You are on page 1of 187

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

1 LEDESMA V CLIMACO FACTS: Ledesma is counsel de parte of one accused. Thereafter, he was appointed as Election Registrar of Cadiz, Negros Occidental by COMELEC Ledesma withdrew as counsel on the basis that his appointment as Election Registrar would require full time service as well as on the volume or pressure of work will prevent him from handling adequately the defense. Judge Climaco denied his motion, and even appointed him as counsel de officio of the accused. ISSUE: WoN the withdrawal of Ledesma should be allowed HELD: No. RATIO: 1. There is obvious reluctance of Ledesma to comply with his responsibilities as counsel de oficio. Then, even assuming that he continues his position, his volume of work is likely to be very much less than present. There is no excuse for him to shirk from his obligation as member of the bar, who expects to remain in good standing, should fulfill. 2. Ledesma was not mindful of his obligation as counsel de oficio. He ought to know that membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. Being appointed as counsel de oficio requires a high degree of fidelity (law is a profession and not a mere trade). Requires counsel of repute and eminence. 3. In criminal cases, right to counsel is absolute. No fair hearing unless the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel. 4. The denial by Judge Climaco was due to the principal effect to delay the case (case has already been postponed for 8 times) 2 IN RE SYCIP FACTS: This is a consolidated petition. The first one filed by the surviving partners of atty. Alexander Sycip and the other filed by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio Ovaepa. They pray that they be allowed to continue using the names of partners who had passed away. Petitioners based their petitions on the following arguments: o Art. 1840 of the Civil Code, o in regulating other professions, the legislature has authorized the adoption of firm names without any restriction as to the use of the name of a deceased partner,
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

o the Canons of Professional Ethics allows the continued use of a deceased partner when permissible by local custom. ISSUE: W/N law firms may continue to use the names o deceased partners in their firm names HELD: NO! Art. 1840 primarily deals with the exception of liability on cases of a dissolved partnership, of the individual property of the deceased partner for debts contracted by the person who continues the business using the partnership name. what the law contemplates is a hold over situation preparatory to formal reorganization. Art. 1840 treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect rather than a professional partnership whose reputation depends on the personal qualifications of its individual members. A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or for business. a partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. It is not a partnership formed for then purpose of carrying on trade or business or of holding property. Thus, assumed or trade name in law practice is improper. The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. It must be considered that in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allows the continued use of a deceased partners name. Therefore, the cited provision on Canons of Professional Ethics is not applicable. DISSENTING OPINION: Petition may be granted with the condition that it be indicated in the letterheads of the 2 firms that Sycip and Ovaepa are dead or the period when they served as partners sould be stated therein. 3 CAYETANO V MONSOD Facts: Pres. Aquino nominated Christian Monsod to the position of COMELEC chairman. The Commission on Appointments affirmed the nomination and appointed Monsod to the position. Renato Cayetano now assails the appointment. He says that Monsod is not qualified to the position because he has not been engaged in the practice of law for ten years (requirement is provided by Consti Art. 9-C Sec. 1(1)). Issue: W/n Monsod is qualified for the position of COMELEC chairman.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Held: SC says yes. Monsod passed the bar in 1960 and had been consistently paying his professional fees. He worked in a law firm for several years after graduating but after that, had been more engaged in business and politics (for a list of his jobs, see p.238). Still, the SC said that he can still be considered as practicing law, if we consider the modern concept of the practice of law. This modern concept pertains to any act, whether in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. SC now says that since most of Monsods jobs involved the law, even if he has not been engaged in traditional lawyering (i.e. making pleadings or appearing in court), he can still be considered as to have been engaged in the practice of law. Dissents: Most of the dissents focused on the issue that the Consti requirement pertains to habitual practice of law. The dissenters pointed out that for the past ten years, Monsod really seldom practiced law. This group believed that the Consti required that the practice of law be on a regular basis. Justice Padilla even came up with qualifications habituality; compensation; application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure; and atty.-client relationship to determine w/n a person has been engaged in the practice of law.. 4 CUI V CUI Facts: The main concern in this case is the respective qualifications of Jesus Cui and Antonio Cui to the position of administrator of Hospicio de San Jose de Barii, a charitable institution established by Don Pedro Cui and Dona Benigna Cui. Jesus and Antonio are the sons of Mariano Cui, a nephew of the founders of the institution. Antonios claim to the position is based on a convenio where then administrator Teodoro resigned in favor of him. Jesus, however, had no prior notice of this. Jesuss claim is that he should be preferred pursuant to the deed of donation (which recognized their father Mariano as a legitimate descendant to the position) as he is the older of the two. The deed, however, gives preference to a descendant who has a titulo de abogado or a doctor, or a civil engineer, or a pharmacist (in order). Or to the one who pays the highest taxes. Jesus holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws but is not a member of the Bar, while Antonio is a member of the Bar (he was formerly disbarred, though, by the SC and was just reinstated weeks before assuming the position) Issue:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Who has a better right to the position of administrator between Jose and Antonio? What does the term titulo de abogado mean? Held: Antonio. The term titulo de abogado is not just mere possession of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but membership in the bar after due admission thereto, qualifying one to the practice of law. Possession of the degree is not indispensable to qualify as a lawyer since completion of the prescribed courses may be shown in some other way. It was also argued that Antonio is disqualified for having been previously disbarred since the deed also provided that an administrator may be removed if found to lack a sound moral character. However, Antonio was reinstated. This reinstatement is a recognition of his moral rehabilitation after proving what was required by the Bar. Antonios restoration to the roll of lawyers wiped out restrictions and disabilities resulting from the previous disbarment. 5 ALAWI V ALAUYA PARTIES ALAWI, sales rep of E.B. Villarosa ALAUYA, incumbent executive clerk of court FACTS Through ALAWIS agency, a contract was executed for the purchase on installments by ALAUYA of a housing unit A housing loan was also granted to ALAUYA by the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) Subsequently, ALAUYA wrote a letter to the President of Villarosa advising termination of his contract on the grounds that his consent was vitiated by gross misrepresentation, deceit, fraud, dishonesty and abuse of confidence by ALAWI and proceeded to expound using acerbic language A copy of the letter, which bore no stamps, was sent to the VP of Villarosa ALAUYA also wrote the NHMFC repudiating as void his contract with Villarosa and asking for cancellation of his loan Finally, ALAUYA wrote 3 other letters to officers of the SC to stop deductions from his salary regarding the loan from NHMFC NHMFC also wrote the SC requesting it to stop said deductions Learning of the letters, ALAWI filed a complaint alleging that ALAUYA o Committed malicious and libelous charges o Usurped the title of attorney ISSUE W/N ALAUYA VIOLATED THE CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

HELD

YES, PARTICULARLY SECTION 4

RATIO Section 4 public officials and employees at all times respect the rights of others, and refrain from doing acts contrary to law, public order, public safety and public interest ALAUYA, being a member of the Sharia Bar and an officer of the Court, may not use language which is abusive, offensive, scandalous, menacing or otherwise improper His radical deviation from these norms cannot be excused ISSUE HELD W/N ALAUYA BEING A MEMBER OF THE SHARIA BAR CAN USE THE TITLE ATTORNEY NO, RESERVED ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ADMITTED AS MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR

RATIO Court has already had an occasion to declare that persons who pass the Sharia Bar are not full-fledged members of the Philippine Bar and may practice law only before Sharia courts ALAUYAS wish of not using counsellor because of confusion with councilor is immaterial because disinclination to use said title does not warrant his use of the title attorney 6 IN RE CUNANAN Facts: This is the Bar Flunkers Act of 1953 case. As per the Rules of Court. A bar candidate must have a general average of 75% in all subjects without failing below 50% in any subject. In spite of this, the court passed and admitted to the bar those candidates who had obtained an average of only: 72% in 1946 69% in 1947 70% in 1948 74% in 1949 In 1950 to 53, the 74% was raised to 75% A few candidates who missed the above marks set by the courts approached Congress. Congress made a bill, which was allowed by the president to become a law without his signature. This is RA 972. Pursuant to the law in question, those who, without a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, have obtained a general average of 69.5 per cent in the bar
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

examinations in 1946 to 1951, 70.5 per cent in 1952, 71.5 per cent in 1953, and those will obtain 72.5 per cent in 1954, and 73.5 per cent in 1955, will be permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar, notwithstanding that the rules require a minimum general average of 75 per cent, which has been invariably followed since 1950. A breakdown of the numbers is on page 538. The additional candidates who want to be admitted claim that they suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and of inadequacy of preparation. Issue: W/N RA 972 is valid. Held: RA 972 is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law graduates who confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession. The public interest demands of the legal profession, adequate preparation and efficiency, precisely more so as legal problems evolved by the times become more difficult. In decreeing that bar candidates who obtained in the bar examinations of 1946 to 1952, a general average of 70 per cent without falling below 50 per cent in any subject, be admitted in mass to the practice of law, the disputed law is not a legislation; it is a judgment a judgment revoking those promulgated by this Court during the years affecting the bar candidates concerned Although the SC certainly can revoke these judgments even now, for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only the SC, and not the legislative nor executive department, that may be so. Any attempt on the part of any of these departments would be a clear usurpation of its functions, as in this case. Congress may repeal, alter and supplement the rules promulgated by this court, but the authority and responsibility over the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys-at-law and their supervision remain vested in the Supreme Court. Section 13, article VIII of the Constitution provides: "Section 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish increase or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and are declared Rules of Courts, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines." The Constitution has not conferred on Congress and the SC equal responsibilities concerning the admission to the practice of law. The primary power and responsibility which the Constitution recognizes continue to reside in the SC. Had Congress found that this Court has not promulgated any rule on the matter, it would have nothing over which to exercise the power granted to it. The Constitution does not say nor mean that Congress may admit, suspend, disbar or reinstate directly attorneys at law, or a determinate group of individuals to the practice of law. Its power is limited to repeal, modify or supplement the existing rules on the matter, if according to its judgment the need for a better service of the legal profession requires it. But this power does not relieve this Court of its responsibility to admit, suspend, disbar and reinstate attorneys at law and supervise the practice of the legal profession. There is no motive stated by the authorities for the qualification in RA 972 because of this, the classification is fatally defective. 1. That (a) the portion of article 1 of Republic Act No. 972 referring to the examinations of 1946 to 1952, and (b) all of article 2 of said law are unconstitutional and, therefore, void and without force and effect. 2. That, for lack of unanimity in the eight Justices, that part of article 1 which refers to the examinations subsequent to the approval of the law, that is from 1953 to 1955 inclusive, is valid and shall continue to be in force, in conformity with section 10, article VII of the Constitution. Consequently, (1) all the above-mentioned petitions of the candidates who failed in the examinations of 1946 to 1952 inclusive are denied, and (2) all candidates who in the examinations of 1953 obtained a general average of 71.5 per cent or more, without having a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, are considered as having passed, whether they have filed petitions for admission or not. After this decision has become final, they shall be permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar on the date or dates that the Chief Justice may set. 7 ECHEGARAY V SECRETARY OF JUSTICE pp. 111-112
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

The 1973 Constitution Article X, Sec5 (5): The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: xxx xxx xxx (5) Promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission in the practice of law, and the integration of the Bar, which, however, may be repealed, altered, or supplemented by the Batasang Pambensa. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform in all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.

The 1987 Constitution Article VIII, Sec5 (5): The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: xxx xxx xxx (5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, the admission in the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform in all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

The 1987 molded an even stronger and more independent judiciary. It expanded the rule-making power of the Supreme Court. For the first time, the court was given the power to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights. It also granted for the first time the power to disapprove rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies. But most importantly, the 1987 Constitution took away the power of Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure. 8 IN RE GUTIERREZ In re Gutierrez Facts: Gutierrez is a member of the Philippine Bar. While he was the municipal mayor of Calapan, he and other co-conspirators murdered the former municipal mayor of Calapan, for which they were held guilty and sentenced to the penalty of death. Upon review by the Supreme court the penalty was changed to reclusion perpetua. After serving a portion of the sentence, Gutierrez was granted conditional pardon by the President. The unexecuted portion of the prison term

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

was remitted on condition that the shall not again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines. The widow of the murdered victim then filed a complaint with the Supreme Court asking that Gutierrez be removed from the rule of lawyers pursuant to Rule 127, section 5. Issue: W/N the conditional pardon to Gutierrez places him beyond the rule of disbarment Held: NO. Under section 5 of Rule 127, a member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. Murder is, without doubt, such a crime. Moral turpitude includes everything contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals. In the Lontok case, on which Gutierrez relies, the respondent, Lontok, was granted absolute or unconditional pardon after conviction for the crime of crime of bigamy. It was held that such pardon releases the punishment and blots out existence of guilt, so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offense. In the case at bar, the pardon granted was conditional, and merely remitted the unexecuted portion of his term. It was not a full pardon which could have blotted out the offense committed. The crime was qualified by treachery and aggravated by its having been committed in band, by taking advantage of his official position, and with the use of a motor vehicle. The degree of moral turpitude warrants disbarment. Admission of a candidate to the bar requires academic preparation and satisfactorytestimonials of good moral character. These standards are neither dispensed with nor lowered after admission: the lawyer must adhere to them or incur the risk of suspension or removal. 9 ROYONG v OBLENA FACTS: Royong, the niece it the common-law wife of Oblena, filed a rape case against the latter. In her complaint, Royong alleged that in 1958 Oblena forced her to have intercourse with her and that she refrained to report the incident because Oblena threatened to kill her family. As a result if the sexual intercourse, Royong gave birth to a child Oblena denied all the allegations and argued that he and Royong had a relationship and Royong consented to have intercourse with him. The Solicitor General recommended that Oblena be permanently removed from the roll of attorney eventhough the acts of the Royong before and after the rape incident showed that she is more of a sweetheart than a
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

victim because of the circumstances behind the incident The Solicitor General also charged Oblena of falsifying and deliberately alleging in his application in the bar in1958 that he is a person of good moral character while having an illicit and adulterous relationship with Angeles who is not only the aunt of Royong but also has a legal husband in the province Oblena moved to dismiss the case because the offenses charged are different from those originally charged in the complaint but the court overruled his petition After the hearing, the investigators concluded that A.) Oblena used his knowledge in law to commit immoral acts without incurring any criminal liability; B.) he committed gross immorality by continuously cohabiting with Angeles, his common-law wife, even after he became a lawyer and C.) Oblena falsified the truth as to his good moral character in his application to take the bar.

ISSUE: W/N the illicit relationship with Royong and the open cohabitation with Angeles, a married woman, are sufficient grounds to cause Oblenas disbarment HELD: YES! Although Oblena is not yet convicted of the crime of rape, seduction or adultery and he is not guilty of any of the grounds for disbarment enumerated in Sec 25, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, the enumeration is not exclusive and the power of the court to exclude unworthy members of the bar is inherent and is a necessary incident to the proper administration of justice and can be exercised even without any statutory authority, in all cases unless properly prohibited by statutes. American jurisprudence provides that the continued possession of a good moral character is a requisite condition for the rightful continuance in the practice of law. The loss requires suspension or disbarment eventhough the statues do not explicitly specify that as a ground of disbarment. Oblenas argument that he believed himself to be a person with good moral character when he filed his application to take the bar examination is wrong. Ones own approximation of himself is not a gauge of his moral character. Moral character is not a subjective term but one which corresponds to objective reality. Moral character is what the person really is and not what he other people thinks he is. His pretension to wait for the 18th birthday of Royong before having carnal knowledge with her shows the scheming mind of Oblena and his taking advantage of his knowledge of the law. Also, Royong is the niece of his common-law wife and he enjoyed moral ascendancy over her. Oblena took advantage of Royongs trust on him.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Oblenas contention that the Solicitor General exceeded his authority in filing the present complain which is entirely different from the original complaint filed is untenable. There is nothing in the law requiring the Solicitor General to charge in his complaint the same offence charged in the original complaint. What the law provides is that if the Solicitor General finds sufficient grounds to proceed against the respondent, he shall file the corresponding complaint accompanied by the evidence introduced in his investigation.

10 CORDON v BALICANTA (complaint for disbarment against Balicanta) Facts: Cordon and her daughter inherited 21 parcels of land in Zamboanga City when Cordons husband died. Sometime after, Balicanta enticed Cordon to organize a corporation to develop the properties. 19 parcels of land was transferred in the name of the newly formed corporation. Balicanta became the Chairman of the Board, President, General Manager and Treasurer of the corporation (kupal talaga) Balicanta was able to transfer some of the land to a certain Tion Suy Ong through an SPA signed by Cordon. Balicanta was also able to obtain a loan from Land Bank using as collateral 9 parcels of land. Balicanta did not even try to redeem the properties and even sold the right to redeem to another person. Gago talaga to si Balicanta. Cordons ancestral home was demolished and Cordon was detained in a nipa shack. Buti na lang at nadiscover ni daughter kung ano nangyari. Sabi kasi ni Balicanta na hes just going to have the house remodeled and repainted, tapos dinemolish na niya. Gago talaga. Cordon and daughter demanded that Balicanta return all the properties given by them to the corporation but Balicanta is unable to do so (napunta na sa ibang tao eh) IBP investigation recommended that Balicanta be disbarred. Balicanta fought back and said that the investigation is prejudiced against him and filed a complaint for disbarment against the people who investigated his case and the lawyers of Cordon. Balicantas complaint was dismissed. Issue: W/N Balicanta should be disbarred Held: Hello?! Siyempre he should be disbarred. Balicanta cannot invoke the separate personality of the corporation (wow, piercing the corporate veil)
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Balicanta has perpetuated massive fraud against his client. Lahat ng ginawa niya against The Code of Professional Responsibility.

11 TING-DUMALI v TORRES FACTS: Isidra Ting-Dumali charges Rolando Torres with violating his oath as a lawyer and canons of legal and judicial ethics. Isidras parents died intestate and left many parcels of land to their 6 children (Isidra, Marcelina, Miriam, Eliseo and Vicente and Felicisima (married to Rolando Torres)) Torres consented to the forgery of Isidras signature for an Extrajudicial settlement making it appear that his wife and Miriam were the only sole heirs. Torres, on a reconstitution hearing, presented false testimony that Miriam and Felicisima were the only sole heirs Torres presented the reconstituted deed to the RD to enable them to profit by selling the land Torres contends that his acts were done in good faith believing for himself that his and the siblings had already agreed on how to dispose of the said lot. That the false testimony was a clear oversight. And that his conformity through his signature was pro forma because the property was a paraphernal property of Marcelina and his wife. Investigating Commissioner of IBP suggested disbarment ISSUE: WoN Torres should be disbarred? HELD: YES RATIO: 1. The lawyers oath, to which all lawyers have subscribed in solemn agreement to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of justice, is not a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law to be forgotten afterwards, nor is it mere words, drift and hollow, but a sacred trust that lawyers must uphold and keep inviolable at all times. 2. A lawyer is the servant of the law and belongs to a profession to which society has entrusted the administration of law and the dispensation of justice, he should make himself more an exemplar for others to emulate and he should make himself more an exemplar for others to emulate and he should not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. 3. The supreme penalty of disbarment is meted out only in clear cases of misconduct that seriously affect the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the court and member of the bar.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

12 MACARRUBO v MACARRUBO Facts: Florence Macarrubo by herself and on behalf of her 2 children files a complaint for disbarment against Edmundo Macarrubo alleging that Edmundo deceived her into marrying him despite his prior subsisting marriage with a certain Helen Esparza. Florence further averred that Edmundo entered into a 3rd marriage with Josephine Constantino; and that he abandoned Florence without providing them w/ regular support. Edmundo denied the allegations, insisting instead that complainant Florence was fully aware of his prior subsisting marriage, but that Florence dragged Edmundo against his will to a 'sham wedding'. Edmundo submitted the decision of RTC declaring his marriage to complainant void ab initio. Edmundo claimed that he left complainant and their 2 children w/ her consent. Issue: W/n Edmundo should be disbarred... Held: Yes. Facts show that while Edmundo has a subsisting marriage w/ Helen Esparza s/ whom he had 2 children, he entered into a 2nd marriage with complainant. While the marriage between complainant Florence and Edmundo has been annulled by final judgment, this does not cleanse his conduct of impropriety. Even assuming arguendo that Edmunod was coerced by complainant to marry her, the duress has ceased after wedding day. Edmundo having freely cohabited with her and even begot a 2nd child. The decision of RTC annulling their marriage is not res judicata on the final resolution of this case. A disbarment case is sui generis for it is neither purely civil nor criminal but is rather an investigation by the court on the conduct of its officers. 13 SICAT v ARIOLA
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Facts: Arturo Sicat, Board Member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Rizal charged Atty. Gregorio E. Ariola of committing fraud, deceit, and falsehood in notarizing a Special Power of Attorney (SPA). Said SPA was purportedly executed by Juanito Benitez, of the JC Benitez Architect and Technical Management. Said company had a contract with the Municipality of Cainta for the construction of low cost houses. What is fraudulent about it is the fact that the SPA was notarized more than 2 months after the death of Benitez, the person who supposedly executed it. P3,700T was paid to JC Benitez Architect and Technical Management for services not rendered (as consultants). Ariola claims that the document he notarized was superfluous and unnecessary, and prejudiced no one, and therefore he should be exonerated the document was cancelled the same day he notarized it, hence legally there was no public document that existed. Issue: W/N Ariola can be held liable. Held: Yes. Notaries public should not authenticate documents unless the persons who signed them are the very same persons who executed them an personally appeared before the, to attest to the contents and truth of what are stated therein. His assertion of falsehood in a public document contravened one of the most cherished tenets of the legal profession and potentially cast suspicion on the truthfulness of every notarial act. Ariola is disbarred, and not merely suspended for a year. 14 CHUA v MESINA, Jr Facts: Atty Simeon Mesina is the legal counsel of spouses Anna Chua and Chua An. The spouses leased a building owned by Mesinas family. The property, however, was actually mortgaged in favor of a bank for a loan obtained by Mesinas motherFelicisima Melencio (who was the registered owner as well). When Felicisima failed to meet her obligations to the bank, the spouses were convinced by Mesina to help his mother in consideration for the purchase of the same lot at a certain price. A deed of sale was made conveying the property to the spouses.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

But when the spouses were appraised for capital gains tax, Atty Mesina suggested to execute another deed of salethis time, the date of the transaction is 1979, which is before the effectivity of the law imposing capital gains tax. Not long after the title was handed over to the spouses, another lessee of the buildingTecsonquestioned the transaction as he was, himself, interested in buying the property. Tecson filed charges for falsification of documents. To avoid the falsification charge, Mesina proposed to simulate a deed of sale wherein the spouses would appear to resell the property to Felicisima. A new title was issued to Felicisima by virtue of said deed but this was entrusted in the hands of the spouses. Later on, Tecson desisted from pursuing the charges. Meanwhile, Mesina borrowed the title of the property from the spouses and promised to transfer, yet again, title in the name of the spouses. But Mesina failed to effect such transfer and the spouses learned that the property is being offered to a public sale. Hence the action. The case was investigated by the IBP and recommended that Mesina be suspended for gross misconduct. Issue: Was Atty. Mesina guilty of gross misconduct? Held: Blimey! Of course! When Atty Mesina advised Chua to execute a deed of sale antedated to 1979 to evade payment of capital gains tax, he violated his duty to promote respect for law and legal processes. When he convinced Chua to execute another deed to make it appear that the property was conveyed back to Felicisima, Mesina committed dishonesty. And when he obtained the title upon the misrepresentation that he will return the same after 4 months, he committed dishonesty again. There were also badges of fraud that can be attributed to Mesina as there were marked differences in the signatures of Felicisima. Clearly, Mesina violated his oath of office and Canons 1, 7, 15, and 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. His disbarment is warranted. 15 DE YSASI III v NLRC FACTS This is a case filed by a son against his father Father employed Son as farm administrator of Hacienda Manucao Son suffered various ailments and was hospitalized on 2 separate occasions, June and August 1982 Father took care of medical expenses while son continued to receive compensation
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

However, in April 1984, Father ceased to pay Sons salary Son filed an action in NLRC for illegal dismissal with prayer for reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and payment of full back wages NLRC dismissed case stating that Son has abandoned his work and termination is for a valid cause though ordered Father to pay P5,000 as penalty for failure to serve notice of said termination to son

ISSUE HELD YES

W/N SON WAS ILLEGALLY DISMISSED

RATIO Article 282 of Labor Code enumerates causes for which an employer may valid terminate an employment Father banks on the fact that Son has abandoned his work However, to constitute abandonment there must be a clear, deliberate and justified refusal to resume employment and not mere absence In the case at bar, the reason for the Sons absence was due to his illness of which Father was aware of since he paid hospital and medical bills Father is ordered to pay Son backwages in lieu of reinstatement and separation pay equivalent to 1 month for every year of service ISSUE W/N COUNSELS OF EACH PARTY ACTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY HELD NO

RATIO Rule 1.04 of the Code of Responsibility explicitly provides a lawyer shall encourage his client to avoid, end or settle the controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement In the case at bar, records do not show that counsel of both parties took pains to initiate steps geared toward a rapprochment between their clients In the same manner, the labor arbiter has been less than faithful to the spirit of the Labor Code as he did not exert all efforts towards the amicable settlement of the labor dispute 16 PEOPLE v ROSQUETA Facts: There was a criminal case against Antonio Rosqueta, Jr., Eugenio Rosqueta and Citong Bringas. On appeal, the SC issued a resolution ordering Atty.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Gregorio Estacio (counsel de parte of the accused) to explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against him for his failure to file the brief for appellants during the required period. Estacio failed to explain, so he was suspended from the practice of law. He then filed a motion for reconsideration saying that he did file the briefs but he sent it to Rosqueta Sr., whose house was burned down along with the briefs. He also said that the reason why he did not file the briefs was because the accused declared that they intended t withdraw their appeal for lack of money. The SC did subsequently receive affidavits from the accused withdrawing their appeal. Issue: W/n Estacios acts should be punished. Held: SC says yes. His acts were not consistent with the idea that the law is not a business but a profession. Lawyers do their job not for the sole consideration of money. Estacio should have continued with his duties despite knowing that the accused did not have money anymore. SC commended what some lawyers would have done in that situation which was to be declared as counsel de officio so that the client remains properly represented by a lawyer who is already familiar with the case. SC said that Estacios suspension for 5 mos. is already sufficient punishment for his acts. Thus, the suspension is lifted and Estacio is not anymore required to file the briefs but he is censured for negligence and inattention to duty. 17 CANOY v ORTIZ Facts: A Complaint was filed Canoy accusing Atty. Ortiz of misconduct and malpractice. It was alleged that Canoy filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against Coca Cola Philippines. Atty. Ortiz appeared as counsel for Canoy in this proceeding. Canoy submitted all the documents and records to Atty. Ortiz for the preparation of the position paper. Thereafter, he made several unfruitful visits to the office of Atty. Ortiz to follow-up the progress of the case. He was shocked to learn that his complaint was actually dismissed way back in 1998, for failure to prosecute, the parties not having submitted their position papers. Canoy alleged that Ortiz had never communicated to him about the status of the case. Atty. Ortiz informs the Court that he has mostly catered to indigent and low-income clients, at considerable financial sacrifice to himself. Atty. Ortiz admits that the period within which to file the position paper had already lapsed. He attributes this failure to timely file the position paper to the fact that after his election as Councilor of Bacolod City, he was frankly
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

preoccupied with both his functions as a local government official and as a practicing lawyer. Issue: W/N Atty. is liable to be sanctioned. Held: Atty. Ortiz is to be sanctioned. Suspension from the practice of law for one (1) month. Several of the canons and rules in the Code of Professional Responsibility guard against the sort of conduct. CANON 18A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. Rule 18.03A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. Rule 18.04A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to the clients request for information. His failure to do so constitutes a violation of Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. A lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. He owes entire devotion to the interest of the client. The relationship of lawyer-client being one of confidence, there is ever present the need for the client to be adequately and fully informed of the developments of the case and should not be left in the dark. Neither is the Court mollified by the circumstance of Atty. Ortizs election as a City Councilor of Bacolod City, as his adoption of these additional duties does not exonerate him of his negligent behavior. 18 PEOPLE v STA TERESA Facts: Angeles Sta. Teresa was found by the trial court to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt of raping his 12-year old daughter, and was given the penalty of death. The case is now on automatic review. When accused was arraigned, he pleaded not guilty. After 9 days, his counsel de oficio made a manifestation that the accused wanted to change his plea to guilty. The prosecution no longer presented testimonial evidence and merely presented exhibits to which counsel de oficio did not comment nor object. During the promulgation of RTCs decision, counsel failed to appear and the trial judge
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

had to appoint another counsel de oficio for the purpose of promulgation. Issue: W/N counsel de officio discharged his duties properly Held: NO. The abbreviated and aborted presentation of the prosecution evidence and the improvident plea of guilty was not in accordance with requirements of due process Considering the gravity of the offense charged and the finality of the penalty, the counsel de oficios performance was utterly wanting. As a lawyer sworn to uphold justice and the law, he had the duty to exert utmost efforts to defend his client and protect his rights, no matter how guilty or evil he appears to be. This duty becomes more compelling is his client is accused of a grave crime and is in danger of forfeiting his life The right to counsel means more that just the presence of a lawyer in the courtroom or the mere propounding of standard questions and objections. Counsel must provide effective legal assistance and commit himself to the cause for the defense. There must be active involvement by the lawyer and he must be well-versed on the case, the procedures, law, and jurisprudence. 19 KHAN V SIMBILLO FACTS: An advertisement in Philippine Daily Inquirer came out which reads: ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE SPECIALIST 532-4333/521-2667. SC ordered its staff to call the number and ask some information. Espeleta called the number and the wife of Atty. Rizalino Simbillo answered who said that his husband was an expert in handling annulment cases and guarantees a court decree within 4-6 month. The services of Atty. Simbillo is for P48,000. half of which is payable at the filing of the case and the balance after the decision has been rendered. Similar advertisement also appeared in The Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin. Khan, Assist. Court Administrator, filed a case against Simbillo for violating the Code of Professional Responsibility, Rule 2.03 and 3.01. Simbillo admitted that he caused the advertisement but he argued that solicitation and advertisement is not prohibited per se and that it is about time to change our views about the prohibition on advertising and solicitation. He also said that the interest of the public is not served by the prohibition and suggested that the ban be lifted. IBP recommended that Simbillo be suspended for 1 year and that repetition of similar act will be dealt with more severely. While the case was being investigated upon by the court, Simbillo again
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

advertised his legal services, for 2 times, in the Buy & Sell Free Ads Magazine. ISSUE: W/N Simbillo violated the Code of Professional Responsibility HELD: YES! Rule 2.03 provides a lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal business while Rule 3.01 states that a lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. It has been repeatedly stressed that the practice of law is not a business. It is a profession in which the duty to public service, not money, is the primary consideration. The gaining of livelihood should be a secondary consideration. Aside from advertising himself as an Annulment of Marriage Specialist, his assurance of his clients that an annulment may be obtained in 4-6 months from the filing of the case encourages people, who might other have 2nd thought, to dissolve their marriage. Solicitation of legal business is not proscribed. However, solicitation must be compatible with the dignity of the legal profession. The use of simple signs stating the name/s of the lawyers, the office and residence address and the fields of expertise, as well as advertisement in legal periodicals bearing the same brief data, are permissible. The use of calling cards is now acceptable. 20 IN RE TAGORDA Facts: Luis Tagorda is a member of the provincial board of Isabela Previous to the last election, he used placards which in a way was advertising his services as a lawyer and notary public He also wrote a letter to a lieutenant of a barrio in Echague,Isabela. In essence he was informing the lieutenant that he will be in Echague during the weekends and the lieutenant should convey this information to the other people in his town. Issue: W/N the acts of Tagorda is advertising Held:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Yes, Tagorda is in a way advertising his services and this is contrary to the Canons of Professional Ethics (wala pa yung code of professional responsibility, 1929 case to) The most worthy and effective advertising for a lawyer is a well-merited reputation for professional capacity. Solicitation of business by circulars or advertisements, or by personal communications or interviews not warranted by personal relations, is unprofessional. It is unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring lawsuit. Solicitation of cases result in the lowering of the confidence of the community and integrity of the members of the bar. It results in needless litigations and in incenting to strife. Tagorda suspended for a month.

21 DIR OF LEGAL AFFAIRS V BAYOT FACTS: Bayot was charged with malpractice by publishing Marriagelicense promptly secured thru our assistance & the annoyance of delay or publicity avoided if desired, and marriage arranged to wishes of parties. Consultation on any matter free for the poor. Everything confidential. In the Sunday Tribune Bayot first denied the publication but later on admitted, and asked for mitigation saying: o I only did it once. I wont repeat it again! o I never had any case by reason of the publication ISSUE: WoN Bayot can be charged with malpractice? HELD: YES. 1. The publication is tantamount to a solicitation of business from the public. Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other things that "the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice." It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is a profession and not a trade. 2. In In re Tagorda, 53 Phil., the respondent attorney was suspended from the practice of law for the period of one month for advertising his services and soliciting work from the public by writing circular letters. That case, however, was more serious than this because there the solicitations were
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

repeatedly made and were more elaborate and insistent..Considering his plea for leniency and his promise not to repeat the misconduct, the Court is of the opinion and so decided that the respondent should be, as he hereby is, reprimanded. 3. "The most worth and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but must be the outcome of character and conduct." (Canon 27, Code of Ethics.) 22 ULEP V LEGAL CLINIC FACTS: Ulep prays the Supreme Court to order the Legal Clinic to cease, issuing advertisement similar to or of the same tenor as that of annexes A and B (p381). Legal Clinic admits the facts of publication of said advertisement that claims that it is not engage in the practice of law but in the rendering of legal support services through paralegals with the use of modern computers and electronic machine. ISSUE: W/N the services offered by Legal Clinic as advertised by it constitutes practice of law Whether the same can properly be the subject of the advertisement complained of HELD: According to the IBP, notwithstanding the manner by which respondent endeavored to distinguish the 2 terms, legal support services and legal services, common sense would readily dictate that the same are essentially without substantial distinction. The use of the name the Legal Clinic gives the impression that the respondent corporation is being managed by lawyers and that it renders legal services. The advertisement in question is meant to induce the performance of acts contrary to law, morals, public order and public policy. This is in violation of Canon 1 Rule 1.02 that is counseling illegal activities. Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court which requires that application of law, legal procedures, knowledge, training and experience. Applying the case Cayetano vs. Monsod, the court agrees that the activities of the respondent Legal Clinic constitute the practice of law. Such a conclusion will not be altered by the fact that respondent does not represent clients in court since law practice is not limited merely to court appearances.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Regarding the issue on the validity of the questioned advertisements, the Code of Profession Responsibility provides that a lawyer, in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, and objective information or statement of facts. The proscription against advertising of legal services rests on the fundamental postulate that the practice of law is a profession. Exceptions: o Publication in reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by the canon o Ordinary, simple professional card. The card may contain only the statement of his name, the law firm, address and branch of law practiced. Considering that Atty. Nogales who is the prime incorporator, major stockholder and proprietor of the legal clinic is a member of the Philippine Bar, he is hereby reprimanded with a warning that the repetition of the same or similar acts which are involved in this proceeding will be dealt with more severely.

23 SAN JOSE HOMEOWNERS V ROMANILLOS Facts: This is a disbarment case against Atty. Roberto Romanillos, for representing conflicting interests and for using the title Judge despite having been found guilty of grave and serious misconduct (in Zarate v Romanillos). Apparently, Romanillos was previously an active board member as corporate secretary of Durano Corp. Inc. (DCI). But it allowed itself to represent San Jose Homeowners Association, Inc (SJHAI) before the human Settlements Regulation Commission in a case against the same DCI. Irrelevant info: the case above was an alleged violation of DCI of the Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protection Act. DCI sold a land designated as a school site, without disclosing it as such. (page 106) When SJHAIs petition over the land was denied, the SJHAIs Board terminated Romanillos services. Also, Romanillos acted as counsel for Lydia Durano-Rodriguez who substituted for DCI. Thus, a disbarment case was filed for conflicting interests. The IBP handled the case, but he was merely reprimanded. In spite of this, he still continued to serve as counsel for Durano-Rodriguez. Thus, a second disbarment case was filed. It also included his use of judge although he was found guilty of grave and serious misconduct. Issue: W/N Romanillos should be disbarred

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Held:

Yes. It is inconsequential that SJHAI never questioned the propriety of respondents continued representation of Durano-Rodriguez. The lack of opposition does not mean consent. As long as the lawyer represents 2 or more opposing clients, he is guilty of violating his oath. His continued use of judge violated Rules 1.01 and 3.01. The penalty imposed on him in the Zarate case forfeiture of all leave and retirement benefits and privileges: including the title judge. (he was a judge before, but he resigned instead of being booted out) The title judge should be reserved only to judges, incumbent and retired, an not to those who were dishonorably discharged from the service.

24 DIMATULAC v VILLON Facts: In the prosecution of the Yabuts for the murder of Dimatulac, the Office of the Public Prosecutor (particularly the Asst Prosecutor) and two Judges (who handled the case) committed serious procedural flaws resulting in the impairment of due process (prejudicial to both the offended party and the accused). Procedural irregularities in the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor: o Warrants of arrest were issued by the MCTC, with no bail recommended, but the Yabuts were not arrested or were never brought unto the custody of the law. Yet, Asst Fiscal Alfonso-Reyes conducted a reinvestigation. Though a prosecutor may disagree with the findings of the judge who conducted the preliminary investigation (and conduct his own), the circumstance that the accused waived the filing of their counter-affidavits left Alfonso-Reyes no other choice but to sustain the MCTC findingswhich she did not do. And later on, Alfonso-Reyes allowed the Yabuts to file their counter-affidavits without first demanding that they surrender by virtue of the standing warrants of arrest. o Alfonso-Reyes recommended a bond of 20k for the Yabuts despite the fact that they were charged of homicide and that they were fugitives from justice (having avoided service of warrant of arrest). o Alfonso-Reyes was aware of the private prosecutions appeal to the DOJ from her resolution. (The subsequent resolution of the DOJ Secretary exposed her blatant errors.) And despite the pending appeal, she filed the Information. It would be more prudent to wait for the DOJ resolution. o Office of the Prosecutor did not even inform the trial court of the pending appeal to the DOJ Secretary. Judge Rouras procedural lapses:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

o Deferred resolution on the motion for a hold departure order until such time that all the accused who are out on bail are arraigned o Denied the motion to defer proceedings for the reason that private prosecution has not shown any indication that the appeal was given due course by DOJ Judge Villons procedural lapses: o Ordered arraignment despite: a motion to defer proceedings; a tenday period with which the complainants can file petition with the CA; resolution of the CA ordering the Yabuts to comment on the complainants action; pending appeal with the DOJ.

Issue: Can the orders of Judge Roura and Judge Villon be sustained despite procedural defects? Held: No. The orders of Judge Roura denying Motion to Defer proceedings are void and set aside. The order of Judge Villon on the arraignment, and the subsequent arraignment of the Yabuts are void and set aside. Office of the Provincial Prosecutor is ordered to comply with the DOJ Secretarys resolution. Prosecutors are the representatives not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win every case but that justice be done. They are servants of the law whose two-fold aim is that guilt shall not escape and innocence shall not suffer. The judge should always be imbued with a high sense of duty and responsibility in the discharge of his obligation to promptly and properly administer justice. The judges action must not impair the substantial rights of the accused, nor the right of the State and offended party. When the State is deprived of due process in a criminal case by reason of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court, the acquittal of the accused or dismissal of the case is void. 25 TRIESTE v SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS TRIESTE was charged with 23 separate violations of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act* because while being the Municipal Mayor and member of the Committee on Award of the Municipality of Numancia in Aklan and having financial or pecuniary interest in TRIGEN Agro-Industrial
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Development Corporation, he awarded purchases of construction materials by the said municipality from the said corporation and signing the vouchers as evidence of said purchase The Sandiganbayan found TRIESTE guilty and sentenced him to suffer indeterminate penalty of imprisonment and perpetual disqualification TRIESTE, in his defense, alleges that he signed the vouchers only after all the purchases had already been made, delivered and paid for by the Municipal Treasurer hence he cannot be guilty under the provisions of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act W/N TRIESTE IS GUILTY UNDER THE ANTI GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT NO

ISSUE HELD

RATIO TRIESTE already sold his shares to a certain MRS TUASON before he assumed office and despite the absence of it in the SEC records, the court finds this fact immaterial as there is no law requiring submission of reports regarding sales and disposal of stocks (what is required is only submission of annual financial reports) The Municipal Treasurer testified that there was never a public bidding hence if there is no bidding then there could be no awarding by TRIESTE Testimonial and documentary evidence both confirm that TRIESTE signed vouchers after payment and since what is contemplated in the Anti-Graft Law is the actual intervention in the transaction which one has financial or pecuniary interest in, TRIESTE cannot be held liable under such Law TRIGEN did not gain any undue advantage in the transaction such that there is no complaint for non-delivery, underdelivery or overpricing in the transactions Hence, TRIESTE should be acquitted NOTE *Section 3. Corrupt Practices of Public Officers (h) Directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest 26 TATAD v SANDIGANBAYAN Facts:

Oct. 1974 Antonio de los Reyes, former Head Executive Assistant of the Department of Public Information (DPI), filed a report to the Legal Panel of
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

the Presidential Security Command (PSC) containing charges of violations of RA30191 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acts) against Sec. of DPI Francisco Tatad. 1979 Tatad had a falling out with then Pres. Marcos and the charges became widely known. Dec. 12, 1979 a formal complaint was filed with the Tanodbayan Apr. 1, 1980 Tanodbayan referred the complaint to the PSC for investigation and report. June 16, 1980 report by PSC was submitted recommending the filing of charges for graft and corruption. Oct. 25, 1982 all affidavits and counter-affidavits were in and the case was ready for disposition. July 5, 1985 Tanodbayan issued a resolution calling for the filing of charges against Tatad in the Sandiganbayan. 5 informations were filed against Tatad in 1985. Tatad now questions the propriety of the filing of charges. He alleges that his rights to due process and speedy disposition of cases have been violated. W/n Tatads rights to due process and speedy disposition of cases have been violated. SC says yes they were violated by the long delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan. Substantial adherence to the requirements of the law and substantial compliance with the time limitation prescribed by law is part of procedural due process. The case was ready for disposition as early as 1982 but the informations were only filed in 1985. A delay of close to 3 years can not be deemed reasonable or justifiable in the light of the circumstance obtaining in the case at bar. The charges in the complaint, specially his failure to file his Statement of Assets and Liabilities, are not that complicated to require 3 years before formal complaints are filed.

