You are on page 1of 7

School of Law

BASIC LEGAL ETHICS


Course No. Law 125 3.0 Units

SYLLABUS

References: "Legal and Judicial Ethics by Ruben Agpalo


"Legal and Judicial Ethics by Ernesto Pineda
"The Fundamentals of Legal and Judicial Ethics by Rufus Rodriguez
"Reviewer on Legal and Judicial Ethics by Vyva Victoria Aguirre

I. Introduction
A. General Principles
1. Concept of bar, bench, counsel de oficio, counsel de parte, attorney of record
B. Legal Profession
1. Practice of Law is a profession
2. Three ideas involved in a profession: organization, learning, spirit of public
service
3. Standards of the legal profession: independence, accessibility and learning

II. Practice of law


A. Concept or definition of the Practice of Law
People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 111
Cayetano v. Monsod, 201 SCRA 210
Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Bar Matter No. 553, June 17, 1993
B. Practice of Law is not a right but a privilege; not a business or trade
Bongalonta v. Castillo, 240 SCRA 310
In Re: Al C. Argosino, 246 SCRA 14
C. Persons entitled to practice law (Sec. 1, Rule 138, Rules of Court)
D. Public officials prohibited from engaging in private practice of law
E. Public officials with restrictions in the practice of law
F. When may non-lawyers practice law?

III. Admission to the practice of law


A. Powers of the Supreme Court in relation to the admission of applicants to the
practice of law and regulation of the practice of law
B. Initial requirements for the admission to the practice of law
1. Basic requirements
2. Academic requirements
3. Bar examinations
4. Procedure/requirements after passing the Bar examinations
C. Resumption of practice of law
Petition for Leave to Resume Practice of Law of Dacanay, Bar Matter No. 1678,
December 17, 2007

IV. Legal Ethics

A. Introduction
1. Definition
2. Significance of Legal Ethics

B. Sources of Legal Ethical Standards


1. Primary
a. Bar Canons of Professional Ethics, Code of Professional Responsibility
b. Bench Canons of Judicial Ethics, Code of Judicial Conduct for the
Philippine Judiciary
2. Secondary
a. Decisions/Resolutions of the Supreme Court
2

b. Supreme Court Circulars


c. Orders/Resolutions of other Courts
d. IBP Issuances
3. Other Sources legislations
a. Art. 1491 (5), Civil Code
b. Art. 2208, Civil Code
c. Articles 203 and 222, Labor Code
d. Art. 209, Revised Penal Code

C. Canons of Professional Responsibility: Four-fold duties of a Lawyer Duties


to society, to the legal profession, to the court and to the client
1. The lawyer and society
a. CANON 1 A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE
LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL
PROCESSES.
-Lawyers Oath
-Violation of provisions of law
Bautista v. Gonzales, Adm. Matter No. 1625, February 12, 1990
Dizon v. Lambino, 498 SCRA 233
-Duties of a Notary Public
Nadayag v. Grageda, A.C. No. 3232 September 27, 1994
i. Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct.
Tabang v. Gacott, A.C.No. 6490, July 9, 2013
Reyes v. Gaa, 246 SCRA 64
Geeslin v. Navarro, 185 SCRA 230
People v. Tuanda, 181 SCRA 692
In re: Abesamis, 102 Phil. 1182
Medina v. Bautista, 12 SCRA 1
In re: Delos Angeles, 106 Phil. 1
In re: Peralta, 101 Phil. 313
Leynes v. Veloso, 82 SCRA 325
In re: Avancea, 20 SCRA 1012
In re: Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399
In re: Basa, 41 Phil. 275
Arciga v. Maniwang, 106 SCRA 591
Royong v. Oblena, 7 SCRA 871
Alfonso v. Juanson, 228 SCRA 239
Toledo v. Toledo, 7 SCRA 757
Obusan v. Obusan, 128 SCRA 485
Dizon v. Cabucana, Jr., A.C. No. 10185, March 12, 2014
ii. Rule 1.02 A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at
defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.
In re: Santiago, 70 Phil. 661
In re: Terrell, G.R. No. 1203, May 15, 1903, 2 Phil. 266
iii. Rule 1.03 - A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest,
encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any mans cause.
- Barratry
- Ambulance Chasing
Millare v. Montero, 246 SCRA 1
Castaeda v. Ago, 65 SCRA 505
iv. Rule 1.04 - A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a
controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.
De Ysasi III v. NLRC, GR No. 104599, March 11, 1994
Pajares v. Abad Santos, 30 SCRA 748

b. CANON 2 - A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN


AN EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE
INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROFESSION.
- Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service for Practicing Lawyers
- Republic Act No. 9999
3

