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CASE

In Re: Luis Tagorda

FACTS
-Before election, Luis Tagorda
campaigned ,by using a card
written in Ilocano and Spanish,
that he is a lawyer and a notary
public; that as a notary public, he
can do notarial acts such as
execution of deed of sale, etc.;
that as a lawyer, he can help
clients collect debts, that he offers
free consultation and that he is
willing to serve the poor.
-When he won as provincial
board member, he wrote a letter
to the barrio lieutenant advising
the latter that even though he was
elected, he can still practice law
and that he wants the lieutenant
to tell the same to his people.

ISSUE
W/N Tagorda is guilty
of malpractice?

RULING
YES.
-The practice of soliciting cases at law for
the purpose of gain, either personal or
through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice.
-The court reiterate that the most worthy
and effective advertisement possible, even
for young lawyers and especially with his
brother lawyers, 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. Solicitation of
business by circulars or advertisements, or
by personal communications or interviews
not warranted by personal relations, is
unprofessional. It is equally unprofessional
to procure business by indirection through
touters of any kind, whether allied real
estate firms or trust companies advertising
to secure the drawing of deeds or wills or
offering retainers in exchange for
executorships or trusteeships to be
influenced by the lawyer. Indirect
advertisement for business by furnishing or
inspiring newspaper comments concerning
the manner of their conduct, the magnitude
of the interests involved, the importance of
the lawyers position, and all other like selflaudation, defy the traditions and lower the
tone of our high calling, and are intolerable.
-Tagordas liability is however mitigated by
the fact that he is a young inexperienced
lawyer and that he was unaware of the
impropriety of his acts. So instead of being

Adriano Dacanay vs Baker


& McKenzie

-In a letter of respondent Vicente


Torres, using letter head of Baker
& McKenzie, which contains
names of 10 lawyers, asking
Clurman for the release of 87
shares of Cathay Products Intl,
Inc. to H.E. Gabriel, a client.
-Atty. Dacanay, in his reply,
denied any liability of Clurman to
Gabriel. He requested that he be
informed whether the lawyer of
Gabriel is B&M and if not, what is
the purpose in using the
letterhead of another law office.
Without receiving nay reply, he
filed instant complaint.

W/N using a foreign


law office name can
be allowed?

Jose Uy and Rizalinda Uy


vs. Judge Teresita DizonCapulong

-Respondent judge is charged


with gross ignorance of the law
and grave misconduct in a
complaint filed by spouses Uy
relative to the settlement of the
estate of the late Ambrocio
Pingco.

W/N respondent
judge committed
gross ignorance of
law and grave
misconduct for
disregarding the
decision of CA?

disbarred, he was suspended from the


practice of law for a month.
NO.
-The court held that B&M, being an alien law
firm, cannot practice law in the Phil.
-As admitted by the respondents in their
memorandum, B&M is a professional
partnership organized in Chicago with
members and associates around the world.
Respondent is a member of the Phil. Bar
and a member of B&M.
-As pointed out by Sol Gen, respondents
use of the firm name B&M constitutes a
representation that being associated with
the firm they could render legal services of
the highest quality to multinational business
enterprises and other engaged in foreign
trade and investment. This is unethical
because B&M is not authorized to practice
law here in the Phils.
-WHEREFORE, respondents are enjoined
from practicing law under the firm name
B&M.
YES.
-The court says that the charges against
respondent are clearly meritorious and
supported by the records. Hence, there is no
need to conduct a formal investigation if only
to determine her culpability as it is well
documented. Her orders and those of the
appellate courts display her open defiance
of higher judicial authority. In Special
Proceedings No. 335-V-88 pending before
her sala, respondent Judge committed the
following highly irregular and questionable
acts indicative of gross ignorance of the law

and grave misconduct prejudicial to the


public interest, (a) respondent Judge
cancelled on mere motion of a party the
titles of complainants Uy and Rizalina
Cortes, who were not parties to the case, to
the great prejudice of the latter; (b) issued 2
orders which disregarded the Decision of the
CA annulling her disputed Order on June (c)
issued another order authorizing the sale of
the other properties previously titled in the
complainant (d issued still 2 more orders
approving deeds of sale even after this
Court had already affirmed the Decision of
the CA annulling her Order
These actuations of respondent Judge
clearly stress her blatant disobedience to the
lawful orders of superior courts and belie
any claim that she rendered the erroneous
orders in good faith as would excuse her
from administrative liability.
-The court emphasize that the judge is the
visible representation of law and justice from
whom the people draw their will and
awareness to obey the law. For the judge to
return that regard, the latter must be the first
to abide by the law and weave an example
for the others to follow. The judge should be
studiously careful to avoid even the slightest
infraction of the law. To fulfill this mission,
the judge should keep abreast of the law,
the rulings and doctrines of this Court. If the
judge is already aware of them, the latter
should not deliberately refrain from applying
them, otherwise such omission can never be
excused.

-In cancelling the titles of complainants over


their properties on mere motion of a party
and without affording them due process,
respondent Judge violated her sworn
obligation to uphold the law and promote the
administration of justice. It has been held
that if the law is so elementary, not to know
it or to act as if one does not know it,
constitutes gross ignorance of the law.
-Moreover, the total disregard by respondent
Judge of Our Resolution of 8 March 1991
cannot be condoned. Therein, the court
affirmed the Decision of the CA declaring
her to have exceeded her jurisdiction in
cancelling the titles of complainants.
Nonetheless, respondent Judge chose not
to heed our pronouncement. She issued 2
more orders approving the sale to other
persons of the remaining properties which
were titled in the name of complainants. We
consider this willful disobedience and
continued disregard of our resolution as
grave and serious misconduct. Indeed,
respondent Judge displayed open defiance
to our authority and utterly failed to show
proper respect for, and due and needed
cooperativeness with resolutions of this
Court. As Justice Abad Santos articulated,
The power of the judiciary rests upon the
faith of the people and the integrity of the
courts.
-WHEREFORE, Judge Capulong is guilty of
gross ignorance of law and grave
misconduct prejudicial to the interest of the

Omar Ali vs Atty. Mosib


Bubong

This is a verified petition for


disbarment filed against Atty.
Mosib Ali Bubong for having been
found guilty of grave misconduct
while holding the position of
Register of Deeds of Marawi City.

W/N respondent may


be disbarred for
grave misconduct?

judicial service; consequently, she is hereby


DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture
of all retirement benefits, with prejudiced to
the reinstatement and reemployment in any
branch of the government or any of its
agencies, including govt owned or controlled
ops.
YES.
-The Code of 0rofessional Responsibility
does not cease to apply to a lawyer simply
because he has joined the government
service. In fact, by the express provision of
Canon 6 thereof, The rules governing the
conduct of lawyers shall apply to lawyers in
government service in the discharge of their
official tasks. Thus, where a lawyers
misconduct as a government official is of
such nature 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. Although the general
rule is that a lawyer who holds a government
office may not be disciplined as a member of
the bar for infractions he committed as a
government official, he may, however, be
disciplined as a lawyer if his misconduct
constitutes a violation of his oath a member
of the legal profession.
-In the case of Collantes vs Atty.
Renomeron, Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro
quoted, A person takes an oath when he is
admitted to the bar which is designed to
impress upon him his responsibilities. He
thereby becomes an officer of the court on
whose shoulders rests the grave

responsibility of assisting the courts in the


proper, fair, speedy and efficient
administration of justice. As an officer of the
court he is subject to a rigid discipline that
demands that in his every exertion the only
criterion be that truth and justice triumph.
This discipline is what has given the law
profession its nobility, its prestige, its exalted
place. From a lawyer, to paraphrase Justice
Felix Frankfurter, are expected those
qualities of truth-speaking, a high sense of
honor, full candor, intellectual honesty, and
the strictest observance of fiduciary
responsibility all of which, throughout the
centuries, have been compendiously
described as moral character.
-Similarly, in Vitriolo vs Dasig, the court
explained, A lawyer in public office is
expected not only to refrain from any act or
omission which might tend to lessen the
trust and confidence of the citizenry in
government, she must also uphold the
dignity of the legal profession at all times
and observe a high standard of honesty and
fair dealing. Otherwise said, a lawyer in
government service is a keeper of the public
faith and is burdened with high degree of
social responsibility, perhaps higher than
her brethren in private practice.
-In the case at bar, respondents grave
misconduct, as established by the Office of
the President and subsequently affirmed by
this Court, deals with his qualification as a
lawyer. By taking advantage of his office as

the Register of Deeds of Marawi City and


employing his knowledge of the rules
governing land registration for the benefit of
his relatives, respondent had clearly
demonstrated his unfitness not only to
perform the functions of a civil servant but
also to retain his membership in the bar.
Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility is explicit on this matter.
Rule 6.02 A lawyer in the government
service shall not use his public position to
promote or advance his private interests, nor
allow the latter to interfere with his public
duties.
-Respondents conduct manifestly
undermined the peoples confidence in the
public office he used to occupy and cast
doubt on the integrity of the legal profession.
The ill-conceived use of his knowledge of
the intricacies of the law calls for nothing
less than the withdrawal of his privilege to
practice law.
As we have previously explained in the case
of Irene Rayos-Ombac v. Atty. Orlando A.
Rayos, A case of suspension or disbarment
may proceed regardless of interest or lack
of interest of the complainant. What matters
is whether, on the basis of the facts borne
out by the record, the charge of deceit and
grossly immoral conduct has been duly
proven. This rule is premised on the nature
of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding for
suspension or disbarment is not in any
sense a civil action where the complainant
is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a

defendant. Disciplinary proceedings involve


no private interest and afford no redress for
private grievance. They are undertaken and
prosecuted solely for the public welfare.
They are undertaken for the purpose of
preserving courts of justice from the official
ministration of persons unfit to practice in
them. The attorney is called to answer to the
court for his conduct as an officer of the
court. The complainant or the person who
called the attention of the court to the
attorneys alleged misconduct is in no sense
a party, and has generally no interest in the
outcome except as all good citizens may
have in the proper administrative of justice.

Fortunato Suarez vs.


Servillano Platon

Suarez was charged with sedition


which was subsequently
dismissed. He in turn filed a case
for arbitrary detention against
Lieutenant Orais. After the case
was handed to Judge Platon
following several changes in trial
judge and several refusals by
fiscals to prosecute the case.

Should mandamus
issue to compel the
fiscal to reinstate the
case?

-WHEREFORE, respondent is DISBARRED


and his name ordered stricken from the Roll
of Attorneys.
YES.
-It is unquestionable that in the proper
cases, the prosecutors must reinvestigate in
order to properly dispense justice. At the
same time, it must be kept in mind that a
prosecutor is the representative of a
sovereignty
-He is interested only in the fact that justice
is served, and this also includes his refusing
to prosecute if the innocence of the accused
is quite clear. He is a servant of the law, and
his two-fold aim is not to let the guilty
escape nor let the innocent suffer. He is not
at liberty to strike foul blows because it is his
duty to refrain from doing so as much as it is
to use legitimate methods of prosecution.

PCGG vs Sandiganbayan

-GENBANK encountered financial


difficulties. Later on, Central Bank
issued a resolution declaring
GENBANK insolvent.
-Former Sol Gen Mendoza filed a
petition with the then CFI praying
for the assistance and
supervision of the court in
GENBANK's liquidation.
-After EDSA 1, Pres. Aquino
established the PCGG for the
purpose of recovering ill gotten
wealth. The PCGG, on July 17,
1987, filed with the
Sandiganbayan a complaint for
'reversion, reconveyance,
restitution, accounting and
damages against respondents
Tan, et al. so PCGG issued
several writs of sequestration on
properties allegedly acquired by
the above-named persons by
taking advantage of their close
relationship and influence with
former President Marcos. These
respondents were represented by
Mendoza.
-PCGG filed motions to disqualify
respondent Mendoza as counsel
for respondents. The motions
alleged that respondent
Mendoza, as then Solicitor
General and counsel to Central
Bank, 'actively intervened in the
liquidation of GENBANK, which
was subsequently acquired by

W/N Rule 6.03 of the


Code of Professional
Responsibility applies
to respondent
Mendoza?

NO
-The matter or the act of respondent
Mendoza as Solicitor General involved in the
case at bar is 'advising the Central Bank, on
how to proceed with the said bank's
liquidation and even filing the petition for its
liquidation with the CFI of . In fine, the Court
should resolve whether his act of advising
the Central Bank on the legal procedure to
liquidate GENBANK is included within the
concept of 'matter under Rule 6.03.
-The 'matter where he got himself involved
was in informing Central Bank on the
procedure provided by law to liquidate
GENBANK thru the courts and in filing the
necessary petition. The subject 'matter of
Sp. Proc. No. 107812, therefore, is not the
same nor is related to but is different from
the subject 'matter in Civil Case No. 0096
which is about the sequestration of the
shares of respondents Tan, et al.
-The jurisdiction of the PCGG does not
include the dissolution and liquidation of
banks. It goes without saying that Code 6.03
of the Code of Professional Responsibility
cannot apply to respondent Mendoza
because his alleged intervention while a
Solicitor General in Sp. Proc. No. 107812 is
an intervention on a matter different from the
matter involved in Civil Case No. 0096.
-Secondly, the supposed intervention of
Mendoza in the liquidation case is not
significant and substantial. We note that the

respondents Tan, et al. and


became Allied Banking
Corporation.
-The motions to disqualify
invoked Rule 6.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Rule
6.03 prohibits former government
lawyers from accepting
engagement or employment in
connection with any matter in
which he had intervened while in
said service.

petition filed merely seeks the assistance of


the court in the liquidation of GENBANK.
The principal role of the court in this type of
proceedings is to assist the Central Bank in
determining claims of creditors against the
GENBANK.
-Also, The disqualification of respondent
Mendoza has long been a dead issue. For a
fact, the recycled motion for disqualification
in the case at bar was filed more than four
years after the filing of the petitions for
certiorari, prohibition and injunction with the
Supreme Court which were subsequently
remanded to the Sandiganbayan. At the very
least, the circumstances under which the
motion to disqualify in the case at bar were
refiled put petitioner's motive as highly
suspect.
-It is also submitted that the Court should
apply Rule 6.03 in all its strictness for it
correctly disfavors lawyers who 'switch
sides. It is claimed that 'switching sides'
carries the danger that former government
employee may compromise confidential
official information in the process. But this
concern does not cast a shadow in the case
at bar. As afore-discussed, the act of
respondent Mendoza in informing the
Central Bank on the procedure how to
liquidate GENBANK is a different matter
from the subject matter of Civil Case No.
0005 which is about the sequestration of the
shares of respondents Tan, et al., in Allied
Bank. There is no switching sides for there

were no sides.