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RULE 139-A

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (Effective January 16, 1973)


SECTION 1. Organization. There is hereby organized an official national body to be known as the, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, composed of all persons whose names now appear or may hereafter be included in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court. SEC. 2. Purposes. The fundamental purposes of the Integrated Bar shall be to elevate the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively. SEC. 3. Regions. The Philippines is hereby divided into nine Regions of the Integrated Bar, to wit: (a) Northern Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Abra, Batanes, Benguet, Cagayan, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, KalingaApayao, La Union, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino; (b) Central Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zambales; (c) Greater Manila, consisting of the City of Manila, and Quezon City; (d) Southern Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Quezon and Rizal. (e) Bicolandia, consisting of the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon; (f) Eastern Visayas, consisting of the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte; (g) Western Visayas, consisting of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Palawan, Romblon, and Siquijor; (h) Eastern Mindanao, consisting of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Mindoro, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur; and (i) Western Mindanao, consisting of the cities of Basilan and Zamboanga, and the provinces of Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, South Cotabato, Sulu, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur. In the event of the creation of any new province, the Board of Governors shall, with the approval of the Supreme Court, determine the Region to which the said province shall belong. SEC. 4. Chapters. A Chapter of the Integrated Bar shall be organized in every province. Except as hereinbelow provided, every city shall be considered part of the province within which it is geographically situated. A separate Chapter shall be organized in each of the following political subdivisions or areas; (a) The sub-province of Aurora; (b) Each congressional district of the City of Manila; (c) Quezon City; (d) Caloocan City, Malabon and Navotas; (e) Pasay City, Makati, Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte; (f) Cebu City; and (g) Zamboanga City and Basilan City Unless he otherwise registers his preference for a particular Chapter, a lawyer shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the province, city, political subdivision or area where his office or, in the absence thereof, his residence is located. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter. Each Chapter shall have its own local government as provided for by uniform rules to be prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Supreme Court, the provisions of Section 19 of this rule notwithstanding. Chapters belonging to the same Region may hold regional conventions on matters and problems of common concern.

SEC. 5. House of Delegates. The Integrated Bar shall have a House of Delegates of not more than one hundred twenty members who shall be apportioned among all the Chapters as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective members, but each Chapter shall have at least one Delegate. On or before December 31, 1974, and every four years thereafter, the Board of Governors shall make an apportionment of Delegates. The term of the office of Delegates shall begin on the date of the opening of the annual convention of the House and shall end on the day immediately preceding the date of the opening of the next succeeding annual convention. No person may be a Delegate for more than two terms. The House shall hold an annual convention at the call of the Board of Governors at any time during the month of April of each year for the election of Governors, the reading and discussion of reports including the annual report of the Board of Governors, the transaction of such other business as may be referred to it by the Board and the consideration of such additional matters as may be requested in writing by at least twenty Delegates. Special conventions of the House may be called by the Board of Governors to consider only such matters as the Board shall indicate. A majority of the Delegates who have registered for a convention, whether annual or special, shall constitute a quorum to do business. SEC. 6. Board of Governors. The Integrated Bar shall be governed by a Board of Governors. Nine Governors shall be elected by the House of Delegates from the nine Regions on the representation basis of one Governor from each Region. Each Governor shall be chosen from a list of nominees submitted by the Delegates from the Region, provided that not more than one nominee shall come from any Chapter. The President and the Executive Vice President, chosen by the Governors from outside of themselves as provided in Section 7 of this Rule, shall ipso facto become members of the Board. The members of the Board shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. No person may be a Governor for more than two terms. The Board shall meet regularly once every three months, on such date at such time and place as it shall designate. A majority of all the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum to do business. Special meetings may be called by the President or by five members of the Board. Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, the Board shall adopt By-Laws and promulgate Canons of Professional Responsibility for all the members of the Integrated Bar. The By-Laws and the Canons may be amended by the Supreme Court motu proprio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors. The Board shall prescribe such other rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of the Integrated Bar as well as the provisions of this Rule. SEC. 7. Officers. The Integrated Bar shall have a President and an Executive Vice President who shall be chosen by the Governors immediately after the latters election, either from among themselves or from other members of the Integrated Bar, by the vot e of at least five Governors. Each of the regional members of the Board shall be ex officio Vice President for the Region which he represents. The President and the Executive Vice President shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have duly qualified. The Executive Vice President shall automatically become the President for the next succeeding full term. The Presidency shall rotate from year to year among all the nine Regions in such order of rotation as the Board of Governors shall prescribe. No person shall be President or Executive Vice President of the Integrated Bar for more than one term. The Integrated Bar shall have a Secretary, a Treasurer, and such other officers and employees as may be required by the Board of Governors, to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board, and to hold office at the pleasure of the Board or for such term as it may fix. Said officers and employees need not be members of the Integrated Bar. SEC. 8. Vacancies. In the event the President is absent or unable to act, his duties shall be performed by the Executive Vice President; and in the event of the death, resignation, or removal of the President, the Executive Vice President shall serve as Acting President during the remainder of the term of the office thus vacated. In the event of the death, resignation, removal or disability of both the President and the Executive Vice President, the Board of Governors shall elect an Acting President to hold office until the next succeeding election or during the period of disability. The filling of vacancies in the House of Delegates, Board of Governors, and all other positions of Officers of the Integrated Bar shall be as provided in the By-Laws. Whenever the term of an office or position is for a fixed period, the person chosen to fill a vacancy therein shall serve only for the unexpired term.

