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SPETHICS

Title - using the title to have things your ways. Use it


sparingly.
Weakness vs Meekness
Treasure worked hard to be a lawyer, do not do things that
will devalue it.
Trust
In re LUIS B. TAGORDA
FACTS: The respondent Atty. Luis Tagorda, a member of the
provincial board of Isabela, admits that in the last general
elections he made use of a card written in Spanish and
Ilocano, which in translation, read as follows:
LUIS B. TAGORDA Attorney; Notary Public; CANDIDATE FOR
BOARD MEMBER, Province of Isabela. (NOTE.- as notary
public, he can execute for a deed of sale for the purchase of
land as required by the cadastral office, can renew lost
documents of your animals; can make your application and
final requisites for your homestead; and can execute any kind
of affidavit. As a lawyer he can help you collect your loans
although long overdue, as well as any complaint for or
against you. Come or write to him in his town Echague,
Isabela. He offers free consultation, and is willing to help and
serve the poor.)
The respondent further admits that he is the author of a letter
addressed to a lieutenant of barrio in his home municipality
written in Ilocano, which letter reads as follow:
I would like you all to be informed of this matter for the
reason that some people are in the belief that my residence

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A. Introduction to the Course


This is a course that is focused more on the lawyer than
the law.
B. The Legal Profession

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as member of the Board will be in Iligan and that I would then
be disqualified to exercise my profession as lawyer and as
notary public. Such is not the case and I would make it clear
that I am free to exercise my profession as formerly and that I
will have my residence here in Echague, I would request your
kind favor to transmit this information to your barrio people in
any of your meeting or social gatherings so that they may be
informed of my desire to live and to serve with you in my
capacity as lawyer and notary public. If the people in your
locality have not as yet contracted the services of other
lawyers in connection with the registration of their land titles,
I would be willing to handle the work in court and would
charge only three pesos for every registration.
ISSUE: Whether or not the suspension of Luis B. Tagorda is
meritorious.
HELD: Application is give to se. 21 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, as amended by Act NO. 2828, providing The
practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain,
either personally or through paid agents or brokets,
constitutes malpractice, and to Canon 27 and 28 of the
Code of Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association in
1908 and by the Philippines Bar Association in 1917, to the
case of the respondent lawyer. The law is a profession and
not a business. The solicitation of employment by an
attorney is a ground for disbarment or suspension.
1. Respondent Tagorda is suspended from the practice of
law for 1 month.
2. For advertising his services in the Sunday Tribune
respondent attorney is reprimanded.
DOMINADOR P. BURBE vs. ATTY. ALBERTO C. MAGULTA
AC No. 99-634. June 10, 2002FACTS:
On September 1998, respondent agreed to legally represent
petitioner Dominador Burbe in a money claim and possible
civil case against certain parties for breach of contract. In

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consequence to such agreement, Atty. Alberto C. Magulta


prepared the demand letter and some other legal papers, for
which services he was accordingly paid and an amount
of P25, 000.00 for the required filing fee. A week later,
petitioner was informed by the respondent that the complaint
had already been filed in court, and that he should receive
notice of its progress. The petitioner waited for several
months for the notice from the court but there was no
progress in the case, he was also inquired repeatedly in the
respondents Law Office, however he was told to just wait.
The petitioner decided to go to the Office of the Clerk of Court
with the draft of Atty. Magultas complaint to personally verify
the progress of the case, and there told that there was no
record at all of a case filed by Atty. Alberto C. Magulta on his
behalf, copy of the Certification dated May 27, 1999. As such,
the petitioner confronted the latter. The respondent admitted
that he has not at all filed the complaint because he had
spent the money for the filing fee for his own purpose he
offered to reimburse him by issuing two (2) checks, postdated
June 1 and June 5, 1999, in the amounts of P12, 000.00 and
P8, 000.00.The petitioner filed a case against Atty. Magulta
for misrepresentation, dishonesty and oppressive conduct.
The respondent denied the allegations and alleged that he
was never been paid by complainant for his acceptance and
legal fees and that the amount he had paid was a deposit for
the acceptance fee
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Atty. Magulta is liable for
misrepresentation of funds given to him for the filing fee.
HELD: YES. Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility states that lawyers shall hold in trust all
moneys of their clients and properties that may come into
their possession. Lawyers who convert the funds entrusted to
them are in gross violation of professional ethics and are
guilty of betrayal of public confidence in the legal profession.
It may be true that they have a lien upon the clients funds,
documents and other papers that have lawfully come into

