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San Beda College of Law 1

MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES


I. LEGAL ETHICS

PRELIMINARY MATTERS lowered after admission. The attorney’s continued


enjoyment of the privilege conferred depends upon his
Legal Ethics – branch of moral science which treats of the complying with the ethics and rules of 333the profession.
duties which an attorney owes to the court, to his client, to But practice of law is in the nature of a right.
his colleagues in the profession and to the public. While the practice of law is a privilege, a lawyer cannot be
- It is the embodiment of all principles of morality prevented from practicing law except for valid reasons, the
and refinement that should govern the conduct of every practice of law not being a matter of state’s grace or favor.
member of the bar. He holds office during good behavior and can only be
deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and declared by
PRIMARY CHARACTERISTICS WHICH DISTINGUISH THE judgment of the Supreme Court after opportunity to be
LEGAL PROFESSION FROM BUSINESS heard has been afforded him. The state cannot exclude an
1. A duty of public service attorney from the practice of law in a manner or for reasons
2. A relation, as an “officer of the court”, to the that contravene the due process or equal protection clause
administration of justice involving thorough of the Constitution.
sincerity, integrity and reliability
3. A relation to clients with the highest degree of POWER TO REGULATE THE PRACTICE OF LAW
fiduciary
4. A relation to the colleagues at the bar  CASES: The Constitution [Art. VIII, Sec. 5(5)] vests this
characterized by candor, fairness and power of control and regulation in the Supreme Court. The
unwillingness to resort to current business constitutional power to admit candidates to the legal
methods of advertising and encroachment on profession is a judicial function and involves the exercise of
their practice, or dealing directly with their discretion. Petition to that end is filed with the Supreme
clients. Court as are other proceedings invoking judicial function [In
re: Almacen 31 SCRA 562]
PRACTICE OF LAW The SC acts through a Bar Examination Committee
in the exercise of its judicial function to admit candidates to
 CASE: Any activity in or out of court which requires the the legal profession. Thus, the Committee is composed of a
application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure and member of the Court who acts as Chairman and 8 members
calls for legal knowledge, training and experience. (Cayetano of the bar who acts as examiners in the 8 bar subjects with
vs Monsod, 201 SCRA 210) one subject assigned to each. [In re Lanuevo, 66 SCRA 245]
Strictly speaking, the word practice of law implies The power of the SC to regulate the practice of law includes
the customary or habitual holding of oneself to the public as the authority to:
a lawyer and demanding compensation for his services. 1. Define the term
[People vs. Villanueva 14 SCRA 111] 2. Prescribe the qualifications of a candidate to and
the subjects of the bar examinations
3. Decide who will be admitted to practice
4. Discipline, suspend or disbar any unfit and
unworthy member of the bar
5. Reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely suspended
ESSENTIAL CRITERIA DETERMINATIVE OF ENGAGING IN attorney
THE PRACTICE OF LAW: (HACA) 6. Ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar
1. Habituality- implies customarily or habitually 7. Punish for contempt any person for unauthorized
holding oneself out to the public as a lawyer practice of law
2. Compensation- implies that one must have 8. Exercise overall supervision of the legal
presented himself to be in the active practice and profession
that his professional services are available to the 9. Exercise any other power as may be necessary to
public for compensation, as a source of his elevate the standards of the bar and preserve its
livelihood or in consideration of his said services. integrity.
3. Application of law, legal principle, practice, or On the other hand, the LEGISLATURE, in the exercise
procedure which calls for legal knowledge,
of its POLICE POWER may, however, enact laws regulating
training and experience the practice of law to protect the public and promote the
4. Attorney – client relationship public welfare. But the legislature MAY NOT pass a law that
will control the SC in the performance of its function to
PRIVATE PRACTICE decide who may enjoy the privilege of practicing law and
Private practice is more than an isolated appearance any law of that kind is unconstitutional as an invalid exercise
for it consists of frequent or customary actions, a succession of legislative power.
of acts of the same kind.

 NOTE: An isolated appearance does not amount to WHO MAY PRACTICE LAW?
practice of law of a public officer if allowed by his superior in
exceptional cases. Any person heretofore duly admitted as a
member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in
NOTE: The practice of law is not a natural, property or accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in
constitutional right but a mere privilege. It is not a right good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. [Sec. 1,
granted to any one who demands it but a privilege to be Rule 138]
extended or withheld in the exercise of sound judicial
discretion. It is in the nature of a franchise conferred only for
merit which must be earned by hard study, learning and REQUIREMENTS BEFORE A CANDIDATE CAN ENGAGE IN
good conduct. It is a privilege accorded only to those who THE PRACTICE OF LAW
measure up to certain rigid standards of mental and moral I. He must have been admitted to the Bar
fitness. Those standards are neither dispensed with nor
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
2 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

a. Furnishing satisfactory proof of educational, conducting the trial of his case. He cannot, after
moral and other qualification; judgment, claim that he was not properly represented.
b. Passing the bar 3. In a criminal case before the MTC – in a locality
c. Taking the Lawyer’s Oath before the SC where a duly licensed member of the Bar is not
A lawyer’s oath signifies that the lawyer in available, the judge may appoint a non-lawyer who is a
taking such an oath accepts and affirms his ethical resident of that province, of good repute for probity
obligations in the performance of his duties as a and ability to the accused in his defense. [Sec. 7, Rule
lawyer and signifies likewise his awareness of his 116]
responsibilities that he assumes by his admission 4. Student Practice Rule - A law student who has
to the legal profession. successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular 4-
d. Signing the Attorney’s Roll and receiving from the year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a
Clerk of Court of the SC a Certificate of the license recognized law school’s clinical legal education
to practice program approved by the SC – may appear without
II. After his admission to the bar, a lawyer must remain in compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative
good and regular standing, which is a continuing case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to
requirement for the practice of law. He must: represent indigent clients accepted by the Legal Clinic
a. Remain a member of the IBP (membership of the school. [Sec. 1, Rule 138-A] The student shall be
therein by every attorney is made compulsory); under the direct supervision and control of a member
b. Regularly pay all IBP membership dues and other of the IBP duly accredited by the law school. [Sec. 2]
lawful assessments, as well as the annual privilege 5. Under the Labor Code – non-lawyers may appear
tax; before the NLRC or any Labor Arbiter if they (a)
c. Faithfully observe the rules and ethics of the legal represent themselves; (b) represent their organization
profession; and or members thereof [Art. 222, PD 442]
d. Be continually subject to judicial disciplinary 6. A non-lawyer may represent a claimant before the
control. Cadastral Court [Sec. 9, Act. No. 2259]
7. Any person appointed to appear for the government of
the Philippines in accordance with law [Sec. 33, Rule
BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR 138]
Under Section 2, 5 and 6, Rule 138, the applicant must be:
1. Citizen of the Philippines; LIMITATIONS ON APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYERS
2. At least 21 years of age; BEFORE THE COURTS
3. Of good moral character; 1. He should confine his work to non-adversary
(Note: This is a continuing requirement.) contentions. He should not undertake purely
4. Resident of the Philippines; legal work, such as the examination or cross-
5. Must produce before the SC satisfactory evidence examination of witnesses, or the presentation of
of good moral character; evidence.
6. No charges against him, involving moral 2. Services should not be habitually rendered.
turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any 3. Should not charge or collect attorney’s fees.
court in the Phil. [Sec. 2, Rule 138]; [PAFLU vs. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co. 42 SCRA
7. Must have complied with the academic 302]
requirements;
8. Pass the bar examinations. RIGHT OF PARTY TO REPRESENT HIMSELF
Civil Cases: An individual litigant has the right to conduct
Moral Turpitude – imports an act of baseness, vileness or his litigation personally.
depravity in the duties which one person owes to another or Criminal Cases: Involving grave and less grave offenses, an
to society in general which is contrary to the usually accused who is a layman must always appear by counsel; he
accepted and customary rule of right and duty which a CANNOT conduct his own defense, as his right to counsel
person should follow. may NOT be waived without violating his right to due
process of law.
ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CANDIDATES By a Juridical Person: A juridical person must always
1. Must have already earned a Bachelor’s Degree in appear in court by a duly licensed member of the bar, except
Arts or Sciences (Pre-law) in the municipal trial court where it may be represented by
2. Law Course – completed courses in Civil Law, its agent or officer who need not be a lawyer.
Commercial Law, Remedial Law, Criminal Law,
Public and International Law, Political Law, Labor
and Social Legislation, Medical Jurisprudence, PARTNERSHIP WITH NON-LAWYERS VOID
Taxation, Legal Ethics. [Sec. 5 and 6, Rule 138] In the formation of partnership for the practice of law,
no person should be admitted or held out as a practitioner
or member who is not a member of the legal profession duly
APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYER IN COURT authorized to practice, and amenable to professional
discipline.
MAY A NON-LAWYER APPEAR IN COURT?
General Rule: Only those who are licensed to practice law PRACTICE BY CORPORATION
can appear and handle cases in court. It is well settled that a corporation CANNOT
engage in the practice of law. It may, however, hire an
Exceptions: attorney to attend to and conduct its own legal business or
1. Before the MTC - a party may conduct his case or affairs. But it cannot practice law directly or indirectly by
litigation in person with the aid of an employing a lawyer to practice for it or to appear for others
agent or friend appointed by him. [Sec. 34, Rule 138] for its benefit.
2. Before any court – a party may conduct his litigation Reasons:
personally. But he gets someone to aid him and that 1. Nature of the privilege and on the confidential and
someone must be an authorized member of the Bar trust relation between attorney and client.
[Sec. 34, Rule 138]. He is bound by the same rules in 2. A corporation cannot perform the conditions required
for membership in the bar, such as the possession of
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 3
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
good moral character and other special They shall not:
disqualifications, the taking of an oath and becoming 1. Appear as counsel before any court in any civil
an officer of the court, subject to its discipline, case wherein a local government unit or any
suspension or removal. office, agency or instrumentality of the
3. The relation of trust and confidence cannot arise government is the adverse party;
where the attorney is employed by a corporation to 2. Appear as counsel in any criminal case wherein
practice for it, his employer and he owing, at best, a an officer or employee of the national or local
secondary and divided loyalty to the clientele of his government is accused of an offense committed in
corporate employer. relation to his office;
4. The intervention of the corporation is destructive of 3. Collect any fee for their appearance in
that confidential and trust relation and is obnoxious to administrative proceedings involving the local
the law. government unit of which he is an official. [Sec.
90, R.A. 7160]
PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT THE 4. Use property and personnel of the government
GOVERNMENT except when the Sanggunian member concerned
Any official or other person appointed or designated in is defending the interest of the government
accordance with law to appear for the government of the
Philippines or any of its officials shall have all the rights of a RESTRICTIONS IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW OF RETIRED
duly authorized member of the bar to appear in any case in JUSTICE/JUDGE
which the government has an interest, direct or indirect, or As a condition of the pension provided under R.A. 910,
in which such official is charged in his official capacity. no retiring justice or judge of a court of record or city or
municipality judge during the time that he is receiving said
RULES ON PUBLIC OFFICIALS REGARDING PRACTICE OF pension shall:
LAW Appear as counsel before any court in:
a. Any civil case wherein the government or any
PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO CANNOT PRACTICE LAW IN THE subdivision or instrumentality thereof is the
PHILIPPINES adverse party;
1. Judges and other officials or employees of the b. Any criminal case wherein an officer or an
superior court employee of the government is accused of an
2. Officials and employees of the Office of the offense committed in relation to his office.
Solicitor General 2. Collect any fees for his appearance in any
3. Government Prosecutors administrative proceedings to maintain an interest
4. President, Vice-President, members of the adverse to the government, provincial or municipal, or
Cabinet, their deputies and assistants to any of its legally constituted officers [Sec 1, RA 910].
5. Chairmen and members of the Constitutional
Commissions REMEDIES AGAINST UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE (DICED)
6. Ombudsman and his deputies 1. Petition for Injunction
7. Governors, city and municipal mayors 2. Declaratory Relief
8. Those who, by special law are prohibited from 3. Contempt of Court
engaging in the practice of their legal profession 4. Disqualification and complaints for disbarment
5. Criminal complaint for estafa against a person
PUBLIC OFFICIALS WITH RESTRICTIONS IN THE who falsely represented to be an attorney to the
PRACTICE OF LAW damage of a party
1. Senators and Members of the House of
Representatives
2. Members of the Sanggunian PRIVILEGES AND DUTIES OF A LAWYER
3. Retired Justice or Judge
4. Civil Service officers or employees without permit PRIVILEGES OF AN ATTORNEY:
from their respective department heads [Noriega 1. To practice law during good behavior before any
vs. Sison 125 SCRA 293] judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative tribunal.
2. The first one to sit in judgment on every case, to set
RESTRICTIONS IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW OF MEMBERS the judicial machinery in motion.
OF LEGISLATURE 3. Enjoys the presumption of regularity in the discharge
of his duty.
 CASES: A lawyer-member of the legislature is only 4. He is immune, in the performance of his obligation to
prohibited from appearing as counsel before any court of his client, from liability to a third person insofar as he
justice, electoral tribunals or quasi-judicial and does not materially depart from his character as a
administrative bodies. The word “appearance” includes not quasi-judicial officer.
only arguing a case before any such body but also filing a 5. His statements, if relevant, pertinent or material to the
pleading on behalf of a client as “by simply filing a formal subject of judicial inquiry are absolutely privileged
motion, plea or answer”. [Ramos vs. Manalac 89 Phil 270] regardless of their defamatory tenor and of the
Neither can he allow his name to appear in such presence of malice.
pleading by itself or as part of a firm name under the
signature of another qualified lawyer because the signature OTHER PRIVILEGES:
of an agent amounts to signing of a non-qualified senator or First grade civil service eligibility for any position in the
congressman, the office of an attorney being originally of classified service in the government the duties of
agency, and because he will, by such act, be appearing in which require knowledge of law.
court or quasi-judicial or administrative body in violation of Second grade civil service eligibility for any other
the constitutional restriction. “He cannot do indirectly what government position which does not prescribe
the Constitution prohibits directly”. [In re: David 93 PHIL proficiency in law as a qualification.
461]
FOUR-FOLD DUTIES OF A LAWYER
RESTRICTIONS IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW OF THE
MEMBERS OF THE SANGGUNIAN
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
4 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

1. Court- respect or defend against criticisms, uphold I, ____________, do solemnly swear that I will
authority and dignity, obey order and processes, assist maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines; I will
in the administration of justice. support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the
2. Bar- candor, fairness, courtesy and truthfulness, avoid legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will
encroachment in the business of other lawyers, do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I
uphold the honor of the profession. will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any
3. Client- entire devotion to client’s interest. groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to
4. Public- should not violate his responsibility to society, the same; I will delay no man for money or malice and will
exemplar for uprighteousness, ready to render legal conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my
aid, foster social reforms, guardian of due process, knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the
aware of special role in the solution of special courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself this
problems and be always ready to lend assistance in voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or
the study and solution of social problems. purpose of evasion. So help me God.

