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Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014


Chairman: Ernest Levanza
VP-Finance: JR Carag
VP-Logistics: Charles Atienza
Executive Board VP-Hotel Operations: Choy
VP-Academics: Errica de
Secretariat: Macai Yamabo

Academics Committee

VP Academics: Errica de Guzman

AVP Academics: Aiyu Mallari

Head: Charity Pedrajas
Research Dani Eseque; Mae Sandova;
Choy Calso
Proofreading Patricia Tuason

Layout Gerald Suarez

Legal and Judicial Ethics

Aiyu Mallari
Bar Subject Head
Cannon 14 – 20

LEGAL ETHICS 14. Services to the Needy 11

Table of contents 15. Candor, Fairness and Loyalty 12

in Dealings with Clients
16. Shall Hold in Trust Moneys 13
LEGAL AND and Properties of Client
JUDICIAL ETHICS 17. Fidelity to Client’s Cause 14

I. Introduction 1 18. Competence and Diligence 14

II. Practice of Law 19. Represent With Zeal Within 15

Bounds of Law
III. Legal Ethics: Code of 6
Professional Responsibility 20. Charge Only Fair and 16
Reasonable Fees
A. The lawyer and Society 6
Cannon 1 – 6
IV. New Code of Judicial Conduct 21
1. Duty to uphold the of the Philippine Judiciary
Constitution and Obey the Law 6 V. Disbarment and Discipline of 24
2. Legal Services Compatible with Attorney
Independence, Integrity of 7 A. Proceedings in the Integrated Bar of 25
Profession the Philippines
3. Making Known Legal Services: 7 B. Proceedings in the Supreme Court 26
Fair, dignified, objective
information C. Common Provisions 26
4. A Lawyer Shall Participate in VI. Legal Forms 26
the Development of the Legal 8 VII. Glossary 27
System by Initiating or
Supporting Efforts in Law
Reform and in the
Improvement of the
Administration of Justice
5. Keep Abreast of Legal
Developments 8
6. Lawyers in Government
Service 8
B. The lawyer and the Legal 8
Cannon 7 - 9
7. Upholding the Integrity of the 8
Legal Profession; Support of
IBP Activities
8. Courtesy, Fairness & Candor 9
Toward Colleagues
9. Assisting in Unauthorized 9
Practice of Law
C. The Lawyer and the Courts 9
Cannon 10 - 13
10. Candor, Fairness & Good 9
Faith to the Court
11. Respect due to courts 10

12. Duty to Assist in Speedy 10

and Efficient
Administration of Justice
13. Influencing or Giving 11
Appearance of Influencing
D. The Lawyer and the Client 11
Legal and Judicial Ethics 1

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member

of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in

ETHICS accordance with the provisions of this rule, and

who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to
practice law.

I. Introduction In the practice of his profession, a licensed

attorney-at-law generally engages in three
Legal Ethics, defined principal types of professional activities:1
It is a branch of moral science which treats of the
duties which an attorney owes to the court, to his 1. Legal advice and instructions to clients to
client, to his colleagues in the profession and to the inform them of their rights and obligations
public as embodied in the Constitution, Rules of
Court, the Code of Professional Responsibilities, 2. Preparation for clients of documents
Canons of Professional Ethics, jurisprudence, moral requiring knowledge of legal principles not
laws and special laws. possessed by ordinary layman; and
Judicial Ethics, defined 3. Appearance for clients before public
It is a branch of moral science which treats of the right tribunals which possess power and authority
and proper conduct to be observed by all judges and to determine rights of life, liberty and
magistrates in trying and deciding controversies property according to law, in order to assist
brought to them for adjudication which conduct must in the proper interpretation and enforcement
be demonstrative of impartiality, integrity, of law.
competence, independence and freedom from
improprieties. ***Essential criteria enumerated as determinative
of engaging in the practice of law:
1. Habituality
II. Practice of Law
2. Compensation
Constitution, VIII, sec.5(5)
3. Application of law, legal principle, practice,
Promulgate rules concerning the protection and or procedure
enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading,
practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to 4. Attorney-Client relationship
the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal
assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall
provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE
the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for PRACTICE OF LAW
all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish,
increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of 1. Citizenship
procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies The practice of all professions in the
shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino
Supreme Court. citizens, save in cases prescribed by law.
(Const. art. XII, sec. 14.)
The power of the Supreme Court to regulate
the practice of law includes: 2. Residence
• authority to define the term Requirements for all applicants for
• prescribe the qualifications of a candidate to admission to the bar -- a resident of
and the subjects of the bar examinations the Philippines... (Rule 138, sec. 2)
• decide who will be admitted to practice
• discipline, suspend or disbar any unfit and 3. Age
unworthy member of the bar Requirements for all applicants for
• reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely admission to the bar -- at least
suspended attorney twenty-one years of age...(Rule 138, sec. 2)
• ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar
• punish for contempt any person for 4. Good Moral Character
unauthorized practice of law and Good moral character is the absence of a
• in general, exercise overall supervision of the proven conduct or act which has been
legal profession. historically and traditionally considered as a
manifestation of moral turpitude. The act
Who May Practice
Rule 138, Section 1. Who may practice law
1 Ulep vs. Legal Clinic Inc. 223 SCRA 378 (1993)
2 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

or conduct showing moral turpitude need Taxation (afternoon);

not amount to a crime; and even if it does • 3rd day:
constitute an offense, a conviction upon a Mercantile Law (morning) and
criminal charge is not necessary to Criminal Law (afternoon);
demonstrate bad moral character although it
may show moral depravity. • 4th day:
Remedial Law (morning) and Legal
5. Education Ethics and Practical Exercises
a. Pre-Law
No applicant for admission to the bar b. Passing average
examination shall be admitted unless he In order that a candidate may be
present a certificate that he has satisfied deemed to have passed his examinations
the Sec. of Education that, he began the successfully, he must have obtained a
study of law, he had pursued and general average of 75% in all subjects,
satisfactorily complete in an authorized without falling below 50% in any
and recognized university or college, subject. In determining the average, the
requiring for admission thereto the subjects in the examination shall be
completion of a four-year high school given the following relative weights:
course, the course of study prescribed Civil Law, 15%; Labor and Social
therein for a bachelor’s degree in arts or Legislation, 10%; Mercantile Law, 15%;
sciences with any of the following Criminal Law; 10%; Political and
subjects as major or field of International Law, 15%; Taxation, 10%;
concentration: political science, logic, Remedial Law, 20%; Legal Ethics and
English, Spanish, History and Practical Exercises, 5%.
Economics. (Rule 138, sec. 6.)
c. Report of the committee; filing of
b. Law Proper examination papers
No applicant shall be admitted to the Not later than February 15th after the
bar examinations unless he has examination, or as soon thereafter as
satisfactorily completed the following may be practicable, the committee shall
course in a law school or university duly file its reports on the result of such
recognized by the government: civil law, examination. The examination papers
commercial law, remedial law, criminal and notes of the committee shall be
law, public and private international fixed with the clerk and may there be
law, political law, labor and social examined by the parties in interest, after
legislation, medical jurisprudence, the court has approved the report.
taxation and legal ethics. (Rule 138, sec.
5) d. Failing candidates to take review
• Graduates of foreign law schools Candidates who have failed the bar
shall not be allowed to take the bar examinations for three times shall be
examinations since they cannot disqualified from taking another
present the certifications required examination unless they show to the
under sections 5 and 6 of Rule 138.2 satisfaction of the court that they have
enrolled in and passed regular fourth
6. Bar Examinations year review classes as well as attended a
a. Annual examination pre-bar review course in a recognized
Examinations for admission to the bar law school.
of the Philippines shall take place
annually in the City of Manila. They • The professors of the individual
shall be held in four days to be review subjects attended by the
designated by the chairman of the candidates under this rule shall
committee on bar examiners. The certify under oath that the
subjects shall be distributed as follows: candidates have regularly attended
classes and passed the subjects
• 1st day under the same conditions as
Political Law (morning) and Labor ordinary students and the ratings
and Social Legislation (afternoon); obtained by them in the particular
• 2nd day: Civil Law (morning) and

2 Re: Application of Adriano M. Hernandez, (1993) 7. Lawyer’s Oath

LAWYER’S OATH: b. they represent their organization or
members thereof (Art. 222, PO 442,
I, _______________________, do as amended).
solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance
to the Republic of the Philippines; I will support 6. Under the Cadastral Act, a non-lawyer can
its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the represent a claimant before the Cadastral
legal orders of the duly constituted authorities Court (Act No. 2259, Sec. 9).
therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to
the doing of any in court; I will not willingly nor 7. Any person appointed to appear for the
willfully promote or sue any groundless, false or government of the Phil. in accordance with
unlawful suit; or give aid nor consent to the law (Sec. 33 Rule 138).
same; I will delay no man for money or malice,
and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to Limitations of Appearance of non-lawyers
the best of my knowledge and discretion, with 1. He should confine his work to non-adversary
all good fidelity as well as to the court as to my contentions.
clients; and I impose or purpose of evasion. So
help me God.” 2. He should not undertake purely legal work,
such as the examination or cross-
examination of witnesses, or the
presentation of evidence.
• The lawyer’s oath is not mere facile words, drift
and hollow, but a sacred trust that must be 3. Services should not be habitually rendered.
upheld and kept inviolable.3
4. Should not charge or collect attorneys fees4
Non-lawyers authorized to appear in court
1. In cases before the MTC, a party may Public Officials who cannot engage in the
conduct his case or litigation in person, with private practice of law in the Philippines:
the aid of an agent or friend appointed by 1. Judges and other officials as employees of
him for that purpose (Sec. 34, Rule 138, the Superior Court (Rule 148, Sec. 35, RRC).
2. Officials and employees of the OSG (Ibid).
2. Before any other court, a party may conduct
his litigation personally (Ibid) 3. Government prosecutors5

3. In a criminal case before the MTC in a a. if permitted by their department

locality where a duly licensed member of the head should only be in isolated
Bar is not available, the judge may appoint a cases involving relatives or close
non-lawyer who is family friends

a. resident of the province, and 4. President, Vice-President, members of the

cabinet, their deputies and assistants, (Art.
b. of good repute for probity and VIII Sec. 15, 1987 Constitution).
ability to aid the accused in his
defense (Rule 116, Sec. 7, RRC) 5. Chairmen and Members of the
Constitutional Commissions (Art. IX-A, Sec.
4. A senior law student, who is enrolled in a 2, 1987 Constitution).
recognized law school’s clinical education
program approved by the Supreme Court 6. Ombudsman and his deputies (Art. IX, Sec.
may appear before any court without 8 (2nd par.), 1987 Constitution).
compensation, to represent indigent clients
accepted by the Legal Clinic of the law 7. All governors, city and municipal mayors
school. The student shall be under the direct (R.A. No. 7160, Sec. 90).
supervision and control of an IBP member
duly accredited by the law school. 8. Those who, by special law, are prohibited
from engaging in the practice of their legal
5. Under the Labor Code, non-lawyers may profession
appear before the NLRC or any Labor
Arbiter, if Public Officials with Restrictions in the
Practice of Law:
a. they represent themselves; or if
4 PAFLU vs. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co. 42 SCRA 302
3 Sebastian v. Calis, Adm. Case No. 5118, Sept. 9, 1999 5 Peo v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109
4 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

1. Senators and members of the House of d. Use property and personnel of the
Representatives Government except when the Sanggunian
member concerned is defending the interest
2. Members of the Sanggunian of the government.

