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CANON 15, CPR represents such client’s cause. This

- A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE matter is mandated by Rule 15.01 of
CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
Rationale: This is to encourage
Note: Under this Rule, a lawyer is transparency between the lawyers and
expected to have an undivided his client.
allegiance, a conspicuous and high
degree of good faith, disinterestedness, a. Confidentiality rule
candor, fairness, loyalty, fidelity and Note: Confidentiality means the relation
absolute integrity in all his dealings and between lawyer and client or guardian
transactions with his clients. He must and ward, or between spouses, with
also renounce every personal regard to the trust that is placed in the
advantage conflicting in any way, one by the other. (Black’s Law
directly or indirectly, with the interest of Dictionary 7th Edition 1990, 2004).
his client.
This rule suggests the fiduciary
If in case that the lawyer finds that his relationship between client and his
client’s cause is defenseless or bereft of lawyer.
merit, he shall advise his client not to file
a case but rather, submits his self to b. Privilege Communication
possibility of compromise if that will give Rule 15.02, Canon 15, CPR- A lawyer
the greatest justice to him. shall be bound by the rule on privilege
Rationale: Practice of law is a legal communication in respect of matters
profession and not a business. A lawyer disclosed to him by a prospective client.
should resist from filing a case just for Basis: This prohibition is founded on
his own benefit and for the expense of principles of public policy, good taste
justice. and, more importantly, upon necessity.
Rule 15.01 - A lawyer, in conferring with In the course of a lawyer-client
a prospective client, shall ascertain as relationship, the lawyer learns all the
soon as practicable whether the matter facts connected with the client’s case,
would involve a conflict with another including its weak and strong points.
client or his own interest, and if so, shall Such knowledge must be considered
forthwith inform the prospective client. sacred and guarded with care. No
opportunity must be given to him to take
Q: Is a lawyer bound to inform his advantage of his client; for if the
prospective client of the possible conflict confidence is abused, the profession will
of interest that may arise in case he suffer by the loss thereof. It behooves
represents such client’s cause? lawyers not only to keep inviolate the
A: Yes, he is bound to inform his clients confidence, but also to avoid the
prospective client of the possible conflict appearance of treachery and double ─
of interest that may arise in case he dealing for only then can litigants be
encouraged to entrust their secrets to

their lawyers, which is paramount in the any fact the knowledge of which has
administration of justice. It is for these been acquired in such capacity;
reasons that we have described the
attorney-client relationship as one of
trust and confidence of the highest Q: What is the concept of privileged
degree. (Pacana vs. Pascual-Lopez, communication?
591 SCRA 1 (2009))
A: Privileged communication
Related statutory basis: suggests that an attorney cannot,
without the consent of his client, be
a. Revised Penal Code
examined as to any communication
Art. 209. Betrayal of trust by an made by the client to him or his
attorney or Solicitor - Revelation of advice given thereon in the course of
Secrets. In addition to the proper professional employment; nor can an
administrative action x x x shall be attorney’s secretary, stenographer, or
imposed upon an attorney-at-law or clerk be examined, without the
solicitor (procurador judicial) who, by consent of the client and his
any malicious breach of professional employer, concerning any fact the
duty or of inexcusable negligence or knowledge of which has been
ignorance, shall prejudice his client, or acquired in such capacity (Rule 130,
reveal any of the secrets of the latter Section 24 (b) of the Revised Rules
learned by him in his professional of Court).
Purpose: The purpose of the rule of
b. Revised Rules of Court confidentiality is actually to protect the
client from possible breach of
Section 24 (b), Rule 130.
confidence as a result of a consultation
Disqualification by reason of
with a lawyer. (Hadjula vs. Madianda,
privileged communication. – The
526 SCRA 241, (2007))
following persons cannot testify as to
matters learned in confidence in the Q: What are the requisites for privileged
following cases: communication to apply?
XXX A: For privileged communication to
exist, the following requisites must
(b) An attorney cannot, without
the consent of his client, be
examined as to any communication 1) There is an attorney-client
made by the client to him, or his relationship or a kind of consultancy
advice given thereon in the course requirement with a prospective client;
of, or with a view to, professional
2) The communication was made
employment, nor can an attorney’s
by the client to the lawyer in the
secretary, stenographer, or clerk be
course of the lawyer’s professional
examined, without the consent of the
client and his employer, concerning

