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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

D.1. PROHIBITION OR DISQUALIFICATION


OF FORMER GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS7

LEGAL ETHICS

D.2. PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO CANNOT


PRACTICE LAW OR WITH RESTRICTIONS8

I. SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OFTHE


LEGAL PROFESSION ..................................... 2

D.2.A. ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION .............. 8


D.2.B. RELATIVE PROHIBITION ................ 8

A. CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS.......................... 2

D.2.C. SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS ................ 8

B. REGULATORY POWERS............................ 2

E. LAWYERS AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT


THE GOVERNMENT ....................................... 9

II. PRACTICE OF LAW .................................... 2


A. CONCEPT ................................................... 2

F. LAWYERS OATH ........................................ 9

B.1. PRIVILEGE............................................ 3
B.2. PROFESSION, NOT BUSINESS .......... 3

III. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A


LAWYER ........................................................ 9

B. QUALIFICATIONS ...................................... 3

A. IN GENERAL ............................................... 9

B.1. CITIZENSHIP ........................................ 3

B. TO SOCIETY .............................................. 10

B.2. RESIDENCE ......................................... 4

B.1. RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL


PROCESSES.............................................. 10

B.3. AGE ...................................................... 4

B.2. EFFICIENT, CONVENIENT LEGAL


SERVICES ................................................... 11

B.4. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER.............. 4


B.5. LEGAL EDUCATION............................ 4

B.3. TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED &


OBJECTIVE INFORMATION ON LEGAL
SERVICES ...................................................12

I. PRE-LAW ................................................. 4
II. LAW PROPER ......................................... 5
B. APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYERS .......... 5

B.4
PARTICIPATION
IN
THE
IMPROVEMENT AND REFORMS IN THE
LEGAL SYSTEM ........................................ 14

B.1. LAW STUDENT PRACTICE .................. 5


B.2. NON-LAWYERS IN COURTS .............. 6

B.5.
PARTICIPATION
IN
LEGAL
EDUCATION PROGRAM .......................... 14

B.3. SELF-REPRESENTATION ................... 6


B.4. AGENT OR FRIEND ............................ 6

C. TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION.................. 16

B.5. NON-LAWYERS IN ADMINISTRATIVE


TRIBUNALS ................................................ 7

C.1. INVOLVEMENT IN THE IBP ............... 16

B.6. PROCEEDINGS WHERE LAWYERS


ARE PROHIBITED FROM APPEARING ..... 7

II. GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE IBP .... 16

I. BAR INTEGRATION ............................... 16

C. SANCTIONS FOR PRACTICE OR


APPEARANCE WITHOUT AUTHORITY ......... 7

III. PURPOSES OF THE IBP ...................... 16

C.1. LAWYERS WITHOUT AUTHORITY ...... 7

C.2. UPHOLDING THE DIGNITY &


INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION ............ 17

IV. MEMBERSHIP AND DUES ................... 17

C.2. PERSONS NOT LAWYERS.................. 7

C.3. COURTESY, FAIRNESS & CANDOR


TOWARDS PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES
................................................................... 18

D. PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND PRACTICE OF


LAW................................................................. 7

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C.4. NO ASSISTANCE IN UNAUTHORIZED
PRACTICE OF LAW ................................... 19

E.5. FIDELITY TO CLIENTS CAUSE ......... 36

D. TO THE COURTS....................................... 21

I. ADEQUATE PREPARATION .................. 37

D.1. CANDOR, FAIRNESS & GOOD FAITH


TOWARDS THE COURTS .......................... 21

II. NEGLIGENCE ........................................ 37

D.4. ASSISTANCE IN THE SPEEDY &


EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
.................................................................. 24

IV. DUTY TO APPRISE CLIENT ................. 38

E.6. COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE ...... 37

III. COLLABORATING COUNSEL.............. 38


E.7. REPRESENTATION WITH ZEAL
WITHIN LEGAL BOUNDS ......................... 38

D.4. RELIANCE ON MERITS OF HIS CAUSE


& AVOIDANCE OF ANY IMPROPRIETY
WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE OR GIVES
THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCE UPON
THE COURTS ............................................ 27

I. USE OF FAIR AND HONEST MEANS .... 38


II. CLIENTS FRAUD .................................. 39
III. PROCEDURE IN HANDLING THE CASE
................................................................... 39

E. TO THE CLIENTS ...................................... 28

E.8. ATTORNEYS FEES ........................... 39

E.1. AVAILABILITY OF SERVICE WITHOUT


DISCRIMINATION..................................... 28

I. ACCEPTANCE FEES............................... 41

I. SERVICES REGARDLESS OF A
PERSONS STATUS .................................. 28

II. CONTINGENCY FEE ARRANGEMENTS41

II. SERVICES AS COUNSEL DE OFICIO .... 29

IV. FEES AND CONTROVERSIES WITH


CLIENTS .................................................... 43

III. ATTORNEYS LIENS ............................42

III. VALID GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL ...... 30

V. CONCEPTS OF ATTORNEYS FEES ..... 43

E.3. CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY


TO CLIENTS .............................................. 30

E.9. PRESERVATION OF CLIENTS


CONFIDENCES ......................................... 43

I. CONFIDENTIALITY RULE....................... 31

I. PROHIBITED DISCLOSURES AND USE


...................................................................44

II. PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS ........ 31


III. CONFLICT OF INTEREST .................... 33

II. DISCLOSURE, WHEN ALLOWED.........45

IV. CANDID AND HONEST ADVICE TO


CLIENTS .................................................... 34

E.10. WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICES .........45


IV. SUSPENSION, DISBARMENT, AND
DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS ........................... 46

V. NOT TO CLAIM INFLUENCE ................ 34


VI. COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS ................. 34
VII.
CONCURRENT
PRACTICE
OF
ANOTHER PROFESSION ......................... 34

A. NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF


DISCIPLINARY
ACTIONS
AGAINST
LAWYERS ..................................................46

E.4. CLIENTS MONEYS AND PROPERTIES


.................................................................. 35

A.1. CONFIDENTIAL .................................. 47


A.2. OTHER CHARACTERISTICS ............. 47

I. FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP ................. 35

A.3. PRESCRIPTION .................................48

II. COMMINGLING OF FUNDS ................. 36

B. GROUNDS ................................................48

III. DELIVERY OF FUNDS ......................... 36

MISCONDUCT IN PRIVATE CAPACITY...48

IV. BORROWING OR LENDING ............... 36

C. PROCEEDINGS .........................................49
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PROCEDURE FOR DISBARMENT ........... 49

B. TERM OF OFFICE OF NOTARY PUBLIC ..56

D. DISCIPLINE OF FILIPINO LAWYERS


PRACTICING ABROAD................................. 49

C. POWERS AND LIMITATIONS...................56

E.
DISCIPLINE
OF
LAWYERS
IN
GOVERNMENT ............................................. 49

I. COPY CERTIFICATION .......................... 57

C.1. POWERS.............................................56
II. CERTIFYING THE AFFIXING OF
SIGNATURE BY THUMB/OTHER MARK . 57

F. QUANTUM OF PROOF............................. 50
BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTION
OF INNOCENCE........................................ 50
G. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES..................... 50

III. SIGNING ON BEHALF OF A PERSON


WHO IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO SIGN
OR MAKE A MARK ...................................58

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES ............... 51

C.2. LIMITATIONS .....................................58

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES: ......... 51

I. RELATING TO NOTARIAL ACTS ...........58

H. EFFECT OF EXECUTIVE PARDON ........... 51

II. RELATING TO NOTARIAL REGISTER ..59

V. READMISSION TO THE BAR .................... 52

D. NOTARIAL REGISTER..............................59

A. LAWYERS WHO HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED


...................................................................... 52

D.1. ENTRIES .............................................59

B. LAWYERS WHO HAVE BEEN DISBARRED


...................................................................... 52

II. BY OTHER PERSONS .......................... 60

C.
LAWYERS
WHO
HAVE
BEEN
REPATRIATED.............................................. 52

D.3. SUBMISSION.................................... 60

I. BY THE NOTARY PUBLIC ......................59


D.2. CLOSING .......................................... 60

VI.
MANDATORY
CONTINUINGLEGAL
EDUCATION (MCLE) .................................... 53

E. JURISDICTION OF NOTARY PUBLIC AND


PLACE OF NOTARIZATION......................... 60

A. PURPOSE ................................................. 53

F. REVOCATION OF COMMISSION ............ 60

B. REQUIREMENTS...................................... 53

G. COMPETENT EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY ... 61

C. COMPLIANCE........................................... 53

H. SANCTIONS ............................................. 61

D. EXEMPTIONS ........................................... 54

IX. CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS .... 62

E. SANCTIONS.............................................. 55

A. ORIGIN ...................................................... 62

F. BAR MATTER 2012: THE RULE ON


MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE ............ 55

B. LEGAL STATUS ........................................ 62

PURPOSE ................................................. 55

JUDICIAL ETHICS

SCOPE....................................................... 55

I. SOURCES OF RULES IN JUDICIAL ETHICS64

PRACTICING LAWYERS ........................... 55


REQUIREMENTS FOR EVERY PRACTICING
LAWYER.................................................... 55

A. THE NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT


FOR
THE
PHILIPPINE
JUDICIARY
(BANGALORE DRAFT) ..................................64

PENALTIES ............................................... 56

B. CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT ...............64

VIII. NOTARIAL PRACTICE........................... 56

II. QUALITIES .............................................. 64

A. QUALIFICATIONS OF NOTARY PUBLIC . 56

A. INDEPENDENCE ......................................64
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B. INTEGRITY................................................ 67

IV. KEEPING A GENERAL DOCKET.......... 91

C. IMPARTIALITY.......................................... 69
D. PROPRIETY .............................................. 72

V. KEEPING A DOCUMENT AND ENTRIES


BOOK.........................................................92

E. EQUALITY ..................................................77

VI. KEEPING AN EXECUTION BOOK .......92

F. COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE ............. 78

VII. CERTIFICATION OF COPIES ..............92

III. DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS OF THE


JUDICIARY ................................................... 81

VIII. INDEXING BOOKS AND SEPARATING


CASES .......................................................92

A. SUPREME COURT .................................... 81

IX. KEEPING OTHER BOOKS AND OTHER


DUTIES ......................................................92

A.1. IMPEACHMENT .................................. 81

X. IN THE ABSENCE OR BY DIRECTION OF


JUDGE .......................................................92

A.2. IMPEACHMENT OF FORMER CHIEF


JUSTICE CORONA ................................... 82

A.3. TAKING OF RECORDS FROM CLERKS


OFFICE ......................................................92

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE USED ............ 82


B. JUDGES OF THE LOWER COURTS AND
JUSTICES OF COURT OF APPEALS AND
SANDIGANBAYAN ....................................... 83

B. STENOGRAPHERS................................... 93
C. DOCKETS AND OTHER RECORDS OF
INFERIOR COURTS ...................................... 93

C. GROUNDS AND SANCTIONS.............. 85

VII. LEGAL FEES .......................................... 93

III. DISQUALIFICATIONS OF JUSTICES AND


JUDGES ....................................................... 87

[RULE 141] ................................................... 93

[RULE 137].................................................... 87

A. MANNER OF PAYMENT....................... 93

A. COMPULSORY DISQUALIFICATION....... 87

B. FEES IN LIEN ........................................ 93

B. VOLUNTARY DISQUALIFICATION ........ 87

C. PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT


LEGAL FEES ..............................................94

V. POWERS AND DUTIES OF JUDICIAL


OFFICERS ....................................................88

VIII. COSTS .................................................. 94

D.1. SUPERIOR COURTS.......................... 88

A. RECOVERY OF COSTS(RULE 142) ...........94

D.2. INFERIOR COURTS .......................... 88

A.1. PREVAILING PARTY ..........................94

E. INHERENT POWERS OF COURTS: ..... 89

A.2. DISMISSED ACTION OR APPEAL ....94


A.3. FRIVOLOUS APPEAL ........................94

VI. COURT RECORDS AND GENERAL DUTIES


OF CLERKS AND STENOGRAPHERS ........... 91

A.4. FALSE ALLEGATIONS ......................94


A.5. NON-APPEARANCE OF WITNESS...94

[RULE 136] ................................................... 91


A. CLERKS OF COURT .................................. 91
A.1. OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT ... 91
A.2. DUTIES OF THE CLERK OF COURT .. 91
I. ISSUANCE OF PROCESS ....................... 91
II. RECEPTION OF PAPERS AND
PREPATION OF MINUTES ........................ 91
III. SAFEKEEPING PROPERTY .................. 91
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LEGAL ETHICS

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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

II. PRACTICE OF LAW

I. SUPERVISION AND CONTROL


OFTHE LEGAL PROFESSION

A. CONCEPT

A. CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS

The practice of law is any activity, in or out of


court, which requires the application of law,
legal procedure, knowledge, training and
experience. It is to give notice or render any kind
of service, which device or service requires the
use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill
(Cayetano v. Monsod (1991)).

[ 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 5(5)]


The Supreme Court has the power to
promulgate rules pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, the admission to the
practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal
assistance to the under-privileged.

According to Justice Padilla, in his dissent in


Cayetano v. Monsod, the following factors are
considered in determining whether there is
practice of law [HACA]:
(1) Habituality Practice of law implies
customarily or habitually holding one's self
out to the public as a lawyer. It is more than
an isolated appearance.
(2) Application of law, legal principles, practice
or procedure It calls for legal knowledge,
training and experience.
(3) Compensation Practice of law implies that
one must have presented himself to be in
the active and continued practice of the
legal profession and that his professional
services are available to the public for
compensation.
(4) Attorney-client relationship Where no
such relationship exists, such as in cases of
teaching law or writing law books or
articles, there is no practice of law.

The provision recognizes the disciplinary


authority of the Court over the members of the
bar to be merely incidental to the Court's
exclusive power to admit applicants to the
practice of law (Garrido v. Garrido (2010)).
In the judicial system from which ours has been
evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment
and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the
practice of the profession and their supervision
have been disputably a judicial function and
responsibility (In re: Cunanan (1954)).

B. REGULATORY POWERS
The power to regulate the practice of law
includes:
(1) Authority to define practice of law;
(2) Prescribe the qualifications of a candidate
to and the subjects of the bar
examinations;
(3) Decide who will be admitted to practice;
(4) Discipline, suspend or disbar any unfit and
unworthy member of the bar;
(5) Reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely
suspended attorney;
(6) Ordain the integration of the Bar;
(7) Punish for contempt any person for
unauthorized practice of law; and
(8) In general, exercise overall supervision of
the legal profession.
(9)

In view of the definition of the majority in


Cayetano v. Monsod:
(1) Giving advice for compensation regarding
the legal status and rights of another and
for ones conduct with respect thereto
constitutes practice of law (Ulep v. The

Legal Clinic, Inc. (1993)).


(10) Teaching law is considered practice of law
because the fact of their being law
professors is inextricably intertwined with

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LEGAL ETHICS

the fact that they are lawyers (Re: Letter of

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(c) Age (at least 21 years old);


(d) Good moral character and no charges
involving moral turpitude;
(e) Legal education (consisting of pre-law
and law proper);
(f) Pass the bar examinations;
(g) Take the lawyers oath;
(h) Sign the roll of attorneys.
(15)
(2) Good and regular standing:
(a) Remain a member of the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines (IBP);
(b) Regularly pay all IBP dues and other
lawful assessments
(c) Faithful observance of the rules and
ethics of the legal profession (e.g.:
(MCLE));
(d) Be continually subject to judicial
disciplinary control [Agpalo (2004)].

UP Law Faculty (2011)).


B.1. PRIVILEGE
The practice of law is a privilege bestowed only
to those who are morally fit. A bar candidate
who is morally unfit cannot practice law even if
he passes the bar examinations (Aguirre v. Rana
(2003)).
Membership in the legal profession is a
privilege demanding a high degree of good
moral character, not only as a condition
precedent to admission, but also as a
continuing requirement for the practice of law.
(Wilkie v. Limos (2008)).

B.2. PROFESSION, NOT BUSINESS


Lawyering is not a business; it is a profession in
which duty to public service, not money, is the
primary consideration (Burbe v. Magulta
(2002)).

Passing the bar is not the only qualification to


become an attorney-at-law. Two essential
requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be
performed, namely: his lawyers oath to be
administered by this Court and his signaturein
the roll of attorneys (Aguirre v. Rana (2003)).

B. QUALIFICATIONS
Any person admitted to the bar and who is in
good and regular standing is entitled to practice
law (Section 1, Rule 138).

General rule: Only members of the bar are


entitled to practice law.

Every applicant for admission as a member of


the bar must be:
(1) Citizen of the Philippines;
(11) At least 21 years of age;
(12) Of good moral character
(13) Resident of the Philippines;
(14) Produce before the Supreme Court
satisfactory evidence:
(a) Of good moral character;
(b) That no charges against him, involving
moral turpitude, have been filed or are
pending in any court in the Philippines
(Section 2, Rule 138).

Exceptions: The following are also allowed in


exceptional circumstances:
(1) Law students;
(2) By an agent/friend;
(3) By the litigant himself.

B.1. CITIZENSHIP
The practice of all professions in the Philippines
shall be limited to Filipino citizens save in cases
prescribed by law (Sec. 14, Art. XII, 1987 Consti).
Every applicant for admission as a member of
the bar must be a citizen of the Phils. (Rules of
Court, Rule 138, Sec. 2.)

Requisites for the practice of law:


(1) Admission to the bar:
(a) Citizenship;
(b) Residence;
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Ratio: Citizenship ensures allegiance to the


Republic and its laws.

have been filed or are pending in any court in


the Philippines. (RoC, Rule 138, Sec. 2.)

The loss of Filipino citizenship ipso jure


terminates the privilege to practice law in the
Philippines except when citizenship is lost by
reason of naturalization and reacquired through
RA 9225 (Petition to Resume Practice of Law of
Dacanay (2007)).

Good moral character is a continuing


qualification required of every member of the
bar, it is not only a qualification precedent to
the practice of law (Narag v. Narag (1998)).
Absence of a proven conduct or act which has
been historically and traditionally considered as
a manifestation of moral turpitude. The act or
conduct need not amount to a crime; and even
if it does constitute an offense, a conviction
upon a criminal charge is not necessary to
demonstrate bad moral character although it
may show moral depravity (Agpalo (2004)).

A Filipino lawyer who has lost and reacquired


his citizenship under RA 9225 is deemed not to
have lost his Philippine citizenship. However, he
still needs to apply with the Supreme Court for
a license or permit to engage in such practice
after compliance with the following:
(1) Updating and payment of annual
membership dues in the IBP;
(2) Payment of professional tax;
(3) Completion of 36 hours of MCLE;
(4) Retaking of the lawyers oath (Section 5(4),

Good moral character is what a person really is,


as distinguished from good reputation, the
estimate in which he is held by the public in the
place where he is known (In the matter of Haron
Meling (2004)).

RA 9225).

B.2. RESIDENCE

The Supreme Court may deny lawyers oathtaking based on a conviction for reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide (hazing case).
But after submission of evidence and various
certifications he may now be regarded as
complying with the requirements of good moral
character xxx he is not inherently of bad moral
fiber (In re: Argosino (1997)).

Every applicant for admission as a member of


the bar must be... a resident of the Philippines.
(RoC, Rule 138, Sec. 2.)
Ratio: His/her duties to his client and to the
court will require that he be readily accessible
and available.

B.3. AGE

Concealment of pending criminal cases


constitutes lack of good moral character (in
petition to take the bar examinations) (In the
matter of Haron Meling (2004)).

Every applicant for admission as a member of


the bar must be at least 21 years of age. (RoC,
Rule 138, Sec. 2.)
Ratio: Maturity and discretion are required in
the practice of law.

B.5. LEGAL EDUCATION


I. PRE-LAW

B.4. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER

No applicant for admission to the bar


examination shall be admitted unless he
presents a certificate that, before he began the
study of law, he had pursued and satisfactorily
completed in an authorized and recognized
university or college, requiring for admission

Every applicant for admission as a member of


the bar must be of good moral character and
must produce before the SC satisfactory
evidence of good moral character, and that no
charges against him, involving moral turpitude,
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thereto the completion of a four-year high


school course, the course of study prescribed
therein for a bachelors degree in arts or
sciences with any of the following subjects as
major or field of concentration: Political
Science, Logic, English, Spanish, History and
Economics (Section 6, Rule 138).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(3) Completion of all the fourth year subjects in


a law school duly recognized by the
Philippine Government (SC Bar Matter 1153:

Re: Letter of Atty. Mendoza (2010)).

B. APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYERS
B.1. LAW STUDENT PRACTICE

II. LAW PROPER

A law student who has successfully completed


third year of the regular four-year prescribed
law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized
law school's clinical legal education program
approved by the Supreme Court, may appear
without compensation in any civil, criminal or
administrative case before any trial court,
tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent
clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law
school (Sec. 1, Rule 138-A).

All applicants for admission shall, before being


admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show
that they have regularly studied law for four
years, and successfully completed all prescribed
courses, in a law school or university, officially
approved and recognized by the Secretary of
Education. The affidavit of the candidate,
accompanied by a certificate from the university
or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of
such facts, and further evidence may be
required by the court. (Section 5, Rule 138).

The appearance of the law student shall be


under the direct supervision and control of a
member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
duly accredited by the law school. Any and all
pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other
papers to be filed, must be signed by the
supervising attorney for and in behalf of the
legal clinic (Sec. 2, Rule 138-A).

No applicant shall be admitted to the bar


examinations unless he has satisfactorily
completed the following courses in a law school
or university duly recognized by the
government:
(1) Civil Law
(2) Commercial Law
(3) Remedial Law
(4) Public International Law
(5) Private International Law
(6) Political Law
(7) Labor and Social Legislation
(8) Medical Jurisprudence
(9) Taxation
(10) Legal Ethics

The
Rules
safeguarding
privileged
communications between attorney and client
shall apply (Sec. 3, Rule 138-A).
The law student shall comply with the
standards of professional conduct governing
members of the bar. Failure of an attorney to
provide adequate supervision of student
practice may be a ground for disciplinary action
(Sec. 4, Rule 138-A).

Filipino citizens who are graduates of foreign


law schools are allowed to take the bar
examinations provided they show the following:
(1) Completion of all courses leading to the
degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent
degree.
(2) Recognition or accreditation of the law
school by the proper authority

Section 34, Rule 138 is clear that appearance


before the inferior courts by a non-lawyer is
allowed, irrespective of whether or not he is a
law student (Cruz v. Mina (2007)). Thus, a law
student may appear under the circumstances of
Section 38, as an agent or a friend of a party
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litigant,
without
complying
with
the
requirements of Rule 138-A, e.g., supervision of
a lawyer.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Sec. 34 does not distinguish between civil and


criminal cases. However, in criminal cases, the
rule is qualified:
(1) Under Section 1(c), Rule 115, the accused
may defend himself in person when it
sufficiently appears to the court that he can
properly protect his rights without the
assistance of counsel.
(2) Under Section 7, Rule 116, in determining
whether a counsel de oficio should be
appointed, or, for that matter, whether a
counsel de parte should be required
(conversely, whether the accused should be
allowed to defend himself in person), the
gravity of the offense and the difficulty of
the questions that may arise should be
considered.

B.2. NON-LAWYERS IN COURTS


In the court of a municipality a party may
conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of
an agent or friend appointed by him for that
purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any
other court, a party may conduct his litigation
personally or by aid of an attorney, and his
appearance must be either personal or by a duly
authorized member of the bar (Sec 34, Rule 138).
Public policy demands that legal work in
representation of parties should be entrusted
only to those possessing tested qualifications
(PAFLU v. Binalbagan (1971)).

While the right to be represented by counsel is


immutable, the option to secure the services of
counsel de parte is not absolute. The court may
restrict the accuseds option to retain a counsel
de parte if:
(1) He insists on an attorney he cannot afford;
(2) He chose a person not a member of the bar;
(3) The attorney declines for a valid reason
(e.g., conflict of interest) (People v. Serzo

However, the Supreme Court, in the exercise of


its judicial power, can validly authorize a
layman to represent a litigant in court
(Agpalo(2004)).

B.3. SELF-REPRESENTATION
In any court, a party may conduct his litigation
in person.

(1997)).

An attorney who is otherwise disqualified to


practice law, or has been disbarred or
suspended from practice, can validly prosecute
or defend his own litigation, he having as much
right as that of a layman (Danforth v. Egan
(1920)).

B.4. AGENT OR FRIEND


When appointed or chosen, the agent or friend
is not engaged in the practice of law, since there
is no habituality in the activity and no attorneyclient relationship exists. He is only permitted to
appear in the municipal trial court.

When a person conducts his litigation in person,


he is not engaged in the practice of law (Agpalo
(2004)).

In criminal cases, in localities where members


of the bar are not available, the court may
appoint any person (i.e., non-lawyer), who is a
resident of the province and of good repute for
probity and ability to defend the accused, in lieu
of a counsel de oficio (Sec. 7, Rule 116). In
relation to Sec. 34, Rule 138,this is only allowed
in the municipal trial court.

A juridical person may also appear through its


non-lawyer agents or officers in the municipal
trial court.

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allow another individual who is not an


attorney to assist that party upon the
latter's consent (Sec. 17, Rules of Procedure
in Small Claims Cases).
(2) In
all
katarungang
pambarangay
proceedings, the parties must appear in
person without the assistance of the
counsel or representative, except for minors
and incompetents who may be assisted by
their next of kin who are not lawyers (Sec
415, Local Govt Code).

B.5. NON-LAWYERS IN ADMINISTRATIVE


TRIBUNALS
A party may also appear on his own behalf, his
organization or members thereof, before
administrative bodies. This is also expressly
allowed in Art. 222 of the Labor Code.
There are laws which allow representation of
another by non-lawyers before such bodies.
(1) The 2011 NLRC Rule of Procedure,
promulgated pursuant to Art 218(a), Labor
Code, allows (a) non-lawyers, who are not
necessarily a party to the case, to represent
a union or members thereof, and (b) nonlawyer owners of establishments, to appear
before it.
(2) Under Section 9, Act 2259 (Cadastral Act), a
claimant may appear by himself, or by some
person in his behalf, before a cadastral
court.

C. SANCTIONS FOR PRACTICE OR


APPEARANCE WITHOUT AUTHORITY
C.1. LAWYERS WITHOUT AUTHORITY
Under Section 27, Rule 138, corruptly or willfully
appearing as an attorney for a party to a case
without authority to do so is a ground for
disbarment or suspension.

C.2. PERSONS NOT LAWYERS


For persons not lawyers as well as lawyers who
appear without authority, the following may be
availed of:
(1) Petition for injunction;
(2) Declaratory relief;
(3) Contempt of court;
(4) Disqualification;
(5) Criminal complaint for estafa against the
person who falsely represented himself as a
lawyer to the damage of another.

In order that these laws will not infringe upon


the power of the Supreme Court to regulate the
practice of law, the following limitations must
be observed:
(1) The non-lawyer should confine his work to
non-adversary contentions and should not
undertake purely legal work (i.e.,
examination of witness, presentation of
evidence);
(2) The services should not be habitual;
(3) Attorneys fees should not be charged
(Agpalo (2004)).

D. PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND PRACTICE


OF LAW

B.6. PROCEEDINGS WHERE LAWYERS


ARE PROHIBITED FROM APPEARING

D.1. PROHIBITION OR DISQUALIFICATION


OF FORMER GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS

(1) In small claims cases, no attorney shall


appear in behalf of or represent a party at
the hearing, unless the attorney is the
plaintiff or defendant. If the court
determines that a party cannot properly
present his/her claim or defense and needs
assistance, the court may, in its discretion,

Under Sec. 7(b), RA 6713, public officials and


employees during their incumbency shall not:
(1) Own, control, manage or accept
employment
as
officer
employee,
consultant, counsel, broker, agent, trustee
or nominee / in any private enterprise
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D.2.B. RELATIVE PROHIBITION

regulated, supervised or licensed by their


office / unless expressly allowed by law;
(2) Engage in the private practice of their
profession unless authorized by the
Constitution or law, provided that such
practice will not conflict or tend to conflict
with their official functions;
(3) Recommend any person to any position in a
private enterprise which has a regular or
pending official transaction with their office.

(1) No senator or member of the House of


Representatives may personally appear as
counsel before any court of justice or before
the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial
and other administrative bodies (Sec. 14,
Art. VI, 1987 Consti);
(2) Sanggunian members may practice law
except during session hours and provided
they shall not:
(a) Appear as counsel before any court in
any civil case wherein a local
government unit or any office, agency,
or instrumentality of the government is
the adverse party;
(b) Appear as counsel in any criminal case
wherein an officer or employee of the
national or local government is accused
of an offense committed in relation to
his office;
(c) Collect any fee for their appearance in
administrative proceedings involving
the local government unit of which he is
an official; and
(d) Use property and personnel of the
government
except
when
the
sanggunian member concerned is
defending the interest of the
government (Sec. 90(b), RA 7160).

These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a


period of one year after resignation, retirement
or separation from public office, except in case
of the second.
Also, the one year prohibition applies to
practice of profession in connection with any
matter before the office he used to be with.

D.2. PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO CANNOT


PRACTICE LAW OR WITH RESTRICTIONS
D.2.A. ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION
(1) Judges and other officials or employees of
superior courts as (Sec. 35, Rule 148);
(2) Officials and employees of the Office of the
Solicitor General (Sec. 35, Rule 148);
(3) Government prosecutors (Lim-Santiago v.
Sagucio (2006));
(4) President, vice-president, cabinet members,
their deputies and assistants (Sec. 15, Art.

D.2.C. SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS


Under Sec. 1, RA 910, the pension of justices
therein is provided with a condition that no
retiring justice, during the time that he is
receiving said pension shall:
(1) Appear as counsel before any court in any
civil case wherein the Government or any
subdivision or instrumentality thereof is the
adverse party;
(2) In any criminal case wherein and officer or
employee of the government is accused of
an offense committed in relation to his
office; or
(3) Collect any fee for his appearance in any
administrative proceedings to maintain an

VII, Consti);
(5) Chairmen and members of constitutional
commissions (Sec. 2, Art. IX-A, Consti);
(6) Ombudsman and his deputies (Sec. 8 (2),
Art. X, Consti);
(7) All governors, city and municipal mayors

(Section 90(a), RA 7160);


(8) Those who, by special law, are prohibited
from engaging in the practice of their legal
profession.

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interest adverse to the Government, insular,


provincial or municipal, or to any of its
legally constituted officers.

E. LAWYERS AUTHORIZED
REPRESENT THE GOVERNMENT

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

the best of my knowledge and discretion with


all fidelity as well to the courts as to my
clients; and
I impose upon myself this voluntary
obligation without any mental reservation or
purpose of evasion. So help me God.

TO

Any person appointed to appear for the


Government of the Philippines shall be allowed
to appear in court, subject to pertinent laws.

III. DUTIES AND


RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LAWYER

F. LAWYERS OATH
A. IN GENERAL

An applicant who has passed the required


examination, or has been otherwise found to be
entitled to admission to the bar, shall take and
subscribe before the Supreme Court the
corresponding oath of office (Sec. 17, Rule 138).

