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Introduction To Legal Ethics

Director of Religious Affairs vs. Bayot

74 Phil 749; March 20, 1944

It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant

advertises his wares. Law is a profession and not a trade.

Ledesma vs. Climaco

G.R. No 12815; June 28,1974

Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. The law is indeed
a profession dedicated to the ideal of service and not a mere trade.

Cui vs. Cui

11 SCRA 755; August 31, 1964

Titulo de Abogado means not mere possession of the academic degree of

Bachelor of Laws but membership in the Bar after due admission thereto,
qualifying one for the practice of law. A Bachelors degree alone, conferred by a
law school upon completion of certain academic requirements, does not entitle its
holder to exercise the legal profession.

Villegas vs. Legaspi

113 SCRA 39; March 25, 1982

No member of the Batasang Pambansa shall appear as counsel before any

court without appellate jurisdiction. The objective of the prohibition, then and
now, is clearly to remove any possibility of undue influence upon the
administration of justice, to eliminate the possible use of office for personal gain,
to ensure impartiality in trials and thus preserve the independence of the

Enriquez vs. Gimenez

107 Phil 932; April 29, 1960

The provincial fiscal is disqualified to represent in court the municipality if and

when original jurisdiction of the case involving the municipality is vested in the
Supreme Court; when the municipality is a party adverse to the provincial
government or to some other municipality in the same province; and when in the
case involving the municipality, he, or his wife, or child, is pecuniarily involved as
heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise.
Unlike a practicing lawyer who has the right to decline employment, a fiscal
cannot refuse the performance of his functions on grounds not provided for by
law without violating his oath of office, where he swore, among others, "that he
will well and faithfully discharge to the best of his ability the duties of the office or
position upon which he is about to enter.

Salcedo vs. Hernandez

61 Phil 724; August 8, 1935

As a member of the bar and an officer of the Supreme Court, an attorney is duty
bound to uphold its dignity and authority and to defend its integrity, not only
because it has conferred upon him the high privilege, not a right, of being what
he now is: a priest of justice, but also because in so doing he neither creates nor
promotes distrust in the administration of justice, and he prevents anybody from
harboring and encouraging discontent, which in many cases, is the source of
disorder, thus undermining the foundation on which rests the bulwark called
judicial power to which those who are aggrieved turn for protection and relief.
It is right and plausible that an attorney, in defending the cause and rights of his
client, should do so with all the fervor and energy of which he is capable, but it is
not, and will never be so for him to exercise said right by resorting to intimidation
or proceeding without the propriety and respect which the dignity of the courts
require, by reason respect of the courts guarantees the stability of their

Alawi vs. Alauya

268 SCRA 628; February 24, 1997

While one who has been admitted to the Sharia bar, and one who has been
admitted to the Philippine bar, may both be considered counselors, in the sense
that they give counsel or advice in a professional capacity, only the latter is an
attorney. The title of attorney is reserved to those who, having obtained the
necessary degree in the study of law and successfully taken the bar
examinations, have been admitted to the integrated bar of the Philippines and
remain members thereof in good standing; and it is they only who are authorized
to practice law in this jurisdiction.

Pangan vs. Ramos

93 SCRA 87; September 7, 1979

The attorneys roll or register is the official record containing the names and
signatures of those who are authorized to practice law. A lawyer is not authorized
to use a name other than the one inscribed in the Roll of Attorneys in his practice
of law, otherwise, they are guilty of deception and demonstrate lack of candor in
dealing with the courts.

Philippine Lawyers Association vs. Agrava

105 Phil 173; February 16, 1959

Practice of law in the Philippines includes such appearance before the Patent
Office, the representation of applicants, oppositors, and other persons, and the
prosecution of their applications for patent, their oppositions thereto or the
enforcement of their rights in patent cases. Members of the Philippine Bar
authorized by the Supreme Court to practice law, and in good standing, may
practice their profession before the Patent Office, for the reason that much of the
business in said office involves the interpretation and determination of the scope
and application of the patent law and other laws involved.

Ui vs. Bonifacio
333 SCRA 38; June 8, 2000

The practice of law is a privilege that can be revoked, subject to the mandate of
due process, once a lawyer violates his oath and the dictates of legal ethics.
An applicant must possess good moral character, which is a continuous
requirement to the enjoyment of the privilege of law practice; otherwise, the loss
thereof is a ground for the revocation of such privilege.

Deles vs. Aragona

27 SCRA 633; March 28, 1969

Lawyers should be allowed great latitude of pertinent comment in the furtherance

of the causes they uphold, and for the felicity of their clients they may be
pardoned some infelicities of language.
The object of a disbarment proceeding is not so much to punish the individual
attorney himself, as to safeguard the administration of justice by protecting the
court and the public from the misconduct of officers of the court, and to remove
from the profession of law persons whose disregard for their oath of office have
proved them unfit to continue discharging the trust reposed in them as members
of the bar.

Blanza vs. Arcangel

21 SCRA 1; September 5, 1967

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; and his
conduct must, perforce, be par excellence, especially so when, as in this case,
he volunteers his professional services.

