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NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS

Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS


Faculty of Civil Law
A.Y. 2012-2013
First Semester

LEGAL ETHICS
Preliminaries

It was originally drafted in 1980 by the IBP Committee on


Responsibility, Discipline and Disbarment. It was promulgated
on June 21, 1988.

Q: What is Legal Ethics?


Definition of Terms
A: It is a branch of moral science which treats of duties which
an attorney owes to the court, to his client, to his colleagues
in the profession and to the public.
It provides the needed moral foundation in the study of law
intended to guide student throughout his life.
Q: What is the significance of Legal Ethics?
A: The practice of law will be transgressive, anarchic, riotous,
lawbreaking, defiant and disobedient to courts if there are no
set of governing rules to limit the parameters and tame the
exercise of the profession.

Q: What is a Bar?
A: It refers to the whole body of attorneys and counselors.
They are the members of the legal profession.
It refers to the collectivity of persons whose names appear in
the Roll of Attorneys.
Q: What is the Bench?
A: It is the whole body of judges.
Q: What is bar admission?

It will guard against abuses and ills of the profession such as


dishonesty, deceit, immorality, negligence, slothness, lack of
diligence and the many forms of malpractice of the members
of the bar.
It will raise the standard of the legal profession, encourage
and enhance the respect for the law, assure an effective and
efficient administration of justice. It provides the basis for the
wedding out of the unfit and misfit in the legal profession for
the protection of the public.

A: It is the act by which one is licensed to practice before


courts of a particular state or jurisdiction after satisfying
certain requirements:
a.
b.
c.

Bar examinations
Period of residency
Admission on grounds of reciprocity after period of
years as member of the bar

Q: Who is a lawyer?
Q: What are the original bases of Legal Ethics?
A: It refers to a person trained in the law and authorized to
advise or represent others in legal matters.

A:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Canons of Professional Ethics


Supreme Court Decisions
Statutes
Constitution
Treatises and Publications

Q: What is the present basis of Philippine Legal Ethics?


A: The main basis of our Legal Ethics is the Code Professional
Responsibility.

It is a person licensed to practice law.


Q: Who is a trial lawyer?
A: He is one who personally handles cases in court,
administrative agencies or boards which means engaging in
actual trial work.
Q: Who is a practicing lawyer?
A: He is one engaged in the practice of law.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

Q: What do you mean by practice of law?


A: It is any activity, in or out of court, which requires the
application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training, and
experience.
NOTE: All trial lawyers are practicing lawyers, but not all
practicing lawyers are trial lawyers.

resident of the province and of good repute for probity and


ability, to defend the accused.
Q: What is an attorney ad hoc?
A: A person named and appointed by the court to defend an
absentee defendant in the suit which the appointment is
made.
Q: Who is an Attorney of Record?

Q: Who is a client?
A: He is one who engages the services of a lawyer for legal
advice or for purpose of prosecuting or defending a suit in his
behalf and usually for a fee.

A: He is an attorney whose name must appear somewhere in


permanent records or files of case, or on the pleadings or
some instrument filed in the case, or on appearance docket.
Person whom the client has named as his agent upon whom
the service of papers may be made.

Q: Who are attorneys-at-law?


Q: What is an of counsel?
A: They are those who are by license, officers of the courts,
empowered to appear, prosecute and defend, and upon
whom the peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities are
developed by law as a consequence.
NOTE: It is synonymous with counselor-at-law, lawyer,
attorney, counsel, abogado and boceros.

A: They are associate lawyers.


Q: Who is the Lead counsel?
A: He is the one charged with the principal management and
direction of partys case. He is the chief or primary attorney in
class action or multi-district litigation.

Alawi v. Alauya
Q: Who is a House Counsel?
Q: Is an officer of the Sharia Court entitled to the use of the
title lawyer?
A: No. Persons who pass the Sharia Bar are not full-fledged
members of the Philippine Bar.
The title of attorney is reserved to those who, having
obtained the necessary degree in the stufdy of law and
successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been admitted
to the IBP.
Q: Who is an attorney-in-fact?
A: He is simply an agent whose authority is strictly limited by
the instrument appointing him.
His authority is provided in a special power of attorney or
general power of attorney. He is not necessarily a lawyer.

A: He is a lawyer who acts as attorney for business though


carried as an employee of that business and not an
independent lawyer. Such lawyer advises business on day to
day matters.
Q: Who is an amicus curiae?
A: He is a friend of the court. A person with strong interest in
or views on the subject matter of an action, but not a party to
the action, may petition the court for permission to file a
brief. Such brief are commonly filed in appeals concerning
matters of a broad public interest.
NOTE: It merely acts s consultant to guide the court in a
doubtful question or issue pending before it. He serves
without compensation.
Q: What is amicus curiae par excellence?

Q: What is counsel de officio?


A: He is a counsel, appointed or assigned by the court, from
among such members of the bar in good standing who, by
reason of their experience and ability, may adequately
defend the accused.
He need not be a lawyer. In localities where members of the
bar are not available, the court may appoint any person,

A: They are bar associations who appear in court as amicus


curiae.
Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD)
The CBD is the investigating arm of the SC on administrative
matters involving disbarment case against lawyers.
Q: Who is n advocate?

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

A: It is a lawyer who pleads on behalf of someone else. He


pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court.
He is a counselor.

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fledged member of the IBP. He has discretion to choose the


IBP Chapter he wants to join.
There is no such thing retirement as retirement in the IBP as
understood in labor law.

Q: Who is a barrister?
IBP is a Non-Political Bar
A: He is a person entitled to practice law as an advocate or
counsel in superior courts.
Q: Who is a Solicitor?
A: In the Philippines, he is a government lawyer attached with
the Office of the Solicitor General.
Integration of the Bar
This is the unification of the entire lawyer population.
It is an official national body of which all lawyers are required
to be members.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines
The IBP is created on January 16, 1973. It is constituted on
May 4, 1973 into a body of corporate by PD No. 181.

The Integrated Bar shall be strictly non-political, and every


activity tending to impair this basic feature is strictly
prohibited and shall be penalized accordingly. No lawyer
holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial or prosecutory
office in the Government or any political subdivision or
instrumentality thereof shall be eligible for election or
appointment to any position in the Integrated Bar or any
Chapter thereof. A Delegate, Governor, Officer or employee
of the Integrated Bar, or an officer or employee of 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 (Section 13 of Rule 139-A).
Q: When was the IBP constituted as a body corporate?
A: On May 4, 1973.

Q: What are the objectives of IBP?


Positions in the IBP are honorary
A: The following are the general objectives of the Integrated
bar:
1.
2.
3.

to elevate the standards of the legal profession,


to improve the administration of justice; and
to enable the Bar to discharge its public
responsibilities more effectively.
4. Assist in the administration of justice;
5. Foster and maintain, on the part of its members,
high ideals of integrity, learning, professional
competence, public service and conduct;
6. Safeguard the professional interests of its members;
7. Cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality
and brotherhood;
8. 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
thereto;
9. Encourage and foster legal education; and
10. Promote a continuing program of legal research in
substantive and adjective law, and make reports and
recommendations thereon.
Membership in the IBP Chapter

Except as may be specifically authorized or allowed by the


Supreme Court, no Delegate or Governor and no national or
local Officer or committee member shall receive any
compensation, allowance or emolument from the funds of
the Integrated Bar for any service rendered therein or be
entitled to reimbursement for any expense incurred in the
discharge of his functions (Section 14).
Voluntary Bar Associations
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.
Membership as mandatory
Membership in the National IBP is mandatory.
IBP as the investigating arm of the SC in investigating
disbarment cases
Q: Does the IBP have the power to suspend or disbar?
A: No. The recommendations of the IBP are subject to appeal
to the SC which alone has the prerogative to disbar.

A lawyer does not automatically become a member of the IBP


chapter where he resides or works after becoming a full-

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

Admission to the practice of law

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the following subjects as major or field of concentration:


political science, logic, english, spanish, history and
economics.

Power to admit to practice is vested in the Supreme Court.


Q: What are the basic requirements for all applicants for
admission to the bar?

NOTE: No particular law school has a monopoly of knowledge


of law.
Good moral character

A: Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar:


a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

must be a citizen of the Philippines,


at least twenty-one years of age,
of good moral character, and
a 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.

Q: What are the basic requirements for all applicants for


admission to the bar?

With regard to the requirement of good moral character, the


candidate must hold and continue to possess it even after he
has been admitted to the legal profession.
Good moral character is not only a condition precedent to
admission to the practice of law, its continued possession is
also essential for remaining in the practice of law.
Practice of law is privilege
NOTE: While the practice of law is a privilege, it has also the
nature of a right.
The practice of law is not property right but a mere privilege.
It is not a natural or constitutional right.

A:
Sec. 5 of Rule 138: All applicants for admission shall, before
being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that
they have regularly studied law for four years, and
successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law
school or university, officially approved and recognized by
the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the candidate,
accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of
law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and further
evidence may be required by the court.
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless
he has satisfactorily completed the following courses in a law
school or university duly recognized by the government:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.

civil law
commercial law
remedial law
criminal law
public and private international law
political law
labor and social legislation
medical jurisprudence
taxation and legal ethics.

Sec. 6. Pre-Law. - No applicant for admission to the bar


examination shall be admitted unless he presents a certificate
that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before
he began the study of law, he had pursued and satisfactorily
completed in an authorized and recognized university or
college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of a
four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed
therein for a bachelor's degree in arts or sciences with any of

The right to practice of law is not a natural or constitutional


right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. It is
limited to person of good moral character with special
qualifications duly ascertained and certified.
Practice of law as a right
The lawyer cannot be prevented from practicing law except
for valid reasons as the practice of law is not a matter of
States grace or favor.
Lawyers cannot be prevented from seeing their clients under
detention. Lawyers cannot also be deprived of their license to
practice law without due process. The privilege to practice
law is a right by itself but just like any other rights, it is
subject to limitations.
Who are entitled to practice law
Q: Who may practice law?
A: Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the
bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the
provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular
standing, is entitled to practice law.
Practice of Law
Practice of law covers any activity, in or out of court, which
requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge,
training, and experience.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

It implies the customary or habitual holding of oneself to the


public as a lawyer and demanding compensation for his legal
services.
Cayetano v. Monsod
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which
requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge,
training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is
to perform those acts which are characteristics of the
profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or
render any kind of service, which device or service requires
the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill."
Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term
Practice of law". particularly the modern concept of law
practice, and taking into consideration the liberal
construction intended by the framers of the Constitution,
Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist,
a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a
lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of
both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the
constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in
the practice of law for at least ten years.
Ulep v. Legal Clinc Inc.
In the practice of his profession, a licensed attorney at law
generally engages in three principal types of professional
activity: legal advice and instructions to clients to inform
them of their rights and obligations, preparation for clients of
documents requiring knowledge of legal principles not
possessed by ordinary layman, and appearance for clients
before public tribunals which possess power and authority to
determine rights of life, liberty, and property according to
law, in order to assist in proper interpretation and
enforcement of law.
Q: What are the basic characteristics of the practice of law?
A:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

7.

law advocacy is not capital that yields profits;


it is impressed with public interests for which it is
subject to state regulation;
it cannot be assigned or inherited but must be
earned;
a privilege burdened with conditions;
habitually and customarily holding ones self to the
public as a lawyer;
reserved to those academically trained in law and
possessed good moral character not only at the time
of his admission to bar but even so thereafter; and
a profession and not a business as it is essential part
in the administration of justice.

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Non-lawyers who are authorized to appear in court


GR: Only those who are licensed to practice law can appear
and handle cases in court.
XPN:
1.

2.

In cases before the MTCs, a party may conduct his


own case or litigation in person, with the aid of an
agent appointed by him for that purpose;
Before any other court, a party may conduct his
litigation personally. But if he authorized someone
to aid him, that someone must be an authorized
member of the bar. He is bound by the same rules in
conducting the trial of his case. He cannot, after
judgment, claim he was not properly represented by
counsel.

LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE


Rule 138-A
SECTION 1. Conditions for Student Practice. - A law student
who has successfully completed 3rd year of the regular fouryear prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a
recognized law school's clinical legal education program
approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without
compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case
before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to
represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the
law school. chan robles virtual law library
SEC. 2. Appearance. - The appearance of the law student
authorized by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision
and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all
pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to
be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and
in behalf of the legal clinic. chan robles virtual law library
The rule however is different if the law student appears
before an inferior court, where the issues and procedure are
relatively simple. In inferior courts, a law student may appear
in his personal capacity without the supervision of a lawyer.
A law student may appear before an inferior court as an
agent or friend of a party without the supervision of a
member of the bar.
Section 34 of Rule 138 is clear that appearance before the
inferior courts by a non-lawyer is allowed, irrespective of
whether or not he is a law student.
Under the Labor Code, non-lawyers may appear before the
NLRC or any Labor Arbiter if:

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

a.
b.
c.

They represent themselves, or


If they represent their organizations or members
thereof with written authorization of the latter; or
They are duly accredited members of any legal aid
office duly recognized by the DOJ, or the IBP in cases
referred to by the latter.

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which necessitates legal knowledge, preparation


documents of conveyancing and similar others.
b.

Under the LGC, Sangguniang members may practice


their professions, provided that if they are members
of the Bar, they shall not:

1.

Appear as counsel before any court in any civil case


wherein he LGU or office, agency, or instrumentality
of the government is the adverse party;
Appear as counsel in any criminal case wherein an
officer or employee of the national or local
government is accused of an offense committed in
relation to his office;
Collect any fee for their appearance in
administrative proceedings involving LGU of which
he is an official;
Use of property and personnel of the government
except when the sangguniang member concerned is
defending the interest of the government.

Q: What is the punishment for persons who pretend to be


lawyers?
2.
A: The unauthorized practice of law by assuming to be an
attorney and acting as such without authority constitutes
direct contempt which is punishable by fine or imprisonment
or both.

3.

NOTE: A suspended lawyer cannot practice law during the


period of his suspension.

4.

PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO CANNOT PRACTICE LAW IN THE


PHILIPPINES
Q: Who are the public officials prohibited to engage in the
private practice of law?

of

c.

Retired justice or judge receiving pension from the


government, cannot act as counsel in any civil case
in which the government or any of its subdivisions or
agencies is the adverse party or in a criminal case
wherein an officer or employee of the government is
accused of an offense in relation to his office.

A:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Judges and other officials or employees of the


superior courts;
Officials and employees of the OSG;
Government prosecutors;
President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet,
their deputies and assistants;
Members of the Constitutional Commissions;
Members of the JBC;
Ombudsman and his deputies;
All governors, city and municipal mayors; and
Those who by special law are prohibited from
engaging in the practice of their legal profession.

Q: Who are the public officials with restrictions in the


practice of law?
A: Some public officials are not absolutely disqualified to
practice law. They are merely subject to certain restrictions:
a.

