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CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY CHAPTER I. CANON 6 - Rule 6.

01
THE LAW AND SOCIETY Rule 6.02 Rule 6.03
CANON 1 - CANON 7 - Rule 7.01 Rule 7.02 Rule 7.03
Rule 1.01 Rule 1.02 - A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to
Rule 1.03 Rule 1.04 representatives of the mass media in anticipation of,
CANON2 - or in return for, publicity to attract legal business.
Rule 2.01 Rule 2.02
Rule 2.03 Rule 2.04 A LAWYER SHALL PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM BY INITIATING OR
CANON 3 - Rule 3.01 Rule 3.02 Rule 3.03 SUPPORTING EFFORTS IN LAW REFORM AND IN THE
A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY IMPROVEMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT
FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES. A LAWYER SHALL KEEP ABREAST OF LEGAL
- DEVELOPMENTS, PARTICIPATE IN CONTINUING LEGAL
Alawyershallnotengageinunlawful,dishonest,immoral EDUCATION PROGRAMS, SUPPORT EFFORTS TO
ordeceitfulconduct. ACHIEVE HIGH STANDARDS IN LAW SCHOOLS AS
- A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed WELL AS IN THE PRACTICAL TRAINING OF LAW
at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in STUDENTS AND ASSIST IN DISSEMINATING
the legal system. INFORMATION REGARDING THE LAW AND
- A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or JURISPRUDENCE.
interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay
any man’s cause. THESE CANONS SHALL APPLY TO LAWYERS IN
- A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR
settle a controversy if it will admit of a fair OFFICIAL TASKS.
settlement. - The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public
prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is
A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of
AVAILABLE IN AN EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of
MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for
INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVE-NESS OF THE disciplinary action.
PROFESSION. - A lawyer in the government service shall not use his
- A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, public position to promote or advance his private
the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed. interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his
- In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a public duties.
case, he shall not refuse to render legal advice to the - A lawyer shall not, after leaving government
person concerned if only to the extent necessary to service, accept engagement or employment in
safeguard the latter’s rights. connection with any matter in which he had
- A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act intervened while in said service.
designed primarily to solicit legal business.
- A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those CHAPTER II. LAWYER AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION
customarily prescribed unless the circumstances so
warrant. A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE
INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION
A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED
SHALL USE ONLY TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED BAR.
AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF - A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making
FACTS. a false statement or suppressing a material fact in
- A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any connection with his application for admission to the
false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, bar.
self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding - A lawyer shall not support the application for
his qualifications or legal services. admission to the bar of any person known by him to
- In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or be unqualified in respect to character, education, or
assumed name shall be used. The continued use of other relevant attribute.
the name of a deceased partner is permissible - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely
provided that the firm indicates in all its reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he,
communications that said partner is deceased.* whether in public or private life, behave in a
- Where a partner accepts public office, he shall scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal
withdraw from the firm and his name shall be profession.
dropped from the firm name unless the law allows
him to practice law concurrently. CANON 8 -
Rule 3.04 CANON 4 - Rule 8.01 Rule 8.02
CANON5 - CANON9 -
A LAWYER SHALL CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH Rule 11.03 Rule 11.04 Rule 11.05
COURTESY, FAIRNESS AND CANDOR TOWARD HIS - A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or
PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES, AND SHALL AVOID menacing language or behavior before the Courts.
HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING COUNSEL. - A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not
- A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use supported by the record or have no materiality to the
language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise case.
improper. - A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to
- A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach the proper authorities only .
upon the professional employment of another lawyer; CANON 12 - A LAWYER SHALL EXERT EVERY EFFORT
however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear or AND CONSIDER IT HIS DUTY TO ASSIST IN THE
favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel. Rule 12.01
Rule 12.02 Rule12.03
A LAWYER SHALL NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, Rule 12.04 Rule 12.05 Rule 12.06 Rule12.07 Rule
ASSIST IN THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW. 12.08
Rule 9.01 - A lawyer shall not delegate to any CANON 13
unqualified person the performance of any task - A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless he has
which by law may only be performed by a member of adequately prepared himself on the law and the facts
the Bar in good standing. of his case, the evidence he will adduce and the
Rule 9.02 - A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to order of its preferences. He should also be ready with
divide a fee for legal services with persons not the original documents for comparison with the
licensed to practice law, except: copies.
CANON10 Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from
Rule 10.02 the same cause.
Rule 10.03 - A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of
- A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to time to file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the
the doing of any in Court; nor shall he mislead, or period lapse without submitting the same or offering
allow the Court to be misled by any artifice. an explanation for his failure to do so.
- A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or - A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the
misrepresent the contents of paper, the language or execution of a judgement or misuse Court processes.
the argument of opposing counsel, or the text of a - A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his witness
decision or authority, or knowingly cite as law a during a break or recess in the trial, while the witness
provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or is still under examination.
amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not - A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a witness to
been proved. misrepresent himself or to impersonate another.
- A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and - A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or harass a
shall not misuse them to defeat the ends of justice. witness nor needlessly inconvenience him.
a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a - A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client,
partner or associate that, upon the latter’s death, except:
money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time a) on formal matters, such as the mailing,
to his estate or to persons specified in the authentication or custody of an instrument, and the
agreement; or like, or
b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished b) on substantial matters, in cases where his
legal business of a deceased lawyer; or testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in which
c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer event he must, during his testimony, entrust the trial
employees in a retirement plan, even if the plan is of the case to another counsel.
based in whole or in part, on a profitable sharing
arrangement. - A LAWYER SHALL RELY UPON THE MERITS OF HIS
CAUSE AND REFRAIN FROM ANY IMPROPRIETY WHICH
CHAPTER III. THE LAWYER AND THE COURTS TENDS TO INFLUENCE, OR GIVES THE APPEARANCE
OF INFLUENCING THE COURT
- A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD Rule 13.01 Rule 13.02 Rule 13.03
FAITH TO THE COURT. - A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or
hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for cultivating
CANON 11 - A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND familiarity with Judges.
MAINTAIN THE RESPECT DUE TO THE COURTS AND - A lawyer shall not make public statements in the
TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSIST ON media regarding a pending case tending to arouse
SIMILAR CONDUCT BY OTHERS. public opinion for or against a party.
Rule 11.01 - A lawyer shall appear in court properly - A lawyer shall not brook or invite interference by
attired. Rule 11.02 - A lawyer shall punctually appear another branch or agency of the government in the
at court hearings. normal course of judicial proceedings.
- A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance
CANON 14 - Rule 14.01 with the laws and principles of fairness.
Rule14.02 - A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or
Rule 14.03 occupation concurrently with the practice of law shall
Rule 14.04 make clear to his client whether he is acting as a
lawyer or in another capacity.
CHAPTER IV. THE LAWYER AND THE CLIENT
CANON 16 - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL
A LAWYER SHALL NOT REFUSE HIS SERVICES TO THE MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY
NEEDY. COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.
- A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person
solely on account of the latter’s race, sex, creed or Rule 16.01 Rule 16.02 Rule 16.03
status of life, or because of his own opinion regarding Rule 16.04
the guilt of said person. - A lawyer shall account for all money or property
- A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and collected or received for or from the client.
sufficient cause, an appointment as counsel de oficio - A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client
or as amicus curiae, or a request from the Integrated separate and apart from his own and those of others
Bar of the Philippines or any of its chapters for kept by him.
rendition of free legal aid. - A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his
- A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of client when due or upon demand. However, he shall
an indigent client unless: have a lien over the funds and may apply so much
a) he is in no position to carry out the work thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees
effectively or competently; and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter
b) he labors under a conflict of interest between him to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same
and the prospective extent on all judgements and executions he has
client or between a present client and the secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of
prospective client; Court.
- A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable - A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client
to pay his professional fees shall observe the same unless the client’s interests are fully protected by the
standard of conduct governing his relations with nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither
paying clients. shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in
the interest of justice, he has to advance necessary
CANON 15 - A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the
FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN client.
ALL HIS DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS
CLIENTS. CANON 17 - A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE
Rule 15.01 CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF
Rule 15.02 Rule 15.03 Rule 15.04 Rule 15.05 THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM.
Rule 15.06 Rule15.07 Rule 15.08
- A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, CANON18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH
shall ascertain as soon as practicable whether the COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.
matter would involve a conflict with another client or Rule 18.01
his own interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the Rule 18.02 Rule 18.03
prospective client. Rule 18.04
- A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privilege - A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service which
communication in respect of matters disclosed to him he knows or should know that he is not qualified to
by a prospective client. render. However, he may render such service if, with
- A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests the consent of his client, he can obtain as
except by written consent of all concerned given collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent on
after a full disclosure of the facts. the matter.
- A lawyer may, with the written consent of all - A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without
concerned, act as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator adequate preparation.
in settling disputes. - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted
- A lawyer when advising his client, shall give a to him, and his negligence in connection there with
candid and honest opinion on the merits and shall render him liable.
probable results of the client’s case, neither - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status
overstating nor understating the prospects of the of his case and shall respond within a reasonable
case. time to client’s request for information.
- A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to
influence any public official, tribunal or legislative CANON19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT
body. WITH ZEAL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW.
Rule 19.01
Rule 19.02 - A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets
Rule 19.03 CANON 20 - of his client except:
- A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to a) When authorized by the client after acquianting
attain the lawful objectives of his client and shall not him of the consequences of the disclosure;
present, participate in presenting or threaten to b) When required by law;
present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an c) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend
improper advantage in any case or proceeding. himself, his employees or associates or by judicial
- A lawyer who has received information that his action.
client has, in the course of the representation, - A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client,
perpetrated a fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall use information acquired in the course of
promptly call upon the client to rectify the same, and employment, nor shall he use he same to his own
failing which he shall terminate the relationship with advantage or that of a third person, unless the client
such client in accordance with the Rules of Court. with full knowledge of the circumstances consents
- A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the thereto.
procedure on handling the case. - A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of
his client, give information from his files to an outside
A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND agency seeking such information for auditing,
REASONABLE FEES. statistical, bookkeeping, accounting, data processing,
or any similar purpose.
Rule 20.01 - A lawyer shall be guided by the following - A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the
factors in determining his fees: firm to partners or associates thereof unless
a) The time spent and the extent of the services prohibited by the client.
rendered or required;
b) The novelty and difficulty of the questions Rule 21.05
involved; Rule 21.06 Rule 21.07
c) The importance of the subject matter; - A lawyer shall adopt such measures as may be
Rule 20.02 - required to prevent those whose services are utilized
d) The skill demanded; by him, from disclosing or using confidences or
e) The probability of losing other employment as a secrets of the client.
result of acceptance of the - A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a
proffered case; client’s affairs even with members of his family.
f) The customary charges for similar services and the - A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been
schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to which he consulted about a particular case except to avoid
belongs; possible conflict of interest.
g) The amount involved in the controversy and the
benefits resulting to the client form the service; CANON 22 - A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS
h) The contingency or certainty of compensation; SERVICES ONLY FOR GOOD CAUSE AND UPON
i) The character of the employment, whether NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE CIRTUMSTANCES.
occasional or established; and Rule 22.01
j) The professional standing of the lawyer. - A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the
A lawyer shall, in cases of referral, with the consent following cases:
of the client, be entitled a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral
to a division of fees in proportion to work performed course of conduct in connection with the matter he is
and responsibility assumed. handling;
Rule 20.03 - A lawyer shall not, without the full b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue
knowledge and consent of the client, accept any fee, conduct violative of these canons and rules;
reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will not
forwarding allowance or other compensation promote the best interest of the client;
whatsoever related to his professional employment d) When the mental or physical condition of the
from anyone other than the client. lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out the
Rule 20.04 - A lawyer shall avoid controversies with employment effectively;
clients concerning his compensation and shall resort e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees
to judicial action only to prevent imposition, injustice for the services or fails to comply with the retainer
of fraud. agreement;
f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public
CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE office; and
CONFIDENCE AND SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN g) Other similar cases.
AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATION IS - A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall,
TERMINATED subject to a retainer lien, immediately turn over all
Rule 21.01 papers and property to which the client is entitled,
Rule 21.02 and shall cooperate with his successor in the orderly
Rule 21.03 Rule 21.04
transfer of the matter, including all information by a desire for the distinction the position may bring
necessary for the proper handling of the matter. to themselves.

