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Its all about the money, money, money. Show me the MONEY!!! Atty.

Go for the Gold Gorduiz Retuya v. Gorduiz Facts: o Ana F. Retuya filed for a claim of workmens compensation against Eastern Shipping Lines, the employer of her husband who died in 1968. o In a decision by the Workmens Compensation Unit at Tacloban City, Ana was awarded a sum for compensation benefits, medical and hospitalization expenses, burial expenses, and attorneys fees of Atty. Inego Gorduiz (P300). o In the appeal, a compromise claim was proposed, and subsequently accepted by Ana. The employer paid a reduced award. o Ana sent the receipt and release, wherein she also explained that Gorduiz did not sign the joint motion to dismiss the claim because he wanted 20% of the award as his attorneys fees. She was willing to give him 10% only. o After cashing the check, she was not able to contact Gorduiz and pay his fee. Unexpectedly, she was served with a warrant of arrest. To avoid detention, she posted bail. o It turned out that Atty. Gorduiz executed an affidavit stating that Ana had misappropriated his attorneys fees amounting to three hundred pesos, that he had demanded payment but she had refused to make payment. So she went to Cebu. o On the basis of such affidavit, the acting chief of police filed against Ana a complaint for estafa. o She filed a motion to quash where she explained that she did not accede to his demand. She stated that the estafa case was filed merely to harass her. The motion to quash was denied and Judge Equipilag required Ana to produce a copy of the decision awarding her workmens compensation. o The case of estafa was not tried. Instead, Atty. Diola, lawyer of Ana, offered Gorduiz a sum of five hundred pesos as settlement of the case. The offer was accepted. o The dismissal was eventually released. o Despite the dismissal, Ana felt aggrieved and asked for the disbarment or suspension of Atty. Gorduiz and Judge Equipilag. Held/Ratio: o Court found no justification in suspending respondent judge. He is however admonished to be more prudent. o In the case of Gorduiz, the Solicitor General, disagreeing with the recommendation of the provincial fiscal of Southern Leyte, filed in this

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court a case against Gorduiz a complaint where he prayed that Gorduiz be suspended for six months because in filing the estafa case, he had promoted a groundless suit. Ana testified that she was willing to pay Gorduiz an amount of P650 but he demanded a bigger amount. He then filed an estafa case against her, which was later dismissed when Ana paid Gorduiz a sum of P500. In his testimony, Gorduiz denied that he demanded attorneys fees higher than P300. He explained that he filed the estafa case because after Ana received the payment of the award, she did not turn it over desmise promises and demands. He further declared that it was only filed to evade payment of attorneys fees. He also filed the case because he thought that Ana had absconded when she stayed in Cebu for a long time. He also said that he used his own money in looking for evidence in the workmens compensation case. The Court finds justification for suspending the respondent. The respondent acted precipitately in filing a criminal action against his client for the supposed misappropriation. It is not clear that the client had swindled him, and there is basis that contrary to his lawyers oath, he had filed a suit against her and had harassed and embarrassed her. Rule 20.02: A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort only to judicial action only to prevent imposition, fraud, or injustice. Canon 20: A lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees.