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LAWYERS IN SOCIETY

WADE, "NATURE AND MEANING OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION"


This article basically states the attributes of the Learned Profession. First, that
training is necessary for admission to a learned profession. Second, that the
learned profession is characterized by an organization that sets standards for
licenses and admissions into it. Third, and most importantly, the members of the
learned profession are dedicated to a spirit of public service.

With respect to the responsibilities of a member of a learned profession to his


clients there is a relationship of trust and confidence. Also the professional
should not have interests of his own.

LEGAL
A professional seeks to improve his profession. He has the duty to engage in
research, to write articles and treatises. He must continue through self-education
and has the duty to comply with the code of ethics.

PROFESSION
To the society, a professional has the duty to influence the opinions and actions
of others. He must supply intelligent and unselfish leadership to the forming of
public opinions and determination of important issues.

REVIEWER
LUNDBERG, "THE LEGAL PROFESSION - A SOCIAL PHENOMENON"
The small body of law practitioners probably plays a much more weighty social
role than do editors, physicians and publishers. This is because the social
philosophy that is actually expressed in public policy is that of the man of law.
The fact that lawyers make public policy is not a consequence of their being our
weightiest intellects, but because of the nature of the state, which was
established by lawyers along legalistic lines.

The very existence of a legal profession presupposes a society torn by conflicts.


Social conflicts are heightened by the chicaneries lawyers describe as part of
their duties. If there were any real desire for reform in the profession, it would
probably be accomplished in short order.

A large part of social injustice exists because the legal profession has not
shouldered the responsibilities that go with the privileges it enjoys. The task
facing society is to make it possible for the constructive work that is done by
lawyers on behalf of the middle class to be extended for the benefit of the lower
Handog nina Tina, Dorothy, Salve, Ian, Dodie, Ari, Joel, Alain, class.
Naj, at ni Chek para sa mga magagandang babae at sa mga PEREZ/SAN JUAN, THE REVOLUTIONARY IMPERATIVE OF LAWYERS IN
matipunong lalaki ng B2005. Naway maka-uno tayo lahat sa THE PHILIPPINES
Historically, lawyers have been known as mere mercenaries of the monied class.
darating na eksamen J Their main concern is to enrich the landholdings and further the interest of these
people. This has been the public perception for quite some time.

There’s a need for a legal service program for social and economic
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transformation. Many forms of this type of legal service are being used today (Alternative began the study of law, he had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an
Law, Developmental Legal Aid Human Rights Lawyering, etc.) The goal of the lawyer in authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto
these legal programs is to work for his own obsolescence, that is, to empower and train the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study
the layman such that time will come when his services will no longer be needed. This prescribed therein for a bachelor’s degree in arts or sciences with any of the
empowerment of the lower class of society is the revolutionary imperative of lawyers in the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science, logic,
Philippines. English, Spanish, history and economics.”

Agabin: it’s difficult to go to far-flung and depressed areas and serve the underprivileged LAW PROPER: RULES OF COURT, RULE 138, SEC 5.
when your own family is in dire need of financial help. Of course, your first impulse is to “… No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has
do what you can to help them first, and then you focus on other social concerns satisfactorily completed the following course in a law school or university duly
recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law,
STATE REGULATION criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor and
CONST, ART VIII, SEC 5(5) social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.”
“The Supreme Court has the following powers:
(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, REYES, "OBJECTIVES OF LEGAL EDUCATION IN PRESENT-DAY
pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the PHILIPPINE SOCIETY
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules The problems concerning the legal profession, being the same, then the basic
shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, objectives of legal training do not appear to need drastic revision. Its end is still to
shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase or provide those in need of legal service with skilled and moral practitioners. If
modify, substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies change is required, it is one of emphasis. Lawyers must revise their attitudes
shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.” towards social problems:
• Concern should not be with remedial or curative practice. The bar,
CONST, ART XII SEC 14 (2) therefore, has to familiarize itself with negotiation, compromise, and
“The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save arbitration techniques.
incases prescribed by law.” • Favor "preventive" practice- the drafting of plain and unambiguous
documents that will avoid doubts and controversies.
CONST XVIII SEC 10 • Extend services to neglected areas.
“All courts existing at the time of the ratification of this Constitution shall continue to
exercise their jurisdiction until otherwise provided by law. The provisions of the existing Ultimately, education should not be mere spoon-feeding of pre-digested
Rules of Court, judiciary acts, and procedural laws no inconsistent with this Constitution information. Studies must be organized and integrated so that student may see
shall remain operative unless amended or repealed by the Supreme Court or the how each legal rule and principle connect with each other.
Congress.”
AGABIN, "TEACHING LAW AS A SOCIAL SCIENCE"
In re Cunanan Why approach law as a social science? Reason, according to the realists, was
The Supreme Court is the only constitutional body that can prescribe the admission not a reliable guide to law or moral understanding. And the case method isolates
requirements to the Philippines Bar. cases from their historical and social context and failed to take into account the
factors that caused the evolution of legal principle. If the laws of any country are
In the matter if the Integration of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines merely imported wholesale, it will not be an effective instrument for social control.
The Supreme Court, due to the powers given to it by the Constitution, has the over-all By using the tools of social science in law, this will broaden the study of law into a
administrative power over the members of the Philippine Bar. The integration of the bar can multidisciplinary phenomenon. Law will cease to exist in a vacuum; it will be
studied with insights from the social science.
serve the interests of justice better as it organizes the attorneys all around the Philippines.
Legal education must train students also as responsible citizens cognizant of the
social, economic, and political malaise gripping society. Viewing law as part of
LEGAL EDUCATION the larger social firmament enables the young lawyer to meet the pressing needs
PRE-LAW: RULES OF COURT, RULE 138, SEC 6: of his society.
“No applicant for the admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he
presents a certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he
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BERNAS, PREPARATORY BACHELOR OF ARTS AND PROFESSIONAL TRAINING one year.
First Class Lawyers should possess:
• analytic skills (how to examine problems from all angles) SEC 13: no candidate should influence any member of the committee and that
• substantive legal knowledge (be able to zoom in on a law pertinent to client’s they should not communicate with each other during the examinations. The
problem) candidate that violates this provision shall be barred form the exam and it shall
• basic working skills (write, research, draft, express) count as a failure for him. Permanent disqualification may also be given as a
sanction by the court.
• familiarity with institutional environment (maabilidad)
• awareness of total non-legal environment (kelangan marunong makipag “link-up” SEC 14: in order to pass, the candidate must have a general average of 75%
sa ibang tao from other fields) with no grade lower than 50% in any of the subjects. The weights shall be
• good judgment distributed as follows: Civil Law: 15%, Labor and Social Legislation: 10%,
Mercantile Law: 15%, Criminal Law: 10%, Political Law and International Law:
in the end, its not really the actual preparatory curriculum that matters, but how it was 15%, Taxation: 10%, Remedial Law: 20%, Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises:
used by the student . 5%

Agabin: it doesn’t really matter what your prep. Course is, basta may basic understanding SEC 15: Feb. 15 or as close to it as possible will be the deadline of the
ng social sciences, ok na. During dean’s time, 2 yr. lng undergrad nila committee to report on the examinations. The exam paraphernalia shall be
deposited with the clerk of court.

THE BAR EXAMINATIONS LABRADOR, THE BAR EXAMS AS NAN INTRUMENT OF LEGAL
RULES OF COURT, RULE 138 EDUCATION
SEC 7: applicant must file with the clerk of the Supreme Court 15 days before the The bar exam has considerable influence on legal education. In that professors
examination all the requirements in sections 2 and 3. compile past bar questions and have used these as a GUIDE their students’
preparation. While the bar exams is not a positive and exact test of future
SEC 8: the notice for applications will be published at least 10 days before the competence and capacity, it is the best the court has devised to test prospective
examination lawyers on both knowledge of the law as well as its application to sets of facts.

SEC 9: applicants shall be subjected to the following examinations: Civil Law, Labor and Agabin: some schools focus too much and have become bar-oriented. We do
Social Legislation, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public not need ‘legal encyclopedias” but lawyers who are responsive to clients needs
Corporations, and Public Officers), International Law (private and public), Taxation, in particular and society in general.
Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Evidence), Legal Ethics and Practical
Exercises (Pleading and Conveyancing) LEGAL ETHICS
SEC 10: Nothing can be brought in side the room. The same questions in English and Legal Ethics is the embodiment of all principles of morality and refinements that
Spanish shall be given to everyone. And theoretically, one can petition the Supreme Court should govern the conduct of every member of the Bar. It has been broadly
the chance to use a noiseless typewriter. Nothing that could identify the examinee shall be defined as “living spirit of the profession, which limits yet uplifts it as a livelihood.”
placed on the examination papers. It specifically refers to the branch of modern science, which treats of the duties
which an attorney owes to the court, to his client, to his colleagues in the
SEC 11: the bar examinations shall take place in Manila in the span of four days that profession and the public.
would be designated by the chairman of the committee of bar examiners. The distribution
of the exams shall be as follows: 1 st day: political law and International law (Am) and labor In June 21, 1988, the Supreme Court promulgated the Code of Professional
and social legislation in the afternoon (pm). 2nd day: civil law (am) and taxation (pm). 3rd Responsibility. The Code establishes the norms of conduct and the ethical
day: mercantile law (am) and Criminal law (pm). 4th day: remedial law (am) and legal standards for all lawyers, including those in government service.
ethics and practical exercises (pm)
The code consists of 22 Canons and 77 Rules, which is divided into four
SEC 12: bar committee shall be composed of one member of the Supreme Court chapters, namely: the Lawyer and the Society, the Lawyer and the Legal
(chairman) and 8 members of the Philippines Bar. They shall hold office for the period of Profession, the Lawyer and the Courts, and the Lawyer and the Client.
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dispensing justice and resolving disputes in society. Any act on his part which visibly
tends to obstruct, pervert, or impede and degrade the administration of justice
constitutes both professional misconduct calling for the exercise of disciplinary action
against him, and contumacious conduct warranting application of the contempt power.
CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS It is sometimes asserted that in the exercise of the power to punish for contempt or
of the disciplinary authority of the Court over members of the Bar, the Court is
acting as offended party, prosecutor and arbiter at one and the same time. Thus, in
the present case, respondent Gonzalez first sought to get some members of the Court
CANON 1: A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the to inhibit themselves in the resolution of this case for alleged bias and prejudice
laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal against him. A little later, he in effect asked the whole Court to inhibit itself from
process. passing upon the issues involved in this proceeding and to pass on responsibility for
this matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, upon the ground that the Court
The trust society has put in the legal profession requires lawyers to be in the forefront in has become incapable of judging him impartially and fairly. Respondent Gonzalez
observing and maintaining the rule of law and the preservation of its democratic misconceives the nature of the proceeding at bar as well as the function of the
institutions and liberties. members of the Court. Undeniably, the members of the Court are, to a certain
degree, aggrieved parties. But in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court
The first and foremost duty of a lawyer is to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the acts as an entity separate and distinct from the individual personalities of its
Philippines, uphold the Constitution, and obey the laws of the land. The CPR underscores members.
the primacy of this duty by making it the first canon. The power to exclude persons from the practice of law is but a necessary incident of
the power to admit persons to said practice. By constitutional precept, this power is
Bautista v. Gonzales
vested exclusively in this Court.
The very first Canon of the new Code states, "a lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the
laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal process”.
RULE 1.01: A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
Moreover, Rule 138, Sec. 3 of the Revised Rules of Court requires every lawyer to take an oath
to 44 obey the laws of the Republic of the Philippines as well as the legal orders of the duly immoral, or deceitful conduct.
constituted authorities therein." And for any violation of this oath, a lawyer may be suspended
The lawyer assumes responsibilities well beyond the basic requirements of good
or disbarred by the Supreme Court.
citizenship. He should be the exemplar for others to emulate.
All of these underscore the role of the lawyer as the vanguard of our legal system. The
transgression of any provision of law by a lawyer is a repulsive and reprehensible act, which the Unlawful conduct: act or omission against the law. Dishonest act: lying/cheating.
Court will not countenance. In the instant case, respondent, having violated Art. 1491 of the Immoral/deceitful conduct: involves moral turpitude. Anything done contrary to
Civil Code must be held accountable both to his client and to society. justice, modesty, or good morals, or to any vileness, baseness, or depravity in
the private and social duties that one owes to his fellows and society, contrary to
Zaldivar v. Gonzales accepted rule f right and duty between man and man.
Apart from the constitutional mandate to regulate admission to the practice of law, which
includes as well authority to regulate the practice itself of law, the disciplinary authority of the A lawyer who engages in any of these acts may be held administratively liable.
Supreme Court over members of the Bar is an inherent power incidental to the proper Duh.
administration of justice and essential to an orderly discharge of judicial functions.
The Supreme Court has inherent power to punish for contempt. The power is necessary for its Figueroa v. Barranco
own protection against an improper interference with the due administration of justice, it is not Barranco was prevented from taking the lawyer's oath in 1971 because of the charge
dependent upon the complaint of any of the parties litigant. of gross immorality made by complainant. He bore an illegitimate child with his
Contempt of court may be committed both by lawyers and non-lawyers, both in and out of court. sweetheart, Patricia Figueroa, who also claims that he did not fulfill his promise to
The disciplinary authority of the Court over members of the Bar is but corollary to the Court's marry her after he passes the bar examinations.
exclusive power of admission to the Bar. A lawyer is not merely a professional but also an These facts do not constitute gross immorality warranting the permanent exclusion of
officer of the court and as such, he is called upon to share in the task and responsibility of respondent from the legal profession. His engaging in premarital sexual relations with

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complainant and promises to marry suggests a doubtful moral character on his part but the grounds for suspension or disbarment of lawyers.
same does not constitute grossly immoral conduct. The Court has held that to justify suspension
or disbarment the act complained of must not only be immoral, but grossly immoral. Melendrez v. Decena
A grossly immoral act is one that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so Generally, a lawyer should not be suspended or disbarred for misconduct committed in
unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high degree. It is a willful, flagrant, or his personal or non-professional capacity. Where however, misconduct outside his
shameless act which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of respectable members of the professional dealings becomes so patent and so gross as to demonstrate moral
community. unfitness to remain in the legal profession, the Court must suspend or strike out the
lawyer's name from the Roll of Attorneys.
Ui v. Bonifacio The nature of the office of an attorney at law requires that he shall be a person of
In the case at bar, it is the claim of respondent Atty. Bonifacio that when she met Carlos Ui, good moral character. This qualification is not only a condition precedent to admission
she knew and believed him to be single. Respondent fell in love with him and they got married to the practice of law; its continued possession is also essential for remaining in the
and as a result of such marriage, she gave birth to two children. Upon her knowledge of the true practice of law, in the exercise of privileges of members of the Bar. Gross misconduct
civil status of Carlos Ui, she left him. on the part of a lawyer, although not related to the discharge of professional duties
A lawyer may be disbarred for "grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a as a member of the Bar, which puts his moral character in serious doubt, renders him
crime involving moral turpitude". A member of the bar should have moral integrity in addition to unfit to continue in the practice of law.
professional probity. In the instant case, the exploitative deception exercised by respondent attorney upon
It is difficult to state with precision and to fix an inflexible standard as to what is "grossly the complainants in his private transactions with them, and the exacting of
immoral conduct" or to specify the moral delinquency and obliquity which render a lawyer unconscionable rates of interest, considered together with the acts of professional
unworthy of continuing as a member of the bar. The rule implies that what appears to be misconduct, led the Court to the conviction that he has lost that good moral character
unconventional behavior to the straight-laced may not be the immoral conduct that warrants which is indispensable for continued membership in the Bar.
disbarment. Immoral conduct has been defined as "that conduct which is willful, flagrant, or
shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable Delos Reyes v. Aznar
members of the community." Complainant submitted to respondent's solicitation for sexual intercourse because of
For such conduct to warrant disciplinary action, the same must be "grossly immoral," that is, it respondent's moral ascendancy over her and if she would not accede, she would flunk
must be so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be in her subjects. The fact that he is a rich man and does not practice his profession as
reprehensible to a high degree. a lawyer, does not render respondent a person of good moral character. Evidence of
We have held that "a member of the Bar and officer of the court is not only required to refrain good moral character precedes admission to bar and such requirement is not
from adulterous relationships but must also so behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the dispensed with upon admission thereto. Good moral character is a continuing
public by creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards. Respondent’s act of qualification necessary to entitle one to continue in the practice of law.
immediately distancing herself from Carlos Ui upon discovering his true civil status belies just Immoral conduct has been defined as “that which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and
that alleged moral indifference and proves that she had no intention of flaunting the law and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members
the high moral standard of the legal profession. of the community”. In the present case, it was highly immoral of respondent, a
married man with children, to have taken advantage of his position as chairman of the
Vda. De Mijares v. Villaluz college of medicine in asking complainant, a student in said college, to go with him to
In this only Christian country of the Far East, society cherishes and protects the sanctity of Manila where he had carnal knowledge of her under the threat that she would flunk in
marriage and the family as a social institution. Consequently, no one can make a mockery thereof all her subjects in case she refused.
and perform a sham marriage with impunity. The defense of respondent that what was entered
into by him and complainant on January 7, 1994 was nothing but a "sham" marriage is unavailing Cordova v. Cordova
to shield or absolve him from liability for his gross misconduct, nay sacrilege. The most recent reconciliation between complainant and respondent (the Cordova
The nature of the office of an attorney at law requires that he shall be a person of good moral spouses), assuming the same to be real, does not excuse and wipe away the misconduct
character. This qualification is not only a condition precedent for admission to the practice of and immoral behavior of the respondent carried out in public, and necessarily
law; its continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law. Under Rule adversely reflecting upon him as a member of the Bar and upon the Philippine Bar
1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, itself. An applicant for admission to membership in the bar is required to show that he
immoral or deceitful conduct. The commission of grossly immoral conduct and deceit are is possessed of good moral character. That requirement is not exhausted and
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dispensed with upon admission to membership of the bar. It persists as a continuing condition employed to bring suit or collect judgment, or to breed litigation by
for membership in good standing. seeking out claims for personal injuries or any other grounds to secure
It is important to note that the lack of moral character referred to as essential is not limited them as clients
to good moral character relating to the discharge of the duties and responsibilities of an • Employing agents or runners for like purposes
attorney at law. The moral delinquency that affects the fitness of a member of the bar to • Paying direct or indirect reward to those who bring or influence the
continue as such includes conduct that outrages the generally accepted moral standards of the bringing of such cases to his office
community; conduct for instance, which makes "a mockery of the inviolable social institution or • Remunerating policemen, court or prison officials, physicians etc. who
marriage." may succeed, under the guise of disinterested friendly advice, in
influencing criminals, the sick, the ignorant, etc. to seek professional
People v. Tuanda services
The crimes of which respondent was convicted import deceit and violation of her attorney's • Searching for unknown heirs and soliciting their employment
oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility under both of which she was bound to obey the • Initiating a meeting of a club and inducing them to organize and contest
laws of the land. Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude might not (as in the instant legislation under his guidance
case, violation of BP 22 does not) relate to the exercise of the profession of a lawyer; however, • Purchasing notes to collect them by litigation at a profit
it certainly relates to and affects the good moral character of a person convicted of such • Furnishing credit reports in expectation of possible employment
offense. • Agreeing with a purchaser of future interests to invest therein in
consideration of his services
RULE 1.02: A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance
of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal profession. Purpose of prohibition: to prevent “ambulance chasing” (i.e. the solicitation of
almost ay kind of legal business by laymen employed by an attorney for his own
He should not subvert the law by counseling or assisting activities in defiance of the law; purposes).
he should not promote an organization known to be violating the law nor assist it in a
dishonest scheme; he should not allow his services to be engaged by an organization The evils of ambulance chasing:
whose members are violating the law and defend them when they get caught. • Fomenting litigation thus burdening the courts and the public
• Subornation of perjury
In re Terrell • Mulcting innocent persons by judgments upon manufactured causes of
The promoting of organizations, with knowledge of their objects, for the purpose of violating or action
evading the laws against crime constitutes such misconduct on the part of an attorney, an • Defrauding injured persons having proper causes of action but are
officer of the court, as amounts to malpractice or gross misconduct in his office, and for which ignorant of their legal rights.
he may be removed or suspended. The assisting of a client in a scheme, which the attorney
knows to be dishonest, or the conniving at a violation of law, are acts which justify disbarment. RULE 1.04: A lawyer shall encourage his client to avoid, end, or
(Though Terrell wasn’t disbarred here because he was acquitted of estafa, still his acts were settle a controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.
unprofessional. He got suspended.)
He should be a mediator rather than instigator
RULE 1.03: A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage
any suit or delay any man’s cause. Parties to an amicable settlement enjoy benefits better than those, which can be
legally secured — a litigation involves time, expense, and ill feelings which may
A lawyer owes to society and to the court the duty not to stir up litigation — this is known well be avoided by he settlement of the action!
at common law as the crime of “maintenance”.
Compromise can save client’s expenses and avoid clogging of the docket
Unprofessional acts within the prohibition:
• Volunteering advice to bring lawsuit except where ties of blood, relationship, and Castañeda v. Ago
The Court condemns the attitude of the respondents and their counsel who, far from
trust make it a duty to do so
viewing courts as sanctuaries for those who seek justice, have tried to use them to
• Hunting up defects in titles or other causes of action and informing thereof to be
subvert the very ends of justice.