SEC. 9. Membership dues. Every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay such annual dues as the Board of Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court. A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the collection from each Chapter shall be set aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the Chapter and the compulsory heirs of deceased members thereof. SEC. 10. Effect of non-payment of dues. Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this Rule, default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of membership in the Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys. SEC. 11. Voluntary termination of membership; reinstatement. A member may terminate his membership by filing a written notice to that effect with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar, who shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court. Forthwith he shall cease to be a member and his name shall be stricken by the Court from the Roll of Attorneys. Reinstatement may be made by the Court in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Court. SEC. 12. Grievance procedures. The Board of Governors shall provide in the By-Laws for grievance procedures for the enforcement and maintenance of discipline among all the members of the Integrated Bar, but no action involving the suspension or disbarment of a member or the removal of his name from the Roll of Attorneys shall be effective without the final approval of the Supreme Court. SEC. 13. Non-Political Bar. The Integrated Bar shall be strictly non-political, and every activity tending to impair this basic feature is strictly prohibited and shall be penalized accordingly. No lawyer holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutor office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall be eligible for election or appointment to any position in the Integrated Bar or any Chapter thereof. A Delegate, Governor, Officer or employee of the Integrated Bar, or an officer or employee of any Chapter thereof shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his position as of the moment he files his certificate of candidacy for any elective public office or accepts appointment to any judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof. SEC. 14. Positions honorary. Except as may be specifically authorized or allowed by the Supreme Court, no Delegate or Governor and no national or local Officer or committee member shall receive any compensation, allowance or emolument from the funds of the Integrated Bar for any service rendered therein or be entitled to reimbursement for any expense incurred in the discharge of his functions. SEC. 15. Fiscal matters. The Board of Governors shall administer the funds of the Integrated Bar and shall have the power to make appropriations and disbursements there from. It shall cause proper Books of Accounts to be kept and Financial Statements to be rendered and shall see to it that the proper audit is made of all accounts of the Integrated Bar and all the Chapters thereof. SEC. 16. Journal. The Board of Governors shall cause to be published a quarterly Journal of the Integrated Bar, free copies of which shall be distributed to every member of the Integrated Bar. SEC. 17. Voluntary bar associations. All voluntary Bar associations now existing or which may hereafter be formed may co-exist with the Integrated Bar but shall not operate at cross-purposes therewith. SEC. 18. Amendments. This Rule may be amended by the Supreme Court motu proprio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors or any Chapter of the Integrated Bar. SEC. 19. Organizational period. The Commission on Bar Integration shall organize the local Chapters and toward this end shall secure the assistance of the Department of Justice and of all Judges throughout the Philippines. All Chapter organizational meetings shall be held on Saturday, February 17, 1973. In every case, the Commission shall cause proper notice of the date, time and place of the meeting to be served upon all the lawyers concerned at their addresses appearing in the records of the Commission. The lawyers

present at the meeting called to organize a Chapter shall constitute a quorum for the purpose, including the election of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and five Directors. The Commission shall initially fix the number of Delegates and apportion the same among all the Chapters as nearly as may be in proportion to the number of their respective members, but each Chapter shall have at least one Delegate. The President of each Chapter shall concurrently be its Delegate to the House of Delegates. The Vice President shall be his alternate, except where the Chapter is entitled to have more than one Delegate. The Board of Directors of the Chapter shall in proper cases elect additional as well as alternate Delegates. The House of Delegates shall convene in the City of Manila on Saturday, March 17, 1973 for the purpose of electing a Board of Governors. The Governors shall immediately assume office and forthwith meet to elect the Officers of the Integrated Bar. The Officers so chosen shall immediately assume their respective positions. SEC. 20. Effectivity. This Rule shall take effect on January 16, 1973. Rule 139-A which ordained the integration of the Philippine Bar and the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines did not withdraw from the courts the authority to investigate and decide complaints against erring members of the Bar.

