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LANCE M.

APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Adm. Case No. 4749 January 20, 2000. 322 SCRA 529

SOLIMAN M. SANTOS, JR., complainant


Vs.
ATTY. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS, respondent

Misrepresentation and Non-payment of Bar Membership Dues

FACTS:

This is a complaint for misrepresentation andon-payment of bar membership dues filed against
respondent Atty. Francisco R. Llamas. In a letter-complaint to this Court dated February 8, 1997,
complainant Soliman M. Santos, Jr., himself a member of the bar, alleged that Atty. Llamas, who for a
number of years now, has not indicated the proper PTR and IBP OR Nos. and data in his pleadings. If at all,
he only indicated IBP Rizal 259060 but he has been using this for at least 3 years already. On the other
hand, respondent, who is now of age, averred that he is only engaged in a limited practice of law and
under RA 7432, as a senior citizen, he is exempted from payment of income taxes and included in this
exemption, is the payment of membership dues.

CANON 7: A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession, and support
the activities of the integrated bar.

CANON 10: A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the respondent has misled the court about his standing in the IBP by using the
same IBP O.R. number in his pleadings of at least 6 years and therefore liable for his actions.

Whether or not the respondent is exempt from paying his membership dues owing to limited
practice of law and for being a senior citizen.

HELD:

Guilty. Respondent Atty. Francisco R. Llamas is suspended from the practice of law for one (1)
year, or until he has paid his IBP dues, whichever is later. Rule 139-A requires that every member of the
Integrated Bar shall pay annual dues and default thereof for six months shall warrant suspension of
membership and if nonpayment covers a period of 1-year, default shall be a ground for removal of the
delinquent’ s name from the Roll of Attorneys. It does not matter whether or not respondent is only
engaged in limited practice of law. Moreover, the exemption invoked by respondent does not include
exemption from payment of membership or association dues.
In addition, by indicating in his pleadings and thereby misrepresenting to the public and the courts
that he had paid his IBP dues to the Rizal Chapter, respondent is guilty of violating the Code of Professional
Responsibility that provides: Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct. His act is also a violation of Rule 10.01 which provides that: A lawyer shall not do any
falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; nor mislead or allow the court to be misled by any
artifice.
A.M. No. AC 4762 dated June 28, 2004
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LINDA VDA. DE ESPINO, complainant,


vs.
ATTY. PEPITO C. PRESQUITO, respondent.
FACTS:

Mrs. Linda Vda. de Espino filed a letter-complaint with the Court Administrator Alfredo Benipayo
for "having employed fraud, trickery and dishonest means in refusing to honor and pay [her] late husband
Virgilio Espino, when he was still alive, the sum of P763,060.00" against Atty Pepito C. Presquito
(respondent). Mr. Espino and the respondent entered into an agreement for a purchase of land by the
latter from the former. The price of the land was P1,437,410.00, payable on a staggered basis and by
installments. Respondent issues post dated checks as payment. Respondent then entered into a joint
venture or partnership agreement with Mrs. Guadalupe Ares for the subdivision of the land into home-
size lots and its development, with a portion of the land retained by respondent for his own use. The land
was
eventually titled in the name of respondent and Mrs. Ares, and subdivided into 35 to 36 lots.
The 8 post-dated checks issued by respondent were all dishonored. Mr. Espino made repeated
demands for payment from respondent but the latter refused. Mr. Espino died in December 1996. His
widow, complainant, then tried to collect from respondent the value of the eight checks. When
complainant’s numerous pleas remained unheeded, she filed the complaint in June 1997.
Respondent denied any wrongdoing, and said that the allegations that he had employed "fraud,
trickery and dishonest means" with the late Mr. Espino were totally false and baseless.
Respondents claim that he and Mr. Espino, agreed that Mr Espino will not encash the checks until the
right of way problem has been resolved. In addition, respondent claims that the balance would be offset
with the cost he incurred when he defended Mr. Espino’s son in a criminal case.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the respondent failed to act with candor and fairness towards the complainant.

HELD:
Complainant’s testimony and exhibits have clearly established that: (1) there was an agreement
between respondent and complainant’s late husband for the sale of the latter’s land; (2) respondent had
issued the eight checks in connection with said agreement; (3) these checks were dishonored and remain
unpaid; and (4) the land sold had an existing road-rightof- way.
The responded failed to prove that he had legal cause to refuse payment, or that he was entitled
to legal compensation. Respondent’s failure to present evidence is a breach of Rule
12.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Having no legal defense to refuse payment of the 8 dishonored checks, respondent’s indifference
to complainant’s entreaties for payment was conduct unbecoming of a member of the bar and an officer
of the court. Respondent violated the Code of Professional Responsibility by his unlawful, dishonest and
deceitful conduct towards complainant and her late husband, first by allowing the 8 checks he issued to
bounce, then by ignoring the repeated demands for payment until complainant was forced to file this
complaint, and finally by deliberately delaying the disposition of this case with dilatory tactics.

A.C. No. 4585 November 12, 2004

MICHAEL P. BARRIOS, complainant


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Vs.
ATTY. FRANCISCO P. MARTINEZ, respondent

Petition for Disbarment for having been Convicted in a Crime involving Moral Turpitude

FACTS:

This is a verified petition for disbarment filed against Atty. Francisco Martinez for having been
convicted by final judgment in Criminal Case No. 6608 of a crime involving moral turpitude by Branch 8 of
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tacloban City. Respondent has been found guilty and convicted by final
judgment for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 for issuing a worthless check in the amount of P8, 000. He is imposed
a penalty of one (1) year imprisonment and fine double the amount of the check which is EIGHT
THOUSAND (8,000.00) PESOS, plus payment of the tax pursuant to Section 205 of the Internal Revenue
Code and costs against the accused.

RULES:

Sec. 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, a member of the Bar may be disbarred or suspended from
his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such
office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for
any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a willful
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willfully appearing as an attorney
for a party to a case without authority to do so.
Sec. 12, Disqualifications. Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or
incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion, or for any
offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months, or for a crime
involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office, unless he has been
given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.

Moral turpitude "includes everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals."
It involves "an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellow
men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man
and woman, or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals."

HELD:

Atty. Francisco P. Martinez, respondent, is disbarred and his name is ordered stricken from the
Roll of Attorneys. The act of a lawyer in issuing a check without sufficient funds to cover the same
constitutes such willful dishonesty and immoral conduct as to undermine the public confidence in law and
lawyers. And while "the general rule is that a lawyer may not be suspended or disbarred, and the court
may not ordinarily assume jurisdiction to discipline him for misconduct in his non-professional or private
capacity, where, however, the misconduct outside of the lawyer's professional dealings is so gross a
character as to show him morally unfit for the office and unworthy of the privilege which his licenses and
the law confer on him, the court may be justified in suspending or removing him from the office of
attorney."
A.C. No. 716 January 30, 1969

EDUARDO J. BERENGUER, complainant


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Vs.
PEDRO B. CARRANZA, respondent

Confusion and Prolongation of the Cadastral Suit

FACTS:

A complaint against respondent Pedro B. Carranza was filed on July 15, 1966, for deception
practiced on the Court of First Instance of Sorsogon, in that aware of the falsity of an Affidavit of
Adjudication and Transfer executed by the mother of his client to the effect that her own mother left no
legitimate ascendants or descendants or any other heirs except herself, when, as a matter of fact, the
deceased was survived by four other daughters and one son, father of the complainant, he introduced
the same in evidence. Respondent was charged with "violation of his oath of office, having caused
confusion and prolongation of the cadastral suit for presenting evidence containing a false statement
inconsistent with facts he definitely knows by reason of the family litigations between his client and
complainant, which are rooted in succession rights and that respondent's failure to discharge his duties
as a lawyer consistent with his oath of office.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Carranza violated his oath for prolongation of the cadastral suit.

HELD:

Pedro B. Carranza, respondent, is reprimanded and warned that a repetition of an offense of this
character would be much more severely dealt with.
Every member of the bar must be on his guard, lest through oversight or inadvertence, the way
he conducts his case or the evidence he presents could conceivably result in a failure of justice.
Time and time again, lawyers have been admonished to remember that they are officers of the court, and
that while they owe their clients the duty of complete fidelity and the utmost diligence, they are likewise
held to strict accountability insofar as candor and honesty towards the court is concerned.
Even if there be no intent to deceive, a lawyer whose conduct betrays inattention or carelessness
should not be allowed to free himself from a charge instituted against him by the mere plea that his
conduct was not willful and that he has not consented to the doing of the falsity.

G.R. No. 100113 September 3, 1991

RENATO CAYETANO, petitioner


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Vs.
CHRISTIAN MONSOD, HON. JOVITO R. SALONGA, Commission on Appointment and HON. GUILLERMO
CARAGUE, Secretary of Budget and Management, respondents

FACTS:

Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of
Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments on
April 25, 1991. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the
required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
On June 5, 1991, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as
Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office. On the same day, he assumed
office as Chairman of the COMELEC.
Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Monsod's
nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition
praying that said confirmation and the consequent appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the
Commission on Elections be declared null and void.
Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar examinations of
1960 with a grade of 86-55%. He has been a dues paying member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
since its inception in 1972-73. He has also been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more
than ten years.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the respondent has the 10 years of practice of law requirement for him to assume
such office.

HELD:

The petition is DISMISSED. The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public
hearings on Monsod's confirmation, implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications
as required by law. Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term “Practice of Law",
particularly the modern concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction
intended by the framers of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist,
a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-
legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.

A.C. 1928 December 19, 1980

(In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Delinquency) Atty. MARCIAL A. EDILLION, petitioner
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Reinstatement of a Disbarred Member of the Bar

FACTS:

Respondent Marcial A. Edillon was disbarred on August 3, 1978, the vote being unanimous with
the late. On November 29, 1975, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP for short) Board of Governors,
unanimously adopted Resolution No. 75-65 in Administrative case No. MDD-1 (In the Matter of the
Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. Marcial A. Edillon) recommending to the Court the removal of the
name of the respondent from its Roll of Attorneys for 'stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues' to
the IBP since the latter's constitution notwithstanding due notice. From the time the decision was
rendered, there were various pleadings filed by respondent for reinstatement starting with a motion for
reconsideration dated August 19, 1978.

RULE:

Effect of non-payment of dues: Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this Rule, default in the payment
of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of membership in the Integrated Bar, and default
in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member
from the Roll of Attorneys.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Marcial A. Edillon shall be disbar and strick out his name in the
Roll of Attorneys due to his stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues.
Whether or not refusal to pay his IBP member dues invade his constitutional rights.

HELD:

The Court restores to membership to the bar Marcial A. Edillon. On the petition of Mr. Marcial
Edillon for reinstatement to the Roll of Attorneys, appearing that he had fully paid his delinquent
membership fees due the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and submitted to the IBP Board of Governors
a verified application for reinstatement together with an undertaking to abide by all By-laws and
resolutions by said Board in the event of reinstatement, the Court Resolved to grant the petition of Mr.
Marcial A. Edillon to be reinstated as a member of the Philippine Bar. He was allowed to take anew the
lawyer's oath and sign the Roll of Attorneys after payment of the required fees.

A. M. No. 139 March 28, 1983


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ATTY. PROCOPIO S. BELTRAN, JR., President of the Philippine Trial Lawyers Association, Inc.,
complainant
Vs.
ELMO S. ABAD, respondent

FACTS:

Mr. Elmo S. Abad was charged by Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., president of the Philippine Trial
Lawyers Association, Inc., of practicing law without having been previously admitted to the Philippine Bar.
Respondent Abad’s circumstances which he has narrated do not constitute his admission to the Philippine
Bar and the right to practice law. He should fulfill the two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer
namely: his lawyer's oath to be administered by Court and his signature in the Roll of Attorneys.

