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RULE 138 regularly studied law for four years, and

successfully completed all prescribed courses, in


ATTORNEYS AND ADMISSION TO BAR a law school or university, officially approved and
Section 1. Who may practice law. — Any person recognized by the Secretary of Education. The
heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a
or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with certificate from the university or school of law,
the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and
regular standing, is entitled to practice law. further evidence may be required by the court.

Section 2. Requirements for all applicants for No applicant shall be admitted to the bar
admission to the bar. — Every applicant for examinations unless he has satisfactorily
admission as a member of the bar must be a completed the following courses in a law
citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one school or university duly recognized by the
years of age, of good moral character, and government: civil law, commercial law, remedial
resident of the Philippines; and must produce law, criminal law, public and private international
before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence law, political law, labor and social legislation,
of good moral character, and that no charges medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.
against him, involving moral turpitude, have been Section 6. Pre-Law. — No applicant for
filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines. admission to the bar examination shall be
Section 3. Requirements for lawyers who are admitted unless he presents a certificate that he
citizens of the United States of America. — has satisfied the Secretary of Education that,
Citizens of the United States of America who, before he began the study of law, he had pursued
before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed members and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and
of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the recognized university or college, requiring for
courts of the Philippines and in good and regular admission thereto the completion of a four-year
standing as such may, upon satisfactory proof of high school course, the course of study
those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed prescribed therein for a bachelor's degree in arts
to continue such practice after taking the or sciences with any of the following subjects as
following oath of office: major or field of concentration: political science,
logic, english, spanish, history and economics.
I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., having
been permitted to continue in the practice of Section 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications.
law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear — All applicants for admission shall file with the
that I recognize the supreme authority of the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required
Republic of the Philippines; I will support its by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days
Constitution and obey the laws as well as the before the beginning of the examination. If not
legal orders of the duly constituted embraced within section 3 and 4 of this rule they
authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor shall also file within the same period the affidavit
consent to the doing of any in court; I will not
wittingly or willingly promote or sue any
and certificate required by section 5, and if
groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall
aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no exhibit a license evidencing the fact of their
man for money or malice, and will conduct admission to practice, satisfactory evidence that
myself as a lawyer according to the best of the same has not been revoked, and certificates
may knowledge and discretion with all good as to their professional standing. Applicants shall
fidelity as well as to the courts as to my also file at the same time their own affidavits as
clients; and I impose upon myself this to their age, residence, and citizenship.
voluntary obligation without any mental
reservation or purpose of evasion. So help Section 8. Notice of Applications. — Notice of
me God. applications for admission shall be published by
Section 4. Requirements for applicants from the clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers
other jurisdictions. — Applicants for admission published in Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at
who, being Filipino citizens, are enrolled least ten (10) days before the beginning of the
attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court examination.
of the United States or in any circuit court of Section 9. Examination; subjects. — Applicants,
appeals or district court therein, or in the highest not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of
court of any State or Territory of the United this rule, shall be subjected to examinations in the
States, and who can show by satisfactory following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social
certificates that they have practiced at least five Legislation; Mercantile Law; Criminal Law;
years in any of said courts, that such practice Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public
began before July 4, 1946, and that they have Corporations, and Public Officers); International
never been suspended or disbarred, may, in the Law (Private and Public); Taxation; Remedial
discretion of the Court, be admitted without Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and
examination. Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises
Section 5. Additional requirements for other (in Pleadings and Conveyancing).
applicants. — All applicants for admission other Section 10. Bar examination, by questions and
than those referred to in the two preceding answers, and in writing. — Persons taking the
section shall, before being admitted to the examination shall not bring papers, books or
examination, satisfactorily show that they have
notes into the examination rooms. The questions and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10
shall be the same for all examinees and a copy per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics
thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.
each examinee. Examinees shall answer the
questions personally without help from anyone. Section 15. Report of the committee; filing of