Under the RoC, it is the duty of an attorney:


(1) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines and to support the
Constitution and obey the laws of the
Philippines;
(2) To observe and maintain the respect due to
the courts of justice and judicial officers;
(3) To counsel or maintain such actions or
proceedings only as appear to him to be
just, and such defenses only as he believes
to be honestly debatable under the law;
(4) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining
the causes confided to him, such means
only as are consistent with truth and honor,
and never seek to mislead the judge or any
judicial officer by an artifice or false
statement of fact or law;
(5) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at
every peril to himself, to preserve the
secrets of his client, and to accept no
compensation in connection with his clients
business except from him or with his
knowledge and approval;
(6) To abstain from all offensive personality
and to advance no fact prejudicial to the
honor or reputation of a party or witness,
unless required by the justice of the cause
with which he is charge;
(7) Not
to
encourage
either
the
commencement or the continuance of an
action or proceeding, or delay any mans
cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;

The lawyer's oath is not a mere ceremony or


formality for practicing law. Every lawyer should
at all times weigh his actions according to the
sworn promises he makes when taking the
lawyer's oath. If all lawyers conducted
themselves strictly according to the lawyer's
oath and the Code of Professional
Responsibility, the administration of justice will
undoubtedly be faster, fairer and easier for
everyone concerned (In re: Argosino (1997)).
I, ___________________, do solemnly swear that:
I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines;
I will support its Constitution and obey the
laws as well as the legal orders of the duly
constituted authorities therein;
I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the
doing of any in court;
I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue
any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor
give aid nor consent to the same;
I will delay no man for money or malice, and
will conduct myself as a lawyer according to
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(8) Never to reject, for any consideration


personal to himself, the cause of the
defenseless or oppressed;
(9) In the defense of a person accused of crime,
by all fair and honorable means, regardless
of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the
accused, to present every defense that the
law permits, to the end that no person may
be deprived of life or liberty, but by due
process of law (Sec. 20, Rule 138).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(2) Rape of a neighbors wife, which constitutes


serious moral depravity, even if his guilt was
not proved beyond reasonable doubt in the
criminal prosecution for rape (Calub v.
Suller (2000)).
These, however, are not grossly immoral acts:
(1) Mere intimacy between a man and a
woman, both of whom possess no
impediment to marry, voluntarily carried
and devoid of deceit on the part of the
respondent, even if a child was born out of
wedlock of such relationship; it may suggest
a doubtful moral character but not grossly
immoral (Figueroa v. Barranco (1997)).
(2) Stealing a kiss from a client (Advincula v.
Macabata (2007)).

B. TO SOCIETY
B.1. RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL
PROCESSES
Canon 1. A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution,
obey the laws of the land and promote respect
for law and legal process.

Moral turpitude includes everything which is


done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or
good morals. It involves an act of baseness,
vileness, or depravity in the private duties which
a man owed his fellowmen, or to society in
general (Barrios v. Martinez (2004)).

Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,


dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
An unlawful conduct is act or omission which is
against the law. Dishonesty involves lying or
cheating (Agpalo (2004)).

Murder, estafa, rape, violation of BP 22, bribery,


bigamy, adultery, seduction, abduction,
concubinage and smuggling are considered
crimes involving moral turpitude.

An immoral or deceitful conduct is that which is


willful, flagrant or shameless and which shows
a moral indifference to the opinion of the good
and respectable members of the community
(Aguirre, (2006)).

A certificate of membership in the Bar is distinct


and separate from a certificate of good
standing/clearance as a lawyer. It is the latter
certificate which is actually required for an
application for notarial commission (Agno v.
Cagatan (Dec. 07, 2010)).

Immorality connotes conduct that shows


indifference to the moral norms of society. For
such conduct to warrant disciplinary action, the
same must be grossly immoral, it must be so
corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act
or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a
high degree (Ui v. Bonifacio (2000)).

Rule 1.02. A lawyer shall not counsel or abet


activities aimed at defiance of the law or at
lessening confidence in the legal profession.

The following are grossly immoral acts:


(1) Wanton disregard for the sanctity of
marriage as shown when the lawyer
pursued a married woman and thereafter
cohabited with her (Guevarra v. Eala

The promotion of organizations, with


knowledge of their objectives, for the purpose of
violating or evading the laws constitutes such
misconduct in his office (In re: Terrell (1903)).

(2007));
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It is every duty of a counsel to advise his client


on the merit of his case. A lawyer must resist the
whims and caprices of his clients, and temper
his clients propensity to litigate (Castaneda v.
Ago (1975)).

Rule 1.03. A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt


motive or interest, encourage any suit or delay
any mans cause.
BARRATRY OR MAINTENANCE
Inciting or stirring up quarrels, litigation or
groundless lawsuits
(1) Volunteering advice to bring lawsuits,
except where ties of blood, relationship or
trust make it a duty to do so
(2) Hunting up defects in titles or other causes
of action in order to be employed to bring
suit or breed litigation

B.2. EFFICIENT, CONVENIENT LEGAL


SERVICES
Canon 2. A lawyer shall make his legal services
available in an efficient and convenient manner
compatible with the independence, integrity
and effectiveness of the profession.
Rule 2.01. A lawyer shall not reject, except for
valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or
the oppressed.

AMBULANCE CHASING
Accident-site solicitation of any kind of legal
business by laymen employed by an attorney for
the purpose or by the attorney himself.

The legal profession is a burdened privilege not


many are qualified to undertake. A lawyer owes
fidelity to the duty required of the legal
profession. If there is no incompatibility
between the defense of the client and the
position of the lawyer, he should not decline his
appointment as counsel de oficio (Ledesma v.
Climaco (1974)).

Supports perjury, the defrauding of innocent


persons by judgments, upon manufactured
causes of actions and the defrauding of injured
persons having proper causes of action but
ignorant of legal rights and court procedure.
A lawyer may be disciplined in his professional
and private capacity. The filing of multiple
complaints reflects on his fitness to be a
member of the legal profession. His conduct of
vindictiveness a decidedly undesirable trait
especially when one resorts to using the court
not to secure justice but merely to exact revenge
warrants his dismissal from the judiciary.
[Saburnido v. Madrono, (2001)]

Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial


bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not
be denied to any person by reason of poverty.
(Sec. 11, Art. III, 1987 Consti).
Legal aid is not a matter of charity. It is a means
for the correction of social imbalance that may
and often do lead to injustice, for which reason
it is a public responsibility of the bar (IBP
Handbook,
Guidelines
Governing
the
Establishment and Operation of the Legal Aid
Office).

Rule 1.04. A lawyer shall encourage his clients


to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will
admit of a fair settlement.

Rule 2.02. In such cases, even if the lawyer does


not accept a case, he shall not refuse to render
legal advice to the person concerned if only to
the extent necessary to safeguard the latters
rights.

The function of a lawyer is not only to conduct


litigation but to avoid it where possible, by
advising settlement or withholding suit. He
must act as mediator for compromise rather
than an instigator and conflict (Agpalo (2004)).

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B.3. TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED &


OBJECTIVE INFORMATION ON LEGAL
SERVICES

Advice may be on what preliminary steps to


take until the client has secured the services of
counsel. But he shall refrain from giving legal
advice if the reason for not accepting the case is
that there involves a conflict of interest between
him and a prospective client or between a
present client and a prospective client. (Agpalo
(2004))
Rule 2.03.A lawyer shall not do or permit to be
done any act designed to primarily solicit legal
business.

Canon 3. A lawyer in making known his legal


services shall use only true, honest, fair,
dignified and objective information or
statement of facts.
Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use or permit the
use of any false, fraudulent, misleading,
deceptive, undignified, self laudatory or unfair
statement or claim regarding his qualifications
or legal services.

Law is not a business but a profession. Unlike a


businessman, the lawyer has:
(1) Relation to the administration of justice
involving sincerity, integrity and reliability
as an officer of the court;
(2) Duty of public service;
(3) Relation to clients with the highest degree
of fiduciary;
(4) Relation to colleagues at the bar
characterized by candor, fairness and
unwillingness to resort to business methods
of advertising and encroachment on their
practice, or dealing directly with their
clients (Agpalo (2004)).

The most worthy and effective advertisement


possible, even for a young lawyer, and
especially with his brother lawyers, is the
establishment of a well-merited reputation for
professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This
cannot be forced, but must be the outcome of
character and conduct [Canon 27, Canons of
Professional Ethics; In re: Tagorda (1929)].
The following are considered allowable
advertisement:
(1) Ordinary simple professional card;
(2) Publication in reputable law list with brief
biographical and other informative data
which may include:
(a) Name;
(b) Associates;
(c) Address;
(d) Phone numbers;
(e) Branches of law practiced;
(f) Birthday;
(g) Day admitted to the bar;
(h) Schools and dates attended;
(i) Degrees and distinctions;
(j) Public or quasi-public offices;
(k) Posts of honor;
(l) Legal authorships;
(m) Teaching positions;
(n) Associations;
(o) Legal fraternities and societies;

Thus, the practice of soliciting cases at law for


the purpose of gain, either personally or
through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice (Sec. 27, Rule 138).
Rule 2.04. A lawyer shall not charge rates lower
than those customarily prescribed unless the
circumstances so warrant.
This rule prohibits the competition in the matter
of charging professional fees for the purposed
of attracting clients in favor of the lawyer who
offers lower rates. The rule does not prohibit a
lawyer from charging a reduced fee or none at
all to an indigent or to a person who would have
difficulty paying the fee usually charged for
such services (Agpalo (2004)).

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(p) References and regularly represented


clients must be published for that
purpose [Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Inc.
(1993)];
(3) Publication of simple announcement of
opening of law firm, change of firm;
(4) Listing in telephone directory but not under
designation of special branch of law;
(5) If acting as an associate (specializing in a
branch of law), may publish a brief and
dignified announcement to lawyers (law
list, law journal);
(6) If in media, those acts incidental to his
practice and not of his own initiative;
(7) Writing legal articles;
(8) Activity of an association for the purpose of
legal representation.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

conduct, the magnitude of the interests


involved, the importance of lawyers
position, and all other like self-laudation.
A lawyer may not properly publish his brief
biographical and informative data in a daily
paper, magazine, trade journal or society
program in order to solicit legal business [Khan
v. Simbillo (2003)].
It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise
his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his
wares. The law is a profession not a business.
Solicitation of cases by himself or through
others is unprofessional and lowers the
standards of the legal profession. [In re:
Tagorda (1929)].

The law list must be a reputable law list


published primarily for that purpose; it cannot
be a mere supplemental feature of a paper,
magazine, trade journal or periodical which is
published primarily for other purposes.

Rule 3.02. 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 that
the firm indicates in all its communications
that said partner is deceased.

ENTERING INTO OTHER BUSINESSES


For it to constitute as inconsistent with the
lawyers profession, it is advisable that they be
entirely separate and apart such that a layman
could distinguish between the two functions.

The continued use of the name of a deceased


partner is permissible provided that the firm
indicates in all its communications that said
partner is deceased [Agpalo (2004)].

The lawyer must make it clear to his client


whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another
capacity.

Ratio: All partners by their joint efforts over a


period of years contributed to the goodwill
attached to the firm name, and the removal of
the deceased partners name disturbs the client
goodwill built through the years.

PROHIBITED ADVERTISEMENTS
(Sec. 27, Canon of Professional Ethics)
(1) Through touters of any kind whether allied
real estate firms or trust companies
advertising to secure the drawing of deeds
or wills;
(2) Offering retainers in exchange for
executorships or trusteeships to be
influenced by the lawyer;
(3) Furnishing
or
inspiring
newspaper
comments concerning the manner of their

Firms may not use misleading names showing


association with other firms to purport legal
services of highest quality and ties with
multinational business enterprise especially
when such firm attached as an associate cannot
legally practice law in the Philippines [Dacanay
v. Baker and McKenzie (1985)].

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of gimmickry, press agentry or other artificial


means.

Rule 3.03. Where a partner accepts public office,


he shall withdraw from the firm and his name
shall be dropped from the firm name unless the
law allows him to practice law concurrently.

This rule prohibits from making indirect


publicity gimmick, such as furnishing or
inspiring newspaper comments, procuring his
photograph to be published in connection with
cases which he is handling, making a courtroom
scene to attract the attention of newspapermen,
or arranging for the purpose an interview with
him by media people [Agpalo (2004)].

Purpose: To prevent the law firm from using his


name to attract legal business and to avoid
suspicion of undue influence.
A civil service officer or employee whose duty or
responsibility does not require his entire time to
be at the disposal of the government may not
engage in the private practice of law without
the written permit from the head of the
department concerned [Agpalo (2004)].

B.4
PARTICIPATION
IN
THE
IMPROVEMENT AND REFORMS IN THE
LEGAL SYSTEM
Canon 4. A lawyer shall participate in the
development of the legal system by initiating or
supporting efforts in law reform and in the
improvement of the administration of justice.

It is unlawful for a public official or employee to,


among others, engage in the private practice of
their profession, unless authorized by the
Constitution or law, provided that such practice
will not conflict or tend to conflict with official
functions [Samonte v. Gatdula (1999)].
If the unauthorized practice on the part of a
person who assumes to be an attorney causes
damage to a party, the former may be held
liable for estafa.

Examples:
(1) Presenting position papers or resolutions
for the introduction of pertinent bills in
Congress;
(2) Submitting petitions to the Supreme Court
for the amendment of the Rules of Court.

ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE PROHIBITION OF


PUBLIC OFFICIALS FROM PRACTICE OF LAW:
See page 9.

The Misamis Oriental Chapter of the IBP has


been commended by the Supreme Court when
it promulgated a resolution wherein it
requested the IBPs National Committee on
Legal Aid to ask for the exemption from the
payment of filing, docket and other fees of
clients of the legal aid offices in the various IBP
chapters [Re: Request of NCLA to Exempt Legal
Aid Clients from Paying Filing, Docket and Other
Fees (2009)].

When any of these absolutely prohibited


officials is appointed/elected/qualified, he
ceases, as a general rule, to engage in the
private practice of law and his right to practice
is suspended during his tenure in office.
Rule 3.04. A lawyer shall not pay or give anything
of value to representatives of the mass media in
anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract
legal business.

B.5.
PARTICIPATION
EDUCATION PROGRAM

IN

LEGAL

Canon 5. A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal


developments, participate in continuing legal
education programs, support efforts to achieve
high standards in law schools as well as in the

Purpose: To prevent some lawyers from gaining


an unfair advantage over others through the use

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practical training of law students and assist in


disseminating information regarding the law
and jurisprudence.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

advance his private interests, nor allow the latter


to interfere with his public duties.
In relation to Rule 3.03, Canon 3, if the law
allows a public official to practice law
concurrently, he must not use his public
position to feather his law practice. Moreover,
he should not only avoid all impropriety. Neither
should he even inferentially create a public
image that he is utilizing his public position to
advance his professional success or personal
interest at the expense of the public [Agpalo].

APPLICABILITY TO GOVERNMENT LAWYERS


Canon 6. These canons shall apply to lawyers in
government service in the discharge of their
official duties.
Ratio: The rule is a reiteration of the principal in
public law, which is that a public office is a
public trust and a public servant owes utmost
fidelity to the public service.

It bears stressing also that government lawyers


who are public servants owe fidelity to the
public service, a public trust. [Huyssen v.
Gutierrez (2006)].

A member of the bar who assumes public office


does not shed his professional obligation.
Lawyers in government are public servants who
owe the utmost fidelity to the public service.
[Vitriolo v. Dasig (2003)].

Rule 6.03. A lawyer shall not, after leaving


government service, accept engagement or
employment in connection with any matter in
which he had intervened while in said service.

Rule 6.01. The primary duty of a lawyer engaged


in public prosecution is not to convict but to see
that justice is done. The suppression of facts or
the concealment of witnesses capable of
establishing the innocence of the accused is
highly reprehensible and is cause for
disciplinary action.

HOW GOVERNMENT LAWYERS MAY LEAVE


GOVERNMENT SERVICE: (R2EAD)
(1) Retirement;
(2) Resignation;
(3) Expiration of the term of office;
(4) Abandonment;
(5) Dismissal

A public prosecutor is a quasi-judicial officer


with the two-fold aim which is that guilt shall
not escape or innocence suffer. He should not
hesitate to recommend to the court the
acquittal of an accused if the evidence in his
possession shows that the accused is innocent
[Agpalo (2004)].

Generalrule: Practice of profession is allowed


immediately after leaving public service.
Exceptions: The lawyer cannot practice as to
matters with which he had connection during
his term. This prohibition lasts:
(1) For one year, if he had not intervened;
(2) Permanently, if he had intervened.

It is upon the discretion of the prosecutor to


decide what charge to file upon proper
appreciation of facts and evidences. Fiscals are
not precluded from exercising their sound
discretion in investigation. His primary duty is
not to convict but to see that justice is served
[People v. Pineda (1967)].
Rule 6.02. A lawyer in the government service
shall not use his public position to promote or

The matter contemplated are those that are


adverse-interest conflicts
and congruentinterest representation conflicts. Intervention
should be significant and substantial which can
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or have affected the interest of others [PCGG v.


Sandiganbayan (2005)].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

detracted from the dignity of the legal


profession. The spectacle of lawyers bribing or
being bribed to vote did not uphold the honor of
the profession nor elevate it in the publics
esteem [In re: 1989 Elections of the IBP (1989)].

C. TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION


C.1. INVOLVEMENT IN THE IBP

II. GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE IBP

Canon 7. A lawyer shall at all times uphold the


integrity and dignity of the legal profession and
support the activities of the Integrated Bar.

(1) To elevate the standards of the legal


profession;
(2) To improve the administration of justice;
(3) To enable the bar to discharge its public
responsibility more effectively.
(16)

I. BAR INTEGRATION
The Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to
effect the integration of the Philippine Bar
under such conditions as it shall see fit in order
to raise the standards of the legal profession
improve the administration of justice and
enable the bar to discharge its public
responsibility more effectively. (RA 6397, Sec. 1.)

III. PURPOSES OF THE IBP


(1) To assist in the administration of justice;
(2) To foster and maintain on the part of its
members high ideals of integrity, learning,
professional competence, public service and
conduct;
(3) To safeguard the professional interest of its
members;
(4) To cultivate among its members a spirit of
cordiality and brotherhood;
(5) To provide a forum for the discussion of
law,jurisprudence, law reform, pleading,
practice and procedure, and the relations of
the bar to the bench and to the public, and
publish information relating thereto;
(6) To encourage and foster legal education;
(7) To promote a continuing program of legal
research in substantive and adjective law,
and make reports and recommendations
thereon.

Integration does not make a lawyer a member


of any group of which he is not already a
member. He became a member of the bar when
he passed the bar examinations. All that
integration actually does is to provide an official
national organization for the well-defined but
unorganized and uncohesive group of which
every lawyer is already a member [In the matter
of the IBP (1973)].
The IBP is essentially a semi-governmental
entity, a private organization endowed with
certain governmental attributes. While it is
composed of lawyers who are private
individuals, the IBP exists to perform certain
vital public functions and to assist the
government particularly in the improvement of
the administration of justice, the upgrading of
the standards of the legal profession, and its
proper regulation.
The fundamental assumption is that the officers
would be chosen on the basis of professional
merit and willingness and ability to serve. The
unseemly ardor with which the candidates
pursued the presidency of the association
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IV. MEMBERSHIP AND DUES

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

abroad before he left [Letter of Atty. Arevalo


(2005)].

RoC, Rule 139-A, Sec. 9. Every member of the


IBP shall pay such annual dues as the Board of
Governors shall determine with the approval of
the Supreme Court.

C.2. UPHOLDING THE DIGNITY


INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION

&

Canon 7. A lawyer shall at all times uphold the


integrity and dignity of the legal profession and
support the activities of the Integrated Bar.

A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent of the


collection from each Chapter shall be set aside
as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the
Chapter and the compulsory heirs of deceased
members thereof.

Rule 7.01. A lawyer shall be answerable for


knowingly making a false statement or
suppressing a material fact in connection with
his application for admission to the bar.

RoC, Rule 139-A, Sec. 10. Default in the payment


of annual dues:
(1) For six months shall warrant suspension of
membership in the IBP; and
(2) For one year shall be a ground for the
removal of the name of the delinquent
member from the roll of attorneys.

A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. While a


lawyer has the solemn duty to defend his
clients rights and is expected to display the
utmost zeal in defense of his clients cause, his
conduct must never be at the expense of truth
[Young v. Batuegas (2003)].

A membership fee in the IBP is an exaction for


regulation, while the purpose of a tax is
revenue. If the Court has inherent power to
regulate the bar, it follows that as an incident to
regulation, it may impose a membership fee for
that purpose. It would not be possible to push
through an Integrated Bar program without
means to defray the concomitant expenses. The
doctrine of implied powers necessarily includes
the power to impose such an exaction [In the
matter of the IBP (1973)].

PENALTIES
(1) Disqualification of the applicant from taking
the bar, if the concealment is discovered
before he takes the bar examinations;
(17) Prohibition from taking the lawyers oath, if
the concealment is discovered after the
candidate has taken the bar examinations;
(18) Revocation of license to practice, if the
concealment was discovered after he has
taken his lawyers oath [In re: Diao (1963)].
A declaration in ones application for admission
to the bar examinations that the applicant was
single, when he was in fact married, was a
gross misrepresentation of a material fact made
in utter bad faith, for which the applicant
should be made answerable. [Leda v. Tabang
(1992)].

A lawyer can engage in the practice of law only


by paying his dues, and it does not matter if his
practice is limited. Moreover, senior citizens
are not exempted from paying membership
dues [Santos v. Llamas (2000)].
In a case involving a Filipino lawyer staying
abroad, the Supreme Court said that there is
nothing in the law or rules, which allows his
exemption from payment of membership dues.
At most, he could have informed the Secretary
of the Integrated Bar of his intention to stay

Rule 7.02. A lawyer shall not support the


application for admission to the bar of any
person known by him to be unqualified in
respect to character, education, or other

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relevant attribute.
A lawyer should volunteer information or
cooperate in any investigation concerning
alleged anomaly in the bar examination so that
those candidates who failed therein can be
ferreted out and those lawyers responsible
therefor can be disbarred [In re: Parazo (1948)].

C.3. COURTESY, FAIRNESS & CANDOR


TOWARDS PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES

Rule 7.03. A lawyer shall not engage in conduct


that adversely 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 profession.

LAWYER DONTs:
(1) Take advantage of the excusable
unpreparedness or absence of counsel
during the trial of a case;
(2) Make use, to his or to his clients benefit, the
secrets of the adverse party acquired
through design or inadvertence;
(3) Criticize or impute ill motive to the lawyer
who accepts what in his opinion is a weak
case;
(4) Proceed to negotiate with the client of
another lawyer to waive all kinds of claim
when the latter is still handling the civil
case [Camacho v. Pagulayan (2000)].
(5) Steal another lawyers client;
(6) Induce a client to retain him by promise of
better service, good result or reduced fees
for his services;
(7) Disparage
another
lawyer,
make
comparisons or publicize his talent as a
means to further his law practice;
(8) In the absence of the adverse partys
counsel, interview the adverse party and
question him as to the facts of the case even
if the adverse party was willing;
(9) Sanction the attempt of his client to settle a
litigated matter with the adverse party
without the consent nor knowledge of the
latters counsel.

Canon 8. A lawyer shall conduct himself with


courtesy, fairness and candor toward his
professional colleagues, and shall avoid
harassing tactics against opposing counsel.

It is not necessary for a lawyer to be convicted


for an offense before a lawyer can be disciplined
for gross immorality [Agpalo].
ACTS ADVERSELY REFLECTIVE OF A LAWYERS
FITNESS TO PRACTICE LAW:
(1) Having adulterous relationships or keeping
mistresses;
(2) Siring a child with a woman other than legal
wife (Zaguirre v. Castillo (2003));
(3) Conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude;
(4) Commission of fraud or falsehood.
To justify suspension or disbarment, the act
must not only be immoral, it must be grossly
immoral as well. A grossly immoral act is one
that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a
criminal act or so unprincipled or disgraceful as
to be reprehensible to a high degree. [Reyes v.
Wong (1975)]
The term moral turpitude means anything
which is done contrary to justice, honesty,
modesty or good morals, or to any act of
vileness, baseness or depravity in the private
and social duties that a man owes his
fellowmen or to society, contrary to the
accepted rule between man and man. [In re
Gutierrez (1962)]

Rule 8.01. A lawyer shall not, in his professional


dealings, use language, which is abusive,
offensive or otherwise improper.

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A lawyer should treat the opposing counsel and


his brethren in the law profession with courtesy,
dignity, and civility. They may do as adversaries
do in law: strive mightily but eat and drink as
friends [Valencia v. Cabanting (1991)].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(b) In the absence of a notice of termination


from the client, provided he has obtained
the conformity of the counsel whom he
would substitute; or
(c) In the absence of such conformity, a
lawyer must at least give sufficient notice
to original counsel so that original
counsel has the opportunity to protect his
claim against the client.
(2) Give advice or assistance to any person
who seeks relief against an unfaithful or
neglectful lawyer;
(3) Associate as a colleague in a case, provided
he communicate with the original counsel
before making an appearance as cocounsel:
(a) Should the original lawyer object, he
should decline association but if the
original lawyer is relieved, he may come
into the case;
(b) Should it be impracticable for him, whose
judgment has been overruled by his cocounsel to cooperate effectively, he
should ask client to relieve him.

IMPROPER LANGUAGE
(1) Behaving without due regard for the trial
court and the opposing counsel and
threatening the court that he would file a
petition for certiorari [Bugaring v. Espanol

(2001)];
(2) Filing of a civil case against the opposing
counsel without justification but only to get
a leverage in the pending case [Reyes v.

Chiong (2003)];
(3) Calling an adverse counsel as bobo or
using the word ay que bobo in reference
to the manner of offering evidence [Castillo

v. Padilla (1984)].
The highest reward that can come to a lawyer is
the esteem of his professional brethren. That
esteem is won in unique conditions and
proceeds from an impartial judgment in
professional trials. It cannot be purchased.
[Agpalo, 2014]

C.4. NO ASSISTANCE IN UNAUTHORIZED


PRACTICE OF LAW
Canon 9. A lawyer shall not, directly or
indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice of
law.

Rule 8.02. A lawyer shall not, directly or


indirectly, encroach upon the professional
employment of another lawyer; however, it is
the right of any lawyer, without fear or favor, to
give proper advice and assistance to those
seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful
counsel.

Generally, to engage in the practice of law is to


do any of those acts which are characteristic of
the legal profession. It embraces any activity, in
or out of court, which requires the application of
law, legal principle, practice or procedure or
calls for legal knowledge, training and
experience. [Philippine Lawyers Assn v. Agrava,
(1959)]

A LAWYER MAY:
(1) Accept employment to handle a matter
previously handled by another lawyer:
(a) Provided the other lawyer has been given
notice of termination of service lest it
amounts to an improper encroachment
upon the professional employment of the
original counsel (Laput v. Remotigue
(1962)); or

EXAMPLES OF PRACTICE OF LAW


(1) Legal advice and instructions to clients to
inform them of their rights and obligations;

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(2) Preparation for clients of documents


requiring knowledge of legal principles not
possessed by ordinary laymen;
(3) Appearance for clients before public
tribunals, whether, administrative, quasijudicial or legislative agency.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Moreover, an attorney-client relationship is a


strictly personal one.
ACTS THAT MAY ONLY BE DONE BY A
LAWYER
(1) The computation and determination of the
period within which to appeal an adverse
judgment [Eco v. Rodriguez (1960)];
(2) The examination of witnesses or the
presentation of evidence [Robinson v.

ILLEGAL PRACTICE OF LAW EXAMPLES


(1) Appearing as counsel even before taking
lawyers oath [Aguirre v. Rana (2003)];
(2) Using the title Attorney in his name even
though he is a Sharia lawyer [Alawi v.

Villafuerte (1911)].
MAY BE DELEGATED TO NON-LAWYERS:
(1) The examination of case law;
(2) Finding and interviewing witnesses;
(3) Examining court records;
(4) Delivering papers and similar matters.
Rule 9.02. A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate
to divide a fee for legal services with persons
not licensed to practice law, except:
(a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement
with a partner or associate that, upon the
latters death, money shall be paid over a
reasonable period of time to his estate or to
persons specified in the agreement; or
(b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete
unfinished legal business of a deceased
lawyer; or
(c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes nonlawyer employees in a retirement plan,
even if the plan is based in whole or in part,
on a profitable sharing arrangement.

Alauya (1997)].
A corporation cannot engage in the practice law
directly or indirectly. It may only hire in-house
lawyers to attend to its legal business.
NOT ALLOWED:
(1) Automobile club that solicits membership
by advertising that it offers free legal
services of its legal department to
members;
(2) Collection agency or credit exchange that
exploits lawyers services;
(3) Bank using lawyers name as director in
advertising its services in drawing wills and
other legal documents.
Unauthorized practice of law applies to both
non-lawyers and lawyers prohibited from the
private practice of law.

Ratio: Allowing non-lawyers to get attorneys


fees would confuse the public as to whom they
should consult. It would leave the bar in a
chaotic condition because non-lawyers are also
not subject to disciplinary action.

The practice of law is not a natural, property or


constitutional right but a mere privilege. [In Re
Edillon (1978)]
Rule 9.01. A lawyer shall not delegate to any
unqualified person the performance of any task
which by law may only be performed by a
member of the bar in good standing.

An agreement between a union lawyer and a


layman president of the union to divide equally
the attorneys fees that may be awarded in a
labor case violates this rule, and is illegal and
immoral [Amalgamated Laborers Assn. v. CIR
(1968)].

Ratio: The practice of law is limited only to


individuals who have the necessary educational
qualifications and good moral character.
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Candor in all of the lawyers dealings is the very


essence of honorable membership in the legal
profession [Cuaresma v. Daquis (1975)].

A donation by a lawyer to a labor union of part


of his attorneys fees taken from the proceeds of
a judgment secured by him for the labor union
is improper because it amounts to a rebate or
commission [Halili v. CIR (1965)].

A lawyers conduct before the court should be


characterized by candor and fairness. The
administration of justice would gravely suffer if
lawyers do not act with complete candor and
honesty before the courts [Serena v.
Sandiganbayan (2008)].

A contract between a lawyer and a layman


granting the latter a percentage of the fees
collected from clients secured by the layman
and enjoining the lawyer not to deal directly
with said clients is null and void, and the lawyer
may be disciplined for unethical conduct [Tan
Tek Beng v. David (1983)].

A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. While a


lawyer has the solemn duty to defend his
clients cause, his conduct must never be at the
expense of truth [Young v. Batuegas (2003)].

While non-lawyers may appear before the NLRC


or any labor arbiter, they are still not entitled to
receive professional fees.The statutory rule
that an attorney shall be entitled to have and
recover from his client a reasonable
compensation or remuneration for the services
they have rendered presupposes the existence
of an attorney-client relationship.

Rule 10.01. A lawyer shall not do any falsehood,


nor consent to the doing of any in court; nor
shall he mislead, or allow the court to be misled
by any artifice.
A lawyer should not conceal the truth from the
court, nor mislead the court in any manner no
matter how demanding his duties to clients may
be. His duties to his client should yield to his
duty to deal candidly with the court. For no
client is entitled to receive from the lawyer any
service involving dishonesty to the courts
[Comments of IBP Committee].