3. Retired Justice or judge

Restrictions in the practice of law of members
4. Civil service officers or employees without of the Judiciary
permit from their respective department • Under RA 910, Sec. 1, as amended, a retired
heads6 justice or judge receiving a pension from the
government, cannot act as counsel in any civil
Restrictions in the Practice of Law of case in which the Government, or any of its
Members of the Legislature subdivision or agencies in the adverse party or in
Art. VI, Sec. 14, 1987 Constitution criminal case wherein an officer or employee of
No senator or member of the House of the Government is accused of an offense in
Representatives may personally appear as counsel relation to his office.
before any courts of justice or before the Electoral
Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administration Remedies Against Unauthorized Practice
bodies xxx 1. Petition for Injunction

• A lawyer-member of the legislature is only 2. Declaratory Relief

prohibited from appearing as counsel before any
court of justice, electoral tribunals or quasi- 3. Contempt of Court
judicial and administrative bodies
4. Disqualification and complaints for
• Neither can he allow his name to appear in such disbarment
pleading by itself or as part of firm name under
the signature of another qualified lawyer because 5. Criminal complaint for estafa who falsely
the signature of an agent amounts to signing of a represented to be an attorney to the damage
non-qualified senator or congressman, the office party
of an attorney being originally an agency, and
because he will, by such act, be appearing in court In re: Joaquin, 241 SCRA 405
or quasi-judicial or administrative body in • Appearance “in propia persona” is appearance in
violation of the constitutional restriction. “He court by a non-lawyer for himself without the
cannot do indirectly what the Constitution assistance of a member of the Bar. This is
prohibits directly.”7 sometimes referred to as “pro se” practice

• While pro se practice is allowed, it is not

Restrictions in the practice of law of members advisable to do so. Court proceedings are full of
of the Sanngunian technical pitfalls that may entrap a person
Under the Local Government Code (R.A. 7180, Sec. unschooled in substantive and procedural law.
90), Sanggunian members may practice their
professions provided that if they are members of the
Need for and Right to Counsel
Bar, they shall not:
General Rule: A party litigant needs the assistance
of counsel in all proceedings, administrative, civil or
a. Appear as counsel before any court in any criminal.
civil case wherein a local government unit or
any unit, agency, or instrumentality of the
government is the adverse party;
1. Municipal Trial Court
A party may conduct his litigation in
b. Appear as counsel in any criminal case person or with the aid of an agent or
wherein an officer or employee of the
friend appointed by him for that
national or local government is accused of an
purpose or with the aid of an attorney.
offense committed in relation to his office;
2. Regional Trial Court and Appellate
c. Collect any fee for their appearance in Court
administrative proceedings involving the
A party may either conduct his litigation
local government unit of which he is an
personally or by attorney unless the
official; and party is a juridical person in which case
it may appear only by attorney.
6 Noriega vs. Sison 125 SCRA 293
7 In re: David 93 PHIL. 461
• The rule that appearance by counsel is not 1. All the parties therein personally appeared
obligatory applies only in civil and administrative before him
cases. The rule does not apply in criminal cases
involving grave and less grave offenses, where an 2. They are all personally known to him
accused must be represented by counsel de parte
or counsel de officio and in which his right is not 3. That they were the same persons who
waivable. executed the instruments

4. He (notary public) inquired into the

Duty of Public Prosecutor voluntariness and due execution of the
The primary duty of a public prosecutor is not to instrument; and
convict but to see that justice is done. He should not
hesitate to recommend to the court the accused 5. That they acknowledged personally before
acquittal if the evidence in his possession shows that him that they voluntarily and freely executed
the accused is innocent. the same.


A private prosecutor may intervene in the prosecution National organization of lawyers created on January
of a criminal action when the offended party is 16, 1973 under Rule 139-A, Rules of Court and
entitled to indemnity and has not waived expressly, constituted on May 4, 1973 into a body corporate by
reserved or instituted the civil action for damages. P.D. No.181
There is nothing objectionable about it as long as the
public prosecutor is always present at every hearing, In re: Edillon, 84 SCRA 554 (1978)
retains control thereof, and without allowing the trial • The Integration of the Philippine Bar means the
in the hands of a private prosecutor. unification of the entire lawyer population. This
requires (1) membership and (2) financial
NOTARY PUBLIC support of every attorney as condition sine qua
non to the practice of law and the retention of his
Arrieta v. Llosa, 282 SCRA 248, November 28, name in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme
1997: Court.
• Notarization is not empty, meaningless,
routinary act; it is infested with substantial In re: Integration of the Philippines, 49 SCRA
public interest such that only those who are 22 (1973)
qualified or authorized may act as notaries • While Republic Act No. 6397 provides that the
public. “Supreme Court” may adopt rules of courts to
effect the integration of the Philippine bar, said
• Notaries public must observe with the utmost law neither confers a new power nor restricts the
care the basic requirements in the performance Court’s inherent power but is mere legislative
of their duties. Otherwise, the confidence of the declaration of the integration of the bar will
public in the integrity of this form of conveyance promote public interest or will “raise the
would be undermined. standard of the legal profession, improve the
administration of justice and enable the bar to
• Faithful observance with utmost respect of the discharge its public responsibility more
legal solemnity of an oath in an acknowledgment effectively.”
or jurat is sacrosanct.

Nunga v. Viray, 306 SCRA, April 30, 1999: Section 18, By-Laws of the IBP
• Notarization is invested with public interest The following persons are members of the Integrated
because it converts private documents to public Bar of the Philippines:
documents, making such documents admissible (a) All lawyers whose names were in the Roll of
in evidence without further proof of the Attorneys of the SC on January 16, 1973; and
authenticity thereof. (b) All lawyers whose names were included or are
entered therein after the said date.
• Notarizing without a commission is a violation of
the lawyer’s oath to obey the laws (Notarial Law)
and by making it appear that he is so authorized What are the objectives of the integration of
is a deliberate falsehood which violates the the Bar?
lawyer’s oath and Rule 1.01 (CPR) that a lawyer • Elevate standards of the legal profession
shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful conduct. • Improve the administration of justice
What is a Certification of a Deed?
6 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

• To enable the bar to discharge its 7. falsification of public document

responsibility more effectively

Some cases of Dishonesty and Deceit which

Merited Discipline by the Supreme Court
III. Legal Ethics: 1. Misappropriation of client’s funds

Code of Professional 2. Act of fraudulently concealing dutiable

importation or smuggling
3. Giving false statements under oath in an
A. THE LAWYER AND SOCIETY Information Sheet submitted in connection
CANON 1: Duty to uphold the Constitution with the lawyer’s application for the position
and Obey the Law of Chief of Police
Rule 1.01
A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, 4. Wanton falsehood made in an ex parte
immoral or deceitful conduct. petition in court wherein the lawyer attached
affidavit of his grandfather and which
Rule 1.02 affidavit he notarized knowing that the
A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at supposed affiant is already dead
defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the
legal system. 5. Maneuvering reconveyance of property in
the name of a lawyer instead of the client –
Rule 1.03 in a case involving sale with pacto de retro
A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest,
encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any man's 6. Submission or presentation of mutilated
cause. copies of certain documents to court for the
purpose of deceiving and misleading it
Rule 1.04
A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or 7. Falsification of grades in the Bar
settle a controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement. Examinations

BAR 1993 8. Collecting several thousand pesos on the

AMBULANCE CHASING, defined pretense that counsel would allegedly appeal
The unethical practice of inducing personal injury to the complaint’s case to the Supreme Court of
bring suits. The practice of lawyers in frequenting the United States, and that it was necessary
hospitals and homes of the injured in order to to him to go to Washington, D.C. which he
convince them to go to court. did, knowing that the decision could no
longer be appealed because it is already final
BARRATRY, defined
The offense of frequently exciting and stirring up 9. Introducing someone to buy a piece of land
quarrels and suits, either at law or otherwise. knowing that it is not for sale

10. Delayed failure to account money collected

Morality as understood in law, meaning for the client
This is a human standard based on the natural moral
law which is embodied in man’s conscience and which 11. Stealing evidence attached to the court
guides him to do good and avoid evil. records

Moral turpitude, meaning Instances of Gross Immorality and the

everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty, Resulting Consequences:
modesty or good morals. 1. Abandonment of wife and cohabiting with
another woman. (Disbarred)
Conviction for crime involving moral
turpitude – a number of lawyers have been 2. Bigamy perpetrated by the lawyer.
suspended or disbarred for conviction of crimes (Disqualified from admission to the Bar)
involving moral turpitude such as:
1. estafa 3. A lawyer who had carnal knowledge with a
2. bribery woman through a promise of marriage which
3. murder he did not fulfill. (Disbarred)
4. seduction
5. abduction
6. smuggling
4. Seduction of a woman who is the niece of a 3. a relation to clients in the highest degree of
married woman with whom the respondent fiduciary;
lawyer had adulterous relations. (Disbarred)
4. a relation to colleagues at the bar
5. Lawyer arranging the marriage of his son to characterized by candor, fairness, and
a woman with whom the lawyer had illicit unwillingness to resort to current business
relations. After the marriage of the woman to methods of advertising and encroachment on
the respondents son, he continued his their practice or dealing directly with their
adulterous relations with her. (Disbarred) clients.

6. Lawyer inveigling a woman into believing Types of advertising or solicitations not

that they had been married civilly to satisfy prohibited (Ulep vs. Legal Clinic 223 SCRA
his carnal desires. (Disbarred) 378)
1. Publication of reputable law lists, in a
7. Lawyer taking advantage of his position as manner consistent with the standards of
chairman of the college of medicine and conduct imposed by the canons, or brief
asked a lady student to go with him to manila biographical and informative data.
where he had carnal knowledge of her under
threat that if she refused , she would flunk in 2. The use of ordinary simple professional card.
all her subjects. (Disbarred) The card contain only a statement of his
name, the name of the law firm which he is
8. Concubinage coupled with failure to support connected with, address, telephone no., and
illegitimate children. (Suspended special branch of law practiced.
3. Publication or a public announcement of the
9. Maintaining adulterous relation ship with a opening of a law firm or of changes in the
married woman. (Suspended indefinitely) partnership, associates, firm name or office
address, being for the convenience of the
CANON 2: Legal Services Compatible with
Independence, Integrity of Profession In re: Tagorda, 53 Phil. 37 (1929)
Rule 2.01 • To allow a lawyer to advertise his talent or skill is
A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the to commercialize the practice of law, lower the
cause of the defenseless or the oppressed. profession in public confidence and lessen his
ability to render efficiently that high character of
Rule 2.02 service to which every member of the bar is
In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a called.
case, he shall not refuse to render legal advice to the
person concerned if only to the extent necessary to • It destructive of the honor of a great profession. It
safeguard the latter's rights. lowers the standards of that profession. It works
against the confidence of the community in the
Rule 2.03 integrity of the members of the bar. It results in
A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act needless litigation and in incenting to strife
designed primarily to solicit legal business. otherwise peacefully inclined citizens.

