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CANON 16 - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY

COME INTO HIS PROFESSION.


Rule 16.01 - A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.
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.
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.
Rule 16.04 - A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client's interest 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.
Misappropriation of clients funds
1.

Arroyo-Posidio vs. Vitan


Facts:
Complainant Arroyo- Posidio paid respondent legal fees in the amount of P20,000.00 to handle a special
proceeding. However respondent withdrew his appearance as counsel in the said case, thus complainant
engaged the services of another lawyer. Later, respondent convinced complainant to file another case to
recover her share in the alleged undeclared properties and demanded P100,000.00 as legal fees therefor.
After several months, however, respondent failed to institute any action. Complainant decided to forego the
filing of the case and asked for the return of the P100,000.00, but respondent refused despite repeated
demands.
Complainant filed an action for sum of money and damages against respondent which was given due course.
To satisfy the judgment against him, respondent issued check but was dishonored for the reason that account
was closed. Hence, this administrative complaint charging respondent with deceit, fraud, dishonesty and
commission of acts in violation of the lawyers oath. Respondent claimed that the amount was partial
payment for his services in Special Proceeding Case.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) found respondent guilty.
Ruling:
Rule 16.01, Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility requires the lawyer to account for all money
or property collected or received for or from his client. Where a client gives money to his lawyer for a specific
purpose, such as to file an action, appeal an adverse judgment, consummate a settlement, or pay the
purchase price of a parcel of land, the lawyer should, upon failure to take such step and spend the money for
it, immediately return the money to his client.
In the instant case, respondent received the amount of P100,000.00 as legal fees for filing additional claims
against the estate of Nicolasa S. de Guzman Arroyo. However, he failed to institute an action, thus it was
imperative that he immediately return the amount to complainant upon demand therefor. Having received
payment for services which were not rendered, respondent was unjustified in keeping complainants money.
His obligation was to immediately return the said amount. His refusal to do so despite complainants repeated
demands constitutes a violation of his oath where he pledges not to delay any man for money and swears to
conduct himself with good fidelity to his clients.
The lawyers failure to return the money of his client upon demand gave rise to a presumption
that he has misappropriated said money in violation of the trust reposed on him. The conversion
by a lawyer [of] funds entrusted to him by his client is a gross violation of professional ethics
and a betrayal of public confidence in the legal profession.
-SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year effective from notice, with a STERN
WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

2.

Parinas vs Paguinto
Facts:
Complainant hired respondent to annul her marriage. She gave respondent a diskette containing a narration
of what happened with her husband. She also gave respondent money as part of the acceptance fee and
filing fee for the case. Respondent then told complainant that their 1 st hearing was postponed. Unconvinced
she went to the RTC to inquire on the status and found out that no case was filed in court. Respondent
promised to return the money.
Issue: WON guilty of Canon 16?
Ruling: Yes.
Money entrusted to a lawyer for a specific purpose, such as for a filing fee, but not used for failure to file the
case must immediately be returned to the client on demand. Paguinto returned the money only after Parinas
filed the administrative case for disbarment.

3.

Reyes vs Maglaya
Facts:
Respondent agreed to handle the case of complainant, and asked for, and was given the amount of
P1,500.00, as his fee therefor. Later, complainant made a letter that was addressed to the respondent
demanding the return of the P1,500.00, but respondent failed to return the aforesaid amount up to the
present. And that due to respondent's inaction in the case endorsed to him by the complainant for a period of
more than four (4) months; his failure to return all the documentary evidence entrusted to him, and his failure
to return the amount he received, the case against Offemaria has not yet been commenced up to the present.
Respondent Maglaya averred that at the time he needed the original documents to file the case but there was
none. He also stated that the amount of P1,500.00 which he received from complainant, was not only for his
fees but also for expenses incurred in retrieving complainant's records from the CIS.
In a series of cases for the complaint against him, respondent was always absent because he was sick.
Ruling:
This Court is in full accord with the findings and recommendation of the IBP that respondent by his admissions
has sufficiently demonstrated conduct showing his unfitness for the confidence and trust which characterize
the attorney-client relationship. By his unexplained failure to return the amount of P1,500.00 demanded by
complainant-client receipt of which he had acknowledged and which he had agreed to return at the earliest
possible opportunity, he failed to live up to his duties as a lawyer. He has in particular disregarded Canon 16,
Rule 16.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which requires that "a lawyer shall deliver the funds and
property of his client when due or upon demand . . . . His inexcusable act of withholding money belonging to
his client warrants the imposition of disciplinary sanction.