Such a relationship cannot exist when the


clients representative is a non-lawyer [Five J
Taxi v. NLRC (1994)].

D. TO THE COURTS

Rule 10.02. A lawyer shall not knowingly


misquote or misrepresent the contents of a
paper, the language or the argument of
opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or
authority, or knowingly cite as law a provision
already rendered inoperative by repeal or
amendment, or assert as a fact that which has
not been proved.

D.1. CANDOR, FAIRNESS & GOOD FAITH


TOWARDS THE COURTS
Canon 10. A lawyer owes candor, fairness and
good faith to the court.
A lawyer is, first and foremost, an officer of the
court. Accordingly, should there be a conflict
between his duty to his client and that to the
court, he should resolve the conflict against the
former and in favor of the latter, his primary
responsibility being to uphold the cause of
justice [Cobb Perez v. Lantin (1968)].

A lawyer who deliberately made it appear that


the
quotations
in
his
motion
for
reconsiderations were findings of the Supreme
Court, when they were just part of the
memorandum of the Court Administrator, and
who misspelled the name of the complainant
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and made the wrong citation of authority is


guilty of violation of this rule [COMELEC v.
Noynay (1998)].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

guarantees the stability of other institutions. [In


re: Sotto (1949)].
If a pleading containing derogatory, offensive
and malicious statements is submitted in the
same court or judge in which the proceedings
are pending, it is direct contempt, equivalent as
it is to a misbehavior committed in the presence
of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt the
administration of justice. Direct contempt is
punishable summarily [In re: Letter of Atty.
Sorreda (2006)].

The legal profession demands that lawyers


thoroughly go over pleadings, motions and
other documents dictated or prepared by them,
typed or transcribed by their secretaries or
clerks, before filing them with the court. If a
client is bound by the acts of his counsel, with
more reason should counsel be bound by the
acts of his secretary who merely follows his
orders [Adez Realty, Inc. v. CA (1992)].

Liberally imputing sinister and devious motives


and questioning the impartiality, integrity, and
authority of the members of the Court result in
the obstruction and perversion of the
dispensation
of
justice
[Estrada
v.
Sandiganbayan (2000)].

Rule 10.03. A lawyer shall observe the rules of


procedure and shall not misuse them to defeat
the ends of justice.
Filing multiple actions constitutes an abuse of
the courts processes. Those who file multiple or
repetitive actions subject themselves to
disciplinary action for incompetence or willful
violation of their duties as attorneys to act with
good fidelity to the courts, and to maintain only
such actions that appear to be just and
consistent with truth and honor [Olivares v.
Villalon (2007)].

Rule 11.01. A lawyer shall appear in court


properly attired.
Respect begins with the lawyers outward
physical appearance in court. Sloppy or
informal attire adversely reflects on the lawyer
and demeans the dignity and solemnity of court
proceedings.

D.2. RESPECT FOR COURTS & JUDICIAL


OFFICERS
Canon 11. A lawyer shall observe and maintain
the respect due to the courts and to judicial
officers and should insist on similar conduct by
others.
Observing respect due to the courts means that
a lawyer should conduct himself toward judges:
(1) With courtesy everyone is entitled to expect

A lawyer who dresses improperly may be cited


with contempt [Agpalo].
PROPER ATTIRE
Male: Long-sleeved Barong Tagalog or coat and
tie
Female: Semi-formal attires
Judges: Same attire as above under their robes

[Paragas v Cruz (1965)];


(2) With the propriety and dignity required by
the courts [Salcedo v Hernandez (1935)].

The permission of a dress with a hemline five


inches above the knee was held to be
acceptable as such had become an accepted
mode of dress even in places of worship
[Aguirre (2006)]

Lawyers are duty bound to uphold the dignity


and authority of the Court to promote the
administration of justice. Respect to the courts

Rule 11.02. A lawyer shall punctually appear at


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court hearings.
Inexcusable absence from, or repeated
tardiness in, attending a pre-trial or hearing
may subject the lawyer to disciplinary action as
his actions show disrespect to the court and are
therefore considered contemptuous behavior
[Agpalo].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

have no materiality to the case.


The rule allows criticism so long as it is
supported by the record or it is material to the
case. A lawyers right to criticize the acts of
courts and judges in a proper and respectful
way and through legitimate channels is well
recognized [Agpalo].

Non-appearance at hearings on the ground that


the issue to be heard has become moot and
academic is a lapse in judicial propriety [De
Gracia v. Warden of Makati (1976)].

The cardinal condition of all such criticism is


that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over
the wall of decency and propriety [Zaldivar v.
Gonzales (1989)].

Rule 11.03. A lawyer shall abstain from


scandalous, offensive or menacing language or
behavior before the courts.

The constitutional right to freedom of


expression of members of the bar may be
circumscribed by their ethical duties as lawyers
to give due respect to the courts and to uphold
the publics faith in the legal profession and the
justice system [Re: Letter of UP Faculty (2011)].

A lawyers language should be forceful but


dignified, emphatic but respectful, as befitting
an advocate and in keeping with the dignity of
the legal profession [Surigao Mineral
Reservation Board v. Cloribel (1970)].

Rule 11.05. A lawyer shall submit grievances


against a Judge to the proper authorities only.
The duty to respect does not preclude a lawyer
from filing administrative complaints against
erring judges.

Lawyers may use strong language to drive


home a point; they have a right to be in
pursuing a clients cause [The British Co. v De
Los Angeles (1975)]
.
Lawyers cannot resort to scurrilous remarks
that have the tendency to degrade the courts
and destroy the public confidence in them [In re:
Almacen (1970)].

Can still act as counsel for clients who have


legitimate grievances against them.

The court does not close itself to comments and


criticisms so long as they are fair and dignified.
Going beyond the limits of fair comments by
using insulting, disparaging and, intemperate
language necessitates and warrants a rebuke
from the court. While it is expected of lawyers to
advocate their clients cause, they are not at
liberty to resort to arrogance, intimidation and
innuendo [Sangalang v. IAC (1988)].

However, the lawyer shall not file an


administrative case until he has exhausted
judicial remedies which result in a finding that
the judge has gravely erred [Agpalo].
It has been held in Maceda v. Vasquez that in
criminal complaints against a judge or other
court
employees
arising
from
their
administrative duties, the Ombudsman must
defer action and refer the same to the Supreme
Court for determination whether said judges or
court employees acted within the scope of their
administrative duties.

Rule 11.04. A lawyer shall not attribute to a


Judge motives not supported by the record or

Otherwise, in the absence of any administrative


action, the investigation being conducted by the
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Ombudsman encroaches into the courts power


of administrative supervision over all courts and
its personnel, in violation of the doctrine of
separation of powers.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(3) The judge may consider the case deemed


submitted for decision without clients
evidence, to his prejudice [Agpalo]).
Half of the work of the lawyer is done in the
office. It is spent in the study and research.
Inadequate
preparation
obstructs
the
administration of justice [Martins Legal Ethics
(1988)].

D.4. ASSISTANCE IN THE SPEEDY &


EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Canon 12. A lawyer shall exert every effort and
consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice.

A newly hired counsel who appears in a case in


the midstream is presumed and obliged to
acquaint himself with all the antecedent
processes and proceedings that have transpired
in the record prior to his takeover [Villasis v. CA
(1974)].

All persons shall have the right to a speedy


disposition of their cases before all judicial,
quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. (Const.
Art. III, Sec. 6.)
It is the duty of an attorney not to encourage
either the commencement or the continuance of
an action or proceeding or delay any mans
cause from any corrupt motive or interest. (RoC,
Rule 138, Sec. 20(g).)

Rule 12.02. A lawyer shall not file multiple


actions arising from the same cause.
Ratio: There is an affirmative duty of a lawyer to
check against useless litigations. His signature
in every pleading constitutes a certificate by him
that to the best of his knowledge there is a good
ground to support it and that it is not to
interpose for delay. The willful violation of this
rule may subject him to appropriate disciplinary
action or render him liable for the costs of
litigation [Agpalo].

The filing of another action containing the same


subject matter, in violation of the doctrine of res
judicata, runs contrary to this canon [Siy Lim v.
Montano (2006)].
Rule 12.01. A lawyer shall not appear for trial
unless he has adequately prepared himself on
the law and the facts of his case, the evidence
he will adduce and the order of its preference.
He should also be ready with the original
documents for comparison with the copies.
Without adequate preparation, the lawyer may
not be able to effectively assist the court in the
efficient administration of justice.

CIRCUMSTANCE OF FORUM SHOPPING


(1) When, as a result or in anticipation of an
adverse decision in one forum, a party
seeks a favorable opinion in another forum
through means other than appeal or
certiorari by raising identical causes of
action, subject matter and issues.
(2) The institution ofinvolving the same
parties for the same cause of action, either
simultaneously or successively, on the
supposition that one or the other court
would come out with a favorable
disposition [Araneta v. Araneta (2013)].

NON-OBSERVANCE OF PREPARATION:
(1) The postponement of the pre-trial or
hearing, which would thus entail delay in
the early disposition of the case;
(2) The judge may consider the client nonsuitedor in default;

An indicium of the presence of, or the test for


determining whether a litigant violated the rule
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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

against, forum shopping is where the elements


of litis pendentia are present or where a final
judgment in one case will amount to res judicata
in the other case.

with the foregoing requirements shall not be


curable by mere amendment of the complaint
or other initiatory pleading but shall cause for
the dismissal of the case without prejudice,
unless otherwise provided, upon motion after
hearing.

REQUISITES OFLITIS PENDENTIA


(1) Identity of parties, or at least such parties
as represent the same interests in both
actions;
(2) Identity of rights asserted and relief prayed
for, the relief being founded on the same
facts; and
(3) Identity of the two preceding particulars is
such that any judgment rendered in the
pending case, regardless of which party is
successful, would amount to res judicata in
the other [HSBC v. Catalan (2004)].

SUBMISSION OF A FALSE CERTIFICATION OR


NON-COMPLIANCE WITH ANY OF THE
UNDERTAKINGS IN A CERTIFICATION OF
NON FORUM SHOPPING:
(1) Shall constitute indirect contempt of court;
(2) Without prejudice to the corresponding
administrative and criminal actions.
IF ACTS OF THE PARTY OR HIS COUNSEL
CONSTITUTE WILLFUL AND DELIBERATE
FORUM SHOPPING:
(1) Be a ground for summary dismissal with
prejudice;
(2) Constitute direct contempt;
(3) Be a cause for administrative sanctions.

RES JUDICATA REQUIRES THAT:


(1) There be a decision on the merits;
(2) It be decided by a court of competent
jurisdiction;
(3) The decision is final; and
(4) The two actions involved identical parties,
subject matter, and causes of action.

It is the duty of the lawyer to resist the whims


and caprices of his client and to temper his
clients propensity to litigate. [Castaeda v. Ago
(1975)]
Rule 12.03. A lawyer shall not, after obtaining
extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda
or briefs, let the period lapse without
submitting the same or offering an explanation
for his failure to do so.

CONTENTS OF CERTIFIED COMPLAINT:


(1) He has not theretofore commenced any
action or filed any claim involving the same
issues in any court, tribunal or quasijudicial agency and, to the best of his
knowledge, no such other action or claim is
pending therein; if there is such other
pending action or claim, a complete
statement of the present status thereof;
(2) If he should thereafter learn that the same
or similar action or claim has been filed or
is pending, he shall report that fact within
five days there from to the court wherein
his aforesaid complaint or initiatory
pleading has been filed.

The court censures the practice of counsels who


secures repeated extensions of time to file their
pleadings and thereafter simply let the period
lapse without submitting the pleading on even
an explanation or manifestation of their failure
to do so. There exists a breach of duty not only
to the court but also to the client [Achacoso v.
CA (1973)].
An attorney is bound to protect his clients
interest to the best of his ability and with
utmost diligence. A failure to file brief for his

Rules of Court, Rule 7, Sec. 5. Failure to comply


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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

client
certainly
constitutes
inexcusable
negligence on his part [Ford v. Daitol (1995)].

testimony in evidence. The lawyer is both


criminally and administratively liable.

Rule 12.04. A lawyer shall not unduly delay a


case, impede the execution of a judgment or
misuse court processes.

Subornation of perjury is committed by a person


who knowingly and willfully procures another to
swear falsely and the witness suborned [or
induced] does testify under circumstances
rendering him guilty of perjury [US v. Ballena
(1911)].

It is one thing to exert to the utmost ones ability


to protect the interest of ones client. It is quite
another thing to delay if not defeat the recovery
of what is justly due and demandable due to the
misleading acts of a lawyer [Manila Pest Control
v. WCC (1968)].

Rule 12.07. A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat


or harass a witness nor needlessly
inconvenience him.

Once a judgment becomes final and executory,


the prevailing party should not be denied the
fruits of his victory by some subterfuge devised
by the losing part. Unjustified delay in the
enforcement of a judgment sets at naught the
role of courts in disposing justiciable
controversies with finality [Aguilar v. Manila
Banking Corporation (2006)].

RIGHTS OF WITNESSES
[Rules of Court, Rule 132, Sec. 3.]
(1) To be protected from irrelevant, improper or
insulting questions and from a harsh or
insulting demeanor;
(2) Not to be detained longer than the interests
of justice require
(3) Not to be examined except as to matters
pertinent to the issues before the court;
(4) Not to give an answer which will tend to
subject him to a penalty for an offense
unless otherwise provided by law;
(5) Not to give an answer which will tend to
degrade the witness reputation, but a
witness must answer the fact of any previous
final conviction for a criminal offense.

If a lawyer is honestly convinced of the futility of


an appeal in a civil suit, he should not hesitate
to inform his client. [Agpalo, 2001]
Rule 12.05. A lawyer shall refrain from talking to
his witness during a break or recess in the trial,
while the witness is still under examination.
Ratio: The purpose is to prevent the suspicion
that he is coaching the witness what to say
during the resumption of the examination; to
uphold and maintain fair play with the other
party and to prevent the examining lawyer from
being tempted to coach his own witness to suit
his purpose [Callanta].

PD 1829 PENALIZES THE FOLLOWING:


(1) Threatening directly or indirectly another
with the infliction of any wrong upon his
person, honor or property or that of any
immediate member or members of his
family in order to prevent such person from
appearing in the investigation of, or official
proceedings in, criminal cases, or imposing
a condition, whether lawful or unlawful, in
order to prevent a person from appearing in
the investigation of or in official proceedings
in, criminal cases;
(2) Giving of false or fabricated information to
mislead or prevent the law enforcement

Rule 12.06. A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a


witness to misrepresent himself or to
impersonate another.
Revised Penal Code, Art. 184. The lawyer who
presented a witness knowing him to be a false
witness is criminally liable for offering false
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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCE UPON


THE COURTS

agencies from apprehending the offender or


from protecting the life or property of the
victim; or fabricating information from the
data
gathered
in
confidence
by
investigating authorities for purposes of
background information and not for
publication and publishing or disseminating
the same to mislead the investigator or to
the court.

Canon 13. A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of


his cause and refrain from any impropriety
which tends to influence, or gives the
appearance of influencing the court.
Rule 13.01. A lawyer shall not extend
extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor
seek opportunity for cultivating familiarity with
Judges.

Rule 12.08. A lawyer shall avoid testifying in


behalf of his client, except:
(a) Onformal
matters,
such
as
the
mailing,authentication or custody of an
instrument, and the like; or
(b) On substantial matters, in cases where his
testimony is essential to the ends of justice,
in which event he must, during his
testimony, entrust the trial of the case to
another counsel.

A lawyer should avoid marked attention and


unusual hospitality to a judge uncalled for by
the personal relations of the parties because
they subject him and the judge to
misconceptions of motives. (Canon 3).
Rule 13.02. A lawyer shall not make public
statements in the media regarding a pending
case tending to arouse public opinion for or
against a party.
Ratio: Newspaper publications regarding a
pending or anticipated litigation may interfere
with a fair trial, prejudice the administration of
justice, or subject a respondent or an accused to
a trial by publicity and create a public inference
of guilt against him [Agpalo].

Ratio: The underlying reason for the impropriety


of a lawyer acting in such dual capacity lies in
the difference between the function of a witness
and that of an advocate.The function of a
witness is to tell the facts as he recalls then in
answer to questions.The function of an
advocate is that of a partisan.
The lawyer will find it hard to disassociate his
relation to his client as an attorney and his
relation to the party as a witness [Agpalo].

Public statements may be considered


contemptuous when the character of the act
done and its direct tendency to prevent and
obstruct the discharge of official duty.

When a lawyer is a witness for his client, except


as to merely formal matters, such as the
attestation or custody of an instrument and the
like, he should leave the trial of the case to
other counsel. Except when essential to the
ends of justice, a lawyer should avoid testifying
in court in behalf of his client [PNB v. Uy Teng
Piao (1932)].

Once a litigation is concluded, the judge who


decided it is subject to the same criticism as any
other public official because then, his ruling
becomes public property and is thrown open to
public consumption. In a concluded litigation, a
lawyer enjoys a wider latitude of comment or on
criticism of the judges decision or actuation. [In
re Gomez (1922)]

D.4. RELIANCE ON MERITS OF HIS CAUSE


& AVOIDANCE OF ANY IMPROPRIETY
WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE OR GIVES

In the original decision of the Supreme Court in


Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the
Sandiganbayan of the Plunder Cases against
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Former President Joseph Estrada (2001), it was


stated that the propriety of granting or denying
the petition involve the weighing out of the
constitutional guarantees of freedom of the
press and the right to public information, on the
one hand, and the fundamental rights of the
accused, on the other hand, along with the
constitutional power of a court to control its
proceedings in ensuring a fair and impartial
trial. It was held that when these rights race
against one another, the right of the accused
must be preferred to win, considering the
possibility of losing not only the precious liberty
but also the very life of an accused.
In the resolution of the motion for
reconsideration, the Supreme Court allowed the
video recording of proceedings, but provided
that the release of the tapes for broadcast
should be delayed. In so doing, concerns that
those taking part in the proceedings will be
playing to the cameras and will thus be
distracted from the proper performance of their
roles whether as counsel, witnesses, court
personnel, or judges will be allayed.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

relationship is not essential for the employment


of an attorney.

E.1. AVAILABILITY OF SERVICE WITHOUT


DISCRIMINATION
Canon 14.A lawyer shall not refuse his services
to the needy.

I. SERVICES REGARDLESS
PERSONS STATUS

OF

Rule 14.01. A lawyer shall not decline to


represent a person solely on account of the
latters race, sex, creed or status of life, or
because of his own opinion regarding the guilt
of said person.
It is the duty of an attorney, in the defense of a
person accused of a crime, by all fair and
honorable means, regardless of his personal
opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present
every defense that the law permits, to the end
that no person may be deprived of life or liberty,
but by due process of law (Sec. 20(i), Rule 138).
Ratio:It is a declared policy of the State to value
the dignity of every human person and
guarantee the rights of every individual,
particularly those who cannot afford the
services of counsel (RA 9999 (Free Legal
Assistance Act of 2010)).

Rule 13.03. A lawyer shall not brook or invite


interference by another branch or agency of the
government in the normal course of judicial
proceedings.
Ratio: The rule is based upon the principle of
separation of powers [Aguirre (2006)].

RA 9999 provides incentives for free legal


service. Thus, a lawyer or professional
partnerships rendering actual free legal services
shall be entitled to an allowable deduction from
the gross income,
(1) the amount that could have been
collected for the actual free legal
services rendered OR
(2) up to 10% of the gross income derived
from the actual performance of legal
profession, whichever is lower.

A complaint against justices cannot be filed


with the Office of the President [Maglasang v.
People (1990)]

E. TO THE CLIENTS
The attorney-client relationship is:
1. Strictly personal;
2. Highly confidential;
3. Fiduciary.
A written contract, although the best evidence
to show the presence of an attorney-client

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This is different from the 60-hour


mandatory legal aid services under Bar
Matter 2012.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

has officially taken notes of the proceeding


thereof shall, upon written request of an
indigent or low income litigant, his counsel
or duly authorized representative in the
case concerned, give within a reasonable
period to be determined by the fiscal, judge,
commissioner or tribunal hearing the case,
a free certified transcript of notes take by
him on the case (Section 1, RA 6035).

INDIGENT:
(1) A person who has no visible means of
income or whose income is insufficient for
the subsistence of his family, to be
determined by the fiscal or judge, taking
into account the members of his family
dependent upon him for subsistence (Sec.
2, RA 6033).
(2) A person who has no visible means of
support or whose income does not exceed
P300.00 per month or whose income even
in excess of P300.00 per month is
insufficient for the subsistence of his family
(Sec. 2, RA 6035).

II. SERVICES AS COUNSEL DE OFICIO


Rule 14.02. A lawyer shall not decline, except for
serious and sufficient cause, an appointment as
counsel de oficio or as amicus curiae, or a
request from the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines or any of its chapters for rendition of
free legal aid.
RoC provides:
(1) It is the duty of an attorney never to reject,
for any consideration personal to himself,
the cause of the defenseless or oppressed

LAWS ON INDIGENTS OR LOW INCOME


LITIGANTS:
(1) All courts shall give preference to the
hearing and/or disposition of criminal cases
where an indigent is involved either as the
offended party or accused (Sec. 1, RA 6033).
(2) Any indigent litigant may, upon motion, ask
the Court for adequate travel allowance to
enable him and his indigent witnesses to
attendant the hearing of a criminal case
commenced by his complaint or filed
against him. The allowance shall cover
actual transportation expenses by the
cheapest means from his place of residence
to the court and back. When the hearing of
the case requires the presence of the
indigent litigant and/or his indigent
witnesses in court the whole day or for two
or more consecutive days, allowances may,
in the discretion of the Court, also cover
reasonable expenses for meal and lodging
(Sec. 1, RA 6034).
(3) A stenographer who has attended a hearing
before an investigating fiscal or trial judge
or hearing commissioner of any quasijudicial body or administrative tribunal and

(Sec. 20(h), Rule 138);


(2) A court may assign an attorney to render
professional aid free of charge to any party
in a case, if upon investigation it appears
that the party is destitute and unable to
employ an attorney, and that the services of
counsel are necessary to secure the ends of
justice and to protect the rights of the party.
It shall be the duty of the attorney so
assigned to render the required service,
unless he is excused therefrom by the court
for sufficient cause shown (Sec. 31, Rule
138).
Counsel de officio - one appointed or assigned
by the court.
Counsel de parte- one employed or retained by
the party himself.
WHOMAY BE APPOINTED AS COUNSEL DE
OFICIO:

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(1) A member of the bar in good standing who,


by reason of their experience and ability,
can competently defend the accused;
(2) In localities without lawyers:
(a) Any person resident of the province and
of good repute for probity and ability

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

brief and he establishes his right thereto


(Section 2, Rule 124).

III. VALID GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL


Rule 14.03. A lawyer may not refuse to accept
representation of an indigent client unless:
(a) He is in no position to carry out the work
effectively or competently;
(b) He labors under a conflict of interest
between him and the prospective client or
between a present client and the
prospective client.

(Sec. 7, Rule 116);


(b) A municipal judge or a lawyer employed
in
any
branch,
subdivision
or
instrumentality of the government within
the province (Sec. 1, PD 543).
CONSIDERATIONSIN THE APPOINTMENT OF A
COUNSEL DE OFICIO:
(1) Gravity of the offense;
(2) Difficulty of the questions that may arise;
(3) Experience and ability of the appointee.

A lawyer shall not decline an appointment as


counsel de oficio or as amicus curiae, or a
request from the IBP or any of its chapters for
rendition of free legal aid except for serious and
sufficient cause.

WHENTHE COURT MAY APPOINT A COUNSEL


DE OFICIO (IN CRIMINAL ACTIONS):
(1) Before arraignment, the court shall inform
the accused of his right to counsel and ask
him if he desires to have one. Unless the
accused is allowed to defend himself in
person or has employed counsel of his
choice, the court must assign a counsel de
officio to defend him, (Section 6, Rule 116);
(2) It is the duty of the clerk of the trial court,
upon filing of a notice of appeal, to
ascertain from the appellant, if confined in
prison, whether he desires the Regional
Trial Court, Court of Appeals or the
Supreme Court to appoint a counsel de
officio (Section 13, Rule 122);
(3) The clerk of the CA shall designate a
counsel de oficio if it appears from the case
record that:
(a) the accused is confined in prison,
(b) is without counsel de parte on appeal, or
(c) has signed the notice of appeal himself,
the clerk of Court of Appeals shall
designate a counsel de officio.
An appellant who is not confined in prison may,
upon request, be assigned a counsel de officio
within ten days from receipt of the notice to file

Reason: One of the burdens of the privilege to


practice law is to render, when so required by
the court, free legal services to an indigent
litigant.
Even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he
shall not refuse to render legal advice to the
person concerned if only to the extent necessary
to safeguard the latters rights. (Rule 2.02,
Canon 2)
Rule 14.04.A lawyer who accepts the cause of a
person unable to pay his professional fees shall
observe the same standard of conduct
governing his relations with paying clients.
If a lawyer volunteers his services to a client,
and therefore not entitled to attorneys fees, he
is still bound to attend to a clients case with all
due diligence and zeal.(Blanza v. Arcangel
(1967)).

E.3. CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY


TO CLIENTS

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II. PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS

Canon 15.A lawyer shall observe candor,


fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and
transactions with his clients.

Rule 15.02. A lawyer shall be bound by the rule


on privileged communication in respect of
matters disclosed to him by a prospective client.

I. CONFIDENTIALITY RULE
Purpose: To protect the client from possible
breach of confidence as a result of a
consultation with a lawyer (Hadjula v. Madianda
(2007)).

REQUISITES (LRCI)
(1) The person to whom information is given is
a lawyer. However, if a person is pretending
to be a lawyer and client discloses
confidential communications, the attorneyclient privilege applies;
(2) There is a legal relationship existing, except
in cases of prospective clients;
(3) Legal advice must be sought from the
attorney in his professional capacity with
respect to communications relating to that
purpose. The information is not privileged if
the advice is not within lawyers
professional capacity;
(4) The client must intend the communication
be confidential.

Confidential
communicationinformation
transmitted by voluntary act of disclosure
between attorney and client in confidence and
by means which so far as the client is aware,
discloses the information to no third person
other than one reasonably necessary for the
transmission of the information or the
accomplishment of the purpose for which it was
given (Mercado v. Vitriolo (2005)).
Confidences of clients
Refer to information
protected by attorneyclient privilege under
the Rules of Court (i.e.,
information pertinent
to the case being
handled).

Secrets of clients
Refer to information
gained
in
the
profession
relationship that the
client has requested
to be held inviolate
or the disclosure of
which would be
embarrassing
or
would likely be
detrimental to the
client
(i.e.,
information
not
exactly pertinent to
the case).

PERSONS ENTITLED TO PRIVILEGE


(1) The lawyer, client, and third persons who by
reason of their work have acquired
information about the case being handled,
including:
(a) Attorneys secretary, stenographer and
clerk;
(b) Interpreter, messengers, or agents
transmitting communication;
(c) Accountant, scientist, physician, engineer
who has been hired for effective
consultation;
(2) Assignee of the clients interest as far as the
communication affects the realization of the
assigned interest.

Question of privilege is determined by the court.


The burden of proof is on the party who asserts
the privilege.

SCOPE OF THE PRIVILEGE


(1) Does not cover transactions that occurred
beyond the lawyers employment with the
client (Palm v. Iledan, Jr. (2009)).
(2) Period to be considered is the date when
the privileged communication was made by
the client to the attorney in relation to either

Canon 21 enjoins a lawyer to preserve the


confidence and secrets of his client even after
the attorney-client relation is terminated.

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a crime committed in the past or with


respect to a crime intended to be committed
in the future. If the crime was committed in
the past, the privilege applies. If it is still to
be committed, the privilege does not apply,
because the communication between a
lawyer and his client must be for a lawful
purpose or in furtherance of a lawful end to
be privileged (People v. Sandiganbayan
(1996)).
(3) Limited only to communications which are
legitimately and properly within the scope
of a lawful employment of a lawyer. (Genato

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(1) The court has a right to know that the


client whose privileged information is
sought to be protected is flesh and blood.
(2) The privilege begins to exist only after the
attorney-client relationship has been
established. The attorney-client privilege
does not attach unlessthere is a client.
(3) The privilege generally pertains to the
subject matter of the relationship.
(4) Due process considerations require that the
opposing party should, as a general rule,
know his adversary.

v. Silapan (2003)).

Exceptions to exceptions: Client identity is


privileged in the following instances:
(1) Where a strong probability exists that
revealing the client's name would
implicate that client in the very activity for
which he sought the lawyer's advice.
(2) Where disclosure would open the client to
civil liability, his identity is privileged.
(3) Where the government's lawyers have no
case against an attorney's client unless,
by revealing the clients name, the said
name would furnish the only link that
would form the chain of testimony
necessary to convict an individual of a
crime, the client's name is privileged.

(4) Embraces not only oral or written


statements but actions, signs or other
means of communications.
An attorney cannot, without the consent of his
client, be examined as to any communication
made by the client to him or his advice given
thereon in the course of professional
employment; nor can an attorneys secretary,
stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the
consent of the client and his employer,
concerning any fact the knowledge of which has
been acquired in such capacity (Section 24(b),
Rule 130).
General rule: As a matter of public policy, a
clients identity should not be shrouded in
mystery. Thus, a lawyer may not invoke the
privilege and refuse to divulge the name or
identity of this client.

Information relating to the identity of the client


may fall within the ambit of the privilege when
the clients name itself has an independent
significance, such that disclosure would then
reveal
client
confidences(Regala
v.
Sandiganbayan (1996)).

Exceptions:
(1) When a lawyer is accused by the client and
he needs to reveal information to defend
himself;
(2) When the client discloses the intention to
commit a crime or unlawful act (Aguirre
(2006)).

General rule: The protection given to the client


is perpetual and does not cease with the
termination of the litigation, nor is it affected by
the clients ceasing to employ the attorney and
retaining another, or by any other change of
relation between them. It even survives the
death of the client (Bun Siong Yao v. Aurelio
(2006)).

Ratio:

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Exception: Some privileged communications


lose their privileged character by some
supervening act done pursuant to the purpose
of the communication (e.g., a communication
intended by the client to be sent to a third
person through his attorney loses confidential
character once it reached the third party).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(3) The attorney will be called upon to use


against his first client any knowledge
acquired in the previous employment.
TESTS OF CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
(1) Whether the acceptance of a new relation
will prevent an attorney from the full discharge
of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his
client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or
double-dealing in its performance.

EXAMPLES OF PRIVILEGED MATTERS


(1) Work product of lawyer (his effort, research
and thought contained in his file);
(2) Report of a physician, an accountant, an
engineer or a technician, whose services
have been secured by a client as part of his
communication to his attorney or by the
attorney to assist him render effective legal
assistance to his client;
(3) Records concerning an accident in which a
party is involved;
(4) Consultation which has to do with the
preparation of a client to take the witness
stand.

