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LEGAL ETHICS

I. THE LEGAL PROFESSION (2) Compensation - his professional


services are available to the public for
compensation, as a service of his livelihood
A. Supervision and Control
or in consideration of his said services.
Regulated by the Supreme Court and NOT the (3) Application of law, legal principles,
PRC. practice, or procedure - calls for legal
knowledge, training and experience.
Const art. VIII, sec. 5(5).
The SC shall have the following powers: (4) Attorney-client relationship- hence,
(5) Promulgate rules concerning practice and teaching law or writing law books are not
procedure in all courts, the admission into the considered as practice of law.
practice of law, the Integrated Bar.
II. REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE
Const art. XII, sec. 14. PRACTICE OF LAW
The practice of all professions in the Phils.
shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in
cases prescribed by law. QUICK REFERENCE (In Sequence):
1. Citizenship
The power to integrate the Philippine bar is 2. Residence
given to the SC by the Constitution. (In the 3. Age (21 yrs +)
Matter of the IBP (1973)) 4. Good Moral Character
5. Education
RA 972, or the Bar Flunkers Act of 1953, was 6. Bar Examinations
declared partially unconstitutional as it 7. Lawyers Oath
encroached upon the powers granted by the
Constitution to the SC in determining the
admission of bar examinees to the bar by
usurping such power through a legislative act. KNOW MORE:
(In Re: Cunanan (1954))
I. Citizenship

B. The Practice of Law The practice of all professions in the Philippines


shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of cases prescribed by law. (Const. art. XII, sec.
court, which requires the application of law, 14.)
legal procedure, knowledge, training and
experience. It is to give notice or render any Every applicant for admission as a member of
kind of service, which device or service requires the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines
the use in any degree of legal knowledge or (Rule 138, sec. 2)
skill. (Cayetano v. Monsod, 201 SCRA 210
(1991))1 A Filipino citizen admitted to the Phil Bar must
o Padilla, Dissenting maintain such citizenship to remain qualified
Practice of law means to exercise or for the practice of law in this country (In Re
pursue an employment or profession, Arthur Castillo Reyes, (1993))2
actively, habitually, repeatedly or
customarily. There must be continuity or a
succession of acts. II. Residence
Several factors enumerated by the
Commission on Appointments to determine Requirements for all applicants for admission to
practice of law: the bar -- be a resident of the Philippines
(Rule 138, sec. 2)
(1) Habituality - customarily or frequently
holding ones self out to the public as a III. Age: At least 21yrs old
lawyer
Requirements for all applicants for admission to
1 the bar -- be at least twenty-one years of
FACTS: Monsod after passing the bar, worked in his fathers
firm for one year, then worked as an operations officer in the age(Rule 138, sec. 2)
World Bank Group. He also worked with the Meralco Group upon
his return to the Philippines, and then became chief executive IV. Good Moral Character
officer of an investment bank, legal and economic consultant of
various companies, National Chairman of NAMFREL, member of Requirements for all applicants for admission to
the 1986 Constitutional Commission, and then became a
the bar -- must be of good moral character
member of the Davide Commission.
and must produce before the Supreme Court
Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of satisfactory evidence of good moral character,
the term practice of law, particularly the modern concept of and that no charges against him, involving
law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal
construction intended by the framers of the Constitution, Atty. 2
Monsods past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a FACTS: Petitioner graduated from UP College of Law in 1939;
lawyer-manager, lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer- passed the bar in 1939; inducted to and served in the US Armed
negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator verily more than Forces in the Far East during WWII and thus became eligible for
satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been citizenship under the 1990 US Immigration Act; became a
engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years. naturalized citizen of the US in 1993. His name was struck from
the Roll of Attorneys. Only Filipino citizens may practice law in
the Philippines. This requirement is prescribed by the
Constitution, XII 14, and the ROC, 2 Rule 138.

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LEGAL ETHICS

moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending Additional Requirements for other applicants.
in any court in the Philippines. (Rule 138, sec. All applicants for admissionshall, before being
2) admitted to the examination, satisfactorily
show that they have regularly studied law for
No definition and criteria in law for good moral four years, and successfully complete all
character (Agpalo) prescribed courses, in a law school or
university, officially approved and recognized
Justice Felix Frankfurter: moral character = by the Sec. of Education. The affidavit of the
qualities of truth-speaking, a high sense of candidate, accompanied by a certificate from
honor, full candor, intellectual honesty, and the the university or school of law, shall be filed as
strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility evidence of such facts, and further evidence
may be required by the court.
Good moral character is the absence of a
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar
proven conduct or act which has been
examinations unless he has satisfactorily
historically and traditionally considered as a
completed the following course in a law school
manifestation of moral turpitude. The act or
or university duly recognized by the
conduct showing moral turpitude need not
government: civil law, commercial law,
amount to a crime; and even if it does
remedial law, criminal law, public and private
constitute an offense, a conviction upon a
international law, political law, labor and social
criminal charge is not necessary to
legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and
demonstrate bad moral character although it
legal ethics. (Rule 138, sec. 5)
may show moral depravity.

Question of moral turpitude is for SC to decide. Graduates of foreign law schools shall not be
Which is why applicants are required to disclose allowed to take the bar examinations since they
any crime which they have been charged. cannot present the certifications required
Concealment or withholding from the court under sections 5 and 6 of Rule 138 (Re:
information about charges and indictments is a Application of Adriano M. Hernandez,
ground for disqualification of applicant or for (1993))
revocation of license. Even if the crime
concealed does not involve moral turpitude, the
act of concealment makes him/her unfit to be a VI. Bar Examinations
lawyer. (Agpalo)
Time for filing proof of qualifications.all
Applicant assumes burden of proof to establish applicants for admission shall file with the clerk
qualifications in asking admission. But after of the Supreme Court the evidence required by
having presented prima facie evidence, burden section 2 of this rule at least 15 days before
to overcome the prima facie showing shifts to the beginning of the examination. If not
those objecting his/her admission. (Agpalo) embraced within sections 3 and 4 of this rule
they shall also file within the same period the
An applicant must show that no charges affidavit and certificate required by section 5,
against him involving moral turpitude, have and if embraced within sections 3 and 4 they
been filed or pending in court in the Philippines. shall exhibit a license evidencing the fact of
The concealment or withholding from the court their admission to practice, satisfactory
of the fact that an applicant has been charged evidence that the same has not been revoked,
with or indicted for an alleged crime is a ground and certificates as to their professional
for disqualification (Agpalo) standing. Applicants shall also file at the same
time their own affidavits as to their age,
V. Legal Education residence, and citizenship. (Rule 138, Sec. 7)

A. Pre-Law Notice of applications.Notice of applications


for admission shall be published by the clerk of
Pre-Law.No applicant for admission to the bar the Supreme Court in newspapers published in
examination shall be admitted unless he Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least 10
present a certificate that he has satisfied the days before the beginning of the examination.
Sec. of Education that, he began the study of (Rule 138, sec. 8)
law, he had pursued and satisfactorily complete
in an authorized and recognized university or Examination; subjects.Applicants, not
college, requiring for admission thereto the otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of
completion of a four-year high school course, this rule, shall be subjected to examinations in
the course of study prescribed therein for a the following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and
bachelors degree in arts or sciences with any Social Legislation; Mercantile Law; Criminal
of the following subjects as major or field of Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public
concentration: political science, logic, English, Corporations, and Public Officers); International
Spanish, History and Economics. (Rule 138, Law (Private and Public); Taxation; Remedial
sec. 6.) Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and
Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises
A college degree must first be obtained before (in Pleading and Conveyancing). (Rule 138,
studying law. Otherwise, one will not be sec. 9)
qualified to take the bar examinations. (In re
Telesforo Diao (1963)) Bar examination, by questions and answers,
and in writing.Persons taking the examination
B. Law Proper shall not bring papers, books or notes into the
examination rooms. The questions shall be the

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same for all examinees and a copy thereof, in Remedial Law, 20 %; Legal Ethics and Practical
English or Spanish, shall be given to each Exercises, 5 %. (Rule 138, Sec. 14)
examinee. Examinees shall answer the
questions personally without help from anyone. Report of the committee; filing of examination
Upon verified application made by an examinee papers.Not later than February 15th after the
stating that his penmanship is so poor that it examination, or as soon thereafter as may be
will be difficult to read his answers without practicable, the committee shall file its reports
much loss of time, the Supreme Court may on the result of such examination. The
allow such examinee to use a typewriter in examination papers and notes of the committee
answering the questions. Only noiseless shall be fixed with the clerk and may there be
typewriters shall be allowed to be used. examined by the parties in interest, after the
The committee of bar examiners shall take court has approved the report. (Rule 138, sec.
such precautions as are necessary to prevent 15)
the substitution of papers or commission of
other frauds. Examinees shall not place their Failing candidates to take review course.
names on the examination papers. No oral Candidates who have failed the bar
examination shall be given. (Rule 138, sec. examinations for three times shall be
10) disqualified from taking another examination
unless they show to the satisfaction of the
Annual examination.Examinations for court that they have enrolled in and passed
admission to the bar of the Philippines shall regular fourth year review classes as well as
take place annually in the City of Manila. They attended a pre-bar review course in a
shall be held in four days to be designated by recognized law school.
the chairman of the committee on bar The professors of the individual review subjects
examiners. The subjects shall be distributed as attended by the candidates under this rule shall
follows: certify under oath that the candidates have
1st day: Political and International regularly attended classes and passed the
Law (morning) and subjects under the same conditions as ordinary
Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon); students and the ratings obtained by them in
2nd day: Civil Law (morning) and the particular subject. (Rule 138, Sec. 16)
Taxation (afternoon);
3rd day: Mercantile Law (morning) and Beginning 1994, graduates of foreign law
Criminal Law (afternoon); schools will not be allowed to take the bar (In
4th day: Remedial Law (morning) and Re: Adriano Hernandez (1993))
Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises
(afternoon). (Rule 138, sec. 11.)
VII. Lawyers Oath (MEMORIZE!!!)
Committee of examiners. Examinations shall
be conducted by a committee of bar examiners I _____ , do solemnly swear that I will
to be appointed by the Supreme Court. This maintain allegiance to the RP:
committee shall be composed of a Justice of
the Supreme Court, who shall act as chairman, I will support and defend its Constitution and
and who shall be designated by the court to obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the
serve for one year, and eight members of the duly constituted authorities therein;
bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for
a period of one year. The names of the I will do no falsehood nor consent to its
members of this committee shall be published commission;
in each volume of the official reports. (Rule
138, Sec. 12.) I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue
any groundless, false or unlawful suit nor give
Disciplinary measures.No candidate shall aid nor consent to the same;
endeavor to influence any member of the
committee, and during examination the I will not delay any mans cause for money or
candidates shall not communicate with each malice and will conduct myself as a lawyer
other nor shall they give or receive any according to the best of my knowledge and
assistance. The candidate who violates this discretion with all good fidelity as well to the
provision, or any other provision of this rule, court as to my clients; and
shall be barred from the examination, and the
same to count as a failure against him, and I will impose upon myself this obligation
further disciplinary action, including permanent voluntarily, without any mental reservation or
disqualification, may be taken in the discretion purpose of evasion.
of the court. (Rule 138, Sec. 13)
So help me God.
Passing average.In order that a candidate
may be deemed to have passed his The lawyers oath is not a mere ceremony or
examinations successfully, he must have formality for practicing law. Every lawyer
obtained a general average of 75 % in all should at all times weigh his actions according
subjects, without falling below 50 % in any to the sworn promises he makes when taking
subject. In determining the average, the the lawyers oath. If all lawyers conducted
subjects in the examination shall be given the themselves strictly according to the lawyers
following relative weights: Civil Law, 15 %; oath and the Code of Professional
Labor and Social Legislation, 10 %; Mercantile responsibility, the administration of justice will
Law, 15 %; Criminal Law; 10 %; Political and undoubtedly fairer, faster and easier for
International Law, 15 %; Taxation, 10 %;

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everyone concerned. (In Re: Argosino, 270 2. Agent


SCRA 26)
Notes from Agpalo:
By taking the lawyers oath, a lawyer becomes
the guardian of truth and the rule of law and an o Metropolitan/ Municipal Trial Court: one
indispensable instrument in the fair and may be represented by an agent: In
impartial administration of justice. such cases, no attorney-client
Good moral character includes at least common relationship exists; not habitual;
honesty. Deception and other fraudulent acts locality where licensed member of bar
are not merely unacceptable practices that are is not available; person/resident of
disgraceful and dishonorable, they reveal a good repute for probity and ability to
basic moral flaw. (Olbes vs. Deciembre, 457 aid defendant; NOT IN ANY OTHER
SCRA 341) COURT
o Supreme Court can validly authorise a
layman to represent litigant in court
WHO ELSE MAY PRACTICE LAW?
o Question: Can legislature can permit by
law a layman to appear on anothers
behalf in court or administrative
General Rule: Only Members of the Bar tribunals. Yes, in cadastral courts,
NLRC ok; otherwise NO
Who may practice law.Any person heretofore o 3 limitations:
duly admitted as a member of the bar, or layman should confine work
hereafter admitted as such in accordance with to non-adversarial
the provisions of this rule, and who is in good contentions
and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. not habitually rendered
(Rule 138, Sec 1.) not charge for payment

3 EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE: 3. Litigation by Party

1. Law Students By whom litigation conducted.In the


court of a justice of the peace (now, MTC)
Law Student Practice Rule a party may conduct his litigation in
person, with the aid of an agent or friend
o Qualifications of students who may appear appointed by him for that purpose, or with
in court: the aid of an attorney. In any other court,
a party may conduct his litigation
1. Must have completed the 3rd year of a personally or by aid of an attorney, and
prescribed regular 4-year curriculum (Rule his appearance must be either personal or
138-A, Sec.1); by a duly authorized member of the bar.
2. Must be enrolled in a recognized law (Rule 138, Sec. 34)
schools legal education program approved
by the Supreme Court, without Notes from Agpalo:
compensation in any civil, criminal or
administrative case before any trial court, o In a democratic and civilized country
tribunal, board or officer, to represent where the rights of a person are
indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic determined in accordance with
of the law school (Rule 138-A, Sec.1); established rules, the employment of a
3. Must be under the direct supervision and person acquainted with those rules
control of a member of the IBP duly becomes a necessity both to the
accredited by the law school. Any and all litigants and to the Court. A party
pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or litigant needs the assistance of counsel
other papers to be filed, must be signed by in all proceedings, administrative, civil
the supervising attorney for and in behalf or criminal.
of the legal clinic. (Rule 138-A, Sec.2)
o When appearance by counsel not
o Meaning of Direct Supervision and Control: obligatory:
requires no less than the physical presence
of the supervising lawyer during the 1. In a Municipal Trial Court, a party
hearing. may conduct his litigation in person
or with the aid of a friend appointed
A law student appearing before the RTC under by him for that purpose or with an
Rule 138-A should at all times be accompanied aid of an attorney.
by a supervising lawyer. (In Re: Need That 2. In the RTC and Appellate Courts, a
Law Student Practicing Under Rule 138-A party in a civil suit may conduct his
Be Actually Supervised During Trial litigation either personally or by
(1997)) attorney unless the party is a
juridical person.
Appearance in Inferior Courts -- A law student 3. And even if he has chosen to
may appear in his personal capacity without appear by counsel, he may at any
the supervision of a lawyer in inferior courts. time dispense with the services of
(refer to Rule 138, section 34) his lawyer and prosecute or defend
his case personally.

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o The right to counsel of an accused is absolute II. THE CODE OF PROFESSIONAL


or immutable. HOWEVER, his option to secure
the services of counsel de parte is not absolute. RESPONSIBILITY
The trial court may restrict his option to retain
a counsel de parte if a) the accused insists on
an attorney he cannot afford b) chosen counsel Legal Ethics, Defined:
is not a lawyer or c) the attorney declines to
represent the accused for a valid reason, in Legal Ethics denotes that body of principles by
which case the trial court can appoint his which the conduct of members of the legal
counsel de oficio to represent him. Sec 1 (c) of profession is controlled.
Rule 115 provides that an accused may waive It is that branch of moral science which treats
his right to counsel but if he cannot protect his of the duties which an attorney at law owes to
rights without the assistance of a counsel, the his clients, to the courts, to the bar and to the
Court should advise him to secure a counsel de public. (G.A. Malcolm, Legal and Judicial Ethics
parte or appoint a counsel de officio to 8 (1949))
represent him.

Nature of Office of Attorney:


WHO MAY NOT PRACTICE LAW?
The title attorney is reserved to those who,
having obtained the necessary degree in the
I. Relative Prohibition study of law, and passed the bar examinations,
have been admitted to the Integrated Bar of the
1. Senators and members of the Philippines and remain members thereof of good
House of Representatives standing; and it is they only who are authorized
(prohibition to appear) (Art VI, to practice law in the Philippines.
Sec. 14, 1987 Constitution)
2. Members of the Sanggunian (RA Privileges of attorney
No. 7160, Sec. 91)
o A lawyer has the privilege and right to practice
II. Absolute Prohibition law during good behavior before any judicial,
quasi-judicial or administrative tribunal.
1. All members of the Judiciary
i. Judges and other officials as o An attorney enjoys the presumption of
employees of the Supreme regularity in the discharge of his duty. (i.e. He
Court (Rule 148, Sec. 35 is immune, in the performance of his obligation
ROC) to his client, from liability to a third person
ii. Government prosecutors insofar as he does not materially depart from
(People vs. Villanueva 14 his character as a quasi-judicial officer.)
SCRA 109)
2. President, Vice President, members o There are also privileges inherent in his status
of the cabinet (Art VIII, Sec. 15, as a quasi-judicial officer. (i.e. the law makes
1987 Constitution) his passing the bar examination equivalent to a
3. Members of Constitutional first grade or second grade civil service
Commissions (Art. IX-A, Sec. 2, eligibility.)
1987 Constitution)
4. Ombudsman and his deputies (Art. Duties of Attorneys (Rule 138, sec. 20):
IX, Sec. 8 2nd par, 1987
Constitution) It is the duty of an attorney:
5. Solicitor General and Assistant a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the
Solicitor General Philippines and to support the Constitution and
6. All governors, city and municipal obey the laws of the Philippines;
mayors (RA No. 7160, Sec. 90) b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the
7. Those prohibited by special laws courts of justice and judicial officers;
retired members of the judiciary c) To counsel or maintain such actions or
(RA 910, Sec. 1, as amended) proceedings only as appear to him to be just,
and such defenses only as he believes to be
honestly debatable under the law;
d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the
causes confided to him, such means only as are
consistent with truth and honor, and never
seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer
by an artifice or false statement of fact or law;
e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at
every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets
of his client, and to accept no compensation in
connection with his client's business except
from him or with his knowledge and approval;
f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to
advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or
reputation of a party or witness, unless
required by the justice of the cause with which
he is charged;

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g) Not to encourage either the commencement or A. The Lawyer and Society


the continuance of an action or proceeding, or
delay any man's cause, from any corrupt
motive or interest; MEMORY AID FOR CANONS UNDER THIS
h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal SECTION:
to himself, the cause of the defenseless or
oppressed; o Promote and Respect the Law and Legal
i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by Process (Canon 1)
all fair and honorable means, regardless of his o Provide Efficient and Convenient Legal
personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, Services (Canon 2)
to present every defense that the law permits, o Information on Legal Services that is
to the end that no person may be deprived of
true, Honest, Fair and Dignified (Canon
life or liberty, but by due process of law.
3)
o Support for Legal Reforms and
FOUR-FOLD DUTIES OF A LAWYER Administration of Justice (Canon 4)
o Participate in Legal Education Program
1) Duties to Society should not violate his (Canon 5)
responsibility to society, exemplar for o Applies to Lawyers in Government Service
righteousness, ready to render legal aid, foster (Canon 6)
social reforms, guardian of due process, aware of
special role in the solution of special problems and
be always ready to lend assistance in the study and
solution of social problems MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 1:
2) Duties to the Legal Profession candor, o No Unlawful, Dishonest, Immoral, Deceitful
fairness, courtesy and truthfulness, avoid Conduct (Rule 1.01)
encroachment in the business of other lawyers, o No Counseling to Defy Law (Rule 1.02)
uphold the honor of the profession o No Encouragement of Lawsuit or Proceedings
3) Duties to the Court respect or defend (Rule 1.03)
against criticisms, uphold authority and dignity, o Encourage Client to Avoid Controversy (Rule
obey order and processes, assist in the 1.04)
administration of justice
4) Duties to the Client entire devotion to
clients interest
CANON 1: QUICK REFERENCE
DUTIES MAY ALSO BE CLASSIFIED INTO:

1. Public (operating as a faithful assistant of the CANON 1: A lawyer shall uphold the
court in search of a just solution to disputes) constitution, obey the laws of the land and
promote respect for law and legal process.
o A counsel de officio is expected to render
effective service and to exert his best Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not
efforts on behalf of an indigent accused. He engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral
has a high duty to the poor litigant as to a or deceitful conduct.
paying client. He should have a bigger dose
of social conscience and a little less of self Rule 1.02. A lawyer shall not
interest. (1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, counsel or abet activities aimed at
2001, 2004 BAR EXAMS) defiance of the law or at lessening
confidence in the legal profession.
2. Private (an attorney operating as a trusted
agent of his client) Rule 1.03. A lawyer shall not, for
any corrupt motive or interest,
o A private prosecutor may intervene in the
prosecution of a criminal action when the
encourage any suit or delay any mans
offended party is entitled to indemnity and cause.
has not waived expressly, reserved or
instituted the civil action for damages. In Rule 1.04. A lawyer shall
case of heavy work schedule of the public encourage his clients to avoid, end or
prosecutors, the private prosecutor may be settle a controversy if it will admit of a
authorized in writing by the Chief of the fair settlement.
Prosecution Office or the Regional State
Prosecution to prosecute the case subject
KNOW MORE:
to the approval of the Court. Once so
authorized to prosecute the criminal action,
the private prosecutor shall continue to SPECIAL RULES WITH RESPECT TO
prosecute the case up to the end of the NOTARIAL PRACTICE3
trial even in the absence of a public
The SC found a notary public negligent in his
prosecutor, unless the authority is revoked
or otherwise withdrawn. (Rule 110, Sec. duty for allowing office secretaries to perform
his notarial functions, i.e., safekeeping of his
5, ROC, as amended per A.M. No. 02-2-
07-SC, May 1, 2002) notarial dry seal and notarial register. The

3
2004 Rules on Notarial PracticeANNEXED

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Court held that considering that the of the practise of law. It is the bounden duty of
responsibility attached to a notary public is lawyers to adhere unwaveringly to the highest
sensitive, respondent should have been more standards of morality. (Ui v. Bonifacio, 333
discreet and cautious in the execution of his SCRA 38, (2000))
duties as such and should not have wholly
entrusted everything to the secretaries; Grossly immoral conduct is one that is so
otherwise he should not have been corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act
commissioned as notary public. (Spouses or so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be
Santuyo v. Hidalgo, 448 SCRA 282 (2005)) reprehensible to a high degree. Mere intimacy
between a man and a woman, both of whom
The SC disbarred Atty. Gregorio Ariola from the possess no impediment to marry, voluntarily
practice of law for violating Rule 1.01 of Canon carried on and devoid of any deceit on the part
1 by notarizing an SPA purportedly executed by of the respondent, is neither so corrupt nor so
a certain Benitez at a time when Benitez was unprincipled as to warrant the imposition of
already dead. The Court held that a notary disciplinary sanction against him, even if as a
public should not authenticate documents result of such relationship a child is born out of
unless the persons who signed them are the wedlock. (Figueroa v. Barranco, 276 SCRA
very same persons who executed them and 445 (1997))4
personally appeared before them to attest to
the contents and truth of what are stated The reconciliation between the lawyer husband
therein. (Zaballero v. Atty. Montalvan) and his wife who had initiated the
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless and administrative proceedings against him for
routinary act. It converts a private document engaging in an adulterous and clearly immoral
into a public instrument, making it admissible relationship does not wipe away the
in evidence without the necessity of preliminary misconduct and immoral behavior. (Cordova
proof of its authenticity and due execution. v. Cordova, 179 Phil 680 (1989))
(Sicat v. Ariola, 456 SCRA 93 (2005))
Gutierrez was convicted of murder but was
then granted conditional pardon by the
I. Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in President. When the pardon is conditional and
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful merely remits the unexecuted portion of the
conduct. penalty, administrative proceedings cannot be
automatically barred. (In Re: Gutierrez
Unlawful conduct is defined as an act or (1962))
omission which is against the law. Dishonesty
involves lying or cheating. (Agpalo)
II. Rule 1.02. A lawyer shall not counsel or
Immoral or deceitful conduct is that which is abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or
willful, flagrant or shameless and which shows at lessening confidence in the legal
a moral indifference to the opinion of the good profession.
and respectable members of the community.
(Aguirre) Rule 1.02 requires that the lawyer should not
promote an organization known to be violating
Moral turpitude includes everything which is the law nor assist it in a scheme which he
done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or knows is dishonest. He should not allow his
good morals. It involves an act of baseness, services to be engaged by an organization
vileness, or depravity in the private duties whose member as violating the law, to defend
which a man owed his fellowmen, or to society them when they get caught. (Agpalo)
in general, contrary to the accepted and
customary rule of right and duty between man The Supreme Court will not denounce criticism
and woman, or conduct contrary to justice, made by anyone against the Court for, if well
honesty, modesty, or good morals. (Barrios v. founded, can truly have constructive effects in
Martinez, 442 SCRA 324 (2004)) the task of the Court, but it will not
countenance any wrongdoing nor allow the
The SC found that the imprudence of an erosion of our peoples faith in the judicial
attorney who married a man already previously system, let alone, by those who have been
married (without initially knowing that he was privileged by it to practise law in the
in fact married but, upon acquiring such Philippines. (Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 416
knowledge, cut off all ties with him) did not SCRA 465 (2003))5
constitute immoral conduct sufficient for her
disbarment. Furthermore, lawyers, as keepers Terrel was found guilty of malpractice or gross
of public faith, are burdened with a higher misconduct for assisting in the establishment
degree of social responsibility and thus must and acting as counsel for the Centro Bellas
handle their personal affairs with greater
caution. The respondent was imprudent in the 4
FACTS: Atty. Barranco was not disbarred despite the fact that
sense that she should have investigated the he had sexual congress with Patricia Figueroa with whom he
fact that the man with whom she had relations begot a child, promised that he would marry her after he passed
the bar but then married another woman.
was married. Nevertheless, the fact that she 5
FACTS: The SC indefinitely suspended Atty. Paguia for making
distanced herself from him shows that she claims that the Justices of the Supreme Court have been
displayed no moral indifference. The ratio participating in partisan political activity and have prejudged a
decidendi of the Court is that the requisite of case that will assail the legality of an act done by President
good moral character in the admission to the Arroyo, that Estrada v Arroyo is a patent mockery of justice and
practice of law must be continuous as a due process, that three Justices of Sandiganbayan made their
bias manifest and are impartial against his client.
requirement to the enjoyment of the privilege

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LEGAL ETHICS

Artes Club, an organization intending to evade CANON 2: QUICK REFERENCE


the practice of law. (In Re Terrel (1903))

CANON 2: A lawyer shall make his legal services


III. Rule 1.03. A lawyer shall not, for any available in an efficient and convenient manner
corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit compatible with the independence, integrity and
or delay any mans cause. effectiveness of the profession.

Notes from Agpalo: Rule 2.01. A lawyer shall not


o To stir up litigation is a crime known as reject, except for valid reasons, the
maintenance at common law. cause of the defenseless or the
o The purpose of prohibiting these acts is
oppressed.
to prevent ambulance chasing
(solicitation of almost any kind of legal
business by laymen employed by an
Rule 2.02. In such cases, even if the
attorney for the purpose or by the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall
attorney himself). not refuse to render legal advice to the
o Ambulance chasing is prohibited person concerned if only to the extent
because it stirs up litigation with necessary to safeguard the latters
resulting burdens on courts and the rights.
public; supports perjury, the defrauding
of innocent persons by judgments, Rule 2.03. A lawyer shall not do or
upon manufactured causes of actions permit to be done any act designed to
and the defrauding of injured persons primarily solicit legal business.
having proper causes of action but
ignorant of legal rights and court Rule 2.04. A lawyer shall not charge
procedure by means of contracts which rates lower than those customarily
retain exorbitant expenses and by prescribed unless the circumstances so
settlement made for quick returns of
warrant.
fees against the rights of the injured
persons.
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 2:
IV. Rule 1.04. A lawyer shall encourage his o Not to Reject the Defenseless or Oppressed
clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy if (Rule 2.01)
it will admit of a fair settlement. o Not to Refuse to Give Legal Advice (Rule
2.02)
The function of a lawyer is not only to conduct o No Solicitation (Rule 2.03)
litigation but to avoid it where possible, by o No Rates Other than Customarily Charged
advising settlement or withholding suit. He/she (Rule 2.04)
must act as mediator for compromise rather
than an instigator and conflict. What KNOW MORE:
sometimes beclouds a lawyers judgment as to
what is best for his client is his/her eye on the I. Rule 2.01. A lawyer shall not reject, except for
attorneys fees which are often considerably valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or the
less when the cause is amicably settled. The oppressed.
problem of conflict of interests must be
resolved against self-interest. (Agpalo) Legal aid is not a matter of charity. It is a
means for the correction of social imbalance
that may and often do lead to injustice, for
which reason it is a public responsibility of the
Bar. The spirit of public service should,
therefore, underlie all legal aid offices. The
same should be administered to indigent and
deserving members of the community on all
cases, matters and situations in which legal aid
may be necessary to forestall an injustice.
(IBP Handbook, Guidelines Governing the
Establishment and Operation of the Legal
Aid Office, Art. 1, Sec. 1)

A lawyer may not refuse to accept


representation of an indigent unless: (a) he is
in no position to carry out the work effectively
or competently or (b) he labours under a
conflict of interest between him and the
prospective client or between a present client
and the prospective client (Rule 14.03)

Ledesma, who was appointed Election Registrar


of his municipality, was not excused from
acting as counsel in criminal proceedings that
had started that same year. Moreover, to avoid
the frustration of the case, especially such as
where the defendants are indigent, a lawyer

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LEGAL ETHICS

may be required to act as a counsel de oficio. o publication in reputable law list with
The fact that his services were rendered brief biographical and other informative
without remuneration should not occasion a data which may include name,
diminution of his zeal. Most importantly, the associates, address, phone numbers,
Constitution blessed the accused with the right branches of law practised, birthday,
to be heard by himself and by counsel. This day admitted to the bar, schools and
manifests the indispensable role of a lawyer in dates attended, degrees and
the defense of the accused. (Ledesma distinctions, authorships, teaching
v.Climaco, 57 SCRA 473 (1974)) positions, associations, legal fraternities
and societies, references and regularly
This rule stems from one of the obligations represented clients must be published
incident to the status and privileges of a lawyer for that purpose;
which is to represent the poor and the o an ordinary, simple professional card;
oppressed in the prosecution of their claims or o publication of simple announcement of
the defense of their rights. The court is opening of law firm, change of firm;
empowered to require a lawyer to render legal o telephone directory (but not under
service (to designate him/her as counsel de designation of special branch of law);
oficio for an accused if the latter is unable to o if acting as an associate (specialising in
employ counsel de parte). a branch of law), may publish a brief
and dignified announcement to lawyers
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines through (law list, law journal);
its Committee on Legal Aid has established o working in a public office (which can be
legal aid offices throughout the country. Its filled only by a lawyer);
objective is to provide on a nationwide basis o full time position as corporate counsel;
legal services in favor of the poor segment of o if in media, those acts incidental to his
society. Their policy is that legal aid is not a practise (i.e., not his own initiative);
matter of charity. It is a means for the o write articles for publication giving
correction of social imbalance that may and information upon the law (and not
often do lead to injustice, which makes it a individual rights or advising through
public responsibility of the Bar. column/ TV broadcast, lest such be
considered indirect advertising);
o if entering into other businesses (which
II. Rule 2.02. In such cases, even if the lawyer are not inconsistent with lawyers
does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to duties) then it is advisable that they be
render legal advice to the person concerned if only entirely separate and apart such that a
to the extent necessary to safeguard the latters layman could distinguish between the
rights. two functions.

A valid reason to refuse is when the lawyer is


not in a position to carry out the work IV. Rule 2.04. A lawyer shall not charge rates
effectively and competently. However he shall lower than those customarily prescribed unless the
still render legal advice (such as those circumstances so warrant.
pertaining to preliminary steps a person can
take). But he shall refrain from giving legal What the rule prohibits is the competition in
advice if the reason for not accepting the case the matter of charging professional fees for the
is that there involves a conflict of interest purposed of attracting clients in favor of the
(between him and a prospective client or lawyer who offers lower rates. The rule does
between a present client and a prospective not prohibit a lawyer from charging a reduced
client). In the case mentioned above, fee or none at all to an indigent or to a person
rendering legal advice to the prospective client who would have difficulty paying the fee
will establish an attorney-client relationship usually charged for such services. (Agpalo)
between them and this will constitute a
violation of the rule prohibiting a lawyer from
representing conflicting interests. (Agpalo)

III. Rule 2.03. A lawyer shall not do or


permit to be done any act designed to primarily
solicit legal business

A member of the bar may be disbarred or


suspended from his office as attorney by the
SC for any malpractice. The practice of
soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain,
either personally or through paid agents or
brokers, constitutes malpractice. (Rule 138,
Sec. 27)

It is highly unethical for an attorney to


advertise his talents or skill as a merchant
advertises his wares. (In Re Tagorda, 53 Phil
37 (1929))

Exceptions to this rule (Agpalo):

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LEGAL ETHICS

CANON 3: QUICK REFERENCE and not a business. The lawyer may not sell or
obtain employment himself or through others
for to do so would be unprofessional. It is
CANON 3: A lawyer in making known his
destructive of the honor of a great profession.
legal services shall use only true, honest, fair,
It lowers the standards of that profession. It
dignified and objective information or
works against the confidence of the community
statement of facts. and it results in needless litigation. (In Re:
Tagorda, 53 Phil 37 (1929))7
Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use
or permit the use of any false,
Advertising, Direct of IndirectThe most
fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
worthy and effective advertisement possible,
undignified, self-laudatory, or unfair
even for a young lawyer, and especially with
statement or claim regarding his
his brother lawyers, is the establishment of a
qualifications or legal services. well-merited reputation for professional
capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be
Rule 3.02. In the choice of a firm
force, but must be the outcome of character
name, no false, misleading or
and conduct. The publication or circulation of
assumed name shall be used. The
ordinary simple business cards, being a matter
continued use of the name of a
of personal taste or local custom, and some
deceased partner is permissible
times of convenience is not per se improper.
provided that the firm indicates in all But solicitation of business by circulars or
its communications that said partner
advertisements, or by personal relations is
is deceased.
unprofessional. It is equally unprofessional to
procure business by indirection through touters
Rule 3.03. Where a partner
of any kind whether allied real estate firms or
accepts public office, he shall trust companies advertising to secure the
withdraw from the firm and his name
drawing of deeds or wills or offering retainers in
shall be dropped from the firm name
exchange for executorships or trusteeships to
unless the law allows him to practice
be influenced by the lawyer. Indirect
law concurrently.
advertisement for business by furnishing or
inspiring newspaper comments concerning the
Rule 3.04. A lawyer shall not pay
manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the
or give anything of value to interests involved, the importance of the
representatives of the mass media in
lawyers position, and all other like self-
anticipation of, or in return for,
laudation, defy the traditions and lower the
publicity to attract legal business.
tone of our high calling and are intolerable.
(Sec. 27, Canon of Professional Ethics)
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 3:
o No Fair or Unfair Claim re: Qualifications (Rule Notice of specialized serviceWhere a lawyer is
3.01) engaged in rendering a specialized legal service
o No False or Misleading Firm Name (Rule 3.02) directly and only to other lawyers, a brief,
o Partners Assuming Public Office (Rule 3.03) dignified notice of that fact, couched in
o No Use of Media to Attract Legal Business language indicating that it is addressed to
(Rule 3.04) lawyers, inserted in legal periodicals and like
publications, when it will afford convenient and
beneficial information to lawyers desiring to
KNOW MORE: obtain such service, is not improper. (Sec. 46,
Canon of Professional Ethics)
I. Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use or permit the
use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, The Code of Professional Responsibility
undignified, self-laudatory, or unfair statement or provides that a lawyer in making known his
claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. legal services shall use only true, honest, fair,
dignified and objective information or
A lawyer may not properly publish his brief statement of facts. Lawyers should not resort
biographical and informative data in a daily to indirect advertisements for professional
paper, magazine, trade journal or society employment.
program in order to solicit legal business The standards of the legal profession condemn
(Khan v. Simbillo, 409 SCRA 299 (2003))6 the lawyers advertisement of his talent, this
rest on the fundamental postulate that the
It is highly unethical for an attorney to practice of law is a profession. The lawyer
advertise his talents or skill as a merchant degrades himself and his profession who stoops
advertises his wares. The law is a profession to and adopts the practices of mercantilism by
advertising his services or offering them to the
6
Atty. Simbillo advertised his services in a Philippine Daily
public.
Inquirer ad which read Annulment of Marriage Specialist 532-
433/521-2667. The Court held that the solicitation of legal 7
business is not altogether proscribed. However, for solicitation Tagorda was suspended for soliciting business. Before
to be proper, it must be compatible with the dignity of the legal Tagordas election to the provincial board of Isabela, he used a
profession. The use of simple signs stating the name or names of card offering services as an attorney and a notary public free.
the lawyers, the office, and the residence address and fields of The card also stated that he was a candidate for the provincial
practice, as well as advertisements in legal periodicals bearing board. After his election, he wrote a letter to the barrio
the same brief data and the use of calling cards are permissible. lieutenant informing him that he would continue his practice as
The publication in reputable law lists, in a manner consistent lawyer and asking that the lieutenant transmit this information
with the standards of conduct imposed by the canon, of brief to the barrio.
biographical and informative data is likewise allowed.

