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VIII. NATURE & CREATION OF ATTY-CLIENT DAROY VS.

LEGASPI
RELATIONSHIP
Facts:
REGALA VS SANDIGANBAYAN
♦ Fermina Daroy, Lydia Legaspi and Agripino Legaspi
FACTS: hired the RamonLegaspi in May, 1962 to represent them in
the intestate proceeding for thesettlement of the estate of the
Raul ROco and his colleagues from the ACCRA Law Office spouses Aquilino Gonzaga and Paz Velez-Gonzaga. The
were charged together with Eduardo Cojuangco for complainants, together with their brother, Vivencio, who
acquiring ill-gotten wealth. The PCGG based its charge wasabroad, were adjudged as one of the six groups of heirs
from the refusal of the law firm to divulge informations as of the lateGonzaga spouses, their deceased mother,
to who had been involved in PCGG Case No. 0033, despite Consuelo Gonzaga-Legaspi,being a daughter of the spouses.
the nature of the services performed by AACRA (e.g. The
law firm knows the assets, personal transactions, & business ♦ April 11, 1969 – in a joint petition dated which Atty.
dealings of their clients). Legaspi signed ascounsel for the complainants, agreed that
the coconut land left by thedecedents would be divided into
Later, the PCGG amedned the complaint, resulting in the six equal parts, that the administrator beauthorized to sell
exclusion of ROco from the list of defendants. Such the land, and that, after payment of the obligations of
exclusion was based from the manifestation of Roco that he theestate, the net proceeds would be distributed among the
would identify the persons & stockholders involved in the six groups of heirs.
said PCGG case.
♦ The land was sold. Fermina Daroy came to know of the
The law firm petitioned for the PCGG to grant them the sale only when theAtty. Legaspi wrote a note dated
same treatment as what had been accorded to Roco. It was November 28, 1969 to her father, TeofiloLegaspi, wherein
only at this point that the PCGG answered with a “set of he stated "that the money we have deposited may
requirements and conditions for exclusion” which were: bewithdrawn on December 8, 1969 at 9:00 o'clock". Atty.
Legaspi advisedTeofilo Legaspito see him on that date so
1) disclosure of the identity of the clients that the money could bewithdrawn. Complainants were not
2) Submission of documents purporting to the able to withdraw the money.
substantiation of the lawyer-client relationship ♦ December 9, 1969 – Mrs. Daroy received a note wherein
3) Presentation of the deeds of assignments which the Atty. Legaspiinformed them that he used their money to
lawyers executed in favor of its clients, covering the solve his problems and that hewould pay the, as soon as he
shareholdings of the latter receives the proceeds of his jeep.

To bolster this set-up, the PCGG presented supposed proof ♦ Complainants made several demands for payment buy
to the effect that Roco had complied with such conditions. Atty. Legaspirepeatedly broke his promise and as such a
complaint for his disbarmentwas filed.
The 1st Division of SB denied the petition of ACCRA.
♦ Version of Legaspi:
ISSUE: W/N SB did NOT uphold the sanctity of the
lawyer-client relationship. O Teofilo Legaspi supposedly went to see him on October
21, 1969 andat their conference they supposedly agreed that
HELD: the sum of P700 wouldbe deducted from the P4,000 to
cover the expenses which hedescribed as "expenses
As a general rule, the identity of the client should not be involved from the parties litigants, expensesseeking
shrouded with mystery, as a requirement of due process, evidence and other expenses relevant to the case" and
EXCEPT when: "major expenses" in the case and that his attorney's fees
would be equivalent"to a share of the petitioners", and that
A) revealing the name of a client would implicate the latter the balance of P3,300 would bedivided into six equal parts
in the very activity for which he sought the advice of the (six because of the four Legaspi children,the father Teofilo
layer Legaspi and the lawyer Ramon C. Legaspi); thatunder such
division each participant would receive P412 each
B) The disclosure would expose the client to civil liability
(P3,300divided by six gives a quotient of P550 not P412),
C) The content of the client communication is relevant to and that he gaveTeofilo the sum of P412. No receipt was
the subject matter of the legal problem on which the client presented.
seeks legal assistance
O First week of November 1969 Teofilo got from him the
share of Vivencio. Money left with him amounted to
P2,476.
The case of the prosecution must be built upon evidence
gathered by them from their own sources, not from O According to Atty. Legaspi the complainants "refused
compelled testimony requiring them to reveal information consistently toreceive" the said balance from him because
prejudicial to their client. they wanted the fullamount of P4,000. He said that he had
already paid to them the sum of P2,000 and that only the
The confidentiality privilege extends even after the sum of P476 was left in his custody. He didnot present any
termination of the lawyer-client relationship. receipt to prove the alleged payment of P2,000. Hesaid that
he could deliver that amount of P476 to the complainants.

♦ Mrs. Daroy stated that there was no agreement that Atty.


Legaspi wouldparticipate like an heir in the partition.WON
Atty. Legaspi paid the money to Teofilo Legaspi? NONote
of Atty. Legaspi to Mrs. Daroy dated December 9, 1969,
overwhelminglybelie his fabricated theory that he conferred
with Teofilo Legaspi at the end of October or in the first
week of November, 1969. He was tempted to concoct astory
as to his alleged payments to Teofilo Legaspi because the
latter is deadand could not refute him. However, Issue: What is to become of Atty. Madianda?
complainants' documentary evidence refuteshis
prevarications, distortions and fabrications. Held: Reprimanded.

