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Audris B.

Bulatao
3F

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

Introduction to Legal Ethics


1. Director of Religious Affairs vs. Law is a profession and not a trade.
The most worth and effective
Bayot
advertisement
possible
is
the
establishment of a well-merited
reputation. This cannot be forced but
must be the outcome of character
and conduct
2. Ledesma vs. Climaco

A lawyer may be required to act as


counsel de oficio. The fact that his
services
are
rendered
without
remuneration should not occasion a
diminution in his zeal.

3. Cui vs. Cui

The term "titulo de abogado" means


not mere possession of the academic
degree of Bachelor of Laws but
membership in the Bar after due
admission thereto, qualifying one for
the practice of law. The English
equivalent of "abogado" is lawyer or
attorney-at-law.

4. Villegas vs, Legaspi

The
possible
influence
of
an
Assemblyman on a signed Judge of
the Court of First Instance, though
not entirely removed, is definitely
diminished where the latter Court
acts in the exercise of its appellate.

5. Enriquez vs. Gimenez

The Provincial Fiscal is the legal


adviser of the mayor and counsel of
the various municipalities of a
province and it is his duty to
represent the municipality in any
court except when he is disqualified
by law. When he is disqualified to
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Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

represent
the
municipality, the
municipal council may engage the
services of a special attorney.
6. Salcedo vs. Hernandez

It is the duty of the lawyer to


maintain towards the courts a
respectful attitude, not for the sake
of the temporary incumbent of the
judicial
office,
but
for
the
maintenance of its importance.
Judges, not being wholly free to
defend themselves, are peculiarly
entitled to receive the support of the
bar against unjust criticism and
clamor.

7. Alawi vs. Alauya

As regards Alauyas use of the title of


Attorney, the court has already had
the occasion to declare that persons
who pass the Sharia Bar are not fullfledged members of the Philippine
Bar, hence may only practice law
before Sharia courts.

8. Pangan vs. Ramos

The attorney's roll or register is the


official record containing the names
and signatures of those who are
authorized to practice law. A lawyer
is not authorized to use a name other
than the one inscribed in the Roll of
Attorneys in his practice of law.

9. Philippine Lawyers Association vs. The Court held that under the
Agrava
present law, members of the
Philippine Bar authorized by this
Tribunal to practice law, and in good
standing,
may
practice
their
profession before the Patent Office,
for the reason that much of the
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Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

business in said office involves the


interpretation and determination of
the scope and application of the
Patent Law and other laws applicable.
10. Li vs. Bonifacio

A lawyer may be disbarred for


"grossly immoral conduct, or by
reason of his conviction of a crime
involving
moral
turpitude".
A
member of the bar should have
moral
integrity in
addition to
professional probity.

11. Deles vs. Aragona

Statement made in the course of


judicial proceedings are absolutely
privileged
that
is,
privileged
regardless of defamatory tenor and
of the presence of malice if the same
are relevant, pertinent or material to
the cause in hand or subject of the
inquiry.

12. Blanza vs. Arcangel

A lawyer has a more dynamic and


positive role in the community than
merely complying with the minimal
technicalities of the statute. As a
man of law, he is necessarily a leader
of the community, looked up to as a
model citizen.

13. Zoreta vs. Simpliciano

A lawyer has the privilege and right


to practice law only during good
behavior and can only be deprived of
it for misconduct ascertained and
declared by judgment of the court
after opportunity to be heard has
been afforded him.

Audris B. Bulatao
3F

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

14. A-1 Financial Services vs.Valerio

Atty. Valerios conduct in the course


of the IBP and court proceedings is
also a matter of serious concern. She
failed to answer the complaint
against her. Despite due notice, she
failed to attend the disciplinary
hearings. Clearly, this conduct runs
counter to the precepts of the Code
of Professional Responsibility and
violates the lawyers oath which
imposes upon every member of the
Bar the duty to delay no man for
money or malice.

Case 15: 2003 Bar Examinations

By transmitting and distributing the


stolen test questions to some
members of the Beta Sigma Lambda
Fraternity, De Guzman was guilty of
grave misconduct unbecoming a
member of the Bar. He violated the
law instead of promoting respect for
it and degraded the noble profession
of law instead of upholding its dignity
and integrity.

