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Problem Areas In Legal Ethics (Pale)

Justice Francisco P. Acosta

DOCTRINES
Director of Religious Affairs vs. Bayot , 74 Phil. 579
Law is a profession and a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who
stoops to and adopts the practice of merchantilism by advertising his services or
offering them to the public. The most worthy and effective advertisement possible,
even for a young lawyer is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for
professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but must be the
outcome of character and conduct. (Canon 27, Code of Ethics.)
Cantiller vs. Potenciano (180 SCRA 246)
When a lawyer takes a client's cause, he thereby covenants that he will exert all effort
for its prosecution until its final conclusion. The failure to exercise due diligence or the
abandonment of a client's cause makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust which the
client had reposed on him.
Lawyers should be fair, honest, respectable, above suspicion and beyond reproach in
dealing with their clients. The profession is not synonymous with an ordinary business
proposition. It is a matter of public interest.
In the Matter of Petition for Authority to Continue the Use of the Firm name Sycip,
Salazar, Feliciano, Hernandez & Castillo (July 30, 1979)
A partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. It is a mere relationship or
association for a particular purpose. It is not a partnership formed for the purpose of
carrying on trade or business or of holding property.
Mauricio Ulep vs The Legal Clinic (223 SCRA 378)
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the
application of law, legal procedures, knowledge, training and experience. To
engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristic
of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give advice or render any kind
of service that involves legal knowledge or skill.
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. It includes
legal advice and counsel, and the preparation of legal instruments and contract
by which legal rights are secured, although such matter may or may not be
pending in a court.
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.

Problem Areas In Legal Ethics (Pale)


Justice Francisco P. Acosta

When a person participates in the a trial and advertises himself as a lawyer, he


is in the practice of law. One who confers with clients, advises them as to their
legal rights and then takes the business to an attorney and asks the latter to look
after the case in court, is also practicing law. 16 Giving advice for compensation
regarding the legal status and rights of another and the conduct with respect
thereto constitutes a practice of law. One who renders an opinion as to the
proper interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is, to that extent,
practicing law.
The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer's advertisement of his
talents. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession. advertise
his talents or skill as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods.
The prescription against advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal
business rests on the fundamental postulate that the that the practice of law is
a profession.

Cayetano vs. Monsod, 201 SCRA 210


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
proceeding, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients
before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients,
and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law incorporation services,
assessment and condemnation services, contemplating an appearance before judicial
body, the foreclosure of mortgage, enforcement of a creditors claim in bankruptcy and
insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of
estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice. Practice of law
means any activity, in or out court, which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience.
Efigenia M. Tenoso Vs. Atty. Anselmo S. Echanez
Time and again, this Court emphasizes that the practice of law is imbued with public
interest and that a lawyer owes substantial duties not only to his client, but also to
his brethren in the profession, to the courts, and to the nation, and takes part in one
of the most important functions of the State the administration of justice as an
officer of the court.
In Re: Argosino (270 Scra 26)
The practice of law is a privilege granted only to those who possess the STRICT,
INTELLECTUAL and MORAL QUALIFICATIONS required of lawyers who are instruments in
the effective and efficient administration of justice.
In RE: Petition for Reinstatement in the Roll of Attorneys, JUAN T. PUBLICO
Whether or not the applicant shall be reinstated rests to a great extent in the sound
discretion of the court, The court action will depend, generally speaking, on whether
or not it decides that the public interest in the orderly and impartial administration of
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Problem Areas In Legal Ethics (Pale)


Justice Francisco P. Acosta

justice will be conserved by the applicant's participation therein in the capacity of an


attorney and counselor at law. The applicant must, like a candidate for admission to
the bar, satisfy the court that he is a person of good moral character a fit and proper
person to practice law. The court will take into consideration the applicant's character
and standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and character of the charge for which
he was disbarred, his conduct subsequent to the disbarment, and the time that has
elapsed between the disbarment and the application for reinstatement. (5 Am. Jur.,
Sec. 301, p. 443).
EDUARDO A. ABELLA vs. RICARDO G. BARRIOS, JR. (June 18, 2013)
To note, "the possession of good moral character is both a condition precedent
and a continuing requirement to warrant admission to the Bar and to retain
membership in the legal profession." This proceeds from the lawyers duty to
observe the highest degree of morality in order to safeguard the Bars integrity.
Consequently, any errant behavior on the part of a lawyer, be it in the lawyers
public or private activities, which tends to show deficiency in moral character,
honesty, probity or good demeanor, is sufficient to warrant suspension or
disbarment.
Jurisprudence illumines that immoral conduct involves acts that are willful,
flagrant, or shameless, and that show a moral indifference to the opinion of the
upright and respectable members of the community. It treads the line of
grossness when it is so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act, or so unprincipled
as to be reprehensible to a high degree, or when committed under such
scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the communitys sense of
decency. On the other hand, gross misconduct constitutes "improper or wrong
conduct, the transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a
forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character, and implies a wrongful
intent and not mere error of judgment."
IN RE CUNANAN [94 Phil 534; Resolution; 18 Mar 1954]
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension,
disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and
their supervision have been indisputably a judicial function and responsibility. We have
said that in the judicial system from which ours has been derived, the admission,
suspension, disbarment or reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the
profession is concededly judicial.
In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. MARCIAL A. EDILION
The right to practice law before the courts of this country should be and is a matter
subject to regulation and inquiry. And, if the power to impose the fee as a regulatory
measure is recognize, then a penalty designed to enforce its payment, which penalty
may be avoided altogether by payment, is not void as unreasonable or arbitrary.

