You are on page 1of 10

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

WHO ARE ENTITLED TO PRACTICE LAW? The Rules of Court states who are entitled to practice law. Rule 138 Section 1. Who may practice law- Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. DEFINITION: PRACTICE OF LAW Blacks Law Dictionary defines Practice of Law as : The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the law. An attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is held out to be-an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an attorney, counseling clients in legal matters, negotiating with opposing counsel about pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services rendered by his associate. CONCEPT OF PRACTICE OF LAW: To engage in the practice is to do any of those acts which are characteristic of the legal profession. It covers IN or OUT of COURT, which requires the application of law, legal principles, practice or

CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

procedure and calls for legal knowledge, training and experience. (PLA vs. AGRAVA; CAYETANO vs. MONSOD) CASE: RENATO CAYETANO vs. CHRISTIAN MONSOD G.R. No. 100113 September 3, 1991 FACTS: Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification having been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years. On June 5, 1991, Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office and on the same day, he assumed office as chairman of the COMELEC. Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Monsods nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition for Certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and consequent appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared null and void. Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86.55%. He has been a dues paying member of Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its

CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

inception 1972-73. He has also paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years. After graduating from University of the Philippines- College of Law and having hurdled the bar, Atty. Monsod worked in the law office of his father. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963-1970), Monsod worked as an operations officer for about two years in Costa Rica and Panama, which involved getting acquainted with the laws of membercountries, negotiating loans and coordinating legal, economic, and project work of the Bank. Upon returning to the Philippines in 1970, he worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief of executive officer of an investment bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate and since 1986, has rendered services to various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief executive officer. As former SecretaryGeneral (1986) and National Chairman of NAMFREL (1987), Monsods work involved being knowledgeable in election law. He appeared for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the COMELEC. In the field of advocacy, Monsod, in his personal capacity and as former Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmens Conference for Human Development has worked with under the under privileged sectors in initiating lobbying for and engaging in affirmative action for agrarian reform law and lately the urban land reform bill. Monsod also made use of his legal knowledge as a member of Davide Commission, a quasi- judicial body, which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a member of the Constitutional Commission (1986-1987) and Chairman of its Committee on

Accountability of Public Officers. ISSUE: Whether or not Monsod is engaged in practice of law for ten years.
CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

HELD: Yes, Monsod is engaged in practice of law for ten years and qualified for the position as Chairman of COMELEC. Atty. Monsods past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsods confirmation, implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications as required by law. The judgment rendered by the Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution). Thus, only where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commissions judgment. In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise of the Courts corrective power, since no abuse, much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed, for has been clearly shown. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to

CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.

CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

Under the 1987 Constitution Section 1, Article 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 at the time of their appointment, at least thirty five years of age, holders of a college degree and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority thereof, including Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. WHO ARE ENTITLED TO PRACTICE LAW? The Rules of Court states who are entitled to practice law. Rule 138 Section 1. Who may practice law- Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. DEFINITION: PRACTICE OF LAW Blacks Law Dictionary defines Practice of Law as : The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the law. An attorney
CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is held out to be-an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an attorney, counseling clients in legal matters, negotiating with opposing counsel about pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services rendered by his associate. CONCEPT OF PRACTICE OF LAW: To engage in the practice is to do any of those acts which are characteristic of the legal profession. It covers IN or OUT of COURT, which requires the application of law, legal principles, practice or procedure and calls for legal knowledge, training and experience. (PLA vs. AGRAVA; CAYETANO vs. MONSOD)

CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

1987 constitution provides in Section 1, Article 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, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for

CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

Facts: - President Corazon Aquino Appointed Christian Monsod as the chairman of COMELEC. - Renato Cayetano opposed the nomination because according to him, the respondent fall short of the ten year requirement for the position. - The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article 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, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding -elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (Emphasis supplied) June 5, 1991: COA approved the appointment. - June 18, 1991: Monsod took his oath and assumed office. - Petitioner prayed for certiorari and prohibition against Monsod.

Issue: Whether or not Monsod is engaged in the practice of law for more than ten years.

Held:
CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS (PALE)

Atty. Monsods past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyermanager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.

The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsods confirmation, implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications as required by law. The judgment rendered by the Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution). Thus, only where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commissions judgment. In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise of the Courts corrective power, since no abuse, much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed, for has been clearly shown.

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court.

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.

CHRIS DIANNE M. SANCHEZ 1A SAN BEDA COLLEGE ALABANG SCHOOL OF LAW

10