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Legal Ethics EH307

Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 PAFLU, Entila and Tenazas v. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., Court of Industrial Relations and Quentin Muning Facts: Petitioners PAFLU, Entila and Tenazas were complainants in Case No. 72-ULPIloilo in the Court of Industrial Relations. The complainants were represented by Cipriano Cid & Associates thru Atty. ANastacio Pacis and Quentin Muning, a non-layer. After trial, the court rendered a decision in favour of the complainants; a portion of that order granted respondent Quentin Muning, a non-laywer attorneys fees for professional service. Thus a petition was filed seeking review of the order made by the Court of Industrial Relations in Case No. 72-ULP-Iloilo. Issue: May a non-lawyer recover attorneys fees for legal services rendered? Holding: Order under review is set aside. Ratio: Lawyer-client relationship is only possible if one is a lawyer. Since respondent Muning is not one, he cannot establish an attorney-client relationship with Enrique Entila and Victorino Tenezas or with PAFLU and he cannot therefore, recover attorneys fees. Public policy demands that legal work in representation of party litigants should be entrusted only to those possessing tested qualifications for the protection of the courts, clients and the public. The permission of a non-lawyer to represent a party litigant in court does not by itself entitle the representation to compensation. For Section 24 Rule 138, of the Rules of Court provides: Sec. 24. Compensation of Attorneys Agreement as to Fees An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, imports the existence of an attorney-client relationship as a condition for recovery of attorneys fees.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 B.R. Sebastian Enterprises, Inc. vs CA, Eulogio Reyes, Nicanor Salaysay and Anotonio Marinas Facts: This is a petition for prohibition and mandamus to review the resolution of respondent court in CA-GR No. 53546R denying petitioners motion to reinstate its appeal earlier dismissed for failure to file appellants brief. Eulogio B. Reyes, now deceased filed an action for damages with the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, Pasay City Branch against the Director of Public Works and petitioner B.R. Sebastian Enterprise Inc. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 757R. On May 1973, the trial court rendered a decision finding petitioner liable for damages but absolving the other defendants. On appeal, counsel for petitioner Baizas, Alberto and Associates failed to file the Brief within the prescribed period and subsequently failed to answer the Court of Appeals resolution dismissing petitioners appeal. On September 28, 1974, Baizas Law Office filed a motion for reconsideration alleging that the death of Atty. Crispin Baizas, senior partner resulted in the dissolution of Baizas, Alberto and Associates. Issue: WON the respondent Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion in denying petitioners motion to reinstate its appeal? Holding: Petition is dismissed. Ratio: The confusion in the office of the law firm following the death of Atty. Crispin Baizas is not a valid justification for its failure to file the brief. With Atty. Baizas death, the responsibility of Atty. Alberto and Associates to the petitioner as counsel remained until withdrawal by the former of their appearance in the manner provided by the Rules or Court. Moreover, the appearance of counsel is presumed to be duly authorized by petitioner. The rule is well settled that negligence of counsel binds the client.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Adelino H. Ledesma v Hon. Rafael C. Climaco Facts: Petitioner Ledesma was assigned as counsel de parte for an accused in a case pending in the sala of the respondent judge. On October 13, 1964, Ledesma was appointed Election Registrar for the Municipality of Cadiz, Negros Occidental. He commenced discharged his duties, and filed a motion to withdraw from his position as counsel de parte. The respondent Judge denied him and also appointed him as counsel de oficio for the defendents. On November 6, Ledesma filed a motion to be allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio, because the COMELEC requires full time service which could prevent him from handling adequately the defense. Judge denied the motion. So Ledesma instituted this certiorari proceeding. Issue: WON the order of the respondent judge in denying the motion of the petitioner is a grave abuse of discretion? Holding: No, Ledesmas withdrawal would be an act showing his lack of fidelity to the duty required of the legal profession. He ought to have known that membership in the bar is burdened with conditions. The legal profession is dedicated to the ideal of service, and is not a mere trade. A lawyer maybe required to act as counsel de oficio to aid in the performance of the administration of justice. The fact that such services are rendered without pay should not diminish the lawyers zeal. Ratio: The only attorneys who cannot practice law by reason of their office are judges, or other officials or employees of the superior courts or the Office of the Solicitor General (Section 32 Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, Section 35 of the Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court). The lawyer involved not being among them, remained as counsel of record since he did not file a motion to withdraw as defendant-appellant counsels counsel after his appointment as Register of Deeds. Nor was substitution of attorney asked either by him or by the new counsel for the defendant-appellant (People vs Williams CA GR. Nos. 00375-76, February 28, 1963). To avoid any frustration thereof, especially in the case of an indigent defendant, a lawyer may be required to act as counsel de oficio (People v. Daban). Moreover, the right of an accused in a criminal case to be represented by counsel is a constitutional right of the highest importance, and there can be no fair hearing with due process of law unless he is fully informed of his rights in this regard and given opportunity to enjoy them (People vs Holgado, L-2809, March 22, 1950). The trial court in criminal case has authority to provide the accused with a counsel de oficio for such action as it may deem fit to safeguard the rights of the accused (Provincial Fiscal of Rizal vs. Judge Muoz Palma, L-15325, August 31, 1930). University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Berenguer vs. Carranza, 26 SCRA 210 Facts: Atty. Pedro B. Carranza was filed a complaint against his acts of deception practiced in the Court of First Instance of Sorsogon. The alleged deception was the introduction of an Affidavit of Adjudication and Transfer of Title subscribed and sworn in Pasay City, which later turned out to be a falsity. Atty. Carranza claimed that he took no part in the said falsified document. It was contested that due to the said falsehood, whether or not a lawyer took part from, must still be held liable for lack of prudence and meticulous take on the matter, and as it had caused unnecessary delays in the administration of justice. Issue: Whether or not Atty. Carranza should be held responsible of the said falsehood committed in court. Held: YES. Respondent was reprimanded. Ratio: There was a finding that there was nothing willful in the conduct pursuedby the respondent in introducing the document that turned out to be false. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court reminded that the lawyers oath is one impressed with utmost seriousness and should not be taken lightly. In its decision to issue reprimand, the respondent is warned that a more severe penalty will be imposed if the offense of the same character is repeated