Audris B. Bulatao
3F

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

Admission to Practice
1. In re: Lanuevo

It is patent from the records that


Lanuevo took undue advantage of
the trust and confidence reposed in
him by the Court and the Examiners
implicit in his position as Bar
Confidant as well as the trust and
confidence that prevailed in and
characterized his relationship with
the five members of the 1971 Bar
Examination Committee

2. First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc. vs. Art 82 of EO 226, which provides for
CA
increasing the appellate jurisdiction
of the SC, is invalid and therefore
never became effective for the
concurrence of the Court was no
sought in its enactment.
3. In re: Cunanan

The law is an encroachment on the


Courts
primary
prerogative
to
determine who may be admitted to
practice law and, therefore, in excess
of its legislative power to repeal,
alter and supplement the rules on
admission to the Bar.
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4. Kuroda vs. Jalandoni

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

Military Commission is a special


military tribunal governed by a
special law and not by the Rules of
Court, which govern ordinary civil
court. There is nothing in said EO 68
which
requires
that
counsel
appearing before said commission
must be attorneys qualified to
practice law in the Philippines in
accordance with the Rules of Court.

5. Omico Mining & Industrial Corp. The contract of professional services


vs. Vallejos
entered into between the parties,
while Catolico was still a judge,
constituted private practice of law
and in contravention of the express
provision of Section 35 of Rule 138 of
the Revised Rules of Court.
6. People vs. Villanueva

Practice is more than an isolated


appearance, for it consists in
frequent or customary actions, a
succession of acts of the same kind.

7. Dia-Anonuevo vs. Bercasio

Section 77 of the Judiciary Act of


1948: All provisions relative to the
observance of office hours and the
holding of sessions applicable to
courts of first instance shall likewise
apply to municipal judges, but the
latter may, after office hours and
with the permission of the district
judge concerned, engage in teaching
or other vocation not involving the
practice of law.

8. De Guzman vs. Visayan Rapid Section 29 of the Code of Civil


Transit Co.
Procedure provides that "a lawyer
shall be entitled to have and recover
from his client no more than a
reasonable compensation for the
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services rendered, with a view to the


importance of the subject matter of
the controversy, to the extent of the
services
rendered,
and
the
professional standing of the lawyer.
9. Cayetano vs. Monsod

The practice of law is not limited to


the conduct of cases or litigation in
court. It embraces the preparation of
pleadings and other papers incident
to actions and special proceedings,
the management of such actions and
proceedings on behalf of clients, and
other works where the work done
involves the determination of the
trained legal mind of the legal effect
of facts and conditions

10. In re: Edillon

Bar integration does not compel the


lawyer to associate with anyone. The
only compulsion to which he is
subjected is the payment of annual
dues. The Supreme Court, in order to
further the State's legitimate interest
in
elevating
the
quality
of
professional legal services.

11. Tejan vs. Cusi

The court may therefore act upon its


own motion and thus be the initiator
of
the
proceedings,
because,
obviously the court may investigate
into the conduct of its own officers.

12. Alcala vs. Vera

The disbarment of an attorney is not


intended as a punishment, but is
rather intended to protect the
administration of justice.

13. Cantimbuhan vs. Cruz

A non-member of the Philippine Bar


a party to an action is authorized
to appear in court and conduct his
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Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


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own case; and, in the inferior courts,


the litigant may be aided by a friend
or agent or by an attorney.
14. Hydro Resources
Corp. vs. Pagalilauan

15. Ramos vs. Rada

Contractors, A lawyer, like any other professional,


may very well be an employee of a
private corporation or even of the
government.
This
Court
has
consistently
ruled
that
the
determination of whether or not
there is an employer-employee
relation depends upon four standards
.
Rada has violated the civil service
rule prohibiting government
employees from engaging directly in
a private business, vocation or
profession or being connected with
any commercial, credit, agricultural
or industrial undertaking without a
written permission from the head of
the Department.

16. Beltran vs. Abad

The two essential requisites for


becoming a lawyer still had to be
performed, namely: his lawyer's oath
to be administered by this Court and
his signature in the Roll of Attorneys.

17. Bacarro vs. Pinatacan

One of the indispensable requisites


for admission to the Philippine Bar is
that the applicant must be of good
moral character. As a man of law, (a
lawyer) is necessary a leader of the
community, looked up to as a model
citizen"

18. Diao vs. Martinez

Passing such examinations is not the


only qualification to become an
attorney-at-law;
taking
the
prescribed courses of legal study in
the regular manner is equally
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Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

essential.
19. In re: Argosino

The lawyer's oath is not a mere


ceremony or formality for practicing
law. Every lawyer should at all times
weigh his actions according to the
sworn promises he makes when
taking the lawyer's oath.

