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Legal Ethics IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR DISCIPLINARY

ACTION AGAINST ATTY.


CLEMENTE M. SORIANO IN L-24114, People's Homesite and
Canon 8 Housing Corporation and
CASE DIGESTS University of the Philippines,
vs.
HON. EULOGIO MENCIAS, ELPIDIO TIBURCIO, MARCELINO
Laput vs. Remotigue TIBURCIO, ET AL.
(6 SCRA 45 September 29, 1962) G.R. No. L- 24114 June 30, 1970

Facts: Atty. Casiano U. Laput was the former counsel of


one Nieves vda. De Barrera, the administrator of the FACTS:
estate of Macario Barrera, regarding the testate of the On October 10, 1969, Clemente M. Soriano, a member of
latter. He charged respondents Atty. Remotigue and the Philippine Bar entered his appearance in the present
Atty. Patalinghug with unprofessional and unethical case (L-24114, PHHC and U.P. vs. Mencias, Tiburcio, et al.)
conduct in soliciting cases and intriguing against another as "chief counsel of record" for the respondents Marcelino
lawyer. Complainant alleges that weeks after his client Tiburcio, et al. This act in itself would have been
refused to countersign several pleadings that he innocuous were it not for the fact that it was done one
prepared, he found out that respondent Atty. year and eight months after the decision in this case
Patalinghug was the new counsel of Mrs. Barrera so he became final. Atty. Soriano asked the Court to exhume
voluntarily asked the court to be relieved as counsel for the case from the archives. Atty. Soriano's subsequent
Mrs. Barrera. After that, the other respondent Atty. explanation did not, however, serve to dissuade this
Remotigue entered his appearance. Complainant says Court from requiring him to show cause why disciplinary
that the respondents nursed the desire of his former client action should not be taken against him for entering an
to replace him and also made Mrs. Barrera sign appearance at such a late date. He alleged that
documents sent to corporations which have stocks sometime during the first week of October 1969, the
owned by Macario Barrera revoking his power of respondent Marcelino Tiburcio, in his own behalf and as
attorney. He further alleges that the motive of the attorney-in-fact of the other respondents, went to him to
respondents was to embarrass him to the officials, lawyers engage his professional services in two cases, to wit: this
and employees of those companies picturing him as a terminated case (L-24114) and the Varsity Hills case (L-
dishonest lawyer and no longer trusted by his client. 30546). Atty. Soriano allegedly relied upon the assurance
of a mutual acquaintance and representation of
Issue: WON respondents were guilty of unethical and Marcelino Tiburcio that the two cases were pending in
unprofessional conduct the Court. He then agreed to render professional services
in the two cases in consideration of a contingent fee of
Held: No, the solicitor-general found that before 143.33 hectares of land out of the 430 hectares (more or
respondents filed their appearance, Mrs. Barrera had less) involved in the two cases.
already filed with the court, a pleading discharging the
complainant. The fact that complainant was not able to
get a copy was not the fault of the respondents. Also, it ISSUE:
was found that Mrs. Barrera dismissed Atty. Laput Whether or not Atty. Soriano is guilty of negligence.
because she no longer trusted him after finding out that
some checks were sent to the complainant instead of her
and that several withdrawals were made by complainant HELD:
in her account without her permission. There is no
irregularity in the appearance of respondents as YES. Before taking over a case handled by a peer in the
counsel. The revocation of power of attorney prepared Bar, a lawyer is enjoined to obtain the conformity of the
by respondent was done without malice and was made counsel whom he would substitute. And if this cannot be
only to safeguard his client. Charges DISMISSED. had, then he should, at the very least, give notice to such
lawyer of the contemplated substitution. His entry of
appearance in the case without the consent of the first
lawyer amounts to an improper encroachment upon the
professional employment of the original counsel. Atty.
Soriano violates Rule 8.02, Canon 8 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility:
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.
We find Atty. Clemente M. Soriano guilty of gross
negligence in the performance of his duties as a lawyer
and as an officer of this Court. This inexcusable