Problem Areas In Legal Ethics (Pale)


Justice Francisco P. Acosta

In RE: Garcia (2 SCRA 984)


The aforementioned Treaty, concluded between the Republic of the Philippines and the
Spanish state could not have been intended to modify the laws and regulations
governing admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, for reason that the
Executive Department may not enroach upon the consitutional prerogative of the
Supreme Court to promulgate rules for admission to the practice of law in the
Philippines, and the power to repeal, alter or supplement such rules being reserved
only to the Congress of the Philippines.
In the matter of the Disqualification of Bar Examinee, Haron S. Meiling in the 2002
bar examinations and for disciplinary action as member of Philippine Shari'a Bar,
Melendrez.
It has been held that good moral character is what a person really is, as distinguished
from good reputation or from the opinion generally entertained of him, the estimate in
which he is held by the public in the place where he is known. Moral character is not
a subjective term but one which corresponds to objective reality. The standard of
personal and professional integrity is not satisfied by such conduct as it merely enables
a person to escape the penalty of criminal law. Good moral character includes at least
common honesty.
PETITION FOR LEAVE TO RESUME PRACTICE OF LAW of BENJAMIN M. DACANAY
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.
The exception is 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.
In Re INTEGRATION OF THE BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES [49 SCRA 22, January 9, 1973]
Constitutionality of Bar Integration In all cases where the validity of Bar integration
measures has been put in issue, the Courts have upheld their constitutionality.
The judicial pronouncements support this reasoning:

Courts have inherent power to supervise and regulate the practice of law.
The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege; a privilege, moreover,
clothed with public interest, because a lawyer owes duties not only to his client,
but also to his brethren in the profession, to the courts, and to the nation; and
takes part in one of the most important functions of the State, the administration
of justice, as an officer of the court.
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Because the practice of law is privilege clothed with public interest, it is far and
just that the exercise of that privilege be regulated to assure compliance with
the lawyer's public responsibilities.
These public responsibilities can best be discharged through collective action;
but there can be no collective action without an organized body; no organized
body can operate effectively without incurring expenses; therefore, it is fair and
just that all attorneys be required to contribute to the support of such organized
body; and, given existing Bar conditions, the most efficient means of doing so is
by integrating the Bar through a rule of court that requires all lawyers to pay
annual dues to the Integrated Bar.

IN RE: VICTORIO D. LANUEVO


A.M. No. 1162 August 29, 1975
The concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar examinations of the
fact that he had been charged with, or indicted for, an alleged crime, is a ground for
revocation of his license to practice law is well settled. The practice of the law is not
an absolute right to be granted every one who demands it, but is a privilege to be
extended or withheld in the exercise of sound discretion. The standards of the legal
profession are not satisfied by conduct which merely enables one to escape the
penalties of the criminal law.
Re: 2003 Bar Examinations, BM No. 1222, Feb. 4, 2004
This Honorable court in the case of Burbe v. Magulta, A.C. No. 5713, June 10, 2002, 383
SCRA 276, pronounced the following reminder for lawyers: Members of the bar must do
nothing that may tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the public in the
fidelity, the honesty and integrity of the profession. In another case, it likewise
intoned: We cannot overstress the duty of a lawyer to at all times uphold the integrity
and dignity of the legal profession. He can do this by faithfully performing his duties to
society, to the bar, to the courts, and to his clients. (Reyes v. Javier, A.C. No. 5574,
February 2, 2002, 375 SCRA 538). It goes without saying that a lawyer who violates this
precept of the profession by committing a gross misconduct which dishonors and
diminishes the publics respect for the legal profession, should be disciplined.
Alawi v. Alauya, AM No. SDO-97-2-P, Feb. 24, 1997
The term attorney is reserved for those who pass the Philippine Bar. It
cannot be used by those who only took and passed the Sharia Bar.
Public officials and employees must, at all times, respect the rights of others
and refrain from doing any acts contrary to law, good morals, public policy, good
customs, and public order.

Problem Areas In Legal Ethics (Pale)