Zoreta vs. Simpliciano

443 SCRA 1; November 18, 2004

Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary actit is invested with

substantive public interest, such that only those who are qualified or authorized
may act as notaries public.
The lawyer s act of notarizing documents without the requisite commission
therefor is reprehensible, constituting as it does not only malpractice but also the
crime of falsification of public documents

A-1 Financial Services, Inc. vs. Valerio

622 SCRA 616; July 2, 2010

The deliberate failure to pay just debts and the issuance of worthless checks
constitute gross misconduct, for which a lawyer may be sanctioned with
suspension from the practice of law, because a lawyer is expected to maintain
not only legal proficiency but also a high standard of morality, honesty, integrity
and fair dealing so that the peoples faith and confidence in the judicial system is
A lawyers failure to answer the complaint against him and his failure to appear at
the investigation are evidence of his flouting resistance to lawful orders of the
court and illustrate his despiciency for his oath of office in violation of Section 3,
Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.

RE: 2003 Bar Examination Matter No. 1222

421 SCRA 703; April 24, 2009

In cases of Disbarment, The Court will take into consideration the applicants
character and standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and character of the
charge/s for which he was disbarred, his conduct subsequent to the disbarment
and the time that has elapsed in between the disbarment and the application for
Petitioners act in copying the examination questions from Atty. Balgos computer
without the latters knowledge and consent, and which questions later turned out
to be the bar examinations questions in Mercantile Law in the 2003 Bar
Examinations, is not at all commendable, and should be sanctioned for unduly
compromising the integrity of the bar examinations as well as of the court.
Admission To Practice

In re: Lanuevo
66 SCRA 245; August 29, 1975

It should be stressed that once the bar examiner has submitted the corrected
notebooks to the Bar Confidant, the same cannot be withdrawn for any purpose
whatsoever without prior authority from the Court.

First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals

237 SCRA 519; March 10, 1994

The right to appeal from decisions or final orders of the BOI under E.O. 226
remains and continues to be respected. Circular 1-91 simply transferred the
venue of appeals from decisions of this agency to respondent Court of Appeals
and provided a different period of appeal, i.e., fifteen (15) days from notice.

In re: Cunanan
94 Phil 534; 1954

The distinction between the functions of the legislative and the judicial
departments is that it is the province of the legislature to establish rules that shall
regulate and govern in matters of transactions occurring subsequent to the
legislative action, while the judiciary determines rights and obligations with
reference to transactions that are past or conditions that exist at the time of the
exercise of judicial power, and the distinction is a vital one and not subject to
alteration or change either by legislative action or by judicial decree.
The judiciary cannot consent that its province shall be invaded by either of the
other departments of the government.

Kuroda vs. Jalandoni

83 Phil 171

The appointment of the two American attorneys is not violative of our national
sovereignty and tt is only fair and proper that the United States, which has
submitted the vindication of crimes against her government and her people to a
tribunal of our nation, should be allowed representation in the trial of those very
It appearing that Attys. Hussey and Port are aliens and have not been authorized
by the Supreme Court to practice law, they cannot appear as prosecutors in a
case pending before the War Crimes Commission.

Omico Mining And Industrial Corporation vs. Vallejos

63 SCRA 285; 1975
It is based on sound reasons of public policy, for there is no question that the
rights, duties, privileges and functions of the office of an attorney-at- law are so
inherently incompatible with the high official functions, duties, powers, discretions
and privileges of a judge of the Court of First Instance. This inhibitory rule makes
it obligatory upon the judicial officers concerned to give their full time and
attention to their judicial duties, prevent them from extending special favors to
their own private interests and assure the public of their impartiality in the
performance of their functions.

People vs. Villanueva

14 SCRA 109; 1965

The appearance as counsel on one occasion is not conclusive as determinative

of engagement in the private practice of law. The word private practice of law
implies that one must have presented himself to be in the active and continued
practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to
the public for a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of
his said services.

Dia-Anonuevo vs. Bercasio

68 SCRA 81; 1975

The rule disqualifying a municipal judge from engaging in the practice of law
seeks to avoid the evil of possible use of the power and influence of his office to
affect the outcome of litigation where he is retained as counsel. The practice of
law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court or participation in court
proceedings but also includes preparation of pleadings or papers in anticipation
of litigation, and giving of legal advice to clients or persons needing the same.

De Guzman vs. Visayan Rapid Transit Co.

68 Phil 469; 1939

The importance, merits and value of professional services of a lawyer are

measured not alone by his work taken separately, but by his work taken as a
whole. There are services which, when taken separately, may not in themselves
have any noticeable special merit, but when considered in connection with the
other works and services of the lawyer to which they are related, acquire an
unquestionable value.

Cayetano vs. Monsod

201 SCRA 210; 1991

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it
embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and
special proceeding, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf
of clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. The contention
that Atty. Monsod does not posses the required qualification of having engaged
in the practice of law for at least ten years is incorrect since Atty. Monsods past
work experience as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-
entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator
of both rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement
for the position of COMELEC chairman.

In re: Edillon
84 SCRA 554; 1978

To compel a lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar is not violative of his

constitutional freedom to associate. Integration does not make a lawyer a
member of any group of which he is not already a member.

