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Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
Rule 1.02 - A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at
lessening confidence in the legal system.

Rule 1.03 - A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or
proceeding or delay any man's cause.

Rule 1.04 - A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will
admit of a fair settlement.

Tolosa v. Cargo, 171 SCRA 21

Complainant filed a disbarment case towards respondent claiming immorality. Alleging
further that Atty. Alfredo Cargo and his wife is having an affair and that his wife even left their
conjugal home to live and rent in a place paid by the respondent. Several issues were also raised
alleging immorality and altercations between the complainant and the respondent.

WON Atty. Alfredo Cargo be disbarred.

The Supreme Court agreed with the conclusion of the Solicitor General in not finding the
respondent guilty of immorality due to lack of sufficient evidence. However, the court ruled
further to WARN Atty. Alfredo Cargo and REPRIMAND him of conduct unbecoming a member
of the Bar and an officer of the court.

De los Reyes v. Aznar, 179 SCRA 653

Complainant is a second year medical student of the Southwestern University in which
respondent Atty. Aznar is the then Chairman of the College of Medicine. Complainant was
compelled to go to Manila with respondent for three days where he repeatedly had carnal
knowledge of her upon the threat of respondent that if she would not give in to his lustful desires,
she would flunk in all her subjects and she would never become a medical intern. After due
investigation, the Solicitor General found the respondent guilty of gross immoral conduct and
recommends that since the complainant is partly to blame for having gone with respondent to
Manila knowing fully well that respondent is a married man ,with children, a rich man and is not
practicing his profession before the court, he should merely be suspended from the practice of
law for not less than three (3) years.


Whether or not the imposition of the penalty is proper.

No, the fact that he is a rich man and does not practice his profession as a lawyer, does
not render respondent a person of good moral character. Evidence of good moral character
precedes admission to bar (Sec.2, Rule 138, Rules of Court) and such requirement is not
dispensed with upon admission thereto. Good moral character is a continuing qualification
necessary to entitle one to continue in the practice of law. Under Section 27, Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court enumerates the grounds for disbarment or suspension from his office as attorney,
among others, by grossly immoral conduct. Immoral conduct has been defined as that which is
willful, flagrant, or shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good
and respectable members of the community. In the present case, it was highly immoral of
respondent to have taken advantage of his position in asking complainant to go with him under
the threat that she would flunk in all her subjects in case she refused. Respondent Jose B. Aznar

Cordova v. Labayen, 249 SCRA 172

On March 5, 1993, the Municipal Trial Court (branch II) of Batangas City rendered
judgment for petitioners with respect to four ordering the ejectment of private respondents and
ordering them to pay monthly rentals of P50,000.00 starting April 7, 1992 until they shall have
vacated the lots and surrendered their possession to petitioners and the sum of P20,000.00 as
attorney's fees. On March 29, 1993, petitioners moved for the execution of the decision in their
favor, alleging that although private respondents had filed a notice of appeal, the latter had not
filed a supersede as bond nor make a deposit every month of the reasonable value of the use and
occupation of the properties as required by Rule 70, sec. 8.Private respondents opposed the
motion, claiming that they are co-owners of the lots from which they were ordered to be ejected
and that to grant immediate execution of the decision would render their appeal moot and

Whether there was a late filing of Supersede as Bond.

The petition is not meritorious. As a general rule, a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in an
ejectment suit is immediately executory, in order to prevent further damage to him arising from
the loss of possession of the property in question. The motion for execution was filed eighteen
days from the date the petitioners received a copy of the MTC's decision, after the appeal had
already been perfected. Because no supersede as bond had been filed within the period for
appeal, a writ of execution should have been issued as a matter of right. Petitioners manifestly
failed to adduce a compelling reason to justify a departure from the afore cited rule. Lawyers as
officers of the court must assist in the administration of justice.

Cobb v. Lazatin, 24 SCRA 291
A civil case was filed by Ricardo Hermoso against Damaso Perez for the latter’s failure to
pay a debt of P17k. Hermoso won and a writ of execution was issued in his favor. The sheriff
was to conduct a public sale of a property owned by Damaso worth P300k. This was opposed by
Damaso as he claimed the amount of said property was more than the amount of the debt. Judge
Lantin, issuing judge, found merit on this hence he amended his earlier decision and so he issued
a second writ this time directing the sheriff to conduct a public sale on Damaso’s 210 shares of
stock approximately worth P17k.Subsequently, Damaso and his wife filed five more petitions for
injunction trying to enjoin the public sale. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court where
the SC ruled that the petition of the Perez spouses are without merit; that their numerous
petitions for injunction are contemplated for delay. In said decision, the Supreme Court ordered
petitioners to pay the cost of the suit but said cost should be paid by their counsels. The counsels
now appeal said decision by the Supreme Court as they claimed that such decision reflected
adversely against their professionalism; that “If there was delay, it was because petitioners’
counsel happened to be more assertive . . . a quality of the lawyers (which) is not to be

Whether or not the counsels for the Spouses Perez are excused.

No, A counsel’s assertiveness in espousing with candor and honesty his client’s cause
must be encouraged and is to be commended; what is not tolerated is a lawyer’s insistence
despite the patent futility of his client’s position, as in the case at bar. It is the duty of a counsel to
advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and vagaries of the law, on the merit or
lack of merit of his case. If he finds that his client’s cause is defenseless, then it is his bounden
duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A
lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and temper his client’s propensity to
litigate. A lawyer’s oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to his duty to his client; its
primacy is indisputable.

Engr. Tumbokon v. Atty. Pefianco, AC No 6116, 01 Aug 2012

Gilbert filed a case for disbarment against Atty. Mariano. According to him , he referred
the case of Amable and Rosalinda in a case for partition of the estate of the late Benjamin Yap.
They agreed that Gilbert would receive ten percent of the attorneys fees that Mariano would
receive from the case, which agreement they reduced into writing. However, even after Mariano
received about P40 Million as attorney’s fees, the latter refused to pay, stating in a letter that the
spouses will be the one to shoulder his commission after his attorneys fees was reduced from
20% to 17%. Despite demand, Mariano refused to pay, hence Gilber filed the disbarment case
against Mariano, further alleging that the latter was also guilty of immorality for abandoning his
legal wife Milagros, and her four children, and cohabiting with Mae Flor. He also accused him of
engaging in money-lending operation without the required authority from the Bangko Sentral ng

Pilipinas. In his defense, he averred that he accepted the case of the spouses on a contingency
basis, and advance all the expenses. The letter according to him was a forgery, and it was the
spouses who promised to assume the payment of Gilbert’s commission. The IBP recommended
that Mariano be suspended for one year from the practice of law.

THE SUPREME COURT: The practice of law is considered a privilege bestowed by the State
on those who show that they possess and continue to possess the legal qualifications for the
profession. As such, lawyers are expected to maintain at all times a high standard of legal
proficiency, morality, honesty, integrity and fair dealing, and must perform their four-fold duty to
society, the legal profession, the courts and their clients, in accordance with the values and norms
embodied in the Code. Lawyers may, thus, be disciplined for any conduct that is wanting of the
above standards whether in their professional or in their private capacity. In the present case,
respondent’s defense that forgery had attended the execution of the August 11, 1995 letter was
belied by his July 16, 1997 letter admitting to have undertaken the payment of complainant’s
commission but passing on the responsibility to Sps. Yap. Clearly, respondent has violated Rule
9.02,[12] Canon 9 of the Code which prohibits a lawyer from dividing or stipulating to divide a
fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, except in certain cases which do
not obtain in the case at bar. Furthermore, respondent did not deny the accusation that he
abandoned his legal family to cohabit with his mistress with whom he begot four children
notwithstanding that his moral character as well as his moral fitness to be retained in the Roll of
Attorneys has been assailed. The settled rule is that betrayal of the marital vow of fidelity or
sexual relations outside marriage is considered disgraceful and immoral as it manifests deliberate
disregard of the sanctity of marriage and the marital vows protected by the Constitution and
affirmed by our laws. Consequently, We find no reason to disturb the IBP’s finding that
respondent violated the Lawyer’s Oath and Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code which proscribes a
lawyer from engaging in “unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.” However, We find
the charge of engaging in illegal money lending not to have been sufficiently established. A
“business” requires some form of investment and a sufficient number of customers to whom its
output can be sold at profit on a consistent basis. The lending of money to a single person
without showing that such service is made available to other persons on a consistent basis cannot
be construed as indicia that respondent is engaged in the business of lending.”

Tan, Jr. v. Atty. Gumba, A.C. No. 9000, 05 October 2011

Respondent attorney was found to have violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Respondent’s actions clearly show that she deceived complainant
into lending money to her through the use of documents and false representations and by taking
advantage of her education and complainant’s ignorance in legal matters. As manifested by
complainant, he would have never granted the loan to respondent were it not for respondent’s
misrepresentation that she was authorized to sell the property and that complainant could register
the “open” deed of sale if respondent fails to pay the loan. By her misdeed, respondent has
eroded not only complainant’s perception of the legal profession but the public’s perception as
well. Her actions constitute gross misconduct for which she may be disciplined.


Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or
the oppressed.
Rule 2.02 - In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to
render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the
latter's rights.

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.

Ulep v. Legal Clinic, Inc., 223 SCRA 378

In 1984, The Legal Clinic was formed by Atty. Rogelio Nogales. Its aim, according to
Nogales was to move toward specialization and to cater to clients who cannot afford the services
of big law firms. Now, Atty. Mauricio Ulep filed a complaint against The Legal Clinic because of
the latter’s advertisements which contain the following:
P560.00 for a valid marriage.
Please call: 521-0767; 521-7232; 522-2041 8:30am – 6:00pm
7th Flr. Victoria Bldg., UN Ave., Manila

It is also alleged that The Legal Clinic published an article entitled “Rx for Legal Problems” in
Star Week of Philippine Star wherein Nogales stated that they The Legal Clinic is composed of
specialists that can take care of a client’s problem no matter how complicated it is even if it is as
complicated as the Sharon Cuneta-Gabby Concepcion situation. He said that he and his staff of
lawyers, who, like doctors, are “specialists” in various fields, can take care of it. The Legal
Clinic, Inc. has specialists in taxation and criminal law, medico-legal problems, labor, litigation
and family law. These specialists are backed up by a battery of paralegals, counselors and
attorneys. As for its advertisement, Nogales said it should be allowed in view of the
jurisprudence in the US which now allows it (John Bates vs The State Bar of Arizona). And that

besides, the advertisement is merely making known to the public the services that The Legal
Clinic offers.

Whether or not The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law; whether such is
allowed; whether or not its advertisement may be allowed.
Yes, The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law however, such practice is not
allowed. The Legal Clinic is composed mainly of paralegals. The services it offered include
various legal problems wherein a client may avail of legal services from simple documentation to
complex litigation and corporate undertakings. Most of these services are undoubtedly beyond
the domain of paralegals, but rather, are exclusive functions of lawyers engaged in the practice of
law. Under Philippine jurisdiction however, the services being offered by Legal Clinic which
constitute practice of law cannot be performed by paralegals. Only a person duly admitted as a
member of the bar and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. Anent the
issue on the validity of the questioned advertisements, the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides that a lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair,
dignified and objective information or statement of facts. The standards of the legal profession
condemn the lawyer’s advertisement of his talents. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics
of his profession, advertise his talents or skills as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising
his goods. Further, the advertisements of Legal Clinic seem to promote divorce, secret marriage,
bigamous marriage, and other circumventions of law which their experts can facilitate. Such is
highly reprehensible. The Supreme Court also noted which forms of advertisement are allowed.
The best advertising possible for a lawyer is a well-merited reputation for professional capacity
and fidelity to trust, which must be earned as the outcome of character and conduct. Good and
efficient service to a client as well as to the community has a way of publicizing itself and
catching public attention. That publicity is a normal by-product of effective service which is right
and proper. A good and reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to generate it and to
magnify his success. He easily sees the difference between a normal by-product of able service
and the unwholesome result of propaganda. The Supreme Court also enumerated the following
as allowed forms of advertisement:
1. Advertisement in a reputable law list
2. Use of ordinary simple professional card
3. Listing in a phone directory but without designation as to his specialization

Linsangan v. Atty. Tolentino, A.C. No. 6672, 04 September 2009

This is a complaint for disbarment filed by Pedro Linsangan of the Linsangan Linsangan
& Linsangan Law Office against Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino forsolicitation of clients and
encroachment of professional services.
Complainant alleged that respondent, with the help of paralegal Fe Marie Labiano,
convinced his clients to transfer legal representation. Respondent promised them financial
assistance and expeditious collection on their claims. To induce them to hire his services, he
persistently called them and sent themtext messages.

To support his allegations, complainant presented the sworn affidavit of James Gregorio
attesting that Labiano tried to prevail upon him to sever his lawyer-client relations with
complainant and utilize respondent’s services instead, in exchange for a loan of P50,000.
Complainant also attached “respondent’s”calling card.
Based on testimonial and documentary evidence, the CBD, in its report and
recommendation, found that respondent had encroached on the professionalpractice of
complainant, violating XXX Rule 2.03 of the CPR which provides:
prohibited from soliciting cases for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid
agents or brokers. Such actuation constitutesmalpractice, a ground for disbarment.
Rule 2.03 should be read in connection with Rule 1.03 of the CPR which
This rule proscribes “ambulance chasing” (the solicitation of almost any kind of legal
business by an attorney, personally or through an agent in order to gainemployment) as a
measure to protect the community from barratry and champerty.
Complainant presented substantial evidence (consisting of the sworn statements of the
very same persons coaxed by Labiano and referred to respondent’soffice) to prove that
respondent indeed solicited legal business as well as profited from referrals’ suits.
Although respondent initially denied knowing Labiano in his answer, he later admitted it
during the mandatory hearing.
Through Labiano’s actions, respondent’s law practice was benefited. Hapless seamen
were enticed to transfer representation on the strength of Labiano’sword that respondent could
produce a more favorable result.
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino for violating Rules 1.03, 2.03,
XXX of the Code of Professional Responsibility XXX is hereby SUSPENDEDfrom the practice
of law for a period of one year effective immediately from receipt of this resolution. He is
STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same orsimilar acts in the future shall be dealt with
more severely.


Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading,
deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his
qualifications or legal services.
Rule 3.02 - In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name shall be
used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the
firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is deceased.

Rule 3.03 - Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdrawal from the firm and
his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law allows him to practice law

Rule 3.04 - A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of the mass
media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business.

Director of Religious Affairs v. Bayot, 74 Phil 579

Respondent is charged with malpractice for having published an advertisement in Sunday
Tribunal on June 13, 1943 which reads as follows –
“Marriage license promptly secured thru our assistance and the annoyance of delay or publicity
avoided if desired and marriage arranged to wishes of parties. Consultation on any matter free for
the poor. Everything confidential.”

Whether or not the advertisement is ethical.

It is undeniable that the advertisement in question was a flagrant violation by the
respondent of the ethics of his profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the
public. Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other things that “the practice of
soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or
brokers, constitutes malpractice.” It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or
skill as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is a profession and a trade. The lawyer degrades
himself and his profession who stoops to and adopts the practice of merchantilism by advertising
his services or offering them to the public. As a member of the bar, he defiles the temple of
justice with mercenary activities as the money-changers of old defiled the temple of Jehovah.
“The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer is the
establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This
cannot be forced but must be the outcome of character and conduct.”