3. Attempts to exert personal influence of the court


CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICHS
Marked attention and unusual hospitality on the part
PREAMBLE of a lawyer to a judge, uncalled for by the personal
relations of the parties, subject both the judge and
In the Philippines, where the stability of courts and of the lawyer to misconstructions of motive and should
all departments of government rests upon the be avoided. A lawyer should not communicate or
approval of the people, it is peculiarly essential that argue privately with the judge as to the merits of a
the system for establishing and dispensing justice be pending cause and deserves rebuke and
developed to a high point of efficiency and so denunciation for any device or attempt to gain from a
maintained that the public shall have absolute judge special personal consideration or favor. A self-
confidence in the integrity and impartiality of its respecting independence in the discharge of
administration. The future of the Republic, to a great professional duty, without denial or diminution of the
extent, depends upon our maintenance of justice courtesy and respect due the judge's station, is the
pure and unsullied. It cannot be so maintained unless only proper foundation for cordial personal and
the conduct and the motives of the members of our official relations between bench and bar.
profession are such as to merit the approval of all
just men. 4. Counsel for an indigent prisoner

No code or set of rules can be framed, which will A lawyer assigned as counsel for an indigent prisoner
particularize all the duties of the lawyer in the ought not to ask to be excused for any trivial reason
varying phase of litigation or in all the relations of and should always exert his best efforts in his behalf.
professional life. The following canons of ethics are
adopted by the Philippine Bar Association as a 5. The defense or prosecution of those accused of
general guide, yet the enumeration of particular crime
duties should not be construed as a denial of the
existence of others equally imperative, though not It is the right of the lawyer to undertake the defense
specifically mentioned. of a person accused of crime, regardless of his
personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused;
1. The duty of the lawyer to the courts otherwise, innocent persons, victims only of
suspicious circumstances, might be denied proper
It is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the defense. Having undertaken such defense, the
courts a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the lawyer is bound, by all fair and honorable means, to
temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but for present every defense that the law of the land
the maintenance of its supreme importance. Judges, permits, to the end that no person may be deprived
not being wholly free to defend themselves, are of life or liberty but by due process of law.
peculiarly entitled to receive the support of the bar The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public
against unjust criticism and clamor. Whenever there prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is
is proper ground for serious complaint of a judicial done. The suppression of facts or the secreting of
officer, it is the right and duty of the lawyer to submit witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of
his grievances to the proper authorities. In such the accused is highly reprehensible.
cases, but not otherwise, such charges should be
encouraged and the person making them should be 6. Adverse influence and conflicting interests
protected. It is a duty of a lawyer at the time of retainer to
disclose to the client all the circumstances of his
2. The selection of judges relations to the parties and any interest in or
connection with the controversy, which might
It is the duty of the bar to endeavor to prevent influence the client in the selection of counsel.
political considerations from outweighing judicial
fitness in the selection of judges. It should protest It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests,
earnestly and actively against the appointment of except by express consent of all concerned given
those who are unsuitable for the bench; and it should after a full disclosure of the facts. Within the meaning
strive to have elevated thereto only those willing to of this canon, a lawyer represents conflicting
forego other employments whether of a business, interests when, in behalf of one client, it is his duty to
political or other character, which may embarrass contend for that which duty to another client requires
their free and fair consideration of questions before him to oppose.
them for decision. The aspiration of lawyers for
judicial position should be governed by an impartial The obligation to represent the client with undivided
estimate of their ability to add to the office and not fidelity and not to divulge his secrets or confidence
forbids also subsequent acceptance of retainers or The lawyer should not purchase any interest in the
employment from others in matters adversely subject matter of the litigation which he is
affecting any interest of the client with respect to conducting.
which confidence has been reposed.
7. Professional colleagues and conflicts of opinions 11. Dealing with trust property

