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Kong, Christian Lulu A.

Legal Profession


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SC disbars marrying judge, lawyer

THE SUPREME Court has disbarred a former judge and a lawyer in a land case for
separate cases of gross misconduct and dishonesty.
The high court on Aug. 30 disbarred Cebu City Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC)
Judge Rosabella M. Tormis for repetitive acts of solemnizing marriages without a
The high tribunal said the misconduct, even if it was committed during her stint as a
judge, tainted her qualifications to remain a lawyer.
It is clear that [the] respondents repetitive acts of solemnizing marriages without a
license showed her proclivity to disrespect the law and showed her lack of good
character, and renders her unfit to continue to practice law, the Supreme Court said.
Earlier, the court dismissed Tormis for her failure to act on cases within the mandatory
Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/812831/sc-disbars-marrying-judge-lawyer
In the case abovementioned, the judge acted contrary to the code of professional
responsibility. Judge Tormis violated Canon 1 which states that a lawyer shall uphold the
Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal process.
The judge solemnized marriages without a valid marriage license which is contrary to
law. Being a judge, she should have known that a marriage license is a formal requisite
of marriage and a marriage solemnized without a marriage license is void. Judge Tormis
circumvented the law by solemnizing several marriages without a marriage license. This
act of the judge amounts to a complete disregard of the provision of the law. Pursuant to
Canon 1 a lawyer must promote respect for law and legal process. Lawyers must
uphold the law at all times and set an example for the people to follow. If I were the
Judge I would have done the right thing. I would require the contracting parties to
secure a marriage license if the circumstance deems necessary. I would also check if all
the essential and formal requisites of marriage are present before solemnizing the
marriage. Further, as a judge, I would endeavor to render a judgment at the proper
period prescribed by law for a speedy judgment.

What sets apart a Carolinian lawyer from the rest of the lawyer is that Carolinians
lawyers are Witnesses to the Word. Carolinian lawyers are trained to be God fearing
and to always observe and uphold the virtue of Scientia, Virtus, and Devotio. Carolinian
lawyers have a distinct trademark which sets them apart from others. Carolinian
Lawyers are Professionally Competent, Noble in Character, and Committed to Social
Transformation. Carolinian lawyers are on top of their field and they strive to be the best
at it. Carolinian lawyers are dedicated to develop their mind, will, and heart. They
embody the values of integrity, excellence, commitment, social responsibility,
evangelization, and leadership. Because of all of these values embodied in all
Carolinian lawyers, they are regarded as one of the best lawyers in the field. They
looked up to by a lot of people because they uphold what a legal practitioner should be.
They do not falter when they are faced with a difficult problem; instead, they take the
problem head on and consider it as a challenge.

Legal profession in the Philippines is actually excellent. However, in the Philippines,
lawyers are often depicted as liars, deceivers and falsifiers who follow the unlawful
commands of their client. It is understood, however, that this depiction of lawyers are
merely hearsay. But the sad truth is that in real life, members of the legal profession are
actually linked to the perpetration of illegal activities, fraudulent transactions and corrupt
practices. That is why the integrity of the legal profession is doubted by many people.
Its unfortunate, but the hasty generalization fails to recognize that there are also
outstanding members of the Philippine bar who encourage and promote reforms in the
What I propose to enhance the practice of law and uplift the image of lawyers in the
Philippines is that the Supreme Court should pass a rule that those who are connected
with illegal activities should be automatically disbarred. Also, the Supreme Court should
integrate legal ethics in every Bar subject taught in law schools to constantly remind the
upcoming lawyers to uphold the integrity of the legal profession. In this way, the image
of Legal practice here in the Philippines would be changed for the greater good,

