URBAN BANK VS.

PENA [2001]
FACTS:

UNION BANK BOUGHT A PARCEL OF LAND FROM ISABELA SUGAR
COMPANY (ISC)

AGREEMENT INCLUDED A CONDITION THAT ISC WILL CAUSE THE
EVICTION OF ALL THEOCCUPANTS OF THE PROPERTY

UNION BANK ALLEGES THE FOLLOWING FACTS:
O
ISC CONTRACTED THE SERVICES OF ATTY. MAGDALENO PEÑA FOR
THE PURPOSE OF EVICTING THE OCCUPANTS
O
ATTY. PEÑA THEN ASKED FOR A LETTER OF AUTHORITY GRANTING
HIM AUTHORITY TOREPRESENT COMPLAINANT IN MAINTAINING
POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY AND INANY COURT ACTION THAT
MAY ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH THE SAID DUTY
O
UNION BANK ISSUED A LETTER OF AUTHORITY, BUT ALSO A
CLARIFICATION THAT ITWAS ISC THAT CONTRACTED HIS SERVICES
O
ATTY. PEÑA REQUESTED SOME MODIFICATIONS, THUS A NEW
LETTER OF AUTHORITYWAS ISSUED
O
LETTERS OF CORRESPONDENCE WERE PRESENTED TO PROVE THAT
IT WAS ISC WHOENGAGED THE LAWYER’S SERVICES

13 MONTHS AFTER THE EVICTION OF ALL THE APPLICANTS, ATTY.
PEÑA FILED A COLLECTIONSUIT AGAINST UNION BANK FOR
RECOVERY OF ATTORNEY’S FEES, EXPENSES, DAMAGESAND
AGENT’S COMPENSATION ON THE BASIS OF THE LETTER OF
AUTHORITY ISSUED BYUNION BANK’S OFFICERS ATTY. BEJASA AND
MR. MANUEL, JR.

UNION BANK FILED THIS CASE FOR DISBARMENT ALLEGING THAT
ATTY. PEÑA IS GUILTY OF
DECEIT, MALPRACTICE AND GROSS MISCONDUCT
WHEN IT INSTITUTED A COLLECTION SUIT
ON THE BASIS OF THE LETTER OF AUTHORITY WHILE KNOWING
FULLY WELL THE REASONS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SAID LETTER OF
AUTHORITY

ATTY. PEÑA INTERPOSED THE FOLLOWING COUNTERCLAIMS:
1.
CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED FOR FORUM SHOPPING BECAUSE
THERE IS ANOTHER CASE INVOLVING THE SAME PARTIES PENDING
IN THE RTC OF BAGO CITY

2.
THAT HIS SERVICES WERE ENGAGED BY DULY AUTHORIZED
OFFICERS OF UNIONBANK
3.
THERE IS NO REASON FOR HIM TO DECEIVE UNION BANK INTO
WRITING THE LETTER OF AUTHORITY BECAUSE HE KNEW FULLY
WELL THAT A VERBAL AGREEMENT ISSUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH A
LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP; SUCH WAS ONLY DONEAS A
FORMALITY
4.
UNION BANK ACCEPTED THE BENEFITS OF HIS SERVICESREPORT
AND RECOMMENDATION BY THE IBP

NO FORUM SHOPPING BECAUSE THE RESPONDENT PARTY IN ONE
CASE IS THECOMPLAINANT IN THE OTHER AND VICE VERSA

IT IS NOT WITHIN THE IBP’S JURISDICTION TO DETERMINE WHO
SHOULD PAY; IT SHOULDBE LEFT TO THE PROPER COURT

THE ONLY
ISSUE IS: WON RESPONDENT COMMITTED MALPRACTICE,DECEIT
AND GROSS MISCONDUCT IN THE PRACTICE OF HISPROFESSION AS
A MEMBER OF THE BAR. NO. BECAUSE THERE WASREFUSAL TO PAY
JUST COMPENSATION, ATTY. PEÑA MERELY INSTITUTED THEPROPER
ACTION.

RECOMMENDED DISMISSALSC AGREED WITH THE IBP’S FINDINGS
AND RECOMMENDATION, SAYING THATCOMPLAINANT FAILED TO
MEET THE REQUIRED BURDEN OF PROOF IN ORDER FOR THE COURT
TOEXERCISE ITS DISCIPLINARY POWER:

COMPLAINANT HAS NOT PROFFERED ANY PROOF THAT THE LETTER
OF AUTHORITY WASOBTAINED THROUGH MACHINATION OR OTHER
DECEITFUL MEANS

THOSE WHO ISSUED THE LETTER WAS NEVER PRESENTED AS
WITNESSES, NOR WERETHEIR SWORN STATEMENTS SUBMITTED

THE LETTERS PRESENTED CANNOT BY THEMSELVES BE ACCORDED
STRONG PROBATIVEWEIGHT IN THE FACE OF (1) ATTY. PEÑA’S
EMPHATIC ASSERTION THAT HE HAS NEVER SEEN ANY OF THEM; (2)
THE LACK OF INDICATION THAT COPIES WERE RECEIVED BYHIM;
AND (3) THE ABSENCE OF HIS SIGNATURE OR THE DATE OR TIME HE
TOOKPOSSESSION OF THEM

FURTHERMORE, THE BASIS FOR THE ACTION WAS NOT THE LETTER
OF AUTHORITY BUT ANORAL CONTRACT OF AGENCY PURPORTEDLY
ENTERED INTO BY ATTY. PEÑA WITH THE DULYAUTHORIZED
OFFICERS OF UNION BANK (PROVED BY AVERMENTS IN THE
COMPLAINT INTHE OTHER CASE IN BAGO CITY RTC).

