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CANON 1

by Rei-Anne Santos

RE: FINANCIAL AUDIT OF ATTY. RAQUEL G. KHO


(A.M. No. P-06-2177, June 26, 2006)

FACTS:
Atty. Kho is a former clerk of court of the RTC in Eastern Samar. He was found guilty of
gross misconduct for his failure to make a timely remittance of judiciary funds in his custody.
She was fined P10k. Since his malfeasance prima facie contravened Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility (A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful conduct), the SC
ordered ordered him to show cause why he should not be disciplined as a lawyer and as an
officer of the court. Atty. Kho explained that his failure to make a timely remittance of the cash
deposited with him was inexcusable; he maintained his contention that he kept the money in the
courts safety vault and never once used it for his own benefit.

ISSUE:
Whether Atty. Kho is guilty of violating Canon 1, Rule 1.01.

HELD:
YES. Even though he was in good faith, his action was a breach of his oath to obey the
laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities and of his duties under Canon
1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Canon 1 provides that a lawyer shall
uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and for legal
processes while Rule 1.01 states that a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful conduct. As servants of the law and officers of the court, lawyers are required to be
at the forefront of observing and maintaining the rule of law. They are expected to make
themselves exemplars worthy of emulation. The least a lawyer can do in compliance with Canon
1 is to refrain from engaging in unlawful conduct. By definition, any act or omission contrary to
law is unlawful. The presence of evil intent on the part of the lawyer is not essential in order to
bring his act or omission within the terms of Rule 1.01 which specifically prohibits lawyers from
engaging in unlawful conduct. Atty. Khos conduct was not only far from exemplary, it was
unlawful as well. For this, he must be called to account. Atty. Kho is ordered to pay FINE.
CANON 1
by Rei-Anne Santos

SORIANO v. ATTY. DIZON


(A.C 6792, January 25, 2006)

FACTS:
Atty. Dizon was driving his car on his way home. Soriano, taxi driver overtook his car
driven by Dizon who was under the influence of liquor. Dizon tailed Soriano until the latter
stopped. Dizon stopped his car held Soriano by his shirt. To stop the aggression, the Soriano
forced open his door causing the accused to fall to the ground. Soriano got out of his car to help
him get up. But Dizon, by now enraged, attempted twice to deal Soriano with a fist blow twice.
Dizon went back to his car and got his revolver and shot Soriano. Soriano survived but sustained
a spinal cord injury which disabled him for his job as a taxi driver. Dizon filed an application for
probation which was granted on the condition that he satisfy the civil liabilities imposed by the
court in favor of Soriano. Dizon failed to comply with this undertaking and even appealed the
civil liability. IBP recommended that Dizon be disbarred from the practice of law for having
been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

ISSUE:
1. Whether Atty. Dizon violated Canon 1 of the CPR.
2. Whether Atty. Dizon should be disbarred from the practice of law.

HELD:
1. YES. It is glaringly clear that respondent violated Canon 1 of the CPR through his illegal
possession of an unlicensed firearm and his unjust refusal to satisfy his civil liabilities. He
has thus violated the law and disobeyed the lawful orders of the courts. Dizon has shown
through this incident that he is wanting in even a basic sense of justice. He obtained the
benevolence of the court when it suspended his sentence and granted him probation. And yet,
it has been four years since he was ordered to settle his civil liabilities to complainant. To
date, respondent remains adamant in refusing to fulfill that obligation,

2. Under Section 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, conviction for a crime involving
moral turpitude is a ground for disbarment or suspension. By such conviction, a lawyer is
deemed to have become unfit to uphold the administration of justice and to be no longer
possessed of good moral character. Moral turpitude has been defined as "everything which is
done contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in
the private and social duties which a man owes his fellowmen, or to society in general,
contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals." The totality of the facts unmistakably
bears the earmarks of moral turpitude. By his conduct, respondent revealed his extreme
arrogance and feeling of self-importance. As it were, he acted like a god on the road, who
deserved to be venerated and never to be slighted. Clearly, his inordinate reaction to a simple
traffic incident reflected poorly on his fitness to be a member of the legal profession. When
lawyers are convicted of frustrated homicide, the attending circumstances not the mere fact
of their conviction would demonstrate their fitness to remain in the legal profession. In the
present case, the appalling vindictiveness, treachery, and brazen dishonesty of respondent
clearly show his unworthiness to continue as a member of the bar. Atty. Dizon is
DISBARRED.
CANON 2
by Jeth Tan

CANTILLER v. POTENCIANO
(A.M. Case No. 3195, December 18, 1989)

FACTS:
Herein respondent, Potenciano, is charged with deceit, fraud, and misrepresentation, and
also with gross misconduct, malpractice and of acts unbecoming of an officer of the court.
Complainant, after losing to an ejectment case, contracted the legal service of Potenciano.
Respondent told the complainant that the temporary restraining order would be secured if the
judge who would hear the case is his barkada However, when the case was raffled and
assigned to Branch 153, the presiding judge asked respondent to withdraw as counsel in the case
on the ground of their friendship. Respondent went into the house of complainant and asked for
2,000 pesos to be given to another judge who could secure the latters restraining order in the
ejectment case. Sometime after the filing of Civil Case No. 55118, respondent informed
complainant that there was a need to file another case with the Regional Trial Court to enable
them to retain possession of the apartment. For this purpose, respondent told complainant to
prepare the amount of 10,000 pesos allegedly to be deposited with the Treasurer's Office of Pasig
as purchase price of the apartment and another 1,000.00 pesos to cover the expenses of the suit.
Respondent stressed to the complainant the need and urgency of filing the new complaint. Later
on during the hearing, respondent withdrew his appearance as counsel for complainant.
Complainant was not able to get another lawyer as replacement. Thus, no restraining order or
preliminary injunction was obtained. As a consequence, the order to vacate in the ejectment case
was eventually enforced and executed. Later on the complainant wrote a letter asking for
reimbursement of the amount given to respondent however the respondent did not returned the
said amount (P 11 000) to the complainant. It was also found that the respondent prepared a
"hastily prepared, poorly conceived, and haphazardly composed petition for annulment of
judgment.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondent is guilty of the allegations, deceit, fraud,
misrepresentation, and also with gross misconduct, malpractice and of acts unbecoming of an
officer of the court, charged against him by the complainant?

HELD:
The respondent was found guilty of the offenses charged against him and was sentenced
indefinite suspension until such time he can demonstrate that he has rehabilitated himself as to
deserve to resume the practice of law. His first duty was to file the best pleading within his
capability as a lawyer. He had also depended on his closeness to the judge to get desired
decisions. He had also extorted 10,000 from client as deposit but deposit was not required and
such was also not made. Lastly, he had failed to exercise due diligence in protecting his clients
interest due to the fact that four days before hearing of preliminary injunction, he already
withdrew as counsel because of his reason that he had frequent attacks of pain due to
hemorrhoids, however he failed to find a replacement and failed to inform the complainant to
hire another lawyer in his stead.
CANON 2
by Jeth Tan

IN RE: TAGORDA
(G.R. No. 32329, March 23, 1929)

FACTS:
The respondent, Luis B. Tagorda, a practicing attorney and a member of the provincial
board of Isabela, that he made use of a card written in Spanish and Ilocano and distributed it to
their municipality so he could render legal service to them. Respondent also admitted having
written a letter in Ilocano addressed to a lieutenant in his home municipality in Echague, Isabela
in which he stated his continued exercise of his profession as a lawyer and a notary public,
besides being a Member of the Board of the municipality of Ilagan, Isabela. He also stated that
he would be willing to render his legal services to the people who have not contracted any other
lawyers services. Respondents service is based on the registration of land titles and charge
people three pesos for every registration.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the suspension of Luis B. Tagorda is meritorious under the code of
professional responsibility by advertising and soliciting legal work by distributing pamphlets?

HELD:
The respondent was suspended for 1 month under the Rule 2.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility because it is stated in the rule that A lawyer shall not do or permit
to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal business. Practice of law is not a trade or a
business. It is a profession in which duty to public service, not money, is the primary
consideration.
CANON 2
by Rapunzel Grace Lim

BURBE v. MAGULTA
(A.C. No. 5713, June 10, 2002)

FACTS:
Petitioner Dominador P. Burbe filed a complaint for disbarment, suspension or any
disciplinary action against Atty. Alberto C. Magulta. Respondent agreed to legally represent the
petitioner in a money claim and possible civil case. He prepared the demand letters and other
legal papers; however, he later on suggested that the petitioner must file the necessary complaint.
Petitioner paid an amount of P25, 000 for lawyers fees and amounts for filing the case. Months
had passed but there was still no feedback regarding the petitioners case. Petitioner would
frequently inquire yet respondent would repeatedly tell him to wait. To prove that the case was
already filed, respondent brought the petitioner to the Hall of Justice Building at Ecoland, Davao
City. He made the petitioner wait for hours at the prosecutors office and came back with the
news that the Clerk of Court was absent that day. Petitioner personally went to the Office of the
Clerk of Court and found out that the case was not filed. A confrontation took place wherein the
respondent denied the allegation. It was only when the certification was shown that Atty.
Magulta admitted that he spent the money for his own purpose and offered to reimburse the
Burbe.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Alberto C. Magulta should be disbarred?

HELD:
The Court adopted the Integrated Bar of the Philippines recommendation. It is evident
that the petitioner deposited an amount of P25, 00 for the filing fees of the Regwill complaint.
There was a lawyer-client relationship established since the respondent agreed to legally
represent the petitioner. Theres an obligation on the part of the respondent to file the complaint
within the time frame. In addition to that, there was misappropriation of funds of the client. His
actions caused damages and prejudice to his clients. His conduct was dishonest thus unsuitable to
be a member of the legal profession. He was not disbarred; nonetheless, he was suspended from
the practice of law for a period of one year.
CANON 2
by Rapunzel Grace Lim

KHAN, JR. v. SIMBILLO


(A.C. No. 5299, August 19, 2003)

FACTS:
Respondent Atty. Rizalino Simbillo had his legal services published in the July 5, 2000
issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which reads Annulment of Marriage Specialist. A staff
member of the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court pretended to be an interested
party and she spoke to Mrs. Simbillo. The latter claimed that her husband was an expert in
handling annulment cases and can guarantee a court decree within four to six months. She also
added that her husband charges a fee of P48, 000 for the said service. Office of the Court
Administrator and the Public Information Office revealed that similar advertisements were
published in the August 2000 issues of Manila Bulletin and Philippine Star. Thus, petitioner
Atty. Ismael Khan, Jr., Assistant Court Administrator and Chief of the Public Information Office,
filed an administrative complaint against Atty. Simbillo for violation of the following:

Rule 2.03. A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal
business.
Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading,
deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or
legal services.
Rule 138, Sec. 27 of the Rules of Court. Disbarment and suspension of attorneys by Supreme
Court, grounds therefor. A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office
as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice or other gross misconduct in such
office, grossly immoral conduct or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before the admission to
practice, or for a willful disobedience appearing as attorney for a party without authority to do
so.

This case was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and found the respondent
guilty.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Rizalino Simbillo is guilty of violating Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.01 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility as well as Rule 138, Section 27 of the Rules of Court?

HELD:
Respondent was found guilty and was suspended from the practice of law for a year. The
practice of law is not a business but a public duty. Money will only be a secondary consideration
in such profession. Respondent also referred to himself as an Annulment of Marriage
Specialist which undermined the sanctity of marriage and encourage people to go for marriage
dissolutions. This would defeat the purpose of laws protecting marriage bonds. Moreover, there
were elements provided that can distinguish the legal profession from business. These are the
following:
1. A duty of public service
2. A relation as an officer of the court to the administration of justice involving thorough
sincerity, integrity and reliability;
3. A relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary;
4. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness, and unwillingness to
resort to current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice, or
dealing directly with their clients.
CANON 3
by Gladys Susana

ULEP v. THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.


(A.C. No. 553, June 17, 1993)

FACTS:
Petitioner prays the Court to order the respondent to cease and desist from issuing
advertisements similar to or of the same tenor as that of annexes "A" and "B" (of said petition)
and to perpetually prohibit persons or entities from making advertisements pertaining to the
exercise of the law profession other than those allowed by law. The petitioner contends that the
advertisements reproduced by the respondents are champertous, 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, to which as a member of the legal profession, he is ashamed and offended by the
adverts of the respondents on providing services for secret marriage and giving information
regarding Guam Divorce, Annulment of Marriage, Remarriage to Filipina Fiancees, etc. In his
answer to the petition, respondent admits the fact of publication of said advertisements at its
instance, but 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.

ISSUE:
Whether or not, the advertised services offered by the Legal Clinic, Inc., constitutes
practice of law and whether the same are in violation of the Code of Professional responsibility.

HELD:
The advertisement of the respondent is covered in the term practice of law as defined in
the case of Cayetano vs. Monsod. There is a restricted concept and limited acceptance of
paralegal services in the Philippines. It is allowed that some persons not duly licensed to practice
law are or have been permitted with a limited representation in behalf of another or to render
legal services, but such allowable services are limited in scope and extent by the law, rules or
regulations granting permission therefore. Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides that a lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair,
dignified and objective information or statement of facts. Canon 3.01 adds that he is not
supposed to use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified,
self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. Nor
shall he pay or give something of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or
in return for, publicity to attract legal business (Canon 3.04). The Canons of Professional Ethics,
before the adoption of the CPR, had also warned that lawyers should not resort to indirect
advertisements for professional employment, such as furnishing or inspiring newspaper
comments, or procuring his photograph to be published in connection with causes in which the
lawyer have been engaged of concerning the manner of the conduct, the magnitude of the interest
involved, the importance the lawyer's position, and all other like self-laudation. The respondents
defense with the case of Bates vs. State Bar applies only when there is an exception to the
prohibition against advertisements by lawyers, to publish a statement of legal fees for an initial
consultation or the availability upon request of a written schedule of fees or an estimate of the
fee to be charged for the specific services. No such exception is provided for, expressly or
impliedly whether in our former Canons of Professional Ethics or the present Code of
Professional Responsibility. Besides, even the disciplinary rule in the Bates case contains a
proviso that the exceptions stand therein are not applicable in any state unless and until it is
implemented by such authority in that state. The Court Resolved to RESTRAIN and ENJOIN
The Legal Clinic, Inc., from issuing or causing the publication or dissemination of any
advertisement in any form which is of the same or similar tenor and purpose as Annexes "A" and
"B" of the petition, and from conducting, directly or indirectly, any activity, operation or
transaction proscribed by law or the Code of Professional Ethics as indicated herein.
CANON 3
by Gladys Susana

CABARRUS, JR. v. BERNAS


(A.C. No. 4634 September 24, 1997)

FACTS:
On August 30, 1996, Mr. Jesus Cabarrus, Jr. filed an administrative complaint for
disbarment against Atty. Jose Antonio Bernas for alleged violations of Article 172 of the Revised
Penal Code and Code of Professional Responsibility. In his complaint-affidavit,
complainant alleged that respondent Atty. Bernas, the counsel on record of the respondents in
Civil Case No. 65646, is the same lawyer who instigated a criminal complaint at the NBI for
forgery and respondents themselves conspired and confabulated with each other in facilitating
and insuring the open, blatant and deliberate violation of Art. 172 of the Revised Penal Code. He
further alleged that respondent should be disbarred for having instigated, abetted and facilitated
the perversion and subversion of truth in the verification and certification of non-forum shopping
which are contrary to Canon 1, Rule 1.01, 1.02, Canon 3, 3.01, Canon 10 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility for Lawyers.