RULE 139-B

DISBARMENT AND DISCIPLINE OF ATTORNEYS


SECTION 1. How Instituted. - Proceedings for the disbarment, suspension, or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio, or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts.The IBP Board of Governors may, motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the instance of any person, initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including those in the government service. Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any of its chapters who shall forthwith transmit the same to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator. A. PROCEEDING IN THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES SEC. 2. National Grievance Investigators. - The Board of Governors shall appoint from among the IBP members an Investigator or, when special circumstances so warrant, a panel of three (3) investigators to investigate the complaint. All investigators shall take an oath of office in the form prescribed by the Board of Governors. A copy of the Investigators appointment and oath shall be t ransmitted to the Supreme Court. An Investigator may be disqualified by reason of relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity to any of the parties or their counsel, pecuniary interest, personal bias, or his having acted as counsel for either party, unless the parties sign and enter upon the record their written consent to his acting as such Investigator. Where the Investigator does not disqualify himself, a party may appeal to the IBP Board of Governors, which by majority vote of the members present, there being a quorum, may order his disqualification. An Investigator may also be removed for cause, after due hearing, by the vote of at least six (6) members of the IBP Board of Governors. The decision of the Board of Governors in all cases of disqualification or removal shall be final. SEC. 3. Duties of the National Grievance Investigator. - The National Grievance Investigators shall investigate all complaints against members of the Integrated Bar referred to them by the IBP Board of Governors. SEC. 4. Chapter assistance to complainant. - The proper IBP Chapter may assist the complainant[s] in the preparation and filing of his complaints. SEC. 5. Service or dismissal. - If the complaint appears to be meritorious, the Investigator shall direct that a copy thereof be served upon the respondent, requiring him to answer the same within fifteen (15) days from the date of service. If the complaint does not merit action, or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator that the complaint is not meritorious, the same may be dismissed by the Board of Governors upon his recommendation. A copy of the resolution of dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the Supreme Court which may review the case motu proprio or upon timely appeal of the complainant filed within 15 days from notice of the dismissal of the complaint. No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the distance, settlement, compromise, restitution, withdrawal of the charges, or failure of the complaint to prosecute the same, unless the Supreme Court motu proprio or upon recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors, determines that there is no compelling reason to continue with the disbarment or suspension proceedings against the respondent. (Amendment pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution dated May 27, 1993 re Bar Matter 356) SEC. 6. Verification and service of answer. - The answer shall be verified. The original and five (5) legible copies of the answer shall be filed with the Investigator, with proof of service of a copy thereof on the complainant or his counsel. SEC. 7. Administrative counsel. - The IBP Board of Governors shall appoint a suitable member of the Integrated Bar as counsel to assist the complainant or the respondent during the investigation in case of need for such assistance.

SEC. 8. Investigation. - Upon joinder of issues or upon failure of the respondent to answer, the Investigator shall, with deliberate speed, proceed with the investigation of the case. He shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths. The respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself, to present witnesses on his behalf, and be heard by himself and counsel. However, if upon reasonable notice, the respondent fails to appear, the investigation shall proceed ex parte. The Investigator shall terminate the investigation within three(3) months from the date of its commencement, unless extended for good cause by the Board of Governors upon prior application. Willful failure or refusal to obey a subpoena or any other lawful order issued by the Investigator shall be dealt with as for indirect contempt of court. The corresponding charge shall be filed by the Investigator before the IBP Board of Governors which shall require the alleged contemnor to show cause within ten (10) days from notice. The IBP Board of Governors may thereafter conduct hearings, if necessary, in accordance with the procedure set forth in the Rule for hearings before the Investigator. Such hearing shall as far as practicable be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its commencement. Thereafter, the IBP Board of Governors shall within a like period of fifteen (15) days issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendation, which shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action and if warranted, the imposition of penalty. SEC. 9. Depositions. - Depositions may be taken in accordance with Rules of Court with leave of the Investigators. Within the Philippines, depositions may be taken before any member of the Board of Governors, the President of any Chapter, or any officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Depositions may be taken outside the Philippines before a diplomatic or consular representative of the Philippine Government or before any person agreed upon by the parties or designated by the Board of Governors. Any suitable member of the Integrated Bar in the place where a deposition shall be taken may be designated by the Investigator to assist the complainant or the respondent in taking a deposition. SEC. 10. Report of Investigator. - Not later than thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation, the Investigator shall submit a report containing his findings of fact and recommendations to the IBP Board of Governors, together with the stenographic notes and the transcript thereof, and all the evidence presented during the investigation. The submission of the report need not await the transcription of the stenographic notes, it being sufficient that the report reproduce substantially from the Investigators personal notes any relevant and pertinent testimonies. SEC. 11. Defects. - No defect in a complaint, notice, answer, or in the proceeding or the Investigators Report shall be considered as substantial unless the Board of Governors, upon considering the whole record, finds that such defect has resulted or may result in a miscarriage of justice, in which event the Board shall take remedial action as the circumstances may warrant, including invalidation of the entire proceedings. SEC. 12. Review and decision by the Board of Governors. (a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted to it by the Investigator with his report. The decision of the Board upon such review shall be in writing and shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the reasons on which it is based. It shall be promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the next meeting of the Board following the submittal of the Investigators report. (b) If the Board, by the vote of a majority of its total membership, determines that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred, it shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations which, together with the whole record of the case, shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action. (c) If the respondent is exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is less than suspension or disbarment (such as admonition, reprimand, or fine) it shall issue a decision exonerating respondent or imposing such sanction. The case shall be deemed terminated unless upon petition of the complainant or other interested party filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Boards resolution, the Suprem e Court orders otherwise. (d) Notice of the resolution or decision of the Board shall be given to all parties through their counsel. A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court.

B. PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUPREME COURT SEC. 13. Supreme Court Investigators. - In proceedings initiated motu proprio by the Supreme Court or in other proceedings when the interest of justice so requires, the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to the Solicitor General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower court, in which case the investigation shall proceed in the same manner provided in Sections 6 to 11 hereof, save that the review of the report of investigation shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court. SEC. 14. Report of the Solicitor General or other Court-designated Investigator. - Based upon the evidence adduced at the investigation, the Solicitor General or other Investigator designated by the Supreme Court shall submit to the Supreme Court a report containing his findings of fact and recommendations together with the record and all the evidence presented in the investigation for the final action of the Supreme Court. C. COMMON PROVISIONS SEC. 15. Suspension of attorney by Supreme Court. - After receipt of respondents answer or lapse of the period therefor, the Supreme Court, motu proprio, or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Investigators, may suspend an attorney from the practice of his profession for any of the cause specified in Rule 138, Section 27, during the pendency of the investigation until such suspension is lifted by the Supreme Court. SEC. 16. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court.1 - The Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in Rule 138, Section 27,2 until further action of the Supreme Court in the case. SEC. 17. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court, further proceedings in Supreme Court. - Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make a full investigation of the case and may revoke, shorten or extend the suspension, or disbar the attorney as the facts may warrant. SEC. 18. Confidentiality. - Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential. However, the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases. SEC. 19. Expenses. - All reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in relation to disciplinary and disbarment proceedings are lawful charges for which the parties may be taxed as costs. SEC. 20. Effectivity and Transitory Provision. - This Rule shall take effect on June 1, 1988 and shall supersede the present Rule 139 entitled DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF ATTORNEYS. All cases pending investigat ion by the Office of the Solicitor General shall be transferred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors for investigation and disposition as provided in this Rule except those cases where the investigation has been substantially completed.

Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Bar Discipline Integrated Bar of the Philippines
RULE I TITLE AND CONSTRUCTION SECTION 1. Title of the Rules. These Rules shall be known as the Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Bar Discipline, Integrated Bar of the Philippines. SEC. 2. Construction. Subject to the requirements of due process, these Rules shall be construed with the objective of assisting any party in obtaining just resolution of his case through an expeditious and inexpensive proceeding before the Commission. SEC. 3. Suppletory Application of Rules of Court. In the absence of any applicable provision in these Rules or in Rule 139-B, the pertinent provisions in the Revised Rules of Court of the Philippines may, in the interest of expeditious justice and whenever practicable and convenient, be applied in a suppletory character and effect. SEC. 4. Nature of Proceeding. Proceedings before the Commission shall be confidential in character and summary in nature. RULE II HOW INSTITUTED SECTION 1. How Instituted. Complaint for disbarment, suspension or discipline of attorneys may be instituted before the Commission on Bar Discipline by filing six (6) copies of a verified complaint. Complaint may be likewise filed before the Supreme Court. RULE III PLEADINGS, NOTICES AND APPEARANCES SECTION 1. Pleadings. The only pleadings allowed are verified complaint, verified answer and verified position papers and motion for reconsideration of a resolution. SEC. 2. Prohibited Pleadings. The following pleadings shall not be allowed, to wit: a. Motion to dismiss the complaint or petition b. Motion for a bill of particulars c. Motion for new trial d. Petition for relief from judgment e. Supplemental pleadings SEC. 3. Issuance of Summons. Within two (2) days from receipt of the verified complaint, the ommission shall issue the required summons, attaching thereto a copy of the complaint and supporting documents, if any. The summons shall indicate that the respondent has fifteen (15) days from receipt within which to file six (6) verified copies of his answer.