examination papers. — Not later than February
Upon verified application made by an examinee 15th after the examination, or as soon thereafter
stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will as may be practicable, the committee shall file its
be difficult to read his answers without much loss report on the result of such examination. The
of time., the Supreme Court may allow such examination papers and notes of the committee
examinee to use a typewriter in answering the shall be filed with the clerk and may there be
questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be examined by the parties in interest, after the court
allowed to be used. has approved the report.
The committee of bar examiner shall take such Section 16. Failing candidates to take review
precautions as are necessary to prevent the course. — Candidates who have failed the bar
substitution of papers or commission of other examinations for three times shall be disqualified
frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on from taking another examination unless they
the examination papers. No oral examination show the satisfaction of the court that they have
shall be given. enrolled in and passed regular fourth year
review classes as well as attended a pre-bar
Section 11. Annual examination. — review course in a recognized law school.
Examinations for admission to the bar of the
Philippines shall take place annually in the City of The professors of the individual review subjects
Manila. They shall be held in four days to be attended by the candidates under this rule shall
disignated by the chairman of the committee on certify under oath that the candidates have
bar examiners. The subjects shall be distributed regularly attended classes and passed the
as follows: First day: Political and International subjects under the same conditions as ordinary
Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation students and the ratings obtained by them in the
(afternoon); Second day: Civil Law (morning) and particular subject.
Taxation (afternoon); Third day: Mercantile Law
(morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth Section 17. Admission and oath of successful
day: Remedial Law (morning) and legal Ethics applicants. — An applicant who has passed the
and Practical Exercises (afternoon). required examination, or has been otherwise
found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall
Section 12. Committee of examiners. — take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the
Examinations shall be conducted by a committee corresponding oath of office.
of bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme
Court. This committee shall be composed of a Section 18. Certificate. — The supreme Court
Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall act as shall thereupon admit the applicant as a member
chairman, and who shall be designated by the of the bar for all the courts of the Philippines, and
court to serve for one year, and eight members of shall direct an order to be entered to that effect
the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for upon its records, and that a certificate of such
a period of one year. The names of the members record be given to him by the clerk of court, which
of this committee shall be published in each certificate shall be his authority to practice.
volume of the official reports. Section 19. Attorney's roll. — The clerk of the
Section 13. Disciplinary measures. — No Supreme Court shall kept a roll of all attorneys
candidate shall endeavor to influence any admitted to practice, which roll shall be signed by
member of the committee, and during the person admitted when he receives his
examination the candidates shall not certificate.
communicate with each other nor shall they give Section 20. Duties of attorneys. — It is the duty
or receive any assistance. The candidate who of an attorney:
violates this provisions, or any other provision of
this rule, shall be barred from the examination, (a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of
and the same to count as a failure against him, the Philippines and to support the
and further disciplinary action, including Constitution and obey the laws of the
permanent disqualification, may be taken in the Philippines.
discretion of the court.
(b) To observe and maintain the respect due
Section 14. Passing average. — In order that a
to the courts of justice and judicial officers;
candidate may be deemed to have passed his
examinations successfully, he must have (c) To counsel or maintain such actions or
obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all proceedings only as appear to him to be just,
subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any and such defenses only as he believes to be
subjects. In determining the average, the subjects honestly debatable under the law.
in the examination shall be given the following
relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and (d) To employ, for the purpose of
Social Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, maintaining the causes confided to him, such
15 per cent; Criminal Law; 10 per cent: Political means only as are consistent with truth and
honor, and never seek to mislead the judge Section 24. Compensation of attorneys;
or any judicial officer by an artifice or false agreement as to fees. — An attorney shall be
statement of fact or law; entitled to have and recover from his client no
more than a reasonable compensation for his
(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and services, with a view to the importance of the
at every peril to himself, to preserve the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of
secrets of his client, and to accept no the services rendered, and the professional
compensation in connection with his client's standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound
business except from him or with his by the opinion of attorneys as expert witnesses
knowledge and approval; as to the proper compensation, but may disregard
(f) To abstain from all offensive personality such testimony and base its conclusion on its own
and to advance no fact prejudicial to the professional knowledge. A written contract for
honor or reputation of a party or witness, services shall control the amount to be paid
unless required by the justice of the cause therefor unless found by the court to be
with which he is charged; unconscionable or unreasonable.

