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Case No.

34
A.C. No. 7594 February 09, 2016
Malabed vs. Atty. De la Peña

QUESTION:
Atty. Jeff Hilado is a respondent of an administrative case filed by Ms.
Lex Lim. Ms. Lex Lim filed a complaint against him for  dishonesty by
deliberately and repeatedly making falsehood that misled the Court.

In his answer, Atty. Jeff Hilado described complainant's counsel as


"silahis" and accused complainant of "cohabiting with a married man before
the wife of that married man died." 

Eventually, Ms. Lex Lim filed another complaint for grave misconduct
because the language used by the Atty. Jeff Hilado in his answer is
offensive. 

Is the complaint for grave misconduct tenable?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes. Atty. De la Pena is guilty of gross misconduct. Gross misconduct is


defined as "improper or wrong conduct, the transgression of some
established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty,
willful in character, and implies a wrongful intent and not a mere error in
judgment."

For using improper language in his pleadings, respondent violated Rule


8.01 of Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states:
“Rule 8.01 - A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language
which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.”

Case No. 35
A.C. No. 10687 July 22, 2015
Mabini Colleges, Inc. vs. Atty. Pajarillo

QUESTION:
Atty. John Lopez is appointed as in of the legal counsels of
Madagascar’s College.
On July 05, 1999, Madagascar’s College applied for a loan from BBB,
a financial institution in which Atty. John Lopez is the legal counsel.
On July 12, 1999, BBB granted the loan application in the amount of
P200,000.00 which was secured by a Real Estate Mortgage over the
properties of St. Madagascar’s College.
Due to its failure to pay the loan, BBB wants to foreclose the Real
Estate Mortgage. On April 23, 2002, RBP moved to foreclose the Real
Estate Mortgage.
On May 1, 2002, St, Madagascar’s College filled a complaint for
Annulment of Mortgage with a Prayer for Preliminary Injunction against
BBB. Atty. John Lopez entered his appearance as counsel for BBB.
a. Is there a conflict of interest which is expressly prohibited under
Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility?
b. Did Atty. John Lopez violate Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes, there is conflict of interest. There is conflict of interest when a


lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing
parties.

He represented conflicting interests in violation of Canon 15, Rule


15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that
"[a] lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written
consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts."

Applying the foregoing to the case at bar, the Court find that
respondent represented conflicting interests when he served as
counsel for RBP in the case for annulment of mortgage filed by the
complainant, respondent's former client, against RBP.The finding of
the Investigating Commissioner that respondent was compensated by
complainant for his retained legal services is supported by the
evidence on record, the cash vouchers from 1994 to 2001. Clearly,
complainant was respondent's former client. And respondent
appeared as counsel of RBP in a case filed by his former client
against RBP. This makes respondent guilty of representing conflicting
interests since respondent failed to show any written consent of all
concerned (particularly the complainant) given after a full disclosure
of the facts representing conflicting interests.

Case No. 36
G.R. No. 105938 September 20, 1996
Regala vs. Sandiganbayan

QUESTION:
Atty. Jehanne Ramirez, Atty. Dawn Filipinas and Atty. Gwen Tuada
are members of Victory Lawfirm. One of their clients, Mr. Dingdong
Duterter, was the subject if PCGG’s investigation in the alleged ill-gotten
wealth of Duterte. The PCGG impleaded the said lawyers as defendants in
the case against Duterte. They will only be dropped as defendants of they
(1) disclose that identity of their clients; (2) submit documents
substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and (3) submit the deeds of
assignments that petitioners executed in favor of their clients covering their
respective shareholdings. The said lawyers refused to give in to the
conditions invoking attorney-client privilege.
Can the lawyers validly invoked attorney-client privilege against
PCGG?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes. Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility demands a


lawyer’s fidelity to his clients.

Also, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, Section 20 states: It is the duty
of an attorney: (e) to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to
himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no
compensation in connection with his client’s business except from him or
with his knowledge and approval.

Thus, in the creation of lawyer-client relationship, there are rules,


ethical conduct and duties that breathe life into it, among those, the
fiduciary duty to his client which is of a very delicate, exacting and
confidential character, requiring a very high degree of fidelity and good
faith, that is required by reason of necessity and public interest based on
the hypothesis that abstinence from seeking legal advice in a good cause is
an evil which is fatal to the administration of justice.

Case No. 37
GR No. 115439-41 July 16, 1997
People of the Philippines vs. Honorable Sandiganbayan

QUESTION

Respondent Ceferino Paredes was the former Provincial Attorney of


Agusan del Sur, then Governor and Congressman.  During his stint,
Paredes applied for and was granted a free patent over a vast tract of
land.  However it was cancelled because apparently, it has already been
designated and reserved as a school site.  The court found that Paredes
had obtained title thereto through fraudulent misrepresentations in his
application and somebody came forward and filed a case of perjury against
him.  However, the same was dismissed on the ground of prescription. 
Then again, another case was filed against him for violation of RA 3019
(Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) for using his former position as
Provincial Attorney to influence and induce the Bureau of Lands officials to
favourably act on his application for patent.  In all these cases, Paredes
was represented by respondent Atty. Sansaet, a practising attorney.

