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Practice of Law is not a money-making venture (Canlas v.

CA, 164
SCRA 160)

Non omne quod licet, honestum est


(Not everything that is legal is moral)

LEGAL ETHICS
The term legal ethics is the embodiment of all principles of the
morality and refinement that should govern the conduct of every member of
the bar.
The law profession is an indispensable component of the system that
dispenses justice. More so, it is a truism in our system of government that
Ours is a government of laws and not of men, this principle is one of the
manifestations of republicanism under which principle the Republic of the
Philippines operates, Sec.1 of Art. II of the 1987 Constitution provides inter
alia, thus: The Philippines is a democratic and republican state
The first and foremost duty of a lawyer is to maintain allegiance to the
republic of the Philippines, uphold the Constitution, and obey the laws of the
land. The Court in Lee v. Tambago, has stressed the role of lawyers in the
community, thus:
While the duty to uphold the Constitution and obey the laws is an obligation
imposed on every citizen, a lawyer assumes responsibilities well beyond the basic
requirements of good citizenship. As a servant of the law, a lawyer should moreover
make himself an example for others to emulate. Being a lawyer, he is supposed to
be a model in the community in so far as respect for the law is concerned.

Privileges of a lawyer
An attorney enjoys a number of privileges by reason of his office and in
the recognition of the vital role which he plays in the administration of justice.
A lawyer has the privilege and the right to practice law during good behavior
before any judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative tribunal. The court in
admitting him to practice, presents him to the public as worthy of its
confidence and as a person fit and proper to assume and discharge the
responsibilities of an attorney. As part of the judicial system, whose role as
an advocate and as officer of the court is necessary for the due administration
of justice, he has the privilege, as the first one to sit in judgment on every
case, to set the judicial machinery in motion. On him depends the proper
course of judicial direction in the administration of justice.

Practice of law
The term practice of law is incapable of exact definition. Weather a
particular activity comes within the meaning of the term, depends upon the
circumstances of the case. There are, however, general principles and
doctrines laid down by the Supreme Court explaining the meaning and scope
of what constitute the practice of law.
Statements of the concept of the practice of law.
1. The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of
legal principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his
consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting
in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings
and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings,
conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and the
giving of legal advice to clients.
It embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in
matters connected with the law. (Cayetano v. Monsod, 201
SCRA 210, 213)

2. The practice of law embraces;


a) Any activity, in or out of court
b) Which requires the application of law, legal principles, practice or
procedure, and;
c) Calls for legal knowledge, training and experience. (Philippine
Lawyers Association v. Agrava, 105 Phil. 173, Ulep v. Legal
Clinic, Inc. 223 SCRA 378)
3. The practice of law embraces in general all advice to clients and all
actions taken for them in matters connected with law.
4. A person is engaged in the practice of law;
a) When he, for a valuable consideration,
b) Engages in the business of advising persons, firms, associations, or
corporations as to their rights under the law, or
c) Appears in a representative capacity as an advocate in a proceeding
pending or prospective before any court, commissioner, referee,
board, body, committee, or commission constituted by law or
authorized to settle controversies and there, in such representative
capacity, performs any act or acts for the purpose of obtaining or
defending rights of their clients under the law.
5. When a person participates in a trial and advertises himself as a lawyer,
he is in the practice of law.

CREATION OF LAWYER-CLIENT RELATION


How said relation is created and governed?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: A lawyer-client relation could be created through any
of the following means:
a) Voluntary by means of a contract whether written or oral, or through
the innominate contact of facio ut des. If so created, then the relation
would be governed by the general law on contracts and in a suppletory
capacity the rules of ethical conduct for lawyers.
b) By operation of law through the following:
1) Implied agreement through mere consultation which would then be
governed by the rules of ethical conduct for lawyers.
2) Where the agreement between the parties is nullified by a court order
in which case it shall likewise be governed by the rules of ethical
conduct for lawyers and the court order nullifying the agreement.
3) Where a court issues an order requiring a lawyer to undertake
representation of a party. This should be governed by the rules of
ethical conduct for lawyers and the court nullifying the agreement.

Counsel de oficio: a counsel, appointed or assigned by the court, from


among such members of the bar in good standing who, by reason of their
experience and ability may adequately defend the accused. The person need
not be a member of the bar if no lawyer is available in a given locality. (Sec.
7, Rule 116, Rules of Court)A counsel de oficio is appointed to defend an
indigent in a criminal action (Sections 3, 4, and 5, Rule 116; Sec. 32, Rule
138); or to represent a destitute party in a case (Sec.31, Rule 138).
Counsel de parte: a lawyer retained by a party litigant, usually, for a fee, to
prosecute or defend his cause in court. The term implies freedom of choice
either on the part of the lawyer to accept the employment or on the part of
the litigant to continue or terminate the retainer at any time.
Amicus Curiae: a friend of the court. A person with strong interest in or views
on the subject matter of the action. One who is considered as an experience
and impartial attorney to help in of issues submitted to the Court. (Sec. 36,
Rule 138)
Attorney of Record: a member of the bar appointed by a client to represent
in cause of a court and upon whom service of papers may be made

PROHIBITED ADVERTISEMENTS
1997 Bar:
Atty. B, C and D recently inaugurated their law partnership. Among the
invited guest were clients, business executives and government officials,
including a few member of the judiciary. Photographs were taken during
the inaugural affair which the law firm subsequently caused to be published
in major newspaper dailies. Was there anything ethically wrong in what the
partnership had done?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes. There was solicitation by an indirect
advertisement for legal business which is unethical. There is no
other purpose for the publication other than to make known the
law firm to the public through the major newspaper dailies.
With the present situation of our legal and judicial system to
allow the publication of advertisements would only serve to
aggravate what is already a deteriorating public opinion of the legal
profession whose integrity has consistently been under attack
lately by media and the community in general.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Yes. The act of causing photographs of the
inaugural affair published in major newspaper dailies violates the
following rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Rule 2.03. A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act
designed to solicit legal business.
Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false,
fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or
unfair statement of claim regarding his qualification or legal
services.
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2002 Bar:
A pictorial press release in a broadsheet newspaper made by the
attorney showing him being congratulated by the president of a client
corporation for winning a multi-million damage suit against the company in
the Supreme Court.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Unethical. A lawyer should not resort to indirect
advertisements such as procuring his photograph to be published in a
newspaper in connection with a case he is handling.
Rule 3.04. A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to
representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or return for,
publicity to attract legal business.

