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CANON 16: A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST

ALL MONEYS AND PORPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT


THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION
-

All the moneys collected by an attorney for


his client belongs to the client
A lawyer is under obligation to hold in trust
all the moneys and properties of his client
that may come to his possession

AYA VS. BIGORNIA


FACTS:
Dominga Aya filed a complaint against atty.
Juan Bigornia his counsel, charging that the latter
misappropriated the funds belonging to her.It
happened when Bigornia, as Aya's attorney,
obtained judgment in Aya's favor against Dionisio
Cuntapay, for the sum of P1,000 plus interest and
costs. Bigornia admits receiving all of the money
collected on this judgment. In his answer to the
Attorney-General's report, he admits that there was
unreasonable delay on his part in accounting for
the funds collected by him for his former client. But
defendant contended that Aya agreed that bigornia
might collect and use the money in tha nature of a
loan from aya. However the court held that there is
no evidence that will sustain the defense. On the
other hand, the complainant was constantly
demanding payment of the money Bigornia had
collected
HELD:
Attorney Bigornia was guilty of breach of trust
and misappropriation of funds at the time he
collected the sums of money aforesaid on the
judgment in favor of his client, and appropriated
them to his own use. Moneys collected by an
attorney on a judgment in favor of his client are
trust funds and should be immediately paid over to
the client, less such proper deductions as may be
allowed by law. In this case, there was gross abuse
of such trust.
THUS, it is clear that there was unreasonable
delay on the part of the respondent in accounting
funds collected by him for his former client, the
complainant herein, for which irregularity the
respondent herein should be disciplined.

A lawyer has dual role to the clients.

1.

FIDUCIARY OR TRUSTEE - there must be


utmost good faith and fidelity to the client. The
client does not only entrust his case to his
lawyers but also entrust to his lawyers the
safekeeping of his very important
documents/funds.
2. AGENT - As agent of the client, the lawyer may
appear in court in behalf of the client, and as
such, the lawyer binds the client in matters of
ordinary procedure. The client is the principal
and the lawyer is the agent.

LICUANAN VS. MELO


FACTS:
Leonila J. Licuanan filed a complaint against
respondent, Atty. Manuel L. Melo, for breach of
professional ethics, alleging that respondent, who
was her counsel in an ejectment case filed against
her tenant , aida pineda, failed to remit to her the
rentals collected by respondent on different dates
over a twelve-month period, much less did he
report to her the receipt of said amounts. Defendant
explained that he kept this matter from the
complainant for the purpose of surprising her with
his success in collecting the rentals. During the
entire twelve-month period that respondent had
been receiving the said rental payments of Pineda,
he did not bother to inform or report to complainant
about the said payments and instead unnecessarily
retained the money. He allowed the money to
accumulate for a year and He did not even attempt
to tell her about the money that had come into his
possession notwithstanding the fact that
complainant used to call him and inquire regarding
the case
HELD:
Money of the client or other trust property
coming into the possession of the lawyer should be
reported promptly. Melo violated his oath of office in
which a lawyer, under his oath, pledges himself not to
delay any man for money or malice and is bound to
conduct himself with all good fidelity to his clients.
Under paragraph 11 of the Canons of Legal Ethics, he
is obligated to report promptly the money of client that
has come to his possession and should not
commingle it with his private property or use it for his
personal purpose without his client's consent.

CANON 16.01: A LAWYER SHALL ACCOUNT FOR


ALL MONEY OR PROPERTY COLLECTED OR
RECEIVED FOR OR FROM THE CLIENT

him to give her the money, he informed her that he


had already spent the same. He promised, though
to pay her the said amount. Despite several
demands, respondent failed to make good his
promise to give her the money he withdrew

LAWYER IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL MONEYS


AND PROPERTIES OF CLIENT - Considering that
the lawyer is merely holding in trust the moneys
and properties he received for his client, he is
accountable therefor to his client.

In a sworn complaint for disbarment,


complainant Lourdes R. Busios charged
respondent Atty. Francisco Ricafort, with having
committed the crime of estafa under Article 315 (1)
(b) of the Revised Penal Code by misappropriating
the sum of P32,000.00. Of this amount,P30,000.00
was entrusted to respondent for deposit in the bank
account of complainants husband, while P2,000.00
represented the amount respondent demanded
from complainant supposedly for a bond in Civil
Case No. 5814, when no such bond was required.

In order for the client to promptly account for


all the funds received or held by him, he
should maintain adequate records of the
clients moneys or properties in his custody

HELD:
Rule 138, section 25, rules of court
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 a criminal prosecution.

A lawyer who fails to account his clients


money or return the same may be disciplined,
which may range from suspension to disbarment
depending on the surrounding circumstances.

BUSIOS VS. RICAFORT


In a civil case for collection of rental fees for
the lease of the real property of complainant by oas
standard highschool, complainant authorizes Atty.
Ricafort to withdraw from its bank account, 32,000
representing the rental fees paid by the school with
the instruction to deposit the same in her savings
account at the PNB. When She demanded from

Respondent, by converting the money of his


clients to his own personal use without their
consent , and by deceiving the complainant into
giving him the amount of P2,000.00 purportedly to
be used as a bond which was not required, is,
undoubtedly, guilty of deceit, malpractice and gross
misconduct. By so doing, he betrays the confidence
reposed in him by his clients. Not only has he
degraded himself but as an unfaithful lawyer he has
besmirched the fair name of an honorable
profession.
The IBPs recommendation of suspending
the respondent is insufficient. In which case the
Court resolves to disbar the respondent applying
section 25, rule 138.