4.

Meneses vs Macalino
Facts:
Respondent offered his services to help secure the release of the complainants car from the Bureau of
Customs. Resp proposed to handle the case for a package deal of 60k. Complainant agreed and initially gave
10k for processing papers. Later, respondent asked 30k to expedite release of car. He did not issue a receipt
but promised to furnish one from the Bureau. Since then, respondent failed to update complainant on the
matter. Comp went to resps house to inquire the status but was always told that resp was not around. Later,
Complainant filed a disbarment case for failure to render services and refund fees.
Ruling:
After receiving 40k, respondent was never heard of again. It was only after complainant filed a complaint
with the NBI did respondent communicate with the complainant.

5.

Barcenas vs Alvero
Facts:
FACTS: Reynaria Barcenas, through her employee Rodolfo San Antonio, entrusted Atty.Anorlito A. Alvero the
amount of 300K to be consigned in court to redeem the rights of hisfather as tenant of a ricefield. Later, they
found out that Atty. Alvero was losing a lot of moneyin cockfights. To check if their money was still intact, they
pretended to borrow P80K from the300K. Respondent replied Akala niyo ba ay madaling kunin ang pera pag
nasa korte na?Subsequently, complainant discovered the respondent never consigned the amount in
court andinstead used it for his personal needs. Despite promising to return the amount, respondent failedto
do so.
HELD: YES, respondent violated Canon 1, Rule 1.01, Rules 16.01, 16.02, 16.03 of Canon 16.Suspended for 2
yrs. Jurisprudence dictates that a lawyer who obtains possession of the funds and properties of client in the
course of his professional employment shall deliver the same to his client when: 1.Becomes due; and 2. Upon
demand. Atty. Alvero cannot take refuge in his claim that there existed no attorney-client
relationship between him and Barcenas. Even if it were true that no attorney-client relationship
existed between them, case law has it that an attorney may be removed, or otherwise disciplined, not only
for malpractice and dishonesty in the profession, but also for gross misconduct not connected with his
professional duties, making him unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges which his license and the
law confer upon him Atty. Alvero's failure to immediately account for and return the money when due and
upon demand violated the trust reposed in him, demonstrated his lack of integrity and moral soundness, and
warranted the imposition of disciplinary action. It gave rise to the presumption that he converted the money
for his own use, and this act constituted a gross violation of professional ethics and a betrayal of public
confidence in the legal profession

6.

Arellano Univ vs Mijares


Facts:
Complainant Arellano University, Inc. engaged the services of respondent Leovigildo H.Mijares III, for securing
a certificate of title covering a dried up portion of the Estero deSan Miguel that the University had been
occupying. The property was the subject of aDeed of Exchange dated October 1, 1958 between the City of
Manila and the University. The University alleged that it gave him all the documents he needed to accomplish
his work. Later, Mijares asked the University for and was given P500,000.00 on top of his attorneys fees,
supposedly to cover the expenses for "facilitation and processing." He in turn promised to give the money
back in case he was unable to get the work done. Mijares informed the University that he already completed
Phase I of the titling of the property. The University requested Mijares for copies of the MMDA approval but he

