VELASCO, JR., J.: A.C. No. 7820
September 12, 2008

complainant Atty. Ricardo M. Salomon, Jr. charged respondent Atty.
Joselito C. Frial with violating his Lawyer’s Oath and/or gross
misconduct arising from his actuations with respect to two
attached vehicles.

Complainant, owner of the vehicles in question, asked that Atty.
Frial be disbarred.

The instant complaint has its beginning in the case, Lucy Lo v.
Ricardo Salomon et al., , in which a writ of preliminary attachment
was issued in favor of Lucy Lo, Atty. Frial’s client.

The writ was used to attach two (2) cars of complainant-a black
1995 Volvo and a green 1993 Nissan Sentra.

According to Atty. Salomon, the attaching sheriff of Manila, instead
of depositing the attached cars in the court premises, turned them
over to Atty. Frial, Lo’s counsel.

Atty. Salomon claimed that on several occasions, the Nissan
Sentra was spotted being used by unauthorized individuals.

For instance, barangay captain Andrew Abundo saw the Nissan
Sentra in front of a battery shop at Quezon City

Architect Roberto S. Perez and three others saw and took video
and photo shots of the same car while in the Manresa Shell station
at, Quezon City.

M. Perez, complainant’s driver, saw the said car in another Shell
station near Kamias Street.

Arlene Carmela M. Salomon spotted it driven by bondsman
Ferdinand Liquigan allegedly with Atty. Frial’s consent.

As Atty. Salomon further alleged, when the misuse of the car was
reported, paving for Liquigan’s apprehension, Atty. Frial, in a letter,
acknowledged having authorized Liquigan to bring the car
in custodia legis to a mechanic.

As to the Volvo, Atty. Salomon averred that during mediation, Atty.
Frial deliberately withheld information as to its whereabouts.

As it turned out later, the Volvo was totally destroyed by fire, but
the court was not immediately put on notice of this development.

Atty. Frial admitted taking custody of the cars thru his own
undertaking, without authority and knowledge of the court.

The subject vehicles, according to him, were first parked near the
YMCA building in front of the Manila City Hall where they remained
for four months.

He said that when he went to check on the vehicles’ condition
sometime in December 2005, he found them to have been
infested and the wirings underneath the hoods gnawed by rats.

He denied personally using or allowing others the use of
the cars, stating in this regard that if indeed the Nissan Sentra
was spotted, it could have been the time when the car was being
transferred from the YMCA.

The sightings, so Atty. Frial claimed, possibly occurred when the
Nissan Sentra was brought to the gas station to be filled up.

He said that the car could not have plausibly been spotted in
Project 3 on December 13, 2006, parked as it was then in front of
Liquigan’s house for mechanical check-up.
ISSUE: whether or not Atty. Frial was guilty of infidelity in the custody of
the attached properties.

In the Report, the following were deduced from the affidavits of
Andrew Abundo, Roberto Perez, Robert Perez, and Dante Batingan:
1. at no time was Atty. Frial seen driving the Sentra;
2. Abundo learned that at that time the car was spotted at
the battery shop, the unnamed driver bought a new
battery for the car which was not inappropriate since a
battery was for the preservation of the car;
3. Atty. Frial admitted that the Nissan Sentra was seen
gassed up on February 18, 2006 and in June 2006 and
there was no reason to gas up the Nissan Sentra on those
times unless it was being used;
4. Roberto Perez said the Nissan Sentra was used to buy
goat’s meat; and
5. photos of the Nissan Sentra in different places obviously
showed it was being used by others.

while there is perhaps no direct evidence tying up Atty.
Frial with the use of the Nissan Sentra, the unyielding fact
remains that it was being used by other persons during the
time he was supposed to have custody of it.

drove the Nissan Sentra on those occasions must have received
the car key from Atty. Frial.

When Atty. Frial took custody of the Nissan Sentra and Volvo cars,
he was duty bound to keep and preserve these in the same
condition he received them so as to fetch a good price
should the vehicles be auctioned.

As to the burnt Volvo, Atty. Frial admitted receiving it in excellent
condition and that there was no court order authorizing him to
remove the car from the YMCA premises.

Admitted too was the fact that he secured the release of the Volvo
on the strength alone of his own written undertaking; 3 and that the
car was almost totally destroyed by fire on while parked in his
He could not, however, explain the circumstances behind
the destruction, but admitted not reporting the burning to
the court or the sherif.
While the burning of the car happened before the mediation
hearing, Atty. Frial, upon inquiry of Atty. Salomon, did not give
information as to the whereabouts of the cars.
The destruction of the Volvo in Atty. Frial’s residence was
not an ordinary occurrence; it was an event that could
have not easily escaped his attention.
there is a strong reason to believe that Atty. Frial
deliberately concealed the destruction of said vehicle from
the court during the hearings in, which were the opportune
times to reveal the condition of the Volvo car.
A writ of attachment issues to prevent the defendant from
disposing of the attached property, thus securing the satisfaction
of any judgment that may be recovered by the plaintiff or any
proper party.
When the objects of the attachment are destroyed, then the
attached properties would necessarily be of no value and the
attachment would be for naught.
there is no question that Atty. Frial is guilty of grave misconduct
arising from his violation of Canon 11 of the Canons of
Professional Ethics that states:
11. Dealing with trust property
The lawyer should refrain from any action whereby
for his personal benefit or gain he abuses or takes
advantage of the confidence reposed in him by his
Money of the client or collected for the client or other
trust property coming into the possession of the
lawyer should be reported and accounted for
promptly and should not under any circumstances
be commingled with his own or be used by him.
A lawyer is first and foremost an officer of the court. As such, he is
expected to respect the court’s order and processes.
Atty. Frial miserably fell short of his duties as such officer.
He trifled with the writ of attachment the court issued.
Atty. Frial was remiss in his obligation of taking good care
of the attached cars. He also allowed the use of the Nissan
Sentra car by persons who had no business using it.

He did not inform the court or at least the sherif of the
destruction of the Volvo car.
What is worse is that he took custody of them without so
much as informing the court, let alone securing, its
we find Atty. Frial guilty of infidelity in the custody of the attached
cars and grave misconduct. The Court, nevertheless, is not
inclined to impose, as complainant urges, the ultimate penalty of
disbarment. With the view we take of the case, there is no
compelling evidence tending to show that Atty. Frial intended to
pervert the administration of justice for some dishonest purpose.
WHEREFORE, Atty. Joselito C. Frial is adjudged guilty of grave
misconduct and infidelity in the custody of properties in custodia
legis. He is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a
period of one (1) year effective upon his receipt of this Decision.

CARPIO, J.: A.C. No. 7057
July 25, 2006

David L. Almendarez, Jr. ("complainant") filed this complaintaffidavit1 before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), seeking
the disbarment of Atty. Minervo T. Langit ("respondent") for acts
unbecoming a lawyer.

Complainant, as attorney-in-fact of his mother Pura Lioanag Vda.
de Almendarez, was the plaintiff in an ejectment case Respondent
served as complainant's counsel.

While the case was pending, defendant Roger Bumanlag
("Bumanlag") deposited monthly rentals for the property in dispute
to the Branch Clerk of Court.

the trial court rendered a decision in the ejectment case based on
a compromise agreement executed by complainant and

the trial court issued an alias writ of execution for the satisfaction
of the decision.

A court order2 granted the Omnibus Motion for Execution and
Withdrawal of Deposited Rentals filed by respondent as
complainant's counsel.

Respondent filed a second motion for withdrawal of deposited
rentals, which the trial court also granted

complainant learned that respondent was able to withdraw
the rentals deposited by Bumanlag.

Felicidad Daroy ("Daroy"), Officer-in-Charge Clerk of Court,
confirmed this to complainant who received from Daroy copies of

but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution. requiring utmost good faith. Miguel D. respondent violated the trust and confidence reposed in him. Upon release of the funds to him.  Complainant further accuses respondent of neglecting to pursue the implementation of the writ of execution issued in the ejectment case. ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 16.  respondent received a total of P255. respondent could have collected any lien which he had over them in connection with his legal services.  Therefore. Unlawful retention of client's funds. He did not pursue the implementation of the writ of execution issued in the ejectment case.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.  Complainant. Larida. We SUSPEND respondent from the practice of law for two years . By his inaction. as evidenced by two receipts5 signed by him. to the prejudice of complainant.000. but Daroy personally delivered the money to respondent.  Respondent did not inform complainant of these transactions. For in agreeing to be complainant's counsel. provided he gave prompt notice to complainant. 25. complainant filed this case for disbarment against respondent for failing to account for complainant's funds.  The withdrawals were made through Daroy's authorized representative Antonia Macaraeg.the two withdrawal slips drawn from the trial court's savings account. we find Atty. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court: SEC. Rule 16. WHEREFORE. and fidelity on the part of the attorney. which obligates the lawyer to take up the cause of his client with entire zeal and devotion. and 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. A lawyer is not entitled to unilaterally appropriate his client's money for himself by the mere fact that the client owes him attorney's fees. it renders respondent liable not only for violating the Code but also for contempt.6  Respondent failed to reply. he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements. he demonstrated a lack of integrity. without accounting for and returning such sum to its rightful owner.000. It seems that after respondent received the withdrawn deposits. contempt — When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions. giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. as stated in Section 25.01—A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. care. respondent held the money in trust for complainant. and devotion required by the legal profession from its members. 16. he never contacted complainant again.            Respondent should have immediately notified complainant of the trial court's approval of the motion to withdraw the deposited rentals. The Code of Professional Responsibility ("Code") states: CANON 16 — A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION. However. 11. Langit GUILTY of violating Canons 1.  IBP Report and recommendation considered complainant's evidence "clear and convincing" enough to justify disciplinary action against respondent for violation of Rule 16. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court. loyalty.03—A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property to his client when due or upon demand.  Hence. respondent failed to observe Canon 1712 of the Code. Respondent miserably failed in this regard. Rule 16. Instead. Respondent's failure to turn over the money to complainant despite the latter's demands gives rise to the presumption that he had converted the money for his personal use and benefit.01 of CPR HELD: YES  Respondent committed a flagrant violation of his oath when he received the sum of money representing the monthly rentals intended for his client. Additionally. Minervo T.  Respondent received the money in his capacity as counsel for complainant. sent respondent a final demand letter for the accounting and return of the P255. respondent undertook to take all steps necessary to safeguard complainant's interest in the case. The relation of attorney and client is highly fiduciary. through his new counsel Atty.