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their possession; that they may retain them until their lawful
fees and disbursements have been paid; and that they may
apply such funds to the satisfaction of such fees and
disbursements. However, these considerations do not relieve
them of their duty to promptly account for the moneys they
received. Their failure to do so constitutes professional
misconduct. In any event, they must still exert all effort to
protect their clients interest within the bounds of law.
Respondent fell short of this standard when he converted into
his legal fees the filing fee entrusted to him by his client and
thus failed to file the complaint promptly. The fact that the
former returned the amount does not exculpate him from his
breach of duty.
C. The Practice of Law
1. Definition

RENATO CAYETANO vs. CHRISTIAN MONSOD


G.R. No. 100113. September 3, 1991.
FACTS: Monsod was nominated by President Aquino as
Chairman of the Comelec. The Commission on Appointments
confirmed the appointment despite Cayetano's objection,
based on Monsod's alleged lack of the required qualification
of 10 year law practice. Cayetano filed this certiorari and
prohibition. The 1987 constitution provides in Section 1,
Article IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections
composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be
natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of
their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of
a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any

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ISSUE:
1. Whether or not Monsod has been engaged in the practice
of law for 10 years.
2. Whether or not the Commission on Appointments
committed grave abuse of discretion in confirming Monsods
appointment.
HELD:
1. YES. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of
cases or litigation in court. It embraces the preparation of
pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special
proceedings, the management of such actions and
proceedings on behalf of clients, and other works where the
work done involves the determination of the trained legal
mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions (PLA vs.
Agrava.) The records of the 1986 constitutional commission
show that the interpretation of the term practice of law was
liberal as to consider lawyers employed in the Commission of
Audit as engaged in the practice of law provided that they
use their legal knowledge or talent in their respective work.
The court also cited an article in the January 11, 1989 issue of
the Business Star, that lawyers nowadays have their own
specialized fields such as tax lawyers, prosecutors, etc., that
because of the demands of their specialization, lawyers
engage in other works or functions to meet them. These
days, for example, most corporation lawyers are involved in
management policy formulation. Therefore, Monsod, who
passed the bar in 1960, worked with the World Bank Group
from 1963-1970, then worked for an investment bank till
1986, became member of the CONCOM in 1986, and also
became a member of the Davide Commission in 1990, can be

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elective position in the immediately preceding elections.


However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be
members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten years.

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considered to have been engaged in the practice of law as
lawyer-economist, lawyer-manager, lawyer-entrepreneur, etc.
2. NO. The power of the COA to give consent to the
nomination of the Comelec Chairman by the president is
mandated by the constitution. The power of appointment is
essentially within the discretion of whom it is so vested
subject to the only condition that the appointee should
possess the qualification required by law. From the evidence,
there is no occasion for the SC to exercise its corrective
power since there is no such grave abuse of discretion on the
part of the CA.
Justice Padilla dissenting:
Monsod did not practice law. Justice Padilla emphasized the
following criteria in determining what constitutes practice of
law:
1. Habituality. The term practice of law implies customarily
or habitually holding ones self out to the public as a lawyer
(People vs. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Boyen, 4
S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular
announcing the establishment of a law office for the general
practice of law (U.S. v. Ney Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one
takes the oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public,
and files a manifestation with the Supreme Court informing it
of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country
(People v. De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in
frequent or customary action, a succession of acts of the
same kind. In other words, it is a habitual exercise (People v.
Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87
Kan, 864).
2. 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, as a service of his

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Justice Gutierrez dissenting:


Monsod did not practice law save for the one year he spent in
his fathers law office. The Chairman of the COMELEC should
have engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
The deliberate choice of words shows that the practice
envisioned is active and regular, not isolated, occasional,
accidental,
intermittent,
incidental,
seasonal,
or

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livelihood or in consideration of his said services. (People v.


