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Code of Professional Responsibility

Chapter 1: Lawyer and Society

7. not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of

an action or proceeding, or delay any mans cause for any corrupt motive or

CANON 1 A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land
and promote respect for law and for legal processes

8. never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause

of the defenseless or oppressed;

Duties of Attorneys:
1. to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to
support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines;

9. in the defense of a person accused of a crime, by all fair and

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

2. to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and
judicial officers;

Rule 1.01
A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful conduct.

3. to counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear

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

Conviction for crimes involving moral turpitude a number of lawyers

have been suspended or disbarred for conviction of crimes involving moral
turpitude such as: Estafa, bribery, murder, seduction, abduction, Smuggling,
falsification of public documents

4. to employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to

him, such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek
to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of
fact or law;
5. to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to
preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in
connection with his clients business except from him or with his knowledge
and approval;
6. 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;

Morality as understood in law This is a human standard based on natural

moral law which is embodied in mans conscience and which guides him to do
good and avoid evil.
Moral Turpitude: any thing that is done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty
or good morals.
Immoral Conduct: 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.
Grossly Immoral Conduct: One that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a
criminal act or so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high

degree; it is a WILLFUL, FLAGRANT or SHAMELESS ACT which shows a

MORAL INDIFFERENCE to the opinion of respectable members of the
Rule 1.02 A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of
the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.
Rule 1.03 A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage
any suit or proceeding or delay any mans cause.
Rule 1.04 A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle the
controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.
If a lawyer finds that his clients cause is defenseless, it is his burden/duty to
advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the
It is unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring a lawsuit, except
in rare cases where the blood, relationship or trust makes it his duty to do so.
Temper clients propensity to litigate.
Should not be an instigator of controversy but a mediator for concord and
conciliator for compromise.
The law violated need not be a penal law. Moral Turpitude everything
which is done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals.
Give advice tending to impress upon the client and his undertaking exact
compliance with the strictest principles of moral law.
Until a statute shall have been construed and interpreted by competent
adjudication, he is free and is entitled to advise as to its validity and as to what
he conscientiously believes to be its just meaning and extent.

A lawyer has the obligation not to encourage suits. This is so as to prevent

barratry and ambulance chasing.
Barratry offense of frequently exciting and stirring up quarrels and suits,
either at law or otherwise; Lawyers act of fomenting suits among individuals
and offering his legal services to one of them.
Ambulance Chasing Act of chasing victims of accidents for the purpose of
talking to the said victims (or relatives) and offering his legal services for the
filing of a case against the person(s) who caused the accident(s).
CANON 2 A lawyer shall make his legal services available in an efficient
and convenient manner compatible with the independence, integrity and
effectiveness of the profession.
Rule 2.01
A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of
the defenseless or oppressed.
Rule 2.02 In such a case, even if a lawyer does not accept a case, he shall
not refuse to render legal advise to the person concerned if only to the extent
necessary to safeguard latters rights.
Rule 2.03 a lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
primarily to solicit legal business.
Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from
1. duty of service, of which the emolument is a by product, and in
which one may attain the highest eminence without making such money;
2. a relation as an officer of court to the administration of justice
involving thorough sincerity, integrity and reliability;
3. a relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary;
4. a relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness

and unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising and

encroachment on their practice or dealing with their clients.
Defenseless not in the position to defend themselves due to poverty,
weakness, ignorance or other similar reasons.
Oppressed victims of acts of cruelty, unlawful exaction, domination or
excessive use of authority.

convenience of the profession, is not objectionable.

Advertisements or simple announcement of the existence of a lawyer or his
law firm posted anywhere it is proper such as his place of business or
residence except courtrooms and government buildings.
Advertisements or announcement in any legal publication, including books,
journals, and legal magazines.

Rule on Advertisements

Rule 2.04
A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily or
prescribed, unless circumstances so warrant.

General Rule: No advertisements allowed. The most worthy and effective

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

A lawyer cannot delay the approval of a compromise agreement entered into

between parties, just because his attorneys fees were not provided for in the

Lawyers may not advertise their services or expertise nor should not resort to
indirect advertisements for professional employment, such as furnishing or
inspiring newspaper comments, or procuring his photograph to be published
in connection with causes in which the lawyer has been engaged or
concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the interest
involved, the importance of the lawyers position, and all other self-laudation.

