You are on page 1of 20

II.

To the Legal Profession

CANON 7 - A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND


DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE
INTEGRATED BAR.

Rule 7.01 - A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or
suppressing a material fact in connection with his application for admission to the
bar.

Rule 7.02 - A lawyer shall not support the application for admission to the bar of any
person known by him to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other
relevant attribute.

Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his
fitness to practice law, nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
CASE NO. 1 / IN RE: RAMON E. GALANG / AC NO. 1163, AUGUST 29, 1975

FACTS: Ramon Galang is a perennial bar candidate who flunked in the 1969, 1967,
1966, 1964, 1963, and 1962 bar examinations with a grade of 67.55%, 68.65%,
72.75%, 68.2%, 56.45% and 57.3%, respectively. He passed in the 1971 bar
examinations with a grade of 74.15% by virtue of a Court of resolution making 74%
as the passing mark for the 1971 bar examinations. Oscar Landicho, who flunked
the 1971, 1968, and 1967 bar examinations, invited the attention of the Court to
the fact that the grade of Galang was raised in five subjects before the bar results
were released. Upon investigation, five examiners admitted having re-evaluated
Galang's notebook upon the representation to them by Bar Confidant Victorio
Lanuevo that they had the authority to do the same and that the examinee
concerned failed only their particular subject and/or was on the borderline of
passing. Upon investigation by the NBI, it was found that Galang was a student in
the School of Law of Manuel L. Quezon University, and that he was charged in 1959
with the crime of slight physical injuries committed against another student of the
same university. Respondent Galang, in all his application to take the bar
examinations, did not make mention of this fact which he is required under the rules
to do.

ISSUE: WON respondent Galangs concealment of his pending criminal case for
physical injuries is a ground for revocation of his license to practice law.

HELD: YES. Every applicant for admission as a member of the Bar is duty bound to
lay before the Court all his involvement in any criminal case, pending or otherwise
terminated, to enable the Court to fully ascertain or determine applicant's moral
character. Furthermore, as to what crime involves moral turpitude, is for the
Supreme Court to determine. Hence, the necessity of laying before or informing the
Court of one's personal record whether he was criminally indicted, acquitted,
convicted or the case dismissed or is still pending becomes more compelling. The
forms for application to take the Bar examinations provided by the Supreme Court
beginning the year 1965 require the disclosure not only of criminal cases involving
moral turpitude filed or pending against the applicant but also of all other criminal
cases of which he has been accused. The concealment of an attorney in his
application to take the Bar examinations of the fact that he had been charged with,
or indicted for, an alleged crime, is a ground for revocation of his license to practice
law.

Under the circumstances in which respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias


Roman E. Galang, was allowed to take the Bar examinations and the highly
irregular manner in which he passed the Bar, WE have no other alternative
but to order the SURRENDER OF HIS ATTORNEY'S CERTIFICATE AND THE
STRIKING OUT OF HIS NAME FROM THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS.

CASE NO. 2 / DIAO V. MARTINEZ / AC NO. 244, MARCH 29, 1963

FACTS: Telesforo Diao passed the bar in 1953. Two years later, Severino Martinez
charged him with having falsely represented in his application for such Bar
examination that he had the requisite academic qualifications. Upon investigation,
the Solicitor General found that contrary to the allegations in Diaos petition for
examination, he had not completed his high school training and he never attended
Quisumbing College, nor obtained his A.A. diploma therefrom, before taking up law
subjects. Such was the required pre-legal education prescribed by the Department
of Private Education. In his answer, Diao claims that although he had left high
school in his third year, he entered the service of the U.S. Army and passed the
General Classification Test given therein. The said test is alleged to be equivalent to
a high school diploma. Thus, the educational authorities considered his army service
as the equivalent of 3rd and 4th year high school. Further, Diao asserts that he had
obtained his A.A. title from Arellano University in April, 1949. He says he was
erroneously certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of Quisumbing College, in his
school records.

ISSUE: WON Diaos false representation that he had the required academic
qualifications to take the bar examinations a ground for revocation of his license to
practice law.

HELD: YES. The applicant for the Bar examination must affirm under oath, "That
previous to the study of law, he had successfully and satisfactorily completed the
required pre-legal education as prescribed by the Department of Private Education."
Plainly, therefore, Telesforo Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations; but
due to his false representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and was
thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such admission having been obtained under false
pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he hurdled the Bar
examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification
to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the
regular manner is equally essential.
The Clerk is ordered to strike from the roll of attorneys, the name of
Telesforo A. Diao. And the latter is required to return his lawyer's diploma
within thirty days.

This explanation is not acceptable, for the reason that the "error" or "confusion"
was obviously of his own making. Had his application disclosed his having obtained
A.A. from Arellano University, it would also have disclosed that he got it in April,
1949, thereby showing that he began his law studies (2nd semester of 1948-1949)
six months before obtaining his Associate in Arts degree.

