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Chapter II: Admission to Practice 2.3.

Executive power in relation to practice  Three professional activities that lawyers engage
A. Judicial Control  The Chief Executive admit a person to the o Legal advice and instructions to clients
practice of law by executive order or treaty with to inform them of their rights and
2.1. Admission to practice a judicial function another country modifying the rules concerning obligations
the admission to the bar. o Preparation for clients of documents
 The power to admit applicants to the practice of  The Treaty on the Validity of Academic Degrees requiring knowledge of legal principles
law is judicial in nature and involves the exercise and the Exercise of Profession between the not possessed by ordinary laymen
of judicial discretion Philippines and Spain may not allow a degree o Appearance for clients before public
 Exercised by the SC (Art. VIII, Sec. 5(5)) holder in Spain to practice law in the Philippines tribunals
 Any legislative or executive judgment without complying with the requirements.  Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the
substituting that of the SC in matters concerning  The Chief Executive in creating military tribunals existence of an attorney-client relationship.
the admission to the practice of law or the has not required that counsel appearing before  Where a lawyer undertakes an activity which
suspension, disbarment or reinstatement of an the commission to be duly licensed. The requires knowledge of law but involves no
attorney infringes upon and constitutes an appearance of two American lawyer is lawful, attorney-client relationship, he cannot be said to
invalid exercise of the legislative or executive because the commission is a special tribunal be engaged in the practice of law.
power governed by a special law.
2.6. Characteristics of term “practice of law”
2.2. Legislative power to repeal, alter or supplement 2.4. Prescribing standards for law schools
 “Practice of law” implies customarily or
 In the 1987 Constitution, the SC retains the  The CHED acts as an agency or in aid of the SC in habitually holding oneself out of the public, as a
primary responsibility for the admission to the the exercise by the latter of its primary authority lawyer, for compensation as a source of
practice of law but it also vests in the high to determine who may be admitted to practice livelihood or in consideration of his service.
tribunal the jurisdiction to promulgate, alter or since that primary authority, by constitutional  Private practice is more than an isolated
repeal rules of procedure, including those mandate, rests and remains exclusively with the appearance for it consists of frequent or
enacted by the legislature. high tribunal. customary actions, a succession of acts of the
 The legislature may enact a law prescribing  Incidental powers of the SC: same kind.
additional qualifications for candidates for o The fixing of minimum standards of  OCA v. Ladaga. A judge prohibited to the private
admission to practice or filling up deficiencies in instruction for all law schools to practice may appear as counsel for his cousin pro
the requirements for admission to the bar. observe bono in a criminal case, as his appearance was
o But such law should not be retroactive o The setting up of the necessary isolated.
o It should not preclude the SC from administrative machinery to determine  People v. Villanueva. The appearance as private
fixing other qualifications or compliance therewith prosecutor in one case of a city attorney who is
requirements for the practice of law o By way of sanction, the refusal to prohibited from practicing law does not
 The legislature may REGULATE the practice of admit to the bar examination law constitute private practice within the prohibition,
law, in the exercise of its police power graduates from any law school failing his appearance being isolated.
 The legislature may enact a law punishing the to meet those standards.  A member of a legislature cannot “appear as
unauthorized practice of law. counsel before any court of justice or Electoral
 It can also require further examination for any B. What Constitutes Practice of Law Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other
attorney desiring to practice law before any administrative bodies” even in a single instance.
quasi-judicial or administrative agency, provided 2.5. Practice of law, generally
that such additional requirement must have a 2.7. Representation before the court
rational connection with the attorney’s fitness or Practice of law embraces any activity, in or out of court,
capacity to practice law before such agency. which requires the application of law, legal principle,  Practice of law is the rendering of services to a
 The law passed by the legislature may not practice or procedure and calls for legal knowledge, person, natural or juridical, in a court of justice
restrict the power of the SC to decide who may training and experience. on any matter pending therein through its
practice law various stages and in accordance with
established rules of procedure.
2.8. Representation before other agencies (1) Citizens of the US who, before July 4, 1946, were
1. He must be admitted to the bar. It involves: duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in
 Includes appearance in the Philippine Patent a. Furnishing satisfactory proof of active practice in the courts of the Philippines
Office in representation of an applicant for educational, moral and other and in good and regular standing as such may,
registration of trademark qualification upon satisfactory proof of these facts before the
 Rendering of professional services in claims b. Passing the bar SC, be allowed to continue such practice after
before the NLRC, BOC, BIR and the c. Taking the lawyer’s oath before the SC taking the oath of office.
representation before a legislative body d. Signing the roll of attorneys and (2) Applicants for admission who, being Filipino
regarding a proposed legislation or ordinance. receiving from the clerk of court of the citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing
 The fact that the service is rendered before a SC a certificate of the license to in the SC of the US or in any circuit court of
quasi-judicial or administrative agency and not practice law. appeals or district court therein, or in the highest
before the court is immaterial. The question is 2. He must remain in good and regular standing, a court of ant State or Territory of the US, and who
whether the service constitutes practice of law continuing requirement which includes: can show by satisfactory certificates that they
because the character of service, and not the a. Remain a member of the IBP have practiced before July 4, 1946, and that they
place where it is performed, is the decisive factor b. Remain to pay all IBP membership have never been suspended or disbarred, may, in
determinative of that question. dues and other law assessments as the discretion of the Court, be admitted without
well as the annual privilege tax examination.