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 EUSEBIA BARRAMEDA vs. ENGRACIO CASTILLO Facts: APPEAL from an order of dismissal of the Court of First Instance of Quezon ProVince. MTC: Eusebia Barrameda sued Engracio Castillo in the municipal court of Lopez, Quezon Province. A copy of the courts decision, which was adverse to Barrameda, was sent by registered mail to her lawyer at San Pablo City. That mail was received in the city post office on the following day. The city postmasters office supposedly sent to Barramedas counsel three notices regarding the registered mail. Barramedas lawyer did not claim that mail. It was returned to the municipal court and was received there as unclaimed mail. Eusebia Barrameda must have been informed that the adverse decision could not be served upon her lawyer. She received personally a copy of the decision. CFI: Through a lawyer, Barrameda filed a notice of appeal. Castillo did not interpose in the municipal court any objection to her appeal. The court gave it due course. Castillo filed in the Court of First Instance a motion to dismiss the appeal on the ground that it was filed out of time. His theory was that the fifteen-day reglementary period within which Barrameda could appeal should be counted from the expiration of five days from the date of the first notice sent by the postmaster to Barramedas lawyer. In this case, the supposed first notice was sent, when the mail in question was received in the San Pablo City post office. The five days counted from that date expired when the second notice was allegedly sent to Barramedas lawyer. Eusebia Barrameda opposed Castillos motion to dismiss her appeal. She contended that Castillo failed to prove that her counsel actually received the supposed three notices sent by the postmaster. She argued that because in the municipal court Castillo did not object to her appeal, his motion could no longer be entertained in the Court of First Instance. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the appeal. It assumed that the fifteen-day period should be counted from the date of the third notice and the period had already expired, according to the trial courts computation. Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in dismissing the appeal. University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Ruling: Rule 13 of the Rules of Court provides: SEC. 7. Service of final orders or judgments.Final orders or judgments shall be served either personally or by registered mail, x x x. SEC. 8. Completeness of service.Personal service is complete upon actual delivery. x x x Service by registered mail is complete upon actual receipt by the addressee; but if he fails to claim his mail from the post office within five (5) days from the date of first notice of the postmaster, service shall take effect at the expiration of such time. In service by registered mail, the general rule is that service is complete upon actual receipt by the addressee. The exception is that when the addressee does not claim his mail within five days from the date of the first notice of the postmaster, then the service takes effect at the expiration of such time. If the addressee never gets the mail, service is also deemed complete on the 6th day, as provided in the exception to the general rule. If he receives his mail two months after it is registered and there is no proof of the first notice, then service is complete on the date of actual receipt, following the general rule. Bearing in mind that the exception in service by registered mail refers to constructive service, not to actual receipt of the mail, it is evident that the fair and just application of that exception depends upon conclusive proof that a first notice was sent by the postmaster to the addressee. The presumption that official duty has been regularly performed should not be applied to such a situation. Therefore, to obviate injustice, it is incumbent upon a party, who relies on constructive service or who contends that his adversary was served with a copy of a final order or judgment upon the expiration of five days from the first notice of registered mail sent by the postmaster to prove that that first notice was sent and delivered to the addressee. A certification from the postmaster would be the best evidence of that fact. The mailmans testimony may also be adduced to prove that fact.. The postmasters certification as to the sending of the first notice should include the data not only as to whether or not the corresponding notices were issued or sent but also as to how, when and to whom the delivery thereof was made. In the instant case, there is no evidence that the first notice was sent to Barramedas lawyer and that it was delivered to him or should have been received by him. The envelope containing the unclaimed mail was presented in court. The face of the envelope contains the notation Returned to sender. Reason: Unclaimed. Above the stamp, on the back of the envelope, with the legend City of San Pablo, Philippines University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 are written the dates. Written also on the back of the envelope are the following: R to S, notified 3/3/66. Relying on those notations on the envelope, the trial court literally and rigidly applied the presumption as to constructive service. It did not require appellee Castillo to present the postmasters certification that a first notice was sent to Barramedas lawyer and that the notice was received by the latter. Under those circumstances, the trial courts order dismissing Barramedas appeal is fraught with injustice.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 PRIMA MALIPOL, in her own behalf and as guardian ad litem of her minor children, LYDIA MALIJAN, JOSEFINA MALIJAN, TEODORA MALIJAN, and SEBASTIAN MALIJAN vs. LILY LIM TAN and ERNESTO LABSAN Facts: Pantaleon Malijan was walking with Leonardo Amante when he was hit by a gasoline tanker and was thrown to the ground. While on the ground, Malijan was again run over by the tankers right wheel that got detached from its axle. Amante, with the help of the barrio captain, brouugh Malijan to the hospital, but was declared dead on arrival. The gasoline tanker was driven by Ernesto Labasan, employee of Lily Lim Tan. So the plaintiffs filed a case for damages against Tan and the driver. The defendants failed to answer so they were declared in default, and son the plaintiffs were allowed to present evidence ex parte. After this, the trial court rendered a decision in favour of the plaintiffs. Labasan the driver was ordered to pay for the hospitalization expenses,medical treatment, vigil and burial of Malijan, as well as indemnity for death, loss of earnings, moral damages, attorneys fees and the cost of the suit. The trial court held that if Labasan cant pay, Tan should pay as she is subsidiarily liable as owner and operator of the tanker. And so defendants appealed and asked that the order of default be lifted, and asked for a new trial. They said that the accident was due to force majeure, and that Tan exercised the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. But the trial court denied this appeal. Mostly procedural matters were brought up, with defendants saying that they didnt file an answer because their lawyer only told them about the suit on the 11 th day after receipt, but still the court didnt excuse defendants from not answering especially since they still had 4 days to answer. The defendants further put blame on their lawyer Atty. Chavez who was allegedly abnormal at that time, as shown by his having committed suicide a few months after the complaint was lodged. But the court held that Atty. Chavez still exercised ordinary and reasonable care over the interests of his client when he made a long distance call to Tan asking for the specifics of the case, then endorsed the suit to Atty. De Castro. Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in declaring the appellants in default. Ruling: In the instant case, We agree with the trial court, that appellants have not shown that they exercised such diligence as an ordinary prudent person would exercise, to have the answer filed within the reglementary period. Appellant Lily Lim Tan admitted in her affidavit that she received the summons and copy of the complaint on May 19, 1966, and that having read the complaint she found out that she was being sued, together University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 with her driver, for damages in connection with the accident of February 6, 1965 at Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The damages asked in the complaint amounts to P36,600.00. The summons required them to answer the complaint within 15 days from receipt thereof, and warned them that should they fail to answer within said period the plaintiffs would take judgment against-them for the relief demanded in the complaint. The damages demanded was not a negligible sum, and appellant Lily Lim Tan, who is a business woman, should have considered the matter a serious one. Ordinary prudence would dictate that she should concern herself about the matter, that she should refer said complaint with the least possible delay to her lawyer. But, for reasons she did not explain, she referred the complaint to her lawyer only after the lapse of ten (10) days from receipt thereof, i.e., on May 30, 1966. She should have considered that four days might not be sufficient time for her lawyer to prepare and file the answer. The lower courts denial of the motion to lift order of default and new trial is affirmed. Fernandez, concurring and dissenting The negligence of Tan and Atty. Chavez should be excused. Chavez had a troubled mind, thats why he misinformed the parties on the date of summons. Atty de Castro was not negligent since he relied on the information Atty. Chavez gave. So, Justice Fernandez believes Tan shouldve been granted a new trial.