(2) If the acceptance of the new retainer will


require the attorney to perform an act which will
injuriously affect his first client in any matter in
which he represented him and also whether he
will be called upon in his new relation to use
against the first client any knowledge acquired
through their connection (Frias v. Lozada
(2005)).
(3) Whether or not in behalf of one client, it is
the lawyers duty to fight for an issue or claim,
but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client.
In brief, if he argues for one client, this
argument will be opposed by him when he
argues for the other client.
This rule covers not only cases in which
confidential communications have been
confided, but also those in which no confidence
has been bestowed or will be used.
(4) Whether the acceptance of a new relation
will prevent an attorney from the full discharge
of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his
client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or
double-dealing in the performance thereof
(Pacana v. Pascua-Lopez (2009)).
(5) Whether the lawyer will be asked to use
against his former client any confidential
information acquired through their connection
or previous employment (Palm v. Iledan, Jr.
(2009)).

III. CONFLICT OF INTEREST


Rule 15.01. A lawyer, in conferring with a
prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as
practicable whether the matter would involve a
conflict with another client or his own interest,
and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective
client.
Rule 15.03. A lawyer shall not represent
conflicting interests except by written consent
of all concerned given after a full disclosure of
the facts.
There is conflict of interest when a lawyer
represents inconsistent interests of two or more
opposing parties. (Hornilla v. Salunat (2003)).
REQUISITES
(1) There are conflicting duties;
(2) The acceptance of the new relations invites
or actually leads to unfaithfulness or
double-dealing to another client; or
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Note: The test to determine whether there is a


conflict of interest in the representation is
probability, not certainty of conflict.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

honest opinion as to the probable results of the


case (Agpalo (2004)).
The signature of counsel constitutes a
certificate by him that he has read the pleading;
that to the best of his knowledge, information,
and belief there is good ground to support it;
and that it is not interposed for delay (Sec. 3,
Rule 7, Rules of Court).

EFFECTS OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST


Representing adverse interest may result in:
(1) Disqualification as counsel in the new case;
(2) If prejudicial to interests of latter client,
setting aside of a judgment;
(3) Administrative and criminal (for betrayal of
trust) liability;
(4) Forfeiture of attorneys fees.

V. NOT TO CLAIM INFLUENCE

General rule: A lawyer may not represent two


opposing parties at any point in time.
A lawyer need not be the counsel-of-record
of either party. It is enough that the counsel had
a hand in the preparation of the pleading of one
party.

Rule 15.06. A lawyer shall not state or imply that


he is able to influence any public official,
tribunal or legislative body.
Ratio:To protect against influence peddling.
(Agpalo (2004)).

Exception: When the parties agree, and for


amicable settlement (Agpalo (2004))
Rule 15.04. A lawyer may, with the written
consent of all concerned, act as mediator,
conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes.

VI. COMPLIANCE WITH LAWS


Rule 15.07. A lawyer shall impress upon his
client compliance with the laws and principles
of fairness.

An attorneys knowledge of the law and his


reputation for fidelity may make it easy for the
disputants to settle their differences amicably.
However, he shall not act as counsel for any of
them. (Agpalo (2004))

It is the duty of an attorney to counsel or


maintain such actions or proceedings only as
appear to him to be just, and such defenses only
as he believes to be honestly debatable under
the law (Section 20(c), Rule 138).

IV. CANDID AND HONEST ADVICE TO


CLIENTS

VII.
CONCURRENT
PRACTICE
ANOTHER PROFESSION

Rule 15.05. A lawyer when advising his client


shall give a candid and honest opinion on the
merits and probable results of the clients case,
neither overstating nor understating the
prospects of the case.

OF

Rule 15.08. A lawyer who is engaged in another


profession or occupation concurrently with the
practice of law shall make clear to his client
whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another
capacity.

A lawyer is bound to give candid and honest


opinion on the merit or lack of merit of clients
case, neither overstating nor understating the
prospect of the case. He should also give an

Exercise of dual profession is not prohibited but


a lawyer must make it clear when he is acting as
a lawyer or when he is acting in another

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capacity, especially in occupations related to


the practice of law (In re: Rothman (1953)).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

partnership, of which counsel is a


partner (Mananquil v. Villegas (1990)),
(2) If the purchase is made by the wife of
the attorney (In re: Galderon (1907))
(3) Mortgage of property in litigation to the
lawyer. In this case, acquisition is
merely postponed until foreclosure but
effect is the same. It also includes
assignment of property (Ordonio v.
Eduarte (1992)).

Ratio: Certain ethical considerations may be


operative in one profession and not in the other
(Agpalo (2004)).
A lawyer is not barred from dealing with his
client but the business transaction must be
characterized with utmost honesty and good
faith (Nakpil v. Valdez (1998)).

The purchase by a lawyer of the property in


litigation from his clientis void and could
produce no legal effect (Article 1409(7), Civil
Code)(Rubias v. Batiller (1973)).

E.4. CLIENTS MONEYS AND PROPERTIES


Canon 16.A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys
and properties of his client that may come into
his possession.

INSTANCES WHEN PROHIBITION IN ART. 1491


DOES NOT APPLY:
(1) When the attorney is not a counsel in the
case involving the same property at the
time of acquisition;
(2) When purchaser is a corporation, even if
the attorney was an officer (Tuason v.

Lawyers cannot acquire or purchase, even at a


public or judicial auction, either in person or
through the mediation of another, the property
and rights which may be the object of any
litigation in which they take part by virtue of
their profession (Article 1491(5), Civil Code).

Tuason (1974));
(3) When sale takes place after termination of
litigation, except if there was fraud or
use/abuse of confidential information or
where lawyer exercised undue influence;
(4) Where property in question is stipulated as
part of attorneys fees, provided that, the
same is contingent upon the favorable
outcome of litigation and, provided further,
that the fee must be reasonable.

Ratio: The prohibition is based on the existing


relation of trust or the lawyers peculiar control
over the property.
REQUISITES (RLCP)
(1) There is an attorney-client relationship;
(2) The property or interest of the client is in
litigation;
(3) The attorney takes part as counsel in the
case;
(4) The attorney purchases or acquires the
property or right, by himself or through
another, during the pendency of litigation
(Laig v. CA (1978)).

I. FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP
Rule 16.01. A lawyer shall account for all money
or property collected or received for or from the
client.
Ratio: The lawyer merely holds said money or
property in trust.

INSTANCES WHEN PROHIBITION IN ART. 1491


APPLIES:
(1) Even if the purchase or lease of the
property in litigation is in favor of a

When a lawyer collects or receives money from


his client for a particular purpose (such as for
filing fees, registration fees, transportation and
office expenses), he should promptly account to
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the client how the money was spent. If he does


not use the money for its intended purpose, he
must immediately return it to the client (Belleza
v. Macasa (2009)).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

The failure of an attorney to return the clients


money upon demand gives rise to the
presumption that he has misappropriated it for
his own use to the prejudice of and in violation
of the trust reposed in him by the client (Jinon v.
Jiz (2013)).

The fact that a lawyer has a lien for fees on


money in his hands would not relieve him from
the duty of promptly accounting for the funds
received (Daroy v. Legaspi (1975)).

However, an attorney has a lien upon the funds


documents and papers of his client which have
lawfully come into his possession and may
retain the same until his lawful fees and
disbursements have been paid and may apply
such funds to the satisfaction thereof (Sec. 37,
Rule 138).

II. COMMINGLING OF FUNDS


Rule 16.02.A lawyer shall keep the funds of each
client separate and apart from his own and
those of others kept by him.

IV. BORROWING OR LENDING


Rule 16.04. A lawyer shall not borrow money
from his client unless the clients interests are
fully protected by the nature of the case or by
independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend
money to a client except when, in the interest of
justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in
a legal matter he is handling for the client.

A lawyer should not commingle a clients


money with that of other clients and with his
private funds, nor use the clients money for his
personal purposes without the clients consent.
(Daroy v. Legaspi (1975)).

III. DELIVERY OF FUNDS

A LAWYER IS PROHIBITED FROM BORROWING


MONEY FROM HIS CLIENT
Ratio: The canon presumes that the client is
disadvantaged by the lawyers ability to use all
the legal maneuverings to renege on her
obligation (Frias v. Lozada (2005)).

Rule 16.03. A lawyer shall deliver the funds and


property of his client when due or upon
demand. However, he shall have a lien over the
funds and may apply so much thereof as may be
necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and
disbursements,
giving
notice
promptly
thereafter 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.

A LAWYER IS PROHIBITED FROM LENDING


MONEY TO HIS CLIENT
Ratio: The canon intends to assure the lawyers
independent professional judgment, for if the
lawyer acquires a financial interest in the
outcome of the case, the free exercise of his
judgment may be adversely affected.

When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands


money of his client after it has been demanded,
he may be punished for contempt as an officer
of the Court who has misbehaved in his official
transactions; but proceedings under this section
shall not be a bar to criminal prosecution
(Section 25, Rule 138).

Exception:When, in the interest of justice, he


has to advance necessary expenses in a legal
matter he is handling.

E.5. FIDELITY TO CLIENTS CAUSE


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preparation, mastering applicable law and facts


involved in a case, and keeping constantly
abreast of the latest jurisprudence and
developments in all branches of the law (Agpalo
(2004)).

Canon 17.A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of


his client and he shall be mindful of the trust
and confidence reposed in him.
The failure to exercise due diligence and the
abandonment of a clients cause make such a
lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client
has reposed on him (Cantilller v. Potenciano
(1989)).

II. NEGLIGENCE
If by reason of the lawyers negligence, actual
loss has been caused to his client, the latter has
a cause of action against him for
damages.(Callanta).

Once he agrees to take up the cause of the


client, no fear or judicial disfavor or public
unpopularity should restrain him from the full
discharge of his duty(Santiago v. Fojas (1995)).

General rule: A client is bound by the attorneys


conduct, negligence and mistake in handling
the case or in management of litigation and in
procedural technique, and he cannot be heard
to complain that result might have been
different had his lawyer proceeded differently.

E.6. COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE


Canon 18.A lawyer shall serve his client with
competence and diligence.

Exceptions: He is not so bound where the


ignorance, incompetence or inexperience of
lawyer is so great and error so serious that the
client, who has good cause, is prejudiced and
denied a day in court (People v. Manzanilla
(1922); Alarcon v. CA (2000)).

Rule 18.03. A lawyer shall not neglect a legal


matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.
DILIGENCE REQUIRED
A lawyer must exercise ordinary diligence or
that reasonable degree of care and skill having
reference to the character of the business he
undertakes to do, as any other member of the
bar similarly situated commonly possesses and
exercises. He is not, however, bound to exercise
extraordinary diligence (Pajarillo v. WCC (1980))

EXAMPLES OF LAWYERS NEGLIGENCE:


1. Failure of counsel to ask for additional time to
answer a complaint resulting in a default
judgment against his client (Mapua v. Mendoza
(1993));
2. Failure to bring suit immediately, as when it
was filed when the defendant had already
become insolvent and recovery could no longer
be had;
3. Failure to ascertain date of receipt from post
office of notice of decision resulting in the nonperfection of the appellants appeal (Joven-De
Jesus v. PNB (1964));
4. Failure to file briefs within the reglementary
period (People v. Cawili (1970));
5. Failure to attend a trial without filing a
motion for postponement or without requesting
either of his two partners in the law office to

A client is entitled to the benefit of any and


every remedy and defense authorized by law,
and is expected to rely on the lawyer to assert
every such remedy or defense (Garcia v. Bala
(2005)).

I. ADEQUATE PREPARATION
Rule 18.02. A lawyer shall not handle any legal
matter without adequate preparation.
A lawyer should safeguard his clients rights
and interests by thorough study and
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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

take his place and appear for the defendants


(Gaerlan v. Bernal (1952));

them hanging indefinitely(Blanza v. Arcangel


(1967)).

III. COLLABORATING COUNSEL

CLIENT SHOULD MAKE PROPER INQUIRIES


The client should not, however, sit idly by. It is
also his duty to make proper inquiries from his
counsel concerning his case, in keeping with
that standard of care which an ordinarily
prudent man bestows upon his important
business (Reyes v. CA (1989)).

Rule 18.01. A lawyer shall not undertake a legal


service which he knows or should know that he is
not qualified to render. However, he may render
such service if, with the consent of his client, he
can obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who
is competent on the matter.

E.7. REPRESENTATION
WITHIN LEGAL BOUNDS
WHEN A LAWYER ACCEPTS A CASE, WHETHER
FOR A FEE OR NOT, HIS ACCEPTANCE IS AN
IMPLIED REPRESENTATION:
1. That he possesses the requisite degree of
academic learning, skill and ability necessary in
the practice of his profession;
2. That he will exert his best judgment in the
prosecution or defense of the litigation
entrusted to him;
3. That he will exercise ordinary diligence or
that reasonable degree of care and skill
demanded of the business he undertakes to do,
to protect the clients interests and take all
steps or do all acts necessary thereof (Uy v.
Tansinin (2009)).; and
4. That he will take steps as will adequately
safeguard his clients interests (Islas v. Platon
(1924)).

WITH

ZEAL

Canon 19.A lawyer shall represent his client with


zeal within the bounds of the law.
A lawyer should present every remedy or
defense authorized by law in support of his
clients cause regardless of his personal views
(Legarda v. CA (1991)).

I. USE OF FAIR AND HONEST MEANS


Rule 19.01. A lawyer shall employ only fair and
honest means to attain the lawful objectives of
his client and shall not present, participate in
presenting or threaten to present unfounded
criminal charges to obtain an improper
advantage in any case or proceeding.
It is the duty of an attorney to employ, for the
purpose of maintaining the causes confided to
him, such means only as are consistent with
truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the
judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false
statement of fact or law (Sec. 20(d), Rule 138).

IV. DUTY TO APPRISE CLIENT


Rule 18.04.A lawyer shall keep the client
informed of the status of his case and shall
respond within a reasonable period of time to
clients request for information.

A lawyer should not file or threaten to file any


unfounded or baseless criminal case or cases
against the adversaries of his client designed to
secure a leverage to compel adversaries to yield
or withdraw their own cases against the
lawyers client (Pena v. Aparicio (2007)).

It was unnecessary to have the clients wait, and


hope, for six long years on their pension claims.
Upon their refusal to cooperate, the lawyer
should have forthwith terminated their
professional relationship instead of keeping
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II. CLIENTS FRAUD

A written contract for services shall control the


amount to be paid therefore unless found by the
court to be unconscionable or unreasonable
(Section 24, Rule 138).

Rule 19.02.A lawyer who has received


information that his client has, in the course of
the representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a
person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the
client to rectify the same, and failing which he
shall terminate the relationship with such client
in accordance with the Rules of Court.
This rule merely requires the lawyer to
terminate his relationship with the client in the
event the latter fails or refuses to rectify the
fraud (Agpalo (2004)).

WHEN A LAWYER CANNOT RECOVER THE


FULL AMOUNT STIPULATED IN THE
CONTRACT:
(1) When the services were not performed, and
if the lawyer withdrew before the case was
finished, he will be allowed only reasonable
fees;
(2) When there is justified dismissal of an
attorney, the contract will be nullified and
payment will be on quantum meruit basis;
(3) When
the
stipulated
fees
are
unconscionable or unreasonable;
(4) When the stipulated fees are in excess of
what is expressly provided by law;
(5) When the lawyer is guilty of fraud or bad
faith in the manner of his employment;
(6) When the counsels services are worthless
because of negligence;
(7) When the contract is contrary to laws,
morals, and good policies.

III. PROCEDURE IN HANDLING THE CASE


Rule 19.03.A lawyer shall not allow his client to
dictate the procedure on handling the case.
Within clients control
The cause of action,
the claim or demand
sued upon, and the
subject matter of the
litigation are all within
the exclusive control
of a client.
An attorney may not
impair, compromise,
settle, surrender, or
destroy them without
his client's consent.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Within
counsels
control
All the proceedings in
court to enforce the
remedy, to bring the
claim, demand, cause
of action, or subject
matter of the suit to
hearing,
trial,
determination,
judgment,
and
execution, are within
the exclusive control
of
the
attorney
(Belandres v. Lopez
Sugar Central Mill
(1955)).

WHEN THERE IS NO EXPRESS CONTRACT


In the absence of an express contract, payment
of attorneys fees may be justified by virtue of
the innominate contract of facio ut des (I do and
you give) which is based on the principle that
no one shall enrich himself at the expense of
another (Corpuz v. CA (1980))

E.8. ATTORNEYS FEES

NOTE: RA 5185. Section 6.Prohibition


Against Practice. A member of the Provincial
Board or City or Municipal Council shall not
appear as counsel before any court in any
civil case wherein the province, city or
municipality, as the case may be, is the
adverse party: Provided, however, That no
member of the Provincial Board shall so
appear except in behalf of his province in
any civil case wherein any city in the
province is the adverse party whose voters

Canon 20.A lawyer shall charge only fair and


reasonable fees.
An attorney is entitled to have and recover from
his client no more than a reasonable
compensation for his services with a view to:
(1) The importance of the subject matter of the
controversy;
(2) The extent of the services rendered; and
(3) The professional standing of the attorney.
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(4) A fixed fee computed by the number of


hours spent;
(5) A fixed fee based on a piece of work;
(6) A combination of any of the above
stipulated fees.

are en-franchised to vote for provincial


officials, nor shall such member of the
Provincial Board or City or Municipal Council
appear as counsel for the accused in any
criminal case wherein an officer or employee
of said province, city or municipality is
accused of an offense committed in relation
to the latter's office, nor shall he collect any
fee
for
his
appearance
in
any
administrative
proceedings
before
provincial, city or municipal agencies of
the province, city or municipality, as the
case may be, of which he is an elected
official.

QUANTUM MERUIT
Means as much as a lawyer deserves.
Essential requisite:Acceptance of the benefits by
one sought to be charged for services rendered
under circumstances as reasonably to notify
him that lawyer expects compensation.
WHEN AUTHORIZED:
(1) The agreement as to counsel fees is invalid
for some reason other than the illegality of
the object of performance;
(2) There is no express contract for attorneys
fees agreed upon between the lawyer and
the client;
(3) When although there is a formal contract
of attorneys fees, the stipulated fees are
found unconscionable or unreasonable by
the court;
(4) When the contract for attorneys fees is
void due to purely formal matters or
defects of execution;
(5) When the counsel, for justifiable cause, was
not able to finish the case to its conclusion;
(6) When lawyer and client disregard the
contract of attorneys fees;
(7) When there is a contract but no stipulation
as to attorneys fees.

Rule 20.01. A lawyer shall be guided by the


following factors in determining his fees:
(a) The time spent and the extent of the
services rendered or required;
(b) The novelty and difficulty of the questions
involved;
(c) The importance of the subject matter;
(d) The skill demanded;
(e) The probability of losing other employment
as a result of acceptance of the proffered
case;
(f) The customary charges for similar services
and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter
to which he belongs;
(g) The amount involved in the controversy
and the benefits resulting to the client from
the service;
(h) The
contingency
or
certainty
of
compensation;
(i) The character of the employment, whether
occasional or established; and
(j) The professional standing of the lawyer.

QUANTUM MERUIT GUIDELINES


(1) Time spent and extent of the services
rendered. A lawyer is justified in fixing
higher fees when the case is so
complicated and requires more time and
efforts to finish it.
(2) Importance of subject matter. The more
important the subject matter or the bigger
value of the interest or property in
litigation, the higher is the attorneys fee.

MANNER BY WHICH ATTORNEYS MAY BE PAID


(1) A fixed or absolute fee which is payable
regardless of the result of the case;
(2) A contingent fee that is conditioned upon
the securing of a favorable judgment and
recovery of money or property and the
amount of which may be on a percentage
basis;
(3) A fixed fee payable per appearance;
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(3) Novelty and difficulty of questions involved.


When the questions in a case are novel and
difficult, greater efforts, deeper study, and
research are bound to burn the lawyers
time and stamina considering that there
are no local precedents to rely upon.
(4) Skill demanded of the lawyer.The totality of
the lawyers experience provides him the
skill and competence admired in lawyers.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

A distinction should be made between a


champertous contract and a contingent
contract with respect to attorneys fees:
Champertous Contract
Contingent Contract
A
champertous A contingent contract
contract is one where is an agreement in
the lawyer stipulates which the lawyers
with his client that he fee, usually a fixed
will bear all the percentage of what
expenses
for
the may be recovered in
prosecution of the the action, is made to
case, the recovery of depend upon the
things or property success in the effort
being claimed, and the to enforce or defend
latter pays only upon the clients right. The
successful litigation.
lawyer
does
not
undertake to shoulder
This contract is void for the
expenses
of
being against public litigation.
policy
It is a valid
agreement.

The above rules apply in the case of a counsel


de parte.
A counsel de oficio may not demand from the
accused attorneys fees even if he wins the case.
However, subject to availability of funds, the
court may, in its discretion, order an attorney
employed as counsel de oficio to be
compensated in such sum as the court may fix.
The criteria in fixing the amount are still:
(1) The importance of the subject matter of the
controversy;
(2) The extent of the services rendered; and
(3) The professional standing of the attorney.

Rule 20.02. A lawyer shall, in cases of referral,


with the consent of the client, be entitled to a
division of fees in proportion to work performed
and responsibility assumed.

I. ACCEPTANCE FEES
Acceptance of money from a client establishes
an attorney-client relationship and gives rise to
the duty of fidelity to the clients cause.
(Emiliano Court Townhouses Homeowners
Association v. Dioneda (2003)).

The referral of a client by a lawyer to another


lawyer does not entitle the former to a
commission nor to a portion of the attorneys
fees. It is only when, in addition to the referral,
he performs legal service or assumes
responsibility in the case that he will be entitled
to a fee (Agpalo (2004) citing Comments of IBP
Committee).

Failure to render the legal services agreed


upon, despite receipt of an acceptance fee, is a
clear violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility (Macarulay v. Seria (2005)).
It is the duty of an attorney to accept no
compensation in connection with his clients
business except from him or with his knowledge
and approval (Section 20(e), Rule 138).

Rule 20.03. A lawyer shall not, without the full


knowledge and consent of the client, accept any
fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or
forwarding allowance or other compensation
whatsoever related to his professional
employment from anyone other than the client.
Ratio: The rule is designed to secure the
lawyers fidelity to the clients cause and to

II. CONTINGENCY FEE ARRANGEMENTS

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prevent that situation in which receipt by him of


a rebate or commission from another in
connection with the clients cause may interfere
with the full discharge of his duty to his client.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(2) The attorney has rendered services;


(3) A money judgment favorable to the client
has been secured in the action; and
(4) The attorney has a claim for attorneys fees
or advances statement of his claim has
been recorded in the case with notice
served upon the client and adverse party.

III. ATTORNEYS LIENS


RETAINING LIEN
An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds,
documents and papers of his client which have
lawfully come into his possession. Thus:
(1) He may retain the same until his lawful
fees and disbursements have been paid;
(2) May apply such funds to the satisfaction
thereof (Sec. 37, Rule 138).

REQUISITES

Retaining lien

(1) Attorney-client relationship;


(2) Lawful possession by lawyer of the clients
funds, documents and papers in his
professional capacity; and
(3) Unsatisfied claim for attorneys fees or
disbursements.

Charging lien
Nature

Passive
lien.
It
cannot be actively
enforced. It is a
general lien.

Active lien. It can be


enforced
by
execution. It is a
special lien.

Basis
CHARGING LIEN
He shall also have a lien to the same extent
upon all judgments for the payment of money,
and executions issued in pursuance of such
judgments, which he has secured in a litigation
of his client. This lien exists from and after the
time when he shall have caused:
(1) A statement of his claim of such lien to be
entered upon the records of the court
rendering such judgment, or issuing such
execution; and
(2) Written notice thereof to be delivered to his
client and to the adverse party.

Lawful possession
of funds, papers,
documents,
property belonging
to client

Securing
of
a
favorable
money
judgment for client

Coverage
Covers only funds,
papers, documents,
and property in the
lawful possession of
the attorney by
reason
of
his
professional
employment

From then on, he shall have the same right and


power over such judgments and executions as
his client would have to enforce his lien and
secure the payment of his just fees and
disbursements (Section 37, Rule 138).

Covers
all
judgments for the
payment of money
and
executions
issued in pursuance
of such judgment

Effectivity
As soon as the
lawyer
gets
possession of the
funds,
papers,
documents,

REQUISITES
(1) Attorney-client relationship;
42

As soon as the claim


for attorneys fees
had been entered
into the records of
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Its basis of this


compensation is the
fact of employment by
the client.

property
Applicability
May be exercised
before judgment or
execution,
or
regardless thereof

Generally,
it
is
exercisable
only
when the attorney
had already secured
a
favorable
judgment for his
client

Notice
Client need not be
notified to make it
effective

Client and adverse


party
need
to
notified to make it
effective

IV. FEES AND CONTROVERSIES WITH


CLIENTS

litigation. The basis of


this is any of the cases
authorized by law and
is payable not to the
lawyer but to the
client unless they
have agreed that the
award shall pertain to
the
lawyer
as
additional
compensation or as
part thereof (Traders
Royal Bank Employees
Union-Independent v.
NLRC (1997)).

E.9. PRESERVATION
CONFIDENCES

Rule 20.04. A lawyer shall avoid controversies


with clients concerning his compensation and
shall resort to judicial action only to prevent
imposition, injustice or fraud.

OF

CLIENTS

Canon 21.A lawyer shall preserve the confidence


and secrets of his client even after the attorneyclient relation is terminated.
Ratio:
(1) Unless the client knows that his attorney
cannot be compelled to reveal what is told
to him, he will suppress what he thinks to
be unfavorable and the advice which
follows will be useless if not misleading;
(2) To encourage a client to make full
disclosure to his attorney and to place
unrestricted confidence in him in matters
affecting his rights or obligations.

JUDICIAL ACTIONS TO RECOVER ATTORNEYS


FEES:
(1) An appropriate motion or petition as an
incident in the main action where he
rendered legal services;
(2) A separate civil action for collection of
attorneys fees.
Only when the circumstances imperatively
require should a lawyer resort to lawsuit to
enforce payment of fees. This is but a logical
consequence of the legal profession not
primarily being for economic compensation
(Agpalo (2004)).

It is the duty of an attorney to maintain inviolate


the confidence, and at every peril to himself to
preserve, the secrets of his client and to accept
no compensation in connection with his clients
business except from him or with his knowledge
and approval (Sec. 20(e), Rule 138).

V. CONCEPTS OF ATTORNEYS FEES


Ordinary concept
An attorneys fee is the
reasonable
compensation paid to
a lawyer for the legal
services
he
has
rendered to a client.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Extraordinary concept
An attorneys fee is an
indemnity
for
damages ordered by
the court to be paid by
the losing party to the
prevailing party in a

IMPOSITION OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY


(1) Upon any lawyer who, by any malicious
breach of professional duty or of inexcusable
negligence or ignorance, reveals any of the

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secrets of the latter learned by him in his


professional capacity.
(2) Upon a lawyerwho, having undertaken the
defense of a client or having received
confidential information from said client in a
case, undertakes the defense of the opposing
party in the same case, without the consent of
his first client. (Art. 209, RPC).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

disclosure to third persons because members of


a law firm are considered as one entity.
The clients secrets which clerical aids of
lawyers learn of in the performance of their
services
are
covered
by
privileged
communication. It is the duty of lawyer to
ensure that this is being followed (e.g.,
execution of confidentiality agreements).
Ratio: The prohibition against a lawyer from
divulging the confidences and secrets of his
clients will become futile exercise if his clerical
aids are given liberty to do what is prohibited of
the lawyer.

I. PROHIBITED DISCLOSURES AND USE


Rule 21.02. A lawyer shall not, to the
disadvantage of his client, use information
acquired in the course of employment, nor shall
he use the same to his own advantage or that of
a third person, unless the client with full
knowledge of the circumstances consents
thereto.

Rule 21.06. A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet


conversation about a clients affairs even with
members of his family.

Rule 21.03. A lawyer shall not, without the


written consent of his client, give information
from his files to an outside agency seeking such
information
for
auditing,
statistical,
bookkeeping, accounting, data processing, or
any similar purpose.

A lawyer must also preserve the confidences


and secrets of his clients outside the law office,
including his home. He should avoid
committing calculated indiscretion, that is,
accidental revelation of secrets obtained in his
professional employment.

The work and product of a lawyer, such as his


effort, research, and thought, and the records of
his client, contained in his files are privileged
matters. Neither the lawyer nor, after his death,
his heir or legal representative may properly
disclose the contents of such file cabinet
without clients consent.

Rule 21.07. A lawyer shall not reveal that he has


been consulted about a particular case except to
avoid possible conflict of interest.
Read in relation to:
Rule 15.01. A lawyer, in conferring with a
prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as
practicable whether the matter would involve a
conflict with another client or his own interest,
and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective
client.

Rule 21.05.A lawyer shall adopt such measures


as may be required to prevent those whose
services are utilized by him from disclosing or
using confidences or secrets of the client.

Rule 14.03. A lawyer may not refuse to accept


representation of an indigent client unless:
(b) He labors under a conflict of interest
between him and the prospective client or
between a present client and the prospective
client.

Professional employment of a law firm is


equivalent to retainer of the members thereof
even though only one partner is consulted.
When one partner tells another about the
details of the case, it is notconsidered as

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(5) Conviction of a crime and imprisonment of


the lawyer;
(6) Discharge or dismissal of the lawyer by the
client;
(7) Appointment or election of a lawyer to a
government position which prohibits
private practice of law;
(8) Death of the client;
(9) Intervening incapacity or incompetence of
the client during pendency of case;
(10) Full termination of the case.

THE PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION RULE


APPLIES EVEN TO PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS.
The disclosure and the lawyers opinion thereon
create an attorney-client relationship, even
though the lawyer does not eventually accept
the employment or the prospective client did
not thereafter actually engage the lawyer. By
the consultation, the lawyer already learned of
the secrets of prospective client. This rule, of
course, is subject to exception of representation
of conflicting interests.

General rule:The client has the right to


discharge his attorney at any time with or
without just cause or even against his consent.

II. DISCLOSURE, WHEN ALLOWED


Rule 21.01. A lawyer shall not reveal the
confidences or secrets of his client except:
(a) When authorized by the client after
acquainting him of the consequences of
the disclosure;
(b) When required by law;
(c) When necessary to collect his fees or to
defend himself, his employees or
associates or by judicial action.

Exceptions:
(1) The client cannot deprive his counsel of
right to be paid services if the dismissal is
without cause.
(2) The client cannot discharge his counsel
as an excuse to secure repeated
extensions of time.
(3) Notice of discharge is required for both
the court and the adverse party.

Rule 21.04. A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a


client of the firm to partners or associates
thereof unless prohibited by the client.

Rule 22.01. A lawyer may withdraw his services


in any of the following cases:
(a) When the client pursues an illegal or
immoral course of conduct in connection
with the matter he is handling;
(b) When the client insists that the lawyer
pursue conduct violative of these canons
and rules;
(c) When his inability to work with co-counsel
will not promote the best interest of the
client;
(d) When the mental or physical condition of
the lawyer renders it difficult for him to
carry out the employment effectively;
(e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the
fees for the services or fails to comply with
the retainer agreement;
(f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to
public office; and

E.10. WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICES


Canon 22.A lawyer shall withdraw his services
only for good cause and upon notice
appropriate in the circumstances.
CAUSES OF TERMINATION OF ATTORNEYCLIENT RELATIONSHIP
(1) Withdrawal of the lawyer;
(2) Death of the lawyer;
(3) Disbarment or suspension of the lawyer
from the practice of law;
(4) Declaration of presumptive death of the
lawyer;

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(4) A proof of service of notice of such motion


on the attorney to be substituted in the
manner required by the Rules (Heirs of
Retuya v. CA (2011); Section 26, Rule 138).