MESINA." Respondent thereupon hatched a plan to dodge the falsification charge against Mrs. for breach of professional ethics. situated at Melencio Street.00. the spouses Chua. Tecson subsequently filed an Affidavit of Desistance alleging that his filing of the criminal complaint "arose out of mere misunderstanding and difference" with herein complainants and their co-respondents and he had no sufficient evidence against them. Mesina execute a deed of sale over the Melencio property in complainants’ favor. ATTY. Ana Alvaran Chua and her now deceased husband Chua Yap An’s legal counsel and adviser upon whom they reposed trust and confidence. Mesina). Tecson went on to relate that the Deed of Absolute Sale did not reflect the true value of the Melencio property and was antedated "to evade payment of capital gains tax." in favor of complainants wherein the purchase price was also indicated to be P85. These two properties were mortgaged by the registered owner. Jr." Mrs. with interest at 12% per annum from 30 June 2003 until fully paid. herein co-complainant Marcelina Hsia. Tecson alleged that he was also a lessee of the Melencio property and was. in favor of the Planters Development Bank to secure a loan she obtained. In fact. A new title was accordingly issued in the name of "Felicisima M.00. A Deed of Absolute Sale conveying the Melencio property for P85. Mesina’s title with the undertaking that he would. whose name again              appears therein as "Felicisima M.40.400. As Mrs. Mesina was found to have "an existing balance" due the spouses in the amount of P400. Mesina failed to meet her obligation to the bank. complainant'sP255. Cabanatuan City (Burgos property) owned by respondent’s family. one Juanito Tecson (Tecson) filed an Affidavit5 charging respondent’s mother. along with the Chua spouses. to his exclusion.000. for years. they consulted respondent about it. antedated to 1979 before the effectivity of the law mandating the payment of capital gains tax. No. Mesina." in favor of complainants. for Falsification of Public Document and violation of the Internal Revenue Code. Melencio. gross professional misconduct. Melencio. JR.00. Heeding the proposal of respondent. Mesina. respondent gave complainants a written undertaking .000. SIMEON M.125.00/sq. in four months. Mesina by way of settling her obligation in consideration for which the Melencio property would be sold to them at P850. "acknowledged such obligation" to be his and undertook to settle it within two years. We DIRECT respondent to submit to the Court proof of payment within 15 days from payment of the full amount ANA A. and another property. 2004 FACTS:           Ana Alvaran Chua and Marcelina Hsia administratively charged Atty. Mesina. respondent convinced complainant Ana Chua and her husband to help Mrs. respondent’s mother Felicisima Melencio vda. Marcelina Hsia and the two witnesses to the said Deed of Absolute Sale. Mesina. Melencio. Respondent thus suggested to them that another Deed of Absolute Sale should be executed. Mesina’s bank obligation in the amount of P983.effective upon finality of this Decision. Respondent." the owner’s copy of which was entrusted to complainants. respondent approached complainants and told them that he would borrow the owner’s copy of Mrs. As suggested by respondent. Mesina et al.400. complainants executed a Deed of Absolute Sale conveying to "Felicisima M. Cabanatuan City (Melencio property). Not long after the execution of Deed of Absolute Sale. They were in fact lessees of a building situated at Burgos Street. also owned by respondent’s family whereon they (spouses Chua) constructed their house. 4904 August 12. by Affidavit. PER CURIAM: A.. on account of which they advised respondent about it. After liquidating the advances made by the Chua spouses "in the redemption of the MESINA properties. supposed to purchase it but that contrary to their agreement. settled Mrs.400. Some years later. let Mrs.00 was thereafter executed by Mrs. Complainants were subsequently issued a title over the Melencio property. de Mesina (Mrs.C. m. Accommodating respondent’s request.. within 30 days from finality of this Decision. He proposed to complainants that they would simulate a deed of sale of the Melencio property wherein complainants would resell it to Mrs. another Deed of Absolute Sale antedated was executed by Mrs. the property was sold only to complainant and her co-complainant. Melencio" the Melencio property for P85. Respondent was. CHUA and MARCELINA HSIA. Simeon M. and culpable malpractice. As complainants were later apprised of the amount of capital gains tax they were to pay. In his complaint affidavit. vs. whose name appears therein as "Felicisima M. the spouses Chua and their business partner. We ORDER respondent to RESTITUTE.

38 Respondent having welched on his promise to cause the reconveyance of the Melencio property to complainants.39 In fine. Section 8 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.33 Second. behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession. issued a notice of hearing On the scheduled date of hearing. the following canons of the Code of Professional Responsibility: o CANON 1.01 of CPR HELD: YES     First. . Mesina died "in the early part of 1991.A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. he failed to do so. o Rule 7. Hence. Mrs." Despite respondent’s repeated promises "to efect" the transfer of title in complainants’ name. in four months. The spouses Chua and complainant Marcelina Hsia thus a Complaint9 against respondent and his noting that the copy of the Resolution requiring respondent to comment on the complaint sent to him at his office address was returned unserved with the notation "Moved. by advising complainants to execute another Deed of Absolute Sale antedated to 1979 to evade payment of capital gains taxes. Valdez37 o As a rule. when respondent convinced complainants to execute another document. . Complainants were later informed that the Melencio property was being offered for sale to the public. courts carefully watch these transactions to assure that no advantage is taken by a lawyer over his client.03.I promise to and undertake to have the Deed of Sale of the above-mentioned property in favor of Ana Chua and Marcelina Hsia to be signed by Mrs. Felicisima Mesina. The IBP. a simulated Deed of Absolute Sale wherein they made it appear that complainants reconveyed the Melencio property to his mother. the issue there being one of ownership while that in the case at bar is moral fitness. A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION. .A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law. A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR. The measure of good faith which an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings with his client is a much higher standard that is required in business dealings where the parties trade at "arms length. he violated his duty to promote respect for law and legal processes. complainants personally appeared with their counsel another hearing but copy of notice was returned unserved o          ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 16. consideration of whether he should be ordered to honor such promise should be taken up in the civil case filed for the purpose. respondent inveigled his own clients." considered the Resolution of July 13. he likewise committed dishonesty. respondent violated his oath of office and. . o Rule 1.02. A propos is this Court’s following pronouncement in Nakpil v. a lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the business transaction must be characterized with utmost honesty and good faith. 1998 served on respondent by substituted service pursuant to Rule 13. dishonest. acting on the complaint. by virtue of his office. more specifically. an attorney is in an easy position to take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client. have a deed of sale executed by his mother in favor of complainants. o Rule 1. In the meantime. within four (4) months from date hereof so that the above-mentioned property and title maybe transferred in the name of Ana Chua and Macelina Hsia.34 Third.31 and not to abet activities aimed at defiance of the law. nor shall he. into turning over to him the owner’s copy of his mother’s title upon the misrepresentation that he would. he committed dishonesty.32 That respondent intended to. This rule is founded on public policy for. no presumption of innocence or improbability of wrongdoing is considered in an attorney’s favor. as he did defraud not a private party but the government is aggravating. OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES. the Chua spouses." Business transactions between an attorney and his client are disfavored and discouraged by the policy of the law. Respondent was accordingly deemed to have waived the filing of the required comment.A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system. Thus. o CANON 7.01. immoral or deceitful conduct. whether in public or private life. Melencio" in the 1985 document35 and that in the 1979 document 36 are markedly different is in fact is a badge of falsification of either the 1979 or the 1985 document or even both.     That the signature of "Felicisima M.

her husband’s numerous creditors demanded payments of his loans. and social humiliation. JR. FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENTS.  His children used to call her "Lola" due to her frequent visits to his residence. respondent submitted a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint is premature since there is pending before the then Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City 17812 for recovery of ownership and declaration of nullity of deeds of sale filed by complainant against him involving the subject lots. RESPONDENT’S CONTENTIONS:  respondent denied the allegations in the instant complaint. for valuable consideration. PER CURIAM: A.  Again. 2005 FACTS:  For resolution is the verified letter-complaint 1 for disbarment against Atty.  He averred that he sold. Go. GO." .  Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. he paid them out of his own funds. 1526 January 31.CANON 15. Jose C.  On several occasions. ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 16. he convinced her to execute deeds of sale involving those lots in his favor.02 of CPR HELD: YES.1a\^/phi1. A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. he extended financial assistance to complainant and even invited her to live with his family. he paid her creditors with his own funds and had her land titles registered in his name. WHEREFORE.  As a result. hereby DISBARRED o  NAZARIA S. which were mortgaged to her creditors. SUBSTITUTED BY LUCIANO S.07. Jr.  When the mortgages fell due.  Complainant agreed on condition that he would sell the lots and from the proceeds pay her creditors. fear. Jose C. o Rule 15.  It is incumbent upon the respondent to have rendered a detailed report to the complainant on how he paid complainant’s creditors without selling her properties. in good faith.ATTY.  complainant’s husband abandoned her and her son. respondent redeemed the lots. JOSE C. for gross misconduct. Hernandez (now deceased). SIMEON M. respondent ATTY. provides:"A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession. A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR. No. complainant engaged the legal services of Atty. respondent became the registered owner of all the lots belonging to complainant.  complainant came to know that respondent did not sell her lots as agreed upon. complainant’s lots to various buyers. Hernandez. vs.  He then persuaded her to execute deeds of sale in his favor without any monetary or valuable consideration. JR. . HERNANDEZ (DECEASED). is. the principal source of ethical rules for lawyers in this jurisdiction.  Respondent instilled in complainant a feeling of helplessness.A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness.C.  He advised her to give him her land titles at Zamboanga City so he could sell them to enable her to pay her creditors.  He prayed that the complaint be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action.  Instead of selling to buyers at higher price. o CANON 17. Go filed by Nazaria S.  Complainant also owned Lots. herein respondent.  Fearful that the various mortgage contracts involving her properties will be foreclosed and aware of impending suits for sums of money against her. depriving her of her real properties worth millions. embarrassment. a fact also admitted by the respondent. MESINA. HERNANDEZ.  a Resolution denying respondent’s motion and requiring him to submit his answer.  Shortly thereafter. including himself. Luciano S.. then later on admitted that he was one of the purchasers of complainant’s properties in utter disregard of their agreement and no evidence was submitted by the respondent concerning the value of the said sale of complainant’s properties.  Instead. IBP FINDINGS:  It is evident from the records that respondent was the one who notarized the documents involving the said properties redeemed or repurchased by the complainant from her creditors which ended up in respondent’s name like in the deed of sale executed by Victoriano Dejerano in favor of Nazaria Hernandez  a lawyer-client relations between  Instead of filing his comment.