No senator or members of the House of


Representatives may personally appear as counsel
before any court of justice of before the Electoral
Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative
bodies;

NOTE: The senator or Congressman is allowed to engage in


other aspects of the law practice such as the giving of legal
advice to clients, negotiating contracts in behalf of clients

Q: May a lawyer who has lost his Filipino citizenship still


practice law in the Philippines?
A: GR: The Constitution provides that the practice of all
professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino
citizens save in cases prescribed by law. Since Filipino
citizenship is a requirement for admission to the bar, loss
thereof terminates membership in the Philippine bar and,
consequently, the privilege to engage in the practice of law.
In other words, the loss of Filipino citizenship ipso
jure terminates the privilege to practice law in the
Philippines. The practice of law is a privilege denied to
foreigners.
XPN: When Filipino citizenship is lost by reason of
naturalization as a citizen of another country but
subsequently reacquired pursuant to RA 9225. This is because
all Philippine citizens who become citizens of another
country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine
citizenship under the conditions of [RA 9225]. Therefore, a
Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country is
deemed never to have lost his Philippine citizenship if he
reacquires it in accordance with RA 9225. Although he is also
deemed never to have terminated his membership in the
Philippine bar, no automatic right to resume law practice
accrues.
Under RA 9225, if a person intends to practice the legal
profession in the Philippines and he reacquires his Filipino

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

citizenship pursuant to its provisions (he) shall apply with


the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such
practice. Stated otherwise, before a lawyer who reacquires
Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 can resume his law
practice, he must first secure from this Court the authority
to do so, conditioned on:
a.
b.
c.

d.

the updating and payment in full of the annual


membership dues in the IBP;
the payment of professional tax;
the completion of at least 36 credit hours of
mandatory continuing legal education; this is
especially
significant
to
refresh
the
applicant/petitioners knowledge of Philippine laws
and update him of legal developments and
the retaking of the lawyers oath which will not only
remind him of his duties and responsibilities as a
lawyer and as an officer of the Court, but also renew
his pledge to maintain allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines.

BACKGROUND OF CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY


(CPR)

c.

To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings


only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses
only as he believes to be honestly debatable under
the law;

d.

To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the


causes confided to him, such means only as are
consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to
mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice
or false statement of fact or law;

e.

To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every


peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client,
and to accept no compensation in connection with
his client's business except from him or with his
knowledge and approval;

f.

To abstain from all offensive personality and to


advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or
reputation of a party or witness, unless required by
the justice of the cause with which he is charged;

g.

Not to encourage either the commencement or the


continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any
man's cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;

h.

Never to reject, for any consideration personal to


himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed;

i.

In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all


fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal
opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present
every defense that the law permits, to the end that
no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by
due process of law.

The CPR is the principal source and basis of the rule of ethics
for members of the bar who do not belong to the judiciary.
For judges and justices, it is the Code of Judicial Ethics.
The CPR applies to lawyers in the government service except
the magistrates.
Q: When was the CPR promulgated?
A: On June 21, 1988.
NOTE: The CPR is based on the Canons of Professional Ethics
of the American Bar Association.

SC not predisposed to grant full independence to the IBP


CPR is binding on all lawyers. Violation thereof is a
ground for disciplinary action.
DUTIES OF ATTORNEYS UNDER THE RRC

Q: What are the duties of an attorney?


A: Sec. 20. Duties of attorneys. attorney:
a.

b.

It is the duty of an

NATURE OF THE POSITION OF AN ATTORNEY


Q: What is the nature of the position of an attorney as an
officer of the court?
A: He is considered as a public officer occupying a quasijudicial office. He is considered as an officer of the court. He
directly participates in the administration of justice. Through
him, the judicial machinery is set in motion by his filing of
cases in court on which the judge is called upon to act. His
participation in the dispensation of justice is indispensable. If
there are no lawyers, courts cannot operate to dispense
justice. His intimate and indispensable relationship to the
court makes him part of the court.

To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the


Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey
the laws of the Philippines;

Q: What is the nature of the legal profession?

To observe and maintain the respect due to the


courts of justice and judicial officers;

A: It is a form of public service or public trust intimately


related to the administration of justice, in the practice of
which pecuniary rewards are considered as merely incidental.
It is a priesthood of justice.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

It is a profession and not a business as it is essential part in


the administration of justice. It is a pursuit of learned art in
the interest of public service.

A: He will not be admitted to the Bar without having actually


taken his oath of office as an attorney.

CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

NOTE: Oath alone will not make a bar passer a full-fledged


member of the bar. A board passer must not only take his
oath as a member of the Bar, but he must also sign the Roll of
Attorneys.

CHAPTER I- THE LAWYER AND SOCIETY

RULE 1.01

CANON 1
The lawyers oath
I, do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines, I will support the Constitution and
obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly
constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor
consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or
willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful
suit, or give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man
for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer
according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, with all
good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I
impose upon myself these voluntary obligations without any
mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.
Lawyers primary duty to society or state. It is the lawyers
primary duty to society or state to uphold the Constitution,
obey the laws of the land and promote respect of law and
legal processes.

Lawyer must constantly be of good moral character.


Q: What are the purposes of the requirement for good
moral character?
A:
1.
2.
3.
4.

To protect the public;


The protection of the public image of lawyers; and
To protect prospective clients.
To protect errant lawyers from themselves.
Unlawful acts or violation of laws

Being a lawyer, he is supposed to be a model in the


community in so far as respect to the law is concerned.
Q: What are the unlawful acts or violation of laws?
A:
1.

Lawyers oath is a sacred trust, not a mere ceremony. It is not


a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law to be
forgotten afterwards. It is a sacred trust that lawyers must
uphold and keep inviolable at all times.

2.

Lawyers oath imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay


no man for money or malice.

3.

Lawyers will be disciplined for disobeying legal orders or


processes of courts.

4.

Willful disregard thereof may subject the lawyer not only to


punishment for contempt but to disciplinary sanctions as
well.

5.

Promoting an organization designed to violate or


evade the laws against crime with knowledge of its
aims;
A lawyer who purchase opium although the sale was
not consummated because he was robbed of the
purchase price by the vendors;
A lawyer who engineered the a scheme to defraud
another person;
Transgression of any provision of law by a lawyer is a
repulsive and reprehensible act which the court will
not countenance; and
A lawyer who after barrowing court records stole
exhibits by tearing them off.

NOTE: The law violated need not be a penal law.


A lawyer who issued bouncing checks violates the law and is
subject to disbarment or suspension.
Q: What is the significance of lawyers oath?
A: By swearing the lawyers oath, an attorney becomes a
guardian of truth and rule of law and an indispensable
instrument in the fair and impartial administration of justice.
Q: What is the effect of failure to take the attorneys oath?

Q: What is an unlawful conduct?


A: It includes violation of the statutory prohibition on a
government employee to engage in the private practice of his
profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law.
Q: What are the offenses involving moral turpitude?
A:

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Estafa
Bribery
Murder
Bigamy
Seduction
Abduction
Concubinage
Smuggling
Falsification of public document
Violation of BP 22

____________________________________________

entertained of him, or the estimate in which he is held by the


public in the place where is known. The former is not a
subjective term but one which corresponds to objective
reality.
NOTE: Psychological incapacity of a lawyer does not
necessarily make him an unfit member of the bar.
Q: Cite instances of gross immorality.
A: For immorality to be a ground for disciplinary action, it
must not only be merely immoral but also grossly immoral:

Honesty is still the lawyers best virtue.


1.
Q: What is Morality?
A: It is that quality of human act whereby it measures up to
what it should be as a step towards the objective last end of
human action, or fails so to measure up.

2.
3.

4.
Q: What is immorality?
A: It is the doing of an act which is contrary to conscience.
Morality as understood in law
This is human standard based on the natural moral law which
is embodied in mans conscience and which guides him to do
good and avoid evil.

5.
6.

Abandonment of wife and cohabitating with another


woman
Bigamy
A lawyer who had carnal knowledge with a woman
through a promise of marriage which he did not
fulfill
Seduction of a woman who is the niece of married
woman with whom the lawyer had adulterous
relations
Delivering bribe money to a judge on a request of
clients
Lawyer taking advantage of his position as chairman
of the college of medicine and asked a lady student
to go with him in Manila where he had carnal
knowledge of her under threat
RULE 1.02

Q: What is moral turpitude?


A: It includes everything which is done contrary to justice,
honesty, modesty or good morals.
Q: What is immoral conduct?
A: It is that conduct which is willful, flagrant, or shameless
and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the
good and respectable members of the community.
It is not confined to sexual conduct.
NOTE: Morality must be a lasting virtue. Lawyers are
expected to abide by the tenets of morality not only upon
admission to the bar but also throughout their legal career,
in order to maintain ones good standing in that exclusive and
honored fraternity.
Good moral character is more than just the absence of bad
character.
Q: What is the difference between moral character and
good reputation?
A: Moral character is what a person really is as distinguished
from good reputation or from the opinion generally

Defiance of the law shall not be abetted, nor acts lessening


confidence in the legal system.
Respect for the law is gravely eroded when lawyers
themselves engage in unlawful practices and brush aside the
rules of the IBP formulated for their observance.
Preparation of a document contrary to law and morals is
malpractice.
Q: What are the acts which corrode confidence in the legal
system?
A: All acts of lawyers which are unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful corrode public confidence in the legal system.
Hence, lawyers must always conduct themselves in accord
with the immutable tenets embodied in the lawyers oath and
the rules of legal ethics.
RULE 1.03
It is the duty of an attorney not to encourage either the
commencement or the continuance of an action or
proceeding, or delay any man's cause, from any corrupt
motive or interest.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

Obligation not to encourage suits


Lawyers owe it to the court and to society not to stir up
litigations.
This is to prevent barratry and ambulance chasing.

Q: What is the significance of an attorneys signature on a


pleading?
A: The signature of counsel constitutes a certificate that he
has read the pleading; that to the best of his knowledge,
information, and belief there is a good ground to support it;
and that it is not interposed for delay.

Barratry
Q: What are the instances of delay condemned by the SC?
Q: What is barratry?
A:
A: It is the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up
quarrels and suits, either at law or otherwise. It is the act of
Fermenting suits among individuals and offering his legal
services to one of them for monetary motives or purposes.
Ambulance chasing
It is the lawyers act of chasing an ambulance carrying the
victim of an accident for the purpose of talking to the said
victim or relatives and offering his legal services for the filing
of a case against the person who caused the accident.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Q: What are the evils spawned by ambulance chasing?


8.

Resort to technicalities as a means to frustrate


justice;
Befuddling of the issues in the case by counsel which
invariably will be exposed for what they are;
Filing of multiple or repetitious petitions;
Filing of several actions covering the same subject
matter or seeking substantially identical relief;
Filing of frivolous appeals for purposes of delay;
Fling of motions for postponement and other kinds
of motions for dilatory purposes;
Indiscriminate fling of suits against a party clearly
intended for harassment; and
Delaying cases or services for money.

A:
RULE 1.04
1.
2.
3.
4.

Fomenting of litigation with resulting burdens on the


courts and the public;
Subordination of perjury;
Mulcting of innocent persons by judgments upon
manufactured causes of actions; and
Defrauding of injured persons having proper causes
of action but ignorant of legal rights and court
procedure by means of contracts which retain
exorbitant percentages of recovery and illegal
charges for court costs and expenses and by
settlement made for quick returns of fees and
against the just rights of the injured persons.

GR: It is unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to


bring lawsuit.
XPN: In rare cases where ties of blood, relationship or trust
make it his duty to do so.
Lawyers must not file pointless petitions that only add to the
workload of the judiciary.
Lawyer should not be an instigator of controversy but a
mediator for concord and conciliator for compromise.
Delaying any mans cause for corrupt motive, condemned.
Appealing for purposes of delay is obstruction of justice.

Q: What is a compromise agreement?


A: It is such that a party must give up some of the rights he
has, in consideration of the same act on the part of the other
side.
Authority of a lawyer to bind clients
Sec. 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients. - Attorneys
have authority to bind their clients in any case by any
agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in taking
appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure. But
they cannot, without special authority, compromise their
client's litigation, or receive anything in discharge of a
client's claim but the full amount in cash.
Settlement of cases authorized and encouraged by law. The
law does not limit compromise to cases about to be filed or
cases already pending in courts. That compromise which may
be effected even after final judgment is impliedly allowed by
Article 2040.
Lawyer must encourage fair settlement.
Attorneys fees not ground for disapproval of compromise.
The rights of lawyers to the fees due them for services in
litigation cannot have a higher standing than the rights of the
clients or the parties themselves.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

10

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

The practice of law is a profession not a money-making trade.


Lawyer cannot compromise case without clients consent
A lawyer cannot, without special authority, compromise his
clients litigation or receive anything in discharge of the
clients claim but the full amount in cash.
Q: What is the effect of compromise entered into without
the authority of the client?
A: A compromise entered into without authority is merely
unenforceable. It can be ratified by the client.
However, a lawyer has the exclusive management of
the procedural aspect of the litigation including the
enforcement of the rights and remedies of their client. Thus,
when the case was submitted for decision on the evidence so
far presented, the counsel for private respondents acted
within the scope of his authority as agent and lawyer in
negotiating for favorable terms for his clients

The protection of the weak and the powerless is the highest


form of public service that a lawyer could render.
Q: What are the primary characteristics which distinguish
the legal profession from business?
A: Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal
profession from business are:
1.

2.

3.
4.

A duty of public service, of which the emolument is


a byproduct, and in which one may attain the
highest eminence without making much money.
A relation as an "officer of court" to the
administration of justice involving thorough
sincerity, integrity, and reliability.
A relation to clients in the highest degree fiduciary.
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.

CANON 2
Hence, improper solicitation of legal business is prohibited.
RULE 2.01
Advertisement lowers the standards of the profession.
Q: Who are the defenseless?
Q: When is solicitation of legal business permissible?
A: They are those who are not in a position to defend
themselves due to poverty, weakness, ignorance or other
similar reasons.
The oppressed are the victims of acts of cruelty, unlawful
exaction domination or excessive use of authority.
A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to pay his
professional fees shall observe the same standard of conduct
governing his relation with paying client.
Legal aid is not a matter of charity but a public responsibility.
Legal aid is a matter of public responsibility. It is not a matter
of charity. It is a means for the correction of social imbalance
that may and often do lead to injustice.

A: For solicitation to be proper, it must be compatible with


the dignity of the legal profession. If made in a modest and
decorous manner, it would bring no injury to the lawyer or to
the bar.
Even the use of calling cards with a formal picture is now
acceptable.
Modest announcements in newspapers, periodicals or
magazines about the opening of a law office or law firm
stating the names of the lawyers and the address of the office
or firm is not improper.
Still, the best advertisement for a lawyer is a well-deserved
reputation for competence, honesty and fidelity to private
trust and public duty.

RULE 2.02
Rule 2.04
In case of non-acceptance of the case of the defenseless or
oppressed, legal advice should still be rendered to safeguard
their rights.

To avoid any demeaning and degrading competition, lawyers


as much as possible should be in unison in respecting such
custom or tradition.

If he could not handle the case of defenseless or oppressed


persons, he must not refuse to provide them with immediate
legal advice necessary to protect their rights.
RULE 2.03

Facultad de Derecho Civil

11

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

RULE 3.03
CANON 3
A lawyer may make known his legal services.
RULE 3.01
Self-praises or false claims on qualifications or quality of legal
services is unethical.
RULE 3.02

GR: Name of a partner should be dropped from the firm


name when he accepts public office.
XPN: If the law allows him to practice law concurrently while
holding the position such as a Sanggunian member who is
allowed to practice law subject to certain restrictions.
This is to prevent the law firm or partners from making use of
the name of the public official to attract legal business and to
avoid suspicion of undue influence.

Q: What name shall not be included in a firm name?


RULE 3.04
A: No false name or misleading or assumed name shall be
used in the firm name adopted. No name not belonging to
any of the partners or associates may be used in the firm
name for any purpose.