ISSUES:

Whether or not Abad can engage in practice of law.

Whether or not Atty. Jacobe liable in his collaboration with the respondent.

HELD:

Mr. Elmo S. Abad is fined Five Hundred (P500.00) pesos payable to the Court within ten (10) days
from notice, failing which he shall serve twenty-five (25) days imprisonment. The proven charge against
respondent Abad constitutes contempt of court.

G.R. No. L-27654 February 18, 1970


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ATTY. VICENTE RAUL ALMACEN In L-27654, ANTONIO H. CALERO


Vs.
VIRGINIA Y. YAPTINCHAY

Petition to Surrender Lawyer's Certificate of Title

FACTS:

Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen's "Petition to Surrender Lawyer's Certificate of Title," filed on
September 25, 1967, in protest against what he therein asserts is "a great injustice committed against his
client by this Supreme Court." He indicts the Court, in his own phrase, as a tribunal "peopled by men who
are calloused to our pleas for justice, who ignore without reasons their own applicable decisions and
commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity." His client's he continues, who was deeply
aggrieved by this Court's "unjust judgment," has become "one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of
hypocrisy." In the same breath that he alludes to the classic symbol of justice, he ridicules the members
of this Court, saying "that justice as administered by the present members of the Supreme Court is not
only blind, but also deaf and dumb." He then vows to argue the cause of his client "in the people's forum,"
so that "the people may know of the silent injustice’s committed by this Court," and that "whatever
mistakes, wrongs and injustices that were committed must never be repeated." There is no use continuing
his law practice, Almacen said in this petition, "where our Supreme Court is composed of men who are
calloused to our pleas for justice, who ignore without reason their own applicable decisions and commit
culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity. He expressed the hope that by divesting himself of
his title by which he earns his living, the present members of the Supreme Court "will become responsive
to all cases brought to its attention without discrimination, and will purge itself of those unconstitutional
and obnoxious "lack of merit" or "denied resolutions.
Atty. Almacen gave vent to his disappointment by filing his "Petition to Surrender Lawyer's
Certificate of Title," already adverted to a pleading that is interspersed from beginning to end with the
insolent contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and derogatory remarks against the Court as well as its
individual members, a behavior that is as unprecedented as it is unprofessional.

ISSUE:
Atty. Almacen gave vent to his disappointment by filing his "Petition to Surrender Lawyer's
Certificate of Title," already adverted to — a pleading that is interspersed from beginning to end
with the insolent contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and derogatory remarks hereinbefore
reproduced, against this Court as well as its individual members, a behavior that is as
unprecedented as it is unprofessional.

HELD:

Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen was suspended from the practice of law until further orders; the
suspension was to take effect immediately. The misconduct committed by Atty. Almacen is of
considerable gravity which cannot be overemphasized. However, heeding the stern injunction that
disbarment should never be decreed where a lesser sanction would accomplish the end desired, and
believing that it may not perhaps be futile to hope that in the sober light of some future day, Atty. Almacen
will realize that abrasive language never fails to do disservice to an advocate and that in every
effervescence of candor there is ample room for the added glow of respect, it was viewed that the
suspension will suffice under the circumstances. His demonstrated persistence in his misconduct by
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

neither manifesting repentance nor offering apology therefore left the court no way of determining how
long that suspension should last and, accordingly, the court are impelled to decree that the same should
be indefinite. For, at any time after the suspension becomes effective he may prove to the Court that he
is once again fit to resume the practice of law.

B.M. No. 712 March 19, 1997


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RE: PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYERS OATH

FACTS:

Petitioner Al Caparros Argosino passed the bar examinations held in 1993. The Court however
deferred his oath-taking due to his previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting In Homicide.
The criminal case which resulted in petitioner's conviction arose from the death of a neophyte during
fraternity initiation rites sometime in September 1991. Petitioner and seven (7) other accused initially
entered pleas of not guilty to homicide charges. The eight (8) accused later withdrew their initial pleas
and upon re-arraignment all pleaded guilty to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
The Court through then Senior Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano issued a resolution
requiring petitioner Al C. Argosino to submit to the Court evidence that he may now be regarded as
complying with the requirement of good moral character imposed upon those seeking admission to the
bar.
Petitioner submitted no less than fifteen (15) certifications/ letters executed by among others two
(2) senators, five (5) trial court judges, and six (6) members of religious orders. Petitioner likewise
submitted evidence that a scholarship foundation had been established in honor of Raul Camaligan, the
hazing victim, through joint efforts of the latter's family and the eight (8) accused in the criminal case.

ISSUE:

Whether or not is Argosino allowed to take the Lawyers Oath?


Whether or not is Argosino morally fit to practice the legal profession?

HELD:

Petitioner Al Caparros Argosino was allowed to take the lawyer's oath on a date set by the Court,
to sign the Roll of Attorneys and, thereafter, to practice the legal profession. In allowing Mr. Argosino to
take the lawyer's oath, the Court recognizes that Mr. Argosino is not inherently of bad moral fiber. The
various certifications show that he is a devout Catholic with a genuine concern for civic duties and public
service. The Court is persuaded that Mr. Argosino has exerted all efforts to atone for the death of Raul
Camaligan. They are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice of the general
tendency of youth to be rash, temerarious and uncalculating.

JULIETA B. NARAG, complainant


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

vs.

ATTY. DOMINADOR M. NARAG, respondent

Administrative Complaint for Disbarment

FACTS:

On November 13, 1989, Mrs. Julieta B. Narag filed an administrative complaint for disbarment
against her husband, Atty. Dominador M. Narag, whom she accused of having violated Canons 1 and 6,
Rule 1.01 of the Code of Ethics for Lawyers. Respondent Narag is accused of gross immorality for
abandoning his family in order to live with Gina Espita.
On the strength of the testimony of her witnesses, the complainant was able to establish that
respondent abandoned his family and lived with another woman. Absent any evidence showing that these
witnesses had an ill motive to testify falsely against the respondent, their testimonies are deemed worthy
of belief.

RULES:

Rule 1.01: A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

CANON 7: A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession, and support
the activities of the Integrated Bar.

Rule 7.03: A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor
should he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal
profession.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Dominador M. Narag violated the Canon of the Code of Ethics for Lawyers.

HELD:
Dominador M. Narag is disbarred and his name is ordered stricken from the Roll of Attorneys. The
respondent was disbarred after the complainant proved that he had abandoned her and maintained an
adulterous relationship with a married woman. The Court declared that respondent failed to maintain the
highest degree of morality expected and required of a member of the bar.

SURIGAO MINERAL RESERVATION BOARD and the EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, petitioners


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Vs.

HON. GAUDENCIO CLORIBEL, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila and MAC-ARTHUR
INTERNATIONAL MINERALS CO., respondents

FACTS:

Original action for certiorari and prohibition, with preliminary injunction, to restrain the
Honorable Gaudencio Cloribel, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila, from continuing with the
hearing of Civil Case No. 67400 of said Court, and from enforcing a restraining order issued therein on
November 16, 1966, as well as to annul an order of respondent Judge, in the same case, dated December
9, 1966.
From the records of said Case No. 67400, that the Company had no cause of action against
petitioners and that, accordingly, respondent Judge committed a grave abuse of discretion, amounting to
excess of jurisdiction, in issuing its restraining order of November 16, 1966, and its order of December 9,
1966, refusing, in effect, to set aside said order of November 16, 1966.

First Contempt Case. The Supreme Court rendered a decision against MacArthur International Minerals
Corp and in their third Motion for Reconsideration, Attys. Santiago and Castro wanted for the two justices
to inhibit themselves in the MR. The Court demanded for Santiago and Sotto to "show cause" why they
shouldn't be cited in contempt for the said statements. Santiago insisted that the statements he made
were inadvertently included in the copy sent to the Court, and was just intended to be in the MR's rough
draft.

Second Contempt Case. Counsel for MacArthur drafted a fourth motion for reconsideration, this time
with Atty. Juanito M. Caling as counsel, and again contained language which the Court found disrespectful.
The MR assailed the decision penned by CJ Concepcion since he was out of town when the decision was
written and included seeming threats of elevating the issue to the World Court and allegations of rise of
graft and corruption in the judiciary. The Court demanded Caling to also "show cause" and he said that it
the motion was already prepared by Santiago when he took the case as was verified by Morton Meads,
an employee from MacArthur.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the lawyers should be cited in contempt?

HELD:

Writ granted. Orders of respondent Judge dated November 16, and December 9, 1966, are annulled and
the writ of preliminary injunction issued in the present case made permanent, with costs against
respondent, Mac-Arthur International Minerals Company.

Adm. Case No. 2131 May 10, 1985


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ADRIANO E. DACANAY, complainant


vs.
BAKER & MCKENZIE and JUAN G. COLLAS JR., LUIS MA. GUERRERO, VICENTE A. TORRES, RAFAEL E.
EVANGELISTA, JR., ROMEO L. SALONGA, JOSE R. SANDEJAS, LUCAS M. NUNAG, J. CLARO TESORO,
NATIVIDAD B. KWAN and JOSE A. CURAMMENG, JR., respondents

FACTS:

Lawyer Adriano E. Dacanay, admitted to the bar in 1954, in his 1980 verified complaint, sought to
enjoin Juan G. Collas, Jr. and nine other lawyers from practicing law under the name of Baker & McKenzie,
a law firm organized in Illinois. Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the
Philippines (Sec. 1, Rule 138, Rules of Court).

As pointed out by the Solicitor General, respondents' use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie
constitutes a representation that being associated with the firm they could "render legal services of the
highest quality to multinational business enterprises and others engaged in foreign trade and investment"
(p. 3, respondents' memo).

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondents should enjoin from practising law under the firm name Baker &
McKenzie.

HELD: YES. Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the Philippines (Sec. 1, Rule
138, Rules of Court).

 Who may practice law. - Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter
admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular
standing, is entitled to practice law.

Respondents' use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie constitutes a representation that being associated
with the firm they could "render legal services of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises
and others engaged in foreign trade and investment" which the Court finds unethical because Baker &
McKenzie is not authorized to practise law here.

WHEREFORE, the respondents are enjoined from practising law under the firm name Baker & McKenzie.

A.M. No. 3360 January 30, 1990


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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, complainant


vs.
ATTY. FE T. TUANDA, respondent

FACTS:

In a Motion to Lift Order of Suspension dated 12 July 1989, respondent Fe T. Tuanda, a member
of the Philippine Bar, asks this Court to lift the suspension from the practice of law imposed upon her by
a decision of the Court of Appeals dated 17 October 1988 in C.A.-G.R. CR No. 05093.

Consequently, four (4) informations were filed against respondent with the Regional Trial Court
of Manila: (a) one for estafa, docketed as Criminal Case No. 85-38358; and (b) three (3) for violation of
B.P. Blg. 22, docketed respectively as Criminal Cases Nos. 85-38359, 85-38360 and 85-38361.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. CR No. 05093 affirmed in toto the decision of the trial
court but, in addition, suspended respondent Tuanda from the practice of law.

On 16 December 1988, respondent filed a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeals. The Court
of Appeals, in a Resolution dated 9 January 1989, noted respondent's Notice of Appeal and advised her
"to address her Notice of Appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court, the proper forum." On 1 February
1989, respondent filed with this Court a Notice of Appeal.

