Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 51

University of Santo Tomas

Faculty of Civil Law

LEGAL ETHICS
Pre-week Notes 2017
ACADEMICS COMMITTEE

SECRETARY GENERAL: CAMILLE ANGELICA B. GONZALES


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: EMNIE VALERIE B. DURAN, IRVIN L. PALANCA, MARIELLA A.
MARASIGAN, LARA NICOLE T. GONZALES

LEGAL ETHICS COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE HEAD: STEFFI NICOLE P. FLORES


MEMBERS: FLORRENCE FAYE S. FRANCO AND NEIL L. NABUAB

ATTY. AL CONRAD B. ESPALDON


ADVISERS
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

LEGAL ETHICS only to those who measure up to certain rigid


standards of mental and moral fitness.
PRACTICE OF LAW While the practice of law is not a right but a privilege,
the Court will not unwarrantedly withhold this
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, privilege from individuals who have shown mental
which requires the application of law, legal fitness and moral fiber to withstand the rigors of the
procedure, knowledge, training, and experience profession (In Re: Petition to sign in the Roll of
Attorneys Michael Medado, B.M. No. 2540, September
The following acts constitute practice of law: 24, 2013).

a. Giving of advice or rendering any kind of QUALIFICATIONS


service that involves legal knowledge.
b. Appearance in court and conduct of cases in Requirements for admission to the Bar
court.
c. Preparation of pleadings and other papers Under Sections 2, 5 and 6 of Rule 138, the applicant
incident to actions as well as drawing of must be [C21-GRENAPOS]:
deeds and instruments of conveyance.
d. Notarial acts 1. Citizen of the Philippines;
2. At least 21years of age;
Essential criteria in determining whether a 3. Of Good moral character;
person is engaged in the practice of law [CAHA] 4. Resident of the Philippines;
5. Must produce before the SC satisfactory Evidence
1. Compensation – implies that one must have of good moral character;
presented himself to be in active practice and that 6. No charges against him, involving moral
his professional services are available to the turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any
public for compensation, as a source of livelihood court in the Philippines (Sec. 2, Rule 138, RRC)
or in consideration of his said services. 7. Must have complied with the Academic
2. Application of law, legal principle, practice or requirements;
procedure which calls for legal knowledge, 8. Must Pass the bar examinations;
training and experience; 9. Take the lawyer’s Oath
3. Habituality – implies customary or habitually 10. Sign the Roll of Attorneys.
holding oneself out to the public as a lawyer.
Practice of law is more than an isolated Passing the Bar examination is not sufficient for
appearance for it consists in frequent or admission of a person to the Philippine Bar. He still
customary action; and has to take the oath of office and sign the
4. Attorney-Client relationship - engaging in the Attorney’s Roll as prerequisites to admission.
practice of law presupposes the existence of a
lawyer-client relationship. Ten (10) years of Atty. Candido commented in a newspaper that the
practice of law includes work as a litigator, in- decision of Court of Appeals was influenced by a
house counsel, giving of legal advice, teaching of powerful relative of the prevailing party. The
law, and even foreign assignment which requires appellate court found him guilty of indirect
the knowledge and application of the laws. contempt. Does this involve moral turpitude?
(2010 Bar)
NOTE: A lawyer who is a detention prisoner is not
allowed to practice his profession as a necessary No, the published comment does not constitute moral
consequence of his status as a detention prisoner. turpitude although contemptuous. Moral turpitude
has been defined as everything which is done
(People v. Maceda, G.R. Nos. 89591-96, January 24,
contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals, an act of
2000). baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and
social duties which a man owes his fellowmen.
Nature of the Practice of Law
Law Student Practice Rule
It is not a right granted to anyone who demands it but
Lawyers without Persons not lawyers The appearance of the law student authorized by this
authority rule shall be under the direct supervision and control
Constitutes May be punished for of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
malpractice and contempt of court duly accredited by the law school. Any and all
violation of the pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other
lawyer’s oath, for papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising
which he may be attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.
suspended or
disbarred
a privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise Bong Tupak, a second year law student, was
of sound judicial discretion. It is a privilege accorded charged in the RTC for Forcible Abduction with

1
LEGAL ETHICS

Rape. Having knowledge of criminal law ad


procedure, he dismissed the counsel de oficio The unauthorized practice of law by one assuming to
assigned and appeared for himself. He asserted be an attorney or officer of the court, and acting as
that there was lack of force. Eventually, the RTC such without authority, may constitute indirect
found him guilty of consented abduction and contempt of court.
imposed the penalty. Bong Tupak now assails the
decision, saying that there was violation of due
process because he was allowed to appear for Public Officials and Practice of Law
himself and he did not know that consented
abduction is a crime. Decide. (2012 Bar) Prohibited 1. President
from practicing 2. Department Secretaries
The RTC should have appointed a counsel de oficio to 3. Judges and Justices
assist the accused even if it was not sought or 4. Prosecutors
requested by the accused. 5. Solicitor General and
Members of the OSG
Non-Lawyers in Court 6. Members of Constitutional
Commissions
The following are the instances whereby non-lawyers 7. Governors
may appear in court: 8. Mayors
Allowed to 1. Senators
1. Cases before the MTC: A party to the litigation,
practice but 2. members of the House of
may conduct his own case or litigation in person,
subject to Representatives,
with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by
3. Vice-Governors
him for that purpose (Sec. 34, Rule 138, RRC); restrictions
4. Vice Mayors
5. Members of the
2. Before any other court, a party may conduct his
Sanggunians
litigation personally but if he gets someone to aid
Approval of Civil Service employees
him, that someone must be authorized member of
the Bar (Sec. 34, Rule 138, RRC); department
head required
3. Criminal case before the MTC in a locality where a
duly licensed member of the Bar is not available,
the judge may appoint a non- lawyer who is (a) May a party appear as his own counsel in a
Resident of the province; and (b) of good repute criminal or in a civil case? Explain. (2009 Bar)
for probity and ability to aid the accused in his
defense (Sec. 7, Rule 116, RRC); A party may appear as his own counsel in a civil case.
However, in criminal cases involving grave and less
4. Any official or other person appointed or grave offenses, he must always appear through
designated to appear for the Government of the counsel.
Philippines in accordance with law (Sec. 33, Rule
138, RRC). Before the MTC, a party may appear without his own
counsel whether or not for a civil or criminal case. In
Proceedings where lawyers are prohibited from RTC and appellate courts, a party in a civil suit may
appearing conduct his litigation either personally or by attorney.
With respect to criminal proceedings in said
1. Proceedings before the Small Claims Court, unless tribunals, right to counsel of an accused is absolute or
the attorney is the plaintiff or defendant immutable.

2. Proceedings before the Katarungang DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES


Pambarangay - During the pre-trial conference OF A LAWYER
under the Rules of Court, lawyers are prohibited
from appearing for the parties. True or False, the duty of a lawyer to his client is
more paramount that his duty to the Court. (2009
Sanctions for Practice of Appearance without Bar)
Authority
False, a lawyer’s paramount duty is to the Court. This
1. Petition for Injunction; is because he is an officer of the court.
2. Contempt of court;
3. Criminal complaint for Estafa against a person
who falsely represented himself to be an attorney TO SOCIETY
to the damage of a party;
4. Disqualification and complaints for disbarment; Canon 1
or Uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and
5. Administrative complaint against the erring promote respect for law and legal processes
lawyer or government official.

2
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

lawyer may be disciplined not only for malpractice


Two-fold duty under Canon 1 and dishonesty in his profession but also for gross
misconduct outside of his professional capacity. The
1. Obey the laws and the legal processes Court may be justified in suspending or removing him
2. Inspire others to maintain respect and obedience as an attorney where his misconduct outside of the
thereto. lawyer’s dealings is so gross in character as to show
him morally unfit of the privilege to practice law
A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, (Heenan v. Espejo, A.C. No. 10050, December. 3, 2013).
immoral and deceitful conduct
Impropriety of voluntary giving of advice
“Unlawful” conduct does not necessarily imply the
element of criminality although the concept is broad It is improper to voluntarily give legal advice when
enough to include such element. It is transgression of the lawyer, in giving such, is motivated by a desire to
any provision of law, which need not be a penal law. obtain personal benefit, secure personal publicity, or
To be “dishonest” means the disposition to lie, cheat, cause legal action to be taken merely to harass or
deceive, defraud or betray; be untrustworthy; lacking injure another.
in integrity, honesty, probity, integrity in principle,
fairness and straightforwardness. “Deceitful” conduct Barratry v. Ambulance Chasing
means having the proclivity for fraudulent and
deceptive misrepresentation, artifice or device that is Barratry is an offense of frequently exciting and
used upon another who is ignorant of the true facts, stirring up quarrels and suits, either at law or
to the prejudice and damage of the party imposed otherwise; lawyer’s act of fomenting suits among
upon. individuals and offering his legal services to one of
them. Barratry is not a crime under the Philippine
Atty. P borrowed P100,000 from Sps. T to finance laws. However, it is proscribed by the rules of legal
the reconstitution of the title of his land. They had ethics.
a written agreement that after such
reconstitution, the title would serve as security Ambulance chasing is an act of chasing victims of
for the loan and that he would pay an interest of accidents for the purpose of talking to the said victims
P70,000. Atty. P, however, failed to fulfill his (or relatives) and offering his legal services for the
obligations. Legal demands were made to no avail. filing of a case against the person(s) who caused the
Is Atty. P guilty of violating Rule 1.01? accident(s). It has spawned a number of recognized
evils such as:
Yes. Sps. Tejada could not have been defrauded
without the representations of Atty. Palana. He knew 1. Fomenting of litigation with resulting burdens on
that his representations were false since the filing fee the courts and the public;
for a petition for reconstitution in 2001 was only 2. Subornation of perjury;
P3,145, and other expenses including publication 3. Mulcting of innocent persons by judgments, upon
would not cost more than P20,000. It is clear that he manufactured causes of action; and
employed deceit in convincing Sps. Tejada to part 4. Defrauding of injured persons having proper
with their hard-earned money and the latter could causes of action but ignorant of legal rights and
not have been easily swayed to lend money were it court procedures by means of contracts which
not for his misrepresentations and failed promises as retain exorbitant percentages of recovery and
a member of the bar. A lawyer shall at all times illegal charges for court costs and expenses and
uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal by settlement made for quick returns of fees and
profession. The trust and confidence necessarily against just rights of the injured persons
reposed by clients requires in the attorney a high (Hightower v. Detroit Edison Co. 247 NW 97,
standard and appreciation of his duty to his clients, 1993).
his profession, the courts and the public. The bar
must maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as Canon 2 and 3
well as of honesty and fair dealing (Sps. Tejada v. Atty. Making his legal services available in an efficient and
Palana, A.C. No. 7434, August 23, 2007). convenient manner compatible with the independence,
integrity and effectiveness of the profession.
Atty. E. borrowed P250,000 from VH. To secure
such loan, she issued a check for P275,000 to Making known his legal services shall use only true,
cover the loan and interest. On due date, the honest, fair, dignified and objective information or
check was dishonored. Atty. E refused to pay. Is statement of facts.
Atty. E administratively liable?
Advertisement
Yes. Lawyers must at all times faithfully perform their
duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to their An active quest for clients involving a public or non-
clients. The fact that Atty. Espejo obtained the loan public communication. It includes, but is not limited
and issued the worthless check in her personal to, communication by means of telephone, television,
capacity and not an attorney is of no moment. A radio, motion picture, computer-accessed

3
LEGAL ETHICS

communication, newspaper, sign, directory, listing or practical training of law students and assist in
through written communication (Rule 7.2(a), Model disseminating information regarding the law and
Rules of Professional Conduct, American Bar jurisprudence.
Association).
Canon 6
If engaged in another profession or occupation Canons shall apply to lawyers in government service in
concurrently with the practice of law, the lawyer shall the discharge of their official tasks
make clear to his client whether he is acting as a
lawyer or in another capacity. Provincial Prosecutor Bonifacio refused to
represent the Municipality of San Vicente in a case
For solicitation to be proper, it must be compatible for collection of taxes. He explained that he
with the dignity of the legal profession. If made in a cannot handle the case with sincerity and
modest and decorous manner, it would bring no industry because he does not believe in the
injury to the lawyer or to the bar. position taken by the municipality. Can
Prosecutor Bonifacio be administratively
Rationale for the Prohibition of Advertisements sanctioned?
1. The profession is primarily for public service;
2. Commercializes the profession; Yes, he can be sanctioned administratively. Unlike a
3. Involves self-praise and puffing; practicing lawyer who has the right to decline
4. Damages public confidence; and employment, a government lawyer like a provincial
5. May increase lawsuits and result in needless prosecutor cannot refuse the performance of his
litigation. duties on the grounds not provided for by law
without violating his oath of office.
Complainant Linsangan alleged that Atty.
Tolentino, with the help of a paralegal, convinced While Atty. Z was still the Presiding Judge of
his clients to transfer legal representation. Atty. MTCC, a civil complaint was filed by Ronald
Tolentino promised them financial assistance and Rupinta, who was represented by Atty. P and
expeditious collection on their claims. To induce heard by Atty. Z as Presiding Judge of MTCC. When
them to hire his services, he persistently called the case was already scheduled for trial on the
them and sent them text messages. Is it allowed? merits, Atty. Z suspended the scheduled hearing
and the case hibernated and Atty. Z was
No. Lawyers should not advertise their talents as appointed as RTC Judge of Branch 35, Ozamis City.
merchants advertise their wares. Lawyers are Sometime on 23 March 2006, the newly appointed
prohibited from soliciting cases for the purpose of Presiding Judge of MTCC 10th Judicial Region,
gain, either personally or through paid agents or Tangub City, Judge Rodolfo L. Vapor, issued an
brokers. Such actuation constitutes malpractice. The Order informing the parties on the aforesaid case
act of the respondent in including the phrase ―with whether they were amenable for him to render
financial assistance - in his calling card is a conduct of judgment on the case of which they agreed.
advertising the legal profession with commercialism However, Atty. P was surprised when he received
and with the purpose of enticing clients to change a Manifestation from the defendants that they are
counsels through the promise of loans to finance their now represented by Atty. Z, the former judge who
legal action (Linsangan v. Tolentino, A.C. 6672, once presided over the aforesaid case. Is Atty. Z
September 4, 2009). guilty of violating Canon 6 of the CPR?

Examples of Advertisements considered as Yes. The respondent, in his capacity as the judge of
deceptive the MTCC of Tangub City, presided over the case
before eventually inhibiting himself from further
1. Misstatements of fact proceedings. His act of presiding constituted
2. Suggestions that the ingenuity or prior record of a intervention within the meaning of the rule whose
lawyer rather than the justice of the claim are the text does not mention the degree or length of the
principal factors likely to determine the result intervention in the particular case or matter.
3. Inclusion of information irrelevant on selecting a
lawyer The respondent could not accept work or
4. Representations concerning the quality of service, employment from anyone that would involve or
which cannot be measured or verified. relate to any matter in which he had intervened as a
judge except on behalf of the body or authority that
Canon 4 and 5 he served during his public employment. The
Participate in the development of the legal system by restriction as applied to him lasted beyond his tenure
initiating or supporting efforts in law reform and in relation to the matters in which he had intervened
improvement in the administration of justice. as judge. Accordingly, the fact that he was already
retired from the Bench, or that he was already in the
Keep abreast of legal developments, participate in private practice of law when he was engaged for the
continuing legal education programs, support efforts to case was inconsequential. Although the respondent
achieve high standards in law schools as well as in the removed himself from the cases once his neutrality

4
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

and impartiality were challenged, he ultimately did one year shall be a ground for the removal of the
not stay away from the cases following his retirement name of the delinquent member from the Roll of
from the Bench, and acted thereon as a lawyer for and Attorneys. Membership and financial support of every
in behalf of the defendants (Atty. Pasok v. Atty. attorney is a condition sine qua non to the practice of
Zapatos, A.C. 7388, October 19, 2016). law and the retention of his name in the Roll of
Attorneys.

Can a lawyer terminate his membership in IBP?


TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION
Yes. A member may terminate his membership by
Canon 7 filing a written notice to that effect with the Secretary
Uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession of the Integrated Bar, who shall immediately bring
and support the activities of the integrated bar the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court.
Forthwith he shall cease to be a member and his
Membership and Dues in IBP name shall be stricken by the Court from the Roll of
Attorneys.
Membership dues are not prohibited by the
Constitution. The fee is imposed as a regulatory NOTE: In a resolution dated 31 January 2017, the
measure, designed to raise funds for carrying out the Supreme Court granted the Petition for Voluntary
purposes and objectives of the integration Delisting in the Roll of Attorneys of Dionisio Canete.
In his petition, Canete invoked “unspeakable
A lawyer does not automatically become a member of injustices” he suffered while practicing law for 56
the IBP chapter where he resides or works after years as ground for the revocation of his privilege to
becoming a full-fledged member of the Bar. He has practice said profession.
the discretion to choose the IBP Chapter he wants to
join (Garcia v. De Vera, A.C. 6052, December 11, 2003). Canon 8
A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness
IBP must be apolitical
and candor towards his professional colleagues, and
No lawyer holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
or prosecutory office in the Government or any
8.02 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly,
political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall
encroach upon the professional employment of another
be eligible for election or appointment to any position
lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer, without
in the Integrated Bar or any Chapter thereof. A
fear or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to
Delegate, Governor, officer or employee of the
those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful
Integrated Bar, or an officer or employee of any
counsel.
Chapter thereof shall be considered ipso facto
resigned from his position as of the moment he files
A person without a retained lawyer is a legitimate
his certificate of candidacy for any elective public
prospective client for any lawyer whom he
office or accepts appointment to any judicial, quasi-
approaches for legal services. But, as soon as he had
judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or
retained one and had not dismissed the retained
any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof.
counsel, efforts on the part of another lawyer to take
him as a client constitutes an act of encroaching upon
Atty. Gelly passed the Bar in 1975. After taking his
the employment of another lawyer.
oath, he did not enlist in any IBP chapter because
he went to the USA to pursue a Master’s Degree.
A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon
Eventually, he passed the state bar and
the subject of controversy with a party represented
specialized in Immigration Law. In 2005, he
by counsel much less should he undertake to
returned to the Philippines and was hired by a
negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but
law firm. He wishes to pay his IBP dues for the
should deal with his counsel. Any act which is aimed
current year but the IBP is charging him from
to ease out a previous lawyer with the intention to
1975 up to the present and threatening him with
grab the case is highly unethical and should be
expulsion if he does not comply. Is the IBP
avoided (Antiquiera, 1992).
correct? (2012 Bar)
Exceptions
Yes. Atty. Gelly should pay the dues from 1975 to the
present since membership in the IBP is compulsory.
1. A lawyer may properly interview any witness or
prospective witness for the opposing side in any
Can a lawyer still practice his profession despite
civil or criminal action without the consent of
having arrears in his IBP dues? (2014 Bar)
opposing counsel or party.
2. Any person who seeks relief against an unfaithful
No. Default in the payment of annual dues for six
or neglectful lawyer may approach another
months shall warrant suspension of membership in
lawyer for proper advice and assistance. Any
the Integrated Bar and default in such payment for
advice or assistance extended after proper

5
LEGAL ETHICS

verification is not encroaching upon the business within the reglementary period. AC got wind of
of another lawyer for such act is justified under the dismissal only when his wife verified the
the circumstances. status of the case. Atty. IA promised to seek
reconsideration, which the CA later denied for
Atty. Manuel is counsel for the defendant in a civil belated filing of the motion. Atty. IA argued that
case pending before the RTC. After receiving the he only received the CA resolution 2 months after
plaintiff's Pre-Trial Brief containing the list of it was issued and that the person who received
witnesses, Atty. Manuel interviewed some of the the same in his office was unauthorized. Is he
witnesses for the plaintiff without the consent of administratively liable?
plaintiff's counsel. Did Atty. Manuel violate any
ethical standard for lawyers? Explain. (2009 Bar) Yes, Atty. IA tried to mislead the appellate court about
the receipt of a copy of its February 10, 1997
No, because Canon 39 of the Canons of Professional Resolution dismissing the appeal. He denied
Ethics provides that “a lawyer may interview any personally receiving such copy, but the CA found and
witness or prospective witness from the opposing declared that he himself received said copy. The CA
side in any civil or criminal action without the arrived at this conclusion thru the process of
consent of opposing counsel or party.” This is because comparing Atty. IA’s signature appearing in the
a witness is supposed to be a neutral person whose pleadings with that in the registry return card. Both
role is to tell the truth when called upon to testify. signatures belong to one and the same person.
Needless to stress, Atty. IA had under the premises
Will your answer be the same if it was the plaintiff indulged in deliberate falsehood, contrary to the self-
who was interviewed by Atty. Manuel without the explanatory prescriptions of Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and
consent of plaintiff's counsel? Explain. (2009 Bar) Canon 10, Rule 10.01 (Conlu v. Atty. Aredonia, Jr., A.C.
No. 4955, September 12, 2011).
My answer will not be the same. Canon 8 of the
Canons of Professional Ethics provides that “a lawyer Instances when lawyers can be disciplined based
should not in any way communicate upon a subject of on the pleadings he filed
controversy with a party represented by counsel,
much less should he undertake to negotiate or When a counsel deliberately:
compromise the matter with him, but should deal
only with his counsel.” If he communicates with the 1. Files an unsigned pleading in violation of the
adverse party directly, he will be encroaching into the rules;
employment of the adverse party's lawyer. 2. Alleges scandalous matters therein;
3. Fails to promptly report to the court a change of
Canon 9 his address (Sec. 3, Rule 7, RRC).
Lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the
unauthorized practice of law NOTE: A lawyer should not abuse his right of
recourse to the courts for the purpose of arguing a
Will a lawyer violate the Code of Professional cause that had been repeatedly rebuffed. Neither
Responsibility if he forms a partnership with should he use his knowledge of law as an instrument
professionals of other disciplines like doctors, to harass a party nor to misuse judicial processes, as
engineers, architects or accountants? Explain the same constitutes serious transgression of the
your answer. (2014 Bar) Code of Professional Responsibility. For while he
owes fidelity to the cause of his client, it should not be
Yes. Under Canon 9, unauthorized practice of law is at the expense of truth and the administration of
committed when a person who is not a lawyer justice (Garcia v. Francisco, A.C. No. 3923, March 30,
performs acts which are exclusive to members of the 1993).
bar. A general professional partnership with a non-
lawyer is VOID. In the formation of partnership for Canon 11
the practice of law, no person should be admitted or Lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to
held out as a practitioner or member who is not a the courts and to judicial officers and should insist on
member of the legal profession duly authorized to similar conduct by others.
practice.
All lawyers are expected to recognize the authority of
the Supreme Court and obey its lawful processes and
TO THE COURTS orders. Despite errors which one may impute on the
orders of the Court, these must be respected,
Canon 10 especially by the bar or the lawyers who are
A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the themselves officers of the courts. However, the fact
court. that a person is a lawyer does not deprive him of the
right, as enjoyed by every citizen, to comment on and
AC, represented by Atty. IA lost a case for recovery criticize the actuations of a judge but it is the cardinal
of land before the RTC. The appeal was dismissed condition of all criticisms that it shall be bona fide,
by the CA for non-filing of the appellant’s brief

6
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

and shall not spill over the walls of decency and he only received the CA resolution 2 months after
propriety. it was issued and that the person who received
the same in his office was unauthorized. Atty. IA
An administrative complaint was filed against also failed to file his comment on the complaint
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a lawyer, for a despite extensions. Is he administratively liable?
speech she delivered on the Senate floor which
allegedly reflected disrespect towards then Chief A: YES. The Court cannot write finis to this case
Justice Artemio Panganiban and the other without delving into and addressing Atty. IA’s defiant
members of the Court: “I spit on the face of Chief stance against the Court as demonstrated by his
Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the repetitive disregard of its resolution to file his
Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the comment on the basic complaint. After requesting
position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be and securing no less than three (3) extensions of time
surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in to file his comment, he simply closed, so to speak,
another environment but not in the Supreme communication lines. And when ordered to give an
Court of idiots.” Was there a violation of the Code explanation through a show-cause directive for not
of Professional Responsibility? complying, he asked for and was granted a 30-day
extension but the required comment never came.
Yes. To the Court, the lady senator has undoubtedly When the Court eventually directed the NBI to arrest
crossed the limits of decency and good professional him, he just left his last known address and could not
conduct. It is at once apparent that her statements in be located. Manifestly, he has fallen short of the
question were intemperate and highly improper in diligence required of every member of the Bar. The
substance. No lawyer who has taken an oath to pertinent Canon of the Code of Professional
maintain the respect due to the courts should be Responsibility which he also violated is Canon 12.03:
allowed to erode the people’s faith in the judiciary. In A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to
this case, the lady senator clearly violated Canon 8, file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse
Rule 8.01 and Canon 11 of the Code of Professional without submitting the same or offering an explanation
Responsibility, which respectively provide: Canon 8, for his failure to do so.” (Conlu v. Atty. Aredonia, Jr., A.C.
Rule 8.01: “A lawyer shall not, in his professional No. 4955, September 12, 2011).
dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
otherwise improper”; and Canon 11: “A lawyer shall Canon 13
observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and Rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from any
to the judicial officers and should insist on similar impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the
conduct by others.” appearance of influencing the court

While the factual and legal circumstances of this case Giving of gifts to the judges are discouraged as it tend
prevents the Court from imposing some form of to give an appearance of influencing the conduct of
disciplinary action against her, We, however, would judicial function or breeding familiarity with judges.
be remiss in our duty if we let the Senators offensive
and disrespectful language that definitely tended to It is improper for a litigant or counsel to see a judge in
denigrate the institution pass by. It is imperative on chambers and talk to him about a matter related to
our part to re-instill in Senator/Atty. Santiago her the case pending in the court of said judge.
duty to respect courts of justice, especially this
Tribunal, and remind her anew that the On a Saturday, Atty. Paterno filed a petition for
parliamentary non-accountability thus granted to Writ of Amparo with the CA. Impelled by the
members of Congress is not to protect them against urgency of the issuance of the writ, Atty. Paterno
prosecutions for their own benefit, but to enable persuaded his friend, CA Justice Johnny Dela Cruz,
them, as the people’s representatives, to perform the to issue the Writ of Amparo and the notice of
functions of their office without fear of being made hearing without the signature of the two other
responsible before the courts or other forums outside members of the CA division. Are Atty. Paterno and
the congressional hall (Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago, Justice Dela Cruz guilty of unethical conduct?
A.C. No. 7399, August 25, 2009). Explain. (2009 Bar)

Canon 12 Yes. Atty. Paterno violated Canon 13 of the CPR. Atty.


Exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in Paterno has relied on his friendship with the Justice
the speedy and efficient administration of justice to obtain a Writ of Amparo without a hearing. He thus
makes it appear that he can influence the court.
AC, represented by Atty. IA lost a case for recovery Justice Dela Cruz violated sec. 3, canon 4 of the Code
of land before the RTC. The appeal was dismissed of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, which
by the CA for non-filing of the appellant’s brief provides that “judges shall, in their personal relations
within the reglementary period. AC got wind of with individual members of the legal profession who
the dismissal only when his wife verified the practice regularly in their courts, avoid situations
status of the case. Atty. IA promised to seek which might reasonable give rise to the suspicion or
reconsideration, which the CA later denied for appearance of favoritism or partiality.”
belated filing of the motion. Atty. IA argued that

7
LEGAL ETHICS

Instances when criminal liability arises:


TO THE CLIENT
1. Causes prejudice to the client thru malicious
Canon 14 breach of professional duty or thru inexcusable
Lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy negligence or ignorance;
2. Reveals client’s secrets learned in lawyer’s
Counsel de Oficio professional capacity thru malicious breach of
1. Members of the bar in good standing; professional duty or inexcusable negligence or
2. Any person, resident of the province and of good ignorance;
repute for probity and ability, in localities without 3. A lawyer who has undertaken the defense of a
lawyers client or has received confidential information
from said client in a case may be criminally liable
Factors to be considered in appointing a Counsel for undertaking defense of opposing party in
de Oficio same cause without consent of first client (Art.
1. Gravity of offense 209, RPC);
2. Difficulty of questions that may arise; and 4. A lawyer who shall knowingly introduce in
3. Experience and ability of appointee evidence in any judicial proceeding or to the
damage of another or who, with intent to cause
Christine was appointed counsel de oficio for such damage, shall use any false document may
Zuma, who was accused of raping his own be held criminally liable therefor (Art. 172, RPC);
daughter. Zuma pleaded not guilty but thereafter and
privately admitted to Christine that he did 5. A lawyer who is appropriates his client’s funds
commit the crime charged. In light of Zuma’s may be held liable for estafa.
admission, what should Christine do? Explain.
(2008 Bar) Lawyer’s Right to decline employment

Christine should continue to act as counsel de oficio GR: A lawyer is not obliged to act as legal counsel for
for Zuma. Her appointment should not be declined any person who may wish to become his client. He
even if she believes her client to be guilty. Her client is has the right to decline employment.
entitled to presumption of innocence and is not
obliged to plead guilty. XPNs:
1. A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the
Atty. DD’s services were engaged by Mr. BB as needy. (Canon 14)
defense counsel in a lawsuit. In the course of the 2. He shall not decline to represent a person solely
proceedings, Atty. DD discovered that Mr. BB was on account of the latter’s race, sex, creed or status
an agnostic and a homosexual. By reason thereof, in life or because of his own opinion regarding the
Atty. DD filed a motion to withdraw as counsel guilt of said person (Rule 14.01);
without Mr. BB’s express consent. Is Atty. DD’s 3. He shall not decline, except for serious and
motion legally tenable? efficient cause like
a. If he is not in a position to carryout
No. He has no valid cause to terminate his services. effectively or competently; and
BB being agnostic and homosexual should not deprive b. If he labors under a conflict of interest
him of his counsel’s representation solely for that between him and the prospective client. (Rule
reason. A lawyer shall not decline to represent solely 14.03)
on account of clients race, sex, creed or status of life
or because of his opinion regarding the guilt of said Privileged Communication
person.
A privileged communication is one that refers to
Canon 15 information transmitted by voluntary act of
Observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealings disclosure between attorney and client in confidence
and transactions with his clients and by means which, so far as the client is aware
discloses the information to no third person other
Fiduciary Relationship than one reasonably necessary for the transmission of
the information or the accomplishment of the
Instances when civil liability arises: purpose for which it was given.

1. Client is prejudiced by lawyer's negligence or Matters disclosed by a prospective client to a lawyer


misconduct; are protected by the rule on privileged
2. Breach of fiduciary obligation; communication even if the prospective client does not
3. Civil liability to third persons; thereafter retain the lawyer or the latter declines the
4. Libelous words in pleadings; employment. It covers crimes and offenses already
5. Violation of communication privilege; committed by the client.
6. Liability for costs of suit

8
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

The privilege continues to exist even after the 1. Conflicting Duties - When, on behalf of one client, it
termination of the attorney-client relationship. is the attorney’s duty to contest for that which his
duty to another client requires him to oppose or
Privileged Client Identity when possibility of such situation will develop.

Client identity is privileged where a strong 2. Invitation of Suspicion - Whether the acceptance of
probability exists that revealing the client’s name the new relation will prevent a lawyer from the full
would implicate that client in the very activity for discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty
which he sought the lawyer’s advice (Regala v. to his client or will invite suspicion of unfaithfulness
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 105938, September 20, 1996). or double-dealing in the performance thereof.

After representing Lenie in an important lawsuit 3. Use of Prior Knowledge Obtained - Whether a
from 1992 to 1995, Atty. Jennifer lost touch of her lawyer will be called upon in his new relation to use
client. Ten years later in 2005, Evelyn asked Atty. against the first client any knowledge acquired in the
Jennifer to represent her in an action against previous employment.
Lenie. Such action involved certain facts, some
confidential, to which Atty. Jennifer was privy What is material in determining whether there is a
because she handled Lenie's old case. Can Atty. conflict of interest in the representation is
Jennifer act as counsel for Evelyn? (2011 Bar) probability, not certainty of conflict.
No. A lawyer shall preserve the confidences or secrets
of his client even after the attorney-client relation is Diongzon, a businessman, retained the services
terminated. He shall not reveal the confidence or of Atty. Mirano in several cases, one of which
secrets of his client except upon the instances involved the execution of two deeds of sale
provided for by the rules. covering the boats Diongzon sold to Spouses
Gonzales. Subsequently, Sps. Gonzales sued
Conflict of Interest Diongzon for replevin and damages and sought
the annulment of the deeds of sale. Sps.
A lawyer is prohibited from representing new clients Gonzales was represented by an associate of
whose interests oppose those of a former client in any Atty. Mirano. Atty. Mirano notarized the bond
manner, whether or not they are parties in the same the Sps. Gonzales filed to justify the manual
action or on totally unrelated cases. delivery of the boats subject of the suit and
eventually entered his appearance as the
A lawyer may not be precluded from accepting and counsel for the Sps. Gonzales against. Is there a
representing other clients on the ground of conflict of conflict of interest?
interests, if the lawyer-client relationship does not
exist in favor of a party in the first place. Yes. When Atty. Mirano appeared in court for the
benefit of the Gonzaleses, he unquestionably
The termination of the attorney-client relationship
incurred a conflict of interest. Having become privy
does not justify a lawyer to represent an interest
to the terms of the sale subject of the civil case, the
adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client.
Even after the severance of the relation, a lawyer conflict of interest became unmitigated because
should not do anything that will injuriously affect his Diongzon had not expressly consented in writing to
former client in any matter in which the lawyer Mirano appearing in behalf of the Gonzaleses
previously represented the client (Samson v. Atty. Era, (Diongzon v. Atty. Mirano, A.C. No. 2404, August 17,
A.C. No. 6664, July 16, 2013). 2016).

GR: An attorney cannot represent diverse interests. Canon 16


Hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client
XPN: Representation of conflicting interest may be that may come into his possession
allowed where the parties consent to the
representation after full disclosure of facts (Nakpil v. 1. A lawyer shall account for all money or property
Valdez, A.C. No. 2040, March 4, 1998). collected or received for or received from the
client
XPN to XPN: Where the conflict is between the
attorney’s interest and that of a client; or between a a. Money given for a purpose must be used for
private client’s interests and that of the government such purpose; otherwise, returned to client
or any of its instrumentalities. immediately.
b. Failure to do so will raise presumption that
What are the three (3) tests to determine conflict lawyer misappropriated it.
of interest for practicing lawyers? Explain each
briefly. (2009 Bar) 2. A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client
separate and apart from his own and those of
others kept by him.