Linsangan v. Atty. Tolentino, supra

In 2005, Atty. Pedro Linsangan filed an administrative complaint against Atty. Nicomedes
Tolentino alleging that Atty. Tolentino, through his paralegal Fe Marie Labiano, “pirated” a client
of Atty. Linsangan. Said client later executed an affidavit in support of Atty. Linsangan’s
allegations. Atty. Linsangan also questioned the propriety of Labiano’s calling card.
In his defense, Atty. Tolentino denied knowing Labiano. He also denied authorizing the printing
of such calling cards.

1. Whether or not Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino encroached upon the professional services
of Atty. Pedro Linsangan

2. Whether or not Atty. Tolentino is liable for the improper calling card of Labiano.

1. Yes, Atty. Tolentino violated Rule 8.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. A
lawyer should not steal another lawyer’s client nor induce the latter to retain him by a promise of
better service, good result or reduced fees for his services. By recruiting Atty. Linsangan’s
clients, Atty. Tolentino committed an unethical, predatory overstep into another’s legal practice.
2. Yes. Atty. Tolentino violated Rules 1.03, 2.03, and 16.04 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Although Atty. Tolentino initially denied knowing Labiano, he admitted he
actually knew her later in the proceedings. It is thus clear that Labiano was connected to his law
office. Through Labiano’s actions, Atty. Tolentino’s law practice was benefited. Hapless seamen
were enticed to transfer representation on the strength of Labiano’s word that Atty. Tolentino
could produce a more favorable result.
Labiano’s calling card is improper. The card made it appear that the law office will
finance legal actions for the clients. The rule is, a lawyer shall not 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.
The rule is intended to safeguard the lawyer’s independence of mind so that the free
exercise of his judgment may not be adversely affected. It seeks to ensure his undivided attention
to the case he is handling as well as his entire devotion and fidelity to the client’s cause. If the
lawyer lends money to the client in connection with the client’s case, the lawyer in effect
acquires an interest in the subject matter of the case or an additional stake in its outcome. Either
of these circumstances may lead the lawyer to consider his own recovery rather than that of his
client, or to accept a settlement which may take care of his interest in the verdict to the prejudice
of the client in violation of his duty of undivided fidelity to the client’s cause.
The phrase in the calling card which states “w/ financial assistance“, was clearly used to
entice clients (who already had representation) to change counsels with a promise of loans to
finance their legal actions. However, since there is no substantial evidence to prove that Atty.
Tolentino had a personal and direct hand in the printing of said calling cards, he cannot be
punished with severity. At any rate, for all the infractions Atty. Tolentino committed, he was
suspended by the Supreme Court for one year.



Bar Matter No. 850, 02 October 2001

Members of the IBP not exempt under Rule 7 shall complete, every three (3) years, at
least thirty-six (36) hours of continuing legal education activities approved by the MCLE
Committee. Of the 36 hours:
(a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal ethics.
(b) At least (4) hours shall be devoted to trial and pretrial skills.
(c) At least five (5) hours shall be devoted to alternative dispute resolution.
(d) At least nine (9) hours shall be devoted to updates on substantive and procedural laws,
and jurisprudence.
(e) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal writing and oral advocacy.
(f) At least two (2) hours shall be devoted to international law and international
(g) The remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to such subjects as may be prescribed by
the MCLE Committee.

Bongalonta v. Castillo, 240 SCRA 310

In a sworn letter-complaint dated February 15, 1995, addressed to the Commission on Bar
Discipline, National Grievance Investigation Office, Integrated Bar of the Philippines,
complainant Sally Bongalonta charged Pablito M. Castillo and Alfonso M. Martija, members of
the Philippine Bar, with unjust and unethical conduct, to wit: representing conflicting interests
and abetting a scheme to frustrate the execution or satisfaction of a judgment which complainant
might obtain. The letter-complaint stated that complainant filed with the Regional Trial Court of
Pasig, for estafa, against the Sps. Luisa and Solomer Abuel. She also filed, a separate civil action,
where she was able to obtain a writ of preliminary attachment and by virtue thereof, a piece of
real property situated in Pasig, Rizal and registered in the name of the Sps. Abuel. Atty. Pablito
Castillo was the counsel of the Sps. Abuel in the aforesaid criminal and civil cases.
During the pendency of these cases, one Gregorio Lantin filed a civil case for collection
of a sum of money based on a promissory note, also with the Pasig Regional Trial Court, against
the Sps. Abuel. In the said case Gregorio Lantin was represented by Atty. Alfonso Martija. In this
case, the Sps. Abuel were declared in default for their failure to file the necessary responsive
pleading and evidence ex-parte was received against them followed by a judgment by default
rendered in favor of Gregorio Lantin. A writ of execution was, in due time, issued and the same
property previously attached by complainant was levied upon. It is further alleged that in all the
pleadings filed in these three (3) aforementioned cases, Atty. Pablito Castillo and Atty. Alfonso
Martija placed the same address, the same PTR and the same IBP receipt number. Thus,
complainant concluded that the civil case filed by Gregorio Lantin was merely a part of the
scheme of the Sps. Abuel to frustrate the satisfaction of the money judgment which complainant
might obtain in the civil case he filed. After hearing, the IBP Board of Governors issued it
Resolution with the following findings and recommendations.
Among the several documentary exhibits submitted by Bongalonta and attached to the
records is a xerox copy of TCT No. 38374, which Bongalonta and the respondents admitted to be
a faithful reproduction of the original. And it clearly appears under the Memorandum of
Encumbrances on aid TCT that the Notice of Levy in favor of Bongalonta and her husband was
registered and annotated in said title of February 7, 1989, whereas, that in favor of Gregorio
Lantin, on October 18, 1989. Needless to state, the notice of levy in favor of Bongalonta and her

husband is a superior lien on the said registered property of the Abuel spouses over that of
Gregorio Lantin. Consequently, the charge against the two respondents (i.e. representing
conflicting interests and abetting a scheme to frustrate the execution or satisfaction of a judgment
which Bongalonta and her husband might obtain against the Abuel spouses) has no leg to stand
on. However, as to the fact that indeed the two respondents placed in their appearances and in
their pleadings the same IBP No., respondent Atty. Pablito M. Castillo deserves to be
SUSPENDED for using, apparently thru his negligence, the IBP official receipt number of
respondent Atty. Alfonso M. Martija. The explanation of Atty. Castillo's Cashier-Secretary by the
name of Ester Fraginal who alleged in her affidavit dated March 4, 1993, that it was all her fault
in placing the IBP official receipt number pertaining to Atty. Alfonso M. Martija in the
appearance and pleadings Atty. Castillo and in failing to pay in due time the IBP membership
dues of her employer, deserves scant consideration, for it is the bounded duty and obligation of
every lawyer to see to it that he pays his IBP membership dues on time, especially when he
practices before the courts, as required by the Supreme Court.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully recommended that Atty. Pablito M. Castillo be
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months for using the IBP Official
Receipt No. of his co-respondent Atty. Alfonso M. Martija.
The complaint against Atty. Martija is hereby DISMISSED for lack of evidence.

The Court agrees with the foregoing findings and recommendations. It is well to stress again that
the practice of law is not a right but a privilege bestowed by the State on those who show that
they possess, and continue to possess, the qualifications required by law for the conferment of
such privilege. One of these requirements is the observance of honesty and candor. Courts are
entitled to expect only complete candor and honesty from the lawyers appearing and pleading
before them. A lawyer, on the other hand, has the fundamental duty to satisfy that expectation.
For this reason, he is required to swear to do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in
court. WHEREFORE, finding respondent Atty. Pablito M. Castillo guilty committing a falsehood
in violation of his lawyer's oath and of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Court
Resolved to SUSPEND him from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months, with a
warning that commission of the same or similar offense in the future will result in the imposition
of a more severe penalty.

Cayetano v. Monsod, et al., 201 SCRA 210

In 1991, Christian Monsod was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission on
Elections. His appointment was affirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Monsod’s
appointment was opposed by Renato Cayetano on the ground that he does not qualify for he
failed to meet the Constitutional requirement which provides that the chairman of the
COMELEC should have been engaged in the practice law for at least ten years.
Monsod’s track record as a lawyer:
1. Passed the bar in 1960 with a rating of 86.55%.
2. Immediately after passing, worked in his father’s law firm for one year.
3. Thereafter, until 1970, he went abroad where he had a degree in economics and held
various positions in various foreign corporations.

4. In 1970, he returned to the Philippines and held executive jobs for various local
corporations until 1986.
5. In 1986, he became a member of the Constitutional Commission.

Whether or not Monsod qualifies as chairman of the COMELEC. What constitutes
practice of law?

Yes. Atty. Monsod’s past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a
lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both
the rich and the poor — verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. As noted by various authorities, the
practice of law is not limited to court appearances. The members of the bench and bar and the
informed laymen such as businessmen, know that in most developed societies today,
substantially more legal work is transacted in law offices than in the courtrooms. General
practitioners of law who do both litigation and non-litigation work also know that in most cases
they find themselves spending more time doing what is loosely described as business counseling
than in trying cases. In the course of a working day the average general practitioner wig engage
in a number of legal tasks, each involving different legal doctrines, legal skills, legal processes,
legal institutions, clients, and other interested parties. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers in
specialized practice wig usually perform at least some legal services outside their specialty. By
no means will most of this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively rare
types — a litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the work
will require the lawyer to have mastered the full range of traditional lawyer skills of client
counseling, advice-giving, document drafting, and negotiation.
Justice Padilla dissenting:
Monsod did not practice law. Justice Padilla emphasized the following criteria in determining
what constitutes practice of law:

Habituality. The term “practice of law” implies customarily or habitually holding one’s self out
to the public as a lawyer (People vs. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Boyen, 4 S.E. 522,
98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the establishment of a law office for
the general practice of law (U.S. v. Ney Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the oath of
office as a lawyer before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme Court
informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v. De Luna, 102
Phil. 968).Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary
action, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a habitual exercise (People v.
Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864).

Compensation. Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in the active
and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to
the public for compensation, as a service of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services.
(People v. Villanueva, supra). Hence, charging for services such as preparation of documents
involving the use of legal knowledge and skill is within the term “practice of law” (Ernani Paño,
Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988 ed., p. 8 citing People v. People’s Stockyards

State Bank, 176 N.B. 901) and, one who renders an opinion as to the proper interpretation of a
statute, and receives pay for it, is to that extent, practicing law (Martin, supra, p. 806 citing
Mendelaun v. Gilbert and Barket Mfg. Co., 290 N.Y.S. 462) If compensation is expected, all
advice to clients and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law; are practicing
law. (Elwood Fitchette et al., v. Arthur C. Taylor, 94A-L.R. 356-359)

Application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure which calls for legal knowledge,
training and experience is within the term “practice of law”. (Martin supra)
Attorney-client relationship. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the existence of
lawyer-client relationship. Hence, where a lawyer undertakes an activity which requires
knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client relationship, such as teaching law or writing
law books or articles, he cannot be said to be engaged in the practice of his profession or a
lawyer (Agpalo, Legal Ethics, 1989 ed., p. 30).
Monsod did not habitually practice law. It may be granted that he performed activities which are
related to the practice of law like drafting legal documents and giving legal advice, but he only
did so as isolated incidents.

Philippine Lawyers Association v. Agrava, 105 Phil. 173

Herein petitioner filed for prohibition and injunction against respondent Agrava, the
Director of Philippines Patent Office due to a circular the latter issued scheduling an examination
for determining who are qualified to practice as patent attorneys before the Philippines Patent

Petitioner contended that one who has passed the bar examinations and is licensed by the
Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines and who is in good standing, is duly qualified to
practice before the Philippines Patent Office, and that Agrava is in excess of his jurisdiction and
is in violation of the law for requiring such examination as condition precedent before members
of the bar may be allowed to represent applicants in the preparation and prosecution of
applications for patents. Undaunted, Agrava argued that that the prosecution of patent cases does
not involve entirely or purely the practice of law and that the Rules of Court do not prohibit the
Patent Office from requiring further condition or qualification from those who would wish to
handle cases before the Patent Office.

Whether appearance before the Patent Office and the preparation and the prosecution of
patent applications, etc., constitutes or is included in the practice of law

Yes. The practice of law includes such appearance before the Patent Office, the
representation of applicants, oppositors, and other persons, and the prosecution of their
applications for patent, their oppositions thereto, or the enforcement of their rights in patent
cases. Although the transaction of business in the Patent Office involves the use and application
of technical and scientific knowledge and training, still, all such business has to be rendered in
accordance with the Patent Law, as well as other laws, including the Rules and Regulations

promulgated by the Patent Office in accordance with law. All these things involve the
applications of laws, legal principles, practice and procedure. They call for legal knowledge,
training and experience for which a member of the bar has been prepared.
    As stated in 5 Am. Jur,
“The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the
preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and social proceedings, the
management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and
in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters
connected with the law corporation services, assessment and condemnation services
contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a mortgage, enforcement
of a creditor’s claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in
attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice as
do the preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done involves the
determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions.”
The Supreme Court ruled that under the present law, members of the Philippine Bar
authorized by the Supreme Court to practice law, and in good standing, may practice their
profession before the Patent Office, since much of the business in said office involves the
interpretation and determination of the scope and application of the Patent Law and other laws
applicable, as well as the presentation of evidence to establish facts involved; that part of the
functions of the Patent director are judicial or quasi-judicial, so much so that appeals from his
orders and decisions are, taken to the Supreme Court.

Hernandez v. Atty. Padilla, A.C. No. 9387, 20 June 2012

On may 27, 1957, respondent Director issued a circular announcing that he had scheduled
an examination for the purpose of determining who are qualified to practice as patent attorneys
before the Philippines Patent Office. According to the circular, members of the Philippine Bar,
engineers and other persons with sufficient scientific and technical training are qualified to take
the said examination. The petitioner contends that one who has passed the bar examination sand
is licensed by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines and who is in good standing
is duly qualified to practice before the Philippines Patent Office and that the respondent
Director’s holding an examination for the purpose is in excess of his jurisdiction and is in
violation of the law.The respondent, in reply, maintains the prosecution of patent cases “ does not
involve entirely or purely the practice of law but includes the application of scientific and
technical knowledge and training as a matter of actual practice so as to include engineers and
other individuals who passed the examination can practice before the Patent office. Furthermore,
he stressed that for the long time he is holding tests, this is the first time that his right has been
questioned formally.

Whether or not the appearance before the patent Office and the preparation and the
prosecution of patent application, etc., constitutes or is included in the practice of law.