4 Canon 17 of the same Code states:"A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. that when she engaged his services. acts constituting gross misconduct. willful in character. the buyer of the foreclosed property. and (8) willfully appearing as an attorney for a party without authority to do so. especially in their dealing with their clients and the public at large. Miralles.3 He violated this Court’s mandate that lawyers must at all times conduct themselves.2  He explained the importance of depositing P65.000. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court mandates that a lawyer may be disbarred or suspended by this Court for any of the following acts: (1) deceit.00 deposited by Antonio Tee. A. therefore. Records show that she did not receive any amount from respondent. abused her trust and confidence when he did not sell her properties to others but to himself and spent his own money to pay her obligations. Respondent.  the Tarogs sought the advice of Atty.  When Arnulfo said that he had first to encash the check at the bank.000. . respondent did not adhere faithfully and honestly in his duty as complainant’s counsel. a grievous wrong. but his wife. TAROG.10 WHEREFORE.000. Clearly.000. Ricafort for his failure to account for and to return the sums of money received from his clients for purposes of the civil action to recover their property from a foreclosing banking institution he was handling for them. His acts of acquiring for himself complainant’s lots entrusted to him are. Miralles regarding their bank-foreclosed property located in the Bicol Region." The records show that complainant reposed such high degree of trust and confidence in herein respondent. which they gave to him.00.00 for the Tarogs. 1  They ultimately engaged Atty. No. GO is found guilty of gross misconduct and is DISBARRED from the practice of law.  Atty.00 in court to counter the P60. a forbidden act.  After they informed him that they had onlyP60. (7) willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior  court. (5) conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach. their friend who was a brother of Atty. Ricafort required the Tarogs to pay P7. ERLINDA R. respondent JOSE S.  The original complainant was Arnulfo A. Atty. vs. Jaime L.4  the Tarogs and Vidal went to the office of Atty. Erlinda R. Miralles advised them to engage a Bicol-based attorney for that purpose. Romulo L. and implies a wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment. Tarog. Vidal solicited a loan from one Sia with the guarantee of his brother Atty.C. she entrusted to him her land titles and allowed him to sell her lots. 2011 PER CURIAM: FACTS:  complaint for disbarment for alleged grave misconduct brought against Atty.00. Ricafort to deliver the P65.  Having willingly accepted the engagement.  Thus. Obviously. (6) violation of the lawyer’s oath. His name is ordered STRICKEN from the Roll of Attorneys EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. he also serves the ends of justice and does honor to the bar and helps maintain the respect of the community to the legal profession. and being also the Dean of the College of Law of Aquinas University where their son was then studying. believing that the proceeds thereof would be used to pay her creditors. a dereliction in duty. (3) gross misconduct in office. Public interest requires that an attorney should exert his best efforts and ability to protect the interests of his clients. Atty. Sia issued a check in that amount in the name of Arnulfo.3  To raise the P65. by any standard.            Respondent breached this Canon. (2) malpractice. Ricafort) would be the one to encash it and then deposit the amount in court. ROMULO L. he required them to add some more amount (dagdagan niyo ng konti). had he sold the lots to other buyers.000. Ricafort as their attorney on account of his being well-known in the community. (4) grossly immoral conduct. 8253 March 15. A lawyer who performs that duty with diligence and candor not only protects his client’s cause. complainant could have earned more. however. respondent is duty-bound to render a detailed report to the complainant on how much he sold the latter’s lots and the amounts paid to her creditors. Miralles. substituted him upon his intervening death. Ricafort accompanied by Vidal Miralles. they went to see Atty. Tarog. RICAFORT. Section 27.000.00 as filing fee. Ricafort persuaded him to entrust the check to him instead so that he (Atty. ATTY.

 The amount of P65.  Atty. attorney’s fee. the Tarogs insisted that the amount was to be consigned in court for purposes of their civil case. Romulo Ricafort stated that there was no retainer agreement and that he issued only receipt because the late Arnulfo Tarog will not pay unless a receipt is issued. Accordingly. in Sorsogon (RTC). we find their statements to be credible.  Atty.  that at the time he delivered the check. the Tarogs received mere assurances from Atty.00 and when asked whether he consigned the money to the court to redeem the property he answered in the negative. Ricafort stated that he did not receive the letter and it was received by their helper who did not forward the letter to him. Arnulfo read. Erlinda Tarog and Vidal Miralles. Ricafort that the money was in good hands. Miralles has visited his residence for follow-up the reimbursement.000. Ricafort would not make good his promise of returning theP65. Ricafort.6  When it became apparent to the Tarogs that Atty. Ricafort to verify the status of the consignation.  Atty. being a retired school principal. and Rules 16.000.00 is very much close to the amount of the principal obligation of the complainant and it is not surprising for a non-lawyer to hold on to the belief that with the filing of the case for annulment of foreclosure his case would be strengthened by making a deposit in court hence.03 of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility by taking advantage of the vulnerability of his clients and by being . the amount included his acceptance fee. Ricafort violated Canon 15. Ricafort for that purpose.000. plus interest. Atty. and appearance fees from the filing of the complaint for annulment of sale until judgment.000. had required the parties to file their memoranda.  Is there animosity between him and the Tarogs and Miralles? respondent stated that we have been very good friends for the past ten (10) years and he said that in fact he was surprised when the complaint was filed against him  The main defense of the respondent is that the complainant in this case testified that the total amount to redeem his property is P240.5  After some time. which did not mention anything about any consignation. He also denied that Mr. Ricafort in his testimony attempted to show that the amount of P65.000.  two versions about the transaction.02 and 16. Ricafort.00 was paid to him by the complainant as acceptance fee on a package deal basis and under said deal.00 was intended to be deposited in court. Branch 52.000. but excluding appeal. and his professional character and social standing. attorney’s fees and other expenses incurred up to the time the judgment is rendered. insisting that the amount was payment for his legal services under a "package deal. and truthfulness of complainant’s narration that of Mrs.00.8 and  that Arnulfo.  The Tarogs further claimed that the Regional Trial Court.  Atty. and trouble involved. the labor.  he claims that he put something in the receipt that will describe the nature of legal work which he will undertake considering that he have considered thisP65. RESPONDENT’S CONTENTIONS:  Atty. time.01. Arnulfo demanded by his letter that Atty." that is.00.7  No reply from Atty. the motivation to produce the deposit was logical and natural insofar as the complainant is concerned. Ricafort denied that the P65. on the other hand. Ricafort claimed that the amount was for his fees under a "package deal" arrangement. however. but he did not file the memorandum. and the P15. and agreed to the contents of the complaint. was a learned person who would not have easily fallen for any scheme like the one they depicted against him.10 IBP FINDINGS:  Based on the said testimony. his skill and experience as a lawyer.00 as his attorney’s fees  Why he is not responding to Arnulfo’s demands? Atty. the Tarogs visited Atty.000.On that representation. Ricafort informed them that he had not deposited the amount in court. On the one hand. Arnulfo handed the check to Atty. 16. plus interest.000.000. they deliveredP15. Ricafort return theP65.  He claimed that the fees were agreed upon after considering the value of the property.00 to Atty. statements and actuations of complainant Erlinda Tarog and his collaborating witness.  Despite several inquiries about when the amount would be returned. plus interest.  He presented a transcript of stenographic notes wherein it was stated that complainant himself did not consign the money in court. Ricafort just denied the allegation that he received the P65.000.  the respondent Atty. He promised to return the money.00 for deposit to the court. understood.00 paid for the filing of the memorandum. he will answer the filing fee. but in his own account.

000.00 had been part of his attorney’s fees. Ricafort’s standing in the legal community of the place."21 But such explanation does not persuade us.00 in his personal account without the consent of the Tarogs and not return it upon demand.  Secondly.  Thirdly.281avvphi1 Furthermore.26 and he needed to be always mindful of the trust and confidence his clients reposed in him. Atty. Atty.22 Tarogs could not have conjured or invented the need for consignation.00 for the consignation.000. he had the obligation to deliver such funds to his clients (a) when they became due.A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.      Atty. due to the substantive and procedural implications of such requirement being ordinarily known only to lawyers. or (b) upon demand. that. it is easier to believe that Atty. but Atty. He was all too aware that he was accountable for the moneys entrusted to him by the clients. Atty. Ricafort’s representations about the requirement to consign that amount in court was entirely understandable in view of their awareness of Atty. imposes on an attorney the positive obligation to keep all funds of his client separate and apart from his own and from those of others kept by him.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility expressly enjoins such accountability. having obtained the funds from the Tarogs in the course of his professional employment. Ricafort explained that he had no copies of the receipts for the P65. Ricafort only P60.02 . Ricafort did not present any retainer agreement or receipt to prove that the amount ofP65. Atty. Ethical and practical considerations made it both natural and imperative for him to issue receipts.A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him.  Atty. As such.00 issued to the Tarogs because "the practice of lawyers in most instances is that receipt is issued without duplicate as it       behooves upon the client to demand for a receipt. and for him to fail to file the .  Their ready and full reliance on Atty. and that his only means of ensuring accountability was by issuing and keeping receipts. instead.00 to them. In fact. Ricafort’s denial of receipt of Arnulfo’s demand letter was incredible. Ricafort was required to hold in trust any money and property of his clients that came into his possession.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Atty.01 . Ricafort did not make good his promise despite several resettings to allow him to settle his obligation. Atty.20 .000. For him to deposit the amount of P65. even if not demanded. they had no idea about the requirement for them to consign any amount in court. Ricafort had to instruct them to raise the amount. Ricafort’s acts and actuations constituted serious breach of his fiduciary duties as an attorney Undoubtedly. Erlinda recalled while testifying before the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline that they had brought to their meeting with Atty.000. Ricafort had insisted that the househelp who had received the demand letter had not given it to him. Ricafort had willfully ignored the demand of Arnulfo by not replying to the demand letter.000.  He already initially admitted receiving the letter through a househelp. he was burdened with the legal duty to promptly account for all the funds received from or held by him for them. Ricafort persuaded the Tarogs on the need for that amount to be deposited in court for purposes of their civil case.27 Thus.00 and P15. Ricafort had a highly fiduciary and confidential relation with the Tarogs. Rule 16. Ricafort had also promised to the complainant that he would settle his liability.02 of the CPR HELD: YES  Version of the complainants was more credible than version of Atty. ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 16.  Being non-lawyers.  that Atty. and  that in his (Commissioner Reyes) presence. viz: Rule 16. Rule 16. and to keep copies of the receipts for his own records. to wit: o Rule 16.18 His denial came only subsequently and for the first time through his motion for in which he completely turned about to declare that the Gemma Agnote who had received the letter was unknown to him. Ricafort  Firstly.  it was not far-fetched for the Tarogs to believe that an amount close in value to their original obligation was necessary to be deposited in court to boost their chances of recovering their property.000. Definitely.dishonest in his dealings with them by refusing to return the amount of P65. but that Atty. The consignation was a notion that could have emanated only from him as their lawyer.