4. As a student of the law there are two things I can do to prepare myself for the legal
profession which is to learn as much as I can from my professors and to be hungry for
more knowledge. Law professors are the closest thing to the law profession when one is
still studying in law school. They provide their students the essential information and the
essential skills that a good lawyer should have. They give their students a firsthand
experience of law practice inside the classroom by asking the students questions just
like a judge would do in court. As a student, I should learn more from them and take in
everything that they impart to us. These information or tips they give us are essential for
us to be a great lawyer in the near future. Another is that, as a student I should be
hungry to learn more things. A student should embrace the fact that in the law
profession reading is the key to success. As a student I should read as much as I can
and learn as much as I can. Law school is training us for the real world and the real
world requires lawyers to constantly read and learn new things to be good at their

profession. For me, these are the two things that can help me prepare for the legal
Continuing legal education is required of members of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP) to ensure that throughout their career, they keep abreast with law and
jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of the profession and enhance the standards of the
practice of law (Rule 1, Bar Matter No. 850 Supreme Court of the Philippines).
Of the required 36 hours: (a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal ethics (b) At
least four (4) hours shall be devoted to trial and pretrial skills (c) At least five (5) hours
shall be devoted to alternative dispute resolution (d) At least nine (9) hours shall be
devoted to updates on substantive and procedural laws and jurisprudence (e) At least
four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal writing and oral advocacy (f) At least two (2)
hours shall be devoted to international law and international conventions (g) The
remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to such subjects as may be prescribed by the
MCLE Committee. Credit units are equivalent to credit hours. Credit unit measure
compliance with the MCLE requirement under the Rules, based on the category of the
lawyers participation in the MCLE activity.
The initial compliance period shall be from April 15, 2001 up to April 14, 2004. All
succeeding compliance periods shall begin the day after the end of the preceding
compliance period. The initial compliance period for members newly admitted or
readmitted to the IBP shall begin on the first day of the month of admission or
readmission and end on the same day as that of all other members.
A member who fails to comply with the requirements after the sixty (60) day period for
compliance has expired shall be listed as a delinquent member of the IBP and shall not
be permitted to practice law until such time as adequate proof of compliance is received
by the MCLE Committee. A member who shall be listed as delinquent shall pay a noncompliance fee of P1,000.
Mandatory Legal Aid service rule shall govern the mandatory requirement for practicing
lawyers to render free legal aid services in all cases (whether, civil, criminal or
administrative) involving indigent and pauper litigants where the assistance of a lawyer
is needed. It shall also govern the duty of other members of the legal profession to
support the legal aid program of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
Practicing lawyers are members of the Philippine Bar who appear for and in behalf of
parties in courts of law and quasi-judicial agencies, including but not limited to the
National Labor Relations Commission, National Conciliation and Mediation Board,
Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices, Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board and National Commission for Indigenous Peoples. The term
practicing lawyers shall exclude:
(i) Government employees and incumbent elective officials not allowed by law to
(ii) Lawyers who by law are not allowed to appear in court;

(iii) Supervising lawyers of students enrolled in law student practice in duly accredited
legal clinics of law schools and lawyers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and
peoples organizations (POs) like the Free Legal Assistance Group who by the nature of
their work already render free legal aid to indigent and pauper litigants and
(iv) Lawyers not covered under subparagraphs (i) to (iii) including those who are
employed in the private sector but do not appear for and in behalf of parties in courts of
law and quasi-judicial agencies.
Every practicing lawyer is required to render a minimum of sixty (60) hours of free legal
aid services to indigent litigants in a year. Said 60 hours shall be spread within a period
of twelve (12) months, with a minimum of five (5) hours of free legal aid services each
month. However, where it is necessary for the practicing lawyer to render legal aid
service for more than five (5) hours in one month, the excess hours may be credited to
the said lawyer for the succeeding periods.
At the end of every calendar year, any practicing lawyer who fails to meet the minimum
prescribed 60 hours of legal aid service each year shall be required by the IBP, through
the NCLA, to explain why he was unable to render the minimum prescribed number of
hours. If no explanation has been given or if the NCLA finds the explanation
unsatisfactory, the NCLA shall make a report and recommendation to the IBP Board of
Governors that the erring lawyer be declared a member of the IBP who is not in good
standing. Upon approval of the NCLAs recommendation, the IBP Board of Governors
shall declare the erring lawyer as a member not in good standing. Notice thereof shall
be furnished the erring lawyer and the IBP Chapter which submitted the lawyers
compliance report or the IBP Chapter where the lawyer is registered, in case he did not
submit a compliance report. The notice to the lawyer shall include a directive to pay
Four Thousand Pesos (P4,000) penalty which shall accrue to the special fund for the
legal aid program of the IBP.