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Legal Ethics (Atty.

by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

CHAPTER III. THE LAWYER AND THE COURTS respondent, accompanied by armed men,
suddenly arrived and demanded that she
surrender to him the custody of their
children. He threatened to forcefully take
them away with the help of his companions,
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor
whom he claimed to be agents of the
consent to the doing of any in Court; nor shall he
National Bureau of Investigation.
mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any
Alarmed, complainant immediately sought the
assistance of the Tanjay City Police. The
Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote responding policemen subsequently escorted
or misrepresent the contents of a paper, the her to the police station where the matter
language or the argument of opposing counsel, or could be clarified and settled peacefully.
the text of a decision or authority, or knowingly cite At the police station, respondent caused to
as law a provision already rendered inoperative by be entered in the Police Blotter a statement
repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that which that he, assisted by agents of the NBI,
has not been proved. formally served on complainant the appellate
court's resolution/order.
Rule 10.03 - A lawyer shall observe the rules of In order to diffuse the tension, complainant
procedure and shall not misuse them to defeat the agreed to allow the children to sleep with
ends of justice. respondent for one night on condition that
Hueysuwan v Florido he would not take them away from Tanjay
A.C. No. 5624 (Jan 20, 2004) City.
The next day, complainant received
information that a van arrived at the hotel
FACTS: where respondent and the children were
Natasha V. Hueysuwan-Florido averred that staying to take them to Bacolod City.
she is the legitimate spouse of respondent Complainant rushed to the hotel and took
Atty. James Benedict C. Florido, but that they the children to another room, where they
are estranged and living separately from each stayed.
other On the same day, respondent filed with the
They have two children namely, Kamille Regional Trial Court of Dumaguete City,
Nicole H. Florido, five years old, and James Branch 31, a verified petition for the issuance
Benedict H. Florido, Jr., three years old of a writ of habeas corpus asserting his right
both of whom are in complainant's custody. to custody of the children on the basis of
Complainant filed a case for the annulment the alleged Court of Appeals' Resolution.
of her marriage with respondent In the meantime, complainant verified the
Sometime in the middle of December 2001, authenticity of the Resolution and obtained a
respondent went to complainant's residence certification from the Court of Appeals
and demanded the surrender of the custody of stating that no such resolution ordering
their two minor children. He showed complainant to surrender custody of their
complainant a photocopy of an alleged children to respondent had been issued.
Resolution issued by the Court of Appeals At the hearing of the petition for habeas
which supposedly granted his motion for corpus on January 23, 2002, respondent did
temporary child custody. not appear. Consequently, the petition was
Complainant called up her lawyer but the dismissed.
latter informed her that he had not received Complainant filed the instant complaint
any motion for temporary child custody filed alleging that respondent violated his
by respondent. attorney's oath by manufacturing, flaunting
Complainant asked respondent for the and using a spurious Court of Appeals'
original copy of the alleged resolution of the Resolution in and outside a court of law.
Court of Appeals, but respondent failed to Furthermore, respondent abused and
give it to her. Complainant then examined misused the privilege granted to him by the
the resolution closely and noted that it bore Supreme Court to practice law in the
two dates: November 12, 2001 and country. After respondent answered the
November 29, 2001. Sensing something complaint, the matter was referred to the
amiss, she refused to give custody of their IBP-Commission on Bar Discipline for
children to respondent. investigation, report and recommendation
In January 15, 2002, while complainant was
with her children in the ABC Learning Center

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

ISSUE: Subsequently, private respondents filed an

Whether or not the respondent can be held Urgent Manifestation and Motion for an
administratively liable for his reliance on and Immediate Writ of Possession/Break Open
attempt to enforce a spurious Resolution of the Order. The motion was opposed by herein
Court of Appeals. petitioner Eternal Gardens Memorial Park
Corporation contending that it is not
HELD: submitting to the jurisdiction of the trial
Respondent claims that he acted in good court; that it is completely unaware of the
faith in invoking the Court of Appeals suit between private respondents and Central
Resolution which he honestly believed to be Dyeing; that it is the true and registered
authentic. This, however, is belied by the fact owner of the lot having bought the same
that he used and presented the spurious from Central Dyeing; and that it was a buyer
Resolution two times: in good faith.
first, in his Petition for Issuance of Writ of The trial court granted private respondents
Habeas Corpus docketed as Special Proc. Case motion. Another Order was issued by the
No. 3898, 7 which he filed with the Regional trial court holding that the judgment was
Trial Court of Dumaguete City; binding on petitioner (Eternal Gardens), being
Second, when he sought the assistance of the successor-in-interest of defendant Central
the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Tanjay Dyeing
City to recover custody of his minor children Petitioner went to the Court of Appeals in a
from complainant. Since it was respondent petition for certiorari. The Court of Appeals
who used the spurious Resolution, he is rendered judgment dismissing the petition
presumed to have participated in its and further denied its motion for
fabrication. reconsideration
Candor and fairness are demanded of every On further appeal to this Court, petitioner's
lawyer. (CANON 10 of the CPR) petition for review on certiorari, docketed as
Moreover, the records show that respondent G.R. No. 109076, was denied in a resolution.
used offensive language in his pleadings in Upon finality of said resolution, this Court
describing complainant and her relative. A issued Entry of Judgment dated October 21,
lawyer's language should be forceful but 1993
dignified, emphatic but respectful as befitting Thereafter, private respondents filed another
an advocate and in keeping with the dignity motion for the issuance of a second writ of
of the legal profession execution before the trial court which was
Respondents actions erode the public granted in the Order of July 20, 1994. Not
perception of the legal profession. They willing to give up, petitioner sought a
constitute gross misconduct and the sanctions reconsideration
for such malfeasance is prescribed by Section Petitioners motion was initially granted by the
27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court trial court. However, upon motion of private
(Disbarment and suspension of attorneys by respondents, the said order was reconsidered
Supreme Court, grounds therefor) and ultimately the court granted the writ of
Atty. James Benedict C. Florido is execution
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a Desperately needing a favorable judgment,
period of two (2) years. petitioner, for the second time, filed a
petition for certiorari with the Court of
Eternal Gardens Memorial Park v CA Appeals arguing inter alia: that the judgment
G.R. No. 123698 (August 5, 1998) cannot be executed against it because it was
not a party to Civil Case No. C-9297; that
the decision of the trial court in said case
On May 18, 1981 private respondent-spouses
never mandated Central Dyeing to deliver
Jose Seelin and Lilia Sevilla Seelin filed a
possession of the property to the private
complaint against Central Dyeing & Finishing
respondents; that certain facts and
Corporation (Central Dyeing for brevity) for
circumstances which occurred after the
quieting of title and for declaration of nullity
finality of the judgment will render the
of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT No.
execution highly unjust, illegal and
205942) issued in the name of said
inequitable; that the issuance of the assailed
writ of execution violates the lot buyers'
The trial court rendered judgment in favor of
freedom of religion and worship; and that
the spouses which was affirmed by the Court of
private respondents' title is being questioned
in another case.