9
LEGAL ETHICS

3. A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of Canon 17


client upon demand. However, he shall have a Lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he
lien over the funds and may apply so much shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in
thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful him.
fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly
thereafter to his client. Matias Lagramada was residing with his uncle,
Apolonio, when he was invited by the latter to
a. A Lawyer may not apply client’s funds to his accompany him to the police station, supposedly
fees if client is still objecting to the amount to pick up a refrigerator they were to repair. Upon
thereof (Genato v. Adaza, 328 SCRA 694; their arrival there, Matias was immediately taken
Lemoine v. Balon, 414 SCRA511). in and locked behind bars. Two sets of
information were filed against him only 10
A lawyer’s failure to return upon demand the funds months after the first day of his incarceration.
held by him on behalf of his client, as in this case, With the assistance of counsel, Matias pleaded not
gives rise to the presumption that he has guilty when arraigned, without raising the
appropriated the same for his own use in violation of invalidity of the arrest. Was the case properly
the trust reposed in him by his client. Such act is a handled?
gross violation of general morality as well as of
professional ethics (Agot v. Atty. Rivera, A.C. No. 8000, No. Lawyers owe fidelity to the cause of their clients
August 5, 2014). and must be mindful of the trust and confidence
reposed in them. Matias’ counsel, in the spirit of
Atty. F was counsel of LL and a writ of attachment safeguarding his client’s rights, should have taken the
was issued in his client’s favor. However, the necessary steps to correct the situation. However, he
sheriff turned over cars subject of the attachment allowed his client to enter a plea during the latter’s
to Atty. F instead of depositing them in the court arraignment without raising the invalidity of arrest.
premises. On several occasions, one of the subject Thus, the former effectively waived his client’s right
cars, a Nissan Sentra, was seen in several to question its validity. Defense counsels are expected
locations in Quezon City. Atty. F also allegedly to spare no effort to save the accused from
withheld the whereabouts of the Volvo. It turned unrighteous incarcerations.
out that the same was destroyed by a fire in front
of his house and he failed to inform the court of Matias’ counsel should have not only perfunctorily
such. Is Atty. F administratively liable? represented his client during the pendency of the
case, but should have kept in mind his duty to render
Yes. He is guilty of grave misconduct arising from his effective legal assistance and true service by
violation of Canon 16 of the CPR which provides that protecting the latter’s rights at all times (People v.
“money of the client or collected for the client or Lagramada, G.R. Nos. 146357 & 148170, August 29,
other trust property coming into the profession of the 2002).
lawyer should be reported and accounted for
promptly and should not under any circumstances be Canon 18
commingled with his own or be used by him.” A Lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
lawyer is first and foremost an officer of the court. As diligence
such, he is expected to respect the court’s order and
processes. Atty. F miserably fell short of his duties as Collaborating counsel
such officer. He trifled with the writ of attachment the
court issued. Atty. F was remiss in his obligation of May a client hire additional counsel as
taking good care of the attached cars. For his collaborating counsel over and above the
negligence and unauthorized possession of the cars, objection of the original counsel? (2014 Bar)
the Court found Atty. F guilty of infidelity in the
custody of the attached cars and grave misconduct No. The new lawyer cannot just enter his appearance
(Atty. Salomon v. Atty. Frial, A.C. No. 7820, September as collaborating counsel without the conformity of
12, 2008). the first counsel.

Borrowing and Lending State the rule on whether a client is bound by the
mistake of his counsel.
Borrowing: A lawyer is not allowed to borrow money
from his client, except when the client’s interests are A client is bound by the mistake of his lawyer.
fully protected by the nature of the case or by However, when the negligence of the lawyer is so
independent advice. gross that the client was deprived of due process, the
client is not bound by the negligence of the lawyer.
Lending: A lawyer is not allowed to lend money to his
client, except when in the interest of justice, he has to On account of his mistake, is counsel liable to his
advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is client for damages?
handling for the client

10
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

Yes. A client who suffers prejudice by reason of his 1. When the lawyer is confronted with an
counsel’s inexcusable negligence in the discharge of emergency where prompt and urgent action is
his duty may file an action for damages against him. necessary to protect the interest of his client and
there is no opportunity for consultation with the
NOTE: A retained counsel is expected to serve the latter.
client with competence and diligence. This duty 2. Settlement of monetary obligation to client is full
includes not merely reviewing the cases entrusted to payment in cash.
the counsel’s care and giving the client sound legal
advice, but also properly representing the client in Atty. Bravo represents Carlos Negar (an insurance
court, attending scheduled hearings, preparing and agent for Dormir Insurance Co.) in a suit filed by
filing required pleadings, prosecuting the handled insurance claimant Andy Limot who also sued
cases with reasonable dispatch, and urging their Dormir Insurance. Limot testified during the trial
termination without waiting for the client or the court that he had mailed the notice of the loss to the
to prod him or her to do so. The lawyer should not be insurance agent, but admitted that he lost the
sitting idly by and leave the rights of the client in a registry receipt so that he did not have any
state of uncertainty. The failure to file a brief resulting documentary evidence of the fact of mailing and
in the dismissal of an appeal constitutes inexcusable of its timeliness. Dormir Insurance denied
negligence (Conlu v. Atty. Aredonia, Jr., A.C. No. 4955, liability contending that the timely notice had not
September 12, 2011). been given either to the company or its agent.

Canon 19 A few days after Negar testified, he admitted to


Lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within the Atty. Bravo that he had lied when he denied
bounds of the law receipt of Limot's notice; he did receive the notice
by mail but immediately shredded it to defeat
Kinds of appearance Limot's claim. If your were Atty. Bravo, what
would you do in light of your client's disclosure
General appearance – When a party comes to court that he perjured himself when he testified? (2013
either as plaintiff or defendant and seeks general Bar)
reliefs from the court for satisfaction of his claims or
counterclaims respectively. I shall promptly call upon Carlos Negar, my client, to
rectify his perjured testimony by recanting the same
Special appearance – When a defendant appears in before the court. Should he refuse or fail to do so I
court solely for the purpose of objecting to the shall then terminate my relationship with him (Canon,
jurisdiction of the court over his person. 19, Rule 19.02) stating that with his having committed
perjury he persuaded an illegal conduct in connection
Effects of unauthorized appearance with the case (Ibid., Canon 22, Rule 22.01).

1. The party represented is not bound by attorney’s Canon 20


appearance in the case neither by the judgment Charge only fair and reasonable fees
rendered therein;
2. Court does not acquire jurisdiction over the May a lawyer collect fees for services rendered to
person of the party represented; his client despite the absence of an agreement to
3. The adverse party who has been forced to litigate pay attorney’s fees? (2014 Bar)
as a defendant by the unauthorized action on the
part of the attorney for the plaintiff may, on that Yes. Generally, the amount of attorney’s fees due is
ground, move for the dismissal of the complaint; that stipulated in the retainer agreement. In the
and absence thereof, the amount of attorney’s fees is fixed
4. If unauthorized appearance is willful, attorney on the basis of quantum meruit.
may be cited for contempt as an officer of the
court who has misbehaved in his official In the absence of a contract for the payment of
transactions, and he may be disciplined for attorney’s fees, what factor/s may be considered
professional misconduct. in fixing the amount of attorney’s fees? (2014 Bar)

Authority of counsel to compromise The following factors may be considered in


determining the amount of attorney’s fees in the
GR: The attorney has no authority to compromise his absence of any fee arrangement (TINS)
client’s case. This is so because the client, even if
represented by counsel, retains exclusive control over 1. Time spent and the services rendered or required
the subject matter of the litigation. The client can, of 2. Importance of subject matter
course, authorize his lawyer to compromise his case, 3. Novelty and difficulty of questions
and the settlement made by the lawyer will bind his 4. Skill demanded of a lawyer
client.
Attorney’s RETAINING Lien
XPNs:

11
LEGAL ETHICS

A retaining lien is the right of an attorney to retain until his lawful fees and disbursements have been
the funds, documents and papers of his client which paid (Sec. 37, Rule 138, Rules of Court).
have lawfully come into his possession and may
retain the same until his lawful fees and True or False: A charging lien, as distinguished
disbursements have been paid, and may apply such from a retaining lien, is an active lien which can
funds to the satisfaction thereof. be enforced by execution. (2009 Bar)

Attorney’s CHARGING Lien TRUE. It is active because it requires the lawyer to


charge the judgment and its execution for the
A charging lien is the right of a lawyer to the same payment of his fees.
extent upon all judgments for the payment of money,
and executions issued in pursuance of such Contingency Fee
judgments which he has secured in a litigation of his
client, from and after the time when he shall have A contract for contingent fees is an agreement in
caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be writing by which the fees, usually a fixed percentage
entered upon the records of the court rendering such of what may be recovered in the action, are made to
judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have depend upon the success in the effort to enforce or
caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his defend a supposed right. Contingent fees depend
client and to the adverse party; and he shall have the upon an express contract, without which the attorney
same right and power over such judgments and can only recover on the basis of quantum meruit.
executions as his client would have to enforce his lien When a contingency fee contract was made verbally
and secure the payment of his fees and and that there was no evidence presented to justify
disbursements (Sec. 37, Rule 138, Revised Rules of the contingent fees being claimed, the only way to
Court). determine his right to appropriate attorney’s fees is
to apply the principle of quantum meruit (Aquino v.
Requisites in order for an attorney to be able to Casabar, G.R. No. 191470, January 26, 2015).
exercise his retaining lien
For services to be rendered by Atty. Delmonico as
1. Attorney-client relationship; counsel for Wag Yu in a case involving 5,000 sq.m.
2. Lawful possession by the lawyer of the client’s of land, the two agreed on a success fee of P50,000
funds, documents and papers in his professional plus 500 sq.m. of the land. The trial court
capacity; and rendered judgment in favor of Wag Yu which
3. Unsatisfied claim for attorney’s fees or became final and executory. After receiving
disbursements. P50,000, Atty. Delmonico demanded the transfer
4. to him of the promised 500 sq.m. Instead of
5. Retaining fee complying, Wag Yu filed an administrative
complaint charging Atty. Delmonico with
A retaining fee is a preliminary fee given to an violation of the Code of Professional
attorney or counsel to insure and secure his future Responsibility and Article 1491(5) of the Civil
services, and induce him to act for the client. Code for demanding the delivery of a portion of
the land subject of litigation. Is Atty. Delmonico
M engaged the services of Atty. D to prosecute his liable under the Code of Professional
annulment of marriage case in the RTC. After a Responsibility and the Civil Code? Explain. (2010
long-drawn trial, Atty. D was able to secure a Bar)
favourable judgment from the court.
Unfortunately, M failed to pay in full the Atty. Delmonico is not guilty of violating the CPR and
stipulated attorney’s fees of Atty. D. How can Atty. the Civil Code. He and his client agreed on a success
D collect his fees from M? Discuss fully. (2014 fee of P50,000 plus 500 sq. of the land involved in the
Bar) case he was handling. This is a contingent fee contract
which is allowed under Canon 20 of the CPR and
Atty. D can collect his fees from M either in the same Canon 13 of the CPE. A contingent fee agreement does
case in which it may be asserted either in the very not violate Art. 1491 of the Civil Code because the
action in which the services of a lawyer had been transfer or assignment of the property in litigation
rendered, or in a separate civil action by a petition for takes effect only after the finality of a favorable
attorney's fees before the judgment in favor of the judgment.
client is satisfied or the proceeds thereof delivered to
the client. Champertous Contracts

Can a lawyer who refuses to return certain Is one where the lawyer stipulates with his client in
documents to the client pending payment of his the prosecution of the case that he will bear all the
attorney’s fee be sanctioned? expenses for the recovery of things or property being
claimed by the client, and the latter agrees to pay the
No. He is entitled to a retaining lien by virtue of which former a portion of the thing or property recovered
he may retain funds, documents and papers of his as compensation. It is void for being against public
clients which have lawfully come into his possession,

12
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

policy (like gambling). A champertous contract is


considered void due to public policy. When the client has not failed to pay the lawyer's fees
or to comply with the retainer agreement but only
The contract of attorney’s fee entered into by Atty. refused to agree with the lawyer's demand for an
Quintos and his client, Susan, stipulates that if a increase in his fees, the lawyer’s withdrawal is not
judgment is rendered in her favor, he gets 60% of justified. Client’s right to refuse is part of his freedom
the property recovered as contingent fee. In turn, of contract.
he will assume payment of all expenses of the
litigation. Is the agreement valid? A lawyer may withdraw his services only for good
cause and upon notice appropriate in the
No. The agreement that the lawyer will assume circumstances
payment of all the expenses of litigation makes it a
champertous contract, which is invalid. Grounds for withdrawal
Canon 21
1. Client pursues an illegal or immoral course of
Lawyer shall preserve the confidences and secrets of his
conduct;
client even after the attorney-client relation is 2. Client insists that lawyer violate canons and rules;
terminated. 3. Inability to work with co-counsel to detriment of
client;
GR: A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences and 4. Mental or physical condition of lawyer makes it
secrets of his client. 5. Difficult for him to continue;
6. Client deliberately fails to pay attorney’s fees;
NOTE: An attorney cannot, without the consent of his 7. Election or appointment to public office;
client, be examined as to any communication made by 8. Other similar cases
the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the
course of, or with a view to, professional employment, Can a client discharge the services of his lawyer
nor can an attorney’s secretary, stenographer, or without a cause?
clerk be examined, without the consent of the client
and his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge Yes. A client has the right to discharge his attorney at
of which has been acquired in such capacity (Sec. any time with or without a cause or even against his
24(b), Rule 130, RRC). consent.

XPNs: 1. With just cause – lawyer is not necessarily


1. When authorized by his client after acquainting deprived of his right to be paid for his services.
him of the consequences of the disclosure; He may only be deprived of such right if the cause
2. When required by law; for his dismissal constitutes in itself a sufficient
3. When necessary to collect his fees or to defend legal obstacle to recovery.
himself, his employees or associates by judicial 2. Without just cause
action. a) No express written agreement as to fees -
reasonable value of his services up to the date
NOTE: Payment of retainer fee is not essential before of his dismissal (quantum meruit).
an attorney can be required to safeguard a b) There is written agreement and the fee
prospective client’s secret acquired by the attorney stipulated is absolute and reasonable – full
during the course of the consultation with the payment of compensation.
prospective client. This is so even if the attorney did c) The fee stipulated is contingent.
not accept the employment. d) If dismissed before the conclusion of the
action - reasonable value of his services
Instances when a lawyer may testify as a witness (quantum meruit)
in a case which he is handling for a client e) If contingency occurs or client prevents its
occurrence – full amount.
1. On formal matters, such as the mailing,
authentication or custody of an instrument and NOTE: Even if the compensation of the attorney is
the like; dependent only on winning the litigation, the
2. Acting as an expert on his fee; subsequent withdrawal of the case upon the client’s
3. Acting as an arbitrator; initiative would not deprive the attorney of the
4. Depositions; and legitimate compensation for professional services
5. On substantial matters in cases where his rendered. Although a client may dismiss her lawyer
testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in at any time, the dismissal must be for a justifiable
which event he must, during his testimony, cause if a written contract between the lawyer
entrust the trial of the case to another counsel. and the client exists. In the absence of the lawyer’s
fault, consent or waiver, a client cannot deprive the
Canon 22 lawyer of his just fees already earned in the guise of a
Lawyer can withdraw his services only for good cause justifiable reason (Malvar v. Kraft Food, G.R. No.
and upon notice appropriate in the circumstances. 183952, September 9, 2013).

13
LEGAL ETHICS

3. It can be initiated motu proprio by the Supreme


Duties of a discharged lawyer or one who Court of by the IBP
withdraws 4. It can proceed regardless of lack of interest of the
complainant
1. Immediately turn-over all papers and property to 5. It is imprescriptible
which the client is entitled; and 6. It is confidential
2. To cooperate with his successor in the orderly 7. It is in itself due process
transfer of the case.
Specific grounds for suspension or disbarment
(List is NOT exclusive)
DISBARMENT, SUSPENSION, AND DISCIPLINE
OF LAWYERS 1. Deceit;
2. Malpractice;
The right to institute a disbarment proceeding is not 3. Grossly immoral conduct;
confined to clients nor is it necessary that the person 4. Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
complaining suffered injury from the alleged 5. Violation of oath of office;
wrongdoing of the lawyer. 6. Willful disobedience of any lawful order of a
superior court;
Suspension 7. Corrupt or willful appearance as an attorney for a
party to a case without authority to do so (Sec. 27,
When this court orders a lawyer suspended from the Rule 138, RRC);
practice of law, the lawyer must desist from 8. Non-payment of IBP membership dues
performing all functions requiring the application of
legal knowledge within the period of suspension. This NOTE: In order to hold a lawyer amenable to
includes desisting from holding a position in disbarment by reason of his or her having committed
government requiring the authority to practice law a crime involving moral turpitude, it is not enough to
(Lingan v. Atty. Baliga, A.C. No. 5377, June 30, 2014). show that there is a pending case involving moral
turpitude against him or her, because Section 27 of
Disbarment is sui generis Rule 138 expressly requires that he or she must have
been found by final judgment guilty of the crime
Alleging that Atty. Malibu seduced her when she involving moral turpitude (Interadent Zahntechnik v.
was only 16 years old, which resulted in her Atty. Francisco-Simbillo, A.C. No. 9464, August 24,
pregnancy and the birth of a baby girl, Miss 2016).
Magayon filed a complaint for his disbarment
seven years later. Atty. Malibu contended that, Cliff and Greta were law school sweethearts. Cliff
considering the period of delay, the complaint can became a lawyer, but Greta dropped out. One day,
no longer be entertained much less prosecuted Cliff asked Greta to sign a marriage contract. The
because the alleged offense has already following day, Cliff showed Greta the document
prescribed. Is Atty. Malibu’s contention tenable? already signed by an alleged solemnizing officer
and two witnesses. Cliff then told Greta that they
No, his contention is not tenable. Disbarment were already married and Greta consented to go
proceedings are sui generis. They are neither criminal on a honeymoon. Thereafter, the couple
nor civil proceedings. Disbarment is imprescriptible. cohabited and begot a child. Two years later, Cliff
Unlike ordinary proceedings, it is not subject to the left Greta and married a Venezuelan beauty.
defense of prescription. The ordinary statute of Incensed, Greta filed a disbarment complaint
limitations has no application to disbarment against Cliff. Will the case prosper? Explain. (2009
proceedings. Bar)

Is the defense of Atty. R in a disbarment complaint The disbarment case will prosper. In the case of
for immorality filed by his paramour P that P is in Cabrera v. Agustin, a lawyer who deceived a woman to
pari delicto material or a ground for exoneration? believe that they were already married after they had
Explain. (2010 Bar) signed an application for marriage license, and
afterward took advantage of her belief to satisfy his
The defense of in pari delicto is immaterial in an lust, until she bore him a child, was considered by the
administrative case which is sui generis. The Supreme Court to be lacking in integrity and good
administrative case is about the lawyer’s conduct, not morals to remain a member of the Bar.
the woman’s.
Lawyer’s misconduct committed prior and after
Give at least five (5) reasons why disbarment is admission to the bar and its effects
sui generis.
1. Prior to admission to the bar - acts of misconduct
1. It is neither a civil nor a criminal proceedings prior to admission include those that indicate that
2. Double jeopardy cannot be availed of as a defense at the time the lawyer took his oath, he did not
possess the required qualifications for
membership in the bar.