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negligence would merit no less than his suspension from settlement; (b) she would only be incurring enormous
the practice of the law profession, were it not for his expense if she consulted a new lawyer; (c) respondent
candor, at the hearing of this incident, in owning his was assisting her anyway; (d) she had nothing to worry
mistake and the apology he made to this Court. It is the about the documents foisted upon her to sign; (e)
sense of this Court, however, that he must be as he is complainant need not come to court afterwards to save
hereby severely censured. Atty. Soriano is further likewise her time; and in any event respondent already took care
warned that any future similar act will be met with of everything;
heavier disciplinary sanction. * Complainant had been prevented from exhibiting fully
Atty. Soriano is hereby ordered, in the present case, to her case by means of fraud, deception and some other
forthwith withdraw the appearance that he has entered form of mendacity practiced on her by respondent;
as chief counsel of record for the respondents Marcelino * Finally, respondent fraudulently or without authority
Tiburcio, et al. assumed to represent complainant and connived in her
defeat;

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent is guilty of misconduct


A.C. No. 3149 August 17, 1994 under the Code of Professional Responsibility.
CERINA B. LIKONG, petitioner,
vs. HELD: The Supreme Court held that YES, the respondent
ATTY. ALEXANDER H. LIM, respondent. was guilty of MISCONDUCT under the Code of
PADILLA, J.: Professional Responsibility particularly Canon 9 which
states that “Negotiations with opposite party. A lawyer
Cerina B. Likong filed this administrative case against Atty. should not in any way communicate upon the subject of
Alexander H. Lim, seeking the latter's disbarment for controversy with a party represented by counsel; much
alleged malpractice and grave misconduct. less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the
On September 1984, complainant obtained a loan of matter with him, but should deal only with his counsel. It is
P92,100.00 from a certain Geesnell L. Yap. Complainant incumbent upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid
executed a promissory note in favor of Yap and a deed everything that may tend to mislead a party not
of assignment, assigning to Yap pension checks which represented by counsel and he should not undertake to
she regularly receives from the United States government advise him as to the law”, and Canon 1.01, 8.02 and
as a widow of a US pensioner. The aforementioned deed 15.03.
of assignment states that the same shall be irrevocable
until the loan is fully paid. Complainant likewise executed The Code of Professional Responsibility states:
a special power of attorney authorizing Yap to get,
demand, collect and receive her pension checks from Rule 1.01 — A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,
the post office at Tagbilaran City. The above documents dishonest, immoral, or deceitful conduct.
were apparently prepared and notarized by respondent
Alexander H. Lim, Yap's counsel. Rule 8.02 — A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly,
About three (3) months after the execution of the encroach upon the professional employment of another
aforementioned special power of attorney, complainant lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear
informed the Tagbilaran City post office that she was or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those
revoking the special power of attorney preventing seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel.
complainant from getting her pension checks from the
Tagbilaran City post office, As a consequence, Geesnell Rule 15.03 — A lawyer shall not represent conflicting
Yap filed a complaint for injunction with damages interests except by written consent of all concerned
against complainant. He was represented by Atty Lim the given after a full disclosure of the facts.
respondent in the case.
The violation of the aforementioned rules of professional
On July 1985, complainant and Yap filed a joint motion to conduct by respondent Atty. Alexander H. Lim, warrants
allow the latter to withdraw the pension checks, wherein the imposition upon him of the proper sanction from this
Cerina was not represented by her counsel, same with Court
Aug 1985 where a compromise agreement were entered
into by Cerina and Yap, Atty Lim wasn’t there to ACCORDINGLY, respondent Atty. Alexander H. Lim is
represent her client. hereby imposed the penalty of SUSPENSION from the
With this, petitioner filed a complaint for disbarment, practice of law for a period of ONE (1) YEAR, effective
based on the following allegations: immediately upon his receipt of this decision.
* complainant was prevented from seeking assistance, Such acts of the respondent constituting malpractice
advise and signature of any of her two (2) lawyers; no and grave misconduct cannot be left unpunished for not
copy thereof was furnished to either of them or at least to only do they erode confidence and trust in the legal
complainant herself despite the latter's pleas to be profession, they likewise prevent justice from being
furnished copies of the same. attained. Respondent was suspended from the practice
* Complainant was even advised by respondent that it of law for 1 year.
was not necessary for her to consult her lawyers under the
pretense that: (a) this could only jeopardize the