2.9. Activity outside of court c. Faithfully observe the rules of ethics of
the legal profession 2.13. Practice without admission
 Cayetano v. Monsod. A person’s past work d. Be continually subject to judicial
experience as a lawyer-economist, etc. more disciplinary control 1. In municipal trial court/metropolitan trial court,
than satisfy the constitutional requirements for a party may conduct his litigation with the aid of
appointment as Chairman of the COMELEC that Purpose of the requirements: To protect the public, the an agent or friend appointed by him for that
he has been engaged in the practice of law for at court, the client and the bar from incompetence and purpose (no attorney-client privilege extend to
least 10 years and that the practice of law need dishonesty of those who are unfit to become members of this relation)
not be habitual services rendered in litigation in the legal profession 2. In criminal proceedings before a municipal trial
court. court in a locality where no member of the bar is
 Justice Padilla, dissent. Criteria for the practice 2.11. Right and privilege to practice available.
of law 3. A union representative may appear for his
 The practice of law, to a great extent is a organization before the NLRC, LA or arbitrator
1. Habituality – habitually holding oneself out to privilege and to some degree a right 4. An individual to act on behalf of a land claimant
the public as a lawyer. Practice of law consists in  The practice of law is not a natural, property or before a cadastral court
frequent or customary action, a succession of constitutional right but a mere privilege. It is not
acts of the same kind. It is a habitual exercise. a right granted to anyone who demands it but a 2.14. Right of party to represent himself
2. Compensation – A lawyer’s professional services privilege to be extended or withheld in the
are available to the public for compensation, as a exercise of a sound judicial discretion.  An individual litigant in a civil case has the right
source of his livelihood or in consideration of his  But while the practice of law is a privilege, a to conduct his litigation personally.
said services. lawyer cannot be prevented from practicing law  He will be bound by the same rules of procedure
3. Application of law, legal principle, practice or except for valid reasons, the practice of law not and evidence as those applicable to a party
procedure being a matter of state’s grace or favor. appearing through counsel.
4. Attorney-client relationship  While an individual is permitted to appear for
2.12. Practice w/o examination himself, but his representation on his behalf is
C. Who may Practice of Law not considered to be practice of law.
GR: Practice of law is reserved to Filipino citizens who have
2.10. Persons entitled to practice of law, generally passed the required bar examinations GR: A juridical person must always appear in court by a
duly licensed member of the bar
 Two basic requirements for a person to practice XPN: Rules of Court
law: XPN: In the MTC, where it may be represented by its agent
or officer who need not be a lawyer.
7. Under the LGC, all governors, city and municipal  If the unauthorized practice on the part of a
2.15. Practice by corporation mayors are prohibited from practicing their person who assumes to be an attorney causes
profession. damage to a party, the former may likewise be
GR: A corporation cannot engage in the practice of law  A member of the Legislature is not absolutely liable for estafa.
prohibited from personally engaging in the
XPN: It may hire an attorney to attend to and conduct its practice of his profession. He is only prohibited 2.19. Remedies against unauthorized practice
own legal business or affairs. But it cannot practice law from appearing as counsel before any court of
directly or indirectly by employing a lawyer to practice for justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-  Petitions for:
it or to appear for others for its benefit. judicial and other administrative bodies. o Injunction
 A Senator or Congressman cannot file pleadings. o Declaratory relief
Reason: The nature of the privilege and on the confidential  Quando aliquid prohibitur ex directo, prohibitur o Contempt of court
and trust relation between attorney and client. et per obliquum – what is directly prohibited is o Petition for disqualification
prohibited indirectly o Complaints for disbarment
2.16. Persons authorized to represent the government o Administrative complaint against the
GR: Members of the sanggunian may engage in the erring lawyer
 Any official or other person appointed or practice of law o Criminal complaint for estafa.
designated in accordance in law to appear for
the Government of the RP XPN: D. Qualification For Admission

1. Solicitor General (1) They shall not appear as counsel before any 2.20. Generally
2. ASG court in any civil case wherein a local gov’t unit
3. Solicitors and trial lawyers or any office, agency or instrumentality of the  Every applicant for admission to the practice of
4. State prosecutors gov’t is the adverse party. law must be:
5. Special counsel in the DOJ (2) In criminal cases wherein an officer of employee
6. Provincial and city prosecutors and their of the national or local gov’t is accused of an 1. A citizen of the Philippines
assistants offense committed in relation to his office 2. A resident thereof
7. Other attorneys in other legal offices of the (3) They shall not collect any fee for their 3. At least 21 years of age
government appearance in administrative proceedings 4. A person of good moral character
involving the LGU of which he is an official 5. He must also show that no charges against him
2.17. Disability of public officials to practice (4) They shall not use the property and personnel of involving moral turpitude are filed or pending in
the Government except when the sanggunian court
 The (1) appointment or (2) election of an member concerned is defending the interest of 6. Possess the required educational qualifications
attorney to a gov’t office disqualifies him from the gov’t 7. Pass the bar examinations
engaging in the private practice of law.
 Reason: Public office is a public trust  A civil service employee must secure a written 2.21. Citizenship and residence
permit from the head of the department before
Absolute prohibition he could practice law privately.  Denied to foreigners
 Related laws:  Based on public policy
1. Judges and other officials and employees of the o GR: Sec. 7(b)(2) of R.A. 6713  An alien cannot well maintain allegiance to the
courts o XPN:Sec. 90 of LGC RP, which is required in the oath of a lawyer
2. OSG and other gov’t prosecutors
3. President, VP 2.18. Liability for unauthorized practice 2.22. Good moral character
4. Members of the cabinet and their deputies and
assistants  Rule 71. A disbarred or suspended lawyer who  Continued possession of good moral character
5. Members of constitutional commissions continues to practice of law is liable for contempt after admission is a requirement for enjoyment
6. Civil service officers or employees whose duties of court, punishable by fine or imprisonment or of the privilege to practice
and responsibilities require that their entire time both at the discretion of the court.  Examples of not good moral character
be at the disposal of the gov’t
1. Forging certificate of good moral character o Criminal – 10% courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing
2. Impersonated another for his school records o Remedial – 20% as such may, upon satisfactory proof of those facts before
3. Charged or convicted of a crime involving moral o Legal ethics and practice exercises – 5% the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice
turpitude after taking the following oath of office:
4. Lived an adulterous life E. Procedure for Admission
5. Contracted a second marriage during the I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., having been permitted to
existence of the first 2.25. Bar Exam Committee continue in the practice of law in the Philippines, do
6. Involvement in a bar examination anomaly solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of
 SC acts through a bar exam committee which is the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its
2.23. Educational qualifications composed of: Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders
o Member of SC as chair of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no
 An applicant must have pursued and o 8 members of the bar who serve as falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will
satisfactorily completed in an authorized and examiners in the 8 subjects not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless,
recognized university, college or school o Bar confidant – liaison officer between false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the
o A 4-year high school course chairman and members. Deputy clerk same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will
o A course of study prescribed for a of court at the same time. His function conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of may
bachelor’s degree is purely ministerial. knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well as
o A 4-year degree in law with completed to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself
courses in in: 2.26. Application and supporting documents this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or
 Civil law purpose of evasion. So help me God.
 Commercial law Rule 138, Sec. 7. All applicants for admission shall file with
 Remedial law the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required by Sec. 4. Requirements for applicants from other
 Criminal law Sec. 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the jurisdictions— Applicants for admission who, being Filipino
 Public and private beginning of the examination. If not embraced within Sec. citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the
international law 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within the same Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court
 Political law period the affidavit and certificate required by Sec. 5, and of appeals or district court therein, or in the highest court
 Labor and social legislation if embraced within Sec.s 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license of any State or Territory of the United States, and who can
 Medical jurisprudence evidencing the fact of their admission to practice, show by satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at
 Taxation satisfactory evidence that the same has not been revoked, least five years in any of said courts, that such practice
 Legal ethics and certificates as to their professional standing. began before July 4, 1946, and that they have never been
Applicants shall also file at the same time their own suspended or disbarred, may, in the discretion of the
2.24. Bar Exam affidavits as to their age, residence, and citizenship. Court, be admitted without examination.

Rule 138, Sec. 5. All applicants for admission other than Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to
Purpose: The bar exam is designed to eliminate any one those referred to in the two preceding Sec. shall, before the bar — Every applicant for admission as a member of
whose general intelligence, learning and mental capacity being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least
are inadequate to enable him to assume and discharge the they have regularly studied law for four years, and twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and
duties of an attorney. successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the
school or university, officially approved and recognized by Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral
 General average of 75%, without failing below the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the candidate, character, and that no charges against him, involving moral
50% in any subject is the passing grade. The SC accompanied by a certificate from the university or school turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in
may reduce the passing rate of law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and further the Philippines.