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED LUIS C. DOMINGO, SR., CONSUELO DOMINGO DE LOPEZ vs. PEDRO A. AQUINO, deceased, substituted by SALVACION YUSAY AQUlNO ETC., and the HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS Facts: On August 7, 1961, the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan rendered judgment approving the money claim of respondent Pedro A. Aquino against the petitioner estate by ordering the then special administratrix, Asuncion Domingo Sta. Maria, "to pay from the available funds of the estate the sum of P20,000.00 with 12% interest per annum from June 10, 1954 to Pedro A. Aquino." Both parties appealed from the said judgment to the Court of Appeals, and on January 20, 1967, the appellate court found for respondent as appellant, and affirmed the lower court's judgment with modifications in favor of respondent. Pursuant to said information, petitioner caused to be filed on March 9, 1967, with the appellate court an "Appearance with Motions for Substitution and to be served with a copy of the Judgment," stating inter alia, that the former special administratrix, Asuncion Domingo Sta. Maria had long resigned as such with the permission of the intestate court, that the other co-special administrator, Atty. Luis Domingo, Jr. was removed from his trust by the intestate court's order dated May 21, 1963, Mrs. Consuelo Domingo de Lopez was appointed judicial administratrix and has since been administering the estate alone; that Mrs. Lopez as judicial administratrix wished to file a motion for reconsideration of the appellate court's judgment and that the clerk of court be directed to serve copy of said judgment on her counsel instead of on Atty. Unson as the former special administrator's counsel "for purposes of starting of time to move for re hearing or reconsideration;" and praying that as present judicial administratrix, she be substituted in lieu of the former joint administrators and that her counsel be served with copy of the appellate court's decision. The appellate court denied the petitioner's motion for reconsideration No further move was made by petitioner thereafter until almost five months later when on September 23, 1967, after respondent had filed in the intestate court a motion for execution of the judgment, as affirmed in his favor by the appellate court, it filed the present petition. Upon the representations contrary to the records that the appellate court had granted "new or further relief" in favor of respondent by awarding compound interest on the sum due respondent and that Atty. Unson has ceased to be the estate's lawyer since May 21, 1963 with the removal of the former administrator, Luis Domingo, Jr. as such. Issue: Whether or not Atty. Jose A. Unson ceased to be the estate's lawyer with the removal of the former administrator Luis Domingo, Jr. University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Ruling: The records at bar amply show that Atty. Jose A. Unson was the counsel on record of the petitioner estate in the appellate court and never filed any withdrawal as such counsel. As a matter of fact, even after the removal on May 21, 1963 of Luis Domingo, Jr. as administrator the estate, Atty. Unson filed in the appellate court his memorandum dated August 17, 1963, for the estate as appellant. While it may be true that Atty. Unson ceased as counsel for the estate and for the former administrator sometime on November 8, 1966, when the intestate court granted his motion dated November 2, 1966, to withdraw as counsel by virtue of his appointment to and assumption on February 8, 1966 of the public office of Assistant Administrator of the Sugar Quota Administration, 2 this was true only insofar as the case in the intestate court was concerned. He continued on record in the appellate court as counsel for the estate as appellant therein and did not file therein any withdrawal as counsel and neither did the petitioner inform said court of any change of counsel or of partyadministrator, as required by Rule 138, section 26 of the Rules of Court. More so, no appearance of any new counsel for the estate was ever filed with the appellate court. The party in the subject case was the intestate estate of the deceased Luis C. Domingo, Sr. and that Atty. Unson represented the estate as counsel in the said case. The fact that his services were engaged by Luis Domingo, Jr. in his (Luis') official capacity as administrator, did not make him the personal counsel of Luis. Thus, notwithstanding Luis' removal as administrator, Atty. Unson continued to represent the estate as counsel in the appellate court. He continued to be authorized to represent the estate as its counsel, until the new administrator should terminate his services, which she never did.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 MARIA CRISTINA MANALOTO vs. SIXTO L. REYES Facts: Sixto L. Reyes was legal counsel for the Manaloto family. He also undertook to help said family to secure a loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines. For his services, the Manaloto family allegedly paid him not less than P1,000.00 exclusive of traveling expenses. He, however, admits having received only a total of P590.00 and two sacks of rice as his fees in the cases he handled in behalf of the Mnaloto family. On October 13, 1961, Maria Cristina Manaloto instituted disbarment proceedings against Sixto L. Reyes for abandonment of the cases and conversion of sums of money entrusted to him by the petitioner and her sister, Rosario. Issue: Whether or not the respondent is guilty for abandonment of cases and conversion of sums of money entrusted to him. "ABANDONMENT" In the evening of July 17, 1961 respondent Sixto L. Reyes informed petitioner herein that inasmuch as he was pre-occupied with the election campaign of congressional candidate Rellosa in the province of Laguna, he would entrust to Atty. Jacinto de los Reyes the hearing of the said cases. This proposal of respondent did not meet with petitioner's approval. Forthwith, petitioner requested, by telegram and telephone, for the postponement of the scheduled hearing. Subsequently, petitioner verbally advised respondent that she intended to replace him with another lawyer. This, she did by retaining the services of Atty. Vicente Fernando as counsel in the aforesaid cases. Ruling: This charge preferred by petitioner cannot prosper. First of all, respondent did not retire from the cases. Petitioner dismissed respondent and substituted him with Atty. Vicente Fernando. Secondly, the act of respondent in proposing to petitioner that Atty. Jacinto de los Reyes conduct the hearing of the cases scheduled for July 18, 1961, did not amount to abandonment by respondent of said cases. On the contrary, it tended to show his interest in said cases, otherwise, he would not have proposed that another lawyer attend to the hearing of the two cases in his absence. True, Atty. de los Reyes did not actually proceed to Victoria and Tarlac but it was because petitioner herself took steps to have the hearing postponed. Hence, there was actually no hearing to take care of. "CONVERSION" In the morning of January 31, 1961 respondent asked and received from the Manaloto family the sum of P500.00 allegedly to be used in filing the proper action in court to stay the auction sale scheduled at ten o'clock in the same morning. Acting upon University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 respondent's advice and assurance that the sale would be stopped, petitioner stayed at home on that day and did not anymore bother to check with the sheriff's office. Later, petitioner was informed that, the auction sale went on as scheduled and her mother's property was sold to the highest bidder. Upon inquiry with the clerk of court she further learned that respondent filed no motion with, and paid no money to, the court in order to stop or postpone the auction sale. The sum of P500.00 was never returned to her. On another occasion, petitioner solicited respondent's help in applying for an industrial loan with the Development Bank of the Philippines but the respondent did not file the application for loan. He did not pay to the bank the amount of P30.00 which she gave him for filing fee and the said amount was likewise never returned to her by respondent. The respondent denies having received both sum of P500.00 and P30.00 Held: Although petitioner could not present any receipt signed by respondent therefor for there was none we have found her oral evidence sufficiently convincing. And, considering that respondent never returned to her the amounts involved, the presumption is that he appropriated the same for his own use to the prejudice of, and in violation of the trust reposed in him by, his client.