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LEGAL
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JUDICIAL
ETHICS
A Compilation of Case Digests
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DIONY B. ORENSE
Aquinas University, College of Law

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Legal & Judicial Ethics
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Contents
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I. Andres G Malabed Jr vs Atty. Benedicto L Nanca
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II. J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises, Inc, and Sps Jesus and Rosario
K Mercado vs Atty. Eduardo C De Vera and Jose Rongkales Bandalan
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III. Rilloraza, Africa, De Ocampo and Africa vs Eastern Telecommunications Phil.,
Inc. and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
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IV. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company vs The Honorable Court of Appeals and
Arturo Alafriz and Associates
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V. Gatchallan Promotions Talents Pool, Inc., vs Atty. Primo R Naldoza
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VI. Law Firm of Raymundo A Armovit vs Court of Appeals, Judge Genaro C Gines,
Presiding Judge of Branch XXVI, regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, San
Fernando, La Union, and Bengson Commercial Building, Inc.
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VII. Bienvenido M Cadalin, Rolando M Amul, Donato B Evangelista, and the rest of
1767 named-complainants, thru and by their Attorney-in-fact, Atty. Gerardo A Del
Mundo. vs Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator,
National Labor Relations Commission, Brown & Foot International, Inc. and/or
Asia International Builders Corporation
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I
Andres G Malabed Jr vs Atty. Benedicto L Nanca
A.M. No. 892; October 23, 1974
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FACTS:
An administrative case was filed by complainant Andres Malabed Jr, a victim of a
vehicular accident, against respondent, Benedicto Nanca, a member of the Philippine Bar.
Respondent, then unknown to the complainant, offered his services as a lawyer and asked the
amount of Four Hundred pesos (PhP400) and another sum of Three Hundred pesos (PhP300),
presumably for the payment of the court fees. An advance payment was made on February
19, 1968.
! Complainant became suspicious as after several months, or on February of 1969, when
hes already out of the hospital, respondent had not informed him the progress of his case.
This led him to recourse to another lawyer, and thereafter, filed a case against respondent to
be held liable not just for unprofessional conduct but also for dishonesty in failing to return
the money he paid for the supposed services.
! In an answer, respondent denied the above allegations, added that it was at the
instance of the father of the complainant that he accepted the case. He further cited his
appearance as a private prosecutor on behalf of the complainant in a criminal case pending in
a municipal court and had filed an administrative complaint against the Philippines Rabbit Bus
Company before the Public Service Commission (PSC). When he was about to take preparatory
steps to file a civil action for damages against the firm, there were overtures for amicable
settlement that delayed the filing of charges. In reference to the administrative charge,
however, it didnt reach final step before PSC as there was fresh talk of amicable settlement
between the bus company and the complainant who instructed respondent to defer the filing
of the civil complaint for damages. And in February 1968, his services were unceremoniously
terminated, further denied that he received an additional Three Hundred pesos and claimed
that his professional services had not been paid from the beginning.
! Respondent prayed for the dismissal of the administrative charge for being devoid of
merit. Case was referred to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and
recommendation.
!!
ISSUES:
1) Whether or not the respondent should be charged of unprofessional conduct and
dishonesty as a law practitioner.
2) Whether or not the respondent was required to return the amount of sum paid by the
complainant.
!HELD:
1) Conclusion reached in an extensive report that the charged of unprofessional conduct
in which the respondent was hired by the complainant as his lawyer had no basis.
Likewise, charge for dishonesty was not proved. Respondents act was not one of
dishonesty. His having accepted of the case was more accommodation of a friend than
just an impersonal undertaking. Respondent was cleared of the administrative charges.
!
2) Court decided in affirmative but with modifications. Respondent was required to
return the sum not of Four Hundred pesos but of Four Hundred Forty pesos (PhP440) to

