Lawyer's Oath

I, do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic
of the Philippines, I will support the Constitution and obey the laws
as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein;
I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I
will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any
groundless, false or unlawful suit, or give aid nor consent
to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and
will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my
knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity as well to the courts
as to my clients; and I impose upon myself these oluntary
obligations without any mental reseration or purpose of easion!
"o help me #od.
1
1
Form 28- Attorney’s Oath, Rules of Court, Rex Publishing Company, 28 e!" p"
#8#
1
INTRODUTION
Lawyering is not a trade or business! It is a noble profession whose duty
includes upholding the Constitution and obeying the laws of the land! $oweer,
it is of no secret that like other professions, it is also a means of lielihood to
many members of the bar! It is this so%called conflict between duty and
occupation that brings an endless balancing of interests of an honourable
lawyer and a cleer entrepreneur!
&his paper would like to e'plain what rules lawyers adhere to in order to
be truthful and ethical in their practice without sacrificing the lielihood aspect
of their profession!
Included in this paper are the common issues that affects solicitation of
legal serices! "ample bar e'amination (uestions and as well as some cases
pertaining to this unethical act!
"olicitation is defined as a petition for re(uest, enticement or
allurement ! )hile Legal serices refers to an act of giing helpful actiity
regarding legal matters!
*
)hen one solicits, it means that a person do some acts which would tend
to attract somebody to what that person would like to hae ! +pplying this
concept to legal serices, the idea of soliciting would pertain to the means that a
lawyer do in order to gain profit by attracting the legal need of a potential
client! Of course, what is being talked about here is the unethical aspect of
soliciting legal serices! Part of this paper therefore, is to also e'plain the ethical
way of soliciting legal serices!
+lso at the end of this paper is the answer to the (uestion, what would be
the conse(uence of practicing an unethical act of soliciting legal serices! &his
would pertain to the penalty that a lawyer could face if eer he do acts in the
nature of unethical solicitation which are iolatie of their lawyer-s oath of
upholding the Constitution and obeying the laws of the land!
.RI/0 $I"&OR1 O0 L/#+L /&$IC"
It is of no secret that our code of ethics in the legal profession came from
foreign laws! 2otably it was based on the +merican .ar +ssociation-s Canons of
Professional /thics in 3456! &his was adopted in the Philippines in 3437!
/entually the Philippines created its own code of professional ethics to lawyers
2
8ictionary!reference!com9browse9serice
2
which was named as the Code of Professional Responsibility promulgated on
:une *3, 3466!
;
&his is what is commonly known today as the CPR!
C$+R+C&/RI"&IC" )$IC$ 8I"&I2#<I"$/" &$/ L/#+L PRO0/""IO2
0RO= .<"I2/""
$ow does then the legal profession differs from business>
$ere are the characterisctics which distinguishes the legal profession
from business!
In the legal profession, one should always consider the presence of the
following with respect to the legal profession,
3! + duty of public serice, of which the emolument is a by%product, and in
which one may sustain the highest eminence without making much
money;
*! + relation as an ?officer of the court@ to the administration of Austice
inoling thoroughsincerity, integrity, and reliability;
;! + relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary;
B! + relation to colleagues at the bar characteriCed by candor,
fairness, and unwillingness toresort to current business methods of
adertising and encroachment on their practice or dealing directly with
their clients!
B
"O<RC/" O0 P$ILIPPI2/ L/#+L /&$IC"
+nother factor in determining the relationship of the legal profession to
that of a business are the laws that goerns legal ethics! +mong the list below
are the bases of legal ethics in the Philippines which may be a used as a support
for researching cases about solicitation for legal serices,
3! Rules of Court
*! Code of Professional Responsibility
$
/! Pineda, Legal /thics, Pg! *%;
%
L/#+L D :<8ICI+L /&$IC" R/EI/)/R .1, R/2/ C+LL+2&+ , p! 3B
$
;! "upreme Court 8ecisions
B! "tatutes Fe'! Ciil Code, +rt! 3B43 GHIJ
H! Constitution F+rt! 6, "ec!H GHIJ
H
&he primary basis for the creation of the code of legal ethics for lawyers in
the Philippines is +rt! 6, "ec! HGHI of the 3467 Constitution which proides that,
?&he "upreme Court shall hae the following powers, ' ' '
Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of
constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts,
the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated .ar, and legal
assistance to the underpriileged! "uch rules shall proide a
simplified and ine'pensie procedure for the speedy disposition of
cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not
diminish, increase, or modify substantie rights! Rules of procedure
of special courts and (uasi%Audicial bodies shall remain effectie
unless disapproed by the "upreme Court!@
&his power to promulgate rules concerning the practice of law is now
embodied under the current 3447 Rules of Court! +t the beginning of the said
Rules of Court are these words,
?Pursuant to the proisions of section H FHJ of +rticle EIII of
the Constitution, the "upreme Court hereby adopts and promulgates
the following rules concerning the protection and enforcement of
constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure in all courts,
the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated .ar, and legal
assistance to the underpriileged!@
+lso in addition to this, as mentioned earlier, the ethical rules being
followed by lawyers today is based on the Code of Professional Responsibility
which was promulgated by the "upreme Court on :une *3, 3466!