SPECIFIC DUTIES OF A LAWYER (SEC. 20, RULE 138)


[C2A2R2E2D] NOTARY PUBLIC
1. To maintain Allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines and to support the Constitution and A person appointed by the court whose duty is to
obey the laws of the Philippines; attest to the genuineness of any deed or writing inorder to
2. To observe and maintain the Respect due to the render them available as evidence of facts stated therein and
courts of justice and judicial officers; who is authorized by the statute to administer various oaths.
3. To Counsel and maintain the respect due to the
courts of justice and judicial officers;
4. To Employ, for the purpose of maintaining the A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC: Rules on Notarial Practice of 2004
causes confided to him, such means only as are (August 1, 2004)
consistent with truth and honor, and never seek
to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an QUALIFICATIONS OF A NOTARY PUBLIC
artifice or false statement of fact or law; 1. Must be citizen of the Philippines
5. To maintain inviolate the Confidence and at every 2. Must be over twenty-one (21) years of age
peril to himself, to preserve the secrets in 3. Must be a resident in the Philippines for at least
connection with his client and to accept no one (1) year and maintains a regular place of
compensation in connection with his client’s work or business in the city or province where
business except from him or with his knowledge the commission is to be issued
and approval; 4. Must be a member of the Philippine Bar in good
6. To Abstain from all offensive personality and to standing with clearances from the Office of the
advance no fact prejudicial to the honor and Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court and the
reputation of a party or witness, unless required Integrated Bar of the Philippines
by the justice of the cause with which he is 5. Must not have been convicted in the first instance
charged; of any crime involving moral turpitude (Rule III,
7. Not to Encourage either the commencement or Section 1)
the continuance of an action or proceeding, or
delay any man’s cause, from any corrupt motive JURISDICTION AND TERM
or interest; A notary public may perform notarial acts in any
8. Never to Reject, for any consideration personal to place within the territorial jurisdiction of the
himself, the cause of the defenseless or commissioning court for a period of two (2) years
oppressed; commencing on the 1st day of January of the year in
9. In the Defense of a person accused of crime, by all which the commissioning is made UNLESS earlier
fair and honorable means, regardless of his revoked or the notary public has resigned according to
personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to these Rules and the Rules of Court (Rule III, Section 11).
present every defense that the law permits to the
end that no person may be deprived of life or POWERS AND LIMITATIONS OF NOTARIES PUBLIC
liberty, but by due process of law. POWERS
 A notary public is empowered to do the following acts:
DUTY OF COUNSEL DE OFICIO (JAOSAC)
A counsel de oficio is expected to render effective 1. Acknowledgments;
service and to exert his best efforts on behalf of an indigent 2. Oaths and affirmations;
accused. He has as high a duty to a poor litigant as to a 3. Jurats;
paying client. He should have a bigger dose of social 4. Signature witnessings;
conscience and a little less of self-interest. 5. Copy certifications; and
6. Any other act authorized by these Rules.
ROLE OF PRIVATE PROSECUTOR  A notary public is authorized to certify the affixing of a
A private prosecutor may intervene in the signature by thumb or other mark on an instrument or
prosecution of a criminal action when the offended party is document presented for notarization if:
entitled to indemnity and has not waived expressly, 1. The thumb or other mark is affixed in the
reserved or instituted the civil action for damages. He may presence of the notary public and of two (2)
prosecute the accused up to the end of the trial even in the disinterested and unaffected witnesses to
absence of the public prosecutor if authorized by the chief of the instrument or document;
the prosecution office or the Regional State Prosecutor 2. Both witnesses sign their own names in
subject to the approval of the court (Sec. 5, Rule 110; Rules addition to the thumb or other mark;
of Court dated May 1, 2002). 3. The notary public writes below the thumb or
other mark: “Thumb or Other Mark affixed
by (name of signatory by mark) in the
THE LAWYER’S OATH presence of (names and addresses of

2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS


Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 5
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
witnesses) and undersigned notary public”, 1) When the notary knows or has good reason to
and believe that the notarial act or transaction is
4. The notary public notarizes the signature by unlawful or immoral.
thumb or other mark through an 2) When the signatory shows a demeanor which
acknowledgment, jurat or signature engenders in the mind of the notary public
witnessing. reasonable doubt as to the former’s knowledge of
 A notary public is authorized to sign on behalf of a the consequences of the transaction requiring a
person who is physically unable to sign or make a mark notarial act.
on an instrument or document if: 3) If in the notary’s judgment, the signatory is not
1. The notary public is directed by the person acting in his/her own free will (Rule IV, Section
unable to sign or make a mark to sign on his 4).
behalf; 4) If the document or instrument to be notarized is
2. The signature of the notary public is affixed considered as an improper document by these
in the presence of two (2) disinterested and Rules.
unaffected witnesses to the instrument or
document; NOTE: A blank or incomplete instrument or document OR
3. Both witnesses sign their own names; an instrument or document without appropriate notarial
4. The notary public writes below his certification is considered an Improper
signature: “Signature affixed by notary in the Instrument/Document (Rule IV, Section 6).
presence of (names and addresses of person
and two (2) witnesses)”, and NOTARIAL CERTIFICATES
5. The notary public notarizes his signature by Contents of the Concluding part of the Notarial Certificate:
acknowledgment or jurat (Rule IV, Section 1) The name of the notary public as exactly indicated
1). in the commission;
2) The serial number of the commission of the
PROHIBITIONS notary public;
General Rule: A notary public shall not perform a notarial 3) The words “Notary Public” and the province or
act outside his regular place of work or business. city where the notary public is commissioned, the
Exceptions: A notarial act may be performed at the request expiration date of the commission and the office
of the parties in the following sites located within his address of the notary public; and
territorial jurisdiction: 4) The Roll of Attorneys’ number, the Professional
a. Public offices, convention halls and similar places Tax Receipt number and the place and date of
where oaths of office may be administered; issuance thereof and the IBP Membership number
b. Public function areas in hotels and similar places (Rule VIII, Section 2).
for the signing of instruments or documents
requiring notarization; REVOCATION OF COMMISSION
c. Hospitals and medical institutions where a party The Executive Judge shall revoke a commission for any
to the instrument or document is confined for ground on which an application for a commission may be
treatment; and denied.
d. Any place where a party to the instrument or In addition, the Executive Judge may revoke the
document requiring notarization is under commission of or impose sanctions upon any notary public
detention. who:
1) Fails to keep a notarial register;
 A person shall not perform a notarial act if: 2) Fails to make the appropriate entry or entries in
1. the person involved as signatory to the his notarial register concerning his notarial acts;
instrument or document- 3) Fails to send the copy of the entries to the
a. Is not in the notary’s presence at the Executive Judge within the first ten (10) days of
time of the notarization; and the month following;
b. Is not personally known to the notary 4) Fails to affix to acknowledgments the date of
public or otherwise identified by the expiration of his commission;
notary public through competent 5) Fails to submit his notarial register, when filled, to
evidence of identity as defined by these the Executive Judge;
Rules (Rule IV, Section 2). 6) Fails to make his report, within a reasonable time,
2. the certificate containing an information to the Executive Judge concerning the
known or believed to be false; and performance of his duties, as may be required by
3. he shall not affix an official signature or seal the Judge;
on a notarial certificate that is incomplete 7) Fails to require the presence of the principal at
(Rule IV, Section 5). the time of the notarial act;
8) Fails to identify a principal on the basis of
DISQUALIFICATIONS personal knowledge or competent evidence;
A notary public is disqualified from performing a notarial if 9) Executes a false or incomplete certificate under
he: Section 5, Rule IV;
1) Is a party to the instrument or document; 10) Knowingly performs or fails to perform any other
2) Will receive, as a direct or indirect result any act prohibited or mandated by these Rules; and
commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest, 11) Commits any other dereliction or act which in the
cash, property, or other consideration, except as judgment of the Executive Judge constitutes good
provided that is to be notarized; cause for the revocation of the commission or
3) Is a spouse, common-law partner, ancestor, imposition of administrative sanction (Rule XI,
descendant, or relative by affinity or Section 1).
consanguinity of the principal within the fourth
civil degree (Rule IV, Section 3). PUNISHABLE ACTS
The Executive Judge shall cause the prosecution of any
When notary public may refuse to notarize even if person who:
appropriate fee is tendered:
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
6 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

1) Knowingly acts or otherwise impersonates a defendant (a) is confined in prison, (b) without means
notary public; to employ an attorney, (c) desires to be defended de
2) Knowingly obtains, conceals, defaces, or destroys oficio.
the seal, notarial register, or official records of a
notary public; and House Counsel – one who acts as attorney for business
3) Knowingly solicits, coerces, or in any way though carried as an employee of that business and
influences a notary public to commit official not as an independent lawyer.
misconduct (Rule XII, Section 1).
Lawyer – this is the general term for a person trained in the
law and authorized to advice and represent others in
TERMS TO REMEMBER legal matters

Amicus Curiae- is an experienced and impartial attorney Lead Counsel – the counsel on either side of a litigated
invited by the court to appear and help in the action who is charged with the principal management
disposition of the issues submitted to it. It implies and direction of a party’s case, as distinguished from
friendly intervention of counsel to call the attention of his juniors or subordinates.
the court to some matters of law or facts which might
otherwise escape its notice and in regard to which it Of Counsel – an experienced lawyer, usually a retired
might go wrong. An amicus curiae appears in court member of the judiciary, employed by law firms as
not to represent any particular party but only to assist consultants.
the court.
Practicing Lawyer – one engaged in the practice of law who
Amicus Curiae par excellence – bar associations who by license are officers of the court and who are
appear in court as amici curiae or friends of the court. empowered to appear, prosecute and defend a client’s
Acts merely as a consultant to guide the court in a cause.
doubtful question or issue pending before it.
Pro Se - an appearance by a lawyer in his own behalf.
Attorney ad hoc- a person named appointed by the court to
defend an absentee defendant in the suit in which the Trial Lawyer – one who personally handles cases in court,
appointment is made. administrative agencies of boards which means
engaging in actual trial work, either for the
Attorneys-At-Law – that class of persons who are licensed prosecution or for the defense of cases of clients.
officers of the courts empowered to appear, prosecute II .THE CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
and defend, and upon whom peculiar duties,
responsibilities and liabilities are developed by law as Chapter I: The Lawyer and Society
a consequence. CANON -
1. Uphold the Constitution and obey the laws
Attorney in fact- simply an agent whose authority is strictly of the land
limited by the instrument appointing him. His 2. Make legal services available in an efficient
authority is provided in a special power of attorney or and convenient manner
general power of attorney or letter of attorney. He is
not necessarily a lawyer. 3. Use of true, honest, fair, dignified and
objective information in making known legal
services
Attorney of record- the attorney whose name is entered in
the records of an action or suit as the lawyer of a designated 4. Participate in the improvement of the legal
party thereto. system
5. Keep abreast of legal development and
Bar and Bench – “Bar” refers to the whole body of attorneys participate in continuing legal education
and counselors collectively, the members of the legal program and assist in disseminating
profession: “Bench” denotes the whole body of information regarding the law and
judges. jurisprudence
Bar Association – an association of members of the legal 6. Applicability of the CPR to lawyers in the
profession like the IBP where membership is government service
integrated or compulsory.
Chapter II: The Lawyer and the Legal Profession
Client – one who engages the services of a lawyer for legal CANON -
advice or for purposes of prosecuting or defending a 7. At all times uphold the integrity and dignity
suit in behalf and usually for a fee. of the Profession and support the activities
of the IBP
Counsel/Attorney de oficio – an attorney appointed by the
court to defend an indigent defendant in a criminal action.
8. Conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and
candor toward his colleagues and avoid
In a criminal action, if the defendant appears
harassing tactics
without an attorney, he must be informed by the court
that it is his right to have an attorney before being 9. Not to directly or indirectly assist in the
arraigned and must be asked if he desires the aid of an unauthorized practice of law
attorney. If he desires and is unable to employ an
attorney, the court must assign a counsel de oficio to Chapter III: The Lawyer and the Courts
defend him. He is also designated as counsel of CANON -
indigent litigants. The appointment of a counsel de 10. Owes candor, fairness and good faith to the
oficio in that instance is a matter of right on the part of court
the defendant. 11. Observe and maintain the respect due courts
On appeal in a criminal case, the appellate court and judicial officers
must also appoint a counsel de oficio if, as shown by
the certificate of the clerk of court of the trial court, a
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 7
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
12. Duty to assist in the speedy and efficient Ambulance Chaser – is a lawyer who haunts hospitals and
administration of justice visits the homes of the afflicted, officiously intruding their
13. Rely upon the merits of his cause, refrain presence and persistently offering his service on the basis of
from any impropriety which tends to a contingent.
influence courts, or give the appearance of
influencing the court Ambulance chasing has spawned recognized evils such
Chapter IV: The Lawyer and the Client as: (FSMD)
CANON - 1. Fomenting of litigation with resulting burdens on
the courts and the public.
14. Not to refuse his services to the needy 2. Subornation of perjury.
15. Observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all 3. Mulcting of innocent persons by judgments, upon
his dealings and transactions with clients manufactured causes of action.
16. Hold in trust all the moneys and property of 4. Defrauding of injured persons having proper
his client that may come to his possession causes of action but ignorant of legal rights and
17. Owes fidelity to clients cause and be mindful court procedures by means of contracts which
of the trust and confidence reposed in him retain exorbitant percentages of recovery and
18. Serve client with competence and diligence illegal charges for court costs and expenses and
by settlement made for quick returns of fees and
19. Represent client with zeal and within the against the just rights of the injured persons.
bounds of law
20. Charge only fair and reasonable fees CANON 2: MAKING AVAILABLE EFFICIENT LEGAL
21. Preserve the confidence and secrets of client SERVICE
even after the atty.-client relation is A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons,
terminated the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed. (Rule 2.01)
22. Withdraw services only for good cause and Even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall
upon notice not refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned if
only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latter’s rights.
(Rule 2.02)
LAWYER’S DUTIES TO SOCIETY
CANON 3: USE OF TRUE, HONEST, FAIR AND OBJECTIVE
CANON 1: UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION AND OBEY THE INFORMATION IN MAKING KNOWN LEGAL SERVICES
LAWS OF THE LAND
ADVERTISING AND SOLICITATION
DISCOURAGING LAW SUITS General Rule: A lawyer cannot advertise his talent, as he
Under Rule 1.03, a lawyer shall not for any corrupt is a member of an honorable profession whose primary
motive or interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or purpose is to render public service and help secure justice
delay any man’s cause. and in which the remuneration is a mere incident.
CRIME OF MAINTENANCE – A lawyer owes to society and It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise
to the court the duty not to stir up litigation. The following his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. [In re:
are unprofessional acts within the prohibition: Tagorda 53 Phil 42]
1. Volunteering advice to bring lawsuit except where
ties of blood, relationship, and trust make it a duty Exceptions:
to do so. 1. Writing legal articles
2. Hunting up defects in titles or other causes of action 2. Engaging in business or other occupations except
and informing thereof to be employed to bring when such could be deemed improper, be seen as
suit or collect judgment, or to breed litigation by indirect solicitation or would be the equivalent of
seeking out claims for personal injuries or any law practice.
other grounds to secure them as clients.
3. Law lists, but only brief biographical and
3. Employing agents or runners for like purposes.
informative data
4. Paying direct or indirect reward to those who bring
or influence the bringing of such cases to his 4. Ordinary, professional cards
office. 5. Notice to other local lawyers and publishing in a
5. Searching for unknown heirs and soliciting their legal journal of one’s availability to act as an
employment. associate for them
6. Initiating a meeting of a club and inducing them to 6. The proffer of free legal services to the indigent,
organize and contest legislation under his even when broadcasted over the radio or
guidance. tendered through circulation of printed matter to
7. Purchasing notes to collect them by litigation at a the general public.
profit. 7. Seeking a public office, which can only be held by
a lawyer or, in a dignified manner, a position as a
A lawyer shall refrain from committing barratry and full time corporate counsel.
ambulance chasing of cases. 8. Simple announcement of the opening of a law firm
or of changes in the partnership, associates, firm
Barratry – offense of frequently inciting and stirring up name or office address, being for the convenience
quarrels and suits. The lawyer’s act of fomenting suits of the profession.
among individuals and offering his legal services to one of
them 9. Listing in a phone directory, but not under a
designation of a special branch of law.
Ambulance Chasing – a lawyer’s act of chasing the victims 10. Activity of an association for the purpose of legal
of an accident for the purpose of talking to the same victim representation.
or the latter’s relatives and offering his legal services for the
filing of the case against the person who caused the accident. Solicitation of Cases Constitutes Malpractice
The law prohibits lawyers from soliciting cases
for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
8 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

agents or brokers and makes the act malpractice [Rule 138, e. 4 hours – writing and oral advocacy
sec. 27, Rules of Court]. The rule prohibits professional f. 2 hours – international law and international
touting. Neither shall a lawyer “charge rates lower than conventions
those customarily prescribed unless the circumstances so g. 6 hours – such other subjects as may be
warrant.” prescribed by the Committee on MCLE