we then declared. He reneged on his duty to render an accounting to his clients showing that he had spent the amounts for the particular purposes intended.00 on even date Respondent also received from Oas Standard High School on August 17. Busiños charged respondent Atty. plus interest of six percent per annum reckoned from the demand made on December 3. however. 1994 the sum of P5. upon questioning by the undersigned. father of herein complainant.000. Complainant Lourdes R. . P30. Respondent was the counsel of record for the defendants in the said case.00 was entrusted to respondent for deposit in the bank account of complainant's husband.00. Instead.29 He was thereby presumed to have misappropriated the moneys for his own use to the prejudice of his clients and in violation of the clients’ trust reposed in him. Francisco Ricafort stands charged with having misappropriated the sum of P30. appointing and constituting respondent and/or Pedro Rodrigo. She was thus constrained to file a criminal case for estafa and an administrative case for disbarment against him. executed a special power of attorney. 4349 December 22. representing her co-heirs. when no such bond was required. Francisco Ricafort.01 and Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and. The Bar Confidant is directed to strike out his name from the Roll of Attorneys. complainant Lourdes R.00. Complainant.  He failed to comply twice and was again ordered to file a comment and was fined. we find and declare Atty. Atty.  Of this amount. FRANCISCO RICAFORT.  Respondent Atty.000.000. to be her true and lawful attorney-in-fact the Regional Trial Court of Ligao.00 by way of postal money order.000.00 upon demand constituted a serious breach of his fiduciary duties as their attorney.00 from her which he said will be used for the bond in Civil Case.000.  respondent transmitted the fine of P1. disbar him. Ligao Branch. 12 issued an order.000.000." the Clerk of Court of RTC. Albay. of depositing the money.00 purportedly to be deposited as a bond in the case he was handling.00 as payment for rental of school site for the month of July 1994 The said sum was entrusted to respondent with an obligation on his part to deposit the same in the account of complainant's husband at PNB. Ricafort is ordered to return to Erlinda R. respondent converted the money to his own personal use. vs. while P2. he failed to return the same to complainant.000. but said amount was never used as intended since no bond was required in the said case. directing the Clerk of Court "to release any and all deposits of rentals made in connection with this case to the defendants Heirs of Pedro Rodrigo through Lourdes Rodrigo Businos who were receiving the rentals from Oas Standard High School prior to the institution of this case.00 represented the amount respondent demanded from complainant supposedly for a bond in Civil Case. Ligao informed herein complainant that respondent had already received the rental deposit of P25.  we required respondent to comment on the complaint. testified that: She authorized respondent to withdraw the money amounting P35. No. Businos is one of the heirs of Pedro Rodrigo who are the defendants in Civil Case involving the properties of the late Pedro Rodrigo.00 and P15. with the instruction to deposit the same in her savings account at the PNB. that respondent was deemed to have waived his right to file his comment. BUSIÑOS.00 representing the rental fee paid of Oas Standard High School from the Clerk of Court.   memorandum and yet not return the amount of P15. Albay with having committed the crime of estafa under Article 315(1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code by misappropriating the sum of P32. Tarog the sums of P65. .000. accordingly.000. Br. 1997 FACTS:  In a sworn complaint for disbarment. but asked for five (5) days from date to file his comment. Ricafort guilty of a violation of Canon 16. PER CURIAM: A.  As respondent still failed to so file. Thus.C.000.000. LOURDES R. a practicing lawyer in Oas.00 intended for his clients as well as having deceived his clients into           giving him the sum of P2. and despite several demands. ATTY. 2002. respondent merely pocketed the said amount.000. 30 WHEREFORE. complainant. Romulo L. Jr. Complainant further accuses respondent for demanding and receiving P2. within twenty days from notice. Rule 16.

— A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him.000. guilty of deceit. to pay her the said amount  She clarified that respondent withdrew only the sum of P30. Unlawful retention of client's funds. all promising the latter to make good his promise to pay the money he withdrew from the Clerk of Court and Oas Standard High School  It bears emphasis that a lawyer. However.00 to complainant.00 from the Clerk of Court. — A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. o CANON 16 — A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.000. immoral or deceitful conduct. pledges himself not to delay any man for money or malice and is bound to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his clients. dishonest. OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESS. by converting the money of his clients to his own personal use without their consent. respondent failed to make good his promise to give her the money he withdrew from the Clerk of Court and Oas Standard High School  She further testified that respondent demanded from her the sum of P2.  He promised. o Rule 16.000. however. o Rule 1. she expected in vain to receive the money a week later in Tarlac as respondent failed to effect the deposit of the said sum in her account. both from her and her lawyer. .01. — A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand.  On their third hearing of the estafa case. o CANON 1 — A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION.000. 16.03 of CPR HELD: YES  There is no doubt that respondent is guilty of having used the money of his clients without their consent. undoubtedly.02 and 16. and by deceiving the complainant into giving him the amount of P2. while the P5. he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his unlawful fees and disbursements. contempt.  Respondent did not give her a receipt for the said amount. which he undertook to foot as a way of settlement. but he informed her that he had already spent the same.00 for the bond required in the civil case.00 was withdrawn by respondent from Oas Standard High  Despite several demands. His belated payment of the amount he illegally used and fraudulently obtained do not relieve him from any liability if only to impress upon him that the relation between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in its nature Plainly. 25. giving notice promptly thereafter to his client.000.01. o Rule 16. respondent came with the money and paid complainant inside the courtroom  Because of this development.000.00 purportedly to be used as a bond which was not required is.  Respondent's illegal use of his client's money is made more manifest [by] his letters to complainant.00 he got from complainant and attorney's fees.01. of withdrawing the instant complaint ISSUE: WON respondent is guilty of violating Rule 16. which read: o Sec.01 of Canon 1 and Rules 16.  She demanded from him to give her the money. — When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions. but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution.02.000.  He is obligated to report promptly the money of his clients that has come into his possession.03 of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. the P2. respondent breached Section 25 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.  He should not commingle it with his private property or use it for his personal purposes without his client's [sic] consent.03. though.  He paid complainant a total of P60. Rule 1. she did not anymore pursue the estafa case against respondent but She has no intention.  Respondent gave back the P2. o Rule 16. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court. malpractice and gross misconduct.     Money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a judgment in favor of his clients is held in trust and must be immediately turned over to them Respondent. under his oath.00 representing the money he withdrew from the Clerk of Court and Oas Standard High School. — A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. After she was informed by the court that respondent had already withdrawn the money.

However. The officers of the Samahan thereafter approached Atty. Santiago R. When queried. the squatters formed the "Samahang Pagkakaisa ng Barrio Bathala" (Samahan. Court of Appeals reversed the CFI Decision To raise the amount of P 41. 2144 April 10. the latter gave other excuses.  Seeing the crowded shanties of squatters.743 square meters as a possible development site. CELEDONIO QUILBAN. After almost a year.  Congressman Taruc then advised the squatters to form an organization and choose a leader authorized to negotiate with Father Escaler. Robinol by the officers. a realtor. who agreed to be their counsel .000. grossly unethical behavior in palpable disregard of Section 25 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Taruc to build on the reserved site a house for his residence and a training center for the Christian Social Movement.  Squatters. who was entrusted with the task of negotiating on their behalf for the sale of the land to them.                the land was ultimately sold to Rivera at P 15 per square meter or a total consideration of P 41. equal to the portion that would pertain to each of them.02 and 16. the Samahan members hired as their counsel Atty. the five officers discovered that no payment had been made to Rivera. Rule 1.500. grave misconduct.65.  But instead of working for the welfare of the Samahan.00 as attorney's fees Atty. Robinol was also to be given by the members a part of the land. 1989 FACTS:  The Colegio de San Jose. for dishonesty. the five officers of the Samahan collected. a Jesuit corporation.  Following that advice. and consistent with the urgent need to maintain the esteemed traditions and high standards of the legal profession and to preserve undiminished public faith in the members of the Philippine Bar.  Through its administrator.00 was turned over to Atty. however. which the officers discovered to have no basis at all. through Father Escaler gave permission to Congressman Luis R.00 from each head of family.65 ordered paid by the Court of Appeals. little by little. conveyance. The prevailing price of the land in the vicinity then was P 100 to P 120 per square meter. aggravated by a violation of Canon 11 thereof. the sum of P 75.  the Colegio. No. 175662 to the property in his name alone. Quezon City. It was evident that Father Escaler had been made to believe that Rivera represented the squatters on the property. thirty-two heads of families of the Samahan filed Civil Case with the principal prayer that said defendants be ordered to execute a deed of conveyance in favor of said plaintiffs after reimbursement by the latter of the corresponding amount paid by Rivera to the Colegio. P 2. plus expenses for ejectment of the non-plaintiffs occupying the property. Martin went to one Maximo Rivera. for brevity). After confronting Atty. 16. transfer of title etc.. WHEREFORE. with Bernabe Martin as President. Barrio Bathala. FRANCISCO RICAFORT from the practice of law.961.000.961. His name is hereby stricken from the Roll of Attorneys. documentation. Father Federico Escaler. with whom he connived to obtain the sale to the exclusion of the other Samahan members. Robinol with that fact. ROBINOL. PER CURIAM: A. SANTIAGO R. Atty. subject matter of the case.M. Robinol for which the latter was paid P 2.01.01 of Canon 1 and Rules 16. FORTUNATO RAMIREZ AMADOR ALARCON and LUIS AGAWAN. (Colegio. it turned out that the motion for intervention had already been dismissed. Robinol replied that there was an intervention filed in the civil case and that a Writ of Execution had not yet been issued by the Court of First Instance of Quezon City. Congressman Taruc broached to Father Escaler the Idea of donating or selling the land cheap to the squatters. Anacleto R. ROMUALDO DALAGAN. Montemayor. the Court Resolves to DISBAR respondent ATTY. it sold said land to the Quezon City Government as the site for the Quezon City General Hospital but reserved an area of 2. the court dismissed the case To prosecute the appeal before the Court of Appeals. VS ATTY. Rivera obtained TCT No. settled in the area since 1965 or 1966.03 of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. for short) used to own a parcel of land at the Seminary Road.

