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SOLICITATION OF LEGAL

SERVICES

By: Flores, Tricia Jane
Honorio, Maiden
Paat, Hazel Anne
What is improper solicitation?

Is advertisement of legal services allowed?

When is solicitation of legal business
permissible?

Is the use of calling cards by lawyers
proper?

Rule 2.03 A Lawyer shall not do or permit to
be done any act designed primarily to solicit
legal business.

Practice of law is a profession not a money-
making trade -in the fixing of attorney's
fees, it must not be forgotten that the
profession is a branch of the administration
of justice and not a mere money-making
trade (Jayme vs. Bualan, 58, Phil. 422; Canon 12, CPE.).
It is not a husiness but a profession. (In re:
Tagorda, 53 Phil. 37; Director of Religious affairs vs. Bayot,
74 Phil. 579).
What is IMPROPER SOLICITATION OF
LEGAL BUSINESS? Is it prohibited?


As the practice of law is a profession, it is
highly unethical for an attorney to advertise
his talents or skill as merchant.


Director of Religious Affairs vs. Bayot
74 Phil. 579

Marriage license promptly secured through our assistance
and the annoyance of delay or publicity avoided if desired and
marriage arranged to wishes of parties. Consultation on any
matter free for the poor. Everything confidential.

Held:
It is undeniable that the advertisement in question was a
flagrant violation by the respondent of the ethics of his
profession. It being a brazen solicitation of business from
the public

Will advertisement lower the standards of
the law profession?


In re: Tagorda

Held: It becomes our duty to condemn in no uncertain
terms the ugly practice of solicitation of cases by
lawyers. It is destructive of the honour of a great
profession. It lowers the standards of that profession. It
works against the confidence of the community in the
integrity of the members of the bar. It results in needless
litigation and in incenting to strife otherwise peacefully
inclined citizens.

ULEP VS. THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.
Bar Matter No. 553
June 17, 1993

SECRET MARRIGE?
P560 for valid marriage
Info on DIVORCE, ABSENCE, ANNULMENT, VISA


THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.
Please call: 521-0767, 5217232, 5222041
8:30am -6:00 p
7th Flr Victoria Bldg.U.N. Avenue, Manila



ULEP VS. THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.
Bar Matter No. 553
June 17, 1993

Held: The Supreme Court enjoined the said corporation from
issuing or causing the publication or dissemination of any
advertisement in any form which is of the same or similar
tenor and purposes of the advertisements above.
These advertisements are contrary to Rule 2.03 AND Rule
3.01 of the Code of Personal Responsibility.
The prime incorporator, major stockholder and proprietor of
the Legal Clinic, Inc. being a member of the Philippine Bar is
reprimanded with stern warning not to repeat the same
similar act.



Atty. Ismael G. Khan Jr. vs. Atty. Rizalino T.
Simbillo
A.C. NO. 5299 & 157053, August 19, 2003


Annulment of Marriage Specialist.

These advertisements appeared in the July 5, 2000 issue of
the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and further research
showed that similar advertisements were published in the
Manila Bulletin in August 2 and 6, 2000 and in the
Philippine Star in August 5, 2000.

Held:
xxxxx Nonetheless, the solicitation of legal
business is not altogether proscribed. However,
for solicitation to be proper, it must be compatible
with the dignity of the legal profession. If it is
made in a modest and decorous manner, it would
bring no injury to the lawyer and to the bar. Thus,
the use of simple signs stating the name or names
of the lawyers, the office and residence address
and fields of practice, as well as advertisement in
legal periodicals bearing the same brief data, are
permissible. Even the use of calling cards is now
acceptable. xxxx


Solicitation of Legal Business, when
permissible?
For solicitation to be proper, it must be compatible with
the dignity of the legal profession. If made in a mildest
and decorous manner, it would bring no injury to the
lawyer or to the bar (Wasrvelle, Legal ethics, p. 55).

Thus, the use of simple signs stating the name or
names of the lawyers, professional cards bearing the
name of the lawyer or lawyers, the office and residence
address and special lines in law, advertisements in legal
periodicals bearing the same brief data are permissible.
Even the use of calling cards with a formal picture
(FACE) of the lawyer is now acceptable.
When is advertisements in
newspaper permissible?
1) Modest announcements in newspapers, periodicals or
magazines about the opening of a law office or law firm
stating the names of the lawyers and the address of the
office or firm is not improper.


