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LINSANGAN V.

TOLENTINO

Facts:
A complaint of disbarment was filed by Pedro Linsangan of the
Linsangan, Linsangan & Linsangan Law Office against Atty.
Nicomedes Tolentino for solicitation of clients & encroachment of
professional services. Linsangan alleges that Tolentino with the
help of paralegal Labiano convinced his clients to transfer legal
representation by promising financial assistance and expeditious
collection of their claims. To induce them, Tolentino allegedly
texted and called them persistently. To support his allegation,
Linsangan presented the sworn affidavit of James Gregorio
attesting that Labiano tried to prevail over him to sever his clientatty relationship with Linsangan. Also, he attached respondents
calling card:

Front
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
Back
Fax: (632) 362-7821
Grace Park, Caloocan City
SERVICES OFFERED:
Cel.: (0926) 2701719
CONSULTATION AND ASSISTANCE
TO OVERSEAS SEAMEN
REPATRIATED DUE TO ACCIDENT,
INJURY, ILLNESS, SICKNESS, DEATH
AND INSURANCE BENEFIT CLAIMS
ABROAD.

In his defense, Tolentino denies knowing Labiano and


authorizing the printing and circulating of said calling card.

Issue:
W/N Atty. Tolentino is guilty of advertising his services

Held:
Yes. Atty. Tolentino suspended for violating Rules 1.03, 2.03,
8.02 and 16.04 and Canon 3 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
With regard to Canon 3, the practice of law is a profession
and not a business. Thus, lawyers should not advertise their
talents as merchants advertise their wares. To allow lawyers
to advertise their talents/skill is a commercialization of the
practice of law (degrading the profession in the publics
estimation).
With regard to Rule 2.03, lawyers are prohibited from
soliciting cases for purpose of gain, either personally or
through an agent. In relation to Rule 1.03, which proscribes
ambulance chasing (involving solicitation personally or
through an agent/broker) as a measure to protect community
from barratry and champertry.
As a final note regarding the calling card presented as
evidence by Linsangan, a lawyers best advertisement is a
well-merited. reputation for professional capacity and fidelity
to trust based on his character and conduct. For this reason,
lawyers are only allowed to announce their services by
publication in reputable law lists or use of simple professional
cards.

Professional calling cards may only


contain the following details:
(a) lawyers name;
(b) name of the law firm with which
he is connected;
(c) address;
(d) telephone number and
(e) special branch of law practiced.

Labianos calling card contained the phrase with financial


assistance. The phrase was clearly used to entice clients (who
already had representation) to change counsels with a promise
of loans to finance their legal actions. Money was dangled to lure
clients away from their original lawyers, thereby taking
advantage of their financial distress and emotional vulnerability.
This crass commercialism degraded the integrity of the bar and
deserves no place in the legal profession.

TORRES V. JAVIER

Facts:
Atty. Torres and Mrs. Celestino charge Atty. Javier for
malpractice, gross misconduct in office as an attorney an/or
violation of the lawyers oath.
This stemmed from the remarks made by Javier in the pleadings
he filed in a petition for audit of all funds of the University of the
East Faculty Assoc. (UEFA) as counsel:
1.Motion to Expedite contained false statements with malicious
imputation of robbery and theft of UEFAs funds upon their
persons; and
2.2. In the atty.s fees case, Javier in his Reply used abusive and
improper language, and made a statement demeaning to the
integrity of the profession (not uncommon for trial lawyers
to hear notaries asking their family members to sign for
them).

Javier explained that he was angry because Torres had been


spreading reports and rumors implicating his clients including his
wife to the burglary. With respect to the atty.s fess case, he
alleged that Torres, in his Answer, did not confront the issues but
mocked and made malicious accusations against his wife.
The IBP found Javier guilty of violating the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

Issue:
W/N Javier is guilty of violation of the Code

Held:
Yes. For reasons of public policy, utterances made in the course of
judicial proceedings, including all kinds of pleadings, petitions and
motion, are absolutely privileged so long as they are pertinent and
relevant to the subject inquiry, however false or malicious they
may be (must be material and relevant). This privilege does not
extend to those matters not related to the controversy.

The allegations in the Motion to Expedite fall under this privilege, but
not those in the Reply. The SC does not countenance Torres
incorporation of criticisms against Javiers wife as past president of
UEFA, but this does not justify Javiers retaliating statements (What
kind of lawyer is Torres? He lies through his teeth).
Canon 8 instructs that a lawyers arguments in his pleadings
should be gracious to both the court and opposing counsel
and be of such words as may be properly addressed by one
gentleman to another.

LINSANGAN V. TOLENTINO

FACTS
Tolentino, with the help of Labiano, was pirating the clients of
Labiano by offering, in some instances, a 50K loan.

ISSUES
Is it an encroachment on the professional practice of Labiano,
thereby violating rule 8.02 which provides that, A lawyer shall not,
directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional employment
of another lawyer,?
HELD
Yes.
Settled is the rule that a lawyer should not steal another lawyers
client nor induce the latter to retain him by a promise of better
service, good result, or reduced fees for his service. In this case,
promise of a loan.