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition We note that while lawyers owe entire
and denied its motion for reconsideration devotion to the interest of their clients and
Petitioner once again seeks this Court's zeal in the defense of their client's right, they
intervention reiterating in essence the same should not forget that they are officers of
line of arguments espoused in their petition the court, bound to exert every effort to
before the respondent Court of Appeals assist in the speedy and efficient
administration of justice. They should not,
ISSUE: therefore, misuse the rules of procedure to
Whether or not the contention of the petitioner are defeat the ends of justice or unduly delay a
correct and that it should be given favorable case, impede the execution of a judgment or
judgment. misuse court processes
the petition is hereby DENIED
Once a court renders a final judgment, all CANON 11 - A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND
the issues between or among the parties are MAINTAIN THE RESPECT DUE TO THE COURTS AND
deemed resolved and its judicial functions TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSIST ON
with respect to any matter related to the SIMILAR CONDUCT BY OTHERS.
controversy litigated come to an end
Placing private respondents in possession of
Rule 11.01 - A lawyer shall appear in court properly
the land in question is the necessary and
logical effect or consequence of the decision
declaring them as the rightful owners of the Rule 11.02 - A lawyer shall punctually appear at
property. As correctly argued by the private court hearings.
respondents, they do not have to institute
another action for the purpose of taking Rule 11.03 - A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous,
possession of the subject realty. offensive or menacing language or behavior before
The pendency of Civil Case No. C-11337 for the Courts.
annulment of titles filed by the Republic Rule 11.04 - A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge
against private respondents will not justify motives not supported by the record or have no
the suspension of the execution of the materiality to the case.
judgment in Civil Case No. C-9297. This is so
because the petitioner's title which Rule 11.05 - A lawyer shall submit grievances against
originated from Central Dyeing (TCT No. a Judge to the proper authorities only.
205942) was already annulled in the
In Re Almacen
judgment sought to be executed, and which
G.R. No. L-27654 (February 18, 1970)
judgment had long been affirmed by the
Court of Appeals and by this Court. Thus, FACTS:
even if the trial court will nullify the said This case started in a civil case entitled Virginia
private respondents' title in Civil Case No. C- Y. Yaptinchay vs. Antonio H. Calero, in which
11337, as argued by petitioner, the supposed Atty. Almacen was counsel for the defendant.
adverse decision cannot validate TCT No. In this case, the trial court, after due hearing,
205942 and make petitioner the rightful rendered judgment against his client. Upon
owner of the subject land. Clearly, the appeal, the Court of Appeals likewise dismissed
present petition was instituted merely to the appeal. Upon appeal to the SC for certiorari,
delay the execution of the judgment. the SC by minute resolution denied the appeal.
It was at this juncture that Atty. Almacen gave
Be that as it may, the petition has been
vent to his disappointment by filing his "Petition
rendered moot and academic in view of the
to Surrender Lawyer's Certificate of Title,"
fact that the questioned Alias Writ of through a pleading that is interspersed from
Possession and Alias Writ of Execution have beginning to end with the insolent
already been implemented by the Sheriff as contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and
shown by the "Sheriff's Return," dated March derogatory remarks against the Court as well as
31, 1995, with the attached "Turn Over its individual members.
Premises" indicating therein that private Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen surrendered his
respondents took possession of the subject lawyers certificate in protest against what he
property therein asserts is "a great injustice committed
A note of caution. This case has again delayed against his client by this Supreme Court."
the execution of a final judgment for He said that the SC as a tribunal is "peopled by
seventeen (17) years to the prejudice of the men who are calloused to our pleas for justice,
who ignore without reasons their own
private respondent

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

applicable decisions and commit culpable bounds of legitimate criticism. They could never
violations of the Constitution with impunity." serve any purpose but to gratify the spite of an
He also said that His client who was deeply irate attorney, attract public attention to
aggrieved by this Court's "unjust judgment," has himself and, more important of all, bring; this
become "one of the sacrificial victims before the Court and its members into disrepute and
altar of hypocrisy" destroy public confidence in them to the
He alludes to the classic symbol of justice, he detriment of the orderly administration of
ridicules the members of this Court, saying "that justice. Odium of this character and texture
justice as administered by the present members presents no redeeming feature, and completely
of the Supreme Court is not only blind, but also negates any pretense of passionate
deaf and dumb" commitment to the truth. It is not a whit less
He then vows to argue the cause of his client "in than a classic example of gross misconduct,
the people's forum," so that "the people may gross violation of the lawyer's oath and gross
know of the silent injustices committed by this transgression of the Canons of Legal Ethics. As
Court," and that "whatever mistakes, wrongs such, it cannot be allowed to go unrebuked. The
and injustices that were committed must never way for the exertion of our disciplinary powers
be repeated." is thus laid clear, and the need therefor is
ISSUE: Thus, Atty. Almacen is hereby suspended in the
Whether or not Atty. Almacen shall be subject to practice of law for an indefinite time. The merit
disciplinary actions for his contemptuous, grossly of this choice is best shown by the fact that it
disrespectful and derogatory remarks against the will then be left to Atty. Almacen to determine
Court. for himself how long or how short that
suspension shall last. For, at any time after the
RULING: suspension becomes effective, he may prove to
The Court ordered that Atty. Vicente Raul this Court that he is once again fit to resume the
Almacen be, as he is hereby, suspended from practice of law.
the practice of law until further orders, the
suspension to take effect immediately.
Wicker v Arcangel
Every citizen has the right to comment upon and
criticize the actuations of public officers. This G.R. No. 112869 (January 29, 1996)
right is not diminished by the fact that the FACTS:
criticism is aimed at a judicial authority, or that
It appears that on November 18, 1993, Wickers
it is articulated by a lawyer. Judicial officers, like
counsel, Atty. Rayos, filed a motion seeking the
other public servants, must answer for their
inhibition of the respondent Judge Arcangel
official actions before the chancery of public
from the case.
Respondent Judge found offense in the
But it is the cardinal condition of all such
allegations on the motion for inhibition filed by
criticism that it shall be bona fide, and shall not
complainants. He argued that the motion for
spill over the walls of decency and propriety. A
inhibition by Petitioners are malicious,
wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the
derogatory and contemptuous. Respondent, in
One hand, and abuse and slander of courts and
an order, held them guilty of direct contempt
the judges thereof, on the other. Intemperate
and sentenced each to suffer imprisonment for
and unfair criticism is a gross violation of the
five (5) days and to pay a fine of P100.00.
duty of respect to courts. It is such a misconduct
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration,
that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action.
which respondent judge denied for lack of merit
The SC explained elaborately that the lawyer's
in his order of December 17, 1993.
duty to render respectful subordination to the
Petitioner argues that when a person, impelled
courts is essential to the orderly administration
by justifiable apprehension and acting in a
of justice. Hence, in the assertion of their
respectful manner, asks a judge to inhibit
clients' rights, lawyers even those gifted with
himself from hearing his case, he does not
superior intellect are enjoined to rein up their
thereby become guilty of contempt.
tempers. The SC enumerates numerous
jurisprudence regarding this doctrine or rule.
Indeed, in this jurisdiction, that power to
Whether or not petitioners are guilty for contempt.
remove or suspend has risen above being a
mere inherent or incidental power. It has been
elevated to an express mandate by the Rules of
Petitioners are guilty. However the order of
In this case, the virulence so blatantly evident in
December 3, 1993 is MODIFIED by DELETING the
Atty. Almacen's petition, answer and oral
sentence of imprisonment for five (5) days and
argumentation speaks for itself. The vicious
INCREASING the fine from P100.00 to P200.00
language used and the scurrilous innuendoes
for each of the petitioners.
they carried far transcend the permissible

