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LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES

PRACTICE OF LAW
Concept
Privilege
Profession; not business
Qualifications
Appearance of NonLa!"ers
La! stu#ent practice
Nonla!"ers in courts
Nonla!"ers in a#$inistrative tribunals
Procee#ings !%ere la!"ers are pro%ibite# fro$ appearing
&anctions for Practice or Appearance Wit%out Aut%orit"
La!"ers !it%out aut%orit"
Persons not la!"ers
Public Officials an# Practice of La!
Pro%ibition or #is'ualification of for$er govern$ent attorne"s
Public officials !%o cannot practice la! or !it% restrictions
La!"ers Aut%ori(e# to Represent t%e )overn$ent
La!"er*s Oat%
+,TIE& AN+ RE&PON&I-ILITIE& OF A LAW.ER
To t%e &ociet"
Respect for la! an# legal processes
To t%e Legal Profession
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
Integrate# -ar of t%e P%ilippines
/e$bers%ip an# #ues
,p%ol#ing
To t%e Courts
Can#or0 fairness an# goo# fait% to!ar#s courts
To t%e Clients
Availabilit" of service !it%out #iscri$ination
&ervices regar#less of person*s status
Rule 12341 A la!"er s%all not #ecline to represent a person solel" on account of t%e
latter5s race0 se63 cree# or status of life0 or because of %is o!n opinion regar#ing t%e
guilt of sai# person3
Rule 1780 &ec3 943 +uties of attorne"s3 It is t%e #ut" of an attorne"0 a$ong ot%ers: ;6<
6 6 6
;%< Never to re=ect0 for an" consi#eration personal to %i$self0 t%e cause of t%e
#efenseless or oppresse#;
In t%e #efense of a person accuse# of cri$e0 b" all fair an# %onorable $eans0
regar#less of %is personal opinion as to t%e guilt of t%e accuse#0 to present ever"
#efense t%at t%e la! per$its0 to t%e en# t%at no person $a" be #eprive# of life or
libert"0 but b" #ue process of la!3
&ervices of counsel #e officio
Rule 12349 A la!"er s%all not #ecline0 e6cept for serious an# sufficient cause0 an
appoint$ent as counsel #e officio or as a$icus curiae0 or a re'uest fro$ t%e
Integrate# -ar of t%e P%ilippines or an" of its c%apters for ren#ition of free legal ai#3
Attorne"s for #estitute litigants ;&ec3 710 Rule 178<
A court $a" assign an attorne" to ren#er professional ai# free of c%arge to an" part"
in a case0 if upon investigation it appears t%at t%e part" is #estitute an# unable to
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
e$plo" an attorne"0 an# t%at t%e services of counsel are necessar" to secure t%e en#s
of =ustice an# to protect t%e rig%ts of t%e part"3 It s%all be t%e #ut" of t%e attorne"
so assigne# to ren#er t%e re'uire# service0 unless %e is e6cuse# t%erefro$ b" t%e
court for sufficient cause s%o!n3
Counsel #e officio ;&ecs3 >0 ?0 80 Rule 11><
+ut" of court to infor$ accuse# of %is rig%t to counsel
-efore arraign$ent0 t%e court s%all infor$ t%e accuse# of %is rig%t to counsel an# as@
%i$ if %e #esires to %ave one3
,nless t%e accuse# is allo!e# to #efen# %i$self in person or %as e$plo"e# a counsel of
%is c%oice0 t%e court $ust assign a counsel #e oficio to #efen# %i$3 ;&ec3 >0 Rule 11><
W%o $a" be appointe# A T%e court s%all appoint as counsel #e oficio onl" suc%
$e$bers of t%e bar in goo# stan#ing !%o0 b" reason of t%eir e6perience an# abilit"0
can co$petentl" #efen# t%e accuse#3
-ut in localities !%ere suc% $e$bers of t%e bar are not available0 t%e court $a"
appoint an" person0 resi#ent of t%e province an# of goo# repute for probit" an# abilit"0
to #efen# t%e accuse#3 ;&ec3 ?0 Rule 11><
W%at to consi#er A
)ravit" of offense;
+ifficult" of 'uestions t%at $a" arise; an#
E6perience an# abilit" of appointee ;&ec3 ?0 Rule 11><
Ti$e for counsel #e oficio to prepare for arraign$ent A W%enever a counsel #e oficio
is appointe# b" t%e court to #efen# t%e accuse# at t%e arraign$ent0 %e s%all be given a