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the complainant. The Court found that respondent was minded to extend his services
for free and this attitude was apparently not unknown to the complainant when the
latter sent the respondent a telegram and a written demand for the return of the Four
Hundred pesos in February 1969. Respondent, thereafter, confirmed said arrangement
to which he replied that the amount of money will be refunded. Though the lawyers
services was summarily terminated for his inability to institute civil action required of
him by his client, the fact remains that the amount of money was given in relation to
the contemplated action. There having been neither agreement for the attorneys fees
nor a bill for the legal services rendered, respondent had no lawful cause to retain the
complainants money after its return was demanded.
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!
II
J.K. Mercado and Sons Agricultural Enterprises, Inc, and Sps Jesus and Rosario
K Mercado vs Atty. Eduardo C De Vera and Jose Rongkales Bandalan
A.C. No. 3066, December 3, 2001

FACTS:
!
A complaint for disbarment was filed against Atty. Eduardo C. De Vera by J.K Mercado
and Sons Agricultural Enterprises, Inc., and the spouses Jesus and Rosario Mercado. This is an
offshoot of a previous civil case in which respondent-lawyer De Vera represented Rosario
Mercado for dissolution and liquidation of conjugal partnership, among others.

The previous case was decided in Rosario Mercados favor and in 1986, was awarded
the sum of a little over P9million. A writ of execution was issued and noticed of garnishment
were served on two Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) banks and Traders Royal
Bank, where the total amount of P1,270,734.66 was garnished.

In 1987, Mercado terminated De Veras services and tendered attorneys fees in the
amount of P350,000. Mercado later on demanded an accounting and the turn-over of the
money in De veras custody but he refused. De Vera contended that he's entitled to
P2,254,217 attorneys fees. This led to Mercado filing the complaint for disbarment and the
matter was referred to Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and
recommendation.

In 1993, IBP Board of Governors recommended a year of suspension to De Vera from


the practice of law.

in 1999, the Court affirmed the IBP recommendation with the modification that
respondent be suspended from the practice of law for only six (6) months. Likewise,
respondent was ordered to return to Mercado the amount of excess of P350,000 still in his
possession.

Respondent filed a motion of reconsideration, which was denied by the Court in


finality, a decision that respondent received on 22 February 2000.

Pleadings were also filed by the respondent within 13 to 31 of March 2000 before the
court and letters of inquiry from Jose Elises and Capt. Edward Ranada, whether respondent
could practice law pending the resolution of his motion of reconsideration.

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In May 2000, respondent informed Court that, as compliance, he voluntarily returned to
Mercado the sum of P114,042.28 or the excess still in his possession.
! In July 2000, the Court issued a resolution to the effectivity of suspension, which was
upon his receipt on 22 February 2000 of the resolution and took considerations of his court
appearances on this period. Court resolved to remand to the IBP for the determination of the
exact amount to be given by complainant to respondent and the amount to be returned by
respondent, and additionally, on a resolution dated October 2000, for the investigation, report
and recommendation on the matter that respondent unauthorizedly practice law.
!ISSUES:
1) Whether or not respondent still has money in his possession that needed to be returned
to the complainant-client.
2) Whether or not respondent unauthorizedly practice law during the period of his
suspension.
!HELD:
1) Respondent was able to disburse a total of P424,832.67. Deducting said amount from
the amount received by respondent by way of garnished funds from several banks would
leave a balance of P845,901.89, from the P1,270,734.66 full amount. The respondent
was allowed to retain himself the amount of P350,000 by way of attorneys fees.
Respondent voluntarily paid and/or returned to complainant the amount P114,042.28 in
compliance with Supreme Court directive. Thus, deducting the said payment and
compliance, respondent was still required to return P381,859.61, as pursuant to Rule
16.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall
deliver the funds and property of (his) client when due or upon demand.
! 2) The IBP concluded that, in numerous occasions during the period of his suspension,
respondent engaged in the practice of law despite the absence of an order from the
Supreme Court lifting his suspension. Respondent was suspended from the practice of
law by the Court for six month, which took effect on 22 February 2000 (the date of receipt
of the respondent of the Courts resolution dated 2 February 2000). A review of the
records would indicate that respondent was last reported to have engaged in the
unauthorized practice of law on 1 June 2000, in which thereforth, it would appear that
respondent started to refrain from the practice of law. The Court decided that his
suspension from the practice of law shall be lifted once he would have shown to the
satisfaction his compliance therewith.
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!
III
Rilloraza, Africa, De Ocampo and Africa vs Eastern Telecommunications Phil., Inc.
and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
G.R. No. 104600, July 2, 1999