CASE NO. 3 / IN RE: CHARGES OF LILIAN F. VILLASANTA / GR AC-UNAV, APRIL 30,


1957

FACTS: In 1939, respondent Hilarion Peralta married Rizalina Valdez. In 1951, he


courted the complainant Lilian Villasanta who fell in love with him. To have carnal
knowledge of her, the respondent then procured a fake marriage contract, which
was then a blank document, and made the complainant sign it. Since then the
complainant and the respondent lived together as husband and wife. Sometime
later, the complainant insisted on a religious ratification of their marriage so the
said ceremony was performed in Aparri by the parish priest of said municipality. The
priest no longer required the production of a marriage license because of the civil
marriage contract shown to him. After a while, complainant then discovered that the
respondent was previously married to someone else. Thus, she filed the criminal
action for a violation of Article 350 of the Revised Penal Code in the CFI of Cagayan
of which the respondent was found guilty. Respondent also filed the present
complaint for immorality which seeks to disqualify the respondent, a 1954
successful bar candidate, from being admitted to the bar.

ISSUE: WON respondent Hilarion Peralta engaged in immoral conduct which is a


ground for disqualification from being admitted to the bar.

HELD: YES. Respondent made a mockery of marriage which is a sacred institution


demanding respect and dignity. His conviction in the criminal case involves moral
turpitude. The act of respondent in contracting the second marriage (even his act in
making love to another woman while his first wife is still alive and their marriage
still valid and existing) is contrary to honesty, justice, decency, and morality. Thus
lacking the good moral character required by the Rules of Court, the respondent is
disqualified from being admitted to the bar.
Thus lacking the good moral character required by the Rules of Court, the
respondent is hereby declared DISQUALIFIED from being admitted to the
bar.

CASE NO. 4 / IN RE: PETITION TO TAKE LAWYERS' OATH BY ARTHUR M. CUEVAS / BM


NO. 810, JANUARY 27, 1998

FACTS: Petitioner Arthur Cuevas, Jr., recently passed the 1996 Bar Examinations. His
oath-taking was held in abeyance in view of a Court resolution which permitted him
to take the Bar Examinations subject to the condition that should he pass the same,
he shall not be allowed to take the lawyers oath pending approval of the Court due
to his previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting In Homicide. The
conviction stemmed from petitioners participation in the initiation rites of the Lex
Talionis Fraternitas, a fraternity in the San Beda College of Law, sometime in
September 1991, where Raul Camaligan, a neophyte. Thereafter, petitioner applied
for and was granted probation. On May 16, 1995, he was discharged from probation
and his case was considered closed and terminated. In this present petition,
petitioner prays that he be allowed to take his lawyers oath at the Courts most
convenient time.

ISSUE: WON petitioner Cuevas, Jr. should be allowed to take the lawyers oath
despite his participation in the initiation rites which resulted in the death of a
neophyte.

HELD: YES. Petitioners discharge from probation and the various certifications
attesting to his righteous, peaceful and civic-oriented character prove that he has
taken decisive steps to purge himself of his deficiency in moral character and atone
for the unfortunate death of the victim. The Court is prepared to give him the
benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice of the general tendency of the youth to
be rash, temerarious and uncalculating. Petitioner, however, is exhorted to conduct
himself beyond reproach at all times and to live strictly according to his oath and
the Code of Professional Responsibility. Further, the Court sincerely hopes that Mr.
Cuevas, Jr., will continue with the assistance he has been giving to his community.
As a lawyer he will now be in a better position to render legal and other services to
the more unfortunate members of society.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court hereby resolved to allow petitioner arthur m.


Cuevas, jr., to take the lawyers oath and to sign the roll of attorneys on a
date to be set by the Court, subject to the payment of appropriate fees.

Attaching thereto the Order of the RTC of Antique discharging him from his
probation, and certifications attesting to his righteous, peaceful and law abiding
character issued by: (a) the Mayor of the Municipality of Hamtic, Antique; (b) the
Officer-in-Charge of Hamtic Police Station; (c) the Sangguniang Kabataan of Pob. III,
Hamtic, through its chairman and officers; (d) a member of the IBP Iloilo Chapter;
(e) the Parish Priest and Vicar General of St. Joseph Cathedral, San Jose, Antique,
and (f) the President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Parish of Sta. Monica, Hamtic,
Antique.

