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CHAPTER I. THE LAWYER AND SOCIETY exclusion.

exclusion. Tecson went on to relate that the February 9, 1979 Deed of Absolute Sale did not
CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND reflect the true value of the Melencio property and was antedated to evade payment of
AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW OF AND LEGAL PROCESSES. capital gains tax. Tecson submitted documents showing that indeed the July 9, 1979 Deed of
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Absolute Sale was antedated. Respondent thereupon hatched a plan to dodge the
Rule 1.02 - A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at falsification charge against Mrs. Mesina et al. He proposed to complainants that they would
lessening confidence in the legal system. simulate a deed of sale of the Melencio property wherein complainants would resell it to
Rule 1.03 - A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or Mrs. Mesina. Heeding the proposal of respondent, complainants executed a Deed of
proceeding or delay any man's cause. Absolute Sale dated April 1, 1986[6] conveying to Felicisima M. Melencio the Melencio
Rule 1.04 - A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will property for P85,400.00.
admit of a fair settlement.
A new title was accordingly issued on April 4, 1986 in the name of Felicisima M. Melencio,
CHUA V. MESINA the owners copy of which was entrusted to complainants. Tecson subsequently filed before
FACTS: Respondent was, for years, Ana Alvaran Chua and her now deceased husband Chua the Cabanatuan City Prosecutors Office an Affidavit of Desistance dated September 5, 1986
Yap Ans legal counsel and adviser upon whom they reposed trust and confidence. They were alleging that his filing of the criminal complaint arose out of mere misunderstanding and
in fact lessees of a building situated at Burgos Street, Cabanatuan City (Burgos property) difference with herein complainants and their co-respondents and he had no sufficient
owned by respondents family, and another property containing an area of 854 sq. m., evidence against them. Some years later or on May 2, 1990, respondent approached
situated at Melencio Street, Cabanatuan City (Melencio property), also owned by complainants and told them that he would borrow the owners copy of Mrs. Mesinas title
respondents family whereon they (spouses Chua) constructed their house. These two with the undertaking that he would, in four months, let Mrs. Mesina execute a deed of sale
properties were mortgaged by the registered owner, respondents mother Felicisima over the Melencio property in complainants favor. In fact, respondent gave complainants a
Melencio vda. de Mesina (Mrs. Mesina), in favor of the Planters Development Bank to secure written undertaking dated May 2, 1990. In the meantime, Mrs. Mesina died in the early part
a loan she obtained. As Mrs. Mesina failed to meet her obligation to the bank, respondent of 1991. Despite respondents repeated promises to effect the transfer of title in
convinced complainant Ana Chua and her husband to help Mrs. Mesina by way of settling her complainants name, he failed to do so. Complainants were later informed that the Melencio
obligation in consideration for which the Melencio property would be sold to them at property was being offered for sale to the public.
P850.00/sq. m. Accommodating respondents request, the spouses Chua and their business
partner, herein co-complainant Marcelina Hsia, settled Mrs. Mesinas bank obligation in the ISSUE: WON the Respondent violated the CPR.
amount of P983,125.40. A Deed of Absolute Sale dated January 19, 1985 conveying the
Melencio property for P85,400.00 was thereafter executed by Mrs. Mesina, whose name HELD: Yes, Atty. Mesina is Disbarred. This Court finds that indeed, respondent is guilty of
appears therein as Felicisima M. Melencio, in favor of complainants. As complainants were gross misconduct. First, by advising complainants to execute another Deed of Absolute Sale
later apprised of the amount of capital gains tax they were to pay, they consulted respondent antedated to 1979 to evade payment of capital gains taxes, he violated his duty to promote
about it. Respondent thus suggested to them that another Deed of Absolute Sale should be respect for law and legal processes, and not to abet activities aimed at defiance of the law;
executed, antedated to 1979 before the effectivity of the law mandating the payment of That respondent intended to, as he did defraud not a private party but the government is
capital gains tax. As suggested by respondent, another Deed of Absolute Sale antedated aggravating. Second, when respondent convinced complainants to execute another
February 9, 1979 was executed by Mrs. Mesina, whose name again appears therein as document, a simulated Deed of Absolute Sale wherein they made it appear that
Felicisima M. Melencio, in favor of complainants wherein the purchase price was also complainants reconveyed the Melencio property to his mother, he committed dishonesty.
indicated to be P85,400.00. Third, when on May 2, 1990 respondent inveigled his own clients, the Chua spouses, into
turning over to him the owners copy of his mothers title upon the misrepresentation that he
After liquidating the advances made by the Chua spouses in the redemption of the MESINA would, in four months, have a deed of sale executed by his mother in favor of complainants,
properties, Mrs. Mesina was found to have an existing balance due the spouses in the he likewise committed dishonesty.
