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PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


I.

By: Atty. Enrique V. dela Cruz, Jr.1


Q: What is legal ethics? A: It is a branch of moral science which treats of the duties that an attorney owes to the court, to his client, to his collea ues in the !rofession and to the !ublic as embodied in the Constitution, "ules of Court, the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibilities, Canons of #rofessional Ethics, $uris!rudence, moral laws and s!ecial laws. %Justice &eor e 'alcolm( (1993, 1996 Bar Question) PRA !I " #$ %AW Q: What constitutes &ractice o' la(? A: "ead: Cayetano v. Monsod, G.R. NO. 100113, 201 SCRA 210, September 3, 1991) Q: )tate the essential criteria in *eter+ining engage+ent in the &ractice o' la(. A: A,A ). om!ensation* +. A!!lication of law, le al !rinci!le, !ractice , !rocedure* -. ,abituality .. Attorney/ client relationshi! ( !ssent!n" op!n!on o# $%st!&e 'ad!((a, Cayetano s. Monsod,GR 100113, September 3, 1991 )

A: 6he !ractice of law is a !ri2ile e ranted only to those who !ossess the strict intellectual and moral qualifications required of lawyers who are instruments in the effecti2e and efficient administration of $ustice. %+n Re, Ar"os!no, -.M. .12, Mar&* 19, 199.) Q: an the &ractice o' la( /e a /usiness? A: <o. 6he !ractice of law is a !rofession and not a business as it is an essential !art in the administration of $ustice a !rofession in !ursuit of which !ecuniary reward is considered merely incidental* it is a !ursuit of learned art in the interest of !ublic ser2ice. Q: Is the &ractice o' la( a right? Q: -a0 a or&oration &ractice la(?

Q: Who +a0 &ractice la(? A: "ead Se&. 1, R%(e 13/ RRC Q: A cri+inal case (as 'ile* against Att0. 1a2ellana (hich resulte* to his arrest an* te+&orar0 *etention at the house o' the cler3 o' court (here his case (as &en*ing. .es&ite his *etention, Att0. 1a2ellana continues (ith his nor+al acti2ities inclu*ing his &ractice o' la(, in a&&earing as counsel 'or certain cases. an Att0. 1a2ellana still engage in the &ractice o' la( *es&ite his arrest an* *etention? A: Read 'eop(e v. Ma&eda, G.R. No. /9091192, $an. 23, 2000 A.-I))I#4 !# PRA !I " #$ %AW Q: What /ranch o' the go2ern+ent has the &o(er to a*+it &ersons in the &ractice o' la(? A: "ead +n Re, A(ma&en, No. 412.203, 31 SCRA 022, 5ebr%ary 1/, 19.0 (1995 Bar Question) Q: What are the &o(ers o' the )u&re+e ourt in relation to regulating the &ractice o' la(? Q: an the legislature enact la(s to regulate the &ractice o' the la(? Q: an senate &ass a la( lo(ering the &assing rate 'or can*i*ates?

Q: What is the nature o' the &ractice o' la(?

Atty. 0ela Cruz is an 'C1E lecturer and a Bar "e2iewer at the Jurist Bar "e2iew Center and the Cosmo!olitan "e2iew Center. 3e teaches law at 456, 7E4/0154 and the Bulacan 5tate 4ni2ersity. 3e obtained his -aster o' %a(s ()!t* !st!n&t!on) from the 1ondon 'etro!olitan 4ni2ersity, and a Postgra*uate .i&lo+a in International !ra*e %a( from the 4ni2ersity Colle e 1ondon %4C1(, 4.8., both as a Che2enin scholar of the British o2ernment. 3e com!leted a Postgra*uate $ello(shi& on 1eadershi! and International "elations from the John 7. 8ennedy 5chool of &o2ernment, 3ar2ard 4ni2ersity, 45A. 3e also holds a -asters in Pu/lic -anage+ent de ree from the Ateneo 5chool of &o2ernment. 3e obtained his Bachelor o' %a(s de ree ()!t* *onors) and an AB %egal -anage+ent de ree (&%m (a%de) from the 4ni2ersity of 5anto 6omas as a "ector9s 5cholar. 3e was recently elected as Board 'ember of the +nd 0istrict of Bulacan. 3e is also a #artner at the #once Enrile "eyes , 'analastas %#ECABA"( 1aw :ffice in 'a;ati City.

A: "ead +N R6, C%nanan, Mar&* 1/, 1903 Q: "nu+erate the initial re6uire+ents 'or a*+ission to the /ar. A: "ead 5ections +, = and > of "ule )-?, ""C Q: hing (as /orn on A&ril 1967 o' $ili&ino +other an* hinese 'ather. ,e (as con*itionall0 a*+itte* to ta3e the /ar e8a+ination /ecause o' 6uestions arising to his citi9enshi&. :&on &assing the /ar he (as re6uire* to ta3e 'urther &roo' o' citi9enshi& an* (as not allo(e* to ta3e the oath. an he elect Phili&&ine citi9enshi&, 17 0ears a'ter reaching the age o' +a;orit0 (re6uire* un*er the 1935 onstitution)? A: "ead +n Re, App(!&at!on #or Adm!ss!on to t*e '*!(!pp!ne -ar o# 7!&ente C*!n", -.M. 913, O&tober 1, 1999 Q: .acana0 &ractice* la( until he +igrate* to ana*a to see3 +e*ical attention to his ail+ents. ,e su/se6uentl0 a&&lie* 'or ana*ian citi9enshi& to a2ail o' ana*a<s 'ree +e*ical ai* &rogra+. ,is a&&lication (as a&&ro2e* an* he /eca+e a ana*ian citi9en. .acana0 later on reac6uire* his Phili&&ine citi9enshi& /0 2irtue o' R.A. 9==5. .i* .acana0 lose his +e+/ershi& in the Phili&&ine /ar (hen he ga2e u& his Phili&&ine citi9enshi&? an he auto+aticall0 &ractice la( u&on reac6uiring $ili&ino citi9enshi&? A: "ead 'et!t!on #or 4eave to Res%me 'ra&t!&e o# 4a) o# -en8am!n a&anay, -.M. No. 12./, e&ember 1., 200.. Q: Att0. -elen*re9 'ile* a &etition to *is6uali'0 -eling 'ro+ ta3ing the /ar e8a+s an* to i+&ose *isci&linar0 &enalt0 as a +e+/er o' the Phili&&ine )hari>a Bar. ,e alleges that -eling, in his a&&lication to ta3e the /ar, 'aile* to *isclose the 'act that he has 3 &en*ing cri+inal cases. Also, -eling has /een using the title ?Attorne0@ in his co++unications as secretar0 to the -a0or. )houl* -eling /e *is6uali'ie* 'ro+ a*+ission to the /ar? -a0 sanctions /e i+&ose* on -eling as +e+/er o' the Phili&&ine )hari>a Bar?

A: "ead +n t*e Matter o# t*e !s9%a(!#!&at!on o# -ar 6:am!nee ;aron S. Me(!n", -M No. 1103, 331 SCRA 13., $%ne /, 2003 Q: !eles'oro .iao (as a*+itte* to the Bar in 1953, a'ter t(o 0ears, )e2erino -artine9 charge* hi+ (ith ha2ing 'alsel0 re&resente* in his a&&lication 'or such Bar e8a+ination that he ha* the re6uisite aca*e+ic 6uali'ications. !he )olAen reco++en*e* that .iao<s na+e /e erase* 'ro+ the roll o' Attorne0s /ecause .iao ha* not co+&lete* the &rescri/e* &reBlegal e*ucation, to (it: .iao *i* not co+&lete his high school training an* .iao ne2er atten*e* Quisu+/ing ollege, an* ne2er o/taine* his A.A. .i&lo+a there'ro+. )houl* .iao<s na+e /e erase* 'ro+ the Roll o' Attorne0s? A: "ead 1923= !ao v. Mart!ne<, A.C. No. 233, Mar&* 29,

Q: While the e8a+ination (as in &rogress, the hea*(atcher, %ilian -en*igorin, re&orte* that e8a+inee A+&aro (as 'oun* rea*ing a &iece o' &a&er containing notes in ri+inal %a(. ,e at 'irst re'use* to surren*er the &a&er, /ut later ga2e it to -en*igorin (hen she threatene* to re&ort the +atter to the authorities. A 2er/al re&ort (as rela0e* to the Bar hair+an (ho 'orth(ith ga2e instructions that no in2estigation /e then +a*e in or*er to 'orestall an0 co++otion that +ight *istur/ the other can*i*ates. A+&aro (as &er+itte* to continue ans(ering the 6uestions. ,ea*(atcher -en*igorin therea'ter su/+itte* a s&ecial re&ort on the inci*ent. ,e (as still allo(e* to ta3e the e8a+s 'or the last )un*a0 o' the Bar. A+&aro *i* not &ass the 19C7 Bar "8a+s. )houl* A+&aro /e allo(e* to ta3e the 19C5 Bar "8a+s? A: "ead (+n R6, 'edro Amparo, G.R. No. 000 $%(y 1/, 19.0) (19C7 Bar Question) Q: Res&on*ent Dictorio .. %anue2o a*+itte* ha2ing re6ueste* on his o(n initiati2e the 'i2e e8a+iners concerne* to reBe2aluate the 'i2e note/oo3s o' Ra+on ". Aalang, alias Ro+an ". Aalang, that e2entuall0 resulte* in the increase o' Aalang>s a2erage 'ro+ 66.=5E to the &assing gra*e C7.15E, or a total increase o' eight (F) (eighte* &oints, +ore or less, that ena/le* Aalang to hur*le the 19C1 Bar e8a+inations 2ia a resolution o' the ourt +a3ing C7E the &assing a2erage 'or that 0ear>s e8a+ination (ithout an0 gra*e /elo( 'i't0 &ercent (5GE) in an0 su/;ect. Aalang therea'ter too3 his la(0er>s oath. It is li3e(ise /e0on*

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


*is&ute that he ha* no authorit0 'ro+ the ourt or the o++ittee to initiate such ste&s to(ar*s the sai* reBe2aluation o' the ans(ers o' Aalang or o' other e8a+inees. )houl* he /e *is/arre*? A: In "e: Victorio 1anue2o, A.C. <o. ))>, Au ust +@, )@A=. Q: Res&on*ent Ra+on ". Aalang, conceale* in his a&&lication to ta3e the /ar e8a+s his &en*ing cri+inal case 'or &h0sical in;uries. !hus, Aalang (as allo(e* uncon*itionall0 to ta3e the Bar e8a+inations an* (as allo(e* to ta3e his oath. )houl* he /e *is/arre* 'or such conceal+ent? A: In "e: "amon &alan , A.C. <o. ))>, Au ust +@, )@A=. Q: "nu+erate the continuing re6uire+ents 'or the &ractice o' la( after his a*+ission to the Bar. ,e +ust: -IPB-"1 A: ). +. -. .. =. >. "emain a +ember of the Bar* "e ularly !ay all IB# membershi! dues* "e ularly !ay the P6"* Com!ly with the -C1E* 7aithfully obser2e the rules and ethics of the le al !rofession* and Be continually sub$ect to 1udicial disci!linary control. Pa0+ent o' IBP .ues Q: Att0. %la+as, 'or a nu+/er o' 0ears, has not in*icate* the &ro&er P!R an* IBP #R 4os. an* *ata in his &lea*ings. ,e onl0 in*icate* HIBP Ri9al =59G6GI /ut he has /een using this 'or at least 3 0ears alrea*0. Att0. %la+as a2erre* that he is onl0 engage* in a Hli+ite*I &ractice o' la( an* un*er RA C73=, as a senior citi9en, he is e8e+&te* 'ro+ &a0+ent o' inco+e ta8es an* inclu*e* in this e8e+&tion, is the &a0+ent o' +e+/ershi& *ues. Is Att0. %la+as correct? A: "ead Santos $r. v. Atty. 4(amas, A.C. No. 3.39, $an%ary 20, 2000 Q: Att0. Are2alo sought e8e+&tion 'ro+ &a0+ent o' IBP *ues 'or the allege* un&ai* accounta/ilit0 'or the 0ears 19CCB=GG5. ,e allege* that a'ter /eing a*+itte* to the Phili&&ine Bar in 1961, he /eca+e &art o' the Phili&&ine i2il )er2ice then +igrate* to, an* (or3e* in, the :)A in .ece+/er 19F6 until his retire+ent in the 0ear =GG3. ,e +aintaine* that he cannot /e assesse* IBP *ues 'or the 0ears that he (as (or3ing in the Phili&&ine i2il )er2ice since the i2il )er2ice la( &rohi/its the &ractice o' one<s &ro'ession (hile in go2ern+ent ser2ice, an* neither can he /e assesse* 'or the 0ears (hen he (as (or3ing in the :)A. Is Att0. Are2alo entitle* to e8e+&tion 'ro+ &a0+ent o' his *ues *uring the ti+e that he (as inacti2e in the &ractice o' la(? A: "ead 4etter o# Atty. Areva(o, $r. Re9%est!n" 6:empt!on #rom 'ayment o# %es, -.M. 13.0, MA> 9, 2000 Q: -arcial "*illon &asse* the /ar e8a+s /ut re'use* to &a0 the P15G.GG +e+/ershi& *ues on the groun* that he *oes not (ant to /e a +e+/er o' the IBP. Res&on*ent, although conce*ing the &ro&riet0 an* necessit0 o' the integration o' the Bar o' the Phili&&ines, 6uestions the allB enco+&assing, allBinclusi2e sco&e o' +e+/ershi& therein an* the o/ligation to &a0 +e+/ershi& *ues arguing that the &ro2isions therein ()ection 1 an* 9 o' the ourt Rule 139B A) constitute an in2asion o' his constitutional right in the sense that he is /eing co+&elle*, as a &recon*ition to +aintaining his status as a la(0er in goo* stan*ing, to /e a +e+/er o' the IBP an* to &a0 the corres&on*ing *ues, an* that as a conse6uence o' this co+&elle* 'inancial su&&ort o' the sai* organi9ation to (hich he is a*+itte*l0 &ersonall0 antagonistic, he is /eing *e&ri2e* o' the rights to li/ert0 an* &ro&ert0 guarantee* to hi+ /0 the onstitution. Res&on*ent li3e(ise 6uestions the ;uris*iction o' the )u&re+e ourt to stri3e his na+e 'ro+ the Roll o' Attorne0s, conten*ing that this +atter is not a+ong the ;usticia/le cases tria/le /0 the ourt /ut is o' an a*+inistrati2e nature &ertaining to an a*+inistrati2e /o*0. Is he correct? Q: Is the &ro2ision re6uiring &a0+ent o' a +e+/ershi& 'ee 2oi*? A: <o. It is quite a!!arent that the fee is indeed im!osed as a re ulatory measure, desi ned to raise funds for carryin out the !ur!oses and ob$ecti2es of the inte ration 6here is nothin in the Constitution that !rohibits the court, under its constitutional !ower and duty to !romul ate rules concernin the admission to the !ractice of law and the inte ration of the #hili!!ine bar. (+n t*e Matter o# +-' Members*!p d%es

de(!n9%en&y o# Atty. Mar&!a( 6d!((on, A.M. No. 192/, /3 SCRA 003, A%"%st 3, 19./)

-#RA% !:RPI!:."
Q: Is the re6uire+ent o' Aoo* -oral a continuing re6uire+ent? haracter

A: "ead ?ap%&ar vs. ?ap%&ar, A.C. No. 313/, 293 SCRA 331,$%(y 30, 199/ Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in a conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession. (=GG7 Bar Question) Q: What constitutes 'itness to &ractice la(? A: It is not to be determined only by the s!ecific qualifications for admission into the bar but encom!asses !ractically all as!ects of a lawyer9s !ublic or !ri2ate life that could actually or !otentially tarnish the inte rity and di nity of the le al !rofession. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A) Q: Att0. Perenia got +arrie* in =GG5. !hen he +et another (o+an, ,elenJ the0 'ell in lo2e an* starte* li2ing together. Att0. Perenia (oul* e2en /ring her along social 'unctions an* intro*uce her as his secon* (i'e. Is such act unethical? A: Bes it is unethical and it 2iolates "ule A.C- of C#". 6he fact that he shamelessly flaunts his mistress constitutes act which embarrass and discredit the law !rofession since it is his duty and obli ation to u!hold the di nity and inte rity of the !rofession. 6he actuation of Atty. #erenia is contrary to ood morals.
4ote: Dhile it has been held in disbarment cases that the mere fact of seEual relations between two unmarried adults is not sufficient to warrant administrati2e sanction for such illicit beha2ior, it is not so with res!ect to betraya(s o# t*e mar!ta( vo) o# #!de(!ty. E2en if not all forms of eEtra/marital relations are !unishable under !enal law, seEual relations outside marria e is considered dis raceful and immoral as it manifests deliberate disre ard of the sanctity of marria e and the marital 2ows !rotected by the Constitution and affirmed by our laws. (7!t%" v. Ron&a(, A.C. NO. 2313, 001 SCRA 122, September 2002)

0ears an* C +onths ol* *uring the ti+e (1ul0B #cto/er 19C5) o' her relationshi& (ith res&on*entJ (hile res&on*ent !rans'iguracion .aarol is +arrie*, Aeneral -anager o' Ka+/oanga *el 4orte "lectric oo&erati2e, an* 71 0ears ol* at the ti+e o' the sai* relationshi&. Res&on*ent, alrea*0 a +arrie* +an an* a/out 71 0ears ol*, &ro&ose* lo2e an* +arriage to co+&lainant, then still a =GB0earBol* +inor, 3no(ing that he *i* not ha2e the re6uire* legal ca&acit0. Res&on*ent then succee*e* in ha2ing carnal relations (ith co+&lainant /0 *ece&tion, +a*e her &regnant, suggeste* a/ortion, /reache* his &ro+ise to +arr0 her, an* then *eserte* her an* the chil*. )houl* the res&on*ent la(0er /e *is/arre*? A: Barrientos 2s. 0aarol, A.C. <o. )=)+, January +@, )@@-. Q: Co+&lainant Bacarro a2erre* that she an* res&on*ent 'ell in lo2e an* /eca+e engage* (hile the0 (ere stu*0ing at the %iceo *e aga0an in aga0an *e #ro it0J that (hen she /eca+e &regnant as a result o' their relationshi&, res&on*ent a/an*one* her an* ne2er 'ul'ille* his &ro+ise to +arr0 herJ that on .ece+/er 7, 19C1, she ga2e /irth to a /a/0 girl. )houl* res&on*ent /e *enie* a*+ission to the /ar on account o' his /reach o' &ro+ise to +arr0? A: Bacarro 2s. #inatacan, A.C. <o. ==@/5BC January -), )@?. Q: o+&lainant -ag*alena !. Arciga 'ile* a co+&laint 'or *is/ar+ent against la(0er )egun*ino .. -ani(ang on the groun* o' grossl0 i++oral con*uct /ecause he re'use* to 'ul'ill his &ro+ise o' +arriage to herB A'ter re&eate* acts o' coha/itation /et(een co+&lainant an* res&on*ent, then a +e*ical technolog0 stu*ent an* a la( stu*ent res&ecti2el0, (ho (ere s(eethearts, their illicit relationshi& resulte* in the /irth o' their chil*, -ichael .ino -ani(ang. .es&ite )egun*ino>s re&eate* assurance to -ag*alena that he (oul* +arr0 her once he &asse* the /ar e8a+inations an* e2en +a*e -ag*alena>s 'ather /elie2e that the0 (ere alrea*0 +arrie* /ut that the church (e**ing (as /eing *e'erre* until a'ter he has &asse* sai* e8a+inations, he +arrie* another (o+an a'ter his oath ta3ing. )houl* res&on*ent /e *enie* a*+ission to the /ar 'or his /reach o' &ro+ise to +arr0?

Q: !he co+&lainant, Dictoria Barrientos, is single, a college stu*ent, an* (as a/out =G

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


A: Arci a 2s. 'aniwan , A.C. <o. )>C?, Au ust )., )@?). Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (1993 Bar Question) Q: .e'ine unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful con*uct. A: @n(a)#%(. Any act or omission that is contrary to, !rohibited or unauthorized by, in defiance of, disobedient to, or disre ards the law. !s*onest. 6o ha2e the dis!osition to lie, cheat, decei2e, defraud, or betray* be untrustworthy* lac;in in inte rity, honesty, !robity, inte rity in !rinci!le, fairness and strai htforwardness. e&e!t#%(. 3as the !rocli2ity for fraudulent and dece!ti2e misre!resentation, artifice or de2ice that is used u!on another who is i norant of the fact, to the !re$udice and dama e of the !arty im!osed u!on. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: By indicatin FIB# "izal +=@C>CG in his !leadin s and thereby misre!resentin to the !ublic and the courts that he had !aid his IB# dues to the "izal Cha!ter, res!ondent is uilty of 2iolatin the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility which !ro2ides: "ule ).C) H A lawyer shall not en a e in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. 3is act is also a 2iolation of "ule )C.C) which !ro2ides that: A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doin of any in court* nor mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice. (Santos $r. v. Atty. 4(amas, A.C. No. 3.39, $an%ary 20, 2000)

the 2otes recei2e* /0. Pi+entel 1r. 'ile* an a*+inistrati2e co+&laint 'or their *is/ar+ent. !he t(o la(0ers argue* that the *iscre&ancies (ere *ue to honest +ista3e, o2ersight an* 'atigue. !he0 also argue* that the IBP Boar* o' Ao2ernors ha* alrea*0 e8onerate* the+ 'ro+ an0 o''ense an* that the +otion 'or reconsi*eration 'ile* /0 Pi+entel 1r. (as not 'ile* in ti+e. Are the res&on*ents guilt0 o' 2iolating the o*e o' Pro'essional Res&onsi/ilities? A: "ead '!mente(, $r. v. Atty. 4(orente and Atty. Sa(ayon, A.C. No. 3290, A%"%st 29, 2000 Q: An a*+inistrati2e co+&laint 'or *is/ar+ent against Att0. Iris (as 'ile* 'or allege*l0 carr0ing an i++oral relationshi& (ith arlos, hus/an* o' co+&lainant %eslie. Att0. Iris conten*e* that her relationshi& (ith arlos is licit /ecause the0 (ere +arrie*. An* (hen she *isco2ere* arlos true ci2il status she cut o'' all her ties (ith hi+. Is Att0. Iris guilt0 o' co++itting gross i++oral con*uct (arranting her *is/ar+ent? A: "ead @! v. Atty -on!#a&!o, A.C. No. 3319, $%ne /, 2000 Q: atherine an* Att0. Rongcal +aintaine* an illicit a''air. atherine 'ile* a case 'or *is/ar+ent against Att0. Rongcal /ase* gross i++oral con*uct alleging that he +isre&resente* hi+sel' to /e single (hen he (as in 'act +arrie*, an* *ue to the 'alse &retenses she succu+/e* to his se8ual a*2ances. Will her &etition &ros&er? A: "ead 7!t%" v. Ron"&a(, A.C. No. 2313, September ., 2002 Q: What is +oral tur&itu*e? A: 'oral 6ur!itude im!orts an act of baseness, 2ileness or de!ra2ity in the duties which one !erson owes to another or to society in eneral which is contrary to the usual acce!ted and customary rule of ri ht and duty which a !erson should follow. 6he question as to whether an offense in2ol2es moral tur!itude is for the 5u!reme Court to decide. (199=, 1993, 199C, =GG7 Bar Questions) e. . 'urder, Estafa, "a!e, Violation of B# ++, bribery, bi amy, adultery, seduction, abduction, concubina e, smu lin

Q: Att0. %i+on (as .ocena<s la(0er in a ci2il case. .uring that case, he as3e* .ocena to &ost a su&erse*eas /on* to sta0 e8ecution o' the a&&eale* *ecision. .ocena 'or(ar*e* the +one0 to Att0. %i+on. %ater, the case (as *eci*e* in their 'a2or. !he0 (ere una/le to reco2er the +one0 /ecause the cler3 o' court sai* no such /on* ha* e2er /een 'ile*. IBP sus&en*e* hi+ 'or one 0ear. Is *is/ar+ent (arrante*? A: "ead o&ena v. Atty. 4!mon, A.C. 23/., 290 SCRA 222, September 10, 199/ Q: Att0. Antonio an* Att0 %iga0a (ere election o''icers o' the #-"%" . !he0 hel&e* con*uct an* o2ersee the 1995 elections. !hen )enatorial can*i*ate Pi+entel, 1r. allege* that Att0. Antonio an* Att0. %iga0a ta+&ere* (ith

Q: Resurreccion as *e'en*ant *eli2ere* to Att0. )a0son an a+ount re&resenting the co+&ensation or settle+ent +one0 in a case 'or ho+ici*e thru rec3less i+&ru*ence. ,o(e2er, Att0. )a0son *i* not turn o2er the a+ount to his client, 'orcing Resurreccion to &a0 the sa+e a+ount again. Att0. )a0son (as later con2icte* 'or esta'a. )houl* Att0. )a0son /e *is/arre*? A: "ead Res%rre&&!on v. Atty. Sayson, 300 SCRA 129, G.R. No. //202. e&ember 13, 199/
4ote: Dhen lawyers are con2icted of frustrated homicide, the attendin circumstances, not the mere fact of their con2iction would demonstrate their fitness to remain in the le al !rofession. (Sor!ano vs. !<on, A.C. No. 2.92, $an%ary 20, 2002)

A: "ead 5!"%eroa v. -arran&o, $r., GR No. 9.329, 2.2 SCRA 330, $%(y 31, 199.
4ote: 'ere intimacy between a man and woman, both of whom !ossess no im!ediment to marry, 2oluntarily carried on and de2oid of any deceit on the !art of the former, is neither so corru!t nor so un!rinci!led as to warrant the im!osition of disci!linary sanction a ainst him, e2en if as result of such relationshi! a child was born out of wedloc;. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

Q: Att0. A*a9a o/taine* a loan 'ro+ #r/e (ith interest. Att0. A*a9a issue* t(o chec3s as install+ent. ,o(e2er, the 'irst chec3 (as *ishonore*. !he other chec3 (as not acce&te* 'or /eing a stale chec3. "''orts (ere e8erte* /0 #r/e to see Att0. A*a9a /ut her e''orts turne* to /e 'utile. A'ter a cri+inal case (as 'ile*, Att0. A*a9a (ent to #r/e<s house an* &ro+ise* to &a0 the chec3s. #r/e then agree* to ha2e the ser2ice o' the (arrant o' arrest (ithhel* /ut, again, Att0. A*a9a 'aile* to +a3e goo* o' his &ro+ise. .i* the act o' Att0. A*a9a<s in issuing (orthless chec3s constitute gross +iscon*uct? A: "ead Orbe v. Atty. Ada<a, A.C. No. 0202, May 20, 2003 Q: What is the reason (h0 la(0ers are re6uire* to al(a0s &ossess goo* +oral character? A: 6he requirement of ood moral character has three ostensible !ur!oses, namely: ). 6o !rotect the !ublic* +. 6 !rotect the !ublic ima e of lawyers* and -. 6o !rotect !ros!ecti2e clients. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: 6here is no !resum!tion of innocence or im!robability of wron doin , is considered in an attorney9s fa2or. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

Q: .i''erentiate +oralit0 'ro+ i++oral con*uct an* grossl0 i++oral con*uct. A: Mora(!ty as understood in law is a human standard based on natural moral law which is embodied in man9s conscience and which uides him to do ood and a2oid e2il. +mmora( Cond%&t has been defined as that conduct which is willful, fla rant, or shameless and which shows a moral indifference to the o!inion of the ood and res!ectable members of the community %Ar&!"a v. Man!)an", A.M. No. 120/, 102 SCRA 091, A%"%st 13, 19/1). Gross(y +mmora( Cond%&t: :ne that is so corru!t and false as to constitute a criminal act or so un!rinci!led or dis raceful as to be re!rehensible to a hi h de ree. % 5!"%eroa v. -arran&a, GR No. 9.329, 2.0 SCRA 330, $%(y 31, 199.) Q: Patricia an* )i+eon (ere teen s(eethearts. It (as a'ter their chil* (as /orn that )i+eon 'irst &ro+ise* he (oul* +arr0 her a'ter he &asses the /ar e8a+inations. !heir relationshi& continue* an* )i+eon allege*l0 +a*e +ore than t(ent0 or thirt0 &ro+ises o' +arriage. Patricia learne* that )i+eon +arrie* another (o+an. -ean(hile, )i+eon success'ull0 &asse* the 19CG /ar e8a+inations a'ter 'our atte+&ts. But /e'ore he coul* ta3e his #ath, Patricia 'ile* a Petition to *is6uali'0 )i+eon to ta3e the %a(0er<s #ath on the groun* o' Aross I++oral on*uct. .oes the act o' )i+eon in engaging in &re+arital relations (ith Patricia an* +a3ing &ro+ises to +arr0 her constitute Aross I++oral on*uct?

Q: Aran*e (as the &ri2ate o''en*e* &art0 in a cri+inal case (hile Att0. .e )il2a (as the counsel 'or the accuse*. .uring the course o' the &rocee*ings, Att0. .e )il2a ten*ere* a chec3 in 'a2or o' Aran*e in or*er 'or the latter to *esist 'ro+ &artici&ating as a (itness against her client. "2entuall0, Aran*e acce&te* the chec3 an* re'use* to &artici&ate as a co+&laining (itness there/0 lea*ing to the *is+issal o' the case. ,o(e2er, to Aran*e<s consternation, the chec3 /ounce* /ecause Att0. .e )il2a<s account (as alrea*0 close*. When the ourt or*ere* Att0. .e )il2a to co++ent on the charges against her, she *eli/eratel0 re'uses to acce&t all the notices

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


co+ing 'ro+ the ourt. Is Att0. .e )il2a guilt0 o' /reach o' trust? .i* she 2iolate her oath as a la(0er /0 issuing a /ouncing chec3 an* /0 re'using to acce&t the notices sent to her co+ing 'ro+ the court? A: Read Grande v. Atty. $%(y 29, 2003 e S!(va, A.C. No. 3/3/, or friend or a!!ointed by him for that !ur!ose* (Se&. 33, R%(e 13/, RRC) +. -. -e#ore any ot*er &o%rt: #arty to the liti ation, in !erson* Cr!m!na( &ase be#ore t*e M?C in a locality where a duly licensed member of the Bar is not a2ailable: the $ud e may a!!oint a non/lawyer who is: a. "esident of the !ro2ince b. :f ood re!ute for !robity and ability to aid the accused in his defense* (R%(e 112, Se&. ., RRC) 4a) St%dent 'ra&t!&e R%(e 1 A

Q: Alau0a, a +e+/er o' )hari<a Bar an* a cler3 o' court in )hari<a .istrict ourt, (rote a letter to a cor&oration clai+ing to /e a la(0erL a''i8ing HAttorne0I /e'ore his na+e. an a +e+/er o' the )hari<a Bar a''i8 the *esignation la(0er /e'ore their na+e? A: "ead A(a)! v. A(a%ya, A.M. S C19.121', 5ebr%ary 23, 199. Q: Argosino &asse* the /ar e8a+inations hel* in 1993. !he ourt ho(e2er *e'erre* his oathB ta3ing *ue to his &re2ious con2iction 'or Rec3less I+&ru*ence Resulting to ,o+ici*e. !he cri+inal case (hich resulte* in &etitioner>s con2iction arose 'ro+ the *eath o' a neo&h0te *uring 'raternit0 initiation rites. )houl* Argosino /e allo(e* to ta3e his la(0er>s oath? A: "ead Re, 'et!t!on o# A( Ar"os!no to ?aAe t*e 4a)yerBs Oat*, -.M. No. .12, Mar&* 19, 199., 2.0 SCRA 22 Q: ,o( +an0 ti+es can a la( gra*uate ta3e u& the /ar? A: Bar 'atter ))>) re ulates the conduct of bar eEamination* limits the eEamination u! to fi2e times only.
4ote: B' ))>)/ requires submission of the dean of a certification that the candidate has no dero atory record in school and if any in detail and status thereof.

4.

APP"ARA4 " #$ 4#4B%AWM"R I4 #:R! Q: -a0 a nonBla(0er a&&ear in court? A: AR: <o. :nly those who are licensed to !ractice law can a!!ear and handle cases in court. NP4): ). Cases be#ore t*e M?C : #arty to the liti ation, in !erson :" throu h an a ent

law student who has successfully completed 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school (sec !, "ule !3#-A$ %he appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Inte rated Bar of the #hili!!ines duly accredited by the law school Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic& (sec ', "ule !3#-A$

4ote: %he law student shall comply

with the standards of professional conduct governing members of the (ar )ailure of an attorney to provide ade*uate supervision of student practice may be a ground for disciplinary action

=.

@nder t*e 4abor &ode, non/lawyers may a!!ear before the <1"C or any 1abor Arbiter, !#, a. 6hey re!resent themsel2es, b. 6hey re!resent their or anization or members thereof* %Art +++, #0 ..+, as amended( (=GG= Bar Question)

o' ourt that a nonBla(0er +a0 a&&ear /e'ore an0 court an* con*uct his litigation &ersonall0. 1u*ge -i;ares *enie* the +otion (ith 'inalit0. In the sa+e #r*er, the trial court hel* that 'or the 'ailure o' &etitioner ru9 to su/+it the &ro+ise* *ocu+ent an* ;uris&ru*ence an* 'or his 'ailure to satis'0 the re6uire+ents or con*itions un*er Rule 13FBA o' the Rules o' ourt, his a&&earance (as *enie*. .oes res&on*ent court acte* (ith gra2e a/use o' *iscretion a+ounting to lac3 or e8cess o' ;uris*iction (hen it *enie* the a&&earance o' the &etitioner as &art0 litigant? A: "ead Cr%< v. M!8ares, et a(., G.R. No. 103323, September 11, 200/ Q: What are the li+itations on a&&earance o' nonBla(0ers /e'ore the courts? A: ). +. 3e should confine his wor; to non/ ad2ersary contentions* 3e should not underta;e !urely le al wor;, such as the eEamination or cross/ eEamination of witnesses, or the !resentation of e2idence* and 3is ser2ices should not be habitually rendered. 3e should not char e or collect attorney9s fees.

Q: Oanlaon onstruction an* &ri2ate res&on*ents< case (ere assigne* /e'ore t(o la/or ar/iters. !he "ngineers as coB*e'en*ant, (ithout (ritten authorit0 to re&resent Oanlaon onstruction, a*+itte* the co+&laints against the+. B0 2irtue o' such, the la/or ar/iters a*;u*icate* the case in 'a2or o' the &ri2ate res&on*ents. an an engineer re&resent a coB*e'en*ant in a case /e'ore the la/or ar/iter? A: "ead Can(aon Constr%&t!on v. N4RC, GR No. 122220, 2.9 SCRA 33., September 1/, 199.) >. @nder t*e Cadastra( A&t, a non/ lawyer can re!resent a claimant before the Cadastral Court* %Act no. ++=@, 5ec. @( and Any person a!!ointed to a!!ear for the o2ernment of the #hili!!ines in accordance with law. (Se&. 33, R%(e 13/ RRC) Pro )e ()ection 37, Rule 13F) Q: -a*era*a 'ile* charges against 1u*ge -e*io*ea 'or @gross ignorance o' the la( a+ounting to gra2e +iscon*uct@ 'or 'ailing @to o/ser2e an* a&&l0 the Re2ise* Rule on )u++ar0 Proce*ure@ in the ci2il case. #n the other han*, res&on*ent 1u*ge -e*io*ea +aintaine* that -a*era*a, in a&&earing as counsel on her o(n /ehal', 'aile* to secure authorit0 'ro+ the ourt an* to 'ile her lea2e o' a/sence e2er0 ti+e she a&&eare* in court. an -a*era*a a&&ear as counsel 'or hersel' an* her coB&lainti'' e2en i' she is not a la(0er? A: "ead Maderada v. $%d"e Med!odea, A.M. No. M?$10211309. O&tober 13, 2003. Q: $er*inan* A. ru9 (&etitioner) sought &er+ission to enter his a&&earance 'or an* on his /ehal' /e'ore the R! as the &lainti'' in a i2il ase 'or A/ate+ent o' 4uisance. Petitioner, a 'ourth 0ear la( stu*ent, anchors his clai+ on )ection 37 o' Rule 13F o' the Rules

A.

-.

Q: -a0 a &art0 re&resent hi+sel'? A: +n C!v!( &ases, an indi2idual liti ant has the ri ht to conduct his liti ation !ersonally. +n Cr!m!na( &ases, in ra2e and less ra2e offenses, an accused who is a layman must always a!!ear by counsel* he cannot conduct his own defense without 2iolatin his ri ht to due !rocess of law.
4ote: E2en the most intelli ent of the educated men may ha2e no s;ill in the science of law, !articularly in the rules of !rocedure and without counsel* he may be con2icted not because he is uilty but because he does not ;now how to establish his innocence. Dhere an accused was not duly re!resented by a member of the bar durin trial, the $ud ment should be set aside, and the case remanded to the trial court for a new trial. ('eop(e v. Santo&!(des, $r., GR No. 109139, e&ember 21, 1999) Dith re ard to a $%r!d!&a( person, it must always a!!ear in court throu h a duly licensed member of the bar, eEce!t before '6C where it may be re!resented by its a ent or officer who need not be a lawyer.

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


R:%") #4 P:B%I #$$I IA%) R"AAR.I4A PRA !I " #$ %AW Q: Who are the &u/lic o''icials (ho cannot engage in the &ri2ate &ractice o' la( in the Phili&&ines? A: 1#PP #-) ). 1ud es and other officials as em!loyees of the 5u!reme Court (R%(e 13/, Se&. 30, RRC). +. :fficials and em!loyees of the #5& (+b!d.) -. &o2ernment &rosecutors. ('eop(e v. 7!((an%eva, No. 4119300, May 2., 1920) .. President, Vice/#resident, members of the cabinet, their de!uties and assistants (Art 7++, Se& 13, 19/. Const!t%t!on). =. 'embers of the onstitutional Commission (Art +D1A, Se&. 2, 19/. Const!t%t!on) >. #mbudsman and his de!uties (Art. +D, Se&. / (2nd par), 19/. Const!t%t!on) A. All o2ernors, city and munici!al +ayors (R.A. No. .120, Se&. 90). ?. 6hose !rohibited by s!ecial law. (199G Bar Question) Q: -ata0og is a la(0er. ,e is a &artner in a &ri2ate la( 'ir+, an* in =GGC local elections he ran 'or councilor an* (as electe* in that &osition. .oes /eing electe* as &u/lic o''icial &rohi/it hi+ to engage in the &ri2ate &ractice o' la(? A: <o, such election as councilor does not !rohibit "ic;y from en a in in the !ri2ate !ractice of law. 3owe2er, such fact falls under the enumeration of those !ublic officials with restrictions in the !ractice of law: ). <o Senator as member o# t*e ;o%se o# Representat!ves may !ersonally Fa!!earG as counsel before any court of $ustice as before the Electoral 6ribunals, as quasi/ $udicial and other administration bodies %Art. VI, 5ec. )., )@?A Constitution(.
$udicial or administrati2e body in 2iolation of the constitutional restriction. (+n re, av!d, Adm Case No. 9/, $%(y 13, 1903)

+. 4nder the 1ocal &o2ernment Code %"A A)>C, 5ec. @)( San""%n!an members may !ractice their !rofessions !ro2ided that if they are members of the Bar, they shall not: a. A!!ear as counsel before any court in any ci2il case wherein a local o2ernment unit or any office, a ency, or instrumentality of the o2ernment is the ad2erse !arty* A!!ear as counsel in any criminal case wherein an officer or em!loyee of the national or local o2ernment is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office* Collect any fee for their a!!earance in administrati2e !roceedin s in2ol2in the local o2ernment unit of which he is an official* 4se !ro!erty and !ersonnel of the o2ernment eEce!t when the 5an unian member concerned is defendin the interest of the o2ernment. (199=, =GGG Bar Questions)

b.

c.

d.

-. 4nder "A @)C, 5ec. ), as amended, a ret!red 8%st!&e or 8%d"e recei2in !ension from the o2ernment, cannot act as counsel: a. b. in any ci2il case in which the &o2ernment, or any of its subdi2ision or a encies is the ad2erse !arty* or in a criminal case wherein an officer or em!loyee of the &o2ernment is accused of an offense in relation to his office* nor collect any fees for his a!!earance in any administrati2e !roceedin s to maintain an interest ad2erse to the o2ernment, !ro2incial or munici!al, or to any of its le ally constituted officers. (Se&. 1, RA 910)

c.

4ote: 6he word Fa!!earanceG includes not only ar uin a case before any such body but also #!(!n" a p(ead!n" on behalf of a client as Fby sim!ly filin a formal motion, !lea or answerG. (Ramos v, Mana(a&, G.R. No. 412210, /9 '*!( 2., $%ne 12, 1901) <either can he allow his name to a!!ear in such !leadin by itself or as !art of a firm name under the si nature of another qualified lawyer because the si nature of an a ent amounts to a si nin of a non/ qualified senator or con ressman, the office of an attorney bein ori inally of a ency, and because he will, by such act, be a!!earin in court or quasi/

.. C!v!( serv!&e o##!&ers and emp(oyees without !ermit from their res!ecti2e de!artment heads. (Nor!e"a v. S!son, G.R. No. 41 2303/, 120 SCRA 293, O&tober 2., 19/3) Q: Att0. %a*aga, a ler3 o' ourt, a&&eare* as counsel 'or an* in /ehal' o' his cousin in a cri+inal case 'or 'alsi'ication o' &u/lic *ocu+ents /e'ore the -"! o' Que9on it0. !he a&&earance o' Att0. %a*aga in sai* case

(as (ithout the &re2ious &er+ission o' the ourt. .i* Att0. %a*aga 2iolate the o*e o' on*uct an* "thical )tan*ar*s 'or Pu/lic #''icials an* "+&lo0ees /0 engaging in &ri2ate &ractice? A: "ead O&a v. Atty. 4ada"a, A.M. No. '199112/.. $an%ary 22, 2001 )#%I I!#R A"4"RA% as &rinci&al la( o''icer an* legal *e'en*er o' the Ao2ern+ent Q: What are the &ossi/le actions that the )ol Aen +a0 un*erta3e in the *ischarge o' his *uties? A: 6he 5ol &en, in his discretion, may !ursue any of the followin actions: ). #rosecute* or +. <ot to !rosecute* or -. 6o abandon a !rosecution already started* or .. 6o ta;e a !osition ad2erse to the !eo!le of the #hili!!ines in a criminal case or to that of a o2ernment a ency or official, when he belie2es that $ustice will be ser2ed by ta;in a different stand* Q: In a case /et(een t(o go2ern+ent agencies, shoul* the )ol Aen re'rain 'ro+ &er'or+ing his *ut0? A: <o. It is incumbent u!on him to !resent to the court what he considers as would le ally u!hold the best interest of the o2ernment. Q: In the a/o2e 6uestion, (hat is the re+e*0 o' the go2ern+ent o''ice a*2ersel0 a''ecte* /0 the &osition ta3en /0 the )ol Aen? A: 6he o2ernment a ency ad2ersely affected, if it still belie2es in the merits of its case, may a!!ear on its own behalf throu h its le al officer or re!resentati2e. Q: What are the re+e*ies against unauthori9e* &ractice o' la(? A: (.I ".) ). .eclaratory relief* +. #etition for in$uction* -. ontem!t of court* .. Criminal com!laint for estafa a ainst a !erson who falsely re!resented himself to be an attorney to the dama e of a !arty* or =. .isqualification and com!laints for disbarment.

A.D"R!I)I4A %AW PRA !I "


Rule .03 A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designated primarily to solicit legal business. (199C Bar Question) Q: Att0. .a2i* agree* to gi2e P o' his &ro'essional 'ees to an inter+e*iar0 or co++ission agent an* he also /oun* hi+sel' not to *eal *irectl0 (ith the clients. an he /e su/;ect to *isci&linar0 action? A: "ead ?an ?eA -en" v. e&ember 29, 19/3 av!d, A. C. No. 1221,

Q: Att0. 1ohn Alcasi* is a &artner at Alcasio an* Delas6ue9 %a( $ir+. !he 'ir+ is ne(l0 esta/lishe* an* in or*er to attract client, he cause* the a*2ertising o' the la( 'ir+ in +aga9ines an* ne( &a&ers. Is that act o' Att0. astillo ethical? A: Rea*: @(ep v. 4e"a( C(!n!&, +n&., -M No. 003, $%ne 1., 1993) (Atty. C*an $r. v. Atty. S!mb!((o, AC No. 0299, A%"%st 19, 2003) Q: Att0. .ulcinea (rites a regular colu+n in a ne(s&a&er o' general circulation an* articles on un'orgetta/le legal stories in a lea*ing +aga9ine. ,er /0Bline al(a0s inclu*es the na+e o' her 'ir+ (here she is a na+e &artner. Woul* 0ou consi*er this as i+&ro&er a*2ertising? "8&lain 0our ans(er. A: Atty. 0ulcinea9s by/line includin the firm name where she belon s is im!ro!er because it is an !nd!re&t )ay of solicitation or is an ad2ertisement of the law firm. Q: A &ai* a*2ertise+ent a&&eare* in the 1ul0 5, =GGG issue o' Phili&&ine .ail0 In6uirer, (hich rea*s: @A44:%-"4!> #$ -ARRIAA" )&ecialist 53=B7333Q5=1B=66C.@ )i+ilar a*2ertise+ents (ere &u/lishe* in the August = an* 6, =GGG issues o' the -anila Bulletin an* August 5, =GGG issue o' !he Phili&&ine )tar. A sta'' +e+/er o' the ) calle* u& the &u/lishe* tele&hone nu+/er an* &reten*e* to /e an intereste* &art0. )he s&o3e to -rs. )i+/illo, (ho clai+e* that her hus/an*, Att0. )i+/illo, (as an e8&ert in han*ling annul+ent cases an* can guarantee a court *ecree (ithin

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


'our to si8 +onths, &ro2i*e* the case (ill not in2ol2e se&aration o' &ro&ert0 or custo*0 o' chil*ren. -rs. )i+/illo also sai* that her hus/an* charges a 'ee o' P7F, GGG.GG, hal' o' (hich is &a0a/le at the ti+e o' 'iling o' the case an* the other hal' a'ter a *ecision thereon has /een ren*ere*. .oes the a&&earance o' the 'ollo(ing: @A44:%-"4!> #$ -ARRIAA" )&ecialist 53=B 7333Q5=1B=66C@, in a ne(s&a&er, a+ount to advertising and solicitation of legal services &rohi/ite* /0 the o*e o' Pro'essional Res&onsi/ilit0 an* the Rules o' ourt? A: "ead Atty. C*an $r. v. Atty. S!mb!((o, AC No. 0299, A%"%st 19, 2003
4ote: 6he rule a ainst solicitation a!!lies to a lawyer who offers monetary reward to those who can ser2e as witnessIes in the case, which he is handlin . (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

-. ..

of the claim are the !rinci!al factors li;ely to determine the result* Inclusion of information irrele2ant on selectin a lawyer* "e!resentations concernin the quality of ser2ice, which cannot be measured or 2erified. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

Q: Att0. %ana a 'a+ous 'a+il0 la(0er, as3e* his secretar0 to *ra't the contents o' his ne( calling car*. !he secretar0 inserte* in such *ra't the &hrase, the H/est 'a+il0 la(0er in the Phili&&inesI. !he *ra't (as chec3e* /0 Att0. %ana an* a&&ro2e* it. !he ne( calling car*s (ere then +a*e an* Att0. %ana ga2e it to &ros&ecti2e clients. .i* Att0. %ana co++it an0 unethical act? A: Bes, under "ule -.C) of C#", Violation of "ule -.C) is unethical, whether done by him !ersonally or throu h another with his !ermission. Rule 3.0 #n the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name shall be used. $he continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is deceased. (1997, 1996, =GG1 Bar Questions) Q: What is the reason in allo(ing a 'ir+ to use the na+e o' a *ecease* &artner? A: 6here is a !ractical 2alue in allowin the continued use of the name of a deceased !artner in the firm name. All the !artners ha2e by their $oint and se2eral efforts o2er a !eriod of years contributed to the ood will attached to the firm name. In the case of a firm ha2in wides!read connections, this ood will is disturbed by a chan e in firm name e2ery time a !artner dies, and that reflects a loss in some de ree of the ood will to the buildin u! of which the sur2i2in !artners ha2e contributed their time, s;ill and labor throu h a !eriod of years. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: 6he doctrine in, E+n t*e matter o# t*e pet!t!on #or a%t*or!ty to &ont!n%e %se o# t*e #!rm O<aeta, Rom%(o, e 4eon et&., and pet!t!on #or a%t*or!ty to &ont!n%e %se o# #!rm name FSy&!p, Sa(a<ar, 5e(!&!ano, et&.G ($%(y 30, 19.9) that a law firm can not continue usin the name of a deceased !artner due to the !ossibility of dece!tion u!on the !ublic, is abandoned by R%(e 3.02.

A4#4 3 :)" !R:", ,#4")!, $AIR A4. #B1" !ID" I4$#R-A!I#4 I4 -AOI4A O4#W4 ,I) %"AA% )"RDI ") (1993, 199C, 199F, =GG1, =GG=, =GG3 Bar Questions) Q: Is gi2ing o' a*2ice on legal +atters through the +e*iu+ o' a ne(s&a&er colu+n or ra*io or tele2ision /roa*cast i+&ro&er? A: Bes, as i2in of le al ad2ice throu h such medium cannot be underta;en by a layman because that ser2ice constitutes !ractice of law. <or can it be underta;en by a lawyer because that wor; in2ol2e !nd!re&t advert!s!n", 2iolation of the confidential relation of attorney and client, and a breach of the traditional standards of the !rofession. (A"pa(o, 4e"a( and $%d!&!a( 6t*!&s) 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 "ualifications or legal services. (199C Bar Question) Q: ite so+e e8a+&les o' in'or+ation in la(0er a*2ertising, that coul* /e consi*ere* *ece&ti2e. A: ). +. 'isstatements of fact* 5u estions that the in enuity or !rior record of a lawyer rather than the $ustice

#4$%I ! #$ I4!"R")!
Rule %.03 A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or

11

employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service. (199=, 1993, =GG1 Bar Questions) Q: Att0. -a*rigal (or3e* in the )u&re+e ourt, un*er the *i2ision (hich han*les the case o' -r. Ro8as, /e'ore the &ro+ulgation o' the *ecision o' the caseJ Att0. -a*rigal resigne* an* starte* to (or3 in the la( 'ir+ (hich han*les the case o' -r. Ro8as. Is Att0. -a*rigal allo(e* to use the in'or+ation he got to hel& in the case han*le* /0 the 'ir+? A: "ead 'CGG v. Sand!"anbayan, G.R. No. 101/091
12, 300 SCRA 022, Apr!( 2000

representat!on &on#(!&ts are unique to o2ernment lawyers and a!!ly !rimarily to former o2ernment lawyers. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: 6he restriction !ro2ided under this rule co2ers en"a"ement or emp(oyment which means that he cannot acce!t any wor; or em!loyment from anyone that will in2ol2e or relate to the matter in which he inter2ened as a !ublic official, eEce!t on behalf of the body or authority which he ser2ed durin his !ublic em!loyment. % C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

Rule &.0 A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law.
4ote: 6he interest !romoted by the !rohibition is that the inde!endence of the !rofessional $ud ment of a lawyer, which the client is !ayin for, could be at ris; if a non/ lawyer has direct ri hts to share in the le al fees resultin from the eEercise of such !rofessional $ud ment. %C#" Annotated, #hilJA(

Q: $or+er )olicitor Aeneral "stelito -en*o9a 'ile* a &etition (ith the $I &ra0ing 'or the assistance an* su&er2ision o' the court in the AenBan3<s li6ui*ation. )u/se6uentl0, Presi*ent A6uino esta/lishe* the P AA to reco2er allege* illBgotten (ealth o' 'or+er Presi*ent -arcos, his 'a+ilies an* cronies. !he P AA 'ile* (ith the )an*igan/a0an a co+&laint 'or re2ersion, recon2e0ance, restitution, accounting an* *a+ages against res&on*ent !an et al. an* issue* se2eral (rits o' se6uestration on &ro&erties the0 allege*l0 ac6uire*. Res&on*ent !an et al (ere re&resente* /0 $or+er )olAen -en*o9a, (ho has then resu+e* his &ri2ate &ractice o' la(. !he P AA 'ile* +otions to *is6uali'0 res&on*ent -en*o9a as counsel 'or res&on*ent !an et al. !he +otions allege* that res&on*ent -en*o9a, as then )olAen an* counsel to entral Ban3, Hacti2el0 inter2ene*I in the li6ui*ation o' AenBan3, (hich (as su/se6uentl0 ac6uire* /0 res&on*ents !an et al. .oes Rule 6.G3 o' the res&on*ent -en*o9a? PR a&&lica/le to

NP4: a. 'here there is a pre!e(isting agreement with a partner or associate that, upon the latter)s death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate to persons specified in the agreement* or
4ote: 6his eEce!tion is in the nature of a be9%est. It is still in substance, !ayment to the deceased lawyer. 3is estate andIor assi nee could not claim entitlement to the money in their own ri ht but only by re!resentation. %C#" Annotated, #hilJA(

b.

'here a lawyer underta+es to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer* or

4ote: 6he first and second eEce!tions re!resent com!ensation for le al ser2ices of the deceased lawyers. 6he estate or the heir cannot be made a member of the !artnershi! with the sur2i2in !artners. 6he le al fees in this case, no lon er re!resent com!ensation for !ast ser2ices.

A: "ead 'CGG v. Sand!"anbayan, G.R. Nos. 101/09112,Apr!( 12, 2000) Q: .istinguish a*2erseBinterest con'licts an* congruentBinterest re&resentation con'licts? A: Adverse1!nterest &on#(!&ts eEist where the matter in which the former o2ernment lawyer re!resents a client in !ri2ate !ractice is substantially related to the matter that the lawyer dealt with while em!loyed by the o2ernment and the interests of the o2ernment and the interests of the current and former are ad2erse while &on"r%ent1!nterest

c.

'here a lawyer or law firm includes a non!lawyer employees in a retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing agreement.

4ote: 6his is not a di2ision of le al fees but a !ension re!resentin deferred wa es for the em!loyees9 !ast ser2ices.

