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SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO THE 2016

BAR EXAMINATIONS
IN
LEGAL, ETHICS

State the duties of a lawyer imposed by the Lawyer's Oath. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The following are the duties ofla lawyer imposed by the lawyer's oath:

1. To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines,

2. To support its Constitution,


3. To obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted

authorities,

4. To do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of the same in any

court,

5. Not to wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or


unlawful suit, nor to give nor to consent to the doing of the same;
6. To delay no man for money or malice,

7. To conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his

knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity to the courts as to his
clients,

8. To impose upon himself that voluntary obligation without any


mental reservation or purpose of evasion.

II

State at least five (5) instances where judges should disqualify themselves
from participating in any proceedings where their impartiality might reasonably be
questioned. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Any five (5) of the following instances provided in Section 5, Canon 3 of the

New Code of Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary:


(a) The judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party

or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts

concerning the proceedings;


(b) The judge previously served as a lawyer or was a material

witness in the matter in controversy;

(c) The judge or a member of his or her family has an economic

interest in the outcome of the matter in controversy;


(d) The judge served as executor, administrator, guardian,
trustee or lawyer in the case or matter in controversy, or a

former associate of the judge served as counsel during their

association, or the judge or lawyer was a material witness

therein;

(e) The judge's ruling in a lower court is the subject of review;

(f) The judge is related by consanguinity or affinity to a party


litigant within the sixth civil degree or to counsel within the

fourth civil degree; or


(g) The judge knows that his or her spouse or child has a
financial interest, as heir, legatee, creditor, fiduciary, or

otherwise, in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to

the proceeding, or any other interest that could be


substantially affected by the outcome of the proceedings".
Section 1, Rule 137, of the Revised Rules of Court, provides for similar

grounds.

III

Differentiate "retaining lien" from "charging lien." (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

A retaining lien gives the lawyer the right to retain the funds,
ome into his
documents and papers of the client which have lawfully c
have been paid.
possession, until his lawful fees and disbursements A
charging lien is a lien upon all judgments for payment of a sum of money and

executions thereof, to ensure payment of his fees and disbursements in the


said case.

A retaining lien is a passive lien; the lawyer is not required to perform any
act except to hold on to the client's funds, documents and papers, until his fees
and disbursements are paid. A charging lien is an active lien; the lawyer is
required to file a motion in court, with copy served on the adverse party, to have
a statement of his claim to such fees and disbursements charged or attached
to the decision in such case and executions thereof.

A retaining lien is a general lien; it may be resorted to in order to secure

payment of the lawyer's fees in all the cases he has handled and services he has

rendered to the client. A charging lien is a special lien; it can be utilized for the

purpose of collecting only the unpaid fees and disbursements of the lawyer in

the case where the judgment for a sum of money may be secured.

IV

[a] A sign was posted at the ciuilding where the law office of Atty. Redentor
Walang-Talo is located. The sign reads:

Atty. Redentor A. Walang-Talo


Chairman, IBP Legal Aid Committee
Makati City IBP Chapter
Free conciliation, mediation and court representation
Suite 210, Galaxy Building, J.P. Rizal Street, Makati City

Does the posting constitute solicitation? (2.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

[a] There is nothing wrongwith this advertisement. The statement that he


is the chairman of the IBP Legal Aid Committee is factual and true.
Canon 27 of the Canons of Professional Ethics states that "memberships

and offices in bar associations and committees thereof" may be included

in a lawyer's advertisement. The statement that he gives free


consultation, mediation, and court representation services is for the
purpose of promoting the IBP Legal Aid Committee.

[b] Suppose the sign reads:

Atty. Redentor A. Walang-Talo


Attorney and Counsel-at-Law
General practitioner
(Accepts pro bono cases pursuant to the IBP Legal Aid Program)

Does the posting constitute solicitation? (2.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

[b] On the other hand, this advertisement is for the benefit of the lawyer

alone, and constitutes solicitation.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
[b[ This does not constitute solicitation. The lawyer does not claim to be a
specialist, but only a "general practitioner". The statement that he

accepts pro bono cases is not for the purpose of promoting his

"business", as "pro bono" means "for free".