FACTS:
!
On August 1987, Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), represented then
by San Juan, Africa, Gonzales & San Agustin (SAGA) law firm, filed a complaint before Regional
Trial Court of Makati for recovery of revenue shares against Philippines Long Distance
Telephone Company (PLDT). Attty. Francisco D. Rilloraza, one of the partners of the firm,
appeared for ETPI. ETPI, after it rested its case, paid SAGA a certain amount.

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On September 1987, trial court issues a resolution granting ETPIs application for
preliminary restrictive and mandatory injunctions. During this period, SAGA was dissolved and
four of its junior partners formed Rilloraza, Africa, De Ocampo & Africa (RADA) law firm, which
took over as counsel in the case for ETPI, and to which the latter signed a retainer agreement
on October 1987.
! On June 1988, petitioner received a latter from ETPI stating that their retainer contract
was terminated, effective the end of the same month. Petitioner filed with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) a notice of attorneys lien, furnishing copies to the plaintiff ETPI and PLDT.
Addtionally, on the same date, sent a letter ETPI attached its partial billing statements. In the
notice, RADA informed the court that ETPI and PLDT were in negotiations toward a
compromise. On April 1990, petitioner confirmed that parties arrived at an amicable settlement,
which led to petitioner filed a motion for the enforcement of attorneys lien with RTC Makati, then
appraised the Supreme Court.
! On May 1990, PLDT filed a manifestation before trail court stating that it is not a party to
nor involved in the attorneys lien being asserted by the petition. ETPI filed otherwise on June
1990.

RTC denied motion for enforcement of attorneys lien. Petitioner filed with the trial court a
Notice of Appeal to Supreme Court (SC), to which ETPI filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal,
contending that only cases shall be bought to SC via Petition for Review on Certiorari. Trial
Court dismissed RADAs appeal.
! Petitioner filed a petition for Certiorari with the SC, which was remanded to the Court of
Appeals. It was later dismissed, adding judge committed no abuse of discretion for the denial.
Hence, this case before SC.
!ISSUE:
!HELD: Whether or not petitioner was entitled to recover attorneys fees.
Court ruled in favor of the petitioners. While the fact remained that procedural rules were
liberal and essential in nature, the Court ruled that where the rigid application of the rules would
frustrate substantial justice, or bar the vindication of a legitimate grievance, the courts are
justified in exempting a particular case from the operation of the rules. A basic legal principle is
that no shall be unjustly enriched at the expense of another; which this in mind, the Court
resolved to give due course to this petition.
! While the Court agreed that petitioners were entailed with the attorneys fees, Court was
not convinced with the amount they are claiming for the services RADA rendered merit. First,
the handling of the case was not personal, rather, he employed the entire law firm. RADA could
not claim to have initiated the filling of the complaint considering that ETPI hired SAGA. In view
of this, SAGA assigned one of its associates, Atty. Rilloraza, to handle the case in behalf of the
firm, even so he handled the case personally. Second, petitioner cannot claim that t(he)y can
collect an agreed percentage (15%) worth of attorneys fees based from their retainer
agreement, which would result to an unconscionable amount. Although it may showed that the
firm was entitled to the fees agreed upon, the retainer agreement has been terminated.
Attorney-client relationship between petitioner and respondent no longer existed during its
culmination by amicable agreement.
! The Court also ruled that petitioners additional contention of a charging lien on their
agreement with ETPI is not tenable. Furthermore, the Court believed that in fixing a reasonable

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compensation for the services rendered by the lawyer, the basis of Quantum Meruit should be
present.