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Gutierrez vs. Court of Appeals 61 SCRA 85 Facts: This is a petition for certiorari and mandamus to set aside the resolution reinstating Alvendias appeal and to compel the Court of Appeals to remand the record to the lower court for the execution of its final judgment. In 1963 a judgment based on a compromise was rendered by the City Court of Manila in a case instituted by Don Lino Gutierrez & Sons, Inc against Jesus Alvendia. In 1968 the said corporation again sued Alvendia in the City Court of Manila for the revival of the judgment. The City Court of Manila rendered a judgment in favor of Gutierrez. Alvendia appealed which after a trial de novo affirmed its decision with some modifications in it decision dated June 5, 1973. In all those proceeding, Alvendias counsel of record was Escolastico Viola. The copy of the decision was served on Viola and not on Baizas, Alberto and Associates. On February 26, 1974 the Court of Appeals notified viola that the docket fee of fortyeight pesos and the legal research fee of forty five peso should be paid within fifteen days from notice and that forty copies of the printed record on appeal should be filed within sixty days, with warning that failure to do so would constitute an abandonment of the appeal and cause of the dismissal thereof. Viola received that notice on February 28, 1974 however he failed to comply with the notice. Thus, the CA dismissed his appeal. On June 26, 1974 or forty-nine days after the order of dismissal was served Atty. Viola, Alvendia through Rodolfo Espiritu of the Baizas law office, filed a motion for reconsideration of that order on the ground that Viola had ceased to be Alvendia counsel since September, 1973 and that Atty. Baizas had taken his place and latter would handle the appeal. The motion was verified and was supported by their affidavits, the gist of which is that, due to the death of Atty. Baizas. Alvendia failed to follow up his appeal and Don Lino Gutierrez & Sons, Inc. opposed the motion for reconsideration. It insisted that viola was Alvendias counsel of record for purposes of the appeal and that Baizas had never entered his appearance as Alvendias counsel. It claimed that the resolution had already become final and that the Court of Appeals had no more jurisdiction over the case. Issue: WON the CA erred in granting the motion and reinstated Alvendias Appeal Held: YES, Atty. Viola was negligent in not apprising Alvendia of the notice to pay the docket and legal research fees and to file forty copies of the printed record on appeal. Alvendia is bound by his lawyers negligence. Viola was also negligent in not making a University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 formal withdrawal as Alvendias counsel and in not appraising the Court of Appeals that Baizas was supposedly appellant new counsel. In the absence of a formal withdrawal, he continued to be Alvendias counsel of record. Moreover, where a party is represented by two attorneys, the rule is that the notice maybe made either upon one of them, regardless of whether they belong to the same law firm or are practicing one independently of the other. The death of one of the lawyers was not a valid excuse on the part of his associates for not attending to its clients appeal supposing arguendo that his office was one actually collaborating with the case. The new counsel who handled the case did not file a formal appearance in the Court of Appeals. It is necessary to impress upon litigants and their lawyers the necessity of a strict compliance with the periods for performing certain acts incident to the appeal and that transgressions thereof, as a rule, would not be tolerated; otherwise those periods could be evaded by subterfuges and manufactured excuses and would ultimately become inutile.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Aro vs. Nanawa 27 SCRA 109 Facts: Petitioner Regino Aro, a practicing lawyer, engaged by respondents Luis Magtibay and Pablo Magtibay for the prosecution of their claim, as heirs, in the estate of their deceased uncle Lucio Magtibay. During the period in which the petitioner services were rendered, the plaintiff and the defendant of the case, handled by the petitioner, entered into an amicable settlement. Plaintiffs and defendant made an extrajudicial partition of the properties and the plaintiff waived their share in favor of the defendant Aurelio Martinez, thru which fraudulent waiver, herein petitioner was deprived of his contingent fees agreed upon. Issue: WON the dismissal of the lawyer, without justifiable cause, said lawyer is entitled for payment in full of attorney fees (as expressly agreed upon in contract in herein case) Held: The client cannot, by settling compromising, or dismissing his suit during its pendency, deprive the lawyer of his compensation for the agreed amount, unless the lawyer consents to such settlement, compromise or dismissal, for the lawyer is or hall be entitled to have and recover from his clients a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the service rendered and the professional standing of the lawyer. Albeit, under Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Ethics, in fixing fees it should not be forgotten that the profession is a branch of the administration of justice and not mere money getting trade. It must be emphasized that the same provision, which is an incorporation of Republic Act 636 into the Rules of Court, also provide that if the contract between client and lawyer had been reduced into writing and the dismissal of the lawyer was without justifiable cause, he shall be entitled to recover from the client full compensation. In the case at bar, by entering into the compromise agreement in question and even inserting therein a prayer to the court to dismiss the case filed by the petitioner, petitioners client impliedly dismissed him. Such implied dismissal appears to us to have been made without justifiable cause, none is urged anywhere in the record, and so Section 26 Rule 138 applies here. Hence, the petitioner is entitled to recover full compensation.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Francisco vs. Matias 10 SCRA 89 Facts: In May, 1952, Atty. Franciscos services were engaged to secure the probate of the will of Gabina Raquel. Upon the allowance of the will rested the Aurea Matias right to the bulk of an estate, worth more than 1 million pesos. Had the will been disallowed, Aurea Matias and the other legatees named in the will would have received nothing. The whole estate would have passed to the oppositor- to the exclusion of Matias and the other legatees named in the will. The probate of the will, confronted Aureas counsel with question of fact and questions of law. Counsel had to prove that the said will was valid, duly executed in accordance with the law. Attempting to minimize the importance to the estate of legal services in securing approval of the will, Aurea Matias points out that will or no will, the estate remains. The argument, however plausible, overlooks the significance of the will. It is the desire, the command of the owner of the estate as to how inheritance shall be distributed. In upholding the will and working its approval, the lawyer was simply serving such departed owner of the estate and so in effect serving the estate. Issue: WON Atty. Francisco is entitled of lawyers fee. Held: The professional standing of Atty. Francisco has been amply attested to by the late Senator Claro M. Recto and the former Secretary of Justice Jose Bengzon. That Atty. Francisco has been shown to have practiced since his admission to the bar, either alone or in associate with other equally prominent lawyers to have figured in several precedent laying controversies decided by the Court; to have annotated or written commentaries on practically every branch of the law; to have published and edited for 23 years, the lawyers Journal; to have founded a law school; to have actively participated in various political and civic organizations, and to have been elected as a Philippine Senator where he got the most number of votes. Taking into account all the variables of proceeding in the light of our several pronouncement on matter of contingent lawyers fees we feel that the modify the appealed resolution and awarding instead of 25% to 12% the market value of the estate, should be given to Atty. Francisco as counsel Fees for it would accomplish substantial justice.