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Proper conduct of lawyer and

client during lawyer and client


relationship

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Arellano University School of Law – Arellano Law
Foundation
2017-2018

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

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

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 Lastly, the Court does not appreciate the offensive appellation respondent
called the shooting incident that the accused was engaged in. He described
the incident, thus: "the accused police officers who had been convicted of
[h]omicide for the ‘salvage’ of Froilan G. Cabiling and Jose M. Chua and
[a]ttempted [h]omicide of Mario C. Macato." Rule 14.0124 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility clearly directs lawyers not to discriminate
clients as to their belief of the guilt of the latter. It is ironic that it is the
defense counsel that actually branded his own clients as being the culprits
that "salvaged" the victims. Though he might think of his clients as that, still
it is unprofessional to be labeling an event as such when even the
Sandiganbayan had not done so. -Francisco, et. Al. v. Atty. Portugal, A.C.
No. 6155 March 14, 2006

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

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 As aptly observed by Commissioner Villadolid, respondent had not been quite
candid in his dealings with the accused or complainants. The Court notes that
though respondent represented to the accused that he had changed his office
address, still, from the examination of the pleadings14 he filed, it can be gleaned
that all of the pleadings have the same mailing address as that known to
complainants. Presumably, at some point, respondent’s office would have received
the Court’s Resolution dismissing the petition. Of course, the prudent step to take
in that situation was to at least inform the client of the adverse resolution since
they had constantly called respondent’s office to check the status of the case. Even
when he knew that complainants had been calling his office, he opted not to return
their calls. - Francisco, et. Al. v. Atty. Portugal, A.C. No. 6155 March 14, 2006

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

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

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 For a substitution of attorneys to be effectual, the procedure to be followed strictly is as
follows:
 "In order that there may be substitution of attorneys in a given case, there must be (1) a
written application for substitution; (2) the written consent of the client; (3) the written
consent of the attorney substituted; and (4) in case such written consent cannot be secured,
there must be filed with the application proof of service of notice of such motion upon the
attorney to be substituted, in the manner prescribed by the rules. Unless the foregoing
formalities are complied with, substitution will not be permitted, and the attorney who
properly appeared last in the case, before such application for substitution, will be regarded
as the attorney of record and will be held responsible for the proper conduct of the case."
(Adarne vs. Aldaba, A.C. No. 801, June 27, 1978; Cortez, et al. vs. CA, et al., L-32547, May 9,
1978; Ramos vs. Potenciano, 118 Phil. 1435; and U.S. vs. Borromeo, 20 Phil. 189).
 G.R. No. 147010 July 18, 2003
 PIONEER INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION, petitioner,
 vs.
 DE DIOS TRANSPORTATION CO., INC. and DE DIOS MARIKINA TRANSIT CORPORATION,
respondents.

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 336 So.2d 572 (1976)
Ray SANDSTROM, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida,
Respondent.
 Supreme Court of Florida. June 30, 1976.

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 The Rules of Court under Rule 138, Section 21 provides for a presumption
of a lawyer’s appearance on behalf of his client, hence:
 SEC. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. – An attorney is presumed to be
properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears, and no
written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for
his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on
reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney who
assumes the right to appear in a case to produce or prove the authority
under which he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue,
the name of the person who employed him, and may thereupon make such
order as justice requires. An attorney willfully appearing in court for a
person without being employed, unless by leave of the court, may be
punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his
official transactions. (Emphases supplied)

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 In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Pamintuan Dev’t. Co., this Court said that
while a lawyer is not required to present proof of his representation, when
a court requires that he show such authorization, it is imperative that he
show his authority to act. Thus:
 A lawyer is not even required to present a written authorization from the
client. In fact, the absence of a formal notice of entry of appearance will
not invalidate the acts performed by the counsel in his client’s name.
However, [a] court, on its own initiative or on motion of the other party
may require a lawyer to adduce authorization from the client. A.C. No.
7325, January 21, 2015
 DR. DOMICIANO F. VILLAHERMOSA, SR., Complainant, v. ATTY. ISIDRO L.
CARACOL, Respondent.

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 Lawyers must be mindful that an attorney has no power to act as counsel
for a person without being retained nor may he appear in court without
being employed unless by leave of court. If an attorney appears on a
client’s behalf without a retainer or the requisite authority neither the
litigant whom he purports to represent nor the adverse party may be bound
or affected by his appearance unless the purported client ratifies or is
estopped to deny his assumed authority. If a lawyer corruptly or willfully
appears as an attorney for a party to a case without authority, he may be
disciplined or punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has
misbehaved in his official transaction. A.C. No. 7325, January 21, 2015
 DR. DOMICIANO F. VILLAHERMOSA, SR., Complainant, v. ATTY. ISIDRO L.
CARACOL, Respondent.

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

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

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