The Supreme Court held that the practice of law includes such appearance before the
Patent Office, the representation of applicants, oppositors, and other persons, and the prosecution
of their applications for patent, their opposition thereto, or the enforcement of their rights in
patent cases. Moreover, the practice before the patent Office involves the interpretation and
application of other laws and legal principles, as well as the existence of facts to be established in
accordance with the law of evidence and procedure. The practice of law is not limited to the
conduct of cases or litigation in court but also embraces all other matters connected with the law
and any work involving the determination by the legal mind of the legal effects of facts and
conditions. Furthermore, the law provides that any party may appeal to the Supreme Court from
any final order or decision of the director. Thus, if the transactions of business in the Patent
Office involved exclusively or mostly technical and scientific knowledge and training, then
logically, the appeal should be taken not to a court or judicial body, but rather to a board of
scientists, engineers or technical men, which is not the case.
Sps. Williams v. Atty. Enriquez, A.C. No. 6353, 27 February 2006
The respondent is the counsel of record of the plaintiffs in the case pending before the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Dumaguete City where complainants are the defendants.
According to the complainant-spouses, Marisa Williams bought the lot subject of the
controversy. In the case at bar, complainant argued that the counsel of the spouses acted in
malicious violation of the rules governing the practice of law, the counsel cited outdated material
in his complaint-affidavit and in his comments to counter-affidavit. He then knowingly applied
this stale law in a perverse fashion to argue that Marisa Batacan Williams automatically lost her
Filipino citizenship when she married an American, and was thus prohibited to own land in the
Philippines, thereby making her guilty of falsification in the Deed she executed to buy property
in Negros Oriental. As such, Atty. Rudy T. Enriquez was charged with "unlawful, dishonest,
immoral and deceitful acts in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the
Canons of Professional Ethics, and with conduct unbecoming an attorney." On December 1,
2004, the case was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report
and recommendation. Forthwith, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline scheduled the case for
mandatory conference/hearing. However, only the respondent appeared. The parties were then
directed to submit their verified position papers.

Whether the respondent is guilt of violation of Canon 5 of the code of professional

Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility requires that a lawyer be updated in
the latest laws and jurisprudence. Indeed, when the law is so elementary, not to know it or to act
as if one does not know it constitutes gross ignorance of the law. As a retired judge, respondent
should have known that it is his duty to keep himself well-informed of the latest rulings of the
Court on the issues and legal problems confronting a client. In this case, the law he apparently
misconstrued is no less than the Constitution, the most basic law of the land. Implicit in a
lawyer’s mandate to protect a client’s interest to the best of his/her ability and with utmost
diligence is the duty to keep abreast of the law and legal developments, and participate in

continuing legal education programs. Thus, in championing the interest of clients and defending
cases, a lawyer must not only be guided by the strict standards imposed by the lawyer’s oath, but
should likewise espouse legally sound arguments for clients, lest the latter’s cause be dismissed
on a technical ground. As such, for gross ignorance of the law, Atty. Rudy T. Enriquez is
REPRIMANDED and ADVISED to carefully study the opinions he may give to his clients. He is
STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of a similar act shall be dealt with more severely.


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 6.02 - A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position to promote
or advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his public duties.

Rule 6.03 - A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or
employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said


FACTS: § Igoy is one of the petitioners in the case of Heirs of Gavino Igoy, et al. vs.
Mactan Shangrila Hotel. § Eng. William Redoblado introduced Atty. Soriano to Igoy as
a Justice of the CA. § According to Igoy’s friend, Atty. Soriano will be able to help him
in his case which is pending in the CA § Atty. Soriano demanded from Igoy P20,000
but the former reminded the latter the he will only be able to help in the case as
soon as the case was lifted to the SC § Igoy’s case received an unfavorable decision
in the CA and Atty. Soriano offered to prepare the Petition for Review to be filed in
the SC. § Atty. Soriano asked for an additional P20,000 § Igoy send the amount by
courier to the address of Atty. Soriano which was received by his son. § SC denied
the petition for review of Igoy with finality § Igoy later found out that Atty. Soriano is
not a CA Justice and filed this complaint against Igoy in the SC § Arguments of Atty.
Soriano: o It is unnatural for a person to give money to someone whom he does not
know well and whom he met only for the first time o The money was offered
gratuitously by Igoy o it is impossible the Igoy handed the money to him on the SC
parking lot for many employees were passing in that place o it is not Eng.
Redoblado who introduced him to Igoy but Mr. Taneo o if the SC finds that he is
guilty, he will retire from the service § Atty. Soriano filed his letter of
resignation/retirement under RA 1616

ISSUE: § W/N Atty. Soriano violated Canon 6, Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional

HELD: § Yes! Atty. Soriano was dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all
retirement benefits and is suspended from the practice of law. § Atty. Soriano’s offer
to resign was obviously an attempt to evade whatever penalty may be imposed on
him. However, resignation will not extricate him form the consequences of his acts §
Resignation should not be used either as an escape or an easy way out to evade
administrative liability by court personnel facing administrative sanctions § To
accept the claim of Soriano that the money was offered gratuitously will open the
floodgates to fraud or graft and corruption. § Government lawyers who are public
servants owe utmost fidelity to the public service for public service is a public trust.
Government lawyers should be more sensitive to their professional obligations as
their reputable conduct is more likely to be magnified in the public eye. § The nature
and responsibilities of public officers enshrined in the Constitution are not mere
rhetorical words to be taken lightly as idealistic sentiments but as working
standards and attainable goals that should e matched with actual deeds.

Artezuela v. Atty. Maderazo, A.C. No. 4354, 22 April 2002

Echavia crashed the car he is driving which is owned by Kiyami, but was registered in
the name of Villapez. The car rammed into a small carinderia owned by Artezuela. The
destruction of the carinderia caused the cessation its operation, resulting to her financial
dislocation. Artezuela incurred debts from her relatives and due to financial constraints, stopped
sending her two children to college. Artezuela hired Maderazo in filing a damage suit against
Echavia, Villapez and Kiyami. For his services, Artezuela paid Maderazo 10,000 as attorneys
fees and 2,000 as filing fee. However, the case was dismissed, allegedly upon the instance of the
Artezuela and her husband. Because of the dismissal of the case, Artezuela filed a civil case for
damages against the Maderazo. The case was dismissed. Artezuela filed for disbarment against
the Maderazo. Artezuela argues that Maderazo engaged in activities inimical to her interests.
While acting as her counsel, Maderazo prepared Echavias Answer to the Amended Complaint.
The said document was even printed in Maderazo’s office. Artezuela further averred that it was
Maderazo who sought the dismissal of the case, misleading the trial court into thinking that the
dismissal was with her consent. Maderazo denied Artezuela’s allegations. However, he admitted
that Echavia’s Answer to the Amended Complaint was printed in his office but denied having
prepared the document and having acted as counsel of Echavia. Case was referred to IBP. IBP
investigated the case. IBP found Maderazo guilty of representing conflicting interests, in
violation of Canon 15 and Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, as well as, of
Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Ethics.

(1) Whether Maderazo violated Canon 15 and Rule 15.03 (conflict of interest) of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.
(2) Whether Maderazo had a direct hand in the preparation of Echavias Answer to the
Amended Complaint.

YES to both. Maderazo was actually giving advice to Echavias but he was not the
counsel of record. Maderazo does not have to publicly hold himself as the counsel of the adverse
party, nor make his efforts to advance the adverse party’s conflicting interests of record. It is

enough that the counsel of one party had a hand in the preparation of the pleading of the other
party, claiming adverse and conflicting interests with that of his original client. To require that he
also be counsel-of-record of the adverse party would punish only the most obvious form of
deceit and reward, with impunity, the highest form of disloyalty. An attorney owes his client
undivided allegiance. Because of the highly fiduciary nature of the attorney-client relationship,
sound public policy dictates that a lawyer be prohibited from representing conflicting interests or
discharging inconsistent duties. Good faith and honest intention on the part of the erring lawyer
does not make this rule inoperative. The lawyer is an officer of the court and his actions are
governed by the uncompromising rules of professional ethics.



Rule 7.01 - A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or
suppressing a material fact in connection with his application for admission to the bar.
Rule 7.02 - A lawyer shall not support the application for admission to the bar of any
person known by him to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant

Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to
practice law, nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner
to the discredit of the legal profession.

Cordova v. Cordova, 179 SCRA 680

In 1985, Atty. Laurence Cordova, while being married to Salvacion Delizo and with two
children, left his wife and children to cohabit with another married woman. In 1986, Salvacion
and Cordova had a reconciliation where Cordova promised to leave his mistress. But apparently,
Cordova still continued to cheat on her wife as apparently, Cordova again lived with another
woman and worse, he took one of his children with him and hid the child away from Salvacion.
In 1988, Salvacion filed a letter-complaint for disbarment against Cordova. Eventually, multiple
hearing dates were sent but no hearing took place because neither party appeared. In 1989,
Salvacion sent a telegraphic message to the Commission on Bar Discipline intimating that she
and her husband has reconciled. The Commission, since Salvacion failed to submit her evidence
ex parte, merely recommended the reprimand and admonishment of Cordova.

Whether or not Cordova should be merely reprimanded.

No, He should be suspended indefinitely until he presents evidence that he has been
morally reformed and that there was true reconciliation between him and his wife. Before a
person can be admitted to the bar, one requirement is that he possesses good moral character.
That requirement is not exhausted and dispensed with upon admission to membership of the bar.
On the contrary, that requirement persists as a continuing condition for membership in the Bar in
good standing. The moral delinquency that affects the fitness of a member of the bar to continue
as such includes conduct that outrages the generally accepted moral standards of the community,
conduct for instance, which makes “a mockery of the inviolable social institution or marriage”
such was the case in the case at bar.

In re: 1989 Elections of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, 178 SCRA 398
In the election of the national officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippinesheld on June 3,
1989 at the Philippine International Convention Center, the newly-elected officers were set to
take their oath of office on July 4,1989 before the SupremeCourt. However, disturbed by the
widespread reports received by somemembers of the Court from lawyers who had witnessed or
participated in theproceedings and the adverse comments published in the columns of some
newspapersabout the intensive electioneering and overspending by the candidates, led by the
mainprotagonists for the office of president of the association, namely, Attorneys NereoPaculdo,
Ramon Nisce, and Violeta C. Drilon, the alleged use of government planes,and the officious
intervention of certain public officials to influence the voting, all of which were done in violation
of the IBP By-Laws which prohibit such activities, theSupreme Court, exercising its power of
supervision over the Integrated Bar,resolved to suspend the oath-taking of the IBP officers-elect
and to inquire into theveracity of the reports. Media reports done by Mr.Jurado, Mr. Mauricio
and Mr. Locsin inthe newspapers opened the avenue for investigation on the anomalies in the
IBPElections. The following violations are, Prohibited campaigning and solicitation of votes by
the candidates for president, executive vice-president, the officers or candidates for the House of
Delegates and Board of Governors, Use of PNB plane in the campaign, Giving free
transportation to out-of-town delegates and alternates,Formation of tickets and single slates,
Giving free hotel accommodations, food, drinks,and entertainment to delegates, Campaigning by
labor officials for Atty. Violeta Drilon, Paying the dues or other indebtedness of any member
(Sec. 14[e], IBP BY-Laws),Distribution of materials other than bio-data of not more than one
page of legal sizesheet of paper (Sec. 14[a], IBP By-Laws), Causing distribution of such
statement to bedone by persons other than those authorized by the officer presiding at the
election(Sec. 14[b], IBP By-Laws) and Inducing or influencing a member to withhold his vote,
or to vote for or against a candidate (Sec. 14[e], IBP BY-Laws).
The prohibited acts areagainst the IBP By-Laws more specifically Article I, Section 4 of
the IBP By-Lawsemphasizes the "strictly non-political" character of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines, Sec. 14. Prohibited acts and practices relative to elections and Section 12[d] of the
By-Laws prescribes sanctions for violations of the above rules: Any violation of the

rulesgoverning elections or commission of any of the prohibited acts and practices defined
inSection 14 [Prohibited Acts and Practices Relative to Elections) of the By-laws of
theIntegrated Bar shall be a ground for the disqualification of a candidate or his removalfrom
office if elected, without prejudice to the imposition of sanctions upon any erringmember
pursuant to the By-laws of the Integrated Bar.
Whether or not Atty violeta drilon and other candidates violated the by laws of Ibp.

The candidates and many of the participants in that election not only violated the By-
Laws of the IBP but also the ethics of the legal profession which imposes on all lawyers, as a
corollary of their obligation to obey and uphold the constitution and the laws, the duty to
"promote respect for law and legal processes" and to abstain from 'activities aimed at defiance of
the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system" (Rule 1.02, Canon 1, Code of Professional
Responsibility). Respect for law is gravely eroded when lawyers themselves, who are supposed
to be millions of the law, engage in unlawful practices and cavalierly brush aside the very rules
that the IBP formulated for their observance.


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

Yared v. Ilarde, 337 SCRA 53

Estrella Yared, substituted by Carmen Tiongco because the former is now dead, and Jose
Tiongco were opposing parties to a property in litigation. Carmen directly filed a Motion for
Reconsideration to the Supreme Court because Judge Ilarde of the RTC ordered the cancellation
of annotation of notices of lis pendens. The Supreme Court noticed and commented that Carmen
has failed to comply with the principle of judicial hierarchy and that she should have filed the
petition in the CA first. However, the Supreme Court also noticed the improper and unethical
language employed by Jose Tiangco, who was also a counsel for the private respondents, in his
pleadings and motions filed both in SC and lower court. He described the counsel of the
petitioner, Atty. Marciana Deguma, ―a rambunctious wreastler-type female of 52 who does not
wear a dress which is not red, and who stampedes into the court room like a mad fury and who
speaks slang English to conceal her faulty grammar.‖ Jose Tiongco alleged that Atty. Deguma

does that ―to please and tenderize and sweeten towards her own self the readily available
Carmelo Tiongco, an unmarried mestizo who lives with Carmen.‖ He further described Atty.
Deguma as ―an unmarried maiden of certain age‖ and a ―love-crazed female Apache who is
ready to skin the defendant alive for not being a bastard‖ and a ―horned spinster and man-
hungry virago and female bull of an Amazon.‖ He also stated that Atty. Deguma is using PAO as
a ―marriage bureau for her own benefit.

W/N Jose Tiongco, being also one of the counsels of the defendants, violated the Code of
Professional Responsibility

Yes. With the language that he employed, he obviously violated Canon 8-A Rule 8.01
which states that a lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use languages which is abusive,
offensive, or otherwise improper. He also violated Rule 11.03 which says that a lawyer shall
abstain from scandalous, offensive, or menacing language before the courts. The SC also cited
Romero vs Valle, ―although allowed some latitude of remarks or comment in furtherance of the
cause he upholds, his arguments, both written or oral, should be gracious to both court and
opposing counsel and be of such words as may be properly addressed by one gentleman to
another.‖ Jose Tiongco was merely warned. Note: In the first part of the case, even the title of the
case, it was not mentioned whether Jose Tiongco is a lawyer or not. Then, there‘s one sentence
which addressed him ―Atty. Jose Tiongco.


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.

Rule 9.02 - A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with
persons not licensed to practice law, except:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that, upon
the latter's death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate
or to persons specified in the agreement; or
(b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased
lawyer; or
(c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan
even if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing agreement.



Atty. Zulueta is Gutierrez’ counsel in 2 cases, a workmen’s compensation case and

a civil case.

In his case against his employer , the Singer Sewing Machine Company, first the
trial court ruled in his favour but was reversed in the CA on appeal. It is
categorically stated that in the said decision that the complainant did not file a
brief, he maintains that the case was dismissed primarily because of the omission
and is attributable to the dishonesty of the respondent lawyer.

Gutierrez said that he wired Zulueta money in the amount of P400 to cover the
expenses in relation to the preparation and printing of the appellee’s brief.
Afterwhich, he was assured by zulueta that the brief has already been filed.