USE OF LAW FIRM NAME Parties Exempted from the MCLE


1. In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or 1. The President, Vice-President, and the Secretaries
assumed name shall be used. The continued use of the name and Undersecretaries of executive departments;
of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm 2. Senators and Members of the House of
indicates in all its communications that said partner is Representatives;
deceased. [Rule 3.02, Code of Professional Responsibility]. 3. The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the SC,
Hence, the rule abandoned the doctrine laid down in the incumbent and retired justices of the judiciary,
case of In re: Sycip, 92 SCRA 1 (1979). incumbent members of the Judicial and Bar
Reason: All of the partners by their joined efforts over a Council and incumbent court lawyers covered by
period of years contributed to the goodwill attached to the the Philippine Judicial Academy Program of
firm name, and this goodwill is disturbed by a change in firm continuing legal education;
name every time a partner dies. 4. The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor
and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of
2. Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw Justice;
from the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm 5. The Solicitor-General and the Assistant Solicitor-
name unless the law allows him to practice concurrently. General;
[Rule 3.02, Code of Professional Responsibility]. 6. The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and
Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
3. Filipino lawyers cannot practice law under the name of a 7. The Chairman and Members of the Constitutional
foreign law firm, as the latter cannot practice law in the Commissions;
Philippines and the use of the foreign law firm in the country 8. The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy
is unethical. (Dacanay vs. Baker & McKenzie, G.R. Adm. Case Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the
No. 2131) Special Prosecutor of the Office of the
Ombudsman;
CANON 4: PARTICIPATE IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE 9. Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-
LEGAL SYSTEM judicial functions;
Examples: 10. Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of
1. Presenting position papers or resolutions for the law who have teaching experience for at least 10
introduction of pertinent bills in Congress; years in accredited law schools;
2. Petitions with the SC for the amendment of the 11. The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of
Rules of Court. the Corps of Professional Lecturers of the
Philippine Judicial Academy; and
CANON 5: KEEP ABREAST OF LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS 12. Governors and Mayors
AND PARTICIPATE IN CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
PROGRAM Other Exempted Parties
1. Those who are not in law practice, private or
public
THREE-FOLD OBLIGATIONS OF A LAWYER: 2. Those who have retired from law practice with
1. He owes it to himself to continue improving his the approval of the IBP Board of Governors
knowledge of the law.
Good Cause for Exemption from or modification of
2. He owes it to his profession to take an active requirement
interest in the maintenance of high standards of A member may file a verified request setting
legal education. forth good cause for exemption (such as physical disability,
3. He owes it to the lay public to make the law a part illness, post-graduate study abroad, proven expertise in law)
of their social consciousness. from compliance with or modification of any of the
requirements, including an extension of time for compliance,
in accordance with procedure to be established by the
Bar Matter 850: MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL committee on MCLE.
EDUCATION (MCLE)
(Adopting the Rules on the Continuing Legal Education for Proof of exemption: Applications for exemption from or
Members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines) modification of the MCLE requirement shall be under oath
August 8, 2000 and supported by documents.
Purpose: To ensure that throughout their career, they keep
abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of Consequences of Non-Compliance
the profession and enhance the standards of the practice of 1. A member who fails to comply with the
law. requirements after the 60-day period shall be
listed as delinquent member by the IBP Board of
Requirements of Completion of MCLE Governors upon recommendation of the
Members of the IBP, unless exempted under Rule 7, Committee on MCLE.
shall complete every three (3) years at least 36 hours of 2. The listing as a delinquent member is
continuing legal education activities. The 36 hours shall be administrative in nature but shall be made with
divided as follows: notice and hearing by the Committee on MCLE.
a. 6 hours – legal Ethics
b. 4 hours – trial and pretrial skills CANON 6: APPLICABILITY OF THE CPR TO LAWYERS IN
c. 5 hours – alternative dispute resolution THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE
d. 9 hours – updates on substantive and procedural
laws and jurisprudence
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 9
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
Restriction Against Using Public Office to Promote Purpose: To protect the public, the court, the client and the
Private Interest bar from the incompetence or dishonesty of those
Public officials and employees during their incumbency unlicensed to practice law and not subject to the disciplinary
shall NOT: control of the court.
1. Own, control, manage or accept employment as 1. A lawyer is prohibited from allowing an
officer, employee, consultant, counsel, broker, intermediary to intervene in the performance of
agent, trustee or nominee in any private his professional obligation.
enterprise regulated, supervised or licensed by 2. A lawyer cannot delegate to any unqualified
their office unless expressly allowed by law person the performance of any task which by law
2. Engage in the private practice of their profession may only be performed by a member of the Bar in
unless authorized by the constitution or law, good standing.
provided that such practice will not conflict or 3. A lawyer cannot divide or stipulate a fee for legal
tend to conflict with their official functions. services with a person not licensed to practice
3. Recommend any person to any position in a law.
private enterprise which has a regular or pending
official transaction with their office Exceptions:
4. Use or divulge confidential or classified 1. Where there is a pre- existing agreement with a
information officially known to them by reason of partner or associate that, upon the latter’s death,
their office and not available to the public. money shall be paid over a reasonable period of
time to his estate or to persons specified in the
Restrictions Against Former Official from Accepting agreement;
Certain Employment 2. Where a lawyer undertakes to complete
A lawyer shall NOT, after leaving the government unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer;
service, accept engagement or employment in connection 3. Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer
with any matter in which he had intervened while in said employees in a retirement plan, even if the plan is
service. [Rule 6.03, Code of Professional Responsibility] based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing
Section 7 (b), RA 6713 prohibits any former public arrangement.
official or employee for a period of one year after retirement
or separation from office to practice his profession in
connection with any other matter before the office he used LAWYER’S DUTIES TO COURTS
to be with.
CANON 10: CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO
COURTS
THE LAWYER AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION A lawyer shall NOT do any falsehood, nor consent
to the doing of any in court; nor shall be misled, or allow the
CANON 7: UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF court to be misled by any artifice. (Rule 10.01)
THE PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF
THE IBP REQUIREMENTS OF CANDOR:
A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly 1. A lawyer shall not suppress material and vital facts which
making a false statement or suppressing a material fact, in bear on the merit or lack of merit of complaint or
connection with his application for admission to the bar. petition;
(Rule 7.01) 2. A lawyer shall volunteer to the court any development of
A lawyer shall not, whether in public or private the case which has rendered the issue raised moot and
life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the academic;
legal profession. (Rule 7.03) 3. Disclose to court any decision adverse to his position of
which opposing counsel is apparently ignorant and
 CASE: Counsel’s act of filing multiple complaints against which court should consider in deciding a case;
herein complainant’s reflects on his fitness to be a member 4. He shall not represent himself as lawyer for a client,
of the legal profession. His act evinces vindictiveness, a appear for client in court and present pleadings, only to
decidedly undesirable trait whether in a lawyer or another claim later that he was not authorized to do so.
individual, as complainants were instrumental in Note: A lawyer is not an umpire but an advocate. He is not
respondent’s dismissal from the judiciary. (Saburnido vs. obliged to refrain from making every proper argument in
Madrono, 366 SCRA 1, September 26, 2001) support of any legal point because he is not convinced of its
inherent soundness. Neither is he obliged to suggest
CANON 8: COURTESY, FAIRNESS AND CANDOR TOWARD arguments against his position.
HIS COLLEAGUES AND AVOID HARASSING TACTICS
A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, A lawyer shall NOT knowingly misquote or
use language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise misrepresent the contents of a paper, the language or the
improper. (Rule 8.01) argument of opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or
 CASE: Although aware that the plaintiff students were authority, or knowingly cite as a law a provision already
represented by counsel, respondent attorney, counsel for the rendered inoperative by repeal or amendment, or assert as a
defendants proceeded, nonetheless, to negotiate with them fact that which has not been proved. (Rule 10.02)
and their parents without at the very least communicating A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and
the matter to their lawyer. This failure of respondent is an shall NOT misuse them to defeat the ends of justice. (Rule
inexcusable violation of the canons of professional ethics 10.03)
and in utter disregard of a duty owing to a colleague.
(Camacho vs. Pangulayan, 328 SCRA 631, March 22, 2000) CANON 11: OBSERVANCE OF RESPECT DUE THE COURTS
A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect
CANON 9: PREVENTING UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF due to the courts and to judicial officers and should insist on
LAW similar conduct by others.
Public policy requires that the practice of law be A lawyer should show respect due the court and
limited to those individuals found duly qualified in education judicial officer by appearing during the trial of a case
and character. punctually and in proper attire.

LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE


CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
10 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

A lawyer’s language should be forceful but of court, without prejudice to the filing of a
dignified, emphatic but respectful as befitting an advocate criminal action against the guilty party. The
and in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession. lawyer may also be subjected to disciplinary
proceedings.
RIGHT AND DUTY OF LAWYER TO CRITICIZE COURTS
The fact that a person is a lawyer does not deprive CANON 13: AVOIDING IMPROPRIETY THAT TENDS TO
him of the right, enjoyed by every citizen, to comment on INFLUENCE THE COURT
and criticize the actuations of a judge. A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause
However, what he can ordinarily say against a and refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence,
concluded litigation and the manner the judge handed down or gives the appearance of influencing the court.
the decision therein may NOT generally be said to a pending A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention
action. The court, in a pending litigation, must be shielded or hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for cultivating
from embarrassment or influence in its all important duty of familiarity with judges [Rule 13.01, Code of Professional
deciding the case. On the other hand, once a litigation is Responsibility]
concluded the judge who decided it is subject to the same A lawyer shall not make public statements in the
criticism as any other public official because then his ruling media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public
becomes public property and is thrown open to public opinion for or against a party. [Rule 13.02, Code of
consumption. Professional Responsibility]
But it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism A lawyer shall not brook nor invite interference
that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the walls of by another branch or agency of the government in the
decency and propriety. normal course of judicial proceedings. [Rule 13.03 Code of
Professional Responsibility]
CANON 12: ASSISTING IN SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
A lawyer shall NOT appear for trial unless he has ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
adequately prepared himself on the law and the facts of his
case, the evidence he will adduce and the order of its NATURE OF RELATION
presentation. He should also be ready with the original 1. strictly personal;
documents for comparison with the copies. [Rule 12.01 Code 2. highly confidential and fiduciary
of Professional Responsibility]
GENERAL RULES PROTECTING ATTORNEY-CLIENT
A lawyer shall NOT unduly delay a case, impede RELATIONSHIPS
the execution of judgment or misuse court processes. [Rule 1. Best efforts must be exerted by the attorney to
12.04, Code of Professional Responsibility] protect his client’s interest;
2. The attorney must promptly account for any fund
 CASE: The Court further commented that it is or property entrusted by or received for his client;
understandable for a party in the situation to make full use 3. An attorney cannot purchase his client’s property
of every conceivable legal defense the law allows it. In the or interest in litigation;
appraisal, however, of such attempts to evade liability to 4. The privacy of communications shall at all times
which a party should respond, it must ever be kept in mind be upheld;
that procedural rules are intended as an aid to justice, not as 5. An attorney cannot represent a party whose
means for its frustration. Technicalities should give way to interest is adverse to that of his client even after
the realities of the situation. (Economic Insurance Co., Inc. vs. the termination of the relation.
Uy Realty Co.)
CREATION OF RELATION: FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT AS
The duty of a lawyer to assist in the speedy and COUNSEL TO A CLIENT
efficient administration of justice includes the duty to refrain 1. Oral – when the counsel is employed without a
from talking to his witness during a break or recess in the written agreement, but the conditions and
trial while the witness is still under examination. amount of attorney’s fees are agreed upon.
2. Express  when the terms and conditions
FORUM SHOPPING - the act of filing repetitious suits in including the amount of fees, are explicitly
different courts. It is committed through the following: stipulated in a written document which may be a
1. Going from one court to another in the hope of
private or public document. Written contract of
securing a favorable relief in one court, which
attorney’s fees is the law between the lawyer and
another court has denied. the client.
2. Filing repetitious suits or proceedings in different 3. Implied – when there is no agreement, whether
courts concerning the same subject matter after oral or written, but the client allowed the lawyer
one court has decided the suit with finality. to render legal services not intended to be
3. Filing a similar case in a judicial court after gratuitous without objection, and the client is
receiving an unfavorable judgment from an
benefited by reason thereof.
administrative tribunal.
Note: While a written agreement for professional services is
Forum shopping is prohibited by Supreme Court the best evidence to show the relation, formality is not an
Circular No. 28-91, and the corresponding penalties for essential element of the employment of an attorney. The
violation thereof are as follows: absence of a written contract will not preclude a finding that
1. Any violation of this circular shall be a cause for
there is a professional relationship. Documentary formalism
the summary dismissal of the multiple petition or
is not an essential element in the employment of an
complaint; attorney; the contract may be express or implied.
2. Any willful and deliberate forum shopping by any
party and his lawyer with the filing of multiple ADVANTAGES OF A WRITTEN CONTRACT BETWEEN THE
petitions or complaints to ensure favorable action LAWYER AND THE CLIENT:
shall constitute direct contempt of court;
1. It is conclusive as to the amount of compensation.
3. The submission of a fake certification under par. 2
of the Circular shall likewise constitute contempt
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 11
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
2. In case of unjustified dismissal of an attorney, he 4. A lawyer must decline to conduct a civil cause or
shall be entitled to recover from the client full to make a defense when convinced that it is
compensation stipulated in the contract [RA 636]. intended merely to harass or injure the opposite
party or to work oppression or wrong.
CANON 14: NOT TO REFUSE HIS SERVICES TO THE NEEDY However, a lawyer may accept a losing civil case
provided that, in so doing, he must not engage in dilatory
RIGHT TO DECLINE EMPLOYMENT; EXCEPTIONS tactics and must advise his client about the prospects and
General Rule: A lawyer is not obliged to act as legal advantage of settling the case through a compromise.
counsel for any person who may wish to become his client.
He has the right to decline employment.
Exceptions: LAWYER’S DUTIES TO CLIENT
1. A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.
2. He shall not decline to represent a person solely CANON 15: CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN HIS
on account of the latter’s race, sex, creed or status DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENTS
of life or because of his own opinion regarding the
guilt of said person. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
3. He shall not decline, except for serious and Duty of a Lawyer to His Client in Case There is Conflict of
sufficient cause like (1) if he is not in a position to Interest
carry out effectively or competently; (2) if he A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client
labors under a conflict of interest between him shall ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter
and the prospective client or between a present would involve a conflict with another client or his own
and prospective client. interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective
client. [Rule 15.01]
Reasons: IBP Guidelines, Art.1, Sec. 1. Public Service: It is the duty of a lawyer at the time of retainer to
1. Legal aid is not a matter of charity but a public disclose to the client all circumstances of his relations to the
responsibility. parties and any interest in connection with the controversy,
2. It is a means for correction of social imbalance. which might influence the client in the selection of counsel.
3. Legal aid offices must be so organized as to give It is unprofessional to represent conflicting
maximum possible assistance to indigent and interests, except by express consent of all concerned given
deserving members of the community and to forestall after a full disclosure of facts. Within the meaning of this
injustice. Canon, a lawyer represents conflicting interests when, in
behalf of one client it is his duty to contend for that which
DUTY TO DECLINE EMPLOYMENT duty to another client requires him to oppose.
A lawyer should decline professional employment
even though how attractive the fee offered may be if its Tests to Determine Conflicting Interests
acceptance will involve:
1. A violation of any of the rules of the legal 1. Will the attorney be required to contest for
profession. that which his duty to another client
2. Nullification of a contract which he prepared. requires him to oppose? (Conflicting duties)
3. Advocacy in any matter in which he had 2. Will the acceptance of a new relation invite
intervened while in the government service. suspicion and/or actually lead to
4. Employment, the nature of which might easily be unfaithfulness or double-dealing towards
used as a means of advertising his professional another client? (Invitation of suspicion)
services or his skill. 3. Will the attorney be called upon in his new
5. Employment with a collection agency which relation to use against his first client any
solicits business to collect claims. knowledge acquired in the previous
6. Any matter in which he knows or has reason to employment? (Use of prior knowledge
believe that he or his partner will be an essential obtained)
witness for the prospective client.
INSTANCES WHEN A LAWYER IS CONSIDERED HAVING
ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN TAKING A BAD CASE CONFLICTING DUTIES
In a Criminal Case: A lawyer may accept a losing criminal 1. As an employee of a corporation whose duty is to
case because every accused is presumed innocent and is attend legal affairs, he cannot join a labor union of
entitled to counsel. employees in that corporation;
2. As a lawyer who investigated an accident as
In a Civil Case: The rules and ethics of the profession enjoin counsel for an insurance, he cannot represent the
a lawyer from taking a bad case. injured person;
3. As a receiver of a corporation, he cannot
represent the creditor;
Reasons: 4. As a representative of the obligor, he cannot
1. The attorney’s signature in every pleading represent the obligee;
constitutes a certificate by him that there is good 5. As a lawyer representing a party in a compromise
cause to support it and that it is not interposed for agreement, he cannot be subsequent lawyer
delay, and willful violation of such rule shall representing another client who seeks to nullify
subject him to disciplinary action. the agreement;
2. It is the attorney’s duty to “counsel or maintain
such actions or proceedings only as appear to him Effects of Representing Adverse Interests
to be just and only such defenses as he believes to 1. Disqualification as counsel of new client on
be honestly debatable under the law.” petition of former client.
3. A lawyer is not to encourage either the 2. Where such is unknown to, and becomes
commencement or the continuance of an action or prejudicial to the interests of the new client, a
proceeding, or delay any man’s cause, for any judgment against such may, on that ground, be set
corrupt motive or interest. aside.

LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE


CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
12 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

3. A lawyer can be held administratively liable deserves full attention, diligence, skill and competence,
through disciplinary action and may be held regardless of importance. (Rollon vs. Atty. Naraval, A.C. No.
criminally liable for betrayal of trust. 6424, March 4, 2005)
4. The attorney’s right to fees may be defeated if
found to be related to such conflict and such was CANON 18: SERVE CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND
objected to by the former client, or if there was a DILIGENCE
concealment and prejudice by reason of the
attorney’s previous professional relationship with DUTY TO PROTECT CLIENT’S INTEREST
the opposite party. The attorney’s duty to safeguard the client’s
interests commences from his retainer until his effective
 CASE: Jurisprudence instructs that there is a release from the case or the final disposition of the whole
representation of conflicting interests if the acceptance of subject matter of the litigation. During that period he is
the new retainer will require the attorney to do anything expected to take such reasonable steps and such ordinary
which will injuriously affect his first client in any matter in care as his client’s interests may require.
which he represents him and also whether he will be called
upon in his new relation, to use against his first client any PREPARATION OF PLEADINGS
knowledge acquired through their connection. Another test A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter
to determine if there is a representation of conflicting without any adequate preparation. (Rule 18.02)
interests is whether the acceptance of a new relation will A lawyer should prepare his pleading with great
prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of care and circumspection. He should refrain from using
undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite suspicion abrasive and offensive language, for it merely weakens
of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance rather than strengthens the force of legal reasoning and
thereof. (Pormento, Sr. vs. Atty. Pontevedra, A.C. No. 5128, detracts from its persuasiveness. In preparing a complaint
March 31, 2005) for damages, counsel for plaintiff should allege and state the
specific amounts claimed not only in the body of the
CANON 16: LAWYER’S DUTY TO HOLD IN TRUST ALL THE complaint but also in the prayer, so that the proper docket
MONEY AND PROPERTY OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME fees can be assessed and paid.
TO HIS POSSESSION
PROHIBITION AGAINST PURCHASE OF PROPERTY IN DUTY TO KEEP CLIENT FULLY INFORMED
LITIGATION A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the
status of his case. (Rule 18.04)
Elements of Prohibition He should notify his client of an adverse decision
1. There is an attorney-client relationship; while within the period to appeal to enable his client to
2. The property is in litigation; decide whether to seek an appellate review. He should
3. The attorney is the counsel of record in the case; communicate with him concerning the withdrawal of appeal
4. The attorney, by himself or through an agent, with all its adverse consequences. The client is entitled to
purchases such property during the pendency of the fullest disclosure of the mode or manner by which his
said case [Art. 1491 of the Civil Code] interest is defended or why certain steps are taken or
omitted.
Other Instances Where Rule is Inapplicable
1. Where the property purchased by a lawyer was Doctrine of Imputed Knowledge  the knowledge acquired
not involved in litigation. by an attorney during the time that he is acting within the
2. Where the sale took place before it became scope of his authority is imputed to the client.
involved in the suit. It is based on the assumption that an attorney,
3. Where the attorney at the time of the purchase who has notice of matter affecting his client, has
was not counsel in the case. communicated the same to his principal in the course of
4. Where the purchaser of the property in litigation professional dealings. The doctrine applies regardless of
was a corporation even though the attorney was whether or not the lawyer actually communicated to the
an officer thereof. client what he learned in his professional capacity, the
5. Where the sale took place after the termination of attorney and his client being one juridical person.
the litigation. Exceptions to the Rule that Notice to Counsel is Notice to
6. A lawyer may accept an assignment from his Client
client of a money judgment rendered in the 1. If strict application might foster dangerous
latter’s favor in a case in which he was not collusion to the detriment of justice.
counsel, in payment of his professional services 2. Service of notice upon party instead of upon his
performed in another case. attorney is ordered by court.
7. Prohibition is inapplicable to a contract for 3. Notice of pre trial is required to be served upon
attorney’s fees contingent upon the outcome of parties and their respective lawyers.
the litigation. 4. In appeal from the lower court to the RTC, upon
docketing of appeal.
CANON 17: FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND
MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN DUTY WHEN THE ACCUSED INTENDS TO PLEAD GUILTY
HIM A PLEA OF GUILTY is an admission by the
 CASE: Ordinarily, lawyers are not obliged to act either as accused of his guilt of crime as charged in the information
advisers or as advocates of any person who may wish to and of the truth of the facts alleged, including the qualifying
become their client. They may decline employment and and aggravating circumstances.
refuse to accept representation, if they are not in a position It is the duty of the defense counsel when his
to carry it out effectively or competently. But once they client desires to enter a plea of guilty to: (ACEPA)
agree to handle a case, attorneys are required by the Canons 1. Fully acquaint himself with the records and
of Professional Responsibility to undertake the task with surrounding circumstances of the case
zeal, care and utmost devotion. 2. Confer with the accused and obtain from him his
Acceptance of money from a client establishes an account of what had happened
attorney-client relationship and gives rise to the duty of 3. Advise him of his constitutional rights
fidelity to the client’s cause. Every case accepted by a lawyer
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 13
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
4. Thoroughly explain to him the import of a guilty 1. Party is not bound by the attorney’s appearance
plea and the inevitable conviction that will follow in the case in or by the judgment rendered
5. See to it that the prescribed procedure which therein.
experience has shown to be necessary to the 2. Court does not acquire jurisdiction over the
administration of justice is strictly followed and person.
disclosed in the court records. 3. The adverse party who has been forced to litigate
as a defendant by the unauthorized action on the
DUTY TO COMPLY WITH CLIENT’S LAWFUL REQUEST part of the attorney for the plaintiff may, on that
A client shall respond within a reasonable time to ground, move for the dismissal of the complaint.
the client’s request for information. (Rule 18.04) 4. If unauthorized appearance is willful, attorney
A lawyer should endeavor to seek instruction may be cited for contempt as an officer of the
from his client on any substantial matter concerning the court who has misbehaved in his official
litigation, which may require decision on the part of the transactions, and he may be disciplined for
client, such as whether to compromise the case or to appeal professional misconduct.
an unfavorable judgment. He should give his client sound
advice on any such and similar matters and comply with the Ratification of Unauthorized Appearance
client’s lawful instructions relative thereto. He should resist 1. EXPRESS: categorical assertion by client that he
and should never follow any unlawful instruction of his has authorized a lawyer or that he confirms his
client. authorization to represent him in the case.
2. IMPLIED: where a party with knowledge of the
CANON 19: DUTY TO REPRESENT CLIENT WITH ZEAL fact that a lawyer has been representing him in a
AND WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW case, accepts benefits of representation or fails to
promptly repudiate the assumed authority.
DUTY TO RESTRAIN CLIENT FROM IMPROPRIETY
A lawyer should use his best efforts to restrain Requisites for Implied Ratification by Silence
and to prevent his client from doing those things which he 1. Party represented by lawyer must be of age,
himself ought not to do, particularly with reference to the competent or if suffers from disability, has
conduct toward the court, judicial officer, witness and suitor guardian or legal representative.
and if the client persists in such wrong doing, the lawyer 2. Party or guardian is aware of attorney’s
should terminate their relation. representation.
3. He fails to promptly repudiate assumed authority.
Duty to Advice Candidly
As officers of the court, counsels are under Authority of Attorney in the Conduct of Litigation
obligation to advise their clients against making untenable A lawyer has authority to bind the client in all
and inconsistent claims. The counsel should inform his matters of ordinary judicial procedure. He can bind his
client and dissuade him from filing the case if totally devoid client on substantial matters only with the client’s express or
of merit. If he finds that his client’s cause as fairly implied consent.
meritorious and ripe for judicial adjudication, he should A client may waive, surrender, dismiss, or
refrain from making bold and confident assurances of compromise any of his rights involved in a litigation in favor
success. of the other party even without or against the consent of his
attorney.
Duty of Lawyer in Case of Knowledge of Client’s Fraud
1. He must promptly call upon the client to rectify the Authority to Compromise
same and failing which, Compromise- a contract whereby the parties, by making
2. He shall terminate their relationship with such client in reciprocal concessions, avoid a litigation or put an end to
accordance with the Rules of Court. one already commenced.

General Rule: The attorney has no authority to


AUTHORITY OF A LAWYER compromise his client’s case.
Appearance- the coming into court as a party either as a Reason: Because the client, even if represented by counsel,
plaintiff or as a defendant and asking relief therefrom. retains exclusive control over the subject matter of the
By virtue of Sec. 20, Rule 14 of the 1997 Rules of litigation. The client can, of course, authorize his lawyer to
Civil Procedure, there is no more distinction between compromise his case, and the settlement made by the lawyer
general appearance and special appearance, in the sense will bind his client.
that a defendant may file a motion to dismiss not only on the Exception: Where the lawyer is confronted with an
ground of lack of jurisdiction over his person but also on emergency and prompt, urgent action is necessary to protect
some other grounds without waving the jurisdiction of the the interest of his client and there is no opportunity for
court over his person. consultation with him.

Presumption of Authority Mistakes or Negligence of Lawyer Binding Upon Client


An attorney is presumed to be properly General Rule: Client is bound by attorney’s conduct,
authorized to represent any cause in which he appears in all negligence and mistake in handling case or in management
stages of the litigation and no written authority is required of litigation and in procedural technique, and he can not be
to authorize him to appear. heard to complain that result might have been different had
The presumption is a strong one. A mere denial by his lawyer proceeded differently.
a party that he has authorized an attorney to appear for him, Exceptions:
in the absence of compelling reason, is insufficient to 1. Where adherence thereto results in outright
overcome the presumption especially when the denial deprivation of client’s liberty or property or
comes after the rendition of an adverse judgment. where interest of justice so requires.
2. Where error by counsel is purely technical which
Effects of an Unauthorized Appearance does not affect substantially client’s cause.
3. Ignorance, incompetence or inexperience of
lawyer is so great and error so serious that client,

LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE


CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
14 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

who has good cause prejudiced and denied a day fees are paid whether or not there are cases
in court. referred to the lawyer.
4. Gross negligence of lawyer. 2. Special retainer – fee for a specific case or
5. Lack of acquaintance with technical part of service rendered by the lawyer for the client.
procedure.
Situations when Counsel cannot Recover the Full
CANON 20: DUTY OF THE LAWYER TO CHARGE ONLY Amount of Attorney’s Fees Despite Written Contract
FAIR AND REASONABLE FEES 1. When the services called for were not performed
as when the lawyer withdrew before the case was
ATTORNEY’S FEES finished. He will be allowed only reasonable fees
2. When there is a justified dismissal of the attorney,
Factors in Determining Attorney’s Fees (Rule 20.1, Canon the contract will be nullified and payment will be
20) (TINSAP²C³) on the basis of quantum meruit only. A contrary
1. time spent and the extent of the services rendered stipulation will be invalid.
or required; 3. When the stipulated attorney’s fees are
2. novelty and the difficulty of the questions unconscionable i.e., when it is disproportionate as
involved; compared to the value of services rendered and is
3. importance of the subject matter; revolting to human conscience.
4. skill demanded; 4. When the stipulated attorney’s fees are in excess
5. probability of losing other employment as a result of what is expressly provided by law.
of the acceptance of the proffered case; 5. When the lawyer is guilty of fraud or bad faith
6. customary charges for similar services and the toward his client in the matter of his employment
schedule of fees of the IBP Chapter to which he 6. When the counsel’s services are worthless
belongs; because of h is negligence.
7. amount involved in the controversy and the 7. When contract is illegal, against morals or public
benefits resulting to the client from the service; policy.
8. contingency or certainty of compensation; 8. Serving adverse interest unless lawyer proves
9. character of the employment whether occasional that it was with the consent of both parties.
or established; and
10. the professional standing of the lawyer. Quantum Meruit  means as much as the lawyer deserves
or such amount as his services merit.
Two Concepts of Attorney’s Fees
1. Ordinary- it is the reasonable compensation paid Guides for Determining Attorney’s Fees on Quantum
to the lawyer for the legal services he had Meruit Basis (TINS)
rendered the client. The basis of this 1. Time spent and extent of the services rendered or
compensation is the fact of employment by the required – a lawyer is justified in fixing higher
client. fees when the case is so complicated and requires
2. Extraordinary- an indemnity for damages more time and effort to finish it.
ordered by the court to be paid by the losing party 2. Novelty and difficulty of questions involved –
to the prevailing party in a litigation. The basis of when the questions in a case are novel and
this is any of the cases authorized by law and is difficult, greater effort, deeper study and research
payable not to the lawyer but to the client unless are bound to burn the lawyer’s time and stamina
they have agreed that the award shall pertain to considering that there are no local precedents to
the lawyer as additional compensation or as part rely upon
thereof. 3. Importance of subject matter  the more
important the subject matter or the bigger the
Kinds of Payment which may be Stipulated Upon value of the interest of property in litigation, the
1. FIXED OR ABSOLUTE FEE – which is payable higher is the attorney’s fees
regardless of the result of the case. 4. Skill demanded of a lawyer  the totality of the
2. CONTINGENT FEE – that is conditioned on the lawyer’s experience provides him the skill and
securing of a favorable judgment and recovery of competence admired in lawyers.
money or property and the amount of which may
be on a percentage basis. Instances of Recovery of Attorney’s Fees on the Basis of
3. A fixed fee payable PER APPEARANCE. Quantum Meruit
4. A fixed fee computed upon the NUMBER OF 1. There is no express contract for payment of
HOURS SPENT attorney’s fees agreed upon between the lawyer
5. A fixed fee based on PIECEWORK. and the client.
6. COMBINATION of any of the above. 2. When although there is a formal contract for
attorney’s fees, the fees stipulated are found
RETAINER- may refer to either of two concepts: unconscionable.
1. Act of a client by which he engages the services of 3. When the contract for attorney’s fees is void due
an attorney to render legal advice or to defend or to formal matter.
prosecute his cause in court. 4. When for justifiable cause the lawyer was not able
2. Fee which a client pays to the attorney to finish the case.
5. When the lawyer and the client disregard the
Kinds of Retainer Agreements contract for fees.
1. General retainer – the fee paid to a lawyer to 6. When the client dismissed his counsel before the
secure his future services as “general counsel” for termination of the case or the latter withdrew
any ordinary legal problem that may arise in the therefrom for valid reasons.
ordinary business of the client and referred to
him for legal action. The client pays fixed retainer Champertous Contract - one where the lawyer stipulates
fees, which could be monthly or otherwise. The with his client in the prosecution of the case that he will bear
all of the expenses for the recovery of things or property
being claimed by the client, and the latter agrees to pay the
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 15
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
former a portion of the thing or property recovered as government funds if available based on the
compensation. It is void for being against public policy. amount fixed by the court.
3. Amicus Curiae - not entitled to attorney’s fees
 CONTINGENT vs. CHAMPERTOUS
CONTINGENT CHAMPERTOUS ATTORNEY’S LIEN
CONTRACT CONTRACT Charging Lien - is an equitable right to have the fees and
1. Contingent fee is 1. Payable in kind lawful disbursements due a lawyer for his services in a suit
payable in cash ONLY secured to him out of the judgment for the payment of
2. Lawyers do not 2.Lawyers undertake money and executions issued in pursuance thereof in the
undertake to pay all to pay all expenses of particular suit.
expenses of litigation litigation
Requisites of a Charging Lien
3. Not prohibited 3. Void 1. Existence of a client-lawyer relationship;
2. The attorney has rendered services;
Enforcement of Attorney’s Fees
3. Favorable judgment secured by the counsel for
his client which judgment is a money judgment;
General Rule: A lawyer should avoid the filing of any case
against client for enforcement of attorney’s fees 4. The attorney has a claim for attorney’s fees or
Exceptions: advances;
1. to prevent imposition 5. Noting into the records of the case through the
2. to prevent injustice filing of an appropriate motion of the statement of
3. to prevent fraud the lawyer’s claim for attorney’s fee with copies
furnished to the client and adverse party.
Who are Entitled to Attorney’s Fees
General Rule: Only lawyers are entitled to attorney’s fees. Retaining Lien – a right merely to retain the funds,
The same cannot be shared with a non-lawyer. It is immoral. documents, and papers as against the client until the
Exceptions: attorney is fully paid his fees.
A lawyer may divide a fee for legal services with
persons not licensed to practice law: (CPR) Requisites: (ALU)
1. a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal 1. Attorney-client relationship;
business of a deceased lawyer; 2. Lawful possession by the lawyer of the client’s
2. there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner funds, documents and papers in his professional
or associate that, upon the latter’s death, money capacity;
shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to
3. Unsatisfied claim for attorney’s fees
his estate or to persons specified in the
agreement;
3. a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer
RETAINING LIEN VS.CHARGING LIEN
employees in retirement plan, even if the plan is
Point of Retaining Lien Charging Lien
based in whole or in part on the profit sharing
Distinction
agreement
1. Nature Passive Lien. It Active Lien. It
Effect of Nullity of Contract on the Right to Attorney’s
cannot be can be
Fees
actively enforced by
1. if the nullification is due to the illegality of its enforced. It is a execution. It is
object, the lawyer is precluded from recovering; general lien. a special lien.
2. if the nullity is due to a formal defect or because 2. Basis Lawful Securing of a
the court has found the amount to be possession of favorable
unconscionable, the lawyer may recover for any papers, money
services rendered based on quantum meruit. documents, judgment for
property the client.
Instances When an Independent Civil Action to Recover belonging to the
Attorney’s Fees is Necessary client.
1. Main action is dismissed or nothing is awarded; 3. Coverage Covers papers, Covers all
2. Court has decided that it has no jurisdiction over documents, and judgment for
the action or has already lost it; properties in the payment of
3. Person liable for attorney’s fees is not a party to the lawful money and
the main action; possession of execution
4. Court reserved to the lawyer the right to file a the attorney by issued in
separate civil suit for recovery of attorney’s fees; reason of his pursuance of
5. Services for which the lawyer seeks payment are professional such
not connected with the subject litigation; employment. judgments.
6. Judgment debtor has fully paid all of the judgment
proceeds to the judgment creditor and the lawyer
has not taken any legal step to have his fees paid
directly to him from the judgment proceeds.
Compensation to Which a Lawyer is Entitled to
Depending on His Capacity 4. Effect As soon as the As soon as the
1. Counsel de Parte - He is entitled to a reasonable attorney gets claim for
attorney’s fees agreed upon or in the absence possession of attorney’s fees
thereof, on quantum meruit basis. the papers, had been
2. Counsel de Oficio - The counsel may not demand documents, or entered into
from the accused attorney’s fees even if he wins property. the records of
the case. He may however collect from the the case.
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
16 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