3) The communication must be such matters are not covered by the

intended to be confidential. privileged communication between a
lawyer and his client. This is because
Q: Atty. X was a lawyer of Mr. D in a
Atty. X testified on matters regarding Mr.
rape case that was filed against him by
D’s future commission of a crime which
R before the Regional Trial Court of
he as a member of the society has the
Quezon City. Mr. D was so afraid that he
obligation to divulge for the protection of
might be convicted for the said crime.
the public.
Thus, he planned to kill R. Mr. D
confessed his plan to Atty. X. Atty. X Wherefore, Atty. X shall not be
tried to stop Mr. D but he failed to suspended or disbarred on the ground
convince the latter. Mr. D killed R. A stated by Mr. D.
criminal case for murder was filed
Note: The privilege communication
against Mr. D. Atty. X withdrew as
continues to exist even after the
counsel of Mr. D in the rape case.
termination of the attorney-client
Thereafter, he testified on the murder
relationship. In the case of Baldwin v.
case filed against Mr. D. Mr. D filed a
CIR, the Supreme Court elucidated that
disbarment case against Atty. X for
the privileged character of the
violating Rule 15.02, Canon 15 of the
communication ceases only when
Code of Professional Responsibility. Is
waived by the client himself or after his
the case filed by Mr. D against Atty. X
death, by the heir or legal
meritorious? Why or Why not?
A: No, the case is not meritorious. Rule
The party who avers that the
15.02 of the Code of Professional
communication is privileged has the
Responsibility must be read in relation to
burden of proof to establish the
paragraph b of Section 24, Rule 130 of
existence of the privilege unless from
the Revised Rules of Court.
the face of the document itself, it clearly
It is a settled rule in our appears that it is privileged. The mere
jurisprudence that the privileged allegation that the matter is privileged is
communication cannot be invoked not sufficient. (People v. Sleeper, No.
against a lawyer who, during the 22783, December 3, 1924; Lapena Jr.,
existence of attorney-client relationship, 2009)
acquires a knowledge about a crime that
Q: What are the exceptions to the
his client is planning to commit. This is
privileged communication between a
founded on the principle that a client has
lawyer and his client?
the obligation to the society to reveal
any information that he acquires A: The exceptions are:
regarding a commission of future crimes
to protect the interest of the public. 1) When a lawyer is accused by the
client and he needs to reveal information
In the instant case, Atty. X shall to defend himself
not be liable for testifying before the
court about the murder case of R since;

2) When the client discloses the suicide in the third floor of his office that
intention to commit a crime or unlawful caught the attention of the public.
act. (Future crime).
Wherefore, the information was
Q: Atty. X was the counsel of Mr. D in not privileged.
the tax evasion case filed by the BIR
Q: What is the doctrine of imputed
against the latter. The wife of Mr. D
called Atty. X because of the suicidal
note of Mr. D. Atty. X immediately went A: The Doctrine of imputed knowledge
to the office of Mr. D since the latter was is based on the assumption that an
also his friend. Mr. D who was about to attorney, who has notice of matter
jump from the third floor of the building affecting his client, has communicated
shouted and divulged that he was an the same to his principal in the course of
“estafador” and that he was the one who professional dealings. The doctrine
killed R. Many people heard this. applies regardless of whether or not the
Thereafter, Mr. D jumped from the lawyer actually communicated to the
building and sustained serious physical client what he learned in his professional
injuries. Is the information acquired by capacity, the attorney and his client
Atty. X to Mr. D considered as being one judicial person. For attorney-
privileged? Why or why not? client privilege to apply, however, the
period to be considered is the date when
A: No, the information that he obtained
the privileged communication was made
from Mr. D cannot be considered
by the client to the attorney in relation to
privilege because of the absence of the
either a crime committed in the past or
essential requisites for it to be
with respect to a crime intended to be
committed in the future (if past, privilege
It is a settled rule in our applies; if future, does not apply). In
jurisprudence that for an information to order that a communication between a
be privileged, it must be obtained by the lawyer and his client be privileged, it
counsel in the course of his professional must be for a lawful purpose or in the
duty with his client and that the furtherance of a lawful end. (People v.
information is intended by the client to Sandiganbayan, 275 SCRA 505 (1996))
be confidential.
Q: How is Rule 15.02 different from
In the instant case, Atty. X Canon 17?
acquired the information when he was
A: Rule 15.02 speaks of the duty of
not in the exercise of his duty as lawyer
confidentiality to a prospective client
to his client but as friend to Mr. D.
while Canon 17 provides for the duty of
Besides, the information was not
confidentiality to an actual client. (Funa,
intended to be confidential because Mr.
D divulged the information although he
knew that many people would hear it Q: When is communication not
because of his attempt to committee privileged?