In the investigation, Atty. Zulueta testified that he received the amount of P400 and
he gave it to his secretary to cover the expenses to be incurred in the preparation.
He also said that he left for Pagadian City at that time and he instructed his
secretary to attend to the filing f the brief, and that he was assured by his secretary
that the same was filed. He also said that he cannot furnish them a copy since for
undisclosed reasons, his secretary left his office taking with her his records and his

ISSUE: WON Atty Zulueta violated the CPR

HELD: Respondent was found to be in violation of Canon 9 and Canon 14 ; he was

suspended from the practice of law for 1 year.



Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in Court;
nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice.

Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the contents of a paper,
the language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or authority, or
knowingly cite as law a provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or amendment, or
assert as a fact that which has not been proved.

Rule 10.03 - A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to
defeat the ends of justice.

Paluwagan ng Bayan Savings Bank v. King, 172 SCRA 60

Gomex v. Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 15, Ozamis City, 249 SCRA 432


Rule 11.01 - A lawyer shall appear in court properly attired.

Rule 11.02 - A lawyer shall punctually appear at court hearings.

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.

Rule 11.05 - A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to the proper authorities

Igoy v. Soriano, supra – check above

Tiongco v. Aguilar, 240 SCRA 589

Nestle Phils, Inc. v. Sanchez, 154 SCRA 542

Boquiren v. del Rosario-Cruz, 244 SCRA 702


Rule 12.01 - A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless he has adequately prepared himself
on the law and the facts of his case, the evidence he will adduce and the order of its
proferrence. He should also be ready with the original documents for comparison with the

Rule 12.02 - A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the same cause.

Rule 12.03 - A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings,
memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the same or offering an
explanation for his failure to do so.

Rule 12.04 - A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or
misuse Court processes.

Rule 12.05 - A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his witness during a break or recess in
the trial, while the witness is still under examination.

Rule 12.06 - A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a witness to misrepresent himself or to
impersonate another.

Rule 12.07 - A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or harass a witness nor needlessly
inconvenience him.

Rule 12.08 - A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client,

(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.

A.C. No. 217 November 27, 1968


Respondent Casiano U. Laput, an administratrix of the estate of late husband Nieves De
Barrrera, had misappropriated several sums of money held by him in trust for said estate and
tried to appropriate two (2) parcels of land belonging to the same. The complainant declined to
sign said pleadings but requested respondent to leave the papers in order that she may first ask
somebody to translate the same for her
Laput instead of acceding (his) client's request became angry and told complainant to sign the
papers, at the same time drawing his revolver from its holster and placing it on his lap with the
evident purpose of intimidating the complainant, an old woman of 72 years old, into signing the
papers or pleadings presented for signature;
Respondent admitted his former relationship with Mrs. Barrera as attorney and client and, apart
from denying the main allegations of her complaint, averred that the filing thereof was "part of a
scheme to beat off" his claim for attorney's.


WON respondent violated the code of responsibility

Yes. Improper and censurable as these acts inherently are, they become more so when we
consider that they were performed by a man dealing with a woman 72 years of age. The offense
in this case is compounded by the circumstance that, being a member of the Bar and an officer of
the Court, the offender should have set the example as man of peace and a champion of the Rule
of Law. Worse still is the fact that the offended party is the very person whom the offender was
pledged to defend and protect — his own client.
There are, of course, two (2) extenuating circumstance in favor of respondent herein,
namely: (1) he evidently considered himself insulted by Mrs. Barrera and was obfuscated
because she clearly indicated her lack of confidence in him, by stating bluntly that she wanted
somebody else to read the papers to her; and (2) he required her to do something really harmless.
Still, it cannot be denied that his intent in placing the gun on his lap was to intimidate his client.
Respondent found guilty of gross misconduct in office and accordingly suspended from the
practice of law for a period of one (1) year.

Santiago v. Rafanan, 440 SCRA 91

NOTE: I can’t pinpoint where Rule 2.02 plays in so this digest will be a bit long since I’ll tackle
them all. But I do have guesses about Rule 2.02 here. I hope they are correct NOTE 2: I don’t
know the precedent facts before all of these happened. In case they will be asked, just say the
truth - they’re not mentioned in the case Basta na lang nagreklamo si Santiago dito.

This is a disbarment case filed by BJMP employee Jonar Santiago against Atty. Edison
Rafanan. Santiago, in his complaint, alleged among others that Rafanan, in notarizing several
documents on different dates failed and/or refused to: o Make the proper notation regarding the
cedula or community tax certificate of the affiants (*one making the affidavit); o Enter the details
of the notarized documents in the notarial register; o Make and execute the certification and enter
his PTR and IBP numbers in the documents he notarized Santiago also alleged that Rafanan
executed an Affidavit in favor of his client and offered it as evidence (Rafanan stood as counsel
and as witness of his client) and Rafanan, as alleged by Santiago, waited for him together with
his “men” and disarmed Santiago and uttered insulting words at him.
ATTY. RAFANAN’S CONTENTIONS: o Admitted having administered the oath to the
affiants whose Affidavits were attached to the Complaint of Santiago. But Rafanan believed that
the non-notation of their Residence Certificates in the Affidavits and Counter-Affidavits were
allowed because: Notation of residence certificates applied only to documents acknowledged by
a notary public, and Was not mandatory for affidavits related to cases pending before courts and
other government offices (Side comment: If they were not notarized and were used for court
proceedings, edi hindi sila naging public documents? Paano sila magiging admissible sa court?
Tenge lang yata si Rafanan) He also pointed out that older practitioners in Nueva Ecija also do
what he did – they do not indicate affiants’ residence certificates on documents they notarized, or
have entries in the notarial register for these documents. o As to his alleged failure to comply
with Sec.3 Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure: as counsel to the affiants, he had the
option not comply or not with the certification. o As to his alleged violation of Rule 12.08 of

CPR: lawyers could testify on behalf of their clients “on substantial matters, in cases where
[their] testimony is essential to the ends of justice.” Santiago charged Rafanan’s clients with
attempted murder. Rafanan said that since his clients were in his house during the alleged crime,
that’s why he said his testimony is very essential. o He also contends that the case filed by
Santiago was only to harass Rafanan since he is the counsel of the parties who filed cases against
him before the ombudsman (Brgy. Capt. Ernesto Ramos and BJMP)

Whether or not Rafanan is guilty in violating the Notarial Law.
Whether or not a lawyer (in this case, Rafanan) can stand as witness in favor of his

Yes, he violated the Notarial Law for not making the proper notation and entering the
details of the notarized documents. Yes, a lawyer can stand as witness of a client. RATIO
DECIDENDI: On Issue No. 1 The Notarial Law is explicit on the obligations and duties of
notaries public. And these formalities are mandatory and cannot be simply neglected. They are
required to certify that the party to every document acknowledged before them has presented the
proper residence certificate (or exemption from the residence tax); and to enter its number, place
of issue and the date as part of such certification. They are also required to keep a notarial
register; to enter therein all instruments notarized by them; etc. As to Rafanan’s defense that it’s a
common practice in Nueva Ecija, SC says: It is appalling and inexcusable that he did away with
the basics of notarial procedure allegedly because others were doing so. Being swayed by the bad
example of others is not an acceptable justification for breaking the law. On Issue No. 2 A lawyer
is not disqualified from being a witness, except only in certain cases pertaining to privileged
communication arising from an attorney-client relationship. Reason: The difficulty posed upon
lawyers by the task of dissociating their relationship to their clients as witnesses from that as an
advocate (Note: A witness must only say what happened. Only the truth. As compared with the
task of a lawyer who will use all the available remedies and actions in his arsenal for his client to
win the case.) It is difficult to distinguish the fairness and impartiality of a disinterested witness
from the zeal of an advocate. The preference is for lawyers to REFRAIN from testifying as
witnesses, unless they absolutely have to; and should they do so, to withdraw from active
management of the case. In the case at bar: o Atty. Rafanan cannot be administratively liable
because: It’s a duty of the lawyer to assert every remedy and defense that is authorized by law for
the benefit of the client. (Remember, there is a criminal case of attempted murder against his
client which will deprive his client of his life and liberty, if they fail to display a good defense.)
On the Side Issues: There is no harassment of the part of Rafanan against Santiago because there
were no pieces of evidence presented. Mere allegation is never equivalent to proof, and a bare
charge cannot be equated with liability.
RULING: Atty. Rafanan is GUILTY of violating the Notarial Law and Canon 5 of the CPR. He
is fined P3,000.00 with a warning that similar infractions will be dealt more severely.



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.

Rule 13.03 - A lawyer shall not brook or invite interference by another branch or agency of
the government in the normal course of judicial proceedings.

Section 4, Canon 1, New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, 27 April

i. The Lawyer and the Client


Rule 14.01 - A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely on account of the latter's
race, sex. creed or status of life, or because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said

Rule 14.02 - A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and sufficient cause, an
appointment as counsel de officio or as amicus curiae, or a request from the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines or any of its chapters for rendition of free legal aid.

Rule 14.03 - A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an indigent client if:
(a) he is not in a position to carry out the work effectively or competently;
(b) he labors under a conflict of interest between him and the prospective client or between
a present client and the prospective client.

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.

Zaldivar v. Gonzales, 166 SCRA 316

The case stemmed from the resolution of the Supreme Court stopping the respondent
from investigating graft cases involving Antique Gov. Enrique Zaldivar. The Court ruled that
since the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, respondent’s powers as Tanodbayan have been
superseded by the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman, he however becomes the Special
Prosecutor of the State, and can only conduct an investigation and file cases only when so

authorized by the Ombudsman. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the respondent
wherein he included statements which were unrelated in the Issue raised in the Court. This
include: (a)That he had been approached twice by a leading member of the court and he was
asked to 'go slow on Zaldivar and 'not to be too hard on him; (b) That he "was approached and
asked to refrain from investigating the COA report on illegal disbursements in the Supreme
Court because 'it will embarass the Court;" and (c) that in several instances, the undersigned
respondent was called over the phone by a leading member of the Court and was asked to
dismiss the cases against two Members of the Court." Statements of the respondent saying that
the SC’s order '"heightens the people's apprehension over the justice system in this country,
especially because the people have been thinking that only the small fly can get it while big
fishes go scot-free” was publicized in leading newspapers.
Now, the Court Resolved to require respondent to explain in writing why he should not
be punished for contempt of court for making such public statements reported in the media.
Respondent then sought to get some members of the Court to inhibit themselves in the resolution
of the Zaldivar case for alleged bias and prejudice against him. A little later, he in effect asked
the whole Court to inhibit itself from passing upon the Issue involved in proceeding and to pass
on responsibility for this matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, upon the ground that
respondent cannot expect due process from this Court, that the Court has become incapable of
judging him impartially and fairly. The Court found respondent guilty of contempt of court and
indefinitely suspended from the practice of law. Now, he assails said conviction, invoking his
freedom of speech. Counsel for respondent urges that it is error "for this Court to apply the
"visible tendency" rule rather than the "clear and present danger" rule in disciplinary and
contempt charges."

Issue :
Whether or Not Gonzales may be suspended from the practice of law.

Yes. The court held that its ruling is not addressed to the fact that the respondent has
criticized the court but rather to the nature of the criticisms made and the manner in which it was
carried out. The court was compelled to hold that the statements made by Gonzales clearly
constitute contempt and called for the exercise of disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court.
Respondent’s charge that the court deliberately rendered erroneous and unjust decision implied
that the Justices betrayed their oath of office, merely to wreak vengeance upon him.
The court resolved to suspend Atty. Raul Gonzalez from the practice of law indefinitely
until further orders .

Samar Mining Co., Inc. v. Amado, 24 SCRA 402

Rufino Abuyen works as a foreman for the petitioner Samar Mining Co. While he was
employed to said petitioner he allegedly contracted a disease. Thereafter he filed a civil case
against herein petitioner the decision was referred by Pompeyo V. Tan, an officer of the Regional
office of the Department of Labor sentencing the petitioner to:
1) To provide continued medical treatment and hospitalization to Abuyen.
2) To pay Abuyen the lump sum and a weekly compensation until he is completely healed.

3) To pay to the workmen compensation fund as administrative costs.

Because of this, Samar Mining’s lawyer, Atty. Benedicto Arcinas, filed an action for
certiorari contending that Tan has no authority or jurisdiction over said case because he was a
“mere labor lawyer” who had no authority to render the award being complained of. CFI Cebu
dismissed the petition of Arcinas. Despite the judgment of the court in the previous case of
Rufino Abuyen vs. Samar Mining, counsel for the petitioner still pursued the action contending
that the lower court committed an error in their judgment.

WON Atty. Arcinas delayed the the proceddings of the case?

Yes, the petitioner succeeded in prolonging the litigation of the case especially regarding
the payment of compensation for Abuyen which must have been given 12 years ago. It is a
manifestation that the purpose of this case, like the previous one, has been merely to delay, a
policy "often resorted to" "as a means of draining the resources of the poorer party", in this case
a tuberculosis patient — "and of compelling it to submit out of sheer exhaustion." Thus, the
conduct of petitioner’s counsel is hardly compatible with the duty of the Bar to assist in the
Administration of Justice, not to obstruct or defeat the same. Let certified copy of this decision
be attached to the personal record of the latter, as a Member of the Bar.


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.

Rosacia v. Bulalaco, 248 SCRA 664

Rosacia, president of Tacma, Phils., Inc., a duly registered corporation, filed a complaint
for disbarment dated October 25, 1991, against herein respondent Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao.
On June 1, 1990, by virtue of a written Agreement respondent Bulalacao was hired as retained
counsel of a corporation by the name of Tacma Phils., Inc.
On October 31, 1990, the lawyer-client relationship between the respondent and Tacma
Phils., Inc. was severed as shown by another agreement of even date
On July, 1991, or after almost 9 months from the date respondent's retainer agreement
with Tacma, Phils., Inc. was terminated, several employees of the corporation consulted the
respondent for the purpose of filing an action for illegal dismissal. Thereafter, he agreed to
handle the case for the said employees as against Tacma, Phils., Inc. by filing a complaint before
the National Labor Relations Commission, and appearing in their behalf.

WON respondent breached his oath of office for representing the employees of his former

Yes. Respondent breached his oath of office. The Court reiterates that an attorney owes
loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also after the
relation of attorney and client has terminated as it is not good practice to permit him afterwards
to defend in another case other person against his former client under the pretext that the case is
distinct from, and independent of the former case
Respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for 3 months

Sattar v. Lopez, 271 SCRA 290

Abdul A. Sattar filed on September 24, 1974 an administrative case against lawyer
Percival Lopez. Respondent is now a regional trial court judge in Quezon City. He was first
appointed to the judiciary as municipal trial court judge in April 1983.
Complainant charged respondent with having failed to file an appeal brief with the Court
of Appeals resulting in the dismissal of complainant’s appeal from a conviction by the trial court
in a criminal case.
Complainant alleged that on November 16, 1973, in consideration of respondent’s
preparing and filing an appeal brief in the Court of Appeals, he paid: P200 as retaining fee;
P1,500 for printing expenses; and P1,500 in the event of complainant’s acquittal by the appellate

court. Respondent also asked to buy 2 bottles of liquor, and if he cant find the same brand, just
asked for P120 instead.
On October 28, 1974, respondent filed his answer, stating that the complainant promised
to give the complete records for the preparation of the brief, but failed to do so, since the records
were already with the Solicitor General. Also, he added that from the time he was hired by the
complainant, the case was already dismissed and that the P120 was given voluntarily for him to
use in exploring the revival of the appeal.
In a Resolution dated November 15, 1974, the Court referred the case to the Solicitor
General for investigation, report and recommendation.4 Upon the effectivity of Rule 139-B of
the Revised Rules of Court on June 1, 1988, the case was transferred to the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP) for disposition.
Roughly twenty years from the filing of the case, on March 15, 1993, the IBP
Commission on Discipline, through Commissioner Vicente Q. Roxas, rendered a report
(Commissioner’s Report) recommending the suspension of respondent from the practice of law
for a period of three months. The IBP Board of Governors, in its Resolution No. 01-94-067
resolved to adopt and approve the Commissioner’s Report.