amount of P400,000.00, on account of which they advised respondent about it. Respondent,
by Affidavit of February 18, 1986, acknowledged such obligation to be his and undertook to BATAC V. CRUZ, JR
settle it within two years. Complainants were subsequently issued on January 21, 1986 a title FACTS: Complainants are among the petitioners, while respondent is one of the respondents,
over the Melencio property. Not long after the execution of the February 9, 1979 Deed of in a case pending before the Securities and Exchange Commission. As the petitioners in the
Absolute Sale or in February 1986, one Juanito Tecson (Tecson) filed an Affidavit dated SEC case were to present respondent as an adverse party witness, they, on several occasions,
February 20, 1986 before the Cabanatuan City Prosecutors Office charging respondents requested the issuance of subpoena ad testificandum/duces tecum upon him. Thus, acting
mother, the spouses Chua, Marcelina Hsia and the two witnesses to the said Deed of on complainants request, the SEC Hearing Panel (hearing panel) issued on February 4, 1998,
Absolute Sale, for Falsification of Public Document and violation of the Internal Revenue March 19, 1998, June 4, 1998, June 11, 1998 subpoenas ad testificandum to respondent but
Code. In his complaint affidavit, Tecson alleged that he was also a lessee of the Melencio he failed to attend for various reasons which was accepted by the sec panel.
property and was, along with the Chua spouses, supposed to purchase it but that contrary to
their agreement, the property was sold only to complainant and her co-complainant, to his
By letter of July 24, 1998, respondent informed the hearing panel that he had just been petition for certiorari he, in collaboration with another counsel, filed to assail the refusal of
appointed by President Estrada as the new Commissioner of the National the trial judge to stay the execution of the judgment in the Benevola case; but as the Court of
Telecommunications Commission and in his capacity as such, he was on July 21, 1998 in Appeals issued the TRO only on March 5, 1999, he left for Cebu only on March 5, 1999.
conference with certain officials and representatives of the Philippine Electronics and
Telecoms Federation and Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines; and that he IBP Decision: We cannot help but take note of the fact that for a little more than a year
was scheduled to meet with Messrs. Raul Concepcion and Bobby Estenblar of Concepcion respondent did not appear in any of the ten hearings set by the SEC Hearing Panel requiring
Telecoms and Informatics Philippines, Inc., respectively, in the morning of July 28, 1998, thus him to testify therein. Whatever the reasons cited, respondent to our mind did not show an
rendering him unable to testify before the hearing panel on said date. attitude of cooperation with the SEC Hearing Panel so as not to at least unduly delay the
case.
By Order of July 28, 1998, the hearing panel directed respondent to file a manifestation
stating the dates of his availability to appear as witness. Pursuant to said order, respondent, ISSUE: WON Atty Cruz violated PRC or his lawyer’s oath
in a Manifestation dated August 4, 1998, informed that he was available on October 28, 29
and 30, 1998 all at 10:00 a.m. Conformably to said manifestation, the hearing panel, by Order HELD: Yes, Atty Cruz is Suspended for 6 mos. Citing the lawyer’s oath; I will support its
of September 29, 1998, set the hearing of the SEC case on October 28 and 29 1998 at 10:00 Constitution and obey laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities
a.m. During the October 28, 1998 hearing, however, respondent failed to attend. His absence therein; I will do no falsehood; I will delay no man for money or malice. Without doubt,
was explained by his counsel, Atty. Eric Paul I. Fetalino. (Reason: Travel abroad) respondent had exhibited a blatant disrespect for legal orders and processes. Respondent
fully knew that several hearings had been postponed due to his unavailability, and they were
On February 25, 1999, the hearing panel again issued a subpoena ad testificandum to reset on dates to adjust to his availability. The least he could have done was, as correctly
respondent for the March 4, 1999 hearing at 2:00 p.m., which subpoena was received at pointed out by the IBP, to take steps to cooperate and accommodate in his schedule the
respondents law office on February 25, 1999. However, by letter of March 3, 1999, hearings set by the hearing panel. Respondent cannot deny the importance of his would-be
respondent informed the hearing panel that he would not be in Manila on the March 4, 1999 testimony as shown by the continuous request of the petitioners in the SEC case for his
scheduled hearing as he was scheduled to attend the hearing of LRC Case No. 633, In re appearance. It was thus very inconsiderate, to say the least, on his part not to have taken
Application for Registration, Associacion Benevola de Cebu (Benevola case), pending before time off from what he wanted to convey to be a hectic schedule. His last minute motions and
Branch 6 of RTC Cebu City. Based on a Certification dated March 5, 1999 issued by Atty. manifestations that he be excused from the scheduled hearings confirm his indifference to
Myrna Valderrama-Limbaga, Branch Clerk of Court of RTC, Branch 6, Cebu City, the Benevola the orders of the SEC hearing panel.
principal case was not scheduled for hearing on March 4, 1998, and that what was scheduled
for hearing on said date was an incident thereof in which respondent was neither a counsel PEDRO LINSANGAN V. ATTY. NICOMEDES TOLENTINO
of record nor had he entered his appearance in representation of any of the parties.