20. Collantes vs. Renomeron

Just as the Code of Conduct and


Ethical Standards for Public Officials,
the
Code
of
Professional
Responsibility forbids a lawyer to
engage
in
unlawful,
dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct or delay
any man's cause "for any corrupt
motive or interest" (Rule 103).

21. Campos vs. Campos

Simple misconduct is a transgression


of some established rule of action, an
unlawful behavior or negligence
committed by a public officer. A
judge must pay a high price for the
honor bestowed upon him.

Audris B. Bulatao
3F

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

Lawyers Duty to Society


1. Montecillo vs. Gica

It is the duty of the lawyer to


maintain towards the courts a
respectful attitude. It is also his duty
to uphold the dignity and authority of
the court, to which he owes fidelity.

2. In re: Gutierrez

The practice of law is a privilege


accorded only to those who measure
up to certain rigid standards of
mental and moral fitness.

3. Oronce vs. CA

The contumacious acts of entering


the Gilmore property without the
consent of its occupants and in
contravention of the existing writ of
preliminary injunction issued by the
CA and making utterances showing
disrespect for the law and this Court,
are certainly unbecoming of a
member of the Philippine Bar.

4. De Ysasi III vs. NLRC

The useful function of a lawyer is not


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Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

only to conduct litigation but to avoid


it whenever possible by advising
settlement or withholding suit. He
should be a mediator for concord and
a conciliator for compromise, rather
than a virtuoso of technicality in the
conduct of litigation.

5. Pajares vs. Abad Santos

6. People vs. Rosqueta

Had Pajares been but prudently


advised by her counsel to confess
judgment and ask from her creditor
the reasonable time she needed to
discharge her lawful indebtedness,
the expenses of litigation that she
has incurred would have been much
more than sufficient to pay off her
just debt to Udharam Bazar & Co.
It is not enough that a lawyer
prepares the papers; he must see to
it that they are duly mailed. Such
inattention as shown in this case is
inexcusable.

7. De Roy vs. CA

It is the bounden duty of counsel as


lawyer in active law practice to keep
abreast of decisions of the SC
particularly where issues have been
clarified, consistently reiterated, and
published in the advance reports of
Supreme Court decisions (G.R.s) and
in such publications as the SCRA and
law journals.

8. Far Eastern Shipping Co. vs. CA

As between the lawyer and the


courts, a lawyer owes candor,
fairness and good faith to the court.
Candidness, especially towards the
courts,
is
essential
for
the
expeditious administration of justice.
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Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

A lawyer is obliged to observe the


rules of procedure and not to misuse
them to defeat the ends of justice.
9. Jose vs. CA

A
prosecuting
officer,
as
the
representative of a sovereignty
whose obligation and interest in a
criminal prosecution is not that it
shall win a case but that justice shall
be
done,
has
the
solemn
responsibility to assure the public
that while guilt shall not escape,
innocence shall not suffer.

10. People vs. Pineda

The question of instituting a criminal


charge is one addressed to the sound
discretion of the investigating Fiscal.
The Fiscals discretion should not be
controlled.

11. People vs. Madera

The prosecutor's finest hour is not


when he wins a case with the
conviction of the accused. For
indeed, his noble task is to prosecute
only the guilty and to protect the
innocent.

12. Tan vs. Gallardo

Although the private prosecutors


may be permitted to intervene, they
are not in control of the case, and
their interests are subordinate to
those of the People of the Philippines
represented by the fiscal.

13. People vs. Sendaydiego

There was substantial compliance


with the rule that the criminal action
should be prosecuted under the
direction and control of the fiscal"
and that the provincial fiscal shall
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Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


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represent the province" in any court.


14. Misamin vs. San Juan

The law does not prohibit such


isolated exercise of his profession.
Appearance as counsel, while holding
a government position, is not among
the grounds provided by the Rules of
Court for the suspension or removal
of attorneys.

15. PCGG vs. Sandiganbayan

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; and (2) congruent-interest
representation conflicts which are
unique to government lawyers and
apply
primarily
to
former
government lawyers.

