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PLA vs Aggrava

PLA vs Aggrava

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Published by Joan Muñoz Heredia

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Published by: Joan Muñoz Heredia on Jun 25, 2012
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PHILIPPINE LAWYER’S ASSOCIATION VS. CELEDONIO AGRAVA,in his capacity as Directorof the Philippines Patent OfficeFACTS:
A petition was filed by the petitioner for prohibition and injunction against CeledonioAgrava, in hiscapacity as Director of the Philippines Patent Office. On May 27, 1957, respondentDirector issued acircular announcing that he had scheduled for June 27, 1957 an examination forthe purpose of determining who are qualified to practice as patent attorneys before thePhilippines Patent Office. The petitioner contends that one who has passed the bar examinationsand is licensed by theSupreme Court to practice law in the Philippines and who is in goodstanding, is duly qualified topractice before the Philippines Patent Office and that the respondentDirector’s holding anexamination for the purpose is in excess of his jurisdiction and is in violationof the law. Therespondent, in reply, maintains the prosecution of patent cases “ does not involve entirely orpurelythe practice of law but includes the application of scientific and technical knowledge andtraining as amatter of actual practice so as to include engineers and other individuals who passedthe examinationcan practice before the Patent office. Furthermore, he stressed that for the longtime he is holdingtests, this is the first time that his right has been questioned formally.ISSUE:Whether or not the appearance before the patent Office and the preparation and theprosecution of patent application, etc., constitutes or is included in the practice of law.HELD:The Supreme Court held that the practice of law includes such appearance before thePatent Office,the representation of applicants, oppositors, and other persons, and theprosecution of theirapplications for patent, their opposition thereto, or the enforcement of theirrights in patent cases.Moreover, the practice before the patent Office involves the interpretation andapplication of otherlaws and legal principles, as well as the existence of facts to be established inaccordance with thelaw of evidence and procedure. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases orlitigation in court but also embraces all other matters connected with the law and any workinvolvingthe determination by the legal mind of the legal effects of facts and conditions. Furthermore,the lawprovides that any party may appeal to the Supreme Court from any final order or decision of thedirector. Thus, if the transactions of business in the Patent Office involved exclusively ormostlytechnical and scientific knowledge and training, then logically, the appeal should be takennot to acourt or judicial body, but rather to a board of scientists, engineers or technical men, whichis not the case.
In re Cunanan
In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to 1953; ALBINO CUNANANResolution March 18, 1954Facts:Congress passed Republic Act Number 972, commonly known as the “Bar Flunkers’ Act of 1953.” In accordance withthe said law, the Supreme Court then passed and admitted to the bar those candidates who had obtained an average of 72 per cent by raising it to 75 percent.After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar invoking itsprovisions, while other motions for the revision of their examination papers were still pending also invoked theaforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also others who have sought simply the reconsiderationof their grades without, however, invoking the law in question. To avoid injustice to individual petitioners, the court firstreviewed the motions for reconsideration, irrespective of whether or not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972.Issue:WON RA No. 972 is constitutional and valid? NOHeld:RA No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates who suffered frominsufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation.In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been indisputably a judicial function andresponsibility. We have said that in the judicial system from which ours has been derived, the admission, suspension,disbarment or reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is concededly judicial. The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by the courts, it having been sogenerally held that the act of the court in admitting an attorney to practice is the judgment of the court, and an attemptas this on the part of the Legislature to confer such right upon any one being most exceedingly uncommon, it seemsclear that the licensing of an attorney is and always has been a purely judicial function, no matter where the power todetermine the qualifications may reside.On this matter, there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and legislative departments of the government.
It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to this Court,and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities may say, merely to fixthe minimum conditions for the license.
People vs HolgadoFacts:
Appellant Frisco Holgado was charged in the court of First Instance of Romblon withslight illegal detention because according to the information, being a private person, he did"feloniously and without justifiable motive, kidnap and detain one Artemia Fabreag in thehouse of Antero Holgado for about eight hours thereby depriving said Artemia Fabreag of her personal liberty. He pleaded guilty (without a counsel) and said that he was justinstructed by Mr. Ocampo, which no evidence was presented to indict the latter.