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


6his eEce!tion is an im!licit reco nition of the incontestable fact that lawyers need to, and in fact, de!end on non/lawyers for the administrati2e su!!ort functions necessary to allow lawyers to dischar e their le al functions more efficiently. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

A: ). Dhen, on behalf of one client, it is the attorney9s duty to contest for that which his duty to another client requires him to o!!ose or when this !ossibility of such situation will de2elo! (&on#(!&t!n" d%t!es). +. Dhether the acce!tance of the new relation will !re2ent a lawyer from the full dischar e of his duty of undi2ided fidelity and loyalty to his client or will in2ite sus!icion of unfaithfulness or double/ dealin in the !erformance thereof (+nv!tat!on o# s%sp!&!on). -. Dhether a lawyer will be called u!on in his new relation to use a ainst the first client any ;nowled e acquired in the !re2ious em!loyment (%se o# pr!or Ano)(ed"e obta!ned). Q: What are the !0&es o' A: A. Con&%rrent or m%(t!p(e representat!on / &enerally occurs when a lawyer re!resents clients whose ob$ecti2es are ad2erse to each other, no matter how sli ht or remote such ad2erse interest may be. 6he tests for concurrent or multi!le re!resentation: ). Dhether a lawyer is duty/bound to fi ht for an issue or claim in behalf of one client and, at the same time, to o!!ose that claim for the other client* +. Dhether the acce!tance of a new relation would !re2ent the full dischar e of the lawyer9s duty of undi2ided fidelity or loyalty to the client* -. Dhether the acce!tance of new relation would in2ite sus!icion of unfaithfulness or double/dealin in the !erformance of the lawyer9s duty of undi2ided fidelity and loyalty* and .. Dhether, in the acce!tance of a new relation, the lawyer would be called u!on to use a ainst a client confidential information acquired throu h their connection. B. Se9%ent!a( or s%&&ess!ve representat!on / In2ol2es re!resentation by a law firm of a !resent client who may ha2e an interest ad2erse to a !rior or former client of the firm. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A) on'lict o' interestJ

Q: %oren9o is a la(0er /ut is sus&en*e* in the &ractice o' la( *ue to so+e unethical acts. ,e (or3e* 'or a la( 'ir+ o(ne* /0 one o' his 'rien*s. )ince he has so +an0 cases to han*le, Att0. Berenguer assigne* a case to %oren9o, /elie2ing he can han*le such eas0 case. .i* Att0. Berenguer 2iolate an0 rule? A: Bes, because he dele ates handlin of a case to a !erson sus!ended from the !ractice of law. 4nder "ule @.C) of C#" H A lawyer shall not dele ate to any unqualified !erson the !erformance of any tas; which by law may only be !erformed by a member of the bar in ood standin .
4ote: A lawyer is !rohibited from ta;in as !artner or associates any !erson who is not authorized to !ractice law H to a!!ear in court or to si n !leadin s. A (a)yer, )*o !s %nder s%spens!on #rom pra&t!&e o# (a) !s not a member o# t*e -ar !n "ood stand!n". A lawyer whose authority to !ractice has been withdrawn due to a chan e in citizenshi! or alle iance to the country cannot a!!ear before the courts. (G%ba((a v. Ca"%!oa, G.R. No. 413203. ./ SCRA 302 $%(y 29, 19..)

on'lict o' Interest (1991, 199=, 1993, 1997, 199C, 1999, =GGG, =GG1, =GG=, =GG3, =GG7, =GG5, =GG6, =GGF Bar Questions) Rule 1,.01 ! A lawyer in conferring with a prospective client shall ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter would involve a conflict with another client or his own interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective client. Q: ,o( is con'lict search *one? An* (hat is its &ur&ose? A: By eEaminin the causes of action between the !ros!ecti2e client and the lawyer9s current clients. By conductin a conflict search, the lawyer will be able to determine, in the first instance, if he is barred from acce!tin the re!resentation throu h conflicts with his !resent clients or the lawyer9s own interest. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A) Q: What are the three tests to *eter+ine the e8istence o' con'licting interests?

13

4ote: 6he test to determine whether there is a conflict of interest in the re!resentation is probab!(!ty, not certainty of conflict. 4ote: 6he !roscri!tion a ainst re!resentation of conflictin interest finds a!!lication where the conflictin interests arise with res!ect to the same eneral matter and is a!!licable howe2er sli ht such ad2erse interest may be* the fact that the conflict of interests is remote or mere probab(e does not ma;e the !rohibition ino!erati2e. ('ormento v. 'ontevedra, A.C. No. 012/, Mar&* 31, 2000)

+((%strat!on, 6:!sten&e o# Con#(!&t O# +nterest ). +. A 2s B A and B are !resent clients C 2s 0* E 2s 0 C is the !resent client and 0 is not a !resent client in the same case but is a !resent client in another case 7 2s &* 3 2s & 7 is the !resent client and & was a former client and the cases are related I 2s J* 8 2s J I is the !resent client and J was a former client in a case that is unrelated. 1, ', < 2s :, #, K 1, ', < are !resent clients but 1 and ' $oins :, #, K %#eo!le 2s 0a2is(

+. A lawyer of an insurance cor!oration who in2esti ated as an accident cannot re!resent the com!lainantIin$ured !erson* -. As a recei2er of a cor!oration, he cannot re!resent the creditor* .. As a re!resentati2e of the obli or, he cannot re!resent the obli ee* and =. As a lawyer re!resentin a !arty in a com!romise a reement, he cannot, subsequently, be a lawyer re!resentin another client who see;s to nullify the a reement. Q: A case (as 'ile* /0 the Phili&&ine Pu/lic )chool !eachers Association (PP)!A) against its o(n Boar* o' .irectors in (hich the0 retaine* the ser2ices o' Att0. )alunat. Att0. )alunat, on the other han* a*+itte* that the A))A %a( $ir+, o' (hich he is the -anaging Partner, (as the retaine* counsel o' PP)!A. Met, he a&&eare* as counsel o' recor* 'or the res&on*ent Boar* o' .irectors in the sai* case. Att0. )alunat<s /rother, Aurelio, (as a +e+/er o' the PP)!A Boar* (hich a&&ro2e* his engage+ent as retaine* counsel o' PP)!A. An a*+inistrati2e co+&laint (as 'ile* (ith the IBP o++ission on Bar .isci&line, against Att0. )alunat 'or illegal an* unethical &ractice an* con'lict o' interest. an a la(0er engage* /0 a cor&oration *e'en* +e+/ers o' the /oar* o' the sa+e cor&oration in a *eri2ati2e suit? A: <o. In other $urisdictions, the !re2ailin rule is that a situation wherein a lawyer re!resents both the cor!oration and its assailed directors una2oidably i2es rise to a conflict of interest. 6he interest of the cor!orate client is !aramount and should not be influenced by any interest of the indi2idual cor!orate officials. 6he rulin has !ersuasi2e effect u!on us. After due deliberation on the wisdom of this doctrine, we are sufficiently con2inced t*at a (a)yer en"a"ed as &o%nse( #or a &orporat!on &annot represent members o# t*e same &orporat!onHs board o# d!re&tors !n a der!vat!ve s%!t bro%"*t a"a!nst t*em. 6o do so would be tantamount to re!resentin conflictin interests, which is !rohibited by the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility. (;orn!((a v. Atty. Sa(%nat, $%(y 1, 2003, A.C. No. 0/03) Q: )antos 'ile* a 2eri'ie* co+&laint against Att0. Beltran /e'ore the IBPB B., alleging a+ong others that Att0. Beltran re&resente* con'licting interest (hen he entere* his a&&earance as *e'ense counsel in an e;ect+ent case in (hich his 'or+er client (as the &lainti''.

-.

..

=.

4ote: 6he bare attorney/client relationshi! with a client !recludes an attorney from acce!tin !rofessional em!loyment from the client9s ad2ersary either in the same case or in a different but re(ated a&t!on. +t !s a(so !mproper #or a (a)yer to appear as &o%nse( #or one party a"a!nst t*e adverse party )*o !s *!s &(!ent !n anot*er tota((y %nre(ated a&t!on. ?*e pro*!b!t!on app(!es !rrespe&t!ve o# )*et*er t*e (a)yer a&9%!red &on#!dent!a( !n#ormat!on. +t a(so app(!es to t*e (a) #!rm o# )*!&* *e !s a member as )e(( as any member, asso&!ate, or ass!stant t*ere!n. ?*e term!nat!on o# t*e re(at!on o# attorney and &(!ent prov!des no 8%st!#!&at!on #or a (a)yer to represent an !nterest adverse to or !n &on#(!&t )!t* t*at o# t*e #ormer &(!ent. ?*e reason !s t*at t*e &(!entBs &on#!den&e on&e reposed &annot be d!vested by t*e term!nat!on o# pro#ess!ona( emp(oyment.

Q: Ai2e instances con'licting interests. A:

(hen

there

e8ists

). A cor!orate lawyer cannot $oin a labor union of em!loyees in that cor!oration*

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


Is Att0. Beltran guilt0 o' re&resenting con'licting interests (hen he entere* his a&&earance as *e'ense counsel in an e;ect+ent case in (hich his 'or+er client (as the &lainti''? A: Bes. 6here is conflict of interest when a lawyer re!resents inconsistent interests of two or more o!!osin !arties. ?*e test !s I)*et*er or not !n be*a(# o# one &(!ent, !t !s t*e (a)yerHs d%ty to #!"*t #or an !ss%e or &(a!m, b%t !t !s *!s d%ty to oppose !t #or t*e ot*er &(!ent. +n br!e#, !# *e ar"%es #or one &(!ent, t*!s ar"%ment )!(( be opposed by *!m )*en *e ar"%es #or t*e ot*er &(!ent.I 6his rule co2ers not only cases in which confidential communications ha2e been confided, but also those in which no confidence has been bestowed or will be used. "es!ondent Atty. "odolfo Beltran is found "%!(ty of re!resentin conflictin interests and is sus!ended from the !ractice of law for a !eriod of one %)( year. (Santos v. Atty. -e(tran, A.C. 0/0/, e&ember 11, 2003) Q: Att0. %o9a*a is the retaine* counsel an* legal a*2iser o' $rias. )he acte* as /ro3er in the sale o' the latter<s house in A0ala Ala/ang. )he intro*uce* the latter to a client o' hers, .ra. )an .iego, a &ros&ecti2e /u0er. )an .iego ga2e P=- in cash an* P1- in chec3 as *o(n &a0+ent, instea* o' P3- in cash as agree*. #ut o' the P=- in cash, Att0. %o9a*a too3 P1as her co++ission (ithout co+&lainant>s consent. )an .iego e2entuall0 /ac3e* out 'ro+ the sale. !itle to the &ro&ert0 (as allege*l0 stolen. Att0. %o9a*a &re&are* an a''i*a2it o' loss, (hich (as later o''ere* as e2i*ence in a &etition 'or issuance o' a *u&licate co&0 o' the title. A &er;ur0 case (as then 'ile* /0 )an .iego against co+&lainant on the groun* that the title to the &ro&ert0 (as ne2er reall0 lost (as allege* /0 co+&lainant in the a''i*a2it o' loss) /ut (as (ith )an .iego all along. .i* Att0. %o9a*a re&resent con'licting interest? A: Bes. 5he not only admitted that she re!resented both com!lainant and 5an 0ie o in unrelated actions but also counseled both of them in the sale of the Alaban !ro!erty. As their lawyer, she was duty/bound to !rotect both of their interests. 5he should ha2e therefore refrained from $umblin their affairs. -y a&t!n" as a broAer, s*e s*o%(d *ave rea(!<ed t*at *er ro(e as t*e!r (a)yer *ad been ser!o%s(y &omprom!sed. S!n&e b%yer and se((er *ad ev!dent anta"on!st!& !nterests, s*e &o%(d not "!ve bot* o# t*em so%nd (e"a( adv!&e. :n to! of this, res!ondentLs ob2ious tendency then was to hel! com!lainant et a hi h sellin !rice since the amount of her commission was de!endent on it. 3er acti2e !artici!ation in the transaction clearly dis!layed an utter disre ard of the rule a ainst dischar in inconsistent duties to her clients. 6he reat li;elihood was that she would be called u!on to use a ainst either the com!lainant or 5an 0ie o information acquired throu h her !rofessional connection with them. (5r!as v. 4o<ada, A.C. No. 2202, e&ember 13, 2000) Q: A+a*o #ca+&o is the retaine* counsel o' -aria !iania in all her legal &ro/le+s an* court cases. -rs. once&cion Bla0loc3 sue* !iania 'or e;ect+ent. Att0. #ca+&o a&&eare* in this case 'or /oth !iania an* Bla0loc3. !iania con'ronte* #ca+&o a/out this /ut the latter reassure* !iania that he (ill ta3e care o' e2er0thing an* that there (as no nee* 'or !iania to hire a ne( la(0er since he is still !iania>s la(0er. #ca+&o &re&are* the ans(er in the sai* e;ect+ent case, (hich !iania signe*. !hen #ca+&o +a*e her sign a o+&ro+ise Agree+ent, (hich the latter signe* (ithout rea*ing. !(o 0ears 'ro+ the su/+ission o' the o+&ro+ise Agree+ent, an or*er to 2acate the &ro&ert0 in 6uestion (as recei2e* /0 !iania. !o hol* o'' her e;ect+ent 'or another t(o 0ears, #ca+&o a*2ise* !iania to &a0 hi+ a certain a+ount 'or the sheri''. Was the res&on*ent guilt0 o' re&resenting con'licting interests? A: Bes. 3e is uilty of mal!ractice and ross misconduct in re!resentin Blayloc;, and at the same time ad2isin 6iania, the o!!osin !arty. 6iania lost her !ro!erty as a result of his fraudulent mani!ulation, ta;in ad2anta e of his eE!ertise in law a ainst his own unsus!ectin and trustin clients. (?!ana v. O&ampo, A.C. No. 22/0, A%"%st 12, 1991)

Rule 1,.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests e(cept by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. AR: An attorney &annot re!resent di2erse interest. It is hi hly im!ro!er to re!resent both sides of an issue. 6he !roscri!tion a ainst re!resentation of conflictin interest finds

15

a!!lication where the conflictin interest arise with res!ect to the same eneral matter and is a!!licable howe2er sli ht such ad2erse interest may be. It a!!lies althou h the attorney9s intention and moti2es were honest and he acted in ood faith. NP4: "e!resentation of conflictin interest may be allowed where the !arties consent to the re!resentation after full disclosure of facts. (NaAp!( v. 7a(de<, A.C. No. 2030 Mar&* 3, 199/)
4ote: A lawyer may at certain sta e of the contro2ersy and before it reaches the court re!resent conflictin interests with the eE!ress )r!tten &onsent o# a(( part!es &on&erned "!ven a#ter d!s&(os%re o# t*e #a&ts . 6he disclosure should include an eE!lanation of the effects of the dual re!resentation, such as the !ossible re2elation or use of confidential information.

litigation cases. .e(e0 or&oration (ants to 'ile a ci2il case against ,ue0 o+&an0 an* has re6ueste* Att0. Ana+a to han*le the case. What are the o&tions a2aila/le to Att0. Ana+a? "8&lain 0our ans(er. A: 6he o!tions a2ailable to Atty. Anama are: a. 6o decline to acce!t the case because to do so will constitute re!resentin conflictin interests. It is unethical for a lawyer to re!resent a client in a case a ainst another client in the said case. 6o acce!t to file the case a ainst 3uey Com!any, after full disclosure to both retained clients and u!on their eE!ress and written consent. 6he written consent may free him from the char e of re!resentin conflictin interests, because written consent amounts to a release by the clients of the lawyer9s obli ation not to re!resent conflictin interests.

b.

Q: What are the instances (hen a la(0er +a0 not re&resent con'licting interests *es&ite consent o' /oth &arties concerne*? A: A lawyer may not !ro!erly re!resent conflictin interests e2en thou h the !arties concerned a ree to the dual re!resentation where the conflict is: ). Between the attorney9s interest and that of a client* or +. between a !ri2ate client9s interests and that of the o2ernment or any of its instrumentalities. Q: What are the e''ects o' re&resenting a*2erse interests? A: .1B$A ). -!s9%a(!#!&at!on as &o%nse( of new client on !etition of former client* +. Dhere such is un;nown to, and becomes !re$udicial to the interests of the new client, a .%d"ment a ainst such may, on that round , be set as!de* -. 6he attorney9s r!"*t to fees may be de#eated if found to be related to such conflict and such was ob$ected to by the former client, or if there was a concealment and !re$udice by reason of the attorney9s !re2ious !rofessional relationshi! with the o!!osite !arty* .. A lawyer can be held adm!n!strat!ve(y liable throu h disci!linary action and may be held cr!m!na((y liable for betrayal of trust. Q: ,ue0 o+&an0 an* .e(e0 or&oration are /oth retainer clients o' Att0. Ana+a. ,e is the or&orate )ecretar0 o' ,ue0 o+&an0. ,e re&resents .e(e0 or&oration in three &en*ing

I' 0ou (ere Att0. Ana+a, (hich o&tion (oul* 0ou ta3e? "8&lain. A: If I were Atty. Anama, I will choose the first o!tion and inhibit myself in the case as both entities are my clients. 6he conflict of interests between the contendin clients may reach such a !oint that, notwithstandin their consent to the common re!resentation, the lawyer may be sus!ected of disloyalty by one client. 3is continuin to act in a double ca!acity stri;es dee!ly in the foundation of the attorney/client relationshi!.

,#4")!M I4 %AW PRA !I "


Rule 10.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court* nor shall he mislead, or allow the court to be misled by any artifice. Q: -aliga0a, a *octor an* retire* colonel o' the Air $orce 'ile* an action 'or *a+ages against se2eral +ilitar0 o''icers 'or (ho+ Att0. .oronilla stoo* as a counsel. .uring the hearing o' the case, Att0. .oronilla sa0s that he an* .r. -aliga0a ha* an agree+ent that i' the o&&osing &art0 (ith*ra(s the case against hi+ (.r. -aliga0a), .r. -aliga0a (ill also (ith*ra( all the cases. ,o(e2er, .r. -aliga0a s(ore that that he ne2er entere* into an0 agree+ent to

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


(ith*ra( his la(suits. Att0. .oronillo a*+itte* that there (as, in 'act, no such agree+ent. ,e &ointe* out that his +ain concern (as to settle the case a+ica/l0. .r. -aliga0a 'ile* a case against Att0. .oronilla charging hi+ o' unethical con*uct 'or ha2ing uttere* 'alsehoo* in court. Is Att0. .oronilla guilt0 as charge*? A: Bes. Atty. 0oronilla 2iolated Canon )C and "ule )C.C) of the C#". <ot only that, he also 2iolated the lawyer9s oath to Fdo no falsehood, nor consent to the doin of any in courtG, of which Canon )C and "ule )C.C) are but restatements. 3is act infrin ed on e2ery lawyer9s duty to Fne2er see; to mislead the $ud e or any officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or lawG. (Ma(!"aya vs. oron!((a, A.C. No. 219/, 002 SCRA 1, September 10, 2002) Q: Is the la(0er<s act in &resenting 'alse e2i*ence in or*er that his client (oul* (in the case ;usti'ia/le? A: <o, because it is a clear 2iolation of Canon )C and "ule )C.C) of the C#".
4ote: Aside from 2iolations of the C#", the lawyer is also uilty of a crime under Art. 1/3, Rev!sed 'ena( Code , which states,G Any !erson who shall ;nowin ly offer in e2idence a false witness or testimony in any $udicial or official !roceedin , shall be !unished as uilty of false testimony and shall suffer the res!ecti2e !enalties !ro2ided in this section.G 4ote: A lawyer must be a disci!line of truth. 3e should bear in mind that as an officer of the court his hi h 2ocation is to correctly inform the court u!on the law and the facts of the case and to aid it in doin $ustice and arri2in at correct conclusion. 6he courts on the other hand are entitled to eE!ect only com!lete honesty from lawyers a!!earin and !leadin before them. Dhile a lawyer has the solemn duty to defend his client9s cause, his conduct must ne2er be at the eE!ense of truth. (>o%n" v. -at%e"as, A.C.No. 03.9, 303 SCRA 123, May 9, 2003)

A: Bes, because he ;nowin used the old law to mislead the court, such act is unethical based on "ule )C.C+ of the C#"
4ote: 6hey deliberately made a quote from the F5C"A syllabusG a!!ear as the words of the 5u!reme Court. De admonish them for what is at the least !atent carelessness, if not an outri ht attem!t to mislead the !arties and the courts ta;in co nizance to insubordination. (A((!ed -anA!n" Corporat!on v. CA and Ga(an!da, G.R. No. 133312, 312 SCRA 20, November 1/, 2003)

Rule 10.03 ! A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to defeat the ends of /ustice. Q: A la(0er ha/ituall0 as3s 'or the reBsetting o' the case o' his client 'or no a&&arent reason, in or*er 'or the co+&lainant, to get 'rustrate* an* /eco+e unintereste* in the &rosecution o' the case, is that act consi*ere* unethical? A: Bes, under "ule )C.C- of the C#".

4ote: A lawyer should not abuse his ri ht of recourse to the courts for the !ur!ose of ar uin a cause that had been re!eatedly rebuffed. <either should he use his ;nowled e of law as an instrument to harass a !arty nor to misuse $udicial !rocesses, as the same constitutes serious trans ression of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility. 7or while he owes fidelity to the cause of his client, it should not be at the eE!ense of truth and the administration of $ustice. (Gar&!a v. 5ran&!s&o, A.C. No. 3923, 220 SCRA 012, Mar&* 30,1993)
Rule 1 .00 A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client, e(cept1 a. 2n formal matters, such as the mailing, authentication or custody of an instrument and the li+e. b. 2n substantial matters, in cases where his testimony is essential to the ends of /ustice, in which event he must, during his testimony, entrust the trial of the case to another counsel. Reason: 6he function of a witness is to tell the facts as he recalls them in answer to questions. 6he function of an ad2ocate is that of a !artisan. It is difficult to distin uish between the zeal of an ad2ocate and the fairness and im!artiality of a disinterested witness.

Rule 10.0 A lawyer shall not +nowingly mis"uote or misrepresent the contents of the paper, the language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the te(t of a decision of authority, or +nowingly cite as law a provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not been approved. Q: A la(0er 'ile* a &lea*ing in court citing a la( (hich (as alrea*0 re&eale*, since the ne( la( is not 'a2ora/le to his client<s cause. Is he guilt0 o' an0 unethical act?

17

Q: What are the instances (hen a la(0er may not testi'0 as a (itness in a case (hich he is han*ling 'or a client? A: !AR ). Dhen as an attorney, he is to test!#y on t*e t*eory o# t*e &ase= +. Dhen such would adverse(y a##e&t any (a)#%( !nterest o# t*e &(!ent with res!ect to which confidence has been re!osed on him* -. 3a2in acce!ted a reta!ner, he cannot be a witness a ainst his client* .. 3e cannot ser2e con#(!&t!n" !nterests* =. Dhen he is to 2iolate the con#!den&e o# *!s &(!ent. Q: What are the instances (hen a la(0er may testi'0 as a (itness in a case (hich he is han*ling 'or a client? A: $"!A. ). :n forma( matters, such as the mailin , authentication or custody of instrument and the li;e* +. Actin as an e:pert on *!s #ee* -. :n substantial matters in cases where *!s test!mony !s essent!a( to t*e ends o# 8%st!&e, in which e2ent he must, durin his testimony, entrust the trial of the case to another counsel* .. Actin as an Arb!trator* =. -epos!t!on. A4#4 13 AD#I. I-PR#PRI"!M !,A! !"4.) !# I4$%:"4 " !," #:R! (1997, 199C, =GGG, =GG1, =GG3 Bar Questions)
4ote: A lawyer shall rely u!on the merits of his cause and refrain from any im!ro!riety which tends to influence, or i2es the a!!earance of influencin the court.

4ote: 6he restriction does not !rohibit issuances of statements by !ublic officials char ed with the duty of !rosecutin or defendin actions in court.

