intended to be confidential

Q: What are the factors to establish the existence of attorney-client privilege?


A: In Hadjula v Madianda (2007), the Supreme Court listed down the essential factors to establish the
existence of the attorney-client privilege communication:
(1) Where the legal advice of any kind is sought
(2) From a professional legal adviser in his capacity as such
(3) The communications relating to that purpose;
(4) Made in confidence;
(5) By the client;
(6) Are at his instance, permanently protected;
(7) From disclosure by himself or by the legal adviser;
(8) Except the protection he waived.

Q: When is there conflict of interest?


A: There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing
parties (Hornilla v. Salunat, 2003).

Q: What are the tests of conflict of interest?


A: The tests are:
(1) Whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent the attorney from the full discharge of his
duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or
double-dealing in the performance thereof (Gamilla, et. al. v. Marino, Jr, 2003).
(2) If the acceptance of the new retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will
injuriously affect his first client in any matter in which he represented him and also whether he
will be called upon in his new relation to use against the first client any knowledge acquired
through their connection (Frias v. Lozada, 2005)
(3) Whether or not in behlaf of one client, it is te lawyers duty to fight for an issue or claim, but it is
his duty to oppose it for the other client. In brief, if he argues for one client, this argument will be
opposed by him when he argues for the other client.
(4) Whether the lawyer will be asked to use against his former client any confidential information
acquired through their connection or previous employment. (Palm v iledan, Jr, 2009)

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 14


Animo Notes
Q: Cite examples of conflict of interest.
A: In Nakpil v. Valdes (1998), the Court suspended respondent CPA-lawyer for one year for allowing his
accounting firm to represent two creditors of the estate and, at the same time allowing his law firm to
represent two creditors of the estate.

In Pacana v. Pascual Lopez (2009), respondent’s act of constantly and actively communicating with
complainant, who, at that time, was beleaguered with demands from investors of Multitel, eventually led
to the establishment of a lawyer-client relationship. Respondent cannot shield herself from the inevitable
consequences of her actions by simply saying that the assistance she rendered to complainant was only in
the form of friendly accommodations, precisely because at the time she was giving assistance to
complainant, she was already privy to the cause of the opposing parties who had been referred to her by
the SEC.

Q: Should a lawyer dissuade or inform his client if he finds that the intended suit is devoid of merit?
A: Yes. A lawyer when advising his client shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and
probable results of the client’s case, neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case (Canon
15, Rule 15.05, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: Whether or not a lawyer who advised her client to plead compassion to the judge for their motions
to be granted is not acting in compliance with the law?
A: Yes. A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and principles of fairness (Canon
15, Rule 15.07, Code of Professional Responsibility). In Areola v. Mendoza (2014), the Supreme Court held that
any means, not honorable fair and honest resorted to by the lawyer, even in the pursuit of the client’s
cause, is unethical and condemnable.

Q: Is the exercise of a dual profession prohibited?


A: No. Exercise of dual profession is not prohibited but a lawyer must make it clear when he is acting as a
lawyer or when he is acting in another capacity, especially in occupations related to the practice of law (In
re: Rothman, 1953).

Q: If the lawyer has a lien for fees on money in his hand, does it relieve him from accounting for the
funds received?
A: No. 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. As a
result, a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client (Canon
16, Rule 16.01, Code of Professional Responsibility). If he does not use the money for its particular purpose,
he must immediately return the same to the client (Belleza v. Macasa, 2009).

Q: What is the rule on commingling of funds?


A: A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept
by him (Canon 16, Rule 16.02, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: Whether or not a lawyer committed culpable n as would warrant disciplinary action in failing to
file an answer for his clients?
A: Yes. In Santiago v. Fojas (1995), the Supreme Court held that once a lawyer agrees to take up the cause
of the client, he must serve the client with competence and diligence, and champion the latter’s cause
with wholehearted fidelity, care and devotion. Every case a lawyer accepts deserves his full attention,
diligence, skill and competence regardless if he accepts it for a fee or not. 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
said client may expect his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense.

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 15


Animo Notes
Q: When does the delivery of the client’s funds arise?
A: A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. However, he
shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful
fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the
same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of
Court (Canon 16, Rule 16.03, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: When is there a presumption of misappropriation of a client’s funds or property?


A: The failure of an attorney to return the client's money upon demand gives rise to the presumption that
he has appropriated it for his own use in violation of the trust reposed to him by the client (Uinon v. Jig,
2013).

Q: If an attorney has a lien over the documents, funds and papers of his clients, will it amount to
misappropriation if he retains the same until his lawful fees have been paid?
A: No. Under Rule 138, Sec. 37 of the Rules of Court, an attorney who has a lien over the documents,
properties and funds of his client which have lawfully come into his possession may retain the same until
his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid.

Q: May a lawyer borrow or lend money from or to his client?


A: No. A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client's interests are fully protected by
the nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except,
when in the interest of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for
the client.