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LEGAL ETHICS

Not all types of advertising or solicitation are engage in the practice of any profession
prohibited. The exceptions are of two broad (Const, Art. IX, Sec. 2)
categories, those, which are expressly allowed,
and those, which are necessarily implied from It is unlawful for a public official or employee
the restrictions. The first of such exceptions is to, among others: engage in the private
the publication in reputable law lists, in a practice of their profession unless authorized
manner consistent with the standards of by the Constitution or law, provided that such
conduct imposed by the canons, or brief practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with
biographical and informative data. (Ulep v. official functions. (Samonte v. Gatdula, 303
Legal Clinic (1993)) SCRA 756 (1999))8

II. Rule 3.02. In the choice of a firm name, no


IV. Rule 3.04. A lawyer shall not pay or give
false, misleading or assumed name shall be used.
anything of value to representatives of the mass
The continued use of the name of a deceased
media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity
partner is permissible provided that the firm
to attract legal business.
indicates in all its communications that said partner
is deceased.
It is bad enough to have such undue publicity
when a criminal case is being investigated by
The respondents use of the firm name
the authorities, even when it being tried in
constitutes a representation that being
court; but when said publicity and
associated with Baker and McKenzie they could
sensationalism is allowed, even encouraged,
render legal services to the highest quality to
when the case is on appeal and is pending
multinational business enterprises and others
consideration by this Tribunal, the whole thing
engaged in foreign trade and investment. This
becomes inexcusable, even abhorrent, and this
is unethical because Baker & McKenzie is not
Court, in the interest of justice, is constrained
authorized to practice law here. (Dacanay v.
and called upon to put an end to it and a
Baker and McKenzie, 136 SCRA 349
deterrent against its repetition by meting an
(1985))
appropriate disciplinary measure, even a
penalty to the one liable. (Cruz v. Salva, 105
Surviving partners cannot continue to use the
Phil 1151 (1959))
names of the deceased partners. The Court
held, amongst others, that:
Continued use will run counter to Art. 1815 CC
which tacitly provides that names in a firm CANON 4: QUICK REFERENCE
name of a partnership must be those of living
partners and, in case of non-partners, should
Canon 4: A lawyer shall participate in
be living persons who can be subject to
development of the legal system by initiating
liability. The public relations value of the use of
an old firm name can create undue advantage
reform and in the improvement of the
and disadvantage in the practice of the administration of justice.
profession. (In the Matter of the Petition for
Authority to Continue Use of the Firm
Name Ozaeta, Romulo, de Leon, etc. and
Petition for Authority to Continue Use of KNOW MORE:
Firm Name Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano, etc. While the lawyers task in contributing to the
(1979) improvement of the legal system is not a
matter of strict duty, it is a duty nevertheless
that flows from the lawyers sense of public
III. Rule 3.03. Where a partner accepts responsibility. The improvement of the legal
public office, he shall withdraw from the firm and system cannot, however, be done by dreaming
his name shall be dropped from the firm name in a vacuum. The lawyer must recognize that
unless the law allows him to practice law the law is a part of vast social network and
concurrently whether he likes it or not, he has to interact
with the rest of society. There is thus the need
Limitation: No Senator or member of the House on the part of the lawyer to transcend the
of Representative may personally appear narrow limits of technical law. Intricately woven
before any court of justice or before the is the law with the social fabric that the legal
Electoral Tribunal, or quasi-judicial and other profession cannot afford to confine itself to
administrative bodies (Const, art. VI, sec. narrowly technical legal questions. A lawyer
14) must broaden out and continue to grow in
knowledge and competence in order to be able
Prohibition: The President, Vice-President, the to make the law socially responsive. (Agpalo)
members of the cabinet and assistants shall
not, unless otherwise provided in this KNOW MORE:
Constitution, hold any other office or
employment during their tenure. They shall Bar Matter 850 Mandatory Continuing
not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly Legal Education9
practice any profession (Const, art. VII,
sec. 13) Members of the IBP, except those exempt
under Rule 7 of Bar Matter No. 850 (Mandatory
Prohibition: No member of a Constitutional
8
Commission shall, during his tenure, hold any Facts: The name of Rolando Gatdula, a branch clerk of court,
other office or employment. Neither shall he appeared on the calling card of a firm
9
ANNEXED

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LEGAL ETHICS

Continuing Legal Education), are required every their relatives whether by consanguinity or
3 years to complete at least 36 hours of affinity except with respect to
continuing legal education activities, with appointments of such relatives to positions
appropriate penalties for failure to do so. considered strictly confidential or as
(Agpalo) members of their personal staff whose
terms are coterminous with theirs.

CANON 5: QUICK REFERENCE (d) Political neutrality. - Public officials and


employees shall provide service to
everyone without unfair discrimination and
Canon 5: A lawyer shall keep abreast of
regardless of party affiliation or preference.
legal developments, participate in
continuing legal education programs, (e) Responsiveness to the public. - Public
support efforts to achieve highest officials and employees shall extend
standards in law schools as well as in the prompt, courteous, and adequate service to
practical training of law students and the public. Unless otherwise provided by
assist in disseminating information law or when required by the public interest,
regarding law and jurisprudence. public officials and employees shall provide
information of their policies and procedures
in clear and understandable language,
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 6: ensure openness of information, public
o Primary Duty: See Justice Is Done (Rule 6.01) consultations and hearings whenever
o Not to Use Public Position for Private Interest appropriate, encourage suggestions,
(Rule 6.02) simplify and systematize policy, rules and
o Not to Engage in Related Employment (Rule procedures, avoid red tape and develop an
6.03) understanding and appreciation of the
socio-economic conditions prevailing in the
country, especially in the depressed rural
KNOW MORE: and urban areas.

RA 6713, (Code of Conduct and Ethical (f) Nationalism and patriotism. - Public officials
Standards for Public Officials and and employees shall at all times be loyal to
Employees.)Sec. 4(A) the Republic and to the Filipino people,
promote the use of locally produced goods,
Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and resources and technology and encourage
Employees. appreciation and pride of country and
people. They shall endeavor to maintain
(A) Every public official and employee shall observe and defend Philippine sovereignty against
the following as standards of personal conduct foreign intrusion.
in the discharge and execution of official
duties: (g) Commitment to democracy. - Public
officials and employees shall commit
(a) Commitment to public interest. - Public themselves to the democratic way of life
officials and employees shall always uphold and values, maintain the principle of public
the public interest over and above personal accountability, and manifest by deeds the
interest. All government resources and supremacy of civilian authority over the
powers of their respective offices must be military. They shall at all times uphold the
employed and used efficiently, effectively, Constitution and put loyalty to country
honestly and economically, particularly to above loyalty to persons or party.
avoid wastage in public funds and
revenues. (h) Simple living. - Public officials and
employees and their families shall lead
(b) Professionalism. - Public officials and modest lives appropriate to their positions
employees shall perform and discharge and income. They shall not indulge in
their duties with the highest degree of extravagant or ostentatious display of
excellence, professionalism, intelligence wealth in any form.
and skill. They shall enter public service
with utmost devotion and dedication to
duty. They shall endeavor to discourage
wrong perceptions of their roles as
dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage.

(c) Justness and sincerity. - Public officials and


employees shall remain true to the people
at all times. They must act with justness
and sincerity and shall not discriminate
against anyone, especially the poor and the
underprivileged. They shall at all times
respect the rights of others, and shall
refrain from doing acts contrary to law,
good morals, good customs, public policy,
public order, public safety and public
interest. They shall not dispense or extend
undue favors on account of their office to

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LEGAL ETHICS

CANON 6: QUICK REFERENCE his honor remains unsullied. (Misamin v. San


Juan, 72 SCRA 491 (1976))10
A member of the Bar who assumes public office
Canon 6. These Canons shall apply to lawyers in
does not shed his professional obligation. The
government service in the discharge of their CPR was not meant to govern the conduct of
official duties. private petitioners alone, but of all lawyers
including those in government service. Lawyers
Rule 6.01. The primary duty of a in government are public servants who owe the
lawyer in public prosecution is not to utmost fidelity to the public service. Thus they
convict but to see that justice is done. have to be mores sensitive in the performance
The suppression of facts or the of their professional obligations. A lawyer in
concealment of witnesses capable of public service is a keeper of public faith and is
establishing the innocence of the burdened with a high degree of social
accused is highly reprehensible and is responsibility, perhaps higher than her
cause for disciplinary action. brethren in private practice. (Vitriolo v.
Dasig, 400 SCRA 172 (2003))11
Rule 6.02. A lawyer in government
service shall not use his public position
to promote or advance his private III. Rule 6.03. A lawyer shall not, after
interests, nor allow the latter to leaving government service, accept engagement or
interfere with his public duties. employment in connection with any matter in which
he had intervened while in said service.

Rule 6.03. A lawyer shall not, after RA 3019, Sec. 3(d) (Anti-Graft and Corrupt
leaving government service, accept Practices Act). In addition to acts or omissions
engagement or employment in of public officers already penalized by existing
connection with any matter in which he law, the following shall constitute corrupt
had interned. practices of any public officer and are hereby
declared to be unlawful: (d) Accepting or
having any member of his family accept
I. Rule 6.01. The primary duty of a lawyer in employment in a private enterprise which has
public prosecution is not to convict but to see that pending official business with him during the
justice is done. The suppression of facts or the pendency thereof or within one year after its
concealment of witnesses capable of establishing termination.
the innocence of the accused is highly
reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action. RA 6713, Sec. 7(b). In addition to acts and
omissions of public officials and employees not
The benefit of the doubt belongs to the prescribed in the Constitution and existing
prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney laws, the following shall constitute prohibited
is under no compulsion to file a particular acts and transactions of any public official and
criminal information where he is not convinced employee and are hereby declared to be
that he has evidence to prop up the averments unlawful: (b) Outside employment and other
thereof, or that the evidence at hand points to activities related thereto.Public officials and
a different conclusion. (People v. Pineda, 20 employees during their incumbency shall not:
SCRA 748 (1967)) 1) Own, control, manage or accept employment
as officer employee, consultant, counsel,
A public prosecutor is a quasi-judicial officer broker, agent, trustee or nominee / in any
who represents, not an ordinary party to a private enterprise regulated, supervised or
controversy, but sovereignty. This sovereignty licensed by their office / unless expressly
has its obligation to govern impartially. allowed by law;
Therefore, the interest in a criminal prosecution 2) Engage in the private practice of their
is not that it shall win a case but that justice profession unless authorized by the
shall be done. (Agpalo) Constitution or law, provided that such practice
will not conflict or tend to conflict with their
official functions; or
II. Rule 6.02. A lawyer in government service 3) Recommend any person to any position in a
shall not use his public position to promote or private enterprise which has a regular or
advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to pending official transaction with their office.
interfere with his public duties.
While the charges have to be dismissed, still it
10
would not be inappropriate for respondent to FACTS: Atty. San Juan, a captain of the MM Police force and a
avoid all appearances of impropriety. member of the bar was charged with coercing an employee,
Misamin, to agree to drop charges filed against his employer Tan
Respondent, in his future actuations as a Hua for violation of the Minimum Wage Law. The case was
member of the bar, should refrain from laying dismissed for lack of evidence.
himself open to such doubts and misgivings as 11
FACTS: The SC disbarred Atty. Felina Dasig, the OIC of the
to his fitness not only for the position occupied Legal Affairs Service of CHED, for making unlawful demands to
by him but also for membership in the bar. He extort money from certain people who had pending applications
in her office for correction of names. Generally speaking, a
is not worthy of membership in an honorable
lawyer who holds a government office may not be disciplined as
profession who does not even take care that a member of the Bar for misconduct in the discharge of his
duties as government official. However, if said misconduct as a
government official also constitutes a violation of his oath as a
lawyer then he may be disciplined by this Court as a member of
the Bar.

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LEGAL ETHICS

These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a CANON 7: QUICK REFERENCE


period of 1 year after resignation, retirement or
separation from public office, / except in case
of subparagraph (2) above, / but the Canon 7: A lawyer shall at all times
professional concerned cannot practice his uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal
profession in connection with any matter before profession and support the activities of the
the office he used to be with, / in which case integrated bar.
the one year prohibition shall likewise apply.
Rule 7.01. A lawyer shall be
RA 910 Sec. 1 (condition of pension). No
answerable for knowingly making a
retiring justice or judge of a court of record or
false statement or suppressing a
city or municipal judge during the time that he
is receiving said pension shall appear as
material fact in connection with his
counsel in any court in any civil case where in application for admission to the bar.
the govt. or any of its subdivisions or
instrumentalities is an adverse party, in a Rule 7.02. A lawyer shall not
criminal case were an officer or employee of support the application for
the govt. is accused of an offense related to his admission to the bar of any person
official function, or collect any fee for his known by him to be unqualified in
appearance in any administrative proceedings respect to character, education, or
to maintain an interest adverse to the govt. other relevant attribute.

In determining whether Atty. Mendoza Rule 7.03. A lawyer shall not


committed a breach of Rule 6.03, certain engage in conduct that adversely
factual predicates should be established, thus: reflects on his fitness to practice
(a) in connection with what matter has Atty. law, nor shall he, whether in public
Mendoza accepted an engagement or or private life, behave in a
employment after leaving the government scandalous manner to the discredit
service?; (b) in connection with what matter of the legal profession.
did he intervene while in government service?;
and (c) what acts did he particularly perform in
intervening in connection with such matter?
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 7:
The first concern in assessing the applicability o No False Statement (Rule 7.01)
of the Rule is the definition of matter. The o Not to Support Unqualified Bar Applicant (Rule
same lawsuit or litigation is the same matter. 7.02)
The same issue of fact involving the same o No Conduct Adversely Affecting the Profession
parties and the same situation or conduct is the (Rule 7.03)
same matter. By contrast, work as a
government employee in drafting, enforcing or KNOW MORE:
interpreting government or agency procedures,
regulations, or laws, or in briefing abstract The basic postulate of the IBP is that it is non-
principles of law, does not disqualify the lawyer political in character and that there shall be
under DR 9-101 (B) from subsequent private neither lobbying nor campaigning in the choice
employment involving the same regulations, of the IBP Officers. The spectacle of lawyers
procedures, or points of law; the same bribing or being bribed to vote did not uphold
matter is not involved because there is the honor of the profession nor elevate it in the
lacking the discrete, identifiable transaction or publics esteem. (In Re: Election of the IBP,
conduct involving a particular situation and 178 SCRA 398 (1989))
specific parties.
Intervention is interference that may affect More than just paying IBP Membership dues, a
the interest of others. Since the word lawyer should help achieve objectives and
intervene has two connotations, one affecting purposes of the IBP, i.e.,
interest of others and one done merely in assist in the administration of justice;
influencing others, Rule 6.03 should be read in foster and maintain on the part of its
the context of the former. To interpret it members high ideals of integrity, learning,
otherwise is to enlarge the coverage of Rule professional competence, public service and
6.03. (PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, 455 SCRA conduct;
526 (2005)) safeguard the professional interests of its
members;
cultivate among its members a spirit of
cordiality and brotherhood;
B. The Lawyer and the Legal Profession provide a forum for the discussion of law,
jurisprudence, law reform, pleading,
MEMORY AID FOR CANONS UNDER THIS practice and procedure and the relations of
SECTION: the bar thereto; encourage and foster legal
1. Uphold Dignity and Integrity in the Profession education;
(Canon 7) promote a continuing program of legal
2. Courtesy, Fairness, Candor Towards research in substantive and adjective law,
Professional Colleagues (Canon 8) and make reports and recommendations
3. Unauthorized Practice of Law (Canon 9) thereon. (Agabin)

The act of downloading the test questions from


the bar examiners PC without the latters

100% UP LAW UP BAROPS 2008 Page 14 of 74


LEGAL ETHICS

knowledge and permission was a criminal act of to the complainant but one to purge the law
larceny. By transmitting and distributing the profession of unworthy members, to protect
stolen questions to his fraternity brothers, he the public and the court. Possession of good
had given them undue advantage over the moral character is not only a condition
other bar takers. (Re: 2003 Bar precedent to admission to the legal profession,
Examinations, 421 SCRA 703 (2004)) but its continued possession is essential to
maintain ones good standing in the profession.
Re: Payment of IBP Dues: The integration of (Zaguirre v. Castillo, 398 SCRA 659
the Phil. Bar means the unification of the entire (2003))12
lawyer population requiring membership and
financial support of every attorney as condition
sine qua non to the practice of law and the
CANON 8: QUICK REFERENCE
retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of
the SC. Bar integration does not compel the
lawyer to associate. Canon 8. A lawyer shall conduct himself
The only compulsion is the payment of annual with courtesy, fairness, and candor toward his
dues which, the SC, in order to foster the professional colleagues, and shall avoid
States legitimate interest in elevating the harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
quality of professional legal services, may
require to be shared by all the subjects and
beneficiaries the lawyers. The fee is a
Rule 8.01. A lawyer shall not, in
regulatory measure not barred by the professional dealings, use language
Constitution. The only limitation is that the which is abusive, offensive or otherwise
regulation should not impose an improper.
unconstitutional burden. The public interest far
outweighs the slight inconvenience to a Rule 8.02. A lawyer shall not,
member. The compulsory nature of payment directly or indirectly, encroach upon the
of dues subsists for as long as ones professional employment of another
membership in the IBP remains, regardless of lawyer; however, it is the right of any
the extent of practice of a lawyer. (Letter of lawyer, without fear or favor, to give
Atty. Cecilio Arevalo, 458 SCRA 209 proper advice and assistance to those
(2005)) seeking relief against unfaithful or
neglectful counsel.
I. Rule 7.01. A lawyer shall be answerable for
knowingly making a false statement or suppressing
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 8:
a material fact in connection with his application for
o No Abusive and Improper Language (Rule
admission to the bar.
8.01)
Observance of the duties and responsibilities of o Not to Encroach on Professional Employment
a lawyer begins even as a law student. A (Rule 8.02)
students failure to live up to them may be a
ground for SC to refuse admission to practice
or for disbarment should SC learn later on KNOW MORE:
about his/her transgressions. (Agpalo)
I. Rule 8.01. A lawyer shall not, in professional
II. Rule 7.02. A lawyer shall not support the dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive
or otherwise improper.
application for admission to the bar of any person
known by him to be unqualified in respect to
The fact that one of the lawyers conducts
character, education, or other relevant attribute.
him/herself improperly does not relieve the
other from professional obligation in his
A lawyer should not readily execute an affidavit
relation with him/her. (Agpalo)
of good moral character in favor of an applicant
who has not live up to the standard set by law.
Any undue ill-feeling between clients should not
He should volunteer information or cooperate in
influence counsels in their conduct and
any investigation concerning alleged anomaly
demeanor toward each other. While lawyers
in the bar examination. This is to help guard
owe entire devotion to the interest of their
the profession from candidates who are unfit or
clients, their office does not permit violation of
unqualified. He should expose without fear or
favor before the SC corrupt or dishonest 12
conduct in the profession and should not FACTS: Zaguirre and Castillo were officemates at the NBI.
Zaguirre said that Castillo represented himself to be single,
hesitate to accept professional employment courted her and promised her marriage. Soon they had intimate
against a lawyer who has wronged his client. relations and Zaguirre became pregnant. During their affair,
(Agpalo) Castillo was preparing for the bar exam which he passed. Only
after Castillo was admitted to the Bar did Zaguirre learn that he
III. Rule 7.03. A lawyer shall not engage was married. She presented an affidavit executed by Castillo,
who by now is a lawyer admitting his relationship with her and
in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to
recognizing the baby she was carrying as his. However, when she
practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or gave birth, Castillo refused to recognize the child and to give her
private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the any form of support. Castillo denied all her allegations and said
discredit of the legal profession. that what transpired between them was nothing but mutual lust
and desire. He admitted that he executed the affidavit but
In a disbarment proceeding, it is immaterial explained that he only did so to save Zaguirre from
embarrassment. He sought understanding from the court by
that the complainant is aware of his marital pointing out that men by nature are polygamous. The SC
status or that he was not caught in pari delicto indefinitely suspended him from the practice of law for gross
because this is not a proceeding to grant relief immoral conduct.

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LEGAL ETHICS

the laws or any manner of fraud or chicanery.


(Reyes vs. Chiong, Jr., 405 SCRA 212))
CANON 9: QUICK REFERENCE
II. Rule 8.02. A lawyer shall not, directly or
indirectly, encroach upon the professional Canon 9. A lawyer shall not, directly or
employment of another lawyer; however, it is the indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice of
right of any lawyer, without fear or favor, to give law.
proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief
against unfaithful or neglectful counsel. Rule 9.01. A lawyer shall not
delegate to any unqualified person the
A lawyer should not steal the other lawyers performance of any task which by law
client nor induce the latter to retain him by may only be performed by a member of
promise of better service, good result or the Bar in good standing.
reduced fees for his services. Neither should he
disparage another, make comparisons or Rule 9.02. A lawyer shall not divide
publicize his talent as a means to further his or stipulate to divide a fee for legal
law practice. (Agpalo) services with persons not licensed to
practice law, except:
He may accept employment to handle a matter
1. there is a pre-existing agreement
previously handled by another lawyer, provided
with a partner or associate that,
that the other lawyer has been given notice of
termination of service. Without such notice, he
upon the latters death, money shall
shall only appear once he has obtained be paid over a reasonable period of
conformity or has, at the very least, given time to his estate or to persons
sufficient notice of contemplated substitution. A specified in the agreement; or
lawyers appearance in the case without notice 2. Where a lawyer undertakes to
to the first lawyer amounts to an improper complete unfinished or legal
encroachment upon the professional business of a deceased lawyer; or
employment of the original counsel. (Agpalo) 3. Where a lawyer or law firm includes
non-lawyer employees in a
A lawyer should not, in the absence of the retirement plan, even if the plan is
adverse partys counsel, interview the adverse based in whole or in part, on profit-
party and question him as to the facts of the sharing arrangement.
case even if the adverse party was willing to do
so. Neither should he sanction the attempt of
his client to settle a litigated matter with the MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 9:
adverse party without the consent nor o Not to Delegate Work (Rule 9.01)
knowledge of the latters counsel. (cf. Canon 9) o Not to Divide Legal Fees (Rule 9.02)
(Agpalo)
KNOW MORE:
A clients proffer of assistance of additional
counsel should not be regarded as evidence of Ranas having passed the bar and taking the
want of confidence but the matter should be oath does not make him a lawyer. It is the
left to the determination of the client. The 2nd signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally
lawyer should communicate with the 1st before makes one a full-fledged lawyer. (Aguirre v.
making an appearance. Should the 1st lawyer Rana, 403 SCRA 342 (2003))13
object, he should decline association but if the
1st lawyer is relieved, he may come into the Private practice does not pertain to an isolated
case. (Agpalo) court appearance; rather, it contemplates a
succession of acts of the same nature
When there is conflict of opinions between two habitually or customarily holding ones self to
lawyers jointly associated in a case, the client the public as a lawyer. It is evident that the
should decide. The decision should be accepted isolated appearances as pro bono counsel do
unless the nature of the difference makes it not constitute the private practice of the law
impracticable for the lawyer whose judgment profession contemplated by law. Nonetheless,
has been overruled to cooperate effectively. In though his appearances do not amount to
this event, it is his/her duty to ask client to private practice, he still failed to obtain a
relieve him/her. (Agpalo) written permission from the head of the
Department as required by the Revised Civil
Service Rules (No officer or employee shall
engage directly in any private business,
vocation or profession). (OCA v. Ladanga,
350 SCRA 326 (2001))14

13
FACTS: Edwin Rana passed the 2000 Bar Examinations but was
denied admission after it was found that he appeared as counsel
for a candidate in the May 2001 elections before the Municipal
Board of Election Canvassers of Mandaon, Masbate where he
even filed a pleading representing himself as counsel for and in
behalf of Vice Mayoralty candidate George Bunan. All these he
did before signing the roll of attorneys.
14
FACTS: The SC sternly reprimanded Atty. Ladaga, Branch Clerk
of Court the RTC of Makati, for practicing law without prior
permission when he appeared as pro bono counsel for his cousin.
Atty. Ladaga had actually requested the Court Administrator for

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LEGAL ETHICS

C. The Lawyer and the Courts


A person not admitted to the bar may not hold
himself out to the public as engaged in the MEMORY AID FOR CANONS UNDER THIS
practice of law, either alone or as associated SECTION:
with a practicing attorney under a firm name. 1. Observe Candor, Fairness and Good Faith
(US v. Ney (1907)) (Canon 10)
2. Respect Courts and Judicial Officers (Canon
The title of attorney is reserved to those who, 11)
having obtained the necessary degree in the 3. Assist in Speedy and Efficient Administration of
study of law and successfully taken the Bar Justice (Canon 12)
Examinations, have been admitted to the IBP 4. Refrain from Act Giving Appearance of
and remain members thereof in good standing, Influence (Canon 13)
and it is they only who are authorized to
practice law in this jurisdiction. (Alawi v.
Alauya (1997))15 CANON 10: QUICK REFERENCE

I. Rule 9.01. A lawyer shall not delegate to any Canon 10. A Lawyer owes candor,
unqualified person the performance of any task fairness and good faith to the Court.
which by law may only be performed by a member
of the Bar in good standing. Rule 10.01. A lawyer shall not
do any falsehood, nor consent to the
Can employ secretaries, investigators, doing of any in Court, nor shall he
detectives, researches as long as they are not
mislead or allow the Court to be
involved in the practice of law (e.g., not
misled by an artifice.
writing pleadings, appearing in court, etc.)
(Agpalo)
Rule 10.02. A lawyer shall not
NOTES FROM PROF: JARDALEZA: May a lawyer knowingly misquote or misrepresent
delegate a case to another lawyer within the the contents of a paper, the
same firm? If a client has specified the services language or the argument of
of one particular attorney, then the case may opposing counsel, or the text of a
not be delegated. Otherwise, it may be decision or authority, or knowingly
delegated. cite as law a provision already
rendered inoperative by repeal or
amendment, or assert as a fact that
II. Rule 9.02. A lawyer shall not divide or which has not been proved.
stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with
persons not licensed to practice law, except: Rule 10.03. A lawyer shall
a. Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a observe the rules of procedure and
partner or associate that, upon the latters shall not misuse them to defeat the
death, money shall be paid over a reasonable
ends of justice.
period of time to his estate or to persons
specified in the agreement; or
b. Where a lawyer undertakes to complete MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 10:
unfinished or legal business of a deceased o Truthfulness Towards the Court (Rule 10.01)
lawyer; or o Not to Misquote or Misrepresent Contents of
c. Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer Paper (Rule 10.02)
employees in a retirement plan, even if the o Observe Rules of procedure (10.03)
plan is based in whole or in part, on profit-
sharing arrangement.
KNOW MORE:
The first two exceptions to the rule represent As an officer of the court and as part of the
compensation for legal service rendered by the machinery for the administration of justice, a
deceased lawyer during his lifetime, which is lawyer is continually accountable to the court
paid to his estate or heirs. The third exception for the manner he discharges his duties and is
to the rule does not involve, strictly speaking, a always subject to its disciplinary control
division of legal fees with non-lawyer (Agpalo)
employees. The retirement benefits in the
form of pension represent additional deferred The oath to which all lawyers have subscribed
wages or compensation for past services of the in solemn agreement to dedicate themselves to
employees (Agpalo) 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. (Ting
Dumali v. Torres (2004))

A lawyers oath to uphold the cause of justice is


authority to appear but nonetheless appeared before superior to his duty to his client; its primacy is
authorization could be given. indisputable. (Cobb Perez v. Lantin (1968))
15
FACTS: Alauya, a member of the Sharia Bar used the title of
attorney.

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LEGAL ETHICS

I. Rule 10.01. A lawyer shall not do any deceive (Agpalo)


falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in Court,
nor shall he mislead or allow the Court to be misled Though his explanation appears to be a mere
by an artifice. afterthought there is the assumption of good
faith in favour of respondent. Moreover,
Canon 32 Code of Professional Ethics. The judging from the awkwardly-worded petition
lawyer's duty in its last analysis. and even his compliance quite indicative of
No client corporate or individual, however, either carelessness or lack of proficiency in the
powerful nor any cause, civil or political, handling of the English language, it isnt
however important, is entitled to receive nor unreasonable to assume that his deficiency in
should any lawyer render any service or advice the mode of expression contributed to the
involving disloyalty to the laws whose ministers inaccuracy of his statements. Every member of
we are, or disrespect of the judicial office, the bar should realize that candor in the
which we are bound to uphold, or corruption of dealings with the court is the very essence of
any person or persons exercising a public office honorable membership in the profession.
or private trust, or deception or betrayal of the (Cuaresma v. Daguis (1975))
public. When rendering any such improper
service or advice, the lawyer invites and merits
stern and just condemnation. Correspondingly, II. Rule 10.02. A lawyer shall not knowingly
he advances the honor of his profession and misquote or misrepresent the contents of a paper,
the best interests of his client when he renders the language or the argument of opposing counsel,
service or gives advice tending to impress upon or the text of a decision or authority, or knowingly
the client and his undertaking exact compliance cite as law a provision already rendered inoperative
with the strictest principles of moral law. He by repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that
must also observe and advice his client to which has not been proved.
observe the statute law, though until a statute
shall have been construed and interpreted by In citing the SC decisions and rulings, it is the
competent adjudication he is free and is bounden duty of courts, judges and lawyers to
entitled to advise as to its validity and as to reproduce or copy the same word-for-word and
what he conscientiously believes to be its just punctuation-mark-for-punctuation-mark
meaning and extent. But above all a lawyer will (Agpalo)
find his highest honor in a deserved reputation
for fidelity to private trust and to public duty, The Court believes it is more a result of clerical
as an honest man and as a patriotic and loyal ineptitude than deliberate attempt to mislead.
citizen. The Companies have the prima facie right to
rely on the quotation as it appears on
A lawyer should not conceal the truth from the respondent judges decision. However, the
court, nor mislead the court in any manner no Court articulates its firm view that in citing this
matter how demanding his duties to clients Courts decision and rulings, it is the bounden
may be. (Agpalo) duty of courts, judges and lawyers to
reproduce or copy the same word-for-word and
A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. He swore punctuation mark-for-punctuation mark. Only
upon his admission to the bar that he will do from this Tribunals decisions and rulings do all
no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in other courts, as well as lawyers and litigants,
court and he shall conduct himself as a take their bearings. Ever presenting the
lawyer according to the best of his knowledge danger that if not faithfully and exactly quoted,
and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the decisions and rulings of this Court may lose
the courts as to his clients. (Young v. their proper and correct meaning. (Insular
Batuegas, 403 SCRA 123 (2003))16 Life Employees Co. v. Insular Life
Association, 37 SCRA 1 (1970))
To warrant disciplinary action against a lawyer,
who prosecutes false charges or complaints, it
must be shown that the charges are false and III. Rule 10.03. A lawyer shall observe the
the lawyer knows them to be so. (malice or bad rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to
faith) (Agpalo) defeat the ends of justice.

If a lawyer, through negligence in the Rule 138.20(d) Duties of attorneysIt is


performance of his duties as counsel for a the duty of an attorney (d) to employ, for the
party, failed to discover the falsity of the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to
document which he offered in evidence, he may him, such means only as are consistent with
still be dealt with administratively truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the
notwithstanding lack of intent on his part to judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or
false statement of fact of law.
16
FACTS: The Court suspended lawyers who filed a
Manifestation with Motion for Bail on Dec 13, 2000, alleging Procedural rules are instruments in the speedy
that the accused voluntarily surrendered to a person in and efficient administration of justice. They
authority. The truth is that the accused only surrendered on Dec
should not be used to derail such ends. They
14, 2000, as shown by the Certificate of Detention of the NBI.
Respondents declared that on Dec 13, upon learning that a should not misuse them, as by filing multiple
warrant of arrest was issued for their client, they filed the petitions regarding the same cause of action of
Manifestation with motion for bail with the trial court. Then by deliberately misreading the law to seek a
they immediately fetched the accused in Cavite and brought him reopening of a case long decided. (Agpalo)
to the NBI to voluntarily surrender. However, due to heavy
traffic, they arrived at the NBI at 2:00 am the next day; hence,
the certificate of detention indicated the accused surrendered
on Dec. 14

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LEGAL ETHICS

scrupulous preference for respectful language,


is to be observed not for the sake of the
CANON 11: QUICK REFERENCE
temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but
for the maintenance of its supreme importance.
Canon 11. A lawyer shall observe and (Guerrero v. Villamor, 179 SCRA 355
maintain the respect due to the courts and (1989))
judicial officers and should insist on similar
conduct by others.
I. Rule 11.01. A lawyer shall appear in court
properly attired.
Rule 11.01. A lawyer shall appear in
court properly attired.
Courts have ordered a male attorney to wear a
necktie and have prohibited a female attorney
Rule 11.02. A lawyer shall punctually from wearing a hat. However, the prohibition
appear at court hearings. of a dress whose hemline was five inches above
the knee was held to be acceptable as such
Rule 11.03. A lawyer shall abstain had become an accepted mode of dress even
from scandalous, offensive or menacing in places of worship. (Aguirre)
language or behavior before the courts.
Respect begins with the lawyers outward
Rule 11.04. A lawyer shall not physical appearance in court. Sloppy or
attribute to a Judge motives not informal attire adversely reflects on the lawyer
supported by the record or have no and demeans the dignity and solemnity of court
materiality to the case. proceedings. (Agpalo)

Rule 11.05. A lawyer shall submit


grievances against a Judge to the proper II. Rule 11.02. A lawyer shall punctually appear
at court hearings.
authorities only.
A lawyer owes the court and his client the duty
to punctually appear at court proceedings.
(Agpalo)

Inexcusable absence from, or repeated


tardiness in, attending a pre-trial or hearing
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 11: may subject the lawyer to disciplinary action as
o Proper Attire (Rule 11.01) his actions showing disrespect to the court
o Punctuality (Rule 11.02) make him guilty of contemptuous behavior.
o Proper Language and Behavior (Rule 11.03) (Agpalo)
o Not to Attribute Motives to Judge (Rule 11.04)
o Grievance Against Judge (Rule 11.05)
III. Rule 11.03. A lawyer shall abstain from
scandalous, offensive or menacing language or
KNOW MORE: behavior before the courts.