 WITH OR WITHOUT THE LETTER. Magdaleno Peña had to negotiate with them for them to relocate. (ISCI) sold a parcel of land to Urban Bank.  Peña also asked that said authorization be put into writing. refused to recognize Peña. HE WAS IN THE LAWFUL EXERCISE OF A RIGHT:INVOKING THE AID OF THE COURT IN RECOVERING RECOMPENSE FOR LEGAL SERVICES WHICHHE CLAIMS HE UNDERTOOK FOR THE COMPLAINANT. Peña should only be paid P3 million. Peña began sending demands to UBI for the latter to pay him the P24 million fee agreed upon. where Peña explained to him the situation. PENA FACTS:  In 1994. AND WHICH THE LATTER DOES NOT DENYTO HAVE BENEFITED FROMURBAN BANK V.   Peña had to barricade himself inside the property to keep the tenants out who were forcing their way in especially so that the local cops are now sympathetic to them. Peña asked authorization from Borlongan to negotiate with the tenants.HOLDING:DISMISSED DISBARMENT COMPLAINT. plus his expenses for the relocation of the tenants and the hiring of security guards or an additional P3 million.  But UBI refused to make payment hence Peña filed a complaint for recovery against UBI.  But the said occupants.  The trial court ruled in favor of Peña as it found there indeed was a contract of agency created between and UBI and that Peña is entitled to the 10% fee plus the expenses he incurred including litigation expenses. Inc.  In said conversation. In sum.  Peña then had a phone conversation with Teodoro Borlongan. It ruled that no agency was formed but for his legal services.  Borlongan agreed over the phone on the condition that Peña should be able to settle with the tenants otherwise he forfeits said 10% fee. The Court of Appeals however reversed the order of the trial court. Isabel Sugar Company.  Peña was able to settle and relocate the tenants. . Atty. Peña is entitled to payment but applying the principle of unjust enrichment and quantum meruit. ATTY. Inc.  Peña also asked that he be paid 10% of the purchase price or (P24 million) for his efforts. knowing that the land was already transferred to UBI.  The land was sold forP240 million.  As the land was occupied by unauthorized sub-tenants.  The Supreme Court ruled that said amount is unconscionable. (in short. ISCI’s lawyer.  The authorization was put into writing but no mention was made as regards the 10% fee. PEÑA COULD HAVE INSTITUTED A COLLECTION SUIT. (UBI). HELD: No.  ISCI then communicated with UBI so that the latter may authorize Peña to negotiate with the tenants. president of UBI. ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. that part was not written in the written authorization released by UBI). the trial court awarded him P28 million.  After everything was settled and the property is now formally under the possession of UBI.  THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION (10% OF THE MARKET VALUE OF THE PROPERTY) WASNOT EVEN MENTIONED IN THE LETTER BUT WAS APPARENTLY SETTLED IN THE COURSE OF THE ORAL CONVERSATION. Magdaleno Peña is entitled to receive the P28 million.

Respondent informed him that the decision was adverse to them because a congressman exerted pressure upon the trial judge. Dionisio.00 and another P2.00. FEDERICO N. Respondent agreed to handle the case for an acceptance fee of P20. Ramos.5 million for settling and relocating the 23 tenants. YNARES-SANTIAGO.  In this case. Castro. complainant learned that the respondent filed the notice of appeal 3 days after the lapse of the reglementary period.  Total of P4. m. Respondent alleged that sometime in the late 1997. complainant however charges the respondent of purposely failing to submit a copy of the summons and copy of the assailed decision. In the same letter. piece of land which he allegedly promised as payment for respondent’s appearance fee. NGASEO. went to his Makati office to engage his professional services in connection with a 2-hectare parcel of land situated in San Carlos. was assisted by his brother Dionisio. he is entitled to receive P1.5 million for his legal services. to wit.5 million for the security guards he had to hire and another P1.  In the first place. the delivery of 1. The facts as narrated by the complainant are as follows:  The written authorization later issued merely confirms the power granted him to negotiate with the tenants.000 sq. transportation and other incidental expenses. Ngaseo for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Article 1491 of the Civil Code by demanding from his client.[3] Although an appeal was filed.: This is a complaint for suspension of respondent Atty. 1999. RAMOS. Sometime in 1998. the principle of quantum meruit should be applied. 2003.5 million. Federico Ramos and his brother. or as much as he has earned. Patricio A. other than the self-serving testimony of Peña. Complainant.  He is also entitled to reimbursement for his expenses in securing the property. who was deaf and could only speak conversational Tagalog haltingly. avers that he has consulted 2 local lawyers but did not engage their services because they were demanding . there was no other evidence presented to support his claim that Borlongan agreed to pay him that 10% over the phone. of land as appearance fees. is the primary consideration. Pangasinan which the complainant’s family lost 7 years earlier through an execution sale in favor of one Alfredo T. not money. Peña is entitled to receive what he merit for his services. 2000 as allowance for research made. In dealing with the tenants.00 on September 26. it is a profession in which duty to public service. Patricio Ngaseo’s Makati office to engage his services as counsel in a case[1] involving a piece of land in San Carlos. Subsequently. complainant received a demand-letter from the respondent asking for the delivery of the 1. vs.000.[2] On September 16. Pangasinan. PATRICIO A.  Hence. Peña didn’t have to perform any extraordinary acts or legal maneuvering. complainant Federico Ramos went to respondent Atty. J. a litigated property.  The Supreme Court emphasized that lawyering is not a business. P1. complainant Federico N. through Dionisio.00 per hearing and the cost of meals.000. Complainant alleges that he did not promise to pay the respondent 1. respondent also threatened to file a case in court if the complainant would not confer with him and settle the matter within 30 days. Respondent however assured him that they could still appeal the adverse judgment and asked for the additional amount of P3.000. as payment for his appearance fees.850.  The written authorization proved the existence of agency but not the existence of any agreement as to how much Peña should be paid. ATTY. but on the basis of the principles of unjust enrichment and quantum meruit. m. Complainant. On January 29. They came all the way from Pangasinan because no lawyer in San Carlos City was willing to handle the case. Peña is entitled to payment for compensation for services rendered as agent of Urban Bank. complainant went to the respondent’s office to inquire about the status of the case.000 square meters of land. appearance fee of P1.  Absent any such agreement.000 sq. a former client.

m. XVI2003-47 the full text of which reads:[5] RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE. SCC 2128. with modification. Respondent agreed to handle the case for an acceptance fee of P60. assisted by one Jose Castillo. i. 2003.000 sq. implored respondent to continue handling the case. 2003. when the appellate court ordered the return of the 2hectare parcel of land to the family of the complainant. Complainant. would not handle a case for an acceptance fee of only P20. The said decision became final and executory on January 18. the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitled case. Six months later.00 to be paid after their treasure hunt operations in Nueva Viscaya were terminated. The rationale advanced for the prohibition is that public policy disallows the transactions in view of the fiduciary relationship involved.000. respondent Atty. On July 18. P20.000 sq. or from another piece of property.000. m. complainant offered. complainant also offered to defray the expenses for transportation. by virtue of his office. One local lawyer was willing to handle the case for at least one-half of the land involved as his attorney’s fee. he filed a timely notice of appeal and thereafter moved to be discharged as counsel because he had colon cancer. went to respondent’s office to discuss the legal fees.00 of the P3.00 per appearance. while the other asked for ¼ of the land in addition to a large sum of money. in lieu of P3.. the relation of trust and confidence and the peculiar control exercised by these persons. m. now assisted by one Johnny Ramos.850. IBP Commissioner Rebecca VillanuevaMaala found the respondent guilty of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a lawyer in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended that he be suspended from the practice of law for 1 year.00 plus an appearance fee of P3.e. through Castillo. XVI-2003-47 for having been issued without or in excess of jurisdiction. Complainant told him that he would consult his siblings on the matter. Respondent claims that after the trial court dismissed Civil Case No. 2003.000. On December 11.000. which compelled him to send a demand letter on January 29.000 sq..000.000. the case has been terminated. told respondent that he was willing to pay an acceptance fee of P40.[4] On August 30. Respondent accepted the complainant’s offer. and. respondent filed a petition for review assailing IBP Resolution No. of violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility for demanding the delivery of 1. of land which was offered and promised to him in lieu of the appearance fees. the IBP Board of Governors passed Resolution No. He claims that his acceptance and appearance fees are reasonable because a Makati based legal practitioner.00 per hearing. lawyers are prohibited from acquiring either by purchase or assignment the property or rights involved which are the object of the litigation in which they intervene by virtue of their profession. the Court of Appeals rendered a favorable decision ordering the return of the disputed 2-hectare land to the complainant and his siblings. Under Article 1491(5) of the Civil Code. 2002. 2003.00 expenses for the preparation of the appellant’s brief. complainant filed a complaint before the IBP charging his former counsel. in April 1998. and considering that respondent have violated the Code of Professional Responsibility for grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a lawyer Atty. plus cash expenses. m.00 acceptance fee. Patricio A.00 of which shall be paid upon engagement and the remaining P20. finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules.[6] Respondent argues that he did not violate Article 1491 of the Civil Code because when he demanded the delivery of the 1. Johnny Ramos made a written commitment and gave respondent’s secretary P2.000. . parcel of land which was the subject of litigation.00. with an offer to double the 1.exorbitant fees. Further. In a report dated July 18.[9] However. an attorney may easily take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client and unduly enrich himself at the expense of his client.000 sq. as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED. of land from the land subject matter of the case. Ngaseo. [8] It is founded on public policy because. In addition.000. On February 14. if they win.e.000. Complainant. Ngaseo is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months. meals and other incidental expenses. if they lose. complainant. herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex “A”. Respondent further contends that he can collect the unpaid appearance fee even without a written contract on the basis of the principle of quantum meruit. 1. 2003.00 and P1.[7] The prohibition on purchase is all embracing to include not only sales to private individuals but also public or judicial sales.00 per court appearance. 2001.000. i. Since then complainant allegedly failed to contact respondent. piece of land earlier promised and the remaining balance of P20.