CASE NO. 5 / SAMANIEGO V. FERRER / AC NO. 7022, JUNE 18, 2008

FACTS: Early in 1996, complainant Marjorie Samaniego met respondent Atty. Andrew
Ferrer and the latter agreed to handle her cases. Soon, Atty. Ferrer allegedly courted
the complainant and the two lived together as "husband and wife". In 1997, their
daughter was born, but their affair, however, ended in 2000. Since then, Atty. Ferrer
has failed to give support to their daughter. Thus, complainant filed this petition
before the IBP against respondent Atty. for immorality, abandonment and willful
refusal to give support to their daughter. Complainant alleged that she knew that
Atty. Ferrer was in a relationship but did not think he was already married. On the
other hand, Atty. Ferrer manifested his willingness to support their daughter.
However, he prayed that the IBP consider Ms. Samaniego's complicity as she was
acquainted with his wife and children. He further reasoned that he found it
unconscionable to abandon his wife and 10 children to cohabit with Ms. Samaniego.

ISSUE: WON Atty. Ferrer lacked the degree of morality required of a member of the
bar.

HELD: YES. As provided by the Code of Professional Responsibility under Canon, A


lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and
support the activities of the integrated bar. Rule 7.03 also provides that, A lawyer
shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor
shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the
discredit of the legal profession. Atty. Ferrer admitted his extra-marital affair which
ended in 2000. The Court considered such illicit relation as a disgraceful and
immoral conduct subject to disciplinary action. On another point, even though the
complainant was not entirely blameless, that one complicit in the affair complained
of immorality against her co-principal does not make this case less serious since it is
immaterial whether Ms. Samaniego is in pari delicto. The Court's investigation is not
about Ms. Samaniego's acts but Atty. Ferrer's conduct as one of its officers and his
fitness to continue as a member of the Bar.

Respondent Atty. Andrew V. Ferrer guilty of GROSS IMMORALITY and, as


recommended by the integrated bar of the philippines and the office of the
bar confidant, SUSPEND him from the practice of law for six (6) months
effective upon notice hereof, with WARNING that the same or similar act in
the future will be dealt with more severely.

We agree with the IBP on Atty. Ferrer's failure to give support to his daughter with
Ms. Samaniego. We also agree with the Office of the Bar Confidant that Atty.
Ferrer's affair with Ms. Samaniego showed his lack of good moral character as a
member of the bar. We dismiss, however, Ms. Samaniego's charge of abandonment
since Atty. Ferrer did not abandon them. He returned to his family.

CASE NO. 6 / ARNOBIT V. ARNOBIT / AC NO. 1481, OCTOBER 17, 2008

FACTS: Complainant Rebecca Arnobit and respondent Atty. Ponciano Arnobit were
married in 1942, and 12 children were born out of this union. Rebecca allegedly
supported respondent through law school, and she continuously supported him until
he passed the bar examinations. In 1968, however, respondent left the conjugal
home and started cohabiting with Benita Navarro, who later bore him four more
children. Benita was then already married to Melecio Navarro, a fact which was
allegedly known to the respondent. Respondents infidelity, according to Rebecca,
impelled her to file a complaint for legal separation and support. A criminal case for
adultery against Benita and respondent later followed. In this present case, Rebeca
prays that the Court exercise its disciplinary power over her husband on the
grounds of Immorality and Abandonment.
ISSUE: WON respondent Atty. Arnobit is guilty of immorality and abandonment
which is a ground for disbarment.

HELD: YES. As officers of the court, lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral
character but must also be seen to be of good moral character and leading lives in
accordance with the highest moral standards of the community. A member of the
bar and an officer of the court is not only required to refrain from adulterous
relationships or keeping a mistress but must also so behave himself as to avoid
scandalizing the public by creating the impression that he is flouting those moral
standards. The fact that respondents philandering ways are far removed from the
exercise of his profession would not save the day for him. For a lawyer may be
suspended or disbarred for any misconduct which, albeit unrelated to the actual
practice of his profession, would show him to be unfit for the office and unworthy of
the privileges with which his license and the law invest him. The grounds expressed
in Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court are not limitative and are broad enough
to cover any misconduct of a lawyer in his professional or private capacity.
Undoubtedly, respondents act of leaving his wife and 12 children to cohabit and
have children with another woman constitutes grossly immoral conduct.

Atty. Ponciano P. Arnobit is hereby DISBARRED.

Immoral conduct has been described as that conduct which is so willful, flagrant, or
shameless as to show indifference to the opinion of good and respectable members
of the community. To be the basis of disciplinary action, such conduct must not only
be immoral, but grossly immoral. That is, it must be so corrupt as to virtually
constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree
or committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the
common sense of decency.

CASE NO. 7 / ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY V. DELA CRUZ / AC NO 6010, AUGUST 28, 2006

FACTS: Respondent Atty. Rolando Dela Cruz is a principal of Saint Louis University-Laboratory
High School (SLU-LHS). Faculty members and Staff of the aforementioned university filed a
case for disbarment against respondent on grounds of gross misconduct, grossly immoral
conduct, and malpractice. On the charge of grossly immoral conduct, it was alleged that in
1982, respondent married Teresita Rivera, but they separated in less than a year into the
marriage without seeking judicial recourse. Seven years after, respondent married Mary
Jane Pascua, who was also a faculty member of SLU-LHS. When the second marriage was
entered into, however, respondents prior marriage with Teresita Rivera was still subsisting.
Then, in 1994, said second marriage was subsequently annulled for being bigamous. Then,
on the charge of malpractice, it was alleged that respondent notarized certain legal
documents on different dates from 1988 to 1997, despite expiration of respondents notarial
commission in 1987.