The Trial Court has the principal task of fixing the amount of attorneys fees. Hence, the
SC remands the court of origin and a hearing was necessary to its determination.
!!
!
IV
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company vs The Honorable Court of Appeals and
Arturo Alafriz and Associates
G.R. No. 86100-03, January 23, 1990

FACTS:
!
A petition for review on certiorari before Supreme Court (SC) impugns a decision of the
Court of Appeals (CA) affirming the order of Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial
Region, affixing attorneys fees and directing petitioner-bank Metropolitan Bank and Trust
Company (Metrobank), as defendant in civil cases, to pay its attorneys, private respondent
Aeturo Alafrix and Associates, the amount of P936,000.00 as attorneys fees on a quantum
meruit basis.
! Between 1974 to 1983, private respondent handled civil cases before the then Court of
First Instance of Pasig in behalf of the petitioner-bank for the declaration of nullity of deeds of
sales with damages.
! As a consequence of the transfer of parcels of land to sister corporation, Service
Leasing Corporation (which the lower court identified that private respondent did not have
knowledge of these transfers and transactions), petitioner filed an urgent motion for substitution
of party of July 1983. Private respondent, on its part, filed on August 1983 a verified motion to
enter in the records of the civil cases its charging lien, pursuant to Section 37,. Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court, equivalent to twenty-five percent (25%) of the actual and current market values
of the litigated properties as its attorneys fees. Petitioner failed to appear and oppose the
motion despite due notice. As a result, lower court granted and ordered Register of Deeds
(RoD) of Rizal to annotate the attorneys liens on the certificates of title of the parcels of land.
! Plaintiffs in the civil cases filed a motion to dismiss their complaints before RTC Pasig,
which motion the lower court granted with prejudice on September 1983. On December 1983,
the same court ordered RoD to annotate the attorneys liens of private respondent on the
derivative titles which cancelled TCTs of the original parcels of land.

On May 1984, private respondent filed a motion to fix its attorneys fees, based on
quantum meruit. Petitioner manifested on the same month that it had fully paid private private
respondent and in turn, countered the amount of P50,000.00 given by petitioner could not be
considered as full payment but merely a cash advance, including the amount of P14,000.00
paid to on December 1980. Private respondent attempted to arrange a compromise with
petitioner but negotiations failed.
! On October 1984, court issued the order assailed on appeal before CA, granting
payment of attorneys fees to private respondent, ordered to have Metrobank to pay movant
Arturo Alafriz and Associates the amount of P936,000.00. On Appeal, respondent affirmed order
of the trial court. A motion for reconsiderations was filed by petitioner but the same was denied.
Hence, the present case.

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!ISSUES:
1) Whether or not private respondents is entitled to the enforcement of its charging lien for
payment for its attorneys fees
2) Whether or not a separate civil suit is necessary for the enforcement of such lien
3) Whether or not private respondent is entitled to twenty-five (25%) of the actual and
current market values of the litigated properties of a Quantum Meruit basis
!HELD:
1) Court agreed with the petitioner. Metrobank avers that private respondent has no
enforceable attorneys charging lien in the civil cases before the court because the
dismissal of the complaints therein were not, in the words of Section 37, Rule 139,
judgments for the payment of money or executions issued in pursuance of such
judgments. Consequent to the provision, a charging lien requires as a condition sine qua
non secured in the main action by the attorney in favor of his client. In the case at bar,
the civil cases were dismissed upon plaintiffs initiative only for the satisfaction of the
claims. The dismissal order neither provided any money judgment nor made any
monetary award to any litigant. Thus, the private respondents supposed charging lien
has without any basis.An attorney may acquire a lien for his compensation upon money
due his client from the adverse party in any action or proceeding in which the attorney is
employed, but such lien is not extended to land which is the subject matter of the
litigation.
! 2) Since it has been ruled by the Court that the private respondent is not entailed to the
enforcement of its charging lien, it bears mention that an enforceable charging lien is
within the jurisdiction of the court trying the main case and this jurisdiction subsists until
the lien is settled. Theres no valid reason why the trail court cannot pass upon a petition
to determine attorneys fees if the rule against multiplicity of suits is to be made.
! 3) A proper legal remedy should be availed of and the procedural rules should be cult
observed. To which, the Court refrained from resolving the issue, as it believed a
separate proceeding to the court with authority and adjudication facility has to hear and
decide to this controversy, and must be brought by the private respondent.
!!
!
V
Gatchallan Promotions Talents Pool, Inc., vs Atty. Primo R Naldoza
A.C. No. 4017, September 29, 1999