5. Notice Client need not Notice must be 3. When disclosure is made to protect the lawyer’s
be notified to served upon rights (i.e., to collect his fees or defend himself, his
make it client and employees or associates or by judicial action).
effective. adverse party 4. When such communications are made in
contemplation of a crime or the perpetuation of a
6. Applicability May be Generally, fraud
exercised before exercisable
judgment or only when the LAWYER AS WITNESS
execution or attorney had A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client.
regardless already Reason: The function of a witness is to tell the facts as he
thereof. secured a recalls them in answer to questions. The function of an
favorable advocate is that of a partisan. It is difficult to distinguish
judgment for between the zeal of an advocate and the fairness and
his client. impartiality of a disinterested witness.
7.Extinguish- When When client
ment possession loses action as  Instances when a lawyer may NOT testify as a witness
lawfully ends lien may only in a case which he is handling for a client:
when as lawyer be enforced 1. When such would adversely affect any lawful
voluntarily against interest of the client with respect to which
parts with judgment confidence has been reposed on him;
funds, awarded in 2. Having accepted a retainer, he cannot be a
documents, and favor of client, witness against his client;
papers of client proceeds 3. He cannot serve conflicting interests;
or offers them thereof/ 4. When he is to violate the confidence of his client;
as evidence. executed 5. When as an attorney, he is to testify on the theory
thereon. of the case.

 Instances when a lawyer may testify as a witness in a


case which he is handling for a client:
1. On formal matters, such as the mailing,
authentication or custody of an instrument and
the like;
2. Acting as an expert on his fee;
CANON 21: PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION 3. Acting as an Arbitrator;
4. Deposition;
Requisites: 5. On substantial matters in cases where his
1. There exists an attorney and client relationship or testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in
a kind of consultancy relationship with a which event he must, during his testimony,
prospective client. That is, legal advise is what is entrust the trial of the case to another counsel.
sought;
INTERVIEWING WITNESSES
2. The communication was made by the client to the Witness- human instrumentality through which the law and
lawyer in the course of the lawyer’s professional
its ministers, the judges and lawyers, endeavors to ascertain
employment; and
the truth and to dispense justice to the contending parties.
3. The communication must be intended to be
confidential. [Uy Chico vs. Union Life Association 1. A lawyer may interview a witness in advance of
Society, 29 Phil 163] trial to guide him in the management of the
litigation.
Purposes: 2. A lawyer may also interview a prospective
To encourage a client to make a full disclosure of the witness for the opposing side in any civil or
facts of the case to his counsel without fear; criminal action without the consent of the
To allow the lawyer freedom to obtain full information opposing counsel or party.
from his client. 3. A lawyer may properly obtain statements from
witnesses whose names were furnished by the
Characteristics: opposing counsel or interview the employees of
1. A-C privilege where legal advice is professionally the opposing party even though they are under
sought from an attorney. subpoena to appear as witnesses for the opposite
2. The client must intend the above communication side.
to be confidential. 4. If after trial resulting in defendant’s conviction,
3. A-C privilege embraces all forms of his counsel has been advised that a prosecution
communication and action. witness has committed perjury, it is not only
proper but it is the lawyer’s duty to endeavor
4. As general rule, A-C privilege also extends to the honorably to obtain such witness’ retraction, even
attorney’s secretary, stenographer, clerk or agent
without advising the public prosecutor of his
with reference to any fact required in such
purpose and even though the case is pending
capacity.
appeal.
5. The above duty is perpetual and is absolutely An adverse party, though he may be used as a witness,
privileged from disclosure. is not, however, a witness within the meaning of the rule
permitting a lawyer to interview the witness of the opposing
Exceptions to the Privilege counsel.
1. When there is consent or waiver of client.
2. When disclosure is required by law. CANON 22: WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICES

2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS


Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 17
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
TERMINATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP Duties of a Discharged Lawyer or One Who Withdraws
1. Immediately turn-over all papers and property to
Instances When a Counsel Can Withdraw His Services which the client is entitled;
1. When the client pursues an illegal or immoral 2. To cooperate with the succeeding lawyer in the
course or conduct in connection with the case he orderly transfer of the case.
is handling;
2. When the client insists that the lawyer pursue Conditions for Substitution of Counsel
conduct violative of the Code of Professional
Responsibility;
1. Written request for such substitution
3. When his inability to work with co-counsel will 2. Written consent of the client
not promote the best interest of the client; 3. Written consent of the attorney to be substituted
4. When the mental or physical condition of the or in the absence thereof, proof of service of
lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry on the notice of said motion to the attorney to be
employment effectively; substituted.
5. When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees
for the services or fails to comply with the
retainer agreement; LIABILITIES OF A LAWYER
6. When the lawyer finds out that he might be
appearing for a conflicting interest; LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES
(Note: In all the above cases, the lawyer must file a written Requisites
motion with an express consent of his client and must wait 1. Attorney - client relationship
for the approval of the court.) 2. Want of reasonable care & diligence
7. When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public
office;
3. Injury sustained by client as proximate result
thereof.
8. Other similar cases [Canon 22 Rule 22.01]
Kinds of Damages
NOTE: A lawyer may withdraw as counsel only with the
conrent of the client and with leave of court, and only for 1. Nominal – where client lost the litigation as a
good cause enumerated in Rule 22.01 of the Code of consequence of lawyer’s gross omission or
Profdssional Responsibility. negligence.
The relation of attorney-client relationship is 2. Actual/compensatory
strictly personal and highly confidential and fiduciary. 3. Moral Damages
Necessity and public interest require that it be so. 4. Attorney’s fees
(Note: for nos. 2-4 there should be showing that had the
Discharge of the Attorney by Client lawyer exercised due diligence client would have succeeded
The client has the right to terminate at any time WITH in recovering from adverse party.)
OR WITHOUT JUST CAUSE.
Just cause is material only in determining compensation. Liability for Breach of Fiduciary Obligation
Lawyer holds his client’s funds or property in
Without just cause trust for clients and is obliged to make an accounting of such
 And no express written agreement as to fees funds that come to his possession.
 reasonable value of his services up to the
date of his dismissal (quantum meruit) Effect of Failure to Return Client’s Money or Property
After Demand
 And there is written agreement and the fee
1. Presumption that he misappropriated the same
stipulated is absolute and reasonable  full
2. Civilly liable in favor of client
payment of compensation
3. Criminal liability
 And the fee stipulated is contingent 4. Administrative liability
 If dismissed before the conclusion
of the action  reasonable value of Remedy of Client
his services (quantum meruit) Recover property from lawyer together with its
fruits, subject to client’s returning to his lawyer purchase
 If contingency occurs or client price & legal interest.
prevents its occurrence  full
amount Libelous Words in Pleadings
(Note: lawyer should question his discharge, otherwise he A lawyer is exempted from liability for slander,
will be allowed to recover on quantum meruit basis.) libel or otherwise defamatory, published in course of judicial
proceedings, PROVIDED statements are connected with,
With just cause relevant, pertinent and material to cause in hand or subject
Lawyer is not necessarily deprived of his right to of inquiry
be paid for his services. He may only be deprived of such
right if the cause for his dismissal constitutes in itself a Test of Relevancy
sufficient legal obstacle to recovery. The matter to which the privilege does not extend
must be palpably wanting in relation to subject of
Limitations of Client’s Right to Discharge His Counsel controversy, that no reasonable man can doubt its relevancy
1. Client cannot deprive counsel of his right to be or propriety.
paid for services rendered if dismissal is without Pleadings should contain plain and concise
cause; statements of material facts and if pleader goes beyond
2. Client cannot discharge counsel as an excuse to requisites of law and alleges irrelevant matter which is
secure repeated extensions of time; libelous, he loses his privilege and may be liable in separate
3. Notice of discharge required in so far as court and suit.
adverse party are concerned.
Liability for Costs of Suit

LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE


CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
18 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

General Rule: Losing client and not the lawyer is liable for 7. Aiding in unauthorized practice of law
costs of suit in favor of prevailing party, lawyer not being (suspended or disbarred)
party-litigant. 8. Unlawful retention of client’s funds
Exception: Where the lawyer insisted on client’s patently
9. Advise client to commit contemptuous acts
unmeritorious case or interposed appeal to delay litigation
or thwart prompt satisfaction of prevailing party’s just and
III. BAR DISCIPLINE
valid claim, court may adjudge lawyer to pay treble costs of
suit.

CRIMINAL LIABILITY POWER TO DISCIPLINE ERRANT LAWYERS


A lawyer may be held criminally liable if he
1. The Supreme Court has the full authority and power
commits any of the following:
to (WARDS)
1. Causing prejudice to client thru malicious breach
of professional duty or thru inexcusable
a. Warn
negligence or ignorance. b. Admonish
2. Revealing client’s secrets learned in lawyer’s c. Reprimand
professional capacity thru malicious breach of d. Suspend and
professional duty or inexcusable negligence or e. Disbar a lawyer
ignorance. [Section 27, Rules 138, Rules of Court]

Specific Acts which May Result to Criminal Liability 2. The Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts
1. A lawyer who has undertaken the defense of are also empowered to (WARS)
client or has received confidential information a. Warn
from said client in a case may be criminally liable b. Admonish
for undertaking defense of opposing party in c. Reprimand and
same cause without consent of first client.[Art. d. Suspend an attorney who appears
209, RPC] before them from the practice of law
2. A lawyer who shall knowingly introduce in for any of the causes mentioned in
evidence in any judicial proceeding or to the Section 27, Rule 138 [Section 16, Rule
damage of another or who, with intent to cause 139-B].
such damage, shall use any false document may be Note: But they cannot disbar a lawyer.
held criminally liable therefor. [Art.172, RPC]
3. A lawyer who misappropriates his client’s funds
may be held liable for estafa. FORMS OF DISCIPLINARY MEASURES (WARS – CD)

CONTEMPT OF COURT 1. Warning – an act or fact of putting one on his


Nature guard against an impending danger, evil
It is exercised on preservative and not on consequences or penalties.
vindictive principle and on corrective rather than the 2. Admonition – a gentle or friendly reproof, mild
retaliatory idea of punishment, for purposes that are rebuke, warning or reminder, counseling, on a
impersonal. It is criminal in nature. fault, error or oversight, an expression of
The power to punish for contempt is inherent in authoritative advice.
all courts. It is essential in the observance of order in judicial 3. Reprimand – a public and formal censure or
proceedings and to enforcement of judgment, orders and severe reproof, administered to a person in fault
writs. by his superior officer or a body to which he
belongs.
Kinds of Contempt 4. Suspension – temporary withholding of a
1. Direct Contempt  consists of misbehavior in the lawyer’s right to practice his profession as a
presence of or so near a court or judge as to lawyer for a certain period or for an indefinite
interrupt or obstruct the proceedings before the period of time.
court or the administration of justice a. Definite
2. Indirect or Constructive Contempt  one b. Indefinite qualified disbarment;
committed away from the court involving lawyer determines for himself for how
disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, long or how short his suspension shall
process, order, judgment or command of the last by proving to court that he is once
court, or tending to belittle, degrade, obstruct, again fit to resume practice of law.
interrupt or embarrass the court 5. Censure - Official reprimand.
3. Civil Contempt  failure to do something ordered 6. Disbarment - It is the act of the Philippine
by the court which is for the benefit of a party Supreme Court in withdrawing from an attorney
4. Criminal Contempt  consists of any conduct the right to practice law. The name of the lawyer
directed against the authority or dignity of the is stricken out from the roll of attorneys.
court.

Acts of a Lawyer Constituting Contempt


1. Misbehavior as officer of court SUSPENSION AND DISBARMENT
2. Disobedience or resistance to court order Nature of Proceedings
3. Abuse or interference with judicial proceedings 1. NOT a civil action because there is no plaintiff and
no respondent, involves no private interest. The
4. Obstruction in administration of justice complainant is not a party and no interest in the
5. Misleading courts outcome except as all citizens have in proper
6. Making false allegation, criticisms, insults, veiled administration of justice, no redress for private
threats against the court grievance.
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 19
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
2. NOT a criminal prosecution because it is not f. Willful disobedience of any lawful order
meant as a punishment depriving him of source of of a superior court
livelihood but rather to ensure that those who g. Corruptly or willfully appearing as an
exercise the function should be competent, attorney for a party to a case without
honorable and reliable so that public may repose authority to do so.
confidence in them.
3. SUI GENERIS, it is a class of its own since it is 2. Acquisition of an interest in the subject matter of
neither civil nor criminal the litigation, either though purchase or
4. Confidential in nature. assignment [Art. 1491, Civil Code]
5. Defense of double jeopardy is not available.
3. Breach of professional duty, inexcusable
6. Can be initiated by the SC motu propio or by the
negligence, or ignorance, or for the revelation of
IBP. It can be initiated without a complaint;
the client’s secrets [Art. 208, Revised Penal Code]
7. Can proceed regardless of interest of the
complainants; 4. Representing conflicting interests [Art. 209,
8. Imprescriptible; Revised Penal Code]
9. It is itself due process of law.
Grounds for disbarment NOT EXCLUSIVE:
Reason for Making Disbarment Proceedings The statutory enumeration of the grounds for
Confidential disbarment or suspension is not to be taken as a limitation
To enable the Supreme Court to make its on the general power of courts to suspend or disbar a
investigation free from any extraneous influence or lawyer. The inherent power of court over its officers cannot
interference as well as to protect the personal and be restricted. [Quingwa vs. Puno, Admin. Case No 398, Feb. 28,
professional reputation of attorneys and judges from the 1967] The Supreme Court has disbarred or suspended
baseless charges of disgruntled, vindictive and irresponsible lawyers for reasons not found in the statute as when their
clients and litigants. [In Re: Abistado, 57 Phil 668] acts are contrary to honesty or good morals or do not
approximate the highest degree of morality and integrity
GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION OR DISBARMENT OF expected of the members of the bar. [Sta. Maria vs. Tuazon,
MEMBERS OF THE BAR Admin. Case No. 396, July 31, 1964].
1. Under Rule 138, Sec. 27 of the Revised Rules of
Court: Quantum of Evidence Required: clear, convincing and
a. Deceit- is a fraudulent and deceptive satisfactory evidence
misrepresentation, artifice of device used by one Burden of Proof: rests on the complainant, the one who
or more persons to deceive and trick another, instituted the suit
who is ignorant of the true facts to the prejudice
and damage of the party imposed upon. There
must be false representation as matter of fact.
(Example: Misappropriation of client’s fund)

b. Malpractice, or other gross


misconduct in office- any malfeasance or
dereliction of duty committed by a lawyer. BREACH OF DUTIES OF A LAWYER
(Example: Failure of lawyer to appeal in allowing
the period of appeal to lapse) Breach of Duties to Court
Legal Malpractice- consists of failure of an 1. Obstructing Administration of justice 
attorney to use such skill, prudence and diligence constitutes misconduct and justifies disciplinary
as lawyers of ordinary skill and capacity action against him and contempt of court.
commonly possess and exercise in the (Example: Forum shopping)
performance of tasks which they undertake, and 2. Misleading court knowingly making false
when such failure proximately causes damage, it allegation in pleadings, misquoting text of
gives rise to an action in tort. [Tan Tek Beng vs. documents, suppressing material facts
David, 126 SCRA 389] 3. Preferring false charges  filing or prosecuting
false charges against another for his action is
c. Grossly immoral conduct- that violative of duty to do falsehood nor consent to
conduct which is willful, flagrant or shameless doing of any in court, nor wittingly or willingly
and which shows a moral indifference to the
promote or sue any false, groundless, unlawful
opinion of the good and respectable members of
suit.
the community.
Requisites
a. Charges are fake
 CASE: In the case of Arciaga vs. Maniwang [106 SCRA b. Lawyer knows them to be so
591], mere intimacy between a lawyer and a woman with no
impediment to marry each other voluntarily cohabited and 4. Introducing False Evidence it is a violation of
had two children, is neither so corrupt as to constitute a oath to do no falsehood nor consent to doing of
criminal act nor so unprincipled as to warrant disbarment or any in court. When false testimony is material to
disciplinary action against the man as a member of the bar. inquiry or relevant to issue, it requires suspension
or disbarment. On the other hand, when the
d. Conviction of a crime involving moral testimony is immaterial or irrelevant and does
turpitude (Examples: estafa, bribery, not cause substantial prejudice, it only warrants
murder, bigamy, seduction, abduction, lesser sanction, such as warning or reprimand
concubinage, smuggling, falsification of 5. Willfully disobeying court orders  lawyer may
public document, violation of B.P. 22) be punished for contempt and disciplined as
officer of court.
e. Violation of oath of office
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
20 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