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It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and vagaries
of the law, on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If he finds that his client's cause is He should refrain from even giving advice however if he labors under a conflict of
defenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather interests between him and a prospective client or a prospective client and a
than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, present client.
and temper his clients propensity to litigate. A lawyer's oath to uphold the cause of justice is
superior to his duty to his client; its primacy is indisputable. RULE 2.03: A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act
designed to primarily solicit legal business.
CANON 2: A lawyer shall make his legal services available in A lawyer should not recommend employment of himself, his partner, associate,
an efficient and convenient manner compatible with or staff member to a non-lawyer who has not sought his advice; or give anything
independence, integrity, and effectiveness of the profession. of value to secure his employment or to serve as a reward for having made a
recommendation resulting to his employment
This arose because of the necessity of representation and the right to counsel in judicial or
administrative proceedings. A lawyer who agrees with a non-lawyer to divide attorney's fees paid by clients
supplied by the non-lawyer is guilty of malpractice
It is the responsibility of the bar to provide legal services. A wide gap exists between the
need and its satisfaction because of: RULE 2.04: A lawyer shall not charge lower rates to attract
• Poverty and inability to pay business.
• Ignorance of legal services or where to find a competent, dependable lawyer, and
fear of delays and technicalities The rule prohibits competition in charging professional fees for the purpose of
attracting clients to lower rates. This does not prohibit reducing fees or not
RULE 2.01: A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of charging any at all to an indigent or someone who would have difficulty paying
the usual fee.
the defenseless/oppressed.

This stems from the lawyer’s obligation to represent the poor and oppressed in the
CANON 3: A lawyer in making known his legal services
prosecution of their claims and defense of their rights. shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective
information or statement of facts.
The court is empowered to require a lawyer to render professional services de oficio to
any party in a case, if the party is without means to employ a counsel de parte. "Tradtional dignity": Restriction originated from practices in the Inns of the Court
of England way, way back… they young men studying as barristers well are from
Ledesma v. Climaco: well-to-do families who did not have to worry about earning a living and
A lawyer reluctant to fulfill his obligation would prejudice the welfare of the accused and his traditionally looked down upon all forms of trade and competition. This became a
right to counsel. In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing without the accused being given recognized custom and tradition carried over to the US and here.
the opportunity to be heard by counsel. It is essential for the court not only to apprise the
right to attorney but to assign one de oficio for him if defendant is poor or give him reasonable The profession is primarily for public service. To allow a lawyer to advertise his
time to find one. The present Constitution provides for the right of the accused to be heard by skill is to commercialize the practice of law and lower the public confidence.
himself and counsel, and to be informed of such right.
Not all types of advertising are prohibited — only those methods which are
RULE 2.02: Even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to incompatible with the traditional dignity of a lawyer and maintenance of correct
professional standards.
render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the extent necessary
to safeguard the latter’s rights. Allowable advertising:
• Publication in reputable law list with brief biographical and informative
A lawyer may refuse to accept a case for valid reasons (e.g. not in a position to data
effectively/competently carry out the case), but he shall not refuse to advise the person • Ordinary simple professional card with name, firm, address, number and
concerned if only to the extent necessary to protect that person’s interests.
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branch of law practiced for guidance as to what is or is not proper in advertising and solicitation.
• Announcement or representation in a local legal journal, but with no reference to
special qualificzations and must not be given to non-lawyers RULE 3.02: In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading, or
• Seeking of appointment to public office that may be filled up only by a lawyer assumed name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that
• Proffer of free legal services to the indigent the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is
• Writing of legal articles — write and sell articles of general nature on legal deceased.
subjects for publication; no improper advertising, giving of legal advice to one
with whom no attorney-client relationship exists, or aiding of kaymen in The reason for allowing the use of a deceased partner's name is that all of the
unauthorized law practice partners by their joint efforts contributed to the goodwill attached to the firm
• Giving of advice on legal matters over the radio or through newspapers is name. The name of a law firm may not necessarily identify the individual
improper because it is indirect advertising and a violation of the confidentiality of members, so the continued use of the name after some members have passed
the attorney-client relationship away is not a deception.
• Engaging in business — OK as long as it is entirely apart from his functions in
the practice of law, and not inconsistent with the lawyer's duties as a member of Filipino lawyers cannot practice under a foreign law firm as the foreign firm
the Bar cannot practice in the Philippines.

In re Tagorda In re Firm Name Sycip, Salazar… (before the new rule)


The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially Petitioners cited Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar
with his brother lawyers, is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional Association" in support of their petitions. It is true that Canon 33 does not consider
capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced, but must be the outcome of character and as unethical the continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner in the
conduct. firm name of a law partnership when such a practice is permissible by local custom but
The publication or circulation of ordinary simple business cards, being a matter of personal the Canon warns that care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced
taste or local custom, and sometimes of convenience, is not per se improper. But solicitation of through this use.
business by circulars or advertisements, or by personal communications or interview not The possibility of deception upon the public, real or consequential, where the name of
warranted by personal relations, is unprofessional… a deceased partner continues to be used cannot be ruled out. The familiar ring of a
It becomes the Court's duty to condemn solicitation of cases by lawyers. It lowers the distinguished name appearing in a firm title might guide a person in search of legal
standards of that profession. It works against the confidence of the community in the integrity counsel.
of the members of the bar. It results in needless litigation and in incensing to strife otherwise Petitioners argue that U.S. Courts have consistently allowed the continued use of a
peacefully inclined citizens. The solicitation of employment by an attorney is a ground for deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships. But that is so because
disbarment or suspension. it is sanctioned by custom. Not so in this jurisdiction where there is no local custom
that sanctions the practice. Custom has been defined as a rule of conduct formed by
Director of Religious Affairs v. Bayot repetition of acts, uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule, legally binding and
The advertisement posted by Bayot in the newspaper was a flagrant violation by the respondent obligatory. Courts take no judicial notice of custom. A custom must be proved as a
of the ethics of his profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the public. fact, according to the rules of evidence. Juridical custom must be differentiated
Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other things that "the practice of soliciting from social custom. The former can supplement statutory law or be applied in the
cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid agents or brokers, absence of such statute. Not so with the latter.
constitutes malpractice." It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill Moreover, judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws form part of the legal
as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is a profession and not a trade. system. When the Supreme Court issued Resolutions directing lawyers to desist from
including the names of deceased partners in their firm designation, it laid down a legal
RULE 3.01: A lawyer shall not use or permit the use if any false, fraudulent, rule against which no custom or practice to the contrary, even if proven, can prevail.
Our civil law clearly ordains that a partnership is dissolved by the death of any
misleading, self-laudatory, or unfair statement or claim regarding his
partner. Customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be
qualifications or legal services.
countenanced.
Commonsense and a spirit of fairness, if legal guidelines are absent, must be relied upon

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Dacanay v. Baker and McKenzie Criminal complaints for estafa against those who assume to be attorneys. A
Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the Philippines (Sec. 1, Rule government employee forbidden to practice law may be held criminally liable. A
138, Rules of Court). As admitted by the respondents in their memorandum, Baker & McKenzie civil service officer/employee who did not have permission from the department
is a professional partnership organized in 1949 in Chicago, Illinois with members and associates head may be held administratively liable
in 30 cities around the world. Respondents, aside from being members of the Philippine bar,
practising under the firm name of Guerrero & Torres, are members or associates of Baker & CANON 4: A lawyer shall participate in development of
Mckenzie. the legal system by initiating or supporting efforts in law
As pointed out by the Solicitor General, respondents' use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie
reform and in the improvement of the administration of
constitutes a representation that being associated with the firm they could "render legal
services of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises and others engaged in justice.
foreign trade and investment". This is unethical because Baker & McKenzie is not authorized to
Not a strict duty, but a duty nevertheless. A lawyer must not be confined by
practise law here.
technical legal questions but instead grow in knowledge and competence to
make the law socially responsive.
RULE 3.03: Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from
the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law
allows him to practice law concurrently.
CANON 5: A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal
developments, participate in continuing legal education
Reason for disqualification: a public office is a public trust. Conflicts of interest must be programs, support efforts to achieve highest standards
avoided to preserve the public trust in the public office. in law schools as well as in the practical training of law
Absolutely prohibited from engaging in private practice or giving professional advice to students and assist in disseminating information
clients as members of the bar: judges; other officers and employees of the courts, Solicitor regarding law and jurisprudence.
General, and other government prosecution offices; the President; the Vice-President;
members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants; constitutional commission Counsel and judges must keep abreast of the latest decisions and precedents, to
members; civil service officers/employees required to devote their entire time to the effectively discharge their duties and avoid mistakes.
government; governors, city and municipal mayors
The three-fold obligation of lawyers entering practice:
Prohibited only from appearing (arguing a case, filing of motions, please and answers) as • Continue improving legal knowledge
counsel before any court and other bodies: members of the Legislature, members of • Maintain high standards of legal obligation
sanggunian
• Make law part of the social consciousness of the lay public
Civil officers/employees who are not required to have their time completely at the disposal
In re IBP
of the government may be allowed to practice law with written permit from their
The purposes of an integrated Bar, in general, are:
department head
(5)Provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading,
But government officials who are prohibited by express mandate of law may not practice practice and procedure, and the relations of the Bar to the Bench and to the public,
law even with the department head's consent, but may be allowed in isolated cases where and publish information relating thereto;
he is to act as counsel for a relative or close family friend (6)Encourage and foster legal education;
(7)Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law,
A person who haws been duly admitted to the bar and is in good and regular standing is and make reports and recommendations thereon; and
entitled to practice law. Disbarred or suspended attorneys are prohibited from practice (8)Enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility effectively.
until readmission Bar integration is not unfair to lawyers already practicing because although the
requirement to pay annual dues is a new regulation, it will give the members of the Bar
Legal rememdies to suppress unauthorized law practice: Petitions for injunction, a new system which they hitherto have not had and through which, by proper work,
declaratory relief, contempt of court, disqualification, complaints for disbarment
they will receive benefits they have not heretofore enjoyed, and discharge their

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public responsibilities in a more effective manner than they have been able to do in the past. Collantes v. Renomeron
In many other jurisdictions, notably in England, Canada and the United States, Bar integration The issue in this disbarment proceeding is whether the respondent register of deeds,
has yielded the following benefits: (1) improved discipline among the members of the Bar; (2) as a lawyer, may also be disciplined by this Court for his malfeasances as a public
greater influence and ascendancy of the Bar; (3) better and more meaningful participation of official. The answer is yes, for his misconduct as a public official also constituted a
the individual lawyer in the activities of the Integrated Bar; (4) greater Bar facilities and violation of his oath as a lawyer. The lawyer's oath imposes upon every lawyer the
services; (5) elimination of unauthorized practice; (6) avoidance of costly membership duty to delay no man for money or malice. The lawyer's oath is a source of his
campaigns; (7) establishment of an official status for the Bar; (8) more cohesive profession; and obligations and its violation is a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other
(9) better and more effective discharge by the Bar of its obligations and responsibilities to its disciplinary action
members, to the courts, and to the public. The Code of Professional Responsibility applies to lawyers in government service in the
Evils prophesied by opponents of Bar integration have failed to materialize in over fifty years discharge of their official tasks (Canon 6). The acts of dishonesty and oppression
of Bar integration experience in all the jurisdictions where the Integrated Bar has been tried; which Attorney Renomeron committed as a public official have demonstrated his
on the other hand, it has restored public confidence in the Bar, enlarged professional unfitness to practice the high and noble calling of the law.
consciousness, energized the Bar's responsibilities to the public, and vastly improved the
administration of justice.
RULE 6.01: The primary duty of a lawyer in public prosecution is
CANON 6: These canons shall apply to lawyers in government not to convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of
facts and concealment of witnesses capable of establishing the
service in the discharge of their official duties.
innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and cause for
Reason for the rule: a lawyer does not shed his professional obligations upon assuming disciplinary action.
public office, because his conduct will be magnified in the public eye
A public prosecutor is a quasi-judicial office. He is a representative of not an
Macoco v. Diaz ordinary party but sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as
compelling as its obligation to govern at all, and whose interest in a criminal
Whatever might have been the agreement and with whomsoever respondent might have entered
prosecution is that justice shall be done.
it into, the undeniable fact remains that he misappropriated the money in breach of trust. This
makes him unfit for the office of an attorney-at-law. And his being a deputy fiscal and not law
Prosecutors should not give the impression that their office is being used for
practitioner at the time of the misappropriation, far from mitigating his guilt, aggravates it. political ends.
Want of moral integrity is to be more severely condemned in a lawyer who holds a responsible
public office. While he may strike hard blows, he cannot strike foul ones. It is his duty to refrain
from improper methods calculated to make a wrong conviction, as it is to use
Cayetano v. Monsod every legitimate means to produce a just one. He should not hesitate to
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal recommend the acquittal of the accused if he finds no legal basis for conviction.
procedure, knowledge, training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is to perform
those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give Like defense counsel he is presumed to be a man learned in the law, of high
notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of moral character, with the view that justice be meted out.
legal knowledge or skill."
To avoid any misunderstanding which would result in excluding members of the Bar who are now Private prosecutor’s role: he is allowed to intervene in the prosecution of a
criminal action when from the nature of the offense the offended party is entitled
employed in the COA or Commission on Audit, the provision on qualifications regarding members
to indemnity and has not waived, expressly reserved or instituted the civil action
of the Bar does not necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law outside the COA. This
for damages arising therefrom.
means that as long as the lawyers who are employed in the COA are using their legal knowledge
or talent in their respective work within COA, then they are qualified to be considered for A public prosecutor should not allow the trial in a private prosecutor’s hands to
appointment as members or commissioners, even chairman, of the Commission on Audit. degenerate into a private prosecution. The administration of criminal law must
not become a vehicle of oppression for any gratification of malice or private
advantage.

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made only after a complaint had been filed against respondent. Furthermore, the
People v. Pineda duties of a provincial prosecutor do not include receiving money from persons with
The Supreme Court believes in this case that the Fiscal has not abused his discretion. A official transactions with his office.
prosecuting attorney, by the nature of his office, is under no compulsion to file a criminal The failure of respondent to immediately remit the amount to the SSS gives rise to
information where he is not convinced that he has evidence to prop up the averments thereof, the presumption that he has misappropriated it for his own use. This is a gross
or that the evidence at hand points to a different conclusion. This is not to discount the violation of general morality as well as professional ethics; it impairs public confidence
possibility of the commission of abuses on the part of the prosecutor. A prosecuting attorney in the legal profession and deserves punishment.
should not be unduly compelled to work against his conviction. In case of doubt, he should have
the benefit of the doubt. Misamin v. San Juan
While the charges against respondent have to be dismissed, still it would be
Suarez v. Platon appropriate for him as member of the bar to avoid all appearances of impropriety. The
We cannot overemphasize the necessity of close scrutiny and investigation of prosecuting fact that suspicion could be entertained that far from living true to the concept of a
officers of all cases handled by them, but whilst this Court is averse to any form of vacillation public office being a public trust, he did make use, not so much of whatever legal
by such officers in the prosecution of public offenses, it is unquestionable that they may, in knowledge he possessed, but the influence that laymen could assume was inherent in
appropriate cases, in order to do justice and avoid injustice, reinvestigate cases in which they the office, to frustrate the statutory scheme that labor be justly compensated but
have already filed the corresponding in formations. also to be at the beck and call of alien interest, is a matter that should not pass
unnoticed. Respondent, in his future actuations as a member of the bar. should refrain
RULE 6.02: A lawyer in government service shall not use his public position from laying himself open to such doubts and misgivings as to his fitness not only for
to promote or advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere the position occupied by him but also for membership in the bar.
with his public duties.
RULE 6.03: A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service,
Restriction applies particularly to lawyers in government service who are allowed by law to accept engagement or employment in connection with any matter in
engage in private law practice and to those who are prohibited from practice but know which he had interned.
people in the active practice of law.
The restriction on the public official not to use his profession to advance private
A public official should see to it that his private activity does not interfere with the interests extends beyond his tenure on certain matters in which he intervened as
discharge of his official functions. a public official.
The foregoing principles complement the code of conduct for public officers and He cannot accept work from anyone that will involve or relate to the matter in
employees that they are not allowed to be employed in any private enterprise regulated by which he intervened as a public official, except on behalf of the public authority,
their office unless otherwise provided by law, to engage in private practice unless allowed which he served during his term.
by the Constitution and law provided that there will be no conflict of duties, to recommend
any person to a position in a private enterprise which has a transaction with their office, Sec. 7(b) RA 6713: no former public official/employee may practice his
and to use/divulge information known by them by reason of their office to further their profession in connection with any matter before his former office within one year
private interests and to prejudice the public interest. after retirement or separation from office.
Penticostes v. Ibañez Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act: public officials cannot accept or have any
In his defense, respondent claimed that his act of accommodating Encarnacion Pascual's family member accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending
request to make payments to the SSS did not amount to professional misconduct but was business with him during the said pendency or within a year after its termination.
rather an act of Christian charity. Furthermore, he claimed that the action was moot and
academic, the amount of P1,804.00 having already been paid by him to the SSS. Lastly, he
disclaimed liability on the ground that the acts complained of were not done by him in his CANON 7. A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity
capacity as a practicing lawyer but on account of his office as a prosecutor. and dignity of the legal profession and support the
The Court finds respondent guilty of professional misconduct. While there is no doubt that activities of the integrated bar.
payment of the contested amount had been effected to the SSS, it is clear that the same was

