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Chapter I: Introductory appear, prosecute and defend and on whom 5.

Amicus curiae – is an experienced and impartial


peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities are attorney invited by the courts to appear and help
1.1. Preliminary devolved by law as a consequence. in the disposition of issues submitted to it.
 A person who is a member of the Philippine Bar 6. Bar – legal profession
Sources of Legal Ethics and who, by the warrant of another, practices 7. Bench – judiciary
law or who acts professionally in legal
1. Pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court and formalities, negotiations or proceedings, by 1.3. Power to Regulate practice of law
related laws authority of his client.
2. Jurisprudence  A counsel is an adviser, a person professionally The practice of law is a privilege
3. Code of Professional Responsibility engaged in the trial or management of a cause in
4. Canons of Professional Ethics court; a legal advocate managing a case at law.  The interest of the public requires that the
5. Applicable doctrines laid down by the courts function be faithfully discharged and rendered
6. Writings of legal scholars on the subject GR: Those who pass Shari’s Bar are not entitled to be only by those who are qualified, fit and honest
called attorneys and who possess good moral character.
1.2. Definitions  Only by proper regulation of the practice of law
XPN: Unless, they are admitted to the Philippine Bar will the interest of the public be adequately
Justice Manuel Moran. Legal ethics is the embodiment of safeguarded
all principles of morality and refinement that should Other terms:  The power to regulate the practice of law is
govern the conduct of every member of the bar. vested in the SC by the Constitution (Art. VIII,
1. Counsel de parte – is an attorney retained by a Sec.5(5))
Re Rothman. Legal Ethics is the living spirit of the party litigant, usually for a fee, to prosecute and  Even if there is no constitutional provision, the
profession which limits yet uplifts it as livelihood. defend his cause in court. power to regulate the practice of law is vested in
the judiciary.
Malcolm. It refers to that branch of moral science which  Implies freedom to accept or decline the case,  The legislature, in the exercise of its police
treats of the duties which an attorney owes to the court, to freedom of the client to retain or terminate power may, however, enact laws regulating the
his client, to his colleagues in the profession and to the employment. practice of law to protect the public and promote
public the public welfare.
2. Counsel de officio – is an attorney appointed by  The Constitution is silent as to whether the
Terms used to describe members of the legal profession the court to defend an indigent defendant in legislature can repeal, alter or modify the rules
criminal action or to represent a destitute party promulgated by the SC.
1. Lawyer, attorney, attorney-at-law – one skilled in a case  The legislature may not pass a law that will
in law control the SC in the performance of its function
2. Advocate – a person learned in the law and duly  Connotes little or no choice than the acceptance to decide who may enjoy the privilege of
admitted to practice, who advises a client and by the indigent party of whatever is appointed as practicing law, and any law of that kind is
pleads for him in court his counsel and, unless excused therefrom by the unconstitutional as an invalid exercise of
3. Barrister – a person entitled to practice as an court, the discharge by the designated attorney legislative power.
advocate or counsel of the duty to faithfully and conscientiously
4. Counsel – is an advocate or leader, a member of render effective legal assistance in favor of such Q: What is included in the power of the SC to regulate the
the legal profession. party. practice of law?
5. Doctor – is an attorney in the admiralty and
ecclesiastical courts 3. Attorney of record – is the attorney whose A:
6. Solicitor – is a person prosecuting or defending name, together with his address, is entered in
suits in courts of chancery. the record of a case as the designated counsel of 1. Authority to define the practice of law
the party litigant in the case and to whom 2. Prescribe the qualifications of a candidate to and
Abogado – this term means not only possession of the judicial notices relative thereto are sent. the subjects of the bar examinations
academic degree of LLB but membership in the bar 4. “Of counsel” – an experienced lawyer, who is 3. Decide who will be admitted to practice
usually a retired member of the judiciary, 4. Reinstate any disbarred member
 Refers to that class of persons who by license are employed by law firms as consultants 5. Ordain integration of the Philippine Bar
officers of the court and who are empowered to
6. Punish for contempt any person for unauthorized 3. To counsel or maintain such actions or 3. A relation to client in the highest degree
practice of law proceedings only as he believes to be honestly fiduciary
7. Exercise overall supervision of the legal debatable under the law 4. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized
profession 4. To employ such means only as are consistent by candor, fairness and unwillingness to resort to
8. Exercise any power necessary to elevate the with truth and honor, and never misled the judge current business methods of advertising and
standards of the bar and preserve its integrity or any judicial officer by an artifice or false encroachment on their practice, or dealing
statement of fact or law. directly with their clients.
1.4. Nature of office of attorney
 The duties of the lawyer may be classified into  As a profession, the practice of law may be
 A lawyer is a public officer, although he is not an those which he owes to the court, to the public, exercised only by natural persons who are
officer in the constitutional or statutory meaning to the bar and to his client. lawyers, either as solo practitioners or in
of the term partnerships with other lawyers.
 He occupies a quasi-judicial office because he is 1.7. Public vs. private and personal duties  However, a partnership is not a legal entity. It is
an officer of the court not one formed for the purpose of carrying on a
 Figuratively, he is a priest of justice. Threefold capacity in which an attorney operates: trade or business or of holding a property.
 He is subject to disciplinary authority of the  Tan v. Del Rosario. A professional law
court and to its orders and directives with 1. Faithful assistant to the courts partnership even if registered, with the SEC, is
respect to his relation to the court as well as to 2. Trusted agent to his client not even a taxpayer and any lawyer practicing
his client 3. Self-employed businessman law under a law partnership is considered a solo
practitioner who is the taxpayer and not the law
1.5. Privileges of an attorney Public duty – consists of his obligations to obey the law, partnership.
aid in the administration of justice or cooperate with it  Rule 138, Sec. 1. Prohibits a business or