DI!U!!ION
+PPLIC+.L/ L+)"
In the discussion for solicitation for legal serices, it is important to note the
specific rules under the Code of Professional Responsibility which applies to
this topic! &hese rules are based on the lawyer-s oath cited in the first page of
#
/! Pineda, Legal /thics! p!*
%
this paper! &o be reminded, the following (uotation from the lawyer-s oath shall
sere to aid the reader-s memory with regard to solicitation for legal serices!
&he lawyer-s oath says,
?x x x I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any
groundless, false or unlawful suit, or gie aid nor consent to the
same; I will delay no man for money or malice ' ' '@
+t the outset, the following are the applicable rules under the Rules of Court
• Rule 3;6% +&&OR2/1" +28 +8=I""IO2 &O &$/ .+R
"ec! *5 8uties of attorney! % It is the duty of an attorney, FgJ 2ot to
encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or
proceeding or delay any man-s cause, from any corrupt motie or
interest; '''
"ec! *B Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees% +n attorney
shall be entitled to hae and recoer from his client no more than a
reasonable compensation for his serices, with a iew to the importance
of the subAect matter of the controersy, the e'tent of the serices
rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney! 2o court shall
be bound by the opinion of attorneys as e'pert witnesses as to the proper
compensation, but may disregard such testimony and base its conclusion
on its own professional knowledge! + written contract for serices shall
control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be
unconscionable or unreasonable!
"ec! *7 8isbarment or suspension of attorneys by "upreme Court;
grounds therefor! K + member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended
from his office as attorney by the "upreme Court for any deceit ,
malpractice '''! &he practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of
gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice!
• Rule 3B3% L/#+L 0//"

"ec! 3*! 2otaries
<nder the rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the following are
listed,
#
C+2O2 3% + lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and
promote respect for law and legal processes!
• Rule 3!53% + lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct!
• Rule 3!5;!+ lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motie or interest, encourage
any suit or proceeding or delay in a man-s cause!
C+2O2 *% + lawyer shall make his legal serices aailable in an efficient an
conenient manner compatible with the independence, integrity and
effectieness of the profession!
• Rule *!5;!+ lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
• primarily to solicit legal business!
• Rule *!5B!+ lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily
prescribed, unless the circumstances so warrant!
C+2O2 ;% + lawyer in making known his legal serices shall use only true, honest, air,
dignified and obAectie information or statement of facts!
• Rule ;!53% + lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false,
fraudulent, misleading, deceptie, undignified, self%laudatory or unfair
statement or claim regarding his (ualifications or legal serices!
• Rule ;!5B% + lawyer shall not pay or gie anything of alue to representaties of the
mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business!
C+2O2 4% + lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthoriCed
practice of law!
• Rule 4!5*% + lawyer shall not diide or stipulate to diide a fee for legal
serices with persons not licensed to practice law, e'cept,
a! )here there is a pre%e'isting agreement with a partner or associate that,
upon the latter-s death, money shall be paid oer a reasonable period of
time to his estate or to the persons specified in the agreement; or
b! )here a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a
deceased lawyer; or
&
c! )here a lawyer or law firm includes non%lawyer employees in a
retirement plan, een if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit
sharing arrangement!
/LPL+2+&IO2 +28 /L+=PL/ O0 C+"/"
+s analyCed by the authors of this paper and based on the aboe%cited
canons and rules, the ethical standards that lawyers should be cautious to when
it comes to solicitation of legal serices may be categoriCed into four,
3! <sing deceptie (ualifications or legal serices
*! "oliciting by means of assistance of others
;! +dertising legal serices
B! Charging lower legal rates
H! =isrepresenting as to a lawyer-s connection with a law firm
M! <sing the media to attract legal serices
/ach of these category would be discussed below together with the releant
cases!
I. Using deceptive qualifications or legal services
$ere are some cases which pertains to a deceptie act of a lawyer
in order to solicit legal serices as lifted from the books of 8ean /rnesto
Pineda and 8ean Rufus RodrigueC! "ome of the synopsis of the cases are
also adopted for clearer understanding of the application of soliciting
business in the legal profession!
CASE ONE
Synopsis: Respondent, in deceiving te co!plainant "y assuring er
tat e could give er visa and travel docu!ents and tat despite
spurious docu!ents noting unto#ard #ould appen, is guilty of
violating Canon $ of te Code of %rofessional Responsi"ility
"/.+"&I+2 s! C+LI"
;3B "CR+ 3
'
0+C&", Complainant alleged she was referred to the respondend +tty!