2003 Bar:
Attorney X, in his answer, averred that (1) the advertisement was not
improper because his name was not mentioned in the ad; and (2) he could
not be subjected to disciplinary action because there was no complaint against
him.
Rule on Attorney Xs contentions.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The first contention is untenable. The fact that
Atty. Xs name was not mentioned does not make the advertisement
proper. The advertisement is palpably improper. The use of the word
competent would create expectations which Attorney X may not be
able to perform. The ad violates the ethical norms which prohibits
false and misleading advertisement.
A complaint is not necessary to initiate disciplinary action
against a lawyer. Being sui generis in nature a disciplinary action
against a lawyer may be initiated by the Supreme Court motu proprio.
Rule 139-B, sec 1: Proceedings for disbarment, suspension or discipline
of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio, or by
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified
complaint of any person.
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2013 Bar:
As a new lawyer, Atty. Novato started with a practice limited to small
claims cases, legal counselling, and notarization of documents. He put up a
solo practice law office and was assisted by his wife who served as his
secretary/helper. He used a makeshift hut in a vacant lot near the local courts
and a local transport regulatory agency. With this strategic location, he
enjoyed heavy patronage assisting walk-in clients in the preparation and filling
of pleadings and in the preparation and notarization of contracts and
documents. He had the foresight of investing in a good heavy duty copier
machine that reproduces quality documents, and charges a reasonable fee for
this service. He draws electric power from an extension wire connected to an
adjoining small restaurant. He put up a shingle that reads: Atty. Novato,
Specialist in Small Claims, Fastest in Notarization: the Best and Cheapest in
Copier Services.
Is Attorney Novatos manner of carrying out his professional practice
mixing business with the practice of law, announcing his activities via shingle
and locating his office as above-described keeping with appropriate ethical
and professional practice?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No. Atty. Novatos manner of carrying out his
professional practice is not in keeping with appropriate ethical and
professional practice. He has degraded the law profession which may
result to loss of respect for lawyers as a whole.
The use of a makeshift hut standing alone would create the
impression that the lawyer does not have a permanent address which
is required to be stated in all pleadings he signs as well as required to
be shown in documents he notarizes.
His shingle shows that he has considered the law profession as
a business. He should have a separate shingle for his copier services
business. When he included in his shingle the phrases Specialist in
Small Claims and Fastest in Notarization he has transgressed the
rule that a lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only
dignified information or statement of facts. (CPR, Canon 3). So also
the norm that a lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any
misleading, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim
regarding his qualifications or legal services.
Canon 3: A lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only
true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statement of
facts.
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PROHIBITED SOLICITATION (BARRATRY)
Define Barratry:
The offense of frequently exciting and stirring up quarrels and suits, either at
law or otherwise.
The rules which penalizes barratry are the following:
Canon 1, rule 1.03 A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or
interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any mans cause.
Rule 1.04 A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle
the controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.
It is unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring lawsuits,
except in rare instances where ties of blood relationships or trust
makes it his duty to do so.

Ambulance Chasing, defined. The unethical practice of inducing personal


injury victims to bring suits. The practice of lawyers in frequenting hospitals
and homes of the injured in order to convince them to go to court.
It is the practice of the lawyer who frequents hospitals and visits homes
of the injured, officiously intruding their presence and persistently offering his
services on the basis of a contingent fee. Literally the act of lawyer in chasing
the ambulance carrying the victim of an accident so that he may talk to the
victim or his next of kin into filling suit against the person who caused the
accident.

1977, 1993 Bar:


Distinguish barratry from ambulance chasing.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The following are some of the distinctions between
barratry and ambulance chasing:
a) Barratry, which is more general in scope, is the act of fomenting suits
and the legal strifes among persons. Thus, barratry refers to any
action while ambulance chasing refers to personal injury cases.
b) Barratry may refer to suits before judicial or non-judicial bodies while
ambulance chasing refers to cases brought before judicial fora.

Problem:
Pedro brought from Juan a land which was leased to Diego. Pedro
wanted to secure the possession of the land employed the services of Atty. X.
Subsequently, X urged Juan to prosecute Pedro for estafa allegedly defrauding
Juan in the purchase of the land, and to file an action for rescission of the sale
on the ground of fraud. May Pedro initiate disbarment proceedings against
Atty.X? Give your reason.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes Pedro may initiate disbarment proceedings
against Atty. X for violation of the Code of Professional responsibility.
In urging Juan to prosecute Pedro for estafa without prior
consultation by Juan, Atty. X has committed barratry, a violation of
his duties to society.

Canon 1, Rule 1.03 A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or
interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any mans cause.
Atty. Xs acts in urging Juan to prosecute his client Pedro
constitutes a violation of duty of confidentiality towards client. More
consultation constitutes a lawyer-client relationship. When Pedro
employed the services of Atty. X there was constitute a lawyer-
relation between them. Among the duties of Atty. X to Pedro, as his
client, is to preserve the confidence and secrets of his client even after
the attorney-client relation is terminated.
Canon 21 A lawyer shall presence the confidences and secrets of his
client even after the attorney-client relation is terminated.
It is logical to conclude that Atty. X might have obtained
information from Pedro from Pedro which now serves the basis for
urging Juan to sue Pedro for estafa.
Atty. X may also have violated rule against representation of
conflicting interest. It is apparent that Juans interest in the estafa
case would be diametrically opposed to that of Pedro.
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2013 Bar:
Miguel Jactar, a fourth year law student, drove his vehicle recklessly and
hit the rear bumper of Simplicio Medrosos vehicle. Instead of stopping, Jactar
accelerated and sped away. Medroso pursued Jactar and caught up with him
at an intersection. In their confrontation, Jactar dared Medroso to sue,
bragged about his connections with the courts, and even uttered veiled threats
against Medroso. During the police investigation that followed, Medroso
learned that Jactar was reviewing for the Bar examinations.
Under these facts, list and justify the potential objections that can be
made against Jactars admission to the practice of law.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: The potential objection that can be made against