ISSUE:
Whether or not herein respondent should be disbarred for violation of Code of
Professional Responsibility, specifically Canon 1, Rule 1.01, 1.02, Canon 3, 3.01, and Canon 10.

HELD:
After a careful scrutiny of the records, the Court find the administrative complaint bereft
of merit and should be dismissed. The core issue to be resolved here is whether respondent Atty.
Bernas transgressed Circular No. 28-91, Revised Circular No. 28-91, and Administrative
Circular No. 04 - 94 on forum shopping. Wherefore, the instant complaint is hereby
DISMISSED.
CANON 3
by Ralph Agbisit

LINSANGAN v. TOLENTINO
(A.C. No. 6672, September 4, 2009)

FACTS:
A complaint for disbarment is filed by Pedro Linsangan against Atty. Nicomedes
Tolentino for solicitation of clients and encroachment of professional services. The complainant
alleged that respondent convinced his clients to transfer legal representation by promising them
financial assistance. The allegations of the complainant were supported by the sworn affidavit of
James Gregorio who attested to the respondents acts of trying to lure him to sever his lawyer-
client relationship with complainant Linsangan. An attached calling card of the respondent
further supported the complaint which advertised the respondents law firm with the term w/
financial assistance.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents acts are iolative of Canon 3 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes, Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that A lawyer making
known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or
statements of facts. The practice of law is a professions and not a business. Lawyers should not
advertise their talents as merchants advertise their wares. The act of the respondent in including
the phrase with financial assistance in his calling card is a conduct of advertising the legal
profession with commercialism and with the purpose of enticing clients to change counsels
through the promise of loans to finance their legal action. A lawyer need not to advertise the
legal profession in such a manner similar to commercial businesses, a lawyers best
advertisement is a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust based on
his character and conduct and not through promises of money.
CANON 3
by Ralph Agbisit

DACANAY v. BAKER & MCKENZIE


(G.R. No. L-41862, February 7, 1992)

FACTS:
A case is filed by complainant Adriano E. Dacanay against Juan G. Collas Jr. and nine
other lawyers engaging the practice of law under the firm name Baker & Mckenzie. In
November 16, 1979, one of the respondent lawyers, Vicente A. Torres sent a letter using the
Baker & Mckenzie letterhead to Rosie Clurman, a client of herein complainant, demanding the
release of 87 shares of Cathay Products International, Inc. to H.E. Gabriel, a client of herein
respondents. Complainants response to the letter denied any liability of Clurman to respondents
client. He also questioned respondents use of a letterhead belonging to a different law office.
Not receiving a reply, complainant filed the instant case assailing the respondents use of a
foreign law office name.

ISSUE:
Whether or not herein respondents violated Canon 3, Rule 3.02 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes, the use of a foreign law office name is misleading towards the public and the clients.
Rule 3.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that In the choice of a firm name, no
false, misleading or assumed name shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased
partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner
is deceased. The respondents, being associates of the firm Baker & Mckenzie are not authorized
to use the said firms name which may tend to mislead clients. Respondents' use of the firm
name Baker & McKenzie constitutes a representation that being associated with the firm they
could "render legal services of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises and
others engaged in foreign trade and investment." This is unethical because Baker & McKenzie is
not authorized to practice law here.
CANON 4
by Nikki Nakhiska Macalino

CORDOVA v. LABAYEN
(A.M. No. RTJ-93-1033, October 10, 1995)

FACTS:
On March 5, 1993, the Municipal Trial Court (branch II) of Batangas City rendered
judgment for petitioners with respect to four ordering the ejectment of private respondents and
ordering them to pay monthly rentals of P50,000.00 starting April 7, 1992 until they shall have
vacated the lots and surrendered their possession to petitioners and the sum of P20,000.00 as
attorney's fees.

On March 29, 1993, petitioners moved for the execution of the decision in their favor,
alleging that although private respondents had filed a notice of appeal, the latter had not filed a
supersedeas bond nor make a deposit every month of the reasonable value of the use and
occupation of the properties as required by Rule 70, sec. 8.

Private respondents opposed the motion, claiming that they are co-owners of the lots
from which they were ordered to be ejected and that to grant immediate execution of the decision
would render their appeal moot and academic.

ISSUE:
Whether there was a late filing of Supersedeas Bond.

HELD:
The petition is not meritorious. As a general rule, a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in
an ejectment suit is immediately executory, in order to prevent further damage to him arising
from the loss of possession of the property in question. The motion for execution was filed
eighteen days from the date the petitioners received a copy of the MTC's decision, after the
appeal had already been perfected. Because no supersedeas bond had been filed within the period
for appeal, a writ of execution should have been issued as a matter of right. Petitioners
manifestly failed to adduce a compelling reason to justify a departure from the afore cited rule.
Lawyers as officers of the court must assist in the administration of justice.
CANON 4
by Nikki Nakhiska Macalino

DULALIA v. ATTY. CRUZ


(A.C. No, 6854, April 25, 2007)

FACTS:
Complainants wife Susan Dulalia filed an application for building permit for the
construction of a warehouse, but was not issued a the permit She attributes this fact to the
opposition of respondents who wrote a September 13, 2004 letter to Carlos J. Abacan, Municipal
Engineer and concurrent Building Official of Meycauayan, Bulacan The letter alleges that high-
rise building under construction of the said Mrs. Soriano-Dulalia is an unbearable nuisance that
causes imminent danger to the respondents and his family, they being the immediate neighbors
of this construction site. Complainant claims that respondent Atty Cruz opposed the application
for the permit, because of a personal grudge against his wife Susan who objected to respondents
marrying her first cousin Imelda Soriano, respondents marriage with Carolina Agaton being still
subsisting. The IBP recommended the dismissal of the complaint, which was adopted and
approved by the Board of Governors. Hence, this petition. Complainant maintains that (1)
Respondent violated Rule 1.01 when he contracted a second marriage with Imelda Soriano on
September 17, 1989 while his marriage with Carolina Agaton, which was solemnized on
December 17, 1967, is still subsisting; (2) respondent used his influence as the Municipal Legal
Officer of Meycauayan to oppose his wifes application for building permit, in violation of Rule
6.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and (3) And for engaging in the practice of law
while serving as the Municipal Legal Officer of Meycauayan, complainant maintains that
respondent violated Rule 7.03.

ISSUE:
Whether Atty. Cruz violated the CPR?

HELD:
YES on first ground only, last two grounds dismissed. Respondent married Soriano on
September 17, 1989 at the Clark County, Nevada, USA, when the Family Code of the
Philippines had already taken effect. He invokes good faith, however, he claiming to have had
the impression that the applicable provision at the time was Article 83 of the Civil Code In
respondents case, he being out of the country since 1986, he can be given the benefit of the
doubt on his claim that Article 83 of the Civil Code was the applicable provision when he
contracted the second marriage abroad. From 1985 when allegedly his first wife abandoned him,
an allegation which was not refuted, until his marriage in 1989 with Imelda Soriano, there is no
showing that he was romantically involved with any woman. Respondent did not deny he
contracted marriage with Imelda Soriano. The community in which they have been living in fact
elected him and served as President of the IBP-Bulacan Chapter from 1997-1999 and has been
handling free legal aid cases. However, respondent may not go scot-free. The act of contracting a
second marriage while the first marriage was still in place is contrary to honesty, justice, decency
and morality

Also, respondent violated Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He claim


that he was not aware that the Family Code already took effect on August 3, 1988 as he was in
the United States from 1986 and stayed there until he came back to the Philippines together with
his second wife on October 9, 1990 does not lie, as "ignorance of the law excuses no one from
compliance therewith. The primary duty of lawyers is to obey the laws of the land and promote
respect for the law and legal processes. They are expected to be in the forefront in the observance
and maintenance of the rule of law. This duty carries with it the obligation to be well-informed of
the existing laws and to keep abreast with legal developments, recent enactments and
jurisprudence. It is imperative that they be conversant with basic legal principles. Unless they
faithfully comply with such duty, they may not be able to discharge competently and diligently
their obligations as members of the bar. Worse, they may become susceptible to committing
mistakes. He is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one year.
CANON 5
by Mayumi Yraola

DE ROY v. COURT OF APPEALS


(G.R. No. 80718, January 29, 1988)

FACTS:
The firewall of a burned out building owned by petitioners collapsed and destroyed the
tailoring shop occupied by the family of the private respondents resulting in injuries to private
respondents had been warned by petitioners to vacate their shop in view of its proximity to the
weakened wall but the former failed to do. In the RTC, petitioners were found guilty of gross
negligence. On the last day of the 15 days period to file an appeal, petitioners filed a motion for
reconsideration which was again denied. The Supreme Court finds that Court of Appeal did not
commit a grave abuse of discretion when it denied petitioners motion for reconsideration. It
correctly applied the rule laid down in Habulayas vs Japzon. Counsel for petitioner contends
that the said case should not be applied non-publication in the Official Gazette.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Supreme Court decisions must be published in the Official Gazette before
they can be binding.

HELD:
There is no law requiring the publication of Supreme Court decision in the Official
Gazette before they can be binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It is bounden
duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme
Court as embedded in Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly where
issues have been clarified, consistently reiterated and published in the advance reports of
Supreme Court decisions and in such publications as the SCRA and law journals.
CANON 6
by Joshua Remollo

Re: Resolution Of The Court Dated 1 June 2004 In G.R. No. 72954 Against Atty. Avecilla
(A.C. No. 6683, July 21, 2011)

FACTS:
After the resolution of a petition questioning the constitutionality of B.P. 883, Supreme
Court through its JRO took custody of such rollo (where herein respondent Avecilla was
involved). Now, in order to check on the management of the Judicial Development Fund, herein
respondent Atty. Avecilla made a claim as through the abovementioned rollo. When the Supreme
Court asked the JRO to inquire, the said rollo was missing. Later on, such whereabouts where
found with Atty. Avecilla, having custody through his legal work with a retired Supreme Court
Justice. Through the report and recommendation of the Office of the Chief Attorney (OCAT), it
was found out that such rollo was used for a personal agenda (and only returned after 12 years),
but borrowed through a certain Atty. Banzon, another then legal researcher with the same
abovementioned Justice. However, respondent Atty. Avecilla asserted that such was not through
his fault and only found out that it was with him when he was contacted to for retrieval. The
Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC), for its report and recommendation, agreed with the OCAT,
making Atty. Avecilla liable.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Atty. Avecilla be held administratively liable.

HELD:
SUSPENDED. According to Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a
lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position to promote or advance his
private interests XXX. Being a court employee, they should not to take any court records,
papers or documents outside the court premises. Also, the act of the respondent in borrowing a
rollo for unofficial business entailed the employment of deceit not becoming a member of the
bar.
CANON 6
by Joshua Remollo

PNB v. ATTY. CEDO


(A.C. No. 3701, March 28, 1995)

FACTS:
After having arranged the sale of steel sheets for Mrs Siy, the latter became implicated in
a civil case with the complainant PNB. After having stop employment with PNB, respondent
Atty. Cedo appeared as counsel for Mrs. Siy. A similar situation also happene when spouses
Almeda were implicated to a case with complainant PNB counsel for Sps. Almeda is the
Cedo, Ferrer, Maynigo & Associates. Atty. Cedo was AVP of the Asset Management group of
complainant bank, where such loan transaction of Sps. Almeda came under his purview.
Respondent asserted that in the former case, he did not participate in the litigation before the
court, while the latter, it was another partner of the firm that handle the case. IBP made its report
and recommendation for suspension for having deliberate intent to devise ways and means to
attract as clients former borrowers of complainant bank since he was in the best position to see
the legal weaknesses of his former employer.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Atty. Cedo be held administratively liable.

HELD:
SUSPENDED. According to Canon 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, A
lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or employment in
connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service. Having been an
executive of complainant bank, respondent sought 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, violated said Canon.
CANON 7
by Roseanne De Jesus

SAMALA v. ATTY. PALANA


(A.C. No. 6595, April 15, 2005)

FACTS:
This is a complaint files by Joseph Samala against respondent Atty. Antonuitti K. Palana
for alleged fraudulent activities which violate the Code of Professional Responsibility. In
February 2001, complainant was looking for a company wherein he could invest his dollar
savings and subsequently was introduced to employees of First Imperial Resources, Inc. (FIRI),
including Atty. Palana (respondent). Due to the personal representations and assurances of
respondent, claiming that complainant would be directly putting his investment with Eastern
Vanguard Forex Limited which is a reputable company based in Virgin Islands and has been in
the foreign exchange business for 13 years complainant was convinced to invest his dollar
savings with FIRI on March 9, 2001. Subsequently, complainant decided to pull out his
investment by sending a letter requesting the withdrawal of his investment of US$10,000 and
gave FIRI 10 days to produce such fund. On April 15, 2001 complainant was given a check
amounting to P574,045.09, as the peso equivalent to complainants investment however the
check was dishonored because it was drawn against insufficient funds. On June 1, 2001,
respondent as the legal officer of FIRI, gave complainant P250,000 in cash and a check in the
amount of P3229,045.09. Respondent assured complainant that the check was signed by FIRI
President Paul Desiderio in his (respondents) presence and that the check would be funded.
However, the check was again dishonored for the same reason as the first. On July 14, 2001,
complainant charged Paul Desiderio of Estafa and Violation of Batas PambansaBilang 22.
However, Paul Desiderio could not be located when sought to be served a warrant of arrest
because his identity was unknown and his residential address was found to be fictitious.
Complainant alleged that respondents act of representing himself to be the legal officer of FIRI
and his assurance that the check he delivered to him which was signed by the President of FIRI
in his (respondents) presence when in reality no such person exists, is fraudulent and violative
of the Canons of Professional Ethics. Respondent was also one of those who assured the
complainant that his dollar savings would be directly invested in a reputable company (Eastern
Vanguard Forex Limited).