Rule 2.04
A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those CANON 3: Making Known Legal Services: Fair,
customarily prescribed unless the circumstances so dignified, objective information
warrant. Rule 3.01
A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false,
Characteristics which distinguishes the legal fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-
profession from business: laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his
1. a duty of public service, of which the qualifications or legal services.
emolument is a by-product, and in which one
may sustain the highest eminence without Rule 3.02
making much money; In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or
assumed name shall be used. The continued use of the
name of a deceased partner is permissible provided
2. a relation as an “officer of the court” to the that the firm indicates in all its communications that
administration of justice involving thorough said partner is deceased.
sincerity, integrity, and reliability;
Rule 3.03
Where a partner accepts public office, he shall
8 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

withdrawal from the firm and his name shall be Includes elective and appointive officials and
dropped from the firm name unless the law allows employees, permanent or temporary, whether in the
him to practice law currently. career or non-career service, including military and
police personnel, whether or not they receive
Rule 3.04 compensation, regardless of amount. (Sec. 3(b), RA
A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to 6173).
representatives of the mass media in anticipation of,
or in return for, publicity to attract legal business. The law requires the observance of the following
norms of conduct by every public official in the
CANON 4: A Lawyer Shall Participate in the discharge and execution of their official duties:
Development of the Legal System by Initiating
or Supporting Efforts in Law Reform and in a. commitment to public interest
the Improvement of the Administration of b. professionalism
Justice c. justness and sincerity
d. political neutrality
BAR 2004 e. responsiveness to the public
EXAMPLE f. nationalism and patriotism
MCLE Program: Mandatory Continuing Legal g. commitment to democracy simple living
Education – a program which requires lawyers to (Sec. 4, RA 6713)
show proof of having undertaken improvement in
their legal knowledge as a precondition for renewing BAR 1992, 2000
their license to practice. When may a former gov’t lawyer be prohibited
from accepting a legal engagement?

CANON 5: Keep Abreast of Legal • A lawyer shall not after leaving gov’t service
Developments accept engagement or employment in connection
with any matter in which he had intervened while
What is the threefold obligation of a lawyer? in said service
• First, he owes it to himself to continue
improving his knowledge of the laws; • Retired members of the judiciary receiving
pensions from the gov’t should not practice law
• Second, he owes it to his profession to take where the government should not practice law
an active interest in the maintenance of high where the gov’t is the adverse party or in a
standards of high education. criminal case involving a government employee
in the performance of his duties as such
• Third, he owes it to the law public to make
the law a part of their social consciousness.

CANON 6: Lawyers in Government Service B. THE LAWYER AND THE

The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public
prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is CANON 7: Upholding the Integrity of the Legal
done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of Profession; Support of IBP Activities
witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the Rule 7.01
accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a
disciplinary action. false statement or suppressing a material fact in
connection with his application for admission to the
Rule 6.02 bar.
A lawyer in the government service shall not use his
public position to promote or advance his private Rule 7.02
interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his A lawyer shall not support the application for
public duties. admission to the bar of any person known by him to
be unqualified in respect to character, education, or
Rule 6.03 other relevant attribute.
A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service,
accept engagement or employment in connection with Rule 7.03
any matter in which he had intervened while in said A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely
service reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he
whether in public or private life, behave in a
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal
Public office, defined profession.
BAR 2004 allow the Court to be misled by any artifice.
a lawyer should maintain the standard of moral
fitness required of him when he applied for Rule 10.02
admission to the bar. He should always be faithful to A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or
his oath misrepresent the contents of a paper, the language or
the argument of opposing counsel, or the text of a
BAR 2005 decision or authority, or knowingly cite as law a
A lawyer MAY not be held administratively liable provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or
for complains involving collection of debts (Litigio v. amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not
Dicon, 246 SCRA 9) been proved.

CANON 8: Courtesy, Fairness & Candor Rule 10.03

Toward Colleagues A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall
Rule 8.01 not misuse them to defeat the ends of justice.
A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use
language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise
improper. Langen vs. Borkowski, 188 Wis 277, 43 ALR
622 (1925)
Rule 8.02 A lawyer owes the court the duty to render no service
A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach or to do no act
upon the professional employment of another lawyer, 1. Which involves disrespect to the judicial
however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear or office
favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those
seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel. 2. Adoption of legal proposition which is not
honestly debatable

CANON 9: Assisting in Unauthorized Practice 3. Artifice or false statement of fact or law to

of Law mislead the court
Rule 9.01
A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person 4. Unlawful conspiracy with his client, a third
person or a judge tending to frustrate or
the performance of any task which by law may only be
delay the administration of justice or to
performed by a member of the bar in good standing.
secure for his client that which is not legally
or justly due him
Rule 9.02
A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for
Some Cases of Falsehoods Which Merited
legal services with persons not licensed to practice
law, except:
1. Lawyers falsely stating in a deed of sale that
property is free from all liens and
a. Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a
encumbrances when it is not so 8
partner or associate that, upon the latter's death,
money shall be paid over a reasonable period of
2. Lawyers making it appear that a person, long
time to his estate or to persons specified in the
agreement; or dead, executed a deed of sale in his favor9

3. Lawyer, encashing a check payable to a

b. Where a lawyer undertakes to complete
unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or deceased cousin by signing the latter’s name
on the check 10
c. Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer
4. Lawyer falsifying a power of attorney and
employees in a retirement plan even if the plan is
used it in collecting the money due to the
based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing
agreement. principal and appropriating the money for
his own benefit11

5. Lawyer alleging in one pleading that his

C. THE LAWYER AND THE clients were merely lessees of the property
COURTS involved, and alleged in a later pleading that
the same clients were the owners of the same
CANON 10: Candor, Fairness & Good Faith to
the Court
Rule 10.01 8 Sevilla vs. Zoleta, 96 Phil. 979
A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to 9 Monterey vs. Arayata, 61 Phil. 820
the doing of any in Court; nor shall he mislead, or 10 In re: Samaniego, 90 Phil. 382
11 In re: Rusina, 105 Phil. 1328
10 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

property12 where there are false allegations of his case, the evidence he will adduce and the order
in pleadings. of its proferrence. He should also be ready with the
original documents for comparison with the copies.
6. Lawyer uttering falsehood in a Motion to
Dismiss13 Rule 12.02
A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from
7. Lawyer denying having received the notice to the same cause.
file brief which is belied by the return card14
Rule 12.03
8. Lawyer presenting falsified documents in A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time
court which he knows to be false15 or to file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period
introducing false evidence16 lapse without submitting the same or offering an
explanation for his failure to do so.
9. Lawyer filing false charges or groundless
suits17 Rule 12.04
A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the
Art. 184, Revised Penal Code execution of a judgment or misuse Court processes.
Any person who shall knowingly offer in evidence a
false witness or testimony in any judicial or official Rule 12.05
proceeding, shall be punished as guilty of false A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his witness
testimony and shall suffer the respective penalties during a break or recess in the trial, while the witness
provided in this section. is still under examination.

Rule 12.06
CANON 11: Respect due to courts A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a witness to
Rule 11.01 misrepresent himself or to impersonate another.
A lawyer shall appear in court properly attired.
Rule 12.07
Rule 11.02 A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or harass a witness
A lawyer shall punctually appear at court hearings. nor needlessly inconvenience him.
Rule 11.03 Rule 12.08
A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client,
menacing language or behavior before the Courts. except:
a. On formal matters, such as the mailing,
Rule 11.04 authentication or custody of an instrument,
A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not and the like; or
supported by the record or have no materiality to the
case. b. on substantial matters, in cases where his
testimony is essential to the ends of justice,
Rule 11.05 in which event he must, during his
A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to testimony, entrust the trial of the case to
the proper authorities only. another counsel.
BAR 1993, 1996, 1997, 2006 Restrictions are intended to prevent “forum-
May a lawyer properly criticize a court shopping” (which is the improper practice of going
decision? YES, a lawyer is entitled to voice his from one court to another in the hope of securing a
criticism within the context of the constitutional favorable relief in one court which another court has
guarantee of freedom of speech which must be denied).
exercised responsibly
Forum Shopping exists when as a result of an
CANON 12: Duty to Assist in Speedy and adverse opinion in one forum:
Efficient Administration of Justice a. a party seeks favorable opinion (other than
Rule 12.01 by appeal or certiorari) in another, or
A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless he has
adequately prepared himself on the law and the facts b. when he institutes two or more actions or
proceedings grounded on the same cause, on
the gamble that one or the other would make
Chavez vs. Viola, G.R. 2152, 19 April 1991 a favorable disposition18
Martin vs. Moreno, 129 SCRA 315
Ragacejo vs. IAC, 153 SCRA 462
15 18
Bautista vs. Gonzales, 182 SCRA 151 Benguet Electric Corp. vs. Flores 287 SCRA 449, March 12,
Berrenguer vs. Carranza, 26 SCRA 673 1998
Retuya vs. Gorduiz, 96 SCRA 526
another branch or agency of the government in the
normal course of judicial proceedings.
First Phil. International Bank vs. Court of
Appeals, 252 SCRA 259 (1996)
The test in determining whether a party has violated
the rule against forum shopping is: D. THE LAWYER AND THE
1. whether the elements of litis pendentia are CLIENT
present; or
BAR 1990, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004,
2. whether a final judgment in one case will 2005
amount to res judicata in the other. CANON 14: Services to the Needy
Rule 14.01
A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely
Three Ways in which the Forum Shopping is
Committed: on account of the latter's race, sex. creed or status of
life, or because of his own opinion regarding the guilt
1. Going from one court to another in the hope of said person.
of securing a favorable relief in one court,
which another court has denied. Rule 14.02
A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and
2. Filing repetitious suits or proceeding in sufficient cause, an appointment as counsel de officio
different courts concerning the same subject or as amicus curiae, or a request from the Integrated
matter after one court has decided the suit Bar of the Philippines or any of its chapters for
with finality. rendition of free legal aid.

3. Filing a similar case in a judicial court after Rule 14.03

receiving an unfavorable judgment from an A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an
administrative tribunal. indigent client if:
a. He is not in a position to carry out the work
effectively or competently;
The submission of a false certification or non-
compliance with any of the undertakings in a b. He labors under a conflict of interest
certification of no forum shopping between him and the prospective client or
1. shall constitute indirect contempt of court between a present client and the prospective
2. without prejudice to the corresponding
administrative and criminal actions Rule 14.04
A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to
pay his professional fees shall observe the same
If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly standard of conduct governing his relations with
constitute willful and deliberate forum paying clients.
shopping, the same shall be:
1. ground for summary dismissal with
prejudice; and shall i. Counsel De Officio
2. constitute direct contempt, as well as Rule 138, s. 31. Attorneys for destitute
3. cause for administrative sanctions. A court may assign an attorney to render professional
aid free of charge to any party in case, if upon
CANON 13: Influencing or Giving Appearance investigation it appears that the party is destitute and
of Influencing Court unable to employ an attorney, and that the services of
Rule 13.01 counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and
A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or to protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty of
hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for cultivating the attorney so assigned to render the required
familiarity with Judges. service, unless he is excused therefrom by the court
for sufficient cause shown.
Rule 13.02
A lawyer shall not make public statements in the Rule 116, s.7 – Appointment of counsel de
media regarding a pending case tending to arouse oficio
public opinion for or against a party.
Rule 13.03 1. members of the bar in good standing;
A lawyer shall not brook or invite interference by
12 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

2. any person, resident of the province and and honest opinion on the merits and probable results
of good repute for probity and ability, in of the client's case, neither overstating nor
localities without lawyers understating the prospects of the case.