6. Using vicious or disrespectful language  d. Soliciting business - for purpose of gain,


constitutes direct contempt; violation of oath and personally or through paid agents is
Code of Professional Responsibility. MALPRACTICE and agreeing with non-lawyer to
7. Continue to practice after suspension  divide lawyer’s fees paid by client or for
constitutes gross misconduct and willful solicitation by non-lawyer.
disregard of suspension order. e. Advertising

OTHER GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINE


Breach of Duties to Client
1. NON-PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
1. Negligence in performance of duties General Rule: Lawyer may not be suspended or disbarred
Requisites to Warrant Suspension or Disbarment:
for misconduct in his non-professional or private capacity.
i. Negligence and carelessness which must
Exception: Where such is so GROSS to show him to be
be gross in character morally unfit for office or unworthy of privilege, court may
ii. Caused material prejudice to client be justified in suspending or removing him from the roll of
Note: Mere negligence without pecuniary
attorneys.
damages justifies only reprimand or censure
except when breach of duty to client is a gross
2. GROSS IMMORALITY- AN ACT OF PERSONAL
violation of obligation to court.
IMMORALITY ON THE PART OF THE LAWYER IN HIS
2. Employment of unlawful means PRIVATE RELATION WITH OPPOSITE SEX MAY PUT
3. Deceit or misrepresentation CHARACTER IN DOUBT. BUT TO JUSTIFY SUSPENSION
Requisites OR DISBARMENT, THE ACT MUST NOT ONLY BE
a. Bad faith on the part of the lawyer IMMORAL, IT MUST BE GROSSLY IMMORAL. (ABAIGAR
b. Material damage to client VS. PAZ)
4. Representing adverse Interest and revealing
client’s secrets - If there is no written consent of Grossly Immoral Conduct – one so corrupt and false as to
client, a lawyer may not represent conflicting constitute criminal act or so unprincipled or disgraceful as to
interest. The fact that lawyer did not acquire be reprehensible to a high degree. Cohabitation per se is not
confidential information from client nor use the grossly immoral, it depends on circumstances and it is not
same against the latter does not excuse him from necessary that there be prior conviction for offense before
responsibility. lawyer may be disciplined for gross immorality. If the
5. Purchase client’s property in litigation evidence is not sufficient to hold the lawyer liable for gross
Requisites: immorality, he may still be reprimanded where evidence
shows failure on his part to comply with rigorous standards
a. Lawyer is counsel for client at the time he of conduct required from lawyers.
acquired the property
b. Property is subject of litigation 3. CONVICTION OF CRIME INVOLVING MORAL
c. Acquires it by himself or through another TURPITUDE
d. Acquires property during pendency of All crimes of which fraud or deceit is an element or those
litigation inherently contrary to rules of right conduct, honesty or
6. Failing to account or misappropriation of morality in civilized community
client’s property - presupposes fraudulent intent
of lawyer. Immediate repayment by lawyer of 4. PROMOTING TO VIOLATE OR VIOLATING PENAL
client’s money or property after demand but LAWS
before institution by client of disbarment
proceedings negate fraudulent intent. If the 5. MISCONDUCT IN DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES
lawyer has a lien, it cannot be used as an excuse A lawyer who holds a government office may not be
for not making an accounting. disciplined as a member of the bar for misconduct in the
discharge of his duties as a government official. If the
7. Collecting unreasonable fees – Where the law
misconduct, however, is in violation of the Code of
fixes the maximum amount which lawyer may
Professional Responsibility or of his oath as a lawyer or is of
charge client, collection of more than what law
such a character as to affect his qualifications as a lawyer, he
allows constitutes malpractice.
may be subject to disciplinary action such as disbarment
8. Acting without authority - a lawyer can bind client
(Collantes vs. Renomeron). This rule does not apply to
without special power of attorney only on
impeachable officials like SC Justices, Members of the
procedural matters
Constitutional Commission and Ombudsman because they
9. Willfully appearing without being retained -It
can be removed only by impeachment.
must be willful, corrupt or contumacious in order
that he may be held liable.
6. COMMISSION OF FRAUD OR FALSEHOOD
Breach of Duties to Bar
7. MISCONDUCT AS NOTARY PUBLIC
a. Unethical conduct or unprofessional conduct -
By applying for having himself commissioned as notary
that which violates rules or ethical code of legal
public, lawyer assumes duties in dual capacity, the non-
profession.
performance of which be may be a ground for discipline as
b. Defaming fellow lawyer  Use of improper and
member of bar.
objectionable language against another lawyer or
accuse him wantonly and maliciously of a serious
OFFICERS AUTHORIZED TO INVESTIGATE DISBARMENT
misconduct in the absence of reasonable cause
CASES
constitutes misconduct. Strongly worded
1. Supreme Court
statements by a lawyer against opposing lawyer,
2. Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) through its
if justified by records, may not justify disciplinary
Commission on Bar Discipline or authorized
action against him.
investigators
c. Encroaching upon business of another
3. Office of the Solicitor General
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 21
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
resolution exonerating the respondent shall be
considered as terminating the case unless upon
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE: DISBARMENT, SUSPENSION, petition of the complainant or other interested
AND DISCIPLINE OF ATTORNEYS (Rule 139-B) party filed with the Supreme Court within 15 days
 Proceedings for the disbarment, suspension and from notice of the Board’s decision.
discipline of attorneys may be taken:
1. by the Supreme Court motu proprio, or, PROCEDURE FOR DISBARMENT IN THE SUPREME COURT
2. by the IBP upon the verified complaint of 1. Upon the initiation of the complaint, the Supreme
any person Court may refer the case for investigation to the
 The IBP Board of Governors may initiate and prosecute Solicitor General, or any officer of the Supreme
proper charges against erring attorneys including Court, or judge of a lower court;
those in government: 2. If referred, the investigator shall proceed with the
1. motu propio or investigation and make a report to the Supreme
2. upon referral by the SC or Court.
3. by a Chapter Board of Officers or at the
instance of any person. Rules in the Imposition of Penalties
 The complaint must be: a. In case of Suspension
1. verified;
2. state clearly and concisely the facts
 Division  1 year or less
complained of;  En Banc  exceeds 1 year
3. supported by affidavits of persons having
personal knowledge of the facts therein b. In case of Fine
alleged, or by such documents as may
substantiate it;
 Division  P10,000 or less
4. six (6) copies shall be filed with the Secretary  En Banc P10,000 or more
of IBP or any of its Chapters.
c. In case of both Suspension and Fine  en banc if
OUTLINE OF DISBARMENT PROCEEDING IN THE IBP the suspension exceeds 1 year or the fine
(RULE139-B) exceeds P10, 000.
1. The case shall be assigned to a National Grievance d. In case of 2 or more suspensions  service will be
Investigator where the Board of Governors shall successive, not simultaneous
appoint one from among IBP members of three
(3) when special circumstances warrant; Investigating Judge CANNOT dismiss case
2. If the complaint is meritorious, the respondent  CASE: The investigating judge’s authority is only to
shall be served with a copy requiring him to investigate, make a report and recommendation on the case
answer within 15 days from service; to be submitted to the SC for final determination. [Graciano
3. The respondent shall file an answer containing six vs. Sebastian, 231 SCRA 588]
(6) copies and shall verify the same; after receipt
of the answer or lapse of the period to do so, the Effect of desistance, withdrawal of complaint or non-
Supreme Court ,may, motu propio or at the appearance of complainant in disbarment proceedings
instance of the IBP Board of Governors, upon The desistance or the withdrawal of the
recommendation by the Investigator, suspend an complainant of the charges against a judge does not deprive
attorney from practice, for any of the causes the court the authority to proceed to determine the matter.
under Rule 138, Sec. 27, during the pendency of Nor does it necessarily result in the dismissal of the
the investigation; complaint except when, as a consequence of the withdrawal
4. After joinder of the issues or failure to answer, the or desistance no evidence is adduced to prove the charges.
respondent shall be given full opportunity to This rule is founded on the rationale that a disbarment
defend himself. But if the respondent fails to proceeding is neither civil nor criminal but one prosecuted
appear to defend himself inspite of notice, the solely for the public interest. What is important is whether
investigator may proceed ex parte. The the charges against the respondent have been duly proved.
investigation shall be terminated within three (3) (Note: The same principle applies to administrative charges
months from commencement which period may against judges.)
be extended;
5. The Investigator shall make a report to the Board Doctrine of RES IPSA LOQUITOR (“the thing speaks for
of Governors within 30 days from termination of itself”)
the investigation which report shall contain his
findings and recommendations together with the  CASES: This principle or doctrine applies to both judges
evidence; and lawyers. Judges had been dismissed from the service
6. The Board of Governors shall have the power to without need for a formal investigation because based on
review the decision of the Investigator. Its the records, the gross misconduct or inefficiency of the
decision shall be promulgated within a period not judges clearly appears. [Uy vs. Mercado, 154 SCRA 567].
exceeding 30 days from the next meeting of the The same principle applies to lawyers. Thus, on the
Board following the submission of the report of basis of the lawyer’s comment or answer to a show-cause
the Investigator: order of SC, it appears that the lawyer has so conducted
a. If the decision is a finding of guilt of the himself in a manner which exhibits his blatant disrespect to
charges, the IBP Board of Governors shall issue a the court, or his want of good moral character or his
resolution setting forth its findings and violation of the attorney’s oath, the lawyer may be
recommendations which shall be transmitted to suspended or disbarred without need of a trial-type
the Supreme Court for final action together with proceeding. What counts is that the lawyer has been given
the record; the opportunity to give his side. [Prudential Bank vs. Castro
b. If the decision is for exoneration, or if 155 SCRA 604]
the sanction is less than suspension or dismissal,
the Board shall issue a decision exonerating the
respondent or imposing a lesser sanction. The
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
22 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

DEFENSES
The purpose and nature of disbarment SUSPENSION OR DISBARMENT
proceedings make the number of defenses available in civil A lawyer who has been suspended or disbarred
and criminal actions inapplicable in disciplinary cannot practice law without being held liable for contempt
proceedings. The Statute of Limitations is not a defense in of court. The suspended lawyer may be disbarred for
disciplinary proceedings nor does the fact the circumstance violation of the suspension order. Such judgment does not
that facts set up as ground for disbarment constitute crime, prohibit pro se practice (Geeslin vs. Navarro; 185 SCRA).
the prosecution for which in criminal action is barred by If the lawyer holds a government office which
prescription, preclude the disbarment proceeding. requires membership in the bar as an indispensable
However, the fact that a considerable length of qualification, he may be dismissed from said office
time has lapsed from the date the misconduct took place to (Collantes vs. Renomeron; 200 SCRA).
date the complaint for disbarment was filed may indicate
ulterior motive on the part of complainant or innocence on
the part of respondent. REINSTATEMENT

MODIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES The Supreme Court has the exclusive authority to


Extent of disciplinary action depends on reinstate. This is based on its constitutional prerogative to
attendance of mitigating or aggravating circumstance. promulgate rules on the admission of applicants to the
practice of law. Petitioner must prove that he is once again
fit and proper person to practice law. The following must be
Mitigating Circumstances taken into consideration:
1. Good faith 1. the applicant’s character and standing prior to
2. Want of intention to commit wrong disbarment;
3. Lack of material damage to complainant 2. the nature or character of misconduct for which
4. Desistance of complainant he is disbarred;
5. Youth and inexperience, etc. 3. his conduct subsequent to disbarment [Cui vs. Cui,
Aggravating Circumstances 11 SCRA 755];
1. Abuse of authority or of attorney–client 4. including his efficient government service [In re
relationship Adriatico, 17 Phil 324]
2. Sexual intercourse with a relative 5. the time that has elapsed between disbarment
3. Charge of gross immorality and the application for reinstatement and the
4. Previous dismissal as member of the bar circumstances that he has been sufficiently
punished and disciplined [Prudential Bank vs.
EFFECT OF EXECUTIVE PARDON Benjamin Grecia, 192 SCRA 381]
If during the pendency of disbarment proceeding 6. applicant’s appreciation of significance of his
the respondent was granted executive pardon, the dismissal dereliction and his assurance that he now
of the case on that sole basis will depend on whether the possesses the requisite probity and integrity;
executive pardon is absolute or conditional. If the pardon is 7. favorable endorsement of the IBP, pleas of his
absolute, the disbarment case will be dismissed. However, if loved ones [Yap Tan vs. Sabandal, 170 SCRA 207].
the executive pardon is conditional, the disbarment case will
not be dismissed on the basis thereof. The court may require applicant for
Absolute pardon by President may wipe out reinstatement to enroll in and pass the required fourth year
conviction as well as offense itself and the grant thereof in review classes in a recognized law school. [Cui vs. Cui, 11
favor of a lawyer is a bar to a proceeding for disbarment SCRA 755; In re Rusiana, 56 SCRA 240]
against him based solely on commission of such offense. The A previously disbarred lawyer who is given
reason is that the respondent lawyer, after the absolute absolute pardon by the President is not automatically
pardon, is as guiltless and innocent as if he never committed reinstated, he must still file a petition for reinstatement with
the offense at all. the SC.
If absolute pardon is given to lawyer after being
disbarred for conviction of crime, it does not automatically Condition for Reinstatement
entitle him to reinstatement to the bar. It must be shown by A lawyer who has been suspended or disbarred
evidence aside from absolute pardon that he is now a person may be reinstated when the SC is convinced that he has
of good moral character and fit and proper person to already possessed the requisites of probity and integrity
practice law. In case of a conditional pardon, there will be a necessary to guarantee his worth to practice his profession.
remission of unexpired period of sentence.
EFFECTS OF REINSTATEMENT
EFFECTS OF DEATH OF LAWYER DURING PENDENCY OF 1. Recognition of moral rehabilitation and mental
DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST HIM fitness to practice law;
1. Renders action moot and academic 2. Lawyer shall be subject to same law, rules and
2. (But) court may still resolve case on the merit in order regulations as those applicable to any other
to clear publicly the name of the lawyer. lawyer;
3. Lawyer must comply with the conditions imposed
on his readmission
JUDGMENT

DISMISSAL OF CASE IV. JUDICIAL ETHICS


In the absence of convincing or clearly
preponderant evidence, disbarment case against him should Judicial Ethics  branch of moral science which treats of the
be dismissed. However, the court can still impose conditions right and proper conduct to be observed by all judges and
despite dismissal of disciplinary action against him, if the magistrates in trying and deciding controversies brought to
facts so warrant and in the event the lawyer fails to comply them for adjudication which conduct must be demonstrative
with such condition, it may suspend or disbar him for of impartiality, integrity, competence, independence, and
disobedience of its order. freedom from improprieties.
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 23
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT FOR THE PHILIPPINE
Court  a board or other tribunal which decides a litigation JUDICIARY
or contest (A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC)
(June 1, 2004)
Judge  a public officer who, by virtue of his office, is clothed  supersedes the Canons of Judicial Ethics and the Code
with judicial authority of Judicial Conduct to the extent that the provisions or
concepts therein are embodied in this Code, provided,
De Jure Judge  one who is exercising the office of a judge that in case of deficiency or absence of specific
as a matter of right; an officer of a court who has been duly provisions in this Code, the Canons of Judicial Ethics
and legally appointed and the Code of Judicial Conduct shall be applicable in a
suppletory character.
De Facto Judge  an officer who is not fully invested with all
the powers and duties conceded to judges, but exercising the CANON-
office of a judge under some color of right i. Independence
ii. Integrity
QUALIFICATIONS iii. Impartiality

