CAYETANO VS MONSOD

FACTS:





Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C.
Aquino to the position of chairman of the COMELEC.
Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not
posses required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law
for at least ten years.
The 1987 constitution provides in Section 1, Article IX-C: There shall be a
Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners
who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their
appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree,
and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the
immediately preceding elections.
However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of
the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least
ten years.
June 5, 1991: COA approved the appointment
June 18, 1991: Monsod took his oath and assumed office
Petitioner prayed for certiorari and prohibition against Monsod.

ISSUE: Whether the respondent posses the required qualification of having engaged
in the practice of law for at least ten years.

associations or corporations as to their rights under the law, or appears in a
representative capacity as an advocate in proceedings pending or
prospective, before any court, commissioner, referee, board, body,
committee, or commission constituted by law or authorized to settle
controversies and there, in such representative capacity performs any act or
acts for the purpose of obtaining or defending the rights of their clients
under the law. Otherwise stated, one who, in a representative capacity,
engages in the business of advising clients as to their rights under the law,
or while so engaged performs any act or acts either in court or outside of
court for that purpose, is engaged in the practice of law.


HELD: YES

In the case of Philippine Lawyers Association vs. Agrava, stated:
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in
court; it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to
actions and special proceeding, the management of such actions and
proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in addition,
conveying.
Black defines "practice of law" as:The rendition of services requiring the
knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the
interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or
advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the
preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and special
proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds,
and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients
and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the law. An
attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is
held out to be-an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an
attorney, counseling clients in legal matters, negotiating with opposing
counsel about pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services
rendered by his associate. (Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd ed.)
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. ( Land
Title Abstract and Trust Co. v. Dworken,129 Ohio St. 23, 193 N.E. 650) A
person is also considered to be in the practice of law when he: ... for
valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person, firms,

In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters
connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and
condemnation services, contemplating an appearance before judicial body,
the foreclosure of mortgage, enforcement of a creditor’s claim in bankruptcy
and insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment,
and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law
practice.
Practice of law means any activity, in or out court, which requires the
application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience.
The contention that Atty. Monsod does not posses the required qualification
of having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years is incorrect
since Atty. Monsod’s past work experience as a lawyer-economist, a lawyermanager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of
contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both rich and the poor – verily more
than satisfy the constitutional requirement for the position of COMELEC
chairman,
The respondent has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten
years does In the view of the foregoing, the petition is DISMISSED.

RUTHIE LIM-SANTIAGO VS ATTY CARLOS B SAGUCIO
FACTS:







Ruthie Lim-Santiago is the daughter of Alfonso Lim and Special
Administratrix of his estate.
Alfonso Lim is a stockholder and theformer President of Taggat Industries,
Inc.
Atty. Carlos B. Sagucio was the former Personnel Manager and Retained
Counsel of Taggat Industries, Inc. until his appointment as Assistant
Provincial Prosecutor of Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
21 employees of Taggat filed a criminal complaint alleging that Lim-Santiago
withheld payment of their salaries and wages withoutvalid cause.
Sagucio, as Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, was assigned to conduct the
preliminary investigation.
He resolved the criminal complaint by recommending the filing of 651
Informations for violation of the Labor Code of the Philippines.
Lim-Santiago charges Sagucio for violating Rule 15.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and engaging in the private practice of law while
working as a government prosecutor thus seeks the disbarment of Sagucio.
Sagucio refutes said allegation that Lim-Santiago was merely aggrieved by
the resolution of the criminal complaint.

 The appearance as counsel on one occasion is not conclusive as determinative of engagement in the private practice of law. Sagucio from the practice of law for SIX MONTHS effective upon finality of this Decision. The IBP Board of Governors recommended the imposition of a penalty of three years suspension from the practice of law.      He furthered then the criminal complaint was filed.  Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public. Ariston Fule to prosecute said case.  Apparently. The only established participation he had with respect to the criminal complaint is that he was the one who conducted the preliminary investigation. evidence must be presented to prove that he used against Taggat any confidential information acquired through his previous employment. as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services. the private offended party asked his lawyer friend. immoral or deceitful conduct.01.  Furthermore Atty. we find respondent Atty. a succession of acts of the same kind. ISSUE: Whether or not Sagucio is guilty of conflict of interest and engaged in the private practice of law. Fule is not being compensated but rather he’s doing it for free for his friend who happened to be the offended party. Violations of RA 6713 are not subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Professional Responsibility unless the violations also constitute infractions of specific provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility. the Secretary of Justice.  Villanueva the opposed the appearance of Fule as counsel for the offended party as he said that according to the Rules of Court when an attorney had been appointed to the position of Assistant Provincial Fiscal or City Fiscal and therein qualified.  Private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to the public for a compensation. and violating the prohibition against the private practice of law while being a government prosecutor. NO Whether or not the respondent violated Rule 15. as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services. Laguna. ISSUE: Whether or not Ariston Fule is engaged in private law practice." The appropriate penalty on an errant lawyer depends on the exercise of sound judicial discretion based on the surrounding facts. for it consists in frequent or customary actions.01 of Canon 1. it is frequent habitual exercise. In order to charge Sagucio for representing conflicting interests. it does not necessarily follow that respondent used any confidential information from his previous employment with Lim-Santiago or Taggat in resolving the criminal complaint. In other words. the Order issued by Sagucio was reversed and set aside by Regional State Prosecutor of Cagayan. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The IPB’s Investigating Commissioner heard the case. Fule was the fiscal in San Pablo. Sagucio’s violation of RA 6713 also constitutes a violation of Rule 1. as correctly pointed out by complainant. The issue in the criminal complaint pertains to non-payment of wages. We find this penalty appropriate for respondent’s violation of Rule 1. NO HELD:           The Court held that there was no conflict of interests when Sagucio handled the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaint filed by Taggat employees. respondent clearly violated the prohibition in RA 6713. it is frequent habitual exercise. a succession of acts of the same kind. dishonest.01. Under Civil Service Law and rules. the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to the public for a compensation. On that basis alone. Nonetheless. Carlos B. The IBP Board of Governors issued a Resolution finding Sagucio guilty of conflict of interests. we SUSPEND respondent Atty. Even the receipts he signed stated that the payments by Taggat were for "Retainer’s fee. While the disbarment case was pending. Villanueva was charged with Malicious Mischief in the municipality of Alaminos in Laguna. Hence. the fact that the Secretary of Justice approved Fule’s appearance for his friend should be given credence.  Practice is more than an isolated appearance. Fule was given the permission by his immediate superior. he had resigned from Taggat for more than 5 years and that he no longer owed his undivided loyalty to Taggat. Clearly. failure to safeguard a former client’s interest. the penalty for government employees engaging in unauthorized private practice of profession is suspension for 6 months and 1 day to 1 year.  Essentially.  Practice is more than an isolated appearance.  In said case. respondent admitted that he rendered his legal services to complainant while working as a government prosecutor. which mandates that "a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. In other words. he was no longer connected with Taggat during that period since he resigned sometime in 1992. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility  WHEREFORE.03 of CPR. Lim-Santiago instituted disbarment of Sagucio. PEOPLE VS VILLANUEVA FACTS:  In 1959. HELD: No. Sagucio GUILTY of violation of Rule 1. he ceased to engage in private law practice. the isolated appearance of City Attorney Fule did not constitute private practice within the meaning and contemplation of the Rules. the criminal complaint was dismissed.  Further. . for it consists in frequent or customary actions. as customarily and demanding payment for such services. Accordingly."53 Thus. by operation of law.  the court held that in appearing as private prosecutor in the case. Carlos B.  In the case at bar.