Seeking publicity is prohibited. A lawyer who seeks publicity


to attract legal business is debasing the legal profession,
especially so, if he pays something of value for it.

The rule in Sycip is that law partnerships are prohibited from


continuing their business under firm names that include the
names of the deceased partners.

Canon 27 of the Code of Professional Ethics

However, under the new Rule, partnerships are allowed the


continued use of the name of a deceased partner provided
that there is an indication that said partner is already
deceased.

It is unprofessional to solicit professional employment by


circulars, advertisements, through touters, or by personal
communications or interviews not warranted by personal
relations. Indirect advertisements for professional
employment such as furnishing or inspiring newspaper
comments, or procuring his photograph to be published in
connection with causes in which the lawyer has been or is
engaged or concerning the manner of their conduct, the
magnitude of the interest involved, the importance of the
lawyer's position, and all other like-laudation, offend the
traditions and lower the tone of our profession and are
reprehensible; but the customary use of simple professional
cards is not improper.

The purpose of retaining the name of a deceased partner is to


maintain the clients who have been provided legal services by
the law firm.
While the firm benefits from the good will attached to the
personality of the deceased partner, that motivation is
legitimate.
Name of a partner in law firm should be dropped if appointed
as judge since he is no longer allowed to practice law.
The use of the firm name of a foreign law firm is unethical.

Advertising, direct or indirect

The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even


for young lawyer is the establishment of a well-merited
reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust.

NOTE: The main law office and branch office do not


constitute 2 law firms.
Q: What is the effect of death of a partner to the clientlawyer relationship with the law firm?

CANON 4
Improvement of the legal system

A: It does not extinguish such relationship.

Lawyers should contribute to the enhancement of the


system.

Q: What is the effect of the negligence of a member in the


law firm?

The improvement of the administration of justice is a duty


that falls on the shoulders of every Filipino.

A: It is negligence of the firm.

Yet, it is the lawyers who should be in the forefront of this


endeavor as they are the best trained and learned in the law.
The fair administration of justice is not a stranger to them
being a daily companion.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

12

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

This responsibility flows from a lawyers sense of his public


responsibility.
CANON 5
Lawyers must update themselves with the law and must
participate in the dissemination thereof.
In line with this, the following are the objectives of IBP:
1.
2.
3.

Elevate the standards of the legal profession;


Improve the administration of justice; and
To enable the bar to discharge its public
responsibility.

Also, judges must keep abreast of the laws, rulings and


doctrines of the Supreme Court.
Legal education does not stop with the lawyers admission to
the bar.
NOTE: Once a person becomes a lawyer, he incurs 3-fold
obligation:
1.
2.
3.

CANON 6
The CPR shall govern the acts of all lawyers including those in
the service of the government like the OSG.
Lawyers who are incumbent judges and magistrates shall be
governed in the performance of their official functions by the
Code of Judicial Conduct.
Q: Who are public officials?
A: They include elective and appointive officials and
employees, permanent or temporary, whether in the career
or non-career service, including military
and police
personnel, whether or not they receive compensation,
regardless of amount.
The law requires the observance of the following norms of
conduct by every public official in the discharge and
execution of their official duties:
a.

Continue improving his knowledge of the law;


To take an active interest in the maintenance of high
standards of legal education; and
To lay public to make the law part of their social
consciousness.
b.

The IBP has the following obligations:


1.
2.

3.

Encourage and foster legal education;


Devise and maintain a program of continuing legal
education for practicing attorneys in order to elevate
the standards of the profession throughout the
country;
Conduct campaigns to educate the people on their
legal rights and obligations, on the importance of
preventive legal service, and on the true functions of
the Filipino lawyer.

c.

Lawyers must take active part and not just be passive


onlookers or listeners in the pursuit for continuing legal
education programs.
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)
The MCLE program is to keep the lawyers abreast with law
and jurisprudence.
d.
Lawyers are required to complete every 3 years at least 36
hours of continuing legal education on specified subjects.
e.

Commitment to public interest. - Public officials and


employees shall always uphold the public interest over
and above personal interest. All government resources
and powers of their respective offices must be employed
and used efficiently, effectively, honestly and
economically, particularly to avoid wastage in public
funds and revenues.
Professionalism. - Public officials and employees shall
perform and discharge their duties with the highest
degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and
skill. They shall enter public service with utmost devotion
and dedication to duty. They shall endeavor to
discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers
or peddlers of undue patronage.
Justness and sincerity. - Public officials and employees
shall remain true to the people at all times. They must
act with justness and sincerity and shall not discriminate
against anyone, especially the poor and the
underprivileged. They shall at all times respect the rights
of others, and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to
law, good morals, good customs, public policy, public
order, public safety and public interest. They shall not
dispense or extend undue favors on account of their
office to their relatives whether by consanguinity or
affinity except with respect to appointments of such
relatives to positions considered strictly confidential or as
members of their personal staff whose terms are
coterminous with theirs.
Political neutrality. - Public officials and employees shall
provide service to everyone without unfair discrimination
and regardless of party affiliation or preference.
Responsiveness to the public. - Public officials and
employees shall extend prompt, courteous, and
adequate service to the public. Unless otherwise
provided by law or when required by the public interest,

Facultad de Derecho Civil

13

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

f.

g.

h.

____________________________________________

public officials and employees shall provide information


of their policies and procedures in clear and
understandable language, ensure openness of
information, public consultations and hearings whenever
appropriate, encourage suggestions, simplify and
systematize policy, rules and procedures, avoid red tape
and develop an understanding and appreciation of the
socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country,
especially in the depressed rural and urban areas.
Nationalism and patriotism. - Public officials and
employees shall at all times be loyal to the Republic and
to the Filipino people, promote the use of locally
produced goods, resources and technology and
encourage appreciation and pride of country and people.
They shall endeavor to maintain and defend Philippine
sovereignty against foreign intrusion.
Commitment to democracy. - Public officials and
employees shall commit themselves to the democratic
way of life and values, maintain the principle of public
accountability, and manifest by deeds the supremacy of
civilian authority over the military. They shall at all times
uphold the Constitution and put loyalty to country above
loyalty to persons or party.
Simple living. - Public officials and employees and their
families shall lead modest lives appropriate to their
positions and income. They shall not indulge in
extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth in any
form.

NOTE: Misconduct in office as public official may be a ground


for disciplinary action.
RULE 6.01

be proper in the premises. In this jurisdiction provincial fiscals


are not clothed with power, without the content of court, to
dismiss or dicit nolle prosequi criminal actions actually
instituted, and pending further proceedings. The power to
dismiss is vested solely in the courts, that is to say in the
presiding judge thereof.
NOTE: It is highly reprehensible for a prosecutor to suppress
facts capable of establishing the innocence of the accused.
A public prosecutor should recommend the acquittal of the
accused whose conviction is on appeal, if he finds no legal
basis to sustain the conviction.
RULE 6.02
The Code is equally applicable to lawyers in the government
service. Government lawyers, who are public servants owe
utmost fidelity to the public service.
Public officials are required to uphold public interest over and
above personal interest; must discharge their duties with the
highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence,
and skill.
Promotion of private interest is prohibited.
GR: Misconduct in the discharge of official duties as
government official is generally no disciplinable.
XPN: If the misconduct of a government official is such a
character as to effect his qualification as a lawyer or to show
moral delinquency, then he may be disciplined as a member
of the Bar upon such ground.

Q: What is the primary duty of a prosecutor?


A: A prosecutor is a quasi-judicial officer and thus should seek
equal and impartial justice. He should be as much concerned
with seeing that no innocent man suffers as in being that no
guilty man escapes.
US v. Barredo
We agree with the contentions of counsel that a
conscientious prosecuting official, whose investigations have
satisfied him as to the innocence of persons charged with the
commission of crime, should not institute criminal
proceedings against such persons. But we are of the opinion
that in the event that criminal proceedings have been
instituted, and the investigations of the provincial fiscal
have satisfied him that the accused person is innocent, or
that evidence sufficient to secure conviction will not be
forthcoming at the trial despite the exercise of due diligence
to that end, it then becomes his duty to advise the court
wherein the proceedings are pending as to the result of his
investigations, and to move the court to dismiss the
proceedings, leaving it to the court to take such action as may

NOTE: A government lawyer should not refuse to perform a


duty.
RULE 6.03
Restrictions against government lawyers who left the
services
A government lawyer may leave the government service in
various ways: retirement, resignation, expiration of the term
of office, dismissal or abandonment. In such cases, he is
prohibited from accepting engagement or employment in
connection with any matter in which he had intervened while
in service.
R.A. No. 3019
Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to
acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by
existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices
of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

Facultad de Derecho Civil

14

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

(d) Accepting or having any member of his family accept


employment in a private enterprise which has pending official
business with him during the pendency thereof or within one
year after its termination.
Accordingly, any violation of restriction is tantamount to
representing conflicting interests.
Q: What is adverse-interest conflicts?
A: Adverse-interest conflicts exist where the matter in
which the former government lawyer represents a client in
private practice is substantially related to a matter that the
lawyer dealt with while employed by the government and the
interests of the current and former are adverse.
Q: What is congruent-interest conflicts?
A: On the other hand, congruent-interest representation
conflicts are unique to government lawyers and apply
primarily to former government lawyers.
Q: What is the basis for such disqualification?
A:The rationale for disqualification is rooted in a concern that
the government lawyers largely discretionary actions would
be influenced by the temptation to take action on behalf of
the government client that later could be to the advantage of
parties who might later become private practice clients.

CHAPTER II-THE LAWYER AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION


CANON 7
RULE 7.01
Q: What are the requirements for all applicants for
admission to the bar?
A: Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar
must:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Must be a citizen of the Philippines;


At least 21-years of age;
Of good moral character;
A resident of the Philippines; and
Must produce before the SC 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 (Sec. 2,
Rule 138).

Section 4. Requirements for applicants from other


jurisdictions. Applicants for admission who, being Filipino
citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the
Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of

appeals or district court therein, or in the highest court of any


State or Territory of the United States, and who can show by
satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five
years in any of said courts, that such practice began before
July 4, 1946, and that they have never been suspended or
disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Court, be admitted
without examination.
Section 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. All
applicants for admission other than those referred to in the
two preceding section shall, before being admitted to the
examination, satisfactorily show that they have regularly
studied law for four years, and successfully completed all
prescribed courses, in a law school or university, officially
approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. The
affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a certificate from
the university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of
such facts, and further evidence may be required by the
court.
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless
he has satisfactorily completed the following courses in a law
school or university duly recognized by the government: civil
law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and
private international law, political law, labor and social
legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.
Knowingly making a false statement or suppression of a
material fact in the application for admission to the bar
If the false statement or suppression of material is discovered
before the candidate could take the bar examinations, he will
be denied permission to take the examinations.
If the discovery was made after the candidate had taken his
oath as a lawyer, his name will be stricken from the rolls of
attorneys.
Q: What is the effect if what is concealed is a crime not
involving moral turpitude?
A: Such concealment nevertheless will be taken against him.
It is the fact of concealment and not the commission of the
crime itself that makes him morally unfit to become a
lawyer. When he made a concealment, he perpetrated
perjury.
Prohibition against candidates
Section 13. Disciplinary measures. No candidate shall
endeavor to influence any member of the committee, and
during examination the candidates shall not communicate
with each other nor shall they give or receive any assistance.
The candidate who violates this provisions, or any other
provision of this rule, shall be barred from the examination,
and the same to count as a failure against him, and further

Facultad de Derecho Civil

15

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

disciplinary action, including permanent disqualification, may


be taken in the discretion of the court.
RULE 7.02

A:
1.

Lawyer shall not support for admission to the bar of an


unqualified candidate.
2.
As the public is vitally interested in the rectitude of attorneys,
any person is permitted to oppose an application for
admission by urging the moral disqualification of the
applicant.
A lawyer should aid in guarding the Bar against admission to
the profession of candidates unfit or unqualified for being
deficient in either moral character or education.
3.
Section 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by Supreme
Court on what grounds. A member of the bar may be
removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the
Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by
reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude,
or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take
before the admission to practice, or for a wilfull disobedience
of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or
willful appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without
authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for
the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents
or brokers, constitutes malpractice.
RULE 7.03
A lawyer must at all times conduct himself properly as not to
put into question his fitness to practice law.
A lawyer should maintain the standard of moral fitness
required of him when he applied for admission to the Bar.
The moral turpitude for which an attorney may be disbarred
may consist of misconduct in either his professional or nonprofessional activities.
A lawyer must always conduct himself with great propriety.
He must behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the public by
creating the belief that he is flouting these moral standards.
A lawyer shall stand as a shield in defense of right and in the
warding off wrong.

4.

Misquoting the contents of paper, testimony of a


witness, the language or the argument of opposing
counsel; or the language of the decision or a
textbook; or
With knowledge of its invalidity, to cite as authority
a decision that has been overruled or a statute that
has been repealed, or in the argument to assert as a
fact that which has not been proved, or in those
jurisdictions where a side has the opening and
closing arguments where a side has the opening and
closing arguments to mislead his opponent by
concealing or withholding positions in his opening
argument upon which his side then intends to rely.
Offering an evidence which he knows the court
should reject;
Introducing into an argument, addressed to the
court, remarks or statements intended to influence
the bystanders.
RULE 8.01

Abusive and offensive language has no place in pleadings. It is


contemptuous.
Q: What is the language to be used in the practice of law?
A: It should be dignified, emphatic but respectful as befitting
an advocate and in keeping with the dignity of the legal
profession.
It should be gracious to both the court and opposing counsel
and be of such words as may be properly addressed by some
gentleman to another.
NOTE: Court may expunge improper language from the
records.
Any kind of language which attacks without foundation the
integrity of opposing counsel or the dignity of the court may
be stricken off the records or may subject a lawyer to
disciplinary action.
Want of intention is not an excuse for the disrespectful
language used. Counsel cannot escape responsibility by
claiming that his words did not mean what any reader must
have understood them as meaning.
When

strong

language

used

is

justified.

CANON 8
RULE 8.02
Lawyers must conduct themselves honorably, fairly and
candidly toward each other. Respect generates respect.
Q: State some instances of lack of candor (honesty).

A lawyer should not steal anothers client. It is highly


unethical for a lawyer to exert efforts directly or indirectly to
encroach upon the professional employment of another.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

16

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

Competition among attorneys is contrary to the long


established etiquette of the legal profession. No selfrespecting practitioner will ever voluntarily tender his
services in pending matter then being conducted by other
counsel, and will not obtrude criticism on acts of a partys
attorney.

Public policy demands that legal work in representation of


parties litigant should be entrusted only to those possessing
tested qualifications and who are sworn, to observe the
rules and the ethics of the profession, as well as being
subject to judicial disciplinary control for the protection of
courts, clients and the public.

There is no encroachment when previous lawyer has already


dismissed.

A lawyer is prohibited from taking as a partner or associate


any person who is not authorized to practice law to appear in
court or to sign pleadings.

Lawyer shall not negotiate with the opposite party who is


represented by a counsel.

A lawyer shall not allow a non-member of the bar to


misrepresent himself as a lawyer.

Lawyer may however interview any witness or prospective


witness for the opposite side.

A lawyer cannot delegate his authority without clients


consent even to a qualified person.

Advice and assistance to victims of unfaithful and neglectful


counsel is proper.