00 had the five Complainants paid their       2. they wig give him a portion of the property subject matter of the litigation equal to the portion that will pertain to each of the 32 plaintiffs in Civil Case No.      1. the truth being that the attomey's fees were payable on a cash basis of P 2.00 in his possession.000.500. Montemayor denied that the attomey's fees agreed upon by plaintiffs and Atty. Montemayor formally entered his appearance in Civil Case as counsel for the plaintiffs Atty. Montemayor accepted the case without his Robinols formal withdrawal and conformity.00 up per square meter). Robinol were purely on a contingent basis.00 at P 2. Robinol a letter informing the latter of their decision to terminate his services and demanding the return of the P 75. . Montemayor Because Atty. Montemayor readily accepted the case without his (Robinol's) formal withdrawal and conformity and knowing fully well that there was no consensus of all the plaintiffs to discharge him as their counsel. and that Atty. Robinol. multiplied by P 500. Anacleto R. it is equally true that the Court cannot pass judgment on Complainants' plea that the amount deposited by respondent be returned to them as this prayer should be ventilated in an ordinary action.  that their agreement as to attomey's fees was on a contingent basis if he obtains a reversal of the lower Court Decision. Robinol filed a complaint for Disbarment against Atty.00 retainer fee.00. but he is holding it until his attomey's fees are satisfied there being no guarantee for its satisfaction because of Complainants' adamant refusal to pay him.000.MONTEMAYOR’S CONTENTIONS  For his part. Montemayor for alleged gross unethical conduct unbecoming of a lawyer in that Atty.00 and the amount of P 62. representing the difference between P 50.000.00 each and one Fortunate Ramirez paid his balance of P 30. that there was no previous notice to him of his discharge. plus whatever amount is adjudicated as attomey's fees by the Court of Appeals. Robinol turned deaf ears to the demand.  that he did not receive P 70.500.743 square meters divided by 32 plaintiffs equals 85 square meters for each plaintiff. shares in the amount of P 12.00 is even less than one-half (1/ 2) per cent of the total value of the property. .000. which is more than a million pesos.00 deposited with him Atty. Administrative Case No.470.000. Atty. that complainants cannot make this Court a collection agency and that while this Court has the exclusive disciplinary power over members of the Bar. 2144: On 15 April 1980 the Samahan officers filed this Administrative Complaint before this Court requesting the investigation of Atty.000. that considering that P 50. another document labelled the "second consensus" was signed by 21 plaintiffs during a meeting held for the purpose to the effect that they had decided to change Atty.  that he prepared and signed the receipt showing that he received P 70.00 from Complainants but only P 56.000. Robinol for refusal to return the P75. such amount is not unreasonable.00-it would really be P 75. Administrative Case No.470.00 only to save complainants from embarrassment and shame should their co-plaintiff ask for proof that they (Complainants) have paid their shares. Robinol maintains that he was hired by Complainants to appeal their case to the Court of appeals after they had lost in the lower Court. Montemayor then filed a Motion for Execution praying that the defendants and/or the Clerk of Court be directed to execute a deed of conveyance in favor of the plaintiffs At the hearing of the Motion for Execution.00. that he does not have the slightest intention to appropriate the money in his possession (P 62. Robinol. the officers sent Atty. Robinol manifested that he had no objection to the appearance of and his substitution by Atty. 2180: Atty. still questioned the first consensus dated 6 March 1980.00 and praying that the Court exercise its power of discipline over members of the Bar unworthy to practice law. Q-16433.00) for himself.00 (2. he wants his portion converted to cash. and the cash equivalent of his portion is P 50. Atty.470. Atty.000.470. Robinol as their counsel because he had delayed paying for their land notwithstanding the Decision of the Court of Appeals in their favor. ROBINOL’S CONTENTIONS:  Atty.000. however.470. that he is ready to give back the amount of P 12.  that the correct amount in his possession is only P 62. that he had the right to hold the money in his possession as guarantee for the payment of his attomey's fees of get a portion of the property that win pertain to each of the plaintiffs. Montemayor's advice.00. which they have not. as evidenced by the receipt signed by Atty. Upon Atty.

and  that the Complaint against him should be dismissed. Atty. after having seen the color of money. do not cause dishonor either to himself or to the Philippine Bar. it was highly unjust for him to have done so. which he was duty-bound to protect. Edwin T. 2144.  that he agreed to act as counsel if only to arrest the growing belief of the Samahan that most members of the Philippine Bar are unprincipled. therefore. Q-16433 through the complainant in the aforementioned Administrative Case. 2003 FACTS:  Ruby Mae Barnachea filed a verified complaint for breach of lawyer-client relations against respondent Atty. His clients had lost confidence in him for he had obviously engaged in dilatory tactics to the detriment of their interests. under the circumstances. he had a change of mind and decided to convert the payment of his fees from a portion of land equivalent to that of each of the plaintifs to P 50. as shown by the date of the agreement  that twenty [20] out of thirty-two [32] members of the Samahan signed the agreement to discharge Atty. which he alleges to be the monetary value of that area. Re: Atty. vs.000. Anacleto R. 2180 against Atty. No. heart lessly took advantage of them.C. Robinol and hire a substitute counsel. EDWIN T.. that although there was no formal Motion for substitution. broken the fiduciary relation between lawyer and client.00 of the five (5) officers of the Somalian He has not only violated his oath not to delay any man for money and to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his clients.03 of CPR HELD: YES 1. ATTY. We agree with the Solicitor General that complainants' evidence on this score is the more credible and that he had. ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 16. Anacleto R. Atty. Robinol of his discharge and substitution nonobjection by Robinol of his appearance as counsel and implied consent of the Court to the substitution as shown by its Order  that his professional and personal actuations as counsel for the plaintiffs in Civil. CALLEJO. Robinol had no right to unilaterally appropriate his clients' money not only because he is bound by a written agreement but also because. Montemayor for disbarment is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. he is hereby declared to have forfeited his rights to attomey's fees and is ordered to return the amount of P 75. Quiocho. 1) In Administrative Case No. Santiago R.      Firstly. there was substantial compliance with Sec. that the contingent fee referred to by Atty.  Certainly. Robinol has no basis to claim that since he was unjustly dismissed by his clients he had the legal right to retain the money in his possession. Re: Atty.00 per family with which to pay for the land only to be deprived of the same by one who. twenty-one (21) out of twenty-five (25) is sufficient to make the said consensus binding.00 to the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. the written consent of the clients notice to Atty.500. 26. Robinol is estopped from questioning because he was informed and he also manifested no objection ACCORDINGLY. Robinol  After the Court of Appeals had rendered a Decision favorable to his clients and he had received the latter's funds.000. QUIOCHO. 2) Administrative Case No. He stands obliged to return the money immediately to their rightful owners. a valid consensus. 5925 March 11. SR.: A.  Atty. and proven himself unworthy to continue in the practice of law. which is a majority of the membership and. Montemayor he has not exposed himself to any plausible charge of unethical conduct in the exercise of his profession when he agreed to serve as counsel for the plaintiffs in Civil Case Consequently. Robinol was the result of his insistent demand after the Court of Appeals Decision in Civil Case was already final. By reason of his unethical actuations. he is bereft of any legal right to retain his clients' funds intended for a specific purpose the purchase of land. there was justifiable ground for his discharge as counsel. as shown by the formal entry of appearance in Civil Case No. Santiago R.      2.000. in fact. even if there were no valid ground. received the total sum of P 75.500.00. Secondly. J. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. suddenly. . Robinol is hereby DISBARRED for having violated his lawyer's oath to delay no man for money. RUBY MAE BARNACHEA.  His clients were mere squatters who could barely eke out an existence  They had painstakingly raised their respective quotas of P 2.00 inclusive of the share of P 12.

Barnachea. RESPONDENT’S CONTENTIONS:     respondent denied that complainant contracted his legal services. communication. In other words.280. respondent ofered to complainant services which a non-lawyer familiar with the procedure and the related offices can perform and provide to the complainant with respect to the transfer of the title of the property in her name. However. complainant received a letter from respondent informing her that he had failed to cause the transfer of the property under her name and that he was returning the documents and title she had entrusted to him and refunding to her the amount of P41. Consequently. and following up the processing for the cancellation and issuance of the certificate of title.            His failure to transfer the title of the property under the name of the complainant was caused by his difficulty in making good the claimed amount. nor preparation of any additional document or any application or petition whatsoever. Lutgarda Amor D.280. Communications became much more limited when. However. that he gave up the practice of his profession as a lawyer and subsequently managed to put up a business center with fellow insurance underwriters for their common insurance underwriting practice.280. representation.00 for the expenses for said transfer and in payment for respondent’s legal services. the working relations of respondent in the business center with his non-lawyer associates had become difficult and strained. He further claimed that an insurance client introduced complainant as an insurance prospect to him. Respondent asserted that. 334411 in the name of complainant’s sister.00 and return the documents which she earlier entrusted to him. Respondent further alleged that he was a licensed real estate and insurance broker and had been a freelance business management consultant. respondent’s mobile phone was stolen. necessary services. The latter demanded that respondent refund to her the amount of P41. complainant intimated to respondent her willingness to consider respondent’s insurance proposal provided the latter would help her facilitate the cancellation and eventual transfer to her name the property covered by TCT No. will be made by respondent. He explained to complainant that his task was merely to go through the regular process of presenting the available documents. taxes and fees for the cancellation and transfer of TCT No. In the course of their dealing. respondent failed to fund the check despite the demands of complainant. Although respondent admitted having received the two checks from complainant. he decided to revive his legal practice with some associates. he claimed that said checks were intended to cover actual and incidental expenses for transportation. Respondent enchased the checks. Complainant engaged the legal services of respondent for the latter to cause the transfer under her name of the title over a property previously owned by her sister. However. However. Complainant drew and issued Check in the total amount of P41. paying the taxes and fees. Barnachea. 334411 with the Register of Deeds of Quezon City was destroyed in a fire in Quezon City Hall several years earlier and that complainant’s copy of the title needed to be reconstituted before it can be cancelled and transferred. . The latter sold said property to complainant under an unnotarized deed of absolute sale. Respondent agreed to help complainant in the transfer of the title to her name. 334411 under the name of complainant and not for legal services. compounded by his affliction with diabetes and the consequent loss of sight of his right eye. he discovered and became aware for the first time that the original copy of TCT No. respondent failed to secure title over the property in favor of complainant.280. impelling him to sever his business relations with them and cease from to going to the business center. with the condition that no diligent study or verification of complainant’s documents. Lutgarda Amor D. telephone communications between respondent and complainant at the business center was cut. despite the lapse of almost two months. He insisted that he would not compromise for such meager amount his personal standing as well as his membership in the legal profession. apart from the fact that respondent did not have a landline at his residence. He asserted that he acted in good faith as shown by the fact of his return of complainant’s documents with an explanatory letter and his issuance of a personal check for P41. respondent failed to comply with said demands.            It appears that respondent had not been in the private practice of the law for quite some time.00 through his personal check (post dated) Respondent told complainant that he needed more time to fund the check.00.

