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CANON 18

*Adarne vs Aldabarespondent filed a disbarment case


on the ground of gross negligence against Atty. Aldaba
because, as accdg to the petitioner, the lawyer only
appeared for the special appearance and from then on,
left him hanging. But the SC held that the petitioner
should be the one to be blamed for having engaged the
services of several lawyers to handle his case w/o
formally withdrawing the authority he had given to them
to appear in his behalf as to place the responsibility upon
the respondent lawyer in this case. the respondent
honestly believed that he had appeared for the
complainant only for a special purpose and that
the complainant had agreed to contact his
attorney of record to handle his case after the
hearing of October 23, 1964, so that he did
nothing more about it. It was neither gross negligence
nor omission to have entertained such belief. An attorney
is not bound to exercise extraordinary diligence, but only
a reasonable degree of care and skill, having reference to
the character of the business he undertakes to do. Prone
to err like any other human being, he is not answerable
for every error or mistake, and will be protected as long
as he acts honestly and in good faith to the best of his
skill and knowledge. (canon 18)
*Reyes vs Vitan The petitioner filed a disbarment case
against Atty Vitan on the ground of gross negligence.
Sometime in June 2001, complainant hired the services of
respondent for the purpose of filing the appropriate
charge against his sister-in-law and the latters niece in a
cvil case that both women refused to abide with the
decision of Judge Nabong ordering the partition of the
properties left by complainants brother Damaso Reyes
and that respondent, after receiving the amount of 17k
did not take any action on complainants case. The act of
receiving money as acceptance fee for legal services in
handling complainant's case and subsequently failing to
render such services is a clear violation of Canon 18 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides
that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
diligence. More specifically, Rule 18.03. Thus respondent
was ordered by the court to be suspended from the
practice of law for 6 mos and to return to the complainant
w/in five days from notice the sum of 17k with interest of
12% per annum from the date of promulgation of the SCs
decision until the full amount shall have been paid.
CANON 19
*Gonzales vs Sabacajan The Court accordingly finds
that respondent has not exercised the good faith and
diligence required of lawyers in handling the legal affairs
of their clients. If complainants did have the alleged
monetary obligations to his client, that does not warrant
his summarily confiscating their certificates of title since
there is no showing in the records that the same were
given as collaterals to secure the payment of a debt.
Neither is there any intimation that there is a court order
authorizing him to take and retain custody of said
certificates of title. Canon 19, Rule 19.01 ordains that 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 charges to obtain an improper advantage in
any case or proceeding. Respondent has closely skirted
this proscription, if he has not in fact transgressed the
same. SUSPENDED.

CANON 20
*Leviste vs CA The issue in this case is whether or not
an attorney who was engaged on a contingent fee basis
may, in order to collect his fees, prosecute an appeal
despite his client's refusal to appeal the decision of the
trial court. The private complainant, Ms Del Rosario, sent
him a letter stating that she was terminating his services
as her counsel due to conflicting interest. Because the
respondent, being the brother-in-law of the lessee of the
subject property, sought to be ejected by the private
complainant and the other parties in the probate
proceeding. The petitioner alleged that he is a right to
accept for his client Del Rosario to the extent if 35%
thereof the devise in her favor to protect his contingency
The argument is devoid of
attorneys fees.
merit. Article 1052 of the Civil Code does
not apply to this case. That legal
provision protects the creditor of a
repudiating heir. Petitioner is not a
creditor of Rosa del Rosario. The
payment of his fees is contingent and
dependent upon the successful probate
of the holographic will. Since the
petition for probate was dismissed by
the lower court, the contingency did not
occur. Attorney Leviste is not entitled to
his fee.
*Licudan vs CA
CANON 21
*Suntay vs Suntay 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.