11
To enable the bar to be an effective instrument in the proper administration of justice, statement or suppressing a material fact in connection with his
every lawyer should strive at all times to uphold the honor and maintain the dignity of the application for admission to the bar.
legal profession and to improve not only the law but the administration of justice as well.
A student aspiring to be a lawyer must, at that early period, study and observe
A lawyer can do honor to the legal profession by faithfully performing his duties to the the duties and responsibilities of a lawyer. He cannot claim that not being a
court, to the public to his brethren in the profession, and to his client. He advances the member of the bar, the CPR does not apply to him. One who aspires to profess
honor of the profession and the best interests of his client when he renders services or the law must show his fitness for admission by adherence to, or observance of,
gives legal advice tending to impress upon his client and his undertaking exact the standards of conduct required of all members of the bar. For failure to live up
compliance with the strictest principles of moral law. to them may prevent him from being admitted to practice and, if admitted without
the SC acquiring knowledge of his transgressions thereof, he may be disbarred
A lawyer should also involve in, and actively support the activities of, the IBP. He should for such misconduct.
not limit himself to merely paying his dues and other assessments of the IBP, but should
also help realize its objectives and purposes: Every applicant for admission to the practice of law must :
• To assist in the administration of justice • Be an RP citizen and resident (because an alien cannot maintain allegiance
• To safeguard the professional interests of its members to RP, which the lawyer’s oath requires)
• To cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood • Be at least 21 years old
• To provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading, • Be a person of good moral character
practice and procedure and the relations of the bar thereto • Show that no charges against him involving moral turpitude are filed or
• To encourage and foster legal education pending in court
• To promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law,
and make reports and recommendations thereon. SC decides WON an offense involves moral turpitude. Applicant must disclose
under oath in application form any crime of which he is charged. Concealment or
In re: 1989 Elections of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, 178 SCRA 398 (1989): withholding from court of fact that crime charged is ground for disqualification of
“A basic postulate of the IBP, heavily stressed at the time of its organization and applicant to take the bar exam, or for revocation of license to practice. If what
commencement of existence, is that the IBP shall be non-political in character and that there the applicant concealed is a crime that doesn’t involve moral turpitude, it is the
shall be no lobbying nor campaigning in the choice of members of the Board of Governors and of fact of concealment and not the commission of the crime itself that makes him
the House of Delegates, and of the IBP officers, national, or regional, or chapter… morally unfit to become a lawyer.
It is evident that the manner in which the principal candidates for the national positions in the
• Possess the required educational qualifications
IBP conducted their campaign preparatory to the elections on 9 June 1989, violated Section 14
of the IBP By-Laws and made a travesty of the idea of a “strictly non-political” Integrated Bar
(four-year high school course + bachelor’s degree in arts or sciences with
enshrined in Section 4 of the By-Laws…
PolSci/ Logic/ English/ Spanish/ History/ Economics as a major field of
The candidates and many of the participants in that election not only violated the By-Laws of concentration + 4 year bachelor’s degree in law with completed courses in civil
the IBP but also the ethics of the legal profession which imposes on all lawyers, as a corollary law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international
of their obligation to obey and uphold the constitution and the laws, the duty to “promote law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation,
respect for law and legal processes” and to abstain from “activities aimed at defiance of the law legal ethics). Courses of study must be completed in an authorized and
or at lessening confidence in the legal system” (Rule 1.02, Canon 1, CPR). Respect for law is recognized university, college, or school, and must be taken progressively in the
gravely eroded when lawyers themselves, who are supposed to be minions of the law, engage in usual manner (e.g. applicant who only completed pre-law after he began
unlawful practices and cavalierly brush aside the very rules that the IBP formulated for their studying law not qualified to take the bar)
observance. The unseemingly ardor with which the candidates pursued the presidency of the
association detracted from the dignity of the legal profession. The spectacle of lawyers • Pass the bar exams.
bribing or being bribed to vote in one way or another certainly did not uphold the honor of the
profession nor elevate it in the public esteem.”
The SC may likewise prescribe such other qualifications or requirements as it
Rule 7.01 A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false may deed necessary to elevate the standards of the legal profession. The
additional qualifications may be apart from whatever qualifications the legislature
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may provide. shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
By seeking admission to practice of law, applicant assumes the burden of proof to Camacho v. Pangulayan, 328 SCRA 631
establish all those qualifications to the court. He must, accordingly, produce sufficient
“Although aware that the students were represented by counsel, respondent attorney
evidence to clear any doubt as to any of his qualifications. But after having presented
proceeded, nonetheless, to negotiate with them and their parents with out at the very
prima facie evidence of his qualifications, it is incumbent upon anyone objecting to his
least communicating the matter to their lawyer, herein complainant, who was counsel
admission to offer contrary evidence to overcome the applicant’s prima facie showing.
of record in Civil Case No. Q-97-30549. The failure of respondent whether by design
The fact that the bar exam committee has passed upon, and is satisfied with, the or because of oversight is an inexcusable violation of the canons of professional ethics
applicant’s qualifications will not preclude a subsequent judicial inquiry on the same and in utter disregard of a duty owing to a colleague. Respondent fell short of the
question in a disbarment proceeding where that question is raised as an issue. The demands required of him as a lawyer and a member of the Bar.”
lawyer’s name may not, however, be stricken from the roll of attorneys by reason of
alienage, non-completion of prescribed course, or bad moral character in the presence of Javier v. Cornejo, 63 Phil 293 (1936)
clearly preponderant evidence that he did not, in fact possess the necessary qualifications “Mutual bickering and unjustifiable recriminations between brother attorneys detract
at the time of his admission. The burden of proof, in such a case, shifts to the from the dignity of the legal profession and will not receive any sympathy from this
complainant. court.

Santos v. Llamas, 322 SCRA 529 Macias v. Malig, 157 SCRA 762 (1988)
“By indicating IBP-Rizal 259060” in his pleadings and thereby misrepresenting to the public and “The Court is not prepared to condone by passing over sub silentio the misconduct of
the courts that he had paid his IBP dues to the Rizal Chapter, respondent is guilty of violating which complainant and respondent are guilty one vis-à-vis the other. Each party here
the CPR…” has shown himself to be too ready to believe the other guilty of serious misconduct in
the practice of the profession to which they both belong while vehemently asserting
Rule 7.02 A lawyer shall not support the application for admission to the his own good faith. Each party here was too anxious and willing to make serious
bar of any person known by him to be unqualified in respect to character, accusations against the other which the exertion of reasonable diligence along with
education, or other relevant attribute. simple courtesy would have shown to be unwarranted by the facts and the records.
Each attorney here was too prone to use intemperate and offensive language in
He should not execute affidavit of good moral character in favor of applicant whom he describing the behavior of the other…
knows has not lived up to such standard. He should help in guarding the bar against WHEREFORE, it is respectfully recommended that the charges and countercharges
admission of candidates who are unfit or unqualified. He should volunteer information or
between Atty. Macias and Atty. Malig be dismissed for insufficiency of evidence and
cooperate in any investigation concerning alleged anomaly in the bar exam, so those
lack of merit, both parties should be severely disciplined by the imposition of heavy
candidates who failed therein can be ferreted out and those lawyers responsible therefore
can be disbarred. He should expose before the SC corrupt or dishonest conduct in the fine in addition to being subjected to stern censure by the SC. We hold that
profession and should accept without hesitation professional employment against a lawyer complainant Macias and respondent Malig are both guilty of conduct unbecoming a
who has wronged his client. lawyer and an officer of the court. Lawyers must at all times treat each other, and as
well as their clients, former clients, and the rest of the community, with that personal
Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on dignity, courtesy and civility rightly demanded of members of the ancient and learned
his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, profession of the law.”
behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
Rule 8.01 A lawyer shall not, in professional dealings, use language
Among the acts which adversely reflect on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law which justify which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.
suspension from practice or disbarment include gross immorality, conviction of a crime
involving moral turpitude, and fraudulent transactions. Rule 8.02 A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon
the professional employment of another lawyer; however, it is the
Canon 8. A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, right of any lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper advice and
fairness, and candor toward his professional colleagues, and assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful

13
counsel. “Relying on the assurance of the party respondent in said cases and of a mutual
acquaintance on the status of each of the two cases, respondent Atty. Clemente
Improper conduct: competing with other lawyers over clients, stealing another lawyer’s Soriano agreed to render professional services in consideration of a contingent fee
client or inducing the latter to retain him by promise of better service/result/reduced fees, and entered his appearance in cases L-24114 entitled PHHC and UP v. Mencias,
disparage another lawyer, make comparisons, publicize his talent as a means to law Tiburcio , et.al. and L-30546, entitled Varsity Hills vs. Hon. Herminio C. Mariano, etc.
practice et.al., both terminated before this Court. His entry of appearance in the said cases as
“chief counsel of record” for the respondents in effect sought to pre-empt the
Lawyer may accept employment to handle a matter, which another lawyer previously
former counsel, Atty. Memesio Diaz, of the premier control of over the case. Yet, he
handled, provided the other lawyer has been given notice by client that his service has
had not bothered at all to communicate with the latter. Held: Atty. Clemente M.
been terminated. Without such notice of termination by client, a lawyer retained to take
over a case from a peer should do so only after he shall have obtained the conformity of Soriano is guilty of gross negligence in the performance of his duties as a lawyer and
the counsel whom he substituted. If such conformity can’t be obtained, he should at least as an officer of this court. This inexcusable negligence would merit no less than his
give sufficient notice to such lawyer of the contemplated substitution. suspension from the practice of the law profession, were it not for his candor, at the
hearing of this incident, in owning his mistake and the apology he made to the Court.
The substituting lawyer may have the duty to contest the first lawyer’s claim to a right to It is in this sense that he is severely censured.”
compensation. But it is equally the substituting lawyer’s duty to give the first lawyer every
opportunity to have his claim protected. Term “practice of law”: do any of those acts which are characteristic of the legal
profession; embraces any activity, in or out of court, which requires the
A lawyer should not communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure and calls for legal
represented by counsel. Much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the knowledge, training and experience; presupposes attorney-client relationship,
matter with him, but should only deal with his counsel. Neither should he, in the absence implies customarily or habitually holding oneself out to the public, as a lawyer for
of the adverse party’s counsel, interview the adverse party even if adverse party consents. compensation as a source of livelihood or in consideration of his service.
Neither should he sanction his client’s attempt to settle a litigated matter with the adverse
party without the knowledge of the latter’s counsel. However, an isolated appearance may amount to practice in relation to rule
prohibiting some persons from engaging in the exercise of the legal profession.
The client should be left to determine WON to employ additional counsel. The lawyer
subsequently retained as additional counsel, however, should communicate first with the Practice of law is a privilege. But a lawyer cannot be prevented from practicing
original counsel before he enters his appearance in the case. He should decline law except for valid reasons, the practice of law not being a matter of state’s
association, as a colleague if the original counsel objects, but if the lawyer first retained is grace or favor.
relieved, he may come into the case.
Allowed limited representation on behalf of others by laymen:
When lawyers jointly associated in a case disagree on any matter vital to the client’s • Municipal trial court/metropolitan trail court – a party may conduct litigation
interest, the conflict of opinion should be frankly stated to the client for the client’s final with aid of agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose
determination. • Criminal proceeding before municipal trial court in a locality where duly
licensed lawyer not available – the MTC may, in its discretion, admit or
Laput v. Remotique, 6 SCRA 45 (1962) assign a person, resident in the province and of good repute for probity and
“A lawyer was dismissed by his client because the latter no longer trusted him. In his stead the ability, to aid the defendant in his defense although the person so assigned
client contracted the services of another lawyer, who, to safeguard the interest of his client, may not be a lawyer
prepared the papers for the revocation of the power of attorney previously executed in favor • Laymen is permitted by the SC to appear for another only in the Municipal
of the first lawyer. After the second lawyer had filed his appearance in court, the first lawyer or Metropolitan Trial Court; he cannot represent another in any other court
voluntarily withdrew as counsel and, simultaneously, filed a motion for the payment of his nor be appointed by any court other than the MunTC or MetTC to aid a
attorney’s fees. Held: The appearance of the second lawyer is not unprofessional or improper; defendant in his defense, in absence of an authority from the high tribunal.
the first lawyer’s voluntary withdrawal as counsel and his filing of a motion for the payment of • Some laws: authorize union representative to appear for his organization or
his fees amounted to an acquiescence to the appearance of the second lawyer.” its members before the NLRC, labor arbiter or arbitrator (Labor Code &
Rules of the NLRC) , and an individual to act on behalf of a claimant before
In re Soriano, 33 SCRA 801 (1970) a cadastral court. (Act No. 2259, Sec. 9)

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Hearing Examiner thereof, the parties shall not be required to be represented by
Limitations that should be observed in cases where layman may represent another: legal counsel…” is no justification for a ruling that the person representing the party-
• He should confine his work to non-adversary contentions (e.g. no examination or litigant in the Court of Industrial Relations, even if he is not a lawyer, is entitled to
cross-examination of witnesses or presentation of evidence) attorney’s fees: for the same section adds that – “it shall be the duty and obligation
• Services should not be habitually rendered. of the Court or Hearing Officer to examine and cross examine witnesses on behalf of
• Layman should not charge or collect attorney’s fees. the parties and to assist in the orderly presentation of evidence,” thus making it clear
that the representation should be exclusively entrusted to duly qualified members of
Individual litigant in civil case has the right to conduct his litigation personally. But he will the Bar…
be bound by the same rules of procedure and evidence as those applicable to parties The permission for a non-member of the bar to represent or appear or defend in the
appearing through counsel. Moreover, he may not be heard to complain later that he has said court on behalf of the party-litigant does not by itself entitle the representative
been deprived of the right to the assistance of counsel. to compensation for such representation. For Sec. 24, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court,
providing “Sec. 24. Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees – An attorney
An attorney otherwise disqualified to practice law or who has been suspended or
shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable
disbarred from practice can validly prosecute or defend his own litigation.
compensation for his services…” imports the existence of an attorney-client
In criminal cases involving grave and less grave offenses, an accused who is a layman relationship as a condition to the recovery of attorney’s fees. Such relationship
must always appear by counsel. cannot exist unless the client’s representative in court be a lawyer…
The reasons are that the ethics of the legal profession should not be violated; that
A juridical person must always appear in court by a duly licensed member of the bar, acting as an attorney without authority constitutes contempt of court, which is
except in the MunTC where it may be represented by its agent or officer who need not be punishable by fine or imprisonment or both, and the law will not assist a person reap
a lawyer. the fruits or benefit of an unlawful act or an act done in violation of the law; and that
if fees were to be allowed to non-lawyers, it would leave the public in hopeless
Corporations cannot engage in the practice of law. They may hire attorneys to attend to confusion as to whom to consult in cases of necessity and also leave the bar in a
and conduct its own legal businesses or affairs. But it cannot practice law directly or chaotic condition, aside from the fact that non-lawyers are not amenable to
indirectly by employing a lawyer to practice for it or to appear for others for its benefit. disciplinary measures. And the general rule above stated (referring to non-recovery
Reason: nature of the privilege and on the confidential and trust relation between attorney
of attorney’s fees by non-lawyers) cannot be circumvented when the services were
and client.
purely legal, by seeking to recover as an ’agent’ and not as an attorney.”
A lawyer should not allow an intermediary to intervene in the performance of his
professional obligations. He may accept employment from any organization to render U.S. v. Ney, 8 Phil. 146 (1907)
legal services in any matter in which the organization is interested, that employment “Under section 102 of the Code of Civil Procedure, pleadings must be subscribed by
should not include rendering legal services to members of that organization for their the party or his attorney. The subscription of the names of other persons is impliedly
individual affairs. Exception: charitable society rendering aid to the indigent is not an prohibited and is illegal; nor can a subscription by an agent, other than an admitted
intermediary within the meaning of the rule. attorney, be recognized.
A person not admitted to the bar may not hold himself out to the public as engaged in
Canon 9. A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the the practice of law, either alone or as associated with a practicing attorney under a
firm name…
unauthorized practice of law.
An attempt to practice law by a person who has by order of this court been refused
PAFLU v. Binalbagan-Isabela Sugar Co., 42 SCRA 802 (1971) admission to the bar is a disobedience of such order and is contempt of court, not
“Applicable to the issue at hand is the principle…that an agreement provided for the division of qualified by the fact that an appeal has been taken from that order…
attorney’s fees, whereby a non-lawyer union president is allowed to share in said fees with The repeated irregular signature of pleadings by an attorney in the name of a firm
lawyers, is condemned by Canon 34 of Legal Ethics and is immoral and cannot be justified. An improperly constituted, with one partner who, by an order of this court, had been
award by a court of attorney’s fees is no less immoral in the absence of a contract, as in the denied the right to practice, and the participation by him in an act of contempt
present case… committed by such partner, is misbehavior which renders him guilty of contempt under
The provision in Section 5(b) of Republic Act 875 that ‘In the proceeding before the Court or section 232 of the Code of Civil Procedure.”

15
In re: del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399 (1922) Canon 10 A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith
“The practice of law is not an absolute right to be granted everyone who demands it, but is a
to the court.
privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise of a sound discretion…
Acquittal upon a criminal charge is not a bar to proceedings intended to determine if a
candidate is worthy to be admitted to the bar… Some requirements of candor:
The standards of the legal profession are not satisfied by conduct which merely enables one to • Not suppress material and vital facts which bear on the merit or lack of merit
escape the penalties of criminal law.” of complaint or petition
• Volunteer to court any development of the case which has rendered the
Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the issue raised moot and academic
performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member • Disclose to court any decision adverse to his position of which opposing
counsel is apparently ignorant and which court should consider in deciding
of the Bar in good standing.
case. After doing so, he may challenge the soundness of the decision or
present reasons, which he believes, would warrant court in not following it in
Cannot be delegated to layman: work involving the application of law, like the computation
the pending case.
and determination of period within which to appeal an adverse judgment, examination of
witnesses, presentation of evidence. • Not represent himself as lawyer for a client, appear for client in court and
present pleadings, only to claim later that he was not authorized to do so.
Allowed: employing lay secretaries, investigators, detectives, researchers, accountants,
non-lawyer draftsmen, to undertake task not involving practice of law. However, lawyer is not an umpire but an advocate. He is not obliged to refrain
Also allowed: availing help of law students in many fields of the lawyer’s work, like from making every proper argument in support of any legal point because he isn’t
examination of a case law, finding and interviewing witnesses, examining court records, convinced of its inherent soundness. Neither is he obliged to suggest arguments
delivering papers, etc. against his position.

Cobb-Perez v. Lantin, 24 SCRA 291 (1968)


Rule 9.02 A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal
“A counsel’s assertiveness in espousing with candor and honesty his client’s case must
services with persons not licensed to practice law, except:
be encouraged and is to be commended; what we do not and cannot countenance is a
a. Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that,
lawyer’s insistence despite the patent futility of his client’s position, as in the case at
upon the latter’s death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period of
bar. It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the
time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement; or
intricacies and vagaries of the law, on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If he
b. Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished or legal business of
finds that his client’s cause is defenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the
a deceased lawyer; or latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer
must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and temper his client’s propensity to
These first two exceptions, strictly speaking, represent compensation for legal services the
deceased lawyer rendered during his lifetime, which is paid to his heirs or estate. litigate. A lawyer’s oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to his duty to his
Improper: when effect of this arrangement is to make estate or heir a member of client. Its primacy is indisputable.”
partnership along with surviving partners, or where estate or heir is to receive a
percentage of the fees that may be paid from future business of the deceased lawyer’s Rule 10.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the
clients. doing of any in Court, nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be
misled by an artifice.
c. Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a
retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part on profit- Rule 10.02 A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent
sharing arrangement. the contents of a paper, the language or the argument of opposing
counsel, or the text of a decision or authority, or knowingly cite as
This exception does not involve, strictly speaking, a division of legal fees with non-lawyer law a provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or
employees. The retirement benefits in the form of pension represent additional deferred amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not been proved.
wages or compensation for past services of the employees.

16
To knowingly misquote or misrepresent in any of these matters not only unprofessional but the term “willful disobedience”. One such misconduct: failure to comply with
also contemptuous. court’s order to file appellant’s brief or comment within the required period.

