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1. Maglasang vs People GR No.

90083

Facts:

A petition for certiorari entitled Maglasang vs. People was filed with the Court. Due to non-compliance
with the requirements of the Court, specifically the non- payment legal fees and the non-attachment of
the copies of the questioned decision, the Court dismissed the petition. Atty. Castellano, as counsel of
the petitioner, moved for a reconsideration of the resolution dismissing the petition. However, the
motion for reconsideration was denied "with FINALITY." 4

Thereafter, the Court received from Atty. Castellano a copy of a complaint filed with the Office of the
President whereby Maglasang, through his lawyer, Atty. Castellano, as complainant, accused all the five
Justices of the Court's Second Division with "biases and/or ignorance of the law or knowingly rendering
unjust judgments or resolution. By reason of the strong language of the complaint and its improper filing
with the Office of the President, Atty. Castellano was required to show cause why he should not be
punished for contempt or administratively dealt with for improper conduct.

Atty. Castellano claimed that the complaint "was a constructive criticism intended to correct in good
faith the erroneous and very strict practices of the Justices concerned, as Respondents.

Issue: Whether Atty. Castellano should be punished for contempt

Held:

Yes, notwithstanding his claim that the complaint was a "constructive criticism," the Court finds the
various statements made by Atty. Castellano in the complaint scurrilous and contumacious. It went
beyond the bounds of "constructive criticism." They are not relevant to the cause of his client. On the
contrary, they cast aspersion on the Court's integrity as a neutral and final arbiter of all justiciable
controversies brought before it. Atty. Castellano should know that the Court in resolving complaints
yields only to the records before it and not to any extraneous influence as he disparagingly intimates.

To be sure, the Court does not pretend to be immune from criticisms. After all, it is composed of fallible
mortals, hopes to correct whatever mistake it may have unwittingly committed. But then again, it is the
cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide and shall not spill over the walls of
decency and propriety. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross violation of the duty of respect to
courts.

2. Lantoria vs Atty. Bunyi AM No. 1769

Facts:

This is an administrative complaint filed by Cesar L. Lantoria, seeking disciplinary action against
respondent Irineo L. Bunyi on the ground that he allegedly committed acts of unbecoming of a member
of the Bar and corruption of the judge and bribery in connection with respondent's handling of Civil Case
pending before the Municipal Court of Experanza, Agusan del Sur, presided over by Judge Galicia.

Atty. Bunyi won the civil case because he was the one who unethically prepared the decisions rendered
therein, and that the preparation by respondent of said decisions warranted disciplinary action against
him. Respondent contends that it was due to the insistence of the Complainant thru his several letters
received, that the decisions in question be drafted or prepared for Judge Galicia, who considered such
preparation as a big help to him, because he was at that time holding two (2) with many pending cases
and it was to the benefit of the Complainant that the early disposition of the cases involved would not
suffer inconsiderable delay and the decisions as prepared were in the form of drafts, as in fact, the
letter mentioned subject to suggestion or correction to change or modify for the better by Judge Galicia.

Issue: Whether Atty. Bunyi violated Canon 13 of the Code of Professional Responsibility

Held:

Yes, respondent clearly violated Canon 13 which provides “A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his
cause and refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the appearance of influencing
the court”. Respondent had previous communication with Judge Galicia regarding the preparation of the
draft decisions in the Civil Case which he in fact prepared. Although nothing in the records would show
that respondent got the trial court judge's consent to the said preparation for a favor or consideration,
the acts of respondent nevertheless amount to conduct unbecoming of a lawyer and an officer of the
Court.

3. Madria vs Atty. Rivera

Facts:

Complainant consulted the respondent in his law office to inquire about the process of annulling her
marriage with her husband. After giving the details of her marriage and other facts relevant to the
annulment, the respondent told her that she had a strong case, and guaranteed that he could obtain for
her the decree of annulment. In April 2003, the respondent informed the complainant that her petition
had been granted signed by Judge Lyliha Abella Aquino of the RTC in Tuguegarao City.

