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DLSU- College of Law


De La Salle University
College of Law

Reviewer in
Legal Ethics
Source Book:
Legal and Judicial Ethics
Dennis B. Funa
2010 Ethics Committee:
Alpha Ampong
Oily Haulo
Danilo Rico II
This is the Intellectual Property of the De La Salle College of
Law- 2010 Legal Ethics Committee.
Unathourized use and reproduction of this material is

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Code of Professional Responsibility
Legal Ethics That branch of moral science which
treats of the duties that an attorney owes to the
court, to his clients, to his colleagues in the profession
and to the public. (Justice Malcolm)
June 21, 1988 - Date of promulgation and adoption
of CPR.
1. Canons of Professional Ethics (CPE) was first
adopted prior to CPR but still it continues to be
the SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE and understanding
of legal ethics.
2. Supreme Court decisions on the discipline of
lawyers form the basis of legal ethics.
1. The lawyer and the client.
2. The lawyer and the courts.
3. The lawyer and legal profession.
4. The lawyer and society.
All lawyers are sworn constitutionalists. As
protectors of the Constitution, lawyers are expected
to be life- long students of the Constitution. They are
expected to know, understand and upheld the
The Lawyers Oath is a source of obligations and its
violation is a ground for suspension, disbarment. And
other disciplinary proceedings.
RULE OF THE LAW sometimes called the
supremacy of the law, provides that decisions
should be made by the application of known legal
principles or laws without the intervention of
discretion in their application (Blacks Law Dictionary).
The phrase to promote respect for law and for legal
processes means it is the duty of a lawyer to uphold
the Rule of Law.
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,
dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

Duty to Act with Honesty, Morality and Lawful

Conduct - Any of the three would be sufficient ground
to file disciplinary proceedings against a lawyer. The
dishonesty, gross immorality and violation of a law
need not to be committed in relation to his
professional duties; the lawyer may be sanctioned for
acts committed in his private affairs.
Moral Turpitude defined:
- as everything which is done contrary to justice,
modesty or good morals.
Conviction for illegal recruitment and attempt
to evade the payment of taxes due to the
government while wrong and unlawful, does
not involve moral turpitude.
Engaging in premarital sexual relations with
complainant and promises to marry suggests a
doubtful moral character on his part but the
same does not constitute grossly immoral
conduct. (sayanaman! ayos!)
Grossly Immoral conduct defined:
- it is so corrupt as to constitute criminal act or so
unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high
degree or committed under such scandalous or
revolting circumstances as to shock the common
sense of decency.
Ex. of grossly immoral conduct:
a. Forging a special power of attorney to effect a
false real estate mortgage and collecting the loan
proceedings from the mortgage.
b. Taking advantage of his position as chairman of
college of medicine to engage to have a carnal
knowledge with a medicine student by threatening
c. Married lawyer engaging in marital infidelity.
** sexual relations outside marriage is considered
disgraceful and immoral as it manifests deliberate
disregard of the sanctity of marriage and the marital
vows protected by our Constitution and affirmed by
Gross immorality need not to be scandalous,
punishable by law, neither it should be related to
professional duties not there is lawyer-client

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There is no distinction as to whether the
transgression is committed in the lawyers
professional capacity or in his private life or in his
private transactions. This is because a lawyer may not
divide his personality as to be an attorney at one time
and a mere citizen at another, and his private life may
reflect unfavorably upon the good name and prestige
of the profession and the courts.
Unlawful Conduct defined:
Includes violation of the statutory prohibition on
a govt employee to engage in private practice of
his profession unless authorized by law.
A lawyer may not be suspended or disbarred, and
the court may not ordinarily assume jurisdiction
to discipline him, for misconduct in his nonprofessional or private capacity.
REASON: poverty is not a crime; if all lawyers will be
disbarred bec. of non-paying of debt, all lawyers will
all be in the jail bec. not all are rich.
financial obligations is gross misconduct in view of its

Gross misconduct defined:

- Is any inexcusable, shameful or flagrant unlawful
conduct on the part of the person concerned in
the administration of justice which is prejudicial to
the rights of the parties or to right determination
of the cause.
- It is generally motivated by premeditated,
obstinate or intentional purpose, but doesnt
necessarily imply corruption or criminal intent.
Ex. of gross misconduct in private capacity:
a. Firing a gun at the driver of another vehicle
following a traffic altercation in a highway.
b. Entering into a contract with complainant
representing to have rights over the property to
transfer it to complainants name but in truth he
has not acquired such rights.
c. A lawyer engaged in lending business which lends
to a customer through a check but deceiving the
latter to a price in which they didnt agree then
filing complaints against the customer for
falsified checks.

Ex. of misconduct in the practice of profession:

a. Compromising into a settlement of a clients
litigation without a special authority and without
the consent and approval of the client and failing
to turn over the money of the agreement to the
b. Displaying his revolver to intimidate a client to
sign a pleading.
c. Assisting a client in modus operandi wherein a
client would threaten a person for tax evasion.
a. The standards of legal profession are not satisfied
by conduct which merely enables one to escapes
the penalties of criminal law.
b. The court in disbarment proceedings is acting in an
entirely different capacity from that which courts
assume in trying criminal case.
c. Administrative cases of lawyers belong to class of
their own. They are distinct from and may proceed
independently of civil and criminal cases.
Rule 1.02 - A lawyer shall not counsel or abet
activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening
confidence in the legal system.
Ex. of activities aimed at the defiance of the law:
a. Advising his client to execute another deed of
absolute sale antedated 1979 to evade payment
of capital gains taxes.
b. Repeatedly disobeying orders of the Security and
Exchange Commission hearing panel to appeal in
its hearings and repeatedly failing to substantiate
his excuse for non-appearance.
Rule 1.03 - A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive
or interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or
delay any man's cause.
Two duties:
1. Duty against barratry - Encouraging suits or legal
actions must always be with noble intent to
pursue or protect a right.
2. Duty not to delay any mans cause - Must not
hider a person in his pursuit of protection or
Barratry the offense of frequently exciting or
stirring up quarrels and suits, either at law or
The person who engaged in barratry is a
barretor or barrator.

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Maintenance is the intermeddling
uninterested party to encourage lawsuit.



Rule 1.04 - A lawyer shall encourage his clients to

avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will admit of a
fair settlement.
Duty to promote fair and amicable settlement:
Compromise and settlement of cases is encouraged:
The law does not limit compromise to cases
about to be filed or filed, it can be effected even after
final judgment as authorized by the Civil Code.
1. A party must give up some of his rights that he
has, in consideration of the same act on the part
of the other side.
2. Lawyers need written special authority to
compromise their clients litigation or receive
anything in the discharge of a clients claim or full
amount in cash.
3. A compromise agreement signed by a lawyer in
behalf of a party to the agreement without
authorization of the latter is not void but
4. An agreement between a lawyer and his client
that forbids the client from entering a settlement
without the lawyers consent is against public
policy and not permitted.



Duty to be an efficient lawyer :

The efficiency demanded of a lawyer must not be
realized at the expense of the independence, integrity
and effectiveness of the profession.
To be efficient does not mean the abandonment
of ones integrity in order to achieve a given cause at
all cost.
The lawyers efficiency must not be obtained at
the price of compromising the effectiveness of the
entire legal profession

Example of professional inefficiency

1. A lawyer who enters his appearance in a case
that had become final 1 year and 8 months
earlier was severely censured by the court (In re
2. The lawyer filed his Appearance on the mere
oral representation of a layman that the case is
till pending without confirming the status of the
Duty to be proficient in English Language
Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid
reasons, the cause of the defenseless or the
Duty to the Defenseless and the Oppressed
General Rule: Lawyer is duty bound to serve these
marginalized citizens. The rule mandates all lawyers
to accept as clients those who may have found
themselves in the fringes of society
Rule 2.02 - In such cases, even if the lawyer does not
accept a case, he shall not refuse to render legal
advice to the person concerned if only to the extent
necessary to safeguard the latter's rights.
Duty to give Legal Advice on the Rights if the
Defenseless and the Oppressed
This rule in the only exception to the general rule
that consultation creates a lawyer-client relationship
Even if no lawyer-client relationship is created, a
lawyer is still duty bound to give legal advice to the
defenseless and the oppressed in protection of the
latters rights
Rule 2.03 - A lawyer shall not do or permit to be
done any act designed primarily to solicit legal
Duty to Shun Vulgar Solicitation
It is highly unethical for a lawyer to advertise his
talents or skill as a merchant advertises his
Law is a profession and not a trade.
Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a moneymaking venture, and law advocacy Is not a capital
that necessarily yields profits.

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Practice of Law vs. Business
1. A duty of public service
2. A relation as an officer of the court to the
administration of justice involving thorough
sincerity, integrity and reliability
3. A relation to clients in the highest degree of
4. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized
by candor, fairness, and unwillingness to resort to
current business methods of advertising and
encroachment on their practice, or dealing
directly with their clients.

Not allowed advertising

1. A lawyer may not properly publish his brief
biographical and informative data in a daily
paper, magazine, trade journal or society
2. A lawyer may not publish his name in a law list in
which the conduct, management or contents are
calculated or likely to deceive or injure the public
or the bar, or to lower dignity or standing of the

Dignified Solicitation Allowed

If it is made in a modest and decorous manner, it
would bring no injury to the lawyer and to the bar.
Thus, the following are allowed:
1. Use of simple signs stating the name or names of
the lawyers, the office and residence address and
fields of practice
2. Advertisement in legal periodicals bearing the
same brief facts
3. Publication in reputable law lists of brief
biographical and informative data


Good Reputation as the Best Advertisement

Canon 27 of the Canons of Professional Ethics
The most worthy and effective advertisement
possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially with
is brother lawyers, is the establishment of a wellmerited reputation for professional capacity and
fidelity to trust.
Must be the outcome of character and conduct
Permitted Advertising
1. May include only statement of the: Lawyers
name; The names of his professional associates;
short biography; contact addresses/numbers.
2. The law list must be a reputable law list
published primarily for that purpose
It cannot be a mere supplemental feature of
a paper, magazine, trade journal or
periodical which is published principally for
other purpose
3. Ordinary simple professional card is permitted:
may contain a statement of his name, his law
firm name, address, and special branch of law
4. Simple announcement of the opening of a law
firm or of changes in the partnership, associates,
firm name or office address
5. His name listed in a telephone directory but not
under a designation of a special branch of law.

Example of Violations of this rule:

Causing the publication of an advertisement in
Sunday Tribune which read
license promptly secured thru our assistance &
annoyance of delay or publicity avoided if
desired, and marriage arranged to wishes of
parties. Consultation on any matter free for the
poor. Everything confidential..
Legal Assistance service
12 Escolta, Manila room 105
Tel 2-41-60
Ambulance chasing, defined.
One seeking out persons in negligence cases and
directing them to an attorney in consideration of
a percentage of the recovery
A term descriptive of the practice of some
attorneys, on hearing of a personal injury which
have been caused by negligence or wrongful act
of another, of at once seeking out the injured
person with a view to securing authority to bring
action on account of the injury.
Prohibiting professional advocacy to promote his
law practice or to solicit clients
Canon 26 of the Canons of Professional Ethics
Lawyer openly may render professional services
before legislative or other bodies regarding
proposed legislation and in advocacy of claims
before departments of government
It is unprofessional for a lawyer so engaged, to
conceal his attorneyship, or to employ secret
personal solicitation, or to use means other than
those addressed to reason and understanding, to
influence action.
Rule 2.04 - A lawyer shall not charge rates lower
than those customarily prescribed unless the
circumstances so warrant.