Issue: Held:

27 PNB v ATTY CEDO

(a) Giving DGroup, a private corporation owned by his brother in-law unwarranted benefits; (b) receiving a check from Roberto Vallar, Gen. Manager

of Amity Trading Corp., as consideration for the release of a check to the said corp. for printing services rendered during the Constitutional Convention Referendum; and (c) failure to file his Statement of Assets and Liabilities.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Facts: PNB filed a complaint against Atty. Cedo for violation of Rule 6.02 that states: A lawyer shall not, after leaving govt. service, accept engagement or employment in connection with any matter which he had intervened with in said service. Cedo was the former Asst. Vice-President of the Asset management Group of PNB. During Cedos stint with PNB, he became involved in 2 transactions: 1.) sale of steel sheets to Ms. Ong and 2.) intervened in the handling of a loan of spouses Almeda. When a civil action arose because of #1, Cedo, after leaving the bank appeared as one of the counsel of Ms. Ong. Also, when #2 was involved in a civil action, the Almedas were represented by the law firm Cedo, Ferrer, Maynigo & Associates of which Cedo was a Senior Partner. Cedo claims that he did not participate in the litigation of Ms. Ongs case. He also claims that even if it was his law firm handling the Almeda case, the case was being handled by Atty. Ferrer. Issue: W/N violated Rule 6.02. Held: Cedo violated Rule 6.02. In the complexity of what is said in the course of dealings between the atty. and the client, inquiry of the nature suggested would lead to the revelation, in advance of the trial, of other matters that might only further prejudice the complainant cause. Whatever may be said as to w/n the atty. utilized against his former client information given to him in a professional capacity, the mere fact that their previous relationship should have precluded him from appearing as counsel for the other side. It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests, except by express consent of all the parties concerned after the disclosure of facts. A lawyer represents conflicting interests when, in behalf of one client, it is his duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires him to oppose. 28 DINSAY v CIOCO Facts: Planters Machinery Corporation (PLAMACO) mortgaged to Traders Royal Bank (the Bank) certain properties as security for the payment of its loan. PLAMACO defaulted in the payment of the loan so the Bank extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage. At a foreclosure sale conducted by the sheriff, the property was sold to the bank, who was the sole bidder. A certificate of Sheriffs sale was executed by Atty. Cioco, then clerk of Court and Ex-officio Sheriff. Records disclose that page four of the said Certificate was surreptitiously substituted. The new page lowered the bid price from the original amount
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

of P3, 263, 182.67 to only P730,000. Cioco and the sheriff who conducted the sale had previously been administratively charged and dismissed from service. Now, Atty.Cioco is sought to be disbarred. He argues that there was res adjudicata due to the administrative case, and that disbarment was deemed adjudicated therein, thus he may now longer be charged.

Issue: W/N Cioco may be charged with disbarment (W/N res adjudicata appplies) Held: Ciocos contention has no merit. Res adjudicata applies only to judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings and not to the exercise of the Courts administrative powers, as in this case. Disbarment has not been adjudicated in the previous case. Therein, Cioco was administratively proceeded against as an erring Court personnel under the supervisory authority of the court. Herein, Cioco is sought to be disciplined as a lawyer under the courts plenary authority over members of the legal profession. While Cioco is in effect being indicted twice for the same misconduct, there is no double jeopardy as both proceedings are administrative in nature. 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 duties as a government official. The exception is , if that misconduct affects his qualification as a lawyer or shows moral delinquency. Ciocos participation in changing the bid price in the Certificate of Sheriffs Sale affects his fitness as a member of the bar. He knows it is patently illegal to alter its contents after notarization, since it is already a public document. Cioco is disbarred. 29 IGOY v SORIANO FACTS: Igoy is one of the petitioners in the case of Heirs of Gavino Igoy, et al. vs. Mactan Shangrila Hotel. Eng. William Redoblado introduced Atty. Soriano to Igoy as a Justice of the CA. According to Igoys friend, Atty. Soriano will be able to help him in his case which is pending in the CA Atty. Soriano demanded from Igoy P20,000 but the former reminded the latter the he will only be able to help in the case as soon as the case was lifted to the SC Igoys case received an unfavorable decision in the CA and Atty. Soriano offered to prepare the Petition for Review to be filed in the SC.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Atty. Soriano asked for an additional P20,000 Igoy send the amount by courier to the address of Atty. Soriano which was received by his son. SC denied the petition for review of Igoy with finality Igoy later found out that Atty. Soriano is not a CA Justice and filed this complaint against Igoy in the SC Arguments of Atty. Soriano: o It is unnatural for a person to give money to someone whom he does not know well and whom he met only for the first time o The money was offered gratuitously by Igoy o it is impossible the Igoy handed the money to him on the SC parking lot for many employees were passing in that place o it is not Eng. Redoblado who introduced him to Igoy but Mr. Taneo o if the SC finds that he is guilty, he will retire from the service Atty. Soriano filed his letter of resignation/retirement under RA 1616 ISSUE: W/N Atty. Soriano violated Canon 6, Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility HELD: Yes! Atty. Soriano was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all retirement benefits and is suspended from the practice of law. Atty. Sorianos offer to resign was obviously an attempt to evade whatever penalty may be imposed on him. However, resignation will not extricate him form the consequences of his acts Resignation should not be used either as an escape or an easy way out to evade administrative liability by court personnel facing administrative sanctions To accept the claim of Soriano that the money was offered gratuitously will open the floodgates to fraud or graft and corruption. Government lawyers who are public servants owe utmost fidelity to the public service for public service is a public trust. Government lawyers should be more sensitive to their professional obligations as their reputable conduct is more likely to be magnified in the public eye. The nature and responsibilities of public officers enshrined in the Constitution are not mere rhetorical words to be taken lightly as idealistic sentiments but as working standards and attainable goals that should e matched with actual deeds. 30 PCGG v SANDIGANBAYAN *kalokohan na kaso to, 140++ pages (disclaimer) main decision 28 pages lang ** merong history of Rule 6.03 and other historical stuff sa case Facts:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

1976: General Bank & Trust Company (Genbank) encountered financial difficulties. Central Bank extended loans to Genbank in the hope of rehabilitating it (P310M). Nonetheless, Genbank failed to recover. 1977: Genbank was declared insolvent. A public bidding of Genbanks assets was held with the Lucio Tan Group winning the bid. Solicitor General Mendoza, representing the government, intervened with the liquidation of Genbank. 1986: after EDSA I, Cory established the PCGG to recover the ill-gotten wealth of Marcos, his family and cronies. 1987: PCGG filed a case against Lucio Tan and certain other people (basta marami sila). In relation to this case, PCGG issued several writs of sequestration on properties allegedly acquired by the respondents by taking advantage of their close relationship and influence with Marcos. Sandiganbayan heard the case. Estelito Mendoza (Solicitor General during the time of Marcos) represented the respondents. 1991: PCGG filed a motion to disqualify Mendoza, because of his participation in the liquidation of Genbank. Genbank (now Allied Bank) is one of the properties that PCGG is seeking to be sequestered from the Lucion Tan group. PCGG invoked Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Sandiganbayan denied PCGGs motion. According to the Sandiganbayan, Mendoza did not take an adverse position to that taken on behalf of the Central Bank. And Mendozas appearance as counsel was beyond the 1 year prohibitory period since he retired in 1986.

Issue: W/N Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility apllies to Estelito Mendoza Held: No, it does not apply to Mendoza. Sandiganbayan decision is affirmed. The matter (see 3rd note), or the act of Mendoza as Solicitor General is advising the Central Bank on how to proceed with the liquidation of Genbank. This is not the matter contemplated by Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The matter involved in the liquidation of Genbank is entirely different from the matter involved in the PCGG case against the Lucio Tan group. The intervention contemplated in Rule 6.03 should be substantial and important. The role of Mendoza in the liquidation of Genbank is considered insubstantial. SC is even questioning why PCGG took such a long time to revive the motion to disqualify Mendoza. Apparently, PCGG already lost a lot of cases against Mendoza. Kyles interpretation: PCGG getting desperate
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Something to think about: SC is somehow of the opinion that Rule 6.03 will make it harder for the government to get good lawyers in the future to work for them because of the prohibition of accepting cases in the future that were related to ones work as a government counsel.

Concurring Opinions: Panganiban & Carpio: the congruent interest prong of Rule 6.03 should have a prescriptive period Tinga: Rule 6.03 cannot apply retroactively to Mendoza (when he was Solicitor General, no Rule 6.03 yet) Bottom line, they are all questioning the unfairness of the rule if applied without any prescriptive period and if applied retroactively Notes: Adverse-interest conflicts where the matter in which the former government lawyer represents a client in private practice is substantially related to a matter that the lawyer dealt with while employed with the government and the interests of the current and former are adverse Congruent-interest conflicts the use of the word conflict is a misnomer, it does not involve conflicts at all, as it prohibits lawyers from representing a private person even if the interests of the former government client and the new client are entirely parallel Matter any discrete, isolatable act as well as indentifiable transaction or conduct involving a particular situation and specific party Intervention interference that may affect the interests of others

31 IN RE GALANG FACTS: Ramon Galang has a pending criminal case of slight physical injuries in the City Court of Manila He took the Bar Exams 7 times and was allowed to take the lawyers oath in 1972. BUT, he was allowed to do so only because he fraudulently concealed and withheld from the Court his pending criminal case in 1962,63,64,66,67,69 and 71. And in 1966,67,69 and 71 he committed perjury when he declared under oath that he had no pending criminal case in court ISSUE: WoN Galang should be disbarred? HELD: YES! RATIO:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

1. It is well-settled in a long string of cases that concealment of an atty in his application to take the Bar of the fact that he had been charged with, or indicted for,an alleged crime is a ground for revocation of his license to practice law. (Guilty of Fraud upon the Court) 2. Galangs persistent denial of his involvement in any criminal case (which he later admitted) and his failure to clear his name for 13 years indicate his lack of the requisite attributes of honesty, probity and good demeanor. He is therefore unworthy to be a lawyer. (he did not offer any explanation for such omission). 3. Among other grounds for disbarment: a. Misrepresentations of, or false pretenses relative to, the reqt on applicants educational attainment b. Lack of good moral character c. Fraudulent passing of the Bar exams 32 IN RE CUEVAS Facts: Petitioner Arthur Cuevas Jr., recently passed the 1996 Bar Examinations. His oath taking was held in abeyance in view of the Court's resolution which permitted him to take the Bar Exams subject to the condition that should he pass the same he shall not be allowed to take the lawyer's oath pending approval of the court. This resolution was due to his previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence resulting in Homicide. The conviction stemmed from Cuevas' participation in the initiation rites of the LEX TALIONIS FRATERNITAS, a fraternity in the SAN BEDA College of Law, where Raul Camaligan, a neophyte, died as a result of personal violence inflicted upon him. Thereafter, petitioner applied for and was granted probation. He was later discharged from probation and his case considered closed and terminated. In this petition, Cuevas prays that he be allowed to take the lawyer's oath at the court's most convenient time. Issue: W/n Cuevas should be allowed to take the lawyers oath... Held: YES. His deliberate participation in the senseless beatings over a helpless neophyte shich resulted to the latter's untimely demise indicates absence of that moral fitness required for admission to the bar. The court nonetheless is willing to give Cuevas a chance in the same manner that it recently allowed Al Caparros Argosino (case sa legprof), petitioner's co-accused below, to take the lawyer's oath.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

His discharge from probation without any infraction of the attendant conditions therefor and the various certification attesting to his righteous peaceful and civicoriented character prove that he has taken decisive steps to purge himself of his deficiency in moral character. 33 DIAO v MARTINEZ Facts: Telesfor Diao was admitted to the Bar in 1953. Two years after, Severino Martinez charged him for having falsely represented his application: that he had the requisite academic qualifications. The Solicitor General investigated and recommended that Diaos name be erased from the roll of attorneys. Diao has not completed BEFORE taking up law, the required pre-legal education prescribed by the Department of Private Education: o Diao did not complete his HS training; and o Diao never attended Quisumbing College Diao claims that he left HS in his third year, he entered the US Army, passed the General Qualification Test, which according to him, is equivalent to a HS diploma, and upon return to civilian life, the education authorities considered his army service as the equivalent of 3rd and 4th year HS. Also, he claims that he really got his college diploma from Arellano University in April 1949. He says he was erroneously certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of Quisumbing Collge, in his school records. Issue: W/N Diao should be removed from the roll. Held:

Yes. Diaos name is removed from the roll. The error or confusion was to his own making. Had his application showed that he graduated from Arellano, it would have showed that he took up law 6 months before obtaining his Associate in Arts degree. He then would have not been permitted to take the Bar. Rule: That PREVIOUS to the study of law, he had successfully and satisfactorily completed the required pre-legal education as prescribed by the Department of Education. The fact that he hurdled the bar is immaterial. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally essential.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

34 CALUB v SULLER Facts: Atty Suller raped the wife of his neighbor Cristino Calub. A criminal complaint for rape was filed against Suller. A complaint for disbarment was also filed by Calub before the SC. The CFI acquitted Suller for failure of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Issue: Can Atty Suller be disbarred? Held: Yes. Acquittal in a criminal case is not determinative of an administrative case for disbarment. A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for misconduct, whether in his professional or private capacity, which shows that he lacks moral character to continue as officer of the court. The rape by a lawyer of his neighbors wife constitutes such serious moral depravity. 35 UI v BONIFACIO FACTS LESLIES side of the story o LESLIE Ui married CARLOS and had 4 children with him o Subsquently, LESLIE found out CARLOS was having illicit relations with Atty IRIS Bonifacio and begot a daughter o CARLOS admitted this relationship with LESLIE who confronted IRIS o IRIS told LESLIE everything was over between her and CARLOS o However, LESLIE found out later the illicit relations continued and IRIS even had 2nd child with CARLOS o LESLIE filed a complaint for disbarment against IRIS on ground of immorality IRIS side of the story o Met CARLOS who represented himself as a bachelor with children by a Chinese woman with whom he had long been estranged o CARLOS and IRIS got married in Hawaii o Upon return to Manila, they did not live together because CARLOS wanted his children with the Chinese woman to gradually know and accept his marriage with IRIS o When IRIS knew about the 1st marriage, she cut all ties with him In proceedings before the IBP Commission, LESLIE filed a motion to cite IRIS in contempt for making false allegations in her Answer to impress upon the IBP that her 1st child by CARLOS was within wedlock

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

o IRIS indicated in Answer she got married to CARLOS in Oct 22, 1985 o However, Certificate of Marriage certified by State Registrar revealed that date of marriage was actually Oct 22, 1987 ISSUE HELD W/N IRIS SHOULD BE DISBARRED NO

RATIO Immorality Requisites to admission to practice of law includes being a person of good moral character and possession of such must be continuous Loss of good moral character is a ground of revocation of the privilege of the practice of law In the case at bar, IRIS was imprudent in her personal affairs Circumstances existed which should have at least aroused her suspicion that something was amiss (i.e. not living together as husband and wife, children by another woman, etc) but she did not do anything about it However, the fact remains that IRIS relationship with CARLOS was clothed with marriage and cannot be considered immoral Moreover, such conduct to warrant disciplinary action must be grossly immoral that is so corrupt and false to constitute a criminal act or moral indifference to the opinion of respectable members of the community IRIS act of immediately distancing herself belies the alleged moral indifference and proves she has no intention of flaunting the law Hence, IRIS should not be disbarred False allegation Any normal bride would recall date and year of marriage Difficult to fathom how IRIS could forget the year of her marriage Moreover, any prudent lawyer would verify the information contained in an attachment to her pleading especially in this case since IRIS had personal knowledge of facts stated therein Hence, IRIS should be reprimanded for attaching marriage certificate with an altered date 36 ROYONG v OBLENA FACTS: Royong, the niece it the common-law wife of Oblena, filed a rape case against the latter. In her complaint, Royong alleged that in 1958 Oblena forced her to have intercourse with her and that she refrained to report the incident because
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Oblena threatened to kill her family. As a result if the sexual intercourse, Royong gave birth to a child Oblena denied all the allegations and argued that he and Royong had a relationship and Royong consented to have intercourse with him. The Solicitor General recommended that Oblena be permanently removed from the roll of attorney eventhough the acts of the Royong before and after the rape incident showed that she is more of a sweetheart than a victim because of the circumstances behind the incident The Solicitor General also charged Oblena of falsifying and deliberately alleging in his application in the bar in1958 that he is a person of good moral character while having an illicit and adulterous relationship with Angeles who is not only the aunt of Royong but also has a legal husband in the province Oblena moved to dismiss the case because the offenses charged are different from those originally charged in the complaint but the court overruled his petition After the hearing, the investigators concluded that A.) Oblena used his knowledge in law to commit immoral acts without incurring any criminal liability; B.) he committed gross immorality by continuously cohabiting with Angeles, his common-law wife, even after he became a lawyer and C.) Oblena falsified the truth as to his good moral character in his application to take the bar.

ISSUE: W/N the illicit relationship with Royong and the open cohabitation with Angeles, a married woman, are sufficient grounds to cause Oblenas disbarment HELD: YES! Although Oblena is not yet convicted of the crime of rape, seduction or adultery and he is not guilty of any of the grounds for disbarment enumerated in Sec 25, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, the enumeration is not exclusive and the power of the court to exclude unworthy members of the bar is inherent and is a necessary incident to the proper administration of justice and can be exercised even without any statutory authority, in all cases unless properly prohibited by statutes. American jurisprudence provides that the continued possession of a good moral character is a requisite condition for the rightful continuance in the practice of law. The loss requires suspension or disbarment eventhough the statues do not explicitly specify that as a ground of disbarment. Oblenas argument that he believed himself to be a person with good moral character when he filed his application to take the bar examination is wrong. Ones own approximation of himself is not a gauge of his moral character. Moral character is not a subjective term but one which
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

corresponds to objective reality. Moral character is what the person really is and not what he other people thinks he is. His pretension to wait for the 18th birthday of Royong before having carnal knowledge with her shows the scheming mind of Oblena and his taking advantage of his knowledge of the law. Also, Royong is the niece of his common-law wife and he enjoyed moral ascendancy over her. Oblena took advantage of Royongs trust on him. Oblenas contention that the Solicitor General exceeded his authority in filing the present complain which is entirely different from the original complaint filed is untenable. There is nothing in the law requiring the Solicitor General to charge in his complaint the same offence charged in the original complaint. What the law provides is that if the Solicitor General finds sufficient grounds to proceed against the respondent, he shall file the corresponding complaint accompanied by the evidence introduced in his investigation.

37 DE LOS REYES v AZNAR Facts: Delos Reyes filed a complaint against Atty. Aznar for gross immorality. It appears that Atty. Aznar raped Delos Reyes. From the evidence, it appears that Aznar was the Chairman of the Board of Southwestern University. Delos Reyes failed her Pathology subject. As such, she approached Aznar for reconsideration. Aznar assured her that she would pass. Despite her plea, she failed the subject. Aznar told Delos Reyes that she should go with him to Manila or else she will flunk. They went to Manila. After dining in a restaurant, Aznar raped her twice in the evening and thrice the next morning inside the Ambassador Hotel. Aznar denies all the allegations and says that when he went to Manila, he slept at the house of his friends. Issue: W/N Aznar is guilty of gross misconduct. Held: Aznar is guilty of gross misconduct. The court agrees with the Sol. Gen.s finding that Aznar committed gross misconduct. While Aznar denied having taken Delos Reyes to the Ambassador Hotel and had sexual intercourse with her, he did not present any evidence to show where he was on that date. It is the duty of the lawyer, whenever his moral character is put into question, to satisfy the court that he is fit and proper to enjoy continued membership in the bar. He cannot dispense with the high exacting moral standards of the profession. Good moral character is a continuing qualification necessary to entitle on to continue in the practice of law
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

38 SOBERANO v VILLANUEVA Facts: Soberano filed a petition for disbarment alleging that after Atty. Villanueva had induced her to take part in a fake wedding, the latter cohabited with her and later lived with her as husband and wife. As a consequence of this, she bore him two children, and subsequently, Villanueva abandoned them. Soon thereafter, Soberano sent a letter to the court asking that no action be taken on her petition until her mother has arrived and decided whether it should push though. Soberano sent another letter saying that her mother has arrived and that the case must case. Soberano again wrote a letter saying that the filing of the petition was not sincerely her own wish, and that she was finally withdrawing her complaint the last letter written by Soberano to the court however, prayed that her motion to withdraw the petition be denied, since Villanueva had procured the motion by means of threat and intimidation. Issue: W/N Villanueva should be disbarred Held: NO The letters of Soberano to Villanueva clearly indicated that intimate relations had existed between them prior to the date when the alleged fake wedding occurred. These indicate that there was o need for Villanueva to stage a fake wedding to induce Soberano to cohabit with him. Some of the letters showed that Soberano reminded him of his promise to marry her after he passed the bar As to whether the extra-marital relations between Soberano and Villanueva warrants disciplinary action, SC held that in light of the circumstances in this case, these acts are neither so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act, nor so unprincipled as to warrant a disbarment of disciplinary action. Also, distinguished members of the bar had attested to Villanuevas good moral character. One is no less than the Executive Judge of the CFI of Negros Occidental, where Villanueva is practices his profession. The other is the Dean Montemayor of the Ateneo College of Law. The last one is Hon. Guillermo Santos, former Chairman of Agricultural Tenancy Commission, then Judge of CFI and Court of Agrarian Relations. 39 RAO SHENG v VELASCO FACTS: Rau Sheng Mao is a Taiwanese national who engaged the services of Atty.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Angeles Velasco as his legal consultant and counsel of his company Foreign Investors Consultancy and Management, Inc (FICMI). Haru Gen Beach Resort and Hotel Corporation ,represented by Atty, Velasco as its director and stockholder, entered into a management agreement with FICMI Atty Velasco sold to Rau Sheng his 10,000 shares in Haru Gen for P1,000,000 but the former refused to deliver the certificates to the Taiwanese despite complete payment made by the Taiwanese Also, 3 lands of Atty. Velasco was bought by Rau Sheng for P3.3M with a remaining balance of P300,000, but Atty. Velasco still refused to deliver the titles Rau Sheng filed an administrative case against Atty. Velasco. Rau Sheng presented as evidence letters made by Atty. Velasco wherein the latter was asking money from the former to be given to judges hearing his cases An additional charge for immorality because of his illicit relationship with Lucy Matienzo who is not his legal wife was filed by Rau Sheng wherein he presented the baptismal certificate of Jenny Velasco which listed Atty. Velasco as its father together with the affidavits of several people confirming Velascos illicit relationship with Lucy as evidence Atty. Velasco denied all the allegations of Rau Sheng with these arguments: o He could not deceive Rau Sheng for the Taiwanese was always represented in all their transactions by Atty. Purog o He refused to deliver the certificate of stocks and the land titles because of the Rau Shengs incomplete payment of the purchase price o As to the immorality claim, Atty. Velasco presented affidavits of his wife and Lucy Matienzo ISSUE: W/N Atty. Velasco is guilty of all the allegations made by Rau Sheng HELD: YES! Atty. Velasco was found guilty of the having illicit relationship with Matieza and giving Rau Sheng the impression that he was in the position to influence the court and he was ordered suspended from the practice of law for 2 years The court found it unlikely that Rau Sheng was deceived by Atty. Velasco in all their transactions for he was always represented by Atty. Purog in all the dealings But Atty. Velasco is guilty of having an adulterous relationship with Matienza with whom he has 3 children all bearing his surname as seen in all the school records of the children. Velasco violated Canon 1, Rule 1.101 by engaging in unlawful and immoral acts. Lawyers are burdened with the highest degree of social responsibility and thus must handle their personal affairs with the greatest caution. Their exalted positions as officers of the court demand no less than the highest
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

degree of morality. What is more, Velasco violated one of the basic tenets of legal ethics by giving Rau Sheng the impression that he was in the position to influence the courts. Velasco claimed that he has connections with judges and they were claiming money from Rau Sheng. A lawyer is duty bound to avoid improprieties which gave the appearance of influencing the courts and place the integrity of the administration of justice in peril. No profession offers greater opportunity for public service than that of a lawyer. For the privilege conferred upon him, a lawyer was tasked with the equally greater responsibility of upholding the ideals and ethics established.

40 OLBES v DECIEMBRE Facts: Spouses Olbes (Franklin & Lourdes) were employees of the Central Post Office in Manila. They filed this case for disbarment against Atty. Deciembre. Lourdes, with the help of Deciembre, acquired a loan from Rodela Loans in the amount of P10K. Lourdes then issued 5 PNB blank checks to respondent to serve as collateral. Subsequently, Lourdes paid Deciembre the amount of the loan plus interest and surcharges. Notwithstanding payment, Deciembre filled up the blank checks in the amount of P50k each. Siyempre tumalbog yun mga cheke. Deciembre then filed BP22 & estafa cases against the Olbes spouses. Reklamo siyempre sila Olbes. They are even saying that some of their officemates suffered the same fate under Deciembre. Investigating officer: Deciembres version of the facts is highly doubtful. There are discrepancies between his oral and written testimonies. Issue: W/N Deciembre should face disciplinary sanctions Held: Siyempre! He is in violation of Rule 7.03 He committed falsification when he filled up the blank checks even if this was not agreed upon and despite knowledge that the loan had already been paid. He even filed BP22 cases against the couple. This shows the vileness and wretchedness of his soul. Franklin was even detained for 3 months because of the cases. Deciembre is found to be lacking good moral character. Good moral
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

character includes at least common honesty. The penalty recommended by the IBP of suspension for 2 years is too mild. Deciembre is suspended from the practice of law indefinitely.

41 GRANDE v DA SILVA FACTS: Emilio Grande is the private offended party (of estafa and BP 22) against a certain Sergio Natividad, the client of Atty. De Silva De Silva tendered a check to Grande as settlement of the civil aspect of the case. The check was returned with the notation that the ACCT CLOSED Grande filed a suit against De Silva for violation of BP 22 and Estafa (sha naman ang nakasuhan tuloy hehe) De Silva refused to comment on notices of complaints sent to her. IBP recommended that de Silva be suspended for two years. ISSUE: WoN de Silva should be suspended? HELD: YES RATIO: 1. The nature of the office of an atty requires that a lawyer shall be a person of good moral character. Gross misconduct which puts the lawyers moral character in serious doubt may render her unfit to continue in the practice of law. A lawyer may be disciplined for evading payment of a debt validly incurred. The loss of moral character of a lawyer for any reason whatsoever shall warrant her suspension or disbarment. 2. Any wrongdoing which indicates moral unfitness for the profession, whether it be professional or non-pro, justifies disciplinary action. For a lawyers professional and personal conduct must at all times be kept beyond reproach and above suspicion. Her deliberate refusal to accept the notices served on her stains the nobility of the profession. How else would a lawyer endeavor to serve justice and uphold the law when she disdains to follow even simple directives. Also, Canon 1 says that a lawyer shall uphold the consti, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for the legal processes. 42 COJUANGCO v PALMA Facts: Complainant Cojuangco wa a client of Angara Concepcion Regala and Cruz Law Offices and Palma was the lawyer assigned to handle his cases. Palma's
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

relationship with the Cojuangcos became intimate. He frequented theis house and even tutored Cojuangco's 22-year old daughter Maria Luis Cojuangco. Wihtout the knowledge of complainant Cojuangco's family, Palma married Lisa in Hongkong. It was only the next day that Palma informed complainant of such fact. Complainant was shocked, knowing fully well that Palma is a married man and has 3 children. Complainant filed with CFI a petition for declaration of nullity of the marriage between respondent Palma and Lisa. CFI delared that marriage null and void. Thereafter, Cojuangco fileed with the SC the instant complaint for disbarment. Meanwhile, the first division of SC issued a resolution setting aside the CFI Decision declaring the marriage null and void and remanding the case to the CFI for proper proceeding. To this date, the records fail to disclose the outcome of this case. Issue: W/n Palma should be disbarred... Held: YES. There is no distinction as to whether the transgression is committed in the lawyer's professional capacity or in his private life. Professional competency alone does not make a lawyer worthy member of the Bar. Good moral character is always an indispensabel requirement. The truth is respondent married Lisa while he has a subsisting marriage with Elizabeth Herosisima. Therefore he exhibited a deplorable lack of that degree of morality required of him as a member of the bar. Respondent's culpability is aggravated by the fact that Lisa was just 22 years old and was under psychological treatment for emotional immaturity. The subsequent judgment of annullment of marriage has no bearing to the instant disbarment proceeding. A disbarment case is sui generis for it is an investigation by the court into the conduct of its officers. 43 REYES v CHIONG JR. Facts: Atty. Ramon Reyes counsel for Zonggi Xu. Atty. Victoriano Chiong, Jr for Chia Hsien Pan. Xu, a Chinese-Taiwanese went into a business venture with Pan. Pan was supposed to set up a Cebu-based fishball, tempura and seafood products factory. He did not establish it, and so Xu asked that his money be returned.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Xu then filed a case of estafa against Pan. Prosecutor Salanga then issued a subpoena against Pan. Atty. Chiong then filed a motion to quash, but he also filed a civil complaint for the collection of a sum of money and damages as well as for the dissolution of a business venture against Xu, Atty Reyes, and Prosecutor Salanga. He alleged that Salanga was impleaded as an additional defendant because of the irregularities the latter had committed in conducting the criminal investigation he still filed the complaint against Pan in spite of Pans motions. Atty. Reyes was allegedly impleaded because he allegedly connived with Xu in filing the estafa case which was baseless. IBP recommended that Chiong be suspended for 2 years.

Issue: W/N Chiong should be suspended. Held:


Yes. Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor towards his professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel. If Chiong believed that the two had conspired to act illegally, he could have instituted disbarment proceedings. As a lawyer, Chiong should have advised his client of the availability of these remedies. Thus the filing of the cases had no justification. Lawyers should treat their opposing counsels and other lawyers with courtesy, dignity and civility. Any undue ill feeling between clients should not influence counsels in their conduct and demeanor toward each other.

44 ALCANTARA v PEFIANCO Facts: Atty Pefianco is counsel in a criminal case. One day the private offended party went to the Public Attorneys Office to have her civil claims (in the criminal case) settled. Atty Salvani attended to her. While Atty. Salvani was talking to the woman, Atty Pefianco shouted at them and questioned the actions of the woman (pertaining to the settlement). Atty Pefianco was asked to calm down but he did not refrain from his outburst. District Public Attorney Alcantara, as head of the agency, talked to Pefianco.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

But Pefianco called Alcantara an idiot and a stupid (loud enough for other people to hear). A commotion in the office ensued (Pefianco even tried to attack Alcantara). A complaint was filed against Pefianco for conduct unbecoming of a lawyer and for using improper and offensive language. Pefianco says that he was just moved by the sight of a crying woman whose husband had been murdered. He also averred that it was Alcantara who punched him and called him stupid.

Issue: Did Pefianco violate the Code of Professional Responsibility? Held: Yes. Pefianco violated Canon 8 of the Code which requires lawyers to conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness and candor toward their fellow lawyers. It was Pefiancos meddling in a matter in which he had no right to do so that caused the untoward incident (shouting at Salvani and the woman). Though he thought that this is righteous, his public behavior can only bring down the legal profession in the eyes of the public and erode respect for it. Atty Pefianco was fined and reprimanded. 45 CAMACHO v PANGULAYAN FACTS 9 students of AMA were expelled for having apparently caused to be published objectionable features or articles in the school paper Denial of the appeal to AMA President Aguiluz gave rise to Civil Case 9730549 CAMACHO was the hired counsel of the expelled students in an action for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injuction in the said civil case While the civil case was still pending, letters of apology and Re-admission Agreements were separately executed by the expelled students without the knowledge of CAMACHO CAMACHO filed a complaint against lawyers comprising the PANGULAYAN AND ASSOCIATES Law Firm (lawyers of AMA) because without his knowledge they procured and effected on separate occasions compromise agreements (letters of apology and Re-admission Agreements) with 4 of his clients which in effect required them to waive all kinds of claims they may have with AMA CAMACHO averred that such an act was unbecoming of any member of the legal profession warranting either disbarment or suspension PANGULAYAN in his defense claimed that the agreements were executed
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

for the sole purpose of effecting the settlement of an administrative case ISSUE HELD W/N PANGULAYAN AND ASSOCIATES SHOULD BE SUSPENDED/DISBARRED YES

RATIO It would appear that when individual letters of apology and Re-admission Agreements were formalized, CAMACHO was already the retained counsel of the expelled AMA students PANGULAYAN and associates having full knowledge of this fact still proceeded to negotiate with the expelled AMA students and their parents without at least communicating the matter to their lawyer CAMACHO This failure of PANGULAYAN and associates, whether by design or oversight, is an excusable violation of the canons of profession ethics and in utter disregard of a duty owing to a colleague The excuse that agreements were executed for settling the administrative case was belied by the Manifestation which states 9 signatories agreed among others to terminate ALL civil, criminal and administrative proceedings they may have against AMA arising from their previous dismissal Hence, PANGULAYAN should be suspended for 3 months DOCTRINE A lawyers should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented by counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him but should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party not represented by counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law. 46 TORRES v JAVIER Facts: This is an administrative case filed by Atty. Ireneo Torres against Atty. Jose Javier for malpractice, gross misconduct in office as an attorney and/or violation of the lawyers oath. There were 3 causes of action First, the allegations stem from statements/remarks made by Javier in the pleadings he filed in a petition for audit of all funds of the University of the East Faculty Association (UEFA) (Torres is the President). Javier implied that Torres had a motive to burglarize the office of UEFA to get certain documents. Second, Torres alleges that Javier used language that was clearly abusive,
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Issue: W/n Javier should be held liable for his acts. Held: SC says only as regards the second cause of action. The court made mention that it is well entrenched in Philippine jurisprudence that for reasons of public policy, utterances made in the course of judicial proceedings, including all kinds of pleadings, petitions and motions, are absolutely privileged so long as they are pertinent and relevant to the subject inquiry, however false or malicious they may be. For the first cause of action, the SC held that such statements made by Javier were necessary in order to resolve the petition for audit filed. These statements give a possible scenario as to the reason for the burglary in the UEFA office. As to the third cause of action, the SC gave Javier the benefit of the doubt that he issued these statements only in the defense of his client. As to the second (for which the SC found Javier guilty), the Court ruled that the statements made regarding Torres intellectual aptitude were not relevant to the attorneys fees case. The issue in the said case was whether the 10% attorneys fees checked off from the initial backwages/salaries of UEFA members is legal (I dont really understand this pero yan lang yun nakalagay). The SC pointed out that Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility instructs that respondents arguments in his pleadings should be gracious to both the court and opposing counsel and be of such words as may be properly addressed by one gentleman to another. Javier has disobeyed such mandate and is thus suspended from the practice of law for 1 month. 47 CAMBALIZA v CRISTOBAL-TENORIO

offensive, and improper, inconsistent with the character of an attorney as a quasi-judicial officer. This was with regard to Javiers Reply to Respondents Answer/Comment in the attorneys fees case where Javier made a comment on the intellectual capacity of Torres. Third, Torres finds fault in Javiers statement that implies that it is normal for notaries public to let their relatives sign the documents for them. Torres says that this statement is demeaning to the legal profession and the notarial service. IBP found Javier guilty and reprimanded him.