Jactars admission to the practice of law is the absence of good moral
character.
Rule 138, sec. 2 of the Rules of Court Every applicant for admission
as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least
twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a resident of
the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court
satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges
against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending
in any court in the Philippines.
Jactars bragging about his connection with the courts and the
uttering of veiled threats against Medroso are indications of his lack
of good moral character. His acts are contrary to justice, honesty,
modesty or good morals. He has acted in a manner that has violated
the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen or to
society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of
right and duty between man and man. Tak Ng v. Republic
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Appearance of non-lawyers
Instances when persons, not members of the Bar are allowed limited
practice in our courts.
a) A party litigant Appearance for and in his own behalf is known as pro
se practice or practice in propria persona. A party litigant may appear
before any administrative or judicial body.
b) Any official or other person appointed or designated in accordance with
law to appear for the government of the Philippines shall have all the
rights of a duly authorized member of the bar to appear in any case in
which said government has an interest, direct or indirect.
(Rule 138, sec 33 Rules of Court).
c) A non-lawyer agent or friend of a party litigant may, in a Municipal Trial
Court, Municipal Circuit Trial Court or Metropolitan Trial Court, be
appointed by a party litigant to conduct his litigation, weather in civil or
criminal cases.
Rule 138, sec. 34 In the court of a justice of the peace a party may
conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend
appointed by him for that purpose, or with the of an attorney. In any
other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or bay aid of
an attorney, and his appearance must either be personal or by a duly
authorized member of the bar.
d) In localities where members of the bar are not available, the court may
appoint any person, resident of the province and of good repute, probity
and ability, to defend the accused.( Rule 116, sec. 7)
e) A law student who has successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular
four-year prescribed law curriculum, enrolled in a recognized law
schools clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme
Court.

Rule 138-A, sec 1 A law student who has successfully completed his
3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is
enrolled in a recognized law schools clinical legal education program
approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in
any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal,
board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic
of the law school.

Under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated


bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school; all pleadings
and other documents must be signed by the supervising attorney for
and in behalf of the legal clinic , and that there be physical presence of
the supervising lawyer during the hearing.
f) Non-lawyers may appear before the National Labor Relations
Commission or any Labor Arbiter if they represent themselves, if they
represent their organization or members of any legal aid office
recognized by the department of Justice or the IBP in cases referred by
the latter. (Kanlaon Construction Enterprises, Co., Inc. v NLRC, 279
SCRA 337), or if they are engaged in law student practice.
1986 Bar:
Tiyaga was disbarred by resolution of the Supreme Court, his petition
for reinstatement, filed five years later on the ground that he had reformed
and that he had been sufficiently punished and disciplined, has remained
unacted upon. In a proceeding for probate of his fathers will, Tiyaga filed a
formal opposition on his own behalf and sought to establish that the will was
a forgery and that the deceased had died intestate. His co-heirs questioned
his appearance by reason of his disbarment. As a judge of the probate court
you are called upon to resolve the issue. Reason out your answer.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Tiyagas appearance should be allowed as he is
appearing in his personal capacity as a party litigant, being a co-heir.
He is not in the practice of law because he is not representing another
person. Consequently, his disbarment should not disqualify him from
representing himself in the court. This is known as pro se practice of
law or appearance in propria persona.
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PROHIBITION or DISQUALIFICATION of former Government


attorneys.
1980, 1982, 1991, 2011 and 2013 Bar:
In a criminal prosecution for frustrated homicide, the offended party
reserved the right to institute a separate civil action to recover damages. An
Asst. Public Prosecutor conducted the prosecution resulting in the conviction
of the accused. Following such conviction of the accused, the Asst. Public
Prosecutor retired from the prosecution service and set up a private practice.
in the civil action thereafter instituted by the offended party, the
convicted accused, now defendant in the civil case, sought to engage the
services of the retired Asst. Public Prosecutor as his counsel. The propriety of
the acceptance of the retainer is being considered. Is the distinction significant
that the Asst. Public Prosecutor represented not the offended party (who
reserved the civil action), but the people in the criminal case and, therefore,
owes the plaintiff in the civil case no duty arising from conflict of interest? Why
or why not?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No. It is improper for the retired Asst. Public
Prosecutor to appear even if there is no issue involving conflict of
interest.
It is improper for the retired Asst. Public Prosecutor to appear
as counsel for the convicted accused in the civil case.
Canon 6, 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 the said service.
As in appears, the retired Public Prosecutor actively intervened
in the prosecution of the case. His representation of the offended
party and retirement does not render his position less improper. He
has intervened in the prosecution of the case, hence it is unethical for
him to participate in any manner in the prosecution of the civil aspect.
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2010 Bar:
Atty. Monica Santos-Cruz registered the firm name Santos-Cruz Law
Office with the Department of Trade and Industry as a single proprietorship.
In the stationary, she printed the names of her husband and a friend who are
both non-lawyers as her senior partners in the light of their investments in
the firm. She allowed her husband to give out calling cards bearing his name
as senior partner of the firm and to appear in the courts to move for
postponements. Did Atty. Santos-Cruz violate the Code of Professional
Responsibility? Why?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, she did.
A lawyer who allows a non-member of the Bar to misrepresent himself
as a lawyer and to practice law, is guilty of violating the Code of Professional
Responsibility specifically.
Canon 9 A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the
unauthorized practice of law.
Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unauthorized person
the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by
a member of the bar in good standing.
(Cambaliza v. Cristal-Tenorio, 434 SCRA 288)
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2014 Bar:
Will a lawyer violate the Code of Professional Responsibility if he forms
a partnership with professionals of other disciplines like doctors, engineers,
architects or accountants? Explain your answer
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes.
Canon 9 A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the
unauthorized practice of law.
The old Canons of Professional Ethics contains a similar but more
detailed prohibition. Partnership between lawyers and members of
other professions or non-professional persons should not be formed
or permitted where any part of the partnerships employment consist
of the practice of law.
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Bar questions and suggested answers with corresponding


rules
1992 Bar:
Atty. V. Suarez represented Altamarino in an ejectment case against
Orbido. Judgement was rendered in favor of Altamarino and Orbido vacated
the property forthwith. Subsequently, a case for annulment of Altamarinos
title over the property subject of the ejectment case was filed by Orbido who
is now represented by Atty. Suarez. Altamarino filed a motion for
disqualification of Atty. Suarez for representing conflicting interest as the
latter was his lawyer in the ejectment case against attorney and client
relationship between her and Altamarino had already terminated and that she
did not obtain any confidential information regarding Altamarinos title in
handling the ejectment case, which is different from the present case for
annulment of title.

Rule on the motion for disqualification of Atty. Suarez should be granted.


Answer:

The motion for disqualification of Atty. Suarez should be


granted.