FACTS:
!
A petition for disbarment was filed against Atty. Primo Naldoza by Gatchalian Promotions
Talents Pools, Inc., due to, as counsel for complainant, action of respondent appealing a
decision of the Philippines Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).
! Complainant asserted that respondent tried to: (a) appeal a decision, knowing it was
final and executory; (b) obtain two thousand, five hundred and fifty-five dollars (US$2,555) from
complainant, allegedly for cash bond, and; (c) issue a spurious receipt to conceal an illegal act.
Respondent denied said allegations, added that it was the complainant who insisted on
appealing the case to prolong the execution of the decision.
!
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The Court referred to Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), which concluded that, in an
attempt to spew money from the complainant corporation, respondent knowingly
misrepresented that the supposed cash bond was for the Supreme Court (SC) to act upon the
case. A fake xerox copy of the an alleged SC receipt was presented by the respondent for the
alleged payment of US$2,555. It was later identified that respondent only paid P622.00 to SC
Docket-Receiving Section for filing the case. Meanwhile, respondent was acquitted for a
criminal case for estafa. However, he was declared liable for the amount of US$2,555.

On July 1996, respondent filed before IBP a Manifestation with Motion to Dismiss on the
ground that he was already acquitted in the criminal case. Complainant countered the Motion.
On February 1998, the IBP Board of Governors approved and recommended that respondent
be suspended from the practice of law for a year. Hence, this case before the SC.
!ISSUES:
1) Whether or not respondent should be sanctioned
2) Whether or not respondent should be disbarred from the practice of law
!HELD:
1) SC agreed with the IBP Board of Governors, that respondent should be sanctioned.
However, recommended penalty is not commensurate to the gravity of the wrong
perpetrated. Acquittal of the respondent of the criminal charge doesnt bar him from
administrative charges. Administrative cases against lawyers are different in nature from
criminal cases: Criminal cases required proof beyond reasonable doubt, while
administrative cases for disbarment or suspension required clear preponderant
evidence, this despite if both cases constitute same facts and circumstances.
! 2) The Court find the respondent was clearly reprehensible that he demanded money from
his client for a bogus reason, misappropriated the same and issued a fake and falsified
receipt purportedly from SC to hide his deed; all those mentioned were in violation of the
canons of professional responsibility to which constitute malpractice and gross
misconduct as an attorney. Wherefore, Primo Naldoza is hereby disbarred.
!!
!
VI
Law Firm of Raymundo A Armovit vs Court of Appeals, Judge Genaro C Gines,
Presiding Judge of Branch XXVI, regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, San
Fernando, La Union, and Bengson Commercial Building, Inc.
G.R. No. 90983, September 27, 1991

FACTS:
!
Atty. Raymundo Armovit, the petitioner, claimed for attorneys fees against Bengson
Commercial Building, Inc., respondent-corporation. Petitioner engaged as counsel for the
respondent to an extrajudicial foreclosure of properties by Government Service Insurance
System (GSIS) declared null and void. The defunct Court of First Instance rendered judgment
annulling foreclosure and ordered GSIS to restructure the private respondents loan. On an
appeal, Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court and since attained finality.
! Romualdo Bengson, private respondent and the president of the respondent-
corporation, informed the petitioner, who was about to sought an execution, that the firm
retained the services of Atty. Pacifico Yadao. The respondent-corporation informed petitioner
Armovit that it would pay him the agreed compensation and that Atty. Yadaos fee were covered