ISSUE: WON respondents act constitutes gross immoral conduct which warrant disbarment

HELD: NO. Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court cites grossly immoral conduct as a
ground for disbarment. The Court has laid down with a common definition of what
constitutes immoral conduct, vis--vis, grossly immoral conduct. Immoral conduct is 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 and what is grossly
immoral, that is, it must be so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so
unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree. Undoubtedly, respondent exhibited a
deplorable lack of that degree of morality required of him as a member of the Bar. In
particular, he made a mockery of marriage which is a sacred institution demanding respect
and dignity. His act of contracting a second marriage while the first marriage was still in
place, is contrary to honesty, justice, decency and morality. However, measured against the
definition, the Court is not prepared to consider respondents act as grossly immoral.

Respondent Atty. Rolando Dela Cruz is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a
period of two years, and another two years for notarizing documents despite the
expiration of his commission or a total of four years of suspension.

The uncontested assertions of the respondent belies any intention to flaunt the law
and the high moral standard of the legal profession, to wit:
a. After his first failed marriage and prior to his second marriage or for a
period of almost seven (7) years, he has not been romantically involved with
any woman;
b. His second marriage was a show of his noble intentions and total love for
his wife, whom he described to be very intelligent person;
c. He never absconded from his obligations to support his wife and child;
d. He never disclaimed paternity over the child and husbandry with relation
to his wife;
e. After the annulment of his second marriage, they have parted ways when
the mother and child went to Australia;
f. Since then up to now, respondent remained celibate.

Other charges constituting respondents misconduct such as the pending criminal


case for child abuse allegedly committed by him against a high school student filed
before the Prosecutors Office of Baguio City; the pending administrative case filed
by the Teachers, Staff, Students and Parents before an Investigating Board created
by SLU; and the pending labor case filed by SLU-LHS Faculty before the NLRC,
Cordillera Administrative Region, on alleged illegal deduction of salary by
respondent, need not be discussed, as they are still pending before the proper
forums. At such stages, the presumption of innocence still prevails in favor
of the respondent.
CANON 8 - A LAWYER SHALL CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH COURTESY,
FAIRNESS AND CANDOR TOWARDS HIS PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES, AND
SHALL AVOID HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING COUNSEL.
Rule 8.01 - A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is
abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.

Rule 8.02 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional
employment of another lawyer, however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear
or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief against
unfaithful or neglectful counsel.

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.

Rule 9.02 - A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services
with persons not licensed to practice law, except:

(a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate


that, upon the latter's death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period
of time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement; or

(b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a


deceased lawyer; or

(c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a


retirement plan even if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit
sharing agreement.

CASE NO. 8 / ULEP V. LEGAL CLINIC, INC. / BM NO. 553, JUNE 17, 1993
FACTS: Petitioner Mauricio Ulep seeks to prohibit respondent The Legal Clinic from
making advertisements pertaining to the exercise of the law profession other than
those allowed by law. Petitioner alleges that the advertisements of the respondent
are champterous, unethical, demeaning of the law profession, and destructive of the
confidence of the community in the integrity of the members of the bar and that, as
a member of the legal profession, he is ashamed and offended by the said
advertisements. In its answer, respondent claims that it is not engaged in the
practice of law but in the rendering of "legal support services" through paralegals
with the use of modern computers and electronic machines. Respondent further
argues that assuming that the services advertised are legal services, the act of
advertising these services should be allowed supposedly.

ISSUE: WON the services offered by respondent, The Legal Clinic, Inc., as advertised
by it, can be performed by paralegals in the Philippines.

HELD: NO. In our jurisdiction, the services being offered by private respondent which
constitute practice of law cannot be performed by paralegals. Only a person duly
admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with
the provisions of the Rules of Court, and who is in good and regular standing, is
entitled to practice law. Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited to
those individuals found duly qualified in education and character. The permissive
right conferred on the lawyers is an individual and limited privilege subject to
withdrawal if he fails to maintain proper standards of moral and professional
conduct. 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.

The Court Resolved to RESTRAIN and ENJOIN herein respondent, The Legal
Clinic, Inc., from issuing or causing the publication or dissemination of any
advertisement in any form, and from conducting, directly or indirectly, any
activity, operation or transaction proscribed by law or the Code of
Professional Ethics as indicated herein.