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Camacho vs. Pangulayan (PAO) at the Hall of Justice in San Jose, Antique, a
(328 SCRA 631, March 22, 2000) woman approached them. Complainant suggested Atty.
Salvani to talk with her when respondent Atty. Mariano
Facts: Atty. Manuel N. Camacho, the hired counsel of Pefianco, who was sitting nearby, stood up and shouted
some expelled students from the AMA Computer at Atty. Salvani and his client. Atty Pefianco was asked to
College, filed a complaint against the lawyers of calm down but he did not refrain from his outburst. This
Pangulayan and Associates Law Offices (Atty. caused a commotion in the office wherein respondent
Pangulayan, et al.) for having procured and effected on tried to attack complainant and even shouted at him,
separate occasions, without his knowledge, compromise "You’re stupid!" Complainant also submitted the affidavits
agreements ("Re-Admission Agreements") with four of his of Atty. Ramon Salvani III, Felizardo Del Rosario, Atty.
clients which, in effect, required them to waive all kinds of Pepin Joey Marfil, Robert Minguez, Herbert Ysulat and
claims they might have had against AMACC, the Ramon Quintayo to corroborate his allegations.
principal defendant, and to terminate all civil, criminal
and administrative proceedings filed against it. In his Comment and Counter-Complaint, respondent
Complainant averred that such an act of respondents Pefianco said that the sight of the crying woman, whose
was unbecoming of any member of the legal profession husband had been murdered, moved him and
warranting either disbarment or suspension from the prompted him to take up her defense. He also averred
practice of law. that it was Alcantara who punched him and called him
stupid.
The students, members of the Editorial Board of the school
paper, were expelled by the school as recommended by
the Student Disciplinary tribunal for publishing some
objectionable features or articles. They were found guilty ISSUE:
of using indecent language and unauthorized use of
student publication funds. Atty. Pangulayan admits that Whether or not respondent’s act violate the Code of
he only participated in the formulation and execution of Professional Responsibility.
the various Re-Admission agreements complained of and
alleges that the agreements had nothing to do with the
civil case but were purely administrative.
HELD:
Issue: WON Atty. Pagulayan act in accordance with YES. Pefianco violated Canon 8 of the Code of
ethical standards for procuring said agreements. Professional Responsibility: CANON 8 - A LAWYER SHALL
CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH COURTESY, FAIRNESS AND
Held: No, the IBP found that Atty. Pangulayan was aware CANDOR TOWARD HIS PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES, AND
that when the letters of apology and Re-Admission SHALL AVOID HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING
agreements were formalized, the complainant was COUNSEL.
already the counsel for the students in the civil
case. However, he still proceeded to negotiate with the
students and their parents without communicating the
matter to their lawyer. His failure is an inexcusable Lawyers are duty bound to uphold the dignity of the legal
violation of the canons of professional responsibility and profession. They must act honorably, fairly and candidly
an utter disregard of the duty he owes to his toward each other and otherwise conduct themselves
colleague. His defense that the agreements were purely without reproach at all times. In this case, respondent’s
administrative does not hold because the manifestation meddling in a matter in which he had no right to do so
stated that the students shall drop all civil, criminal and caused the untoward incident. Though he thought that
administrative proceedings against AMA. The IBP this is righteous, his public behaviorcan only bring down
recommended a 6-month suspension but the SC found it the legal profession in the eyes of the public and erode
too harsh and ruled only a 3-month suspension. respect for it. An injustice cannot be righted by another
injustice.