(g) Other similar cases.


A lawyer may retire at any time from any action
or special proceeding:
(1) With the written consent of his client filed
in court and copy thereof served upon the
adverse party; or
(2) Without the consent of his client, should
the court, on notice to the client and
attorney, and on hearing, determine that
he ought to be allowed to retire. (Sec. 26,

At the discretion of the court, a lawyer, who has


been dismissed by a client, is allowed to
intervene in a case in order to protect the
clients rights (Obando v. Figueras (2000)).

Rule 138)

IV. SUSPENSION,
DISBARMENT, AND
DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS

General rule: The withdrawal in writing, with the


clients conformity, does not require the
approval of the court to be effective.
Exception: If no new counsel has entered his
appearance, the court may, in order to prevent a
denial of a partys right to the assistance of
counsel require that the lawyers withdrawal be
held in abeyance until another lawyer shall have
appeared for the party (Villasis v. CA (1974))

A. NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF


DISCIPLINARY
ACTIONS
AGAINST
LAWYERS
(1) Disciplinary proceedings are sui generis.
(2) They are neither purely civil nor purely
criminal. They are not intended to inflict
punishment.
(3) They do not involve a trial of an action or a
suit, but is rather an investigation by the
Court into the conduct of its officers. There
is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor.
(4) They may be initiated by the Court motu
proprio. The Court merely calls upon a
member of the Bar to account for his
actuations as an officer of the Court with the
end in view of preserving the purity of the
legal profession and the proper and honest
administration of justice in the exercise of
its disciplinary powers.
(5) Public interest is the primary objective, and
the real question for determination is
whether or not the attorney is still a fit
person to be allowed the privileges as such
(In Re: Almacen (1970), Itong v. Florenido
(2011)).

Although a lawyer may withdraw his services


when the client deliberatelyfails to pay the fees
for the services, withdrawal is unjustified if
client did not deliberately fail to pay (Montano v.
IBP (2001))
Rule 22.02.A lawyer who withdraws or is
discharged shall, subject to a retaining lien,
immediately turn over all papers and property
to which the client is entitled, and shall
cooperate with his successor in the orderly
transfer of the matter, including all information
necessary for the proper handling of the matter.
REQUIREMENTS OF A VALID SUBSTITUTION
OF COUNSEL
(1) The filing of a written application for
substitution;
(2) The clients written consent;
(3) The consent of the substituted lawyer if
such consent can be obtained; and, in case
such written consent cannot be procured;

Any interested person or the court motu proprio


may initiate disciplinary proceedings. The right
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to institute disbarment proceedings is not


confined to clients nor is it necessary that the
person complaining suffered injury from the
alleged wrongdoing. Disbarment proceedings
are matters of public interest and the only basis
for the judgment is the proof or failure of proof
of the charges. (Figueras v. Jimenez (2014))

(2)

A.1. CONFIDENTIAL
Rule 139-B, Sec. 18. Proceedings against
attorneys shall be private and confidential.
However, the final order of the Supreme Court
shall be published like its decisions in other
cases.

(3)

PURPOSE OF THIS RULE


(1) To enable the Court to make its
investigations free from any extraneous
influence or interference;
(2) To protect the personal and professional
reputation of attorneys and judges from
the baseless charges of disgruntled,
vindictive, and irresponsible clients and
litigants;
(3) To deter the press from publishing
administrative cases or portions thereof
without authority (Saludo, Jr. v. CA (2006)).

(4)

In the absence of a legitimate public interest in


a disbarment complaint, members of the media
must preserve the confidentiality of disbarment
proceedings during its pendency (Fortun v.
Quinsayas (2013)).

(6)

(5)

Confidentiality is a privilege/right which may


be waived by the very lawyer in whom and for
the protection of whose personal and
professional reputation it is vested, pursuant to
the general principle that rights may be waived
unless the waiver is contrary to public policy,
among others (Villalon v. IAC (1986)).

(7)

(8)

A.2. OTHER CHARACTERISTICS


(1) Proceedings may be taken by the Supreme
Court motu proprio, and the IBP Board of
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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Governors may also motu proprio initiate


and prosecute proper charges against
erring attorneys (Section 1, Rule 139-B).
Investigation is not interrupted or
terminated by reason of the desistance,
settlement,
compromise,
restitution,
withdrawal of the charges, or failure of the
complainant to prosecute the same (Sec. 5,
Rule 139-B).
Laws dealing with double jeopardy or
prescription or with procedure like
verification of pleadings and prejudicial
questions have no application to
disbarment proceedings (Pimentel, Jr. v.
Llorente (2000)).
The proceedings are distinct from and
proceeds independently of civil or criminal
cases. Thus, whatever has been decided in
the disbarment case cannot be a source of
right that may be enforced in another
action. At best, such judgment may only be
given weight when introduced as evidence,
but in no case does it bind the court in the
civil action (Esquivas v. CA (1997)).
The disbarment proceeding does not violate
the due process clause. The proceeding
itself, when instituted in proper cases, is due
process of law (In Re: Montagne (1904)).
In a disbarment proceeding, it is immaterial
that the complainant is in pari delicto
because the proceeding is not to grant relief
to the complainant, but to purge the law
profession of unworthy members, to protect
the public and the courts (Mortel v. Aspiras
(1956)).
The rule in criminal cases that the penalty
cannot be imposed in the alternative
applies in administrative disciplinary cases,
which also involve punitive sanctions
(Navarro v. Meneses III (1998)).
Monetary claims cannot be granted except
restitution and return of monies and
properties of the client given in the course of
the lawyer-client relationship

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A.3. PRESCRIPTION

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Deceit is false representation of a matter of fact


whether by words or conduct, by false or
misleading allegations, or by concealment of
that which should have been disclosed which
deceives or is intended to deceive another so
that he shall act upon it to his legal injury
(Alcantara v. CA (2003)).

Sec. 1, Rule VIII of the Rules of Procedure of the


Commission on Bar Discipline, which provided
for a prescription period of two (2) years from
the date of the professional misconduct, was
struck down for being ultra vires. (Frias v.
Bautista-Lozada (2006))
In Isenhardt v. Real (2012), however, the said
prescriptive period was still construed to run
from the discovery of the misconduct.

Malpractice ordinarily refers to any malfeasance


or dereliction of duty committed by a lawyer
(Tan Tek Beng v. David (1983)).
Gross misconduct is any inexcusable, shameful
or flagrant unlawful conduct on the part of a
person concerned in the administration of
justice which is prejudicial to the rights of the
parties or to the right determination of the
cause. Such conduct is generally motivated by a
premeditated, obstinate or intentional purpose
(Yap v. Inopiquez, Jr. (2003)).

B. GROUNDS
Rule 138, Sec 27.Attorneys removed or suspended
by Supreme Court on what grounds. A
member of the bar may be removed or
suspended from his office as attorney by the
Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or
other gross misconduct in such office, grossly
immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction
of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any
violation of the oath which he is required to take
before the admission to practice, or for a wilfull
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior
court, or for corruptly or willful appearing as an
attorney for a party to a case without authority
so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law
for the purpose of gain, either personally or
through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice.

Immorality connotes conduct that shows


indifference to the moral norms of society and
the opinion of good and respectable members
of the community. The conduct must be
grossly immoral (i.e., so corrupt and false as
to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as
to be reprehensible to a high degree) to warrant
disciplinary action (Ui v. Bonifacio (2000)).
Moral turpitude involves an act of baseness,
vileness, or depravity in the private duties which
a man owes to his fellow men, or to society in
general, contrary to the accepted and
customary rule of right and duty between man
and woman, or conduct contrary to justice,
honesty, modesty or good morals (Barrios v.
Martinez (2004)).

GROUNDS
FOR
DISBARMENT
OR
SUSPENSION:
(1) Deceit, malpractice or other gross
misconduct in office;
(2) Grossly immoral conduct;
(3) Conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude;
(4) Any violation of the lawyers oath;
(5) Willful disobedience of any lawful order of a
superior court;
(6) Corruptly or willfully appearing as an
attorney without authority so to do

MISCONDUCT IN PRIVATE CAPACITY


General rule: Lawyer may not be suspended or
disbarred, and the court may not ordinarily
assume jurisdiction to discipline him, for
misconduct in his non-professional or private
capacity.
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Board of Governors decides within 30 days

Exception: Where the misconduct outside of the


lawyer's professional dealings is so gross a
character as to show him morally unfit for the
office and unworthy of the privilege which his
licenses and the law confer on him, the court
may be justified in suspending or removing him
from the office of attorney (Co v. Bernardino
(1998)).

Investigation by the Solicitor-General


SC renders final decision for disbarment/
suspension/ dismissal.
All charges against the following shall be filed
with the Supreme Court:
(1) Justices of the Court of Appeals;
(2) Justices of the Sandiganbayan;
(3) Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals; and
(4) Judges of lower courts (2nd par., Section 1,
Rule 139-B)

MISCONDUCT PRIOR OR INCIDENT TO


ADMISSION
A
lawyer
may
be
disbarred
for
misrepresentation of or false pretense relative
to the requirements for admission to practice.
Thus, the fact that a lawyer lacked any of the
qualifications for membership at the time he
took his oath is a ground for his disbarment
(Agpalo (2004); see In Re: Diao (1963) and Lim v.
Antonio (1971)).

Charges filed against justices and judges before


the IBP shall immediately be forwarded to the
Supreme Court for disposition and adjudication,
including those filed prior to their appointment
in the Judiciary (2nd par., Section 1, Rule 139-B).

C. PROCEEDINGS

D. DISCIPLINE OF FILIPINO LAWYERS


PRACTICING ABROAD

PROCEDURE FOR DISBARMENT

The disbarment or suspension of a member of


the Philippine Bar by a competent court or other
disciplinary agency in a foreign jurisdiction
where he has also been admitted as an attorney
is a ground for his disbarment or suspension if
the basis of such action includes any of the acts
hereinabove enumerated.

Institution either by:


(a) The Supreme Court, motu proprio, or
(b) The IBP, motu proprio, or
(c) Upon verified complaint by any person

Six copies of the verified complaint shall be


filed with the Secretary of the IBP or
Secretary of any of its chapter and shall be
forwarded to the IBP Board of Governors.

The judgment, resolution or order of the foreign


court or disciplinary agency shall be prima facie
evidence of the ground for disbarment or
suspension. (Sec. 27, Rule 138, as amended by
Supreme Court Resolution dated Feb 13, 1992)

Investigation by the National Grievance


investigators.

E. DISCIPLINE
GOVERNMENT

Submission of investigative report to the IBP


Board of Governors.

OF

LAWYERS

IN

General rule: A lawyer who holds a government


office may not be disciplined as a member of
the Bar for misconduct in the discharge of his
duties as a government official.
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(1) Warning, an act or fact of putting one on his


guard against an impending danger, evil
consequences or penalties.
(2) Admonition, a gentle or friendly reproof,
mild rebuke, warning or reminder,
counseling, on a fault, error or oversight;
(3) Reprimand, a public and formal censure or
severe reproof.
(4) Suspension, a temporary withholding of a
lawyers right to practice his profession as a
lawyer for:
(a) A definite period; or
(b) An indefinite period, which amounts to
qualified disbarment, in which case,
lawyer determines for himself the length
his suspension shall last by proving to
court that he is once again fit to resume
practice of law.
(5) Censure, an official reprimand.
(6) Disbarment, the act of the Supreme Court in
withdrawing from an attorney the privilege
to practice law and striking out the name of
the lawyer from the roll of attorneys.
(7) Interim
suspension,
the
temporary
suspension of a lawyer pending imposition
of final discipline. It includes:
(a) Suspension upon conviction of a serious
crime.
(b) Suspension when the lawyers continuing
conduct is likely to cause immediate and
serious injury to a client or public.
(8) Probation, a sanction that allows a lawyer to
practice law under specified conditions.

Exception: If that misconduct as a government


official is of such a character as to affect his
qualification as a lawyer or to show moral
delinquency, then he may be disciplined as a
member of the bar on such ground
In People v. Castaneda (2013) the lawyers
representing the offices under the executive
branch were reminded that they still remain as
officers of the court from whom a high sense of
competence and fervor is expected. The Court
reminded the lawyers in the government that
the canons embodied in the Code of
Professional Responsibility equally apply to
lawyers in government service in the discharge
of their official tasks. They should exert every
effort and consider it their duty to assist in the
speedy and efficient administration of justice.

F. QUANTUM OF PROOF
The proof required is clear, convincing and
satisfactory evidence.
BURDEN OF PROOF AND PRESUMPTION OF
INNOCENCE
The burden of proof in disbarment and
suspension proceedings always rests on the
shoulders of the complainant. The Court
exercises its disciplinary power only if the
complainant establishes the complaint by
clearly preponderant evidence that warrants the
imposition of the harsh penalty. As a rule, an
attorney enjoys the legal presumption that he is
innocent of the charges made against him until
the contrary is proved. An attorney is further
presumed as an officer of the Court to have
performed his duties in accordance with his
oath (Joven and Reynaldo C. Rasing v. Cruz and
Magsalin (2013)).

OTHER SANCTIONS AND REMEDIES


(1) Restitution;
(2) Assessment of costs;
(3) Limitation upon practice;
(4) Appointment of a receiver;
(5) Requirement that a lawyer take the bar
examination or professional responsibility
examination;
(6) Requirement that a lawyer attend
continuing education courses;

G. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

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(7) Other requirements that the Supreme Court


or disciplinary board deems consistent with
the purposes of sanctions.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(3) A pattern of misconduct;


(4) Multiple offenses;
(5) Bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary
proceeding by intentionally failing to
comply with rules or orders of the
disciplinary agency;
(6) Submission of false evidence, false
statements, or other deceptive practices
during the disciplinary process;
(7) Refusal to acknowledge wrongful nature of
conduct;
(8) Vulnerability of victim;
(9) Substantial experience in the practice of
law;
(10) Indifference to making restitution. (See IBP
Guidelines 9.22)
(11) Others:
(a) Abuse of authority or of attorney-client
relationship;
(b) Sexual intercourse with a relative;
(c) Making the institution of marriage a
mockery;
(d) Charge of gross immorality;
(e) Previous punishment as member of the
bar;
(f) Defraud upon the government;
(g) Use of knowledge or information,
acquired in the course of a previous
professional employment, against a
former client.

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
(1) Absence of a prior disciplinary record;
(2) Absence of a dishonest or selfish motive;
(3) Personal or emotional problems;
(4) Timely good faith effort to make restitution
or to rectify consequences of misconduct;
(5) Full and free disclosure to disciplinary board
or cooperative attitude toward proceedings;
(6) Inexperience in the practice of law;
(7) Character or reputation;
(8) Physical or mental disability or impairment;
(9) Delay in disciplinary proceedings;
(10) Interim rehabilitation;
(11) Imposition of other penalties or sanctions;
(12) Remorse;
(13) Remoteness of prior offenses;
(14) Others:
(a) Good Faith;
(b) Want of intention to commit a wrong;
(c) Lack of material damage to the
complaining witness;
(d) Desistance of complainant;
(e) Error in judgment;
(f) Honest and efficient service in various
government positions;
(g) Ready admission of the infraction coupled
with explanation and plea for forgiveness;
(h) Clean record of professional service in the
past;
(i) Rendered professional services out of
pure generosity;
(j) Punished in another capacity for a
misconduct for which he now faces a
disbarment proceeding;
(k) Old Age & long membership (may also be
an aggravation de-pending on the
circumstance);

H. EFFECT OF EXECUTIVE PARDON


(1) Conditional pardon: disbarment case will
not be dismissed on such basis
(2) Absolute pardon granted before conviction:
disbarment case will be dismissed
(3) Absolute pardon granted before conviction:
No automatic reinstatement to the bar. It
must be shown by evidence aside from
absolute pardon that he is now a person of
good moral character and fit and proper
person to practice law.

AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES:
(1) Prior disciplinary offenses;
(2) Dishonest or selfish motive;
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V. READMISSION
THE BAR
A. LAWYERS
SUSPENDED

WHO

HAVE

(3) His conduct subsequent to disbarment (Cui


v. Cui 1964);
(4) His efficient government service (In re:
Adriatico (1910));
(5) The time that has elapsed between
disbarment and the application for
reinstatement and the circumstances that
he has been sufficiently punished and
disciplined (Prudential Bank v. Benjamin
Grecia (1986));
(6) Applicants appreciation of significance of
his dereliction and his assurance that he
now possesses the requisite probity and
integrity;
(7) Favorable endorsement of the IBP and local
government officials and citizens of his
community, pleas of his loved ones (Yap
Tan v. Sabandal (1989));

TO
BEEN

GUIDELINES IN THE LIFTING AN ORDER OF


SUSPENSION
(1) Upon expiration of the period of suspension,
respondent shall file a sworn statement
with the court, through the Office of the Bar
Confidant, stating therein that he or she has
desisted from the practice of law and has
not appeared in any court during the period
of his or her suspension;
(2) Copies of the sworn statement furnished to
the local chapter of the IBP and to the
executive judge of the courts where the
respondent has pending cases handled by
him or her, and/or where he or she has
appeared as counsel;
(3) The sworn statement shall be considered as
proof of respondents compliance with the
order of suspension (Maniago v. De Dios
(2010)).

B. LAWYERS
DISBARRED

WHO

HAVE

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

GUIDELINES IN RESOLVING REQUESTS FOR


JUDICIAL CLEMENCY OF
DISBARRED
LAWYERS
(1) There must be proof of remorse and
reformation. These include testimonials of
credible institutions and personalities;
(2) Sufficient time must have lapsed from the
imposition of the penalty to ensure a period
of reformation;
(3) The age of the person asking for clemency
must show that he still has productive years
ahead of him that can be put to good use by
giving him a chance to redeem himself;
(4) There must be a showing of promise (e.g.,
intellectual aptitude, contribution to legal
scholarship), and potential for public
service;
(5) Other relevant factors to justify clemency
(Re: Letter of Judge Diaz (2007)).

BEEN

C. LAWYERS
REPATRIATED

CONSIDERATIONS FOR REINSTATEMENT


(1) The applicants character and standing
prior to disbarment;
(2) The nature or character of the misconduct
for which he is disbarred;

WHO

HAVE

BEEN

Lawyers who reacquire their Philippine


citizenship should apply to the Supreme Court
for license or permit to practice their profession.
(Section 5(4) RA 9225).
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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

workshops, dialogues or round table


discussion;
(2) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as
assigned panelist, reactor, commentator,
resource speaker, moderator, coordinator
or facilitator in approved education
activities;
(3) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a
bar review class;

VI.
MANDATORY
CONTINUINGLEGAL
EDUCATION (MCLE)

NON-PARTICIPATORY LEGAL EDUCATION


(1) Preparing, as an author or co-author,
written materials published or accepted for
publication, e.g., in the form of an article,
chapter, book, or book review which
contribute to the legal education of the
author member, which were not prepared
in the ordinary course of the members
practice or employment;
(2) Editing a law book, law journal or legal
newsletter.

A. PURPOSE
Continuing legal education is required of
members of the IBP to:
(1) Ensure that throughout their career, they
keep abreast with law and jurisprudence;
(2) Maintain the ethics of the profession;
(3) Enhance the standards of the practice of
law (Section 1, Rule 1, BM 850).

Other activities, such as rendering mandatory


legal aid services pursuant to Section 8, Bar
Matter No. 2012, may be credited as MCLE
activities.

B. REQUIREMENTS
Members of the IBP shall complete, every three
years, at least 36 hours of continuing legal
education activities approved by the MCLE
Committee. Of the 36 hours:
Subject
# of Hours
Legal Ethics
6 hours
Trial and Pre-trial Skills
4 hours
Alternative Dispute Resolution
5 hours
Updates on substantive and 9 hours
procedural
laws
and
Jurisprudence
International
law
and 2 hours
International Conventions
Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy 4 hours
MCLE prescribed subjects
6 hours

C. COMPLIANCE
The IBP members covered by the requirement
are divided into three compliance groups:
(1) Compliance Group 1 consists of members in
the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro
Manila;
(2) Compliance Group 2 consists members in
Luzon outside NCR; and
(3) Compliance Group 3 consists of members
in Visayas and Mindanao.
The initial compliance period shall begin not
later than three months from the constitution of
the MCLE Committee. The compliance period
shall be for 36 months and shall begin the day
after the end of the previous compliance period
(Section 1, Rule 3, BM 850).

PARTICIPATORY LEGAL EDUCATION


(1) Attending approved education activities
like seminars, conferences, conventions,
symposia, in-house education programs,
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For those admitted or readmitted after the


establishment of the program, they will be
permanently assigned to the appropriate
compliance group based on their chapter
membership on the date of admission or
readmission.
The initial compliance period after admission or
readmission shall begin on the first day of the
month of admission or readmission and shall
end on the same day as that of all other
members in the same compliance group.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

members of the Judicial and Bar Council


and incumbent court lawyers covered by the
Philippine Judicial Academy program of
continuing judicial education;
(4) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State
Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of the
Department of Justice;
(5) The Solicitor General and the Assistant
Solicitor General;
(6) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy
and Assistant Government Corporate
Counsel;
(7) The Chairmen and Members of the
Constitutional Commissions;
(8) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy
Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsmen and
the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the
Ombudsman;
(9) Heads of government agencies exercising
quasi-judicial functions;
(10) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and
professors of law who have teaching
experience for at least ten years accredited
law schools;
(11) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and
members of the Corps of Professors and
Professorial Lectures of the Philippine
Judicial Academy;
(12) Governors and Mayors.
(13) Those who are not in law practice, private or
public; and
(14) Those who have retired from law practice
with the approval of the IBP Board of
Governors (Sections 1 and 2, Rule 7).

However:
(1) Where four months or less remain of the
initial compliance period after admission or
readmission, the member is not required to
comply with the program requirement for
the initial compliance;
(2) Where more than four months remain of
the initial compliance period after
admission or readmission, the member
shall be required to complete a number of
hours of approved continuing legal
education activities equal to the number of
months remaining in the compliance
period in which the member is admitted or
readmitted. Such member shall be
required to complete a number of hours of
education in legal ethics in proportion to
the number of months remaining in the
compliance period. Fractions of hours shall
be rounded up to the next whole number
(Section 5, Rule 3, BM 850).

D. EXEMPTIONS

A member may file a verified request setting


forth good cause for exemption (e.g., physical
disability, illness, post graduate study abroad,
proven expertise in law) from compliance with
or modification of any of the requirements,
including an extension of time for compliance,
in accordance with a procedure to be
established by the MCLE Committee (Sec. 3,
Rule 7, BM 850).

EXEMPTED MEMBERS FROM THE MCLE


(1) The President and the Vice President of the
Philippines, and the Secretaries and
Undersecretaries
of
Executives
Departments;
(2) Senators and Members of the House of
Representatives;
(3) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of
the Supreme Court, incumbent and retired
members of the judiciary, incumbent
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When a member ceases to be exempt, the


compliance period begins on the first day of the
month in which he ceases to be exempt and
shall end on the same day as that of all other
members in the same Compliance Group (Sec.
4, Rule 7, BM 850).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

SCOPE
The rule governs the mandatory requirement for
practicing lawyers to render free legal aid
services in all cases (whether, civil, criminal or
administrative) involving indigent and pauper
litigants where the assistance of a lawyer is
needed. It shall also govern the duty of other
members of the legal profession to support the
legal aid program of the IBP.

E. SANCTIONS
(15) A member who, for whatever reason, is in
non-compliance at the end of the
compliance period shall pay a noncompliance fee.
(16) Any member who fails to satisfactorily
comply shall be listed as a delinquent
member by the IBP Board of Governors
upon the recommendation of the MCLE
Committee, in which case, Rule 139-A,
Rules of Court, governing the IBP, shall
apply (Sections 1 and 2, Rule 13, BM 850).

PRACTICING LAWYERS
Members of the Philippine Bar who appear for
and in behalf of parties in courts of law and
quasi-judicial agencies, excluding the following:
(1) Government employees and incumbent
elective officials not allowed by law to
practice;
(2) Lawyers who by law are not allowed to
appear in court;
(3) Supervising lawyers of students enrolled in
law student practice in duly accredited
legal clinics of law schools and lawyers of
non-governmental
organizations
and
peoples organizations, who by the nature
of their work already render free legal aid
to indigent and pauper litigants; and
(4) Lawyers do not appear for and in behalf of
parties in courts of law and quasi-judicial
agencies.

Under BM 1922 (2008), practicing members of


the bar are required to indicate in all pleadings
filed before the courts or quasi-judicial bodies,
the number and date of issue of their MCLE
Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of
Exemption, as may be applicable, for the
immediately preceding compliance period.
Failure to disclose the required information
would cause the dismissal of the case and the
expunction of the pleadings from the records.

INDIGENT AND PAUPER LITIGANTS


(1) Those whose gross income and that of their
immediate family do not exceed an amount
double the monthly minimum wage of an
employee; and
(2) Those who do not own real property with a
fair market value as stated in the current
tax declaration of more than three hundred
thousand (P300,000.00) pesos. (Algura v.
City of Naga (2006) and Sec. 19, Rule 141)

F. BAR MATTER 2012: THE RULE ON


MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE
PURPOSE
To enhance the duty of lawyers to society as
agents of social change and to the courts as
officers thereof by helping improve access to
justice by the less privileged members of society
and expedite the resolution of cases involving
them. Mandatory free legal service by members
of the bar and their active support thereof will
aid the efficient and effective administration of
justice especially in cases involving indigent and
pauper litigants (Sec. 2, BM No. 2012 (2009)).

REQUIREMENTS FOR EVERY PRACTICING


LAWYER

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(1) To render a minimum of 60 hours of free


legal aid services to indigent litigants in a
year. Said 60 hours shall be spread within
a period of twelve 12 months, with a
minimum of five hours of free legal aid
services each month
(2) To coordinate with the Clerk of Court for
cases where he may render free legal aid
service and shall be required to secure and
obtain a certificate from the Clerk of Court
attesting to the number of hours spent
rendering free legal aid services in a case
(Section 5, BM 2012).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

VIII. NOTARIAL PRACTICE


A. QUALIFICATIONS
PUBLIC

OF

NOTARY

(1) Must be a Filipino citizen;


(2) Must be over 21 years old;
(3) Must be a resident of the Philippines for at
least one year;
(4) Must maintain a regular place of work or
business in the city or province where commission is to be issued;
(5) Must be a member of the Philippine Bar in
good standing, with clearances from:
(a) The Office of the Bar Confidant of the
Supreme Court; and
(b) The IBP;
(6) Must not have been convicted in the first
instance of any crime involving moral
turpitude (Section 1, Rule III, Notarial

PENALTIES
Should a lawyer fail to render the minimum
prescribed number of hours., he shall be
required to explain why he was unable to do so.
If no explanation has been given or if the
National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) finds
the explanation unsatisfactory, the NCLA shall
make a report and recommendation to the IBP
Board of Governors for the erring lawyer to be
declared a member of the IBP who is not in
good standing.

Rules).

B. TERM OF OFFICE OF NOTARY PUBLIC


Section 11, Rule III, Notarial Rules. A person
commissioned as notary public may perform
notarial acts in any place within the territorial
jurisdiction of the commission-ing court for a
period of two years commencing the first day of
January of the year in which the commissioning
is made, unless earlier revoked or the notary
public has resigned under these Rules and the
Rules of Court

After acceptance of the recommendation, the


lawyer shall be declared a member not in good
standing. He will be furnished a notice that
includes a directive to pay P4000.00 penalty
which shall accrue to the special fund for the
legal aid program of the IBP.
Any lawyer who fails to comply with these
duties for at least three consecutive years shall
be the subject of disciplinary proceedings to be
instituted motu proprio by the Committee on
Bar Discipline (Section 7, BM 2012).

Section 13, Rule III, Notarial Rules. A notary


public may file a written application with the
Executive Judge for the renewal of his
commission within 45 days before the
expiration thereof.

C. POWERS AND LIMITATIONS


C.1. POWERS

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A notary public can perform the following


notarial acts:
(1) Acknowledgments;
(2) Oaths and affirmations;
(3) Jurats;
(4) Signature witnessings; and
(5) Copy certifications (Section 1(a), Rule III,
Notarial Rules).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

OTHER ACTS AUTHORIZED BY THE


NOTARIAL RULES
(1) Certifying the affixing of signature by thumb
or other mark on an instrument or
document presented for notarization
(Section 1(b), Rule III);
(2) Signing on behalf of a person who is
physically unable to sign or make a mark on
an instrument or document (Section 1(c),
Rule III, Notarial Rules).

Definition
Common Requisites
Represents to the notary public that
(1) Appears in person before the
the signature was voluntarily affixed for
notary public and presents an
Acknowledgement
the purposes stated in the instrument
integrally complete instrument
and declares that instrument was
or document;
executed as a free and voluntary act
Avows under penalty of law to the (2) Is attested to be personally
Oath or Affirmation
known to the notary public or
whole truth
identified by the notary public
Sign the instrument and take an oath
through competent evidence of
Jurat
or affirmation before the notary public
identity as defined by the
as to such instrument
Notarial Rules
Signs the instrument in the presence of
Signature witnessing
the notary public

I. COPY CERTIFICATION

II. CERTIFYING THE AFFIXING OF


SIGNATURE BY THUMB/OTHER MARK

Refers to a notarial act in which a notary


public: (PC-CD)
(1) Is presented with an instrument or
document that is neither a vital record, a
public record, nor publicly recordable;
(2) Copies or supervises the copying of the
instrument or document;
(3) Compares the instrument or document
with the copy; and
(4) Determines that the copy is accurate and
complete (Sec. 4, Rule II, Notarial Rules).

A notary public is authorized if:


(1) The thumb or other mark is affixed in the
presence of the notary public and of two (2)
disinterested and unaffected witnesses to
the instrument or document;
(2) Both witnesses sign their own names in
addition to the thumb or other mark;
(3) The notary public writes below the thumb
or other mark: Thumb or Other Mark
affixed by (name of signatory by mark) in
the presence of (names and addresses of
witnesses) and undersigned notary public;
and
(4) The notary public notarizes the signature
by thumb or other mark through an
acknowledgment, jurat, or signature

This assists litigators in doing away with the


requirement of proving that a copy is a faithful
reproduction of an original instrument or
document (Uy (2004)).

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witnessing (Sec. 1(b), Rule IV, Notarial

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(d) Any place where a party to an instrument


or document requiring notarization is
under detention (Sec. 2(a), Rule IV,
Notarial Rules)

Rules).

III. SIGNING ON BEHALF OF A PERSON


WHO IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO SIGN
OR MAKE A MARK

A person shall not perform a notarial act if the


person involved as signatory to the instrument
or document:
(a) Is not in the notary's presence personally
at the time of the notarization; and
(b) Is not personally known to the notary
public or otherwise identified by the
notary public through competent evidence
of identity as defined by the Notarial Rules

A notary public is authorized if:


(1) The notary public is directed by the person
unable to sign or make a mark to sign on
his behalf;
(2) The signature of the notary public is affixed
in the presence of two disinterested and
unaffected witnesses to the instrument or
document;
(3) Both witnesses sign their own names;
(4) The notary public writes below his
signature: Signature affixed by notary in
presence of (names and addresses of
person and two witnesses); and
(5) The notary public notarizes his signature
by acknowledgment or jurat (Section 1(c),
Rule IV, Notarial Rules).

