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” and In the Matter of the Petition for Authority to Continue Use of the Firm Name “Ozaeta, Romulo, etc.”, petitioners  Petitioners pray that they may be allowed to continue including the names of their deceased partners in their firm names. In the case of Sycip, Salazar, they wish to continue using the name of deceased partner Atty. Alexander Sycip while on the part of Ozaeta, they wish to continue using the name of Atty. Herminio Ozaeta. Bases of petitions: 1. CC Art. 1840: Using a deceased partner’s name as part of the partnership/business name shall not itself make the individual property of the deceased partner liable for any debts contracted by such person or partnership. 2. Other professions allow such (accountancy & engineering). No fundamental policy that’s offended by doing so at least where firm name has acquired the characteristics of a “trade name.” 3. Canons of Professional Ethics (adopted by the American Bar Association) are not transgressed, Canon 33 of w/c provides that such be allowed “when permissible by local custom, is not unethical, but care should be taken that no imposition/deception is practiced through this use.” 4. No possibility of imposition/deception since the deaths of their deceased partners were well-publicized in all newspapers of general circulation for several days. Their stationeries use new letterheads indicating the years when the deceased partners were connected w/the firm. Petitioners will notify leading national & international law directories re: deaths of the deceased partners. 5. Such is not prohibited by local customs. No custom/usage recognizes that the name of a law firm identifies the individual members of the firm. 6. Such is allowed by US courts & accepted in most countries of the world. Issue: WON petitioners should be allowed to continue using the names of their deceased partners in their firm names. – NO. Ratio: 1. Deen Case: Cebu-based law firm was advised to desist from including in their firm designation the name of a partner who has long been dead. 2. Register of Deeds of Manila vs. China Banking Corp.: involved the law firm of Perkins & Ponce Enrile w/c continued using the name of Atty. Perkins who was already deceased. Law firm raised arguments similar to those raised by petitioners in this case. Court upheld ruling in Deen case explaining that in view of the personal & confidential nature of the relations between atty & client & high standards demanded in the canons of professional ethics, practice of using deceased partner’s name in the firm name cannot be allowed since even in a remote degree it could give rise to the possibility of deception. 3. Allowing such would go against CC Art. 1815 w/c provides that “Those who, not being members of the partnership, include their names in the firm name, shall be subject to the liability of a partner.” Provision simply means that names in a firm name of a partnership must either be those of living partners or in the case of nonpartners, should be living persons who can be subjected to liability. 4. Canon 34, Canons of Professional Ethics prohibits an agreement wherein the widow & heirs of a deceased lawyer will receive a percentage, gross/net, of fees received from future business of deceased lawyer’s former clients there being no lawyer & service involved. In the same manner, the widow/heirs of a deceased lawyer can’t be held liable for the transactions entered into by deceased lawyer’s former partners. 5. It can create undue advantages & disadvantages. Unfair to new lawyers who are starting from scratch while advantageous for a lawyer who joins an old firm & rides on firm’s reputation established by deceased partners. 6. CC Art. 1840 involves exemption from liability contemplating a hold-over situation in cases of dissolved partnerships or when one partner dies and the other partners continue the business. It deals more w/commercial partnerships rather than