Whether or not Atty. Lopez violated CANON 15 for lack of candor?

No, Atty. Lopez did not violate CANON 15, thus, acted with candor in dealing with the
case of Sattar.
As an attorney, it was respondent’s duty under Rule 130, Section 20 of the Revised Rules of
Court: (c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just,
and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law. We do not here
consider the wisdom of respondent’s opinion not to pursue the revival or reinstatement of
complainant’s appeal.
We, however, note that respondent was not lacking in candor when he promptly counseled
complainant that in respondent’s assessment a revival or reinstatement of the appeal would be
unavailing, giving complainant ample time and opportunity to seek other legal opinions.


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.



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

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.

Nadayag v. Grageda, 237 SCRA 202

Nadayag seeked for notarization from Atty. Grageda on a PACTO DE RETRO of an
Original Certificate of Title. The same document was confiscated by the Register of Deeds, Atty.
Baguio upon application of Nadayag’s PACTO DE RETRO. It was found out that several cases
of stolen original certificate of land titles have taken place in the said office. Only the Register of
Deeds has the authority to keep the Original Certificate of Land Title.

WON the respondent is liable for violation of CANON 16
A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. The
trust and confidence necessarily reposed by clients require in the attorney a high standard and
appreciation of his duty to his clients, his profession, the courts and the public. The bar should
maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as well as of honesty and fair dealing. Generally
speaking, a lawyer can do honor to the legal profession by faithfully performing his duties to
society, to the bar, to the courts, and to his clients. To this end, nothing should be done by any
member of the legal fraternity which might tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the

public in the fidelity, honesty, and integrity of the profession (Marcelo vs. Javier, Sr., 214 SCRA
1 [1992]). Generally, a lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for any misconduct, whether in his
professional or private capacity, which shows him to be wanting in moral character, in honesty,
probity, and good demeanor or unworthy to continue as an officer of the court. (Marcelo vs.
Javier, Sr., supra).

Javellana v. Lutero, 20 SCRA 717

The Roman Catholic Archbishop filed a detainer complaint against Eplidio Javellana with
the MTC of Iloilo City, presided by Judge Nicolas Lutero. The hearing was postponed twice
because Javellana did not receive the summons, and another three times because his lawyer, Atty.
Hautea, said he had business at Manila and that he hurt his right foot toe. The last postponement
was granted with the warning that no further postponement would be entertained.
When the case was called for trial again, both Javellana and his lawyer were absent. The hearing
proceeded and a decision was rendered against javellana. Javellana filed a petition for relief with
the CFI. His counsel on the other hand, tried to justify his absence. The trial court however,
dismissed the petition.

Whether or not Atty. Hautea served his client with utmost Competence and diligence.

No. A counsel for any party in a judicial controversy, by mandate of the canons of legal
ethics, and with due regard for the elementary standards of fair play, is duty bound to prepare for
trial with diligence and deliberate speed. This norm of conduct is no less applicable in a detainer
case, such as the one at bar, even if the issues are essentially simple and uncomplicated. It is
obvious that the counsel for the petitioner-appellant has been remiss in this respect.
The case was set for trial six times. Thrice it was postponed at the behest of the said
counsel. The last postponement was granted on July 24, 1963 with the unequivocal admonition
by the judgment that no further postponement would be countenanced. The case was reset for
hearing on August 27, 1963, which means that the appellant's counsel had more than a month's
time to so adjust his schedule of activities as to obviate a conflict between his business
transactions and his calendar of hearings. Came August 27, and neither he nor the appellant
appeared at the trial. His absence on the latter date was not occasioned by illness or some other
supervening occurrence which unavoidably and justifiably prevented him from appearing in
In our view, it was the bounden duty of the said counsel, under the circumstances, to give
preferential attention to the case. As things were, he regarded the municipal court as a mere
marionette that must ever await his pleasure. This attitude on his part is censurable as it reveals
more than just a modicum of disrespect for the judiciary and the established machinery of justice.

Ramos v. Jacoba, et al., A.C. No. 5505, 27 September 2001


Complainant Severino Ramos and his wife were defendants in a civil case for a collection
of money before RTC-Cabanatuan City. As judgement was against the spouses, they engaged the
services of Atty. Ellis Jacoba and Atty. Olivia Velasco – Jacoba as counsel for their appeal before
the CA. However, despite extensions totalling 135 days, their counsel failed to file the appelant’s
brief, resulting in the dismissal of their appeal, motion for reconsideration was likewise denied.
Spouses Ramos then filed a verified complaint against counsels before the Commission
of Bar Discipline (CBD) and prayed for disbarment of Atty. Ellis and admonishment of Atty.
Olivia. Respondents were required to answer the complaint but neither complied.
It was also found out that this is not atty. Ellis’ offense. A similar instance where he failed
to file an action of recovery of possession of property despite the lapse of two and a half years.
He was suspended for 6 months and to return of the sum he received from his client, Liberato

WON Atty Ellis Jacobo violated the CPR

The court held that Atty. Ellis has not learned his lesson. He was found to be in violation
of: Rule 12.03 – A lawyer shall not , after obtaining extensions of time to file
pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the same or offering an
explanation for his failure to do so; and
18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his
negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
Thus, the recommended 6 month suspension was increased to 1 year and he was ordered
to return the payment Spouses Ramos gave him.
As regards to Atty. Olivia, the records show that her participation was limited to the
assistance she rendered in filing the notice of appeal before the trial court. The court did not find
basis for sanctioning her.


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

Phil. Merchant Marine School, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 383 SCRA 175
The controversy of this case revolves upon the CA in dismissing petitioner’s appeal on
the ground that the Appellant’s Brief was (a) filed out of time and (b) without a motion for leave
for its admission.
The RTC branch Makati rendered a decision against petitioner in a civil case involving an
auction sale over a parcel of land. Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal, then Petitioner received a
Notice to file Appellant’s Brief from the CA, which was due within 45 days notwithstanding the
fact that the last day was a Sunday and the day after it was a legal holiday. Still, Petitioner filed
for a Motion for Extension of Time praying for an additional 60 days to file. Petitioner filed the
Appellant’s brief on the last day of the alleged extension, but the CA dismissed it because it was
not accompanied by a motion for leave to admit the same that was required under the Rules of
Petitioner explained that the reason the brief was not accompanied by a Motion for Leave
to Admit, was because its counsel had assumed that the CA granted the Motion for Extension and
thought that he had time within the extension to file the brief. But petitioner found out that the
CA did not receive a copy of the Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for Extension of Time to File
Appellant’s Brief.

Whether or not the petitioner is justified in his assumption that the Appellant’s brief was
filed on time.

No timely motion for extension of time to file the appellant’s brief was mailed on the date
in question and addressed to the CA and opposing counsel. A careful trace made of the registry
receipts presented by petitioner as the ones issued to it reveals that these receipts correspond to
documents sent on a different date and addressed to different people no copy of such motion was
received by them. Thus, the CA found the appellant’s brief to have been filed out of time.
Petitioner failed to adduce sufficient proof that any inadvertence was caused by the Post Office.
Moreover, no conclusive proof could be shown that a motion for extension was indeed filed at
any time. All these create a doubt that petitioner’s counsel has been candid in his dealings with
the courts. Needless to stress, a lawyer is bound by ethical principles in the conduct of cases
before the courts at all times. (Canon 19 CPR)

Choa v. Chiongson, 260 SCRA 477

In the resolution of February 9, 1996, the Court dismissed the instant complaint for want
of merit and directed Atty. Raymundo A. Quiroz, counsel for the complainant, to show cause
within fifteen days from notice why he should not be disciplinary dealt with for his apparent
failure to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a member of the Bar. Atty. Quiroz allows
the filing of charges against respondent judge even though he is aware for its lack of merit. Atty.
Quiroz asserts that he never had the intention to prosecute or sue any groundless, false, or
unlawful suit or to file the instant complaint in addition to the appeal or in lieu thereof; that he
assisted the complainant in the honest belief that the latter has really a cause of action against the

respondent; and that he was not ventilating in the instant case the complainants grievances
relative to the respondents judgment finding [the complainant] guilty of perjury but was only
raising the matter to show that indeed the respondent was biased because of such next-door-
neighbor relationship.
The upshot of these allegations is that the complainants (Mr. Choas) conviction of the
crime of perjury is baseless or unfounded in law and in fact and is nothing but the product of the
respondents prejudice against Mr. Choa because the respondent happens to be a next-door
neighbor of Mr. Choas wife, the private complainant in the perjury case. Considering that Mr.
Choa seasonably appealed from the judgment of conviction, Atty. Quiroz knew or ought to know
that all the matters which he may find relevant or material for the reversal of the judgment and
the consequent acquittal of his client, Mr. Choa, may be raised with the appellate court, and that
this Court, not being the venue for such appeal, cannot resolve the appeal even by way of an
administrative complaint against the judge who convicted Mr. Choa.

WON Atty. Quiroz is liable for violation of canon 19 of the code of professional

If Atty. Quiroz then assisted Mr. Choa in the preparation of this case, he had nothing in
mind but to harass the respondent Judge and to unduly influence the course of the appeal in the
criminal case by injecting into the mind of the appellate judge that, indeed, something was
definitely wrong with the appealed decision because the ponente thereof is now facing a serious
administrative complaint arising from his improper conduct therein. It might even be said that
the filing of this case was to send a signal to the appellate judge in the criminal case that an
affirmance of the challenged decision would clearly be erroneous, if not equally baseless and
unfounded as that of the trial court below.
While a lawyer owes absolute fidelity to the cause of his client, full devotion to his
genuine interest, and warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights, as well as the
exertion of his utmost learning and ability, he must do so only within the bounds of the law. Any
criticism against a judge made in the guise of an administrative complaint which is clearly
unfounded and impelled by ulterior motive will not excuse the lawyer responsible therefor under
his duty of fidelity to his client. As we stated in Ng vs. Alfaro,lawyers, as officers of the court,
should not encourage groundless administrative cases against court officers and employees. The
time of the latter should not be wasted in answering or defending groundless complaints; every
minute of it is precious and must be reserved for the enhancement of public service. Our precious
time too should not be diverted to such cases.
A fine of P5,000 is impose upon Atty. Quiroz and he is warned that a commission of the
same similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely.

Cosmos v. Foundry Shop Workers Union v. Lo Bu, 63 SCRA 313

After Cosmos Foundry Shop was burned , Ong Ting established Century Foundry Shop
where he and his family resided in the premises. After several attempts to settle a pending unfair

labor practice case proved unsuccessful, Ong Ting sold all his business, including equipment and
rights in the New Century Foundry Shop to his compadre Lo Bu, for Php20,000.
On Jan 16, 1973, petitioner CFSWU obtained from the Court of Industrial Relations the
third alias writ of execution for the satisfaction and enforcement of the judgment in its favor.
Thereafter, writ was served January 17 and 18, 1973, levying on the personal properties of the
Cosmos Foundry Shop or the New Century Foundry Shop for the purpose of conducting the
public auction sale.
Respondent Lo Bu filed an urgent motion to recall writ of execution, asserting lack of
jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR). The CIR, in its order dated Feb 23, 1973,
denied his motion. So likewise was the motion for reconsideration.
Lo Bu appealed by certiorari but the Court denied this petition in its resolution dated July
17, 1993. In the meanwhile, there was a replevin suit by Lo Bu in the Court of First Instance
(CFI) Manila covering the same properties.
Upon receipt of order from the Court denying certiorari, petitioner Labor Union filed a
second motion to dismiss complaint. After the complaint was dismissed by the lower court,
decision was elevated to the Court of Appeals.

Whether or not counsel Atty Busmente performed his obligation as an officer of the court
while sustaining the dignity of the profession while acting as counsel for Lo Bu.

A legal counsel is expected to defend a client’s cause but not at the expense of truth and
in defiance of the clear purpose of labor laws.—For even if such be the case, Attorney Busmente
had not exculpated himself. He was of course expected to defend his client’s cause with zeal, but
not at the disregard of the truth and in defiance of the clear purpose of labor statutes. He ought to
remember that his obligation as an officer of the court, no less than the dignity of the profession,
requires that he should not act like an errand-boy at the beck and call of his client, ready and
eager to do his every bidding. If he fails to keep that admonition in mind, then he puts into
serious question his good standing in the bar.


Rule 20.01 - A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining his
(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.

Del Rosario v. Court of Appeals, 237 SCRA 39

A case was filed against De Dios Marikina Transportation Company Inc. filed by the
herein petitioner for the damages the latter sustained from the physical injuries resulted from the
dragging of the petitioner along the asphalted road by the bus operated by the transport company.
The incident occurred when the bus driver bolted forward at high speed while petitioner was still
clinging on the bus door’s handle bar that causes the latter to lose his grip and balance. The trial
court rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in
toto the decision of the trial court but lowers the attorney’s fee. An appeal for the decision of the
CA was filed but then denied. Thus, this petition.

Whether or not the reduction of attorney’s fee by the appellate court is an error on latter’s

Yes, the reduction of attorney’s fee by the appellate court is an error on latter’s part. The
Supreme Court found the trial court’s reward of attorney’s fee reasonable due to the time
difference from the initiation of the complaint to the rendering of decision which took four years
and six months. Also, the appearances, no less than twenty, is considered.

Criteria determining the reasonableness of attorney’s fees:
a. The quantity and character of the services rendered;
b. the labor, time and trouble involved;
c. the nature and importance of the litigation;
d. the amount of money or the value of the property affected by the controversy;

e. the novelty and difficulty of questions involved;
f. the responsibility imposed on counsel;
g. the skill and experience called for the in the performance of the service;
h. the professional character and social standing of the lawyer;
i. the customary charges of the bar for similar services;
j. the character of employment, whether casual or for established client;
k. whether the fee is absolute or contingent (it being the rule that an attorney may properly
charge a higher fee when it is contingent than when it is absolute); and
l. the results secured.

PNB v. Pardo y Robles Hermanos, 67 Phil. 570

On January 28, 1930, plaintiff's share or interest in the firm was liquidated and found to
be P80,000 and the method of payment was agreed upon as set forth in Exhibit B. Later, the form
of payment was changed as shown by Exhibit E. Payments not having been made, this suit was
duly brought, and after trial it was given for plaintiff, and defendants bring this appeal.
It is claimed that the settlement of January 28, 1930, was not a final settlement but was
contingent upon securing a loan. This is based upon the fact that the managing partner was
authorized at the same meeting where the share of plaintiff was determined, to negotiate a loan if
possible: But the value of plaintiff's interest in the partnership was not contingent upon whether
the loan was secured or not. The securing of the loan might have made it easier for the
partnership to liquidate the share of the retiring partner, but his rights as of that date were not
contingent upon the future action of the partnership. Nor would he have to wait three years after
the settlement then made before he was entitled to payment, which would mean an amendment to
the articles of incorporation that a partner could not enforce liquidation of his account for six
years. His right of action accrued as provided for in the contract. Nor is Exhibit E invalid
because one of the defendants signed it "Salvo mi opinion". Nor would such a statement relieve
the signer from his responsibility, which had become fixed on January 28, 1930.

