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Proper conduct of lawyer and client during lawyer-client relationship

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Arellano University School of Law – Arellano Law Foundation
2018-2019

CHAPTER I. THE LAWYER AND SOCIETY


CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND
PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW OF AND LEGAL PROCESSES.

Rule 1.04 - A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will admit of a fair
settlement.
CANON 8 A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his
professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.

Rule 8.01 A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
otherwise improper.

CANON 11 A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers
and should insist on similar conduct by others.

Rule 11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or behavior before the
Courts.

Rule 11.04 A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by the record or have no materiality
to the case.

CANON 12 - A LAWYER SHALL EXERT EVERY EFFORT AND CONSIDER IT HIS DUTY TO ASSIST IN
THE SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.

Rule 12.08 - A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client, except:
(a) on formal matters, such as the mailing, authentication or custody of an instrument, and the like; or
(b) on substantial matters, in cases where his testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in which event he
must, during his testimony, entrust the trial of the case to another counsel.

CHAPTER IV. THE LAWYER AND THE CLIENT

CANON 14 - A LAWYER SHALL NOT REFUSE HIS SERVICES TO THE NEEDY.


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Rule 14.04 - A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to pay his professional fees shall observe
the same standard of conduct governing his relations with paying clients.

CANON 15 - A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS
AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENTS.
Rule 15.01. - A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as practicable
whether the matter would involve a conflict with another client or his own interest, and if so, shall
forthwith inform the prospective client.
Rule 15.02.- A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privilege communication in respect of matters
disclosed to him by a prospective client.
Rule 15.03. - A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all
concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.
………
Rule 15.04. - A lawyer may, with the written consent of all concerned, act as mediator, conciliator or
arbitrator in settling disputes.
Rule 15.05. - A lawyer when advising his client, shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and
probable results of the client's case, neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case.
Rule 15.06. - A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public official, tribunal or
legislative body.
Rule 15.07. - A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness.
Rule 15.08. - A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or occupation concurrently with the practice of
law shall make clear to his client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.

CANON 16 - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT
THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.

Rule 16.01 - A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.
Rule 16.02 - A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of
others kept by him .
………
Rule 16.03 - A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand.
However, he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy
his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also have a
lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the
Rules of Court.

Rule 16.04 - A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client's interest are fully protected
by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except,
when in the interest of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the
client.

CANON 17 - A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL
OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM.
CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.

Rules 18.01 - A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service which he knows or should know that he is not
qualified to render. However, he may render such service if, with the consent of his client, he can
obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on the matter.
Rule 18.02 - A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation.
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.
Rule 18.04 - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the client's request for information.

CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE
LAW.

Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client
and shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain
an improper advantage in any case or proceeding.
Rule 19.02 - A lawyer who has received information that his client has, in the course of the representation,
perpetrated a fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the same, and
failing which he shall terminate the relationship with such client in accordance with the Rules of Court.
Rule 19.03 - A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the procedure in handling the case.

CANON 20 - A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND REASONABLE FEES.

Rule 20.01 - A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining his fees:
(a) the time spent and the extent of the service rendered or required;
(b) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
(c) The importance of the subject matter;
(d) The skill demanded;
(e) The probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance of the proffered case;
(f) The customary charges for similar services and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to which he
belongs;
(g) The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to the client from the service;

……..
(h) The contingency or certainty of compensation;
(i) The character of the employment, whether occasional or established; and
(j) The professional standing of the lawyer.
Rule 20.02 - A lawyer shall, in case of referral, with the consent of the client, be entitled to a division of
fees in proportion to the work performed and responsibility assumed.
Rule 20.03 - A lawyer shall not, without the full knowledge and consent of the client, accept any fee,
reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever
related to his professional employment from anyone other than the client.
Rule 20.04 - A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort to
judicial action only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud.

CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN
AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATION IS TERMINATED

Rule 21.01 - A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of his client except;
(a) When authorized by the client after acquainting him of the consequences of the disclosure;
(b) When required by law;
(c) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his employees or associates or by judicial action.
Rule 21.02 - A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, use information acquired in the course of
employment, nor shall he use the same to his own advantage or that of a third person, unless the client with
full knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto.
……
Rule 21.03 - A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of his client, give information from his files to
an outside agency seeking such information for auditing, statistical, bookkeeping, accounting, data
processing, or any similar purpose.
Rule 21.04 - A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the firm to partners or associates thereof unless
prohibited by the client.
Rule 21.05 - A lawyer shall adopt such measures as may be required to prevent those whose services are
utilized by him, from disclosing or using confidences or secrets of the clients.
Rule 21.06 - A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a client's affairs even with members of his
family.
Rule 21.07 - A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been consulted about a particular case except to avoid
possible conflict of interest.

CANON 22 - A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR GOOD CAUSE AND UPON
NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

Rule 22.01 - A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the following case:
(a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in connection with the matter he is
handling;
(b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative of these canons and rules;
(c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the best interest of the client;
(d) When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out the
employment effectively;

……
(e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services or fails to comply with the
retainer agreement;
(f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office; and
(g) Other similar cases.

Rule 22.02 - A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, subject to a retainer lien, immediately turn over
all papers and property to which the client is entitled, and shall cooperative with his successor in the
orderly transfer of the matter, including all information necessary for the proper handling of the matter.

Strained relationship
Besides, the obligatory force of said duty should not be diluted by the temperament or occasional
frustrations of the lawyer’s client, especially so when the latter remains unsatisfied by the lawyer’s work.
Indeed, a lawyer must deal with his client with professional maturity and commit himself towards the
objective fulfillment of his responsibilities. If the relationship is strained, the correct course of action is
for the lawyer to properly account for his affairs as well as to ensure the smooth turn-over of the case to
another lawyer. - Segovia-Ribaya v. Atty. Lawsin, A.C. No. 7965 , November 13, 2013

Under payment of Professional fees

Hence, even if respondent felt under-compensated in the case he undertook to defend, his obligation
embodied in the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility still remains unwavering.
The zeal and the degree of fervor in handling the case should neither diminish nor cease just because of
his perceived insufficiency of remuneration. – Francisco, et. Al. v. Atty. Portugal, A.C. No. 6155 March 14,
2006

Not to discriminate clients as to their belief of the guilt


Lastly, the Court does not appreciate the offensive appellation respondent called the shooting incident that
the accused was engaged in. He described the incident, thus: "the accused police officers who had been
convicted of [h]omicide for the ‘salvage’ of Froilan G. Cabiling and Jose M. Chua and [a]ttempted
[h]omicide of Mario C. Macato."

Rule 14.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility clearly directs lawyers not to discriminate clients as
to their belief of the guilt of the latter. It is ironic that it is the defense counsel that actually branded his
own clients as being the culprits that "salvaged" the victims. Though he might think of his clients as that,
still it is unprofessional to be labeling an event as such when even the Sandiganbayan had not done so.
-Francisco, et. Al. v. Atty. Portugal, A.C. No. 6155 March 14, 2006

Higher duty in criminal cases

In a criminal case like that handled by respondent in behalf of the accused, respondent has a higher duty
to be circumspect in defending the accused for it is not only the property of the accused which stands
to be lost but more importantly, their right to their life and liberty. - Francisco, et. Al. v. Atty. Portugal,
A.C. No. 6155 March 14, 2006

Duty to inform client


The Court notes that though respondent represented to the accused that he had changed his office address,
still, from the examination of the pleadings he filed, it can be gleaned that all of the pleadings have the
same mailing address as that known to complainants. Presumably, at some point, respondent’s office would
have received the Court’s Resolution dismissing the petition. Of course, the prudent step to take in that
situation was to at least inform the client of the adverse resolution since they had constantly called
respondent’s office to check the status of the case. Even when he knew that complainants had been
calling his office, he opted not to return their calls. - Francisco, et. Al. v. Atty. Portugal, A.C. No. 6155
March 14, 2006

Rule 18.04 - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the client's request for information.

