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Quilban vs.

171 SCRA 768
On 15 April 1980 the Samahan officers filed this Administrative
complaint before
this Court requesting the invention of Atty. Robinol for refusal to return the
P75000 and
praying that the court exercise its power to discipline over members of the
bar unworthy to practice law.

In his defense, Atty. Robinol maintains that he was hired by

complainants to
appeal their case to the CA after they had lost in the lower court. The
agreement as to the attorneys’ fees was on a contingent basis if he obtains
areversal of the decision of the lower Courts decision, they will give him
a portion of the property subject matter of the litigation. There was
confusion as to payment and they want the lawyers to be disciplined
for the said actions of the lawyers engaged in their complaint. It is
equally true that the Court cannot pass judgment on complainants
pleas that the amount deposited by respondent be returned to them as
this prayer should be ventilated in an ordinary action that he does not
have the slightest intention to appropriate the money in his possession
for himself but he is holding it until the fees are satisfied there being no
guarantee for its satisfaction because of the complainants refusal to pay

Issue: WON Atty. Robinol is unworthy to practice law.

Atty. Robinol has, in fact been guilty of ethical infractions and grave
that make him unworthy to continue in the practice of his profession.
After the CA had rendered a decision favorable to his clients and he
had received the latte
r’s funds, suddenly he had change of mind and decided to convert a portion
of the land equivalent to that of each plaintiffs to P50000 which he
alleges to be the monetary value of that area. Certainly, Atty. Robinol
had no right to unilaterally appropriate his client’s money not only
because he is bound by a written agreement but also because under
the circumstances it was highly unjust for him to do so. His clients were
mere squatters who could barely eke out an existence. They had
painstakingly raised their respective quotas per family with which after
having seen the color of money, heartlessly took advantage of them.

The principle of quantum merit applies if a lawyer is employed

without a price
agreed upon for his services in which case he would be entitled to
receive what he merits for his services, as much as he has earned.
In this case however, there was an express contract and a stipulated
mode of compensation. The implied assumption on quantum merit
therefore is inapplicable.


August 2012


Complainant Santos Ventura Hocorma Foundation, Inc. filed a complaint fo

r disbarment against Atty. Richard Funk. It alleged that Atty. Funk used to
work as corporate secretary, counsel, chief executive officer, and trustee of
the foundation from 1983 to 1985.

Hocorma Foundation further alleged that in 2006 Atty. Funk filed an action f
or quieting of title and damages against Hocorma Foundation on behalf of a


whether or not Atty. Funk betrayed the trust and confidence of a former clie
nt in violation of the CPR when he filed several actions against such client
on behalf of a new one.

Yes. Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the CPR provides that a lawyer cannot repre
sent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given af
ter a full disclosure of the facts. Here, it is undeniable that Atty. Funk was fo
rmerly the legal counsel of Hocorma Foundation. Years after terminating hi
s relationship with the foundation, he filed a complaint against it on behalf o
f another client, without the foundation’s written consent.

This rule is so absolute that good faith and honest intention on the erring la
wyer’s part does not make it inoperative.

Atty. Richard Funk was suspended from the practice of law for one year.

Yu v Bondal
Yu vs Bondal Atty. Renato Lazaro Bondal (respondent) stands charged in a
filed by Jayne Y.Yu (complainant) for gross negligence and violation of Canon 16
and Rule 16.03 of the Codeof Professional Responsibility arising from his alleged
failure to attend to the five cases shereferred to him and to return, despite demand,
the amount of P51,716.54 she has paid him. Inthe Retainer Agreement dated March
30, 2000, complainant agreed to pay respondent theamount of P200,000.00 as
Acceptance Fee for the five cases, with an Appearance Feeof P1,500.00 pesos per
hearing; and in the event that damages are recovered, she would payrespondent
10% thereof as success fee. Complainant later issued two checks in the
amountof P30,000.00 and P21,716.54, respectively. Despite receipt of above-said
amounts,respondent failed to file a case against Swire Realty and Development
Corp; due to
respondent’s negligence, the case for estafa against Lourdes Fresnoza Boon
respondent negligently failed to inform complainant, before she left for abroad,
toleave the necessary documents for purposes of the preliminary investigation of the
case filedagainst Julie Teh which case was eventually dismissed; and respondent
compelled her tosettle the two cases for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 against Mona Lisa
San Juan and ElizabethChan Ong under unfair and unreasonable
terms. Complainant thus demanded from respondent, by letter of June 14, 2001, for
the returnof all the records she had entrusted him bearing on the subject
cases.Respondent did return but only the records bearing on the estafa case against
LourdesFresnoza Boon and the B.P. Blg. 22 case against Mona Lisa San
Juan.Complainant also demanded the refund of the amounts covered by the above-
said two BPIFamily Bank Checks amounting to P51,716.54
As respondent failed and continues to refuse to comply with complainant’s
valid demands in
evident bad faith and to her prejudice, she filed the present complaint charging him
with flagrantviolation of Canon 16 and Canon 16.03 of the Code of Professional