A notary public is disqualified from performing


a notarial act if he:
(a) Is a party to the instrument or document
that is to be notarized;
(b) Will receive, as a direct or indirect result,
any commission, fee, advantage, right,
title, interest, cash, property, or other
consideration, except as provided by the
Notarial Rules and by law; or
(c) A notary public is disqualified from
performing is a spouse, common-law
partner, ancestor, descendant, or relative
by affinity or consanguinity of the principal
within the fourth civil degree (Section 3,
Rule IV, Notarial Rules)

Physically unable to sign does not include the


situation where a person is physically unable to
sign because he is in anotherplace (Uy (2004)).

C.2. LIMITATIONS
I. RELATING TO NOTARIAL ACTS
A notary public shall not perform a notarial act
outside his regular place of work or business;
provided, however, that on certain exceptional
occasions or situations, a notarial act may be
performed at the request of the parties in the
following sites located within his territorial
jurisdiction:
(a) Public offices, convention halls, and
similar places where oaths of office may
be administered;
(b) Public function areas in hotels and similar
places for the signing of instruments or
documents requiring notarization;
(c) Hospitals and other medical institutions
where a party to an instrument or
document is confined for treatment; and

A notary public shall not perform any notarial


act described in the Notarial Rules if:
(a) The notary knows or has good reason to
believe that the notarial act or transaction
is unlawful or immoral;
(b) The signatory shows a demeanor which
engenders in the mind of the notary public
reasonable doubt as to the former's
knowledge of the consequences of the
transaction requiring a notarial act; and
(c) In the notary's judgment, the signatory is
not acting of his or her own free will
(Section 4, Rule IV, Notarial Rules)

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access to any entry or entries therein (Sec. 4,


Rule VI, Notarial Rules)
A notary public shall not:
(a) Execute
a
certificate
containing
information known or believed by the
notary to be false;
(b) Affix an official signature or seal on a
notarial certificate that is incomplete
(Section 5, Rule IV, Notarial Rules)

D. NOTARIAL REGISTER
A notarial register refers to a permanently
bound book with numbered pages containing a
chronological record of notarial acts performed
by a notary public (Sec. 5, Rule II, Notarial
Rules)

A notary public shall not notarize:


(a) A blank or incomplete instrument or
document; or
(b) An instrument or document without
appropriate notarial certification (Section

Rule VI, Sections I and 2 of the 2004 Rules of


Notarial Practice require a notary public to
keep and maintain a Notarial Register wherein
he will record his every notarial act. His failure
to make the proper entry or entries in his
notarial register concerning his notarial acts is
a ground for revocation of his notarial
commission (Agadan, et al. v. Kilaan (2013)).

6, Rule IV, Notarial Rules)

II. RELATING TO NOTARIAL REGISTER


In the notary's presence, any person may
inspect an entry in the notarial register, during
regular business hours, provided;
(a) The person's identity is personally known
to the notary public or proven through
competent evidence of identity as defined
in the Notarial Rules;
(b) The person affixes a signature and thumb
or other mark or other recognized
identifier, in the notarial register in a
separate, dated entry;
(c) The person specifies the month, year, type
of instrument or document, and name of
the principal in the notarial act or acts
sought; and
(d) The person is shown only the entry or
entries specified by him;

D.1. ENTRIES
I. BY THE NOTARY PUBLIC
Required to be entered at the time of
notarization:
(1) The entry number and page number;
(2) The date and time of day of the notarial
act;
(3) The type of notarial act;
(4) The title or description of the instrument,
document or proceeding;
(5) The name and address of each principal;
(6) The competent evidence of identity as
defined by the Notarial Rules if the
signatory is not personally known to the
notary;
(7) The name and address of each credible
witness swearing to or affirming the
person's identity;
(8) The fee charged for the notarial act;
(9) The address where the notarization was
performed if not in the notary's regular
place of work or business; and
(10) Any other circumstance the notary public
may deem of significance or relevance;
(11) Reasons and circumstances for not
completing a notarial act;

The notarial register may be examined by a law


enforcement officer in the course of an official
investigation or by virtue of a court order.
If the notary public has a reasonable ground to
believe that a person has a criminal intent or
wrongful motive in requesting information
from the notarial register, the notary shall deny

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(12) Circumstances of any request to inspect or


copy an entry in the notarial register,
including the:
(a) Requesters name;
(b) Requesters address;
(c) Requesters signature;
(d) Requesters
thumbmark
or
otherrecognized identifier;
(e) Evidence of requesters identity; and
(f) Reasons for refusal to allow inspection
or copying of a journal entry;
(13) Brief description of the substance of a
contract presented for notarization;
(14) In case of a protest of any draft, bill of
exchange or promissory note, a full and
true record of all proceedings in relation
thereto and shall note therein:
(a) Whether the demand for the sum of
money was made, by whom, when and
where;
(b) Whether he presented such draft, bill
or note;
(c) Whether notices were given, to whom
and in what manner; where the same
was made, when and to whom and
where directed; and
(d) Of every other fact touching the same
(Section 2, Rule VI, Notarial Rules)

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

to, acknowledged, or protested before him; or


if none, this certificate shall show this fact
(Section 2(g), Rule VI, Notarial Rules).

D.3. SUBMISSION
A certified copy of each months entries and a
duplicate original copy of any instrument
acknowledged before the notary public shall,
within the first ten days of the month
following, be forwarded to the Clerk of Court
and shall be under the responsibility of such
officer. If there is no entry to certify for the
month, the notary shall forward a statement to
this effect in lieu of certified copies herein
required (Section 2(h), Rule VI, Notarial Rules).

E. JURISDICTION OF NOTARY PUBLIC


AND PLACE OF NOTARIZATION
A person commissioned as notary public may
perform notarial acts in any place within the
territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning
court (Sec. 11, Rule III,Notarial Rules).
This applies even if notarization is allowed in
places other than the regular place of business
of the notary public (Sec. 2(a), Rule IV, Notarial
Rules).

F. REVOCATION OF COMMISSION
(1) The Executive Judge shall revoke a notarial
commission for any ground on which an
application for a commission may be
denied;
(2) In addition, the Executive Judge may
revoke the commission of, or impose
appropriate administrative sanctions upon,
any notary public who:
(a) Fails to keep a notarial register;
(b) Fails to make the proper entry or entries
in his notarial register concerning his
notarial acts;
(c) Fails to send the copy of the entries to
the Executive Judge within the first ten
days of the month following;
(d) Fails to affix to acknowledgments the
date of expiration of his commission;

II. BY OTHER PERSONS


At the time of notarization, the notary's
notarial register shall be signed or a thumb or
other mark affixed by each:
(1) Principal;
(2) Credible witness swearing or affirming to
the identity of a principal; and
(3) Witness to a signature by thumb or other
mark, or to a signing by the notary public
on behalf of a person physically unable
to sign (Sec. 3, Rule VI, Notarial Rules).

D.2. CLOSING
At the end of each week, the notary public
shall certify in his notarial register the number
of instruments or documents executed, sworn
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(e) Fails to submit his notarial register,


when filled, to the Executive Judge;
(f) Fails to make his report, within a
reasonable time, to the Executive Judge
concerning the performance of his
duties, as may be required by the judge;
(g) Fails to require the presence of a
principal at the time of the notarial act;
(h) Fails to identify a principal on the basis
of personal knowledge or competent
evidence;
(i) Executes a false or incomplete certificate
under Section 5, Rule IV;
(j) Knowingly performs or fails to perform
any other act prohibited or mandated by
these Rules; and
(k) Commits any other dereliction or act
which in the judgment of the Executive
Judge constitutes good cause for
revocation of com-mission or imposition
of administrative sanction (Section 1(a)
and (b), Rule XI, Notarial Rules).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

When a lawyer commissioned as a notary


public fails to discharge his duties as such, he
is meted the penalties of revocation of his
notarial commission, disqualification from
being commissioned as a notary public for a
period of 2 years, and suspension from the
practice of law for 1 year (Agbulos v. Viray
(2013)).
Duties of notaries public are dictated by public
policy and impressed with public interest.
Notarization is not a routinary, meaningless
act, for notarization converts a private
document to a public instrument, making it
admissible in evidence without the necessity of
preliminary proof of its authenticity and due
execution (Tenoso vs. Echanez (2013)).

G. COMPETENT
IDENTITY

EVIDENCE

OF

Competent evidence of identity means the


identification of an individual based on:
(1) At least one current identification
document issued by an official agency
bearing the photograph and signature of
the individual; or
(2) The oath or affirmation of:
(a) One credible witness not privy to the
instrument, document or transaction
who is personally known to the notary
public and who personally knows the
individual; or
(b) Two credible witnesses neither of whom
is privy to the instrument, document or
trans-action who each personally knows
the individual and shows to the notary
public
documentary
identification
(Section 12, Rule II, Notarial Rules).

A notary public should not notarize a


document unless the person who signed the
same is the very same person who executed
and personally appeared before him to attest
to the contents and the truth of what are
stated therein. Without the personal
appearance of the person who actually
executed the document, the notary public
would be unable to verify the genuineness of
the signature of the acknowledging party and
to ascertain that the document is the partys
free act or deed.
A notarized document is, by law, entitled to
full faith and credit upon its face. It is for this
reason that a notary public must observe with
utmost care the basic requirements in the
performance of his duties; otherwise, the
publics confidence in the integrity of a
notarized document would be undermined.

H. SANCTIONS
The Executive Judge may motu proprio initiate
administrative proceedings against a notary
public
and
impose
the
appropriate
administrative sanctions on the grounds for
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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

IX. CANONS OF
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

revocation of commission mentioned (Sec. 1(d),


Rule XI, Notarial Rules).
Also, the Executive Judge shall cause the
prosecution of any person who:
(1) Knowingly acts or otherwise impersonates
a notary public;
(2) Knowingly obtains, conceals, defaces, or
destroys the seal, notarial register, or
official records of a notary public; and
(3) Knowingly solicits, coerces, or in any way
influences a notary public to commit
official misconduct.

A. ORIGIN
In 1917 and 1946, The Philippine Bar
Association (PBA) adopted the American Bar
Associations Canons of Professional Ethics.
In 1980, the IBP adopted a proposed Code of
Professional Responsibility, which was later
approved and promulgated by the SC as the
present Code of Professional Responsibility
(PCGG v. Sandiganbayan (2005)).

B. LEGAL STATUS
While the PBA enjoys high regard in the legal
community, the rules or canons it has adopted
are per se binding only on its members.
It would be grave error to declare that the
Canons of Professional Ethics, on their own,
serves as an indisputable source of obligations
and basis of penalties imposable upon
members of the Philippine legal profession.
This would violate the long-established
constitutional principle that it is the Supreme
Court which is tasked with the promulgation of
rules governing the admission to the practice
of law, as well as the pleading, practice and
procedure in all courts.
If provisions of the Canons of Professional
Ethics have jurisprudentially been enforced, or
acknowledged as basis for legal liability by the
SC, they may be recognized as a binding
standard imposable upon members of the bar,
not because said canons or the PBA itself said
so, but because the SC said so (Tinga, J., Sep.
Opinion, PCGG v. Sandiganbayan (2005)).

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I. SOURCES OF RULES
IN JUDICIAL ETHICS
A. THE NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL
CONDUCT FOR THE PHILIPPINE
JUDICIARY (BANGALORE DRAFT)
In Nov 2002, at a Roundtable Meeting of Chief
Justices held at the Peace Palace in The
Hague, the Judicial Group on Strengthening
Judicial Integrity amended and approved the
Bangalore Draft of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Intended to be the Universal Declaration of
Judicial Standards, it is founded on the
following principles:
(1) A universal recognition that a competent,
independent and impartial judiciary is
essential if the courts are to fulfill their
role in upholding constitutionalism and
the rule of law;
(2) Public confidence in the judicial system
and in the moral authority and integrity of
the judiciary is of utmost importance in a
modern democratic society; and
(3) It is essential that judges, individually and
collectively, respect and honor judicial
office as a public trust and strive to
enhance and maintain confidence in the
judicial system.
On Apr 27, 2004, the draft code was
promulgated as the New Code of Judicial
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary through
A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC and given effect on June
1, 2004.

B. CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT


The New Code of Judicial Conduct supersedes
the Canons of Judicial Ethics (1946) and the
Code of Judicial Conduct (1989). However, in
case of deficiency or absence of specific
provisions, the Canons of Judicial Ethics and
the Code of Judicial Conduct shall be

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

applicable in a suppletory character (New Code


of Judicial Conduct).

II. QUALITIES
A. INDEPENDENCE
Canon 1. Judicial independence is a
prerequisite to the rule of law and a
fundamental guarantee of fair trial. A judge
shall therefore uphold and exemplify judicial
independence in both its individual and
institutional aspects.
INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL FUNCTION
Section 1.Judges shall exercise the judicial
function independently:
(a) On the basis of their assessment of the
facts;
(b) In accordance with a conscientious
understanding of the law;
(c) Free of any extraneous influence,
inducement, pressure, threat or
interference, direct or indirect, from any
quarter or for any reason
An independent judiciary has been described
as one free of inappropriate outside
influences. Judges frequently experience
pressures in the exercise of their judicial
functions. Once a judge gives in to pressures
from whatever source, that judge is deemed to
have lost his independence and is considered
unworthy of the position.
More than just a breach of the rudiments laid
down in the Code of Judicial Conduct, judges
who succumb to pressure and, as a result,
knowingly ignore proven facts or misapply the
law in rendering a decision commit corruption.
Integrity is essential not only to the proper
discharge of the judicial office but also to the
personal demeanor of judges.
In every case, a judge should endeavor
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applicable law unswayed by partisan or


personal interests, public opinion or fear of
criticism. The fact that the complainant and his
sympathizers had staged a rally demanding
the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the
accused is not a sufficient excuse for the
unjustified haste of respondent judge's act of
fixing bail without a hearing [Libarios v.
Dabalos (1991)]
Judges must adhere to the highest tenets of
judicial conduct and must be the embodiment
of competence, integrity and independence;
not only pure but above suspicion. The
exacting standards of conduct demanded from
judges are designed to promote public
confidence in the integrity and impartiality of
the judiciary because the peoples confidence
in the judicial system is founded not only on
the magnitude of legal knowledge and the
diligence of the members of the bench, but
also on the highest standard of integrity and
moral uprightness they are expected to
possess. [Tan v. Rosete (2004)]
Mass media has its duty to fearlessly but
faithfully inform the public about events and
persons. However, when a case has received
wide and sensational publicity, the trial court
should be doubly careful not only to be fair and
impartial but also to give the appearance of
complete objectivity in its handling of the case
[Gutierrez, Jr., J., Concurring Opinion, Go v. CA
(1992)]
OUTSIDE PRESSURE
Section 2. In performing judicial duties,
judges shall be independent from judicial
colleagues in respect of decisions which the
judge is obliged to make independently.
The confessed act of succumbing to pressure is
a patent betrayel of public trust. [Ramirez v.
Corpuz-Macandog (1986)]

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

INFLUENCING OUTCOME OF LITIGATION


Section 3. Judges shall refrain from
influencing in any manner the outcome of
litigation or dispute pending before another
court or administrative agency
Sections 2 and 3 intend to curb practices or
prevent situations whereby a judge influences
the decision in a case not pending before him,
or whereby a judge hearing a case allows
himself to be influenced by another judge.
However, if the consultation is purely on an
academic or hypothetical basis, and the judge
does not surrender his or her independent
decision making, there can be no breach of
Sections 2 and 3 of the Code
In the case of Sabitsana v. Villamor (1991) the
respondent judge of the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) wrote a letter to a lower court judge of
the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) judge seeking
to influence him to hear a case and even
intimating that he issue an order of acquittal.
The High Court ruled that a judge who tries to
influence the outcome of a litigation pending
before another court not only subverts the
independence of the judiciary but also
undermines the people's faith in its integrity
and impartiality. The interference in the
decision-making process of another judge is a
breach of conduct so serious as to justify
dismissal from service based only on a
preponderance of evidence
INFLUENCE ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT
Section 4. Judges shall not allow family,
social or other relationships to influence
judicial conduct or judgment. The prestige of
judicial office shall not be used or lent to
advance the public interests of others, nor
convey or permit others to convey the
impression that they are in a special position
to influence the judge.
Under the New Code of Judicial Conduct, the
term family is extended beyond that of

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JUDICIAL ETHICS

nuclear members to include those related by


blood or marriage up to the sixth civil degree,
as well as those who belong to the judges
employ and are living in his household. These
familial ties may not influence a judge in his or
her discharge of judicial duties.
It should be noted that when a judge is
related to one of the parties within the sixth
degree of consanguinity or affinity, his
disqualification is mandatory. This provision is
intended to ensure that judges are spared from
potential influence of family members by
disqualifying them even before any opportunity
for impropriety presents itself.
This gives instruction to judges not to
allow their family members, friends and
associates to influence them in their judicial
conduct or judgment. Also importantly, a
judge should ensure that his family members,
friends and associates refrain from creating the
impression that they are in a position to
influence the judge. [(ABA Rule of Law
Initiative, New Code of Judicial Conduct for the
Philippine Judiciary (Annotated) (2007])
"Judges family" includes a judges spouse,
son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law,
and any other relative by consanguinity or
affinity within the sixth civil degree, or person
who is a companion or employee of the judge
and who lives in the judges household
[(Definitions, New Code of Judicial Conduct)].
Otherwise, the judge risks undermining public
confidence not just in him or herself, but in the
entire judicial institution [ABA (2007)]

INDEPENDENCE FROM EXECUTIVE AND


LEGISLATIVE
Section 5. Judges shall not only be free from
inappropriate
connections
with,
and
influence by, the executive and legislative
branches of government, but must also
appear to be free therefrom to a reasonable
observer.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

The reality in the Philippine political system is


that judges can easily get an appointment or
promotion with some assistance or support
from political leaders, religious groups,
military stalwarts, big companies and the
affluent. The most pervasive influence comes
from leaders in the legislature and those
closely allied with the executive department.
[ABA (2007)]
Mere congeniality between a judge and a
governor may not necessarily be unethical, but
it may still create the appearance of
impropriety. This congeniality was not
necessarily
detrimental
to
judicial
independence, provided that there was no
showing that such relations were for corrupt
ends. However, had this case been tried under
the New Code of Judicial Conduct, the judges
acts would likely have created an
appearance of an improper connection. To
the common person, the accommodation may
seem a reason for the judge to ingratiate
himself towards his benefactors, which may
ultimately be perceived as affecting the judges
ability to rule independently. Therefore,
whether or not the congenial relationship was
indeed used for corrupt ends, it would be
advisable for judges to avoid becoming
dependent on other parties, especially for basic
needs like transportation to the judges
workstation.[Re: Suspension of Clerk of Court
Rogelio R. Joboco (1998)]
Granting bail because of the request of a
congressman, despite belief that the evidence
of guilt against the accused is strong, is
reprehensible [Tahil v. Eisma (1975)).
It is absolutely essential to the proper
administration of justice that courts have full
control over the official actions of those
through whom the administration of the affairs
of the court precedes. For judicial
independence to be a reality, the least

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JUDICIAL ETHICS

interference by or influence from other


governmental departments is of the essence.
Only this Court has the authority to order a
personnel accounting of locally-funded
employees assigned in the lower courts to
determine the necessity of their detail [Alfonso
v. Alonzo-Legasto (2002])
It is desirable that the judge should, as far as
reasonably possible, refrain from all relations
which would normally tend to arouse the
suspicion that such relations warp or bias his
judgment, and prevent an impartial attitude of
mind in the administration of judicial duties
[ABA (2007]).
INDEPENDENCE FROM SOCIETY AND
PARTICULAR PARTIES
Section 6. Judges shall be independent in
relation to society in general and in relation
to the particular parties to a dispute which he
or she has to adjudicate.
Judges should not fraternize with litigants and
their counsel. In fact, they should make a
conscious effort to avoid them in order to avoid
the perception that their independence has
been compromised (ABA (2007))
A judges act of sending a member of his staff
to talk with a complainant and show copies of
his draft decisions, and his act of meeting with
litigants outside the office premises beyond
office hours violate the standard of judicial
conduct required to be observed by members
of the bench. They constitute gross misconduct
which is punishable under Rule 140, Rules of
Court [Tan v. Rosete (2004]).
SAFEGUARDS
FOR
JUDICIAL
INDEPENDENCE
Section 7. Judges shall encourage and uphold
safeguards for the discharge of judicial duties
in order to maintain and enhance the
institutional and operational independence of
the judiciary

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

PROMOTE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE


Section 8. Judges shall exhibit and promote
high standards of judicial conduct in order to
reinforce public confidence in the judiciary
which is fundamental to the maintenance of
judicial independence
Sections 7 and 8 instruct judges on what to do
to
maintain
and
enhance
judicial
independence. Section 7 requires judges to
encourage and uphold safeguards for the
discharge of judicial duties in order to maintain
and enhance judicial independence. While
Section 8 focuses on inspiring public
confidence. [They] are intended to serve as
catch-all provisions for all other acts that
would guarantee the independence of the
judiciary, but which may not have been covered
in the specific instances mentioned in the
earlier provisions [ABA (2007]).
The judge should always be imbued with a
high sense of duty and responsibility in the
discharge of his obligation to promptly and
properly administer justice. He must view
himself as a priest, for the administration of
justice is akin to a religious crusade [Dimatulac
v. Villon (1998]).

B. INTEGRITY
Canon 2. Integrity is essential not only to the
proper discharge of the judicial office but also
to the personal demeanor of judges.
The Code of Judicial Conduct not only provides
that a judge should act with integrity, but also
that he or she should so behave at all times so
as to promote public confidence in the integrity
of the judiciary.
Judges must be models of uprightness,
fairness and honesty. [Rural Bank of Barotac
Nuevo, Inc. vs. Cartagena (1978)]

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JUDICIAL ETHICS

DUTY EXTENDS TO COURT EMPLOYEES


The Court has recognized that Clerks of Court
are important officers in our judicial system.
Their office is the nucleus of all court activities,
adjudicative and administrative.
Their
administrative functions are as vital to the
prompt and proper administration of justice as
their judicial duties.
The Court has further declared that the Clerk
of Court performs a very delicate function as
the custodians of the funds and revenues,
records, property, and premises of the court,
and as such, they are liable for any loss,
shortage, destruction, or impairment of said
funds and property. [Re: Report on Financial
Audit conducted at MCTC, Santiago-San
Esteban, Ilocos Sur (2012)]
CONDUCT ABOVE REPROACH
Section 1. Judges shall ensure that not only is
their conduct above reproach, but that it is
perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable
observer.
The exacting standards of conduct demanded
from judges are designed to promote public
confidence in the integrity and impartiality of
the judiciary because the peoples confidence
in the judicial system is founded not only on
the magnitude of legal knowledge and the
diligence of the members of the bench, but
also on the highest standard of integrity and
moral uprightness they are expected to
possess. It is therefore paramount that a
judges personal behavior both in the
performance of his duties and his daily life, be
free from any appearance of impropriety as to
be beyond reproach [Tan v. Rosete (2004)].
The personal behavior of a judge should be
free from the appearance of impropriety, and
his personal behavior, not only in the bench
and in the performance of judicial duties, but
also in his everyday life, should be beyond

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

reproach. [In Re: Complaint of Mrs. Marcos


Against Judge Marcos (2001)]
With regard to professional integrity, judges
have been penalized for:
(1) Demanding and/or accepting bribes [Tan

v. Rosete (2004)];
(2) Fraternizing with litigants and/or lawyers
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)

[Dela Cruz v. Bersamin (2000]);


Altering orders [Rallos v. Gako (2000)];
Delay in rendering decisions [Fernandez v.
Hamoy (2004]);
Sexual harassment of employees [Dawa v.
De Asa (1998]); and
Ignorance of the law [Macalintal v. The
(1997]).

With respect to personal integrity, judges have


been penalized for transgressions in their
private lives such as:
(1) Keeping and/or flaunting a mistress [In Re:

Judge Marcos (2001]);


(2) Inebriated/drunk

behavior

[Lachica v.

Flordeliza (1996)];and
(3) Frequenting casinos and cockfights [City of

Tagbilaran v Hontanosas (2002)].


REAFFIRM PEOPLES FAITH
Section 2. The behavior and conduct of
judges must reaffirm the people's faith in
the integrity of the judiciary. Justice must
not only merely be done but must also be
seen to be done.
A judge has the duty to not only render a just
and impartial decision, but also render it in
such a manner as to be free from any suspicion
as to its fairness and impartiality, and also as
to the judges integrity. It is obvious, therefore,
that while judges should possess proficiency in
law in order that they can competently
construe and enforce the law, it is more
important that they should act and behave in
such a manner that the parties before them
should have confidence in their impartiality
[Sibayan-Joaquin v. Javellana (2001]).

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JUDICIAL ETHICS

DISCIPLINARY ACTION
Section 3. Judges should take or initiate
appropriate disciplinary measures against
lawyers
or
court
personnel
for
unprofessional conduct of which the judge
may have become aware.
Judges should not be lenient in in the
administrative supervision of their employees.
A judge must ensure that all court personnel
perform efficiently and promptly in the
administration of justice. [Buenaventura v.
Benedicto (1971]).

C. IMPARTIALITY
Canon 3. Impartiality is essential to the proper
discharge of the judicial office. It applies not
only to the decision itself but also to the
process by which the decision is made.
The Code of Judicial Conduct ordains that a
judge should be the embodiment of
competence, integrity and independence.
Furthermore, a judge should so behave at all
times as to promote public confidence in the
integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. In
every case, a judge shall endeavor diligently to
ascertain the facts and the applicable law
unswayed by partisan interests, public opinion
or fear of criticism.
[Barillo v. Lantin (2010)]
JUDICIAL DUTIES FREE FROM BIAS
Section 1. Judges shall perform their judicial
duties without favor, bias, or prejudice.
Bare allegations of partiality and prejudgment
will not suffice [Dimo Realty & Dev. Inc. v.
Dimaculangan (2004]). A judge's conduct must
be clearly indicative of arbitrariness and
prejudice before it can be stigmatized as
biased and partial [Cruz v. Iturralde (2003]).
EXTRAJUDICIAL SOURCE RULE
Bias and prejudice must be shown to have
resulted in an opinion on the merits on the

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

basis of an extrajudicial source, not on what


the judge learned from participating in the
case. As long as opinions formed in the course
of judicial proceedings are based on the
evidence presented and the conduct observed
by the magistrate, such opinion even if later
found to be erroneous will not prove personal
bias or prejudice on the part of the judge.
[Gochan v. Gochan (2003]).
Bias and prejudice cannot be presumed, in
light especially of a judges sacred obligation
under his oath of office to administer justice
without respect to the person, and to give
equal right to the poor and rich. There should
be clear and convincing evidence to prove the
charge; mere suspicion of partiality is not
enough. Antonio M. Lorenzana v. Judge Ma.
Cecilia I. Austria, RTC, Br. 2, Batangas City, A.M.
No. RTJ-09-2200 (April 2, 2014])
PROMOTE CONFIDENCE, IMPARTIALITY
Section 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.
There is undue interference where the judge's
participation in the conduct of the trial tends to
build or to bolster a case of one of the parties
such as when he orders the presentation of
specific documentary evidence without motion
from any party or without participation of the
parties as in the case of Ty v. Banco Filipino
Savings and Mortgage Bank (2004).
[However,]it is within the sound discretion of
the trial judge to ask questions from witnesses,
if only to clarify what may appear to be vague
points in the narration. Questions designed to
avoid obscurity in the testimony and to elicit
additional relevant evidence are not improper
[Paco et al. v. Quilala (2003)].

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A judge may not be legally prohibited from


sitting in a litigation. But when suggestion is
made of record that he might be induced to act
in favor of one party or with bias or prejudice
against a litigant arising out of circumstance
reasonably capable of inciting such a state of
mind, he should conduct a careful selfexamination. He should exercise his discretion
in a way that the people's faith in the courts of
justice is not impaired [Pimentel v. Salanga
(1967]).
A judge should behave at all times in a way
that promotes public confidence in the
integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. The
appearance of bias or prejudice can be as
damaging to public confidence and the
administration of justice as actual bias or
prejudice [Montemayor v. Bemejo (2004)].
MINIMIZE
INSTANCES
OF
DISQUALIFICATIONS
Section 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.
The underlying reason for the rules on
disqualification is to ensure that a judge,
sitting in a case, will at all times be free from
inclinations or prejudices and be well capable
to render a just and independent judgment.
A litigant is entitled to nothing less than the
cold neutrality of a judge. Due process requires
it [Parayno v. Meneses (1994]).
PUBLIC COMMENTS ON PENDING AND
IMPENDING CASES
Section 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

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

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.
This Section warns judges against making any
comment that might reasonably be expected
to affect the outcome of the proceedings
before them or "impair the manifest fairness of
the process. [ABA (2007)]
In Martinez v. Gironella (1975), a judge was
disqualified from trying a murder case against
the accused (as principal), because, in a
decision in a prior case involving an alleged
accessory, he stated that the accused in the
present case committed the crime.
In Gutierrez vs. Santos (1961) a judges act of
recusing himself from presiding over a case
was upheld by the Supreme Court. While in
private practice, the judge had expressed an
opinion concerning an issue that would unduly
benefit one of the parties. However, the
Supreme Court has recently held that judges
and justices are not disqualified from
participating in a case simply because they
have written legal articles on the law involved
in the case [Chavez v. Public Estates Authority
(2003)]
VOLUNTARY DISQUALIFICATIONS
Section 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 where:
(a) The judge has actual bias or prejudice
concerning a party or personal
knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts
concerning the proceedings;
(b) The judge previously served as a lawyer
or was a material witness in the matter

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(c)

(d)

(e)
(f)

(g)

JUDICIAL ETHICS

in controversy;
The judge, or a member of his or her
family, has an economic interest in the
outcome of the matter in controversy;
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;
The judge's ruling in a lower court is the
subject of review;
The judge is related by consanguinity or
affinity to a party litigant within the 6th
civil degree or to counsel within the
fourth civil degree; or
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.