Mere criticism or comment on the correctness Notes from Agpalo:


or wrongness, soundness or unsoundness of
the decision of the court in a pending case Lawyers Courtesy
made in good faith may be tolerated; because It must never be forgotten that a
if well founded it may enlighten the court and lawyer pleads; he does not dictate. He
contribute to the correction of an error if should be courageous, fair, and
committed; but if it is not well taken and circumspect, not petulant, combative,
obviously erroneous, it should not influence the or bellicose in his dealings with the
court in reversing or modifying its decision. (In court
re: Sotto, 82 Phil 595 (1949))17
While criticism of judicial conduct is not
Lawyers should bear in mind their basic duty forbidden and zeal in advocacy is
to observe and maintain the respect due to encouraged, the lawyer must always
the courts of justice and judicial officers and to act within the limits of propriety and
insist on similar conduct by others (Canon 11 good taste and with deference for the
CPR). This attitude is best shown through judges before whom he pleads his
clients cause
17
FACTS: Atty. Vicente Sotto, then a Senator of the Republic,
wrote his opinion in the Manila Times regarding the SCs A lawyer should not assail, without
decision, In re Angel Parazo which was then pending basis, the personal integrity of a judge
reconsideration. There the SC cited in contempt a reporter for and accuse him of misfeasance in an
his refusal to divulge his source of news published in the paper.
Sotto claims that majority of the members of the Supreme
attempt to hide his own inadequacies
Court are incompetent and narrow-minded. He also said that and omissions to escape criticism of his
the members of the Court have deliberately committed blunders client
and injustices during the past years. The SC cited Sotto in
contempt and required him to show cause why he should not be The discharge of the lawyers duty to
disbarred.
his client does not justify or require the
use of defamatory or threatening
words. Neither does the mistake of a

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LEGAL ETHICS

judge in some of his rulings warrant the not spill over the wall of decency and propriety.
use of offensive language (Agpalo)

There is no defense against the use in a The cardinal condition of all such criticism is
pleading by a lawyer of disrespectful, that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill
threatening, abusive, and abrasive over the wall of decency and propriety.
language. It cannot be justified by the (Agpalo)
constitutional right of free speech for
such right is not absolute and its
exercise must be within the context of V. Rule 11.05. A lawyer shall submit grievances
a functioning and orderly system of against a Judge to the proper authorities only.
dispensing justice
Const art. VIII, sec. 6. The Supreme Court
Where words are abrasive or insulting, shall have administrative supervision over all
evidence that the language employed is courts and the personnel thereof. [the SC is the
justified by the facts is not admissible proper authority
as a defense
The duty to respect does not preclude a lawyer
Judges Courtesy from filing administrative complaints against
The duty to observe and maintain erring judges, or from acting as counsel for
respect is not a one-way duty from a clients who have legitimate grievances against
layer to a judge. A judge should show them. (Agpalo)
no shortness of temper which merely
detracts from the equanimity and The lawyer shall not file an administrative case
judiciousness that should be the until he has exhausted judicial remedies which
constant marks of a dispenser of justice result in a finding that the judge has gravely
erred. (Agpalo)
A judge may utilize his opportunities to
criticize and correct unprofessional Where a criminal complaint against a judge or
conduct of attorneys but he may not do other court employees arises from their
so in an insulting manner administrative duties, the Ombudsman must
defer action on said complaint and refer the
While a lawyer must advocate his client's cause same to the SC for determination whether said
in utmost earnest and with the maximum skill judges or court employees acted within the
he can marshal, he is not at liberty to resort to scope of their administrative duties.
arrogance, intimidation, and innuendo. Otherwise, in the absence of any administrative
(Sangalang v. IAC (1989)) action, the investigation being conducted by
the Ombudsman encroaches into the Courts
Every citizen has the right to comment upon power of administrative supervision over all
and criticize the actuations of public officers. courts and its personnel, in violation of the
The Court also treats with forbearance and doctrine of separation of powers. (Maceda v.
restraint a lawyer who vigorously assails their Vasquez, 221 SCRA 464 (1993))18
actuations, provided it is done in respectful
terms and through legitimate channels. For
courageous and fearless advocates are the
strands that weave durability into the tapestry
of justice. The reason is that an attorney does
not surrender his right as a citizen to criticize
the decisions of the court in fair and respectful
manner, and the independence of the Bar, as
well as the judiciary, has always been
encouraged by the courts. Criticism has been
an important part of the traditional work of a
lawyer. As a citizen and as officer of the court,
a lawyer is expected not only to exercise his
right, but also to consider it his duty to avail of
such right. But the cardinal condition of all such
criticism is that is shall be bona fide and shall
not spill over the walls of decency and
propriety. (In Re: Almacen, 31 SCRA
(1970))

IV. Rule 11.04. A lawyer shall not attribute


to a Judge motives not supported by the record or
have no materiality to the case.

The rule allows such criticism so long as it is


supported by the record or it is material to the
case. A lawyers right to criticize the acts of
courts and judges in a proper and respectful 18
This prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction is with regard
way and through legitimate channels is well to whether the office of the ombudsman could entertain a
recognized. The cardinal condition of all such criminal complaint for the alleged falsification by Judge Maceda
criticism is that it shall be bona fide, and shall of his certificate of service submitted to the SC, and assuming
that it can, whether a referral should be made first to the SC.

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LEGAL ETHICS

case and the prompt satisfaction of final


judgments.

CANON 12: QUICK REFERENCE o The duty to assist in the administration of


justice may be performed by doing no act
that obstructs, perverts, or impedes the
Canon 12. A lawyer shall exert every effort
administration of justice and by faithfully
and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy
complying with all his duties to the court
and efficient administration of justice.
and to his client. Examples of the former
would include the duty to inform the court
Rule 12.01. A lawyer shall not appear
of any change of his address or of the
for trial unless he has adequately
death of his client.
prepared himself on the law and the facts
of his case, the evidence he will adduce
o Acts that amount to obstruction of the
and the order of its proferrence. He
administration of justice may take many
should also be ready with the original
documents for comparison with the forms. They include such acts as instructing
a complaining witness in a criminal case
copies.
not to appear at the scheduled hearing so
that the case against his client, the
Rule 12.02. A lawyer shall not file
accused, would be dismissed
multiple actions arising from the same
cause.
o Ordinarily, obstruction of justice constitutes
Rule 12.03. A lawyer shall not, after contempt of court, and citing the
misbehaving lawyer for contempt and
obtaining extensions of time to file
punishing him for such misbehavior may be
pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the
sufficient to accomplish the end desired.
period lapse without submitting to the
However, the misbehavior may be of such
same or offering an explanation for his
failure to do so. character as to effect the offenders
qualifications as a lawyer for the practice of
Rule 12.04. A lawyer shall not unduly law. In such case, he may be disciplined as
a lawyer for such misconduct.
delay a case, impede the execution of a
judgment or misuse court processes.
I. Rule 12.01. A lawyer shall not appear for trial
Rule 12.05 A lawyer shall refrain
from talking to his witness during the unless he has adequately prepared himself on the
break or recess in the trial, while the law and the facts of his case, the evidence he will
witness is still under examination. adduce

Rule 12.06 A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter


A lawyer shall not
without adequate preparation. (Rule 18.02)
knowingly assist a witness to
misrepresent himself or to impersonate
another. Without adequate preparation, the lawyer may
not be able to effectively assist the court in the
efficient administration of justice. Non-
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 12: observance of this rule might result in:
o Adequate Preparation (Rule 12.01) 1) The postponement of the pre-trial or
o Forum Shopping (Rule 12.02) hearing, which would thus entail delay in
o Not to Delay Case (Rule 12.03) the early disposition of the case,
o Court Process (Rule 12.04) 2) The judge may consider the client non-
o Proper Behavior (Rule 12.05-12.07) suited or in default or
o Not to Testify on Behalf of Client (Rule 12.08) 3) The judge may consider the case deemed
submitted for decision without clients
evidence, to his prejudice. (Agpalo)
KNOW MORE:
II. Rule 12.02. A lawyer shall not file multiple
CONST. art III, sec 6. All persons shall have actions arising from the same cause
the right to a speedy disposition of their cases
before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or The plaintiff or principal party shall certify
administrative bodies. under oath in the complaining or other
initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief,
Rule 138 Sec 20(g). Duties of attorneys. It is or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and
the duty of an attorney: (g) Not to encourage simultaneously filed therewith:
either the commencement or the continuance a) that he has not theretofore commenced
of an action or proceeding, or delay any mans any action or filed any claim involving
cause, from any corrupt motive or interest. the same issues in any court, tribunal
or quasi-judicial agency and, to the
Notes from Agpalo: best of his knowledge, no such other
action or claim is pending therein;
o The first duty of a lawyer is not to his client b) if there is such other pending action or
but the administration of justice. As an claim, a complete statement of the
officer of the Court, it is the duty of the present status thereof; and
lawyer to advance the Courts objective of c) if he should thereafter learn that the
having a speedy, efficient, impartial, same or similar action or claim has
correct, and inexpensive adjudication of been filed or is pending, he shall report

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LEGAL ETHICS

that fact within 5 days therefrom to the o If a lawyer is honestly convinced of the
court wherein his aforesaid complaint futility of an appeal in a civil suit he should
or initiatory pleading has been filed. not hesitate to temper his clients desire to
Failure to comply with the foregoing seek appellate review of such decision for
requirements shall not be curable by mere unless, he could show sufficient cause for
amendment of the complaint or other reversal, he would only succeed in planting
initiatory pleading but shall cause for the false hope in his clients mind, increasing
dismissal of the case without prejudice, the burden on appellate tribunals,
unless otherwise provided, upon motion prolonging litigation unnecessarily and
after hearing. The submission of false exposing his client to useless expenses.
certification or non-compliance with any of
the undertaking therein shall constitute o Nonetheless a lawyer should not, solely on
indirect contempt of court, without his own judgment, let the decision become
prejudice to the corresponding final by letting the period to appeal lapse,
administrative and criminal actions. If the without informing his client of the adverse
acts of the party or his counsel clearly decision and of his candid advice in taking
constitute willful and deliberate forum appellate review thereof, well within the
shopping, the same shall be ground for period to appeal, so that the client may
summary dismissal with prejudice and shall decide whether to pursue appellate review.
constitute direct contempt, as well as a
cause for administrative sanctions. (ROC, In expropriation proceedings by the NAPOCOR
Rule 7, Sec. 5) against several lot owners in Bulacan, the
president of an organization of the lot owners
Rule 12.02 stresses the affirmative duty of a entered into a contract for legal services with
lawyer to check against useless litigations. His Atty. Principe. The complainant Malonso, a
signature in every pleading constitutes a member of the same organization, appointed
certificate by him that to the best of his on the other hand a certain Elfa as his
knowledge there is a good ground to support it attorney-in-fact on the matter of negotiation
and that it is not to interpose for delay. The with NPC. Eventually, an amicable settlement
willful violation of this rule may subject him to was had between NAPOCOR and the lot
(1) appropriate disciplinary action or (2) render owners. More than two years after the
him liable for the costs of litigation. (Agpalo) expropriation cases were instituted, Atty.
Principe filed his motion to separate legal fees
Forum shopping is prohibited by Supreme and filed his Notice of Entry of Appearance
Court Circular No. 28-91 --ANNEXED, which claiming that he is the legal counsel of the lot
is now integrated in the Rules of Civil owners. The other lot owners including Malonso
Procedure. wrote a letter to NPC informing the latter that
they have never authorized Sandamas
President to hire the services of Atty. Principes
III. Rule 12.03. A lawyer shall not, after obtaining law firm to represent them. Atty. Principe filed
extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda or several motions to ensure his claim to the 40%
briefs, let the period lapse without submitting to of the selling price of the properties being
the same or offering an explanation for his failure expropriated. An investigation conducted by
to do so. the IBP recommended Atty. Principes
suspension from the practice of law for two
Where a lawyers motion for extension of time years on the ground that Atty. Principe had
to file a pleading, memorandum or brief has violated among others Rule 12.04 which says
remained unacted by the court, the least that is that a lawyer shall not unduly delay a case,
expected of him is to file it within the period impede the execution of a judgment or misuse
asked for (Agpalo) Court processes. In its Resolution, the IBP
Board ordained his suspension from the
IV. Rule 12.04. A lawyer shall not unduly delay a practice of law for 2 years. The SC however
case, impede the execution of a judgment or found that formal requisites of the investigation
misuse court processes. and resolution had not been complied with and
dismissed the case requiring the IBP to comply
Notes from Agpalo with the procedure outlined in Rule 139-B in all
cases involving disbarment and discipline of
o While a client may withhold from his attorneys. (Malonzo v. Prinsipe, 447 SCRA 1
counsel certain facts or give him false (2004))
information to attain his unlawful ends, a
lawyer can easily see through the clients
action either before or at the early stage of V VII.
the litigation Rule 12.05 A lawyer shall refrain from talking
to his witness during the break or recess in the
o If after his appearance a lawyer discovers trial, while the witness is still under examination.
that his client has no case, he may not
unceremoniously abandon the action. He Rule 12.06 A lawyer shall not knowingly assist
should advise his client to discontinue the a witness to misrepresent himself or to
action or to confess judgment, and if the impersonate another.
client is determined to pursue it he should
ask that he be relieved from professional Rule 12.07 A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat
responsibility or harass a witness nor needlessly inconvenience
him.

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LEGAL ETHICS

Rule 132, sec. 3. Rights and obligations of a which event he must, during his testimony,
witness. A witness must answer questions, entrust the trial of the case to another counsel.
although his answer may tend to establish a
claim against him. However, it is the right of a The underlying reason for the impropriety of a
witness: lawyer acting in such dual capacity lies in the
o To be protected from irrelevant, improper, difference between the function of a witness
or insulting questions, and from harsh or and that of an advocate. The function of a
insulting demeanor; witness is to tell the facts as he recalls then in
o Not to be detained longer than the interests answer to questions. The function of an
of justice require; advocate is that of a partisan. It is difficult to
o Not to be examined except only as to distinguish between the zeal of an advocate
matters pertinent to the issue; and the fairness and impartiality of a
o Not to give an answer which will tend to disinterested witness (Agpalo)
subject him to a penalty for an offense
unless otherwise provided by law; or Although the law does not forbid an attorney to
o Not to give an answer which will tend to be a witness and at the same time an attorney
degrade his reputation, unless it be to the in a cause, the courts prefer that counsel
very fact at issue or to a fact from which should not testify as witness unless it is
the fact in issue would be presumed. But a necessary and that they should withdraw from
witness must answer to the fact of his the active management of the case. Canon 19
previous conviction for an offense. of the Code of Legal Ethics provides that when
a lawyer is a witness for his client, except as to
P.D. No. 1829 Penalizing the obstruction merely formal matters. Such as the attestation
of apprehension and prosecution of or custody of an instrument and the like, he
criminal offenders (1981)ANNEXED should leave the trial of the case to other
counsel. Except when essential to the ends of
Notes from Agpalo: justice, a lawyer should avoid testifying in court
in behalf of his client. (PNB v. Uy Teng Piao,
Rule 12.05. The purpose of this rule is to 57 PHIL 337 (1932))
avoid any suspicion that he is coaching the
witness what to say during the resumption
of the examination CANON 13: QUICK REFERENCE
Rule 12.06. A lawyer may interview
witnesses in advance of trial or attend to
Canon 13. A lawyer shall rely upon the
their needs if they are poor but he should
merits of his cause and refrain from any
avoid any such action as may be
misinterpreted as an attempt to influence
impropriety which tends to influence, or gives
the witness what to say in court. Court will the appearance of influencing the court.
not give weight on a testimony of a witness
who admits having been instructed. A Rule 13.01. A lawyer shall not
lawyer who presents a witness whom he extend extraordinary attention or
knows will give a false testimony or is an hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for
impersonator may be subjected to cultivating familiarity with Judges.
disciplinary action.
Rule 12.07. The lawyer has a duty to Rule 13.02. A lawyer shall not make
always treat adverse witnesses and suitors public statements in media regarding a
with fairness and due consideration pending case tending to arouse public
Rule 12.07. The client cannot be made the opinion for or against a party.
keeper of the lawyers conscience in
professional matters. He has no right to Rule 13.03. A lawyer shall not
demand that his counsel abuse the brook or invite interference by another
opposite party and the latters witnesses or
branch or agency of the government by
indulge in offensive personalities. Improper
speech is not excusable on the ground that
another branch or agency of the
it is what the client would say if speaking in government in normal course of
his own behalf judicial proceedings.
Rule 12.07. If it is the judge who subjects
the witness to harsh treatment, the lawyer
has the right to protest in a respectful and MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 13:
dignified manner the action of the judge o No Extraordinary Attention (Rule 13.01)
and to make the incident of record without o No Public Statements to Media (Rule 13.02)
being held liable administratively or for o Not to Invite Outside Interference (Rule
contempt of court 13.03)

KNOW MORE:
VIII. RULE 12.08 A LAWYER SHALL AVOID
TESTIFYING IN BEHALF OF HIS Grievances must be ventilated through proper
CLIENT; EXCEPT: channels (appropriate petitions, motions or
other pleadings) in keeping with the respect
a. on formal matters, such as mailing, due to the Courts as impartial administrators of
authentication or custody of an instrument, and justice entitled to proceed to the disposition of
the like; or its business in an orderly manner, free from
b. on substantial matters, in cases where his outside interference obstructive of its functions
testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in and tending to embarrass the administration of

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LEGAL ETHICS

justice. For though the rights of free speech o Purpose: Newspaper publications regarding
and of assembly are constitutionally protected, a pending or anticipated litigation may
an attempt to pressure or influence courts of interfere with a fair trial, prejudice the
justice is no longer within the ambit of administration of justice, or subject a
constitutional protection. (Nestle Phil. v. respondent or a accused to a trial by
Sanchez, 154 SCRA 542 (1987))19 publicity and create a public inference of
guilt against him
Freedom of speech is not absolute, and must o The court, in a pending litigation, must be
be balanced with the requirements of equally shielded from embarrassment or influence in
important public interests, such as the its all important duty of deciding the case.
maintenance of the integrity of the courts and Thus, what a lawyer can ordinarily say against
orderly functioning of the administration of a concluded litigation and the manner the
justice. Unwarranted attacks on the dignity of judge handed down the decision may not
the courts cannot be disguised as free speech, generally be said to a pending action.
o Once a litigation is concluded, the judge who
for the exercise of said right cannot be used to
decided it is subject to the same criticism as
impair the independence and efficiency of
any other public official because then, his
courts or public respect and confidence thereof.
ruling becomes public property and is thrown
His statements are not fair criticisms of any open to public consumption.
decision of the Court, but are threats made o A newspaper publication tending to impede,
against it to force the Court to decide the issue obstruct, embarrass or influence the courts in
in a particular manner, or risk earning the ire of administering justice in a pending case
the public. It tends to promote distrust an constitutes criminal contempt, but the rule is
undermines public confidence in the judiciary, otherwise after the litigation is ended.
by creating the impression that the Court
cannot be trusted to resolve cases impartially, Televising a court trial would amount to a violation
uninfluenced by public clamor and other of due process. A carnival atmosphere would be
extraneous influences. (In Re: De Vera, 385 created.
SCRA 285 (2003))20 Jurisprudence also states that there is nothing
that proscribes the press from reporting events
I. Rule 13.01. A lawyer shall not extend that transpire in the courtroom. But there is a
extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor seek reasonable likelihood that the prejudicial news
prior to trial will prevent a fair trial. If publicity
opportunity for cultivating familiarity with Judges.
during the proceeding threatens the fairness of
the trial, a new trial shall be ordered.
Notes from Agpalo
HOWEVER, THE CASE AT BAR IS DIFFERENT. The
o The common practice of some lawyers publicity in this case did not focus on the guilt of
making judges and prosecutors godfathers the petitioners but rather on the responsibility of
of their children to enhance their influence the government for what was claimed to be a
and their law practice should be avoided by massacre of Muslim trainees. If there was a
judges and lawyers alike trial by newspaper it was not of the petitioner
o A lawyer should not see a judge in chamber but of the government. There is no showing that
and talk to him about a case he is handling the courts martial failed to protect the accused
and pending in the judges court from massive publicity. Protection would include:
o A lawyer should not communicate to the controlling the release of information; change the
judge the merits of a pending case venue or postpone trial until the deluge of
prejudicial publicity has subsided. Even granting
II. Rule 13.02. A lawyer shall not make public that there is massive and prejudicial publicity, the
statements in media regarding a pending case petitioners do not contend that the respondents
tending to arouse public opinion for or against a have been unduly influenced but simply that they
might be. (Martelino v. Alejandro (1989))
party.

Notes from Agpalo:


III. Rule 13.03. A lawyer shall not brook or
19 invite interference by another branch or agency of
FACTS: Two unions with pending cases before the SC had
intermittent pickets in front of the Padre Faura gate of the SC
the government by another branch or agency of
building, obstructing access to and egress from the Courts the government in normal course of judicial
premises. They also constructed provisional shelters, set up a proceedings
kitchen, littered the area causing it to be unhygienic and
unsanitized, waved their red streamers and placards with Rule 11.05. A lawyer shall submit
slogans, and harangued the court with the use of loudspeakers.
grievances against a Judge to the proper
Two justices called the leaders of the unions and their counsel
to inform them that the pickets constitute direct contempt of authorities only.
court, and that their petitions could not be heard until the
pickets stop. Arty Espinas, the counsel for the unions, The basis for this rule is the principle of
apologized and assured that the acts would not be repeated. separation of powers (Aguirre)
The SC dismissed the contempt charges against Atty. Espinas.
20
FACTS: Atty. De Vera made some remarks to the Philippine
Daily Inquirer regarding a pending case involving the
constitutionality of the Plunder Law. In one statement, he
asked the SC to dispel rumors that it would vote in favor of a
petition filed by Estradas lawyers to declare the plunder law
unconstitutional and that his group was greatly disturbed by
the rumors. In another statement, he said that a decision in
favor of the laws unconstitutionality would trigger mass actions
and the people would not just swallow any SC decision that is
basically wrong. Atty. De Vera admitted to making the
statements but that these were factually accurate and that
these are within his right to freedom of speech.

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LEGAL ETHICS

unless by leave of court

Retainer, defined:
D. The Lawyer and the Client (1) an act of client by which he engages
services of an attorney to render legal advice,
MEMORY AID FOR CANONS UNDER THIS defend or prosecute his cause in court;
SECTION: (2) fee which a client pays to an attorney when
1. Service to the Needy (Canon 14) latter is retained (retaining fee)
2. Observe Candor, Fairness, Loyalty (Canon 15)
3. Hold in Trust Clients Moneys and Properties o General retainer, defined: secure
(Canon 16) beforehand services of attorney for any
4. Trust and Confidence (Canon 17) legal problem that may afterward arise
5. Competence and Diligence (Canon 18)
6. Representation with Zeal (Canon 19) o Special retainer, defined: particular case or
7. Attorneys Fees (Canon 20) service
8. Preserve Clients Confidence (Canon 21)
9. Withdrawal of Services for Good Cause (Canon o Retaining fee, defined: preliminary fee paid
22) to insure and secure future services, to
remunerate him for being deprived, by
KNOW MORE: being retained by one party. It prevents
undue hardship resulting from the rigid
The nature of lawyer-client relationship is observance of the rule forbidding him from
premised on the Roman Law concepts of acting as counsel for other party (Agpalo)
1. location conduction operarum (contract of
lease and services) where one person lends Employment of a law firm:
his services and another hires them without The employment of a law firm is
reference to the object of which the equivalent to the retainer of a member
services are to be performed, wherein thereof even though only one of them
lawyers services may be compensated by is consulted
honorarium
2. mandato (contract of agency) wherein a
friend on whom reliance could be placed CANON 14: QUICK REFERENCE
makes a contract in his name, but gives up
all that he gained by the contract to the
person who requested him. (Regala v.
Sandiganbayan)
Canon 14. A lawyer shall not refuse his
services to the needy.
Notes from Agpalo:
o The relationship is strictly personal and Rule 14.01. A lawyer shall not
highly confidential and fiduciary (something decline to represent a person solely on
in trust for another). Thus, delegation is account of the latters race, sex, creed
prohibited absent the clients consent. It or status of life, or because of his own
likewise terminates at death of either the opinion regarding the guilt of said
client or the attorney. person.
o A client can terminate it any time with or
without the consent of the lawyer. Rule 14.02. A lawyer shall not
However, an attorney enjoys no similar decline, except for serious and sufficient
right as he is an officer of the court and he cause, an appointment as counsel de
may be permitted to withdraw only with the oficio or as amici curiae, or a request
consent of his client or with the approval of
from the Integrated Bar of the
the court. The essential feature of the
Philippines or any of its chapters for
relation of attorney and client is the fact of
rendition of free legal aid.
employment. While a written agreement for
professional services is the best evidence to
show the relation, formality is not an Rule 14.03. A lawyer may refuse to accept
essential element of the employment of a representation of an indigent client if:
lawyer a. he is not in a position to carry out the
o It is sufficient, to establish the professional work effectively or competently;
relation, that the advice and assistance of b. he labors under a conflict of interests
an attorney is sought and received in any between him and the prospective client or
matter pertinent to his profession between a present client and the
o There is an implied contract of professional prospective client.
employment where an attorney appears on
behalf of a party without the latter Rule 14.04. A lawyer who accepts the cause
interposing any objection thereto of a person unable to pay his professional
o To employ an attorney one has to have fees shall observe the same standard of
legal capacity to do so. Minors/ conduct governing his relations with paying
incompetents must have a general
clients.
guardian/ guardian ad litem has to employ
an attorney.
o A lawyer has no power to act as counsel or
legal representative for a person without MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 14:
being retained nor may he appear for a o Availability of Services Regardless of Status
party in a case without being employed (Rule 14.01)
o Providing Counsel de Oficio (Rule 14.02)

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LEGAL ETHICS

o Valid Ground for Refusal (Rule 14.03) of presumption of innocence and proof beyond
o Same Standard of Conduct for All Clients (Rule reasonable doubt. (Agpalo)
14.04)
KNOW MORE: Rule 2.01. A lawyer shall not reject, except for
valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or
General rule: A private practitioner is not obliged the oppressed.
to act as counsel for a person who may wish to
become his client. He has the right to decline
employment. II. Rule 14.02. A lawyer shall not decline,
except for serious and sufficient cause, an
Exceptions: Canon 14 provide the exceptions to appointment as counsel de oficio or as amici curiae,
the general rule and emphasize the lawyers or a request from the Integrated Bar of the
public responsibility of rendering legal services to
Philippines or any of its chapters for rendition of
the needy and the oppressed who are unable to
free legal aid.
pay attorneys fees. In such cases, refusal is the
exception rather than the rule.
Rule 138 sec. 20 (h), Duties of attorneys. It
R.A. 6033. An act requiring courts to give is the duty of an attorney: (h) Never to reject,
preference to criminal cases where the for any consideration personal to himself, the
party or parties involved are indigents cause of the defenseless or oppressed;
(1969)ANNEXED
Rule 138, sec. 31 Attorneys for destitute
R.A. 6034. An act providing transportation litigants.A court may assign an attorney to
and other allowances for indigent render professional aid free of charge to any
litigants. (1969) ANNEXED party in a case, if upon investigation it appears
that the party is destitute and unable to employ
RA 6035. An act requiring stenographers an attorney, and that the services of counsel
to give free transcript of notes to indigent are necessary to secure the ends of justice and
and low income litigants and providing a to protect the rights of the party. It shall be
penalty for the violation thereof. (1969) the duty of the attorney so assigned to render
ANNEXED the required service, unless he is excused
therefrom by the court for sufficient cause
I. Rule 14.01. A lawyer shall not decline to shown.
represent a person solely on account of the latters
race, sex, creed or status of life, or because of his Rule 116, sec. 6. Duty of court to inform
own opinion regarding the guilt of said person. accused of his right to counsel.Before
arraignment, the court shall inform the accused
Rule 138, sec. 20 (h-i). Duties of attorneys.It of his right to counsel and ask him if he desires
is the duty of an attorney: (h) Never to reject, to have one. Unless the accused is allowed to
for any consideration personal to himself, the defend himself in person or has employed
cause of the defenseless or oppressed. (i) In counsel of his choice, the court must assign a
the defense of a person accused of crime, by all counsel de oficio to defend him.
fair and honorable means, regardless of his
personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, Rule 116, sec. 7. Appointment of counsel de
to present every defense that the law permits, oficioThe court shall appoint a counsel de
to the end that no person may be deprived of oficio to defend a client, considering [1] the
life or liberty, but by due process of law gravity of the offense, [2] the difficulty of the
questions that may arise, [3] and the
Rule 14.01 makes it his duty not to decline to experience and ability of the appointee. The
represent the accused regardless of his opinion counsel must be [1] a member of the bar in
as to his guilt. Note that in criminal cases, it good standing [2] or, in localities without
is easy to take accused because of presumption lawyers, any person of good repute for probity
of innocence and proof beyond reasonable and ability
doubt.
Rule 116, sec. 8. Time for counsel de oficio to
It is the lawyers duty to counsel or maintain prepare for arraignment. Whenever a
such actions or proceedings only as appear to counsel de oficio is appointed by the court to
him to be just, and such defenses only as he defend the accused at the arraignment, he
believes to be honestly debatable under law. shall be given a reasonable time to consult with
He is not to encourage the commencement or the accused as to his plea before proceeding
the continuance of an action or delay any with the arraignment.
mans cause, for any corrupt motive or
interest. He must decline to conduct a civil Rule 124 (Case on Appeal in the CA), sec. 2.
case or to make a defense when convinced Appointment of counsel de oficio for the
that it is intended merely to harass or injure accused.If it appears from the record of the
the opposite party or to work oppression or case transmitted that [1] the accused is
wrong. If he were to take a bad civil case for a confined in prison, [2] is without counsel de
plaintiff, it will only be to advise him not to file parte on appeal, or [3] has signed the notice
the action or to settle it with the claimant. If of appeal himself, the clerk of court of the CA
he were to accept the defense of a bad civil shall designate a counsel de oficio.
case against a defendant, it will either be to An appellant who is not confined in prison may,
exert his best effort toward a compromise or, upon request, be assigned a counsel de oficio
to tell his client to confess judgment. In within the 10 days from receipt of the notice to
criminal cases: easy to take accused because file brief and he establishes his right thereto by
affidavit

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LEGAL ETHICS

P.D. 543. Authorizing the designation of


municipal judges and lawyers in any
branch of the government service to act as
counsel de oficio for the accused who are CANON 15: QUICK REFERENCE
indigent in places where there are no Canon 15. A lawyer shall observe candor,
available practicing lawyers. (1974) fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and
ANNEXED transactions with his clients.
Counsel de Oficio, defined: a counsel, Rule 15.01. A lawyer, in conferring
appointed or assigned by the court, from with a prospective client, shall ascertain
among such members of the bar in good as soon as practicable whether the
standing who by reason of their experience and
matter would involve a conflict with
ability, may adequately defend the accused.
another client or his own interest, and if
(Agpalo)
so, shall forthwith inform the
Rule 138, sec. 36. Amicus curiae. prospective client.
Experienced and impartial attorneys may be
invited by the Court to appear as amici curiae Rule 15.02. A lawyer shall be bound
to help in the disposition of issues submitted to by the rule on privileged communication
it. in respect of matters disclosed to him by
a prospective client.
Amicus curiae, defined: A friend of the court;
a bystander (usually a counselor) who Rule 15.03. A lawyer shall not
interposes or volunteers information upon represent conflicting interests except by
some matter of law in regard to which the written consent of all concerned given
judge is doubtful or mistaken. (Agpalo) after a full disclosure of the facts.

Rule 15.04. A lawyer may, with the


III. Rule 14.03. A lawyer may refuse to accept
written consent of all concerned, act as
representation of an indigent client if:
mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in
a. he is not in a position to carry out the work
effectively or competently;
settling disputes.
b. he labors under a conflict of interests
between him and the prospective client or Rule 15.05. A lawyer when advising
between a present client and the prospective his client shall give a candid and honest
client. opinion on the merits and probable
results of the clients case, neither
IV. Rule 14.04. A lawyer who accepts the overstating nor understanding the
cause of a person unable to pay his professional prospects of the case.
fees shall observe the same standard of conduct
governing his relations with paying clients. Rule 15.06. A lawyer shall not state
or imply that he is able to influence any
public official, tribunal or legislative
body.

Rule 15.07. A lawyer shall impress


upon his client compliance with the laws
and the principles of fairness.

Rule 15.08. A lawyer who is engaged


in another profession or occupation
concurrently with the practice of law
shall make clear to his client whether he
is acting as a lawyer or in another
capacity.

MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 15:


o Conflict of Interest (Rule 15.01 and 15.03)
o Privileged Communication (Rule 15.02)
o Mediator, Conciliator or Arbiter (Rule 15.04)
o Candid, Honest Advice (Rule 15.05)
o Not to Claim Influence (Rule 15.06)
o Impress Compliance with Laws (Rule 15.07)
o Dual Profession (Rule 15.08)

KNOW MORE:

This canon is based on the character of the


attorney-client relationship which is strictly
personal and highly confidential and

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LEGAL ETHICS

fiduciary. Only in such a relationship can a


person be encouraged to repose confidence in Opposing clients in same or related suits
an attorney. The canon therefore is required by An attorney who appears for opposing
necessity and public interest and is based on clients in the same or related actions puts
the hypothesis that abstinence from seeking himself in that awkward position where he
legal advice in a good cause is an evil which is will have to contend on behalf of one client
fatal to the administration of justice. (Agpalo) that which he will have to oppose on behalf
of the other client. He cannot give
I II. disinterested advice to both clients but will
instead be called on to use confidential
Rule 15.01. A lawyer, in conferring with a information against one client in favor of
prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as the other in view of the identicalness or
practicable whether the matter would involve a relatedness of the subject.
conflict with another client or his own interest, and Even though the opposing clients, after full
if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective client. disclosure of the fact, consent to the
attorneys dual representation, the lawyer
Rule 15.03. A lawyer shall not represent should, when his clients cannot see their
conflicting interests except by written consent of all way clear to settling the controversy
concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. amicably, retire from the case.

