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Topic: Canon 8

Title: CAMACHO v PANGULAYAN


Reference: AC No. 4807 March 22, 2000

FACTS
9 students of AMA were expelled for having apparently caused to be
published objectionable features or articles in theschool paper.
Denial of the appeal to AMA PresidentAguiluz gave rise to Civil Case
97-30549.
CAMACHO was the hired counsel of the expelled students in an action
for theIssuance of a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injuction in the said
civil case.
While the civil case was still pending, letters of apology and Re-
admission Agreementswere separately executed by the expelled
students without the knowledge of CAMACHO.
CAMACHO filed a complaint against lawyers comprising the
PANGULAYAN AND ASSOCIATES Law firm (lawyers of AMA) because
without his knowledge they procured and effected on separate
occasions compromise agreements (letters of apology and Re-
admission Agreements) with 4 of his clients which in effect required
them to waive all kinds of claims they may have with AMA.
CAMACHO averred that such an act was unbecoming of any member of
the legal profession warranting either disbarment or suspension.
PANGULAYAN in his defense claimed that theagreements were
executed for the solepurpose of effecting the settlement of
anadministrative case

ISSUES
Whether or not Pangulayan and Associates should be
suspended/disbarred?

RULINGS
YES. It would appear that when individual letters of apology and Re-
admission Agreements were formalized, CAMACHO was already the
retained counsel of the expelled AMA students. PANGULAYAN and
associates having full knowledge of this fact still proceeded to negotiate
with the expelled AMA students and their parents without at least
communicating the matter to their lawyer CAMACHO. This failure of
PANGULAYAN and associates, whether by design or oversight, is an
excusable violation of the canons ofprofession ethics and in utter disregard
of a duty owing to a colleague. The excuse that agreements were
executed for settling the administrative case was belied by the
Manifestation which states, 9 signatories agreed among others to
terminate ALL civil, criminl and administrative proceedings they may have
against AMA arising from their previous dismissal. Hence, PANGULAYAN
should be suspended for 3 month.
A lawyers should not in any way communicate uponthe subject of
controversy with a party representedby counsel, much less should he
undertake tonegotiate or compromise the matter with him butshould only
deal with his counsel.

Topic: Canon 8
Title: WILFREDO T. GARCIA vs. ATTY. BENIAMINO A. LOPEZ
Reference: A.C. No. 6422 August 28, 2007
FACTS
Complainant was the counsel of the late Angelina Sarmiento.
Sarmiento sought the registration and confirmation of her title over a
376,397 sq. m. tract of land which was granted by the court.
The decision became final and executory and the RTC directed the
Land Registration Authority (LRA) to issue the decree of registration and
certificate of title. The LRA failed to comply, prompting the complainant to
file an urgent motion to cite the LRA administrator or his representative in
contempt of court.
On September 19, 2002, respondent, claiming to be the counsel of the
heirs of Sarmiento, filed his entry of appearance and motion for
postponement.
Complainant alleged that he was surprised by this, considering that he
had not withdrawn from the case. He contended that respondent should
be sanctioned for misrepresenting to the court that he was the counsel of
all the heirs of Sarmiento and omitting to mention that complainant was
the counsel of record. According to him, his attorney's fee was arranged on
a contingent basis and therefore, the attempt of respondent to enter his
appearance at the final stage of the proceedings was tantamount to
"unfair harvesting" of the fruit of complainant's labors since 1996.
Complainant presented an affidavit executed by Gina Jarvia and
Alfredo Ku wherein they stated that they did not engage the services of
respondent and that they recognized complainant as their only counsel of
record.
In his defense, respondent claimed that he was merely representing
Zenaida and Wilson Ku who sought his help and told him that they wanted
to retain his services. They allegedly did not have a lawyer to represent
them in a hearing scheduled the next day. Because of the scheduled
hearing, he had to immediately file an entry of appearance with motion for
postponement. He asserted that it was an honest mistake not to have
listed the names of his clients. He claimed it was not deliberate and did
not prejudice anyone. He insisted that he had no intention of
misrepresenting himself to the court.