Believing that the documents were authentic, the complainant used the purported decision and
certificate of finality in applying for the renewal of her passport. However, she became the object of an
investigation by the NBI because her former partner filed a complaint charging that she had fabricated
the decision for the annulment of her marriage. Only then did she learn that the decision and the
certificate of finality given by the respondent did not exist in the court records and the signature of the
judge is a forgery.

In his answer, respondent averred that she had insisted that he should prepare the draft of her petition
that she could show to her foreigner fiance; that she had also prevailed upon him to simulate the court
decision to the effect that her marriage had been annulled, and to fabricate the certificate of finality;
that she had assured him that such simulated documents would be kept strictly confidential.
Issue: Whether Atty Rivera should be disbarred in the practice of law.

Held:

Yes, The respondent acknowledged authorship of the petition for annulment of marriage, and of the
simulation of the decision and certificate of finality. His explanation of having done so only upon the
complainant's persistent prodding did not exculpate him from responsibility. For one, the explanation is
unacceptable, if not altogether empty. Simulating or participating in the simulation of a court decision
and a certificate of finality of the same decision is an outright criminal falsification or forgery. One need
not be a lawyer to know so, but it was worse in the respondent's case because he was a lawyer. Thus,
his acts were legally intolerable. Specifically, his deliberate falsification of the court decision and the
certificate of finality of the decision reflected a high degree of moral turpitude on his part, and made a
mockery of the administration of justice in this country. He thereby became unworthy of continuing as a
member of the Bar.

A lawyer who causes the simulation of court documents not only violates the court and its processes,
but also betrays the trust and confidence reposed in him by his client and must be disbarred to maintain
the integrity of the Law Profession.

4. Gimena vs Atty Sabio AC 7178

Facts:

Complaint for Disbarment was filed by Vicente M. Gimena against Atty. Salvador T. Sabio for gross
negligence in handling their case. Complainant laments that his company, Simon Peter Equipment and
Construction Systems, Inc. lost in the case because respondent filed an unsigned position paper and
ignored the order of the labor arbiter directing him to sign the pleading. Aware of the unfavorable
decision, respondent did not even bother to inform complainant of the same. The adverse decision
became fomal and executory, robbing complainant of a chance to file a timely appeal.

Respondent countered that complainant engaged his services in 2000. Complainant, however, did not
pay the expenses and attorney's fees for the preparation and filing of the position paper in the amount
of P20,000.00. The lack of payment contributed to respondent's oversight in the filing of the unsigned
position paper. When the case was referred to the IBP, respondent raised for the first time the issue of
lack of attorney-client relationship. He pointed out that he and complainant had never met each other
and that there was no formal engagement of his services.

Issue: Whether there was attorney-client relationship between respondent and the company in this case

Held:

Yes, The contention of respondent that there was no attorney-client relationship between him and the
company is, at best, flimsy. It is improper for him to capitalize on the fact that no formal contract for
legal retainer was signed by the parties, for formality is not an essential element in the employment of
an attorney. The contract may be express or implied and it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of
the attorney is sought and received, in matters pertinent to his profession. An attorney impliedly
accepts the relation when he acts on behalf of his client in pursuance of the request made by the latter.

Respondent acted on behalf of the company and the complainant in relation to the case. Albeit
unsigned, he allowed his name to appear as "counsel for respondent" in the position paper that he filed
before the labor arbiter. He never called the attention of the labor court that he was not the counsel of
the company. More importantly, he admitted in his Comment that the complainant engaged his legal
services. Respondent cannot plead the same then later on deny it before the IBP to save him from his
omissions. Estoppel works against him.

5. Arthur Tulio vs. Atty. Gregory Buhangin, AC 7110

Facts:

Tulio sought the legal advice of Atty. Buhangin concerning a property owned by his mother which was
then transferred in the names of third parties.