RULE IV VENUE AND ASSIGNMENT OF CASES SECTION 1. Venue a) All cases filed before or referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines shall be heard by the Commission on Bar Discipline in its principal office at the IBP Bldg., Julia Vargas St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. SEC. 2. Raffle of Cases. All cases shall be assigned to an Investigating Commissioner by raffle. SEC. 3. Consolidation of Cases. Where there are two or more cases pending before the Commission involving the same parties, the same shall motu propio be consolidated with the first case filed to avoid unnecessary costs or delay. SEC. 4. Referral to Chapter President. Upon agreement of parties or upon motion based on meritorious ground, the Investigating Commissioner, upon endorsement of the Board of Governors, may refer to the Chapter President concerned reception of evidence from the complainant or respondent or their respective witnesses. Such evidence shall then be forwarded by the Chapter President to the Investigating Commissioner for evaluation and consideration in the preparation of his report and recommendation. RULE V PROCEEDINGS BEFORE COMMISSION ON BAR DISCIPLINE SECTION 1. Mandatory Conference. Immediately upon receipt of the verified answer, the Investigating Commissioner shall set a mandatory conference where, the following matters shall be taken: 1. Admissions 2. Stipulation of facts 3. Definition of issues SEC. 2. Submission of Position Papers. After the mandatory conference, the Investigating Commissioner shall direct both parties to submit simultaneously their verified position papers with supporting documents and affidavits within an inextendible period of ten (10) days from notice of termination of the mandatory conference. SEC. 3. Determination of Necessity of Clarificatory Questioning. Immediately after the submission by the parties of their position papers, the Investigating Commissioner shall determine whether there is a need to conduct clarificatory questioning. If necessary, a hearing date shall be set wherein the Investigating Commissioner shall ask clarificatory questions to the parties or their witnesses to further elicit facts or informations. SEC. 4. Minutes of Proceedings. The proceedings before the Commission shall be recorded. SEC. 5. Non-appearance of Parties, and Non-verification of Pleadings. a) Non-appearance at the mandatory conference or at the clarificatory questioning date shall be deemed a waiver of right to participate in the proceeding. Ex parte conference or hearings shall then be conducted. Pleadings submitted or filed which are not verified shall not be given weight by the Investigating Commissioner. SEC. 6. Issuance of an Order Submitting the Case for Decision. After the parties have submitted their position papers or after the clarificatory questioning date, the Investigating Commissioner shall issue an order expressly declaring the submission of the case for resolution. SEC. 7. Period to Resolve Case. The Investigating Commissioner shall submit his report and recommendation to the Board of Governors within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the order declaring the submission of the case for resolution was issued.

RULE VI OATH, SUBPOENA AND SERVICE OF PAPERS SECTION 1. Oaths. A Commissioner has the authority to administer oaths on the conduct of the proceedings before him/her. SEC. 2. Subpoena. The Investigating Commissioner may compel attendance of witnesses and production of pertinent documents or papers by subpoena. SEC. 3. Service of Papers. Service of papers or notices required by these rules shall be made upon the parties or Commission, personally, by registered mail with return card or through e-mail if applicable. RULE VII CONTEMPT SECTION 1. Contempt. The Investigating Commissioner has the authority to adjudge any party or witness in direct or indirect contempt for misbehavior or obstruction of proceedings including disrespect towards the Investigating Commisioner or disobedience to his lawful order or writ. Any person adjudged guilty of contempt may be fined not exceeding One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00).

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES COMMISSION ON BAR DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES FOR IMPOSING LAWYER SANCTIONS
A.PURPOSE AND NATURE OF SANCTIONS
1.1 Purpose of Lawyer Discipline Proceedings

The purpose of lawyer discipline proceedings is to protect the public and the administration of justice from lawyers who have not discharged, will not discharge, or are unlikely to discharge properly their professional duties to clients, the public, the legal system, and the legal profession.
1.2 Public Nature of Lawyer Discipline Proceedings

Upon the filing and service of formal charges, lawyer discipline proceedings should be public, and disposition of lawyer discipline should be public in cases of disbarment, suspension, and reprimand. Only in cases of minor misconduct, when there is little or no injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the profession, and when there is little likelihood of repetition by the lawyer, should private discipline be imposed.
1.3 Purpose of These Standards

These standards are designed for use in imposing a sanction or sanctions following a determination by clear and convincing evidence that a member of the legal profession has violated a provision of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Descriptions in these standards of substantive disciplinary offenses are not intended to create grounds for determining culpability independent of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Standards constitute a model, setting forth a comprehensive system for determining sanctions, permitting flexibility and creativity in assigning sanctions in particular cases of lawyer misconduct. They are designed to promote: (1) consideration of all factors relevant to imposing the appropriate level of sanction in an individual case; (2) consideration of the appropriate weight of such factors in light of the stated goals of lawyer discipline; (3) consistency in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions for the same or similar offenses within and among jurisdictions. B. SANCTIONS
2.1 Scope

A disciplinary sanction is imposed on a lawyer upon a finding or acknowledgment that the lawyer has engaged in professional misconduct.
2.2 Disbarment

Disbarment terminates the individuals status as a lawyer. Where disbarment is not permanent, procedures should be established for a lawyer who has been disbarred to apply for readmission, provided that: (1) no application should be considered for five years from the effective date of disbarment; and (2) the petitioner must show by clear and convincing evidence: (a) successful completion of the bar examination; (b) compliance with all applicable discipline or disability orders or rules; and (c) rehabilitation and fitness to practice law.