 Weights: evidence may be required by the court.
o Poli and international law – 15% 2.27. Disclosure of involvement in any criminal case
o Labor – 10% Sec. 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the
o Civil – 15% United States of America — Citizens of the United States  Concealment or withholding from the court of
o Commercial – 15% of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed the fact that an applicant has been charged with
o Tax – 10% members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the or indicted for an alleged crime is a ground for
(1) disqualification of the applicant to take the Sec. 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and
bar exam, or (2) revocation of license to practice in writing — Persons taking the examination shall not Sec. 17. Admission and oath of successful applicants —
 If what the applicant concealed is a crime which bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. An applicant who has passed the required examination, or
does not involve moral turpitude, it is the fact of The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to
concealment not the commission of the crime copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each the bar, shall take and subscribe before the Supreme Court
itself that makes him morally unfit to become a examinee. Examinees shall answer the questions the corresponding oath of office.
lawyer. personally without help from anyone.
 The oath is a prerequisite to the admission to
2.28. Burden of Proof to show qualifications Upon verified application made by an examinee stating practice law and may only be taken before the SC
that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to by a person authorized by the high tribunal to
 After having presented prima facie evidence of read his answers without much loss of time., the Supreme engage in the practice of law.
his qualifications, such as three testimonials of Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in  Tan v. Sabandal. The court may dent the
his good moral character from members of the answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall applicant’s petition to take the lawyer’s oath for
bar as far as that qualification is concerned, it is be allowed to be used. grave misconduct.
incumbent upon the objecting party to show  Barba v. Pedro. Taking of oath may be deferred if
contrary evidence to overcome the prima facie The committee of bar examiner shall take such precautions there is a pending complaint against him.
presumption. as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers or
 The lawyer’s name may not be stricken off from commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place 2.33. Issuance of certificates
the roll of attorneys by reason of alienage, non- their names on the examination papers. No oral
completion of the prescribed course of study or examination shall be given. Sec. 18. Certificate — The Supreme Court shall thereupon
bad moral character in the absence of clearly admit the applicant as a member of the bar for all the
preponderant evidence that he did not, in fact, Sec. 13. Disciplinary measures — No candidate shall courts of the Philippines, and shall direct an order to be
possess the necessary qualifications at the time endeavor to influence any member of the committee, and entered to that effect upon its records, and that a
of his admission. during examination the candidates shall not communicate certificate of such record be given to him by the clerk of
with each other nor shall they give or receive any court, which certificate shall be his authority to practice.
2.29. Written Examinations assistance. The candidate who violates this provisions, or
any other provision of this rule, shall be barred from the Sec. 19. Attorney's roll — The clerk of the Supreme Court
 Held in Manila for 4 days designated by the examination, and the same to count as a failure against shall kept a roll of all attorneys admitted to practice, which
chairman of the committee on bar exams. him, and further disciplinary action, including permanent roll shall be signed by the person admitted when he
disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the receives his certificate.
Sec. 9. Examination; subjects — Applicants, not otherwise court.
provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this rule, shall be The roll is the official record containing the names and
subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil 2.31. Correction and re-evaluation of grades signatures of those who are authorized to practice law.
Law; Labor and Social Legislation; Mercantile Law; Criminal
Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, Sec. 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination  A lawyer is not authorized to use a name other
and Public Officers); International Law (Private and Public); papers — Not later than February 15th after the than the one inscribed in the roll.
Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable,
Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical the committee shall file its report on the result of such 2.34. Payment of IBP dues and privilege tax
Exercises (in Pleadings and Conveyancing). examination. The examination papers and notes of the
committee shall be filed with the clerk and may there be  Compulsory with the obligation to support it
 Upon verified application made by an examinee examined by the parties in interest, after the court has financially
stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will approved the report.
be difficult to read his answers without much Sec. 9. Membership dues — Every member of the
loss of time, the court may allow such examinee  Any request for reevaluation of the answers and Integrated Bar shall pay such annual dues as the Board of
to use a noiseless typewriter the grades given should be made by the Governors shall determine with the approval of the
examinee and the same should be addressed to Supreme Court. A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent
2.30. Restrictions to insure integrity in examination the court, which alone can validly act thereon. (10%) of the collection from each Chapter shall be set
aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the
2.32. Administration of oath
Chapter and the compulsory heirs of deceased members

Sec. 12. Grievance procedures — The Board of Governors

shall provide in the By-Laws for grievance procedures for
the enforcement and maintenance of discipline among all
the members of the Integrated Bar, but no action involving
the suspension or disbarment of a member or the removal
of his name from the Roll of Attorneys shall be effective
without the final approval of the Supreme Court.