A client's proffer of assistance of additional counsel The lawyer should refrain from any action whereby
should not be regarded as evidence of want of for his personal benefit or gain he abuses or takes
confidence, but the matter should be left to the advantage of the confidence reposed in him by his
determination of the client. A lawyer should decline client.
association as colleague if it is objectionable to the
original counsel, but if the lawyer first retained is Money of the client or collected for the client or other
relieved, another may come into the case. trust property coming into the possession of the
lawyer should be reported and accounted for
When lawyers jointly associated in a cause cannot promptly and should not under any circumstances be
agree as to any matter vital to the interest of the commingled with his own or be used by him.
client, the conflict of opinion should frankly stated to
him for his final determination. His decision should be 12. Fixing the amount of the fee
accepted unless the nature of the difference makes it
impracticable for the lawyer whose judgment has In fixing fees, lawyers should avoid charges which
been overruled to cooperate effectivity. In this event over estimate their advice and services, as well as
it is his duty to ask the client to relieve him. those which undervalue them. A client's ability to pay
cannot justify a charge in excess of the value of the
Efforts, direct or indirect, in any way to encroach service, though his poverty may require a less
upon the professional employment of another lawyer charge, or even none at all. The reasonable requests
are unworthy of those who should be brethren at the of brother lawyers, and of their widows and orphans
bar; but, nevertheless, it is the right of any lawyer, without ample means, should receive special and
without fear or favor, to give proper advice to those kindly consideration.
seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel,
generally after communication with the lawyer In determining the amount of the fees, it is proper to
against whom the complaint is made. consider: ( 1 ) the time and labor required, the
novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and
8. Advising upon the merits of a client's cause the skill required to properly conduct the cause; (2)
whether the acceptance of employment in the
A lawyer should endeavor to obtain full knowledge of particular case will preclude the lawyer's appearance
his client's cause before advising thereon, and he is for others in cases likely to arise out of the
bound to give a candid opinion of the merits and transaction, and in which there is a reasonable
probable result of pending or contemplated litigation. expectation that otherwise he would be employed in
The miscarriages to which justice is subject, by the particular case or antagonisms with other clients;
reason of surprises and disappointments in evidence (3) the customary charges of the bar for similar
and witnesses, through mistakes and errors of courts, services; (4) the amount involved in the controversy
even though only occasional, admonish lawyers to and the benefits resulting to the client from the
beware of bold and confident assurances to clients, services; (5) the contingency or the certainty of the
especially where the employment may depend upon compensation; and (6) the character of the
such assurance. Whenever the controversy will admit employment, whether casual or for an established
of fair judgment, the client should be advised to and constant client. Not one of these considerations
avoid or to end the litigation. in itself is controlling. They are mere guides in
ascertaining the real value of the service.
9. Negotiations with opposite party
In determining the customary charges of the bar for
A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon similar services, it is proper for a lawyer to consider a
the subject of controversy with a party represented schedule of minimum fees adopted by a bar
by counsel, much less should he undertake to association, but no lawyer should permit himself to
negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but be controlled thereby or to follow it as his sole guide
should deal only with his counsel. It is incumbent in determining the amount of his fee.
upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything In fixing fees, it should not be forgotten that the
that may tend to mislead a party not represented by profession is a branch of the administration of justice
counsel, and he should not undertake to advise him and not a mere money-getting trade.
as to the law.
13. Contingent fees
10. Acquiring interest in litigation
A contract for a contingent fee, where sanctioned by Clients, not lawyers, are the litigants. Whatever may
law, should be reasonable under all the be the ill-feeling existing between clients, should not
circumstances of the case including the risk and be allowed to influence counsel in their conduct and
uncertainty of the compensation, but should always demeanor toward each other or toward suitors in the
be subject to the supervision of a court, as to its case. All personalities between counsel should be
reasonableness scrupulously avoided. In the trial of a cause it is
indecent to allude to the personal history or the
14. Suing a client for a fee personal peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of counsel
on the other side. Personal colloquies between
Controversies with clients concerning compensation counsel which cause delay and promote unseemly
are to be avoided by the lawyer so far as shall be wranglings should also be carefully avoided.
compatible with his self respect and with his right to
receive reasonable recompense for his service; and 18. Treatment of witnesses and litigants
lawsuits with the clients should be resorted to only to
prevent injustice, imposition or fraud. A lawyer should always treat adverse witnesses and
15. How far a lawyer may go in supporting a client's suitors with fairness and due consideration, and he
cause should never minister to the malevolence or
Nothing operates more certainly to create or to foster prejudices of a client in the trial or conduct of a
popular prejudice against lawyers as a class, and to cause. The client can not be made the keeper of the
deprive the profession of that full measure of public lawyer's conscience in professional matter. He has no
esteem and confidence which belongs to the proper right to demand that his counsel shall abuse the
discharge of its duties than does the false claim. opposite party or indulge in offensive personalities.
often set up by the unscrupulous for the defense of Improper speech is not excusable on the ground that
questionable transactions, that it is the duty of the it is what the client would say if speaking in his own
lawyer to do whatever may enable him to succeed in behalf.
winning his client's cause.
It is improper for a lawyer to assert in argument his 19. Appearance of lawyer as witness for his client
personal belief in his client's innocence or in the
justice of his cause. When a lawyer is a witness for his client, except as to
merely formal matters, such as the attestation or
The lawyer owes "entire devotion to the interest of custody of an instrument and the like, he should
the client, warm zeal in the maintenance and leave the trial of the case to other counsel. Except
defense of his rights and the exertion of his utmost when essential to the ends justice, a lawyer should
learning and ability," to the end that nothing be avoid testifying in behalf of his client.
taken or be withheld from him, save by the rules of
law, legally applied. No fear of judicial disfavor or 20. Newspaper discussion of pending litigation
public popularity should restrain him from the full
discharge of his duty. In the judicial forum the client Newspaper publication by a lawyer as to pending or
is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy anticipated litigation may interfere with a fair trial in
and defense that is authorized by the law of the land, the courts and otherwise the due administration of
and he may expect his lawyer to assert every such justice. Generally, they are to be condemned. If the
remedy or defense. But it is steadfastly to be borne extreme circumstances of a particular case justify a
in mind that the great trust of the lawyer is to be statement to the public, it is unprofessional to make
performed within and not without the bounds of the it anonymous. An ex parte reference to the facts
law. The office of attorney does not permit, much less should not go beyond quotation from the records and
does it demand of him for any client, violation of law papers on file in the court; but even in extreme cases
or any manner of fraud or chicanery, he must obey it is better to avoid an ex parte statement.
his own conscience and not that of his client.
21. Punctuality and expedition
16. Restraining clients from improprieties
It is the duty of the lawyer not only to his client, but
A lawyer should use his best efforts to restrain and to also to the courts and to the public to be punctual in
prevent his clients from doing those things which the attendance, and to be concise and direct in the trial
lawyer himself ought not to do, particularly with and disposition of causes.
reference to their conduct towards courts, judicial
officers, jurors, witnesses and suitors. If a client 22. Candor and fairness
persist in such wrongdoings the lawyer should
terminate their relation. The conduct of the lawyer before the court and with
other lawyers should be characterized by candor and
17. Ill-feelings and personalities between advocates fairness.
It is not candid nor fair for the lawyer knowingly to opposite counsel. As far as possible, important
misquote the contents of a paper, the testimony of a agreements, affecting the rights of clients, should be
witness, the language or the argument of opposing reduced to writing, but it is dishonorable to avoid
counsel, of the language of a decision or a textbook; performance of an agreement fairly made because it
or with knowledge of its invalidity, to cite as authority is not reduced to writing, as required by the Rules of
a decision that has been overruled or a statute that Court.
has been repealed, or in argument to assert as a fact
that which has not been proved, or in those 26. Professional advocacy other than before courts
jurisdictions where a side has the opening and A lawyer openly, and in his true character may
closing arguments to mislead his opponent by render professional services before legislative or
concealing or withholding positions in his opening other bodies, regarding proposed legislation and in
argument upon which his side then intends to rely. advocacy of claims before departments of
It is unprofessional and dishonorable to deal other government upon the same principles of ethics which
than candidly with the facts in taking the statements justify his appearance before courts; but it is
of witnesses, in drawing affidavits and other unprofessional for a lawyer so engaged, to conceal
documents, and in the presentation of causes. his attorneyship, or to employ secret personal
solicitations, or to use means other than those
A lawyer should not offer evidence which he knows addressed to reason and understanding, to influence
the court should reject, in order to get the same action.
before the jury by arguments for its admissibility, nor
should he address to the judge arguments upon any 27. Advertising, direct or indirect
points not properly calling for determination by him.
Neither should he introduce into an argument, It is unprofessional to solicit professional employment
addressed to the court, remarks or statements by circulars, advertisements, through touters, or by
intended to influence the bystanders. personal communications or interviews not
warranted by personal relations. Indirect
23. Attitude towards jury advertisements for professional employment such as
furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments, or
All attempts to curry favor with juries by fawning procuring his photograph to be published in
flattery or pretended solicitude for their personal connection with causes in which the lawyer has been
comfort are unprofessional. Suggestions of counsel, or is engaged or concerning the manner of their
looking to the comfort or convenience of jurors, and conduct, the magnitude of the interest involved, the
propositions to dispense with arguments, should be importance of the lawyer's position, and all other
made to the court out of the jury's hearing. A lawyer like-laudation, offend the traditions and lower the
must never converse privately with jurors about the tone of our profession and are reprehensible; but the
case; and both before and during the trial he should customary use of simple professional cards is not
avoid communicating with them even as to matters improper.chanrobles virtual law library
foreign to the cause.
Publication in reputable law lists in a manner
24. Right of lawyer to control the incidents of the consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by
trial those canons of brief biographical and informative
data is permissible. Such data must not be
As to incidental matters pending trial, not affecting misleading and may include only a statement of the
the merits of the cause, or working substantial lawyer's name and the names of his professional
prejudice to the rights of the client, such as forcing associates; addresses, telephone numbers, cable
the opposite lawyer to trial when he is under addresses; branches of the profession practiced; date
affliction or bereavement; forcing the trial on a and place of birth and admission to the bar; schools
particular day to the injury of the opposite lawyer attended; with dates of graduation, degrees and
when no harm will result from a trial at different time; other educational distinctions; public or quasi-public
agreeing to an extension of time for signing a bill of offices; posts of honor; legal authorship; legal
exceptions, cross interrogatories and the like, the teaching positions; memberships and offices in bar
lawyer must be allowed to judge. In such matters no associations and committees thereof, in legal and
client has a right to demand that his counsel shall be scientific societies and legal fraternities; the fact of
illiberal, or that he does anything therein repugnant references; and, with their written consent, the
to his own sense of honor and propriety. names of clients regularly represented. A certificate
of compliance with the Rules and Standards issued
25. Taking technical advantage of opposite counsel; by the Special Committee on Law Lists may be
agreement with him treated as evidence that such list is reputable.