Justice Francisco P. Acosta

Donton v. Tansingco, AC No. 6057, June 27, 2006


A lawyer should not render any service or give advice to any client which will involve
defiance of the laws which he is bound to uphold and obey. A lawyer who assists a client
in a dishonest scheme or who connives in violating the law commits an act which
justifies disciplinary action against the lawyer.
IRRI v. NLRC 221 SCRA 760
This is not to say that all convictions of the crime of homicide do not involve moral
turpitude. Homicide may or may not involve moral turpitude depending on the degree
of the crime. Moral turpitude is not involved in every criminal act and is not shown by
every known and intentional violation of statute, but whether any particular conviction
involves moral turpitude may be a question of fact and frequently depends on all the
surrounding circumstances. While . . . generally but not always, crimes mala in
se involve moral turpitude, while crimes mala prohibita do not, it, cannot always be
ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does not exist by classifying a crime
as malum in se or as malum prohibitum, since there are crimes which are mala in
se and yet but rarely involve moral turpitude and there are crimes which involve moral
turpitude and are mala prohibita only. It follows therefore, that moral turpitude is
somewhat a vague and indefinite term, the meaning of which must be left to the
process of judicial inclusion or exclusion as the cases are reached.
Tolosa v. Cargo AM No. 2385, March 8, 1989
As officers of the court, lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral character but
must also be seen to be of good moral character and leading lives in accordance with
the highest moral standards of the community. More specifically, a member of the Bar
and officer of the court is not only required to refrain from adulterous relationships or
the keeping of mistresses 1 but must also so behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the
public by creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards.
Rayos-Ombac v. Rayos, AC No. 2884, Jan. 28, 1998
The nature of the office of a lawyer requires that he shall be of good moral character.
This qualification is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession,
but its continued possession is essential to maintain one's good standing in the
profession.
Paras v. Paras, AC No. 5333, Oct. 18, 2000
It is a time-honored rule that 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.
Narag v. Narag, AC No. 3405, June 29, 1998
Good moral character is a continuing qualification required of every member of the
bar. Thus, when a lawyer fails to meet the exacting standard of moral integrity, the
Supreme Court may withdraw his or her privilege to practice law.
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Justice Francisco P. Acosta

Guevarra v. Eala, AC No. 7136, Aug. 1, 2007


While it has been held in disbarment cases that the mere fact of sexual relations
between two unmarried adults is not sufficient to warrant administrative sanction for
such illicit behavior, it is not so with respect to betrayals of the marital vow of fidelity.
Even if not all forms of extra-marital relations are punishable under penal law, sexual
relations outside marriage is considered disgraceful and immoral as it manifests
deliberate disregard of the sanctity of marriage and the marital vows protected by the
Constitution and affirmed by our laws.
Arciga v. Maniwang, AC No. 1608, Aug. 14, 1981
An applicant for admission to the bar should have good moral character. He is
required to produce before this 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.
If good moral character is a sine qua non for admission to the bar, then the
continued possession of good moral character is also a requisite for retaining
membership in the legal profession. Membership in the bar may be terminated
when a lawyer ceases to have good moral character (Royong vs. Oblena, 117 Phil.
865).
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.
It is difficult to state with precision and to fix an inflexible standard as to what
is "grossly immoral conduct" or to specify the moral delinquency and obliquity
which render a lawyer unworthy of continuing as a member of the bar. The rule
implies that what appears to be unconventional behavior to the straight-laced
may not be the immoral conduct that warrants disbarment.
Immoral conduct has been defined as "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" (7 C.J.S. 959).
Where an unmarried female dwarf possessing the intellect of a child became
pregnant by reason of intimacy with a married lawyer who was the father of six
children, disbarment of the attorney on the ground of immoral conduct was
justified (In re Hicks 20 Pac. 2nd 896).
There is an area where a lawyer's conduct may not be inconsonance with the
canons of the moral code but he is not subject to disciplinary action because his
misbehavior or deviation from the path of rectitude is not glaringly scandalous.
It is in connection with a lawyer's behavior to the opposite sex where the question
of immorality usually arises. Whether a lawyer's sexual congress with a woman
not his wife or without the benefit of marriage should be characterized as
"grossly immoral conduct," will depend on the surrounding circumstances.

Problem Areas In Legal Ethics (Pale)


Justice Francisco P. Acosta

Bustamante-Alejandro v. Alejandro, AC No. 4256, Feb. 13, 2004


A disbarment proceeding is warranted against a lawyer who abandons his lawful wife
and maintains an illicit relationship with another woman who had borne him a child.
Gonzalez v. Alcaraz, AC No. 5321, Sept. 27, 2006
Well-established is the rule that administrative cases against lawyers belong to
a class of their own. These cases are distinct from and proceed independently of
civil and criminal cases. Settled is the rule that, being based on a different
quantum of proof, the dismissal of a criminal case on the ground of insufficiency
of evidence does not necessarily foreclose the finding of guilt in an
administrative proceeding.
Whether in their professional or in their private capacity, lawyers may be
disbarred or suspended for misconduct. This penalty is a consequence of acts
showing their unworthiness as officers of the courts; as well as their lack of moral
character, honesty, probity, and good demeanor. When the misconduct
committed outside of their professional dealings is so gross as to show them to
be morally unfit for the office and the privileges conferred upon them by their
license and the law, they may be suspended or disbarred.
Gonzaga v. Realubin, AC No. 1955, March 14, 1995
This refers to a complaint filed by the Gonzaga brothers, Napoleon and Ricardo,
for the disbarment of Atty. Crisanto P. Realubin on grounds of "malpractice, gross
misconduct and violation of oath of office".
Notarization is not an empty routine; to the contrary, it involves public interest
in a substantial degree and the protection of that interest requires preventing
those who are not qualified or authorized to act as notaries public from imposing
upon the public and the court and administrative offices generally.
Chua v. Mesina, AC No. 4904, Aug. 12, 2004
As a rule, a lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the business transaction
must be characterized with utmost honesty and good faith. The measure of good faith
which an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings with his client is a much higher
standard that is required in business dealings where the parties trade at arms length.
Business transactions between an attorney and his client are disfavored and discouraged
by the policy of the law. Hence, courts carefully watch these transactions to assure
that no advantage is taken by a lawyer over his client. This rule is founded on public
policy for, by virtue of his office, an attorney is in an easy position to take advantage
of the credulity and ignorance of his client. Thus, no presumption of innocence or
improbability of wrongdoing is considered in an attorneys favor.
Reyes v. Gaa, AM No. 1048, July 14, 1995
Where the misconduct of a lawyer as a government official is of such a character as to
affect his qualification as a lawyer or to show moral delinquency, then he may be
disciplined as a member of the bar on such grounds
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Melendrez v. Decena, AC No. 2104, Aug. 24, 1989