Duty of counsel to file the Notice to Withdraw


Certainly, respondent ought to know that he was the one who should have filed the Notice to Withdraw
and not the accused. His tale that he sent a registered letter to the accused and gave them instructions on
how to go about respondent’s withdrawal from the case defies credulity. It should have been respondent
who undertook the appropriate measures for the proper withdrawal of his representation. He should not
have relied on his client to do it for him if such was truly the case. - Francisco, et. Al. v. Atty. Portugal,
A.C. No. 6155 March 14, 2006

Duty to act according to the CPR

To this end, suffice it to state that complainant’s purported act of "maligning" respondent does not justify
the latter’s failure to properly account for and return his client’s money upon due demand. – Segovia-
Ribaya v. Atty. Lawsin, A.C. No. 7965 , November 13, 2013

For a substitution of attorneys to be effectual

"In order that there may be substitution of attorneys in a given case, there must be:
(1) a written application for substitution;
(2) the written consent of the client;
(3) the written consent of the attorney substituted; and
(4) in case such written consent cannot be secured, there must be filed with the application proof of
service of notice of such motion upon the attorney to be substituted, in the manner prescribed by the rules.
Unless the foregoing formalities are complied with, substitution will not be permitted, and the attorney
who properly appeared last in the case, before such application for substitution, will be regarded as the
attorney of record and will be held responsible for the proper conduct of the case." – Pioneer
Insurance and Surety Corporation v. De Dios Transportation Co., Inc. and De Dios Markina transit
Corporation, G.R. No. 147010 July 18, 2003

The Rules of Court under Rule 138, Section 21 provides for a presumption of a lawyer’s appearance
on behalf of his client

SEC. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. – An attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to


represent any cause in which he appears, and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him to
appear in court for his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on reasonable
grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney who assumes the right to appear in a case to
produce or prove the authority under which he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue,
the name of the person who employed him, and may thereupon make such order as justice requires. An
attorney willfully appearing in court for a person without being employed, unless by leave of the court, may
be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions.
(Emphases supplied)

Lawyer must show his authority when ordered by the court

[T]his Court said that while a lawyer is not required to present proof of his representation, when a court
requires that he show such authorization, it is imperative that he show his authority to act. Thus:
A lawyer is not even required to present a written authorization from the client. In fact, the absence of a
formal notice of entry of appearance will not invalidate the acts performed by the counsel in his
client’s name. However, [a] court, on its own initiative or on motion of the other party may require a
lawyer to adduce authorization from the client. – Villahermosa, Sr. v. Atty Caracol, A.C. No. 7325, January 21,
2015
……..
Lawyers must be mindful that an attorney has no power to act as counsel for a person without being
retained nor may he appear in court without being employed unless by leave of court. If an attorney
appears on a client’s behalf without a retainer or the requisite authority neither the litigant whom he
purports to represent nor the adverse party may be bound or affected by his appearance unless the
purported client ratifies or is estopped to deny his assumed authority.
If a lawyer corruptly or willfully appears as an attorney for a party to a case without authority, he may be
disciplined or punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official
transaction. – Villahermosa, Sr. v. Atty Caracol, A.C. No. 7325, January 21, 2015

Death of client

However, Atty. Caracol knew that Efren had already passed away at the time he filed the Motion for
Issuance of Second Alias Writ of Execution and Demolition. As an honest, prudent and conscientious
lawyer, he should have informed the Court of his client’s passing and presented authority that he
was retained by the client’s successors-in-interest and thus the parties may have been substituted. –
Villahermosa, Sr. v. Atty Caracol, A.C. No. 7325, January 21, 2015

…….
The procedure is specifically governed by Section 16 of Rule 3, which reads thus:
Section 16. Death of a party; duty of counsel. Whenever a party to a pending action dies, and the claim is
not thereby extinguished, it shall be the duty of his counsel to inform the court within thirty (30)
days after such death of the fact thereof, and to give the name and address of his legal representative or
representatives. Failure of counsel to comply with this duty shall be a ground for disciplinary action.

To use only peaceful and lawful methods in seeking justice


On November 18, 2004, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a Resolution dated October 13, 2004, finding probable
cause to charge complainant and respondent for grave coercion. The corresponding Information was filed
before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 63, docketed as Criminal Case No. 337985 (grave
coercion case), and, as a matter of course, warrants of arrest were issued against them. Due to the
foregoing, respondent advised complainant to go into hiding until he had filed the necessary
motions in court. - Pitcher v. Atty. Gagate, A.C. No. 9532, October 8, 2013

