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LEGAL WRITING SAMPLE CASE DIGEST ©JKC-2015

I.SHORT TITLE: ANDRADA V. CERA

II. FULL TITLE: Celina F. Andrada versus Atty. Rodrigo Cera – A.C. No. 10187,
July 22, 2015, J. Brion

III. TOPIC: Legal Ethics – CPR

IV. STATEMENT OF FACTS:


Sometime 2009, Celina F. Andrada (Andrada) engaged the services of Atty. Rodrigo Cera (Cera)
to represent her in an annulment of marriage case. Copies of the birth certificates of the children
of Andrada, as issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO), were needed for the filing of the
case. Said certificates were however not filed with NSO since Andrada’s husband failed to
completely accomplish the same. Hence, Andrada gave Cera P3,000.00 to process with the NSO
the registration and issuance of the certificates. An additional P10,000.00 was given to Cera for the
conduct of the psychological examination on Cera and her children relative to the case. Upon
follow up in 2010, Andrada was asked by the NSO to produce the receipts. She then requested the
same from Cera but Cera failed to produce the same. Andrada also learned from the NSO that no
payment was made. On May 29, 2011, Andrada demanded for the surrender of the receipt and
the return of the P10,000.00. Despite receipt of the demand on May 30, 2011, Cera did not heed
the demand.

V. STATEMENT OF THE CASE:


On June 7, 2011, Andrada filed an administrative complaint before the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines – Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD). IBP Investigating Commissioner found
Cera guilty of violating Canons 1 and 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) and
recommended the imposition of three (3) years suspension from the practice of law. The IBP
Board of Governors adopted his findings but modified the recommended penalty to one (1) year.

VI. ISSUE:
1. Whether or not Cera violated Canon 1 of the CPR.
2. Whether or not Cera violated Canon 16 of the CPR.

VII. RULING:
1. Yes, Cera violated Canon 1. He did not exert effort on his client’s case, lied to her and reneged
on his obligations. His actions show negligence and lack of zeal. He violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1
due to his unlawful, dishonest, immoral and deceitful conduct. In relation thereto, he also violated
Rule 18.03 of Canon 18 when he neglected the legal matter entrusted to him.

2. Yes, he violated Canon 16. He misappropriated the funds entrusted to him when he unlawfully
withheld the same and when he failed to use the same for the intended purposes, thus violating
Canon 16 which holds a lawyer in trust of all moneys and properties of his client that may come
into his possession. Rule 16.03 of the same canon was also violated when he failed to deliver the
funds and property of Andrada when due and upon demand.

VIII. DISPOSITIVE PORTION:


Wherefore, respondent Atty. Rodrigo Cera is hereby suspended from the practice of law for ONE
(1) YEAR. He is warned that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more
severely.