Constantino was accusediof estafa by Hazel, the wife of Judge Andres, for
misappropriating the ring she entrusted to him. Since Judge Andres was present
when Hazel handed the ring to Constantino, he was compelled by his wife to
testify as a witness for the prosecution in the criminal case. Did the judge commit any
violation of the New Code, of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary?
Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Section 4, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the

Philippine Judiciary provides that "Judges shall not participate in the

determination of a case in which any member of their family represents


a litigant or is associated in any manner with the case." Judge Constantino's

appearance as a witness in the criminal case in which his wife was the
offended party is violative oil this rule. It may also be violative of Section 3,
Canon 1, which provides that "judges shall refrain from influencing in any
manner the outcome of litigation or dispute pending before another court or
administrative agency".

VI

Andrew engaged the services of Atty. Juju under a contingent fee agreement to
help him file a complaint for damages against his employer, Wilkon Shipping, Inc.
Atty. Juju handled Andrew's case for two (2) years before the Labor Arbiter and the
National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), filing the necessary pleadings and
attending several hearings. The complaint, however, was dismissed. To improve his
chances, Andrew replaced Atty. Juju with Atty. Jen, who eventually succeeded
in getting a favorable decision from the Court of Appeals, which became final When
Andrew's claims were satisfied by Wilkon, Atty. Juju filed a collection suit against
him claiming that he (Atty. Juju) is entitled to attorney's fees for the services he
rendered for two (2) years. Will the collection suit prosper? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The collection case willnot prosper. The agreement for attorney's fees
between Andrew and Attyh Juju was a contingent fee agreement. A
contingent fee agreement is pne in which the lawyer will be paid a fee only
when he is successful in handing the case of the client. In this case, Atty. Juju was
not successful in handlig the case of Andrew. It was Atty. Jen who won the case
for the client.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

Atty. Juju is entitled to attorney's fees based on quantum meruit. The case
Court of Appeals. In appealed
was decided in favor of Andrew by the cases, the
t is presented during the hearings, and
appellate court relies on wha no other
t stage.
evidence is presented at tha
VII

Apollo hired Atty. Dennis to file an action for damages. Since Apollo has no
money, he entered into a contingent fee agreement where Atty. Dennis will
shoulder all expenses of litigation and will not charge for legal services. In case of a
favorable decision, Apollo agreed to transfer to his lawyer a lot in Cebu.
Eventually, Apollo won the caw. Atty. Dennis asked Apollo to execute the deed of
sale, but the latter refused upon advice of a friend that the agreement is illegal. Due to
threats of legal action by his lawyer, Apollo filed a complaint before the Supreme
Court alleging that the agreement is a champertous contract. Rule on the legality of
the agreement on contingent fee and the propriety of getting the property of
Apollo. Explain. (5V0)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The contract for attorney's fees between Atty. Dennis and Apollo is

indeed a champertous agreement. A champertous agreement is similar to a

contingent fee agreement wherein the lawyer will be paid only if he is

successful in handling the case. But what makes it champertous is the

provision, as in this case, that the lawyer will shoulder all the expenses of

litigation. That makes the lawyer a businessman who invested in the case in the

hope that he will profit from such investment. A contingent fee contract is valid,
while a champertous agreement is invalid.

With regard to the acquisition by Atty. Dennis of Apollo's property in

Cebu, the same will not be in violation of Article 1491 of the New Civil Code, if the

contract was simply a contingent fee contract, because the property in Cebu

was not involved in thel case that Atty. Dennis handled, and the lot will not be

transferred to Atty. Dennis until the case was terminated.

VIII

0.00.
Arthur hired Atty. Jojo to file a complaint for the collection of P500,00 He
0 as acceptance fee and
agreed to pay Atty. Jojo the amounts of P100,000.0
partial payment of the
P100,000.00 as success fee. Arthur paid P50,000.00 as
nce of P50,000.00 after
acceptance fee with the promise to pay the bala
e-trial, the defendant paid to Atty.
presentation of Arthur's evidence. During the pr
Jojo the amount of P100,000.00 as partial payment of his debt. Considering that he
has not yet been paid of the balance of his acceptance fee, Atty. Jojo applied
P50,000.00 to the balance of the acceptance fee and the remaining P50,000.00 was
deposited in his bank account for safekeeping. Despite the lapse of one (1) month,
Arthur was not informed of the payment. Arthur sued Atty. Jojo for keeping the
money and argues that the latter violated the rules under Canon 16 of the CPR that a
lawyer shall holds in trust all monies of his client that may come into his
possession. Atty. Jojo claims he has a lien on the monies paid to him by the
defendant. Rule on the complaint and explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Atty. Jojo violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility

which provides that "a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his

client that may come into his possession", and Rule 16.01, which provides that

"a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or

from the client". Atty. Jojo received P100,000.00 from the defendant as

partial payment of his debt to Arthur. Instead of holding the said amount in

trust for Arthur, Atty. Jojo applied P50,000.00 to the unpaid balance of his

acceptance fee, and deposited the other P50,000.00 in his bank account. While

Rule 6.03 provides that a lawyer shall have a lien over the funds of his client

and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees

and disbursements, the Supreme Court has held that this is applicable only if
there is an agreement between the lawyer as to the payment of his fees and the

client is notified of the receipt of payment for him. There was no notice of the

payment made to the client, and no agreement between Atty. Jojo and

Arthur as to when the balance of the former's acceptance fee should be

made. In fact, Arthur promised to pay the same after presentation of his

evidence. Moreover, when Atty. Jojo deposited the balance of P50,000.00 in his

bank account , he violated Rule 16.02 which


d apart
provides that "a lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate an

from his own and with those of others kept by him".


IX

Atty. Tristan filed a motion to disqualify Judge Robert from hearing a civil
case on the ground that the latter was the classmate and fraternity brother of Atty.
Mark, Atty. Tristan's opposing counsel. Judge Robert denied the motion on the
ground that under Rule 3.12 of [the Code of Judicial Conduct, he is not required to
inhibit in all cases where his classmates and fraternity brothers are participating
lawyers in cases before him. Is Judge Robert correct in denying the motion? (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Judge Robert is correct in denying the motion for inhibition on the

ground that he was the classmate of Atty. Tristan's adverse counsel. That one of

the counsels in a case was a classmate of the judge is not a mandatory ground for

his disqualification (Vda. de Bonifacio v. BLT Bus Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-26810, 34

August 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 618 [197011, Santos v. Lacurom, A.M. No. RTJ-04-1823,

August 28, 2006). However, he may inhibit on the discretionary ground that his

refusal to inhibit may reasonably cause the parties to lose trust and confidence

on the court.

Atty. Harold wrote in the Philippine Star his view that the decision of the
Supreme Court in a big land case is incorrect and should be re-examined. The
decision is not yet final. Atty. Alfonso, the counsel for the winning party in that
case, filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Harold for violation of the sub
judice rule and Canon 11 of the CPR that a lawyer shall observe and maintain the
respect due to the courts. Explain the sub judice rule and rule on the disbarment
case. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to


g case,
pending judicial proceeding, not only by participants in the pendin
also to the public
members of the bar and bench, litigants and witnesses, but in
rder to avoid prejudging
general, which necessarily includes the media, in o the
ministration of justice. A
issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the ad
violation of this rule may render one liable for indirect contempt under Sec. 3
(d), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. The specific rationale for the sub judice

rule is that courts, in the decision of issues of fact and law should be immune

from every extraneous influence; that facts should be decided upon evidence

produced in court; and that the determination of such facts should be

uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies. (Marantan v. Diokno, 716

SCRA 164, G.R. No. 205956, February 12, 2014). After a case is decided;
however, the decision is open to criticism, subject only to the condition that all

such criticism shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the walls of decency

and propriety.

"A wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the one hand, and abuse and

slander of courts and the judges thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair

criticism is a gross violation of the duty of respect to courts. It is such a misconduct

that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action" (In re Almacen, G.R. L-27654, 18

February, 1970, 31 SCRA 562 119701).


In this case, the published comment of Atty. Harold was made after the
decision of the Supreme Court was rendered, but the same was not yet final. The
case was still pending. Hence, the publication of such comment was
inappropriate, and Atty. Harold may be penalized for indirect contempt of
court.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

Although the comment of Atty. Harold was made while the case was
technically still pending, it was made after a decision was rendered, and the
comment made is within the grounds of decency and propriety. Hence, the
lawyer does not deserve punishment for the same.