Examples of violations: making it appear that quotations in motion for recon were SC Lawyer has duty to defend judge from unfounded criticism or groundless
findings when they’re actually just part of the memorandum of the Court administrator, personal attack. Special civil actions or proceedings: a judge whose decision or
misspelling name of complainant, making the wrong citation of authority. order is under attack in a higher court is merely a nominal party. A decent regard
for the judicial hierarchy bars the judge from seeking a reversal of his action and
Reason for this rule: “Only from this Tribunal’s [SC] decisions and rulings do all other requires the lawyer to refrain from making the judge appear as a party suing
courts, as well as lawyers and litigants, take their bearings. This is because the decisions against the adverse ruling, so he may not be distracted from his main function of
referred to in Art. 8 of the Civil Code which reads, ‘Judicial decisions applying or trying and adjudicating cases in court. The burden of defending his challenged
interpreting laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines’ action falls on private respondent and the latter’s counsel may be subjected to
are only those enunciated by this Court of last resort…Thus, ever present is the danger disciplinary action should he fail to discharge the task.
that if not faithfully and exactly quoted, the decisions and rulings of this court may lose
their proper and correct meaning, to the detriment of other courts, lawyers, and the public In re Sotto, 92 Phil 595 (1949)
who may be thereby misled.” (Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. Employees Association v. “Mere criticism or comment on the correctness or wrongness, soundness or
Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd., 37 SCRA 244, 279-280 [1971]) unsoundness of the decision of the court in a pending case made in good faith may be
tolerated; because if well founded it may enlighten the court and contribute to the
Lawyer shouldn’t assert as meritorious his client’s case when he has in his possession correction of an error if committed; but if it is not well taken and obviously
adverse information or knowledge in regard thereto. erroneous, it should, in no way, influence the court in reversing or modifying its
decision…
Rule 10.03 A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not To hurl the false charge that this Court has been for the last years committing
misuse them to defeat the ends of justice. deliberately ‘so many blunders and injustices,’ that is to say, that it has been deciding
in favor of one party knowing that the law and justice is on the part of the adverse
Lawyer should not use his knowledge of law as instrument to harass a party.
party and not on the one in whose favor the decision was rendered, would tend
Misuse of judicial process: filing a petition as a scheme to frustrate and further delay the
execution of a final and executory judgment. necessarily to undermine the confidence of the people in the honesty and integrity of
A deliberate misreading or misinterpretation of the law by a lawyer also falls under the the members of this court, and consequently to lower or degrade the administration
injunction and puts him in public distrust. of justice…
[I]f the people lose their confidence in the honesty and integrity of the members of
Canon 11. A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due this court and believe that they cannot expect justice therefrom, they might be
driven to take the law into their own hands, and disorder and perhaps chaos would be
to the courts and to judicial officers and should insist on the result…
similar conduct by others. As a member of the bar and an officer of the courts, Atty. Vicente Sotto…is in duty
bound to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to which he owes fidelity
Lawyer owes the court the duty to observe and maintain a respectful attitude not for the according to the oath he has taken as such attorney, and not to promote distrust in
sake of the temporary incumbent of the judicial office but for the maintenance of its the administration of justice. Respect to the courts guarantees the stability of other
supreme importance. Respect of courts helps build the high esteem and regard toward
institutions, which without such guaranty would be resting on a very shaky foundation.”
them which is essential to the proper administration of justice.

Duty to observe and maintain the respect due the courts devolves not only upon lawyers Komatsu Industries v. CA, 289 SCRA 505
but upon those who will choose to enter the profession. Failure to discharge such duty “[T]he petitioner’s second motion for reconsideration could have been correctly
may be prevented from being inducted into the office of attorney. rejected outright. But, as further noted, petitioner has distressingly adopted the
lamentable technique contrived by losing litigants of resorting to ascriptions of
Lawyers must obey lawful orders of the court. Willful disregard thereof may subject the supposed irregularities in the courts of justice as the cause of their defeat…
lawyer not only to punishment for contempt but to disciplinary sanction as an officer of the Petitioner could have rendered a signal service to the judiciary if it had only verified
court as well. A lawyer who gives a clearly unsatisfactory explanation on why he failed to and proved the facts it purveyed but which are now belied even just by the internal
comply with a lawful order, or who simply ignores it commits an act within the meaning of
17
rules of this Court, of which petitioner appears to be ignorant hence the valor of his A person who admitted having prepared the motion for reconsideration, which
nd
denunciation. The members of the 2 Division of this Court vehemently deny and denounce the contained contemptuous language, is guilty of contempt. The fact that he is not a
animadversion on their allegedly having been approached by Justice Padilla regarding this case. lawyer is not an excuse…
The Padilla Law Office, counsel for respondent private corporation, has submitted its response Counsel’s insistence that he had nothing to do with the contemptuous motion for
to the imputation against it, thus calling for petitioner to prove its charges. The same burden is reconsideration and had not even read it does not excuse him. AS counsel of record,
also imposed upon petitioner for the aspersions it has cast upon the respondent Court of he has control of the proceedings.”
Appeals. We, therefore, leave it to the aforesaid law firm, Justice Teodoro Padilla and the
Court of Appeals, on the one hand, and to herein petitioner, on the other, to decide for Guerrero v. Villamor, 179 SCRA 355 (1989)
themselves whether to further pursue this incident in the proper proceedings. On such “Contempt of court may be either direct or constructive. It is direct when committed
contingency, this Court will content itself …with a stern admonition that the petitioner refrain in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to obstruct or interrupt proceedings
from conducts tending to create mistrust in our judicial system through innuendoes on which no before the same and constructive or indirect contempt is one committed out or not in
evidence is offered or indicated to be proffered. Responsible litigants need not be told that the presence of the court. It is an act done in a distance which tends to belittle,
only pleadings formulated with intellectual honesty on facts duly ascertained can subserve the degrade, obstruct, interrupt or embarrass the court and justice…
ends of justice and dignify the cause of the pleader.” [S]tatements complained of are not contemptuous. We agree with petitioners that
the same are merely descriptive of therein plaintiff’s cause of action based on his
In re Almacen, 31 SCRA 562 (1970) reaction to what he perceived as a willful infliction of injury on him by therein
“Membership in the Bar imposes upon a person obligations and duties which are not mere flux defendant judge. Strong words were use to lay stress on the gravity and degree of
and ferment. His investiture into the legal profession places upon his shoulders no burden more moral anguish suffered by petitioner as a result of the dismissal of the subject
basic, more exacting and more imperative than that of respectful behavior toward the courts. criminal cases to justify the award of the damages being sought.”
He vows solemnly to conduct himself ‘with all good fidelity…to the courts.’ …A lawyer may not
divide his personality so as to be an attorney at one time and a mere citizen at another. Thus Rule 11.01 A lawyer shall appear in court properly attired.
statements made by an attorney in private conversations or communications or in the course of
a political campaign, if couched in insulting language as to bring into scorn and disrepute the Barong Tagalog, or a coat and a tie, either of which is the recognized formal
administration of justice, may subject the attorney to disciplinary action… attire in the country (Note: Agpalo does not say anything about the proper attire
Post-litigation utterances or publications, made by lawyers, critical of the courts and their for lady-lawyers, but the general guideline is respect to the court.)
judicial actuations, whether amounting to a crime or not, which transcend the permissible
bounds of fair comment and legitimate criticism and thereby tend to bring them into disrepute If he dresses improperly, he may be cited for contempt.
or to subvert public confidence in their integrity and in the orderly administration of justice,
constitute grave professional misconduct…
Rule 11.02 A lawyer shall punctually appear at court hearings.
Inexcusable absence from, or repeated tardiness in, attending a pre-trial or
To view the doctrinal rule that the protective mantle of contempt may ordinarily be invoked
hearing may not only subject the lawyer to disciplinary action, but may also
only against scurrilous remarks or malicious innuendoes while a court mulls over a pending case
prejudice his client who, as a consequence thereof, may be non-suited, declared
and not after the conclusion thereof, is erroneous. The rule that bars contempt after a judicial in default, or adjudged liable ex parte.
proceeding has terminated has lost much of its vitality. As expressed by Chief Justice Moran,
there may still be contempt by publication even after a case has been terminated.” Rule 11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive, or
menacing language or behavior before the Courts.
Surigao Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, 31 SCRA 1 (1970)
“A lawyer’s language should be dignified in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession. It is A lawyer may sometimes use strong language to drive home a point, but he must
the duty of a member of the bar to abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no remember that he pleads and does not dictate. The lawyer’s discharge of his
fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of the party or witness, unless required by justice… duty to his client does not justify or require the use of inflammatory or threatening
The deletion of paragraph 6, which contained disrespectful language, did not erase the fact words.
that it has been made. The explanation that the deleted portion was included in the motion
filed in Court only because of mere advertence, does not make a distinguishing difference…Not The mistake of a judge in some of his rulings does not justify the use offensive
only because it was belatedly made but also because his signature appeared on the motion to language.
inhibit which included paragraph 6…
18
Neither does the lawyer’s superior ability permit him to lampoon the judge. It is also lawyer’s duty to expose the shortcomings and indiscretions of courts
Lawyer who uses intemperate, abusive, abrasive, or threatening language betrays and judges. Examples of proper forums: prosecution of appeals where he points
disrespect to the court, disgraces the bar, and invites the exercise by the court of its out the errors of lower courts, articles written for law journals where he dissects
disciplinary power. with detachment the doctrinal pronouncement of courts and exposes the flaws
and inconsistencies of the doctrines.
Judges also have the duty to respect the lawyers.
Rule 11.05 A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to the
Enriquez v. Bidin, 47 SCRA 183 (1972) proper authorities only.
“Atty. De Leon had filed his ex-parte manifestation dated 18 November 1968, complaining that
the clerk’s office had sent notices only to petitioner and there seemed to exist an unsavory tie Grievances against judges shall be filed with the Supreme Court which has the
which links the herein petitioner with some people in the SC in a manner deliberately if not administrative supervision over all courts and the power to discipline judges of
maliciously designed to prejudice the lawful interests of your respondents… lower courts.
Pursuant to the clerk’s prayer, the Court issued its resolution…requiring respondent’s counsels
to show why they should not be subject to disciplinary action for their said statements…Atty. Lawyer should refer charges against a judge only after proper circumspection
De Leon submitted his explanation…assuming sole and absolute responsibility for the statements and without using disrespectful language and offensive personalities.
in his manifestation to the exclusion of his co-counsel…and submitted ‘a narration of facts
A lawyer may not file administrative complaint against a judge, which arises from
which tempered his mood and prompted him to make that statement obviously and certainly
judge’s judicial acts, until the lawyer shall have exhausted judicial remedies,
without malice to this Court’ and declaring his ‘honest and avowed intention of preserving the
which results in finding that the judge has gravely erred. If lawyer does so
utmost dignity and integrity that is due this Honorable Court.’ … without exhausting such judicial remedies or awaiting their results, he may be
Acting on the premises, the Court feels that a great part of Atty. De Leon’s misconception was administratively held to account therefore.
due to Zamboanga’ City’s distance form Manila and the deficiencies of the mail service as well as
to his failure to file a similar request, as the city fiscal on behalf of petitioner mayor, to be Canon 12 A lawyer shall exert every effort and consider
advised by wire collect of the Court’s action on petitioner’s motion…
Under the circumstances, the Court deems that an admonition with a warning to Atty. De Leon
it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient
for having precipitately made such rash statements without basis that unduly reflected upon administration of justice.
the personnel in the office of the clerk of court would suffice to uphold the ends of justice.”
One consequence: lawyer must inform the court, within 30 days after the death of
Sangalang v. IAC, 177 SCRA 87 (1989) his client in a pending case, where the claim is not extinguished by such death,
and of the name of the deceased’s representative, so that substitution can be
“Atty. Sangco is entitled to his own opinion, but not to a license to insult the court with
effected. Breach of this duty: disciplinary action against the lawyer
derogatory statements and recourses to argumenta ad hominem. In that event, it is the Court’s
duty ‘to act to preserve the honor and dignity…and to safeguard the morals and ethics of the
Lawyer should also inform the court of any change of his address. Failure to do
legal profession… so: although won’t prevent any notice sent to his address of record to be
While a lawyer must advocate his client’s cause in utmost earnest and with the maximum he can effective, may will delay disposition of case
marshal, he is not at liberty to resort to arrogance, intimidation, and innuendo.”
Rule 12.01 A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless he has
Rule 11.04 A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by adequately prepared himself on the law and on the facts of his case,
the record or have no materiality to the case. the evidence he will adduce and the order of its profference. He
should also be ready with the original documents for comparison
Lawyer should not make hasty accusations against the judge without any cogent and valid with the copies.
ground extant in the record.
See Rule 18.02
Lawyer may criticize judicial conduct as long as the record supports it or it is material to
the case.
Rule 12.02 A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the
same cause.
19
• In filing petitions and other initiatory pleadings in all other courts and
Litigation must end sometime and somewhere, and the effective and efficient agencies, the plaintiff must certify under oath in original pleading, or in a
administration of justice demands that once a judgment has become final, the winning sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith (note:
party be not, through subterfuge and misuse of legal process, deprived of that verdict. sanctions for violations same as those for rules governing SC and CA
Thus, lawyer shouldn’t file several actions or petitions arising from the same cause or certifications) :
seeking substantially identical reliefs as those that had already been disposed of.
He hasn’t theretofore commenced any other action or proceeding involving the
Lawyer should not file petition with the CA or the RTC where a similar petition has been same issues in the SC/CA/other tribunal or agency to the best of his knowledge,
filed or is pending with the SC, and vice versa. In short, lawyer should not forum-shop. no such action or proceeding pending before SC/CA/other tribunal or agency. If
there is any such action pending or terminated, he must state status thereof. If
Forum shopping: the act of a party against whom an adverse judgment has been rendered after learning that similar action/proceeding filed or pending before the
in one forum, of seeking another (exception: appeal or special civil action of certiorari) or SC/CA/other tribunal or agency, he undertakes to report the fact within 5 days to
of instituting 2 or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause on the court/agency where original pleading and sworn certification filed.
supposition that one or the other would make a favorable disposition
Forum-shopping certification to be executed by petitioner or party litigant and not
Test of forum shopping: WON elements of litis pendentia are present or whether a final counsel, since petitioner is best person to know WON he or it actually filed or
judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in another. In other words, if the party caused filing of another petition or action. Counsel’s certification against forum
pursues the same cause of action, involving the same issues, parties and subject matter, shopping is defective and is equivalent to non-compliance. Rare occasions
in 2 different forums. where petitioner cannot execute certification and lawyer must immediately file
petition to protect client’s interest: lawyer should execute the certification but
Not forum shopping: state that he knows facts relative to the case and explain why petitioner can’t
• Filing several cases based on same incident if the cases involve different facts, execute the certification.
circumstances, and causes of action
• Filing criminal complaint arising from the same set of facts on which a civil action is Rule against forum shopping applies to any proceeding, such as applications for
based search warrant.

Previously, the circular required that the caption of petition/complaint include


SC Revised Circular no. 28-91 to prevent forum shopping: docket number of lower court case or quasi-judicial agency case sought to be
In every petition filed with the SC, the petition must certify under oath: reviewed. This requirement subsequently removed.
• He has not theretofore commenced any other action/proceeding involving the same
issues in the SC, the CA, or any other tribunal or agency to the best of his Lawyer should temper client’s propensity to litigate
knowledge, no such action/proceeding pending in SC/CA/any divisions thereof/any
other tribunal or agencies Civil suit: lawyer should decline to conduct a civil cause or to make a defense in
• If there is such other action/proceeding pending: he must state status of the same a civil suit when convinced that it is intended to injure or harass the opposite
party or to work oppression or wrong
• If he thereafter learns that a similar action or proceeding has been filed/is pending
before the SC/CA/division thereof/other tribunal or agency, he undertakes to promptly
If after his appearance the lawyer discovers that his client has no case: he should
inform the aforesaid courts and such other tribunal or agency of the fact w/in 5 days
advice client to discontinue action or confess judgment; if client insists, lawyer
therefrom.
should ask to be relieved of professional responsibility.
Sanctions for violation:
Far Eastern Shipping v. CA, 297 SCRA 30 (1998)
• Cause for summary dismissal of multiple petitions or complaints
“Prefatorily, on matters of compliance with procedural requirements, it must be
• Deliberate forum shopping through filing multiple petitions/complaints to ensure
mentioned that the conduct of the respective counsel for FESC and PPA leaves much
favorable action: direct contempt of court
to be desired, to the displeasure and disappointment of this Court…[description
• Submitting false certification: indirect contempt of court, without prejudice to filing
follows of how both parties violated SC rules on certification against forum-shopping]
criminal action against guilty party and institution of disciplinary proceedings against
“Counsel for FESC…is reprimanded and warned that a repetition of the same or similar
counsel
20
acts of heedless disregard of its undertakings under the Rules shall be dealt with more “It is one thing to exert to the utmost one’s ability to protect the interest of one’s
severely. client. It is quite another thing, and this is to put it at its mildest, to take advantage
The original members of the legal team of the OSG assigned to this case…are admonished and of any unforeseen turn of events, if not to create one, to create if not to defeat the
warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts of unduly delaying proceedings due to recovery of what is justly due and demandable, especially so, when as in this case, the
delayed filing of the required pleadings shall also be dealt with more stringently. obligee is a necessitous and poverty-stricken man suffering from a dreaded disease…”
The SolGen is directed to look into the circumstances of this case and to adopt provident
measures to avoid a repetition of this incident and which would ensure prompt compliance with Aguinaldo v. Aguinaldo, 36 SCRA 173 (1970)
orders of this Court regarding the timely filing of requisite pleadings, in the interest of just, “Defendants had to display ingenuity to conjure a technicality. The aim of a lawsuit is
speedy and orderly administration of justice.” to render justice to the parties according to the law. Procedural rules are precisely
designed to accomplish such a worthy objective. Necessarily, therefore, any attempt
Rule 12.03 A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file to pervert the ends for which they are intended deserves condemnation.”
pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the
same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so. Magat v. Soriano, 97 SCRA 1 (1980)
[Atty. Magat had been previously suspended for delaying the termination of an
Lawyer’s failure to explain late filing or failure to file: discourtesy to court unlawful detainer case]
When lawyer’s motion for extension of time to file pleading/ memorandum/ brief remained “The suspension of a lawyer is not intended primarily as a punishment, but as a
unacted on by curt, he should file it w/in period asked for. If he fails to file it within period, measure of protection of the pubic and the professional. We are satisfied that Atty.
he should nonetheless file it with a motion for leave to admit the same, explaining therein Magat appreciates the significance of his dereliction and he has assured Us that he
the reasons for the delay. He should not wait until adverse decision is rendered or until he now possesses the requisite probity and integrity necessary to guarantee that he is
is required to show cause why no disciplinary action should be taken against him for such
worthy to be restored to the practice of law.”
negligence.
Rule 12.05 A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his witness during a
Rule 12.04 A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the execution of
break or recess in the trial, while the witness is still under
a judgment or misuse Court processes.
examination.
Lawyer’s signature in pleading: his certification that pleading is not interposed for delay;
willful violation of this rule may subject him to appropriate disciplinary action. Purpose of rule: to avoid suspicion that he is coaching the witness on what to say
during the resumption of the examination.
Lawyer should use procedural rules to assist the court in administering impartial justice
and not for its frustration. Rule 12.06 A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a witness to
misrepresent himself or impersonate another.
If lawyer honestly convinced that appeal in civil suit futile, he should tell the client.
Dilemma of lawyer: He is subject to disciplinary action for both interposing appeal Lawyer may interview witness in advance of trial or attend to their needs if they
deliberately to delay and failing to appeal adverse decision are poor, but should avoid any such action as may be misinterpreted as an
attempt to influence witness on what to say in court.
Nonetheless, lawyer should not solely on own judgment let decision become final by
letting period to appeal lapse without informing client of adverse decision and of his candid Court may not rely on testimony of witness who admits having been instructed.
advice in taking appellate review thereof, so that client may decide. Lawyer who presents witness whom he knows will give a false testimony may be
subjected to disciplinary action.
If lawyer does not hear from client, he should perfect appeal or else he may be
administratively liable for negligence in performing his duties, which resulted in the finality Rule 12.07 A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or harass a witness
of decision against client. Lawyer’s plea that he didn’t appeal due to honest belief in its nor needlessly inconvenience him.
futility and the absence of merit: mitigates but does not exonerate him from
administratively liability. Lawyer should not advance fact prejudicial to witness’ honor/reputation unless
required by justice or the cause with which he is charged.
Manila Pest Control, Inc. v. WCC, 25 SCRA 700 (1968) Not excuse for maltreating witnesses: it’s what the client would say if speaking in
21
his own behalf. Lawyer shouldn’t minister to malevolence/prejudice of his client in the trial Prior thereto, certain SC justices already talked to Atty. Espinas, counsel for Union of
or conduct of a case. Filipro employees, that the pickets be informed that their acts constitute direct
contempt of court and they must stop immediately.
Rule 12.08 A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client, except: On July 10, the SC resolved to make the Union leaders and Atty. Espinas to show
On formal matters, such as the mailing, authentication or custody of an cause why they should not be held in contempt. Espinas should further show why he
instrument, and the like; or on substantial matters, in cases where his should not be administratively dealt with. Espinas explained to the court that he tried
testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in which event he must, during to dissuade the picketers and that he explained to them that what their actions
his testimony, entrust the trial of the case to another counsel. constitute contempt of court.
Issue: WON picketing outside of SC is punishable with contempt.
Question is one of propriety rather than competence to testify. Reason for impropriety: Yes. The court will not hesitate in the future to apply the full force of the law and
difference between function of witness and that of an advocate. punish for contempt those who attempt to pressure the court into acting one way or
the other in any case pending before it. Grievances should be aired along proper
Improper for lawyer: channels.
• To accept employment in a case in which he knows he or his partner will be a
material witness for the party seeking to employ him. (Having accepted employment Rule 13.01 - A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or
in ignorance of such fact, he should, upon finding out, withdraw from the case where
hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for cultivating familiarity with
he may do so without imperiling his client’s interests.)
• To accept employment in a case where he would be obliged to attack essential Judges.
testimony to be given by his partner on behalf of the opposite side.
A lawyer should avoid marked attention and unusual hospitality to a judge,
uncalled for by the personal relations of the parties, because they subject him
and the judge to misconceptions of motives or suspicion.
PNB v. Uy Teng Piao, 57 Phil. 337 (1987)
“Although the law does not forbid an attorney to be a witness and at the same time an attorney
A judge should refrain from all relations which would normally tend to arouse the
in a case, the courts prefer that counsel should not testify as a witness unless it is necessary, suspicion that such relations warp or bias his judgment or prevent his impartial
and that they should withdraw from the active management of the case.” attitude of mind in the administration of justice, and avoid such action as may
reasonably tend to waken the suspicion that his social or business relations or
friendships constitute an element in determining his judicial course.
CANON 13- A Lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause
and refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence, or Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media
regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or
gives the appearance of influencing the court. against the party.
A lawyer should rely solely on the merits of his client's case and not on extraneous
Statements regarding a pending or anticipated litigation may interfere with a fair
considerations.
trial, prejudice the administration of justice, or subject a respondent or accused to
a trial by publicity and create a public inference of guilt against him.
He should refrain from giving the appearance that he can influence the court to decide in
his favor, regardless of the merits of the case.
The reputation of the respondent or accused, particularly if he is a professional,
This is to avoid the lessening of the confidence of the public in the impartial administration
may be damaged even if he is exonerated.
of justice by the Courts.
Issuance of statements concerning pending cases are allowed, as long as the
Nestle Phil. vs. Sanchez
circumstances justify them, the statements are not anonymous, and they are so
During the period July 8-10, 1897, respondent in case pending in the SC, Union of Filipro
written to arouse public opinion for or against a party.
Employees, and petitioner in another case, Kimberly Independent Labor Union for Solidarity,
Activism and Nationalism-Olalia held a picket rally in front of the Padre Faura gate of the SC, Cruz vs. Salva
making a lot of noise, litter and preventing the free entry/exit through the said gate The trial court for the killing of Monroy convicted a number of persons. Defendants

