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ENRIQUEZ VS.

LAVADIA
Per Curiam [June 16, 2015] ISSUE/S and RULING:
1. W/N Atty. Lavadia is administratively liable – YES
FACTS:
 Mr. Ernesto Ouano, Sr. filed a complaint for forcible entry against LAWYER AND CLIENT: VIOLATED RULE 12.03 AND CANON 18 AND
complainant Teodulo Enriquez before the MCTC of Talibon, Bohol. RULE 18.03
 Enriquez engaged the services of the law office of Attys. Joselito M.  The Court noted Atty. Lavadia’s propensity for filing motions for
Alo, R. L. C. Agapay, and Edilberto B. Lavadia, Jr. with Atty. extension of time to file pleadings but failing to file the same, in
Lavadia as the assigned attorney. violation of Rule 12.03 of the CPR.
 Atty. Lavadia agreed to submit their position papers and affidavits  Enriquez paid a total of P29,750.00 as acceptance fee and other
within 30 days from the receipt of the pre-trial order. fees. Atty. Lavadia however failed to discharge his duties.
o However, Atty. Lavadia failed to file the position paper, o He failed to file his client’s position paper rendering his client
resulting in the defendants being declared in default. in default.
 Atty. Lavadia filed a notice of appeal with sufficient bond. o While he filed a notice of appeal and several motions for
o The RTC dismissed the appeal, stating that Atty. Lavadia extension of time to file the appeal memorandum, all of
failed to file the appeal memorandum after more than 71 which were granted by the lower court, he ultimately
days. neglected to file the appeal memorandum.
 Enriquez filed a disbarment complaint against Atty. Lavadia, alleging o Thus, Atty. Lavadia has clearly transgressed Canon 18 and
that in failing to file the necessary pleadings before the court, Atty. Rule 18.03 of the CPR, making him administratively liable.
Lavadia caused them great damage and prejudice. This constituted
gross negligence and inefficiency in the performance of his LAWYER AND THE COURTS: VIOLATED RULE 12.03 IN RELATION TO
professional duties as a lawyer. CANON 11
 The Court required Atty. Lavadia to submit his comment.  Under Canon 11 of the CPR, a lawyer is required to observe and
o Atty. Lavadia filed 2 motions for extension, citing his heavy maintain due respect to the court and its judicial officers.
case load and family problems as reasons for not filing the  The present complaint was filed January 2002.
comment. The Court granted him another 60 days.  The Court issued no less than eight resolutions ordering Atty.
o He filed again a motion to extend due to his wife’s Lavadia to comment: two of which ordered him to pay fines of
continued illness. The Court granted another 30-day P1,000.00 and P2,000.00 and requiring him to show cause for his
period. failure to comply with the Court’s resolutions.
 Atty. Lavadia failed to file his comment. The Court required him to  The Court has granted him a total of 155 days extension to file his
show cause why he should not be held in contempt and to comment, in response to his repeated pleas.
submit his comment within 10 days.  After a lapse of eight years, this Court referred the case to the IBP
o He failed to comply again. The Court imposed on him a where Atty. Lavadia once again filed a motion for extension to file his
P1,000.00 fine or a 5-day imprisonment if he failed to pay. position paper but nevertheless failed to file the same.
o Atty. Lavadia paid the fine and asked for extension, stating  Considering the gravity of Atty. Lavadia's cavalier actions both to his
that he had moved from Tagbilaran to Cebu because of client and his impertinent attitude towards the Court, the Court found
his wife’s illness which was caused by “dark-beings.” the penalty of DISBARMENT as recommended by the IBP
o He claimed that a series of unfortunate events plagued appropriate.
them: their house was razed by a fire, the hard drive of
his computer crashed, and his family members fell ill
due to a “dark being.” The Court granted him a 30-day
extension.
o The Court imposed a P2000 fine after Atty. Lavadia failed to DISBARRED for violating Canons 11 and 18 and Rules 10.03, 12.03 and
file to his comment. 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and his name is ORDERED
 IBP recommended that Atty. Lavadia be disbarred. STRICKEN OFF from the Roll of Attorneys.