unjustifiably failed to comply despite his clients repeated demands. Then he made himself scarce, prompting
the University to withdraw all the cases it had entrusted tohim and demand the return of the P500,000.00 it
gave him. The University wrote Mijares by registered letter, formally terminating his services in the titling
matter and demanding the return of the P500,000.00. But the letter could not be served because he changed
office address without telling the University. Eventually, the University found his new address and served him
its letter on January 2, 2006. Mijares personally received it yet he did not return the money asked of him.
Issue: whether or not respondent Mijares is guilty of misappropriating the P500,000.00that his client, the
University, entrusted to him for use in facilitating and processing the titling of a property that it claimed.
Ruling:
Yes, respondent Mijares is guilty of misappropriating the P500,000.00 that his client, the University, entrusted
to him for use in facilitating and processing the titling of a property that it claimed. Every lawyer has the
responsibility to protect and advance the interests of his client such that he must promptly account for
whatever money or property his client may have entrusted to him. As a mere trustee of said money or
property, he must hold them separate from that of his own and make sure that they are used for their
intended purpose. If not used, he must return the money or property immediately to his client upon demand,
otherwise the lawyer shall be presumed to have misappropriated the same in violation of the trust reposed on
him. A lawyers conversion of funds entrusted to him is a gross violation of professional ethics. The Court is
not, therefore, inclined to let him off with the penalty of indefinite suspension which is another way of saying
he can resume his practice after a time if he returns the money and makes a promise to shape up.
Definition:
Retaining Lien vs Charging Lien
Retaining Lien

Charging Lien

1. 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.

2. Basis

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

Securing of a favorable
money judgment for the
client.

3. Coverage

Covers only papers,


documents and
property in the lawful
possession of the
attorney by reason of
his professional
employment

Covers all judgments for


the payment of money
and executions issued in
pursuance of such
judgments.

4. When Lien
takes effect

As soon as the
attorney gets
possession of the
papers documents or
property

As soon as the claim for


attorneys fees had been
entered into the records
of the case

5. Notice

Client need not be


notified to make it
effective

Client and adverse party


must be notified to make
it effective

6.
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

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.
1. Tahaw vs Vitan
Facts:

Victoria Tahaw (Tahaw), the complainant, secured the services of respondent Atty. Jeremias Vitan (Vitan) for
filing appropriate action for a partition of a real property located in Makati City delivering to respondent 4
checks amounting to P30,000.00. Upon verification to check if a case has been filed for and in her behalf, she
was issued a certification by the Clerk of Court in Makati that no such case was filed prompting Tahaw to write
the respondent informing him that she was terminating his services as counsel and demanded the refund of
the P30,000.00 to which Vitan failed to return prompting to file a complaint of disbarment or suspension with
IBP.
Issue: Whether or not the non filing of a case constitute a remiss in the lawyers responsibilities which can be
penalized by disbarment or suspension with the IBP.
Held:
The Court agreed with the recommendation of the IBP that respondent has been remiss in his responsibilities.
He is found guilty of violation of Canons 7 and 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for his failure to
file the necessary pleading for his clients case and for the failure to return and immediately deliver the funds
of his client advanced for the purpose of filing the said case, upon demand, and even after his commitment
with the IBP to do so. Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides: A lawyer owes fidelity to
the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. The trust and
confidence of clients require in a lawyer a high standard and appreciation of his duty to them. Nothing should
be done by any member of the legal fraternity which might tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the
public in the fidelity, honesty, and integrity of the legal profession. The respondent was suspended for six
months with a stern warning that a repetition of the same and similar acts shall be dealt with more severely.
CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.
Rules 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.
Rule 18.02 - A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation.
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.
Rule 18.04 - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond
within a reasonable time to the client's request for information.
Definition:
Collaborating Counsel one who is subsequently engaged to assist a lawyer already handling a particular
case for a client; must be with the consent of the client. Usually a handling lawyer suggests to client to allow
him to take another lawyer.
Neglect of Duty
1. Barbuco v Beltran
Facts:
Complainant filed an administrative case against respondent Beltran for malpractice of law. Complainant,
through her son, Benito B. Sy, engaged the services of respondent for the purpose of filing an appeal
before the Court of Appeals from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, which adverese to the
complainants interest. On the same day, complainant, through Benito B. Sy, gave respondent the total
sum of P3,500.00 for payment of the docket fees.
However, the appeal was dismissed by the CA for failure to file Appellant's brief. The brief was only filed
by respondent 43 days after the deadline of submission of the same.
When asked to comment, respondent tried to evade liability by alleging that he met a vehicular accident,
which incapacitated him for several days, thus he cannot finish the appellants brief. Moreover, he
sustained injuries in the head, which as a result respondent lost track of schedules of hearings and
deadlines for submitting briefs.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent's failure to file appellant's brief warrants sanctions.
Held:
Yes. the SC enunciated that "Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers states:A
lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall
render him liable. An attorney is bound to protect his clients interest to the best of his ability and with
utmost diligence. Failure to file brief within the reglementary period certainly constitutes inexcusable
negligence, more so if the delay of FORTY THREE (43) days resulted in the dismissal of the appeal.
The fact that respondent was involved in a vehicular accident and suffered physical injuries as a result
thereof cannot serve to excuse him from filing his pleadings on time considering that he was a member of
a law firm composed of not just one lawyer. This is shown by the receipt he issued to complainant and
the pleadings which he signed for and on behalf of the Beltran, Beltran and Beltran Law Office. As such,
respondent could have asked any of his partners in the law office to file the Appellants Brief for him or, at
least, to file a Motion for Extension of Time to file the said pleading.