Art. 209 Revised Penal Code. Betrayal of trust Opposing clients in unrelated actions
by an attorney. or solicitor.Revelation of o A lawyer owes loyalty to his client not only
Secrets.In addition to the proper in the case in which he has represented
administrative action, shall be imposed upon him but also after the relation of attorney
an attorney-at-law or solicitor (procurador and client has terminated because it is not
judicial) who, by any malicious breach of good practice to permit him afterwards to
professional duty or of inexcusable negligence defend in another case another person
or ignorance, shall prejudice his client, or against his former client under the pretext
reveal any of the secrets of the latter learned that the case is distinct from, and
by him in his professional capacity independent of, the former case.
o It is improper for a lawyer to appear as
Tests of Conflict of Interest: counsel for one party against the adverse
1. when, on behalf of one client, it is the party who is his client in another totally
attorneys duty to contest for that which his unrelated action. The attorney in that
duty to another client requires him to situation will not be able to pursue, with
oppose or when the possibility of such vigor and zeal, the clients claim against
situation will develop; the other and to properly represent the
2. whether the acceptance of the new relation latter in the unrelated action; or, if he can
will prevent a lawyer from the full do so, he cannot avoid being suspected by
discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity the defeated client of disloyalty of partiality
and loyalty to his client or will invite in favor of the successful client
suspicion of unfaithfulness in the
performance thereof; and New client against former client
3. whether a lawyer will be called upon in his o A lawyer cannot represent a new client
new relation to use against his first client against a former client only when the
any knowledge acquired in the previous subject matter of the present controversy
employment. is related, directly of indirectly, to the
subject matter of the previous litigation in
The proscription against representation of which he appeared for the former client. He
conflicting interests finds application where the may properly act as counsel for a new
conflicting interests arise with respect to the client, with full disclosure to the latter,
same general matter and is applicable however against a former client in a matter wholly
slight such adverse interest may be. It applies unrelated to that of the previous
although the attorneys intentions and motives employment, there being no conflict of
were honest and he acted in good faith. interests.
o Reason: what a lawyer owes to former
Rule against representing conflicting interests client is to maintain inviolate the clients
applies even if the conflict pertains to the confidence or to refrain from doing
lawyers private activity or in the performance anything which will injuriously affect him in
in a non-professional capacity, and his any matter which he previously
presentation as a lawyer regarding the same represented him; in this case, duty does
subject matter. not arise
o Where subject matter of present suit
Effect of termination of attorney-client relation between the lawyers new client and his
o Termination of relation of attorney and former client is in some way connected,
client provides no justification for a lawyer prohibition applies even if no confidential
to represent an interest adverse to or in information was acquired
conflict with that of the former client.
Neither may he do anything injurious to his Conflicting duties
former client nor use against former client o A lawyer may not, as an employee of a
any knowledge or information gained. corporation whose duty is to attend to its
o Reason: clients confidence, once reposed, legal affairs, join a labor union of
cannot be divested by the expiration of employees in that corporation because the
professional employment exercise of the unions rights is

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LEGAL ETHICS

incompatible with his duty as a lawyer for


his corporate client The general rule is however qualified by some
o A lawyer may not, as counsel for a client, exceptions. Client identity is privileged
attack the validity of the instrument o Where a strong probability exists that
prepared by him revealing the clients name would implicate
the client in the very activity for which he
Attorneys interest vs. Clients interest sought the lawyers advice.
o An attorney should not put himself in a o Where disclosure would open the client to
position where self-interest tempts him to civil liability.
do less than his best for his client. (e.g., it o Where the governments lawyers have no
is improper to have financial stakes in case against an attorneys client unless by
subject matter of suit brought on behalf of revealing the clients name, the said name
his client) would furnish the only link that would form
the chain of testimony necessary to convict
Rule applicable to law firm an individual of a crime.
o Where a lawyer is disqualified or forbidden
from appearing as counsel in a case Information relating to the identity of the
because of conflict of interests, the law firm client may fall within the ambit of the
of which he is a member as well as any privilege when the clients name itself has
member, associate or assistant is similarly an independent significance, such that
disqualified or prohibited from so acting. disclosure would then reveal client
o This rule is a corollary of the rule that the confidences. (Regala v. Sandiganbayan,
employment of one member of a law firm is 262 SCRA 122 (1996))
considered as an employment of the law
firm and that the employment of a law firm Limitations to general rule
is equivalent to a retainer of the members The prohibition against representing
thereof. conflicting interests does not apply:
Notes from Agpalo: 1. where no conflict of interests exists (e.g. a
o The canon therefore is required by lawyer may represent new client against
necessity and public interest and is based former client where both actions are
on the hypothesis that abstinence from unrelated and where lawyer will not be
seeking legal advice in a good cause is an called to oppose what he had espoused on
evil which is fatal to the administration of behalf of former client not use confidential
justice. info against former client.)
o The disclosure is more for the protection of 2. where the clients knowingly consent to dual
the lawyer than that of the client, so that representation in writing
the client may not lose confidence in him, Lawyer may represent conflicting
which may even affect his fee. If the lawyer interests before it reaches the court but
does not disclose anything, a client may only after full disclosure of the facts
assume the lawyer has no interest which and express written consent of all
will interfere with his devotion to the cause parties.
confided to him or betray his judgment. Where representation by a lawyer is for
both opposing parties, their written
For attorney-client privilege to apply, however, consent may enable the lawyer to
the period to be considered is the date when represent them before but not after
the privileged communication was made by the their controversy has reached the
client to the attorney in relation to either a court. After the controversy has
crime committed in the past or with respect to reached the court, the lawyer cannot,
a crime intended to be committed in the future. even with the parties written consent,
(if past, privilege applies; if future, does not represent both of them without being
apply) In order that a communication between held administratively liable as an officer
a lawyer and his client be privileged, it must be of the court.
for a lawful purpose or in the furtherance of a Disclosure should include thorough
lawful end. (People v. Sandiganbayan, 275 explanation of nature and extent of
SCRA 505 (1996)) conflict and possible adverse effects of
dual representation. This should
The general rule is that a lawyer may not include disclosure of the lawyers
invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the present and/or former clients who have
name or identity of his client. The reasons for conflicting interests.
this are that: Advantage: a mutual lawyer, impartial
o The Court has a right to know that the and with honest motivations, may be
client whose privileged information is better situated to work out an
sought to be protected is flesh and blood. acceptable settlement since he has
o The privilege begins to exist only after the confidence of both parties
attorney-client relationship has been A lawyer may represent new client
established. The privilege does not attach against former client only after full
until there is a client. disclosure and written consent. Former
o The privilege pertains to the subject matter clients written consent constitutes a
of the relationship. release from obligation to keep
o Due process considerations require that the inviolate the clients confidences or to
opposing party should know his adversary. desist from injuriously affecting him in
(Metaphor: He cannot be obliged to grope any matter which he previously
in the dark against unknown forces.) represented.

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LEGAL ETHICS

Where circumstances show parties There is conflict of interest when a lawyer


require independent counsel, or where represents inconsistent interest of two or more
lawyer may be suspected of disloyalty, opposing parties. The test is whether or not in
he should immediately withdraw from behalf of one client, it is the lawyers duty to
the case. fight for an issue or claim, but it is his duty to
General rule that a lawyer may be oppose it for the other client. Also, if the
allowed to represent conflicting acceptance of the new retainer will require the
interests, where parties consent, attorney to perform an act which will injuriously
applies only where one is a former affect his first client in any matter in which he
client and the other is a new one, not represents him and also whether he will be
where both are current clients. called upon in his new relation to use against
Lawyer may not represent conflicting his first client any knowledge acquired through
interests, even with consent, where the their connection. Another test is whether the
conflict is between the attorneys acceptance of a new relation will prevent an
interest and that of a client (self- attorney from the full discharge of his duty of
interest should yield to clients interest) undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or
or between a private clients interest invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-
and that of the govt or any of its dealing in the performance thereof. (Hornilla
instrumentalities (public policy and v. Salunat (2003))
public interest forbid dual
representation).
3. where no true attorney-client relationship is III. Rule 15.02. A lawyer shall be bound by the
attendant rule on privileged communication in respect of
Absence of true attorney-client matters disclosed to him by a prospective client.
relationship either with the attorney or
with the law firm of which he is a Art. 209 Revised Penal Code. Betrayal of
member makes the prohibition trust by an attorney. or solicitor.Revelation of
inapplicable. Secrets.In addition to the proper
Exception: attorneys secretary, administrative action, shall be imposed upon
stenographer or clerk who, in such an attorney-at-law or solicitor (procurador
capacity, has acquired confidential judicial) who, by any malicious breach of
information from attorneys client, may professional duty or of inexcusable negligence
not accept employment or, after or ignorance, shall prejudice his client, or
admission to the bar, represent an reveal any of the secrets of the latter learned
interest adverse to that of attys client. by him in his professional capacity.

Effects of representation of conflicting interests Exceptions to privilege (Aguirre):


o Representation of conflicting interests
subjects the lawyer to disciplinary action. 1. When a lawyer is accused by the client and
The reason is that the representation of he needs to reveal information to defend
conflicting interests not only constitutes himself
malpractice but also a violation of the 2. When the client discloses the intention to
confidence which results from the attorney- commit a crime or unlawful act. (Future
client relationship, of the oath of a lawyer crime)
(in that he did not serve his clients interest
well) and of his duty to both the client and For attorney-client privilege to apply, however,
the court. the period to be considered is the date when
o If representation of conflicting interests is the privileged communication was made by the
unknown and works prejudice against new client to the attorney in relation to either a
client, judgment against the latter may be crime committed in the past or with respect to
set aside. Basis: a lawyer disqualified from a crime intended to be committed in the future.
appearing on account of inconsistency of (if past, privilege applies; if future, does not
duties is presumed to have improperly and apply) In the present case, testimony sought
prejudicially advised and represented the to be elicited from Sansaet are communications
party from beginning to end of litigation. made to him by physical acts and/or
Two questions to be asked: accompanying words of Paredes at the time he
(1) Did the attorney discharge or have and Honrada, either with active or passive
opportunity to discharge conflicting participation of Sansaet, were about to falsify,
interests? or in the process of falsifying, the documents
(2) Did the new client suffer prejudice? If which were later filed by Sansaet in the
yes to both, adverse judgment against new Tanodbayan. Crime of falsification had not yet
client may be justified. been committed, hence, they are not covered
o Attorneys right to be paid for his services by the privilege. It could also not have been
to former client may be affected by covered by the privilege because Sansaet was
representation of conflicting interests, only himself a conspirator in the commission of the
if 2 matters are related and the former crime of falsification. In order that a
client objected to such representation. But communication between a lawyer and his client
new client may not defeat attorneys right be privileged, it must be for a lawful purpose or
to fees in the absence of concealment and in the furtherance of a lawful end. On the
prejudice by reason of attorneys previous contrary, Sansaet, as lawyer, may be bound to
professional relationship with opposing disclose the info at once in the interest of
party. justice. (People v. Sandiganbayan (1997))

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LEGAL ETHICS

IV. Rule 15.04. A lawyer may, with the written make clear to his client whether he is
consent of all concerned, act as mediator, acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.
conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes.
Exercise of dual profession is not prohibited but
An attorneys knowledge of the law and his a lawyer must make it clear when he is acting
reputation for fidelity may make it easy for the as a lawyer and when he is otherwise,
disputants to settle their differences amicably. especially in occupations related to the practice
However, he shall not act as counsel for any of of law. Reason: certain ethical considerations
them. (Agpalo) may be operative in one profession and not in
the other. (Agpalo)

V. Rule 15.05. A lawyer when advising his client A lawyer is not barred from dealing with his
shall give a candid and honest opinion on the client but the business transaction must be
merits and probable results of the clients case, characterized with utmost honesty and good
neither overstating nor understanding the faith. Business transactions between an
prospects of the case. attorney and his client are disfavored and
discouraged by policy of law because by virtue
A lawyer is bound to give candid and honest of a lawyers office, he is an easy position to
opinion on the merit or lack of merit of clients take advantage of the credulity and ignorance
case, neither overstating nor understating the of his client. Thus, there is no presumption of
prospect of the case. He should also give an innocence or improbability of wrongdoing in
honest opinion as to the probable results of the favor of lawyers. MOREOVER, the proscription
case, with the end in view of promoting respect against representation of conflicting interests
for the law and the legal processes. (Agpalo) finds application where the conflicting interests
arise with respect to the same general matter
VI. Rule 15.06. A lawyer shall not state or imply and is applicable however slight such adverse
that he is able to influence any public official, interest may be. It applies although the
tribunal or legislative body. attorneys intentions and motives were honest
and he acted in good faith. Representation of
This rule protects against influence peddling. conflicting interests may be allowed where the
Some prospective clients secure the services of parties give an informed consent to the
a particular lawyer or law firm precisely representation after full disclosure of facts. The
because he can exert a lot of influence on a lawyer must explain to his clients the nature
judge and some lawyers exact big fees for such and extent of the conflict and the possible
influence (Agpalo) adverse effects must be thoroughly understood
by his clients. The test to determine whether
VII. Rule 15.07. A lawyer shall impress upon his there is conflict of interest in the representation
client compliance with the laws and the principles is the probability, not the certainty of conflict.
of fairness. (Nakpil v. Valdez, 286 SCRA 758 (1998))21

Art. 19 Civil Code. Every person must, in the


exercise of his rights and in the performance of
his duties, act with justice, give everyone his
due and observe honesty and good faith.

Notes from Agpalo:


o A lawyer is required to represent his client
within the bounds of the law. The CPR
enjoins him to employ only fair and honest
means to attain the lawful objectives of his
client and warns him not to allow his client
to dictate procedure in handling the case.
He may use arguable construction of the
law or rules which are favorable to his
client. But he is not allowed to knowingly
advance a claim or defense that is
unwarranted under existing law.
o A lawyer should comply with the clients
lawful requests. But he should resist and
should never follow any unlawful 21
FACTS: Atty. Carlos Valdes was the lawyer and accountant of
instructions. In matters of law, it is the the Nakpils. In 1965, Jose Nakpil wanted to buy a summer
client who should yield to the lawyer and residence in Baguio City but because of lack of funds, he agreed
not the other way around. that Valdes would keep the property in trust until the Nakpils
could buy it back. Valdes took out two loans to purchase the
o A lawyer must also observe and advice his property. In 1973, Jose Nakpil died. The ownership of the
client to observe the statute law, thought Baguio property became an issue in the intestate proceedings as
until a statute shall have been construed Valdes excluded it from the inventory of Joses estate. In 1978,
and interpreted by competent jurisdiction, Valdes transferred his title to the property to his company. The
he is free and is entitled to advice as to its estate filed an action for reconveyance and the adminstratix
filed an administrative case to disbar Valdes for (1) maliciously
validity and as to what he conscientiously
appropriating the property in trust to his family corporation (2)
believes to be its just meaning and extent including in the claims against the estate the amounts of the two
loans which he claimed were Joses loans probably for the
VIII. Rule 15.08. A lawyer who is engaged in purchase of a house and lot in Moran St., Baguio City and (3) for
another profession or occupation conflict of interest, since his auditing firm prepared the list of
concurrently with the practice of law shall claims of creditors who were also represented by his law firm.
The SC suspended Valdes from the practice of law for one year

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LEGAL ETHICS

CANON 16: QUICK REFERENCE (purchase includes mortgage of property in


litigation to lawyer. In this case, acquisition is
merely postponed until foreclosure but the
Canon 16. A Lawyer shall hold in trust all effect is the same)
moneys and properties of his client that may
come into his possession. Application of the Rule
When all the following four elements are present
Rule 16.01. A lawyer shall account there is a violation of law and ethically improper
for all money or property collected or conduct:
received for or from the client. 1. there must be attorney-client relationship
2. the property or interest of the client must
Rule 16.02. A lawyer shall keep the be in litigation
funds of each client separate and apart 3. the attorney takes part as counsel in the
from his own and those of others kept case
by him. 4. the attorney himself or through another
purchases such property or interest during
Rule 16.03. A lawyer shall deliver the pendency of the litigation
the funds and property to his client
when due or upon demand. However, When the rule inapplicable
he shall have a lien over the funds and The absence of one element renders prohibition
may apply so much thereof as may be inapplicable (e.g. an attorney may bid on behalf of
necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and his client at the auction sale of the clients property
disbursements, giving notice promptly in litigation since it is not for his own benefit)
thereafter to his client. He shall also
have a lien to the same extent on all contingent fee contract: allowed since it
judgments and executions he has neither gives nor purports to give to the
secured for his client as provided for in attorney an absolute right, personal or real, in
the Rules of Court. the subject matter during the pendency of the
litigation; the measure of compensation
Rule 16.04. A lawyer shall not borrow provided is a mere basis for the computation of
money from his client unless the clients fees and the payment made from the proceeds
interests are fully protected by the nature of of the litigation is effected only after its
the case or by independent advice. Neither successful termination. A distinction must be
shall a lawyer lend money to a client except made between purchasing an interest in the
when, in the interest of justice, he has to litigation to enable a lawyer to litigate on his
advance necessary expenses in a legal matter own account or to abuse the clients confidence
he is handling for the client. (prohibited) and accepting compensation
contingent upon the result of the litigation
(allowed). Note, however, that a contingent
fee contract which is unreasonable ceases to be
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 16: a measure of due compensation for services
o Account (Rule 16.01) rendered.
o Keep Clients Fund Separate (Rule 16.02)
o Lawyers Lien (Rule 16.03) Effects of Prohibited Purchase
o No Borrowing, Lending (Rule 16.04) o A prohibited purchase is null and void ab
initio; public interest and public policy
dictate that its nullity is definite and
KNOW MORE: permanent and cannot be cured by
ratification. The lawyer will be deemed to
Art. 1491(5) Civil Code. The following persons hold the property in trust for the client.
cannot acquire by purchase, even at a public o The client is therefore entitled to recover
auction, wither in person or through the property and interest from his attorney
mediation of another: (5) Justices, judges, with the fruits. The client should, however,
prosecuting attorneys, clerks of superior and return the purchase price and the legal
inferior courts, and other officers and interests.
employees connected with the administration of
justice, the property and rights in litigation or
levied upon an execution before the court I. Rule 16.01. A lawyer shall account for all
within whose jurisdiction or territory they money or property collected or received for or from
exercise their respective functions; this the client.
prohibition includes the act of acquiring by
assignment and shall apply to lawyers, with
Notes from Agpalo:
respect to the property and tights which may
be the object of any litigation in which they o A lawyer holds money or property, which he
may take part by virtue of their profession. received from or for his client, in trust and
should promptly make an accounting thereof.
Elements of Art. 1491 (Aguirre) o If money or property entrusted was not used
o Property or interest is in litigation for its purpose, it should be returned
o Attorney takes part as counsel in the case immediately to the client. Failure to return
involving said property would raise presumption that he
o Purchase, acquisition by attorney, by misappropriated the money/property
himself or through another of the property
in litigation, during the pendency of the o Money received by a lawyer from a person
case. who is not his client is also held by him in

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LEGAL ETHICS

trust and he is under obligation to account for


it. Rule 138, sec. 37. Attorneys liens.An
attorney shall have a lien upon the funds,
o The circumstance that a lawyer has a lien for documents and papers of his client which have
his attorneys fees over the clients money in lawfully come into his possession and may
his possession does not relieve him from the retain the same until his lawful fees and
obligation to make a prompt accounting and disbursements have been paid, and may apply
his failure to do so constitutes professional
such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall
misconduct
also have a lien to the same extent upon all
In the present case, respondent collected judgments for the payment of money, and
money from the complainant and the nephew executions issued in pursuance of such
of the detained person in the total amount of judgments, which he has secured in a litigation
P64,000 for the immediate release of the of his client, from and after the time when he
detainee through his alleged connection with a shall have caused a statement of his claim of
Justice of the Supreme Court. Not only that, such lien to be entered upon the record of the
respondent even had the audacity to tell court rendering such judgment, or issuing such
complainant that the Justices of the Supreme execution, and shall have caused written notice
Court do not accept checks. thereof to be delivered to his client and power
over such judgments and executions as his
As with other cases against him, respondent client would have to enforce his lien and secure
has demonstrated a penchant for the payment of his just fees and
misrepresenting to clients that he has the disbursements.
proper connections to secure the relief they
seek, and thereafter, ask for money, which will If client agrees with lawyer as to the amount of
allegedly be given to such connections. In so attorneys fees and as to the application of the
doing, respondent placed the Court in dishonor clients fund to pay his lawful fees and
and public contempt. He deserves to be disbursement, a lawyer may deduct what is due
disbarred from the practice of law. (Berbano him and remit the balance to his client. If no
v. Barcelona, 410 SCRA 258 (2003)) such agreement or consent or if there is
dispute or disagreement as to the fees, he
should return everything to client without
A lawyer, under his oath, pledges himself not
prejudice to his filing a case to recover his
to delay any man for money or malice and is
unsatisfied fees. (Agpalo)
bound to conduct himself with all good fidelity
to his clients. He is obligated to report promptly
This rule grants the lawyer a lien over the
the money of his clients that has come into his
clients funds in his possession as well as on all
possession (otherwise a violation of Sec. 25,
judgments and executions he has secured for
Rule 138 of ROC). He should not commingle it
his client, to satisfy his lawful fees and
without his clients consent. He should maintain
disbursements. (Agpalo)
a reputation for honesty and fidelity to private
trust. The fact that a lawyer has a lien for fees
Money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a
on money in his hands would not relieve him judgment in favor of his clients is held in trust
from the duty of promptly accounting for the
and must be immediately turned over to them.
funds received. (Daroy v. Legaspi (1975))22
(Businos v. Ricafort, 283 SCRA 40
(1997))23
II. Rule 16.02. A lawyer shall keep the
funds of each client separate and apart from his
own and those of others kept by him. After a decision favorable to Atty. Robinols
clients and he had received the latter's funds,
A lawyer should keep funds of each client suddenly, he had a change of mind and decided
separate and apart from his own. He should not to convert the payment of his fees from a
use clients money for personal purposes portion of land equivalent to that of each of the
without clients consent. He should report plaintiffs to P 50,000, which he alleges to be
promptly the money of his client in his the monetary value of that area. Certainly,
possession. (Agpalo) Atty. Robinol had no right to unilaterally
appropriate his clients' money not only because
he is bound by a written agreement but also
III. Rule 16.03. A lawyer shall deliver the because, under the circumstances, it was
funds and property to his client when due or upon highly unjust for him to have done so. His
demand. However, he shall have a lien over the clients were mere squatters who could barely
funds and may apply so much thereof as may be eke out an existence
necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and Atty. Robinol has no basis to claim that since
disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to he was unjustly dismissed by his clients he had
his client. He shall also have a lien to the same the legal right to retain the money in his
extent on all judgments and executions he has possession. Firstly, there was justifiable ground
secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of
Court. 23
FACTS: Atty. Ricafort, as counsel of Busios in a case Busios
won, received from the Clerk of Court of RTC Ligao, Albay, P25,
22
FACTS: The SC disbarred Atty. Legaspi who, without his 000 and from OAS Standard High School P5, 000. Busios waited
clients knowledge, received from the deputy provincial sheriff for the amounts to be deposited in her account. Atty. Ricafort
P4, 000 as their share in the intestate proceeding of their later informed her that he had spent the money but he
maternal grandparents. He misled his clients by informing them promised to pay her. Only after an estafa case was filed did
that they could withdraw the money but later admitted that he Atty. Ricafort pay P60,000 as settlement. Busios dropped the
had withdrawn the money and spent it. The SC disbarred Atty. estafa case but not the disbarment case.
Legaspi.

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LEGAL ETHICS

for his discharge as counsel- his clients had lost KNOW MORE:
confidence in him. Secondly, even if there were
no valid ground, he is bereft of any legal right When a lawyer takes a clients cause, he
to retain his clients' funds intended for a thereby covenants that he will exert all effort
specific purpose the purchase of land. He for its prosecution until its final conclusion. The
stands obliged to return the money failure to exercise due diligence or the
immediately to their rightful owners. abandonment of a client's cause makes such
lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client
The principle of quantum meruit applies if
had reposed on him.
a lawyer is employed without a price
A lawyer has a duty to protect with utmost
agreed upon for his services in which case
dedication the interest of his client and of the
he would be entitled to receive what he
fidelity, trust and confidence which he owes his
merits for his services, as much as he has
client. More so where by reason of his gross
earned. In this case, however, there was an
negligence his client thereby suffered by losing
express contract and a stipulated mode of
all her cases.
compensation. The implied assumption on
Lawyers should be fair, honest, respectable,
quantum meruit therefore, is inapplicable.
above suspicion and beyond reproach in
(Quilban v. Robinol, 171 SCRA 768
dealing with their clients. The profession is not
(1989))
synonymous with an ordinary business
proposition. It is a matter of public interest.
IV. Rule 16.04. A lawyer shall not borrow (Cantiller v. Potenciano, 180 SCRA 246
money from his client unless the clients interests (1968))
are fully protected by the nature of the case or by
independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend It is the duty of a lawyer at the time of retainer
money to a client except when, in the interest of to disclose to the client all the circumstances of
justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a his relations to the parties, and any interest in
legal matter he is handling for the client. or connection with the controversy, which
might influence the client in the selection of
Champertya bargain by a stranger (the counsel.
lawyer) with a party to a suit (the client) by It is unprofessional to represent conflicting
which such third person undertakes to carry on interests, except by express consent of all
the litigation at his own expense and risk, in concerned given after a full disclosure of the
consideration of receiving, if successful, a part facts. Within the meaning of this canon, a
of the proceeds or subject sought to be lawyer represents conflicting interests when, in
recovered. behalf of one client, it is his duty to contend for
that which duty to another client requires him
Champertous Contractwhere the lawyer to oppose.
assumes all expenses of litigation and A lawyer should champion his cause with that
reimbursement is contingent on outcome of wholehearted fidelity, care and devotion that
case is PROHIBITED! Champertous contracts he is obligated to give to every case that he
are like wagersthe lawyer gets paid and accepts from a client. (Alisbo v. Jalandoon,
reimbursed if he wins the case and loses even 199 SCRA 321 (1991))
what he had spent on the case if he loses.
Rule 138, Sec. 20 (e): To maintain inviolate the
Contingent Fee Contractin this, the lawyer confidence, and at every peril to himself, to
gets reimbursed for any advances made for the preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept
client in the course of the representation, no compensation in connection with his client's
whether he wins the suit or not; only the business except from him or with his
amount of attorneys fees is contingent upon knowledge and approval.
winning. Rule 138, Sec. 20 (f): To abstain from all
offensive personality and to advance no fact
The relation of attorney and client is highly prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party
fiduciary in nature and is of a very delicate, or witnesses, unless required by the justice of
exacting and confidential character. A lawyer is the cause with which he is charged.
duty-bound to observe candor, fairness and Furnishing the adverse parties with evidence
loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with against the client constitutes betrayal of trust
his clients. The profession, therefore, demands and confidence of his former clients in violation
of an attorney an absolute abdication of every of Rule 138, Sec. 20 (e). (Ngayan v. Tugade,
personal advantage conflicting in any way, 193 SCRA 779 (1991))
directly or indirectly, with the interest of his
client. (Barnachea v. Quicho, 399 SCRA 1 A lawyer has a sworn duty to act with fidelity
(2003)) toward his clients. Canon 17, Code of
Professional Responsibility states that [a]
lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client
CANON 17: QUICK REFERENCE and shall be mindful the trust and confidence
reposed in him; and Rule 1.01 which prohibits
lawyers from engaging in unlawful, dishonest,
Canon 17. A lawyer owes fidelity to immoral or deceitful conduct. The requirement
the cause of his client and he shall be of good moral character is not only a condition
mindful of the trust and confidence precedent to admission to the Philippine Bar
reposed in him. [no implementing rules] but is also a continuing requirement to
maintain ones goods standing in the legal
profession. (In Re: Suspension from the
Practice of law (435 SCRA 417 (2004))

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LEGAL ETHICS

to office practice, or the length of experience


The present case focuses on a critical aspect of and competence of the lawyer supervised.
the lawyer-client relationship: the duty of Such factors can be taken into account in
loyalty. The fidelity lawyers owe their clients is ascertaining the proper penalty. Certainly, a
traditionally characterized as undivided. This lawyer charged with the supervision of a
means that lawyers must represent their clients fledgling attorney prone to rookie mistakes
and serve their needs without interference or should bear greater responsibility for the
impairment from any conflicting interest. culpable acts of the underling than one satisfied
Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional enough with the work and professional ethic of
Responsibility, deals with conflicts in the the associate so as to leave the latter mostly to
interests of an attorneys actual clients among his/her own devises. (Solatan v. Inocentes,
themselves, of existing and prospective clients, 466 SCRA 1 (2005))
and of the attorney and his clients. It states
that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting
interests except by written consent of all CANON 18: QUICK REFERENCE
concerned given after a full disclosure of the
facts.
The relation of attorney and client begins from Canon 18. A lawyer shall serve his client
the time an attorney is retained. An attorney with competence and diligence.
has no power to act as counsel or legal
representative for a person without being Rule 18.01. A lawyer shall not
retained. To establish the professional relation, undertake a legal service which he
it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of knows or should know that he is not
an attorney are sought and received in any qualified to render. However he may
manner pertinent to his profession. render such service if, with the consent
Inapplicable to the case, is Canon 15 of the of his client, he can obtain as
same Code which encompasses the collaborating counsel a lawyer who is
aforementioned rule. In general terms, Canon competent on the matter.
15 requires lawyers to observe loyalty in all
dealings and transactions with their clients. Rule 18.02. A lawyer shall not
Unquestionably, an attorney giving legal advice handle any legal matter without
to a party with an interest conflicting with that adequate preparation.
of his client resulting in detriment to the latter
may be held guilty of disloyalty. However, far Rule 18.03. A lawyer shall not
be it that every utterance of an attorney which neglect a legal matter entrusted to
may have afforded an individual some relief him, and his negligence in connection
adverse to the formers client may be labeled therewith shall render him liable.
as a culpable act of disloyalty. As in every
case, the acts alleged to be culpable must be Rule 18.04. A lawyer shall keep the
assessed in light of the surrounding client informed of the status of his case
circumstances. and shall respond within a reasonable
We are not unaware of the custom of period of time to the clients request
practitioners in a law firm of assigning cases for information.
and even entire client accounts to associates or
other partners with limited supervision, if at all.
However, let it not be said that law firm
practitioners are given a free hand to assign
cases to seasoned attorneys and thereafter MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 18:
o Client Consent with Collaborating Counsel
conveniently forget about the case. To do so
would be a disservice to the profession, the (Rule 18.01)
integrity and advancement of which this Court o Adequate Preparation (Rule 18.02)
must jealously protect. o Not to neglect Legal Matters (Rule 18.03)
Law practitioners are acutely aware of the o Inform Client of Case Statue (Rule 18.04)
responsibilities that are naturally taken on by
partners and supervisory lawyers over the
KNOW MORE:
lawyers and non-lawyers of the law office.
Lawyers are administratively liable for the
conduct of their employees in failing to timely Competence sufficiency of lawyers
file pleadings. qualifications to deal with the matter in
We now hold further that partners and question and includes knowledge and skill and
practitioners who hold supervisory capacities the ability to use them effectively in the
are legally responsible to exert ordinary interest of the client
diligence in apprising themselves of the
comings and goings of the cases handled by Diligence is the attention and care required
the persons over which they are exercising of a person in a given situation and is the
supervisory authority and in exerting necessary opposite of negligence. It is axiomatic in the
efforts to foreclose the occurrence of violations practice of law that the price of success is
eternal diligence to the cause of the client.
of the Code of Professional Responsibility by
persons under their charge. Nonetheless, the (Edquibal v. Ferrer, 450 SCRA 406)
liability of the supervising lawyer in this regard
is by no means equivalent to that of the Lawyer impliedly represents that: he possesses
recalcitrant lawyer. The actual degree of requisite degree of learning, skill, ability which
control and supervision exercised by said is necessary to the practice of his profession
supervising lawyer varies, inter alia, according and which other similarly situated possess; he
will exert his best judgment in the prosecution

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LEGAL ETHICS

or defense of the litigation entrusted to him; he on him by the latter. (Legarda v. CA, 209
will exercise reasonable and ordinary care and SCRA 722 (1992))24
diligence in the use of his skill and in the
application of his knowledge to his clients
cause; he will take such steps as will IV. Rule 18.04. A lawyer shall keep the
adequately safeguards his clients interest. A client informed of the status of his case and shall
client may reasonably expect that counsel will respond within a reasonable period of time to the
make good his representations. (Agpalo) clients request for information.

I. Rule 18.01. A lawyer shall not undertake a legal It was unnecessary to have complainants wait,
service which he knows or should know that he is and hope, for six long years on their pension
not qualified to render. However he may render claims. Upon their refusal to co-operate,
such service if, with the consent of his client, he respondent should have forthwith terminated
can obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is their professional relationship instead of
competent on the matter. keeping them hanging indefinitely. (Blanza v.
Arcangel (1967))
However well meaning he may be, a lawyer
cannot ask another lawyer to collaborate with
him in a particular case without the consent of
CANON 19: QUICK REFERENCE
the client. The fiduciary nature of attorney-
client relationship prohibits this. (Aguirre)
Canon 19. A lawyer shall represent his
Some cases involve specialized fields of law client with zeal within the bounds of law.
and require special training. A lawyer should
not accept an undertaking in specific area of Rule 19.01. A lawyer shall employ
law which he knows or should know he is not only fair and honest means to attain
qualified to enter. (Agpalo) the lawful objectives of his client and
shall not present, participate in
II. Rule 18.02.A lawyer shall not handle any legal presenting or threaten to present
matter without adequate preparation. unfounded criminal charges to obtain
an improper advantage in any case
Lawyer should safeguard his clients rights and or proceeding.
interests by thorough study and preparation;
mastering applicable law and facts involved in a Rule 19.02 A lawyer who has
case, regardless of the nature of the received information that his client
assignment; and keeping constantly abreast of has, in the course of the
the latest jurisprudence and developments in representation, perpetuated a fraud
all branches of the law (Agpalo) upon a person or tribunal, shall
promptly call upon the client to
rectify the same, and failing which he
III. Rule 18.03. A lawyer shall not neglect a shall terminate the relationship with
legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in such client in accordance with the
connection therewith shall render him liable. Rules of Court.

The standard of diligence required of a lawyer Rule 19.03. A lawyer shall not
is that of a good father of a family. He is not allow his client to dictate the
bound to exercise extraordinary diligence procedure in handling the case.

There is want of required diligence when a


MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 19:
lawyer fails without sufficient justification to
bring an action immediately, to answer a o Fair and Honest (Rule 19.01)
complaint within the reglementary period, to o Rectify Clients Fraud (Rule 19.02)
notify his client of the date of the date of o Control Proceedings (Rule 19.03)
hearing, to attend the scheduled pre-trial
conference, to inform the client of an adverse
KNOW MORE:
judgment within the reglementary period to
appeal, to take steps to have the adverse
decision reconsidered or appealed, to ascertain I. Rule 19.01. A lawyer shall employ only fair and
the correct date of receipt of decision, to honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his
acquaint himself with what has happened to client and shall not present, participate in
the litigation, to pay docket fee on appeal, to presenting or threaten to present unfounded
claim judicial notice sent to him by mail or to criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage
in any case or proceeding.
file the appellants brief

It should be remembered that the moment the Rule 138, Sec. 20(d). Duties of attorneys.It
lawyer takes a clients cause, he covenants that is the duty of an attorney: (d) To employ, for
he will exert all effort for its prosecution until the purpose of maintaining the causes confided
its final conclusion. A lawyer who fails to 24
exercise due diligence or abandons his clients FACTS: Legarda was defendant in a complaint for specific
performance. Atty. Coronel, her counsel, failed to file an
cause makes him unworthy of the trust reposed answer within the period and Legarda was thus declared in
default. The lower court rendered a decision against Legarda.
Coronel failed to pose an appeal within the period. Thus, the
decision became final. The SC suspended Atty. Coronel for six
months.

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LEGAL ETHICS

to him, such means only as are consistent with Mistakes or Negligence of Lawyer Binding
truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the Upon Client (1998, 200, 2002 BAR EXAMS)
judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or
false statement of fact or law. General Rule: Client is bound by attorneys
conduct, negligence and mistake in handling case
Rule: In espousing his clients cause, a lawyer or in management of litigation and in procedural
should not state his personal belief as to the technique, and he cannot be heard to complain that
soundness or justice of his case. Reasons: the result might have been different had his lawyer
lawyers personal belief has no real bearing on proceeded differently.
the case; if expression of belief were permitted,
it would give improper advantage to the older Exceptions:
and better known lawyer whose opinion would 1) Where adherence thereto results in outright
carry more weight; If such were permitted, deprivation of clients liberty or property or
omission to make such assertion might be where interest of justice so requires.
taken as an admission of the lack or belief in 2) Where error by counsel is purely technical
the soundness of his clients cause. (Agpalo) which does not affect substantially clients
cause.
3) Ignorance, incompetence or inexperience of
II. Rule 19.02 A lawyer who has received lawyer is so great and error so serious that
information that his client has, in the course of the client, who has good cause is prejudiced
representation, perpetuated a fraud upon a person and denied a day in court.
or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to 4) Gross negligence of lawyer.
rectify the same, and failing which he shall 5) Lack of acquaintance with technical part of
terminate the relationship with such client in procedure.
accordance with the Rules of Court.

Canon 19.02 merely requires the lawyer to


terminate his relationship with the client in the
event the latter fails or refuses to rectify the
fraud. (Agpalo)

On the other hand, Canon 41 of the Canons of


Professional Ethics permits the lawyer to inform
the person injured by the fraudulent acts of his
client or the injured partys counsel. Canon 41
may collide with the lawyers duty to keep the
clients confidence inviolate which may be the
reason for the revision.

Rule: A lawyer may not volunteer the


information concerning the clients commission
of fraud to anybody, as it will violate his
obligation to maintain his clients secrets
undisclosed.

III. Rule 19.03. A lawyer shall not allow his


client to dictate the procedure in handling the case.

Rule 138, sec. 23. Authority of attorneys to


bind clients.Attorneys have authority to bind
their clients in any case by any agreement in
relation thereto made in writing, and in taking
appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial
procedure. But they cannot, without special
authority, compromise their client's litigation,
or receive anything in discharge of a client's
claim but the full amount in cash.

A lawyer should seek instruction from his client


on any substantial matter concerning the
litigation, which requires decision on the part of
the client (i.e. whether to compromise the
case, or to appeal an unfavorable judgment.)
In procedural matters, the client must yield to
the lawyer. (Agpalo)

o Rule: In matters of law, it is the client who


should yield to the lawyer and not the other
way around. Reasons: Lawyers duty to the
court is foremost. The dignity of the legal
profession may be compromised.