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

The Code of Professional Responsibility enjoins this Court, by virtue of Administrative Order No.
the lawyer to "observe and maintain the respect 154-93, precisely in the interest of an efficient
due to the courts and to judicial officers and [to] administration of justice and pursuant to Sec. 5
insist on similar conduct by others" and "not [to] (3), Art. VIII of the Constitution. This is a matter
attribute to a Judge motives not supported by of record which could have easily been verified
the record or have materiality to the case." by Atty. Rayos. After all, as he claims, he
The power to punish for contempt is to be deliberated for two months whether or not to
exercised on the preservative and not on the file the offending motion for inhibition as his
vindictive principle. Only occasionally should it client allegedly asked him to do.
be invoked to preserve that respect without
which the administration of justice will fail. The Re: Letter of UP Law Faculty
contempt power ought not to be utilized for the A.M. No. 10-10-4 SC (March 8, 2011)
purpose of merely satisfying an inclination to
strike back at a party for showing less than full FACTS:
respect for the dignity of the court Sanction awaits a subordinate who misbehaves.
In this case, Atty. Rayos claims he merely did The right to criticize the courts and judicial officers
what he had been bidden to do by his client of must be balanced against the equally primordial
whom he was merely a "mouthpiece." He was concern that the independence of the Judiciary be
just "lawyering" and "he cannot be gagged," protected from due influence or interference. In
even if the allegations in the motion for the cases where the critics are not only citizens but
inhibition which he prepared and filed were members of the Bar, jurisprudence has repeatedly
false since it was his client who verified the affirmed the authority of this Court to discipline
same. Atty. Rayos, however, cannot evade
lawyers whose statements regarding the courts and
responsibility for the allegations in question.
fellow lawyers, whether judicial or extrajudicial, have
Atty. Rayos' duty to the courts is not secondary
to that of his client exceeded the limits of fair comment and common
The Court sustains Judge Arcangel's finding that decency.
petitioners are guilty of contempt. A reading of Shortly after the promulgation of the Supreme Court
the allegations in petitioners' motion for decision in Vinuya v. Executive Secretary (the Vinuya
inhibition, particularly the following paragraphs decision), the case involving the Filipino comfort
thereof: women during the Japanese occupation, the counsel
2. Meantime, Judge Capulong who had full for the petitioners therein filed, first, a Motion for
grasp of this case was eased out of his station. In Reconsideration reiterating the fundamental
one hearing, the Acting Presiding Judge had not responsibility of states in protecting its citizens
yet reported to his station and in that set human rights specifically pertaining to jus cogens
hearing, counsel for defendant LFS Enterprises,
norms and, second, a supplement thereto asserting
Inc. who must have known that His Honor was
that the Vinuya decision was plagiarized from
not reporting did not likewise appear while other
counsels were present; different sources and that the true intents of the
3. Plaintiffs have information that the Acting plagiarized sources were twisted by the ponente,
Presiding Judge was personally recruited from Justice Mariano del Castillo (Justice del Castillo), to
the south by Atty. Benjamin Santos and/or his suit the arguments laid down in said decision.
wife, Atty. Ofelia Calcetas-Santos, one time Vis-a-vis the Courts formation of an ethics
member of the Judicial and Bar Council, against committee tasked to investigate the veracity of the
whom plaintiff Kelly R. Wicker filed alleged plagiarism, the authors who were
Administrative Case No. 3796, and although said purportedly plagiarized sent their respective letters
case was dismissed, nevertheless, plaintiffs feel to the Supreme Court, noting the misreading and/or
that it was the reason for Atty. Ofelia Calcetas- misrepresentation of their articles. Hence, in their
Santos' relief;
articles, they argue that the crimes of rape, torture
This leads to no other conclusion than that and sexual slavery can be classified as crimes against
respondent judge was beholden to the opposing humanity, thus attaining the jus cogens status;
counsel in the case, Atty. Benjamin Santos, to
consequently, it shall be obligatory upon the State to
whom or to whose wife, the judge owed his
seek remedies on behalf of its aggrieved citizens.
transfer to the RTC of Makati, which
necessitated "easing out" the former judge to However, the Vinuya decision cited them to support
make room for such transfer. These allegations the contrary stand.
are derogatory to the integrity and honor of In response to this controversy, the faculty of UP
respondent judge and constitute an College of Law came up with a statement entitled
unwarranted criticism of the administration of Restoring Integrity: A Statement by the Faculty of
justice in this country. They suggest that the University of the Philippines College of Law on
lawyers, if they are well connected, can the Allegations of Plagiarism and Misrepresentation
manipulate the assignment of judges to their in the Supreme Court (Restoring Integrity
advantage. The truth is that the assignments of Statement), which statement alleged plagiarism
Judges Arcangel and Capulong were made by