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by a separate agreement. Private-respondent ignored petitioners billings and was directed not
to take part on the execution proceedings. Lower court, allegedly, refused to make the
petitioners entry of an attorneys lien in the records of the case, and instead ordered the
Philippines National Bank to release the sum of P2,760,000.00 to the custody of Romualdo F.
Bengzon and/or Atty. Pacifico Yadao, as rentals payable by the GSIS.
! Petitioner Atty. Armovit moved for amicable settlement with the private respondent. He
protested the amount delivered by the private respondents wife (Brenda Bengson) of
P300,000.00, as he claimed it should be P552,000.00 (20% of the P2,760,000.00). A consensus
followed that the amount demanded will be delivered by the Bengzons.
! On November 1988, however, petitioner received an order stating that he, with an
associate, withdrew their petition to record attorneys charging lien and that as compliance
alleging that petition (Atty. Armovit) has received from the plaintiff the sum of P300,000.00 as
attorneys fees Reconsideration were denied. Petitioner sought and filed petition for certiorari
and prohibition before Court of Appeals, which later dismissed the petition and further
reconsideration had been denied.
! Atty. Armovit appealed before the Court. After reaching out for comment to the private-
respondent, the Court didnt materially traverse Atty. Armovits chronicle of events. Private
respondent allegedly opposed Atty. Armovits effort to record his attorneys liens due to nullity of
the retainer agreement, petitioners alleged negligence and excessive fees demanded, adding
that that the retainer agreement was only signed by one of the seven directors, and that
petitioner was sufficiently compensated for the full payment of P300,000.00.
!ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to the sum of P252,000.00 more, in addition to the
sum of P300,000.00 already paid him by the private respondent.
!HELD:
Petition was granted. The Court ordered the private respondent to pay the petitioner the
additional sum.
There was no question that both parties that agreed to a 20% contingent fee computed
on the value to be recovered by favorable judgment on the cases. The Court believed that
petitioner never agreed on the compromise sum of P 300,000.00. It was true that he did agree
to withdraw his motion to annotate attorneys lien, but it was because the parties decided
halfway to settle differences amicably and not for the petitioner to agree to a lower amount of full
payment. Due to this, the Court believed that the lower court was guilty of a grace abuse of
discretion for accepting the private respondents compliance as final payment when in fact, no
such stipulation or agreement connoted the same on the petitioners part.
! The trial judge himself was out also to deny petitioner the agreed compensation when he
commanded the release of funds to Mr. Bengson and Atty. Yadao. At this time, Atty. Armovit had
remained as the counsel of record of the private respondent. It is fundamental that unless a
lawyer has been validly discharged, his authority to act for his client continues and should be
recognized by the court. Additionally, private respondent cant justifiably downplay petitioner as
negligent or his demand for excessive fees when petitioner successfully obtained a favorable
decision for the private respondent. And even petitioners for various damages were denied, he
succeeded in obtaining a substantial award for his client.
! The Court was upholding Atty. Armovits claim for P252,000.00 more - pursuant to the
contingent fee agreement, and this amount found to be reasonable.
!!
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!
VII
Bienvenido M Cadalin, Rolando M Amul, Donato B Evangelista, and the rest of
1767 named-complainants, thru and by their Attorney-in-fact, Atty. Gerardo A Del
Mundo. vs Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Administrator,
National Labor Relations Commission, Brown & Foot International, Inc. and/or
Asia International Builders Corporation, et. al.
G.R. No. L-104776, December 5, 1994

