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LORENZANA FOOD CORPORATION represented by Mr. SOLOMON U. LORENZANA, JR.

,
as its President and General Manager, and/or Mrs. ELIZABETH L. DIAZ, as its VicePresident, petitioners, vs. ATTY. FRANCISCO L. DARIA, respondent.
Facts
Atty. Daria was hired by Lorenzana Food Corporation as its legal counsel and was eventually
designated as its personal manager. In the course of his employment with the corp he was
involved in two labor cases:
Hanopol case - A certain Veronica Hanopol who was allegedly illegally dismissed, filed a case
against him. During the initial hearing, Daria and Hanopol explore the possibility of an
amicable settlement but no agreement was reached and so the hearing was reset for the next
meeting.
Respondent failed to appear in the 2nd setting. Labor Arbiter reset the date further to June 28,
1983. Faced with conflictng schedule Daria moved to postpone the Hanopol hearing through a
phone message but the Labor Arbiter did not receive it, hence the case was considered as
submitted for decision based on Hanopols complaint and affidavit.
After a month, on July 29, 1983, the Labor Arbiter issued a Decision directing LFC to pay
Hanopol the total sum of P6,469.60 in labor benefits, on the basis of Hanopol's evidence alone.
Daria appealed to the NLRC and the case was remanded to the Labor Arbiter for further
proceedings. Attempts to have an amicable settlement proved futile. By the time the final
hearing was set, Daria had already resigned from the company and no one appeared for the
Corp during the Hanopol hearing. Labor arbiter revived his earlier decision awarding Hanopol
with sum of P6,469.80 in labor benefits. New counsel for the Corp appealed to the judgment
and this was remanded for further proceedings.
San Juan case - Roberto San Juan is an employee of the Corp who was accused of double
liquidation and unliquidated cash advances. He was asked to submit a written explanation and
was placed on preventive suspension. He was required to restitute said amount to the
company but upon failure to do so, a complaint of estafa was filed against him. San Juan
resigned and sought the assistance of Daria in preparing his counteraffidavit.
Because of these incidents, LFC files an administrative charge against Daria for negligence
and betrayal of former clients confidences.
Issue: WON the acts of Atty. Daria constitute negligence and betrayal of his former clients
confidence?
Held
Court says Yes, Daria violated Code of Professional Responsibility and betrayed the
confidences of his former client. He is suspended from the practice of law for 6 months.
Canon 18 provides that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence; Rule
18.03 provides that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his
negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
Because Daria had a responsibility to attend the two scheduled hearings he missed and had he
filed the required position paper for the corporation then at least there would have been no
delay in the resolution of the case which the court states could have been in favor of the
corporation. The delay was prejudicial to LFC because it deprived successor counsel of the
time which he should be devoting to other cases of LFC instead of the work left by Daria. The
respondents claim that he was able to persuade NLRC on appeal to set aside the first decision
is no matter. Negligence is apparent in the conduct of Daria.

As for preparing the counter-affidavit of San Juan, the court is not convinced with his denial of
his participation in the preparation. His signature was placed on the document and it is clear
that the contention of Daria is a mere afterthought.
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.
An attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has represented him but
also for the relation of attorney and client has terminated. It is not good practice to permit him
afterwards to defend in another case other persons against his former client under the pretext
that the case is distinct and independent of the former case.