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Legal Ethics Lecture Notes 1

Legal Ethics Lecture Notes 1

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Legal Ethics Class Discussion
Legal Ethics Class Discussion

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Basic Legal Ethics: Lecture Notes 1 ATTORNEY’S OATH Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines; Obedience to the Constitution

, laws and legal orders of duly constituted authorities Constitutional provisions on due process and the right to counsel (basis for Canon 14)  Art. III, sec.1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws  _____, sec.11. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.  ____, sec.12(1). Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel.  Cf Rules of Court, Rule 138, sec.31 – appointment of attorneys for destitute clients. Distinguish from Rule 116 and 124 – appointment of counsels de oficio. o Rule 138 is under Part V of the Rules of Court – Legal Ethics; Rule 116 is in Part III, Criminal Procedure. o Therefore, Rule 138 is general in nature – an attorney may be assigned by the court to render professional service free of charge to any party in any case. o The rule is stricter and more mandatory in criminal cases. Thus,  Under Rule 116, sec.6, before arraignment, the court shall inform the accused of his right to counsel and shall ask him if he desires to have one. If accused has no counsel and is not allowed to defend himself in person (i.e., in courts higher than MTC) the court must assign counsel de oficio.  A counsel de oficio is a counsel appointed or assigned by the court, from among the members of the bar in good standing who, by reason of their experience and ability, may adequately defend the accused (Moreno)  For criminal cases on appeal to the Court of Appeals, Rule 124, sec.2 provides:  If accused is in prison, the Clerk of Court of the CA shall designate a counsel de oficio if there is no counsel of record (counsel de parte) on appeal and the accused signed the notice of appeal himself. No affidavit of indigency is required as this is presume.  If accused is not detained, the appointment of a counsel de oficio is not automatic. It must be requested by accused within 10 days from notice to file brief. Further, the right to counsel de oficio must be established [by an affidavit]. No presumption of indigency. Laws and legal orders of duly constituted authorities  Notwithstanding absence of specific provision in CPR re purchase of client’s property in litigation, lawyer may be charged under the Code for violation of art. 1491 par.(5) of the Civil 1

439. BM No. 1989) Committing and conviction of crime involving moral turpitude o Abduction with consent (of a minor) – In re Basa. 1995 Violation of Notarial law o A notary public cannot plead good faith in notarizing documents without the presence of signatories thereto as this would be a mockery of what the Jurat or Acknowledgment requires (Flores v. obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes” (Bautista v. Tuanda.000 pesos. 1999) o When notarization is done by a lawyer at a time when he has no authorization or commission to do so violates the lawyer’s oath to obey the laws (Nunga v. shall undertake the defense of the opposing party in the same case. Castillo. Mar 6. 3360. shall be imposed upon any attorneyat-law or solicitor (procurador judicial) who. AC No. 2 . Castillo. AC No. 4500. supra. Jan 30. AC No. Sept 30. Art. July 13. reconciliation between complainant and respondent will not be a bar to the proceedings because it does not wipe away the misconduct (Cordova v. 293 (1922) o Murder – In re Gutierrez. AC No. Villaluz. 41 Phil 275 (1920) o Violation of BP 22 (Bouncing Checks) – People v. Chua. 2003) o It is immaterial that the complainant is in pari delicto because disbarment proceedings is not a proceeding to give relief to complainant but to purge the legal profession of unworthy members (Zaguirre v. 1625. 1999) Violation of RPC on Betrayal of Trust o Rule 15. 4921. this cannot excuse lawyer from liability under the CPR because what is in question is his fitness to be a member of the legal profession (Zaguirre v. 1962 o Falsification of public documents – In re Vailoces. Viray.    Code because Canon 1 says that “a lawyer shall uphold the Constitution. Feb 12. to wit: ARTICLE 209. The same penalty shall be imposed upon an attorney-at-law or solicitor (procurador judicial) who. AC No. AC No. 712. 43 Phil. — In addition to the proper administrative action.02 and Canon 21 in relation to RPC.) o Even if complainant entered into adulterous relationship with respondent lawyer knowing full well his marital status. shall prejudice his client. AC No. 1990) Adultery.Betrayal of Trust by an Attorney or Solicitor — Revelation of Secrets. 1997. Apr 30. 4758. 3249. de Mijares v. having undertaken the defense of a client or having received confidential information from said client in a case. AC No. Gonzales. bigamy violations of RPC o A lawyer who makes a mockery of marriage by contracting a second before the judicial declaration of nullity of the first is guilty of deceit and grossly immoral conduct (Castillo vda. Nov 29. Apr 30. 209. or both. July 31. by any malicious breach of professional duty or inexcusable negligence or ignorance. June 19. Dec 29. 1980 o Participation in fatal hazing – In re Al Argosino. 126. L-363. or a fine ranging from 200 to 1.) o Therefore. AC No. 1982 o Smuggling – In re Rovero. concubinage. without the consent of his first client. AM No. the penalty of prisión correccional in its minimum period. 4431. Cordova. or reveal any of the secrets of the latter learned by him in his professional capacity. 1989 o Bigamy – In re Lontok.

