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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

EMRICO M. CABAHUG
NUELZON B. POLERO II
Complainant, A.M. NO. ___________
-for-
-versus- Disbarment
(Violation of the Rules of
Court 138 and Code of
Professional Responsibility)

ATTY. RUDY BAYLOR


Respondent.
x----------------------------------------------------x

A N S W E R

RESPONDENT RUDY BAYLOR, unto the Honorable Court most

respectfully states:

1. Answering respondent admits that on June 15, 1996 he was a 4th year law

student of University of Memphis State Law School and was hired as a paralegal

staff in Stone Law Firm by Atty. J. Lyman Bruiser Stone (Atty. Stone);

2. Answering respondent admits the allegations that he was in Medical

Center Hospital on August 18, 1996, in Ospital ng Maynila on September 18, 1996

and in Philippine General Hospital on January 20, 1997. The status of the

answering respondent cannot be assailed in this proceeding due to the fact that

Atty. Stone, the employer of Rudy Baylor, instructed Baylor to seek pro bono

cases for him to handle for the purpose of giving back assistance to the people who

is in need, it is Atty. Stones devotion to give pro bono cases for 10 years;

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3. Answering respondent admits the allegation that he drafted Teresa

Wrights last will and testament. The status of the answering respondent cannot be

assailed in this proceeding. But the fact that Rudy Baylor, as a paralegal was

instructed by Atty. Stone to draft the last will and testament to be submitted to him

for his approval, revision and review. Rudy Baylor did not sign or represented

himself in the said document that he was the lawyer of Mrs. Wright;

4. Answering respondent admits the allegation of receiving a letter on

March 27, 1997 from the Supreme Court informing the respondent to have passed

the 1996 Bar Examination;

5. Answering respondent admits the allegation that on March 29, 1997, he

represented himself as the counsel in the initial trial for Mrs. Mary Black in an

insurance claim against Great Benefits Insurance Corporation in the trial court;

6. Answering respondent in the allegation for his involvement on December

1, 1997 incident in Mrs. Rikers house is prematurely filed.

COUNTERARGUMENTS

All the arguments of the plaintiffs are denied by the answering def6endant

for the following reasons:

7. The respondent cannot be held liable for violating Sections 1, 2 and 27 of

Rules 138 of the Rules of Court for: The respondents act of directly appearing

before a client doing conveyancing, enforcement of legal instruments, negotiating,

and even drafting legal documents was with a supervision Atty. Stone. The

respondent is merely acting as a paralegal complying with the instructions of Atty.

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Stone and all of his drafted documents were reviewed by Atty. Stone before being

presented to their clients or before it is filed in court. Attached hereto is the

affidavit of Atty. Stone as Annex A;

8. The respondent also deposes that his purpose was to misrepresent the

profession, every client he deals with knows that he is a paralegal in Stone Law

Firm and that he is not acting or disclosing that he is a lawyer at the time before he

passed the Bar examination;

9. Moreover, as for the complainants allegations to him on wanting of a

Good Moral Character which causes him to be illegible for admission to the bar,

shall likewise be denied. The respondent even produces 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 during his application for admission to the Bar. NBI certificate is

hereto attached as Annex B;

10. In the case of Re: Petition of Al Argosino to Take the Lawyers Oath,

B.M. 712, the Court allowed petitioner Al Caparros Argosino to take the lawyer's

oath, sign the Roll of Attorneys and practice the legal profession as the Court

recognizes that Mr. Argosino is not inherently of bad moral fiber. On the

contrary, the various certifications show that he is a devout Catholic with a genuine

concern for civic duties and public service. The Court is persuaded that Mr.

Argosino has exerted all efforts to atone for the death of Raul Camaligan. We are

prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice of the general

tendency of youth to be rash, temerarious and uncalculating. (Emphasis Supplied)

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11. The respondent cannot be held violating Canon 2.03 of the Code for

Professional Responsibility because it only applies to a full-fledged lawyer. On

August 18, 1996, September 18, 1996, January 20, 1997 and February 13, 1997,

when he met certain Mary Black, Kelly Riker and Teresita Wright, the respondent

have not yet passed the bar nor admitted as a member of the Integrated Bar of the

Philippines, the respondent is merely acting as a paralegal complying with the

instructions of his employer, Atty. Stone, hence there is no cause of action.

12. On March 29, 1997, the respondent appeared as a counsel to the pro

bono case of Mrs. Black in the initial trial against Great Benefits Insurance

Corporation when he just passed the bar and not having taken yet the lawyers oath

and signed in the Roll of Attorneys, However such acts cannot be said to have

violated Canon 1.01 of the above mentioned code as before doing such

representation he told the truth to the judge. The respondent seeks forgiveness

before this Honorable Court for such conduct as he was just emotionally driven to

help Mrs. Black on her case, therefore his intention was clearly not to defy the law

or to lessen the confidence in the legal system. Attached hereto is the affidavit of

Judge Kipler as Annex C;

12. In addition, Rules of Court provides attorneys be removed or suspended

by Supreme Court for corruptly or willful appearing as an attorney for a party to a

case without authority so to do. The respondent avers that his intention to represent

Mrs. Black was not for any corrupt motive or interest but with sincerest interest to

give justice to families like of Mrs. Black who has been a victim of large Insurance

Companies such as Great Benefits.