Villanueva, supra). Hence, charging for services such as
preparation of documents involving the use of legal
knowledge and skill is within the term practice of law
(Ernani Pao, Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988
ed., p. 8 citing People v. Peoples Stockyards State Bank, 176
N.B. 901) and, one who renders an opinion as to the proper
interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is to that
extent, practicing law (Martin, supra, p. 806 citing Mendelaun
v. Gilbert and Barket Mfg. Co., 290 N.Y.S. 462) If
compensation is expected, all advice to clients and all action
taken for them in matters connected with the law; are
practicing law. (Elwood Fitchette et al., v. Arthur C. Taylor,
94A-L.R. 356-359)
3. Application
of
law,
legal
principle,
practice
or
procedure which calls for legal knowledge, training and
experience is within the term practice of law. (Martin supra)
4. Attorney-client relationship. Engaging in the practice of law
presupposes the existence of lawyer-client relationship.
Hence, where a lawyer undertakes an activity which requires
knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client relationship,
such as teaching law or writing law books or articles, he
cannot be said to be engaged in the practice of his profession
or a lawyer (Agpalo, Legal Ethics, 1989 ed., p. 30).
Monsod did not habitually practice law. It may be granted that
he performed activities which are related to the practice of
law like drafting legal documents and giving legal advice, but
he only did so as isolated incidents.

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extemporaneous. To be engaged in an activity for ten years
requires committed participation in something which is the
result of ones decisive choice. It means that one is occupied
and involved in the enterprise; one is obliged or pledged to
carry it out with intent and attention during the ten-year
period.
What kind of Judges or Justices will we have if their main
occupation is selling real estate, managing a business
corporation, serving in fact-finding committee, working in
media, or operating a farm with no active involvement in the
law, whether in Government or private practice, except that
in one joyful moment in the distant past, they happened to
pass the bar examinations?
There is nothing in Monsods track record which will show that
he Monsod has given the law enough attention or a certain
degree of commitment and participation as would support in
all sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in its
practice for at least ten years. Instead of working as a lawyer,
he has lawyers working for him. Instead of giving receiving
that legal advice of legal services, he was the one adviced
and those services as an executive but not as a lawyer.
Mauricio Ulep vs The Legal Clinic
223 SCRA 378
In 1984, The Legal Clinic was formed by Atty. Rogelio Nogales.
Its aim, according to Nogales was to move toward
specialization and to cater to clients who cannot afford the
services of big law firms. Now, Atty. Mauricio Ulep filed a
complaint against The Legal Clinic because of the latters
advertisements which contain the following:
SECRET MARRIAGE?
P560.00 for a valid marriage.
Info on DIVORCE. ABSENCE. ANNULMENT. VISA.

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THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.


Please call: 521-0767; 521-7232; 522-2041
8:30am 6:00pm
7th Flr. Victoria Bldg., UN Ave., Manila
GUAM DIVORCE
DON PARKINSON
An attorney in Guam is giving FREE BOOKS on Guam Divorce
through The Legal Clinic beginning Monday to Friday during
office hours.
Guam divorce. Annulment of Marriage. Immigration
Problems, Visa Ext. Quota/Non-quota Res. & Special Retirees
Visa. Declaration of Absence. Remarriage to Filipina Fiancees.
Adoption. Investment in the Phil. US/Foreign Visa for Filipina
Spouse/Children.
Call Marivic.
THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.
7th Flr. Victoria Bldg., UN Ave., Manila nr. US Embassy
Tel. 521-7232, 521-7251, 522-2041, 521-0767
It is also alleged that The Legal Clinic published an article
entitled Rx for Legal Problems in Star Week of Philippine
Star wherein Nogales stated that they The Legal Clinic is
composed of specialists that can take care of a clients
problem no matter how complicated it is even if it is as
complicated as the Sharon Cuneta-Gabby Concepcion
situation. He said that he and his staff of lawyers, who, like
doctors, are specialists in various fields, can take care of it.
The Legal Clinic, Inc. has specialists in taxation and criminal
law, medico-legal problems, labor, litigation and family law.
These specialists are backed up by a battery of paralegals,
counselors and attorneys.
As for its advertisement, Nogales said it should be allowed in
view of the jurisprudence in the US which now allows it (John
Bates vs The State Bar of Arizona). And that besides, the
advertisement is merely making known to the public the
services that The Legal Clinic offers.
ISSUE: Whether or not The Legal Clinic is engaged in the