Q: What is the measure of diligence required of a lawyer in serving his client?


A: A lawyer must exercise ordinary diligence or that reasonable degree of care and skill having reference
to the character of the business he undertakes to do, as any other member of the bar similarly situated
commonly possesses and exercises. He is not, however, bound to exercise extraordinary diligence
(Pajarillo v. WCC, 1980).

Q: Does the negligence of counsel bind the client?


A: Yes. A client is bound by the attorney’s conduct, negligence and mistake in handling the case or in
management of litigation and in procedural technique but the same does not apply where the reckless or
gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of where its application results in the
outright deprivation of one’s property through a technicality (Salonga v. CA, 1997) or when the
application of the general rule results in serious injustice (San Miguel Corp. v. Laguesma, 1994).

Q: May a lawyer undertake a legal service of which he knows he is not qualified?


A: Generally, no. A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service which he knows or should know that he is
not qualified to render. However, he may render such service if, with the consent of his client, he can
obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on the matter (Canon 18, Rule 18.01, Code of
Professional Responsibility).

Q: What are examples of lawyer´s negligence?


A: the following are examples of lawyers negligence:
(1) Failure of counsel to ask for additional time to answer a complaint resulting in a default
jedgement against his client. (Mapua v Mendoza, 1923)
(2) Failure to bring suit immediately, as when it was filed when the defendant had already become
insolvent and recovery could no longer be had;

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 16


Animo Notes
(3) Failure to ascertain date of receipt from post office of notice of decision resulting in the non
perfection of the appellant´s appeal (De Jesus v. PNB, 1964)
(4) Failure to file briefs within the reglementary period (People v Cawili, 1970)
(5) Failure to attend a trial without filing a motion for postponement or without requesting either of
his two partners in the law office to take his place and appear for the defendants (Gaerlan v
Bernal)

Q: What is the duty of the lawyer to his client?


A: A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable
time to client’s request for information (Canon 18, Rule 18.04, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: What does Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prescribe the lawyer to
do in presenting his clients?
A: A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client and shall
not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an
improper advantage in any case or proceeding.

Q: What should a lawyer who has knowledge of a fraudulent act committed by his client do?
A: Under Canon 19, Rule 19.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer who has received
information that his client has, in the course of the representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a person or
tribunal, shall promptly call upon his client to rectify the same, and failing which, he shall terminate the
relationship with such client.

Q: What subjects in a case are within the client’s control?


A: As a general rule, a lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the procedure on handling the case.
However, the cause of action, claim or demand sued upon, and the subject matter of the litigation are all
within the exclusive control of a client and cannot be impaired, compromised or settled by the attorney
without his client’s consent.

Q: Distinguish between acceptance fee and contingency fee.


A: Acceptance fee refers to the charge imposed by the lawyer for merely accepting the case. Since the
acceptance fee only seeks to compensate the lawyer for the lost opportunity, it is not measured by the
nature and extent of the legal services rendered (Dalupan v. Gacott, 2015).

In a contingent fee contract, the lawyer gets reimbursed for the advances made for the client in the course
of representation, whether he wins the suit or not; only the amount of the professional fee is contingent
upon winning.

Q: What is a charging lien?


A: A charging lien is the right which the attorney has upon all judgments for payment of money, and
executions in pursuance of such judgments, obtained in favor of the client, to secure reimbursement for
advances made and payment of attorney’s fees. There must be (1) an attorney-client relationship; (2) the
attorney has rendered services; (3) a money judgment favorable to the client has been secured in the
action; and (4) the attorney has a claim for attorney’s fees or advances a statement of his claim has been
recorded in the case with notice served upon the client and adverse party.

Q: With regard to fees, what should the lawyer avoid based on Rule 20.04, Canon 9?
A: A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort to
judicial action only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud.

Q: What is the recourse of a lawyer to recover his attorney’s fees?

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 17


Animo Notes
A: He may file a petition or motion as an incident in the main action where he rendered legal services or
file a separate civil action for collection of attorney’s fees.

Q: What is the recourse of a lawyer in case of non-payment?


A: In case he is not compensated despite the execution of a retainer agreement, Rule 16.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility provides that he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much
thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly
thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has
secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.

The lawyer may likewise collect on the basis of quantum meruit. Quantum meruit, meaning “as much as
he deserves”, is used as the basis for determining the lawyer’s professional fees in the absence of a
contract (Sps. Garcia v. Atty. Bala, 2005). A lawyer will receive such amount commensurate to the services
he rendered during the period of lawyer-client relationship which may have been severed by either party
during the pendency of the referral. It may also be collected in event of the death of counsel before the
resolution of the case (International Hotel Corporation v. Joaquin and Suarez, 2013).

Q: What is a retaining lien?


A: A retaining fee can partake of an acceptance fee and covers professional fees for services rendered
including the payment of such amount as may be agreed upon by the parties in the course of handling a
legal matter for the client. There must be (1) an attorney-client relationship; (2) lawful possession by the
lawyer of a client’s funds, documents, and papers in his professional capacity; and (3) an unsatisfied
claim for attorney’s fees or disbursements.