A lawyer should not ignore known customs or 28. Stirring up litigation, directly or through agents
practice of the bar or of a particular court, even when
the law permits, without giving timely notice to the
It is unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice Every lawyer upon his own responsibility must decide
to bring a lawsuit, except in rare cases where ties of what employment he will accept as counsel, what
blood, relationship or trust make it his duty to do so. causes he will bring into court for plaintiffs, what
Stirring up strife and litigation is not only case he will contest in court for defendants. The
unprofessional, but it is indictable at common law. It responsibility for advising as to questionable
is disreputable to hunt up defects in titles or other defenses is the lawyer's responsibility. He cannot
causes of action and inform thereof in order to be escape it but urging as an excuse that he is only
employed to bring suit or collect judgment, or to following his client's instructions.
breed litigation by seeking out those with claims for 32. The lawyer's duty in its last analysis
personal injuries or those having any other grounds
of action in order to secure them as clients, or to No client corporate or individual, however, powerful
employ agents or runners for like purposes, or to pay nor any cause, civil or political, however important, is
or reward, directly or indirectly, those who bring or entitled to receive nor should any lawyer render any
influence the bringing of such cases to his office, or service or advice involving disloyalty to the laws
to remunerate policemen, court or prison officials, whose ministers we are, or disrespect of the judicial
physicians, hospital attaches or others who may office, which we are bound to uphold, or corruption of
succeed under the guise of giving disinterested any person or persons exercising a public office or
friendly advice, in influencing the criminal, the sick private trust, or deception or betrayal of the public.
and the injured, the ignorant or others, to seek his When rendering any such improper service or advice,
professional services. A duty to the public and to the the lawyer invites and merits stern and just
profession devolves upon every member of the bar condemnation. Correspondingly, he advances the
having knowledge of such practices upon the part of honor of his profession and the best interests of his
any practitioner immediately to inform thereof, to the client when he renders service or gives advice
end that the offender may be disbarred. tending to impress upon the client and his
undertaking exact compliance with the strictest
29. Upholding the honor of the profession principles of moral law. He must also observe and
advice his client to observe the statute law, though
Lawyers should expose without fear or favor before until a statute shall have been construed and
the proper tribunal corrupt or dishonest conduct in interpreted by competent adjudication he is free and
the profession, and should accept without hesitation is entitled to advise as to its validity and as to what
employment against a member of the bar who has he conscientiously believes to be its just meaning
wronged his client. The counsel upon the trial of a and extent. But above all a lawyer will find his
cause in which perjury has been committed owe it to highest honor in a deserved reputation for fidelity to
the profession and to the public to bring the matter private trust and to public duty, as an honest man
to the knowledge of the prosecuting authorities. The and as a patriotic and loyal citizen.
lawyer should aid in guarding the bar against
admission to the profession of candidates unfit or 33. Partnership - names
unqualified because deficient in either moral
character or education. He should strive at all times Partnerships among lawyers for the practice of their
to uphold the honor and to maintain the dignity of profession are very common and are not to be
the profession and to improve not only the law but condemned. In the formation of partnerships and the
the administration of justice. use of partnership names, care should be taken not
to violate any law, custom, or rule of court locally
30. Justifiable and unjustifiable litigations applicable. Where partnerships are formed between
lawyers who are not all admitted to practice in the
The lawyer must decline to conduct a civil cause or courts of the state, care should be taken to avoid any
to make a defense when convicted that it is intended misleading name or representation which would
merely to harass or to injure the opposite party or to create a false impression as to the professional
work oppression or wrong. But otherwise it is right, position or privilege of the member not locally
and having accepted retainer, it becomes his duty to admitted.
insist upon the judgment of the court as to the legal
merits of his client's claim. His appearance in court In the formation of partnerships for the practice of
should be deemed equivalent to an assertion on his law no person should be admitted or held out as
honor that in his opinion his client's case is one practitioner or member who is not a member of the
proper for judicial determination. legal profession duly authorized to practice, and
31. Responsibility for litigation amenable to professional discipline. In the selection
and use of a firm name, no false, misleading,
No lawyer is obliged to act either as adviser or assumed or trade name should be used. The
advocate for every person who may wish to become continued use of the name of a deceased or former
his client. He has the right to decline employment. partner, when permissible by local custom, is not
unethical, but care should be taken that no
imposition or deception is practiced through this use.
When a member of the firm, on becoming a judge, is If a lawyer is accused by his client, he is not
precluded from practicing law, his name should not precluded from disclosing the truth in respect to the
be continued in the firm name. accusation. The announced intention of a client to
Partnership between lawyers and members of other commit a crime is not included within the confidence
professions or non-professional persons should not which he is bound to respect. He may properly make
be formed or permitted where any part of the such disclosure as may be necessary to prevent the
partnership's employment consists of the practice of act or protect those against whom it is threatened.
law. 34. Division of fee
No division of fees for legal services is proper, except 38. Compensation, commissions and rebates
with another lawyer, based upon a division of service
or responsibility. A lawyer should accept no compensation,
commissions, rebates or other advantages from
35. Intermediaries others without the knowledge and consent of his
client after full disclosure.
The professional services of a lawyer should not be
controlled or exploited by any lay agency, personal 39. Witness
or corporate, which intervenes between client and
lawyer. A lawyer's responsibilities and qualifications A lawyer may properly interview any witness or
are individual. He should avoid all relations which prospective witness for the opposing side in any civil
direct the performance of his duties by or in the or criminal action without the consent of opposing
interest of such intermediary. A lawyer's relation to counsel or party. In doing so, however, he should
his client should be personal, and his responsibility scrupulously avoid any suggestion calculated to
should be direct to the client. Charitable societies induce the witness to suppress or deviate from the
rendering aid to the indigents are not deemed such truth, or in any degree to affect his free and
intermediaries. untrammeled conduct when appearing at the trial or
on the witness stand.
A lawyer may accept employment from any
organization, such as an association, club or trade 40. Newspapers
organization, to render legal services in any matter in
which the organization, as an entity, is interested, A lawyer may with propriety write articles for
but this employment should not include the publications in which he gives information upon the
rendering of legal services to the members of such law; but he could not accept employment from such
an organization in respect to their individual affairs. publication to advice inquiries in respect to their
individual rights. 41. Discovery of imposition and
36. Retirement from judicial position or public deception
employment
When a lawyer discovers that some fraud or
A lawyer should not accept employment as an deception has been practiced, which was unjustly
advocate in any matter upon the merits of which he imposed upon the court or party, he should endeavor
has previously acted in a judicial capacity. to rectify it; at first by advising his client, and should
A lawyer, having once held public office or having endeavor to rectify it; at first by advising his client,
been in the public employ should not, after his and if his client refuses to forego the advantage thus
retirement, accept employment in connection with unjustly gained, he should promptly inform the
any matter he has investigated or passed upon while injured person or his counsel, so that they may take
in such office or employ. appropriate steps.

37. Confidence of a client 42. Expenses

It is the duty of a lawyer to preserve his client's A lawyer may not properly agree with a client that
confidences. This duty outlasts the lawyer's the lawyer shall pay or beat the expense of litigation;
employment and extends as well to his employees; he may in good faith advance expenses as a matter
and neither of them should accept employment, of convenience, but subject to reimbursement.
which involves or may involve the disclosure or use
of these confidences, either for the private 43. Approved law lists
advantages of the client, without his knowledge and
consent, and even though there are other available It is improper for a lawyer to permit his name to be
sources of such information. A lawyer should not published in a law list the conduct, management or
continue employment when he discovers that this contents of which are calculated or likely to deceive
obligation prevents the performance of his full duty or injure the public or the profession, or to lower the
to his former or to his new client. dignity or standing of the profession.
44. Withdrawal from employment as attorney or Department of Justice (now of the Supreme Court),
counsel including municipal judges and city judges:

The right of an attorney or counsel to withdraw from 1. Relations of the judiciary


employment, once assumed, arises only from good
cause. Even the desire or consent of the client is not The assumption of the office of judge casts upon the
always sufficient. The lawyers should not throw up incumbent duties in respect to his personal conduct
the unfinished task to the detriment of his client which concern his relation to the State and its
except for reasons of honor or self-respect. If the inhabitants, the litigants before him, the principles of
client insists upon an unjust or immoral course in the law, the practitioners of law in his court, and the
conduct of his case, or if he persists over the witnesses and attendants who aid him in the
attorney's remonstrance in presenting frivolous administration of its functions.
defenses, or if he deliberately disregards an
agreement or obligation as to fees or expenses, the 2. The public interest
lawyer may be warranted in withdrawing on due
notice to the client, allowing him time to employ The courts exist to promote justice; and thus to aid in
another lawyer. So, also, when a lawyer discovers securing the contentment and happiness of the
that his client has no case and the client is people. Their administration should be speedy and
determined to continue it; or even if the lawyer finds careful. Every judge should at all times be alert in his
himself incapable of conducting the case effectively. rulings and in the conduct of the business of his
Sundry other instances may arise in which court, so far as he can, to make it useful to litigants
withdrawal is to be justified. Upon withdrawal from a and to the community. He should avoid unconsciously
case after a retainer has been paid, the attorney failing into the attitude of mind that the litigants are
should refund such part of the retainer as has not made for the courts instead of the courts for the
been clearly earned. litigants.

45. Specialists 3. Avoidance of appearance of impropriety

The canons of the Philippine Bar Association apply to A judge's official conduct should be free from the
all branches of the legal profession; specialist in appearance of impropriety, and his personal
particular branches are not to be considered as behavior, not only upon the bench and in the
exempt from the application of these principles. performance of judicial duties, but also in his every
day life, should be beyond reproach.
46. Notice of specialized legal service
4. Essential conduct
Where a lawyer is engaged in rendering a specialized
legal service directly and only to other lawyers, a He should be temperate, patient, attentive, impartial,
brief, dignified notice of the fact, couched in and, since he is to administer the law and apply it to
language indicating that it is addressed to lawyers, the facts, he should be studious of the principles of
inserted in legal periodicals and like publications, the law, diligent in endeavoring to ascertain the
when it will afford convenient and beneficial facts. 5. Industry
information to lawyers desiring to obtain such He should exhibit an industry and application
service, is not improper. commensurate with the duties imposed upon him.

47. Aiding the unauthorized practice of law 6. Promptness


No lawyer shall permit his professional services, or
his name to be used in aid of, or to make possible, He should be prompt in disposing of all matters
the unauthorized practice of law by any lay agency, submitted to him, remembering that justice delayed
personal or corporate. is often justice denied.