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practice of law; whether such is allowed; whether or not its
advertisement may be allowed.
HELD: Yes, The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law
however, such practice is not allowed. The Legal Clinic is
composed mainly of paralegals. The services it offered
include various legal problems wherein a client may avail of
legal services from simple documentation to complex
litigation and corporate undertakings. Most of these services
are undoubtedly beyond the domain of paralegals, but rather,
are exclusive functions of lawyers engaged in the practice of
law. Under Philippine jurisdiction however, the services being
offered by Legal Clinic which constitute practice of law cannot
be performed by paralegals. Only a person duly admitted as a
member of the bar and who is in good and regular standing,
is entitled to practice law.
Anent the issue on the validity of the questioned
advertisements, the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides that a lawyer in making known his legal services
shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective
information or statement of facts. The standards of the legal
profession condemn the lawyers advertisement of his
talents. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his
profession, advertise his talents or skills as in a manner
similar to a merchant advertising his goods. Further, the
advertisements of Legal Clinic seem to promote divorce,
secret
marriage,
bigamous
marriage,
and
other
circumventions of law which their experts can facilitate. Such
is highly reprehensible.
The Supreme Court also noted which forms of advertisement
are allowed. The best advertising possible for a lawyer is a
well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity
to trust, which must be earned as the outcome of character
and conduct. Good and efficient service to a client as well as
to the community has a way of publicizing itself and catching
public attention. That publicity is a normal by-product of
effective service which is right and proper. A good and

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JUVY P. CIOCON-REER, ET AL. vs. JUDGE ANTONIO C.


LUBAO
A.M. OCA IPI No. 09-3210-RTJ | June 20, 2012 | Carpio,
J.
FACTS: The complainants were the plaintiffs in Civil Case No.
7819 that was appealed from MTC General Santos City to
RTC, Branch 22, which was the post of the respondent Judge.
Judge Lubao then issued an Order on 12 September 2008
directing the parties to file their memoranda within 30 days
from receipt. Complainants averred that defendants should
have received the Order by 07 October 2008, giving them
until 06 November 2008 to file the memoranda, but they
failed to do so. That notwithstanding, Judge Lubao still didnt
decide the case 4 months from November 6. On 20 May
2009, he even gave the defendants a last chance to file their
memoranda but the same was received by defendants only
on 17 June 2009. Thus, the complainants filed the instant
complaint with the OCA against the Judge for gross ignorance
of the law, rules or procedures, gross incompetency, violation
of RA 3019, violation of Arts. 171 and 172 of the RPC and
pertinent provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Judge Lubao, in his Comment, informed the Court that one of
the complainants, Remberto C. Karaan, Sr., is engaging in the

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reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to generate it


and to magnify his success. He easily sees the difference
between a normal by-product of able service and the
unwholesome result of propaganda. The Supreme Court also
enumerated the following as allowed forms of advertisement:
1. Advertisement in a reputable law list
2. Use of ordinary simple professional card
3. Listing in a phone directory but without designation as
to his specialization

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practice of law even though he is not a lawyer. Karaan replied
by saying that Judge Lubao was only evading the topic at
hand and thus violating again basic rules of procedure and
the law. The OCA dismissed the complaint saying that there
was no evidence of fraud, bad faith or dishonesty of Judge
Lubao in giving the said Orders. OCA said that the remedy of
complainants is a judicial remedy and not an administrative
case. The Supreme Court, in a Resolution dated 24 November
2010, dismissed the complainant against Judge Lubao and
ordered Karaan to show cause why he should not be cited in
contempt. Thus, Karaan moved for a reconsideration of the
dismissal before the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: WON Judge Lubao is guilty of gross ignorance of the
law, rules or procedures, gross incompetency, violation of RA
3019, violation of Arts. 171 and 172 of the RPC and pertinent
provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct
HELD: No. The SC held that not all administrative
complainants against judges should merit sanctions to judges
especially if no bad faith, dishonesty or corruption is present.
Judge Lubao could not be faulted for acting carefully before
proceeding with the civil case and in giving all the parties an
opportunity to be heard.
Further, the SC held that Karaan was indeed engaged in
unauthorized practice of law and he was held in indirect
contempt by the SC. His act of requiring the parties to
execute a Special Power of Attorney in his favor to allow him
to be a party litigant constituted such illegal practice. He was
imposed a penalty of 10,000.00 for his actions.
2. The Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines
IN THE MATTER OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE
INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