Rule 13.03 A lawyer shall not broo+ or invite interference by another branch or agency of the government in the normal course of /udicial proceedings.
4ote: As it will be contrary to the #rinci!le of 5e!aration of #owers. 4ote: 6he 5u!reme Court accordin ly administered a re!rimand to res!ondent for ross i norance of law and of the Constitution in ha2in as;ed the #resident to set aside by decree the Court9s decision which sus!ended him for two years from the !ractice of law. ( e -%man(a" v. -%man(a", AM No. 1//, November 29, 19.2)

Rule 1,.0% ! A lawyer shall not state nor imply that he is able to influence any public official, tribunal or legislative body. Q: .aniel %e+oine 'ile* a car insurance clai+ (ith the insurer o' his 2ehicle (hich (as lost. ,is 'rien* arrange* 'or the engage+ent o' Att0. A+a*eo Balon<s ser2ices. !he latter a*2ise* hi+ through a letter that 'or his legal ser2ices he (as charging =5E o' the actual a+ount /eing reco2ere* &a0a/le u&on success'ul reco2er0J an* an a*2ance &a0+ent o' P5G,GGG.GG to /e *e*ucte* 'ro+ (hate2er a+ount (oul* /e success'ull0 collecte*. !his &ro&osal *oes not /ear co+&lainant>s con'or+it0. !he insurance co+&an0, a'ter(ar*s, o''ere* to settle co+&lainant>s clai+ in an e8Bgratia /asis o' C5E o' his &olic0 co2erage (hich is P5=5,GGG.GG, to (hich he agree*. When %e+oine le't 'or $rance, he, on the a*2ice o' Att0. Balon, signe* an alrea*0 &re&are* un*ate* )&ecial Po(er o' Attorne0 authori9ing hi+ to /ring an0 action against the insurance co+&an0 'or the satis'action o' the clai+. :&on return to the Phili&&ines, he (as in'or+e* that that the clai+ (as still &en*ing an* (as still su/;ect o' negotiations. ,e +a*e a &ersonal 2isit to the o''ice o' the insurance co+&an0 an* (as in'or+e* that his clai+ ha* long /een settle*. .es&ite (ritten *e+an*s, res&on*ent re'use* to turn o2er the &rocee*s o' the insurance clai+. Att0. Balon, in a letter, sai* that he cannot gi2e the a+ount until an* unless his attorne0>s 'ees /e agree* an* settle* an* e2en calle* %e+oine as /ar/aric an* unci2ili9e* (ith his a&&roache*, threatene* that he (ill not hesitate

Rule 13.01 A lawyer shall not e(tend e(traordinary attention or hospitality to, nor see+ opportunity for, cultivating familiarity with /udges. Rule 13.0 A lawyer shall not ma+e public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party. Q: When can there /e &re;u*icial &u/licit0? A: 6here must be an alle ation and !roof that the $ud es ha2e been unduly influenced, not sim!ly that they mi ht be, by barra e of !ublicity. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


to +a3e a &ro&er re&resentation (ith the Bureau o' I++igration an* .e&ortation 'or the authenticit0 o' his 2isa, .e&art+ent o' %a/or an* "+&lo0+ent 'or his (or3ing status, Bureau o' Internal Re2enue 'or his ta8ation co+&liance an* the 4ational Bureau o' In2estigation (ith (hich he has a goo* net(or3. What ethical stan*ar* *i* Att0. Balon 2iolate*? A: 7rom the tenor of the letter he sent to 1emoine, Atty. Balon 2iolated "ule )=.C> of the C#" which en$oins a lawyer from statin or im!lyin that he is able to influence any !ublic official, tribunal or le islati2e body. (4emo!ne v. -a(on $r., A.C. No. 0/29, O&tober 2/, 2003) Q: "*gar Al+ar2e9, a utilit0 (or3er, (as charge* (ith 2iolation o' the AntiBAra't an* orru&t Practices Act /0 1u*ge "strellita Paas, Presi*ing 1u*ge o' the Pasa0 it0 -etro&olitan !rial ourt. Al+ar2e9 *enie* the charges an* allege* that the case (as 'ile* against hi+ /ecause 1u*ge Paas sus&ecte* hi+ o' hel&ing her hus/an*, Att0. Renerio Paas, a &ri2ate &ractitioner, conceal his +arital in*iscretions. In a se&arate case 'or inhi/ition o' 1u*ge Paas in a cri+inal case, it (as 'oun* that Att0. Renerio Paas, (as using his (i'e>s o''ice as his o''ice a**ress in his la( &ractice. 1u*ge Paas a*+itte* that Att0. Paas *i* use her o''ice as his return a**ress 'or notices an* or*ers in = cri+inal cases, lo*ge* at the Pasa0 it0 R! , /ut onl0 to ensure an* 'acilitate *eli2er0 o' those notices, /ut a'ter the cases (ere ter+inate*, all notices (ere sent to his o''ice a**ress in "scolta. Was Att0. Paas< act o' using his (i'e<s o''ice as his o''ice a**ress un&ro'essional an* *ishonora/le? A: Bes. By allowin Atty. #aas to use the address of her court in !leadin s before other courts, Jud e #aas had indeed allowed her husband to ride on her !resti e for the !ur!ose of ad2ancin his !ri2ate interest. Atty. 'aas !s "%!(ty o# s!mp(e m!s&ond%&t be&a%se o# %s!n" a #ra%d%(ent, m!s(ead!n", and de&ept!ve address t*at *ad no p%rpose ot*er t*an to try to !mpress e!t*er t*e &o%rt !n )*!&* *!s &ases are (od"ed, or *!s &(!ent, t*at *e *as &(ose t!es to a member o# t*e 8%d!&!ary, !n v!o(at!on o# t*e Code o# 'ro#ess!ona( Respons!b!(!ty. 6he need for relyin on the merits of a lawyerLs case, instead of ban;in on his relationshi! with a member of the bench which tends to influence or i2es the a!!earance of influencin the court, cannot be o2erem!hasized. It is un!rofessional and dishonorable, to say the least, to misuse a !ublic office to enhance a lawyerLs !resti e. #ublic confidence in law and lawyers may be eroded by such re!rehensible and im!ro!er conduct. % 'aas v. A(marve<, A.M. No. '10311290, Apr!( 3, 2003) Rule 1,.07 ! A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness. Q: 4icanor Aon9ales an* )alu* Pantanosas (ere in'or+e* /0 the Register o' .ee*s that their o(ner>s *u&licate o' title co2ering their lan*s (ere entruste* to the o''ice secretar0 o' Att0. -iguel )a/aca;an, (ho in turn entruste* the sa+e to sai* attorne0. !he latter a*+itte* that the titles are in his custo*0 an* has e2en sho(n the sa+e to the t(o. When *e+an*e* to +a3e *eli2er0 o' sai* titles, he re'use* an* e2en challenge* the co+&lainants to 'ile an0 case in an0 court e2en in the ,onora/le )u&re+e ourt. .i* Att0. )a/aca;an *e'0 legal an* +oral o/ligations e+anating 'ro+ his &ro'essional ca&acit0 as a la(0er? A: 3e asserts that he was holdin the certificates of title in behalf of his client, 5amto 4y. As a lawyer, he should ;now that there are lawful remedies !ro2ided by law to !rotect the interests of his client. Atty. 5abaca$an has not eEercised the ood faith and dili ence required of lawyers in handlin the le al affairs of their clients. If <icanor and 5alud did ha2e the alle ed monetary obli ations to his client, that does not warrant his summarily confiscatin their certificates of title since there is no showin in the records that the same were i2en as collaterals to secure the !ayment of a debt. <either is there any intimation that there is a court order authorizin him to ta;e and retain custody of said certificates of title. A!!arently, res!ondent has disre arded Canon )=, "ule )=.CA of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility which !ro2ides that a lawyer shall im!ress u!on his client the need for com!liance with the laws and !rinci!les of fairness. Instead, he un$ustly refused to i2e to com!lainants their certificates of titles su!!osedly to enforce !ayment of their alle ed financial obli ations to his client and !resumably to im!ress the latter of his !ower to do so (Gon<a(es v. Saba&a8an, A.C. No. 33/0. O&tober 13, 1990). Q: -aria ielo )u9u3i entere* into contracts o' sale an* real estate +ortgage (ith se2eral &ersons. !he sale an* +ortgage transactions (ere 'acilitate* /0 Att0. "r(in !ia+son,

19

counsel o' the sellers. )u9u3i &ai* PFG, GGG as her share in the e8&enses 'or registration. ,e retaine* in his &ossession the su/;ect *ee*s o' a/solute sale an* +ortgage as (ell as the o(ner>s co&0 o' the title. ,o(e2er, he ne2er registere* the sai* *ocu+ents an* *i* not cause the trans'er o' the title o2er the su/;ect &ro&ert0 in the na+e o' )u9u3i. Att0. !ia+son sai* that he *i* not register the *ee* o' sale to &rotect the interest o' his client an* e2en i' the sa+e has /een registere*, he cannot gi2e hi+ the o(ner>s *u&licate co&0 until &urchase &rice 'or the su/;ect &ro&ert0 has /een 'ull0 &ai* an* the real estate +ortgage cancelle*. Is Att0. !ia+son ;usti'ie* in not registering the transaction? A: <o. "ule )=.CA obli es lawyers to im!ress u!on their clients com!liance with the laws and the !rinci!le of fairness. ?o perm!t (a)yers to resort to %ns&r%p%(o%s pra&t!&es #or t*e prote&t!on o# t*e s%pposed r!"*ts o# t*e!r &(!ents !s to de#eat one o# t*e p%rposes o# t*e State J t*e adm!n!strat!on o# 8%st!&e. Dhile lawyers owe their entire de2otion to the interest of their clients and zeal in the defense of their clientLs ri ht, they should not for et that they are, first and foremost, officers of the court, bound to eEert e2ery effort to assist in the s!eedy and efficient administration of $ustice. It is to be noted that his clientLs interest is am!ly !rotected by the real estate mort a e eEecuted by com!lainant. 6hus, Atty. 6iamson failed to li2e u! to this eE!ectation. (S%<%A! v. ?!amson, A.C. No. 2032. September 30, 2000)
4ote: A lawyer who ad2ises his client not to obey the order of the courts is uilty of contem!t and misconduct. %Con"e v. eret, CA1GR No. 0//3/ CR, Mar&* 20, 19.3)

'ro+ &artici&ating in an0 &artisan &olitical acti2it0 (hich &roscri&tion, accor*ing to hi+, the ;ustices ha2e 2iolate* /0 atten*ing the >".)A = Rall0> an* /0 authori9ing the assu+&tion o' DiceBPresi*ent -aca&agal Arro0o to the Presi*enc0 in 2iolation o' the 19FC onstitution. !he su/se6uent *ecision o' the ourt in "stra*a 2. Arro0o (353 ) RA 75= an* 356 ) RA 1GF) is, as &etitioner states, a &atent +oc3er0 o' ;ustice an* *ue &rocess. Attorne0 Paguia (ent on to state that L >!he act o' the &u/lic o''icer, i' la('ul, is the act o' the &u/lic o''ice. But the act o' the &u/lic o''icer, i' unla('ul, is not the act o' the &u/lic o''ice. onse6uentl0, the act o' the ;ustices, i' la('ul, is the act o' the )u&re+e ourt. But the act o' the ;ustices, i' unla('ul, is not the act o' the )u&re+e ourt. It is su/+itte* that the .ecision in "stra*a 2s. Arro0o /eing &atentl0 unla('ul in 2ie( o' Rule 5.1G o' the o*e o' 1u*icial on*uct, is not the act o' the )u&re+e ourt /ut is +erel0 the (rong or tres&ass o' those in*i2i*ual 1ustices (ho 'alsel0 s&o3e an* acte* in the na+e o' the )u&re+e ourt. (:r/ano 2s. ha2e9, 1F3 ) RA R37CS). $urther+ore, it (oul* see+ a/sur* to allo( the 1ustices to use the na+e o' the )u&re+e ourt as a shiel* 'or their unla('ul act. Are Att0. Paguia<s co++ents (ithin the /oun*s o' H'air an* (ellB'oun*e* criticis+sI regar*ing *ecisions o' the ) ? A: <o. MCriticism or comment made in ood faith on the correctness or wron ness, soundness or unsoundness, of a decision of the Court would be welcome for, if well/founded, and such reaction can enli hten the court and contribute to the correction of an error if committed. %In "e 5otto, ?+ #hil. =@=.( 6he rulin in Estrada 2. Arroyo, bein a final $ud ment, has lon !ut to end any question !ertainin to the le ality of the ascension of Arroyo into the !residency. By re2i2in the issue on the 2alidity of the assum!tion of 'me. &loria 'aca!a al/Arroyo to the !residency, Attorney #a uia is 2ainly see;in to breathe life into the carcass of a lon dead issue . Attorney 'a"%!a *as not (!m!ted *!s d!s&%ss!ons to t*e mer!ts o# *!s &(!entHs &ase )!t*!n t*e 8%d!&!a( #or%m= !ndeed, *e *as repeated *!s assa%(t on t*e Co%rt !n bot* broad&ast and pr!nt med!a. "ule )-.C+ of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility !rohibits a member of the bar from ma;in such !ublic statements on any !endin case tendin to arouse !ublic o!inion for or a ainst a !arty. By his acts, Attorney #a uia may ha2e sto;ed the fires of !ublic dissension and !osed a !otentially dan erous threat to the administration of $ustice.

RI!I I)-) BM %AWM"R)


A4#4 11 #B)"RD" R")P" ! .:" !# !," (1996 Bar Question) #:R!)

Bein an officer of the court, a lawyer occu!ies a quasi/$udicial office and has res!onsibilities to the courts, to the !ublic and to his clients. 6he reater burden im!osed on the lawyer is his su!erior duty to the courts. Dhere duties to the courts conflict with his duties to his clients, his duties to court must yield to the former. %C'R Annotated, '*!($A) Q: Attorne0 Paguia, s&ea3ing 'or &etitioner, asserts that the inhi/ition o' the +e+/ers o' the )u&re+e ourt 'ro+ hearing the &etition is calle* 'or un*er Rule 5.1G o' the o*e o' 1u*icial on*uct &rohi/iting ;ustices or ;u*ges

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


6he 5u!reme Court does not claim infallibility* it will not denounce criticism made by anyone a ainst the Court for, if well/founded, can truly ha2e constructi2e effects in the tas; of the Court, but it will not countenance any wron doin nor allow the erosion of our !eo!le9s faith in the $udicial system, let alone, by those who ha2e been !ri2ile ed by it to !ractice law in the #hili!!ines. Canon 11 o# t*e Code o# 'ro#ess!ona( Respons!b!(!ty mandates t*at t*e (a)yer s*o%(d observe and ma!nta!n t*e respe&t d%e to t*e &o%rts and 8%d!&!a( o##!&ers and, !ndeed, s*o%(d !ns!st on s!m!(ar &ond%&t by ot*ers. +n (!bera((y !mp%t!n" s!n!ster and dev!o%s mot!ves and 9%est!on!n" t*e !mpart!a(!ty, !nte"r!ty, and a%t*or!ty o# t*e members o# t*e Co%rt, Atty. 'a"%!a *as on(y s%&&eeded !n seeA!n" to !mpede, obstr%&t and pervert t*e d!spensat!on o# 8%st!&e. (6strada v. Sand!"anbayan, G.R. Nos. 1093/21//, November 20, 2003) Q: !he ourt 3n 4anc issue* a Resolution *irecting res&on*ent Att0. .e Dera to e8&lain (h0 he shoul* not /e cite* 'or in*irect conte+&t o' court 'or uttering so+e allege*l0 conte+&tuous state+ents in relation to the case in2ol2ing the constitutionalit0 o' the Plun*er %a( (hich (as then &en*ing. Res&on*ent a*+itte* the re&ort in the 4o2e+/er 6, =GG= issue o' the Phili&&ine .ail0 In6uirer that he Hsuggeste* that the ourt +ust ta3e ste&s to *is&el once an* 'or all these ugl0 ru+ors an* re&ortsI that Hthe ourt (oul* 2ote in 'a2or o' or against the 2ali*it0 o' the Plun*er %a(I to &rotect the cre*i/ilit0 o' the ourt. Is the state+ent o' Att0. .e Dera *isres&ect'ul to the courts? A: Indeed, freedom of s!eech includes the ri ht to ;now and discuss $udicial !roceedin s, but such ri ht does not co2er statements aimed at underminin the Court9s inte rity and authority, and interferin with the administration of $ustice. 5reedom o# spee&* !s not abso(%te, and m%st o&&as!ona((y be ba(an&ed )!t* t*e re9%!rements o# e9%a((y !mportant p%b(!& !nterests, s%&* as t*e ma!ntenan&e o# t*e !nte"r!ty o# t*e &o%rts and order(y #%n&t!on!n" o# t*e adm!n!strat!on o# 8%st!&e. ?*%s, t*e maA!n" o# &ontempt%o%s statements d!re&ted a"a!nst t*e Co%rt !s not an e:er&!se o# #ree spee&*= rat*er, !t !s an ab%se o# s%&* r!"*t. 4nwarranted attac;s on the di nity of the courts cannot be dis uised as free s!eech, for the eEercise of said ri ht cannot be used to im!air the inde!endence and efficiency of courts or !ublic res!ect therefore and confidence therein. (+n Re, '%b(!s*ed A((e"ed ?*reats by Atty. 4eonard de 7era, A.M 011121031SC $%(y 29, 2002) Q: an a la(0er critici9e the courts? A: AR: CA<:< )) H A lawyer shall obser2e and maintain the res!ect due to the courts and to $udicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others. NP4: 6he fact that a !erson is a lawyer does not de!ri2e him of the ri ht, as en$oyed by e2ery citizen, to comment on and criticize the actuations of a $ud e.
4ote: Dhat he can ordinarily say a ainst a concluded liti ation and the manner the $ud e handed down the decision therein may not enerally be said to a !endin action. 6he court, in a pend!n" (!t!"at!on, must be shielded from embarrassment and influence in !erformin the im!ortant duty of decidin it. :n the other hand, once liti ation is concluded, the $ud e who decided on it must is sub$ect to the same criticism as any other !ublic official because then his r%(!n" be&omes p%b(!& property and !s t*ro)n open to p%b(!& &ons%mpt!on. But it is the cardinal condition of all criticisms that it shall be bona #!de, and shall not sp!(( over t*e )a((s o# de&en&y and propr!ety. (Ka(d!var vs. Gon<a(es, G.R. No. .92901 .0., 122 SCRA 312, 5ebr%ary 1, 19/9)

Rule 11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive, or menacing language or behavior before the courts. Q: A'ter the &arties ha* 'ile* their res&ecti2e /rie's (ith the ourt o' A&&eals an* /e'ore the latter>s resolution su/+itting the case 'or *ecision (as release*, res&on*ent la(0ers, Att0. .e&asucat, an* others 'ile* a &lea*ing @-ani'estation o' :sur&ation o' Authorit0 o' the ,on. ourt o' A&&eals 'ro+ a )el'B on'esse* Bri/er o' 1u*ges@, (hich state* that &lainti''B a&&ellant :0 ha*, in 'act, con'esse* to /ri/ing ;u*ges. onse6uentl0, :0 'ile* a 2eri'ie* co+&laint against res&on*ent la(0ers 'or gross +iscon*uct. )houl* the res&on*ents /e *isci&line* 'or ha2ing authore* an* 'ile* the H-ani'estation o' :sur&ation o' Authorit0 o' the ,on. ourt o' A&&eals 'ro+ a )el'B on'esse* Bri/er o' 1u*gesI? A: Bes. "es!ondents went o2erboard by statin in the 'anifestation that com!lainant Mhad in fact confessed to Bribery and 6ellin :ne of the $ud es, after the $ud es alle edly refused to i2e in to their demands, by usin ille ally ta!ed con2ersations/ both actual andIor by tele!honeM. It belied their ood intention and eEceeded the bounds of

21

!ro!riety, hence not ar uably !rotected* it is the surfacin of a feelin of contem!t towards a liti ant* it offends the court before which it is made. A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensi2e or menacin lan ua e or beha2ior before the Courts. +t m%st be remembered t*at t*e (an"%a"e ve*!&(e does not r%n s*ort o# e:press!ons )*!&* are emp*at!& b%t respe&t#%(, &onv!n&!n" b%t not dero"atory, !((%m!nat!n" b%t not o##ens!ve. It has been said that a lawyerLs lan ua e should be di nified in ;ee!in with the di nity of the le al !rofession. It is the duty of the res!ondents as members of the Bar to abstain from all offensi2e !ersonality and to ad2ance no fact !re$udicial to the honor or re!utation of a !arty or witness, unless required by the $ustice of the cause with which he is char ed. (@y v. epas%&at, A.C. No. 0332, $%(y 29, 2003(
4ote: 6he lan ua e of a lawyer, both oral and written, must be res!ectful and restrained in ;ee!in with the di nity of the le al !rofession and with his beha2ioral attitude toward his brethren in the !rofession. ?*e %se o# ab%s!ve (an"%a"e by &o%nse( a"a!nst t*e oppos!n" &o%nse( &onst!t%tes at t*e same t!me d!srespe&t to t*e d!"n!ty o# t*e &o%rt 8%st!&e. 'oreo2er, the use of im!assioned lan ua e in !leadin s, more often than not, creates more heat than li ht. (-%enaseda v. 5(av!er, G.R. No. 102.19, 222 SCRA 230, September 21, 1993)

!ublic consum!tion. Courts thus treat with forbearance and restraint a lawyer who 2i orously assails their actuations for coura eous and fearless ad2ocates are the strands that wea2e durability into the ta!estry of $ustice.
4ote: As citizen and officer of the court, e2ery lawyer is eE!ected not only to eEercise the ri ht, but also to consider it his duty to eE!ose the shortcomin s and indiscretions of courts and $ud es. But it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona #!de, and s*a(( not sp!(( over t*e )a((s o# de&en&y and propr!ety. #ost liti ation utterances or !ublications made by lawyers, critical of the courts and their $udicial actuations, whether amountin to a crime or not, which trans&end t*e perm!ss!b(e bo%nds o# #a!r &omment and (e"!t!mate &r!t!&!sm and t*ereby tend to br!n" t*em !nto d!sp%te or to s%bvert p%b(!& &on#!den&e !n t*e!r !nte"r!ty and !n t*e order(y adm!n!strat!on o# 8%st!&e, constitute ra2e !rofessional misconduct which may be 2isited with disbarment or other lesser a!!ro!riate disci!linary sanctions by the 5C in the eEercise of the !rero ati2es inherent in it as the duly constituted uardian of the morals and ethics of the le al fraternity. (+n re, A(ma&en, 412.203, 31 SCRA 022, 5ebr%ary 1/, 19.0) 4ote: Art. VII 5ec. > of the )@?A Constitution eEclusi2ely 2ests in the S%preme Co%rt administrati2e su!er2ision o2er all courts and court !ersonnel, from the #residin Justice of the Court of A!!eals down to the lowest munici!al court cler;. By 2irtue of this !ower, it is only the 5C that can o2ersee the $ud es9 and court !ersonnel9s com!liance with all laws, and ta;e the !ro!er administrati2e action a ainst them if they commit any 2iolation thereof. <o other branch of the o2ernment may intrude into this !ower, without runnin afoul of the doctrine of the se!aration of !owers. (Ma&eda v. 7as9%e<, G.R. No. 102./1, 221 SCRA 323, Apr!( 22, 1993(

5ome instances of disres!ectful lan ua e: ). +. 5tatin that $ustice is FblindG and also Fdeaf and dumbG* (+n re, A(ma&en, 41 2.203, 31 SCRA 022, 5ebr%ary 19.0) Attributin to the 5C acts of dismissin $ud es Fwithout rhyme and reasonG and disbarrin lawyers Fwithout due !rocessG (Ka(d!var vs. Gon<a(es, G.R. No. .92901 .0., 122 SCRA 312, 5ebr%ary 19/9)

4ote: 6he duty to obser2e and maintain res!ect is not a one/way duty from a lawyer to a $ud e. A $ud e should also be courteous to counsel, es!ecially those who are youn and ineE!erienced and to all those a!!earin or concerned in the administration of $ustice.

Rule 11.05 A lawyer shall not attribute to a /udge motives not supported by the record or have no materiality to the case. 3owe2er, e2ery citizen has the ri ht to comment u!on and criticize the actuations of !ublic officers. 6his ri ht is not dismissed by the fact that the criticism is aimed at a $udicial authority, or that it is articulated by a lawyer. 5uch ri ht is es!ecially reco nized where the criticism concerns a &on&(%ded (!t!"at!on, because then the court9s actuations are thrown o!en to

Q: Att0s. Ro+eo Ro8as (as charge* 'or conte+&t (hen he, in a letter a**resse* to Associate 1ustice hicoB4a9ario, state* that 1ustice 4a9ario *eci*e* the cases in 'a2or o' Ku9uarregui, or*ering Att0s. Ro8as an* Pastor to &a0 the 'or+er P1C,GC3,==7.F7 on consi*erations other than the &ure +erits o' the case an* calle* the ) a H*is&enser o' in;usticeI. ,e en*e* his letter /0 +oc3ing her (hen he sai* Hslee& (ell i' 0ou still canI an* that Hher earthl0 li'e (ill /e ;u*ge* /0 the )u&re+e .is&enser o' 1ustice (here onl0 the +erits o' 0our honor<s li'e (ill /e rele2ant an* +aterial an* (here technicalities can shiel* no one 'ro+ his or her (rong*oingsI. In the (ritten e8&lanation o' Att0. Ro8as, he e8ten*e* a&ologies to 1ustice 4a9ario an* to the other +e+/ers o' the high court. ,e sai* he (as +erel0 e8ercising his rights to e8&ress a legiti+ate grie2ance or articulate /ona 'i*e

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


an* 'air criticis+s o' the court<s ruling. -oreo2er, accor*ing to hi+, instea* o' resorting to &u/lic criticis+s through +e*ia e8&osure, he chose to 2entilate his criticis+s in a 2er0 *iscreet an* &ri2ate +anner /0 (riting a &ersonal letter con'ine* to the hallo(e* (alls o' the court an* (ithin the /oun*s o' *ecenc0 an* &ro&riet0. )houl* Att0. Ro8as /e &unishe* 'or the contents o' his letter? A: Bes. Atty. "oEas9 letter contains de#amatory statements that im!aired !ublic confidence in the inte rity of the Judiciary. 6he ma;in of contem!tuous statements directed a ainst the court is not an eEercise of free s!eech* rather, it is an abuse of such ri ht. A letter furnished to all the members of the 5C, e2en if a co!y was not disseminated to the media, does not en$oy the mantle of ri ht to !ri2acy. 1etters addressed to the indi2idual $ustices in connection with the !erformance of their $udicial functions become !art of the $udicial record and are matter of concern for the entire court. Atty. "oEas is uilty of !nd!re&t &ontempt of court for an im!ro!er conduct tendin , directly and indirectly, to im!ede, obstruct or de rade the administration of $ustice* and with his contem!tuous and defamatory statements, Atty. "oEas li;ewise 2iolated Canon )) of the C#" !articularly "ules )).C- and )).C.. (Ro:as et a(. v. Anton!o e K%<%arre"%!, et a(, G.R. No. 1020.2, 02. SCRA 332, $%(y 12, 200.) Rule 11.0,! A lawyer shall submit grievances against a .udge to the proper authorities only. Q: Who are the &ro&er authorities (here the co+&laint +a0 /e 'ile*? A: If the case is administrati2e in nature, it shall be filed with the :ffice of the Court Administrator of the 5u!reme Court. If it is criminal and not !urely administrati2e, it shall be filed with the :ffice of the :mbudsman. If the com!laint in2ol2es a Justice of the 5u!reme Court based on im!eachable offenses, the com!laint must be coursed throu h the 3ouse of "e!resentati2e and the 5enate in accordance with the rules on im!eachment. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A) !," %AWM"R A4. !," %I"4! Attorne0Bclient Relationshi& (1995, 199C, 1999, 1GG1, 1GG= Bar Questions) Q: What is the nature o' Attorne0B lient relationshi&? A: ). 5trictly !ersonal +. 3i hly confidential* and -. 7iduciary Q: Is a contract necessar0 in or*er to ha2e a &ro'essional relationshi& /et(een a la(0er an* a client? A: <o, the absence of a written contract will not !reclude a findin that there is a !rofessional relationshi!. o&%mentary #orma(!sm !s not an essent!a( e(ement !n t*e emp(oyment o# an attorney= t*e &ontra&t may be e:press or !mp(!ed . It is sufficient, to establish the !rofessional relation, that the ad2ice and assistance of an attorney is sou ht and recei2ed in any matter !ertinent to his !rofession. An acce!tance of the relation is im!lied on the !art of the attorney from his actin on behalf of his client in !ursuance of a request from the latter.
4ote: If a !erson, in res!ect to his business affairs or any troubles of any ;ind, consults with his attorney in his !rofessional ca!acity with the 2iew to obtainin !rofessional ad2ice or assistance and the attorney 2oluntarily !ermits or acquiesce in such consultation, as when he listens to his client9s !reliminary statement of his case or i2es ad2ice thereon, t*en t*e pro#ess!ona( emp(oyment !s re"arded as estab(!s*ed $ust as effecti2e as when he draws his client9s !leadin or ad2ocates his client9s cause in court. ( ee v. Co%rt o# Appea(s, G.R. No. ..339, A%"%st 23, 19/9)

Q: ,o( is a la(0erBclient relationshi& 'or+e*? A: ). Ora( H Dhen the counsel is em!loyed without a written a reement, but the conditions and amount of attorney9s fees are a reed u!on. +. 6:press H when the terms and conditions includin the amount of fees are eE!licitly stated in a written document, which may be a !ri2ate or !ublic document. Dritten contract of attorney9s fees is the law between the lawyer and the client. +mp(!ed H Dhen there is no a reement, whether oral or written, but the client also allowed the lawyer to render le al ser2ices not intended to be ratuitous without ob$ection and client is benefited by reason thereof.

-.