2002. The power to disbar or suspend must be exercised with great caution. Mere demand for delivery of the litigated property does not cause the transfer of ownership. We find the recommended penalty of suspension for 6 months too harsh and not proportionate to the offense committed by the respondent. Only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the Court and member of the bar will disbarment or suspension be imposed as a penalty.[12] All considered. Lopez. SCC-2128 became final and executory on January 18. WHEREFORE.[10] In the consolidated administrative cases of Valencia v. does not clearly specify which acts of the respondent constitute gross misconduct or what provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility have been violated.  When they did not receive an answer to this suggestion. Issue: was there an attorney-client relationshio between Francisco and Hilado? If so. as adopted by the IBP Board of Governors in its Resolution No. The letter was dated July 13. Invariably. Dizon. He is REPRIMANDED with a warning that repetition of the same act will be dealt with more severely.  It was alleged that she turned over papers to Francisco and that he sent her a written opinion. respondent’s act does not fall within the purview of Article 1491. that any retainer .04 of Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.  It was however only in 1946 that Assad formally requested him to handle the case because Assad’s American lawyer had gone to the states. We note that the report of the IBP Commissioner. (in case you’re wondering David is the judge who tried the case)  Dizon in the name of his firm. Even assuming arguendo that such demand for delivery is unethical. wrote to Francisco. allegedly without her knowledge. was there a breach? Held:  In order to constitute professional employment it is not essential the client should have employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion. urging him to cease representing Assad on the ground that HILADO had consulted with FRANCISCO regarding her case. price was not grossly inadequate. a real estate broker. hence. 1945.  Judge David dismissed the case because the interchange between Francisco and Hilado had not created a attorney-client relation.the said prohibition applies only if the sale or assignment of the property takes place during the pendency of the litigation involving the client’s property. gave his opinion that the action would not prosper because of the circumstances (title was already transferred. a reprimand is deemed sufficient and reasonable. 98037 involving the subject property. In Biascan v. T  he letter to Hilado from Francisco was presented as evidence. no violation of paragraph 5. respondent Atty. In the instant case.  In the letter Francisco described the basic facts which brought about the controversy. where the property is acquired after the termination of the case. Arsenio Fer Cabanting for six (6) months from the practice of law when he purchased his client's property which was still the subject of a pending certiorari proceeding. the illegal transaction was consummated with the actual transfer of the litigated property either by purchase or assignment in favor of the prohibited individual. counsel for Hilado filed a motion in court to disqualify Francisco.  These sales were executed Hilado’s late husband. HILADO V DAVID FACTS:  HIlado brought against Assad to annul the sales of several houses and corresponding lots which were executed during the Japanese occupation. in all cases where Article 1491 was violated. Rodrigo. Patricio A. The letter of demand dated January 29. in view of the foregoing. they were replaced by Francisco. Ngaseo is found guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the legal profession in violation of Rule 20. Nor. Article 1491 of the Civil Code attaches. Cabanting.  Francisco alleges that in May 1945.  Counsel for Assad Ohnic. 2003 was made long after the judgment in Civil Case No. Flores. Velilla and Balonkita. the allegation that Assad is not the real purchaser is difficult to prove and that Mr Hilado is dead)  He therefore declined to appear as counsel and returned the records.[11] the Court suspended respondent Atty. there was no actual acquisition of the property in litigation since the respondent only made a written demand for its delivery which the complainant refused to comply.  He alleges that he accepted this case and that it was only a month later that Hilado appeared and brought her case to him. respondent was found guilty of serious misconduct and suspended for 6 months from the practice of law when he registered a deed of assignment in his favor and caused the transfer of title over the part of the estate despite pendency of Special Proceedings No. came to his office to approach him about representing a Syrian national embroiled in real estate case (Assad). Consequently. not a prohibited transaction within the contemplation of Article 1491. Counsel for Hilado: Delgado. XVI-2003-47.