RULE 9.02
A lawyer can only divide or stipulate to divide fees for legal
services with another lawyer who had rendered legal services
with him in a case or legal work,

CANON 9
Q: What is the rationale for the prohibition?
Unauthorized practice of law
Unauthorized practice of law is committed when a person not
a lawyer to be one and performs acts which are exclusive to
members of the bar.
Section 21. Authority of attorney to appear. an attorney is
presumed to be properly authorized to represent any cause
in which he appears, and no written power of attorney is
required to authorize him to appear in court for his client, but
the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on
reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any
attorney who assumes the right to appear in a case to
produce or prove the authority under which he appears, and
to disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue, the name of the
person who employed him, and may thereupon make such
order as justice requires. An attorneys wilfully appear in
court for a person without being employed, unless by leave
of the court, may be punished for contempt as an officer of
the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions.
Assistance to the unauthorized practice of law is prohibited. A
lawyer shall not assist anyone who is not a member of the bar
to practice law in this country.

A: To avoid confusion as to whom to consult in case of


necessity and also to avoid leaving the bar in a chaotic
condition, aside from the fact that non-lawyers are not
amenable to disciplinary measures.
Q: What are the exceptions to Rule 9.02?
A:
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
agreement.
None lawyers are not entitled to attorneys fees.

The lawyer who assists in an unauthorized practice of law


whether directly or indirectly is subject to disciplinary action.
RULE 9.01
Delegation of legal work to an unqualified person is
misbehavior.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

17

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

CHAPTER III-THE LAWYER AND THE COURTS


CANON 10

Art. 184. Offering false testimony in evidence. Any person


who shall knowingly offer in evidence a false witness or
testimony in any judicial or official proceeding, shall be
punished as guilty of false testimony and shall suffer the
respective penalties provided in this section.

RULE 10.01
RULE 10.02
The burden cast on the judiciary would be intolerable if it
could not take at face value what is asserted by counsel. The
time that will have to be devoted just to the task of
verification of allegations submitted could easily be imagined.
Even with due recognition then that counsel is expected to
display the utmost zeal in defense of a client's cause, it must
never be at the expense of deviation from the truth.
A lawyer is an officer of the court. He is an instrument or
agency to advance the ends of justice. His duty is to uphold
the dignity and authority of the courts to which he owes
fidelity not to promote distrust in an administration of justice.
Refilling a case which was already litigated before is not
forum-shopping but nevertheless a violation of Canon 10.

A lawyer is prohibited from:


1.

Knowingly misquoting or misrepresenting:

a.
b.
c.

Contents of paper;
Language or argument of opposing counsel;
Text of a decision or authority;

2.

Knowingly citing as law, a provision already rendered


inoperative by repeal or amendment; or
Asserting as a fact that which has not been proved.

3.

NOTE: When a lawyer makes a quotation of a decision in his


pleading, he should quote the same verbatim to avoid
misleading the court.

Carlet v. CA
Counsels act of filing a new case involving essentially the
same cause of action is likewise abusive of the courts
processes and may be viewed as improper conduct tending
to directly impede, obstruct and degrade the administration
of justice.
RULE 10.01
The lawyer must be truthful. He must be a minister of truth.
Hence, he must not mislead the court nor allow the court to
be misled by an artifice.

When the misquotation is intended, the lawyer is subject to


disciplinary action.
Knowingly citing a law or a provision of law is unethical and
contemptuous.
Lawyer must not intentionally misread or interpret the law to
the point of distortion in cunning effort to achieve their
purposes.
A lawyer should not cite a decision knowing that it is invalid
or that it has been overruled. Neither should he cite a statute
knowing that it has been repealed.

Q: Give some cases of falsehoods which merited disciplined.


A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the
text of a decision or authority.

A:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Lawyer falsely stating in a deed of sale that property


is free from all liens and encumbrances;
Lawyer making it appear that a person executed a
deed of sale in his favor;
Lawyer concealing the fact that he was charged with
or convicted of a crime;
Lawyer encashing a check payable to a deceased
cousin by signing the latters name on the check;
Lawyer falsifying a power of attorney and used it in
collecting the money for his own benefit;
Lawyer uttering falsehood in a motion to dismiss;
Lawyer presenting falsified documents in court
which he knows to be false; and
Lawyer filing false charges or groundless suits;

A lawyer should not assert as a fact, his version of the case,


which had not yet been proven. Nor should a lawyer assert as
finding of fact by the Court which is actually not.
Fosting a nonexistent rule to mislead the court is a violation
of legal ethics.
RULE 10.03
The aim of lawsuit is to render justice. And the rules of
procedure are precisely deigned to attain such objective.
A lawyer who misuses the rules to frustrate the ends of
justice deserves stern condemnation.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

18

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

Lawyer shall not misuse the rules of procedure. The Rules of


Court are intended to facilitate the delivery of justice to those
whom it is due without unnecessary expense and waste of
time for truly justice delayed is justice denied.

RULE 10.04
The rule aims to avoid surprises and backstabbing. Cards of
the lawyers must be laid on the table for openness,
candidness and transparency.

Canlas v. CA
As we have intimated, we cannot overlook the unseemlier
side of the proceeding, in which a member of the bar would
exploit his mastery of procedural law to score a "technical
knockout" over his own client, of all people. Procedural
rules, after all, have for their object assistance unto parties
"in obtaining just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of
every action and proceeding." If procedure were to be an
impediment to such an objective, "it deserts its proper office
as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance and chief
enemy."
A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one,
more deeply schooled and skilled in the subtle art of
movement and position, entraps and destroys the other. It
is, rather, a contest in which each contending party fully and
fairly lays before the court the facts in issue and then,
brushing aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all
imperfections of form and technicalities of procedure, asks
that justice be done upon the merits. Lawsuits, unlike duels,
are not to be won by the rapier's thrust.
Eternal Gardens Memorial Park Corp. v. CA and Seelin
We note that while lawyers owe entire devotion to the
interest of their clients and zeal in the defense of their
client's right, they should not forget that they are officers of
the court, bound to exert every effort to assist in the speedy
and efficient administration of justice. They should not,
therefore, misuse the rules of procedure to defeat the ends
of justice or unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a
judgment or misuse court processes. In Banogan et. al. vs.
Cerna, et. al.
As officers of the court, lawyers have a responsibility to
assist in the proper administration of justice. They do not
discharge this duty by filing pointless petitions that only add
to the workload of the judiciary, especially this Court, which is
burdened enough as it is. A judicious study of the facts and
the law should advise them when a case such as this, should
not be permitted to be filed to merely clutter the already
congested judicial dockets. They do not advance the cause of
law or their clients by commencing litigations that for sheer
lack of merit do not deserve the attention of the courts."
They should give way to the realities of the situation.
Procedural rules are intended as an aid to justice, not as a
means for its frustration.
Technicalities should give way to the realities of the situation.

Pleaders must also furnish the adverse party or parties copies


of all documents annexed thereto.

CANON 11
Public duties of the attorney takes precedence over his
private duties.
In re: Sotto
To hurl the false charge that this Court has been for the last
years committing deliberately "so many blunders and
injustices," that is to say, that it has been deciding in favor of
one party knowing that the law and justice is on the part of
the adverse party and not on the one in whose favor the
decision was rendered, in many cases decided during the last
years, would tend necessarily to undermine the confidence of
the people in the honesty and integrity of the members of
this Court, and consequently to lower or degrade the
administration of justice by this Court. The Supreme Court of
the Philippines is, under the Constitution, the last bulwark
to which the Filipino people may repair to obtain relief for
their grievances or protection of their rights when these are
trampled upon, and if the people lose their confidence in
the honesty and integrity of the members of this Court and
believe that they cannot expect justice therefrom, they
might be driven to take the law into their own hands, and
disorder and perhaps chaos might be the result. As a
member of the bar and an officer of the courts Atty. Vicente
Sotto, like any other, is in duty bound to uphold the dignity
and authority of this Court, to which he owes fidelity
according to the oath he has taken as such attorney, and not
to promote distrust in the administration of justice. Respect
to the courts guarantees the stability of other institutions,
which without such guaranty would be resting on a very
shaky foundation.
Lawyers must be respectful not only in their actions but also
in their use of language whether in oral arguments or
pleadings.
Disrespectful acts and language are contemptuous.
In Re: Almacen
The counsel in any case may or may not be an abler or more
learned lawyer than the judge, and it may tax his patience
and temper to submit to rulings which he regards as
incorrect, but discipline and self-respect are as necessary to

Facultad de Derecho Civil

19

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

the orderly administration of justice as they are to the


effectiveness of an army. The decisions of the judge must be
obeyed, because he is the tribunal appointed to decide, and
the bar should at all times be the foremost in rendering
respectful submission.
The highest sign of respect to the courts is the lawyers
obedience to court orders and processes.
Criticisms of courts must not spill over the walls of decency
and propriety.
Pleadings containing derogatory, offensive or malicious
statements to the court or judge in which the proceedings are
pending constitutes direct contempt.
Criticism made in good faith may be tolerated. Malicious
attacks on courts have in some cases been treated as libel, in
other cases as contempt of court, and as a sufficient ground
for disbarment. However, mere criticism or comment on the
correctness or wrongness, soundness or unsoundness of the
decision of the court in a pending case made in good faith
may be tolerated.

A lawyers language should be dignified in keeping with the


dignity of the legal profession. It is his duty to abstain from all
offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the
honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by
the justice of the cause with which he is charged.
Raising ones voice
A lawyers arguments should be gracious to both court and
opposing counsel and be of such words as may be properly
addressed by one gentleman to another. Raising ones voice
is a sign of disrespect.
He must observe and maintain attitude not for the sake of
the temporary incumbent of the judicial office but for the
maintenance of its supreme importance.
Sanggalang v. IAC
To be sure, Atty. Sangco is entitled to his opinion, but not to a
license to insult the Court with derogatory statements and
recourses to argumenta ad hominem. In that event, it is the
Court's duty "to act to preserve the honor and dignity ... and
to safeguard the morals and ethics of the legal profession."

RULE 11.01
To maintain the dignity and respectability of the legal
profession, lawyers who appear in court must properly
attired. The traditional attires for male lawyers in the
Philippines are the long-sleeve Barong Tagalog and coat and
tie. Female lawyer appear in semi-formal attires. Judges also
appear in the same attire in addition to black robes.
RULE 11.02
It is the duty of the lawyer to be punctual in attendance and
to be concise and direct in the trial and disposition of cases.
Counsel may even be held in contempt in court for coming
late in the hearing or trial of a case.
Lack of punctuality interferes in the speedy administration of
justice. A judge who is unpunctual in his habits sets a bad
example to the bar and tends to create dissatisfaction with
the administration of justice.

NOTE: A mere disclaimer of any intentional disrespect, not a


ground for exoneration. He cannot escape responsibility by
claiming that the words did not mean what any reader must
have understood them as meaning.
RULE 11.04
A lawyer must not attribute to a judge motives not supported
by the record or which are immaterial to the cause.
People v. Carillo
We cannot close this decision without making a reference to
the defamatory remarks which counsel for appellant makes in
his brief, casting aspersions on the trial Judges motives and
conduct. These remarks have no relevancy to the case, are of
no value to us in the decision of the issues, and are not borne
out by the record. To say that it is unprofessional worthy of
the highest rebuke for a lawyer to attribute to a judge
motive which do not appear on the record and have no
materiality to the case is to reassert a platitude.

RULE 11.03
Misbehavior in court is direct contempt.
Q: What is direct contempt?
A: It is misbehavior committed in the presence of or so near
the court or judge so as to obstruct or interrupt the
proceedings before the same, including disrespect toward the
court, and can be punished summarily without hearing.

A lawyer can demand that the misbehavior of a judge be


placed on record. This act of the lawyer is not contemptuous.
While lawyers are prohibited to attribute motives to a judge
not supported by the record. Lawyers must however be
courageous enough to expose arbitrariness and injustices of
courts and judges.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

20

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

RULE 11.05
Criticism of court is not per se contemptuous. Constructive
and destructive criticisms are allowed.
Q: What is criticism?
A: It is an adverse analysis of an order, judgment or judicial
act of a magistrate with the aim of preventing or avoiding an
incipient injustice which may arise from the pernicious
(harmful) effects of the mistake, error or irregularity
committed.
If the purpose of the criticism is to timely correct or rectify
the mistake, error or irregularity that true justice may be
achieved, that is constructive criticism.
As to whether criticism is contemptuous or not will depend
not only upon the manner how it was presented but also on
the kind of tone of the language used as well as the apparent
intention of the critic. If it was arrogantly or haughtily
presented with abusive, scurrilous and offensive language
coupled with the malicious intention to mock, ridicule,
demean and offend the sensibilities of the court or the sitting
judge, it is unquestionably contemptuous. This is destructive
criticism which must not be tolerated.
IN RE: ABISTADO
That the constitutional guaranty of freedom of speech and
press must be protected in its fulles extent, but license or
abuse of liberty of the press and of the citizen should not be
confused with liberty in its true sense; that as important as is
the maintenance of an ummuzzled press and the free
exercise of the rights of the citizen is the maintenance of the
independence of the judiciary;
That the courts must be permitted to proceed with the
disposition of their busienss in an orderly manner free from
outside interfered obstructive of their constitutional
functions.
When the criticism does not go beyond the metes and
bounds of decency, morality and propriety, it is a healthy
kind. Such criticism which is constructive must be welcomed
by the judge rather than repulsed irritatingly.
IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR DISCIPLINARY
ACTION AGAINST ATTY. VICENTE RAUL ALMACEN v.
VIRGINIA Y. YAPTINCHAY.
Criticism of the courts has, indeed, been an important part of
the traditional work of the bar. In the prosecution of appeals,
he points out the errors of lower courts. In written for law
journals he dissects with detachment the doctrinal
pronouncements of courts and fearlessly lays bare for -all to

see that flaws and inconsistence" of the doctrines (Hill v.


Lyman, 126 NYS 2d 286).
To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject
under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of
his profession and livelihood, by the judge or judges whom he
may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position
too
monstrous
to
be
entertained. ... . Hence, as a citizen and as Officer of the court
a lawyer is expected not only to exercise the right, but also to
consider it his duty to avail of such right. No law may abridge
this right. Nor is he "professionally answerable for a scrutiny
into the official conduct of the judges, which would not
expose him to legal animadversion as a citizen." (Case of
Austin, 28 Am. Dee. 657, 665).
Above all others, the members of the bar have the beat
Opportunity to become conversant with the character and
efficiency of our judges. No class is less likely to abuse the
privilege, as no other class has as great an interest in the
preservation of an able and upright bench. (State Board of
Examiners in Law v. Hart, 116 N.W. 212, 216)
To curtail the right of a lawyer to be critical of the foibles of
courts and judges is to seal the lips of those in the best
position to give advice and who might consider it their duty
to speak disparagingly. "Under such a rule," so far as the bar
is concerned, "the merits of a sitting judge may be rehearsed,
but as to his demerits there must be profound silence." (State
v. Circuit Court, 72 N.W. 196)
But it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall
be bona fide, and shall not spill over the walls of decency and
propriety. A wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the
One hand, and abuse and slander of courts and the judges
thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a
gross violation of the duty of respect to courts. It is Such a
misconduct that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action.
RULE 11.06
Complaints against judges must be disclosed to the proper
authorities only.
The complaint must be filed with the proper authorities
onlywith the SC if the case is administrative in nature or
with the Office of the Ombudsman if the compliant is criminal
and not purely administrative in nature.
If the complaints are based on impeachable offenses,
complaints must be coursed through the House of
Representatives and the Senate in accordance with the rules
on impeachment.
Criminal complaints against the judges in connection with
their duties as such must be filed with the SC, not with the
Ombudsman.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

21

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

Maceda. Ombudsman
However, ee agree with petitioner that in the absence of any
administrative action taken against him by this Court with
regard to his certificates of service, the investigation being
conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Court's
power of administrative supervision over all courts and its
personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of
powers.
Article VIII, section 6 of the 1987 Constitution exclusively
vests in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all
courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the
Court of Appeals down to the lowest municipal trial court
clerk. By virtue of this power, it is only the Supreme Court
that can oversee the judges' and court personnel's
compliance with all laws, and take the proper administrative
action against them if they commit any violation thereof. No
other branch of government may intrude into this power,
without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of
powers.
The Ombudsman cannot justify its investigation of petitioner
on the powers granted to it by the Constitution, for such a
justification not only runs counter to the specific mandate of
the Constitution granting supervisory powers to the Supreme
Court over all courts and their personnel, but likewise
undermines the independence of the judiciary.