Facts: Cambaliza, a former employee of Atty. Cristal-Tenorio, charged the latter with grossly immoral conduct. Cambaliza alleged that Atty. has been falsely representing herself to be married to Felicisimo Tenorio, when in fact Felicisimo was already married to another woman (Atty. got a fake marriage license.). She also alleges that the Atty. caused the dissemination to the public of a libelous affidavit against a Makati Councilor. At the helm of her
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

complaint was the allegation that the Atty. cooperated in the illegal practice of law by her husband Felicisimo, who is not a member of the bar. Atty. denies all the allegations. She says that her firm is a soleproprietorship; hence, she had no partners in her law office. Issue: W/N the lawyer is guilty of cooperating in the illegal practice of law. Held: The lawyer is guilty. The court agrees with the finding of the Commissioner on Bar Discipline. According to the Commissioner, Atty. cooperated in illegal practice, in violation of Rule 9.01 based on the ff. evidence: (1) letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law office, with Felicisimo as senior partner, (2) Sagip Radio Comm. Group card of Atty. Felicisimo Tenorio (3) an ordered by the MTCC where Felicisimo entered his appearance as counsel. Any lawyer who allows a non-member of the Bar to misrepresent himself as a lawyer is guilty of violating rule 9.01. The lawyers duty to prevent or not assist in the unauthorized practice of law is founded on public interest and policy. The purpose is to protect the public, the client, the bar, and the court from the incompetence and dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice. 48 TAN TEK BENG v DAVID Facts: Tan Tek Beng is a non-lawyer while David is a lawyer. David drafted a contract signed by him and Tan Tek Beng stating among others that On all commissions and attorneys fees that we shall receive from our clients, we shall divide fifty-fifty. In the same contract, David also agreed not to deal directly with their clients. The business relationship between David and Tan Tek Beng did not last since there were mutual accusations of doublecross. Tan Tek Beng accused David of not complying with the agreement and denounced the latter to then Presidential Assistant Ronaldo Zamora, to the Office of Civil Relations at Camp Crame, and to the Supreme Court. He did not file any action to enforce the agreement. While the case was being investigated by the Solicitor General, Tan Tak Beng died. This case was submitted for decision. Issue: W/N the agreement was valid. Held: NO. The agreement is void because it was tantamount to malpractice which is the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers. This meaning is in
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

consonance with the principle that the practice of law is a profession, not a business. The commercialization of law practice is condemned in certain canons of professional ethics adopted by the American Bar Association: 34. No division of fees for legal services is proper, except with another lawyer, based upon a division of service or responsibility. 35. The professional services of a lawyer should not be controlled or exploited by any law agency, personal or corporate, which intervenes between client and lawyer David should have known better than to enter and act upon such void and unethical agreement. He is reprimanded for being guilty of malpractice. 49 PEOPLE v DE LUNA FACTS: De Luna, ET al., respondents, know that they did not pass the bas examination. Although they sought admission under the Bar Flunkers Act, they were notified of the decision of the SC denying their petitions. But notwithstanding their disqualification to be admitted to the bar, they took their oaths as lawyers before a notary public and formally advised the SC of such oath taking and that they will engage in the practice of law in all courts of the Philippines RTC: not guilty of contempt of court unless the respondents actually engaged in the practice of law or held out to the public that they are lawyers by means of circulars ISSUE: W/N the act of the respondents of taking their oath before a notary public constitutes contempt of court HELD: YES! The oath as lawyer is a prerequisite to the practice of law and may be taken only before the SC by those authorized by the latter to engage in such practice. Respondents clearly defied and challenged the orders of the SC by willfully taking the lawyers oath before the notary public despite the resolution of the SC denying their petition to be admitted to the bar. The ruling of the lower court is wrong for assuming to be an attorney, x x x, and acting as such without authority, is only one of the grounds under Rule 64, section 3. Also, by taking the oath of office as attorney-at-law and notifying the SC of what they had done and their intent to practice law in all courts of the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Philippines, the respondents had, for all intent and purposes, held out to the public as such as attorney-at-law The case is remanded to the court of origin

50 PHILIPPINE LAWYERS v AGRAVA Facts: Agrava is the Director of the Philippines Patent Office (PPO). Agrava issued a circular announcing that there will be an examination to determine who are qualified to practice as patent attorneys before the PPO. Phil. Lawyers Assoc. (PLA) filed this case for prohibition and injunction against Agrava. PLA: one who passes the bar is licensed to practice law and is qualified to practice before the PPO. Agrava is in excess of his jurisdiction in issuing the additional qualification Agrava: prosecution of patent cases does not involve entirely or purely the practice of law but includes the application of scientific and technical knowledge. That like his US counterpart, he can require additional requirements to practice before the PPO. Take note Agrava has been issuing examinations before but it was only now that this power has been contended Issue: W/N appearance before the PPO constitutes or is included in the practice of law Held: Yes, it is still within the ambit practice of law. Agrava is in excess of his jurisdiction when he requires an additional examination for lawyers. The SC has the exclusive and constitutional power with respect to admission to the practice of law in the Philippines. The practice of law embraces any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure and calls for legal knowledge, training and experience. Although it is admitted that there is some technicality involved in the work for PPO, but everything still goes back to the Patent law as well as other laws. As to Agravas contention that he has the authority just like his US counterpart, this contention is wrong. The Phil. Patent law and the US Patent law are different as to the sections involving the powers of the director. Nowhere in the Philippine law is it provided for that the director has the power to require additional examinations for attorneys.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

51 SANTOS v LLAMAS FACTS: Soliman Santos, a member of the Bar filed a complaint for misrepresentation and non-payment of bar membership dues against Atty. Francisco Llamas Santos bases his claims on the grounds that 1) Llamas has been dismissed as Pasay City Judge and 2) his conviction for estafa Llamas contends that 1) his dismissal was reversed and set aside 2) that his principal occupation was a farm, which he had declared in his Income Tax Return. And moreover, since he was a senior citizen, he was exempt in paying (in pursuant to Sec 4, RA 7432),and that Llamas believed in good faith that he is only allowed a limited practice ISSUE: WoN Llamas can be held administratively liable? HELD: YES. RATIO: 1) a lawyer by indicating BP- Rizal xxxx in his pleadings, thereby misrepresenting to the public and the courts that he had paid his IBP due, is guilty of violating a. Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonet, immoral or deceitful conduct b. Canon 7- A lawyer shall at all timed uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession, and support the activities of the IBP c. Canon 10 A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the Court d. Rule 10.01- A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any court, nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be misled by an artifice 2) a lawyers failure to pay his IBP dues and his misrepresentation in the pleadings that he filed in court indeed merit the most severe penalty --HOWEVER, in view of Llamasadvanced age, his express willingness to pay his dues and plea for a more temperate application of the law, the Court held a penalty of 1 year suspension or until he paid his dues, as appropriate. 52 FAR EASTERN SHIPPING v CA Facts: M/V Pavlodar owned and operated by the Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESC) arrived at the port of Manila. Senen Gavino was assigned by the Manila Pilot's Association (MPA) to conduct docking manuevers for the safe berthing of the vessel. Gavino stationed himself in the bridge, with the master of the vessel,
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Victor Kavankov, beside him. When the vessel was already about 2000 feet from the pier, Gavino ordered the anchor dropped. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel. However the anchor did not hold as expected. The speed of the vessel did not slacken. A commotion ensued between the crew members. When Gavino inquired about the commotion, Kavankov assured Gavino that there was nothing to it. The bow of the vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing considerable damage to the pier. PPA filed a complaint for a sum of money against FESC, Gavino and MPA. CA ruled in favor of PPA holding them liable with MPA (employer of Kavankov) entitled to reimbursement from Gavino. Issue: Are the counsels for the parties committed acts which require the exercise of the court's disciplinary powers? Held: YES. The records show that the law firm of Del Rosario and Del Rosario thru its associate, Atty Tria, is the the counsel of record for FESC in both GR no 130068 and GR no 130150. GR 130068 which is assigned to the Court's second division, commenced with the filing of a verified motion for extension of time which contained a certification against forum shopping signed by counsel Tria stating that to the best of his knowledge there is no action or proceeding pending in the SC, CA or any other tribunal. Reviewing the records, the court finds that the petition filed by MPA in GR no, 130150 then pending with the third division was duly filed with a copy thereof furnished by registered mail to counsel for FESC (atty Tria). It would be fair to conclude that when FESC filed its petition GR no 130068, it would aready have received a copy of the copy of the petition by MPA. It wa therefore encumbent upon FESC to inform the court of the pending action. But considering that it was a superfluity at that stage of the proceeding , it being unnecessary to file such certification of non forum shopping with a mere motion for extension, the court disregarded such error. On the other hand it took the OSG, representing PPA, an ordinately and unreasonably long period of time to file its comment, thus unduly delaying the resolution of these cases. In GR no 130068, it took 210 days before the OSG filed its comment. FESC was not even furnished with a copy. In Gr no 130150 it took 180 days before comment was filed. This disinclination of the OSG to seasonably file required pleadings constitutes deplorable disservice to the public and can
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

only be categorized as inefficiency on the part of the govt law office. Counsel for FESC, the law firm of Del Rosario and Del Rosario, specifically its asscociate Tria is reprimaded and warned that a repetition of the same acts shall be dealt with severely. The original members of the legal tean of the OSG are admonished and warned tha a repetition shall also be dealt with more stringently. Baka lang itanong kung ano ruling: The decision of the CA is affirmed. Gavino, MPA and FESC are declared solidarily liable with MPA entitled to reimbursement from Gavino for such amount of the adjudged pecuniary liability in excess of the amount equivalent to 75% of its prescribed reserved fund. 53 COMELEC v NOYNAY Facts: Judge Tomas Noynay ordered the records of a certain election case to be withdrawn and directed to the Comelec. The case was against Diosdada Amor, a public school principal and other public school teachers for having violated the Omnibus Election Code: for having engaged in partisan political activities. Comelec wanted to prosecute Amor et al. (This case is irrelevant to the main case) Apparently, the maximum imposable penalty in each of the cases does not exceed 6 years. The judge dismissed the cases, using as basis the Judiciary Reorganization Act: Not exceeding 6 years, not with RTC but with MTC. But the Omnibus Election Code states that the regional trial court shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to try and decide any criminal action or proceedings for violation of this code XXX A closer reading of the Judiciary Reorganization Act (in its first sentence says): Except in cases falling within the original jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court XXX The Omnibus Election Code is an older law v the Judiciary Election Act Judge Noynay did not read at all the opening sentence of the Judiciary Election Act when he dismissed the cases. Comelecs lawyer was Atty. Jose Balbuena from the Comelec legal department. In his Motion for Reconsideration (see p 263), he quoted the memorandum of te Court Administrator (not the SC) and made it appear that these were the words of the SC. He cited a case, but erroneously:

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

o What he used: Alberto Naldeza/Alberto o Alberto Naldoza He said the case was in volume 245 of the SCRA, but it was really in volume 254.

Issue: W/N Judge Noynay has the jurisdiction to handle the election cases in his sala. Held: (RC Note: parts of the SC decision were in the Facts portion, since you will not understand the case if I placed it in the bottom Yes. Judge Noynay and Atty. Balbuena should also be admonished. The judge should be reminded of his duty to be studious of the principles of law, to administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the system of the law itself, to be faithful to the law, and to maintain professional competence. Balbuena should also be admonished for his utter carelessness in his references. Rule 10.02 mandates that a lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the text of a decision or authority. 54 RIVERA v CORRAL Facts: A decision in a case for ejectment was sent to Atty Corral. His secretary received the decision on Feb 23, 1990. On March 13, 1990 Atty Corral filed a notice of appeal. The next day, Corral went to the Office of the Clerk of Court to change the date of receipt of the decision from Feb 23 to Feb 29 (which was later changed to Feb 28 when Corral realized that there was no Feb 29 that year). Para hindi siya madisqualify ng 15-day appeal period. Rivera filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty Corral for tampering the courts records without such courts permission or knowledge. The IBP investigating committee affirmed the charges and recommended suspension. Later on, the IBP Board ordered Corrals suspension. Corral claims he was not afforded due process or hearing. Issue: Can Atty Corral be suspended? Held:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Yes. Contrary to Corrals claim that he was not afforded due process, he was in fact given the opportunity to present his evidence during the course of the proceedings. According to the records, the hearings had to be rescheduled several times to accommodate his requests. But he did not appear on the scheduled hearings. He cannot now claim that he was denied due process. It should be remembered that the essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard. The Court finds that Atty Corral violated his oath by engaging in unlawful, dishonest, or deceitful conduct. By altering the material dates to make it appear that the notice of appeal was timely filed, Corral committed an act of dishonesty. A suspension for 1 year is warranted. 55 YOUNG v BATUEGAS FACTS YOUNG is the private prosecutor in People of the Phil v Arana BATUEGAS, et al are the counsels for the accused in the said criminal case On Dec 13, 2000, BATUEGAS filed a Manifestation with Motion for Bail alleging that the accused has voluntarily surrendered to a person in authority and, as such, is now under detention Upon verification with the NBI, YOUNG discovered that the accused surrendered on Dec 14, 2000 (not 13) BATUEGAS, et al in their defense alleged that o On Dec 13, 2000, upon learning that a warrant of arrest was issued against their client, they filed a Manifestation with Motion for Bail o They immediately fetched accused from Cavite and brought him to NBI to voluntarily surrender o However, due to heavy traffic, they arrived at NBI at 2am the next day o That was why the Certificate of Detention indicated that the accused surrendered on Dec 14, 2000 and not 13 o As to lack of notice, YOUNG being a private prosecutor, is not entitled to such as only the State and City prosecutors should be given notices Investigating Commissioner recommended suspension of 6 months IBP Commission on Bar Discipline in a resolution approved said recommendation ISSUE HELD RATIO
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

W/N BATUEGAS, ET AL ARE GUILTY OF FALSEHOOD AND SHOULD BE SUSPENDED YES, CONCEALED TRUTH

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

A lawyer must be a disciple of truth He swore upon his admission that he will do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court As officer of the court, his high vocation is to correctly inform the court upon the law and facts of the case to aid it in arriving at the correct conclusion The courts, on the other hand, are entitled to expect only complete honesty from lawyers appearing and pleading before them His a lawyers solemn duty is to defend his client, his conduct must never be at the expense of truth In the case at bar, BATUEGAS, et al feel short of the duties and responsibilities expected of them as members of the bar Anticipating that their Motion for Bail will be denied by the Court found that it had no jurisdiction over the person of the accused, they craftily concealed the truth alleging that the accused had voluntarily surrendered To knowingly allege an untrue statement in the pleading is a contemptuous conduct that the Court strongly condemns BATUEGAS, et al violated their oath when they resorted to deception Hence, BATUEGAS, et al should be suspended for 6 months

56 HUEYSUWAN FLORIDO v FLORIDO Facts: Natasha Hueysuwan-Florido (H-F) filed this administrative complaint against her husband James Florido for violating his oath as a lawyer by manufacturing, flaunting and usng a spurious and bogus CA resolution/order. H-F admits that she and her husband live separately. They have two children. Sometime in Dec. 2001, Florido went to H-Fs house and showed her a photocopy of a resolution issued by the CA apparently giving to Florido the legal custody of their children. H-F doubted the authenticity of the CA resolution so she did not give her children to Florido. Then in 2002, while H-F and her children were in the ABC Learning Center, Florido arrived accompanied by armed men. Florido demanded that H-F surrender custody of their children to him. H-F, fearing for her childrens safety, called the police. In the police station, H-F agreed to let the children sleep with Florido just for one night at a hotel. But when H-F heard of news that Florido was planning to take the children to Bacolod, she immediately took them away. Florido then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the basis of the CA resolution he presented to H-F earlier. This petition was dismissed
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

because Florido did not appear and H-F presented a certification from the CA that there was no resolution granting Florido with legal custody of their children. Issue: Held: SC says that Florido should be held liable. He violated Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly Rule 10.01 and 10.02, by his act of making up a spurious CA resolution and using such false resolution to his aadvantage. The SC thinks that suspension of 6 years is too much so they lowered the penalty to just a 2-year suspension. W/n Florido should be held liable for his actions. Thus, this present action. The IBP has recommended that Florido be suspended from the practice of law for 6 years.

57 ESTRADA v SANDIGANBAYAN Facts: Atty. Paguia is the counsel of Joseph Estrada in the case of Estrada vs. Arroyo. Atty. Paguia asserts that the members of the Supreme Court should inhibit themselves from hearing the petition because of Rule 5.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, which prohibits judges from participating in partisan political activities. According the Atty. Paguia, the justices have violated the rule by participating in the EDSA 2 rally and authorizing the assumption of office by President Arroyo. The Sandiganbayan denied the petition and motion for reconsideration of Atty. Paguia to dismiss all the criminal cases against Estrada. Atty. Paguia attacked the decision of the Court in the case of Estrada vs. Arroyo by saying: similar in the decisions involving admin. agencies, if the act of the justices is lawful, it is the act of the Supreme Court, and if the act of the judges is not lawful, it is not the act of the Supreme Court. As such, Atty. Paguia asserts that the decision in Estrada vs. Arroyo being unlawful in view of Rule 5.10 of Code of Judicial Conduct, is not the act of the SC. Atty. Paguia repeated his assault on the court in both broadcast and print media. For that reason, the court asked him to show cause why he should not be sanctioned. Issue: W/N Atty. Paguia should be sanctioned for conduct unbecoming. Held: Atty. Paguia is sanctioned. He is indefinitely suspended from practice of law. Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

lawyer should observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers. In liberally imputing sinister and devious motives and questioning the impartiality, integrity, and authority of the members of the court, Atty. Paguia has only succeeded seeking to impede, obstruct and pervert the dispensation of justice. Atty. Paguia has also been called to the mandate of Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prohibiting a member of the bar from making such public statements on a case that may tend to arouse public opinion for or against a party. 58 TIONGCO v AGUILAR (Canon 10 Morada) Facts: Atty. Tiongco filed a petition with the Supreme Court for a review of a lower courts decision. The petition contained malicious and intemperate language. Tiongco stated that the decision of the trial court Judge was crafted to fool the winning party, a hypocritical judgment in plaintiffs favor, it was the devil who dictated it, the Judge was confused, being born and raised amongst the non-propertied class Tiongco also filed a pleading with the SC stating that it is hard to imagine that this Honorable Court had read the petition and hold that the same failed to sufficiently show that the respondent Court had committed grave abuse of discretion. In a previous resolution, the SC required Atty. Jose B. Tiongco to show cause why he should not be dealt with administratively for the violation of Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. In Tiongcos Compliance, he alleges that the SC failed to mention that he also called the judge a robber, a rotten manipulator, and abetter of graft and shady deals. Issue: W/N Tiongco must be held administratively liable. Held: YES Atty. Tiongco did not at all show cause why he should not be dealt with administratively. While Tiongco tried to justify as true his descriptions of the Judge as liar, thief, perfidious, and blasphemer, he did not offer any excuse for the other intemperate words and phrases he used. Neither did he show their relevance to the petition. By insinuating that this Court did not at all read the petition, Tiongco exhibited gross disrespect and attempted to discredit the Members of the First Division. He charged them with violating their duty to render justice, and he thereby promoted distrust in judicial administration. He also showed disrespect to and contempt for the respondent judge,
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

thereby diminishing public confidence in the latter and in the judiciary. Although a lawyer has the righteven the dutyto criticize the courts, this right must be exercised responsibly. The criticism must be bona fide, without using language that would tend to create or promote distrust in judicial administration and undermine the peoples confidence in the integrity of the members of this Court.

59 RHEEM OF THE PHILS v FERRER FACTS: The SC issued an order directing Atty. Armonio and the senior partners in his law firm to show to cause why they should not be dealt with for contempt of court The law firm of Ponce Enrile. Sigiuon Reyne, etc. argued that: o It has never been their intent to be disrespectful o It was the result of overenthusiasm on the part of Atty. Armonio who thought best to focus the attention of the court to the issue in the case and was not in any way meant to slight or offend the court. o It was because Atty. Armonio became emotionally involved in the case o Not one of the partners was able to pass upon the draft or final form of the said motion, and that Atty. Armonio, an associate, prepared, signed and filed the motion without clearing it with any one of the partner of the firm ISSUE: W/N Atty. Armonio and the partners in his firm must be held in contempt because of the disrespectful language contained of the pleading prepared by Atty. Armonio. HELD: The SC decided that Atty. Armonio be warned that repetition of the incident will be dealt with more severely and that necessary attention must be employed by the partners in exercising adequate supervision and control of the pleadings submitted by its associate The pleading which contained one pitfall into which this court has repeatedly fallen whenever the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations comes into question and the sweeping charge that the decisions of this court blindly adhere to earlier rulings without as much as making any reference to and analysis of the pertinent statues implies that the court is so patently inept in determining the jurisdiction of the industrial court, it has committed error and continuously repeated that error to the point of perpetuation. Implicit in the quoted statement is that the pronouncements of this court on the jurisdiction of the industrial court are not entitled to respect. It detract much from the dignity of and respect due this court.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

It is the duty of lawyers to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers. It is his obligation to maintain towards the courts a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the temporary incumbents of the judicial office, but for the maintenance of its supreme importance. It is proscribes to use unnecessary language which jeopardizes high esteem in courts, creates or promotes distrust in judicial administration, or which could have the effect of harboring or encouraging discontent which, in many cases, us the source of disorder, thus undermining the foundation upon which rests that bulwark called judicial power . The claim of Atty. Armonio that his statements was not in any way meant to slight or offend this court, want of intention is no excuse for the language employed. One cannot escape responsibility by claiming his words did not mean what any reader must have understood them as meaning.

60 ANDRES v CABRERA Facts: Stanley R. Cabrera (Cabrera) was a successful bar examinee in 1977. Atty. Emilia Andres was a legal officer in the Ministry of Labor. She dismissed a case filed by Cabreras mother against a certain Atty. Perez. Because of the dismissal, Cabrera filed with the city fiscal of Manila criminal charges against Andres (graft and corruption, falsification of public documents) Andres then filed a case of disqualification against Cabrera. Cabrera apparently used in his affidavit vile, incivil and uncouth language (e.g. moronic, unparalleled stupidity, idiotic) Cabreras oath-taking was therefore postponed. The SC required him to file an answer to why he should not be disqualified. In Cabreras reply he still used unfit language (e.g. calling Atty. Andres a moron). In subsequent motions by Cabrera, he used the words a victim of the courts inhuman and cruel punishment through its supreme inaction 1979: The court thereafter deferred his oath-taking until he has shown that he has changed his ways. Cabrera then filed a motion for contempt of court. And guess what, he still used unfit language (e.g. supreme stupidity, degradation of the administration of justice) Napikon yata yung SC, they required Cabrera to file a reply to why he should not be held in contempt. Cabrera filed an apology but guess what, the language he used were still unfit and even insincere. Issue: W/N Cabrera should be held in contempt Held: Yes! Fine of P500 and imprisonment for 50 days.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

The duty to observe and maintain the respect due the courts devolves not only upon lawyers but also upon those who will choose to enter the profession. Their failure to discharge such duty may prevent them from being inducted into the office of attorney. Pikon yung Supreme Court, huwag niyo silang subukan.

61 COBB-PEREZ v LANTIN FACTS: Ricardo Hermoso commenced a civil case against Damaso Perez and Gregorio Sumbong, for recovery of sum of P17,309.44 representing unpaid purchases of leather materials used in the shoe manufacturing business of Hermoso. Judgment was rendered in favor of Hermoso, ordering the defendants to be held jointy and severally liable. The Sheriff of Manila levied upon the shares of common stock registered in Damaso Perezname with the Republic Bank. Petitioners used the rules of procedure to suspend the execution of judgment. (and they managed to have the sale suspended 6x) o They alleged that levy was highly excessive and unjust o Even the wife of Damaso Perez, filed to lift the writ of execution alleging that the shares of stock were conjugal assets and that the debt was a personal obligation. ISSUE: WoN petitioners restored to tricky, sneaky and maneuvering tactics to thwart the ends of justice? HELD: YES RATIO: 1. During the protracted litigation, the petitioners resorted to a series of actions and petitions, at some stages alternatingly, abetted by their counsel, for the sole purpose of thwarting the execution of a simple money judgment which has long become final and executory. Some of the actions were filed, only to be abandoned or withdrawn. The petitioners and their counsel, far from viewing courts as sanctuaries for those who seek justice, have tried to use them to subvert the very ends of justice. 62 MAGAT v SANTIAGO Facts: For delaying the termination of an unlawful detainer case by filing multiple petitions before the SC, involving the same subject matters and cause of action, which were attempts by the same party and his counsel to delay enforcement of a judgment that has long become final and executory, the SC suspended Atty Magat from the practice of law .
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

The court in ruling for the suspension of Magat stated that a lawyer owes the duty of good faith and honorable dealing to the judicial tribunal before whom he practices his profession. Inherent in that obligation is the duty to assist in the speedy disposition of cases. Atty Magat and members of his family is now praying for judicial clemency, expressing their profound regret for his past misconduct and his avowal ot amend his ways, in view if the said family's financial and economic difficulties to his inability to earn his livelihood as a lawyer. This plea has been reiterated for a period of more than 2 years since his suspension. Issue: W/n the suspension should be terminated... Held: YES. The court is satisfied that Magat appreciates the significance of his dereliction and he has assured the court that he now possesses the requisite probity and integrity necesary to guarantee that he is worthy to be restored to the practice of law. 63 MILLARE v MONTERO Facts: (RC Note: The first part of the case is pointless. It just wants to impress on you that Atty. Montero used procedure to circumvent the administration of justice) Pacfica Millare, the mother of the complainant, obtained a favorable judgment against Elsa Co. The case was for ejectment filed with the MTC. The judgment of the MTC became final and executory on November 1986. Numerous appeals/complaints/petitions were filed to frustrate the execution of the MTC judgment. The summary of which is in page 8. There is no need to know what they are though. Issue: W/N Atty. Monteros acts are justified. Held: No. Montero should be suspended for one year, as recommended by the IBP which found him guilty of malpractice. Judging from the number of actions filed, Montero is also guilty of forum shopping.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

By having willfully and knowingly abused his rights of recourse in his efforts to get a favorable judgment, which efforts were all rebuffed, respondents violated the duty of a member of the Bar to institute actions only which are just and put up such defenses as he perceives to be truly contestable under the laws. Montero has made a mockery of the judicial process. And disregarded the canons in intentionally frustrating the rights of a litigant in whose favor a judgment in the case was rendered: thus abused procedural rules to defeat the ends of substantial justice.

64 ETERNAL GARDENS v CA Facts: Seelin spouses filed a case against Central Dyeing for quieting of title. The spouses won and the decision in their favor became final an executory. When the spouses filed a Motion for an Immediate Writ of Possession, Eternal Gardens Memorial Park Corp opposed claiming that it is the true and registered owner of the propertyhaving bought the same from Central Dyeing in good faith. It also argued that it was not bound by the decision since it was not impleaded in the case. But the trial court favored the spouses and dismissed Eternal Gardens claim since the judgment (in the queting of title case) was binding upon the latter, being the successor-in-interest of Central Dyeing. The CA, on the same grounds, denied Eternal Gardens appeal. So Seelin spouses filed for a second writ of execution. Dahil sa makulit (not to mention optimistic) si Eternal Gardens, nag-file pa ito ulit ng motion reconsideration. It further contended that since there is a pending issue on possession (a different case), such should first be resolved before a writ of possession be issued to the spouses. Said motion was initially granted but was later denied. So nag-file ng certiorari si Eternal sa CA. And of course, they filed the case to the SC, essentially with the same arguments. Issue: Is Eternal Gardens bound by the decision in the quieting of title case? Held: Yes. Having admitted that they bought the property from Central Dyeing, Eternal Gardens is the formers successor-in-interest who will be bound by the judgment. Moreover, being a transferee, it does not have to be included or impleaded by name in an action against the transferoraccording to the Rules of Court. As to the fear that owners of the grave lots will be disturbed by the writ, the order of the court shows that it took into account the interests of such lot ownersin
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

fact certain limits were provided. Hence, the execution of the judgment need not necessarily desecrate these properties. *whats relevant to ethics: The case has delayed the execution of a final judgment for 17 years. While lawyers owe entire devotion to the interests of their clients rights, they should not forget that they are 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, or impede the execution of a judgment. 65 SPS GALEN v PAGUIRIGAN Spouses Galen, Rasdas and Villa (COMPLAINANTS) were defendants in a civil case for recovery of a residential lot. PAGUIRIGAN was their attorney. Judgment was rendered in favor of the COMPLAINANTS. Trusting in the able representation of Atty PAGUIRIGAN, the COMPLAINANTS continued the services of the said lawyer when the plaintiff in the civil case appealed. The COMPLAINANTS were informed that the CA reversed the trial courts decision. Upon inquiry in the CA, the COMPLAINANTS found out Atty PAGUIRIGAN failed to file an appellees brief in their behalf. When COMPLAINANTS confronted PAGUIRIGAN, the lawyer assured them that he would seek a review of the decision of the CA. The COMPLAINANTS gave PAGUIRIGAN P10,000 for docket fees. On Oct 14, 1997, PAGUIRIGAN filed a motion for extension of time to file a petition for review on certiorari which the SC granted in its resolution dated Nov 19, 1997. On Nov 20, 1997, PAGUIRIGAN filed the petition. However, it was denied for having been filed out of time, the due date being Nov 14, 1997. Subsequently, the COMPLAINANTS were surprised to receive a writ of execution issued by the trial court. Hence, this petition. PAGUIRIGAN alleges that he agreed to represent the COMPLAINANTS without remuneration when their former counsel withdrew, that he did not file an appellees brief since the filing of the same though required is not mandatory and that the Court granted his motion for extension belatedly, considering that the 30 day extension was to expire on Nov 14, 1997 but the SC acted on it only on Nov 19, 1997. ISSUE NEGLIGENCE HELD W/N PAGUIRIGAN SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR

YES, FOR FAILING TO FILE PETITION AFTER BEEN GRANTED


Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

EXTENSION OF TIME PAGUIRIGAN was clearly negligent in the performance of his duties. He admits that he failed to file the appellees brief which just shows the cavalier attitude he took towards his clients cause. Although the failure to file the appellees brief in a case is not a ground for an adverse ruling, the importance of filing an appellees brief cannot be gainsaid because upon appeal, the appellate court, can only place great reliance on the briefs and memoranda of the parties. Thus, the failure to submit these pleadings could very well be fatal to the cause of the client. To make matters worse, PAGUIRIGAN did not only fail to file an appellees brief but after being granted a 30 day extension of the time to file a petition for review of the decision of the CA, he again lost through default by failing to file said petition. And PAGUIRIGANS allegation about the SCs belated action on the petition only succeeds in showing his ignorance of 2 basic principles: first, that a party cannot presume that his motion will be granted, and, second, that any extension granted is always counted from the last day of the reglementary period which is Oct 14, 1997 (not from the day the resolution was dated). PAGUIRIGAN is thus guilty of violation of Rule 12.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides a lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda and briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so. Hence, PAGUIRIGAN is suspended from the practice of law for 6 months and ordered to refund the COMPLAINANTS P10,000 with a warning that repitition of the same act will be dealt with even more severely. 66 SANTIAGO v RAFANAN Assignment no. 11 Santiago vs. Rafanan Lopez Facts: This administrative complaint was brought by Jonar Santiago against Atty. Edison Rafanan, a notary public, because of the latters failure to (a) make the proper notation regarding the community tax certificate of the affiants; (b) enter the details of the notarized documents in the notarial register; and (c) make and execute the certification and enter his PTR and IBP numbers in the documents he had notarized, all in violation of the Revised Administrative Code. Santiago also points out that Rafanan made an affidavit in favor of his (Rafanan) client and offered the same as evidence in the case wherein he (Rafanan) was actively representing his client.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Issue: Held:

The IBP found Rafanan guilty of violating the requirements of the Notarial Law and imposed a fine of 3,000. W/n Rafanans acts were contrary to law. SC says yes. It is mandated by the Notarial Law that a notary public should enter the number, place of issue and date of the Community Tax Certificate of the affiant in his affidavit. The law also says that a notary public should keep a notarial register to record all affidavits they have notarized. They are required to enter the number of the register and the page where a particular affidavit has been recorded. These requirements are mandatory due to the degree of importance and evidentiary weight attached to notarized documents. Having violated these requirements, Rafanan should be fined. As to the affidavit executed by Rafanan in favor of his client, the SC says that this is in violation of Rule 12.08 of Canon 12, which says that a lawyer should avoid testifying in behalf of his own client. The SC explained that appearing both as counsel and witness of a client will provoke unkind criticism and leave many people to suspect the truthfulness of the lawyer because they cannot believe the lawyer as disinterested. Obviously, if a lawyer appears as client and counsel, people would automatically think that his testimony as a witness is biased in favor of his client. Despite of this, Rafanan cannot be made administratively liable. First, the SC considered that it is the duty of a lawyer to assert every remedy and defense for the benefit of the client. Thus, in defense of his client, Rafanan is supposed to do everything in his power. Since, he is a witness to the crime, his affidavit is essential to the defense of his client. What he should have done though was to exempt himself from being counsel. This would ensure his credibility as a witness. In the end, because of his violation of the Notarial Laws and Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, Rafanan is fined 3,000.

67 BERBANO v BARCELONA Facts: The heirs of Hilapo appointed Atty. Daen as their atty.-in-fact. Atty. Daen was subsequently arrested by the Muntinlupa police. The heirs of Hilapo tried to look for a lawyer to secure the release of Atty. Daen. The heirs were recommended to Atty. Barcelona. When the spouses visited Atty. Daen, they learned that Atty. Daen had decided to engage the services of Atty. Barcelona. Atty. Barcelona then proceeded to tell the heirs if they could produce P50K he could secure the release of Atty. Daen the next day.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Because the heirs could not produce the total amount, they merely gave P15,700. There were several meetings between the heirs and Atty. Barcelona regarding the grease money to be used to allegedly bribe an SC justice. The heirs made another payment via a check worth P24,000. On another occasion, the heirs went to the house of Atty. Barcelona and gave P10,000. The total amount given by the heirs to Atty. Barcelona reached P64,000. Commissioner Bautista found Atty. to be guilty of malpractice and breach of duty and recommended that he be disbarred. Issue: W/N Atty. Barcelona should be disbarred. Held: Atty. Barcelona should be disbarred. Disbarment proceedings are sui generis. Its intention is to safeguard the administration of justice by protecting the court and public from the misconduct of the officers of the court. In this case, Atty. demonstrated a penchant for misrepresenting that he had connections to secure the release of Atty. Daen. Atty. Barcelona misrepresented to the complainant that he could get the release of Atty. Daen with his connection with a Supreme Court Justice. Instead of promoting respect for law and the legal processes, Atty. Barcelona demeaned the legal profession by taking money from a client under the pretext of having connections with a member of this court. 68 ALMARVEZ v PAAS Facts: Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court Judge Estrellita Paas administratively charged Almarvez, a Court Aide/Utility Worker, with discourtesy to his fellow employees, neglect in performing duties (by not maintaining the cleanliness around the court premises and often being absent from work), and solicitation of money (from prisoners before serving them their Release Orders, and from litigants by offering to divulge confidential information in advance of its unauthorized release). The Court found that the aforementioned charges were not supported by evidence since those who filed affidavits as evidence against Almarvez were not presented at the hearings. The only offense which Almarvez was found to commit was inefficiency in the discharge of his duties. Thus he was suspended for 3 months. Almarvez had filed a counterclaim alleging that Judge Paas ordered him to undergo a drug test after the latter had already filed an administrative complaint against him. Regarding this, the court held that this elicits the suspicion the Judge is just fishing for more evidence to support the administrative case she had already filed against Almarvez. This was held
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

to constitute conduct unbecoming of a member of the judiciary, for which Judge Paas should be duly reprimanded. In a separate case for inhibition of Judge Paas in a criminal case, it was found that Judge Paas husband, Atty. Paas, who is a private practitioner, was using his wifes office address in his law practice, particularly in a criminal case he was handling which was docketed at an RTC also in Pasay. In support of this charge, documents were submitted such as 1) a Notice of Appeal signed by Atty. Paas, and 2) notices from Pasay City RTC, and from the Supreme Court This was admitted by Judge Paas, but she claims that this was done only to ensure and facilitate the delivery of those notices.

Issue: W/N Judge Paas and Atty. Paas should be penalized for allowing the latter to use the office of the former as his return address in his private practice. Held: YES Using the Judges address is a subtle was of sending a message that Atty. Paas is the husband of a judge in the same building and should be given special treatment by other judges or court personnel. In SC Administrative Circular No. 01-99, it was stated that court officials and employees must never use their officesfor any other purpose that for court or judicial functions. Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a judge should avoid impropriety in all activities and shall not allow the use of the judicial office to advance the private interests of others. SC Circular No. 3-92 prohibits the use of halls of justice for residential or commercial purposes. It is unprofessional and dishonorable to misuse a public office to enhance a lawyers prestige. It violates canons 3, 10, 13, and 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Atty. Paas is suspended for 3 months from the practice of law, while Judge Paas shall pay a fine of P12,000 69 NESTLE v SANCHEZ FACTS: From July 8-10, union members of Union of Filipro Employees or the Kimberly Independent Labor Union, who filed a case in court intensified their pickets that they had been conducting since June 17 in front of the Padre Faura gate of the SC Despite of the warning given by the court to their leaders and counsel, the picketing continued The union members are obstructing the access to and egress from the courts premises. They have also constructed provisional shelters along the sidewalks, set up kitchens and littered the place. they took turns
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

haranguing the court all day long with the use of loudspeakers ISSUE: W/N the rallyists must be held with contempt HELD: The contempt charges were dismissed The Counsel of the union members apologized to the court and promised that the incident will not be repeated again The picketing was actually done by the members of the PAMANTIK (Pagkakaisa ng MAnggagawa sa Timog Katalugan), an unregistered loose allegiance of about 75 unions in the Southern Tagalog and not by either the Union of Filipro Employees or the Kimberly Independent Labor Union. But the court will not hesitate in future similar incidents to apply the full force of the law and punish for contempt those who attempt to pressure the court to acting one way or the other in any case pending before it. The court is entitled to proceed to the disposition of its business in an orderly manner, free from outside interference obstructive of its functions and tending to embarrass the administration of justice. Any attempt to pressure or influence courts of justice through the exercise of either right amounts to an abuse thereof and is no longer within the ambit of constitutional protection, and that any such efforts to influence the court constitutes contempt of court. 70 REGALA v SANDIGANBAYAN Facts: Petitioners in this case and private respondent Roco were all then partners of the law firm Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz Law Offices (commonly known as ACCRA) ACCRA performed services for clients which included acquiring and/or organizing business associations and/or organizations where it acted as incorporators or simply as stockholders As members of the law firm, petitioners and Roco admit that they assisted in the organization and acquisition of companies included in Civil Case No. 0033. In keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as nominees-stockholders. Anong kalokohan yan? o Civil Case No. 0033 RP v. Eduardo Cojuangco et. al., for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth, which includes shares of stock in certain corporations PCGG later on filed a motion to admit 3rd amended complaint, which excluded Roco in Civil Case 33 as party defendant. PCGG was removing Roco because Roco was going to make choochoo and reveal the identity of the principals. The ACCRA lawyers then filed a comment and/or opposition saying that

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

they should also be removed the way that Roco was. PCGG then said that it will ask for their exclusion only if they will also disclose the identity of their clients During the proceedings, Roco did not actually reveal the identity of the client for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder The ACCRA lawyers motion for exclusion was denied (they refused to comply with the PCGGs offer) by the PCGG and the court. Hence, this motion for certiorari

Issue: W/N the ACCRA lawyers should be excluded from the case Held: Yes. It is apparent that the ACCRA lawyers were only impleaded to force them to disclose the identity of their clients. PCGG has no valid cause of action Issue: W/N the attorney-client privilege prohibits the ACCRA lawyers from revealing the identity of their clients Held: General rule: a clients identity should not be shrouded in mystery o Exceptions: where a strong probability exists that revealing the clients name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyers advice o Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability o Where revealing the identity would furnish the only link that would be necessary to convict an individual of a crime The prosecution should rely on the strength of their evidence and not on the weakness of the defense Roco merely stated that he was acting as nominee-stockholder for the client and is part of legitimate lawyering. The ACCRA lawyers also made such statement and should also be dropped. In re: Canon 14 the relation of attorney and client is strictly personal and highly confidential and fiduciary the lawyer is more than a mere agent or servant because he possesses special powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his client 71 DAROY v LEGASPI

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

FACTS: Complainants charged Atty. Ramon Chavez- Legaspi with malpractice for having misappropriated the sum of P4,000.00 which he had collected for them. They prayed that he be disbarred FACTUAL EVIDENCE: Complainants hired Atty. Legaspi to represent them in the intestate proceeding for the settlement of the estate of the spouses Gonzaga. The complainant-heirs in a joint petition, which Atty. Legaspi signed as counsel agreed that the coconut land left by the decedents would be divided into 6 equal parts and that the proceeds of the sale of the land would be distributed among them. Atty. Legaspi wrote to the father of Mrs. Daroy, Teofilo Legaspi that the money deposited could be withdrawn. However, Atty. Legaspi had already withdrawn the money (therefore he acted in bad faith). It turned out that Atty. Legaspi was also an heir (although it wasnt shown how). ISSUE: WoN Atty. Legaspi should be disbarred because he violated the relation between attorney and his client? HELD: YES! RATIO: 1. The relation between an atty and his client is higly fiduciary in nature and of a very delicate, exacting and confidential character, requiring a high degree of fidelity and good faith. In view of that special relationship, lawyers are bound to promptly account for money or property received by them on behalf of their clients and failure to do so constitutes professional misconduct. The fact that a lawyer has a lien for fees on money in his hands collected for his clients does not relieve him from the duty of promptly accounting for the funds received. 2. The complainants, however, have to recover the money in an ordinary action, and not in this disbarment proceeding. 72 DEE v CA Dee and his father went to the residence of Atty Mutuc to seek his advice regarding the problem of the alleged indebtedness of petitioners brother Dewey Dee, to Ceasars Palace. Petitioners father was apprehensive over the safety of his son, Dewey having heard of a link between the mafia and Ceasars Palace and his possibility that his son may be harmed at the instance of the latter. Atty Mutuc assured petitioner and his father that he would inquire into the matter, after which his services were reportedly contracted for P100,000. Further investigations revealed that the alleged debt of Dewey had actually been incurred by Ramon Sy, with Dewey merely signing for the chits. Atty Mutuc talked with the president of Ceasars palace and advised the president that for the sake and in the interest of the casino it would be better to make Ramon Sy answer for the indebtedness. The president told him that if he could convince
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Ramon Sy to acknowledge the obligation, Dewey would be exculpated from liability. Ramon Sy acknowledged the obligation, thereafter, the account of Dewey was cleared. Atty Mutuc sent demand letters to petitioner demanding the balance of P50,000 as attorneys fees. Petitioner Dee ignored said letters. Atty Mutuc filed a complaint against petitioner Dee for the collection of attorneys fees. Petitioner denied the existence of any professional relationship of attorney and client between hin and Atty Mutuc. Dee insists that the visits made to Atty Mutuc was merely informal and that Atty Mutuc had not been specifically contacted to handle the problem. The P50,000 given to Atty Mutuc was alleged to be given not in the nature of attorneys fees but merely pocket money. Issue: W/n there was a lawyer-client relationship Held: YES. The absence of a written contract will not preclude the finding that there was a professional relationship which merits attorneys fees for professional services rendered. To establish the relationship, it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of an attorney is sought and received in any matter pertinent to his profession. An acceptance of the relation is implied on the part of the attorney from his acting on behalf of his client in pursuance of a request from the latter. Therefore, Mutuc is entitled to receive a reasonable compensation. Atty Mutuc did not represent conflicting interests as claimed by Dee when Dee alleged that Mutuc was acting as agent of Ceasars Palace. Mutucs representations in behalf of petitioner Dee were not in resistance to the casinos claim but were actually geared toward proving the liability of true debtor, Ramon Sy. 73 BR SEBASTIAN v CA Facts: Eulogio Reyes, before he died filed an action for damages against the Director of Public Works, and BR Sebastian. BR Sebastian (BRS) was held to be liable, but the Director of Public Works was exonerated. BRS appealed. During the pendency of the appeal, Reyes died. He was substituted by his heirs (the Reyeses). In 1974, BRS received notice to file Appelants Brief within 45 days from receipt. Counsel for BRS (The Baizas, Alberto and Associates) failed to file the brief. The appeal was then dismissed.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Much later, around 5 months after the deadline, Baizas Law Office (different daw from the former one) file a motion for reconsideration. It alleged that as a result of the death of Atty Crispin Baizas, senior partner, the affairs of the aid firm are still being settled between Atty. Jose Baizas (son of Crispin) and Atty Ruby Alberto. And that Atty Espiritu, the lawyer who handled this case in the trial court and who is believed to have also attended to the preparation of the Appelants Brief but failed to submit it through oversight and inadvertence, had also left the firm.

Issue: W/N the appeal of BR Sebastian should be reinstated. Held: No. In this case, no fraud is involved. Only simple negligence on the part of the BRS counsel. The confusion in the office of the law firm following the death of Aty Crispin Baizas is not a valid justification for its failure to file the brief. The responsibility of the associates to the petitioner as counsel remained until withdrawal by the former of their appearance in the manner provided by the Rules of Court. The law firm should have assigned the case to another associate. Or it could have withdrawn as counsel in the manner provided by the Rules of Court so that the petitioner could contract the services of a new lawyer. The negligence of the counsel binds the client. 74 HILADO v DAVID Facts: Blandina Hilado (ganda ng pangalan!) brought an action against Selim Assad to annul the sale of several houses and lot exected by Hilados husband. Delgado et al. was counsel for Hilado, while Ohnick et al filed an answer for Assad. Later on, Atty Vicente Francisco entered his appearance for Assad substituting Ohnick et al. The firm of Delgado urged Atty Francisco to stop representing Assad since there exists an atty-client relationship between him (Francisco) and the other party (Hilado) in the same case. It was alleged that Hilado consulted Francisco regarding the case and that the former turned over papers to the latter. From such documents, Francisco sent a written opinion to Hilado. Since makulit si Francisco, Delgado et al. sought to disqualify Francisco from representing Assad in the case.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Franciscos defense was that he only met Hilado once and this was when the latter informed him about the case. He added that when Hilado left documents in their office, he told his assistant to tell Hilado that their firm would not handle her case. And that the written opinion was made by his assistant, which he signed without reading, and only for the purpose of explaining to Hilado why his firm rejected the case. David is the judge trying the case who dismissed the complaint for disqualification against Francisco. Said judge reasoned that no attorneyclient relationship existed between Hilado and Francisco.