1. A lawyer has the privilege and right to practice whenever justice would otherwise be imperiled commercial partnership or juridical entity to
law during good behavior before any judicial, engage in the practice of law, the reason being
quasi-judicial or administrative tribunal. Private duty – duty to represent his client that a commercial partnership or juridical entity
2. An attorney enjoys the presumption of regularity because it cannot possess not comply with the
in the discharge of his duty. Personal duty – what he owes to himself qualifications and requirements of a lawyer
 As a law partnership is a non-legal entity, it
 No counterclaim for damages can be asserted  Personal and private duties are subordinate to cannot, by itself, sue or be sued.
against him in the complaint which he files for public duty
his client. 1.9. Necessity of representation by counsel
1.8. Practice of law a profession
3. Passing the bar is equivalent to a first grade civil  If in any case, civil or criminal, a court were
service eligibility for any position in the classified  From a professional standpoint, the law arbitrary to refuse to hear a party by counsel
service in the government the duties f which profession is expressive of three ideals – employed by and appearing for him, it may not
requires knowledge of law, OR a second grade organization, learning and public service. be doubted that such a refusal would be a denial
civil service eligibility for any other government  The gaining of livelihood is not a professional but of hearing and, therefore, of due process in the
position which does not prescribe proficiency in a secondary consideration. constitutional sense.
law as a qualification.
Primary characteristics that distinguish the legal 1.10. Need for and Right to counsel
1.6. Duties of office, generally profession from business
 Reason:
1. Maintain allegiance to the Republic of the 1. A duty of public service, of which emolument is a o Ignorance of clients of laws
Philippines and support the Constitution and by-product and in which one may attain the o Personal and emotional involvement
obey the law highest eminence without making much money which may adversely affect his
2. Observe and maintain the respect due to the 2. A relation as officer of the court to the handling of the case
courts of justice and judicial officers. administration of justice involving thorough  Even lawyers, who are parties in a case, need the
sincerity, integrity and reliability guiding hand of counsel.
opened to give the client another chance to de oficio and in which his right to counsel is not
Custodial investigation is the questioning by law present his case. waivable.
enforcement officers of a suspect taken into custody or 6. In case of failure to present because of absence
otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in a significant of counsel, the accused should be given another 1.13. Canons of Professional Responsibility
way chance to present his evidence.
7. Extrajudicial confession of accused is not  In 1917, the Philippine Bar Association adopted,
 Even if the judgment has become final and admissible as evidence when insistently disavows as its own, Canon 1 to 32 of the Canons of
executor, it may still be recalled, and the accused knowledge of the lawyer who allegedly assisted Professional Ethics of the American Bar
afforded the opportunity to be heard by counsel, him in the taking of his confession in custodial Association.
where he has been denied the right to counsel investigation.  In 1946, Canon 33 to 47 of the Canons 33 to 47
during the hearing. of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the
 Where an accused was represented in the RTC by  A lawyer provided by the investigators is deemed American Bar Association.
at person who claimed to be a lawyer and was engaged by the accused where he never raised  In 1980, the Philippine Bar adopted the Code of
thereafter convicted, but it was later discovered any objection against the appointment of the Professional Responsibility and submitted it to
that his counsel was not really a lawyer, he was lawyer during the course of the investigation the SC for approval
not really a lawyer, he was entitled to have his  On June 21, 1988, the SC promulgated the Code
conviction set aside and a new trial undertaken. 8. The accused’s confession given to a prosecutor of Professional Responsibility.
 A resolution of the CA dismissing an appeal for after the information has been filed in court o 22 canons
failure to file the appellant’s brief may be violates his right to counsel and the confession is o 77 rules
recalled and the appeal reinstated, where it inadmissible. o Divided into four
appears that the “lawyer” who perfected the  The law and society
appeal and failed to file the appellant’s brief  The counsel chosen by NBI investigators for the  The lawyer and the legal
turned out to be a fake lawyer. accused was an applicant for a position in the profession
 If the incompetence, ignorance or inexperience NBI and was in fact hired thereafter is not a  The lawyer and the courts
of counsel is so great and error committed as a competent and independent counsel, so that the  The lawyer and the clients
result is so serious, the litigation may be re- statements taken by NBI were held not  The Code establishes norms of conduct and
opened to give the client another chance to admissible as evidence. ethical standards for all lawyers, including those
present his case. in the government service, to observe in their
1.12. When appearance by counsel not obligatory professional, official and private capacities.
1.11. Consequences of denial of right to counsel o Failure to observe the Code is a ground
 In Municipal Trial Court, a counsel is not for disciplinary action.
1. Evidence presented without counsel is required. He may conduct it in person or with
considered inadmissible. the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him
for that purpose
 Regardless of WON the extrajudicial confession
of an accused is true, as long as it was given GR: In the RTC and Appellate Courts, a party to a civil suit
without the assistance of counsel, it comes may either conduct his litigation personally or by attorney
inadmissible in evidence although it was a
product of the accused’s free will and violation. XPN: If a juridical person, it may appear only by attorney.

2. The judgment even if it has become final and  In administrative proceedings, the right to
executory can be recalled. counsel is not indispensable to due process.
3. If the client was represented by a fake lawyer, he  The rule that appearance by counsel is not
is entitled to a new trial obligatory applies only in civil and administrative
4. Reinstatement of appeal, in case lawyer is fake cases
5. If the incompetence, ignorance or inexperience  It does not apply in criminal cases involving grave
of counsel is so great and error committed as a and less grave offenses, where the accused must
result is so serious, the litigation may be re- be represented by counsel de parte or counsel