FACTS: This is a complaint for disbarment filed by Pedro Linsangan against Atty. Nicomedes
By motion[21] dated April 12, 1999, complainants charged before the SEC respondent and his Tolentino for solicitation of clients and encroachment of professional services.
counsel Atty. Fetalino with several counts of indirect contempt to which they filed a
comment/opposition[22] on May 20, 1999. In a later move, complainants filed on April 15, Complainant alleged that respondent, with the help of paralegal Fe Marie Labiano, convinced
1999 their Affidavit - basis of the institution of the complaint at bar against respondent. his clients[2] to transfer legal representation. Respondent promised them financial
assistance[3] and expeditious collection on their claims.[4] To induce them to hire his
In respondents Counter-Affidavit dated October 13, 1999 to which he annexed his opposition services, he persistently called them and sent them text messages. Complainant presented
to the motion to cite him in contempt which had, at the time, been unresolved, he the sworn affidavit[5] of James Gregorio attesting that Labiano tried to prevail upon him to
contended that his failure to attend the hearings on February 4, March 18, June 4, 11 and 28, sever his lawyer-client relations with complainant and utilize respondents services instead, in
1998 was due to valid grounds duly communicated to and noted and accepted by the hearing exchange for a loan of P50,000. Complainant also attached respondent’s calling card.
panel. Blaming the ugly side of politics, respondent claimed that his detractors within the
government succeeded in blocking his travel order. He, however, maintained that on October Respondent Tolentino: denied knowing Labiano and authorizing the printing and circulation
28, 1998, he was of the bona fide belief that Secretary Cardenas earlier decision had already of the said calling card
been reconsidered and that there were already instructions of the President for him to
proceed to Minneapolis, hence, he could not be faulted or punished for his failure to attend Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of IBP: respondent had encroached on the professional
the hearing scheduled on that date. As to the March 4, 1999 hearing, respondent stood by practice of complainant, violating Rule 8.02[10] and other canons[11] of the Code of
his manifestation made through his counsel that he was supposed to be in Cebu City to Professional Responsibility (CPR). Moreover, he contravened the rule against soliciting cases
attend to the Benevola case. He claimed that the Certification of the Branch Clerk of Court for gain, personally or through paid agents or brokers as stated in Section 27, Rule 138[12] of
hardly revealed the whole picture as he was indeed scheduled to proceed to the RTC Cebu as the Rules of Court.
early as March 3, 1999 for a very urgent task of filing with said court a Temporary Restraining Penalty – stern warning that any repetition would merit a heavier penalty
Order (TRO) which was expected to be issued by the Court of Appeals, in connection with the
ISSUE: (1) Rule 16.04 A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the clients interests are
(2) WON the penalty is proper – NO. fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer
lend money to a client except, when in the interest of justice, he has to advance necessary
HELD: for violating Rules 1.03, 2.03, 8.02 and 16.04 and Canon 3 of CPR and Section 27, Rule expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.
138 of the Rules of Court is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one year
effective immediately from receipt of this resolution. He is STERNLY WARNED that a The rule is that a lawyer shall not lend money to his client. The only exception is, when in the
repetition of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely. interest of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses (such as filing fees, stenographers
fees for transcript of stenographic notes, cash bond or premium for surety bond, etc.) for a
RATIO: matter that he is handling for the client.
CANON 3 - A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE ONLY TRUE,
HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF FACTS.