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Palana has violated Rule 7.03 of Canon 7 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
The court held that Atty. Antonuitti K. Palana is guilty of violating Rule 7.03 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility and is thus suspended from the practice of law for a period of
three years, with warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more
severely. The court also held that the representations of respondent as legal officer of FIRI
caused material damage to the complainant hence respondent failed to uphold the integrity and
dignity of the legal profession and lessened the confidence of the public in the honesty and
integrity of the same.
CANON 7
by Roseanne De Jesus

LEDA v. ATTY. TABANG


(A.C. No. 2505, February 21, 1992)

FACTS:
Evangeline Leda (complainant) challenges Atty. TrebonianTabangs (respondent) good
moral character in two complaints she filed against him, one docketed as Bar Matter No. 78
instituted on January 6, 1982 and the case at hand. It appears that complainant and respondent
contracted a marriage in Tigbauan, Iloilo on October 3, 1976 under as one of the exceptional
character under Article 76 of the Civil Code. The parties agreed to keep their marriage a secret
until respondent had finished his law studies and had taken the Bar examinations. Complainant
admits that they have not lived together as husband and wife. After respondents law studies and
bar examinations, complainant blocked his oath-taking (by instituting Bar Matter No. 78)
claiming that respondent had acted fraudulently when he filled out his application declaring he
was single and is thus unworthy to take the lawyers Oath for lack of good moral character.
Respondent filed his explanation claiming that he was legally married to complainant but the
marriage was not yet made and declared public so that he may finish his studies as well as take
the bar exams and he therefore believed that he was still single. Respondent also alleged that he
and the complainant has reconciled and prayed that the case be dismissed (on the ground that
complainant confirmed with his explanation as evidence by the affidavit of desistance made by
complainant) which was granted by the Court on August 20, 1982. However, on February 14,
1983, complainant filed an Administrative case and prayed for respondents disbarment on the
grounds that: Respondent used his legal knowledge to contract an invalid marriage; he
mirepresented himself in his application to take the bar exam; lack of good moral character; and
that complainant was deceived into signing the affidavit of desistance and that the only reason
why he reconciled with her is so that she would withdraw the complaint against him.
Complainant also claimed that respondent sent her a letter which proves all of her allegations
where the respondent states that their marriage was actually void form the beginning.
Respondent denied that he had sent such letter. On March 26, 1984, the Bar Confidants report
recommended indefinite suspension of respondent until the status of his marriage is settled.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. TrebonianTabang violated Rule 7.01 of Canon 7 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
The court held that Atty. TrebonianTabangis guilty of violating Rule 7.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and is thus suspended from the practice of law until further
notice.The Court held that respondents declaration in his application for Admission to the 1981
Bar Examinations that he was "single" was a gross misrepresentation of a material fact made in
utter bad faith, for which he should be made answerable. Rule 7.01, Canon 7, Chapter II of the
Code of Professional Responsibility explicitly provides: "A lawyer shall be answerable for
knowingly making a false statement or suppression of a material fact in connection with his
application for admission to the bar." That false statement, if it had been known, would have
disqualified him outright from taking the Bar Examinations as it indubitably exhibits lack of
good moral character.
CANON 8
by Martin Gavino

ATTY. REYES v. ATTY. CHIONG JR.


(A.C. No. 5148, July 1, 2003)

FACTS:
Complainant Atty. Reyes filed a case for disbarment against respondent Atty. Chiong
because of the latters violation of Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility dealing
with the idea that lawyers should treat each other with courtesy, dignity and civility. Chiongs
client did not appear upon the court when Prosecutor Salonga issued a subpoena for their
preliminary investigation, the Prosecutor filed a criminal complaint for estafa against said client.
After which Chiong made an urgent motion to quash the warrant concomitant with his filing for
a civil complaint and collection for a sum of money and damages against Atty. Reyes, Xu (the
complainants client) and the Prosecutor. Upon their confrontation, no settlement was reached.
Chiong argues that there was no disrespect impleading Atty. Reyes as co-defendant in Civil Case
No. 4884 and no basis to conclude that the suit was groundless. He argues that he impleaded the
Prosecutor because the criminal investigation had irregularities due to the action of the
Prosecutor to file estafa case despite the pendency for his clients motion for an opportunity to
submit counter affidavit and evidence.

ISSUE:
Did respondent violate Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
Yes, it was recommended by the IBP that defendants purpose of filing for the collection
suit with damages was to be able to obtain leverage against the estafa case of his client. Clearly
there was no need to implead complainant and Prosecutor Salonga because they never had any
participation in the business transactions between Pan and Xu, clearly it was for the mere
harassment of the two. Chiong was suspended for two (2) years from the practice of law and was
implemented immediately.
CANON 8
by Martin Gavino

ATTY. BARANDON, JR v. ATTY. FERRER, SR.


(A.C. No. 5768, March 26, 2010)

FACTS:
On January 11, 2001 Atty.Barandon filed a complaint-affidavit with the IBP seeking the
disbarment, suspension or proper disciplinary action against Atty.Ferrer,Sr. for offenses such as
the use of offensive language when insinuating that the complainant presented a falsified
document in court, filing a fabricated charge against Atty. Barandon, the usage of threatening
phrases before the start of a hearing such as patayan kung patayan, kasamaang lahat ng
pamilya., accusing Atty. Barandon without bothering to check the facts and lastly the plethora
of cases he was facing that time predominantly the one that deals with sexual harassment.

Atty. Ferrer filed an answer concomitant with his motion to dismiss. In his answer
contains the improbability of the charges against him because he could have not said those
remarks without being reprimanded while the court was in session. Also, the offended party in
the falsification case vouchsafed that her thumbmark in the document has been falsified and
other conflicting stories against what Atty. Barandon filed.

While there was this constant clash between the complainant and the respondent on
December 29, 2000, Atty. Barandon boarded a taxi that was owned by defendants son and it
was involved in an accident, the incident was shady because no help was given to the victims and
that respondent denied knowing the driver of said taxi. Atty. Ferrer also prevented an eyewitness
from reporting the accident to the proper authorities.

On October 10, 2001 the IBP investigation commissioner recommended the suspension
of respondent for two (2) years because they have found enough evidence to prove his violation
of Canon 8.01 and 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. On June 29, 2002 the IBP
board of governors accepted the recommendations of the investigation commissioner with the
reduction of one (1) year from the suspension.

ISSUES:
1. Did the IBP err in finding Atty. Ferrer guilty of the charges set against him?
2. In the affirmative, was the penalty imposed on him justified?

HELD:
No, there was no reason to disagree with the findings of the IBP because it can be seen
that there was an appropriate and tedious investigation set upon him for administrative purposes
and it can be inferred that the decision went through a rigorous process.

Yes, because as stated in Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, all lawyers
conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness and candor towards their fellow lawyer and more
specifically in Rule 8.01 a lawyer shall not in his professional dealings, use language which is
abusive, offensive, or otherwise improper. It was clearly seen in this case that there was a
violation of this Canon and also Canon 7 which dealt with the proper conduct of a lawyer and
how he should not behave in a scandalous manner that would discredit the legal profession,
appearing drunk and having multiple cases piled against him would be very clear that there is a
clear-cut violation of said Canon.
CANON 9
by Renee Jean Medina

CAMBALIZA v. ATTY. CRISTAL-TENORIO


(A.C. No. 6290, July 14, 2004)

FACTS:
A complaint for disbarment filed with the Committee on Bar Discipline of the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines. Complainant Cambaliza, a former employee of respondent Atty. Ana Luz
B. Cristal-Tenorio in her law office, charged the latter with deceit, grossly immoral conduct, and
malpractice or other gross misconduct in office. Complainant alleged that the respondent has
been falsely representing herself to be married to Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., who has a prior and
subsisting marriage with another woman. Furthermore, Respondent caused the dissemination to
the public of a libelous affidavit derogatory to Makati City; cooperated in the illegal practice of
law by her husband, who is not a member of the Philippine Bar; converted her client's money to
her own use and benefit, which led to the filing of an estafa case against her; and threatened the
complainant and her family on 24 January 2000 with the statement "Isang bala ka lang" to deter
them from divulging respondent's illegal activities and transactions. Respondent denied all the
allegations against her. The Case referred to this case to Investigating Commissioner as the
complainant bolstered her claim that the respondent cooperated in the illegal practice of law by
her husband by submitting: (1) the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office where the name of
Felicisimo R. 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 R. Tenorio, Jr." She added that respondent's husband even
appeared in court hearings. Respondent averred that she neither formed a law partnership with
her husband nor allowed her husband to appear in court on her behalf. If there was an instance
that her husband appeared in court, he did so as a representative of her law firm. The letterhead
submitted by the complainant was a false reproduction to show that her husband is one of her
law partners. But upon cross-examination, when confronted with the letterhead ofCristal-Tenorio
Law Office bearing her signature, she admitted that Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer,
but he and a certain Gerardo A. Panghulan, who is also not a lawyer, are named as senior
partners because they have investments in her law office

ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent violated Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
The Court held Respondent failed to live up to the exacting standards expected of him as
a vanguard of law and justice. for culpable violation of Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of
six (6) months with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future will be
dealt with more severely.

In line with jurisprudence, he is held liable for gross misconduct and is suspended from
the practice of law. The lawyer's duty to prevent, or at the very least not to assist in, the
unauthorized practice of law is founded on public interest and policy. Public policy requires that
the practice of law be limited to those individuals found duly qualified in education and
character. The purpose is to protect the public, the court, the client, and the bar from the
incompetence or dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice law and not subject to the
disciplinary control of the Court. It devolves upon a lawyer to see that this purpose is attained.
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 misbehavior on his part, subject to
disciplinary action, to aid a layman in the unauthorized practice of law.
CANON 9
by Renee Jean Medina

PLUS BUILDERS, INC. & GARCIA v. ATTY. REVILLA, JR.


(A.C. No. 7056, February 11, 2009)

FACTS:
A Petition for Disbarment was filed by Plus Builders Inc. and Edgardo C. Garcia before
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) against Atty. Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. for committing
a willful and intentional falsehood before the court; misusing court procedure and processes to
delay the execution of a judgment; and collaborating with non-lawyers in the illegal practice of
law.

On November 15, 1999, a decision was rendered by the Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite
(PARAD) in favor of complainant, Plus Builders, Inc. and against the tenants/farmers Leopoldo
de Guzman, et. al., who were the clients of respondent Atty. Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. The
PARAD found that respondents clients were mere tenants and not rightful possessors/owners of
the subject land. The case was elevated all the way up to the Supreme Court, with this Court
sustaining complainants rights over the land. Continuing to pursue his clients lost cause,
respondent was found to have committed intentional falsehood; and misused court processes
with the intention to delay the execution of the decision through the filing of several motions,
petitions for temporary restraining orders, and the last, an action to quiet title despite the finality
of the decision. Furthermore, he allowed non-lawyers to engage in the unauthorized practice of
law holding themselves out as his partners/associates in the law firm.

Respondent denied all allegations and believes that the courses of action he took were
valid and proper legal theory designed to protect the rights and interests of Leopoldo de Guzman,
et. al. The lawyer-client relationship with the former lawyer was terminated because Leopoldo de
Guzman, et. al. felt that their former counsel did not explain/argue their position very well,
refused to listen to them and, in fact, even castigated them. As the new counsel, respondent relied
on what the tenants/farmers told him in the course of his interview. He avers that he merely
exhausted all possible remedies and defenses to which his clients were entitled under the law. He
submitted that if he was indeed guilty of violating the rules in the courses of action he took in
behalf of his clients, he apologizes and supplicates the Court for kind consideration, pardon and
forgiveness.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent guilty of violating the attorneys oath, Canon 9 and Rule 9.01
of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
The Court held that Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. is hereby found guilty of gross misconduct.
Taking the cudgels from the former lawyer in this case is rather commendable, but respondent
should not forget his first and foremost responsibility as an officer of the court. In support of the
cause of their clients, lawyers have the duty to present every remedy or defense within the
authority of the law. This obligation, however, is not to be performed at the expense of truth and
justice. This is the criterion that must be borne in mind in every exertion a lawyer gives to his
case. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer has the duty to assist in the speedy
and efficient administration of justice, and is enjoined from unduly delaying a case by impeding
execution of a judgment or by misusing court processes. After a careful consideration of herein
respondents motion for reconsideration and humble acknowledgment of his misfeasance, the
Court was persuaded to extend a degree of leniency towards the respondent by reducing his
suspension period from two years to six months.
CANON 10
by Rowneylin Sia

RUDECON MANAGEMENT CORP. & ATTY. TACORDA v. ATTY. CAMACHO


(A.C. No. 6403, August 31, 2004)

FACTS:
On September 3, 1998, Sisenando Singson, represented by herein respondent Atty.
Manuel N. Camacho, filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City a complaint
against herein complainant Rudecon Management Corporation for damages and reconveyance,
docketed as Civil Case No. Q-98-35444. The case was originally raffled to Branch 79, RTC,
Quezon City but was eventually re-raffled to Branch 85 of the same court. On September 21,
1998, Singson, again represented by Atty. Camacho, filed with Branch 78, RTC, Quezon City a
Motion for Intervention (With Attached Answer in Intervention With Affirmative Defenses and
Compulsory Counterclaim) in Civil Case No. Q-98-35326, entitled, Rudecon Management
Corporation,plaintiff-appellee vs. Ramon M. Veluz, defendant-appellant, a case for unlawful
detainer on appeal before said court. On October 1, 1998, Rudecon filed a motion before Branch
78 seeking to cite Singson and his counsel, Atty. Camacho, for contempt for having allegedly
violated the rule against forum shopping. And the court, in its dispositive portion found them
guilty. On the basis of the above-cited order, Rudecon and Tacorda filed the instant complaint
for disbarment or suspension against Atty. Camacho.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Manuel N. Camacho is liable for violation of Canon 10 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Although respondent was held to be guilty in forum shopping, the court agreed with
respondent that there was no intention on his part to mislead the court by concealing the
pendency of Civil Case No. Q-98-35444 in Branch 79 when they filed the Motion for
Intervention and Answer in Intervention in Civil Case No. Q-98-35326 in Branch 78. Indeed, the
first paragraph of the said Answer in Intervention shows that respondent and his client called the
trial courts attention with respect to the pendency of Civil Case No. Q-98-35444. Herein
complainant, which is the plaintiff in Civil Case No. Q-98-35326, does not dispute respondents
allegation that the latter and his client attached to their Answer in Intervention a copy of their
complaint in Civil Case No. Q-98-35444. Complainants seek the disbarment or suspension of
respondent from the practice of law for his having allegedly violated Canon 10 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, however, in administrative cases for disbarment or suspension
against lawyers, the quantum of proof required is clearly preponderant evidence and the burden
of proof rests upon the complainant. Moreover, an administrative case against a lawyer must
show the dubious character of the act done as well as of the motivation thereof. In the present
case, complainant failed to present clear and preponderant evidence to show that respondent
willfully and deliberately resorted to falsehood and unlawful and dishonest conduct in violation
of the standards of honesty as provided for by the Code of Professional Responsibility which
would have warranted the imposition of administrative sanction against him.