Lawyers Duties to the Legal Profession

1. Rivera vs. Angeles

2. Ducat vs. Villalon

The
Supreme
Court
repeatedly
stressed the importance of integrity
and good moral character as part of
lawyers equipment in the practice of
this profession. Respect of litigants in
the
profession
is
inexorably
diminished whenever a member of
the bar betrays their trust and
confidence.
In violation of Canon 7 of CPR which
mandates that a lawyer shall at all
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Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


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times uphold the integrity and dignity


of the legal profession.

3. Tan vs. Sabandal

4. In re: Parazo

5. Pangan vs. Ramos

Sabandals defense that the Code of


Professional ethics does not apply to
him as he is not yet a member of the
bar proves him unfit to be admitted
to the same. He could at least have
shown his fitness for admission by
showing
adherence
to
and
observance of the standard of
conduct required by all who aspire to
profess the law.
The Supreme Court itself which
overall supervision and control over
the
exams,
would
share
the
suspicion, as a result of which the
confidence of the people in the High
Tribunal might be affected and
shaken. The case clearly falls within
the meaning of the phrase interest
of the state. Thus, Parazo has the
duty to disclose his sources.

In violation of Par. 29 of Canons of


Judicial Ethics: The lawyer should
aid in guarding the Bar against the
admission to the profession of
candidates
unfit
or
unqualified
because deficient in either moral
character and education. He should
strive at all times to uphold the
honor and to maintain the dignity of
the profession and to improve not
only the law but also administration
of justice.
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6. In re: Gutierrez

7. Narido vs. Linsangan

8. Laput vs. Remotigue

9. Camacho vs. Pangulayan

10. Robinson vs. Villafuerte

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

The
pardon
granted
to
the
respondent here is not absolute but
conditional and merely remitted the
unexecuted portion of his term. It
does not reach the offense itself.
Mutual bickering and unjustifiable
recriminations,
between
brother
attorneys detract from the dignity of
the legal profession and will not
receive any sympathy from the court.
A pleading discharging Atty. Laput
was filed in court before respondent
entered his appearance. And with
respect to the revocation of SPA, the
same is not prompted by malice or
intended to hurt petitioners feelings
but purely to safeguard the interest
of administatrix.
"A lawyer should not in any way
communicate upon the subject of
controversy with a party represented
by counsel, much less should he
undertake
to
negotiate
or
compromise the matter with him, but
should only deal with his counsel.
There are no legal provisions
authorizing a private person to
intervene at the hearing of a suit
even though he be a clerk for the
attorneys of one of the litigant, if he
does not possess the qualifications of
a practicing attorney and is not one
of the interested parties.
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11. Tan Tek Beng vs. David

12. Dir. of Religious Affairs vs. Bayot

13. Ulep vs. Legal Clinic

14. In re: Sycip

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

Malpractice
is
the
practice
of
soliciting cases at law for the purpose
of gain, either personally or through
paid agents or brokers (sec. 27, Rule
138, ROC). Malpractice refers to any
malfeasance or dereliction of duty
committed by a lawyer.
It is highly unethical for an attorney
to advertise his talents or skill as a
merchant advertises his wares.
A lawyer in making known his legal
services shall use only true, honest,
dignified and objective information or
statement of facts. He is not
supposed
to
use
any
false,
fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
undignified, self-laudatory or unfair
statement or claim regarding his
qualification or services.
A partnership for the practice of law
is not a legal entity. It is not a
partnership formed to carry on trade
or business of holding property. The
use of a nom de plume, assume or
trade name in law practice is
improper.

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Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


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Lawyers Duties to the Courts

1. City Sheriff,
Fortunado

Iligan

2. Occena vs. Marquez

3. Chavez vs. Viola

4. Chan Kian vs. Angsin

5. Casals vs. Cusi

City

It is the duty of the lawyer to inform


the trial court of the death of
petitioner, a duty mandated by
Section 16, Rule 3 of the Revised
vs.
Rules of Court s and to inform this
Court of his change of address which
accounts for his failure to comment
on the manifestation of respondents.
The conduct of the lawyer before the
court and with other lawyers should
be characterized by candor and
fairness. It is neither candid nor fair
for a lawyer to knowingly make false
allegations in a judicial pleading.
Viola alleged in an earlier pleading
that his clients were merely lessees
of the property involved. In his later
pleading, he stated that the very
same clients were owners of the
same
property. One
of
these
pleadings must have been false; it
matters not which one.
The Court notes with regret that had
the counsels, as officers of the
courts, faithfully complied with their
duty to deal with the courts in truth
and candor, the case would then
have been disposed of and need not
have been certified to this Court.