Q: Discuss the two concepts of attorney’s fees.


A: There are two concepts of attorney's fees:
(1) In the ordinary sense, attorney's fees represent the reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer by
his client for the legal services rendered to the latter.
(2) In its extraordinary concept, attorney's fees may be awarded by the court as indemnity for
damages to be paid by the losing party to the prevailing party, such that, in any of the cases
provided by law where such award can be made, e.g., those authorized in Article 2208 of the
Civil Code, the amount is payable not to the lawyer but to the client, unless they have agreed that
the award shall pertain to the lawyer as additional compensation or as part thereof (Masmud v.
NLRC, 2009).

Q: May a lawyer reveal the confidence and secrets of his client?


A: As a general rule under Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall preserve
the confidence and secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relationship is terminated. However,
he may reveal such secrets under the following circumstances:
(1) When authorized by the client after acquainting him of the consequences of the disclosure;
(2) When required by law;
(3) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his employees or associates of by judicial
action (Canon 21, Rule 21.01, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: When may a lawyer withdraw his services?


A: Yes. A lawyer shall withdraw his services only for a good cause and upon notice appropriate in the
circumstances (Canon 22, Code of Professional Responsibility).

Q: Cite three instances when a lawyer is allowed to withdraw his or her services.
A: Any of the following under Canon 22.01 are instances when a lawyer may withdraw his/her services:

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 18


Animo Notes
(1) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in connection with the matter he
is handling;
(2) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative of these canons;
(3) When his inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the best interest of the client;
(4) When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out the
employment effectively;
(5) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services of fails to comply with the
retainer agreement;
(6) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office, and
(7) Other similar cases.

Q: What are responsibilities of a lawyer who withdraws or is discharged?


A: Rule 22.02 provides that a lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, subject to a retainer lien:
(1) Immediately turn over all papers and property to which the client is entitled;
(2) Cooperate with his successor in the orderly transfer of the matter, including all information
necessary for the proper handling of the matter.

Q: May a lawyer who is also the clerk of court and ex-officio sheriff be charged with disbarment for
changing the bid price in the Certificate of Sheriff’s sale?
A: Yes. The general rule is that a lawyer who holds a government office may not be disciplined as a
member of the bar for misconduct in the discharge of his office as a government official, unless such
misconduct is of such character as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or to show moral delinquency
(Dinsay v. Cioco, 1996).

Q: What is the nature and purpose of a disbarment case?


A: A disbarment case is a sui generis proceeding. Neither purely civil nor purely criminal, this proceeding
is not - and does not involve - a trial of an action or a suit, but is rather an investigation by the Court into
the conduct of one of its officers. Not being intended to inflict punishment, it is in no sense a criminal
prosecution. It may be initiated by the Court motu proprio. Public interest is its primary objective, and
the real question for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the
privileges as such. Hence, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court merely calls upon a
member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of-the Court with the end in view of
preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper and honest administration of justice by
purging the profession of members who by their misconduct have proved themselves no longer worthy
to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of an attorney (Que v. Revilla
Jr., 2009).

Q: Does an administrative case against a lawyer prescribe?


A: No. In Bengco v. Bernardo, 2012, the Supreme Court held the lapse of considerable time from the
commission of the offending act to the institution of the administrative complaint will not erase the
administrative culpability of a lawyer.

Q: What are the grounds for the disbarment of lawyers?


A: The grounds for disbarment according to Sec. 27, Rule 138 are "as an attorney by the Supreme Court
for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by
reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is
required to take before the admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience of any lawful order of a
superior court, or for corruptly or willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without
authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or
through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice."

Q: What is the quantum of proof required in disbarment cases of lawyers?

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 19


Animo Notes
A: Preponderance of Evidence. The evidence adduced by one side is, as a whole, superior to or has a
greater weight than that of the other. It means evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthy
of belief compared to the presented contrary evidence (Ylaya v. Gacott, 2013).

Q: Is the IBP the ultimate disciplining authority?


A: No, it is the Supreme Court. In Bautista v. Gonzales (1990), the Court ruled that referral of complaints to
the IBP is not mandatory as it is not an exclusive procedure under Rule 139-B. Under this rule, the
Supreme Court may conduct disciplinary proceedings against lawyers without the intervention of the IBP
by referring the complaint to the Solicitor General, or to any officer of the Supreme Court, or to a judge of
a lower court.

Q: Which courts have the power to institute proceedings for disbarment and suspension or discipline
of attorneys?
A: Proceedings for disbarment, suspension or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the:
(1) Supreme Court motu proprio; or
(2) Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person (Rule 139-B, Sec.
1, Rules of Court as amended by Bar Matter no. 1960).

Q: How can the IBP Board of Governors initiate and prosecute the proper charges against erring
attorneys in the government service?
A: The IBP can prosecute the proper charge motu proprio, upon referral by the Supreme Court or upon
referral by a Chapter Board of officers, or at the instance of any person.