Wherefore, Resolution No. XVI-2004-43 dated February 27, 2004 of the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines is SET ASIDE and the instant administrative case filed against Atty. Manuel
N. Camacho is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
CANON 10
by Rowneylin Sia

ATTY. VAFLOR-FABROA v. ATTY. OSCAR PAGUINTO


(A.C. No. 6723, March 15, 2010)

FACTS:
On October 10, 2001, complainant, who was Chairperson of the General Mariano
Alvarez Service Cooperative, Inc. (GEMASCO), received a Notice of Special General Assembly
of GEMASCO on October 14, 2001 to consider the removal of four members of the Board of
Directors (the Board), including her and the General Manager. The notice was signed by
respondent. At the October 14, 2001 Special General Assembly presided by respondent and PNP
Sr. Supt. Angelito L. Gerangco (Gerangco), who were not members of the then current Board,
Gerango, complainants predecessor, as Chair of the GEMASCO board, declared himself Chair,
appointed others to replace the removed directors, and appointed respondent as Board Secretary.
On October 15, 2001, respondent and his group took over the GEMASCO office and its
premises, the pump houses, water facilities, and operations. On even date, respondent sent letter-
notices to complainant and the four removed directors informing them of their removal from the
Board and as members of GEMASCO, and advising them to cease and desist from further
discharging the duties of their positions.Complainant thus filed on October 16, 2001 with the
Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)-Calamba a complaint for annulment of the
proceedings taken during the October 14, 2001 Special General Assembly.
The CDA Acting Regional Director (RD), by Resolution of February 21, 2002, declared the
questioned general assembly null and void for having been conducted in violation of
GEMASCOs By-Laws and the Cooperative Code of the Philippines. The RDs Resolution of
February 21, 2002 was later vacated for lack of jurisdiction of CDA. Thus, complainant files a
disbarment case against respondent.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is liable for violation of Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
Respondents cavalier attitude in repeatedly ignoring the orders of the Supreme Court
constitutes utter disrespect to the judicial institution. Respondents conduct indicates a high
degree of irresponsibility. A Courts Resolution is "not to be construed as a mere request, nor
should it be complied with partially, inadequately, or selectively". Respondents obstinate refusal
to comply with the Courts orders "not only betrays a recalcitrant flaw in her character; it also
underscores her disrespect of the Courts lawful orders which is only too deserving of reproof.
Lawyers are called upon to obey court orders and processes and respondents deference is
underscored by the fact that willful disregard thereof will subject the lawyer not only to
punishment for contempt but to disciplinary sanctions as well. In fact, graver responsibility is
imposed upon a lawyer than any other to uphold the integrity of the courts and to show respect to
their processes.

The Court notes that respondent had previously been suspended from the practice of law
for six months for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility, he having been found to
have received an acceptance fee and misled the client into believing that he had filed a case for
her when he had not. It appears, however, that respondent has not reformed his ways. A more
severe penalty this time is thus called for.

Wherefore, respondent, Atty. Oscar P. Paguinto, is SUSPENDED for two years from the
practice of law for violation of Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the
Lawyers Oath, effective immediately.
CANON 10
by Iran Salvado

FERNANDEZ v. DE RAMOS-VILLALON
(A.C. No. 7024, February 27, 2009)

FACTS:
In 2004, Palacios, a lot owner in Makati, sought the help of Fernandez to help him in a
land grabbing case. Palacios won the case and he allegedly agreed to pay Fernandez 2M. In
2005, Palacios bumped into one Mrs. Lirio and to his surprise, he found out that Fernandez was
trying to sell HIS Makati property. Fernandez has for his basis an alleged deed of donation that
Palacio executed in favor of Fernandez. Palacios, with the help of Atty. Villalon, filed a
complaint in order to nullify the deed of donation. Fernandez answered that he had an Absolute
Deed of Sale in his favor from Palacios. Thereafter, Villalon was charged by Palacios for
violation of rules 10.01, 10.02, 10.03 among others. He claims that Villalon suppressed and
excluded in the complaint the existence of an unregistered but notarized deed of absolute sale.
Villalon counters that as counsel of Palacios she is under no duty to include the fact that there
existed a deed of sale because only her clients operative facts and not other evidentiary facts
needed to be included n the complaint. The deed of sale was a matter of defense that Fernandez,
as defendant could raise as a matter of defense.

ISSUE:
Did the non-inclusion of the deed of sale in the complaint amount to a violation of 10.01,
02, 03?

HELD:
No. A lawyer has the duty to be truthful in all his dealings, however this duty does not
require him to advance matters of defense on behalf of his or her clients opponent. Villalon was
not duty bound to build the case for Fernandez. The cause of action chosen by Palacios was for
the annulment of the deed of donation. Palacios had told her that the deed of sale was void for
lack of consideration. It was not a necessary fact for his case. Only the clients operative facts
and not the other evidentiary facts need to be included in the Complaint. It is correct for the
respondent to argue that pointing out the existence of the January 12 Deed of Absolute Sale was
a matter of defense which the defendant in said civil case can freely point out to the trial judge
through his own pleadings. It cannot be argued that there was suppression of evidence on the part
of the respondent as she is not the only person who had access or possession of the said Deed of
Absolute Sale. It was a document readily available to the general public through the Notarial
Office. Moreover, it was a document which was fully known to herein complainant as he was
supposed to be a party to the said Deed of Absolute Sale. In other words, a person cannot
possibly suppress the existence of a document which everyone else, especially the opposing
party-litigant, knows about.
CANON 11
by Allan Kristofer Pormento

NG v. ALAR
(ADM Case No. 7952, November 22, 2006)

FACTS:
Ng is one of the respondents in a labor case, Alar is the counsel for the complainant in the
labor case. The case was filed when employees of the Ng Company alleged that they did not
receive their service incentives because the Ng Company refused to pay because a strike was
conducted on company premises hampering entrance and exit into the area. It was later found
that the incentive pay had been paid. When the NLRC dismissed the appeal, Alar filed an MR
with a Motion to Inhibit, where Alar used scandalous, offensive and menacing language to
support the complaint. He called the labor arbiter crossed-eyed in making his findings of fact and
that the NLRC commissioner acted with malice in ruling that the labor arbiter decided correctly.
He also alleged that NLRC retiring commissioners circumvent the law when the money claims
involved in the cases are large. Because of this a disbarment case was filed against him saying
that he violated canons 8 and 11. Alar argues that he did not violate them because: 1) NLRC is
not a court contemplated by the rules; 2) NLRC commissioners are not judges; 3) the complaints
in labor cases are bound to be heated and that they are entitled to some anger. He counterclaimed
that the lawyers of Ng are the ones in violation of the CPR by filing multiple suits from the same
cause of action and that they deliberately lessened the number of complainants in the labor case.
The commission on bar discipline found Alar guilty of violating the CPR.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Alar violated the CPR.

HELD:
Yes. The motion he filed contained insults attacking the NLRC, casting doubt on its
moral and intellectual integrity, implying that the NLRC can be bought. He used improper and
offensive language, which cannot be justified. Though a lawyers language may be forceful and
emphatic, it must always be dignified and respectful. He deserves not only a warning but also a
fine of P 5,0000. The counter-complaint is dismissed because there was no position paper
submitted to substantiate the claims.
CANON 11
by Allan Kristofer Pormento

FUDOT v. CATTLEYA LAND, INC.


(G.R. No. 175942, September 13, 2007)

FACTS:
De La Serna requested that Justice Tinga, the ponente in the Fudot case, be inhibited
because it was alleged that he received 10 million pesos from Chan in exchange for a favorable
decision. De La Serna suggests that Tinga abandoned the doctrine in Lim v. Jorge to
accommodate Chan. He also said that Tinga prioritized the case and that Chan already knew of
the outcome of the case before the decision was promulgated. Chan related that he approached
De La Serna for the purpose of amicably settling the case, and offered him to be their retainer in
Bohol. He denied having said to De La Serna that he had already spent so much money for the
Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Serna is guilty of indirect contempt.

HELD:
Yes. Contempt is defined as a disobedience to the court by setting up opposition to its
authority, justice and dignity. It is not only a willful disregard or disobedience of the courts
orders but it also brings authority of the court and administration of law into disrepute or in some
manner impedes the due administration of justice. Indirect contempt is one committed out of or
not in the presence of the court but tends to be little, degrade obstruct or embarrass the court and
justice. Improper conduct tending to directly or indirectly impede obstruct or degrade the
administration of justice is also indirect contempt. A lawyer is first and foremost an officer of the
court and it is his duty to maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers. While he is
expected to bring forth irregular and questionable practices of those sitting in court it is
important that this criticism shall be bona fide and shall not spill over the walls of decency and
propriety. His statements bear badges of falsehood because the version of the witnesses disputes
his statements. He maliciously made these declarations irresponsibly. The libelous attack on the
integrity and credibility of Justice Tinga degrade the dignity of the court and erode public
confidence in it. He is hereby fined P 3,000.00.
CANON 11
by Aristotle Cruz

GUERRERO v. VILLAMOR
(A.M. No. RTJ-90-483, September 25, 1998)

FACTS:
Carlos and his counsel, Guerrero, charged respondent with gross ignorance of the law and
knowingly rendering an unjust judgment after they lost a civil and a criminal case tried by
respondent. They were also thwarted on appeal. However, in the pleadings before the CA, they
used abusive language in describing the respondents acts, hence, respondent judge cited them
for direct contempt, which was later set aside by the SC.

ISSUE:
Must the respondent be held liable for violation of the Code for Professional Ethics?

HELD:
The case was dismissed. The order of direct contempt may only be considered as an
error of judgment. A judge may not be administratively charged for mere errors of judgment, in
the absence of showing of any bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose. Moreover, judges cannot be
held to account criminally, civilly, or administratively for an erroneous decision rendered by
them in good faith.
CANON 12
by Reynaldo Dennison Tayag

PEOPLE v. JARDIN
(G.R. No. L-33037-42, August 17, 1983)

FACTS:
The criminal prosecutions originated from a letter-complaint of the Provincial Auditor of
Quezon requesting the Provincial Fiscal to file the necessary criminal action under Article 217 of
the Revised Penal Code against Demetrio Jardin for malversation of public funds thru
falsification of public documents on six counts. The cases were assigned to Assistant Fiscal
Meliton V. Angeles who set them for preliminary investigation. The accused moved to postpone
the investigation four times but the accused and his counsel failed to appear every time. Inspire
of their absence, the preliminary investigation was conducted and shortly afterwards, the six
informations were filed against the accused before the Court of First Instance of Quezon City.
The arraignment was set for May 9, 1967. On the records it was show that from May 9, 1967, the
arraignment was re-set for June 6; then re-set for June 26; then from August 16, the same was re-
set for September 5, all because of the motions for postponement filed at the instance of the
accused. When the arraignment of the accused was called on September 5, 1967, counsel for the
accused verbally moved for reinvestigation on the ground that the accused was not given the
opportunity to present his defense during the preliminary investigation. This was granted by the
court and the first reinvestigation was set on November 24, 1967. Accused moved to postpone
many times, failed still to appear. When he finally appeared with his counsel, they asked for 15
days to file memorandum. The memorandum was never filed, so the investigating fiscal filed a
manifestation before the court that the records of these cases be returned and the trial on the
merits of the same be set. The court transferred the case to new branch of CFI Quezon without
acting on manifestation. Arraignment date was set but more postponements was filed at the
instance of accused; moved for reinvestigation again. Arraignment finally happened on Sept 8,
1970. Accused pleaded NOT GUILTY and asked for trial to be postponed. On postponed date,
accused asked for another postponement.

ISSUE:
Whether the acts of the accused and his counsel obstruct the administration of justice.

HELD:
The Supreme Court ruled that the dilatory tactics of the defense counsel and the failure of
both judge and the fiscal to take effective counter measures to obviate the delaying acts
constitute obstruction of justice. An attorney as an officer of the court is called upon to assist in
the due administration of justice. Like the court itself, he is an instrument to advance its cause.
For this reason, any act on the part of a lawyer that obstructs perverts or impedes the
administration of justice constitutes misconduct and justifies disciplinary action against him.
Acts which amount to obstruction in the administration of justice may take many forms. They
include such acts as instructing a complaining witness in a criminal action not to appear at the
scheduled hearing so that the case against the client, the accused, would be dismissed. asking a
client to plead guilty to a crime which the lawyer knows his client did not commit, advising a
client who is detained for a crime to escape from prison prosecuting clearly frivolous cases or
appeals to drain the resources of the other party and compel him to submit out of exhaustion and
filing multiple petitions or complaints for a cause that has been previously rejected in the false
expectation of getting favorable action.
CANON 12
by Reynaldo Dennison Tayag

GARCIA v. FRANCISCO
(A.C. No. 3923, March 30, 1993)

FACTS:
In a sworn complaint filed with this Court on October 6, 1992, Concordia B. Garcia seeks
the disbarment of Atty. Crisanto L. Francisco. On March 9, 1964, Concordia B. Garcia and her
husband Godofredo, the Dionisio spouses, and Felisa and Magdalena Baetiong leased a parcel of
land to Sotero Baluyot Lee for a period of 25 years beginning May 1, 1964. Despite repeated
verbal and written demands, Lee refused to vacate after the expiration of the lease. Lee claimed
that he had an option to extend the lease for another 5 years and the right of pre-emption over the
property. In this disbarment case, the complainant claims that Lees counsel, respondent
Francisco, commenced various suits before different courts to thwart Garcias right to regain her
property and that all these proceedings were decided against Lee. The proceedings stemmed
from the said lease contract and involved the same issues and parties, thus violating the
proscription against forum-shopping. The respondent, in his comment, says that he asserted in
defense of his clients rights only such remedies as were authorized by law. That On March 29,
1989, Lee, through Francisco, filed a complaint against Garcia and the other lessors for specific
performance and re-conveyance with damages. Thus began more filing of complaints and
dismissals of cases as follows: On June 9, 1989, Garcia filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.
The case was dismissed on August 10, 1989. On May 29, 1989, Garcia and the other lessors filed
a complaint for unlawful detainer against Lee. On September 5, 1989, judge Bautista issued a
resolution rejecting this allegation on the ground that the issues before the two courts were
separate and different. On October 24, 1989, Lee, through Francisco, filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction against Judge Bautista, Garcia and the
other lessors. On April 6, 1990, Lee through Francisco filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with prayer for preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals against Judge Vera,
Judge Singzon, Garcia and the other lessors. On June 14, 1990, Judge Singzon decided the case
in favor of complainant Garcia and the other lessors. Lee did not appeal. Instead, on, June 21,
1990, through Francisco again, he filed a petition against Judge Singzon and the other lessors for
certiorari and annulment of the decision of such case. On September 27, 1991, Lee, through
Francisco, filed a motion to inhibit Judge Singzon and to defer the hearing of the motion then
finally, Lee, still through Francisco, filed a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction
against Judge Singzon, Garcia and the other lessors in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City
to set aside and declare the writs of execution in Civil Case No. 1455. This was dismissed on
August 4, 1992, and Lee, through Francisco, filed a motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE:
Whether Atty. Francisco abuses his right of recourse to the courts.