14
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

2. After admission to the bar - those which cause loss If the Filipino lawyer is disbarred or suspended from
of moral character on his part or involve violation the practice of law by a competent court or
of his duties to the court, his client, to the legal disciplinary agency in a foreign jurisdiction where he
profession and to the public. has been admitted as an attorney, and a ground
therefor includes any of the acts enumerated in
Proceedings in Disbarment Section 27, Rule 138 of the RRC, such disbarment or
suspension is a ground for his disbarment or
1. Initiated by the Supreme court motu proprio or by suspension in the Philippines
the IBP, or upon verified complaint by any person
filed with the Supreme Court or an IBP Chapter Atty. Forma is a member of the Philippine Bar. He
2. If complaint is prima facie meritorious, referred went to New York City, took the New York State
to the IBP, the Solicitor General, any officer of the Bar, and passed the same. He then practiced in
Court or a judge of a lower court New York City. One of his American clients filed a
3. IBP Board of Governors assigns complaint to case for disbarment against him for pocketing the
Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD). money which was entrusted to him as payment
4. CBD will assign complaint to a Commissioner or for the filing fee and other incidental expenses of
group Commissioners. his damage suit. Atty. Forma was later disbarred
5. If complaint found meritorious, Commissioner(s) for dishonesty. Disheartened, Atty. Forma came
will require respondent to file an answer. back to the Philippines and practiced as a lawyer.
6. Commissioner will conduct hearing in which Will his disbarment in New York be used against
respondent is accorded due process. him for purposes of disbarment proceedings here
7. After hearing, Commissioner(s) will submit in the Philippines? (2014 Bar)
Report and Recommendation to IBP Board of
Governors. Yes. If the Filipino lawyer is disbarred from the
8. Board of Governors will render decision, either practice of law by a competent court in a foreign
exonerating the respondent and dismissing the jurisdiction where he has been admitted as an
case, or imposing a sanction less than suspension, attorney, such disbarment can be a ground for
or recommending suspension or disbarment to disbarment in the Philippines provided that the cause
the Supreme Court. for disbarment is included in Section 27, Rule 138 of
RRC. The pocketing of money entrusted to him may
Exoneration may be appealed by the complainant constitute deceit which is a ground for discipline and
to the Supreme Court. Sanction of less than disbarment.
suspension or disbarment may be appealed by
the respondent to the Supreme Court. Either one Desistance
may file a motion for reconsideration with the IBP
Board before appealing. A disbarment proceeding may proceed regardless of
9. Supreme Court renders decision, by division if interest or lack of interest of the complainant (Rayos-
penalty is fine of P10,000 less and/or suspension Ombac v. Rayos, A.C. No. 2884, January 28, 1998). The
for one year or less, and by the court en banc, if withdrawal of a disbarment case against a lawyer
penalty is fine of more than P10,000.00 and/or does not terminate or abate the jurisdiction of the IBP
suspension for more than one year, or and of the Court to continue an administrative
disbarment. proceeding against a lawyer-respondent as a member
of the Philippine Bar (Quianchon v. Atty. Ramos, A.C.
Atty. D was required by Judge H of the RTC of No. 9317, June 4, 2014).
Manila to show cause why he should not be
punished for contempt of court for shouting Arabella filed a complaint for disbarment against
invectives at the opposing counsel and harassing her estranged husband Atty. P on the ground of
his witness. Assuming that there was sufficient immorality and use of illegal drugs. After Arabella
cause or ground, may Judge H suspend Atty. D presented evidence and rested her case before
from the practice of law? If Judge H finds that the the Investigating Commissioner of the IBP
actuations of Atty. D are grossly unethical and Committee on Bar Discipline, she filed an Affidavit
unbecoming of a member of the bar, may Judge H of Desistance and motion to dismiss the
disbar Atty. D instead? Explain your answer. complaint, she and her husband having reconciled
(2014 Bar) for the sake of their children. You are the
Investigating Commissioner of the IBP. Bearing in
No, Judge H cannot suspend nor disbar Atty. D. mind that the family is a social institution which
Proceedings for disbarment, suspension or discipline the State is duty-bound to preserve, what will be
of attorneys may be taken only by the Supreme Court your action on Arabella’s motion to dismiss the
motu proprio, or by the Integrated Bar of the complaint? (2010 Bar)
Philippines upon the verified complaint of any
person. I would still deny the motion to dismiss. The general
rule is that no investigation shall be interrupted or
Discipline of Filipino lawyers practicing abroad terminated by reason of desistance, settlement,
compromise, restitution, withdrawal of charges or

15
LEGAL ETHICS

failure of complainant to prosecute the same unless order to enable him to resume the practice of his
the SC motu proprio or upon recommendation of the profession.
IBP Board determines that there is no compelling
reason to continue with the proceedings. An affidavit Executive Pardon Granted by the President
of desistance will have no effect on it, being a sui
generis proceeding. If during the pendency of disbarment proceeding the
respondent was granted executive pardon, the
RE-ADMISSION TO THE BAR dismissal of the case on that sole basis will depend on
whether the executive pardon is absolute or
The objective of a disciplinary case is not so much to conditional.
punish the individual attorney as to protect the
dispensation of justice by sheltering the judiciary and 1. Absolute or unconditional pardon - the disbarment
the public from the misconduct or inefficiency of offi- case will be dismissed.
cers of the court. Restorative justice, not retribution, 2. Conditional pardon - the disbarment case will NOT
is the goal in disciplinary proceedings. be dismissed on the basis thereof.

Whether or not the applicant shall be reinstated rests To be reinstated, there is still a need for the filing of
on the discretion of the court. an appropriate petition with the Supreme Court

In a petition for reinstatement to the practice of law, Resumption of Practice of Law (2013 Bar)
the Court will take into consideration his or her
character and standing prior to the disbarment, the Before a lawyer who reacquires Filipino citizenship
nature and character of the charge/s for which he or pursuant to R.A. 9225 can resume his law practice, he
she was disbarred, his or her conduct subsequent to must first secure from the SC the authority to do so,
the disbarment, and the time that has elapsed in conditioned on:
between the disbarment and the application for
reinstatement (Que v. Atty. Rivera, Jr., A.C. No. 7054, 1. The updating and payment in full of the annual
November 11, 2014). membership dues in the IBP;
2. The payment of professional tax;
Suspension 3. The completion of at least 36 credit hours of
mandatory continuing legal education, this is
1. After a finding that the respondent lawyer must especially significant to refresh the
be suspended from the practice of law, the Court applicant/petitioner’s knowledge of Philippine
shall render a decision imposing the penalty. laws and update him of legal developments; and
2. Unless the Court explicitly states that decision is 4. The retaking of the lawyer’s oath which will not
immediately executory upon receipt thereof, the only remind him of his duties and responsibilities
respondent has 15 days within which to file a as a lawyer and as an officer of the Court, but also
motion for reconsideration thereof. Denial of the renew his pledge to maintain allegiance to the
motion for reconsideration shall render the Republic of the Philippines.
decision final and executory.
3. Upon expiration of the period of suspension, the MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
respondent shall file a Sworn Statement with the
Court through the Office of the Bar Confidant State the aims and objectives sought to be
stating therein that he or she has desisted from accomplished by MCLE.
the practice of law and has not appeared in any
court during the period of his or her suspension. Continuing legal education is required of members of
4. Copies of the sworn statement shall be furnished the IBP to ensure that throughout their career, they
the Local Chapter of the IBP and to the Executive keep abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain
Judge of the courts where he or she has pending ethics of the profession and enhance the standards of
cases and/or has appeared as counsel. practice of law.
5. The Sworn Statement shall be considered as
proof of respondent’s compliance with the order Requirements of completion of MCLE
of suspension.
6. Any finding or report contrary to the statements Members of the IBP, unless exempted under Rule 7,
made by the lawyer under oath shall be ground shall complete every 3 years at least 36 hours of
for imposition of a more severe punishment, or continuing legal education activities. The 36 hours
disbarment, as may be warranted (Maniago v. shall be divided as follows:
Atty. De Dios, A.C. No. 78472, March 30, 2010).
1. 6 hours – legal ethics
Lifting of Suspension 2. 4 hours – trial and pretrial skills
3. 5 hours – alternative dispute resolution
The lifting of a lawyer’s suspension is not 4. 9 hours – updates on substantive and procedural
automatic upon the end of the period stated in the laws and jurisprudence
Court’s decision, and an order from the Court lifting 5. 4 hours – legal writing and oral advocacy
the suspension at the end of the period is necessary in

16
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

6. 2 hours – international law and international 12. Governors and mayors


conventions 13. Those who are not in law practice, private or
7. Remaining 6 hours – such other subjects as may public
be prescribed by the Committee on MCLE 14. Those who have retired from law practice
approved by the IBP Board of Governor
Non-compliance of the MCLE 15. Good cause for exemption from or modification of
requirement, member may file a verified request
1. Failure to complete education requirement (such as physical disability, illness, post-graduate
within the compliance period; study abroad, proven expertise in law, etc.) from
2. Failure to provide attestation of compliance or compliance with or modification of any of the
exemption; requirements.
3. Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of
compliance (including evidence of exempt status) NOTARIAL PRACTICE
within the prescribed period;
4. Failure to satisfy the education requirement and Qualifications
furnish evidence of such compliance within 60
days from receipt of non-compliance notice; 1. Citizen of the Philippines
5. Failure to pay non-compliance fee within the 2. Over 21 years of age
prescribed period; or 3. Resident of the Philippines for at least 1 year
6. Any other act or omission analogous to any of the 4. Maintains a regular place of work in the city or
foregoing or intended to circumvent or evade province where the commission is to be issued,
compliance with the MCLE requirements. 5. Member of the Philippine bar in good standing
6. Has not been convicted in the first instance of a
Consequences of non-compliance (2014 Bar) crime involving moral turpitude.

A member who fails to comply with the requirements Term of office: Two (2) years, commencing from the
after the 60-day period shall be listed as delinquent first day of January of the year in which the
member by the IBP Board of Governors upon commission was issued.
recommendation of the Committee on MCLE.
Jurisdiction of Notary Public: Territorial
A lawyer who teaches major subjects in law school for jurisdiction of the commissioning court.
8 years is not exempt from MCLE, while a professor
who teaches for 30 years not in College of Law is also Place of notarization: Regular place of work, except:
not exempt. (2012 Bar) 1. public office, convention halls, and similar places
where oaths of office may be administered,
Persons exempted from the MCLE 2. public function areas in hotels and similar places
for the signing of documents or instruments
1. President and Vice-President, Secretaries and requiring notarization,
Undersecretaries of Executive Departments 3. hospitals and other medical institutions where a
2. Senators and Members of the House of party to an instrument is confined for treatment.,
Representatives 4. any place where a party to an instrument is under
3. Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the detention.
Supreme Court, incumbent and retired members
of the judiciary, incumbent members of the The “regular place of work or business” refers to a
Judicial and Bar Council, incumbent court lawyers stationary office in the city or province wherein the
covered by the Philippine Judicial Academy notary public renders legal and notarial services.
4. Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor, and
Assistant Secretaries of the Department of Justice Authority of judges to notarize
5. Solicitor General and Assistant Solicitor General
6. Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy an MTC Judges: MTC and MCTC judges may act as
Assistant Government Corporate Counsel notaries public ex-officio in the notarization of
7. Chairmen and Members of Constitutional documents connected only with the exercise of their
Commissions official functions and duties. They may not, as
8. The Ombudsman, over-all Deputy Ombudsman, notaries public ex-officio, undertake the preparation
Deputy Ombudsman and Special Prosecutor of and acknowledgment of private documents, contracts
the Office of the Ombudsman and other acts of conveyances which bear no direct
9. Heads of government agencies exercising quasi- relation to the performance of their functions as
judicial functions judges.
10. Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors
of law who have teaching experience for at least RTC Judges: No judge or other official or employee of
ten years in an accredited law school the superior courts shall engage in private practice as
11. The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of a member of the bar or give professional advice to
the Corps of Professors and Professorial clients. Notarization of documents is considered a
Lecturers of the Philippine Judicial Academy practice of law.

17
LEGAL ETHICS

h. fails to identify a principal on the basis of


Commission personal knowledge or competent evidence;
i. executes a false or incomplete certificate;
A notarial commission may be issued by an Executive j. knowingly perform or fails to perform any
Judge to any qualified person who submits a petition other act prohibited or mandated by the
in accordance with the Rules on Notarial Practice Rules;
k. commits any other dereliction or act which in
Commissioned notary public is enjoined from the judgment of the Executive Judge
performing a notarial act unless the affiant is: constitutes good cause for revocation of
1. in his presence at the time of the notarization; commission or imposition of administrative
and sanction
2. personally known to him or otherwise identified
by him through competent evidence of identity as A notary public is empowered to perform the
defined by the Rules. following notarial acts:

Q: Enumerate the instances when a Notary Public 1. Acknowledgments;


may authenticate documents without requiring the 2. Oaths and affirmations;
physical presence of the signatories. (2010 Bar) 3. Jurats;
4. Signature witnessing;
A: 5. Copy certifications; and
1. If the signatory is old or sick or otherwise unable 6. Any other act authorized by these rules
to appear, his presence may be dispensed with if
one credible witness not privy to the instrument A notary public is authorized to certify the affixing of
and who is known to the notary public, certifies a signature by thumb or other mark on an instrument
under oath or affirmation the identity of the or document presented for notarization. Also, he is
signatory. authorized to sign on behalf of a person who is
2. If two credible witnesses neither of whom is privy physically unable to sign or make a mark on an
to the instrument, not known to the notary public instrument or document. (1995 Bar)
but can present their own competent evidence of
identity of the signatory. Acknowledgment v. Jurat
3. In cases of copy certification and issuance of
certified true copies. ACKNOWLEDGMENT JURAT
Act of one who has That part of an
Expired Commission executed a deed, in going to affidavit in which the
some competent officer or notary public or
A notary public may file a written application with the court and declaring it to be officer certifies that
Executive Judge for the renewal of his commission his act or deed the instrument was
within 45 days before the expiration thereof. Failure sworn to before him.
to file said application will result in the deletion of the
name of the notary public in the register of notaries The notary public or officer It is not part of a
public and may only be reinstated therein after he is taking the pleading but merely
issued a new commission acknowledgment shall evidences the fact
certify that the person that the affidavit was
Revocation of Commission acknowledging the properly made.
instrument or document is
Executive judge may revoke commission: known to him and he is the
1. For any ground for which an application for a same person who executed
commission may be denied; it and acknowledged that
2. Where the notary public – the same is his free act and
a. fails to keep a notarial register; deed.
b. fails to make a proper entry in his notarial Two-fold purpose: To Purpose: Gives the
register; authorize the deed to be document a legal
c. fails to send a copy of his entries to the given in evidence without character.
Executive within10 days of the following further proof of its
month; execution, and, to entitle it
d. fails to affix to acknowledgments date of to be recorded.
expiration of his commission;
e. fails to submit his notarial register, when Where used: Where used:
filled, to the Executive Judge; 1. To authenticate an 1. Affidavits;
f. fails to make his report to the Executive Judge agreement between two or 2. Certifications;
within a reasonable time, concerning the more persons; or 3. Whenever the
performance of his duties, as may be 2. Where the document person executing
required by the Judge; contains a disposition of makes a
g. fails to require the presence of a principal at property. statement of facts
the time of a notarial act;

18
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

or attests to the Punishable acts under Notarial Practice Law


truth of an event,
under oath. 1. Acts or otherwise impersonates a notary public;
E.g. The acknowledgment E.g. An affidavit 2. Obtains, conceals, defaces, or destroys the seal,
in a deed of lease of land. subscribed before a notarial register, or official records of a notary
notary public or public; and
public official 3. Solicits, coerces, or in any way influences a notary
authorized for the public to commit official misconduct to be
purpose. notarized.

