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CANON 20

Only lawyers are entitled to attorneys fees. The same cannot


be shared with a non-lawyer. It is unethical.
Exception: A lawyer may divide a fee for legal services with
persons not licensed to practice law:

1. A lawyer undertakes to Complete the unfinished legal


business of a deceased lawyer;

2. There is a Pre-existing agreement with a partner or


associate that, upon the latters death, money shall be paid
over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to persons
specified in the agreement;

3. A lawyer or law firm includes nonlawyer employees in


Retirement plan, even if the plan is based, in whole or in
part, on a profit-sharing agreement. (Rule 9.02, CPR)

20.01

Generally, the amount of attorneys fees


due is that stipulated in the retainer
agreement which is conclusive as to the
amount of lawyers compensation (Funa,
2009) unless the stipulated amount in the
written contract is found by the court to be
unconscionable or unreasonable (Sec. 24,
Rule 138, RRC). In the absence thereof, the
amount of attorneys fees is fixed on the
basis of quantum meruit. (Sesbreno v. Court
of Appeals, G.R. No. 117438, June 8,1995;
Funa, 2009)

Two Concepts of Attorneys Fees

In its ordinary concept, an attorneys fee is the


reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer for the legal
services he has rendered to a client. The basis of this
compensation is the fact of employment by the client.

In its extraordinary concept, an attorneys fee is an


indemnity for damages ordered by the court to be paid by
the losing party to the prevailing party in a litigation. The
basis of this isany of the cases authorized by law and 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.

Kinds of Payment
1. Fixed or absolute fee that which is payable
regardless of the result of the case.
a. A fixed fee payable per appearance
b. A fixed fee computed upon the number of
hours spent
c. A fixed fee based on piece work
d. Combination of any of the above
2. Contingent fee a fee that is conditioned on
the securing of a favorable judgment and recovery
of money or property and the amount of which may
be on a percentage basis. (1990, 2000, 2001, 2002,
2006, 2008 Bar Questions)

Factors in determining fees


a. Time spent and extent of services required
b. Novelty and difficulty of questions involved
c. Importance of subject matter
d. Skill demanded
e. Losing other employment
f. Customary charges
g. Amount involved
h. Contingency of compensation
i. Character of employment
j. Professional standing
Law Firm of Tungol & Tibayan v. CA, GR 166298, July 9, 2008
Vinson Pineda v. Atty. De Jesus, GR 166224, August 23, 2006

20.02
Lawyer- Referral System
Under

this system, if another counsel is


referred to the client, and the latter agrees
to take him as collaborating counsel, and
there is no express agreement on the
payment of attorneys fees, the said counsel
will receive attorneys fees in proportion to
the work performed and responsibility
assumed. The lawyers and the client may
agree upon the proportion but in case of
disagreement, the court may fix the
proportional division of fees. (Lapena, 2009)

20.03

Report

of IBP Committee, p. 112 (T)here


should be no room for suspicion on the part of
the client that his lawyer is receiving
compensation in connection with the case
from third persons with hostile interests.

Rule

138, Sec. 20 (e), ROC The only


exception whereby a lawyer may receive
relative compensation from a person other
than his client is when the latter has full
knowledge and approval thereof.

Diaz

vs. Kapunan, 45 Phil. 848 (1932)


Whatever a lawyer receives from the
opposite party in the service of his client
belongs to the client, in the absence of his
clients consent made after full disclosure
of the facts.

Recto

vs. Harden, 100 Phil. 427 (1956)


A lawyer may not claim the attorneys fees
in the concept of damages awarded by the
court in favor of his client, except when he
and his client have agreed that whatever
amount the court may award as attorneys
fees would form part of his compensation.

20.04

A lawyer should avoid the filing of any case against


clients for the enforcement of his attorneys fees
except to prevent imposition, injunction, or fraud.

Note: The legal profession is not a money-making trade but


a form of public service. Lawyers should avoid giving the
impression that they are mercenary (Perez v. Scottish Union
and National Insurance Co., C.A. No. 8977, March 22, 1946).
It might even turn out to be unproductive for him for
potential clients are likely to avoid a lawyer with a
reputation of suing his clients.

CANON 21
A

LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE


CONFIDENCES AND SECRETS OF HIS CLIENTS
EVEN AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT
RELATION IS TERMINATED.

The

protection given to the client is perpetual


and does not cease with the termination of
the litigation nor is affected by the party
ceasing to employ the attorney and employ
another or any other change of relation
between them. It even survives the death of
the client.