1. gravity of offense A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to
2. difficulty of questions that may arise influence any public official, tribunal or legislative
3. experience and ability of appointee body.

BAR 1991, 1993, 2001, 2003 Rule 15.07

JUSTIFIED GROUNDS FOR REFUSING A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance
BEING DESIGNATED AS COUNSEL DE with the laws and the principles of fairness.
• A lawyer has been assigned too many de Rule 15.08
officia cases already A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or
• Prohibited from practicing by reason of his occupation concurrently with the practice of law shall
public office make clear to his client whether he is acting as a
lawyer or in another capacity.

ii. Amicus Curiae Requisites of Privileged Communication:

a. There is an attorney-client relationship or a
Rule 138, s. 36
kind of consultancy requirement with a
Experienced and impartial attorneys may be invited
prospective client;
by the court to appear as amici curiae to help in the
b. The communication was made by the client
disposition of issues submitted to it.
to the lawyer in the course of the lawyer’s
professional employment;
Amicus Curiae, defined
bystander; “friend of the court” whose function is “to
The communication must be intended to be
remind the court or tribunal of some matter which
otherwise might escape its notice and in regard to
which it might be wrong. One who gives information
upon some question of law in regard to which the BAR 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2005
judge is doubtful or mistaken, or upon a matter of why is a lawyer prohibited from representing
which the court may take judicial cognizance. conflicting interest?

Characteristics of the Attorney-Client

CANON 15: Candor, Fairness and Loyalty in Privilege
Dealings with Clients 1. A-C privilege where legal advice is
Rule 15.01 professionally sought from an attorney.
A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, shall
ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter 2. The client must intend the above
would involve a conflict with another client or his own communication to be confidential.
interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the
prospective client. 3. A-C privilege embraces all forms of
communication and action.
Rule 15.02
A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privilege 4. As a general rule, A-C privilege also extends
communication in respect of matters disclosed to him to the attorney’s secretary, stenographer,
by a prospective client. clerk or agent with reference to any fact
required in such capacity.
Rule 15.03
A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests 5. The above duty is perpetual and is absolutely
except by written consent of all concerned given after privileged from disclosure.
a full disclosure of the facts.
*Exceptions to A-C Privilege
Rule 15.04 1. There is consent or waiver or client.
A lawyer may, with the written consent of all
concerned, act as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in 2. Such is required by law.
settling disputes.
3. Such is made to protect the lawyer’s rights
Rule 15.05 (i.e. to collect his fees or associates or by
A lawyer when advising his client, shall give a candid judicial action).
judgment against such may, on that ground
4. When such communication are made in be set aside.
contemplation of a crime or the perpetuation
of a fraud. 3. A lawyer can be held administratively liable
through disciplinary action and may be held
Doctrine of imputed knowledge is based on the criminally liable for betrayal of trust.
assumption that an attorney, who has notice of matter
affecting his client, has communicated the same to his 4. The attorney’s right to fees may be defeated
principal in the course of professional dealings. The if found to be related to such conflict and
doctrine applies regardless of whether or not the such was objected to by the former client, or
lawyer actually communicated to the client what he if there was a concealment and prejudice by
learned in his professional capacity, the attorney and reason of the attorney’s previous
his client being one judicial person. professional relationship with the opposite
Rule on Conflicting Interests
It is generally the rule based on sound public policy CANON 16: Shall Hold in Trust Moneys and
that attorney cannot represent diverse interest. It is Properties of Client
highly improper to represent both sides of an issue. Rule 16.01
The proscription against representation of conflicting A lawyer shall account for all money or property
interest finds application where the conflicting collected or received for or from the client.
interest arise with respect to the same general matter Rule 16.02 - A lawyer shall keep the funds of each
and is applicable however slight such adverse interest client separate and apart from his own and those of
may be. It applies although the attorney’s intention others kept by him.
and motives were honest and he acted in good faith.
However, representation of conflicting interest may Rule 16.03
be allowed where the parties consents to the A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his
representation after full disclosure of facts.19 client when due or upon demand. However, he shall
have a lien over the funds and may apply so much
Remember: The test to determine whether there is a thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees
conflict of interest in the representation is and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter
PROBABILITY, not certainty of conflict. to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same
extent on all judgments and executions he has secured
for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.
Instances when a Lawyer is Considered having
Conflicting Interests Rule 16.04
1. As an employee of a corporation whose duty A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client
is to attend legal affairs, he cannot join a unless the client's interest are fully protected by the
labor union of employees in that corporation. nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither
shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in
2. As a lawyer who investigated an accident as the interest of justice, he has to advance necessary
counsel for an insurance, he cannot expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.
represent the injured person.

3. As a receiver of a corporation, he cannot Art. 1491, Civil Code

represent the creditor. The following persons cannot acquire or purchase,
even at public or judicial auction, either in person or
4. As a representative of the obligor, he cannot through the mediation of another.
represent the obligee.
(5) lawyers, with respect to the property
5. As a lawyer representing a party in a and rights which may be the object of any litigation
compromise agreement, he cannot be in which they take part by virtue of their profession.”
subsequent lawyer representing another
client who seeks to nullify the agreement. Elements of Art. 1491
1. Attorney-client relationship
2. Property or interest is in litigation
Effects of Representing Adverse Interests 3. Attorney takes part as counsel in the case
1. Disqualification as counsel of new client on 4. Purchase, acquisition by attorney, by himself
petition of former client. or through another, during pendency of
2. Where such is unknown to, becomes
prejudicial interests of the new client, a
WHEN Art.1491 is not applicable:
Nakpil vs. Valdez, 266 SCRA 758, March 4, 1998
14 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

1. When attorney is not counsel in case 2. That he will exert his best judgment in the
involving the same property at the time of prosecution or defense of the litigation
acquisition. entrusted to him;

2. When purchaser is a corporation, even if the 3. That he will exercise reasonable and ordinary
attorney was an officer thereof.20 care and diligence in the pursuit or defense
of the case; and
3. When sale took place after termination of
litigation, except if there was fraud or abuse 4. That he will take steps as will adequately
of confidential information or where lawyer safeguard his client’s interests.
exercised undue influence.
However well meaning he may be, a lawyer cannot ask
4. Where property in question is stipulated as another lawyer to collaborate with him in a particular
part of attorney’s fees, provided that, the case without the consent of the client. The fiduciary
same is contingent upon the favorable nature of attorney-client relationship prohibits this.
outcome of litigation and, provided further,
that the fee must be reasonable.
Instances of Negligence of Attorneys
CANON 17: Fidelity to Client’s Cause 1. Failure of counsel to ask for additional time
to answer a complaint resulting in a default
Cantilller v. Potenciano, 180 SCRA 246 (1989) judgment against his client (Mapua vs.
x x x x x x When a lawyer takes a client’s cause, he Mendoza, 45 Phil. 424).
thereby covenants that he will exert all effort for its
protection until its final conclusion. The failure to 2. Failure to bring suit immediately. When the
exercise due diligence and the abandonment of a belated suit was filed, the defendant had
client’s cause make such a lawyer unworthy of the already become insolvent and recovery could
trust which the client has reposed on him. no longer be had. The lawyer was declared
liable to the client (Filinvest Land vs. CA,
CANON 18: Competence and Diligence 182 SCRA 664).
Rules 18.01
A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service which he 3. Failure to ascertain date of receipt from post
knows or should know that he is not qualified to office of notice of decision resulting in the
render. However, he may render such service if, with non-perfection of the appellant’s appeal
the consent of his client, he can obtain as (Joven-De Jesus vs. PNB, 12 SCRA 447).
collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on
the matter. 4. Failure to file briefs within the reglementary
period (People vs. Cawili, 34 SCRA 728).
Rule 18.02
A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without 5. Failure to attend to trial without filing a
adequate preparation. motion for postponement or without
requesting either of his two partners in the
Rule 18.03 law office to take his place and appear for the
A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to defendants (Gaerlan vs. Bernal, G.R. No. L-
him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall 4049, Jan. 28, 1952). Failure to appear at
render him liable. pre-trial (Agravante vs. Patriarca, 183
SCRA 113).
Rule 18.04
A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of 6. Failure of counsel to notify clients of the
his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to scheduled trial which prevented the latter to
the client's request for information. look to another lawyer to represent them
while counsel was in the hospital (Ventura
vs. Santos, 59 Phil. 123).
Islas vs. Platon, 47 Phil. 162
When a lawyer accepts a case, whether for a fee or
not, his acceptance is an implied representation: 7. Failure to appear simply because the client
1. That he possess the requisite degree of did not go to counsel’s office on the date of
academic learning, skill and ability in the the trial as was agreed upon (Alcoriza vs.
practice of his profession; Lumakang, Adm. Case No. 249, November
21, 1978).

8. Failure to pay the appellate docket fee after

receiving the amount for the purpose
Tuazon v. Tuazon, 88 Phil. 42
(Capulong vs. Alino, 22 SCRA 491).
9. Failure to take action to have adverse • A party is not bound by the actions of his counsel
decision reconsidered (PHHC vs. Tiongco, in case the gross negligence of the counsel
207 SCRA 153) or failure to appeal the resulted in the client’s deprivation of his property
adverse decision (Francisco, Jr. vs. Bosa without due process. (Legarda vs. Court of
and Bandong, 205 SCRA 722). Appeals, 195 SCRA 418)

10. Failure to notify the court of counsel’s • The Supreme Court set aside the dismissal of the
change of address resulting in failure to appeal for the failure to file the appellant’s brief
receive judicial orders to the prejudice of the on time, it appearing that the appellant’s former
client (Juane vs. Garcia, 25 SCRA 801) counsel had abandoned him and could not be
contacted despite earnest efforts. (Aguilar vs.
11. Failure to take necessary precaution to Court of Appeals, et al.,250 SCRA 371)
insure that he receives all court notices and
processes promptly (Javier vs. Madamba, • The Supreme Court set asi de the trial court’s
Jr., 174 SCRA 495). order, the same being due to the trial counsel’s
blunder in procedure and gross negligence of
12. Failure to present evidence (Gonzales vs. existing jurisprudence. (Escudero vs. Dulay, 158
Presiding Judge of Branch I, RTC of Bohol, SCRA 69)
186 SCRA 101).
• It was once ruled that the unconscionable failure
13. Failure to file the required position paper of a lawyer to inform his client of the receipt of
which prejudiced client’s cause (Lorenzana the court order and the motion for execution and
Food Corp. vs. Daria, 197 SCRA 249). to take the appropriate action against either or
both to protect his client’s rights amounted to
connivance with the prevailing party which
Instances where the client is not bound by constituted extrinsic fraud. (Bayog vs. Natino,
counsel’s negligence: 258 SCRA 378)
• In the case of an irresponsible lawyer who totally
forgot about the case and failed to inform his CANON 19: Represent With Zeal Within
client of the decision, the Supreme Court held Bounds of Law
that the client should not be bound by the Rule 19.01
negligence of the counsel. (Republic vs. Arro, 150 A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to
SCRA 630) attain the lawful objectives of his client and shall not
present, participate in presenting or threaten to
• A party is not bound by the actions of his counsel present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an
in case the gross negligence of the counsel improper advantage in any case or proceeding.
resulted in the client’s deprivation of his property
without due process (Legarda vs. Court of Rule 19.02
Appeals, 195 SCRA 418). A lawyer who has received information that his client
has, in the course of the representation, perpetrated a
• “Where there is something fishy and suspicious fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call
about the actuations of the former counsel of upon the client to rectify the same, and failing which
petitioners in the case at bar, in the case he did he shall terminate the relationship with such client in
not give any significance at all to the processes of accordance with the Rules of Court.
the court, which has proven prejudicial to the
rights of said clients, under a lame and flimsy Rule 19.03
explanation that the courts processes just escaped A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the
his attention, it is held that the said lawyer procedure in handling the case.
deprived his clients of their day in court (PHHC
vs. Tiongco, 12 SCRA 471).