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Duty to Shun Cut-throat Rates
Cut throat rates - lowering legal fees to attract
paying clients.
The rate for legal services that is customarily
prescribed is generally dictated by market forces.



The Duty of honest and dignified pronouncement of

legal services:
The embellishment and exaggeration of
credentials is not only frowned upon. It is
sanctionable because there is a certain degree of
dignity that must be maintained.
Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use
of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or
claim regarding his qualifications or legal services.
Duty Not to use Fraudulent or misleading
pronouncement of qualifications:
All communications regarding the lawyer must
contain information that is necessary for the client to
be informed about the professional competence of a
lawyer. This info. would include:
1. Office information law firm name, and
contact numbers.
2. Relevant biographical information
3. Description of the practice but only
designations and definitions authorized by
the agency.
4. Permitted fee information.
Some self- laudation must be limited and others
Information on scholastic honors, or election in
public office may be disseminated.
the lawyer may not announce the successful
results he has obtained on behalf of his clients
or the lawyers record in obtaining favorable
judgments for the reason that past performance

of the lawyer is not an indication of future

performance, and because no lawyer can
guarantee the results of any legal action.
Testimonials from previous clients are not
Rule 3.02 - In the choice of a firm name, no false,
misleading or assumed name shall be used. The
continued use of the name of a deceased partner is
permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its
communications that said partner is deceased.

Duty of Honesty in the Firm name and selection of

the Firm Name:
1. Generally, the law firm name is derived from the
surnames of the founding members of the law
2. Usually, firm names identify the more active
and/or more senior members or partners in the
law firm.
3. Art. 1825 of the Civil Code prohibits third person
from including his name in the firm name under
pain of assuming the liability of a partner.
4. A lawyer is not authorized to use a name other
than the name inscribed in the Roll of Attorneys in
his practice of law.
5. Lawyers cannot practice under a foreign law firm
name bec. the foreign law firm is not authorized to
practice law in the Philippines and to avoid
confusion on part of future clients.
Use of a deceased partners name:
- It is permissible provided that the firm indicates
in all its communications that said partner is
Reason why it is permitted: An able lawyer without
connections will have to make name for himself
starting from scratch. Another able lawyer who can
join an old firm, can initially ride on the old firms
reputation established by the deceased partner.
Continued use of Retired partners name:
A retired partner can be in a of counsel
status and retain his name in the firm name esp. if the
firm name has been long- established and wellrecognized and communications about the lawyers
status clearly indicate that he is retired.

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Use or Assumed Trade Name is not allowed:
A partnership for the practice of law is not a
legal entity. It is a mere relationship or association for
a particular purpose. It is not a partnership formed for
the purpose of carrying on a trade or business or of
holding property.
Application of the word associates in the firm
Associates describe those who are employees of
the firm. It can be misleading in two situations: 1.
Where two lawyers are partners and they share both
responsibility and liability; and 2. Where two lawyers
practice separately sharing no responsibility and
Firm Name for Solo Practitioners:
A solo practitioner may not use a firm name
which is misleading such as: use of associates or
affiliates, or designate himself as senior atty. Where
he is the only atty. in the law firm.
BUT he may use the term Law Firm, which may
consists of many lawyers or only a single practitioner.
Use of the Term Of Counsel:
- A counsel assists in certain specialized services
rendered by the law firm. The relationship of a
counsel with the law firm must be close, personal
and regular with frequent and continuing contact,
and not that of partner, shareholder, or associate.
Rule 3.03 - Where a partner accepts public office, he
shall withdrawal from the firm and his name shall be
dropped from the firm name unless the law allows
him to practice law currently.
Public officials that are prohibited to engage in the
practice of law:
1. Judges and other officials or employees of
the superior court;
2. Officials and employees of the Solicitor
3. Govt prosecutors;
4. President, Vide- President, Members of the
Cabinet, their deputies and assistants;
5. Members of the Constitutional Commissions
6. Ombudsman and his deputies;
7. All governors, city and municipal mayors;
8. Prohibited by special law.
Under Sec. 7 of RA 6713/Code of Conduct of Ethical
Standards for Public officials and Employees, a

public officer is prohibited to engage in the private

practice of their profession unless authorized by
the Constitution or law provided that such practice
will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official
Member of congress who are lawyers may practice
law provided they may not personally appear as a
counsel before any court of justice, or before
electoral tribunals, or quasi- judicial and other
administrative bodies. Hence, they may retain their
names in the law firm names. The same also
applies to Members of the Sangguniang who are
Rule 3.04 - A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of
value to representatives of the mass media in
anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract
legal business.
Payment to media for publicity is a callous
contempt to commercialize the legal profession
bec. it attracts legal business for legal profession is
a public service profession.
However, the lawyer is not mandated to decline
genuine media attention to his advocacies which
have generated public interest or the participation
of the media is indispensible such as advocacy to
expose corruption in the govt.



Duty to Support the Improvement of the Legal

Lawyers should participate in proposing and
supporting legislation and program to improve the
legal system, without regard to the general interests
or desires of clients or former clients. He should
encourage the simplification old laws and the repeal
or amendment of laws that are outmoded.
Duty of Lawyers to assist the judicial and Bar Council
- A lawyer may with propriety endorse a candidate
for a judicial office and seek like endorsement from
other lawyers.

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- But a lawyer who endorses a judicial candidate or
seeks that endorsement from other lawyers should
be actuated by a sincere belief in the superior
qualifications of the candidate for judicial service
and not by personal or selfish motive.
- A lawyer believes that the candidate lacks the
essential qualifications for the office or believes
that the opposing candidate is better qualified,
should have the courage and moral stamina to
refuse the request for endorsement.




Talks and writing by lawyers for laypersons

should caution them not to tempt to solve
individual problems upon the basis of the
information contained

Relation to Canon 40 of the Canons of Professional

A lawyer may write articles for publications in
which he gives information upon the law
He could not accept employment from such
publication to advice inquiries in respect to their
individual rights.
Genesis of the MCLE
August 22, 2000, the Supreme Court adopted Bar
Matter No. 805.
On December 01, 2001, the Supreme Court
approved the MCLE implementing regulations which
paved the way for the full implementation.

Bar Matter 850: Mandatory Continuing Legal

Education(See Appendix 6)

Duty to Keep Abreast of Legal Developments

A lawyer must not only be guided by the strict
standards imposed by the lawyers oath, but should
likewise espouse legally sound arguments for clients.

Purpose: To ensure that throughout their career, they

keep abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain
the ethics of the profession and enhance the
standards of law practice.

Example of Violation of Canon 5

1. When the law is so elementary, not to know it or
to act as if one does not know it constitutes gross
ignorance of the law.
2. The 15 day period for appealing or for filling a
motion for reconsideration cannot be extended.
It was the ignorance of the counsel in
disregarding this rule.

Requirements of Completion of MCLE

Members of the IBP, unless exempted under Rule 7,
shall complete every 3 years at least 36 hours of
continuing education activities.

There is no law requiring the publication of

Supreme Court decisions in the Official Gazette
before they can be binding. It is the duty of the
lawyer to keep abreast of decisions of the
Supreme Court.

Radio and television talk shows; legal columns

writers; Guidelines for lawyers who write or speak
on legal matters for the consumption of the general
1. The lawyer should carefully refrain from giving or
appearing to give a general solution applicable to
all apparently similar individual problems

Parties Exempted from the MCLE: those who hold

public positions such as senators, ombudsman, and
even Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors
of law who have teaching experience for at least ten
(10) years in accredited law schools



Duties Apply to Lawyers in government Service

General Rule: a lawyer who holds a government
office may not be disciplined as a member of the Bar
for misconduct in the discharge of his duties as a
government official.

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Exception: If his governmental infraction also
constitutes a violation of his oath as a member of the
Higher standard of integrity is required from
government lawyers than private practitioners
This is expected because delinquency of a
government lawyer erodes the peoples trust and
confidence in the government
When a public officer is sanctionable as a public
officer and when as a lawyer
1. Violations of RA 6713 ("Code of Conduct and
Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.")
are not subject to disciplinary action under the Code
of Professional Responsibility unless the violations
also constitutes infractions of specific provisions of
the Code of Professional Responsibility
2. A disbarment case may be filed following a
finding of guilt in an administrative investigation by
the proper government authority.
3. A disbarment case may be filed against a Register
of Deeds who was dismissed by the President of the
Philippines for the illegal issuance of TCTs.
Rule 6.01 - The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in
public prosecution is not to convict but to see that
justice is done. The suppression of facts or the
concealment of witnesses capable of establishing
the innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible
and is cause for disciplinary action.
Duty of a Public Prosecutor to see that Justice is
The public prosecutor does not side with either
party but instead should be guided by what evidence
is presented by the contending parties.
He should not institute criminal charges when he
knows that the charges are not supported by
probable cause.
He should also make known any evidence that
tends to negate the guilt of the accused, mitigate the
degree of the offense, or reduce the punishment.
Imbler vs. Pachtman
The prosecutor is the representative not of an
ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty
whose obligation to govern impartially is as
compelling as its obligation to govern at all
He is a peculiar and very definite sense the
servant of the law, the two-fold aim of which is that
guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer

Rule 6.02 - A lawyer in the government service shall

not use his public position to promote or advance his
private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere
with his public duties.
Duty to separate Public Duties from Private Interests
A public office is a public trust.
The prohibitions are those which may be found
under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
The revolving door between government service
and private practice
The practice of some lawyers in using
government service as a mere stepping stone to
jobs outside government service may cause some
prejudice to the government service as a whole
Rule 6.03 - A lawyer shall not, after leaving
government service, accept engagement or
employment in connection with any matter in which
he had intervened while in said service.
Duty to Avoid Conflict of Interest After Leaving the
government service
The word intervene is limited to mean only an
act of a person who has the power to influence the
subject proceedings and which act should not be
insubstantial and insignificant.
Section 7(b) of RA 6713 prohibits certain
transactions and interests during the incumbency of
the public official and for a period of one year after
his resignation, retirement or separation from the
public office.
Example of Violation of Rule 6.03
1. An assistant Vice President of a governmentowned and controlled bank who had intervened in
the handling of a loan account by writing demand
letters to the borrower, subsequently, represent the
borrower in a civil action between the government
bank and the borrower as a result of the same loan
Relation to Canon 36 of the Canons of Professional
A lawyer should not accept employment as an
advocate in any matter upon the merits which he has
previously acted in a judicial capacity.

