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Legal Ethics Digests Hofilena 2C pdg

Canon 17 A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and
confidence Reposed in him.

Hernandez found out that Go did not sell the lots as agreed upon. He had paid the creditors
with his own funds and had her titles registered in his name, depriving her of millions of
pesos. He claimed that he did sell the lots to different buyers, including himself, for valuable
Canon 18 - Lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence.
Rule 18.01 A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service, which he knows or should know that he is
4. He had never told his client how he paid the creditors, nor accounted for the sales or
not qualified to render. However, he may render such service if, with the consent of his client, he can
proceeds of the lands. IBP recommends suspension.
obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on the matter.
Issue: Is the suspension proper?
Rule 18.02 A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation.

A lawyer shall hold in trust al moneys and properties of his client that may come into his
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in
possession. His acts of acquiring Hernandezs properties for himself was gorss misconduct.
connection therewith shall render him liable.
He also violated the high degree of trust and confidence reposed in him by Hernandez.
Rule 18.04 - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the client informed of the status of his case and

She entrusted to him her titles and allowed him to sell her lots, believing that the proceeds
shall respond within a reasonable time to the clients request for information.
would be used to pay her creditors. However he abused her trust and deprived her of the
chance to earn more.
Cordon v Balicanta

A lawyer who takes advantage of his clients financial plight t acquire the latters properties
1. Cordon is the widow of the late Felixberto Jaldon. She inherited properties left behind by
for his own benefit is deplorable. Disbarment.
Jaldon, all in all these amounted to 21 parces of land in zamboanga. The lawyer in charge
of settling the estate was Balicanta. Balicanta convinced Cordon to create a corporation Angalan v Delante
that would develop the properties into a high scale commercial complex.
1. Angalan had mortgaged his property to Eustaquio for the amount of 15k. Eustaquio had
2. Cordon relied on these proposals assigned the parcels of land to the newly formed
prepared a document for Angalan to sign, but since he was illiterate he instead affixed his
corporation Rosaura Enterprises. They maintained majority ownership. Balicanta was
thumbmark to the document. It turns out that the document was a deed of absolute sale.
simultaneously the President/General Manager/Treasurer (in violation of the corporation
2. They engaged the services of Delante to represent them and paid him 12k (in full payment
code). He made them sign a document which turned out to be a voting trust agreement.
of his professional fees). An amicable settlement was reached and here Eustaquios would
Also an SPA to sell and mortgage some of the parcels of land and that he used these later
sell the lot back to Angalan for 30k. Delante advanced the money for Angalan. In turn he
on to translfer title to a certain Ong who became the registered owner thereof.
possessed the property and gathered its produce.
3. Balicanta using a spurious board resolution obtained a loan from Land bank in the amount
3. When angalan tried to pay back delante, Delante refused. It was discovered that Delante
of 2.22M php secured by 9 of the parcels of land. The money was to be used to construct
had titled the property in his name. They filed a case of the nullification of the deed of sale
the commercial center. It was discovered later on that the materials used were bamboo and
as well as a case against delante for violation of the CPR. They later withdrew this.
coco lumber which on top of not being very good materials, did not cost anywhere near the Issue: W/N the withdrawal of the complaint and the affidavit of desistance terminates the disbarment
amount of the loan contracted. Balicanta made no payments, on the loan and therefore proceedings? NO. W/N he violated the CPR by buying the property without the consent of the clients?
LBP forclosed. Balicanta did not attempt to redeem. He also sold the rights to redeem to a YES
certain Jammang.

No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance, settlement,

4. Cordons daughter discovered that their ancestral home had been demolished and that her
compromise, restitution, withdrawal of charges, or failure of the complainant to prosecute
mother was detained in a small nipa hut in Culianan. Through an attorney Lim she was able
the same. Rule 139b Section 5.
to locate her mother. They then made demands on Balicanta to return the real property and

Respondent should have held in trust the TCT for his clients and returned the same on
an accounting of the funds. They also terminated the services of Balicanta.
demand. Instead he transferred it to his name, refused to return and even called his clients
Issue: W/N Balicanta should be disbarred?

Being a former lawyer to the complainant, respondent should have ensured that her

A person who takes the 8 hectare property of his illiterate clients and who is incapable of
interests were safeguarded. He deliberately left her out of the decision making process. He
telling the truth is unfit to be a lawyer. DISBARRED.
created spurious board resolutions which were manifestly disadvantageous to his client.