Whether or not PARDO Y ROBLES HERMANOS et al has a right to appear in court

Yes. The present contention of some of the defendants that they at all times had a right to
have served on them individually a copy of all motions and decisions of the trial court, is entirely
without foundation. They received summons and they had a right to appear in court if they saw
fit. They did appear in court in a possibly irregular way, but they cannot take advantage of their
own action to defeat or thwart the legal rights of plaintiff-appellee. The judgment appealed from
is therefore affirmed with costs against appellants.

Ulanday v. Manila Railroad Co., 45 Phil. 540


Sixty-eight cases were brought about by more than two hundred plaintiffs to recover
damages from the Manila Railroad Company, who opened the dam when an unusual heavy
rainfall occurred to prevent destroying the bridge that led to the damages of the surrounding
There were a lot of cases filed, represented by Atty. E. G. Turner for the property owners.
The first case was filed under consolidated complaints, Turner vs. Manila Railroad Co. This
demurrer was interposed for the railroad company alleging that it is not permissible for an
attorney to accumulate distinct causes of action in himself, and to sue in his own name for the
benefit of the clients directly interested. This was sustained by the trial Judge and the order was
affirmed on appeal to the Supreme Court. In this regard, seventy-one separate actions were
instituted against Manila Railroad Company.
The first case to be tried was that of Ambrosio Erfe vs. Manila Railroad Company, but
decision was in favor of the defendant railroad company. After which, the second case won
against Manila Railroad Company. Sixty-nine cases won and one was dismissed because of
failure of the plaintiff to appear.
The plaintiffs, issued an agreement with Erfe, authorizing him to secure lawyers to
prosecute the claims and to pay them fifty per cent of the proceeds and to retain twenty per cent
for Erfe’s services. Ambrosio Erfe got the services of Atty De las Alas to represent the plaintiffs
using the special power of Attorney given and authorized by the plaintiffs to Erfe. Atty Turner,
contended and said that the power of attorney given to Erfe was fraudulent and has been dressed
up, added to and change in many ways. That the substitution of lawyer, from Atty Turner to Atty
De las Alas as well as the special power of Attorney is to be declared null and void.

Whether or not Atty De las Alas can be recognized as the substitute lawyer by the special
power of Attorney?

Yes, after all the investigation and confessions of the petitioner’s, the special power of
attorney was valid. The power of attorney created the relation of principal and agent. It was a
contract which should be enforced unless vitiated by fraud or found to be an agreement contrary
to public policy. It attempted, among other things, to dismiss the lawyer and substitute another,
which may be done at any time by the client with or without cause (Code of Civil Procedure, sec.
32). The power of attorney further attempted to compromise pending cases, and in this
connection, it is well to recall that, as provided by section 27 of the Code of Civil Procedure,
lawyers "cannot, without special authority, compromise their client's litigation, or receive
anything in discharge of the client's claim but the full amount in cash."
The Supreme Court concluded this distasteful ul and arduous task by making the findings
which follow. We find that the power of attorney of June 21, 1923, in connection with the prior
authorization in favor of Ambrosio Erfe-Mejia and subsequent ratification, is valid and
controlling. We find further that as the power of attorney is valid and controlling, there has been
a proper substitution of attorneys in this court, and that Attorney Antonio de las Alas must be
recognized as counsel f or the plaintiffs.' We find f urther that Attorney E. G. Turner and
associate counsel have liens on the judgments for professional services the reasonable value of
which we fix at P30,000. Inasmuch as there only remains a balance of P20,000 available for the
purpose of paying Attorney Turner and associate counsel, inasmuch as this happened through no

fault of Attorney Turner, and inasmuch as to make him look to the plaintiffs for further payment
would be unfair, the compromise agreement is modified and approved as of the amount of
P100,000. Subject generally to the conditions above stated, and subject specifically to proof by
the Manila Railroad Company that Attorneys Turner, Rheberg, and Sison have been paid P30,000
in satisfaction of their liens, the motion to dismiss the appeals in these sixty-eight cases, is
approved. So ordered.


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
(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.


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.

Tumbagahan v. Court of Appeals, 165 SCRA 485

The records show that the petitioner filed two cases with the Court of First Instance of
Lanao del Norte, Branch II,namely: (1) for declaration of ownership and reconveyance of lots of
the IliganCadastre; and (2)for the review of the decree of registration issued by the Land
RegistrationCommission in favor of Timotea Lasmarias and cancellation of her titles to the same
lots. When the cases were called for joint trial on April 10, 1968, the petitioner relieved Atty.
Salise as his counsel. Atty. Salise filed his withdrawal ofappearance which was approved by the
court. On April 15, 1968, the cases were again called for trial. This time, the petitioner personally
appeared and filed a written motion for postponement on the ground that he still had no counsel
and was not ready for trial. Upon motion of the other party, the motion for postponement was
denied and the court issued an order dismissing the two cases. A copy of the order was sent to
Atty. Amarga which he received on April 26, 1968. The petitioner received his copy of the order
on May 17, 1968. Thereafter, he filed his motion for reconsideration. After the motion was
denied, he filed a notice of appeal and record on appeal which the Court dismissed for being filed
out of time, counting the period to appeal from the day Atty. Amarga received a copy of the order
of dismissal. The petitioner alleges that he had neither engaged the services of Atty. Amarga nor
authorized the latter to represent him in his two cases.

The issue in this case is whether or not the petitioner validly terminated the services of
his counsels of record -Attys.Melvyn Salise and Jose Amarga — such that service on them of
processes and notices would no longer bind him.

NO There is a need to observe the legal formalities before a counsel of record may be
considered relieved of his responsibility as such counsel. The withdrawal as counsel of a client,
or the dismissal by the client of his counsel, must be made in a formal petition filed in the case.
In this case, the termination of the attorney-client relationship between the petitioner and Atty.
Salise does not automatically severe the same relations between the petitioner and Atty. Amarga.
Only Atty. Salise's dismissal was made of record. None was made with regard to the other

counsel. The attorney-client relation does not terminate formally until there is a withdrawal made
of record; at least so far as the opposite party is concerned, the relation otherwise continues until
the end of the Unless properly relieved, the counsel is responsible for the conduct of the case.

Quilban v. Robinol, 171 SCRA 768

The Colegio de San Jose, a Jesuit corporation, (Colegio, for short) used to own a parcel
of land at the Seminary Road, Barrio Bathala, Quezon City. Through its administrator, Father
Federico Escaler, it sold said land to the Quezon City Government as the site for the Quezon City
General Hospital but reserved an area of 2,743 square meters as a possible development site.
Squatters, however, settled in the area since 1965 or 1966. Sometime in 1970, the Colegio,
through Father Escaler gave permission to Congressman Luis R. Taruc to build on the reserved
site a house for his residence and a training center for the Christian Social Movement. Seeing the
crowded shanties of squatters, Congressman Taruc broached to Father Escaler the idea of
donating or selling the land cheap to the squatters. Congressman Taruc then advised the squatters
to form an organization and choose a leader authorized to negotiate with Father Escaler.
Following that advice, the squatters formed the a Samahang Pagkakaisa ng Barrio Bathala"
(Samahan, for brevity), with Bernabe Martin as President, who was entrusted with the task of
negotiating on their behalf for the sale of the land to them. But instead of working for the welfare
of the Samahan, Martin went to one Maximo Rivera, a realtor, with whom he connived to obtain
the sale to the exclusion of the other Samahan members. On 28 March 1971, the land was
ultimately sold to Rivera at P15 per square meter or a total consideration of P41,961.65. The
prevailing price of the land in the vicinity then was P100 to P120 per square meter. It was
evident that Father Escaler had been made to believe that Rivera represented the squatters on the
In 1972, thirty-two heads of families of the Samahan filed a case against Rivera with a
prayer that said defendants be ordered to execute a deed of conveyance in favor of said plaintiffs
after reimbursement by the latter of the corresponding amount paid by Rivera to the Colegio.
To prosecute the appeal before the Court of Appeals, the Samahan members hired as their
counsel Atty. Santiago R. Robinol for which the latter was paid P2,000.00 as attorney's fees on 8
October 1975. Atty. Robinol was also to be given by the members a part of the land, subject
matter of the case, equal to the portion that would pertain to each of them. What was initially a
verbal commitment on the land sharing was confirmed in writing on 10 March 1979.
On 18 May 1979, the sum of P68,970.00 was turned over to Atty. Robinol by the officers;
on 31 May 1979 the amounts of P1,030.00 and P2,500.00 respectively; and on 2 June 1979, the
sum of P2,500.00, or a total of P75,000.00. After almost a year, the five officers discovered that
no payment had been made to Rivera. When queried, Atty. Robinol replied that there was an
intervention filed in the civil case and that a Writ of Execution had not yet been issued by the
Court of First Instance of Quezon City. However, it turned out that the motion for intervention
had already been dismissed. After confronting Atty. Robinol with that fact, the latter gave other
excuses, which the officers discovered to have no basis at all.
The officers of the Samahan thereafter approached Atty. Anacleto R. Montemayor, who
agreed to be their counsel, after he was shown the document of 6 March 1980 containing the
consensus of the Samahan members to change Atty. Robinol as their lawyer. Upon Atty.
Montemayor's advice, the officers sent Atty. Robinol a letter dated 17 March 1980 informing the

latter of their decision to terminate his services and demanding the return of the P75,000.00
deposited with him. Atty. Robinol turned deaf ears to the demand. A subsequent letter of the
same tenor, dated 31 March 1980, was similarly disregarded by Atty. Robinol.
On 15 April 1980 the Samahan officers filed this Administrative Complaint before this
Court requesting the investigation of Atty. Robinol for refusal to return the P75,000.00 and
praying that the Court exercise its power of discipline over members of the Bar unworthy to
practice law. The details of their Complaint were embodied in their Joint Affidavit executed on
14 April 1980 describing what had transpired between them and Atty. Robinol.

Whether or not Atty. Robinol should be disbarred.

Atty. Robinol has, in fact, been guilty of ethical infractions and grave misconduct that
make him unworthy to continue in the practice of the profession. After the Court of Appeals had
rendered a Decision favorable to his clients and he had received the latter's funds, suddenly, he
had a change of mind and decided to convert the payment of his fees from a portion of land
equivalent to that of each of the plaintiffs to P50,000.00, which he alleges to be the monetary
value of that area. Certainly, Atty. Robinol had no right to unilaterally appropriate his clients'
money not only because he is bound by a written agreement but also because, under the
circumstances, it was highly unjust for him to have done so. His clients were mere squatters who
could barely eke out an existence. They had painstakingly raised their respective quotas of
P2,500.00 per family with which to pay for the land only to be deprived of the same by one who,
after having seen the color of money, heartlessly took advantage of them.
Atty. Robinol has no basis to claim that since he was unjustly dismissed by his clients he
had the legal right to retain the money in his possession. Firstly, there was justifiable ground for
his discharge as counsel. His clients had lost confidence in him for he had obviously engaged in
dilatory tactics to the detriment of their interests, which he was duty-bound to protect. Secondly,
even if there were no valid ground, he is bereft of any legal right to retain his client's funds
intended for a specific purpose — the purchase of land. He stands obliged to return the money
immediately to their rightful owners. The principle of quantum meruit applies if a lawyer is
employed without a price agreed upon for his services in which case he would be entitled to
receive what he merits for his services, as much as he has earned. In this case, however, there
was an express contract and a stipulated mode of compensation. The implied assumpsit on
quantum meruit, therefore, is inapplicable.
Inevitable, therefore, is the conclusion that Atty. Robinol has rendered himself unfit to continue
in the practice of law. He has not only violated his oath not to delay any man for money and to
conduct himself with all good fidelity to his clients. He has also brought the profession into
disrepute with people who had reposed in it full faith and reliance for the fulfillment of a life-
time ambition to acquire a homelot they could call their own.
ACCORDINGLY, In Administrative Case No. 2144, Atty. Santiago R. Robinol is hereby
DISBARRED for having violated his lawyer's oath to delay no man for money, broken the
fiduciary relation between lawyer and client, and proven himself unworthy to continue in the
practice of law. By reason of his unethical actuations, he is hereby declared to have forfeited his
rights to attorney's fees and is ordered to return the amount of P75,000.00 to the plaintiffs in
Civil Case No. Q-16433 through the complainant in the aforementioned Administrative Case


*canon 6-9
ATTY Bagay went to Mexico to attend a prayer and life worship. While he was in
Mexico, his Secretary, without his knowledge and authorization, notarized 18 documents. Atty
Bagay asked that the case be treated with leniency because he admitted his shortcomings.

Whether or not the notarization of documents by the secretary his Secretary while he was
out of the country constituted negligence.

Yes. respondent Atty Bagay is responsible for the acts of his secretary. He left his office
open to the public while leaving his secretary in charge. He kept his notarial seal and register
within the reach of his secretary, fully aware that his secretary could use these items to notarize
documents and copy his signature. Such blatant negligence cannot be countenanced by this Court
and it is far from being a simple negligence.

canon 6
Atty. Avecilla is a former employee of the Supreme Court where a missing rollo was
found in his possession for 12 years. Upon demand of the Supreme Court, he returned the rollo
asserting that he never borrowed the document and was probably mixed up with his personal
belongings during the end of his employment.
However, the Office of the Chief Attorney recommended that the respondent be
administratively charged, as member of the bar, for taking out the rollo.

WON the Atty. Avecilla can be held administratively liable in violation of CANON 6.

Yes. The respondent is presently no longer in the employ of this Court and as such, can
no longer be held administratively sanctioned as an employee. However, the respondent, as a
lawyer and a member of the bar, remains under the supervisory and disciplinary aegis of this
As a lawyer then employed with the government, the respondent clearly violated Rule
6.02, Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, to wit: Rule 6.02—A lawyer in the
government service shall not use his public position to promote or advance his private interests,
nor allow the latter to interfere with his public duties.

Respondent suspended from practice of law for six (6) months, with stern warning
against repetition of similar offense.

canon 8
3. AC 10303, GIMENO VS ATTY ZAIDE, 4-22-15
On August 8, 2007, complainant Joy A. Gimeno (Gimeno) filed a complaint3 with the
IBP's Commission on Bar Discipline, charging Atty. Zaide with: (1) usurpation of a notary
public's office; (2) falsification; (3) use of intemperate, offensive and abusive language; and (4)
violation of lawyer-client trust.
a) In her complaint, Gimeno alleged that even before Atty. Zaide's admission to the Bar and
receipt of his notarial commission, he had notarized a partial extrajudicial partition with
deed of absolute sale on March 29, 2002. She also accused Atty. Zaide of making false
and irregular entries in his notarial registers.
b) Gimeno further submitted that she was Atty. Zaide's former client. She engaged the
services of his law firm Zaragoza-Makabangkit-Zaide Law Offices (ZMZ) in an
annulment of title case that involved her husband and her parents-in-law. Despite their
previous lawyer-client relationship, Atty. Zaide still appeared against her in the complaint
for estafa and violation of RA 3019 that one Priscilla Somontan (Somontan) filed against
her with the Ombudsman. Gimeno posited that by appearing against a former client, Atty.
Zaide violated the prohibition against the representation of conflicting clients' interests.
c) Lastly, Gimeno contended that Atty. Zaide called her a "notorious extortionist" in the
same administrative complaint that Somontan filed against her.10 In another civil case
where she was not a party, Gimeno observed that Atty. Zaide referred to his opposing
counsel as someone suffering from "serious mental incompetence" in one of his
pleadings. According to Gimeno, these statements constitute intemperate, offensive and
abusive language, which a lawyer is proscribed from using in his dealings.