Paredes contends that he has already been charged under the same
set of facts and the same evidence where such complaint has already been
dismissed.  Hence, double jeopardy has already attached.  In support
hereof, Paredes presented court records and transcripts as proof of his
arraignment in the perjury case.  

However, the documents were found to be falsified, in conspiracy


with Paredes’ counsel and the clerk of court where the perjury was filed. 
One Teofilo Gelacio claims that no notice of arraignment was ever received
by the Office of the Provincial Fiscal.  Hence, another case was filed for
falsification of judicial records.  It was then that respondent Sansaet offered
to testify as a state witness against his client Paredes, claiming that the
latter contrived and induced him to have the graft case dismissed on the
grounds of double jeopardy by having him and co-respondent prepare and
falsify the subject documents.    But the Sandigan Bayan denied the motion
on the ground of attorney-client privilege since the lawyer could not testify
against his own client.  In view of such relationship, confidential matters
must have been disclosed by Paredes, as client, to accused Sansaet, as
his lawyer, in his professional capacity, and therefore privileged.

Is the testimony of respondent Sansaet, as proposed witness, barred by


attorney-client privilege?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

No. The court is reaonably convinced, and so holds, that the other
requisites for the discharge of respondent Sansaet as a state witness are
present and should have been favorably appreciated by the
Sandiganbayan.

Respondent Sansaet is the only cooperative eyewitness to the actual


commission of the falsification charged in thr criminal case pending b4 the
respondent court, hence thete is obsolute neccesity for the testimony of
Sansaet whose discharge is sought precisely for that purpose. Said
respondent has indicated his conformity thereto and has, for the purposes
required by the Rules, detailed the substance of his projected testimony in
his Affidavit of Explanation and Rectificarions.

On the final requirement of the Rules, it does not appear that Sansaet has
at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude. Thus,
with the confluence of all the requirements for the discharge of thr
respondent, both the Special Prosecutor and the Sol Gen strongly urge and
propose that he be allowed to testify as state witness.
This court in exercising its discretion must be emphasized, however, that
such discretion should have been exercised, and the disposition taken on a
holistic view of all the facts and issues herein discussed, nad not merely on
the sole issue of the applicability of the attorney-client privilege.

Case No. 38
A.C. No. 8108  July 15, 2014 
DANTE LA JIMENEZ & LAURO G. VIZCONDE vs. ATTY. FELISBERTO
L. VERANO, JR.,

QUESTION:
Jimenez  and  Vizconde,  in  their  capacity  as  founders  of 
Volunteers  Against  Crime  and Corruption (VACC), sent a letter of
complaint to Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno. They stated that respondent
had admitted to drafting the release order, and had thereby committed a
highly irregular and unethical act. They argued that respondent had no
authority to use the DOJ  letterhead  and  should  be  penalized  for  acts 
unbecoming  a  member  of  the  bar. 
For his part, Atty.  Lozano anchored  his  Complaint  on 
respondent’s  alleged  violation  of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, which states that a lawyer shall uphold the Constitution,
obey the laws of the land, and promote respect for legal processes. Atty.
Lozano contended that respondent showed disrespect for the law and
legal  processes in drafting  the  said  order  and  sending  it  to  a  high-
ranking  public  official,  even  though  the latter  was  not  a  government 
prosecutor. Atty.  Lozano’s verified  Complaint-Affidavit  was filed with the
Committee on Bar Discipline of the IBP. However, Atty. Lozano withdrew
his Complaint on the ground that a similar action had been filed by Dante
Jimenez.
 
Canrespondent  can  be  held  liable  for  violating  Canon  13  of  the 
Code  of  Professional Responsibility?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes. The way respondent condcted himself manifested a clear intent to


gain special treatment and consideration from a gov't agency. this is
precisely the type of improper behavior sought to be regulated by the
codified norms for the bar. Respondent is duty-bound to actively avoid any
act that tends to influence, or may be seen to influence, the outcome of an
ongoing case, lest the peoples' faith in the judicial process diluted.

The primary duty of lawyers is not to their clients but to the administration
of justice. To that end, their clients' success is wholly subordinate. the
conduct of a member of the bar ought to and must always be scrupulously
observant of the law and ethics. Any means, not honorable, fair and
honest which is resorted to by the lawyer, even in the pursuit of his
devotion to his client's cause, is condemnable and unethical.

