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LEGAL & JUDICIAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES

2017 BAR REVIEWER

LAWYERS OATH:

I, ______________________ of ___________, do solemnly swear that I will


maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution
and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities
therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not
wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid
nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct
myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion with all good
fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself this voluntary
obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God. 1

A. PRACTICE OF LAW

1. CONCEPT
a) DEFINITION: Practice of Law - - Any activity, in or out of court, which requires the
application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage
in the practice of law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or
service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill (Cayetano v.
Monsod, 201 SCRA 210). Generally, to practice law is to render any kind of service
which requires the use of legal knowledge or skill.
b) PRACTICE OF LAW IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT. The right to practice law is
not a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege. It is limited to persons of good
moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. The
exercise of this privilege presupposes possession of integrity, legal knowledge,
educational attainment, and even public trust since a lawyer is an officer of the
court. A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice law simply by passing
the bar examinations. The practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even
from one who has passed the bar examinations, if the person seeking admission
had practiced law without a license.
c) LAW IS A PROFESION, NOT A BUSINESS OR TRADE. Lawyering is not primarily
meant to be a money-making venture, and law advocacy is not a capital that
necessarily yields profits. The gaining of a livelihood is not a professional but a
secondary consideration.13 Duty to public service and to the administration of justice
should be the primary consideration of lawyers, who must subordinate their personal
interests or what they owe to themselves. The practice of law is a noble calling in
which emolument is a byproduct, and the highest eminence may be attained without
making much money.

2. QUALIFICATIONS FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR.Every applicant for admission as a


member of the bar must be
a) a citizen of the Philippines,
b) at least twenty-one years of age,
c) of good moral character,
d) and resident of the Philippines;
e) and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral
character, and that
f) no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in
any court in the Philippines.

1* Memorize this and think that you will take this oath after the Bar and it shall be so.
(Sabi ng mga pumasa na ng BAR dito lang daw sa LAWYERS OATH umiikot ang mga
tanong sa LEGAL ETHICS)
3. APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYERS

a) LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE. (RULE 138-A).


Section 1. Conditions for student practice. A law student
who has successfully completed his 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.

Section 2. Appearance. The appearance of the law student


authorized by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision and
control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines 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.

Section 3. Privileged communications. The Rules


safeguarding privileged communications between attorney and
client shall apply to similar communications made to or received by
the law student, acting for the legal clinic.

Section 4. Standards of conduct and supervision. The law


student shall comply with the standards of professional conduct
governing members of the Bar. Failure of an attorney to provide
adequate supervision of student practice may be a ground for
disciplinary action.

*However, in Bar Matter No. 730, the Court En Banc clarified


that the said Rule, however, is different if the law student appears
before an inferior court, where the issues and procedure are
relatively simple. In inferior courts, a law student may appear in
his personal capacity without the supervision of a lawyer.

*Student as a non-lawyer. a law student may appear before an


inferior court as an agent or friend of a party without the
supervision of a member of the bar.

b) NON-LAWYERS IN COURTS. Section 34, Rule 138 provides that in


the court of a justice of the peace, a party may conduct his
litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend
appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an
attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his
litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his
appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized
member of the bar.
1. In cases before the MTC, a party may conduct his case or litigation in person, with
the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose (Sec. 34, Rule 138,
RRC).

2. Before any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally (Ibid)

3. In a criminal case before the MTC in a locality where a duly licensed member of the
Bar is not available, the judge may appoint a non-lawyer who is
a. resident of the province, and
b. of good repute for probity and ability to aid the accused in his defense (Rule
116, Sec. 7, RRC)

4. A senior law student, who is enrolled in a recognized law schools clinical education
program approved by the Supreme Court may appear before any court without
compensation, to represent indigent clients accepted by the Legal Clinic of the law
school. The student shall be under the direct supervision and control of an IBP
member duly accredited by the law school.

5. Under the Labor Code, non-lawyers may appear before the NLRC or any Labor
Arbiter, if (1) they represent themselves, or if (2) they represent their organization or
members thereof (Art. 222, PO 442, as amended).

6. Under the Cadastral Act, a non-lawyer can represent a claimant before the Cadastral
Court (Act No. 2259, Sec. 9).

7. Any person appointed to appear for the government of the Phil. in accordance with
law (Sec. 33 Rule 138).

c) NON-LAWYERS IN ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS


D) PROCEEDINGS WHERE LAWYERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM APPEARING
AS COUNSELS

4. SANCTIONS FOR PRACTICE OR APPEARANCE WITHOUT AUTHORITY


a) LAWYERS WITHOUT AUTHORITY
b) PERSONS WHO ARE NOT LAWYERS

* Remedies Against Unauthorized Practice


1. Petition for Injunction
2. Declaratory Relief
3. Contempt of Court
4. Disqualification and complaints for disbarment
5. Criminal complaint for estafa who falsely represented to be an attorney to the
damage party

5. PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND THE PRACTICE OF LAW


a) PROHIBITION OR DISQUALIFICATION OF FORMER GOVERNMENT
ATTORNEYS
b) PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO CANNOT PRACTICE LAW OR CAN PRACTICE
LAW WITH RESTRICITIONS

6. LAWYERS WHO ARE AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT GOVERNMENT


7. LAWYERS OATH
Nature of a Lawyers Oath:

The lawyers oath is not a mere formality recited for a few minutes in the glare of flashing
cameras and before the presence of select witness. (In re: Arthur M. Cuevas, Jr. 285 SCRA
59, January 27. 1998).

The lawyers oath is not mere facile words, drift and hollow, but a sacred trust that must be
upheld and kept inviolable. (Sebastian v. Calis, Adm. Case No. 5118, Sept. 9, 1999)

Duties of Attorneys:

a. to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the


Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines;

b. observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial
officers;

c. to counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him as


just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under
the laws;

d. to employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such
means as only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to
mislead the judge as any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of
fact or law;

e. to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve


the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with
his clients business except from him or with his knowledge and approval;

f. to abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to


the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of
the cause with which he is charged;

g. not to encourage either in the commencement or the continuance of an


action or proceeding, or delay any mans cause for any corrupt motive or
interest;

h. never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the
defenseless or oppressed;

i. in the defense of a person accused of a crime, by all fair and honorable


means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to
present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be
deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law.