A: A communication made by a client to Q: Does the close personal relationship

a lawyer is not privileged: between the lawyer and the complainant
affect the lawyer-client relationship?
1. After pleading has been filed.
A: No, the close personal relationship
Note: Pleading ceases to be privileged
between the lawyer and the complainant
communication – becomes part of public
does not affect the lawyer-client
relationship. (Hadjula vs. Madianda, 526
2. When communication was intended SCRA 241, (2007))
by the client to be sent to a third person
Rule 15.03, Canon 15, CPR – A lawyer
through his counsel.
shall not represent conflicting interests
Note: It loses its confidential character except by written consent of all
as soon as it reaches the hands of a concerned given after a full disclosure of
third person. the facts.

Q: When is a lawyer-client relationship Q: May a lawyer represent conflicting

established? interest?

A: A lawyer-client relationship was A: As a general rule, a lawyer cannot

established from the very first moment represent diverse interests. It is highly
complainant asked respondent for legal improper to a lawyer to represent both
advice, regarding the former’s business. sides of an issue. Besides, during the
(Hadjula vs. Madianda, 526 SCRA 241, existence of attorney-client relationship,
(2007)) the lawyer obtains information that he
may use against the other party creating
Note: To constitute professional comparative advantage to his other
employment, it is not essential that the client. This will make the integrity of the
client employed the attorney lawyer in doubt. It applies although the
professionally on any previous occasion. attorney’s intention and motives were
It is not necessary that any honest and he acted in good faith.
retainer be paid, promised, or charged; However, the rule admits an
neither is it material that the attorney exception Representation of conflicting
consulted did not afterward handle the interest may be allowed where the
case for which his service had been parties consent to the representation
sought. after full disclosure of facts. (Nakpil v.
If a person, in respect to business Valdez, A.C. No. 2040, Mar. 4, 1998)
affairs or troubles of any kind, consults a Note: A lawyer may at a certain stage of
lawyer with a view to obtaining the controversy and before it reaches
professional advice or assistance, and the court represent conflicting interests
the attorney voluntarily permits or with the express written consent of all
acquiesces with the consultation, then parties concerned given after disclosure
the professional employments is of the facts. The disclosure should
established. (Hadjula vs. Madianda, 526 include an explanation of the effects of
SCRA 241, (2007))

the dual representation, such as the Atty. X acquired certain information to D

possible revelation or use of confidential regarding the transaction that transpired
information. among D, Y and R. D and Y hired
another lawyer to represent them for the
An attorney owes loyalty to his client not
collection of sum of money that they
only in the case in which he has
filed against R. On the other hand, R
represented him but also after relation of
hired Atty. X as his lawyer. Atty. X
attorney and client has terminated.
learned that he would be labored in
Q: What are the three test to determine conflict of interest, thus, he asked for a
whether conflict of interest exist? written consent to D. D allowed Atty. X to
represent R as contemplated to the
A: In the case of Aninon vs. Sabitsana, written consent that he gave to Atty. X. Y
the Supreme Court enunciated the three filed an administrative case against Atty.
test to determine whether conflict of X for violating Rule 15.03 Canon 15 of
interest exist: the Code of Professional Responsibility
“First Test. Whether a lawyer is alleging that Atty. X represented R under
duty-bound to fight for an issue or claim a conflict of interest. Atty. X set up a
in behalf of one client and, at the same defense that he should not be liable for
time, to oppose that claim for the other violation of the said provision of the
client - if a lawyer’s argument for one Code of Professional Responsibility
client has to be opposed by that same because he asked a written consent
lawyer in arguing for the other client, from D to whom he acquired confidential
there is a violation of the rule. information. Is the defense meritorious?
Why/why not?
Second Test. Whether the
acceptance of a new relation would A: No, the defense is not meritorious.
prevent the full discharge of the lawyer’s Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the
duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to Code of Professional Responsibility
the client or invite suspicion of provides that:
unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the
performance of that duty. “A lawyer shall not represent
conflicting interests except by written
Third Test. Whether the lawyer consent of all concerned given after a
would be called upon in the new relation full disclosure of the facts.”
to use against a former client any
confidential information acquired In the instant case, the written
through their connection or previous consent that D gave to Atty. X was
employment.” binding only between D and Atty. X. It
cannot be used against Y who did not
May a lawyer represent conflicting give his written consent. He must also
interests? secure a separate written consent from
Q: R was indebted to D and Y for an Y although he did not acquire such
amount of 10, 000. 00. They asked Atty. confidential information to the latter
X to draft a demand letter against R. because by the act of drafting a demand