……
In the same light, respondent's act of advising complainant to go into hiding in order to evade arrest
in the criminal case can hardly be maintained as proper legal advice since the same constitutes
transgression of the ordinary processes of law.
By virtue of the foregoing, respondent clearly violated his duty to his client to use peaceful and lawful
methods in seeking justice, in violation of Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of the Code as above-quoted. To note
further, since such courses of action were not only improper but also erroneous, respondent equally failed
to serve his client with competence and diligence in violation of Canon 18 of the Code. In the same regard,
he also remained unmindful of his client’s trust in him – in particular, her trust that respondent would only
provide her with the proper legal advice in pursuing her interests – thereby violating Canon 17 of the Code.
……..
Rules 18.01 - A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service which he knows or should know that he is not
qualified to render. However, he may render such service if, with the consent of his client, he can
obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on the matter.
Rule 18.02 - A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation.
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection
therewith shall render him liable.
Rule 18.04 - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the client's request for information.
Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his
client and shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to
obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding.

On its face an attorney-client sexual relationship is likely to raise several conflict of interest issues
1. the termination of the sexual relationship can result in the termination of the legal representation
to the detriment of the client.
2. A sexual relationship may raise disagreement on lawyer's fees.
3. It is recognized that a sexual relationship may alter the lawyer's objectivity and detachment resulting
in incompetent representation.
4. A sexual relationship will undoubtedly result in a change in attorney-client self-interest.
5. An attorney in a sexual relationship with a client may not pursue his client's interest zealously out of fear
that conclusion of the legal matter would end the sexual affair.
6. In a divorce matter, for example, an attorney may be reluctant to pursue serious reconciliation
between the client and his/her spouse.
……..

7. An attorney living with the client or considering a serious relationship with the client may urge the
client not to seek child custody. In short, a lawyer may pursue an unwise course of action on behalf
of his/her client due to the sexual involvement.
8. Most importantly, sexual involvement with a client may lead a lawyer to commit other ethical
violations such as disclosing confidential information or becoming a potential adverse witness.
Generally, any information obtained by the attorney in the professional relationship is privileged.
9. When the lawyer is sexually involved with the client, it becomes difficult to determine whether
information was obtained in the professional or sexual relationship. - “Attorney-Client Sexual
Relations” By Abed Awad ; The Journal of the Legal Profession; 22 J. Legal Prof. 131 1997/1998

It is not sex with the client per se that violates the [Professional conduct]

The panel further held it was not sex with the client per se that violates the [Professional Conduct], but the
exploitation of the attorney-client relationship to the detriment of the client that does so. The
panel cited xxx as holding that attorney misconduct may exist despite not being specifically prohibited by a
disciplinary rule when the fiduciary obligation between a client and her attorney is broken by sexual
manipulation. - 955 P.2d 1240 (1998)
……..
"It is apparent that a sexual relationship during the course of representation can seriously harm
the client's interests. Therefore, the Committee concludes that because of the danger of impairment to
the lawyer's representation associated with a sexual relationship between lawyer and client, the lawyer
would be well advised to refrain from such a relationship. If such a sexual relationship occurs and
the impairment is not avoided, the lawyer will have violated ethical obligations to the client. - 955
P.2d 1240 (1998)

Client's consent to sexual relations

"The client's consent to sexual relations alone will rarely be sufficient to eliminate this danger. In many
cases, the client's ability to give meaningful consent is vitiated by the lawyer's potential undue influence
and/or the emotional vulnerability of the client. The lawyer may, therefore, be called upon in a disciplinary
or other proceeding to show that the client consented, that the consent was freely given based on full and
reasonable disclosure of the risks involved, and that any ensuing sexual relationship did not in any way
disadvantage the client in the representation, that is, the attorney's judgment remained independent, the
representation proceeded free of conflicts, the privilege was not compromised and the other ethical
obligations to the client were fulfilled." - 955 P.2d 1240 (1998)

WON the Sixth Amendment right of a criminal defendant to assistance of counsel is violated when
an attorney refuses to cooperate with the defendant in presenting perjured testimony at his trial.

That court held that the right to have counsel present all appropriate defenses does not extend to using
perjury, and that an attorney's duty to a client does not extend to assisting a client in committing perjury.
It is universally agreed that, at a minimum, the attorney's first duty when confronted with a proposal for
perjurious testimony is to attempt to dissuade the client from the unlawful course of conduct.