2) Customary use of simple professional cards is not
improper (Canon 27, CPE).




Rule 2.04 A Lawyer shall not
charge rates lower than those
customarily prescribed unless the
circumstances so warrant.



Rates to be charged- Some IBP Chapters in the
country have approved schedules of attorney's fees
providing specific guidelines in the fixing of attorney's
fees for legal services, including but not limited to
consultation, documentation, notarization, pleading,
research. Trial work, appearance fees, acceptance fees,
retainers and similar others.

CANON 3: A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS
LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE ONLY TRUE,
HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED, AND OBJECTIVE
INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF FACTS




Rationale: The practice of law is not a trade
like the sale of commodities to the general
public where the usual exaggerations in
trade, when the proper party had the
opportunity to know the facts, are not in
themselves fraudulent.


As a general rule, it is unethical to advertise
lawyers legal services except when such is
based on TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED and
OBJECTIVE INFORMATION and on pure
statement of facts.

Even if the information is true, the manner of
making it known to the public must not be
undignified and demeaning to the legal
profession.

RULE 3.01: A lawyer shall not use or
permit the use of any false, fraudulent,
misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-
laudatory or unfair statement or claim
regarding his qualifications of legal
services.

Salient Points:


Any claim or statement of a lawyer about his
qualifications or quality of legal services must
not be DECEPTIVE, UNDIGNIFIED, SELF-
LAUDATORY or UNFAIR.

A Lawyer should not pretend to a prospective
client to get the latters trust and confidence.
EXAMPLES:
(1) Pretending to be a seasoned lawyer and an expert in
a particular law or laws when in truth he is not and had
not even prosecuted or defended a case in his lifetime.

(2) That he had not lost a case in his practice when in
truth, he had not won a single case yet because of his
incompetence and lack of skill.

(3) That he is an associate/partner of a big firm;

(4)That he is a specialist on a certain line when he is
not, just to attract potential clients.

ACTUAL CASE:

(1) A lawyer who uses as his office address the
office of his wife who is a judge was found guilty
of using fraudulent, misleading and deceptive
address that had no purpose other than to try to
impress either the court in which his cases are
lodged or his clients that he had close ties to a
member of the Judiciary. ( In re: Atty. Renerio
G. Paas, 400 SCRA 543)

ACTUAL CASE:

(2) The use of a BUSINESS CARD by a layer containing
self- laudatory statements about his ability was
condemned by the Supreme Court. (In RE: Tagorda, 53
Phil 37). In this case, the lawyer was suspended.

As notary public, he can execute for you a deed of sale for the
purchase of land as required by the cadastral office; can renew
lost documents of your animals; can make your application and
final requisites for your homestead; and can execute any kind of
affidavit. As a lawyer, he can help you collect your loans
although long overdue, as well as any complaint for or against
you. Come or write to him in his town, Echague, Isabela. He
offers free consultation, and is willing to help and serve the
poor


ACTUAL CASE:


(3) Counsel promised them financial assistance, and
expeditious collection of their claims just to induce them
to seek the lawyers assistance, he persistently called
them and sent them text messages. Respondent also
maintains a calling card to wit:

NICOMEDES TOLENTINO
LAW OFFFICE
CONSULTANCY & MARITIME SERVICES
W/ FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Fe Marie L. Labiano
Paralegal

1st MIJI Mansion, 2nd Flr. Rm. M-01 Tel: 362-7820
6th Ave., cor M.H. Del Pilar Fax: (632) 362-7821
Grace Park, Caloocan City Cel.: (0926) 2701719

Back
SERVICES OFFERED:
CONSULTATION AND ASSISTANCE
TO OVERSEAS SEAMEN
REPATRIATED DUE TO ACCIDENT,
INJURY, ILLNESS, SICKNESS, DEATH
AND INSURANCE BENEFIT CLAIMS
ABROAD.
(emphasis supplied)

Decision:
Respondent Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino for
violating Rules 1.03, 2.03, 8.02 and 16.04 and
Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
and Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court is
hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a
period of one year effective immediately from
receipt of this resolution. He is STERNLY
WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar
acts in the future shall be dealt with more
severely. ( Linsangan vs Tolentino. AC No. 6672)

RULE 3.02: In the choice of firm name, no
false, misleading or assumed name shall
be used. The continued use of the name
of the deceased partner is permissible
provided that the firm indicates in all its
communications that said partner is
deceased.