Limitations to the performance of notarial acts Atty. D allegedly notarized an Extrajudicial


Settlement with Waiver of Rights where the
A person shall not perform a notarial act if the person signatures were forged, the persons did not
involved as signatory to the instrument or document appear and acknowledge the same before Atty. D
is: as notarizing officer, and the community tax
certificates were also not theirs. Atty. D admitted
1. Not in the notary's presence personally at the that he notarized the document, relying in good
time of the notarization; and faith on the representation of one of the heirs that
2. Not personally known to the notary public or the signatures and tax certificates were correct.
otherwise identified by the notary public through Was there a violation of the Notarial Law?
competent evidence of identity as defined by the
Rules on Notarial Practice Yes. Notaries public should refrain from affixing their
3. The document is blank or incomplete; signature and notarial seal on a document unless the
4. An instrument or document is without persons who signed it are the same individuals who
appropriate notarial certification executed and personally appeared before the notaries
public to attest to the truth of what are stated therein.
Instances when Notary public may refuse to notarize: Without the appearance of the person who actually
executed the document in question, notaries public
1. The notary knows or has good reason to believe would be unable to verify the genuineness of the
that the notarial act or transaction is unlawful or signature of the acknowledging party and to ascertain
immoral; that the document is the party’s free act or deed.
2. The signatory shows a demeanor which Furthermore, notaries public are required by the
engenders in the mind of the notary public Notarial Law to certify that the party to the
reasonable doubt as to the former's knowledge of instrument has acknowledged and presented before
the consequences of the transaction requiring a the notaries public the proper residence certificate
notarial act; (or exemption from the residence certificate) and to
3. In the notary's judgment, the signatory is not enter its number, place, and date of issue as part of
acting of his or her own free will certification.
4. If the document or instrument to be notarized is
considered as an improper document by the The 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice (as amended by
Rules on Notarial Practice. A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC, February 19, 2008) requires a
party to the instrument to present competent
A notary public is disqualified to perform notarial act evidence of identity: (a) at least one current
when he: identification document issued by an official agency
bearing the photograph and signature of the
1. Is a party to the instrument or document that is to individual, such as but not limited to, passport,
be notarized; driver’s license, Professional Regulations Commission
2. Will receive, as a direct or indirect result, any ID, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, police
commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest, clearance, postal ID, voter’s ID, Barangay certification,
cash, property, or other consideration, except as Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) e-
provided by the Rules on Notarial Practice and by card, Social Security System (SSS) card, Philhealth
law; or card, senior citizen card, Overseas Workers Welfare
3. Is a spouse, common-law partner, ancestor, Administration (OWWA) ID, OFW ID, seaman’s book,
descendant, or relative by affinity or alien certificate of registration/immigrant certificate
consanguinity of the principal within the fourth of registration, government office ID, certification
civil degree from the National Council for the Welfare of Disable
Persons (NCWDP), Department of Social Welfare and
Notary public is personally accountable for all entries Development (DSWD) certification; or (b) the oath or
in his notarial register. They cannot be relieved of affirmation of one credible witness not privy to the
responsibility for the violation of the aforesaid instrument, document or transaction who is
sections by passing the buck to their secretaries personally known to the notary public and who
(Lingan v. Atty. Calibaquib, A.C. No. 5377, June 15, personally knows the individual, or of two credible
2006). witnesses neither of whom is privy to the instrument,
document or transaction who each personally knows

19
LEGAL ETHICS

the individual and shows to the notary public judge shall, therefore, uphold and exemplify judicial
documentary identification. independence in both its individual and institutional
aspects
JUDICIAL ETHICS
Individual Judicial Independence focuses on each
particular case and seeks to insure the ability of the
The branch of moral science which treats of the right judge to decide cases with autonomy and within the
and proper conduct to be observed by all judges in constraints of the law while Institutional Judicial
trying and deciding controversies brought before Independence focuses on the independence of the
them for adjudication and which conduct must be judiciary as a branch of the government and protects
demonstrative of impartiality, integrity, competence, judges as a class (In the Matter of the Allegations
independence and freedom from improprieties. This Contained in the Columns of Mr. Amado P. Macasaet
freedom from improprieties must be observed in both Published in Malaya dated September 18, 19, 20 and
the public and private life of a judge who is the visible 21, 2007).
representation of the law.
Judges must reject pressure by maintaining
A judge is a public officer who, by virtue of his office, independence from, but not limited to the following:
is clothed with judicial authority and is lawfully
appointed to decide litigated questions in accordance 1. Independence from public officials – the public laid
with law (People v. Manantan, G.R. No. L-14129, their confidence on the fact that the official is
August 30, 1962). mentally and morally fit to pass upon the merits
of their varied intentions.
The two sources of judicial ethics 2. Independence from government as a whole – avoid
inappropriate connections, as well as any
a. New Code of Judicial Conduct for the situation that would give rise to the impression of
Philippine Judiciary (Bangalore Draft); the existence of such inappropriate connections.
b. Code of Judicial Conduct 3. Independence from family, social, or other
relationships –avoid sitting in litigation where a
NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT FOR THE near relative is a part of or counsel; be
PHILIPPINE JUDICIARY independent from judicial colleagues (Sec. 2) and
(BANGALORE DRAFT) avoid such actions as may reasonably tend to
wake the suspicion that his social or business
The New Code of Judicial Conduct (NCJC) for the relations constitute an element in determining his
Philippine Judiciary which took effect on June 1, 2004 judicial course.
supersedes the Canons of Judicial Ethics and the 4. Independence from public opinion – the only guide
Code of Judicial Conduct. Provided, however, that in of the official is the mandate of law.
case of deficiency or absence of specific provisions in
this New Code, the Canons of Judicial Ethics and Code Principle of Subjudice
of Judicial Conduct shall be applicable in a
suppletory character (2007, 2009 Bar Questions). A judge is prohibited from making public statements
in the media regarding a pending case so as not to
One of the foundations of the Bangalore Draft of arouse public opinion for or against a party (2007
the Code of Judicial Conduct is the importance in a Bar)
modern democratic society of what? (2011 Bar
Question) Judges shall not allow family, social, or other
relationships to influence judicial conduct or
Public confidence in its judicial system and in the judgment. The prestige of judicial office shall not be
moral authority and integrity of its judiciary. used or lent to advance the private interests of others,
nor convey or permit others to convey the impression
The six (6) canons under the New Code of Judicial that they are in a special position to influence the
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary judge.

1. Independence The term “judge’s family” includes:


2. Integrity 1. Judge’s spouse
3. Impartiality 2. Son/s
4. Propriety 3. Daughter/s
5. Equality 4. Son/s-in-law
6. Competence and Diligence 5. Daughter/s-in-law
6. Other relatives by consanguinity or affinity within
INDEPENDENCE the sixth civil degree, or
7. Any person who is a companion or employee
Canon 1 of the judge and who lives in the judge’s
Judicial independence is a pre-requisite to the rule of household
law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial. a

20
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

When the judge is related to one of the parties within


the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, a judge’s No. The act committed by the two lawyers was
disqualification to sit in a case is mandatory, indirect contempt violative of the rule punishing “any
“notwithstanding lack of pecuniary interest in the improper conduct tending directly or indirectly, to
case”. impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of
justice”, since the judge was then engaged in dictating
Judges of the first and second level courts are an order before the morning session was called. The
allowed to receive assistance from the local act of the two lawyers constituted obstruction of the
government units where they are stationed. This administration of justice, which was indirect
assistance could be in the form of equipment or contempt. Accordingly, they could only be punished
allowance. Justices at the Court of Appeals in the after notice and hearing.
regional stations in the Visayas and Mindanao are
not necessarily residents thereof, hence, they IMPARTIALITY
incur additional expenses for their
accommodations. Pass on the propriety of the Canon 3
justices' receipt of assistance/allowance from the Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the
local governments. (2010 Bar) judicial office. It applies not only to the decision itself
but also to the process by which the decision is made
Section 5, Cannon 1 of the New Code of Judicial
Conduct for the Philippine judiciary provides that Principle of cold neutrality of an impartial judge
Judges shall be free from inappropriate connections A judge should not only render just, correct, and
with, and influence by, the executive branch, and impartial decision but should do so in a manner free
must appear to be free therefrom to a reasonable from suspicion as to his fairness, impartiality and
extent. It is a common perception that the receipt of integrity. This is an indispensable requisite of due
allowances or assistance from a local government process (Rallos v. Gako, A.M. No.RTJ-98-1484, March
unit may affect the judge's ability to rule 17, 2000).
independently in cases involving the said unit.
Degree of proof required to prove bias on the part
INTEGRITY of the judge

Canon 2 The complainant must prove the same by clear and


Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of convincing evidence since allegations of bias are quite
the judicial office, but also to the personal demeanor of serious. Mere allegations are not sufficient to
judges constitute a violation of the rule. Bias and prejudice
cannot be presumed and mere suspicion of partiality
Presumption regarding judges is not enough.
Judges are presumed honest and men of integrity,
unless proven otherwise. Extra-judicial source rule

Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge It means that the decision is based on some influence
of the judicial office but also to the personal other than the facts and law presented in the
demeanor of judges. The integrity of the judiciary courtroom
rests not only upon the fact that it is able to
administer justice but also upon the perception and In a murder trial, Judge T asked searching
confidence of the community that people who run the questions of all the witnesses for the accused
system have done justice. Justice must not be merely prompting Atty. O, counsel the accused, to request
done but must also be seen to be done (Panaligan v. Judge T to desist from acting as counsel for the
Judge Ibay, A.M. No. TJ-06-1972, June 21, 2006). prosecution. The Judge, however, reminded Atty.
O that she wanted to determine whether the
A judge may summarily punish any person including accused was guilty of the crime charged. Is it
lawyers and court personnel, for direct contempt for proper for Judge T to take an active part on the
misbehaviour committed in the presence of or so near examination of the accused’s witnesses? (1996
a court or a judge as to obstruct or interrupt the Bar)
proceedings before the same.
No, it is not proper. The intervention of the judge in a
While Judge Tuparin was in his chambers case must be done with considerable circumspection.
dictating an order to a stenographer, two lawyers It must be done sparingly and not throughout the
who were in the courtroom waiting for the start of trial, which will have the effect of or will tend to build
the session almost came to blows as a result of a or bolster the case for one of the parties. The reason
heated argument. Tuparin came out of his for this rule is that the judge should not only be
chambers and after identifying the lawyers impartial but also appear to be impartial.
involved in the commotion promptly declared
them in contempt of court. Was the action of Judge Judges shall, so far as is reasonable, so conduct
Tuparin proper? themselves as to minimize the occasions on which it

21
LEGAL ETHICS

will be necessary for them to be disqualified from 6. The judge served as executor, administrator,
hearing or deciding cases. guardian, trustee or lawyer in the case or matter
in controversy, or a former associate of the judge
Meaning of “duty to sit” served as counsel during their association, or the
judge or lawyer was a material witness therein
It means that a judge must ensure that he will not be 7. The judge is related by consanguinity or affinity
unnecessarily disqualified from a case. A judge cannot to a party litigant within the 6th civil degree or to
inhibit himself as he pleases. A decision to inhibit counsel within the 4th civil degree
must be based on good, sound or ethical grounds, or
for just and valid reasons. It is not enough that a party Judge Mijares was charged with grave misconduct
cast some tenuous allegations of partiality at the for taking cognizance and deciding a special
judge. proceeding for correction of entry in the record of
her grandson, notwithstanding such relationship.
Judge Segotier is a member of Phi Nu Phi It was also alleged that the judge dispensed with
Fraternity. Atty. Nonato filed a motion to the publication requirement in said proceeding.
disqualify Judge Segotier on the ground that the In her answer, Judge Mijares contended that the
counsel for the opposing party is also a member prohibition provided for under the Code did not
of the same fraternity. Judge Segotier denied the apply to special proceedings which are not
motion. Comment on his ruling. (2005 Bar) controversial in nature and that she does not have
any pecuniary interest in the case. Is the
The ruling of Judge Segotier is correct. The fact that a contention correct?
judge is a former classmate of one of the counsels in a
case has been held to be sufficient ground for the No. A judge who is related to a party within the 6th
disqualification of the judge. Intimacy or friendship degree of consanguinity is mandated to inhibit
between judge and an attorney of record has also himself from hearing the case “notwithstanding lack
been held to be sufficient ground for disqualification. of pecuniary interest in the case”. This is so because
lack of such interest does not mean that she can
Judges shall not knowingly, while a proceeding is already be free from bias and partiality in resolving
before or could come before them, make any the case by reason of her close blood relationship as
comment that might reasonably be expected to affect evident from the fact that here, she waived the
the outcome of such proceeding or impair the publication requirement in order to save the
manifest fairness of the process. Nor shall judges petitioner from the payment of publication fee. Thus,
make any comment in public or otherwise that might the judge’s taking cognizance of the petition was
affect the fair trial of any person or issue. improper (Villaluz v. Mijares, A.M. No. RTJ -98-1402
288, April 3, 1998).
Judges should not only be impartial but should also
appear impartial. Judges must not only render just, Inhibition
correct and impartial decisions, but must do so in a
manner free from any suspicion as to their fairness, An act when a judge personally prevents himself from
impartiality and integrity. taking cognizance of the case. This is made through a
written petition to inhibit which shall state the
Judges shall disqualify themselves from participating grounds for the same. The explanation of the judge
in any proceeding in which they are unable to decide whether or not to take cognizance of the case must
the matter impartially or in which it may appear to a also be in writing.
reasonable observer that they are unable to decide
the matter impartially. A judge disqualified as stated above may, instead of
withdrawing from the proceeding, disclose on the
The phrase “any proceedings” includes, but is not records the basis of disqualification. If, based on such
limited to instances where: disclosure, the parties and lawyers, independently of
1. The judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning the judge’s participation, all agree in writing that
a party or personal knowledge of disputed the reason for inhibition is immaterial or
evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings unsubstantial, the judge may then participate in the
2. The judge previously served as a lawyer or was a proceeding. The agreement, signed by all parties and
material witness in the matter in controversy lawyers, shall be incorporated in the record of the
3. A judge may be disqualified if he was formerly proceedings.
associated with one of the parties or their
counsel. Types of disqualification
4. A judge who previously notarized the affidavit of 1. Mandatory or compulsory disqualification
a person to be presented as a witness in a case 2. Voluntary disqualification or inhibition
before him shall be disqualified from proceeding
with the case. Disqualification Inhibition
5. The judge, or a member of his or her family, has There are specific The rule only provides
an economic interest in the outcome of the matter grounds enumerated broad basis for
in controversy under the rules of court inhibition.

22
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

for disqualification. issued an order for the arrest of the accused,


The judge has no The rule leaves the granted a motion for the reduction of bail, and set
discretion; mandatory matter to the judge’s the date for the arraignment of the accused.
sound discretion Subsequently, Judge Quintero inhibited himself
from the case, alleging that even before the case
Grounds for mandatory/compulsory was raffled to his court, he already had personal
disqualification knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the
case. Is Judge Quintero’s inhibition justified?
1. When he, or his wife, or child is pecuniarily Explain. (2009 Bar)
interested as heir, legatee, creditor, or otherwise;
2. When he is related to either party within the 6th Judge Quintero’s inhibition is justified. One of the
degree of consanguinity or affinity or to counsel grounds for inhibition under Section 5, Canon 3 of the
within the 4th civil degree; New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine
3. When he has been an executor, guardian, Judiciary is “where a judge has actual bias or
administrator, trustee, or counsel; or prejudice concerning a party or personal knowledge
4. When he has presided in an inferior court where of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the
his ruling or decision is subject to review, without proceedings”.
the written consent of the parties (Rule 137, RRC).
Rebecca’s complaint was raffled to the sala of
XPN to compulsory disqualification: The judge may Judge A. Rebecca is a daughter of Judge A’s wife by
hear and decide the case despite the presence of a a previous marriage. This is known to the
disqualification provided the interested parties both defendant who does not, however, file a motion to
give their written consent, signed by them and inhibit the Judge. Is the Judge justified in not
entered upon the record. It has been decided by the inhibiting himself from the case? (2010 Bar)
Supreme Court that oral consent is not valid, even
though both parties have agreed The judge is not justified in not inhibiting himself. It is
mandatory for him to inhibit if he is related to any of
In a verified complaint, Kathy said that Judge the parties by consanguinity or affinity within the
Florante decided a petition for correction of entry sixth civil degree. Judge A, being the stepfather of
involving the birth record of her grandson, Rebecca, is related to her by affinity by just one
Joshua, who happened to be child of Judge degree. “Judges shall disqualify themselves from
Florante’s daughter, Pilita. Judge Florante insisted participating in any proceeding in which they are
that he committed no wrong since the proceeding unable to decide the matter impartially or in which it
was non-adversarial and since it merely sought to may appear to a reasonable observer that they are
correct an erroneous entry in the child’s birth unable to decide the matter impartially”. The fact that
certificate. Is Judge Florante liable? (2011 Bar) Rebecca is a daughter of Judge A’s wife is enough to
make a reasonable observer doubt his impartiality.
Yes, because Florante breached the rule on
mandatory disqualification. Sec. 5, Canon 3 provides Voluntary inhibition of a judge
that: “Judges shall disqualify themselves from
participating in any proceedings in which they are The judge may in his discretion inhibit himself, for
unable to decide the matter impartially or in which it just and valid reasons other than the grounds for
may appear to a reasonable observer that they are mandatory disqualification. The rule on voluntary
unable to decide the matter impartially. Such disqualification or inhibition is discretionary upon
proceedings include, but are not limited to instances the judge on the basis of his conscience.
where: “xx 6. The judge is related by consanguinity or
affinity to a party litigant within the 6th civil degree or The filing of an administrative case against a judge
to counsel within the fourth civil degree.” This is does not automatically disqualify him from sitting in a
considered as a MANDATORY INHIBITION. Strict case. It must be shown that there are other acts or
compliance with the rules on disqualification is conducts by the judge which constitute a ground for
required. his disqualification.