ALCANTARA v PEFIANCO
A. C. No. 5398. December 3, 2002
Atty. Mariano Pefianco is found GUILTY of violation of
Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and,
FACTS: considering this to be his first offense, is hereby FINED in
the amount of P1,000.00 and REPRIMANDED with a
This is a complaint against Atty. Mariano Pefianco for warning that similar action in the future will be sanctioned
conduct unbecoming a member of the bar for using more severely.
improper and offensive language and threatening and
attempting to assault complainant. The complainant,
Atty. Antonio A. Alcantara, is the incumbent District Public
Attorney of the Public Attorney’s Office in San Jose,
Antique. He alleged that while Atty. Ramon Salvani III was
conferring with a client in the Public Attorney’s Office
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ATTY. REYES v. ATTY. CHIONG JR. Torres had a motive to burglarize the office of UEFA to get
(A.C. No. 5148, July 1, 2003) certain documents.
Second, Torres alleges that Javier used language that
FACTS: was clearly abusive, offensive, and improper, inconsistent
with the character of an attorney as a quasi-judicial
Complainant Atty. Reyes filed a case for officer. This was with regard to Javier’s “Reply to
disbarment against respondent Atty. Chiong because of Respondents Answer/Comment” in the “attorney’s fees
the latter’s violation of Canon 8 of the Code of case” where Javier made a comment on the intellectual
Professional Responsibility dealing with the idea that capacity of Torres.
lawyers should treat each other with courtesy, dignity Third, Torres finds fault in Javier’s statement that implies
and civility. Chiong’s client did not appear upon the that it is normal for notaries public to let their relatives
court when Prosecutor Salonga issued a subpoena for sign the documents for them. Torres says that this
their preliminary investigation, the Prosecutor filed a statement is demeaning to the legal profession and the
criminal complaint for estafa against said client. After notarial service.
which Chiong made an urgent motion to quash the IBP found Javier guilty and reprimanded him.
warrant concomitant with his filing for a civil complaint
and collection for a sum of money and damages against Issue:
Atty. Reyes, Xu (the complainant’s client) and the W/n Javier should be held liable for his acts.
Prosecutor. Upon their confrontation, no settlement was
reached. Held:

Chiong argues that there was no disrespect impleading SC says only as regards the second cause of action. The
Atty. Reyes as co-defendant in Civil Case No. 4884 and court made mention that it is well entrenched in
no basis to conclude that the suit was groundless. He Philippine jurisprudence that for reasons of public policy,
argues that he impleaded the Prosecutor because the utterances made in the course of judicial proceedings,
criminal investigation had irregularities due to the action including all kinds of pleadings, petitions and motions, are
of the Prosecutor to file estafa case despite the absolutely privileged so long as they are pertinent and
pendency for his client’s motion for an opportunity to relevant to the subject inquiry, however false or malicious
submit counter affidavit and evidence. they may be.

For the first cause of action, the SC held that such


statements made by Javier were necessary in order to
ISSUE: Did respondent violate Canon 8 of the Code of resolve
Professional Responsibility? the petition for audit filed. These statements give a
possible scenario as to the reason for the burglary in the
UEFA office. As to the third cause of action, the SC gave
Javier the benefit of the doubt that he issued these
HELD: Yes, it was recommended by the IBP that
statements only in the defense of his client.
defendant’s purpose of filing for the collection suit with
damages was to be able to obtain leverage against the
As to the second (for which the SC found Javier guilty),
estafa case of his client. Clearly there was no need to
the Court ruled that the statements made regarding
implead complainant and Prosecutor Salonga because
Torres’ intellectual aptitude were not relevant to the
they never had any participation in the business
“attorney’s fees case”. The issue in the said case was
transactions between Pan and Xu, clearly it was for the
whether the 10% attorney’s fees “checked off” from the
mere harassment of the two. Chiong was suspended for
initial backwages/salaries of UEFA members is legal (I
two (2) years from the practice of law and was
don’t really understand this pero yan lang yun
implemented immediately.
nakalagay).