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. It includes legal
advice and counsel, and the preparation of legal instruments and contract by which
legal rights are secured, although such matter may or may not be pending in a
court. The practice of law, therefore, covers a wide range of activities in and out of
court. Thus, the activities of respondent, as advertised, constitute "practice of law."
That fact that the corporation employs paralegals to carry out its services is not
controlling. What is important is that it is engaged in the practice of law by virtue of
the nature of the services it renders which thereby brings it within the ambit of the
statutory prohibitions against the advertisements which it has caused to be
published Further, facts sufficiently establish that the main purpose of respondent is
to serve as a one-stop-shop of sorts for various legal problems wherein a client may
avail of legal services from simple documentation to complex litigation and
corporate undertakings. Most of these services are undoubtedly beyond the domain
of paralegals, but rather, are exclusive functions of lawyers engaged in the practice
of law.

CASE NO. 9 / GUBALLA V. CAGUIOA / 78 SCRA 207, JULY 29, 1977

FACTS: PetitionerJose Guballa is an operator of a public utility vehicle which was


involved, on October 1, 1971, in an accident resulting to injuries sustained by
private respondent Domingo Forteza Jr. A complaint for damages was filed by
Forteza against petitioner with the CFI of Bulacan. An Answer thereto was filed on
behalf of petitioner by Irineo Vida Jr., of the law firm of Vida Enriquez, Mercado &
Associates. Because petitioner and counsel failed to appear at the pretrial
conference on April 6, 1972, despite due notice, petitioner was treated as in default
and private respondent was allowed to present his evidence ex parte. Thereafter, a
decision was rendered by the trial court in favor of private respondent Forteza Jr.
Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the CFI. Then, a Motion
for Reconsideration was filed by petitioner, through a different counsel, Atty. Isabelo
Santos II. However the same was denied and the decision became final. A Motion for
Execution was later filed by private respondent with the lower Court which was
granted by respondent Judge. Subsequently, petitioner filed a Petition for Relief from
Judgment alleging his discovery that Irineo Vida Jr., who prepared his Answer to the
Complaint is not a member of the Philippine Bar and that consequently, his rights
had not been adequately protected and his properties are in danger of being
confiscated and/or levied upon without due process of law.

ISSUE: WON the fact that petitioner was represented at the initial stage of the
litigation by a person who is not a member of the Bar amounted to a denial of
petitioner's day in court.

HELD: NO. It should be noted that in the subsequent stages of the proceedings,
after the rendition of the judgment by default, petitioner was duly represented by
bona fide members of the Bar in seeking a reversal of the judgment for being
contrary to law and jurisprudence and the existence of valid, legal and justifiable
defenses. In other words, petitioner's rights had been amply protected in the
proceedings before the trial and appellate courts as he was subsequently assisted
by counsel. Moreover, petitioner himself was at fault as the order of treatment as in
default was predicated, not only on the alleged counsel's failure to attend the
pretrial conference on April 6, 1972, but likewise on his own failure to attend the
same, without justifiable reason. To allow this petition due course is to countenance
further delay in a proceeding which has already taken well over six years to resolve,
WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the Petition for certiorari with Preliminary
Injunction is hereby dismissed. The law firm "Vida, Enriquez, Mercado &
Associates" is hereby ordered to explain, within 10 days from notice this
Resolution, why Irineo W. Vida Jr. was permitted to sign the Answer when
he is not a member of the Bar.

CASE NO. 10 /PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF FREE LABOR UNIONS V. BINALBAGAN


ISABELA SUGAR CO. / 42 SCRA 302, NOVEMBER 29, 1971

FACTS: Petitioners Enrique Entila and Victorino Tenazas were complainants in the
case of PAFLU et al. vs. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., et al. After trial, the Court of
Industrial Relations rendered a decision ordering the reinstatement with backwages
of the complainants. Thereafter, Cipriano Cid & Associates, counsel of record for the
winning complainants, filed a notice of attorney's lien equivalent to 30% of the total
backwages. Atty. Atanacio Pacis also filed a similar notice for a reasonable amount.
Complainants filed a manifestation indicating their non-objection to an award of
attorney's fees for 25% of their backwages. On the same day, Quentin Muning filed
a "Petition for the Award of Services Rendered" equivalent to 20% of the backwages.
Munings petition was opposed by Cipriano Cid & Associates the ground that he is
not a lawyer. Subsequently, CIR awarded 25% of the backwages as compensation
for professional services rendered in the case, with the award of 10% to Attys.
Cipriano Cid & Associates, 10% to Quintin Muning, and 5% to Atty. Atanacio Pacis.
The award of 10% to Quintin Muning, who is not a lawyer, is sought to be voided in
the present petition.

ISSUE: WON a non-lawyer may recover attorney's fees for legal services rendered.