Rule 1.02 states: " A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at
defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system."
Further, according to Rule 15.06, "a lawyer shall not state or imply that he
is able to influence any public official, tribunal or legislative body." The
succeeding rule, Rule 15.07, mandates a lawyer "to impress upon his client
compliance with the laws and the principle of fairness."

Zeal and persistence in advancing a client's cause must always be within


the bounds of the law. A self-respecting independence in the exercise of
the profession is expected if an attorney is to remain a member of the bar.
In the present case, we find that respondent fell short of these exacting
standards. Given the import of the case, a warning is a mere slap on the
wrist that would not serve as commensurate penalty for the offense.

Case No. 39
A.C. No. 8954 November 13, 2013
HON. Maribeth Rodriguez-Manahan vs. Atty. Rodolfo Flores

QUESTION:
During the Preliminary Conference in a complaint for Damages,
Respondent Attorney Tan files his Pre-Trial Brief without proof of MCLE
compliance hence it was expunged from the records. The preliminary
conference was reset several times for failure of respondent to appear and
submit his Pre-Trial Brief indicating his MCLE compliance. The court gave
respondent last chance to submit his Pre-Trial Brief, hence on the next
preliminary conference he filed his Pre-Trial Brief bearing a MCLE number
which was merely superimposed without indicating the date and
compliance, therefore the respondent attorney manifested that he will
submit proof of compliance of his MCLE on the following day. However, on
the following day, Respondent Attorney failed to appear and submit the
promised proof of MCLE compliance
The Investigating Judge however found out that Atty. Tan failed to
give due respect to the court by failing to obey court orders by failing to
submit proof of his compliance with the MCLE requirement and for using
intemperate language in his pleadings.
Will Atty. Tan be suspended from the practice of law for failure to
obey court orders and for using intemperate language in his pleadings?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, Atty. Tan will not be suspended from the practice of law. The
recommended penalty of 1 year suspension is too harsh and not
commensurate with the infractions committed by the respondent.
Atty. Tan failed to obey the trial court’s order to submit proof of his
MCLE Compliance notwithstanding the several opportunities given him.
“Court Orders” are to be respected not because the judges who issue them
should be respected, but because of the respect and consideration that
should be extended to the judicial branch of the government.
Atty. Tan also employed intemperate language in his pleadings. As
an officer of the court, Atty. Tan is expected to be circumspect in his
language. Rule 11.03, Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
enjoins all attorneys to abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing
language or behavior before the Courts. Atty. Tan Failed in this respect.

Case No. 40
A.C. No. 6332 April 17, 2012
IN RE: SUPREME COURT RESOLUTION DATED April 28, 2003 IN G.R.
No. 145817 and 145822
QUESTION:
In an administrative case originated when respondent Atty. Ortiga
filed an Urgent Motion to Inhibit and to Resolve Respondent’s Urgent
Omnibus Motion in two consolidated petitions involving respondent that
were pending before the court.
Respondent Atty. Ortiga made gratuitous imputations of bribery and
wrongdoing against Atty. Salas, counsel of the plaintiff and he allegedly
submitted falsified internal court documents; Atty. Ortiga attached to the
subject Motion to Inhibit two copies of the official Agenda of the First
Division of the Court, which he claimed to have anonymously received
through the mail. He also attached a copy of the Court’s internal Resolution
regarding the transfer of the case from the Third Division to the First
Division, to establish the latter’s alleged special interest in the case.
Does the acts of Atty. Ortiga violate the Code of Professional
Responsibility? Will such acts be a proper ground for disbarment from the
practice of law?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes, the acts of Atty. Ortiga violated the Code of Professional


Responsibility.
Atty Ortiga violated Canons 8, 10, and 11 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and failed to give due respect to the Courts and his fellow
lawyers, Atty. Ortiga should be disbarred from the practice of law.
His conduct, demeanor and language with respect to his cause of action-in
this court, no less- tend to undermine the integrity and reputation of the
judiciary, as well as inflict unfounded accusations against fellow lawyers.
Most disconcerting for this Court is his uncanny ability to obtain confidential
and internal court records and to use them shamelessly in his pleadings in
furtherance of his cause.
In addition, the Court cannot just make short shrift of his inclination towards
casually moving for the inhibition of Justices of the Court based on
unfounded claims, since he has not shown remorse and displayed in these
proceedings that he has fallen short of the ethical standards of the noble
profession and must be sanctioned accordingly.