Calis who promised to process all necessary documents re(uired for
complainant-s trip to the <"+ for a fee of P3H5,555!
<pon arrial at the "ingapore International +irport, complainant
was apprehended by the "ingapore +irport Official for carrying spurious
trael documents! Complainant contacted the respondent! 0rom
"eptember M to 4, 344B, complainant was detained at "ingapore!
&he complainant was deported to the Philippines and respondent
fetched her from the airport and brought her to his residence!
Complainant then demanded for the return of her money!
$/L8, Respondent is guilty of gross misconduct by engaging in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct contrary to Canon3, of
the Code of Professional Responsibility! Respondent deceied the
complainant by assuring her that he could gie her isa and trael
documents; that despite spurious documents nothing untoward would
happen! +ll for material gain!
M
&he aboe cited case is a clear indication that in order to solicit legal
serices, the lawyer here apparently misled the respondent into belieing that
he could bring her out of the country without processing the alid documents!
CASE &'O
I2 R/, &+#OR8+
H; Phil ;7
0acts9$eld, +tty! &agorda distributed cards where he adertised that,
?+s a notary public, he can e'ecute for you a deed of sale for the
purchase of land as re(uired by the cadastral office, can renew lost
documents of young animals, can make your application and final
re(uisites for your homestead, and e'ecute any kind of affidait! +s a
lawyer, he can help you collect your loans, altogether long oerdue, as
well as any complaints for or against you! $e offers free consultation
and is willing to help the poor!@
$e was suspended
7
&
R" Ro!rigue(, )he Fun!amentals of *egal an! +u!i,ial -thi,s, e!" p" %& .2%/
'
0ame, p" 8&
8
II. Soliciting "y !eans of assistance of oters.
CASE ONE
Synopsis: (or engaging in te practice of soliciting cases and for te purpose
of gain troug paid agents or "ro)ers, respondent attorney is repri!anded.
&+2 &/N ./2# s! 8+EI8
3*M "CR+ ;64
0+C&", &he issue in this case is whether the disciplinary action should be
taken against the lawyer 8aid for not giing &an &ek .eng, a non K lawyer, one
K half of the attorney-s fees receied by 8aid from the clients supplied by &an
&ek .eng! &here agreement reads,
?8ear =r! &an,
In compliance with your re(uest, I am now putting into writing
our agreement ''',
?3! On all commissions or attorney-s fees that we shall receie
from our clients by irtue of the collection that we shall be able to effect
on their accounts, we shall diide fifty%fifty! ' ' '
*! I shall not deal directly with out clients without your consent!
Eery truly yours,
&I=O&/O +! 8+EI8@
$/L8, )e hold that the said agreement is oid because it was tantamount to
malpractice which is the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of
gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers!@F"ec! *7, Rule 3;6,
Rules of CourtJ
6
It is clear in this case that the use of agents in soliciting legal serices is
prohibited by law and therefore unethical! &his is no different from the notary
publics that most people see under train stations or those who are practicing
dubious notary in Recto +enue in =anila! It must be noted that in order for a
notary public to notariCe, there is a need for the notarial book of a lawyer where
he puts entries there and that the affiant should personally appear before him!
<nfortunately, this is not strictly followed in actual practice! &here are a lot of
lawyers who do this kind of modus operandi in order to gain money! Of course,
this is unethical because the practice of law is not a business!
8
0ame, p" &&
1
&his is further elucidated in Rule 4!5* of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which proides that,
Rule 4!5*% + lawyer shall not diide or stipulate to diide a fee for legal serices
with persons not licensed to practice law, e'cept,
a! )here there is a pre%e'isting agreement with a partner or associate that,
upon the latter-s death, money shall be paid oer a reasonable period of
time to his estate or to the persons specified in the agreement; or
b! )here a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a
deceased lawyer; or
c! )here a lawyer or law firm includes non%lawyer employees in a
retirement plan, een if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit
sharing arrangement!
III. Advertising legal services
+nother issue in soliciting legal serices are the misleading
adertisements by some lawyers in order to solicit legal serices! "uch actions
brings dishonor to the nobility of the legal profession!
CASE ONE
Synopsis: (or advertising is services in connection #it is candidacy as
provincial "oard !e!"er of te province of *sa"ela, and in requesting tat is
services "e disse!inated in all !eetings and social gaterings, respondent
attorney is suspended for one !ont.