22
in this particular case appealed, and the case is now pending before the SC. During the pendency needy.
of this case, Pres. Magsaysay ordered a reinvestigation. Several new suspects appeared, among
the petitioner Timoteo Cruz. This Canon and its implementing rules provide for the exceptions to the rule that
Fiscal Salva, who was tasked to investigate the case, subpoenaed Cruz. Cruz willingly presented lawyers generally have a right to choose which cases to accept or decline.
himself for investigation. However, said investigation was not done in the usual manner. It was
held in the session hall of the municipal hall, instead of Salva's office, in order to accommodate It also emphasizes the lawyer's public responsibility of rendering legal services to
the press. It seemed that the investigation was widely publicized and Salva even went as far as the needy and the oppressed who are unable to pay attorney's fees.
allowing the press to question the witness.
Issue: WON Salva violated Rule 13.02 of the CPR The poor, when in trouble, need most the services of a lawyer. However, they
Yes. It is bad enough to have such undue publicity when a criminal case is being investigated by
hesitate to secure such services simply because they can't afford to pay lawyers.
Also, it is the IBP's objective to make legal services for those who badly need
the authorities, even when it is being tried in court; but when said publicity and sensationalism
them.
is allowed, even encouraged, when the case is on appeal and is pending consideration by this
tribunal, the whole thing becomes inexcusable. A lawyer may not appear as counsel without a contract of employment. Such
contract may be express or implied.
Martelino vs. Alejandro
Muslim recruits of the army were shot and killed while undergoing training. As a result, some The employment of a law firm is equivalent to the retainer of a member thereof
members of the army including petitioners herein, were tried by court martial. even though one of them is consulted; conversely, the employment of one
Petitioner Martelino sought the disqualification of the President of the General Court Martial member is generally considered as employment of the law firm.
on the ground that latter has read several newspaper articles about the killings, and may now be
prejudiced against him. It is further contended that the case had received a lot of publicity Rule 14.01 - A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely
because it was an issue discussed in connection with the 1969 Presidential elections. on account of the latter's race, sex creed or status of life, or
WON the publicity caused by the newspapers would imperil petitioner's right to a fair trial. because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person.
No. If ever there was trial by publicity, it was against the Government, not against the
petitioners. Moreover, the suspension of the trial may have accomplished the purpose of this Regardless of his personal feelings, a lawyer should not decline representation
petition, by postponing the trial until calmer times have returned. because a client or a cause is unpopular or community reaction is adverse.
This rule makes it ethically easy for a lawyer to take the defense of an accused
RE: Request Radio-TV whom he knows, or the public believes, is guilty of a crime.
Petitioners KBP, Justice Secretary Perez, etc. want Estrada's plunder trial telecast live. They
One never knows if a person is guilty or not until the judge determines it.
contended that the public had a right to receive vital information regarding events affecting
the nation. For every lawyer whose conscience may be pricked, there is another whose
Trial should not to be televised. The right of accused, who is in danger of losing his life and virtue is tickled. Every case has two sides, and for every lawyer on the wrong
liberty, to a fair trial, outweighs right of public to information. Media exposure may unduly side, there's another on the right side.
interfere with the disposition of the trial.
An exception is civil actions. The rules and ethics of the legal profession enjoin a
Rule 13.03 - A lawyer shall not brook or invite interference by another lawyer from taking a bad case. There must be good cause to support the case,
branch or agency of the government in normal course of judicial and that it is not interposed for delay. A lawyer must also counsel such actions,
proceedings. which appear to him to be just. He should not encourage actions for any corrupt
motive or interest. Finally, he may not conduct a civil cause or defense when it is
It is to maintain and preserve the independence of the judiciary and to free it from apparent that it is only meant to harass or injure the opposite party.
legislative interference that the Constitution mandates that "no law shall be passed
reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its members" and Rule 14.02 - A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and
also the fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary. sufficient cause, an appointment as counsel de oficio or as amicus
curiae, or a request from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or
CANON 14 - A Lawyer shall not refuse his services to the any of its chapters for rendition of free legal aid.
23
The thrust of Canon 14 is to make acceptance by a lawyer of professional
One of the obligations incident to the status and privilege of a lawyer to practice law is to employment from the poor and the indigent the general rule, and his refusal on
represent the poor and the oppressed in the prosecution of their claims or the defense of valid grounds the exception.
their rights.
Quilban vs Robinol
This stems from the lawyer's public responsibility arising from his office as attorney. Colegio de San Jose owned a parcel of land and decided to sell it to the squatters
living there at a cheap price. Said squatters formed a group named SAMAHAN to
As Counsel de Oficio: facilitate negotiations. However, it turned out that Martin, head of the SAMAHAN,
The right to counsel would be meaningless if a person who needs the services of a lawyer sold parcel of land to Rivera.
is deprived of legal representation because he cannot afford to pay counsel fees. The law The rest of the SAMAHAN then hired Atty. Robinol to recover land. They eventually
sees to it that this should not be the case.
won the case. Robinol's payment was supposed to be some cash and an equal portion of
Every lawyer should welcome his appointment as counsel de oficio as a opportunity to
the land. They gave Robinol 75T to pay back Rivera. It was discovered after a year
render public service, show that the practice of law is a profession, and demonstrate that
the discharge of his duties does not depend upon payment or the amount of the fees. that the money wasn't turned over yet.
SAMAHAN thus hired Atty. Montemayor to replace Robinol. Robinol did not object to
As Amicus Curiae: his appearance. SAMAHAN also filed administrative complaint against Robinol, who in
Such an appointment is an honor and recognition of his experience and impartiality turn charged Montemayor for entering as counsel without his consent.
because only experienced and impartial attorneys ma be invited by the court to appear as Robinol contended that he kept the money they gave him because ha hasn't been paid
amicus curiae to help in the disposition of issues submitted to it. yet, and that he decided to convert his share of the land into cash. What he did was
unjust, for he delayed their cause for money.
Assignment from the IBP:
The fulfillment of the objective of the IBP to make legal services fully available even to the Rinconada vs Buenviaje
poor segment of society through legal aid offices requires acceptance by a lawyer, who Basically, what happened was that Rinconada filed two cases against Imperial. Atty.
receives a request from an IBP legal aid, office or chapter for rendition of free legal aid of Maggay represented him in the said cases. However, Judge Buenviaje granted
his share of tendered employment from the poor and oppressed.
Imperial's motion to dismiss cases. It was at this point when Atty. Santos entered as
new counsel for Rinconada and filed a motion for reconsideration. Judge accepted the
People vs Solis
motion, but had the order denying the motion delivered to Maggay instead of Santos,
Appellants here stole the livestock, and also the life, of Corsita. Upon arraignment, they had
so when Rinconada moved to appeal the case, it was denied because it was filed out of
Atty. Ginete as counsel de oficio. In the next hearing, said counsel did not appear. They told
time.
the court that their counsel de parte would appear the next day, and so Ginete was relieved.
Substitution was not valid because Maggay did not formally withdraw as counsel for
However, said counsel de parte also failed to appear. After ten months of postponements,
Rinconada.
court appointed three counsel de oficio for them, but only one handled the case. They were
convicted, thus this appeal. They contend that they were denied of due process for failure of
trial court to afford them the right to be defended by counsel of their own choice.
Rule 14.04 - A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to
If they were indeed sincere in their desire to be defended by counsel of own choice, the period
pay his professional fees shall observe the same standard of
of ten months was more than enough for them to secure one.
conduct governing his relations with paying clients.
Besides, during the proceedings they never manifested any such desire. They also did not
The gaining of livelihood is only a secondary consideration.
protest the appointment of counsel de oficio for them.
Neither the amount of attorney's fees nor the client's financial ability to pay such
Rule 14.03 - A lawyer may refuse to accept representation of an indigent fees should serve as the test to determine the extent of the lawyer's devotion to
client if: his client's cause.
He is not in a position to carry out the work effectively or competently;
He labors under a conflict of interests between him and the prospective CANON 15 — A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR,
client or between a present client and a prospective client. FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND
TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENTS.
24
beyond the duration of the professional relationship.
Generally, the relation of attorney-client is strictly personal and highly confidential and
fiduciary. No other human relation involves so delicate a nature than that of attorney and Nakpil v. Valdes
client. Only by characterizing and safeguarding it as such will a person be encouraged to The proscription against representation of conflicting interests finds application
repose trust in a lawyer. Behind this is the belief that abstinence from seeking legal advice where the conflicting interests arise with respect to the same general matter and is
in a good cause is an evil fatal to the administration of justice. applicable however slight such adverse interest may be. It applies although the
attorney’s intentions and motives were honest and he acted in good faith. However,
Rule 15.01 — A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, shall representation of conflicting interests may be allowed where the parties consent to
ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter would involve a the representation, after full disclosure of facts. Disclosure alone is not enough for
conflict with another client or his won interest, and if so, shall forthwith the clients must give their informed consent to such representation. The lawyer must
inform the prospective client. explain to his clients the nature and extent of the conflict and the possible adverse
effect must be thoroughly understood by his clients.
It is the duty of a lawyer to disclose and explain to a prospective client all circumstances of
his relations to the parties and any interest in or connection with the controversy, which in
his honest judgment might influence the client in the selection of counsel. This disclosure Rule 15.02 — A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privileged
is more for the protection of the lawyer than it is for the client as concealment of facts communication in respect of matters disclosed to him by a
material to employment may cause the client to lose confidence in him. Further, a lawyer prospective client.
may not accept employment from another in a matter adversely affecting any interest of
his former client. It is his duty to decline employment in such a case where there are Matters disclosed by a prospective client to a lawyer are protected by the rule on
conflicting interests. privileged communication even if the prospective client does not thereafter retain
the lawyer or the latter declines employment. The rationale behind this rule is to
Maturan v. Gonzales allow the prospective client to feel free to discuss whatever he wishes without the
It is improper for a lawyer to appear as counsel for one party against the adverse party who is fear that what he discloses will be divulged or used against him. As a corollary,
his client in a related suit, That the representation of conflicting interests is in good faith and the lawyer becomes equally free to obtain information from him (See Canon 21
and its implementing rules for a detailed discussion on privileged
with honest intention on the part of the lawyer does not make the prohibition inoperative. The
communication).
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
People v. Sandiganbayan
with his client’s case. Such knowledge must be considered sacred and guarded with care.
For the application of the attorney-client privilege, the period to be considered is the
date when the client made the privileged communication to the attorney in relation to
Dee v. CA
either a crime committed in the past or with respect to a crime intended to be
Generally, an attorney is prohibited from representing parties with contending positions.
committed in the future. If a client seeks his lawyer’s advice with respect to a crime
However, at a certain stage of the controversy before it reaches the court, a lawyer may
that he has already committed, he is given the protection of a virtual confessional
represent conflicting interests with the consent of the parties. A common representation may
seal, which the privilege declares cannot be broken by his attorney without his
work to the advantage of the parties since a mutual lawyer, with honest motivations and
consent. The same privilege, however, does not attach with regard to a crime, which a
impartially cognizant of the parties’ disparate positions, may well be better suited to work out
client intends to commit thereafter or in the future, and for purposes of which he
an acceptable settlement of their differences, being free of partisan inclinations and acting
seeks the lawyer’s advice. Such communications regarding contemplated acts, or in aid
with the cooperation and confidence of the parties.
or in furtherance thereof, are not covered by the cloak of privilege. Further, in order
for a communication to be privileged, it must be for a lawful purpose or in furtherance
Buted v. Bolisay
of a lawful end. The existence of an unlawful purpose prevents the privilege from
There is no necessity for proving the actual transmission of confidential information to an
attaching.
attorney in the course of his employment by one client in order that a subsequent client may
preclude him from accepting employment where there are conflicting interests between the two
Regala v. Sandiganbayan
clients. Further, the absence of monetary consideration does not exempt a lawyer from
As a mater of public policy, a client’s identity should not be shrouded in mystery.
complying with the prohibition against pursuing cases where a conflict of interest exists. The
Hence, a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or
prohibition attaches from the moment an attorney-client relation is established and extends
25
identity of his client. However, several exceptions exist. Client identity is privileged where a neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case.
strong probability exists that revealing the client’s name would implicate him in the very activity
for which he sought the lawyer’s advice. Identity is also privileged where disclosure would open As officers of the court, counsels are under obligation to advise their clients
the client to civil liability. The content of any client communication lies within the privilege if it against making untenable and inconsistent claims. Lawyers are not merely hired
is relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which he seeks legal assistance. employees who must unquestionably do the bidding of the client, however
Moreover, where the nature of the attorney-client relation has been previously disclosed and it unreasonable this may be when tested by their own expert appreciation of the
is the identity that is intended to be confidential, the privilege may also be invoked, since such facts and applicable law and jurisprudence. Counsel must counsel.
revelations would result in disclosure of the entire transaction.
Rule 15.06 — A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to
Note: According to Dean Agabin, as long as a crime has already been committed, its influence any public official, tribunal or legislative body.
disclosure is privileged communication.
Lantoria v. Bunyi
Rule 15.03 — A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by As an officer of the court, a lawyer is commanded to help promote the independence
written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. of the judiciary and to refrain from engaging in acts which would influence the judicial
determination of a litigation in which he is counsel. Marked attention and unusual
There is inconsistency of interest within the meaning of the prohibition when, on behalf of hospitality on the part of a lawyer to a judge uncalled for by the personal relations of
one client, it is the attorney’s duty to contend for that which his duty to another client the parties subject both the judge and the lawyer to misconstruction of motive and
requires him to oppose, or when the possibility of such situation develops. Other tests of should be avoided. A lawyer should not communicate or argue privately with a judge as
the inconsistency of interests are: [1] whether the acceptance of a new relation will to the merits of a pending case and deserves rebuke and denunciation for any device
prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to or attempt to gain from a judge special consideration or favor.
his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance thereof;
and [2] whether he will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first client any Rule 15.07 — A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance
knowledge acquired in the previous employment. The test to determine whether there is a with the laws and the principle of fairness.
conflict of interest is probability, not certainty, of conflict. The rule applies even if the
conflict pertains to a lawyer’s private activity or in the performance in a non-professional A lawyer should impress upon his client that his duty it to counsel or maintain
capacity, and his presentation as a lawyer regarding the same subject matter. such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and raise such
defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law, and to
The termination of the relation of attorney and client provides no justification for a lawyer secure for the client, through honorable means, only what is justly due him. He is
to represent an interest adverse to or in conflict with that of his former client. A client’s required to represent his client within the bounds of law, i.e., a lawyer is not a gun
confidence once reposed cannot be divested by the expiration of the professional for hire.
employment. Further, the prohibition applies irrespective of whether or not the lawyer has
acquired confidential information from his former client.
Rule 15.08 — A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or
But where no conflict of interests exists, where the clients knowingly consent to the dual occupation concurrently with the practice of law shall make clear to
representation or where no true attorney-client relationship is attendant, the prohibition his client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.
does not apply.
A practicing lawyer may lawfully engage in any other lawful occupation or
Rule 15.04 — A lawyer may, with the written consent of all concerned, act business. However, he is required to inform his client as to the capacity in which
he acts, as certain ethical considerations governing attorney-client relations may
as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes.
be operative in one and not the other.
A lawyer’s knowledge of the law and his reputation for fidelity may make it easy for the
disputants to settle their differences amicably. However, the lawyer shall not act as CANON 16 — A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL
counsel for any of them. MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY
COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.
Rule 15.05 — A lawyer when advising his client shall give a candid and
honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the client’s case,
26
The well-established rule that the relation of attorney and client is highly fiduciary and hands collected for his clients does not relieve him from the duty of promptly
strictly confidential, requiring utmost good faith, loyalty, fidelity, and disinterestedness on accounting for the funds received.
the part of the attorney is designed to remove all temptation to take advantage of, not only
the need of his client but also of his good nature, liberality and credulity, to obtain any Rule 16.02 — A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate
undue advantage. The law in fact requires that “in all contractual property or other and apart from his own and those of others kept by him.
relations, when one of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral
dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other handicaps, the A lawyer should not commingle a client’s money with that of other clients and
courts must be vigilant for his protection.” with his private funds, nor use the client’s money for his personal purposes
without the client’s consent. He should promptly report any money belonging to
Rule 16.01 — A lawyer shall account for all money and property collected or his client that has come into his possession.
received for or from the client.
Rule 16.03 — A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property to his
In the course of his professional relationship with his client, a lawyer may receive money client when due or upon demand. However, he shall have a lien over
or property for or from his client. The lawyer holds such money or property in trust and he
the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to
is under obligation to make an accounting thereof. Included are moneys collected by the
lawyer in pursuance of a judgment in favor of his client as well as money not used for the satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly
purpose for which it was entrusted to counsel. A lawyer’s failure to make an accounting or thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent
to return the money upon demand constitutes blatant disregard of this rule. He may be on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as
subjected to the disciplinary action of the courts, ranging from suspension to disbarment, provided for in the Rules of Court.
depending on the attendant circumstances.
A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon
Rayos-Ombac v. Rayos demand, subject to his lien to satisfy lawful fees and disbursements (See Rule
The nature of the office of a lawyer requires that he shall be of good moral character. This 22.02 for a detailed discussion on attorney’s lien). The failure to return the client’s
qualification is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession, but its
money upon demand creates the presumption that he has misappropriated it for
his own use to the prejudice of and in violation of the trust reposed in him by the
continued possession is essential to maintain one’s good standing in the profession.
client. It is a gross violation of general morality as well as of professional ethics.
Daroy v. Legaspi
Navarro v. Meneses
A lawyer, under his oath, pledges to delay no man for money or malice and is bound to conduct A lawyer’s oath imposes upon him the duty to delay no man for money or malice. The
himself with all good fidelity to his clients. He is obligated to report promptly the money of his
acts of a lawyer of misappropriating money entrusted to him and failing or refusing to
clients that has come into his possession. He should not commingle it with his private property account for it to his client despite repeated demands therefor indicate his unfitness
nor use it for personal purposes without his client’s consent. Money collected by a lawyer in
for the confidence and trust reposed in him. They tend to show a lack of personal
pursuance of a judgment in favor of his clients is held in trust and must be immediately turned honesty or of good moral character as to render him unworthy of public confidence
over to them. When an attorney unjustly retains money belonging to his client after it has been
and constitute a ground for disciplinary action extending to disbarment.
demanded, he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in
his official transactions and he is liable to a criminal prosecution. His conversion of his client’s
Tanhueco v. de Dumo
money to his own benefit through false pretenses constitutes deceit, malpractice, and gross Moneys collected by an attorney on a judgment rendered in favor of his client
misconduct.
constitute trust funds and must be immediately paid over to the client. True, Section
37 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court provides that an attorney has “a lien upon the
Licuanan v. Melo
funds, documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his possession
The relation between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in its nature and of a very and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid, and
delicate, exacting, and confidential character, requiring a high degree of fidelity and good faith.
may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall also have a lien to the same
A lawyer should refrain from any action whereby for his personal benefit or gain he abuses or extent upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in
takes advantage of the confidence reposed in him by the client. Hence, lawyers are bound to
pursuance of such judgments, which he has secured in a litigation of his client…”
promptly account for money or property received by them on behalf of their clients and failure However, the fact that a lawyer has a lien for fees on moneys collected for a client,
to do so constitutes professional misconduct. That the lawyer has a lien for fees on money in his
27
does not relieve him from the duty to promptly account for the moneys received. His failure to courts are to carefully watch these transactions to ensure that the lawyer takes no
do so constitutes professional misconduct. undue advantage over his client. This rule is founded on public policy for, by virtue of
his office, an attorney is in an easy position to take advantage of the credulity and
Quilban v. Robinol ignorance of his client. His fidelity to the cause of his client requires him to be ever
A lawyer has no right to unilaterally appropriate his client’s money and convert it to the mindful of the responsibilities that should be expected of him.
payment of his fees, when such funds were intended for a specific purpose. To do so would not
only be an ethical infraction but also grave misconduct that renders him unworthy to continue in Rubias v. Batiller
the practice of the profession. Article 1491 of the Civil Code prohibits certain persons, by reason of the relation of
trust or their peculiar control over the property, from acquiring such property in their
Rule 16.04 — A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client’s trust or control either directly or indirectly and even at public or judicial auctions.
interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Lawyers, per the provision, are disqualified from acquiring property and rights, which
Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except when, in the interest of justice, may be the object of any litigation in which they take part by virtue of their
he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client. profession. Such a contract is declared by law to be an absolute nullity that cannot be
cured by ratification.
The rule consists of two parts. The first part is intended to prevent the lawyer from taking
advantage of his influence over the client. While a lawyer may borrow money from his
In re Ruste
client where the client’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case he is
handling for him or by independent advice from another lawyer, he should not abuse the The acquisition by deed of sale by an attorney of property subject of a suit, which he
client’s confidence by delaying payment. The second part is designed to assure the is waging on behalf of his clients, constitutes malpractice. Whether the deed of sale
lawyer’s independent professional judgment. For if a lawyer acquires a financial interest in was executed at the instance of the complainants who were driven by financial
the outcome of the case the free exercise of his judgment may be adversely affected. His necessity or at the behest of the lawyer is immaterial. In either case, the attorney
acquiring an interest in the subject matter of the case or an additional stake in its outcome occupies a vantage position to press upon or dictate his terms to a harassed client, in
may lead him to either consider his own recovery rather than that of his client or accept a breach of the rule in the Civil Code that strives to protect the confidential relations
settlement which may take care of his interest in the verdict to the sacrifice of that of his that exist between attorney and client.
client. In either case, he violates his duty of undivided fidelity to his client’s cause.
Go Beltran v. Fernandez
Related to this rule is the law prohibiting a lawyer from purchasing, even at a public or A lawyer who purchases property of his client involved in a pending litigation, in which
judicial auction, either in person or through the mediation of another, any property or he appeared as counsel, violates Article 1491 of the Civil Code and is guilty of breach
interest involved in any litigation in which he may take part by virtue of his profession (Art.
of professional conduct.
1491 of the Civil Code). The prohibition rests on considerations of public policy and
interest and stands on the moral obligation of an attorney to refrain from placing himself in
a position that ordinarily excites conflict between self-interest and integrity. The rule Laig v. Court of Appeals
involves four elements: [a] there must be an attorney-client relationship; [b] the property or The prohibition in Article 1491 of the Civil Code does not apply when the interest in
interest of the client must be in litigation; [c] the attorney takes part as counsel of the case; the property of the client is acquired by his attorney after the resolution of litigation
and [d] the attorney by himself or through another purchases such property or interest as payment for legal services as counsel.
during the pendency of the litigation. The absence of any of these elements renders the
prohibition inapplicable. Daroy v. Abecia