CANONS OF JUDICIAL ETHICS 7. Punctuality


[Administrative Order No. 162 dated August 1, 1946
of the Department of Justice.] He should be punctual in the performance of his
judicial duties, recognizing that the time of litigants,
witnesses, and attorneys is of value and that if the
In the interest of the administration of justice, the judge is unpunctual in his habits he sets a bad
following Canons of Judicial Ethics, proposed by the example to the bar and tends to create
Philippine Bar Association and approved by the dissatisfaction with the administration of justice.
judges of First Instance of Manila re hereby adopted
for the guidance of and observance by the judges 8. Court organization
under the administrative supervision of the
He should organize his court with a view to prompt excited or terrified by the unusual circumstances of
and convenient dispatch of its business and he trial, may tend to prevent the proper presentation of
should not tolerate abuses and neglect by clerks, the cause, or the ascertainment of the truth in
sheriffs, and other assistants who are sometimes respect thereto. Conversation between the judge and
prone to presume too much upon his good-natured counsel in court is often necessary, but the judge
acquiescence by reason of friendly association with should be studious to avoid controversies which are
him. apt to obscure the merits of the dispute between
litigants and lead to its unjust disposition. In
9. Consideration for witnesses and others addressing counsel, litigants, or witnesses, he should
avoid a controversial tone. He should avoid
He should be considerate of witnesses and others in interruptions of counsel in their arguments except to
attendance upon his court. clarify his mind as to their positions, and he should
not be tempted to an unnecessary display of learning
10. Courtesy and civility chan robles virtual law or a premature judgment. 15. Ex parte applications
library Judges should discourage ex parte hearing of
applications for injunctions and receivership where
Judges should be courteous to counsel, especially to the order may work detriment to absent parties; they
those who are young and inexperienced, and also to should act upon ex parte applications only where the
all others concerned in the administration of justice necessity for quick action is clearly shown; if this be
in their courts. They should also require, and, as far demonstrated, then the judge should endeavor to
as their power extends, enforce on the part of clerks, counter act the effect of the absence of opposing
court officers and counsel civility and courtesy to counsel by a scrupulous cross-examination and
witnesses, litigants and others having business with investigation as to the facts and the principles of law
the court. upon which the application is based, granting relief
only when fully satisfied that the law permits it and
11. Appointments of the judiciary and their the emergency demands it.
compensation
The judge should remember that an injunction is a
Trustees, receivers, masters, referees, guardians, and limitation upon the freedom of action of defendants
administrators appointed by a judge to aid in the and should not be granted lightly or inadvisedly. one
administration of justice under his supervision should applying for such relief must sustain the burden of
have the strictest probity and impartiality and should showing clearly its necessity and this burden is
be selected with a view solely to their character and increased in the absence of the party whose freedom
competency. Patronage of a judge is conferred by him of action is to be restrained even though only
for no personal or partisan advantage. A judge temporarily.
should not permit his appointments to be controlled
by others than himself, and he should avoid the 16. Continuances
allowance of excessive compensation to the
appointees. He should also avoid nepotism in his Delay in the administration of justice is a common
appointments. cause of complaint; counsel are frequently
responsible for this delay. Judges, without being
12. Kinship or influence of parties and counsel arbitrary or forcing cases unreasonably or unjustly to
trial when unprepared, to the detriment of parties,
A judge should not, unless it is unavoidable, sit in may well endeavor to hold counsel to a proper
litigation where a near relative is a party or of appreciation of their duties to the public to their own
counsel; and he should not suffer his conduct to clients, and to the adverse party and his counsel, so
create the impression that any person can unduly as to enforce due diligence in the dispatch of
influence him or enjoy his favor, or that he is affected business before the court.
by the rank, position, or influence of any party. 13.
Independence 17. Judicial opinions
A judge should not be swayed by public claim or
considerations of personal popularity. In disposing of controverted cases, judges should
indicate the reasons for their action in opinions
14. Interference to conduct of trial showing that they have not disregarded or
overlooked serious arguments of counsel. They
While a judge may properly intervene in a trial of a should show their full understanding of the case,
case to promote expedition and prevent unnecessary avoid the suspicion of arbitrary conclusion, promote
waste of time, or to clear up some obscurity, confidence in their intellectual integrity and
nevertheless, he should bear in mind that his undue contribute useful precedents to the growth of the law.
interference, impatience, or participation in the But the volume of reported decisions is such and is
examination of witnesses, or a severe attitude on his ever so increasing that in writing opinions which are
part toward witnesses, especially those who are to be published, judges may well take this fact into
consideration, and curtail them accordingly, without practice, and to ascertain whether they tend to
substantially departing from the principles stated impede the just disposition of controversies; and they
above. It is of high importance that judges may well contribute to the public interest by advising
constituting a court of last resort should use effort those having authority to remedy defects of
and self-restraint to promote solidarity of conclusion procedure of the result of their observation and
and the consequent influence of judicial decision. A experience. 22. Infractions of law
judge should not yield to pride of opinion or value
more highly his individual reputation than that of the The judge should be studiously careful himself to
court to which he should be loyal. Therefore, except avoid even the slightest infraction of the law, lest it
in case of conscientious difference of opinion on be a demoralizing example to others.
fundamental principle, dissents should be
discouraged. 23. Inconsistent obligations

18. Influence of decisions upon the development of A judge should not accept inconsistent duties; nor
the law incur obligations, pecuniary or otherwise, which will
in any way interfere with his devotion to the
A Judge should be mindful that his duty is the expeditious and proper administration of his official
application of general law to particular instance, that functions.
ours is a government of laws and not of men, and
that he violates his duty as a minister of justice 24. Business promotions and solicitations for charity.
under such a system if he seeks to do what he may
personally consider substantial justice in a particular He should avoid giving ground for any reasonable
case and disregards the general law as he knows it to suspicion that in utilizing the power or prestige of his
be binding on him. Such action may have detrimental office to persuade or coerce others to patronize or
consequences beyond the immediate controversy. He contribute, either to the success of private business
should administer his office with a due regard to the ventures, or to charitable enterprises. He should,
integrity of the system of the law itself, remembering therefore, not enter into such private business, or
that he is not a depository of arbitrary power, but a pursue such a course of conduct, as would justify
judge under the sanction of law. such suspicion, nor use the power of his office or the
influence of his name to promote the business
19. Idiosyncrasies and inconsistence interest of others; he should not solicit for charities,
nor should he enter into any business relation which,
Justice should not be bounded by the individual in the normal course of events reasonably to be
idiosyncrasies of those who administer it. A judge expected, might bring his personal interests into
should adopt the usual and expected method of conflict with the impartial performance of his official
doing justice, and not seek to be extreme or peculiar duties.
in his judgment, or spectacular or sensational in the
conduct of his court. Though vested with discretion in 25. Personal investments and relations
the imposition of mild or severe sentence, he should
not compel persons convicted or accused to submit A Judge should abstain from making personal
to some humiliating act or discipline of his own investments in enterprises which are apt to be
devising, without authority of law, because he thinks involved in litigation in his court; and, after accession
it will have a beneficial corrective influence. to the bench, he should not retain such investments
previously made, longer than a period sufficient to
Judges imposing sentence should endeavor to enable him to dispose of them without serious loss. It
conform to a reasonable standard of punishment and is desirable that he should, so far as reasonably
should not seek popularity either by exceptional possible, refrain from all relations which would
severity or undue leniency. normally tend to arouse the suspicion that such
relations warp or bias his judgment, or prevent his
20. Review impartial attitude of mind in the administration of his
judicial duties.
In order that a litigant may secure the full benefit of
the right of review accorded to him by law, a trial It is highly improper for a judge to utilize information
judge should scrupulously grant to the defeated coming to him in a juridical capacity for purposes of
party opportunity to present the situation arising speculation and it detracts from the public
upon the trial exactly as it arose, was presented, and confidence in his integrity and the soundness of
decided by full and fair bill of exceptions or judicial judgment for him at any time to become a
otherwise; and failure in this regard on the part of the speculative investor upon the hazard of a margin.
judge is peculiarly worthy of condemnation because
the wrong done is remediable. 21. Legislation 26. Executorships and trusteeships
Judges have exceptional opportunity to observe the
operation of statutes, especially those relating to
While judges are not disqualified from holding interests to interfere with the prompt and proper
executorships or trusteeships, they should not accept performance of his office.
or continue to hold any fiduciary or other position if
the holding of it would interfere or seem to interfere
with the proper performance of their judicial duties, [B.M. 850. October 2, 2001]
or if the business interests of those represented
require investments in enterprises that are apt to MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
come before the court, or to be involved in questions RESOLUTION
of law to be determined by it. ADOPTING THE REVISED RULES ON THE CONTINUING
LEGAL EDUCATION FOR MEMBERS OF THE
27. Partisan politics INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES
Considering the Rules on the Mandatory Continuing
While entitled to entertain his personal view on Legal Education (MCLE) for members of the
political questions, and while not required to Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), recommended
surrender his rights or opinions as a citizen, it is by the IBP, endorsed by the Philippine Judicial
inevitable that suspicion of being warped by political Academy, and reviewed and passed upon by the
bias will attach to a judge who becomes the active Supreme Court Committee on Legal Education, the
promoter of the interests of one political party Court hereby resolves to approve, as it hereby
against another. approves, the following Revised Rules for proper
A Judge should avoid making political speeches, implementation:
contributions to party funds, the public endorsement
of candidates for political office, or participating in Rule 1. PURPOSE
party conventions.
SECTION 1. Purpose of the MCLE. — Continuing legal
28. Self-interest education is required of members of the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to ensure that throughout
He should abstain from participating in any judicial their career, they keep abreast with law and
act in which his personal interests are involved. If he jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of the profession
has personal litigation in the court of which he is and enhance the standards of the practice of law.
judge, he need not resign his judgeship on that
account, but he should, of course, refrain from any Rule 2. MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
judicial act in such a controversy. 29. Gifts and
favors SECTION 1. Commencement of the MCLE. — Within
He should not accept any presents or favors from two (2) months from the approval of these Rules by
litigants or from lawyers practicing before him. the Supreme Court En Banc, the MCLE Committee
shall be constituted and shall commence the
30. Social relations implementation of the Mandatory Continuing Legal
Education (MCLE) program in accordance with these
It is not necessary to the proper performance of Rules.
judicial duty that judges should live in retirement or
seclusion; it is desirable that, so far as the SEC. 2. Requirements of completion of MCLE. —
reasonable attention to the completion of their work Members of the IBP not exempt under Rule 7 shall
will permit, they continue to mingle in social complete every three (3) years at least thirty-six (36)
intercourse, and that they should not discontinue hours of continuing legal education activities
their interests in or appearance at meetings of approved by the MCLE Committee. Of the 36 hours:
members of the bar. A judge should, however, in
pending or prospective litigation before him be (a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal
scrupulously careful to avoid such action as may ethics equivalent to six (6) credit units.
reasonably tend to waken the suspicion that his
social or business relations or friendships constitute (b) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to trial
an element in determining his judicial course. and pretrial skills equivalent to four (4) credit units.