letter in favor of Y, there is already an of the new client, a Judgment against

Attorney-client relationship exist such may, on that ground, be set aside;
between them and representing D would
3. The attorney’s right to Fees
be adverse to his former client, Y.
may be defeated if found to be related to
Besides, the Code of professional
such conflict and such was objected to
Responsibility mandates him as a
by the former client, or if there was a
lawyer to ask or secure a written
concealment and prejudice by reason of
consent to all the concerned parties. Y,
the attorney’s previous professional
being one of the complainants, is a
relationship with the opposite party;
concerned party and therefore, for atty.
X to represent R, he must also obtain a 4. A lawyer can be held
written permission to Y. administratively liable through
disciplinary action and may be held
In view of the foregoing, Atty. X
Criminally liable for betrayal of trust.
fell short to the requirements set forth by
the Code of Professional Responsibility. Q: X’s spouses were the owners of an
His defense is not meritorious which apartment to which L was a tenant. L
makes him administratively liable for failed to pay the rental fees and due to
representing conflicting interest. that an ejectment case was filed by X’s
spouses against her. X’s spouses
Q: What are the instances when a
retained the services of Atty. Y. The
lawyer may not represent conflicting
court ruled in favor of X’s spouses and
interests despite consent of both parties
asked L to vacate the premises. The
court also issued a writ of execution
A: The instances when a lawyer may ordering the sheriff to get personal
not represent conflicting interest despite properties of L in order to satisfy the
of written consent are: judgment. R, the brother of L and his
mother went to Atty. Y to ask for legal
1. Where the conflict is between
advice. Atty. Y referred them to Atty. E,
the attorney’s interest and that of a
his partner. R and his mother tried to
client; or
negotiate and showed his willingness to
2. Where the conflict is between a pay the default rental fees of his sister
private client’s interests and that of the with the condition that he would be
government or any of its instrument. considered as the new lessee. R failed
to follow the terms and conditions of the
Q: What are the effects of representing negotiation. However, in order to
adverse interests? suppress the execution of writ, Atty. Y
A: The effects of representing adverse gave an advice to R to execute an
interest are: affidavit of ownership. The execution of
writ was deferred but the stove was not
1. Disqualification as counsel of return to R. R filed a disbarment case
new client on petition of former client; against Atty. Y for representing conflict
2. Where such is unknown to, of interest? Is the case meritorious?
and becomes prejudicial to the interests Why or why not?

A: No, the case is not meritorious. Rule 15.04, Canon 15, CPR – A lawyer
may, with the written consent of all
In the case of Solatan vs.
concerned, act as mediator, conciliator
Incocentes, the Supreme Court held
or arbitrator in settling disputes.
Q: Supposed that a lawyer who act as a
“The act of giving advice to
mediator will also be labored under a
impede the execution of the writ
conflict of interest, does he need to
obtained by the previous client of the
secure written consent as mandated by
lawyer giving reliefs from the new client
Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional
is a culpable act of disloyalty to the
Responsibility to perform such function?
previous client.”
A: Yes, he must still secure the written
Atty. Y did not violate Rule 15.03,
consent of all the concerned parties. It is
Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
a settled rule that where the lawyer
Responsibility which prohibits
performs the function of mediator,
representing conflict of interest. The act
conciliator, or arbitrator in disputes
of Atty. Y of giving legal advice regarding
where the lawyer labors under a conflict
the remedy that R may use to suppress
of interest, he remains subject to the
the writ of execution filed by him cannot
requirement of a prior written informed
be a ground for his disbarment or
consent from all parties concerned. The
suspension. X’s spouses, the client of
requirement subsists even if the adverse
Atty. Y, has no interest over the property
interest is very slight, and
of R because the writ of execution was
notwithstanding the lawyer’s honest
enforced against L, the sister of R and
intention and motive.
not against R. Thus, there is no conflict
of interest in the act of giving advice to R Rule 15.05, Canon 15, CPR - A lawyer
who was not a party to the case. R when advising his client, shall give a
asked for legal advice in order for his candid and honest opinion on the merits
property to be protected from the said and probable results of the client's case,
writ of execution which included his neither overstating nor understating the
personal properties although it was prospects of the case.
issued not against him.
Rationale: Practice of law is not a
Wherefore, the case is devoid of business but a profession. A lawyer shall
merit. not advise the filing of a case which will
delay man’s cause for profit or only for
Note: The take- over of a client’s cause
his sole benefits. This act is improper to
of action by another lawyer does not
the practice of law because it removes
give the former lawyer the right to
the distinction between business and
represent the opposing party. It is not
practice of law to the detriment of the
only malpractice but also constitutes a
integrity of the legal profession.
violation of the confidence resulting from
the attorney-client relationship. (Castro- In the case of Cobb-Perez vs.
Justo vs. Galing, A.C. No. 6174, Lantin, the Supreme Court reminded a
November 16, 2011)