Hence, acts which obstruct the administration of justice are


condemned.
RULE 12.01
A lawyer must be ready when he goes to trial.
Q: What is the duty of a newly hired counsel?
A: A new counsel 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.
A lawyer who is presenting documentary exhibits must also
be ready with the originals for purposes of comparison.
Javellana v. Lutero
A counsel for any party in a judicial controversy, by mandate
of the canons of legal ethics, and with due regard for the
elementary standards of fair play, is duty bound to prepare
for trial with diligence and deliberate speed. This norm of
conduct is no less applicable in a detainer case, such as the
one at bar, even if the issues are essentially simple and
uncomplicated. It is obvious that the counsel for the
petitioner-appellant has been remiss in this respect.

Thus, the Ombudsman should first refer the matter of


petitioner's certificates of service to this Court for
determination of whether said certificates reflected the true
status of his pending case load, as the Court has the
necessary records to make such a determination. The
Ombudsman cannot compel this Court, as one of the three
branches of government, to submit its records, or to allow its
personnel to testify on this matter, as suggested by public
respondent Abiera in his affidavit-complaint.

A lawyer should never come to court unprepared. Most cases


brought without preparation are cases lost. Half of the work
of lawyer is done in the office. It is spent in study and
research.

Q: What is the duty of lawyers when confronted by


extorting public officers?

Q: What is forum-shopping? When does it exist?

A: A lawyer shall not offer any bribe to any public officer to


gain advantage for himself or for a client. He has the duty to
resist extortions and temptations to bribe and to report to
the proper authorities.

CANON 12
Speedy and efficient administration of justice is the common
aim of the bench and the bar.
This canon directs the lawyer to exert every effort and
consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient
administration of justice.

RULE 12.02
FORUM-SHOPPING
The duplication or multiplication of suits must be avoided.

A: Forum shopping exists when, as a result of an adverse


opinion in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion
(other than by appeal or certiorari) in another, or when he
institutes two or more actions or proceedings grounded on
the same cause, on the gamble that one or the other court
would make a favorable disposition. The most important
factor in determining the existence of forum shopping is the
vexation caused the courts and parties-litigants by a party
who asks different courts to rule on the same or related
causes or grant the same or substantially the same reliefs.
Q: What should the sworn certification contain?
A: Section 5 of Rule 7:
Sec. 5. Certification against forum shopping.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

The plaintiff or principal party shall certify under oath in the


complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for
relief, or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and
simultaneously filed therewith: (a) that he has not
theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim
involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasijudicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such
other action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such
other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the
present status thereof; and (c) if he should thereafter learn
that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is
pending, he shall report that fact within five (5) days
therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or
initiatory pleading has been filed.
Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not
be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other
initiatory pleading but shall be cause for the dismissal of the
case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon
motion and after hearing. The submission of a false
certification or non-compliance with any of the undertakings
therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court, without
prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal
actions. If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly
constitute willful 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.

____________________________________________

Foronda v. Guerero
Indeed, 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. Under the Code of Professional
Responsibility, a lawyer has the duty to assist in the speedy
and efficient administration of justice, and is enjoined from
unduly delaying a case by impeding execution of a judgment
or by misusing court processes. Such filing of multiple
petitions constitutes abuse of the Courts processes and
improper conduct that tends to impede, obstruct and
degrade the administration of justice and will be punished
as contempt of court. Needless to add, the lawyer who files
such multiple or repetitious petitions (which obviously delays
the execution of a final and executory judgment) subjects
himself to disciplinary action for incompetence (for not
knowing any better) or for willful violation of his duties as an
attorney to act with all good fidelity to the courts, and to
maintain only such actions as appear to him to be just and are
consistent with truth and honor.
RULE 12.03
A lawyer who asked for extension of time must act in good
faith.
If the motion for extension of time is filed in bad faith from
the outset, it is an obstruction of justice. The lawyer is subject
to discipline.

Q: What is the effect of forum-shopping?


A: It is condemnable and the punishment thereof is the
dismissal of all actions pending in different courts without
prejudice to the taking of appropriate actions against the
counsel or party concerned.
Q: Is forum-shopping applicable to disbarment proceedings?
A: No.
NOTE: The client and the not the counsel should sign the
certification against forum-shopping.
It is a reprehensible manipulation of court processes and
proceedings.
Q: What are the elements of forum-shopping?
A: A lawyer could be charged with engaging in forumshopping only when 2 or more cases are pending involving
the same parties, causes of action and reliefs prayed for.
Lawyer has a duty to disclose the prior dismissal of his case by
a court of concurrent jurisdiction.

Lawyers should file their pleadings on time or they suffer the


consequences.
Roxas v. CA
Let this serve as (a) warning among members of the
Philippine bar who take their own sweet time with their cases
if not purposely delay its progress for no cogent reason. It
does no credit to their standing in the profession. More so
when they do not file the required brief or pleading until their
motion is acted upon. Not only should they not presume that
their motion for extension of time will be granted by the
court(,) much less should they expect that the extension that
may be granted shall be counted from notice. They should file
their briefs or pleadings within the extended period
requested. Failing in this, they have only themselves to blame
if their appeal or case is dismissed.
RULE 12.04
A lawyer must consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice.
Execution of final decision should not be unduly thwarted.
A judge should prevent dilatory tactics of lawyers.

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

Lawyers should not misuse the rules of procedure.

A:

Alonso v. Villamor
A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more
deeply schooled and skilled in the subtle art of movement
and position, entraps and destroys the other. It is, rather, a
contest in which each contending party fully and fairly lays
before the court the facts in issue and then, brushing aside as
wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and
technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done upon
the merits. Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by a
rapier's thrust. Technicality, when it desserts its proper
office as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance
and chief enemy, deserves scant consideration from courts.
There should be no vested rights in technicalities. No litigant
should be permitted to challenge a record of a court of these
Islands for defect of form when his substantial rights have not
been prejudiced thereby.
RULE 12.05
Coaching of witnesses during break or recess is condemned.
The moment a break or recess is declared during the trial and
the witness is still under examination, the lawyer must refrain
from talking to the witness. This is to prevent lawyers from
coaching or teaching the witness to answer in a certain way,
or to rectify certain statements damaging to his cause at the
resumption of the trial. This is to maintain fair play with the
other party and to prevent the examining lawyer from being
tempted to coach his own witness to suit his purposes.

Sec. 3 . Rights and obligations of a witness. A witness must


answer questions, although his answer may tend to establish
a claim against him. However, it is the right of a witness:
1.

2.
3.
4.

5.

To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or


insulting questions, and from harsh or insulting
demeanor;
Not to be detained longer than the interests of
justice require;
Not to be examined except only as to matters
pertinent to the issue;
Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him
to a penalty for an offense unless otherwise
provided by law; or
Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his
reputation, unless it to be the very fact at issue or to
a fact from which the fact in issue would be
presumed. But a witness must answer to the fact of
his previous final conviction for an offense. (3a, 19a)

NOTE: Lawyers should treat witnesses with fairness.


Lawyers must always be reminded that a lawyers language
should always be dignified in keeping with the dignity of the
legal profession.
Judges are equally mandated to be courteous to litigants and
witnesses.
RULE 12.08

RULE 12.06
Rationale of the rule
Assisting in
condemned.

misrepresentation

or

impersonation

is

The lawyer who presented a witness knowing him to be a


false witness is criminally liable for offering false testimony in
evidence.
The lawyer who is guilty of the above is both criminally and
administratively liable.
RULE 12.07
A lawyer shall not browbeat or harass or needlessly
inconvenience a witness. It is a misbehavior to frighten or
shout at witnesses, to terrorize them or tear them down
arrogantly, cross-examine them with incessant questions
beyond what is fair and necessary or maligning or abusing
them with such other similar acts where disrespect instead of
respect is the tone of the action.

The underlying reason for the impropriety of a lawyer acting


in the dual capacity lies in the difference between the
respective functions of a witness and an advocate. The
function of a witness is to tell the facts as he recalls them in
answer to questions.
NOTE: Although the law does not forbid an attorney to be a
witness and at the same time an attorney in a cause, the
courts prefer that counsel should not testify as a witness
unless it is necessary, and that he should withdraw from the
active management of the case.
Inhibition, a question of propriety
The inhibition is not a question of competency to testify but
one of the proprietyfor the dual role of being a witness and
a lawyer at the same time for a client, especially when the
procedure followed is one of self-examination will generally
invite criticism and confusion in the proceedings.

Q: What are the rights of the witnesses which must be


respected during trial?

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

The lawyer-witness may be opposing as counsel or arguing as


witness and the stenographer will find it difficult to record
the proceedings accurately.
Exceptions to rule
a.

b.

On formal matters, such as the mailing,


authentication or custody of an instrument and the
like
On substantial matters, in cases where his testimony
is essential to the ends of justice.

Discussing cases with the judge privately should be avoided


A lawyer should not communicate or argue privately with the
judge as to the merits of a pending case. He should be
rebuked or denounced for any device or attempt to gain from
a judge special personal consideration or favor.
It is an impropriety for a judge to meet privately with an
accused
Q: What is the reason for this?
A: To maintain impartiality.

CANON 13

RULE 13.02

Lawyer is a minister of justice

Public statements to arouse public opinion for or against a


party generally condemned

The lawyer must be guided by the principles of justice. He


must rely on the merits of his case and should avoid using
influence and connections to win his case.
His cases must be won because they are meritorious and not
because of connections, clout, dominance, or influence.

Newspaper publications by a lawyer as to pending or


anticipated litigation may interfere with a fair trial in the
courts and otherwise prejudice the due administration of
justice.
Test when public statement is contemptuous

A judges official conduct should indeed be free from the


appearance of impropriety; and his behavior not only in the
performance of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life
should be beyond approach.

The character of the act and its direct tendency to prevent


and obstruct the discharge of official duty is the test to
determine whether a newspaper publication concerning a
pending case is contemptuous.

RULE 13.01
Trial by publicity, when prejudicial
Extra-ordinary attention or hospitality to, or seek familiarity
with judges, to be avoided
Q: What is the reason for the prohibition?
A: The reason for the prohibition is to protect the good name
and reputation of the judge and the lawyer.
Lawyers should not also seek for opportunity to cultivate
familiarity with judges
A lawyer who joins a club or association for the purpose of
infiltrating the circle of the judges so that he can later hope to
influence them in relation to his cases or some legal matters
is highly unethical. The independence of the judges must be
protected at all times so that the administration of justice
may not be exposed to destructive suspicions before the
scrutinizing eyes of the litigants and the public as a whole.
Q: What are the consequences of such acts?
A: A lawyer who resorts to such practices of seeking
familiarity with judges dishonors his profession and a judge
who consents to them is unworthy of his high office.

Q: When is there a prejudicial publicity?


A: There must be an allegation and proof that the judges
have been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be,
by the barrage of publicity.
Lawyer equally guilty as the client if he induces the latter to
cause the publicity
If the counsel instigated or induced his client to make the
public statement or publicity in the media involving a pending
case to arouse public opinion and to influence the judge, both
the client and the lawyer may be subjected to contempt of
court.
Q: What is the reason for this?
A: The reason for this is that promulgated is already open to
public consumption such that an adhesion thereto in a news
item to justify a criticism is not actionable.
However, after the case had already been finished, the rule in
progressive jurisdictions is that, courts are subject to the
same criticism as other people.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

RULE 13.03
Lawyers shall not invite interference by another government
agency in the course of judicial proceedings
When a case is already within the jurisdiction of a court, the
lawyer should not cause or seek the interference of another
agency of the government in the normal course of judicial
proceedings.

Q: Why cant a lawyer refuse to undertake the defense of an


accused person simply because he believes that said person
is guilty?
A: For if the lawyer does so, he assumes the character of a
judge.
NOTE: No lawyer is obliged to act either as adviser or
advocate for every person who may wish to become his
client, but once he agrees to take up the cause of a client, the
lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must always be
mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.

CHAPTER IVTHE LAWYER AND THE CLIENT

Discovering guilt of client

CANON 14

Even if he discovers that his client is guilty, he must still


continue with defense of his client, and use all fair arguments
arising on the evidence and see to it that due process is
accorded to his client and that he should not be punished for
more that what the law provides.

Services to the needy


The privilege to practice law is a special privilege. The
endorsement of this privilge is not however without any
burden. Among them is the needed involvment of practising
lawyers in the rendition of legal aid to the poor and the
indigent without expecting ordinary attorneys fees for their
services. This burden is a social obligation of every practising
lawyer.
This is in consonance with Art. III, Sec. 11 of the Constitution:
Section 11. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial
bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to
any person by reason of poverty.

Q: When is Rule 14.01 applicable?


A: Only to crinminal cases.
NOTE: It is not for the lawyer to adjudge the guilt of his own
client who under the law is presumed innocent unitl proven
otherwise. Thus, it is not unethical for a lawyer to defend an
accused charged with any crime, heinous, or otehrwise,
because in the eyes of the law, until his conviction, he enjoys
the rebuttable presumption of innocence.
RULE 14.02

RULE 14.01
Appointment as counsel de oficio
Lawyer not bound to accept all cases
Q: Should a lawyer acccept all the cases?
He must on his own responsibility decide what business he
will accept as counsel, what cases he will bring to court for
plaintiffs, or what cases he will contest in court for
defendants.

The accused must be asked before the arraignment whether


he desires the aid of an attorney. If he desires and is unable
to employ one, the court must assign an attorney de oficio to
defend him.
Duty of the counsel de oficio
Q: Explain the duty of counsel de oficio.

Restrictions
The lawyer cannot decline to represent a person for the SOLE
reason of the latters:
1. Race
2. Age
3. Creed
4. Status in life
5. Because of the lawyers opinion that said person is
guilty of the charge

A: An accused, no matter how financially destitute, is entitled


to be heard through counsel. He cannot be deprived of his life
and liberty.
Lawyers called to duty under the Rule, cannot ne excused
from rendering efficient annot ne excused from rendering
efficient and truly decisive legal assitance except for the most
compelling reasons.
It is not enough that the lawyer is present in the courtroom
and proffers only shadow defense. He must be zealous and

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

enthusiastic enough, fight like a lion as if he is defending his


own self or members of his family.
As counsel de oficio, the lawyer is duty bound to exert his
best efforts and professional ability in behalf of the person
assigned to his care.
The counsel de oficio should be given at least 1 hour to
consult with the accused as to his plea before proceeding
with the arraignment.
The right to counsel de oficio does not cease upon the
convicyion of the accused by the trial court. Thus, if he wants
to appeal, the court must still assign a counsel de oficio for
the purpose.
Judges are cautioned not to frequently appoint same lawyer
as counsel de oficio
Q: Why is a judge cautioned not to frequently appoint same
lawyer as counsel de oficio?
A:
1.
2.