31. A summary of judicial obligations (c) At least five (5) hours shall be devoted to
alternative dispute resolution equivalent to five (5)
A judge's conduct should be above reproach and in credit units.
the discharge of his judicial duties he should be
conscientious, studious, thorough, courteous, patient, (d) At least nine (9) hours shall be devoted to
punctual, just, impartial, fearless of public clamor, updates on substantive and procedural laws, and
and regardless of private influence should administer jurisprudence equivalent to nine (9) credit units.
justice according to law and should deal with the
patronage of the position as a public trust; and he
should not allow outside matters or his private
(e) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal (b) Where more than four (4) months remain of the
writing and oral advocacy equivalent to four (4) initial compliance period after admission or
credit units. readmission, the member shall be required to
complete a number of hours of approved continuing
(f) At least two (2) hours shall be devoted to legal education activities equal to the number of
international law and international conventions months remaining in the compliance period in which
equivalent to two (2) credit units. the member is admitted or readmitted. Such member
shall be required to complete a number of hours of
(g) The remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to education in legal ethics in proportion to the number
such subjects as may be prescribed by the MCLE of months remaining in the compliance period.
Committee equivalent to six (6) credit units. Fractions of hours shall be rounded up to the next
whole number.
Rule 3. COMPLIANCE PERIOD
Rule 4. COMPUTATION OF CREDIT UNITS(CU)
SECTION 1. Initial compliance period. -- The initial
compliance period shall begin not later than three (3) SECTION 1. Guidelines. - CREDIT UNITS ARE
months from the adoption of these Rules. Except for EQUIVALENT TO CREDIT HOURS. CREDIT UNITS
the initial compliance period for members admitted measure compliance with the MCLE requirement
or readmitted after the establishment of the under the Rules, based on the category of the
program, all compliance periods shall be for thirty-six lawyer’s participation in the MCLE activity. The
(36) months and shall begin the day after the end of following are the guidelines for computing credit
the previous compliance period. units and the supporting documents required
therefor:
SEC. 2. Compliance Groups. -- Members of the IBP
not exempt from the MCLE requirement shall be PROGRAMS/ACTIVITY CREDIT UNITS
divided into three (3) compliance groups, namely: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

(a) Compliance group 1. -- Members in the National 1. SEMINARS, CONVENTIONS, CONFERENCES,


Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila are assigned to SYMPOSIA, IN-HOUSE EDUCATION PROGRAMS,
Compliance Group 1. WORKSHOPS, DIALOGUES, ROUND TABLE
DISCUSSIONS BY APPROVED PROVIDERS UNDER
(b) Compliance group 2. -- Members in Luzon outside RULE 7 AND OTHER RELATED RULES
NCR are assigned to Compliance Group 2.
1.1 PARTICIPANT/ 1 CU PER HOUR
(c) Compliance group 3. -- Members in Visayas and OF CERTIFICATE OF
Mindanao are assigned to Compliance Group 3. ATTENDEE ATTENDANCE
ATTENDANCE WITH
Nevertheless, members may participate in any legal NUMBER OF HOURS
education activity wherever it may be available to
earn credit unit toward compliance with the MCLE 1.2 LECTURER FULL CU FOR
requirement. THE PHOTOCOPY OF
RESOURCE SUBJECT PER
SEC. 3. Compliance period of members admitted or PLAQUE OR
readmitted after establishment of the program. — SPEAKER COMPLIANCE
Members admitted or readmitted to the Bar after the PERIOD SPONSOR’S
establishment of the program shall be assigned to CERTIFICATION
the appropriate Compliance Group based on their 1.3 PANELIST/REACTOR 1/2 OF CU FOR THE
Chapter membership on the date of admission or CERTIFICATION
readmission. COMMENTATOR/ SUBJECT
PER FROM
The initial compliance period after admission or MODERATOR/ COMPLIANCE
readmission shall begin on the first day of the month PERIOD SPONSORING COORDINATOR/
of admission or readmission and shall end on the ORGANIZATION
same day as that of all other members in the same FACILITATOR
Compliance Group.
2. AUTHORSHIP, EDITING AND REVIEW
(a) Where four (4) months or less remain of the initial
compliance period after admission or readmission, 2.1 LAW BOOK OF NOT FULL CU FOR THE
the member is not required to comply with the PUBLISHED BOOK
program requirement for the initial compliance. LESS THAN 100 PAGES SUBJECT PER
COMPLIANCE PERIOD
2.2 BOOK EDITOR 1/2 OF THE CU OF
PUBLISHED BOOK (b) Editing a law book, law journal or legal newsletter.
AUTHORSHIP CATEGORY WITH PROOF AS
EDITOR Rule 6. COMPUTATION OF CREDIT HOURS (CH)
2.3 RESEARCH PAPER 1/2 OF CU FOR THE
DULY SECTION 1. Computation of credit hours. -- Credit
INNOVATIVE PROGRAM/ SUBJECT hours are computed based on actual time spent in an
PER CERTIFIED/ education activity in hours to the nearest one-quarter
CREATIVE PROJECT COMPLIANCE hour reported in decimals.
PERIOD PUBLISHED
TECHNICAL Rule 7. EXEMPTIONS
REPORT/PAPER
2.4 LEGAL ARTICLE OF AT 1/2 OF CU FOR THE SECTION 1. Parties exempted from the MCLE. -- The
PUBLISHED ARTICLE following members of the Bar are exempt from the
LEAST TEN (10) PAGES SUBJECT PER MCLE requirement:

COMPLIANCE PERIOD (a) The President and the Vice President of the
Philippines, and the Secretaries and Undersecretaries
2.5 LEGAL NEWSLETTER/ 1 CU PER ISSUE of Executive Departments;
PUBLISHED
LAW JOURNAL EDITOR (b) Senators and Members of the House of
NEWSLETTER/JOURNAL Representatives;

2.6 PROFESSORIAL CHAIR/ FULL CU FOR THE (c) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the
CERTIFICATION OF Supreme Court, incumbent and retired members of
BAR REVIEW LECTURE SUBJECT PER the judiciary, incumbent members of the Judicial and
LAW DEAN OR Bar Council and incumbent court lawyers covered by
LAW TEACHING/ COMPLIANCE the Philippine Judicial Academy program of
PERIOD BAR REVIEW continuing judicial education;
DIRECTOR
Rule 5. CATEGORIES OF CREDIT UNITS (d) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor
and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of
SECTION 1. Classes of Credit units. -- Credit units are Justice;
either participatory or non-participatory.
(e) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors
SEC. 2. Claim for participatory credit units. -- General;
Participatory credit units may be claimed for:
(f) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and
(a) Attending approved education activities like Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
seminars, conferences, conventions, symposia, in-
house education programs, workshops, dialogues or (g) The Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional
round table discussion. Commissions;

(b) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as assigned (h) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy
panelist, reactor, commentator, resource speaker, Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the
moderator, coordinator or facilitator in approved Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman;
education activities.
(i) Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-
(c) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a bar judicial functions;
review class.
(j) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of
SEC. 3. Claim for non-participatory credit units. — law who have teaching experience for at least ten
Non-participatory credit units may be claimed per (10) years in accredited law schools;
compliance period for:
(k) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of
(a) Preparing, as an author or co-author, written the Corps of Professors and Professorial Lecturers of
materials published or accepted for publication, e.g., the Philippine Judicial Academy; and
in the form of an article, chapter, book, or book
review which contribute to the legal education of the (l) Governors and Mayors.
author member, which were not prepared in the
ordinary course of the member’s practice or
employment.
SEC. 2. Other parties exempted from the MCLE. — (d) Where the activity is more than one (1) hour in
The following Members of the Bar are likewise length, substantive written materials must be
exempt: distributed to all participants. Such materials must be
distributed at or before the time the activity is
(a) Those who are not in law practice, private or offered.
public.
(e) In-house education activities must be scheduled
(b) Those who have retired from law practice with the at a time and location so as to be free from
approval of the IBP Board of Governors. interruption like telephone calls and other
distractions.
SEC. 3. Good cause for exemption from or
modification of requirement —A member may file a Rule 9. ACCREDITATION OF PROVIDERS
verified request setting forth good cause for
exemption (such as physical disability, illness, post SECTION 1. Accreditation of providers. --
graduate study abroad, proven expertise in law, etc.) Accreditation of providers shall be done by the MCLE
from compliance with or modification of any of the Committee.
requirements, including an extension of time for
compliance, in accordance with a procedure to be SEC. 2. Requirements for accreditation of providers.
established by the MCLE Committee. — Any person or group may be accredited as a
provider for a term of two (2) years, which may be
SEC. 4. Change of status. — The compliance period renewed, upon written application. All providers of
shall begin on the first day of the month in which a continuing legal education activities, including in-
member ceases to be exempt under Sections 1, 2, or house providers, are eligible to be accredited
3 of this Rule and shall end on the same day as that providers. Application for accreditation shall:
of all other members in the same Compliance Group.
(a) Be submitted on a form provided by the MCLE
SEC. 5. Proof of exemption. — Applications for Committee;
exemption from or modification of the MCLE
requirement shall be under oath and supported by (b) Contain all information requested in the form;
documents.
(c) Be accompanied by the appropriate approval fee.
Rule 8. STANDARDS FOR APPROVAL OF
EDUCATION ACTIVITIES SEC. 3. Requirements of all providers. -- All approved
accredited providers shall agree to the following:
SECTION 1. Approval of MCLE program. — Subject to
the implementing regulations that may be adopted (a) An official record verifying the attendance at the
by the MCLE Committee, continuing legal education activity shall be maintained by the provider for at
program may be granted approval in either of two (2) least four (4) years after the completion date. The
ways: (1) the provider of the activity is an accredited provider shall include the member on the official
provider and certifies that the activity meets the record of attendance only if the member’s signature
criteria of Section 2 of this Rule; and (2) the provider was obtained at the time of attendance at the
is specifically mandated by law to provide continuing activity. The official record of attendance shall
legal education. contain the member’s name and number in the Roll
of Attorneys and shall identify the time, date,
SEC. 2. Standards for all education activities. — All location, subject matter, and length of the education
continuing legal education activities must meet the activity. A copy of such record shall be furnished the
following standards: MCLE COMMITTEE.