reasonable ti$e to consult !it% t%e accuse# as to %is plea before procee#ing !it% t%e
arraign$ent3 ;&ec3 80 Rule 11><
Counsel #e officio in cases on appeal ;&ec3 90 Rule 192<
Accuse# in prison: If it appears fro$ t%e recor# of t%e case as trans$itte# t%at ;a<
t%e accuse# is confine# in prison0 ;b< is !it%out counsel #e parte on appeal0 or ;c< %as
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
signe# t%e notice of appeal %i$self0 t%e cler@ of court of t%e Court of Appeals s%all
#esignate a counsel #e oficio3
Accuse# not #etaine#: An appellant !%o is not confine# in prison $a"0 upon re'uest0 be
assigne# a counsel #e oficio !it%in ten ;14< #a"s fro$ receipt of t%e notice to file brief
an# %e establis%es %is rig%t t%ereto3
Rule on /an#ator" Legal Ai# &ervice ;-3/3 No3 9419< effective Banuar" 10 9414
Cali# groun#s for refusal
&ee Warrior Notes ;refusal of in#igent clients v3 refusal of or#inar" clients<
Can#or0 fairness an# lo"alt" to clients
Confi#entialit" rule
Rule 1D3413 A la!"er0 in conferring !it% a prospective client0 s%all ascertain as soon as
practicable !%et%er t%e $atter !oul# involve a conflict !it% anot%er client or %is o!n
interest0 an# if so0 s%all fort%!it% infor$ t%e prospective client3
Privilege# co$$unications
Rule 1D3493 A la!"er s%all be boun# b" t%e rule on privilege co$$unication in respect
of $atters #isclose# to %i$ b" a prospective client3
Note of t%e e6ceptions ;infra: preservation of client*s confi#ences<
In case of breac%0 in a##ition to t%e a#$inistrative sanction0 t%e attorne" $a" li@e!ise
be %el# cri$inall" liable for E-etra"al Of Trust -" An Attorne" Or &olicitorF penali(e#
un#er Art3 94G0 of t%e Revise# Penal Co#e3
Conflict of interest
Rule 1D3473 A la!"er s%all not represent conflicting interests e6cept b" !ritten
consent of all concerne# given after a full #isclosure of t%e facts3
Test to #eter$ine conflict of interest
Conflicting +uties H !ill t%e attorne" be re'uire# to contest for t%at !%ic% %is #ut" to
anot%er client re'uires %i$ to opposeI
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
Invitation of &uspicion H !ill t%e acceptance of t%e ne! relation invite suspicion an#Jor
actuall" lea# to unfait%fulness or #ouble#ealing to!ar#s anot%er clientI
,se of Prior Kno!le#ge Obtaine# H !ill t%e attorne" be calle# upon in %is ne! relation
to use against %is first client an" @no!le#ge ac'uire# in t%e previous e$plo"$entI
To be guilt" of representing conflicting interest0 a counselofrecor# of one part" nee#
not also be counselofrecor# of t%e a#verse part"3 6 6 6 6 It is enoug% t%at t%e
counsel of one part" %a# a %an# in t%e preparation of t%e plea#ing of ot%er part"
clai$ing a#verse an# conflicting interest !it% t%at of %is original client3
Can#i# an# %onest a#vice to clients
Rule 1D34D3 A la!"er !%en a#vising %is client s%all give a can#i# an# %onest opinion on
t%e $erits an# probable results of t%e client5s case0 neit%er overstating nor
un#erstating t%e prospects of t%e case3
Rule 1D34>3 A la!"er s%all not state or i$pl" t%at %e is able to influence an" public
official0 tribunal or legislative bo#"3
Co$pliance !it% la!s
Rule 1D34?3 A la!"er s%all i$press upon %is client co$pliance !it% t%e la!s an# t%e
principles of fairness3
Concurrent practice of anot%er profession
Rule 1D3483 A la!"er !%o is engage# in anot%er profession or occupation concurrentl"
!it% t%e practice of la! s%all $a@e clear to %is client !%et%er %e is acting as a la!"er
or in anot%er capacit"3
Respon#ent is a CPAla!"er !%o activel" practicing bot% professions3 Le is t%e senior
partner of %is la! an# accounting fir$s !%ic% carr" %is na$e3 in t%e case at bar0 %e is