Atty. Suarez violated Canon 14, rule 14.02 prohibiting lawyers


from appearing for conflicting interest. Atty. Suarez is opposing his
former client in a related suit. Although the ejectment case had
already terminated in favor of Altamarino who was his client, he had
already required information concerning the ownership of property.
An attorney who appears for opposing clients in the same or related
actions put himself in that awkward position where he will have to
oppose on behalf of the other client. He cannot in all situations give
disinterested advice to both clients.
Canon 14 A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.
Rule 14.02 A Lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and
sufficient cause, an appointment as counsel de oficio or amicus curiae
or a request from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any of its
chapter for rendition of free legal aid.
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Atty. Herminio de Pano is a former Prosecutor of the City of Manila


who established his own law office after taking advantage of the Early
Retirement Law. He was approached by Estrella Cabigao to act as private
prosecutor in an estafa case in which she is the complainant. It appears that
the said estafa case was investigated by Atty. De Pano when he was still a
Prosecutor.

Should Atty. Pano accept employment as private prosecutor is said estafa


case? Explain.

Answer:

Atty. De Pano should not accept the employment as private


prosecutor as he will be violating Canon 6, Rule 6.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall not,
after leaving government service, accept employment in connection
with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service.
The restriction against a public official from using his public
position as a vehicle to promote or advance his private interests
extends beyond his tenure on certain matters which intervened as a
public official.

Canon 6, 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.

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2013Bar:

Atty. Bravo represents Carlos Negar (an insurance agent for


Dormir Insurance Co.) in a suit filed by insurance claimant Andy Limot who
also sued Dormir Insurance. The insurance policy requires the
insured/claimant to give a written notice to the insurance company or its agent
within 60 days from the occurrence of the loss.

Limot testified during the trial that he had mailed the notice of the loss to the
insurance agent, but admitted that he lost the registry receipt so that he did
not have any documentary evidence of the fact of mailing and of the timeliness
of the mailed notice. Dormir Insurance denied liability, contending that timely
notice had not been given either to the company or its agent. Atty. Bravos
client, agent Negar, testified and confirmed that he never received any notice.

A few days after Negar testified, he admitted to Atty. Bravo that he had lied
when he denied receipt of Limots notice; he did receive the notice by mail but
immediately shredded it to defeat Limots claim.

If you were Atty. Bravo, what would you do in light of your clients (Carlos
Negars) disclosure that he perjured himself when he testified? (8%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

If I were Atty. Bravo, I shall promptly call upon Carlos Nagar, my


client, to rectify his perjured testimony by recanting the same before
the court.

Should he refuse or fail to do so I shall then terminate my relationship


with him (Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 19, Rule 19.02)
stating that with his having committed perjury he pursued an illegal
conduct in connection with the case (Ibid., Canon 22, Rule 22.01).

Since my client Limot refuses to forego the advantage thus unjustly


gained as a result of his perjury, I should promptly inform the injured
person or his counsel, so that they may take the appropriate steps

Finally, as part of my duty to do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing


of any in court (Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 10, Rule
10.01; Attorneys Oath), I shall file a manifestation with the court
attaching thereto the notice of termination as Limots counsel.

Rule 19.02 A lawyer who has received information that his client
has, in the course of the representation, perpetuated a fraud upon a
person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the
same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship with such
client in accordance with the Rules of Court.
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Atty. Doblar represents Eva in a contract suit against Olga. He is also


defending Marla in a substantially identical contract suit filed by Emma. In
behalf of Eva, Atty. Doblar claims that the statute of limitations runs from the
time of the breach of the contract. In the action against Marla, Atty. Doblar
now argues the reverse position i.e., that the statute of limitation does not
run until one year after discovery of the breach.

Both cases are assigned to Judge Elrey. Although not the sole issue in the two
cases, the statute of limitations issue is critical in both.

Is there an ethical/professional responsibility problem in this situation? If a


problem exists, what are its implications or potential consequences?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes. There is an ethical/professional responsibility problem that


results from the actuation of Atty. Doblar in arguing the reverse
positions.

The signatures of Atty. Doblar on the pleadings for Eva and for Marla
constitute a certificate by him that he has read the pleadings; that to
the best of his knowledge, information, and belief, there is good
ground to support them; and that the pleadings were not interposed
for delay (Rules of Court, Rule 7, Sec. 3, par. 2). Atty. Doblar could not
claim he has complied with the foregoing requirement because he
could not take a stand for Eva that is contrary to that taken for Marla.
His theory for Eva clearly contradicts his theory for Marla. He has
violated his professional responsibility mandated under the Rules of
Court.

He has likewise violated the ethical responsibility that his appearance


in court should be deemed equivalent to an assertion on his honor
that, in his opinion, his clients case in one proper for judicial
determination (Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 30, par. 2, last
sentence).

In counseling on the contradictory positions, Atty. Doblar has likewise


counselled or abetted activities aimed at defiance of the law or at
lessening confidence in the legal system (Code of Professional
Responsibility, Canon 1, Rule 1.02) because conflicting opinions may
result arising from an interpretation of the same law.
Atty. Doblar could not seek refuge under the umbrella that what he
has done was in protection of his clients. This is so because a lawyers
duty is not to his client but to the administration of justice. To that
end, his clients success is wholly subordinate. His conduct ought to
and must always be scrupulously observant of the law and ethics
(Ernesto Pineda, LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS, 211 [1999], citing
Maglasang vs. People, G.R. No. 90083, October 4, 1990).

Any means not honorable, fair, and honest, which is resorted to by the
lawyer, even in the pursuit of his devotion to his clients cause, is
condemnable and unethical (Ibid.).
2014Bar:

A) If an attorney has been granted by his client full authority to enter into an
amicable settlement with the other party, may the client later on refuse to
honor the amicable settlement forged by this attorney? Explain.
(B) In such instance as in (A) above, can the lawyer withdraw from the
case and collect in full his contracted attorneys fees? Why or why not?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(A) The client cannot refuse to honor the amicable settlement. Since
the lawyer is clothed with the proper authority, the amicable
settlement is in the form of compromise agreement which is
immediately executory under the New Civil Code. The client is now
estopped from denying the authority of his lawyer.
(B) Under Section 26, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, the
lawyer can withdraw from the case and collect in full his contracted
attorney's fee since his duty to his client has already concluded with
the execution of the amicable settlement.

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(A) Can a lawyer who lacks the number of units required by the
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Board continue to practice
his profession?