a professional one. Commercial partnerships allow succeeding partners to continue using the name of the deceased partner in the firm name since such name is a partnership asset inseparable from the good will of the firm. Whereas in a professional partnership, the reputation of w/c depends on the individual skill of the members & it has no good will to be distributed as a firm asset on its dissolution. 7. Partnership for the practice of law can’t be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or for business. Law on accountancy specifically allows use of a trade name in connection w/the practice of accountancy. Note that a partnership for law practice is not a legal entity nor a partnership formed to carry on trade/business/hold property. It’s a mere relationship or association for a particular purpose. Remember law is profession, it’s different from trade/business. Rt to practice law is not a natural/constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. It presupposes integrity, legal standing, attainment, exercise of a special privilege, highly personal & partaking of the nature of a public trust in its possessor. Cited Canon 33 only provides that it does not consider as unethical the continued use of the name of a deceased partner & allows such only when it’s permissible by local custom. We don’t have a local custom allowing/permitting such. But remember that in our country, firm names identify the more active and/or more senior members/partners of the law firm. Decision cited H.S. Drinker who said that use of deceased partner’s name is proper when sustained by local custom & not where by custom this purports to identify the active members. And considering our idea of firm names in this country, the use of a deceased partner’s name can lead to deception upon the public. 9. US Courts allow such because it’s sanctioned by their customs. Not so in our jurisdiction where there’s no local custom sanctioning the practice. Besides, Courts take no judicial notice of custom, it must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence. Juridical custom w/c can supplement statutory law or be applied in the absence of such statute is different from social custom. Also, we have the Deen & Perkins cases. They’re part of our legal system & no custom/practice to the contrary, even if proven, can prevail. “The practice of law is not like an ordinary money-making trade. Being a profession, it’s practiced in a spirit of public service. A member of a profession doesn’t regard himself as in competition w/his professional brethren. He’s not bartering his services. His service is often rendered for no equivalent/for a trifling equivalent & it’s his pride to do what he does in a way worthy of his profession even if done w/no expectation of reward.” Holding: Petitions denied. Petitioners advised to drop the names SYCIP and OZAETA from their respective firm names but names may be included in the listing of individuals who have been partners in their firms indicating the years during w/c they served as such. Fernando, Certification: Didn’t participate because he’s related by affinity to one of the senior partners of Sycip, Salzar. He wishes to invite attention to last part of the dispositive portion. He believes it’s a happy compromise. Aquino, dissenting: He believes that petitions should be granted on the condition that they indicate in their letterheads that the deceased partners are dead or the period when they served as partners. It’s obvious that they want to do this to retain the clients who had customarily sought the legal services of deceased partners & to benefit from the goodwill attached to these names. He believes that these are legitimate motivations. Dacanay v. Baker & McKenzie Facts: ♦ ♦ Adriano Dacanay was admitted to the bar in 1954 November 16, 1979 - Vicente Torres, using the lettterhead of Baker & Mckenzie asked Rosie Clurman for the release of 87 shares of Cathay Products International, Inc. to H. E. Gabriel. The letterhead contained the name of 10 lawyers.
Samonte v. being an alien law firm. ROC) Use by the respondents of the firm name Baker & Mckenzie constitutes a representation that being associated with the firm they could render legal services of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises and others engaged in foreign trade and investment. Illinois with members and associates in 30 cities around the world. Dacanay filed a verified complaint enjoining Juan G.♦ ♦ ♦ December 7. Collas and 9 other lawyers from practising law under the name of Baker & Mckenzie. This practice is unethical because Baker & Mckenzie is not authorized to practice law here. Baker & Mckenzie is a professional partnership organized in Chicago. 1979 – Clurman denied any liability to Gabriel. Issue: WON the lawyers can practice law under the name of Baker & Mckenzie? NO Ratio: ♦ ♦ Baker & Mckenzie. Atty. cannot practice law in the Philippines (Sec. Gatdula . 1 Rule 138.