Tajan vs. Cusi

57 SCRA 154; 1974

An attorney-at-law is an officer of the court in the administration of justice and as

such he is continually accountable to the Court for the manner in which he
exercises the privilege which has been granted to him. His admission to the
practice of law is upon the implied condition that his continued enjoyment of the
right conferred is dependent upon his remaining a fit and safe person to exercise

Alcala vs. Vera

56 SCRA 30; 1974

In failing to inform his clients of the decision in the civil case handled by him, the
lawyer failed to exercise such skill, care, and diligence as men of the legal
profession commonly possess and exercise in such matters of professional
employment. The relationship of lawyer-client being one of confidence, there is
ever present the need for the clients being adequately and fully informed and
should not be left in the dark as to the mode and manner in which his interests
are being defended; It is only thus that their faith in counsel may remain

Catimbuhan vs. Cruz

126 SCRA 190; 1983

Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, clearly provides that in the municipal
court a party may conduct his litigation in person with the aid of an agent
appointed by him for the purpose. If a non-lawyer can appear as defense counsel
or as friend of the accused in a case before the municipal trial court, with more
reason should he be allowed to appear as private prosecutor under the
supervision and control of the trial fiscal.
Hydro Resources Contractors Corp. vs. Paglilauan
172 SCRA 199; 1989

A lawyer, like any other professional, may very well be an employee of a private
corporation or even of the government. It is not unusual for a big corporation to
hire a staff of lawyers as its in-house counsel, pay them regular salaries, rank
them in its table of organization, and otherwise treat them like its other officers
and employees.

Ramos vs. Rada

65 SCRA 179; 1975

Rada has violated the civil service rule prohibiting government employees from
engaging directly in a private business, vocation or profession or being
connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural or industrial undertaking
without a written permission from the head of the Department, but, indubitably,
his private business connection has not resulted in any prejudice to the
Government service. Thus, his violation of the rulethe lack of prior
permissionis a technical one, and he should be meted no more than the
minimum imposable penalty, which is reprimand.

Beltran vs. Abad

132 SCRA 452; 1984

Respondent Abad should know that the circumstances which he has narrated do
not constitute his admission to the Philippine Bar and the right to practice law
thereafter. He should know that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer
still had to be performed, namely: his lawyers oath to be administered by this
Court and his signature in the Roll of Attorneys.

Bacaro vs. Pinatacan

127 SCRA 218; 1984

One of the indispensable requisites for admission to the Philippine Bar is that the
applicant must be of good moral character. This requirement aims to maintain
and uphold the high moral standards and the dignity of the legal profession, and
one of the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the practice of this noble
profession only those persons who are known to be honest and to possess good
moral character.

Diao vs. Martinez

7 SCRA 475; 1963

Passing the bar examination is not the only qualification to become an attorney-
at-law, taking the prescribed legal courses in a regular manner is also essential.
In re: Argosino
270 SCRA 26; 1997

Every lawyer should at ALL TIMES weigh his actions according to the sworn
promises he makes when taking the lawyers oath. If all lawyers conducted
themselves strictly according to the lawyers oath and the Code of Professional
Responsibility, the administration of justice will undoubtedly be faster, fairer and
easier for everyone concerned.

Collantes vs. Renomeron

200 SCRA 584; 1981

The lawyers oath imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay no man for
money or malice. The lawyers oath is a source of obligations and its violation is
a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary action.
Lawyers Duties To Society

Montecillo vs. Gica

60 SCRA 234; 1974

It is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the courts a respectful attitude. As
an officer of the court, it is his duty to uphold the dignity and authority of the court
to which he owes fidelity, according to the oath he has taken.

In re: Guttierrez
5 SCRA 661; 1962

For the admission of a candidate to the bar the Rules of Court not only prescribe
a test of academic preparation but require satisfactory testimonials of good moral
character. These standards are neither dispensed with nor lowered after
admission: the lawyer must continue to adhere to them or else incur the risk of
suspension or removal.

Oronce vs. Court of Appeals

298 SCRA 133; 1998

Be that as it may, what is disturbing to the Court is the conduct of her husband,
Eduardo Flaminiano, a lawyer whose actuations as an officer of the court should
be beyond reproach. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, he is
prohibited from counseling or abetting activities aimed at defiance of the law or at
lessening confidence in the legal system.

De Ysasi III vs. NLRC

231 SCRA 173; 1994

Once again, we reiterate that the useful function of a lawyer is not only to
conduct litigation but to avoid it whenever possible by advising settlement or
withholding suit. He is often called upon less for dramatic forensic exploits than
for wise counsel in every phase of life. He should be a mediator for concord and
a conciliator for compromise, rather than a virtuoso of technicality in the conduct
of litigation.

Pajares vs. Abad Santos

30 SCRA 748; 1974

As we recently said in another case,3 the cooperation of litigants and their

attorneys is needed so that needless clogging of the court dockets with
unmeritorious cases may be avoided. There must be more faithful adherence to
Rule 7, section 5 of the Rules of Court which provides that "the signature of an
attorney constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading and that to
the best of his knowledge, information and belief, there is good ground to support
it; and that it is not interposed for delay" and expressly admonishes that "for a
willful violation of this rule an attorney may be subjected to disciplinary action."