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FACTS: Republic Act. No. 6397 entitled An Act Providing for


the Integration of the Philippine Bar and Appropriating Funds
Therefore was passed in September 1971, ordaining Within
two years from the approval of this Act, the Supreme Court
may adopt rules of court to effect the integration of the
Philippine Bar. The Supreme Court formed a Commission on
Bar Integration and in December 1972, the Commission
earnestly recommended the integration of the bar. The Court
accepted all comments on the proposed integration.
ISSUES:
1. Does the Court have the power to integrate the
Philippine bar?
2. Would the integration of the bar be constitutional?
3. Should the Court ordain the integration of the bar at
this time?
HELD: In ruling on the issues raised, the Court first adopted
the definition given by the Commission to integration in this
wise: Integration of the Philippine Bar means the official
unification of the entire lawyer population of the Philippines.
This requires membership and financial support (in
reasonable amount) of every attorney as conditions sine qua
non to the practice of law and the retention of his name in the
Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court. The term Bar
refers to the collectivity of all persons whose names appear in
the Roll of Attorneys. An Integrated Bar (or unified Bar)
perforce must include all lawyers.
Complete unification is not possible unless it is decreed by an
entity with power to do so; the State. Bar integration
therefore, signifies the setting up by government authority of
a national organization of the legal profession based on the
recognition of the lawyer as an officer of the court.
Designed to improve the positions of the Bar as an
instrumentality of justice and the rule of law, integration
fosters cohesion among lawyers, and ensures, through their

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49 SCRA 22

own organized action and participation, the promotion of the


objectives of the legal profession, pursuant to the principle of
maximum Bar autonomy with minimum supervision and
regulation by the Supreme Court.
On the first issue, the Court held that it may integrate the Bar
in the exercise of its power to promulgate rules concerning
pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the
admission to the practice of law. Indeed, the power to
integrate is an inherent part of the Courts constitutional
authority over the Bar.
The second issue hinges on the following constitutional
rights: freedom of association and of speech, as well as the
nature of the dues exacted from the lawyer, i.e., whether or
not the Court thus levies a tax. The Court held:
1. Integration is not violative of freedom of association
because it does not compel a lawyer to become a
member of any group of which he is not already a
member. All that it does is to provide an official
national organization for the well-defined but
unorganized and incohesive group of which every
lawyer is already a member. The lawyer too is not
compelled to attend meetings, participate of activities,
etc. The only compulsion is the payment of annual
dues. Assuming, however, that it does compel a
lawyer to be a member of an integrated bar, the court
held that such compulsion is justified as an exercise
of the police power of the state
2. Integration is also not violative of the freedom of
speech just because dues paid b the lawyer may be
used for projects or programs, which the lawyer
opposes. To rule otherwise would make every
government exaction a free speech issue.
Furthermore, the lawyer is free to voice out his
objections to positions taken by the integrated bar.
3. The dues exacted from lawyers is not in the nature of
a levy but is purely for purposes of regulation.

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IN RE CUNANAN
94 PHIL. 534
FACTS: Congress passed Rep. Act No. 972, or what is known
as the Bar Flunkers Act, in 1952. The title of the law was, An
Act to Fix the Passing Marks for Bar Examinations from 1946
up to and including 1955.
Section 1 provided the following passing marks:
1946-195170%
1952 .71%
1953..72%
1954..73%
1955..74%
Provided however, that the examinee shall have no grade
lower than 50%.
Section 2 of the Act provided that A bar candidate who
obtained a grade of 75% in any subject shall be deemed to
have already passed that subject and the grade/grades shall
be included in the computation of the general average in
subsequent bar examinations.
ISSUE: Whether oR not, R.A. No. 972 is constitutional.
HELD: Section 2 was declared unconstitutional due to the
fatal defect of not being embraced in the title of the Act. As
per its title, the Act should affect only the bar flunkers of
1946 to 1955 Bar examinations. Section2 establishes a
permanent system for an indefinite time. It was also struck
down for allowing partial passing, thus failing to take account
of the fact that laws and jurisprudence are not stationary.
As to Section1, the portion for 1946-1951 was declared
unconstitutional, while that for 1953 to 1955 was declared in
force and effect. The portion that was stricken down was

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As to the third issue, the Court believes in the timeliness of


the integration. Survey showed an overwhelming majority of
lawyers who favored integration.