Moreover, every member of the Bar should always bear in mind that every case that a lawyer accepts
deserves his full attention, diligence, skill and competence, regardless of its importance and whether he
accepts it for a fee or for free. A lawyers fidelity to the cause of his client requires him to be ever mindful
of the responsibilities that should be expected of him. He is mandated to exert his best efforts to protect
the interest of his client within the bounds of the law. The Code of Professional Responsibility dictates
that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence and he should not neglect a legal
matter entrusted to him. "
2.

Cuizon vs Macalino
Facts:
The legal services of the respondent was sought by the complainant in behalf of her husband Antolin
Cuizon who was convicted for Violation of Dangerous Drug Act of 1972. When the spouses had no
sufficient means to pay the legal fees, the respondent suggested that he be given possession of
complainants Mistubishi car, which was delivered to the respondent. Later respondent offered to buy the
car for Eighty Five Thousand Pesos (P85,000.00) for which he paid a down payment of Twenty Four
Thousand Pesos (P24,000.00). After the sale of the car, respondent failed to attend to the case of Antolin
Cuizon, so complainant was forced to engage the services of another lawyer.
Held:
In the instant case, after agreeing to represent the complainants husband, taking possession of their car
and persuading the complainant to sell the same to him for a nominal amount, the respondent refused to
carry out his duties as counsel prompting the complainant to secure the services of another lawyer to
defend her husband. The respondent clearly breached his obligation under Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility which provides: A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to
him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
The respondents infraction is compounded by the fact that he issued a check in favor of the complainants
husband which was later dishonored for having been drawn against a closed account. Such conduct
indicates the respondents unfitness for the trust and confidence reposed on him, shows such lack of
personal honesty and good moral character as to render him unworthy of public confidence and
constitutes a ground for disciplinary action.
The fact that the respondent went into hiding in order to avoid service upon him of the warrant of arrest
issued by the Court exacerbates his offense. His repeated failure to comply with the
Courts Resolutions requiring him to file his comment on the complaint should also be taken into account.
By his repeated cavalier conduct, the respondent exhibited an unpardonable lack of respect for the
authority of the Court.

3.

