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Citation: A.C. No. 6131. February 28, 2005. Case Title: Nunez vs. Astroga Complainants: Eduardo L. Nunez, Eugenio O.

Nunez, Eliza Nunez-Alvarico and Imelda Nunez Respondents: Atty. Arturo B. Astroga Ponente: Panganiban, J FACTS: In 1968 the late Maria Ortega Vda de. Nunez executed a Sale of a lot OCT 2651 ( Now 8955) with “Right to Repurchase” in favor of Eugenio Nunez within 10 years from date of execution. The expiration to repurchase expired and was not exercise even up to date and Eugenio with his children are presently residing in the said lot. The son of Maria Ortega, Ricardo Nunez extra judicially partitioned his estate. Ricardo appointed Atty. Astorga as administrator and alleged that complainants have no right over the same lots. Ricardo sold the same lot to Imelda and Elisa the lot that they were occupying and after which Elisa filed Estafa against respondent before the Municipal Trial Court of Baybay, Leyte. Another criminal case of which is grave threat was again filed against Atty. Astroga by Eduardo Nunez for uttering words ipaposil ta ka' which means 'I'll have you shot.” while in the house of Eduardo In Atty. Astroga’s defense He denied that he had utilized his profession to circumvent the law and averred that there were already several pending cases involving the same issues raised by complainants in the present administrative action. Furthermore it will only suspend further hearing. ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Astroga is guilt of serious misconduct. HELD: No, however the Court ruled that the offensive language of Atty. Astroga to complainants and their counsel is unbecoming an attorney. “The legal profession exacts a high standard from its members. Lawyers shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on their fitness to practice law” He hurled insulting language in describing the opposing counsel and cast doubts on the latter are integrity by implying that the lawyer had instigated the filing of the so-called baseless suits, violated the rules on non-forum shopping and committed malpractice. However there were no clear evidence that would show proof that Atty. Astroga’s deceit and gross misconduct. The mere existence of pending cases that constitute of serious misconduct is not a ground that someone has been behaving in a misconduct manner. Conviction of a crime is needed before it would be a ground for disciplinary actions. By such conviction, such lawyer has become unfit to uphold the administration of justice and is no longer is possession of good moral character. A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended by violation of his oath which includes gross misconduct, malpractice, being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude and many more. But the wise Court said that disbarment and suspension are sever forms of disciplinary action and must be imposed with great caution. Without clear and convincing evidence that he committed acts that allegedly constituted serious misconduct, the mere existence of pending

malpractice. Atty. Astroga is ACQUITTED of the charge of serious misconduct. offensive or otherwise improper. conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. gross misconduct in office. and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.” “A lawyer's language may be forceful. Arguments. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court are deceit.criminal charges cannot be a ground for disbarment or suspension of respondent. but respectful as befitting an advocate. willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court. but is held liable for conduct unbecoming an attorney and is FINED two thousand pesos. Rule 8. Among the grounds enumerated in Section 27. emphatic.” WHEREFORE. use language which is abusive. should be gracious to both court and opposing counsel and should use such language as may be properly addressed by one gentleperson to another. “CANON 8 — A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy. but should always be dignified. corrupt or willful appearance as an attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so. H SO ORDERED. any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to the practice of law. or an odious deportment unbecoming an attorney.01 — A lawyer shall not. whether written or oral. and candor toward his professional colleagues. A lawyer must at no time be wanting in probity and moral fiber. which are not only conditions precedent to his entrance to the Bar but are likewise essential demands for his continued membership therein. Arturo B. fairness. grossly immoral conduct. The grounds are not preclusive in nature even as they are broad enough as to cover practically any kind of impropriety that a lawyer does or commits in his professional career or in his private life. in his professional dealings. a patent disregard of his duties. From the actual ruling: "A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for any violation of his oath. . To hold otherwise would open the door to harassment of attorneys through the mere filing of numerous criminal cases against them.