I2 R/, L<I" .! &+#OR8+
H; Phil ;7
0+C&", &he respondent lawyer, +tty! &agorda , a member of the proincial
board of Isabela, admits that in the last general elections he made use of a card
written in "panish and Ilocano, which, in translation, reads as follows,
?L<I" .! &+#OR8+@+ttorney; 2otary Public; C+28I8+&/ 0OR
&$IR8 =/=./R, Proince of Isabela! F2O&/!%+s notary public, he can
e'ecute for your a deed of sale for the purchase of land as re(uired by
the cadastral office; can renew lost documents of your animals; can
make new lost documents of your animals; ' ' 'J
$/L8, ' ' ' "olicitation of business by circulars or adertisements, or by
personal communications or interiews not warranted by personal relations, is
1
unprofessional, and the commission of offenses of this character amply Austifies
permanent elimination from the bar! ' ' '
4
CASE &'O
&$/ 8IR/C&OR O0 R/LI#IO<" +00+IR" s! .+1O&
7B Phil H74
0+C&", &he respondet +tty! .ayot is charged with malpractice for haing
published an adertisement in the "unday &ribune of :une 3;, 34B;, which
reads follows,
?=arriage license promptly secured thru our assistance D the
annoyance of delay or publicity aoided if desired, and marriage
arranged to wishes of parties! Consultation any matter free for the
poor! /erything confidential! '''@
$/L8, It is undeniable that the adertisement in (uestion was a flagrant
iolation by the respondent of the ethics of his profession, it being a braCen
solicitation of business from the public! '''! It is highly unethical for an
attorney
CASE &+REE
<L/P E"!&$/ L/#+L CLI2IC
**; "CR+ ;76
0+C&", Petitioner prays this Court to order the respondent to cease and desist
from issuing the following adertisements,
?"/CR/& =+RRI+#/>
PHM5!55 for a alid marriage!
Info on 8IEORC/, +."/2C/, +22<L=/2&!
EI"+!
&$/ L/#+L CLI2IC, I2C!
' ' '@
1
0ame, p" &1
11
$/L8, &he "upreme Court enAoined the said corporation from issuing or
causing the publication or dissemination of any adertisement in any form
which is of the same or similar tenor and purpose of as aboe!
&hese adertisements are contrary to Rule *!5; and Rule ;!53 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility!
&he prime incorporator, maAor stockholder and proprietor of the Legal
Clinic, Inc! being a member of the Philippine .ar is reprimanded with a stern
warning not to repeat the same or similar act!
35
It can be gleaned from the aboe cases that false adertisements to solicit
legal serices are probably the most common of the unethical solicitation of
legal serices! +t this point, the authors of this paper would like to call the
reader-s attention regarding the websites of big law firms in the country!
)ithout mentioning any names of the law firms, the authors hae found out
that wheneer one would go to the websites of these law firms, their e'pertise
are displayed in their websites! +re these not tantamount to solicitation of legal
serices also> &he authors beliee that they are because there seems to be a
hidden intent on the part of these law firms to solicit business by stating what
their e'pertise are! 0or e'ample, in a law firm in =akati, their website would
proide that they are entertaining ta' cases, mining cases and intellectual
property cases! If this is continued, what would then happen to the small law
firms> It is belieed and as will be discussed later that the best adertisement of
a law firm would be by word of mouth! &his would be discussed later!

IE. Carging lo#er legal rates
+s there seems to be a rarity of actual cases decided by the "upreme
Court regarding this matter, the discussion on this topic would pertain to Rule
*!5B of the Code of Professional Responsibility which proides that,
Rule *!5B% + lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily
prescribed unless the circumstances so warrant!
&he idea of prohibiting lawyers in charging lower rates is to discouraged
the marketing of legal serices at a lower rate in order to attract more serices
and thereby gain more profit! +gain, this is another act of treating the duty of a
lawyer as a business!
&o regulate the proper fees to a lawyer, Rule 3;6, "ec! *B proides for a
standard by which a lawyer should charge his client! &he rule proides,
1
-" Pine!a" *egal -thi,s" 21 e!", p"8
12
?"ec! *B Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees% +n attorney
shall be entitled to hae and recoer from his client no more than a
reasonable compensation for his serices, with a iew to the
importance of the subAect matter of the controersy, the e'tent of the
serices rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney! 2o
court shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as e'pert witnesses as
to the proper compensation, but may disregard such testimony and
base its conclusion on its own professional knowledge! + written
contract for serices shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless
found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable!@
Corollary to this are the fees charged by a notary public as cited under
Rule 3B3, "ec! 3* of the Rules of Court! &his could be a proper subAect of
amendment because of its seemingly low rates but, neertheless, the Rule
proides for the standard to follow in charging notarial fees! &he Rule proides,
?"ec! 3*! 2otaries!% 2o notary public shall charge or receie for any
serice rendered by him any fee, remuneration or compensation in
e'cess of those e'pressly prescribed in the following schedule,
a! 0or protests of drafts, bills of e'change, or promissory notes for
non%acceptance or non%payment, and for notice thereof, O2/
$<28R/8 FP355J P/"O";
b! 0or the registration of such protest and filing or safekeeping of
the same, O2/ $<28R/8 FP355J;
c! 0or authenticating powers of attorney, O2/ $<28R/8 P/"O";
d! 0or sworn statement concerning correctness of any account or
other document, O2/ $<28R/8 P/"O";
e! 0or each oath or affirmation, O2/ $<28R/8 P/"O";
f! 0or receiing eidence of indebtedness to be sent outside , O2/
$<28R/8 P/"O";
g! 0or issuing a certifiedcopy of all or part of his notarial register
or notarial records, for each page, O2/ $<28R/8 P/"O";
h! 0or taking depositions, for each page, O2/ $<28R/8 P/"O"; and
i! 0or acknowledging other documents not enumerated in this
section, O2/ $<28R/8 P/"O"!@
In practice, the notarial fees mentioned aboe seems to be lower than
most lawyers are asking from their clients! It would be proper if this policy
would be reiewed so as not to burden those who hae less in life!