Whether or Not there was any irregularity in the proceedings in the trial court.
Yes. Rule 112, section 3 of ROC that : “If the defendant appears without attorney,he must be informed by the court that it is his right to have attorney being arraigned., andmust be asked if he desires the aid of attorney, the Court must assign attorney de oficio todefend him. A reasonable time must be allowed for procuring attorney.” This was violated.Moreso the guarantees of our Constitution that "no person shall be held to answer for acriminal offense without due process of law", and that all accused "shall enjoy the right tobe heard by himself and counsel." In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless theaccused be given the opportunity to be heard by counsel.The trial court failed to inquire as to the true import of the qualified plea of accused. Therecord does not show whether the supposed instructions of Mr. Ocampo was real andwhether it had reference to the commission of the offense or to the making of the pleaguilty. No investigation was opened by the court on this matter in the presence of theaccused and there is now no way of determining whether the supposed instruction is agood defense or may vitiate the voluntariness of the confession. Apparently the courtbecame satisfied with the fiscal's information that he had investigated Mr. Ocampo andfound that the same had nothing to do with this case. Such attitude of the court was wrongfor the simple reason that a mere statement of the fiscal was not sufficient to overcome aqualified plea of the accused. But above all, the court should have seen to it that theaccused be assisted by counsel especially because of the qualified plea given by him andthe seriousness of the offense found to be capital by the court.
Petitioner alleged that she and the counsel for the defendant had an attorney-clientrelationship with her when, before the trial of the case, she went to defendant’s counsel,gave him the papers of the case and other information relevant thereto, although she wasnot able to pay him legal fees. “That respondent’s law firm mailed to the plaintiff a writtenopinion over his signature on the merits of her case; that this opinion was reached on thebasis of papers she had submitted at his office; that Mrs. Hilado's purpose in submittingthose papers was to secure Attorney Francisco's professional services.” Atty. Franciscoappeared as counsel for defendant and plaintiff did not object to it until (4) months after. Then, plaintiff moved to dismiss the case between her and defendant.Issue: Was there an attorney-client relationship between plaintiff and Atty. Francisco?
Held: YES. In order to constitute the relation a professional one and not merely one of principal and agent, the attorneys must be employed either to give advice upon a legalpoint, to prosecute or defend an action in court of justice, or to prepare and draft, in legalform such papers as deeds, bills, contracts and the like. To constitute professional employment it is not essential that the client should haveemployed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion. It is not necessary that anyretainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for; neither is it material that theattorney consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which the consultation washad. If a person, in respect to his business affairs or troubles of any kind, consults with hisattorney in his professional capacity with the view to obtaining professional advice orassistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces in such consultation, thenthe professional employment must be regarded as established.“An attorney is employed-that is, he is engaged in his professional capacity as a lawyer orcounselor-when he is listening to his client's preliminary statement of his case, or when heis giving advice thereon, just as truly as when he is drawing his client's pleadings, oradvocating his client's cause in open court. An acceptance of the relation is implied on thepart of the attorney from his acting in behalf of his client in pursuance of a request by thelatter.” That only copies of pleadings already filed in court were furnished to Attorney Agrava andthat, this being so, no secret communication was transmitted to him by the plaintiff, wouldnot vary the situation even if we should discard Mrs. Hilado's statement that other papers,personal and private in character, were turned in by her. Precedents are at hand to supportthe doctrine that the mere relation of attorney and client ought to preclude the attorneyfrom accepting the opposite party's retainer in the same litigation regardless of whatinformation was received by him from his first client.An attorney, on terminating his employment, cannot thereafter act as counsel against hisclient in the same general matter, even though, while acting for his former client, heacquired no knowledge which could operate to his client's disadvantage in the subsequentadverse employment"A retaining fee is a preliminary fee given to an attorney or counsel to insure and secure hisfuture services, and induce him to act for the client. It is intended to remunerate counselfor being deprived, by being retained by one party, of the opportunity of rendering servicesto the other and of receiving pay from him, and the payment of such fee, in the absence of an express understanding to the contrary, is neither made nor received in payment of theservices contemplated; its payment has no relation to the obligation of the client to pay hisattorney for the services which he has retained him to perform."

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