Case No. 41
A.C. No. 5581 January 14, 2014
Bunagan-Bansig vs. Atty. Celera
QUESTION
A.
Jill was a student of Judge Para in Political Law Review during the first
semester of school year 2012-2013 at the U-turn University, Naga City. 
She averred that sometime in August 2012, in his class discussions, Judge
Para named her mother, Judge Santan Rose (Judge Rose) then Presiding
Judge of Branch 4, Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Cebu City, as
one of the judges involved in the marriage scams in Cebu City.  Judge Para
also mentioned in his class that Judge Rose was abusive of her position as
a judge, corrupt, and ignorant of the law. He also averred that her mother
was suspended from the service for six (6) months for allegedly receiving
payment of a cash bail bond for the temporary release of an accused for
the warrant she had issued in a case then pending before her sala. Jill also
averred that Judge Para violated the subjudice rule when he discussed the
marriage scam involving Judge Rose in 2012 because at that time, the
case was still being investigated; that the administrative case relative to the
marriage scam was decided only on April 2, 2014;
Judge Para denied the accusations of  Jill and stated that that he never
personally attacked Judge Rose’ dignity and credibility; that the marriage
scams in Naga City constituted a negative experience for all the judges and
should be discussed so that other judges, court employees and aspiring
lawyers would not emulate such misdeeds. That there was nothing wrong
in discussing the administrative cases involving Judge Rose because these
cases were known to the legal community and some were even published
in the Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) and other legal
publications; and that it was part of his freedom of expression and
academic discretion.
1. What is Subjudice Rule? Did Judge Para violate the subjudice rule?
2. Can Judge Para use the situation in his class discussion as an example
under the freedom of expression doctrine and academic discretion of
teachers on how to handle discussion in their class? Is it ethical for him to
do so?
3. Can he be administratively charge? If yes, what offense may he be
sanctioned?

Case No. 42
A.C. No. 7474 September 09, 2014
Presiding Judge Madrid vs Atty. Dealca
QUESTION
The complainant dated April 1, 2008 it was alleged that Judge Isable de
Bonbon (respondent), Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 2, Batangas
City. committed an act of impropriety when she displayed her photographs
in a social networking website called "Friendster" and posted her personal
details as an RTC Judge, allegedly for the purpose of finding a compatible
partner. She also posed with her upper body barely covered by a shawl,
allegedly suggesting that nothing was worn underneath except probably a
brassiere. In her answer, Judge de Bonbon contended that the photos she
posted in the social networking website "Friendster" could hardly be
considered vulgar or lewd. She added that”off-shouldered" attire is an
acceptable social outfit under contemporary standards and is not forbidden.
She further stated that there is no prohibition against attractive ladies being
judges; she is proud of her photo for having been aesthetically made. She
insisted that it is part of her freedom to express herself as a person.
1. Are Judges not allowed to dress what they are comfortable with in
public?
2. Did Judge De Bonbon committed an administrative offense? If yes, what
offense may she be sanctioned?
3. If you were the counsel of Judge De Bonbon, how will you defend her?
How will you weigh ethics versus freedom to justify her actions?

Case No. 43
A.C. No. 8644 January 22, 2014
Campos vs Atty. Campos
QUESTION

Atty. Gallo And Mrs. Ara has been married for 13 years now until one
day Mrs.Ara filed a petition for disbarment against Atty.Gallo because she
contented that Atty.Gallo has been having a sexual and explicit affair with
another girl. According to Mrs.Ara, the girl has been sending Atty.Gallo
sweet text messages and asking for money in return of sex. Mrs.Ara also
contended that she saw Atty.Gallo and the other girl going inside a motel
one time and when she asked Atty.Gallo, the latter answered that he had a
meeting with a client in the motel. In the disbarment proceedings filed
against him, Atty. Gallo petitioned that there was no preponderance of
evidence that what Mrs.Ara is trying to say is indeed true. He also added
that a text message is not a valid ground for the complaint and that he
never had any sort of meeting in a motel. 

Are the contentions of Atty. Gallo meritorious or not? Is Atty.Gallo


guilty of immorality,dishonesty, and serious misconduct? 

Case No. 44
A.C. No. 6281 September 26, 2011
Miranda vs Atty. Carpio
QUESTION
Atty. Torillo handled a case, which involves land title for
Mr.Tenebroso in which they had a written agreement that whatever may be
the result of the case Atty.Torillo will be entitled get a lien of Php 25,000.
The case was decided in favor of the latter and with extra award of Php
50,000. Mr. Tenebroso gave the Php 25,000 to Atty.Torillo as promised and
asked him for the title of the land- however, the latter refused to accept the
money and refused to give the land title to Mr.Tenebroso. He contended
that latter should give him the additional Php 10,000 before he gives the
title to Mr.Tenebroso in which Mr.Tenebroso refused since it was not what
they have agreed in the first place. Mr.Tenebroso filed a disbarment case
against Atty.Torillo for violation of Canon 16 and 20 of the Professional
code of responsibility of a lawyer and in his defense he motioned that he
only refused to give the title because the payment of Mr.Tenebroso is not
yet complete. 

Comment on the proprietary of the action of Atty. Torillo and decide on the
case.