ISSUES
Whether or not respondent is guilty of misrepresentation and violation
of Rule 8.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility?

RULINGS
Yes. Respondent is guilty of misrepresentation and violation of Rule
8.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) when he failed to
specify in his entry of appearance the individuals he was representing.
Lawyers are officers of the court who are empowered to appear,
prosecute and defend the causes of their clients. The law imposes on them
peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities. Membership in the bar
imposes on them certain obligations. They are duty bound to uphold the
dignity of the legal profession. They must act honorably, fairly and
candidly towards each other and otherwise conduct themselves beyond
reproach at all times.
Complainant was the counsel of Sarmiento, the original applicant.
Upon her death, the attorney-client relationship was terminated. However,
complainant was retained as counsel by Gina Jarvia and Alfredo Ku. In
filing an entry of appearance with motion of postponement in behalf of the
"compulsory heirs of the late Angelita Sarmiento" when in truth he was
merely representing some of the heirs but not all of them, respondent was
guilty of misrepresentation which could have deceived the court. He had
no authorization to represent all the heirs. He clearly violated his lawyer's
oath that he will "do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in
court."

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Beniamino A. Lopez is hereby


SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) month

Topic: Canon 9
Title: CAMBALIZA V. CRISTAL-TENORIO
Reference: AC No. 6290July 14, 2004

FACTS
Complainant Ana Marie Cambaliza, a former employee of respondent
Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal-Tenorio in her law office, charged the latter with
deceit, grossly immoral conduct, and malpractice or other gross
misconduct in office. Case on deceit and grossly immoral conduct did not
pursue lacking clear and convincing evidence.
On malpractice or other gross misconduct in office, the complainant
alleged that the respondent cooperated in the illegal practice of law by her
husband, who is not a member of the Philippine Bar and two other
allegations. The respondent averred that this disbarment complaint was
filed by the complainant just to get even with her.
The complainant later filed a Motion to Withdraw Complaint as she is
no longer interested in pursuing the case. This motion was not acted upon
by the IBP and the case was pursued. The IBP found the respondent guilty
of assisting in unauthorized practice of law.

ISSUES
Whether or not Atty. Cristal-Tenorio violated the Code of Professional
Responsibility?

RULINGS
YES. Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for 6 months.
A lawyer who allows a non-member of the Bar to misrepresent himself
as a lawyer and to practice law is guilty of violating Canon 9 and Rule 9.01
of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which read as follows:
Canon 9 A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the
unauthorized practice of law.
Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the
performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a
member of the Bar in good standing.
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 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, otherwise, the law makes it a
misbehavior on his part subject to disciplinary action, to aid a layman in
the unauthorized practice of law.
Even though Cabliza later on withdrew her complaint, IBP still pushed
through with the investigation because such is a disciplinary proceeding.
There is no private interest affected such that desistance of the
complainant will terminate the proceedings. The purpose is to protect the
bar from those unfit to practice law.

Topic: Canon 9
Title: TUMBOKON vs PEFIANCO
Reference: AC No. 6116 August 1, 2012

FACTS
Complainant referred the case of spouses Amable and Rosalinda Yap to
Atty. Pefianco in an action for partition of the estate of the late Benjamin
Yap, for a 20% commission, which was later reduced to 10%, which
agreement was reduced in writing. Atty. Pefianco failed to pay the agreed
commission despite his receipt of attorneys fees amounting to 17% of the
total estate or about P40 million. Subsequently, complainant, was
informed that Sps Yap shall assume to pay his commission after the
attorneys fee was reduced from 25% to 17%. Despite demand, Atty.
Pefianco refused to pay complainant.
Complainant further alleged that respondent has not lived up to the
high moral standards required of his profession for having abandoned his
legal wife, Milagros Hilado, with whom he has two children, and cohabited
with Mae Flor Galido, with whom he has four children. He also accused
respondent of engaging in money-lending business without the required
authorization from the BSP.
In his defense, he averred that he accepted the case of the spouses on
a 25% contingent fee basis, and advanced all the expenses. The letter-
agreement according to him was a forgery, and it was the spouses who
promised to assume the payment of Gilberts commission.
The IBP recommended suspension for one (1) year from the active
practice of law, for violation of the Lawyer's Oath, Rule 1.01, Canon 1; Rule
7.03, Canon 7 and Rule 9.02, Canon 9 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility (Code).