(a) The activity shall have significant current (b) The provider shall certify that:
intellectual or practical content.
(1) This activity has been approved BY THE
(b) The activity shall constitute an organized program MCLE COMMITTEE in the amount of ________ hours of
of learning related to legal subjects and the legal which ______ hours will apply in (legal ethics, etc.), as
profession, including cross profession activities (e.g., appropriate to the content of the activity;
accounting-tax or medical-legal) that enhance legal
skills or the ability to practice law, as well as subjects (2) The activity conforms to the standards for
in legal writing and oral advocacy. approved education activities prescribed by these
Rules and such regulations as may be prescribed by
(c) The activity shall be conducted by a provider with the MCLE COMMITTEE.
adequate professional experience.
(c) The provider shall issue a record or certificate to SEC. 2. Member record keeping requirement. -- Each
all participants identifying the time, date, location, member shall maintain sufficient record of
subject matter and length of the activity. compliance or exemption, copy furnished the MCLE
Committee. The record required to be provided to the
(d) The provider shall allow in-person observation of members by the provider pursuant to Section 3© of
all approved continuing legal education activity by Rule 9 should be a sufficient record of attendance at
THE MCLE COMMITTEE, members of the IBP Board of a participatory activity. A record of non-participatory
Governors, or designees of the Committee and IBP activity shall also be maintained by the member, as
staff Board for purposes of monitoring compliance referred to in Section 3 of Rule 5.
with these Rules.
Rule 12. NON-COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES
(e) The provider shall indicate in promotional
materials, the nature of the activity, the time SECTION 1. What constitutes non-compliance. — The
devoted to each topic and identity of the instructors. following shall constitute non-compliance:
The provider shall make available to each participant
a copy of THE MCLE COMMITTEE-approved Education (a) Failure to complete the education requirement
Activity Evaluation Form. within the compliance period;

(f) The provider shall maintain the completed (b) Failure to provide attestation of compliance or
Education Activity Evaluation Forms for a period of exemption;
not less than one (1) year after the activity, copy
furnished the MCLE COMMITTEE. (c) Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of
compliance (including evidence of exempt status)
(g) Any person or group who conducts an within the prescribed period;
unauthorized activity under this program or issues a
spurious certificate in violation of these Rules shall (d) Failure to satisfy the education requirement and
be subject to appropriate sanctions. furnish evidence of such compliance within sixty (60)
days from receipt of non-compliance notice;
SEC. 4. Renewal of provider accreditation. — The
accreditation of a provider may be renewed every (e) Failure to pay non-compliance fee within the
two (2) years. It may be denied if the provider fails to prescribed period;
comply with any of the requirements of these Rules
or fails to provide satisfactory education activities for (f) Any other act or omission analogous to any of the
the preceding period. foregoing or intended to circumvent or evade
compliance with the MCLE requirements.
SEC. 5. Revocation of provider accreditation. -- the
accreditation of any provider referred to in Rule 9 SEC. 2. Non-compliance notice and 60-day period to
may be revoked by a majority vote of the MCLE attain compliance. -Members failing to comply will
Committee, after notice and hearing and for good receive a Non-Compliance Notice stating the specific
cause. deficiency and will be given sixty (60) days from the
date of notification to file a response clarifying the
Rule 10. FEE FOR APPROVAL OF ACTIVITY AND deficiency or otherwise showing compliance with the
ACCREDITATION OF PROVIDER requirements. Such notice shall contain the following
language near the beginning of the notice in capital
SECTION 1. Payment of fees. — Application for letters:
approval of an education activity or accreditation as
a provider requires payment of the appropriate fee as IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PROOF OF
provided in the Schedule of MCLE Fees. COMPLIANCE WITH THE MCLE REQUIREMENT BY
(INSERT DATE 60 DAYS FROM DATE OF NOTICE), YOU
Rule 11. GENERAL COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES SHALL BE LISTED AS A DELINQUENT MEMBER AND
SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PRACTICE LAW UNTIL
SECTION 1. Compliance card. -- Each member shall SUCH TIME AS ADEQUATE PROOF OF COMPLIANCE IS
secure from the MCLE Committee a Compliance Card RECEIVED BY THE MCLE COMMITTEE.
before the end of his compliance period. He shall
complete the card by attesting under oath that he Members given sixty (60) days to respond to a Non-
has complied with the education requirement or that Compliance Notice may use this period to attain the
he is exempt, specifying the nature of the exemption. adequate number of credit units for compliance.
Such Compliance Card must be returned to the Credit units earned during this period may only be
Committee not later than the day after the end of the counted toward compliance with the prior compliance
member’s compliance period. period requirement unless units in excess of the
requirement are earned, in which case the excess
may be counted toward meeting the current receive such compensation as may be determined by
compliance period requirement. the Court.

Rule 13. CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE SEC. 2. Duty of committee. — The MCLE Committee
shall administer and adopt such implementing rules
SECTION 1. Non-compliance fee. -- A member who, as may be necessary subject to the approval of the
for whatever reason, is in non-compliance at the end Supreme Court. It shall, in consultation with the IBP
of the compliance period shall pay a non-compliance Board of Governors, prescribe a schedule of MCLE
fee. fees with the approval of the Supreme Court.

SEC. 2. Listing as delinquent member. -- A member SEC. 3. Staff of the MCLE Committee. — Subject to
who fails to comply with the requirements after the approval by the Supreme Court, the MCLE Committee
sixty (60) day period for compliance has expired, shall employ such staff as may be necessary to
shall be listed as a delinquent member of the IBP perform the record-keeping, auditing, reporting,
upon the recommendation of the MCLE Committee. approval and other necessary functions.
The investigation of a member for non-compliance
shall be conducted by the IBP’s Commission on Bar SEC. 4. Submission of annual budget. — The MCLE
Discipline as a fact-finding arm of the MCLE Committee shall submit to the Supreme Court for
Committee. approval, an annual budget [for a subsidy] to
establish, operate and maintain the MCLE Program.
SEC. 3. Accrual of membership fee. -- Membership
fees shall continue to accrue at the active rate This resolution shall take effect on the fifteenth of
against a member during the period he/she is listed September 2000, following its publication in two (2)
as a delinquent member. newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.

Rule 14. REINSTATEMENT Adopted this 22nd day of August, 2000, as amended
on 02 October 2001.
SECTION 1. Process. -- The involuntary listing as a
delinquent member shall be terminated when the B.M. No. 2012 February 10, 2009
member provides proof of compliance with the MCLE
requirement, including payment of non-compliance PROPOSED RULE ON MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE
fee. A member may attain the necessary credit units FOR PRACTICING LAWYERS
to meet the requirement for the period of non-
compliance during the period the member is on February 10, 2009
inactive status. These credit units may not be
counted toward meeting the current compliance
period requirement. Credit units earned during the RULE ON MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE
period of non-compliance in excess of the number
needed to satisfy the prior compliance period SECTION 1. Title. - This Rule shall be known as "The
requirement may be counted toward meeting the Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service."
current compliance period requirement.
SECTION 2. Purpose. - This Rule seeks to enhance the
SEC. 2. Termination of delinquent listing is an duty of lawyers to society as agents of social change
administrative process. — The termination of listing and to the courts as officers thereof by helping
as a delinquent member is administrative in nature improve access to justice by the less privileged
AND it shall be made by the MCLE Committee. members of society and expedite the resolution of
cases involving them. Mandatory free legal service
Rule. 15. COMMITTEE ON MANDATORY CONTINUING by members of the bar and their active support
LEGAL EDUCATION thereof will aid the efficient and effective
administration of justice especially in cases involving
SECTION 1. Composition. — The MCLE Committee indigent and pauper litigants.
shall be composed of five (5) members, namely, a
retired Justice of the Supreme Court as Chair, and SECTION 3. Scope. - This Rule shall govern the
four (4) members respectively nominated by the IBP, mandatory requirement for practicing lawyers to
the Philippine Judicial Academy, a law center render free legal aid services in all cases (whether,
designated by the Supreme Court and associations of civil, criminal or administrative) involving indigent
law schools and/or law professors. and pauper litigants where the assistance of a lawyer
is needed. It shall also govern the duty of other
The members of the Committee shall be of proven members of the legal profession to support the legal
probity and integrity. They shall be appointed by the aid program of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
Supreme Court for a term of three (3) years and shall
SECTION 4. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of this (f) National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) is the
Rule: committee of the IBP which is specifically tasked with
handling legal aid cases;
(a) Practicing lawyers are members of the Philippine
Bar who appear for and in behalf of parties in courts (g) Committee on Bar Discipline (CBD) is the
of law and quasi-judicial agencies, including but not committee of the IBP which is specifically tasked with
limited to the National Labor Relations Commission, disciplining members of the Bar;
National Conciliation and Mediation Board,
Department of Labor and Employment Regional (h) IBP Chapters are those chapters of the Integrated
Offices, Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Bar of the Philippines located in the different
Board and National Commission for Indigenous geographical areas of the country as defined in Rule
Peoples. The term "practicing lawyers" shall exclude: 139-A and