• Application of the rule, “results in the outright

deprivation of one’s property through a
technicality.” (Escudero vs. Dulay, 158 SCRA 69,

• In the case of an irresponsible lawyer who totally

forgot about the case and failed to inform his
client of the decision, the Supreme Court held
that the client should not be bound by the
negligence of the counsel. (Republic vs. Arro, et
al., 150 SCRA 630)
16 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
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The professional employment of an attorney merely i. The character of the employment, whether
confers upon him the general authority to do on occasional or established; and
behalf of his client such acts as are necessary or
incidental to the prosecution or management of the j. The professional standing of the lawyer.
suit entrusted to him OR the accomplishment of its
purpose for which he was retained. Rule 20.02
A lawyer shall, in case of referral, with the consent of
The employment itself confers upon the attorney no the client, be entitled to a division of fees in
implied or apparent authority to bind the client on proportion to the work performed and responsibility
substantial matters: assumed.

1. the cause of action, Rule 20.03

2. the claim or demand sued upon, and A lawyer shall not, without the full knowledge and
3. the subject matter of the litigation consent of the client, accept any fee, reward, costs,
commission, interest, rebate or forwarding allowance
are substantial matters which the attorney may not or other compensation whatsoever related to his
impair, novate, compromise, settle, surrender or professional employment from anyone other than the
destroy without the client’s consent or authority. client.

Rule 20.04
Control of Proceedings A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients
In the matters of law, it is the client who yields to the concerning his compensation and shall resort to
lawyer and not the lawyer yielding to the client. The judicial action only to prevent imposition, injustice or
basis of this rule is that the lawyer is better trained fraud.
and skilled in law. Cause of action, claim or demand,
and subject of litigation are within client’s control.
Hence, the attorney may not impair, settle or Two Concepts of Attorney’s Fees
compromise without client’s knowledge and consent.
However, proceedings to enforce the remedy are a. In its ordinary concept, an attorney’s fee
within the exclusive control of the attorney. In fine, in is the reasonable compensation paid to a
the matters of procedure, lawyer in control, and as to lawyer for the legal services he has rendered
the subject matter, the client is in control. to a client. The basis of this compensation is
the fact of employment by the client.
CANON 20: Charge Only Fair and Reasonable
Fees b. In its extraordinary concept, an
Rule 20.01 attorney’s fee is an indemnity for damages
A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in ordered by the court to be paid by the losing
determining his fees: party to the prevailing party in a litigation.
a. the time spent and the extent of the service The basis of this is any of the cases
rendered or required; authorized by law and is payable not to the
lawyer but to the client – unless they have
b. the novelty and difficulty of the questions agreed that the award shall pertain to the
involved; lawyer as additional compensation or as part
c. The importance of the subject matter;

d. The skill demanded; The Rules of Court provides under Rule 138, s.24 only
three factors:
e. The probability of losing other employment a. the importance of the subject matter of
as a result of acceptance of the proffered controversy;
case; b. the extent of the services rendered; and
c. the professional standing of the attorney.
f. The customary charges for similar services
and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to
which he belongs; • Under Rule 138, s.24 it is also provided that the
court is not bound by the opinion of attorney’s as
g. The amount involved in the controversy and expert witness as to proper compensation and
the benefits resulting to the client from the that written contract shall control the amount
service; paid unless found by the court to be
unconscionable or reasonable.
h. The contingency or certainty of
• According to jurisprudence, the court may also recoverable by him from the client
take into consideration the client’s capacity to
pay. • He shall be entitled to receive what he merits for
his services
Kinds of Payment which may be stipulated
a. A fixed or absolute fee which is payable
regardless of the result of the case;
a. There is no express contract for attorney’s
fees agreed upon between the lawyer and the
b. A contingent fee that is conditioned to the
securing of a favorable judgment and
recovery of money or property and the
b. When although there is a formal contract of
amount of which may be on a percentage
attorney’s fees, the stipulated fees are found
unconscionable or unreasonable by the
c. A fixed fee payable per appearance;
c. When the contract for attorney’s fees is void
d. A fixed fee computed by the number of hours
due to purely formal matters or defects of
e. A fixed fee based on a piece of work;
d. When the counsel, for justifiable cause, was
not able to finish the case to its conclusion;
f. A combination of any of the above stipulated
e. When lawyer and client disregard the
contract of attorney’s fees
Retainer Agreement on Attorney’s fees:
f. When there is a contract but no stipulation
1. General Retainer or Retaining Fee as to attorney’s fees
It is paid to a lawyer to secure his future
services as general counsel for any ordinary
legal problem that may arise in the ordinary Guides in Determining Attorney’s Fees in
business of the client and referred to him for Quantum Meruit Basis
legal action • Time spent and Extent of the Services
A lawyer is justified in fixing higher fees
2. Special Retainer when the case is so complicated and requires
That is a fee for a specific case or service more time and efforts to finish it.
rendered by the lawyer for a client
• Novelty and Difficulty of Questions Involved
Compensation to which Lawyer is Entitled When the questions in a case are novel and
Depending on His Capacity difficult, greater efforts, deeper study and
1. Counsel de Parte research, are bound to burn the lawyer’s time
He is entitled to a reasonable attorney’s fees and stamina considering that there are no
agreed upon or in the absence thereof, on local precedents to rely upon.
quantum meruit basis.
• Importance of Subject Matter
2. Counsel de Oficio The more important the subject matter or
The counsel may not demand from the the bigger value of the interest or property in
accused attorney’s fees even if he wins the litigation, the higher is the attorney’s fee.
case. He may however collect from the
government funds if available based on the • Skill demanded of the Lawyer
amount fixed by the court. The totality of the lawyer’s experience
provides him the skill and competence
3. Amicus Curiae admired in lawyers.
He is not entitled to attorney’s fees.
BAR 1990, 1999, 2000
BAR 1998, 2006, 2007 Champertous Contracts (void) – Lawyer
QUANTUM MERUIT (AS MUCH AS HE stipulates with his client that in the prosecution of the
DESERVES) case, he will bear all the expenses for the recovery of
• The basis of determining the lawyer’s things or property being claimed by the client and
professional fees in the absence of a contract, but the latter agrees to pay the former a portion of the
thing/property recovered as compensation.
18 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

• When defendant’s action or omission

compelled plaintiff to litigate;
Advantages of a Written Contract
1. It is conclusive as to the amount of • In criminal cases of malicious
compensation. prosecution;

2. In case of unjustified dismissal of an • When the action is clearly unfounded;

attorney, he shall be entitled to recover from
the client full compensation stipulated in the • When defendant acted in gross and
contract (RA 636). evident bad faith;

• In actions for support;

Situations when Counsel cannot Recover the
Full Amount despite Written Contract for • In cases of recovery of wages;
Attorney’s Fees
• In actions for indemnity under
1. When the services called for were not workmen’s compensation and
performed as when the lawyer withdrew employee’s liability laws;
before the case was finished. He will be
allowed only by reasonable fees. • In a separate civil action arising from a
2. When there is a justified dismissal of the
attorney, the contract will be nullified and • When at least double costs are awarded
payment will be on the basis of quantum (costs of suit does not include attorney’s
meruit only. A contrary stipulation will be fees);
• When the court deems it just and
3. When the stipulated attorney’s fees are equitable; and when a special law so
unconscionable i.e. when it is authorizes.
disproportionate compared to the value of
services rendered and is revolting to human
conscience. Counsels not entitled to fees:
• counsel de officio unless court orders
4. When the stipulated attorney’s fees are in compensation (rule 138, s.32);
excess of what is expressly provided by law.
• PAO lawyers – cannot collect from litigants;
5. When the lawyer is guilty of fraud or bad
faith toward his client in the matter of his • Local elective officials appearing in a
employment. provincial/city/municipal tribunals or
administrative agencies of
6. When the counsel’s services are worthless province/city/municipality of which he is an
because of his negligence. elective official (RA 5185, s.6)
7. When contract is illegal, against morals or
public policy. Judicial actions to recover attorney’s fees:
a. file an appropriate motion or petition as an
8. Serving adverse interest unless lawyer proves incident in the main action where he
that it was with the consent of both parties. rendered legal services;

ATTORNEYS FEES AS DAMAGES b. file a separate civil action for collection of

General Rule attorney’s fees.
Attorney’s fees as damages are not recoverable. An
adverse decision does not ipso facto justify their
award in favor of the winning party. Otto vs. Gmur, Inc., 55 Phil. 627 (1931)
A lawyer may enforce his right to fees by filing the
Exceptions necessary petition as an incident of the main action
Attorney’s fees in the concept of in which his services were rendered only:
damages may be awarded in any of the 1. When something is due the client in the
following circumstances: action from which the fee is to be paid; or
• When there is no agreement; 2. when the client settles or waives his cause in
• When exemplary damages are awarded; favor of the adverse party in fraud of the
lawyer’s claim for compensation.
CANON 21: Client Confidence and Secrets client to him, or his advise given thereon in the course
Rule 21.01 of professional employment, nor can an attorney’s
A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of secretary, stenographer, or clerk he examined,
his client except; without the consent of the client and his employees,
a. When authorized by the client after concerning any fact the knowledge of which he has
acquainting him of the consequences of the been acquired in such capacity.”

b. When required by law; Disclosure of client’s identity, when covered

by the privilege
c. When necessary to collect his fees or to As a matter of public policy, a client’s identity is not
defend himself, his employees or associates privileged. However, there are exemptions of the rule,
or by judicial action. such as:
a. Where a strong probability exists that
Rule 21.02 revealing the client’s name would implicate
A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, that client in the very activity for which
use information acquired in the course of sought the lawyer’s advice
employment, nor shall he use the same to his own
advantage or that of a third person, unless the client b. Where disclosure would open the client to
with full knowledge of the circumstances consents civil liability
c. Where the government’s lawyers have no
Rule 21.03 case against the client unless, by revealing
A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of his the client’s name, the said name would
client, give information from his files to an outside furnish the only link that would form the
agency seeking such information for auditing, chain of testimony necessary to convict the
statistical, bookkeeping, accounting, data processing, client
or any similar purpose.
• The duty to preserve the client’s secrets arises
Rule 21.04 from the moment the attorney-client relationship
A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the firm is established.
to partners or associates thereof unless prohibited by
the client. • A client’s communication intended for a third
party is not privileged.
Rule 21.05
A lawyer shall adopt such measures as may be BAR 2005
required to prevent those whose services are utilized As a witness in a case he is handling for a client, a
by him, from disclosing or using confidences or lawyer is proscribed from testifying the theory of the
secrets of the clients. case.