“Lawyer-Witness Rule"

The prohibition against a lawyer testifying for his or her client has its basis in the rules of evidence:
The rule prohibiting a lawyer from acting both as an advocate and as a witness on behalf of a
client .. . originated in the law of evidence as a corollary to the general principle that neither a party nor
one aligned in interest with a party is competent as a witness on the party's behalf.
The notion that a lawyer is not a competent witness on behalf of the client has been largely rejected by
modern courts, which analyze the prohibition as a matter of professional ethics rather than
evidentiary law.
………

"The notion that a lawyer is not a competent witness on behalf of the client has been largely rejected by
modern courts, which analyze the prohibition as a matter of professional ethics rather than
evidentiary law.
The court noted that “[e]ven though the attorney is otherwise competent to testify, it is generally
considered a serious breach of professional etiquette and detrimental to the orderly administration of
justice for an attorney to take the stand in a case he is trying.” – Lease America Corporation v. Stewart, 876
P.2d 184 (1994)

Special Authority to compromise

In the practice of law, lawyers constantly formulate compromise agreements for the benefit of their
clients. Article 1878 of the Civil Code provides that " [s]pecial powers of attorney are necessary in the
following cases: xxx (3) To compromise, to submit questions to arbitration, to renounce the right to appeal
from a judgment, to waive objections to the venue of an action or to abandon a prescription already
acquired xxx."

RRC 138 Sec. 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients. - Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in
any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of
ordinary judicial procedure. But they cannot, without special authority, compromise their client's
litigation, or receive anything in discharge of a client's claim but the full amount in cash.

The absence of a counsel’s knowledge or consent does not invalidate a compromise agreement

It is settled that parties may enter into a compromise agreement without the intervention of their
lawyer. This precedes from the equally settled rule that a client has an undoubted right to settle a suit
without the intervention of his lawyer for he is generally conceded to have the exclusive control over the
subject-matter of the litigation and may, at any time before judgment, if acting in good faith, compromise,
settle, and adjust his cause of action out of court without his attorney’s intervention, knowledge, or
consent, even though he has agreed with his attorney not to do so. Hence, the absence of a counsel’s
knowledge or consent does not invalidate a compromise agreement. – Atty. Agustin, et. al. v.
Alejandro Cruz-Herrera, G.R. No. 174564, February 12, 2014

A compromise agreement is binding only between its privies and could not affect the rights of
third persons

A compromise agreement is binding only between its privies and could not affect the rights of third
persons who were not parties to the agreement. One such third party is the lawyer who should not
be totally deprived of his compensation because of the compromise subscribed by the client. Otherwise,
the terms of the compromise agreement will be set aside, and the client shall be bound to pay the fees
agreed upon with his lawyer. If the adverse party settled the suit in bad faith, he will be made solidarily
liable with the client for the payment of such fees. The following discussions [] elaborate on this matter, viz:

……..
As the validity of a compromise agreement cannot be prejudiced, so should not be the payment of a
lawyer’s adequate and reasonable compensation for his services should the suit end by reason of the
settlement. The terms of the compromise subscribed to by the client should not be such that will
amount to an entire deprivation of his lawyer’s fees, especially when the contract is on a contingent fee
basis.
In this sense, the compromise settlement cannot bind the lawyer as a third party. A lawyer is as much
entitled to judicial protection against injustice or imposition of fraud on the part of his client as the client is
against abuse on the part of his counsel. The duty of the court is not only to ensure that a lawyer acts in a
proper and lawful manner, but also to see to it that a lawyer is paid his just fees. – Atty. Agustin, et. al. v.
Alejandro Cruz-Herrera, G.R. No. 174564, February 12, 2014

Lawyer’s language in pleadings


In keeping with the dignity of the legal profession, a lawyer’s language must be dignified and choice of
language is important in the preparation of pleadings. In the assertion of his client’s rights, a lawyer –
even one gifted with superior intellect –is enjoined to rein up his temper.

As reflected above, the inclusion of the derogatory statements by respondent was actuated by his
giving vent to his ill-feelings towards Atty. Torres, a purpose to which the mantle of absolute
immunity does not extend. Personal colloquies between counsel which cause delay and promote
unseemly wrangling should be carefully avoided.
- Atty. Torres v. Atty. Javier, Adm. Case No. 5910, September 21, 2005

Thank you for your attention!!