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IN RE: SUSPENSION FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW IN THE TERRITORY OF

GUAM OF ATTY LEON G. MAQUERA

Facts:
Atty Maquera was counsel for a certain Castro who was indebted to Edward
Benavente who obtained judgment in a civil case. Castros propery was sold at public
auction to satisfy the obligation, but Castro retained the right to redemption over said
property.
In consideration for Maqueras legal fees, Castro and Atty Maquera entered into
an oral agreement that he would assign his right of redemption to Maquera.
Maquera purchased the property from Benavente for $525.00 then sold it for
$320,000.
He was suspended in the practice of law in Guam for two years for
Obtaining an unreasonably high fee for his services
Did not comply with Guams Model Rules by entering into a business
transaction with a client or knowingly acquire a pecuniary interest adverse
to a client unless the transaction and the terms governing the lawyer's
acquisition of such interest are fair and reasonable to the client, and are
fully disclosed to, and understood by the client and reduced in writing

Issue:
May a member of the Philippine Bar who was disbarred or suspended from the
practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also be admitted as an attorney be
meted the same sanction as a member of the Philippine Bar for the same infraction
committed in the foreign jurisdiction?

Ruling:
It is not automatic suspension or disbarment, but is prima facie evidence only.
The power of the Court to disbar/suspend a lawyer for acts an omission committed
in a foreign jurisdiction is found in Sec 27, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court:
[]The disbarment or suspension of a member of the Philippine Bar by a
competent court or other disciplinatory agency in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also
been admitted as an attorney is a ground for his disbarment or suspension if the basis of
such action includes any of the acts hereinabove enumerated.
The judgment, resolution or order of the foreign court or disciplinary agency shall be prima
facie evidence of the ground for disbarment or suspension.
Also, he violated Article 1492 in relation to 1491 of the civil code which prohibits a
lawyer from acquiring by assignment the clients property which is the subject of litigation.
It extends to legal redemption.
Most particularly, Canon 17 which states that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause
of his client and be mindful of the trust and confidence In him; and rule 1.01, which
prohibits a lawyer from engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
HOWEVER, there is a need to ascertain Maquera has the right to explain why he
should and should not be suspended/disbarred on those grounds.
Suspension/disbarment is NOT automatic
NEVERTHELESS, the Court rules that Maquera should be suspended from the
practice of law for the non-payment of his IBP dues from 1977.