Rule 21.06 BAR 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008

A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a CANON 22: Withdrawal of Services for Good
client's affairs even with members of his family. Cause and Upon Notice
Rule 22.01
Rule 21.07 A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the
A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been consulted following case:
about a particular case except to avoid possible a. When the client pursues an illegal or
conflict of interest. immoral course of conduct in connection
with the matter he is handling;

Confidence, meaning b. When the client insists that the lawyer

Refers to information by the attorney-client privilege pursue conduct violative of these canons and
Secret, meaning
refers to the other information gained in the c. When his inability to work with co-counsel
professional relationship that the client has regulated will not promote the best interest of the
to be held inviolate or the disclosure of which would client;
be embarrassing or would likely be detrimental to the
client. d. When the mental or physical condition of the
lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out
Rule 130, Sec. 21 (b), RRC the employment effectively;
“An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client,
be examined as to any communication made by the e. When the client deliberately fails to pay the
20 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

fees for the services or fails to comply with A client may not be permitted to abuse his right to
the retainer agreement; discharge his counsel as an excuse to secure repeated
extensions of time to file a pleading or to indefinitely
f. When the lawyer is elected or appointed to avoid a trial
public office; and
Retaining Lien Charging Lien
g. Other similar cases. Passive Lien. It Active Lien. It can
cannot be actively be enforced by
Rule 22.02 Nature
enforced. It is a execution. It is a
A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, subject general lien. special Lien
to a retainer lien, immediately turn over all papers Lawful possession Securing of a
and property to which the client is entitled, and shall of papers, favorable money
cooperative with his successor in the orderly transfer Basis documents, judgment for the
of the matter, including all information necessary for properly belonging client.
the proper handling of the matter. to client.
Covers only Covers all
papers, documents judgments for the
WITHDRAWAL BY LAWYER and property in payment of money
GENERALLY, a lawyer lacks the unqualified right to the lawful and executions
withdraw once he has taken a case. Coverage
possession of the issued in
• BY his acceptance, he has impliedly stipulated attorney by reason pursuance of such
that he will prosecute the case to conclusion. of his professional judgments.
• This is especially true when such withdrawal will As soon as the As soon as the
work injustice to a client or frustrate the ends of attorney gets claim for
justice. possession of the attorney’s fees had
papers documents been entered into
An EXCEPTION, however, is his right to or property the records of the
retire from the case before its final case.
adjudication, which arises only from: Client need not be Client and adverse
notified to make it party must be
1. The client’s written consent or Notice
effective notified to make it
2. For a good cause effective.
May be exercised Generally, it is
Written Consent of the Client before judgment exercisable only
The withdrawal in writing of a lawyer as counsel or execution or when the attorney
for a party, with the client’s written conformity, Appli- regardless thereof. had already
does not require the approval of the court to be cability secured a
effective, especially if the withdrawal is favorable
accompanied by a formal appearance of a new judgment for his
counsel. client.

Requisites of a Retaining Lien

WITHDRAWAL BY CLIENT 1. There exists a client-lawyer relationship;
A client has the right to discharge his attorney at any
time with or without a cause or even against his 2. That the claims for attorney’s fees are not
consent. The existence or non-existence of a just cause satisfied; and
is important only in determining the right of an
attorney to compensation for services rendered. 3. That counsel is in possession of the subject
papers, documents and funds. It is still
Some Limitations on Client’s Right to required that
4. His possession be lawful. Otherwise, the
1. When made with justifiable cause , it shall lawyer cannot exercise his right as a
negate the attorney’s right to full payment of retaining lien.
Requisites of a Charging Lien
2. The attorney may, in the discretion of the 1. Existence of a client-lawyer relationship;
court, intervene in the case to protect his 2. Favorable judgment secured by the counsel
right to fees for his client which judgment is a money
Noting into the records of the case through the filing before another court or administrative agency.
of an appropriate motion of the statement of the
lawyer’s claim for attorney’s fees with copies SEC. 4. Judges shall not allow family, social, or other
furnished to the client and the adverse party relationships to influence judicial conduct or
judgment. The prestige of judicial office shall not be
used or lent to advance the private interests of others,
nor convey or permit others to convey the impression
that they are in a special position to influence the
IV. New Code of Judicial judge.
Conduct for the
SEC. 5. Judges shall not only be free from
Philippine Judiciary inappropriate connections with, and influence by, the
executive and legislative branches of government, but
Qualifications of SC members: must also appear to be free therefrom to a reasonable
1. Natural born Citizen of the Philippines; observer.
2. At least 40 years of age;
3. Must have been for at least 15 years a judge SEC. 6. Judges shall be independent in relation to
of a lower court or engaged in the practice of society in general and in relation to the particular
law (Sec. 7 (1), Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution) parties to a dispute which he or she has to adjudicate.

QUALIFICATIONS OF RTC JUDGES SEC. 7. Judges shall encourage and uphold

1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines; safeguards for the discharge of judicial duties in order
2. At least 35 years of age; to maintain and enhance the institutional and
operational independence of the judiciary .
3. For at least 10 years has been engaged in the
practice of law in the Phil. or has held public SEC. 8. Judges shall exhibit and promote high
office in the Phil. requiring admission to the standards of judicial conduct in order to reinforce
practice of law as an indispensable requisite. public confidence in the judiciary , which is
fundamental to the maintenance of judicial
1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
2. At least 30 years of age;
BAR 1991, 1998, 2007
3. For at least 5 years has been engaged in the CANON 2: INTEGRITY
practice of law in the Phil. or has held public Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge
office in the Phil. requiring admission to the of the judicial office but also to the personal demeanor
practice of law as an indispensable requisite. of judges.
SEC 1. Judges shall ensure that not only is their
BAR 1990, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007,
conduct above reproach, but that it is perceived to be
so in the view of a reasonable observer.
Judicial independence is a pre-requisite to the rule of SEC. 2. The behavior and conduct of judges must
law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial. A reaffirm the people’s faith in the integrity of the
judge shall therefore uphold and exemplify Judicial judiciary . Justice must not merely be done but must
independence in both its individual and institutional also be seen to be done.
SEC. 3. Judges should take or initiate appropriate
SEC 1. Judges shall exercise the judicial function disciplinary measures against lawyers or court
independently on the basis of their assessment of the personnel for unprofessional conduct of which the
facts and in accordance with a conscientious judge may have become aware.
understanding of the law, free of any extraneous
influence, inducement, pressure, threat or
interference, direct or indirect, from any quarter or
BAR 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2007, 2008
for any reason.
SEC. 2. In performing judicial duties, judges shall be Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the
independent from judicial colleagues in respect of judicial office. It applies not only to the decision itself
decisions which the judge is obliged to make but also to the process by which the decision is made.
SEC 1. Judges shall perform their judicial duties
SEC. 3. Judges shall refrain from influencing in any without favor, bias or prejudice.
manner the outcome of litigation or dispute pending
22 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

SEC. 2. Judges shall ensure that his or her conduct ,

both in and out of court, maintains and enhances the
confidence of the public, the legal profession and
litigants in the impartiality of the judge and of the
judiciary .

SEC. 3. Judges shall, so far as is reasonable, so

conduct themselves as to minimize the occasions on
which it will be necessary for them to be disqualified
from hearing or deciding cases.

SEC. 4. Judges shall not knowingly, while a

proceeding is before or could come before them, make
any comment that might reasonably be expected to
affect the outcome of such proceeding or impair the
manifest fairness of the process. Nor shall judges
make any comment in public or otherwise that might
affect the fair trial of any person or issue.

SEC. 5. Judges shall disqualify themselves from

participating in any proceedings in which they are
unable to decide the matter impartially or in which it
may appear to a reasonable observer that they are
unable to decide the matter impartially. Such
proceedings include, but are not limited to, instances
a. The judge has actual bias or prejudice
concerning a party or personal knowledge of
disputed evidentiary facts concerning the

b. The judge previously served as a lawyer or

was a material witness in the matter in

c. The judge, or a member of his or her family,

has an economic interest in the outcome of
the matter in controversy;

d. The judge served as executor, administrator,

guardian, trustee or lawyer in the case or
matter in controversy, or a former associate
of the judge served as counsel during their
association, or the judge or lawyer was a
material witness therein;

e. The judge’s ruling in a lower court is the

subject of review;

f. The judge is related by consanguinity or

affinity to a party litigant within the sixth
civil degree or to counsel within the fourth
civil degree; or

g. The judge knows that his or her spouse or

child has a financial interest, as heir, legatee,
creditor, fiduciary, or otherwise, in the
subject matter in controversy or in a party to
the proceeding, or any other interest that
could be substantially affected by the
outcome of the proceedings;

SEC. 6. A judge disqualified as stated above may,

outcome of the proceedings;
Disqualification Inhibition
SEC. 6. A judge disqualified as stated above may, 1. Rule on 1. Rule does not
instead of withdrawing from the proceeding, disclose disqualification expressly enumerate
on the records the basis of disqualification. If, based numerates the the specific grounds
on such disclosure, the parties and lawyers, grounds under for inhibition but
independently of the judge’s participation, all agree in which any judge or merely gives a broad
writing that the reason for the inhibition is immaterial judicial officer is basis thereof, i.e.
or unsubstantial, the judge may then participate in the disqualified from good, sound or
proceeding. The agreement, signed by all parties and acting as such an the ethical grounds.
lawyers, shall be incorporated in the record of the express
proceedings. enumeration therein
of such grounds
exclude the others.
Guidelines for Efficient Rendition of
Judgment Or Judicial Opinion 2. Rule gives the 2. Rule leaves the
judicial officer no matter of inhibition
1. The Judge should observe the usual and discretion to try to to the sound
traditional method of dispensing justice, sit in a case. discretion of the
which requires that he should hear both judge.
sides with patience and understanding
before he should render a decision.21
BAR 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007
2. The judge should decide a case impartially CANON 4: PROPRIETY
on the basis of the evidence presented and Propriety and the appearance of propriety are
shall apply the applicable law as his guides.22 essential to the performance of all the activities of a
3. The judge should state clearly and distinctly
the facts and the law on which he based his SEC 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the
judgment appearance of impropriety in all of their activities.

4. The judge disposing of controverted cases SEC. 2. As a subject of constant public scrutiny,
should indicate his reasons for his opinions judges must accept personal restrictions that might be
or conclusions to show that he did not viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and
disregard or overlook the serious arguments should do so freely and willingly. In particular, judges
of the parties’ counsel. shall conduct themselves in a way that is consistent
with the dignity of the judicial office.
5. The judge should make his decisions or
opinions brief but complete in all the SEC. 3. Judges shall, in their personal relations with
essentials. individual members of the legal profession who
practice regularly in their court, avoid situations
6. If the personal view of the judge contradict which might reasonably give rise to the suspicion or
the applicable doctrine promulgated by the appearance of favoritism or partiality.
Supreme Court, nonetheless, he should
decide the case in accordance with that SEC. 4. Judges shall not participate in the
doctrine and not in accordance with his determination of a case in which any member of their
personal views. family represents a litigant or is associated in any
manner with the case.
7. The judge should decide cases promptly, that
is, within the period required by law. SEC. 5. Judges shall not allow the use of their
residence by a member of the legal profession to
8. The signed judgment must be receive clients of the latter or of other members of the
unconditionally filed with the Clerk of Court legal profession.
to have it considered within the 90-day
deadline for rendering judgments. SEC. 6. Judges, like any other citizen, are entitled to
freedom of expression, belief, association and
9. Extreme care should be made in the making assembly, but in exercising such rights, they shall
of the dispositive portion of the decision for always conduct themselves in such a manner as to
that is the part of the decision which is to be preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the
implemented. impartiality and independence of the judiciary .