(B) May a lawyer be held liable for damages by his clients for the
lawyers failure to file the necessary pleadings to prosecute the clients
case and as a result of which the client suffered damages?
(C) Can a lawyer still practice his profession despite having arrears in
his Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) dues?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) A lawyer who lacks the number of units required by MCLE


cannot continue to practice the legal profession since he is declared
as a delinquent member of the bar per Resolution of the Supreme
Court dated January 14, 2014, revoking OCA Circular No. 66-2008.
(B) Yes, lawyer may be held for damages by his client for failure
to represent his client with zeal (Canon 19, CPR) and for not serving
his client with competence and diligence (Canon 18, CPR).

Canon 19 A lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within the
bounds of the law.
Canon 18 A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
diligence.

(C) Arrears in the IBP may be a ground to suspend the lawyer


upon recommendation by the IBP to the Supreme Court.

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

2014 Bar:
(A) May a client hire additional counsel as collaborating counsel over
and above the objection of the original counsel?
(B) If the client insists, may the original counsel withdraw from the
case, and how?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(A) a client may hire additional counsel as collaborating
counsel because it is his (client) prerogative.

1. (B) The original counsel may withdraw based on Rule


22.01 (c), CPR because his inability to work with the
collaborating counsel will not promote the best interest of the
client.

Rule 22.01 (c) A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of


the following cases:
xxx.
xxx.
c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will not
promote the best interest of the client.

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2014 Bar:

M engaged the services of Atty. D to prosecute his annulment of marriage


case in the Regional Trial Court (RTC). After a long-drawn trial, Atty. D was
able to secure a favorable judgment from the court. Unfortunately, M has
failed to pay in full the stipulated attorneys fees of Atty. D. How can Atty. D
collect his fees from M? Discuss fully. (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
D can exercise the remedy of retaining lien over the documents
and other pieces of evidence which have lawfully come to his
possession, under Sec. 37, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. The
payment of attorney's fee is based on the services rendered and not
dependent on the success or failure of the case.

Rule 138, sec. 37 An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds and
documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his
possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and
disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the
satisfaction thereof. He shall also have a lien to the same extent upon
all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in
pursuance of such judgments, which he has secured in litigation of his
client, from and after the time and he shall have caused the statement
of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of the court
rendering such judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have
caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to the
adverse party; and he shall have the same right and power over such
judgments and executions as his client would have to enforce his lien
and secure the payment of his just fees and disbursements.

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Grounds for Disbarment or Suspension of a Lawyer

Rule 138, section 27 of the Rules of Court:

A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as


attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the
oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a willful
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or
willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so
to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.

Deceit
Cham vs. Atty. Edilberto D. Pizarro

A.C. No. 5499, August 16, 2005

A lawyer was subjected to disciplinary action for selling a non-disposable


land of the public domain. He violated his oath not to do falsehood and
misrepresentation to the buyer-complainant.

Co vs. Bernardino, 285 SCRA 102 [1998]

Lao vs. Medel, 405 SCRA 227 [2003]

For a lawyer to be dealt with by the Supreme Court, the transaction entered
into need not be in the performance of professional services. It can be in his
private capacity.

Professional honesty and honor are not to be expected as the


accompaniment of dishonesty and dishonor in other relations.

Case references:

Santos vs. Atty. Maria Vivane Cacho-Calicdan, September 19, 2006

Malpractice
Nakpil vs. Atty. Carlos J. Valdes March 4, 1998

A lawyer violated the trust and confidence of the client when he represented
conflicting interest. He represented the creditors when his accounting firm
prepared and computed the claims of the creditors while his law firm
represented the estate.

Case references:

Buted vs. Hernando, 203 SCRA 1

Maturan vs. Gonzales, March 12, 1998

Conflict of interest

(Pormento vs. Pontevedra, March 31, 2005)

A lawyer has to disclose to his client all the circumstances of his relations to
the parties in connection with the controversy which might influence the
client in the selection of counsel.

It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests except by express


consent of all concerned given after full disclosure of the facts.

Tests to determine if there is conflicting interests:

1. If the acceptance of the new retainer will require the attorney to


do anything which will injuriously affect his first client in any matter in which
he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new
relation, to use against his first client any knowledge acquired thru their
connection;

2. Whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney


from full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or
invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance
thereof.

Reason for prohibition


The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of attorney and client,
which is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. A lawyer
becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his clients case. He learns
from his client the weak points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such
knowledge must be considered sacred and guarded with care. No
opportunity must be given him to take advantage of his clients secrets. A
lawyer must have the fullest confidence of his client. For, if the confidence is
abused, the profession will suffer by the loss thereof.

The prohibition applies however slight such adverse interest may be (Nakpil
vs. Valdes, 286 SCRA 758).

The essence of the rule is to maintain inviolate the clients confidence or to


refrain from obtaining anything which will injuriously affect in any matter in
which he previously represented him.

Grossly immoral conduct


Emma Dantes vs. Atty. Crispin Dantes A.C. No. 6488, September 22,
2004

The wife complained that her husband was a philanderer, having illicit
relationship with two women. He was disbarred. A lawyer must demonstrate
that he or she has good moral character and should behave in accordance
with the standards.

Case references:

Barrientos vs. Daarol, 218 SCRA 30

Toledo vs. Toledo, 7 SCRA 757

Obusan vs. Obusan, 128 SCRA 485

Terre vs. Terre, July 3, 1992

Santos vs. Tan, 196 SCRA 16

St. Louis Univ. Laboratory High School Faculty & Staff vs. Atty. Dela
Cruz, A.C. No. 6010, August 28, 2006

Disbarment should never be decreed where any lesser penalty could


accomplish the end desired; hence, the penalty of two years suspension was
more appropriate.

A lawyer got married again after his failed marriage. He never absconded his
obligations to his first wife and child. After the annulment of his second
marriage, he remained celibate. He was humble enough to offer no defense
save for his lone and declaration of his commitment to his wife and child.
(Conjuangco vs. Palma, 438 SCRA 306; 462 SCRA 310 [2005]).

Zaguirre vs. Castillo 398 SCRA 658 [2003] 465 SCRA [2005]

Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude

a. In the Matter of Disbarment Proceedings vs. Narciso


Jaranillo, 101 Phil. 323

A lawyer was disbarred for having been convicted of estafa.

b. In Re: Dalmacio delos Angeles, 106 Phil. 1

A lawyer was convicted of the crime of bribery. He was disbarred.