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Duty to uphold the integrity and dignity of the Legal

Profession; Duty to support the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP)
The lawyer must be ever conscious that his
conduct, behavior, bearing, language and reputation
are projection not only of all the lawyers in the
country bur a projection of the legal profession as
Example of Violation of Canon 7
1. Enticing private individuals to invest their money
in an investment scheme which was an activity not
authorized by the companys by-laws
Relation to Canon 29 of the Canons of Professional
Lawyer should expose without fear or favor
before the proper tribunal corrupt or dishonest
conduct in the profession and should accept without
hesitation employment against a member of bar who
has wronged his clients.
Brief History of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
1. Supreme Court created Commission on Bar
Integration on October 5, 1970 which was tasked
to serve as a common vehicle of the court and the
bar in fashioning a blueprint for integration and
putting same into actual operation.
2. Republic Act 6397, which become effective
September 17, 1971, confirmed the power of the
Supreme Court to adopt rules of court to effect
the integration of the Philippine Bar.
3. January 9, 1973 the Supreme Court by a percuriam
resolution, pursuant to its constitutional mandate
ordained the integration of the Bar in accordance
with its Rules 139-A, effective January 16, 1973.
4. Within the next succeeding months, the IBP was
organized. On February 17, 1973, local chapters all
over the country finally formed and elections for
chapter officers were held.

Integrated Bar, defined

Is a state-organized bar, to which every lawyer
must belong, as distinguished from bar associations
organized by individual lawyers themselves,
membership in which is voluntary.
Purpose of the IBP
1. Assist in the administration of justice;
2. Foster and maintain, on the part of its members,
high ideals of integrity, learning, professional
competence, public service and conduct;
3. Safeguard the professional interests of its
4. Cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality
and brotherhood;
5. Provide a forum for the discussion of law,
jurisprudence, law reform, pleading, practice and
procedure, and the relations of the Bar to the Bench
and to the public, and publish information relating
6. Encourage and foster legal education;
7. Promote a continuing program of legal research in
substantive and adjective law, and make reports and
recommendations thereon.
8. Enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility
General Objectives of the IBP
1. To elevate the standards of the legal profession,
2. To improve the administration of justice; and
3. To enable the Bar to discharge its public
responsibilities more effectively.
Effect of Non-Payment of IBP dues: warrant
suspension of membership in the Integrated Bar, and
a ground for the removal of the name of the
delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys.
Non-political nature of the IBP:
No lawyer holding an elective, judicial, quasijudicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or
any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof
shall be eligible for election of appointment to any
position in the Integrated Bar or any Chapter thereof
shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his
position as of the moment he files his certificate of
candidacy for any elective public office or accepts
appointment to any judicial, quasi-judicial, or
prosecutory office in the Government or any political
subdivision or instrumentality thereof.


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Membership in voluntary bar associations:
Lawyers are free to join or establish other voluntary
lawyers organizations. Lawyers organizations may be
set-up for specialized practice of law such as
Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines
All voluntary Bar associations now existing or
which may hereafter be formed
may co-exist with the Integrated Bar
but shall not operate at cross-purposes therewith
nor against any policy, act, resolution or decision

Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that

adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor
shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal

Rule 7.01 - A lawyer shall be answerable for

knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a
material fact in connection with his application for
admission to the bar.

Examples of Violations of Rule 7.03

1. Vindictiveness is unprofessional and vengeance is
grave misconduct
The Act of filing multiple complaints against
another reflects in a lawyers fitness to a member of
the profession.
Respondents tenacity in pursuing several
complaints against complainants is trying to exact

Requirements for all applicants for admission to the

Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar
must be a citizen of the Philippines,
at least twenty-one years of age,
of good moral character, and
resident of the Philippines; and
must produce before the Supreme Court
satisfactory evidence of good moral
character, and that
no charges against him, involving moral
turpitude, have been filed or are pending in
any court in the Philippines.
Additional requirements for other applicants:
studied law for four years, and
successfully completed all prescribed courses, in
a law school or university,
The affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a
certificate from the university or school of law
before he began the study of law, he had pursued
pre- law and satisfactorily completed in an
authorized and recognized university or college,
the completion of a four-year high school course,
Rule 7.02 - A lawyer shall not support the application
for admission to the bar of any person known by him
to be unqualified in respect to character, education,
or other relevant attribute.
Duty to Support only those Qualified to be admitted
to the Bar
Just as the lawyer himself must be qualified with
respect to his character, education and the other
requirements, the lawyer must expect every other
applicant to be equally qualified.

Duty to be Professional and Dignified

Directs all lawyers must behave in a professional
and dignified manner before the general public.
Becoming modesty is a desirable trait for practicing



Duty of Professional Courtesy:

Lawyers are duty bound to uphold the
dignity of the legal profession. A lawyer must give
respect to a fellow lawyer at the same way that he
expects to be respected by others.
Advising a client to file disbarment case
against opposing client is not unethical where the
lawyer was compelled in good faith to do so, and it
was done with no improper motive, lawyer cannot be
found guilty of instigating disbarment proceedings
against a brother attorney.
Rule 8.01 A lawyer shall not, in his professional
dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
otherwise improper.
Duty to be Professional in Language
This rule covers not only disrespectful
language towards a fellow lawyer, but also covers
such language towards a party ligitant. If the language
is towards the courts, Canon 11, Rule 11.03 will apply.


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Excessive language weakens rather than
strengthens the persuasive force of legal reasoning.
General Rule of Statements in judicial proceedings:
Statements made in the course of judicial
proceedings are absolutely privileged. Statements
made in pleadings, petitions, motions, are absolutely
privileged regardless of the defamatory tenor and of
the presence of malice, provided that it is relevant to
subject of inquiry. So, if its not relevant, they may be
considered libelous.
Offensive remarks in pleadings are not privilege
communication. This is the exception to the abovestated general rule. This constitutes unprofessional
conduct that may subject the lawyer to disciplinary
actions, even if the publication is privileged.
The rule of absolute privileged communication
absolves beforehand the lawyer from civil and
criminal liability. But the lawyers nevertheless
remain subject to the disciplinary authority of the
Offensive or improper utterances are not
punishable when theyre made out of impulsiveness
or the heat of the moment in the course of an
argument; lawyers should be allowed some latitude
of remark or comment in the furtherance of their
Sanctions for intemperate language: a lawyer
may be held liable for contempt or administratively
disciplined. He may not be subject to a counterclaim
in the case litigated for such language.
In case of contemptuous statements in private
letters to judges and justices, privacy of
communications cannot be invoked.
Rule 8.02 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly,
encroach upon the professional employment of
another lawyer, however, it is the right of any
lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper advice
and assistance to those seeking relief against
unfaithful or neglectful counsel.
Duty to Refrain from Professional Encroachment:
Professional courtesy extends to the respect
for the lawyer-client relationship existing between
another lawyer and his clients.
Should the client manifest his dissatisfaction with
his present lawyer, the new lawyer must give only an

objective assessment of the clients options and must

not denigrate the other lawyers professional
standing in order to obtain for himself the clients
Entry of appearance of a second lawyer does not
imply the removal of the first lawyer.



Duty to a lawyer to shun unauthorized practice of

Law is founded on public interest and policy.
Purpose: to protect the public, the court, the client,
and the bar from incompetence or dishonesty of
those unlicensed to practice law and not subject to
the disciplinary control of the Court.
Effects of unauthorized practice of law: can bring
detriment, danger, and damage to private individuals
who should be receiving competent and learned legal
assistance from lawyers.
Practice of Law refers to any activity, in or out of
the court which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience.

Practice of law is not a natural or constitutional

right but a special privilege, highly personal and
partakes the nature of public trust.
One who has passed the bar examinations but has
not yet taken his oath and signed the roll of
attorneys is not yet authorized to practice law.
Practice of law without authority may be punished
for indirect contempt.

SHYSTER In legal ethics, it is a non- lawyer

pretending to be a lawyer.
Specialized practice of Law: a lawyer may prefer a
particular field of law as his interest as he has
developed mastery and expertise in that particular
A lawyer shall not permit his professional service or
his name to be used in aid or collaborate on cases
with a person, agency personal or corporate which
are not authorized to practice law.


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Rule 9.01 - A lawyer shall not delegate to any
unqualified person the performance of any task
which by law may only be performed by a member
of the bar in good standing.
Lawyering is a profession:
A lawyer shall not delegate or assign to an
unqualified person a lawyers delicate job because
not all persons are capable of doing a lawyers job in
every field of law. As a profession, lawyers can
demand payment for their services which have
certain standard of quality.
The lawyer and the non-legal staff:
The lawyer should give assistants
appropriate instruction and supervision concerning
the ethical aspects of their employment, particularly
regarding the obligation not to disclose information
relating to representation of their client, and should
be responsible for their work product because nonlegal staff are not subjected to professional discipline.
The Lawyer and the Law Student:
A law student can help the lawyer in the
fields of lawyers work such as examination of a case
law and court records, interviewing witnesses, making
collection of claims, delivering papers and other
similar matters. BUT the student is not permitted to
perform the professional functions of a lawyer, such
as conducting court trials, giving prof. advice to clients
or drawing legal documents from them.
A Law Student Practice Rule (Rule 138- A):
1. Conditions for student practice:
He is on his 4 year in law school.
Enrolled in a recognized law schools legal
education approved by the SC.
2. Appearance: He shall be under the direct
supervision and control of a member of the IBP
in all his appearance in court.
Exception: law student appears before an inferior
court as an agent or a friend of a party where
issues and procedure are relatively simple even
without supervision of a lawyer.
3. Privileged communications shall also apply to the
4. Law student shall comply with the standards of
professional conduct governing members of the

Reasons for the need of a supervising lawyer for a

practicing law student:


To ensure no miscarriage of justice.

Law school clinic may be able to protect itself
from any potential vicarious liability arising from
any culpable action of their law students.
To ensure consistency with the fundamental
principle that no person is allowed to practice
without a license.


The individual litigant may personally do
everything in the course of proceedings from
commencement to the termination of the litigation.
Danger of self- representation: runs the risk of failing
in the legal nuisances because of his ignorance of
legal substance and procedures.
Self- representation cannot be availed in criminal
cases because the right to counsel cannot be waived
even though he is the most intelligent man because
he does not know how to establish his innocence.
A party must choose between selfrepresentation or being a member of the bar. During
the course of proceedings, a party should not be
allowed to shift from one form of representation to
another in order to avoid confusion.
Private Practice- involves the exercise of a profession
or vocation usually for gain, mainly as attorney by
acting in a representative capacity and as counsel by
rendering legal advice to others.
Rule 9.02 - A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to
divide a fee for legal services with persons not
licensed to practice law, except:
(a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a
partner or associate that, upon the latter's death,
money shall be paid over a reasonable period of
time to his estate or to persons specified in the
agreement; or
(b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete
unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or
(c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer
employees in a retirement plan even if the plan is
based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing


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Practical reasons for the rule/duty to maintain the

integrity of the lawyers fees:
1. Fees for legal services are the fruits earned from
the proper application of the study of law.
2. If fees were to be allowed to non- lawyers, it
would leave the public in hopeless confusion as to
whom to consult in case of necessity and also leave
the bar in a chaotic condition because non- lawyers
are not amenable to disciplinary measures.
Canon 34 of CPE:
- Prohibits an agreement for the payment to the
widow and heirs of a deceased lawyer of a percentage
of fees received from the future business of the
deceased lawyers clients.
- No division of fees for legal services is proper
except with another lawyer, based upon the division
of service or responsibility.