E. ,isrepresenting as to a la#yer-s connection #it a la# fir!
&here is a need to include in the discussion of unethical solicitation of legal serices
the practice of some lawyers who in order to solicit more clients and in making known their
1$
legal serices commit misrepresentations as to their connection to a law firm! Put it
differently some lawyers manage to use the famous name of a deceased partner in a law firm
without indicating such status! Others manage to use foreign law firms in their pursuit to
solicit legal business! "till other lawyers would also take adantage of their position in public
office to aid them in soliciting legal serices! +ll these acts is not encouraged by our rules in
legal ethics!

&he pertinent rules for this category of unethical practice of soliciting legal serices
are the following,
C+2O2 ;% + lawyer in making known his legal serices shall use only true, honest,
air, dignified and obAectie information or statement of facts!
• Rule ;!53% + lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false,
fraudulent, misleading, deceptie, undignified, self%laudatory or unfair
statement or claim regarding his (ualifications or legal serices!
• Rule ;!5*!In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed
name shall be used! &he continued use of the name of deceased partner
is permissible proided that the firm indicates in all its communications
that said partner is deceased!
• Rule ;!5;)here a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from
the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law
allows him to practice law concurrently!
&hus, if a group of lawyers would like to establish a law firm, they cannot
use a false name or include in their partnership name the name of a person who
is not a lawyer! It does not mean that if a person is well%known he could Aust be
included in their firm name Aust to falsely misrepresent that they can be trusted!
+lso if a partner died, there should be an indication that such partner died in
their firm name! &his is usually done by placing some marks aboe the name of
the deceased partner such as a cross or an asterisk! If a 0ilipino lawyer is also
using the name of a foreign law firm, he is likewise prohibited by law to practice
under the name of such a firm! + good case for this one is the case of 8acanay
s! .aker D =cNenCie!
CASE ONE
8acanay s! .aker D =ckenCie
3;M "CR+ ;B4
Respondent Eicente +! &orres, using the letterhead of .aker D =cNenCie, which
contains the names of ten lawyers, asked Rosie Clurman for the release of 67
shares of Cathay Products International, Inc! &o $!/!, #abriel, a client!
1%
+ttorney 8acanay, in his reply denied any liabality of Clurman to #abriel, he
re(uested that he be informed whether the lawyer of #abriel is .aker D
=cNenCie ?and if not, what is the purpose in using the letterhead of another law
office, ?2ot haing receied any reply, he filed the instant complaint F "ec! 3
Rule 3;6 Rules of CourtJ
0ilipino lawyers cannot practice law under the name of a foreign law firm!
+nother act of unethical practice of soliciting legal serices is the act of
some elected lawyers that when elected to public positions they allow their
name to be used in a law firm while they are still in office!
&his act is prohibited under R+ 73M5, "ection 45
2ame of partner should be dropped from the firm name when he accepts
public office! If a partner in a law firm has accepted a public office, his
name shall be remoed from the firm name!
/'ception , If the law allows him to practice law concurrently while
holding the position such as"anggunian members are subAect to certain
restrictions!
EI! Using te !edia to attract legal services

"ometimes, the more a lawyer is e'posed to the media, the public is more inclined to
get the serices of that lawyer! &his is perhaps on the false notion that that lawyer can readily
help whateer legal predicament they are facing! &hey do not know, that each lawyer has
some e'pertise! 2o lawyer has an e'pert knowledge on eery legal subAect! &hat is the reason
why a lawyer needs to build a reputation through words of mouth about his legal
competence to a particular topic! )hile it is true that e'posure to the public would know the
legal e'pertise of a lawyer! &his is not always the case! &here is a bigger danger as to the
giing of legal adice of some lawyers when they are not really an e'pert in that field! +ll they
could gie are general ideas which of course the ordinary person does not really understand
thoroughly! &he act of giing legal adice in teleisions should be regulated by the "upreme
Court as this could iolate the ethical practice of soliciting legal serices!