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based under the following reasons:
1. The law itself admits that the candidates for admission
who flunked the bar from 1946 to 1952 had
inadequate preparation due to the fact that this was
very close to the end of World War II;
2. The law is, in effect, a judgment revoking the
resolution of the court on the petitions of the said
candidates;
3. The law is an encroachment on the Courts primary
prerogative to determine who may be admitted to
practice of law and, therefore, in excess of legislative
power to repeal, alter and supplement the Rules of
Court. The rules laid down by Congress under this
power are only minimum norms, not designed to
substitute the judgment of the court on who can
practice law; and
4. The pretended classification is arbitrary and amounts
to class legislation.
As to the portion declared in force and effect, the Court could
not muster enough votes to declare it void. Moreover, the law
was passed in 1952, to take effect in 1953. Hence, it will not
revoke existing Supreme Court resolutions denying admission
to the bar of an petitioner. The same may also rationally fall
within the power to Congress to alter, supplement or modify
rules of admission to the practice of law.

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FACTS: Atty. San Juan was administratively charged for


gross negligence, in connection with the dismissal of his
client's appeal filed before the Court of Appeals (CA).
Tomas Dagohoy (Tomas), his client and the father of
complainant Rex Polinar Dagohoy, was charged with and
convicted of theft by the Regional Trial Court, Branch
34, of Panabo City, Davao del Norte. According to the
complainant, the
CA dismissed the appeal for Atty. San
Juans failure to file the appellants brief. He further alleged
that Atty. Sa n Juan did not file a motion for reconsideration
against the CAs order of dismissal.
The complainant also accused Atty. San Juan of being
untruthful in dealing with him and Tomas. The complainant, in
this regard, alleged that Atty. San Juan failed to inform him
and Tomas of the real status of Tomas appeal and did not
disclose to them the real reason for its dismissal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent is liable for
committing gross negligence, in connection with the dismissal
of his client's appeal filed before the Court of Appeals (CA)
HELD: Atty. San Juans negligence undoubtedly violates the
Lawyers Oath that requires him to conduct [himself] as a
lawyer accord ing to the best of (his) knowledge and
discretion, with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to
(his) clients[.] He also violated Rule 18.03 and Rule
18.04, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
We deny Atty.
San Juan's motion to lift the order of
suspension. Atty. San Juan's self-imposed compliance with
the IBP's recommended penalty of three (3) months
suspension
was
premature.
The
wordings
of
the
Resolution dated April 16, 2012 show that the Court
merely noted: (1) the IBP's findings and the recommended
penalty against Atty. San Juan; and (2) the IBP referral of the

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REX POLINAR DAGOHOY VS ATTY. ARTEMIO V. SAN


JUAN
A.C. No. 7944

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ca se back to the Court for its proper disposition. The IBP
findings and the stated penalty thereon are merely
recommendatory; only the Supreme Court has the power to
discipline erring lawyers and to impose against them
penalties for unethical conduct. 23 Until finally acted upon by
the Supreme Court, the IBP findings and the recommended
penalty imposed cannot attain finality until adopted by the
Court as its own. Thus, the IBP findings,
by themselves, cannot be a proper subject of implementation
or compliance.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court resolves to:
1. NOTE the Report and Recommendation dated January 14,
2013 of the Office of the Bar Confidant;
2. SUSPEND from the practice of law for a period of one ( 1)
year Atty. Artemio V. San Juan for violating his Lawyer's Oath
and Rules 18.03
and Rule 18.04, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, with a WARNING that the commission of the
same or similar act or acts shall be dealt with more severely;
and
3. DENY the motion filed by Atty. Artemio V. San Juan in the
letter dated August 28, 2012 that he be allowed to return to
the practice of law.
3. Admission to the Practice of Law
A. Citizenship
BAR MATTER 914
FACTS: In 1998, Vicente Ching finished his law degree at the
Saint Louis University in Baguio City. He eventually passed
the bar but he was advised that he needs to show proof that
he is a Filipino citizen before he be allowed to take his oath.
Apparently, Chings father was a Chinese citizen but his
mother was a Filipino citizen. His parents were married before