Duty of Candor to the Courts:

While a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of
his client, it should not be at the expense of truth and
the administration of justice
Duty to Obey Court Orders:
1. Lawyers should obey court orders and processes;
wilful disregard of them can subject lawyers to
punishment for contempt and disciplinary
2. A lawyer has the graver responsibility (than any
other profession) to uphold the integrity of the
courts and show respect to their processes
3. This duty exists no matter how minor the court
order may seem
4. Failure to do so is only partially justified by his
attention to his sick relatives
5. Failure to receive court orders is not an excuse
when there is negligence
6. On vague or erroneous court orders: Lawyer
should carry out the spirit and intent (and just
openly defy the court order)

Duty to file pleadings on time:

Late filings may be exculpated by fortuitous
events or force majeure, but absence of these factors
will hold the lawyer liable
Relevant illustrations of lawyers disrespect to court
1. Lawyers attempt to raise issues long since laid
to rest by final and executor judgments
2. Deliberately instruction his office clerks not to
receive court decisions
3. Res judicata
Rule 10.01: A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor
consent to the doing of any in Court; nor shall he
mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any
Duty of Fidelity to the Courts
Just think Atty. Manuel the awesome one Zamora ;)
1. Falsehood without intent, causing no material
damage, is sanctionable
2. Knowingly making false allegations in pleadings is
direct contempt; and this is causing the client to
perjure himself (subjecting him to criminal
prosecution for perjury)
3. It matters not whether or not the court was
misled by lawyers submission of false
allegations/documents, because theres that
malicious intent already
*No need to cite one too many illustrations here as
theyre all about doing falsehood to the courts. Im
sure you get it kids.
Rule 10.02: A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote
or misrepresent the contents of a paper, the
language or the argument of opposing counsel, or
the text of a decision or authority, or knowingly cite
as law a provision already rendered inoperative by
repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that which
has not been proved.
Duty to Give Accurate Quotations and Citations:
The Golden Rule (on how to quote court
decisions): court decisions must be reproduced,
copied or quoted word-for-word and punctuationmark-for-punctuation mark
Rationale of the rule: This is because accdg to Art 8,
CC, jurisprudence forms part of the law of the land,
thus they must be exactly quoted, otherwise they
might lose their proper and correct meaning, to the


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detriment of other courts, lawyers, and the public
who may be misled.
Reasoned interpretation of a court decision is
not deception, it would be mere argument fully
within the bounds of earnest debate.
But presenting as a findings of fact, making
them appear as if theyre facts recognized by the
court when in truth they were merely forwarded
versions constitutes misrepresentations.
Lawyers signature on pleadings: it constitutes as a
certificate by him that he has read the pleading and
that to the best of his knowledge, information and
belief, there is good ground to support it
Rule 10.03 A lawyer shall observe the rules of
procedure and shall not misuse them to defeat the
ends of justice.
Duty of Fidelity to the Rules of Procedures:
Note: Rules of Court have the force and effect of law;
real spirit and intent should be invoked (remember
StatCon lesson- Rules of Court are liberally construed)

Filing pleadings thru fax machine is not allowed

as there arises an uncertainty of determining its

Filing a Dilatory appeal: filing an appeal to delay the

enforcement of a final judgment. Splitting an appeal
into several actions is an abuse of processes of court



As an officer of the court, it is his duty to uphold

the dignity and authority of the court which he owes
fidelity accdg. to the oath he has taken. Respect for
the courts guarantees the stability of our democratic
institutions which, without respect, would be resting
on a very shaky foundation.
Canon 11 also speaks respect due to the judicial
officers. Thus, lawyers must also extend respect to
the clerk of the court.

Illustration of violation of the rule:

a. Stating in a radio interview that a judge was
ignorant of the law and he is studying mahjong
rather than studying law.
b. Arguing in motion for reconsideration that the
lawyer who filed it was a big name Claro M.
c. Pleadings that uses offensive and intemperate
language as a means of harassing judges whose
decisions unfavorable to them.
A. Forms of Disrespect to the Court:
1. Disregard from the court orders is disrespect to
the court; examples:
a. Failure to file a reply as ordered by the SC is
b. Disobeying a TRO issued by the CA.
Court orders however erroneous they may be,
must be respected especially by lawyers who are by
themselves officers of the courts because of the
respect and consideration that should be extended to
the judicial branch of the govt.
2. Harassment of judges is also disrespect to the
The filing of baseless and frivolous
administrative complaints against judges is a clear
harassment to exact vengeance for rendering adverse
judgments. A counsel can also be held to account for
assisting a client in filing an utterly unmeritorious
administrative complaint against a judge because it is
a form of harassment and an attempt to unduly
influence the course of the appeal.
3. Unexplained failure to appear at scheduled
hearing is disrespect and an indirect contempt:
A lawyer without any explanation or
justification shows disrespect and degrading the
administration of justice. The lawyer must apologize
for his non- appearance in court. Even if the petition
become moot and academic, the counsel must still
appear at the hearing. It is indirect contempt bec. of
disobedience or resistance to a lawful write, order,
judgment or command by the court.
B. Remedies in case of a biased and prejudiced
The bias and prejudice of a trial judge is a
valid reason for voluntary inhibition of the judge
under Rule 137, Sec. 1 (par2). Mere suspicion that a


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judge is partial is not enough, there must be clear and
convincing evidence to prove the charge.

Rules on Contempt under Rule 71 of the Rules of


C. Power of Contempt by the Court:







The power of contempt should be exercised on

the preservative to uphold respect due to it and
not on the vindictive principle.
Contempt Proceedings are distinct and separate
from disciplinary or disbarment cases.
Contempt in facie curiae (in the face of the court)
is determined by the trial judge and could be
summarily punished without hearing.
Disrespectful language in a pleading may also be
The disrespect may be committed against the
court and the judiciary in general.
The disrespect may be committed in a perverted
reasoning or argument stated in pleading.
Want of intention is not an excuse for the
disrespectful language used. The counsel cannot
claim that his words did not mean what any reader
must have understood them as meaning.
The subsequent deletion of the paragraph
containing the disrespectful language, made
through an amendment, does not erase the fact
that is has been made. Thus, it cannot be a
defense in a charge of indirect contempt.
Lawyers facing direct contempt may not be
allowed to retire from practice of law bec. it would
negate the power to punish him for contempt.

Differences of Direct and Indirect Contempt:

Indirect or constructive contempt:
a. The contemnor may be punished only after the
charge in writing has been filed, and an
opportunity has been given to the accused to be
heard by himself or counsel.
b. It is appealable.
Direct contempt:
a. The respondent may be summarily adjudged in
b. Only judgments of contempt by MTCs, MCTCs
and MeTCs are appealable.
Using contemptuous language in pleadings
directed against a particular judge but presented in
another court or proceeding constitutes indirect
contempt. But if said pleading is submitted before the
same judge, it would be direct contempt.

A. Any person may be punished for Direct contempt if

the person is guilty of misbehavior in the presence of
or so near a court as to obstruct or interrupt in the
proceedings before the same, including:
- disrespect toward the court,
- offensive personalities toward others,
- or refusal to be sworn or to answer as a
- or to subscribe an affidavit or deposition
when lawfully required to do so.
Contempt committed against:
RTC/CA/SC: Fine not exceeding 2,000 pesos or
imprisonment not exceeding 10 days or both.
Lower court: fine not exceeding or imprisonment not
exceeding 1 day or both.
B. Any person may be punished for Indirect Contempt
in any of the following acts (SEC. 3):
a. Misbehavior of an officer of a court in the
performance of his duties.
b. Disobedience or resistance to a lawful order.
c. Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with
the proceedings of a court.
d. Any improper conduct which tends directly or
indirectly to impede, obstruct, or degrade the
administration of justice.
e. Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a
court and acting as such without authority.
f. Failure to obey a subpoena duly served.
g. The rescue or attempted rescue of a person or
property in custody of an officer by virtue of an
order of the court held by him.
NOTE: Nothing in the section shall be construed as to
prevent the court from issuing process to bring the
respondent into court, or from holding him in custody
pending such proceedings.
How to commenced proceedings:
1. May be initiated by the court against which the
contempt was committed by an order or formal
charge requiring the respondent to show cause
why he should not be punished for contempt.
2. Commenced by a verified petition with
supporting particulars and documents to support
the petition.


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Where to File: where the charge for indirect
contempt has been committed against a:
a. RTC/court of equivalent/higher Court should be
charged/filed with such court.
b. If in lower court should be filed in RTC

of the contempt power may no longer be in the

preservative but already in the vindictive sense. If this
happens, the contempt citation would be improper or
that punishment should be revised.

Hearing: respondent may be released from custody

upon filing of the bond.

Rule 11.04 - A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge

motives not supported by the record or have no
materiality to the case.

Contempt committed against: RTC/CA/SC: fine not
exceeding 30,000 pesos or imprisonment not
exceeding 6 months or both.
Lower court: fine not exceeding 5,000 pesos or
imprisonment not exceeding 1 month or both.

Duty not to attribute unfounded ill-motives to a

It is the right of the lawyer also as a citizen to
criticize in properly respectful terms and through
legitimate channels the acts if courts and judges.
Illustration of violation of the rule:

Rule 11.01 - A lawyer shall appear in court properly


a. An allegation by a counsel that the proceedings

before the trial court were irregular and that the
so called irregularities show the accused control
over the court and court procedure.
b. Stating in pleading: The Decision of the Court is
like a brief for Ayala and The court jeopardized
its campaign against graft and corruption.

Proper attire for:

Male - Barong Tagalog or suit with tie.
Female appropriate business attire.
But generally, the proper attire would be the
contemporary business suit.
- A lawyer not wearing proper attire in court may be
held in contempt of court and ordered to leave the
court and return properly attired.
Rule 11.02 - A lawyer shall punctually appear at
court hearings.
Punctuality is demanded by the respect which
a lawyer owes to the court, the opposing counsel and
to all the parties to the case. It is not an excuse that
his tardiness was caused by matters which could
reasonably be foreseen or anticipated such as
traffic/breakdown of his vehicle.
Rule 11.03 - A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous,
offensive or menacing language or behavior before
the Courts.
Illustration of violation of the rule both written and
oral language:
a. Using the terms abhorrent nullity, legal
Monstrosity, horrible error
b. Stating in his brief that Judge Maliwanag is not
wearing his brief while in his chamber during
office hours.
If the disagreement between the counsel and the
judge has degenerated into a personal clash, the use

Rule 11.05 - A lawyer shall submit grievances against

a Judge to the proper authorities only.
Grievance Mechanism:
a. All grievances against judges must be presented
before the SC as the disciplining authority over all
b. It must be shown beyond doubt that the
judgment is unjust as it is contrary to law or is not
supported by evidence, and the same was made
with conscious and deliberate intent to do an
Elements of inexcusable negligence in rendering an
unjust judgment:
Judge failed to observe in his performance
of his duty, that diligence, prudence, and care which
the law is entitled to exact in the rendering of public
Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over Judges:
The Ombudsman is duty- bound to have all
cases against judges and court personnel filed before
it referred to the SC for determination of whether an
administrative aspect is involved in accordance with
Art. VIII Sec. 6 of Constitution. In the meantime that
the administrative matter is pending before the SC,
the Ombudsman must defer action on the criminal
complaint against the judge or court personnel.