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Justices


iv. Propriety
1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines; v. Equality
2. At least 40 years of age; vi. Competence and Diligence
3. Must have been for 15 years or more a judge of  PURPOSE: to update and correlate the Code of Judicial
a lower court or engaged in the practice of law; Conduct and the Canons of Judicial Ethics adopted for
4. Must be a person of proven competence, the Philippines, but also to stress the Philippines’
integrity, probity and independence. solidarity with the universal clamor for a universal
code of judicial ethics.
RTC Judges
1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines; CANON 1: INDEPENDENCE
2. At least 35 years of age; In performing judicial duties, judges should:
3. For at least 10 years has been engaged in 1. function independently on the basis of their
the practice of law in the Philippines or has assessment of the facts and in accord with a
held a public office in the Philippines conscientious understanding of the law, free from
requiring admission to the practice of law any extraneous influence, inducement, pressure,
as an indispensable requisite. threat or interference.
MTC Judges 2. be independent from judicial colleagues in respect
1. Natural-born citizen of the Philippines; of decisions.
2. At least 30 years of age; 3. not allow family, social, or other relationships to
3. For at least 5 years has been engaged in the influence judicial conduct or judgment.
practice of law in the Philippines or has held (NOTE: The prestige of judicial office shall not be used
public office in the Philippines requiring or lent to advance the private interests of others, nor
admission to the practice of law as an convey or permit others to convey the impression that
indispensable requisite. they are in a special position to influence the judge.)
4. be free from inappropriate connections with, and
JUDICIAL DEPORTMENT influence by, the executive and legislative
branches of government.
Attitude Towards Counsel 5. be independent in relation to society in general
He must be courteous especially to the young and and in relation to the particular parties to a
inexperienced. He should not interrupt in their arguments dispute which she/he has to adjudicate.
except to clarify his mind as to their positions. He must not 6. encourage and uphold safeguards for the
be tempted to an unnecessary display of learning or discharge of judicial duties.
premature judgment. He may criticize and correct (REASON: To maintain and enhance the institutional
unprofessional conduct of a lawyer but not in insulting and operational independence of the judiciary.)
manner. 7. exhibit and promote high standards of judicial
conduct.
Attitude Toward Litigants and Witness (REASON: To reinforce public confidence in the
He must be considerate, courteous and civil, and judiciary.)
he must not utter intemperate language during hearing of
case.  Judges shall refrain from influencing in any
manner the outcome of litigation or dispute pending before
Proper Judicial Conduct another court or administrative agency.
Conduct self as to be beyond reproach and
suspicion and be free from appearance of impropriety in
their personal behavior not only in discharge of official
duties but also in their everyday life. CANON 2: INTEGRITY
Conduct of judges must:
Cold Neutrality of Impartial Judge
1. be above reproach, and be so in the view of a
A judge should not only render just, correct and
reasonable observer.
impartial decision but do so in manner free from suspicion
as to its fairness and impartiality and as to his integrity. It is 2. reaffirm the people’s faith in the integrity of the
indispensable requisite of due process. judiciary.

 Judges should take or initiate appropriate


disciplinary measures against lawyers or court personnel for

LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE


CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
24 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

unprofessional conduct of which the judge may have become A judge may, in the exercise of his sound
aware. discretion disqualify himself, for just and valid reasons other
than those mentioned above. [Section 1, Rule 137]
CANON 3: IMPARTIALITY This leaves the discretion to the judge to decide
 Judges shall perform their judicial duties without favor, for himself questions as to whether he will desist from
bias or prejudice. sitting in case for other just and valid reasons with only his
conscience to guide him, unless he cannot discern for
himself his inability to meet the test of the cold neutrality
DISQUALIFICATIONS OF JUDGES required of him, in which event the appellate court will see
to it that he disqualifies himself.
Grounds for Disqualification and Inhibition of Judges A decision to disqualify himself is not conclusive
Under the New Code of Judicial Conduct: and his competency may be determined on application for
Judges shall disqualify themselves from mandamus to compel him to act. Judge’s decision to continue
participating in any proceedings in which they are unable to hearing a case in which he is not legally prohibited from
decide the matter impartially OR in which it may appear to a trying notwithstanding challenge to his objectivity may not
reasonable observer that they are unable to decide the constitute reversible error.
matter impartially. Such proceedings include, but are NOT The filing of an administrative case against a
limited to, instances where: judge does not disqualify him from hearing a case. The court
1. the judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning has to be shown other than the filing of administrative
a party or personal knowledge of disputed complaint, act or conduct of judge indicative of arbitrariness
evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings; or prejudice before the latter being branded as the stigma of
2. the judge previously served as a lawyer or was a being biased or partial.
material witness in the matter in controversy;
*DISQUALIFICATION vs. INHIBITION
3. the judge, or a member of his or her family, has an DISQUALIFICATION INHIBITION
economic interest in the outcome of the matter in
1. The Rules enumerates the 1. The Rules does not
controversy;
specific and exclusive expressly
4. the judge served as executor, administrator, grounds under which any enumerate the
guardian, trustee, or lawyer in the case or matter judge or judicial officer is specific grounds for
in controversy, or a former associate of the judge disqualified from acting as inhibition but
served as counsel during their association, or the such. merely gives a
judge or lawyer was a material witness therein; broad basis thereof,
5. the judge’s ruling in a lower court is the subject of i.e. good, sound or
review; ethical grounds
6. the judge is related by consanguinity or affinity to
a party litigant within the sixth civil degree or to
counsel within the fourth civil degree; or
7. the judge knows that his or her spouse or child
has a financial interest, as heir, legatee, creditor,
fiduciary, or otherwise, in the subject matter in
controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any
other interest that could be substantially affected
by the outcome of the proceedings. (Sec. 5)
2. Rule gives the judicial 2. Rules leaves the
Remittal of Disqualification: A judge disqualified as stated officer no discretion to try or matter of inhibition
above may, instead of withdrawing from the proceeding, sit in a case to the sound
disclose on the records the basis of disqualification. If based discretion of the
on such disclosure, the parties and lawyers independently of judge
the judge’s participation, all agree in writing that the reason
for the inhibition is immaterial or unsubstantial, the judge
may then participate in the proceeding. The agreement,
signed by all parties and lawyers, shall be incorporated in  CASE: The second paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137 does
the record of the proceedings. (Sec. 6) not give the judge the unfettered discretion to decide
whether or not he will desist from hearing a case. the
Grounds for Disqualification and Inhibition of Judges inhibition must be for just and valid causes. The mere
Under the Rules of Court: imputation of bias or partiality is not enough grounds for a
1. Mandatory or Compulsory Disqualification [Rule 137, judge to inhibit, especially when the same is without any
ROC] basis. (People vs. Kho, 357 SCRA 290, April 20, 2001)
a. when he, or his wife, or child is pecuniarily
interested as heir, legatee, creditor or CANON 4: PROPRIETY
otherwise Judges shall, in their personal relations with
b. when he is related to either party within the individual members of the legal profession who practice
sixth (6th) degree of consanguinity or affinity regularly in their court, avoid situations which might
or to counsel within the fourth (4th) civil reasonably give rise to the suspicion or appearance of
degree favoritism or partiality. (Sec. 3)
c. when he has been an executor, guardian, Judges shall not allow the use of their residence
administrator, trustee or counsel by a member of the legal profession to receive clients of the
d. when he has presided in an inferior court latter or of other members of the legal profession. (Sec. 5)
where his ruling or decision is subject to
review PROHIBITION TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION
2. Voluntary Inhibition Confidential information acquired by judges in
their judicial capacity shall not be used or disclosed by for
any other purpose related to their judicial duties. (Sec. 9)

2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS


Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 25
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
The prohibition will discourage if not stop judges gratitude or friendship according to local custom or usage
from making business speculations in some business [Section 14, RA 3019].
ventures, the secrets of which he learned by reason of his
position as a judge. Void Donations Under the Civil Code
The judge may be liable for violation of Section Donations given to a judge or to his wife,
3(k) of RA 3019 – “divulging valuable information of a descendants or ascendants by reason of his office are void
confidential character, acquired by his office or by him on [Art. 739, Civil Code]. Ownership does not pass to the donee.
account of his official position to unauthorized persons or Money or property donated is recoverable by the donor, his
releasing such information in advance of its authorized heirs or creditors.
release due.”
Violation of the rule may also lead to “revelation Loans Prohibited Under the Constitution
of secrets by an officer” or to “revelation of the secrets of a Under Section 16 Article XI “No loan, guarantee or
private individual” punishable by Articles 229 and 230 of the other form of financial accommodation for any business
Revised Penal Code respectively. purpose may be granted directly or indirectly by any
government-owned or controlled bank or financial
institution to xxx members of the Supreme Court xxx during
their tenure.”

PROHIBITION TO PRACTICE LAW Taking or Receiving Loans From Litigants


Judges shall not practice law whilst the holder of It is a serious misconduct for a judge to receive
judicial office. (Sec. 11) money from a litigant in the form of loans which he never
Section 35 of Rule 138 of Rules of Court prohibits intended to pay back. Even if the judge intends to pay, it is
judges, officials or employees of superior courts xxx from an act of impropriety to take a loan from a party-litigant. The
engaging in private practice as members of the bar and in judge could not be wholly free from bias in deciding a case
giving professional advice to clients. where his lender is a party. A judge should always strive to
be free from suspicion and all forms of improprieties.
 CASES: The reason for the prohibition has been
explained in Dia-Anonuevo vs. Bercacio [68 SCRA 81]. The CANON 5: EQUALITY
Supreme Court held that the rule disqualifying a municipal Judges shall not, in the performance of judicial
judge from engaging in the practice of law seeks to avoid the duties, by words or conduct, manifest bias or prejudice
evil of possible use of the power and influence of his office to towards any person or group on irrelevant grounds. (Sec. 2)
affect the outcome of a litigation where he is retained as
counsel. Compelling reasons of public policy lie behind this CANON 6: COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE
prohibition, and judges are expected to conduct themselves Judges shall take reasonable steps to maintain and
in such a manner as to preclude any suspicion that they are enhance their knowledge, skills and personal qualities
representing the interests of party litigant. necessary for the proper performance of judicial duties,
In De Castro vs. Capulong [118 SCRA 52] a judge taking advantage for this purpose of the training and other
who merely acted as a witness to a document and who facilities which should be made available, under judicial
explained to the party waiving his right of redemption over control, to judges. (Sec. 3)
the mortgaged properties and the consequences thereof
does not engage himself in the practice of law.  CASE: Judges must be conscientious, studious and
thorough,[83] observing utmost diligence in the
PROHIBITION AGAINST ACCEPTING GIFTS, BEQUEST OR performance of their judicial functions.[84] They have to
LOANS “exhibit more than just cursory acquaintance with statutes
General Rule: (1) Judges and members of their families, and procedural rules.” Moreover, they must require court
as well as (2) court staff or others subject to their influence, personnel to observe at all times high standards of public
direction or authority, shall neither ask for, nor accept, any service and fidelity. (Atty. Fabella vs. Judge Lee, A.M. No. MTJ-
gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to anything done or to 04-1518. January 15, 2004)
be done or omitted to be done by him or her in connection Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all
with the performance of judicial duties.(Sec. 13 and 14) proceedings before the court and be patient, dignified and
Exception: Subject to law and to any legal requirements of courteous in relation to litigants, witnesses, lawyers and
public disclosure, judges may receive a token, gift, award or others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity.
benefit as appropriate to the occasion on which it is made Judges shall require similar conduct of legal representatives,
provided that such gift, award or benefit might not court staff and others subject to their influence, direction or
reasonably be perceived as intended to influence the judge control. (Sec. 6)
in the performance of judicial duties or otherwise give rise
to an appearance of partiality.(Sec. 15)
CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT
Bribery; Direct or Indirect (October 20 1989)
Acceptance of gifts given by reason of the office of Canon-
the judge is indirect bribery [Art. 211 Revised Penal Code] 1: Uphold the integrity and independence of the
and when he agrees to perform an act constituting a crime in judiciary
connection with the performance of his official duties in 2: Avoid impropriety and the appearance of
consideration of any offer, promise, gift or present receive impropriety
by such officer, he is guilty of direct bribery. [Art. 210 Revised
Penal Code] 3: Perform official duties honestly, and with
impartiality and diligence
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act 4: With due regard to official duties, engage in
Under RA 3019, the judge is liable criminally for activities to improve the law, the legal system and
directly or indirectly receiving gifts, present or other the administration of justice
pecuniary or material benefit for himself or for another 5: Regulate extrajudicial activities to minimize the
under conditions provided in Section 2, b and c of the law.. risk of conflict with judicial duties
Exception: Excepted are unsolicited gifts or presents of
small value offered or given as a mere ordinary token of
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
26 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