.Issue : Whether or not respondent should return the money paid by the complainant

.Held: the only payment given to complainant by respondent is the amount of

P51,716.54,then complainant still owes respondent more, as respondent rendered
his legal services in 4 outof the 5 cases. An acceptance fee is not a contingent fee,
but is an absolute fee arrangementwhich entitles a lawyer to get paid for his
efforts regardless of the outcome of the litigation. Thatcomplainant was
dissatisfied with the outcome of the four cases does not render void the aboveretainer
agreement for respondent appears to have represented the interest of
complainant.Litigants need to be reminded that lawyers are not demi-gods
or “magicians” who can always
win their cases for their clients no matter the utter lack of merit of the same or how
passionatethe litigants may feel about their cause.

, the complaint is hereby DISMISSED.Respondent is, however, hereby directed to
RETURN all the records in his possession relativeto the cases he handled for

Mendoza-Parker v CA

Facts: Two administrative matters were consolidated involving Judge Susanita

Mendoza-Parkerof Quezon City MTC. A.M. No. MTJ-00-
1272 was a complaint alleging respondent’s incompetence and knowingly rendering
an unjust judgment while A.M. No. 98-2-22-MeTC wasthe report on the spot
judicial audit conducted by the Office of the Court Administrator on
respondent’s sala. The complaint (A.M. No. MTJ-00-1272) was filed by Atty.
Clodualdo C. De Jesus, counsel forplaintiff in an ejectment case being heard in resp
ondent’s sala which was lost in that
litigation. After the complaint for ejectment was dismissed, complainant char
ged respondent withincompetence and ineptness, incapability of discharging
justice and mental dishonesty, andknowingly rendering an unjust judgment. One of
the allegations raised by complainant isissuance of copies of the orders and the
decision, all postmarked December 12, 1996 butbearing different dates of execution
which is a misrepresentation to hide respondent's allegedineptness.The spot judicial
audit (A.M. No. 98-2-22-MeTC) found that 73 out of the court's caseload of4,394
cases were already deemed submitted for decision and 63 of these cases had
gonebeyond the 90-day reglementary period for decision. Another 25 cases with
pending motions orincidents the resolution of which could determine their final
disposition, 41 cases with pendingmotions or incidents for resolution, 66 cases which
had not been the subject of any proceedingfor several months, and 10 cases which
had not been acted upon since they were raffled torespondent
sala. Respondent judge would order the parties to verify signatures on documentsor
submit original documents to gain more time. The branch clerk of court claimed
respondentrefused to sign orders attached to case folders.Respondent judge
submitted a resignation letter but later she withdrew it. Respondent claimedthat the
reason for the pile up of cases in her sala is the branch clerk of court's failure to
updatecase records and to turn over cases to her. She added among other things
that parties failed tocomply with her orders, particularly for production of original copies
of documentary evidence.

As for her failure to decide cases within the reglementary period, she
argued that justice and notspeed should be the foremost consideration in deciding

Issue: Whether or not respondent’s defenses are tenable?

Held: Respondent could not pass the blame to her clerk of court since the former has
theresponsibility of keeping tab of cases pending in her sala.The judicial audit
conducted in the sala of respondent judge revealed her failure to decidenumerous
cases within the reglementary period and to act on other cases with pendingincidents.

Under Article VIII, Section 15 of the Constitution, lower courts have three
monthswithin which to decide cases submitted to them for resolution. In addition,
Canon 3, Rule 3.05 ofthe Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to "dispose of the
court's business promptly anddecide cases within the required periods."
Where a judge believes that he cannot decide a case within the required period, he
may requestfor an extension of time from this Court. In this case, it does not appear
on record that anyrequest for

extensions of time was filed by respondent judge. Instead of admittingher

shortcomings, respondent passed on the blame to her clerk of court and faulted the
judicialaudit team for having included in its report cases which allegedly have not
gone beyond thethree-month period for decision.