It is unfair to the attorney concerned, considering


the burden of his regular practice
The compensation might be considered by some
lawyers as a regular source of income, something
which the Rules of Court does not envision.
Accused can refuse a counsel de oficio

Appointment as amincus curae not to be declined


Q: Who is an amicus curae?
A: It literally means friend of court. He is known to be an
expert of knowledgeable on certain matters of law in regard
to which the judge may be doubtful or might go wrong.

____________________________________________

Free legal aid on request of the IBP


The IBP or any of its chapters may request a member of the
Bar to render free legal aid to poor deserving litigants. The
lawyer so requested must not decline the request except for
serious and sufficient cause.
The lawyer should welcome such request as an opportunity
to render public service and to demonstrate that the practice
of law is noble profession where sacrifice is an essential
element to assure a fair and speedy administration of justice
regardless of compensation.
Lawyer to render free legal aid to distitutes upon being
assigned by the judge
Rule 138, Sec. 31. Attorneys for destitute litigants. A court may assign an
attorney to render professional aid free of charge to any party in a case, if
upon investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to
employ an attorney, and that the services of counsel are necessary to
secure the ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party. It shall be
the duty of the attorney so assigned to render the required service, unless
he is excused therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown.

This is different from Rule 116, Sec. 6:


Sec. 6. Duty of court to inform accused of his right to counsel. Before
arraignment, the court shall inform the accused of his right to counsel and
ask him if he desires to have one. Unless the accused is allowed to defend
himself in person or has employed counsel of his choice, the court must
assign a counsel de officio to defend him.

Q: When does Rule 138 apply?


A: It refers to any party in any case other than a criminal case
where the services of counsel are needed to secure the ends
of justice.
RULE. 14.03
First option of the original rule clarified

Q: How can the appointment of an amicus curae be made?

The rule should be read as follows:

A:

A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an


indigent client unless: xxx

1.
2.

By application to the judge


The judge on his own initiative may invite a
prominent lawyer to appear as amicus curae in
special cases

Q: Is an amicus curae a party to a case?


A: An amicus curae is not a party to the action; he may
petition the court for permiossion to file a brief.
Amicus curae however does not have the right to interfere
with or control the condition of the record; he has no control
over the suit and no right to institute any proceedings
therein.

Coverage of the rules


Q: What is the coverage of the rules?
A: The rule involves indigent clients who come to a lawyer for
legal services.
A judge may assign a lawyer to render professional service
free of charge to any party in a case, if upon investigation, it
appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ an
attorney.

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

A lawyer shall not refuse to accept his engagement by a poor


client for reasons of insufficient compensation or lack of it.

case. The counsel should advise his clients of the


futility of their cause to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Humility to admit incapabilty

b.

Q: What are the 2 exceptions to the rule that a lawyer may


not refuse his services to represent an indigent client?
A:
1.
2.

Lack of competence
Conflict of interest

Fairness and loyalty- the lawyer must immediately


inform his prospective client of the involvement of
another client or his own interest in the case which
will result in representing conflict of interests.

NOTE: The lawyer must keep the confidences and secrets of


his client even after the termination of their professional
relationship as lawyer and client.
RULE 15.01

Lawyer who pretends to be disqualified under the rule is


committing grave misconduct
The Code of Professional Responsibility is not a request to
lawyers but is an order from the highest court to all
concerned lawyers who are officers of the court.

Possible involvement in conflicting interests to be disclosed


immediately to prospective clients

RULE 14.04

When a lawyer confers with a prospective client, he shall


ascertain whether he will be involved in representing
conflicting interests, and if so, he shall immediately inform
the prospective client.

Same standards of conduct to be employed for a client


unable to pay lawyers fees

The lawyer shall not place his private interest over and
above that of his clients

Q: What standard of care should a lawyer employ for a a


client unable to pay lawyers fees?

In case of conflict of interests of a lawyer and his client, the


lawyer shall give preference to the clients interests.

A: If a lawyer accepts a case for a client and the client is


unable to pay the lawyers professional fees, he must still
represent the client with utmost fidelity, competence, and
diligence.

Failure to diclose prior engagement or interests

The degree of care and competence required of the lawyer is


not affected by the fact that his services are rendered
gratuitously.

The attorneys failure to disclose his prior engagement or


interest is a good ground for the client to discharge the
attorney.
He must inform the prospective client that he is under the
strict prohibition to handle the case and advise the latter to
seek the assistance of another lawyer.

No discrimination in rendition of service


Possible exception to the rule
All clients of a lawyer, whether rich or poor, are entitled to
the same level of professionalism, dedication, diligence, skills
and competence.
CANON 15

XPN: By written consetn of all the concerned given after a full


disclosure of the facts.
NOTE: The lawyer must have undivided fidelity to his client.

Candor, fairness, and loyalty, required of lawyers


Q: Explain the following virtues of a lawyer:
a.
b.
c.

Candor
Fairness
loyalty

a.

Candor- the lawyer must give a candid and honest


opinion on the merit of lack of merit of his clients

A:

Kinds of conflict of interest


Q: What are the kinds of conflict of interest?
A:
Concurrent or multiple
representation
Generally occurs when the
lawyer represents clients
whose objectives are adverse
to each other, no matter how

Sequential or successive
representation
Generally occurs when a law
firm takes a present client
who has an interest adverse
to the interest of a former

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

slight or remote such adverse


interests may be

3.

client of the same law firm

No presumption of confidentiality

RULE 15.02
Preservation of the confidences and secrets of clients
XPNS:
1.

2.
3.

When the revelation is authorized by the client after


having been acquainted of the consequences of the
disclosure
When the revelation is required by law
When necessary to collect the lawyers fees or to
defend himself, his employees or associates or by
judicial action

Privileged communication safeguards the revelation of


confidences and secrets
Among those covered are:
1. Attorneys secretary
2. Stenographer
3. Clerk to be examined
Even mere prospective clients are protected
Q: Does the confidentiality privilege apply to prospective
clients?

Q: Is there a presumption of confidentiality?


A: The mere relation of attorney and client does not raise a
presumption of confidentiality. The client must intend the
communication to be confidential.
Q: What is a confidential communication?
A: It refers to information transmitted by voluntary act or
dislcosure between attorney and client in confidence and by
means which, so far as the client aware, discloses the
information to no third person other than one reasonably
necessary for the transmission or the accomplishment of the
purpose for which it was given.
Duration of the privilege
Q: What is the duration of the privilege?
A: The privilege continues to exist even after the termination
of the attorney-client relationship. It outlasts the lawyers
engagement. The privileged character of the communication
ceases only when waived by the client himself or after his
death.

A: The privilege applies even to a mere prospective client


whose case has not been accepted by the lawyer.
Form of communication
Q: What are the kinds of communication do the rule cover?

The communication must be intended to be


confidential.

When contents of pleadings ceased to be privileged


The contents of the pleadings of an engaged attorney
prepared on the basis of the communications transmitted to
him by the client cease to become privileged communications
after the pleadings have been filed.

A:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.

Oral
Writing
Actions or signs
Other means of communication
It may be direct
Through a messanger, interpreter or through other
modes of transmission
Requisites of the Privileged communication

Two-fold purposes of the rule


Q: What are the purposes behind the privileged
communication between the client and the lawyer?
A:
1.
2.

To encourage a client to make a full dislcosure of the


facts of the case to his counsel without fear, and
To allow the lawyer freedom to obtain full
information from his client.

Q: What are the requisites of the privileged communication?


Burden of proof
A:
1.

2.

There exists an attorney and client relationship or a


kind of consultancy relationship with a prospective
client
The communication was made by the client to the
lawyer in the course of the lawyers professional
employment

Q: Who has the burden of proof to establish that the


communication is privileged?
A: The party who avers that the communication is privileged
has the burden of proof to establish the existence of the
privilege unless from the face of the document itself, it clearly

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

appears that it is privileged. The mere allegation that the


matter is privileged is not sufficient.
Instances when communication is not privileged

____________________________________________
curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal
education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without
compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial
court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by
the legal clinic of the law school.

Q: Give instances when a communication is not deemed


privileged?

RULE 15.03
Conflicting interests, concept

A:
Q: When is there conflicting interests?
1.
2.

When communication is made to a person who is


not a lawyer
When communication is made to a lawyer for some
other purpose other than on account of the lawyerclient relationship.
Ex: accounting service, business assistance

A: There is conflicting interests if there is an inconsistency in


the interests of 2 or more opposing parties.
In brief, if he argues for one client, this argument will be
opposed by him and when he argues for the other client.

Parties entitled to invoke the privilege

Tests in determining conflicting interests

Q: Who may invoke the privilege?

Q: What are the tests in determining conflicting interests?

A:

A:
1.
2.
3.

The client
The lawyer himself or the clients employee
The attorneys secretary, stenographer, or clerk

1.

2.
Unprivileged communication
Q: What are the kinds of communication that a client may
give upon the lawyer?
A: The information obtained by a lawyer from a client in their
attorney-client relationship is either:
1. Privileged
2. Unprivileged

NOTE: The criterion is probability.


Defense that prospective client has no lawyer to turn to is
not acceptable

Basic limitations of the privileged communication


Q: What are
communication?

the

limitations

of

the

Wheteher a lawyer is duty-bound to fight for an


issue or claim in behalf of one client and, at the
same time, to oppose that claim for the other client.
Wheteher the acceptance of new relation would
prevent the full discharge of the lawyers duty of
undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or invite
suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the
performance of that duty.

Conflict of interest may arise in the same action or


unrelated actions

privileged
Unauthorized act of representing conflicting interests is a
criminal offense

A:
1.
2.

It must have been transmitted to the counsel by the


client for the purpose of seeking legal advice
Limited or has reference only to communications
which are within the ambit of lawful employment
and does not extend to those transmitted in
contemplation of future crimes or frauds

Rule on privileged communication is applicable to students


under the student practice law prorgam
Rule 138-A, Sec. 1

Q: State the pertinent RPC provision connected with the


violation of the rule.
A:
Art. 209 of the RPC
Art. 209. Betrayal of trust by an attorney or solicitor. Revelation of
secrets. In addition to the proper administrative action, the penalty of
prision correccional in its minimum period, or a fine ranging from 200 to
1,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any attorney-at-law or solicitor
( procurador judicial) who, by any malicious breach of professional duty or
of inexcusable negligence or ignorance, shall prejudice his client, or reveal
any of the secrets of the latter learned by him in his professional capacity.

Section 1. Conditions for student practice. A law student who has


successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law

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____________________________________________

Undivided allegiance to client, a must


After being retained and receiving the confidences of the
client, he cannot, without the free and intelligent consent of
his client, act both for his client and for one whose interest is
adverse to, or conflicting with that of, his client in the same
general matter.
Rationale of the rule
Q: Why should a lawyer give his utmost allegiance to his
client?
A: Not only to bar the dishonest practitioner from fraudulent
conduct but also to prevent the honest practitioner from
putting himself in a position where he may be required to
choose between conflicting duties.
Treachery and double-dealing, condemned
The relation of attorney and client is founded on principles of
public policy.
When representing conflicting interests is authorized
Q: The rule is that a lawyer cannot represent conflicting
interests. What is the exception?

When the case is presented to the lawyer by a client, and the


latter is seeking advice on the probability or improbability of
success, the lawyer should refrain from giving any advice
unless he has obtained sufficient understanding of the clients
cause.
Lawyer should temper inclination of client to appeal
notwithstanding the clear absence of success
Overstatement or understatement of the prospects of the
case to be avoided
A lawyer who exagerates the prospect pf winning a case will
be placed in a dilemma which will adversely affect his
reputation. If he overstates, he will be under heavy pressure
to employ any means to win the case at all cost and will be
blind to ethical rules.
On the other extreme, it is also improper for a counsel to
understate the prospect of winning a case which has a high
chance of victory.
Duty of lawyer when civil case is defenseless
Lawyers are admonished from making bold assurances to
his clients
RULE 15.06
Influence-peddling not included in practice of law

A: The lawyer may appear against hi own client only on


condition that the client has given his written consent thereto
and after a full-disclosure of the facts to him.

Q: What is influence-peddling? Is it allowed?

The termination of the relation of attorney and client


provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest
adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client.

A: It is improper for a lawyer to show in any way that he has


connections and can influence any tribunal or public official,
like justices, judges, prosecutors, congressmen and others,
specially so if the purpose is to enhance his legal standing and
to entrench the confidence of the client that his case or cases
are assured of victory.

RULE 15.04

RULE 15.07

When lawyer acts as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator

Lawyer must promote respect for the law

Q: Can a lawyer act as a mediator, conciliator or arbitrator?

The rule carries more or less the same intendment as Rule


1.02. The lawyer must impress upon his client, that
everybody, including them, must respect the laws and
observe the principles of fairness in their dealings as aptly
enunciated in Art. 19 of the New Civil Code:

Termination of relationship is no justification

A: Consent in writing is required to prevent future


controversy on the authority of the lawyer to act as mediator,
conciliator, or arbitrator. However, a lawyer who acts as
mediator, conciliator, or arbitrator in settling a dispute,
cannot represent any of the parties to it.
RULE 15.05
Overstatement or understatement of prospects of the case,
not proper

Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and
observe honesty and good faith.

Lawyer should give proper advice to clients

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

The lawyer shall not abet or encourage any person, specially


public officials to disregard the supremacy of the law and
respect for the rights of the citizens.
A lawyer who advised his client not to obey the order of the
court is guilty of contempt and misconduct.
The lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of clients and
to temper their propensity to litigate because his lawyers
oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to his duty to
his clients.
On matters of law

Consequently, if he is engaged by a client, he must at the


outset make it clear in what capacity he is acting so that the
demarcation line is immediately drawn for the guidance of
the client.
Lawyer cannot divide his personality
A lawyer may not divide his personality so as to be an
attorney at one time and a mere citizen of another he is
expected to be competent, honorable and reliable at all times
since he who cannto apply and abide by the laws in his
private affairs, can hardly be expected to do so in his
professional dealing nor lead others in doing so.

Q: Who has control over the proceedings?


A: As counsel of record, a lawyer has control of the
proceedings and whatever steps his client takes should be
within his knowledge and responsibility. It is the lawyer who
should yield to the lawyer and not the other way around.

CANON 16
Lawyer is trustee of clients moneys and properties

Lawyer is not gun for hire

Q: What is the obligation of a lawyer in handling money or


properties of his client?

The Code enjoins a lawyer to employ only fair and honest


means to attain the lawful objectives of his client and warns
him not to allow his client to dictate the procedure in
handling the case.

A: The moneys collected by an attorney for his client belong


to the client. Consequently, the lawyer is under obligation to
hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may
come into his possession.

Lawyer should advise clients on matters of decorum and


proper attitude toward courts of justice

The moneys collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a judgment


in favor of his client are held in trust for the client.

RULE 15.08

RULE 16.01

When lawyer is concurrently engaged in business, he must


clarify to client in what capacity he is acting

Lawyer accountable for all moneys and properties of client


Q: Should a lawyer render an accounting for his lawyer?