ACTUAL BIAS OR PREJUDICE


In Umale v. Villaluz (1973), a judge inhibited
himself from trying a robbery case due to his
personal knowledge of the case. The Supreme
Court stated that it is possible that the
respondent Judge might be influenced by his
personal knowledge of the case when he tries
and decides the same on the merits, which
would certainly constitute a denial of due
process to the party adversely affected by his
judgment or decision. Thus, it is best that, after
some reflection, the judge, on his own initiative
disqualified himself from hearing the case.
ECONOMIC INTEREST OF JUDGE OR HIS
FAMILY
In Oktubre v. Velasco (2004), a municipal
judge, as private complainant, caused three
criminal complaints to be filed before his own

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

court. He also issued a warrant of arrest and


subpoenas before finally inhibiting himself
from hearing the cases. The Supreme Court
found him guilty of grave misconduct, gross
ignorance of the law and grave abuse of
authority, and dismissed him from service. It
stated that the idea that a judge can preside
over his own case is anathema to the notion of
impartiality and that his subsequent inhibition
from the three cases does not detract from his
culpability for he should not have taken
cognizance of the cases in the first place.
REVIEWING OWN CASES
In Sandoval v. CA (1996), the Supreme Court
that an Associate Justice who only partly
presided over a case in the trial court and who
did not render the final decision cannot be said
to have been placed in a position where he had
to review his own decision and, as such, was
not legally bound, on this ground, to inhibit
himself as ponente of the case. Nevertheless, it
was held that he should have voluntarily
inhibited himself for his earlier involvement in
the case constitutes just or valid reason under
Section 1, Rule 137. A judge should not handle a
case in which he might be perceived, rightly or
wrongly, to be susceptible to bias and
partiality.
PREVIOUSLY SERVED AS COUNSEL
A judge may validly disqualify himself due to
his bias and prejudice. [However,] bias and
prejudice cannot be presumed [Soriano v.
Angeles (2000)].
PERMITTAL OF DISQUALIFICATION
Section 6. A judge disqualified as stated
above may, instead of withdrawing from the
proceeding, disclose on the records the basis
of disqualification. If based on such
disclosure, the parties and lawyers
independently of a judge's participation, all
agree in writing that the reason for the
inhibition is immaterial or unsubstantial, the
judge may then participate in the proceeding.

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The agreement, signed by all parties and


lawyers, shall be incorporated in the record of
the proceedings.
The decision to continue hearing the case,
despite the existence of reasons for
disqualification should be: (1) coupled with a
bona fide disclosure to the parties-in-litigation,
and (2) subject to express acceptance by all the
parties of the cited reason as not material or
substantial; absent these two, the judge may
not be permitted to continue hearing the case..
The basis of the disqualification should be
disclosed, not mere personal reasons [ABA
(2007]).
The Court held that there is nothing in Rule V
or in any other part of the Internal Rules of the
Court of Appeals that specifically requires that
the party-litigants be informed of the
mandatory or voluntary inhibition of a Justice.
However, the Court held that henceforth all the
parties in any action or proceedings should be
immediately notified of any mandatory
disqualification or voluntary inhibition of the
Justice who has participated in any action of
the court, stating the reason for the mandatory
disqualification or voluntary inhibition. The
requirement of notice is a measure to ensure
that the disqualification or inhibition has not
been resorted to in order to cause injustice to
or to prejudice any party or cause [Re: letters of
Judge Eduardo (2014)].

D. PROPRIETY
Canon 4. Propriety and the appearance of
propriety are essential to the performance of
all the activities of a judge.
AVOIDANCE OF IMPROPRIETY
Section 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and
the appearance of impropriety in all of their
activities.
By prohibiting not only impropriety but even
the appearance of impropriety, the Code

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

recognizes that even acts that are not per se


improper can nevertheless be perceived by the
larger community as such [ABA (2007)]. This is
so because the community holds judges to
higher standards of integrityand ethical
conduct than attorneys and other persons not
invested with public trust. [Oca v. Estacion Jr.)
Acts of judges which are not illegal but may
still violate the Code:
(1) Hearing cases on the day when the judge
was supposed to be on official leave [Re:

Anonymous Complaint Against Acua


(2005]);
(2) Hearing a motion while on vacation in the
judges room dressed in a polo jacket

[Ignacio v. Valenzuela (1982]);


(3) Coming out of a hotel together with a
subordinate, even when there is no clear
evidence of sexual congress [Liwanag v.

Lustre (1999]);
(4) Making a joking remark to a litigant
suggesting for the latter to prove that he
harbored no ill feelings toward the judge

[Co v. Plata (2005]);


(5) Admonishing the bride and the groom,
after conducting a marriage ceremony, to
sexually satisfy each other so that they will
not go astray [Hadap v. Lee (1982]).
(6) Posting credentials as judge in Friendster
and posting a picture with indecent attire
[Lorenzana v. Austria (2014)]
Violent action in a public place, whatever the
motive, constitutes serious misconduct and
resultant outrage of the community [Arban v.
Boraha (1989]).
ACCEPTANCE OF PERSONAL RESTRICTIONS
Section 2. As a subject of constant public
scrutiny, judges must accept personal
restrictions that might be viewed as
burdensome by the ordinary citizen and
should do so freely and willingly. In
particular, judges shall conduct themselves
in a way that is consistent with the dignity of
the judicial office.

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While judges are only human, their acceptance


of the judicial position means that more is
expected from them than from ordinary
citizens, as their acts, both public and private,
color the publics perception of the judiciary as
a whole.
As subjects of constant public scrutiny,
personal restrictions that might be viewed as
burdensome by the ordinary citizen should be
freely and willingly accepted by a judge. In
particular, he or she must exhibit conduct
consistent with the dignity of the judicial office.
Dignified conduct is best described as conduct
befitting men and women possessed of
temperance and respect for the law and for
others.
Indeed, a judges personal behavior, not only
while in the performance of official duties,
must be beyond reproach, being the visible
personification of law and of justice [Re:
Anonymous Complaint Against Acua (2005)].
Some instances when judges were rebuked:
(1) Making sexually suggestive advances to
women [Mariano v. Gonzales (1982)];
(2) Writing letter to a married woman to
come to the sala after 5 pm [Hadap v. Lee
(1982)];
(3) Assigning a female stenographer to a
judges chamber [Ritual v. Valencia
(1978)];
AVOIDANCE OF CONTROVERSY
Section 3.Judges shall, in their personal
relations with individual members of the
legal profession who practice regularly in
their court, avoid situations which might
reasonably give rise to the suspicion or
appearance of favoritism or partiality.
A judge is commanded at all times to be
mindful of the high calling of a dispassionate
and impartial arbiter expected at all times to
be a cerebral man who deliberately holds in

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

check the tug and pull of purely personal


preferences which he shares with his fellow
mortals. [Oca v. Paderanga (2005)]. Judges
should refrain from inviting counsel for one
side into their chambers after or prior to
sessions in court without disclosing to theother
counsel the reason for such meetings,
[Martinez v. Gironella (1975); being aggressive
in demeanor towards a lawyerappearing
before them, [Royeca v. Aminas (1976)]; and
making public comments, or allowing court
staff to make comments, onpending cases,
[Geotina v Gonzales (1971)].
NOT PARTICIPATE IN CASES WHERE HE
MAY BE IMPARTIAL
Section 4. Judges shall not participate in the
determination of a case in which any member
of their family represents a litigant or is
associated in any manner with the case.
This rule rests on the principle that no judge
should preside in a case in which the judge is
not wholly free, disinterested, impartial and
independent. A judge has both the duty of
rendering a just decision and the duty of doing
it in a manner completely free from suspicion
as to fairness and integrity. The purpose is to
preserve the peoples faith and confidence in
the courts of justice(ABA (2007)).
NOT ALLOW THE USE OF HIS RESIDENCE BY
OTHER LAWYERS
Section 5. Judges shall not allow the use of
their residence by a member of the legal
profession to receive clients of the latter or of
other members of the legal profession.
It is grossly improper for a judge to meet with a
litigant at his home and to frequent the
karaoke bar owned by such litigant, enjoying
the use thereof for free [J. King & Sons v.
Hontanosas (2004)].
Fraternizing with litigants tarnishes the
appearance of impartiality. It is improper for a

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judge to meet privately with the accused


without the presence of the complainant [De
Guzman, Jr. v. Sison (2001)].
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Section 6. Judges, like any other citizen, are
entitled to freedom of expression, belief,
association and assembly, but in exercising
such rights, they shall always conduct
themselves in such a manner as to preserve
the dignity of the judicial office and the
impartiality and independence of the
judiciary.
While judges are not expected to live a hermitlike existence or cease functioning as citizens
of the Republic, they should remember that
they do not disrobe themselves of their judicial
office upon leaving their salas.
In the exercise of their civil liberties, judges
should be circumspect and ever mindful that
their continuing commitment to upholding the
judiciary and its values places upon them
certain implied restraints to their freedom.
[ABA (2007]).
The use of expletives [In Re Judge Acuna] and
display of unbecoming behaviour through
sarcastic comments [Seludo v. Fineza] are
frowned upon by the Court.
BE INFOMED OF HIS FINANCIAL INTERESTS
Section 7. Judges shall inform themselves
about their personal fiduciary financial
interests and shall make reasonable efforts to
be informed about the financial interests of
members of their family.
Under Section 7(a), RA 6713, public officials and
employees are prohibited from directly or
indirectly having any financial or material
interest in any transaction requiring the
approval of their office.
The Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that a
judge shall refrain from financial and business

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

dealings that tend to reflect adversely on the


courts impartiality, interfere with the proper
performance of judicial activities, or increase
involvement with lawyers or persons likely to
come before the court. A judge should so
manage investments and other financial
interests as to minimize the number of cases
giving grounds for disqualification [Catbagan
v. Barte (2005)].
INFLUENCE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT
Section 8. Judges shall not:
(a) Use or lend the prestige of the judicial
office to advance their private interests,
or those of a member of their family or of
anyone else;
(b) Convey or permit others to convey the
impression that anyone is in a special
position improperly to influence them in
the performance of judicial duties.
This rule has two parts. The first is that a judge
may not use judicial office to advance private
interests. The second is that a judge may not
give the impression that he or she can be
influenced to use the judicial office to advance
the private interests of others.
A judge who, as creditor, filed a collection case
in a venue where he was one of the trial judges,
was severely censured by the Supreme Court,
stating that a sense of propriety should have
impelled him to desist from filing in said
venue, even when, under the law, he had the
choice of venue. In the eyes of the public, it
arouses suspicion, rightly or wrongly, that
advantage is being taken of ones position
(Javier v. De Guzman, Jr. (1990)).
It was improper when, after a confrontation
between a judges son and the sons teacher,
the judge had the teacher arrested and
arraigned before him. [AmJur; Matter of
Edwards (1995)].

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CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Section 9. Confidential information acquired
by judges in their judicial capacity shall not
be used or disclosed by, for any other purpose
related to their judicial duties.
A judges act of personally furnishing a party
copies of orders issued, without the same
passing through the court docket, is highly
irregular, giving rise to the suspicion that the
judge is partial to one of the parties in the case
pending before him [Co v. Calimag (2000]).
Records of cases are necessarily confidential,
and to preserve their integrity and
confidentiality, access thereto ought to be
limited only to the judge, the parties or their
counsel and the appropriate court personnel in
charge of the custody thereof. It is improper to
allow a judges wife, who is not a court
employee, much less the employee specifically
in charge of the custody of said records, to
have access thereto [Gordon v. Lilagan (2001)].
ENGAGE IN OTHER ACTIVITIES
Section 10. Subject to the proper performance
of judicial duties, judges may:
(a) Write, lecture, teach, and participate in
activities concerning the law, the legal
system, the administration of justice or
related matters;
(b) Appear at a public hearing before an
official body concerned with matters
relating to the law, the legal system, the
administration of justice or related
matters;
(c) Engage in other activities if such
activities do not detract from the dignity
of the judicial office or otherwise
interfere with the performance of judicial
duties.
This section should be read in conjunction with
Section 12, Article VIII, Constitution, which
prohibits members of the judiciary from being
designated to any agency performing quasijudicial or administrative functions.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Thus, membership of a judge in a Provincial


Committee on Justice, which discharges
administrative functions, will be in violation of
the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court
stated that this does not mean that judges
should adopt monastic insensibility or
unbecoming indifference to such institutions
and that even as non-members, they should
render assistance to help promote the
laudable purposes for which they exist when
such assistance may be reasonably incidental
to the fulfillment of their judicial duties [In Re:
Designation of Judge Manzano (1988]).
This section allows the judge to participate in
legal academia and public discourse on legal
matters with the proviso that there shall be no
interference in the performance of the judges
primary functions with respect to his or her
jurisdiction. However, in dealing with the
media, the Philippine Judicial Academy
suggests that a judge or court should avoid
acrimonious debate with reporters and the
public, for a knee jerk reaction from the court
or judge may only provoke negative follow-up
reports and articles [ABA (2007)].
PRACTICE OF PROFESSION
Section 11. Judges shall not practice law
whilst the holder of judicial office.
This prohibition is based on public policy
because the rights, duties, privileges and
functions of the office of an attorney-at-law are
inherently incompatible with the high official
functions, duties, powers, discretion and
privileges of a judge. It also aims to ensure that
judges give their full time and attention to their
judicial duties, prevent them from extending
special favors to their own private interests and
assure the public of their impartiality in the
performance of their functions [Carual v.
Brusola (1999]).

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General rule: Municipal judges may not engage


in notarial work.
Exception: They may do so as notaries public
ex-officio, in which case, they may only notarize
documents connected with the exercise of their
official functions. As such, they may not
undertake
the
preparation
and
acknowledgement of private documents,
contracts and other acts of conveyance, which
bear no relation to the performance of their
functions as judges.
Exception to the exception: In far-flung
municipalities which have neither lawyers nor
notaries public, municipal judges assigned to
those municipalities or circuits may, in their
capacity as notaries public ex-officio, perform
any act within the competence of a regular
notary public, provided:
(1) All notarial fees charged be for the
account of the Government and turned
over to the municipal treasurer; and
(2) A certification be made in the notarized
documents attesting to the lack of any
lawyer or notary public in such
municipality or circuit [Tabao v. Asis
(1996)].
FORM ASSOCIATIONS
Section 12. Judges may form or join
associations of judges or participate in other
organizations representing the interests of
judges.
This rule recognizes a difference between
membership in associations of judges and
membership in associations of other legal
professionals. While attendance at lavish
events hosted by lawyers might create an
appearance of impropriety, participation in
judges-only organizations does not [ABA
(2007)].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

GIFTS, REQUESTS, LOANS


Section 13. Judges and members of their
families shall neither ask for, or accept, any
gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to
anything done or to be done or omitted to be
done by him or her in connection with the
performance of judicial duties.
Under Section 7(d), RA 6713, prohibits
solicitation or acceptance by public officials
and employees, directly or indirectly, of any
gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or
anything of monetary value from any person in
the course of their official duties or in
connection with any operation being regulated
by, or any transaction which may be affected
by the functions of their office.
The act of a judge in demanding and receiving
money from a party-litigant before his court
constitute serious misconduct in office. It is this
kind of gross and flaunting misconduct on the
part of those who are charged with the
responsibility of administering the law and
rendering justice that so quickly and surely
corrodes the respect for law and the courts
without which government cannot continue
and that tears apart the very bonds of our
polity [Haw Tay v. Singayao (1987]).
GIFTS, REQUESTS, LOANS BY STAFF
Section 14. Judges shall not knowingly permit
court staff of others subject to their influence,
direction or authority, to ask for, or accept
any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to
anything done or to be done or omitted to be
done in connection with their duties of
functions.
This section complements the previous section
and assures that what the judge cannot do
directly may not be done indirectly through the
use of employees or staff members [ABA
(2007]).

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PERMISSIBLE TOKENS AND REWARDS


Section 15. Subject to law and to any legal
requirements of public disclosure, judges
may receive a token, gift, award, or benefit as
appropriate to the occasion on which it is
made provided that such gift, award of
benefit might not reasonably be perceived as
intended to influence the judge in the
performance of judicial duties or otherwise
give rise to an appearance of partiality.
General rule: Judges and members of their
families are prohibited from accepting any
token, gift, award or benefit.
Exception: Subject to legal requirements like
public disclosure, they may accept gifts
provided that it might not reasonably be
perceived as intended to influence judge.
As to gifts or grants from foreign governments,
Section 7(d),RA 6713 allows:
(a) A gift of nominal value tendered and
received as a souvenir or mark of courtesy;
(b) A gift in the nature of a scholarship or
fellowship grant or medical treatment; or
(c) Travel grants or expenses for travel taking
place entirely outside the Philippine of
more than nominal value if such
acceptance is:
(i)
Appropriate or consistent with the
interests of the Philippines; and
(ii)
Permitted by the head of office, branch
or agency to which he belongs.

E. EQUALITY
Canon 5. Ensuring equality of treatment to all
before the courts is essential to the due
performance of the judicial office.
This is a new canon not found in the previous
codes of judicial conduct. It expands the
measures to promote equality required by
international human rights agreements [ABA
(2007]).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

As the guardians of justice, courts must adhere


to the principle of equality. People expect the
courts to be unaffected by differences in social
status, degree of education, and even physical
abilities
UNDERSTANDING DIVERSITY IN SOCIETY
Section 1. Judges shall be aware of, and
understand, diversity in society and
differences arising from various sources,
including but not limited to race, color, sex,
religion, national origin, caste, disability, age,
marital status, sexual orientation, social and
economic status and other like causes.
To render substantial justice and maintain
public confidence in the judicial system, judges
are expected to be aware of the diversity in
society that results from an increased
worldwide exchange of people and ideas.
Judges must be able to avoid the infiltration of
preconceptions into their decisions [ABA
(2007)].
NOT TO MANIFEST BIAS OR PREJUDICE
Section 2. Judges shall not, in the
performance of judicial duties, by words or
conduct, manifest bias or prejudice towards
any person or group on irrelevant grounds.
In every litigation, perhaps much more so in
criminal cases, the manner and attitude of a
trial judge are crucial to everyone concerned,
the offended party, no less than the accused.
It is not for him to indulge or even to give the
appearance of catering to the at times human
failing of yielding to first impressions.
He is to refrain from reaching
conclusions or prejudging matters.

hasty

Judges should avoid private remarks, hasty


conclusions, or distasteful jokes that may give
even erroneous impressions of prejudice and
lead public to believe that cases before them
are being prejudged[Castillo v. Juan (1975)]

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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

NOT TO DIFFERENTIATE
Section 3. Judges shall carry out judicial
duties with appropriate consideration for all
persons, such as the parties, witnesses,
lawyers, court staff and judicial colleagues,
without differentiation on any irrelevant
ground,
immaterial
to
the
proper
performance of such duties.

Verily, a judge may, in the exercise of his sound


discretion, inhibit himself voluntarily from
sitting in a case, but it should be based on
good, sound or ethical grounds, or for just and
valid reasons. No less than imperative is that it
is the judges sacred duty to administer justice
without fear or favor [Parayno v. Meneses
(1994)].

Unequal and disparate treatment in the


courthouse, whether intentional or perceived,
is unacceptable and can negatively impact the
professional lives of attorneys and employees,
the assessment of claims of litigants, and the
respect and credibility of the justice system
[ABA (2007]).

Judges should conduct proceedings in court


with dignity and in a manner that reflects the
importance and seriousness of proceedings.
They should maintain order and proper
decorum in the court [Rule 3.03, Canon 3, 1989
Code of Judicial Conduct].

NOT TO INFLUENCE STAFF


Section 4. Judges shall not knowingly permit
court staff or others subject to his or her
influence, direction or control to differentiate
between persons concerned, in a matter
before the judge, on any irrelevant ground.
Judges should organize their courts to ensure
the prompt and convenient dispatch of
business and should not tolerate misconduct
by clerks, sheriffs and other assistants who are
sometimes prone to expect favors or special
treatment due to their professional
relationship with the judge.
Court personnel shall not discriminate by
dispensing special favors to anyone. [Section 3,
Canon 1, Code of Conduct for Court Personnel].
ATTITUDE TO PARTIES APPEARING IN
COURT
Section 5. Judges shall require lawyers in
proceedings before the court to refrain from
manifesting, by words or conduct, bias or
prejudice based on irrelevant grounds, except
such as are legally relevant to an issue in
proceedings and may be the subject of
legitimate advocacy.

Since judges set the tone and environment of


the court proceedings, they should censure
lawyers who use sexist language or
inappropriate behavior in court [ABA (2007)
citing AmJur; In Re Romano (1999)]

F. COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE


Canon 6. Competence and diligence are
prerequisites to the due performance of
judicial office.
A judge must be the embodiment of
competence, integrity and independence, and
be studiously careful to avoid the slightest
infraction of the law, lest it be a demoralizing
example to others [OCA v. Gines (1993)].
The Court held that decision-making, among
other duties, is the primordial and most
important duty of a member of the bench. The
speedy disposition of cases in the courts is a
primary aim of the judiciary so the ends of
justice may not be compromised and the
judiciary will be true to its commitment to
provide litigants their constitutional right to a
speedy trial and a speedy disposition of their
cases. A member of the bench cannot pay
mere lip service to the 90-day requirement;
he/she should instead persevere in its

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implementation.
Heavy
caseload
and
demanding workload are not valid reasons to
fall behind the mandatory period for
disposition of cases. [Office of the Court
Administrator v.
Judge Borromeo R.
Bustamante, Municipal Trial Court in Cities,
Alaminos City, Pangasinan, (2014)]
Competence is a mark of a good judge. When
a judge displays an utter lack of familiarity with
the rules, he erodes the publics confidence in
the competence of our courts. It is highly
imperative that judges be conversant with the
law and basic legal principles. Basic legal
procedures must be at the palm of a judges
hands [Hipe v. Literato (2012)]
DUTIES TAKE PRECEDENCE
Section 1. The judicial duties of a judge take
precedence over all other activities.
A judge may, in the exercise of his discretion,
inhibit himself voluntarily from sitting in a
case, but it should be based on good, sound or
ethical grounds, or for just and valid reasons.
No less than imperative is that it is the judges
sacred duty to administer justice without fear
or favor [Parayno v. Meneses(1994)]
PERFORM ADMINISTRAIVE DUTIES
Section 2. Judges shall devote their
professional activity to judicial duties, which
include not only the performance of judicial
functions and responsibilities in court and the
making of decisions, but also other tasks
relevant to the judicial office or the court's
operations.
Failure to speedily dispose of cases on account
of missing records of cases reflects an
inefficient and disorderly system in the
recording of cases assigned to a judges sala.
Proper and efficient court management is as
much the judges responsibility, for the court
personnel are not the guardians of a judges
responsibilities. A judge is expected to ensure

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

that the records of cases assigned to his sala


are intact. There is no justification for missing
records, except fortuitous events. [Longboan v.
Polig (1990])
Respondent Judge Indar should be reminded
of his personal responsibility in the making of
his decisions and orders. He should not rely on
anybody else for the examination and study of
the records to properly ascertain the facts of
each case that he handles. He cannot simply
pass the blame on his staff and hide behind
the incompetence of his subordinates [Espina
v. Indar (2011)].
MAINTAIN PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
Section 3. Judges shall take reasonable steps
to maintain and enhance their knowledge,
skills, and personal qualities necessary for the
proper performance of judicial duties, taking
advantage for this purpose of the training and
other facilities which should be made
available, under judicial control, to judges.
When a judge accepts his position, he owes it
to the dignity of the court, to the legal
profession, and to the public, to know the very
law he is supposed to apply to a given
controversy. Even in the remaining years of his
stay in the judiciary he should keep abreast
with the changes in the law and with the latest
decisions and precedents.
BE INFORMED ABOUT THE LAW
Section 4. Judges shall keep themselves
informed about the relevant developments of
international law, including international
conventions
and
other
instruments
establishing human rights norms.
Subject to the conditions set forth in Section 2,
Article II and Section 21, Article VII,
Constitution,
international
law,
both
customary and conventional, are part of
Philippine law.

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When an error is so gross and patent, such


error produces an inference of bad faith,
making the judge liable for gross ignorance of
the law [Jorda v Bitas (2014)].
Where the law involved is simple and
elementary, lack of conversance therewith
constitutes gross ignorance of the law. Judges
are expected to exhibit more than just cursory
acquaintance with statutes and procedural
laws. They must know the laws and apply them
properly in all good faith. Judicial competence
requires no less. The disregard of established
rule of law which amounts to gross ignorance
of the law makes a judge subject to disciplinary
action [Bautista v. Causapin Jr. (2011)].
However, not every judicial error is tantamount
to ignorance of the law and if it was committed
in good faith, the judge need not be subjected
to administrative sanction [Abanado v. Bayona
(2012)].
PROMPT DECISION MAKING
Section 5. Judges shall perform all judicial
duties, including the delivery of reserved
decisions, efficiently, fairly, and with
reasonable promptness.
Prompt disposition of cases is attained
basically through the efficiency and dedication
to duty of judges. While rules prescribing the
time within which certain acts must be done
should be regarded as mandatory, the Court
has nevertheless been mindful of the plight of
judges and has been understanding of
circumstances that may hinder them from
promptly disposing of their businesses and, as
such, has allowed extensions of time due to
justifiable reasons. [Dulang v. Judge Regencia
(2014.)]
Every judge should decide cases with dispatch
and should be careful, punctual, and observant
in the performance of his functions for delay in
the disposition of cases erodes the faith and
confidence of our people in the judiciary,

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

lowers its standards and brings it into


disrepute. Failure to decide a case within the
reglementary period is not excusable and
constitutes gross inefficiency warranting the
imposition of administrative sanctions on the
defaulting judge [In Re Cases for Decisions
Submited to Judge Baluma (2013)].
MAINTAIN ORDER IN PROCEEDINGS
Section 6. Judges shall maintain order and
decorum in all proceedings before the court
and be patient, dignified, and courteous in
relation to litigants, witnesses, lawyers, and
others with whom the judge deals in an official
capacity. Judges shall require similar conduct
of legal representatives, court staff and others
subject to their influence, direction, and control
Under earlier versions of Canons of Judicial
Ethics, it was held that the courts are made for
the litigants, not the litigants for the courts.
Punctuality was required recognizing that the
time of the litigants, witnesses, and attorneys
is of value. Judges are not allowed to tolerate
abuses and neglect by clerks, sheriffs, and
other assistants and to exhibit undue
interference, impatience, or participation in the
examination of witnesses. [ABA (2007)]
A judge was found guilty of committing acts
unbecoming of a judge and abuse of authority
when he shouted invectives and threw a chair,
resulting in wrist and other injuries to the
complainant [Briones v. Ante, Jr. (2002]).
Another judge was found guilty of serious
misconduct and inefficiency by reason of
habitual tardiness. He was fined and
suspended for judicial indolence [Yu-Asensi v.
Villanueva (2000)].
NOT TO ENGAGE IN CONDUCT CONTRARY
TO DUTIES
Section 7. Judges shall not engage in conduct
incompatible with the diligent discharge of
judicial duties.

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LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

When a judge accepts his position, he owes it


to the dignity of the court, to the legal
profession, and to the public, to know the very
law he is supposed to apply to a given
controversy. Even in the remaining years of his
stay in the judiciary he should keep abreast
with the changes in the law and with the latest
decisions and precedents

III.
DISCIPLINE
OF
MEMBERS OF THE
JUDICIARY

Although a judge is nearing retirement he


should not relax in his study of the law and
court decisions. Service in the judiciary means
a continuous study and research on the law
from beginning to end [Ajeno v. Inserto (1976])

A.1. IMPEACHMENT

Judges are not, however, expected to be


infallible; not every error or irregularity
committed by judges in the performance of
official duties is subject to administrative
sanction. In the absence of bad faith, fraud,
dishonesty, or deliberate intent to do injustice,
incorrect rulings do not constitute misconduct
and may not give rise to a charge of gross
ignorance of the law [Cruz v. Iturralde (2003)].
Disciplinary proceedings and criminal actions
against judges are not complementary or
suppletory of, nor a substitute for, these
judicial remedies, whether ordinary or
extraordinary. Resort to and exhaustion of
these judicial remedies are prerequisites for
the taking of other measures against the
persons of the judges concerned, whether of
civil, administrative, or criminal nature. It is
only after the available judicial remedies have
been exhausted and the appellate tribunals
have spoken with finality that the door to an
inquiry into his criminal, civil, or administrative
liability may be said to have opened, or closed
[Maquiran v. Grageda (2005)].

A. SUPREME COURT
Members of the Supreme Court may be
removed from office on impeachment for, and
conviction of, culpable violation of the
Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and
corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of
public trust (Section 2, Article X, 1987 Consti).
The impeachment of public officials has been
established
for
removing
otherwise
constitutionally tenured and independent
public officials for culpable violation of the
Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and
corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of
public trust. The power to initiate
impeachment cases rests with the House while
the power to try the same rests with the
Senate.
Based on Section 3, Article VI, Constitution, the
steps leading to impeachment are as follows:
(1) A verified complaint for impeachment is
filed by a member of the House or
endorsed by him;
(2) The complaint is included in the order of
business of the House;
(3) The House refers the complaint to the
proper committee;
(4) The committee holds a hearing, approves
the resolution calling for impeachment,
and submits the same to the House;
(5) The House considers the resolution and
votes to approve it by at least one-third of
all its members, which resolution becomes
the article of impeachment to be filed with
the Senate when approved; and

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(6) The Senate tries the public official under


the article [Abad, J., Separate Concurring

Opinion, Guttierez v. HOR Committee on


Justice (2011]).

A.2. IMPEACHMENT OF FORMER CHIEF


JUSTICE CORONA
On December 12, 2011, the House of
Representatives voted to impeach Chief Justice
Corona. They charged him with eight articles of
impeachment alleging:
(1) Betrayal of public trust;
(2) Graft and corruption; and
(3) Culpable violation of the Constitution.
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT
Article I:Partiality and subservience in cases
involving the Arroyo administration;
Article II:Failure to disclose to the public his
statement of assets and liabilities;
Article III:Flip-flopping decisions in final and
executory
cases,
creating
excessive
entanglement with Former President Arroyo,
and discussing with litigants regarding the
cases pending before the Supreme Court;
Article IV:Irregularities in issuing a quo-ante
order against the House of Representatives in
the impeachment of then Ombudsman
Merceditas Gutierrez;
Article V:Gerrymandering in the case of the 16newly created cities and promotion of Dinagat
into a province;
Article VI:Improper investigation in the
plagiarism case of Associate Justice Mariano
del Castillo;
Article VII: Granting a temporary restraining
order to Former President Arroyo and husband
Mike Arroyo after the Department of Justice
prevented them to go out of the country;
Article VIII:Graft and corruption when he failed
and refused to account for the judiciary
development fund and special allowance for
the judiciary collections.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

On January 16, 2012, the Senate, sitting as an


impeachment court, began the trial. The
prosecution dropped Articles I, IV, V, VI, VII,
VIII, leaving only Articles II and III as their
grounds for impeachment.
On May 29, 2012, the Senate found Chief
Justice Corona guilty under Article II of the
articles of impeachment for his failure to
declare his true statements of assets, liabilities
and net worth. After 20 senators voted in favor
of impeachment under this ground, the Senate
no longer voted under Article III. Three
senators voted to acquit Corona on that
ground.

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE USED


An impeachment proceeding is sui generis; it is
neither purely political nor criminal. Thus, it
does not require proof beyond reasonable
doubt. In the course of the impeachment trial,
the senator-judges expressed differing views.
Some argued that it requires clear and
convincing proof, while some argued that it
needs preponderance of evidence.
The Senate has traditionally left the choice of
the applicable standard of proof to each
individual Senator [Black, Impeachment: A
Handbook (1974)).

IMPEACHMENT (ETHICAL ASPECTS)


Former Chief Justice Corona was the first
justice of the Supreme Court to be impeached
and convicted.
He was found guilty for culpable violation of
the Constitution and/or betrayal of public trust
for not correctly declaring his statements of
assets, liabilities and net worth.
The prosecution alleges that he inaccurately
declared his peso and dollar deports, and real
estate properties.