c%arge# not for breac% of et%ics for being t%e co$$on accountant of t%e estate an#
t%e t!o cre#itors3 Le is c%arge# for allo!ing %is accounting fir$ to represent t!o
cre#itors of t%e estate an#0 at t%e sa$e ti$e0 allo!ing %is la! fir$ to represent t%e
estate in t%e procee#ings !%ere t%ese t!o cre#itors* clai$s are presente# ;Na@pil v3
Cal#es M1GG8N<3
Client*s $one"s an# properties
Fi#uciar" relations%ip
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
Article 12G10 NCC3 H T%e follo!ing persons cannot ac'uire b" purc%ase0 even at a public
or =u#icial auction0 eit%er in person or t%roug% t%e $e#iation of anot%er:
6 6 6
6 6 6
6 6 6
6 6 6
Bustices0 =u#ges0 prosecuting attorne"s0 cler@s of superior an# inferior courts0 an#
ot%er officers an# e$plo"ees connecte# !it% t%e a#$inistration of =ustice0 t%e
propert" an# rig%ts in litigation or levie# upon an e6ecution before t%e court !it%in
!%ose =uris#iction or territor" t%e" e6ercise t%eir respective functions; t%is
pro%ibition inclu#es t%e act of ac'uiring b" assign$ent an# s%all appl" to la!"ers0 !it%
respect to t%e propert" an# rig%ts !%ic% $a" be t%e ob=ect of an" litigation in !%ic%
t%e" $a" ta@e part b" virtue of t%eir profession;
6 6 6
Co$ingling of fun#s
Rule 1>341 A la!"er s%all account for all $one" or propert" collecte# or receive# for
or fro$ t%e client3
Attorne"*s lien not an e6cuse for failure to account ;Tanbueco v3 #e +u$o M1G8GN<3
Rule 1>349 A la!"er s%all @eep t%e fun#s of eac% client separate an# apart fro$ %is
o!n an# t%ose of ot%ers @ept b" %i$3
+eliver" of fun#s
Rule 1>347 A la!"er s%all #eliver t%e fun#s an# propert" of %is client !%en #ue or
upon #e$an#3 Lo!ever0 %e s%all %ave a lien over t%e fun#s an# $a" appl" so $uc%
t%ereof as $a" be necessar" to satisf" %is la!ful fees an# #isburse$ents0 giving notice
pro$ptl" t%ereafter to %is client3 Le s%all also %ave a lien to t%e sa$e e6tent on all
=u#g$ents an# e6ecutions %e %as secure# for %is client as provi#e# for in t%e Rules of
Court3
-orro!ing or len#ing
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
C%a$pertous Contracts; pro%ibite# H !%ere a la!"er assu$es all t%e e6penses of
litigation an# rei$burse$ent is contingent on outco$e of t%e case is a pro%ibite#
arrange$ent3
Fi#elit" to client*s cause
Co$petence an# #iligence
A#e'uate protection
Rules 18341 A la!"er s%all not un#erta@e a legal service !%ic% %e @no!s or s%oul# @no!
t%at %e is not 'ualifie# to ren#er3 Lo!ever0 %e $a" ren#er suc% service if0 !it% t%e
consent of %is client0 %e can obtain as collaborating counsel a la!"er !%o is co$petent
on t%e $atter3
Rule 18349 A la!"er s%all not %an#le an" legal $atter !it%out a#e'uate preparation3
Negligence
Rule 18347 A la!"er s%all not neglect a legal $atter entruste# to %i$0 an# %is
negligence in connection t%ere!it% s%all ren#er %i$ liable3
Instances of neglect of a counsel
Failure to perfect an appeal
Failure to file appellant*s brief on ti$e
Aban#on$ent of client*s cause !it%out for$alit" i3e3 accor#ing to respon#ent %e !as
un#er i$pression t%at %e %a# been #is$isse# as counsel because of a re$ar@ $a#e to
%i$ b" one of t%e %is client*s sons H untenable ;see a si$ilar case in "our 944G9419
surve" of =urispru#ence<
T%e court foun# t%at t%e #efen#ant !as totall" aban#one# b" %is counsel !%o %a# left
for t%e ,3&3 an# %a# not returne#3 T%e fact t%at t%e la!"er sent a Estan#inF counsel
!as of no $o$ent because t%is !as #one !it%out t%e client*s consent3 No attorne"
client relations%ip t%erefore e6iste# bet!een t%e #efen#ant an# t%e Estan#inF counsel
;&uare( v3 CA M1GG7N<3
Collaborating counsel
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
Rules 18341 A la!"er s%all not un#erta@e a legal service !%ic% %e @no!s or s%oul# @no!