His
unsatisfactory
explanation
evinces a willful disregard of his
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solemn duty as an attorney to


employ in the conduct of a case
"such means only as are consistent
with truth and honor, and never seek
to mislead" the courts.
If Atty. Balbuena was diligent
enough, he would have known that
the correct name of the complainant
in the case referred to is neither
Alberto
Naldeza
but
ALBERTO
NALDOZA., and in in volume 254 of
the SCRA not volume 245.

6. COMELEC vs. Noynoy

It is his duty to uphold the dignity


and authority of the court to which
he owes fidelity, according to the
oath he has taken. Respect for the
courts guarantees the stability of our
democratic
institutions
which,
without such respect, would be
resting on a very shaky foundation.

7. Montecillo vs. Gica

8.
Surigao Mineral
Board vs. Cloribel

A lawyer is an officer of the courts;


he is, like the court itself, an
instrument or agency to advance the
ends of justice. It is his sworn and
Reservation moral duty to help build and not
destroy unnecessarily that high
esteem and regard towards the
courts so essential to the proper
administration of justice.

9. De Gracia vs. Warden of Makati

There was a lapse in judicial


propriety by counsel who did not
even take the trouble of appearing in
Court. It suffices to call his attention
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to such failing by way of guidance for


his future actuations as a member of
the bar.

10. Buenaseda vs. Flavier

A lawyer should not be carried away


in espousing his client's cause. The
language of a lawyer, both oral and
written, must be respectful and
restrained in keeping with the dignity
of the legal profession

11. Santos vs. Cruz

12. People vs. Taneo

13. Urbina vs. Maceren

14. Castaneda vs. Ago

The language "You can go to hell I


don't care or where do you want to
go Mr. Cano". This language of the
Judge is unbecoming of a municipal
judge and deserves administrative
penalty.
It is unfortunate that counsel for
appellant has made hasty accusation
against the trial court for the above
pronouncement as taking a partial
and biased position and having
adopted its own biased interpretation
of the physical evidence.
A lawyer owes fidelity to the courts
as well as to his clients and that the
filing on behalf of disgruntled
litigants of unfounded or frivolous
charges against inferior court judges
and the use of offensive and
intemperate language as a means of
harassing judges.
One shall not allow himself to
become an instigator of controversy
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and a predator of conflict instead of a


mediator
for
concord
and
a
conciliator for compromise.

15. Austria vs. Masaquel

16. Martelino vs. Alejandro

While it may be conceded that in


requesting the disqualification of a
judge by reason of his relation with a
party or counsel there is some
implication of the probability of his
being partial to one side, the request
cannot constitute contempt of court if
done honestly and in a respectful
manner.
Suspension of the court-martial
proceedings is proper when there is
the existence of "massive" and
"prejudicial" publicity, or simply that
the trial might be by the "barrage" of
publicity.

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Nature and Creation of Attorney-Client


Relationship
1.Regala v Sandiganbayan

An attorney is more than a mere agent


or servant because he possesses special
powers of trust and confidence reposed
on him by his client. There are instances
where an attorney can validly decline to
reveal the identity of his principal, i.e.,
where the client's name itself has an
independent significance, such that
disclosure would then reveal client
confidences.

2. In re: Sycip

In view of the personal and


confidential nature of the relations
between attorney and client, and the
high standards demanded in the
canons of professional ethics, no law
firm should be allowed to use the
name of a deceased partner, and no
practice should be allowed which
even in a remote degree could give
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rise to the possibility of deception.

3. Daroy v. Legaspi

A member of the bar who converts the


money of his client to his own benefit
through false pretenses is guilty of
deceit,
malpractice
and
gross
misconduct in his office of lawyer.

4. Hilado v. David

To
constitute
an
attorney-client
relationship, it is not necessary that any
retainer
should
have
been
paid,
promised, or charged for; neither is it
material that the attorney consulted did
not afterward undertake the case about
which the consultation was
had. If a person, in respect to his
business affairs or troubles of any kind,
consults with his attorney in his
professional capacity with the view to
obtaining
professional
advice
or
assistance, and the attorney voluntarily
permits
or
acquiesces
in
such
consultation, then the professional
employment must be regarded as
established.

5. Stone v. Bank of Commerce

The authority of an attorney commences


with his retainer. He cannot, while acting
generally as an attorney for an estate or
a corporation, accept service of process
which commences the action without
any authority so to do from his principal.

