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Chapter VI: Nature and Creation of Attorney-  It involves mutual trust and confidence of  Only a proper sense of personal

Client Relationship the highest degree irrespective of whether detachment will enable the
the client is a private person or a attorney to adequately serve the
A. Nature of Relation
government fiduciary. interest of his client and to keep his
6.01 Nature of client-relationship, generally professional conduct within ethical
 The relation should not be established as
 Historically, the nature of lawyer-client bounds.
the result of pressure or deception. This
relationship is premised on the Roman Law underlies, to some extent, the reason for 6.03 Relation as fiduciary and confidential
concepts of: the prohibition against advertising or  The relation of attorney and client is highly
 locatio conductio operarum solicitation of employment. fiduciary in nature.
(contract of lease of services) where  The personal character of the relation  This should, however, be reconciled with his
one person lets his services for prohibits its delegation in favor of another
compensation and another hires duties to the court of which he is an officer,
attorney without the client’s consent. What to the bar of which he is a member and to
them without reference to the may not be delegated, as a rule, is the
object which the services are to be the public of which he is very much a part.
relationship itself.
performed, and  Deviation from such limits may invite the
 The relationship terminates upon
 mandato (contract of agency) exercise of disciplinary power by the court.
the death of either the client or the
whereby a friend on whom reliance attorney. 6.04 Rules protective of relation:
could be placed makes a contract in
 Accordingly the personal  An attorney:
his name but gives up all that he
graned by the contract to the representative of the deceased  Is to exert his best effort and
person who requested him. attorney has no right to assign learning in the protection of the
pending cases to counsel of his interest of his client;
 In modern day understanding of the lawyer- choice as the matter is for the client
client relationship, an attorney is more than to decide.  Is to promptly account for any fund
a mere agent or servant because he or property entrusted by or
possesses special powers of trust and  A client can terminate the received for this client;
confidence reposed on him by his client. relationship at any time with or
without cause.  Is not to purchase of acquire any
 An attorney is also as independent as a property or interest of his client in
 An attorney, however, enjoys no litigation
judge, with powers entirely different from
similar right as he is, above all, an
and superior to those of an ordinary agent.  Is to forever keep inviolate his
officer of the court, and he may be
Moreover, he is an officer of the court. client’s secrets or confidence and
permitted to withdraw from the
 The relation of attorney and client is strictly case only with the consent of the not to abuse them; and
personal and highly confidential and client or that of the court.  Is not to represent a party whose
fiduciary. interest is adverse to that of his
 The personal relation between attorney and
6.02 Relation as strictly personal client does not require that an attorney client even after the termination of
adopt, and he should not so adopt, as his the relation.
 The attorney-client relationship is strictly
personal. own the troubles of his client.
 The Supreme Court requires strict services contemplated. It is apart  Documentary formalism is not an essential
obedience to those rules and subjects an from what the client has agreed to element in the employment of an attorney.
attorney to discipline and administrative pay for the services which he has
 The contract may be express or implied.
liability for inexcusable breach thereof. retained him to perform.
In Hadjula v Madianda quoting Burbe v
B. Retainer or Employment 2 Concepts of Lawyer’s Fee
Magulta:
6.05 Concept of term “retainer” 1. ORDINARY - attorney’s fees are the
 A lawyer-client relationship was established
reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer
 The relation of attorney and client begins form the very first moment asked
by his client for legal services rendered.
from the time an attorney is retained. respondent for legal advice regarding the
2. EXTRAORDINARY - attorney’s fees represent former’s business. To constitute
2 Concepts of RETAINER:
an indemnity for damages ordered by the professional employment, it is not essential
1. It may refer to the act of client by which he court to be paid by the losing party in a that the client employed the attorney
engages the services of an attorney to litigation based on what the law provides; it professionally on any previous occasion.
render legal advice, or to defend or is payable to the client not to the lawyer,
prosecute his cause in court. It is either: unless there is an agreement to the  It is not necessary that any retainer be paid,
contrary. promised, or charged; neither is it material
 GENERAL retainer is one the that the attorney consulted did not
purpose of which is to secure 6.06 Necessity of retainer afterward handle the case for which his
beforehand the services of an service had been sought.