Villariasa-Riesenbeck vs Abarrientos
Facts: Complainant alleges that respondent was her lawyer. The case was unfortunately decided against
her, so she asked respondent to prepare a Motion for Reconsideration. She paid him P5,000 for the
motion.
Respondent failed to apprise her about the status of her case. Respondent never even called her at her
landladys phone number which she left with him.
When she heard that a resolution had arrived, it was not from respondent but from Johannes, her
husband. Respondent never gave her a copy of the resolution. Later, respondent astounded her with the
truth that the period to file the petition had already expired. Respondent confessed that he received the
denial of the Motion for Reconsideration. Respondent insists he was diligent in the performance of his
duties. He claims that after he received the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration on April 18, 2000, he
tried to reach complainant. He had his secretaries call her several times at the phone number she gave
and even repeatedly sent a messenger to her house.
When complainant did go to his office, it was only on June 23, 2000, long after the period to appeal had
lapsed.[12] He blamed her for coming late.
Respondent further alleges that from the very start, he made it clear to complainant and her husband
that she stood to lose the case even before the Supreme Court.
Petitioners landlady, and housemaid, both averred that neither of them received any phone call or visit
from respondent or any of his personnel.
IBP Committee on Bar Discipline found respondent to have violated Canons 17 and 18.
Held:
The lawyer owes entire devotion to the interest of the client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense
of the clients rights, and the exertion of the lawyers utmost learning and ability to the end that nothing be
taken or withheld from the client, save by the rules of law legally applied
Respondent failed to demonstrate the candor he owed complainant. Respondent kept hiding from
complainant the fact that he had received a copy of the Resolution as early as April 18, 2000, despite
complainants many visits to his law office. Worse, respondent made complainant believe that the petition
would be filed in time before this Court.
Needless to emphasize, a lawyer must not keep a client in the dark as to the status of and developments
in the clients case. The lawyer is obliged to respond within a reasonable time to a clients request for
information. A client is entitled to the fullest disclosure of the mode or manner by which that clients
interest is defended or why certain steps are taken or omitted. A lawyer who repeatedly fails to answer

the inquiries or communications of a client violates the rules of professional courtesy and neglects the
clients interests.
Respondents failure to exercise due diligence in attending to the interest of complainant caused her grave
material prejudice. Respondent has indeed committed a serious lapse in the duty owed by him to his
client.
CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE
LAW.
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.
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.
Rule 19.03 - A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the procedure in handling the case.
Represent client within the bounds of law
1. Pena vs Aparicio
Facts:
Atty. Lolito G. Aparicio appeared as legal counsel for Grace C. Hufana in an illegal dismissal case before
the National Labor Relations Commission(NLRC) against complainant Fernando Martin Pena. Hufana is
praying for claim for separation pay, but Pena rejected the claim as baseless.
Thereafter, Aparicio sent Pena a letter reiterating his client's claim for separation pay. Through his letter,
he threatened complainant that should Pena fail to pay the amounts they propose as settlement, he
would file and claim bigger amounts including moral damages, as well as multiple charges such as tax
evasion, falsification of documents, and cancellation of business license to operate due to violations of
laws.
Issue:
WON Aparicio violated Canon 19 (and 19.01) of theCPR, enjoining every lawyer to represent his client
withzeal within the bounds of the law?
Held:
YES. 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."
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 leverage to compel the adversaries to yield or withdraw their
own cases against the lawyer's client.
In the case at bar, the threats are not only unethical for violating Canon 19, but they also amount to
blackmail. The letter in this case contains more than just a simple demand to pay. It even contains a
threat to file retaliatory charges against complainant which have nothing to do with his client's claim for
separation pay. Indeed, letters of this nature are definitely proscribed.
While the writing of the letter went beyond ethical standards, we hold that disbarment is too severe a
penalty to be imposed on respondent, considering that he wrote the same out of his overzealousness to
protect his client's interests. Accordingly, the more appropriate penalty is
reprimand.
2.

Millare vs Montero
Facts:
Complainant obtained a favorable judgment from the MTC which ordered respondents client to vacate
the premises subject of the ejectment case. respondent as counsel, appealed the decision. CA dismissed
Co's appeal from the decision of the RTC for failure to comply with the proper procedures. Respondent
thereafter resorted to devious and underhanded means to delay the execution of the judgment rendered
by the MTC adverse to his client.
Held: SUSPENDED for (1) year. Rule 12.02. A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the same
cause. Rule 12.04. A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or
misuse court processes.
Under Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer is required to represent his client
"within the bounds of the law." The Code enjoins a lawyer to employ only fair and honest means to attain
the lawful objectives of his client (Rule 19.01) and warns him not to allow his client to dictate the
procedure in handling the case (Rule 19.03). In short, a lawyer is not a gun for hire.
It is unethical for a lawyer to abuse or wrongfully use the judicial process, like the filing of dilatory
motions, repetitious litigation and frivolous appeals for the sole purpose of frustrating and delaying the
execution of a judgment.