Whether or not the defendant used intemperate, offensive and abusive language in
professional dealing which is violation of Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Yes, the defendant used intemperate, offensive and abusive language in professional
dealing which is violation of Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
As shown in the record, Atty. Zaide, in the reply that he drafted in the Ombudsman case, called
Gimeno a "notorious extortionist." And in another case, Gimeno observed that Atty. Zaide used
the following demeaning and immoderate language in presenting his comment against his
opposing counsel.
Her declaration in Public put a SHAME, DISGRACE, INDIGNITY AND
HUMILIATION in the whole Justice System, and the Department of Justice in particular, where
the taxpayers paid for her salary over her incompetence and poor performance as a
prosecutor... This is a clear manifestation that the Public prosecutor suffers serious mental
incompetence as regard her mandate as an Assistant City Prosecutor.35 (emphasis supplied)

This clearly confirms Atty. Zaide's lack of restraint in the use and choice of his words —
a conduct unbecoming of an officer of the court.
Case Decision:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court resolves to ADOPT the recommended
penalty of the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Atty. Paul Centillas
Zaide is found GUILTY of violating the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice and for using
intemperate, offensive and, abusive language in violation of Rule 8.01, Canon 8 and Rule 11.03,
Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. His notarial commission, if existing, is
hereby REVOKED, and he is declared DISQUALIFIED from being commissioned as a notary
public for a period of two (2) years. He is also SUSPENDED for one (1) year from the practice
of law.

canon 10
4. AM 10-10-4 RE: LETTER OF THE UP FACULTY.........., 3-8-11
This case involves an intellectual offense hurled by Atty. Harry L. Roque, Jr. and Atty.
Romel R. Bagares against Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo ponencia in the case of Vinuya v.
Executive Secretary. In said case, the Court denied the petition for certiorari filed by Filipino
comfort women to compel certain officers of the executive department to espouse their claims
for reparation and demand apology from the Japanese government for the abuses committed
against them by the Japanese soldiers during World War II. Justice Del Castillo as ponente had
plagiarized certain articles without attributing to its authors.

WoN the actions of the petitioners is ground for violation of CPR.

The publication of a statement by the faculty of the UP College of Law regarding the
allegations of plagiarism and misrepresentation in the Supreme Court was totally unnecessary,
uncalled for and a rash act of misplaced vigilance. We made it clear in the case of In re Kelly:
“that any publication, pending a suit, reflecting upon the court, the jury, the parties, the officers
of the court, the counsel with reference to the suit, or tending to influence the decision of the
controversy, is contempt of court and is punishable.”
While most agree that the right to criticize the judiciary is critical to maintaining a free
and democratic society, there is also a general consensus that healthy criticism only goes so far.
Many types of criticism leveled at the judiciary cross the line to become harmful and
irresponsible attacks. These potentially devastating attacks and unjust criticism can threaten the
independence of the judiciary.
This runs contrary to their obligation as law professors and officers of the Court to be the
first to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to which they owe fidelity according to the
oath they have taken as attorneys, and not to promote distrust in the administration of justice.
Their actions likewise constitute violations of Canons 10, 11, and 13[7] and Rules 1.02 and 11.05
of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
The attorney-proffesors in UP, are required to SHOW CAUSE within ten (10) days why
they should not be subject to disciplinary action.


canon 12
Congressional Village Homeowner’s Association, Inc. is the entity in charge of the affairs
of the homeowners of Congressional Village in Quezon City. The Spouses Federico and Victoria
Santander filed a civil suit for damages against the Association and Ely Mabanag before the RTC
for building a concrete wall which abutted their property and denied them of their right of way.
The spouses Santander likewise alleged that said concrete wall was built in violation of Quezon
City Ordinance which prohibits the closing, obstructing, preventing or otherwise refusing to the
public or vehicular traffic the use of or free access to any subdivision or community street. The
Law Firm of Gonzalez Sinense Jimenez and Associates was the legal counsel for the Association,
with respondent as the counsel of record and handling lawyer. After trial and hearing, the RTC
rendered a decision in favor of the Spouses Santander. The Association, represented by said law
firm, appealed to the CA. The CA issued a Resolution dismissing the appeal on the ground that
the original period to file the appellant’s brief had expired 95 days even before the first motion
for extension of time to file said brief was filed. The CA also stated that the grounds adduced for
the said motion as well as the six subsequent motions for extension of time to file brief were not
meritorious. The CA resolution became final.
Eight years later or on April 11, 2007, complainants Nestor Figueras and Bienvenido
Victoria, Jr., as members of the Association, filed a Complaint for Disbarment against respondent
before the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline (CBD) for violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, particularly Rule 12.03, Canon 12; Canon 17; and Rule 18.03, Canon 18 thereof
for his negligence in handling the appeal and willful violation of his duties as an officer of the

WON respondent violated the code of professional responsibility (canon 12)

A lawyer engaged to represent a client in a case bears the responsibility of protecting the
latter’s interest with utmost diligence. In failing to file the appellant’s brief on behalf of his
client, respondent had fallen far short of his duties as counsel as set forth in Rule 12.04, Canon
12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which exhorts every member of the Bar not to
unduly delay a case and to exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice. Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the same Code also states that:

Canon 18—A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence.

Rule 18.03.—A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.

An attorney is bound to protect his client’s interest to the best of his ability and with utmost
diligence. (Del Rosario vs. Court of Appeals, 114 SCRA 159) A failure to file brief for his client
certainly constitutes inexcusable negligence on his part. (People vs. Villar, 46 SCRA 107) The

respondent has indeed committed a serious lapse in the duty owed by him to his client as well as
to the Court not to delay litigation and to aid in the speedy administration of justice.


Crim. Case was declaring that the evidence thus presented by the prosecution was
sufficient to prove the crime of homicide and not the charge of murder. Consequently, the
counsel for the defense filed a Motion to Fix the Amount of Bail Bond. Respondent Atty. Rogelio
Z. Bagabuyo, then Senior State Prosecutor and the deputized prosecutor of the case, objected
thereto mainly on the ground that the original charge of murder, punishable with reclusion
perpetua, was not subject to bail under Sec. 4, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. Judge Tan
favorably resolved the Motion to Fix the Amount of Bail Bond, and fixed the amount of the bond
at Php40,000.
Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration which motion was denied for lack of merit
in an then respondent appealed from the CA
Instead of availing himself only of judicial remedies, respondent caused the publication
of an article regarding the Order granting bail to the accused in the issue of the Mindanao Gold
Star Daily. He also sought to be interviewed by radio station. He contends that Judge Tan, who is
ignorant of the law should not only be removed as a judge but should also be disbarred. That
Atty. Bagabuyo will stop when Judge Tan is already disbarred.

WON Atty. Bagabuyo showed disrespect of the court and its officers

YES. Respondent violated Rule 11.05 of Canon 11 when he admittedly caused the
holding of a press conference where he made statements against the Order dated November 12,
2002 allowing the accused in Crim. Case No. 5144 to be released on bail.
Respondent also violated Canon 11 when he indirectly stated that Judge Tan was
displaying judicial arrogance in the article. Respondents statements in the article, which were
made while Crim. Case No. 5144 was still pending in court, also violated Rule 13.02 of Canon
13, which states that a lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending
case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.
In regard to the radio interview, respondent violated Rule 11.05 of Canon 11 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility for not resorting to the proper authorities only for redress of his
grievances against Judge Tan. Respondent also violated Canon 11 for his disrespect of the court
and its officer when he stated that Judge Tan was ignorant of the law.
Respondent also violated the Lawyers Oath, as he has sworn to conduct as a lawyer according to
the best of knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to the clients.
Atty. Bagabuyo is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for 1 year

7. A.C. NO. 10050, Dec 3, 2013, VICTORIA vs. ATTY. ESPEJO


Sometime in January 2009, Victoria met Atty. Espejo through her godmother, Corazon
Eusebio. Following the introduction, Corazon told Victoria that Atty. Espejo was her lawyer in
need of money and wanted to borrow two hundred fifty thousand pesos (PhP 250,000) from her
(Victoria). Shortly thereafter, Victoria went to the house of Corazon for a meeting with Atty.
Espejo where they discussed the terms of the loan. Since Atty. Espejo was introduced to her as
her godmother’s lawyer, Victoria found no reason to distrust the former. Hence, during the same
meeting, Victoria agreed to accommodate Atty. Espejo and there and then handed to the latter the
amount of PhP 250,000. To secure the payment of the loan, Atty. Espejo simultaneously issued
and turned over to Victoria a check1 dated February 2, 2009 for two hundred seventy-five
thousand pesos (PhP 275,000) covering the loan amount and agreed interest. On due date, Atty.
Espejo requested Victoria to delay the deposit of the check for the reason that she was still
waiting for the release of the proceeds of a bank loan to fund the check. However, after a couple
of months of waiting, Victoria received no word from Atty. Espejo as to whether or not the check
was already funded enough. In July 2009, Victoria received an Espejo-issued check dated July
10, 2009 in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (PhP 50,000) 2 representing the interest which
accrued due to the late payment of the principal obligation. Victoria deposited the said check but,
to her dismay, the check bounced due to insufficiency of funds. Atty. Espejo failed to pay despite
Victoria’s repeated demands. Worried that she would not be able to recover the amount, Victoria
decided to deposit to her account the first check in the amount of PhP 275,000, but without
notifying Atty. Espejo of the fact. However, the said check was also dishonored due to
insufficiency of funds. Victoria became more aggressive in her efforts to recover her money. She,
for instance, personally handed to Atty. Espejo a demand letter dated August 3, 2009.
In November 2009, Atty. Espejo issued another check dated December 8, 2009 in the
amount of two hundred seventy five thousand pesos (PhP 275,000.). However, to Victoria’s
chagrin, the said check was again dishonored due to insufficiency of funds. 6 Atty. Espejo did not
file any counter-affidavit or pleading to answer the charges against her. On November 17, 2009,
the case was submitted for resolution without Atty. Espejo’s participation. 7 Victoria thereafter
filed the instant administrative case against Atty. Espejo before the CBD. On March 1, 2010, the
CBD, through Director for Bar Discipline Alicia A. Risos-Vidal, issued an Order 8 directing Atty.
Espejo to submit her Answer to Victoria’s administrative complaint failing which would render
her in default. The warning, notwithstanding, Atty. Espejo did not submit any Answer. On May 5,
2010, IBP Commissioner Rebecca Villanueva-Malala (Commissioner Villanueva-Malala)
notified the parties to appear for a mandatory conference set on June 2, 2010. The notice stated
that non-appearance of either of the parties shall be deemed a waiver of her right to participate in
further proceedings.9At the mandatory conference, only Victoria appeared.10Thus,the
Commissioner issued an Order11 noting Atty. Espejo’s failure to appear during the mandatory
conference and her failure to file an Answer. Accordingly, Atty. Espejo was declared in default.
Victoria, on the other hand, was directed to file her verified position paper, which she filed on
June 11, 2010.12
Findings and Recommendation of the IBP:
In its Report and Recommendation13 dated July 15, 2010, the CBD recommended the
suspension of Atty. Espejo from the practice of law and as a member of the Bar for a period of
five (5) years.


Whether or not Atty. Espejo should be disciplined for gross misconduct unbecoming a

Legal Ethics; Deliberate failure to pay just debts and the issuance of worthless checks
constitute gross misconduct, for which a lawyer may be sanctioned. Verily, lawyers must at all
times faithfully perform their duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to their clients. The
fact that Atty. Espejo obtained the loan and issued the worthless checks in her private capacity
and not as an attorney of Victoria is of no moment. As We have held in several cases, a lawyer
may be disciplined not only for malpractice and dishonesty in his profession but also for gross
misconduct outside of his professional capacity. While the Court may not ordinarily discipline a
lawyer for misconduct committed in his non-professional or private capacity, the Court may be
justified in suspending or removing him as an attorney where his misconduct outside of the
lawyer’s professional dealings is so gross in character as to show him morally unfit and
unworthy of the privilege which his licenses and the law confer.
We sustain the findings of the IBP and adopt its recommendation in part. Atty. Espejo did
not deny obtaining a loan from Victoria or traverse allegations that she issued unfunded checks to
pay her obligation. It has already been settled that the deliberate failure to pay just debts and the
issuance of worthless checks constitute gross misconduct, for which a lawyer may be
Verily, lawyers must at all times faithfully perform their duties to society, to the bar, to
the courts and to their clients. In Tomlin II v. Moya II, We explained that the prompt payment of
financial obligations is one of the duties of a lawyer, thus:
In the present case, respondent admitted his monetary obligations to the complaint but
offered no justifiable reason for his continued refusal to pay. Complainant made several
demands, both verbal and written, but respondent just ignored them and even made himself
scarce. Although he acknowledged his financial obligations to complainant, respondent never
offered nor made arrangements to pay his debt. On the contrary, he refused to recognize any
wrong doing nor shown remorse for issuing worthless checks, an act constituting gross
misconduct. Respondent must be reminded that it is his duty as a lawyer to faithfully perform at
all times his duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to his clients. As part of his duties, he
must promptly pay his financial obligations.17
The fact that Atty. Espejo obtained the loan and issued the worthless checks in her private
capacity and not as an attorney of Victoria is of no moment. As We have held in several cases, a
lawyer may be disciplined not only for malpractice and dishonesty in his profession but also for
gross misconduct outside of his professional capacity. While the Court may not ordinarily
discipline a lawyer for misconduct committed in his non- professional or private capacity, the
Court may be justified in suspending or removing him as an attorney where his misconduct
outside of the lawyer’s professional dealings is so gross in character as to show him morally unfit
and unworthy of the privilege which his licenses and the law confer.18
In Wilkie v. Limos, We reiterated that the issuance of a series of worthless checks, which
is exactly what Atty. Espejo committed in this case, manifests a lawyer’s low regard for her
commitment to her oath, for which she may be disciplined. Thus:
We have held that the issuance of checks which were later dishonored for having been
drawn against a closed account indicates a lawyer’s unfitness for the trust and confidence
reposed on her. It shows a lack of personal honesty and good moral character as to render her

unworthy of public confidence. The issuance of a series of worthless checks also shows the
remorseless attitude of respondent, unmindful to the deleterious effects of such act to the public
interest and public order. It also manifests a lawyer’s low regard to her commitment to the oath
she has taken when she joined her peers, seriously and irreparably tarnishing the image of the
profession she should hold in high esteem.
Undoubtedly, Atty. Espejo’s issuance of worthless checks and her blatant refusal to heed
the directives of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office and the IBP contravene Canon 1, Rule
1.01; Canon 7, Rule 7.03; and Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
1.01. – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. CANON
BAR. Rule 7.03 – A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to
practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the
discredit of the legal profession. CANON 11 – A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND
WHEREFORE, We find Atty. Erlinda B. Espejo GUILTY of gross misconduct and
violating Canons 1, 7 and 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. We SUSPEND
respondent from the practice of law for two (2) years affective immediately.


canon 15:
1. A.C. No. 10567 – ANARNA
Wilfredo Anglo filed an administrative case against the law firm Valencia Ciocon Dabao
Valencia De La Paz Dionela Pandan Rubica Law Office due to conflict of interests and violating
the code of Professional Responsibility. One of the partners, Atty Dionela represented him with
two labor cases which were terminated on June 5, 2008, upon the agreement of both parties.
On Septameber 18, 2009, a criminal case of theft was filed against complainnt and his
wife by FEVE Farms Agricultural Corporation, acing through Michael Villacorta, but this time
the law firm represented Villacorta.
The law firm contends that they did not violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Admitted that although they were partners in the law firm, but each and every lawyer handles
their own cases personally and that they do not discuss it, since the fees alone are solely paid thru
each lawyers. They are just partners in name and do not represent as one. Although Atty Dionela
represented the complainant before, the other lawyers have no idea to each and every clients they
handled. In addition, respondents asserted that the qualified theft case filed by FEVE Farms was
handled by Atty. Peñalosa, a new associate who had no knowledge of complainant’s labor cases,
as he started working for the firm after the termination thereof.