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

against Justice del Castillo, treating the same not does not justify the use of offensive and abusive
only as an established fact, but as a truth. Said language. Language abounds with countless
statement was posted online and at the Colleges possibilities for one to be emphatic but
bulletin board and was submitted to the Supreme respectful, convincing but not derogatory,
Court. The manner in presenting the arguments and illuminating but not offensive.
the language used therein, the Court believed, were In a long line of cases, the Court has held that
the right to criticize the courts and judicial
inappropriate considering its signatories are lawyers.
officers must be balanced against the equally
Thus, the Supreme Court issued a Show Cause
primordial concern that the independence of
Resolution directing respondents to show cause why
the Judiciary be protected from due influence or
they should not be disciplined as members of the interference. In cases where the critics are not
Bar for violations of the Code of Professional only citizens but members of the Bar,
Responsibility. Conversely, compliance to such jurisprudence has repeatedly affirmed the
resolution was unsatisfactory, except for one authority of this Court to discipline lawyers
respondent. whose statements regarding the courts and
fellow lawyers, whether judicial or extrajudicial,
have exceeded the limits of fair comment and
ISSUES: common decency.
1. Whether or not the Show Cause Resolution denies
respondents their freedom of expression The Show Cause Resolution does not violate
2. Whether or not the Show Cause Resolution respondents academic freedom as law professors
violates respondents academic freedom as law
professors There is nothing in the Show Cause Resolution
that dictates upon respondents the subject
HELD: matter they can teach and the manner of their
instruction. Moreover, it is not inconsistent
Petition DENIED. with the principle of academic freedom for this
Court to subject lawyers who teach law to
The Show Cause Resolution does not deny disciplinary action for contumacious conduct
respondents their freedom of expression and speech, coupled with undue intervention in
favor of a party in a pending case, without
A reading of the Show Cause Resolution will observing proper procedure, even if purportedly
plainly show that it was neither the fact that done in their capacity as teachers.
respondents had criticized a decision of the Academic freedom cannot be successfully
Court nor that they had charged one of its invoked by respondents in this case. The
members of plagiarism that motivated the said constitutional right to freedom of expression of
Resolution. It was the manner of the criticism members of the Bar may be circumscribed by
and the contumacious language by which their ethical duties as lawyers to give due
respondents, who are not parties nor counsels respect to the courts and to uphold the publics
in the Vinuya case, have expressed their opinion faith in the legal profession and the justice
in favor of the petitioners in the said pending system. The Court believes that the reason that
case for the proper disposition and freedom of expression may be so delimited in
consideration of the Court that gave rise to said the case of lawyers applies with greater force to
Resolution. The Show Cause Resolution the academic freedom of law professors.
painstakingly enumerated the statements that The Court reiterates that lawyers when they
the Court considered excessive and uncalled for teach law are considered engaged in the
under the circumstances surrounding the practice of law. Unlike professors in other
issuance, publication, and later submission to disciplines and more than lawyers who do not
this Court of the UP Law facultys Restoring teach law, respondents are bound by their oath
Integrity Statement. to uphold the ethical standards of the legal
The right to criticize, which is guaranteed by the profession. Thus, their actions as law professors
freedom of speech and of expression in the Bill must be measured against the same canons of
of Rights of the Constitution, must be exercised professional responsibility applicable to acts of
responsibly, for every right carries with it a members of the Bar as the fact of their being
corresponding obligation. Freedom is not law professors is inextricably entwined with the
freedom from responsibility, but freedom with fact that they are lawyers.
responsibility. Thus, proscribed are the use of
unnecessary language which jeopardizes high
esteem in courts, creates or promotes distrust in
judicial administration, or tends necessarily to
undermine the confidence of people in the
integrity of the members of the Court. In other
words, while a lawyer is entitled to present his
case with vigor and courage, such enthusiasm

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

CANON 12 - A LAWYER SHALL EXERT EVERY EFFORT turn over the proceeds of the sale. This forced
AND CONSIDER IT HIS DUTY TO ASSIST IN THE Soledad to file an action for a sum of money
JUSTICE. The court rendered its decision ordering the
Atty. to pay Soledad the sum of P16,000 as
principal obligation, with at the legal rate from
Rule 12.01 - A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless
the date of the commencement of the action.
he has adequately prepared himself on the law and
An appeal to the CA was made. However, the
the facts of his case, the evidence he will adduce and
appeal was dismissed for failure to pay the
the order of its proferrence. He should also be ready
required docket fee within the reglementary
with the original documents for comparison with the
period despite notice.
Soledad filed a motion for the issuance of an
Rule 12.02 - A lawyer shall not file multiple actions alias writ of execution. But it appears that only a
arising from the same cause. partial satisfaction of the P16,000 judgment was
made, leaving P13,800 unsatisfied. In payment
Rule 12.03 - A lawyer shall not, after obtaining for the latter, Atty. issued four postdated checks
extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda or but was dishonored because the account against
briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the which they were drawn was closed.
same or offering an explanation for his failure to do Hence, Soledad was forced to file four criminal
so. complaints for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 before
Rule 12.04 - A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, the MTC, Quezon City.
impede the execution of a judgment or misuse Court In a joint affidavit, Atty. Ricafort admitted
processes. having drawn and issued said four postdated
checks in favor of Soledad. Allegedly believing in
Rule 12.05 - A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his good faith that said checks had already been
witness during a break or recess in the trial, while the encashed by Soledad, he subsequently closed
witness is still under examination. his checking account in China Banking
Corporation, Legazpi City, from which said four
Rule 12.06 - A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a
checks were drawn. He was not notified that the
witness to misrepresent himself or to impersonate
checks were dishonored. Had he been notified,
he would have made the necessary
Rule 12.07 - A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or arrangements with the bank.
harass a witness nor needlessly inconvenience him. The court required Atty. to comment on the
complaint. But he never did despite the
Rule 12.08 - A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf
favorable action on his three motions for
of his client, except:
extension of time to file the comment. His
(a) on formal matters, such as the mailing, failure to do so compelled Soledad to file a
authentication or custody of an instrument, and the motion to cite Atty. in contempt on the ground
like; or that his strategy to file piecemeal motions for
extension of time to submit the comment
(b) on substantial matters, in cases where his smacks of a delaying tactic scheme that is
testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in which unworthy of a member of the bar and a law
event he must, during his testimony, entrust the trial dean.
of the case to another counsel. The IBP findings show that the Atty. had no
intention to honor the money judgment
Nunez v Atty. Ricafort
against him. It recommended that Atty. be
A.C. No. 5054 (May 29, 2002)
declared guilty of misconduct in his dealings
FACTS: with complainant and be suspended from the
An administrative complaint was by Soledad practice of law for at least one year and pay the
Nuez, a septuagenarian represented by her amount of the checks issued to the complainant.
attorney-in-fact Ananias B. Co, Jr., seeking the
disbarment of Atty. Romulo Ricafort on the
Whether or not Atty. Romulo Ricafort is guilty of
ground of grave misconduct.
grave misconduct in his dealings with complainant.
Sometime in October 1982, Soledad authorized
Atty. Ricafort to sell her two parcels of land HELD:
located in Legazpi City for P40,000. She agreed YES. There is a blatant violation of Rule 1:01 of
to the lawyer 10% of the price as commission. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional
Atty. Ricafort succeeded in selling the lots, but Responsibility which provides:
despite Soledads repeated demands, he did not