Q: Charges against whom shall be filed with the Supreme Court?


A: All charges against the following shall be filed with the Supreme Court:
(1) Justices of the Court of Appeals;
(2) Justices of the Sandiganbayan;
(3) Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals; and
(4) Judges of lower courts (Rule 139 - B, Sec. 1(2), Rules of Court)

Q: Is it mandatory for the Supreme Court to refer to the IBP the complaints against lawyers?
A: No. The Supreme Court may conduct disciplinary proceedings without the intervention of the IBP by
referring cases for investigation to the Solicitor General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of
a lower court. In such case, the report and recommendation of the investigating official shall be reviewed
directly by the Supreme Court (Bautista v. Gonzales, 1990).

Q: If an attorney is also admitted as a lawyer in a foreign jurisdiction, what is the effect of his
disbarment or suspension by a competent court or other disciplinary authority in said foreign
jurisdiction to his membership in the Philippine Bar?
A: He may be disbarred or suspended in the Philippines if the grounds for his suspension or disbarment
in a foreign jurisdiction is also a ground for suspension or disbarment in the Philippines, or if it shows a
loss of his good moral character (In Re: Maquera, 2004). He is, however, still entitled to notice and hearing
and the decision of the foreign tribunal will only be prima facie evidence of his guilt.

Q: Define readmission.
A: It is the restoration proceedings to a disbarred lawyer the privilege to practice law. It is also referred to
as reinstatement.

Q: Does the Supreme Court have the power to re-admit lawyers to practice?
A: Yes. This power of the Supreme Court is founded on its constitutional prerogative to promulgate rules
concerning the admission to the practice of law and the Integrated Bar (Art. VIII, Sec. 5(5), 1987
Constitution).

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 20


Animo Notes
Q: What is the objective of the Supreme Court in the determination of a lawyer’s readmission to the
bar?
A: The sole object of the court upon an application for reinstatement to practice is to determine whether
or not the applicant has satisfied and convinced the Court by positive evidence that the effort he has
made toward the rehabilitation of his character has been successful and that he is entitled to be re-
admitted to a profession which is intrinsically an office of trust (In re: Rusiana, 1974).

Q: What is the rule on lawyers who have been suspended?


A: The lifting of a lawyer’s suspension is not automatic upon the end of the period stated in the Court’s
decision, and an order lifting the suspension at the end of the period is necessary in order to enable him
to resume the practice of his profession (OCA Circular no. 44-2014).

Q: Is a suspended lawyer still mandated to pay his IBP dues?


A: Yes. A lawyer who has been suspended from the practice of law indefinitely is still obliged to pay his
IBP dues during his suspension as he continues to be a lawyer and a member of the IBP.

Q: What is the basic inquiry of the Supreme Court in a petition for reinstatement?
A: The inquiry is whether the lawyer has sufficiently rehabilitated himself or herself in conduct and
character. The lawyer has to demonstrate and .prove by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is
again worthy of membership in the Bar. The Court will take into consideration his or her character and
standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and character of the charge/s for which he or she was
disbarred, his or her conduct subsequent to the disbarment, and the time that has elapsed in between the
disbarment and the application for reinstatement.

Q: What are the guidelines in resolving requests for judicial clemency of disbarred lawyers?
A: The following guidelines are followed in the resolution of requests for judicial clemency:
(1) There must be proof of remorse and reformation;
(2) Sufficient time must have lapsed from the imposition of the penalty to ensure a period of
reformation;
(3) The age of the person asking for clemency must show that he still has productive years ahead of
him that can be put to good use by giving him a chance to redeem himself;
(4) There must be a showing of promise (such as intellectual aptitude, learning or legal acumen or
contribution to legal scholarship and the development of the legal system or administrative and
other relevant skills), as well as potential for public service;
(5) There must be other relevant factors and circumstances that may justify clemency (In Re: Letter of
Judge Diaz, 2007).

Q: Does the loss of Filipino citizenship terminate the privilege to practice law in the Philippines?
A: Yes, but subject to an exception. Filipino citizenship is a requirement for admission to the bar, loss
thereof terminates membership in the Philippine bar and, consequently, the privilege to engage in the
practice of law (In Re: Dacanay, 2007). However, under R.A. no. 9225, all Philippine citizens who become
citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship.

Q: Is the right to resume the practice of law automatic?


A: No. Those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply with the proper
authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice (Sec. 5 (4), RA no. 9225). Under R.A. No. 9225,
before a lawyer who reacquires Filipino citizenship pursuant to R.A. No. can resume his law practice, he
must first secure from the Supreme Court the authority to do so, conditioned on:
(1) The updating and payment in full of the annual membership dues in the IBP;
(2) The payment of professional tax;
(3) The completion of at least 36 credit hours of MCLE;

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 21


Animo Notes
(4) The re-taking of the lawyer’s oath.