(i) Government employees and incumbent elective (i) Clerk of Court is the Clerk of Court of the court
officials not allowed by law to practice; where the practicing lawyer rendered free legal aid
services. In the case of quasi-judicial bodies, it refers
(ii) Lawyers who by law are not allowed to appear in to an officer holding an equivalent or similar position.
court;
The term shall also include an officer holding a
(iii) Supervising lawyers of students enrolled in law similar position in agencies exercising quasi-judicial
student practice in duly accredited legal clinics of law functions, or a responsible officer of an accredited PO
schools and lawyers of non-governmental or NGO, or an accredited mediator who conducted
organizations (NGOs) and peoples’ organizations the court-annexed mediation proceeding.
(POs) like the Free Legal Assistance Group who by the
nature of their work already render free legal aid to SECTION 5. Requirements. -
indigent and pauper litigants and
(a) Every practicing lawyer is required to render a
(iv) Lawyers not covered under subparagraphs (i) to minimum of sixty (60) hours of free legal aid services
(iii) including those who are employed in the private to indigent litigants in a year. Said 60 hours shall be
sector but do not appear for and in behalf of parties spread within a period of twelve (12) months, with a
in courts of law and quasi-judicial agencies. minimum of five (5) hours of free legal aid services
each month. However, where it is necessary for the
(b) Indigent and pauper litigants are those defined practicing lawyer to render legal aid service for more
under Rule 141, Section 19 of the Rules of Court and than five (5) hours in one month, the excess hours
Algura v. The Local Government Unit of the City of may be credited to the said lawyer for the
Naga (G.R. No.150135, 30 October 2006, 506 SCRA succeeding periods.
81);
For this purpose, a practicing lawyer shall coordinate
(c) Legal aid cases are those actions, disputes, and with the Clerk of Court for cases where he may
controversies that are criminal, civil and render free legal aid service. He may also coordinate
administrative in nature in whatever stage wherein with the IBP Legal Aid Chairperson of the IBP Chapter
indigent and pauper litigants need legal to inquire about cases where he may render free
representation; legal aid service. In this connection, the IBP Legal Aid
Chairperson of the IBP Chapter shall regularly and
(d) Free legal aid services refer to appearance in actively coordinate with the Clerk of Court.
court or quasi-judicial body for and in behalf of an
indigent or pauper litigant and the preparation of The practicing lawyer shall report compliance with
pleadings or motions. It shall also cover assistance the requirement within ten (10) days of the last
by a practicing lawyer to indigent or poor litigants in month of each quarter of the year.
court-annexed mediation and in other modes of
alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Services (b) A practicing lawyer shall be required to secure
rendered when a practicing lawyer is appointed and obtain a certificate from the Clerk of Court
counsel de oficio shall also be considered as free attesting to the number of hours spent rendering free
legal aid services and credited as compliance under legal aid services in a case.
this Rule;
The certificate shall contain the following
(e) Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is the information:
official national organization of lawyers in the
country; (i) The case or cases where the legal aid service was
rendered, the party or parties in the said case(s) for
whom the service was rendered, the docket number
of the said case(s) and the date(s) the service was
rendered. (g) Before the end of a particular year, lawyers
covered by the category under Section 4(a)(iii) shall
(ii) The number of hours actually spent attending a secure a certification from the director of the legal
hearing or conducting trial on a particular case in the clinic or of the concerned NGO or PO to the effect
court or quasi-judicial body. that, during that year, they have served as
supervising lawyers in a legal clinic or actively
(iii) The number of hours actually spent attending participated in the NGO’s or PO’s free legal aid
mediation, conciliation or any other mode of ADR on activities. The certification shall be submitted to the
a particular case. IBP Chapter or IBP National Office.

(iv) A motion (except a motion for extension of time (h) Before the end of a particular year, lawyers
to file a pleading or for postponement of hearing or covered by the category under Section 4(a)(iv) shall
conference) or pleading filed on a particular case fill up a form prepared by the NCLA which states that,
shall be considered as one (1) hour of service. during that year, they are neither practicing lawyers
nor covered by Section (4)(a)(i) to (iii). The form shall
The Clerk of Court shall issue the certificate in be sworn to and submitted to the IBP Chapter or IBP
triplicate, one (1) copy to be retained by the National Office together with the payment of an
practicing lawyer, one (1) copy to be retained by the annual contribution of Four Thousand Pesos (P4,000)
Clerk of Court and one (1) copy to be attached to the by way of support for the efforts of practicing lawyers
lawyer's compliance report. who render mandatory free legal aid services. Said
contribution shall accrue to a special fund of the IBP
(c) Said compliance report shall be submitted to the for the support of its legal aid program.
Legal Aid Chairperson of the IBP Chapter within the
court’s jurisdiction. The Legal Aid Chairperson shall (i) Failure to pay the annual contribution shall subject
then be tasked with immediately verifying the the lawyer to a penalty of Two Thousand Pesos
contents of the certificate with the issuing Clerk of (P2,000) for that year which amount shall also accrue
Court by comparing the copy of the certificate to the special fund for the legal aid program of the
attached to the compliance report with the copy IBP.
retained by the Clerk of Court.
SECTION 6. NCLA. -
(d) The IBP Chapter shall, after verification, issue a
compliance certificate to the concerned lawyer. The (a) The NCLA shall coordinate with the various legal
IBP Chapter shall also submit the compliance reports aid committees of the IBP local chapters for the
to the IBP’s NCLA for recording and documentation. proper handling and accounting of legal aid cases
The submission shall be made within forty-five (45) which practicing lawyers can represent.
days after the mandatory submission of compliance
reports by the practicing lawyers. (b) The NCLA shall monitor the activities of the
Chapter of the Legal Aid Office with respect to the
(e) Practicing lawyers shall indicate in all pleadings coordination with Clerks of Court on legal aid cases
filed before the courts or quasi-judicial bodies the and the collation of certificates submitted by
number and date of issue of their certificate of practicing lawyers.
compliance for the immediately preceding
compliance period. Failure to disclose the required (c) The NCLA shall act as the national repository of
information would cause the dismissal of the case records in compliance with this Rule.
and the expunction of the pleadings from the
records. (d) The NCLA shall prepare the following forms:
certificate to be issued by the Clerk of Court and
(f) Before the end of a particular year, lawyers forms mentioned in Section 5(e) and (g).
covered by the category under Section 4(a)(i) and
(ii), shall fill up a form prepared by the NCLA which (e) The NCLA shall hold in trust, manage and utilize
states that, during that year, they are employed with the contributions and penalties that will be paid by
the government or incumbent elective officials not lawyers pursuant to this Rule to effectively carry out
allowed by law to practice or lawyers who by law are the provisions of this Rule. For this purpose, it shall
not allowed to appear in court. annually submit an accounting to the IBP Board of
Governors.
The form shall be sworn to and submitted to the IBP
Chapter or IBP National Office together with the The accounting shall be included by the IBP in its
payment of an annual contribution of Two Thousand report to the Supreme Court in connection with its
Pesos (P2,000). Said contribution shall accrue to a request for the release of the subsidy for its legal aid
special fund of the IBP for the support of its legal aid program.
program.
SECTION 7. Penalties. -
SECTION 8. Credit for Mandatory Continuing Legal
(a) At the end of every calendar year, any practicing Education (MCLE). - A lawyer who renders mandatory
lawyer who fails to meet the minimum prescribed 60 legal aid service for the required number of hours in
hours of legal aid service each year shall be required a year for the three year-period covered by a
by the IBP, through the NCLA, to explain why he was compliance period under the Rules on MCLE shall be
unable to render the minimum prescribed number of credited the following: two (2) credit units for legal
hours. If no explanation has been given or if the ethics, two (2) credit units for trial and pretrial skills,
NCLA finds the explanation unsatisfactory, the NCLA two (2) credit units for alternative dispute resolution,
shall make a report and recommendation to the IBP four (4) credit units for legal writing and oral
Board of Governors that the erring lawyer be advocacy, four (4) credit units for substantive and
declared a member of the IBP who is not in good procedural laws and jurisprudence and six (6) credit
standing. Upon approval of the NCLA’s units for such subjects as may be prescribed by the
recommendation, the IBP Board of Governors shall MCLE Committee under Section 2(9), Rule 2 of the
declare the erring lawyer as a member not in good Rules on MCLE.
standing. Notice thereof shall be furnished the erring
lawyer and the IBP Chapter which submitted the A lawyer who renders mandatory legal aid service for
lawyer’s compliance report or the IBP Chapter where the required number of hours in a year for at least
the lawyer is registered, in case he did not submit a two consecutive years within the three year-period
compliance report. The notice to the lawyer shall covered by a compliance period under the Rules on
include a directive to pay Four Thousand Pesos MCLE shall be credited the following: one (1) credit
(P4,000) penalty which shall accrue to the special unit for legal ethics, one (1) credit unit for trial and
fund for the legal aid program of the IBP. pretrial skills, one (1) credit unit for alternative
dispute resolution, two (2) credit units for legal
(b) The "not in good standing" declaration shall be writing and oral advocacy, two (2) credit units for
effective for a period of three (3) months from the substantive and procedural laws and jurisprudence
receipt of the erring lawyer of the notice from the IBP and three (3) credit units for such subjects as may be
Board of Governors. During the said period, the prescribed by the MCLE Committee under Section
lawyer cannot appear in court or any quasi-judicial 2(g), Rule 2 of the Rules on MCLE.
body as counsel. Provided, however, that the "not in
good standing" status shall subsist even after the SECTION 9. Implementing Rules. - The IBP, through
lapse of the three-month period until and unless the the NCLA, is hereby given authority to recommend
penalty shall have been paid. implementing regulations in determining who are
"practicing lawyers," what constitute "legal aid
(c) Any lawyer who fails to comply with his duties cases" and what administrative procedures and
under this Rule for at least three (3) consecutive financial safeguards which may be necessary and
years shall be the subject of disciplinary proceedings proper in the implementation of this rule may be
to be instituted motu proprio by the CBD. The said prescribed. It shall coordinate with the various legal
proceedings shall afford the erring lawyer due chapters in the crafting of the proposed
process in accordance with the rules of the CBD and implementing regulations and, upon approval by the
Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court. If found IBP Board of Governors, the said implementing
administratively liable, the penalty of suspension in regulations shall be transmitted to the Supreme
the practice of law for one (1) year shall be imposed Court for final approval.
upon him.
SECTION 10. Effectivity. - This Rule and its
(d) Any lawyer who falsifies a certificate or any form implementing rules shall take effect on July 1,2009
required to be submitted under this Rule or any after they have been published in two (2)
contents thereof shall be administratively charged newspapers of general circulation.
with falsification and dishonesty and shall be subject
to disciplinary action by the CBD. This is without
prejudice to the filing of criminal charges against the
lawyer.

(e) The falsification of a certificate or any contents


thereof by any Clerk of Court or by any Chairperson
of the Legal Aid Committee of the IBP local chapter
where the case is pending or by the Director of a
legal clinic or responsible officer of an NGO or PO
shall be a ground for an administrative case against
the said Clerk of Court or Chairperson. This is without
prejudice to the filing of the criminal and
administrative charges against the malfeasor.