Issue: Was there an attorney-client relationship between Francisco and Hilado? Should Atty Francisco be disqualified from representing Assad? Held: The firm of Francisco mailed a written opinion to Hilado on the merits of the case (with Franciscos signature); this opinion was reached on the basis of papers submitted at his office; and that Hilados purpose in submitting those papers was to secure Franciscos professional services. From these ultimate facts, an attorney-client relationship between Francisco and Hilado can be said to have ensued. To constitute professional employment it is not essential that the client should have employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion. It is not necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for; neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which the consultation was had. When a person consults with his attorney in his professional capacity with the view of obtaining professional advice or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces in such consultation, then the professional employment must be regarded as established. The existence of attorney-client relationship precludes the attorney from representing (and receiving a retainer from) the opposite party in the same case. An information professionally obtained by an attorney from a client is sacred to the employment to which it pertains, and to permit it be used in the interest of another, or in the interest of the adverse party is to strike at the element of confidence which forms the basis of an attorney-client relationship. The rule inhibiting an attorney from acting in behalf of both parties is implied in the Rules of Court (wala pang codified codes of professional responsibility noon). The defense that Francisco never read the written opinion nor the documents submitted by Hilado will not preclude the existence of an attorney-client relationship. The fact remains that his firm did give Hilado a formal professional
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

advice from which emerged the relation. The letter binds and estops him in the same manner and degree as if he wrote it personally. And an information obtained from a client by a member or assistant of the firm is information imparted to the firm. The failure to object to counsels appearance does not operate as a waiver of the right to ask for counsels disqualification. Motion for disqualification against Attorney Francisco should be allowed. *A retaining fee (just in case itanong) is a preliminary fee given to an attorney or counsel to insure and secure his future services, and induce him to act for the client. 75 SANTOS v BELTRAN US. 76 NAKPIL v VALDES Facts: Jose Nakpil was interested in a piece of property situated in Moran, Baguio. He went into an agreement with Atty. Carlos Valdes for the latter to buy the property in trust for Nakpil. Valdes did buy the property by contracting 2 loans. The lands titles were transferred to his name. When Jose Nakpil died, Imelda Nakpil (his wife) acquired the services of Valdes and his accounting and law firms for the settlement of the estate of Jose Nakpil. What Valdes did was to exclude the property in Baguio from the list of assets of Jose Nakpil (he actually transferred the property to his company, the Caval Realty Corporation) while including the loans he contracted. What Imelda did was to file a suit for reconveyance in the CFI. While the case was pending, Imelda also filed an administrative complaint for disbarment against Valdes. The CFI dismissed the action for reconveyance. The CA reversed the CFI. The complaint for reconveyance went up to the SC and was decided in favor of Nakpil. The SC held that Valdes only held the lots in trust for Nakpil. Issue: W/n Atty. Valdes should be administratively sanctioned for his acts, namely: o Excluding the property in Baguio from the estate of Jose Nakpil; o Including his loans as claims on the estate; and o Apparently, representing conflicting interests when his accounting
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

firm prepared the list of claims of creditors Angel Nakpil and ENORN against the estate of Jose Nakpil, which was represented by his law firm. Held: The SC found Valdes guilty of misconduct and suspends him for 1 year. The Court held that the first two acts clearly show that Valdes broke the trust reposed on him by Imelda Nakpil when the latter agreed to use his professional services as a lawyer and an accountant. It was clear that Jose Nakpil and Atty. Came to an agreement that the latter would be buying the property in trust for Jose. By his act of excluding the property from the estate and including the loans he contracted (and used for his own benefit) as claims, Valdes took for granted the trust formed between Jose and him (they had a close relationship since the 50s), which was the basis for Imeldas decision to use his services. As to the third charge, we hold respondent guilty of representing conflicting interests which is proscribed by Canon 15 Rule 15.03. In the case at bar, there is no question that the interests of the estate and that of its creditors are adverse to each other. Respondent's accounting firm prepared the list of assets and liabilities of the estate and, at the same time, computed the claims of two creditors of the estate. There is clearly a conflict between the interest of the estate which stands as the debtor, and that of the two claimants who are creditors of the estate. 77 ARTEZUELA v MADERAZO Facts: Echavia had a vehicular accident in Mandaue City. Echavia was driving a Ford Telstar owned by a Japanese national but in the name of his brother-inlaw Villapez. The car rammed into a small carinderia owned by Artezuela. Artezuela engaged the services of Atty. Maderazo in filing a damage suit against Echavia. Artezuela paid Maderazo the amount of P10,000 as attorneys fees and P2,000 as filing fee. Artezuela filed a suit for disbarment against Maderazo. She alleged that Maderazo grossly neglected his duties as a lawyer. According to Artezuela, atty. did not do anything to keep the case moving and atty. withdrew his services without obtaining Artezuelas consent. Artezuela also alleged that Atty. Maderazo engaged in activities inimical to her interests. She says that while acting as her counsel, Atty. Maderazo prepared Echavias answer. Atty. Maderazo claims that the document of Echavia was not prepared by him. According to him, the answer by Echavia was only printed in his office. Issue: W/N Atty. Maderazo represented conflicting interests. Held: Atty. Maderazo represented conflicting interests. Suspension of 6
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

months. To be guilty of representing conflicting interests, a counsel-of-record of one party need not also be the counsel-of-record of the adverse party. He does not have to hold himself as the counsel of the adverse party. It is enough that the counsel of one party had a hand in the preparation of the pleading of another party who is claiming adverse and conflicting interests with that of the original client. Because of the fiduciary relationship between the lawyer and the client, sound public policy dictates that the lawyer be prohibited from representing conflicting interests or discharging inconsistent duties. 78 HORNILLA v SALUNAT Facts: Salunat was a member of the Phil. Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA) Board, which approved Atty. Salunats engagement as counsel of PPSTA Complainants, who are members of PPSTA, filed an intracorporate case against its Board of Directors. Atty. Salunat entered his appearance as counsel for the board members in said cases. Complainants contend the Atty. Salunat was guilty of conflict of interest because he was engaged by PPSTA, of which complainants were members, and was being paid out of its corporate funds where complainants have contributed. Atty. Salunat pointed out that he entered his appearance as counsel for the board members for and in behalf of ASSA Law and Associates. He also stated that it was another partner of the firm, Atty. Agustin who handled the case. Issue: W/N Atty. Salunat engaged in conflicting interests. Held: YES. In a derivative suit such as the one filed by the complainants against the BOD of PPSTA, the prevailing rule is that the lawyer engaged by the corporation may not represent the directors, since that would give rise to a conflict of interest. The interest of the corporate client is paramount and should not be influenced by the interest of the individual corporate officials. That Atty.Salunat entered his appearance in behalf of ASSA Law Firm doesnt exonerate him. He admitted that ASSA was the retained counsel of PPSTA. Since this is the first offense, respondent is admonished to observe a high degree of fidelity in the practice of his profession. 79 NATAN v CAPULE

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

FACTS: Natan is the administrator of the estate of the deceased Maria Patero. Natan had filed an action against Santiago, the husband of Maria Patero to recover Marias share in the conjugal property. of Santiagos share in Hacienda Minit was ordered to be delivered to Maria Capule was contracted by Natan to file an action of forcible entry against Edonga, etc. and he delivered to him various documents including the decision of the previous court on the partition of the property of Santiago, specifically Hacienda Minit, which was received by Maria. Partial payments were received by Capule from Natan amounting to P275 but Capule was unable to attend the hearing. Since the Judge refused to grant postponement, Natan handled the case personally, being an attorney himself. Thereafter, Capule represented Olimpio Patero, claiming that he is the sole heir of Santiago Patero and in possession of Hacienda Minit, and filed an administrative case against Natan asking the court to order Natan to return of Hacienda Minit. ISSUE: W/N Capule violated his duty as a lawyer HELD: YES! And the court sentenced him to be suspended him from the exercise of his profession for the period of 2 years Capule had utilized the papers, knowledge and information that he had received from his former client Natan in connection to the Hacienda Minit against Natan and for the benefit of his new client Olimpio Patero Capule, because of his previous relationship with Natan, was disqualified to accept the case of Olimpio who claims ownership over Hacienda Minit. The fact the Capule retired from the forcible entry case prior to retaining the case of Olimpio did not relieve him from his obligation of fidelity and loyalty to his former client. The inconsistency between his position as attorney of Natan and that of Olimpio is so apparent that it could not have escaped his attention An attorney may not do anything which will injuriously affect his former client in any matter in which he formerly represented him, nor may he, at any time, use against his former client knowledge or information acquired by virtue of his previous relationship. 80 BAUTISTA v BARRIOS Facts: Rufina Bautista engaged the services of Atty. Barrios to draft an extrajudicial partition between Bautista and her brothers and sisters and Rovero on the other side. Barrios prepared the deed.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Rovero later on refused to comply with the terms of the deed. Bautista sued him. Instead of representing Bautista, Barrios instead appeared for Rovero. Barrios defense: it was Rovero who engaged his services in preparing the deed and not Bautista

Issue: W/N Barrios may handle a case nullify a contract which he prepared Held: No, he may not. Suspended for 2 years. When Bautista approached Barrios to enforce the deed, Barrios merely said that she has no cause of action. Barrios did not inform her that he was already representing Rovero. Supposing that Barrios was indeed representing both Bautista and Rovero, he could not appear for one as against another. 81 GAMILLA v MARIO FACTS: Atty Marino, Jr. as president of the UST Faculty Union and other union officers entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the management of UST for the provision of economic benefits amounting to P35 Milllion. The 1986 collective bargaining agreement expired in 1988 but efforts to forge a new one unfortunately failed. In 1989, the faculty members of UST went on strike and as a counter-measure UST terminated the employment of 16 officers and directors of the UST Faculty Union including Atty Marino, Jr. The Sec of Labor prescribed the retroactivity of the collective bargaining agreement to 1988 when the 1986 collective bargaining agreement expired. In the same year, the administration of UST and the UST Faculty Union also entered into a compromise agreement for the payment to settle backwages. The important fact in this case is that Atty, Marino, as president, negotiated with UST as union attorney, even though he was an interested party since he was one of the officers who were dismissed (conflict of interests) ISSUE: WoN Marino should be reprimanded? HELD: YES RATIO: 1. Atty Marino failed to avoid conflict of interests, first, when he negotiated for the compromise agreement wherein he played the diverse roles of union president, union atty and interested party being one of the dismissed
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

employees seeking his own restitution, and thereafter, when he obtained the attys fees of P4,200,000.00 without full prior disclosure of the circumstances justifying such clain to the members of the UST Faculty Union. 2. As one of the 16 union officers and directors seeking compensation from the UST for their illegal dismissal, Atty. Marino was involved in obvious conflict of interests when in addition he chose to act as concurrent lawyer and president of the UST Faculty Union in forging the compromise agreement. The test of conflict of interest among lawyers is whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an atty 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. In the same manner, it is undoubtedly a conflict of interests for an atty to put himself in a position where self-interest tempts, or worse, actually impels him to do less than his best for his client. 3. Atty Marino. Both as lawyer and president of the union was duty bound to protect and advance the interest of the union members and the bargaining unit above his own. This obligation was jeopardized when his personal interest complicated the negotiation process and eventually resulted in the lopsided compromise agreement that rightly or wrongly brought money to him at the expense of the other faculty members. He also ought to have disclosed his interest (which he only did only years after the consummation of his share.. tsk bad.) 82 SUNTAY v SUNTAY Facts: The complaint for disbarment was filed by Frederico Suntay against his nephew, Atty Suntay, alleging that respondent was his legal counsel who was privy to all his legal, and political affairs. Since they parted ways, Atty Suntay had been filing complaints and cases against complainant making use of confidential information gained while their attorney-client relationship existed. In addition, complainant Suntay alleged that respondent Atty Suntay pursued a case against him for violation of PD 296 for the alleged disappearance of 2 creeks traversing complainants fishpond. Complainant alleged that Atty Suntay s possession of the TCT and the blueprint plan of the property while he was still counsel for complainant provided him with the information that there used to be 2 creeks traversing the fishpond In one case, Magno Dinglasan demanded from complainant P150,000 as consideration for the destruction of complainants record in the BIR, in which Dinglasan is an officer. When complainat declined the demand, Dinglasan charged complainant with the crime of false testimony and grave oral defamation. During the preliminary investigation, Atty Sntay acted as counsel of Magno Dinglasan. Complainant testified that he consulted Atty Suntay about the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

demand made by Dinglasan. Issue: Whether the acts of Atty Suntay in filing the complaints constitute malpractice Held: YES. Atty Suntay acted as counself for clients in case involving subject matters regarding which he had either been previously helped complainant to administer as the latters counsel and confidant. A lawyer shall preserve the confidences and secrets of his clients even after termination of the attorney-client relation. It is also not necessary to specify the alleged confidential information used. To make the passing of confidential information a condition precedent would not enhance the welfare of the litigants. Hence, the necessity of setting down the existence of the bare relationship of attorney and client as the yardstick for testing incompatibility of interests. Atty Suntay is suspended for 2 years. 83 DOCENA V LIMON Facts: Atty. Limon was the Docena spouses lawyer for their appeal in a Forcible Entry case. He then required the Docena spouses to post a supersedeas bond in the amount of P10,000.00 allegedly to stay the execution of the appealed decision The Docenas obtained a loan of P3,000.00 from the Borongan, Eastern Samar Branch of the Development Bank of the Philippines; borrowed P2,140.00 from a private individual; and applied for an agricultural loan of P4,860.00 from the Borongan, Samar Branch of the Philippine National Bank, wherein Limon himself acted as guarantor. When The Docenas went to the CFI to withdraw the bond after the case, they discovered that no such bond was ever posted by Limon. Limon claims that the P10T was just his attorneys fees. Issue: W/N Limon should be sanctioned. Held: He should be DISBARRED! By extorting money from his client through deceit and misrepresentation, respondent Limon has reduced the law profession to a level so base, so low and dishonorable, and most contemptible.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

He has sullied the integrity of his brethren in the law and has, indirectly, eroded the peoples' confidence in the judicial system. By his reprehensible conduct, which is reflective of his depraved character, respondent has made himself unworthy to remain in the Roll of Attorneys.

84 SEVILLA v SALUBRE Facts: Salubre, prior to being a judge, was Sevillas counsel in a civil case for repurchase and damages. Upon advice of Salubre, Sevilla gave P45k to him to be consigned with the court as repurchase money. Instead of consigning it to the court, Salubre deposited the money in his own account and later used personally by him. Salubre promised Sevilla that he would pay the sum of money. He even issued a promissory note for said amount. Several extensions were sought by Salubre but he still failed to pay. Later on, checks were issued to cover the indebtedness. But these were dishonored on the ground account closed. By the time the case was referred to the Office of Court Administrator, the amount due was around P77k (45k as principal and 32k as interest). Salubres appointment as judge did not extinguish the obligation incurred by him when he was still a trial lawyer. Salubres defense was that the complaint was a result of misunderstanding and the filing of an Affidavit of Desistance is proof that the matter was already resolved. It was shown that Salubre later returned the funds to Sevilla after the case for estafa was filed. Salubre also claimed that the money he received from Sevilla was supposed to be the latters payment for his appearance and other litigation expenses Issue: Should Salubre still be held liable for his acts despite the desistance of the complainant? Held: Yes. The Affidavit of Desistance did not divest the Court of its jurisdiction to impose administrative sanctions upon Salubre. Complainants voluntary desistance does not confirm nor deny Salubres non-culpability. The primary object of administrative cases against lawyers is not only to punish and discipline erring lawyers but also to safeguard the administration of justice by protecting the courts and the public from the misconduct of lawyers, and to remove from the legal profession persons whose utter disregard of their lawyers oath have proven them unfit to continue discharging the trust reposed in them as members of the bar. Administrative cases against lawyers can still proceed despite the dismissal of civil and/or criminal cases against them.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Salubre violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for his failure to return the funds of his client upon demand. His appointment as Judge is not a valid reason not to properly address the demand of complainant. The fact that he was eventually appointed as Judge will not exculpate him from taking responsibility of the consequences of his acts as an officer of the court. His defense that the money was supposed to be Sevillas payment for his services should have been made known to the latter at the earliest time when the demand was made. Instead, he bombarded complainant with a long line of promises hoping that the latter would allow the matter to be, eventually, left unsettled. Salubre, by delaying payment of his obligation, failed to keep up with the exacting standards of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. There was an allegation of violation of Canon 17 but this was not substantiated. Salubre is fined and given a stern warning. 85 CUNANAN v RIMORIN FACTS CUNANAN, a retired US citizen, engaged the services of ATTY RIMORIN in the matter of settling his overstaying alien status with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation so tat he could attend the funeral of his son, Andrew Cunanan, in the United States CUNANAN verbally agreed to pay ATTY RIMORIN P40,000 This amount was to be paid out of the goodwill money to be paid by ABSCBN, represented by NOLI DE CASTRO, in exchange for an exclusive interview regarding the story of CUNANANS son, Andrew For the 1st partial payment, NOLI acting in behalf of ABS-CBN, issued a check for P100,000 payable to ATTY RIMORIN To complete payment, ABS-CBN deposited the balance of P100,000 in the bank account of ATTY RIMORIN According to the affidavit of NOLI, the 2 payments were intended for CUNANAN ATTY RIMORIN sent a letter to CUNANAN stating due to rains there is no way of checking whether the check deposited by ABS-CBN has been clearedIll try my very best to produce the other P30,000 today CUNANAN indeed received P30,000 but after that there was no more communication from ATTY RIMORIN Hence, CUNANAN filed an administrative case with the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline for the disbarment of ATTY RIMORIN and for failing to render the accounting of P200,000 which the lawyer received in trust for him]

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

ISSUE HELD

W/N ATTY RIMORIN SHOULD BE REPRIMANDED YES, VIOLATED CANON 16 RULE 16.01

RATIO It was established that the P200,000 were received by ATTY RIMORIN for the benefit of and in trust of CUNANAN, as corroborated by NOLI in his affidavit The highly fiduciary and confidential relation of attorney and client require that ATTY RIMORIN should promptly account for the said funds which he received and held for the benefit of his client, CUNANAN, because those funds properly belong to the latter From the time of the filing of the administrative case until the present, CUNANANS demand for accounting has not yet been satisfied by ATTY RIMORIN Thus, ATTY RIMORIN fell short of his duty as a lawyer under Canon 16 Rule 16.01 and should be penalized accordingly JUDGMENT Suspended for 1 year and to render an accounting of P170,000 representing the balance of P200,000 86 LICUANAN v MELO Facts: Leonila Licuanan won in an ejectment case against Aida Pineda. Her counsel in that case was Atty. Manuel Melo. The judgment ordered Pineda to pay rentals, in arrears and succeeding, to Licuanan. It was Melo who demanded payment from Pineda. After being threatened with another lawsuit, Pineda paid the rentals to Melo (worth P5,220). Licuanan never got the payments so she filed an administrative complaint against Pineda before the Chief of the Philippine Tuberculosis Society accusing her of moral turpitude. In response, Pineda filed an action for damages (on the ground of besmirched reputation and mental anguish) against Licuanan because Pineda believed that she had already paid her debt by paying to Melo. After 1 year, Licuanan, through another lawyer, then finds out that the money paid by Pineda was with Melo. Melo then gives the rentals to Licuanan. Licuanan then files this complaint with the Office of the Court Administrator against Melo for breach of professional ethics. Issue:

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

W/n Melo should be sanctioned for his acts. Held: Yes, he should be sanctioned. In fact, the SC disbarred him. The acts of respondent in retaining for his personal benefit over a one-year period, the amount of P5,220 received by him on behalf of his client, Licuanan, depriving her of its use, and withholding information on the same despite inquiries made by her, is a breach of the Lawyer's Oath to which he swore observance, and an evident transgression of the Canons of Professional Ethics (16.01, 16.02, 16.03). Respondent's unprofessional acts considered, the SC was constrained to find him guilty of deceit, malpractice and gross misconduct in office. He has displayed lack of honesty and good moral character. He has violated his oath not to delay any man for money or malice, besmirched the name of an honorable profession and has proven himself unworthy of the trust reposed in him by law as an officer of the Court. He deserves the severest punishment, which is disbarment. 87 MARQUEZ v MENESES Facts: Marquez was introduced by Atty. Peralta to Atty. Meneses as a prospective client. Marquez retained the services of Atty. Meneses to prosecute a claim of P210 against Igdanes. The agreement was that Marquez was to pay Meneses a fee of P100 whether the case was won or lost. Marquez advanced the amount from time to time, totaling P75. The decision of the Justice of the Peace Court was in favor of Marquez, ordering Igdanes to pay the P210 claim and P75 as attorneys fees. Marquez received a letter from her brother saying that Igdanes had paid the P75 to the sheriff as partial satisfaction and that Atty. Meneses had gotten all of the P75. Marquez went to see Atty. Meneses to claim P50 of the P75 that the latter got. Marquez claims that Meneses was only entitled to P25 of the amount paid because she had already given the Atty. P75. Atty. Meneses contends that Marquez owes her money because he was entitled to the retainer fee (P100) and whatever contingent fees that may be awarded by the court. Sol. Gen. says that Atty. Meneses must return the amount of P50 to Marquez. The Sol. Gen. also recommended the suspension of Atty. Meneses for at least 6 months. Issue: W/N Atty. Meneses should return the amount. Held: Atty. Meneses should return the amount of P 50. Suspension of 1 month. It is highly improbable that Marquez would agree to pay P175 as fees to atty. considering the fact that the claim was only for P210. An atty.s fee
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

of P175 is unconscionable. It is well-settled that money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a judgment in favor of his client is money held in trust and must be immediately turned over. Atty. Meneses should have made an accounting with his client of the amount he received. 88 CASTILLO v TAGUINES Facts: Castillo alleged that Atty. Taguines failed to delver to him P500 representing the monetary settlement of a civil suit between Castillo and Licup. Taguines was the counsel of defendant Licup in the said case, where Castillo was the plaintiff. It was agreed that Licup will give P500.00 for the settlement of the case to Taguines, and Taguines will give the amount to Castillo. For this consideration, Castillo had the case against Licup dismissed. No money was given to Castillo, and the latter only found out in the second week of January 79 that Licup had already given the money to Taguines since Dec.16, 78 Castillo found out when Licup showed him a certification signed by Taguines that the latter received the amount. Taguines defense is that although he received the money from Licup, he never bound himself to go out of his way to personally deliver the money to Castillo or his lawyer, and Taguines said he does not know personally Castillo or his address. Castillo states that Taguines set a date to meet with him but never showed up nor called afterwards. Taguines later on gave Castillo a bouncing check worth P500. Issue: W/N Taguines must be held administratively liable for not delivering the money to Castillo and for fooling the complainant by giving a bouncing check. Held: YES. Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer shall hold in trust all money and property of his client that may come into his possession. Rule 16.03 of the same canon provides that a lawyer shall deliver the funds or property of his client when due or upon demand. Taguines is suspended for one year. 89 LEMOINE v BALON FACTS: Lemoine is a French national who filed an insurance claim with Metropolitan Insurance. His friend Jesus Garcia arranged for the engagement of Balons services as his counsel Balon advised Lemoine that he was charging 25% of the actual amount to
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

being recovered payable upon successful recovery. An advance payment of P50,000 to be deducted from whatever amount would be successfully collected. P1,000 as appearance and conference fee for each and every court hearing and legal expenses and other miscellaneous will be charged to Lemoines account which would be reimbursed upon presentment of account. Lemoine never gave his consent as to the fee. Lemoine signed an undated Special Power of Attorney authorizing Balon to bring any action against Metropolitan Insurance for the satisfaction of Lemoines claim as well as to negotiate, sign, compromise, encash and receive payments Metropolitan Insurance offered to settle Lemoines claim and Balon confirmed his acceptance of the offer December 1998, Metropolitan Insurance issued a China Bank check payable to Lemoine in the amount of P525,000 which was received by Balon When Lemoine asked Balon as to the status of the case, Balon answered that Metropolitan Insurance was offering P350,000 for settlement which Lemoine suggested that Balon accept to avoid litigation December 1999, Lemoine visited the office of Metropolitan Insurance to ask on the status of the case and it answered that the case was long settled via a check given to Balon. Balon acknowledge that he is in possession of the check and that he is keeping the check as attorneys lien pending Lemoines payment of his attorneys fee equivalent to 50% of the entire amount collected. He also threatened Lemoine that he will not hesitate to make proper representation with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, DOLE and BIR if Lemoine will make any trouble to Balon and that he has good network with the mentioned agencies. Balon later claimed that he gave P233,000 to Garcia on the representation of Lemoine. No written memorandum of the turn-over was made because Garcia was a co-Rotarian and co-attorney of Balon Balon was in possession of the said check for 5 years ISSUE: W/N Balon violated the Code of Professional Responsibility HELD: YES! And he was ordered disbarred by the SC The lawyers continuing exercise of his retaining lien presupposes that the client agrees with the amount of attorneys fees to e charged. In case of disagreement, however, the lawyer must not arbitrarily apply the funds in his possession to the payment of his fees. He can file the necessary action with the proper court to fix the fees Before receiving the check, he proposes a 25% attorneys fees, after receiving the check, he was already asking for 50%. under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall not engage in
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

unlawful acts , must observe fairness in all his dealings with his client and must hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client a lawyer who practices deceit in his dealings with his client not only violates his duty of fidelity loyalty and devotion to the clients cause but also degrades himself and besmirches the name of an honorable profession.

90 MELENDRES v DECENA Facts: (1st cause of action) Aug. 5, 1975: Complainants (spouses Erlinda Dalman & Narciso Melendrez) obtained from Atty. Reynerio Decena (Decena) a loan of P4K. This loan was secured by a real estate mortgage. It was made to appear in the REM that the amount borrowed was P5K. Decena assured the spouses that the REM was a mere formality, and due to this assurance the spouses signed the REM. Despite the assurance, Decena collected from the spouses P500/month as usurious interest. The spouses paid such usurious interest for 3 months. Because of their failure to pay the amounts, Decena drafted a new REM o New contract of mortgage in the amount of P10K with interest at 19%/annum o A special power of attorney authorizing Decena to sell the mortgaged property in public auction Spouses never knew the implications of the new REM. They failed to pay their obligation and so Decena acquired their property in pulic auction and later sold it to Trinidad Ylanan for P12K Spouses then went to Decena with P10K in the hopes of getting their property back. Decena then informs them that their debt has soared to P20.4K. With shattered hopes and grief in their hearts (andrama!), the spouses filed this case for disbarment. (2nd cause of action) Spouses filed a case for estafa against Reynaldo Pineda for recovery of P2K Decena entered into a compromise agreement with Pineda. Pineda then paid P500 to Decena. This settlement was never brought to the attention of the spouses nor were they ever consulted about such. Issue: W/N Decenas acts show gross misconduct and should therefore be disbarred Held:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Yes, Decena shall be disbarred The acts of Decena as to the 1st cause of action constitute deception, dishonesty and conduct unbecoming a member of the bar. As to the 2nd cause of action, Decena clearly failed to get the consent of the spouses before entering into a compromise. Decena also failed to inform the spouses or turn over to them the P500 given to him by Pineda as downpayment for the settlement of the case. Decenas failure to turn over to the spouses the money underscores his lack of honesty and candor in dealing with his clients

91 JUNIO v GRUPO FACTS: Rosario Junio engaged the services of Atty. Salvador Grupo for the redemption of a land belonging to her parents. She gave P25,000 to be used in the redemption, yet Atty. Grupo did not redeem the property and has continuously refused to refund the money given. Junio filed a complaint for disbarment for malpractice and gross misconduct Attu. Grupo contends that the land could really not be redeemed anymore, and that since Junio knew that the mortgage has already expired, she knew that it was just a last ditch effort to redeem the property. Atty. Grupo then borrowed some of the money for himself to help defray his childrens educational expenses. (personal request evidenced by a PN executed in favor of Junio Atty. Grupo contends that their families were really very close and intimate with each other Junios sisters were maids of Atty. Grupo) Atty. Grupo claims that there was no atty-client relationship and further contends that he did not ask for any fee, not even charity. He claims that his services were just acts of a friend for a friend. (he claims that he is willing to pay, though) IBP found that Atty Grupo violated a rule forbidding lawyers from borrowing money from their clients unless the clients interests are protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice and suspended him indefinitely.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

what he violated was the rule that a lawyer is bound to observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealing and transactions with his client. And that Atty Grupo did Not violate Rule 16 because Junio consented to and ratified to the use of the money, as evidenced by the PN. The court is constrained to give credence to Atty. Grupos claims that the money previously entrusted to him was later converted into a loan

ISSUE: WoN Atty. Grupo violated Rule 16? HELD: YES RATIO: What he violated was the rule that a lawyer is bound to observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealing and transactions with his client. ( he did not give security for the loan and he refused to pay the amount)And that Atty Grupo did not violate Rule 16 because Junio consented to and ratified to the use of the money, as evidenced by the PN. The court is constrained to give credence to Atty. Grupos claims that the money previously entrusted to him was later converted into a loan But in the dispositive portion, sabi he violated so ayun. As to the contention that no atty- client relationship exists: it is not necessary that any retainer should have been paid. All is needed is when a person consults with his atty in his professional capacity to obtain professional advice. Atty Grupo is suspended from practice of law for 1 month and to refund the money

92 BUADO v LAYAG Facts: Herein complainant Lising and her sister Rosita de Guzman ( mother of herein complianat Susana Buado) were the plaintiffs in a civil case which was decided in favor of the plaintiffs. Atty Layag represented the said plaintiffs in that case. Inland Trailways, the defendant in that case, issued checks: (1)payable to Atty Layag for P15,000 (2) payable to Lising for P30,180 (3) payable to De Guzman, who had by then passed away (for P45,000). The checks were received by Atty Layag. Atty Layag did not inform the plaintiffs about the checks. Instead he gave the checks to one Marie Paz Gonzales for encashment on the strength of a Special Power of Attorney, purportedly executed by De Guzman constituting Gonzales as agent.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

After discovering that checks have already been issued, Lising and Buado, as heir of De Guzman demanded the delivery of the checks. Gonzales, the agent gave Lising P10,000. No furhter amounts were remitted. Issue: W/n Atty Layag's act of delivering the checks to Gonzales, the purported agent, constitutes malpractice... Held: YES. As a lawyer, with more than 30 years in practice, respondent is charged with knowledge of the law. He should know that it was error for him to rely on a Special Power of Attorney after the death of the principal, De Guzman. When De Guzman died, the Special Power of Attorney ceased to be operative. With respect to the check payable to Lising, Atty Layag should have delivered it directly to Lising. The Power of Attorney did not cover Lising's case. He is therefore, suspended indefinitely, subject to further orders by the SC. 93 DALISAY v MAURICIO Facts: This is the case against Batas Mauricio, the TV host. Allegedly, Mauricio demanded and received exorbitant attorneys fees but did not take any action on Valerina Dalisays case. Initially, she paid P25T as acceptance fee. In total, she paid Mauricio P56T: P8T filing fee (though the case was already filed) the balance might be a combination of the ff: o Additional acceptance fee P90,000.00, with the explanation that he can give a discount should she pay in cash. o P3,000.00 as appearance fee notwithstanding her payments, respondent never rendered any legal service. She terminated their attorney-client relationship and demanded the return of her money and documents. Mauicio refused. The IBP Board of Governors wanted to dismiss the case. Issue: W/N the case against Mauricio should be dismissed. Held: No. He should be suspended for 6 months. When respondent accepted P56,000.00 from complainant, it was understood that he agreed to take up the latters case and that an attorney-client
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

relationship between them was established. From then on, it was expected of him to serve complainant with competence and attend to her case with fidelity, care and devotion. But there is nothing on record that Mauricio entered his appearance as counsel of record.

He did not even follow-up the case which remained pending up to the time she terminated his services. Regarding the P8T: (allegedly as docket fees for other cases): there was no evidence nor any pleadings submitted to show that respondent filed any case considering that the filing fee had to be paid simultaneously with the filing of a case. when a lawyer takes a clients cause, he covenants that he will exercise due diligence in protecting his rights. Just like any other professional, a lawyer is entitled to collect fees for his services. However, he should charge only a reasonable amount of fees.

94 MORTERA v PAGATPATAN Facts: The Morteras sued their mother, and 2 other personsAguilar and Bradfield for the rescission of a contract of sale. They secured a favorable judgment in which they are to receive P155k. Pagatpatan was counsel for the Morteras. After judgment was rendered, he entered into a secret agreement with Aguilar where he received P150k as partial payment of the judgment sum. This money was later deposited, by Pagatpatan, in his personal account without the knowledge of the Morteras. Morteras filed an action because Pagatpatan refuses to surrender the money despite the successive Orders of the RTC and CA. Pagatpatans defense is that the Morteras and their mother owed him money for services he previously rendered the family, and that he wouldnt be paid if he did not do what he did. Issue: Should Pagatpatan be held administratively liable? What is the proper penalty? Held: Yes. Pagatpatan failed to observe Canon 15 and 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. As counsel he: owes candor to his clients; is bound to account whatever money received for and from them; is obligated to keep his own money separate from his clients and; although he is entitled to a lien over the funds in order to satisfy lawful fees, he is bound to give prompt notice to his clients of such liens and to deliver the funds to them upon demand or when due.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

The claim that he need to protect his interests since there were other people claiming the money from the Monteras was not proved. The penalty of 1-year suspension recommended by the IBP is not commensurate to the fault done. Several factors warrant a more severe penalty: Considering that Pagatpatan is a seasoned practitioner, his actions are inexcusable; Counsel tried to subvert both law and proper procedure to recover his fees; Counsels actions were clearly tainted with bad faith, deceit, and utter contempt of his sworn duty as a lawyer. Pagatpatan is ordered to return the P150k and is suspended for 2 years. 95 HERNANDEZ v GO FACTS Sometime in 1961, HERNANDEZS husband abandoned her and her son Shortly thereafter, creditors of HERNANDEZS husband demanded payment of his loans Fearful of mortgage foreclosures, HERNANDEZ engaged the legal services of ATTY GO ATTY GO advised HERNANDEZ to give him land titles of lots in Zamboanga City belonging to her so that he may sell them to enable her to pay the creditors Then, ATTY GO persuaded HERNANDEZ to execute deeds of sale in his favor without any monetary or valuable consideration ATTY GO also persuaded HERNANDEZ to execute deeds of sale involving the other lots in Zamboanga City which were redeemed by HERNANDEZ when their mortgages fell due In 1974, HERNANDEZ came to know that ATTY GO did not sell her lots as agreed but instead he paid her creditors with his own funds and had her land titles registered in his name, depriving her of real property worth millions HERNANDEZ filed a complaint with the IBP IBP: ATTY GO violated Canon 17 and should be suspended for 3 years ISSUE HELD W/N ATTY GO SHOULD BE REPRIMANDED YES, FOR VIOLATING CANONS 16 AND 17

RATIO ATTY GO violated Canon 16 o His acts acquiring for himself HERNANDEZS lots entrusted to him are acts constituting gross misconduct, a grievous wrong, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character and implies a wrongful intent
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

and not a mere error in judgment o Such conduct on the part of ATTY GO not only degrades himself but also the honor of the legal profession ATTY GO violated Canon 17 o Records show that HERNANDEZ reposed high degree of trust and confidence in ATTY GO that when she engaged his services, she entrusted to him her land titles and allowed him to sell the same o ATTY GO, however, abused this trust and confidence when he did not sell her properties to others but to himself o ATTY GO is duty bound to render a detailed report to HERNANDEZ on how much he sold the lots and the amounts paid to her creditors but failed to do so In previous cases, the Court disbarred and expelled lawyers from the practice of law in similar circumstances, thus, the penalty recommended by the IBP is too light

JUDGMENT ATTY GO is disbarred 96 REONTOY v IBADLIT Facts: Corazon Reontoy lost a decision in a civil case in the RTC with Atty. Liberato Ibadlit as her counsel. Ibadlit received the notice of the decision but he opted not to file an appeal. He says that he informed Reontoys brother, Proculo Tomazar, to inform Reontoy of his opinion that he did not think that an appeal would prosper. This statement was refuted by the testimony of Proculo saying that he was not given such info. Reontoy also said that he would never authorized Proculo to represent her to the court or to her lawyer because Proculo was unlettered. Ibadlit only filed the notice of appeal after the reglementary period for appeal. Obviously, the appeal was instantly dismissed. Issue: W/n Ibadlit should be sanctioned. Held: SC says yes, Ibadlit is suspended for 1 year. A lawyer owes entire devotion in protecting the interest of his client, warmth and zeal in the defense of his rights. He must use all his learning and ability to the end that nothing can be taken or withheld from his client except in accordance with the law. He must present every remedy or defense within the authority of the law in support of his client's cause, regardless of his own personal views. In the full discharge of his duties to his client, the lawyer should not be afraid of the possibility that he may
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

displease the judge or the general public. A lawyer has no authority to waive his client's right to appeal. His failure to perfect an appeal within the prescribed period constitutes negligence and malpractice proscribed by Rule 18.03, Canon 18, of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that "a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable."

97 DE LAINO v CA De Liano vs. CA Mendiola Facts: The prior case involves the cancellation of 2 real estate mortgages in favor of San Miguel executed by Tango. De Liano was a senior executive of SMC. The prior case was decided against SMC. De Liano appealed the decision to the CA. Their counsel, Atty. Afable filed an Appellants Brief which failed to comply with the Rules of Court. Tango noticed this flaw of the Brief and immediately moved for the dismiss of De Lianos appeal. The CA decided that the Appellants Brief does not contain a Subject Index or a Table of Cases and Authorities; and that these lapses justify the dismissal of the appeal. De Liano asserts that the CA erred in declaring that the appeal be dismissed on the basis of the lapses in complying with the technical requirements in making of brief. Issue: W/N the dismissal of the Appeal was proper. Held: The dismissal of the brief was proper. All appeals are merely rights that arise from statutes; thus, they must be exercised in the manner prescribed by law. It is to this end that rules governing pleadings must be exercised in the manner prescribed by law. These technical rules like the inclusion of the statement of facts or the subject index in the brief are meant to enable the appellate court to have a better grasp of the matter entrusted to it for appraisal. Relevant to the topic: Generally, the negligence of the counsel binds the client. Even if Atty. Afable may be said to be SMCs counsel, this does not operate in favor of De Liano. A corporation is an artificial being whose juridical personality is only a fiction created by law and it can only exercise powers and transact its business through its board of directors and its agents. That Atty. Afable was clothed with sufficient authority to bind SMC is undisputable. SMCs board resolution attests to that. As such, SMC must be held bound by the actuations of its counsel, Atty. Afable. 98 TABAS v MANGIBIN
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Facts: A deed of mortgage was delivered to Hilda Tabas evidencing a real property in La Union that was mortgaged to her by Galvan. The deed of mortgage was registered in the Register of Deeds of La Union. Subsequently, a certain Lilia Castillejos represented herself as Tabas and appeared before Mangibin, who was a notary public, and asked the latter to prepare a discharge of the mortgage and to notarize it afterwards. Mangibin prepared the discharge of real estate mortgage without asking Castillejos for anything to serve as identification except for a Community Tax Certificate (CTC). This enabled Galvan to mortgage the property again, this time to a rural bank Tabas informed Mangibin that her signature in the questioned discharge of REM was forged but Mangibin did nothing to help. He even threatened to file a counter suit against her if she files a case against him. Tabas filed this complaint for disbarment. Mangibin admitted that the discharge of REM was a forgery but interposed the defense that it was beyond the scope of his duty to ascertain the identity of persons appearing before him, and that he had no available means of ascertaining their real identities.