ISSUES
Whether or not Atty. Pefianco is violated the Lawyers Oath and the
Code of Professional Responsibility?

RULINGS
YES. Respondent has violated Rule 9.02,12 Canon 9 of the Code which
prohibits a lawyer from dividing or stipulating to divide a fee for legal
services with persons not licensed to practice law, except in certain cases
which do not obtain in the case at bar.
Respondent also violated the Lawyer's Oath and Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of
the Code which proscribes a lawyer from engaging in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct, for abandoning his legal family and
cohabiting with his mistress.
The practice of law is considered a privilege bestowed by the State on
those who show that they possess and continue to possess the legal
qualifications for the profession. As such, lawyers are expected to maintain
at all times a high standard of legal proficiency, morality, honesty,
integrity and fair dealing, and must perform their four-fold duty to society,
the legal profession, the courts and their clients, in accordance with the
values and norms embodied in the Code. Lawyers may, thus, be
disciplined for any conduct that is wanting of the above standards whether
in their professional or in their private capacity.

TOPIC: Canon 10
Title: HUEYSUWAN-FLORIDO vs FLORIDO
Reference: AC No. 5624January 20, 2004

FACTS
This is an administrative complaint for the disbarment of respondent
Atty. James Benedict C. Florido and his eventual removal from the Roll of
Attorneys for allegedly violating his oath as a lawyer by manufacturing,
flaunting and using a spurious and bogus Court of Appeals Resolution.
Natasha V. Heysuwan-Florido, the complainant, averred that she was
the legitimate spouse of the respondent Atty. James Benedict Florido, the
respondent, but because of the estranged relation, they lived separately.
They have two children whom the complainant has the custody.
Complainant filed a case for the annulment of her marriage; meanwhile
there, was another related case pending in the Court of Appeals.
Sometime in the middle of December 2001, respondent went to
complainants residence in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental and demanded
that the custody of their two minor children be surrendered to him. He
showed complainant a photocopy of an alleged Resolution issued by the
Court of Appeals which supposedly granted his motion for temporary child
custody. Complainant called up her lawyer but the latter informed her that
he had not received any motion for temporary child custody filed by
respondent.
Complainant asked respondent for the original copy of the alleged
resolution of the Court of Appeals, but respondent failed to give it to her.
Complainant then examined the resolution closely and noted that it bore
two dates: November 12, 2001 and November 29, 2001. Sensing
something amiss, she refused to give custody of their children to
respondent. The complainant verified the authenticity of the Resolution
and obtained a certification dated January 18, 2005[from the Court of
Appeals stating that no such resolution ordering complainant to surrender
custody of their children to respondent had been issued.

ISSUES
Whether or not Atty. Florido was liable for making false court
resolution?

RULINGS
YES. A lawyer who used a spurious Resolution of the Court of Appeals
is presumed to have participated in its fabrication.
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. Thus, the Code of professional Responsibility states:

CANON 10. A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO


THE COURT.
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood; nor consent to the
doing of any in court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be misled
by any artifice.

Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the


contents of a paper, the language or the argument of an opposing
counsel, or the text of a decision or authority, or knowingly cite as a law a
provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or amendment, or assert
as a fact that which has not been proved.

The records show that respondent used offensive language in his


pleadings in describing complainant and her relatives. 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. By calling complainant,
a sly manipulator of truth as well as a vindictive congenital prevaricator,
hardly measures to the sobriety of speech demanded of a lawyer.