Revised Rules of Court:

Sec. 27. Attorneys renewed or suspended by Supreme Court on what grounds. A member of the bar may
be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court of any deceit, malpractice, or
other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime
involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission
to practice, or for a wilful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or wilfully
appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases
at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice. (Italics supplied)

Sec. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. — The Court of
Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named
in the last preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his profession
until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises. (Italics supplied)

Issue:

Whether or not the suspension of Atty. Fe Tuanda be lifted.

HELD:
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

The Court Resolved to DENY the Motion to Lift Order of Suspension. Respondent shall remain
suspended from the practice of law until further orders from this Court. Respondent was thus correctly
suspended from the practice of law because she had been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.

A.C. No. 5141. September 29, 1999


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

PRISCILA L. TOLEDO, complainant

vs.

ATTY. ERLINDA ABALOS, respondent

FACTS:
On July 9, 1981, Atty. Erlinda Abalos obtained a loan of P20,000.00 from Priscila Toledo, payable
within six months from date, plus interest of 5% per month. To guarantee the payment of said obligation,
respondent executed a Promissory Note (Exhibit “B”). After the lapse of six months, and despite repeated
demands, respondent failed to pay her obligation. Afraid that she will not recover her money, Ms.Toledo
sought the help of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), which referred the matter to the Commission
on Bar Discipline.
On February 1, 1995, the Commission issued an order directing Atty. Abalos to file her Answer to the
letter-complaint of Ms. Toledo. Despite receipt of said order, respondent did not answer the complaint.
According to the Supreme Court, the general rule is that a lawyer may not be suspended or disbarred,
and the court may not ordinarily assume jurisdiction to discipline him, for misconduct in his non-
professional or private capacity. It was, however, still necessary for respondent to acknowledge the orders
of the Commission in deference to its authority over her as a member of the IBP. Her wanton disregard of
its lawful orders subjects her to disciplinary sanction. Thus, her suspension from the practice of law is
warranted.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Erlinda Abalos is subject for disciplinary action for not paying her financial
obligation under the jurisdiction of Commision on Bar Discipline of IBP.
Whether or not Atty. Erlinda Abalos is subject for disciplinary sanction for disregard of
its lawful orders.

HELD:
No, the Commission has no jurisdiction over a complaint for collection of a sum of money which
she borrowed in her private capacity. The complaint lodged against the respondent in the case at hand
did not pertain to an act that she committed in the exercise of her profession, the IBP need not assume
jurisdiction to discipline respondent. As the Commission on Bar Discipline correctly suggested,
complainant’s remedy is to file the necessary collection case in court for her to recover the amount
respondent owed her.
Yes, her flouting resistance to lawful orders of the Court and illustrating her despiciency of her
oath of office as a lawyer. It still necessary for respondent to acknowledge the orders of the Commission
in deference to its authority over her as a member of the IBP. Her wanton disregard of its lawful orders
subjects her to disciplinary sanction. Thus, her suspension from the practice of law for one month is
warranted.

January 9, 1973

IN THE MATTER OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

FACTS:

On December 1, 1972, the Commission on Bar Integration 1 submitted its Report dated November
30, 1972, with the "earnest recommendation" — on the basis of the said Report and the proceedings had
in Administrative Case No. 526 2 of the Court, and "consistently with the views and counsel received from
its [the Commission's] Board of Consultants, as well as the overwhelming nationwide sentiment of the
Philippine Bench and Bar" — that "this Honorable Court ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar as
soon as possible through the adoption and promulgation of an appropriate Court Rule."

The petition in Adm. Case No. 526 formally prays the Court to order the integration of the
Philippine Bar, after due hearing, giving recognition as far as possible and practicable to existing provincial
and other local Bar associations.

The Court is fully convinced, after a thoroughgoing conscientious study of all the arguments
adduced in Adm. Case No. 526 and the authoritative materials and the mass of factual data contained in
the exhaustive Report of the Commission on Bar Integration, that the integration of the Philippine Bar is
"perfectly constitutional and legally unobjectionable," within the context of contemporary conditions in
the Philippines, has become an imperative means to raise the standards of the legal profession, improve
the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility fully and effectively.

ISSUE:

Whether or not: (a) the Court has the power to integrate the Philippine Bar; (b) the integration

of the Bar is constitutional; (c) the Court should ordain the integration of the Bar at this time.

HELD:

The Court, by virtue of the power vested in it by Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution,
ordains the integration of the Bar of the Philippines in accordance with the attached COURT RULE,
effective on January 16, 1973.

A.C. No. 4758. April 30, 1999


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

VICTOR NUNGA, complainant


vs.
ATTY. VENANCIO VIRAY, respondent

FACTS:

Victor D. Nunga, president of the Masantol Rural Bank filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty.
Venancio M. Viray on the ground of gross and serious misconduct for notarizing documents when he was
not commissioned to do so at the time the said documents were executed.

It was concurred with the finding of the Investigating Commissioner that respondent Atty. Venancio
Viray did not have a commission as notary public in 1987 and 1991 when he notarized the assailed
documents. Respondent knew that he could not exercise the powers or perform the duties of a notary
public unless he was duly appointed as such pursuant to the Notarial Law (Chapter 11, Title IV, Book I,
Revised Administrative Code). He tried to impress upon the investigating commissioner that since “1965
to date” he has always been commissioned as a notary public. Yet, he was unable to rebut complainant’s
evidence that he was not so commissioned for the years in question.
Where the notarization of a document is done by a member of the Philippine Bar at a time when he
has no authorization or commission to do so, the offender may be subjected to disciplinary action. For
one, performing a notarial without such commission is a violation of the lawyer’s oath to obey the laws,
more specifically, the Notarial Law. Then, too, by making it appear that he is duly commissioned when he
is not, he is, for all legal intents and purposes, indulging in deliberate falsehood, which the lawyer’s oath
similarly proscribes. These violations fall squarely within the prohibition of Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides: “A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct.”

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Venencio Viray subject for disciplinary action for notarizing a document when
was not commissioned to do so.
HELD:
The Court adopted the findings and conclusions of Investigating Commissioner Lydia A. Navarro,
which the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines adopted and approved, but
MODIFIES the penalty recommended by the said Board of Governors. As modified, respondent ATTY.
VENANCIO VIRAY is BARRED from being commissioned as notary public for THREE (3) years and his present
commission, if any, is revoked, and SUSPENDED from the practice of law also for THREE (3) years, effective
upon receipt of a copy of the Resolution.

A.C. No. 4369. November 28, 1997


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

PIKE P. ARRIETA, complainant


vs.
ATTY. JOEL A. LLOSA, respondent

FACTS:
Complainant Pike P. Arrieta prayed for the disbarment of Atty. Joel A. Llosa for certifying under oath
a Deed of Absolute Sale.
Complainant averred that respondent notarized a Deed of Absolute Sale dated March 24, 1993
making it appear that some of the vendors in said Deed namely, Edelina T. Bonilla, Jesus T. Bonilla and
Leonardo P. Toledano were parties and signatories thereto when in truth and in fact, all three were
already dead prior to the execution of the said Deed of Absolute Sale. Jesus T. Bonilla died on August 22,
1992 while Leonardo P. Toledano died on November 1, 1992. Edelina T. Bonilla allegedly died on or about
June 11, 1992.
By affixing his notarial seal on the instrument, he converted the Deed of Absolute Sale, from being a
private document into a public document. By certifying the Deed, respondent, in effect, proclaimed to
the world (1) that all the parties therein personally appeared before him; (2) that they are all personally
known to him; (3) that they were the same persons who executed the instruments; (4) that he inquired
into the voluntariness of execution of the instrument; and (5) they acknowledged personally before him
that they voluntarily and freely executed the same.
Respondent’s act of certifying under oath a Deed of Absolute Sale knowing that some of the vendors
were already dead, they being his former clients, constitutes misconduct. But this being his first
administrative offense, such should not warrant the supreme penalty of disbarment.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Joel A. Llosa was in violation of certifying under oath a Deed of Absolute Sale
knowing that some of the vendors were already dead?
HELD:
The Court found respondent Atty. Joel A. Llosa guilty of misconduct. Consequently, he was
ordered SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months effective immediately, with a warning
that another infraction would be dealt with more severely.

ADM. CASE No. 6973, February 13, 2006

ROBERT FRANCIS F. MARONILLA and ROMMEL F. MARONILLA (Complainants)


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Represented by ATTY. RAMON M. MARONILLA

vs.

QUISUMBING J. CARPIO, CARPIO-MORALES, and IDA MAY J. LA’O and TINGA, JJ. (Respondents)

Represented by ATTYS. EFREN N. JORDA

FACTS:

On 28 January 2002 at about 4:45 in the afternoon, Ferdinand Ocampo, a student of the UP
and a member of one of the fraternities was assaulted by members of the rival fraternity. Ocampo
hesitated in the identification of Robert Francis and Rommel Maronilla (Maronilla brothers) for the
reason that they are twins, thereby making positive identification difficult. Atty. Jorda thereafter
prepared an Extended Manifestation praying that the Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the SDT
decision be considered as an appeal and the modification of the SDT decision holding that the
Maronilla brothers be equally held liable as the rest of respondents in the SDT case. The Extended
Manifestation was noted by herein respondent Atty. Ida May J. La’o (La’o), the chief legal officer of the
UP Diliman Legal Office.

ISSUE:

Whether respondents, members of the U.P. Diliman Legal Office, stepped out of bounds when
they appealed to the University president to reconsider the exoneration by the Student Disciplinary
Tribunal of the sons of the complainant.

HELD:

The Court approves the recommendations of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in
Resolution dated 22 October 2005. Accordingly, Atty. Efren N. Jorda is reprimanded for gross ignorance
of the law and for violating Rule 12.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The complaint against
Atty. Ida May J. La’o is dismissed for lack of merit.

The Court recognized that Jorda breached a procedural rule no higher than the Revised Rules and
Regulations Governing Fraternities, Sororities and Other Student Organizations of UP. It must be
remembered that Jorda as a functionary of a state university is obliged to adhere to the due process clause
of the Constitution, the UP being an instrumentality of the State. He is bound to respect those enactments
that afford benefit or relief to those under pain of sanction. As an officer of the law, he is expected to be
circumspect in acting within the boundaries of his duties and responsibilities.

G.R. No. 120654. September 11, 1996

MARIA LOURDES PAREDES-GARCIA (petitioner)


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

vs.

COURT OF APPEALS and HON. ESCOLASTICO M. CRUZ, JR. (respondents)

FACTS:

A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to set aside the decision of
19 June 1995[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.37081 dismissing the petitioner’s special civil
action for certiorari to annul the order of respondent Judge Escolastico M. Cruz, Jr., which cited the
petitioner for contempt and ordered her to pay a fine of P100.00.

ISSUE:

Whether the respondent Judge has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse
of discretion in issuing the challenged orders.

HELD:

The instant petition is GRANTED. The challenged decision of 19 June 1995 of the Court of Appeals
in CA-G.R. SP No. 37081 and the challenged orders of respondent Judge Escolastico M. Cruz, Jr., of 12 April
1995 and 20 April 1995 in Criminal Cases Nos. 93-7434 to 39 are SET ASIDE.

The Department of Justice and the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal are requested to
recall the designation of the petitioner to Branch 58 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City and to detail
her to other courts if these have not been done yet.

Adm. Case No. 6290 July 14, 2004

ANA MARIE CAMBALIZA (complainant)


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

DAVIDE, JR., C.J. (complainant)

vs

PANGANIBAN, SANTIAGO, CARPIO, and AZCUNA, JJ. (respondents)

ATTY. ANA LUZ B. CRISTAL-TENORIO

FACT:

In a verified complaint for disbarment filed with the Committee on Bar Discipline of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on 30 May 2000, complainant Ana Marie Cambaliza, a former
employee of respondent Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal-Tenorio in her law office, charged the latter with
deceit, grossly immoral conduct, and malpractice or other gross misconduct in office.

