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Renato Cayetano vs Christian

Monsod
Legal Ethics Practice of Law
In 1991, Christian Monsod was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission on Elections.
His appointment was affirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Monsods appointment
was opposed by Renato Cayetano on the ground that he does not qualify for he failed to
meet the Constitutional requirement which provides that the chairman of the COMELEC
should have been engaged in the practice law for at least ten years.
Monsods track record as a lawyer:
1. Passed the bar in 1960 with a rating of 86.55%.
2. Immediately after passing, worked in his fathers law firm for
one year.
3. Thereafter, until 1970, he went abroad where he had a
degree in economics and held various positions in various
foreign corporations.
4. In 1970, he returned to the Philippines and held executive
jobs for various local corporations until 1986.
5. In 1986, he became a member of the Constitutional
Commission.

ISSUE: Whether or not Monsod qualifies as chairman of the COMELEC. What constitutes
practice of law?
HELD: Yes. Atty. Monsods past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyermanager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyerlegislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional
requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.

As noted by various authorities, the practice of law is not limited to court appearances. The
members of the bench and bar and the informed laymen such as businessmen, know that in
most developed societies today, substantially more legal work is transacted in law offices
than in the courtrooms. General practitioners of law who do both litigation and non-litigation
work also know that in most cases they find themselves spending more time doing what is
loosely described as business counseling than in trying cases. In the course of a working
day the average general practitioner wig engage in a number of legal tasks, each involving
different legal doctrines, legal skills, legal processes, legal institutions, clients, and other
interested parties. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers in specialized practice wig
usually perform at least some legal services outside their specialty. By no means will most
of this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively rare types a
litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the work will
require the lawyer to have mastered the full range of traditional lawyer skills of client
counseling, advice-giving, document drafting, and negotiation