&he pertinent canon for this rule would be,
C+2O2 ;% + lawyer in making known his legal serices shall use only true, honest,
air, dignified and obAectie information or statement of facts!
Rule ;!5B% + lawyer shall not pay or gie anything of alue to representaties of the
mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business!
1#
&his canon refers to all kinds of media! &he fastest rising means of
adertising legal serices at this point would be the internet! In the Philippines
though, since not all households get access to the internet, still the most
popular means of soliciting legal serices through the media would still be the
radio and the teleision! $oweer, the giing of a legal adice in good faith in
different should not be completely abhorred! O
CO==O2 &1P/" O0 "OLICI&+&IO2 O0 L/#+L "/REIC/"
Included in this discussion are the common types of solicitation of legal
serices
+! .+RR+&R1
.! It is the offense of fre(uently e'citing and stirring up (uarrels and suits,
either at law or otherwise! &he person who engages in barratry is called a
barretor or barrator!
33
C! =+I2&/2+2C/
It is the intermeddling of an uninterested party to encourage a lawsuit! It
is a taking in hand,a bearing up or upholding or (uarrels or sides, to the
disturbance of the common right!
3*
8! +=.<L+2C/ C$+"I2#
It is the lawyer-s act of chasing an ambulance carrying the ictim of an
accident for the purpose of talking to the said ictim or relaties and
offering his legal serices for the filing of a case against the person who
caused the accident!
3;
&he main purpose of prohibiting the aboe types of unethical practice of
soliciting legal serices is not to stir up litigations! &here are many cases already
that courts hear eery day! $undreds yet are to be decided by the "upreme
Court with finality! It would be a dishonor on the part of a lawyer to encourage
lawsuits Aust for him to gain money at the e'pense of our courts!
0urthermore, it would be encouraging eil to instigate a law suit against
a person if he is innocent! &he suit would take his time, money and een affects
his health! &his is what is aoided by the rules in legal ethics!
&1P/" O0 +8E/R&I"I2# OR "OLICI&+&IO2 2O& PRO$I.I&/8
11
2" Funa, *egal an! +u!i,ial -thi,s 3ith 4ar -xamination 5uesitons, p" %#
12
2" Funa, *egal an! +u!i,ial -thi,s 3ith 4ar -xamination 5uesitons, p" %#
1$
-" Pine!a, *egal -thi,s, p" &%
1&
&he best adertisement for a lawyer is a well%desered reputation for
competence, honesty and fidelity to priate trust and public duty!
In the case of <lep s! Legal Clinic **; "CR+ ;76, it stated there the
following allowable kind of adertisement of a lawyer,
3!P<.LIC+&IO2 I2 + L+) LI"&%Publication of reputable law lists, in a
manner consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by the canons, or
brief biographical and informatie data!
*!C+LLI2# C+R8"% &he use of ordinary simple professional card! &he card
contain only a statement of his name, the name of the law firm which he is
connected with, address, telephone no!, and special branch of law practiced!
;!+22O<2C/=/2& I2 OP/2I2# + L+) 0IR=% Publication or a public
announcement of the opening of a law firm or of changes in the partnership,
associates, firm name or office address, being for the conenience of the
profession!
.+R /L+=I2+&IO2 P</"&IO2"
3! )hy is law a profession and not a trade> F*55M .arJ
Law is a profession and not a trade because its basic ideal is to render public
serice and secure Austice for those who seek its aid! &he gaining of a lielihood
is only a secondary consideration
*! ! /'plain the a'iom ?&he practice of law is noble profession, not a business!
F347H .ar
/'amJ
&he practice of law is a noble profession and not a business because it treats of
the most important interests of man, namely, life, liberty and property! &he
lawyer-s first duty is to maintain good administration of Austice! In maintaining
the causes confided to him, he should delay no man for money or malice! $e
should not reAect for any personal reason the causes of the defenseless and the
oppressed! Pecuniary rewards are but a secondary importance! &he profession
of law is more a mission than a business profession and therefore its obAect is
not material reward but promote the administration of Austice; hence, where a
lawyer in the pursuit of his calling finds conformity with professional ethics
difficult, he should other ocation!