The respondent used minutes of stockholders and directors meeting signed only by him
Talento v Paneda
and a secretary or signed by him and persons who were not incorporators or even
1. Herrera filed a case against Talento. Talento employed PAneda to defend him in this case.
Petitioners paid the attorneys fees. Despite notice to Paneda, he did not file or submit a

Disbarred. The massive fraud perpetrated by the respondent justifies the piercing of the
brief for pretrial. Neither did he appear at the pre-trial hearing. Trial court issued a decision
corporate veil. Thus the properties of the corp remaint properties of Cordon. The properties
against Talento for the falure of Paneda to submit a brief and to attend the pre-trial hearing.
falsely conveyed without authority are deemed to have never been transferred, sold or
2. He filed an MR, denied. He said he would appeal to CA. They agreed because they
mortgaged. Balicanta liable to third parties in his personal capacity. (without prejudice to his
believed that they had a strong case. Talento again paid the fees of Paneda. The case was
criminal and civil liabilities)
dismissed because of the lack of an appeal brief.
Hernandez v Go
3. IBP investigated. Paneda claims that there were several events which made it impossible
1. Hernandez and her son were abandoned by her husband. Her husbands creditors started
for him to attend. He claims that he did not submit a pretrial brief because they had already
demanding payment of his loans. She employed the services of Go to assist her in the suits
reached an amicable settlement. Further he did not attend the pretrial because he was
filed against her. Go made complaintant feel, helpless, afraid and embarrassed. He
attending a pretrial conference for the replevin involving his vehicle, in Dagupan. He failed
convinced her to give to him the titles of land she owned in zamboanga so he could sell
to submit a brief to the CA because the secretary forgot to remind him of such.
them to pay the creditors.
Issue: Did he violate the CPR?
2. He persuaded her to execute deeds of sale in his favor without any monetary

Talento claims that the amicable settlement was to be shown to him at the pre-trial
consideration. She only agreed on the condition that these would be used to pay off the
conference, in which he did not appear. IBP found him guilty of gross violation of his duties
creditors. Go redeemed several lots under mortgage to the creditors. He again persuaded
as a lawyer and of inexcusable negligence. Recommended 1 year suspension.
Hernandez to sell these to him. He became the registered owner of all the lots.

Legal Ethics Digests Hofilena 2C pdg

The contention of Paneda that he told his clients to present the amicable settlement at the
pretrial does not excuse him of his obligation to his clients. Neither does his allegation that
he advised them of the futility of the case. It should be noted that the amicable settlement
was forged by the parties after the same was filed in court. (it is of no legal effect)

Any lawyer worth his salt would know that once a case has been filed in court, any
amicable settlement must be approved by the court to be legally binding. Thus his excuse
cannot be given credence.

1 year suspension.

Yes. But the proper punishment is disbarment. The respondent neglected and abandoned
the cause of his client. He failed to properly handle the cases which were entrusted to his
care. He refused to do a single thing, not even file a pleading to defend his client, not even
enter his appearance. He ignored calls, letters and eails.

After receiving the retainer fee he merely disappeared. In essence he defrauded his client.
Acceptance of money from a client establishes attorney-client relationshp and gives rise to
the duty of fidelity to the clients cause.

Money given to the attorney for a specific purpose such as for filing fees, but not used for
failure to file the case must immediately be returned on demand.
Belleza v Macasa

Suspension of 3 years is not sufficient. The acts of the respondent constitute malpractice
1. The son of Belleza was arrested for an alleged violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. In
and gross misconduct, the appalling incompetence and indifference merit his disbarment.
connection with this, a certain Chua referred Belleza to Atty. Macasa. Macasa agreed to
Return the amount obtained + interest.
handle the case for the sum of 30k. Belleza paid 15k the next day and promptly paid the Somosot v Lara
rest of the amount the next week. No receipt was issued. Belleza also gave 18k which
1. Somosot employed Lara as her counsel in a collection case fied against her by Golden
would serve as the bond for the provisional release of her son, also no receipt.
Collection for the sum of 1.3m. She was counter-claiming that Golden Collection Corp
2. When belleza went to court the next day, she found out that Macasa had not remitted the
owed her 800k. He entered his appearance after securing his acceptance fee. She alleged
sum. Thus, she demanded the 18k from Macasa several times but she was ignored by him.
that after filing the answer the respondent failed to inform her of developments in the case
He failed to handle the case altogether and Belleza was forced to seek the assitance of the
and that she only learned that there had been a decision against her.
Public Attorneys Office. Chua executed an affidavit regarding the funds forwarded by him
2. She learned that Lara had tried to discharge himself from the duty of being her counsel. He
to Macasa.
said that he could not locate her, thus he did so without her knowledge and consent.
3. Macasa simply dismissed the complaint as baseless, groundless and malicious without
Somosot claims however that Lara knows where she lives and could have easily contacted
offering any explanation at all or even attempt to defend himself. He failed to rebut the
charges against him. The commission on bar discipline recommended a 6 month
3. The court had denied Laras motion to withdraw from the case and Somosot claims that he
suspension as well as the return of the 18k bond and the 30k attorneys fees.
represented her in a half-hearted manner, resulting in a grant of her opponents motion for
Issue was the finding of the commission proper?
judgment on the pleadings and because he failed to properly oppose the motion she was