Cruz v. Jacinto Neither does the prohibition apply to the sale of a parcel of land, acquired by a client
A lawyer may be disciplined or suspended for any misconduct, whether in his professional or to satisfy a judgment in his favor, to his attorney as long as the property was not the
private capacity, which shows him to be wanting in moral character, in honesty, in probity and subject of the litigation. For indeed, while judges, prosecuting attorneys, and others
good demeanor, thus rendering him unworthy to continue as an officer of the court. As a rule, a connected with the administration of justice are prohibited from acquiring “property
lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the business transaction must be or rights in litigation or levied upon in execution,” the prohibition with respect to
characterized with utmost honesty and good faith. However, the measure of the good faith attorneys in the case extends only to “property and rights which may be the object of
that an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings with his clients is a much higher any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession.”
standard than is required in business dealings where the parties trade at arms length. Hence,
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CANON 17 - A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client Barrios explains that he was busy preparing for a brief of another client and that he
was appearing in the courts of Manila, QC, Pasay, Bulacan, and Pampanga. He thought
and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in that he already filed a motion for extension of time for Ingco but he had not.
him. WON respondent has shown fidelity to the cause of his client.
NO! Because of his negligence, his client was to be put to death! The mere fact that
A lawyer owes fidelity to the client's cause. His highest and most unquestioned duty is to according to him, his practice was extensive should not have lessened that degree of
protect the client at all hazards and costs even to himself. The finest hours of the legal
case necessary for the fulfillment of his responsibility.
profession were those where the lawyer stood by his client even in the face and risk of
danger to his person or fortune. And his client can take comfort in the thought that his
lawyer will not abandon him when his services are needed most. Alisbo vs. Jalandoon
On March 16, 1970, Ramon Alisbo hired Jalandoon as his counsel to commence an
Cantiller vs. Potenciano action to revover his share of the estate of the spouses Sales already adjudicated to
Peregrina Cantiller was party to two civil cases the subject of which was the apartment she and him but prescribed because no motion for execution was filed. The defendant, Carlito
her sister, complainant herein. Peregrina lost both cases and was about to be ejected from the Sales, in the new cases was former client of Jalandoon.
apartment. Respondent Potenciano was then introduced to her and took upon her cause. Jalandoon prepared the complaint reviving judgment on April 1970 but delayed its
The respondent a civil case seeking for a restraining order and filed a haphazardly prepared filing for five months, favoring Sales.He postponed the action so the court may
pleading. He assured that the case would be raffled off to a judge who was his friend and that resolve pending incidents in another related case, this was to kill time so presricption
they will get favorable judgment. However, the judge in this case asked Potenciano to withdraw would take hold.
as counsel because he was his friend. He did so but Cantiller was not able to secure another He originally filed the complaint with Ramon Alisbo and his brothers, but dropped the
lawyer and thus no restraining order was obtained. brothers as plaintiffs. This was to make the complaint defective because Ramon was
Prior to the judgment in the first civil case, Potenciano filed another one. In this case, an incompetent.
respondent got from Cantiller P10,000.00 allegedly to deposit with the court and P1000 and $10 Jalandoon sat on the case for more than a year, and thereafter impleaded another
to bribe the judge with. person as Ramon's legal guardian. By that time, the action has prescribed.
The second case was also dismissed for being similar to the first civil case. Cantiller also found WON Jalandoon has shown fidelity to the cause of his client.
out that there was no need to deposit the P10000 with the court and demanded the money back No. There is more than simple negligence resulting in the extinguishment and loss of
but respondent did not answer. his client's right to action. He did not champion the cause of Alisbo with that
Thus this administrative complaint was filed. wholehearted fidelity, care, and devotion that a lawyer is obligated to give to every
WON respondent failed to exert all effort for his client's cause. case that he accepts from a client.
Yes. His first duty was to file the best pleading within his capability. However, he was more
interested in milking Cantiller out of her money. Ngayan vs. Tugade
Respondent knew beforehand that he would be asked to withdraw as counsel in the first civil Complainants, the Ngayans, wanted to file a criminal case against Robert Leonido and
case, but he did not take steps to inform his client of this and he did not even find a Rowena Soriano for entering their dwelling without authorization. They asked Tugade
replacement for himself. (he was their counsel in several criminal cases before) to file the complaint. However,
His actuation is definitely inconsistent with his duty to protect with utmost dedication the in the affidavit Tugade made, which was readily signed by Ms. Ngayan, the name of
interest of his client and of the fidelity, trust and confidence, which he owes his client. Robert Leonido was conspicuously missing, this prompted Ms. Ngayan to point this
error out, and Tugade crossed the paragraph out saying he will edit the same.
They discharged Tugade as their counsel for the case. However, in the course of the
People vs. Ingco criminal proceedings, the very document Ms. Ngayan signed in the possession of the
“The mere fact that his practice was extensive, requiring his appearance in courts in Manila and defendants' counsel and presented as evidence.
environs as well as the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga should not have lessened that degree It was found out that Tugade was defendant's was Tugade's classmate and that
of care necessary for the fulfillment of his responsibility.” Tugade was counsel for Leonido's brother.
Barrios, counsel de oficio for the accused, filed a motion for extension of time for the filing of WON Tugade has shown fidelity to the cause of his client.
the appellants brief. Problem was, it was fifteen days late. Hence, on Sept 28, 1970, Gaudencio No. Respondent's act of executing and submitting an affidavit as exhibit for the
Ingco was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court. defendants advancing facts prejudicial to the case of the Ngayans demonstrates

29
clearly an act of offensive personality against the Ngayans.
Additionally, respondent's failure to answer the complaint against him and his failure to attend Rule 18.01 - A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service, which he
the investigation are evidence of his flouting resistance to court orders. knows or should know that he is not qualified to render. However,
he may render such service if, with the consent of his client, he can
CANON 18 - A lawyer shall serve his client with competence obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on the
and diligence. matter.

Upon acceptance of employment, a lawyer impliedly represents that: A lawyer should not accept employment in a specific area of law, which he knows
• He possesses the requisite degree of learning, skill and ability which is necessary to or should know he is not qualified to render. This is to protect the client, since his
acceptance implies that he is competent, skillful and knowledgeable enough to
the practice of his profession and which others similarly situated possess
handle the case.
• He will exert his best effort in the prosecution or defense of his client's cause
• He will exercise reasonable and ordinary care and diligence in the use of his skill and Rule 18.02 - A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without
the application of his knowledge to his client's case
adequate preparation.
• He will take such steps and make such precautions as will adequately safeguard the
client's interests A lawyer owes it to his client and the court to be adequately prepared to handle
• He will adopt the norms of practice expected of men with good intentions the case. Thorough study and preparation is needed to safeguard client's
interests. A lawyer must be careful in the preparation of his pleadings, for they
reflect the extent of his study and preparation. Pleadings also embody the result
This duty to safeguard client's interest begins from retainer up to the effective discharge of his work and furnish the basis on which to judge his competence.
from the case or the final disposition of the whole subject matter of the litigation.
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to
Legarda vs CA him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him
Victoria Legarda was defendant in a case where New Cathay House wanted her to sign the lease
liable.
and to construct a restaurant on her lot in West Ave., QC. She was issued a writ on preliminary
injunction. This was the point where Antonio Coronel entered his appearance as counsel for When a client entrusts a case to a lawyer to handle and the lawyer accepts the
Legarda. He filed a motion for extension of time to file an answer to the complaint. That was assignment, it is understood that the client has granted him authority, and the
the last Dean Coronel was heard of. lawyer has assumed the obligation, to take al procedural steps necessary to
Legarda failed to file her answer with the court thus evidence was presented ex parte. prosecute the client's claim or to defend the client's rights in the action.
Judgment was rendered against her. The property was executed and sold and the one-year Whatever decision a lawyer may make or whatever step he may take or fail to
redemption period expired. take on any of these procedural questions, even if it will adversely affect the
She appealed to the CA but this time another lawyer. But Coronel still handled the case and client's cause, will generally bind the client and the latter may not be heard to
filed a reply to the consolidated comment and memoranda (which he got from the reply to complain that the result of the litigation might have been different had counsel
consolidated comment in toto). proceeded differently.
CA decided against Legarda, Coronel filed no motion for recon. She was ordered to vacate the
There are also certain matters, which are known to the lawyer but imputed to the
premises but was not relayed to her by Coronel. She appealed to the Sc, which annulled the
client. As long as lawyer remains counsel of record, any notice forwarded by the
decisions of the TC and CA becoz of her counsel's negligence, and also directed Coronel to
court to him is also notice to the client. Any mistake or negligence committed by
answer for his negligence. counsel or his employee is generally binding upon the client. Of course, when
Coronel motioned for extension of time becoz he hasn't had the time to attend to the interests of justice dictate it or when application of the rule would result to
Legarda's case becoz of the more than 80 Marcos cases handled by him. He filed another grave injustice, the court may relax the rule. Only ordinary diligence is required of
motion becoz he became ill. The Court junked this. lawyers, or that which is expected of a good father of a family.
WON Coronel served his client with Competence and Diligence.
No. His failure to exercise due diligence in protecting and attending to the interest of his A lawyer must also ensure that he has an efficient system of accepting mail, and
client caused the latter material prejudice. Considering that he is a law school dean and a top- of giving to notice to his client and the court of any change of his address. This is
quality lawyer, he should be giving top-quality service. However, he did not. to avoid any unnecessary delay or other undesirable consequences.
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A defense counsel is expected to spare no effort to save his client from an unrighteous only heard the evidence of the plaintiff uncontested and eventually, a decision was
conviction, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of his client. rendered against Wack Wack. The latter appealed to the CA.
On appeal, rather than work on the merits of their case, Atty. Chuidian says that
When accused intends to plead guilty, the lawyer has the duty to acquaint himself with all there was excusable negligence that the trial court should have appreciated. That
the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, inform the accused of his constitutional there was misunderstanding insofar as his services were contracted a day before the
rights and all the possible consequences and repercussions of his plea. hearing and that the documents were still with the former lawyer of Wack Wack. And
when he talked to them, he understood that they would appear on the day of the trial
When a lawyer is guilty of gross negligence, he may be criminally liable under Art. 209 of
to move for postponement but was late by 35 minutes.
the RPC, civilly liable through actions for damages, and administratively liable.
WON the petitioner committed excusable negligence.
Reontoy vs. Ibadlit No. The negligence was Inexcusable. The counsel of record (Atty. Cruz) is under
Atty. Ibadlit was counsel for Corazon Reontoy in a case for partition, accounting and obligation to protect the client's interest until its final release from the professional
reconveyance. The case was decided and Atty. Ibadlit received the decision on June 19, 1989. relationship with such client. The court could recognize no other representation on
He contacted complainant's brother and asked him to relay the message to Reontoy. Reontoy behalf of the client except such counsel of record until a formal substitution of
did not contact him, so he did nothing about the case. However, Reontoy came to his office the attorney is effected.
next month and signified her wish to appeal the decision. However, the period to file an appeal A party to a case has no right to rely either on the liberality of the court, or on the
was already expired on July 4 but Ibadlit nevertheless filed an appeal on July 17. This was not generosity of the adverse party.
admitted for being filed out of time.
WON Ibadlit neglected his client's cause. Blanza vs. Arcangel
Yes. A lawyer has no authority to waive his client's right to appeal. His failure to perfect an In April 1955, respondent Atty. Arcangel volunteered to help complainants Blanza and
appeal within the prescribed period constitutes negligence and malpractice proscribed by Rule Pasion in their respective pensions claims for their deceased spouses whom were PC
18.03 CPR. He should have filed an appeal notwithstanding not hearing a wish to do so from his soldiers. They handed over to him pertinent documents to have them for photostating
client. If the client would rather not, then he could easily have the appeal dismissed. purposes. The complainants admitting to shoulder the payment for the services of
Photostatting. However, after six years, noticing no progress in their pension claims,
Rule 18.04 - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case the complainants demanded back the documents from Arcangel. The latter refused to
and shall respond within a reasonable time to the client's request for give them back saying that they should first pay him for the Photostat services.
information. Hence the complainants filed this administrative case. They allege that their claim for
pension was delayed for six years because of Arcangel's actuations.
The client is entitled to the fullest disclosure of the mode or manner by which his interest is Arcangel says that he was not obliged to follow up their claims because there was no
defended or why certain steps are taken or omitted. compensation set-up.
WON respondent is to be reprimanded.
Keeping the client fully informed of important developments of his case will minimize No. There was no clear preponderance of evidence to substantiate the claim of him
occasions for misunderstanding or loss of trust and confidence in the attorney. delaying complainant's cause. However, Arcangel is reminded that there is still an
attorney-client relationship (mainly because he volunteered to help them in their
A lawyer who repeatedly disdains to answer the inquiries or communications of his client claim) and it was unnecessary to have complainants wait and hope for six long years on
violates the rules of professional courtesy and neglects his client's interests. their pension claims. He shoud have terminated their professional relationship instead
because they refused to cooperate.
Wack Wack Golf and CC vs CA
This is actually a consolidation of two cases filed by two employees of Wack Wack to exact
their overtime pay from their employer, unenjoyed vacation, moral damages and atty's fees.
CANON 19 - A lawyer shall represent his client with zeal
The case was admitted for hearing as early as March 1955. within the bounds of the law
At this time, counsel for was still Atty. Angel Cruz of the firm Paredes, Balcoff and
Poblador. However, Wack Wack manifested that it wanted to change lawyers and employed A lawyer owes his client entire devotion to his genuine interest, warm zeal in the
Atty. Chuidian. Although Wack Wack was informed of hearing set for early May since March 28, maintenance and defense of his rights and the exertion of his utmost learning
and ability. NO fear of judicial disfavor or public unpopularity should restrain him
no representative of Wack Wack was present on the hearing day itself. Hence, the trial court