Issue: W/N Mangibin should be held administratively liable for negligence in the performance of his duty as a notary public to ascertain the identity of the person appearing before him. Held: YES, Mangibin was negligent in performing such duty. Notarization is invested with public interest. It converts a private document into a public one, making it admissible in court without further proof of its authenticity. Such document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. Courts, administrative agencies, and the public must be able to rely upon an acknowledgement by a notary public appended to a document. A notary public should not notarize a document unless the person who signed the same is the very same person who executed and personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and truth of matters stated in the document. Mangibin should have requested other forms of identification or asked questions to ascertain her identity. Mangibin violated the Notarial Law and Canon 1. His notarial commission is revoked and he is disqualified from reappointment as notary public for 2 years.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

99 SANTUYO v HIDALGO FACTS: Santuyo purchased a parcel of land covered by a deed of sale which was notarized by Hidalgo and was entered in his notarial register 6 years after the date of notarization, Santuyo had a dispute with Danilo German over the ownership of the land Germen presented an affidavit of Hidalgo denying the authenticity if his signature on the deed of sale and that it was forged Santuyo argued that: o The deed of sale contained all the formalities of a duly notarized document o They had no access to the dry seal of Hidalgo Hidalgo on the other hand claimed that: o He was on vacation at the time that the deed was allegedly notarized o An examination of the document will prove that his signature was forged o He would have remembered Santuyo for he requires that the parties exhibit their community tax certificates and made them personally acknowledge the documents before he notarize documents IBP: the signature was really forged but Hidalgo must be suspended for 2 years as a notary public ISSUE: W/N Hidalgo must be suspended HELD: YES! The responsibility attached to a notary public is sensitive. Hidalgo should have been more discreet and cautious I the execution of his duties as such and should not have wholly entrusted everything to the secretaries. Hidalgo is negligent not only in the supposed notarization but foremost in having allowed the office secretaries to make the necessary entries in his notarial registry which was supposed to be done and kept by him alone and should not have relied on somebody else. 100 ENDAYA v OCA Facts: A complaint for unlawful detainer was filed against Artemio Endaya and his wife. An answer was prepared by a Mr. Ramirez for the spouses.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

At the beginning of the preliminary conference, spouses appeared without counsel. Endaya sought the services of the Public Attorneys Office. Atty. Oca was assigned to handle the case. At the continuation of the prelim conference, Oca filed motion for amendment of answer. Motion was denied. The judge then ordered all parties to submit their affidavits and position papers. The court also said that 30 days after the submission of the last paper or upon expiration of the period for filing, judgment shall be rendered on the case. Oca failed to submit any affidavit or position paper. Nonetheless, the complaint for unlawful detainer was dismissed because those who filed the case were not reall parties-in-interest. The case was appealed to RTC. Oca failed to submit anything again. RTC reversed the MTC decision. Spouses were ordered to vacate the property and pay a certain amount for rentals. Endaya confronted Oca about the decision. Oca feigned that he did not receive anything. Upon checking with the clerk of court, Oca did indeed receive a copy of the decision (liar!). Hence this administrative complaint.

Issue: W/N Oca committed professional misconduct Held: Yes. Suspended for 2 months from practice of law. Facts to show may problema talaga to si Atty. Oca: o In his comment, Oca put up the defense that he did not file any paper in the MCTC because it would just be a repetition of the answer. Endaya filed his reply which just reiterated what he put in his complaint. o SC ordered Oca to file a rejoinder. Guess what, Oca once again failed to file anything. Oca explained that he failed to file a rejoinder because he believed in good faith that it was no longer necessary. o In the IBP investigation, Oca once again failed to submit anything. Oca only appeared once in the MCTC and practically abandoned the spouses thereafter. The facts show that Oca failed to employ every legal and honorable means to advance the cause of his client. For intentionally failing to submit the pleadings required by the court, respondent practically closed the door to the possibility of putting up a fair fight for his client. Oca cannot just appear only once for the spouses. A lawyer continues to be a counsel of record until the lawyer-client relationship is terminated. Ocas story shows his appalling indifference to his clients cause, deplorable lack of respect for the courts and a brazen disregard of his duties as a
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

lawyer. Bakit hindi disbarred? o Endaya misrepresented that the original answer was prepared by a non-lawyer when in fact it was prepared by a lawyer o Endaya assured Oca that he had strong evidence to support their case. Endaya never gave anything to Oca to support their claim. o The PAO is burdened with a heavy caseload.

101 DE JUAN v BARIA III FACTS: Emma de Juan dwas dismissed by Triple AAA without notice. She asked for the assistance of Banahaw Broadcasting Company (BBC) to search for a lawyer. The new lawyer, Atty. Oscar Barria III, who worked with BBC offering free legal services to indigents became the counsel of de Juan in the NLRC case against Triple AAA for illegal dismissal. When an adverse NLRC decision was rendered against de Juan, she asked Atty Baria as to what to do next. Atty replied "Paano ba yan, iha eh hindi ako marunong gumawa ng Motion for Reconsideration?" and the secretary of Atty. Baria told de Juan and the husband "wag na tumawag uli dahil galit..." De Juan charged Atty Baria with negligence and threats to her person. Atty. BAria contends that he forewarned his client not to expect too much from him because of his limited legal experience since he was a new lawyer. Also, he alleges that De Juan pocketed the money that Triple AAA has already paid off. After that, the NLRC decision was reversed, and Atty. Baria accused de Juan that she lied re: her employment, which made him lose his appeal. May incident pa re: Raffy Tulfo (pero d na kelangan un.. gusto nya kasuhan ng libel kasi may sinabing bad against him) ISSUE: WoN Atty. Baria can be administratively charged? HELD: Yes. RATIO: 1. Once a lawyer agrees to take up the cause of a client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. 2. Rule 18.03 provides that the negligence of lawyers in connection with legal matters entrusted to them for handling shall render them liable. 3. Without a proper revocation of his authority and withdrawal as counsel, Atty Baria remains counsel of record and whether or not he has valid cause to withdraw from the case, he cannot just do so and leave his client out in the cold.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

102 EDQUIBAL v FERRER FACTS: Edquibal charged Atty Ferrer with professional misconduct and neglect of duty. Edquibal engaged the services of Ferrer to assist his mother Ursula in cases she filed against his sister Delia involving a certain property. In one of the cases, the trial judge rendered a decision adverse to his mother. Atty Ferrer then advised complainant to appeal to the CA and that the cost involved is P4,000. When complainant Edquibal informed respondent Atty Ferrer that he does not have enough money, Atty ferrer said P2,000 is sufficient. Edquibal followed up the appealed case. He then learned that the appeal was dismissed for failure to file the required appelant's brief. Respondent Atty Ferrer denied that he filed an appeal. He claimed that he never agreed to handle the appeal. ISSUE: W/n Atty Ferrer is guilty of professional misconduct... HELD: YES. Records show that respondnet was the counsel of record for Edquibal. The resolution of the CA clearly states that the "notice sent to counsel for defendantsappelants requiring him to file appelants brief wihtin 45 days from receipt thereof, was received by him...". However, respondent failed to file the appellants' brief despite receipt of such notice. Sec2 rule 44 of the Rules of CivPro provides that the counsel of the parties in the court of origin shall be considered their counsel in the CA. If it were true that Atty Ferrer did not agree to represent Edquibals, why did he not file with the CA a motion to withdraw as their counsel? The practice of law does not require extraordinary diligence. All that is required is ordinary diligence expected of a bonus pater familias. Suspended for 3 mos. 103 CUIZON v MACALIN Facts: The legal services of the Atty Rodolfo Macalino was sought by the Susan Cuizon in behalf of her husband Antolin Cuizon who was convicted for Violation of Dangerous Drug Act. Since they cannot pay, he suggested that he be given possession of their Mitsubishi car.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

He then offered to buy, and bought it for only P85T. (Too cheap, even if this happened during the early 90s). In spite of everything, he still failed to appear in the case of Antolin Cuizon. The Cuizons got another attorney. He (Macalino) was sanctioned by the lower courts, and was fined by the SC for P1000. which he did not pay. He was ordered to be arrested by the NBI, who was not able to serve the warrant against him (allegedly, he no longer resided in his place) The IBP wanted to suspend him for 3 years.

Issue: W/N Atty. Macalino should be sanctioned. Held: He should be DISBARRED and not just suspended. Among the fundamental rules of ethics is the principle that an attorney who undertakes to conduct an action impliedly stipulates to carry it to its conclusion The respondent clearly breached his obligation under Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides: A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. By his repeated cavalier conduct, the respondent exhibited an unpardonable lack of respect for the authority of the Court As an officer of the court, it is a lawyers duty to uphold the dignity and authority of the court. The highest form of respect for judicial authority is shown by a lawyers obedience to court orders and processes. 104 DE JUAN v BARIA III Facts: De Juan was an employee of Triple AAA. Based on a performance evaluation she was terminated. De Juan filed a case for illegal termination against the company. Atty Baria III was her counsel. The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of De Juan. When the company appealed to the NLRC, the decision was reversed. De Juan blamed Baria III for the reversal of the decision. She said that she only came to know of the reversed decision a month after it was promulgated. And when she asked counsel what to do, the latter said that he did not know how to make a Motion for Reconsideration. And when her husband called the office of the lawyer, the secretary told them not to talk with said counsel anymore.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Baria IIIs defense was that he forewarned his clients that he was just new in the profession and that they should not expect much from him. He also claimed that did not fail in informing his clients regarding the development of the case. And when the NLRC reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter, he advised De Juan to get a more experienced lawyer. He also cited that he was lambasted on air by a radio announcer--Raffy Tulfo. And that he received death threats after De Juans husband called their office and gave a warning to his secretary. In sum, Baria III asserts that he did not commit any breach of his oath and that he has vigorously pursued his clients cause. He further averred that it was De Juans negligence and folly that caused her to lose the case.

Issue: Whether Baria III committed culpable negligence, that would warrant disciplinary action, in failing to file for De Juan motion for reconsideration from the decision of the NLRC. Held: Yes. Once a lawyer agrees to take up the cause of a client, he owes fidelity to such cause and must be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. A lawyer should carry the case of his client until its termination or until it has become final and executory. A lawyer may only abandon his client and withdraw his services for a reasonable cause and only upon appropriate notice. Baria III did fail to file a motion for reconsideration. His excuse that he did not know how to make one is inexcusable. After his client expressed her desire to file such motion, it is incumbent upon him to familiarize himself with the procedure to carry out such task. Anyway, filing a motion for reconsideration is not that complicated. Though he did inform his client of his lack of experience, this cannot absolve him. A lawyer is expected to be familiar with the rudiments of the law and procedure. It is his duty to serve his client with competence and diligence and should exert his best efforts to protect the interests of his client. There was no proper revocation of authority and withdrawal by Baria III. So he remained De Juans counsel in the case. He did not obtain the written consent of his client or the permission of the court to withdraw from the case. Negligence of lawyers in connection with legal matters entrusted to them for handling shall render them liable (Canon 18 Rule 3). Baria III abandoned the cause of his client without a just reason. He was warned and fined in the amount of P5k. 105 ROLLON v NAVAL FACTS
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

ROLLON, together with her SON, went to the office of ATTY NARAVAL to seek his assistance in a case filed against her (Collection of Sum of Money) After going through the documents, ATTY NARAVAL agreed to be ROLLONS lawyer and required her to pay P8,000 as filing and partial service fee As per instruction of ATTY NARAVAL, ROLLONS SON returned to his office to follow up however ATTY NARAVAL told the SON that he was not able to act on the case because he was busy After several follow-ups and still no action, ROLLON decided to withdraw the amount paid to ATTY NARAVAL for failure of the latter to comply with their mutual agreement ATTY NARAVAL said that he could not return the documents because the same were in his house and the P8,000 paid by ROLLON because he has no money ROLLON decided to refer the matter to the IBP President of Davao City INVESTIGATING COMMISSIONER: suspend for 1 year for neglect of duty and/or violation of Canons 15 and 18 IBP BOARD OF GOVERNORS RESOLUTION: suspend for 2 years for violation of Canons 15 and 18 and restitution of P8,000 W/N ATTY NARAVAL SHOULD BE REPRIMANDED YES, FOR VIOLATION OF RULE 15.05 AND CANONS 16, 17 & 18

ISSUE HELD

RATIO Ordinarily, lawyers are not obliged to act either as advisers or as advocates of any person who may wish to become their client. They may decline employment and refuse to accept representation, if they are not in a position to carry it out effectively and competently. But once they agree to handle a case, attorneys are required by the Canons of Professional Responsibility to undertake the task with zeal, care and utmost devotion. Acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorney clientrelationship and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to a clients cause. And every case accepted by a lawyer deserves full attention, diligence, skill and competence. Hence, practicing lawyers may accept only as may cases as they can efficiently handle. Otherwise, their clients would be prejudiced. In the case at bar, records show that after receiving P8,000, ATTY NARAVAL failed to render any legal service to ROLLON and despite ROLLONS repeated demands, ATTY NARAVAL failed to return the files of the case that had been entrusted to him and kept the money ROLLOON had likewise entrusted to him Furthermore, after going through her papers, ATTY NARAVAL should have given ROLLON a candid opinion on the merits and status of the case. Apparently, the civil suit against ROLLON had been decided against her and had long become final executory. However, ATTY NARAVAL withheld such vital information from ROLLON and even demanded P8,000 as filing and
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

service fee giving her hope that her case would be acted upon. JUDGMENT Atty. Camilo Naraval is found GUILTY of violating Rule 15.05 and Canons 16, 17 and 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of two (2) years, effective upon his receipt of this Decision. Furthermore, he is ORDERED TO RESTITUTE, within thirty (30) days from notice of this Decision, complainants eight thousand pesos (P8,000), plus interest thereon, at the rate of six percent per annum, from October 18, 2000, until fully paid. 106 MIRAFLOR v HAGAD Facts: Nilo Miraflor, with the help of Primo Miraflor, filed a complaint against Insular Lumber Co. Phils. (ILCOPHIL) for illegal dismissal. The Minister of Labor and Employment initially denied the petition but the NLRC reversed the ruling, which was affirmed by the Office of the President (OP). Respondent Atty. Jose Aguirre, as the Executive Labor Arbiter, issued a writ of execution to enforce the decision of the OP. ILCOPHIL, through Atty. Juan Hagad, filed a motion for reconsideration. Aguirre ordered ILCOPHIL to post a bond to stay the execution of the decision and ordered a trial to determine the correct amount of backwages and benefits to be awarded to Miraflor. Eventually, Aguirre lowered the amount adjudged by the OP (from 27k to 14k). Mirfalor now complains to the SC that the respondent-lawyers conspired to thwart the execution of the decision of the OP which may constitute malpractice, gross misconduct or violation of the lawyers oath. Issue: W/n Aguirre and Hagad acted properly as lawyers. Held: SC says YES. Respondent Atty. Hagad can never be faulted for having filed said motion for reconsideration. As counsel for ILCOPHIL, he has the duty to pursue with zeal and dedication the best interests of his client and the filing of the motion for reconsideration was well within the scope of his authority and prerogatives as such counsel. Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that "a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence." With respect to respondent Atty. Aguirre, Jr., his explanation is reasonable and satisfactory. Complainants, except for their unsubstantiated allegations, never offered any satisfactory evidence to warrant the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

conclusion that Atty. Aguirre, Jr. acted maliciously in allowing ILCOPHIL to file the questioned motion for reconsideration. His explanation that he "merely complied with due process by granting the respondent company ILCOPHIL an opportunity to present evidence relative to its claim that complainant (Nilo Miraflor) had gainful employment during the time he was dismissed" is well taken. As a matter of fact, in allowing said motion for reconsideration, Atty. Aguirre was merely complying with the presidential directive to have a further adjudication on Nilo's salary differentials and other benefits due him. 107 PEOPLE v PRIETO Facts: Prieto was prosecuted in the Peoples Court for 7 counts of treason. He entered a plea of guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, and 7, and made a plea of not guilty on counts 4, 5, 6. Prieto was found guilty on count 4, 1, 2, 3, and 7despite the fact that the prosecutor only presented evidence on count 4. Prieto seeks the reversal of the conviction alleging that the court failed to appoint another counsel de officio to him in "spite of the manifestation of the atty. de officio that he would like to be relieved for obvious reasons." Issue: W/N Prieto was denied the right to counsel. Held: Prieto was not denied the right to counsel. The court places reasonable presumption in favor of the legality and regularity of all the proceedings of the trial court, including the presumption that the accused was not denied the right to have counsel. The fact that the atty. appointed by the trial court to aid Prieto in his defense expressed reluctance to accept the designation (because he did not sympathize with Prietos cause) is not sufficient to overcome the presumption. The statement of the counsel in the court below did not necessarily imply that he did not perform his duty to protect Prieto. The court also finds the Prieto is not guilty of counts 1,2, 3, and 7, because of lack of evidence. His guilt in count 4 is maintained and the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua due to aggravating (torture) and mitigating (plea of guilt) circumstances. 108 MILLARE v MONTERO Millare v Montero Facts: This is a disbarment proceeding against Atty. Montero
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Pacifica Millare, the mother of complainant, obtained a favorable judgment from the MTC which ordered Co to vacate the premises subject of the ejectment case. Co, through Montero as counsel, appealed the decision to the RTC. She neither filed a supersedeas bond nor paid the rentals adjudged by the MTC. Thus the appeal was dismissed. The CA also dismissed Cos appeal from the RTC decision for failure to comply with BP Blg. 129 and with the Interim Rules and Guidelines. According to CA, Co should have filed a petition for review and not an ordinary appeal. After the dismissal, the judgment of the MTC had already become final and executory. However, Cos counsel filed four more defective and dilatory petitions before the RTC, CA, and SC for the purpose of delaying the execution of judgment by MTC.

Issue: W/N Millare should be disbarred for violating Canons 12 and 19 Held: Montero is suspended for one year. Canon 19 requires a lawyer to represent his clients within the bounds of the law. He must employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client. He must not allow his client to dictate the procedure in handling the case. In short, a lawyer is not a gun for hire. The appeal from MTC to RTC was sufficient to protect Cos interest and fully ventilate her defenses. Montero is also guilty of forum shopping, considering the number of actions he filed.

109 PHIL LAND v CEBU PORTLAND FACTS: PLASLU asked the Court of Industrial Relations to order Cebu Portland to pay overtime compensation and differentials due to them under the RA 1880 or the 40 Hours a Week Law. The Company argued that the sucurity guards are not under the said law and thery are not entitled to additional compensation CIR: PLASLU are not within the coverage of RA 1880 After 2 years form the decision of the CIR, PLASLU through their new counsel made ot of record that their former counsel was not authorized by them to enter into stipulations of facts. According to PLASLU, the stipulation of their previous attorney which states that "they were required by the company to work for 56 hours a week was due to the nature of thier services and in the interest of public notice" is a legal conclusion and were not authorized by them
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

therefore, PLASLU filed a petition to reopen the case CIR: denied the motion to reopen the case ISSUE: W/N the court can reopen the case after it has long been final and executory HELD: NO! It has been settled that clients are bound by the acts and even mistakes of counsel in procedural techniques. The facts that were agreed upon were unfavorable to the client does not detract from the binding effect of the stipulation. the condition to reopen a case is: it must be upon grounds not already directly or indirectly litigated and the grounds must not be available to the aprties in the previous proceedings and the reopening must not affect the period already elapsed at the time the order to reopen was issued. 110 CABALLERO v DEIPARINE Caballero v. Deiparine Facts: There was a stipulation of facts stating the following: o Plaintiffs are the children by the first marriage, defendants (Ragas) are the children by the second marriage of Vicenta Bucao. o Vicenta Bucao and Tomas Raga acquired land in Cebu. of this land was sold to Antonio Caballero (one of the plaintiffs). Land was never transferred thru title. o Later on, Deiparine acquired the whole lot through purchase from Tomas Raga. TCT was issued to Deiparine. The stipulation was only signed by Atty. Guba(for plaintiffs) and Atty. Davide(for respondents). From the stipulation of facts, the CFI rendered decision in favor of the defendants (that Deiparine owns the whole lot). Plaintiffs filed for reconsideration saying that they were never made to participate in the preparation and formation of the stipulation of facts Issue: W/N the stipulation of facts is valid Held: The case is remanded to court of origin for further proceedings and the amended complaint should be accepted. It is puzzling why the petitioners signatures were not affixed in the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

stipulation. The conduct of Atty. Guba in entering into a compromise agreement without the knowledge and consent of his clients is not in keeping with the sworn duty of a lawyer to protect the interest of his clients. It amounts to fraud. The stipulation of facts which was made the basis of the decision was null and void as it contained serious unauthorized admissions against the interest of the plaintiffs who had no hand in its preparation. Attorneys cannot, without special authority, compromise their clients litigation.

111 PHIL WHEELS v FASGI PHIL ALUMINUM WHEELS, INC v FASGI FACTS: FASGI and PAWI entered into a distributorship contract wherein PAWI obligated itself to ship wheels for FASGI (foreign company) FASGI paid PAWI the FOB value of the wheels but later found the shipment to be defective and in non-compliance with their stated requirements (non stamping of country of origin, weight load limits, no proper indications and markings on the wheels, not fitted to the automobiles, etc) FASGI instituted an action against PAWI and FPS for breach of contract and recovery of damages where I was stipulated that PAWI and FPS would accept the return of not loess than 8,100 wheels after restoring to FASGI the purchase price via 4 irreovable letters of credit. PAWI was unable to comply with the foregoing agreement alleging that it was due to a restriction by the Central Bank (for approval of the L/C) PAWI and FASGI undertook a STIPULATION OF JUDGMENT agreeing that if PAWI still failed to undertake its obligation, FASGI would immediately have a right to apply to the Court for entry of judgment.THis was executed by the FASGI president and PAWI Counsel (Mr. Thomas Ready). PAWI still defaulted so FASGI filed with the US District Court of the Central District of California. (case was decided against PAWI to pay) FASGI filed with the Makati RTC for enforcement of foreign judgment but the latter held that there was unjust enrichment since PAWI was to pay, while
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

FASGI was not ordered to return the wheels. FURTHERMORE, it held that the supplemental settlement agreement were a NULLITY for having been entered into by Mr. Thomas Ready, counsel for PAWI, without the latter's authorization. ISSUE: WoN the decision is binding against PAWI? HELD: YES RATIO: 1. In this jurisdiction, it is clear that an atty cannot without a client's authorization, settle the action or SM of the litigation even when he honestloy believes that such settlement will best serve his client's best interest. BUT when a client, upon becoming aware of the compromise and the judgment thereon, fails to promptly repudiate the action of his atty, he will not afterwards be heard to complain about it. (PAWI could have sent a disclaimer, and not have waited for more than a year to mention the alleged lack of authority) 2. A party, should not, after its opportunity to enjoy the benefits of an agreement, be allowed to later disown the arrangement when the terms thereof ultimately would prove to operate against its hopeful expectations.(PAWI was spared from possibly paying substantial amount of damages and incurring heavy litigation fees, and was even afforded time to reimburse FASGI) 112 MANALANG v ANGELES FACTS: This is an administrative case agaisnt Atty Angeles for grave misconduct as a lawyer and he stanes charged with infidelity in the discharge of fiduciary obligations to his clients, herein complainant Manalang. Manalang alleged that they were the complainants in a case for overtime and separation pay filed against their employer, the Phil Racing Club Restaurant. Atty Angeles was their counsel. Judgment was rendered in favor of Manalang, in the amount of P6500. However, without authority from his clients, Atty Angeles compromised the award and was able to collect P5500 only. Manalang made several demands upon Atty Angeles to turn over to them the amount collected minus the agreed upon attorney's fees of 30%, but the lawyer refuese and offered to give them only the sum of P2650. Atty Angeles, in his defense, stated the he refused because he was ordered to
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

deduct from his attorney's fees the amount of P2000 representing the amount discounted by counsel of the Phil Racing Club Restaurant together with sheriff legal fees. ISSUE: Whether respondent Atty Angeles should be suspended from the practice of law because of grave misconduct related to his clients' funds. HELD: YES. In the instant case, there is no dispute that complainants were awarded P6500 for unpaid overtime and separation pay. 30% was agreed to be paid ot respondent as his attorney's fees. Alleging difficulties in collecting te full amount awarded, respondent compromised the award on execution and collected only P5500 from the losing party. This compromise was allegedly without authority from his clients. Atty Angeles failed to show any such authority. Atty Angeles exhibited an uncaring lack of devotion to the interest of his clients as well as want of zeal in the maintenance and defence of their rights. Suspended for 6 months. 113 GARCIA v CA Facts: Angelina Guevarra, while talking to Consuelo De Garcia, owner of La Bulakena Restaurant, recognized her (Guevarras) ring in the finger of Mrs Garcia. She inquired where she bought it. Apparently, Guevarras ring was stolen from her house in February 1952. Garcia handed the ring to Guevarra and it fitted her finger. They brought the ring to Mr. Rebullida, where the ring was allegedly bought, and he concluded that it was indeed the ring that Guevarra bought from him in 1947. But the ring was returned to Garcia, who later on didnt return the ring anymore. Garcia claims it was lost. A case was filed. During which an extra-judicial admission by Garcia was done. She claims there that she bought the ring from different persons, the ultimate source being Aling Petring. And that the ring of Guevarra might just be similar to hers. Apparently, Aling Petring was just a hoax. As per the case: mysterious and ephemeral figure. There was really no Aling Petring. Issue: W/N the extra-judicial admission of De Garcia, through his cousel, is binding on her.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Held: Counsels admission binds the client. Defendant (De Garcia) is refuted by her own extra-judicial admissions, although made by counsel. For an attorney who acts as counsel of record and is permitted to act as such, as the authority to manage the cause, and this includes the authority to make admission for the purpose of the litigation. Her explanation that her counsel misunderstood her is puerile (This means silly) because the liability to error as to the identity of the vendor and the exchange of the ring with another ring of the same value, was rather remote. 114 SANTIAGO v DE LOS SANTOS Facts: Luis Santiago filed an application for registration of a piece of land in San Mateo, Rizal. The application was opposed by the Director of Lands, Director of Forestry, and by a certain Pacita de los Santos. Upon examination of the records, the property appeared to be a part of the public domain. So Santiago was ordered to show cause to support his application. Motions to Dismiss (the application), on the ground that the property was public domain, were filed by the oppositors. (Mrs de los Santos was actually a lessee of the land by virtue of a Pasture Lease Agreement) (Whats funny is that) When Santiagos counselthe firm of Luna and Manalorequested that the case be calendared for hearing, the pleading contained attachments showing that the land is indeed part of the public domain (court said that counsel probably wanted to prove that despite the public character of the property, there was open and uninterrupted possession in the concept of an owner). This admission led to the dismissal of the application. Now, counsel wants to reverse the decision. Issue: Can Santiago (more appropriately his counsel) properly call for the reversal of the decision? Held: NO. The court has adhered to the doctrine that an admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted by the party making such admission and are conclusive to him, and that all proofs submitted by him contrary or inconsistent therewith, should be ignored, whether objection is interposed by the party or not (Justice JBL Reyes in Joes Radio v Alto Electronics). Even if there would be
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

a full hearing of the case, the result would still be the same. The lower court is constrained to dismiss the application. In a desperate effort to save the case, counsel tried to rely on procedural doctrinesparticularly citing that de los Santos has no interest in the case. However, even if such was admitted, they still failed to show open, uninterrupted, peaceful, and adverse possession in the concept of an owner. It should be noted that technicalities should give way (and even aid) to substantial justice. 115 PINEDA v CA FACTS JOSE VICTORIA filed a complaint for recovery of possession of 2 parcels of land in Taguig against EMMANUEL VICTORIA, ET AL praying after notice and hearing that the latter be ordered to vacate the premises Clerk of Court of Branch II issued a notice of pretrial to ATTY VICTORIA for JOSE VICTORIA and ATTY GONZALES AND ASSOCIATES for EMMANUEL VICTORIA, ET AL stating that the pre-trial will be held on May 29 On May 29, the designated judge, JUDGE NAVARRO was on leave so the Clerk of Court of Branch II entered the following minutes: Presiding Judge of this Court being on leave and as prayed by ATTY VICTORIA and ATTY CAPISTRANO* let the pre-trial be transferred to July 3 On July 3, JUDGE NAVARRO was still on leave and entered similar minutes noting the notification to ATTY CAPISTRANO as to the new date, Oct 16, of the pre-trial The case was transferred to the sala of JUDGE PINEDA without knowledge of EMANNUEL VICTORIA, ET AL or their lawyer On Oct 16, neither EMANNUEL VICTORIA, ET AL nor ATTY CAPISTRANO appeared so JUDGE PINEDA entered a default order against EMMANUEL VICTORIA, ET AL and commissioned the deputy clerk to receive evidence for JOSE VICTORIA and to submit a report A few days later, an associate in the office of ATTY GONZALES while appearing in another sala of the same court stumbled upon the scheduled reception of evidence of JOSE VICTORIA as ordered by JUDGE PINEDA EMMANUEL VICTORIA, ET AL filed a verified motion to reconsider and/or setaside the order holding them in default but the same was denied On the contrary, a motion for execution pending appeal was granted EMMANUEL VICTORIA, ET AL elevated the matter to the CA who reversed the decision of the lower court and ordered JUDGE PINEDA to proceed with the pre-trial Hence, this petition Main argument of EMMANUEL VICTORIA, ET AL is that the minutes prepared by the clerk of court merely singles out ATTY CAPISTRANO as having been notified so since no notice was sent to them, the whole proceeding cannot stand the test of validity
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

ISSUE HELD

W/N NOTICE TO COUNSEL REGARDING SCHEDULED DATE OF PRE-TRIAL IS NOTICE TO CLIENT NO, THERE SHOULD ALSO BE NOTICE TO THE CLIENT

RATIO Generally, notice to counsel operates as notice to the party/parties represented However, application in a given case should be looked into and adopted according to its surrounding circumstances, otherwise, it may foster dangerous collusions to the detriment of justice The case at bar involves Section 1 and 2 of Rule 20 of the Rules of Court which state In any action after the last pleading has been filed, the court shall direct the parties AND their attorneys to appear The Court interpreting these provisions, uniformly emphasized that the pretrial is mandatory, that the parties as well as their counsel, who are required to appear thereat, must BOTH be notified of the same In other proceedings presence of parties is not necessary so notice to counsel operates as notice to client but in a pre-trial, presence of parties is a must because one of the purposes of a pre-trial is to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement (which a counsel cannot compromise absent express authorization) so notice to the parties is necessary Records show that since only the counsel for EMMANUEL VICTORIA, ET AL was notified of the pre-trial, such notification is neither adequate nor sufficient for purposes of a pre-trial Judgment of CA affirmed NOTE *ATTY CAPISTRANO - not mentioned but I presume he is an associate of ATTY GONZALES 116 SALONGA v CA Facts: Astra Realty Development Corp. (Astra) leased its property to Alelie Montojima. The latter tried to open a restaurant but it was not a success. Montojima then entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Paul Geneve Entertainment Corp. (Paul Geneve) where the latter purchased the lease rights of Montojima over the property. Paul Geneve paid Montojima but when it was about to start its business, the Bel-Air Village Homeowners Association filed a complaint for violation of some municipal ordinances. Now comes George Salonga who was interested in buying the lease rights of Paul Geneve. Since Salonga had no money, he suggested that he (along
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Issue: W/n Salongas allegation of extrinsic fraud and denial of due process obtain to justify annulment of the default judgment rendered by the RTC. Held: SC says NO. Petitioners George Salonga and Solid Intertain Corporation allege that the "inimical and antagonistic acts" of their counsel Atty. Onofre G. Garlitos constitute extrinsic fraud (see p. 543 for list of acts). SC said that extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party which is committed outside the trial of the case, whereby the defeated party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his side of the case, by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. The nature of extrinsic fraud, as discussed previously, necessarily requires that its cause be traceable to some fraudulent act of the prevailing party committed outside the trial of the case. The Court notes that the previously enumerated negligent acts attributed to petitioner's former counsel Garlitos were in no way shown or alleged to have been caused by private respondents. Atty. Garlitos neither connived nor sold out to the latter. On the other hand, it is well-settled that the negligence of counsel binds the client. This is based on the rule that any act performed by a lawyer within the scope of his general or implied authority is regarded as an act of his client. Consequently, the mistake or negligence of petitioners' counsel may result in the rendition of an unfavorable judgment against them. Exceptions to the foregoing have been recognized by the Court in cases where reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of law, or when its application "results in the outright deprivation of one's property
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

with his company Solid Intertain) and Paul Geneve enter into a joint venture enterprise. The idea was to form a new corporation to be named Solidisque Inc. All the documents were prepared by the counsels of both parties (Atty. Garlitos for Salonga and Atty. Sadili for Paul Geneve). Paul Geneve signed the papers but Dalonga didnt. Having possession of the unsigned papers, Salonga started operating Metro Disco on the subject property. No corporation under the name Solidisque Inc. was ever registered as agreed upon in the Securities and Exchange Commission. Paul Geneve was totally left out. Paul Geneve filed a complaint for specific performance against Salonga and his company. Salonga and his counsel failed to appear in the trial dates so he was declared in default and judgment was rendered by the RTC in favor of Paul Geneve. Salonga was also adjudged guilty of civil contempt for his failure to appear in an earlier hearing. He was ordered arrested until he obeys the orders and judgment of the Court. The CA affirmed.

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

through a technicality." None of these exceptions has been sufficiently shown in the present case. Due process was never denied petitioners Salonga and Solid Intertain Corporation because the trial court had given them a reasonable opportunity to be heard and present their side in all the proceedings before it. In fact, petitioners were declared in default only on the third ex parte motion filed by private respondents.

117 PEOPLE v VILLANUEVA Facts: Villanueva was accused of raping his 11 year-old stepdaughter Nia. (The filing of the complaint was brought about by a kiss mark that Nias brother saw on her neck.) It was alleged that one night, Villanueva, holding a knife against Nias neck, threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone of the odious act. Villanueva attempted to insert his penis, but it would not fit. (According to Nia, it was too big.) Villanueva contented himself to licking Nias genetalia. In his defense, Villanueva gives an alibi that he could not have raped her and that the semen found on the victims vagina could not have been his (he already had vasectomy). The lower court, however, found Villanueva guilty of raping Nia and imposes the death penalty. In this mandatory review by the SC, Villanueva alleges that he is entitled to a new trial because of his counsels failure to present his common-law wife (Nias mother). Issue: W/N Villanueva is entitled to a new trial. Held: Villanueva is not entitled to a new trial. The failure of the defense to present Nias mother by reason of the alleged inexperience of his lawyer is not a ground for new trial. The error of his defense counsel is neither an error of law nor an irregularity that will merit a new trial. The client is bound by the action of his counsel in the conduct of his case and cannot be heard to complain that the result of the litigation might have been different had his counsel proceeded differently. If this were to be allowed, then there would be no end to suits so long as new counsel could be employed who could allege that the previous counsel had not been diligent. Villanueva is still guilty of rape. There is no question about the credibility of the Nia as a witness. The trial judge had occasion to determine the demeanor of the witness. The alibi of Villanueva is also self-serving. It doesnt matter if Villanuevas [penis did not penetrate. What is important is that there was contract
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

between the peis and the labia of the vagina. The fact that Nias hymen was intact does not negate rape, because it is not an element of rape. However, the charge cannot qualify as qualified rape, because the allegation that the accused is the stepfather (in fact he is not, he is merely a surrogate father and there exists no legal relation of step-father and step-daughter) was not averred in the complaint. 118 AGUILAR v CA Facts: Aguilar and Salvador were charged with Estafa in an Information filed before the RTC. Both were convicted by the trial court and sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of 17 years and 4 months of reclusion temporal as minimum to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum, and to indemnify the offended party the amount of P250,000. Aguilar, thru his former counsel, Atty.Arandia, timely appealed to CA. Unfortunately, Atty. Arandia failed to file petitioners brief on its due date. He neither communicated to Aguilar nor withdrew his appearance as counsel. Aguilars attempts to contact his counsel were futile. Aguilar hired Atty. Arias as his new counsel, and the latter entered his appearance in the case and asked an extension of 45 days to submit the appellants brief. The motion was denied for having been filed out of time. CA subsequently denied Aguilars motion to dismiss and his appeal. On the other hand, Salvador was granted an extension of time to file her brief, and the brief was admitted even though filed beyond the grace period. Issue: W/N CA committed GAD when it dismissed Aguilars appeal for failure to file his appellants brief on time. Held: YES. There is no reason to treat the two appellants differently. Both allegedly conspired in committing the crime of estafa. Their cases rest on the same facts. Equal protection of the law demands that persons situated similarly be treated alike. Aguilar faces a jail term of 17 yrs and 4 mos to 20 yrs. He cannot lose his liberty because of the gross irresponsibility of his lawyer. Losing liberty by default of an insensitive lawyer should be frowned upon despite the fiction that a client is bound by the mistakes of his lawyer. The said rule must only be applied to advance the ends of justice, not when the circumstances of the case it becomes a hindrance to justice. In a criminal proceeding, where certain evidence was not presented because of counsels error or incompetence, new trial may be granted if the defendant satisfies the court that: 1) he has a good defense, and that 2)
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

acquittal would in all probability have followed the introduction of the omitted evidence. CA should have considered the fact that the appellants brief was already filed and is already in the records of the case. This shows earnest efforts of counsel and petitioner to be heard and lack of intention to cause delay.

119 SALONGA v CA FACTS: Astra owned a propert located at Bel-Air Village, Makati. Montojima leased this property and opened a restaurant which did not prosper Montojima thereafter entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with Paul Geneve Entertainment Corp (PGEC) with the consent of Astra under the following term: Montojima will sell all his rights over the property to PGEC for 3M. Montojima received 1M Bt before PGEC can open the business, the homeowners association of Bel-Air filed a complaint against PGEC for violation of some municipal ordinances PGEC and Salonga entered into a JVA wherein the corporation of Salonga and PGEC will form a new corporation. but the new corporation never existed and PGEC asked for specific performance from Salonga during the scheduled hearing, Salonga did not appear and was held in contempt salonga also asked for 2 motions foe extension of time but no answer was filed becasue of salonga's failure to file an answer, salonga was held in default and cited in contempt Salonga is now claiming that he received a copy of the decision only on 10-7 yet a motion for reconsideration was filed on 7-28 ISSUE: W/N the decision must be annulled on the ground of fraud on the part of Salonga's counsel HELD: NO! a decision can be annulle donly on 2 grounds: A. judgment is void for want of due process or jurisdiction and B. it was obtained by fraud there is no extrinsic fraud in the case the negligence of counsel binds the client. this is based on the rule that any acts performed by counsel within the scope of his general authority is deemed as an act of the client. lawyer of Salonga, Garlitos, is only guilty of simple negligence. although he failed to file a timely answer, hus efforts at defending thier cause is real. simple negligence would not amount to a deprivation of right to due process. to see all the negligent acts of Atty Garlitos see page 543 1st paragraph.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

120 LEGARDA v CA *mahaba, di ko na sinama mga dissenting. Talo naman sila eh Facts: New Cathay House, Inc. (Cathay) and Victoria Legarda entered into a lease agreement for a property in QC owned by Legarda. For some reason, Legarda refused to sign the contract. Cathay made a deposit and downpayment of rentals then filed for specific performance. Legardas counsel, Dean Antonio Coronel, requested a 10-day extension to file an answer which was granted. But Dean Coronel failed to file an answer within that period. Cathay presented evidence ex parte. Cathay won the case (Katay si Legarda). Service of decision was made on Dean Coronel but he still did not do anything. The QC property was then levied and auctioned off to pay for the judgment debt. Cathays manager, Cabrera, was the highest bidder in the auction. Legarda did not redeem the property within the 1 year period. Kahit natalo na sila dahil walang ginagawa si Dean (hindi nga niya sinabihan si Legarda kung ano na nangyari sa kaso nila, na wala na yung lupa), Legarda still did not lose faith in her counsel. Dean Coronel then filed a petition for annulment of judgment. Petition was denied. No motion for reconsideration or appeal was made on the order of denial (ibang klase ka dean!) So, Legarda hired a new lawyer. New lawyer asked for annulment of judgment upon the ground that the old lawyer was negligent in his duties. The petition was granted and the sale of the QC property to be set aside. The SC said that there was unjust enrichment on the part of Cathay because of the reckless, inexcusable and gross negligence of Dean Coronel. Hence this motion for reconsideration of SC decision. Issue: W/N Legarda can be bound by the gross negligence of her counsel Held: Yes. Original decision is reinstated (Legarda=loser) As long as a party was given the opportunity to defend her interests in due course, she cannot be said to have been denied due process of law. If indeed Legarda is innocent, then all the more that Cathay is innocent. Between two innocent parties, the one who made it possible for the wrong to be done should be the one to bear the resulting loss. Legarda misjudged and hired the services of Dean Coronel who in the end
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

sort of abandoned her case. Decision was res ipso final due to failure to appeal the decision.