A lawyer who accepts the cause of a client commits to devote himself, his time, knowledge
prevented from presenting evidence and once the decision was executed, sale of her
skills and effort to the cause. He must be mindful of the turst and confidence reposed in
house pushed through, despite the assistance of another lawyer.
him. Striving to be worthy of such.
4. Lara answered that he pursued the case according to his own ability and knowledge that
he had presented all of the defense and claims. But that interrogatories and requests for

A lawyer who accepts professional employment from a client undertakes to serve a client
admission were filed and that these are by law, directed towards Somosot and not him.That
with competence and diligence. Negligence in the discharge of his obligations arising from
he became a consultant for the BOI and counsel of Gov Leviste and that when he tried to
the relationship of counsel and client may delay the administration of justice. In this case
contact Lara he was told at the office of Lara that she had moved and there was no
after accepting the criminal case and receiving the attrneys fees he did nothing which
forwarding address and that in anycase she had not paid his retainer fees. IBP
would remotely resemple efficient legal assistance.
recommends reprimand.

For all intents and purposes he abandoned the cause of his client. Further he never bother
Is this sufficient?
to deny receiving the money at all! Respondent was undeserving of the trust reposed in

It appears that Lara was remiss in fulfilling his duties, but Somosot is not without fault,
him. He pocketed the money and failed to live up to his duties.
because she did not make any attempt to follow up on the status of the case. Instead

she assumed that he should take complete initiative to inform her. The court has ruled
that no prudent party will leave the fate of his case entirely to his lawyer. Absence of
Overgaard v Valdez
inquiry for several months is inexcusable. (mitigating)
1. Overgaard is a dutch national who through his business partner Bradley, engaged the

While he is correct to state that a lawyer may be relieved of his duties without the
services of Valdez on retainer. The amount of 900k was paid to get the services of Valdez
conformity of his client when he has lost all contact with the latter, the fact remains
to represent himself in cases filed against him in Antipolo City. Also he filed cases against
that the court denied his discharge as counsel and that he is bound by oath to
certain people. The fee was to cover acceptance, attorneys fees, expenses of litigation,
represent Somosot.
appearance and other incidental fees

Lara violated Canon 18 of CPR that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence
2. The complaints filed by Overgaard were estafa, grave threats, unjust vexation and oral
defamation. The cases filed against him included light treats and a violation of the VAWC,
and diligence. Much was left to be desired in this case. He never informed her of the
and illegal possession of firearms. 4 months after the execution of the retainer agreement,
request for admission and the interrogatories. His reason, assuming it were true, that
Overgaard demanded that action be taken with respect to the cases.Valdez did not take
he had not been paid from May to august is no cause to withhold vital information from
action in the cases, did not answer phone calls or emails. Overgaard was disappointed to
find that counsel did not enter his appearance in the cases. Nor did he inform Overgaard

While he had valid reasons to withdraw and terminate his relationship with his client
that he could prepare a counter-complaint.
(deliberate failure to pay for services/comply with retainer agreement AND
3. Nor did he know that there were arraignments and warrants for his arrest. Valdez did not
appointment/election to public office) it seems he never cited these before the courts.
respond to demands for him to return the 900k. IBP recommended the 3 year suspension
Suspended 3 months.
of Valdez.
Solidon v Macaladlad
3 year suspension proper?
1. Macaladlad is Chief of the Legal Division of the DENR and that while he is in public service
he was allowed by the DENR sec to practice law. While in Samar, he was introduced to Atty