31
from the full discharge of his duty. In matrimonial cases, lawyers must avoid collusion, or even only appearances of
collusion.
It demands of him the most unscrupulous performance of his duty, especially when
negligence in the discharge thereof will cause delay in the administration of justice or Rule 19.02 - A lawyer who has received information that his client
prejudice to the rights of the litigant. has, in the course of the representation, perpetuated a fraud upon a
person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the
Public interest requires that a lawyer exert his best efforts and ability within the bounds of same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship with
the law in the prosecution or defense of his client's cause. Thus, he also serves the ends
of justice, does honor to the bar, and helps maintain the respect of the community in the
such client in accordance with the Rules of Court.
legal profession.
The lawyer's duty to be candid and to secure for his client only that which is
legally and justly due him precludes him from sanctioning the client's act of
However, it should not amount to obstinacy nor should it be carried beyond the limits of
perpetuating a fraud upon the adverse party or the court.
sobriety and decorum.
A lawyer should prevent his client from any act of impropriety. If the client
Millare vs. Montero
persists in such wrongdoing, the lawyer should terminate his relation with him.
Pacifica Millare, mother of complainant, won a case in the MTC of Abra ejecting Elsa Co from
However, the lawyer may not divulge information regarding the fraud since it is
the premises that is currently possessing. his duty to preserve the confidence and secrets of his client even after the
From this decision, respondent Montero, filed six appeals, complaints or petitions (not counting attorney-client relationship has been terminated.
the motions for reconsideration) and even went up to the Supreme Court but still did not desist.
Thus this complaint was brought against Montero by Mr. Millare, Pacifica's son. Rule 19.03 - A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the
WON Montero is represented his client within the bounds of law. procedure in handling the case
No. Advocacy, within the bounds of the law, permits the attorney to se any arguable
construction of the law or rules that is favorable to his client. But the lawyer is not allowed to While it is lawyer's duty to comply with the client's lawful request, he should resist
knowingly advance a claim or defense that is unwarranted under existing law. and should not follow any unlawful instruction of his client.
He also violated Canon 12 saying that it is a lawyer's duty to assist in the speedy disposition of
cases. He also committed forum-shopping. In matters of law and procedure, it is the client who should give in to the lawyer,
since latter is more knowledgeable in these maters.
Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the
lawful objectives of his client and shall not present, participate in The lawyer's duty to the court, no less than the dignity of the legal profession,
requires that he should not act like an errand boy at the beck and call of his
presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an
client, ready and eager to do his bidding.
improper advantage in any case or proceeding.

Any of the acts mentioned above constitute professional malpractice, which is a ground for CANON 20 – A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR &
disciplinary action, as by criminally prosecuting a person without reasonable ground for REASONABLE FEES
the purpose of forcing him to grant his client's claim. A lawyer should employ such means
only as are consistent with truth and honor. A lawyer has the right to have & recover from his client a reasonable
compensation for his services. A lawyer is entitled to judicial protection against
In espousing his client's cause, a lawyer should not state his personal belief as to the injustice, imposition, or fraud on the part of his client as the client against abuse
soundness or justice of the client's case. on the part of his counsel. One of the duties of the court is to see that a lawyer is
paid his just fees.
Technical defenses, such as lack of knowledge or information concerning the truth of an
allegation must be availed of with sincerity and good faith; it must neither be used to Requisites for right to accrue:
confuse the adverse party as to what allegations are really put in issue nor employed to
• Lawyer-client relationship
delay the litigation.
• Rendition by the lawyer of services to his client. (there should be a
professional contract; express or implied, between a lawyer & his client &
32
that the lawyer should have rendered services pursuant thereto.) The lawyer who has been retained by the client are entitled to, or to share in,
• Written agreement is NOT necessary attorney’s fees. If more than one lawyer is employed to handle the case, the
lawyers who jointly represent the common client for a given fee, in the absence
But a lawyer who renders professional services in favor but over the objection of a party of an agreement as to division of fees, share equally. If several lawyers
cannot recover fees even though the party benefited from the services separately employed by a client do not have express agreement with client as to
amount of fees each would receive or if they have rendered services at one time
Acts of recognition/acceptance are in general equivalent to a prior engagement (of or another in the action, each will be entitled to no more than what his services
lawyer’s services) actually performed are reasonably worth.

Client’s obligation to pay arises from the principle against unjust enrichment at the A layman is not entitled to attorney’s fees.
expense of another. Amount based on quantum meruit. (as much as a lawyer deserves)
In the absence of a law allowing compensation, counsel de oficio CANNOT
Essential requisite: acceptance of the benefits by one sought to be charged for services charge the government nor the indigent litigant for his services.
rendered under circumstances as reasonably to notify him that the lawyer performing the
task was expecting to be paid compensation therefor. One of the obligations assumed by a lawyer upon oath is to render free legal
services whenever required by the court to do so. Hence, no violation of
The court will fix attorney’s fees on quantum meruit basis when lawyer & client cannot constitutional restriction against taking without remuneration or due process
agree as to the reasonable amount when: Rules of Court provide a token compensation for attorney de oficio, which the
• There is no express contract as to amount of attorney’s fees court may fix, subject to availability of funds.
• Agreement as to fees is invalid due to formal defect
A lawyer who is prohibited from engaging in private practice by reason of his
• Lawyer & client disregard the contract fixing attorney’s fees
government position may not charge attorney’s fees for his services, should he
• Lawyer is precluded from concluding litigation without his fault (but he gets full practice illegally.
amount if there’s a valid written agreement & client dismissed him in bad faith)
• Amount stipulated is unconscionable or unreasonable A government lawyer charged with the duty of extending free legal services to
indigent litigants may not collect fees from the litigant without being guilty of
misconduct
The term “unconscionable” may be defined as that amount which, under the
circumstances surrounding the case, constitutes an over-exaggeration of the worth of the A retired judge/justice receiving pension cannot collect fees for appearing in any
lawyer’s services. administrative proceedings to maintain an interest adverse to the government

Who is liable for attorney’s fees? Lawyer’s acts of misconduct, such as carelessness, negligence,
General rule: only the client who engaged the services of counsel either personally or misrepresentation, abuse of client’s confidence, unfaithfulness in representing
through an authorized agent is liable. client’s cause, may adversely affect or even negate his right to fees.
Exception: a person who accepts the benefits of the legal representation impliedly agrees Mere honest mistake in the discharge of duties does not defeat lawyer’s right to
to pay the lawyer’s services because he may not be permitted to enrich himself at lawyer’s fees.
expense.
Withdrawal of counsel from the case; effects:
Persons who did not object to lawyer’s appearance for them & enjoyed the benefits of the • Unceremonious withdrawal from or abandonment of the action by the
lawyer’s representation may be required to pay attorney’s fees. lawyer negates his right to compensation
• A lawyer who is forced to resign from case for reasons attributable to his
Benefitàliability rule does not apply where the party represented by a private lawyer who fault or misconduct may lose his right to fees
was employed without authorization, because the law specifies who its government lawyer
• Withdrawal of counsel who has so far done his duties faithfully does not
should be, & the benefits secured by the legal representation cannot take the place of the
affect his right to fees
law nor create an obligation on the part of the government entity to pay the private lawyer
for his services, except when no government lawyer is available. • If withdrawal is with client’s written conformity, it is presumed that atty &
client have agreed on compensation for such services up to the date the

33
relationship is terminated • Fee may be absolute or contingent
• If without client’s written consent but for justifiable cause made after due notice to • May be a fixed percentage of the amount recovered in the action
client, lawyer may recover fees for services up to the date of withdrawal. • May call for down payment;
• Fee per appearance in court, per piece of work, per hour
Simultaneous representation by a lawyer of opposing parties to a controversy, without the
clients’ written consent made after full disclosure of the facts, negates the lawyer’s right to Kinds of retainer fees.
receive compensation from both of them General retainer: fee paid to a lawyer to secure beforehand his services as
general counsel for any ordinary legal problem that may otherwise arise in the
Lawyer’s acceptance of employment from a new client against a former client in a matter business of the client.
related to the former controversy precludes recovery of fees from the former client only if
former client objected to the representation. The new client may not defeat lawyer’s right Purpose is to insure & secure his future services for a particular or work & to
to fees in the absence of concealment & prejudice by reason of lawyer’s previous remunerate him for being deprived of the opportunity of rendering services to the
relationship with the adverse party other party
A client cannot deprive the lawyer of his just fees already earned, in the absence of the to prevent undue hardship on the part of attorney resulting from rigid observance
lawyer’s fault, consent, or waiver. of the rule forbidding representation of adverse interests it is usually apart from/in
addition to what client has agreed pay him for his services.
Discharge of lawyer by client without valid cause before the conclusion of the litigation
does not negate lawyer’s right to payment for his services. If no express written Special retainer: fee for a particular case or specific service to be performed by a
agreement as to fees, lawyer may recover fees up to the date of his dismissal. If contract lawyer. [lawyer’s fees which client pays counsel as compensation for professional
is in writing & the fee stipulated is absolute & reasonable, the lawyer discharged without services are different from attorney’s fees awarded by court. Attorney’s fees
justifiable cause will be entitled to the full amount. If the fee stipulated is contingent & the awarded by court are items of damages decreed in favor of the winning party –
lawyer is unlawfully dismissed before the conclusion of the action, he can recover fees for they are NOT awarded to the lawyer. But both types of fees are subject to judicial
services thus rendered control/modification.]
Exception: where client eventually wins, or prevents its successful prosecution by General rules governing validity of ordinary contracts apply to an agreement for
dismissing, settling, or waiving, lawyer gets the full amount stipulated in contract professional services. So a retainer whose cause, object, or purpose is contrary
to law, public policy, morals, & good customs is null & void.
The lawyer should question his discharge as counsel in order to recover under the
contract, otherwise he may recover only on a quantum meruit basis. If nullity is due to illegality of object, lawyer cannot recover fees. If nullity is due to
a formal defect or to the unconscionability of the amount of fees stipulated,
Mere honest differences between client & counsel, which prompted the dismissal, do not lawyer may recover what is due him on the basis of quantum meruit since the
bar recovery of fees. services rendered are legitimate.
Client may not deprive attorney of his fees by dismissing his action. if dismissal of action Rule 138, sec 24 provides that a written contract for services shall control the
by client is in good faith the lawyer may recover only the reasonable worth of his services amount to be paid unless found by the court to be unconscionable or
if in bad faith & intended to defraud lawyer of his fees, lawyer gets full amount stipulated in unreasonable.
contract or, if no contract, fees based on quantum meruit.
Unconscionability of amount of attorney’s fees stipulated in a professional
Client cannot, by compromising or settling his case, deprive lawyer of his fees in the contract renders contract invalid. The fact that client knowingly entered into such
absence of waiver on attorney’s part. if compromise is with lawyer’s consent, fees to be contract does not estop him from questioning its validity on such ground.
fixed on the basis of quantum meruit. If client settles in bad faith/in fraud of counsel,
lawyer gets full amount stipulated or, if no contract, reasonable worth of his services. Contingent fee contract is an agreement in which the fee [usually a fixed
percentage of what may be recovered in the action] is made to depend upon the
Contract for attorney’s fees: success of the action. Lawyer gets paid only if he wins the case, unless client
• May be either oral or in writing prevents the successful prosecution or defense of his action, in which case

34
lawyer recovers on quantum meruit basis. If client acts in bad faith, he gets the full amount aggrieved party. The Court has power to review & modify the agreed amount of
fixed in valid written contract attorney’s fees when it appears to be excessive & unreasonable. On a quantum meruit
basis, no circumstances of special difficulty attending the cases having been shown,
Contingent fees should be the subject of an express contract. Contingent fee contracts are fees should be reduced.
closely scrutinized by courts since the lawyer in effect becomes a party litigant considering
that he only gets paid if he wins (so he might overstep the bounds of propriety), & such Rule 20.01 – A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in
contracts are susceptible to abuse (indigent litigants who may have no means to enforce
determining his fees:
their rights other than entering into these contracts may be forced to agree to outrageous
fees) • TIME spent & EXTENT OF SERVICES rendered/required
• NOVELTY & DIFFICULTY of questions involved
A contingent fee contract is generally valid & binding unless it is obtained by fraud, • IMPORTANCE of subject matter
imposition or suppression of facts, or the fee is so clearly excessive as to amount to
• SKILL demanded
extortion.
• PROBABILITY OF LOSING OTHER EMPLOYMENT as a result of
Construction of professional contract. acceptance of proffered case
General rule: adopt the construction more favorable to client even if it would work • CUSTOMARY CHARGES for similar services & the SCHEDULE
prejudice to the lawyer. OF FEES OF IBP CHAPTER to which he belongs
• AMOUNT INVOLVED in the controversy & BENEFITS resulting
Measure of compensation; amount fixed in contract. Generally, where there is a valid
written contract fixing the fees, the contract is conclusive as to the amount of to client from the service
compensation, whether it be absolute or contingent. • CONTINGENCY/CERTAINTY of compensation
• CHARACTER OF EMPLOYMENT, whether occasional or
Albano v Coloma (21 SCRA 411) established
Clients, after benefiting from services of respondent Coloma, tried to renege on their • PROFESSIONAL STANDING of lawyer
agreement for payment of Coloma’s contingent fees by dismissing her as their counsel after she
had already won the case for them & later, by attempting to impugn the authenticity of their These are mere guides – only some of them may be taken into account, & other
written agreement for payment of attorney’s fees. Held: Counsel is entitled to be fully factors may be considered, like the purchasing power of the peso &/or client’s
recompensed for his services, & is entitled to the protection of any judicial tribunal against any financial capacity.
attempt on the part of a client to escape payment of his fees. The court views with disapproval
any & every effort of those benefited by counsel’s services to deprive him of his hard-earned Value of lawyer’s services is largely determined by the nature, quality, & quantity
honorarium. Such an attitude deserves condemnation. of his services. A hotly litigated action requires more work & calls for higher
compensation. Lawyer’s services should not be fragmented & valued separately
Quirante v FAC (169 SCRA 769) – their importance & value should be measured & considered as a whole.
Motion for confirmation of attorney’s fees (fees also subject to contingencies i.e. dependent on
amount of recovery). Held: Since the main case from which petitioner’s claims for fees may Time employed is not in itself an appropriate basis for fixing compensation, but
length of employment which runs for years is significant, since longer
arise has not yet become final, the determination of the propriety of said fees & amount
employment = more work, lesser opportunity for other profitable retainers. Time
thereof should be held in abeyance. The remedy for recovering attorney’s fees as an incident of
devoted for study & research must be considered (it takes more time to prepare
the main action may be availed of only when something is due to the client. pleading, brief, etc, than for conducting trial in court)

Tanhueco v De Dumo (172 SCRA 774) The fact that office assistants have helped a lawyer cannot reduce his
Lawyer charged 76 year-old client a contingent fee of 50% of amount collected by him, + compensation because he pays them & is not expected to do everything
interest & whatever attorney’s fees may be awarded by trial court chargeable to other party. personally
Held: law does not per se prohibit contingent fees. But when it is shown that a contract for
contingent fee was obtained by undue influence exercised by the attorney upon his client by any Novelty & difficulty of questions involved require greater efforts in terms of study,
fraud or imposition, or that compensation is clearly excessive, the court must & will protect the research, & preparation to convince the court as to soundness of client’s cause

35
in fixing the lawyer’s fees, the court takes into account the novelty/difficulty of questions as
well as the demands on his part on those questions This factor may be considered, not to enhance the fees above what is
reasonable but to ascertain WON the client is able to pay fair & just
It is only fair that client should compensate his lawyer more for being deprived of the compensation for services rendered. Also as an incident in determining
chance to earn legal fees from others by reason of his employment as his counsel importance & gravity of interests involved.

Lawyer may lose opportunity for other employment in either of 2 ways Legislature may, by law, limit amount of attorney’s fees which lawyer may charge
• Acceptance of retainer from a client precludes lawyer from appearing for others client. Contract of professional services in violation of such law is void. Such law
because of prohibition against representation of conflicting interests. If there is is strictly interpreted & may not extend beyond what it expressly comprehends
reasonable expectation that had the lawyer not accepted employment from client he
would have been employed by other clients that may call for a higher fee to Zulueta v Pan Am World Airways (49 SCRA 1)
compensate for the lost opportunities The quantity & quality of the services rendered by the plaintiffs’ counsel appearing on
• Even without such expectation of employment from others, the work may require record, apart from the nature of the case & the amount involved therein, as well as his
tedious details & considerable time that may deprive him of the opportunity to work prestige as one of the most distinguished lawyers in the Philippines, of which judicial
on other cases cognizance may be taken, amply justify the award of attorney’s fees, which is a little
over 10% of the damages (P700,000.00) collectible by plaintiffs herein.
In fixing lawyer’s compensation, the result secured by him is given much weight. The fact
that a lawyer failed to secure his client’s desires does not deprive him of the right to Sison v Suntay (102 Phil 769)
compensation, unless the fee agreed upon is contingent In determining what would be reasonable compensation for the attorney of an
administrator or executor of the intestate estate, the size & value of the decedent’s
General rule: the bigger the size/value of the interest/property in litigation, the higher the
estate, as well as the services performed by counsel, should be taken into
attorney’s fee is (since higher stakes à case is more hotly litigated & greater efforts
consideration.
required of lawyer

Inverse proportion rule: in multi-million-peso case, percentage of fee contingent on Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. v CA (181 SCRA 367)
recovery becomes smaller as amount of recovery gets bigger (assumption: amount of In fixing a reasonable compensation for the services rendered by a lawyer on the
work required remains [roughly] the same even though interest exceeds several millions) basis of quantum meruit, the elements to be considered are generally (1) the
importance of the subject matter in controversy, (2) the extent of the services
Value really depends upon the extent of the special & additional services & efforts rendered,(3) the professional standing of the lawyer. These are aside from several
demanded of the case (e.g. even if interest is of considerable value but calls for no extra other considerations [see factors 20.01]. A determination of all these factors would
efforts, no justification for higher fees) indispensably require nothing less than a full-blown trial where Alafriz & Associates
can adduce evidence to establish its right to lawful attorney’s fees & for petitioner to
Where several actions involve an identical case is litigated as a test case on whose oppose or refute the same.
favorable outcome the resolution of the other cases is made to depend (it is therefore
litigated with more energy & diligence), fairness & justice require that the lawyer’s fees be
Rilloraza v ETPI (309 SCRA 566)
not limited to a proportion of the amount involved in the test case but on the totality of the
See Metropolitan Bank above; notes under canon 20 on quantum meruit. [Also useful to
amounts in all actions dependent on the result of the test case
learn here that when a client employs the services of a law firm, he does not employ
Those who may be benefited by the result may be required to contribute a proportionate the services of the lawyer assigned to personally handle the case. Rather, he employs
share to the lawyer’s fees the entire law firm.]