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Duty to Assist in the Speedy and Efficient

Administration of Justice:
Lawyers should not forget that they are, first
and foremost, officers of the court, bound to exert
every effort to assist in the speedy and efficient
administration of justice. This duty is not only of the
lawyer but also of the judge
Rule 12.01 A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless
he has adequately prepared himself on the law and
the facts of his case, the evidence he will adduce and
the order of its preference. He should also be ready
with the original documents for comparison with the
Rule 12.02 A lawyer shall not file multiple actions
arising from the same cause.
Duty not to Engage in FORUM SHOPPING:
Forum Shopping is a malpractice of trifling
with the courts and abusing their processes (outside
info: Forum shopping is the litigants act of getting
their legal case heard in the court thought most likely
to provide a favourable judgment)
Elements of Forum Shopping:
1. Identity of parties or at least such parties as
representing the same interests in both actions
2. Identity of the rights asserted and the reliefs
prayed for, the relief being founded on same facts
3. The identity of the two preceding particulars, such
that any judgment rendered in the other will
amount to res judicata in the action under
3 ways to commit forum shopping:
1. Filing of multiple cases based on the same cause
of action and with he same prayer (where the
ground for dismissal is litis pendentia)
2. Filing multiple cases based on the same cause of
action and the same prayer, the previous case
having been finally resolved (where the ground
for dismissal is res judicata)

Filing multiple cases based on the same cause of

action but with different prayers (splitting of
causes of action, where the ground for dismissal
is also either litis pendentia or res judicata)

Summary dismissal:
If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly
constitute wilful and deliberate forum shopping, the
same shall be ground for summary dismissal with
prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt, as well
as a cause for administrative sanctions.
Rule on forum shopping applies only to judicial
cases and not to administrative and disbarment cases
(well, disbarment actions are administrative
[Even in the judiciary] the rule requiring a
Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping may be relaxed
when so warranted
Willful intent is required: when theres no
intention on the part of the lawyer to mislead the
court, he cant be sanctioned
Literal identity of the parties is not required: Its
sufficient that there is identity of interests
[Illustration] Thus, there can be forum shopping
where a party in one cases is the GSIS and the party in
the second cases is the ECC, where the interest of the
GSIS was affirmed by the ECC
Certificate of Non-Forum Shopping is executed by
the party, not the counsel:
If executed by the counsel, its defective
equivalent to a non-compliance with the requirement
Rationale: it is the party himself who would be in a
position to know whether another case had been filed
or not
Res judicata distinguished from Forum shopping:

Res judicata is what results when a present case

filed is barred by a prior final judgment
b. Forum shopping requires another pending case
Filing an action for the annulment if the sale
and the recovery of property allegedly inherited from
the deceased will not prosper where the same
property and the same claim are pending adjudication
in a separate proceeding for the settlement of the
estate of the deceased


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Rule12.03 A lawyer shall not, after obtaining
extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda or
briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the
same or offering an explanation for his failure to do
Duty to File Pleadings Seasonably:
1. The grant of extensions of time to file pleadings is
a mere liberality upon the granting authority, so
it must not be abused. A lawyer who files a
motion for extension does not do so as a matter
of right. Its a mere plea.


An extension of time for filing of briefs will not be

allowed except for good and sufficient cause, and
only if its filed before the expiration of the time
sought to be extended
Allowance or denial of the motion filed is
addressed to the sound discretion of the court
Explanation for failure to file pleading seasonably
must be acceptable.
Lawyers should not presume that the extension
that may be granted shall be counted from
notice. Thus, lawyers should not wait until their
motion for extension is acted upon. They should
file their pleadings within the period which they
requested in their motion for extension.

The excuse that the counsel was suffering
from hypertension was not accepted, as the counsel
could have informed the court in due time

this is because a lawyer owes a duty to the court

to assist the court in the expeditious
consideration and disposal of pending cases

Technicalities should not be improperly used to

thwart substantial justice. Hence, a party should not
invoke defect of from where no prejudice to
substantial rights are involved
Treble costs can be assessed against dilatory and
frivolous appeals and tactics:
Frivolous / dilatory appeals: Where the rights
of a party have been made crystal clear by a lower
court decision, it may also already be clear that any
appeal from it is clearly groundless and that the
appeal made is only for the purpose of delay. Such a
scheme is an attempt to defeat the administration of
1. Repeatedly resorting to the remedy of certiorari
is a dilatory tactic
2. Where a case has already attained finality before
the SC and the case was remanded to the trial
court, the losing party may not file a new action
as a mere subterfuge to frustrate the execution
of the judgment.
Examples of Misuse of Court Processes:
Misuse of a TRO issued by the CA Applying for TRO
where party already knew that the orders of the trial
court which were sought to be enjoined had already
been implemented

Duty of lawyer hired midstream:

Replacement lawyer:
Well, he should work double time; a lawyer
who accepts a case in midstream is presumed and
obliged to acquaint himself with all the antecedent
processes and proceedings that have transpired in the
record prior to his takeover. As for the replaced
lawyer, he must inform the court that at the time his
brief was due, he had already been freed from his
task of submitting his brief
Rule 12.04 A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case,
impede the execution of a judgment or misuse Court
Duty Against Dilatory moves and Misuse of Court
this speaks of duty to expedite litigation

Multiple or repetitious petitions - filing, in behalf of

the same petitioners, a second petition for review on
certiorari of the same CA decision that had been
previously denied with finality.
Rule 12.05 A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his
witness during a break or recess in the trial, while
the witness is still under examination.
Duty not to Coach a Witness under Examination:

Witness Preparation (good-allowed): occurs before

the testimony; lawyers act of advising the client of
the intended testimony and the witnesses ability to
convey the information and advocate the strengths of
the testimony; here the lawyer can inform the
witness what to expect, how to act properly, and the


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It is corollary to the rule that an advocate may

not inject personal belief as to the cause into
argument to the judge. In other words, it
eliminates the opportunity to mix argument and

Prohibition does not apply to a former counsel

This does not mean that a lawyer cannot testify
as witness. His remedy would be to withdraw
from active management of the case.

Witness Coaching (bad-not allowed): done during

testimony; counsel obfuscates the truth or instructs
the witness to lie. It makes the testimony appear
contrived, rehearsed, and unreliable.
Rule 12.06 - A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a
witness to misrepresent himself or to impersonate
Duty not to Present a False Witness
Dealing with corrupt witnesses: when the
judge is convinced that the witness makes false
statements, he may immediately order that the
witness be prosecuted for perjury.
Rule 12.07 A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or
harass a witness nor needlessly inconvenience him.
Duty to Respect Witness:
Because a witness is not an antagonistic
party, so he/she should be respected and treated
with politeness and courtesy
Rule 12.08 A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of
his client, except:
(a) on formal matters, such as the mailing,
authentication or custody of an instrument, and the
like; or
(b) on substantial matters, in cases where his
testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in which
event he must, during his testimony, entrust the trial
of the case to another counsel.
Duty not to be a Witness and Counsel at the Same
If a lawyer is both counsel and witness, he
becomes more easily impeachable for interest and
thus may be a less effective witness. The public will
be inclined to believe that a lawyers testimony is
altered to serve the clients interest. He is an
ineffective position or arguing his own credibility. The
roles of an advocate and a witness are inconsistent.
Rationale of the rule:
1. Its designed to protect the integrity of the
advocates professional role by preserving the
distinction between advocacy, which is based on
reason and subject to objective evaluation, and
testimony, which is based on the witness moral
qualities and is evaluated in terms of individual



Duty not to influence judges:

Any inappropriate ex parte communication
with the judge is disallowed. A lawyer should not
communicate or argue privately with the judge as to
the merits of the pending cause and deserves rebuke
and denunciation for any device of attempt to gain
from judge special personal consideration favor.
Rule 13.01 - A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary
attention or hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for
cultivating familiarity with Judges.
Duty of non-fraternization with judges:
A lawyers treatment of judges must not be
with the end in view of cultivating closeness which
can be converted later on to seek favors from the
Being a former law school classmate, being a
neighbor/fraternity brother, both lawyer and the
judge must be aware and conscious as to where such
friendship must end.
When it comes to matters pending in the
judicial docket, the lawyer and the judge must keep a
professional distance and affinity must be kept
Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public
statements in the media regarding a pending case
tending to arouse public opinion for or against a


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Duty not to resort to the Bar of Public Opinion
during the pendency of a case:
However, it should be recognized that
certain statements may be generally permitted, such
as a statement on the general nature of a claim or
defense in a pending case.
Illustration of violation of the rule:
a. Publication in a newspaper with the title, Senior
prosecutor lambasts Surigao judge for allowing
murder to bail out.
Sub- Judice defined:
- Refers to matters under or before a judge or
court; under judicial consideration.
- Part of the law relating to contempt to the
Basis/purpose of the Sub- Judice rule:
The courts must be allowed to deal with the
legal issues that are before it free from undue
interference and influences by others making public
statements about how these issues should be dealt
with. It also protects the witnesses because public
statements may change relevant facts of what he
How it is violated?
It is violated by public statements that risk
prejudging matters or causing prejudice. It includes
statements urging the court to reach a particular
result in a matter, comments of the strength or
weakness of a partys case or particular issue, or
comments on witnesses or evidence in the case.
It applies where court proceedings are
ongoing, and through all stages of appeal until the
matter is completed. It also applies where the court
proceedings are merely imminent.
The rule applies to lawyers, as well as to the
public and public officials including legislators.
Making public statements in the media
regarding a pending case which tends to arouse
public opinion for or against a party may also
constitute indirect contempt under Sec. 3 (c-d) Rule
71 of the Rules of Court.
Exception to the rule: fair and accurate reporting is
allowed of the factual content of ongoing judicial
proceedings by the media, as long as the report does

not usurp the courts role by prejudging the case or its

legal issues.
How does prejudice formed in violation of subjudice rule? If judges and witnesses are exposed to
the media materials that are not part of the evidence
presented or argued in the trial, judges and the
witnesses will be hindered from impartiality and
objectivity which cause prejudice. Freedom of
expression as well as freedom of the media to report
should be limited since these freedoms should not
take precedence over the proper administration of
Ex. of violation of sub- judice rule:
a. public discussion of a prior criminal record
which is not relevant to the present charge
against him;
b. on-screen admissions of guilt by the accused.
Open- Justice principle:
Refers to the public right to scrutinize and
criticize courts and court proceedings.
Purpose: to prevent idiosyncrasy or judicial
arbitrariness and maintain public confidence in the
administration of justice. Also, it has been just as
fundamental to a democratic society of freedom of
Post- litigation criticisms:
It is the duty of a lawyer to criticize and
expose the shortcomings and indiscretions of courts
and judges by criticizing concluded litigations
because then the courts actuations are thrown open
to public consumption and discussion.
Illustrations of disrespectful post- litigation
a. A lawyer describing a ruling as a absolutely
erroneous and constituting an outrage to the
rights of the petitioner Mickey Celles and a
mockery to popular will.
b. A lawyer stating through a local newspaper,
the only remedy to put an end to so much
evil, is to change the members of the SC.
Rule 13.03 - A lawyer shall not brook or invite
interference by another branch or agency of the
government in the normal course of judicial


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Judicial Independence defined:
- It is the doctrine that decisions of the judiciary
should be impartial and not subject to influence
from the other branches of a govt or from
private or political interests.
Two types of Judicial Independence:
1. Institutional independence means the judicial
branch is independent from the executive and
legislative branches.
2. Decisional independence is the idea that
judges should be able to decide cases solely
based on the law and the facts without letting
the media, politics or other concerns sway their
decisions, and without fearing penalty in their
careers for their decisions.