Olbes v. Deciembre, 457 SCRA 341


i. Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of
the defenseless or the oppressed.
- IBP Guideline, Art. 1, Sec. 1 Public Service
Valid Reasons for refusing to accept representation of indigent clients
ii. Rule 2.02 - In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he
shall not refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the
extent necessary to safeguard the latters rights.
iii. Rule 2.03 - A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
primarily to solicit legal business.
Tan Tek Beng v. David, AC No. 1261, December 29, 1983
Atty. Khan v. Atty. Simbillo, AC No. 5299, August 9, 2003
iv. Rule 2.04 - A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily
prescribed unless the circumstances so warrant.

c. CANON 3 - A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL


USE ONLY TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE
INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF FACTS.
i. Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent,
misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or
claim regarding his qualifications or legal services.
In re: Tagorda, 53 Phil. 37
Ulep v. Legal Clinic, 223 SCRA 378
ii. Rule 3.02 - In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed
name shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is
permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that
said partner is deceased.
- Use of foreign firms name
Dacanay v. Baker and McKenzie, 136 SCRA 349
iii. Rule 3.03 - Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from
the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law
allows him to practice law concurrently.
Samonte v. Gatdula, AM No. 99-1292, February 26, 1999
iv. Rule 3.04 - A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to
representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for,
publicity to attract legal business.
Cruz v. Salva, GR No. L-12871, July 25, 1959

d. CANON 4 - PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM

e. CANON 5 - KEEP ABREAST OF LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS, PARTICIPATE IN


CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
- The Rule of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE): purpose,
requirements, exemptions, non-compliance and consequences
Dulalia Jr. v. Cruz, AC No. 6854, October 5, 2004
De Roy v. CA, 157 SCRA 757
People v. Gacott, 242 SCRA 514

f. CANON 6 APPLICABILITY OF THESE CANONS TO LAWYERS IN


GOVERNMENT SERVICE
Collantes v. Renomeron, AC No. 3065, August 16, 1991
Pimentel v. Llorente, et. al., AC No. 4680, August 29, 2000
Berenguer v. Florin, AC No. 5119, April 17, 2013
i. Rule 6.01 - The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is
not to convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the
concealment of witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the
accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action.
Valencia v. Cabanting, AM Nos. 1302, 1391, 1543; April 26, 1991
Trieste v. Sandiganbayan, 145 SCRA 508
Solicitor General Chavez v. Sandiganbayan, 193 SCRA 282
4

ii. Rule 6.02 - A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public
position to promote or advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to
interfere with his public duties.
Enriquez v. Hon. Gimenez, 107 Phil. 933
Misamin v. San Juan, AC No. 1418, August 31, 1976
Lahm v. Mayor, AC No. 7430, February 15, 2012
iii. Rule 6.03 - A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept
engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he had
intervened while in said service.
PNB v. Cedo, AC No. 3701, March 28, 1995
Catu v. Rellosa, AC No. 5738, February 9, 2008
PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, 455 SCRA 526

2. The lawyer and the Legal Profession


a. CANON 7 UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE
PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE IBP
-Rule 139-A The Integrated Bar of the Philippines: fundamental purposes,
annual dues and effect of non-payment, termination and reinstatement of
membership
Santos, Jr. v. Llamas, AC No. 4749, January 20, 2000
i. Rule 7.01 - A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false
statement or suppressing a material fact in connection with his
application for admission to the bar.
Leda v. Tabang, AC No. 2505, February 21, 1992
ii. Rule 7.02 - A lawyer shall not support the application for admission to the
bar of any person known by him to be unqualified in respect to character,
education, or other relevant attribute.
In Re: Parazo, G.R. No. 120348, December 3, 1948
iii. Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects
on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private
life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal
profession.
Tan v. Sabandal, BM No. 44, February 24, 1992
Melendrez v. Decena, 176 SCRA 662
Vitug v. Roncal, AC No. 6313, September 7, 2006

b. CANON 8 - CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH COURTESY, FAIRNESS AND CANDOR