 There must be a contract of employment,
attorney for any legal problem that
may afterward arise.
express or implied, between an attorney  If a person, in respect to business affairs or
and the party he purports to represent or troubles of any kind, consults a lawyer with
 SPECIAL retainer has reference to a the latter’s authorized agent. a view to obtaining professional advice or
particular case or service. assistance, and the attorney voluntarily
 Appearing as an attorney to a case without
2. It may also refer to the fee which a client authority is punishable for contempt. permits or acquiesces with the consultation,
pays to an attorney when the latter is then the professional employment is
retained, known as retaining fee.  Neither the litigant whom he purports to established.
represent nor the adverse party may be
 A retaining fee is a preliminary fee bound or affected by his appearance 6.08 Employment of law firm
paid to insure and secure his future UNLESS:  When a client employs the services of a law
services, to remunerate him for firm, he does not employ the services of the
being deprived, by being retained  The purported client ratifies or
lawyer who is assigned to personally handle
by one party, of the opportunity of  The client is estopped to deny his the case; rather he employs the entire law
rendering services to the other assumed authority firm. In the event the counsel appearing for
party and of receiving pay from the client resigns or dies, the firm is bound
6.07 Sufficiency of professional employment
him. to provide a replacement > does not
 The absence of a written contract will not extinguish the lawyer-client relationship.
 The payment of such fee, in the
preclude a finding that there is a
absence of an agreement to the  The responsibility to continue
professional relationship.
contrary, is neither made nor representation and file required pleadings
received in consideration of the devolves upon the remaining lawyers of the
firm, until they have withdrawn from the corporate officers either expressly or  It is the duty of an attorney to decline
case, and negligence of the latter binds the impliedly. employment in cases representing conflict
client. of interests.
 A single stockholder may in a proper case
6.09 Who can employ attorney institute a derivative suit on behalf of a  A lawyer should not accept employment as
corporation and employ an attorney for an advocate in any matter in which he had
 Generally, any person who has the legal
that purpose. intervened while in the government service
capacity contract. Thus, a person suffering
from some legal capacity to contract cannot C. Ethical Norms and Considerations (Rule 6.03).
retain a lawyer to appear for him in court.
6.10 Generally  A lawyer should not accept employment,
 Only a general guardian or guardian ad the nature of which might easily be used as
 A lawyer cannot just accept any case nor a means of advertising his professional
litem has the authority to employ an
can he employ business methods to solicit services or his skill.
attorney to represent a minor or
professional employment or to advertise his
incompetent.
talent and skill to attract prospective  While there are no statutory restriction for
 An agent authorized by his principal to deal clients. a lawyer to be an advocate and a witness
with the latter’s property or interest to for a client in a case, the canons of the
 He should observe the restrictions and profession forbid him from acting in that
protect or preserve such property or
ethical norms that make the law a double capacity as he will find it difficult to
interest.
profession and not a commercial venture. disassociate his relation to the client as a
 An executor or administrator or trustee 6.11 Lawyer shall ascertain possible conflict of lawyer and his relation to the litigant as a
may retain an attorney to act as counsel for interests witness.
the estate or beneficiary.
Rule 15.01: A lawyer, in conferring with a GR: A lawyer shall not, as a rule, refuse his
 A wife in any of the instances where she prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as services to the needy.
may prosecute or defend an action without practicable whether the matter would involve a XPN: He may refuse to accept representation of
the necessity of joining her husband as a conflict with another client or his own interest, an indigent client if he is not in a position to
party litigant has the authority to engage and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective carry it out effectively or competently or he
the services of counsel even without her client. labors under conflict of interest between him
husband’s consent. BUT she cannot bind
 The disclosure of circumstances of an and the prospective client or between a present
the conjugal partnership for the payment of
attorney’s relations to the parties and client and the prospective client (Rule 14.03)
her lawyer’s fees without the husband’s
authority EXCEPT in a suit between her and any interest in with the controversy is 6.13 A lawyer shall preserve the secrets of a
her husband which she is compelled to more for the protection of the lawyer prospective client
institute or resist to protect her rights. than that of the client so the new client
will have no reason to suspect, in case Rule 15.02: A lawyer shall be bound by the rule
 As a rule, only the board of directors of a of an unfavorable judgment, that the
on privileged communication in respect of
corporation has the authority to employ an circumstance prevented him from the matters disclosed to him by a prospective client.
attorney to sue or defend an action for the full discharge of his duty.  Even if the such prospective client does
corporation. HOWEVER, the Board may not thereafter retain the lawyer or the
delegate the power to employ an attorney 6.12 Duty to decline employment
latter declines the employment.
for the corporation in favor of any one of its
6.14 Ethical considerations in taking a bad case
CRIMINAL ACTION: It is the right of the lawyer 6.15 Lawyer as advocate, generally agreement between them but also by
to undertake the defense of a person accused appointment of an attorney as counsel de
 Except a public prosecutor who cannot
of crime, regardless of his personal opinion as oficio for a poor or indigent litigant.