Can a judge who refuses to inhibit himself The judge may not voluntarily inhibit himself by the
although one of the lawyers in the case is his mere fact that a lawyer recommended him to the
second cousin be sanctioned? bench. ‘Utang na loob’ per se, should not be a
hindrance to the administration of justice. Nor should
No. The ground for mandatory disqualification refers recognition of such value in Philippine society
to the counsel within the 4th civil degree of the judge. A prevent the performance of one’s duties as judge.
second cousin of a judge is his relative within his sixth However, in order to avoid any suspicion of partiality,
degree, hence, he may not be sanctioned for not it is better for the judge to voluntarily inhibit himself.
inhibiting.
Atty. Abigail filed administrative cases before the
In a case for homicide filed before the Regional Supreme Court against Judge Luis. Thereafter,
Trial Court (RTC), Presiding Judge Quintero Atty. Abigail filed a Motion for Inhibition praying

23
LEGAL ETHICS

that Judge Luis inhibit himself from trying, Judges shall avoid impropriety and the
hearing or in any manner acting on all cases, civil appearance of impropriety in all of their activities
and criminal, in which Atty. Abigail is involved
and handling. Should Judge Luis inhibit? (2008 Acts done by a judge which are not illegal may still
Bar) constitute a violation of this rule.

Judge Luis should not inhibit. The mere filing of an During the hearing of an election protest filed by
administrative case against a judge is not a ground for the brother of Judge Dojillo, the latter sat beside
disqualification on the ground of bias and prejudice. the counsel of his brother allegedly to give moral
support. Did the judge commit any improper
Remittal of disqualification conduct?

A judge disqualified may, instead of withdrawing Yes. The judge violated the rule on propriety under
from the proceeding, disclose in the records the basis Sec 1, Canon 4, NCJC for even if he did not intend to
of disqualification. If, based on such disclosure, the use his position as a judge to influence the outcome of
parties and lawyers, independently of the judge’s his brother’s election protest, it cannot be denied that
participation, all agree in writing that the reason for his presence in the courtroom during the hearing of
the inhibition is immaterial or insubstantial; the judge his brother’s case would immediately give cause for
may then participate in the proceeding. The the community to suspect that his being a colleague in
agreement, signed by all parties and lawyers, shall be the judiciary would influence the judge trying the
incorporated in the record of the proceedings (Sec. 6, case to favor his brother (Vidal v. Judge Dojillo Jr., A.M.
Canon 3, NCJC). No. MTJ-05-1591, July 14, 2005).

Requirements for a judge to continue hearing a NCJC does not prohibit a judge from joining or
case despite the existence of reasons for maintaining an account in social networking sites.
disqualifications Section 6, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial
Conduct recognizes that judges, like any other citizen,
1. The bona fide disclosure to the parties in are entitled to freedom of expression. However, the
litigation; and same provision also imposes a correlative restriction
2. The express acceptance by all the parties of the on judges: in the exercise of their freedom of
cited reason as not material or substantial. expression, they should always conduct themselves in
a manner that preserves the dignity of the judicial
No absolute prohibition against judges from office and the impartiality and independence of the
making comments Judiciary (Lorenzana v. Judge Austria, A.M. No. RTJ-09-
2200, April 2, 2014).
Not all comments are impermissible. Judges may
express their open-mindedness regarding a pending As a general rule, a judge is prohibited from serving
issue in cases where the judges’ comments do not as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or other
necessarily favor one side over the other. fiduciary. When a member of the bench serves as
administrator of the properties of private individuals,
However, judges should avoid side remarks, hasty he runs the risk of losing his neutrality and
conclusions, loose statements or gratuitous impartiality, especially when the interests of his
utterances that suggest they are prejudging a case. principal conflicts with those of the litigant who
Judges should be aware that the media might comes before his court. The only exception to this
consider them a good and credible source of opinion rule is when the estate or trust belongs to, or the
or ideas, and, therefore, should refrain from making ward is a member of his immediate family, and only if
any comment on a pending case. There is danger not his service as executor, administrator, trustee,
only of being misquoted, but also of compromising guardian or fiduciary will not interfere with the
the rights of the litigants in the case. proper performance of his judicial duties. The Code
defines "immediate family" as being limited to the
PROPRIETY spouse and relatives within the second degree of
consanguinity (Lopez v. Judge Lucmayo, September 24,
Canon 4 2014).
Propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential
to the performance of all the activities of a judge Pending before the sala of Judge Magbag is the
case of CDC versus JQT. The legal counsel of JQT is
Judges must avoid not only impropriety but also the Atty. Ocsing who happens to be the brother of
appearance of impropriety. They are mandated not to Atty. Ferreras, a friend of Judge Magbag. While the
allow family, social or other relationships to influence case was still being heard, Atty. Ferreras and his
judicial conduct or judgment, nor convey or permit wife celebrated their wedding anniversary. They
others to convey the impression that they are in a invited their friends including Judge Magbag who
special position to influence the judge. attended the party and was seen conversing with
Atty. Ocsing while they were eating at the same

24
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

table. Comment on the propriety of Judge legal system, the administration of justice or
Magbag’s act. related matters;
3. Engage in other activities if such activities do not
A judge is not required to live in seclusion. He is detract from the dignity of the judicial office or
permitted to have social life as long as it does not otherwise interfere with the performance of
interfere with his judicial duties. However, the judge judicial duties.
should be careful to avoid suspicion that his social life
constitutes an element in determining judicial action. Judges shall not practice law whilst a holder of
Sitting on the same table and conversing with lawyers judicial office
with a pending case before him raises such
appearance of impropriety. Judges are prohibited from engaging in the practice of
law or giving professional advice to clients. Philippine
A and B are accused of estafa by C, the wife of courts not only prohibit judges from overtly
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge D. Judge D representing clients as counsel of record, but also
testified as a witness for the prosecution in the from acting more subtly in a way more befitting an
estafa case. Did Judge D commit an act of advocate than a judge.
impropriety?
NCJC do not make any distinction in prohibiting
If the testimony of Judge D is essential for the judges from engaging in the private practice of law
prosecution of estafa case, it is not improper for him while holding judicial office. A judge who was merely
to testify. But if it is not essential, his act of testifying suspended and not dismissed from service is still
will be improper. Judges shall not use or lend the bound by the prohibition (Binalay v. Lelina Jr, A.M. No.
prestige of the judicial office to advance their private RTJ-08-2132, July 31, 2009).
interests, or those of a member of their family or of
anyone else, nor shall they convey or permit others to Rules relating to prohibition against accepting
convey the impression that anyone is in a special gifts, bequests, or loans
position improperly to influence them in the
performance of judicial duties. GR: Judges and members of their families shall
neither ask for nor accept, any gift, bequest, loan or
In an action to prevent the condominium favor in relation to anything done or to be done or
developer from building beyond ten (10) floors, omitted to be done by him or her in connection with
Judge Cerdo rendered judgment in favor of the the performance of judicial duties. Also, judges shall
defendant developer. The judgment became final not knowingly permit court staff or others subject to
after the plaintiffs failed to appeal on time. Judge their influence, direction or authority, to ask for, or
Cerdo thereafter purchased a condominium unit accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to
from the developer. Did Judge Cerdo commit any anything done, to be done or omitted to be done in
act of impropriety? (2013 Bar) connection with their duties or functions.

Yes, Judge Cerdo is guilty of an act of impropriety. It is XPN: Subject to law and to any legal requirements of
desirable that he should, so far as reasonably public disclosure, judges may receive a token gift,
possible, refrain from all relations which would award or benefit as appropriate to the occasion on
normally tend to arouse the suspicion that such which it is made, provided that such gift, award or
relations warp or bias his judgment, or prevent his benefit might not reasonably be perceived as
impartial attitude of mind in the administration of his intended to influence the judge in the
judicial duties. performance of official duties or otherwise give
rise to an appearance of partiality.
It was inappropriate for a judge to have entertained a
litigant in his house particularly when the case is still Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
pending before his sala.
Unsolicited gifts or presents of small value offered or
It is reprehensible for a judge to humiliate a lawyer, given as a mere ordinary token of gratitude or
litigant or witness. A judge must at all times be friendship according to local custom or usage are
temperate in his language. He must choose his words, allowed.
written or spoken, with utmost care and sufficient
control. Allowed gifts and grants from foreign countries

Subject to the proper performance of judicial duties, 1. The acceptance and retention by a public official
judges may: or employee of a gift of nominal value tendered
and received as a souvenir or mark of courtesy;
1. Write, lecture, teach and participate in activities 2. The acceptance by a public official or employee of
concerning the law, the legal system, the a gift in the nature of a scholarship or fellowship
administration of justice or related matter; grant or medical treatment; or
2. Appear at a public hearing before an official body 3. The acceptance by a public official or employee of
concerned with matters relating to the law, the travel grants or expenses for travel taking place

25
LEGAL ETHICS

entirely outside the Philippines (such as courts, instead of the courts for the litigants. Here, the
allowances, transportation, food and lodging) of judge should be held liable for misconduct when he
more than nominal value if such acceptance is threatened to punish complainant for contempt of
appropriate or consistent with the interest of the court if he would refuse to withdraw his appearance,
Philippines, and permitted by the head office, as counsel for the accused, when the latter insisted on
branch or agency to which the judge belongs waiving the presentation of the evidence for the
defense (Atty. Quinto v. Judge Vios, A.M. No. MTJ-04-
Reacting to newspaper articles and verbal 1551, May 21, 2004).
complaints on alleged rampant sale of Temporary
Restraining Orders by Judge X, the Supreme Court Judges shall carry out judicial duties with appropriate
ordered the conduct of a discreet investigation by consideration for all persons, without differentiation
the Office of the Court Administrator. Judges in on any irrelevant ground.
the place where Judge X is assigned confirmed the
complaints. What administrative charge/s may be Judges shall not permit court staff to differentiate
leveled against Judge X? Explain. (2010 Bar) between persons concerned in a matter before the
judge on any irrelevant ground.
He could be charged with gross misconduct, arising
from violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Judges shall require lawyers in proceedings before
Practices Act. He could also be charged with the court to refrain from manifesting bias or
violations of Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial prejudice based on irrelevant grounds.
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary which provides
that judges and members of their families shall COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE
neither ask for, nor accept, any gift, bequest, loan or
favor in relation to anything done or to be done or Canon 6
omitted to be done by him or her in connection with Competence and diligence are prerequisites to the due
the performance of judicial duties. performance of judicial office

EQUALITY To constitute gross ignorance of the law, it is not


enough that the subject decision, order or actuation of
Canon 5 the respondent judge in the performance of his
Ensuring equality of treatment to all before the courts official duties is contrary to existing law and
is essential to the due performance of the judicial office jurisprudence but, most importantly, he must be
moved by bad faith, fraud, dishonesty or corruption.
Every judge should decide cases with dispatch and
should be careful, punctual, and observant in the A judge should always be a symbol of rectitude and
performance of his functions for delay in the propriety, and should always comport himself in a
disposition of cases erodes the faith and confidence of manner that will raise no doubt whatsoever about his
our people in the judiciary, lowers its standards and honesty. A judge’s act of misappropriating the money
brings it into disrepute. However, in imposing the entrusted to him by litigants in connection with a case
penalty of fine, other circumstances may be pending in his court constitutes gross misconduct.
considered such as the judge’s continuous service in
the judiciary, his avowed dire need of funds, and his Absent any evidence showing outright bad faith, a
expressed willingness to abide by whatever penalty judge should not be held liable for gross misconduct
the Court may impose upon him. and gross ignorance of the law. Thus, for committing
acts that manifested poor judgment and negligence, he
Atty. Quinto was the defense counsel in a criminal is only guilty of simple misconduct.
case. In his verified complaint, he alleged that
during the hearing, he manifested that he was After being diagnosed with stress dermatitis,
waiving the presentation of evidence for the Judge Rosalind, without seeking permission from
accused. Judge Vios then allegedly got angry, the Supreme Court, refused to wear her robe
shouted and scolded him, stating that the defense during court proceedings. When her attention
had no right to waive the presentation of was called, she explained that whenever she
evidence. He did not even listen to Atty. Quinto’s wears her robe she is reminded of her heavy
explanation and, thereafter, compelled the latter caseload, thus making her tense. This, in turn,
to withdraw his appearance as counsel of the triggers the outbreak of skin rashes. Is Judge
accused, under pain of contempt. In the presence Rosalind justified in not wearing her judicial
of the complainant, Judge Vios appointed a robe? Explain. (2009 Bar)
counsel de officio. May Judge Vios be held
administratively liable for compelling the lawyer Judge Rosalind is not justified. The wearing of robes
to withdraw as counsel for the accused under pain by judges as required by Adm. Circular No. 25, serves
of contempt? the dual purpose of heightened public consciousness
on the solemnity of judicial proceedings and in
Yes. A judge should avoid unconsciously falling into impressing upon the judge the exacting obligations of
the attitude of mind that the litigants are made for the his office. The robe is a part of the judges’ appearance
and is as important as the gavel. The Supreme Court

26
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

added that “while circumstances, such as a medical the case in his personal opinion. But still, it
condition claimed by the respondent judge, may undermines the authority of the SC and he may incur
exempt one from complying with A.C. no. 25, he must administrative liability for it.
first secure the Court’s permission for such
exemption. He cannot simply excuse himself, like DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS OF JUDICIARY
respondent judge, from complying with the
requirement. The Court en banc has the power to discipline all
judges of lower courts including justices of the Court
Judges shall keep themselves informed about relevant of Appeals.
developments of international law, including
international conventions and other instruments Disbarment of judges and justices
establishing human rights norms.
Judges and justices, being lawyers, may also be
Judges shall perform all judicial duties, including the disbarred, if found guilty of certain crimes and/or
delivery of reserved decisions, efficiently, fairly and other causes for disbarment under the Rules of Court.
with reasonable promptness.
Condition before Justices of the Supreme Court
Unreasonable delay of a judge in resolving a pending may be disbarred
incident is a violation of the norms of judicial conduct
and constitutes gross inefficiency that warrants the Justices of the Supreme Court in order to be disbarred
imposition of an administrative sanction against the must first be impeached in accordance with the
defaulting magistrate Constitution.

Prompt disposition of cases is attained basically Purpose of impeachment: Primarily intended for the
through the efficiency and dedication to duty of protection of the State, not for the punishment of the
judges. If judges do not possess those traits, delay in offender.
the disposition of cases is inevitable to the prejudice
of the litigants. Accordingly, judges should be imbued Discipline of the Members of the Lower Court
with a high sense of duty and responsibility in the Judges, Justices of the Court of Appeals and the
discharge of their obligation to administer justice Sandiganbayan
promptly.
The acts of a judge in his judicial capacity are not
Judge X was invited to be a guest speaker during subject to disciplinary action. In the absence of fraud,
the annual convention of a private organization malice or dishonesty in rendering the assailed
which was covered by the media. Since he was decision or order, the remedy of the aggrieved party
given the liberty to speak on any topic, he is to elevate the assailed decision or order to the
discussed the recent decision of the Supreme higher court for review and correction. However, an
Court declaring that the President is not, under inquiry into a judge’s civil, criminal and/or
the Constitution, proscribed from appointing a administrative liability may be made after the
Chief Justice within two months before the available remedies have been exhausted and decided
election. In his speech, the judge demurred to the with finality.
Supreme Court decision and even stressed that
the decision is a serious violation of the Discipline of Judges; Grounds
Constitution. Did Judge X incur any administrative
liability? Explain. If instead of ventilating his 1. Serious Misconduct – implies malice or wrongful
opinion before the private organization, Judge X intent, not mere error of judgment. Judicial acts
incorporated it, as an obiter dictum, in one of his complained of:
decisions, did he incur any administrative a. must be corrupt or inspired by an intention to
liability? Explain. (2010 Bar) violate the law; or
b. were in persistent disregard for well-known
He did not incur administrative liability. Judges, like legal rules.
any other citizen, are entitled to freedom of 2. Inefficiency – implies negligence, incompetence,
expression, but in exercising such rights, they shall ignorance and carelessness. A judge would be
always conduct themselves in a manner as to inexcusably negligent if he failed to observe in the
preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the performance of his duties that diligence,
impartiality and independence of the judiciary. prudence and circumspection which the law
requires in the rendition of any public service.
In deciding cases, a judge is supposed to be faithful to
the law, which includes decisions of the SC. If he feels Several administrative complaints were filed
that a doctrine enunciated by the SC is against his way against Judge Yu for her refusal to comply with
of reasoning, he may state his personal opinion but the Supreme Court’s AO 19-2011 which
should decide the case in accordance with the law. established “night courts” to expedite the
The fact that Judge X ventilated his personal opinion handling of criminal cases in foreign tourists
in an obiter dictum indicates that he did not decide arrested at nighttime in Pasay and Makati;