In case a subsidiary penalty of suspension for his failure to restitute the said amount shall be necessary. respondent failed to comply with his undertaking for almost two months. I WILL HAVE TO REFURBISH MY OFFICE. he failed to refund the amount of P41. I AM ISSUING MY PERSONAL CHECK TO GUARANTEE THE AMOUNT I TOOK.  Neither did respondent adduce evidence that he was a life insurance underwriter for Insular Life or that he had been sick with diabetes and had lost his sight in his right eye.00 which he received for the expenses for the transfer to her of the title of the property and for his professional fees.  IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. Worse.IBP FINDINGS:   Respondent is not able to meet his financial obligations due to financial difficulties. respondent shall serve successively the penalty of his one year suspension and the subsidiary penalty.280. respondent intransigeantly refused to return to the complainant the amount of P41. he shall be meted an additional suspension of three (3) months for every month or fraction thereof of delay until he shall have paid the said amount in full. The Investigating Commissioner gave credence to the claim of complainant that she engaged the legal services of respondent and paid him for his services and that respondent failed in his undertaking and refund the amount of P41. Edwin T. Even then. THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.280. I WAS REVIVING MY LEGAL PRACTICE ONLY FOR TWO MONTHS WHICH WE MET AND HAD JUST SET UP THE OFFICE WITH TWO ASSOCIATES WHICH A FEW WEEKS LATER WE HAD DISAGREEMENTS AND DECIDED TO DISBAND.5  He is to keep the funds of his client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him. and that respondent is in good faith in his failure to meet this obligation. ISSUE: WON respondent violated Rule 16. I AM SORRY I AM RETURNING YOUR DOCUMENTS WITHOUT CHANGES. DEAR RUBY. He is DIRECTED to restitute to the complainant the full amount of P41.280. Respondent is further DIRECTED to submit to the Court proof of payment of said amount within ten (10) days from said payment. He is a trustee to said funds and property. This is without .  The Court is led to believe that respondent’s failure to cause the transfer of the title of the property under the name of complainant was due to a financial problem that beset him shortly after he received the checks from complainant. He is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for One (1) Year with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more severely.00 and to return to complainant the deed of absolute sale and title over the property.04 of CPR HELD: YES  Respondent’s claim that complainant did not retain his legal services flies in the face of his letter to complainant.  Money entrusted to a lawyer for a specific purpose such as for the registration of a deed with the Register of Deeds and for expenses and fees for the transfer of title over real property under the name of his client if not utilized.  What compounded respondent’s unethical conduct was his drawing of a personal check and delivering the same to complainant without sufficient funds in his bank account to cover the check.     In this case. I HAD A SERIES OF MONEY PROBLEMS RIGHT AFTER YOU GAVE ME THE TWO CHECKS AND COMING WITH THE AMOUNTS WITH PERSONAL FUNDS. Quiocho is found guilty of violation of Canons 15 and 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.7  In this case. 324411 in the custody of the Register of Deeds was burned when the Quezon City Hall was gutted by fire and that there was a need for the reconstitution of said title.  The conversion by a lawyer funds entrusted to him by his client is a gross violation of professional ethics and a betrayal of public confidence in the legal profession. If Respondent fails to restitute the said amount within the aforesaid period.280.00 within ten (10) days from notice hereof.  A lawyer is obliged to hold in trust money or property of his client that may come to his possession.00 to complainant despite her demands and that respondent appeared to be evading the complainant. despite demands of complainant. must be returned immediately to his client upon demand therefor. He failed to adduce a morsel of evidence to prove that his telephone at the business center was cut or that his mobile phone had been stolen. Respondent Atty. respondent could have easily contacted the complainant at her residence or could have written her a letter informing her that the original copy of TCT No. I NEED A LITTLE TIME TO COVER THE AMOUNT.  It can easily be inferred from respondent’s letter that he used complainant’s money to alleviate if not solve his financial woes.

” The nullity of such prohibited contracts is definite and permanent. the property and rights in litigation or levied upon an execution before the court within whose jurisdiction or territory they exercise their respective functions. public order or public policy” or which are “expressly prohibited or declared void by law” and declares such contracts “inexistent and void from the beginning. either in person or through the mediation of another…. with respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession. Issue: Whether the sale of the land is prohibited under Article 1491. poorly conceived. Legal effect of a sale falling under Article1491? NULL AND VOID. and also with gross misconduct. it has been opined that they may be “ratified” by means of and in “the form of a new contract. this appeal. however. Cantiller then asked the respondent to handle their case.R. and misrepresentation. and haphazardly composed petition for annulment of judgment”. Cantiller vs. Held: YES      Article 1491 says that “The following persons cannot acquire any purchase. The ratification or second contract would then be valid from its execution. The case was docked as a land case. The court issued a decision against the latter. Hence. the court held that Rubias has no cause of action because the property in dispute which Rubias allegedly bought from Militante was the subject matter of a land case. In that case. and after trial the court dismissed the application for registration. dismissing the application for registration. Militante appealed to the Court of Appeals. But our Civil Code does recognize the absolute nullity of contracts “whose cause. object or purpose is contract to law. morals. As to their transactions. The public interest and public policy remain paramount and do not permit of compromise or ratification.000. especially since the case was still pending appeal when the sale was made. and other oppositors.        Manresa considered such prohibited acquisitions (which fell under the Spanish Civil Code)as merely voidable because the Spanish Code did not recognize nullity. No. (5) Justices. Potenciano is a practicing lawyer and a member of the Philippine Bar under Roll No. Rubias filed a Forcible Entry and Detainer case against Batiller.” In those cases. or the intent. the permanent disqualification of public and judicial officers and lawyers grounded on public policy differs from the first three cases of guardians agents and administrators(under Art 1491). 21862. The complainant was made to sign by respondent what she described as a "[h]astily prepared. and other officers and employees connected with the administration of justice. judges. the object which was illegal at the time of the first contract may have already become lawful at the time of the ratification or second contract. Decision affirmed. clerks of superior and inferior courts. It thus falls under Article1491 of the Civil Code. malpractice and of acts unbecoming of an officer of the court. the Director of Forestry.00 as attorney's fee. in which case Rubias was the counsel on record of Militante himself. prosecuting attorneys. Manila. Potenciano Facts:          Humberto V. The petition was filed with the Regional Trial Court in Pasig. this prohibition includes the act of acquiring by assignment and shall apply to lawyers. fraud. he sold to Rubias (his son-in-law and a lawyer) the land.” The present case clearly falls under this. it does not retroact to the date of the first contract. . He is charged with deceit.CANNOT BE RATIFIED. good customs. L-35702 Facts:             May 29. 1973 TEEHANKEE Francisco Militante claimed that he owned a parcel of land located in Iloilo.prejudice to the right of the complainant to institute the appropriate action for the collection of said amount RUBIAS V BATILLER G. A notice to vacate was then issued against Cantiller. or the service which was impossible. in which case its validity shall be determined only by the circumstances at the time of execution of such new contract. This was opposed by the Director of Lands. An action for ejectment was filed against Peregrina Cantiller. The CA rendered a decision. and cannot be cured by ratification. He filed with the CFI of Iloilo an application for the registration of title of the land. even at a public or judicial auction. In this aspect. Respondent demanded from the complainant P l. Pending that appeal.

above suspicion and beyond reproach in dealing with their clients. respondent will be paid 50% of the value of the property recovered. and eight others as plaintiffs. after considering the entirety of the circumstances present in this case. 4963 because Alisbo failed to file a motion for execution of judgment in his favor w/in the reglementary 5-year period. his judicial guardian Norberto. Later. It is a matter of public interest. this Court finds Atty. Jalandoon as his counsel in an action to recover his share of the estate of the deceased sps Catalina Sales and Restituto Gozuma w/c had been adjudicated to him under the judgment of CC No. respondent prepared a complaint w/ Ramon. trust and confidence which he owes his client. The failure to exercise due diligence or the abandonment of a client's cause makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client had reposed on him. the order to vacate was eventually enforced and executed. As attorney's fees. The Court finds that respondent failed to exercise due diligence in protecting his client's interests. 1991 FACTS         Ramon Alisbo engaged respondent Atty.000.00 to cover the expenses of the suit needed in order for the complainant to retain the possession of the property. respectable. But later on Cantiller found out that the amounts were not necessary to be paid. Cantiller paid Potenciano P2. Held: YES           When a lawyer takes a client's cause. That respondent will decide whether or not to file a suit for the recovery of Ramon Alisbo's share 2. The profession is not synonymous with an ordinary business proposition. Pablo alone (10 years after final judgment) defendant Sales filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the action had prescribed the CFI of Negros Occidental dismissed the case on the ground of prescription (though Ramon filed the complaint w/in the ten-year prescriptive period. The amount was allegedly to be deposited with the Treasurer's Office of Pasig as purchase price of the apartment and P 1. Humberto V. Hence. 9559 and concealing the fact that he had been the former legal counsel of Sales . he withdrew his appearance as counsel for complainant. Pablo signed as counsel an amended complaint was filed w/ Ramon. ALISBO V JALINDOON GRINO-AQUINO. That respondent will shoulder all expenses of litigation. The acts of respondent in this case violate the most elementary principles of professional ethics.        However the judge of the said court asked the respondent to withdraw as counsel by reason of their friendship. Complainant paid P 10. he withdrew it and replaced it with a complaint w/ Ramon as sole plaintiff and Teotimo and Pacifico impleaded as defendants w/c respondent and Atty. and Pacifico Alisbo as plaintiffs and Carlito Sales as defendant signed by him alone (CC No. where by reason of his gross negligence complainant thereby sufered by losing all her cases.00 as demanded by the latter which was allegedly needed to be paid to another judge who will issue the restraining order but eventually Potenciano did not succeed in locating the judge. on the same day. The salient provisions of the Contract for Professional Services (Exhibit A) between Alisbo and Attorney Jalandoon were the following: 1. signed by Atty. it was null and void since Ramon was insane and hence w/o capacity to sue) complainants charged Jalandoon w/ having deliberately caused the dismissal of CC No. Contrary to Potenciano’s promise that he would secure a restraining order.000. 9559). respondent took no steps to find a replacement nor did he inform complainant of this fact. Lawyers should be fair. WHEREFORE. Despite such prior knowledge. Potenciano to be guilty of the charges against him and hereby SUSPENDS him from the practice of law for an indefinite period until such time he can demonstrate that he has rehabilitated himself as to deserve to resume the practice of law. honest. Respondent had knowledge beforehand that he would be asked by the presiding judge to withdraw his appearance as counsel by reason of their friendship.000. Complainant was not able to get another lawyer as replacement. A demand was made against Potenciano but the latter did not answer and the amounts were not returned. and 3. he thereby covenants that he will exert all effort for its prosecution until its final conclusion. July 18. Teotimo.00 to Potenciano by virtue of the demand of the latter. 9 More so in this case. His actuation is definitely inconsistent with his duty to protect with utmost dedication the interest of his client   and of the fidelity. Issue: Whether or not Potenciano breached his duties as counsel of Cantiller.

