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Code of Professional Responsibility

Chapter 1:
Lawyer and Society
CANON 1 A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the
land and promote respect for law and for legal processes







Duties of Attorneys:
to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support
the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines;
to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and
judicial officers;
to counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to
him as just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly
debatable under the laws;
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;
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;
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 charged;
not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an
action or proceeding, or delay any mans cause for any corrupt motive
or interest;
never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of
the defenseless or oppressed;
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.

Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,

immoral or deceitful conduct.

Code of Professional Responsibility


Conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude a number of lawyers

have been suspended or disbarred for conviction of crimes involving
moral turpitude such as:
falsification of public documents
Morality as understood in law - This is a human standard based on
natural moral law which is embodied in mans conscience and which
guides him to do good and avoid evil.
Moral Turpitude: any thing that is done contrary to justice, honesty,
modesty or good morals.
Immoral Conduct: that conduct which is willful, flagrant, or
shameless and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the
good and respectable members of the community (Arciga vs. Maniwag,
106 SCRA 591).
Grossly Immoral Conduct: 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; it is a WILLFUL, FLAGRANT or
SHAMELESS ACT which shows a MORAL INDIFFERENCE to the opinion of
respectable members of the community. (Narag vs. Narag, 1998)

Rule 1.02 A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at

defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.
Rule 1.03 A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or
interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any mans
Rule 1.04 A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end
or settle the controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.

If a lawyer finds that his clients cause is defenseless, it is his

burden/duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than
traverse the incontrovertible.

Code of Professional Responsibility

It is unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring a lawsuit,

except in rare cases where the blood, relationship or trust makes it his
duty to do so.
Temper clients propensity to litigate.
Should not be an instigator of controversy but a mediator for concord
and conciliator for compromise.
The law violated need not be a penal law. Moral Turpitude
everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good
Give advice tending to impress upon the client and his undertaking
exact compliance with the strictest principles of moral law.
Until a statute shall have been construed and interpreted by
competent adjudication, he is free and is entitled to advise as to its
validity and as to what he conscientiously believes to be its just
meaning and extent.
A lawyer has the obligation not to encourage suits. This is so as to
prevent barratry and ambulance chasing.
Barratry offense of frequently exciting and stirring up quarrels and
suits, either at law or otherwise; Lawyers act of fomenting suits among
individuals and offering his legal services to one of them.
Ambulance Chasing Act of chasing victims of accidents for the
purpose of talking to the said victims (or relatives) and offering his legal
services for the filing of a case against the person(s) who caused the

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 oppressed.
Rule 2.02 In such a case, even if a lawyer does not accept a
case, he shall not refuse to render legal advise to the person

Code of Professional Responsibility

concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard latters
Rule 2.03 a lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act
designed primarily to solicit legal business.


Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from

duty of service, of which the emolument is a by product, and in which
one may attain the highest eminence without making such money;
a relation as an officer of court to the administration of justice
involving thorough sincerity, integrity and reliability;
a relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary;
a relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness
and unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising
and encroachment on their practice or dealing with their clients.
Defenseless not in the position to defend themselves due to poverty,
weakness, ignorance or other similar reasons.
Oppressed victims of acts of cruelty, unlawful exaction, domination or
excessive use of authority.

Rule on Advertisements

General Rule: No advertisements allowed. The most worthy and

effective advertisement possible is the establishment of a well-merited
reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust.

Lawyers may not advertise their services or expertise nor should not
resort to indirect advertisements for professional employment, such as
furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments, or procuring his
photograph to be published in connection with causes in which the
lawyer has been engaged or concerning the manner of their conduct,
the magnitude of the interest involved, the importance of the lawyers
position, and all other self-laudation.
Exceptions/ Permissible advertisements:
1. Reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with the standards of
conduct imposed by the canons, of brief biographical and informative
data, are allowed.

Code of Professional Responsibility


Ordinary simple professional Card. It may contain only a statement of

his name, the name of the law firm which he is connected with, address,
telephone number and the special branch of law practiced.
3. A simple announcement of the opening of a law firm or of changes in
the partnership, associates, firm name or office address, being for the
convenience of the profession, is not objectionable.
4. Advertisements or simple announcement of the existence of a lawyer
or his law firm posted anywhere it is proper such as his place of
business or residence except courtrooms and government buildings.
5. Advertisements or announcement in any legal publication, including
books, journals, and legal magazines.

Rule 2.04 A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those
customarily or prescribed, unless circumstances so warrant.

A lawyer cannot delay the approval of a compromise agreement

entered into between parties, just because his attorneys fees were not
provided for in the agreement.
Rule: A lawyer cannot compromise the case without clients consent
(special authority). Exception: Lawyer has exclusive management of
the procedural aspect of the litigation (e.g. Submission for decision on
the evidence so far presented. But in case where lawyer is confronted
with an emergency and prompt/urgent action is necessary to protect
clients interest and theres no opportunity for consultation, the lawyer
may compromise.
Rule: Refrain from charging rates lower than the customary rates.

Valid Justification: relatives, co-lawyers, too poor

CANON 3 A lawyer in making known is 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, selfauditory or unfair statement or claim regarding his
qualifications or legal services.

Violation of Rule 3.01 is unethical, whether done by him personally or

through another with his permission.

Code of Professional Responsibility

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 communication that said partner is
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
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.

It is unethical to use the name of a foreign firm.

Death of a partner does not extinguish attorney-client relationship with
the law firm.
Negligence of a member in the law firm is negligence of the firm