2.3 Suspension

Suspension is the removal of a lawyer from the practice of law for a specified minimum period of time. Generally, suspension should be for a period of time equal to or greater than six months, but in no event should the time period prior to application for reinstatement be more than three years. Procedures should be established to allow a suspended lawyer to apply for reinstatement, but a lawyer who has been suspended should not be permitted to return to practice until he has completed a reinstatement process demonstrating rehabilitation, compliance with all applicable discipline or disability orders and rules, and fitness to practice law.
2.4 Interim Suspension

Interim suspension is the temporary suspension of a lawyer from the practice of law pending imposition of final discipline. Interim suspension includes: (a) suspension upon conviction of a serious crime or, (b) suspension when the lawyers continuing conduct is or is likely to cause immediate and serious injury to a client or the public.
2.5 Reprimand

Reprimand, also known as censure or public censure, is a form of public discipline which declares the conduct of the lawyer improper, but does not limit the lawyers right to practice.
2.6 Admonition

Admonition, also known as private reprimand, is a form of non-public discipline which declares the conduct of the lawyer improper, but does not limit the lawyers right to practice.
2.7 Probation

Probation is a sanction that allows a lawyer to practice law under specified conditions. Probation can be imposed alone or in conjunction with a reprimand or an admonition; probation can also be imposed as a condition of readmission or reinstatement.
2.8 Other Sanctions and Remedies

Other sanctions and remedies which may be imposed include: (a) restitution, (b) assessment of costs, (c) limitation upon practice, (d) appointment of a receiver, (e) requirement that the lawyer take the bar examination or professional responsibility examination, (f) requirement that the lawyer attend continuing education courses, and (g) other requirements that the states highest court or disciplinary board deems consistent with the purposes of lawyer sanc tions.
2.9 Reciprocal Discipline

Reciprocal discipline is the imposition of a disciplinary sanction for conduct for which a lawyer has been disciplined in another jurisdiction.
2.10 Readmission and Reinstatement

In jurisdictions where disbarment is not permanent, procedures should be established to allow a disbarred lawyer to apply for readmission. Procedures should be established to allow a suspended lawyer to apply for reinstatement.

C. FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN IMPOSING SANCTIONS


3.0 Generally

In imposing a sanction after a finding of lawyer misconduct, a court should consider the following factors: (a) the duty violated; (b) the lawyers mental state; and (c) the actual or potential injury caused by the lawyers misconduct; and (d) the existence of aggravating or mitigating factors.
4.0 Violations of Duties Owed to Clients 4.1 Failure to Preserve the Clients Property

Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving the failure to preserve client property: 4.11 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly converts client property and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.12 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knows or should know that he is dealing improperly with client property and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.13 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer is negligent in dealing with client property and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.14 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer is negligent in dealing with client property and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a client. 4.2 Failure to Preserve the Clients Confidences Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving the failure to preserve client property: 4.21 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer, with the intent to benefit the lawyer or another, knowingly reveals information relating to representation of a client not otherwise lawfully permitted to be disclosed, and this disclosure causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.22 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly reveals information relating to the representation of a client not otherwise lawfully permitted to be disclosed, and this disclosure causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.23 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer negligently reveals information relating to representation of a client not otherwise lawfully permitted to be disclosed and this disclosure causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.24 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer negligently reveals information relating to representation of a client not otherwise lawfully permitted to be disclosed and this disclosure causes little or no actual or potential injury to a client.

4.3 Failure to Avoid Conflicts of Interest

Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving conflicts of interest: 4.31 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer, without the informed consent of client(s): (a) engages in representation of a client knowing that the lawyers interests are adverse to the clients with the intent to benefit the lawyer or another, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to the client; or (b) simultaneously represents clients that the lawyer knows have adverse interests with the intent to benefit the lawyer or another, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client; or (c) represents a client in a matter substantially related to a matter in which the interests of a present or former client are materially adverse, and knowingly uses information relating to the representation of a client with the intent to benefit the lawyer or another, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client. 4.32 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knows of a conflict of interest and does not fully disclose to a client the possible effect of that conflict, and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.33 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer is negligent in determining whether the representation of a client may be materially affected by the lawyers own interests, or whether the representation will adversely affect another client, and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.34 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of negligence in determining whether the representation of a client may be materially affected by the lawyers own interests, or whether the representation will adver sely affect another client, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a client.
4.4 Lack of Diligence

Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving a failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client: 4.41 Disbarment is generally appropriate when: (a) a lawyer abandons the practice and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client; or (b) a lawyer knowingly fails to perform services for a client and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client; or (c) a lawyer engages in a pattern of neglect with respect to client matters and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client. 4.42 Suspension is generally appropriate when: (a) a lawyer knowingly fails to perform services for a client and causes injury or potential injury to a client; or (b) a lawyer engages in a pattern of neglect and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.43 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer is negligent and does not act with reasonable diligence in representing a client, and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.44 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer is negligent and does not act with reasonable diligence in representing a client, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a client.
4.5 Lack of Competence

Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factor set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving failure to provide competent representation to a client:

4.51 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyers course of conduct demonstrates that the lawyer does not understand t he most fundamental legal doctrines or procedures, and the lawyers conduct causes inju ry or potential injury to a client. 4.52 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an area of practice in which the lawyer knows he or she is not competent, and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.53 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer: (a) demonstrates failure to understand relevant legal doctrines or procedures and causes injury or potential injury to a client; or (b) is negligent in determining whether he or she is competent to handle a legal matter and causes injury or potential injury to a client. 4.54 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of negligence in determining whether he or she is competent to handle a legal matter, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a client.
4.6 Lack of Candor Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases where the lawyer engages in fraud, deceit, misrepresentation directed toward a client:

4.61 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly deceives a client with the intent to benefit the lawyer or another, and causes serious injury or potentially serious injury to a client. 4.62 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly deceives a client, and causes injury or potential injury to the client. 4.63 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer negligently fails to provide a client with accurate or complete information, and causes injury or potential injury to the client. 4.64 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of negligence in failing to provide a client with accurate or complete information, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to the client.
5.0 Violations of Duties Owed to the Public

5.1 Failure to Maintain Personal Integrity Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the facts set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyers honesty, trustworthin ess, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, or in cases with conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation: 5.11 Disbarment is generally appropriate when: (a) a lawyer engages in serious criminal conduct, a necessary element of which includes intentional interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, extortion, misappropriation, or theft; or the sale, distribution or importation of controlled substances; or the intentional killing of another; or an attempt or conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit any of these offenses; or (b) a lawyer engages in any other intentional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation that seriously adversely reflects on the lawyers fitness to practice. 5.12 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly engages in criminal conduct which does not contain the elements listed in Standard 5.11 and that seriously adversely reflects on the lawyers fitness to practice.

5.13 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly engages in any other conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation and that adversely reflects on the lawyers fitness to practice law. 5.14 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in any other conduct that reflects adversely on the lawyers f itness to practice law. 5.2 Failure to Maintain the Public Trust Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving public officials who engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice or who state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official: 5.21 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer in an official or governmental position knowingly misuses the position with the intent to obtain a significant benefit or advantage for himself or another, or with the intent to cause serious or potentially serious injury to a party or to the integrity of the legal process. 5.22 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer in an official or governmental position knowingly fails to follow proper procedures or rules, and causes injury or potential injury to a party or to the integrity of the legal process. 5.23 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer in an official or governmental position negligently fails to follow proper procedures or rules, and causes injury or potential injury to a party or to the integrity of the legal process. 5.24 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer in an official or governmental position engages in an isolated instance of negligence in not following proper procedures or rules, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a party or to the integrity of the legal process.
6.0 Violations of Duties Owed to the Legal System

6.1 False Statements, Fraud, and Misrepresentation Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice or that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation to a court: 6.11 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer, with the intent to deceive the court, makes a false statement, submits a false document, or improperly withholds material information, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a party, or causes a significant or potentially significant adverse effect on the legal proceeding. 6.12 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knows that false statements or documents are being submitted to the court or that material information is improperly being withheld, and takes no remedial action, and causes injury or potential injury to a party to the legal proceeding, or causes an adverse or potentially adverse effect on the legal proceeding. 6.13 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer is negligent either in determining whether statements or documents are false or in taking remedial action when material information is being withheld, and causes injury or potential injury to a party to the legal proceeding, or causes an adverse or potentially adverse effect on the legal proceeding. 6.14 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of neglect in determining whether submitted statements or documents are false or in failing to disclose material information upon learning of its falsity, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a party, or causes little or no adverse or potentially adverse effect on the legal proceeding.

6.2 Abuse of the Legal Process

Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving failure to expedite litigation or bring a meritorious claim, or failure to obey any obligation under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists: 6.21 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly violates a court order or rule with the intent to obtain a benefit for the lawyer or another, and causes serious injury or potentially serious injury to a party, or causes serious or potentially serious interference with a legal proceeding. 6.22 Suspension is appropriate when a lawyer knows that he is violating a court order or rule, and there is injury or potential injury to a client or a party, or interference or potential interference with a legal proceeding. 6.23 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer negligently fails to comply with a court order or rule, and causes injury or potential injury to a client or other party, or causes interference or potential interference with a legal proceeding. 6.24 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of negligence in complying with a court order or rule, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a party, or causes little or no actual or potential interference with a legal proceeding.
6.3 Improper Communications With Individuals in the Legal System