Christian Monsod was nominated by Pres. a lawyer-manager. adept in legal managerial capabilities vis-à-vis the managerial mettle of corporations to address a crisis situation. dissenting: He votes to grant the petition & declare Monsod not qualified. and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of the Constitution. and since 1986. has worked with the under privileged sectors in initiating. and more knowledgeable of financial law affecting each aspect of their work. 2. Christian MONSOD. lobbying for and engaging in affirmative action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land reform bill. has render services to various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief executive officer. and other legal sources have defined practice of law in a rather broad scope. Of Budget & Management. Jovito Salonga. CAYETANO. Some of these were: habituality. In several issues of the Business Star are emerging trends in corporate law practice. Note that elected officials.YES Composition and qualifications of Commissioners in the COMELEC are given in the ff provisions: Sec. Padilla believes that if Monsod did perform any task w/c constitute practice of law. . Electoral Commission). But jurisprudence. 7. Petition denied. It means any activity. CA’s exercise of that discretion is subj to SC review. in his personal capacity and as former CoChiarman of the Bishops Businessmen’s Conference for Human Dev’t. concurring: Concurs in the result. which requires the application of law. including the Chairman. Cayetano thus filed this petition praying that the confirmation be declared null and void. He has also been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than 10 yrs 3. Cruz. Qualification is dependent on the established facts and not the discretion of the CA. Issue: WON Monsod can be considered as having been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 yrs . skilled in new programming techniques that make the systems dynamics principles more accessible to manager—including corporate counsels. and Barr v. in or out of court. involved in decision-making within the corporation. a departure from the traditional concept of practice of law. 6. Agrava. 5. a majority thereof. Case is w/in SC’s jurisdiction. particularly the modern concept of law practice.P. However. served as chief executive officer of an investment bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate. Philippine Lawyers Association v. He appeared for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the COMELEC. Renato Cayetano opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 yrs. these were isolated activities w/c don’t qualify as practice of law since there was no continuity or succession of acts. Doesn’t appear that there has been an adequate showing that that CA’s appointment of Monsod was attended by error so gross amounting to grave abuse of discretion to merit nullification by the SC. In the field of advocacy. Monsod took his oath and assumed office thereafter. Besides. legal principle. 2. a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry. dissenting: He votes to grant the petition. Monsod had not engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 yrs prior to his appointment as COMELEC chair. Monsod. Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments (CoA). negotiating loans and coordinating legal. As former Secretary-General (1896) and National Chairman (1987) of NAMFREL. legal procedure. 1. at least thirty-five years of age. 3. and a lawyerlegislator of both rich and the poor—verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement—that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years. then they are qualified to be considered for appointment as members or commissioners… Ironically. 4. CoA confirmed the nomination. holders of a college degree. 4. 1. he did not do so habitually for at least 10 yrs prior to his appointment as COMELEC chair.Renato L. The SC regrets that there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes practice of law as a legal qualification to an appointive office. IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and. Hon. and must not have been candidates for any elective positions in the immediately preceding elections. Practice of law defined: The dissent presented several definitions w/c defined practice as an actual performance done habitually. Held: Petition dismissed Narvasa. and attorney-client relationship. 1. The corporate lawyer now has to be a stakeholder. shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. respondents  Atty. In general these sources state that: The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. 3. which involved getting acquainted with the laws of the member-countries. Guillermo Carague in his capacity as Sec. repeatedly or customarily. a lawyer negotiator of contracts. Atty. U. 1(1). compensation. including the Pres of the Phil. He also made use of his legal knowledge as member of the Davide Commission and as a member of the Con-Com and Chairman of is Committee on Accountability of Public Officers. It’s the SC’s oblig to interpret the Consti & define the constitutional boundaries (Angara v. knowledge. counseling and public service]. Comission on Appointments and Hon. SC has jurisdiction despite CA’s confirmation of the appointment since this is not a political question. petitioner vs. may be ousted by the Court for lack of required qualifications. Atty. economic and project work of the Bank 4. Law Center [dimension of practice of law are advocacy. Rather. application of law. He returned to the Philippines and worked with the Meralco Group. Monsod’s work involved being knowledgeable in election law. Monsod’s past work experiences as a lawyer-economist. practice or procedure w/c calls for leg knowledge. Monsod. skilled in decision analysis —which can be used to appraise the settlement value of litigation. Art. at the time of their appointment. the appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once the most publicly familiar role for lawyers as well as an uncommon role for the average lawyer. training & experience. Cardell) The records of the 1986 Con-Com adopted a liberal interpretation of the term: it does not necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law…as long as lawyers who are employed in the CoA are using their legal knowledge or legal talent in their respective work within CoA. Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term “practice of law”. J. v. on the other hand is: A UP graduate and member of the Philippine bar and has been a dues paying member of the IBP. 5. 1. Padilla. 2. It also mentioned Commission on Appointments memo w/c outlined some guidelines to determine whether one is engaged in the practice of law. training and experience. Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. Dworken. He worked in his fathers law office then worked as an operations officer in the World Bank Group for about 2 yrs in Costa Rica and panama. (Black’s Law Dictionary.