a lawyer represents conflicting interests when. Mrs. 6 of the Canons of Professional Ethics which provide: ADVERSE INFLUENCE AND CONFLICTING INTEREST It is the duty of a lawyer at the time of retainer to disclose to the client all the circumstances of his relations to the parties. it was found out that herein respondent attorney was also a lawyer of the brother of Robert Leonido in an insurance company. Apolo P. it was rendered wholly defective and ineffectual in stopping the prescriptive period Jalandoon alleges to have only found out about Ramon’s incapacity on July 17. This was allegedly made by Atty. there is a hint of duplicity and lack of candor in his  dealings with his client. 9559. Tomasa A. 1415. except by express consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. There is more than simple negligence resulting in the extinguishment and loss of his client's right of action. Atty. Tomasa and Bella Aurora Ngayan) counsel for a number of cases prior to this complaint. Disposition It was more than simple negligence. Without thoroughly reading the same.) Jalandoon had delayed the filing of CC No. 4963. Mrs. After discharging respondent they found out that the name of Robert Leonido was not included in the charge. Tugade failed to uphold the trust and confidence conferred to him by his clients HELD: YES. he had to inform himself of the personal circumstances of defendant Sales w/ this knowledge. Tugade to prepare an affidavit to be used as basis for a complaint to be filed against Mrs. he had several interviews w/ Ramon and Norberto re: CC No. 1991 FACTS            NATURE: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. NGAYAN V TUGADE PER CURIAM. . which call for the exercise of this Court's disciplinary power. ISSUE: WON Atty. which might influence the client in the selection of counsel. by making Ramon the sole plaintiff in the second complaint. 4963 For CC No. and any interest in or connection with the controversy. Solicitor General's Report. Complainants asked Atty. The first complaint w/ Ramon and his brothers was only partially defective due to Ramon’s insanity. betrayed his client Ramon Alisbo's trust and did not champion his cause with that wholehearted fidelity. instead asking the court to resolve the pending incidents in CC No. Rowena Soriano and Robert Leonido as a consequence of the latter's unauthorized entry into complainants' dwelling. No. Mrs. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court Respondent. Gaminda. 6. Ngayan allegedly signed it because she was rushed to do the same. (pp. Violation of subparagraphs (e) and (f) of Section 20. Soriano and Leonido presented Ngayans’ first affidavit which contained herein respondent’s omission. a former classmate of respondent. it is his duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires him to oppose. 4963 He must have done research on the court records of CC No. Jalandoon claims he only discovered his previous professional relationship with Sales during the pre-trial on Oct. he only amended the complaint impleading his guardian as plaintiff 5 months later when it had prescribed The surrounding circumstances leave us with no other conclusion than that Attorney Jalandoon. Further. Atty Tugade crossed out the paragraph she complained about and promised to make another affidavit. When the adverse their case against herein complainants. 1972 ISSUE: WON Jalandoon is guilty of non-disclosure to client of adverse or conflicting interest HELD: YES               Before filing the complaint. It appears then that Atty. Ngayan allegedly told respondent about his omission and in front of her. Respondent was subsequently discharged by complainants as counsel. After signing. 1971. the Court found respondent guilty of serious misconduct and infidelity and was suspended for a period of 2 years. February 7. Tugade submitted an affidavit to the Court favorable to the cause of Soriano and Leonido. Faustino Tugade. had been complainants’ (Fulgencio. This omission was however remedied by their new counsel. care and devotion that a lawyer is obligated to give to every case that he accepts from a client. 9559. Within the meaning of this canon. It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests. Ngayan noted a paragraph which did not mention Leonido was with Soriano when both suddenly barged into complainants' residence. in behalf of one client. he should have declined employment by Alisbo due to conflict of interest The actuations of respondent attorney violated Paragraphs 1 and 2.

Thereafter. the IBP concluded that although the said court found Maquera liable for misconduct. he consistently did not appear on the scheduled hearing set by the Office of the Solicitor General. This partiality could be explained by the fact that respondent is the former classmate of Atty.            On August 6. obtained a judgment against Castro in a civil case.” However. Atty. Maquera had the title to the property transferred in his name.         Respondent's act of executing and submitting an affidavit as exhibit for Robert Leonido and Rowena Soriano advancing facts prejudicial to the case of his former clients demonstrates clearly an act of offensive personality against complainants. On May 7. retained the right of redemption over the property for one year. Gaminda. ACCORDINGLY. Leon Maquera served as Castro’s counsel in said case. “there is no evidence to establish that Maquera committed a breach of ethics in the Philippines. complainants claim that respondent furnished the adverse parties in a certain criminal case with a copy of their discarded affidavit. the creditor of a certain Castro. Castro. This actuation constitutes betrayal of trust and confidence of his former clients in violation of paragraph (e). On January 15. respondent's act of joining the adverse parties in celebrating their victory over the dismissal of the case against them shows not only his bias against the complainants but also constitutes a degrading act on the part of a lawyer. Edward Benavente. Castro’s property subject of the case. Tugade is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year. At the auction sale. Respondent's failure to answer the complaint against him and his failure to appear at the investigation are evidence of his flouting resistance to lawful order. Rule 139-A of the Revised Rules of Court. 1987. Section 20. Maquera B. of the court and illustrate his despiciency for his oath of office in violation of Section 3. this claim remained uncontroverted. Leon G. 793. Maquera exercised Castro’s right of redemption by paying Benavente US$525. in turn. the amount which Castro was adjuged to pay him. In Re: Suspension From the Practice of Law in the Territory of Guam of Atty. Section 20. Likewise. effective from receipt of this resolution. respondent Faustino F. No. On the basis of the Decision of the Superior Court of Guam. the Guam Bar Ethics Committee (Committee) conducted hearings regarding Maquera’s alleged misconduct.00). Dollars (US$500. a parcel of land. 1958.M. J. Benavente purchased Castro’s property for Five Hundred U. HELD:  Maquera’s acts in Guam which resulted in his two (2)-year suspension from the practice of law in that jurisdiction are also . the adverse parties' counsel and the fact that respondent is the lawyer of the brother of Robert Leonido in an insurance company. We tend to believe the said claim of complainants when it is taken together with their other claim that respondent's actuations from the beginning tend to show that he was partial to the adverse parties as he even tried to dissuade complainants from filing charges against Robert Leonido. 1996. 1994. violative of the first part of paragraph (f). the Superior Court of Guam rendered its Decision suspending Maquera from the practice of law in Guam for a period of two (2) years and ordering him to take the MultiState Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) within that period. he was admitted to the practice of law in the territory of Guam. thus enabling them to use it as evidence against complainants. ISSUE: Whether or not a member of the Philippine Bar who was disbarred or suspended from the practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also been admitted as an attorney be meted the same sanction as a member of the Philippine Bar for the same infraction committed in the foreign jurisdiction. Rule 138. Rate 138.) FACTS:  Maquera’s acts in Guam which resulted in his two (2)-year suspension from practice of law in that jurisdiction are also valid ground for his suspension from the practice of law in the Philippines. was to be sold at a public auction in satisfaction of his obligation to Benavente. in consideration of Maquera’s legal services in the civil case involving Benavente. entered into an oral agreement with Maquera and assigned his right of redemption in favor of the latter. Inasmuch as respondent failed to answer the complaint filed against him and despite due notice on four occasions. Maquera was admitted to the Philippine Bar on February 28. which failure is. however.S. Rules of Court. 30 July 2004. a ground for removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys under Section 10. Besides. Castro. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Rules of Court In the case at bar. the IBP still resolved to suspend him indefinitely for his failure to pay his annual dues as a member of the IBP since 1977. The right of redemption could be exercised by paying the amount of the judgment debt within the aforesaid period. Apolo P. En Banc (Tinga.00 in satisfaction of the judgment debt. It was meant only to titillate the anger of complainants.

vs. Atty. Pariñas asked Paguinto for the case number. the judgment of the Superior Court of Guam only constitutes prima facie evidence of Maquera’s unethical acts as a lawyer. A lawyer impliedly warrants that he possesses the necessary diligence. Pariñas went to the trial court to inquire about her case but the court personnel in RTC-Manila. It turned out that there was no annulment case filed in RTC-Manila. Sometime between January and April 2002. Pariñas would pay Paguinto an acceptance fee of P25. CARPIO. Maquera is required to SHOW CAUSE. ATTY.000. J. Canon 17 which states that “[a] lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and shall be mindful the trust and confidence reposed in him. within fifteen (15) days from receipt of this Resolution. PAGUINTO. why he should not be suspended or disbarred for his acts which gave rise to the disciplinary proceedings against him in the Superior Court of Guam and his subsequent suspension in said jurisdiction. DOLORES D. Likewise. Under Section 27. He should exert his best judgment and exercise reasonable and ordinary care and diligence in the pursuit or defense of his client's cause.          valid grounds for his suspension from the practice of law in the Philippines.500 for the filing fee. Paguinto told Pariñas that the records were at his office and that he was in Malolos. They agreed that for the legal services. More fundamentally. at that only if the basis of the foreign court’s action includes any of the grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction. Before the hearing. Branch 64 informed her that there was no such case filed in their court. Pariñas paid Paguinto P10. Oscar P. learning and skill to handle       each case. Pariñas inquired from Paguinto on the progress of her annulment case. OSCAR P. Said rule mandates that a respondent lawyer must in all cases be notified of the charges against him.500 and other incidental expenses. Before the end of December 2001. On 2 December 2001. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. Bulacan attending to a case. Paguinto returned the P10.000 in cash as partial payment of the acceptance fee.1 Pariñas gave Paguinto a diskette containing a narration of what happened between her and her estranged husband Danilo Soriano. On the first week of July 2002. It is only after reasonable notice and failure on the part of the respondent lawyer to appear during the scheduled investigation that an investigation may be conducted ex parte. immoral or deceitful conduct. The Guam Superior Court’s judgment ordering Maquera’s suspension from the practice of law in Guam does not automatically result in his suspension or disbarment in the Philippines. Pariñas requested for a meeting with Paguinto but the secretary informed her that the hearing was cancelled. In the Order dated 14 February 2003.:  The Case  A lawyer has the duty to give adequate attention and time to every case he accepts. before Judge Ricaforte and that the hearing was scheduled on 25 April 2002. However. Pariñas gave Paguinto P2. the acts which led to his suspension in Guam are mere grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction. specifically. Leon G. The requirement of good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the Philippine Bar but is also a continuing requirement to maintain one’s good’s standing in the legal profession. Pariñas also furnished Paguinto with a copy of her marriage contract with Soriano.” and Rule 1. copy of the petition and the court where the annulment case was pending. Such acts are violative of a lawyer’s sworn duty to act with fidelity toward his clients. dishonest. complainant Dolores Dryden Pariñas ("Pariñas") engaged the services of respondent Atty. Paguinto ("Paguinto") to annul her marriage to Danilo Soriano.01 which prohibits lawyers from engaging in unlawful. date of filing. due process demands that he be given the opportunity to defend himself and to present testimonial and documentary evidence on the matter in an investigation to be conducted in accordance with Rule 139-B of the Revised Rules of Court. PARIÑAS. Paguinto promised to return the money that Pariñas paid as down payment. Branch 64"). The secretary further informed Pariñas that the judge reset the succeeding hearings originally scheduled on 29 May 2002 and 26 June 2002 because the judge was sick or out of town. An acknowledgment receipt evidenced this payment. the filing fee of P2. Paguinto informed her that the case was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Paguinto asked for an extension of 15 . Branch 64. Branch 64 ("RTC-Manila. 2 the CBD directed Paguinto to answer the complaint. They are also violative of the Code of Professional Responsibility.000 only after Pariñas filed with the Commission on Bar Discipline ("CBD") of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines ("IBP") the present complaint for disbarment. The Facts Sometime in October 2001.