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13. In the case of Areola v. Atty. Mendoza, A.C. 10135, it was stated that in

several administrative cases, the Court has refrained from imposing the actual

penalties in the presence of mitigating factors. Factors such as the respondents

length of service, the respondents acknowledgement of his or her infractions

and feeling of remorse, family circumstances, humanitarian and equitable

considerations, respondents advanced age, among other things, have had varying

significance in the Courts determination of the imposable penalty. The Court

takes note of Atty. Mendozas lack of ill-motive in the present case and her being

a PAO lawyer as her main source of livelihood. (Emphasis Supplied)

14. The respondents violation of Canons 2 and 7 when he agreed to draft

the last will and testament of Mrs. Wright is also untenable. The last will and

testament he drafted was not yet official as it has not been notarized. Said draft was

still subject for review and revision of Mrs. Wrights lawyer, Atty. Stone.

15. The allegations pertaining to the respondents involvement in an incident

happened on December 1, 1997 is prematurely filed, it was not proven beyond

reasonable doubt that the respondent has liability over the alleged occasion;

16. On all of the above circumstances, the complainants failed to adduce

preponderance of evidence that would show that the respondent warrants good

moral character;

17. The court has consistently held that a lawyer may be suspended or

disbarred for any misconduct showing any fault or deficiency in his moral

character, honesty, probity or good demeanor. Immoral conduct involves acts that

are willful, flagrant, or shameless, and that show a moral indifference to the

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opinion of the upright and respectable members of the community. Immoral

conduct is gross when it is so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act, or so

unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree, or when committed under

such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the communitys sense of

decency. The Court makes these distinctions, as the supreme penalty of disbarment

arising from conduct requires grossly immoral, not simply immoral, conduct.

18. In Aba et al., v Attys. De Guzman et al., AC 7469, the court explains on

rules on evidences and states that Section 3(a), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court

provides that a person is presumed innocent of crime or wrongdoing. This Court

has consistently held that an attorney enjoys the legal presumption that he is

innocent of charges against him until the contrary is proved, and that as an officer

of the court, he is presumed to have performed his duties in accordance with his

oath.

Burden of proof, on the other hand, is defined in Section 1 of Rule 131

as the duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue necessary to

establish his claim or defense by the amount of evidence required by law. In

disbarment proceedings, the burden of proof rests upon the complainant, and for

the court to exercise its disciplinary powers, the case against the respondent must

be established by convincing and satisfactory proof. Weight and sufficiency of

evidence, under Rule 133 of the Rules of Court, is not determined mathematically

by the numerical superiority of the witnesses testifying to a given fact. It depends

upon its practical effect in inducing belief for the party on the judge trying the

case. Consequently, in the hierarchy of evidentiary values, proof beyond

reasonable doubt is at the highest level, followed by clear and convincing

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evidence, then by preponderance of evidence, and lastly by substantial evidence, in

that order. Considering the serious consequences of the disbarment or suspension

of a member of the Bar, the Court has consistently held that clearly

preponderant evidence is necessary to justify the imposition of administrative

penalty on a member of the Bar.

Preponderance of evidence means that the evidence adduced by one side is,

as a whole, superior to or has greater weight than that of the other. It means

evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that which

is offered in opposition thereto. Under Section 1 of Rule 133, in determining

whether or not there is preponderance of evidence, the court may consider the

following: (a) all the facts and circumstances of the case; (b) the witnesses manner

of testifying, their intelligence, their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to

which they are testifying, the nature of the facts to which they testify, the

probability or improbability of their testimony; (c) the witnesses interest or want of

interest, and also their personal credibility so far as the same may ultimately appear

in the trial; and (d) the number of witnesses, although it does not mean that

preponderance is necessarily with the greater number.

When the evidence of the parties are evenly balanced or there is doubt

on which side the evidence preponderates, the decision should be against the party

with the burden of proof, according to the equipoise doctrine.

To summarize, the Court has consistently held that in suspension or

disbarment proceedings against lawyers, the lawyer enjoys the presumption of

innocence, and the burden of proof rests upon the complainant to prove the

allegations in his complaint. The evidence required in suspension or disbarment

proceedings is preponderance of evidence. In case the evidence of the parties are


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equally balanced, the equipoise doctrine mandates a decision in favor of the

respondent. (Emphasis Supplied)

P R A Y E R

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed before the

Honorable Court that the instant complaint be DISMISSED.

Respectfully submitted,

ATTY. RUDY BAYLOR


Siniloan, Laguna
March 14, 2016.

Assisted By:

ATTY. VIGGO A. MARIANO, JR.


Counsel for the Defendants Rudy Baylor
PTR No. 7997734/1-30-16/Laguna
IBP Lifetime No. 03399
Roll No. 33951
MCLE Compliance No. II-0012041/9-2-16

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The Clerk of Court
Supreme Court
Manila

GREETINGS:

Kindly submit the foregoing Answer to the Honorable Court immediately


upon receipt hereof for consideration and approval.

ATTY. VIGGO A. MARIANO, JR.

Copy furnished:

Atty. _______________
Counsel for the Complainant Registry Receipt No.:___________
Address Date: March 14, 2016

EXPLANATION

This pleading is being served via registered mail in lieu of personal service
by reason of distance and lack of messenger.

ATTY. VIGGO A. BELLOSILLO, JR.

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VERIFICATION

I, RUDY BAYLOR, of legal age, married, Filipino and with residence and
post-office address at Brgy. Taft, Pakil,Laguna, after having been duly sworn to in
accordance with law hereby depose and say:

1. That I am one of defendant in the above-entitled case;

2. That I have caused the preparation and filing of the above stated Answer;

3. That I have read and fully understood all the allegations contained in the
foregoing Answer and to the best of my knowledge and belief, the same are true
and correct of our own personal knowledge.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this March


14, 2016 at Siniloan, Laguna.

RUDY BAYLOR
Respondent
CTC No. 04784735
January 9, 2020
Pakil, Laguna

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me this March 14, 2016 at


_________________________.

Doc. No.: _______;


Page No.: _______;
Book No.: _______;
Series of 2016.

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