HELD:
The Supreme Court ruled that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client but not at
the expense of truth and the administration of justice. The cause of the respondents client is
obviously without merit. The respondent was aware of this fact when he willfully resorted to the
gambits summarized above, continuously seeking relief that was consistently denied, as he
should have expected. By grossly abusing his right of recourse to the courts for the purpose of
arguing a cause that had been repeatedly rebuffed, he was disdaining the obligation of the lawyer
to maintain only such actions or proceedings as appear to him to be just and such defenses only
as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law. By violating his oath not to delay any man
for money or malice, he has besmirched the name of an honorable profession and has proved
himself unworthy of the trust reposed in him by law as an officer of the Court.
CANON 12
by Desserie Marie Guillarte

CAPT. CABAGUI v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS THIRD DIVISION


(G.R. No. L-38377, October 15, 1975)

FACTS:
Under its Resolution of November 20, 1974, the Court, acting on a third petition for
review of a Court of Appeals decision affirming petitioners conviction of the crime of
malversation of public funds, as filed on November 13, 1974 by his attorney, Eugenio M.
Millado, with address at Koronadal, South Cotabato, ordered that said petition be expunged from
the records and required Atty. Eugenio Millado to show cause within ten (10) days from notice
hereof why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for trifling with the Court by
filing this third petition despite previous resolutions of this Court. In its previous Resolution of
May 8, 1974 referring to the first two petitions filed by respondent Millado on behalf of the same
petitioner, the Court had dismissed the secondpetition (filed on March 18, 1974) by respondent
Millado in the guise of a new petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction but which merely
raised again the same questions in his first petition (filed on January 9, 1974) seeking to set aside
petitioners conviction for malversation of public funds, by decision of the court of first instance
of Misamis Oriental dated June 20, 1963 as affirmed with modification by the Court of Appeals
decision dated June 8, 1973, for alleged lack of jurisdiction and praying for reversal of the
conviction or for a reduction of his criminal liability by finding appellant-petitioner guilty of
technical malversation only for the amount of P1,161.65. Said first petition had been denied on
January 15, 1974 by virtue of the petition having been filed late by 4 months and 25 days beyond
the last date for filing which fell due since August 15, 1973.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent Millado is guilty of violating Canon 12 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
The Court finds respondent, Attorney Eugenio M. Millado, guilty of gross negligence in
not having complied with a show cause resolution and of abusing the right of recourse to the
Court by filing multiple petitions for the same cause in the false expectation of getting favorable
action from one division as against the adverse action of the other division. The Court deems his
suspension from the practice of law since February, 1975 as sufficient penalty and now lifts his
suspension with the warning that the commission in the future by respondent of the same or other
infractions shall be dealt with severely.
CANON 12
by Desserie Marie Guillarte

VDA. DE BACALING v. LAGUNA & HON. ROVIRA


(G.R. No. L-26694, December 18, 1973)

FACTS:
Private respondent Hector Laguda is the registered owner of a residential land known as
lot No. 3508 situated at La Paz, Iloilo City many years back, petitioner and her late husband, Dr.
Ramon Bacaling, with the acquiescence of private respondent Laguda, constructed a residential
house on a portion of said lot fronting Huevana Street, paying a monthly rental of P80.00.
Unable to pay the lease rental from July 1959 to September 1961, 31otaling P2,160.00, an action
for ejectment (Civil Case No. 6823) was filed by private respondent Laguda against petitioner in
her capacity as judicial administratrix of the estate of her late husband, Dr. Bacaling, in the City
Court of Iloilo City. The filing of said case spawned various court suits. Petitioner on July 23,
1962, filed certiorari proceedings in this Court (G.R. No. L-20061) but was dismissed for lack of
merit on August 3, 1962. Petitioner on November 12, 1962, filed with the Court of First Instance
of Iloilo a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction (Civil Case No. 6162) but the same
was dismissed on December 1, 1962. Unsuccessful in her motion for reconsideration, petitioner
went to the Court of Appeals by way of certiorari (CA-G.R. No. 31882-R) but her petition was
dismissed by that Court on March 7, 1967.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the acts of the petitioner as judicial administratrix prior to her discharge
or removal are valid and binding upon her successor.

HELD:
Such a view is not tenable. Under Section 3, Rule 82 of the Rules of Court, petitioners
lawful acts before the revocation of her letters of administration or before her removal shall have
the same validity as if there was no such revocation or removal. It is elementary that the effect of
revocation of letters testamentary or of administration is to terminate the authority of the
executor or administrator, but the acts of the executor or administrator, done in good faith prior
to the revocation of the letters, will be protected, and a similar protection will be extended to
rights acquired under a previous grant of administration. The petitioner is not entitled to the writ
of certiorari. In the case at bar, there is absolutely no showing that the respondent courts acted so
arbitrarily, despotically or capriciously as to amount to lack of jurisdiction in issuing the
questioned orders. Grave abuse of discretion which is a ground for certiorari means such
capricious and arbitrary exercise of judgment as is equivalent, in the eyes of the law, to lack of
jurisdiction. Even mere abuse of discretion is not sufficient by itself to justify the issuance of a
writ of certiorari. For that purpose the abuse of discretion must be grave and patent, and it must
be shown that it was exercised arbitrarily or despotically, which is not the case made out by the
present petition.
CANON 13
by Maxi Fernandez

RE: SUSPENSION OF ATTY. BAGABUYO, FORMER SENIOR STATE PROSECUTOR


(ADM. CASE No. 7006, October 09, 2007)

FACTS:
The administrative case has its roots from the case of People v. Luis Bucalon Plaza heard
before the sala of Judge Jose Manuel Tan, Regional trial court of Surigao City, Branch 29. Luis
Bucalon, was found to be guilty of homicide and not murder with the evidence as basis. Counsel
of the defense thereafter filed a motion to fix that amount of bail bond, with which Senior state
prosecutor and deputized prosecutor of the case Atty. Rogelio Z. Bagabuyo contests stating that
murder is non-bailable. Atty. Bagabuyo thereafter filed a motion for reconsideration which was
consequently denied. Hence, instead of resorting to his available judicial remedies, respondent
caused the publication of an article in the August 18, 2003 issue of Mindanao Gold Star Daily.
Atty. Bagabuyo again resorted to the media, after he was ordered arrested and put up a bail of
P100,000.00 this time at Radio Station DXKS. He attacked once again Judge Tan and his
disposition on the proceedings of People v. Luis Bucalon Plaza.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Bagabuyo has violated the Code of professional conduct.

HELD:
Atty. Bagabuyo is found guilty of violating the code of professional conduct Canon 13,
Rule 13.02 which states that a lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a
pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party. That instead of resorting to
the available judicial remedies before him, Atty. Bagabuyo has degraded the dignity and
authority of the court and the presiding judge, as well as promoted distrust in the administration
of justice when he resorted to media and declared his complaints there. Atty. Bagabuyo is also
cited for violation of Canon 11, when he disrespected the courts and the judicial officers and
Rule 11.05 when he did not submit grievances against a judge to proper authorities only.
CANON 13
by Maxi Fernandez

FOODSPHERE, INC. v. ATTY. MAURICIO, JR.


(A.C. No. 7199, July 22, 2009)

FACTS:
Foodsphere, a corportation engaged in the business of meat processing and manufacture
of canned goods of CDO filed an administrative complaint against Atty.Melanio Mauricio, Jr.
for violation of the code of professional responsibility. The case at hand involved a certain
Alberto Cordero who purportedly found a colony of worms inside the can of liver spread by
CDO and Foodsphere that he bought from the grocery. The Cordero family sued the company for
P150,000 for damages, but the companies did not agree to the demands. The Corderos thereafter
threatened to resort to the media, if their demands are not met. Consequently, Atty. Mauricio the
counsel of the Corderos, was involved in various media productions such as being a
writer/columnist of tabloids including Balitang Patas BATAS, Bagong TIKTIK, TORO and
HATAW!, and a host of a television program KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS telecast over
UNTV and of a radio program Double B-BATAS NG BAYAN aired over DZBB. Atty.
Mauricio, in many cases utilized these media outlets to place the said company in a bad light by
declaring to the masses the liver spread of worms; even after his receipt of the Order addressed
to him to desist from further publishing, televising and/or broadcasting any matter subject of the
Complaint in the instant case more specifically the imputation of vices and/or defects on plaintiff
and its products. Even after the parties have performed an agreement, signed by the Corderos
and Atty.Mauricio himself resulting in the dismissal of the Cordero case, Atty.Mauricio still
inexplicably launched a media offensive to the companies.

ISSUE:
Whether or not, Atty. Mauricio has violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. Atty. Mauricio has violated the code of professional responsibility. His recourse to
the Media, even after being told to desist from such was a clear violation of Rule 13.03 of Canon
13, A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to
arouse public opinion for or against a party. His action has put not only the company
Foodsphere and CDO in a bad light, but has also degraded the dignity and authority of the legal
system. Besides the above, he has also violated Canon 1.01 by engaging in deceitful conduct
taking advantage of the complaint against CDO to advance his own interests, and Canon 8, when
he used abusive and offensive language in his dealings.
CANON 14
by Dan Yunus Cabrera

BLANZA & PASION v. ATTY. ARCANGEL


(A.C. No. 492, September 5, 1967)

FACTS:
Complainants, OlegariaBlanza and Maria Pasion, ask the Court to take disciplinary action
against respondent Atty. Agustin Arcangel, who volunteered to help them in their respective
pension claims, for professional non-feasance for (1) his failure to attend to complainants'
pension claims for six years; (2) his failure to immediately return the documents despite repeated
demands upon him, and (3) his failure to return to complainant Pasion, allegedly, all of her
documents.

Respondent admitted having received the documents from complainants but explained
that it was for photostating purposes only. He alleged that his failure to return it was due to the
complainants refusal to hand him the money to pay for the photostating costs. Respondent
contends that he was not obliged to follow up complainants pension since there was no
agreement for his compensation as their counsel.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is bound to observe the same standard of conduct governing
his relations with his paying clients when he voluntarily offered his services according to Rule
14.04 of Canon 14 of CPR.

HELD:
If a lawyer volunteers his services to a client, and therefore not entitled to attorneys fees,
nevertheless, he is bound to attend to a clients case with all due diligence and zeal. By
volunteering his services, he has established a client-lawyer relationship. A lawyer has a more
dynamic and positive role in the community than merely complying with the minimal
technicalities of the statute. As a man of law, he is necessarily a leader of the community, looked
up to as a model citizen. His conduct must, perforce, be par excellence, especially so when, as in
this case, he volunteers his professional services. Despite the dismissal of the charges against the
respondent because complainants themselves are partly to blame for the delay in filing their
respective claims for their failure to cooperate and pay for the Photostat services, the respondent
has failed to live up to that ideal standard. It was unnecessary to have complainants wait, and
hope, for six long years on their pension claims. Upon their refusal to co-operate, respondent
should have forthwith terminated their professional relationship instead of keeping them hanging
indefinitely.

Accordingly, the case against respondent is dismissed.


CANON 14
by Dan Yunus Cabrera

FRANCISCO, TAN & JOAQUIN v. ATTY. PORTUGAL


(A.C. No. 6155, March 14, 2006)

FACTS:
SPO1 Ernesto C. Francisco, SPO1 Donato F. Tan and PO3 Rolando M. Joaquin were
involved in a shooting incident which resulted in the death of two individuals and the serious
injury of another. Informations were filed against them before the Sandiganbayan for murder and
frustrated murder. The Sandiganbayan found the accused guilty of two counts of homicide and
one count of attempted homicide. Complainants engaged the services of herein respondent for
the accused. Respondent then filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the Sandiganbayan but it
was denied. They, then, filed an Urgent Motion for Leave to File Second Motion for
Reconsideration, with the attached Second Motion for Reconsideration and a petition for Review
on Certiorari. However, complainants never heard from respondent again despite the frequent
telephone calls they made to his office. When respondent did not return their phone inquiries,
complainants went to respondents last known address only to find out that he had moved out
without any forwarding address. More than a year after the petition was filed, they learned that
the Court had already issued a Resolution dated 3 July 2002, denying the petition for late filing
and non-payment of docket fees and that the said Resolution had attained finality and warrants of
arrest had already been issued against the accused because respondent, whose whereabouts
remained unknown, did nothing to prevent the reglementary period for seeking reconsideration
from lapsing. Thus, complainants filed before the Supreme Court an affidavit-complaint against
the Atty. Jamie Portugal, respondent, for violation of Lawyers Oath, gross misconduct, and
gross negligence for the alleged failure which led to the denial of the petition with finality.
Respondent states that he was not the original counsel of the accused. He was merely requested
by the original counsel to be on hand, assist the accused, and be present at the promulgation of
the Sandiganbayan decision. Respondent claims that there was no formal engagement undertaken
by the parties. Though admitting its highly irregular character, respondent also made informal
but urgent and personal representation with the members of the Division of the Sandiganbayan
who promulgated the decision of conviction. He asserts that because of all the efforts he put into
the case of the accused, his other professional obligations were neglected and that all these were
done without proper and adequate remuneration.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of violation of Canon 14 of Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
Had respondent truly intended to withdraw his appearance for the accused, he as a lawyer
who is presumably steeped in court procedures and practices, should have filed the notice of
withdrawal himself instead of the accused. At the very least, he should have informed this Court
through the appropriate manifestation that he had already given instructions to his clients on the
proper way to go about the filing of the Notice of Withdrawal. In not so doing, he was negligent
in handling the case of the accused. Respondent ought to know that he was the one who should
have filed the Notice to Withdraw and not the accused. His tale that he sent a registered letter to
the accused and gave them instructions on how to go about respondents withdrawal from the
case defies credulity. It should have been respondent who undertook the appropriate measures
for the proper withdrawal of his representation. He should not have relied on his client to do it
for him if such was truly the case. He could relieve himself of his responsibility as counsel only
first by securing the written conformity of the accused and filing it with the court pursuant to
Rule 138, Section 26 of the Rules of Court. The rule in this jurisdiction is that a client has the
absolute right to terminate the attorney-client relation at anytime with or without cause. The
respondent violated Canon 14 of CPR. Thus, Supreme Court ordered the suspension of the
respondent from the practice of law for three (3) months.
CANON 15
by Sharmaine Mariano

LIM-SANTIAGO v. ATTY. SAGUCIO


(A.C. No. 6705, March 31, 2006)

FACTS:
Respondent, Atty. Sagucio was a former Personnel manager and Counsel of Taggat
Industries Inc. Thereafter in 1992, he was appointed as Asst. Provincial prosecutor of
Tuguegarao, Cagayan. Employees of Taggat filed criminal charges against the complainant who
took over the management and control of Taggat, withheld the payment of their wages and
salaries without a valid cause. The complainant charges respondent with the engaging in private
practice of law while working as a government prosecutor and for violation of Rule 15.03 of
CPR.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the respondent violated Rule 15.03 of CPR.
2. Whether or not being a former lawyer of Taggat posits conflict of interests with his work
as Asst. Provincial Prosecutor.