People vs. Rosqueta

55 SCRA 486; 1974

It has been a commendable practice of some members of the bar under such
circumstances, to be designated as counsel de oficio. They manifest fidelity to
the concept that law is a profession and not a mere trade with those engaged in it
being motivated solely by the desire to make money.

De Roy vs. Court of Appeals

157 SCRA 757; 1989

It is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law practice to keep abreast
of decisions of the Supreme Court particularly where issues have been clarified,
consistently reiterated, and published in the advance reports of Supreme Court
decisions (G. R. s) and in such publications as the Supreme Court Reports
Annotated (SCRA) and law journals.

Far Eastern Shipping Co. vs. Court of Appeals

297 SCRA 30l 1998

More specifically, a lawyer is obliged to observe the rules of procedure and not to
misuse them to defeat the ends of justice. It behooves a lawyer, therefore, to
exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient
administration of justice

Jose vs. Court of Appeals

70 SCRA 257; 1976

That a prosecuting officer, as the representative of a sovereignty whose

obligation and interest in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case but
that justice shall be done, has the solemn responsibility to assure the public that
while guilt shall not escape, innocence shall not suffer.

People vs. Pineda

20 SCRA 748; 1967

A prosecuting attorney, by the nature of his office, is under no compulsion to file

a particular criminal information where he is not convinced that he has evidence
to prop up the averments thereof, or that the evidence at hand points to a
different conclusion.

People vs. Madera

57 SCRA 349; 1974
This is good a time as any to emphasize upon those in charge of the prosecution
of criminal cases that the prosecutor's finest hour is not when he wins a case with
the conviction of the accused. His finest hour is still when, overcoming the
advocate's natural obsession for victory, he stands up before the Court and
pleads not for the conviction of the accused but for his acquittal.

Tan vs. Gallardo

73 SCRA 306; 1976

Therefore, although the private prosecutors may be permitted to intervene, they

are not in control of the case, and their interests are subordinate to those of the
People of the Philippines represented by the fiscal.

People vs. Sendaydiego

81 SCRA 120; 1978

Private prosecutors may appear in criminal cases under the direction and control
of the fiscal and that the provincial fiscal shall represent the province in any

Misamin vs. San Juan

72 SCRA 491; 1976

Respondent, in his future actuations as a member of the bar, should refrain from
laying himself open to such doubts and misgivings as to his fitness not only for
the position occupied by him but also for membership in the bar. He is not worthy
of membership in an honorable profession who does not even take care that his
honor remains unsullied.

PCGG vs. Sandiganbayan and Mendoza

G.R. No 151809-12; April 12, 2005

Matter as any discrete, isolatable act as well as identifiable transaction or

conduct involving a particular situation and specific party, and not merely an act
of drafting, enforcing or interpreting government or agency procedures,
regulations or laws, or briefing abstract principles of law.
Lawyers Duties to The Legal Profession

Rivera vs. Angeles

339 SCRA 149; 2000

The Supreme Court stresses the importance of integrity and good moral
character as part of a lawyer's equipment in the practice of his profession. Thus,
acts of deceit and malpractice inexorably diminishes the respect of the litigants
for the profession.

Ducut, Jr. vs. Villalon, Jr.

337 SCRA 622; 2000

Public confidence in law and lawyers may be eroded by the irresponsible and
improper conduct of a member of the Bar.
A lawyer may be disciplined or suspended for any misconduct, whether in his
professional or private capacity, which shows him to be wanting in moral
character, in honesty, in probity and good demeanor.

Tan vs. Sabandal

126 SCRA 60; 1993

A successful Bar examinee, without having signed in the Roll of Attorneys and
had taken the Lawyer's Oath, is also subject to the Codes of Professional Ethics.
A successful Bar examinee, not yet being admitted in the Bar, who holds himself
out as a lawyer by appearing in courts, is engaged in the unauthorized practice of

In re: Parazo
82 Phil 230; 1948

As the conduct of Bar Examinations and the Legal Profession is imbued with
General Interest and National Importance, it is but just that the immunity of
newspapermen be disregarded as to protecting its sources from investigation as
to any anomaly that may be alleged in the conduct of the Bar Examinations.

Pangan vs. Ramos

107 SCRA 1; 1981

Being acquitted from a criminal charge will not necessarily result in the dismissal
of the immorality charge against a lawyer; also, the persistent use of another
name not appearing in the Roll of Attorneys suggests lack of candor and respect
for the Court.

Nardo vs. Linsangan

58 SCRA 85; 1974
Mutual bickering and unjustifiable recriminations, between brother attorneys
detract from the dignity of the legal profession and will not receive any sympathy
from this court.

Laput vs. Remotigue

6 SCRA 45; 1962

The appearance of the second lawyer is not unprofessional, unethical or

improper; the first lawyers voluntary withdrawal as counsel and his filing of a
motion for the payment of his fees amounted to an acquiescence to the
appearance of the second lawyer.

Camacho vs. Pangulayan

328 SCRA 631; 2000

A lawyer who fails to communicate with the counsel of the other party of his
intent to negotiate with them is an inexcusable violation of the canons of
professional ethics, whether by design or oversight.