Lawyers cannot "without special authority, compromise their clients' litigation or
receive anything in discharge of a client's claim, but the full amount in cash.
Generally, a lawyer should not be suspended or disbarred for misconduct
committed in his personal or non-professional capacity. Where however,
misconduct outside his professional dealings becomes so patent and so gross as
to demonstrate moral unfitness to remain in the legal profession, the Court must
suspend or strike out the lawyer's name from the Rollo of Attorneys. 7 The nature
of the office of an attorney at law requires that he shall be a person of good
moral character. This qualification 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, in the exercise of privileges of members of the Bar. Gross
misconduct on the part of a lawyer, although not related to the discharge of
professional duties as a member of the Bar, which puts his moral character in
serious doubt, renders him unfit to continue in the practice of law.
In Re Soriano, G.R. No. L-24114, June 30, 1970
The entry of appearance of a counsel in a case which has long been sealed and
terminated by a final judgment, besides being an unmitigated absurdity in itself
and an unwarranted annoyance to the court which pronounced the judgment, is
a sore deviation from normal judicial processes. It detracts heavily from the faith
which should be accorded final judgments of courts of justice, generating as it
does in the minds of the litigants, as well as of the public, an illusory belief that
something more can be done toward overturning a final judicial mandate.
Before taking over a case handled by a peer in the Bar, a lawyer is enjoined to
obtain the conformity of the counsel whom he would substitute. And if this
cannot be had, then he should, at the very least, give notice to such lawyer of
the contemplated substitution.
Cuaresma v. Daquis, G.R. No. L-35113, March 25, 1975
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.
Tan Tek Beng v. David, 126 SCRA 389, 1983

Malpractice involves soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally
or through paid agents or brokers.
Practice of law is a profession, not a business.

Khan, Jr. v. Simbillo, AC No. 5299, Aug. 19, 2003


It has been repeatedly stressed that the practice of law is not a business. It is a
profession in which duty to public service, not money, is the primary
consideration. Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a money-making venture,
and law advocacy is not a capital that necessarily yields profits. The gaining of a
livelihood should be a secondary consideration. The duty to public service and
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Justice Francisco P. Acosta

to the administration of justice should be the primary consideration of lawyers,


who must subordinate their personal interests or what they owe to themselves.
Nonetheless, the solicitation of legal business is not altogether proscribed.
However, for solicitation to be proper, it must be compatible with the dignity of
the legal profession and must not be misleading. If it is made in a modest and
decorous manner, it would bring no injury to the lawyer and to the bar.

Dacanay v. Baker & McKenzie, AC No. 2131, May 10, 1985


Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the Philippines.
Respondents use of the firm name constitutes a representation that they could render
legal services of the higher quality to multinational business enterprises and others
engaged in foreign trade and investment. This is unethical, as Baker & McKenzie is
unauthorized to practice here.
Rabanal v. Tugalde, AC No. 1372, June 27, 2002
The absence of a written contract does not preclude a finding that there was a
professional relationship which merits attorneys fees for professional services
rendered. A written contract is not an essential element in the employment of
an attorney; the contract may be express or implied. To establish the relation,
it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of an attorney is sought and
received in any matter pertinent to his profession.
To constitute professional employment it is not essential that the client should
have employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion. . . 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.
Williams v. Entiquez, AC No. 6353, Feb. 27, 2006
Implicit in a lawyers mandate to protect a clients interest to the best of his/her ability
and with utmost diligence is the duty to keep abreast of the law and legal
developments, and participate in continuing legal education programs. Thus, in
championing the interest of clients and defending cases, a lawyer must not only be
guided by the strict standards imposed by the lawyers oath, but should likewise
espouse legally sound arguments for clients, lest the latters cause be dismissed on a
technical ground.