On deceit, the complainant alleged that the respondent has been falsely representing herself to be
married to Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., who has a prior and subsisting marriage with another woman.
However, through spurious means, the respondent and Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., were able to obtain a
false marriage contract,[1] which states that they were married on 10 February 1980 in Manila. As
to grossly immoral conduct, the complainant alleged that the respondent caused the dissemination
to the public of a libelous affidavit derogatory to Makati City Councilor Divina Alora Jacome. On
malpractice or other gross misconduct in office, the complainant alleged that the respondent (1)
cooperated in the illegal practice of law by her husband, who is not a member of the Philippine
Bar; (2) converted her client’s money to her own use and benefit, which led to the filing of an estafa
case against her; and (3) threatened the complainant and her family on 24 January 2000 with the
statement “Isang bala ka lang” to deter them from divulging respondent’s illegal activities and
transactions.

ISSUE:

Whether, on the basis of the facts borne out by the record, the charge of deceit and grossly
immoral conduct has been duly proven.

HELD:

For culpable violation of Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
respondent Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal-Tenorio is suspended from the practice of law for a period of six (6)
months effective immediately, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future will
be dealt with more severely.

A.C. No. 5908. October 25, 2004

ANTONIO B. RAMOS and MA. REGINA PAZ R. DE DIOS (complainants)


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

vs.

ATTY. ALEJANDRO JOSE C. PALLUGNA (respondent)

FACTS:

The instant disbarment case arose when Antonio B. Ramos and Ma. Regina Paz R. De Dios charged
Atty. Alejandro Jose C. Pallugna with gross misconduct and violation of his oath as a lawyer relative to Civil
Case No. 2002-264[1] in a verified Complaint dated November 26, 2002. The respondent was the counsel
of the plaintiff in the said case then pending with the Regional Trial Court, Cagayan de Oro City, Branch
24. The main issue raised in the complaint was the ownership and control of Vineyard Piano Bar and
Restaurant. Indeed, the respondent’s actuations render him administratively liable for failing to observe
the candor, fairness and honesty required of him as a member of the bar. It was his duty to inform the
appellate court, as well as his client, of the factual developments in the case, and otherwise to bring the
case to an end if the court thereafter determines that the issues had thereby been rendered moot and
academic. The appellate court could then have devoted its efforts to the study and adjudication of
meritorious controversies pending decision. The respondent’s bad faith is evident, as he applied for a
restraining order in the Court of Appeals when he very well knew that the orders of the trial court which
were sought be enjoined had already been implemented. The respondent’s insistence that he was merely
“assisting in the implementation of the Order of the Higher Court” deserves scant consideration.

ISSUE:

The main issue raised in the complaint was the ownership and control of Vineyard Piano Bar and
Restaurant.

HELD:

Respondent Atty. Alejandro Jose C. Pallugna is found GUILTY of violating Canon 10, Rule 10.03 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility and is suspended from the practice of law for a period of Three (3)
Months. He is sternly warned that future similar transgressions shall be dealt with more severity.

G.R. Nos. 79690-707 October 7, 1988

ENRIQUE A. ZALDIVAR (petitioner)


vs.
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN and HONORABLE RAUL M. GONZALEZ, claiming to be and acting as
Tanodbayan-Ombudsman under the 1987 Constitution (respondents)

G.R. No. 80578 October 7, 1988

ENRIQUE A. ZALDIVAR (petitioner)


vs.
HON. RAUL M. GONZALEZ, claiming to be and acting as Tanodbayan-Ombudsman ombudsman under
the 1987 Constitution (respondent)

FACTS:
A Motion, dated 9 February 1988, to Cite in Contempt filed by petitioner Enrique A. Zaldivar
against public respondent Special Prosecutor (formerly Tanodbayan) Raul M. Gonzalez, in connection with
G.R. Nos. 79690-707 and G.R. No. 80578. and 2) a Resolution of this Court dated 2 May 1988 requiring
respondent Hon. Raul Gonzalez to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt and/or
subjected to administrative sanctions for making certain public statements. Petitioner Zaldivar is one of
several defendants in Criminal Cases Nos. 12159-12161 and 12163-12177 (for violation of the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act) pending before the Sandiganbayan. The instant proceeding is not addressed to
the fact that respondent has criticized the Court; it is addressed rather to the nature of that criticism or
comment and the manner in which it was carried out.

Respondent Gonzalez disclaims intent to attack and denigrate the Court. The subjectivities of the
respondent are irrelevant so far as characterization of his conduct or misconduct is concerned.
Respondent Gonzalez also defends himself contending that no injury to the judiciary has been shown, and
points to the fact that this Court denied his Motion for Reconsideration of its per curiam Decision of 27
April 1988 and reiterated and amplified that Decision in its Resolution of 19 May 1988. Respondent
Gonzalez lastly suggests that punishment for contempt is not the proper remedy in this case and suggests
that the members of this Court have recourse to libel suits against him.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the misconduct with which the respondent is charged also constitutes contempt
of court. Whether or not the statements made by respondent Gonzalez may reasonably be regarded by
this Court as contumacious or as warranting exercise of the disciplinary authority of this Court over
members of the Bar.

HELD:

The Court concludes that respondent Gonzalez is guilty both of contempt of court in facie
curiae and of gross misconduct as an officer of the court and member of the Bar.

The Court resolved to SUSPEND Atty. Raul M. Gonzalez from the practice of law indefinitely and
until further orders from this Court, the suspension to take effect immediately.

A.C. No. 5738 February 19, 2008

WILFREDO M. CATU (complainant)


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

vs.

ATTY. VICENTE G. RELLOSA (Respondent)

FACTS:
Complainant Wilfredo M. Catu is a co-owner of a lot and the building erected thereon located at
959 San Andres Street, Malate, Manila. His mother and brother, Regina Catu and Antonio Catu, contested
the possession of Elizabeth C. Diaz-Catu and Antonio Pastor of one of the units in the building. The latter
ignored demands for them to vacate the premises. Thus, a complaint was initiated against them in
the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay 723, Zone 79 of the 5thDistrict of Manila where the parties reside.
Respondent, as punong barangay of Barangay 723, summoned the parties to conciliation
meetings. When the parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement, respondent issued a certification
for the filing of the appropriate action in court. Regina and Antonio filed a complaint for ejectment against
Elizabeth and Pastor in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, Branch 11. Respondent entered his
appearance as counsel for the defendants in that case. Because of this, complainant filed the instant
administrative complaint, claiming that respondent committed an act of impropriety as a lawyer and as a
public officer when he stood as counsel for the defendants despite the fact that he presided over the
conciliation proceedings between the litigants as punong barangay.

CANON:
CANON 1.A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land, promote
respect for law and legal processes.
CANON 7. A lawyer at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession
and support the activities of the integrated bar.

ISSUE: Whether or not the foregoing findings regarding the transgression of respondent as well as the
recommendation on the imposable penalty of the respondent were proper.

HELD:
Respondent Atty. Vicente G. Rellosa is found guilty of professional misconduct for violating his oath
as a lawyer and Canons 1 and 7 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is suspended
from the practice of law for a period of six months effective from his receipt of this resolution. He is
sternly warned that any repetition of similar acts shall be dealt with more severely.

G.R. No. 86100-03 January 23, 1990

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (petitioner)


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

vs.
The Honorable Court of Appeals and Arturo Alafriz and Associates (respondents)

FACTS:

A certain Celedonio Javier bought seven (7) parcels of land owned by Eustaquio Alejandro, et al.,
with a total area of about ten (10) hectares. These properties were thereafter mortgaged by Javier with
the petitioner to secure a loan obligation of one Felix Angelo Bautista and/or International Hotel
Corporation. During the pendency of these suits that these parcels of land were sold by petitioner to its
sister corporation, Service Leasing Corporation and on the same day, the properties were resold by the
latter to Herby Commercial and Construction Corporation. Three months later, mortgaged the same
properties with Banco de Oro wherein the lower court found that private respondent, did not have
knowledge of these transfers and transactions. Petitioner filed an urgent motion for substitution of party
as a consequence of the transfer of said parcels of land to Service Leasing Corporation. Private respondent,
on its part, filed a verified motion to enter in the records of the aforesaid civil cases its charging lien,
pursuant to Section 37, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, equivalent to twenty-five percent (25%) of the
actual and current market values of the litigated properties as its attorney's fees. Despite due notice,
petitioner failed to appear and oppose said motion, as a result of which the lower court granted the same
and ordered the, Register of Deeds of Rizal to annotate the attorney's liens on the certificates of title of
the parcels of land.

Private respondent filed a motion to fix its attorney's fees, based on quantum meruit, which
motion precipitated an exchange of arguments between the parties. On May 30, 1984, petitioner
manifested that it had fully paid private respondent; the latter, in turn, countered that the amount of
P50,000.00 given by petitioner could not be considered as full payment but merely a cash advance,
including the amount of P14,000.00 paid to it on December 15, 1980. It further appears that private
respondent attempted to arrange a compromise with petitioner in order to avoid suit, offering a
compromise amount of P600,000.00 but the negotiations were unsuccessful.

ISSUES:
Whether or not private respondent is entitled to the enforcement of its charging lien for payment
of its attorney's fee.

Whether or not a separate civil suit is necessary for the enforcement of such lien.

Whether or not private respondent is entitled to twenty-five (25%) of the actual and current
market values of the litigated properties on a quantum meruit basis.

HELD:

NO. On the matter of attorney's liens Section 37, Rule 138 provides: He shall also have a lien to
the same extent upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in pursuance of
such judgments, which he has secured in a litigation of his client, from and after the time when he shall
have caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of the court rendering
such judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have caused written notice thereof to be delivered to
his client and to the adverse party; and he shall have the same right and power over such judgments and
executions as his client would have to enforce his lien and secure the payment of his just fees and
disbursements. Consequent to such provision, a charging lien, to be enforceable as security for the
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

payment of attorney's fees, requires as a condition sine qua non a judgment for money and execution in
pursuance of such judgment secured in the main action by the attorney in favor of his client. A lawyer
may enforce his right to fees by filing the necessary petition as an incident in the main action in which his
services were rendered when something is due his client in the action from which the fee is to be paid.
The civil cases below were dismissed upon the initiative of the plaintiffs "in view of the frill satisfaction of
their claims."

NOT NECESSARY. At this juncture an enforceable charging lien, duly recorded, is within the
jurisdiction of the court trying the main case and this jurisdiction subsists until the lien is settled. Court
trying main case will determine attorney’s fees.