Q: Aside from lawyering, can a lawyer engage in other


professions?
A: t is not uncommon for lawyers to combine law practice
with some other occupation. The fact of being a lawyer does
not preclude him from engaging in business, and such
practice is not necessarily improper.
Q: When is there impropriety?
A: Impropriety arises when the business is such of a nature or
is conducted in such a manner as to be inconsistent with the
lawyers duties as a member of the Bar.
Q: How should a lawyer avoid breach of legal ethics?
A: To avoid breach of legal ethics, the lawyer should keep in
any business, in which he is engaged in concurrently with the
practice of law, entirely separate and apart from the latter.

A: Considering that the lawyer is merely holding in trust the


moneys and properties he received for his client, he is
accountable therefor to his client.
Q: What is the reason for the rule?
A:The highly fiduciary and confidential relation of attorney
and client requires that the lawyer should promptly account
for all the funds received or held by him for the clients
benefits.
The lawyer is under strict obligation to label and to identify
his clients property and keep it separate and apart from his
own. He must not commingle his clients money with other
moneys in his possessiom. The prohibition against
commingling is not only to prevent confusion but also to
avoid the appearance of impropriety.
Unlawful retention of clients funds: Contemptous

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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____________________________________________

Q: What is the consequence of unlawful retention by the


lawyer of his clients funds?
A: When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of
his client after it has been demanded, he may be punished for
contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in
his official transactions; but proceedings under this section
shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution.
Q: May a lawyer be deprived on that ground?
A: A lawyer was disbarred for having used the money of his
clients without the consent of the latter in violation of Canon
16 and the first 3 rules thereof.

A: A lawyer who obtained possession of the funds and


properties belonging to his client in the course of professional
employment shall deliver the same to his client when:
a. They become due
b. Upon demand
Q: When is there a presumption of misappropriation?
A: The lawyers failure to deliver upon demand gives rise to
the presumption that he has misappropriated the funds for
his own use to the prejudice of the client and in violation of
the trust reposed in him.
Implementation of attorneys retaining or charging lien

Money not used for specific purpose is held also in trust and
must be accounted immediately
Attorneys lien is not an excuse for non-rendition of
accounting
The lawyer is not relieved of the obligation to make a proper
accounting even if he has an attorneys lien over the clients
moneys or funds in his possession.

A lawyer shall have a lien over the clients funds and may
apply so much thereof to satisfy his lawful fees and
disbursements but must give prompt notice to the client for
the latters advisement. This authority is applicable to the
lawyers retaining lien.
Q: What are charging liens?

The lawyer cannot unilaterally appropriate for himself the


money of his client for payment of his attorneys fees which
the client owes to the former.

A: For the further protection of the lawyer, he shall also have


a lien to the extent of his attorneys fees and legal
disbursements on all judgments and executions he has
secured for his client as provided for in the rules.

Lawyer cannot disburse clients money to clients creditors


without authority

Attorneys retaining lien does not apply to public documents


and exhibits introduced in court

Q: May a lawyer disburse clients money to clients creditors


without authority?

Q: What is the reason for this rule?


A: These documents are subject to the courts custody.

A: In the absence of authority from his client, he is not


allowed to disburse the money collected for his client in favor
of persons who may be entitled thereto considering that he
owes fidelity to the client and not to the creditor.
RULE 16.02
Funds of clients not to be commingled with funds of counsel
Q: What is the reason for the above rule?
A: The relationship between a lawyer and a client is highly
fiduciary; it requires a high degree of fidelity and good faith.
Hence, in dealing with trust property, a lawyer should be very
scrupulous.
RULE 16.03
When shall clients funds and properties be delivered;
presumption of misappropriation
Q: When should the clients funds be delivered?

When documents are subject of lien, adequate security may


be required
Q: If the documents are not enough as lien, what is the
remedy of the lawyer?
A: When the documents in the possession of a lawyer are the
subject of attorneys lien, he cannot be compelled to
surrender the same without prior proof that his fees have
been fully satisfied. If the fees have not been paid, and there
is a genuine need for the court to gain possession of the
documents, it must first require the claimant to file an
adeqaute security for the lawyers fees before it can require
the surrender thereof.
Lawyers cannot be deprived of his attorneys fees through
the clients maneuvers
The client cannot by:
a. Settling
b. Compromising

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

c.

____________________________________________

Dismissing his suit during its pendency

RULE 16.04

Deprive the attorney of his compensation for the agreed


amount, unless the lawyer consents to such settlement,
compromise or dismissal.

Lawyer shall not borrow money from or lend money to


client
Q: What is the purpose of the rule?

Client can dismiss the lawyer anytime; consequences


Q: Can the client dismiss his lawyer anytime?

A: To prevent the lawyer from taking advantage of his


influence over his client. This is also to assure that the
lawyers independent professional judgment.

A: A client has the prerogative to dismiss his lawyer anytime


as the relationship is one based on trust and confidence.
Q: In case of lawyer-attorney relationship, is there such a
thing a illegal dismissal?
A: There is no such thing as illegal dismissal in a clientlawyer relationship.

Exceptions to the rule against borrowing of lending of


money
Q: What are the exceptions to the rule against borrowing of
lending of money?
A:
a.

Lawyers charging lien may be assigned


Q: May charging liens be assigned?
b.
A: A charging lien, anchored on the accomplishment of
services and resulting in favorable money judgment for the
client, may be assigned because it is a property right.

The lawyer is allowed to borrow money from his


client provided the interests of the client are fully
protected by the nature of the case or by
independent advice.
The lawyer may lend money to a client when it is
necessary in the interest of justice to advance
necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling
for the client.

Q: What is the consequence of such assignment?


A: The assignee will be subrogated to all the rights of the
lawyer which he has in the charging lien.

CANON 17
Fidelity to the cause of client must always be maintained

Charging lien survives the death of the client


Q: What is the effect of death of the client on the charging
lien?
A: A lawyer is not deprived of his attorneys fees by the death
of his client although the client-lawyer relationship is
terminated.

Fidelity to the cause of client is the essence of the legal


profession. Without this fidelity, the profession will not
survive, for in the long run, no one will engage any lawyer
anymore.
An attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in
which he has represented him but also after the relation of
attorney and client has terminated.

Probate court has no authority to enforce a lien


It is not a good practice for lawyers to fight former clients
Q: Does the probate court have jurisdiction over the lien
enforcement?

Relationship of a lawyer-client is highly fiduciary

A: A probate court, being of limited jurisdiction, has no


authority to enforce a lien unless conferred by a statute. The
statutory jurisdiction of a probate court is exclusive.

The relationship of lawyer-client demands utmost fidelity and


good faith.

Effect of enforcement of charging lien

Cannon is a strong reminder of lawyers obligation to


remain loyal to the client and to keep latters secrets given
in confidence

Q: What is the effect of enforcement of charging lien?


A: When a lawyer enforces a charging lien against his client,
the client-lawyer relationship is terminated.

Undivided fidelity to clients should not be at the expense of


truth and the fair dispensation of justice.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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CANON 18

in the prosecution or defense of the litigation entrusted to


him; and that he will exercise reasonable and ordinary care
and diligence in the pursuit or defense of the case.

Q: What is diligence?
XPN: If his client consents
A: It is the attention and care required of a person in a given
situation and is the opposite of negligence.
Presumption of diligence

Clients entitled to effective representation


Not only does everyone have the right to representation but
he has the right to an effective representation.

Q: Is there a presumption of diligence?


A: In the absence of any contrary evidence, a lawyer is
presumed to be prompt and diligent in the performance of
his duties and to have employed his best efforts, learning,
and ability in the protection of his clients interests and in the
discharge of his duties as an officer of the court.
Competence and diligence highly demanded of lawyers
A lawyer should strive for proficiency in his practice and
should only accept employment in matters in which he is or
can become competent after reasonable preparation.

He should also recognize the advice from or collaborate with


experts in scientific, accounting, or other non-legal fields. He
should not hesitate to consult experts in non-legal areas
where consultation is needed.
Government lawyer, disqualified to practice law
Q: May a government lawyer practice law?
A: A lawyer who is part of the Public Attorneys Office cannot
practice of law.
Collaborating counsel

Q: How does a lawyer maintains his competence?


Q: Who is a collaborating counsel?
A: He attains and maintains his compentence by keeping
abreast of current legal literature, participating in legal
education program, concentrating in particular areas of the
law, and availing himself of these means.
Extra-ordinary diligence, not required
Q: Is extra-diligence required?

A: One who is subsequently engaged to assist a lawyer


already handling a particular case for a client. When a case is
complicated, it is not unusual for the handling lawyer to
suggest to the client to allow him to take another lawyer to
assist or collaborate with him in the case.

A: The practice of law does not require extra-ordinary


diligence (exactissima diligentia) or that extreme measure of
care and caution which persons of unusual prudence and
circumspection use for securing and preserving their rights.

NOTE: The handling lawyer cannot just take another counsel


without the consent of the client. The new lawyer on the
other hand cannot just enter his appearance as collaborating
counsel without the conformity of the first counsel.
Coordination
is
therefore
necessary
to
avoid
misunderstanding.

Exact given address must be indicated in the pleadings

RULE 18.02

If a lawyer has 2 or more addresses, the address indicated in


the record of the case will alone be considered. The court
cannot take judicial notice of his new or other addresses.

Adequate preparation, concept


Q: What do you mean by adequate preparation
envisioned by the rule?

RULE 18.01
Implication of acceptance of cases
Q: What are the consequences of acceptance by a lawyer of
a case?
A: When a lawyer accepts a case, whether for a fee or not, his
acceptance is an implied representation that he possesses the
requisite degree of academic learning, skill, and ability in the
practice of his profession; that he will exert his best judgment

A: The adequate preparation required of a lawyer in the


handling of a case covers a wide dimension in law practice. It
includes among other virtues, sufficient knowledge of the law
and jurisprudence, ability in trial technique and high
proficiency in the formulation of pleadings.
NOTE: A lawyer must keep himself constantly abreast with
the trend of authoritive pronouncements and developments
in all braches of law.

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

A lawyer should be a proficient legal writer.


Q: Give illustrations of the negligence of attorneys.
Comfortable workload; too much work will adversely affect
the lawyers proficiency

A:
1.

A lawyer must handle cases only as much as he can efficiently


handle. Otherwise, his clients will be prejudiced.
RULE 18.03
Ordinary Diligence, required of the lawyer
Q: What is the kind of diligence required of a lawyer?
A: The lawyer owes it to his clients to exercise his utmost
learning and ability in maintaining causes. A license to
practice law is a guarantee by the courts to the public that
the licensee possesses sufficient skill and knowledge to
manage their causes.
The legal profession demands of lawyer that degree of
vigilance and attention expected of a good father of a family.
Attorney not bound to exercise extra-ordinary diligence
Q: Should an attorney exercise extra-ordinary diligence?
A: Prone to err like any other human being, he is not
answerable for every error or mistake, and will be protected
as long as he acts honestly and in good faith to the best of
skill and knowledge.

Failure of counsel to ask additional time to answer a


complaint resulting in a defualt judgment against his
client.
2. Failure to bring suit immediately.
3. Failure to ascertain date of receipt from post office
of notice of decisiom resulting in the non-perfection
of the appellants appeal
4. Failure to file briefs within the reglementary period
5. Failure to attend to trial without filing a motion for
postponement or without requesting either of his 2
partners in law office to take his place and appear
for defendants
6. Failure of counsel to notify clients of the scheduled
trial which prevented the latter to look for another
lawyer to represent them while counsel was in the
hospital.
7. Failure to notify the court of counsels change of
address resulting in failure to receive judicial orders
to the prejudice of client
8. Failure to present evidence
9. Failure to file the required position paper which
prejudiced clients cause
10. Failure to inform client of the scheduled pre-trial
conference
11. Failure of counsel to notify his client on time of an
adverse judgment to enable the latter to appeal
12. Failure to file petition for review

An attorney is not expected to know all the laws. He is not


liable for disbarment for an honest mistake or error. He is not
an insurer of the result in a case where he is engaged in as
counsel. Only ordinary care and diligence are required of him.

A lawyer should adopt a system which a will assure him of


receiving judicial notices properly

A lawyer is liable for his negligence

A lawyer should give adequate attention, care and time to his


cases. This is the reason why a practising lawyer should
accept only so many cases he can handle. Once he agrees to
handle a case, he should undertake the task with dedication
and care.

Q: Is a lawyer liable for his negligence?


A: If by reason of the lawyers negligence, actual loss has
been caused to his client, the latter has a cause of action
against him for damages.
Applicability of command responsibility in law firm
practitioners
Lawyer has no authority to waive clients right to appeal
Q: May a lawyer waive his clients right to appeal?
A: A lawyer has no authority to waive his clients right to
appeal. His failure to perfect an appeal within the prescribed
period constitutes negligence and malpractice.

Lawyer should accept only so much cases he can handle

RULE 18.04
Client must be kept informed of the status of case
Q: Should the client be informed of the developments in his
case?
A: The client has the right to be fully informed of the status of
the case particularly on the important movements or
developments therein.
The lawyer has the corresponding duty to notify his client of
the important orders or decisions not yet known to the client.

Instances of negligence of attorneys

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

The client must be informed within the period of appeal to


enable him to decide whether or not he will seek an appellate
review of the decision.
A lawyer should not also give an erroneous information to the
client regarding the case. Such an act is often the root of
unpleasant relationship between them.
Duty of a party-litigant as regards his case or cases
It is the duty of a party litigant to be in contract with his
counsel from time to time in order to be informed of the
progress of the case.
Analogous case
Litigants should give the necessary assistance to their counsel
for what is at stake is their interest in the case .

A: It is condemned because it is pregnant with alternative


admissions to allegations of the complaint.
NOTE: A lawyer should put such defenses only which he
believes to be honestly debatable under the law.
A lawyer should put up such defenses only which he believes
to be honestly debatable under the law.
The lawyer can present every remedy or defense authorized
by law in support of his own personal views.
Lawyer shall not file or threaten to file any unfounded or
baseless cases against adversaries of his client
The lawyer should not file or threaten to file any any
unfounded or baseless criminal case or cases against the
adversaries of his client designed to secure a leverage to
compel the adversaries to yield or withdraw their own cases
against the lawyers client.

CANON 19
Blackmail
Devotion to the client; limitation
Q: What is blackmail?
Q: What is the limitation to the devotion of a lawyer to the
cause of his client?
A: The lawyer owes entire devotion to the interest of his
client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights
and the exertion of his utmost hearing and ability.
The great trust of a lawyer is to be performed within and not
without the bounds of the law. the responsibiltiy for advising
as to questionable defenses is the lawyers responsibility. He
cannot escape it by urging as an excuse that he is only
following his clients instructions.
RULE 19.01

A: It is the extortion of money from a person by threats of


accusation or exposure or opposition in the publiv
prints,obtaining of value from a person as a condition of
refraining from making an accusation against him, or
disclosing some secret calculated to operate to his prejudice.
NOTE: A lawyer shall not bribe or attempt to bribe a judge to
win his case.
Defense of a person accused of crime
It is the duty of an attorney to present every defense that the
law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of
life, or liberty, but by due process of law.

Only honorable, fair and honest means shall be employed in


the maintenance of cases
RULE 19.02

The lawyer must not present and offer in evidence any


document which he knows is false. He should not also under
any circumstance present a false witness whom he knows will
perjure.