FACTS:
!
Petition for Certiorari was filed before Supreme Court (SC) in this consolidation of three
(3) cases of Special Civil Actions: namely G.R. No. L-104776, G.R. Nos. 104911-14, and G.R.
Nos. 105029-32, all Labor-related cases dated December 5, 1994.
!
On G.R. No. L-104776, a part of the complaint pertained to Atty. Florante M. De
Castro, who allegedly guilty of forum shopping.
! On October 1985, the law firm of Florante M. De Castro & Associates asked for the
substitution of the original counsel of record and the cancellation of the special powers of
attorney given the original counsel. On December 1985, Atty. Del Mundo, the initial counsel,
filed in National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a notice of the claim to enforce the
attorneys lien. On May 1986, Atty. De Castro filed a complaint for money claims in a
Philippines Overseas Employement Administration (POEA) case in behalf of claimants, however
were dismissed. SC already asked the POEA Administrator to resolved the issues raised in the
motions and oppositions. Claimants filed their Motions for Manifestation and prayed be
awarded of monetary claims for failure of the private respondents to filed their answers
within the reglamentary period required by law, which were all later dismissed.
! On November 1991, claimants, who were former clients of Atty. Del Mundo, filed a
petition for certiorari with the SC, and part of the claimants ground tackled if the NLRC and
the POEA Administrator should have dismissed the POEA case filed by Atty. De Castro.
Commented on the petition, AIBC and BRII argued that they are not concerned with the issue
of whether POEA case should be dismissed, this being a private quarrel between the two labor
lawyers.
! On November 1992, Atty. Del Mundo moved to strike out the joint manifestations and
motions of AIBC and BRII on two occasions in September 1992, claiming that all the claimants
who entered into the compromise agreements subject were his clients, that Atty. De Castro
had no right to represent them, and that Atty. De Castro collected additional attorneys fees
on top of the 25% which he was entitled to receive. On December 1992, Atty. Del Mundo filed
a Notice and Claim to Enforce Attorneys Lien, alleging that the claimants who entered into
the compromise agreements with AIBC and BRII with the assistance of Atty. De Castro, had all
signed a retainer agreement with his law firm.
! On February 1993, an omnibus motion was filed by Atty. Del Mundo to cite Atty. De
Castro and Atty. Katz Tierra for contempt of court and for violations of Canons 1, 15 and 16 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility, to which he claimed that the said lawyers misled the
Court by making it appear that the claimants who entered into the compromise agreements
were represented by Atty. De Castro, when they were represented by Atty. Del Mundo. On
September, 1994, Atty. Del Mundo reiterated his charges against Atty. De Castro for unethical
practices and moved for the voiding of the quitclaims submitted by some of the claimants.

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! Due to this, the NLRC blamed the parties and especially their lawyers for the delay in
terminating the proceedings. The squabble between the lawyers as to their conflicting claims
and as to who should represent the claimants against AIBC and BRII further detain the
disposition of the cases. Added to the confusion was the fact that some of the complainants
were in both petitions filed by the two lawyers. NLRC further noted that, the problem
created that if one of the two petitions is dismissed, the parties and the respondents would
not know which claim of which petitioner was dismissed or which was not.
! By these, the Court absorbed to conclude the claims of one lawyer to the other on the
case.
!ISSUES:
1) Whether or not Atty. De Castro was guilty of forum shopping, ambulance chasing
activities, falsification, duplicity and other unprofessional activities and his appearances
as counsel for some of the claimants were illegal.
2) Whether or not Atty. Del Mundo was right in filing his Notice and Claim to Enforce
Attorneys Lien
3) Whether or not Atty. De Castro and Atty, Tierra can be sought for contempt of court.
!HELD:
1) The Anti-Forum Shopping Rule (revised Circular No. 28-91) is intended to put a stop to
the practice of parties of filing multiple petitions and complaints involving the same
issues, with the result that the courts or agencies have to resolve the same issues.
However, said rules apply only to petitions filed before the Supreme Court and the Court
of Appeals. POEA and NLRC could not have entertained the complaint for unethical
conduct against Atty. De Castro because it both have no jurisdiction to investigate
charges of unethical conduct of lawyers.
! 2) The Notice and Claim to Enforce Attorneys Lien that was filed by Atty. Del Mundo on
December 1992 aimed to protect his claim for attorneys fees for legal services rendered
in favor of the claimants. A statement of a claim for a charging lien shall be filed with
the court or administrative agency which renders and executes the money judgment
secured by the lawyer for his clients. The lawyer shall cause written notice thereof to
be delivered to his clients and to the adverse party. The statement of the claim for the
charging lien of Atty. Del Mundo should have been filed with the administrative agency
that rendered and executed the judgment.
! 3) The complaint of Atty. Gerardo A. Del Mundo to cite Atty. Florante De Castro and Atty.
Katz Tierra for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility should be filed in a
separate and appropriate proceeding.
!!

Diony Orense Law - 2E