121 ALBANO v COLOMA FACTS: Angel Albano alleges that when he and his mom retained the services of Atty. Perpetua Coloma as their counsel, Atty Coloma failed to expediet the hearing and termination of the case, resulting to their having to procure another lawyer. Atty. Coloma intervened in the case to collect her atty's fees and presented a document showing that the complainants promised to pay her a contingent fee of 33 1/3% of whatever could be recovered whether in land or damages. Atty. Coloma likewise denied that she could have been removed for her failure to comply with her obligations as counsel as she served "faithfully, efficiently, continuously and to the best of her knowledge and capacity". Her dismissal, accdg to her, was made without cause and without her consent and when she had already won the case for them in the CFI and the CA. The facts as found by the SolGen in so far as the services of Atty Coloma as counsel for the complainants reveal the utmost diligence and conscientiousness on her part. The SolGen further saight that if there was anyone guilty of bad faith in this case, it is the complainants who, after benefiting from the valuable services of atty COloma, tried to renege on their agreement for the payment of the latter's contingent atty's fees by dismissing her as their counsel after she had already won for them in the trial court and the CA, and later, by attempting to impugn the authenticity and genuineness of their written agreement for the payment of atty's fees ISSUE: WoN Atty COloma is entitled to her atty's fees (as agreed upon in their written agreement of contigent fee) HELD: YES RATIO: 1. Counsel is entitled to full recompense for his services He is entitled to the protection of any judicial tribunal against any attempt on the part of a client to escape payment of his fees. It is indeed ironic if after putting forth the best that is in him to secure justice for the party he represents, he himself would not get due. 2. Also, Atty COloma has good reputation.. SO his reputation as a lawyer must be protected. 122 TRADERS ROYAL BANK UNION v NLRC FACTS:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Petitioner Union and private respondent Atty Cruz entered into a retainer agreement whereby the former obligated itself to pay the latter a monthly retainer fee of P3,000 in consideration of the Atty Cruz's undertaking to render the services enumerated in their contract. Petitioner Union referred to Atty Cruz the claims of its members for Holiday, mid year and year-end bonuses against their employer Traders Royal Bank (TRB). NLRC rendered a decision in favor of the union members. On appeal to the SC, the court modified the decision of the NLRC by deleting the award of mid year and year-end bonus. Bank complied with such decision. Atty Cruz, thereafter, notified the union , the TRB management and the NLRC of his right to exercise and enforce his attorney's lien over the award of holiday pay. He demanded the payment of 10% of the total award. Union opposed the demand. NLRC ruled in favor of Atty Cruz. The union insists that it is not guilty of unjust enrichment because all attorney's fees due to Atty Cruz were covered by the retainer fee of P3,000 which it has been regularly paying to Atty Cruz under their retainer agreement. To be entitiled to additional attorney's fees, it contends that there must be separate mutual agreement prior to the performance of the additional services of the counsel. Issue: W/n Atty Cruz is entitled to compensation other than the P3,000 retainer fee. HELD: YES. He is entitled to P10,000. An attorney is entitiled to have and receive a just and reasonable compensation for services performed at the special instance and request of his client. As long as the lawyer was in good faith and honestly trying to represent and serve the interests of the client, he should have a reasonable compensation for such services. The P3,000 which the union pays monthly does not cover the services the counsel actually rendered before the labor arbiter and the NLRC. The monthly fee is intended merely as a consideration for the counsel's commitment to render the services. The P3,000 was a general retainer. It is not payment for counsel's execution or performance of the services of the counsel. The fact that petitioner union and counsel failed to reach a meeting of the minds with regard to the payment of professional fees for special services will not absolve the client of civil liability for the corresponding remuneration. A quasi contract arose between the union and counsel, from the counsel's lawful, voluntry and unilateral prosecution of union's cause. Equity and fair play dictate that petitioner should pay the same after it accepted and benefited from counsel's services. The measure of compensation should be addressed by the rule of quantum
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

meruit, meaning "as much as he deserves". 123 ONG v GRIJALDO Facts: This is a case for disbarment of Atty. Jose Grijaldo. Goretti Ong, the complainant, initially had Grijaldo as his counsel for a BP 22 case. The opposing party owed Ong, but they reached a compromised in the amount of P180T. Ong agreed to a compromise, provided he be paid in cash. When the time of payment came, Grijaldo (who facilitated the compromise deal) handed over P100T in cash and an P80T check. Ong initially refused, but was made to accept it. Grijaldo claims that the check is good, since it was drawn on the checking account of the opposing partys counsel, Atty. Reyes. Ong was made to execute an affidavit of desistance, but Ong instructed Grijaldo to file it with the court, only when the check has been cleared. But the check bounced. Later on, after many excuses, Ong went to Bacolod (where the case was filed) to find out for himself the status of the case and to seek payment. Ong found out that the affidavit was already filed in court and the case was already dismissed. Worse, Grijaldo already received the money from Reyesm but he used it to pay for his (Grijaldos) financial obligations. Hence this case. Ong filed a number of affidavits by other disinterested persons who complained of Grijaldos mischief. (bottom part of p 5) (irrelevant) Issue: W/N Grijaldo should be disbarred. Held: Yes. It is clear that respondent gravely abused the trust and confidence reposed on him by his client. Were it not for complainants vigilance in inquiring into the status of her case, she would have not know that the case was already dismissed. Grijaldo deliberately withheld the fat from her. Grijaldo breached his futy wwhen he failed to inform the complainant of the status of the criminal case. his negligence shows a glaring lack of the competence and diligence required of every lawyer. His infraction is rendered all the more deplorable by the fact that complainant is a resident of QC, but the case was filed in Bacolod. That was the reason why Ong hired a Bacolod-based lawyer, to protect her interests. This is a gross betrayal of the fiduciary duty: failure to look after the clients welfare. And
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

it is also a breach of the trust and confidence which was reposed on him.

124 SESBREO v CA Facts: Raul Sesbreo replaced Atty Pacquiao as counsel for 52 employees in a case against the Province of Cebu and Governor Espina for reinstatement to work and backwages. 32 of the employees agreed that Sesbreno would be paid 30% of the backwages as attorneys fees and 20% for expenses of litigation. RTC granted employees petition. CA affirmed. Judgment became final. Later on, a compromise was made between the employees and the Province of Cebu whereby said employees waived their right to reinstatement. Cebu released P2.3M (representing back salaries, terminal leave pay, gratuity pay) to Sesbreno for the employees as Partial Satisfaction of Judgment. 10 of the employees asserted that they only agreed to give 40% of their back salaries to Sesbreno. Lower court agreed with them and fixed attorneys fees for Sesbreno at 40% plus the 20% expenses. Employees filed an MR asserting that there was inadvertence in placing 60% where it should only be 50%. This was granted. Sesbreno was not satisfied by the decision so he went to the CA. And kawawang Sesbreno nabawasan pa lalo ang bayadCA deemed the award of 20% of the back salaries as the fair, equitable, and reasonable amount for attorneys fees. Punta siya ngayon sa Padre FauraSupreme Court Issue: Whether the court acted properly in reducing Sesbrenos attorneys fees despite a pre-existing contract between the parties. Held: Yes. It is a settled rule that what a lawyer may charge and receive as attorneys fees is always subject to judicial control. When the courts find the amount to be excessive or unreasonable, public policy demands that the contract be disregarded to protect the client. When a lawyer takes his oath, he submits himself to the authority of the court and subjects his professional fees to judicial control. A stipulation on a lawyers compensation in a written contract for professional services ordinarily controls the amount of fees that the contracting lawyer may be allowed, UNLESS the court finds such stipulated amount unreasonable or unconscionable. Though generally, a much higher compensation is allowed in a
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

contingent fee agreement (as in this case) in consideration of the risk that the lawyer may get nothing if the suit fails. But contingent fee contracts are under the supervision of the court in order that clients may be protected from unjust charges. Its validity rests largely on the reasonableness of the stated fees under the circumstances of the case. An attorneys fee is unconscionable when it is so disproportionate compared to the value of the services rendered. Nevertheless, the existence of an unreasonable fee (no matter the degree) does not bar recovery. It is only that the courts will fix a reasonable amount. Quantum Meruit which means as much as he deserves is often the courts basis for determining the amount. Considering its a labor case, an award of 50% of back salaries is excessive. The 20% award is justified. 125 FABILO v IAC FACTS JUSTINA Fabillo bequeathed to her brother FLORENCIO Fabillo a house in lot in San Salvador St, Leyte (San Salvador property) and to her husband GREGORIO Brioso a lot in Pugahanay, Leyte (Pugahanay property) FLORENCIO filed a petition for probate of JUSTINAS will who approved of the partition placed a reservation on the ownership of the San Salvador property 2 years later, FLORENCIO sought the assistance of ATTY MURILLO to recover the San Salvador property FLORENCIO and ATTY MURILLO entered into a Contract for Services wherein o If the property is awarded to FLORENCIO, ATTY MURILLO will be constituted as attorney in fact to sell and convey said property and will be given 40% of the purchase price o If mortgaged, ATTY MURILLO will be entitled to 40% of the proceeds of the mortgage o If leased, ATTY MURILLO will be entitled to 40% of the rentals o If the property is just occupied by FLORENCIO, ATTY MURILLO will have the option of occupying or leasing to any interested party 40% of the said property ATTY MURILLO filed a case for FLORENCIO against GREGORIO which ended in a compromise settlement wherein FLORENCIO was declared owner not only of the San Salvador property but also of the Pugahanay property ATTY MURILLO proceeded to implement the contract by taking possession of 40% of the properties and even installed a tent in the Pugahanay property FLORENCIO claimed exclusive right over the properties which prompted ATTY MURILLO to file a complaint

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

LOWER COURT: ATTY MURILLO is owner of 40% of the properties FLORENCIO argued that the contingent fee of 40% is excessive, unfair and unconscionable W/N THE CONTRACT OF SERVICES PROVIDING FOR CONTINGENT FEES VIOLATED ARTICLE 1491 NO, CONTINGENT FEES NOT COVERED BY ARTICLE 1491

ISSUE HELD

RATIO Article 1491 prohibits lawyers from acquiring by purchase even at a public auction, properties and rights which are objects of litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession However, said prohibition applies only if the sale or assignment takes place during the pendency of litigation involving the clients property Following that principle, a contract between a lawyer and his client stipulating a contingent fee is not covered by Article 1491 because payment of said fee is not made during the pendency of litigation but only after judgment has been rendered Hence, the Contract of Services entered into by FLORENCIO and ATTY MURILLO having provided for contingent fees is not violative of Article 1491 ISSUE HELD W/N FLORENCIO IS OWNER OF 40% OF THE PROPERTIES NO, CONTRACT OF SERVICES VAGUE AS TO WHO IS THE OWNER SO MUST BE CONSTRUED AGAINST THE LAWYER WHO MADE IT, ATTY MURILLO

RATIO The Court disagrees with the lower court that FLORENCIO is the owner of 40% of the properties for careful scrutiny shows that the parties intended 40% of the value of the properties as ATTY MURILLOS contingent fee The provisions are clear in cases where the properties are sold, mortgaged and leased as ATTY MURILLO is entitled to 40% of the purchase price, proceeds of the mortgage or rentals respectively However, with respect to a situation wherein the properties are neither sold, mortgaged or leased, the contract is vague and only provides that ATTY MURILLO shall have the option of occupying or leasing to any interested party 40% of the properties The ambiguity of said provision should then be resolved against ATTY MURILLO as it was he himself who drafted the contract Moreover, if the parties intended that ATTY MURILLO should become the lawful owner of 40% of the properties in case the same is not sold, mortgaged or leased, then they would have clearly and unequivocally
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

stipulated in the contract such JUDGMENT Considering the nature of the case, the value of the properties subject matter thereof, the length of time and effort exerted by ATTY MURILLO, the Court holds that ATTY MURILLO is entitled to P3,000 as reasonable attorneys fees (nyek lugi!) 126 BAUTISTA v GONZALES Facts: - Angel Bautista filed a complaint against Ramon Gonzales for the following acts: o Accepting a case where he agreed to pay all expenses for a contingent fee of 50% of the value of the property in litigation; o Acting as counsel for the Fortunados in a case where Eugenio Lopez, Jr. is one of the defendants and, without said case being terminated, acting as counsel for Lopez in another case; o Transferring to himself one-half of the properties of the Fortunados, which properties are the subject of the litigation, while the case was still pending; o Inducing complainant, who was his former client, to enter into a contract with him for the development of the land involved in a case into a residential subdivision, claiming that he acquired fifty percent (50%) interest thereof as attorney's fees from the Fortunados, while knowing fully well that the said property was already sold at a public auction; o Submitting to the CFI falsified documents purporting to be true copies of "Addendum to the Land Development Agreement" and submitting the same document to the Fiscal's Office of Quezon City, in connection with the complaint for estafa filed by respondent against complainant. Issue: - W/n Gonzales should be punished for these acts. Held: - Yes, SC suspends him for 6 months. - For the first allegation, the SC pointed out that a lawyer may indeed advance expenses of litigation but such payment should be subject to reimbursement. In this case, the contingent fee agreement between the Fortunados and Gonzales did not provide for such reimbursement. Such contract is against public policy because it gives undue leverage in favor of the lawyer. - Second, the Court found that Gonzales did not violate any law because the Fortunados consented to his appearance for Lopez. - Third act, the Court said that such is a violation of Art. 1491 of the Civil Code, which prohibits a lawyer from buying/acquiring the property of his
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

clients which is the subject of a pending case. This Court has held that the purchase by a lawyer of his client's property or interest in litigation is a breach of professional ethics and constitutes malpractice. And although the Code of Professional Responsibility does not anymore contain Canon 10 of the old Canons of Professional Ethics, which states that "[t]he lawyer should not purchase any interests in the subject matter of the litigation which he is conducting," the Code still provides that a lawyer should follow the laws of the Phil. At all times. By acquiring the property in litigation, Gonzales has violated Art. 1491 of the Civil Code and can be administratively punished for such violation. The SC held that in withholding such information, respondent failed to live up to the rigorous standards of ethics of the law profession which place a premium on honesty and condemn duplicitous conduct. The fact that complainant was not a former client of respondent does not exempt respondent from his duty to inform complainant of an important fact pertaining to the land which is subject of their negotiation. Lastly, the SC held that the original copies of the documents Gonzales submitted were false because they bore the signatures of the Fortunados when, in fact, they did not sign the original copy but only a photocopy of the original. Such conduct constitutes willful disregard of his solemn duty as a lawyer to act at all times in a manner consistent with the truth. A lawyer should never seek to mislead the court by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.

127 BIASCAN v LOPEZ Facts: This controversy pertains to a 600 sq. m. lot. The lot was in the name of Florencio Biascan. Florencio died intestate. When Florencio died, Rosalina Biascan filed a complaint alleging that she is the administratrix of the estate of her father, Florencio. However, Maria Biascan opposed the claim of Rosalina. At that instant, Atty. Lopez entered his appearance as the counsel of Maria in the opposition. Rosalina complained that, without the approval of the intestate court, Atty. Lopex caused the registration of 210 sq. m. of the 600 sq. m. lot in his name (made through a deed of assignment executed by Maria and Atty. Lopez). According to Rosalina, the registration was made during the special proceedings regarding the settlement of the estate. In his defense, Lopez says that the transfer of a portion of the land was valid since it was a payment of his contingent fees. Atty. Lopez claims that Maria agreed to give him 35% of the area of the disputed land. Atty. Lopez argues that due to the absence of a notice of lis pendens on the TCT, he accepted the offer of Maria.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Issue: W/N the land was a lawful payment of contingent fees. Held: The land cannot be regarded as contingent fees. Illegal. Suspend 6 months. When Atty. Lopez entered his appearance as Marias counsel, Rosalina had submitted an inventory report which listed the land as part of the estate of the deceased Florencio. As respondent of Maria, Atty. Lopez should have gone over the records. Also, the deed of assignment itself stated that the TCT was registered in Florencios name. Therefore, Atty. Lopez had actual knowledge that the lot formed part of the estate of Florencio. By registering the land in his name, Atty. Lopez transgressed Art. 1491, because he had knowledge that the land was the subject of the litigation. Because the transfer was made during the pendency of the Special Proceedings, Art. 1491 clearly applies. 128 DALISAY v MAURICIO Facts: This is the case against Batas Mauricio, the TV host. Allegedly, Mauricio demanded and received exorbitant attorneys fees but did not take any action on Valerina Dalisays case. Initially, she paid P25T as acceptance fee. In total, she paid Mauricio P56T: P8T filing fee (though the case was already filed) the balance might be a combination of the ff: o Additional acceptance fee P90,000.00, with the explanation that he can give a discount should she pay in cash. o P3,000.00 as appearance fee notwithstanding her payments, respondent never rendered any legal service. She terminated their attorney-client relationship and demanded the return of her money and documents. Mauicio refused. The IBP Board of Governors wanted to dismiss the case. Issue: W/N the case against Mauricio should be dismissed. Held: No. He should be suspended for 6 months. When respondent accepted P56,000.00 from complainant, it was understood that he agreed to take up the latters case and that an attorney-client relationship between them was established. From then on, it was expected of
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

him to serve complainant with competence and attend to her case with fidelity, care and devotion. But there is nothing on record that Mauricio entered his appearance as counsel of record.

He did not even follow-up the case which remained pending up to the time she terminated his services. Regarding the P8T: (allegedly as docket fees for other cases): there was no evidence nor any pleadings submitted to show that respondent filed any case considering that the filing fee had to be paid simultaneously with the filing of a case. when a lawyer takes a clients cause, he covenants that he will exercise due diligence in protecting his rights. Just like any other professional, a lawyer is entitled to collect fees for his services. However, he should charge only a reasonable amount of fees.

129 BARONS MARKETING v CA FACTS: - Phelps Dodge appointed Barons Marketing as its dealer of electrical wires and cables - Barons was given a 60 day credit for the purchase of Phelps Dodges products - Barons purchased electrical wires and cables worth P4.1M, on credit - Under the sales invoice issued by Phelps Dodge, there is a stipulation: interests at 12% per annum will be charged on all overdue accounts plus 25% on said amount for attorneys fees and collections - Barons failed to pay Phelps Dodge. The former asked the latter for installment payment but the request was refused - An action for collection for sum of money was instituted by Phelps Dodge against Barons with a prayer for attorneys fees amounting to 25% pf the amount demanded - RTC: ruled in favor of Phelps Dodge and ordered Barons to pay P3.1M and 25% of the preceding obligation for and as attorneys fees - CA: corrected the amount due to Phelps Dodge and ordered Barons to pay P3.8M and 5% of the preceding obligation for and as attorneys fees ISSUE: - W/N Barons is liable to Phelps Dodge for interest and attorneys fees HELD: - YES! But the amount stated in the sales invoice is reduced from 25% to 10% of the principal amount for attorneys fees.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Barons is expressly liable as stated in the sales invoice of Phelps Dodge which provides that: interests at 12% per annum will be charged on all overdue accounts plus 25% on said amount for attorneys fees and collections The attorneys fees stated are in the nature of liquidated damages and the stipulation is aptly called a penal clause. It is settled that as long as such stipulation does not contravene law, morals, or public order, it is strictly binding. BUT, the courts are empowered to reduce such penalty of the same is iniquitous or unconscionable In the case at bar, the interest alone runs to some P4.5M, even exceeding the principal debt which is only P4M. 25% of the principal and the interest amounts to roughly P2M. In real terms, therefore, the attorneys fees and collection fees are manifestly exorbitant.

130 LIZARDO v MONTANO FACTS: Lizardo instituted a collection case against Eddie Mirano. Lizardo won. Judgment included 25% of the amount payable as attorneys fees. Miranos land was levied and Lizardo won the bidding. 13 years after the case, Atty. Montano, the lawyer of Lizardo, filed with the trial court (same trial court as in the previous decision) an omnibus motion for payment of his attorneys fees. Without hearing petitioner, the trial court rendered an order that Lizardo pay Montano 25% of the property and/or annotate in the TCT the attorneys lien. CA affirmed the RTC decision, hence this appeal. ISSUE: W/N the trial court still has jurisdiction over the case 13 years after it rendered a final judgment HELD: No, the court no longer has jurisdiction over the claim for attorneys fees. Once a court acquires jurisdiction over a case, it retains such jurisdiction until the final termination of the case. It loses its jurisdiction upon the finality of the decision A final decision cannot be amended or corrected except for clerical errors, mistakes or misprisions. In the questioned order, the court ordered Lizardo to pay attorneys fees to counsel. That is not decreed in the judgment. Such variance rendered the order void.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

What the lawyer may do is file an independent action against petitioner for collection.

131 CUETO v JIMENEZ FACTS: - Engr. Alex Cueto engaged the services of Atty. Jose Jimenez Jr. as notary public, being the father of the building of the Construction Agreement to be notarized. After notarizing the agreement, Jimenez demanded P50,000 as notarial fee. Alex Cueto paid P30,000 in cash and issued a check of P20,000. However, Cueto requested Jimenez not to deposit the check for lack of sufficient funds. Cueto also informed Jimenez that his son had not yet paid his services as general contractor. - Jimenez still deposited the check, and of course, the check bounced (insufficient funds nga!)and the check issued by Jimenez' son was also dishonored for having been drawn against a closed account. - Atty. Jimenez filed a BP 22 case against Cueto. In return, Cueto filed his own administrative complaint against Jimenez and alleged that he violated Code of Prof Responsibility and Canons of Prof Ethics when he filed BP22 so that Jimenez can recover the balance of his notarial fee. ISSUE: WoN Jimenez can be held administratively liable? HELD: YES. Atty. Jimenez is severely reprimanded. RATIO: 1. It is highly improper for Jimenez in filing a criminal case for violation of BP 22 against Cueto when the check representing the balance of his notarial fee was dishonored because "A LAWYER SHALL AVOID CONTROVERSIES WITH CLIENTS CONCERNING HIS COMPENSATION AND SHALL RESORT TO JUDICIAL ACTION ONLY TO PREVENY IMPOSITION, INJUSTICE or FRAUD". In the case at bar, there was clearly no imposition, injustice or fraud... 1)Cueto already paid more than half of the fee 2) In all probablity, the reason why Cueto lacked funds was because of Jimenez' son failure to pay (so dapat mas lenient si Jimenez sa delay ng payment sa kanya ng balance) 2. AS to the contention that P50,000 was exorbitant--> IBP and SC held that is is reasonable recompense (1% of the 5,000,000 of the contract price sought to be notarized.) and also Cueto should have inquired first about the reasonableness. ALso, facts show that they agreed on the amount. 132 LEMOINE v BALON FACTS:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Lemoine is a French national who filed an insurance claim with Metropolitan Insurance. - His friend Jesus Garcia arranged for the engagement of Balons services as his counsel - Balon advised Lemoine that he was charging 25% of the actual amount to being recovered payable upon successful recovery. An advance payment of P50,000 to be deducted from whatever amount would be successfully collected. P1,000 as appearance and conference fee for each and every court hearing and legal expenses and other miscellaneous will be charged to Lemoines account which would be reimbursed upon presentment of account. Lemoine never gave his consent as to the fee. - Lemoine signed an undated Special Power of Attorney authorizing Balon to bring any action against Metropolitan Insurance for the satisfaction of Lemoines claim as well as to negotiate, sign, compromise, encash and receive payments - Metropolitan Insurance offered to settle Lemoines claim and Balon confirmed his acceptance of the offer - December 1998, Metropolitan Insurance issued a China Bank check payable to Lemoine in the amount of P525,000 which was received by Balon - When Lemoine asked Balon as to the status of the case, Balon answered that Metropolitan Insurance was offering P350,000 for settlement which Lemoine suggested that Balon accept to avoid litigation - December 1999, Lemoine visited the office of Metropolitan Insurance to ask on the status of the case and it answered that the case was long settled via a check given to Balon. - Balon acknowledge that he is in possession of the check and that he is keeping the check as attorneys lien pending Lemoines payment of his attorneys fee equivalent to 50% of the entire amount collected. He also threatened Lemoine that he will not hesitate to make proper representation with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, DOLE and BIR if Lemoine will make any trouble to Balon and that he has good network with the mentioned agencies. - Balon later claimed that he gave P233,000 to Garcia on the representation of Lemoine. No written memorandum of the turn-over was made because Garcia was a co-Rotarian and co-attorney of Balon - Balon was in possession of the said check for 5 years ISSUE: - W/N Balon violated the Code of Professional Responsibility HELD: - YES! And he was ordered disbarred by the SC - The lawyers continuing exercise of his retaining lien presupposes that the client agrees with the amount of attorneys fees to e charged. In case of disagreement, however, the lawyer must not arbitrarily apply the funds in his possession to the payment of his fees. He can file the necessary action with the proper court to fix the fees - Before receiving the check, he proposes a 25% attorneys fees, after Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

receiving the check, he was already asking for 50%. under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful acts , must observe fairness in all his dealings with his client and must hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client a lawyer who practices deceit in his dealings with his client not only violates his duty of fidelity loyalty and devotion to the clients cause but also degrades himself and besmirches the name of an honorable profession.

133 SCC CHEMICALS v CA Facts: SCC Chemicals Corporation, through its chairman and vice president, obtained a loan from State Investment house (SIHI). Loan amount was P130T, with a 30% interest rate p.a. Surcharges: 2% per month on the remaining balance. The officers above mentioned executed a comprehensive security agreement on the loan. But SCC failed to pay the loan. SIHI sent demand letters, but no payment was made. SIHI presented one witness to prove his claim. The cross-examination was postponed many times. SCC was finally declared to have waived its right to cross examine. A lot of challenges were made by SCC on the validity of the document. But this is of no moment. (and irrelevant) Now, SCC is questioning the preponderance of evidence (irrelevant) and the amount of attorneys fees awarded. Issue: W/N SIHI is entitled to attorneys fees. Held: No. The appeal is partially granted. Attorneys fees are deleted. Radio Communications of the Philippines v Rodriguez stated that the reason for the award of the attorneys fees must be stated in the text of the courts decision. Since the trial court did not state any reason for awarding the attorneys fees, the fees should have been disallowed by the appellate court. The award of attorneys fees is the exception rather than the rule, \hence it is necessary for the trial court to make findings of fact and law, which would bring the case within the exception and justify the grant of the award.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Given the failure of the trial court to explicitly state the rationale for the award of attorneys fees, the same shall be disallowed.

134 IN RE HAMILTON Facts: L. Porter Hamilton advised and counseled Luciano Andrada in regard to a claim (by Andrada) against Isabelo Alburo. In lieu thereof, Hamilton received various documents (vouchers, notes) from Andrada. Hamilton prepared a formal petition for Andrada, and also prepared papers relating to attachment proceedings against the property of Alburo. It appeared, however, that Hamilton was not noted as attorney of record for Andrada. Later on, Hamilton entered appearance as attorney of record for Alburo (the defendant in the same case). Hamilton only surrendered the documents received from Andrada when the court ordered him to do so. Another misconduct was committed by Hamilton when he proposed, through a letter, to S.L. Joseph of Cebu that he be employed as attorney for S.L. Joseph Lumber Yard, under a threat to compel said person to accept his proposition. Judge Wislezinus said: Ah hindi pwede yan! He orderd the fiscal to file an action for disbarment against Hamilton for professional misconduct. Hamiltons defense was that there was no attorney-client relationship between him and Andradasince he was not the attorney of record. On the second misconduct, Hamiltons defense was that the letter (where he made the proposition) was privileged communication so it cannot be used as evidence against him. Issue: Is Atty Hamilton guilty of professional misconduct? Held: Yes, and he should be suspended for 6 years. The existence of an attorney-client relationship could be established by overt acts. By accepting papers relating to the claim, the confidential relationship was established. Hamilton also counseled with Andrada regarding the subject matter of the suit. The fact that he did not allow his name to be place by the clerk of court as attorney of record for Andrada (when the papers were filed) can only be considered as proof of lack of good faith with the client to whome he was rendering professional services. A stipulated fee is not necessary to establish the relationship either. By representing the opposing party in the same case (without the others consent) and by refusing to surrender the documents received from Andrada (until there were court orders), counsel violated the confidence between him and
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Andrada. He did not offer his services in good faith to his client. As to the claim that the letter to S.L. Joseph was privileged, there was no proof that there was an attorney-client relationship between Hamilton and S.L. Joseph. Furthermore, in a disbarment proceeding, where the alleged client himself is not insisting on the privilege, counsel cannot be permitted to shield himself behind the privilege. 135 HILADO v DAVID Facts: Blandina Hilado (ganda ng pangalan!) brought an action against Selim Assad to annul the sale of several houses and lot exected by Hilados husband. Delgado et al. was counsel for Hilado, while Ohnick et al filed an answer for Assad. Later on, Atty Vicente Francisco entered his appearance for Assad substituting Ohnick et al. The firm of Delgado urged Atty Francisco to stop representing Assad since there exists an atty-client relationship between him (Francisco) and the other party (Hilado) in the same case. It was alleged that Hilado consulted Francisco regarding the case and that the former turned over papers to the latter. From such documents, Francisco sent a written opinion to Hilado. Since makulit si Francisco, Delgado et al. sought to disqualify Francisco from representing Assad in the case. Franciscos defense was that he only met Hilado once and this was when the latter informed him about the case. He added that when Hilado left documents in their office, he told his assistant to tell Hilado that their firm would not handle her case. And that the written opinion was made by his assistant, which he signed without reading, and only for the purpose of explaining to Hilado why his firm rejected the case. David is the judge trying the case who dismissed the complaint for disqualification against Francisco. Said judge reasoned that no attorneyclient relationship existed between Hilado and Francisco. Issue: Was there an attorney-client relationship between Francisco and Hilado? Should Atty Francisco be disqualified from representing Assad? Held: The firm of Francisco mailed a written opinion to Hilado on the merits of the case (with Franciscos signature); this opinion was reached on the basis of papers submitted at his office; and that Hilados purpose in submitting those papers was
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

to secure Franciscos professional services. From these ultimate facts, an attorney-client relationship between Francisco and Hilado can be said to have ensued. To constitute professional employment it is not essential that the client should have employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion. It is not necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for; neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which the consultation was had. When a person consults with his attorney in his professional capacity with the view of obtaining professional advice or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces in such consultation, then the professional employment must be regarded as established. The existence of attorney-client relationship precludes the attorney from representing (and receiving a retainer from) the opposite party in the same case. An information professionally obtained by an attorney from a client is sacred to the employment to which it pertains, and to permit it be used in the interest of another, or in the interest of the adverse party is to strike at the element of confidence which forms the basis of an attorney-client relationship. The rule inhibiting an attorney from acting in behalf of both parties is implied in the Rules of Court (wala pang codified codes of professional responsibility noon). The defense that Francisco never read the written opinion nor the documents submitted by Hilado will not preclude the existence of an attorney-client relationship. The fact remains that his firm did give Hilado a formal professional advice from which emerged the relation. The letter binds and estops him in the same manner and degree as if he wrote it personally. And an information obtained from a client by a member or assistant of the firm is information imparted to the firm. The failure to object to counsels appearance does not operate as a waiver of the right to ask for counsels disqualification. Motion for disqualification against Attorney Francisco should be allowed. *A retaining fee (just in case itanong) is a preliminary fee given to an attorney or counsel to insure and secure his future services, and induce him to act for the client. 136 REGALA v SANDIGANBAYAN Facts: Petitioners in this case and private respondent Roco were all then partners
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

of the law firm Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz Law Offices (commonly known as ACCRA) ACCRA performed services for clients which included acquiring and/or organizing business associations and/or organizations where it acted as incorporators or simply as stockholders As members of the law firm, petitioners and Roco admit that they assisted in the organization and acquisition of companies included in Civil Case No. 0033. In keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as nominees-stockholders. Anong kalokohan yan? o Civil Case No. 0033 RP v. Eduardo Cojuangco et. al., for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth, which includes shares of stock in certain corporations PCGG later on filed a motion to admit 3rd amended complaint, which excluded Roco in Civil Case 33 as party defendant. PCGG was removing Roco because Roco was going to make choochoo and reveal the identity of the principals. The ACCRA lawyers then filed a comment and/or opposition saying that they should also be removed the way that Roco was. PCGG then said that it will ask for their exclusion only if they will also disclose the identity of their clients During the proceedings, Roco did not actually reveal the identity of the client for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder The ACCRA lawyers motion for exclusion was denied (they refused to comply with the PCGGs offer) by the PCGG and the court. Hence, this motion for certiorari

Issue: W/N the ACCRA lawyers should be excluded from the case Held: Yes. It is apparent that the ACCRA lawyers were only impleaded to force them to disclose the identity of their clients. PCGG has no valid cause of action Issue: W/N the attorney-client privilege prohibits the ACCRA lawyers from revealing the identity of their clients Held: General rule: a clients identity should not be shrouded in mystery o Exceptions: where a strong probability exists that revealing the clients name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyers advice o Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

o Where revealing the identity would furnish the only link that would be necessary to convict an individual of a crime Suing the lawyer to force him to disclose the identity of his client in any of these instances is improper and the suit, upon motion, may be dismissed on such ground. The prosecution should rely on the strength of their evidence and not on the weakness of the defense Roco merely stated that he was acting as nominee-stockholder for the client and is part of legitimate lawyering. The ACCRA lawyers also made such statement and should also be dropped. the relation of attorney and client is strictly personal and highly confidential and fiduciary the lawyer is more than a mere agent or servant because he possesses special powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his client

137 PEOPLE v SANDIGANBAYAN Facts: Honrada was the clerk of court and acting stenographer of the First MCTC. Paredes was the Provincial Attorney of Agusan. Sansaet was the counsel of Paredes. It appears that Paredes applied for a free patent and Certificate of Title over a lot. It was initially approved, but the Director of lands subsequently filed for the cansellation of the patent and title on the ground that the land had been reserved as a school site. The lower court ruled to nullify the patent and title after finding out that Paredes obtained the same through fraudulent misrepresentations. An information for perjury was filed against Paredes. However, the fiscal directed the Deputy Minister of Justice to move for the dismissal of the case on the ground of prescription. After some time, Gelacio, the one who filed the perjury case, sent a letter to the OMB seeking the investigation of the 3 personalities for falsification of public documents. The alleged falsified documents were documents purporting to be a notice of arraignment and stenographic notes supposedly taken during the arraignment of the perjury charge. In a sudden turn of events, Atty. Sansaet revealed that Paredes contrived to have the graft case dismissed on the ground of double jeopardy by making it appear that the perjury case had been dismissed by the trial court . Atty. Sansaet was, in effect, asking to be a state witness against Paredes. However, the OMB denied the request of Atty. to be a state witness on the ground that the confession made by Paredes to Atty. was privileged communication. Issue: W/N the confession made by Paredes to Atty. is privileged communication.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Held: The confession made by Paredes is not covered by privileged communication. This case is actually an exception to the rule. It can be assumed that there was confidential information made by Paredes to Sansaet in connection with the falsification case, because Sansaet was the counsel. A distinction must be made between communications relating to past crimes already committed, and future crimes intended to be committed by the client. It is true that by now those crimes had already been committed. But for the application of the atty.-client privilege to apply, the period to be considered is the date when the privileged communication was made by the client to the atty. In other words, if the client seeks the advice of the atty. with respect to a crime already committed at the time of the communication, it is privileged information. But if the client consults the atty. regarding a crime he is about to commit after the consultation, such is not privileged information. In the present case, the confession made by Paredes to Sansaet were in reference to a crime of falsification which had not yet been committed in the past by Paredes but which he later committed. Having been made for purposes of a future offense, those communications are outside the pale of the atty.-client privilege. Besides, for the rule to attach, the purpose of the consultation must be for a lawfule purpose. Without the lawful purpose, the privilege does not attach. 138 NGAYAN v TUGADE Facts: -Ngayan asked Tugade to prepare and affidavit to be used as basis for a complaint against Soriano and Leonido as a consequence of the latters entry into complainants dwelling. Ngayan signed the affidavit without thoroughly reading it but she noticed one paragraph which did not mention that Leonido was with Soriano when they both barged into complainants residence. -Upon being informed of this omission, Tugade crossed out the said paragraph. Ngayan asked Tugade to make another affidavit and the latter promised to do so. -Ngayan discharged Tugade as their counsel and found out that Tugade did not include the name of Leonido in the criminal case filed. -When the omission was remedied by their new counsel, the adverse parties filed a motion for reinvestigation through their counsel, Atty. Gaminda, who was a former classmate of Tugade. -Tugade was also a lawyer of the brother of Leonido in an insurance company. -In the hearing for the motion for reinvestigation, the adverse parties in affidavit which Tugade prepared for Ngayan, with one paragraph crossed out. Tugade himself presented an affidavit controverting the discarded affidavit which he
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

prepared for Ngayan. -Thus Ngayan charged Tugade for violation of paragraphs (e) and (f), Sec.20, Rule 138 Rules of Court (e) to maintain inviolate the confidenceand to preserve the secrets of his client (f) to abstain from all offensive personality..against a party or witness Issue: W/N Tugade must be disciplined for violation of the said Rule HELD: YES, he is suspended from the practice of law for 1 year. -When Tugade furnished the adverse parties with a copy of the discarded affidavit, thus enabling the adverse parties to use it as evidence against complainants, he betrayed the trust and confidence of his clients in violation of paragraph (e) Sec.20 Rule 138 -Tugades actuations from the beginning show that he was partial to the adverse parties. This could be explained by the fact that he was a former classmate of Atty.Gaminda, the adverse parties counsel, and also by the fact that he was the lawyer of Leonidos brother in an insurance company. -Tugade submitted an affidavit containing facts prejudicial to his former client such as the fact that the crime charged by Ngayan had already prescribed, and that Ngayan asked him to make the offense more grave to prevent the offense from prescribing. This constitutes an act of offensive personality against complainants, violative of par.(f) Sec.20 Rule 138. 139 PFLEIDER v PALANCA FACTS: - Palanca is the lawyer of Pfleider. - Pfleider leased to Palanca an agricultural land, Hacienda Asia in Negros Occidental for a period of 10 years - It is stipulated in the lease agreement that a specified portion of the lease rentals would be paid to Pfleider and the remainder would be delivered by Palanca to the listed creditors of Pfleider - Pfleider filed a suit for the rescission of the lease agreement of the ground of alleged default in the payment of rentals of Palanca. - Pfleider also filed for the disbarment of Palanca on the grounds of: o Palanca did not follow the instructions of Pfleider to settle his estafa case against Matiao in 1965 and the latter also failed to deposit the sum of P5,000 with the court o Palanca has fraudulently charged the P5,000 as part of the lease rental of the Hacienda Asia o Palanca also falsely represented having paid one Guintos the sum of P866 for the account of Pfleider when in truth and in fact, Guintos only received P86
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

o The list of creditors which Pfleider has confidentially supplied Palanca was disclosed by Palance in violation of their attorney-client relationship ISSUE: - W/N Palanca committed a breach of fidelity owing form a lawyer to his client HELD: - NO! - There is no substantial blame against Palanca inasmuch as the latters services were implicitly terminated by Pfleider when he sued his lawyer. - While the object of the suit is the rescission of the lease contract, the conflict of interest became incompatible with the mutual confidence and trust essential to every lawyer-client relationship. - Also, Pfleider delivered the list of creditors to Palanca not because of the professional relation then existing between them, but on account of the lease agreement. A violation thereof would partake more of a private and civil wrong than of a breach of fidelity owing from a lawyer to his client. 140 MERCADO v VITRIOLO FACTS: Rosa F. Mercado (complainant) is a Senior Education Program Specialist of CHED. Atty. Vitriolo is a Deputy Executive Director IV of CHED. Complainants husband filed an annulment case entitled Ruben Mercado v. Rosa Francisco. The case was dismissed. Complainants counsel later on died. Atty. Vitriolo substituted the counsel who just died. Later on, Atty. Vitriolo filed a criminal action against complainant. (falsification of documents: birth certificates of her children, making it appear that she was married to a certain Ferdinand Fernandez when in fact she was legally married to Ruben Mercado. Complainant alleged that the criminal complaint disclosed confidential facts and information relating to the civil case for annulment. She claims that in filing the criminal case, respondent is guilty of breaching their privileged and confidential relationship. 4 years later, the results of the investigation recommended that Vitriolo is indeed guilty and should be suspended for a month. Complainant then wrote Justice Davide that she is desisting from pursuing the case because she has found it in her heart to forgive respondent. Such desistance has no bearing. ISSUE:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

W/N Atty. Vitriolo is indeed guilty of violating the privilege and confidential relationship of attorney-client relationship

HELD: NO. Case dismissed. Complainant did not even specify the alleged communication in confidence disclosed by respondent. All her claims were couched in general terms and lacked specificity. Court cannot be involved in a guessing game as to the existence of facts which the complainant must prove. The confidential information is a crucial link in establishing a breach of the rule on privileged communication. Burden of proving that the privilege applies is placed upon the party asserting the privilege. 141 GENATO v SILAPAN FACTS: - Complaint for disbarment filed by William Ong Genato against Atty. Essex Silapan - The various criminal and civil cases were not discussed, because it was left for the trial courts to decide. (Genato lent Silapan money to purchase a new car. Silapan mortgaged his house and lot. When SIlapan failed to pay, GEnato sought the foreclosure of the mortgage and tried to encash a postdated check issued by Silapan, which subsequently bounced.) The Court, in this case, cannot sanction Atty. Silapan for his issuance of a bouncing check. - When Genato filed a BP 22 case against Atty. Silapan, the latter alleged in his answer that during the previous case (criminal case), Genato wanted Atty Silapan to offer bribe money to members of DOJ, even the prosecutor, and presiding judge. Atty. SIlapan refused since such acts are immoral and illegal but also because 'the complainant confided to him that he was really involved in the commission of the crime that was charged'. ISSUE: WoN Atty. Silapan committed a breach of trust and confidence by imputing to Genato illegal practices and disclosing alleged intention to bribe govt officials in connection with a pending case? HELD: NO. The privilege against disclosure of confidential communications or information is limited only to communications which are legitimately and properly within the scope of a lawful employment of a lawyer. It does not extend to those made in contemplation of a crime or perpetuation of a fraud. A lawyer is not a gun for hire.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

ISSUE: WoN disclosures were indispensable to protect Atty. Silapan's rights because they were pertinent to the foreclosure case HELD: NO. It was improper for the respondent to use it against Genato in the foreclosure case because it was not the subject matter of litigation and ATty. SIlapan's professional competence and legal advice were not being attacked in that case. A lawyer must conduct himself, especially in his dealings with his clients, with integrity in a manner that is beyond reproach. (Atty Silapan was ordered 1 year suspension) 142 BACARRO v CA FACTS: Bacarro is the registered owner of a lot located in Cagayan de Oro city. He claims that he was compelled by the Municipal Judge of Baungin, Bukidnon to appear before the judge's ofice and then and there coerced and forced, under threat of prosecution and loss said land, to execute a deed of reconveyance of 1/2 of the land to Gaerlan. Bacarro then filed a complaint for the annulment of said deed of reconveyance. Atty Luminarias and Caballero entered their appearance, in said cas as counsel of Bacarro in collaboration with Atty Pacana. The judge of the lower court ordered an amendment to th complaint of Bacarro. Mrs. Gaerlan filed a written manifestation inviting attention to the fact that petittoner Bacarro had not complied with said order. The judge then issued an order dismissing the complaint. A motion for new trial/ reconsideration was filed by Atty Caballero on behalf of Bacarro. Motion was denied in an order issued by the judge dated November 14, 1966. Notice of said order was not received by Atty Caballero until March 15, 1967, on which date he filed a notice of appeal. Gaerlan objected to the approval of said notice of appeal, upon the ground that the period to appeal should be reckoned from Nov 14, 1966, when a copy of the order was served upon Atty Pacana. On this allegation, the motion was dismissed. ISSUE: Whether or not period to appeal from order denyingh motion for new trial/ reconsideration began to run on Nov 14, 1966, when a copy of said order was served upon Pacana, or on March 16, 1967, when notice was served upon Atty Caballero. HELD:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