Q: Can a former Filipino resume his practice of law in the Philippines?


A: Yes. The Supreme Court said that a Filipino lawyer who has been naturalized in another country does
not automatically enjoy the right to resume his practice of law when he returns to the Philippines. It held
that under the Rules of Admission to the Philippine Bar, one must be a Filipino citizen. Thus, when he
assumed another citizenship, he ipso facto lost his Filipino citizenship. The returning Filipino lawyer
must repatriate himself under the provisions of RA 9225, which says that “all Philippine citizens who
became citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the
conditions of (RA 9225).” RA 9225 provides that if a person intends to practice the legal profession in the
Philippines and he re-acquires his Filipino citizenship pursuant to its provisions, “he shall apply with the
proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice.” (In Re: Petition to Re-acquire the
Privilege to Practice Law in the Philippines (Epifanio B. Muneses, 2012).

Q: What is the purpose of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education?


A: Continuing legal education is required of members of the IBP to:
(1) Ensure that throughout their career, they keep abreast with law and jurisprudence;
(2) Maintain the ethics of the profession;
(3) Enhance the standards of the practice of law (Rule 1, Sec. 1, Bar Matter 850).

Q: What are the requirements needed of IBP members?


A: Members of the IBP shall complete, every three years, at least 36 hours of continuing legal education
activities approved by the MCLE Committee. Aside from this, they are required to do the following:
(1) Attending approved education activities like seminars, conferences, conventions, symposia, in-
house education programs, workshops, dialogues or round table discussion;
(2) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as assigned panelist, reactor, commentator, resource speaker,
moderator, coordinator or facilitator in approved education activities;
(3) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a bar review class;
(4) Preparing, as an author or co-author, written materials published or accepted for publication,
e.g., in the form of an article, chapter, book, or book review which contribute to the legal
education of the author member, which were not prepared in the ordinary course of the
member’s practice or employment;
(5) Editing a law book, law journal or legal newsletter.

Q: When shall the compliance period begin?


A: The initial compliance period shall begin not later than three months from the constitution of the
MCLE Committee. The compliance period shall be for 36 months and shall begin the day after the end of
the previous compliance period (Rule 3, Sec. 1, Bar Matter 850). The initial compliance period after
admission or readmission shall begin on the first day of the month of admission or readmission and shall
end on the same day as that of all other members in the same compliance group.

Q: Who are exempt from MCLE compliance?


A: The following are exempt under Rule 7, Sec. 1:
(1) The President and the Vice President of the Philippines, and the Secretaries and Undersecretaries
of Executive Departments;
(2) Senators and Members of the House of Representatives;
(3) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, incumbent and retired members of
the judiciary, incumbent members of the Judicial and Bar Council and incumbent court lawyers
covered by the Philippine Judicial Academy program of continuing judicial education;
(4) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of
Justice;
(5) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors General;

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 22


Animo Notes
(6) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
(7) The Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commissions;
(8) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special
Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman;
(9) Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions;
(10) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of law who have teaching experience for at least
ten (10) years in accredited law schools;
(11) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of the Corps of Professors and Professorial
Lecturers of the Philippine Judicial Academy; and
(12) Governors and Mayors

Q: Who are the other parties exempted from MCLE?


A: The following are exempt under Rule 7, Sec. 2:
(1) Those who are not in law practice, private or public.
(2) Those who have retired from law practice with the approval of the IBP Board of Governors.
Q: What is the effect of non-compliance at the end of the compliance period?
A: A member who, for whatever reason, is in non-compliance at the end of the compliance period shall
pay a non-compliance fee. Furthermore, any member who fails to satisfactorily comply shall be listed as a
delinquent member by the IBP Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the MCLE Committee,
in which case, Rule 139-A, Rules of Court, governing the IBP, shall apply (Rule 13, Sec. 1 & 2, Bar Matter
850).

Q: Is the failure of the lawyer to disclose the number and date of issue of his MCLE Certificate of
Compliance or Exemption a cause for dismissal?
A: Yes. Practicing members of the bar are required to indicate in all pleadings filed before the courts or
quasi-judicial bodies, the number and date of issue of their MCLE Certificate of Compliance or
Exemption, for the immediately preceding compliance period. Failure to disclose the required
information would be cause of dismissal and expunction of the pleadings from the records.

Q: What is the scope of Bar Matter 2012: The Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service?
A: It governs the mandatory requirement for practicing lawyers to render free legal aid services in all
cases involving indigent and pauper litigants where the assistance of a lawyer is needed.

Q: State the purpose of the Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service.


A: The rule seeks to enhance the duty of lawyers to the society as agents of social change and to the courts
as officers by helping improve access to justice by the less privileged members of society and expedite the
resolution of cases involving them (Sec. 2, Bar Matter 2012).

Q: What are the a for a notary public?