TOWARD HIS PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES, AND SHALL AVOID
HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING COUNSEL.
i. Rule 8.01 - Abusive, offensive or otherwise improper language has no place
in pleadings
Surigao Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, 31 SCRA 1
In Re: Almacen, G.R. No. L-27654, February 18, 1970
Castillo v. Padilla, 127 SCRA 743
ii. Rule 8.02 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the
professional employment of another lawyer; however, it is the right of any
lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those
seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel.
In Re: Clemente Soriano, G.R. No. L-24114, June 30, 1970

c. CANON 9 PREVENT UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW


US v. Ney, 8 Phil. 146
Tapay v. Bancolo, AC No. 9604, March 20, 2013
Alawi v. Alauya, A.M. SDC-97-2-P, February 24, 1997
i. Rule 9.01 - A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the
performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member
of the Bar in good standing.
Guballa v. Caguioa, G.R. No. L-46537, July 29, 1977
ii. Rule 9.02 - A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal
services with persons not licensed to practice law
- Exceptions
5

Five J Taxi v. NLRC, G.R. No. 111474, August 22, 1994

3. The lawyer and the Courts


a. CANON 10 - CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURTS
Masinsin v. Albano, G.R. No. 86421, May 31, 1994
Hueysuan-Florido v. Atty. Florido, AC No. 5624, January 20, 2004
i. Rule 10.01 - No falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in Court
Santos v. Paguio, A.M. No. MTJ-93-781, November 16, 1993
Libit v. Oliva, AC No. 2837, October 7, 1994
Monterey v. Arayata, 61 Phil. 820
ii. Rule 10.02 - Misquoting or misrepresenting the contents of paper, the
language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or
authority, or knowingly cite as law a provision already rendered inoperative
by repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not been proved
Insular Life Assurance Co. Employees Asso. v. Insular Life Assurance Co.,
G.R. No. L-25291, January 30, 1971
Asa v. Castillo, 500 SCRA 309
Banogon v. Zerna, 154 SCRA 593
iii. Rule 10.03 - A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not
misuse them to defeat the ends of justice.
Cobb-Perez v. Lantin, G.R. No. L-22320, July 29, 1968
Canlas v. CA, 164 SCRA 160

b. CANON 11 - OBSERVE AND MAINTAIN THE RESPECT DUE TO THE COURTS


AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS
Wicker v. Arcangel, 252 SCRA 445
i. Appear in Court Properly Attired
ii. Punctuality at Court Hearings
De Gracia v. Warden of Makati, G.R. No. L-42032, January 9, 1976
Regalado v. Regalado, 483 SCRA 473
iii. Rule 11.03 - Abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or
behavior before the Courts
Pobre v. Senator Santiago, A.C. No. 7399, August 25, 2009
Sangalang v. IAC, 177 SCRA 87
Baculi v. Battung, A.C. No. 8920, September 28, 2011
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.
Penticostes v. Hidalgo, A.M. Nos. RTJ-89-331, September 28, 1990
v. Rule 11.05 - A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to the proper
authorities only.
Maceda v. Vasquez, G.R. No. 102781, April 22, 1993
Bumanlag v. Bumanlag, 74 SCRA 92

c. CANON 12 - ASSIST IN THE SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF


JUSTICE
i. Preparedness for trial
Villasis v. CA, 60 SCRA 120
ii. Avoid Forum Shopping
Chemphil Export and Import Corp. v. CA, 251 SCRA 257
BENECO v. Atty. Flores, AC No. 4058, March 12, 1998
Buan v. Lopez, Jr., 145 SCRA 34
Far Eastern Shipping Co. vs. CA and PPA, GR No. 130068, Oct. 1, 1998
New Pangasinan Review, Inc., v. NLRC, 196 SCRA 55
iii. Good faith in obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings
Achacoso v. CA, 51 SCRA 424
Roxas v. CA, 156 SCRA 253
iv. Lawyers should treat a witness with courtesy
vii. A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client.
-Exceptions
6

d. CANON 13 - RELY UPON THE MERITS OF HIS CAUSE AND REFRAIN FROM
ANY IMPROPRIETY WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE, OR GIVES THE
APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCING THE COURT
i. Extraordinary attention or hospitality to, or familiarity with Judges is to be
avoided
Austria v. Masaquel, 20 SCRA 1247
Gallo v. Cordero, 245 SCRA 219
Nestle Phils., Inc. v. Sanchez, 154 SCRA 542
ii. Public statements made in the media regarding a pending case tending to
arouse public opinion for or against a party is generally condemned
Martelino v. Alejandro, 32 SCRA 106
Cruz v. Salva, 105 Phil. 1151

4. The lawyer and the Client


a. CANON 14 - A LAWYER SHALL NOT REFUSE HIS SERVICES TO THE
NEEDY.
i. Rule 14.01
- Lawyer not bound to accept all cases; Restrictions
- Discovering guilt of client in criminal cases
ii. Rule 14.02
- Appointment as counsel de oficio
- IBP free legal aid
iii. Rule 14.03
- Coverage of the rule
- Exceptions
iv. Rule 14.04
American Home Assurance Co., Inc. v. NLRC, 252 SCRA 202

b. CANON 15 - A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND


LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENTS.
i. Conflicting Interests
Mejia v. Reyes, 4 SCRA 648
ii. Preference to Clients Interests
Sta. Maria v. Tuason, 11 SCRA 562
iii. Privileged communication
People v. Sandiganbayan, 275 SCRA 505

c. CANON 16 - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND


PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.
Segovia-Ribaya v. Lawsin, A.C.No. 7965, November 13, 2013
i. As trustee of clients moneys and properties
ii. Attorneys Lien

d. CANON 17 - A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT


AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED
IN HIM.
Rosacia v. Bulalacao, 248 SCRA 664
Tria-Samonte v. Obias, A.C.No. 4945, October 8, 2013

e. CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE


AND DILIGENCE.
Vda. De Dominguez v. Agleron Sr., A.C. No. 5359, March 10, 2014
i. Presumption of Diligence
ii. Concept of Adequate Preparation
Javellana v. Lutero, 20 SCRA 717
iii. Adverse Effect of Too Much Workload
iv. Negligence of Attorneys
Villafuerte v. Cortez, AC No. 3455, April 14, 1998
v. Client must be kept informed of the status of the case
Five Star Bus Co., Inc. v. CA, 259 SCRA 120
7

Atty. Navarro v. Atty. Meneses III, CBD AC No. 313, January 30, 1998

f. CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN


THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW.
i. Lawyer, Not Client, Controls the Procedure in Handling the Case
Cosmos Foundry Shop Workers Union v. Lo Bu, 63 SCRA 313
Belandres v. Lopez Sugar Central Mill Co., Inc., 97 Phil. 100

g. CANON 20 - A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND REASONABLE


FEES.
i. Ordinary and Extraordinary Attorneys Fees
ii. Adequate Compensation
iii. Determination of Attorneys Fees based on quantum meruit
iv. Champertous Contracts

h. CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND


SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATION
IS TERMINATED
i. Nature of attorney-client relationship
ii. Disclosure of client's identity
Regala, et. al. v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 105938, September 20, 1996
iii. Duty to preserve former client's secrets
Hilado v. David, G.R. No. L-961, September 21, 1949
Salonga v. Hildawa, Adm. Case No. 5105, August 12, 1999
Natan v. Capule, Adm. Case No. 76, July 23, 1952

i. CANON 22 - A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR


GOOD CAUSE AND UPON NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
i. Court appearance
ii. Withdrawal of Appearance
Venterez, et. al. v. Cosme, Adm. Case No. 7421, October 10, 2007
iii. Effects of Death of Client/Lawyer
iv. Termination of Lawyer-Client Relationship
v. Retaining Lien v. Charging Lien

V. Judicial Ethics

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------