March 16, 1967. This is not a case of substitution. By entering his appearnce, Atty Caballero did not substitute Atty Pacana but became one of the attorneys for Bacarro. Neither did Atty Caballero substitute or try to substitute Atty Pacana. The statement in the motion for reconsideration to the effect that, through Atty Caballero, petitioner Bacarro, "after duly relieving his previous counsel moved for the reconsideration of the order, had the effect of continuig the services of Caballero and dropping Pcana. (walang substitution... sabay silang lawyer tapos na-terminate ung employment ni Pacana...) Whether Bacarro could - as regards the Court of Gaerlan - validly dispense with the services of Pacana, without securing his consent, or without proof that he had been notified of Bacarro's motion for reconsideration... HELD: YES. Client may at any time dismiss his attorney. The relatioship between Bacarro and Pacana ceased to exist from the filing of the motion for reconsideration/ new trial, insofar as the court is concerned and form receipt of copy thereof by Atty Salcedo, insofar as Gaerlan was concerned. 143 PEOPLE v CASIMIRO Facts: Issue: W/N Sanglay is liable for the late filing of the appellants brief. Atty. Manuel Sanglay was filed an administrative complaint for his failure to file a brief within the reglementary period for his clients Benjamin Icalla, Rodolfo Soriano and Benjamin Cinco. Sanglay was given 10 days from Feb 3, 1972 to explain, but his explanation came at the end of the month. He absolved himself from any blame as, in his view, no fault could be attributed to him. According to him, he contacted the parents of the appellants. It was mentioned to him that another lawyer whose services presumably were hired by the parents of appellants Icalla and Cinco. Sanglay then reminded them that failure to file the (appellants) brief would mean automatic withdrawal of the appeal. He was then assured that the new lawyer will file the brief, and that as a token for his hard work, he shoud not withdraw.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Held: No. (but he is reprimanded) It was not a willful act on his part. Nonetheless, the exculpation he seeks cannot be granted. Under the circumstances, the least that was expected of him was that he would inform the Tribunal of the developments set forth in his explanation and as that he be allowed to withdraw as counsel. Such a step he did not take until after the Feb 3 resolution. It did not wipe out the previous manifestation of negligence on his part. He cannot therefore escape liability. 144 BICOL FEDERATION v CUYUGAN Facts: Certain members of the Bicol Federation of Labor were hired by Doa Jacinta Cuyugan to clear her land and plant coconut seedlings on it. These planters were also allowed to plant other crops over the land. When the coconut trees bore fruit, the planters were being given half of 1/3 of the harvest. But the custom in the area was that the planter and the owner should share 50-50 in case the owner would not give monetary payment to the planters. During the harvesting, the agent of the owner of the land hired other people. This, in effect, was ousting the planters and preventing them from claiming their rightful compensation. Bicol Federation of Labor, in behalf of its individual members, filed an action before the Agrarian court to change their arrangement with the owner from sharing to a lease-hold system. Such desired arrangement would enable them to have a wider area to cultivate and with the least intervention by the landowners agents. During the pendency of the action, counsel for Bicol FederationAtty Quirico Fabuldeclared that his authority to represent the group has been terminated and that the retainer was in behalf of the individual claimants and not of the Federation. This fact was used by the defendants (Cuyugans and the agents) as another defense. The Agrarian Court dismissed the claim of Bicol Federation solely on the ground that the action was not within its jurisdiction. Issue: Was the action by Bicol Federation within the competence of the Agrarian Court? (Ethics iss ue) Can Atty Fabul still represent the claimants despite the dismissal of his services (by Bicol Federation)? Held:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Yes, the Court of Agrarian Relations has jurisdiction. Under the Code of Agrarian Reforms, and considering the policy and objectives of such legislation, the Agrarian Courts has jurisdiction over issues involving an individual(s) claiming for compensation from a landowner. (the relevant issue) Yes, Atty Fabul can represent the claimants in this case despite the declared termination. This is one of those rare instances where an attorney, whose authority has been terminated by his client, may be allowed to continue his representation. To prevent failure or miscarriage of justice and pursuant to the provisions of the Rules of Court, the names of the individual claimants should be added to the complaint under the legal representation of Atty Fabul until and unless each individual claimant should otherwise manifest before the court. Case was remanded to the Agrarian Court. 145 DOMINGO SR. v AQUINO FACTS Court of First Instance approved money claim of AQUINO against the Estate of Domingo and ordered Administratrix STA MARIA to pay P20,000 to AQUINO Both parties appealed CA affirmed the ruling of the CFI Copies of the judgment were sent to ATTY UNSON through registered mail The new administratrix DE LOPEZ alleges the co-administratrix of STA MARIA, ATTY DOMINGO, was removed from his trust by the intestate courts order for having squandered cash so being the one (ATTY DOMINGO) who engaged the services of ATTY UNSON, the removal of ATTY DOMINGO is in effect the removal of ATTY UNSON as counsel of the estate DE LOPEZ prays that the clerk of court be directed to serve a copy of the CA judgment on her counsel instead of ATTY UNSON (In other words, yun court nagsend ng copy ng decision ng ca kay atty unson pero sabi ng estate hindi valid yun pagsend ng notice kasi hindi na nila lawyer si atty unson at the time notice was served) ISSUE VALID HELD W/N SERVICE OF THE JUDGMENT ON ATTY UNSON WAS YES, EVEN IF ESTATE CLAIMS THAT ATTY UNSON WAS NOT THEIR LAWYER AT THE TIME COPY OF THE JUDGMENT WAS SENT, ABSENCE OF MANIFESTATION OR NOTICE OF DISCHARGE FILED WITH THE COURT MAKES JUDICIAL NOTICE SENT TO THE COUNSEL OF RECORD BINDING UPON THE CLIENT
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

RATIO Records show that ATTY UNSON was the counsel of record of the ESTATE OF DOMINGO in the appellate court and never filed any withdrawal as such counsel. Even after the removal of ATTY DOMINGO as administrator of the estate, ATTY UNSON filed in the appellate court his memorandum for the estate. Moreover, while it may be true that ATTY UNSON ceased as counsel for the estate and for the former administrator when the intestate court granted his motion to withdraw as counsel by virtue of his appointment to and assumption of public office of Assistant Administrator of the Sugar Quota Administration, this was true only as far as the intestate court was concerned. He continued on record in the appellate court and did not file any withdrawal as counsel. In addition to that, no appearance of new counsel for the estate was ever filed. It follows that since notice and copy of the appellate courts decision were served by registered mail on the estates counsel of record ATTY UNSON and the latter failed to claim his mail on the 5th day after the first notice of the postmaster, such service was deemed completed and effected and binding upon the client, in this case the Estate of Domingo. As to the contention that removal of ATTY DOMINGO as administratrix means removal of ATTY UNSON as the estates counsel because ATTY DOMINGO was the one who engaged the services of ATTY UNSON, the fact that ATTY UNSONS services were engaged by ATTY DOMINGO in his official capacity as administrator, did not make ATTY UNSON his personal counsel. ATTY UNSON continued to be authorized to represent the estate as its counsel until the new administrator DOMINGO DE LOPEZ should terminate his services which she never did. JUDGMENT SC: ATTY REGINO (petitioners counsel in this case) is reminded that cooperation of litigants and their attorneys is needed so that needless clogging of the court dockets with unmeritorious cases may be avoided. Hence, petition is dismissed and ATTY REGINO is ordered to pay treble costs. 146 AQUINO v BLANCO Facts: - Petitioners Santiago Aquio and Dionisia Aguirre filed a complaint against Dominga Salveron in the CFI, which the petitioners won. - Salveron was represented in that case by Atty. Basilio Sorioso. Atty. Sorioso was appointed as Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Iloilo on Feb. 11, 1947. - Despite the appointment, the judgment in the earlier mentioned case was served on Atty. Sorioso. - Salveron was only informed of the judgment on Mar. 26, 1947 when a writ
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

of execution was served on him. Salveron then filed a petition to vacate said writ of execution. This was granted by Judge Blanco.

Issue: - W/n the service of judgment made on Atty. Sorioso constitutes service upon his client, Salveron. Held: - SC says NO. - When Attorney Sorioso was appointed to the position of assistant provincial fiscal and therein qualified, by operation of law he ceased to engage in private law practice, and as a consequence he became simultaneously disqualified to continue representing his former client, the herein respondent Dominga Salveron, in the above-mentioned case. So that in contemplation of law the notice of the decision upon him on February 11, 1947, was not a notice upon said respondent, and the period for perfecting an appeal on the part of the latter in reality did not then commence to run but only, if at all, when she acquired knowledge of said decision upon the service on her of the writ of execution on March 26, 1947. 147 WACKWACK GOLF v CA Facts: Arcangel, a former employee of Wack Wack (WW), filed with the CFI a money claim case for overtime services rendered to WW, for unenjoyed vacation, moral damages, and atty.s fees. At the hearing of the case, neither WW nor its counsel, Balcoff et. al., appeared, despite notification. As a result, the lower court rendered judgment in favor of Arcangel. The firm of Chuidian, on behalf of WW, filed a petition to set aside the judgment on the ground of mistake, misunderstanding, and excusable neglect. According to the firm of Chuidian, WW was first represented by Balcoff et. al. Thereafter, WW decided to replace Balcoff et. al. with the Chuidian Law Office. When the representative of Chuidian went to the firm of Balcoff to inform the latter of the replacement, Mr. Balcoff was not in the office. Atty. Cruz of Balcoff et. al. declared that he had no authority to turn over the records of the case to Chuidian Law Office. As a result, Atty. Chuidian called Atty. Balcoff. Atty. Chuidian said that, inasmuch as Balcoff et. al. was still representing the WW, the Chuidian Law Office will send a representative on the hearing day. However, no representative from the Chuidian Law Office came. (This is the misunderstanding that was mentioned above. Balcoff thought that Chuidian will be the one to appear instead of him. Issue: W/N the judgment in favor of Arcangel should be set aside based on misunderstanding. Held: The judgment should not be set aside. Misunderstanding alibi not accepted.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

The law firm of Balcoff and Cruz was still WWs counsel of record, because the firm of Chuidian only entered appearance after the date of the hearing mentioned above. As such counsel of record, Balcoff et. al. must have known that it is under obligation to protect WWs interest until its final release from the professional relationship. The lack of coordination and understanding between the two law firms cannot be considered a legal excuse within the ambit of excusable negligence. 148 AMPIL v AGRAVA Facts: -Ampil was the counsel for Angela Perez in several cases. The principal cases handled by Ampil were filed in the CFI by Angelas husband and son, Antonio and Benigno Perez, asking that Angela be placed under guardianship and that a suitable person be appointed to administer her properties. Later on, the parties submitted to court, which dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction. This dismissal was affirmed by SC. -A case was later filed by Antonio and Benigno with the domestic court of Manila, seeking the courts approval of the compromise agreement. The domestic court dismissed the proceeding on the ground of lack of jurisdiction because the case which was to be settled amicably by the compromise agreement had already been dismissed by CFI as affirmed by SC. -Ampil asserts that Angela terminated his services as counsel without just cause and without paying him for his profiessional services, for which he presented his bill and asserted his retaining lien over the three titles entrusted to him by Angela in the course of his professional employment. -Eventually, the compromise agreement mentioned above was approved by the Supreme Court. Benigno and Antonio thus filed a case to obtain the titles held by Ampil. They claimed that the attorneys lien must be exercised over the properties belonging to Angela, not over the properties belonging to them in the compromise agreement. They also argued that the compromise agreement was entered into 8 years before Ampil was discharged as Angelas counsel, besides, Ampil took a position adverse to them by seeking to have the compromise agreement annulled. They concluded that Ampil was therefore bound by the compromise agreement. Issue: W/N whether Ampil has a right to keep his retaining lien over the said titles until his services are paid for. Held: YES. -Three elements of attorneys retaining lien were met: 1) lawyer-client relationship; 2) lawful possession of the clients funds, documents, and papers; and 3) unsatisfied claim for attorneys fees.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

-Ampil obtained possession of the titles when they still belonged to his client Angela. It was only when Angela later on confirmed the compromise agreement that it became valid. The transfer of the properties to Antonio and Benigno could not retroact to the time the compromise was originally executed. -The situation would be different where title to the property is the very subject in dispute in the case and the court adjudges the clients adversary to be rightfully entitled thereto. In such as case the titles to the property could not be said to be properties of the client. The attorney may enforce his lien only over the properties of his client and not against those of his clients adversary. -Petitioner is in no way interfering with the taking possession of the properties and enjoyment of the fruits thereof. All that petitioner asserts and exercises is his passive lien of retaining the muniments of title thereto. Such retention only impedes the corresponding registration and transfer of titles to respondents. 149 MATUTE v MATUTE FACTS: Jose Matute filed an action against the administrator Matias Matute. Jose is asking Matias to surrender 17 titles to various properties of the estate Probate court granted the prayer of Jose and ordere3d the surrender of the titles Matias and his counsel Atty. Canlas appealed the decision ISSUE: W/N Atty. Canlas may be compelled to surrender the titles even though he was not yet paid his fees HELD: NO! An attorney is entitled to retain documents in the case pending settlement of attorneys fees. Sec 37 of Rule 138 provides that attorneys cannot be compelled to surrender the documents in his possession without prior proof that his fees has been duly satisfied But the court may require the attorney to deliver the papers in his possession provided that the client files proper security for the attorneys compensation 150 RUSTIA v ABETO FACTS: Atty. Rustia filed this case to annul orders of the CFI of Manila in the case of
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Intestate Estate of Antonio de la Riva. Atty. Rustia was the counsel of respondent, Milagros Schmid, the administrator of the intestate estate. When Rustia was relieved as attorney, he sent a bill for P32,330. He wanted to have a lien over all funds and documents that he is currently holding for the administrator. CFI of Manila ordered Atty. Rustia to hand over the certificate of a land. Atty. Rustia is objecting saying that he has a lien over the TCT for his professional fees. CFI nonetheless still went on with its previous order. Atty. Rustia obeyed the order. And then this case was filed.

ISSUE: W/N Atty. Rustia has a valid lien over the documents in his possession HELD: YES. An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, documents, and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his possession, and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. The general or retaining lien of an attorney is dependent upon the possession and does not attach to anything not in the attorneys hands. The courts may require the attorney to deliver up the papers in his possession provided the client files proper security for the attorneys compensation. 151 METROPOLITAN BANK v CA FACTS: - ANTECEDAL FACTS (up to you guys kung gusto nyo basahin tong paragraph na toh... not pertinent to our lesson): Celedonio Javier bought 7 parcels of land owned by Eustaqio Alejandro. Javier mortgaged with Metrobank the lots to secure a loan of Bautista?Int'l Hotel Corp. Metrobank foreclosed on the properties. Alejandro alleged fraud in the sale, and brought suits against Javier and Metrobank. During the pendency of these suits, Metrobank sold lots to Service Leasing, resold to Herby Commercial, which mortgaged the same to Banco de Oro. - Arturo Alfariz and Associates handled the civil cases of Metrobank. All the civil cases were for the declaration of nullity of certain deeds of sale, with damages. The lawyers did not have any knowledge of any of the transfers made by Metrobank. They filed a motion to enter its charging lien (25% of the actual and current market values of the litigated properties as its attys fees.) Despite due notice, Metrobank failed to appear and oppose, so the RD annotated the atty's liens on the TCTs.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

- Alejandro (plaintiffs) filed a motion to dismiss which was granted with prejudice to the earlier order of annotation. The lawyers filed a motion to fix the atty's fees based on quantum meruit. CA affiremed order to Metrobank to pay ALfariz and ASsociates attys fees. ISSUE: WoN lawyers are entitled to atty's fees HELD: NO RATIO: 1. A charging lien to be enforceable requires as a condition sine qua non a judgment for money and execution in pursuance of such judgment. In the case at bar, the civil cases were dismissed upon the initiative of the plaintiffs "in view of the full satisfaction of their claims". The dismissal neither provided for any money judgment nor made any monetary award to any litigant. The charging lien was WITHOUT ANY LEGAL BASIS. 2. The lien of respondent is not of a nature which attached to the property in litigation but is at most a personal claim enforceable by a writ of execution. 3. While a client cannot defeat an atty's right to his charging lien by dismissing the case, terminating the services of his counsel, waiving his cause or interest in favor of the adverse party or compromising his action, this rule cannot find application here as the termination of the cases was not at the instance of the client, but of the opposing party. 4. There is an obvious necessity for a hearing because the persons who are entitled to or who must pay attys fees have the right to be heard upon the question of propriety or amount. 5. Regarding American jurisprudence stating a contrary rule - the Court held that in the absence of a statute or special agreement providing otherwise, the general rule is that an atty has no lien on the land 152 DORONILA-TIOSECO v CA FACTS: AS a result of dispute among the heirs of the late Alfonso Doronila and their counsel Ramon Gonzales, over his claim for attorney's fees, the RTC denied the heirs' Motion to Cancel Attorney's lien and declare Ramon Gonzales entitiled to 10% of the shares of the heirs of the late Doronila. Both of the parties appealed the decision. Ramon Gonzales filed a motion to annotate attorney's lien, praying that his attorney's lien be annotated on the title of parcels of land of the estate which the heirs had inherited. Administrator of the estate opposed the said motion by contending that an
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

attorney's lien does not extend to land and that the proper remedy is attachment. Trial court granted the counsel's motion for annotation. ISSUE: W/n an attorney's lien extends to land... HELD: "We have ruled that an attorney's lien does not extend to land which is the subject matter of the litigation." (eto lang yung sinabi sa case... ung mga prior cases, applicable...) ISSUE: W/n the trial court retained jurisdiction to grand Ramon Gonzales' Motion to Annotate Attorney's lien on the title of the parcels of land of the estate after the perfection of the appeal of both the petitioners and respondent from the order declaring Ramon Gonzales entitled to attorney' fees... HELD: Trial court has no jurisdiction. Motion was filed long after they have perfected their appeals, therefore the trial court had no more jurisdiction. 153 GATCHALIAN PROMOTIONS v NALDOZA Facts: Gatchalian Promotions Talents Pool, Inc. filed a disbarment case against Atty. Promo Naldoza, their former counsel. Naldoza appealed a decision of the POEA. In line with this, Gatchalian assers that the disbarments should prosper since Naldoza committed the ff acts: o Appealing a decision, knowing that the same was already final and executory o Deceitfully obtaining two thousand, five hundred and fifty-five US dollars (US$2,555) from complainant, allegedly for cash bond in the appealed case o Issuing a spurious receipt to conceal his illegal act. Naldoza was claimed to ask for a Cash Bond in UNITED STATES DOLLAR amounting to TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY FIVE (U.S. $2,555.00) (for payment) to the Supreme Court in order that the said appealed case could be heard or acted upon by the Supreme Court. Gatchalian came to know that there was no such Cash Bond paid to the SC,
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

and in fact, the fees were only nominal (P622). Moreover, the receipt that Naldoza presented to Gatchalian which allegedly emanated from the SC was spurious. An estafa case was filed against Naldoza. It was later on dismissed, but he was held liable for the amount of $2,555. Naldoza seeks that he not be suspended in the practice of law.

Issue: W/N Atty Naldoza should be punished for his acts? Held: Yes. Atty. Primo Naldoza is DISBARRED, not just suspended. On the first issue: o Complainant has failed to present proof regarding the status of the appeal. Neither has there been any showing that the appeal was dismissed on the ground that the POEA Decision had become final and executory. Worse, there has been no evidence that respondent knew that the case was unappealable. Indeed, the records of this Court shows that the Petition for Review was dismissed for petitioners (Gatchalians) failure to submit an Affidavit of Service and a legible duplicate of the assailed Order. Clearly, this charge has no leg to stand on. On the next two issues: o When Naldoza paid P10,000 and issued a check to complainant as his moral obligation, he indirectly admitted the charge. Normally, this is not the actuation of one who is falsely accused of appropriating the money of another. This is an admission of misconduct. (RC Note: Naldoza claims that Gatchalian owes him P180T in attorneys fees, and after accounting, he paid him P10T as his moral obligation) o the amount of $2,555 was not a part of his attorneys lien. He demanded the money from his client on the pretext that it was needed for the Petition before the Supreme Court, but he actually converted it to his personal gain. Not only did he misappropriate the money entrusted to him; he also faked a reason to cajole his client to part with his money. Worse, he had the gall to falsify an official receipt of this Court to cover up his misdeeds. Clearly, he does not deserve to continue being a member of the bar. 154 VDA DE BARRERA v LAPUT Facts:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Casiano Laput was Nieves Rillas Vda de Barreras counsel in the settlement proceedings for the estate of de Barreras husband. One time, Laput presented a Notice for Rendition of Final Accounting and Partition of Estate to de Barrera. Barrerra refused to signed and asked Laput to just leave the document in order that she may ask someone to interpret it for her. But Laput became angry and even placed a revolver on the lap of de Barrera (who actually was 72 years old). This compelled the old lady to sign the document. Laput denied the charges

Issue: Should Laput be disciplined? Held: Naku po naman! Of course. Laput was suspended for 1 year. It was found by the court that the documents were made by the counsel to end the proceedings and be able to collect his fees. The act of placing the gun on the clients lap cannot be interpreted other than as an act of threatening such client. Laputs acts were improper and censurable (especially considering that de Barrerra was 72 years old). Being a member of the Bar, Laput should have set the example as a man of peace and a champion of the Rule of Law. An attorneys client is a person who is supposed to be defended and protected by such counsel. 155 BARRIENTOS v DAAROL FACTS Victoria BARRIENTOS is single, a college student and about 20 years and 7 months old during her relationship with Transfiguracion DAVID, a lawyer and the General Manager of Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative who was about 40 years old and married to SUMAYLO. Flashback Parang sine DAVID had been known by the BARRIENTOS family for quite sometime being the former student of Victoria BARRIENTOS father and a former classmate of Victoria BARRIENTOS mother. DAVID courted BARRIENTOS and after a week of courtship, BARRIENTOS accepted DAVIDS love. At this time, DAVID was separated from his wife for 16 years. BARRIENTOS, with her parents permission, was DAVIDS partner during the Chamber Commerce affair. After the event and before going home, they parked
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

the jeep at the beach and after the usual preliminaries (what a term), they consummated the sexual act. This was their set up until BARRIENTOS got pregnant. DAVID suggested abortion but BARRIENTOS disagreed. During her pregnancy until she gave birth, it was BARRIENTOS family who took care of her. BARRIENTOS then filed an administrative case against DAVID with the National Electrification Administration which was however dismissed. Hence, the present petition. ISSUE HELD RATIO From the records, it is indubitable that BARRIENTOS was never informed by DAVID of his real status as a married individual. The fact of his previous marriage was disclosed by DAVID only after BARRIENTOS became pregnant. Moreover, DAVID misrepresented himself as being eligible to re-marry for having been separated from his wife for 16 years and even dangled a marriage proposal. Interestingly enough, DAVID lived alone in Dipolog City though his son also studies in the same area. Moreover, he never introduced his son and went around with his friends as though he was never married. These circumstances belie DAVIDS claim that the BARRIENTOS family knew about his marital status at the very start of the courtship. But what surprises the Court is the perverted sense of DAVIDS moral values when he said that I see nothing wrong with this relationship despite my being married. Worse, he even suggested abortion. The practice of law is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to the exacting standards of mental and moral fitness. DAVID having exhibited debased morality, the Court is constrained to impose upon him the most severe disciplinary action --- disbarment. 156 FLORES v CHUA Facts: - Ban Hua Flores seeks the disbarment of Atty. Enrique Chua on the following grounds: o Chua notarized a deed of sale which contains the forged signature of Chua Beng (CB). The wife of CB says that CB could not have signed the deed because she was with CB the whole time before his death. Flores points out that Chua notarized the deed even if CB did not
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

W/N DAVID SHOULD BE DISBARRED YES, LACK GOOD MORAL CHARACTER --- A CONTINUING REQUIREMENT TO BE ABLE TO PRACTICE LAW

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

appear personally. o Chua falsified a petition filed with the SEC in order to molest and harass Flores. Apparently, Chua altered the petition to apply for a notice of lis pendens over the property of Flores. But, his plan failed because the register of deeds denied his application. o Chua caused the publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the Visayas of a portion of a SEC decision which ordered complainant and others to pay 68 million. In these publications, Chua was always in the forefront claiming to e the lawyer of the winning parties. However, this publication is false because the order had not yet become final, it was still pending appeal. In his defense, Chua submitted evidence to show that a complaint for libel filed by Flores against him was dismissed by the prosecutors office. o Chua had already and has the propensity to bribe judges to gain a favorable judgment. Flores further alleges that there is a pattern of conduct on the part of Chua that tends towards the frustration of justice. Chua apparently uses dilatory tactics and has been reprimanded before. o Chua is also charged with forum shopping. Issue: - W/n Chua is guilty of these acts and should be disbarred. Held: - SC says YES. Chua is disbarred - On the first ground, SC finds Chua guilty of notarizing the deed of sale which contains a forged signature. Chua failed to exercise the required diligence and fealty to his office by attesting to the fact that CB appeared before him and signed the deed when in truth and in fact said person did not do so. This is clearly a violation of the duties of a notary public to certify that the person signing the instrument is known to him and that he is the same person who executed it. - There was no basis for the second ground but the Court said that his filing of the application for notice of lis pendens even if he was not counsel for the petitioners in the SEC case meant that he knew of such case. Thus, he shouldnt have filed the civil case involving the same issues. His act of filing the civil case amounted to forum shopping. - The SC also found sufficient evidence to support the third ground. The other grounds were dismissed for lack of merit. - The Court reiterated that a lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. A lawyer brings honor to the legal profession by faithfully performing his duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to his clients. 157 BERBANO v BARCELONA Facts: The heirs of Hilapo appointed Atty. Daen as their atty.-in-fact. Atty. Daen
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

was subsequently arrested by the Muntinlupa police. The heirs of Hilapo tried to look for a lawyer to secure the release of Atty. Daen. The heirs were recommended to Atty. Barcelona. When the spouses visited Atty. Daen, they learned that Atty. Daen had decided to engage the services of Atty. Barcelona. Atty. Barcelona then proceeded to tell the heirs if they could produce P50K he could secure the release of Atty. Daen the next day. Because the heirs could not produce the total amount, they merely gave P15,700. There were several meetings between the heirs and Atty. Barcelona regarding the grease money to be used to allegedly bribe an SC justice. The heirs made another payment via a check worth P24,000. On another occasion, the heirs went to the house of Atty. Barcelona and gave P10,000. The total amount given by the heirs to Atty. Barcelona reached P64,000. Commissioner Bautista found Atty. to be guilty of malpractice and breach of duty and recommended that he be disbarred. Issue: W/N Atty. Barcelona should be disbarred. Held: Atty. Barcelona should be disbarred. Disbarment proceedings are sui generis. Its intention is to safeguard the administration of justice by protecting the court and public from the misconduct of the officers of the court. In this case, Atty. demonstrated a penchant for misrepresenting that he had connections to secure the release of Atty. Daen. Atty. Barcelona misrepresented to the complainant that he could get the release of Atty. Daen with his connection with a Supreme Court Justice. Instead of promoting respect for law and the legal processes, Atty. Barcelona demeaned the legal profession by taking money from a client under the pretext of having connections with a member of this court. 158 TABAS v MANGIBIN Facts: -A deed of mortgage was delivered to Hilda Tabas evidencing a real property in La Union that was mortgaged to her by Galvan. The deed of mortgage was registered in the Register of Deeds of La Union. -Subsequently, a certain Lilia Castillejos represented herself as Tabas and appeared before Mangibin, who was a notary public, and asked the latter to prepare a discharge of the mortgage and to notarize it afterwards. -Mangibin prepared the discharge of real estate mortgage without asking Castillejos for anything to serve as identification except for a Community Tax Certificate (CTC). This enabled Galvan to mortgage the property again, this time to a rural bank -Tabas informed Mangibin that her signature in the questioned discharge of REM was forged but Mangibin did nothing to help. He even threatened to file a counter suit against her if she files a case against him.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

-Tabas filed this complaint for disbarment. -Mangibin admitted that the discharge of REM was a forgery but interposed the defense that it was beyond the scope of his duty to ascertain the identity of persons appearing before him, and that he had no available means of ascertaining their real identities. Issue: W/N Mangibin should be held administratively liable for negligence in the performance of his duty as a notary public to ascertain the identity of the person appearing before him. Held: YES, Mangibin was negligent in performing such duty. -Notarization is invested with public interest. It converts a private document into a public one, making it admissible in court without further proof of its authenticity. Such document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. Courts, administrative agencies, and the public must be able to rely upon an acknowledgement by a notary public appended to a document. -A notary public should not notarize a document unless the person who signed the same is the very same person who executed and personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and truth of matters stated in the document. -Mangibin should have requested other forms of identification or asked questions to ascertain her identity. -Mangibin violated the Notarial Law and Canon 1. His notarial commission is revoked and he is disqualified from reappointment as notary public for 2 years. 159 IN RE ALMACEN FACTS: Atty Almecen is the counsel of Calero in the case of Yaptinchay vs. Calero The trial court, after the hearing rendered judgment against his client he moved for reconsideration (MR) and served copy of the motion to the adverse party but failed to notify the latter of the date and place of the hearing In the CA, the court moved to also disamiss the case for the reason that the MR does not contain a notice of time and place of hearing and is nothing but a useless piece of paper The SC refised to tkae the cse and in a minute resolution denied the appeal It was at this pont that Atty Almacen filed his "PETITION TO SURRENDER LAWYER'S CERTIFICATE OF TITLE" The pleading filed by Atty Almacen is interspersed from beginning to end with insolent, contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and deregoratory remarks agaist the court, as well as its individual members. Atty Almacen described the court as "a tribunal peopled by men who are calloused to our pleas of justice, who ignore without reason thier own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity. he also referred to his client as "on who was deeply aggrieved by the court's unjust
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

judgment" and has become " one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy." He also referred to the member of the court as "justice as administered by the present members of the SUpreme Court is not only blind, but also deaf and dumb." The court asked Atty Almacen to show cause why no disciplinary actions must be taken against him Atty Almacen asked that he be given permission permission to give his answer in an open and public hearing. He reasoned that since the court is the complainant, prosecutor and judge, he preferred that he answer and be heard in an open and public hearing sa that the court could observe its sincerity and candor. The court allowed Atty Almacen to file a written answer and thereafter be heard in an oral argument But his written answer offers no apology but is full of sarcasm and innuendo (SEE PAGE 569-572) ISSUE: W/N Atty Almacen is guilty HELD: YES! and he is indefinitely suspended until further order form the SC Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as citizen, to criticize in properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of courts and judges. The decisions of the courta public property and the press and the people have the undoubted right to comment on them, criticize and censure them as they see fit. BUT it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide and shall not spill over the walls of decency and rpopriety. A wide chasm exist between fair criticism, on the one hand, and abuse and slander of courts and justices thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross violation of the duty of respect to courts. it isn such misconduct that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action In his relations with the court, a lawyer may not divide his personality so as to be an attorney at one time and a mere citizen at another. Statements made by an attorney in a private conversation or in the course of political campaign, if couched in insulting language as to bring scorn and disrepute to the administration of justice may subject the attorney to disciplinary action. post-litigation utterances or publication made by lawyers, critical of the courts and their juducial actions, whether amounting to a crime or not, which transcends the permissible bounds of fair commetns and legitimate criticism constitute grave professional misconduct. there is no comfort in the argument of Atty. Almacen that his utterances were made after the judgments against his client attained finality. he could still be liable for contempt as if it had been perpetrated during the pendency of the said appeal. THe pendency or non-pendency of a case in court is of no consequence. the sole objective of the proceeding is to preserve the purity of the legal profession.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

160 RAYOS-OMBAC v RAYOS Facts: Mrs. Irene Rayos-Ombac (lola) is the petitioner in this case. The respondent is Atty. Orlando Rayos (lawyer), her nephew. Jan. 1985: lawyer induced lola, who was then 85 years old, to withdraw all her bank deposits and entrust it to him for safekeeping. Lawyer made lola believe that if she would do so, all the money will be excluded from the estate of her deceased husband and therefore exclude the other heirs from inheriting. Lola then withdrew all her money (P588K) and deposited it in the account of lawyer in Union Bank. Upon demands that the amount be returned, lawyer informed lola that he can only return P400K on installment. Pumayag na lang si lola kasi kelangan niya talaga ng pera. They signed a MOA regarding this transaction. However, the check given by lawyer to lola was dishonored due to insufficient funds. Lola then filed an estafa case against lawyer. Lawyer offered as settlement 2 second-hand cars and cash amounting to P40K. Lola refused the offer. Lawyer also filed cases against Lola. Estafa - because lola allegedly reneged on her promise to sell a certain parcel of land. Another accusing lola of making false statements in the testate proceedings of her deceased husband. Lola then filed a case for disbarment on 2 grounds. (1) defrauding lola and (2) filing frivolous cases against her. IBP recommended that lawyer be suspended for 2 years. Lawyer then filed this motion to lift the suspension stating that lola has already withdrawn her complaint for disbarment Issue: W/N lawyer should be suspended for 2 years Held: Yes. In fact the SC raised the penalty to disbarment. (pinabayaan na lang sana niya yung suspension, baka di pa siya disbarred) The withdrawal of lola of her complaint has no effect on the disbarment proceedings. Lawyer violated the CPR as well as his oath when he deceived his 85 year old aunt. Lawyers wicked deed was aggravated by the series of unfounded suits he filed against lola. Lawyers deceitful conduct makes him unworthy of membership in the legal
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

profession. 161 IN RE LOZANO FACTS - There was a complaint against a Judge of First Instance which was referred to the Atty General for investigation, report and recommendation. There was an SC resolution which makes such proceedings condiential in nature -The investigation was conducted secretly. Notwithstanding, the editor of El Pueblo, Severino Lozano, printed an article written by Anastacio Quevedo, indicating that the hearing was held behind closed doors, and that the info of the reporter was obtained from outside the screen and from comments in social circles. The testimonies of the witnesses were mutilated and the report reflected upon the action of the complainant to his possible advantage ISSUE: WoN Lozano and Quevedo are quilty of contempt of court? HELD: YES. They are each required to pay the nominal sum of P20 RATIO: 1. The power to punish for contempt is inherent in the SC. This power extends to administrative proceedings, as well as to suits at law. 2. As important as is the maintenance of an unmuzzled press and the free exercise of the rights of the citizen is the maintenance of the independence of the judiciary 162 CUENCO v FERNAN See attachment=) 163 IN RE LAURETA Facts: This case is purely a discussion of Atty. Lauretas Motion for Reconsideration finding him guilty of grave professional misconduct and suspending him indefinitely. Also, there is a discussion on Eva MaravillaIllustres Motion for Reconsideration holding her in contempt. Laureta is the counsel of Illlustre. In my understanding, Illustre lost a case with the SC First Division. And because of this, she filed a case with the Tanodbayan, in exasperation against those whom she felt had commited injustice against her in an underhanded manner. Laureta is in hot water for he had allegedly circulated/distributed copies to
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

the press copies of the complaint filed before the Tanodbayan. And with this, he has manifested lack of respect for and exposed to public ridicule the two highest courts of the land. He also said that he has not authorized or assisted and or abetted and could not have prevented the contemptuous statements, conduct, acts and malicious charges of Eva Ilustre who was (allegedly) no longer his client. But he is sorry for the adverse publicity generated by the filing of the complaint against the Justices before the Tanodbayan!