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest is actively representing his client. The complaint
and immoral or deceitful conduct. also alleged that after the hearing of the case,
respondent accompanied by several persons
By violating Rule 1:01 of Canon 1 of the Code of waited for Complainant and after confronting
Professional Responsibility, Atty. diminished the latter disarmed him of his sidearm and
public confidence in the law and the lawyers. thereafter uttered insulting words and veiled
Instead of promoting such confidence and threats.
respect, he miserably failed to live up to the In his answer, respondent denied having
standards of the legal profession. disarmed the complainant and uttered insulting
His act of issuing bad checks in satisfaction of words nor veiled threats against the latter. He
however admitted that he executed an affidavit
the alias writ of execution for money judgment
in favour of his client and offered the same as
rendered by the trial court was a clear attempt
evidence in a case where he is actively
to defeat the ends of justice. His failure to make
representing his client but interposed the
good the checks despite demands and the defense that lawyers could testify on behalf of
criminal cases for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 their clients "on substantial matters, in cases
showed his continued defiance of judicial where [their] testimony is essential to the ends
processes, which he, as an officer of the court, of justice." Complainant charged respondents
was under continuing duty to uphold. clients with attempted murder. Respondent
To further demonstrate his very low regard for averred that since they were in his house when
the courts and judicial processes, he even had the alleged crime occurred, "his testimony is
the temerity of making a mockery of the courts very essential to the ends of justice.
generosity to him. We granted his three motions The IBP, while finding that administrative offense
for extension of time to file his comment on the was committed by respondent for violating the
notarial law, recommended the dismissal of the
complaint in this case. Yet, not only did he fail to
complaint for alleged violation of Rule 12.07 and
file the comment, he as well did not even bother
Rule 12.08 of Canon 12 of the Code of
to explain such failure notwithstanding our Professional Responsibility for insufficiency of
resolution declaring him as having waived the evidence. Hence, the present action was
filing of the comment. To the SC, Atty. openly commenced.
showed a high degree of irresponsibility
amounting to willful disobedience to its lawful ISSUE:
orders. May a lawyer testify on substantial matters relative
Atty. Ricafort then knowingly and willfully to the cause of the party which he is actively
violated Rules 12.04 and 12:03 of Canon 12 of representing in a case without violating the Code of
the Code of Professional Responsibility stating Professional Responsibility?
Lawyers should avoid any action that would
YES. Parenthetically, under the law, a lawyer is
unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a
not disqualified from being a witness, except
judgment or misuse court processes; and that only in certain cases pertaining to privileged
lawyers, after obtaining extensions of time to communication arising from an attorney-client
file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, should not relationship. The reason behind such rule is the
let the period lapse without submitting the difficulty posed upon lawyers by the task of
same or offering an explanation for their failure dissociating their relation to their clients as
to do so. witnesses from that as advocates. Witnesses are
The SC indefinitely suspended Atty. Ricafort expected to tell the facts as they recall them. In
from the practice of law and directed to pay contradistinction, advocates are partisans --
Soledad P13,800. those who actively plead and defend the cause
of others. It is difficult to distinguish the fairness
Santiago v Atty. Rafanan and impartiality of a disinterested witness from
A.C. No. 6252 (October 5, 2004) the zeal of an advocate. The question is one of
propriety rather than of competency of the
FACTS: lawyers who testify for their clients.
Complainant Jonar Santiago, an employee of the Thus, although the law does not forbid lawyers
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, from being witnesses and at the same time
lodged a disbarment complaint against counsels for a cause, the preference is for them
respondent Atty. Edison Rafanan before the to refrain from testifying as witnesses, unless
Integrated Bar of the Philippines alleging, inter they absolutely have to; and should they do so,
alia, that Atty. Rafanan violated Rule 12.07 and to withdraw from active management of the
Rule 12.08 of Canon 12 of the Code of case.
Professional Responsibility when the latter Notwithstanding this guideline and the existence
executed an affidavit in favour of his client and of the Affidavit executed by Atty. Rafanan in
offered the same as evidence in a case where he

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

favor of his clients, we cannot hastily make him government in the normal course of judicial
administratively liable for the following reasons: proceedings.
First, we consider it the duty of a lawyer to
assert every remedy and defense that is Lantoria v Atty. Bunyi
authorized by law for the benefit of the client, A.C. No. 1769 (June 8, 1992)
especially in a criminal action in which the
latters life and liberty are at stake. Having
undertaken the defense of the accused, This is an administrative complaint filed by Cesar
respondent, as defense counsel, was thus L. Lantoria, seeking disciplinary action against
expected to spare no effort to save his clients respondent Irineo L. Bunyi, member of the
from a wrong conviction. The Affidavit executed Philippine Bar, on the ground that respondent
by Atty. Rafanan was clearly necessary for the Bunyi allegedly committed acts of "graft and
defense of his clients, since it pointed out the corruption, dishonesty and conduct unbecoming
fact that on the alleged date and time of the of a member of the Integrated Bar of the
incident, his clients were at his residence and Philippines, and corruption of the judge and
could not have possibly committed the crime bribery", in connection with respondent's
charged against them. Notably, in his Affidavit,
handling of Civil Case Nos. 81, 83 and 88 then
complainant does not dispute the statements of
pending before the Municipal Court of
respondent or suggest the falsity of its contents.
Experanza, Agusan del Sur, presided over by
Second, paragraph (b) of Rule 12.08
contemplates a situation in which lawyers give Municipal Judge Vicente Galicia in which
their testimonies during the trial. In this respondent Bunyi was the counsel of one of the
instance, the Affidavit was submitted during the parties, namely, Mrs. Constancia Mascarinas.
preliminary investigation which, as such, was Complainant argued that Argued that
merely inquisitorial. Not being a trial of the case Respondent won the said three (3) cases
on the merits, a preliminary investigation has involving the ejectment of squatters of
the oft-repeated purposes of securing innocent Complainants premises because Respondent
persons against hasty, malicious and oppressive was the one who unethically prepared the
prosecutions; protecting them from open and decisions rendered therein, and that the
public accusations of crime and from the trouble preparation by respondent of said decisions
as well as expense and anxiety of a public trial;
warranted disciplinary action against him.
and protecting the State from useless and
Respondent Bunyi argued that although he
expensive prosecutions. The investigation is
advisedly called preliminary, as it is yet to be prepared the draft of the decisions in the civil
followed by the trial proper. cases, he did not offer Judge Galicia any gift or
Nonetheless, we deem it important to stress and consideration to influence the Judge in allowing
remind respondent to refrain from accepting him to prepare the draft decisions. He also
employment in any matter in which he knows or offered his apology to the Court for all the
has reason to believe that he may be an improprieties which may have resulted from his
essential witness for the prospective client. preparation of the draft decisions.
Furthermore, in future cases in which his
testimony may become essential to serve the
"ends of justice," the canons of the profession ISSUE:
require him to withdraw from the active Whether or not Respondent is liable for the alleged
prosecution of these cases. act.