Absent aggravating or mitigating circumstances, upon application of the factors set out in Standard 3.0, the following sanctions are generally appropriate in cases involving attempts to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by law: 6.31 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer: (a) intentionally tampers with a witness and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a party, or causes significant or potentially significant interference with the outcome of the legal proceeding; or (b) makes an ex parte communication with a judge or juror with intent to affect the outcome of the proceeding, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a party, or causes significant or potentially significant interference with the outcome of the legal proceeding; or (c) improperly communicates with someone in the legal system other than a witness, judge, or juror with the intent to influence or affect the outcome of the proceeding, and causes significant or potentially significant interference with the outcome of the legal proceeding. 6.32 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in communication with an individual in the legal system when the lawyer knows that such communication is improper, and causes injury or potential injury to a party or causes interference or potential interference with the outcome of the legal proceeding. 6.33 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer is negligent in determining whether it is proper to engage in communication with an individual in the legal system, and causes injury or potential injury to a party or interference or potential interference with the outcome of the legal proceeding. 6.34 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of negligence in improperly communicating with an individual in the legal system, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a party, or causes little or no actual or potential inference with the outcome of the legal proceeding.

7.0 Violations of Duties Owed to the Profession

7.1 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly engages in conduct that is a violation of a duty owed to the profession with the intent to obtain a benefit for the lawyer or another, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client, the public, or the legal system. 7.2 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer knowingly engages in conduct that is a violation of a duty owed to the profession, and causes injury or potential injury to a client, the public, or the legal system. 7.3 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer negligently engages in conduct that is a violation of a duty owed to the profession, and causes injury or potential injury to a client, the public, or the legal system. 7.4 Admonition is generally appropriate when a lawyer engages in an isolated instance of negligence in determining whether the lawyers conduct violates a duty owed to the profession, and causes little or no actual or potential injury to a client, the public, or the legal system.
8.0 Prior Discipline Orders

8.1 Disbarment is generally appropriate when a lawyer: (a) intentionally or knowingly violates the terms of a prior disciplinary order and such violation causes injury or potential injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the profession; or (b) has been suspended for the same or similar misconduct, and intentionally or knowingly engages in further acts of misconduct that cause injury or potential injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the profession. 8.2 Suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer has been reprimanded for the same or similar misconduct and engages in further acts of misconduct that cause injury or potential injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the profession. 8.3 Reprimand is generally appropriate when a lawyer: (a) negligently violates the terms of a prior disciplinary order and such violation causes injury or potential injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the profession; or (b) has received an admonition for the same or similar misconduct and engages in further acts of misconduct that cause injury or potential injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the profession. 8.4 An admonition is generally not an appropriate sanction when a lawyer violates the terms of a prior disciplinary order or when a lawyer has engaged in the same or similar misconduct in the past.
9.0 Aggravation and Mitigation

9.1 Generally After misconduct has been established, aggravating and mitigating circumstances may be considered in deciding what sanction to impose 9.2 Aggravation 9.21 Definition. Aggravation or aggravating circumstances are any considerations, or factors that may justify an increase in the degree of discipline to be imposed. 9.22 Factors which may be considered in aggravation. Aggravating factors include: (a) prior disciplinary offenses; (b) dishonest or selfish motive;

(c) a pattern of misconduct; (d) multiple offenses; (e) bad faith obstruction of the disciplinary proceeding by intentionally failing to comply with rules or orders of the disciplinary agency; (f) submission of false evidence, false statements, or other deceptive practices during the disciplinary process; (g) refusal to acknowledge wrongful nature of conduct; (h) vulnerability of victim; (i) substantial experience in the practice of law; (j) indifference to making restitution.
9.3 Mitigation

9.31 Definition. Mitigation or mitigating circumstances are any considerations or factors that may justify a reduction in the degree of discipline to be imposed. 9.32 Factors which may be considered in mitigation. Mitigating factors include: (a) absence of a prior disciplinary record; (b) absence of a dishonest or selfish motive; (c) personal or emotional problems; (d) timely good faith effort to make restitution or to rectify consequences of misconduct; (e) full and free disclosure to disciplinary board or cooperative attitude toward proceedings; (f) inexperience in the practice of law; (g) character or reputation; (h) physical or mental disability or impairment; (i) delay in disciplinary proceedings; (j) interim rehabilitation; (k) imposition of other penalties or sanctions; (l) remorse; (m) remoteness of prior offenses. 9.4 Factors Which Are neither Aggravating Nor Mitigating. The following factors should not be considered as either aggravating or mitigating: (a) forced or compelled restitution; (b) agreeing to the clients demand for certain improper behavior or result; (c) withdrawal of complaint against the lawyer; (d) resignation prior to completion of disciplinary proceedings; (e) complainants recommendation as to sanction; (f) failure of injured client to complain.