JUDGE JOSE L. MADRID RTC 51 SORSOGON V. ATTY. JUAN S. DEALCA
The practice of law is a profession and not a business; lawyers should not advertise their
talents as merchants advertise their wares.[13] To allow a lawyer to advertise his talent or FACTS: Atty Dealca was the counsel of a criminal case entitled “People v. Arsenault” which
skill is to commercialize the practice of law, degrade the profession in the publics estimation was pending in the RTC presided by petitioner Judge Jose Madrid. Atty Dealca moved to re-
and impair its ability to efficiently render that high character of service to which every raffle the case to another RTC branch , "considering the adverse incidents between the
member of the bar is called. incumbent Presiding Judge and the undersigned," where" he does not appear before the
incumbent Presiding Judge, and the latter does not also hear cases handled by the
RULE 2.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT DO OR PERMIT TO BE DONE ANY ACT DESIGNED PRIMARILY undersigned” but his motion to re-raffle was denied. Subsequently, complainant Presiding
TO SOLICIT LEGAL BUSINESS. Judge has had enough of the respondent for engaging in the unethical practice of filing
frivolous administrative cases against judges and personnel of the courts because the Atty.
Lawyers are prohibited from soliciting cases for the purpose of gain, either personally or Dealca had filed Administrative as well as criminal cases against this Presiding Judge which
through paid agents or brokers.[15] Such actuation constitutes malpractice, a ground for were all dismissed by the Supreme Court for utter lack of merit. This is why he should not
disbarment.[16] have accepted this particular case so as not to derail the smooth proceedings in this Court
Rule 2.03 should be read in connection with Rule 1.03 of the CPR which provides: with his baseless motions for inhibition. It is the lawyer’s duty to appear on behalf of a client
in a case but not to appear for a client to remove a case from the Court. Hence, the
RULE 1.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT, FOR ANY CORRUPT MOTIVE OR INTEREST, ENCOURAGE complainant has initiated this complaint for the disbarment of respondent on the ground of
ANY SUIT OR PROCEEDING OR DELAY ANY MANS CAUSE. gross misconduct and gross violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

This rule proscribes ambulance chasing (the solicitation of almost any kind of legal business IBP Commissioner Salvador B. Hababag ultimately submitted his Report and
by an attorney, personally or through an agent in order to gain employment)[17] as a Recommendation finding respondent Atty. Dealca guilty of violating the Lawyer’s Oath and
measure to protect the community from barratry and champerty.[18] the Code of Professional Responsibility by filing frivolous administrative and criminal
complaints; and recommending that Atty. Dealca be suspended from the practice of law for
Complainant presented substantial evidence[19] (consisting of the sworn statements of the one year because his motion to inhibit Judge Madrid was devoid of factual or legal basis, and
very same persons coaxed by Labiano and referred to respondents office) to prove that was grounded on purely personal whims. Atty. Dealca insists on the propriety of the
respondent indeed solicited legal business as well as profited from referrals suits. administrative and criminal cases he filed against judges and court personnel, including Judge
Madrid. He argues that as a vigilant lawyer, he was duty bound to bring and prosecute cases
Through Labianos actions, respondents law practice was benefited. Hapless seamen were against unscrupulous and corrupt judges and court personnel.
enticed to transfer representation on the strength of Labianos word that respondent could
produce a more favorable result. ISSUE:
(1) Did Atty. Dealca file frivolous administrative and criminal complaints against judges and
Based on the foregoing, respondent clearly solicited employment violating Rule 2.03, and court personnel in violation of the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional
Rule 1.03 and Canon 3 of the CPR and Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Responsibility? –YES.

(other issues) RULING:


Rule 8.02 of the CPR- a lawyer should not steal another lawyers client nor induce the latter to
retain him by a promise of better service, good result or reduced fees for his services Although the Court always admires members of the Bar who are imbued with a high sense of
vigilance to weed out from the Judiciary the undesirable judges and inefficient or
undeserving court personnel, any acts taken in that direction should be unsullied by any taint
of insincerity or self interest. The noble cause of cleansing the ranks of the Judiciary is not Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or
advanced otherwise. It is for that reason that Atty. Dealca’s complaint against Judge Madrid the oppressed.
has failed our judicious scrutiny, for the Court cannot find any trace of idealism or altruismin Rule 2.02 - In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to
the motivations for initiating it. Instead, Atty. Dealca exhibited his proclivity for vindictiveness render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the
and penchant for harassment, considering that, as IBP Commissioner Hababag pointed latter's rights.
out,16 his bringing of charges against judges, court personnel and even his colleagues in the Rule 2.03 - A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to solicit
Law Profession had all stemmed from decisions or rulings being adverse to his clients or his legal business.
side. He well knew, therefore, that he was thereby crossing the line of propriety, because Rule 2.04 - A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily prescribed unless
neither vindictiveness nor harassment could be a substitute for resorting tothe appropriate the circumstances so warrant.