HELD: NO. It has been previously held by the Court that an agreement providing for
the division of attorney's fees, whereby a non-lawyer union president is allowed to
share in said fees with lawyers, is condemned by Canon 34 of Legal Ethics and is
immoral and cannot be justified. An award by a court of attorney's fees is no less
immoral in the absence of a contract, as in the present case. The permission for a
non-member of the bar to represent or appear or defend in court on behalf of a
party-litigant does not by itself entitle the representative to compensation for such
representation. The award for attorneys fees provided by law imports the existence
of an attorney-client relationship. No one is entitled to recover compensation for
services as an attorney at law unless he has been duly admitted to practice and is
an attorney in good standing at the time.

WHEREFORE, the orders under review are hereby set aside insofar as they
awarded 10% of the backwages as attorney's fees for respondent Quintin
Muning. Said orders are affirmed in all other respects. Costs against
respondent Muning.

CASE NO. 11 / FIVE J TAXI V. NLRC / GR NO. 111474, AUGUST 22, 1994

FACTS: Private respondents Domingo Maldigan and Gilberto Sabsalon were hired by
the petitioner Five J Taxi as taxi drivers. As such, they worked for 4 days weekly on a
24-hour shifting schedule. Aside from the daily "boundary" of P700.00 for air-
conditioned taxi or P450.00 for non-air-conditioned taxi, they were also required to
pay P20.00 for car washing, and to further make a P15.00 deposit to answer for any
deficiency in their "boundary," for every actual working day. Sometime in 1989,
Maldigan requested petitioners for the reimbursement of his daily cash deposits for
2 years, but herein petitioners told him that not a single centavo was left of his
deposits as such was spent on repairs. When Maldigan insisted on the
reimbursement, petitioners terminated his services. Sabsalon, on his part, claimed
that his termination from employment was effected when he refused to pay for the
washing of his taxi seat covers. Thus, private respondents filed a complaint with the
Manila Arbitration Office of NLRC, which later dismissed said complaint. Upon
appeal, NLRC affirmed the ruling of the labor arbiter, but modified the decision by
ordering petitioners to pay private respondents their accumulated deposits and car
wash payments, plus interest thereon at the legal rate from the date of
promulgation of judgment to the date of actual payment, and 10% of the total
amount as and for attorney's fees.

ISSUE: WON Guillermo Pulia, private respondents' authorized representative and a


non-lawyer, is entitled to attorneys fees.

HELD: NO. Article 222 of the Labor Code, as amended by Section 3 of PD 1691,
states that non-lawyers may appear before the NLRC or any labor arbiter only (1) if
they represent themselves, or (2) if they represent their organization or the
members thereof. While it may be true that Pulia was the authorized representative
of private respondents, he was a non-lawyer who did not fall in either of the
foregoing categories. Hence, by clear mandate of the law, he is not entitled to
attorney's fees. Furthermore, the statutory rule that an attorney shall be entitled to
have and recover from his client a reasonable compensation for his services
necessarily imports the existence of an attorney-client relationship as a condition
for the recovery of attorney's fees, and such relationship cannot exist unless the
client's representative is a lawyer.

WHEREFORE, the questioned judgment of respondent National Labor


Relations Commission is hereby MODIFIED by deleting the awards for
reimbursement of car wash expenses and attorney's fees and directing
said public respondent to order and effect the computation and payment
by petitioners of the refund for private respondent Domingo Maldigan's
deposits, plus legal interest thereon from the date of finality of this
resolution up to the date of actual payment thereof.

CASE NO. 12 / CAMBALIZA V. CRISTOBAL-TENORIO / AC NO. 6290, JULY 14, 2004

FACTS:Complainant Ana Marie Cambaliza, a former employee of respondent Atty.


Ana Luz Cristal-Tenorio, charged the latter with deceit, grossly immoral conduct, and
malpractice or other gross misconduct in office. The complainant alleged that the
respondent, among others, cooperated in the illegal practice of law by her husband,
who is not a member of the Philippine Bar. Complainant bolstered her claim by
submitting: (1) the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office where the name of
Felicisimo Tenorio, Jr., is listed as a senior partner; and (2) a Sagip Communication
Radio Group identification card signed by the respondent as Chairperson where her
husband is identified as Atty. Felicisimo Tenorio, Jr. She added that respondents
husband even appeared in court hearings. Upon cross-examination, when
confronted with the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office bearing her signature,
respondent admitted that Felicisimo Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer, but he and a certain
Gerardo Panghulan, who is also not a lawyer, are named as senior partners because
they have investments in her law office.

ISSUE: WON respondent is guilty of the charge of cooperating in the illegal practice
of law by Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr.
HELD: YES. 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. The term practice of law implies customarily or
habitually holding oneself out to the public as a lawyer for compensation as a
source of livelihood or in consideration of his services. In this case, Felicisimo
Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer, but he holds himself out as one. His wife, the respondent
herein, abetted and aided him in the unauthorized practice of the legal profession.
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 permissive right conferred on the lawyer is an individual and
limited privilege subject to withdrawal if he fails to maintain proper standards of
moral and professional conduct. 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.