6. Guerrero v Hernando

A lawyer is guilty of misconduct as a


notary in making it appear in the jurat of
a
tenancy
contract
that
affiant
Tranquilino Bernardo exhibited to him a
residence certificate when in fact he did
not do so. Such misrepresentation is
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unquestionably censurable and justifies
disciplinary
action
against
the
respondent as a member of the bar and
as a notary public. The respondent
violated the mandate in his attorney's
oath to "obey the laws" and "do no
falsehood".

7. Uy v. Gonzales

There was no attorney-client relationship


when the lawyer volunteered his service
to hasten the issuance of the certificate
of title of the land he has redeemed
from complainant. The preparation and
the proposed filing of the petition was
only
incidental
to
their
personal
transaction.

8. Rillaroza v. Eastern
Telecommunications

In any case, whether there is an


agreement or not, the courts shall fix
a reasonable compensation which
lawyers may receive for their
professional services. " A lawyer
would be entitled to receive what he
merits for his services. Otherwise
stated,
the
amount
must
be
determined on a quantum meruit
basis. "Quantum meruit, meaning 'as
much as he deserved' is used as a
basis for determining the lawyer's
professional fees in the absence of a
contract but recoverable by him from
his client.

9. Government v. Wagner

A person who is made an attorneyin-fact, with the same power and


authority to deal with the property
which the principals might or could
have had if personally present, may
adopt the usual legal means to
accomplish the object, including
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acceptance of service and engaging


of counsel to preserve the ownership
and possession of the principals
property.
10. Orbit Transportation Company v The cooperation of litigants and their
Workmens
Compensation attorneys is required so that needless
clogging of the court dockets with
Commission
unmeritorious cases may be avoided
leaving the courts free to devote their
time and attention to meritorious and
truly contentious cases. In this, the
attorney plays a major role of advising
his client to refrain from seeking further
appellate review and action in plainly
untenable cases.

11. Ledesma v Climaco

Membership in the bar is a privilege


burdened with conditions. The law is
a profession, not a trade or a craft.
Those enrolled in its ranks are called
upon to aid in the performance of
one of the basic purposes of the
State, the administration of justice.
To avoid any frustration thereof,
especially in the case of an indigent
defendant, a lawyer may be required
to act as counsel de oficio.

12. People v. Daeng

A caution all courts against the frequent


appointment of the same attorney as
counsel de oficio, for two basic reasons:
first, it is unfair to the attorney
concerned, considering the burden of his
regular practice that he should be
saddled with too many de officio cases;
and, second, the compensation provided
might be considered by some lawyers as
a regular source of income, something
which the Rule does not envision.
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13. Gonzales v. Chavez

This Court clarified that even when


"confronted with a situation where one
government office takes an adverse
position against another government
agency, the Solicitor General should not
refrain from performing his duty as the
lawyer of the government. It is
incumbent upon him to present to the
court what he considers would legally
uphold the best interest of the
government although it may run counter
to a client's position.

14. Oparel v Abaria

An attorney should not invite loss of


trust by inadvertence or even by a
failure to use the simplest and most
understandable
language
in
communicating matters, more so when
the client happens to be poor and
unlettered. For he may lend himself to
the suspicion that he is lacking in candor
and may be taking undue advantage of
his client for his own profit and
advantage in any dealing with the
adverse party.

Lawyer's Duties in Handling Client's


Cases
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Audris B. Bulatao
3F

1. Santiago v. Fojas

2. Cantiller v. Potenciano

3. Millare v. Montero

4. Choa v. Chiongson

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

A lawyer has the right to decline


employment, subject, however, to
Canon 14 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Once he agrees to
take up the cause of a client, the
lawyer owes delity to such cause
and must always be mindful of the
trust and condence reposed in him.
A lawyer should exercise due
diligence in protecting his client's
interests. He has a duty to protect
with utmost dedication the interest of
his client and of the fidelity, trust and
confidence which he owes his client.
Under Canon 19 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, a lawyer
is required to represent his client
"within the bounds of the law." The
Code enjoins a lawyer to employ only
fair and honest means to attain the
lawful objectives of his client (Rule
19.01) and warns him not to allow
his client to dictate the procedure in
handling the case (Rule 19.03). In
short, a lawyer is not a gun for hire.