Legal Ethics Digests Hofilena 2C pdg

Solidon. Solidon asked him to handle the titling of a land located there, the entire task was
2. CA did not touch on the forum shopping issue and instead granted the petition of Jimenez.
to be completed within 8 months. The sum agreed upon was 80k, 50 now and 30 upon
RTC directed Briones to deliver the residue of the estate to the Heirs of Henson. When
receipt of the title.
BRiones did not respond Jimenez opted to file a case under article 151 of the RPC.
2. To date Macaladlad has not filed any petition for registration over the property. Solindon
(resistance and disobedience to a person in authority)
allegedly followed up with Macaladlad through text and calls. Macaladlad on the other hand
3. Briones claims that Jimenez violated 19.01 by filing an unfounded criminal complaint to
claims that the failure was due to Solindons lack of communicaion with him in addition to
gain an unfair advantage.
the lack of documentary evidence.
Issue: was this a violation?
3. IBP found that Macaladlad failed to present any reasonable excuse for the filing of the

Yes . Reprimanded, because of the absence of bad faith or at least evidence of bad faith.
application. That this was a violation of 18.03. They suspended him for 3 months and
Fair play demands that Jimenez should have filed the proper motion with the RTC to attain
ordered the return of the 50k downpayment +12% interest.
his goal of having the residue delivered to his clients.

Instead he filed a premature criminal prosecution in order to expedite the case. Canon 19

Yes. A lawyer shall not negelect a legal matter entrusted to him and negligence in
enjoins a lawyer to serve his client with zeal however it also restricts hm in that he must do
connection therewith shall render him liable. A certain Cabo-BOrata in an affidavit said that
so within the bounds of the law.
she was able to contact Macaladlad easily and that when asked about progress of the case

Rule 19.01 requires him to use only fair, honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his
he was vague. Saying it was in process. Macaladlad never contested this claim.
client. To sanction unscrupulous methods to attain the goals of the client would be to defeat

Because of the time period fixed by the parties, he should have taken prompt action to
the administration of justice.
communicate with his clients. He should have initiated contact with them. He had already
been paid and thus he should have at least taken some steps toward the fulfillment of his Pena v Aparicio
1. Aparicio is legal counsel for Hufana in an alleged illegal dismissal case in the NLRC against

Suspension 6 months. Return 50k plus 12% interest.

Pena. Pena is president of MOF company (Yes that is not an acronym), and in connection
with this Aparicio sought the payment of separation pay to his client. Pena rejected and
sent notice to Hufana to return to work.
2. Aparicio refused and reiterated the claim of his client. In his letter apparicio also made
Canon 19
threats saying that if the claims were not paid they would file multiple criminal charges for
tax evasion, falsification. And also that they would file for the cancellation of his business
3. Because of this Pena filed the administrative proceeding against Aparicio with the IBP for
violation of Canon 19, specifically rule 19.01. IBP dismissed the complaint because Pena
failed to file his position paper and certification against forum shopping.
Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of
4. Aparicio filed an MR reiterating his claim for damages against Pena (defamation) in the
his client and shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded
amount of 400M. (not kidding)
criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding.
Issue: aparicio guilty of violating?
Rule 19.02 - A lawyer who has received information that his client has, in the course of the

YES! Pena actually did submit a position paper. Further disbarment proceedings are sui
representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the
generis and the requirement of certification of forum shopping is not strictly enforced. At
client to rectify the same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship with such client
any rate Pena did submit the certification after Aparicio filed a motion to dismiss, curing the
in accordance with the Rules of Court.

The threats of Aparicio in the letter were unethical and for all intents and purposes amount
Rule 19.03 - A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the procedure in handling the case.
to blackmail. Extortion of money by threats of accusation or exposure in the public is
exactly that. Blackmail or extortion merits disbarment and possible criminal prosecution.

Aparicio even admitted that he wrote those things! He used the threats to attempt to gain
Briones v Jimenez
leverage against pena to accede to his claims. It even implied that such things would not
1. Briones was charging Jimenez of forum shopping and various violations of the CPR.
see the light of day if their demands were met.
Briones is the administrator of the estate of Henson. Jimenez is counsel for the heirs of
Henson who are questioning the award of commission to Atty Briones. They were
requesting for an audit of the expenses of Henson.

Demand letters may be standard practice, but they must not be of the character sent by
Aparciio. But disbarment is too severe because he was trying, albeit overzealously, to
protect his clients interests. Stern warning + reprimand.