Case references:

In Re: Disbarment of Rodolfo Pajo, 203 Phil. 79

In Re: Atty. Isidro Vinzons, 126 Phil. 96

Barrios vs. Atty. Francisco Martinez, A.C. No. 4885, November 12,
2004

Violation of the Lawyers Oath


a. Judge Ubaldino Larucon vs. Atty. Ellis Jacoba, A.C. No.
5921, March 10, 2006

In his motion, the lawyer stated:

The judgment is an abhorrent nullity, legal monstrosity, horrendous


mistake, horrible error, an insult to the judiciary, and an anachronism
in the judicial process.
The lawyer was suspended. The language exceeded the vigor required of a
lawyer to defend ably his clients cause.

b. Almendrez vs. Atty. Minervo Langit, A.C. No. 7057, July 25,
2006

A lawyer was suspended for having appropriated the rental deposits for his
client in an ejectment suit.

c. Suspension from the Practice of Law in the Territory of Guam of


Atty. Leon G. Maquera, 435 SCRA 417

A lawyer who was suspended from the practice of law abroad may likewise
be sanctioned in the Philippines for infraction he committed abroad. (Velez
vs. De Vera, A.C. No. 6697, July 25, 2006).

Willful disobedience to any lawful order of a superior court


a. People vs. Dalusog, 62 SCRA 540;

Luzon Mahogany Timber Ind., Inc. vs. Castro, 69 SCRA 384;

People vs, Medina, 62 SCRA 253;

Geeslin vs. Navarro, 185 SCRA 230

Willfully appearing as attorney for any party without


authority
(Sec. 27, Rule 138, Rules of Court; Atty. Edilberto D. Pizarro, A.C. No. 5499,
August 16, 2005)

a. Porac Trucking Corp. vs. CA, 202 SCRA 674; Garrido vs.
Quisumbing, 28 SCRA 614

A lawyer was suspended from the practice of law in appearing for a party
defendant without authority.

A judge may require a lawyer to prove that he is authorized to appear for a


client.
b. Mercado vs. Ulay, 187 SCRA 720

JUDICIAL ETHICS
Under the 1987 Constitution the Supreme Court of the Philippines has
the administrative supervision over all courts and personnel thereof (see Art.
VIII, Sec. 6, 1987 Constitution). The word personnel stipulated in the
Constitution necessarily includes the judges manning the different courts.
The Supreme Court en banc has the power to discipline judges of the lower
courts, or order their dismissal by a vote of majority of the members of the
Supreme Court who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the
case and voted thereon.
Judicial ethics is a Branch of moral science which treats of the right
and proper conduct to be observed by all judges and magistrates in trying and
deciding controversies brought to them for adjudication which conduct must
be demonstrative of impartiality, integrity, competence, independence and
freedom from improprieties.
The Code of Judicial Conduct mandates judges to administer justice
without delay and directs every judge to dispose of the courts business
promptly within the period prescribed by the law and the rules Delay
ultimately affects the image of the judiciary. Failure to comply with the
mandate of the Constitution and of the Code of Judicial Conduct constitutes
serious misconduct, which is detrimental to the honor and integrity of a judicial
office. Inability to decide a case despite the ample time prescribed is
inexcusable, constitutes gross inefficiency, and warrants administrative
sanction of the defaulting judge. [Salud v. Alumbres, (2003)]

Judicial independence:
1. Importance of judicial independence. Judicial independence is a pre-
requisite to the Rule of Law and the fundamental guarantee of fair trial.
2. Duty of a judge relative to the judicial independence. A judge shall,
therefore, uphold and exemplify judicial independence in both its
individual and institution aspects.
3. Exercise of independence, in general. Judges shall exercise the judicial
function independently on the basis of their assessment of the facts and
in accordance with a conscientious understanding of the law, free of any
extraneous influence, induce, pressure threat or interference, direct or
indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.
4. Not to allow public opinion to impair his independence. A disciplinary
penalty was imposed against a judge who issued a warrant of arrest and
fixed the bail of the accused without first conducting a hearing. The
judge acted under the pressure of a rally staged by the complainant and
sympathizers. The Supreme Court ruled that the pressure of a rally
demanding the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the accused is
not a sufficient excuse for the unjustified haste in respondent judges
act of fixing the bail without hearing. (Libarios v. Dabalos, 6 A.M. No.
RTJ-89-286, July 11, 1991, 199 SCRA 48).
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1979 Bar:
A presiding Judge in branch XX of the Regional Trial Court of Manila is
in the habit of calling his Brach Clerk of Court to find out before ascending the
rostrum if there is any Congressman or Senator present in his sala. And if
there is, he makes it a point to invite first the Congressman or Senator to his
Chamber for a chat. After he is through, he then ascends the rostrum and
then opens the session. Has the Judge violated the New Code of Judicial
Conduct in his actuations?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The behavior and conduct of judge under the premises has not
reaffirmed the peoples faith in the integrity of the judiciary thereby
violating the New Code of Judicial Conduct.
By inviting the legislator to his chamber for a chat, the judge has
appeared a reasonable observer that he has inappropriate
connections with and influence by the legislative branch of the
government (NCJC, Canon 1, sec. 5). Likewise, he has permitted the
legislator to convey the impression that he is in a special position to
influence the judge. So also, in giving special attention to the
legislator, he conveyed the impression that anyone is in a special
position improperly to influence him in the performance of judicial
duties. (NCJC, Canon 4, sec.8)
Granting arguendo that his act of entertaining the legislator in
his chamber is not improper, it certainly creates the appearance of
impropriety. Finally, the actuations of the judge has not ensured that
his conduct has maintained and enhanced the confidence of the
public, the legal profession and litigants in the impartiality of the
judge and the judiciary. (NCJC, Canon 3, sec. 2)