As a Member of the Philippine Bar, a


lawyer is bound: (1) by his oath, not
to wittingly or willingly, promote or
sue any groundless, false, or
unlawful suit nor give aid nor consent
to the same; (2) by Section 20(c),
Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, to
counsel or maintain such action or
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proceedings only as appear to him to

be just; and (3) to uphold the Code


of Professional Responsibility.

5. Cosmos Foundry Shop Workers A lawyer should remember that his


Union v. Lo Bu
obligation as an officer of the court,
no less than the dignity of the
profession, requires that he should
not act like an errand-boy at the
beck and call of his client, ready and
eager to do his every bidding. If he
fails to keep that admonition in mind,
then he puts into serious question his
good standing in the bar.

6. Gamalinda v. Alcantara

A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of


his client and must be mindful of the
trust and confidence reposed in him.
He shall serve his client with
competence and diligence, and his
duty of entire devotion to his client's
cause not only requires, but entitles
him to employ every honorable
means to secure for the client what is
justly due him or to present every
defense provided by law to enable
the latter's cause to succeed

Rule 7 of Rules of Court states that


7. JP Juan & Sons, Inc. v. Lianga The signature of counsel constitutes
Industries, Inc.
a certificate by him that he has read
the pleading; that to the best of his
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knowledge, information, and belief


there is good ground to support it;
and that it is not interposed for
delay.

8. Azor v. Beltran

Fairness to both parties compels the


observation that the latter, as a
member of the bar, is called upon to
be
much
more
careful
and
meticulous in examining the records
of a case and noting every pleading,
even if as
has happened in not a few cases, the
papers are not kept in as orderly a
manner as is both proper and
desirable.

9. Visitacion v. Manit

10. De Roy v. CA

Atty. Garcia's unexplained failure to


appear was unexcusable. He had no
right to presume that the Court
would grant his withdrawal. If he had
then appeared and insisted on his
withdrawal, the trial court could then
have had the opportunity to order
the
appearance
of
defendantsappellants and verify from them the
truth of his assertion that they had
not "hired him to represent them."

There is no law requiring the


publication
of
Supreme
Court
decisions in the Official Gazette
before they can be binding and as a
condition to their becoming effective.
It is the bounden duty of counsel as
lawyer in active law practice to keep
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abreast of decisions of the Supreme


Court particularly where issues have
been
clarified,
consistently
reiterated, and published in the
advance reports of Supreme Court
decisions (G. R. s) and in such
publications as the Supreme Court
Reports Annotated (SCRA) and law
journals.

11. Cuaresma v. Daquis

12. Vda. De Zubiri v. Zubiri

Every member of the bar should


realize that candor in the dealings
with the Court is of the very essence
of honorable membership in the
profession.
A lawyer should not in any way
communicate upon the subject of
controversy with a party represented
by counsel; much less should he
undertake
to
negotiate
or
compromise the matter with him, but
should deal only with his counsel. It
is incumbent upon the lawyer most
particularly to avoid everything that
may tend to mislead a party not
represented by counsel and he
should not undertake to advise him
as to the law.

13. Deluao v. Casteel

A lawyer should not assume that his


motion would be granted. It is of no
moment
that
the
motion
for
postponement had the conformity of
the
appellees'
counsel.
The
postponement of hearings does not
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depend upon
parties,
but
discretion.

14. Heirs of Lorilla v. CA

15. Avelino v. Palaa

agreement
upon
the

of the
court's

The failure of a lawyer to serve


notice on the court and the adverse
parties regarding his client's death
binds herein petitioners as much as
the client himself could be so bound.
Jurisprudence
teems
with
pronouncements that a client is
bound by the conduct, negligence
and mistakes of his counsel.
The
Court
find
no
sufficient
justification to reverse the finding
made by the Office of the Solicitor
General to the effect that respondent
"did not duly inform his client of the
date of the trial scheduled for
November 15, 1957" in spite of the
fact that, according to the evidence,
he had received notice of such

hearing four days before.


16. Diman v. Alumbres

A Judge was charged with the duty to


assess the evidence to ascertain
whether or not the facts and the law,
the plaintiffs have shown no right to
relief. It was in the first place
incumbent on His Honor to hold the
Heirs bound to their admissions
appearing in the record, express and
implied.

30

Audris B. Bulatao
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17.
Saulog
v.
Manufacturing Corp.