Robinson vs. Villafuerte

18 Phil 121; 1911

There are no legal provisions authorizing a private person to intervene at the

hearing of a suit, even though he be a clerk for the attorneys of one of the
litigants, if he does not possess the qualifications of a practicing attorney, and is
not one of the parties interested in the litigation; his intervention was improperly
allowed, even though an attorney acting in place of original counsel was present
at the hearing.

Tan Tek Beng vs. David

126 SCRA 389; 1983

The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or
through agents or brokers is tantamount to malpractice. It should be kept in mind
that lawyers, subject to the exceptions given by the law, are prohibited from
sharing his legal fees to those who are not in the legal profession.

Director of Religious Affairs vs. Bayot

74 Phil 579; 1944

It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant

advertises his wares. Law is a profession not a trade.

Ulep vs. Legal Clinic, Inc.

223 SCRA 378; 1993

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the
application of law, legal procedures, knowledge, training and experience. The
practice of giving out legal information constitutes practice of law, and therefore,
may not be done by mere "paralegals" but of lawyers.
Lawyers Duties To Courts

City Sheriff, Iligan City vs. Fortunado

288 SCRA 190; 1998

A lawyer is, first and foremost, an officer of the court. His duties to the court are
more significant than those which he owes to his client. His first duty is not to his
client but to the administration of justice; to that end, his client's success is wholly
subordinate; and his conduct ought to and must always be scrupulously
observant of the law and ethics of the profession.

Occena vs. Marquez

60 SCRA 38; 1974

The conduct of the lawyer before the court and with other lawyers should be
characterized by candor and fairness. It is neither candid nor fair for a lawyer to
knowingly make false allegations in a judicial pleading or to misquote the
contents of a document, the testimony of a witness, the argument of opposing
counsel or the contents of a decision.

Chavez vs. Viola

196 SCRA 10; 1991

A lawyer owes honesty and candor to the courts. Courts are entitled to expect
only complete candor and honesty from the lawyers appearing and pleading
before them.

Chan Kian vs. Angsin

53 SCRA 295; 1972

The Court notes with regret that had the counsels, as officers of the courts, but
faithfully complied with their duty to deal with the courts in truth and candor, and
promptly manifested to the appellate court the above developments, all which
have made the principal issue at bar moot and academic, this case would then
have been disposed of and need not have been certified to this Court, and the
time needed by it to devote to the prompt disposition of meritorious cases need
not have been thus dissipated.

Casals vs. Cusi

52 SCRA 58; 1973

A lawyer must do his best to honor his oath, as there would be a great detriment
to, if not a failure of the administration of justice if courts could not rely on the
submissions and representations made by lawyers in the conduct of a case.
COMELEC vs. Noynay
292 SCRA 254; 1992

Rule 10.02 of Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that

a lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the text of a decision or

Montecillo vs. Gica

60 SCRA 234; 1974

As an officer of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not
destroy unnecessarily the high esteem and regard towards the court so essential
to the proper administration of justice. It is manifest that del Mar has scant
respect for the two highest Courts of the land when on the flimsy ground of
alleged error in deciding a case, he proceeded to challenge the integrity of both
Courts by claiming that they knowingly rendered unjust judgment.

Surigao Mineral Reservation Board vs. Cloribel

31 SCRA 1; 1970

A lawyer is an officer of the courts; he is, like the court itself, an instrument or
agency to advance the ends of justice. His duty is to uphold the dignity and
authority of the courts to which he owes fidelity, not to promote distrust in the
administration of justice.

De Gracia vs. Warden of Makati

69 SCRA 4; 1976

There was a lapse in judicial propriety by counsel Salvador N. Beltran who did
not even take the trouble of appearing in Court on the very day his own petition
was reset for hearing, a lapse explicable, it may be assumed, by his comparative
inexperience and paucity of practice before this Tribunal. it suffices to call his
attention to such failing by way of guidance for his future actuations as a member
of the bar.

Buenaseda vs. Flavier

226 SCRA 645; 1993

The language of a lawyer, both oral or written, must be respectful and restrained
in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession and with his behavioral attitude
toward his brethren in the profession. Besides, the use of impassioned language
in pleadings, more often than not, creates more heat than light.

Santos vs. Cruz

100 SCRA 538; 1980
The Judge was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a judge by uttering
intemperate language during the trial of the case and was imposed a penalty of

People vs. Taneo

284 SCRA 251; 1998

Counsel should be reminded of his duty to observe and maintain respect due the
courts of justice and judicial officers. Arguments, written or oral, should be
gracious to both the court and opposing counsel and be of such words as may be
properly addressed by one gentleman to another.

Urbina vs. Maceren

57 SCRA 403; 1974

A lawyer owes fidelity to the courts as well as to his clients and that the filing on
behalf of disgruntled litigants of unfounded or frivolous charges against inferior
court judges and the use of offensive and intemperate language as a means of

Castaneda vs. Ago

65 SCRA 505; 1975

A counsel's assertiveness in espousing with candor and honesty his client's

cause must be encouraged and is to be commended; what we do not and cannot
countenance is a lawyer's insistence despite the patent futility of his client's
position, as in the case at bar.