23

Q: What are the general rules &rotecting Attorne0B lient relationshi&? A: ). Best efforts must be eEerted by the attorney to !rotect his client9s interest* +. 6he attorney must !rom!tly account for any fund or !ro!erty entrusted by or recei2ed for his client* -. An attorney cannot !urchase his client9s !ro!erty or interest in liti ation* .. 6he !ri2acy of communications shall at all times u!held* =. An attorney cannot re!resent a !arty whose interest is ad2erse to that of his client e2en after the termination of the relation.
4ote: In the !ractice of his !rofession, a licensed attorney at law enerally en a es in three !rinci!al ty!es of !rofessional acti2ity, namely: %AP ). %e al ad2ice and instructions to clients to inform them of their ri hts and obli ations* +. A!!earance for clients before !ublic tribunals which !ossess !ower and authority to determine ri hts of life, liberty, and !ro!erty accordin to law, in order to assist in !ro!er inter!retation and enforcement of law. -. Pre!aration for clients of documents requirin ;nowled e of le al !rinci!les not !ossessed by ordinary layman. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

in res!ect to a business or trouble of any ;ind, consults a lawyer with a 2iew of obtainin !rofessional ad2ice or assistance. It is not essential that the client should ha2e em!loyed the attorney on any !re2ious occasion or that any retainer should ha2e been !aid, !romised or char ed for, neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward underta;e the case about which the consultation was had, for as lon as the ad2ice and assistance of the attorney is sou ht and recei2ed, in matters !ertinent to his !rofession. E2idently, t*e #a&ts a((e"ed !n t*e &omp(a!nt #or E6sta#a ?*ro%"* 5a(s!#!&at!on o# '%b(!& o&%mentsG #!(ed by respondent a"a!nst &omp(a!nant )ere obta!ned by respondent d%e to *!s persona( dea(!n"s )!t* &omp(a!nant. L*atever #a&ts a((e"ed by respondent a"a!nst &omp(a!nant )ere not obta!ned by respondent !n *!s pro#ess!ona( &apa&!ty b%t as a redempt!oner o# a property or!"!na((y o)ned by *!s de&eased son and t*ere#ore, )*en respondent #!(ed t*e &omp(a!nt #or esta#a a"a!nst *ere!n &omp(a!nant, )*!&* ne&essar!(y !nvo(ved a((e"!n" #a&ts t*at )o%(d &onst!t%te esta#a, respondent )as not, !n any )ay, v!o(at!n" Canon 21. Clearly, there was no attorney/ client relationshi! between res!ondent and com!lainant. 6he !re!aration and the !ro!osed filin of the !etition was only incidental to their !ersonal transaction. (@y v. Atty. Gon<a(es, AC 02/0, Mar&* 30, 2003) A4#4 17 4#! !# R"$:)" ,I) )"RDI ") !# !," 4"".M (199G, 199=, =GG6 Bar Questions) Q: .oes a la(0er ha2e a right to *ecline e+&lo0+ent? A: AR: A lawyer is not obli ed to act as le al counsel for any !erson who may wish to become his client. 3e has the ri ht to decline em!loyment. NP4): ). +. A lawyer shall not refuse his ser2ices to the needy %Canon ).(* ;e s*a(( not de&(!ne to represent a person so(e(y on a&&o%nt o# t*e (atterBs ra&e, se:, &reed or stat%s o# (!#e or be&a%se o# *!s o)n op!n!on re"ard!n" t*e "%!(t o# sa!d person (R%(e 13.01)= (199G, 1993, =GGG, =GG=, =GG6 Bar Questions)

Q: :0 engage* the ser2ices o' Att0. Aon9ales to &re&are an* 'ile a &etition 'or the issuance o' a ne( certi'icate o' title. :0 con'i*e* (ith hi+ the circu+stances surroun*ing the lost title an* *iscussing the 'ees an* costs. When the &etition (as a/out to /e 'ile*, Att0. Aon9ales (ent to :0<s o''ice an* *e+an*e* a certain a+ount 'ro+ hi+ other than (hat the0 ha* &re2iousl0 agree* u&on. :0 'oun* out later that instea* o' 'iling the &etition 'or the issuance o' a ne( certi'icate o' title, Att0. Aon9ales 'ile* a letterBco+&laint against hi+ (ith the #''ice o' the Pro2incial Prosecutor 'or H$alsi'ication o' Pu/lic .ocu+ents.I !he letterBco+&laint containe* 'acts an* circu+stances &ertaining to the trans'er certi'icate o' title that (as the su/;ect +atter o' the &etition (hich res&on*ent (as su&&ose* to ha2e 'ile*. )houl* Att0. Aon9ales /e sus&en*e* 'or 2iolating the la(0erBclient relationshi& (hen he 'ile* a co+&laint 'or H$alsi'ication o' Pu/lic .ocu+entsI against his client using 'acts connecte* (ith the latter<s &etition? A: <o. As a rule, an attorney/client relationshi! is said to eEist when a lawyer 2oluntarily !ermits or acquiesces with the consultation of a !erson, who

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


Q: Police o''icers A, B, an* (ere in2ol2e* in a shooting inci*ent. In'or+ations (ere 'ile* against the+, to (hich the0 &lea*e* not guilt0. )an*igan/a0an 'oun* the accuse* guilt0 o' = counts o' ho+ici*e an* one count o' atte+&te* ho+ici*e. At that ;uncture, the0 engage* the ser2ices o' Att0. 1ai+e 1uanito Portugal. !he latter then 'ile* a -R /ut it (as *enie*. !he 3 ne2er hear* 'ro+ res&on*ent again *es&ite the 're6uent tele&hone calls the0 +a*e to his o''ice. !he0 (ent to res&on*ent>s last 3no(n a**ress onl0 to 'in* out that he ha* +o2e* out (ithout an0 'or(ar*ing a**ress. Att0. Portugal *i* not 'ile a notice o' (ith*ra(al nor in'or+e* the court that he ha* (ith*ra(n as their counsel. Was Att0. Portugal negligent in han*ling the case o' the 3? A: A lawyerLs ri ht to withdraw from a case before its final ad$udication arises only from the clientLs written consent or from a ood cause. 7urther, the offensi2e a!!ellation he called the shootin incident that the accused was en a ed in. 3e described the incident, thus: Mthe accused !olice officers who had been con2icted of homicide for the Fsal2a eG of N and B and attem!ted homicide of O.M R%(e 13.01 o# t*e Code o# 'ro#ess!ona( Respons!b!(!ty &(ear(y d!re&ts (a)yers not to d!s&r!m!nate &(!ents as to t*e!r be(!e# o# t*e "%!(t o# t*e (atter. +t !s !ron!& t*at !t !s t*e de#ense &o%nse( t*at a&t%a((y branded *!s o)n &(!ents as be!n" t*e &%(pr!ts t*at Isa(va"edI t*e v!&t!ms. ?*o%"* *e m!"*t t*!nA o# *!s &(!ents as t*at, st!(( !t !s %npro#ess!ona( to be (abe(!n" an event as s%&* )*en even t*e Sand!"anbayan *ad not done so. (5ran&!s&o vs 'ort%"a(, A.C. No. 2100. Mar&* 13, 2002) -. ;e s*a(( not de&(!ne, e:&ept #or ser!o%s and e##!&!ent &a%se (!Ae (1) !# *e !s not !n a pos!t!on to &arry o%t e##e&t!ve(y or &ompetent(y= (2) !# *e (abors %nder a &on#(!&t o# !nterest bet)een *!m and t*e prospe&t!ve &(!ent (R%(e 13.03). A: A lawyer s*o%(d decline no matter how attracti2e the fee offered may be if its acce!tance will in2ol2e: RA AA ). A 2iolation of any of the r%(es o# t*e (e"a( pro#ess!on= +. Advo&a&y in any manner in which he had inter2ened while in the o2ernment ser2ice* -. <ullification of a contra&t which he !re!ared* .. Em!loyment with a co((e&t!on a"en&y which solicits business to collect claims* =. Em!loyment, the nature of which mi ht easily be used as a means of advert!s!n" *!s pro#ess!ona( serv!&es o# *!s sA!((= >. Any matter in which he ;nows or has reason to belie2e that he or his !artner will be an essential witness for the !ros!ecti2e client. (1993 Bar Question) Q: What are the ethical consi*erations in ta3ing a /a* case? A: a. Cr!m!na( Case / A lawyer may acce!t a losin criminal case because e2ery accused is !resumed innocent until !ro2en uilty and is entitled to counsel C!v!( Case / 6he rules and ethics of the !rofession en$oin a lawyer from ta;in a bad case.

b.

4ote: IB# &uidelines Art. ), 5ec. ), #ublic 5er2ice: ). "ule is not a matter of charity but of !ublic res!onsibility* +. It is a means for correction of social imbalance* -. 1e al aid offices must be so or anized as to i2e maEimum !ossible assistance to indi ent and deser2in members of the community and to forestall in$ustice.

Reasons, ). 6he attorney9s si nature in e2ery !leadin constitutes a certificate by him that there is ood cause to su!!ort it and that it is not inter!osed for delay, and willful 2iolation of such rule shall sub$ect him to disci!linary action* +. It is the attorney9s duty to Fcounsel or maintain such actions or !roceedin s only as a!!ears to him to be $ust and only such defenses as he belie2es to be honestly debatable under the lawG* -. A lawyer is not to encoura e either the commencement or the continuance of an action or !roceedin , or delay any man9s cause, for any corru!t moti2e or interest* .. A lawyer must decline to conduct a ci2il cause or to ma;e a defense when con2inced that it is intended merely to harass or in$ure the o!!osite !arty or to wor; o!!ression or wron . 3owe2er, a lawyer may acce!t a losin ci2il case !ro2ided that, in so doin , he must not en a e in dilatory tactics and must ad2ise his client about the

Q: Are there instances (here a la(0er has the duty to decline e+&lo0+ent?

25

!ros!ects and ad2anta e of settlin the case throu h a com!romise. (1996, =GG1, =GG=, =GG5 Bar Question) Rule 15.01 ! A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely on account of the latter)s race, se(, creed or status of life, or because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person. "ule )..C) is a!!licable on(y !n &r!m!na( &ases. In criminal cases, a lawyer cannot decline to re!resent an accused or res!ondent because of his o!inion that the said !erson is uilty of the char e or char es filed a ainst him. In re!resentin the accused or res!ondent, the lawyer must only use means which are fair and honorable. %"ule )-?, sec. +CPIQ, "e2ised "ules of Court( "ule )..C) is not a!!licable in ci2il cases because F%c( 6o counsel or maintain such actions or !roceedin s only as a!!ear to him to be $ust, and such defenses only as he belie2es to be honestly debatable under the law.G %"ule )-?, sec. +CPcQ, "e2ised "ules of Court( Rule 15.0 A lawyer shall not decline, e(cept for serious and sufficient cause, an appointment as counsel de oficio or as amicus curiae or a re"uest from the #ntegrated 4ar of the 6hilippines or any of its chapters for rendition of free legal aid. (1991, 1993, 1997, 1996, 199F, =GG1, =GG=, =GG7, =GG6 Bar Question) Q: What is the &rotection gi2en /0 la( to &oor litigants (ho cannot a''or* the ser2ices o' a la(0er? A: "ule )-?, 5ec. -). Attorneys for destitute liti ants: A court may assi n an attorney to render !rofessional aid free of char e to any !arty in case, if u!on in2esti ation it a!!ears that the !arty is destitute and unable to em!loy an attorney, and that the ser2ices of counsel are necessary to secure the ends of $ustice and to !rotect the ri hts of the !arty. It shall be the duty of the attorney so assi ned to render the required ser2ice, %n(ess he is eEcused therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown. Q: Who +a0 /e a&&ointe* as counsel de officio7 A: ). 'embers of the bar in ood standin *

+. Any !erson, resident of the !ro2ince and of ood re!ute for !robity and ability, in localities without lawyers Q: What are consi*ere* in a&&ointing a counsel de officio? A: ). &ra2ity of offense* +. 0ifficulty of questions that may arise* -. EE!erience and ability of a!!ointee. Q: When +a0 re'usal o' a counsel to act as counsel de oficio /e ;usti'ie* on groun*s asi*e 'ro+ the reasons o' health, e8tensi2e tra2el a/roa*, or si+ilar reasons o' urgenc0? A: :ther $ustified rounds for refusal to act as a counsel de o#!&!o are: a. 6oo many de o##!&!o cases assi ned to the lawyer* %'eop(e v. aen" G.R. No. 4133091 $an%ary 30, 19.3) b. Conflict of interest* (R%(e 13.03, C'R) c. 1awyer is not in a !osition to carry out the wor; effecti2ely or com!etently* %s%pra( c. 1awyer is !rohibited from !racticin law by reason of his !ublic office which !rohibits a!!earances in court* and d. 1awyer is !reoccu!ied with too many cases which will s!ell !re$udice to the new clients. Q: Att0. 1. Bonan9a, a se+iBretire* -etro -anila &ractitioner has a cattle ranch in the re+ote +unici&alit0 o' 4ue2a "ci;a. ,e atten*s to his la( o''ice in -anila on -on*a0s, !ues*a0s an* We*nes*a0s, an* the rest o' the (ee3 he s&en*s in his cattle ranch raising horses. In a cri+inal case &en*ing /e'ore the -unici&al !rial ourt o' arranglan, the onl0 other license* +e+/er o' the /ar in the &lace is re&resenting the co+&lainant. !he accuse* is a *etention &risoner. !he ;u*ge (ants to e8&e*ite &rocee*ings. What +ust the &rocee*ings? ;u*ge *o to e8&e*ite

A: 6he $ud e may a!!oint attorney Bonanza as counsel de o#!&!o considerin that the accused is a detention !risoner and therefore it is assumed that he has no financial means of en a in a !aid counsel. I' Att0. Bonan9a is re6ueste* to act as counsel 'or the accuse*, coul* he or shoul* he re'use /0 sa0ing that in the &ro2ince, he (ants to *o nothing e8ce&t ri*e horses an* castrate /ulls? "8&lain.

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


A: 6he attorney cannot refuse to be a!!ointed as counsel de o#!&!o merely on the reason that he is a semi/retired !racticin lawyer. #recisely one of the reasons for the inte ration of the bar in the #hili!!ines is to com!el all !ersons who ha2e been admitted to the !ractice of law in the #hili!!ines to !erform their duties to assist the courts in the administration of !ublic. Q: What is assaile* in this certiorari &rocee*ing is an or*er o' res&on*ent 1u*ge li+aco *en0ing a +otion 'ile* /0 &etitioner %e*es+a to /e allo(e* to (ith*ra( as counsel de oficio. #ne o' the groun*s 'or such a +otion (as his allegation that (ith his a&&oint+ent as "lection Registrar /0 the o++ission on "lections, he (as not in a &osition to *e2ote 'ull ti+e to the *e'ense o' the t(o accuse*. !he *enial /0 res&on*ent 1u*ge o' such a &lea, not(ithstan*ing the con'or+it0 o' the *e'en*ants, (as *ue @its &rinci&al e''ect o' *ela0ing the case. Is the *enial o' 1u*ge li+aco correct? A: Bes. 6he reluctance of 1edesma to com!ly with his res!onsibilities as counsel de oficio is not an adequate round for the motion of withdrawal. 'embershi! in the bar is !ri2ile e burdened with a condition. 7or some lawyers es!ecially the neo!hytes in the !rofession bein a!!ointed as a lawyer is an ir;some chore. 4a) !s a pro#ess!on ded!&ated to t*e !dea( o# serv!&e and not a mere trade. ?*%s !s made man!#est t*e !nd!spensab(e ro(e o# a member o# t*e -ar !n t*e de#ense o# an a&&%sed. 5uch a consideration could ha2e sufficed for !etitioner not bein allowed to withdraw as counsel de o#!&!o. 7or he did betray by his mo2es his lac; of enthusiasm for the tas; entrusted to him, to !ut matters mildly. 3e did !oint thou h to his res!onsibility as an election re istrar. Assumin his ood faith, no such eEcuse could be a2ailed now. ?*ere !s not (!Ae(y at present, and !n t*e !mmed!ate #%t%re, an e:orb!tant demand on *!s t!me. (4edesma v. C(!ma&o, 4123/10, $%ne 2/, 19.3) Q: 1err0 $errer (as accuse* o' ha2ing ra&e* his 11B0earBol* ste&*aughter. 1err0<s counsel o' recor* (as PA#>s Att0. -aca/an*ing. .uring the &reBtrial, /oth o' the+ 'aile* to a&&ear. 1err0 (as consi*ere* /0 the court as ha2ing ;u+&e* /ail. !rial in a/sentia 'ollo(e* (here 1err0 (as assiste* /0 another PA# la(0er, Att0. Alonto. Att0. -aca/an*ing *i* not a&&ear in all the su/se6uent hearings o' the case. ,e *i* not in'or+ the court o' his (herea/outs. 1err0 (as 'oun* guilt0 /e0on* reasona/le *ou/t o' the cri+e charge* an* i+&ose* u&on hi+ the *eath &enalt0. .i* Att0. -aca/an*ing li2e u& to the *e+an*s e8&ecte* 'ro+ a counsel *e o'icio? A: <o. Jerry 7errer was not !ro!erly and effecti2ely accorded the ri ht to counsel. Canon )? of the C#" requires e2ery lawyer to ser2e his client with utmost dedication, com!etence and dili ence. 3e must not ne lect a le al matter entrusted to him. 7or all intents, !ur!oses and a!!earances, Atty. 'acabandin abandoned his client, an accused who stands to face the death !enalty. L*!(e *e #a&ed t*e da%nt!n" tasA o# de#end!n" an a&&%sed t*at *ad 8%mped ba!(, t*!s %n#ort%nate deve(opment !s not a 8%st!#!&at!on to e:&%se *!m #rom "!v!n" *!s *eart and so%( to t*e (atterHs de#ense. 6he eEercise of their duties as counsel de officio meant renderin full meanin and reality to the constitutional !rece!ts !rotectin the ri hts of the accused ('eop(e v. 5errer, G.R. No. 13//21, $%(y 1/, 2003). Rule 15.03 A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an indigent client unless1 a. 8e is in no position to carry out the wor+ effectively or competently* b. 8e labors under a conflict of interest between him and the prospective client or between a present client and a prospective client.
4ote: A lawyer may refuse to handle cases due to these 2alid reasons. 3owe2er, "ule +.C+ requires him to i2e ad2ice on !reliminary ste!s if he is as;ed until the client secures the ser2ices of counsel. 3e shall refrain from i2in this !reliminary ad2ice if there is conflict of interest between a !resent client and a !ros!ecti2e one for e:tend!n" s%&* (e"a( adv!&e )!(( &reate and estab(!s* an attorney1&(!ent re(at!ons*!p bet)een t*em and may in2ol2e a 2iolation of the rule !rohibitin a lawyer from re!resentin conflictin interest.

Rule 15.05 A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to pay his professional fees shall observe the same standard of conduct governing his relations with paying clients. (=GGF Bar Question) Q: Att0. -ariano .a;o0ag, 1r. is "rnesto Ra+os< counsel. ,e 'aile* to &er'ect their a&&eal /e'ore the ) . ,e 'ile* the &etition 'or certiorari (ithin the =GB*a0 &erio* o' e8tension that he sought in his =n* +otion 'or e8tension. ,e learne* that the &erio* o' e8tension grante* in his 1st +otion 'or e8tension (as ine8ten*i/le onl0 a'ter the e8&iration o' the = &erio*s o' e8tension that he &ra0e* 'or. A co+&laint 'or negligence an* +al&ractice (as 'ile* against hi+, to (hich he &le* goo* 'aith an* e8cusa/le

27

neglect o' *ut0. Is Att0. .a;o0ag 1r. guilt0 o' neglect o' *ut0? A: Bes. 'otions for eEtension are not ranted as a matter of ri ht but in the sound discretion of the court, and lawyers should ne2er !resume that their motions for eEtension or !ost!onement will be ranted or that they will be ranted the len th of time they !rayed for. 7urther, re"ard(ess o# t*e a"reement respondent *ad )!t* &omp(a!nant )!t* respe&t to t*e payment o# *!s #ees, respondent o)ed !t to &omp(a!nant to do *!s %tmost to ens%re t*at every remedy a((o)ed by (a) !s ava!(ed o#. "ule )..C. of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility en$oins e2ery lawyer to de2ote his full attention, dili ence, s;ills, and com!etence to e2ery case that he acce!ts. #ressure and lar e 2olume of le al wor; do not eEcuse res!ondent for filin the !etition for certiorari out of time. <e2ertheless, Atty. 0a$oya Jr. eEerted efforts to !rotect the ri hts and interests of Ernesto "amos, includin tryin to secure a reconsideration of the denial of the !etition. 6hus, he is uilty of sim!le ne lect of duty. (Ramos v a8oya", $r., A.C. No. 01.3, 5ebr%ary 2/, 2002)
4ote: 6he fact that his ser2ices are rendered without remuneration should not occasion a diminution in his zeal. (4edesma v. C(!ma&o, 4123/10, 0. SCRA 3.2, $%ne 2/, 19.3)

which, so far as the client is aware discloses the information to no third !erson other than one reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information or the accom!lishment of the !ur!ose for which it was i2en. 7or an information be considered as !ri2ile ed, it must be intended by the by the client as such. % C'R Annotated, '*!($A)

Q: Rosa -erca*o<s hus/an* 'ile* an annul+ent against her. Att0. 1ulito Ditriolo re&resente* her. !herea'ter, a cri+inal action against her (as 'ile* /0 the latter 'or 'alsi'ication o' &u/lic *ocu+ent. Accor*ing to hi+, she in*icate* in erti'icates o' %i2e Birth o' her chil*ren that she is +arrie* to a certain $er*inan* $ernan*e9, an* that their +arriage (as sole+ni9e* on A&ril 11, 19C9, (hen in truth, she is legall0 +arrie* to Ru/en -erca*o an* their +arriage too3 &lace on A&ril 11, 19CF. -erca*o clai+s that the cri+inal co+&laint *isclose* con'i*ential 'acts an* in'or+ation relating to the ci2il case 'or annul+ent han*le* /0 Ditriolo as her counsel. .i* Att0. 1ulito Ditriolo 2iolate the rule on &ri2ilege* co++unication /et(een attorne0 an* client? A: E2idence on record fails to substantiate 'ercado9s alle ations. 5he did not e2en s!ecify the alle ed communication in confidence disclosed by res!ondent. All her claims were couched in eneral terms and lac;ed s!ecificity. Dithout any testimony from the com!lainant as to the s!ecific confidential information alle edly di2ul ed by res!ondent without her consent, it is difficult, if not im!ossible to determine if there was any 2iolation of the rule on !ri2ile ed communication. +t !s not eno%"* to mere(y assert t*e attorney1&(!ent pr!v!(e"e. ?*e b%rden o# prov!n" t*at t*e pr!v!(e"e app(!es !s p(a&ed %pon t*e party assert!n" t*e pr!v!(e"e. %Mer&ado v. 7!tr!(!o, A.C. No. 010/, May 22, 2000) Q: Bureau o' I++igration an* .e&ortation (BI.) Intelligence Agent Dla*i+ir ,ernan*e9, together (ith a re&orter, (ent to the house o' !a3ao Ao0agi, a 1a&anese national. ,ernan*e9 tol* !a3ao Ao0agi, through his (i'e, that there (ere co+&laints against hi+ in 1a&an an* that he (as sus&ecte* to /e a Ma3u9a /ig /oss, a *rug *e&en*ent an* an o2ersta0ing alien. !o &ro2e that he ha* *one nothing (rong, !a3ao Ao0agi sho(e* his &ass&ort to ,ernan*e9 (ho con'iscate* the sa+e. A ontract 'or %egal )er2ices (as entere* into /0 !a3ao Ao0agi an* Att0. $rancisco Ace;as III.

PRIDI%"A".

#--:4I A!I#4

Rule 1,.0 /A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privilege communication in respect of matters disclosed to him by a prospective client. (=GGF Bar Question) 6he fore oin disqualification rule a!!lies to !ros!ecti2e clients of a lawyer. 'atters disclosed by a !ros!ecti2e client to a lawyer are !rotected by the rule on !ri2ile ed communication e2en if the !ros!ecti2e client does not thereafter retain the lawyer or the latter declines the em!loyment. 6he reason for this is to ma;e the !ros!ecti2e client free to discuss whate2er he wishes with the lawyer without fear that what he tells the lawyer will be di2ul ed or used a ainst him, and for the lawyer to be equally free to obtain information from the !ros!ecti2e client. %C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: A !ri2ile ed communication is one that refers to information transmitted by 2oluntary act of disclosure between attorney and client in confidence and by means

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


!a3ao Ao0agi &ai* Att0. Ace;as P7G,GGG.GG, P=5,GGG o' (hich is 5GE o' the acce&tance 'ee, an* the P15,GGG.GG is 'or 'ilingQ*oc3et 'ee. ,ernan*e9, in the &resence o' Att0. Ace;as, &ro&ose* that !a3ao Ao0agi &a0 the a+ount o' P1 +illion in e8change 'or the hel& he (oul* e8ten* to !a3ao in securing a &er+anent 2isa in the Phili&&ines. Att0. Ace;as *i* nothing. .i* Att0. Ace;as 2iolate the legal ethics o' the &ro'ession? A: Bes. As a lawyer, it was his duty to re!resent his clients in dealin with other !eo!le. 3is !resence at the scheduled return of the !ass!ort was $ustified. 6his fact, howe2er, does not su!!ort his innocence. Atty. Ace$as, failed to act for or re!resent the interests of his clients. 3e ;new of the !ayoff, but did nothin to assist or !rotect their ri hts, a fact that stron ly indicated that he was to et a share. 6he Court reminds lawyers to follow le al ethics when confronted by !ublic officers who eEtort money. 1awyers must decline and re!ort the matter to the authorities. +# t*e e:tort!on !s d!re&ted at t*e &(!ent, t*ey m%st adv!se t*e &(!ent not to per#orm any !((e"a( a&t. Moreover, t*ey m%st report !t to t*e a%t*or!t!es, )!t*o%t *av!n" to v!o(ate t*e attorney1&(!ent pr!v!(e"e. Nat%ra((y, t*ey m%st not part!&!pate !n t*e !((e"a( a&t. Atty. A&e8as d!d not #o((o) t*ese "%!de(!nes. Lorse, *e &onsp!red )!t* t*e e:tort!on!sts. (A&e8as +++ v. 'eop(e, G.R. No. 102233, $%ne 2., 2002) Q: -a0 a la(0er in2o3e &ri2ilege* co++unication to re'use re2ealing his clients secrets con'i*e* to hi+ /0 such client in the course o' &ro'essional e+&lo0+ent? A: Bes. "ule )=.C+ of the Code !ro2ides that A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on !ri2ile e communication in res!ect of matters disclosed to him by a !ros!ecti2e client. 5%rt*ermore, A4#4 =1 A %AWM"R ),A%% PR")"RD" #4$I."4 ") A4. )" R"!) #$ ,I) %I"4! "D"4 A$!"R !," A!!#R4"MB %I"4! R"%A!I#4 I) !"R-I4A!". (199F, =GG6 Bar Questions)
4ote: 6he !rotection i2en to the client is !er!etual and does not cease with the termination of the liti ation nor is affected by the !arty ceasin to em!loy the attorney and em!loy another or any other chan e of relation between them. +t even s%rv!ves t*e deat* o# t*e &(!ent.

Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of his clients e(cept1 a. 'hen authori9ed by the client after ac"uainting him of the conse"uences of the disclosure*
4ote: 6here is a wai2er of the !ri2ile e by the client. 6he on(y instance where the wai2er of the client alone is insufficient is when the !erson to be eEamined with reference to any !ri2ile ed communication is the attorney9s secretary, steno ra!her or cler;, in res!ect to which the consent, too, of the attorney is necessary.

b. c.

'hen re"uired by law* 'hen necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his employees or associates by /udicial action. (=GGF Bar Question)

Rule 1.0 ! A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, use information ac"uired in the course of employment, nor shall he use the same to his own advantage or that of a third person, unless the client with full +nowledge of the circumstances consents thereto. Q: Bun )iong Mao is a +a;orit0 stoc3hol*er o' )olar $ar+s T %i2elihoo* or&oration an* )olar !e8tile $inishing or&oration. Att0. %eonar*o Aurelio is also a stoc3hol*er an* the retaine* counsel o' /oth the cor&oration an* Bun )iong Mao. !he latter &urchase* se2eral &arcels o' lan* using his &ersonal 'un*s /ut (ere registere* in the na+e o' the cor&orations u&on the a*2ice Att0. Aurelio. A'ter a *isagree+ent /et(een Att0. Aurelio an* Bun )iong Mao<s (i'e, the 'or+er *e+an*e* the return o' his in2est+ent in the cor&orations /ut (hen Mao re'use* to &a0, he 'ile* F charges 'or esta'a an* 'alsi'ication o' co++ercial *ocu+ents against Mao an* his (i'e an* the other o''icers o' the cor&oration. Mao allege* that the series o' suits is a 'or+ o' harass+ent an* constitutes an a/use o' the con'i*ential in'or+ation (hich Att0. Aurelio o/taine* /0 2irtue o' his e+&lo0+ent as counsel. Att0. Aurelio ho(e2er sai* that he onl0 han*le* isolate* la/or cases 'or the sai* cor&orations. .i* Att0. Aurelio a/use the con'i*ential in'or+ation he o/taine* /0 2irtue o' his e+&lo0+ent as counsel?