1'

;! Immediately after a mine e'plosion, an attorney in behalf of the law from
went at once to the scene of the disaster ! In competition with other lawyers, he
personally solicited the disaster ictims and their kins to put up their claim
through his lawn frim on the basis of a contingent fee! Is the cinduct of the
lawyer proper> )hy> G3477 .ar e'amsI
&he act of the lawyer constitutes champertous contract which is
unethical and improper
B! =ay a lawyer adertise his profession> /'plain> G3477 .ar e'amsI
+ lawyer may not adertise his profession! "tandard of profession
condemn a lawyer who adertises his talents in a manner similar to a merchant
adertising his goods! "olicitation, in order to be proper should be compatible
with the dignity of the legal profession! If made in modest and decorous
manner, it would bring no inAury to the lawyer or to the bar!
&he use of professional cards carrying the name of the lawyer, his title,
his office and his residence maybe proper! +nnouncements in periodicals or
magaCines regarding the opening of a law office or the foundation of a law
partnership containing only names and addresses are proper!
H! + new lawyer has a political ambition to become a #oernor of this proince!
"o he put up a big sign board at his law office with these inscriptions K Qtty! L,
practicing lawyer and notary public! /specialiCing in criminal law at nominal
fee! Prepares and notariCe legal papers and coneyance free of charge! @ $as he
committed any infraction of professional /thics> /'plain! G3474 .ar e'amI
1es, when he adertises himself as ?specialiCing in criminal law@ he
engages in self%laudation which is offensie to the dignity of the law profession;
and when he further announces that his fees in criminal cases are nominal and
his notarial serices free he displaced a brand of solicitation which is highly
unprofessional! It also has the effect of destroying the honor of a noble
profession and lowering its standards!
M! ?&he RL- Chapter of the Integrated .ar of the Philippines render legal
assistance through its members, free of charge, to any person who is without
means to enforce or defend a right, +ny such person may call at the Chapter
Office at FaddressJ during office hours for consultation!@
a! If a notice as written aboe were to be posted in a conspicuous place
for the general public to see, would such posting constitute solicitation> defend
your answer!
18
If the legal assistance to indigent litigants is announced in the name of
the chapter of the I.P, it is not improper solicitation! +s a matter of fact, it is
the duty and obligation of the I.P chapter to set%up legal aid office!
b! "uppose that in the aboe notice the reference to the I.P is deleted!
Instead, the name of a particular lawyer is what appears! )ould it make a
difference to your preious answer> /'plain! G3465 bar e'amsI
$oweer, if the notice does not include the reference of the I.P chapter
and only the name of the particular lawyer appears, it might constitute as
unethical solicitation!
7! + :ustice of the "upreme Court, while reading a newspaper one weekend, saw
the following adertisement,
+22<L=/2& O0 =+RRI+#/
Competent Lawyer
Reasonable 0ee
Call **3 K ***3
=ondays to 0ridays
6,55 a!m! to H,55 pm
&he following session day, the :ustice called the attention of his
colleagues and the .ar Confidant was directed to erify the adertisement! It
turned out that the number belongs to +ttorney L, who was then directed to
e'plain to the Court why he should not be disciplinary dealt with for the
improper adertisement!
+ttorney L, in his answer, aerred that F3J the adertisement was not
improper because his name was not mentioned in the ad; and F*J he could not
be subAected to disciplinary action because there was no complaint against him!
Rule on +ttorney L-s contention! G*55; bar e'amsI
3! &he adertisement is improper because it is a solicitation of legal business
and is tantamount to self%praise by claiming to be a competent lawyer! &he fact
that his name is not mentioned does not make the adertisement proper! $is
identity can easily be determined by calling the telephone number stated!
*! + complaint is not necessary to initiate a disciplinary action! "ection 3, Rule
3;4%. of the Rules of Court, disciplinary action against a lawyer maybe initiated
by the "upreme Court =otu Propio!
6! 8etermine whether the following adertisements by an attorney are ethical
or unethical! )rite ?Sthical@ or ?<nethical, as the case may be, opposite each
letter and e'plain!
11
+! + calling card, *@' *@in siCe, bearing his name in bold print, office,
residence and e%mail addresses, telephone and facsiline numbers!
/&$IC+L% a lawyer, in making known his legal serices shall use only
true, honest, dignified, and obAectie information or statement of facts!
.! + business card, ;@' B@ in siCe, indicating the aforementioned data
with his photo, 3@' 3 ? in siCe!
<2/&$IC+L% the siCe of the card and the inclusion of the lawyer-s photo
in it smacks of commercialism
C! + pictonal press release in a broadsheet newspaper made by the
attorney showing him being congratulated by the attorney showing him being
for winning a multi%million damage suit against the company in the "upreme
Court!
<2/&$IC+L% a lawyer should not resort to indirect adertisements,
such as procuring his photograph to be published in a newspaper in connection
with the case he is handling! $e should not pay or gie something of alue to
representaties of the mass media in anticipation of, or return of, publicity to
attract legal business!
8! &he same press release made by his client in a tabloid!
/&$IC+L% the lawyer can no longer be held responsible for the action of
his client! $oweer, it would be unethical if he knew about his client-s intention
to publish and he did not stop it!