Silapan’s rights as they were not pertinent to the case. he alleged that Genato was in the business of “buying a selling deficiency taxed imported cars. cannot be sanctioned. Silapan guilty of the breach? Held: No. Leonardo Aurelio is ordered suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months. there being no professional employment in the strictest sense. AURELIO FACTS:  Bun Siong Yao is a majority stockholder of Solar Farms & Livelihood Corporation and Solar Textile Finishing Corporation and since 1987. claimed that he filed those which he obtained by virtue of his being a stockholder of Solar Textile Finishing Corporation.  While Canon 17 provides that a lawyer shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him. the attorney-client privilege does not attach. Atty.  Aurelio.  He recommended that Aurelio be suspended from practice of law. In any case he has retainer fee YAO VS. on the other hand.  However. he retained the services of another stockholder. promised. Silapan handled some of Genato’s cases.  It does not extend to those made in contemplation of a crime or perpetration of a fraud. just as if he were writing a pleading or litigating in open court.  Aurelio then filed cases against Yao and his wife.  The investigating commissioner found that Yao discontinued paying dividends to Aurelio which compelled the latter to file multiple criminal and civil cases in the exercise of his rights as a stockholder. he has inevitably utilized information he has obtained from his dealings with Yao and his companies for his own end. charged.  Genato filed a case against Atty. . his action of taking up the cause of an adverse party.  A lawyer must conduct himself with integrity. especially with privileged communication – the protection is only limited to communications which are legitimately and properly within the scope of a lawful employment of a lawyer.      Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that “a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him. Held: Yes. shark loans and other shady deals” and that he was also involved in bribery cases. Silapan borrowed money from Genato to buy a car. unless the latter consents.  It was improper for him to disclose those information as they were not the subject matter of litigation at hand.  Yao alleged that the series of suits filed against him and his wife constitute an abuse of the confidential information which Aurelio obtained by virtue of his employment as counsel. GENATO V. Issue: Whether or not Aurelio violated Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. After a while. nor is it affected by the party's ceasing to employ the attorney and retaining another.  His professional competence and legal advice were not being attacked in the said case. nor that the attorney did not undertake the case after the consultation.  Atty.  The IBP approved and adopted the said recommendation. Leonardo Aurelio.” An attorney is not permitted to disclose communications made to him in his professional character by a client. they had a disagreement.  It is essential to note that the relationship between an attorney and his client is a fiduciary one. Atty. It does not cease with the termination of the litigation. Silapan under BP 22. Silapan was guilty of breaking their confidential lawyer-client relationship.   paid. It is to preserve the confidences and secrets of a client arise at the inception of their relationship. Silapan was leasing office space in Genato’s building. Atty.  In 1999.  In his defense. An attorney is employed in his professional capacity when he is giving advice thereon. Precedent supports the doctrine that mere relation of attorney and client should preclude the attorney from accepting the opposite party’s retainer in the same litigation regardless of what information was received. Issue: Was Atty. or by any other change of relation between them.  He took advantage of his being a lawyer in order to get back at Yao and in doing so.  Genato claimed that Atty. While it cannot be said that Francisco was acting in bad faith. here. ATTY SILAPAN Facts:    Atty. the disclosures were not indispensable to protect Atty. and issued a postdated check to Genato. It even survives the death of the client.  Atty. Silapan bought the car. as his personal lawyer and also the brother-in-law of Yao’s wife.  Thus.  The check was dishonored.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent violated Canon 21 of the CPR? HELD: No. respondent prepared.02.  Whatever facts alleged by respondent against complainant were not obtained by respondent in his professional capacity but as a . Issue: Whether or not there was an atty-client relationship. in respect to his business affairs. Grupo did not redeem the property so the property was forfeited.  Expecting that said petition would be filed. JUNIO V GRUPO Facts:  Rosario Junio entrusted to Atty. FERMIN L. that there was no longer any professional relationship between the two of them when he filed the lettercomplaint for falsification of public document. He is therefore suspended for 6 months. Grupo took advantage of his influence by not returning the money. After confiding with respondent the circumstances surrounding the lost title and discussing the fees and costs. GONZALES FACTS:  Complainant engaged the services of respondent lawyer to prepare and file a petition for the issuance of a new certificate of title. consults with an attorney in his professional capacity and the attorney voluntarily permits in such consultation.  Respondent left his office after reasoning with him.  The preparation and the proposed filing of the petition was only incidental to their personal transaction.”  He concluded that there was no atty-client relationship existing between them. respondent filed a letter-complaint against him with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor for Falsification of Public Documents.  Respondent claims that he gave complainant a handwritten letter telling complainant that he is withdrawing the petition he prepared and that complainant should get another lawyer to file the petition thereby terminating the lawyer-client relationship between him and complainant.  The IBP found him guilty of violating Rule 21.  Instead. WILLIAM S. Clearly.  Note: 5 yrs.04 of the Code of Profesisonal Responsibility which forbids lawyers from borrowing money from their clients.  It was a personal request to which Grupo executed a PN. Grupo filed a motion for reconsideration. finalized and submitted to him a petition to be filed before the Regional Trial Court.  The case was referred to the IBP and found Grupo liable for violation of Rule 16. Atty. ATTY. P25. the facts alleged in the complaint for Estafa Through Falsification of Public Documents filed by respondent against complainant were obtained by respondent due to his personal dealings with complainant.  Respondent volunteered his service to hasten the issuance of the certificate of title of the land he has redeemed from complainant.  For no reason at all.  Grupo also stated that the basis of his rendering legal services was purely gratuitous or “an act of a friend for a friend” with “consideration involved. has already passed since the loan. Grupo requested that he use the money to help defray his children’s educational expenses. that the facts and allegations contained in the letter-complaint for falsification were culled from public documents procured from the Office of the Register of Deeds. Held: Yes.  If an ordinary borrower of money is required by law to repay his loan. Salvador Grupo.  He maintains that the family of the Junio and Grupo were very close since Junio’s sisters served as Grupo’s household helpers for many years. UY vs. Junio wanted the money back but Grupo refused to refund. it is more so in the case of a lawyer whose conduct serves as an example.  When the petition was about to be filed. he was shocked to find out later that instead of filing the petition for the issuance of a new certificate of title. Canon 21 of the Canons of Professional Responsibility and recommended for his suspension for 6 months. there was no attorney-client relationship between respondent and complainant. then the professional employment must be regarded as established.000 to be used in the redemption of a property in Bohol.  *SC orders Grupo suspended from the practice of law for a month and to pay Junio within 30 days with interest at the legal rate. respondent went to complainant’s office demanding a certain amount other than what was previously agreed upon.  Grupo has committed an act which falls short of the standard conduct of an attorney.  Evidently.  Having gained dominance over Junio by virtue of such long relation of master and servant.  Because of this.  The IBP Board of Governors recommended that he be suspended indefinitely from the practice of law.  If a person.  The letter-complaint contained facts and circumstances pertaining to the transfer certificate of title that was the subject matter of the petition which respondent was supposed to have filed.