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LEGAL ETHICS

CANON 20: QUICK REFERENCE matter of the controversy, the extent of the
services rendered, and the professional
Canon 20. A lawyer shall charge only fair standing of the attorney. No court shall be
and reasonable fees. bound by the opinion of attorneys as expert
witnesses as to the proper compensation, but
Rule 20.01. A lawyer shall be guided may disregard such testimony and base its
by the following factors in determining his conclusion on its own professional knowledge.
fees: A written contract for services shall control the
a. The time spent and the extent of the amount to be paid therefore unless found by
services rendered or required; the court to be unconscionable or
b. The novelty and difficulty of the unreasonable.
questions involved;
c. The importance of the subject Rule 138, sec. 32. Compensation for
matter; attorneys de oficio.Subject to availability of
d. The skill demanded; funds as may be provided by law the court
e. The probability of losing other may, in its discretion, order an attorney
employment as a result of employed as counsel de oficio to be
acceptance of the professed case; compensated in such sum as the court may fix
f. The customary charges for similar in accordance with section 24 of this rule.
services and the schedule of fees of Whenever such compensation is allowed, it
the IBP Charter to which he shall not be less than P30 in any case, nor
belongs; more than the following amounts:
g. The amount involved in the o P50 in light felonies;
controversy and the benefits o P100 in less grave felonies;
resulting to the client from the o P200 in grave felonies other than capital
service; offenses;
h. The contingency or certainty of o P500 in capital offenses.
compensation;
i. The character of the employment, RA 5185, sec. 6 (An act granting further
whether occasional or established; autonomous powers to local governments)
and Prohibition Against Practice. - A member of the
j. The professional standing of the Provincial Board or City or Municipal Council
lawyer. shall not appear as counsel before any court in
any civil case wherein the province, city or
Rule 20.02. A lawyer shall, in cases of municipality, as the case may be, is the
referral, with the consent of the client, be adverse party: Provided, however, That no
entitled to a division of fees in proportion member of the Provincial Board shall so appear
to the work performed and responsibility except in behalf of his province in any civil case
assumed. wherein any city in the province is the adverse
party whose voters are en-franchised to vote
Rule 20.03. A lawyer shall not, for provincial officials, nor shall such member
without the full knowledge and consent of of the Provincial Board or City or Municipal
the client, accept any fee, reward, costs, Council appear as counsel for the accused in
commission, interest, rebate or any criminal case wherein an officer or
forwarding allowances or other employee of said province, city or municipality
compensation whatsoever related to his is accused of an offense committed in relation
professional employment from any one to the latter's office, nor shall he collect any fee
other than the client. for his appearance in any administrative
proceedings before provincial, city or municipal
Rule 20.04. A lawyer shall avoid agencies of the province, city or municipality,
controversies with clients concerning his as the case may be, of which he is an elected
compensation and shall resort to judicial official.
action only to prevent imposition,
injustice or fraud. The provisions of this Section shall likewise
apply to provincial governors and city and
municipal mayors.
Notes from Agpalo: Right to Attorneys
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 20: Fees
o Fee Guide (Rule 20.01) o That the practice of law is a profession and
o Clients Consent of Fees for Referral (Rule not a money-making trade does not
20.02) operate to deny a lawyer the right to
o Clients Consent of Acceptance fee (Rule attorneys fees for his professional services.
20.03) He has the right to have and recover from
o Avoid Compensation Controversy with Client his client a fair and reasonable
(Rule 20.04) compensation for his services, except in
cases where he has agreed to render
service gratuitously or has been appointed
KNOW MORE: counsel de oficio.

Rule 138, sec. 24. Compensation of o Lawyers should avoid controversies


attorneys.An attorney shall be entitled to concerning compensation so far as shall be
have and recover from his client no more than compatible with self-respect and with right
a reasonable compensation for his services, to receive a reasonable recompense for
with a view to the importance of the subject services. Resort to law suits with clients

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LEGAL ETHICS

should only be done to prevent injustice, Rules of Court: Court, in its discretion,
imposition or fraud. The impression is that may grant (token) compensation
those instituting suits are mercenaries. subject to availability of funds: P30-P50
in light felonies; P100 in less grave
o GENERALLY: right of lawyer to reasonable felonies; P200 in grave felonies other
compensation for services requires the than capital offenses; P500 in capital
following: offenses. This is not intended as a
1. that attorney-client relationship exists; source of regular income
and
2. that he rendered services to the client. o Misconduct on part of lawyer may affect or
negate his right to recover from client a
o A written agreement is not necessary to reasonable compensation for services
establish a clients obligation to pay already performed. (examples: negligence,
attorneys fees. As long as the lawyer is carelessness, misrepresentation,
honestly and in good faith trying to serve unfaithfulness or abuse of clients
and represent the interest of his client, an confidence). Basis: good morals and public
absence of express undertaking does not policy
defeat recovery of fees.
o Although a client has right to discharge
o Clients obligation to pay attorneys fees lawyer anytime, dismiss or settle action or
arises from the inanimate contract of facis even waive the whole of his interest in
ut des (I do and you give) which is based favor of adverse party, he cannot, in the
on the principle that no one shall unjustly absence of lawyers fault, consent or
enrich himself at the expense of another. waiver, deprive the lawyer of his just fees
already earned.
o General rule: a person who had no
knowledge of, or objected to, the lawyers Quantum meruit
representation may not be held liable for When no price is stipulated for lawyers
attorneys fees even though such service, courts will fix amount on quantum
representation redounded to his benefit.. meruit basis, or such amount which his
The objection should be raised before and service merits.
not after beneficial services shall have been Requisite for principle: that there is an
rendered by the lawyer; otherwise, the acceptance of the benefits by one sought to
party who benefited may be required to be charged for the services rendered under
pay counsel fees. For it is neither just that circumstances as reasonably to notify him
client who retained lawyer should alone pay that the lawyer performing the task is
nor is it fair that those who, investing expecting to be paid compensation.
nothing and assuming no risk, received Doctrine of quantum meruit is a device to
benefits should not contribute their prevent undue enrichment based on the
proportionate share to counsel fees (based equitable postulate that it is unjust for a
on equity). person to retain benefit without paying for
it.
o Non-lawyer cannot recover attorneys fees Other times when doctrine applicable:
even if there is a law authorizing him to where amount stipulated in written
represent a litigant in court because basis agreement is found to be unconscionable or
of reasonable compensation is the where client dismissed counsel before
existence of attorney-client relationship and termination of case or where the lawyer
the rendition of services. withdrew therefrom for valid reasons.

o Lawyer who is absolutely disqualified from A charging lien, to be enforceable as security


engaging in private practice of law by for the payment of attorney's fees, requires as
reason of his government position may a condition sine qua non a judgment for money
neither practice law nor, should he do so and execution in pursuance of such judgment
illegally, charge attorneys fees for such secured in the main action by the attorney in
services. Exception: fees for services favor of his client. A lawyer may enforce his
already performed before lawyer qualified right to fees by filing the necessary petition as
for public office even though payment is an incident in the main action in which his
made thereafter. services were rendered when something is due
his client in the action from which the fee is to
o Lawyer designated by court to render be paid. An enforceable charging lien, duly
professional services, in the absence of law recorded, is within the jurisdiction of the court
allowing compensation, cannot charge trying the main case and this jurisdiction
government nor the indigent litigant for his subsists until the lien is settled. (Metrobank v.
professional services. Appointment neither CA, 181 SCRA 367 (1981))25
violates constitutional restriction against
taking of property without just 25
FACTS: Lawyers filed verified motion to enter in the records
compensation or the due process of law nor their charging lien. Attorneys liens were annotated on the
imposes upon the government the oblig to certificate of land titles. Consequently, the other partys
petition against sale of land was granted with prejudice and a
pay him his fees because one of the obligs new certificate of title with his name was made wherein
of an attorney willingly assumed when he attorneys liens were annotated. The Court held that the
took his oath as lawyer is to render free lawyers were not entitled to the enforcement of charging lien
legal services whenever required by the for payment of its attorney's fees and also held that a separate
court to do so. civil suit is not necessary for the enforcement of such lien.

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LEGAL ETHICS

c) loss of opportunity on part of lawyer for


Since the main case from which the petitioner's other employment
claims for their fees may arise has not yet d) financial capacity of client
become final, the determination of the
propriety of said fees and the amount thereof Amount based on Quantum Meruit: Quantum
should be held in abeyance. This procedure Meruit means as much as a lawyer deserves.
gains added validity in the light of the rule that Its essential requisite is acceptance of the
the remedy for recovering attorney's fees as an benefits by one sought to be charged for
incident of the main action may be availed of services rendered under circumstances as
only when something is due to the client. reasonably to notify him that lawyer expects
(Quirante v. IAC, 169 SCRA 769 (1989))26 compensation. (Agpalo)

The mere fact that an agreement had been Instances when Court will fix Amount of
reached between attorney and client fixing the Attorneys Fees based on Quantum Meruit:
amount of the attorney's fees, does not 1. agreement is invalid for some reason other
insulate such agreement from review and than illegality of object of performance
modification by the Court where the fees 2. amount stipulated is unconscionable
clearly appear to be excessive or unreasonable. 3. no agreement as to fees existed between
(Tanhueco v. De Dumo, 172 SCRA 760 parties
(1989)) 4. client rejects amount fixed in contract as
unconscionable and is found to be so
The Counsel if worthy of his hire, is entitled to 5. lawyer, without fault, was unable to conclude
be fully recompensed for his services. With his litigation
capital consisting solely of his brains and his
skill, acquired at tremendous cost not only in Agpalo adds (1) the results secured and (2)
money but in the expenditure of time and whether of not the fee is contingent, it being
energy, he is entitled to the protection of any recognized as a rule that an attorney may
judicial tribunal against any attempt on the properly charge a higher fee when it is
part of a client to escape payment of his fees. contingent that when it is absolute. Even other
(Albano v. Coloma, 21 SCRA 411 (1967))27 consideration may be the actual purchasing
power of the Philippine Peso, the omission of
fault of the lawyer in the discharge of his
I. Rule 20.01. A lawyer shall be guided by the duties, the loss of opportunity on the part of a
following factors in determining his fees: lawyer for other employment of the financial
a. The time spent and the extent of the services capacity of the client.
rendered or required;
b. The novelty and difficulty of the questions
involved; II. Rule 20.02 - A lawyer shall, in case of referral,
c. The importance of the subject matter; with the consent of the client, be entitled to a
d. The skill demanded; division of fees in proportion to the work performed
e. The probability of losing other employment as a and responsibility assumed.
result of acceptance of the professed case;
f. The customary charges for similar services and Lawyers sometimes use the lawyer-referral
the schedule of fees of the IBP Charter to which system. It is an aid to selection of qualified
he belongs; lawyers. This system helps individuals in
g. The amount involved in the controversy and locating lawyers competent to handle their
the benefits resulting to the client from the particular problem. It enables laymen to have
service; informed selection of competent lawyers who
h. The contingency or certainty of compensation; have experience in the subject matter involved
i. The character of the employment, whether in a particular case. It is however stressed that
occasional or established; and it is improper for a lawyer to receive
j. The professional standing of the lawyer. compensation for merely recommending
another lawyer to his client for if such practice
A valid written contract is conclusive as to is permitted, it would tend to germinate evils of
amount of compensation. Unless both parties commercialism and to destroy proper
set aside contract and submit question of appreciation of professional responsibility. It is
reasonableness of amount of fees for court to only when, in addition to referral, he performs
resolve on quantum meruit basis, neither client legal service or assumes responsibility in case
nor lawyer may disregard amount fixed that he will be entitled to a fee. (Agpalo)
(Agpalo)
Rule 138, Sec. 27 of the Revised Rules of
None of the factors is controlling but are guides Court. Said provision enumerates the grounds
only. Other factors (Agpalo): for the suspension and disbarment of lawyers,
a) actual purchasing power of Philippine peso namely:
b) omission or fault of lawyer Sec. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by
Supreme Court, on what grounds, - A member
26
FACTS: Atty Quirante filed a motion for confirmation of of the bar may be removed or suspended from
attorneys fees in the trial court, presenting alleged agreement his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for
between him and Casasola about said fee while the main case is
still pending. The case is being heard on appeal. The Court held
any deceit, malpractice or other gross
that Atty. Quirante cannot have a confirmation of attorneys misconduct in such office, grossly immoral
fees. conduct or by reason of his conviction of a
crime involving moral turpitude, or for any
27
violation of the oath of which he is required to
take before admission to practice, or for willful

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LEGAL ETHICS

disobedience of any lawful order of a superior CANON 21: QUICK REFERENCE


court or for corruptly or wilfully appearing as an
attorney for a party to a case without any
Canon 21. A lawyer shall preserve the confidence
authority to do so. The practice of soliciting
and secrets of his client even after the attorney-client
cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
relationship is terminated.
personally or through paid agents or brokers,
constitutes malpractice. (Urban Bank v. Pena Rule 21.01. A lawyer shall not reveal the
(2001)) confidence or secrets of his client except:
o When authorized by the client after
acquainting him of the consequences of
III. Rule 20.03. A lawyer shall not, without the disclosure;
the full knowledge and consent of the client, accept o When required by law;
o When necessary to collect his fees or to
any fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, defend himself, his employees or
rebate or forwarding allowances or other associates or by judicial action.
compensation whatsoever related to his
professional employment from any one other than Rule 21.02. A lawyer shall not, to the
the client. disadvantage of his client, use information
acquired in the course of employment, nor
Rule 138, sec. 20(e). Duties of attorneys.It shall he use the same to his advantage or that
is the duty of an attorney: (e) to accept no of a third person, unless the client with full
knowledge of the circumstances consents
compensation in connection with his client's
thereto.
business except from him or with his
knowledge and approval. Rule 21.03. A lawyer shall not, without
the written consent of his client, give
Reason: to ensure protection of lawyers in information from his files to an outside agency
collection of fees. Moreover, it is designed to seeking such information for auditing,
secure the lawyers wholehearted fidelity to the statistical, bookkeeping, accounting, data
processing, or any similar purpose.
clients cause and to prevent that situation in
which the receipt by him of a rebate or Rule 21.04. A lawyer may disclose the
commission from another in connection with affairs of a client of the firm to partners or
the clients cause may interfere with the full associates thereof unless prohibited by the
discharge of his duty to the client. The amount client.
received by lawyer from opposite party or third
persons in the service of his client belongs to Rule 21.05. A lawyer shall adopt such
the client except when the latter has full measures as may be required to prevent those
knowledge and approval of lawyers taking whose services are utilized by him, from
disclosing or using confidences or secrets of
(Agpalo)
the client.

Rule 21.06. A lawyer shall avoid


IV. Rule 20.04. A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a clients affairs
controversies with clients concerning his even with members of his family.
compensation and shall resort to judicial action
only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud.
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 21:
Suits to collect fees should be avoided and only
when the circumstances imperatively require o Revelations of Confidence and Secrets Allowed
should a lawyer resort to lawsuit to enforce (Rule 21.01)
payment of fees. This is but a logical o Use of Information Received in Course of
Employment Allowed (Rule 21.02)
consequence of the legal profession not
primarily being for economic compensation. o Prohibition to Giving of Information Outside
(Agpalo) Agency (Rule 21.03)
o Protection from Disclosure (Rule 21.04
An attorney-client relationship can be created 21.05)
by implied agreement, as when the attorney o Prohibition of Indiscreet Conversation (Rule
actually rendered legal services for a person 21.06)
o Not to Reveal that Lawyer was Consulted (Rule
who is a close friend. The obligation of such a
person to pay attorneys fees is based on the 21.07)
law of contracts concept of facio ut des (no
one shall unjustly enrich himself at the expense
of others.) (Corpuz v. CA, 98 SCRA 424 KNOW MORE:
(1980))28
Rule 138, 20(e). Duties of attorneys.It is
the duty of an attorney: (e) To maintain
inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to
himself, to preserve the secrets of his client,
and to accept no compensation in connection
with his client's business except from him or
28
FACTS: Atty David and Corpuz were good friends. In Corpuzs with his knowledge and approval;
civil case, David became his counsel. Prior to rendering of final
judgment, Corpuz gave the lawyer a check which the latter Rule 130, sec. 21(b). Privileged
returned. After favorable decision was rendered, Atty. David
communication. An attorney cannot, without
demanded attorneys fee which Corpuz refused to deliver
alleging that Davids services were offered gratuitously. The the consent of his client, be examined as to any
Court decided that Atty. David should be paid attorneys fees. communication made by the client to him, or
his advice given thereon in the course of
professional employment; nor can an attorney's

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LEGAL ETHICS

secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, fees: lawyer may disclose so much of


without the consent of the client and his clients confidences as may be necessary to
employer, concerning any fact the knowledge protect himself or to collect fees
of which has been acquired in such capacity.
II. Rule 21.02. A lawyer shall not, to the
A confidential communication refers to disadvantage of his client, use information acquired
information transmitted by voluntary act of in the course of employment, nor shall he use the
disclosure between attorney and client in same to his advantage or that of a third person,
confidence and by means which so far as the unless the client with full knowledge of the
client is aware, discloses the information to no circumstances consents thereto.
third person other than one reasonably
necessary for the transmission of the III. Rule 21.03. A lawyer shall not, without
information or the accomplishment of the the written consent of his client, give information
purpose for which it was given. Covers all from his files to an outside agency seeking such
actions, signs, means of communication information for auditing, statistical, bookkeeping,
accounting, data processing, or any similar
There is a difference between confidences and purpose.
secrets of clients. While confidences refer to
information protected by attorney-client The reason for the rule is that the work and
privilege under the Revised Rules of Court product of a lawyer, such as his effort,
(information pertinent to the case being research, and thought, and the records of his
handled), secrets are those other information client, contained in his files are privileged
gained in the professional relationship that the matters. (Agpalo)
client has requested to be held inviolate or the
disclosure of which would be embarrassing or IV-V.
would likely be detrimental to client
(information not exactly pertinent to case). Rule 21.04. A lawyer may disclose the affairs of
a client of the firm to partners or associates thereof
To constitute professional employment it is not unless prohibited by the client.
essential that the client should have employed
the attorney professionally on any previous Rule 21.05. A lawyer shall adopt such measures
occasion. If a person, in respect to his business as may be required to prevent those whose
affairs or troubles of any kind, consults with his services are utilized by him, from disclosing or
attorney in his professional capacity with the using confidences or secrets of the client.
view to obtaining professional advice or
assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits Professional employment of a law firm is
or acquiesces in such consultation, then the equivalent to retainer of the members thereof
professional employment must be regarded as even though only one partner is consulted.
established. Information so received is sacred When one partner tells another about the
to the employment to which it pertains, and to details of the case, it is not considered as
permit to be used in the interest of another, or, disclosure to third persons because members of
worse still, in the interest of the adverse party, a law firm are considered as one entity.
is to strike at the element of confidence which (Agpalo)
lies at the basis of, and affords the essential
security in, the relation of attorney and client. VI. Rule 21.06. A lawyer shall avoid
indiscreet conversation about a clients affairs even
Rationale behind this prohibition: not only to with members of his family.
prevent the dishonest practitioner from
fraudulent conduct, but also to protect the A lawyer must not only preserve the
honest lawyer from unfounded suspicion of confidences and secrets of his clients in his law
unprofessional practice. It is founded on office but also outside including his home. He
principles of public policy, on good taste. The should avoid committing calculated
question is not necessarily one of the rights of indiscretion, that is, accidental revelation of
the parties, but as to whether the attorney has secrets obtained in his professional
adhered to proper professional standard. employment. Reckless or imprudent disclosure
(Hilado v. David, 83 Phil 569 (1949)) of the affairs of his clients may jeopardize
them. Not every member of the lawyers family
has the proper orientation and training for
I. Rule 21.01. A lawyer shall not reveal the keeping clients confidences and secrets.
confidence or secrets of his client except: (Agpalo)
a. When authorized by the client after acquainting
him of the consequences of the disclosure;
b. When required by law; VII. Rule 21.07. A lawyer shall not reveal
c. When necessary to collect his fees or to defend that he has been consulted about a particular case
himself, his employees or associates or by except to avoid possible conflict of interests.
judicial action.
This rule clarifies that privilege communication
Exceptions to the General Rule (Agpalo): applies even to prospective clients. Moreover,
o In cases of contemplated crimes or the prohibition applies even if the prospective
perpetuation of fraud (reason: lawyer-client client did not thereafter actually engage the
relationship should only be for lawful lawyer. (Agpalo)
purposes)
o in case client files complaint against his CF: Rule 14.03. A lawyer may refuse to
lawyer or unreasonably refuses to pay his accept representation of an indigent client if:

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LEGAL ETHICS

a) he is not in a position to carry out the KNOW MORE:


work effectively or competently;
b) he labors under a conflict of interests Causes of Termination of Attorney-Client
between him and the prospective client Relation (Agpalo)
or between a present client and the o Withdrawal of the lawyer under Rule 22.01
prospective client. o Death of the lawyer
o Death of client
CF: Rule 15.01. A lawyer, in conferring with o Discharge or dismissal of the lawyer by the
a prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as client
practicable whether the matter would involve a o Appointment or election of a lawyer to a
conflict with another client or his own interest, government position which prohibits private
and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective practice of law
client. o Full termination of the case
o Disbarment or suspension of the lawyer
This rule clarifies that privilege communication from the practice of law
applies even to prospective clients. Moreover, o Intervening incapacity or incompetence of
the prohibition applies even if the prospective the client during pendency of case
client did not thereafter actually engage the o Declaration of presumptive death of lawyer
lawyer. By the consultation, the lawyer already o Conviction of a crime and imprisonment of
learned of the secrets of prospective client. It is lawyer
not fair if he will not be bound by the rule on Note: Except for items 2 and 6, the lawyer has
privileged communication in respect of matters duty to notify the court in case of termination
disclosed to him by a prospective client. This of attorney-client relationship.
rule, of course, is subject to exception of
representation of conflicting interests (Agpalo) A contract for legal services being personal, it
terminates upon death of the lawyer. However,
if the lawyer is a member of a law firm, which
firm appears as counsel for the client, the
CANON 22: QUICK REFERENCE
death of the attending lawyer will not terminate
the relation. The firm will continue to appear as
counsel for client unless there has been
Canon 22. A lawyer may withdraw his
agreement that services were to be rendered
services only for good cause and upon notice
only by the said attorney.
appropriate in the circumstances.
Who may Terminate Attorney-Client Relation
Rule 22.01. A lawyer may withdraw
1. Client
his services in any of the following case:
Client has absolute right to discharge his
a) When the client pursues an illegal or
attorney with or without just cause or even
immoral course of conduct in
against lawyers consent. Existence or non-
connection with the matter he is
existence of a just cause is important only
handling;
in determining right of an attorney to
b) When the client insists that the lawyer
compensation for services rendered.
pursue conduct violative of these
Discharge of an attorney or his substitution
canons and rules;
by another without justifiable cause will not
c) When his inability to work with co-
operate to extinguish the lawyers right to
counsel will not promote the best
full payment of compensation as agreed
interest of the client;
upon in writing.
d) When the mental or physical condition
2. Attorney
of the lawyer renders it difficult for him
3. Court
to carry out the employment
4. Circumstances beyond control of parties
effectively;
e) When the client deliberately fails to pay
Discharge of attorney must be made known to
the fees for the services or fails to
the court and adverse party through a formal
comply with the retainer agreement;
notice. This is unnecessary between the lawyer
f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed
and client, himself. But insofar as the court and
to public office; and
other party are concerned, the severance of the
g) Other similar cases.
relation of attorney and client is not effective
until a notice of discharge by the client or a
Rule 22.02. A lawyer who withdraws
manifestation clearly indicating that purpose is
or is discharged shall, subject to a retainer
filed with the court and a copy thereof served
lien, immediately turn over all papers and
upon the adverse party.
property to which the client is entitled, and
shall cooperate with his successor in the
Before discharge is recorded in the court, the
orderly transfer of the matter, including all
lawyers power is limited to (1) making that
information necessary for the proper
fact known to court and to adverse party, and
handling of the matter.
to (2) preserving and protecting clients
interest until final discharge or new counsel
enters appearance. He cannot pretend to
MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 22: continue representing client.
o Good Causes for Withdrawal of Services
(Rule 22.01) Representation continues until the court
o Duties of Lawyer who Withdraws (Rule dispenses with the services of counsel in
22.02) accordance with Section 26, Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court. Counsel may be validly

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LEGAL ETHICS

substituted only if the following requisites are * in case written consent of attorney cannot be
complied with: (1) New counsel files a written secured, proof of service of notice of application
application for substitution; (2) The clients upon attorney to be substituted.
written consent is obtained; (3) The written ** in case of death of original attorney, additional
consent of the lawyer to be substituted is requirement of verified proof of death necessary
secured, if it can still be; if the written consent
can no longer be obtained, the application for usually initiated by substituting counsel hence
substitution must carry proof that notice of the the need to obtain conformity of original lawyer
motion has been served on the attorney to be or at least notice to original lawyer of
substituted in the manner required by the substitution
Rules. (Obando v. Figueras (2000))
consent of original lawyer or notice
I. Rule 22.01. A lawyer may withdraw his services requirement is designed to afford the lawyer
in any of the following case: the opportunity to protect his right to
a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral attorneys fees. If he gives consent, it is
course of conduct in connection with the matter presumed he has settled that question. If not,
he is handling; he can ask in same action that his chance to
b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue have his right to attorneys fees be preserved
conduct violative of these canons and rules; and protected.
c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will
not promote the best interest of the client; Effects of Defective Substitution
d) When the mental or physical condition of the A defective substitution is one which lacks any
lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out of the requisites for a valid substitution.
the employment effectively;
e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the It does not effect a change of counsel; nor
fees for the services or fails to comply with the constitute an appearance of new lawyer, both
retainer agreement; of whom shall be deemed counsel of record;
f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to pleadings filed by the new lawyer deemed
public office; and effective.
g) Other similar cases.
Employment of additional counsel
A lawyer shall withdraw his services only for Client has right to as many lawyers as he can
good cause and upon notice appropriate in the afford. Clients proffer of assistance of
circumstances; a lawyer shall avoid additional counsel should not be regarded as
controversies with clients concerning his evidence of want of confidence.
compensation and shall resort to judicial action
only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud. Professional courtesy requires that a lawyer
(Montano v. IBP, 358 SCRA 1 (2001))29 retained as collaborating counsel should at
least communicate with counsel of record
Procedure for Withdrawal: If without written before entering his appearance and should
consent from client, lawyer should file petition decline association if objectionable to original
for withdrawal in court and he must serve copy counsel.
of his petition upon his client and the adverse
party at least 3 days before date set for But if first lawyer is relieved by client, another
hearing. He should also give time to client to lawyer may come into the case.
secure services from another lawyer in the case
from which he is withdrawing.
II. Rule 22.02.A lawyer who withdraws or is
Change or Substitution of Counsel discharged shall, subject to a retainer lien,
immediately turn over all papers and property to
Change of counsel which the client is entitled, and shall cooperate
1) client discharges attorney with or without with his successor in the orderly transfer of the
cause: no consent or notice to lawyer needed, matter, including all information necessary for the
nor court approval proper handling of the matter.
2) attorney may initiate move by withdrawing his
appearance with written consent of client or A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property to
with leave of court on some justifiable ground his client when due or upon demand. However,
3) substitution of counsel in the form of he shall have a lien over the funds and may
application for that purpose: constitutes an apply so much thereof as may be necessary to
appearance of the substituting counsel and is a satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements,
polite way of effecting change; compliance with giving notice promptly thereafter to his client.
formalities is necessary since it involves ethical He shall also have a lien to the same extent on
considerations all judgments and executions he has secured
for his client as provided for in the Rules of
Requirements for substitution Court. (Rule 16.03)
1) written application for substitution
2) written consent of client Lawyers withdrawal or discharge shall be
3) written consent of attorney to be substituted without prejudice to his attorneys lien:
o Purpose of Rule 22.02 (lawyer entitled
29
FACTS: Atty. Dealca and Montano agreed that 50% attorneys to retaining lien) and Rule 16.03
fees shall be paid upon case acceptance and the other half upon (lawyer entitled to retaining and
its termination. Despite agreement, Atty. Dealca asked for charging lien): to insure payment of
payment of balance during the course of case. Upon failure to
give balance of P3, 500, Dealca withdrew appearance as counsel.
lawyers professional fees and the
The Court found that Dealca had not withdrawn for good cause. reimbursement of his lawful

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LEGAL ETHICS

disbursements in keeping with his It cannot be can be


dignity as an officer of the court. actively enforced by
(Agpalo) enforced. It is execution. It
a general lien. is a special
Kinds of Liens lien.
1. Retaining Lien (general lien) Basis Lawful Securing of a
o the right of an attorney to retain the possession of favorable
funds, documents and papers of his funds, money
client which have lawfully come into papers, judgment for
his possession until his lawful fees and documents, client
disbursements have been paid and to property
apply such funds to the satisfaction belonging to
thereof. client
o Reason and essence of lien: Coverage Covers only Covers all
inconvenience or disadvantage caused funds, judgments for
to the client because of exercise of papers, the payment
such lien may induce client to pay the documents, of money and
lawyer his fees and disbursements. and property executions
o It is a general lien for the balance of in the lawful issued in
the account due to the attorney from possession of pursuance of
client for services rendered in all the attorney such
matters he may have handled for the by reason of judgment
client, regardless of outcome. his
o It is dependent upon and takes effect professional
from time of lawful possession and employment
does not require notice thereof upon Effectivity As soon as As soon as
client and the adverse party to be the lawyer the claim for
effective. gets attorneys
o Passive right and cannot be actively possession of fees had been
enforced; amounts to a mere right to the funds, entered into
retain funds, documents and papers papers, the records of
as against the client until the attorney documents, the case
is fully paid his fees. However, lawyer property
may apply so much of clients funds in Notice Client need Client and
his possession to satisfy his lawful not be adverse party
fees and disbursements, giving notice notified to need to
promptly thereafter to his client. make it notified to
effective make it
* Requisites for validity (of retaining lien) effective
1. attorney-client relationship Applicability May be Generally, it
2. lawful possession by lawyer of the exercised is exercisable
clients funds, documents and papers in before only when the
his professional capacity judgment or attorney had
3. unsatisfied claim for attorneys fees or execution, or already
disbursements regardless secured a
thereof favorable
2. Charging Lien (special lien) judgment for
o A charging lien is a right which the his client
attorney has upon all judgments for the
payment of money and executions
issued in pursuance thereof, secured in
favor of his client. Covers only services
rendered by attorney in the action in ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
which the judgment was obtained and
takes effect only after a statement of I. LIABILITIES OF LAWYERS
claim has been entered upon record of
the particular action with written notice CIVIL LIABILITY
to his client and adverse party. 1) Client is prejudiced by lawyers negligence
and misconduct.
* Requisites for validity of charging lien 2) Breach of fiduciary obligation
1. attorney-client relationship 3) Civil liability to third persons
2. attorney has rendered services 4) Libelous words in pleadings; violation of
3. money judgment favorable to the client has communication privilege
been secured in the action 5) Liability for costs of suit (treble costs)
4. attorney has a claim for attorneys fees or when lawyer is made liable for insisting on
advances clients patently unmeritorious case or
5. statement of his claim has been duly interposing appeal merely to delay litigation
recorded in the case with notice thereof
served upon the client and adverse party CRIMINAL LIABILITY
1) Prejudicing client through malicious breach
of professional duty
*From Pinedas Annotations 2) Revealing client secrets
Retaining Charging 3) Representing adverse interests
Nature Passive lien. Active lien. It 4) Introducing false evidence

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LEGAL ETHICS

5) Misappropriating clients funds (Estafa) causes mentioned in Rule 138, Sec. 27.
(Rule 139-B, Sec. 16, ROC)
II. CONTEMPT OF COURT (1998 BAR EXAM) *NOTE: But they cannot disbar a lawyer.

A. Nature B. Forms of Disciplinary Measures

o It is exercised on preservative and not on 1) WARNING an act or fact of putting one


vindictive principles and on corrective rather on his guard against an impending danger, evil
than the retaliatory idea of punishment. It is consequences or penalties.
criminal in nature.
o The power to punish for contempt is inherent in 2) ADMONITION a gentle or friendly
all courts. It is essential in the observance of reproof, mild rebuke, warning or reminder,
order in judicial proceedings and to counseling, on a fault, error or oversight; an
enforcement of judgment, orders and writs. expression of authoritative advice.

B. Kinds of Contempt 3) REPRIMAND a public and formal censure


or severe reproof, administered to a person in
1) Direct Contempt fault by his superior officer or a body to which
- Consists of misbehavior in the presence of or near he belongs.
a court or judge as to interrupt or obstruct the
proceedings before the court or the administration 4) SUSPENSION a temporary withholding of
of justice. a lawyers right to practice his profession as a
lawyer for a certain period or for an indefinite
2) Indirect or Constructive Contempt period of time.
- One committed away from the court involving a. Definite
disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, b. Indefinite qualified disbarment; lawyer
process, order, judgment or command of the court, determines for himself for how long or how
tending to belittle, degrade, obstruct, interrupt or short his suspension shall last by proving to
embarrass the court. court that he is once again fit to resume
practice of law.
a) Civil contempt failure to do
something ordered by the court which is for 5) CENSURE Official reprimand
the benefit of the party.
6) DISBARMENT It is the act of the
b) Criminal contempt consists of Philippine Supreme Court in withdrawing from
any conduct directed against the authority an attorney the right to practice law. The name
or dignity of the court. of the lawyer is stricken out from the roll of
attorneys.
C. Acts of a Lawyer Constituting Contempt

1) Misbehavior as officer of court KNOW MORE:


2) Disobedience or resistance to court order SUSPENSION AND DISBARMENT (1990, 1992,
3) Abuse or interference with judicial 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003,
proceedings 2004, 2005 BAR EXAMS)
4) Obstruction in administration of justice
5) Misleading courts Nature of Proceedings:
6) Making false allegations, criticisms, insults, 1. Neither a civil action nor a criminal
veiled threats against the courts proceeding;
7) Aiding in unauthorized practice of law 2. SUI GENERIS, it is a class of its own
(suspended or disbarred) since it is neither civil nor criminal
8) Unlawful retention of clients funds (2002 BAR EXAMS)
9) Advise client to commit contemptuous acts 3. Confidential in nature
4. Defense of double jeopardy is not
available
III. DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS 5. Can be initiated by the SC, motu
proprio, or by the IBP. It can be
A. Power to Discipline Errant Lawyers initiated without a complaint.
6. Can proceed regardless of interest of
1) The Supreme Court has the full authority the complainants
and power to 7. Imprescriptible
-WARN 8. It is itself due process of law
-ADMONISH
-REPRIMAND Disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are sui
-SUSPEND and generis: neither purely civil nor purely criminal.
-DISBAR a lawyer It is notand does not involvea trial of an
(Rule 138, Sec. 27, ROC) action or a suit, but is rather an investigation
by the Court in the conduct of its officers. Not
2) The Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial being intended to inflict punishment, it is no
Courts are also empowered to sense a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, there
-WARN is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor.xxxxx
-ADMONISH Public interest is its primary objective, and the
-REPRIMAND and real question for determination is whether or
-SUSPEND an attorney who appears before not the attorney is still a fit person to be
them from the practice of law for any of the

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LEGAL ETHICS

allowed the privileges as such. (In Re: 1. by the Supreme Court motu proprio
Almacen) or,
2. by the IBP upon the verified complaint
of any person.
Grounds for Disbarment:
B. The IBP Board of Governors may initiate
1. Deceit and prosecute proper charges against
2. Malpractice, or other gross misconduct erring attorneys including those in the
in office any malfeasance or govt:
dereliction of duty committed by a 1. motu proprio or
lawyer 2. upon referral by the SC or
3. Grossly immoral conduct 3. by a Chapter Board of Officers or at
4. Conviction of a crime involving moral the instance of any person.
turpitude (e.g. estafa, bribery, murder,
bigamy, seduction, abduction, C. The complaint must be:
concubinage, smuggling, falsification of 1. verified;
public document, violation of BP 22) 2. state clearly and concisely the facts
5. Violation of oath of office complained of;
6. Willful disobedience of any lawful order 3. supported by affidavits of persons
of a superior court having personal knowledge of the
7. Corruptly or willfully appearing as an facts therein alleged, or by such
attorney for a party to case without an documents as may substantiate it;
authority to do so. 4. six copies shall be filed with the
Objectives of Suspension and Secretary of the IBP or any of the
Disbarment: Chapters.

1. To compel the attorney to deal fairly and D. Investigation by the National Grievance
honestly with his clients; Investigators.
2. To remove from the profession a person
whose misconduct has proved him unfit to E. Submission of the investigative report to
be entrusted with the duties and the IBP Board of Governors.
responsibilities belonging to the office of an
attorney; F. Board of Governors decides within 30
3. To punish the lawyer; days.
4. To set an example or warning for the other
members of the bar; G. Investigation by the Solicitor General.
5. To safeguard the administration of justice
from dishonest and incompetent lawyers; H. SC renders final decision on
6. To protect the public; disbarment/suspension/dismissal.