dissenting: He votes to grant the petition. 165 Collantes also filed this complaint for disbarment for: o Neglecting or refusing the registration applied for by V&G despite repeated requests & w/o sufficient justification to obtain some pecuniary or material benefit from interested parties. they challenged him to act on all pending applications for registration of V&G w/in 24 hrs. w/ forfeiture of leave credits & retirement benefits. He then confided that he’ll act favorably on the registrable documents if V&G would execute clarificatory affidavits and send money for round trip plane tickets. Practice is active. intermittent.01. incidental. requested respondent Atty. accidental. honorable. (R7. and reliable” may practice the profession of law (Noriega v. etc. Ordoñez that Renomeron o Be found guilty of simple neglect of duty o Be reprimanded to act with dispatch on documents presented to him for registration. Sison) for every lawyer must pursue “only the highest standards in the practice of his calling” (Court Admin. the use of such was only incidental & were isolated activities w/c don’t fall under the denomination of practice of law. v.. follow or apply the law at various times in his life. Ponencia’s definition of practice of law may be too sweeping. but Renomeron instead suspended registration of the documents pending compliance by V&G with a certain “special arrangement”—that V&G provide him a weekly roundtrip ticket from Tacloban to Manila plus P2K pocket money per trip/sale of respondent’s QC house and lot. commonly understood to be practice of law” tells us nothing. Collantes v. Jr. ordinance or regulation. 6. One doesn’t have to be a lawyer to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the application of some law however peripherally. Nat’l Land Titles & Deeds Registration Admin (NLTDRA) who ruled that the questioned documents were registrable. Sec. as a lawyer. 2. The CPR forbids a lawyer to engage in unlawful. Aquino that he be dismissed from the service. charges against him which NLTDRA acted on. Ordoñez found him guilty of grave misconduct and recommended to Pres. Another request to approve or deny registration was made. managing a business corporation. moved for reconsideration of denial. Renomeron denied charges of extortion and of directly receiving pecuniary or material benefit for himself in connection w/ the official transactions awaiting NLTDRA Administrator recommended to Sec.03) A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law. regular & not isolated. Although Monsod may have profited from his legal knowledge. A definition of practice of law as the “performance of any acts in or out of court. Romeron V&G Better Homes Subd. be a court justice? 3. Vicente C. Inc. The lawyer’s oath is a source of his obligations and its violation is a ground for his suspension. and w/ prejudice to re-employment in the gov’t service. disbarment or other disciplinary action The CPR applies to lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official tasks (CANON 6). nor shall he whether in public or private life. immoral or deceitful conduct (Rule 1. o Conduct unbecoming of public official o Dishonesty o Extortion o Directly receiving pecuniary or material benefit in connection w/ pending official transactions o Causing undue injury to GSIS/Gov’t through manifest partiality. CPR). if he has not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement. Practice of law is also required for SC justices. dishonest. Gutierrez. Renomeron did not act. counsel for V&G. A person may have passed the bar examinations but if he has not dedicated his life to the law. or delay any man’s cause “for any corrupt motive or interest” (Rule 1. may also be disciplined by SC for his malfeasances as a public official YES. He got his previous positions because of his experience & prestige as a businessman & not as an atty-at-law. Hermoso) The acts of dishonesty & oppression w/c Atty. 17) imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay no man for money or malice. Renomeron elevated the matter en consulta to Administrator. can we then say that just about anyone is engaged in the practice of law? 5. behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession. For activities to come w/in the purview of practice of law. but Renomeron only required V&G to submit proof of real estate tax payment & clarify certain details about the transactions V&G complied. Renomeron.. Every resident in this country who has reached the age of discernment has to know. for his misconduct as a public official also constituted a violation of his oath as a lawyer The lawyer’s oath (ROC 138. and o Be warned that a repetition of similar infraction will be dealt with more severely After investigation. Esguerra . evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence o Gross ignorance of the law & procedure Issue: WON Renomeron. frequently or customarily. 