and after respondent had filed in the intestate court a motion for execution of the judgment. Jr. did not receive the notice and copy of the judgment sent to him by registered mail. as a consequence. 1971 FACTS       NATURE: An original action for certiorari challenging a judgment of the Court of Appeals as null and void for having been allegedly entered in excess of jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion. were verbally informed by respondent's counsel of the judgment. Atty. Jose A. Unson.  And in accordance with said Rule. Both parties appealed to the CA. with the CA an "Appearance with Motions for Substitution and to be served with a copy of the Judgment. Maria had long resigned as special administratrix with the permission of the intestate court. Jr.  Notice and copy of the CA's decision were duly served by registered mail on the estate's counsel of record at his address of record in accordance with Rule 13. Unson in the appellate court. April 29. which necessarily involved alleging facts that would constitute estafa. PETITION DISMISSED for lack of merit. Asuncion Domingo Sta. but the estate's attorneys in the intestate proceedings pending in the lower court. she was appointed judicial administratrix and has since been administering the estate alone. since the latter's removal or to then engage new counsel vice Atty.. service by registered mail of the appellate court's decision upon the petitioner's counsel of record was deemed completed and effected upon the addressee's failure to claim his mail on the fifth day after the first notice of the postmaster. in fact. Sr.  He was representing the estate and not the administrator.  The present administratrix gives no satisfactory explanation as to her failure to substitute herself vice Luis Domingo.. probity and good demeanor or that renders him unworthy to continue as an officer of the court. she wished to file a motion for reconsideration and that the clerk of court be directed to serve copy of said judgment on her counsel instead of on Atty. Consuelo Domingo de Lopez filed on March 9. for having squandered cash funds of the estate. There is no way we can equate the filing of the affidavit-complaint against herein complainant to a misconduct that is wanting in moral character. she be substituted in lieu of the former joint administrators and that her counsel be served with copy of the CA’s decision.  Motion for reconsideration was filed out of time and delay was without legal basis. when respondent filed the complaint for estafa against herein complainant.  Petitioner’s motion for substitution filed with the appellate court after its decision recognized the fact that the appellate court had already duly handed down its adverse decision and petitioner merely expressed her wish to belatedly file a motion for reconsideration on behalf of the petitioner estate. Maria and Atty. section 8 of the Rules of Court. Attys. respondent was not. The estate's counsel in the CA. 1967. Unson was the counsel on record of the petitioner estate in the appellate court and never filed any withdrawal as such counsel. in honesty. Luis Domingo.  No withdrawal as counsel or petition for change of counsel was filed in accordance with the Rules of  Court.   redemptioner of a property originally owned by his deceased son and therefore. Jr. petitioner filed this petition alleging that CA decision was entered in excess of jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion.  After almost 5 mos. Del Castillo and Macaraeg. violating Canon 21. Pedro Aquino filed a money claim on the estate.  She was apparently resigned to the futility of filing any such motion.  CA denied motion for reconsideration. To hold otherwise would be precluding any lawyer from instituting a case against anyone to protect his personal or proprietary interests. (who had caused the prosecution of the appeal) was removed from his trust by the intestate court. he had duly . CA affirmed CFI judgment with modifications in favor of Aquino (allowed compounded interest).  This was opposed by Aquino on the ground of finality. CFI approved the money claim of Aquino. in any way." stating that Asuncion Domingo Sta. petitioner’s counsel shall pay treble costs for falsely representing to the SC that the CA had granted “new and further relief” to Aquino when. Primicias. were appointed co-special administrators of the estate of Luis Domingo. Luis Domingo. Jr. that as judicial administratrix. so that even after latter’s removal. that Atty. She cannot use as an excuse the substitution of administrators/counsels. Luis Domingo.  Disposition Petition dismissed. Jose A.  The records at bar amply show that Atty. in view of the finality of the appellate court's decision — for such motion was never filed. ISSUE: WON CA’s decision has become final HELD: YES  CA decision has become final and executory in accordance with the Rules of Court and since no appeal was filed. Unson and praying that as present judicial administratrix. the former remains to be counsel of estate. that. DOMINGO V AQUINO TEEHANKEE.