SEC. 7. Judges shall inform themselves about their
Casttillo vs. Juan, 62 SCRA 124 personal fiduciary and financial interests and shall
Bondoc vs. De Guzman, 57 SCRA 135
24 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

make reasonable efforts to be informed about the CANON 5: EQUALITY

financial interests of members of their family. Ensuring equality of treatment to all before the courts
is essential to the due performance of the judicial
SEC. 8. Judges shall not use or lend the prestige of office.
the judicial office to advance their private interests, or
those of a member of their family or of anyone else, SEC 1. Judges shall be aware of, and understand,
nor shall they convey or permit others to convey the diversity in society and differences arising from
impression that anyone is in a special position various sources, including but not limited to race,
improperly to influence them in the performance of color, sex, religion, national origin, caste, disability,
judicial duties. age, marital status, sexual orientation, social and
economic status and other like causes.
SEC. 9. Confidential information acquired by judges
in their judicial capacity shall not be used or disclosed SEC. 2. Judges shall not, in the performance of
for any other purpose related to their judicial duties. judicial duties, by words or conduct , manifest bias or
prejudice towards any person or group on irrelevant
SEC. 10. Subject to the proper performance of grounds.
judicial duties, judges may
SEC. 3. Judges shall carry out judicial duties with
a. Write, lecture, teach and participate in appropriate consideration for all persons, such as the
activities concerning the law, the legal parties, witnesses, lawyers, court staff and judicial
system, the administration of justice or colleagues, without differentiation on any irrelevant
related matters; ground, immaterial to the proper performance of such
b. Appear at a public hearing before an official
body concerned with matters relating to the SEC. 4. Judges shall not knowingly permit court staff
law, the legal system, the administration of or others subject to his or her influence, direction or
justice or related matters; control to differentiate between persons concerned, in
a matter before the judge, on any irrelevant ground.
c. Engage in other activities if such activities do
not detract from the dignity of the judicial SEC. 5. Judges shall require lawyers in proceedings
office or otherwise interfere with the before the court to refrain from manifesting, by words
performance of judicial duties. or conduct , bias or prejudice based on irrelevant
grounds, except such as are legally relevant to an issue
SEC. 11. Judges shall not practice law whilst the in proceedings and may be the subject of legitimate
holder of judicial office. advocacy.

SEC. 12. Judges may form or join associations of

judges or participate in other organizations BAR 1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007
representing the interests of judges. CANON 6: COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE
Competence and diligence are prerequisites to the due
SEC. 13. Judges and members of their families shall performance of judicial office.
neither ask for , nor accept, any gift, bequest, loan or
favor in relation to anything done or to be done or SEC 1. The judicial duties of a judge take precedence
omitted to be done by him or her in connection with over all other activities.
the perfor mance of judicial duties.
SEC. 2. Judges shall devote their professional activity
SEC. 14. Judges shall not knowingly permit court to judicial duties, which include not only the
staff or others subject to their influence, direction or performance of judicial functions and responsibilities
authority, to ask for , or accept, any gift, bequest, loan in court and the making of decisions, but also other
or favor in relation to anything done or to be done or tasks relevant to the judicial office or the court’s
omitted to be done in connection with their duties or operations.
SEC. 3. Judges shall take reasonable steps to
SEC. 15. Subject to law and to any legal requirements maintain and enhance their knowledge, skills and
of public disclosure, judges may receive a token gift, personal qualities necessary for the proper
award or benefit as appropriate to the occasion on performance of judicial duties, taking advantage for
which it is made, provided that such gift, award or this purpose of the training and other facilities which
benefit might not reasonably be perceived as intended should be made available, under judicial control, to
to influence the judge in the performance of judicial judges.
duties or otherwise give rise to an appearance of
partiality. SEC. 4. Judges shall keep themselves informed about
relevant developments of international law, including
BAR 1992, 1995, 2003, 2007, 2008 international conventions and other instruments
establishing human rights norms. than 15 March 2000.

SEC. 5. Judges shall perform all judicial duties, The Clerk of Court is directed to furnish all lower
including the delivery of reserved decisions, courts, all government and the Integrated bar of the
efficiently, fairly and with reasonable promptness. Philippines with copies of this Resolution.

SEC. 6. Judges shall maintain order and decorum in

all proceedings before the court and be patient, A. PROCEEDINGS IN THE
dignified and courteous in relation to litigants,
witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge
deals in an official capacity. Judges shall require PHILIPPINES
similar conduct of legal representatives, court staff
and others subject to their influence, direction or Sec. 2. National Grievance Investigator.
control. The Board of Governors shall appoint from among
IBP members an Investigator or, when special
SEC. 7. Judges shall not engage in conduct circumstances so warrant, a panel of three(3)
incompatible with the diligent discharge of judicial investigators to investigate the complaint All
duties. Investigators shall take an oath of office in the form
prescribed by the Board of Governors. A copy of the
Investigator's appointment and oath shall be
transmitted to the Supreme Court.

V. Disbarment & Discipline

An Investigator may be disqualified by reason of
Of Attorneys relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity
Rule 139-B or affinity to any of the parties or their counsel,
pecuniary interest, personal bias, or his having acted
“SECTION 1. How instituted. as counsel for either party, unless the parties sign and
Proceedings for disbarment, suspension or discipline enter upon the record their written consent to his
of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu acting as such Investigator. Where the Investigator
proprio, or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines does not disqualify himself, a party may appeal to the
(IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. The IBP Board of Governors, which by majority vote of the
complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts members present, there being a quorum, may order
complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of his disqualification.
persons having personal knowledge of the facts
therein alleged and/or by such documents as may Any Investigator may also be removed for cause, after
substantiate said facts. due hearing, by the vote of at least six (6) members of
the IBP Board Governors. The decision of the Board of
"The IBP Board of Governors may, motu proprio or Governors in all cases of disqualification or removal
upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter shall be final.
Board of Officers, or at the instance of any person,
initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring Sec. 3. Duties of the National Grievance
attorneys including those in the government service; Investigator.
Provided, however, that all charges against Justices of The National Grievance Investigators shall investigate
the Court of Tax Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, all complaint against members of the Integrated Bar
and Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals and lower referred to them by the IBP Board of Governors.
courts, even if lawyers are jointly charged with them,
shall be filed with the Supreme Court; Provided, Sec. 4. Chapter assistance to complainant.
further, that charges filed against Justices and Judges
The proper IBP Chapter may assist the
before the IBP, including those filed prior to their
complainant(s) in the preparation and filing of his
appointment in the Judiciary, shall immediately be
complaint(s). chanrobles virtua law library
forwarded to the Supreme Court for disposition and
Sec. 5. Service or dismissal.
"Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed If the complaint appears to be meritorious, the
with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any of Investigator shall direct that a copy thereof be served
its chapters who shall forthwith transmit the same to upon the respondent, requiring him to answer the
the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an same within fifteen (15) days from the date of service.
investigator.” If the complaint does not merit action, or if the
answer shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator
The foregoing amendment shall take effect on 01 May that the complaint is not meritorious, the same may
2000 after publication of this Resolution in at least be dismissed by the Board of Governors upon his
two (2) newspapers of general circulation not later recommendation. A copy of the resolution of
26 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the Depositions may be taken in accordance with the
Supreme Court which may review the case motu Rules of Court with leave of the investigator(s).
proprio or upon timely appeal of the complainant
filed within 15 days from notice of the dismissal of the Within the Philippines, depositions may be taken
complainant. before any member of the Board of Governors, the
President of any Chapter, or any officer authorized by
No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by law to administer oaths.
reason of the desistance, settlement, compromise,
restitution, withdrawal of the charges, or failure of the Depositions may be taken outside the Philippines
complainant to prosecute the same. before a diplomatic or consular representative of the
Philippine Government or before any person agreed
upon by the parties or designated by the Board of
Sec. 6. Verification and service of answer. Governors.
The answer shall be verified. The original and five (5)
legible copies of the answer shall be filed with the Any suitable members of the Integrated Bar in the
Investigator, with proof of service of a copy thereof on place where a deposition shall be taken may be
the complainant or his counsel. designated by the Investigator to assist the
complainant or the respondent in taking a deposition.
Sec. 7. Administrative counsel.
The IBP Board of Governors shall appoint a suitable
member of the Integrated Bar as counsel to assist the Sec. 10. Report of Investigator.
complainant or the respondent during the Not later than thirty (30) days from the termination of
investigation in case of need for such assistance. the investigation, the Investigator shall submit a
report containing his findings of fact and
Sec. 8. Investigation. recommendations to the IBP Board of Governors,
Upon joinder of issues or upon failure of the together with the stenographic notes and the
respondent to answer, the Investigator shall, with transcripts thereof and all the evidence presented
deliberate speed, proceed with the investigation of the during the investigation. The submission of the report
case. He shall have the power to issue subpoenas and need not await the transcription of the stenographic
administer oaths. The respondent shall be given full notes, it being sufficient that the report reproduce
opportunity to defend himself, to present witnesses on substantially from the Investigator's personal notes
his behalf and be heard by himself and counsel. any relevant and pertinent testimonies.
However, if upon reasonable notice, the respondent
fails to appear, the investigation shall proceed ex Sec. 11. Defects.
parte. No defect in a complaint, notice, answer, or in the
proceeding or the Investigator's Report shall be
The Investigator shall terminate the investigation considered as substantial unless the Board of
within three (3) months from the date of its Governors, upon considering the whole record, finds
commencement unless extended for good cause by the that such defect has resulted or may result in a
Board of Governors upon prior application. miscarriage of justice, in which event the Board shall
take such remedial action as the circumstance may
Willful failure or refusal to obey a subpoena or any warrant, including invalidation of the entire
other lawful order issued by the Investigator shall be proceedings.
dealt with as for indirect contempt of court. The
corresponding charge shall be filed by the Investigator Sec. 12. View and decision by the Board of
before the IBP Board of Governors which shall require Governors.
the alleged contemnor to show cause within ten (10)
days from notice. The IBP Board of Governors may a. Every case heard by an investigator shall be
thereafter conduct hearings, if necessary, in reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon the
accordance with the procedure set forth in this Rule record and evidence transmitted to it by the
for hearings before the Investigator. Such hearing Investigator with his report. The decision of the
shall, as far as practicable, be terminated within Board upon such review shall be in writing and
fifteen (15) days from its commencement. Thereafter, shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the
the IBP Board of Governors shall within like period reasons on which it is based. It shall be
fifteen (15) days issue a resolution setting forth its promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty
findings and recommendations, which `shall (30) days from the next meeting of the Board
forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for following the submittal of the Investigator's
final action and if warranted, the imposition of Report
b. If the Board, by the vote of a majority of its total
membership, determines that the respondent
Sec. 9. Depositions should be suspended from the practice of law or
disbarred, it shall issue a resolution setting forth 138, Section 27, during the pendency of the
its findings and recommendations which, investigation until such suspension is lifted by the
together with the whole record of the case, shall Supreme Court.chanrobles virtua law library
forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court
for final action. Sec. 16. Suspension of attorney by the Court
of Appeals or Regional Trial Court.
c. If the respondent is exonerated by the Board or The Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court may
the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is less suspend an attorney from practice for any of the
than suspension or disbarment (such as causes named in Rule 138, Section 27, until further
admonition, reprimand, or fine) it shall issue a action of the Supreme Court in the case.
decision exonerating respondent or imposing
such sanction. The case shall be deemed Sec. 17. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals
terminated unless upon petition of the or Regional Trial Court, further proceedings
complainant or other interested party filed with in Supreme Court.
the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or a
notice of the Board’s resolution, the Supreme Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit to the
Court orders otherwise. Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of
suspension and a full statement of the facts upon
d. Notice of the resolution or decision of the Board which the same was based. Upon receipt of such
shall be given to all parties through their counsel. certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court
A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the shall make a full investigation of the case and may
Supreme Court. revoke, shorten or extend the suspension, or disbar
the attorney as the facts may warrant.
SUPREME COURT Sec. 18. Confidentiality.
Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and
Sec. 13. Supreme Court Investigators. confidential. However, the final order of the
In proceedings initiated motu proprio by the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions
Supreme Court in other proceedings when the in other cases.
interest of justice so requires, the Supreme Court
may refer the case for investigation to the Solicitor Sec. 19. Expenses.
General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or All reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in
judge of a lower court, in which case, the relation to disciplinary and disbarment proceedings
investigation shall proceed in the same manner are lawful charges forthwith the parties may be taxed
provided in Sections 6 to 11 hereof, save that the as costs.
review report of the investigation shall be conducted
directly by the Supreme Court. Sec. 20. Effectivity and Transitory
Sec. 14. Report of the Solicitor General or This Rule shall take effect on June 1, 1988 and shall
other Court designated investigator. supersede the present Rule 139 entitled
Based upon the evidence adduced at the "DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF
investigation, the Solicitor General or other ATTORNEYS". All cases pending investigation by
Investigator designated by the Supreme Court shall the Office of the Solicitor General shall be
submit to the Supreme Court a resolution containing transferred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
his findings of fact and recommendations together Board of Governors for investigation and disposition
the record and all the evidence presented in the as provided in this Rule except those cases where the
investigation for the final action of the Supreme investigation has been substantially completed.