Lawyer shall not allow his client to perpetrate fraud

Art. 194, RPC

A lawyer should do his best efforts to restrain and to prevent


his client from perpetrating acts which he himself ought not
to do, particularly with reference to their conduct towards
courts, judicial officers, witnesses.

Art. 184. Offering false testimony in evidence. Any person who shall
knowingly offer in evidence a false witness or testimony in any judicial or
official proceeding, shall be punished as guilty of false testimony and shall
suffer the respective penalties provided in this section.

Negative pregnant proper

If in the cause of the employment of a lawyer in a case, he


discovers or receives information that his client has
perpetuated a fraud upon a person or tribunal, he shall
promptly advise the client to rectify the same, and if the

Q: What is negative pregnant?

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

client refuses to heed the lawyers advise for rectification, the


lawyer must withdraw from the case.

Legal basis of lawyers right to demand compensation for his


services

RULE 19.03

The fact of employment as lawyer by the client constitutes


the legal basis of the lawyers right to demand payment for
his legal services. No formal contract is necessary to
effectuate employment.

Lawyer, not client controls the procedure in the handling of


a case
Q: Who controls the procedure in the case?
A: In matters of law, it is the client who yields to the lawyer
and not the lawyer yielding to the client.
In brief, in matters of procedure, where he is skilled, he is in
control but not as the subject matter of the case.
Obligation of counsel to comply with his clients lawful
requests; remedy if a lawyer does not agree
Q: What is the remedy if the lawyer and the client cannot
agree on certain important matters?

The lawyer cannot recover compensation from one who did


not employ him nor authorize his employment, no matter
how valuable the results of his services may have been to
such person.
Q: What if the lawyer was allowed by the client to represent
the latter in a proceeding, even if there is no agreement on
payment of attorneys fees?
A: The lawyer is entitled to reasonable fee for his services
under the principle of quasi-contract, that is, no man must ne
enriched at the expense of another.
Unauthorized counsel, not entitled to attorneys fees

A: When the clients requests are proper and lawful, the


lawyer has the duty to oblige. Thus, on matters of
compromise, the clients instructions are generally followed.
The decision to settle or not to settle belongs to the client,
although the lawyer is urged to encourage his clients to
avoid, end, or settle the controversy if it will admit of a fair
settlement.

CANON 20

If there is a quasi-contract, the lawyer must be paid


reasonable attorneys fees based on quantum meruit.
Rationale of adequate compensation
Q: What is the
compensation?

rationale

behind

the

adequate

A: Adequate compensation is necessary in order to enable


the lawyer to serve his client effectively and to preserve the
integrity and independence of the profession. A lawyer like all
other human beings has a right to livelihood.

Two concepts of attorneys fees; bases


Lawyer must be secured on his honorarium law
Q: What are the 2 concepts of attorneys fees?
A:
ORDINARY
The
reasonable
compensation paid to a
lawyer for the legal services
he has rendered to a client

EXTRA-ORDINARY
An indemnity for damages
ordered by the court to be
paid by the losing party to
the prevailing party in
litigation
Basis
The fact of employment by The basis of this is any of the
the client
cases authorized by law and
is payable not to the lawyer
but to the clientunles they
have agreed that the award
shall pertain to the lawyer as
additional compensation or
as part thereof.

While the practice of law is not a business, the attorney plays


a vital role in the administration of justice, and hence, the
need to secure him a honorarium lawfully earned as a means
to preserve the decorum and legal responsibility of the legal
profession.
Forms of employment as counsel to a client; oral or express
Q: What are the forms of employment of counsel?
A:
Contracts for employment may either be:
a. Oral
b. Express

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

ORAL
WRITTEN
When
the
counsel
is Not necessary to prove a
employed without a written clients obligation to pay
agreementbut
the attorneys fees
conditions and amount of
attorneys fees are agreed
upon

NOTE: It is further advisable that the contract for attorneys


fees be reduced to writing.

Commencement of employment

The lawyer may resort to judicial action against his client only
to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud.

Q: When is the employment of a lawyer deemed


commenced?
A: Once there is a meeting of the minds between the lawyer
and client on the case or subject to be handled and the
consideration therefor, the lawyer is deemed employed even
if no acceptance fee is paid yet.
Q: Is payment of attorneys fees a necessary element to
create said relationship?

By having a clear-cut agreement on the attorneys fees,


lawyers can avoid the embarassment they have to suffer
when they have to file cases against their own clients for the
fixing and collection of their attorneys fees.

Q: May a disbarment case proceed independently of the


civil action for collection of professional fees?
A: Yes. It does not constitute forum-shopping.
Advantages of a written contract for attorneys fees
Q: What are the advantages of a written contract for
attorneys fees?
A:

A: No.
1.
Engaging a law firm; significance
2.
Q: What are the consequences of engaging a law firm?
A: When a client employs the services of a law firm, he does
not employ the services of the lawyer who is assigned to
personally handle the casehe employs the entire law firm.

It is generally held as conclusive as to the amount of


compensation
In case of unjustified dismissal of an attorney, he
shall be entitled to recover from the client full
compensation stipulated in the contract.
Pauper, not exempted from attorneys fees

Proper time of fixing attorneys fees

Q: Is a pauper exempted from the payment of attorneys


fees?

The proper time of fixing the attorneys fees, which is a


delicate matter, is at the commencement of the lawyer-client
relationship.

A: Plaintiff who filed a complaint as a pauper while exempted


from payment of legal fees is not exempted from payment of
attorneys fees.

Written contract of attorneys fees is the law between the


lawyer and the client

Ambiguities in contract, interpretation

Implied contract for employment


The contract is implied when there is no agreement, whether
oral or express, but the client allowed the lawyer to render
legal services not intended to be gratuitous without
objection, and the client is benefited by reason thereof.

That interpretation that is favorable to the client will be


adopted.
Situations when counsel cannot recover full amount, despite
a written contract for attorneys fees
Q: Give illustrations when counsel cannot recover full
amount, despite a written contract for attorneys fees?

Immediate fixing of attorneys fees, advisable


A:
Q: Why is there a need for immediate fixing of attorneys
fees?

1.

A: This is to avoid future misunderstandings which usually


arise when the client thinks low of the value of the services of
the counsel, and the latter thinks high of his services, and no
one expressing what is in his mind.

2.

When the services called for were not performed as


when the lawyer withdrew before the case is
finished
When there is a justified dismissal of the attorney,
the contract will be nullified and payment will be on
the basis of quantum meruit only

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

____________________________________________

When the stipulated attorneys fees are


unconscionable
The stipulated attorneys fees are in excess of what
is expressly fixed by law
The lawyer is guilty of fraud, bad faith toward his
client
Counsels services were worthless because of
negligence
The contract of employment is illegal, against morals
or public policy

act for the client


Attorneys fees on percentage basis
Lawyers could not charge their clients fees based on
percentage basis in the absence of an agreement to that
effect.
Champertous contract is void even if agreed upon
Champertous contract

Winning litigant is not always granted attorneys fees


Q: What is a champertous contract?
Q: What is the reason for the above rule?
A: No premium should be placed on the right to litigate.

A: The lawyer agrees to spend for all the litigation expenses in


consideration for a bigger percentage as fees on the propriety
subject of litigation. It is void as against public policy.

Kinds of payment which may be stipulated upon


Attorneys fees based on quantum meruit; concept
1.
2.

3.
4.
5.

A fixed or absolute fee which is payable regardless of


the result of the case
A contingent fee that is conditioned to the securing
of a favorable judgment and recovery of money or
property and the amount of which may be on a
percentage basis
Fixed fee payable per appearance
A fixed fee computed by the number of hours spent
Fixed fee based on piece work

Quantum meruit
Q: What is a quantum meruit?
A: It means as much as he has deserved. Recovery of
attorneys fees on the basis of quantum meruit is authorized
when:
1.

Retainer, concepts
Q: What is a retainer?

2.

A: This is the act of the client by which he employs a lawyer


to manage for him a cause to which he is a party, or
otherwise to advise him as counsel.

3.
4.

It also refers to a fee which the client pays his attorney whom
he retains.

5.

There is no express contract for payment of


attorneys fees agreed upon between the lawyer and
the client
When although there is a formal contract, the fees
stipulated
are
found
unconscionable
or
unreasonable by the court
When the contract for attorneys fees is void due to
formally formal matters or defects of execution
When the counsel, for justifiable cause, was not able
to finish the case to its conclusion
When the lawyer and client disregard the contract
for attorneys fees

Kinds of retainer agreements on attorneys fees


No lawyer engaged, but attorneys fees allowed
General retainer or
retaining fee
Fee paid to a lawyer to
secure his future services as
general counsel for any
ordinary legal problem that
may arise in the ordinary
business of the client and
referred to him for legal
action
A retaining fee is a
preliminary fee given to an
attorney or counsel to insure
and secure his future
services, and induce him to

Special retainer
This is a fee for a specific
case or service rendered by
the lawyer for a client

Where the award is not only for attorneys fees but also for
expenses of litigation, it does not matter if the litigant
represented himself in court, because it is obvious that he
incurred expenses in pursuing his action.
Duty of courts on payment of attorneys fees
Attorneys fees to be justified, its reason must be mentioned
in the text of the decision
If the attorneys fees granted by the Court is mentioned only
in the dipositive portion, it will be disallowed on appeal. The
reason for this is that the award of attorneys fee to a winning

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

party is not the general rule but only the exception. Hence,
there must ne findings of facts and law to justify its grant.
Attorneys fee, not included in the general prayer (such
other relief and remedy as this court may deem just and
equittable
Attorneys fees must be specifically prayed for and proven
and justfified in the decision itself. It is not incorporated in
the general prayer for such other relief and remedy as this
court may deem just and equittable.
Q: What is legal interest?
A: It cannot be imposed on attorneys fees because legal
services stand upon an entirely different footing from
contracts for the payment of compensation for any other
charges.
Effect of elimination of moral and exemplary damages on
attorneys fees
The award of attorneys fees must be deleted where the
award of moral and exemplary damages are eliminated.
No attorneys fees would be allowed if parties have a
legitimate claims against each other
GUIDELINES IN DETERMINING ATTORNEYS FEES ON
QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS
Full-blown trial is needed in quantum meruit

A: It is a contract which stipulates that the lawyer will be paid


for his legal services only if the suit or litigation ends
favorably to the client
It is not per se prohibited by law. Its validity depends, in large
measure, upon the reasonableness of the amount fixed as
contingent fee under the circumstances of the case.
NOTE: The initial fees and subsequent fees paid during the
progress of the litigation are independent of the contingent
fees.
The increased amount that is covered in the case of success
merely offsets the risk of loss that would have resulted in
case of failure.
Contract for contingent fee is not prohibited under Art. 1491
of the NCC
Art. 1491. Where the parties purport a sale of specific goods, and the goods
without the knowledge of the seller have perished in part or have wholly or
in a material part so deteriorated in quality as to be substantially changed
in character, the buyer may at his option treat the sale:
(1) As avoided; or
(2) As valid in all of the existing goods or in so much thereof as have not
deteriorated, and as binding the buyer to pay the agreed price for the
goods in which the ownership will pass, if the sale was divisible. (n)

Death oe disability of lawyer employed on contingent basis


He ans his estate will be allowed to recover the reasonable
value of the services rendered. The recovery will be allowed
only after the successful termination of the litigation in the
clients favor.

Q: Why is such the rule?

Champertous contracts, void; concept, different from


contingent fee

A: It is necessarily needed because the factors must be


established by evidence.
1.

Time spent and extent of the services rendered or


required
2. Novelty and difficulty of questions involved
3. Importance of subject matter
4. Skill demanded of the lawyer
5. Probability of losing other employment
6. Customary charges for similar services and schedule
of fees of IBP
7. Amount involved in the controversy and benefits
resulting to the client from the service
8. Contingency or certainty of compensation
9. Character of the employment, whetehr occasional or
established
10. Professional standing of the lawyer
Contingent fee
Q: What is contingent fee?

Champertous contract
Q: What is a champertous contract?
A: One where the lawyer stipulates with his client that in the
prosecution of the case, he will bear all the expenses for the
recovery of things or property being claimed by the client,
and the latter agrees to pay the former a portion of the thing
or property recovered as compensation.
Q: Is a champetous contract valid?
A: It is void for being contrary to public policy and Canon 42
of the Canons of Professional Ethics.
Q: Distinguish contingent fee from champerty.
A:
CONTINGENT FEE
May be paid in cash

CHAMPERTY
Can be paid only in kind

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

Professional standing of the lawyer

The collaborating counsel, in the absence of a contract, will


receive attorneys fees in proportion to the work performed
and responsibility assumed.

A seasoned lawyer known for his ability and competency, not


only in the practice of law but also in his other endeavors, is
entitled to higher fees than an inexperienced lawyer.
Professional standing counts.

In case of disagreement, the court may fix the proportional


division or less.

None of the above guides is controlling


The above rules are merely guides in determining the real
worth as close as possible of the services rendered by a
lawyer to a client.
When is a fee considered reasonable
There is no hard and fast rule which could be utilized to
determine the reasonableness of attorneys fees. Same must
be determined from the facts in each case.

Classification of practising lawyers according to lines of


specialty
The IBP is in the best position to initiate the classification or
listing of practising lawyers in each chapter.
Compensation to an attorney for merely recommeding
another lawyer, improper
Atorneys fees for legal services shared or divided to nonlawyers prohibited
RULE 20.03

When is a fee unconscionable


Q: What is the rationale for the rule?
The amount contracted for must be such that no man in his
righht senses would offer on the one hand and no honest and
fair man would accept the other.
The charging of attorneys fees beyond what is fixed in the
law is malpractice

A: To secure the fidelity of the lawyer to his clients cause and


to prevent a situation in which the receipt by him of a rebate
or commission from anotehr with the clients business may
interfere with the full discharge of his duty to his client.

If the attorneys fee is found grossly excessive, the Court has


the authority to reduce the same to a reasonable amount.

XPN: He may receive compensation from a person other than


his client when the latter has full knowledge and approval
thereof.

Judges sole opinion not a basis

Rule 20.04

The opinion of the judge as to the capacity of a lawyer is not


the basis of the right to a lawyers fee.

Controversies with clients regarding attorneys fees must be


avoided

Opinions of attorneys as expert witnesses not controlling


A counter-claim for attorneys fee partakes of the nature of
a compulsory counter-claim
RULE 20.02

XPNS:
1.
2.
3.

Imposition
Injustice
Fraud

The law profession is not a money-making trade.

Sharing or division of attorneys fees, when allowed

Judicial action to recover attorneys fees

GR: When lawyers jointly represent a common client for a


given fee without any express agreement on how much each
will receive, they will share equally as they are considered
special partners for a special purpose.

When proper, the lawyer can pursue judicial actions to


protect, or collect attorneys fees due to him. He has 2
options:
1. In the same case
2. In a separate civil action

XPNS: Contracts
Client should not lose everything for attorneys fees
Lawyer-referral system, effects; fees of collaborating
counsel

There should never be an instance where a lawyer gets as


attorneys fees the entire property in litigation. It is

Facultad de Derecho Civil

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UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS

NOTES ON LEGAL ETHICS


Kenneth & King Hizon (3A)

____________________________________________

unconscionable for the victor in litigation to lose everything


he won to the fees of his own lawyer.

REFERENCE
PINEDA, Ernesto L., Legal Ethics Annotated. 2009 Edition.
Central Book Supply, Inc.

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