MERITS OF HIS CAUSE AND REFRAIN FROM ANY Respondent is liable. He is suspended for 1 year.
GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCING THE In the new Code of Professional Responsibility
COURT. 16 a lawyer's attempt to influence the court is
rebuked, as shown in Canon No. 13 and Rule
13.01, which read:
Rule 13.01 - A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary
attention or hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for CANON 13 A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of
cultivating familiarity with Judges. his cause and refrain from any impropriety which
tends to influence, or gives the appearance of
Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public influencing the court.
statements in the media regarding a pending case
tending to arouse public opinion for or against a Rule 13.01 A lawyer shall not extend
party. extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor seek
opportunity for, cultivating familiarity with judges.
Rule 13.03 - A lawyer shall not brook or invite
interference by another branch or agency of the

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

In this case, the subject letters indeed indicate justices, Attorney Paguia filed, on 14 July 2003, a
that respondent had previous communication motion for their disqualification.
with Judge Galicia regarding the preparation of The petitioner also asked the Court to include in
the draft decisions in Civil Case Nos. 81, 83, and its Joint Resolution the TRUTH of the acts of
88, and which he in fact prepared. Although Chief Justice Davide, et al., last January 20, 2001
nothing in the records would show that in:
respondent got the trial court judge's consent to
the said preparation for a favor or
a) Going to EDSA 2;
consideration, the acts of respondent
nevertheless amount to conduct unbecoming of
b) authorizing the proclamation of Vice-President
a lawyer and an officer of the Court.
Arroyo as President on the ground of
permanent disability even without proof of
Estrada v Sandiganbayan compliance with the corresponding
G.R. Nos. 159486-88 (November 25, 2003) constitutional conditions, e.g., written
FACTS: declaration by either the President or majority
Attorney Alan F. Paguia, as counsel for Estrada, of his cabinet; and
averred that the respondent justices have
violated Rule 5.10 of the Code of Judicial c) Actually proclaiming Vice-President Arroyo on
Conduct by attending the EDSA 2 Rally and by that same ground of permanent disability.
authorizing the assumption of Vice-President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the Presidency in In a letter, dated 30 June 2003, addressed to
violation of the 1987 Constitution. Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., and Associate
Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, he has
Rule 5.10. A judge is entitled to entertain demanded, in a clearly disguised form of forum
personal views on political questions. But to shopping, for several advisory opinions on
avoid suspicion of political partisanship, a judge matters pending before the Sandiganbayan.
shall not make political speeches, contribute to Subsequently, the court ruled that the instant
party funds, publicly endorse candidates for petition assailing the foregoing orders must be
political office or participate in other partisan DISMISSED for gross insufficiency in substance
political activities. and for utter lack of merit. The Sandiganbayan
committed no grave abuse of discretion, an
Also, petitioner contended that the justices have
indispensable requirement to warrant a
prejudged a case that would assail the legality of
recourse to the extraordinary relief of petition
the act taken by President Arroyo. The
for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules
subsequent decision of the Court in Estrada v.
of Civil Procedure.
Arroyo (353 SCRA 452 and 356 SCRA 108) is,
In a resolution, dated 08 July 2003, the Court
petitioner states, a patent mockery of justice
strongly warned Attorney Alan Paguia, on pain
and due process.
of disciplinary sanction, to desist from further
According to Atty. Paguia, during the hearing of
making, directly or indirectly, similar
his Mosyong Pangrekonsiderasyon on 11 June
submissions to this Court or to its Members.
2003, the three justices of the Special Division of
Unmindful of the well-meant admonition to him
the Sandiganbayan made manifest their bias
by the Court, Attorney Paguia appears to persist
and partiality against his client.
on end. In fact, on the 7th September 2003 issue
Thus, he averred, Presiding Justice Minita V.
of the Daily Tribune, Atty. Paguia wrote to say -
Chico-Nazario supposedly employed foul and
disrespectful language when she blurted
What is the legal effect of that violation of
out, Magmumukha naman kaming
President Estradas right to due process of law?
gago, (Rollo, p. 13.) and Justice Teresita
It renders the decision in Estrada vs. Arroyo
Leonardo-De Castro characterized the motion as
unconstitutional and void. The rudiments of fair
insignificant even before the prosecution could
play were not observed. There was no fair play
file its comments or opposition thereto, (Rollo,
since it appears that when President Estrada
p. 12.) remarking in open court that to grant
filed his petition, Chief Justice Davide and his
Estradas motion would result in chaos and
fellow justices had already committed to the
disorder. (Ibid.) Prompted by the alleged bias
other party - GMA - with a judgment already
and partial attitude of the Sandiganbayan
made and waiting to be formalized after the
litigants shall have undergone the charade of a

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

formal hearing. After the justices had The Court has already warned Atty. Paguia, on
authorized the proclamation of GMA as pain of disciplinary sanction, to become mindful
president, can they be expected to voluntarily of his grave responsibilities as a lawyer and as
admit the unconstitutionality of their own act? an officer of the Court. Apparently, he has
chosen not to at all take heed.
WHEREFORE, Attorney Alan Paguia is hereby
ISSUE: indefinitely suspended from the practice of law,
WON Atty. Paguia committed a violation of the Code effective upon his receipt hereof, for conduct
of Professional Responsibility. unbecoming a lawyer and an officer of the
Criticism or comment made in good faith on the
correctness or wrongness, soundness or CANON 14 - A LAWYER SHALL NOT REFUSE HIS
unsoundness, of a decision of the Court would SERVICES TO THE NEEDY.
be welcome for, if well-founded, such reaction
can enlighten the court and contribute to the
correction of an error if committed. (In Re Sotto, Rule 14.01 - A lawyer shall not decline to represent a
82 Phil 595.) However, Attorney Paguia has not person solely on account of the latter's race, sex.
limited his discussions to the merits of his creed or status of life, or because of his own opinion
clients case within the judicial forum. Indeed, regarding the guilt of said person.
he has repeated his assault on the Court in both
broadcast and print media. Rule 14.02 - A lawyer shall not decline, except for
serious and sufficient cause, an appointment as
Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional counsel de officio or as amicus curiae, or a request
Responsibility prohibits a member of the bar from from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any of
making such public statements on any pending case its chapters for rendition of free legal aid.
tending to arouse public opinion for or against a
party. By his acts, Attorney Paguia may have stoked Rule 14.03 - A lawyer may not refuse to accept
the fires of public dissension and posed a potentially representation of an indigent client if:
dangerous threat to the administration of justice.
(a) he is not in a position to carry out the work
It should be clear that the phrase partisan effectively or competently;
political activities, in its statutory context,
relates to acts designed to cause the success or (b) he labors under a conflict of interest between him
the defeat of a particular candidate or and the prospective client or between a present
candidates who have filed certificates of client and the prospective client.
candidacy to a public office in an election. The
Rule 14.04 - A lawyer who accepts the cause of a
taking of an oath of office by any incoming
President of the Republic before the Chief person unable to pay his professional fees shall
Justice of the Philippines is a traditional official observe the same standard of conduct governing his
function of the Highest Magistrate. The assailed relations with paying clients.
presence of other justices of the Court at such
Santiago v Fojas
an event could be no different from their
appearance in such other official functions as A.C. No. 4103 (September 7, 1995)
attending the Annual State of the Nation FACTS:
Address by the President of
An expulsion case was faced by the
the Philippines before the Legislative
complainants contending that they have illegally
The Supreme Court does not claim infallibility; removed from the union (FEUFA) membership
but it will not countenance any wrongdoing nor Mr. Paulino Salvador.
allow the erosion of our peoples faith in the The lower court resolved in favor of Salvador
judicial system, let alone, by those who have and ordered the complainants to pay, jointly
been privileged by it to practice law in the and severally, Mr. Salvador. The case was then
Philippines. elevated to the Court of Appeals.
Canon 11 of the Code of Professional The complainants lost in their petition at the
Responsibility mandates that the lawyer should Court of Appeals due to abandonment, failure to
observe and maintain the respect due to the act accordingly, or serious neglect of their
courts and judicial officers and, indeed, should counsel, Atty. Fojas to answer the civil
insist on similar conduct by others. In liberally
complaint on an expulsion case.
imputing sinister and devious motives and
Atty. Fojas assured them that everything was in
questioning the impartiality, integrity, and
authority of the members of the Court, Atty. order and he had already answered the
Paguia has only succeeded in seeking to impede, complaint. However, the appellants soon
obstruct and pervert the dispensation of justice. discovered that he never answered it after all