Whether or not the lawyers/ lawfirm violated Canon 15.03

Yes. There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of
two or more opposing parties. Also there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new
retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect his first client in
any matter in which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new
relation to use against his first client any knowledge acquired through their connection. As an
organization of individual lawyers which, albeit engaged as a collective, assigns legal work to a
corresponding handling lawyer, it behoves the law firm to value coordination in deference to the
conflict of interest rule. This lack of coordination, as respondents’ law firm exhibited in this case,
intolerably renders its clients’ secrets vulnerable to undue and even adverse exposure, eroding in
the balance the lawyer-client relationship’s primordial ideal of unimpaired trust and confidence.
As a final point, the Court clarifies that respondents' pronounced liability is not altered by the
fact that the labor cases against complainant had long been terminated. Verily, the termination of
attorney-client relation provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest adverse to or
in conflict with that of the former client. The client's confidence once reposed should not be
divested by mere expiration of professional employment. Respondents are found GUILTY of
representing conflicting interests in violation of Rule 15.03, Canon 15 and Canon 21 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility and are therefore REPRIMANDED for said violations, with a
STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar infraction would be dealt with more

canon 16:
2. A.C. No. 10681 – DINGLASAN
Atty. Dela Rosa is a lawyer retained by the Spouses Concepcion for about 10 years. In
this capacity, respondent handled many of their cases and was consulted on various legal matters,
among others, the prospect of opening a pawnshop business towards the end of 2005. Said
business, however, failed to materialize.
Knowing that the spouses had liquid money, Atty. Dela Rosa asked to borrow
P2,500,000.00 , to be returned with interest after 5 days. The spouses agreed and issued 3 checks
payable to Atty. Dela Rosa. Upon receiving the checks, respondent signed a piece of paper
containing: (a) photocopies of the checks; and (b) an acknowledgment that he received the
originals of the checks and that he agreed to return the P2,500,000.00, plus monthly interest of
five percent (5%), within five (5) days. 7 In the afternoon of March 23, 2006, the foregoing
checks were personally encashed by respondent
Five days later, the respondent failed to return the money. On April 2008, the spouses sent
a demand letter through their new lawyer, but he did not heed the same. He said he did not
borrow money from them and that it was his client , a certain Mr. Nault who is the real debtor.
On January 11, 2010, the spouse instituted a complaint before the IBP, charging Atty.
Dela Rosa of violating Rule 16.04 of the CPR. IBP, after investigation, and after requiring parties
to submit position papers, which was also disregarded by the respondent, issued a
recommendation for the suspension of Atty. Dela Rosa indefinitely and ordered him to return
P2,5000,000.00 with legal interest.

ISSUE : Whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable for violating the CPR.

Yes. The court found Atty dela Rosa guilty of violating canons 16 and 7 and suspended
him form practice for 3 years and with a stern warning that a repeat offense will be dealt with
more severely.
With regards to the money the respondent borrowed – the court said that the respondent
received the P2,500,000.00 as a loan from complainants and not in consideration of his
professional services. Hence, the IBP’s recommended return of the aforementioned sum lies
beyond the ambit of this administrative case, and thus cannot be sustained

canon 18:
3. A.C. No. 10753, ATTY. PABLO B. FRANCISCO, Complainant, vs. ATTY. ROMEO M.
FLORES, Respondent.
Atty. Francisco filed an administrative complaint for violation of Canons 10 and 18 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility against Atty. Flores alleging dishonesty and negligence on
the part of Atty. Flores. The complaint rooted out from the case filed by Atty. Francisco against
the Finezas who where represented by Atty. Flores for forcible entry. A motion was granted by
the RTC and ordered the Finezas to vacate the property.
The registry return receipt shows that Atty. Flores received a copy of the order of RTC on
April 3, 2009, while the Finezas received their copy of the order on April 29, 2009.
The Finezas filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment signed by them and not by their
counsel. They alleged that:
 They did not receive a copy or have knowledge of the order denying their motion for
 It was only June 29, 2009 that the defendants through their lawyer came to know of the

Atty. Francisco filed a Motion to Dismiss alleging that the Petition for Relief from Judgment
was filed out of time. He claimed that Atty. Flores knew about the untruthful allegations and
frivolous character of the Petition, yet he sought to pursue the Petition.
Atty. Francisco contends that Atty. Flores was negligent when he did not make himself
available during the period when his clients could still question the trial court’s denial of the
Motion for Reconsideration. He prayed that Atty. Flores be found guilty of violation of Canon 10
and 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
On the other hand, Atty. Flores alleged that he was on vacation from February to May 2009
and instructed his staff to furnish copies of all court process to his clients and refer all matters to
his collaborating counsels. He also argued that he did not violate Canon 18 because he was able
to prevent the demolition of the Finezas’ family home.
The Commission on Bar Discipline recommended that Atty. Flores be found guilty of
violating Canon 10, and a penalty of suspension from practice of law for 3 months with stern

The Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines adopted and approved the
recommendation of the Commission on Bar Discipline, however, both are silent on the issue of
whether Atty. Flores violated Canon 18.

WON Atty. Flores violated Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. (YES)

The court accepts the findings of fact of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Based on
the records, Atty. Flores is guilty of violating Canon 18.

Canon 18 – A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence.
Rule 18.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his
negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
The court found the respondent’s explanation that he was on vacation is not sufficient.
Being the lawyer who filed Motion for Reconsideration, he should have been prepared for the
possibility that his motion would be acted upon by the trial court during the time that he was on
vacation. In addition, he does not deny that his office, through his staff received by registered
mail a copy of the trial court’s Order dated April 3, 2009. He should have immediately discussed
the matter with his clients. The records show that he did not consult his clients on what legal
remedies they would like to avail themselves of after the denial of the Motion for
Responded also seems to have forgotten the general rule that the notice to counsel is also
notice to client. Thus, when his office received a copy of the trial court’s Order on April 3, 2009,
his clients are also deemed as having been notified on the same date.
Assuming that the Finezas learned about the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration
only on June 29, 2009, this would further support the allegations in the Complaint that the
responded violated Canon 18. Records show that he received it on June 3, 2009. If it were true
that the Finezas learned about the denial of Motion on June 29, 2009, then it shows that the
respondent did not immediately inform his clients on the matter.
Respondent’s failure to immediately update his clients and act upon the denial of the
Motion for Reconsideration, which resulted in the expiration of the period for filing a Petition for
Relief from Judgment, clearly points to negligence on his part.
The court takes judicial notice that respondent was previously suspended from practice of
law for two (2) years because he notarized a Deed of Absolute Sale when the vendor was already
Respondent, Atty. Romeo M. Flores is suspended from the practice of law for two (2)
years. He is warned that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely.

canon 19:
4. A.C. No. 7298 – RIEGO
FERNANDO MARTIN O. PENA, Complainant, [Formerly CBD Case No. 05-1565] vs.


A disbarment case was filed against herein lawyer respondent in violation of canon 19.01
of CPR for "threatening" the complainant in filing multiple cases, criminal cases among others,
against the latter if the same will not act on the demand letter. The complainant is the previous
employer of the respondent's client who was illegaly dismissed. In the disbarment case, the
complainant failed to submit a certification against forum shopping which becomes the basis for
the dismissal of the same. Thus this review.

WON the respondent violated CPR.

Yes, under Canon 19.01, a lawyer should not file or threaten to file any unfounded or
baseless criminal case or cases against the adversaries of his client designed to secure a leverage
to compel the adversaries to yield or withdraw their own cases against the lawyer's client.
However, while the writing of the letter went beyond ethical standards, we hold that disbarment
is too severe a penalty to be imposed on respondent, considering that he wrote the same out of
his overzealousness to protect his clients interests. Accordingly, the more appropriate penalty is
Respondent Atty. Lolito G. Aparicio is hereby found liable for violation of Rule 19.01 of
Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and is accordingly meted out the penalty of
REPRIMAND, with the STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar act will be
dealt with more severely.

NOTE: A disciplinary proceeding against lawyers are sui generis. Neither purely civil nor purely

canon 20:
5. A.C. No. 5655 - SIDLACAN
The complainant Valeriana Dalisay engaged the services of respondent, Atty. Melanio
Mauricio Jr., as her counsel in in Civil Case No. 00-44, wherein she is the defendant. The said
case was pending before the Municipal Trial Court of Binangonan, Rizal. After consulting with
respondent, she handed to him all the pertinent documents. In turn, respondent demanded
P25,000.00 as acceptance fee which she paid. Then respondent asked her to pay P8,000.00 as
filing fee. She paid the amount although she knew that Civil Case No. 00-44 was already filed
with the court. After a month, complainant approached respondent to follow up her case.
Respondent demanded additional acceptance fee, or a total of P90,000.00. Respondent also
asked her to pay him P3,000.00 as appearance fee. Complainant raised an additional amount and
paid respondent the total sum of P48,000.00. Adding to this amount P8,000.00 filing fee, her
total payment was P56,000.00. Complainant further alleged that notwithstanding her payments,
respondent never rendered any legal service for her in Civil Case No. 00-044. As a result, she
terminated their attorney-client relationship and demanded the return of her money and
documents. However, the respondent refused to do so.

WON respondent violated canon 20 of the CPR.

Yes. Respondent insists that he is entitled to attorney’s fees since he gave legal advice
and opinions to complainant on her problems and those of her family. Just like any other
professional, a lawyer is entitled to collect fees for his services. However, he should charge only
a reasonable amount of fees. Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that
a lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees. There is, however, no hard and fast rule
which will serve as guide in determining what is or what is not a reasonable fee. That must be
determined from the facts of each case. The power to determine the reasonableness or the
unconscionable character of a lawyer’s fee is a matter falling within the regulatory prerogative of
the Court.
It is now clear to us that since respondent did not take any step to assist complainant in
her case, charging P56,000.00 is improper. While giving legal advice and opinion on
complainants problems and those of her family constitutes legal service, however, the attorneys
fee must be reasonable. Obviously, P56,000.00 is exorbitant.
By his inaction in Civil Case No.00-044, respondent violated Canons 17, 18 and 18.03, as
well as his Oath as an attorney. Likewise, in collecting from complainant exorbitant consulting
fee, respondent violated Canon 20 of the same Code. For all these violations, respondent should
be penalized.
He is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period for six (6) months effective
from notice, and STERNLY WARNED that any similar infraction in the future will be dealt with
more severely. He is further ordered to RETURN, within ten (10) days, also from notice, the sum
of P56,000.00 to complainant.

canon 21:
6. A.C. No. 5859 - TITO
Atty. Eduardo De Vera won a case for Rosario Mercado. De Vera garnished the bank
account of the opposing party but he did not remit the same to Mercado, instead he claimed that
he used the same to pay off the judge and what’s left was for his attorney’s fees. Mercado filed
an administrative complaint and eventually De Vera was suspended from the practice of law for
one year. In obvious retaliation, he filed various complaints against Mercado and her family, the
IBP officers who suspended and several others. He attempted to re-open the case of her client in
an attempt to collect more attorney’s fees. He also instigated the opposing party in the case he
won for Mercado to file lawsuits against Mercado. The complaints were dismissed but he re-filed
them nonetheless.

Whether or not De Vera should be disbarred.


Yes. What he did is grossly unethical and filled with ill-motive. It is the duty of the
Supreme Court to remove from the profession a person whose misconduct has proved him unfit
to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities belonging to an office of an attorney, and thus
to protect the public and those charged with the administration of justice, rather than to punish
the attorney.
Further, De Vera is in violation of Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
In filing cases against Mercado, De Vera used matters and information acquired by him when he
was still the counsel for Mercado. A lawyer owes loyalty and fidelity to his client even if the
lawyer-client relationship has already terminated. A lawyer shall preserve the confidence and
secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relation is terminated.

canon 22:
7. A.C. No. 6166 - ANARNA
Complainant sought the legal services of the respondent in regard to the share of her
mother-in- law in the estate of her husband Carlos Ceniza. Respondent made the complainant to
sign a promissory note for P32,000.00 which was lent by Domingo Natavio and was later paid by
the latter’s mother-in- law. Then, respondent furnished them a copy of the complaint for partition
and recovery of ownership/possession representing legitime but with no docket number on it. It
was only after three months that respondent informed them of the filing of the complaint and
gave them a copy of the complaint with Civil Case No. 4198 and a rubber stamped RECEIVED
thereon. But upon verification with the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court of Davao del
Sur, she was informed that no case with said title and docket number was filed.
Complainant charged respondent with grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law and
falsification of public documents. Upon the IBP investigation, it recommended that respondent
be found guilty of falsification of public document and be meted the penalty of suspension from
the practice of law for a period of three years. The other allegations in the complaint about
ignorance of the law are found to be without factual basis. In a resolution by the Board of
Governors, it recommended that the disbarment of the respondent be reduced to five (5) years of
suspension from the practice of law.
A perusal of the records shows that complainant’s evidence does not suffice to warrant
the imposition of administrative sanction against the respondent. However, the Court finds that
respondent committed some acts for which she should be disciplined or administratively
sanctioned. She suggested that complainant borrow money from Domingo Natavio for the
payment thereof. Furthermore, she severed the lawyer-client relationship due to overwhelming
workload demanded by her new employer Nakayama Group of Companies, which constrained
her to return the money received as well as the records of the case, thereby leaving her client
with no representation.

Whether or not he violated Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.


Yes. Respondent violated Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides
that a lawyer shall withdraw his services only for good cause and upon notice appropriate in the
circumstances. Heavy workload is not sufficient reason for the withdrawal of her services. When
she accepted to handle the complainant’s case, she undertook to do her duties with utmost
attention, skill and competence, despite other workloads to do with other client. The client has
the right to expect that a lawyer will discharge his duties diligently and exert his best efforts to
defend or prosecute his client’s cause. Failure of such duties will render him administratively
liable. In the instant case, respondent is found guilty and suspended from the practice of law for
six months.