his acceptance is an implied representation that he possesses the requisite academic learning. Pariñas later found out that Paguinto never filed the annulment case in court. but not used for failure to file the case must immediately be returned to the client on demand.8 Paguinto returned the money only after Pariñas filed this administrative case for disbarment.000 cash as partial payment of the acceptance fee. otherwise his clients' interests will suffer. as she was no longer interested in pursuing the case. Paguinto should know that as a lawyer. Cavite where he practices law catering to those "clients who have less in life. However. misunderstanding and miscommunication. Pariñas gave Paguinto P10.       Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility ("the Code") provides that a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected for or from the client. During that period. he is ." Pariñas manifested that she was withdrawing the complaint. He shall serve his client with competence and diligence. Paguinto failed to comply with this duty. On the same date. The CBD granted the extension in the Order dated 19 March 2003. Pariñas submitted her Position Paper praying that the CBD declare Paguinto guilty of violation of Rule 16. skill and ability to handle the case. Branch 64. The lawyer has the duty to exert his best judgment in the prosecution or defense of the case entrusted to him and to exercise reasonable and ordinary care and diligence in the pursuit or defense of the case. before Judge Ricaforte. If he fails in this duty. Paguinto failed to file his Answer within the extended period and thus the CBD declared him in default in the Order dated 15 July 2003. Paguinto filed a Manifestation and Motion6 explaining that he failed to attend the hearing on 30 July 2003 because he was in Tabuk. Acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorney-client relationship and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to the client's cause. Pariñas also gave PaguintoP2. The lawyer owes it to his client to exercise his utmost learning and ability in handling his cases. An attorney's duty to safeguard the client's interests commences from his retainer until his effective release from the case or the final disposition of the whole subject matter of the litigation.       days to file his Answer. The Commissioner recommended the suspension of Paguinto from the practice of law for six months. Paguinto led Pariñas to believe that he had filed the annulment case. He must also give adequate attention to his legal work. Kalinga attending a hearing in a criminal case for frustrated homicide. A lawyer should give adequate attention." He further declared that he failed to timely prepare and file the petition for annulment because he spends his time mostly in Gen. When a lawyer accepts a case. Mariano Alvarez. The Commissioner declared that a lawyer has the duty to give adequate attention.4 After the hearing. Pariñas filed an Affidavit of Withdrawal 5 of the complaint. care and time to his case. a lawyer must accept only as much cases as he can efficiently handle. He apologized to Pariñas for his actuations claiming "himself solely to be blamed. On 10 September 2003. 7 Money entrusted to a lawyer for a specific purpose. Once he agrees to handle a case. 3However. The Court's Ruling We agree with the Commissioner. A license to practice law is a guarantee by the courts to the public that the licensee possesses sufficient skill. he is not true to his oath as a lawyer.9 It is not enough that a lawyer possesses the qualification to handle the legal matter.01 and Rule 18. Paguinto informed Pariñas that the case was filed with the RTC-Manila.500 for the filing fee. knowledge and diligence to manage their cases. and his duty of entire devotion to his client's cause not only requires.11 we ruled: A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and must be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. Hence. care and time to his cases. Alcantara. such as for filing fee. he owes fidelity to the cause of his client. Rebecca Villanueva-Maala ("Commissioner") as Commissioner to conduct a formal investigation of the case." Commissioner's Report & Recommendation The IBP designated Atty. accepting only as many cases as he can handle.10 The legal profession demands from a lawyer the vigilance and attention expected of a good father of a family. Pariñas stated that Paguinto "personally explained exhaustively the reasons why he failed to comply with his obligations" and she realized that the complaint arose due to a "misapprehension of facts. but entitles him to employ every honorable means to secure for the client what is justly due him or to present every defense provided by law to enable the latter's cause to succeed. he should undertake the task with dedication and care. In Gamalinda vs.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Commissioner found Paguinto negligent in performing his duties as a lawyer and as an officer of the court.

and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice WHEREFORE.” Issue: The core issue is whether the respondent committed culpable negligence. He has the duty to prepare for trial with diligence and deliberate speed." Paguinto. x x x The attorney is called upon to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. on the other hand. When she asked the respondent what they should do. His excuse that he did not know how to file a motion for reconsideration is lame and unacceptable. in failing to file for the complainant a motion for reconsideration from the decision of the NLRC. BARIA III. Respondent does not refute this. On December 29. Pariñas's affidavit of withdrawal of the disbarment case does not exonerate Paguinto in any way. among the fundamental rules of ethics is the principle that an attorney who undertakes an action impliedly stipulates to carry it to its termination. OSCAR R. A lawyer is not at liberty to abandon his client and withdraw his services without reasonable cause and only upon notice appropriate in the circumstances. the Labor Arbiter rendered a decision in favor of complainant. Oscar P. In search of a lawyer. but once he agrees to take up the cause of a client. Rule 18.01 of the Code is clear. She said that she came to know of the reversal of the Labor Arbiter’s decision when she called respondent in October 2001. Accordingly. Further. EMMA V.02 of the Code provides that a lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation. the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. The Company appealed to the NLRC.03 of the Code also provides that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence shall render him liable. . This means that his client is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law and he may expect his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense. Rule 18. The records reveal that indeed the respondent did not file a motion for reconsideration of the NLRC such that the said decision eventually had become final and executory. A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service that he is not qualified to render. 2004] FACTS:        Petitioner was terminated without notice or explanation so she filed a complaint before the NLRC against the company for illegal dismissal. Any dereliction of duty by a counsel.14 especially in this case where the lawyer admitted his misconduct. that is. 2001. vs. Rayos15 that – [A] proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not in any sense a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a defendant. The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorney's alleged misconduct is in no sense a party. misunderstanding and miscommunication. ATTY. 1999. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. We reiterate our ruling in RayosOmbac v. affects the client. Complainant blamed respondent for the reversal.C.12 Rule 18. 5817. she asked the assistance of BBC which assigned respondent to handle her labor case. May 27.      expected to take such reasonable steps and such ordinary care as his client's interests may require. Oscar P. In a decision promulgated on September 24. we find respondent Atty. No lawyer is obliged to advocate for every person who may wish to become his client. They are undertaken solely for the public welfare. Paguinto GUILTY of violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. respondent answered. DE JUAN. we penalize Atty. Paguinto with SUSPENSION for SIX (6) MONTHS from the practice of law effective upon receipt of this Decision. until the case becomes final and executory. [A. One last point. And failure to do so violates Canon 18 of the Code. submitted a Manifestation and Motion apologizing to Pariñas for his actuations and admitting that he was "solely to be blamed. Pariñas executed an Affidavit of Withdrawal 13 of the complaint stating that she was withdrawing the administrative complaint against Paguinto after realizing that "said complaint against the respondent arose due to misapprehension of facts. the NLRC reversed the Labor Arbiter and declared there was no illegal dismissal. No. as would warrant disciplinary action. “Paano iyan iha…eh…hindi ako marunong gumawa ng Motion for Reconsideration." A compromise or withdrawal of charges does not terminate an administrative complaint against a lawyer. Held: YES          FINED with WARNING that a repetition of the same will be dealt with severely.

ATTY. o CANON 18. A lawyer owes to the client the exercise of utmost prudence and capability in that representation. it was incumbent upon counsel to diligently return to his books and re-familiarize himself with the procedural rules for a motion for reconsideration. The truth was that complainant¶s sister had already testified The respondent submitted his Answer and averred that the complaint filed against him was baseless. prompting the trial court to order the dismissal of the case. evenmalfeasance or nonfeasance would be binding on his client. . Jr. ¾ A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. Without a proper revocation of his authority and withdrawal as counsel.” RIZALINO FERNANDEZ v. He contended that complainant engaged his legal services after the first counsel had withdrawn and he had no knowledge of what had happened in the case before he handled it because    complainant did not furnish him with the records and stenographic notes of the previous proceedings despite his repeated requests. Hence. He alleged that he failed to formally offer the exhibits because complainant tried to take over the handling of the case by insisting on presenting more witnesses who failed to appear during trial. To compound his inefficiency. respondent failed to formally offer his exhibits.03 ¾ A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. o Rule 18. which was thus accordingly denied by the trial court for being filed out of time. An attorney may only retire from the case either by a written consent of his client or by permission of the court after due notice and hearing. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. for alleged patent and gross neglect in the handling of their civil case against the Bacolod City Water District. His failure to file his formal ofer of exhibits constitutes inexcusable negligence as it proved fatal to the cause of his client since it led to the dismissal of the case. in which event the attorney should see to it that the name of the new attorney is recorded in the case. his candor cannot absolve him. ¾ A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. The complainant imputed that the respondent did not attend the scheduled hearing nor seek a postponement. Filing a motion for reconsideration is not a complicated legal task. purely malicious and speculative considering the fact that it was not made under oath. “Negligence of lawyers in connection with legal matters entrusted to them for handling shall render them liable. He even tried to shift the blame on complainant by claiming that the latter insisted on presenting his sister from Manila as their last witness. The respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal however he did not file his motion within the reglementary period.Mendoza. o Rule 18. the order issued by the trial court dismissing the case became final. We are also not unaware that he had advised complainant to get a new lawyer. respondent remains counsel of record and whether or not he has a valid cause to withdraw from the case. We are however. Issue: Whether or not respondent is guilty of gross neglect in the handling of the civil case Held:        The records clearly show that respondent has been negligent in the performance of his duties as complainant’s counsel.02 ¾ A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation. Reynaldo Novero. Respondent’s acts and omission clearly constitute violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides in pertinent parts: o CANON 17. The Supreme Court held that a counsel must constantly keep in mind that his actions or omissions. REYNALDO NOVERO. Respondent did not comply with these obligations. However. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines also submitted a report and recommendation for the suspension of respondent from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months. for which reason the trial court considered respondent to have waived further presentation of his evidence and directed him to formally offer his exhibits. he cannot just do so and leave his client out in the cold. The Office of the Bar Confidant submitted a report finding respondent guilty of violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommending his suspension. not unaware that respondent had been forthright and candid with his client when he warned her of his lack of experience as a new lawyer. JR. respondent filed a motion for reconsideration outside the reglementary period.      After complainant had expressed an interest to file a motion for reconsideration. J: Facts:         Rizalino Fernandez and others filed a disbarment case against Atty. However.

 The respondent¶s attempt to evade responsibility by shifting the blame on complainant due to the latter¶s failure to turn over to him records and stenographic notes of the case only highlights his incompetence and inadequacy in handling the complainant¶s case. Novero is found guilty of neglect of his client¶s case and is Suspended from the practice of law for one (1) month with Warning that repetition of the same negligent act will be dealt with even moreseverely .  The respondent Atty.