A judgment can be annulled only on two grounds: (a) that the judgment is void for want of jurisdiction or
for lack of due process of law, or (b) that it has been obtained by fraud.
Judging from the number of actions filed by respondent to forestall the execution of the same judgment,
respondent is also guilty of forum shopping. Forum shopping exists when, by reason of an adverse
decision in one forum, defendant ventures to another for a more favorable resolution of his case.
3.

Ong vs Unto
FACTS: This is a disbarment case filed by Alex Ong against Atty. Elpidio D. Unto, for malpractice of law and
conduct unbecoming of a lawyer.
It is evident from the records that he tried to coerce the complainant to comply with his letter-demand by
threatening to file various charges against the latter. When the complainant did not heed his warning, he
made good his threat and filed a string of criminal and administrative cases against the complainant.
They, however, did not have any bearing or connection to the cause of his client. The records show that
the respondent offered monetary rewards to anyone who could provide him any information against the
complainant just so he would have leverage in his actions against the latter.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Untos acts constitute malpractice.
HELD:
Yes. Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates lawyers to represent their clients with
zeal but within the bounds of the law. Rule 19.01 further commands that a lawyer shall employ only fair
and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client and shall not present, participate, or
threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or
proceeding.

CANON 20 - A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND REASONABLE FEES.


Rule 20.01 - A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining his
fees:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(a) the time spent and the extent of the service 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.
Rule 20.02 - A lawyer shall, in case of referral, with the consent of the client, be entitled to a
division of fees in proportion to the work performed and responsibility assumed.
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.
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.
Two Concepts of Attorneys Fees
1.
Ordinary attorneys fee -the reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer by his client for the legal services he
has rendered to the latter. The basis for this compensation is the fact of his employment by and his agreement with
the client.
2.
Extraordinary attorneys fee an indemnity for damages ordered by the court to be paid by the losing party
in litigation. The basis for this is any of the cases provided for by law where such award can be made, such as those
authorized in Article 2208 of the Civil Code, 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.
Form of Employment
1. Oral counsel is employed without a written agreement, but the conditions and amount of attorneys fees
are agreed upon
2. Express when terms and conditions including the amount of fees, are explicitly stipulated in a written
document which may be a private or public document
Commencement of Employment
Once there is a meeting of the minds on the case or subject to be handled and the consideration
therefor
Consultations where lawyer permits with a view of obtaining professional advice or assistance

Payment of attorneys fees not necessary to create said relationship

Kinds of Retainer Agreements


1. General Retainer or Retaining Fee it is the fee paid to a lawyer to secure his future services as general
counsel for any ordinary legal problem that may arise in the ordinary business of the client and referred
to him for legal action;
2. Special Retainer that is a fee for a specific case or service rendered by the lawyer for a client
Attorneys fees based on Quantum Meruit

Quantum Meruit it means as much as he deserves, and is used as the basis for determining the
lawyers professional fees in the absence of a contract, but recoverable by him from his client.

Quantum Meruit is resorted to where:


1. there is no express contract for payment of attorneys fees agreed upon between the lawyer and the
client;
2. when although there is a formal contract for attorneys fees, the stipulated fees are found
unconscionable or unreasonable by the court.
3. When the contract for attorneys fees is void due to purely formal matters or defects of execution
4. When the counsel, for justifiable cause, was not able to finish the case to its conclusion
5. When lawyer and client disregard the contract for attorneys fees.
Definition:
Champertous Contracts vs Contingent Fee
Champertous Contracts (void) Lawyer stipulates with his client that in the prosecution of the case, he
will bear all the expenses for the recovery of things or property being claimed by the client and the latter
agrees to pay the former a portion of the thing/property recovered as compensation.
Contingent fee fee charged for a lawyer's services only if the lawsuit is successful or is favorably settled
out of court
-

Champertous
Paid ONLY in kind
Counsel undertakes to bear all.