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

because, according to him, he was a very busy should have seasonably informed the
man. Atty. Fojas admitted his mistake in complainants thereof. Rule 15.05, Canon 15 of
failing to file an answer for the expulsion case, the Code of Professional Responsibility expressly
but he alleges that it was cured by his filing of a provides: A lawyer, when advising his client,
motion for reconsideration. However, such shall give a candid and honest opinion on the
motion for reconsideration was denied. Atty. merits and probable results of the clients case,
Fojas defended his negligence with the reason neither overstating nor understanding the
that the case was a losing cause after all. Atty. prospects of the case.
Fojas also asserts that he was about to appeal
the said decision to this Court, but his services
as counsel for the complainants and for the
union were illegally and unilaterally terminated
by complainant. Complainants then filed for a
disbarment case.
Rule 15.01. - A lawyer, in conferring with a
prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as
Whether the respondent committed culpable
practicable whether the matter would involve a
negligence, as would warrant disciplinary action, in
conflict with another client or his own interest, and if
failing to file for the complainants an answer
so, shall forthwith inform the prospective client.
Rule 15.02. - A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on
Yes. The Supreme Court upheld Canon 14 of the
privilege communication in respect of matters
Code of Professional Responsibility. Once he
disclosed to him by a prospective client.
agrees to take up the cause of a client, the
lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must Rule 15.03. - A lawyer shall not represent conflicting
always be mindful of the trust and confidence interests except by written consent of all concerned
reposed in him. This means that his client is given after a full disclosure of the facts.
entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy
and defense that is authorized by the law of the Rule 15.04. - A lawyer may, with the written consent
land and he may expect his lawyer to assert of all concerned, act as mediator, conciliator or
every such remedy or defense. In his motion for arbitrator in settling disputes.
reconsideration of the default order, the
Rule 15.05. - A lawyer when advising his client, shall
respondent explained his non-filing of the
give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and
required answer by impliedly invoking
probable results of the client's case, neither
forgetfulness occasioned by a large volume and
overstating nor understating the prospects of the
pressure of legal work, while in his Comment in
this case he attributes it to honest mistake and
excusable neglect due to his overzealousness to Rule 15.06. - A lawyer shall not state or imply that he
question the denial order of the trial court. is able to influence any public official, tribunal or
Whether it be the first or the second ground, legislative body.
the fact remains that the respondent did not
Rule 15.07. - A lawyer shall impress upon his client
comply with his duty to file an answer.
compliance with the laws and the principles of
Pressure and large volume of legal work provide
no excuse for the respondents inability to
exercise due diligence in the performance of his Rule 15.08. - A lawyer who is engaged in another
duty to file an answer. Every case a lawyer profession or occupation concurrently with the
accepts deserves his full attention, diligence, practice of law shall make clear to his client whether
skill, and competence, regardless of its he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.
importance and whether he accepts it for a fee
or for free. Furthermore, a breach of Canon 18 Northwestern Univ, Inc. v Arquillo
of the Code of Professional Responsibility which A.C. No. 6632 (August 2, 2005)
requires him to serve his clients, the
complainants herein, with diligence and, more
Herein complainants filed a letter complaint
specifically, Rule 18.03 thereof which provides:
with the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline
A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter
charging respondent of engaging in conflicting
entrusted to him, and his negligence in
interest in a case before the National Labor
connection therewith shall render him liable.
Relations Commission, Regional Arbitration
Atty. Fojass negligence is not excused by his
Branch in San Fernando, La Union.
claim that Civil Case No. 3526-V-91 was in fact a
Complainant materially averred that, in a NLRC
losing cause. The Supreme Court held that he
consolidated cases, respondent appeared and