18. People v. Casimiro

19. People v. Nadera, Jr.

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 20 of the


Custombuilt Rules of Court, both client and
counsel must appear at the pre-trial.
This is mandatory. Failure of the
client to appear is ground for
dismissal. If one representing his
client a corporation was
present, counsel could have easily
left word for the former to tell the
judge
that
he
was
suddenly
summoned to his home. If the client
were not present, then the case just
the
same
would
have
been
dismissed.
Under such circumstances, the least
that was expected to the counsel was
that he would inform this Tribunal of
the developments set forth in his
explanation and as that he be
allowed to withdraw as counsel. Such
a step he did not take until after the
resolution requiring him to explain
the failure to comply with his duty as
officer of the Court.

Only faithful performance by counsel


of his duty towards his client can give
meaning and substance to the
accused's right to due process and to
be presumed innocent until proven
otherwise. Hence, a lawyer's duty,
especially that of a defense counsel,
must not be taken lightly. It must be
performed with all the zeal and vigor
at his command to protect and
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safeguard the accused's fundamental


rights.

20. Nueno v. Santos

A judge has violated his oath of office


and of the lawyer's oath which states
that he would do no falsehood nor
consent to the doing of any in court
when he induced an accused to plead
guilty to an offense which he knows
the latter did not commit.

Lawyers Fiduciary Obligations


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1. Angeles v. Uy, Jr.

Lawyers must promptly account for


money or property they receive on
behalf of their clients. Failure to do
so
constitutes
professional
Misconduct
and
justifies
the
imposition of disciplinary sanctions.

2. Nakpil v. Valdez

The test to determine whether there


is a conflict of interest in the
representation is probability, not
certainty of conflict. Thus, a lawyer
should determine his conduct by
acting in a manner that would
promote public confidence in the
integrity of the legal profession.

3. Liwag v. Neri

A lawyer has committed a breach of


professional ethics when, contrary to
the fact, he made his clients believe
that he had already been sued in
court and did not return the amount
intended for the filing fee.

4. Diaz v. Kapunan

As to Art. 1459 of the Civil Code, no.


It provides that the following
persons, naming them, "cannot take
by purchase, even at a public or
judicial auction, either in person or
through the mediation of another."

5. Canlas v. CA

It is true that lawyers are entitled to


make a living, in spite of the fact that
the practice of law is not a
commercial enterprise; but that does
not furnish an excuse for plain lust
for material wealth, more so at the
expense of another. Law advocacy,
we reiterate, is not capital that yields
profits.

33

Audris B. Bulatao
3F

6. Capulong v. Alio

Problem Areas in Legal Ethics


Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento

Apart
from
suggesting
a
misappropriation of funds held by
him in trust for his clients and a
breach of such trust, the foregoing
acts and omissions indicate the high
degree
of
irresponsibility
of
respondent
herein
and
his
unworthiness to continue as a
member of the legal profession.

8. Penticostes v. Ibaez

A lawyer does not shed his


professional
obligations
upon
assuming public office. In fact, his
public office should make him more
sensitive
to
his
professional
obligations
because
a
lawyers
disreputable conduct is more likely to
be magnified in the publics eye.

9. Daroy v. Legaspi -

Lawyers are bound to promptly


account for money or property
received by them on behalf of their
clients and failure to do so
constitutes professional misconduct.
The fact that a lawyer has a lien for
fees on money in his hands collected
for his clients does not relieve him
from the duty of promptly accounting
for the funds received.

10. Sotto v. Samson

The prohibition contained in Article


1459 of the Civil Code shall include
lawyers and solicitors with respect to
any property rights involved in any
litigation in which they may take part
by virtue of their profession and
office. Indeed, because of their
client-attorney relationship, a lawyer
probably unduly influences his client
not only to sell the lot to him but also

34

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to accept terms less favorable to


him.
11. Laig v. CA

The malicious participation of RD


Baldomero Lapak and his son Atty.
Lapak is evident. Knowing of the
existence in his records of the
original of OCT, Baldomero Lapak
effected the issuance of the second
duplicate of OCT to Galero in just
four (4) days, dispensing with the
requirements of notice and hearing
to interested parties.
For his malicious involvement, WE
find Baldomero Lapak liable under
the
Land Registration Act for
assisting in fraudulently procuring
any certificate of title or owner's
duplicate certificate.

12. Go Beltran v. Fernandez

A
lawyer
is
found
guilty
of
malpractice for having purchased a
property of his client involved in a
pending litigation in which he
appeared as counsel. He
has
accordingly violated article 1459 of
the Civil Code, in breach of
professional conduct.

35