4. Same goes w/the definition that one doesn’t have to earn his living or at least part of it as a lawyer as long as his activities are incidentally connected w/some law. they should also be performed habitually. Sec. He should therefore be disbarred. Register of Deeds of Tacloban to register some 163 deeds of sale with assignment (in favor of the GSIS) of lots of the V&G mortgaged to GSIS by the lot buyers. V&G sent the plane tickets but not the pocket money & so Renomeron imposed more registration requirements Fed up. Respondent’s credentials are impressive but they don’t show that has been engaged in the practice of law for 10 yrs as required by the Consti. seasonal or extemporaneous. Still Renomeron sat on V&G’s deeds of sale So complainant filed admin. DM Consunji v. they should not only be activities peculiar to the work of a lawyer. How can a person selling real estate. The Pres. did dismiss him by AO No. Renomeron committed as a public official have demonstrated his unfitness to practice the high & noble calling of the law. Collantes. then we can’t say that he has been engaged in the practice of law. 1.2. Even the Commission on Appointments made use of the habituality guideline. Monsod has never engaged in the practice of law for even one year. occasional. It denotes frequency or succession of acts.03) Only those who are “competent. of Justice Sedfrey A. working in media. If we define practice of law as the use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor. He formally denied said registration on the ground that the deeds of absolute sale w/ assignment were ambiguous as to parties & subject matter Complainant Atty. Note that there is hardly any activity that’s not affected by some law or gov’t regulation. It involves committed participation.
Tionko doctrine – the serious consequences of disbarment or suspension should follow only where there is clear preponderance of evidence against the respondent. During the scheduled the lawyer of the complainant failed to appear. Rule 138 (ROC) provides for the grounds of suspension or removal of an attorney. San Juan Facts: ♦ Miguel A. SanJuan should refrain from laying himself open to such doubt and misgivings as to his fitness not only for the position occupied by him but also for membership in the bar. The complainant also stated that he wished his complaint withdrawn. The presumption is that the attorney is innocent of the charges preferred and has performed his duty as an officer of the court in accordance with his oath. SanJuan is a captain in the Metro Manila Police force and member of the Philippine bar. but the influence that laymen could assume inherent in the office held not only to frustrate the beneficent statutory scheme that labor be justly compensated but also be at the beck and call of what the complainant called alien interest. He contends that this is not prohibited in the exercise of his profession. He explained that he brought the present action in an outburst of anger believing that SanJuan took an active part in the unjust dismissal of his complaint in the NLRC. ♦ ♦ ♦ . SanJuan admits as having appeared as counsel for the New Cesar’s Bakery in the proceeding in the NLRC while he held office as captain in the Manila Metropolitan Police force.Misamin v. This resolution does not in any wise take into consideration whatever violations there might have been of the Civil Service Law. not so much of whatever legal knowledge he possessed. the fact that the suspicion could be entertained that far from living true to the concept of a public officer being a public trust. SanJuan denies having conspired with the complainant Misamin’s attorney in the NLRC proceeding in order to trick Misamin into signing an admission that he had been paid his separation pay. While the charges have to be dismissed. He was charged with being the legal representative of certain establishments allegedly owned by Filipinos of Chinese descent and with coercing an employee to agree to drop the charges filed against his employer for the violation of the minimum wage law. still it would not be inappropriate for the respondent member of the bar to avoid all appearances of impropriety. He also denies giving illegal protection to members of the Chinese community. Certainly. SanJuan’s appearance at the labor proceeding notwithstanding that he was an incumbent police officer of the City of Manila may be appropriately be referred to the National Police Commission and the Civil Service Commission. he did make use. ♦ ♦ ♦ Issue: WON the case for malpractice against SanJuan should be dismissed? Yes Ratio: ♦ Section 27.
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