CANON 1: PROMPT DISPOSITION OF CASES A judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain
A judge should administer justice impartially and professional competence. [Rule 3.01]
without delay. [Rule 1.02]
A judge shall dispose of the court’s business  CASE: In the case Exequiel Domingo vs. Judge Luis Reyes
promptly and decide cases within the required periods. [A.M. NO. MTJ-98-1165, June 21, 1999] the Supreme Court
[Rule 3.05] held that judges are expected to keep abreast of
 CASES: In the Request of Judge Irma Zita Masamayor [A.M. developments in law and jurisprudence. The SC does not
NO. 99-1-16, RTC, June 21 1999] it was held that cognizant of countenance respondent judge’s failure to inform himself of
the caseload of judges and mindful of the pressure of their recent jurisprudential rules. His error, while an honest one
work, the Supreme Court almost always grants requests for and committed for the purpose of achieving the ends of
extension of time to decide cases. A heavy caseload may justice, must never happen again. Respondent judge was
excuse a judge’s failure to decide cases within the reprimanded for IGNORANCE OF THE LAW.
reglementary period, but not his or her failure to request for Where a partner accepts public office, he shall
an extension of time before the expiration of the period to be withdraw from the firm and his name shall be dropped from
extended. the firm name unless the law allows him to practice
In Bernardo vs. Judge Amelia Fabros [A.M. NO. MTJ- concurrently. [Rule 3.03]
99-1189, May 12, 1999], the Supreme Court has always A judge cannot take refuge behind the inefficiency
considered the failure of a judge to decide a case within the or mismanagement by court personnel. Proper and efficient
reglementary period as GROSS INEFFICIENCY and imposed court management is as much as his responsibility. It is also
either fine or suspension from service without pay for such. his duty to organize and supervise the court personnel to
The fines imposed vary in each case, depending chiefly on ensure the prompt and efficient dispatch of business.
the number of cases not decided within the reglementary
period and other factors to wit: the presence of aggravating CANON 4: ENGAGING IN ACTIVITIES TO IMPROVE THE
circumstances – the damage suffered by the parties as a LAW
result of the delay, the health and age of the judge, etc. A judge may, with due regard to official duties,
engage in activities to improve the law, the legal system and
the administration of justice.
CANON 2: AVOIDANCE OF IMPROPRIETY A judge may, to the extent that the following
A judge should avoid impropriety and the activities do not impair the performance of judicial duties or
appearance of impropriety in all activities. cast doubt on the judge’s impartiality:
 CASES: In Manuel vs. Judge Demetrio Calimay, Jr. [A.M. NO. a. speak, write, lecture, teach or participate in
RTJ-99-1441, May 28, 1999] it was held that the fact that the activities concerning the law, the legal system and
charges proffered in the instant case do not directly refer to the administration of justice;
respondent judge’s official functions does not mean he is b. appear at public hearing before a legislative or
totally free from blame. Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial executive body on matters concerning the law, the
Conduct provides that a judge should not only avoid legal system or the administration of justice and
impropriety but also the appearance of impropriety in all his otherwise consult with them on matter
activities. He should behave at all times as to promote public concerning the administration of justice;
confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
He should be extra careful in all his dealings – both in his
c. serve on any organization devoted to the
professional and individual capacities – in order to promote improvement of the law, the legal system or the
and protect the image of the judiciary to which he is administration of justice. [Rule 4.01]
privileged to belong.
CANON 5: REGULATION OF THE EXTRAJUDICIAL
Respondent, in removing the bamboo poles and
ACTIVITIES OF A JUDGE
fishing nets installed by complainant, acted in his private
A judge should regulate extra-judicial activities so
capacity. Nevertheless, without in any way prejudging
respondent’s liability, respondent should be admonished to as to minimize the risk of conflict with judicial duties.
be careful even in his private conduct because he is a model
AVOCATIONAL/CIVIC/CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES
of the law-abiding citizen and, for this reason, his private life
A judge may engage in the following activities
cannot be completely separated from his public persona.
provided that they do not interfere with the performance of
(Bernardo vs. Judge Tiamson, A.M. No. RTJ-00-1565. August 6,
judicial duties or detract from the dignity of the court: write,
2001)
lecture, teach and speak on non-legal subject
In Prosecutor Leo Tabao vs. Judge Pedro Espina
[A.M. NO. RTJ-96-1347, June 29, 1999] it was held that a. engage in the arts, sports and other special
recreational activities
apropos the issue on the hasty rendition of judgment in a
b. participate in civic and charitable activities
criminal case, the Supreme Court has reminded members of
c. serve as an officer, director, trustee, or non-legal
the bench time and again that as exemplars of justice and
advisor of a non-profit or non-political,
law, judges must avoid not only impropriety but even the
educational, religious, charitable, and fraternal or
appearance of impropriety in all their actions. Neither
should they take undue interest in the settlement of criminal civic organization. [Rule 5.01]
cases as the same may compromise the integrity and
FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES
impartiality of their office.
A judge shall refrain from financial and business
dealings:
A judge should so behave at all times as to
promote public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary. 1. that tend to reflect adversely on the court’s impartiality
[Rule 2.01] 2. that interfere with the proper performance of judicial
activities
3. that increase involvement with lawyers or persons
likely to come before the court [Rule 5.02]
CANON 3: PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES WITH HONESTY, A judge should so manage investments and other
IMPARTIALITY AND DILIGENCE financial interests as to minimize the number of cases giving
A judge should perform official duties honestly grounds for disqualification.
and with impartiality and diligence. Subject to the provisions of the preceding rule, a
judge may hold and manage investments but should not
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 27
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
serve as an officer, director, manager, advisor, or employee 1. Any public officer or employee or any private individual,
of any business except as director of a family business of the who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats and violates or
judge. [Rule 5.03] in any manner impedes or impairs the civil rights and
liberties of persons shall be liable for damages. [Art. 32, Civil
FIDUCIARY ACTIVITIES Code]
The responsibility for damages is not however
PROHIBITION TO SERVE AS EXECUTOR, demandable of judges except when the act or omission of the
ADMINISTRATOR, ETC. judge constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal
General Rule: The judge shall not serve as (a) executor, statute. [Art. 32, last par.]
(b) administrator, (c) trustee, (d) guardian, (e) fiduciary. 2. A judge who willfully or negligently renders a decision
Exception: when the estate, trust, ward or person for causing damages to another, shall indemnify the latter for
whom he will act as executor, administrator, trustee, the same.
guardian or fiduciary is a member of the immediate family- A judge is also civilly liable for damages, if in
which is limited to the spouse and relatives within the refusing or neglecting to decide a case without just cause, a
second degree of consanguinity – provided that the judge’s person suffered material or moral loss without prejudice to
services as fiduciary shall not interfere with the any administrative action that may be taken against him.
performance of his judicial functions [Rule 5.06]. [Art. 27, Civil Code]
In such exceptional cases, the judge SHALL NOT:
a. serve in proceeding that might come before the DISABILITIES OF JUDGES UNDER THE CIVIL CODE
court of said judge 1. Art. 1491. The following persons cannot acquire by
b. act as such contrary to Rules 5.02 to 5.05. purchase, even at a public or judicial action, either in person
(Note: the relationship mentioned is by consanguinity or through the mediation of another:
and not by affinity.) xxx
(5) Justices, judges, prosecuting attorneys, clerks of
PROHIBITION TO BE APPOINTED IN QUASI-JUDICIAL superior and inferior courts and other officers and
AND ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES employees connected with the administration of justice, the
A judge shall not accept appointment or property and rights in litigation or levied upon an execution
designation to any agency performing quasi-judicial or before the court within whose jurisdiction or territory they
administrative functions. [Rule 5.09] exercise their respective functions, this prohibition includes
The prohibition is based on Section 12, Art. VIII of the act of acquiring by assignment and shall apply to
the Constitution which provides: “The members of the lawyers, with respect to the property and rights which may
Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by
not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or virtue of their profession.
administrative functions.” Xxx
The appointment to such positions will likely
interfere with the performance of the judicial functions of a 2. Art. 739. Donations made to a judge, his wife,
judge hence, the prohibition. descendants and ascendants by reason of his office are void.

PROHIBITION TO ENGAGE IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES CRIMINAL LIABILITIES OF JUDGES IN RELATION TO


A judge is entitled to entertain personal views on THEIR OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS
political questions. But to avoid suspicion of political 1. Misfeasance
partisanship, a judge shall not make political speeches, a. Knowingly Rendering Unjust Judgment - Any
contribute to party funds, publicly endorse candidates for judge who shall knowingly render an unjust
political office or participate in other partisan political judgment in any case submitted to him for decision
activities. [Rule 5.10] shall be punished by prision mayor and perpetual
absolute disqualification. [Art. 204 Revised Penal
Code]
LIABILITY OF JUDGES b.Manifestly Unjust Judgment- it is one which is
so patently against the law, public order, public
In the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption, policy and good morals that a person of ordinary
acts of judge in his judicial capacity not subject to discernment can easily sense its invalidity and
disciplinary action even though such acts are erroneous. He injustice.
can’t be subject to liability – criminal, civil, administrative In order that a judge may be held liable for knowingly
for any of his official acts, no matter how erroneous, so long rendering an unjust judgment, it must be shown beyond
as he acts in good faith. In such a case, the remedy of doubt that the judgment is unjust as it is contrary to law or is
aggrieved party is not to file administrative complaint not supported by evidence and the same was made with
against the judge but to elevate error to higher court for conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice. [In Re:
review and correction Climaco, 55 SCRA 107]
If the decision rendered by the judge is still on appeal,
When a Judge May Be Held Liable: Civil, Criminal and the judge cannot be disqualified on the ground of knowingly
Administrative rendering an unjust judgment. [Abad vs. Blaza, 145 SCRA 1]
1. Malfeasance
2. Misfeasance 2. Judgment Rendered Through Negligence – Any judge
3. Knowingly rendering unjust judgment or who, by reason of inexcusable negligence or ignorance shall
interlocutory order render a manifestly unjust judgment in any case submitted
4. Malicious delay in administration of justice to him for decision shall be punished by arresto mayor and
temporary special disqualification. [Art. 205 Revised Penal
5. Giving private party unwarranted benefit in Code]
exercise of judicial function thru manifest Negligence and ignorance are inexcusable if they
partiality, evident bad faith and gross inexcusable
imply a manifest injustice which cannot be explained by
negligence.
reasonable interpretation. [In Re Climaco, 55 SCRA 107]
CIVIL LIABILITIES OF JUDGES IN RELATION TO THEIR
OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS
LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE
CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura
28 2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS

4. Knowingly Rendering an Unjust Interlocutory to violate the law or were in persistent disregard of well-
Order – Any judge who shall knowingly render an known legal rules.
unjust interlocutory order or decree shall suffer the Inefficiency - implies negligence, incompetence, ignorance
penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period and and carelessness. A judge would be inexcusably negligent if
suspension; but if he shall have acted by reason of he failed to observe in the performance of his duties that
inexcusable negligence or ignorance and the diligence, prudence and circumspection which the law
interlocutory order or decree be manifestly unjust, the requires in the rendition of any public service.
penalty shall be suspension. [Art. 206, Revised Penal
Code]  CASES: In the case of In Re: Leaves Of Absence Without
Approval Of Judge Eric Calderon [A.M. 98-8-105 MTC, January
5. Maliciously Delaying the Administration of Justice – 26, 1999] - Judge Calderon was found guilty of gross
The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period misconduct, abandonment of office and was dismissed due to
shall be imposed upon any judge guilty of malicious delay in his frequent leave of absence totaling to 3 years which were
the administration of justice. not approved and his explanations were inexcusable. He has
To make the judge liable, the act must be committed caused great disservice to many litigants and has denied
maliciously with deliberate intent to prejudice a party in a them speedy justice.
case. In the case of In Re: Judge Danilo Tenerife [255
SCRA 184] - The failure of a judge to decide even a single
case within the 90-day period was considered gross
6. Malfeasance Under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt inefficiency warranting the imposition of fine equivalent to
Practices Act his one month salary.
A judge is criminally liable for causing an undue injury to
a person or giving any private party an unwarranted benefit,
advantage or preference in the discharge of his official Effect of resignation or retirement of a judge when
function through manifest partiality, evident bad faith and there is a pending administrative case against him
gross inexcusable negligence. [Section 3(e), R.A. 3019] The retirement/resignation of a judge may or
may not render the administrative complaint moot and
academic. Each case will be determined according to its
DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS OF THE BENCH surrounding circumstances. (Pagayao vs. Imbing, A.M. No.
89-403. August 15, 2001; Lilia vs. Judge Famunal, A.M. No.
POWER TO DISCIPLINE ERRING MEMBERS OF THE RTJ-99-1503. December 13, 2001)
BENCH According to Pesole vs. Rodriguez [81 SCRA 208]
The Supreme Court has administrative the acceptance by the President of the resignation does not
supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof necessarily render the case moot or deprive the SC of the
[Section VI, Art. VIII, Constitution]. The Court en banc has authority to investigate the charges. The court retains its
the power to discipline all judges of lower courts including jurisdiction either to pronounce the respondent official
justices of the Court of Appeals. It may even dismiss them by innocent of the charges or declare him guilty thereof. A
a majority vote of the members who actually took part in the contrary rule will be fraught with injustice and pregnant
deliberation of the issues in the case and voted thereon with dreadful and dangerous implications.
[Section XI, Art. VIII, Constitution].
The inferior courts (MTCs) are not empowered PROCEDURE FOR DISCIPLINE OF JUDGES (RULE 140)
even just to suspend an attorney, although they may cite or 1. Complaint, in writing and duly sworn to is filed
hold a lawyer in contempt of court for contemptuous acts. with the Supreme Court. [Sec. 1]
Justices and judges, who are also lawyers, if found 2. If found meritorious, a copy thereof shall be
guilty of certain crimes and / or of the causes for disbarment served on the respondent and he shall be required
under the Rules of Court may also be disbarred. to comment within 10 days of service. [Sec. 6]
Justices of the Supreme Court however may not 3. Upon filing of respondent’s comment or
be disbarred unless and until they shall have been first expiration of the period upon filing comment, the
impeached in accordance with the Constitution. The same is SC either refers the matter to the Office of the
true with the other impeachable officers who are members Court Administrator (OCA) for evaluation, report,
of the bar. and recommendation, or assigns a Justice of the
Court of Appeals (if respondent is an RTC judge)
 CASE: While it is our duty to investigate and determine or a judge of the RTC (if respondent is a judge of
the truth behind every matter in complaints against judges an inferior court) to investigate and hear the
and other court personnel, it is also our duty to see to it that charges. [Sec. 7]
they are protected and exonerated from baseless 4. After hearings, the investigating justice or judge
administrative charges. The Court will not shirk from its submits a report of finding of fact, conclusions of
responsibility of imposing discipline upon its magistrates, law and recommendations to the Supreme Court.
but neither will it hesitate to shield them from unfounded [Sec. 8]
suits that serve to disrupt rather than promote the orderly
administration of justice. ( Ocenar vs. Judge Mabutin, A.M. No.
5. The Supreme Court takes action as the facts and
MTJ-05-1582, February 28, 2005 ) the law may warrant. [Sec. 9]
Proceedings shall be private and confidential but a
copy of the decision or resolution of the Court shall be
GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINE OF JUDGES [Section 1, Rule
attached to the record of the judge in the Office of the Court
140, Revised Rules of Court]
Administrator. [Sec. 11]
1. Serious Misconduct
2. Inefficiency QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE REQUIRED
The ground for the removal of a judicial officer
Misconduct - implies malice or a wrongful intent, not a should be established beyond reasonable doubt. Such is the
mere error of judgment. For serious misconduct to exist rule where the charges on which the removal is sought is
there must be reliable evidence showing that the judicial misconduct in office, willful neglect, corruption, or
acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by an intention incompetence. The general rules in regard to admissibility of
evidence in criminal trials apply.
2005 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SUBJECT CHAIRPERSONS
Maricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat),
Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). Jonathan
Mangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David
Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)
San Beda College of Law 29
MEMORY AID IN LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES
For liability to attach, the assailed order, decision  CASE: Compulsory membership to the IBP is not violative
or actuation of the judge in the performance of official duties of a lawyer’s freedom of association. Integration does not
must not only found to be erroneous but, most importantly, make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is already
it must be established that he was moved by bad faith, a member. He became a member of the bar when he passed
dishonesty, hatred or some other like motive. Similarly, a the Bar Examinations. All that integration actually does is to
judge will be held administratively liable for rendering an provide an official national organization for the well defined
unjust judgment — one which is contrary to law or but unorganized and incohesive group of which every
jurisprudence or is not supported by evidence — when he lawyer is already a member. [In re: Edillon A.M. 1928]
acts in bad faith, malice, revenge or some other similar
motive. In other words, in order to hold a judge liable for Voluntary termination of IBP membership, How Effected
knowingly rendering an unjust judgment, it must be shown By filing a verified notice to that effect with the
beyond reasonable doubt that the judgment was made with Secretary of IBP who shall immediately bring the matter to
a conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice. (Judge the attention of the SC. Forthwith, he shall cease to be a
De Guzman vs. Dy, A.M. No. RTJ-03-1755, July 3, 2003) member and his name shall be stricken from the Roll of
Attorneys.
IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST JUDGES
Penal in nature governed by rules on criminal Effect of failure to pay annual membership dues to the
case and therefore requires proof beyond reasonable doubt. IBP
Only SC justices are subject to impeachment. The failure of any attorney to pay his annual
membership dues for 6 months shall warrant suspension of
MISCONDUCT his membership in the IBP and default of such payment for
Reliable evidence showing that judicial actions one year shall be a ground for the removal of his name from
are corrupt or inspired by intent to violate the law or in the Roll of Attorneys. [Sec. 10, Rule 139-A, Rules of Court].
persistent disregard of legal rules.  CASES: A lawyer may not be disciplined either by the IBP
Justices and Judges may not be investigated under the or the Court for failing to pay her obligation to complainant,
grievance procedure in Rule 139-B, sec. 1 of the Revised a matter in her non-professional or private capacity. [Toledo
Rules of Court. Complaints against justices and judges are vs. Abalos, A. C. No. 5141, September 29, 1999]
filed with the Supreme Court which has administrative
supervision over all courts. Wanton disregard of the lawful orders of the IBP
As a matter of practice, the Supreme Court has Commission on Bar Discipline a ground for suspension
assigned complaints against Municipal or Metropolitan Trial of a lawyer from the practice of law. A lawyer was
Judges to an Executive Judge of a Regional Trial Court and suspended from the practice of law for one month due to her
complaints against judges of Regional Trial Courts to a wanton disregard of the lawful orders of the IBP
justice of the Court of Appeals, while a complaint against a Commission on Bar Discipline. [Toledo vs. Abalos, A. C. No.
member of the Court of Appeals would probably be assigned 5141, September 29, 1999]
to a member of the Supreme Court for investigation, report
and recommendation. Retired SC Justices are now tasked for
this purpose.

REINSTATEMENT OF JUDGE PREVIOUSLY DISCIPLINED


No indication that he is inspired by corrupt motives or
reprehensive purpose in the performance of his functions.

Factors to be considered
1. Unsullied name & service of record prior to
dismissal
2. Commitment to avoid situation that spur
suspicion of arbitrary conditions.
3. Complainant mellowed down in pushing from his
removal
4. Length of time separated from service

V. INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

IBP is the national organization of lawyers


created on January 16, 1973 under Rule 139-A, Rules of
Court and constituted on May 4, 1973 into a body corporate
by P.D. No. 181
As the official national unification of the entire
lawyer population of the Philippines this requires
membership and financial support in reasonable amount of
every attorney as conditions sine qua non to the practice of
law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys.
The IBP Board of Governors is authorized to
provide in the By-Laws for grievance procedure for the
enforcement and maintenance of discipline among all the
members of the IBP, but no action involving the suspension
or disbarment of a member or the removal of his name from
the Roll of Attorneys shall be effective without the final
approval of the Supreme Court. [Rule 139-A,Section 12, Rules
of Court]

LEGAL ETHICS AND PRACTICAL EXERCISES COMMITTEE


CHAIRPERSON: Jackie Lou Bautista ASSISTANT CHAIRPERSON: Catherine Jane Vanilla SUBJECT HEADS: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi
(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu MEMBERS: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios,
Catherine Bool-Nuňez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB
Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine Ventura