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he was born in 1963. Under the 1935 Constitution, a


legitimate child, whose one parent is a foreigner, acquires the
foreign citizenship of the foreign parent. Ching maintained
that he has always considered himself as a Filipino; that he is
a certified public accountant a profession reserved for
Filipinos; that he even served as a councilor in a municipality
in La Union.
The Solicitor-General commented on the case by saying that
as a legitimate child of a Chinese and a Filipino, Ching should
have elected Filipino citizenship upon reaching the age of
majority; that under prevailing jurisprudence, upon reaching
the age of majority is construed as within 7 years after
reaching the age of majority (in his case 21 years old because
he was born in 1964 while the 1935 Constitution was in
place).
Ching did elect Filipino citizenship but he only did so when he
was preparing for the bar in 1998 or 14 years after reaching
the age of majority. Nevertheless, the Solicitor-General
recommended that the rule be relaxed due to the special
circumstance of Ching.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ching should be allowed to take the
lawyers oath.
HELD: No. Unfortunately, he belatedly elected Filipino
citizenship. The Supreme Court cannot agree with the
recommendation of the Solicitor-General. Fourteen years had
lapsed and its way beyond the allowable 7 year period. The
Supreme Court even noted that the period is originally 3
years but it was extended to 7 years. (It seems it cant be
extended any further). Chings special circumstances cant be
considered. It is not enough that he considered all his life that
he is a Filipino; that he is a professional and a public officer
(was) serving this country. The rules for citizenship are in
place. Further, Ching didnt give any explanation why he
belatedly chose to elect Filipino citizenship (but I guess its
simply because he never thought hes Chinese not until he
applied to take the bar). The prescribed procedure in electing

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Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and
painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to
execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and,
thereafter, file the same with the nearest civil registry.
Chings unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his
election cannot be simply glossed over.
B. Residency
C. Character

In Re: Argosino B.M. No. 712 July 13, 1995


FACTS: This is a matter for admission to the bar and oath
taking of a successful bar applicant. Argosino was previously
involved with hazing that caused the death of Raul Camaligan
but was sentenced with homicide through reckless
imprudence after he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced with 2
year imprisonment where he applied for a probation
thereafter which was granted by the court with a 2
yr probation. He took the bar exam and passed but was not
allowed to take oath. He filed a petition to allow him to take
the attorneys oath of office averring that his probation was
already terminated. The court note that he spent only 10
months of the probation period before it was terminated.
ISSUE: WON Argosino may take oath of office.
HELD: The court upheld the principle of maintaining the good
morals of all Bar members, keeping in mind that such is of
greater importance so far as the general public and the
proper administration of justice are concerned, than the
possession of legal learning. Hence he was asked by the court
to produce evidence that would certify that he has reformed
and have become a responsible member of the community

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D. Academics
Re: Application of A.M. Hernandez July 27, 1993
FACTS: Hernandez is a Filipino citizen who have a degree of
Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in New York and
passed the bar examinations in the same City in 1990. He is
currently taking bar subjects in Ateneo Law School and taking
a 5 month bar review course there. He now asks the court to
allow him to take the bar exam in the Phils.
ISSUE: WON the S.C. may allow him to take the bar exam in
the
Phils.
HELD: Yes, he may be allowed to take the bar because there
were some instances in the past where a Filipino studied law
in a foreign law school and were allowed to take the bar in
the Philippines. However, the court held this time that in the
following year, applicants for the Bar must study in a local
law school in the Phils. And must present certifications
required by Section 5 and 6 of Rule 138 to be able to take the
bar. Such certification however is not issued to foreign law
school graduates therefore anyone who wants to take the bar
in the country should study in any of the law schools in the
Phils. to be able to take the bar exam.

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through sworn statements of individuals who have a good


reputation for truth and who have actually known Mr.
Argosino for a significant period of time to certify he is
morally fit to the admission of the law profession. The court
also ordered that said a copy of the proceeding be furnished
to the family/relatives of Raul Camaligan.