A: A notary public must be:
(1) Citizen of the Philippines;
(2) Over 21 years of age;
(3) Resident of the Philippines for at least 1 year and maintains a regular place of work or business in
the city or province where the commission is to be issued;
(4) Member of the Philippine Bar in good standing with clearances from the Office of the Bar of the
Philippines;
(5) Not have been convicted in the first instance of any crime involving moral turpitude (Rule III, Sec.
1, A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice).

Q: What is the term of office of a notary public?

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 23


Animo Notes
A: 2 years commencing from the first day of January of the year in which the commissioning is made,
unless earlier revoked, or the notary public has resigned (Sec. 11, Rule III, A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC).

Q: May a notary public’s term of office be renewed?


A: Yes. A notary public may file a written application with the Executive Judge for the renewal of his
commission within 45 days before the expiration thereof (Rule III, Sec. 13, A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC).

Q: What are the powers and limitations of the notary public?


A: A notary public is empowered to perform the following notarial acts:
(1) Acknowledgements
(2) Oaths and affirmations
(3) Jurats
(4) Signature witnessing
(5) Copy certifications; and
(6) Any other act authorized by the rules (Rule IV, Sec. 1(a), A.M. No. 02-8-12-SC).

Q: What are the general rules on prohibition?


A:
(1) A person shall not perform a notarial act if the person involved as a signatory to the instrument
or document
a. Is not in the notary’s presence personally at the time of the notarization; and
b. Is not personally known to the notary public or otherwise identified by the notary public
through competent evidence of identity as defined by the Rules (Rule IV, Sec. 2(b), A.M.
No. 02-8-12-SC).
(2) A notary public shall not perform a notarial act outside of his regular place of business or work,
provided that on certain exceptional situations, a notarial act may be performed at the request of
the parties in the following sites located within his territorial jurisdiction:
a. Public offices, convention halls, and similar places where oaths of office may be
administered
b. Public function areas in hotels and similar places for the signing of instruments or
documents requiring notarization
c. Hospitals and other medical institutions where a party to an instrument or document is
confined for treatment
d. Any place where a party to an instrument or document requiring notarization is under
detention
.

Q: When is a notary public disqualified from performing a notarial act?


A: Section 3 of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provide that a notary public is disqualified from
performing a notarial act if he:
(1) Is a party to the instrument or document that is to be notarized;
(2) Will receive, as a direct or indirect result, any commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest,
cash, property, or other consideration, except as provided by these Rules and by law; or
(3) Is a spouse, common-law partner, ancestor, descendant, or relative by affinity or consanguinity of
the principal within the fourth civil degree.

Q: What is a Notarial Register?


A: A permanently bound book with numbered pages containing a chronological record of notarial acts
performed by a notary public (Rule II, Sec. 5, A.M. No. 02-8-12-SC).

Q: May a notary public notarize documents beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning
court that issued his commission?

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 24


Animo Notes
A: No. A person commissioned as a notary public may perform notarial acts only in any place within the
territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning court.

Q: What are the grounds for the revocation of commission?


A: The following are the grounds for the revocation of commission:
(1) Failure to keep a notarial register
(2) Failure to make the proper entry or entries in his notarial register concerning his notarial acts
(3) Failure to send the copy of the entries to the Executive Judge within the first 10 days of the month
(4) Failure to affix to the acknowledgments the date of expiration of his commission
(5) Failure to submit his notarial register, when filed, to the Executive Judge
(6) Failure to make his report, within a reasonable time, to the Executive Judge concerning the
performance of his duties, as may be required by the judge
(7) Failure to require the presence of a principal at the time of the notarial act
(8) Failure to identify a principal on the basis of personal knowledge or competent evidence
(9) Execution of a false or incomplete certificate
(10) Knowingly performs or fails to perform any other act prohibited or mandated by these Rules
(11) Commission of any other dereliction or act which in the judgment of the Executive Judge
constitutes good cause for revocation of commission or imposition of administrative sanction
(12) Any ground on which an application for a commission may be denied.

Q: Would a notary public who admittedly has personal knowledge of a false statement or information
contained in the instrument to be notarized yet affixes the notarial seal be subject to disciplinary
action?
A: Yes. A notary public should not notarize a document unless the persons who signed it are the same
ones who executed it and who personally appeared before said notary public to attest to the contents and
truth of what are stated therein (De Jesus v. Sanchez-Malit, 2014). Such action is a violation of Canon 1 and
Rules 1.01 and 1.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and the Notarial Law.

Q: What constitutes competent proof of identity?


A: Sec. 12 of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides that the following shall be competent proof of
identity:
(1) At least one current identification document issued by an official agency bearing the photograph
and signature of the individual, such as but not limited to: passport, driver’s license, Professional
Regulations Commission ID, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, police clearance, postal
ID, voter’s ID, Barangay certification, Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) e-card,
Social Security System (SSS) card, Philhealth card, senior citizen card, Overseas Workers Welfare
Administration (OWWA) ID, OFW ID, seaman’s book, alien certificate of registration/immigrant
certificate of registration, government office ID, certification from the National Council for the
Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
certification; and
(2) The oath or affirmation of one credible witness not privy to the instrument, document or
transaction who is personally known to the notary public and who personally knows the
individual, or of two credible witnesses neither of whom is privy to the instrument, document or
transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary public
documentary identification.