Ramos vs. Manalac

FACTS:
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

The facts involved in this case are: On August 31, 1933, Victoriano, Leonardo, Vicenta, Isabina,
Gregoria, Ceferina, Jose and Geronimo, all surnamed Ramos, executed a power of attorney in favor of
their brother Eladio Ramos giving the latter authority to encumber, mortgage and transfer in favor of any
person a parcel of land situated in Bayambang, Pangasinan. On August 9, 1934, by virtue of the power of
attorney abovementioned, Eladio Ramos executed in favor of one Romualdo Rivera a mortgage on
therefore said property. Together with another parcel of land, to guarantee the payment of loan of 300,
with interest thereon at the rate of 12% per annum. When Eladio Ramos failed to pay the obligation on
its date of maturity, Romualdo Rivera, the mortgage, filed an action to foreclosure the mortgage, making
as parties-defendants the herein petitioners, brothers and sisters of Eladio Ramos (civil case No. 7668).
The summons was served only upon Eladio Ramos, who acknowledge the service in his own behalf and in
that services of Attorney Lauro C. Maiquez, who put in his appearance for all the defendants, and
submitted an answer in their behalf. After trial, at which both parties presented their evidence, the court
rendered decision ordering Eladio Ramos to pay to the plaintiff his obligation of 300, with interest thereon
at the rate of 12 per cent per annum, from August 9, 1934, until its full payment, plus the sum of 100 as
attorney's fees, and ordering the foreclosure of the mortgage upon failure of Eladio Ramos to pay the
judgment within ninety (90) days from the date the decision becomes final. The decision was rendered on
August 24, 1939. As Eladio Ramos failed to pay the judgment within the period therein specified, on
motion of the plaintiff, the court ordered the sale at public auction of the mortgaged properties, which
were sold to the plaintiff as the highest bidder and the provincial sheriff issued the corresponding deed
of the sale in his favor. The sale was confirmed by the court on April 1, 1941. On August 21, 1947,
Romualdo Rivera sold the properties to Felipa Lopez, who later filed a motion praying that she be placed
in possession thereof. This motion was granted on September 22, 1947. As the petitioners did not heed
the order, they were summoned by the court to explain why they should no be punished for contempt
for their refusal to comply with the writ of possession, to which they answered contending that said writ
partakes of the nature of an action and as it was issued after more than five years, the court acted in
excess of its jurisdiction, and that the sale conducted by the sheriff was illegal because petitioners were
not properly served with summons as defendants in the foreclosure suit. The explanation given by
petitioners having been found to be unsatisfactory, the court insisted in its order and threatened to punish
the petitioners as for contempt of court if they failed to obey the order.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the order of the court dated September 22, 1947, directing the issuance of a writ
of possession to place respondent Felipa Lopez in possession of the properties purchased by her from the
mortgage.

Whether or not the decision rendered by the lower court on August 24, 1939 in civil case No.
7668, ordering the foreclosure of the mortgage excluded by Eladio Ramos on the properties in question
is valid.

HELD:
The second issue raised by the petitioner is not also taken, for the simple reason that the issuance
of a writ of possession in a foreclosure proceedings is not an execution of judgment within Section 6, Rule
39 of the Rules of Court, but is merely a ministerial and complementary duty of the Court can undertake
even after the lapses of five (5) years, provided the statute of limitations and the rights of the third persons
have not intervened in the meantime (Rivera vs. Rupac, 61 Phil. 201). This is the correct interpretation of
section 6, Rule 39, in relation to section 3, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. This is a case where the judgment
involved is already final executed, and the properties mortgaged sold by order of the court, and the
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

properties mortgaged sold by order of the court, and purchaser thereof has transferred them to a third
person, who desires to be placed in their possession.

The Court is of the opinion that the claim of the petitioners can not be sustained for the reason
that it is in the nature of a collateral attach to a judgment which on its face is valid and regular and has
become final long ago. It is a well-known rule that a judgment, which on its face is valid and regular, can
only be attacked in a separate action brought principally for the purpose (Gomez vs. Concepcion, 47 Phil.
717)

G.R. No. 73886 January 31, 1989

John C. Quirante and Dante Cruz, petitioners,


vs.
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

The Honorable Intermediate Appellate Court , Manuel C. Casasola, and Estrellita C.


Casasola, respondents.

FACTS:

On June 18, 1983, herein petitioner Quirante filed a motion in the trial court for the confirmation
of his attorney's fees. According to him, there was an oral agreement between him and the late Dr.
Casasola with regard to his attorney's fees, which agreement was allegedly confirmed in writing by the
widow, Asuncion Vda. de Casasola, and the two daughters of the deceased, namely Mely C. Garcia and
Virginia C. Nazareno. Petitioner avers that pursuant to said agreement, the attorney's fees would be
computed in case of recovery of the P120,000.00 surety bond, the attorney's fees of the undersigned
counsel (Atty. Quirante) shall be P30,000.00; while in case the Honorable Court awards damages in excess
of the P120,000.00 bond, it shall be divided equally between the Heirs of I. Casasola, Atty. John C. Quirante
and Atty. Dante Cruz.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Quirante could claim attorney’s fees.

HELD:
NO. An attorney's fee cannot be determined until after the main litigation has been decided and
the subject of recovery is at the disposition of the court. The issue over attorney's fee only arises when
something has been recovered from which the fee is to be paid. Since the main case from which the
petitioner's claims for their fees may arise has not yet become final, the determination of the propriety
of said fees and the amount thereof should be held in abeyance. This procedure gains added validity in
the light of the rule that the remedy for recovering attorney's fees as an incident of the main action may
be availed of only when something is due to the client.

With the foregoing observation, the decision of the respondent court subject of the present
recourse is hereby AFFIRMED.

A.C. No. 389 February 28, 1967

IN RE: Disbarment of Armando Puno


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Flora Quingwa (complainant)


vs.
Armando Puno (respondent)

FACTS:

Flora Quingwa filed a verified complaint charging Armando Puno, a member of the Bar, with gross
immorality and misconduct. Complainant is an educated woman, having been a public school teacher for
a number of years. The respondent took her to the Silver Moon Hotel on June 1, 1958, signing the hotel
register as "Mr. and Mrs. A. Puno," and succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her on the promise
of marriage. Complainant submitted to respondent's plea for sexual intercourse because of respondent's
promise of marriage and not because of a desire for sexual gratification or of voluntariness and mutual
passion. Complainant gave birth to a baby boy supported by a certified true copy of a birth certificate and
to show how intimate the relationship between the respondent and the complainant was, the latter
testified that she gave money to the respondent whenever he asked from her.

The respondent denied all the material allegations of the complaint, and as a special defense
averred that the allegations therein do not constitute grounds for disbarment or suspension under section
25, Rule 127 of the former Rules of Court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Puno should be disbarred/suspended.

HELD:

YES. One of the requirements for all applicants for admission to the Bar is that the applicant must
produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character (Section 2, Rule 138 of
the Rules of Court). It is essential during the continuance of the practice and the exercise of the privilege
to maintain good moral character. When his integrity is challenged by evidence, it is not enough that he
denies the charges against him; he must meet the issue and overcome the evidence for the relator and
show proofs that he still maintains the highest degree of morality and integrity, which at all times is
expected of him. With respect to the special defense raised by the respondent in his answer to the charges
of the complainant that the allegations in the complaint do not fall under any of the grounds for
disbarment or suspension of a member of the Bar as enumerated in section 25 of Rule 127 of the (old)
Rules of Court, it is already a settled rule that the statutory enumeration of the grounds for disbarment
or suspension is not to be taken as a limitation on the general power of courts to suspend or disbar a
lawyer. The inherent powers of the court over its officers cannot be restricted. Times without number,
our Supreme Court held that an attorney will be removed not only for malpractice and dishonesty in his
profession, but also for gross misconduct, which shows him to be unfit for the office and unworthy of the
privileges which his license and the law confer upon him. Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of court states
that:

A.C. No. 4758, April 30, 1999

Victor D. Nunga (complainant)


vs
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Atty. Venencio M. Viray (respondent)

FACTS:

Victor D. Nunga, president of the Masantol Rural Bank filed a complaint for disbarment against
Atty. Venancio M. Viray on the ground of gross and serious misconduct for notarizing documents when
he was not commissioned to do so at the time the said documents were executed. . After issues were
joined, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines conducted an investigation. The report showed that
respondent Viray notarized a deed of absolute sale when he was not duly commissioned as notary public
as of that date. Respondent alleged that from 1965 to date he was always commissioned as notary public.
. According to respondent, there was no year in his practice of law that he was not commissioned as notary
public. He further explained that in the alleged documents, he had PTR for that purpose and therefore,
he would not have obtained a commission without the PTR. The Undersigned noted after going over the
records of the case that although both parties were required to submit their respective memorand[a],
only complainant complied with the order.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent’s act is a valid ground for disbarment.

HELD:

YES. Notarization is invested with public interest because it converts a private document into a
public one, making such documents admissible in evidence without further proof of the authenticity
thereof. Notarizing without commission is a violation of the lawyer’s oath to obey the laws (the Notarial
Law) and by making it appear that he is so authorized is a deliberate falsehood which violates the lawyer’s
oath and of Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides: “A lawyer
shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.”

WHEREFORE, the Court hereby adopts the findings and conclusions of Investigating Commissioner Lydia
A. Navarro, which the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines adopted and approved,
but MODIFIES the penalty recommended by the said Board of Governors. As modified, respondent ATTY.
VENANCIO VIRAY is hereby BARRED from being commissioned as notary public for THREE (3) years and
his present commission, if any, is revoked, and SUSPENDED from the practice of law also for THREE (3)
years.

In Re Integration of the Bar of the Philippines

FACTS:
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

The Commission on Bar Integration submitted its Report with the earnest recommendation that
"this Honorable Court ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar as soon as possible through the
adoption and promulgation of an appropriate Court Rule." The petition in Adm. Case No. 526 formally
prays the Court to order the integration of the Philippine Bar, after due hearing, giving recognition as far
as possible and practicable to existing provincial and other local Bar associations. Arguments in favor of
as well as in opposition to the petition were orally expounded before the Court. The Court has closely
observed and followed significant developments relative to the matter of the integration of the Bar.

ISSUES:
Whether or not: (a) the Court has the power to integrate the Philippine Bar; (b) the integration
of the Bar is constitutional; (c) the Court should ordain the integration of the Bar at this time.

HELD:

YES. The Court may integrate the Philippine Bar in the exercise of its power, under Article VIII, Sec.
13 of the Constitution, "to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts,
and the admission to the practice of law." Indeed, the power to integrate is an inherent part of the Court's
constitutional authority over the Bar. In providing that "the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to
effect the integration of the Philippine Bar," Republic Act 6397 neither confers a new power nor restricts
the Court's inherent power, but is a mere legislative declaration that the integration of the Bar will
promote public interest or, more specifically, will "raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the
administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively.

YES. The Court quotes discussion made by the Commission on Bar Integration. To compel a lawyer
to be a member of an integrated Bar is not violative of his constitutional freedom to associate (or the
corollary right not to associate). For the Court to prescribe dues to be paid by the members does not mean
that the Court levies a tax. A membership fee in the Integrated Bar is an exaction for regulation, while the
purpose of a tax is revenue. A lawyer is free, as he has always been, to voice his views on any subject in
any manner he wishes, even though such views be opposed to positions taken by the Unified Bar. Bar
integration is not unfair to lawyers already practising because although the requirement to pay annual
dues is a new regulation, it will give the members of the Bar a new system which they hitherto have not
had and through which, by proper work, they will receive benefits they have not heretofore enjoyed, and
discharge their public responsibilities in a more effective manner than they have been able to do in the
past.

YES. In the event of integration, Government authority will dominate the Bar; local Bar
associations will be weakened; cliquism will be the inevitable result; effective lobbying will not be possible;
the Bar will become an impersonal Bar; and politics will intrude into its affairs. The national poll conducted
by the Commission in the matter of the integration of the Philippine Bar shows that 96.45% voted in favor
of Bar integration, while only 2.51% against it. The Court is fully convinced, after a thoroughgoing
conscientious study of all the arguments adduced in Adm. Case No. 526 and the authoritative materials
and the mass of factual data contained in the exhaustive Report of the Commission on Bar Integration,
that the integration of the Philippine Bar is "perfectly constitutional and legally unobjectionable," within
the context of contemporary conditions in the Philippines, has become an imperative means to raise the
standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge
its public responsibility fully and effectively.
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

ACCORDINGLY, the Court, by virtue of the power vested in it by Section 13 of Article VIII of the
Constitution, hereby ordains the integration of the Bar of the Philippines in accordance with the attached
COURT RULE, effective on January 16, 1973.