5118. such is not covered by the privilege as it is essentially inconsistent with the confidential relation between attorney and client (Uy Chico v. 569 [1949]) o Thus. 1995). such as:  Failure to account for money given him by complainant for investment purposes (Lizaso v. Civil Code on torts and damages. Also. In PNB v. see Hilado v.. Pilla. March 28. 1991). 163 (1915) o See also Regala v. 2001) o 3 . Bernardino. 2019. the Court upheld the IBP opinion that such a set up exposes the client’s secrets and confidential records and information to other lawyers and staff members at all times. fraud under the Civil Code and RPC. accepting employment from an opponent of a former client in a similar case puts the mandate of Canon 21 into “possible jeopardy” (Salonga v. June 3.  Procurement of personal loans thru insinuations of power as influence peddler in a government office (Co v. David. Sep 20. AC No. this prohibition applies even if the lawyer did not take the employment because a contract of employment or retainer is not an essential element of an attorney-client relationship (Rule 15. 84 Phil. 1999).  Issuance of bad checks (Co v.).  Presenting a forged SPA to obtain a bank loan (Rural Bank of Silay v. Sep 9. his employees or associates o Other exceptions:  When the client discloses intention to commit a crime or unlawful act  Also.  Arranging for the travel abroad of complainant under an assumed name.02 speaks about “prospective clients”. 3919. Jan 28. Union Life. 29 Phil. 1999) o Exceptions: (see Rule 21. Cedo (AC No. even if there was no promise of job placement (Sebastian v. For this reason. 1998). Jan 24. o Further. AC No. AC No.01):  When authorized by client after acquainting him of consequences of disclosure  When required by law  When necessary to collect fees or to defend lawyer. when communication by the client to the attorney is clearly intended for the purpose of being communicated to a third person. AC No. 3701. 1996) re identity of client as privileged communication.01 is not limited to conduct exhibited in connection with performance of professional duties but also for misconduct that shows the lawyer to be unfit for the office. Other forms of misconduct which can fall under violations of precepts of law (e. August 12. 3637. Calis. a lawyer must avoid any arrangement that can lead to a violation of this privilege.g. Sandiganbayan (GR 105938. such as sharing office and personnel with other lawyers not his partners. etc. Amante. 5105. supra. Bernardino.) o “Conduct” as used in Rule 1. AC No. Hildawa.