Q: Will a cedula/community tax certificate suffice as a competent proof of identity?


A: It depends. A document notarized before the effectivity of the 2004 Notarial Rules will be governed by
the relevant provisions of the Revised Administrative Code, wherein the cedula will suffice as proof of
identity. Otherwise, the requirements of the 2004 Notarial Rules will apply.

Q: What is the liability of a lawyer for notarizing a document when the affiant is already dead?

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 25


Animo Notes
A: In Linco v. Laceban (2011), the Supreme Court held that a notary public who notarized a Deed of
Donation of another lawyer after his death to the detriment of the interests of the surviving lawyer-
spouse was suspended by the Supreme Court.

JUDICIAL ETHICS
Q: Identify the six canons under the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary.
A: Independence, Integrity, Impartiality, Propriety, Equality, Competence and Diligence.

Q: Does the Supreme Court have administrative jurisdiction over Judges and Justices?
A: Yes. Section 6, Article VIII of the Constitution provides that the Supreme Court shall have
administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel.
Q: When does the Supreme Court en banc have jurisdiction over a disbarment case?
A: Cases where the penalty to be imposed is the dismissal of a judge, officer or employee of the Judiciary,
disbarment of a lawyer, or either the suspension of any of them for a period of more than one (1) year or a
fine exceeding P10,000.00, or both, are resolved by the Supreme Court en banc (Bar Matter No. 209).

Q: Discuss tie voting in the Supreme Court en banc.


A: When, in an administrative case against any of the Justices of the appealed courts or any of the Judges
of the trial Courts, the impossible penalty is dismissal and the Court en banc is equally divided in opinion
or the majority vote required by the Constitution for dismissal cannot be had, the Court shall deliberate
on the case anew.

If after such deliberation still no decision is reached, the Court shall dismiss the administrative case,
unless a majority vote decides to impose a lesser penalty.

Q: What is the rule on compulsory disqualification of Judges and Justices?


A: No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case, without the written consent of all parties in interest
and entered upon the record, in which:
(1) He, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise;
(2) He is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel
within the fourth degree, computed according to the rules of the civil law;
(3) He has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel;
(4) He has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review (Rule
137, Sec. 1(1), Rules of Court).

Q: What is the rationale behind the rule on compulsory disqualification?


A: The law conclusively presumes that a judge cannot objectively or impartially sit in such a case and, for
that reason, prohibits him and strikes at his authority to hear and decide it, in the absence of written
consent of all parties concerned. The purpose is to preserve the people's faith and confidence in the
courts' justice (Garcia v. De La Pena, 1994).

Q: What is the rule on voluntary disqualification of Judges and Justices?


A: A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a case, for just or
valid reasons other than those mentioned (Rule 137, Sec. 1(2), Rules of Court).

Q: What is the rationale behind the rule on voluntary disqualification?


A: A judge must maintain and preserve the trust and faith of the parties-litigants. He must hold himself
above reproach and suspicion. At the very first sign of lack of faith and trust to his actions, whether well-
grounded or not, the judge has no other alternative but inhibit himself from the case.

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 26


Animo Notes
Q: What is remittal of disqualification of a judge? How is it effected?
A: Remittal of disqualification is the process by which a judge who is disqualified to sit on a case on any
of the grounds enumerated in Section 5, Canon 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine
Judiciary, may purge himself of such a disqualification so that he may act upon the case.

Remittal is effected under Section 6 of the same Canon: “A judge disqualified as stated above may,
instead of withdrawing from the proceeding, disclose on the records the basis of the disqualification. If,
based on such disclosure, the parties and lawyers independently of judge’s participation, all agree in
writing that the reason for the inhibition is immaterial or unsubstantial, the judge may then participate in
the proceeding. The agreement, signed by all parties and lawyers, shall be incorporated in the record of
the proceedings.”

Q: Is intimacy or friendship between a judge and an attorney of record of one of the parties to a suit a
ground for disqualification?
A: No. It is not a legal ground for disqualification of a judge. However, if the relationship between the
judge and an attorney for a party is such that there would be a natural inclination to prejudice the case,
the judge should be disqualified in order to guarantee a fair trial (Query of Executive Judge Estrada, 1987).

Q: How are proceedings for the discipline of judges of regular and special courts and Justices of the
Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan instituted?
A: These proceedings for members of the Judiciary in lower courts may be instituted:
(1) Motu proprio by the Supreme Court;
(2) Upon a verified complaint, supported by affidavits of person who have personal knowledge of
the facts alleged therein or by documents which may substantiate said allegations; or
(3) Upon an anonymous complaint, supported by public records of indubitable integrity (Rule 140,
Sec. 1, Rules of Court, as amended by A.M. No. 01 - 8-10-SC).