He is suspended for 3 months.  The court rule against Venterez and friends.  IBP: Adopted and Approved the Report and Recommendation.01.4 of Canon 290. Briones is the counsel of the accused-appellant Restituto Cabacan in the case: People of the Philippines vs. Briones should not be disciplined by the Court failed (April 28. report and recommendation (August9. 7.  May 26. What constitutes good cause? See Rule 22. Dealca’s withdrawal was unjustified as complainant did not deliberately fail to pay him the atty’s fees. a lawyer shall withdraw his services only for good cause and upon notice appropriate in the circumstances.  Atty. Any dereliction of duty affects the client. ceased to be counsel any longer.  But. 1999).  Once a lawyer agrees to take up the cause of a client. Canon 22. Restituto Cabacan  Atty. ATTY COSME Facts:  Venterez and friends hired Atty. Under Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Cosme explained that he even turned over the records of the case to the son and thus. counsel for Felicisimo Montano withdrew his services for his client upon the latter's failure to comply with their retainer agreement. IBP FACTS:  Atty. Cosme’s defense that he had already withdrawn from the case.  It is evident that he violated Rule 18. 1999). Dealca. In Re: ATTY.  Because of this. The Court cannot accept Atty. Should the client refuse to give his consent.  IBP: Motion is DENIED.  They wanted to file a motion for reconsideration but Atty. An attorney who undertakes an action impliedly stipulates to carry it to its termination – that is.  He contended:  He filed a Comment on the administrative case but the same was not considered by the investigating commissioner. 1998). injustice or fraud. the lawyer must file an application with the court. writ of preliminary injunction issued on Nov. Briones of the Court's referral of the matter to the IBP and required him to file his Comment within 5 days from receipt of the letter again. VENTEREZ V. Briones filed with the IBP a Motion for Reconsideration/Reinvestigation.  Neither did the IBP conduct a formal investigation. for not so large a sum owed to him by complainant (P 3. Venterez was constrained to contract another lawyer to prepare the MR. A lawyer may retire at any time with the written consent of his client filed in court and with a copy thereof served upon the adverse party. Cosme as counsel for a land title dispute.  Atty. Briones to file appellant's brief to the IBP for evaluation.  IBP Commissioner Victoria Gonzales-De Los Reyes informed Atty. FELICISIMO MONTANO VS. Briones was given notice through mail to file appellant’s brief but failed in different occasions:  : He was given 30 days to file the brief but failed (August 6. Cosme guilty of culpable negligence in handling the case? Held: Yes. 1967 is dissolved. mandates that a lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort to judicial action only to prevent imposition. 1999).  COMMISSIONER DE LOS REYES’ FINDINGS:  People vs.500.  The Court referred the matter of the repeated failure of Atty.  : Submit brief within 10 days and show cause order why Atty. 2000. until the case becomes final and executory.  Although he may withdraw his services when client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services. Cosme failed or refused to do so. Cabacan has remained pending in view of the negligence of Atty. HELD:  We find Atty Dealca’s conduct unbecoming of a member of the legal profession. There was no proper revocation in this case. Atty. only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the court and member of the bar will disbarment be imposed a s penalty. . The application must be based on a good case. Briones to file the required appellant's brief. Sadly. he owes fidelity to such cause and must be mindful of the trust and    confidence reposed on him.  She recommends that he be SUSPENDED from the practice of law profession for a period of six (6) months. DAVID BRIONES FACTS:  Atty. respondent lawyer failed to act in accordance with the demands of the Code. Cosme claims that the son of one of the complainants informed him that he was withdrawing the case from him because he (the son) already engaged another lawyer to take over the case. Rule 20. under the circumstances of the present case.03 of Canon 18 of the CPR.00).prayed for the relief awarded and for filing unmeritorious cases that clog the court dockets. he did not file any Comment (October 7. Issue: Is Atty. Atty.

 It does not appear from the records of the said case that Atty. Eduardo assumed administration of the joint estates of Jose and Alegria. which led to the conviction of Obando for estafa through falsification of a public document  probate court denied Eduardo’s Motion for authority to sell the parcels of land. WON that it was premature for the trial court to dismiss the civil case because Obando's conviction for estafa through falsification was still on appeal. 2000 be considered by the Court.  He is still the counsel of record. (3) whether the conviction of Petitioner Obando for estafa through falsification and the revocation of his appointment as administrator.  Petitioner Obando. WON the trial court could act on a motion filed by a lawyer who was allegedly no longer Eduardo's counsel of record 2. the following issues are raised by the petitioners: (1) whether the trial court could act on a motion filed by a lawyer who was allegedly no longer Eduardo's counsel of record. Petitioners' Claim  Assignment of Errors:  Simply stated. HELD: NO. RULING:  Atty. 2000. Alegria died. constitute sufficient grounds to dismiss the civil case. the latter was not able to give it to him because he had already ceased practicing law failing health. filed Complaint against Eduardo and Amigo Realty (respondents).  that the probate of the Will had not been decided on the merits did not change the fact that the probate court had removed Petitioner Obando as coadministrator. and its probate was still pending  affirmed the dismissal of the action because the probate court’s Order alluded to the fact that the Will was a forgery. WON a motion to dismiss filed after the responsive pleadings were already made can still be granted. YES 3.  If ever a copy was received by his secretary. NO . since there was no categorical statement that the purported will was a forgery. 1990 FACTS        NATURE: Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the RoC. Briones is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6)months OBANDO V FIGUERAS NARVASA. as co-administrator and universal heir of Alegria. pending settlement of the estate.  upon investigation.  CA dismissed Obando’s Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus rejected Obando’s contention: that he did not lose his legal personality to prosecute the civil case.  He failed to file an appellant’s brief in the said case because he never received a copy of the resolution requiring him to file said brief. both of which are on appeal. Probate case was consolidated with the intestate proceedings. and (4) whether there was a conflict between the Order dismissing the civil case and the previous actions of the trial court.  Even if it were true that Atty. he still could not ignore the directives coming from the Court. New titles were issued in the name of Amigo Realty.  Trial Court granted the Motion and dismissed the civil case  Petitioner Obando filed a Motion for Reconsideration. for the nullification of the sale. (2) whether a motion to dismiss filed after the responsive pleadings were already made can still be granted. Briones properly withdrew his services as counsel. Briones has withdrawn his appearance. of Petitioner Felizardo Obando’s action for annulment of contract and reconveyance earlier ordered by the RTC of QC.  the probate court removed Obando from his office as coadministrator.  Consequently. on the strength of an Order issued by the probate court in 1991. Alegria’s nephew (herein petitioner) the alleged Will bequeathed to Obando properties left by the Figueras couple. On October 5. David P. filed by Felizardo Obando. including 2 parcels of land in Quezon City. ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Briones has stopped practicing law. the NBI found the Will was a forgery.  Unless he has withdrawn his appearance in the case. the Court would still consider him as counsel for the accused-appellant and he is expected to comply with all its orders and directives. Alegria Figueras and her stepsons Eduardo and Francisco filed a Petition for settlement of the intestate estate of her deceased husband Jose Figueras. based on Obando’s loss of his legal standing to pursue the case.  RATIO DECIDENDI:  The cessation of his law practice is not an excuse for his failure to file the required brief. without prejudice. seeking to annul a Decision of the CA which affirmed dismissal. Denied. he sold the lots to Amigo Realty Corporation. Briones filed with the Court a Manifestation praying that his Comment submitted to the IBP on October 13. and Obando was appointed as Eduardo’s co-administrator of the joint estates. respondents filed Motion to Dismiss. Eduardo was served a Petition for Probate of what purported to be Alegria’s Last Will and Testament. Atty. Despite denial. ISSUES 1.