27
LEGAL ETHICS

sending inappropriate messages with sexual easily be the mainspring of injustice (Grageda v. Judge
undertones to a fellow judge when she was a state Tresvalles, A.M. MTJ No. 04-1526, February 2, 2004).
prosecutor; and unlawfully issuing show-cause
orders on her colleagues. Should she be Judge C was administratively charged with Delay
disbarred? in Rendering Judgement relative to an ejectment
case which he dismissed on the ground that the
Yes. Judge Yu unquestionably committed several plaintiff’s representative lacked the personality to
gross and serious administrative offenses ranging file the case as his authority to file the same was
from gross misconduct and gross ignorance to the for another case. It took the judge 6 years to
lesser offense of conduct unbecoming of a judicial resolve, on technicality, a case governed by the
officer. Rule on Summary Procedure. Is Judge C guilty of
undue delay?
The grossness and severity of her offenses taken
together demonstrated Judge Yu's unfitness and Yes. Under the Rule on Summary Procedure, the first
incompetence to further discharge the office and duty of the respondent upon the filing of the case for
duties of a Judge. Her arrogance and insubordination ejectment was to examine the allegations in the
in challenging A.O. No. 19-2011, and her unyielding complaint and the evidence appended to it, and to
rejection of the appointments of court personnel dismiss the case outright on any of the grounds
constituted gross insubordination and gross apparent for the dismissal of a civil action. In this
misconduct, and warranted her immediate dismissal case, the ground for dismissing the Civil Case existed
from the Judiciary. Her requiring her fellow Judges to and was apparent upon the filing of the basic
submit to her authority by virtue of her show-cause complaint. The representative’s lack of personality
order, whereby she revealed her utter disrespect was reflected in the corporate secretary's certificate
towards and disdain for them, as well as her conduct appended to the complaint. Yet, respondent judge
unbecoming of a judicial officer aggravated her allowed the case to unnecessarily drag on for more
liability. The administration of justice cannot be than five years. Further, respondent having allowed
entrusted to one like her who would readily ignore several and doubtless unnecessary postponements
and disregard the laws and policies enacted by the which contributed to the delay in the resolution of
Court to guarantee justice and fairness for all. what was otherwise a simple case. Undue delay in
rendering a decision or order constitutes a less
Under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, an serious offense for which respondent is subjected to a
attorney may be disbarred on the ground of gross fine (Naguiat v. Judge Capellan, A.M. No. MTJ-11-1782,
misconduct and willful disobedience of any lawful March 23, 2011).
order of a superior court. Given her wanton defiance
of the Court's own directives, her open disrespect Institution of proceedings for the discipline of
towards her fellow judges, her blatant abuse of the judges and justices
powers appurtenant to her judicial office, and her
penchant for threatening the defenseless with legal Proceedings for the discipline of judges of regular and
actions to make them submit to her will, we should special courts and justices of the Court of Appeals and
also be imposing the penalty of disbarment (OCA v. the Sandiganbayan may be instituted:
Judge Eliza Yu, A.M. No. MTJ-12-1813, November 22,
2016). 1. Motu proprio by the Supreme Court;
2. Upon a verified complaint filed before the
Should a judge be held administratively liable for Supreme Court supported by:
ignorance of the law for granting bail to an a. Affidavit of persons who have personal
accused in a criminal case without the requisite knowledge of the facts alleged therein; or
bail hearing, and despite the fact that there was b. Documents which may substantiate said
an eyewitness to the murder who made a positive allegations.
identification of the accused? 3. Anonymous complaint supported by public
records of indubitable integrity filed with the
Yes. It is already settled that when a judge grants bail Supreme Court.
to a person charged with a capital offense, or an
offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life Resignation or retirement pending administrative
imprisonment without conducting the required bail case
hearing, he is considered guilty of ignorance or
incompetence the gravity of which cannot be excused The retirement of a judge or any judicial officer from
by a claim of good faith or excusable negligence. service does not preclude the finding of any
When a judge displays an utter unfamiliarity with the administrative liability to which he should still be
law and the rules, he erodes the confidence of the answerable. Also, the withdrawal or recantation of
public in the courts. A judge owes the public and the the complaint does not necessarily result in the
court the duty to be proficient in the law and is dismissal of the case.
expected to keep abreast of laws and the prevailing
jurisprudence. Ignorance of the law by a judge can Confidentiality of proceedings

28
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

Proceedings against judges of regular and special


courts and justices of the Court of Appeals and the Suspension pendente lite not applicable to judges
Sandiganbayan shall be private and confidential, but a
copy of the decision or resolution of the Court shall be Rules on the liability of judges
attached to the record of the respondent in the Office
of the Court Administrator. GR: A judge is not liable administratively, civilly, or
criminally, when he acts within his legal powers and
Quantum of evidence required: Ground for removal jurisdiction, even though such acts are erroneous so
of a judicial officer should be established beyond long as he acts in good faith. In such a case, the
reasonable doubt. remedy of aggrieved party is not to file an
administrative complaint against the judge but to
AMALI is the owner and developer of the 37- elevate the error to a higher court for review and
storey condominium project. Needing to use correction.
Fordham street as an access road and staging area
for the construction, it asked permission from the XPN: Where an error is gross or patent, deliberate
Wack Wack Residents Association, Inc. (WWRAI) and malicious, or is incurred with evident bad faith;
but such request was ignored. Left with no option, or when there is fraud, dishonesty, or corruption.
AMALI set up a field office along Fordham Street
which it enclosed with a temporary fence. WWRAI The filing of administrative complaints or just the
allegedly tried to demolish the field office and set threat of the filing of such complaints do subvert and
up a fence to deny access to AMALI’s construction undermine the independence of the Judiciary and its
workers, which prompted AMALI to file a petition Judges. Disciplinary proceedings and criminal actions
for the enforcement of an easement of right of brought against any judge in relation to the
way in the RTC in Pasig City. RTC granted AMALI’s performance of his official functions are neither
prayer. However, CA issued an order granting complementary to nor suppletory of appropriate
WWRAI’s petition against AMALI. judicial remedies, nor a substitute for such remedies.
Any party who may feel aggrieved should resort to
AMALI then brought this administrative these remedies, and exhaust them, instead of
complaint, alleging that the decision of the CA had resorting to disciplinary proceedings and criminal
been rendered in bad faith and with conscious actions (Hernandez v. Judge Gella, A.M. No. RTJ-13-
and deliberate intent to favor WWRAI, and to 2356, June 9, 2014).
cause grave injustice to AMALI. Is the contention
of AMALI tenable? Promotion as Judge does not exculpate liability

No. In administrative proceedings, the complainant Promotion as a judge during the pendency of
has the burden of proving the allegations of the administrative case committed while still a Clerk of
complaint by substantial evidence. Failure to do so Court cannot be considered either as a mitigating or
will lead to the dismissal of the complaint for its lack an exculpatory circumstance to excuse him from any
of merit. This is because an administrative charge administrative liability. A judge is still bound by the
against any official of the Judiciary must be supported same principle enshrined in Section 1, Article XI of
by at least substantial evidence. But when the charge the Constitution, which states that a public office is a
equates to a criminal offense, such that the judicial public trust, and all public officers and employees
officer may suffer the heavy sanctions of dismissal must at all times be accountable to the people, serve
from the service, the showing of culpability on the them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty,
part of the judicial officer should be nothing short of and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and
proof beyond reasonable doubt, especially because lead modest lives (OCA v. Atty. Mario Melchor, Jr., A.M.
the charge is penal in character. No. P-06-2227, August 19, 2014).

AMALI’s allegations directly attacked the validity of Reinstatement of a Judge previously disciplined
the proceedings in the CA through an administrative
complaint. The attack in this manner reflected the Reinstatement is proper when there is no indication
pernicious practice by disgruntled litigants and their that the judge is inspired by corrupt motives or
lawyers of resorting to administrative charges against reprehensive purpose in the performance of his
sitting judges instead of exhausting all their available functions.
remedies. We do not tolerate the practice. Such
actuations cannot be tolerated at all, for even a mere POWERS AND DUTIES OF COURTS AND
threat of administrative investigation and JUDICIAL OFFICERS
prosecution made against a judge to influence or
intimidate him in his regular performance of the GR: Courts of justice shall always be open; justice to
judicial office always subverts and undermines the be promptly and impartially administered.
independence of the Judiciary (Re: Verified Complaint
for Disbarment of AMA Land, Inc. against Court of XPN: Legal holidays
Appeals Associate Justices, OCA IPI No. 12-204-CA-J,
March 11, 2014). Requirement of public hearing

29
LEGAL ETHICS

morning or afternoon session, all the notes he has


GR: The sitting of every court of justice shall be taken, to be attached to the record of the case (Sec. 17,
public. Rule 136, Rules of Court).

XPN: When the evidence to be adduced is of such Transcript of notes delivered to the clerk, must be
nature as to require their exclusion in the interest of duly initialled on each page, to be attached to the
morality or decency. record of the case.

All trials on merits shall be conducted in open A clerk’s delayed remittance of cash collections
court or regular court room. constitutes gross neglect of duty because this
omission deprives the court of interest that may be
Availability to the public of court records earned if the amounts were to be deposited in the
authorized depository bank. SC Circular No. 13-92
GR: The records of every court of justice shall be requires clerks of court to withdraw interest earned
public records and shall be available for the on deposits and to remit the same to the account of
inspection of any interested person, at all proper the JDF within two weeks after the end of each
business hours, under the supervision of the clerk quarter. Delay in the remittance of court’s funds casts
having custody of such records. a serious doubt on the concerned court employee’s
trustworthiness and integrity (OCA v. Aurora Zuniga,
XPN: Unless the court shall, in any special case, have A.M. No. P-10-2800, November 18, 2014).
forbidden their publicity, in the interest of morality or
decency. A clerk’s falsification of an official document like the
personal data sheet required for employment in the
Enforceability of inferior court’s processes Judiciary is gross dishonesty, and constitutes a
serious administrative offense that warrants the
GR: Within the province where the municipality or dismissal of the employee (Concerned Citizens of
city lies. Naval, Biliran v. Florante Ralar, A.M. No. P-14-3278,
October 21, 2014).
XPN: the approval of judge of Regional Trial Court of
the province where it would be enforced. LEGAL FEES

Payment should be made upon filing of the pleading


COURT RECORDS AND GENERAL DUTIES OF or other application and the prescribed fee to be paid
CLERKS AND STENOGRAPHERS in full upon filing of said same. If the fees are not paid,
the Court may refuse to proceed with the action until
Records kept by the clerk they are paid and may dismiss the action or
proceeding.
1. General Docket
2. Judgment and Entries Book Fees in Lien
3. Execution Book
If the Court awards claim not alleged or more than
Duties of clerks in general that claimed, the amount shall be considered fees in
lien and the party concerned shall pay the additional
1. The clerk shall safely keep all records, papers, fees which shall constitute a lien on the judgment in
files, exhibits and public property committed to the satisfaction of said lien.
his charge, including the library of the court, and
the seal and furniture belonging to his office (Sec. Persons authorized to collect legal fees
7, Rule 136, Rules of Court);
2. Demand that the stenographer deliver notes of 1. Clerks of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals,
the session of the court to him immediately after Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax Appeals
each session (Sec. 17, Rule 136, Rules of Court). 2. Clerks of Regional Trial Courts
3. Clerks of Court of the First Level Courts
Furthermore, in the absence of the judge, the clerk 4. Sheriffs, process servers and other persons
may: serving processes
5. Notaries
1. Perform all the duties of the judge in receiving 6. Other officers taking depositions
applications, petitions, inventories, reports;
2. Issue orders and notices(Sec. 5, Rule 136, Rules of The list is EXCLUSIVE
Court)
The persons herein authorized to collect legal fees
Duty of stenographer shall be accountable officers and shall be required to
post bond in such amount as prescribed by the law.
It shall be the duty of the stenographer to deliver to
the clerk of court, immediately at the close of such Exempt from payment of Legal Fees

30
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

b) All decisions, resolutions, and orders issued by


1. Indigent litigants - the legal fees shall be a lien on courts and by quasi-judicial bodies under the
any judgment rendered in the case favorable to administrative supervision of the Supreme Court shall
the indigent litigant unless the court otherwise comply with these requirements. Similarly covered
provides. are the reports submitted to the courts and
2. Republic of the Philippines – but does not include transcripts of stenographic notes (Section 3).
local governments and government-owned or
controlled corporations with or without Margins and Prints
independent charters.
A left hand margin of 1.5 inches from the edge; an
COSTS upper margin of 1.2 inches from the edge; a right
hand margin of 1.0 inch from the edge; and a lower
Recovery of Costs margin of 1.0 inch from the edge. Every page must be
consecutively numbered (Section 4).
Costs shall be allowed to a prevailing party as a
matter of course. However, the court shall have Copies to be Filed
power, for special reasons, to adjudge that either
party shall pay the costs of an action, or that the same 1. Supreme Court: one original (properly marked)
be divided, as may be equitable and four copies, unless the case is referred to the
Court En Bane, in which event, the parties shall
Costs cannot be adjudged against the Republic of file ten additional copies. For the En Bane, the
the Philippines. parties need to submit only two sets of annexes,
one attached to the original and an extra copy.
Dismissed appeal or action For the Division, the parties need to submit also
two sets of annexes, one attached to the original
Court retains the power to render judgment for costs and an extra copy. All members of the Court shall
as justice may require. share the extra copies of annexes in the interest
of economy of paper.
Frivolous Appeal
Parties to cases before the Supreme Court are
Double or Treble Costs shall be imposed on the further required, on voluntary basis for the first
plaintiff or appellant, which shall be paid by his six months following the effectivity of this Rule
attorney, if so ordered by the Court and compulsorily afterwards unless the period is
extended, to submit, simultaneously with their
False Allegations court-bound papers, soft copies of the same and
their annexes (the latter in PDF format) either by
False Allegation made without reasonable cause and email to the Court's e-mail address or by
found untrue shall subject the offending party to the compact disc (CD). This requirement is in
reasonable expenses as may have been necessarily preparation for the eventual establishment of an
incurred by the other part by reason of such untrue e-filing paperless system in the judiciary.
pleading. 2. Court of Appeals and Sandiganbayan: one original
(properly marked) and two copies with their
Non-appearance of Witnesses annexes;
3. Court of Tax Appeals: one original (properly
If a Witness fails to appear at the time and place marked) and two copies with annexes. On appeal
specified in the subpoena issued by any inferior court, to the En Banc, one original (properly marked)
the costs of the warrant of arrest and of the arrest of and eight copies with annexes;
the witness shall be borne by him, if the court 4. Other Courts: one original (properly marked)
determines that his failure to answer the subpoena with the stated annexes attached to it (Section 5).
was willful and without excuse.

EFFICIENT USE OF PAPER RULE


A.M. No. 11-9-4-SC

Format and Style

a) All pleadings, motions, and similar papers intended


for the court and quasi-judicial body's consideration
and action (court-bound papers) shall be written in
single space with a one and-a-half space between
paragraphs, using an easily readable font style of the
party's choice, of 14-size font, and on a 13-inch by
8.5-inch white bond paper; and

31
LEGAL ETHICS

FORMS

QUITCLAIM IN LABOR CASES


(Release, Waiver and Quitclaim)

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

That I, __________________, Filipino, of legal age, a resident of __________________, and formerly employed with
__________________, do by these presents acknowledge receipt of the sum of __________________, Philippine Currency,
from _____________________ in full payment and final settlement of the (financial assistance or separation pay,
overtime pay, salary or salaries, wage or wages, commutable sick and vacation leaves, gratuities or any kind of
compensation or emoluments) due to me or which may be due to me from ____________________ under the law or
under any existing agreement with respect thereto, as well as any and all claims of whatever kind and nature
which I have or may have against ________________, arising from my employment with (and the termination of my
employment with)______________________.

In consideration of said payment, I do hereby release, discharge and waive any and all actions of whatever
nature, expected, real or apparent, which I may have against _______________, its directors, officers, employees,
agents and clients by reason of or arising from my employment with the company. I will institute no action,
whether civil, criminal, labor or administrative against _________________, its directors, officers, employees, agents
and clients. Any and all actions which I may have commenced either solely in my name or jointly with others
before any office, board, bureau, court, or tribunal against _________________, its directors, officers, employees, agents
and clients are hereby deemed and considered voluntarily withdrawn by me and I will no longer testify or
continue to prosecute said action(s).

I declare that I have read this document and have fully understood its contents. I further declare that I
voluntarily and willingly executed this Release, Waiver and Quitclaim with full knowledge of my rights under the
law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand at _____________, this ___ day of _______________, 2017.

_______________________
Affiant

SIGNED IN THE PRESENCE OF

_______________________ ______________________

32
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

CONTRACT OF LEASE

This CONTRACT OF LEASE is made and executed at the City of _____, this day of _______________, 20____, by and
between:

(NAME OF LESSOR), of legal age, single/married to (Name of spouse if any), Filipino, and with residence and
postal address at (Address), hereinafter referred to as the LESSOR.

-AND-

(NAME OF LESSEE), of legal age, single/married to (Name of spouse if any), Filipino and with residence and
postal address at (Address), hereinafter referred to as the LESSEE.

WITNESSETH; That

WHEREAS, the LESSOR is the owner of a residential property situated at (Address of property to be leased);
hereinafter referred to as the property;

WHEREAS, the LESSOR agrees to lease-out the property to the LESSEE and the LESSEE is willing to lease the
same;

NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the foregoing premises, the LESSOR leases unto the LESSEE and
the LESSEE hereby accepts from the LESSOR the property, subject to the following:

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1. PURPOSES: That the property shall be used exclusively by the LESSEE for residential purposes only and shall
not be diverted to other uses. It is hereby expressly agreed that if at any time the property are used for other
purposes, the LESSOR shall have the right to rescind this contract without prejudice to its other rights under the
law.