Q: Can the Supreme Court take cognizance of an anonymous letter-complaint against a Judge of the
RTC?
A: Yes. Section 1 of Rule 140 of the Rules of Court provides that proceedings for the discipline of judges
of regular and special courts, and justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, may be
instituted "upon an anonymous complaint, supported by public records of indubitable integrity".

Q: Describe the procedure followed when giving due course to a complaint against an RTC judge.
A: If the complaint is sufficient in form and substance, as copy thereof shall be sent to the respondent, and
he shall be required to comment within ten (10) days from date of service. Upon the filing of the
respondent's comment, the Supreme Court shall refer the matter to the office of the Court Administrator
for evaluation, report and recommendation, or assign the case to a Justice of the Court of Appeals, for
investigation, report and recommendation.

The Investigating Justice shall set a date for the hearing and notify the parties thereof, and they may
present evidence, oral or documentary, at such hearing. The Investigating justice shall terminate the
investigation within ninety (90) days from its commencement, and submit his report and
recommendation to the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation.
The Supreme Court shall take action on the report as the facts and the law may warrant.

Q: May members of the Supreme Court be impeached?


A: Yes. Members of the Supreme Court may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction
of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or
betrayal of public trust (Article X, Sec. 2, 1987 Constitution).

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 27


Animo Notes
Q: Is the Supreme Court En Banc the disciplining body with regard to Judges of the Lower Courts and
Justices of the Court of Appeals and Sandiganbayan?
A: Yes. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order
their dismissal by a vote of majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the
issues in the case and voted thereon (Article VIII, Sec. 11, 1987 Constitution).

Q: What is the quantum of proof required to dismiss a judge?


A: Inasmuch as what is imputed against the respondent judge connotes a misconduct so grave that, if
proven, it would entail dismissal from the bench, the quantum of proof required should be more than
substantial (Tan v. Usman, 2014).

Q: What are the grounds for discipline of Supreme Court justices?


A: Article XI, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides the following grounds:
(1) Culpable violation of the Constitution
(2) Treason
(3) Bribery
(4) Graft and Corruption
(5) Other high crimes or Betrayal of Public Trust.

Q: What are the classifications of administrative charges?


A: Serious, less serious or light charges.

Q: What are the grounds for serious charges?


A: The following are considered serious charges:
(1) Bribery, direct or indirect;
(2) Dishonesty and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law (RA 3019) ;
(3) Gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct;
(4) Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment or order as determined by a competent court in an
appropriate proceeding;
(5) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
(6) Willful failure to pay a just debt;
(7) Borrowing money or property from lawyers and litigants in a case pending before the court;
(8) Immorality;
(9) Gross ignorance of the law or procedure;
(10) Partisan political activities;
(11) Alcoholism and/or vicious habits (Rule 140, Sec. 8, Rules of Court)

Q: What are the grounds for less serious charges?


A: The following are considered less serious charges:
(1) Undue delay in rendering a decision or order, or in transmitting the records of a case;
(2) Frequently and unjustified absences without leave or habitual tardiness;
(3) Unauthorized practice of law;
(4) Violation of Supreme Court rules, directives, and circulars;
(5) Receiving additional or double compensation unless specifically authorized by law;
(6) Untruthful statements in the certificate of service;
(7) Simple misconduct (Rule 140, Sec. 9, Rules of Court)

Q: What are the grounds for light charges?


A: The following are considered light charges:
(1) Vulgar and unbecoming conduct;
(2) Gambling in public;
(3) Fraternizing with lawyers and litigants with pending case/cases in his court;

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 28


Animo Notes
(4) Undue delay in the submission of monthly reports.

Q: In the case of serious charges against erring members of the Judiciary, what are the sanctions
imposed by the Supreme Court?
A: The Supreme Court may impose:
(1) Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine,
and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office, including GOCCs
but said forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include accrued leave credits. ;
(2) Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not
exceeding six (6) months; or
(3) Fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000 (Rule 140, Sec. 11(a), as amended by A.M.
No. 01-8-10-SC).

Q: In the case of less serious charges against erring members of the Judiciary, what are the sanctions
imposed by the Supreme Court?
A: The Supreme Court may impose:
(1) Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not less than one (1) nor more than
three (3) months; or
(2) A fine of more than P10,000.00 but not exceeding P20,000.00 (Rule 140, Sec. 11(b), as amended by
A.M. No. 01-8-10-SC).

Q: In the case of light charges against erring members of the Judiciary, what are the sanctions imposed
by the Supreme Court?
A: The Supreme Court may impose:
(1) A fine of not less than P1,000.00 but not exceeding P10,000.00; and/or
(2) Censure;
(3) Reprimand; or
(4) Admonition with warning (Rule 140, Sec. 11(c), as amended by A.M. No. 01-8-10-SC).

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision,
hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
– Gail Devers

Legal Eithcs and Practical Exercises 29


Animo Notes