Austria vs. Masaquel

20 SCRA 1247; 1967

The power to punish for contempt of court should be exercised on the

preservative and not on the vindictive principle. Only occasionally should the
court invoke its inherent power in order to retain that respect without which the
administration of justice must falter or fail. The power to punish for contempt,
being drastic and extraordinary in its nature, should not be resorted to unless
necessary in the interest of justice.

Martelino vs. Alejandro;

32 SCRA 106; 1970

Judges must be unduly influenced by publicity. In order to warrant a finding of

prejudicial publicity, there must be allegation and proof that the judges have
been unduly influenced, not simply that they might be, by the barrage of
Nature And Creation Of Attorney-Client Relationship

Regala vs. Sandiganbayan

G.R. No. 105938; September 20, 1996

An attorney is more than a mere agent or servant because he possesses special

powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his client. Thus, in the creation
of lawyer-client relationship, there are rules, ethical conduct and duties that
breathe life into it, among those, the fiduciary duty to his client which is of a very
delicate, exacting and confidential character, requiring a very high degree of
fidelity and good faith, that is required by reason of necessity and public interest
based on the hypothesis that abstinence from seeking legal advice in a good
cause is an evil which is fatal to the administration of justice.

Daroy vs. Legaspi

65 SCAR 304; 65 SCRA 304; 1975

Money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a judgment in favor of his clients is

held in trust and must be immediately turned over to them. Section 25, Rule 138
of the Rules of Court provides that when an attorney unjustly retains in his hands
money of his client after it has been demanded, he may be punished for
contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official
transactions and he is liable to a criminal prosecution.

Hilado vs. David

84 Phil 569; 1949

To constitute professional employment it is not essential that the client should

have employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion. It is not
necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for;
neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake the
case about which the consultation was had. If a person, in respect to his
business affairs or troubles of any kind, consults with his attorney in his
professional capacity with the view to obtaining professional advice or
assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces in such
consultation, then the professional employment must be regarded as established.

Stone vs. Bank of Commerce

174 US 412; 1899

An attorney, in his capacity merely as such, has no power to make any

agreement for his client before a suit has been commenced, or before he has
been retained to commence one. Before the commencement of a suit, or the
giving of authority to commence one, there is nothing upon which the authority of
an attorney to act for his client can be based.
Guerrero vs. Hernando
68 SCRA 76; 1975

The respondent is guilty of misconduct as a notary in making it appear in the jurat

of a tenancy contract that the affiant exhibited to him a residence certificate when
in fact he did not do so. Such misrepresentation is unquestionably censurable
and justifies disciplinary action against the respondent as a member of the bar
and as a notary public, violating the mandate in his attorneys oath to obey the
laws and to do no falsehood.

Uy vs. Gonzales
A.C. No. 5280; March 30, 2004

As a rule, an attorney-client relationship is said to exist when a lawyer voluntarily

permits or acquiesces with the consultation of a person, who in respect to a
business or trouble of any kind, consults a lawyer with a view of obtaining
professional advice or assistance. It is not essential that the client should have
employed the attorney on any previous occasion or that any retainer should have
been paid, promised or charged for, neither is it material that the attorney
consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which the consultation was
had, for as long as the advice and assistance of the attorney is sought and
received, in matters pertinent to his profession.

Rilloraza, et. Al vs. Eastern Telecommunications Phil, Inc.

309 SCRA 566; 1999

When a client employs the services of a law firm, he does not employ the
services of the lawyer who is assigned to personally handle the case, but rather,
he employs the entire law firm.
A lawyer has the right to be paid for the legal services he has extended to his
client, which compensation must be reasonable. A lawyer would be entitled to
receive what he merits for his services. Otherwise stated, the amount must be
determined on a quantum meruit basis.

Government vs. Wagner

54 Phil 132; 1929

A person who is made an attorney-in-fact, with the same power and authority to
deal with the property which the principals might or could have had if personally
present, may adopt the usual legal means to accomplish the object, including
acceptance of service and engaging of counsel to preserve the ownership and
possession of the principal's property.

Orbit Transportation vs. WCC

58 SCRA 78; 1974

Members of the bar owe fidelity to the courts as well as to their clients and they
must show faithful adherence to the provisions of Rule 7, section 5 that the
signature of an attorney constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the
pleading and that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief, there is
good ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay with the
admonition therein that for a willful violation of this rule an attorney may be
subjected to disciplinary action.

Ledesma vs. Climaco

57 SCRA 473; 1974

Lawyers have an indispensable role as a member of the Bar in the defense of an

accused. Such a consideration could have sufficed for petitioner not being
allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio, for he did betray by his moves his lack
of enthusiasm for the task entrusted to him; and his appointment as Election
Registrar is not a sufficient excuse for said withdrawal.

People vs. Daeng

49 SCRA 221; 1973

All courts are cautioned against the frequent appointment of the same attorney
as counsel de oficio for two basic reasons: first, it is unfair to the attorney
concerned, considering the burden of his regular practice, that he should be
saddled with too many de oficio cases; and, second, the compensation provided
for by section 32 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court (a fixed fee of P500 in capital
offenses) might be considered by some lawyers as a regular source of income,
something which the Rule does not envision.