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Section 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the
bar. Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar
must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of
age, of good moral character, and resident of the Philippines;
and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory
evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against
him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending
in any court in the Philippines.
Section 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. All
applicants for admission other than those referred to in the two
preceding section 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.
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: civil
law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and
private international law, political law, labor and social
legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.
Section 6. Pre-Law. No applicant for admission to the bar
examination shall be admitted unless he presents a certificate
that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education 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 thereto the completion of a
four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed
therein for a bachelor's degree in arts or sciences with any of

The Qualifications to the Practice of Law (Rule 138, Sec2, 5, 6


Rules of Court)

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4. Law Practice of Non-Lawyers
a. RULE 138-A: Law Student Practice Rule
Section 1. Conditions for student practice. A law
student who has successfully completed his 3rd 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.
Section 2. Appearance. The appearance of the law
student authorized by this rule, 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.

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the following subjects as major or field of concentration:


political science, logic, english, spanish, history and economics.

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Rule 138 Section 34. By whom litigation conducted. In the
court of a justice of the peace a party may conduct his litigation
in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him
for the purpose, or with the aid 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.
D. Legal Ethics
1. Definition
Legal ethics: branch of moral science which treats of the
duties which an attorney owes to the court, to his client, to his
colleagues in the profession and to the public.
- It is the embodiment of all principles of morality and
refinement that should govern the conduct of every member of
the bar.

Section 3. Privileged communications. The Rules


safeguarding
privileged
communications
between
attorney and client shall apply to similar communications
made to or received by the law student, acting for the
legal clinic.
Section 4. Standards of conduct and supervision. 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.
(Circular No. 19, dated December 19, 1986).

2. Lawyers Oath
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 the best of my
knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as
well to the courts as to my clients; and I impose
upon myself this voluntary obligation without any

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SPOUSES VIRGILIO and ANGELINA ARANDA vs. ATTY.


EMMANUEL F. ELAYDA
A.C. No. 7907
December 15, 2010
FACTS: In 2006, Atty. Emmanuel Elayda was hired by
Spouses Virgilio and Angelina Aranda to be their counsel in a
civil case. However, to their surprise in July 2006, an adverse

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mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So


help me God.
3. Four Fold Duties of a Lawyer
A. Duty to the society: A lawyer should not
violate his responsibility to society,
exemplar for righteousness, ready to
render to legal aid, foster social reforms,
guardian of due process, aware of special
role in the solution of special problems
and be always ready to lend assistance to
the study and solution of social problems.
B. Duty to the legal profession: A lawyer
must show candor, fairness, courtesy and
truthfulness, avoid encroachment in the
business of other lawyers and uphold the
honor of legal profession
C. Duty to the courts: A lawyer must defend
against criticism, uphold authority and
dignity, obey order and processes, and
assist in the administration of justice.
D. Duty to the client: A lawyer must give his
entire devotion to his clients interest.

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judgment was issued against them, thus they lost possession
of their car. Apparently, their counsel never appeared in court
for them. Atty. Elayda failed to inform the spouses of the date
of hearing as well as the order of judgment. No motion for
reconsideration or appeal was interposed by the lawyer as
well.
In his defense, Atty. Elayda said that it was the spouses who
never went to court; that the spouses neglected to check on
their case in court; that one time when their case was
scheduled, he even notified the court stenographer to notify
him if the spouses are in court so that he could be there for
them as he was in another court branch for another case.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Elayda should be disciplined.
HELD: Yes. It was established that Atty. Elayda was remiss
and negligent in handling the Aranda case. Although it is true
that the client and their counsel must equally share the
burden of communication, it is the primary duty of the
counsel to inform the client of the status of their case in court
and the orders which have been issued by the court. He
cannot simply wait for his clients to make an inquiry about
the developments in their case. Close coordination between
counsel and client is necessary for them to adequately
prepare for the case, as well as to effectively monitor the
progress of the case. Also, his excuse that he did not appear
in court because the spouses failed to appear in court is not
tenable. His attendance at the hearing should not be made to
depend on the whether the spouses Aranda will come or not.
The IBP Board of Governors recommended a 6 month
suspension. This was adopted by the court.

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