21.01
GR: A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences and secrets of his client.
XPN:
a. When authorized by his client after acquainting him of the
consequences of the disclosure;
Note: There is a waiver of the privilege by the client.
The only instance where the waiver of the client alone is insufficient is
when the person to be examined with reference to any privileged
communication is the attorneys secretary, stenographer or clerk, in
respect to which the consent, too, of the attorney is necessary.
b. When required by law;
c. When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his
employees or associates by judicial action

21.02

A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client,


use information acquired in the course of
employment, nor shall he use the same to his own
advantage or that of a third person, unless the client
with full knowledge of the circumstances consents
thereto.

Lawyers cannot be allowed to exploit their profession for the


purpose of exacting vengeance or as a tool for instigating
hostility against any person most especially against a client
or former client. (Bun Siong Yao v. Aurelio, A.C. No. 7023,
Mar. 30, 2006)

Violation of this rule constitutes a breach of trust, and the


party at fault shall be meted disciplinary action.

21.03
A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of his
client, give information from the files to an outside
agency seeking such information for auditing
statistical, bookkeeping, accounting, data processing,
or any other similar purpose.
Note: The clients consent must be in writing.

People vs. SyJuco, 64 Phil. 667

Since it has been proven that the cabinet belongs to a lawyer


and that he keeps the records of his client therein, the lower
court cannot order the opening of said cabinet. To do so is in
violation of his rights as an attorney. It would be tantamount to
compelling him to disclose his clients secrets.

21.04

A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the


firm to partners or associates thereof unless
prohibited by the client.

Note:

Professional employment of a law


firm is equivalent to retainer of members
thereof. In a law firm, partners or
associates usually consult one another
involving their cases and some work as a
team. Consequently, it cannot be avoided
that some information about the case
received from the client may be disclosed
to the partners or associates.

21.05,.06., and 0.7

Q: Can the lawyer refuse from disclosing his


clients identity?

A: GR: A lawyer may not invoke privileged


communication to refuse revealing a clients
identity.

XPN:
1. When there is a strong possibility that revealing
the clients name would implicate the client in the
very activity for which he sought the lawyers
advice;
2. When disclosure would open the client to civil

21.0, .06, .07


What

is the reason why a lawyer may not invoke


privileged communication to refuse revealing a
clients identity?

A: 1. Due process considerations require that the


opposing party should know the adversary; 2. The
privilege pertain to the subject matter of the
relationship;
3. The privilege begins to exist only after attorneyclient relationship has been established hence it
does not attach until there is a client; and
4. The court has a right to know that the client
whose privileged information is sought to be
protected is flesh and blood

CANON 22
A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR GOOD
CAUSE AND UPON NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES
When is a lawyer allowed to withdraw his services?
A lawyer shall withdraw his services only for good cause and
upon notice appropriate in the circumstances.
A lawyer lacks the unqualified right to withdraw once he has
taken a case. By his acceptance, he has impliedly stipulated that
he will prosecute the case to conclusion. This is especially true
when such withdrawal will work injustice to a client or frustrate
the ends of justice.

The right of a lawyer to retire from the case before its final
adjudication, which arises only from:

1. The clients written consent; or


2. By permission of the court after due notice and hearing.

22.01
A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the following case:

a. When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in


connection with the matter he is handling;

b. When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative of
these canons and rules;

c. When the inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the best
interest of the client;

d. When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it


difficult for him to carry out the employment effectively;

e. When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services or
fails to comply with the retainer agreement

f. When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office; and

g. Other similar cases.

He may also retire at any time from an action or


special proceeding without the consent of his
client, should the court, on notice to the client
and attorney, and on hearing, determine that
he ought to be allowed to retire. (Sec. 26, Rule
138, RRC)

22.02

A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall,


subject to a retaining lien, immediately turn
over all papers and property to which the client
is entitled, and shall cooperate with his
successor in the orderly transfer of the matter,
including all information necessary for the
proper handling of the matter.

What are the duties of a discharged lawyer or one who


withdraws?
1.

Immediately turn-over all papers and property to which


the client is entitled;

2.

To cooperate with his successor in the orderly transfer of


the case.

Liabilities of a Lawyer
What are the requisites for the liability of a lawyer for
damages?
3.

Attorney-client relationship;

4.

Want of reasonable care and diligence by lawyer

5.

Injury sustained by client as a proximate result of the


lawyers negligence.