2 Phil 266 [1903]) Violation of legal processes  Respondent’s disobedience to order of the Supreme Court prohibiting his reappointment to any branch. Art 7. Aug 29. 20 of the Rules of Court enumerates the duties of attorneys. s/he may be disciplined as a member of the bar for such misconduct (Pimentel v. Tabang. or conniving at violation of the law (In re Terrell. including: (c) to counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just. Ago. 6. Brillantes. 1975. July 30. adequate service 4 .14.13. 2003)  Misusing court rules (Castañeda v. of the Constitution which provides that the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning admission to the practice of law and the integrated bar.01 and 7. AC No. is void ab initio and is awaiting judicial declaration of nullity (Leda v. sec. Highest degree of excellence and professionalism 3. Llorente. for purposes of maintaining the causes confided to him. v. or agency of government. Jr. he had contracted marriage prior to the application violates Rule 7. including GOCCs violates Attorney’s oath to obey laws and legal orders of duly constituted authorities (Brion. sec. AC No. instrumentality. o Thus. 1992) Lawyers in Government Service  If the misconduct of a lawyer also constitutes a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility or the lawyer’s oath. according to Canon 6. the Executive Branch and Constitutional Commissions . o Thus. 6713 on Norms of conduct public officers – CPR applies to lawyers in government service. Promoting organizations with purposes contrary to law or otherwise assisting clients in a scheme which attorney knows to be dishonest. it undermines Art VIII. and Art. 4680. Moreover.  Cf Rep.4) 1. in the belief of the applicant. AC No. Mar 17. Jr. Political neutrality 5. sec.9. Lantin. GR L-28546. 1994) o A lawyer’s oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to his duty to his client (Cobb-Perez v.2 referring to members of Congress.5. and such defences only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law. or is of such character as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or shows moral delinquency on his part. July 29. Rule 10. 5305. 1968). Feb 21. Norms of conduct include (sec.02 of the CPR are also violations of the Rules of Court on admission to the practice of the profession. GR 104599. Justness and sincerity. Prompt. and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law. Commitment to public interest over personal interest 2.. sec.03 states that “A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to defeat the ends of justice. not discriminate 4. GR L-22320.” o Likewise. in fact. Sec. Act No. and (d) to employ. Rule 138. such means only as are consistent with truth and honor.01 even if the marriage. a declaration in the application to take the bar that the applicant is “single” when.prohibitions and exceptions to other employments or holding of other positions during tenure. 2000)  Cf Rule 3. 2505. De Ysasi III v.03 in relation to Art. NLRC. Mar 11.  Violation of Rules 7. courteous.

1991) relates Rule 1. prohibition has no time frame under Rule 6. Nationalism & patriotism 7. Hence. in the case of Collantes v. 7430. he is not at liberty to strike foul ones.03 (not to delay any man’s cause for any corrupt motive or interest) with provisions of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officers (RA 6713). also constitutes a violation of the lawyer’s oath. dishonest. to wit: o To process documents and papers expeditiously o Not have financial or material interest in any transaction requiring approval of their office o Not to solicit gifts or anything of monetary value in the course of any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office And so. 556 [1940]): It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one. 3056. A lawyer-public officer who acts beyond his authority violates the law. Sutherland.03 of CPR (see PCGG v. Apr 12.7(b) of RA 6713: o General rule: Practice of profession allowed even immediately after leaving government service o Except in connection with any matter before the office the lawyer used to be with. was suspended from the practice of law for 6 months because the Court found that his action of non-compliance with NLRC rules reflected on his qualifications as a lawyer (Lahm v. 2012). which constitutes misconduct as a public official.01 (not to engage in unlawful. and may strike hard blows. Platon (69 Phil. A prosecutor must always remember that s/he is a servant of the law.03 in relation to Sec. see Rule 6. No. Quoting J.     6. Simple living The Court. Commitment to democracy 8. Sandiganbayan. Re lawyers who have left government service. Renomeron (AC No. the Court said in Suarez v. Mayor. If he had intervened therein. one year prohibition under RA 6713 applies 2. a labor arbiter who issues a preliminary injunction when he is not authorized to do so by the NLRC rules. for Court’s interpretation of “intervention” that will make this rule applicable) 5 . or immoral conduct) and Rule 1. Therefore. 2005. extortion. Feb 15. subject to the following 1. GR 151809-12. the two-fold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer.C. while s/he may prosecute with earnestness and vigor. A. Aug 16. If he had not intervened therein.

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