t%at %e is not 'ualifie# to ren#er3 Lo!ever0 %e $a" ren#er suc% service if0 !it% t%e
consent of %is client0 %e can obtain as collaborating counsel a la!"er !%o is co$petent
on t%e $atter3
T%e fi#uciar" nature of attorne"client relations%ip pro%ibits a la!"er fro$
collaborating !it% anot%er in a particular case !it%out t%e consent of t%e client3
+ut" to apprise client
Rule 18342 A la!"er s%all @eep t%e client infor$e# of t%e status of %is case an# s%all
respon# !it%in a reasonable ti$e to t%e client5s re'uest for infor$ation3
,n#er t%e E#octrine of i$pute# @no!le#geF t%e @no!le#ge ac'uire# b" an attorne"
#uring t%e ti$e t%at %e is acting !it%in t%e scope of %is aut%orit" is i$pute# to t%e
client0 e6cept H
If strict application $ig%t foster #angerous collusion to t%e #etri$ent of =ustice;
&ervice of notice upon t%e part" instea# of upon %is attorne" is or#ere# b" court;
Notice of pretrial is re'uire# to be serve# upon t%e parties an# t%eir respective
la!"ers; an#
In appeal fro$ t%e lo!er court to t%e RTC0 upon #oc@eting of appeal3
Representation !it% (eal !it%in legal boun#s
,se of fair an# %onest $eans
Rule 1G341 A la!"er s%all e$plo" onl" fair an# %onest $eans to attain t%e la!ful
ob=ectives of %is client an# s%all not present0 participate in presenting or t%reaten to
present unfoun#e# cri$inal c%arges to obtain an i$proper a#vantage in an" case or
procee#ing3
Client*s frau#0 #uties of an attorne"
Rule 1G349 A la!"er !%o %as receive# infor$ation t%at %is client %as0 in t%e course of
t%e representation0 perpetrate# a frau# upon a person or tribunal0 s%all pro$ptl" call
upon t%e client to rectif" t%e sa$e0 an# failing !%ic% %e s%all ter$inate t%e
relations%ip !it% suc% client in accor#ance !it% t%e Rules of Court3
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
In re: Ein accor#ance !it% t%e Rules of CourtF refer to Rule 1780 &ec3 9>0 to !it:
Rule 1780 &ec3 9>3 C%ange of attorne"s3 A
An attorne" $a" retire at an" ti$e fro$ an" action or special procee#ing0 b" t%e
!ritten consent of %is client file# in court3
Le $a" also retire at an" ti$e fro$ an action or special procee#ing0 !it%out t%e
consent of %is client0 s%oul# t%e court0 on notice to t%e client an# attorne"0 an# on
%earing0 #eter$ine t%at %e oug%t to be allo!e# to retire3
In case of substitution0 t%e na$e of t%e attorne" ne!l" e$plo"e# s%all be entere# on
t%e #oc@et of t%e court in place of t%e for$er one0 an# !ritten notice of t%e c%ange
s%all be given to t%e a#vance part"3
Proce#ure in %an#ling cases
Rule 1G347 A la!"er s%all not allo! %is client to #ictate t%e proce#ure in %an#ling t%e
case
Attorne"*s fees
In t%e absence of an e6press contract0 pa"$ent of attorne"*s fees $a" be =ustifie# b"
virtue of t%e inno$inate contract of Efacio ut #esF ;I #o an# "ou give< !%ic% is base# on
t%e principle t%at Eno one s%all un=ustl" enric% %i$self at t%e e6pense of anot%erF
;Corpu( v3 CA0 M1G84N<3
Acceptance fees
Contingenc" fee arrange$ents
Contingent Fee H one t%at is con#itione# on t%e securing a favorable =u#g$ent an#
recover" of $one" or propert" an# t%e a$ount of !%ic% $a" be on a percentage basis3
It is not pro%ibite# b" la!0 but sub=ect to court regulation3
Quantu$ /eruit ;as $uc% as t%e la!"er #eserves< $a" be t%e basis for #eter$ining
t%e reasonable a$ount of attorne"*s fees3 It usall" applies H
W%en t%ere is no e6press contract for pa"$ent of attorne"*s fees;
W%en alt%oug% t%ere is a for$al contract for attorne"*s fees0 t%e fees stipulate# are
foun# to be unconscionable;
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
W%en t%e contract for attorne"*s fees is voi# #ue to for$al #efects in e6ecution;
W%en t%e la!"er an# t%e client #isregar# t%e contract for fees;
W%en0 for =ustifiable cause0 t%e la!"er !as not able to finis% t%e case;