XI

George, an American citizen doing business in the Philippines, bought a lot in


e required
Manila and secured the services of Atty. Henry for the execution of th
sing the name of
documents. Atty. Henry prepared a Deed of Sale of Land u
George's friend, Pete, as the buyer. In order to protect George's interests and
an indefinite period of
ensuring his free and undisturbed use of the property for
time, Atty. Henry also prepared a Counter Deed of Sale and Occupancy Agreement
signed by Pete in favor of George. A competitor of George filed a complaint for
disbarment against Atty. Henry on the ground that he violated the Constitution and the
CPR. Rule on the complaint and explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

I will rule in favor of the complainant, In the case of Donlon v.

Tansingco, (A.C. No. 6057, June 27, 2006, 493 SCRA 1 [2006]), which involves the

same facts as in this case, the Supreme Court held that in preparing an

Occupancy Agreement, the lawyer in the said case advised and aided a

foreigner in circumventing the constitutional prohibition against foreign

ownership of land. Thus, the Supreme Court held that the lawyer used his

knowledge of the law to achieve an unlawful end, which amounts to

malpractice in his office, for which he may be suspended. That ruling is

equally applicable in this case.

XII

Jaybee engaged the services of Atty. Pete to defend him in a criminal case for
murder. During trial, when the defense was presenting its evidence, Jaybee
admitted to Atty. Pete that he killed the victim in the case. Atty. Pete withdrew
from the case. Jaybee sued Atty. Pete for disbarment alleging that the latter
violated Canon 15 of the CPR that "a lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and
loyalty in all his dealing and transactions with his client" and Canon 17 of the CPR that
"a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and
confidence reposed in him. " Rule on the case and explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

I will rule in favor of Atty. Pete. A lawyer's duty of entire devotion to his

client's cause must be performed within the bounds of the law. Canon 19 of the

Code of Professional Responsibility provides that "a lawyer shall represent

his client with zeal within the bounds of the law". Canon 15 of the Canons of

Professional Ethics also provides that:

"The lawyer owes 'entire devotion to the interest of the


f his rights
client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense o
and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability,' to the end that
nothing be taken or be withheld from him, save by the rules of law,
legally applied. No fear of judicial disfavor or public popularity
should restrain him from the full discharge of his duty. In the
judicial forum the client is entitled to the benefit of any and every
remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land, and he
may expect, his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense. But
it is steadfastly to be borne in mind that the great trust of the
lawyer is to be performed within and not without the bounds of
the law. The office of the attorney does not permit, much less
does it demand of him for any client, violation of law or any
manner of fraud or chicanery. He must obey his own conscience and
not that of his client".

Moreover, Rule 19.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility

provides that "a lawyer who has received information that his client has in the

course of his representation, perpetuated fraud upon a person or tribunal,

shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the same, and failing which he

shall terminate the relationship with such client in accordance with the Rules of

Court". But, of course, the Atty. Pele [should] not reveal what Jaybee

revealed to him, because the same is covered by the duty of confidentiality

under Canon 21 of the same code.

XIII

Atty. Dennis is the head of the Provincial DILG Office in Sultan Kudarat. In
view of the lack of lawyers and notaries public in the province and because of
numerous requests that the DILG provide a notary public, Atty. Dennis was
constrained to apply for a commission for the RTC, which was granted. He was able
e only
to notarize thousand of documents and affidavits until Atty. Antonio, th notary
d violation
public in the province, charged Atty. Dennis with misconduct an of the CPR.
Is the charge correct? Explain. (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The performance of the duties of a notary public constitutes practice of

law. A lawyer in the govei1nment service may either be prohibited from


practicing law during his tenure, or allowed to practice but subject to some
restrictions. There is no law prohibiting a Provincial DILG Officer from
practicing his profession. But as a Civil Service officer, he can do so only with
the consent of his Department Head (Catu v. Rellosa, A.C. No. 5738. Feb. 19, 2008).

XIV

Sonia, who is engaged in the lending business, extended to Atty. Roberto a


loan of P50,000.00 with interest of P25,000.00 to be paid not later than May 20
2016. To secure the loan, Atty. Roberto signed a promissory note and issued a
postdated check. Before the due date, Atty. Roberto requested Sonia to defer the
deposit of the check. When Atty. Roberto still failed to pay, Sonia deposited the
check which was dishonored. Atty. Roberto ignored the notice of dishonor and
refused to pay.