A.C. No. 6313, September 7, 2006


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Catherine Joie P. Vitug (complainant)


vs
Atty. Diosdado M. Rongcal (respondent)

FACTS:

Catherine Joie P. Vitug sought the service of respondent Atty. Diosdado M. Rongcal who was
introduced to her by her former classmate. Complainant asked Atty. Rongcal to represent her in the
support case she was going to file against her former lover, Arnulfo Aquino. Soon after, herein
complainant and respondent started having sexual relationship with each other. According to Vitug,
respondent also gave her sweet inducements such as the promise of a job, financial security for her
daughter, and his services as counsel for the prospective claim for support against Aquino.

On 9 February 2001, respondent allegedly convinced complainant to sign an Affidavit of


Disclaimer which the latter signed without reading the said affidavit. On 14 February 2001, respondent
allegedly advised complainant that Aquino gave him P150,000.00 cash and P58,000.00 in two (2)
postdated checks to answer for the medical expenses of her daughter. Instead of turning them over to
her, respondent handed her his personal check in the amount of P150,000.00 and promised to give her
the balance of P58,000.00 soon thereafter. However, sometime in April or May 2001, respondent
informed her that he could not give her the said amount because he used it for his political campaign as
he was then running for the position of Provincial Board Member of the 2nd District of Pampanga

Complainant argues that respondent's acts constitute a violation of his oath as a lawyer. She filed
an administrative case against Rongcal which was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. It was
then recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for six (6) months and that
he be ordered to return to complainant the amount of P58,000.00 within two months. The same was
approved by the IBP Board of Governors. Respondent then filed a Motion for Reconsideration with Motion
to Set Case for Clarificatory Questioning with the IBP and a Motion to Reopen/Remand Case for
Clarificatory Questioning with the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
Whether or not respondent be disbarred for immorality
Whether or not respondent’s act of preparing and notarizing the Affidavit, a document
disadvantageous to his client, is a violation of the Code.

HELD:
NO. One of the conditions prior to admission to the bar is that an applicant must possess good
moral character. Said requirement persists as a continuing condition for the enjoyment of the privilege of
law practice, otherwise, the loss thereof is a ground for the revocation of such privilege. The Court has
held that to justify suspension or disbarment the act complained of must not only be immoral, but grossly
immoral. A grossly immoral act is one that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so
unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high degree. On sexual relation and on respondent’s
subsequent marriage, by his own admission, respondent is obviously guilty of immorality in violation of
Rule 1.01 of the Code which states that a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct. The Court find credence in respondent's assertion that it was impossible for her not to
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

have known of his subsisting marriage, complainant’s allegations of deceit were not established by clear
preponderant evidence required in disbarment cases.

NO. It was not unlawful for respondent to assist his client in entering into a settlement with
Aquino after explaining all available options to her. The law encourages the amicable settlement not only
of pending cases but also of disputes which might otherwise be filed in court. Rule 1.04, Canon 1 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility states that: A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle
a controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement. As complainant voluntarily and intelligently agreed to a
settlement with Aquino, she cannot later blame her counsel when she experiences a change of heart.
Suspicion, no matter how strong, is not enough in the absence of contrary evidence, what will prevail is
the presumption that the respondent has regularly performed his duty in accordance with his oath.

Premises considered, this Court finds Atty. Diosdado M. Rongcal GUILTY of immorality and impose
on him a FINE of P15,000.00 with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future
will be dealt with more severely.

The charge of misappropriation of funds of the client is REMANDED to the IBP for further
investigation, report and recommendation within ninety (90) days from receipt of this Decision.

G.R. No. L- 24114 June 30, 1970


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ATTY.


CLEMENTE M. SORIANO IN L-24114, People's Homesite and Housing Corporation and
University of the Philippines,
vs.
HON. EULOGIO MENCIAS, ELPIDIO TIBURCIO, MARCELINO TIBURCIO, ET AL.

FACTS:
On October 10, 1969, Clemente M. Soriano, a member of the Philippine Bar entered his
appearance in the present case (L-24114, PHHC and U.P. vs. Mencias, Tiburcio, et al.) as "chief counsel of
record" for the respondents Marcelino Tiburcio, et al. This act in itself would have been innocuous were
it not for the fact that it was done one year and eight months after the decision in this case became final.
Atty. Soriano asked the Court to exhume the case from the archives. Atty. Soriano's subsequent
explanation did not, however, serve to dissuade this Court from requiring him to show cause why
disciplinary action should not be taken against him for entering an appearance at such a late date. He
alleged that sometime during the first week of October 1969, the respondent Marcelino Tiburcio, in his
own behalf and as attorney-in-fact of the other respondents, went to him to engage his professional
services in two cases, to wit: this terminated case (L-24114) and the Varsity Hills case (L-30546). Atty.
Soriano allegedly relied upon the assurance of a mutual acquaintance and representation of Marcelino
Tiburcio that the two cases were pending in the Court. He then agreed to render professional services in
the two cases in consideration of a contingent fee of 143.33 hectares of land out of the 430 hectares
(more or less) involved in the two cases.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Soriano is guilty of negligence.

HELD:

YES. Before taking over a case handled by a peer in the Bar, a lawyer is enjoined to obtain the
conformity of the counsel whom he would substitute. And if this cannot be had, then he should, at the
very least, give notice to such lawyer of the contemplated substitution. His entry of appearance in the
case without the consent of the first lawyer amounts to an improper encroachment upon the professional
employment of the original counsel. Atty. Soriano violates Rule 8.02, Canon 8 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility:
Rule 8.02 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional employment of
another lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper advice and
assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel.
We find Atty. Clemente M. Soriano guilty of gross negligence in the performance of his duties as a lawyer
and as an officer of this Court. This inexcusable negligence would merit no less than his suspension from
the practice of the law profession, were it not for his candor, at the hearing of this incident, in owning his
mistake and the apology he made to this Court. It is the sense of this Court, however, that he must be as
he is hereby severely censured. Atty. Soriano is further likewise warned that any future similar act will be
met with heavier disciplinary sanction.
Atty. Soriano is hereby ordered, in the present case, to forthwith withdraw the appearance that he has
entered as chief counsel of record for the respondents Marcelino Tiburcio, et al.
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

A.C. No. 5398, December 3, 2003

Atty. Antonio Alcantara, complainant


vs.
Atty. Mariano Pefianco, respondent

FACTS:
This is a complaint against Atty. Mariano Pefianco for conduct unbecoming a member of the bar
for using improper and offensive language and threatening and attempting to assault complainant. The
complainant, Atty. Antonio A. Alcantara, is the incumbent District Public Attorney of the Public Attorney’s
Office in San Jose, Antique. He alleged that while Atty. Ramon Salvani III was conferring with a client in
the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) at the Hall of Justice in San Jose, Antique, a woman approached them.
Complainant suggested Atty. Salvani to talk with her when respondent Atty. Mariano Pefianco, who was
sitting nearby, stood up and shouted at Atty. Salvani and his client. Atty Pefianco was asked to calm down
but he did not refrain from his outburst. This caused a commotion in the office wherein respondent tried
to attack complainant and even shouted at him, "You’re stupid!" Complainant also submitted the
affidavits of Atty. Ramon Salvani III, Felizardo Del Rosario, Atty. Pepin Joey Marfil, Robert Minguez,
Herbert Ysulat and Ramon Quintayo to corroborate his allegations.
In his Comment and Counter-Complaint, respondent Pefianco said that the sight of the crying woman,
whose husband had been murdered, moved him and prompted him to take up her defense. He also
averred that it was Alcantara who punched him and called him stupid.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent’s act violate the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:

YES. Pefianco violated Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility: CANON 8 - A LAWYER
SHALL CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH COURTESY, FAIRNESS AND CANDOR TOWARD HIS PROFESSIONAL
COLLEAGUES, AND SHALL AVOID HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING COUNSEL.

Lawyers are duty bound to uphold the dignity of the legal profession. They must act honorably,
fairly and candidly toward each other and otherwise conduct themselves without reproach at all times. In
this case, respondent’s meddling in a matter in which he had no right to do so caused the untoward
incident. Though he thought that this is righteous, his public behaviorcan only bring down the legal
profession in the eyes of the public and erode respect for it. An injustice cannot be righted by another
injustice.

Atty. Mariano Pefianco is found GUILTY of violation of Canon 8 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and, considering this to be his first offense, is hereby FINED in the amount of P1,000.00 and
REPRIMANDED with a warning that similar action in the future will be sanctioned more severely.
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

A.C. No. 7199 dated July 22, 2009

FOODSPHERE, INC., complainant,


vs.
ATTY. MELANIO L. MAURICIO, JR., respondent.

FACTS:

This is a disbarment case against Atty. Melanio L. Mauricio, Jr., popularly known as “Batas
Mauricio” by Foodsphere, Inc. (complainant under the brand name “CDO” after a certain Alberto Cordero
purportedly bought a can of CDO Liver spread discovering a colony of worms in it. He filed a lawsuit and
asked CDO to pay Php150,000 on a conciliation done by BFAD but CDO refused and instead offered to pay
the actual medical and incidental expenses of Mr. Cordero. He brought the matter to the media where
Atty. Mauricio threatened CDO that he would publish and air in his TV and Radio programs the said issue.
After an agreement was made between Atty. Mauricio as witness and the Corderos of a money
settlement of Php 50,000 including placing paid advertisements in the tabloids and television program
where Atty. Mauricio is working, respondent (Mauricio) still not satisfied with the offer threatened to
proceed with the publication of the articles/columns. He then made several libelous write ups and
comments about CDO. Complainant thus filed criminal complaints against respondent for Libel and
Threatening to Publish Libel under Articles 353 and 356 of the Revised Penal Code. The complaints were
pending at the time of the filing of the present administrative complaint but Atty. Mauricio did not stop
from making write ups and comments about the matter and questioned the integrity of the prosecutor’s
office using coarse languages.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Mauricio has violated lawyer’s oath and has committed a breach of ethics
of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:

Yes Atty. Melanio Mauricio violated the lawyer’s oath and has committed a breach of ethics of
the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility as follows:

Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
CANON 7 - A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession.
CANON 8 - A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his professional
colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
Rule 8.01 – A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
otherwise improper.
Canon 11 - A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers and
should insist on similar conduct by others.
Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to
arouse public opinion for or against a party.
He is therefore suspended from the practice of law for three years effective upon his receipt of this
Decision. He is warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.
G.R. Nos. 154297-300, February 15, 2008
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

PUBLIC ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, MAXIMO B. USITA, JR. and WILFREDO C. ANDRES,


Petitioners,
vs.
THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, SPECIAL DIVISION, Respondent.

FACTS:

This is a petition for certiorari alleging that the Sandiganbayan, Special Division, committed grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the Resolutions dated May 28,
2002 and June 11, 2002 retaining petitioners, Atty. Maximo B. Usita, Jr. and Atty. Wilfredo C. Andres of
the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), as counsels de oficio of then accused President Joseph Estrada and his
son, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in issuing the subject Resolutions retaining two PAO lawyers to act as counsels de
oficio for the accused who are not indigent persons.