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Justice Francisco P. Acosta

Dinsay v. Cioco, AC No. 2995, Nov. 27, 1996


The doctrine of res adjudicata applies only to judicial or quasi-judicial
proceedings and not to the exercise of the [Courts] administrative powers, as in
this case.
As a general rule, a lawyer who holds a government office may not be disciplined
as a member of the bar for misconduct in the discharge of his duties as a
government official. However, if that misconduct as a government official is of
such a character as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or to show moral
delinquency, then he may be disciplined as a member of the bar on such ground.
Santiago v. Sagucio, AC No. 6705, March 30, 2006
A government lawyer is thus bound by the prohibition "not [to] represent conflicting
interests." However, this rule is subject to certain limitations. The prohibition to
represent conflicting interests does not apply when no conflict of interest exists, when
a written consent of all concerned is given after a full disclosure of the facts or when
no true attorney-client relationship exists. Moreover, considering the serious
consequence of the disbarment or suspension of a member of the Bar, clear
preponderant evidence is necessary to justify the imposition of the administrative
penalty.
Huysen v. Gutierrez, AC No. 6707, March 29, 2006
Lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official task have more
restrictions than lawyers in private practice. Want of moral integrity is to be
more severely condemned in a lawyer who holds a responsible public office.
A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position to promote
or advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his public
duties.
PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, et al., G.R. No. 151809-12, April 12, 2005
Rule 6.03 A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept
engagement or employment in connection with any matter which he had
intervened while in said service.
Matter is defined any discrete, isolatable act as well as identifiable transaction
or conduct involving a particular situation and specific party, and not merely an
act of drafting, enforcing or interpreting government or agency procedures,
regulations or laws, or briefing abstract principles of law. The act of advising the
Central Bank, on how to proceed with the said banks liquidation and even filing
the petition for its liquidation with the CFI of Manila is not the matter
contemplated by Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
On the other hand, intervention is defined as: 1: the act or fact of intervening:
INTERPOSITION; 2: interference that may affect the interests of others.

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Samala v. Palana, AC No. 6595, April 15, 2005


A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. To
this end, nothing should be done by any member of the legal fraternity which might
tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the public in the fidelity, honesty and
integrity of the profession.
Leda v. Tabang, AC No. 2505, Feb. 21, 1992
Courts are entitled to expect only complete candor and honesty from the
lawyers appearing and pleading before them.
It cannot be overemphasized that the requirement of 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 (People v.
Tuanda, Adm. Case No. 3360, 30 January 1990, 181 SCRA 692). As so aptly put
by Mr. Justice George A. Malcolm: "As good character is an essential qualification
for admission of an attorney to practice, when the attorney's character is bad in
such respects as to show that he is unsafe and unfit to be entrusted with the
powers of an attorney, the courts retain the power to discipline him (Piatt v.
Abordo, 58 Phil. 350 [1933]).
Camacho v. Panguluyan, AC No. 4807, March 22, 2000
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. 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 law.
Castillo v. Padilla, Jr. AC No. 2339, Feb. 24, 1984
Among the duties of an attorney are: (1) to observe and maintain the respect due to
the courts of justice; and (2) 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. The Canons of Professional Ethics
likewise exhort lawyers to avoid all personalities between counsel.
Andres v. Cabrera, AC No. 585, Dec. 14, 1979
The power to punish persons for contempt is inherent in all courts and essential to the
preservation of order in judicial proceedings and to the enforcement of their lawful
orders and decisions (Montalban v. Canonoy, 38 SCRA 1). A lawyer who uses
intemperate, abusive, abrasive or threatening language betrays disrespect to the court,
disgraces the Bar and invites the exercise by the court of its disciplinary power. (Surigao
Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, L-27072, Jan. 9, 1970, 31 SCRA 1; In re Almacen,
31 SCRA 562; Montecillo v. Gica, 6Q SCRA 234). Such power, however, should be
exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle and on the corrective
and not on the retaliatory idea of punishment. (Weigal v. Shuster, 11 Phil. 340;
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Villavicencio v. Lucban, 39 Phil. 778; People v. Marcos, 70 Phil. 468, 480; Victorino v.
Espiritu, 5 SCRA 653; Reliance Procoma, Inc. v. Phil-Asia Tobacco Corp., 57 SCRA 370,
Fontelera v. Amores, 70 SCRA 37). Furthermore, contempt power should not be utilized
for mere satisfaction of natural inclination to strike back at a party who has shown
lesser respect to the dignity of the court. (Royeca v. Animas, 71 SCRA 1).
Tolentino v. Baylosis, 110 Phil. 1010, 1 SCRA 396
It is the generally accepted rule that counsel, parties, or witnesses are exempted
from liability in libel or slander for words otherwise defamatory published in the
course of judicial proceedings, provided that the statements are connected with,
or relevant, pertinent or material to, the cause in hand or subject of inquiry (see
53 C.J.S. 170-171; Tupas vs. Parreno, et al., G.R. No. L-12545, April 30, 1959,
and authorities cited therein). For, as aptly observed in one case, while the
doctrine of privileged communications is liable to be abused, and its abuse may
lead to great hardships, yet to give legal sanction to such suits as the present
would, we think, give rise to far greater hardships.
TEST OF RELEVANCY: in order that matter alleged in a pleading may be
privileged, it need not be in every case material to the issues presented by the
pleadings. It must be legitimately related or so pertinent to the subject of
controversy that it may become the subject of inquiry in course of trial.
In Re Laureta, March 12, 1987, 148 SCRA 382
The constitutional right of freedom of speech or right to privacy cannot be used as a
shield for contemptuous acts against the Court.
Yap Tan v. Sabandal, BM No. 44, Nov. 29, 1983
Whether or not respondent shall be admitted to the Philippine Bar rests to a great
extent in the sound discretion of the Court. An applicant must satisfy the Court that
he is a person of good moral character, fit and proper to practice law.
Cambaliza v. Cristal-Tenorio, July 14, 2004
The lawyers duty to prevent, or at the very least not to assist in, the unauthorized
practice of law is founded on public interest and policy. Public policy requires that the
practice of law be limited to those individuals found duly qualified in education and
character. The permissive right conferred on the lawyer is an individual and limited
privilege subject to withdrawal if he fails to maintain proper standards of moral and
professional conduct. The purpose is to protect the public, the court, the client, and
the bar from the incompetence or dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice law and
not subject to the disciplinary control of the Court. It devolves upon a lawyer to see
that this purpose is attained. Thus, the canons and ethics of the profession enjoin him
not to permit his professional services or his name to be used in aid of, or to make
possible the unauthorized practice of law by, any agency, personal or corporate. And,
the law makes it a misbehavior on his part, subject to disciplinary action, to aid a
layman in the unauthorized practice of law.