29

a. A: Bes. 6he lon /established rule is that an attorney is not !ermitted to disclose communications made to him in his !rofessional character by a client, unless the latter consents. Respondent tooA advanta"e o# *!s be!n" a (a)yer !n order to "et ba&A at t*e &omp(a!nant. +n do!n" so, *e *as !nev!tab(y %t!(!<ed !n#ormat!on *e *as obta!ned #rom *!s dea(!n"s )!t* &omp(a!nant and &omp(a!nantHs &ompan!es #or *!s o)n end. 1awyers cannot be allowed to eE!loit their !rofession for the !ur!ose of eEactin 2en eance or as a tool for insti atin hostility a ainst any !erson R most es!ecially a ainst a client or former client. (-%n S!on" >ao vs. A%re(!o, A.C. No. .023, 3/0 SCRA 302, Mar&* 30, 2002) Rule 1.03 ! A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of his client, give information from his files to an outside agency see+ing such information for auditing, statistical, boo++eeping, accounting, data processing, or any other similar purposes. Q: What are the re6uisites o' Pri2ilege* o++unication? A: ). Atty.1&(!ent re(at!ons*!p or a ;ind of consultancy relationshi! with a !ros!ecti2e client. 6hat is, le al ad2ice is what is sou ht. 6his includes !ersons a!!ointed as &o%nse( de o##!&!o* +. Communication made by client to lawyer in the course of (a)yerBs pro#ess!ona( emp(oyment= -. Communication is intended to be &on#!dent!a( %R%(e 130, Se&. 21(b), RC)
4ote: #ayment of retainer fee is not essential before an attorney can be required to safe uard a !ros!ecti2e client9s secret acquired by the attorney durin the course of the consultation with the !ros!ecti2e client, e2en if the attorney did not acce!t the em!loyment. !")!: Dhether the communications are made to an attorney with 2iew of obtainin from him !ersonal assistance or ad2ice re ardless of whether there is a !endin or merely im!endin liti ation or any liti ation.

b. c.

Attorney9s secretary, steno ra!her and cler;* Inter!reter, messen ers and a ents transmittin communication* and An accountant, scientist, !hysician, en ineer who has been hired for effecti2e consultation (R%(e 130, Se&. 23(b), RRC).

Q: When is co++unication not &ri2ilege*? A: A communication made by a client to a lawyer is not !ri2ile ed: ). After !leadin has been filed %!leadin ceases to be !ri2ile ed communication H becomes !art of !ublic records(* +. Dhen communication was intended by the client to be sent to a third !erson throu h his counsel %it loses its confidential character as soon as it reaches the hands of third !erson(* -. Dhen the communication sou ht by client is intended to aid #%t%re crime or !er!etration of fraud* .. Dhen communication between attorney and client is heard by a third !arty H third !arty testimony is admissible as e2idence* and =. Dhen there is consent or wai2er of the client* >. Dhen the law requires disclosure* and A. Dhen disclosure is made to !rotect the lawyer9s ri hts %i.e., to collect his fees or defend himself, his em!loyees or associates or by $udicial action( %R%(e 21.01 o# C'R)
4ote: E2en if the communication is un!ri2ile ed, the rule of ethics !rohibits him from 2oluntarily re2ealin or usin to his benefit or to that of a third !erson, to the disad2anta e of the client, the said communication unless the client consents thereto. 6his is a!!licable to students under the 5tudent #ractice 1aw #ro ram.

Rule 1.05 ! A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the firm to partners or associates thereof unless prohibited by the client. #rofessional em!loyment of a law firm is equi2alent to retainer of members thereof. In a law firm, !artners or associates usually consult one another in2ol2in their cases and some wor; as a team. Consequently, it cannot be a2oided that some information about the case recei2ed from the client may be disclosed to the !artners or associates. Rule 1.0, A lawyer shall adopt such measures as may be re"uired to prevent those whose services are utili9ed by him, from disclosing or using confidences or secrets of the client.

Q: Who are the &ersons entitle* to clai+ the &ri2ilege? A: AR: 6he attorney/client !ri2ile e co2ers: ). 1awyer* +. Client* and -. 6hird !ersons who by reason of their wor; ha2e acquired information about the case bein handled such as:

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


Rule 1.0% A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a client)s affairs even with members of his family. Rule 1.07 A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been consulted about a particular case e(cept to avoid possible conflict of interest. Q: an the la(0er re'use 'ro+ *isclosing his client<s i*entit0? A: AR: A lawyer may not in2o;e !ri2ile ed communication to refuse re2ealin a client9s identity. NP4): ). Dhen there is a stron !ossibility that re2ealin the client9s name would im!licate the client in the 2ery acti2ity for which he sou ht the lawyer9s ad2ice* +. Dhen disclosure would o!en the client to ci2il liability* -. Dhen o2ernment9s lawyers ha2e no case a ainst an attorney9s client and re2ealin the client9s name would furnish the only lin; that would from the chain of testimony necessary to con2ict him. Reasons, ). 0ue !rocess considerations require that the o!!osin !arty should ;now the ad2ersary* +. 6he !ri2ile e !ertain to the sub$ect matter of the relationshi!* and -. 6he !ri2ile e be ins to eEist only after attorney/client relationshi! has been established hence it does not attach until there is a client. Rule 1,.05 A lawyer may, with the written consent of all concerned, act as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes.
4ote: Dhere the lawyer !erforms the function of mediator, conciliator, or arbitrator in dis!utes where the lawyer labors under a conflict of interest, he remains sub$ect to the requirement of a !rior written informed consent from all !arties concerned. 6he requirement subsists e2en if the ad2erse interest is 2ery sli ht, and notwithstandin the lawyer9s honest intention and moti2e. %C#" Annotated, #hilJA(

Q: onsorcia Rollon (ent to the o''ice o' Att0. a+ilo 4ara2al to see3 his assistance in a case 'ile* against her /0 Rosita 1ulaton 'or ollection o' )u+ o' -one0 (ith Pra0er 'or Attach+ent. A'ter going o2er the *ocu+ents she /rought (ith her, Att0. 4ara2al agree* to /e her la(0er an* she (as re6uire* to &a0 PF,GGG.GG 'or the 'iling an* &artial ser2ice 'ee. Att0. 4ara2al *i* not in'or+ her that the sai* ci2il suit has /een *eci*e* against her an* (hich ;u*g+ent has long /eco+e 'inal an* e8ecutor0. Att0. 4ara2al (as not a/le to act on the case. Because o' this, she (ante* to (ith*ra( the a+ount she has &ai* an* to retrie2e the *ocu+ents &ertaining to sai* case. :n'ortunatel0, *es&ite se2eral 'ollo(Bu&s, Att0. 4ara2al al(a0s sai* that he cannot return the *ocu+ents /ecause the0 (ere in their house, an* that he coul* not gi2e us /ac3 the PF,GGG.GG /ecause he has no +one0. .i* Att0. 4ara2al 'ail to 'ul'ill his un*erta3ings? A: Bes. 0es!ite his full ;nowled e of the finality based on the documents furnished to him, res!ondent withheld such 2ital information and did not !ro!erly a!!raise the com!lainant. 3e should ha2e i2en her a candid, honest o!inion on the merits and the status of the case. But he withheld such 2ital information. 3e did not inform her about the finality of the ad2erse $ud ment. Instead, he filin and ser2ice fee and thereby a2e her ho!e that her case would be acted u!on. "ule )=.C= of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility requires that lawyers i2e their candid and best o!inion to their clients on the merit or lac; of merit of the case, neither o2erstatin nor understatin their e2aluation thereof. Cno)!n" )*et*er a &ase )o%(d *ave some prospe&t o# s%&&ess !s not on(y a #%n&t!on, b%t a(so an ob(!"at!on on t*e part o# (a)yers. If they find that their clientLs cause is defenseless, then it is their bounden duty to ad2ise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than to tra2erse the incontro2ertible. (Ro((on v. Narava(, A.C. No. 2323, Mar&* 3, 2000) A4#4 16 A %AWM"R ),A%% ,#%. I4 !R:)! A%% -#4"M A4. PR#P"R!M #$ ,I) %I"4! !,A! -AM #-" I4 ,I) P#))"))I#4 (=GGF Bar Question)

Rule 1,.0, ! A lawyer, when advising his client, must give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the client)s case, neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case.

31

'oneys collected by the lawyer on a $ud ment fa2orable to his client constitute trust funds and should be immediately !aid o2er to the client. Dhile "ule )-?, 5ection -A of the "ules of Court rants the lawyer a lien u!on the funds, documents and !a!ers of his client, which ha2e lawfully come into his !ossession, such that he may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements ha2e been !aid, and a!!ly such funds to the satisfaction thereof, the lawyer still has the res!onsibility to !rom!tly account to his client for such moneys recei2ed. 7ailure to do so constitutes !rofessional misconduct. 6he lawyer9s failure to turn o2er such funds, moneys, or !ro!erties to the client des!ite the latter9s i2es rise to the !resum!tion that the lawyer had con2erted the money for his !ersonal use and benefit. 6his failure also renders the lawyer 2ulnerable to $udicial contem!t under "ule )-?, 5ection += of the "ules of Court. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A) Q: %uis *e Au9+an as *e'en*ant in a ci2il case, o/tain an a*2erse ;u*g+ent. ,is counsel (as Att0. "++anuel Basa. ,e (ants to challenge the *ecision through a &etition 'or certiorari. It (as agree* that %uis (ill &a0 P15,GGG 'or sai* legal ser2ice. Att0. Basa collecte* a *o(n &a0+ent o' P5,GGG. ,o(e2er, no such &etition (as 'ile*. ,e *i* not seasona/l0 'ile (ith the A the re6uire* a&&ellant<s /rie' resulting in the *is+issal o' the a&&eal. .es&ite se2eral e8tensions to 'ile the a&&ellant<s /rie', Att0. Basa 'aile* to *o so. Instea*, he 'ile* t(o +ore +otions 'or e8tension. When he 'ile* the a&&ellant<s /rie', it (as late, /eing /e0on* the last e8tension grante* /0 the A&&ellate ourt. Was Att0. "++anuel Basa negligent in the &er'or+ance o' his &ro'essional *ut0 to %uis *e Au9+an? A: Bes, he is uilty of ross misconduct. Dhere a client i2es money to his lawyer for a s!ecific !ur!ose, such as to file an action or a!!eal an ad2erse $ud ment, the lawyer should, u!on failure to ta;e such ste! and s!end the money for it, immediately return the money to his client. 3is un$ustified withholdin of 1uis9 money is a ross 2iolation of the eneral morality and !rofessional ethics. ( e G%<man v. Atty. 6mman%e( -asa, A.C. No. 0003, $%ne 29, 2003) Q: )al2a*or Dillanue2a hire* Att0. Ra+on Ishi(ata to han*le his case against 1.!. !rans&ort, Inc. 'or &a0+ent o' his un&ai* (ages, se&aration &a0, an* other /ene'its. .ue

to the latter<s insistence he e8ecute* a )&ecial Po(er o' Attorne0 *esignating hi+ as his attorne0BinB'act. !he &arties entere* into a co+&ro+ise agree+ent (here/0 'or a consi*eration o' P==5, GGG, Dillanue2a agree* to release 1.!. !rans&ort 'ro+ all its o/ligations to hi+. As a result, Att0. Ishi(ata signe* a @Quitclai+ an* Release@ 'or an* on /ehal' o' co+&lainant. 4%R then consi*ere* the case close* an* ter+inate*. 1.!. !rans&ort *eli2ere* 7 chec3s to res&on*ent in the su+ o' P==5,GGG as &a0+ent o' co+&lainant>s clai+s. ,o(e2er, Att0. Ishi(ata ga2e co+&lainant onl0 P75,GGG as 'irst install+ent, (ithout a*2ising hi+ that the settle+ent a(ar* ha* /een &ai* in 'ull. When he learne* that the o/ligation ha* /een 'ull0 settle* he +a*e re&eate* *e+an*s u&on Att0. Ishi(ata to *eli2er to hi+ the /alance. But the latter re'use* to &a0. .i* Att0. Ishi(ata 2iolate an0 ethical rule? A: Bes. 3e 2iolated Canon )> of the C#". :b2iously, his failure to return the balance to com!lainant u!on demand a2e rise to the !resum!tion that he misa!!ro!riated it in 2iolation of the trust re!osed on him. 3is act is indicati2e of lac; of inte rity and !ro!riety. 3e was clin in to somethin not his and which he had no ri ht. (7!((an%eva v. +s*!)ata, A.C. No. 0031, November 23, 2003) Q: Is a la(0er &rohi/ite* 'ro+ ac6uiring &ro&erties o' his client? A: Bes !ursuant to Canon )> of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility. 7urthermore, Art. 1391, C!v!( Code states that: F6he followin !ersons cannot acquire or !urchase, e2en at !ublic or $udicial auction, either in !erson or throu h the mediation of another. %=( (a)yers, with res!ect to the !ro!erty and ri hts which may be the ob$ect of any liti ation in which they ta;e !art by 2irtue of their !rofession.G
4ote: A lawyer may not !urchase, e2en at a !ublic or $udicial auction, in !erson or throu h the mediation of another, any !ro!erty or interest in2ol2ed in any liti ation in which he may ta;e !art by 2irtue of his !rofession. 6his !rohibition is entirely inde!endent of fraud and such need not be alle ed or !ro2en.

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


4ote: Art. ).@) %=( of the <CC a!!lies only if the sale or assi nment of the !ro!erty ta;es !lace durin the !endency of the liti ation in2ol2in the client9s !ro!erty. (Ramos v. N"aseo, A.C. No. 2210 e&ember 9, 2003)

Q: What are ele+ents o' Article 1791 o' the 4e( i2il o*e? A: ). +. -. .. Attorney/client relationshi!* #ro!erty or interest is in liti ation* Attorney ta;es !art as counsel in the case* #urchase, acquisition by attorney, by himself or throu h another, durin !endency of liti ation*

fidelity and ood faith. 3ence, in dealin with trust !ro!erty, a lawyer should be 2ery scru!ulous. Money or ot*er tr%st property o# t*e &(!ent &om!n" !nto t*e possess!on o# t*e (a)yer s*o%(d be reported by t*e (atter and a&&o%nt any &!r&%mstan&es, be &omm!n"(ed )!t* *!s o)n or be %sed by *!m. (6sp!r!t% v. Cabredo, A.C. No. 0/31. $an%ary 13, 2003) Attorne0<s %ien Q: o+&lainants (ere a(ar*e* P6, 5GG in a case 'or un&ai* o2erti+e an* se&aration &a0. Alleging *i''iculties in collecting the 'ull a+ount, Att0. $rancisco Angeles, (ithout authorit0 'ro+ his clients, co+&ro+ise* the a(ar* an* (as a/le to collect onl0 P5, 5GG 'ro+ the losing &art0. o+&lainants +a*e se2eral *e+an*s u&on res&on*ent to turn o2er to the+ the a+ount less the agree* attorne0>s 'ees o' 3GE, /ut the res&on*ent re'use* an* onl0 o''ere* to re+it to co+&lainants an a+ount less than that, insisting that he shoul* /e allo(e* to *e*uct sheri''>s 'ees an* other a*+inistrati2e e8&enses /e'ore *eli2ering the +one0 to the clients. Is Att0. Angeles ;usti'ie* in his action? A: <o. 3e clearly failed to com!ly with the "ules of Court in the enforcement of an attorneyLs liens. 6he records of this case are barren of any statement of res!ondentLs claims for lien or !ayment of his alle ed disbursements, nor did res!ondent !resent any showin that he caused written notices of his lien on the money $ud ment to be ser2ed u!on his clients and to the losin !arty in the case. (Mana(an" v. An"e(es, A.C. No. 100/, Mar&* 10, 2003) Q: .e'ine an attorne0<s retaining lien. A: A retainin lien is the ri ht of an attorney to retain the funds, documents and !a!ers of his client which ha2e lawfully come into his !ossession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements ha2e been !aid, and may a!!ly such finds to the satisfaction thereof. (1997, 1995, 1996, 199F, =GGG Bar Questions) Re9%!s!tes, A%: ). Attorney/client relationshi!* +. %awful !ossession by the lawyer of the client9s funds, documents and !a!ers in his !rofessional ca!acity* and -. :nsatisfied claim for attorney9s fees or disbursements.

Q: What are the e''ects o' the 2iolation o' such &rohi/ition? A: ). 'al!ractice on the !art of the lawyer and may be disci!lined for misconduct +. 6ransaction is null and 2oid Q: .oes the rule inclu*e +ortgage? A: Bes. 6he !rohibition includes mort a e of !ro!erty in liti ation to lawyer. In such a case, acquisition is merely !ost!oned until foreclosure but effect is the same. It also includes assi nment of !ro!erty. %Ordon!o v. 6d%arte, A.M. No. 3212 'arch )>, )@@+(. Rule 1%.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Rule 1%.0 A lawyer shall +eep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others +ept by him. Q: BPI 'ile* t(o co+&laints 'or re&le2in an* *a+ages against "s&har -e*ical enter Inc. an* its &resi*ent esar "s&iritu. "s&iritu engage* the ser2ices Att0. 1uan a/re*o ID. While these cases (ere &en*ing in court, the latter a*2ise* "s&har to re+it +one0 an* u&*ate &a0+ents to the /an3 through the trial court. Accor*ingl0, "s&har>s re&resentati2e *eli2ere* a total o' P51, 161 to Att0. a/re*o>s o''ice. ,o(e2er, the +anage+ent o' "s&har 'oun* out that he *i* not *eli2er sai* +one0 to the court or to the /an3. .i* Att0. a/re*o co++it a /reach o' trust?

A: Bes. 3is act amounted to deceit in 2iolation of his oath. 6he relationshi! between a lawyer and a client is hi hly fiduciary* it requires a hi h de ree of

33

Q: .e'ine an attorne0<s charging lien. A: A char in lien is the ri ht of a lawyer to the same eEtent u!on all $ud ments for the !ayment of money, and eEecutions issued in !ursuance of such $ud ments which he has secured in a liti ation of his client, from and after the time when he shall ha2e caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered u!on the records of the court renderin such $ud ment, or issuin such eEecution, and shall ha2e caused written notice thereof to be deli2ered to his client and to the ad2erse !arty* and he shall ha2e the same ri ht and !ower o2er such $ud ments and eEecutions as his client would ha2e to enforce his lien and secure the !ayment of his fees and disbursements. (Se&. 3., R%(e 13/, Rev!sed R%(es o# Co%rt) (1997, =GGF Bar Questions) Re9%!s!tes, ). EEistence of attorney/client relationshi!* +. 6he attorney has rendered ser2ices* -. 7a2orable money $ud ment secured by the counsel from his client* .. 6he attorney has a claim for attorney9s fees or ad2ances* and =. A statement of the claim has been duly recorded in the case with notice thereof ser2ed u!on the client and the ad2erse !arty.
4ote: A char in lien, to be enforceable as a security for the !ayment of attorney9s fees, requires as a condition sine qua non a $ud ment for money and eEecution in !ursuance of such $ud ment secured in the main action by the attorney in fa2or of his client.

A!!licability 'ay be eEercised before &enerally, eEercised only $ud ment or eEecution or when the attorney had re ardless thereof. already secured a fa2orable $ud ment for his client. EEtin uishment Dhen !ossession Dhen client loses action lawfully ends as when as lien may only be lawyer 2oluntarily !arts enforced a ainst with funds, documents, $ud ment awarded in and !a!ers of client or fa2or of client, !roceeds offers them as e2idence. thereofIeEecuted thereon.

Rule 1%.05 A lawyer shall not barrow money from his client unless the client)s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. :either shall a lawyer lend money to a client e(cept, when in the interest of .ustice* he has to advance necessary e(penses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.
4ote: 6he !rinci!le behind "ule )>.C. is to !re2ent the lawyer from ta;in ad2anta e of his influence o2er the client or to a2oid acquirin a financial interest in the outcome of the case. <ot !rohibited: ad2ances for necessary eE!enses

A4#4 1C #W") $I."%I!M !# !," A:)" #$ ,I) %I"4! A4. B" -I.$:% #$ !," !R:)! A4. #4$I."4 " R"P#)". I4 ,I(=GGC, =GGF Bar Questions) Q: When *oes the la(0er<s *ut0 o' 'i*elit0 to his client<s cause co++ence? A: 1awyer9s duty of fidelity commences from recei!t of his retainer until his effecti2e release from the case or the final dis!osition of the whole sub$ect matter of the liti ation. 0urin that !eriod, he is eE!ected to ta;e such reasonable ste!s and such ordinary care as his client9s interest may require. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: Acce!tance of money from a client establishes an attorney/client relationshi! and i2es rise to the duty of fidelity to the client9s cause. E2ery case acce!ted by a lawyer deser2es full attention, dili ence, s;ill and com!etence, re ardless of im!ortance. (Ro((on v. Atty. Narava(, A.C. No. 2323, 302 SCRA 2.0, Mar&* 3, 2000)

harging %ien <ature #assi2e lien. It cannot be Acti2e lien. It can be acti2ely enforced. It is a enforced by eEecution. It eneral lien. is a s!ecial lien. Basis 1awful !ossession of 5ecurin of a fa2orable !a!ers, documents, money $ud ment for !ro!erty belon in to the client. client. Co2era e Co2ers !a!ers, Co2ers all $ud ments for documents, and the !ayment of money !ro!erties in the lawful and eEecution issued in !ossession of the !ursuance of such attorney by reason of his $ud ments. !rofessional em!loyment. Effect As soon as the attorney As soon as the claim for ets !ossession of attorney9s fees had been !a!ers, documents, or entered into the records !ro!erty. of the case.

Retaining %ien

Q: Aenato 'ile* a *is/ar+ent case against res&on*ent Att0. )ila&an 'or allege*l0 /rea3ing their con'i*ential la(0erBclient relationshi& /0 *isclosing con'i*ential in'or+ation against hi+. In his ans(er, Att0. )ila&an conten*e* that he use* the con'i*ential state+ents in the course o' ;u*icial &rocee*ings in or*er to *e'en* his

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


case an* to *iscre*it Aenato<s cre*i/ilit0 /0 esta/lishing his cri+inal &ro&ensit0 to co++it 'rau*, tell lies an* 2iolate the la(s. Att0. )ila&an also argue* that he is not guilt0 o' /rea3ing the con'i*entialit0 &rinci&le o' la(0erB client relationshi& as he +a*e the *isclosure in *e'ense o' his honor an* re&utation. Is Att0. )ila&an guilt0 o' /reach o' trust an* con'i*ence /0 i+&uting to Aenato illegal &ractices an* *isclosing Aenato<s allege* intention to /ri/e go2ern+ent o''icials in connection (ith a &en*ing case? A: Bes, Atty. 5ila!an has committed a breach of trust and confidence a ainst his client. Canon )A of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility !ro2ides that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and shall be mindful of the trust and confidence re!osed on him. 6he lon /established rule is that an attorney is not !ermitted to disclose communications made to him in his !rofessional character by a client, unless the latter consents. 6his obli ation to !reser2e the confidences and secrets of a client arises at the ince!tion of their relationshi!. 6he !rotection i2en to the client is !er!etual and does not cease with the termination of the liti ation, nor is it affected by the !artyLs ceasin to em!loy the attorney and retainin another, or by any other chan e of relation between them. It e2en sur2i2es the death of the client. It must be stressed, howe2er, that t*e pr!v!(e"e a"a!nst d!s&(os%re o# &on#!dent!a( &omm%n!&at!ons or !n#ormat!on !s (!m!ted on(y to &omm%n!&at!ons )*!&* are (e"!t!mate(y and proper(y )!t*!n t*e s&ope o# a (a)#%( emp(oyment o# a (a)yer. +t does not e:tend to t*ose made !n &ontemp(at!on o# a &r!me or perpetrat!on o# a #ra%d. If the unlawful !ur!ose is a2owed, as in this case, the com!lainantLs alle ed intention to bribe o2ernment officials in relation to his case, the communication is not co2ered by the !ri2ile e as the client does not consult the lawyer !rofessionally. It is not within the !rofession of a lawyer to ad2ise a client as to how he may commit a crime as a lawyer is not a un for hire. 6hus, the attorney/client !ri2ile e does not attach, there bein no !rofessional em!loyment in the strict sense. Be that as it may, res!ondentLs eE!lanation that it was necessary for him to ma;e the disclosures in his !leadin s fails to satisfy us. 6he disclosures were not indis!ensable to !rotect his ri hts as they were not !ertinent to the foreclosure case. It was im!ro!er for the res!ondent to use it a ainst the com!lainant in the foreclosure case as it was not the sub$ect matter of liti ation therein and res!ondentLs !rofessional com!etence and le al ad2ice were not bein attac;ed in said case. A lawyer must conduct himself, es!ecially in his dealin s with his clients, with inte rity in a manner that is beyond re!roach. 3is relationshi! with his clients should be characterized by the hi hest de ree of ood faith and fairness. (Genato v. Atty. S!(apan, A.C 30./, $%(y 13, 2003) Q: )chul9, a Aer+an national 'ile* a 2eri'ie* co+&laint 'or *is/ar+ent against Att0. $lores. ,e allege* that he engage* the ser2ices o' Att0. $lores 'or the &ur&ose o' 'iling a co+&laint against #ng 'or re2ocation o' contract an* *a+ages. Att0. $lores a*2ise* hi+ that there (as no nee* to re'er the co+&laint to /aranga0 conciliation. !hree +onths later, Att0. $lores instructe* hi+ to 'ile his co+&laint (ith the %u&on !aga&a+a0a&a. #ng re'use* to a&&ear at the conciliation hearings, arguing that the %u&on ha* no ;uris*iction o2er his &erson /ecause he (as a resi*ent o' another /aranga0. !hus, )chul9 /rought the co+&laint /e'ore the /aranga0 in (hich #ng is a resi*ent. B0 that ti+e, ho(e2er, )chul9 learne* that #ng ha* alrea*0 'ile* a case 'or )&eci'ic Per'or+ance against hi+. )chul9 argue* that Att0. $lores< inor*inate *ela0 in acting on his case resulte* in his /eing *e'en*ant rather than a co+&lainant against #ng. Is the actuation o' Att0. $lores in causing the *ela0 o' /ringing the *is&ute un*er the s0ste+ o' /aranga0 conciliation re&rehensi/le as to (arrant the sus&ension o' the res&on*ent? A: Bes. Atty. 7lores committed a serious trans ression when he failed to eEert his utmost learnin and ability to i2e entire de2otion to his clientLs cause. 3is client had relied u!on him to file the com!laint with dis!atch so that he would not be !reem!ted by the ad2erse !arty. But he failed him. As a consequence of res!ondentLs indolence, his client was haled to court as a !arty/defendant. It therefore behoo2es this Court to wield its correcti2e hand on this ineEcusable infraction which caused undeser2ed and needless !re$udice to his clientLs interest, ad2ersely affected the confidence of the community in the le al !rofession and eroded the !ublicLs trust in the $udicial system. As an attorney, res!ondent is sworn to do his le2el best and to obser2e full fidelity to the court and his clients. "es!ondent erred in not returnin com!lainantLs money des!ite demands after his failure to file the case and his de2ious act of com!ellin com!lainant to si n a document statin that he has no financial obli ation to com!lainant in eEchan e of the return of com!lainantLs !a!ers. Dhere a client i2es money to his lawyer for a s!ecific !ur!ose, such as to file an action, a!!eal an ad2erse $ud ment, consummate a settlement, or

35

!ay the !urchase !rice of a !arcel of land, the lawyer should, u!on failure to ta;e such ste! and s!end the money for it, immediately return the money to his client. 6he fact that a lawyer has a lien for his attorneyLs fees on the money in his hands collected for his client does not relie2e him from the obli ation to ma;e a !rom!t accountin . <either is a lawyer entitled to unilaterally a!!ro!riate his clientLs money for himself by the mere fact alone that the client owes him attorneyLs fees. (S&*%(< v. Atty. 5(ores, e&ember /, 2003, AC 3219) Q: -atias %agra+a*a resi*ing (ith his uncle, A&olonio %agra+a*a, (as in2ite* /0 the latter to acco+&an0 hi+ to the &olice station, su&&ose*l0 to &ic3 u& a re'rigerator the0 (ere to re&air. :&on their arri2al there, a&&ellant (as i++e*iatel0 ta3en in an* loc3e* /ehin* /ars. !(o In'or+ations (ere 'ile* against hi+ onl0 1G +onths a'ter the 'irst *a0 o' his incarceration. With the assistance o' counsel, a&&ellant &lea*e* not guilt0 (hen arraigne*. Was the case &ro&erl0 han*le*? A: <o. 1awyers owe fidelity to the cause of their clients and must be mindful of the trust and confidence re!osed in them. A!!ellant9s counsel, in the s!irit of safe uardin his client9s ri hts, should ha2e ta;en the necessary ste!s to correct the situation. 3owe2er, he allowed his client to enter a !lea durin the latter9s arrai nment without raisin the in2alidity of arrest. 6hus, the former effecti2ely wai2ed his client9s ri ht to question its 2alidity. 0efense counsels are eE!ected to s!are no effort to sa2e the accused from unri hteous incarcerations. A!!ellant9s counsel should ha2e not only !erfunctorily re!resented his client durin the !endency of the case, but should ha2e ;e!t in mind his duty to render effecti2e le al assistance and true ser2ice by !rotectin the latter9s ri hts at all times. ('eop(e o# t*e '*!(!pp!nes v. 4a"ramada, G.R. Nos. 13230. M 13/1.0, A%"%st 29, 2002) A4#4 1F )ee *iscussion on anon 15 A4#4 19 R"PR")"4! %I"4! WI!, K"A% A4. WI!,I4 !," B#:4.) #$ !," %AW (1997, 199C, =GG1, =GG3 Bar Questions) Q: What *oes a la(0er re&resent to a client (hen he acce&ts a &ro'essional e+&lo0+ent o' his ser2ices?