Canon 1, sec. 5 - Judges shall not only be free from inappropriate


connections with, and influence by, the executive and legislative
branches of the government, but must also appear to be free
therefrom to a reasonable observer.
Canon 4, sec 8 Judges shall not use or lend the prestige of judicial
office to 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 of judicial duties.
Canon 3, sec.2 Judges shall ensure that his or her conduct, both in
and out of court, maintains and enhances the confidence of the public,
the legal profession and litigants in the impartiality of the judge and
the judiciary.
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2007 Bar:
During the hearing of an election protest filed by his brother, judge E sat in
the area reserved for the public, not beside his brothers lawyer. Judge Es
brother won the election protest. Y, the defeated candidate for mayor, filed
an administrative case against Judge E for employing influence and pressure
on the judge who heard and decide the election protest.
Judge E explained that the main reasons why he was there in the courtroom
were he wanted to observe how election protest are conducted as he has never
conducted one and he wanted to give moral support to his brother.
Did Judge E commit an act of impropriety as a member of the judiciary?
Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes. Judge E committed an act of impropriety in
appearing in another court at the hearing of his brothers election
protest.
Judges shall refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of
the litigation or dispute pending before another court or
administrative agency (NCJC, Canon 1, sec 3). Furthermore, judges
shall ensure that not only is their conduct above reproach, but that it
is perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable observer. Finally,
Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in
all of their activities (Canon 4 sec.1).
As a member of the bench, he should realize that his presence, opinion
and participation in any proceeding could slant the evaluation and
resolution of the case in favor of the party he identifies himself with.
A judge need not utter word for his sheer presence as a member of
the judiciary would be sufficient suggestion of persuasion and
influence. (Garcia, et al. v. Valdez, Vidal v. Dojillo Jr. 463 SCRA 264)
Even if Judge E had no intention of influencing the court, there
is an impression of impropriety in being present during the court
hearing of his brothers case.
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2013 Bar:
In an action to prevent the condominium developer from building beyond ten
(10) floors, Judge Cerdo rendered judgment in favor of the defendant
developer. The judgment became final after the plaintiffs failed to appeal on
time. Judge Cerdo and Atty. Cocodrilo, counsel for the developer, thereafter
separately purchased a condominium unit each from the developer.
Did Judge Cerdo and Atty. Cocodrilo commit any act of impropriety or
violate any law for which they should be held liable or sanctioned?

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Judge Cerdo and Atty. Cocodrilo did not commit
any act of impropriety nor did they violate any law.
There is no showing on the problem that they purchased their
respective units for less than full and adequate consideration.
Furthermore, the condominium unit is not property in litigation
because the case decided by Judge Cerdo and defended by Atty.
Cocodilo has nothing to do with the ownership of said property. Thus,
the property is not among those prohibited under the Civil Code to be
acquired by judges and lawyers to acquire.
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2014 Bar:
Judge A has an illicit relationship with B, his Branch Clerk of Court. C,
the wife of Judge A, discovered the illicit affair and consulted a lawyer
to vindicate her violated marital rights. If you were that lawyer, what
would you advice C, and if she agrees and asks you to proceed to take
action, what is the legal procedure that you should follow? Discuss fully.
(4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
File a case of immorality against Judge A and the clerk of court
for violation or Rule 1.01, CPR; impropriety under Canon 4 of the New
Code of Judicial Conduct against Judge A; and invoke the automatic
conversion of the administrative case against Judge A and the clerk
of court as members of the bar under A.M. No. 02-9-02-SC, with the
Office of the Court Administrator. Complaint for disbarment against
Judge A and the clerk of court may also be filed. (This is without
prejudice to the filing of criminal and civil cases).

Canon 4 Propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to


the performance of all activities of a judge.
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful conduct.
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2014 Bar:
Justice B of the Court of Appeals (CA) was a former Regional Trial Court
(RTC) Judge. A case which he heard as a trial judge was raffled off to
him. The appellant sought his disqualification from the case but he
refused on the ground that he was not the judge who decided the case
as he was already promoted to the appellate court before he could
decide the case. Was the refusal of Justice B to recuse from the case
proper? Explain your answer. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Justice B's refusal to recuse is not proper. After hearing the
evidence during the trial when he was still a judge, he has personal
knowledge of the disputed evidentiary facts concerning the
proceedings. The standard under the New Code of Judicial Conduct on
the inability of Justice B to decide the matter impartially is not in him
but the appearance of the disqualification of Justice D to a reasonable
observer that he is unable to decide the matter impartially. The
conduct of a judge/justice should not only be above reproach but it
should be also perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable observer
(Canon 2, Integrity, New Code of Judicial Conduct).

Canon 2 Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the


judicial office but also to the personal demeanor of judges.

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2014 Bar:
After the pre-trial of a civil case for replevin, Judge D advised Bs counsel to
settle the case because according to Judge D, his initial assessment of the
case shows that Bs evidence is weak. (4%)

(a) Did Judge D commit an act of impropriety? Explain


(b) What remedy or remedies may be taken by Bs lawyer
against Judge D? Discuss Fully.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(A) Yes, Judge D violated Canon 3, Impartiality, New Code of
Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary. He should not make
any comment that might reasonably be expected the effect the
outcome of the proceedings or impair the manifest fairness of the
process.
(B) B's lawyer can file a motion for the disqualification of the
judge under Canon 3 for bias or prejudice based on the appearance of
the comment to a reasonable observer. A pre-trial is not yet the
complete and exhaustive presentation of evidence of the parties.
Canon 3 Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the
judicial office. It applies not only to the decision itself but also to the
process by which the decision is made.
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2014 Bar:
A judge who insults counsel and shouts invectives at a litigant is guilty
of:
The judge is guilty of serious misconduct. Under Canon 4, New
Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, a judge shall
avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his
activities. In the problem, the judge (in his capacity as such) insults
a counsel and shouts invectives at a litigant (not as individuals).
Canon 4 Propriety and the appearance of impropriety are essential
to the performance of all activities of a judge.
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2014 Bar:
Judge A accepted a gift consisting of assorted canned goods other
grocery items from his compadre whose friend has a pending case with
him. He accepted the gift just so as not to embarrass his compadre.
When his compadre left his chambers, he asked his secretary to donate
the gift he received to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Did the judge
cross the ethical line? Explain your answer. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Judge A crossed the ethical line. He violated the canon of
Propriety. As a subject of public scrutiny, judges must accept personal
restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by ordinary citizens
and should do so freely and voluntarily. (Section1, Canon 4, New Code
of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary).

Canon 4, sec. 1 Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance


of impropriety in all the activities of a judge.
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2014 Bar:
Atty. D was required by Judge H of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Manila to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of
court for shouting invectives at the opposing counsel and harassing his
witness. Assuming that there was sufficient cause or ground, may Judge
H suspend Atty. D from the practice of law? If Judge H finds that the
actuations of Atty. D are grossly unethical and unbecoming of a member
of the bar, may Judge H disbar Atty. D instead? Explain your answer.
(5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Judge H can suspend Atty. D for gross misconduct under
Sections 27 and 28, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Judge H, however,
cannot disbar Atty. D because it is only the Supreme Court who can
impose such penalty in accordance with its authority under Section
27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and the authority of the Supreme
Court to discipline lawyers under the 1987 Constitution.

Rule 138, sec. 27 A member of the bar may be disbarred or


suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any
deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly
immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving
moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required
to take before admission to practice, or for a wilful disobedience of
any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or wilfully
appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to
do. 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. 28 The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance


may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named
in the last preceding section, and after such suspension, such attorney
shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme
Court in the premises.