Rule: A lawyer cannot compromise the case without clients consent (special

Exceptions/ Permissible advertisements:

Reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with the standards of conduct
imposed by the canons, of brief biographical and informative data, are
Ordinary simple professional Card. It may contain only a statement of his
name, the name of the law firm which he is connected with, address,
telephone number and the special branch of law practiced.
A simple announcement of the opening of a law firm or of changes in the
partnership, associates, firm name or office address, being for the

Exception: Lawyer has exclusive management of the procedural aspect of

the litigation (e.g. Submission for decision on the evidence so far presented.
But in case where lawyer is confronted with an emergency and prompt/urgent
action is necessary to protect clients interest and theres no opportunity for
consultation, the lawyer may compromise.
Rule: Refrain from charging rates lower than the customary rates.
Valid Justification: relatives, co-lawyers, too poor
CANON 3 A lawyer in making known is legal services shall use only true,
honest, fair dignified and objective information or statement of facts.
Rule 3.01 A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent,
misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-auditory or unfair statement or claim
regarding his qualifications or legal services.

Violation of Rule 3.01 is unethical, whether done by him personally or through

another with his permission.
Rule 3.02 In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading, or assumed
name shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is
permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communication that said
partner is deceased.
Rule 3.03 Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from the
firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law allows
him to practice law concurrently.
Rule 3.04 A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives
of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal
It is unethical to use the name of a foreign firm. Death of a partner does not
extinguish attorney-client relationship with the law firm. Negligence of a
member in the law firm is negligence of the firm.
CANON 4 A lawyer shall participate in the improvement of the legal system
by initiating or supporting efforts in law reform and in the administration of
Examples: Presenting position papers or resolutions for the introduction of
pertinent bills in congress; Petitions with the Supreme Court for the
amendment of the Rules of Court.
CANON 5 A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal developments, participate in
continuing legal education programs, support efforts to achieve high
standards in law schools as well as in the practical training of students and
assist in disseminating information regarding the law and jurisprudence.

Objectives of integration of the Bar

To elevate the standards of the legal profession
To improve the administration of justice
To enable the Bar to discharge its responsibility more effectively.
The three-fold obligation of a lawyer
First, he owes it to himself to continue improving his knowledge of the laws;
Second, he owes it to his profession to take an active interest in the
maintenance of high standards of legal education;
Third, he owes it to the lay public to make the law a part of their social
These canons shall apply to lawyers in government service in the
discharge of their official tasks.
Public Officials include elective and appointive officials and employees,
permanent or temporary, whether in the career or non-career service,
including military and police personnel, whether or not they receive
compensation, regardless of amount. (Sec. 3 (b), RA 6713).
The law requires the observance of the following norms of conduct by every
public official in the discharge and execution of their official duties:
commitment to public interest
justness and sincerity
political neutrality
responsiveness to the public
nationalism and patriotism
commitment to democracy
simple living (Sec. 4, RA 6713)

Rule 6.01 The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not
to convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the
concealment of witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the
accused is highly reprehensible and is cause of disciplinary action.
Rule 6.02 A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public
position to promote or advance his private interest, nor allow the latter to
interfere with his public duties.
Rule 6.03 A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept
engagements or employment in connection with any matter in which he had
intervened while in said service.
Various ways a government lawyer leaves government service:
expiration of the term of office
Q: What are the pertinent statutory provisions regarding this Rule?
A: Sec. 3 (d) RA 3019 as amended and Sec. 7 (b), RA 6713
Sec 3. Corrupt practice of Public Officers. In addition to acts or omission of
public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute
corrupt practice of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
(d) accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a
private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the
pendency thereof or within one year after termination.
Section 7 (b) of RA 6713 prohibits officials from doing any of the following

own, control, manage or accept employment as officer, employee, consultant,

counsel, broker, agent, trustee or nominee in any private enterprise regulated,
supervised or licensed by their office unless expressly allowed by law.
These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of one (1) year after
resignation, retirement, or separation from public office, except in the case of
subparagraph (b) (2) above, but the professional concerned cannot practice
his profession in connection with any matter before the office he used to be
with, in which case the one year prohibition shall likewise apply.
Lawyers in the government service are prohibited to engage in the private
practice of their profession unless authorized by the constitution or law,
provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official
Misconduct in office as a public official may be a ground for disciplinary action
(if of such character as to affect his qualification as lawyer or to show moral
Should recommend the acquittal of the accused whose conviction is on
appeal, IF he finds no legal basis to sustain the conviction.
Includes restriction is representing conflicting interest (e.g. Accepting
engagements vs. former employer, PNB)
The OSG is not authorized to represent a public official at any state of a
criminal case.