[a] Did Atty. Roberto commit any violation of the CPR? Explain. (2.5%).

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

[a] Atty. Roberto committed a violation of Canon 1, Rule 1.01,

Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 in issung a bouncing check. He should very well know that
the issuance of a bouncing check is an unlawful act, a crime involving moral
turpitude (Co v. Bernardino, A.C. No. 3919,January 28, 1998) .

[b] Can he be held civilly liable to Sonia in an administrative case for


suspension or disbarment? Explain. (2.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

[b] No. The sole issue in an administrative case is the determination

of whether or not a lawyeris still fit to continue being a lawyer. The


intimately
Supreme Court will not ordr the return of money which is not
related to a lawyer-client relationship (Wong v. Moya, A.C. 6972, October 17, 2008;
o. 10681, Feb. 3, 2015).
Sps.Concepcion v. Atty. de la Rosa, A.C. N
XV

Atty. Alex entered into an agreement for his legal services with Johnny
where it is provided that the latter will pay him P100,000.00 as acceptance fee and
P100,000.00 upon submission of the case for decision. The court granted Johnny
moral damages, exemplary damages and attorney's fees of P100,000.00. After
execution of the judgment, Atty. Alex kept the P100,000.00 as his attorney's fees.
Johnny sued Atty. Alex for violation of the CPR claiming that the attorney's fees
award by the court belong to him. Decide the case with reasons. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

I will rule in favor of Johnny. The P100,000.00 awarded to him as


moral damages, exemplary damages and attorney's fees, are items of
damages which are due to him as plaintiff in the case. Attorney's fees
awarded to a party pursuant to Article 2208 of the New Civil Code, constitute
extraordinary attorney's fees which belong to the client, not to the lawyer. It is
not the ordinary attorney's fees which is the compensation due from a client
to his lawyer.

XVI

Pedro was accused of the crime of murder before the RTC and was found
guilty of homicide. His counsel, Atty. Nestor, told him that he will file an appeal
before the Court of Appeals (CA) because he believes that the claim of self-
defense of Pedro will be given merit by the appellate court and that he will be
acquitted. Pedro explains that he is amenable to the penalty imposed upon him. Despite
the opposition of the accused, Atty. Nestor went on with the appeal. The CA decided
that the conviction should be for murder in view of the qualifying circumstance. A
petition with the High Court proved futile. Pedro hires you to file a disbarment suit
against Atty. Nestor. What cannon or rule of the CPR will you use as ground for the
suit. Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

I will base my action on Canon 19, particularly Rule 19.03 of the Code of

Professional Responsibility which provides that "a lawyer shall not allow the
e of the
client to dictate the procedure in handling the case." The other sid coin of
ithin the sole
this rule is that the substantive aspects of the case are w
authority of the client to decide. The lawyer's authority is limited only to the
procedural aspects of the case. Certainly, the matter of whether or not to
appeal an adverse decision is a substantive matter which is exclusively for the
client to decide. Having filed an appeal against the decision of his client, the
lawyer should be held liable for its negative result.

XVII

Jojo, a resident of Cavite, agreed to purchase the lot owned by Tristan, a


resident of Bulacan. Atty. Agaton, Jojo's lawyer who is also a notary public,
prepared the Deed of Sale and Jojo signed the document in Cavite. Atty. Agaton then
went to Bulacan to get the signature of Tristan. Thereafter, Atty. Agaton went back to
his office in Cavite where he notarized the Deed of Sale.

Is the notarization legal and valid? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The notarization is not legal and valid. Rule IV, Section 2 (b) of the
2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides that a person shall not perform a
notarial act if the person involved as signatory to the instrument or document is
not personally in the notary's presence at the time of notarization. Tristan was
not in Atty. Agustin's presence when the latter notarized the deed of sale in his
office in Cavite; moreover, Tristan signed in Bulacan which is outside the Atty.
Agustin's territorial jurisdiction.