HELD:

The Court holds that respondent did not gravely abuse its discretion in issuing the subject
Resolutions as the issuance is not characterized by caprice or arbitrariness. At the time of PAO’s
appointment, the accused did not want to avail themselves of any counsel; hence, respondent exercised
a judgment call to protect the constitutional right of the accused to be heard by them and counsel during
the trial of the cases. Subsequently, respondent reduced the number of PAO lawyers directed to represent
the accused, in view of the engagement of new counsels de parte, but retained two of the eight PAO
lawyers obviously to meet such possible exigency as the accused again relieving some or all of their private
counsels.
In any event, since these cases of the accused in the Sandiganbayan have been finally resolved,
this petition seeking that PAO, the only remaining petitioner, be relieved as counsel de oficio therein has
become moot.

G.R. No. 42992 August 8, 1935


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

FELIPE SALCEDO, petitioner-appellant,


vs.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ, respondent appellee.

FACTS:

In his motion for a case, Atty. Vicente J. Francisco inserted some phrases which in the Court’s
opinion constitute contempt. The phrases are as follows:
". . . and constitutes an outrage to the rights of the petitioner Felipe Salcedo and a mockery of the popular
will expressed at the polls . . ..
". . . because we should not want that some citizen, particularly some voter of the municipality of Tiaong,
Tayabas, resort to the press publicly to denounce, as he has
a right to do, the judicial outrage . . .. "and . . . we wish to state sincerely that erroneous decisions like
these, which the affected party and his thousands of voters will necessarily consider unjust, increase the
proselytes of 'sakdalism' and make the public lose confidence in the administration of justice", disclose,
in the opinion of this court, an inexcusable disrespect of the authority of the court and an intentional
contempt of its dignity, because the court is thereby charged with no less than having proceeded in utter
disregard of the laws, the rights of the parties, and of the untoward consequences, or with having abused
its power and mocked and flouted the rights of Attorney Vicente J. Francisco's client, because the acts of
outraging and mocking from which the words "outrage" and "mockery" used therein are derived, mean
exactly the same as all these, according to the Dictionary of the Spanish Language published by the Spanish
Academy (Dictionary of the Spanish Language, 15th ed., pages 132 and 513).

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Vicente J. Francisco was guilty of contempt.

HELD:
As a member of the bar and an officer of this court, attorney Vicente J. Francisco, as any attorney,
is in duty bound to uphold its dignity and authority and to defend its integrity, not only because it has
conferred upon him the high privilege, not a right (Malcolm, Legal Ethics, 158 and 160), of being what he
now is: a priest of justice (In re Thatcher, 80 Ohio St. Rep., 492, 669), but also because in so doing he
neither creates nor promotes distrust in the administration of justice, and he prevents anybody from
harboring and encouraging discontent, which in many cases, is the source of disorder, thus undermining
the foundation on which rests the bulwark called judicial power to which those who are aggrieved turn
for protection and relief. The Court held that the act committed by Atty. Vicente J. Francisco constitutes
a contempt in the face of the court (in facie curiae) and, reiterating what it said on another occasion that
the power to punish for contempt is inherent in the courts in order that there be due administration of
justice (In re Kelly, 35 Phil., 944), and so that the institution of the courts of justice may be stable and said
courts may not fail in their mission. Atty. Vicente J. Francisco is ordered to pay a fine of P200 within the
period of ten days, and reprimanded; and it is ordered that the entire paragraph of his motion containing
the phrases which as has been stated, constitute contempt of court be stricken from the record de oficio.

G.R. Nos. 82238-42. November 13, 1989


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

ANTONIO T. GUERRERO and GEORGE D. CARLOS, petitioners,


vs.
HON. JUDGE ADRIANO R. VILLAMOR, respondent.

FACTS:
Consequent to the dismissal on February 18, 1987 of Criminal Cases Nos. N-0989, N-0990, N 0991,
N-0992, and N-0993 for Qualified Theft against one Gloria Naval by respondent Judge Adriano R. Villamor
of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16 of Naval, Subprovince of Biliran, Leyte, the offended party, herein
petitioner George D. Carlos, thru his lawyer and herein co-petitioner Antonio T. Guerrero filed before the
Regional Trial Court, Branch XXI of Cebu City an action for damages, docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-6478,
against respondent judge for knowingly rendering an unjust judgment in the aforesaid consolidated
criminal cases.
The complaint and summons in Civil Case No. CEB-6478 were served on respondent judge on
December 10, 1987. On the following day, he issued in Criminal Cases Nos. N-0989-0993 an Order of Direct
Contempt of Court against herein petitioners, finding them guilty beyond reasonable doubt of direct
contempt and sentencing them both to imprisonment of five (5) days and a fine of P500.00 for degrading
the respect and dignity of the court through the use of derogatory and contemptuous language before
the court.
Petitioners assert that no direct contempt could have been committed against respondent judge
in the complaint for damages in Civil Case No. 6478 because whatever was mentioned therein was not
made "before" respondent judge while in session or in recess from judicial proceedings or in any matter
involving the exercise of judicial function of the Court while it is at work on a case before it. Furthermore,
petitioners contend that the words used in the subject complaint were merely words descriptive of
plaintiff’s cause of action based on his reaction and remorse and the willful infliction of the injury on him
and that the same are all privileged communications made in the course of judicial proceedings because
they are relevant to the issue and therefore cannot be contemptuous.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petitioners were guilty of direct contempt.

HELD:
The Court sustained petitioners' contention that the alleged derogatory language employed in the
complaint in Civil Case No. CEB-6478 did not constitute direct contempt but may only, if at all, constitute
indirect contempt subject to defences that may be raised by said, petitioners in the proper proceedings.
Stress must be placed on the fact that the subject pleading was not submitted to respondent judge nor in
the criminal cases from which the contempt order was issued but was filed in another court presided by
another judge and involving a separate action, the civil case for damages against respondent judge.
Although the allegations in the complaint for damages criticized the wisdom of respondent judge's act of
dismissing Criminal Cases Nos. N-0989 to 0993, such criticism was directed to him when he was no longer
in the process of performing judicial functions in connection with the subject criminal cases so as to
constitute such criticisms as direct contempt of court.
As categorically stated in Ang vs. Castro: 8(8) "The use of disrespectful or contemptuous language
against a particular judge in pleadings presented in another court or proceeding is indirect, not direct,
contempt as it is not tantamount to a misbehavior in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to
interrupt the administration of justice."
A.C. No. 378, March 30, 1962.
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Jose G. Mejia and Emilia N. Abrera, complainants


vs.
Francisco S. Reyes, respondent.

FACTS:

Francisco S. Reyes, a practicing lawyer, was appointed bank attorney and notary public for the
Baguio Branch of the Philippine National Bank, while still holding such position his professional services
were engaged by Jose G. Mejia and Emilia N. Abrera, residents of Baguio City, to bring an action in court
against the Philippine National Bank and the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation (now the Development
Bank of the Philippines) as successor-in-interest of the defunct Agricultural and Industrial Bank for the
cancellation of a mortgage on a parcel of land situated in Baguio City. The Court rendered judgment
declaring valid the payment in Japanese war notes of P2,693.53 on but crediting only the sum of P67.34.
The Reyes and Cabato law firm filed a motion for reconsideration and the Philippine National Bank , to
which the former filed a written objection. The Court denied both motion for reconsideration. No appeal
was taken by either party. In this administrative proceeding, the complainants allege that they had desired
to take an appeal from the judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Baguio but did not, upon
the respondent's advice; that thereafter for the first time they learned that the respondent was counsel
and notary public of the Baguio Branch of the Philippine National Bank; that his representing them against
the Philippine National Bank, in whose Baguio Branch he was bank attorney and notary public, without
revealing to them such connection with the Bank, constitutes malpractice; and pray this Court to disbar
him.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Francisco S. Reyes is guilty of malpractice.

HELD:

City Attorney of Baguio, rendered a report finding the respondent guilty of malpractice and
recommending reprimand. Lawyers are prohibited from representing conflicting interests in a case. The
respondent's act of appearing and acting as counsel for the complainants Jose G. Mejia and Emilia N.
Abrera in the civil case against the Philippine National Bank, that had appointed him bank attorney and
notary public, constitutes malpractice. However, it does not appear satisfactorily proven that during the
pendency of their case the complaints did not know of the respondents connection with the bank as
attorney and notary public. The Philippine National Bank knew that the respondent was appearing as
counsel for the complainants, yet it did not revoke or cancel his appointment as bank attorney and notary
public; that in the civil case the respondent did not appear as counsel for the Bank which was represented
by Attorneys Ramon B. de los Reyes and Nemesio P. Libunao; that no appeal was taken from the judgment
rendered by the Court of First Instance of Baguio, because the complainants had chosen to pay the
principal of their loan in order that the interests thereon be condoned as provided for in Republic Act No.
1286; and that the respondent was deeply devoted to his duties as counsel for the complainants and
collected a very small attorney's fees of P90, the malpractice committed by the respondent is not so
serious. He is just admonished and warned not to repeat it.

A.C. No. 6711, July 3, 2007


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Ma. Luisa Hadjula, complainant


vs.
Atty. Roceles F. Madianda, respondent.

FACTS:
Complainant alleged that she and respondent used to be friends as they both worked at the
Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) whereat respondent was the Chief Legal Officer while she was the Chief
Nurse of the Medical, Dental and Nursing Services. Complainant claimed that, she approached respondent
for some legal advice. Complainant further alleged that, in the course of their conversation which was
supposed to be kept confidential, she disclosed personal secrets and produced copies of a marriage
contract, a birth certificate and a baptismal certificate, only to be informed later by the respondent that
she (respondent) would refer the matter to a lawyer friend. It was malicious, so complainant states, of
respondent to have refused handling her case only after she had already heard her secrets. Respondent,
in retaliation to the filing of the aforesaid actions, filed a COUNTER COMPLAINT with the Ombudsman
charging complainant with violation of falsification of public documents and immorality, the last two
charges being based on the disclosures complainant earlier made to respondent. And also on the basis of
the same disclosures, complainant further stated, a disciplinary case was also instituted against her before
the Professional Regulation Commission.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the respondent violates the legal ethics of revealing information given to her
during legal consultation.

HELD:
Yes, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline came out with a Report and Recommendation, stating
that the information related by complainant to the respondent is "protected under the attorney-client
privilege communication." Prescinding from this postulate, the Investigating Commissioner found the
respondent to have violated legal ethics when she revealed information given to her during a legal
consultation.
Canon 15.02 – To be bound by the rule of privileged communication with respect to matters disclosed to
him by prospective client.
Canon 21.02 – not to use information acquired in the course of employment to the disadvantage of his
client nor he shall use on the same to his own advantage or that of a third person unless the client with
full knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto.

The purpose of the rule of confidentiality is actually to protect the client from possible breach of
confidence as a result of a consultation with a lawyer. It appears that respondent was actuated by the
urge to retaliate without perhaps realizing that, in the process of giving vent to a negative sentiment, she
was violating the rule on confidentiality.

Respondent Atty. Roceles F. Madianda is REPRIMANDED and admonished to be circumspect in


her handling of information acquired as a result of a lawyer-client relationship. She is also sternly warned
against a repetition of the same or similar act complained of.

A.C. No. 6183, March 23, 2004


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Edison G. Cheng, complainant


Vs.
Atty. Alexander M. Agravante, respondent

FACTS:
Respondent Atty. Alexander M. Agravante served as counsel for The Rogemson Co., Inc. in a case
filed against it before the NLRC in Davao City by its former employee, a certain Beaver Martin B. Barril.
Labor Arbiter Newton R. Sancho rendered a decision in favor of the complainant, and ordered Rogemson
to pay Barril separation pay and backwages. A copy of said decision was received by respondent’s law
office. However, respondent filed a Memorandum of Appeal with the NLRC. Consequently, the NLRC
dismissed Rogemson’s appeal, respondents had ten calendar days to perfect their appeal therefrom.
However, the records similarly bear that this present appeal was filed belatedly by way of mail. The
complainants terminated the services of Atty. Agravante. Through their new lawyers, complainants wrote
Atty. Agravante, demanding that they be compensated for the pecuniary damages they had suffered as a
result of his negligence. When it appeared that Atty. Agravante had no intention of responding to their
letter, Edison G. Cheng, General Manager of Rogemson, filed an affidavit-complaint with the IBP
Commission on Bar Discipline. The case was then assigned to Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay for
investigation.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Agravante violated the Canon for being negligent?