legal remedies. He should now be reminded that the aim of every lawsuit should be to
render justice to the parties according to law, not to harass them.17 IN RE SORIANO
N RE SORIANO FACTS: Atty. Clemente Soriano entered his appearance in the case People’s
The Lawyer’s Oath is a source of obligations and duties for every lawyer, and any violation Homesite vs Mencias and Tiburcio et al. He sought to represent Marcelino Tiburcio. The thing
thereof by an attorney constitutes a ground for disbarment, suspension, or other disciplinary is that, when he entered his appearance before the Supreme Court, the case has long been
action.18 The oath exhorts upon the members of the Bar not to "wittingly or willingly decided by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then directed Atty. Soriano to show cause
promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit." These are not mere facile words, drift why he should not be subjected to disciplinary actions. Atty. Soriano, in his defense, stated
and hollow, but a sacred trust that must be upheld and keep inviolable.19 that he merely relied on the assurance made by one Atty. Dalangpan who assured him that
the case is still pending with the Supreme Court. ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Soriano should
As a lawyer, therefore, Atty. Dealca was aware of his duty under his Lawyer’s Oath not to be suspended. HELD: No. But he is severely censured. The only reason why he’s not
initiate groundless, false or unlawful suits. The duty has also been expressly embodied in suspended is that he exhibited candor before the Supreme Court in acknowledging his
Rule 1.03, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility thuswise: mistake and apologized for it. He has been negligent in his duty and this violates his duty to
be diligent on his responsibility to his client. He should have checked with the former lawyer
Rule 1.03 – A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or of Tiburcio as to the status of the case. If not, he could have simply checked with the Clerk of
proceeding or delay any man’s cause. Court of the Supreme Court instead of relying upon the assurances of Atty. Dalangpan (who
even denied before the Supreme Court that he made such assurances).
His being an officer of the court should have impelled him to see to it that the orderly
administration of justice must not be unduly impeded. Indeed, as he must resist the whims
and caprices ofhis clients and temper his clients’ propensities to litigate,20 so must he THE DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS V. BAYOT
equally guard himself against his own impulses of initiating unfounded suits. While it is the ULEP V. LEGAL CLINIC, INC
Court’s duty to investigate and uncover the truth behindcharges against judges and lawyers, KHAN, JR. V. SIMBILLO
it is equally its duty to shield them from unfounded suits that are intended to vex and harass FACTS:
them, among other things.21
A paid advertisement in the Philippine Daily Inquirer was published which reads: “Annulment
Moreover, Atty. Dealca must be mindful of his mission to assist the courts in the proper of Marriage Specialist [contact number]”. Espeleta, a staff of the Supreme Court, called up
administration of justice. He disregarded his mission because his filing of the unfounded the number but it was Mrs. Simbillo who answered. She claims that her husband, Atty.
complaints, including this one against Judge Madrid, increased the workload of the Judiciary. Simbillo was an expert in handling annulment cases and can guarantee a court decree within
Although no person should be penalized for the exercise ofthe right to litigate, the right must 4-6mos provided the case will not involve separation of property and custody of children. It
nonetheless be exercised in good faith.22 Atty. Dealca’s bringing of the numerous appears that similar advertisements were also published. An administrative complaint was
administrative and criminal complaints against judges, court personnel and his fellow lawyers filed which was referred to the IBP for investigation and recommendation. The IBP resolved
did not evince any good faith on his part, considering that he made allegations against them to suspend Atty. Simbillo for 1 year. Note that although the name of Atty. Simbillo did not
therein that he could not substantially prove, and are rightfully deemed frivolous and appear in the advertisement, he admitted the acts imputed against him but argued that he
unworthy of the Court’s precious time and serious consideration. should not be charged. He said that it was time to lift the absolute prohibition against
advertisement because the interest of the public isn’t served in any way by the prohibition.

RE: FINANCIAL AUDIT OF ATTY. RAQUEL KHO ISSUE:

CANON 2 - A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN AN EFFICIENT AND Whether or not Simbillo violated Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.01.
CONVENIENT MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND
EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROFESSION. HELD:
Yes. The practice of law is not a business --- it is a profession in which the primary duty is
public service and money. Gaining livelihood is a secondary consideration while duty to
public service and administration of justice should be primary. Lawyers should subordinate
their primary interest. Worse, advertising himself as an “annulment of marriage specialist” he
erodes and undermines the sanctity of an institution still considered as sacrosanct --- he in
fact encourages people otherwise disinclined to dissolve their marriage bond. Solicitation of
business is not altogether proscribed but for it to be proper it must be compatible with the
dignity of the legal profession. Note that the law list where the lawyer’s name appears must
be a reputable law list only for that purpose --- a lawyer may not properly publish in a daily
paper, magazine…etc., nor may a lawyer permit his name to be published the contents of
which are likely to deceive or injure the public or the bar.