Issue: W/N Laureta should be punished for his alleged acts. Held: Yes. Firstly, Laureta is really the counsel of Ilustre. o The copy of the Tanodbayan resolution indicated that he is the counsel for the complainant . And he didnt complain!! o Lauretas wife received from the process server the documents/resolutions of the court. If Laureta was really not the counsel, then the wife could have easily not accepted. o Atty. Laureta admitted that he is the counsel to a reporter of DZRH by the fact of his commenting with alacrity (RC note: this means eagerness) regarding the case. Lauretas protestations that he has done his best to protect and uphold the dignity of the Court are belied by environmental facts and circumstances. His apologetic stance for the adverse publicity rings with insincerity. He has deliberately sought to destroy the authenticity, integrity and conclusiveness of collegiate acts to undermine the role of the SC as the final arbiter of all justiciable disputes. 164 IN RE LONTOK Facts: Marcelino Lontok is a member of the Bar who was convicted, by final judgment, of bigamy. Subsequently, the Governor-General granted him absolute pardon. However, the Attorney-General prays for the removal of Lontok from the roll of attorneys despite such pardon. He argues that Lontok should still be disqualified from the practice of law as he was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Issue: Should Lontok be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys?
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Held: No. An absolute pardon, unlike a conditional one, reaches not only the offense and the guilt for which a person was convicted of, but it also releases the punishment and blots out the existence of guilt, so that he may not be looked upon as never to have committed the offense. If granted before conviction, it prevents any of the penalties and disabilities; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores the person to all his civil rights. It does not, however, restore offices, property, or interests that have been forfeited. If the proceedings to disbar an attorney are founded on, and depend alone, on a statute making the fact of a conviction for a felony ground for disbarment, the pardon operates to wipe out the conviction and the attorney cannot be disbarred. But if the disbarment proceedings are founded on the professional misconduct in a transaction which resulted in a conviction for a felony, a pardon relieves the counsel of the penal offense but can still be subject to disbarment on the ground of lack of good moral character. Here, the motion for disbarment is based solely on the conviction for a crime for which Lontok has been pardoned. 165 IN RE DE GUZMAN FACTS A complaint for ejectment was filed by FLORO against LAPATHA. Judgment was rendered ordering LAPATHA to vacate the premises and surrender possession to FLORO. LAPATHA filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment, Orders & Other Proceedings (nax civpro ) alleging that at the initial hearing, she appeared without counsel so she approached ATTY DE GUZMAN, lawyer of FLORO, and begged for a 5 day postponement to which ATTY DE GUZMAN verbally agreed to with the condition that she (LAPATHA) sign the courts expediente of which she did. She then gave ATTY DE GUZMAN a check for P350 as partial payment of her arrears in the rentals. That was why she was surprised later on to receive a copy of a decision from the City Court wherein it appeared that she confessed judgment and upon verification of the expediente which she signed, she discovered ATTY DE GUZMAN wrote the words Confess Judgment below her signature without her consent. FLORO filed his Answer alleging that the decision of the City Court was based on an open admission by LAPATHA made in open court and it was after such open admission that the words Confess Judgment was written on the expediente. Moreover, the check of P350 was not given as partial payment of LAPATHAS arrears in rentals but was given to forestall the execution of judgment.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

ISSUE HELD RATIO

W/N ATTY DE GUZMAN SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR HIS ACTS NO, NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE HENCE PRESUMPTION OF REGULARITY RULE APPLIES

The Clerk of the City Court testified that when the ejectment case was called for hearing, the Trial Judge asked LAPATHA if she admitted the indebtedness alleged in the complaint filed by FLORO to which LAPATHA answered in the affirmative. It was then that the word Confess Judgment was written on the expediente which was afterwards signed by both ATTY DE GUZMAN and LAPATHA. This testimony of the Clerk of court deserves credit because the Clerk was present at the said hearing and is substantiated with the ruling of the City Judge who, sans evidence to the contrary, is presumed to have regularly performed his official duty. The only objective of LAPATHA in filing a Petition for Relief was to gain more time to stay in the leased premises. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that in the instant case, evidence is wanting to sustain a finding that ATTY DE GUZMAN committed any deceit or misconduct. As held in Go v Candoy, it is elementary in disbarment proceedings that the burden of proof rests upon the complainant and that to be made the basis for suspension of disbarment, such proof must be convincing. In the case at bar, LAPATHA failed to provide such convincing proof. Hence, the administrative complaint is dismissed and ATTY DE GUZMAN exonerated of the charge. 166 LACHICA v FLORDELIZA Facts: - One day, Dr. Amparo Lachica, the Municipal Health Officer of Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur, was approached by Dina Masaglang and Norma Ruton, who were asking Dr. Lachica to sign a death certificate. Dr. Lachica refused to sign saying that the attending physician in Gen. Santos should be the one to sign. - Later in the day, Dr. Lachica met the two again and the two told her that Judge Rolando Flordeliza, MTC judge, was ordering her to sign the death certificate. Dr. Lachica again refused. - Later in the evening, at the Municipal Employees Night Party, Judge Flordeliza, who was drunk, asked Dr. Lachica to sit beside him. Judge Flordeliza then said to Dr. Lachica, in an angry manner, Bakit hindi mo pinirmahan and death certificate? Dr. Lachica then tried to explain but to
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

no avail, this is when Judge Flordeliza threatened to bring an administrative complaint against Dr. Lachica. Issue: - W/n Judge Flordeliza should be penalized. Held: - SC says YES, Judge Flordeliza is fined 10,000 - The SC was convinced that the charge of misconduct against the respondent judge was established by substantial evidence. Dr. Lachica presented the testimony of certain witnesses confirming that Judge Flordeliza was indeed drinking that night. There was also testimony debunking Judge Flordelizas excuse that he could not have acted in such a manner because the mayor was sitting with them (the testimony proved that the mayor was not with them). The Court believed that Judge Flordeliza did threaten Dr. Lachica in order to coerce the latter to sign the death certificate. - Also, his inebriated demeanor and incoherent behavior during the festivities, as attested to by a witness, is reprehensible in a judge. Allowing himself to get intoxicated is not the conduct expected of a judge. 167 ESTOYA v ABRAHAM-SINGSON Facts: A complaint signed by 47 employees and officers of several branches of the RTC Antique was filed with the SC. The signatories allege that Judge Singson "treats her staff in a dictatorial and terroristic manner without regard to the basic dignity and self-respect of the individual," making the "working atmosphere entirely dependent on her moods on the particular day which most often fluctuates with the moon" The signatories allege that they could not understand the judges bizarre actuations and that sometimes she is excessively generous but in most occasions she is "oppressive, dictatorial, despotic, and unbearable, if not hysterical." The judge was further accused of gross and culpable incompetence for having delegated her authority to the Clerk of Court by requiring the latter to make orders or resolve or decide cases for her. Several persons testified regarding her attitude towards her workers (refer to P. 9). The lower court adjudged her to lack the temperament required of a judge. Her acts, according to the lower court, were not mere admonitions to correct the employees wrongdoings. Issue: W/N judge is guilty of gross incompetence and gross ignorance of the law. Held: The judge is guilty of gross incompetence and gross ignorance of the law.
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

On gross ignorance of the law: She is grossly ignorant of the law because she considered unlawful aggression as a mitigating circumstance. She also made errors in the implementation of the Indeterminate Sentence Law. She also allowed the release on bail of several accused individuals without giving the prosecution to prove if the evidence of guilt is strong (on the fact that the crime committed by the accused individuals). A judge is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules. It is imperative that that he be conversant with basic legal principles. A judge owes it to the legal profession he belongs and to the public who depends on him to know the law which he is called to interpret and apply. On gross incompetence: According to the canons, a judge should organize his court with a view to a prompt and convenient dispatch of its business and he should not tolerate abuses and neglect by clerks. To be a good manager, one must be a good leader. The judge does not possess the virtues, qualities, temperament, aptitude, and skill of a good manager of court employees. She is tyrannical. (Please refer to the lengthy testimonies to have an idea of her tyrannical behavior.) 168 CUARESMA v AGUILAR Facts: -The Olarte, the Provincial Prosecutor of Mindoro charged Banite with the murder of Acosta, a relative of herein complainants. The Information carried no recommendation for bail. -The case was docketed in Branch 44 of the RTC, presided over by Judge Tarriela. Banite was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty. -Olarte amended the Information to homicide and recommended bail of P20,000 without leave of court. Judge Tarriela ordered the Olarte to explain his action considering Banite had already been arraigned. -Mrs. Zubiri, a Steno-Reporter at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor went to see Aguilarthe Executive and Presiding Judge of Branch 45 of the RTCin his chambers. Zubiri was sent by Olarted to request for the release of the accused Banite on bail of P20,000. -All pertinent papers, including the Property Bail Bond, the Order approving the bond and directing the release of Banite were already prepared for the signature of respondent judge. -On the same day, Judge Aguilar signed and issued the order approving the property bond. Banite was released upon such order.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Issue: W/N Judge Aguilar committed grave abuse of authority in ordering the release of Banite while the latters case was being tried in the sala of Judge Tarriela. Held: YES -Sec.14(a) Rule 114 states that : Bail in the amount fixed maybe filed with the court where the case is pending, or in the absence or unavailability of the judge thereof, with another branch of the same court within the province or city -Judge Aguilar violated this rule and had no power to act on the request to release Banite on bail. -The record does not show that at the time Aguilar ordered Banites release, Judge Tarriela was absent or unavailable and could not have acted on said request. -It was also irregular for the judge to entertain the request considering that it did not appear that a formal motion had been filed by the accused to that effect. -He did not even examine the records of the case as he merely signed the Orders allegedly prepared by Olarte. His indifference prevented him from discovering that at the time he ordered the release of Banite, the information had not been properly amended. -The judge is ordered to pay a fine of P2,000 and is admonished to exercise greater care and prudence in the performance of his official duties. 169 IN RE: DEROGATORY NEWS ITEMS FACTS: - State prosecutor Formaran charged Yu Yuk Lai, together with her nephew before the RTC Manila with violation of RA 6425 - Accused of a non-bailable offense, both the accused were held at the detention cell of PNP Narcotics Group in Camp Crame - Yu Yuk Lai filed a petition for bail on the ground that the evidence against her was not strong. Denied! - Upon receiving information that the accused had been playing regularly in the casinos of Heritage Hotel and Holiday Inn Pavilion, Formaran filed an urgent ex-parte motion to transfer the detention of the accused to the city jail. Motion was granted by Judge Laguio - Accused filed a Motion for Inhibition arguing that Laguio do not inspire the belief that its decision would be just and impartial. Laguio inhibited himelf - Case was re-raffled to Branch 53 which was handled by Judge Muro. - Muro granted accused motion to order the confinement of the accused in a hospital for a period not exceeding 7 days. He also granted the extension of medical confinement of the accused for a period of 1 month or until such time that she is fit to be discharged from the hospital - Muro also grnated the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence with motion to admit demurrer to evidence. - Rumors started to circulate that Muro was partial towards the accused
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Also, unidentified employees of the RTC manila calling themselves concerned court employees wrote to the Secretary of Justice alleging that Muro ordered the hospitalization of the accused even if she was not sick and there was already a rumor circulating that Muro had given the go signal to the counsel of the accused to file a motion to quash which would be granted for a consideration of millions of pesos and that the contact person is the daughter of the judge who is an employee in the said branch Formaran filed a motion for inhibition praying that Muro inhibit himself from further handling the case Thereafter, yu Yuk lai was arrested inside the VIP room of the Casino Filipino at the Holiday Inn Pavilion while playing bacarrat unescorted. The motion for inhibition against Muro was submitted for resolution when Formarans secretary informed Formaran that Demetria called and that he wanted to speak to Formaran. Demetria, Go Teng Kok and a close friend friend of Demetria went to the office of Formaran in the DOJ. But even prior to that meeting, Go Teng Kok was already asking Formaran to go easy on Muro and that Formaran has been politely declining the request. But in this meeting, he told them that he would bring the matter to his superior Zuno. When Demetrio heard this, he said:iyon pala, and left the office. Zuno then received a call from Demetrio requesting him to instruct Formaran to withdraw his motion for inhibition aginst Muro so that the judge could already issue an order. Zuno politely replied that he would see what he can do. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Justice Demetria and Go Teng Kok are drug lawyers

ISSUE: - W/N Justice Demetria is guilty HELD: - YES! And is dismissed from service with prejudice to re-employment in any government agency and GOCC with the forfeiture of all retirement benefits except accrued leave credits - The timely call to Zuno was a logical follow up and no one could have made that call except Justice Demetria. - Even the requested help for Go Teng Kok, whom Demetria claims he did not know and met only that time, could not have meant any other assistance but the withdrawal of the motion to inhibit Muro 170 MARTINEZ v GIRONELLA Facts: Martinez was the principal accused in a murder case. Duclan and Bayongan were alleged to be accessories after the fact. Gironella is the Judge of CFI of
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Abra that tried the case. Bayongan was the only one arraigned so trial proceeded only against him. Bayongan was acquitted. Thereafter, Martinez surrendered to the police. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Counsel for Martinez moved that the Gironella inhibit himself on the grounds that Gironella already had a chance to pass upon the issue and has formed an opinion as to who committed the murder. That the judge is no longer fair and impartial. Motion was denied. During the rebuttal stage, this petition for prohibition was filed.

Issue: W/N there should be a new trial for Martinez Held: No. Due process requires that a case be heard by a tribunal that is impartial and disinterested. In this case, there was no proof shown that the judge was unfair and impartial. After the motion for inhibition was denied, petitioner no longer filed a motion for reconsideration. Petitioner no longer took any action until the rebuttal stage. The conclusion that can be inferred is that the trial was fair and impartial. Issue: W/N the judge should inhibit himself from proceeding in the case Held: Yes. A judge has the duty not only to render a just and impartial decision, but also to render it in such a manner as to be free from any suspicion as to its fairness and impartiality and as also to the judges integrity. The statement of the judge in the decision acquitting Bayongan to the effect that the crime was committed by Martinez render it impossible for the judge to be free from suspicion of impartiality. 171 COJUANGCO v PCGG 172 LUQUE v KAYANAN FACTS: Civil Case 4871 was commenced in the CFI of Quezon by Ilao, Enriquezes against Ona, Luque (petitioner herein), Africao, Castillo, and the Baldeos. Ilao etc.,
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

sought to set aside the decision in civil cases 6 and 26 approving the parties compromise agreement which was alledgedly procured thru duress and intimidation. Civil case 4871 was set for trial before Branch I of the CFI of Quezon presided over by Judge Valero. On the date set for hearing, Judge Kayanan first took cognizance of said Civil Case 4871. It was alleged by the Ilaos attorney that he found that civil case 4871 was not included in the calendar of cases scheduled for Branc I and that he found the case in the sala of Judge Kayanan. Defendant Luque (petitioner) was absent therein. Luque alleged that he was at Branch I. Hearings were rescheduled many times. Petitioner lodged a motion to dismiss the case upon the ground of estoppel. The motion was dismissed. Petitioner then moved to disqualify Judge Kayanan. He claimed that the judge doctored the records of the case in that he suppressed the true and genuine proceedings in open court in that the judge did not state that he moved the case to be dismissed. Petitioner was then ordered by Judge Kayanan to explain why he should not be cited for contempt. Petitioners explanations were filed and later on declared by the judge unsatisfactory to warrant his disqualification from trying the case. At a hearing, judge asked Luque to withdraw his pleading moving for the judges disqualification. Luque refused. Judge then verbally ordered a guard to commit petitioner to jail. Petitioner was restrained for 2 hrs. ISSUE: W/n Judge Kayanan should be disqualified W/n Luque a lawyer, should be disciplined HELD: YES. The act of the judge ordering the restraint of Luque; that at one instance judge irately told him I will have you disbarred!; that Judge Kayanan would not give Luque leeway to speak in court, interrupting him and continuing to say things against him in a derisive tone and in a humiliating and abusive manner; that after the judge became tired of talking, the judge told petitioner, who wasn not given the chance to speak fully: that is enough, sit down, and strongly banged the gavel There was also an irregularity in the venue of the case as stated above. Taken all together, respondent judge is ordered to refrain from taking cognizance of the case. 173 HOLD DEPARTURE ORDER Facts:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Issue: Held:

Judge Nartatez issued a Hold Departure Order. It was against Eileen Lope for alleged violations of BP 22. The Secretary of Justice calls attention to the fact that the order in question is contrary to Circular No. 39-97 of the SC, which limits the authority to issue hold departure orders to the RTC in criminal cases within their exclusive jurisdiction. Judge Nartatez admits his mistake, and thus recalls his hold departure order.

W/N Judge Nartatez should be penalized?

The Court Administrator recommended, that the SC reprimand the Judge and remind him to keep himself abreast of SC issuances so as not to commit the same mistake in the future. SC finds this well taken. The Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence. They can live up to this expectation only by diligent effort to keep themselves abreast of the legal and jurisprudential developments. The learning process in law is never ending and ceaseless process.

174 DELGRA v GONZALES Facts: Martin Delgra was the assistant provincial fiscal of Davao. Gonzales was judge of the CFI of Davao. During the trial of a criminal case (entitled People v Suarez), where Delgra was the prosecutor and Gonzales was the presiding judge, an incident occurred which triggered this controversy. It so happened that while a witness was being cross-examined by the defense counsel, confusion arose as to the proper interpretation of the witness statement (since it was in the Cebuano dialect). Delgra objected to the translation (argued that it should be I called Angel instead of I called their names), but the Judge overruled him immediately. Delgra insisted. Judge Gonzales ordered that Fiscal Delgra be brought out of the court and into jail. Delgra was not brough to jail. When the Judge learned of this, he declared Delgra in direct contempt and called on the police for the Fiscals arrest. Issue:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Was the action of Judge Gonzales proper? Held: No. The incident could have been prevented had the Judge listened with care to the Fiscals observation on the allegedly wrong translation of the witness answer. The situation would not have reached grave proportions if the judge only listened carefully to the pleas of the fiscal and patiently allowed the fiscal to make his manifestation. From the transcript of records, Delgra did not so misbehave as to obstruct or interrupt court proceedings. Judge Gonzales abused his discretion in declaring the fiscal in contempt of court. Judges should be temperate and patient, courteous to counsel. They should avoid interrupting advocates in their arguments and shy away from a controversial tone in addressing them. In conversations between judges and counsel, the judge should be studious to avoid controversies. Remember, restraint is a desirable trait in those who dispense justice... right class?! The order adjudging Delgra in direct contempt was nullified. 175 FERNANDEZ v BELLO FACTS TIMOTEA Perreyras through ATTY MANUEL Fernandez, as her counsel, instituted Special Proceedings for her appointment as guardian over her minor brothers Upon her appointment, she petitioned the court for authority to sell a nipa land owned in common by the wards for the purpose of paying outstanding obligations to UMANGAY The request was granted and the nipa land was sold to UMANGAY However, the nipa land sold by the guardian had already been previously sold with right to repurchase to RICARDO Perreyras and UMANGAY by FLORENTINO Perreyras, the father of the guardian and wards The interest of RICARDO and UMANGAY were in turn sold for P200 to ATTY MANUEL and another P200 for services rendered by him JUDGE BELLO issued an order requiring ATTY MANUEL to show cause why he should not be suspended from the practice of law and declared in contempt for having abused his relationship with the guardian and taken money from her without prior approval from the court ATTY MANUEL explained that when he received the P200, he was no longer the attorney of the guardian as at that time, TIMOTEA secured the services of ATTY BRAULIO Fernandez and that he was only paid P50 for his services to the guardian However, the Court found o ATTY MANUEL guilty of contempt because he had taken the amount
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

of P400 from the proceeds of the sale without previous approval from the court and o ATTY MANUELS conduct anomalous for the reason that he instituted the guardianship proceedings only to enable him to collect the unpaid attorneys fees ISSUE HELD W/N ATTY MANUEL SHOULD REFUND THE P200 HE GOT NO, WOULD DEPRIVE HIM OF HIS LAWFUL FEES

RATIO While the reprimand is in order for ATTY MANUELS mistake, the mistake is no sufficient ground for the non-payment of the fees he lawfully earned Duty of the courts is not alone to see that lawyers act in a proper manner but also that they are paid their just and lawful fees JUDGE BELLO justifies his order for return of the P200 on the ground that ATTY MANUEL is below average standard of a lawyer However, the opinion of the judge as to the capacity of the lawyer is NOT the basis of the right to a lawyers fees but rather the contract between the lawyer and his client In the case at bar, P200 is the amount admitted by the guardian TIMOTEA as due ATTY MANUEL ISSUE HELD W/N ATTY MANUELS CONDUCT WAS ANOMALOUS NO, GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDING WAS THE PROPER REMEDY

RATIO Wards were indebted to UMANGAY but they had no money with which to pay the debt thus the only way to settle was to sell the nipa land However, the nipa land could not be sold without the intervention of the guardian Hence, ATTY MANUEL was justified in instituting the guardianship proceedings in order to sell the nipa land, it being the proper remedy ISSUE W/N THE DESIRE OF THE JUDGE TO HAVE PORTIONS OF ATTY MANUELS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION BE STRICKEN OUT FOR EMPLOYING STRONG LANGUAGE SHOULD BE GRANTED NO, JUDGE BELLO STARTED IT

HELD

RATIO JUDGE BELLO used language such as calling the act of ATTY MANUEL anomalous and unbecoming and charging ATTY MANUEL of obtaining his
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

fee through maneuvers of documents from the guardian If any one is to be blamed for the language used by ATTY MANUEL, it is JUDGE BELLO himself who has made insulting remarks in his orders which provoked ATTY MANUEL If a judge desires not be insulted, he should start using temperate language himself he who sows the wind will reap a storm!

176 TE v CA Facts: - Arthur Te civilly married Liliana Choa. They did not live together but occasionally met until Choa gave birth to a girl, which was when Te stopped seeing her. - Choa then found out that Te married another woman (Santillo). - Thus, upon the complaint of Choa, a criminal case was filed against Te for bigamy. - On the other hand, Te filed a case for annulment in the RTC. - Choa also filed administrative complaints against Te and Santillo with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to revoke their engineering licenses on the ground that they committed acts of immorality. - Te filed a demurrer and motion to inhibit (directed at the Judge) in the criminal case. Both were denied. Thus, Te filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. - Te also filed a motion to suspend proceedings in the PRC, which was also denied. Te also filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. - CA consolidated the two petitions and denied both. Issues: - W/n the civil case constituted a prejudicial question to the criminal case and administrative case. - (More Important) W/n the motion to inhibit Judge Peralejo (on the ground of bias and prejudice) in the criminal case should be granted. Held: - SC says that there was no prejudicial question. The validity of the marriage of Te to Choa was considered valid at the time he contracted the marriage with Santillo even is Te alleges that it was void ab initio. This is because jurisprudence at that time say that there has to be a declaration of nullity before a marriage can be considered as void. Without such declaration, the marriage is presumed valid. - SC says that the motion to inhibit should not be granted. The grounds raised by petitioner against Judge Peralejo did not conclusively show that the latter was biased and had prejudged the case. While bias and prejudice have been recognized as valid reasons for the voluntary inhibition of a judge, the rudimentary rule is that the mere suspicion that a judge is partial is not enough. There should be clear and convincing evidence to prove the charge of bias and partiality. The test for determining the propriety of the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

denial of said motion is whether petitioner was deprived a fair and impartial trial.http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2000/nov2000/126746. htm - _edn40 The instances when Judge Peralejo allegedly exhibited antagonism and partiality against petitioner and/or his counsel did not deprive him of a fair and impartial trial. As discussed earlier, the denial by the judge of petitioners motion to suspend the criminal proceeding and the demurrer to evidence are in accord with law and jurisprudence. Neither was there anything unreasonable in the requirement that petitioners counsel submit a medical certificate to support his claim that he suffered an accident which rendered him unprepared for trial. Such requirement was evidently imposed upon petitioners counsel to ensure that the resolution of the case was not hampered by unnecessary and unjustified delays, in keeping with the judges duty to disposing of the courts business promptly. 177 MANTARING v ROMAN Facts: Mantaring filed an administrative complaint against Judge Roman charging the latter of conduct unbecoming of members of the judiciary. Thereafter, Judge Roman issued a warrant of arrest against Mantaring and his son. The Judge alleges that the warrant was issued against Gamo and it just so happened that the place where the illegal firearms were seized was owned by Mantaring; hence, Mantaring and his son were arrested for they were in constructive possession of the illegal firearms. Mantaring now comes before this court alleging that it was improper for the Judge to take cognizance of the application of the arrest warrant. According to Mantaring, the Judge should have inhibited himself for there was a pending administrative case which involved him and Mantaring. Mantaring claims that the judge issued the warrant of arrest as a form of revenge against Mantaring and his son for filing the administrative case. Issue: W/N the judge should have inhibited himself from taking cognizance of the application for the warrant of arrest. Held: Yes, the judge should have inhibited himself. For the judge's failure to inhibit, he is reprimanded and warned that commission of the same act shall be severely dealt with in the future. It is true that the court had consistently held that mere filing of an administrative complaint against a judge does not constitute a ground for the disqualification of the judge. However, the factual milieu of these cases is different from the case at hand. In those cases, the administrative complaint was filed during the pendency of the criminal case. In the case at hand, however, the admiinistrative
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

complaint was filed before the involvement of the judge in the criminal case against Mantaring. It cannot be otherwise concluded that the judge's action in this case was dictated by a spirit of revenge against Mantaring for having filed the administrative complaint. This circumstance should have underscored for the judge the need of steering clear of the case because he might be perceived to be suceptible to bias and partiality. 178 HECK v SANTOS Facts: -In a previous case entitled Flor v. Heck which was lodged at the Regional Trial Court, defendants therein, including Heck, filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the RTC has no jurisdiction since the case involved an intra-corporate matter which was within the jurisdiction of the SEC. -The motion was denied by Judge Santos. -Counsel for therein defendants, Atty. Jardin, subsequently filed a motion to withdraw as counsel which was granted by Santos, who reset the hearing date from April 1 to June 10. -As the defendants never received a copy of the order granting Jardins motion to withdraw, neither defendants nor their counsel appeared at the hearing on June 10. -At the said hearing, Santos admitted the evidence of the plaintiff and considered the defendants as having waived their right to present evidence. -The judge then authorized the counsel for the plaintiffs, Atty.Singson, to draft the decision. The defendants did not receive a copy of such order. -In October, Santos rendered a decision which was copied verbatim from the draft decision submitted by Atty. Singson. Issue: W/N Judge Santos act of ordering the counsel for one of the parties to draft a decision warrants disciplinary sanction. Held:YES. -Santos violated Canons 2* and 3** of the Code of Judicial Conduct, and Section 1 Rule 36 (A judgment or final order determining the merits of the case shall be in writing, personally and directly prepared by the judge) of the Revised Rules of Court. -By such order, the judge abdicated a function exclusively granted to him by the Constitution. Decision making is the most important duty of a judge. He must use his own perceptiveness in analyzing the evidence before him and his own discretion in determining the proper action. -Lack of malice or bad faith in issuing the questioned order is not an excuse. -Such act falls under the classification of a serious charge. The sanctions provided by Rule 140 Sec.10 are 1) disbarment 2) suspension for 3 mos, or 3) fine P20,000 40,000. -Since Santos had already retired, his dismissal or suspension is no longer feasible. He is thus ordered to pay a fine of P20,000 to be deducted from his
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

retirement benefits. *A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities. **A judge should perform official duties honestly, and with impartiality and diligence adjudicative responsibilities. 179 AVANCEA v JUDGE LIWANAG FACTS: - Avancena charged judge Liwanag of the MTC of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. - Avancena is the accused in a criminal case for violation of BP 22 - Her counsel filed a Motion to Postpone promulgation and to Re-Open Trial to Allow Accused to Present Further Evidence but the judge denied the motion on the ground that she was able represented by her counsel during the trial of the case - Prior to the dismissal of her motion, Liwanag summoned Avancena to his chamber and told her that she will be convicted unless she pay P1M. - Avancena refused to pay since her unpaid balance was only P140,000 and there is no reason for her to pay P1M - Liwanag summoned Avancena again and told her to raise only P500,000 if she could not afford the P1M - Also, Liwanag sent Raymunda Flores a common friend of Avancena and Liwanag who was tasked to bring Avancena to the chambers of Liwanag but Avancena refused - Liwanag also made Cora Espanola, a court interpreter, to telephone Avancena and tell her that the Judge is waiting for her until 4:30pm - Judge Liwanag denied the allegations of Avancena and argued that all the contentions of Avancena are lies and fabricated. - The case was referred to Executive Judge Herrera of the RTC Malolos, Bulacan for investigation, report and recommendation - Judge Herrera gave more weight to the testimonies of Avancena and concluded that the charges against Liwanag are true. But he did not recommend a specific penalty to be meted out to respondent ISSUE: - W/N Liwanag is guilty HELD: - YES! And Judge Liwanag is dismissed from service with prejudice to reemployment in any government agency and GOCC with the forfeiture of all retirement benefits except accrued leave credits - The period of almost 4 months which elapsed form May 7, 1999, the date originally set for the promulgation of the decision of the criminal case and August 27,1999, the date it was actually promulgated indicates a deliberate
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

effort on the part of the Judge to delay the promulgation of the decision in order to give complainant more time to raise the money demanded by him 180 CITY OF TAGBILARAN v HONTANOSAS Facts: City of Tagbilaran is charging Judge Hontanosas with (1) open defiance of a higher court ordering his inhibition from a case and (2) open and notorious habitual gambling in casinos. 1st charge: o RTC ordered MTC Judge Hontanosas to inhibit himself from a criminal case filed by the city against Ong. o Hontanosas forced the fiscal to rest its case and rendered a judgment of acquittal despite the order for him to inhibit 2nd charge: o Hontanosas goes to Cebu on the afternoon and goes back to Tagbilaran early the next day in order to go to the casinos in Cebu o Every Sunday, Hontanosas can be seen around cockpits o That a favorable judgment can be bought from Hontanosas with prices ranging from P500 P5K Hontanosas answer to 1st charge: o The order of the RTC was unlawful due to lack of hearing and failure to include the real parties in interest o Order was issued in connection with a petition for certiorari which is a prohibited pleading in cases covered by rules on summary procedure Hontanosas answer to 2nd charge: o He is merely accompanying his wife to Cebu. That his wife just wants some excitement and recreation. o He admits that he goes to the cockpits on Sundays and holidays and gambles sometimes on this occasions. Issue: W/N Hontanosas should be sanctioned for disobeying the order that he inhibit himself Held: No. The order was merely mandatory. Rules of Court provide instances when a judge is under obligation to inhibit himself from hearing a case. The judges case does not fall under any of those mentioned in the provision. His case falls under the 2nd paragraph which leaves it to his discretion whether or not to inhibit himself. Issue:
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

W/N Hontanosas should be sanctioned for gambling in casinos and cockpits

Held: Yes. Fine of P12K for violation of Circular No. 4 of August 1980. That circular prohibits actual gambling and mere presence in gambling casinos. Bases for the circular was PD 1067-B and Par. 3 and 22 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. 181 RE: APPOINTMENT OF JUDGE CUBE FACTS:- Judge Cube was appointed Presiding Judge of MTC, Branch 22 of Manila. Information was received by the Judicial and Bar Council that he had previously been dismissed as Asst. Fiscal of Pasay City. It was bourne out of the records that an administrative case for gross misconduct and dereliction of duty was filed against Fiscal Cube by Sec of Justice Jose Abad Santos for failure to prosecute a criminal case which led to its dismissal with prejudice. Fiscal Cube was found guilty as charged. - Cube applied for appointment to the Judiciary and in the Personal Data Sheet that he was required to accomplish he deliberately concealed the fact that he was dismissed. He contended that he didnt act dishonestly in not disclosing such fact because his removal from office was WITHOUT PREJUDICE which legally meant that he can still be recalled by the govt to render public service, and that he was in fact RECALLED AND APPOINTED to sensitive positions in the govt prior to the questioned appointment and that he was even allowed by the same govt to avail of the Optional Retirement under RA 1145. ISSUE: WoN Judge Cube acted dishonestly? HELD: YES1.Judge Cube did not disclose the relevant fact that he had been dismissed for gross misconduct in the discharge of his duties as ASst FIscal of Pasay. That fact was deliberately suppressed. Judge Cube could not equate his dismissal with retirement and give both modes of separation an innocent character. By such disclosure, the Council was led to believe, on the strength of his misrepresentations, that he had a clean record and was not disqualified from appointment to the Judiciary 2. The circumstance that the dismissal was without prejudice is not material, and neither is his subsequent appointment to a municipal position. The fact remains that he was REMOVED and that he DID NOT RETIRE. He was removed after investigation and found guilty of gross misconduct and dereliction of duty in the prosecution of a smuggling case. He cannot now brush his removal aside as if it had never existed at all. It is a blot on his record that has spread even more because of his concealment of it. 3. Judge Cube committed an act of dishonesty that rendered him unfit to be appointed to, and to remain now in, the Judiciary he has tarnished with his
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

falsehood. 182 ALFONSO v JUANSON FACTS: Complainant a doctor of medicine by profession filed with this court a sworn complaint charging the respondent with immorality and violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics. He accuses the respondent of maintaining illicit sexual relations with his wife Sol Alfonso. Complainant received a phone call from the wife of the respondent, Mrs. Juanson who informed him that Sol and respondent judge have been carrying on an affair and that she has in her possession the love letters of Sol which she wants to show to the complainant. When he told this to Sol, she denied it. Sol and complainant left for the USA. Sol returned ahead of complainant. Mrs. Juansosn called up father of complainant and divulged to the latter the illicit affair between respondent judge and Sol. The father of complainant engaged the services of a private investigator who discovered that Sol, after arrival from USA met with respondent judge at an apartment and stayed there for 3 hours. Complainant upon knowing this, complainant confronted Sol. At first she denied it but later, however, admitted having an illicit sexual affair with the judge. Respondent judge denied the allegations and claimed that they have been communicating with each other casually and innocently and not as lovers. He alleges that he came to know of Sol when Sol engaged his professional services prior to appointment to the office of RTC judge. ISSUE: Is the judge guilty of the charge of immorality? HELD: NO. It must be stressed that the respondent is not charged with immorality or misconduct committed before he was appointed to the judiciary. As to the postappointment period, we find the evidence for the complainant insufficient to prove that the respondent and Sol continued their extramarital affair. In fact, no love notes were presented during trial that are dated after the appointment. Proof of prior immoral conduct cannot be a basis for his administrative discipline in this case. The respondent judge may have undergone moral reformation after his appointment. The imputation of the sexual acts upon the incumbent must be proven by substantial evidence, which is required in admin cases. This the complainant failed to do.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

However, judge should be held liable for becoming indiscreet. Such indiscretions indubitably cast upon his conduct an appearance of impropriety. Respondent and Sols meetings could incite suspicion of either the relationships continuance or revival. He violated Canons 3 and 2 requiring judges official conduct to be free from appearance of impropriety. Sentence to fine of P2,000. 183 MACALINTAL v TEH Facts: Atty. Romulo Macalintal filed a case against Judge Angelito Teh, the Executive Judge and the Presiding Judge of the RTC Branch 87 of Rosario Batangas. His case stemmed from Atty. Macs Election case. In that case, Atty. Mac received an adverse resolution from the Judge Teh. Mac then questioned the resolution, via a petition for Certiorari with the Comelec. While the case was pending with the Comelec, Judge Teh actively participated in the proceedings by filing his comment on the petition, and by also filing an urgent manifestation. Mac filed a motion for inhibition, but what Judge Teh did was to hire his own lawyer and files his answer before his OWN court. Teh ordered that Mac pay P100T in attorneys fees and litigation expenses. Issue: W/N Judge Tehs actions were correct. Held: No. Judge Teh was found guilty of gross ignorance of the law, and he is dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all benefits and with prejudice for reemployment. The active participation of Teh being merely a NOMINAL or FORMAL party in the certiorari proceedings is not called for. Judges cannot also act as both party litigant and as a judge before his own court. Tehs gross deviation from the acceptable norm for judges is clearly manifest. 184 ZIGA v AREJOLA Facts: Nelia Ziga and Ramon Arejola are two of the heirs of Fabian Arejola. They inherited a land from Fabiana and became co-owners (with 8 others) of the
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

property. Ramon Arejola was an attorney in the Public Attorneys Office (PAO). He filed in behalf of his co-heirs an application for registration of title of the land. The petition was granted. A substantial portion of the lot was sold to the City of Naga. The unsold portion was subject to a dispute between the heirs and a 3rd party. Meanwhile, Ramon Arejola was appointed judge of the MTC of Daet, Camarines Norte. Notwithstanding such appointment, Judge Arejola continued to appear in the Land registration case (the dispute with the 3rd person). The court requested him to submit a written authority from the SC to appear as counsel. He did not comply. A second request was made but Judge Arejola insists that it is not needed. Then Judge Arejola wrote the City of Naga for the terms of payment for the sale of the land and his claim for contingent atty fees. Now, Nelia Ziga filed a complaint praying that Judge Arejola be disciplined for appearing before the court without the SCs permission and for asking contingent attys fees and commission. Judge Arejolas defense was that there was no need for the SCs permission, as he was appearing as representative of the heirs and not as counsel. He argues that he was a party-in-interest being one of the heirs. He also said that the complaint was filed merely to harass him and that complainant Ziga had a disturbed mind. The executive judge of the RTC found the charge of unauthorized legal practice to be without basis. The Office of the Court Administrator recommended that Judge Arejola be found guilty.

Issue: Was Judge Arejola guilty of violating the Code of Judicial Conduct by engaging in the unauthorized practice of law? Held: Yes and FINED 10,000. Practice of law is not confined to appearance in court as it also covers the preparation of pleadings and giving of advice to clients. Based on the records, Ramon Arejola engaged in the practice of law after he was appointed MTC Judge (And even if the complaint was filed before he became judge, the fact that he continued to act as counsel after the appointment sustains his liability). It was shown that he: prepared and signed pleadings; appeared for applicants in the case; wrote a letter to the buyer asking for checks and attys fees; etc. The representation made by Arejola was not just isolated as there was a succession of acts. His argument that he appeared as co-heir was belied by the tenor of the pleadings and letters showing that he was acting in representation of the heirs. Judge Arejola violated the Rules of Court and Code of Judicial Conduct which
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

prohibits members of the bench from engaging in the private practice of law. Note that the purpose of the prohibition is founded public policythat is to ensure that judges give their full time and attention to judicial duties and prevent them from advancing private interests. The Civil Service Rules require him to secure a written permission to appear as counsel from the SC. Judge Arejola was even requested by the RTC to procure this written authority. But he did not comply. It appeared from the records that he tried to get a written authority later on. But when he was told by the Court Administrator to provide the details of the case in which he is appearing, he failed to comply. Nevertheless, his act of trying to procure authority was an admission that he was appearing as counsel and that he was aware that he is required to present such before the court. *side issue: Judge Arejola argues that he was not afforded due process as there was no hearing conducted by the Executive Judge. But due process does not require a hearing. Opportunity to be heard is sufficient. In this case, he was given ample opportunity to be heard when he was made to file oral arguments through pleadings. 185 OCA v SARDIDO FACTS In a Deed of Absolute Sale, MAGBANUA allegedly sold 2 parcels of land to DAVAO REALTY represented by ONG with PAGUNSAN as broker Judge HURTADO , who at that time was clerk of court and ex officio notary public but now an RTC judge, notarized the said deed However, MAGBANUA denies signing the Deed of Absolute Sale which states that the consideration for the sale was P600,000 and asserts that what she signed was a deed with a stated consideration of P16,000,000 MABGUNUA filed a case of falsification against PAGUNSAN, ONG and Judge HURTADO The case was raffled to JUDGE SARDIDO then presiding MTC judge Judge HURTADO filed a motion praying that the criminal complaint against him be forwarded to the SC pursuant to Circular # 3-89 requiring all cases involving justices and judges of the lower courts, whether or not such complaints deal with acts apparently unrelated to the discharge of their duties, forwarded to the SC Provincial Prosecutor opposed arguing that Judge HURTADO is not within the scope of Circular # 3-89 because the offense charged was committed when he was still a clerk of court and ex officio notary public JUDGE SARDIDO issued an Order excluding Judge HURTADO from the criminal Information filed by MAGBANUA on the ground that Circular # 3-89 does not qualify whether the crime was committed before or during his tenure of office and since the law does not qualify, he must not qualify
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

(this Court cannot and shall not try this case against JUDGE HURTADO unless the Supreme Court shall order otherwise) Court Administrator BENIPAYO issued a Memorandum pointing out that Circular # 3-89 refers only to administrative complaints filed with the IBP against justices and judges of lower courts and does not apply to criminal cases before trial courts Court asked JUDGE SARDIDO to explain in writing why he should not be held liable for gross ignorance of the law for excluding Judge HURTADO from the Information filed by MAGBANUA W/N JUDGE SARDIDO COMMITTED GROSS IGNORANCE OF THE LAW YES

ISSUE HELD

RATIO Under Circular #3-89, the Court has directed the IBP to refer to the SC for appropriate action all administrative cases filed with the IBP against justices of appellate courts and judges of lower courts Thus, Circular # 3-89 does NOT refer to criminal cases against erring justices and judges so trial courts retain jurisdiction over the criminal aspect of the offenses committed In the case at bar, the case filed against Judge HURTADO is not an administrative case filed with the IBP but a criminal case filed with the trial court Eto na ang mga pangaral ni lola basyang A judge is a called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statues and procedural rules such that he must be conversant with basic legal principles and well-settled doctrine JUDGE SARDIDO failed in this regard when he excluded Judge HURTADO as one of the accused in the Information and instead forwarded the criminal case to the Supreme Court Moreover, in a number of cases, JUDGE SARDIDO was reprimanded, fined and even dismissed from service With an unflattering service record, JUDGE SARDIDO eroded the peoples faith and confidence in the judiciary The Court still imposes a fine of P10,000 for gross ignorance of the law despite his dismissal from the service 186 CASTILLO v CALANOG Facts: - In a sworn complaint filed with the SC, Emma Castillo charged Judge Manuel
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

Calanog, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 76, with immorality and conduct unbecoming of a public official. Castillo alleges that when she intervened for the intestate estate of her deceased husband, a friend of hers referred her to Calanog who was supposedly going to help her. Castillo also alleges that when she met with Calanog, the latter brought her to a motel and made sexual advances on her. When she refused, she says that Calanog offered to her the proposition that he be her sub-husband and that he would give Castillo his condominium unit in QC as well as provide financial support for her two minor children and place them in an exclusive school for girls. Castillo agreed to such a proposition. Their relationship also bore a son, who was allegedly named Jerome Christopher Calanog. Castillo is now complaining that Calanog has reneged on his promise. She says that Calanog is not anymore giving support, that her two children are not in an exclusive girls school and that Calanog has failed to pay the monthly installments on the condominium. While the complaint was being investigated on, Castillo filed an affidavit of desistance with the SC. She was saying that everything in the complaint were all lies. However, the Court had two witnesses (Ernesto Bustamante and Jose Javier) attesting to her earlier complaint. Plus, the National Bureau of Investigation Intelligence Service, upon the instruction of the Court, carried out a discreet verification of the facts raised in the testimonies and found them to be true.

Issue: - W/n Calanog should be held liable despite the desistance of the complainant, Castillo. Held: - SC says YES and Calanog is dismissed from the roll of judges. - Generally, the Court attaches no persuasive value to affidavits of desistance, especially when executed as an afterthought, as in the case at bar. Even if Emma Castillo had not filed her "Affidavit of Desistance," the SC says that they would not have been swayed solely by her allegations, and they actually found from the testimony of Jose Javier that the Castillo's charges, indeed, rest on sufficient grounds. - It is of no import that the evidence on record is not sufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt the facts of concubinage having indeed existed and been committed. This is not a criminal case for concubinage but an administrative matter that invokes the power of supervision of this Court over the members of the judiciary. - The Code of Judicial Ethics mandates that the conduct of a judge must be free of a whiff of impropriety not only with respect to his performance of his judicial duties, but also to his behavior outside his sala and as a private individual. - It is worth noting here that the respondent judge, in violating a judicial precept, has also committed a grave injustice upon the complainant, who had sought his assistance in expediting the intestate estate proceedings of
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

her deceased common-law husband. The judge, who was in the first place, prohibited by the Code of Judicial Conduct from intervening in a case in any court, took advantage of the complainant's helplessness and state of material deprivation and persuaded her to become his mistress. The exploitation of women becomes even more reprehensible when the offender commits the injustice by the brute force of his position of power and authority, as in this case. Gutierrez, Dissent: - He is mainly saying that Calanog should not be held solely liable and that the penalty of dismissal is too harsh. - He believes that Castillo is a liberated woman who was, at that time, willing to enter into the sexual relationship for the perks it included. - He is also saying that Castillo and Calanog are both offenders and victims. Thus, he thinks that the dismissal of Calanog is too severe, considering the situation. 187 DIONISIO v ESCANO Facts: Dionisio filed a complaint against Judge Escano charging the Judge of illegally using court facilities in advertising the hiring of attractive waitresses and personable waiters and cooks in the restaurant of the judge. Admissions to the effect that he was hiring the waitresses for his pub that will cater to the prurient desires of males was acquired through the help of the program "Hoy Gising." The judge, in his comment, said that he was only establishing a restaurant -- some sort of watering hole for friends. The judge said that the reason he posted the ad at the Court Bulletin Board was due to the fact that conducting the interviews in his office in the court will be more convenient for him. (He says that his house is too far from the gate and difficult for the applicants to locate.) The judge further alleges that he immediately ordered the removal of the ads when he learned of the displeasure of some people regarding his use of the Court Bulletin Board. The Investgating Justice of the CA who hadled the case recommended that the judge be fined in the amount of 15,000 for the misuse of the court facilities. Issue: W/N the Judge is guilty of misuse of court facilities. Held: Yes, the judge is guilty of misuse. Suspended for 6 months with a warning. It is of no import that the judge's act of using court facilities be motivated by good cause, no matter how honorable. The moment such act deviates from purposes not directly related to the functioning and operation for which the courts of justice have been established, it must be immediately rectified. Judges are not only to avoid impropriety, but
Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C

LEGAL ETHICS

2nd Sem 2005-2006

must also avoid the appearance of impropriety. His act of posting the ads at the Court Bulletin Board tend to corrode the respect and dignity of the courts as the bastion of justice because there occured an interference in the judicial duties of Judge Escano by reason of his own business interests.

Anastacio, Beron, Calinisan, Fernandez, Gana Lopez, Mendiola, Morada, Rivas, Sarenas 2C