CANON 14 A lawyer shall not refuse his services to

the needy.

Rule 14.01 A lawyer shall not decline to represent

a person solely on account of the latter's race, sex.
creed or status of life, or because of his own opinion
regarding the guilt of said person.
Rule 14.02 A lawyer shall not decline, except for
serious and sufficient cause, an appointment as
counsel de officio or as amicus curiae, or a request
from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any of
its chapters for rendition of free legal aid.
Counsel de Oficio(CDO): A lawyer appointed by the
Court to counsel an accused. One can be a CDO if hes
a member of the bar in good standing who can
competently defend the accused.
In localities where no bar member is available: Court
may appoint any person, resident of the province and
of good repute for ability to defend the accused.
General rule: A lawyer cant decline being appointed
as CDO.
Exception: a serious and sufficient cause, like the 1)
lawyer cannot competently handle the case or 2)
theres conflict of interest.
Courts duty to appoint a CDO is NOT mandatory
when: the accused has proceeded with the
arraignment and the trial with a his chosen counsel
(CDP), but during presentation of evidence, he

appears by himself alone because of the inexcusable

absence of his counsel.
The court can appoint a CDO during (or in the middle
of) the trial: If an accuseds CDP deliberately makes
himself incompetent, the Court can appoint a CDO to
enable the trial to proceed until CDP finally appears.
Reason: because otherwise, the pace of the criminal
prosecution will be entirely dictated by the accused to
the detriment of the resolution of the case.
The need for this appointment arises when an
accused is penniless and a lawyers services as
counsel to the former are necessary to secure the
ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party
People who may avail of this legal service: A poor
accused whos unable to employ an atty; Only
indigents may avail of services of PAO (Note: a CDO is
not automatically a PAO lawyer. Remember, CDO may
come from private sector)
A CDO gets paid but NOT by indigent client; he
may get compensation from the Court subject to
availability of funds. (Rules of Court, Sec 32, Rule 138)
A CDO is not exempt from any liability in case he
messes. Hes equally liable as any paid lawyer.
Distinguish Counsel de oficio (CDO) from Counsel de
parte (CDP):
CDO is a court appointed lawyer;
CDP is the lawyer of the partys own choice
The right to secure CDPs services is not absolute:
(Its actually more like a privilege than a right... but
whichever, its not absolute).
Reason: The Court should balance the privilege to
retain a counsel of choice against the state and
offended partys equally important right to speedy
and adequate justice (so its partys privilege vs.
States right).
The Court can restrict the accuseds option to retain
a CDP under the ff. circumstances:
When an accused insists on an atty he cant
When he chooses someone whos not a member
of the bar
When the personally chosen lawyer declines (for
a valid reason) ...and similar others...


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The right to a CDP is waivable under the ff
Waiver isnt contrary to law, public order, public
policy, morals, or good customs OR prejudicial to
a 3 person with a right recognized by law
Waiver is unequivocally, knowingly, and
intelligently made
Amicus Curiae: friend of the court a person with
strong interest on the subject matter of an action. He
can be a private person or someone from the
An amicus curiae becomes a friend of the court
1. He files a petition with the court for permission
to file a brief, apparently on behalf of a party but
actually to suggest a rationale consistent with its
own views. His briefs are commonly filed in
appeals concerning matters of public interest.
2. Court invites him to help in the disposition of
issues submitted to it.
Rule 14.03 A lawyer may not refuse to accept
representation of an indigent client if:
(a) he is not in a position to carry out the work
effectively or competently;
(b) he labors under a conflict of interest between
him and the prospective client or between a present
client and the prospective client.
Indigent party: one who has no money or property
sufficient and available for food, shelter and basic
necessities for himself and his family; the Court
designates one as such upon ex parte application and
hearing (to prove that he really is indigent)
An indigent party is entitled to/exempt from:
Docket and other lawful fees (but they create a
lien on the judgment that will be rendered,
unless the court provides otherwise) transcripts
of stenographic notes.
Rule 14.04: A lawyer who accepts the cause of a
person unable to pay his professional fees shall
observe the same standard of conduct governing his
relations with paying clients.

Duty of candor to his client a lawyer is not barred

from commercially dealing with his client but the
business transactions must be characterized with
utmost honesty and good faith.
Illustration of violation of this rule:
a. The act requiring his clients to pay 15,980 on
the pretext that it was needed for the
payment of court fees which were not.
Rule 15.01 - A lawyer, in conferring with a
prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as
practicable whether the matter would involve a
conflict with another client or his own interest, and
if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective client.
A lawyer could determine potential conflict of interest
- the initial conferment of a prospective client,
- facts given to him and
- asking the necessary questions regarding the
facts and personalities involved in the case.
Rule 15.02 - A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on
privilege communication in respect of matters
disclosed to him by a prospective client.
Rule 15.03 - A lawyer shall not represent conflicting
interests except by written consent of all concerned
given after a full disclosure of the facts.
Rule on conflict of interests:
1. Prohibits the lawyer from representing new
clients whose interests oppose those of a former
client in any manner, whether or not they are
parties in the same action or in totally unrelated
2. Good faith and honest intention does not negate
the prohibition.
3. To be guilty of representing conflict of interests, a
counsel of record of one party need not also be
of counsel of record of the adverse party. He
does not have to publicly hold himself as the
counsel of the adverse party, nor make his efforts
to advance the adverse partys conflict of
interests of record- although these circumstances
are the most obvious and satisfactory proof of
the charge.
4. The duration of time that has elapsed is
immaterial in determining conflict of interests. So


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whether the relationship with the client
terminated 8yrs before the creation of new client
that has adverse of interest with the first client,
there still has conflict of interest.
5. Termination of previous engagement is not a
ground to disregard the prohibition on conflict of
interest because the clients confidence once
reposed cannot be divested by the expiration of
the professional employment.
6. The absence of any other lawyer in town is not an
excuse to accept cases that has conflict of
7. Conflict of interests is not limited to litigation
cases but can also rise from financial dealings.
A lawyer is forbidden to do either of two things after
severing his relationship with a former client:


He may not do anything injuriously affect his

former client in any matter in which he formerly
represented him;
Nor he may at any time use against his former
client knowledge/information acquired by virtue
of the previous relationship.

Rationale for the prohibition on conflict of interests:


The relations of atty. and client are founded on

principles of public policy, on good taste.
To avoid treachery and double- dealing so that
clients be encouraged to trust their secrets to
their attorneys.

The alternative can be that each party may have to

obtain separate representation, with the
possibility in some situations of incurring
additional cost, complication or even litigation.
The lawyer then, acts as intermediary. Forms of
intermediation vary from arbitration to mediation
where each clients case presented by the
respective client and the lawyer decides the
outcome, then to common representation.
Rule 15.05 - A lawyer when advising his client, shall
give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and
probable results of the client's case, neither
overstating nor understating the prospects of the
Scope of the Advice:
a. Client is entitled to straight-forward advice
expressing lawyers honest assessment.
b. Purely technical advice can sometime be
inadequate unless requested by the client himself.
It is proper for a lawyer to refer relevant moral
and ethical considerations in giving advice.
c. Where consultation with a professional in another
field is itself something a competent lawyer,
would recommend, the lawyer should make such
recommendation ex. family matters with the help
of clinical psychology and business matters with
the aid of financial specialists.
Rule 15.06 - A lawyer shall not state or imply that he
is able to influence any public official, tribunal or
legislative body.

Test to determine if there is conflict of interests:

Whether the acceptance of a new relation would
prevent the full discharge of the lawyers duty of
undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or will it
invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or doubledealing in the performance of that duty?
- An important criterion is probability and not
certainty of conflict.
Rule 15.04 - A lawyer may, with the written consent
of all concerned, act as mediator, conciliator or
arbitrator in settling disputes.

A lawyer acts as intermediary in seeking to

establish or adjust a relationship between clients
on amicable and mutually advantageous basis ex:
in helping organize a business in which 2 or more
clients are entrepreneurs.

Rule 15.07 - A lawyer shall impress upon his client

compliance with the laws and the principles of
Rule 15.08 - A lawyer who is engaged in another
profession or occupation concurrently with the
practice of law shall make clear to his client whether
he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.

The objective of this rule is to avoid confusion,

both for the benefit of the lawyer and the client.
As a rule, a lawyer is not barred from
commercially dealing with client but the
business transaction must be characterized with
utmost honesty and good faith.
Business transactions bet. atty. and his client is
discouraged by the policy of the law because the


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lawyer might take advantage of his clients
ignorance using his position.

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.



Though a lawyer has a lien over his clients funds, he

should notify his client about it in due time he
should give notice promptly (accdg to this rule, he
may notify his client after he satisfies his fees)

Duty to be a Trustee of Clients Moneys and

Properties: Mainly because what client and lawyer
have is a fiduciary relationship.

Rule 16.04 A lawyer shall not borrow money from

his client unless the client's interest are fully
protected by the nature of the case or by
independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend
money to a client except, when in the interest of
justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a
legal matter he is handling for the client.