SALIENT POINT:

A group of lawyers who desires to establish a
partnership for general practice of law may
adopt a firm name. However, no FALSE NAME or
MISLEADING or ASSUMED name shall be used in
the firm name adopted. NO NAME NOT
BELONGING to any of the partners or associates
may be used in the firm name for any purpose.


In case the partner dies, the name of the
deceased may still be use for as long as the firm
in all its communications indicated that the
partner is already dead. (The use of a cross
after the name of the deceased partner is a
good indication).

PURPOSE: to maintain the clients who have
been provided legal services by the law firm.
Actual cases:
(1) The use of Dionisio D. Ramos instead of Pedro D.
Ramos was found by the Supreme Court a form of
deception and an act of demonstrating lack of
candor in dealing with the courts; (Pangan vs
Ramos, 93 SCRA 87).

(2) The use by the respondents of the FIRM NAE Baker
and Mckenzie constitutes unethical practice because
the firm is not authorized to practice in the
Philippines. (Dacanay vs Baker & Mckenzie, 136 SCRA
349).
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.

RATIONALE for the RULE: To prevent the law firm or
partners from making use of the name of the public
official to attract legal business and to avoid
suspicion of undue influence (Report of IBP
Committee, p. 16)


Exception to the Rule:

If the law allows him to practice law concurrently while
holding the position such as a Sangguniang member
who is allowed to practice law subject to certain
restrictions:

Section 90. Practice of Profession. -
(b) Sanggunian members may practice their
professions, engage in any occupation, or teach in
schools except during session hours: Provided, That
sanggunian members who are also members of the Bar
shall not:


Sec. 90 (b)
(1) Appear as counsel before any court in any civil case wherein a local
government unit or any office, agency, or instrumentality of the
government is the adverse party;

(2) Appear as counsel in any criminal case wherein an officer or
employee of the national or local government is accused of an offense
committed in relation to his office.

(3) Collect any fee for their appearance in administrative proceedings
involving the local government unit of which he is an official; and

(4) Use property and personnel of the government except when the
sanggunian member concerned is defending the interest of the
government.

Rule 3.04 A lawyer shall not pay or
give anything of value to
representatives of the mass media in
anticipation of, or in return for,
publicity to attract legal business.

Rule 3.04
SALIENT POINT:
The Rule mandates that a lawyer shall not pay or give
anything of value to representatives of the mass media
in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract
legal business.

RATIONALE for the RULE: A lawyer who seeks
publicity to attract legal business is debasing the legal
profession, especially so, if he pays something of value
for it.


Rationale of the Rule:
To prevent some lawyers from gaining an unfair
advantage over others through the use of gimmickry,
press agentry or other artificial means.

The rule also prohibits a lawyer from making indirect
publicity gimmick such as furnishing or inspiring
newspaper comments, procuring his photograph to be
published in connection with cases which he is handling,
making a court room scene to attract the attention of
newspapermen, or arranging for the purpose an
interview with him by media people. Any of these is
reprehensible.
EXCEPTION to the RULE:

Media publicity merely incidental for an efficient
legal service rendered by the lawyer, the same
is not improper. Hence, what is prohibited is for
a lawyer to resort to adroit propaganda to
secure media publicity for the purpose of
attracting legal business.




Is COMPETITIVE advertising
allowed?

NO, Competitive advertising is not allowed among
lawyers due to the following reasons:

(1) the good and ethical lawyers will be pushed to the
sides by the moneyed and unscrupulous ones.

(2) may lead to assertion of fraudulent claims, corruption
of public officials

Competitive advertising not allowed

(3) it will encourage lawyers to engage in overreaching,
overcharging, underrepresentation and
misrepresentation.

(4) lead to the creation of false status and reputation of
lawyers which in the end will mislead the public and
clients to their detriment in reposting trust and
confidence on lawyers who may not be competent and
trustworthy at all.



Best advertisement for a lawyer


is a well-deserved reputation for
competence, honesty and fidelity to
private trust and public duty. Of these,
honesty reigns paramount. A lawyer must
not only be honest but must appear to be
honest. By his honesty, he gains public
confidence and this public confidence is
his greatest advertisement.


THANK YOU