The SC pointed out that Canon 8 of the Code of


TORRES v JAVIER Professional Responsibility instructs that respondent’s
AC 5910 September 21, 2005 arguments in his pleadings should be gracious to both the
court and opposing counsel and be of such words as
Facts: may be properly addressed by one gentleman to
another. Javier has disobeyed such mandate and is thus
This is an administrative case filed by Atty. Ireneo Torres suspended from the practice of law for 1 month.
against Atty. Jose Javier for malpractice, gross
misconduct in office as an attorney and/or violation of
the lawyer’s oath. There were 3 causes of action
First, the allegations stem from statements/remarks
made by Javier in the pleadings he filed in a petition for
audit
of all funds of the University of the East Faculty Association
(UEFA) (Torres is the President). Javier implied that

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ATTY. DALLONG- GALICINAO V. ATTY. CASTRO Foodsphere, Inc. (complainant under the brand name
AC 6396 October 25, 2005 “CDO after a certain Alberto Cordero purportedly
bought a can of CDO Liver spread discovering a colony
FACTS: of worms in it. He filed a lawsuit and asked CDO to pay
Atty. Dallong-Galicinao is the Clerk of Court of RTC and Php150,000 on a conciliation done by BFAD but CDO
Atty. Castro was a private practitioner and VP of IBP- refused and instead offered to pay the actual medical
Nueva Vizcaya. Respondent went to complainant’s and incidental expenses of Mr. Cordero. He brought the
office to inquire whether the records of Civil Case No. 784 matter to the media where Atty Mauricio threatened
had already been remanded to the MCTC. Respondent CDO that he would publish and air in his TV and Radio
was not the counsel of either party in that case. programs the re the said issue. After a KASUNDUAN was
Complainant replied that the record had not yet made between Atty Maurcio as witness and the
been transmitted since a certified true copy of the CA Corderos of a money settlement of Php 50,000 including
decision should first be presented. To this respondent placing paid advertisements in the tabloids and television
retorted, “You mean to say, I would have to go to Manila program where Atty. Mauricio is working, respondent
to get a copy?” Complainant replied that respondent (Mauricio) still not satisfied with the offer threatened to
may show instead the copy sent to the party he proceed with the publication of the articles/columns. He
represents. Respondent then replied that complainant then made several libellous write ups and comments
should’ve notified him. Complainant explained that it is about CDO. Complainant thus filed criminal complaints
not her duty to notify the respondent of such duty. against respondent for Libel and Threatening to Publish
Angered, respondent yelled stuff in Ilocano and left the Libel under Articles 353 and 356 of the Revised Penal
office, banging the door so loud. He then returned to the Code. The complaints were pending at the time of the
office and shouted, “Ukinnam nga babai!” (“Vulva of filing of the present administrative complaint but Atty
your mother, you woman!”) Mauticio didn’t stop from making write ups and
Later, complainant filed a manifestation that she comments about the matter and questioned the integrity
won’t appear in the hearing of the case in view of the of the prosecutor’s office using coarse languages.
respondent’s public apology, and that the latter was
forgiven already. ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Mauricio has violated:
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of violating 1. Canon 11 of the Code of Professional
the Code of Professional Responsibility? Responsibility which provides: “A lawyer [s]hall [o]bserve
and [m]aintain [t]he [re]spect [d]ue [t]o [t]he [c]ourts
[a]nd [t]o [j]udicial [o]fficers [a]nd [s]hould [i]nsist [o]n
RULING: [s]imilar [c]onduct [b]y [o]thers.”
Respondent is fined the amount of 10,000 with a warning.
Respondent was not the counsel of record of Civil Case 2. Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,
No. 784. His explanation that he will enter his appearance dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
in the case when its records were already transmitted to
the MCTC is unacceptable. Not being the counsel of 3. Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public
record respondent had no right to impose his will on the statements in the media regarding a pending case
clerk of court. He violated Rule 8.02, because this was an tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.
act of encroachment. It matters not that he did so in
good faith.
His act of raising his voice and uttering vulgar 4. CANON 8 - A lawyer shall conduct himself with
invectives to the clerk of court was not only ill-mannered courtesy, fairness and candor toward his professional
but also unbecoming considering that he did these in colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against
front of the complainant’s subordinates. For these, he opposing counsel.
violated Rules 7.03 and 8.01 and Canon 8. The penalty
was tempered because respondent apologized to the 5. Rule 8.01 – A lawyer shall not, in his professional
complainant and the latter accepted it. This is not to dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
say, however, that respondent should be absolved from otherwise improper,
his actuations. People are accountable for the
consequences of the things they say and do even if they 6. CANON 7 - A Lawyer shall at all times uphold the
repent afterwards. integrity and dignity of the legal profession

