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ATTORNEY AND

CLIENT
39 SCRA 136
1. Duty of Lawyers to Clients.
- A lawyer is charged with the knowledge that the - Giving client erroneous information not misbehavior
property and effects cannot be taken without sufficient to warrant disciplinary action. (Kantindig v.
permission from the courts. (Fernandez v. Bello, 107 Brillantes, 12 scra 190)
Phil. 1140) - It is the duty of counsel to inform the court of any
- The placing of an attorney’s private and personal change of his address. ( Juane v Garcia, 25 scra
interests over and above those of his client 801)
constitutes a breach of lawyer’s oath deserving - Any information acquired by counsel is confidential.
admonition. ( Maria v Tuason, 11 scra 563) Even if the relationship is terminated, it is not a
- Lawyers must secure special authority to sign the good practice for counsel to appear against a former
compromise agreement of his client’s case. ( Jacinto client. ( Nombrado v. Hernandez, 26 scra 13)
v. Montesa, 19 scra 513)
1A. Notice to Lawyer is Notice to Client 1B. Right of Client

- Notice to one counsel of record is equivalent to Standard of care required:


notice to all lawyers for the same party and also - Failure of the client to inquire from his
to the clients (Damasco v. Arrieta, 7 Scra 224)
counsel as to the status of the case does not
constitute excusable negligence as to justify
- Issuance of summons to a party is not necessary
rehearing, thereby a client should from time to
where it has been impleaded and submitted to
court’s jurisdiction through its counsel (Visitacion
time should be in contact with his counsel

v. Manit, 27 scra 524) exercising that standard of care which an


ordinary prudent man bestows upon his
important business. (Fernandez v. Tan Tiong
Tick, 1 scra 1138)
1C. Negligence of Lawyers

- A client is bound by negligence or mistake - Mistakes of counsel as to the competency of

of his lawyers. (Flores v. PAPA, 107 Phil. witnesses, the sufficiency and relevancy of
evidence, the proper defense, or the burden of
773)
proof are not gounds for a new trial unless the
- Failure of counsel to inform client that he
incompetence of counsel be so great that his
rested the case is not an excusable
client is prejudiced and prevented from
negligence. presenting his case. (People v. Manzanilla, 43
- Negligence of government lawyers Phil 167)
representing a party in case does not - Also, an Attorney is guilty of malpractice in
constitute breach of their duties but rather allowing the period to appeal to lapse. ( Toquib v.

a violation of their official duties. (Cruz v. Tomol Jr., 26 scra 819)

Cabal, 12 scra 270)


2. Conduct of Lawyers
2A. Misappropriation of Funds of Clients. 2B. Prohibition to Purchase Property of
Client.
- The acts of a lawyer in preparing fictitious deeds - Counsel is prohibited to buy property of
of sale pretending arrange an amicable client. (Sotto v. Samson, 5 scra 733)
settlement of the case, asking his client to sign a
document making it appear that she received
money when in truth, she did not and receiving
money for deposits but instead misappropriated
the money are held to constitute malpractice and
conduct unbecoming a member of the bar.
(Medina v. Bautista, 12 scra 1)
2C. Miscellaneous

- Threat to file disbarment proceedings by a client to his attorney constitutes


light threats punishable by the RPC. (Batolanon v. Leorente, 8 scra 787)

- Participation of a lawyer of one party in the affairs of the other party is


brazenly unethical. (Vda. De Zubiri v Zubiri, 18 scra 1157)
3. Attorney’s Lien
3A. Attorney’s Fees

- A satisfaction of the judgment in fraud of - In order to determine the value of the legal
the lien may be vacated even by motion services of an attorney, a hearing should be
held at which both the parties should be
and the attorney will be allowed to
present for the determination of such.
enforce the judgment for the amount of
(Gozon v. Malapitan, 107 Phil. 1033)
his lien. (Bacolod Murcia Milling v.
- As to the duty of the courts in determining
Henares, 107 Phil. 560)
the fee, they should foresee that lawyers
are paid just and lawful; Opinions of judges
does not affect or serves as a basis of fee
for attorney’s services. (Laurente v. Caunca,
107 Phil. 1051)
- Defendant is liable for attorney’s fees where he acted in bad faith in refusing to
satisfy plaintiff’s plainly valid, just and demandable claim. (Inducil v. De Los
Santos, 17 scra 332)

- A counsel discharged before the services agreed upon settled, should be awarded
with the same compensation. (Flores v. PNB, 17 scra 506)

- In labor cases, lawyers who represented the struggling members of the union
must pay corresponding fees by all those benefitted the award secured by them.
(Martinez v. Union De Maquinistas Motormen, 39 scra 167)
4.Withdrawal and Dismissal of
Counsel.
- Withdrawal and dismissal of counsel must be made with the consent of the client
and in formal petition filed in the case. (Baquiran v. CA, 2 scra 873)
- Withdrawal of counsel cannot be considered when his last motion to withdraw to
appear for his client is only one day before the date set for resumption of
hearing. (Visitacion v. Mainit, 27 scra 524)
- Counsel has no right to presume that the court would grant his withdrawal. (id.)
- Dismissal of a lawyer by client must be justifiable, otherwise, lawyer is entitled to
recover compensation. (Aro v. Nanawa, 27 scra 1090)
4A. Substitution of Lawyers

- Appearance of a new counsel after the client has dismissed his former counsel is
proper. ( Laput v. Remotigue, 6 scra 45)
- For substitution of lawyers in a given case, there must be: (1) written application
for substitution; (2) written consent of the client; and (3) a written consent of the
attorney to be substituted. And in case the consent is not obtained, or cannot be,
there must at least be proof that notice of the motion for substitution has been
served upon him in the manner prescribed by our rules. (Ramos v. Potenciano, 9
scra 589)
- Non – compliance with the rule renders the substituting counsel on record be
regarded as attorney entitled to be notified of all notices and pleadings.
Furthermore, client is answerable for the shortcomings of his counsel of record.
5. Briefs.
- During the past, the SC has suspended various lawyers for failure to pay fines for
not having filed the appellant’s brief in a criminal case. (In re Dianala Jo, 1 scra
31)

- In the case of People v. Tan, reasons for failure to file brief even citing
hypertension as issue, is not satisfactory. The court opined that despite such
sickness, a counsel should exert effort in accordance of the disposition of the
court to avoid delay in serving justice.