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*CANON 15 RULES 15.01 and 15.

April 27, 2001
Respondent Mercedes Nava filed a complaint against petitioner Hector Teodosio
for allegedly having violated Rule 15.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Petitioner represented one Melanie Batislaong while acting as counsel for Leticia
Espinosa and Ma. Gilda Palma. Nava was the manager of Batislaongs lending business
where Espinosa and Palma are clients. Batislaong charged Nava for accounting
mismanagement and damages and in turn the latter sued Batislaong, Espinosa and Palma
with estafa. The petitioner admits that the latter three were his clients, however, the cases
are not conflicting and is in fact of common interest. The IBP recommended the dismissal
of the complaint for lack of merit.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner attorney has violated Rule 15.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.
Rule 15.01 of the Code provides that: A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective
client, shall ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter would involve a conflict
with another client or his own interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective
client. In the case at bar, the Supreme Court finds that the conduct of the petitioner is not
tantamount to a violation of the rule. It is only against the respondent Nava with whom
Atty. Teodosio has conflict of interest. The petitioner explained to his clients the
consequences of his representation and they gave consent to the same. Even assuming
that the interests of his clients were conflicting, the danger that the Attorney may abuse
his clients confidences to the detriment of the other is wanting in this case. The
complaint against Atty. Hector Teodosio is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
November 14, 2012
Complainant Victor G. Seares, Jr. commenced the case against respondent Atty.
Saniata V. Gonzales-Alzate for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility
particularly the Canons on conflict of interests. The petitioner alleged that the respondent
was his legal counsel when he ran for office as Mayor of Dolores, Abra. That when he
lost, the respondent Attorney filed a Petition of Protest Ad Cautelam in his behalf but
was dismissed. On 2010, Seares Jr. ran again for the same post and won. Barely two

months in office, one Carlito Turqueza charged the petitioner with abuse of authority,
oppression and grave misconduct. Carlito Turqueza was allegedly represented by Atty.
Gonzales-Alzate. The respondent now refutes the allegations by explaining that she was
engaged as legal counsel in the May 2010 only by Dominic Valera and Pres. Aquino,
neither whom Seares, Jr.s political opponent; that Carlito Turqueza used to be a political
ally of Seares Jr.; that she disclosed to Turqueza her having once acted as a counsel for
Seares, Jr.; that Seares, Jr. did not object her legal representation of Turqueza; and that the
2007 election protest that she handled for the petitioner was unrelated to the
administrative complaint filed by Turqueza in 2010.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is conflicting interest in the legal representation by the
attorney and a violation of Rule 15.01 of the Code of Professional
The court finds that the charges of Seares, Jr. is bereft of merit. The code in Canon
15 prohibits an attorney from representing a party in a controversy that is either directly
or indirectly related to the subject matter of a previous litigation involving another client.
The representation by the respondent of Turqueza neither resulted in betrayal of fidelity
and loyalty she owed to the petitioner, nor invited unfaithfulness or double dealing in the
performance of her duties as an attorney. The attorney should be shown to intentionally
use against the former client the confidential information acquired by her during the
previous employment. In the case at bar, there is no indication that the attorney gained
confidential information during her previous engagement. It is notable that the petitioner
expressly agreed to the respondent Attorneys representation of Turqueza in the latters
administrative case against him. The court thus DISMISSED the administrative
complaints against Atty. Saniata V. Gonzales-Alzate.
July 3, 2007
Complainant Ma. Luisa Hadjula filed a disbarment case against respondent Atty.
Roceles F. Madianda for violations of Art. 209 of the Revised Penal Code; Rule 15.02
and 21.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The parties in this case used to be
friends are working at the Bureau of Fire Protection. The complainant approached the
respondent for legal advise, in the course which confidential matters were disclosed, only
to be informed later that the latter would refer her case to a lawyer friend. It was
malicious of the respondent to have refused handling her case only after she already
disclosed her secrets and matters confidential. In her counter-affidavit, Atty. Madianda
denied having rendered legal advice to the complainant and dismissed that a lawyer-client
relationship ever existed between them. To add, the supposed confidential data and
sensitive documents adverted to are but matters of common knowledge in the Bureau of

Fire Protection, their common work place. The IBP recommends the otherwise stating
that the information related is protected under attorney-client privilege communication.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is violation of Rule 15.02 in the case at bar.
The Supreme Court agrees with the IBP recommendation. Rule 15.02 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility states that: A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on
privilege communication in respect of matters disclosed to him by a prospective client.
In this case, the moment complainant approached the then receptive respondent to seek
legal advice, a veritable lawyer-client relationship evolved between the two and among
the burdens of the relationship is that which enjoins a lawyer to keep inviolate
confidential information acquired or revealed during legal consultations. Thus, Atty.
Roceles F. Madianda is REPRIMANDED and STERNLY WARNED against a repetition
of the same or similar act complained of.
May 26, 2005
Complainant Rosa F. Mercado filed the disbarment case against Atty. Julito D.
Vitriolo having maliciously instituted a criminal case for falsification of public
documents against her. The criminal case was allegedly based on confidential information
gained from their attorney-client relationship when the complainant engaged in the
services of the respondent for her annulment case. The complaint for falsification of
public document disclosed confidential facts and information relating to the civil case for
annulment. The IBP found the respondent guilty of violating the rule on privileged
communication between attorney and client, recommending his suspension from the
practice of law for one year.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is violation of Rule 15.02 of the Code of Professional
The complaint against respondent is bereft of merit. The mere relation of attorney
and client does not raise a presumption of confidentiality. The client must intend the
communication to be confidential. A confidential communication refers to information
transmitted by voluntary act of disclosure between attorney and client in confidence and
by means which, so far as the client is aware, discloses the information to no third person
other than on reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information or the
accomplishment of the purpose for which it was given. In the case at bar, it was noted
that the complainant did not even specify the alleged communication in confidence
disclosed by the respondent. Without such, it is impossible to determine if there was any

violation of the rule on privileged communication. Such confidential information is a

crucial link in establishing a breach of the rule on privileged communication between
attorney and client. The burden of proving that the privilege applies is placed upon the
party asserting the privilege. The complaint against Atty. Julito D. Vitriolo is
DISMISSED for lack of merit.