Rule 16.01: A lawyer shall account for all money or

property collected or received for or from the client.
Duty of Accountability generally derived from law
on agency which imposes the duties of separation,
accounting, notification and delivery on all agents
possessing the principals property.
A lawyer may not apply any amount he received as
partial settlement of a judgment to his professional
fees without the concurrence of his client.
Failure in this duty is misconduct. (In one case, the
lawyer was suspended) Fear of not being paid is no
If done with bad faith and deceit grave
Failure to remit amounts to client pursuant to an
execution misappropriation; such act gives rise
to the presumption that he has appropriated the
money for his own use; lawyer can be cited in
Restitution may be ordered in all instances of
failure in this duty.
The amount/s covered by this rule: Any, not just
litigation expenses but also expenses due BIR,
Register of Deeds, and others.
Mere failure to promptly report to the client his
receipt of the money is punishable
Rule 16.02 A lawyer shall keep the funds of each
client separate and apart from his own and those of
others kept by him.
Rule 16.03 A lawyer shall deliver the funds and
property of his client when due or upon demand.
However, 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, giving
notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also

General Rule: No debtor-creditor relationship

between lawyer and client
Lawyer may borrow money from his client only if
his clients interests are fully protected
Lawyer may lend money to a client, when in the
interest of justice, (during his handling of the
case) he has to advance necessary expenses



Canon 17 decrees the fiduciary relationship

between a client and his lawyer. The fidelity which a
lawyer owes to his client does not necessarily mean
absolute adherence to the clients views or activities.
Duty of confidentiality; preservation of clients
The protection given to the client is
perpetual and does not cease with the termination of
the litigation, nor is it affected by the partys ceasing
to employ the attorney and retaining another, or by
any other change of relation between them. It
survives the death of the client.
- to avoid self- incrimination;
- to maintain the right to counsel;
- Encourages a dynamic and fruitful exchange and
flow of information;


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Full disclosure opens the door to the whole

spectrum of legal options on the case of the client
than limited information;

General rule on transparency in the identity of the

client: as a matter of public policy, a lawyer may not
invoke the communication privilege and refuse to
divulge the name or identity of his client because:
The court has the right to know that the client
whose privileged information is sought to be
protected is flesh and blood.
The privilege exists only after the atty-client
relationship has been established.
Privilege generally pertains to the subject matter
of the relationship.
Due process require that the opposing party
should know his adversary.
Exceptions to the general rule: Info relating to the
identity of the client may fall within the ambit of the
privilege when the clients name itself has an
independent significance, such as disclosure would
then reveal clients confidences.
Purchase of the clients property by the lawyer
under Article 1491 of the Civil Code:
Under 1491 of the Civil Code, lawyers are
prohibited from acquiring either by purchase or
assignment the property or rights involved which are
the objects of the litigation in which they intervene by
virtue of their profession.
Even if a fair price was paid for the property
if it is object of the litigation, it is void and inexistent
pursuant to Art. 1409 of the Civil Code. Hence,
constitutes breach of professional ethics and
constitutes malpractice.
The prohibition on purchase is all embracing
to include not only sales to private individuals but also
to public or judicial sales.

Rationale of the prohibition:

Public policy disallows the transactions in view of
the fiduciary relationship involved i.e. the
relation of trust and confidence.
An atty. may easily take advantage of the
credulity and ignorance of his client and unduly
enrich himself at the expense of his client.
Exception: Where the property is contingent
contracts or that it is acquired after the termination

of the case/after judgment means that there is no

violation of Par. 5 Art. 1491 of the Civil Code.
Regardless of the defense of the lawyer in the
acquisition of the property of his client such as the
client has no money to pay for the services of the
lawyer is still prohibited because there is breach of
confidentiality and harassment/influence on part of
the lawyer.



Diligence with that norm of practice

expected of men of good intentions (as the practice
of law does not require extraordinary diligence)
Entry and Authority of Appearance:
A lawyer is presumed to be properly
authorized to represent any cause in which he
appears (and no written power of attorney is required
for this authority)
Formal entry of appearance is no longer
required so an appearance may be made by simply
filing a normal motion, plea, or answer.
a law firms main and branch offices comprise a
single law firm
death of handling lawyer does not extinguish
lawyer-client relationship
When relationship is with a law firm, death of
the handling lawyer does not terminate lawyer-client
relationship between the client and law firm; so the
lawyers in the firm, to not be held liable for
negligence, should either re-assign the case or
withdraw from it.
Accountability of a supervising lawyer for an
associate lawyers misconduct - well, hell just be
asked to explain.
Does the lawyers negligence bind his client? General
Rule: Yes. XCPN: negligence amounts to deprivation
of due process for the client of results to serious
Rule 18.01: A lawyer shall not undertake a legal
service which he knows or should know that he is
not qualified to render. However, he may render
such service if, with the consent of his client, he can


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obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is
competent on the matter.
Because the legal practice is an expansive and wide
field, it cant be expected that a lawyer specialize in
all and in every field of law. If a lawyer engages in a
practice of law in which he is not familiar, he will be
rendering an inferior service to the detriment of the
client and to this professional embarrassment
Rule 18.02 A lawyer shall not handle any legal
matter without adequate preparation.
Lawyers unfamiliarity with the principles of law
applicable to a clients legal matters would give rise to
disciplinary action. But an erroneous opinion on a
difficult question of law wouldnt mean that a lawyer
acted incompetently; the thoroughness required is
that ordinarily employed by lawyers undertaking
similar matters
Rule 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter
entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection
therewith shall render him liable.
Duty not to be negligent!
- Because public interest demands.
- He cant just entirely entrust/delegate tasks to his
staff, this includes matters pertaining to the
resolution of the case
- Its the lawyers bounden duty to check, review,
and recheck the allegations in their pleadings...
the accuracy of statements, down to the last word
and punctuation mark.

If the client is bound by his counsels acts, with

more reason should counsel be bound by his
staffs acts.

Lawyers can be held civilly liable: for negligence

in the handling of his clients case.

Rule 18.04 A lawyer shall keep the client informed of

the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the client's request for
A client is entitled to the fullest disclosure of
the whats, hows and whys of the case proceedings.
Client must receive: periodic and full updates on the
mode and manner that the lawyer is utilizing to
defend his interests



It is the duty of a lawyer to serve only within the

bounds of law, fair and honest and for lawful
He must give a candid and honest opinion on
the merits and probable of the clients case with the
end in view of promoting respect for the law and for
legal processes, and counsel or maintain such
actions or proceedings which appear to him as just
and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly
debatable under the law.
Rationale of the canon: a lawyers duty is not to
his client but in the administration of justice; to that
end, his clients success is wholly subordinate; and
his conduct ought to and must always be thoroughly
observant of law and ethics.
It is improper for a lawyer to assert in argument
his personal belief in his clients innocence in the
justice of his cause.
The office of the attorney does not permit,
much less does not demand of him for any client,
violation of law or any manner of fraud or chicanery,
he must obey his own conscience and not that of his
Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall employ only fair and
honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his
client and shall not present, participate in presenting
or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges
to obtain an improper advantage in any case or
Rule 19.02 - A lawyer who has received information
that his client has, in the course of the
representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a person
or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to
rectify the same, and failing which he shall terminate
the relationship with such client in accordance with
the Rules of Court.


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Duty not to condone a clients fraud:
A lawyer may not continue assisting a client
in the conduct that that lawyer originally supposes is
legally proper but then discovers is criminal and
fraudulent. He should:

Endeavour to rectify it by advising his client.

Withdrawal from the representation if necessary
or if the client refused to rectify it.
Has discretion to inform promptly the injured
person or his counsel, so that they may take
appropriate steps.

Definition of Fraud a generic term, embracing all

multifarious means which human ingenuity can
devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to
get advantage over another by false suggestions or by
suppression of truth, and includes all surprise, trick
and cunning unfair way by which another is cheated.
Rule 19.03 - A lawyer shall not allow his client to
dictate the procedure in handling the case.
Lawyers have the exclusive management of the
procedural aspect of the litigation including the
enforcement of the rights and remedies of their
Even over the objection of the client, a lawyer
can present or refuse to present certain witnesses.
Mistakes of counsel as to the relevancy or
irrelevancy of certain evidence or mistakes in the
proper defense, in the introduction of certain
evidence, or in argumentation are, among all
mistakes and procedure and they bind the clients.



Rule 20.01 A lawyer shall be guided by the following

factors in determining his fees:
(a) the time spent and the extent of the service
rendered or required;
(b) the novelty and difficulty of the questions
(c) The importance of the subject matter;
(d) The skill demanded;

(e) The probability of losing other employment as a

result of acceptance of the proffered case;
(f) The customary charges for similar services and
the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to which he
(g) The amount involved in the controversy and the
benefits resulting to the client from the service;
(h) The contingency or certainty of compensation;
(i) The character of the employment, whether
occasional or established; and
(j) The professional standing of the lawyer.
The amount of attys fees due is that stipulated in the
retainer agreement, absence such, amount would be
fixed on the basis of the quantum merit (reasonable
worth) of the attys services
Factors to be considered in fixing attys
Importance of the subject matter of the
Extent of services rendered
Professional standing of the lawyer
Court isnt bound by opinion of a lawyer as to
proper compensation; Court may disregard it and
base its conclusion on its own professional
No form is required with regard to agreement
on fees but its preferred if its in writing
Written agreement on fees is generally binding,
but if client is ignorant and uneducated, such written
agreement may not be persuasive and the
compensation should be made on the basis of
quantum merit.
Unless expressly stipulated, payment of
lawyers fees is not gratuitous (as its based on the
law of contract: I do and you give)
A lawyer may require advance payment of his
fees, but he shall return the excess.
A lawyer may accept property in payment such
as ownership interest in an enterprise.
Is the imposition of interest in the payment of attys
fees in a contract allowed? Yes, if its reasonable.
Otherwise, the court will ignore such agreement (for
the court to ignore the agreement, it must be shown
that its contrary to morality or public policy)


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A lawyer is entitled to recover litigation expenses
Defendants act or omission has commission has
compelled the plaintiff to litigate or to incur
expenses to protect his interest;
The defendant acted in gross and evident bad
faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiffs valid, just,
and demandable claim
In any other case where the court deems it just
and equitable that the expenses be recovered

Lawyers contingency fee (payment conditional upon

success) is an exception to this prohibition.

Lawyers acquisition of his clients property:

SYNDICATED LAWSUITS. Its a form of champerty

where the litigant sells his shares in his lawsuit to

He may not: if the properties are the objects of the

litigation in which he intervenes (meaning, during
the pendency of the litigation); this prohibition
includes not only sales to private individuals but also
public or judicial sales; this covers not only the
purchase but also the assignment of the property
He may: if the lawyer acquires it after the termination
of the case
Rationale (of the prohibition): public policy disallows
because of the fiduciary (based on trust and
confidence) nature of the lawyer-client relationship;
and because by virtue of the lawyers office, he may
easily take advantage of the credulity and ignorance
of his client and unduly enrich himself at the expense
of his client.
Mere demand for delivery of the litigated property
does not cause the transfer of ownership, thus, not
a prohibited transaction.
CHAMPERTY: buying into someone elses lawsuit,
its the arrangement in which a 3 party (or even the
litigation lawyer) supports anothers litigation in
exchange for a share of the proceeds, if there are any.
If there are none, the party litigant would not have to
pay the person or entity which financed the litigation.
Any amount advanced would not have to be
Champerty is prohibited on the ground of public
policy, it violates the fiduciary relationship between
the lawyer and his client. Its also a form of
maintenance (intermeddling of an uninterested party,
in short, epal).
For the party litigant, its an issue of litigation
financing (when he has no financial means to pursue

CHAMPERTOUS CONTRACTS: an agreement between

a third person and a party litigant or a lawyer and his
client wherein the third person with respect to the
party litigant or the lawyer with respect to his client,
supports the party litigants or the clients litigation in
exchange for a share of the proceeds emanating from
the litigation, if there are any.