The statutory enumeration of the grounds for C. Modifying Circumstances


disbarment or suspension is not to be taken as
a limitation on the general power of courts to Extent of disciplinary action depends on attendance
suspend or disbar a lawyer. The inherent power of mitigating or aggravating circumstance.
of the court over its officers cannot be
restricted. (Quingwa vs. Puno, Admin. Case Mitigating Circumstances
No. 398, Feb. 28, 1967) 1. Good Faith in the acquisition of a
property of the client subject of the
Disbarment should not be decreed where any litigation (In Re: Ruste, 70 Phil
punishment less severe such as reprimand, 243)
suspension or fine would accomplish the end 2. Inexperience of a lawyer (Munoz vs.
desired. (Amaya vs. Tecson, 450 SCRA 510) People, 53 SCRA 190)
3. Age (Lantos vs. Gan, 196 SCRA 16)
In disbarment proceedings, the burden of proof 4. Apology (Munoz vs. People, 53
is upon the complainant and this court will SCRA 190)
exercise its disciplinary power only if the 5. Lack of Intention to slight or offend
complainant establishes his case by clear, the court (Rheem of the Phil., Inc.
convincing and satisfactory evidence. (Aquino vs. Ferrer, 20 SCRA 441)
vs. Mangaoang, 425 SCRA 572)
Aggravating Circumstances
Officers Authorized to Investigate 1. Abuse of authority or of attorney-
Disbarment Cases: client relationship
1. Supreme Court 2. sexual intercourse with a relative
2. IBP through its Commission on Bar 3. charge of gross immorality
Discipline or authorized investigators 4. Previous dismissal as member of the
3. Office of the Solicitor General bar

Grievance Procedure: Disbarment, EFFECT OF EXECUTIVE PARDON


Suspension and Discipline of Attorneys (1994, 1998 BAR EXAMS)
(Rule 139-B): If during the pendency of the disbarment
proceeding the respondent was granted
A. Proceedings for the disbarment, executive pardon, the dismissal of the case
suspension and discipline of attorneys may on that sole basis will depend on whether
be taken: the executive pardon is absolute or

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LEGAL ETHICS

conditional. If the pardon is absolute, the Condition for Reinstatement:


disbarment case will be dismissed. A lawyer who has been suspended or
However, if the executive pardon is disbarred may be reinstated when the SC is
conditional, the disbarment case will not be convinced that he has already possessed the
dismissed on the basis thereof. requisites of probity and integrity necessary
Absolute pardon by the President may wipe to guarantee his worth to practice his
out conviction as well as offense itself and possession.
the grant thereof in favor of a lawyer is a
bar to a proceeding for disbarment against Effects of Reinstatement:
him based solely on commission of such 1. Recognition of moral rehabilitation and
offense. mental fitness to practice law;
The reason is that the respondent lawyer, 2. Lawyer shall be subject to same law,
after the absolute pardon, is as guiltless rules and regulations as those
and innocent as if he never committed the applicable to any other lawyer;
offense at all. 3. Lawyer must comply with the
If absolute pardon is given to lawyer after conditions imposed on his readmission.
being disbarred for conviction of a crime, it
does not automatically entitle him to
reinstatement to the bar. It must be shown
by evidence aside from absolute pardon
that he is now a person of good moral
character and fit and proper person to
practice law. In case of a conditional
pardon, there will be a remission of
unexpired period of sentence.

Reinstatement
- It is the restoration in disbarment
proceedings to a disbarred lawyer the
privilege to practice law.

Const art. VIII, sec. 5(5).


The power of the Supreme Court to
reinstate is based on its constitutional
prerogative to promulgate rules on the
admission of applicants to the practice of
law.

In order that there is reinstatement, the


following must be taken into consideration:

1. the applicants character and standing prior


to disbarment;
2. the nature or character of the misconduct
for which he is disbarred;
3. his conduct subsequent to disbarment (Cui
vs. Cui, 11 SCRA 755)
4. including his efficient government service
(In Re: Adriatico, 17 Phil 324)
5. the time that has elapsed between
disbarment and the application for
reinstatement and the circumstances that
he has been sufficiently punished and
disciplined (Prudential Bank vs.
Benjamin Grecia, 192 SCRA 381)
6. applicants appreciation of significance of
his dereliction and his assurance that he
now possesses the requisite probity and
integrity;
7. favorable endorsement of the IBP, pleas of
his loved ones (Yap Tan vs. Sabandal,
170 SCRA 207)

The court may require applicant for


reinstatement to enroll in and pass the
required fourth year review classes in a
recognized law school. (Cui vs. Cui, 11
SCRA 755; In Re: Rusiana, 56 SCRA 240

A previously disbarred lawyer who is given


absolute pardon by the President is not
automatically reinstated, he must still file a
petition for reinstatement with the SC.

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LEGAL ETHICS

NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT


MEMORY AID FOR SECTIONS UNDER CANON
1:
Canon 1 Independence Independent judicial function (Sec. 1)
Canon 2 Integrity Outside pressure (Sec. 2)
Canon 3 Impartiality Influencing outcome of litigation (Sec. 3)
Canon 4 Propriety Influence on judicial conduct (Sec. 4)
Canon 5 Equality Independence from executive and legislative
Canon 6 Competence and Diligence (Sec. 5)
Independence from society and particular
parties (Sec. 6)
Safeguards for judicial independence (Sec. 7)
Promote Public confidence (Sec. 8)
CANON 1: QUICK REFERENCE

Canon 1. Judicial independence is a pre- KNOW MORE:


requisite to the rule of law and a fundamental
guarantee of a fair trial. A judge shall therefore Re: Sec. 1 Independent judicial function
uphold and exemplify judicial independence in both A judge found defendants guilty beyond
its individual and institutional aspects. reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape with
Homicide. However, he sentenced the
Sec. 1. Judges shall exercise the judicial accused with reclusion perpetua instead of
function independently on the basis of their the death, as unequivocally required by RA
assessment of the facts and in accordance 7659. A court of law is no place for a
with a conscientious understanding of the protracted debate on the morality or
law, free of any extraneous influence, propriety of the sentence, where the law
inducement, pressure, threat or itself provides for the sentence of death as
interference, direct or indirect, from any a penalty in specific and well-defined
quarter or for any reason. instances. (People v. Veneracion, 249
SCRA 244 (1995))
Sec. 2. In performing judicial duties,
Judges shall be independent from judicial Re: Sec. 2 Outside Pressure
colleagues in respect of decisions which the The discretion of the Court to grant bail
judge is obliged to make independently. must be based on the Courts
determination as to WON the evidence of
Sec. 3. Judges shall refrain from influencing guilt is strong. This discretion may be
in any manner the outcome of litigation or exercised only after the evidence has been
dispute pending before another court or submitted at the summary hearing
administrative agency. conducted pursuant to Sec. 7 of Rule 114
of the Rules. Respondents admission that
Sec. 4. Judges shall not allow family, social, he granted bail to an accused upon the
or other relationships to influence judicial request of a Congressman, despite his
conduct or judgment. The prestige of belief that the evidence of guilt against said
judicial office shall not be used or lent to is strong, is indeed reprehensible. (Tahil
advance the private interests of others, nor v. Eisma, 64 SCRA 378 (1975))
convey or permit others to convey the
impression that they are in a special Re: Sec. 4 Influence on Judicial Conduct
position to influence the judge. Constant company with a lawyer tends to
breed intimacy and camaraderie to the
Sec. 5. Judges shall not only be free from point that favors in the future may be
inappropriate connections with, and asked from respondent judge which he may
influence by, the executive and legislative find hard to resist. The actuation of
branches of government, but must also respondent Judge of eating and drinking in
appear to be free therefrom to a reasonable public places with a lawyer who has
observer. pending cases in his sala may well arouse
suspicion in the public mind, thus tending
Sec. 6. Judges shall be independent in to erode the trust of the litigants in the
relation to society in general and in relation impartiality of the judge. (Padilla v.
to the particular parties to a dispute which Zantua, 237 SCRA 670 (1994))
he or she has to adjudicate.
Re: Sec. 5 Independence from Executive
Sec. 7 Judges shall encourage and uphold and Legislative
safeguards for the discharge of judicial RA 972 (the Bar Flunkers Act) aims to
duties in order to maintain and enhance the admit to the Bar, those candidates who
institutional and operational independence suffered from insufficiency of reading
of the judiciary. materials and inadequate preparation. By
its declared objective, the law is contrary to
Sec. 8. Judges shall exhibit and promote public interest because it qualifies 1,094
high standards of judicial conduct in order law graduates who confessedly had
to reinforce public confidence in the inadequate preparation for the practice of
judiciary which is fundamental to the the profession, as was exactly found by this
maintenance of judicial independence. Tribunal in the aforesaid examinations. An
adequate legal preparation is one of the
vital requisites for the practice of law that

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LEGAL ETHICS

should be developed constantly and defend, both in his/her behalf and in behalf
maintained firmly. To the legal profession is of the Court or judge whose order or
entrusted the protection of property, life, decision is at issue. xxx Respondents folly
honor and civil liberties. It is obvious, did not stop there. When complainant filed
therefore, that the ultimate power to grant for respondents inhibition, he hired his own
license for the practice of law belongs lawyer. Respondent judge should be
exclusively to this Court, and the law reminded that decisions of courts need not
passed by Congress on the matter is of only be just but must be perceived to be
permissive character, or as other just and completely free from suspicion or
authorities say, merely to fix the minimum doubt both in its fairness and integrity.
conditions for the license. Laws are (Macalintal v. Teh, 280 SCRA 623
unconstitutional on the following grounds: (1997)30)
first, because they are not within the
legislative powers of Congress to enact, or
Congress has exceeded its powers; second, CANON 2: QUICK REFERENCE
because they create or establish arbitrary
methods or forms that infringe
Canon 2. Integrity is essential not only to the
constitutional principles; and third, because
proper discharge of the judicial office but also
their purposes or effects violate the
to the personal demeanor of judges.
Constitution or its basic principles. As has
already been seen, the contested law
Sec. 1. Judges shall ensure that not
suffers from these fatal defects.
only is their conduct above reproach,
Summarizing, we are of the opinion and
but that it is perceived to be so in the
hereby declare that RA. 972 is
view of a reasonable observer.
unconstitutional and therefore, void, and
without any force or effect for the following
Sec. 2. The behavior and conduct of
reasons, to wit:
judges must reaffirm the people's faith
1. Because its declared purpose is to
in the integrity of the judiciary. Justice
admit 810 candidates who failed in the
must not merely be done but must also
bar examinations of 1946-1952, and
be seen to be done.
who, it admits, are certainly
inadequately prepared to practice law,
Sec. 3. Judges should take or initiate
as was exactly found by this Court in
appropriate disciplinary measures
the aforesaid years.
against lawyers or court personnel for
unprofessional conduct of which the
2. Because it is, in effect, a judgment
judge may have become aware.
revoking the resolution of this Court on
the petitions of these 810 candidates,
without having examined their
respective examination papers, and MEMORY AID FOR SECTIONS UNDER CANON
although it is admitted that this 2:
Tribunal may reconsider said resolution Conduct above reproach (Sec. 1)
at any time for justifiable reasons, only Reaffirm peoples faith (Sec. 2)
this Court and no other may revise and Disciplinary action (Sec. 3)
alter them. In attempting to do it
directly RA 972 violated the
Constitution. KNOW MORE:

3. By the disputed law, Congress has Re: Sec. 1 Conduct above reproach
exceeded its legislative power to The imputation of illicit sexual acts upon
repeal, alter and supplement the rules the incumbent judge must be proven by
on admission to the Bar. substantial evidence, which is the quantum
of proof required in administrative cases.
4. The reason advanced for the pretended (Alfonso v. Juanson)
classification of candidates, which the
law makes, is contrary to facts which Respondent judge was also at fault for his
are of general knowledge and does not shortness of temper and impatience,
justify the admission to the Bar of law contrary to the duties and restriction
students inadequately prepared. The imposed upon him by reason of his office.
pretended classification is arbitrary. It He failed to observe the proper decorum
is undoubtedly a class legislation. (IN expected of judicial officers. Judicial officers
RE: CUNANAN, 94 PHIL 534 are given contempt powers so that they
(1954)) can remind counsels of their duties in court

Re: Sec. 8 Promote Public Confidence 30


Facts: Atty. Macalintal related to the Court in a letter the
The active participation of a judge, being actuations of Judge Teh, relative to Election Case No. R-95-001.
merely a nominal or formal party in Judge Teh issued a resolution adverse to the client of
certiorari proceedings is not called for. xxx complainant. He questioned the resolution via certiorari with
Under Sec 5 of Rule 65 of the ROC, a judge the COMELEC. While case was pending in the COMELEC, Teh
actively participated in the proceedings by filing his comment
whose order is challenged in an appellate
on the petition, as well as an urgent manifestation.
court does not have to file any answer or Complainant filed a motion for inhibition but instead, Teh hired
take active part in the proceeding unless his own lawyer and filed answer before the court with prayer.
expressly directed by order of this court. It The SC found that Judge Tehs actuations eroded public
is the duty of respondent to appeal and confidence in the administration of justice.

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LEGAL ETHICS

without being arbitrary, unreasonable or


unjust. Respondent should have cited the Sec. 5. Judges shall disqualify themselves
complainant in contempt of court instead of from participating in any proceedings in
throwing tantrums by banging his gavel which they are unable to decide the matter
loudly and unceremoniously walking out of impartially or in which it may appear to a
the courtroom. Although respondent had a reasonable observer that they are unable to
valid explanation for carrying a gun, his act decide the matter impartially. Such
of carrying it in plain view of the lawyers proceedings include, but are not limited to,
(including the complainant) and considering instances where
what just happened, cannot be taken as an (a) The judge has actual bias or prejudice
innocent gesture. It was calculated to instill concerning a party or personal knowledge
fear and intimidate the complainant. of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the
Respondent's behavior constitutes grave proceedings;
misconduct. A judge's conduct should be (b) The judge previously served as a lawyer or
free from the appearance of impropriety was a material witness in the matter in
not only in his official duties but in his controversy;
everyday life. One who lives by the precept (c) The judge, or a member of his or her
that might is right is unworthy to be a family, has an economic interest in the
judicial officer. (Romero v. Valle (1987)) outcome of the matter in controversy;
(d) The judge served as executor,
Re: Sec. 2 Reaffirm peoples faith administrator, guardian, trustee or lawyer
A judge must be free of a whiff of in the case or matter in controversy, or a
impropriety not only with respect to his former associate of the judge served as
performance of his judicial duties, but also counsel during their association, or the
to his behavior outside his sala and as a judge or lawyer was a material witness
private individual. There is no dichotomy of therein;
morality: a public official is also judged by (e) The judge's ruling in a lower court is the
his private morals. (Castillo v. Calanog subject of review;
(1991)) (f) The judge is related by consanguinity or
affinity to a party litigant within the sixth
civil degree or to counsel within the fourth
CANON 3: QUICK REFERENCE civil degree; or
(g) The judge knows that his or her spouse or
child has a financial interest, as heir,
Canon 3. Impartiality is essential to the legatee, creditor, fiduciary, or otherwise, in
proper discharge of the judicial office. It applies the subject matter in controversy or in a
not only to the decision itself but also to the party to the proceeding, or any other
process by which the decision is made. interest that could be substantially affected
by the outcome of the proceedings;
Sec. 1. Judges shall perform their
judicial duties without favor, bias or Sec. 6. A judge disqualified as stated
prejudice. above may, instead of withdrawing from
the proceeding, disclose on the records the
Sec. 2. Judges shall ensure that his or basis of disqualification. If, based on such
her conduct, both in and out of court, disclosure, the parties and lawyers
maintains and enhances the confidence independently of the judge's participation,
of the public, the legal profession and all agree in writing that the reason for the
litigants in the impartiality of the judge inhibition is immaterial or unsubstantial, the
and of the judiciary. judge may then participate in the
proceeding. The agreement, signed by all
Sec. 3. Judges shall, so far as is parties and lawyers, shall be incorporated
reasonable, so conduct themselves as to in the record of the proceedings.
minimize the occasions on which it will
be necessary for them to be disqualified
from hearing or deciding cases.
MEMORY AID FOR SECTIONS UNDER CANON
Sec. 4. Judges shall not knowingly, 3:
while a proceeding is before, or could Judicial duties free from bias (Sec. 1)
come before, them make any comment Promote confidence, impartiality (Sec. 2)
that might reasonably be expected to Minimize instances of disqualification (Sec. 3)
affect the outcome of such proceeding Public comments pending and impending
or impair the manifest fairness of the case (Sec. 4)
process. Nor shall judges make any Disqualifications (Sec. 5)
comment in public or otherwise that Remittal of disqualifications (Sec. 6)
might affect the fair trial of any person
or issue. KNOW MORE:

Re: Sec. 2 Promote confidence,


impartiality
The integrity of the Judiciary rests not only
upon the fact that it is able to administer
justice but also upon the perception and
confidence of the community that the
people who run the system have done

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LEGAL ETHICS

justice. Hence, in order to create such Grounds for Disqualification and Inhibition of
confidence, the people who run the Judges Under the Rules of Court
judiciary, particularly judges and justices,
must not only be proficient in both the I. Mandatory or Compulsory Disqualification
substantive and procedural aspects of the (Rule 131, ROC)
law, but more importantly, they must a. when he or his wife or his child is
possess the highest integrity, probity, and pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee,
unquestionable moral uprightness, both in creditor or otherwise;
their public and private lives. Only then can b. when he is related to either party
the people be reassured that the wheels of within the sixth degree of consanguinity
justice in this country run with fairness and or affinity or to counsel within the 4th
equity, thus creating confidence in the civil degree;
judicial system. (Talens-Dabon v. Arceo, c. when he has been an executor,
259 SCRA 354 (1996)) guardian, administrator, trustee or
counsel;
Re: Sec. 5 Disqualifications d. when he has presided in an inferior
It is clear from the reading of the law that court where his ruling or decision is
intimacy or friendship between a judge and subject to review.
an attorney of record of one of the parties
to a suit is no ground for disqualification. II. Voluntary Inhibition (1991, 199, 2005
To allow it would unnecessarily burden BAR EXAMS)
other trial judges to whom the cases would A judge may, in the exercise of his
be transferred. In fact, this is one rare sound discretion disqualify himself, for just
opportunity for Masadao to show that JBL and valid reasons other than those
Reyes did not err in recommending him for mentioned above. (Rule 137, Section 1)
his competence and known probity; that he This leaves the discretion to the
has conducted himself with the cold judge to decide for himself questions as to
impartiality of an impartial judge; that no whether he will desist from sitting in case
one can sway his judgment whoever he for other just and valid reasons with only
may be. his conscience to guide him, unless he
However, men of the Bench are not without cannot discern for himself his inability to
imperfections. A judge experiences the tug meet the test of the cold neutrality required
and pull of purely personal preferences and of him, in which event the appellate court
prejudices which he shares with the rest of will see to it that he disqualifies himself.
his fellow mortals. Especially for Filipinos A decision to disqualify himself is
whose sense of gratitude is one trait which not conclusive and his competency may be
invariably reigns supreme over any and all determined on application for mandamus to
considerations in matters upon which such compel him to act. Judges decision to
tender sentiment may somehow inexorably continue hearing a case in which he is not
impinge. The circumstances before Judge legally prohibited from trying
Masadao are not ordinary ones. Thus, this notwithstanding challenge to his objectivity
is one certain circumstance where a case may not constitute reversible error.
could well be heard by another judge and The filing of an administrative case
where a voluntary inhibition may prove to against a judge does not disqualify him
be the better course of action. Judge from hearing a case. The court has to be
Masadaos actuations are within par 2 sec 1 shown other than the filing of
rule 137. (Masado v. Elizaga, 155 SCRA administrative complaint, act or conduct of
72 (1987)31) judge indicative of arbitrariness or
prejudice before the latter being branded
A judge cannot sit in any case in which he as the stigma of being biased or partial.
was a counsel without the written consent (Lorenzo v. Marquez (1988))
of all parties. The rule is explicit that he
must secure the written consent of all DISQUALIFICATION INHIBITION
parties, not a mere verbal consent much Grounds Specific and exclusive No specific
less a tacit acquiescence. The written grounds BUT
consent must be signed by them and there is a
entered upon the record. (Lorenzo v. broad basis for
Marquez (1988)) such, i.e.,
good, sound
ethical
grounds
Role of Judicial officer has no The matter is
the discretion to sit or try left to the
judicial the case sound
officer discretion of
31
FACTS: On May 4, 1987, Judge Masadao rendered a decision the judge
finding the accused, Jaime Tadeo, guilty of estafa. Justice JBL
Reyes entered his appearance for the accused. Judge Masadao
issued an order inhibiting himself from further sitting in the
case on the ground that retired Justice Reyes has been among
those who had recommended him to the bench. A raffle was
conducted and the case was assigned to Judge Elizaga. Judge
Elizaga returned the records with a letter stating his refusal to
act and assailing the re-raffling of the case as uncalled for and
impractical.

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LEGAL ETHICS

CANON 4: QUICK REFERENCE

Sec. 9. Confidential information acquired Canon 4. Propriety and the appearance


by judges in their judicial capacity shall of propriety are essential to the performance
not be used or disclosed by for any other of all the activities of a. judge.
purpose related to their judicial duties.
Sec. 1. Judges shall avoid
Sec. 10. Subject to the proper impropriety and the appearance of
performance of judicial duties, judges impropriety in all of their activities.
may
(a) Write, lecture, teach and participate in Sec. 2. As a subject of constant
activities concerning the law, the legal public scrutiny, judges must accept
system, the administration of justice or personal restrictions that might be
related matters; viewed as burdensome by the
(b) Appear at a public hearing before an official ordinary citizen and should do so
body concerned with matters relating to the freely and willingly. In particular,
judges shall conduct themselves in a
(c) law, the legal system, the administration of way that is consistent with the
justice or related matters; dignity of the judicial office.
(d) Engage in other activities if such activities do
not detract from the dignity of the judicial Sec. 3. Judges shall, in their personal
office or otherwise interfere with the relations with individual members of
performance of judicial duties. the legal profession who practice
regularly in their court, avoid
Sec. 11. Judges shall not practice situations which might reasonably
law whilst the holder of judicial office. give rise to the suspicion or
appearance of favoritism or partiality.
Sec. 12. Judges may form or join
associations of judges or participate in Sec. 4. Judges shall not participate in
other organizations representing the the determination of a case in which
interests of judges. any member of their family
represents a litigant or is associated
Sec. 13. Judges and members of in any manner with the case.
their families shall neither ask for, nor
accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favor in Sec. 5. Judges shall not allow the use
relation to anything done or to be done of their residence by a member of the
or omitted to be done by him or her in legal profession to receive clients of
connection with the performance of the latter or of other members of the
judicial duties. legal profession.

Sec. 14. Judges shall not Sec. 6. Judges, like any other citizen,
knowingly permit court staff or others are entitled to freedom of expression,
subject to their influence, direction or belief, association and assembly, but
authority, to ask for, or accept, any gift, in exercising such rights, they shall
bequest, loan or favor in relation to always conduct themselves in such a
anything done or to be done or omitted manner as to preserve the dignity of
to be done in connection with their duties the judicial office and the impartiality
or functions. and independence of the judiciary.

Sec. 15. Subject to law and to any Sec. 7. Judges shall inform
legal requirements of public disclosure, themselves about their personal
judges may receive a token gift, award or fiduciary financial interests and shall
benefit as appropriate to the occasion on make reasonable efforts to be
which it is made provided that such gift, informed about the financial interests
award or benefit might not reasonably be of members of their family.
perceived as intended to influence the
judge in the performance of judicial Sec. 8. Judges shall not use or lend
duties or otherwise give rise to an the prestige of the judicial office to
appearance of partiality. advance their private interests, or
those of a member of their family or
of anyone else, nor shall they convey
or permit others to convey the
impression that anyone is in a special
position improperly to influence them
in the performance of judicial duties.

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LEGAL ETHICS

MEMORY AID FOR SECTIONS UNDER CANON Geotina v. Gonzales: A judge, sitting on a
4: case must at all times be fully free,
Avoidance of Impropriety (Sec. 1) disinterested, impartial and independent.
Acceptance of Personal Restrictions (Sec. Elementary due process requires a hearing
2) before an impartial and disinterested
Avoidance of Controversy (Sec. 3) tribunal. A judge has both the duties of
Not participate in cases where he may be rendering a just decision and of doing it in
impartial (Sec. 4) a manner completely free from suspicion as
Not allow the use of his residence by other to his fairness and as to his integrity.
lawyers (Sec. 5) Mater, Jr. v. Hon. Onofre Villaluz: Outside
Freedom of Expression (Sec. 6) of pecuniary interest, relationship or
Be informed of his financial interests (Sec. previous participation in the matter that
7) calls for adjudication, there may be other
Influence of Judicial Conduct (Sec. 8) causes that could conceivably erode trait of
Confidential Information (Sec. 9) objectivity, thus calling for inhibition. If
Engage in other activities (Sec. 10) such causes appear and prove difficult to
Practice of Profession (Sec. 11) resist, it is better for judge to disqualify
Form associations (Sec. 12) himself. That way, his reputation for
Gifts, Requests, Loans (Sec. 13) probity and objectivity is preserved; even
Gifts, Requests, Loans by staff (Sec. 14) more important, ideal of an administration
Permissible tokens and awards (Sec. 15) of justice is lived up to. (Umale v. Villaluz
(1973))

KNOW MORE: Re: Sec. 11 Practice of Profession


The Court has reminded judges of the
Re: Sec. 1 Avoidance of impropriety lower courts that a judge whose order is
Whatever the motive may have been, the challenged in an appellate court need not
violent action of the respondent in a public file any answer, or take an active part in
place constitutes serious misconduct and the proceedings unless expressly directed
the resultant outrage of the community by order of the Court. A judge must
(Arban v. Borja (1989)) maintain a detached attitude from the case
and shall not waste his time by taking an
It was highly improper for a judge to have active part in a proceeding that relates to
wielded a high-powered firearm in public official actuations in a case. He is merely a
and besieged the house of a perceived nominal party and has no personal interest
defamer of character and honor in warlike or personality therein. Further, respondent
fashion and berated the object of his ire, judge, in signing and filing a comment with
with his firearm aimed at the victim the court on behalf of one of the parties,
(Saburnido v. Madrono (A.C. No. 4497. engaged in the private practice of law. The
September 26, 2001) practice of law is not limited to the conduct
of cases in court or participation in court
Re: Sec. 9 Confidential information proceedings but includes preparation of
Personal knowledge of the case pending pleadings or papers in anticipation of
before him is not one of the causes for the litigation. Under Section 35, Rule 138 of
disqualification of a judge under the first the Revised Rules of Court, and Rule 5.07
paragraph of Sec. 1 of Rule 137 of the of the Code of Judicial Conduct, judges are
Revised Rules of Court (took effect Jan. 1, prohibited from engaging in the private
1964). But paragraph 2 of said section practice of law. This is based on public
authorizes the judge, in the exercise of his policy because the rights, duties, privileges
sound discretion, to disqualify himself from and functions of the office of an attorney-
sitting in a case, for just or valid reason at-law are inherently incompatible with the
other than those mentioned in par. 1. high official functions, duties, powers,
Before 1964, a judge could not just discretion and privileges of a judge.
voluntarily inhibit himself from a case. But (Tuazon v. Cloribel (2001))
in cases decided in 1961 and 1962, a judge
was allowed to inhibit for fear that an Re: Sec. 13 Gifts, requests and loans
opinion expressed by him in a letter as Receiving money from a party litigant is the
counsel might influence his decision and for kind of gross and flaunting misconduct on
being related to a counsel within the 4th the part of the judge, who is charged with
civil degree. In 1967, a judge was allowed the responsibility of administering the law
to voluntarily disqualify himself on grounds and rendering justice. Members of the
other than those mentioned in par. 1 of judiciary should display not only the
cited section. Pimentel v. Salanga: Judge highest integrity but must, at all times,
should make a careful self-examination conduct themselves in such manner as to
whether to disqualify himself or not in a be beyond reproach and suspicion.
case before him. He should exercise his (Ompoc v. Torre (1989))
discretion in a way that peoples faith in the
courts of justice is not impaired. A salutary
norm is that he reflects on the probability
that a losing party might nurture at the
back of his mind the thought that the judge
had unmeritoriously titled the scales of
justice against him. Judge should be
commended for heeding SC ruling in

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LEGAL ETHICS

Re: Sec. 5 Attitude to Parties Appearing in


Court
CANON 5: QUICK REFERENCE
The action of the judge in seizing the
witness, Alberto Angel, by the shoulder and
Canon 5. Ensuring equality of turning him about was unwarranted and an
treatment to all before the courts is essential interference with that freedom from
to the due performance of the judicial office. unlawful personal violence to which every
witness is entitled while giving testimony in
Sec. 1. Judges shall be aware of, and a court of justice. Against such conduct the
understand, diversity in society and appellant had the right to protest and to
differences arising from various demand that the incident be made a matter
sources, including but not limited to of record. That he did so was not contempt,
race, color, sex, religion, national providing protest and demand were
origin, caste, disability, age, marital respectfully made and with due regard for
status, sexual orientation, social and the dignity of the court. (In Re: Aguas
economic status and other like (1901))
causes.

Sec. 2. Judges shall not, in the CANON 6: QUICK REFERENCE


performance of judicial duties, by
words or conduct, manifest bias or
prejudice towards any person or Canon. 6. Competence and diligence are
group on irrelevant grounds. prerequisites to the due performance of judicial
office.
Sec. 3. Judges shall carry out judicial
duties with appropriate consideration Sec. 1. The judicial duties of a judge
for all persons, such as the parties, take precedence over all other
witnesses, lawyers, court staff and activities.
judicial colleagues, without
differentiation on any irrelevant Sec. 2. Judges shall devote their
ground, immaterial to the proper professional activity to judicial duties,
performance of such duties. which include not only the performance
of judicial functions and responsibilities
Sec. 4. Judges shall not knowingly in court and the making of decisions,
permit court staff or others subject to but also other tasks relevant to the
his or her influence, direction or judicial office or the court's operations.
control to differentiate between
persons concerned, in a matter Sec. 3. Judges shall take reasonable
before the judge, on any irrelevant steps to maintain and enhance their
ground. knowledge, skills and personal qualities
necessary for the proper performance
Sec. 5. Judges shall require lawyers of judicial duties, taking advantage for
in proceedings before the court to this purpose of the training and other
refrain from manifesting, by words or facilities which should be made
conduct, bias or prejudice based on available, under judicial control, to
irrelevant grounds, except such as judges.
are legally relevant to an issue in
proceedings and may be the subject Sec. 4. Judges shall keep themselves
of legitimate advocacy. informed about relevant developments
of international law, including
international conventions and other
instruments establishing human rights
MEMORY AID FOR SECTIONS UNDER CANON 5 norms.
Understand the diversity in society (Sec. 1)
Not to manifest bias or prejudice (Sec. 2) Sec. 5. Judges shall perform all judicial
Not to differentiate (Sec. 3) duties, including the delivery of
Not to influence staff (Sec. 4) reserved decisions, efficiently, fairly and
Attitude to parties appearing in court (Sec. with reasonable promptness.
5)
Sec. 6. Judges shall maintain order and
KNOW MORE: decorum in all proceedings before the
court and be patient, dignified and
Re: Sec. 2Bias or Prejudice courteous in relation to litigants,
Rule 137 1 of the Rules of Court witnesses, lawyers and others with
expressly states that no judge shall sit in whom the judge deals in an official
any case which he has been counsel (for a capacity. Judges shall require similar
party) without the written consent of all conduct of legal representatives, court
parties in interest, signed by them and staff and others subject to their
entered upon the record. The prohibition is influence, direction or control.
not limited to cases in which a judge hears
the evidence but includes as well cases Sec. 7. Judges shall not engage in
where he acts by resolving motions, issuing conduct incompatible with the diligent
orders and the like. (In Re Judge Rojas discharge of judicial duties.
(1998))

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MEMORY AID FOR SECTIONS UNDER CANON 6


Duties take precedence (Sec. 1)
Perform administrative duties (Sec. 2)
Maintain professional competence (Sec. 3)
Be informed about the law (Sec. 4)
Prompt decision making (Sec. 5)
Maintain order in proceedings (Sec. 6)
Not to engage in conduct contrary to duties
(Sec. 7)

KNOW MORE:

Re: Sec. 2 Administrative duties


In the instant case, respondent judge
impeded the speedy disposition of cases by
his successor on account of missing records
of cases. This fact reflects an inefficient and
disorderly system in the recording of cases
assigned to his sala. Proper and efficient
court management is as much the judge's
responsibility for the Court personnel are
not the guardians of a Judge's
responsibilities. A judge is expected to
ensure that the records of cases assigned
to his sala are intact. There is no
justification for missing records save
fortuitous events. The loss of not one but
eight records is indicative of gross
misconduct and inexcusable negligence
unbecoming of a judge. (Longboan v.
Polig (1990))

Re: Sec. 3 Maintain professional competence

While the court does not require perfection


and infallibility, it reasonably expects a
faithful and intelligent discharge of duty by
those who are selected to fill the positions
of administrators of justice. (In Re Judge
Baltazar Dizon (1989))32

As a matter of public policy, in the absence


of fraud, dishonesty, or corruption, the acts
of a judge in his judicial capacity are not
subject to disciplinary action, even though
such acts are erroneous. Yet it is highly
imperative that they should be
controverted with basic legal principles.
They are called upon to exhibit more than
just a cursory acquaintance with statutes
and to keep themselves abreast of the
latest laws, rulings, jurisprudence affecting
their jurisdiction. Even in the remaining
years of his stay in the judiciary, he should
keep abreast with the changes in the law
and with the latest decisions and
precedents. Although a judge is nearing
retirement, he should not relax in his study
of the law and court decisions. (Abad v.
Bleza (1986))

32
FACTS: This is a motion for reconsideration filed by
respondent Judge Dizon praying that the resolution, finding him
guilty of rendering an erroneous decision, be reconsidered.
Dizon ruled that the state must first prove criminal intent to
find the accused, Lo Chi Fai, guilty of a violation of a Central
Bank Circular. He also ordered the return of the seized foreign
currency from the accused. This Court pointed out that in
offenses punished by special laws, proof of malice or deliberate
intent is not necessary. Respondent manifestly disregarded and
failed to apply this plain and fundamental basic principle.
Respondent admits that his decision is erroneous but pleads that
his mistaken judgment proceeded from good faith and not from
deliberate desire to pervert his position.

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2004 RULES ON NOTARIAL PRACTICE pages containing a chronological record of notarial


(Aug. 1, 2004) acts performed by a notary public.

RULE I Sec. 6. Jurat. - "Jurat" refers to an act in which an


IMPLEMENTATION individual on a single occasion:
a. appears in person before the notary public and
Sec. 1. Title. - These Rules shall be known as the presents an instrument or document;
2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. b. is personally known to the notary public or
identified by the notary public through
Sec. 2. Purposes. - These Rules shall be applied competent evidence of identity as defined by
and construed to advance the following purposes: these Rules;
a. to promote, serve, and protect public interest; c. signs the instrument or document in the
b. to simplify, clarify, and modernize the rules presence of the notary; and
governing notaries public; and d. takes an oath or affirmation before the notary
c. to foster ethical conduct among notaries public. public as to such instrument or document.

Sec. 3. Interpretation. - Unless the context of these Sec. 7. Notarial Act and Notarization. - "Notarial
Rules otherwise indicates, words in the singular Act" and "Notarization" refer to any act that a
include the plural, and words in the plural include notary public is empowered to perform under these
the singular. Rules.