Lawyer’s skill, experience, & standing bear a direct proportion to amount of fees. Why? Rule 20.02 – A lawyer shall, in cases of referral, with the consent of
Aside from the hard work & devotion to duty by which he acquired his reputation, an the client, be entitled to a division of fees in proportion to the work
argument made in a pleading or brief or orally in court acquires a different meaning & performed & responsibility assumed
import according to the persuasive ability & professional & personal prestige of the lawyer
expounding it. The court may take judicial notice of the prestige of a lawyer as a It is improper for a lawyer to receive compensation [commission/portion of
distinguished member of the bar
36
attorney’s fees] for merely recommending another lawyer to his client (otherwise, • Judgment debtor had fully paid judgment creditor all the proceeds of
profession is commercialized & proper appreciation of professional responsibility may be judgment without lawyer taking any legal step to have his fees paid directly
destroyed). He gets fee only when, in addition to referral, he performs legal to him out of such proceeds
service/assumes responsibility in the case
Proof required:
Rule 20.03 – A lawyer shall NOT, without the full knowledge & consent of • That lawyer was retained in his professional capacity
client, accept any fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or • That he rendered professional services to client
forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever related to his • That fee claimed is reasonable
professional employment from anyone other than the client. • That fee remains unpaid notwithstanding demand
• In case fee is contingent, show that contingency has occurred
General rule: lawyer should receive compensation for services in a case only from his
client & not from any other person Court having jurisdiction to try main action also has jurisdiction to pass upon the
question of fees even though the total sum thereof is less than jurisdictional
Purpose: to secure the lawyer’s wholehearted fidelity to client’s cause; avoid suspicion on amount cognizable by court & jurisdiction continues until proceeds of judgment
client’s part that his lawyer is receiving compensation from 3rd parties with hostile interests shall have been delivered to client. Independent civil action for recovery of
attorney’s fees is subject to same jurisdictional requirement as any other ordinary
Corollary: whatever a lawyer receives from the opposite party in the service of his client civil suit
belongs to his client
Persons who are entitled to or must pay attorney’s fees have the right to be
Rule 20.04 – A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his heard upon the question of their propriety or amount. Burden of proof is upon the
compensation & shall resort to judicial action only to prevent imposition, lawyer to establish his allegations & he must be allowed to adduce evidence to
injustice, or fraud. prove his claim. Where there is a written agreement for attorney’s fees, no other
piece of evidence than that of the agreement is necessary to prove the amount,
Suits to collect fees should be avoided, & only where circumstances imperatively require unless the amount appears to be unconscionable in the absence of an
should a lawyer resort to lawsuit to enforce payment of fees. He may take judicial action to explanation. Until there shall have been a hearing at which all parties concerned
protect right to fees either in the main action where his services were rendered or in an are given the opportunity to be heard, trial court may not authorize payment of
independent civil suit against his client fees (but hearing is presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary)

Enforce right to fees by filing necessary petition as an incident of the main action where Usual defenses applicable to an ordinary suit are available: e.g. want of
his services were rendered when: jurisdiction, res judicata, prescription, nullity of contract for professional services,
• Something is due the client in such action from which fee is to be paid negligence in discharge of lawyer’s duties, lack of attorney-client relationship,
• Client settles/waives his cause in bad faith in favor of adverse party to prejudice payment, & unconscionableness of amount claimed
lawyer’s claim for payment
• May not be availed of if client recovers nothing in the main case Final award of fees may be enforced by execution i.e. against any property of
client, including proceeds of judgment secured for client in main action
Question of fees may be determined only until after decision of main litigation & subject of
recovery is at the disposition of the court Corpuz v CA (98 SCRA 424)
Although atty. David may be faulted for not reducing the agreement on fees into
Independent action to recover fees may be done in cases where: writing, the absence of an express contract is no argument against the payment of
• The court trying main action dismissed the action or awarded nothing to client fees, considering the close relationship between him & Corpus, which signifies mutual
• Court had no/lost jurisdiction over action trust. The payment of attorney’s fees may be justified by the innominate contract of
• Person liable for attorney’s fees is not a party in main action facio ut des (I do & you give), which is based on the principle against unjust
• Court reserved to lawyer the right to file separate civil suit for recovery of fees enrichment. Atty David, however, is guilty of contempt for filing a case for a writ of
execution on attorney’s fees even though the main case was still pending with the SC.
• Services for which fees are sought by lawyer were rendered with a matter not in
litigation

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Narido v Linsangan Art. 208 RPC. Prosecution of offenses; negligence and tolerance. --- The
Contract between Atty Risma & client for handling a workmen’s compensation case stipulated penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and suspension shall be imposed
that Risma would get 15% of award obtained by client. This is contrary to the explicit provision upon any public officer, or officer of the law, who, in dereliction of the duties of his
in Workmen’s Compensation Act allowing only a maximum of 10% & only where case is appealed. office, shall maliciously refrain from instituting prosecution for the punishment of
Held: contract is of no force & effect, & the penalty imposed being that of admonition merely violators of the law, or shall tolerate the commission of offenses.
only because Risma actually made no effort to collect on it & had even advanced expenses for
Rule 130 S21 (b). Privileged Communication. ---
his poor client. It was clear that he would not try to enforce the contract.
(b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any
communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the
Perez v Scottish Union course of professional employment; nor can an attorney's secretary,
The fact that Perez handled the case with competence & success cannot be denied – note the stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and his
CA acquittal, for which he made oral argument & 78-page brief! The amount of P 6000.00 employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such
cannot therefore be adjudged excessive or unjust, especially because the fee is in a sense capacity;
contingent upon acquittal, since no insurance money (from which the 6000 would be taken) would
be forthcoming if Mitre was acquitted. Confidence refers to information protected by the attorney-client privilege as
As to Perez’s income & length of practice, neither is a safe criterion of professional ability – his defined by the provision in the ROC. This is called the evidentiary privilege.
competency must be judged from the character of his work.
Lastly, judicial actions for the recovery of fees, unless righteous & well founded & unless The word “secret” refers to other information gained in the professional
forced by an intolerable attitude assumed by clients, are seldom, if ever, resorted to, because relationship that the client has requested to be inviolate or that which disclosure
they cannot fail to create the impression, however wrong it may be, that the lawyers instituting
of which would be embarrassing to the client.
them are mercenary.
The lawyer’s duty to maintain inviolate his client’s confidence is perpetual. It
Judgment affirmed insofar as it sentences Mitre to pay Perez P 6000.00 as attorney’s fees in
outlasts his professional employment and continues even after the client’s death.
arson case. Its purpose is to be sure that the client will not suppress any information
regarding the case to the attorney.

Sato v Rallos The attorney-client privilege is intended primarily for the protection of the client
Case for collection of attorney’s fees claimed by Sato against estate administrator as such & as and incidentally in consideration for oath and honor of the atty. If what the client
a distributee, & also against the other distributees. It was proven that professional services seeks is not legal advice but only accounting or business or personal assistance,
were rendered & clients-appellees benefited therefrom. the privilege does not attach
Held: filing of complaint more than satisfies procedural requirements. Also, the fact that the
estate had already been distributed & the heirs had received their respective shares is no bar However, some privileged communications lose their privileged character by
to an award of fees to complainant lawyer. This is in keeping with the principle against unjust some supervening act done pursuant to the purpose of communication. Thus, a
communication intended by the client to be sent to a 3rd person thru his lawyer
enrichment.
loses its confidential character after it has reached the 3rd party.

The attorney-client privilege exists where legal advice of any kind is sought from
Canon 21. A lawyer shall preserve the confidences and an attorney in his professional capacity with respect to communications relating
secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relation is to that purpose, made in confidence by the client so as permanently to protect
terminated. such communication, unless the protection is waived

The privilege does not attach when it is made to a person who is not a lawyer,
Rule 138 S20(e). Duties of attorneys. –
even if such person performs legal services and appears in court. However, if a
To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets
person poses as a lawyer and a client confides in reliance on the supposed
of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client’s business
attorney-client privilege, the communication is protected by the privilege.
except from him or with his knowledge and approval;
The attorney-client privilege embraces not only oral or written statements but
38
also actions, signs, or other means of communications. The only question, in the client except:
circumstances of each case is whether they have been intended to be a part of the • When authorized by the client after acquainting him of the
communications from the client to the attorney in confidence in connection with the legal
consequences of the disclosure;
advice sought or given.
• When required by law;
These confidences and secrets include not only those which are protected by the • When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his
evidentiary privilege but also those which the lawyer acquired in his professional capacity employees or associates or by judicial action.
from the client without regard the nature or source thereof or the fact that others share the
knowledge and secrets of the client because the ethical obligation of a lawyer to guard the Client may waive the protection of the privilege either personally or through the
confidences and secrets of his client is wider in scope than the evidentiary privilege. attorney. But the waiver of the privilege cannot be made partially.

If a client confides to a lawyer that he has committed perjury, the question as whether the The protection does not extend to communications in contemplation of a crime or
lawyer should disclose the perjury to the court involves a balancing of loyalties. To the a perpetuation of a fraud. in order that these type of communications fall under
court, the lawyer owes the duty of candor and fairness. He also has the duty to keep the exception, there should be proof aside from the testimony of the client or of
inviolate the client’s confidence, which requires that he not reveal the client’s perjury, the the attorney, so that the attorney-client privilege is not broken through mere
wrongdoing being a past offense. However, the duty of candor and fairness to the court is inquiry.
not sufficient to override the purpose, policy, and obligation involved in the doctrine of
attorney-client privilege. The lawyer should retire from the case, not only because his The privilege communication may be a shield of defense as to crimes already
effectiveness as an advocate for the client’s cause is affected but also because his committed. The client may confess to his guilt to this counsel and be secured in
continuing to represent the client may be construed as an agreement to the client’s the thought that his counsel cannot disclose it and the attorney is duty bound to
perjury. render effective legal assistance.

Natan v Capule. The privilege cannot be used to enable a person to carry out a contemplated
Atty Capule was charged for having failed, without justifiable reason, to appear in the hearing crime against society. A person who is committing a crime or is about to commit a
of a case for which he received his fees in full, and for having accepted professional wrong can have no privilege witness. It is the duty of the attorney to divulge the
employment in the very case in which his former client is the adverse party. The fact that he communication of his client as to his announced intention to commit a crime to
st nd
retired from the 1 case before accepting the 2 case doesn’t relieve him from his obligation of the proper authorities to prevent the crime or to protect the person against whom
fidelity and loyalty. What makes the violation more improper is that he actually used the it is threatened.
papers, knowledge and information he received as a lawyer for his former client (complainant
herein) to further his new client’s interest.
Rule 21.02. A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, use
information acquired in the course of employment, nor shall he use
Hilado v David. the same to his own advantage or that of a 3rd person, unless the
Hilado petitioned for annulment of a sale of real property by her deceased husband. The client with dull knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto.
defendant, Saad, was represented by Atty et al, later substituted by Atty Francisco. Hilado
sought disqualification of Francisco on the ground that he had a lawyer-client relationship with
her. It appears that she first consulted Francisco about her case, in the process turned over
Rule 21.03. A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of his
some papers to him. However, he advised her not to proceed with the action. There was a client, give information from his files to an outside agency seeking
lawyer-client relationship established when Francisco mailed Hilado a written opinion on the such information for auditing, statistical, bookkeeping, accounting,
merits of the case. Even if his assistant wrote the letter, it was still his firm that gave the data processing, or any similar purpose.
professional advise. He is therefore bound as if he himself wrote it. He is precluded from
st The reason for the rule is that the work product of a lawyer is still within the
accepting the opposite party’s retainer regardless of what info was received by him from his 1
scope of the attorney-client privilege.
client, Hilado.
Rule 21.04. A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the firm
to partners or associates thereof unless prohibited by the client.
Rule 21.01. A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of his
39
The rule is that the professional employment of a lw firm is equivalent to the retainer of the Rule 22.01 CPR. A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the
members thereof even though only one of them is consulted. The disclosure is not to a following cases:
third person because members or associates in the law firm are considered as one • When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of
person.
conduct in connection with the matter he is handling;
Rule 21.05. A lawyer shall adopt such measures as may be required to • When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative
prevent those whose services are utilized by him, from disclosing or using of these canons and rules;
confidences or secrets of the client. • When his inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the
best interest of the client;
The client’s secrets learned by the persons helping the attorney are also under the scope • When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it
of the attorney-client privilege, and the lawyer is also bound to protect these secrets from difficult for him to carry out the employment effectively;
spreading.
• When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the
Rule 21.06. A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a client’s services or fails to comply with the retainer agreement;
affairs even with members of his family. • When the lawyer is elected or appointed to a public office;
• Other similar cases.
Indiscreet conversations can result in the prejudice of the clients and will lessen the
respect due to the legal profession.
The lawyer lacks the unqualified right to withdraw the service once he has taken
Rule 21.07. A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been consulted about a particular the case. He implies that he will pursue the case to its conclusion when he
case except to avoid possible conflict of interest. decides to accept a particular case. A lawyer may retire any time from any action
or proceeding with the written consent of his client filed in court and copy thereof
The rule of privilege communication applies also to prospective clients. served upon the adverse party.

Canon 22. A lawyer shall withdraw his services only for good A lawyer may not continue employment when he discovers that his obligation to
preserve the client’s confidence prevents the performance of his full duty to his
cause and upon notice appropriate in the circumstances. former or present client.
The discharge of the attorney or his substitution by another, upon the client’s initiative or A lawyer who wishes to retire as counsel without consent from the client must file
action, shall not prejudice the attorney’s right to full payment of the compensation agreed a petition for withdrawal in the court. He must serve the copy of his petition to the
in writing or in the absence of a written attainer, to a reasonable amount based on client, and the adverse party at least three days before the date set for the
quantum meruit. hearing. This is to secure that the client can secure the services of another
lawyer. A lawyer, however, should not assume that the court would grant his
No formal notice is needed when a client discharges his lawyer. Any act of the client petition.
indication an unmistakable purpose to terminate the relation is sufficient. The severance of
the relation of attorney and client is not effective until a notice of discharge by the client or Death of lawyer terminates the relationship, and the representatives of a lawyer
a manifestation clearly indicating that purpose is filed with the court and a copy thereof is cannot assign the case to another lawyer. If the deceased lawyer, however, is a
served upon the adverse party concerned. Until such formality is complied with, the lawyer part of the firm, the remaining partners continue to serve as counsel for the client.
continues to be counsel in the case and any judicial notice sent to him is binding upon the
client even though as between them the professional relationship has long been Three ways of changing lawyers:
terminated.
• Client may discharge lawyer any time with or without cause and employ
another lawyer
The relation of the attorney and the client terminates upon the death of a client because
the relation is personal and one of agency. The relation also terminates upon the • The attorney himself may initiate the move for substitution through
incapacity and the incompetency of the client during the pendency of the litigation. It shall application in court.
be the duty of the lawyer to inform the court of the happenings. • Attorney may initiate the move by withdrawing his appearance either with
the written consent of his client or with leave of court on some justifiable
40
ground. It is a passive right and cannot be actively enforced.

Requisites for substitution: Requisites:


• Written application for substitution • Attorney-client relationship
• Written consent of client • Lawful possession of the lawyer of the client’s funds, documents and papers
• Written consent of attorney to be substitute, or if written consent cannot be secured, in his professional capacity
service or notice of the application upon him. • Unsatisfied claim for attorney’s fees or disbursements.

A defective substitution does not change the counsel. The old counsel will still have to act The general, possessory or retaining lien of an attorney attaches to all
as counsel for the client until a proper substitution can be made. properties, papers, books, documents, or securities of the client that lawfully
come to the lawyer professionally or in the course of his professional
Professinal courtesy requires that an additional counsel would inform the existing counsel employment, not necessarily in connection with a particular case. The retaining
that the client got him to help in the case. lien also attaches to the client’s money, which comes into his possession by way
of a writ of execution ordered by the court.
Domingo v Aquino.
The party in the subject case was the intestate estate of Luis Domingo, Sr. and that Atty The attorney’s retaining lien once it has lawfully attached to funds, document,
Unson represented the estate as counsel. The fact that Luis Domingo, Jr. engaged his services and papers of a client is uncontestable and the courts may not compel him to
in his capacity, as administrator did not make him the personal counsel of Luis Jr. So even if surrender them without prior proof that his fees and disbursements have been
Luis Jr. was removed as administrator, Unson continued to represent the estate. Atty Unson duly satisfied.
continued on record in the appellate court as counsel for the estate of appellant therein and did
The lawyer should not apply the client’s funds in his possession to satisfy his
not file any withdrawal as counsel. Petitioner did not inform said court of any change of counsel
fees for services rendered. He should, instead, file the necessary action in court
or of the party-administrator, as required by Rule 138 Sec 26 of the RoC. More so, no
to fix the amount of his fees, and only after the same shall have been finally
appearance of any new counsel for the estate has ever been filed with the appellate court. adjudicated that he can apply the client’s funds to pay his fees.

Rule 22.02. A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, subject to a The retaining lien expires when the possession lawfully ends as the lawyer
retainer lien, immediately turn over all papers and property to which the voluntarily parts with the same or offers them as evidence in court.
client is entitled, and shall cooperate with successor in the orderly transfer
of the matter, including all information necessary for the proper handling of CHARGING LIEN
the matter. A charging lien is the right, which the attorney has upon all judgments for the
payment of money and executions issued in pursuance thereof, obtained in favor
The law creates in favor of a lawyer a lien not only upon the funds, documents and papers of the client. It secures payment. Of fees and disbursements, for the services
of the client which have lawfully come into his possession until what is due him has been rendered by the lawyer in the action in which the judgment was rendered and
paid but also a lien upon all judgments for the payment of money and executions issued in takes effect only after he shall have caused a statement of his claim to be
pursuance of such judgments rendered in the case wherein his services have been entered upon the record of the particular action with written notice thereof to his
retained by the client. The former is known as the retaining lien while the latter is known client and the adverse party. It gives the lawyer who contributed effort to secure
as the charging lien. the favorable judgment the same right and power as his client over the judgment
and execution to enforce his lien and secure the payment of his fees and
RETAINING LIEN disbursements.
The retaining lien is the right of the attorney to retain the funds, documents and papers of
his client, which have lawfully come into his possession until his lawful fees and It is an equitable lien, based on the natural equity that the client should not be
disbursements have been paid, and to apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. It is a allowed to appropriate the whole of the judgment in his favor without paying the
general lien for the balance of the account due to the attorney from his client for services services of his counsel in obtaining or helping obtain such judgment.
rendered in all matters, which he may have handled for the client, regardless of the
outcome. Requisites:
• Attorney-client relationship

41
• Lawyer rendered services in the action
• A money judgment favorable to the client
• Attorney has a claim for attorney’s fees and advances
• Statement of his claim has been duly recorded in the case and it has been served to
his client and the adverse party.

The lien is restricted to the amounts awarded to the client by final judgment and does not
comprise of money that according to the same judgment, must be applied to satisfy a
legitimate debt of a client.
The lien gives the lawyer the right to collect, in payment, of his professional fees and
disbursements, a certain amount, from out of the judgment or award rendered on favor of
his client. The client who receives the proceeds of the judgment or the person in whose
favor the client transfers them holds such proceeds in trust for the lawyer.

In other words, the client cannot defeat the attorney’s right to the charging lien by
dismissing the case, terminating the services of his counsel, waiving his cause or interest
in favor of the adverse party or compromising his action. While the client may take any
such step even against the wishes of his lawyer, he can do so only without prejudice to the
attorney’s right to fees and lien that has already been attached.

The lawyer need not be a party to the action in order to establish his lien and enforce it
upon the judgment but in a proper case, he may be permitted to intervene.

Obando v Figueras.
Petitioners claim that when Atty Yuseco filed the Motion to Dismiss, he no longer represented
the respondents. SC held that Yuseco was still counsel. Representation continues until the
court dispenses with the services of counsel in accordance with Sec 26 Rule 138 RoC which
requires that: (1) new counsel files a written application; (2) client’s written consent is obtained;
(3) written consent of lawyer to be substituted, or proof that the lawyer to be substituted has
been informed in the manner required. Besides, at the discretion of the court, an attorney who
has already been dismissed is allowed to intervene in order to protect the client’s rights.

J
42