Contingent
May be paid in cash
Counsel does not undertake to bear all expenses

CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN
AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATION IS TERMINATED.
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.
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 21.03 - 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.
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 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 clients.
Rule 21.06 - A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a client's affairs even with
members of his family.
Rule 21.07 - A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been consulted about a particular case except
to avoid possible conflict of interest.
Attorney-Client Relationship
1. Suntay vs Suntay
Facts:
This Complaint for disbarment was filed by Federico C. Suntay against his nephew, Atty. Rafael G. Suntay,
alleging that respondent was his legal counsel, adviser and confidant who was privy to all his legal,
financial and political affairs from 1956 to 1964. However, since they parted ways because of politics and
respondent's overweening political ambitions in 1964, respondent had been filing complaints and cases
against complainant, making use of confidential information gained while their attorney-client relationship
existed, and otherwise harassing him at every turn.
Held:

Atty. Rafael G. Suntay acted as counsel for clients in cases involving subject matters regarding which he
had either been previously consulted by complainant or which he had previously helped complainant to
administer as the latter's counsel and confidant from 1956 to 1964. Thus in Civil Cases Nos. 4306-M and
4726-M respondent acted as counsel for estranged business associates of complainant, namely, Carlos
Panganiban and Narciso Lopez, the subject matter of which were the two (2) fishponds which respondent
had previously helped to administer.
On the other hand, I.S. No. 77-1523 for false testimony and grave oral defamation before the Office of the
Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan, and Civil Case No. 112764 for damages before the then Court of First Instance
of Manila, were filed in behalf of Magno Dinglasan, a former Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) official,
regarding whose alleged demand for P150,000.00 from complainant in exchange for the destruction of
the latter's record in the BIR, respondent had previously advised complainant to disregard. Civil Case No.
117624 and I.S. No. 77-1523 were precisely filed against complainant because the latter had previously
testified on the alleged demand made by Dinglasan. Although respondent denied that there was ever
such a demand made by Dinglasan, the point is that his word on the matter, i.e., whether there was in
fact such a demand, would carry much weight against complainant considering that he was the latter's
counsel in 1957 or 1958 when the alleged demand was made. In addition, respondent initiated the
prosecution of complainant in I.S. No. 74-193 for violation of P.D. No. 296 for the disappearance of the two
(2) creeks, namely, Sapang Malalim and Sapang Caluang, previously traversing complainant's fishpond in
Bulacan covered by TCT No. T-15674 by using information obtained while he was in possession of the
certificate of title and the blueprint plan of the property.
A lawyer shall preserve the confidences and secrets of his clients even after termination of the attorneyclient relation.
CANON 22 - A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR GOOD CAUSE AND UPON
NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
Rule 22.01 - A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the following case:
(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
(g) Other similar cases.
Rule 22.02 - A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, subject to a retainer lien,
immediately turn over all papers and property to which the client is entitled, and shall
cooperative with his successor in the orderly transfer of the matter, including all information
necessary for the proper handling of the matter.
Concept of Appearance - Act of submitting or presenting self to court, either as plaintiff or defendant,
personally or thru counsel, asking general or special reliefs from the court.
Kinds
1. General Appearance party comes to court as plaintiff or defendant and seeks general reliefs for
satisfaction of claims or counter claims
2. Special Appearance defendant appears in court solely for the purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction of
the court over his person; Aim: dismissal of the case
Termination of Attorney- client Relationship
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Withdrawal of lawyer under rule 22.0


Death of lawyer, unless it is a law firm, in which case, the other partners may continue with the case
Death of the client as the relationship is personal, and one of agency
Discharge or dismissal of the lawyer by the client, for the right to dismiss a counsel is the prerogative of the client,
subject to certain limitations;
Appointment or election of a lawyer to a government position which prohibits private practice of law;
Full termination of the case, or cases
Disbarment or suspension of the lawyer from the practice of law
Intervening incapacity or incompetency of client during the pendency of case, for then client loses his capacity to
contract. Guardian may authorize lawyer to continue
Declaration of the presumptive death of the lawyer

10. Conviction for a crime and imprisonment of the lawyer for quite sometime