RULING:
Foodsphere, Inc. vs. Atty. Melencio L. Mauricio, Jr. A.C. Yes Atty. Melanio Mauricio violated the lawyer’s oath and
No. 7199, has committed a breach of ethics of the legal profession
July 22, 2009 as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility
mentioned above and is therefore SUSPENDED from the
FACTS: practice of law for three years effective upon his receipt
This is a disbarment case against Atty. Melanio L. of this Decision. He is WARNED that a repetition of the
Mauricio, Jr., popularly known as “Batas Mauricio” by same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

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HELD:

ATTY. BARANDON, JR v. ATTY. FERRER, SR. No, there was no reason to disagree with the
(A.C. No. 5768, March 26, 2010) findings of the IBP because it can be seen that there was
an appropriate and tedious investigation set upon him for
administrative purposes and it can be inferred that the
FACTS: decision went through a rigorous process.

On January 11, 2001 Atty.Barandon filed a


complaint-affidavit with the IBP seeking the disbarment,
suspension or proper disciplinary action against Yes, because as stated in Canon 8 of the Code
Atty.Ferrer,Sr. for offenses such as the use of offensive of Professional Responsibility, all lawyers conduct
language when insinuating that the complainant themselves with courtesy, fairness and candor towards
presented a falsified document in court, filing a their fellow lawyer and more specifically in Rule 8.01 a
fabricated charge against Atty. Barandon, the usage of lawyer shall not in his professional dealings, use language
threatening phrases before the start of a hearing such as which is abusive, offensive, or otherwise improper. It was
“…patayan kung patayan, kasamaang lahat ng clearly seen in this case that there was a violation of this
pamilya.”, accusing Atty. Barandon without bothering to Canon and also Canon 7 which dealt with the proper
check the facts and lastly the plethora of cases he was conduct of a lawyer and how he should not behave in a
facing that time predominantly the one that deals with scandalous manner that would discredit the legal
sexual harassment. profession, appearing drunk and having multiple cases
piled against him would be very clear that there is a
clear-cut violation of said Canon.

Atty. Ferrer filed an answer concomitant with his


motion to dismiss. In his answer contains the improbability
of the charges against him because he could have not
said those remarks without being reprimanded while the
court was in session. Also, the offended party in the
falsification case vouchsafed that her thumbmark in the
document has been falsified and other conflicting stories
against what Atty. Barandon filed.

While there was this constant clash between the


complainant and the respondent on December 29, 2000,
Atty. Barandon boarded a taxi that was owned by
defendant’s son and it was involved in an accident, the
incident was shady because no help was given to the
victims and that respondent denied knowing the driver of
said taxi. Atty. Ferrer also prevented an eyewitness from
reporting the accident to the proper authorities.

On October 10, 2001 the IBP investigation


commissioner recommended the suspension of
respondent for two (2) years because they have found
enough evidence to prove his violation of Canon 8.01
and 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. On
June 29, 2002 the IBP board of governors accepted the
recommendations of the investigation commissioner with
the reduction of one (1) year from the suspension.

ISSUES:

1. Did the IBP err in finding Atty. Ferrer guilty of the charges
set against him?
2. In the affirmative, was the penalty imposed on him
justified?