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Quilban vs. Robinol 171 SCRA 768 Facts: On 15 April 1980 the Samahan officers filed this Administrative complaint before this Court requesting the invention of Atty. Robinol for refusal to return the P75000 and praying that the court exercise its power to discipline over members of the bar unworthy to practice law. In his defense, Atty. Robinol maintains that he was hired by complainants to appeal their case to the CA after they had lost in the lower court. The agreement as to the attorneys fees was on a contingent basis if he obtains a reversal of the decision of the lower Courts decision, they will give him a portion of the property subject matter of the litigation. There was confusion as to payment and they want the lawyers to be disciplined for the said actions of the lawyers engaged in their complaint. It is equally true that the Court cannot pass judgment on complainants pleas that the amount deposited by respondent be returned to them as this prayer should be ventilated in an ordinary action that he does not have the slightest intention to appropriate the money in his possession for himself but he is holding it until the fees are satisfied there being no guarantee for its satisfaction because of the complainants refusal to pay him. Issue: WON Atty. Robinol is unworthy to practice law. Held: Atty. Robinol has, in fact been guilty of ethical infractions and grave misconduct that make him unworthy to continue in the practice of his profession. After the CA had rendered a decision favorable to his clients and he had received the latte rs funds, suddenly he had change of mind and decided to convert a portion of the land equivalent to that of each plaintiffs to P50000 which he alleges to be the monetary value of that area. Certainly, Atty. Robinol had no right to unilaterally appropriate his clients money not only because he is bound by a written agreement but also because under the circumstances it was highly unjust for him to do so. His clients were mere squatters who could barely eke out an existence. They had painstakingly raised their respective quotas per family with which after having seen the color of money, heartlessly took advantage of them. The principle of quantum merit applies if a lawyer is employed without a price agreed upon for his services in which case he would be entitled to receive what he merits for his services, as much as he has earned. In this case however, there was an express contract and a stipulated mode of compensation. The implied assumpsit on quantum merit therefore is inapplicable.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Matute vs. Matute Facts: This is an appeal by Carlos V. Matute and Matias V. Matute, co-administrators of the Testate Estate of the late Amadeo Matute Olave, and by their attorney-at-law, Paterno Canlas, to seek reversal of the probate courts order of 22 April 1967 requirin g these appellants to surrender seventeen titles to divers properties of the estate to the assistant clerk of court for safekeeping. The incident originated in a motion filed by respondents praying that the appellant be ordered to surrender said properties. The motion was resisted by the co-administrators pleading that the removal of Matias as administrator and his replacement by Jose S. Matute were still under appeal; that the titles of aforesaid had been delivered to both Matias and Carlos Matute; that the latter is at present and from time to time in possession of the said seventeen titles, and the co-administrator Matias is no longer in possession of said titles; that Attorney Paterno Canlas had a pending clain for P261,000.00, on account of legal services rendered to the estate for the preparation, due execution and probation of the 1962 testament of the deceased. As aforesaid, the probate court granted the motion to surrender the documents to the clerk of court for safekeeping. Issue: WON the court erred in granting the motion to surrender the titles in question. Held: Yes, according to Rule 138, Section 37, of the Rules of Court: An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof... The explicit terms of this section afford no alternative but to uphold the claim of appellant Paterno Canlas with respect to the seventeen documents in his possession. His right, as counsel for the deceased and his estate, to retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid is incontestable and under the rule and section aforesaid, the attorney cannot be compelled to surrender the muniments of title mentioned without prior proof that his fees have been duly satisfied. The courts, in the exercise of their supervisory authority over attorneys as officers of the court, are bound to respect and protect the attorneys lien as a necessary means to preserve the decorum and respectability of the profession. In view of the foregoing, the orders of the probate court date 22 April 1967 and 29 May 1967, in so far as denying appellant Attorney Paterno Canlas right to retain the seventeen documents in his hands, as counsel for the estate, and requiring him to surrender the same without his claim for fees being first satisfied, are hereby reversed and set aside. Costs against appellees. University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Ampil vs Agrava Facts: Facts: Ampil was the counsel for Angela Perez in several cases. The principal cases handled by Ampil were filed in the CFI by Angelas husband and son, Antonio and Benigno Perez, asking that Angela be placed under guardianship and that a suitable person be appointed to administer her properties. Later on, the parties submitted to court, which dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction. This dismissal was affirmed by SC. A case was later filed by Antonio and Benigno with the domestic court of Manila, seeking the courts approval of the compromise agreement. The domestic court dismissed the proceeding on the ground of lack of jurisdiction because the case which was to be settled amicably by the compromise agreement had already been dismissed by CFI as affirmed by SC. Ampil asserts that Angela terminated his services as counsel without just cause and without paying him for his profiessional services, for which he presented his bill and asserted his retaining lien over the three titles entrusted to him by Angela in the course of his professional employment. Eventually, the compromise agreement mentioned above was approved by the Supreme Court. Benigno and Antonio thus filed a case to obtain the titles held by Ampil. They claimed that the attorneys lien must be exercised over the properties belonging to Angela, not over the properties belonging to them in the compromise agreement. They also argued that the compromise agreement was entered into 8 years before Ampil was discharged as Angelas counsel, besides, Ampil took a position adverse to them by seeking to have the compromise agreement annulled. They concluded that Ampil was therefore bound by the compromise agreement. Issue: WON Ampil has a right to keep his retaining lien over the said titles until his services are paid for. Held: YES. Three elements of attorneys retaining lien were met: 1) lawyer -client relationship; 2) lawful possession of the clients funds, documents, and papers; and 3) unsatisfied claim for attorneys fees. Ampil obtained possession of the titles when they still belonged to his client Angela. It was only when Angela later on confirmed the compromise agreement that it became valid. The transfer of the properties to Antonio and Benigno could not retroact to the time the compromise was originally executed. University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 The situation would be different where title to the property is the very subject in dispute in the case and the court adjudges the clients adversary to be rightfully entitled thereto. In such as case the titles to the property could not be said to be properties of the client. The attorney may enforce his lien only over the properties of his client and not against those of his clients adversary. Petitioner is in no way interfering with the taking possession of the properties and enjoyment of the fruits thereof. All that petitioner asserts and exercises is his passive lien of retaining the muniments of title thereto. Such retention only impedes the corresponding registration and transfer of titles to respondents.