Gonzales vs. Chavez

205 SCRA 816; 1992

The Court clarified that even when "confronted with a situation where one
government office takes an adverse position against another government
agency, the Solicitor General should not refrain from performing his duty as the
lawyer of the government. It is incumbent upon him to present to the court what
he considers would legally uphold the best interest of the government although it
may run counter to a client's position.

Oparel vs. Abaria

40 SCRA 128; 1971
Where the client happens to be poor and unlettered, seeking to enforce what he
considers his just demands against an employer, it is even more imperative that
matters be explained to him with all precision and clarity. More than that, no effort
should be spared for him to get fully what he is entitled to under the law. The
same zeal should characterize a lawyers efforts as when he is defending the
rights of property.

Lawyers Duties In Handling Clients Case

Santiago vs. Fojas

248 SCRA 68; 1995

Pressure and large volume of legal work provide no excuse for the respondent's
inability to exercise due diligence in the performance of his duty to file an answer.
Every case a lawyer accepts deserves his full attention, diligence, skill, and
competence, regardless of its importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or
for free.

Cantiller vs. Potenciano

180 SCRA 246; 1989

Lawyers should be fair, honest, respectable, above suspicion and beyond

reproach in dealing with their clients. The profession is not synonymous with an
ordinary business proposition since it is a matter of public interest.

Millare vs. Montero

246 SCRA 1; 1995

Advocacy, within the bounds of the law, permits the attorney to use any arguable
construction of the law or rules which is favorable to his client.
It is unethical for a lawyer to abuse or wrongfully use the judicial process, like the
filing of dilatory motions, repetitious litigation and frivolous appeals for the sole
purpose of frustrating and delaying the execution of a judgment.

Choa vs. Chiongson

253 SCRA 371; 1996

As a Member of the Philippine Bar he (the counsel) is bound: (1) by his oath, not
to, wittingly or willingly, promote or sue any groundless, false, or unlawful suit nor
give aid nor consent to the same; (2) by Section 20(c), Rule 138 of the Rules of
Court, to counsel or maintain such action or proceedings only as appear to him to
be just; and (3) to uphold the Code of Professional Responsibility. It was
incumbent upon him to give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and
probable results of the complainants case with the end in view of promoting
respect for the law and legal processes.
Cosmos Foundry Shop Workers Union vs. Lo Bu
63 SCRA 313; 1975

The conduct of denying the facts alleged in a petition is far from commendable. A
lawyer should not act like an errand boy at the beck and call of his client, ready
and eager to do his every bidding; failure to keep this in mind puts into serious
question his good standing in the bar.

Gamalinda vs. Alcantara

206 SCRA 468; 1992

A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and must be mindful of the trust
and confidence reposed in him. 13He shall serve his client with competence and
diligence, 14 and his duty of entire devotion to his client's cause not only
requires, but entitles him to employ every honorable means to secure for the
client what is justly due him or to present every defense provided by law to
enable the latter's cause to succeed.

J. P. Juan & Sons, Inc. vs. Lianga Industries, Inc.

28 SCRA 807; 1969

The Rules further require in Rule 7 section 5 that "every pleading of a party
represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in
his individual name" and that "the signature of an attorney constitutes a
certificate by him that he has read the pleading and that to the best of his
knowledge, information and belief, there is good ground to support it; and that it
is not interposed for delay" with the express admonition that "for a willful violation
of this rule, an attorney may be subjected to disciplinary action."

Azor vs. Beltran

63 SCRA 210; 1975

Mere assumptions cannot be the basis of any finding against any member of the
bar who, as an officer of the court, is presumed to act with utmost decorum and
good faith in all his dealings. This presumption in favor of the lawyer cannot be
overcome by mere assumption or imputation without any evidence in support of
the same.

Visitacion vs. Manit

27 SCRA 523; 1969

A lawyer has no right to presume that the court would grant his last hour motion
to withdraw as counsel. An attorney seeking to withdraw must make an
application to the court for the relation does not terminate formally until there is a
withdrawal of record.
Cuaresma vs. Daquis
63 SCRA 1157; 1975
An attorney must practice utmost care in the preparation of his pleadings to leave
the least doubt as to his intellectual honesty. Every member of the bar should
realize that candor in the dealings with the Courts is of the very essence of
honorable membership in the profession

Vda. De Zubiri vs. Zubiri

18 SCRA 1157; 1966

The simultaneous representation, by a lawyer, of opposing parties in a suit is

brazenly unethical and constitutes malpractice which is severely condemned.
The Canons of Legal Ethics very explicitly declare that "it is unprofessional to
represent conflicting interests."

Deluao vs. Casteel

G.R. No. L-21906; December 4, 1968

The postponement of hearings does not depend upon agreement of the parties,
but upon the court's discretion.
It was the duty of Atty. Ruiz, or of the other lawyers of record, not excluding the
appellant himself, to appear before Judge Fernandez on the scheduled dates of
hearing Parties and their lawyers have no right to presume that their motions for
postponement will be granted.

Heirs of Elias Lorilla vs. Court of Appeals

330 SCRA 429; 2000

A client is bound by the conduct, negligence and mistakes of his counsel. Thus,
failure of a lawyer to serve notice on the court and the adverse parties regarding
his client's death binds the heirs as much as the client himself could be so bound.

