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It is the duty of an attorney: (a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines. (b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers; (c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law. (d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law; (e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client's business except from him or with his knowledge and approval; (f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged; (g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any man's cause, from any corrupt motive or interest; (h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed; (i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law.
- II (10%) C engages the services of attorney D concerning various mortgage contracts entered into by her husband from whom she is separated, fearful that her real estate properties will be foreclosed and of impending suits for sums of money against her. Attorney D advised C to give him her land titles covering her lots so he could sell them to enable her to pay her creditors. He then persuaded her execute deeds of sale in his favor without any monetary or valuable consideration, to which C agreed on condition that he would sell the lots and from the proceeds pay her creditors. Later on, C came to know that attorney D did not sell her lots but instead paid her creditors with his own funds and had her land titltes registered in his name. Did attorney D violate the Code of Professional Responsibility? Explain. ANSWER: Art. 1491 states, the following persons cannot acquire by purchase, event at a public or judicial auction, either in person or through the mediation of another. A. XXX B. XXX C. XXX D. XXX E. Justices, judges, prosecuting attorneys, clerk of superior and inferior courts, and other officials and employees connected with the administration of justice. XXX this shall apply to lawyers, with respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession. F. XXX
The Supreme Court declare such sale as "void and inexistent from the beginning". By that, the lawyer violates his oath of office - to obey the laws of the land. Thus, he is guilty of malpractice and should be disciplined for his acts.
- III (10%) Attorney M. accepted a civil case for the recovery of title and possession of land in behalf of N. Subsequently, after the Regional Trial Court had issued a decision adverse to N, the latter filed an administrative case against attorney M for disbarment. He alleged that attorney M caused the advese ruling against him; that attorney M did not file an opposition to the Demurrer to Evidence filed in the case, neither did he appear at the formal hearing on the demurrer, leading the trial court to assume that plaintiff's counsel (attorney M) appeared convinced of the validity of the demurer filed; that attorney M did not even file a motion for reconsideration , causing the order to become final and executory; and that even prior to the above events and in view of attorney M's apparent loss of interest in the case, he verbally requested attorney M to withdraw, but attorney M refused. Complainant N further alleged that attorney M abused his client's trust and confidence and violated his oath of office in failing to defend his client's cause to the very end. Attorney M replied that N did not give him his full cooperation; that the voluminous records turned over to him were in disarray, and that appeared for N, he had only half of the information and background of the case; that he was assured by N's friends that they had approach the judge; that they requested him (M) to prepare a motion for reconsideration which he did and gave to them; however these friends did not return the copy of the motion. Will the administrative case proper? Give reasons for your answer. ANSWER: this problem is similar to Rasmus Anderson Jr. vs Atty. Reynaldo Cardeno AC 3523, Jan 17,2005.
The court held that as a lawyer representing the cause of his client, he should have take more control over the handling of the cases. He violated Canon 17 and 18 of the Code of Professional responsibility and was suspended for 6 months..
- IV (10%) When is recovery of attorney's fees based on quantum meruit allowed? ANSWER: 1. When there is no express contract for payment of attorney's fees agreed upon between the lawyer and the client' 2. When although there is a formal contract for attorney's fees, the fees stipulated are found unconscionable or unreasonable by the court; 3. When the attorney's fees is void due to purely formal matters or defects of execution; 4. When the counsel, for justifiable case, was not able to finish the case to its conclusion; and 5. When the lawyer and client disregard the contract for attorney's fees. -V(10%) During the hearing of an election protest filed by his brother, Judge E sat in the area reserved for the public, not beside his brother's lawyer. Judge E's brother won the election protest. Y, the defeated candidate for mayor, filed an administrative case against Judge E for employing influence and pressure on the judge who heard and decided the election protest. Judge E explained that the main reasons why he was there in the courtroom were because he wanted to observe how election protest are conducted as he has never conducted one and because he wanted to give moral support to his brother.
Did Judge E commit an act of impropriety as a member of the judiciary? Explain? ANSWER: Yes, Judge E committed an act of impropriety as a member of judiciary. In the case at bar, Judge E is a judge and a brother. As a judge, he is hidebound to the judicial canon that he should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities. As a brother, he has a moral duty to care for and protect his family. In his effort to give moral support to his brother at the expense of propriety, he sullied his judicial robe. The personal behavior of a judge must be beyond reproach for he is the visible representation of the law and of justice. The Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to avoid not only impropriety, but even the appearance of impropriety in all their conduct, whether in their public or private life. The proscription includes a judge's meddling with judicial processes in courts other than his own and acting in a manner that would arouse suspicion that he is meddling with such court processes as what Judge E demonstrated in the case at bar. - VI (Total 10%) a. A and B are accused of Estafa by C, the wife of Regional Trial Court Judge D. Judge D testified as a witness for the prosecution in the Estafa case. Did Judge D commit an act of impropriety? Give reasons for your answer. (5%) b. What qualities should an ideal judge possess under the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary? (5%) ANSWER: A. The remedy of the Judge, being related to one of the parties in dispute, is to inhibit himself on the ground that he is related with one of the parties involved and he has personal knowledge in the case. A judge can serve as a guardian, executor, XXX of his immediate family (up to 2nd degree of consanguinity). Based on the grounds stated as to the reasons for his inhibition, it is not considered as an act of impropriety in the part of Judge D.
B. Judges should be men who have mastery of the principles of law, who discharge his duties in accordance with law, who permitted to perform his duties free from any influence, and who are independent and self-respecting human units in a judicial system equal and coordinate to the other two departments of government (Borromeo v. Mariano, 41 Phil. 322). The nature of the office of the judge requires equanimity, prudence, fortitude and courage (Summers v. Ozaeta, 81 Phil 754) Judges, being the visible representative of the law, must be models of uprightness, fairness and honesty ( Barotac Nuevo. Inc. v. Cartagena, 84 SCRA 128). A judge should be the imbodiment of competence, integrity and independence ( Rule 1.01 Code of Judicial Conduct) - VII (Total 10%) a. What evidence of identity does the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice require before a notary public can officially affix his notarial seal on and sign a document presented by an individual whom the notary public does not personally know? (5%) b. When can Judges of the Municipal Trial Courts (MTC) and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts (MCTC) perform the function of notaries public ex officio, even if the notarization of the documents are not in connection with the exercise of their official function and duties? (5%) ANSWER: - VIII (10%) Prepare a clause stipulating a right of first refusal to be embodied in a contract of lease, in case of sale of the property leased. ANSWER: - IX (10%) Prepare an affidavit of merits to be attached to a Petition for Relief.
ANSWER: -X(10%) Prepare an arbitration clause to be included in a contract. ANSWER -------------------------------------------------
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