HELD:
The Court finds that there is no conflict of interest on the part of the respondent when he
handled the preliminary investigation of the criminal charges filed by the Taggat Employees. The
issue of the matter of the criminal complaint was pertaining to the withholding of the wages and
salaries of the Taggat employees which occurred from April 1, 1996 to July 15, 1997. Evidently,
the respondent was no longer connected with the Taggat Inc during such period since he is
working as Assistant Provincial Prosecutor since 1992. Should there be apparent conflict of
interest, it must be supported by sufficient evidence that Taggat, respondents former client,
used any confidential information from his preceding employment with Complainant in
resolving the filed criminal complaint.

As the former Personnel Manager and Retained Counsel of Taggat together with the case
he handled as government t prosecutor was labor-related case which fact, is not a sufficient basis
to charge respondent for representing conflicting interests. The Court emphasized that a lawyers
absolute duty to his former client does not cover transactions that occurred beyond the lawyers
employment with the client. It is apparent that the intent of the law is to impose upon the lawyer
the duty to protect the interests of his clients only on matters that he has previously handled for
the former client and specifically not for issues and cases that arose after the lawyer-client
relationship has ended.

Thus, respondent is not guilty of violating Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
CANON 15
by Sharmaine Mariano

GONZALES v. ATTY. CABUCANA


(A.C. No. 6836, January 23, 2006)

FACTS:
Sheriff Gatcheco and his wife went to Gonzaless residence and harassed the latter.
Gatcheco asked her to execute an affidavit of desistance regarding her filed complaint.
Thereafter, Gonzales filed criminal cases for trespass, grave threats, grave oral defamation,
simple coercion and unjust vexation against Gatchecos. Respondent Cabucana represented the
Gatchecos and his law firm was representing the Gonzales. Gonzales alleged that the respondent
should be disbarred from the practice of law since the latters acceptance of the cases of
Gatcheco violates the lawyer-client relationship between the complainant and respondents law
firm and shall be liable for violation of Rules 10.01, 13.01,15.02, 15.03, 21.02 and 21.02. On the
other hand, Respondent averred that he never appeared to represent such case since it was his
brother who attended such case. However, he admitted that he is representing Sheriff Gatcheco
and his wife in the cases filed against the Gonzales but claimed that the couple had pleaded him
to represent them as there is no other counsel willing to take their cause.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondent violated Rule 15.03 of CPR.

HELD:
The Court held that the respondent is guilty violating Rule 15.03 of Canon 15 of the CPR.
While it is a well-settled principle that lawyer is barred from representing conflicting interests
except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. The
prohibition is founded on precepts of public policy as the inherent nature of the lawyer-client
relations is one of trust and confidence of the utmost degree. Lawyers are expected not only to
keep inviolate the clients confidence but also to avoid the appearance of double-dealing for
there would be difficulties that may arise in entrusting their secrets of the cause to their lawyers,
which is of supreme significance in the administration of justice. The prohibition against
representation of conflicting interests is applicable to a situation where the opposing parties are
present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action. The court finds that there is no merit
to Respondents allegation that it was his brother who represented Gonzales, thus there could be
no conflict of interest. Furthermore, it was an admission from the respondent himself that it was
their law firm which represented Gonzales in the civil case. Being the case, it is apparent that
there could be conflicting interest which may affect the duty of administration of justice, and
specifically, will strain the lawyer-client relationship. However, In consideration of the facts, the
Court considered as mitigating circumstances the fact that the respondent is representing the
Gatcheco spouses pro bono and that it was his firm and not respondent personally which handled
the civil case of Gonzales. Hence, it was observed that there was no malice and bad faith in
respondents act of acceptance of the Gatchecoss plead to represent them. Thusly, the Court
ruled that the respondent is guilty of violation of Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of CPR and taking
consideration of mitigating circumstances, Atty. Cabucana is fined the amount of P 2,000 with
stern warning that a commission of the same or similar act in the future shall be dealt with more
severely.
CANON 15
by Mae Vernadel Malinay

JUSTO v. GALING
(A.C. No. 6174, November 16, 2011)

FACTS:
Sometime in April 2003 complainant Justo sought the services of respondent Atty.
Galing in connection with dishonored checks issued by Manila City Councilor Arlene W. Koa.
Respondent in pursuance to such drafted and sent a letter to Ms. Koa demanding payment of the
checks. But since Ms. Koa still failed to pay, complainant filed a criminal complaint against her
for estafa and violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 before the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Manila. But on July 2003, a Motion for Consolidation was filed by respondent on behalf of Ms.
Koa, the accused in the criminal case, and the latters daughter Karen Torralba. Also, respondent
appeared as counsel for Ms. Koa before the prosecutor of Manila. Because of said acts
complainant submits that by representing conflicting interests, respondent violated the Code of
Professional Responsibility. But respondent contended that when he drafted the demand letter for
complainant it was made only in respect to their long standing friendship and not by reason of a
professional engagement. He maintained that the filing of the Motion for Consolidation which is
a non-adversarial pleading does not evidence the existence of a lawyer-client relationship
between him and Ms. Koa and Ms. Torralba. Respondent argued that no lawyer-client
relationship existed between him and complainant because there was no professional fee paid for
the services he rendered. Likewise, his appearance in the joint proceedings should only be
construed as an effort on his part to assume the role of a moderator or arbiter of the parties.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the acts of respondent by representing conflicting interests has violated
the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
The court resolved to Suspend Atty. Rodolfo T. Galing from the practice of law for one
(1) year, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense will warrant a more
severe penalty. They found respondent guilty of violating Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility by representing conflicting interests and for his daring audacity and
for the pronounced malignancy of his act. Under Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, [a] lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written
consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Respondent was therefore
bound to refrain from representing parties with conflicting interests in a controversy. By doing
so, without showing any proof that he had obtained the written consent of the conflicting parties,
respondent should be sanctioned. The prohibition against representing conflicting interest is
founded on principles of public policy and good taste. In the course of the lawyer-client
relationship, the lawyer learns of the facts connected with the clients case, including the weak
and strong points of the case. The nature of the relationship is, therefore, one of trust and
confidence of the highest degree. Lawyers not only to keep inviolate the clients confidence, but
also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing for only then can litigants be
encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of paramount importance in the
administration of justice.
CANON 15
by Mae Vernadel Malinay

ABRAGAN v. RODRIGUEZ
(A.C. No. 4346. April 3, 2002)

FACTS:
Sometime in 1986, complainants hired the services of the respondent to represent in a
case for Forcible Entry with Petition for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Damages before
the MTCC of Cagayan de Oro City. The case was won by the complainants. After the case was
finally won, and a Writ of Execution was issued by the Honorable Municipal Trial Court in
Cities of Cagayan de Oro City, Branch 3, the same respondent lawyer represented the petitioners.
But when respondent counsel disturbed the association (Cagayan de Oro Landless Residents
Association, Inc.), to which all the complainants belong, by surreptitiously selling some rights to
other persons without the consent of the petitioners herein, they decided to sever their client-
lawyer relationship.

On August 1991, complainants filed a case of indirect contempt against Sheriff Fernando
Loncion et al. Much to their surprise, respondent represented the sheriff. Since the counsel
employed by the complainants was a former student of respondent, said counsel, by the
suggestions of respondent withdrew the case without the petitioners consent. That as a result of
such withdrawal, subsequent events occurred that damage and prejudice of the herein petitioners.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Rodriguez should be disbarred.

HELD:
Yes. Respondent clearly violated Rule 15.03 of Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, which provides that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by
written consent of all concerned given after full disclosure of the facts. Respondent should have
evaluated the situation first before agreeing to be counsel for the defendants in the indirect
contempt proceedings. Attorneys owe undivided allegiance to their clients, and should at all
times weigh their actions, especially in their dealings with the latter and the public at large. They
must conduct themselves beyond reproach at all times. The Court will not tolerate any departure
from the "straight and narrow" path demanded by the ethics of the legal profession.
CANON 16
by Maria June Gelian De Guzman

MENESES v. MACALINO
(A.C. No. 6651, February 27, 2006)

FACTS:
Complainant Edgardo Meneses filed a disbarment case against respondent Atty. Rodolfo
Macalino for violation of lawyers oath. Complainant alleged that respondent offered his legal
services to help the former claim his car from the Bureau of Customs for a package deal
amounting to P60, 000.00. In order to expedite the case, complainant entrusted to respondent
lawyer initial amounts of P10, 000.00 and P30, 000.00 on two separate instances respectively,
without the issuance of a receipt. Yet respondent promised to furnish complainant with a receipt
from the Bureau of Customs. After receiving an amount of P40, 000.00, respondent failed to give
complainant an update on the matter. Complainant repeatedly went to respondents house to
inquire on the status of the release of the car. Complainant was always told that respondent was
not around and to just return another day. This went on for more than a year.

ISSUE :
Is respondent guilty of violating the Code of professional Responsibility?

HELD:
The Court finds respondent is guilty of violating of Canon 16, Rule 16.01, Rule
16.03,and Rule 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, respondent Atty.
Rodolfo Macalino shall be suspended from the practice of law for one year effective upon
finality of decision. Respondent failed to inform and to respond to Inquiries of the complainant
regarding the status of the case. As it was held in Tolentino v. Mangapit, The relationship of
lawyer-client being one of confidence, it is the lawyers duty to keep the client regularly and
fully updated on the developments of the clients case. The Code provides that "[a] lawyer shall
keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to
the clients request for information." Moreover, respondent failed to account a and return the
money he received from complainant. The Code provides that The Code mandates that every
lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his
possession. The Code further states that [a] lawyer shall account for all money or property
collected or received for or from the client. Furthermore, [a] lawyer shall deliver the funds and
property of his client when due and upon demand.
CANON 16
by Maria June Gelian De Guzman

CELAJE v. SORIANO
(A.C. No. 7418, October 9, 2007)

FACTS:
This is a disbarment case filed against Atty. Santiago C. Soriano (respondent) for gross
misconduct, for failure to return complainants money to be put up as an injunction bond, which
complainant found out later, to be unnecessary and for other several occasions wherein herein
respondent asked for complainants money allegedly to spend for or to be given to the judge
handling their case, Judge Milagros Quijano, of the Regional Trial Court, Iriga City, Branch 36.
In the Report and Recommendation dated January 24, 2006, IBP-Commission on Bar Discipline
Commissioner Dennis A.B. Funa found respondent guilty of Gross Misconduct in his relations
with his client and recommended that respondent be suspended for three years from the practice
of law.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of gross misconduct and have violated Canon 16 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
The Court sustained the IBPs resolution. Respondent Atty. Santiago C. Soriano is found
guilty of violating Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and is hereby suspended
from the practice of law for a period of two (2) years from notice, with a stern warning that a
repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more severely. The code mandates that a
lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his
possession. He shall account for all money or property collected or received from his client and
shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. Respondents failure
to return the money to complainant upon demand gave rise to the presumption that he
misappropriated it for his own use to the prejudice of, and in violation of the trust reposed in him
by his client. It is a gross violation of general morality and of professional ethics and impairs
public confidence in the legal profession which deserves punishment. As the Court has
pronounced, when a lawyer receives money from the client for a particular purpose, the lawyer is
bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for a particular
purpose. And if he does not use the money for the intended purpose, the lawyer must
immediately return the money to his client. The Court has been exacting in its demand for
integrity and good moral character of members of the Bar who are expected at all times to
uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and refrain from any act or omission
which might lessen the trust and confidence reposed by the public in the fidelity, honesty, and
integrity of the legal profession. Indeed, membership in the legal profession is a privilege. The
attorney-client relationship is highly fiduciary in nature. As such, it requires utmost good faith,
loyalty, fidelity and disinterestedness on the part of the lawyer.
CANON 16
by Carlo Mayo Antalan

SMALL v. ATTY. BANARES


(A.C. No. 7021, February 21, 2007)

FACTS:
Melvin Small sought for the services of Atty. Jerry Banares on August of 2001 in
connection with several complaints against a certain Lyneth Amar. P20,000 as acceptance fee
was made. Complainant gave another P60,000 payment as filing fee on September of 2001.
Respondent then informed complainant that he shall be preparing documents for the cases they
are to file. Complainant made several inquiry on the status of the cases but respondent repeatedly
told complainant to wait as respondent was still preparing the documents.

A complaint for disbarment before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines against the
respondent was filed after the respondent failed to refund the initial payments made. The request
for refund was due to the failure of the respondent to present all the documents for the cases
against Amar the complainant has demanded. October 15, 2004, IBP Director for Bar Discipline
Rogelio A. Vinluan ordered respondent to submit his answer to the complaint. Respondent did
not file an answer despite receipt of the order. Mandatory conferences were set on March 3,
March 30, April 14 of 2005 but respondent failed to appear. On April 14, 2005 conference, only
complainant appeared despite respondents receipt of the notice. The Commission on Bar
Discipline considered the case submitted for resolution.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent violated Canons 16, 18, and 19 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and is subject for disbarment.

HELD:
Yes. The Report considered complainants evidence sufficient to find respondent guilty
of violating Canons 16, 18, and 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Code
provides that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence. The Code states that
a lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the clients request for information.

IBP Commissioner Reyes recommended the imposition on respondent of a penalty of


suspension from the practice of law for two years and that respondent be ordered to return
complainants P80,000. The court sustained the findings and recommendations of the IBP.
CANON 16
by Carlo Mayo Antalan

ATTY. PENTICOSTES v. PROSECUTOR IBAEZ


(A.C. No. 167, March 9, 1999)

FACTS:
Encarnacion Pascual, the sister-in-law of Atty. Prudencio S. Penticostes was sued for
non-remittance of SSS payments in 1989. In the course of the investigation, Encarnacion Pascual
gave P1,804.00 to respondent as payment of her Social Security System (SSS) contribution.
Respondent, however, failed to remit the amount to SSS. The fact of non-payment was certified
to by the SSS on October 2, 1989.

The complaint was initially filed with the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac for professional
misconduct but was then referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Tarlac Chapter. The
Tarlac Chapter forwarded the same to IBPs Commission on Bar Discipline.