XVIII

City Prosecutor Philip prosecuted the criminal case for the murder of the city
mayor against the accused Reynaldo, the losing mayoralty candidate. There was no
private prosecutor and Phillip personally handled the prosecution of the case from
arraignment up to the presentation of the evidence for the accused. Before the trial,
Alfonso approached Phillip and confessed that he is the killer of the city mayor and
not Reynaldo. When the case was called for trial, Phillip manifested before the court
ayor
that Alfonso approached him and admitted that he killed the m and asked the court
he counsel for the
for whatever proper action it may take. T accused took advantage of
was placed on the witness
the presence of Alfonso, who stand and elicited testimonial
ventually acquitted Reynaldo.
evidence. The court e The heirs of the city mayor filed a
e against Phillip on the ground
disbarment cas
that it is his duty to see to it that the criminal is convicted and punished. They
believed Reynaldo is the real killer and Alfonso was only a fall guy and that
Reynaldo could not have been acquitted were it not for the disclosure of Philip.
Phillip argues that the City Prosecutor is not for the offended party or the heirs of the
victim but it is his main duty that "Justice be done". Did Phillip commit any violation
of the CPR? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Phillip did not commit any violation of the Code of Professional


Responsibility. Rule 6.01 categorically states that "the primary duty of a

lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is

done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable of

establishing the innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for

disciplinary action". A public prosecutor "is a representative not of an

ordinary party in a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to

govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all" (Suarez


v. Platon, 69 Phil. 556, G.R. No. 46371, 7 February, 1990).

XIX

St. Ivan's Hospital, Inc. (St. Ivan's) and Allied Construction Co. (Allied)
separately retained the legal services of Tomas and Benedicto Law Offices. St.
Ivan's engaged the services of Allied for the construction of a new building but
failed to pay the contract price after the completion of the works. A complaint for sum
of money was filed by Atty. Budoy, a former associate of Tomas and Benedicto
law Offices, on behalf of Allied against St Ivan's. St. Ivan's lost the case and was
held liable to Allied.

Thereafter, St Ivan's filed a disbarment complaint against Atty. Budoy. It


claimed that while Atty. Budoy has established his own law office, an arrangement was
made whereby Tomas and Benedicto Law Offices assign cases for him to handle,
and that it can be assumed that Tomas and Benedicto Law Offices collaborate
of
with Atty. Budoy in the cases referred to him, creating a conflict interest. Rule on
the complaint with reasons. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
st Atty. Budoy. St. Ivan's was
I will rule in favor of St. Ivan's and again a
ffices, of which Atty. Budoy was a
client of Tomas and Benedicto Law O
associate attorney. As such, St. Ivan's was also his client, because of the

principle that when a party hires a law firm, he hires all the lawyers therein.
Moreover, Atty. Budoy was in a position to know the information transmitted by
St. Ivan's to the firm. "There is conflict of interest if the acceptance of a new
retainer will require the lawyer to perform an act which will injuriously affect
his new client in any matter in which he represents him, and also whether he
will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first client any knowledge
acquired during their relation" (Hornilla v. Salunat, 453 Phil. 108, A.C. No. 5804,
July 1, 2003).

"As such, a lawyer is prohibited from representing new clients whose


interests oppose those of a former client in any manner, whether or not they are
parties in the same action or on totally unrelated cases. The prohibition is
founded on the principles of public policy and good taste" (Anglo v. Atty.
Valencia, A.C. No. 10567, February 25, 2015).

XX

Atty. Gail was separated from her husband, Dino, for more than ten (10)
years due to incompatibility. She fell in love with Mica who was also separated from
her husband. She filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage with
Dino, and also a petition for the declaration of nullity of the marriage of Mica with her
husband. While the cases were pending, Atty. Gail and Mica lived in their
respective residences but were often seen together in parties, events and in public
places. Dino filed a disbarment complaint against Atty. Gail for immorality, alleging
that Atty. Gail and Mica are lovers. Decide whether Atty. Gail should be sanctioned
for immorality. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

I will rule in favor of Atty. Gail. In the first place, being seen together
of
with Mica in parties, events and public places is not sufficient proof
willful, flagrant
immorality, which has been defined as "that conduct which is or
opinion of good
shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the and
a v. Maniwang, A.M. No.
respectable members of the community" (Arcig 1608,
sides, I will be mindful of the
August 14, 1981; 106 SCRA 591). Be
injunction in Section 1, Canon 5 of the New Code of Conduct for the

Philippine Judiciary, which provides that "a judge shall be aware of, and

understand, diversity in society and differences arising from various sources,

including but not limited to race, religion, national origin, caste, disability,

age, marital status, sexual orientation, social and economic status and other like

causes."

- o0o