WHEREFORE, for culpable violation of Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility, respondent Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal-Tenorio
is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6)
months effective immediately, with a warning that a repetition of the
same or similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely.

Thus, the canons and ethics of the profession enjoin him not to permit his
professional services or his name to be used in aid of, or to make possible the
unauthorized practice of law by, any agency, personal or corporate. And, the law
makes it a misbehavior on his part, subject to disciplinary action, to aid a layman in
the unauthorized practice of law.

CASE NO. 13 / BELTRAN, JR. V. ABAD / BM NO. 139, OCTOBER 11, 1984

FACTS: Court held respondent Elmo S. Abad, a successful bar examinee but has not
been admitted to the Philippine Bar, in contempt of Court for unauthorized practice
of law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case he failed to
pay the fine. (121 SCRA 217). He paid the fine. Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the
complainant, filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE TO ALL METRO MANILA COURTS THE
FACT THAT ELMO S. ABAD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW. The Report has
found as a fact, over the denials of the respondent under oath, that he signed
Exhibits B, C, and D, and that he made appearances in Metro Manila courts. This
aspect opens the respondent to a charge for perjury. The Report also reveals that
Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as counsels for Antonio S.
Maravilla one of the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 of the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. (Exhibit D.) Atty. Jacobe should be called to
account for his association with the respondent.

Respondent, when asked about the aforesaid motions, Exhibits "B" and "D", and the
signatures therein, denied that he filed the same and that the signatures therein are
his. He also denied that he appeared in the hearing in the afternoon of December 8,
1983 in the said trial court. According to him, he was in Batangas at the time. He
also testified that the only explanation he could give regarding the signatures in the
aforesaid exhibits is that the same could have been effected by Atty. Beltran to
show the Supreme Court that he (respondent) was still illegally practicing law. As to
the motion for examination and analysis of respondent's signature, the Investigator,
to afford respondent full opportunity to prove his defense, sought the assistance of
the National Bureau of Investigation to compare respondent's signature in the
aforesaid exhibits with the signatures appearing in the pleadings that he filed in the
Supreme Court, which latter signature he admits as genuine and as his own. The
aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the
NBI, have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the
decision of this Court of March 28, 1983.

ISSUES: WON Atty. Jacobe is liable in his collaboration with the respondent.

HELD: YES. He violated Canon 9 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. A lawyer shall not assist
anyone who is not a member of the Bar to practice law in this country. Thus, he
must not take as partner or associate in his law firm a person who is not a lawyer, a
lawyer who has been disbarred and a lawyer who has been suspended from practice
of law. The lawyer who assists in an unauthorized practice of law whether directly or
indirectly is subject to disciplinary action. Finally, Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe is required to
explain within ten (10) days from notice why he should not be disciplined for
collaborating and associating in the practice of the law with the respondent who is
not a member of the bar.

CASE NO. 14 / AGUIRRE V. RANA / BM NO. 1036, JUNE 10, 2003

FACTS: Respondent Edwin Rana passed the 2000 Bar Examinations. On May 21,
2001, one day before he took his oath as a member of the Philippine Bar,
complainant Donna Marie Aguirre filed a petition charging respondent with
unauthorized practice of law and grave misconduct. Complainant alleges that
respondent, while not yet a lawyer, appeared as counsel before the Municipal Board
of Election Canvassers (MBEC) of Mandaon, Masbate wherein he filed with the MBEC
a pleading dated May 19, 2001 that objected to the inclusion of certain votes in the
canvassing for the Office of Vice-Mayor for and in behalf of Vice Mayoralty
Candidate, George Bunan. However, respondent claims that he decided to assist
and advice Bunan, not as a lawyer, but as a person who knows the law. Respondent
admits signing the May 19, 2001 pleading, but he explains that he did not sign the
pleading as a lawyer or represented himself as an attorney in the pleading.

ISSUE: WON respondent is liable for indirect contempt of court for having engaged
in unauthorized practice of law.

HELD: YES. The Court held that respondent was engaged in unauthorized practice
of law when he appeared in the proceedings before the MBEC and filed various
pleadings, without license to do so. The regulation of the practice of law is
unquestionably strict. In Beltran, Jr. v. Abad, a candidate passed the bar
examinations but had not taken his oath and signed the Roll of Attorneys. He was
held in contempt of court for practicing law even before his admission to the Bar.
Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, a person who engages in the
unauthorized practice of law is liable for indirect contempt of court. True,
respondent here passed the 2000 Bar Examinations and took the lawyers oath.
However, it is the signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally makes one a full-
fledged lawyer. The fact that respondent passed the bar examinations is immaterial.
Passing the bar is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law.
Respondent should know that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still
had to be performed, namely: his lawyers oath to be administered by this Court and
his signature in the Roll of Attorneys.