Avelino vs. Palana

39 SCRA 129; 1971

In case of non-appearance in a scheduled trial, a lawyer has the duty to provide

the court of a good excuse. Also, he has the duty to inform his client in due time
of his non-appearance so as to enable the latter to go to court to ask for the
postponement of the trial, or to look for another lawyer to represent them in court.

Diman vs. Alumbres

229 SCRA 459; 1998

A lawyer is not justified in assuming that the extension of time sought will be
granted, or that it will be granted for the length of time suggested by him because
it is a familiar doctrine that no party has a right to an extension of time to comply
with an obligation within the period set therefore by law. Therefore, it is
incumbent upon a lawyer to exercise due diligence to inform himself as soon as
possible of the Court's action on his motion, by timely inquiry of the Clerk of
Court, and should he neglect to do so, he runs the risk of time running out on
him, for which he will have nobody but himself to blame.

Saulog vs. Custombuilt Manufacturing Corp.

26 SCRA 1; 1968

Both client and counsel must appear for pre-trial. Failure to appear is a ground
for dismissal.

People vs. Casimiro

45 SCRA 554; 1972

The counsel knows that the period for filing the brief was running, thus the Court
expects that the matter will be taken care of him as he was the counsel of record.
He should have informed the Court of the developments set forth in his
explanation and as that he be allowed to withdraw as counsel.

People vs. Nadera, Jr.

324 SCRA 490; 2000

Only faithful performance by counsel of his duty towards his client can give
meaning and substance to the accused right to due process and to be presumed
innocent until proven otherwise.
The lawyer has the duty to defend his client and protect his rights, n matter how
guilty or evil he perceives him to be.

Nueno vs. Santos

58 Phil 557; 1933

Respondent attorney consented to the doing of falsehood and deceived the

Court when he had an accused plead guilty to an offense which he did not
commit. This constitutes a violation of the lawyers oath that he would do no
falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court.

Lawyers Fiduciary Obligations

Angeles vs. Uy, Jr.
330 SCRA 6, 17; 2000

The attorney-client requires a high degree of fidelity and good faith, designed to
remove all temptation and to prevent everything of that kind from being done for
the clients protection.

Nakpil vs. Valdez

186 SCRA 758; 1998

Members of the bar are expected to always live up to the standards embodied in
the Code of Professional Responsibility as the relationship between an attorney
and his client is highly fiduciary in nature and demands utmost fidelity and good

Liwag vs. Neri

107 Phil 852; 1960

A lawyer has committed a breach of professional ethics when he made his

believe that the debtors had already been sued in court, and when he did not
return the amount intended for the filing fee. Considering however, that the
lawyer has not yet received anything for his services and that the complainant
has subsequently been paid, disbarment or even suspension would be too harsh
and unkind.

Diaz vs. Kapunan

45 Phil 848; 1932

The provision contained in the last paragraph of Article 1459 of the old Civil Code
is made to include lawyers, with respect to any property or rights involved in any
litigation in which they may take party by virtue of their profession and office. A
lawyer does not violate this provision when has not purchased property at a
public or judicial auction and his participation in the auction was in representation
of his client.

Canlas vs. Court of Appeals

164 SCRA 160; 1988

Lawyering is not a moneymaking venture and lawyers are not merchants, a

fundamental standard that has, as a matter of judicial notice, eluded not a few
law advocates. A lawyers efforts partaking of a shakedown of his own client are
not becoming of a lawyer and certainly, do not speak well of his fealty to his oath
to "delay no man for money."

Capulong vs. Alino

22 SCRA 491; 1968
A lawyer has the duty to render an account for money received from his client,
which he holds in trust. He does not have the right to use it for any other purpose
than those provided for by his client.

Celaje vs. Soriano

A.C. No. 7418; October 9, 2007

The lawyers failure to return money given to him for the filing of a writ of
injunction, gives 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 in this case, deserves
punishment of two years suspension from practice.

Penticostes vs. Ibanez

304 SCRA 281; 1999

The failure of a prosecutor to immediately remit to the SSS the amount given by
the accused as unpaid remittances gives rise to the presumption that he has
misappropriated it for his own use, which a gross violation of general morality as
well as professional ethics. Though not a private lawyer, this rule applies to
lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official tasks, pursuant to
Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Daroy vs. Legaspi

65 SCRA 304; 1975

The relation between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in nature. Thus,
lawyers are bound to promptly account for money or property received by them
on behalf of their clients and failure to do so constitutes professional misconduct.

Sotto vs. Samson

115 Phil 710; 1962

The statutes prohibiting conveyances of a litigant's property made during the

existence of attorney-and-client relationship (Article 1459, Civil Code) is designed
to curtail any undue influence of the lawyer upon his client on account of their
confidential association.

Laig vs. Court of Appeals

82 SCRA 294; 1978

When a lawyer procures any certificate of title or owner's duplicate certificate,

and refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty without
prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be taken, he or she
may be not only prosecuted but also disciplined as a member of the Bar.

Go Beltran vs. Fernandez

70 Phil 248; 1940

Violation of Article 1459 of the Civil Code (a lawyer purchasing property subject
to litigation) constitutes a breach of professional conduct, which merits
suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months.