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Integrity
Importance of Integrity
Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the judicial
office, but also to the personal demeanor of judges.
The Supreme Court has time and again stressed that the members of
the judiciary should display not only to the highest integrity but must at all
times conduct themselves in such manner as to be beyond reproach and
suspicion. (Cabrera v. Pajares, 142 SCRA 135).

1999 Bar:
X, a Municipal Trial Court judge, received the amount of One Thousand
Pesos (1,000.00) in cash from the accused charged with slight physical injuries
in his court, whereupon he was released from custody. After dismissal of the
case against him, the accused sought to withdraw the amount he had
deposited as bail. It was not at once returned to the accused because
according to the Judge, it was stolen from the drawer of his table where he
kept it after receipt. Nonetheless, the amount was returned to the accused.
Is the judge guilty of misconduct for which he may be disciplined?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes. The Judge is guilty of misconduct and may be disciplined.
Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the judicial
office but also to the personal demeanor of judges. The judges
conduct shall ensure that not only is their conduct above reproach,
but that it is perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable observer.
The behavior and conduct of judges must reaffirm the peoples faith
in the integrity of the judiciary. By keeping the money in his drawer
instead of depositing it with the municipal treasurer as required by
law coupled with judges failure to return it at once after the acquittal
of the accused creates the suspicion that he intends or has
misappropriated the money.
Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in
all of their activities (NCJC, Sec. 1)
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Impartiality:
Importance of Impartiality. Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of
the judicial office. It applies not only to the decision itself, but also to the
process by which the decision is made.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1997 Bar:
As the guest speaker in a Rotary Club weekly luncheon meeting, Judge
P was asked during the open forum what might his personal opinion be on
PIRMAs move to initiate a peoples initiative to amend the constitution. He
expressed the view that PIRMAs crusade should be allowed because it would
be in consonance with the declaration in the Constitution that sovereignty
resides in the people and all government authority emanates from the. He
likewise enjoined the members to support PIRMA. An administrative complaint
was filed against him by a club member, a staunch oppositor to the PIRMA
petition before the COMELEC, alleging that the judges public statement had
constituted conduct unbecoming a judge. Judge Ps answer to the complaint
was that membership in the judiciary did not deprive him of his right to free
speech, that he was entitled to express his views even his political issues, and
that any issue regarding resolution on PIRMA was outside the jurisdiction of
Regional Trial Courts. Was there a breach of the Code of Judicial Conduct by
judge P?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, there is a breach.
Judges, like any other citizen, are entitled to freedom of expression,
belief, association and assembly, but in exercising such rights, they
shall always conduct themselves in such a manner as to preserve the
dignity of the judicial office and the impartiality and independence of
the judiciary. (NCJC, Canon 4, sec. 6)
Judge P would not be promoting impartiality because he is
making a comment regarding the validity of PIRMA, an issue that
might be brought before his court. In turn, his comment might
reasonably be expected to affect the outcome of preceding or impair
the manifest fairness of the process. Likewise, he is prohibited from
making any comment in public or otherwise that might affect the fair
trial of any issue. (Canon 3, sec. 4)
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2014 Bar:
Judge Clint Braso is hearing a case between Mr. Timothy and
Khristopher Company, a company where his wife used to work as one
of its Junior Executives for several years. Doubting the impartiality of
the Judge, Mr. Timothy filed a motion to inhibit Judge Clint Braso. Judge
Clint Braso refused on the ground that his wife has long resigned from
the company. Decide.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The matter of inhibition is addressed to the judicious discretion


of the judge; hence, only he can examine is his conscience if he can
answer to the call of cold neutrality.
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2014 Bar:
After the pre-trial of a civil case for replevin, Judge D advised Bs counsel
to settle the case because according to Judge D, his initial assessment
of the case shows that Bs evidence is weak. (4%)

(c) Did Judge D commit an act of impropriety? Explain


(d) What remedy or remedies may be taken by Bs lawyer
against Judge D? Discuss Fully.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(A) Yes, Judge D violated Canon 3, Impartiality, New Code of
Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary. He should not make any
comment that might reasonably be expected the effect the outcome
of the proceedings or impair the manifest fairness of the process.
(B) B's lawyer can file a motion for the disqualification of the
judge under Canon 3 for bias or prejudice based on the appearance
of the comment to a reasonable observer. A pre-trial is not yet the
complete and exhaustive presentation of evidence of the parties.
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Ignorance of the law


Judge; Gross Ignorance of the Law. Complainant filed a case against
Judge Patricio accusing him of gross ignorance of the law, manifest bias and
partiality for refusing to execute a judgment which was already final and
executory. The rule is that once a judgment attains finality, it thereby becomes
immutable and unalterable. Thus, the Supreme Court held that Judge Patricio
demonstrated ignorance of such rule by repeatedly refusing to execute the
final and executory judgment of conviction against the accused. The rules on
execution are comprehensive enough for a judge not to know how to apply
them or to be confused by any auxiliary incidents. The issuance of a writ of
execution for a final and executory judgment is ministerial. In other words, a
judge is not given the discretion whether or not to implement the judgment.
He is to effect execution without delay and supervise implementation strictly
in accordance with the judgment. Judge Patricios acts unmistakably exhibit
gross ignorance of the law. Jesus D. Carbajosa v. Judge Hannibal R. Patricio,
Presiding Judge, Municipal Circuit Trial Court, President Roxas, Capiz
Judge; Gross Misconduct. Judge Pardo was accused of corruption. Judge
Pardo did not deny that Rosendo, a litigant who had a pending application for
probation in his sala, went to his house, had a drinking spree with him and
stayed there for more than two hours. The Supreme Court held Judge Pardo
liable for gross misconduct. Citing jurisprudence, the Court held that a judges
acts of meeting with litigants outside the office premises beyond office hours
and sending a member of his staff to talk with complainant constitute gross
misconduct. Moreover, a judge was held liable for misconduct when he
entertained a litigant in his home and received benefits given by the
litigant. Atty. Jessie Tuldague and Atty. Alfredo Baldajo, Jr. v. Judge Moises
Pardo and Jaime Calpatura, etc. / Atty. Jessie Tuldague and Atty. Alfredo
Baldajo, Jr. v. Jaime Calpatura, etc. / Re: Report on the Judicial Audit and
Investigation Conducted in the RTC, Cabarroguis, Quirino