Issue: WON Atty. Legaspi is guilty of malpractice? YES The moment complainant approached the then
receptive respondent to seek legal advice, a veritable
♦ Carbon copy of a supposed extrajudicial partition lawyer-client relationship evolved between the two. Atty.
executed in 1968 by thefour children of Consuelo Gonzaga, Madianda should have kept the information secret and
by her surviving husband, TeofiloLegaspi and by the confidential, under the attorney-client privilege rule.
respondent, Atty. Legaspi, all the six being described inthe
document as "the legitimate children and sole heirs of However, the seriousness of the respondent’s offense
ConsueloGonzaga, who died on March 12. 1941". Atty. notwithstanding, the Court feels that there is room for
Legaspi is not a legitimateheir and he did not explain why compassion, absent compelling evidence that she (Atty.
he is referred to as one. The documentcasts a reflection on Madianda) acted with ill-will. It appears that she was
his competency and integrity as a lawyer and on actuated by the urge to retaliate without perhaps realizing
thecompetency and integrity of the notary before whom it that in the process of giving bent to a negative sentiment,
was acknowledged.It was made to appear herein that she was violating the rule of confidentiality.
respondent Legaspi was an heir of Consuelo Gonzaga when,
obviously, he did not possess that status.

♦ A lawyer, under his oath, pledges himself not to delay any WILLIAM S. UY vs. ATTY. FERMIN L. GONZALES
man for money or malice and is bound to conduct himself A.C. No. 5280 : March 30, 2004
with all good fidelity to his clients.He is obligated to report
promptly the money of his clients that has comeinto his FACTS:
possession. He should not commingle it with his private
property or use it for his personal purposes without his Complainant engaged the services of respondent lawyer to
client's consent. He shouldmaintain a reputation for honesty prepare and file a petition for the issuance of a new
and fidelity to private trust. certificate of title. After confiding with respondent the
circumstances surrounding the lost title and discussing the
♦ Money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a judgment fees and costs, respondent prepared, finalized and submitted
in favor of hisclients is held in trust and must be to him a petition to be filed before the Regional Trial Court.
immediately turned over to them
When the petition was about to be filed, respondent went to
♦ Section 25, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court provides that complainant’s office demanding a certain amount other than
when an attorneyunjustly retains in his hands money of his what was previously agreed upon. Respondent left his office
client after it has been demanded,he may be punished for after reasoning with him. Expecting that said petition would
contempt as an officer of the court who hasmisbehaved in be filed, he was shocked to find out later that instead of
his official transactions and he is liable to a filing the petition for the issuance of a new certificate of
criminalprosecution. title, respondent filed a letter-complaint against him with the
Office of the Provincial Prosecutor for Falsification of
♦ A member of the bar who converts the money of his client Public Documents. The letter-complaint contained facts and
to his own benefitthrough false pretenses is guilty of deceit, circumstances pertaining to the transfer certificate of title
malpractice and grossmisconduct in his office of lawyer. that was the subject matter of the petition which respondent
The attorney, who violates his oath of office, betrays the was supposed to have filed.
confidence reposed in him by a client and practicesdeceit
cannot be permitted to continue as a law practitioner. Not Respondent claims that he gave complainant a handwritten
alone hashe degraded himself but as an unfaithful lawyer he letter telling complainant that he is withdrawing the petition
has besmirched the fair name of an honorable profession he prepared and that complainant should get another lawyer
to file the petition thereby terminating the lawyer-client
♦ Sturr vs. State Bar of California: The conversion of funds relationship between him and complainant; that there was
entrusted to anattorney is a gross violation of general no longer any professional relationship between the two of
morality as well as professionaL ethics. It impairs public them when he filed the letter-complaint for falsification of
confidence in the legal profession, "It deservessevere public document; that the facts and allegations contained in
punishment" the letter-complaint for falsification were culled from public
Holding: Atty. Legaspi is disbarred. documents procured from the Office of the Register of
Deeds.

The IBP found him guilty of violating Rule 21.02, Canon 21


HADJULA V. ATTY MADIANDA of the Canons of Professional Responsibility and
recommended for his suspension for 6 months.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent violated Canon 21 of


Facts: the CPR?

Hadjula claimed that she asked legal advice from her friend, HELD:
Atty. Madianda. She disclosed confidential information
during that period. However, after the confidential No. Evidently, the facts alleged in the complaint for Estafa
information was given by Hadjula, Atty. Madianda referred Through Falsification of Public Documents filed by
her to another lawyer. respondent against complainant were obtained by
respondent due to his personal dealings with complainant.
Hadjula filed a complaint against Atty. Madianda Respondent volunteered his service to hasten the issuance of
because of this, claiming the lawyer just wanted to hear her the certificate of title of the land he has redeemed from
secrets. In answering the complaint, Atty. Madianda filed a complainant. Clearly, there was no attorney-client
counter complaint against Hadjula for falsification of public relationship between respondent and complainant. The
documents and immorality – using the disclosures as basis preparation and the proposed filing of the petition was only
for the charges. incidental to their personal transaction.
Whatever facts alleged by respondent against complainant
were not obtained by respondent in his professional capacity
but as a redemptioner of a property originally owned by his
deceased son and therefore, when respondent filed the
complaint for estafa against herein complainant, which
necessarily involved alleging facts that would constitute
estafa, respondent was not, in any way, violating Canon 21.
There is no way we can equate the filing of the
affidavit-complaint against herein complainant to a
misconduct that is wanting in moral character, in honesty,
probity and good demeanor or that renders him unworthy to
continue as an officer of the court. To hold otherwise would
be precluding any lawyer from instituting a case against
anyone to protect his personal or proprietary interests.

PETITION DISMISSED for lack of merit.