In his defense, respondent claimed that his act of accommodating Encarnacion Pascuals request
to make payment to the SSS did not amount to professional misconduct but was rather an act of
Christian charity. Furthermore, he claimed that the action was moot and academic, the amount of
P1,804.00 having already been paid by him to the SSS. Lastly, he disclaimed liability on the
ground that the acts complained were not done by him in his capacity as a practicing lawyer but
on account of his office as a prosecutor.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondents act of non remittance of the money entrusted to him is a
violation of Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. This Court has repeatedly admonished lawyers that a high sense of morality,
honesty and fair dealing is expected and required of a member of the bar. Rule 1.01 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct. This Court adopts the recommendation of the IBP and finds
respondent guilty of professional misconduct. While there is no doubt that payment of the
contested amount had been effected to the SSS on November 23, 1990, it is clear however, that
the same was made only after a complaint had been filed against respondent. Respondents claim
that he may not be held liable because he committed such acts, not in his capacity as a private
lawyer, but as a prosecutor is unavailing. Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides: These canons shall apply to lawyers in government service in the discharge of their
official tasks.

The IBP recommended that the respondent be reprimanded, with a warning that the
commission of the same or similar offense would be dealt with more severely in the future. The
court sustained the findings and recommendations of the IBP.
CANON 17
by Lilian Reyes

BAUTISTA v. GONZALES
(A.M. No. 1625, February 12, 1990)

FACTS:
In complaint filed by Angel L. Bautista respondent Ramon A. Gonzales was charged with
malpractice, deceit, gross misconduct and violation of lawyer's oath. Complainant submitted an
amended complaint for disbarment, alleging that respondent prepared a document entitled
"Transfer of Rights" which was signed by the Fortunados (his client). The document assigned to
respondent one-half (1/2) of the properties of the Fortunados , for and in consideration of his
legal services to the latter. At the time the document was executed, respondent knew that the
abovementioned properties were the subject of a civil pending before the Court of First Instance
of Quezon City since he was acting as counsel for the Fortunados in said case.In executing the
document transferring one-half (1/2) of the subject properties to himself, respondent violated the
law expressly prohibiting a lawyer from acquiring his client's property or interest involved in any
litigation in which he may take part by virtue of his profession. It should be noted that the
persons mentioned in Art. 1491 of the Civil Code are prohibited from purchasing the property
mentioned therein because of their existing trust relationship with the latter. He reasoned that
while a purchase by a lawyer of property in litigation is void under Art. 1491 of the Civil Code,
such purchase is no longer a ground for disciplinary action under the new Code of Professional
Responsibility.

ISSUE:
Whether he violated Canon 17 stating "a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client
and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him."

HELD:
A lawyer is disqualified from acquiring by purchase the property and rights in litigation
because of his fiduciary relationship with such property and rights, as well as with the client. It
cannot be claimed that the new Code of Professional Responsibility has failed to emphasize the
nature and consequences of such relationship. Canon 17 states that "a lawyer owes fidelity to the
cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him."
Art. 1491 of the Civil Code are prohibited from purchasing the property mentioned therein
because of their existing trust relationship with the latter. His contentions that such purchase is
no longer a ground for disciplinary action under the new Code of Professional Responsibility is
unmeritorious. Finding that respondent Attorney Ramon A. Gonzales committed serious
misconduct, the Court Resolved to SUSPEND respondent from the practice of law for SIX (6)
months.
CANON 17
by Lilian Reyes

SPOUSES ARANDA v. ELAYDA


(A.C. No. 7907, December 15, 2010)

FACTS:
The case from complaint filed by the spouses Virgilio and Angelina Aranda , before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)charging their former counsel, Atty. Emmanuel F. Elayda
with gross negligence or gross misconduct in handling their case. That on February 14, 2006
hearing of the said case Atty. Elayd] did not appear. That the order setting this case for hearing
on February 14, 2006 was sent only to Atty. Elayda and no notice was sent to spouses Aranda
that they were unaware of said hearing and respondent never informed them of the setting; That
they were totally unaware of said judgment as respondent had not again lifted any single finger
to inform them of such adverse judgment and that there is a need to take a remedial recourse
thereto, they were deprived of their right to present their evidence in the said case and of their
right to appeal because of the gross negligence of respondent. Atty. Elayda filed his Answer that
the spouses did not bother to contact respondent to prepare for the case and in fact on May 30,
2005, he had to ask for postponement of the case for reason that he still have to confer with the
spouses Aranda who were not around and that he cannot be faulted for what had happened
during the hearing on February 14, 2006 because he was just at the other branch of the RTC for
another case and left a message with the court stenographer to just call him when the spouses
Aranda come.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Elayda guilty of violation of Canon 17 in relation with Canon 18 of
the Canon of professional responsibility.

HELD:
Lawyers are expected to maintain at all times a high standard of legal proficiency and of
morality which includes honesty, integrity and fair dealing. They must perform their four-fold
duty to society, the legal profession, the courts and their clients in accordance with the values
and norms of the legal profession, as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility. Once
he agrees to take up the cause of a client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must always
be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. He must serve the client with competence
and diligence, and champion the latters cause with wholehearted fidelity, care, and devotion.
Accordingly, respondent ATTY. EMMANUEL F. ELAYDA is hereby SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for a period of SIX (6) MONTHS, with a stern warning that a repetition of the
same or a similar act will be dealt with more severely.
CANON 18
by Francis Acharon

SOMOSOT v. LARA
(A.C. No. 7024, January 30, 2009)

FACTS:
Somosot employed Lara as her counsel in a collection case fied against her by Golden
Collection for the sum of P 1.3M. She was counter-claiming that Golden Collection Corp owed
her P 800,000. He entered his appearance after securing his acceptance fee. She alleged that after
filing the answer the respondent failed to inform her of developments in the case and that she
only learned that there had been a decision against her. She learned that Lara had tried to
discharge himself from the duty of being her counsel. He said that he could not locate her, thus
he did so without her knowledge and consent. Somosot claims however that Lara knows where
she lives and could have easily contacted her. The court had denied Laras motion to withdraw
from the case and Somosot claims that he represented her in a half-hearted manner, resulting in a
grant of her opponents motion for judgment on the pleadings and because he failed to properly
oppose the motion she was prevented from presenting evidence and once the decision was
executed, sale of her house pushed through, despite the assistance of another lawyer. Lara
answered that he pursued the case according to his own ability and knowledge that he had
presented all of the defense and claims. But that interrogatories and requests for admission were
filed and that these are by law, directed towards Somosot and not him.That he became a
consultant for the BOI and counsel of Gov. Leviste and that when he tried to contact Lara he was
told at the office of Lara that she had moved and there was no forwarding address and that in
anycase she had not paid his retainer fees. IBP recommends reprimand.

ISSUE:
Are Respondents claims sufficient to exculpate him from liability in so far as Canon 18
is concerned?

HELD:
It appears that Lara was remiss in fulfilling his duties, but Somosot is not without fault,
because she did not make any attempt to follow up on the status of the case. Instead she assumed
that he should take complete initiative to inform her. The court has ruled that no prudent party
will leave the fate of his case entirely to his lawyer. Absence of inquiry for several months is
inexcusable. While he is correct to state that a lawyer may be relieved of his duties without the
conformity of his client when he has lost all contact with the latter, the fact remains that the court
denied his discharge as counsel and that he is bound by oath to represent Somosot. Lara violated
Canon 18 of CPR that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence. Much was
left to be desired in this case. He never informed her of the request for admission and the
interrogatories. His reason, assuming it were true, that he had not been paid from May to august
is no cause to withhold vital information from her. While he had valid reasons to withdraw and
terminate his relationship with his client (deliberate failure to pay for services/comply with
retainer agreement AND appointment/election to public office) it seems he never cited these
before the courts. He was suspended for 3 months.
CANON 19
by Maria Katrina D. Cristobal

PENA v. APARICIO
(A.C. No. 7298, June 25, 2007)

FACTS:
This is an administrative complaint for violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility against herein respondent, Atty. Lolito G. Aparicio. Resondent appeared as legal
counsel for Grace C. Hufana in an illegal dismissal case. This complaint rooted out when herein
complainant, Fernando Martin O. Pena, sent notices to Hufana for the latter to explain her
absences and to return to work. In reply to this return to work notice, respondent wrote a letter to
complainant reiterating his client's claim for separation pay, in which the letter also contained
threats to the company.
Moreover, believing that the contents of the letter deviated from accepted ethical standards,
complainant filed this administrative complaint.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents acts constitutes a violation of the Code of professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that "a lawyer shall represent
his client with zeal within the bounds of the law," Furthermore, Rule 19.01 commands that a
"lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client and
shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to
obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding."

In the case at bar, respondent did exactly what Canon 19 and its Rule proscribe. Through
his letter, he threatened complainant that should the latter fail to pay the amounts they propose as
settlement, he would file and claim bigger amounts including moral damages, as well as multiple
charges such as tax evasion, falsification of documents, and cancellation of business license to
operate due to violations of laws. The threats are not only unethical for violating Canon 19, but
they also amount to blackmail. Notwithstanding, respondent does not find anything wrong with
what he wrote, dismissing the same as merely an act of pointing out massive violations of the
law by the other party, and, with boldness, asserting that "a lawyer is under obligation to tell the
truth, to report to the government commission of offenses punishable by the State." He further
asserts that the writing of demand letters is a standard practice and tradition and that our laws
allow and encourage the settlement of disputes.

The Supreme Court ruled that indeed, the writing of demand letters is a standard practice
and tradition in this jurisdiction. It is usually done by a lawyer pursuant to the principal-agent
relationship that he has with his client, the principal. Thus, in the performance of his role as
agent, the lawyer may be tasked to enforce his client's claim and to take all the steps necessary to
collect it, such as writing a letter of demand requiring payment within a specified period.
However, the letter in this case contains more than just a simple demand to pay. It even contains
a threat to file retaliatory charges against complainant which have nothing to do with his client's
claim for separation pay. The letter was obviously designed to secure leverage to compel
complainant to yield to their claims. Indeed, letters of this nature are definitely proscribed by the
Code of Professional Responsibility.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is granted. The 26 May 2006


Resolution of the IBP Board of Governors is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondent
Atty. Lolito G. Aparicio is hereby found liable for violation of Rule 19.01 of Canon 19 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, and is accordingly meted out the penalty of REPRIMAND,
with the STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar act will be dealt with more
severely.
CANON 19
by Maria Katrina D. Cristobal

RBCI BOHOL v. FLORIDO


(A.C. No. 5736, June 18, 2010)

FACTS:
This is a complaint for disbarment filed by the members of the Board of Directors of the
Rural Bank of Calape, Inc. (RBCI) Bohol against Atty. James Benedict Florido, herein
respondent. RBCI alleged that respondent violated his oath and the Code of Professional
Responsibility. According to RBCI, respondent and his clients, Dr. Domeciano Nazareno, Dr.
Remedios Relampagos, Dr. Manuel Relampagos, and Felix Rengel, through force and
intimidation, with the use of armed men, forcibly took over the management and the premises of
RBCI. They also forcibly evicted Cirilo A. Garay, the bank manager, destroyed the banks vault,
and installed their own staff to run the bank. However, In his comment, respondent denied
RBCIs allegation and explained that he acted in accordance with the authority granted upon him
by the Nazareno-Relampagos group, the lawfully and validly elected Board of Directors of
RBCI. Respondent said he was merely effecting a lawful and valid change of management.
Respondent alleged that a termination notice was sent to Garay but he refused to comply and to
ensure a smooth transition of managerial operations, respondent and the Nazareno-Relampagos
group went to the bank to ask Garay to step down. However, Garay reacted violently and
grappled with the security guards long firearm. Respondent then directed the security guards to
prevent entry into the bank premises of individuals who had no transaction with the bank and
also, through the orders of the Nazareno-Relampagos group, also changed the locks of the banks
vault.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. James Floridos act is a ground for violation of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Canon 19 of the Code provides that a lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within the
bounds of the law. Lawyers are indispensable instruments of justice and peace. Upon taking their
professional oath, they become guardians of truth and the rule of law. Verily, a lawyers duty is
not to his client but to the administration of justice. Thus, their duty to protect their clients
interests is secondary to their obligation to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of
justice. While they are obliged to present every available legal remedy or defense, their fidelity
to their clients must always be made within the parameters of law and ethics, never at the
expense of truth, the law, and the fair administration of justice and that, any means, not
honorable, fair and honest which is resorted to by the lawyer, even in the pursuit of his devotion
to his clients cause, is condemnable and unethical.

WHEREFORE, court finds respondent Atty. James Benedict Florido GUILTY of


violating Canon 19 and Rules 1.02 and 15.07 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Accordingly, he is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one year effective upon finality of
the Decision.
CANON 20
by Jewel Aurora Andaya

DALISAY v. MAURICIO
(A.C. No. 5655, April 22, 2005)

FACTS:
Valeriana U. Dalisay filed a complaint against Atty. Melanio "Batas" Mauricio, Jr. for
demanding and receiving exorbitant attorneys fees without taking any action on her case.

Respondent agreed to handle Civil Case No. 00-044 on behalf of complainant for an
acceptance fee of P25,000.00 which she paid. Respondent then demanded additional acceptance
fee or a total of P48,000.00, instead of P25,000.00 initially agreed upon. In addition, respondent
asked for P8,000.00 which according to him was intended as filing fee for a new case he was
supposed to file. Hence, respondent received the total amount of P56,000.00 from complainant
for his supposed legal services, but no action had been taken nor any pleadings prepared by the
respondent except his alleged conferences and opinions rendered when she frequented his law
office, as his legal services thats why she terminated his services as her counsel and demanded
the return of her money in the amount of P56,000.00.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) investigated this matter and recommended
that this case should be dismissed.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondent violated Canon 20 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
When respondent accepted P56,000.00 from complainant, it was understood that he
agreed to take up the latters case and that an attorney-client relationship between them was
established. However, no action had been taken nor any pleadings prepared by the respondent.
Respondent insists that he is entitled to attorneys fees for giving legal advice and opinions to
complainant. Just like any other professional, a lawyer is entitled to collect fees for his services.
However, he should charge only a reasonable amount of fees. Canon 20 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility mandates that "A lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees."
Since respondent did not take any step to assist complainant in her case, charging P56,000.00 is
improper. While giving legal advice and opinion on complainants problems constitutes legal
service, however, the attorneys fee must be reasonable.

Therefore, the Supreme Court held that Respondent Atty. Mauricio, Jr. is guilty of
malpractice and gross misconduct for violating Canon 20 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. He is suspended from the practice of law for six months and is further ordered to
return the sum of P56,000.00 to complainant Dalisay.
CANON 20
by Jewel Aurora Andaya

CUETO v. JIMENEZ, JR.