Edwin L. Rana is DENIED admission to the Philippine Bar.

CASE NO. 15 / JUDGE LAQUINDANUM V. QUINTANA / AC NO. 7036, JUNE 29, 2009
FACTS: Executive Judge Lily Lydia Laquindanum of the RTC of Midsayap, Cotabato
filed an administrative case against Atty. Nestor Quintana for the latters act of
performing notarial functions in Midsayap, Cotabato, which is beyond the territorial
jurisdiction of the commissioning court that issued his notarial commission, and for
allowing his wife to do notarial acts in his absence. Upon investigation, Judge
Laquindanum allegedly discovered that it was Atty. Quintanas wife who performed
notarial acts whenever he was out of the office as attested to by the Joint Affidavit
executed by Kristine Guro and Elenita Ballentes. For his part, Atty. Quintana
admitted that the evidence presented by Guro and Ballentes were signed by his
wife, but such were the result of an entrapment operation of Judge Laquindanum: to
let somebody bring and have them notarized by his wife, when they knew that his
wife is not a lawyer. He also denied the he authorized his wife to notarize
documents. According to him, he slapped his wife and told her to stop doing it as it
would ruin his profession.

ISSUE: WON respondent Atty. Quintana is liable for the act of his wife despite not
having authorized the latter to notarize documents in his absence.

HELD: YES. A person who is commissioned as a notary public takes full


responsibility for all the entries in his notarial register. Respondent cannot take
refuge claiming that it was his wifes act and that he did not authorize his wife to
notarize documents. He is personally accountable for the activities in his office as
well as the acts of his personnel including his wife, who acts as his secretary. Atty.
Quintana is personally accountable for the documents that he admitted were signed
by his wife. He cannot relieve himself of liability by passing the blame to his wife.
He is, thus, guilty of violating Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
which requires lawyers not to directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized
practice of law.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the notarial commission of Atty. Nestor Q. Quintana, if


still existing, is hereby REVOKED, and he is DISQUALIFIED from being
commissioned as notary public for a period of two years. He is also
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six months effective immediately,
with a WARNING that the repetition of a similar violation will be dealt with
even more severely. He is DIRECTED to report the date of his receipt of
this Decision to enable this Court to determine when his suspension shall
take effect.

After a careful review of the records and evidence, there is no doubt that Atty.
Quintana violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice and the Code of Professional
Responsibility when he committed the following acts: (1) he notarized documents
outside the area of his commission as a notary public; (2) he performed notarial
acts with an expired commission; (3) he let his wife notarize documents in his
absence; and (4) he notarized a document where one of the signatories therein was
already dead at that time.

CASE NO. 16 / AMALGAMATED LABORERS' ASSOCIATION V. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL


RELATIONS / GR NO. L-23467, MARCH 27, 1968

FACTS: Amalgamated Laborers Association won a case of unfair labor practice


against Binalbagan Sugar Central Company, Inc. (Biscom). Upon motion of the
complainants, CIR sent the Chief Examiner to go to Biscom and compute the
backwages. Total net backwages amounted to P79,755.22. Appeals were made
against this decision. In the interim, Atty. Leonardo C. Fernandez (herein
respondent), in the same case, filed a Notice of Attorneys Lien over the amount
to be awarded. He alleged therein that he had been the attorney of record for the
said case since the inception of the preliminary hearings of said case up to the
Supreme Court in Appeal, as chief counsel. He claimed that the labourers have
voluntarily agreed to give him as attorneys fees on contingent basis 25% of the
award. He further averred that this is already a discounted fee out of the plea of the
unions president to reduce it from 30% for them to also satisfy Atty. Jose Ur
Carbonell. Meanwhile, CIR decided the appeals still in favour of the petitioners and
ordered Biscom to deposit the amount representing 25% of P79,755.22 with the
cashier of the court to be awarded and granted to Atty. Fernandez. Atty. Carbonell
and ALA appealed from the decision contending that 1) CIR is bereft of jurisdiction
to adjudicate contractual disputes over attorneys fees averring that a dispute
arising from contracts for attorneys fees is not a labor dispute and is not one
among the cases ruled to be within CIRs authority and to consider such a dispute to
be a mere incident to a case over which CIR may validly assume jurisdiction is to
disregard the special and limited nature of said courts jurisdiction; 2) the award of
25% as attorneys fees to Atty. Fernandez is excessive, unfair and illegal. This and a
subsequent motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WON [Felisberto Javier] can receive a share in the attorneys fees.

HELD: NO. Canon 34 of Legal Ethics condemns the arrangement wherein union
presidents should share in the attorneys fees. No division of fees for legal services
is proper, except with another lawyer, based upon a division of service and
responsibility. The union president is not the attorney for the labourers. He may
seek compensation only as union president.