lawyer of his duty to temper his client’s Under this Rule, it is the duty of
propensity to litigate. Atty. X to advise his client not to file a
case that is absolutely devoid of merit or
As officers of the court, counsels
that will delay the administration of
are under obligations to advise their
justice. This is because a lawyer is an
clients to dissuade from filing a case
agent of justice and his loyalty to the
which is devoid of merits. If he finds that
client is only secondary to his fidelity to
his client’s cause is meritorious and ripe
the court or justice. If he accepts the
for judicial adjudication, he should
case, he will violate the important duty of
refrain from making bold and confident
a lawyer which is to uphold the integrity
assurance of success.
of the legal profession by preserving the
Q: Mr. Y wanted to declare his marriage distinction of the legal profession to a
with O as void ab initio on the ground of business.
sexual infidelity. This is also for Mr. Y to
Thus, to avoid such scenario,
marry D. He asked for the services of
Atty. X shall decline from representing
Atty. X, an expert of Family law,
the said client despite of his large offers.
regarding the said matter. Atty. X knew
that sexual infidelity is not a ground for Q: Assuming that Atty. X
declaration of absolute nullity of accepted the case and later a
marriage under Article 35 of the Family disbarment case was filed against him,
Code but a ground for legal separation can he used Rule 14.01, Canon 14 of
under Article 55 of the Family Code. the Code of Professional Responsibility
Because of that, Atty. X advised his as a defense to exonerate from his
client to file a legal separation rather liability?
than to file an absolute nullity of
A: No, he cannot invoke such
marriage. But, the client really wanted
Canon because that Canon is applicable
his marriage to declare void and
only in criminal cases and not to civil
promised that he would give 800, 000 to
cases like declaration of absolute nullity
Atty. X plus house and lot if the latter will
of marriage. Besides, even if that Canon
win the case. What will Atty. X do?
is applicable in civil case, he cannot still
A: Atty. X shall refuse to accept the case use it as a valid defense because the
despite of the offer. act of Atty. X of refusing to accept the
case is justified. He did it to comply with
Rule 15.05, Canon 15, Code of
his other obligations under the Code of
Professional Responsibility states that:
Professional Responsibility. The Code
“A lawyer when advising his must be interpreted to give meaning to
client, shall give a candid and honest all its provisions and not to interpret it’s
opinion on the merits and probable provision separate from the other.
results of the client's case, neither
Wherefore, Atty. X cannot be
overstating nor understating the
exonerated from his liability by using
prospects of the case.”
Canon 14 specifically Rule 14.01 as a

especially in occupations related to the

Rule 15.06, Canon 15, CPR – A practice of law.
lawyer shall not state or imply that he Reason: Certain ethical considerations
is able to influence any public official, may be operative in one profession and
tribunal or legislative body. not in the other. (Agpalo)
Note: This rule protects against Note: A lawyer is not barred from dealng
influence peddling. Some prospective with his client but the business
clients secure the services of a transaction must be characterized with
particular lawyer or law firm precisely utmost honesty and good faith. Business
because he can exert a lot of influence transactions between and attorney and
on a judge and some lawyers exact big his client are disfavored and
fees for such influence. (Agpalo) discouraged by policy of law, because
by virtue of a lawyer’s office, he is an
c. Compliance with Laws easy position to take advantage of the
credulity and ignorance of his client.
Thus, there is no presumption of
Rule 15.07, Canon 15, CPR – A
innocence of improbability of
lawyer shall impress upon his client
wrongdoing in favor of lawyers. (Nakpil
compliance with the laws and the
vs. Valdez, 286 SCRA 758 (1998))
principles of fairness.
Related statutory basis:
Civil Code
Art. 19. Every person must, in the
exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with
justice, give everyone his due, and
observe honest and good faith.
d. Concurrent Practice of another

Rule 15.08, Canon 15, CPR – A

lawyer who is engaged in another
profession or occupation
concurrently with the practice of law
shall make clear to his client whether
he is acting as lawyer or in another
General Rule: Exercise of dual
profession is not prohibited but a lawyer
must make it clear when he is acting as
a lawyer when he is otherwise,