A: Dhen a lawyer acce!ts a case, )*et*er #or a #ee or not, his acce!tance is an im!lied re!resentation: A)" ). that he will eEercise reasonable and ordinary care and d!(!"en&e in the !ursuit or defense of the case* +. that he !ossess the requisite de ree of a&adem!& (earn!n", sA!(( and ab!(!ty in the !ractice of his !rofession* -. that he will ta;e ste!s as will adequately sa#e"%ard *!s &(!entBs !nterests* and .. that he will e:ert *!s best 8%d"ment in the !rosecution or defense of the liti ation entrusted to him. (+s(as v. '(aton, G.R. No. 41231/3, e&ember 29, 1923) A. .ut0 to restrain client 'ro+ i+&ro&riet0 Rule 1&.01 A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful ob/ectives of his client and shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present, participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding. (199C Bar Question) Q: Ale8 #ng recei2e* a *e+an*Bletter 'ro+ Att0. "l&i*io :nto, in the latter>s ca&acit0 as legal counsel o' one 4e+esia Aargania. !he letter is in connection (ith the clai+ o' su&&ort o' -iss 4e+esia Aarganian against hi+ 'or her son. It (as 'urther state* therein that 'ailure to co+&l0 (ith the *e+an* (ill result to the 'iling o' &ro&er action in court. !he real 'ather o' -s. Aarganian>s son (as Ale8>s /rother an* he +erel0 assu+e* his /rother>s o/ligation to a&&ease -s. Aarganian (ho (as threatening to sue the+. Ale8 then *i* not co+&l0 (ith the *e+an*s against hi+. onse6uentl0, Att0. :nto 'ile* a co+&laint 'or allege* 2iolation o' the Retail !ra*e 4ationali9ation %a( an* the AntiB.u++0 %a(. In a**ition, he co++ence* a*+inistrati2e cases against Ale8 /e'ore the Bureau o' .o+estic !ra*e, the o++ission on I++igration an* .e&ortation, an* the #''ice o' the )olicitor Aeneral. !hese cases (ere su/se6uentl0 *enie* *ue course an* *is+isse*. !his &ro+&te* Ale8 to 'ile a case 'or *is/ar+ent. .i* Att0. :nto 'all short o' &ro'essional stan*ar*s? A: Bes. 3e tried to coerce his client to com!ly with his letter/demand by threatenin to file 2arious char es a ainst the latter. Dhen AleE did not heed Atty. 4nto9s warnin , he made ood his threat and

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


filed a strin of criminal and administrati2e cases a ainst him. 3is action is malicious as the cases he instituted a ainst the com!lainant did not ha2e any bearin or connection to the cause of his client, 's. &ar anian. Clearly, Atty. 4nto 2iolated the !roscri!tion in "ule )@.C). 3is beha2ior is ineEcusable. (On" v. @nto, A.C. No. 231., 5ebr%ary 2, 2002)
4ote: A lawyer should use his best efforts to restrain and to !re2ent his client from doin those thin s which he himself ou ht not to do, !articularly with reference to the conduct toward the court, $udicial officer, witness and suitor and if the client !ersists in such wron doin , the lawyer should terminate their relation. (S%r!"ao M!nera( Reservat!on -oard v. C(or!be(, 412.0.2, $an%ary 9, 19.0)

6he code en$oins a lawyer to em!loy only fair and honest means to attain the lawful ob$ecti2es of his client and warns him not to allow his client to dictate the !rocedure in handlin the case. In short, a lawyer is not a un for hire. (M!((are v. Atty. Montero, A.C. No. 32/3 $%(y 13, 1990)
4ote: 6he lawyer, and not the client, is assumed to ha2e ;nowled e of laws and rules of !rocedure. 6he !rocedure in handlin a case should therefore fall within the lawyer9s control and su!er2ision.

Q: Is the la(0er con'ine* entirel0 on the in'or+ation his client ga2e? A: <o. 6he lawyer cannot entirely de!end on the information his client a2e or the time his client wished to i2e. 6he lawyer should ta;e more control o2er handlin the case. Dhere the client is based o2erseas, the lawyer should with more reason, ha2e mo2ed to secure all the le al means a2ailable to him either to continue re!resentin his client effecti2ely or to ma;e the necessary manifestation in court, with the client9s conformity, that he was withdrawin as counsel of record. %C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: CounselLs failure to file formal offer of eEhibits constitutes ineEcusable ne li ence as it led to the dismissal of the case. 6o com!ound his inefficiency, counsel filed a motion for reconsideration outside the re lementary !eriod. 3is attem!ts to e2ade res!onsibility by shiftin the blame on his client are a!!arent. ;e re#ers to t*e a((e"ed obno:!o%s att!t%de o# *!s &(!ent !n try!n" to man!p%(ate t*e manner !n )*!&* *e )as *and(!n" t*e &ase as t*e ma!n reason #or *!s #a!(%re to #orma((y o##er *!s e:*!b!ts. But he should bear in mind that while a lawyer owes utmost zeal and de2otion to the interest of his client, he also has the res!onsibility of em!loyin only fair and honest means to attain the lawful ob$ecti2es of his client and *e s*o%(d not a((o) t*e (atter to d!&tate t*e pro&ed%re !n *and(!n" t*e &ase. (5ernande< v. Novero, A.C. No. 0393, e&ember 2, 2002)

4. -uty to advice candidly As officers of the court, counsels are under obli ation to ad2ice their clients a ainst ma;in untenable and inconsistent claims. 6he counsel should inform his client and dissuade him from filin the case if it is totally de2oid of merit. If he finds that his client9s cause is fairly meritorious and ri!e for $udicial ad$udication, he should refrain from ma;in bold and confident assurance of success. ;. -uty of lawyer in case of +nowledge of client)s fraud 6he lawyer9s duty to his client does not mean freedom to set u! false or fraudulent claims es!ecially with res!ect to !ro2isions of law or administrati2e rules and that while lawyers are bound to eEert utmost le al s;ill in !rosecutin their client9s cause or defendin it, their duty, first and foremost, is to the administration of $ustice. (C'R Annotated, '*!($A)
4ote: It is an unethical tactic for a lawyer to offer monetary rewards to anyone who could i2e him information a ainst a !arty so that he could ha2e le2era e a ainst all actions in2ol2in such !arty. %C#" Annotated, #hilJA(

Q: What is a&&earance? A: It is the comin into court as a !arty either as a !laintiff or as a defendant and as;in relief therefrom.
4ote: By 2irtue of 5ec. +C, "ule ). of the )@@A "ules of Ci2il #rocedure, there is no more distinction between eneral a!!earance and s!ecial a!!earance, in the sense that a defendant may file a motion to dismiss not only on the round of lac; of $urisdiction o2er his !erson but also on some other rounds without wai2in the $urisdiction of the court o2er his !erson.

Rule 1&.0 A lawyer who has received information that his client has, in the course of the representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship with such client in accordance with the rules of court. < 001 4ar =uestion> Authorit0 o' a la(0er Rule 1&.03 A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the procedure in handling the case.

Presu+&tion o' Authorit0 Q: Is a la(0er re6uire* to sho( his authorit0 to a&&ear 'or or re&resent a client?

37

A: <o. An attorney is !resumed to be !ro!erly authorized to re!resent any cause in which he a!!ears in all sta es of the liti ation and no written authority is required to authorize him to a!!ear. A mere denial by a !arty that he has authorized an attorney to a!!ear for him, in the absence of a com!ellin reason, is insufficient to o2ercome the !resum!tion es!ecially when the denial comes after the rendition of an ad2erse $ud ment. Q: -a0 a &racticing la(0er /e re6uire* to &ro*uce or &ro2e his authorit0 to a&&ear in court? A: Bes. 6he !residin $ud e may, on mot!on o# e!t*er party and on reasonab(e "ro%nds therefore bein shown, require an attorney who assumes the ri ht to a!!ear in a case to !roduce or !ro2e the authority under which he a!!ears, and to disclose, whene2er !ertinent to any issue, the name of the !erson who em!loyed him, and may thereu!on ma;e such order as $ustice requires. (Se&. 21 R%(e 13/ o# t*e R%(es o# Co%rt) Q: What are the e''ects o' an unauthori9e* a&&earance? A: ). 6he !arty re!resented is not bound by attorney9s a!!earance in the case neither by the $ud ment rendered therein* Court does not acquire $urisdiction o2er the !erson of the !arty re!resented* 6he ad2erse !arty who has been forced to liti ate as a defendant by the unauthorized action on the !art of the attorney for the !laintiff may, on that round, mo2e for the dismissal of the com!laint* If unauthorized a!!earance is willful, attorney may be cited for contem!t as an officer of the court who has misbeha2ed in his official transactions, and he may be disci!lined for !rofessional misconduct.

Q: ,o( can an unauthori9e* a&&earance /e rati'ie*? A: ). 6:press H Cate orized assertion by client that he has authorized a lawyer or that he confirms his authorization to re!resent him in the case. +mp(!ed H Dhere !arty with ;nowled e of fact that a lawyer has been re!resentin him in a case, acce!ts benefits of re!resentation or fails to !rom!tly re!udiate the assumed authority. o' I+&lie*

+.

Q: What are the re6uisites Rati'ication /0 )ilence? A:

). 6he !arty re!resented by the attorney is of a e or com!etent or if he suffers from any disability, he has a duly a!!ointed uardian or le al re!resentati2e* +. 6he !arty or his uardian, as the case may be, is aware of the attorney9s re!resentation* and -. 3e fails to !rom!tly re!udiate assumed authority. Q: What is the e8tent o' a la(0er<s authorit0 in the con*uct o' litigation? A: A lawyer has authority to bind the client in all matters of ordinary $udicial !rocedure. 6he cause of action, the claim or demand sued u!on and the sub$ect matter of the liti ation are within the eEclusi2e control of the client. A client may wai2e, surrender, dismiss, or com!romise any of his ri hts in2ol2ed in liti ation in fa2or of the other !arty e2en without or a ainst the consent of his attorney. Q: Who has control o2er the &rocee*ings? A: A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the !rocedure in handlin the case. In the matters of law, it is the client who yields to the lawyer and not the lawyer yieldin to the client. 6he basis of this rule is that the lawyer is better trained and s;illed in law. Cause of action, claim or demand, and sub$ect of liti ation are within client9s control. 3ence, the attorney may not !mpa!r, sett(e or &omprom!se )!t*o%t &(!entBs Ano)(ed"e and &onsent. 3owe2er, !roceedin s to enforce the remedy are within the eEclusi2e control of the attorney. In fine, in the matters of !rocedure,

+. -.

..

Q: -a0 an attorne0 2oluntaril0 a&&ear 'or a &erson (ithout /eing e+&lo0e*? A: <o. An attorney may not a!!ear for a !erson until he is in fact em!loyed by, or retained for such !erson. An attorney willfully a!!earin in court for a !erson without bein em!loyed, unless by lea2e of court, may be !unished for contem!t as an officer of the court, who has misbeha2ed in his official transactions. %5ec. +> "ule )-?(

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


lawyer in control, and as to the sub$ect matter, the client is in control. Q: What is a co+&ro+ise? A: It is a contract whereby the !arties, by ma;in reci!rocal concessions, a2oid liti ation or !ut an end to one already commenced. (Art. 202/, NCC) Q: )tate the rule (ith res&ect to the authorit0 o' an attorne0 to co+&ro+ise his client<s case. A: AR: 6he attorney has no authority to com!romise his client9s case. 6his is so because the client, e2en if re!resented by counsel, retains eEclusi2e control o2er the sub$ect matter of the liti ation. 6he client can, of course, authorize his lawyer to com!romise his case, and the settlement made by the lawyer will bind his client. NP4: Dhen the lawyer is confronted with an emer ency where !rom!t and ur ent action is necessary to !rotect the interest of his client and there is no o!!ortunity for consultation with the latter. A4#4 =G A %AWM"R ),A%% ,ARA" #4%M $AIR A4. R"A)#4AB%" $"") (199C, 199F, =GG3 Bar Question ) A!!#R4"M<) $"") (199G, 1991, 199=, 1997, 1995, 199C, 199F, =GG5, =GG6, =GGC Bar Question)
4ote: 6he eE!iration of the retainer contract between the !arties durin the !endency of the labor case does not eEtin uish the res!ondent9s ri ht to attorney9s fees. (@y v. Gon<a(es, A.C. No. 02/0, Mar&* 30, 2003)

reasonable !eriod of time to his estate or to !ersons s!ecified in the a reement* -. A lawyer or law firm includes non/lawyer em!loyees in Ret!rement p(an, e2en if the !lan is based, in whole or in !art, on a !rofit/sharin a reement. (R%(e 9.02 C'R) Q: What are the 'actors in *eter+ining the attorne0<s 'ees? A: In determinin what is fair and reasonable, a lawyer shall be uided by the followin factors: )!IPB)4A a. 6he sA!(( demanded* b. 6he t!me s!ent and the eEtent of the ser2ices rendered or required* c. 6he importan&e of the sub$ect matter* d. 6he probab!(!ty of losin other em!loyment as a result of acce!tance of the !roffered case* e. 6he !rofessional stand!n" of the lawyer* f. 6he nove(ty and difficulty of the questions in2ol2ed* . 6he amo%nt in2ol2ed in the contro2ersy and the benefits resultin to the client from the ser2ices* h. 6he customary c*ar"es for similar ser2ices and the schedule of fees of the IB# cha!ter to which he belon s* i. 6he cont!n"en&y or certainty of com!ensation* $. 6he c*ara&ter of the em!loyment, whether occasional or established. % R%(e 20.01( (1997 Bar Question) Q: Aurora Pine*a 'ile* an action 'or *eclaration o' nullit0 o' +arriage against Dinson Pine*a, (ho (as re&resente* /0 Att0s. lo*ual*o *e 1esus, arlos A+/rosio an* "++anuel -ariano. !he &arties> &ro&osal 'or settle+ent regar*ing Dinson>s 2isitation rights o2er their +inor chil* an* the se&aration o' their &ro&erties (as a&&ro2e* /0 the court. !he +arriage (as su/se6uentl0 *eclare* null an* 2oi*. !hroughout the &rocee*ings counsels an* their relati2es an* 'rien*s, a2aile* o' 'ree &ro*ucts an* treat+ents 'ro+ Dinson<s *er+atolog0 clinic. !his not(ithstan*ing, the0 /ille* hi+ a**itional legal 'ees a+ounting to P16.5 +illion (hich he, ho(e2er, re'use* to &a0. Instea*, he issue* the+ se2eral chec3s totaling P1.1= +illion as 'ull &a0+ent 'or settle+ent. )till not satis'ie*, res&on*ents 'ile* in the sa+e court a +otion 'or &a0+ent o' la(0ers> 'ees 'or P5G +illion, (hich is e6ui2alent to 1GE o' the 2alue o' the &ro&erties a(ar*e* to &etitioner in the case. Are their clai+ ;usti'ie*?

Q: Who are entitle* to Attorne0<s 'ees? A: AR: :nly lawyers are entitled to attorney9s fees. 6he same cannot be shared with a non/lawyer. It is immoral. NP4): A lawyer may di2ide a fee for le al ser2ices with !ersons not licensed to !ractice law: PR ). A lawyer underta;es to comp(ete the unfinished le al business of a deceased lawyer* +. 6here is a 6re1e:!st!n" a"reement with a !artner or associate that, u!on the latter9s death, money shall be !aid o2er a

39

A: <o. Clearly, what they were demandin was additional !ayment for le al ser2ices rendered in the same case. 0emandin #=C million on to! of the enerous sums and !er;s already i2en to them was an act of unconscionable reed. ?*ey &o%(d not &*ar"e pet!t!oner a #ee based on per&enta"e, absent an e:press a"reement to t*at e##e&t. 6he !ayments to them in cash, chec;s, free !roducts and ser2ices from !etitionerLs business more than sufficed for the wor; they did. 6he full !ayment for settlement should ha2e dischar ed VinsonLs obli ation to them. As lawyers, res!ondents should be reminded that they are members of an honorable !rofession, the !rimary 2ision of which is $ustice. +t !s respondentsH desp!&ab(e be*av!or )*!&* "!ves (a)yer!n" a bad name !n t*e m!nds o# some peop(e. ?*e verna&%(ar *as a )ord #or !t, na"sasamanta(a. 6he !ractice of law is a decent !rofession and not a money/ ma;in trade. Com!ensation should be but a mere incident. ('!neda v. de $es%s, G.R. No. 100223, A%"%st 23, 2002) Q: .#M -ercantile Inc re'use* to satis'0 Att0. Aa/riel, 1r.<s attorne0<s 'ees, &ro+&ting the latter to 'ile (ith the R! a -otion to Allo( o++ensurate $ees an* to Annotate Attorne0<s %ien on certain !. .!s. !he R! 'i8e* Att0. Aa/riel, 1r.<s 'ees an* or*ere* that a lien /e annotate* on the ! !s. A Writ o' "8ecution (as later issue* /0 the trial court in Att0. Aa/riel, 1r.<s 'a2or. :&on Att0. Aa/riel 1r.<s +otion 'or reconsi*eration, the R! increase* his 'ees. It then issue* another Writ o' "8ecution to en'orce the ne( a(ar* /ut *enie* the -otion to Annotate the A(ar* at the /ac3 o' the ! !s. .#M, 'or its &art, 'ile* se2eral &etitions to set asi*e the R! #r*ers in2ol2ing the a(ar* o' attorne0<s 'ees. "2entuall0, A ren*ere* a .ecision, 'i8ing Att0. Aa/riel, 1r.<s 'ees at P=GG,GGG.GG an* a''ir+ing the su/se6uent #r*er o' the R! not to annotate such a(ar* on the ! !s. )houl* the court rel0 on the i+&ortance o' the su/;ect +atter in contro2ers0 an* the &ro'essional stan*ing o' counsel in a(ar*ing attorne0<s 'ee? A: <o. #etitioner9s contention that the a!!ellate court should also ha2e ta;en into account the im!ortance of the sub$ect matter in contro2ersy and the !rofessional standin of counsel in determinin the latter9s fees is untenable. Althou h "ule )-? of the "ules of Court and "ule +C.C) of the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility list se2eral other factors in settin such fees, these are mere uides

in ascertainin the real 2alue of the lawyer9s ser2ice. Co%rts are not bo%nd to &ons!der a(( t*ese #a&tors !n #!:!n" attorneyBs #ees. L*!(e a (a)yer s*o%(d &*ar"e on(y #a!r and reasonab(e #ees, no *ard and #ast r%(e maybe set !n t*e determ!nat!on o# )*at a reasonab(e #ee !s, or )*at !s not. ?*at m%st be estab(!s*ed #rom t*e #a&ts !n ea&* &ase . ( O> Mer&ant!(e, +n&. v. AMA Comp%ter Co((e"e, G.R. No. 100311, Mar&* 31, 2003) Q: ,o( are Attorne0>s $ees categori9e*? A: Ord!nary attorneyHs #ee / 6he reasonable com!ensation !aid to a lawyer by his client for the le al ser2ices he has rendered to the latter. 6he basis for this com!ensation is the fact of his em!loyment by and his a reement with the client. 6:traord!nary attorneyHs #ee / An indemnity for dama es ordered by the court to be !aid by the losin !arty in liti ation. 6he basis for this is any of the cases !ro2ided for by law where such award can be made, such as those authorized in Article ++C? of the Ci2il Code, and is !ayable <:6 to the lawyer but to the client, unless they ha2e a reed that the award shall !ertain to the lawyer as additional com!ensation or as !art thereof. Q: What are the 3in*s o' &a0+ent (hich +a0 /e sti&ulate* u&onJ A: ). 5!:ed or Abso(%te #ee H which is !ayable re ardless of the result of the case a. A fiEed fee !ayable per appearan&e b. A fiEed fee com!uted u!on the n%mber o# *o%rs spent c. A fiEed fee based on p!e&e )orA d. Comb!nat!on of any of the abo2e Cont!n"ent #ee H 6hat is conditioned on the securin of a fa2orable $ud ment and reco2ery of money or !ro!erty and the amount of which may be on a !ercenta e basis. (199G, =GGG, =GG1, =GG=, =GG6, =GGF Bar Questions)

+.

Q: "2angelina -as+u*<s hus/an*, the late Ale8an*er 1. -as+u*, 'ile* a co+&laint against his e+&lo0er 'or nonB&a0+ent o' &er+anent *isa/ilit0 /ene'its, +e*ical e8&enses, sic3ness allo(ance, +oral an* e8e+&lar0 *a+ages, an* attorne0<s 'ees. Ale8an*er engage* the ser2ices o' Att0. Rolan*o B. Ao, 1r. as his counsel. Ale8an*er agree* to &a0 attorne0<s 'ees on a contingent /asis, as 'ollo(s: t(ent0

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


&ercent (=GE) o' total +onetar0 clai+s as settle* or &ai* an* an a**itional ten &ercent (1GE) in case o' a&&eal. %a/or Ar/iter ren*ere* a .ecision granting the +onetar0 clai+s o' Ale8an*er. "2entuall0, a'ter se2eral a&&eals, the *ecision /eing 'a2ora/le to "2angelina (su/stitute* her *ecease* hus/an*), the *ecision /eca+e 'inal an* e8ecutor0. :&on +otion o' Att0. Ao, the suret0 co+&an0 *eli2ere* to the 4%R ashier, through the 4%R )heri'', the chec3 a+ounting to P3,757,GC9.=G. !herea'ter, Att0. Ao +o2e* 'or the release o' the sai* a+ount to "2angelina. #ut o' the sai* a+ount, "2angelina &ai* Att0. Ao the su+ o' P6FG,GGG.GG. .issatis'ie*, Att0. Ao 'ile* a +otion to recor* an* en'orce the attorne0<s lien alleging that "2angelina renege* on their contingent 'ee agree+ent. "2angelina &ai* onl0 the a+ount o' P6FG,GGG.GG, e6ui2alent to =GE o' the a(ar* as attorne0<s 'ees, thus, lea2ing a /alance o' 1GE, &lus the a(ar* &ertaining to the counsel as attorne0<s 'ees. "2angelina +ani'este* that Att0. Ao<s clai+ 'or attorne0<s 'ees o' 7GE o' the total +onetar0 a(ar* (as null an* 2oi* /ase* on Article 111 o' the %a/or o*e. Is her contention correct? A: <o. Art. ))). AttorneyLs fees. R %a( In cases of unlawful withholdin of wa es, the cul!able !arty may be assessed attorneyLs fees equi2alent to ten !ercent of the amount of the wa es reco2ered. Contrary to E2an elina9s !ro!osition, Article ))) of the 1abor Code deals with the eEtraordinary conce!t of attorney9s fees. It re ulates the amount reco2erable as attorneyLs fees in the nature of dama es sustained by and awarded to the !re2ailin !arty. It may not be used as the standard in fiEin the amount !ayable to the lawyer by his client for the le al ser2ices he rendered. In this re ard, 5ection +., "ule )-? of the "ules of Court should be obser2ed in determinin Atty. &o9s com!ensation. 6he said "ule !ro2ides: 5ec. +.. Compensat!on o# attorneyHs= a"reement as to #ees. R An attorney s*a(( be ent!t(ed to *ave and re&over #rom *!s &(!ent no more t*an a reasonab(e &ompensat!on #or *!s serv!&es, )!t* a v!e) to t*e !mportan&e o# t*e s%b8e&t matter o# t*e &ontroversy, t*e e:tent o# t*e serv!&es rendered, and t*e pro#ess!ona( stand!n" o# t*e attorney. <o court shall be bound by the o!inion of attorneys as eE!ert witnesses as to the !ro!er com!ensation, but may disre ard such testimony and base its conclusion on its own !rofessional ;nowled e . A )r!tten &ontra&t #or serv!&es s*a(( &ontro( t*e amo%nt to be pa!d t*ere#or %n(ess #o%nd by t*e &o%rt to be %n&ons&!onab(e or %nreasonab(e. 6he retainer contract between Atty. &o and E2an elina !ro2ides for a contin ent fee. 6he contract shall control in the determination of the amount to be !aid, unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable. 6he criteria found in the Code of #rofessional "es!onsibility are also to be considered in assessin the !ro!er amount of com!ensation that a lawyer should recei2e. %Canon 20, R%(e 20.01, C'R) Contin ent fee contracts are sub$ect to the su!er2ision and close scrutiny of the court in order that clients may be !rotected from un$ust char es. 6he amount of contin ent fees a reed u!on by the !arties is sub$ect to the sti!ulation that counsel will be !aid for his le al ser2ices only if the suit or liti ation !ros!ers. A m%&* *!"*er &ompensat!on !s a((o)ed as &ont!n"ent #ees be&a%se o# t*e r!sA t*at t*e (a)yer may "et not*!n" !# t*e s%!t #a!(s. (6van"e(!na Masm%d v. N4RC, et a(, G.R. No. 1/33/0, 5ebr%ary 13, 2009) Q: What *oes "uantum meruit +ean? A: N%ant%m Mer%!t means Mas much as he deser2esM, and is used as the basis for determinin the lawyerLs !rofessional fees in the absence of a contract, but reco2erable by him from his client. Q: When is the +easure o' =uantum ?eruit resorte* to? A: N%ant%m Mer%!t is resorted to where: a. 6here is no e:press &ontra&t for !ayment of attorney9s fees a reed u!on between the lawyer and the client* b. Dhen althou h there is a formal contract for attorney9s fees, the sti!ulated fees are found %n&ons&!onab(e or %nreasonab(e by the court. c. Dhen the contract for attorney9s fees is 2oid due to p%re(y #orma( matters or de#e&ts o# e:e&%t!on d. Dhen the counsel, for 8%st!#!ab(e &a%se, was not able to finish the case to its conclusion

41

e. f.