W%en t%e client #is$isse# %is counsel before t%e ter$ination of t%e case3
Attorne"*s liens
Fees an# controversies !it% clients
Rule 94342 A la!"er s%all avoi# controversies !it% clients concerning %is
co$pensation an# s%all resort to =u#icial action onl" to prevent i$position0 in=ustice or
frau#3
Rule 1780 &ec3 923 Co$pensation of attorne"s; agree$ent as to fees
An attorne" s%all be entitle# to %ave an# recover fro$ %is client no $ore t%an a
reasonable co$pensation for %is services0 !it% a vie! to t%e i$portance of t%e sub=ect
$atter of t%e controvers"0 t%e e6tent of t%e services ren#ere#0 an# t%e professional
stan#ing of t%e attorne"3
No court s%all be boun# b" t%e opinion of attorne"s as e6pert !itnesses as to t%e
proper co$pensation0 but $a" #isregar# suc% testi$on" an# base its conclusion on its
o!n professional @no!le#ge3
A !ritten contract for services s%all control t%e a$ount to be pai# t%erefor unless
foun# b" t%e court to be unconscionable or unreasonable3
Rule 1780 &ec3 793 Co$pensation for attorne"s #e oficio
&ub=ect to availabilit" of fun#s as $a" be provi#e# b" t%e la! t%e court $a"0 in its
#iscretion0 or#er an attorne" e$plo"e# as counsel #e oficio to be co$pensates in suc%
su$ as t%e court $a" fi6 in accor#ance !it% section 92 of t%is rule3
W%enever suc% co$pensation is allo!e#0 it s%all be not less t%an t%irt" pesos ;P74< in
an" case0 nor $ore t%an t%e follo!ing a$ounts: ;1< Fift" pesos ;PD4< in lig%t felonies;
;9< One %un#re# pesos ;P144< in less grave felonies; ;7< T!o %un#re# pesos ;P944< in
grave felonies ot%er t%an capital offenses; ;2< Five Lun#re# pesos ;PD44< in capital
offenses3
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
W%en an# !%ere clai$ for fees $a" be asserte# H It is settle# t%at a clai$ for
attorne"*s fees $a" be asserte# eit%er in t%e ver" action in !%ic% a la!"er ren#ere#
%is services or in a separate action3 6 6 6 6 If t%e attorne" c%ooses t%e first
alternative0 !%ere t%e $ain case fro$ !%ic% t%e attorne"*s clai$ for fees $a" arise
%as not "et beco$e final0 t%e #eter$ination of t%e propriet" of sai# fees an# t%e
a$ount of t%ereof s%oul# be %el# in abe"ance ;Quirante v3 IAC0 M1G8GN<3 Fro$ t%e
foregoin0 it is obvious t%at in a!ar#ing attorne"*s fees0 %earing is a necessit"
;/etropolitan -an@ an# Trust Co3 v3 CA M1GG4N<3
Concept of attorne"*s fees
Or#inar" concept
E6traor#inar" concept
Preservation of client*s confi#ences
Pro%ibite# #isclosures an# use
+isclosure of client*s i#entit"; !%en privilege
W%ere a strong probabilit" e6ists t%at revealing t%e client*s na$e !oul# i$plicate t%e
client in t%e ver" activit" for !%ic% %e soug%t t%e la!"er*s a#vice;
W%ere #isclosure !oul# open t%e client to civil liabilit";
W%ere t%e govern$ent*s la!"ers %ave no case against an attorne"*s client unless0 b"
revealing t%e client*s na$e0 t%e sai# na$e !oul# furnis% t%e onl" lin@ t%at !oul# for$
t%e c%ain of testi$on" necessar" to convict an in#ivi#ual of a cri$e; an#
W%ere t%e client*s na$e %as an in#epen#ent significance0 suc% t%at #isclosure !oul#
t%en reveal t%e client*s confi#ences ;Regala et3 al3 v3 &an#iganba"an<3
+isclosure !%en allo!e#
Wit%#ra!al of services
Wit%#ra!al b" t%e la!"er
Rig%t of counsel to !it%#ra! onl" for goo# cause Man# upon notice appropriate in t%e
circu$stancesN ;Canon 990 CPR<3
Wit%#ra!al b" t%e client
LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS NOTES
A client %as an absolute rig%t to ter$inate t%e attorne"client relations%ip at an" ti$e
!it% or !it%out cause ;Orcino v3 )aspar M1GG?N<; but t%e e6ercise of suc% rig%t is
sub=ect to co$pliance !it% prescribe# proce#ural re'uire$ents ;Nacura" v3 NLRC<3
&,&PEN&ION0 +I&-AR/ENT AN+ +I&CIPLINE OF LAW.ER&
REA+/I&&ION TO TLE -AR
/AN+ATOR. CONTIN,IN) LE)AL E+,CATION
NOTARIAL PRACTICE