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

acted as counsels for complainants. In the very policy that a lawyers representation of both
same consolidated case, respondent was also a sides of an issue is highly improper. The
counsel of one of the respondents, Jose G. proscription applies when the conflicting
Castro. interests arise with respect to the same general
As evidence to the same, complainant matter, however slight such conflict may be. It
submitted the Motion to Dismiss filed by Jose applies even when the attorney acts from
Castro represented by Atty. Arquillo. On the honest intentions or in good faith.
other hand, despite several notices sent by the
IBP-CBD, respondent failed to answer to the
Artezuela v. Maderazo
complaint and appear in any of the scheduled
A.C. No. 4354 (April 22, 2002)
hearings. Consequently, his right to participate
in the proceedings has deemed waived. FACTS:
Thereafter, complainants were ordered to Echavia crashed the car he is driving which is
submit their verified position paper with owned by Kiyami, but was registered in the
supporting documents for decision. In their name of Villapez. The car rammed into a small
manifestation, complainant said that they would carinderia owned by Artezuela. The destruction
no longer file a position paper. Hence, said of the carinderia caused the cessation its
letter-complaint is the basis for decision. operation, resulting to her financial dislocation.
Herein, complainants accuse Atty. Arquillo of Artezuela incurred debts from her relatives and
deceit, malpractice, gross misconduct and/or due to financial constraints, stopped sending
violation of his oath as attorney by representing her two children tocollege. Artezuela hired
conflicting interests. Maderazo in filing a damage suit against
The case was filed with the IBP-Commission on Echavia, Villapez and Kiyami. For his services,
Bar Discipline which found Atty. Arquillo guilty Artezuela paid Maderazo 10,000 as attorneys
of the charge and recommended a penalty of fees and 2,000 as filing fee. However, the case
suspension for 6 months. The governors of the was dismissed, allegedly upon the instance of
IBP increased the penalty for 2 years. the Artezuela and her husband. Because of the
dismissal of the case, Artezuela filed a civil case
for damages against the Maderazo. The case
Whether or not the acts of Arquillo merits his
was dismissed.
suspension from the practice of law.
Artezuela filed for disbarment against the
HELD: Maderazo. Artezuela argues that Maderazo
The Code of Professional Responsibility requires engaged in activities inimical to her interests.
lawyers to observe candor, fairness and loyalty While acting as her counsel, Maderazo prepared
in all their dealings and transactions with their Echavias Answer to the Amended Complaint.
clients. Corollary to this duty, lawyers shall not The said document was even printed in
represent conflicting interests, except with all Maderazos office. Artezuela further averred
the concerned clients written consent, given that it was Maderazo who sought the dismissal
after a full disclosure of the facts. When a of the case, misleading the trial court into
lawyer represents two or more opposing thinking that the dismissal was with her
parties, there is a conflict of interests, the consent. Maderazo denied Artezuelas
existence of which is determined by three allegations. However, he admitted that
separate tests: (1) when, in representation of Echavias Answer to the Amended Complaint
one client, a lawyer is required to fight for an was printed in his office but denied having
issue or claim, but is also duty-bound to oppose prepared the document and having acted as
it for another client; (2) when the acceptance of counsel of Echavia.
the new retainer will require an attorney to Case was referred to IBP. IBP investigated the
perform an act that may injuriously affect the case. IBP found Maderazo guilty of representing
first client or, when called upon in a new conflicting interests, in violation of Canon 15
relation, to use against the first one any and Rule 15.03 of the Code
knowledge acquired through their professional of Professional Responsibility, as well as, of
connection; or (3) when the acceptance of a Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Ethics.
new relation would prevent the full discharge of
an attorneys duty to give undivided fidelity and
(1) Whether Maderazo violated Canon 15 and Rule
loyalty to the client or would invite suspicion of
15.03 (conflict of interest) of the Code
unfaithfulness or double dealing in the
of Professional Responsibility
performance of that duty.
An attorney cannot represent adverse interests.
It is a hornbook doctrine grounded on public

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

(2) Whether Maderazo had a direct hand in the Maynigo & Associates" of which respondent is
preparation of Echavias Answer to the Amended one of the Senior Partners.
Complaint. Respondent, argues that he appeared as counsel
for Mrs. Ong Siy but only with respect to the
execution pending appeal of the RTC decision.
YES to both.
He alleged that he did not participate in the
Maderazo was actually giving advice to Echavias litigation of the case before the trial court
but he was not the counsel of record. Maderazo
Respondent argues, with respect to the case of
does not have to publicly hold himself as the
the Almeda spouses, that he never appeared as
counsel of the adverse party, nor make his
counsel for them. He contended that while the
efforts to advance the adverse partys
law firm "Cedo Ferrer, Maynigo & Associates" is
conflicting interests of record. It is enough that
designated as counsel of record, the case is
the counsel of one party had a hand in the
actually handled only by Atty. Pedro Ferrer.
preparation of the pleading of the other party,
Respondent averred that he did not enter into a
claiming adverse and conflicting interests with
general partnership with Atty. Pedro Ferrer nor
that of his original client. To require that he also
with the other lawyers named therein. They are
be counsel-of-record of the adverse party would
only using the aforesaid name to designate a
punish only the most obvious form of deceit and
law firm maintained by lawyers, who although
reward, with impunity, the highest form of
not partners, maintain one office as well as one
clerical and supporting staff. Each one of them
An attorney owes his client undivided handles their own cases independently and
allegiance. Because of the highly fiduciary individually receives the revenues therefrom
nature of the attorney-client relationship, sound which are not shared among them
public policy dictates that a lawyer be
prohibited from representing conflicting ISSUE:
interests or discharging inconsistent duties. Whether or not Respondent is guilty for the alleged
Good faith and honest intention on the part of act.
the erring lawyer does not make this rule
inoperative. The lawyer is an officer of the court
Respondent is guilty. He is suspended for 3
and his actions are governed by the
years. The complaint is granted
uncompromising rules of professional ethics.
It is unprofessional to represent conflicting
PNB v. Cedo interests, except by express conflicting consent
A.M. No. 3701 (March 28, 1995) of all concerned given after a full disclosure of
the facts. Within the meaning of this canon, a
lawyer represents conflicting interest when, in
Complainant, PNB filed a complaint against
behalf on one client, it is his duty to contend for
respondent Atty. Telesforo S. Cedo, former Asst.
that which duty to another client requires him
Vice-President of the Asset Management Group
to oppose.
of Complainant bank with violation of Canon 6,
Canon 6, Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility: A lawyer shall not, after leaving
government service, accept engagement or
Complainant argues that while respondent was
employment in connection with any matter in
still in its employ, he participated in arranging
which he had intervened while in said service.
the sale of steel sheets in favor of Milagros Ong
In this case, Respondent's averment that the law
Siy. When a civil action arose out of this
firm handling the case of the Almeda spouses is
transaction between Mrs. Ong Siy and
not a partnership deserves scant consideration
complainant bank respondent who had since
in the light of the attestation of complainant's
left the employ of complainant bank, appeared
counsel, Atty. Pedro Singson, that in one of the
as one of the counsels of Mrs. Ong Siy.
hearings of the Almeda spouses' case,
Complainant argues that while respondent was
respondent attended the same with his partner
still the Asst. Vice President of complainants
Atty. Ferrer, and although he did not enter his
Asset Management Group, he intervened in the
appearance, he was practically dictating to Atty.
handling of the loan account of the spouses
Ferrer what to say and argue before the court.
Ponciano and Eufemia Almeda with complainant
Furthermore, during the hearing of the
bank by writing demand letters to the couple.
application for a writ of injunction in the same
When a civil action ensued between
case, respondent impliedly admitted being the
complainant bank and the Almeda spouses as a
partner of Atty. Ferrer, when it was made of
result of this loan account, the latter were
record that respondent was working in the same
represented by the law firm "Cedo, Ferrer,
office as Atty. Ferrer.

Legal Ethics (Atty. Rellin)
by: Ybarita, Julius Reyes

Moreover, the IBP noted that assuming the

alleged set-up of the firm is true, it is in itself a
violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility (Rule 15.02) since the clients
secrets and confidential records and information
are exposed to the other lawyers and staff
members at all times.
Having been an executive of complainant bank,
respondent now seeks to litigate as counsel for
the opposite side, a case against his former
employer involving a transaction which he
formerly handled while still an employee of
complainant, in violation of Canon 6 of the
Canons of Professional Ethics on adverse
influence and conflicting interests.