/! + small announcement in .+LI&+, a tabloid in 0ilipino, that the
attorney is giing free legal adice for "eptember *55*! G*55* .ar e'amsI
<2/&$IC+L% the announcement in a newspaper that he will gie free
legal adice to indigents is a form of self%praise!
4! 0acing disciplinary charges for adertising as a lawyer, +tty! + argues that
although the calling card of his businessman friend indicates his law office and
his legal specially, the law office is located-s store! 8ecided! G*553 .arI
&his appears to be a circumention of the prohibition on improper
adertising! &here is no alid reason why the lawyer-s businessman friend
should be handling out calling cards which contains the lawyer-s law office and
legal specialty, een if his office is located in his friend-s store! )hat makes it
more obAectionable is the statement of his supposed legal specialty!
35! + lawyer adertised in the newspaper the following!
2
?Can secure annulment of your marriage promptly! /'pert in legal
separation cases! Consult anytime!@
Is the adertisement proper>
2O! + lawyer in making known his legal serices should not use any false
fraudulent, misleading, deceptie, undignified or self%laudatory statements
regarding his (ualifications and legal serices! &he claim that he can secure
annulment of marriage promptly is false and misleading and his claim that he is
an e'pert in legal separation is self%laudatory! +dertisement constitutes
improper solicitation and iolates the sanctity of the institution of marriage
which the state should protect!
33! +tty! ., C and 8 recently inaugurated their law partnership! +mong the
inited guests were clients, business e'ecutie and goernment officials
including a few members of the Audiacy! Photographs were taken during the
inaugural affair which the law firm subse(uently caused to be published in
maAor newspaper dailies! )as there anything ethically wrong in what the
partnership had done> G 3447 .ar /'amI
&he act of causing photographs of the inaugural affair published in maAor
newspaper dailies iolates the following rules of the CPR
• Rule *!5;!+ lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
• primarily to solicit legal business!
• Rule ;!53% + lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false,
fraudulent, misleading, deceptie, undignified, self%laudatory or unfair
statement or claim regarding his (ualifications or legal serices!
3*! + businessman is looking for new retainer! $e approached you and asked
for your schedule of fees or charges! $e informed you of the professional fees he
is presently paying his retainer, which is actually lower than your rates! $e said
that if your rates are lower, he would engage your serices!

)ill you lower your rates in order to get the client> /'plain! G*55H .ar e'amI
2O, I would not!
• Rule *!5B! proides that + lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those
customarily prescribed, unless the circumstances so warrant!
21
&his is aimed against the practice of cut%throat competition which is not in
keeping with the principle that the practice of law is a noble profession and
not a trade!
3;! 1ou are the managing partner of the law firm! + foreign airline compay,
recently granted rights by the Ciil +eronotics .oard at 2+I+, is scouting for a
law firm which could handle its cases in htr Philippines and proide legal
serices to the company and its personnel! +fter discussing with you the e'tent
of the legal serices your law firm is prepared to render, the general manager
gies you letter%proposal from another law firm in which its time%billing rates
and professional fees for arious legal serices are indicated! 1ou are asked to
submit a similar letter%proposal stating your firms proposed fees! &he airline
company-s general manager also tells you that, if your proposal fees would at
least be *H percent lower than those, proposed by the by the other firm, you will
get the company-s legal business! $ow would you react to the suggestion> G3447
.ar e'amsI
I will emphasiCe to the general manager that the practice of law is a profession
and not a trade! Conse(uently, I will not propose a lower fee Aust for the sake of
competing with another firm, because such practice smacks of commercialism!
• Rule *!5B! proides that + lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those
customarily prescribed, unless the circumstances so warrant!
I would charge fees that would be reasonable under the circumstances!
ON"U!ION
Penalty
&he penalty for an improper solicitation of legal serices is proided by the
following rule,
Rule 3;6, "ec! *7 8isbarment or suspension of attorneys by "upreme
Court; grounds therefor! K + member of the bar may be disbarred or
suspended from his office as attorney by the "upreme Court for any
deceit , malpractice '''! &he practice of soliciting cases at law for the
purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers,
constitutes malpractice!
It is clear therefore in this case that an act of unethical solicitation of
legal serices constitutes malpractice and therefore may subAect an erring
lawyer from disbarment!
#$nd#
22
R/0/R/2C/"
3! 3467 Philippine Constitution
*! 3447 Rules of Court
;! Code of Professional /thics
B! /rnesto Pineda, Legal /thics
H! 8ennis .! 0una, Legal and :udicial /thics with bar
e'amination (uestions
M! Rufus Rodrigues, Legal /thics
7! +gpalo, Legal /thics
6! +nswers to .ar e'amination (uestions in legal ethics and
practical e'ercises, 347H to *557!
2$