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Republic v. Kenrick Development Corp., 529 Phil. 876 (2006)


Only the signature of either the party himself or his counsel operates to validly
convert a pleading from one that is unsigned to one that is signed. Counsels
authority and duty to sign a pleading are personal to him. He may not delegate
it to just any person. Procedural requirements which have been labeled as mere
technicalities have their own valid raison d eitre. To summarily brush them aside
may result in arbitrariness and injustice. Procedural rules are promulgated into
law designed to facilitate the adjudication of cases and while the court related
the rules from time to time, it must not let it be the last bastion for erring
litigants.
The signature of counsel constitutes an assurance by him 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. Under the Rules
of Court, it is counsel alone, by affixing his signature, who can certify to these
matters.
Cruz v. Mijares, G.R. No. 154464, September 11, 2008
Sec. 34 or Rule 138 recognizes the right of an individual to represent himself in any
case to which he is a party. The Rules state that a party may conduct his litigation
personally or with the aid of an attorney, and that his appearance must either be
personal or by a duly authorized member of the Bar. The individual litigant may
personally do everything in the course of proceedings from commencement to the
termination of the litigation. Considering that a party personally conducting his
litigation is restricted to the same rules of evidence and procedure as those qualified
to practice law, petitioner, not being a lawyer himself, runs the risk of falling into the
snares and hazards of his own ignorance. Therefore, Cruz as plaintiff, at his own
instance, can personally conduct the litigation. He would then be acting not as a counsel
or lawyer, but as a party exercising his right to represent himself.
Five J. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 11474, Aug. 22, 1994
Article 222 of the Labor Code, as amended by Section 3 of Presidential Decree
No. 1691, states that non-lawyers may appear before the NLRC or any labor
arbiter only (1) if they represent themselves, or (2) if they represent their
organization or the members thereof.
Furthermore, the statutory rule that an attorney shall be entitled to have and
recover from his client a reasonable compensation for his services necessarily
imports the existence of an attorney-client relationship as a condition for the
recovery of attorney's fees, and such relationship cannot exist unless the client's
representative is a lawyer.
Director of Lands v. Adorable, No. 8197, Oct. 2, 1946
Attorney Manuel F. Zamora, for the claimants and appellees, acting under the highest
standards of truthfulness, fair play and nobility as becomes a deserving member of the
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bar, instead of taking advantage of claimant-appellant's ignorance of what really


happened in the Court of Appeals, informed this court that the case had been decided
in favor of said claimant and appellant by the Court of Appeals, filing to said effect the
copy of the decision promulgated on September 9, 1942, sent to him by said court, to
save the appellant the trouble of waiting for the reconstitution of this case and this
tribunal the trouble of deciding again a case already decided.
Florido v. Florido, AC No. 5624, Jan. 20, 2004
Candor and fairness are demanded of every lawyer. 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 the defense of a
clients cause, it must never be at the expense of the truth.
A lawyers language should be forceful but dignified, emphatic but respectful as
befitting an advocate and in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession. The
lawyers arguments whether written or oral should be gracious to both court and
opposing counsel and should be of such words as may be properly addressed by
one gentlemen to another.
Erectors, Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. L-71177, Oct. 28, 1988
For a lawyers duty to his client does not mean freedom to set up false or fraudulent
claims especially with respect to provisions of law or administrative rules and that while
lawyers are bound to exert utmost legal skill in prosecuting their clients cause or
defending it, their duty, first and foremost, is to the administration of justice. The
office of attorney does not permit, much less demand, to support a clients case,
violation of law or otherwise, fraud or chicanery. A lawyer must obey his own
conscience and not that of his client.
Gavida v. Sales, Jr. G.R. No. 124893, April 18, 1997
Every pleading before the COMELEC must be printed, mimeographed or typewritten in
legal size bond paper and filed in at least ten (10) legible copies. Pleadings must be
filed directly with the proper Clerk of Court of the COMELEC personally, or, by
registered mail. Filing a pleading by facsimile transmission is not sanctioned by the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure, much less by the Rules of Court. A facsimile is not a
genuine and authentic pleading.
MCC Industrial Sales Corp. v. Ssangyong Corp. G.R. No. 170633, Oct. 17, 2007
Electronic document shall be regarded as the equivalent of an original document under
the Best Evidence Rule, as long as it is a printout or output readable by sight or other
means, showing to reflect the data accurately. Thus, to be admissible in evidence as
an electronic data message or to be considered as the functional equivalent of an
original document under the Best Evidence Rule, the writing must foremost be an
electronic data message or an electronic document.
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Bagasing v. Espanol, G.R. No. 133090, Jan. 19, 2001


But a lawyer should not be carried away in espousing his clients cause (Buenaseda
v. Flavier, 226 SCRA 645, 656). He should not forget that he is an officer of the
court, bound to exert every effort and placed under duty, to assist in the speedy
and efficient administration of justice pursuant to Canon 12, Canons of
Professional Responsibility (Gomez v. Presiding Judge, RTC, Br. 15, Ozamis City,
249 SCRA 432, 439). He should not , therefore, misuse the rules of procedure to
defeat the ends of justice per Rule 10.03. Canon 10 of the Canons of Professional
Responsibility, or unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or
misuse court processes, in accordance with Rule 12.04, Canon 12 of the same
Canons (Ibid).
Lawyers should be reminded that their primary duty is to assist the courts in the
administration of justice. Any conduct which tends to delay, impede or obstruct
the administration of justice contravenes such lawyers duty.
Ang v. Castro, G.R. No. 66371, May 15, 1985
The use of disrespectful or contemptuous language against a particular judge in
pleadings presented in another court or proceeding is indirect, not direct, contempt as
it is not tantamount to a misbehavior in the presence of or so near a court or judge as
to interrupt the administration of justice. Stated differently, if the pleading containing
derogatory, offensive or malicious statements is submitted in the same court or judge
in which the proceedings are pending, it is direct contempt because it is equivalent to
a misbehavior committed in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt
the administration of justice.
Rheem of the Phils. v. Ferrer, G.R. No. L-22979, June 26, 1967
By now, a lawyer's duties to the Court have become common place. Really, there could
hardly be any valid excuse for lapses in the observance thereof. Section 20 (b), Rule
138 of the Rules of Court, in categorical terms, spells out one such duty: "To observe
and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers." As explicit
is the first canon of legal ethics which pronounces that "[i]t 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 supreme importance."
That same canon, as a corollary, makes it peculiarly incumbent upon lawyers to support
the courts against "unjust criticism and clamor." And more. The attorney's oath solemnly
binds him to a conduct that should be "with all good fidelity . . . to the courts." Worth
remembering is that the duty of an attorney to the courts "can only be maintained by
rendering no service involving any disrespect to the judicial office which he is bound to
uphold."
Ceniza v. Sebastian, G.R. No. L-39914, July 2, 1984
Contempt power inay be availed of by a judge, who is the victim of insulting and
offensive epithets. A member of the bar as an officer of the court is not justified to use
vile and disrespectful language. If there be such a failing on his part, he cannot
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complain if he is adjudged guilty of contempt, Where the words appear in a pleading


submitted to the Court, that is contempt in facie curiae and therefore may be dealt
with in a summary manner.
Caoibes v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 132177, July 19, 2001
The Ombudsman cannot determine for itself and by itself whether a criminal complaint
against a judge, or court employee, involves an administrative matter. The Ombudsman
is duty bound to have all cases against judges and court personnel filed before it,
referred to the Supreme Court for determination as to whether and administrative
aspect is involved therein. This rule should hold true regardless of whether an
administrative case based on the act subject of the complaint before the Ombudsman
is already pending with the Court. For, aside from the fact that the Ombudsman would
not know of this matter unless he is informed of it, he should give due respect for and
recognition of the administrative authority of the Court, because in determining
whether an administrative matter is involved, the Court passes upon not only
administrative liabilities but also other administrative concerns, as is clearly conveyed
in the case of Maceda vs. Vasquez.
Angeles v. Desierto, G.R. No. 133077, Sept. 8, 2006
Time and again, the Court has ruled that the Ombudsman has the full discretion
to determine whether a criminal complaint should be dismissed or the necessary
Information be filed in the appropriate court. His determination and evaluation
of the adequacy of evidence in this regard are unfettered. His is an exercise of
powers based upon a constitutional mandate and the courts should not interfere
in such exercise.
Indeed, we have consistently ruled that unless there are good and compelling
reasons, we cannot interfere in the Ombudsman's exercise of his investigating
and prosecutory powers. Without good and compelling reasons to indicate
otherwise, the Court cannot freely interfere in the Ombudsman's exercise of his
investigatory and prosecutory powers. He may dismiss the complaint forthwith if
he finds it to be insufficient in form or substance or if he otherwise finds no
ground to continue with the inquiry; or he may proceed with the investigation if
the complaint is, in his view, in due and proper form. However, while the
Ombudsman has the full discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case
should be filed, the Court is not precluded from reviewing his action when there
is an abuse of discretion.
Laxina v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 153155, Sept. 30, 2005
At the onset, it must be stressed that the rule on forum-shopping applies only to
judicial cases or proceedings, and not to administrative cases.
The mandate of the Ombudsman to investigate complaints against erring public
officials, derived from both the Constitution and the law gives it jurisdiction over
the complaint against petitioner. The Constitution has named the Ombudsman
and his Deputies as the protectors of the people who shall act promptly on
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complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of


the government.
Diman v. Alumbres, 299 SCRA 459 (1998)
It is also the law which determines when a summary judgment is proper. It
declares that although the pleadings on their face appear to raise issues of fact
-- e.g., there are denials of, or a conflict in, factual allegations -- if it is shown
by admissions, depositions or affidavits, that those issues are sham, fictitious, or
not genuine, or, in the language of the Rules, that "except as to the amount of
damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entiled to a judgment as a matter of law, the Court shall render a
summary judgment for the plaintiff or the defendant as the case may be.
Parenthetically, the existence or appearance of ostensible issues in the
pleadings, on the one hand, and their sham or fictitious character, on the other,
are what distinguish a proper case for a summary judgment from one for a
judgment on the pleadings under Rule 19 of the 1964 Rules. In the latter case,
there is no ostensible issue at all, but the absence of any because of the failure
of the defending party's answer to raise an issue.
On the other hand, in the case of a summary judgment, issues apparently exist - i.e., facts are asserted in the complaint regarding which there is as yet no
admission, disavowal or qualification; or specific denials or affirmative defenses
are in truth set out in the answer -- but the issues thus arising from the pleadings
are sham, fictitious, not genuine, as shown by admissions, depositions or
admissions. In other words, as a noted authority remarks, a judgment on the
pleadings is a judgment on the facts as pleaded while a summary judgment is a
judgment on the facts as summarily proven by affidavits, depositions or
admissions. Another distinction is that while the remedy of a judgment on the
pleadings may be sought only by a claimant (one seeking to recover upon a claim,
counterclaim, or cross-claim or to obtain a declaratory relief, supra), a summary
judgment may be applied for by either a claimant or a defending party.
Re: Suspension of Atty. Bagabuyo, AC No. 7006, Oct. 9, 2007
Lawyers are licensed officers of the courts who are empowered to appear, prosecute
and defend; and upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities are devolved
by law as a consequence. Membership in the bar imposes upon them certain
obligations.[18] Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates a lawyer
to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers and [he]
should insist on similar conduct by others. Rule 11.05 of Canon 11 states that a lawyer
shall submit grievances against a judge to the proper authorities only.
P/Supt. Hansel Marantan v. Atty. Diokno, et al., G.R. No. 205956, Feb. 12, 2014
The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosure pertaining to the judicial
proceedings in order to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court or obstructing
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the administration of justice. A violation of this rule may render one liable for indirect
contempt under Sec. 3(d) Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.
In Re Almacen, G.R. No. L-27654, Feb. 18, 1970

For his intestiture into the legal profession places upon his shoulders no burden
more basic, more exacting and more imperative than that of respectful behavior toward
the courts.

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.
Cabansag v. Fernandez, G.R. No. L-8974, Oct. 18, 1957
Courts have the power to preserve their integrity and maintain their dignity without
which their administration of justice is bound to falter or fail. This is the preservative
power to punish for contempt. This power is inherent in all courts and essential to their
right of self- preservation. In order that it may conduct its business unhampered by
publications which tend to impair the impartiality of its decisions or otherwise obstruct
the administration of justice, the court will not hesitate to exercise it regardless of who
is affected. For, "as important as is the maintenance of an unmuzzled press and the
free exercise of the rights of the citizen is the maintenance of the independence of the
judiciary." The reason for this is that respect of the courts guarantees the stability of
their institution. Without such guaranty, said institution would be resting on a very
shaky foundation.
People v. Nadera, Jr. 324 SCRA 490, 2000
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 safeguard the accused's
fundamental rights.
Atty. Brotonel, as counsel de oficio, had the duty to defend his client and protect
his rights, no matter how guilty or evil he perceives accused-appellant to be.
The performance of this duty was all the more imperative because the life of
accused-appellant hangs in the balance. His duty was no less because he was
counsel de oficio.
People v. Espina, 45 SCRA 614, 1972
the decision aforementioned be set aside and that the case be remanded to the lower
court for new trial, upon the authority of several decisions of this Court, 1 there being
nothing in the record to indicate that the meaning of the charges preferred against the
defendants had been adequately explained to them and that they were reasonably
posted on the import of the plea of guilty entered by them.
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Francisco v. Portugal, AC No. 6155, March 14, 2006


The rule in this jurisdiction is that a client has the absolute right to terminate the
attorney-client relation at anytime with or without cause. The right of an attorney to
withdraw or terminate the relation other than for sufficient cause is, however,
considerably restricted. Among the fundamental rules of ethics is the principle that an
attorney who undertakes to conduct an action impliedly stipulates to carry it to its
conclusion. He is not at liberty to abandon it without reasonable cause. A lawyers right
to withdraw from a case before its final adjudication arises only from the clients
written consent or from a good cause.
Villafuerte v. Cortez, G.R. No. 3455, April 14, 1998
A lawyer's fidelity to the cause of his client requires him to be ever mindful of the
responsibilities that should be expected of him.[3] He is mandated to exert his best
efforts to protect, within the bounds of the law, the interests of his client. The Code
of Professional Responsibility cannot be any clearer in its dictum than when it has stated
that a "lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence," decreeing further
that he "shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him."

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