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LEGAL ETHICS REVIEWER MIDTERMS

Atty. Carlo Busmente

Canons
Rule 2.04 - A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily prescribed
unless the circumstances so warrant.
Rule 6.01 - The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to
convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of
witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused is highly
reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action.
Rule 8.01 - A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is
abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.
Rule 8.02 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional
employment of another lawyer, however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear
or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief against
unfaithful or neglectful counsel.
Rule 9.01 - A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the performance
of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the bar in good
standing.
CANON 13 – A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from any
impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the appearance of influencing the
court.
Rule 13.01 - A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor
seek opportunity for cultivating familiarity with Judges.
Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a
pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.

Forum Shopping
It is a forum shopping when as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a
party seeks a favorable opinion in another or when institutes two or more actions or
proceedings grounded on the same cause, on the gamble that one or the other court
would make a favorable disposition.

Requisites of Forum Shopping


1.) Identity of PARTIES, or atleast such parties that represent the same interest
in both actions;
2.) Identity of RIGHTS ASSERTED or RELIEFS PRAYED FOR, the reliefs being
founded on the same facts;
3.) Identity of the THE TWO PROCEEDING PARTICULARS, such that any
judgment rendered in the other action will, regardless for which party is
successful, amount to res judicata in the action under consideration.
Effects of Forum Shopping
- Subsequent case will be dismissed without prejudice, on the ground of
either litis pendentia or res judicata.

Effects of Forum Shopping when Deliberate


- The same shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and
constitute direct contempt, as well as a cause for administrative sanctions.

Tests in Determining Forum Shopping


1.) When it involves the same parties;
2.) When the relief sought in one of the courts is essentially the same with that
of the other case which is pending in another court;
3.) When the cases in the different courts involve the same subject matter;
4.) Whether the elements of litis pendentia are present or whether a final
judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other.

Pretermission of Holiday
- Where the day, or the last day, for doing any act required or permitted by law
falls on a regular holiday or special holiday, the act may be done on the next
succeeding business day

Cases
1.) Estrada v. Sandiganbayan (Opinions of the Lawyers on the Court)
The Supreme Court held that lawyers are not prohibited in raising
questions regarding the Court. It is a valid exercise of freedom of expression
under the Constitution. As an officer of the Court, he must observe the respect
due to the Courts and to the Judicial Officers. A lawyer must not use language
which are abusive or offensive. The actions of Atty. Paguia leads to obstruction in
the desposition of justice.

2.) Likong v. Lim


Atty. Lim prevented Cerina from informing her lawyers by giving her
the reasons enumerated in the complaint. There is no showing that Atty. Lim
even tried to inform opposing counsel of the compromise agreement. Neither is
there any showing that Atty. Lim informed the trial court of the alleged
abandonment of Cerina by her counsel. Instead, even assuming that she was
really abandoned by her counsel, Atty. Lim saw an opportunity to take advantage
of the situation, and the result was the execution of the compromise agreement
which is grossly and patently disadvantageous and prejudicial to Cerina.
Undoubtedly, Atty. Lim's conduct is unbecoming a member of the legal
profession. Hence, Atty. Lim violated Rule 8.02.

3.) Bildner v. Ilusorio & Singson (Canon 13)


Supreme Court, in this case, applied Canon 13 which states that a
lawyer should rely upon the merits of his cause and should refrain from any
impropriety which tends to influence or gives the appearance of influencing the
court. Supreme Court subjected Atty. Singson to disciplinary action for
continuously trying to call Judge Reyes regarding his case pending on the sala of
the latter. Atty. Singson also tried to influence Judge Reyes through a common
friend. Supreme Court ruled that these acts are afoul with the canon mentioned
because they are directed toward a single purpose and that is to influence the
judge instead on relying upong the merits of the case.

4.) In Re: Cunanan (Bar Flunkers Act)


In this case, the Supreme Court invalidated some provisions of the so-
called “Bar Flunkers Act” that allow those examinees who failed to pass the bar
examination by reason of inadequacy of learning materials to be counted as
passers. Inclusion of such would amount to an encroachment of an inherent
judicial function. That inherent judicial function referred to is the power of the
Supreme Court to regulate matters concerning the admission to the practice of
law.

5.) A-1 Financial/or Uy v. Capulong


According to Rule 6.01, The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in
public prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is done. The
suppression of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable of establishing the
innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary
action. The duty of the prosecutor is a quasi judicial function.

6.) Zoreta v. Simpliciano (Public Prosecution)


Notarization is not an empty, meaningless or routinary act. It is an
essential matter that makes the private document to be a public document which
stands to be authentic without further proof of its authenticity.

7.) Diao v. Martinez (Fake Bar Taker)


The Supreme Court held that the respondent be stricken from the roll
of attorneys. He is not qualified to take the Bar Examinations, but due to his false
representations, he was able to take it and luckily passed and was thereafter
admitted to the bar. Such admissions having been obtained under false
pretenses must be revoked. The fact that he hurdled the Bar is immaterial.
Passin such examination is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-
law; taking prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally
essential.

8.) Abaigar v. Paz (Notary Public)


In this case, carnal knowledge between two consenting adults without
any legal impediment does not constitute a grossly immoral act or conduct that
would warrant the disbarment of a lawyer. Grossly immoral means that an act is
so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be
reprehensible to a high degree.

9.) Tolosa v. Cargo (Adulterous Act)


The Supreme Court said that a lawyer must not only maintain a
decent private life but must also act in such a way as to not arouse public
suspicion. Engaging in adulterous acts is a ground for disbarment. A lawyer
should refrain from engaging in any conduct that would create public suspicion
that he is engaged in such kind of activity because he must, at all times, uphold
the integrity and dignity of the legal profession.

10.) In Re: Tagorda v. Director Bayot


Supreme Court held that soliciting cases at law either through paid
brokers or agents constitutes malpractice. The law is a profession and not a
business. In advertising his skills and talents, it lowers the standards of the legal
profession. The most effective advertisement is a well-merited reputation for
professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but must be the
outcome of character and conduct. Hence, a lawyer cannot advertise his services
to the public.

Hypothetical Questions
CANON 13 – A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from any
impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the appearance of influencing the
court.
Rule 2.03 - A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to
solicit legal business.
Rule 2.04 - A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily prescribed
unless the circumstances so warrant.