Rule 20.01 A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences

or secrets of his client except;
(a) When authorized by the client after acquainting
him of the consequences of the disclosure;
(b) When required by law;
(c) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend
himself, his employees or associates or by judicial

There are no fixed rules in the setting of

attorneys fees, thats why theyre negotiable.
There can only be guidelines.
Judges opinion as to the capacity of the lawyer is
not a basis of the right to a lawyers fees

Manner of fixing the fees:

Hourly fee basis: a lawyer keeps an accurate record
of all the time he had spent on the case, indicating
the number of minutes spent in every activity relating
to the case. Its usual to mark the time in tenth-of-anhour increments, meaning in chunks of six minutes.
Then the number will be multiplied by the lawyers
agreed upon hourly rate.
Fixed fee basis: Combination arrangement

Lawyer may ask for deposits which would cover

the necessary expenses and costs
An executor or administrator of an estate may
not charge against the estate any professional
fee for legal services as such are already paid for
in his capacity as executor or administrator
General elements to be considered in fixing a
reasonable compensation/L
Importance of the subject matter/controversy
Extent of the services rendered
Professional standing of the lawyer


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Rule 20.02 A lawyer shall, in case of referral, with
the consent of the client, be entitled to a division of
fees in proportion to the work performed and
responsibility assumed.
Duty to Divide Fees in Proportion to Work Done
Applicable in instances where legal work would
have to be shared between two or more lawyers
In this case, fees would have to be shared
between these lawyers proportionately (on the
basis of the proportion of services they render or
by agreement between/among the lawyers) with
the prior consent of the client
It doesnt require disclosure to the client of the
lawyers share

CONTINGENT FEES: Arrangement where fees are due

only if the lawyer handles a case successfully. Fees
will come from the recovered amount in the case. If
the case is unsuccessful, the client is under no
obligation to pay his lawyer.
Appropriateness of contingent fee arrangement:
The only practical means by which a litigant can
afford to pay his lawyer.
A successful prosecution produces a res out of
which the fee can be paid
On Criminal cases: Public policy condemns this type
of arrangement because these cases dont produce a
res with which to pay the fee

Lawyer Referral System: the purpose of this is to aid

individuals who are able to pay fees but need
assistance in locating lawyers competent to handle
their particular problems.

Reasonableness of contingent fees: Its validity

depends on the reasonableness of the amount fixed
as contingent fee under the circumstances of the

Rule 20.03 A lawyer shall not, without the full

knowledge and consent of the client, accept any fee,
reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or
forwarding allowance or other compensation
whatsoever related to his professional employment
from anyone other than the client.

- 50% contingency rate was not considered exorbitant
where it was determined that the litigation was
- 18% of the P214 million claim which amounts to
P38.5 million was found excessive as the lawyer was
only tasked to file only one memorandum and his
professional standing was not such.

Such a payment may be allowed provided it

is with full knowledge and consent of the client and
subject to the condition that that lawyer reasonably
believes that the clients best interest will not be
adversely affected
Rule 20.04 A lawyer shall avoid controversies with
clients concerning his compensation and shall resort
to judicial action only to prevent imposition,
injustice or fraud.
Duty to Avoid Disputes with Client Over Fees:
Its preferable that agreement on fees
between the client and lawyer be in writing (to avoid
ASSUMPSIT: Latin for he undertook, he promised,
Its a cause of action for unpaid work. Its basis is
common law so its not applicable in the Philippines.
Concepts on attorneys fees:
Ordinary sense: compensation paid by client
Extraordinary sense: awarded by the court to be paid
by the losing party (this must be expressly stated in
the decision)

Retaining lien on clients funds and documents (and

property): Upon receipt of the funds belonging to the
client, the lawyer may collect any lien which he as
over them in connection with his legal services,
provided he gives prompt notice to his client. A
lawyer is not entitled to unilaterally appropriate his
clients for himself by the mere fact that the client
owes him attys fees.
QUANTUM MERUIT: as much as he deserves; the
rule implies a promise to pay a reasonable amount for
the labor and materials furnished
Fees based on quantum meruit is authorized when:
There is no express contract for the payment
Although theres formal contract, the fees are
unconscionable or unreasonable
Void contract
The counsel, for justifiable cause, was not able
to finish the case to its conclusion
There is a hearing.


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RETAINING FEE: preliminary fee paid to ensure and
secure a lawyers future services, to remunerate him
for being deprived, by being retained by one party, of
the opportunity of rendering services to the other
part and of receiving pay from him.

In the absence of an agreement to the contrary,

the retaining fee is neither made nor received in
consideration of the services contemplated; its
apart from what the client has agreed to pay for
the services which he has retained him to
Absence of the stipulation of additional attys
fees is not a bar to the collection of additional
attys fees

2 kinds of retainer fees:

1. General retainer: the fee paid to a lawyer to
secure his future services as general counsel for
any ordinary legal problem that may arise in the
routinary business of the client and referred to
him for legal action.
Reason for this is that the lawyer is deprived, by
being retained by one party, of the opportunity of
rendering services to the other part and of receiving
pay from him.
This fee is independent and different from the
compensation which the lawyer should receive in
payment for his services

Special retainer: fee for a specific case handled

or special service rendered by the lawyer for a
Expiration of retainer agreement does not mean
that lawyer is no longer entitled to attorneys
fees for services rendered
the dismissal of a counter-claim (for attys fees)
does not amount to res judicata
Rights and obligations arising from the lawyerclient relationship is not transmissible (therefore
the lawyer may not go against the heirs of his
client of payment of his professional fees). The
fees constitute a charge against the clients state.
When a lawyer rendered legal services to the
administrator or executor to assist him in the
execution of his trust, his attys fees may be
allowed as administration expense. But the
estate is not directly liable for his fees, because
they rest primarily on the executor or

His remedy is: a) file an action against the

executor in his personal capacity; or b) file a
petition in the intestate or testate proceedings

ACCEPTANCE FEE: Its an absolute fee arrangement

which entitles a lawyer to get paid for his efforts
regardless of the outcome of the litigation



Rationale of lawyer- client confidentiality:

To permit the attorney to reveal to others
what is disclosed, would be not only a gross violation
of a sacred trust upon his part, but it would utterly
destroy and prevent the usefulness and benefits
derived from professional assistance.
Lawyer- client confidentiality extends as well
to his employees and neither of them should accept
employment, which involves or may involve the
disclosure or use of these confidences either for the
advantage of his client, without his knowledge and
consent, and even thought there are other available
sources of information.
The announced intention of the client to
commit crime or fraud is not included within the
confidence which he bound to respect.
Rule 21.01 - A lawyer shall not reveal the
confidences or secrets of his client except;
(a) When authorized by the client after acquainting
him of the consequences of the disclosure;
(b) When required by law;
(c) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend
himself, his employees or associates or by judicial
Attorney- client privileged defined- in the law of
evidence, it is the clients privilege to refuse to
disclose and to prevent any person from disclosing
confidential communication between him and his
Factors to consider in creation of a Lawyer- Client
1. Where legal advice of any kind is sought


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from a professional legal adviser in his

capacity as such,
the communications relating for that
made in confidence
by the client,
are at his instance permanently protected,
from disclosure by himself or by the legal
except the protection be waived.

Nature of lawyer- client relationship:

The nature of the lawyer- client relationship is
premised on the Roman Law concepts of locatio
conductio operarum (contract of lease of services)
where one person lets his services and another hires
them without reference to the object of which the
services are to be performed, wherein lawyers
services may be compensated by honorarium or for
hire and mandato (contarct of agency).
In modern day, an attorney possesses special
powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his
A lawyer is independent and his power his
entirely different from and superior to those of an
ordinary agent.
There are rules, ethical conduct and duties that
breathe life into it, among those, the fiduciary duty to
his client which is at very delicate, confidential
character requiring a very high degree pf fidelity and
good faith.

Rules on creation of Lawyer- Client relationship:

Written contract is not an essential element in
the employment of an attorney, it could be
expressed or implied.
Personal relationship is irrelevant
Payment of fees to the lawyer is irrelevant.
Lawyer- client relationship is not terminated by a
trial courts decisions on the case.
(Self- explanatory rules of Canon 21):
Rule 21.02 - A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage
of his client, use information acquired in the course
of employment, nor shall he use the same to his own
advantage or that of a third person, unless the client
with full knowledge of the circumstances consents

Rule 21.03 - A lawyer shall not, without the written

consent of his client, give information from his files
to an outside agency seeking such information for
auditing, statistical, bookkeeping, accounting, data
processing, or any similar purpose.
Rule 21.04 - A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a
client of the firm to partners or associates thereof
unless prohibited by the client.
Rule 21.05 - A lawyer shall adopt such measures as
may be required to prevent those whose services are
utilized by him, from disclosing or using confidences
or secrets of the clients.
Rule 21.06 - A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet
conversation about a client's affairs even with
members of his family.
Rule 21.07 - A lawyer shall not reveal that he has
been consulted about a particular case except to
avoid possible conflict of interest.



Duty to Withdraw Legal Services Only for Good

Cause and Upon Notice
Rule 22.01 A lawyer may withdraw his services in
any of the following case:
(a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral
course of conduct in connection with the matter he
is handling;
(b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue
conduct violative of these canons and rules;
(c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will
not promote the best interest of the client;
(d) When the mental or physical condition of the
lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out the
employment effectively;
(e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees
for the services or fails to comply with the retainer
(f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public
office; and
(g) Other similar cases.


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This is a mandatory rule

These are the grounds where a lawyer may
withdraw legal services

Requirement of proper withdrawal:

The lawyer should have either the written
conformity of his client or an order from the court
relieving him of the duties of counsel
If the client refuses to give consent to the
retirement or withdrawal, the lawyer must file an
application or petition for withdrawal with the court.
He must serve a copy of his petition upon his client
and the adverse party at least 3 days before the date
set for hearing, otherwise the court may treat the
application as a mere scrap of paper.
Withdrawal of record is required for an attorney of
record in litigation: a lawyer must still appear on the
date of hearing for the atty-client relation does not
terminate formally until there is a withdrawal of
record. Until he is properly relieved as counsel of
record, he will remain responsible for the conduct of
the case.
Retirement from the practice of law is not an
excuse from properly withdrawing from a case.
Even if he has retired, he cant still ignore court
orders. He must go thru proper withdrawal
A lawyer appointed to public office remains as
counsel of record where he did not file a motion
to withdraw as counsel.
Procedure for the Substitution of Attorneys. There
must be filed:
Written application for such substitution
Written consent of the client
If the written consent cant be obtained,
there must be filed with the application
proof of service of notice of such motion
upon the atty to be substituted in the
manner prescribed by the rules
If the foregoing is not complied with,
substitution will not be permitted.
Rule 22.02 A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged
shall, subject to a retainer lien, immediately turn
over all papers and property to which the client is
entitled, and shall cooperative with his successor in
the orderly transfer of the matter, including all
information necessary for the proper handling of the

Duty to Effect an Orderly

Withdrawal or Discharge



The discharge does not terminate the lawyers

duty to protect the clients interest.

Lawyers right to retain papers: This right persists

largely because no substitute procedures have been
established to provide a lawyer with a prior secured
claim for his fee.
Charging lien: a charging lien to be enforceable as
security for the payment of attys fees requires as a
condition sine qua non a judgment for money and
execution in pursuance of such judgment secured in
the main action by the atty in favour of his client. This
lien presupposes that the atty has secured a
favourable money judgment for his client.

For Block One 2010- 2011 of DLSU- COL!




Let Jesus live in our hearts FOREVER!

Copyright October 2010;;
De La Salle University
College of Law
Committed to
Impassioned to serve.