RULE II Sec. 8. Notarial Certificate. - "Notarial Certificate"


DEFINITIONS refers to the part of, or attachment to, a notarized
instrument or document that is completed by the
Sec. 1. Acknowledgment. - "Acknowledgment" notary public, bears the notary's signature and
refers to an act in which an individual on a single seal, and states the facts attested to by the notary
occasion: public in a particular notarization as provided for by
a. appears in person before the notary public and these Rules.
presents an integrally complete instrument or
document; Sec. 9. Notary Public and Notary. - "Notary Public"
b. is attested to be personally known to the and "Notary" refer to any person commissioned to
notary public or identified by the notary public perform official acts under these Rules.
through competent evidence of identity as
defined by these Rules; and Sec. 10. Principal. - "Principal" refers to a person
c. represents to the notary public that the appearing before the notary public whose act is the
signature on the instrument or document was subject of notarization.
voluntarily affixed by him for the purposes
stated in the instrument or document, declares Sec. 11. Regular Place of Work or Business. - The
that he has executed the instrument or term "regular place of work or business" refers to a
document as his free and voluntary act and stationary office in the city or province wherein the
deed, and, if he acts in a particular notary public renders legal and notarial services.
representative capacity, that he has the
authority to sign in that capacity. Sec. 12. Competent Evidence of Identity. - The
phrase "competent evidence of identity" refers to
Sec. 2. Affirmation or Oath. - The term the identification of an individual based on:
"Affirmation" or "Oath" refers to an act in which an a. at least one current identification document
individual on a single occasion: issued by an official agency bearing the
a. appears in person before the notary public; photograph and signature of the individual,
b. is personally known to the notary public or such as but not limited to, passport, drivers
identified by the notary public through license, Professional Regulations Commission
competent evidence of identity as defined by ID, National Bureau of Investigation clearance,
these Rules; and police clearance, postal ID, voters ID,
c. avows under penalty of law to the whole truth Barangay certification, Government Service and
of the contents of the instrument or document. Insurance System (GSIS) e-card, Social
Security System (SSS) card, Philhealth card,
Sec. 3. Commission. - "Commission" refers to the senior citizen card, Overseas Workers Welfare
grant of authority to perform notarial acts and to Administration (OWWA) ID, OFW ID, seamans
the written evidence of the authority. book, alien certificate of registration/immigrant
certificate of registration, government office ID,
Sec. 4. Copy Certification. - "Copy Certification" certification from the National Council for the
refers to a notarial act in which a notary public: Welfare of Disable Persons (NCWDP),
a. is presented with an instrument or document Department of Social Welfare and Development
that is neither a vital record, a public record, (DSWD) certification; or (as amended by A.M.
nor publicly recordable; No. 02-8-13-SC-Re: 2004 Rules on Notarial
b. copies or supervises the copying of the Practice)
instrument or document; b. the oath or affirmation of one credible witness
c. compares the instrument or document with the not privy to the instrument, document or
copy; and transaction who is personally known to the
d. determines that the copy is accurate and notary public and who personally knows the
complete. individual, or of two credible witnesses neither
of whom is privy to the instrument, document
Sec. 5. Notarial Register. - "Notarial Register" or transaction who each personally knows the
refers to a permanently bound book with numbered individual and shows to the notary public
documentary identification.

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LEGAL ETHICS

b) certification of good moral character of the


Sec. 13. Official Seal or Seal. - "Official seal" or petitioner by at least two (2) executive officers
"Seal" refers to a device for affixing a mark, image of the local chapter of the Integrated Bar of the
or impression on all papers officially signed by the Philippines where he is applying for
notary public conforming the requisites prescribed commission;
by these Rules. c) proof of payment for the filing of the petition as
required by these Rules; and
Sec. 14. Signature Witnessing. -The term d) three (3) passport-size color photographs with
"signature witnessing" refers to a notarial act in light background taken within thirty (30) days
which an individual on a single occasion: of the application. The photograph should not
a. appears in person before the notary public and be retouched. The petitioner shall sign his
presents an instrument or document; name at the bottom part of the photographs.
b. is personally known to the notary public or
identified by the notary public through Sec. 3. Application Fee. - Every petitioner for a
competent evidence of identity as defined by notarial commission shall pay the application fee as
these Rules; and prescribed in the Rules of Court.
c. signs the instrument or document in the
presence of the notary public. Sec. 4. Summary Hearing on the Petition. - The
Executive Judge shall conduct a summary hearing
Sec. 15. Court. - "Court" refers to the Supreme on the petition and shall grant the same if:
Court of the Philippines. a) the petition is sufficient in form and substance;
b) the petitioner proves the allegations contained
Sec. 16. Petitioner. - "Petitioner" refers to a person in the petition; and
who applies for a notarial commission. c) the petitioner establishes to the satisfaction of
the Executive Judge that he has read and fully
Sec. 17. Office of the Court Administrator. - "Office understood these Rules.
of the Court Administrator" refers to the Office of The Executive Judge shall forthwith issue a
the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court. commission and a Certificate of Authorization to
Purchase a Notarial Seal in favor of the petitioner.
Sec. 18. Executive Judge. - "Executive Judge"
refers to the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Sec. 5. Notice of Summary Hearing.
Court of a city or province who issues a notarial a) The notice of summary hearing shall be
commission. published in a newspaper of general circulation
in the city or province where the hearing shall
Sec. 19. Vendor - "Vendor" under these Rules be conducted and posted in a conspicuous
refers to a seller of a notarial seal and shall include place in the offices of the Executive Judge and
a wholesaler or retailer. of the Clerk of Court. The cost of the
publication shall be borne by the petitioner. The
Sec. 20. Manufacturer. - "Manufacturer" under notice may include more than one petitioner.
these Rules refers to one who produces a notarial b) The notice shall be substantially in the
seal and shall include an engraver and seal maker. following form;
NOTICE OF HEARING
RULE III Notice is hereby given that a summary hearing on
COMMISSIONING OF NOTARY PUBLIC the petition for notarial commission of (name of
petitioner) shall be held on (date) at (place) at
Sec. 1. Qualifications. - A notarial commission may (time). Any person who has any cause or reason to
be issued by an Executive Judge to any qualified object to the grant of the petition may file a
person who submits a petition in accordance with verified written opposition thereto, received by the
these Rules. undersigned before the date of the summary
To be eligible for commissioning as notary public, hearing.
the petitioner: ______________
1. must be a citizen of the Philippines; Executive Judge
2. must be over twenty-one (21) years of age;
3. must be a resident in the Philippines for at least Sec. 6. Opposition to Petition. - Any person who
one (1) year and maintains a regular place of has any cause or reason to object to the grant of
work or business in the city or province where the petition may file a verified written opposition
the commission is to be issued; thereto. The opposition must be received by the
4. must be a member of the Philippine Bar in good Executive Judge before the date of the summary
standing with clearances from the Office of the hearing.
Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court and the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and Sec. 7. Form of Notarial Commission. - The
5. must not have been convicted in the first commissioning of a notary public shall be in a
instance of any crime involving moral formal order signed by the Executive Judge
turpitude. substantially in the following form:

Sec. 2. Form of the Petition and Supporting REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


Documents. - Every petition for a notarial REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ______________
commission shall be in writing, verified, and shall This is to certify that (name of notary public) of
include the following: (regular place of work or business) in (city or
a) a statement containing the petitioner's personal province) was on this (date) day of (month) two
qualifications, including the petitioner's date of thousand and (year) commissioned by the
birth, residence, telephone number, undersigned as a notary public, within and for the
professional tax receipt, roll of attorney's said jurisdiction, for a term ending the thirty-first
number and IBP membership number; , day of December (year)

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LEGAL ETHICS

_______________ payment of the application fee mentioned in


Executive Judge Section 3 above of this Rule, act on an application
for the renewal of a commission within thirty (30)
Sec. 8. Period Of Validity of Certificate of days from receipt thereof. If the application is
Authorization to Purchase a Notarial Seal. - The denied, the Executive Judge shall state the reasons
Certificate of Authorization to Purchase a Notarial therefore.
Seal shall be valid for a period of three (3) months
from date of issue, unless extended by the RULE IV
Executive Judge. POWERS AND LIMITATIONS OF NOTARIES PUBLIC
A mark, image or impression of the seal that may
be purchased by the notary public pursuant to the Sec. 1. Powers.
Certificate shall be presented to the Executive a) A notary public is empowered to perform the
Judge for approval prior to use. following notarial acts:
1) acknowledgments;
Sec. 9. Form of Certificate of Authorization to 2) oaths and affirmations;
Purchase a Notarial Seal. -The Certificate of 3) jurats;
Authorization to Purchase a Notarial Seal shall 4) signature witnessings;
substantially be in the following form: 5) copy certifications; and
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES 6) any other act authorized by these Rules.
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF_____________ b) A notary public is authorized to certify the
CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORIZATION TO PURCHASE A affixing of a signature by thumb or other mark
NOTARIAL SEAL on an instrument or document presented for
This is to authorize (name of notary public) of (city notarization if:
or province) who was commissioned by the 1) the thumb or other mark is affixed in the
undersigned as a notary public, within and for the presence of the notary public and of two
said jurisdiction, for a term ending, the thirty-first (2) disinterested and unaffected witnesses
of December (year) to purchase a notarial seal. to the instrument or document;
Issued this (day) of (month) (year). 2) both witnesses sign their own names in
_______________ addition to the thumb or other mark;
Executive Judge 3) the notary public writes below the thumb or
other mark: "Thumb or Other Mark affixed
Sec. 10. Official Seal of Notary Public. - Every by (name of signatory by mark) in the
person commissioned as notary public shall have presence of (names and addresses of
only one official seal of office in accordance with witnesses) and undersigned notary public";
these Rules. and
4) the notary public notarizes the signature by
Sec. 11. Jurisdiction and Term. - A person thumb or other mark through an
commissioned as notary public may perform acknowledgment, jurat, or signature
notarial acts in any place within the territorial witnessing.
jurisdiction of the commissioning court for a period c) A notary public is authorized to sign on behalf
of two (2) years commencing the first day of of a person who is physically unable to sign or
January of the year in which the commissioning is make a mark on an instrument or document if:
made, unless earlier revoked or the notary public 1) the notary public is directed by the person
has resigned under these Rules and the Rules of unable to sign or make a mark to sign on
Court. his behalf;
2) the signature of the notary public is affixed
Sec. 12. Register of Notaries Public. - The in the presence of two disinterested and
Executive Judge shall keep and maintain a Register unaffected witnesses to the instrument or
of Notaries Public in his jurisdiction which shall document;
contain, among others, the dates of issuance or 3) both witnesses sign their own names ;
revocation or suspension of notarial commissions, 4) the notary public writes below his
and the resignation or death of notaries public. The signature: "Signature affixed by notary in
Executive Judge shall furnish the Office of the Court presence of (names and addresses of
Administrator information and data recorded in the person and two \2] witnesses)"; and
register of notaries public. The Office of the Court 5) the notary public notarizes his signature by
Administrator shall keep a permanent, complete acknowledgment or jurat.
and updated database of such records.
Sec. 2. Prohibitions.
Sec. 13. Renewal of Commission. - A notary public a) A notary public shall not perform a notarial act
may file a written application with the Executive outside his regular place of work or business;
Judge for the renewal of his commission within provided, however, that on certain exceptional
forty-five (45) days before the expiration thereof. A occasions or situations, a notarial act may be
mark, image or impression of the seal of the notary performed at the request of the parties in the
public shall be attached to the application. following sites located within his territorial
Failure to file said application will result in the jurisdiction:
deletion of the name of the notary public in the (1) public offices, convention halls, and similar
register of notaries public. places where oaths of office may be
The notary public thus removed from the Register administered;
of Notaries Public may only be reinstated therein (2) public function areas in hotels and similar
after he is issued a new commission in accordance places for the signing of instruments or
with these Rules. documents requiring notarization;
(3) hospitals and other medical institutions
Sec. 14. Action on Application for Renewal of where a party to an instrument or
Commission. - The Executive Judge shall, upon document is confined for treatment; and

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(4) any place where a party to an instrument Sec. 3. Prohibited Fees. - No fee or compensation
or document requiring notarization is under of any kind, except those expressly prescribed and
detention. allowed herein, shall be collected or received for
b) A person shall not perform a notarial act if the any notarial service.
person involved as signatory to the instrument
or document - Sec. 4. Payment or Refund of Fees. - A notary
(1) is not in the notary's presence personally at public shall not require payment of any fees
the time of the notarization; and specified herein prior to the performance of a
(2) is not personally known to the notary public notarial act unless otherwise agreed upon.
or otherwise identified by the notary public Any travel fees and expenses paid to a notary
through competent evidence of identity as public prior to the performance of a notarial act are
defined by these Rules. not subject to refund if the notary public had
already traveled but failed to complete in whole or
Sec. 3. Disqualifications. - A notary public is in part the notarial act for reasons beyond his
disqualified from performing a notarial act if he: control and without negligence on his part.
(a) is a party to the instrument or document that is
to be notarized; Sec. 5. Notice of Fees. - A notary public who
(b) will receive, as a direct or indirect result, any charges a fee for notarial services shall issue a
commission, fee, advantage, right, title, receipt registered with the Bureau of Internal
interest, cash, property, or other consideration, Revenue and keep a journal of notarial fees. He
except as provided by these Rules and by law; shall enter in the journal all fees charged for
or services rendered.
(c) is a spouse, common-law partner, ancestor, A notary public shall post in a conspicuous place in
descendant, or relative by affinity or his office a complete schedule of chargeable
consanguinity of the principal within the fourth notarial fees.
civil degree.
RULE VI
Sec. 4. Refusal to Notarize. - A notary public shall NOTARIAL REGISTER
not perform any notarial act described in these
Rules for any person requesting such an act even if Sec. 1. Form of Notarial Register.
he tenders the appropriate fee specified by these (a) A notary public shall keep, maintain, protect
Rules if: and provide for lawful inspection as provided in
(a) the notary knows or has good reason to believe these Rules, a chronological official notarial
that the notarial act or transaction is unlawful register of notarial acts consisting of a
or immoral; permanently bound book with numbered pages.
(b) the signatory shows a demeanor which The register shall be kept in books to be
engenders in the mind of the notary public furnished by the Solicitor General to any notary
reasonable doubt as to the former's knowledge public upon request and upon payment of the
of the consequences of the transaction cost thereof. The register shall be duly paged,
requiring a notarial act; and and on the first page, the Solicitor General shall
(c) in the notary's judgment, the signatory is not certify the number of pages of which the book
acting of his or her own free will. consists.
For purposes of this provision, a Memorandum
Sec. 5. False or Incomplete Certificate. - A notary of Agreement or Understanding may be entered
public shall not: into by the Office of the Solicitor General and
(a) execute a certificate containing information the Office of the Court Administrator.
known or believed by the notary to be false. (b) A notary/ public shall keep only one active
(b) affix an official signature or seal on a notarial notarial register at any given time.
certificate that is incomplete.
Sec. 2. Entries in the Notarial Register.
Sec. 6. Improper Instruments or Documents. - A (a) For every notarial act, the notary shall record in
notary public shall not notarize: the notarial register at the time of notarization
(a) a blank or incomplete instrument or document; the following:
or (1) the entry number and page number;
(b) an instrument or document without appropriate (2) the date and time of day of the notarial
notarial certification. act;
(3) the type of notarial act;
RULE V (4) the title or description of the instrument,
FEES OF NOTARY PUBLIC document or proceeding;
(5) the name and address of each principal;
Sec. 1. Imposition and Waiver of Fees. - For (6) the competent evidence of identity as
performing a notarial act, a notary public may defined by these Rules if the signatory is
charge the maximum fee as prescribed by the not personally known to the notary;
Supreme Court unless he waives the fee in whole (7) the name and address of each credible
or in part. witness swearing to or affirming the
person's identity;
Sec. 2. Travel Fees and Expenses. - A notary public (8) the fee charged for the notarial act;
may charge travel fees and expenses separate and (9) the address where the notarization was
apart from the notarial fees prescribed in the performed if not in the notary's regular
preceding section when traveling to perform a place of work or business; and
notarial act if the notary public and the person (10) any other circumstance the notary
requesting the notarial act agree prior to the travel. public may deem of significance or
relevance.

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(b) A notary public shall record in the notarial (2) the person affixes a signature and thumb
register the reasons and circumstances for not or other mark or other recognized
completing a notarial act. identifier, in the notarial .register in a
(c) A notary public shall record in the notarial separate, dated entry;
register the circumstances of any request to (3) the person specifies the month, year, type
inspect or copy an entry in the notarial register, of instrument or document, and name of
including the requester's name, address, the principal in the notarial act or acts
signature, thumb mark or other recognized sought; and
identifier, and evidence of identity. The reasons (4) the person is shown only the entry or
for refusal to allow inspection or copying of a entries specified by him.
journal entry shall also be recorded. (b) The notarial register may be examined by a law
(d) When the instrument or document is a enforcement officer in the course of an official
contract, the notary public shall keep an investigation or by virtue of a court order.
original copy thereof as part of his records and (c) If the notary public has a reasonable ground to
enter in said records a brief description of the believe that a person has a criminal intent or
substance thereof and shall give to each entry wrongful motive in requesting information from
a consecutive number, beginning with number the notarial register, the notary shall deny
one in each calendar year. He shall also retain access to any entry or entries therein.
a duplicate original copy for the Clerk of Court.
(e) The notary public shall give to each instrument Sec. 5. Loss, Destruction or Damage of Notarial
or document executed, sworn to, or Register.
acknowledged before him a number (a) In case the notarial register is stolen, lost,
corresponding to the one in his register, and destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered
shall also state on the instrument or document unusable or illegible as a record of notarial
the page/s of his register on which the same is acts, the notary public shall, within ten (10)
recorded. No blank line shall be left between days after informing the appropriate law
entries. enforcement agency in the case of theft or
(f) In case of a protest of any draft, bill of vandalism, notify the Executive Judge by any
exchange or promissory note, the notary public means providing a proper receipt or
shall make a full and true record of all acknowledgment, including registered mail and
proceedings in relation thereto and shall note also provide a copy or number of any pertinent
therein whether the demand for the sum of police report.
money was made, by whom, when, and where; (b) Upon revocation or expiration of a notarial
whether he presented such draft, bill or note; commission, or death of the notary public, the
whether notices were given, to whom and in notarial register and notarial records shall
what manner; where the same was made, immediately be delivered to the office of the
when and to whom and where directed; and of Executive Judge.
every other fact touching the same.
(g) At the end of each week, the notary public shall Sec. 6. Issuance of Certified True Copies. - The
certify in his notarial register the number of notary public shall supply a certified true copy of
instruments or documents executed, sworn to, the notarial record, or any part thereof, to any
acknowledged, or protested before him; or if person applying for such copy upon payment of the
none, this certificate shall show this fact. legal fees.
(h) A certified copy of each month's entries and a
duplicate original copy of any instrument RULE VII
acknowledged before the notary public shall, SIGNATURE AND SEAL OF NOTARY PUBLIC
within the first ten (10) days of the month
following, be forwarded to the Clerk of Court Sec. 1. Official Signature. - In notarizing a paper
and shall be under the responsibility of such instrument or document, a notary public shall:
officer. If there is no entry to certify for the (a) sign by hand on the notarial certificate only the
month, the notary shall forward a statement to name indicated and as appearing on the
this effect in lieu of certified copies herein notary's commission;
required. (b) not sign using a facsimile stamp or printing
device; and
Sec. 3. Signatures and Thumbmarks. - At the time (c) affix his official signature only at the time the
of notarization, the notary's notarial register shall notarial act is performed.
be signed or a thumb or other mark affixed by
each: Sec. 2. Official Seal.
(a) principal; (a) Every person commissioned as notary public
(b) credible witness swearing or affirming to the shall have a seal of office, to be procured at his
identity of a principal; and own expense, which shall not be possessed or
(c) witness to a signature by thumb or other mark, owned by any other person. It shall be of
or to a signing by the notary public on behalf of metal, circular in shape, two inches in
a person physically unable to sign. diameter, and shall have the name of the city
or province and the word "Philippines" and his
Sec. 4. Inspection, Copying and Disposal. own name on the margin and the roll of
(a) In the notary's presence, any person may attorney's number on the face thereof, with the
inspect an entry in the notarial register, during words "notary public" across the center. A
regular business hours, provided; mark, image or impression of such seal shall be
(1) the person's identity is personally known to made directly on the paper or parchment on
the notary public or proven through which the writing appears.
competent evidence of identity as defined (b) The official seal shall be affixed only at the time
in these Rules; the notarial act is performed and shall be

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LEGAL ETHICS

clearly impressed by the notary public on every Certificate of Authorization to Purchase a


page of the instrument or document notarized. Notarial Seal issued by the Executive Judge. A
(c) When not in use, the official seal shall be kept notary public obtaining a new seal as a result of
safe and secure and shall be accessible only to change of name shall present to the vendor or
the notary public or the person duly authorized manufacturer a certified copy of the
by him. Confirmation of the Change of Name issued by
(d) Within five (5) days after the official seal of a the Executive Judge.
notary public is stolen, lost, damaged or other (e) Only one seal may be sold by a vendor or
otherwise rendered unserviceable in affixing a manufacturer for each Certificate of
legible image, the notary public, after informing Authorization to Purchase a Notarial Seal,
the appropriate law enforcement agency, shall (f) After the sale, the vendor or manufacturer shall
notify the Executive Judge in writing, providing affix a mark, image or impression of the seal to
proper receipt or acknowledgment, including the Certificate of Authorization to Purchase a
registered mail, and in the event of a crime Notarial Seal and submit the completed
committed, provide a copy or entry number of Certificate to the Executive Judge. Copies of
the appropriate police record. Upon receipt of the Certificate of Authorization to Purchase a
such notice, if found in order by the Executive Notarial Seal and the buyer's commission shall
Judge, the latter shall order the notary public be kept in the files of the vendor or
to cause notice of such loss or damage to be manufacturer for four (4) years after the sale.
published, once a week for three (3) (g) A notary public obtaining a new seal as a result
consecutive weeks, in a newspaper of general of change of name shall present to the vendor
circulation in the city or province where the a certified copy of the order confirming the
notary public is commissioned. Thereafter, the change of name issued by the Executive Judge.
Executive Judge shall issue to the notary public
a new Certificate of Authorization to Purchase a RULE VIII
Notarial Seal. NOTARIAL CERTIFICATES
(e) Within five (5) days after the death or
resignation of the notary public, or the Sec. 1. Form of Notarial Certificate. - The notarial
revocation or expiration of a notarial form used for any notarial instrument or document
commission, the official seal shall be shall conform to all the requisites prescribed
surrendered to the Executive Judge and shall herein, the Rules of Court and all other provisions
be destroyed or defaced in public during office of issuances by the Supreme Court and in
hours. In the event that the missing, lost or applicable laws.
damaged seal is later found or surrendered, it
shall be delivered by the notary public to the Sec. 2. Contents of the Concluding Part of the
Executive Judge to be disposed of in Notarial Certificate. - The notarial certificate shall
accordance with this section. Failure to effect include the following:
such surrender shall constitute contempt of (a) the name of the notary public as exactly
court. In the event of death of the notary indicated in the commission;
public, the person in possession of the official (b) the serial number of the commission of the
seal shall have the duty to surrender it to the notary public;
Executive Judge. (c) the words "Notary Public" and the province or
city where the notary public is commissioned,
Sec. 3. Seal Image. - The notary public shall affix a the expiration date of the commission, the
single, clear, legible, permanent, and office address of the notary public; and
photographically reproducible mark, image or (d) the roll of attorney's number, the professional
impression of the official seal beside his signature tax receipt number and the place and date of
on the notarial certificate of a paper instrument or issuance thereof, and the IBP membership
document. number.

Sec. 4. Obtaining and Providing Seal. RULE IX


(a) A vendor or manufacturer of notarial seals may CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY OF NOTARIES PUBLIC
not sell said product without a written
authorization from the Executive Judge. Sec. 1. Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act. -
(b) Upon written application and after payment of A certificate of authority evidencing the authenticity
the application fee, the Executive Judge may of the official seal and signature of a notary public
issue an authorization to sell to a vendor or shall be issued by the Executive Judge upon
manufacturer of notarial seals after verification request in substantially the following form:
and investigation of the latter's qualifications. CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY FOR A NOTARIAL ACT
The Executive Judge shall charge an I, (name, title, jurisdiction of the Executive Judge),
authorization fee in the amount of Php 4,000 certify that (name of notary public), the person
for the vendor and Php 8,000 for the named in the seal and signature on the attached
manufacturer. If a manufacturer is also a document, is a Notary Public in and for the
vendor, he shall only pay the manufacturer's (City/Municipality/Province) of the Republic of the
authorization fee. Philippines and authorized to act as such at the
(c) The authorization shall be in effect for a period time of the document's notarization.
of four (4) years from the date of its issuance IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have affixed below my
and may be renewed by the Executive Judge signature and seal of this office this (date) day of
for a similar period upon payment of the (month) (year).
authorization fee mentioned in the preceding _________________
paragraph. (official signature)
(d) A vendor or manufacturer shall not sell a seal (seal of Executive Judge)
to a buyer except upon submission of a
certified copy of the commission and the RULE X

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CHANGES OF STATUS OF NOTARY PUBLIC (8) fails to identify a principal on the basis of
personal knowledge or competent
Sec. 1. Change of Name and Address. evidence;
Within ten (10) days after the change of name of (9) executes a false or incomplete certificate
the notary public by court order or by marriage, or under Section 5, Rule IV;
after ceasing to maintain the regular place of work (10) knowingly performs or fails to
or business, the notary public shall submit a signed perform any other act prohibited or
and dated notice of such fact to the Executive mandated by these Rules; and
Judge. (11) commits any other dereliction or
The notary public shall not notarize until: act which in the judgment of the Executive
(a) he receives from the Executive Judge a Judge constitutes good cause for revocation
confirmation of the new name of the notary of commission or imposition of
public and/or change of regular place of work administrative sanction.
or business; and (c) Upon verified complaint by an interested,
(b) a new seal bearing the new name has been affected or aggrieved person, the notary public
obtained. shall be required to file a verified answer to the
The foregoing notwithstanding, until the complaint.
aforementioned steps have been completed, the If the answer of the notary public is not
notary public may continue to use the former name satisfactory, the Executive Judge shall conduct
or regular place of work or business in performing a summary hearing. If the allegations of the
notarial acts for three (3) months from the date of complaint are not proven, the complaint shall
the change, which may be extended once for valid be dismissed. If the charges are duly
and just cause by the Executive Judge for another established, the Executive Judge shall impose
period not exceeding three (3) months. the appropriate administrative sanctions. In
either case, the aggrieved party may appeal
Sec. 2. Resignation. - A notary public may resign the decision to the Supreme Court for review.
his commission by personally submitting a written, Pending the appeal, an order imposing
dated and signed formal notice to the Executive disciplinary sanctions shall be immediately
Judge together with his notarial seal, notarial executory, unless otherwise ordered by the
register and records. Effective from the date Supreme Court.
indicated in the notice, he shall immediately cease (d) The Executive Judge may motu proprio
to perform notarial acts. In the event of his initiate administrative proceedings against a
incapacity to personally appear, the submission of notary public, subject to the procedures
the notice may be performed by his duly authorized prescribed in paragraph (c) above and
representative. impose the appropriate administrative
sanctions on the grounds mentioned in the
Sec. 3. Publication of Resignation. - The Executive preceding paragraphs (a) and (b).
Judge shall immediately order the Clerk of Court to
post in a conspicuous place in the offices of the Sec. 2. Supervision and Monitoring of Notaries
Executive Judge and of the Clerk of Court the Public. - The Executive Judge shall at all times
names of notaries public who have resigned their exercise supervision over notaries public and shall
notarial commissions and the effective dates of closely monitor their activities.
their resignation.
Sec. 3. Publication of Revocations and
RULE XI Administrative Sanctions. - The Executive Judge
REVOCATION OF COMMISSION AND DISCIPLINARY shall immediately order the Clerk of Court to post
SANCTIONS in a conspicuous place in the offices of the
Executive Judge and of the Clerk of Court the
Sec. 1. Revocation and Administrative Sanctions. names of notaries public who have been
(a) The Executive Judge shall revoke a notarial administratively sanctioned or whose notarial
commission for any ground on which an commissions have been revoked.
application for a commission may be denied.
(b) In addition, the Executive Judge may revoke Sec. 4. Death of Notary Public. - If a notary public
the commission of, or impose appropriate dies before fulfilling the obligations in Section 4(e),
administrative sanctions upon, any notary Rule VI and Section 2(e), Rule VII, the Executive
public who: Judge, upon being notified of such death, shall
(1) fails to keep a notarial register; forthwith cause compliance with the provisions of
(2) fails to make the proper entry or entries in these sections.
his notarial register concerning his notarial
acts; RULE XII
(3) fails to send the copy of the entries to the SPECIAL PROVISIONS
Executive Judge within the first ten (10)
days of the month following; Sec. 1. Punishable Acts. - The Executive Judge
(4) fails to affix to acknowledgments the date shall cause the prosecution of any person who:
of expiration of his commission; (a) knowingly acts or otherwise impersonates a
(5) fails to submit his notarial register, when notary public;
filled, to the Executive Judge; (b) knowingly obtains, conceals, defaces, or
(6) fails to make his report, within a destroys the seal, notarial register, or official
reasonable time, to the Executive Judge records of a notary public; and
concerning the performance of his duties, (c) knowingly solicits, coerces, or in any way
as may be required by the judge; influences a notary public to commit official
(7) fails to require the presence of a principal misconduct.
at the time of the notarial act;

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LEGAL ETHICS

Sec. 2. Reports to the Supreme Court. - The (c) At least five (5) hours shall be devoted to
Executive Judge concerned shall submit semestral alternative dispute resolution.
reports to the Supreme Court on discipline and (d) At least nine (9) hours shall be devoted to
prosecution of notaries public. updates on substantive and procedural laws,
and jurisprudence.
RULE XIII (e) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal
REPEALING AND EFFECTIVITY PROVISIONS writing and oral advocacy.
(f) At least two (2) hours shall be devoted to
Sec. 1. Repeal. - All rules and parts of rules, international law and international conventions.
including issuances of the Supreme Court (g) The remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to
inconsistent herewith, are hereby repealed or such subjects as may be prescribed by the
accordingly modified. MCLE Committee.

Sec. 2. Effective Date. - These Rules shall take RULE 3


effect on the first day of August 2004, and shall be COMPLIANCE PERIOD
published in a newspaper of general circulation in
the Philippines which provides sufficiently wide Sec. 1. Initial compliance period. The initial
circulation. compliance period shall begin not later than three
(3) months from the constitution of the MCLE
Promulgated this 6th day of July, 2004. Committee. Except for the initial compliance period
for members admitted or readmitted after the
establishment of the program, all compliance
B.M. No. 850 August 22, 2000 periods shall be for thirty-six (36) months and shall
MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION begin the day after the end of the previous
(MCLE) compliance period.
ADOPTING THE RULES ON MANDATORY
CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION FOR Sec. 2. Compliance Group 1. Members in the
MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila shall
PHILIPPINES be permanently assigned to Compliance Group 1.

Sec. 3. Compliance Group 2. Members in Luzon


EN BANC outside NCR shall be permanently assigned to
RESOLUTION Compliance Group 2.

Considering the Rules on Mandatory Continuing Sec. 4. Compliance Group 3. Members in Visayas
Legal Education (MCLE) for members of the and Mindanao shall be permanently assigned to
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Compliance Group 3.
recommended by the IBP, endorsed by the
Philippine Judicial Academy, and reviewed and Sec. 5. Compliance period for members admitted or
passed upon by the Supreme Court Committee on readmitted after establishment of the program.
Legal Education, the Court hereby resolves to Members admitted or readmitted to the Bar after
adopt, as it hereby adopts, the following rules for the establishment of the program shall be
proper implementation: permanently assigned to the appropriate
Compliance Group based on their Chapter
RULE 1 membership on the date of admission or
PURPOSE readmission.
The initial compliance period after admission or
Sec. 1. Purpose of the MCLE. Continuing legal readmission shall begin on the first day of the
education is required of members of the Integrated month of admission or readmission and shall end
Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to ensure that on the same day as that of all other members in
throughout their career, they keep abreast with law the same Compliance Group.
and jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of the (a) Where four (4) months or less remain of the
profession and enhance the standards of the initial compliance period after admission or
practice of law. readmission, the member is not required to
comply with the program requirement for the
RULE 2 initial compliance.
MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (b) Where more than four (4) months remain of
the initial compliance period after admission or
Sec. 1. Constitution of the MCLE Committee. Within readmission, the member shall be required to
two (2) months from the approval of these Rules complete a number of hours of approved
by the Supreme Court En Banc, the MCLE continuing legal education activities equal to
Committee shall be constituted in accordance with the number of months remaining in the
these Rules. compliance period in which the member is
admitted or readmitted. Such member shall be
Sec. 2. Requirements of completion of MCLE. required to complete a number of hours of
Members of the IBP not exempt under Rule 7 shall education in legal ethics in proportion to the
complete, every three (3) years, at least thirty-six number of months remaining in the compliance
(36) hours of continuing legal education activities period. Fractions of hours shall be rounded up
approved by the MCLE Committee. Of the 36 to the next whole number.
hours:
(a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal RULE 4
ethics. COMPUTATION OF CREDIT UNITS
(b) At least (4) hours shall be devoted to trial and
pretrial skills.

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Sec. 1. Guidelines The following are the guidelines Sec. 3. Claim for non-participatory credit Non-
for computation of credit units (CU): participatory credit may be claimed per compliance
PROGRAMS; CREDIT UNITS; SUPPORTING period for:
DOCUMENTS (a) Preparing, as an author or co-author, written
1. SEMINARS, CONVENTIONS, CONFERENCES, materials published or accepted for publication,
SYMPOSIA, IN-HOUSE EDUCATION PROGRAMS, e.g., in the form of an article, chapter, book, or
WORKSHOPS, DIALOGUES, ROUND TABLE book review which contribute to the legal
DISCUSSIONS BY APPROVED PROVIDERS education of the author member, which were
UNDER RULE 7 AND OTHER RELATED RULES not prepared in the ordinary course of the
PARTICIPANT 1 CU PER HOUR CERTIFICATE member's practice or employment.
OF ATTENDANCE WITH NUMBER OF HOURS (b) Editing a law book, law journal or legal
1.2 LECTURER 5 CU PER HOUR newsletter.
PHOTOCOPY OF PLAQUE OR SPONSOR'S
CERTIFICATION RULE 6
RESOURCE 3 CU PER HOUR PHOTOCOPY COMPUTATION OF CREDIT HOURS
OF PLAQUE OR SPONSOR'S SPEAKER
CERTIFICATION Sec. 1. Computation of credit hours. Credit hours
ASSIGNED 2 CU PER HOUR CERTIFICATION are computed based on actual time spent in an
FROM SPONSORING PENALIST/ activity (actual instruction or speaking time), in
ORGANIZATION REACTOR/COMMENTATOR hours to the nearest one-quarter hour.
MODERATOR/ 2 CU PER HOUR
CERTIFICATION FROM SPONSORING RULE 7
COORDINATOR/ ORGANIZATION EXEMPTIONS
FACILITATOR
2. AUTHORSHIP, EDITING AND REVIEW Sec. 1. Parties exempted from the MCLE. The
RESEARCH/ 5-10 CREDIT UNITS following members of the Bar are exempt from the
DULY CERTIFIED/PUBLISHED INNOVATIVE MCLE requirement:
TECHNICAL REPORT/PAPER (a) The President and the Vice President of the
PROGRAM/CREATIVE PROJECT Philippines, and the Secretaries and
BOOK 50-100 PP 101+ PUBLISHED Undersecretaries of Executives Departments;
BOOK SINGLE AUTHOR 12-16 CU 17-20 CU (b) Senators and Members of the House of
2 AUTHORS 10-12 CU 13-16 CU Representatives;
3 OR MORE 5-6 CU 7-11 CU (c) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the
BOOK EDITOR 1/2 OF THE CU OF Supreme Court, incumbent and retired
PUBLISHED BOOK WITH PROOF members of the judiciary, incumbent members
AUTHORSHIP AS EDITOR CATEGORY of the Judicial and Bar Council, incumbent
LEGAL ARTICLE 5-10 PP 11+ members of the Mandatory Continuing Legal
PUBLISHED ARTICLE SINGLE AUTHOR 6 CU Education Committee, incumbent court lawyers
8 CU who have availed of the Philippine Judicial
2 AUTHORS 4 CU 6 CU Academy program of continuing judicial
3 OR MORE 2 CU 4 CU education; (as amended by July 14, 2004
LEGAL 3-6 CU PER ISSUE Resolution of the SC en banc)
PUBLISHED NEWSLETTER/JOURNAL (d) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor
NEWSLETTER/LAW JOURNAL EDITOR and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of
3. PROFESSIONAL 6 CU PER CHAIR Justice;
CERTIFICATION OF LAW DEAN CHAIR/BAR 1 (e) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitor
CU PER LECTURE OR BAR REVIEW DIRECTOR General;
REVIEW/ HOUR LECTURE/LAW TEACHING (f) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy
and Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
Sec. 2. Limitation on certain credit units. In (g) The Chairmen and Members of the
numbers 2 and 3 of the guidelines in the preceding Constitutional Commissions;
Section, the total maximum credit units shall not (h) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy
exceed twenty (20) hours per three (3) years. Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsmen and the
Special Prosecutor of the Office of the
RULE 5 Ombudsman;
CATEGORIES OF CREDIT (i) Heads of government agencies exercising
quasi-judicial functions;
Sec. 1. Classes of credits The credits are either (j) Incumbent deans, bar reviews and professors
participatory or non-participatory. of law who have teaching experience for at
least 10 years accredited law schools;
Sec. 2. Claim for participatory credit. Participatory (k) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members
credit may be claimed for: of the Corps of Professors and Professorial
(a) Attending approved education activities like Lectures of the Philippine Judicial Academy;
seminars, conferences, symposia, in-house and
education programs, workshops, dialogues or (l) Governors and Mayors.
round table discussions.
(b) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as assigned Sec. 2. Other parties exempted from the MCLE. The
panelist, reactor, commentator, resource following Members of the Bar are likewise exempt:
speaker, moderator, coordinator or facilitator in (a) Those who are not in law practice, private or
approved education activities. public.
(c) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a bar (b) Those who have retired from law practice with
review class. the approval of the IBP Board of Governors.