choose to cases to prosecute, a private
to the guilt of the accused.
practitioner, as a general rule, is not  A court may assign a lawyer to render
CIVIL ACTION: The rules and ethics of the obligated to act as counsel for any person professional aid, free of charge, to any party
profession enjoin a lawyer from taking a bad who may wish to become his client. He has in a case if upon investigation it appears
case. a right to decline employment. that the party is destitute and unable to
employ a lawyer and that the services of
 The attorney’s signature in every pleading XPN: Canon 14, Rule 14.01 – 14.04
counsel are necessary to secure the ends of
constitutes a certificate by him that there is
 Canon 14 underscore the duty of a lawyer justice and to protect the rights of the
good cause to support it and that it is not
to accept employment insofar as the needy party.
interposed for delay, and a willful violation
and the poor are concerned, refusal to
of such rule shall subject him to disciplinary  An appellant who is not confined in prison
accept being made the exception.
action. may, upon request, be assigned a counsel
Reason: The poor and the needy are the de oficio within 10 days from receipt of the
 It is the attorney’s duty to “counsel or
persons who, when in trouble, need most notice to file brief and he establishes his
maintain such actions or proceedings only
the services of a lawyer but hesitate to right thereto.
as appear to him to be just and such
secure such services because they cannot
defenses only as he believes to be honestly
afford to pay counsel’s fees or fear they will  The court MAY NOT assign a counsel de
debatable under the law (Rule 138, Sec oficio to defend an accused and require
be refused for their inability to compensate
20c). such counsel to proceed with the trial when
the lawyer.
the accused has previously manifested his
 He “is not to encourage either the 6.16 A lawyer shall not decline to represent desire to secure the services of counsel de
commencement or the continuance of an unpopular clients parte.
action or proceeding, or delay any man’s
cause, for any corrupt motive or interest”  Rule 14.01 makes it a lawyer’s duty not to 6.18 Frequent appointment of same counsel
(Rule 138, Sec 20g). decline to represent the accused regardless discouraged
of his opinion as to his guilt. (Because the
 He must decline to conduct a civil cause or law presumes him innocent and he is
 REASON: The overburdened counsel may
to make a defense when convinced that it is have too little time to spare for his de oficio
entitled to acquittal unless his guilt is
intended merely to harass or injure the cases, or he may be inordinately eager to
proved beyond reasonable doubt.)
opposite party or to work oppression or finish such cases to be able to collect his
wrong. Rule 14.01: A lawyer shall not decline to fees within the earliest possible time.
represent a person solely on account of the
 He will invite the exercise of disciplinary latter’s race, sex, creed or status of life, or
6.19 A lawyer may refuse to represent indigent
power by the court if he were to take a on valid grounds
because of his own opinion regarding the guild
different course of action that will cause of said person. GR:
undue delay in the disposition of
unmeritorious cases or the clogging of the 6.17 A lawyer shall not decline appointment by  Rule 14.01
docket of defenseless suits. the court or by IBP
 Rule 14.02: A lawyer shall not decline,
D. Lawyer May Not Refuse His Services  The relation of attorney and client may be except for serious and sufficient cause, an
created not only by the voluntary appointment as counsel de oficio or as
amicus curiae or a request form the extent of the lawyer’s devotion to his
Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any of client’s cause.
its chapter for rendition of free legal aid.
 The fact that a lawyer merely volunteered
XPN: When he is relieved from the his legal services or that he was a mere
responsibility as counsel de oficio. counsel de oficio neither diminishes nor
alters the degree of professional
 A government lawyer who is called upon, as
responsibility owed to his client.
required by law, to represent the
government or any of its agencies or any
officer in his official capacity, either as
plaintiff or as defendant in a case MAY NOT
generally decline the assignment UNLESS he
is disqualified to act as counsel. Otherwise,
he may be held administratively liable
therefor as a public officer.
 The Sol Gen has the discretion in choosing
whether to prosecute or not to prosecute
or to abandon a prosecution already
started; or to take a position adverse to the
People in a criminal case or to that of a
government agency or official. BUT he
cannot just refrain from performing his duty
as lawyer of the government.
 The government office adversely affected
by the position taken by the Sol Gen, if it
still believes in the merit of its case, may
appear on its own behalf through its legal
officer or representative.
6.20 A lawyer shall observe the same standard
for all clients
Rule 14.04: A lawyer who accepts the cause of a
person unable to pay his professional fees shall
observe the same standard of conduct
governing his relations with paying clients.
 Neither the amount of attorney’s fees nor
the client’s financial ability to pay such fees
should serve as the test to determine the