HELD:

Yes, the investigating commissioner found that Agravante was guilty of negligence. With regard
to the date of receipt of the Labor Arbiter’s decision. Thus, Commissioner Dulay concluded that Agravante
misled the NLRC when he certified in his Memorandum of Appeal that he received the adverse decision
of the Labor Arbiter on September 10, 1998. Before lawyers are admitted to the bar, they must first
solemnly swear to do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court. This oath, to which all lawyers
subscribe in solemn agreement to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of justice, is not a mere ceremony
or formality for practicing law to be forgotten afterwards, nor is it mere words, drift and hollow, but a
sacred trust that every lawyer must uphold and keep inviolable at all times. This duty is expressed in
general terms in the Code of Professional Responsibility, thus:

CANON 10--- A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court. It is codified further in the
following rule of the Code of Professional Responsibility:
Rule 10.01 ---A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; nor shall he
mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice.
In the case at bar, Agravante lied when he said he received the Labor Arbiter’s decision on September 10,
1998 in order to make it appear that his Memorandum of Appeal was filed on time.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for a lawyer as an officer of the court to observe honesty
at all times, especially before the courts. A lawyer must be a disciple of truth, and Agravante has clearly
failed to live up to this duty.

In Re: Lozano
54 Phil. 801
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

FACTS:

There was a complaint against a Judge of First Instance which was referred to the Atty General
for investigation, report and recommendation. There was a Supreme Court resolution which makes such
proceedings confidential in nature. The investigation was conducted secretly. Notwithstanding, the editor
of El Pueblo, Severino Lozano, printed an article written by Anastacio Quevedo, indicating that the hearing
was held behind closed doors, and that the info of the reporter was obtained from outside the screen and
from comments in social circles. The testimonies of the witnesses were mutilated and the report reflected
upon the action of the complainant to his possible advantage.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Lozano and Quevedo are quilty of contempt of court.

HELD:

Yes. They are each required to pay the nominal sum of twenty pesos. The power to punish for
contempt is inherent in the Supreme Court. This power extends to administrative proceedings, as well as
to suits at law. As important as is the maintenance of an unmuzzled press and the free exercise of the
rights of the citizen is the maintenance of the independence of the judiciary.

176 SCRA 651 (1989)


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Donald Dee, petitioner


Vs.
Court of Appeals and Atty. Amelito Mutuc, respondents

FACTS:
Dee and his father went to the residence of Atty. Mutuc to seek his advice regarding the problem
of the alleged indebtedness of petitioner’s brother Dewey Dee, to Ceasar’s Palace. Petitioner’s father was
apprehensive over the safety of his son, Dewey having heard of a link between the mafia and Ceasar’s
Palace and his possibility that his son may be harmed at the instance of the latter.Atty Mutuc assured
petitioner and his father that he would inquire into the matter, after which his services were reportedly
contracted for Php100,000. Further investigations revealed that the alleged debt of Dewey had actually
been incurred by Ramon Sy, with Dewey merely signing for the chits. Atty Mutuc talked with the president
of Ceasar’s Palace and advised the president that for the sake and in the interest of the casino it would be
better to make Ramon Sy answer for the indebtedness. The president told him that if he could convince
Ramon Sy to acknowledge the obligation, Dewey would be exculpated from liability. Ramon Sy
acknowledged the obligation, thereafter, the account of Dewey was cleared. Atty
Mutuc sent demand letters to petitioner demanding the balance of P50,000 as attorney’s fees.
Petitioner Dee ignored said letters. Atty. Mutuc filed a complaint against petitioner Dee for the
collection of attorney’s fees.Petitioner denied the existence of any professional relationship of attorney
and client between hin and Atty Mutuc. Dee insists that the visit made to Atty. Mutuc was merely informal
and that Atty Mutuc had not been specifically contacted to handle the problem. The Php 50,000 given to
Atty Mutuc was alleged to be given not in the nature of attorney’s fees but merely pocket money.

ISSUE:

Whether or not there was a lawyer-client relationship.

HELD:

Yes. The absence of a written contract will not preclude the finding that there was a professional
relationship which merits attorney’s fees for professional services rendered. To establish the relationship,
it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of an attorney is sought and received in any matter pertinent
to his profession. An acceptance of the relation is implied on the part of the attorney from his acting on
behalf of his client in pursuance of a request from the latter. Therefore, Mutuc is entitled to receive a
reasonable compensation. Atty.Mutuc did not represent conflicting interests as claimed by Dee when Dee
alleged that Atty. Mutuc was acting as agent of Ceasar’s Palace. Mutuc’s representations in behalf of
petitioner Dee were not in resistance to the casino’s claim but were actually geared toward proving the
liability of true debtor, Ramon Sy.

206 SCRA 28 (1992)

B.R. Sebastian Enterprises, Inc., petitioner


LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Vs.

Court of Appeals, Euligio B. Reyes, Nicanor G. Salaysay, and Antonio Marinas, respondents

FACTS:

Eulogio Reyes, before he died filed an action for damages against the Director of Public Works,
and B.R. Sebastian. B.R. Sebastian was held to be liable, but the Director of Public Works was exonerated.
B.R. Sebastian appealed, during the pendency of the appeal, Reyes died. He was substituted by his heirs
the Reyes. In 1974, B.R. Sebastian received notice to file Appelant’s Brief within 45 days from receipt, their
counsel The Baizas, Alberto and Associates failed to file the brief. The appeal was then dismissed. Much
later, around 5 months after the deadline, Baizas Law Office file a motion for reconsideration. It alleged
that as a result of the death of Atty Crispin Baizas, senior partner, the affairs of the aid firm are still being
settled between Atty. Jose Baizas and Atty. Ruby Alberto. And that Atty. Espiritu, the lawyer who handled
this case in the trial court and who is believed to have also attended to the preparation of the Appelant’s
Brief but failed to submit it through oversight and in advertence, had also left the firm.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the appeal of B.R. Sebastian should be reinstated.

HELD:

No. In this case, no fraud is involved. 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. The responsibility of
the associates to the petitioner as counsel remained until withdrawal by the former of their appearance
in the manner provided by the Rules of Court. The law firm should have assigned the case to another
associate. Or it could have withdrawn as counsel in the manner provided by the Rules of Court so that the
petitioner could contract the services of a new lawyer. The negligence of the counsel binds the client.

266 SCRA 758 A.C. No. 2040, March 4, 1998

Imelda A. Nakpil, complainant

Vs.
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

Atty. Carlos J. Valdes, respondent

FACTS:

Jose Nakpil was interested in a piece of property situated in Moran, Baguio. He went into an
agreement with Atty.Carlos Valdes for the latter to buy the property in trust for Nakpil. Valdes did buy the
property by contracting 2 loans. The lands’ titles were transferred to his name. When Jose Nakpil died,
Imelda Nakpil his wife acquired the services of Valdes and his accounting and law firms for the settlement
of the estate of Jose Nakpil. What Valdes did was to exclude the property in Baguio from the list of assets
of Jose Nakpil he actually transferred the property to his company, the Caval Realty Corporation while
including the loans he contracted. What Imelda did was to file a suit for reconveyance in the CFI. While
the case was pending, Imelda also filed an administrative complaint for disbarment against Valdes. The
CFI dismissed the action for reconveyance. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of CFI. The
complaint for reconveyance went up to the SC and was decided in favor of Nakpil. The SC held that Valdes
only held the lots in trust for Nakpil.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Valdes should be administratively sanctioned for his acts, namely: i.
excluding the property in Baguio from the estate of Jose Nakpil, ii. including his loans as claims on the
estate; and iii. apparently, representing conflicting interests when his accounting firm prepared the list of
claims of creditors Angel Nakpil and ENORN against the estate of Jose Nakpil, which was represented by
his lawfirm.

HELD:

The SC found Valdes guilty of misconduct and suspends him for 1 year. The Court held that the
first two acts clearly show that Valdes broke the trust reposed on him by Imelda Nakpil when the latter
agreed to use his professional services as a lawyer and an accountant. It was clear that Jose Nakpil and
Atty. Came to an agreement that the latter would be buying the property in trust for Jose. By his act of
excluding the property from the estate and including the loans he contracted and used for his own benefit
as claims, Valdes took for granted the trust formed between Jose and him for they had a close relationship
since the 50’s , which was the basis for Imelda’s decision to use his services. As to the third charge, we
hold respondent guilty of representing conflicting interests which is proscribed by Canon 15 Rule 15.03.
In the case at bar, there is no question that the interests of the estate and that of its creditors are adverse
to each other. Respondent's accounting firm prepared the list of assets and liabilities of the estate and, at
the same time, computed the claims of two creditors of the estate. There is clearly a conflict between the
interest of the estate which stands as the debtor, and that of the two claimants who are creditors of the
estate.

182 SCRA 155

Angel Bautista, complainant


Vs.
Atty. Ramon Gonzales, respondent
LANCE M. APOLONIO LEGAL ETHICS

FACTS:

Angel Bautista filed a complaint against Ramon Gonzales for the following acts: Accepting a case
where he agreed to pay all expenses for a contingent fee of 50% of the value of the property in litigation;
Acting as counsel for the Fortunados in a case where Eugenio Lopez, Jr. is one of the defendants and,
without said case being terminated, acting as counsel for Lopez in another case; Transferring to himself
one-half of the properties of the Fortunados, which properties are the subject of the litigation, while the
case was still pending; Inducing complainant, who was his former client, to enter into a contract with him
for the development of the land involved in a case into a residential subdivision, claiming that he acquired
fifty percent interest thereof as attorney's fees from the Fortunados, while knowing full well that the said
property was already sold at a public auction; Submitting to the CFI falsified documents purporting to be
true copies of "Addendum to the Land Development Agreement" and submitting the same document to
the Fiscal's Office of Quezon City, in connection with the complaint for estafa filed by respondent against
complainant.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Gonzales should be punished for these acts.

HELD:

Yes, Supreme Court suspends him for 6 months. For the first allegation, the court pointed out that
a lawyer may indeed advance expenses of litigation but such payment should be subject to
reimbursement. In this case, the contingent fee agreement between the Fortunados and Gonzales did not
provide for such reimbursement. Such contract is against public policy because it gives undue leverage in
favor of the lawyer. Second, the Court found that Gonzales did not violate any law because the Fortunados
consented to his appearance for Lopez. Third act, the Court said that such is a violation of Art. 1491 of the
Civil Code which prohibits a lawyer from buying/acquiring the property of his clients which is the subject
of a pending case. This Court has held that the purchase by a lawyer of his client's property or interest in
litigation is a breach of professional ethics and constitutes malpractice. And although the Code of
Professional Responsibility does not anymore contain Canon 10 of the old Canons of Professional Ethics,
which states that "the lawyer should not purchase any interests in the subject matter of the litigation
which he is conducting," the Code still provides that a lawyer should follow the laws of the Philippines at
all times. By acquiring the property in litigation, Gonzales has violated Art. 1491 of the Civil Code and can
be administratively punished for such violation. The Supreme Court held that in withholding such
information, respondent failed to live up to the rigorous standards of ethics of the law profession which
place a premium on honesty and condemn duplicitous conduct.