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The defense argues that he did not declare his


dollar deposits and peso deposits because of
the banking secrecy and foreign currency
deposit laws. It was also said that some
undeclared assets are also co-mingled funds
that he does not own solely.

B. JUDGES OF THE LOWER COURTS


AND JUSTICES OF COURT OF
APPEALS AND SANDIGANBAYAN
TENURE
The members of the Supreme Court and
judges of lower courts shall hold office during
a good behavior until they reach the age of
seventy years or become incapacitated to
discharge the duties of their office.

DISCIPLINING BODY IS THE SC


The Supreme Court en banc shall have the
power to discipline judges of lower courts, or
order their dismissal by a vote of majority of
the Members who actually took part in the
deliberations on the issues in the case and
voted thereon (Section 11, Article VIII,
Constitution).
General rule: A judge cannot be subjected to
liability civil, criminal, or administrative for
any his official acts, not matter how erroneous,
as long as he acts in good faith [Valdez v.
Valera (1978)].
Ratio: A judicial officer, in exercising the
authority vested in him, shall be free to act
upon
his
own
convictions,
without
apprehension of personal consequences to
himself.
This concept of judicial immunity rests upon
consideration of public policy, its purpose
being to preserve the integrity and
independence of the judiciary[Pabalan v.
Guevarra (1976)].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

HOW INSTITUTED
Proceedings for the discipline of judges of
regular and special courts and justices of the
Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan may
be instituted:
(1) Motu proprioby the Supreme Court;
(2) Upon the verified complaint, supported by
affidavits of persons who have personal
knowledge of the facts alleged therein or
by documents which may substantiate
said allegations; or
(3) Upon
an
anonymous
complaint,
supported by public records of indubitable
integrity.
The complaint shall be in writing and shall
state clearly and concisely the acts and
omissions constituting violations of standards
of conduct prescribed for judges(Sec. 1, Rule
140).
The right to institute disbarment proceedings
is not confined to clients nor is it necessary that
the person complaining suffered injury from
the alleged wrongdoing. The procedural
requirement observed in ordinary civil
proceedings that only the real party-in-interest
must initiate the suit does not apply in
disbarment cases. Disbarment proceedings are
matters of public interest and the only basis for
the judgment is the proof or failure of proof of
the charges [Figueros v Jimenez (2014)].
INVESTIGATION
Upon the filing of the comment of the
respondent or upon the expiration of the
period for such filing, which is ten days from
the date of service to him of the copy of the
complaint (Section 2, Rule 140), the SC shall:
(1) Refer the matter to the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA) for evaluation,
report, and recommendation; or
(2) Assign the case for investigation, report,
and recommendation to:

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(a) A retired member of the Supreme Court,


if the respondent is a justice of the Court
of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan;
(b) A justice of the Court of Appeals, if the
respondent is a judge of a Regional Trial
Court or of a special court of equivalent
rank; or
(c) A judge of the Regional Trial Court, if the
respondent is a judge of an inferior court
(Section 3, Rule 140).
HEARING AND TERMINATION
The investigating justice of judge shall set a
day for the hearing and send notice to the
parties. If the respondent fails to appear, the
investigation shall proceed ex parte.
The investigating justice or judge shall
terminate the proceedings:
(1) Within 90 days from the date of its
commencement; or
(2) Within such extension as the Supreme
Court may grant (Section 4, Rule 140).
REPORT AND ACTION
Within 30 days from termination, the
investigating justice or judge shall submit to
the Supreme Court a report containing his
findings of fact and recommendation,
accompanied by the evidence and pleadings
filed by the parties. Such report shall be
confidential and shall be for the exclusive use
of the Supreme Court.
A copy of the decision or resolution of the court
shall be attached to the record of the
respondent in the OCA (Secs 5 and 12, Rule 140)
The Supreme Court shall take action on the
report as the facts and the law may warrant
(Section 6, Rule 140).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

AUTOMATIC
CONVERSION
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE CASES TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS
Pursuant
to
A.M.
No.
02-9-02-SC,
administrative cases against justices of the
Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan,
judges of regular and special courts, and court
officials who are lawyers, shall also be
considered a disciplinary action against them,
if they are based on grounds which are likewise
grounds for the disciplinary action of members
of the bar for:
(1) Violation of the Lawyer's Oath;
(2) Violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility;
(3) Violation of the Canons of Professional
Ethics; or
(4) Such other forms of breaches of
conduct that have been traditionally
recognized as grounds for the
discipline of lawyers.
The respondent is required to comment on the
complaint and show cause why he should not
also be suspended, disbarred or otherwise
disciplinarily sanctioned as a member of the
bar. Judgment in both respects may be
incorporated in one decision or resolution.
EFFECT OF WITHDRAWAL OR DESISTANCE
The actuations of a judge seriously affects the
public interest inasmuch as they involve the
administration of justice. It is for this reason
that a motion to withdraw a complaint will not
justify the dismissal of the administrative case
against the judge.
To condition administrative actions upon the
will of every complainant, who may, for one
reason or another, condone a detestable act, is
to strip the Supreme Court of its supervisory
power to discipline erring members of the
judiciary [Anguluan v. Taguba (1979)].

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Complainant's desistance is not an obstacle to


the taking of disciplinary action against a judge
if the record reveals that he had not performed
his duties properly [Espayos v. Lee (1979)].

C. GROUNDS AND SANCTIONS


Administrative charges are classified as
serious, less serious, or light (Sec. 7, Rule 140
SERIOUS CHARGES
(1) Bribery, direct or indirect;
(2) Dishonesty and violations of the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Law (RA 3019);
(3) Gross misconduct constituting violations of
the Code of Judicial Conduct;
(4) Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment
or order as determined by a competent
court in an appropriate proceeding;
(5) Conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude;
(6) Willful failure to pay a just debt;
(7) Borrowing money or property from lawyers
and litigants in a case pending before the
court;
(8) Immorality;
(9) Gross ignorance of the law or procedure;
(10) Partisan political activities; and
(11) Alcoholism and/or vicious habits (Section
8, Rule 140).
The word misconduct implies a wrongful
intention and not a mere error or judgment.
For serious [or gross] misconduct to exist, there
must be reliable evidence showing that the
judicial acts complained of were corrupt or
inspired by an intention to violate the law, or
were in persistent disregard of well-known
legal rules [In re: Impeachment of Horrilleno
(1922)].
In the absence of bad faith, fraud, dishonesty,
or deliberate intent to do injustice, incorrect
rulings do not constitute misconduct and may
not give rise to a charge of gross ignorance of
the law [Cruz v. Iturralde (2003)].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Sanctions:
(1) Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all
or part of the benefits as the Court may
determine, and disqualification from
reinstatement or appointment to any
public office, including governmentowned or controlled corporations.
Forfeiture of benefits does not include
accrued leave credits;
(2) Suspension from office without salary and
other benefits for more than three but not
exceeding six months; or
(3) A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not
exceeding P40,000.00; [Section 11, Rule
140]
LESS SERIOUS CHARGES
(1) Undue delay in rendering a decision or
order, or in transmitting the records of a
case;
(2) Frequently and unjustified absences
without leave or habitual tardiness;
(3) Unauthorized practice of law;
(4) Violation of Supreme Court rules,
directives, and circulars;
(5) Receiving
additional
or
double
compensation
unless
specifically
authorized by law;
(6) Untruthful statements in the certificate of
service; and
(7) Simple misconduct (Section 9, Rule 140).
Sanctions:
(1) Suspension from office without salary and
other benefits for not less than one nor
more than three months; or
(2) A fine of more than P10,000.00 but not
exceeding P20,000.00 [Sec. 11, Rule 140].
LIGHT CHARGES
(1) Vulgar and unbecoming conduct;
(2) Gambling in public;
(3) Fraternizing with lawyers and litigants
with pending case/cases in his court; and

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(4) Undue delay in the submission of monthly


reports.
Sanctions:
(1) A fine of not less than P1,000.00 but not
exceeding P10,000.00;and/or
(2) Censure;
(3) Reprimand;
(4) Admonition with warning.
ILLUSTRATIVE CASES
The following have been subject to discipline
by the Supreme Court:
(1) Failure to deposit funds with the
municipal treasurer or produce them
despite promise to do so [Montemayor v.

Collado (1981)];
(2) Misappropriation of fiduciary funds (i.e.,
proceeds of cash bail bond) by depositing
the check in a personal account, thus
converting the trust fund to personal use

[Barja v. Beracio (1976)];


(3) Extorting money from a party-litigant who
has a pending case [Haw Tay v. Singayao
(1988)]:
(4) Solicitation of donation for office
equipment [Lecaroz v. Garcia (1981)];
(5) Frequent unauthorized absences in office

[Municipal Council of
Quezon v. Morales (1974)];

Casiguruhan,

(6) Delay in the disposition of cases in


violation of the canon that a judge must
promptly dispose of all matters submitted
to him [Balagot v. Opinion (1991)];
(7) Unduly granting repeated motions for
postponement [Araza v. Reyes (1975)];
(8) Unawareness of or unfamiliarity with the
application of the Indeterminate Sentence
Law and duration and graduation of
penalties [In re: Paulin (1980)];
(9) Reducing to a ridiculous amount
(P6,000.00) the bail bond of the accused
murderer, enabling him to escape the toils
of the law [Soriano v. Mabbayad (1975)].

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(10) Imposing the penalty of subsidiary


imprisonment on a party for failure to pay
civil indemnity in violation of RA 5465

[Monsanto v. Palarca (1983)


GUIDELINES JUDICIAL CLEMENCY IN
ADMINISTRATIVE CASES
The SC laid down the following guidelines in
resolving requests for judicial clemency:
(1) There must be proof of remorse and
reformation. These shall include but
should not be limited to certifications or
testimonials of the officer(s) or chapter(s)
of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines,
judges or judges associations and
prominent members of the community
with proven integrity and probity. A
subsequent finding of guilt in an
administrative case for the same or similar
misconduct will give rise to a strong
presumption of non-reformation;
(2) Sufficient time must have lapsed from the
imposition of the penalty to ensure a
period of reformation;
(3) The age of the person asking for clemency
must show that he still has productive
years ahead of him that can be put to
good use by giving him a chance to
redeem himself;
(4) There must be a showing of promise (such
as intellectual aptitude, learning or legal
acumen or contribution to legal
scholarship and the development of the
legal system or administrative and other
relevant skills), as well as potential for
public service;
(5) There must be other relevant factors and
circumstances that may justify clemency
[Sulta Ali v. Judge Pacalna (013)].

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III. DISQUALIFICATIONS
OF JUSTICES AND JUDGES
[RULE 137]
A. COMPULSORY DISQUALIFICATION
No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case,
without the written consent of all parties in
interest and entered upon the record, in which:
(1) He, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily
interested as heir, legatee, creditor or
otherwise;
(2) He is related to either party within the
sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity,
or to counsel within the fourth degree,
computed according to the rules of the
civil law;
(3) He has been executor, administrator,
guardian, trustee or counsel; or
(4) He has presided in any inferior court
when his ruling or decision is the subject
of review. (Section 1, 1st par., Rule 137).
REASON FOR THE RULE
The rule on compulsory disqualification of a
judge to hear a case rests on the salutary
principle that no judge should preside in a case
in which he is not wholly free, disinterested,
impartial and independent. A judge has both
the duty of rendering a just decision and the
duty of doing it in a manner completely free
from suspicion as to its fairness and as to his
integrity.
The law conclusively presumes that a judge
cannot objectively or impartially sit in such a
case and, for that reason, prohibits him and
strikes at his authority to hear and decide it, in
the absence of written consent of all parties
concerned. The purpose is to preserve the
people's faith and confidence in the courts'
justice [Garcia v. De La Pena (1994)]
.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

The relationship of the judge with one of the


parties may color the facts and distort the law
to the prejudice of a just decision. Where this is
probable or even only possible, due process
demands that the judge inhibit himself, if only
out of a sense of delicadeza [Javier v.
Commission on Elections (1996)].

B. VOLUNTARY DISQUALIFICATION
Rule 137. Section 1., 2nd par. A judge may, in
the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify
himself from sitting in a case, for just or valid
reasons other than those mentioned.
REASON FOR THE RULE
A judge must maintain and preserve the trust
and faith of the parties-litigants. He must hold
himself above reproach and suspicion. At the
very first sign of lack of faith and trust to his
actions, whether well-grounded or not, the
judge has no other alternative but inhibit
himself from the case.
A judge may not be legally prohibited from
sitting in a litigation, but when circumstances
appear that will induce doubt to his honest
actuations and probity in favor of either party,
or incite such state of mind, he should conduct
a careful self-examination. He should exercise
his discretion in a way that the people's faith in
the courts of justice is not impaired. The better
course for the judge under such circumstances
is to disqualify himself. That way, he avoids
being misunderstood, his reputation for probity
and objectivity is preserved [Bautista v.
Rebueno (1978)].
Intimacy or friendship between a judge and an
attorney of record of one of the parties to a suit
is no ground for disqualification. That one of
the counsels in a case was a classmate of the
trial judge is not a legal ground for the
disqualification of the said judge.

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To allow it would unnecessarily burden other


trial judges to whom the case would be
transferred. But if the relationship between the
judge and an attorney for a party is such that
there would be a natural inclination to
prejudice the case, the judge should be
disqualified in order to guaranty a fair trial
[Query of Executive Judge Estrada (1987)].

V. POWERS AND DUTIES


OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS
A. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Justice shall be impartially administered
without unnecessary delay(Section 1, Rule 135).
Courts of justice shall always be open, excepton
legal holidays, for the:
(1) Filing of any pleadings, motion or other
papers;
(2) Trial of cases;
(3) Hearing of motions;and
(4) For the issuance of orders or rendition of
judgments.

B. PUBLICITY OF PROCEEDINGS
General rule: The sitting of every court of
justice shall be public.
Exception: Any court may, in its discretion,
exclude the public when the evidence to be
adduced is of such nature as to require their
exclusion in the interest of morality or decency
(Section 2, Rule 135).

C. PUBLICITY OF RECORDS
General rule: The records of every court of
justice shall be public records and shall be
available for the inspection of any person:
(1) At all proper business hours;
(2) Under the supervision of the clerk having
custody of such records.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

Exception: The court may, in any special case,


forbid publicity of records, in the interest of
morality or decency (Section 2, Rule 135).

D.
ENFORCEABILITY
PROCESS

OF

COURT

D.1. SUPERIOR COURTS


Process issued from a superior court in which a
case is pending may be enforced in any part of
the Philippines:
(1) To bring in a defendant;
(2) For the arrest of any accused person; or
(3) To execute any order or judgment of the
court (Section 3, Rule 135).

D.2. INFERIOR COURTS


General rule: Process of inferior courts shall be
enforceable within the province where the
municipality or city lies.
Exceptions:
(1) It may be served outside the boundaries of
the province with the approval of the
judge of the Regional Trial Court of said
province, and only in the following cases:
(a) When an order for the delivery of
personal property lying outside the
province is to be complied with;
(b) When an attachment of real or
personal property lying outside the
province is to be made;
(c) When the action is against two or more
defendants residing in different
provinces; and
(d) When the place where the case has
been brought is that specified in a
contract in writing between the parties,
or the place of the execution of such
contract as appears therefrom;
(2) Writs of execution issued by inferior courts
may be enforced in any part of the
Philippines without any previous approval
of the judge of first instance;

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(3) Criminal process may be issued by a


justice of the peace or other inferior court,
to be served outside his province, when
the district judge, or in his absence the
provincial fiscal, shall certify that in his
opinion the interests of justices require
such service (Section 4, Rule 135).

E. INHERENT POWERS OF COURTS:


(1) To preserve and enforce order in its
immediate presence;
(2) To enforce order in proceedings before a
person or persons empowered to conduct a
judicial investigation under its authority;
(3) To compel obedience to its judgments,
orders and processes, and to the lawful
order of judge out of court, in a case
pending therein;
(4) To control, in furtherance of justice, the
conduct of its ministerial officers, and of all
other persons in any manner connected
with a case before it, in every manner
appertaining thereto;
(5) To compel the attendance of persons to
testify in a case pending therein;
(6) To administer or cause to be administered
oaths in a case pending therein, and in all
other cases where it may be necessary in
the exercise of its powers;
(7) To amend and control its process and
orders so as to make them conformable to
law and justice;
(8) To authorize copy of a lost or destroyed
pleading or other paper to be filed and
used instead of the original, and to restore,
and supply deficiencies in its records and
proceedings (Section 5, Rule 135).

F. MEANS TO CARRY JURISDICTION


INTO EFFECT
When by law, jurisdiction is conferred on a
court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs,
processes and other means necessary to carry
it into effect may be employed by such court or

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

officer; and if the procedure to be followed in


the exercise of such jurisdiction is not
specifically pointed out by law or by these
rules, any suitable process or mode of
proceeding may be adopted which appears
conformable to the spirit of said law or rules
(Section 6, Rule 135).

G. TRIAL, HEARINGS AND OTHER ACTS


All trial upon the merits shall be conducted in
open court and so far as convenient in a
regular court room.
All other acts or proceedings may be done or
conducted by a judge in chambers, without the
attendance of the clerk or other court officials
(Section 7, Rule 135).
H. INTERLOCUTORY ORDERS OUT OF
PROVINCE
When within the district but without the
province, a judge of Regional Trial Court shall
nevertheless have power to hear and
determine any interlocutory motion or issue
after due and reasonable notice to the parties.
The hearing may be had at any place in the
judicial district which the judge deems
convenient on the filing, in any RTC:
(1) Of a petition for the writ of habeas corpus;
(2) For release upon bail or reduction of bail
(Section 8, Rule 135).

SIGNING
JUDGMENTS
PROVINCE

OUT

OF

It shall be lawful for a judge to prepare and


sign his decision anywhere within the
Philippines:
(1) Whenever a judge, appointed or assigned
in any province or branch of a Regional
Trial Court in a province, shall leave the
province:
(a) By transfer or assignment to another
court of equal jurisdiction; or

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(b) By expiration of his temporary


assignment;
(2) Without having decided a case, which
was:
(a) Totally heard by him; and
(b) Argued or an opportunity given for
argument to the parties or their counsel.

He shall send the same by registered mail to


the clerk of the court where the case was heard
or argued to be filed therein as of the date
when the same was received by the clerk, in
the same manner as if he had been present in
court to direct the filing of the judgment.
If a case has been heard only in part, the
Supreme Court, upon petition of any of the
parties to the case and the recommendation of
respective district judge, may also authorize
the judge who has partly heard the case, if no
other judge had heard the case in part, to
continue hearing and to decide said case
notwithstanding his transfer or appointment to
another court of equal jurisdiction (Sec. 9, Rule
135).

DUTY OF A SHERIFF
As a Sheriff, he is expected to be familiar with
court procedure and processes, especially
those concerning the execution of orders and
decisions of the courts [Heirs of Teves v.

Felicadario (2013)]
Sheriffs play an important role in the
administration of justice. They are tasked to
execute final judgments of the courts. If not
enforced, such decisions become empty
victories of the prevailing parties. As agents
of the law, sheriffs are called upon to
discharge their duties with due care and
utmost diligence because in serving the
courts writs and processes and implementing
its orders, they cannot afford to err without
affecting the integrity of their office and the

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

efficient administration of justice. The duty of


sheriffs to promptly execute a writ is
mandatory and ministerial. Sheriffs have no
discretion on whether or not to implement a
writ. There is no need for the litigants to
follow-up its implementation. When writs
are placed in their hands, it is their ministerial
duty to proceed with reasonable celerity and
promptness to execute them in accordance
with their mandate. Unless restrained by a
court order, they should see to it that the
execution of judgments is not unduly delayed

[Vda de Feliciano v. Rivera


citingLacambra Jr. v. Perez].

(2012)

A sheriff is guilty of violating Rule 141, Section


10 of the Rules of Court if he fails to observe
the following: (1) prepare an estimate of
expenses to be incurred in executing the writ;
(2) ask for the courts approval of his
estimates; (3) render an accounting; and (4)
issue an official receipt for the total amount
he received from the judgment debtor [OCA v.

Sheriff Macusi (2013)]


NEGLECT
OF
EMPLOYEES

DUTY

OF

JUDICIAL

OCA and this Court have underscored the


importance of court employees truthfully and
accurately recording in their DTRs the time of
their arrival in and departure from office.
Macedas falsification of her DTRs is
dishonesty [Anonymous complaint against
Maceda, Court Interpreter (2014)]
A court interpreter who: failed to report to work
for a period of time; made several errors in the
calendar of cases that may not only cause the
court and the parties confusion and unjustified
delays, but may also make the court appear
inefficient in the eyes of the public; and failure
to prepare a calendar of cases was found by
the Court to be indifferent to her work and is
lacking in effort to improve. The Court found

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that she was remiss in her duties. [Alano et al v.


Sahi (2014)]
Not being a lawyer, Court Stenographer
Monilla had no authority to prepare and
finalize an extrajudicial settlement of estate.
Being a court employee, she ought to have
known that it was improper for her to prepare
and finalize the extrajudicial settlement of
estate, a service only a lawyer is authorized to
perform, and to receive money therefor.
She is an employee of the court whose conduct
must always be beyond reproach and
circumscribed with the heavy burden of
responsibility as to let her be free from any
suspicion that may taint the judiciary. She is
expected to exhibit the highest sense of
honesty and integrity not only in the
performance of her official duties but also in
her personal and private dealings with other
people to preserve the courts good name and
standing [Arienda v. Monilla (2013)]

VI. COURT RECORDS AND


GENERAL DUTIES OF CLERKS
AND STENOGRAPHERS
[RULE 136]
A. CLERKS OF COURT
A.1. OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT
The clerks office, with the clerk or his deputy in
attendance, shall be open during business
hours on all days, except Sundays and legal
holidays. The clerk of the Supreme Court and
that of the Court of Appeals shall keep the
office in Manila and all papers authorized or
required to be filed therein shall be filed in
Manila (Section 3, Rule 136).

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

A.2. DUTIES OF THE CLERK OF COURT


I. ISSUANCE OF PROCESS
(1) The clerk of a superior court shall issue
under the seal of the court all ordinary
writs and process incident to pending
cases, the issuance of which does not
involve the exercise of functions
appertaining to the court or judge only.
(2) The clerk may, under the direction of the
court or judge, make out and sign letters of
administration,
appointments
of
guardians, trustees and receivers, and all
writs and process issuing from the court.

II. RECEPTION OF PAPERS


PREPATION OF MINUTES

AND

The clerk of each superior court shall:


(1) Receive and file all pleadings and other
papers properly presented, endorsing on
each such paper the time when it was
filed;and
(2) Attend all of the sessions of the court and
enter its proceedings for each day in a
minute book to be kept by him(Sec. 6, Rule
136).

III. SAFEKEEPING PROPERTY


The clerk shall safely keep all records, papers,
files, exhibits and public property committed to
his charge, including the library of the court,
and the seal and furniture belonging to his
office (Section 7, Rule 136).

IV. KEEPING A GENERAL DOCKET


The clerk shall keep a general docket, each
page of which shall be numbered and
prepared for receiving all the entries in a single
case.
The following shall be entered in the docket, so
that by reference to a single page, the history
of a case may be seen:
(1) All cases, numbered consecutively in the
order in which they were received;

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(2) Under the heading of each case and a


complete title thereof:
(a) The date of each paper filed or issued;
(b) Each order or judgment entered;and
(c) Each other step taken in the case
(Section 8, Rule 136).

IX. KEEPING OTHER BOOKS AND OTHER


DUTIES

V. KEEPING A DOCUMENT AND ENTRIES


BOOK

The clerk shall keep such other books and


perform such other duties as the court may
direct (Section 12, Rule 136).

The clerk shall keep:


(1) A judgment book containing a copy of
each judgment rendered by the court in
order of its date; and
(2) A book of entries of judgments containing
at length in chronological order entries of
all final judgments or orders of the court
(Sec. 9, Rule 136).

VI. KEEPING AN EXECUTION BOOK


The clerk shall keep an execution book in
which he or his deputy shall record at length in
chronological order each execution, and the
officers return thereon, by virtue of which real
property has been sold (Section 10, Rule 136).

VII. CERTIFICATION OF COPIES


The clerk shall prepare, for any person
demanding the same, a copy certified under
the seal of the court of any paper, record,
order, judgment, or entry in his office, proper to
be certified, for the fees prescribed by these
rules (Section 11, Rule 136).

VIII.
INDEXING
SEPARATING CASES

BOOKS

AND

(1) The general docket, judgment book,


entries book and execution book shall
each be indexed in alphabetical order in
the names of the parties, and each of
them.
(2) If the court so directs, the clerk shall keep
two or more of either or all of the books
and dockets above mentioned, separating
civil from criminal cases, or actions from

special proceedings, or otherwise keeping


cases separated by classes as the court
shall deem best (Section 13, Rule 136).

X. IN THE ABSENCE OR BY DIRECTION


OF JUDGE
(1) In the absence of the judge, the clerk may
perform all the duties of the judge in
receiving
applications,
petitions,
inventories, reports, and the issuance of all
orders and notices that follow as a matter
of course under the Rules of Court.
(2) The clerk may also, when directed so to do
by the judge, receive the accounts of
executors, administrators, guardians,
trustees, and receivers, and all evidence
relating to them, or to the settlement of
the estates of deceased persons, or to
guardianships,
trusteeships,
or
receiverships, and forthwith transmit such
reports, accounts, and evidence to the
judge, together with the findings in
relation to the same, if the judge shall
direct him to make findings and include
the same in his report (Section 5, Rule 136).

A.3. TAKING OF
CLERKS OFFICE

RECORDS

FROM

No record shall be taken from the clerks office


without an order of the court except as
otherwise provided by these rules.
However, the Solicitor General or any of his
assistants, the provincial fiscal or his deputy,
and the attorneys de oficio shall be permitted,
upon proper receipt, to withdraw from the
clerks office the record of any case in which
they are interested (Section 14, Rule 136).

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JUDICIAL ETHICS

B. STENOGRAPHERS
It shall be the duty of the stenographer who
has attended a session of a court either in the
morning or in the afternoon, to deliver to the
clerk of court, immediately at the close of such
morning or afternoon session, all the notes he
has taken, to be attached to the record of the
case.
It shall likewise be the duty of the clerk to
demand that the stenographer comply with
said duty. The clerk of court shall stamp the
date on which notes are received by him.
When such notes are transcribed, the
transcript shall be delivered to the clerk, duly
initialed on each page thereof, to be attached
to the record of the case.
Whenever requested by a party, any statement
made by a judge of first instance, or by a
commissioner, with reference to a case being
tried by him, or to any of the parties thereto, or
to any witness or attorney, during the hearing
of such case, shall be made of record in the
stenographic notes (Section 17, Rule 136).

C. DOCKETS AND OTHER RECORDS


OF INFERIOR COURTS
Every municipal or city judge shall keep a wellbound labeled docket. He may keep two
dockets, one for civil and one for criminal
cases.
In such docket, he shall enter for each case:
(1) Title of the case including the name of all
the parties;
(2) The nature of the case, whether civil or
criminal, and if the latter, the offense
charged;
(3) The date of issuing preliminary and
intermediate process including order of
arrest and subpoenas, and the date and
nature of the return thereon;

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

(4) The date of the appearance of default of


the defendant;
(5) The date of presenting the plea, answer, or
motion to quash, and the nature of the
same;
(6) The minutes of the trial, including the date
thereof and of all adjournments;
(7) The names and addresses of all witnesses;
(8) The date and nature of the judgment, and,
in a civil case, the relief granted;
(9) An itemized statement of the costs;
(10) The date of any execution issued, and the
date and contents of the return thereon;
(11) The date of any notice of appeal filed and
the name of the party filing the same.
He shall also:
(1) Keep all the pleadings and other papers
and exhibits in cases pending in his
court;and
(2) Certify copies of his docket entries and
other records proper to be certified, for the
fees prescribed by the Rules of Court.

VII. LEGAL FEES


[RULE 141]
A. MANNER OF PAYMENT
Upon the filing of the pleading or other
application which initiates an action or
proceeding, the fees prescribed therefor shall
be paid in full (Section 1, Rule 141).

B. FEES IN LIEN
The party concerned shall pay additional fees,
where the court in its final judgment awards:
(1) A claim not alleged; or
(2) A relief different from, or more than that
claimed in the pleading.
The additional fees which shall constitute a
lien on the judgment. The clerk of court shall
assess and collect the corresponding fees
(Section 2, Rule 141).

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JUDICIAL ETHICS

C. PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT


LEGAL FEES
Except as otherwise provided in Rule 141, the
following officers and persons, together with
their assistants and deputies, may demand,
receive, and take the several fees hereinafter
mentioned and allowed for any business by
them respectively done by virtue of their
several offices, and no more:
(1) Clerks of the Supreme Court, Court of
Appeals, Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax
Appeals;
(2) Clerks of Regional Trial Courts;
(3) Clerks of first level courts;
(4) Sheriffs, process servers and other
persons serving processes;
(5) Stenographers;
(6) Notaries;
(7) Other officers taking depositions.
All fees so collected shall be forthwith remitted
to the Supreme Court. The persons herein
authorized to collect legal fees shall be
accountable officers and shall be required to
post bond in such amount as prescribed by the
law (Section 3, Rule 141).
It is not simply the filing of the complaint or
appropriate initiatory pleading but the
payment of the prescribed docket fee that
vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the
subject matter or nature of the action. Where
the filing of the initiatory pleading is not
accompanied by payment of the docket fee, the
court may allow payment of the fee within a
reasonable time but in no case beyond the
applicable prescriptive or reglementary period
[Sun Life Insurance v. Asuncion (1989)].

VIII. COSTS
A. RECOVERY OF COSTS(RULE 142)
A.1. PREVAILING PARTY
Unless otherwise provided in the Rules of
Court, costs shall be allowed to the prevailing

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS

party as a matter of course, but the court shall


have power, for special reasons, to adjudge:
(1) That either party shall pay the costs of
an action; or
(2) That the same shall be divided between
them, as may be equitable.
No costs shall be allowed against the Republic
of the Philippines, unless otherwise provided by
law(Section 1, Rule 142).

A.2. DISMISSED ACTION OR APPEAL


If an action or appeal is dismissed for want of
jurisdiction or otherwise, the court nevertheless
shall have the power to render judgment for
costs, as justice may require (Sec. 2, Rule 142).

A.3. FRIVOLOUS APPEAL


Where an action or an appeal is found to be
frivolous, double, or treble costs may be
imposed on the plaintiff or appellant, which
shall be paid by his attorney, if so ordered by
the court (Section 3, Rule 142).

A.4. FALSE ALLEGATIONS


An averment in a pleading made without
reasonable cause and found untrue shall
subject the offending party to the payment of
such reasonable expenses as may have been
necessarily incurred by the other party by
reason of such untrue pleading. The amount of
expenses so payable shall be fixed by the judge
in the trial, and taxed as costs (Sec 4, Rule 142).

A.5. NON-APPEARANCE OF WITNESS


If a witness fails to appear at the time and
place specified in the subpoena issued by any
inferior court, the costs of the warrant of arrest
and of the arrest of the witness shall be paid by
the witness if the court shall determine that his
failure to answer the subpoena was willful or
without just excuse (Section 12, Rule 142).