(A.C. No. 5798, January 20, 2005)

FACTS:
Engr. Alex B. Cueto filed a complaint for disciplinary action against Atty. Jose Jimenez,
Jr. with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Commission on Bar Discipline. Cueto
engaged the services of Jimenez as notary public and after notarizing the Construction
Agreement, Cueto paid the agreed P50,000 as notarial fee. He paid P30,000 in cash and issued a
check for the balance in the amount of P20,000. Cueto informed Jimenez that he ran short of
funds especially since Jimenezs son Jose III failed to pay his own obligation to Cueto. As a
result, the check that Cueto issued was dishonored for insufficient funds, so Atty. Jimenez filed a
complaint against Cueto for violation of BP 22. Hence, this administrative complaint was filed
by Cueto against Jimenez, alleging that Jimenez violated the Code of Professional Responsibility
when he filed the criminal case against Cueto so he could collect the balance of his notarial fee.
In its report, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline found respondent guilty of violating Canon
20, Rule 20.4 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended that Atty. Jose B.
Jimenez, Jr. be reprimanded.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Jimenez, Jr. is guilty of violating Canon 20, Rule 20.4 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Canon 20, Rule 20.4 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer
shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort to judicial
action only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud. There was clearly no imposition, injustice or
fraud obtaining in this case to justify the legal action taken by respondent. As borne out by the
records, complainant Cueto had already paid more than half of respondents fee. To resort to a
suit to recover the balance reveals a certain kind of shameful conduct and inconsiderate behavior.
The duty of a lawyer is to uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession by faithfully
performing his duties to society, the bar, the courts and his clients. The legal profession is
imbued with public service and remuneration is a mere incident. Although every lawyer must be
paid what is due to him, he must never resort to judicial action to recover his fees, in a manner
that detracts from the dignity of the profession.

Therefore, the Supreme Court severely reprimanded Atty. Jose Jimenez, Jr. for violating
Canon 20, Rule 20.4 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
CANON 21
by Charles Tarampi

SALONGA v. HILDAWA
(A.C. No. 5105, 12 August 1999)

FACTS:
The President of STAVA charged Atty. Hildawa of having withdrawn a deposit in favor
of STAVA in the amount of P104,543.80 without authority and of refusing to turn over the
withdrawn sum of STAVA. He was likewise charged with appearing as counsel for KBMBPM,
an opponent of STAVA.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is engaging in conflict of interest.

HELD:
Respondent is exonerated from having violated his obligation to hold in trust the funds of
his client, as it turned out that the following day he turned over the amount he received to
STAVAs Treasurer as the President was then on leave.

Respondent was however reprimanded for having placed at risk his obligation of
preserving the confidentiality relation with a previous client. This obligation continues even after
the attorney-client relation ceases. He should not have appeared as counsel for a party his client
has previously contended with in a case similarly involving the said parties. Respondent violated
Canon 21 which states, A lawyer shall preserve the confidences and secrets of his client even
after the attorney-client relation is terminated.
CANON 21
by Charles Tarampi

PALM, v. ATTY. ILEDAN, JR.


(A.C. No. 8242, October 2, 2009)

FACTS:
The case is a disbarment proceeding filed for revealing information obtained in the
course of an attorney-client relationship and for representing an interest which conflicted with
that of his former client, Comtech Worldwide Solutions Philippines, Inc. On 26 January 2005,
complainant filed a Complaint for disbarment against respondent before the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP). Respondent alleged that there was no conflict of interest when he represented
Soledad in the case for Estafa filed by Comtech. He alleged that Soledad was already a client
before he became a consultant for Comtech. He alleged that the criminal case was not related to
or connected with the limited procedural queries he handled with Comtech. In a Report and
Recommendation dated 28 March 2006, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD)
found respondent guilty of violation of Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and
of representing interest in conflict with that of Comtech as his former client. Respondent filed a
motion for reconsideration and the case was forwarded to the SC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there was a violation of confidentiality of Lawyer-Client Relationship.

HELD:
Complaint against respondent was dismissed. What transpired on 10 January 2004 was
not a board meeting but a stockholders meeting. Respondent attended the meeting as proxy for
Harrison. The physical presence of a stockholder is not necessary in a stockholders meeting
because a member may vote by proxy unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation
or by-laws. The amendment, repeal or adoption of new by-laws may be effected by "the board of
directors or trustees, by a majority vote thereof, and the owners of at least a majority of the
outstanding capital stock, or at least a majority of members of a non-stock corporation." It means
the stockholders are aware of the proposed amendments to the by-laws. The documents are
public records and could not be considered confidential.1avvphi1

It is settled that the mere relation of attorney and client does not raise a presumption of
confidentiality. The client must intend the communication to be confidential. Since the proposed
amendments must be approved by at least a majority of the stockholders, and copies of the
amended by-laws must be filed with the SEC, the information could not have been intended to be
confidential. Thus, the disclosure made by respondent during the stockholders meeting could
not be considered a violation of his clients secrets and confidence within the contemplation of
Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
CANON 21
by Lydia Marie Zyrah Mina

MERCADO v. DE VERA
(A.C. No. 5859, November 23, 2010)

FACTS:
Rosario P. Mercado, complainant hires the respondent Atty. Eduardo De Vera as her
legal counsel. The respondent garnished the bank deposits of the defendant, but did not turn over
the proceeds to Rosario claiming that he had paid part of the money to the judge while the
balance was his, as attorneys fees. The refusal to return the money prompted Rosario to file an
administrative case for disbarment against the respondent. On March 23, 1993, the IBP Board of
Governors issued a Resolution holding the respondent guilty of infidelity in the custody and
handling of clients funds and recommending to the Court his one-year suspension from the
practice of law. As a result, the respondent filed a total of 12 cases against the people involved
for his suspension from the practice of law including his former client. In addition to the 12 cases
filed, the respondent also re-filed cases which had previously been dismissed. Complainants
allege that the respondent committed barratry, forum shopping, exploitation of family problems,
and use of intemperate language when he filed several frivolous and unwarranted lawsuits
against the complainants and their family members, their lawyers, and the family corporation.
They maintain that the primary purpose of the cases is to harass and to exact revenge for the one-
year suspension from the practice of law meted out by the IBP against the respondent. In his
defense the respondent basically offers a denial of the charges against him.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the act of the respondent in filing numerous cases against his former
client constitute a violation of Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes, the Court ruled that act of filing a barrage of cases appears to be an act of revenge
and hate driven by anger and frustration against his former client who filed the disciplinary
complaint against him for infidelity in the custody of a clients funds. Further, the respondent not
only filed frivolous and unfounded lawsuits that violated his duties as an officer of the court in
aiding in the proper administration of justice, but he did so against a former client to whom he
owes loyalty and fidelity. It is a clear violation of Canon 21 and Rule 21.02 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, which provides that A lawyer shall preserve the confidence and
secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relation is terminated and A lawyer shall not,
to the disadvantage of his client, use information acquired in the course of employment, nor shall
he use the same to his own advantage or that of a third person, unless the client with full
knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto respectively. The cases filed by the respondent
against his former client involved matters and information acquired by the respondent during the
time when he was still Rosarios counsel. Information as to the structure and operations of the
family corporation, private documents, and other pertinent facts and figures used as basis or in
support of the cases filed by the respondent in pursuit of his malicious motives were all acquired
through the attorney-client relationship with herein complainants. Such act is in direct violation
of the Canons and will not be tolerated by the Court. Thus, the respondent is disbarred from the
practice of law.
CANON 21
by Lydia Marie Zyrah Mina

ROSACIA v. BULALACAO
(A.C. No. 3745, October 2, 1995)

FACTS:
On June 1, 1990, by virtue of a written Agreement, respondent Atty. Benjamin B.
Bulalacao was hired as retained counsel of Tacma Phils., Inc. On October 31, 1990, the lawyer-
client relationship between the respondent and the said corporation was severed. On July, 1991,
or nine (9) months after the termination of the respondent's retainer agreement with Tacma,
Phils., Inc, several employees of the corporation consulted the respondent for the purpose of
filing an action for illegal dismissal. Thereafter, he agreed to handle the case for the said
employees as against Tacma, Phils., Inc. by filing a complaint before the National Labor
Relations Commission, and appearing in their behalf. On that account, Complainant Cynthia B.
Rosacia, president of the said corporation filed a complaint for disbarment dated October 25,
1991, against respondent Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao. The Court in a resolution resolved to
refer the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation, report and
recommendation. The abovementioned facts were undisputed as examined by the IBP. The
respondent even filed a motion for reconsideration wherein he admitted that he did commit an
act constituting a grave misconduct, if not outright violation of his attorneys oath and pleading
for the courts compassion and leniency to reduce the penalty of 3 months suspension to a fine or
admonition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent breached his oath of office for representing the employees of
his former client, after the termination of their attorney-client relationship.

HELD:
Yes, The court agrees with the findings of the IBP that the respondent breaches his oath
of office. The respondent violated Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
provides that a lawyer shall preserve the confidences of his client even after the attorney-client
relation is terminated. The Court reiterates that an attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in
the case in which he has represented him but also after the relation of attorney and client has
terminated as it is not good practice to permit him to defend another case for other person against
his former client under the pretext that the case is distinct from, and independent of the former
case. It is a measure to avoid the appearance of treachery and double dealing for only then can
litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys. A lawyer owes fidelity to the
cause of his client and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. An
attorney becomes familiar with all the facts as well as the weak and strong points of the case. No
opportunity must be given attorneys to take advantage of the secrets of clients obtained while the
confidential relation of attorney and client exists. Otherwise, the legal profession will suffer by
the loss of the confidence of the people. Thus, the respondent plea for leniency cannot be granted
because a lawyer starting to establish his stature in the legal profession must dutifully abide by
the norms of conduct of the profession. Hence, the respondent is suspended from the practice of
law for 3 months.
CANON 22
by Cresta Amor Macalalad

ORCINO v. GASPAR
(A.C. No. 3773, September 24, 1997)

FACTS:
Complainant engaged the services of respondent to prosecute a criminal case she
intended to file against several suspects in the slaying of her husband and bound herself to pay
the later legal fees of P20,000.00. Complainant paid respondent his fees as stipulated. Forthwith,
respondent entered his duties and performed them religiously from the preliminary investigation
with the office of the prosecutor until the case was thereafter filed with the RTC of Baloc, Sto.
Domingo, Nueva Ecija.Respondent however failed to attend the bail hearing scheduled in August
1991. During this hearing, the court granted bail to all the accused over the complainants
objections. This angered the complainant and accused the respondent of jeopardizing the case.
Respondent explained that he did not receive formal notice of the hearing but the complainant
continued accusing him belligerently. The latter asked for the records of the case saying that she
could refer them to another lawyer and stung by her words, the respondent complied with.
Subsequently, the respondent filed before the trial court a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel
without the complainants consent. The court directed her to secure complainants consent and to
continue appearing as private prosecutor until he has secured the same. Complainant refused to
sign her conformity to respondent's withdrawal. Meanwhile, the hearings in the criminal case
continued and respondent did not appear at the hearings nor did he contact complainant.
Complainant was thus compelled to engage the services of another lawyer.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not there is a reasonable ground to withdraw as counsel.
2. Whether or not the complainants act violates the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
There is no just cause on the part of the counsel to withdraw from the case.Rule 22.01 of
Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides: A lawyer may withdraw his
services from his client only in the following instances: (a) when a client insists upon an unjust
or immoral conduct of his case; (b) when the client insists that thelawyer pursue conduct
violative of the Code of Professional Responsibility; (c) when the client has two or more retained
lawyersand the lawyers could not get along to the detriment of the case; (d) when the mental or
physical condition of the lawyer makes him incapable of handling the case effectively; (e) when
the client deliberately fails to pay the attorney's fees agreed upon; (f) when thelawyer is elected
or appointed to public office; (g) other similar cases.Respondent's withdrawal was made on the
ground that "there no longer exist[ed] the . . . confidence" between them and that there had been
"serious differences between them relating to the manner of private prosecution." This
circumstance is neither one of the foregoing instances nor can it be said that it is analogous
thereof. Furthermore, the refusal of the complainant to give his consent to the withdrawal does
not excuse the respondent from performing his duties. In such case, the court, on notice to the
client and adverse party, shall determine whether he ought to be allowed to retire. In the instant
case, respondent did not file an application with the court for it to determine whether he should
be allowed to withdraw. Based on the foregoing, respondent is found guilty of the violation of
Rule 22.01 of Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent is admonished
to exercise more prudence and judiciousness in dealing with his clients and ordered to return to
complainant within fifteen (15) days from notice the amount of ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00)
representing a portion of his legal fees received from the latter, failure of which would warrant
an imposition of a stiffer disciplinary action.
CANON 22
by Cresta Amor Macalalad

CENIZA v. RUBIA
(A.C. No. 6166, October 2, 2009)

FACTS:
Complainant sought the legal services of the respondent in regard to the share of her
mother-in-law in the estate of her husband Carlos Ceniza. Respondent made the complainant to
sign a promissory note for P32,000.00 which was lent by Domingo Natavioand was later paid by
the latters mother-in-law. Then, respondent furnished them a copy of the complaint for partition
and recovery of ownership/possession representing legitime but with no docket number on it. It
was only after three months that respondent informed them of the filing of the complaint and
gave them a copy of the complaint with "Civil Case No. 4198" and a rubber stamped
"RECEIVED" thereon. But upon verification with the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court
of Davao del Sur, she was informed that no case with said title and docket number was filed.

Complainant charged respondent with grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law and
falsification of public documents. Upon the IBP investigation, it recommended that respondent
be found guilty of falsification of public document and be meted the penalty of suspension from
the practice of law for a period of three years. The other allegations in the complaint about
ignorance of the law are found to be without factual basis. In a resolution by the Board of
Governors, it recommended that the disbarment of the respondentbe reduced to five (5) years of
suspension from the practice of law.

A perusal of the records shows that complainants evidence does not suffice to warrant
the imposition of administrative sanction against the respondent. However, the Court finds that
respondent committed some acts for which she should be disciplined or administratively
sanctioned. She suggested that complainant borrow money from Domingo Natavio for the
payment thereof. Furthermore,she severed the lawyer-client relationship due to overwhelming
workload demanded by her new employer Nakayama Group of Companies, which constrained
her to return the money received as well as the records of the case, thereby leaving her client
with no representation.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not respondents heavy workload constitutes a good cause for the withdrawal
of his services as counsel of the complainant.
2. Whether or not he violated Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Respondent violated Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides
that a lawyer shall withdraw his services only for good cause and upon notice appropriate in the
circumstances. Heavy workload is not sufficient reason for the withdrawal of her services. When
she accepted to handle the complainants case, she undertook to do her duties with utmost
attention, skill and competence, despite other workloads to do with other client. The client has
the right to expect that a lawyer will discharge his duties diligently and exert his best efforts to
defend or prosecute his clients cause. Failure of such duties will render him administratively
liable. In the instant case, respondent is found guilty and suspended from the practice of law for
six months.