(g) Not to encourage either the Section 25. Unlawful retention of client's funds;
commencement or the continuance of an contempt. — When an attorney unjustly retains in
action or proceeding, or delay any man's his hands money of his client after it has been
cause, from any corrupt motive or interest; demanded, he may be punished for contempt as
an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his
(h) Never to reject, for any consideration official transactions; but proceedings under this
personal to himself, the cause of the section shall not be a bar to a criminal
defenseless or oppressed; prosecution.

(i) In the defense of a person accused of Section 26. Change of attorneys. — An attorney
crime, by all fair and honorable means, may retire at any time from any action or special
regardless of his personal opinion as to the proceeding, by the written consent of his client
guilt of the accused, to present every defense filed in court. He may also retire at any time from
that the law permits, to the end that no an action or special proceeding, without the
person may be deprived of life or liberty, but consent of his client, should the court, on notice
by due process of law. to the client and attorney, and on hearing,
determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. In
Section 21. Authority of attorney to appear. — an case of substitution, the name of the attorney
attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to newly employed shall be entered on the docket of
represent any cause in which he appears, and no the court in place of the former one, and written
written power of attorney is required to authorize notice of the change shall be given to the advance
him to appear in court for his client, but the party.
presiding judge may, on motion of either party
and on reasonable grounds therefor being A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or
shown, require any attorney who assumes the substitute another in his place, but if the contract
right to appear in a case to produce or prove the between client and attorney has been reduced to
authority under which he appears, and to writing and the dismissal of the attorney was
disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue, the without justifiable cause, he shall be entitled to
name of the person who employed him, and may recover from the client the full compensation
thereupon make such order as justice requires. stipulated in the contract. However, the attorney
An attorneys wilfully appear in court for a person may, in the discretion of the court, intervene in the
without being employed, unless by leave of the case to protect his rights. For the payment of his
court, may be punished for contempt as an officer compensation the attorney shall have a lien upon
of the court who has misbehaved in his official all judgments for the payment of money, and
transactions. executions issued in pursuance of such
judgment, rendered in the case wherein his
Section 22. Attorney who appears in lower court services had been retained by the client.
presumed to represent client on appeal. — An
attorney who appears de parte in a case before a Section 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by
lower court shall be presumed to continue Supreme Court on what grounds. — A member of
representing his client on appeal, unless he files the bar may be removed or suspended from his
a formal petition withdrawing his appearance in office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any
the appellate court. deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in
such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by
Section 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients. reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral
— Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he
any case by any agreement in relation thereto is required to take before the admission to
made in writing, and in taking appeals, and in all practice, or for a wilfull disobedience of any lawful
matters of ordinary judicial procedure. But they order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willful
cannot, without special authority, compromise appearing as an attorney for a party to a case
their client's litigation, or receive anything in without authority so to do. The practice of
discharge of a client's claim but the full amount in soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain,
cash. either personally or through paid agents or
brokers, constitutes malpractice.
Section 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court Section 34. By whom litigation conducted. — In
of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. — The the court of a justice of the peace a party may
Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an
suspend an attorney from practice for any of the agent or friend appointed by him for the purpose,
causes named in the last preceding section, and or with the aid an attorney. In any other court, a
after such suspension such attorney shall not party may conduct his litigation personally or by
practice his profession until further action of the aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be
Supreme Court in the premises. either personal or by a duly authorized member
of the bar.
Section 29. Upon suspension by the Court of
Appeals or Court of First Instance, further Section 35. Certain attorneys not to practice. —
proceedings in Supreme Court. — Upon such No judge or other official or employee of the
suspension, the Court of Appeals or the Court of superior courts or of the Office of the Solicitor
First Instance shall forthwith transmit to the General, shall engage in private practice as a
Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of member of the bar or give professional advice to
suspension and a full statement of the facts upon clients.
which the same was based. Upon the receipt of
such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Section 36. Amicus Curiae. — Experienced and
Court shall make a full investigation of the facts impartial attorneys may be invited by the Court to
involved and make such order revoking or appear as amici curiae to help in the disposition
extending the suspension, or removing the of issues submitted to it.
attorney from his office as such, as the facts Section 37. Attorneys' liens. — An attorney shall
warrant. have a lien upon the funds, documents and
Section 30. Attorney to be heard before removal papers of his client which have lawfully come into
or suspension. — No attorney shall be removed his possession and may retain the same until his
or suspended from the practice of his profession, lawful fees and disbursements have been paid,
until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable and may apply such funds to the satisfaction
notice to answer the charges against him, to thereof. He shall also have a lien to the same
produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be extent upon all judgments for the payment of
heard by himself or counsel. But if upon money, and executions issued in pursuance of
reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer such judgments, which he has secured in a
the accusation, the court may proceed to litigation of his client, from and after the time when
determine the matter ex parte. he shall have the caused a statement of his claim
of such lien to be entered upon the records of the
Section 31. Attorneys for destitute litigants. — A court rendering such judgment, or issuing such
court may assign an attorney to render execution, and shall have the caused written
professional aid free of charge to any party in a notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to
case, if upon investigation it appears that the the adverse paty; and he shall have the same
party is destitute and unable to employ an right and power over such judgments and
attorney, and that the services of counsel are executions as his client would have to enforce his
necessary to secure the ends of justice and to lien and secure the payment of his just fees and
protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty disbursements
of the attorney so assigned to render the required
service, unless he is excused therefrom by the
court for sufficient cause shown.
Section 32. Compensation for attorneys de
oficio. — Subject to availability of funds as may
be provided by the law the court may, in its
discretion, order an attorney employed as
counsel de oficio to be compensates in such sum
as the court may fix in accordance with section 24
of this rule. Whenever such compensation is
allowed, it shall be not less than thirty pesos (P30)
in any case, nor more than the following amounts:
(1) Fifty pesos (P50) in light felonies; (2) One
hundred pesos (P100) in less grave felonies; (3)
Two hundred pesos (P200) in grave felonies
other than capital offenses; (4) Five Hundred
pesos (P500) in capital offenses.
Section 33. Standing in court of person
authorized to appear for Government. — Any
official or other person appointed or designated in
accordance with law to appear for the
Government of the Philippines shall have all the
rights of a duly authorized member of the bar to
appear in any case in which said government has
an interest direct or indirect.