Dhen lawyer and client d!sre"ard t*e &ontra&t #or attorney9s fees* Dhen the client dismissed his counsel before the termination of the case.

4ote: 1en th of !ractice is not a safe criterion of !rofessional ability.

ter+inate* the ser2ices o' Att0. $un3. 4e2ertheless, Att0. $un3 continue* han*ling the case. Att0. $un3 then a*2ise* once&t Place+ent o' the P#"A<s 'a2ora/le *ecision an* re6ueste* the &a0+ent o' his attorne0<s 'ees. once&t Place+ent re'use*. Is Att0. $un3 is entitle* 'or attorne0<s 'ees 'or assisting &etitioner as counsel in the la/or case e2en i' the ser2ices o' the res&on*ent (ere alrea*0 ter+inate*? A: Bes. ?*e e:p!rat!on o# t*e reta!ner &ontra&t bet)een t*e part!es d%r!n" t*e penden&y o# t*e (abor &ase does not e:t!n"%!s* t*e respondentBs r!"*t #or attorneyBs #ees. 6he Court found that while the !etitioner and the res!ondent did not eEecute a written a reement on the fees in the labor case aside from the "etainer A reement, the !etitioner did cate orically and unequi2ocally admit in its Com!ulsory Counterclaim that it has en a ed the ser2ices of the res!ondent as its counsel for a fee of #>C, CCC, etc. 3owe2er, the Court found the attorney9s fee of # =C,CCC as iniquitous as the res!ondent did not encounter difficulty in re!resentin the client. 4nder the circumstances of the case, # +C,CCC is more reasonable. (Con&ept '(a&ement Reso%r&es +n&. v. Atty. 5%nA, G.R. No. 13.2/0, 5ebr%ary 2, 2003) Q: What are the 3in*s o' Retainer Agree+ents on Attorne0<s 'ees? A: a. Genera( Reta!ner or Reta!n!n" 5ee H It is the fee !aid to a lawyer to secure his future ser2ices as "enera( &o%nse( for any ordinary le al !roblem that may arise in the ordinary business of the client and referred to him for le al action. 6he client !ays fiEed retainer fees, which could be monthly or otherwise. 6he fees are !aid whether or not there are cases referred to the lawyer* Spe&!a( Reta!ner / It is a fee for a s!ecific or !articular case or ser2ice rendered by the lawyer for a client

Q: In the a/sence o' such 'ee arrange+ent, ho( (oul* the ser2ices o' an attorne0 /e co+&ensate*? A: In the absence of a fee arran ement, the lawyer is !aid on a quantum meruit basis. 6he factors to be ta;en into consideration in determinin the amount are: !I4) ). $!me spent and t*e serv!&es rendered or re9%!red U A lawyer is $ustified in fiEin hi her fees when the case is so com!licated and requires more time and effort in fiEin it. #mportan&e o# s%b8e&t matter U 6he more im!ortant the sub$ect matter or the bi er the 2alue of the interest of the !ro!erty in liti ation, the hi her is the attorney9s fees. :ove(ty and d!##!&%(ty o# 9%est!ons !nvo(ved U Dhen the questions in a case are no2el and difficult, reater effort, dee!er study and research are bound to burn the lawyer9s time and stamina considerin that there are no local !recedents to rely u!on. @A!(( demanded o# a (a)yer U 6he totality of the lawyer9s eE!erience !ro2ides him s;ill and com!etence admired in lawyers.

+.

-.

..

Q: What is a retainer? A: It may refer to two conce!ts: ). A&t of a client by which he en a es the ser2ices of an attorney to render le al ad2ice or to defend or !rosecute his cause in court* +. 5ee which a client !ays to the attorney Q: once&t Place+ent retaine* the ser2ices o' Att0. $un3. :n*er their retainer contract, the res&on*ent is to ren*er 2arious legal ser2ices e8ce&t litigation, 6uasiB;u*icial an* a*+inistrati2e &rocee*ings an* si+ilar actions 'or (hich there (ill /e se&arate /illings. !herea'ter, Att0. $un3 re&resente* once&t Place+ent in the case 'ile* against the &etitioner 'or illegal *is+issal. While the la/or case (as still &en*ing, once&t Place+ent

b.

Q: What are the instances (hen counsel cannot reco2er 'ull a+ount *es&ite (ritten contract 'or attorne0s< 'ees? A: ). Dhen the ser2ices called for were not !erformed as when the lawyer withdrew

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


before the case was finished, he will be allowed only reasonable fees* Dhen there is a $ustified dismissal of the attorney, the contract will be nullified and !ayment will be on the basis of 9%ant%m mer%!t only. A contrary sti!ulation will be in2alid* Dhen the sti!ulated attorney9s fees are unconscionable i.e., when it is dis!ro!ortionate as com!ared to the 2alue of ser2ices rendered and is re2oltin to human conscience* Dhen the sti!ulated attorney9s fees are in eEcess of what is eE!ressly !ro2ided by law* Dhen the lawyer is uilty of fraud or bad faith toward his client in the matter of his em!loyment* Dhen the counsel9s ser2ices are worthless because of his ne li ence* Dhen contract is contrary to law, morals or !ublic !olicy* and 5er2in ad2erse interest unless the lawyer !ro2es that it was with the consent of both !arties. (=GG6 Bar Question)

+.

-.

Rule 0.03 ! A lawyer shall not, without the full +nowledge and consent of the client, accept any fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever related to his professional employment from anyone other than the client. (199C, =GG3 Bar Questions)
4ote: 6o secure the fidelity of the lawyer to his client9s cause and to !re2ent a situation in which the recei!t of him of a rebate or commission from another with the client9s business may interfere with the full dischar e of his duty to his client. In short, there should be no room for sus!icion on the !art of the client that his lawyer is recei2in com!ensation in connection with the case from third !ersons with hostile interests. (Report o# t*e +-' Comm!ttee)

.. =. >. A. ?.

NP4: A lawyer may recei2e com!ensation from a !erson other than his client when the latter has full ;nowled e and a!!ro2al thereof. (R%(e 13/, Se&. 20 (e)) Rule 0.05 ! with clients shall resort imposition, Question) A lawyer shall avoid controversies concerning his compensation and to /udicial action only to prevent in/ustice or fraud. (199F Bar

Q: What is a cha+&ertous contract? A: It is one where the lawyer sti!ulates with his client in the !rosecution of the case that he will bear all the eE!enses for the reco2ery of thin s or !ro!erty bein claimed by the client, and the latter a rees to !ay the former a !ortion of the thin or !ro!erty reco2ered as com!ensation. It is 2oid for bein a ainst !ublic !olicy. %1i;e amblin ( (1999, =GGG, =GG6 Bar Questions) ontingent ontract #ayable in cash 1awyers do not underta;e to !ay all eE!enses of liti ation Valid ha+&ertous ontract #ayable in ;ind on(y 1awyers underta;e to !ay all eE!enses of liti ation Void

Q: an a la(0er 'ile a case against his client 'or the en'orce+ent o' attorne0<s 'ees? A: AR: A lawyer should a2oid the filin of any case a ainst a client for the enforcement of attorney9s fees. NP4: ). 6o !re2ent im!osition* +. 6o !re2ent in$ustice* and -. 6o !re2ent fraud Q: Where an* ho( +a0 attorne0>s 'ees /e clai+e* /0 the la(0er? A: +n t*e same &ase // It may be asserted either in the 2ery action in which the ser2ices of a lawyer had been rendered or in a se!arate action. +n a separate &!v!( a&t!on // A !etition for attorneyLs fees may be filed before the $ud ment in fa2or of the client is satisfied or the !roceeds thereof deli2ered to the client. 6he determination as to the !ro!riety of the fees or as to the amount thereof will ha2e to be held in abeyance until the main case from which the

Rule 0.0 ! A lawyer shall, in cases of referral, with the consent of the client, be entitled to a division of fees in proportion to the wor+ performed and responsibility assumed. Q: What shoul* a la(0er *o i' he 3no(s or shoul* 3no( that he is not 6uali'ie* to ren*er the legal ser2ices re6uire*? A: A lawyer shall not underta;e a le al ser2ice which he ;nows or should ;now that he is not qualified to render. 3owe2er, he may render such ser2ice if, with the consent of his client, he can obtain as collaboratin counsel a lawyer who is com!etent on the matter.

43

lawyerLs claim for attorneyLs fees may arise has become final. :therwise, the determination of the courts will be !remature. Contracts for em!loyment may either be oral or eE!ress. Q: What are the instances (hen an independent civil action to reco2er attorne0<s 'ees is necessar0? A: ). +. -. .. =. >. 'ain action is dismissed or nothin is awarded* Court has decided that it has no $urisdiction o2er the action or has already lost it* #erson liable for attorney9s fees is not a !arty to the main action* Court reser2ed to the lawyer the ri ht to file a se!arate ci2il suit for reco2ery of attorney9s fees* 5er2ices for which the lawyer see;s !ayment are not connected with the sub$ect liti ation* and Jud ment debtor has fully !aid all of the $ud ment !roceeds to the $ud ment creditor and the lawyer has not ta;en any le al ste! to ha2e his fees !aid directly to him from the $ud ment !roceeds.

Q: an the ourt o' A&&eals re2ie( the *ecision o' lo(er courts 'i8ing attorne0<s 'ees? A: Bes. 6he CA, in the eEercise of its $urisdiction to re2iew the decisions of lower courts fiEin the attorney9s fees, can and did determine whether the attorney9s fees fiEed by said courts are reasonable under the circumstances. After ta;in into consideration the 2arious factors to uide the courts in the fiEin of such fees, an a!!ellate court can reduce the attorney9s fees sti!ulated by the !arties in a contract for !rofessional ser2ices or awarded by the lower court to le2els which it deems reasonable. A!!#R4"M) $"") A) .A-AA") Q: What are the t(o conce&ts o' attorne0<s 'ees? A: ). +ndemn!#!&at!on U &i2en by the court to winnin liti ant in the form of dama es. 5uch award belon s to the client but !arties may sti!ulate that whate2er may be awarded by the court as attorney9s fees will o directly to the lawyer* and Compensat!on U Attorney9s fees !aid by the client to the counsel.

+.

Q: What are the e''ects o' the nullit0 o' contract on the right to attorne0<s 'ees? A: ). If the nullification is due to the !((e"a(!ty o# !ts ob8e&t, the lawyer is !recluded from reco2erin * and +. If the nullity is due to a #orma( de#e&t or because the court has found the amo%nt to be %n&ons&!onab(e, the lawyer may reco2er for any ser2ices rendered based on quantum meruit. o+&ensation to (hich a la(0er is entitle* to *e&en*ing on his ca&acit0 ). Co%nse( de parte U 3e is entitled to the reasonable attorney9s fees a reed u!on, or in the absence thereof, on quantum meruit basis. Co%nse( de o##!&!o U 6he counsel may not demand from the accused attorney9s fees e2en if he wins the case. 3e may, howe2er, collect from the o2ernment funds, if a2ailable based on the amount fiEed by the court.

Q: )tate the rule on attorne0<s 'ees /eing a(ar*e* as *a+ages an* its e8ce&tions. A: AR: Attorney9s fees as dama es are not reco2erable. An ad2erse decision does not i!so facto $ustify their award in fa2or of the winnin !arty. NP4): Attorney9s fees in the &on&ept o# dama"es may be awarded in any of the followin circumstances: ). Dhen there is an a reement* +. Dhen eEem!lary dama es are awarded* -. Dhen defendant9s action or omission com!elled !laintiff to liti ate* .. In criminal cases of malicious !rosecution a. !laintiff was acquitted* and b. the !erson who char ed him ;nowin ly made the false statement of facts or that the filin was !rom!ted by sinister desi n to 2eE him* =. Dhen the action is clearly unfounded* >. Dhen defendant acted in ross and e2ident bad faith* A. In actions for su!!ort* ?. In cases of reco2ery of wa es*

+.

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


@. )C. )). )+. )-. In actions for indemnity under wor;men9s com!ensation and em!loyee9s liability laws* In a se!arate ci2il action arisin from a crime* Dhen at least double costs are awarded %costs of suit does not include attorney9s fees(* Dhen the court deems it $ust and equitable* and Dhen a s!ecial law so authorizes. (Art. 220/ o# t*e NCC) A: A lawyer shall withdraw his ser2ices only for ood cause and u!on notice a!!ro!riate in the circumstances. AR: A lawyer lac;s the unqualified ri ht to withdraw once he has ta;en a case. By his acce!tance, he has im!liedly sti!ulated that he will !rosecute the case to conclusion. 6his is es!ecially true when such withdrawal will wor; in$ustice to a client or frustrate the ends of $ustice. NP4: 6he ri ht of a lawyer to retire from the case before its final ad$udication, which arises only from: ). 6he client9s written consent* or +. 7or a ood cause Q: What are the instances (hen a la(0er +a0 (ith*ra( his ser2ices without the consent o' his client? A: $I . -#DI" a. Dhen the client deliberately fa!(s to pay t*e #ees for the ser2ices or fails to com!ly with the retainer a reement* b. Dhen the client !ursues an i((e"a( or !mmora( course of conduct in connection with the matter he is handlin * c. Dhen the lawyer finds out that he mi ht be a!!earin for a con#(!&t!n" !nterest* d. Dhen the menta( or p*ys!&a( &ond!t!on of the lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out the em!loyment effecti2ely* e. 2t*er similar cases* f. Dhen the client insists that the lawyer !ursue conduct in v!o(at!on of these canons and rules* . Dhen his inab!(!ty to wor; with co/ counsel will not !romote the best interest of the client* and h. Dhen the lawyer is e(e&ted or appo!nted to a !ublic office. (R%(e 20.01 C'R)
4ote: A ra2atin her ross ne li ence in the !erformance of her duties, res!ondent abru!tly sto!!ed a!!earin as com!lainantLs counsel e2en as !roceedin s were still !endin / with neither withdrawal nor an eE!lanation for doin so. It must be remembered that while the ri ht of the client to terminate the relation is absolute, i.e. with or without cause, the ri ht of the attorney to withdraw or terminate the relation other than for sufficient cause is considerably restricted. -e t*at as !t may, )*et*er or not a (a)yer *as a va(!d &a%se #or )!t*dra)!n" #rom a &ase, *e &an not 8%st do so and (eave t*e &(!ent o%t !n t*e &o(d %nprote&ted. An attorney may only retire from a case either by written consent of his

Q: What are the *i''erent t0&es o' 'ee arrange+ents an attorne0 +a0 enter into (ith his client? A: ). +. -. "etainer9s fee where the lawyer is !aid for ser2ices for an a reed amount for the case. 6he lawyer a rees to be !aid !er court a!!earance. Contin ent fee where the lawyer is !aid for his ser2ices de!endin on the success of the case. 6his a!!lies usually in ci2il suits for money or !ro!erty where the lawyer9s fee is ta;en from the award ranted by the court. Attorney de O#!&!o. 6he attorney is a!!ointed by the court to defend the indi ent liti ant in a criminal case. 6he client is not bound to !ay the attorney for his ser2ices althou h he may be !aid a nominal fee ta;en from a !ublic fund a!!ro!riated for the !ur!ose. 1e al Aid. 6he attorney renders le al ser2ices for those who could not afford to en a e the ser2ices of !aid counsel. N%ant%m mer%!t bas!s. If there is no s!ecific contract between the lawyer and the client, the lawyer is !aid on quantum meruit basis that is what the lawyer deser2es for his ser2ices. A4#4 =1 )ee *iscussion on Rule 15.G= A4#4 == WI!,.RAWA% #$ )"RDI ") (1997, 1995, 199C, 199F, =GGG, =GG1, =GG7, =GG5, =GGF Bar Question) Q: When is a la(0er allo(e* to (ith*ra( his ser2ices?

..

=.

>.

45

client or by !ermission of the court after due notice and hearin , in which e2ent the lawyer should see to it that the name of the new counsel is recorded in the case. (Sante&o v. Atty. Avan&e, AC 0/33, e&ember 11, 2003)

b. c.

Q: What is the &roce*ure (hen (ith*ra(al is (ithout client<s consent? A: ). 7ile a !etition for withdrawal in court. +. 5er2e a co!y of this !etition u!on his client and the ad2erse !arty at least - days before the date set for hearin .
4ote: 3e should !resent his !etition well in ad2ance of the trial of the action to enable the client to secure the ser2ices of another lawyer. If the a!!lication is filed under circumstances that do not afford a substitute counsel sufficient time to !re!are for trial or that wor; !re$udice to the client9s cause, the court may deny his a!!lication and require him to conduct the trial. A lawyer should not !resume that the court will rant his !etition for withdrawal. 4ntil his withdrawal shall ha2e been !ro2ed, the lawyer remains counsel of record who is eE!ected by his client as well as by the court to do what the interests of his client require.

6he attorney may, in the discretion of the court, inter2ene in the case to !rotect his ri ht to fees A client may not be !ermitted to abuse his ri ht to dischar e his counsel as an eEcuse to secure re!eated eEtensions of time to file a !leadin or to indefinitely a2oid a trial.

Q: Is notice o' *ischarge necessar0? A: It is not necessary between client and attorney. But insofar as the court and the ad2erse !arty is concerned, the se2erance of the relation of attorney and client is not effecti2e until: ). A notice of dischar e by the client or a manifestation clearly indicatin that !ur!ose is filed with the court and +. A co!y thereof ser2ed u!on the ad2erse !arty. Q: What shoul* a la(0er *o i' no notice o' *ischarge (as 'ile* /0 the client (ith the court? A: If the client has not filed a notice of dischar e, the duty of the attorney, u!on bein informed by his client that his ser2ices ha2e been dis!ensed with, is to file: ). A notice of withdrawal with the client9s conformity or +. An a!!lication to retire from the case, he bein released from !rofessional res!onsibility only after his dismissal or withdrawal is made of record. Q: What are the con*itions 'or su/stitution o' counsel? A: ). Dritten a!!lication* +. Dritten consent of the client* -. Dritten consent of the attorney to be substituted, or in the absence thereof, !roof of ser2ice of notice of said motion to the attorney to be substituted. Rule .0 ! A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, sub/ect to a retaining lien, immediately turn over all papers and property to which the client is entitled, and shall cooperate with his successor in the orderly transfer of the matter, including all information necessary for the proper handling of the matter. Q: When is the attorne0Bclient relationshi& consi*ere* ter+inate*?

Q: .oes the (ritten consent o' the client re6uire a&&ro2al o' the court to /e e''ecti2e? A: 6he withdrawal in writin of a lawyer as counsel for a !arty, with the client9s written conformity, does not require the a!!ro2al of the court to be effecti2e, es!ecially if the withdrawal is accom!anied by a formal a!!earance of a new counsel. .ischarge o' the Attorne0 /0 the client (1997, 199C, 199F Bar Question ) Q: an a client *ischarge the ser2ices o' his la(0er (ithout a cause? A: Bes. A client has the ri ht to dischar e his attorney at any time )!t* or )!t*o%t a &a%se or e2en a ainst his consent. 6he eEistence or non/ eEistence of a $ust cause is im!ortant only in determinin the ri ht of an attorney to com!ensation for ser2ices rendered. Q: What are the li+itations on client<s right to *ischarge the ser2ices o' his la(0er? A: a. Dhen made with $ustifiable cause, it shall ne ate the attorney9s ri ht to full !ayment of com!ensation

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS


A: ). L!t*dra)a( of the lawyer under "ule ++.C)* +. eat* of the lawyer, unless it is a 1aw 7irm, in which case, the other !artners may continue with the case* -. eat* of the client as the relationshi! is !ersonal, and one of a ency .. !s&*ar"e or d!sm!ssa( of the lawyer by the client, for the ri ht to dismiss a counsel is the !rero ati2e of the client, sub$ect to certain limitations* =. Appo!ntment or e(e&t!on of a lawyer to the o2ernment !osition which !rohibits !ri2ate !ractice of law* >. 7ull term!nat!on of the case or cases* A. !sbarment or s%spens!on of the lawyer from the !ractice of law* ?. Inter2enin !n&apa&!ty or !n&ompeten&e of the client durin the !endency of the case, for then the client loses his ca!acity to contract, or to control the sub$ect matter of the action. 6he uardian may authorize the lawyer to continue his em!loyment* @. 0eclaration of the pres%mpt!ve deat* of the lawyer %art. -@C, <ew Ci2il Code* art. .), 7amily Code( )C. Conv!&t!on for a crime and im!risonment of the lawyer III. %IABI%I!I") #$ A %AWM"R Q: When (ill ci2il lia/ilit0 arise? A: ). Client is !re$udiced by lawyerLs ne li ence or misconduct* +. Breach of fiduciary obli ation* -. Ci2il liability to third !ersons* .. 1ibelous words in !leadin s* 2iolation of communication !ri2ile e* =. 1iability for costs of suit (treb(e &osts) / when lawyer is made liable for insistin on clientLs !atently unmeritorious case or inter!osin a!!eal merely to delay liti ation. Q: When (ill the lia/ilit0 o' a la(0er 'or H/reach o' 'i*uciar0 o/ligation arise? A: A lawyer may be held liable if he fails in his obli ation to ma;e an accountin of funds or !ro!erty that may come to his !ossession for a lawyer holds his client9s funds or !ro!erty in trust for his client. :ther s!ecific acts that may result to criminal liability: -. A lawyer who has underta;en the defense of a client or has recei2ed confidential information from said client in a case may be criminally liable for underta;in defense of o!!osin !arty in same cause without consent of first client* (Art. 209 o# R'C) .. A lawyer who shall ;nowin ly introduce in e2idence in any $udicial !roceedin or to the dama e of another or who, with intent to cause such dama e, shall use any false document may be held criminally liable therefor* %Art. 1.2 o# R'C) =. A lawyer who misa!!ro!riates his client9s funds may be held liable for esta#a. ID. #4!"-P! #$ #:R! Q: What are the e''ects o' la(0er<s 'ailure to return client<s +one0 or &ro&ert0 a'ter *e+an*? A: ). 6here will be a !resum!tion that the lawyer misa!!ro!riated the same* +. It will i2e rise to ci2il liability of the lawyer* -. Criminal liability* and .. Administrati2e liability. Q: When is a la(0er not lia/le 'or li/elous (or*s in the &lea*ings? A: A lawyer is eEem!ted from liability for slander, libel or for words otherwise defamatory, !ublished in the course of $udicial !roceedin s, prov!ded the statements are connected with, rele2ant, !ertinent and material to the cause in hand or sub$ect of inquiry. Q: When (ill cri+inal lia/ilit0 e8ist? A: A lawyer may be held criminally liable if he commits any of the followin : ). Causin !re$udice to the client thru malicious breach of !rofessional duty or thru ineEcusable ne li ence or i norance* +. "e2ealin client9s secrets learned in lawyer9s !rofessional ca!acity thru malicious breach of !rofessional duty or ineEcusable ne li ence or i norance*

Q: What is the nature o' the &o(er o' conte+&t?

47

A: It is eEercised on the !reser2ati2e and not on the 2indicti2e !rinci!le and on correcti2e rather than the retaliatory idea of !unishment, for !ur!oses that are im!ersonal. It is &r!m!na( in nature. Q: What are the 3in*s o' conte+&t? A: a. !re&t / Consists of misbeha2ior in the !resence of or so near a court or $ud e as to interru!t or obstruct the !roceedin s before the court or the administration of $ustice* !unished summarily. +nd!re&t / :ne committed away from the court in2ol2in disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, !rocess, order, $ud ment or command of the court, or tendin to belittle, de rade, obstruct, interru!t or embarrass the court. C!v!(/ Is the failure to do somethin ordered to be done by a court or a $ud e for the benefit of the o!!osin !arty therein. Cr!m!na( / Conduct directed a ainst the authority and di nity of a court or of a $ud e, as in unlawfully assailin or discreditin the authority or di nity of a court or of a $ud e, or in doin a duly forbidden act.

Q: "nu+erate the acts o' a la(0er that constitutes conte+&t? A: ). +. -. .. =. >. A. ?. @. 'isbeha2ior as officer of court* 0isobedience or resistance to court order* Abuse or interference with $udicial !roceedin s* :bstruction in administration of $ustice* 'isleadin the courts* 'a;in false alle ations, criticisms, insults, 2eiled threats a ainst the court* Aidin in unauthorized !ractice of law %sus!ended or disbarred(* 4nlawful retention of client9s funds* and Ad2ise client to commit contem!tuous acts.

b.

Q: .ela ru9 +isre&resente* hi+sel' as a la(0er in the a&&lication 'or ha/eas cor&us o' Aa+i*o. What &unish+ent shoul* the court i+&ose on .ela ru9? A: 6he Court declared him uilty of !nd!re&t &ontempt for maliciously and falsely !ortrayin himself as a member of the barRa!!earin in court and filin !leadin s. (+n t*e Matter o# t*e App(!&at!on #or ;abeas Corp%s o# Ma:!m!no Gam!do= Gam!do v. Ne) -!(!b!d 'r!son, G.R. 132./3, $%(y 29, 2002) Q: Are the &o(er to hol* a &erson in conte+&t an* the &o(er to *is/ar the sa+e? A: <o. 6he !ower to !unish for contem!t and the !ower to disbar are se!arate and distinct, and that the eEercise of one does not eEclude the eEercise of the other. ('eop(e v. Godoy, G.R. Nos. 11090/1 09, 233 SCRA 23, Mar&* 29, 1990)

c.

d.

4ote: Dhere the !unishment im!osed, whether a ainst a !arty to a suit or a stran er, is wholly or !rimarily to !rotect or 2indicate the di nity and !ower, either by fine !ayable to the o2ernment or by im!risonment, or both, it is deemed a $ud ment in criminal case. Dhere the !unishment is by fine directed to be !aid to a !arty in the nature of dama es for the wron inflicted, or by im!risonment as coerci2e measure to enforce the !erformance of some act for the benefit of the !arty or in aid of the final $ud ment or decree rendered in his behalf, the contem!t $ud ment will, if made before final decree, be treated as in the nature of an !nter(o&%tory order.

Q: What are the t(oB'ol* as&ects o' the e8ercise o' the &o(er o' conte+&t? A: ). +. 6he !ro!er p%n!s*ment of the uilty !arty for his disres!ect to the court or its order* and 6o &ompe( *!s per#orman&e of some act or duty required of him by the court which he refuses to !erform.

4ote: 6he question of whether the contem!t committed is ci2il or criminal, does not affect the $urisdiction or the !ower of a court to !unish the same. (;a(!(! v. C+R, G.R. No. 4123/23, 132 SCRA 112, November 19, 19/0)