Sec. 15. Suspension of attorneys by Supreme
After receipt of respondent's answer or lapse of the
period therefor, the Supreme Court, motu proprio,
or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors
upon the recommendation of the Investigator, may
suspend an attorney from the practice of his
profession for any of the causes specified in Rule
28 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

VI. Legal Forms consists of a gentle or friendly reproof, mild rebuke,

warning or reminder, counseling, on a fault, error or
oversight; an expression of authoritative advice.
• Acknowledgment
Advocate – The general and popular name for a
• Attestation clause of notarial will
lawyer who pleads on behalf of someone else.
• Entry of appearance
• Verification and certification of non-forum
Amicus curiae – a friend of the court, not a party to
the action; is an experienced and impartial attorney
• Special power of attorney invited by the court to appear and help in the
• Affidavit of self adjudication
disposition of the issues submitted to it. It implies
• Affidavit of desistance
friendly intervention of counsel to call the attention of
• Affidavit
the court to some matters of law or facts which might
• Chattel mortgage
otherwise escape its notice and in regard to which it
• Deed of chattel mortgage
might go wrong.
• Contract of lease
• Complaint for recovery of sum of money
Amicus curiae par excellence – bar associations
• Contract of lease
who appear in court as amici curiae or friends of the
• Complaint for ejection
court. Acts merely as a consultant to guide the court in
• Complaint with preliminary injunction
a doubtful question or issue pending before it.
• Information for arson
• Information for homicide
Attorney ad hoc – a person named and appointed
• Information for libel
by the court to defend an absentee defendant in the
• Information for rape
suit in which the appointment is made (Bienvenu v.
• Motion for disqualification/inhibition
Factor’s Traders Insurance Corp., 33 La. Ann. 209)
• Motion to dismiss
• Motion for extension of time to file
attorney/counsel/abogado/boceros – that class
• Motion for support pendente lite
of persons who are by license officers of the courts,
• Motion for leave to withdraw counsel
empowered to appear, prosecute and defend, and
upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and
Civil Complaints
liabilities are developed by law as a consequence (Cui
• Unlawful detainer v. Cui, 120 Phil. 729).
• Collection of sum of money
• Answer
Attorney-in-fact – an agent whose authority is
• Replevin
strictly limited by the instrument appointing him,
• Judicial determination of lease period
though he may do things not mentioned in his
• Forcible entry
appointment necessary to the performance of the
• Interpleader
duties specifically required of him by the power of
• Enclosement
attorney appointing him, such authority being
• Admission of satisfaction of judgment
necessarily implied. He is not necessary a lawyer.
Criminal Complaints
Attorney of Record – one who has filed a notice of
• Complaint-affidavit
appearance and who hence is formally mentioned in
• Certification by officer
court records as the attorney of the party. Person
• Information
whom the client has named as his agent upon whom
service of papers may be made. (Reynolds v.
Parts of pleading
Reynolds. Cal. 2d580).
• Caption
• Body
Bar Admission – act by which one is licensed to
• Headings
practice before courts of a particular state or
• Signature & address of the counsel
jurisdiction after satisfying certain requirements such
• Verification
as bar examinations, period of residency or admission
• Certification of non-forum shopping
on grounds of reciprocity after period of years as
(initiatory pleadings)
member of bar of another jurisdiction (Black Law
• Condition precedent Dictionary Sixth Edition, p.149).
• Attaching of actionable documents
(Denial of actionable document must be
Bar AND Bench - Bar refers to the whole body of
attorneys and counselors collectively, the members of
• Explanatory note of service of pleadings
the legal profession; Bench denotes the whole body of
VII. Glossary judges.

Admonition - A form of disciplinary measure which

Bar Association – an association of members of the entertained of a person, the estimate in which he is
legal profession. held by the public in the place where he is known
Barratry - Offense of frequently inciting and stirring
up quarrels and suits. The lawyer’s acts of fomenting Gross Immorality - A grossly immoral act is one
suits among individuals and offering legal services to that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal
one of them. (1993 BAR EXAMS) act or so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be
reprehensible to a high degree.
Barrrister (England) – a person entitled to practice
law as an advocate or counsel in superior court. House Counsel – Lawyer who acts as attorney for
business though carried as an employee of that
Censure - Official reprimand business and not as an independent lawyer.

Client – One who engages the services of a lawyer for Lawyer – This is the general term for a person
legal advice or for purposes of prosecuting or trained in the law and authorized to advise or
defending a suit in his behalf and usually for a fee. represent others in legal matters.

Competence - Sufficiency of lawyer’s qualifications Lead Counsel – The counsel on their side of a
to deal with the matter in question and includes litigated action who is charged with the principal
knowledge and skill and the ability to use them management and direction of a party’s case.
effectively in the interest of the client.
Maintenance - Consists in maintaining, supporting
Counsel de officio - a counsel, appointed or or promoting the litigation of another.
assigned by the court, from among members of the
Bar in good standing who, by reason of their Moral Character - It is what a person really is
experience and ability, may adequately defend the (corresponds to objective reality). It exhibits qualities
accused. of truth- speaking, a high sense of honor, full candor,
Note: In localities where members of the Bar are not intellectual honesty, and the strictest observance of
available, the court may appoint any person, resident fiduciary responsibility.
of the province and of good repute for probity and
ability, to defend the accused. [Sec. 7 Rule 116, Rules Moral Turpitude - It means anything which is done
of Court (1985)] contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals,
or to any act of vileness, baseness or depravity in the
Court - A board or other tribunal which decides a private and social duties that a man owes his
litigation or contest fellowmen or to society, contrary to the accepted rule
of right and duty between man and man.
DE FACTO Judge - An officer who is not fully
invested with all the powers and duties conceded to Of Counsel – to distinguish them from attorneys of
judges, but exercising the office of a judge under some record, associate attorneys are referred to as “of
color of right counsel” (5 Am. Jur. 261)

DE JURE Judge- One who is exercising the office of Plea of Guilty - An admission by the accused of his
a judge as a matter of right; an officer of a court who guilt of a crime as charged in the information and of
has been duly and legally appointed the truth of the facts alleged, including the qualifying
and aggravating circumstances.
Diligence - It is “the attention and care required of a
person in a given situation and is the opposite of Practising Lawyer – One engaged in the practice of
negligence” (Edquibal vs. Ferrer, 450 SCRA 406) law. All trial lawyers are practicing lawyers, but not all
practicing lawyers are trial lawyers.
Direct Contempt - Consists of misbehavior in the
presence of or near a court or judge as to interrupt or Practice of Law - - Any activity, in or out of court,
obstruct the proceedings before the court or the which requires the application of law, legal procedure,
administration of justice. knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the
practice of law is to give notice or render any kind of
Disbarment - It is the act of the Philippine Supreme service, which device or service requires the use in any
Court in withdrawing from an attorney the right to degree of legal knowledge or skill (Cayetano v.
practice law. The name of the lawyer is stricken out Monsod, 201 SCRA 210).
from the roll of attorneys.
Proctor (England) – Formerly, an attorney in the
Dishonest Act - It is an act of lying or cheating admiralty and ecclesiastical courts whose duties and
(Agpalo) business correspond to those of an attorney at law or
solicitor in Chancery.
Good Reputation - It is the opinion generally
30 De La Salle University Manila - College of Law
Lasallian Commission on Bar Operations 2014

Reinstatement - It is the restoration in disbarment

proceedings to a disbarred lawyer the privilege to
practice law.

Reprimand - A form of disciplinary measure which

consists of a public and formal censure or severe
reproof, administered to a person in fault by his
superior officer or a body to which he belongs.

RES IPSA LOQUITUR – “the thing speaks for

itself”; This principle or doctrine applies to both
judges and lawyers. Judges had been dismissed from
the service without the need for a formal investigation
because based on the records, the gross misconduct or
inefficiency of the judges clearly appears.

Retainer - (1) an act of client by which he engages

services of an attorney to render legal advice, defend
or prosecute his cause in court; (2) fee which a client
pays to an attorney when latter is retained (retaining

Retaining Fee - (same as retainer)

Preliminary fee paid to insure and secure future
services, to remunerate him for being deprived, by
being retained by one party. It prevents undue
hardship resulting from the rigid observance of the
rule forbidding him from acting as counsel for other

Retaining Lien - A right merely to retain the funds,

documents, and papers as against the client until the
attorney is fully paid his fees and to apply such funds
to the satisfaction. (1995, 2000 BAR EXAMS)

Solicitor (England) – A person prosecuting or

defending suits in Courts of Chancery.

Solicitor (Philippines) – A government lawyer

attached with the Office of the Solicitor General.

Suspension - A form of disciplinary measure which

consists of a temporary withholding of a lawyer’s right
to practice his profession as a lawyer for a certain
period or for an indefinite period of time.

Titulo de Abogado – it means not mere possession

of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but
membership of the Bar after due admission thereto,
qualifying one for the practice of law.

Trial Lawyer – A lawyer who personally handles

cases in court, administrative agencies or boards
which means engaging in actual trial work either for
the prosecution or for the defense of cases of clients.

Warning - A form of disciplinary measure which

consists of an act or fact of putting one on his guard
against an impending danger, evil consequences or