2. TERM: This term of lease is for ONE (1) YEAR, or from (Date) to (Date). Upon its expiration, this lease may be
renewed under such terms and conditions as my be mutually agreed upon by both parties, provided written
notice of intention to renew the lease shall be served to the LESSOR not later than seven (7) days prior to
the expiry date of the period herein agreed upon.

3. RENTAL RATE: The monthly rental rate shall be in AMOUNT IN WORDS (P 00,000.00), Philippine Currency.
All rental payments shall be payable to the LESSOR.

4. DEPOSIT: That the LESSEE shall deposit to the LESSOR upon signing of this contract and prior to move-in an
amount equivalent to the rent for THREE (3) MONTHS or the sum of AMOUNT IN WORDS (P 00,000.00),
Philippine Currency. wherein the two (2) months deposit shall be applied as rent for the 11th and 12th months
and the remaining one (1) month deposit shall answer partially for damages and any other obligations, for
utilities such as Water, Electricity, CATV, Telephone, Association Dues or resulting from violation(s) of any of the
provision of this contract.

5. DEFAULT PAYMENT: In case of default by the LESSEE in the payment of the rent, such as when the checks
are dishonored, the LESSOR at its option may terminate this contract and eject the LESSEE. The LESSOR has the

33
LEGAL ETHICS

right to padlock the premises when the LESSEE is in default of payment for One (1) month and may forfeit
whatever rental deposit or advances have been given by the LESSEE.

6. SUB-LEASE: The LESSEE shall not directly or indirectly sublet, allow or permit the property to be occupied the
property leased in whole or in part by any person or corporation, neither shall the LESSEE assign its rights
hereunder to any other person or entity and no right of interest thereto or therein shall be conferred on or vested
in anyone by the LESSEE without the LESSOR'S written approval.
7. PUBLIC UTILITIES: The LESSEE shall pay for its telephone, electric, cable TV, water, Internet, association
dues and other public services and utilities during the duration of the lease.

8. FORCE MAJEURE: If whole or any part of the property leased shall be destroyed or damaged by fire, flood,
lightning, typhoon, earthquake, storm, riot or any other unforeseen disabling cause of acts of God, as to render
the property during the term substantially unfit for use and occupation of the LESSEE, then the contract of lease
may be terminated, without compensation by the LESSOR or by the LESSEE by notice in writing to the other.

9. LESSOR'S RIGHT OF ENTRY: The LESSOR or its authorized agent shall after giving due notice to the LESSEE
shall have the right to enter the property in the presence of the LESSEE or its representative at any reasonable
hour to examine the same or make repairs therein or for the operation and maintenance of the building or to
exhibit the property leased to prospective LESSEE, or for any other lawful purposes which it may deem necessary.

10. EXPIRATION OF LEASE: At the expiration of the term of this lease or cancellation thereof, as herein
provided, the LESSEE will promptly deliver to the LESSOR the property leased with all corresponding keys and in
as good and tenable condition as the same is now, ordinary wear and tear expected devoid of all occupants,
movable furniture, articles and effects of any kind. Non-compliance with the terms of this clause by the LESSEE
will give the LESSOR the right, at the latter's option, to refuse to accept the delivery of the property and compel
the LESSEE to pay rent therefrom at the same rate plus Twenty Five (25) % thereof as penalty until the LESSEE
shall have complied with the terms hereof. The same penalty shall be imposed in case the LESSEE fails to leave
the property after the expiration of this Contract of Lease or termination for any reason whatsoever.

11. JUDICIAL RELIEF: Should any one of the parties herein be compelled to seek judicial relief against the other,
the losing party shall pay an amount of One Hundred (100) % of the amount clamed in the complaint as attorney's
fees which shall in no case be less than P50,000.00 pesos in addition to other cost and damages which the said
party may be entitled to under the law.

12. This CONTRACT OF LEASE shall be valid and binding between the parties, their successors-in-interest and
assigns.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, parties herein affixed their signatures on the date and place above written.

(Name of Lessor) (Name of Lessee)

LESSOR LESSEE

Signed in the presence of:

_____________________________ ______________________________

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Republic of the Philippines)

_________________________) S.S

34
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

BEFORE ME, personally appeared:

Name CTC Number Date/Place Issued

(Name of Lessor) 10000000 February 24, 20__ / Cavite City

(Name of Lessee) 10000000 January 07, 20__ / Makati

Known to me and to me known to be the same persons who executed the foregoing instrument and acknowledged
to me that the same is their free and voluntary act and deed.

This instrument consisting of ____ page/s, including the page on which this acknowledgement is written, has been
signed on each and every page thereof by the concerned parties and their witnesses, and and sealed with my
notarial seal.

WITNESS MY HAND AND SEAL, on the date and place first above written.

Notary Public

Doc. No.______;

Page No. ______;

Book No.______;

Series of 20___.

35
LEGAL ETHICS

DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

This DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE is made, executed and entered into by:

(NAME OF SELLER), of legal age, single/married to (Name of spouse if any), Filipino, and with residence and
postal address at (Address of Seller), hereinafter referred to as the SELLER

-AND-

(NAME OF BUYER), of legal age, single/married to (Name of spouse if any), Filipino and with residence and
postal address at (Address of Buyer), hereinafter referred to as the BUYER.

WITNESSETH;

WHEREAS, the SELLER is the registered owner of a parcel of land with improvements located at (Address of
property to be sold) and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. (TCT Number) containing a total area of
(Land Area of Property in Words) (000) SQUARE METERS, more or less, and more particularly described as
follows:

TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE NO. 0000

"(Insert the technical description of the property on the title) Example: A PARCEL
OF LAND (Lot 20 Blk 54 of consolidation subdivision plan (LRC) Pcs-13265, being a
portion of the consolidation of Lots 4751-A and 4751-B (LRC) Psd-50533, Lot 3,
Psd-100703, Lot 1, Psd-150980, LRC Rec. Nos. Nos. N-27024, 51768, 89632, N-11782,
N-13466, and 21071 situated in the Bo. of San Donisio, Mun. of Paranaque, Prov. of
Rizal, Is. of Luzon. Bounded on NE, point 4 to 1 by Road Lot 22, on...to the point of
beginning; containing an area of (280) square meters more or less..."

WHEREAS, the BUYER has offered to buy and the SELLER has agreed to sell the above mentioned property
for the amount of (Amount in words) (P 000,000.00) Philippine Currency;

NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the sum of (Amount in words) (P 000,000.00) Philippine
Currency, the SELLER DO HEREBY SELL, TRANSFER, and CONVEY by way of Absolute Sale unto the said BUYER,
his heirs and assigns, the parcel of land above-described together with all the improvements found thereon, free
from all liens and encumbrances of whatever nature including real estate taxes as of the date of this sale.

36
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

(NAME OF SELLER) (NAME OF BUYER)

Seller Buyer

WITH MARITAL CONSENT:

________________________ _________________________
Name of Seller's Spouse Name of Buyer's Spouse

SIGNED IN THE PRESENCE OF:

__________________________ ____________________________

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES)


_____________________________ ) SS.

BEFORE ME, a Notary Public for and in the City of ___________________, personally appeared:

Name Valid ID Number Date/Place Issued

(Name of Seller) 10000000 Jan 15, 20__ / Angeles City

(Name of Buyer) 10000000 Jan 9, 20__ / Manila

Known to me and to me known to be the same persons who executed the foregoing instrument and acknowledged
to me that the same are their free act and voluntary deed.

This instrument, consisting of (__) pages, including the page on which this acknowledgment is written, has been
signed on the left margin of each and every page thereof by the concerned parties and their witnesses, and sealed
with my notarial seal.

WITNESS MY HAND AND SEAL on this ___day of __________________20__ at_______________.

Notary Public

37
LEGAL ETHICS

Doc. No. ........;


Page No. .......;
Book No. .......;
Series of 20__.

PROMISSORY NOTE

P__________

FOR VALUE RECEIVED, I promise to pay without need of demand to the order of __Payee__, at his office at
_____________, the principal amount of PESOS: _______________(P_________), on or before _____________.

__Date__, _____________, Philippines.

Maker

38
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION ON


FORUM SHOPPING

I._____________________________________________, of legal age, single/married, Filipino, and with residence at _______________

(Name)

after having been duly sworn to in accordance with law, hereby, depose and say:

1. That I am the ____________________in the above-entitled case and have caused this ___________________________________ to
be prepared;

2. That I read and understood its contents which are true and correct of my own personal knowledge and/or
based on authentic records.

3. That I have not commenced any action of proceeding involving the same issue in the Supreme Court, the Court
of Appeals or any other tribunal or agency; that to the best of my knowledge, no such action or proceeding is
pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or any tribunal or agency, and that, if I should learn thereafter
that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before these courts of tribunal or agency, I
undertake to report that the fact to the Court within five (5) days therefrom.

IN WITNESS WHEREFORE, I have hereunto set my hand this ____ day of __________________,20____.

____________________________________

Affiant

Affiant SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this______day of _______________, 20_____ .

____________________________________

Admin. Officer

39
LEGAL ETHICS

NOTARY PUBLIC

Doc. No. : ________;

Page No. : ________;

Book No. : ________;

Series of 20_______.

AFFIDAVIT OF LOSS

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES)

_____________________________ ) S.S.

I, (Name of Affiant)., Filipino, of legal age, civil status (single or married, “married to…”) residing at
(Address of Affiant), after having been sworn in accordance with law hereby depose and state:

1. That I am the true and lawful owner of a certain motor vehicle which is more
particularly described as follows:

MAKE : MOTOR NO. :

SERIES : SERIAL/CHASSIS NO. :

TYPE OF BODY : PLATE NO. :

YEAR MODEL : FILE NO. :

(Change the declaration below to the actual circumstances)

2. That sometime in June of this year, I was looking for the original Certificate of Registration
of my car but to my surprise, said Owner’s original Copy could not found;

3. That I took pains to look for said Certificate of Registration, but to no avail;

40
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

4. That I am executing this affidavit to attest to the truth of the foregoing and to request from
the Land Transportation Office of Angeles City, a copy of said Certificate of Registration.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this _____ day of _______________.

20___ at _________________________.

(Name Over Signature of Affiant)

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me, this ____ day of ______________, 20___ in ___________________ City, with
affiant exhibiting his Valid ID No. _______________, issued on _______________at _______________.

NOTARY PUBLIC

Until December 31, 200___

Doc. No. : ________;

Page No. : ________;

Book No. : ________;

Series of 20_______.

41
LEGAL ETHICS

CHANGE OF NAME

Republic of the Philippines

[REGION]

[COURT]

[BRANCH], [CITY]

[NAME] __________________,

Petitioner,

SP PROC. No. _____

For Change of Name

x ------------------------------------ x

PETITION FOR CHANGE OF NAME

PETITIONER, by counsel, respectfully states that:

1. Petitioner is of legal age, [CIVIL STATUS], and a resident of [RESIDENCE];

2. He/She has been a bonafide resident of the [CITY/PROVINCE] since the year [YEAR], or for at least
three (3 years) prior to the date of the filing of this petition;

42
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

3. His/her present name is [GIVEN NAME];

4. Such name is [INDICATE GROUND];

5. Petitioner requests that his present name be changed to [REQUESTED NAME].

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that, after due notice, publication, and hearing in accordance with
the Rules of Court, this Honorable Court adjudge that the petitioner’s name of ____________ be changed to ____________.

[CITY] ___________; [DATE] _____________.

[SIGNATURE]

[NAME] ______________

Counsel for Petitioner/s

[ADDRESS] _______________________

IBP Lifetime No. ____________; [CITY] _____________

PTR No. _______________; [DATE], [CITY]

Roll of Attorney No. _______________________

MCLE Compliance No. ____________________

VERIFICATION & CERTIFICATION AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING

I, [NAME] _____________________, of legal age, do hereby state that: I am the plaintiff in the pleading/document
entitled [PLEADING/DOCUMENT BEING VERIFIED] ___________________ and in such capacity, caused this Complaint
to be prepared; I have read its contents and affirm that they are true and correct to the best of my own personal
knowledge; I hereby certify that there is no other case commenced or pending before any court involving the
same parties and the same issue and that, should I learn of such a case, I shall notify the court within five (5) days
from my notice.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed this instrument on [DATE]_____________.

[SIGNATURE]

43
LEGAL ETHICS

[NAME] _________________

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me in the City of _______________ on this day of [MONTH AND
YEAR]_________________, affiant exhibiting before me his Government Issued ID no. _______________ issued on
[DATE}__________________ at [PLACE OF ISSUANCE]_____________________.

[SIGNATURE]

[NAME]_______

Notary Public

Until [DATE]__________________

PTR No. [NUMBER] ____________

Issued at [PLACE]______________

On [DATE] ___________________

Doc. No.

Page No.

Book No.

Series of [YEAR] ___________.

44
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

BILL OF EXCHANGE

P 10,000

Ten (10) days after date, pay Ms. N or order the sum ten thousand pesos (10,000).

_____________________________

Sgd. Ms. L

To: Mr. G
Managing Partner
Ugong, Pasig

45
LEGAL ETHICS

DEMAND LETTER
(to pay)

___________________
(Date)

To:
Address:

Dear:_______________

I write on behalf of _______________or the Company.

Despite several oral demands given to you, the latest of which was___________(state the date of demand), to pay the
sum________________(amount), you have failed and continue to fail to this date, to pay your outstanding obligation to
the Company.

Accordingly, this final demand is hereby made upon you to restore and pay to the Company the full amount of
PHP_________________ within ________ days from your receipt of this demand letter. Otherwise, we shall file the
necessary criminal and civil action against you to protect our client’s interests.

For payment arrangements, kindly contact_________________________

Very truly yours,

_________

46
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

NOTARIAL WILL

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

of

___________________

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

I, ___________________ , of legal age, married to _________ , residing at _____________, being of sound and disposing
mind and memory, and not acting under influence, violence, fraud or intimidation of whatever kind, declare this to
be my Last Will and Testament which I have caused to be written in English, the language which is known to me.
And I hereby declare that:

I. The following are my heirs and their addresses;

[INDICATE THE NAME OF HEIRS AND THEIR ADDRESSES)

II. I give and bequeath to my heirs __________, __________, and __________, in equal shares, the
following properties, real and personal, whatsoever and wheresoever located:

47
LEGAL ETHICS

[DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY]

III. I designate _______________ as the sole executor of this Last Will and Testament.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand this ______________ in ________________.

(Sgd.) ________________

ATTESTATION CLAUSE

WE, the undersigned witnesses, whose residences are stated opposite our respective names, do hereby
certify that: the testator _________________ has published unto us the foregoing will consisting of ___ pages numbered
correlatively in letters on the upper part of each page, as his/her last will and testament and has signed the same
and every page thereof, on the left margin, in our joint presence and we, in turn, at his/her request have witnessed
and signed the same and every page thereof, on the left margin, in the presence of the testator and in the presence
of each other.

(1ST WITNESS) ______________ [RESIDENCE]

(2ND WITNESS) ______________ [RESIDENCE]

(3RD WITNESS) ______________ [RESIDENCE]

JOINT ACKNOWLEDGMENT

BEFORE ME, Notary Public for the ____________, this ___________, personally appeared:

_____________ (TESTATOR), with Valid Identification Document _______ issued by

_____________ (ISSUING AUTHORITY) on __________;

_____________ (WITNESS), with Valid Identification Document _______ issued by

_____________ (ISSUING AUTHORITY) on __________;

_____________ (WITNESS), with Valid Identification Document _______ issued by

_____________ (ISSUING AUTHORITY) on __________;

_____________ (WITNESS), with Valid Identification Document _______ issued by

_____________ (ISSUING AUTHORITY) on __________;

48
UST LAW PRE-WEEK NOTES 2017

all known to me to be the same persons who signed the foregoing Will, the first as testator and the last three as
instrumental witnesses, and they respectively acknowledged to me that they signed the same as their own free act
and deed.

This Will consists of ___ pages, including the page in which this acknowledgment is written, and has been
signed on the left margin of each and every page thereof by the testator and his witnesses and has been sealed
with my Notarial seal.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand the day, year and place written.

(Sgd.) __________
Notary Public
Until __________________
PTR No. _______________
Issued at ______________
On ___________________

Doc. No.
Page No.
Book No.
Series of 2007.

SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

I, ______________, of legal age, and resident of _________, do hereby name, constitute and appoint ___________, of
legal age, and resident of ____________, to be my true and lawful Attorney-in-Fact and in my name, place and stead,
do perform the following specific act(s):

[SPECIFY THE ACTS TO BE PERFORMED]

Giving and granting unto said attorney-in-fact power and authority to do every act necessary and
required in connection with these presents, and hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorney-in-fact shall
do or cause to be done under and by virtue of these presents.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed this Special Power of Attorney this _________ at __________.

49
LEGAL ETHICS

(Sgd.) _____________

Principal

SIGNED IN THE PRESENCE OF:

(Sgd.) ______________

(Sgd.) ______________

[INCLUDE ACKNOWLEDGMENT AS PROVIDED BELOW]

Republic of the Philippines )


City of Manila ) s.s.

BEFORE ME, this ____________ in the City of _____________, personally appeared ___________, with [VALID ID with
ID No.] _______________ issued by the [ISSUING AUTHORITY] ______________ on _____________, known to me to be the
same person who executed the foregoing instrument, and who acknowledged to me that the same is his free act
and deed.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand and affixed my Notarial seal on the day, year and place
written.

Sgd.) __________

Notary Public

Until__________________
PTR No. _______________
Issued at ______________
On ___________________

50

Похожие интересы