University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Tajan vs. Cusi Facts: In this action of prohibition petitioner Alfredo C. Tajan challenges the authority of respondent Judge of the Court of First Instance of Davao to hear Administrative Case No. 59 of said court involving a disciplinary action initiated against petitioner as a member of the Philippine Bar. In a letter addressed to petitioner, he was required by respondent Judge to explain within 72 hours why he should not be removed or suspended from the practice of law for preparing, or causing to be prepared, a petition in court containing factual averments which petitioner knew were false. Petitioner, in answer thereto, wrote a letter to respondent Judge on December 7, 1967 denying the material averments of respondent Judges letter and explaining the circumstances under which he prepared the aforementioned petition. Apparently not satisfied with petitioners answer, respondent Judge filed an administrative case against petitioner. At the hearing, petitioner questioned the propriety of the proceedings, contending that since the case was one for disbarment, respondent Judge had no jurisdiction over the person of petitioner as well as the subject matter thereof. Petitioner orally moved that respondent Judge inhibit himself from hearing the administrative case in view of the latters conflicting positions as prosecutor and judge at the same time. The oral motion was denied. Petitioners thesis is that respondent Judge has no authority on his own motion to hear and determine proceedings for disbarment or suspension of attorneys because jurisdiction thereon is vested exclusively and originally in the Supreme Court and not in courts of first instance. Issue: WON respondent Judge has jurisdiction over the person of petitioner as well as the subject matter thereof. Held: Yes. We find petitioners contentions without merit. 1. The power to exclude unfit and unworthy members of the legal profession stems from the inherent power of the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law and the admission of persons to engage in that practice. It is a necessary incident to the proper administration of justice. The law accords to the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance the power to investigate and suspend members at the bar. The provisions of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court are applicable: Sec 28 Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court or First Instance, Sec 29, and Sec 30. 2. It should be observed that proceedings for the disbarment of members of the bar are not in any sense a civil action where there is a plaintiff and the respondent is a defendant. The attorney is called to answer to the court for his University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 conduct as an officer of the court. The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorneys alleged misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. The court may therefore act upon its own motion and thus be the initiator of the proceedings, because, obviously the court may investigate into the conduct of its own officers. This is for the protection of the general public and to promote the purity of the administration of justice, 3. Sec 2 of Rule 139, provides that the respondent lawyer in disciplinary proceedings is granted 10 days from service of a copy of the complaint within which to file his answer. It is desirable, therefore, that a similar period should be granted by the Court of First Instance to attorneys charged before it, for the purpose of uniformity in procedure. We find, however, in the case at bar, petitioner not only failed to question as unreasonable, the period granted to him by the court within which to answer the complaint, but actually was not substantially prejudiced thereby as he filed his answer to the complaint within the period of 72 hours from receipt thereof. Wherefore, the present petition is denied, and the writ of preliminary injunction previously issued by this Court is ordered dissolve, with cost against petitioner.

University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Gonzales vs Abaya Facts: This is a complaint by Atty. Ligaya Gonzales-Austria charging Judge Emannuel M. Abaya with: 1. Estafa through falsification of public or official documents. The gravement of this charge is that Annabelle Cardenas who was appointed as Stenographic Reporter of Branch 51, RTC was a ghost employee from August 1983 to May 1984 as she never reported for work during said period, being then employed at Princess Tours Rafols Hotel as a tourist guide. Notwithstanding, with her knowledge and consent, Judge Abaya verified as true and correct her daily time records as stenographic reporter purportedly showing that she rendered service and incurred no absences or tardiness and was granted leave. 2. Gross dishonesty and corruption by soliciting, demanding, receiving bribed money in exchange for favorable resolutions and decisions from different litigants. It was alleged that Judge Abaya denied the application for bail of the accused in Criminal case entitled People vs Henry Arias and Fernando Oniot for murder, in consideration of the sum of P2,000.00 given by Mrs. Leonila Fuertes, complainant and mother of the victim in the aforesaid case. 3. Illegal exaction of portion of the salaries of his subordinates. It is alleged that Judge Abaya exacted portions of the salaries of two employees in Branch 51 of the Palawan RTC as a condition for their continued employment. Judge Abaya denied all these charges. He asserted that these charges were concocted in retaliation against the administrative complaint against Atty. Gonzales-Austria for dishonesty and grave misconduct in having forged his signature in a probation order. Atty. Gonzales-Austria admits to having signed the probation order and of having promulgated it, but explains that these were done with the knowledge and consent of Judge Abaya, who asked her to prepare orders and decisions in Branch 52 to ease his load of presiding over two branches. The Court resolved to consolidate these related cases. Issue: WON respondent Judge is guilty of the charges of 1. Estafa through falsification of public or official documents 2. Gross dishonesty and corruption by soliciting, demanding, receiving bribed money in exchange for favorable resolutions and decisions from different litigants 3. Illegal exaction of portion of the salaries of his suburdinates WON Atty. Ligaya Gonzales-Austria is guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1

Held: I. A.M No. R-705-RTJ:

a. We find the charges against Judge Abaya and Annabelle Cardenas to be supported by substantial evidence. Especially damaging to the pretensions of the respondents that Annabelle Cardenas rendered service as stenographic reporter during the period under consideration are the school records of the Holy Trinity College, showing the Cardenas was attending school in the first semester of school year 1983-1984. Equally damaging to respondents assertions are the Daily Time Records of Princess Tours showing that Annabelle Cardenas acted as tourist guide on 43 working days when she was supposedly rendering services as stenographic reporter. b. Judge Abaya denied the solicitation as well as the receipt of money from Mrs. Fuertes. He surmised that Mrs. Fuertes and Nelly Vicente had been pressured by Atty. Gonzales-Austria into testifying against him out of sheer vindictiveness and that Mrs. Fuertes might have been blaming him for the delay in the resolution of the criminal case against her sons alleged killers. The Court finds no improper motive as to why Mrs. Fuertes, a school teacher, would impute such a serious offense against a judge unless it be the truth. Upon the other hand, the testimony of Mrs. Fuertes is too rich in details brought out on cross-examination which cannot simply be swept aside as mere fabrications. c. While the investigating officer, Justice Herrera observed that both Servando and Jamora testified in a natural and straightforward, albeit in an angry manner without attempting to conceal their contempt for Judge Abaya, he concluded that the evidence in this regard would be unable to withstand judicial scrutiny for want of ample corroboration. It would simply be the word of one against a judge. In summation, we find Judge Emmanuel M. Abaya guilty of grave and serious misconduct affecting his integrity and moral character which would have warranted his dismissal from the service had his resignation not been accepted. By these acts, Judge Abaya has demonstrated his unfitness and unworthiness of the honor and perquisites attached to his office. II. A.M No. R-698-P and Adm. Case No. 2909

Atty. Austria justifies her action under the theory of agency that having been granted full authority to promulgate the probation order, she necessarily had the authority to sign University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 the Judges name if the need arose. Atty. Austrias theory o f agency that she lawfully acted as agent of the Judge is wholly devoid of merit. The judicial power vested in a judge and its exercise is strictly personal to the Judge because of, and by reason of his highest qualification, and can never be the subject of agency. That would not only be contrary to law, but also subversive of public order and public policy. We find Atty. Austrias misconduct as Branch Clerk of Court to affect her qualification as a member of the Bar, for precisely as a lawyer, she ought to have known the illegality of the act complained of. WHEREFORE, finding the respondents Judge Emmanuel M. Abaya, Annabelle Cardenas and Atty. Ligaya Gonzales-Austria guilty as charged, except that of illegal exaction against Judge Abaya.

University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Cuaresma vs Aguilar Facts: The facts show that in an Information dated November 15, 1991, the Provincial Prosecutor of Occidental Mindoro, Gorgonio D. Olarte, charged Florencio Banite with the murder of Daniel Acosta, a relative of herein complainants. The Information, which carried no recommendation for bail, was docketed as Criminal Case No. 2-648 in Branch 44 of the RTC of Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro presided by the HonorableVenancio M. Tarriela. On February 4, 1992, Mrs.AgripinaAgbayariZubiri, Supervising Steno-Reporter IV at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, went to see the respondent judge, the Hon. Restituto L. Aguilar, in his chambers. Respondent judge is the Executive and Presiding Judge of Branch 45, RTC, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. Mrs.Zubiri informed the respondent judge that she was sent by Prosecutor Olarte to request for the release of accused Banite on a bail of P20,000.00. All pertinent papers, including the Property Bail Bond, the Order approving the bond and directing the release of the accused, etc., were already prepared for the signature of the respondent judge. On the same day, respondent judge signed and issued the Order dated February 4, 1992 approving the property bond, and the Order directing the annotation of said undertaking as lien with the Register of Deeds. On the strength of the above Orders, accused Banite was released. Issue: Whether or not respondent judge acted with grave abuse of authority in ordering the release of herein accused? Held: We find merit in the complaint. The case against accused Banite was filed in Branch 44, presided by the Judge Tarriela. Respondent judge who presides in Branch 45, had no power to act on the request to release on bail accused Banite. The record does not show that at the time respondent judge ordered Banite's release, Judge Tarriela was absent or unavailable and could not have acted on the request. It was also irregular for respondent judge to entertain the request considering that it did not appear that a formal motion had been filed by the accused to that effect. Indeed, respondent judge did not even examine the records of the case as he merely signed the Orders allegedly prepared by Prosecutor Olarte. His indifference to duty prevented him from discovering that at the time he ordered the release of accused Banite, the Information charging the latter with Murder with no recommendation for bail had not been properly amended. Respondent judge's action shows such lack of familiarity with our laws, rules and regulations as to undermine the public confidence in the integrity of our courts. University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Paras vs Paras 343 SCRA 414 Facts: Atty. Justo De Jesus was charged by her wife Rosa Paras and initiated a case for disbarment, falsification of public documents and fraud for counterfeiting using his wifes name and signature to obtain loans from certain banks. Respondent was also charged with grossly immoral conduct and concubinage for siring a chilg with another woman; obstruction of justice by using his skills to derail all the proceedings in the criminal actions initiated by him; and unethical and unprofessional conduct by using his legal skills to frighten, harass and intimidate. Issue: Whether or not respondent can be disbarred on the grounds of falsification of public documents, grossly immoral conduct and concubinage? Held: Good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the practice of law; continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law; power to disbar must be exercised with great caution and only in clear case of misconduct that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the court and as a member of the bar; it should never be decreed where any lesser penalty such as temporary suspension could accomplish the end desired- it is a timehonored rule that good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the practice of law. Its continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law. The case at bar, respondent has fallen below the moral when he forged his wifes signature in the bank loans documents, and sired a daughter with a woman other than his wife. However, the power to misconduct that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the court and as a member of the bar should never be decreed where any lesser penalty such as temporary suspension could accomplish the end desired. Therefore, respondent is suspended from the practice of law for six months on the charge of falsifying his wifes signature in bank documents and other related loan instruments; and for one year on the changes of immorality and abandonment of his own family.