Hence.  Representation continues until the court dispenses with the services of counsel in accordance with Section 26.    4. a final conviction in a criminal case has nothing to do with such revocation. even after an answer has been filed. Section 1 of Rule 16 of the Rules of Court requires that. in its Resolution dated February 11. Petitioner Obando derived his power to represent the estate of the deceased couple from his appointment as co-administrator. an atty. The first Motion to Dismiss was denied because. (3) the written consent of the lawyer to be substituted is secured     Eduardo did not dismiss his Atty (Yuseco).25 Except for lack of cause of action or lack of jurisdiction.      if the plaintiff loses his capacity to sue during the pendency of the case.  the lawyer was still Eduardo’s counsel of record.     3. Rule 9 of the Rules. a motion to dismiss should be filed within the reglementary period for filing a responsive pleading. at the time.    When an appointment as co-administrator of an estate is revoked by a probate court. the grounds under Section1 of Rule 16 may be waived. the defendant should be allowed to file a motion to dismiss. even after the lapse of the reglementary period for filing a responsive pleading. Petitioner Obando still had legal capacity to sue as coadministrator of the Figueras estates. they were based on different grounds.  There is no conflict between these court rulings. and not the petitioners.26 the respondents did not waive their right to move for the dismissal of the civil case based Petitioner Obando's lack of legal capacity. The period to file a motion to dismiss depends upon the circumstances of the case. (2) the client’s written consent is obtained. if the plaintiff loses his capacity to sue during the pendency of the case. any irregularity should have been raised by respondent Eduardo. The Motion to Dismiss was beneficial to respondent Eduardo. It was only after he had been convicted of estafa through falsification that the probate court divested him of his representation of the Figueras estates. It was only then that this ground became available to the respondents.  4. the defendant should be allowed to file a motion to dismiss. NO HELD 1. it granted Eduardo's later Motion to Dismiss. as in the present controversy. he could not continue prosecuting the civil case. who has been dismissed by a client is allowed to intervene in a case in order to protect the client’s rights. the Court has allowed a defendant to file a motion to dismiss on the following grounds: (1) lack of jurisdiction. as in the present controversy.   .     2. The change in his legal capacity accounts for the difference in the adjudication of the trial court.28 Thus the trial court properly granted the Motion to Dismiss on this ground. it could notmbe said that they waived it by raising it in a Motion to Dismissfiled after their Answer was submitted. he had no reason to complain. 1993. WON trial court whimsically and capriciously departed from its previous rulings when. Since he lacked the legal capacity to sue on behalf of the Figueras estates.23 (3) lack of cause of action.  Counsel may be substituted only with the ff requisites: (1) new counsel files a written application for Substitution.24 and (4) discovery during trial of evidence that would constitute a ground for dismissal. In this case. At the discretion of the court. Disposition the Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed  Resolution AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners. If a particular ground for dismissal is not raised or if no motion to dismiss is filed at all within the reglementary period. in general. he lost that authority. it is generally considered waived under Section 1. However.29 Whether a final conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude is necessary to remove him from his administration is not a proper issue in this Petition.27 When the probate court removed him from office. The second Motion was granted because the probate court had already removed him from his office as coadministrator. even after the lapse of the reglementary period for filing a responsive pleading. Rule 138 of RoC.22 (2) litis pendentia. This argument has no bearing at all on the dismissal of the civil case. He should raise the matter in his appeal of the Decision removing him from administration of the Figueras estates. Verily.