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Sec. 3. Good cause for exemption from or (b) Contain all information requested on the form;
modification of requirement. A member may file a (c) Be accompanied by the approval fee;
verified request setting forth good cause for
exemption (such as physical disability, illness, post Sec. 3. Requirements of all providers. All approved
graduate study abroad, proven expertise in law, providers shall agree to the following:
etc.) from compliance with or modification of any of (a) An official record verifying the attendance at
the requirements, including an extension of time the activity shall be maintained by the provider
for compliance, in accordance with a procedure to for at least four (4) years after the completion
be established by the MCLE Committee. date. The provider shall include the member on
the official record of attendance only if the
Sec. 4. Change of status. The compliance period member's signature was obtained at the time
shall begin on the first day of the month in which a of attendance at the activity. The official record
member ceases to be exempt under Sections 1, 2, of attendance shall contain the member's name
or 3 of this Rule and shall end on the same day as and number in the Roll of Attorneys and shall
that of all other members in the same Compliance identify the time, date, location, subject
Group. matter, and length of the education activity. A
copy of such record shall be furnished the IBP.
Sec. 5. Proof of exemption. Applications for (b) The provider shall certify that:
exemption from or modification of the MCLE (1) This activity has been approved for MCLE
requirement shall be under oath and supported by by the IBP in the amount of ________
documents. hours of which hours will apply in (legal
ethics, etc.), as appropriate to the content
RULE 8 of the activity;
STANDARDS FOR APPROVAL OF EDUCATION (2) The activity conforms to the standards for
ACTIVITIES approved education activities prescribed by
these Rules and such regulations as may be
Sec. 1. Approval of MCLE program. Subject to the prescribed by the IBP pertaining to MCLE.
rules as may be adopted by the MCLE Committee, (c) The provider shall issue a record or certificate
continuing legal education program may be granted to all participants identifying the time, date,
approval in either of two (2) ways: (1) the provider location, subject matter and length of the
of the activity is an approved provider and certifies activity.
that the activity meets the criteria of Section 3 of (d) The provider shall allow in-person observation
this Rules; and (2) the provider is specially of all approved continuing legal education
mandated by law to provide continuing legal activities by members of the IBP Board of
education. Governors, the MCLE Committee, or designees
of the Committee and IBP staff for purposes of
Sec. 2. Standards for all education activities. All monitoring compliance with these Rules.
continuing legal education activities must meet the (e) The provider shall indicate in promotional
following standards: materials, the nature of the activity, the time
(a) The activity shall have significant current devoted to each devoted to each topic and
intellectual or practical content. identify of the instructors. The provider shall
(b) The activity shall constitute an organized make available to each participant a copy of
program of learning related to legal subjects IBP-approved Education Activity Evaluation
and the legal profession, including cross Form.
profession activities (e.g., accounting-tax or (f) The provider shall maintain the completed
medical-legal) that enhance legal skills or the Education Activity Evaluation Forms for a
ability to practice law, as well as subjects in period of not less than one (1) year after the
legal writing and oral advocacy. activity, copy furnished the IBP.
(c) The activity shall be conducted by a provider (g) Any person or group who conducts an
with adequate professional experience. unauthorized activity under this program or
(d) Where the activity is more than one (1) hour in issues a spurious certificate in violation of these
length, substantive written materials must be Rules shall be subject to appropriate sanctions.
distributed to all participants. Such materials
must be distributed at or before the time the Sec. 4. Renewal of provider approval. The approval
activity is offered. of a provider may be renewed every two (2) years.
(e) In-house education activities must be It may be denied if the provider fails to comply
scheduled at a time and location so as to be with any of the requirements of these Rules or fails
free from interruption like telephone calls and to provide satisfactory education activities for the
other distractions. preceding period.

RULE 9 Sec. 5. Revocation of provider approval. The


APPROVAL OF PROVIDERS approval of any provider referred to in Rule 9 may
be revoked by a majority vote of the IBP Board of
Sec 1. Approval of providers. Approval of providers Governors, upon recommendation of the MCLE
shall be done by the MCLE Committee. Committee, after notice and hearing and for good
cause.
Sec. 2. Requirements for approval of providers.
Any persons or group may be approved as a RULE 10
provider for a term of two (2) years, which may be ACTIVITY AND PROVIDER APPROVAL FEE
renewed, upon written application. All providers of
continuing legal education activities, including in- Sec. 1. Payment of fees. Application for approval of
house providers, are eligible to be approved an education activity or as a provider requires
providers. Application for approval shall: payment of an appropriate fee.
(a) Be submitted on a form provided by the IBP;

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RULE 11 Sec. 1. Non-compliance fee. A member who, for


GENERAL COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES whatever reason, is in non-compliance at the end
of the compliance period shall pay a non-
Sec. 1. Compliance card. Each member shall secure compliance fee.
from the MCLE Committee a Compliance Card
before the end of his compliance period. He shall Sec. 2. Listing as delinquent member. Any member
complete the card by attesting under oath that he who fails to satisfactorily comply with Section 2 of
has complied with the education requirement or Rule 12 shall be listed as a delinquent member by
that he is exempt, specifying the nature of the the IBP Board of Governors upon the
exemption. Such Compliance Card must be recommendation of the MCLE Committee, in which
returned to the address indicated therein not later case, Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court shall apply.
than the day after the end of the member's
compliance period. RULE 14
REINSTATEMENT
Sec. 2. Member record keeping requirement. Each
member shall maintain sufficient record of Sec. 1. Process. The involuntary listing as a
compliance or exemption, copy furnished the MCLE delinquent member shall be terminated when the
Committee. The record required to be provided to member provides proof of compliance with the
the members by the provider pursuant to Section MCLE requirement, including payment of non-
3(c) of Rule 9 should be sufficient record of compliance fee. A member may attain the
attendance at a participatory activity. A record of necessary credit hours to meet the requirement for
non-participatory activity shall also be maintained the period of non-compliance during the period the
by the member, as referred to in Section 3 of Rule member is on inactive status. These credit hours
5. may not be counted toward meeting the current
compliance period requirement. Credit hours
RULE 12 attained during the period of non-compliance in
NON-COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES excess of the number needed to satisfy the prior
compliance period requirement may be counted
Sec. 1. What constitutes non-compliance. The toward meeting the current compliance period
following shall constitute non-compliance requirement.
(a) Failure to complete the education requirement
within the compliance period; Sec. 2. Termination of delinquent listing
(b) Failure to provide attestation of compliance or administrative process. The termination of listing as
exemption; a delinquent member is administrative in nature
(c) Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of but it shall be made with notice and hearing by the
compliance (including evidence of exempt MCLE Committee.
status) within the prescribed period;
(d) Failure to satisfy the education requirement RULE 15
and furnish evidence of such compliance within MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
sixty (60) days from receipt of a non- COMMITTEE
compliance notice;
(e) Any other act or omission analogous to any of Sec 1. Composition. The MCLE Committee shall be
the foregoing or intended to circumvent or composed of five (5) members, namely: a retired
evade compliance with the MCLE requirements. Justice of the Supreme Court, as Chair, and four
(4) members, respectively, nominated by the IBP,
Sec. 2. Non-compliance notice and 60-day period the Philippine Judicial Academy, a law center
to attain compliance. A member failing to comply designated by the Supreme Court and associations
will receive a Non-Compliance Notice stating the of law schools and/or law professors.
specific deficiency and will be given sixty (60) days The members of the Committee shall be of proven
from the date of notification to explain the probity and integrity. They shall be appointed by
deficiency or otherwise show compliance with the the Supreme Court for a term of three (3) years
requirements. Such notice shall contain, among and shall receive such compensation as may be
other things, the following language in capital determined by the Court.
letters:
YOUR FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE Sec. 2. Duty of the Committee. The MCLE
JUSTIFICATION FOR NON-COMPLIANCE OR Committee shall administer and adopt such
PROOF OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE MCLE implementing rules as may be necessary subject to
REQUIREMENT BY (INSERT DATE 60 DAYS the approval by the Supreme Court. It shall, in
FROM THE DATE OF NOTICE), SHALL BE A consultation with the IBP Board of Governors,
CAUSE FOR LISTING AS A DELINQUENT prescribe a schedule of MCLE fees with the
MEMBER. approval of the Supreme Court.
The Member may use this period to attain the
adequate number of credit hours for compliance. Sec. 3. Staff of the IBP. The IBP shall employ such
Credit hours earned during this period may only be staff as may be necessary to perform the record-
counted toward compliance with the prior keeping, auditing, reporting, approval and other
compliance period requirement unless hours in necessary functions.
excess of the requirement are earned, in which
case, the excess hours may be counted toward Sec. 4. Submission of annual budget. The IBP shall
meeting the current compliance period submit to the Supreme Court an annual budget for
requirement. a subsidy to establish, operate and maintain the
MCLE Program.
RULE 13 This resolution shall take effect in October 2000,
CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE following its publication in two (2) newspaper of
general circulation in the Philippines.

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LEGAL ETHICS

4. Effectivity Date- This Circular shall take effect on


Adopted this 22nd day of August, 2000. January 1, 1992.
September 4, 1991.
(Sgd.) MARCELO B. FERNAN
CIRCULAR NO. 28-91 Chief Justice

P.D. 1829. (1981)


TO: THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE
PHILIPPINES, ALL OTHER BAR
ASSOCIATIONS, THE OFFICE OF THE
SOLICITOR GENERAL AND THE DEPARTMENT
PENALIZING OBSTRUCTION OF APPREHENSION
OF JUSTICE
AND PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS
SUBJECT: ADDITIONAL REQUISITES FOR
PETITIONS FILED WITH THE SUPREME COURT WHEREAS, crime and violence continue to
AND THE COURT OF APPEALS TO PREVENT proliferate despite the sustained vigorous efforts of
FORUM SHOPPING OR MULTIPLE FILING OF the government to effectively contain them;
PETITIONS AND COMPLAINTS WHEREAS, to discourage public indifference or
apathy towards the apprehension and prosecution
The attention of the Court has been called to the
filing of multiple petitions and complaints involving of criminal offenders, it is necessary to penalize
acts which obstruct or frustrate or tend to obstruct
the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of
or frustrate the successful apprehension and
Appeals or different Divisions thereof, or any other
tribunal or agency, with the result that said prosecution of criminal offenders;
tribunals or agency have resolve the same issues.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND, E. MARCOS,
To avoid the foregoing, every petition or complaint President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers
filed with the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, vested in me by law do hereby decree and order
or different Divisions thereof, or any other tribunal the following:
or agency, shall comply with the following
requirements, aside from pertinent provisions of Section 1. The penalty of prision correccional in its
the Rules of Court and existing circulars: maximum period, or a fine ranging from 1,000 to
1. Caption of petition or complaint. the caption of 6,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any
the petition or complaint must include the docket person who knowingly or willfully obstructs,
number of the case in the lower court of quasi- impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of
judicial agency whose order or judgment is sought suspects and the investigation and prosecution of
to be reviewed. criminal cases by committing any of the following
acts:
2. Certification. the party must certify under oath (a) preventing witnesses from testifying in any
that he has not commenced any other action or criminal proceeding or from reporting the
proceeding involving the same issues in the commission of any offense or the identity of
Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or different any offender/s by means of bribery,
Divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency, misrepresentation, deceit, intimidation, force or
and that to the best of his knowledge, no such threats;
action or proceeding is pending in the Supreme (b) altering, destroying, suppressing or concealing
Court, the Court of Appeals, or different Divisions any paper, record, document, or object, with
thereof, or any other tribunal or agency. If there is intent to impair its verity, authenticity,
any other action pending, he must state the status legibility, availability, or admissibility as
of the same. If he should learn that a similar action evidence in any investigation of or official
or proceeding has been filed or is pending before proceedings in, criminal cases, or to be used in
the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or the investigation of, or official proceedings in,
different Divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or criminal cases;
agency, he should notify the court, tribunal or (c) harboring or concealing, or facilitating the
agency within five (5) days from such notice. escape of, any person he knows, or has
3. Penalties. reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has
committed any offense under existing penal
(a) Any violation of this Circular shall laws in order to prevent his arrest prosecution
be a cause for the summary dismissal and conviction;
of the, multiple petition or complaint; (d) publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose
(b) Any willful and deliberate forum of concealing a crime, evading prosecution or
shopping by any party and his lawyer the execution of a judgment, or concealing his
with the filing of multiple petitioners or true name and other personal circumstances
complaints to ensure favorable action for the same purpose or purposes;
shall constitute direct contempt of (e) delaying the prosecution of criminal cases by
court. obstructing the service of process or court
orders or disturbing proceedings in the fiscal's
(c) The submission of a false offices, in Tanodbayan, or in the courts;
certification under Par. 2 of the Circular (f) making, presenting or using any record,
shall likewise constitute contempt of document, paper or object with knowledge of
Court, without prejudice to the filing of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or
criminal action against the guilty party. outcome of the investigation of, or official
The lawyer may also be subjected to proceedings in, criminal cases;
disciplinary proceedings.

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LEGAL ETHICS

(g) soliciting, accepting, or agreeing to accept any


benefit in consideration of abstaining from, Sec. 2. As used in this Act, the term "indigent"
discounting, or impeding the prosecution of a shall refer to a person who has no visible means of
criminal offender; income or whose income is insufficient for the
(h) threatening directly or indirectly another with subsistence of his family, to be determined by the
the infliction of any wrong upon his person, fiscal or judge, taking into account the members of
honor or property or that of any immediate his family dependent upon him for subsistence.
member or members of his family in order to
prevent such person from appearing in the Sec. 3. An indigent who is the offended party,
investigation of, or official proceedings in, respondent or an accused in a criminal case and
criminal cases, or imposing a condition, who desires to avail of the preference granted
whether lawful or unlawful, in order to prevent under this Act shall file a sworn statement of the
a person from appearing in the investigation of fact of his being indigent and the said sworn
or in official proceedings in, criminal cases; statement shall be sufficient basis for the court or
(i) giving of false or fabricated information to fiscal to give preference to the trial and disposition
mislead or prevent the law enforcement of such criminal case.
agencies from apprehending the offender or
from protecting the life or property of the
Sec. 4. Any willful or malicious refusal on the part
victim; or fabricating information from the data
of any fiscal or judge to carry out the provisions of
gathered in confidence by investigating
this Act shall constitute sufficient ground for
authorities for purposes of background
disciplinary action which may include suspension or
information and not for publication and
removal.
publishing or disseminating the same to
mislead the investigator or to the court.
If any of the acts mentioned herein is penalized by
Sec. 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
any other law with a higher penalty, the higher
Approved: August 4, 1969
penalty shall be imposed.

Sec. 2. If any of the foregoing acts is committed by


a public official or employee, he shall in addition to RA 6034 (1969)
the penalties provided thereunder, suffer perpetual
disqualification from holding public office.
AN ACT PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION AND
Sec. 3. This Decree shall take effect immediately. OTHER ALLOWANCES FOR INDIGENT
LITIGANTS.
Done in the City of Manila, this 16th day of
January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred
and eighty-one. Sec. 1. Any provision of existing law to the
contrary notwithstanding, any indigent litigant
may, upon motion, ask the Court for adequate
travel allowance to enable him and his indigent
witnesses to attendant the hearing of a criminal
R.A. 6033 (1969) case commenced by his complaint or filed against
him. The allowance shall cover actual
transportation expenses by the cheapest means
from his place of residence to the court and back.
When the hearing of the case requires the presence
AN ACT REQUIRING COURTS TO GIVE of the indigent litigant and/or his indigent
PREFERENCE TO CRIMINAL CASES WHERE witnesses in court the whole day or for two or more
THE PARTY OR PARTIES INVOLVE ARE consecutive days, allowances may, in the discretion
INDIGENTS. of the Court, also cover reasonable expenses for
meal and lodging.
For the purpose of this Act, indigent litigants shall
Sec. 1. Any provision of existing law to be contrary include anyone who has no visible means of income
notwithstanding and with the exception of habeas or whose income is insufficient for his family as
corpus and election cases and cases involving determined by the Court under Section 2, hereof.
detention prisoners, and persons covered by
Republic Act Numbered Four thousand nine Sec. 2. If the court determines that the petition for
hundred eight, all courts shall give preference to transportation allowance is meritorious, said court
the hearing and/or disposition of criminal cases shall immediately issue an order directing the
where an indigent is involved either as the offended provincial, city or municipal treasurer to pay the
party or accused. The trial in these cases shall indigent litigant the travel allowance out of any
commence within three days from date of funds in his possession and proceed without delay
arraignment and no postponement of the hearings to the trial of the case. The provincial, city or
shall be granted except on the ground of illness of municipal treasurer shall hold any such payments
the accused or other similar justifiable grounds. as cash items until reimbursed by the national
City and provincial fiscals and courts shall forthwith government.
conduct the preliminary investigation of a criminal
case involving an indigent within three days after Sec. 3. All payments of travel allowances made by
its filing and shall terminate the same within two provincial, city and municipal treasurer under this
weeks. Act as of October 31 each year, shall be

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LEGAL ETHICS

transmitted to the Commissioner of the Budget not have pending cases in any fiscal office, court, or
later than November 30 each year for inclusion in quasi-judicial body or administrative tribunal.
the annual General Appropriations Act. The
necessary sum is hereby authorized to be Sec. 5. The Department of Justice shall prescribe
appropriated out of the funds in the National such rules and regulations as may be necessary to
Treasury not otherwise appropriated. carry out the purposes of this Act, and the
Department Head concerned shall provide the
Sec. 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval. necessary supplies and authorize the use of
government equipment by the stenographers
Approved: August 4, 1969 concerned.

Sec. 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved: August 4, 1969.


RA 6035 (1969)

P.D. 543 (1974)


AN ACT REQUIRING STENOGRAPHERS TO
GIVE FREE TRANSCRIPT OF NOTES TO
INDIGENT AND LOW INCOME LITIGANTS AND
PROVIDING A PENALTY FOR THE VIOLATION AUTHORIZING THE DESIGNATION OF
THEREOF. MUNICIPAL JUDGES AND LAWYERS IN ANY
BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE TO
Sec. 1. A stenographer who has attended a hearing ACT AS COUNSEL DE OFICIO FOR THE
before an investigating fiscal or trial judge or ACCUSED WHO ARE INDIGENT IN PLACES
hearing commissioner of any quasi-judicial body or WHERE THERE ARE NO AVAILABLE
administrative tribunal and has officially taken PRACTICING ATTORNEYS
notes of the proceeding thereof shall, upon written
WHEREAS, under existing law, Municipal Judges
request of an indigent or low income litigant, his
and other lawyers in the government service are
counsel or duly authorized representative in the
prohibited from practicing law;
case concerned, give within a reasonable period to
WHEREAS, there are some places where there are
be determined by the fiscal, judge, commissioner
no available legal practitioners, as a result of which
or tribunal hearing the case, a free certified
the trial of cases in court is delayed to the
transcript of notes take by him on the case.
prejudice particularly of detention prisoners;
WHEREAS, for the protection of the rights of the
Sec. 2. A litigant who desires to avail himself of the
accused who cannot afford to hire lawyers from
privilege granted under Section one hereof shall, at
other places and to prevent miscarriage of justice,
the investigation, hearing, or trial, establish his
it is necessary that they be provided with counsel;
status as an indigent or low income litigant and the
investigating fiscal or judge or commissioner or
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS,
tribunal hearing the case shall resolve the same in
President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers
the same proceeding.
in me vested by the Constitution as commander-in-
For the purpose of this Act, an "indigent or low
Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and
income litigant" shall include anyone who has no
pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated
visible means of support or whose income does not
September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1,
exceed P300 per month or whose income even in
dated September 22, 1972, as amended, do hereby
excess of P300 per month is insufficient for the
order and decree as follows:
subsistence of his family, which fact shall be
determined by the investigating fiscal or trial judge
Sec. 1. Designation of Municipal Judges and
or commissioner or tribunal hearing the case taking
lawyers in any branch of the government service,
into account the number of the members of his
as counsel de oficio. In places where there are no
family dependent upon him for subsistence.
available practicing lawyers, the District Judge or
Circuit Criminal Court Judge shall designate a
Sec. 3. Any stenographer who, after due hearing in
municipal judge or a lawyer employed in any
accordance with the pertinent provisions of R.A.
branch, subdivision or instrumentality of the
2260, as amended, has been found to have
government within the province, as counsel de
violated the provisions of Section one of this Act or
oficio for an indigent person who is facing a
has unreasonable delayed the giving of a free
criminal charge before his court, and the services
certified transcript of notes to an indigent or low
of such counsel de oficio shall be duly compensated
income litigant shall be subject to the following
by the Government in accordance with Section
disciplinary actions:
thirty-two, Rule One Hundred Thirty Eight of the
b. suspension from office for a period not
Rules of Court.
exceeding thirty (30) days upon finding of guilt
If the criminal case wherein the services of a
for the first time;
counsel de oficio are needed is pending before a
c. (b) suspension from office for not less than
City or municipal court, the city or municipal judge
thirty (30) days and not more than sixty (60)
concerned shall immediately recommend to the
days upon finding of guilt for the second time;
nearest District Judge the appointment of a counsel
and
de oficio, and the District Judge shall forthwith
d. removal from office upon finding of guilt for the
appoint one in accordance with the preceding
third time.
paragraph.
For purposes of this Decree an indigent person is
Sec. 4. This Act shall apply to all indigent or low
anyone who has no visible means of support or
income litigants who, at the time of its approval,

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LEGAL ETHICS

whose income does not exceed P300 per month or When a defendant appears in court solely
whose income even in excess of P300 is insufficient for the purpose of objecting to the
for the subsistence of his family, which fact shall be jurisdiction of the court over his person. The
determined by the Judge in whose court the case is aim is simply the dismissal of the case on the
pending, taking into account the number of the ground of lack of jurisdiction. If the
members of his family dependent upon him for defendant seeks other reliefs, the
subsistence. appearance, even if qualified by the word
special, is equivalent to a general
Sec. 2. Repealing Clause. All laws and decrees appearance.
inconsistent with this Decree are hereby repealed.
ATTORNEY AD HOC
Section 3. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect A person named appointed by the court to
immediately. defend an absentee defendant in the suit in which
the appointment is made.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 21st day of August,
in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and ATTORNEY-AT-LAW
seventy-four. That class of persons who are licensed
officers of the courts empowered to appear,
prosecute and defend, and upon whom peculiar
duties, responsibilities and liabilities are developed
GLOSSARY OF TERMS by law as a consequence.

ADMONITION ATTORNEY IN FACT


A form of disciplinary measure which He is simply an agent whose authority is
consists of a gentle or friendly reproof, mild strictly limited by the instrument appointing him.
rebuke, warning or reminder, counseling, on a His authority is provided in a special power of
fault, error or oversight; an expression of attorney or general power of attorney or letter of
authoritative advice. attorney. He is not necessarily a lawyer.

AMBULANCE CHASER ATTORNEY OF RECORD


A lawyer who haunts hospitals and visits The attorney whose name is entered in the
the homes of the afflicted, officiously intruding their records of an action or suit as the lawyer of a
presence and persistently offering his service on designated party thereto. (1999 BAR EXAMS)
the basis of a contingent.
ATTORNEYS FEES
AMBULANCE CHASING a) Ordinary: an attorneys fee is the
A lawyers act of chasing the victims of an reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer
accident for the purpose of talking to the same for the legal services he has rendered to
victim or the latters relatives and offering his legal client. Basis is employment by client
services for the filing of the case against the person
who caused the accident. (1993 BAR EXAMS) b) Extraordinary: an attorneys fee is an
indemnity for damages ordered by court to
AMICUS CURIAE be paid by losing party to the prevailing
(Plural: Amici Curiae) party in litigation; payable not to lawyer
An experienced and impartial attorney but to the client, unless otherwise agreed
invited by the court to appear and help in the upon; also known as attorneys fee as
disposition of the issues submitted to it. It implies damages
friendly intervention of counsel to call the attention
of the court to some matters of law or fact which BAR AND BENCH
might otherwise escape its notice and in regard to Bar refers to the whole body of attorneys
which it might go wrong. and counselors collectively, the members of the
An amicus curiae appears in court not to legal profession.
represent any particular party but only to assist the Bench denotes the whole body of judges.
court. (1993, 1996, 1998 BAR EXAMS)
BAR ASSOCIATION
AMICUS CURIAE PAR EXCELLENCE An association of members of the legal
Bar associations who appear in court as profession like the IBP where membership is
amici curiae or friends of the court. Acts merely as integrated or compulsory.
a consultant to guide the court in a doubtful
question or issue pending before it. BARRATRY
Offense of frequently inciting and stirring
APPEARANCE up quarrels and suits. The lawyers acts of
The coming into court as a party either as a fomenting suits among individuals and offering
plaintiff or as a defendant and asking relief legal services to one of them. (1993 BAR EXAMS)
therefrom.
CENSURE
a) GENERAL APPEARANCE Official reprimand
When the party comes to court either as a
plaintiff or as a defendant and seeks general CHAMPERTOUS CONTRACT
reliefs from the court for satisfaction of his One where the lawyer agrees to conduct
claims or counterclaims respectively. the litigation on his own account and to pay the
expenses thereof, and to receive as his fee a
b) SPECIAL APPEARANCE portion of the proceeds of the judgment. It is
contrary to public policy and invalid because it

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LEGAL ETHICS

violates the fiduciary relationship between the shown by the certificate of the clerk of court of the
lawyer and his client. (Bautista vs. Gonzales, 182 trial court, a defendant is
SCRA 151, 1990) (1990, 2000 BAR EXAMS) (a) confined in prison
(b) without means to employ an attorney
CHAMPERTY (c) desires to be defended de oficio
A bargain by a stranger (the lawyer) with
a party to a suit (the client) by which such third COURT
person undertakes to carry on the litigation at his A board or other tribunal which decides a
own expense and risk, in consideration of receiving, litigation or contest
if successful, a part of the proceeds or subject
sought to be recovered. DE FACTO JUDGE
An officer who is not fully invested with all
CHARGING LIEN the powers and duties conceded to judges, but
It is an equitable right to have the fees and exercising the office of a judge under some color of
lawful disbursements due a lawyer for his services right
in a suit secured to him out of the judgment for the
payment of money and execution issued in DE JURE JUDGE
pursuance thereof in the particular suit. (1994 One who is exercising the office of a judge
BAR EXAMS) as a matter of right; an officer of a court who has
been duly and legally appointed
CLIENT
One who engages the services of a lawyer DILIGENCE
for legal advice or for purposes of prosecuting or It is the attention and care required of a
defending a suit in his behalf and usually for a fee. person in a given situation and is the opposite of
negligence (Edquibal vs. Ferrer, 450 SCRA
COMPETENCE 406)
Sufficiency of lawyers qualifications to deal
with the matter in question and includes knowledge DIRECT CONTEMPT
and skill and the ability to use them effectively in Consists of misbehavior in the presence of
the interest of the client. or near a court or judge as to interrupt or obstruct
the proceedings before the court or the
CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION administration of justice.
Refers to information transmitted by
voluntary act of disclosure between attorney and DISBARMENT
client in confidence and by means which so far as It is the act of the Philippine Supreme
the client is aware, discloses the information to no Court in withdrawing from an attorney the right to
third person other than one reasonably necessary practice law. The name of the lawyer is stricken out
for the transmission of the information or the from the roll of attorneys.
accomplishment of the purpose for which it was
given. DISHONEST ACT
It is an act of lying or cheating (Agpalo)
CONTINGENT FEE
Fee that is conditioned on the securing of a EXECUTIVE JUDGE
favorable judgment and recovery of money or Refers to the Executive Judge of the
property and the amount of which may be on a Regional Trial Court of a city or province who issues
percentage basis a notarial commission. (2004 Rules on Notarial
Practice)
CONTINGENT FEE CONTRACT
It is an agreement in which the lawyers FIDUCIARY DUTY
fee, usually a fixed percentage of what may be The principle that an attorney derives no
recovered in the action, is made to depend upon undue advantage that may operate to the prejudice
the success in the effort to enforce or defend the or cause an occasion for loss of a client.
clients right. It is a valid agreement. It is different
from a champertous contract in that the lawyer FIXED OR ABSOLUTE FEE
does not undertake to shoulder the expenses of the Payable regardless of the result of the case.
litigation. (1990, 2000, 2002 BAR EXAMS)
FORUM SHOPPING
COUNSEL/ATTORNEY DE OFICIO The act of filing repetitious suits in different
An attorney appointed by the court to courts. It is committed through the following:
defend an indigent defendant in a criminal action. 1) Going from one court to another in the
hope of securing a favorable relief in one
In a criminal action, if the defendant court, which another court has denied.
appears without an attorney, he must be informed 2) Filing repetitious suits or proceedings in
by the court that it is his right to have an attorney different courts concerning the same
before being arraigned and must be asked if he subject matter after one court has decided
desires the aid of an attorney. If he desires and is the suit with finality.
unable to employ an attorney, the court must 3) Filing a similar case in a judicial court after
assign a counsel de oficio to defend him. He is also receiving an unfavorable judgment from an
designated as counsel of indigent litigants. The administrative tribunal.
appointment of a counsel de oficio in that instance (1991, 1997, 1998, 2002 BAR EXAMS)
is a matter of right on the part of the defendant.
GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
On appeal in a criminal case, the appellate It is the absence of a proven conduct or act
court must also appoint a counsel de oficio if, as which has been historically and traditionally

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LEGAL ETHICS

considered as a manifestation of moral turpitude. management and direction of a partys case as


The act or conduct showing moral turpitude need distinguished from his juniors or subordinates.
not amount to a crime; and even if it does
constitute an offense, a conviction upon a criminal LEGAL ETHICS
charge is not necessary to demonstrate bad moral
character although it may show moral depravity. Legal Ethics denotes that body of principles
by which the conduct of members of the legal
GOOD REPUTATION profession is controlled.
It is the opinion generally entertained of a It is that branch of moral science which
person, the estimate in which he is held by the treats of the duties which an attorney at law owes
public in the place where he is known (subjective). to his clients, to the courts, to the bar and to the
public. [G.A. Malcolm, Legal and Judicial
GROSS IMMORALITY Ethics 8 (1949)].
A grossly immoral act is one that is so
corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or MAINTENANCE
so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be Consists in maintaining, supporting or
reprehensible to a high degree. promoting the litigation of another.

HOUSE COUNSEL (or IN-HOUSE COUNSEL) MORAL CHARACTER


One who acts as attorney for business It is what a person really is (corresponds to
though carried as an employee of that business and objective reality). It exhibits qualities of truth-
not as an independent lawyer speaking, a high sense of honor, full candor,
intellectual honesty, and the strictest observance of
IMMORAL OR DECEITFUL CONDUCT fiduciary responsibility (Justice Felix Frankfurter)
That which is willful, flagrant or shameless
and which shows a moral indifference to the MORAL TURPITUDE
opinion of the good and respectable members of It means anything which is done contrary
the community. to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals, or to
any act of vileness, baseness or depravity in the
INDIRECT OR CONSTRUCTIVE CONTEMPT private and social duties that a man owes his
One committed away from the court fellowmen or to society, contrary to the accepted
involving disobedience of or resistance to a lawful rule of right and duty between man and man.
writ, process, order, judgment or command of the
court, tending to belittle, degrade, obstruct, NOTARY and NOTARY PUBLIC
interrupt or embarrass the court. Refer to any person commissioned to
perform official acts under these Rules. (2004
c) CIVIL CONTEMPT Rules on Notarial Practice)
Failure to do something ordered by
the court which is for the benefit of the OF COUNSEL
party. An experienced lawyer, usually a retired
member of the judiciary, employed by law firms as
d) CRIMINAL CONTEMPT consultants. (supplemented by San Beda Reviewer
Consists of any conduct directed 2006)
against the authority or dignity of the
court. PLEA OF GUILTY
An admission by the accused of his guilt of
JUDGE a crime as charged in the information and of the
A public officer who, by virtue of his office, truth of the facts alleged, including the qualifying
is clothed with judicial authority and aggravating circumstances.

JUDICIAL ETHICS PRACTICE OF LAW


It is the branch of moral science which Any activity, in or out of court, which
treats of the right and proper conduct to be requires the application of law, legal procedures,
observed by all judges and magistrates in trying knowledge, training and experience. (Ulep v
and deciding controversies brought to them by Legal Clinic, Inc (1993)
adjudication which conduct must be demonstrative
of impartiality, integrity, competence,
independence, and freedom from improprieties. PRACTICING LAWYER
One engaged in the practice of law who by
LAWYER license are officers of the court and who are
The general term for a person trained in empowered to appear, prosecute and defend a
the law and authorized to advice and represent clients cause.
others in legal matters.
One who: PRO SE
a) passed the bar exams An appearance by a lawyer in his own
b) registered in the roll of attorneys behalf. (1995 BAR EXAMS)
c) received a certificate of license to practice
law from the Clerk of Court of the QUANTUM MERUIT (as much as he deserves)
Supreme Court Its essential requisite is acceptance of the benefits
d) taken an oath. by one sought to be charged for services rendered
under circumstances as reasonably to notify him
LEAD COUNSEL that lawyer expects compensation.
The counsel on either side of a litigated
action who is charged with the principal

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LEGAL ETHICS

Doctrine of quantum meruit is a device to TRIAL LAWYER


prevent undue enrichment based on the equitable One who personally handles cases in courts
postulate that it is unjust for a person to retain and administrative agencies of boards which means
benefit without paying for it. engaging in actual trial work, either for the
prosecution or for the defense of cases of clients.
REINSTATEMENT (supplemented by San Beda Reviewer 2006)
It is the restoration in disbarment
proceedings to a disbarred lawyer the privilege to WARNING
practice law. A form of disciplinary measure which
consists of an act or fact of putting one on his
REPRIMAND guard against an impending danger, evil
A form of disciplinary measure which consequences or penalties.
consists of a public and formal censure or severe
reproof, administered to a person in fault by his
superior officer or a body to which he belongs.

RES IPSA LOQUITUR (the thing speaks for itself)


This principle or doctrine applies to both
judges and lawyers. Judges had been dismissed
from the service without the need for a formal
investigation because based on the records, the
gross misconduct or inefficiency of the judges
clearly appears. (Uy vs. Mercado, 154 SCRA
567)

RETAINER (embraces two concepts)


(1) an act of client by which he engages services of
an attorney to render legal advice, defend or
prosecute his cause in court;
(2) fee which a client pays to an attorney when
latter is retained (retaining fee)

a) GENERAL RETAINER
Fee paid to a lawyer to secure his future
services as general counsel for any ordinary
legal problem that may arise in the routinary
business of the client and referred to him for
legal action. This could be paid monthly or
annually, depending on lawyer-client
arrangement. This is considered as
compensation for lost opportunity.
b)SPECIAL RETAINER
Fee which client will pay to his lawyer for a
specific matter (case/service), possibly in
addition to a general retainer.

RETAINING FEE (same as retainer)


Preliminary fee paid to insure and secure
future services, to remunerate him for being
deprived, by being retained by one party. It
prevents undue hardship resulting from the rigid
observance of the rule forbidding him from acting
as counsel for other party

RETAINING LIEN
A right merely to retain the funds,
documents, and papers as against the client until
the attorney is fully paid his fees and to apply such
funds to the satisfaction. (1995, 2000 BAR
EXAMS)

SUSPENSION
A form of disciplinary measure which
consists of a temporary withholding of a lawyers
right to practice his profession as a lawyer for a
certain period or for an indefinite period of time.
a) DEFINITE

B) INDEFINITE -qualified disbarment;


lawyer determines for himself for how long or
how short his suspension shall last by proving
to court that he is once again fit to resume
practice of law.

100% UP LAW UP BAROPS 2008 Page 74 of 74