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Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Fule vs. Cordero AC No. 284 Facts: Respondent, Solon F. Cordero, a member of the Philippine Bar and Auxiliary Justice of the Peace of San Pablo City stands charged by his first cousins, namely, Attorneys Hector C. Fule and Conrado C. Fule (brothers), the latter being the Justice of the Peace of Alaminos, Laguna with violation of his attorney's oath, allegedly by blackmailing the Fule brothers. The alleged blackmail consists in respondent's threat to file criminal and administrative charges against Conrado C. Fule for alleged falsification of public documents, namely, Daily Time Records, or Municipal Form No. 45 (A), if Hector C. Fule would not desist from pursuing his application for the position of solicitor in the Solicitor General's Office, Department of Justice, because respondent was himself interested in said position. 1 Despite the threats made by respondent, however, petitioner, Hector Fule, pursued his application for the position of solicitor in the Solicitor General's Office, and was, in fact, appointed solicitor. 2 Whereupon, respondent made good his threat and filed five (5) separate administrative charges with the Department of Justice and a criminal complaint on five (5) counts with the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Laguna, against Conrado C. Fule, i.e., Estafa Through Falsification of Public Documents, allegedly for having falsified daily time records or Municipal Form No. 45 (A), a form prescribed by the General Auditing Office for certification of services rendered by members of the judiciary, for the purpose of entitling them to the salaries claimed for a particular period of time. 3 A series of charges and countercharges were thereafter filed by respondent against petitioners and vice-versa, ranging from criminal cases to administrative charges, coupled with an exchange of unsavory vilifications. Issue: Whether or not Solon Cordero should be disbarred for allegedly blackmailing the petitioners? Held: Due to the close inter-relationship of the events that had made up the case at bar and the aforementioned charges, the present administrative case filed by the Fule brothers against respondent had to await the developments and the outcome of the charges filed by him against Conrado C. Fule. In due time, the criminal complaint filed against Conrado C. Fule by Solon F. Cordero was dismissed for insufficiency of evidence by the Investigating Fiscal, after preliminary investigation, in a resolution dated October 11, 1960, which is now under appeal to the Secretary of Justice. The administrative charges resulted in admonition to Municipal Judge Conrado C. Fule. The Solicitor General recommends that, in view of the death of respondent, Solon F. Cordero, on January 9, 1977 (as reported by Cordero's counsel) the instant petition should be dismissed as moot and academic. WHEREFORE, let this administrative case be, as it is hereby, DISMISSED. University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Prudential Bank vs Grecia 192 SCRA 381 Facts: In a Decision, dated 12 November 1987, this Court, upon finding that respondent Benjamin Grecia had "proven himself unfit to continue in the pursuit of his profession," ordered his disbarment. On 24 November 1989, respondent filed a "Motion for Permission to Reiterate his Petition for Reinstatement" stating that he humbly begs permission to plead again for its forgiveness and clemency; that he has suffered the harsh and supreme sanction of disbarment for two long years now; that this is his first offense; that he solemnly declares that he has fully realized his mistake and the gravity of his offense for which he is fully repentant and learned the most bitter lesson of his life to such an extent that he solemnly vows never to commit any offense again; that his sufferance of the extreme sanction of disbarment has changed him for the better; that he had fully purged himself in the proper and irreproachable manner and that he prays that he be forgiven and pardoned by this Court. The Motion was denied with finality in the Resolution of 21 December 1989. On 21 May 1990, Mrs. Maria Luisa B. Grecia, wife of respondent wrote a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of this Court stating that she has long wanted to write and if it need be, on bended knees, to ask the Court sincerely to forgive her husband and permit him to practice his profession; that it is not only he who is suffering the anguish and shame caused by his disbarment but also his children and herself; that it is now two and a half (2 1/2) years since her husband has been disbarred and completely without any means to support his family; that their youngest daughter may altogether have to stop studying; that during these years, her husband has deeply repented and is now very humble and prayerful and has reformed for the better and that she pleads that her husband be forgiven and reinstated as a lawyer. The letter was Noted for the time being in the Resolution of 28 June 1990. On 17 October 1990, the Quezon City Chapter of the Integrated Bar, submitted to the Bar Confidant for the Court's consideration, Resolution No. 90-057, adopted on 9 October 1990, praying that the Court extend its judicial clemency to respondent Grecia and reinstate him as a member of the Philippine Bar, reasoning among others, that he has been "sufficiently punished," has reformed and rehabilitated himself, and can again be entrusted with the exercise of the noble profession of law. In a letter, dated 21 November 1990, addressed to the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Court, respondent Grecia pleaded anew that once the Court restores him to the practice of law, he "unreservedly bind(s)" himself "henceforth to act and behave carefully as a worthy member of the Philippine Bar. University of San Carlos School of Law and Governance

Legal Ethics EH307


Cases 21-40 Digest Garcy Kate D. Go LLB - 1 Issue: Whether or not a previously disbarred member of the bar who has proven himself unfit to continue in the pursuit of his profession may be allowed for readmission? Held: "The sole object of the Court upon an application for reinstatement to practice, by one previously disbarred, is to determine whether or not the applicant has satisfied and convinced the Court by positive evidence that the effort he has made toward the rehabilitation of his character has been successful, and, therefore, he is entitled to be readmitted to a profession which is intrinsically an office of trust. (In Re: Rusiana, Adm. Case No. 270, 29 March 1974, 56 SCRA 240) "The criterion for reinstatement has been stated as follows: Whether or not the applicant shall be reinstated rests to a great extent in the sound discretion of the court. The court action will depend, generally speaking, on whether or not it decides that the public interest in the orderly and impartial administration of justice will be conserved by the applicant's participation therein in the capacity of an attorney and counselor at law. The applicant must, like a candidate for admission to the Bar, satisfy the Court that he is a person of good moral character a fit and proper person to practice law. The Court will take into consideration the applicant's character and standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and character of the charge for which he was disbarred, his conduct subsequent to the disbarment, and the time that has elapsed between the disbarment and the application for reinstatement." (5 Am. Jur., Sec. 301, p. 443, cited in In Re: Juan T. Publico, February 20, 1981, 102 SCRA 721). Cognizant, therefore, "that the power to discipline, especially if amounting to disbarment, should be exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle," (In re Juan T. Publico, supra), we heed respondent's plea for reinstatement. His expiation subsequent to his disbarment; his realization of his mistake and the gravity of his offense; the testimonials from exemplary members of the Bar as to his fitness to resume the practice of law; and his solemn pledge to the Court, that if his disbarment is lifted, he will always closely and faithfully abide by the ideals, canons and ethics of the legal profession, call for this affirmative response. ACCORDINGLY, respondent Benjamin M. Grecia is hereby ordered READMITTED to membership in the Bar.

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