By virtue of Tulio's agreement with his siblings, Atty. Buhangin prepared and notarized a Deed of Waiver
of Rights which was signed by all of his siblings in his favor. Thereafter, Tulio engaged the services of
Atty. Buhangin to represent him in filing a civil case for specific performance and damages against Heirs
of Patacsil, before the RTC of Baguio City. Through his efforts, Tulio claims that he and the defendants in
the Civil Case agreed to a settlement.

However, to Tulio's surprise, Atty. Buhangin represented his siblings and filed a complaint against him
over legal matters for rescission of the deed of waiver of rights which he himself prepared and
notarized. Thereafter, Tulio filed a complaint disbarment against Atty. Buhangin. He alleged that there
was conflict of interest in order to serve his own personal interests against his interests as his client. In
his defense, Atty Buhangin asserted that his legal representation was neither personal nor directed in
favor of complainant Tulio alone but instead in the latter's capacity as an heir of Angeline Tulio. Atty.
Buhangin disputed Tulio's claim that the latter personally engaged his services as legal counsel and
insisted that his legal representation was made for and in behalf of the heirs of Angeline Tulio.

Issue: WON Attorney client relationship exist between Atty. Buhangin and Tulio.

Held:

Yes, Atty. Buhangin's allegation that he represents for and in behalf of the Heirs of Angeline Tulio and
not personal or exclusive to complainant cannot be given any credence. First, Atty. Buhangin himself
admitted that he was withdrawing his appearance in the Civil case against Tulio due to conflict of
interest. Secondly, it cannot be denied that there was an exclusive attorney-client relationship between
Tulio and Atty. Buhangin as evidenced by the demand letters which Atty. Buhangin prepared specifically
as counsel of Tulio. Thirdly, as correctly observed by the IBP, other than his bare assertion that he was
representing the estate and the Heirs of Angeline Tulio, Atty. Buhangin failed to satisfactorily show any
circumstance that he was actually representing the Heirs of Angeline Tulio and not solely for Tulio.
There is no question that Atty. Buhangin took an inconsistent position when he filed Civil Case against
Tulio whom he has defended and protected as client in the past. Even if the inconsistency is remote or
merely probable or even if he has acted in good faith and with no intention to represent conflicting
interests, it is still in violation of the rule of conflict of interest.

6. Paces Industrial Corp vs Atty. Salandanan

Facts:

Salandanan became a stockholder of Paces, and later became its officer, then its counsel. As lawyer for
Paces, he appeared for it in several cases, however, in one case Salandanan failed to file the file an
answer. As a result, an order of default was issued against Paces. Subsequently, a decision was rendered
against Paces which later became final and executory.

Thereafter, E.E. Black Ltd., through its counsel, sent a letter to Paces regarding the latter's outstanding
obligation to it. In the negotiations that transpired thereafter, Salandanan was the one who represented
Paces. He was likewise entrusted with the documents relative to the agreement between Paces and E.E.
Black Ltd. Meanwhile, disagreements on various management policies ensued among the stockholders
and officers in the corporation. Eventually, Salandanan and his group were forced to sell out their
shareholdings in the company.

After said sell-out, Salandanan started handling the case between E.E. Black Ltd. and Paces, but now,
representing E.E. Black Ltd. Salandanan then filed a complaint with application for preliminary
attachment against Paces for the collection of its obligation to E.E. Black Ltd.

Thus, Paces filed a complaint against Salandanan. It argued that when he acted as counsel for E.E. Black
Ltd., he represented conflicting interests and utilized all the information he had acquired as its
stockholder, officer, and lawyer. On the other hand, Salandanan claimed that he was never employed
nor paid as a counsel by Paces. There was no client-lawyer contract between them. He added that
whatever knowledge or information he had obtained on the operation of Paces only took place in the
regular, routinary course of business as him being an investor, stockholder, and officer, but never as a
lawyer of the company.

Issue: WON there is conflict of interest between Atty Salandanan and Paces.

Held:

Yes, Conflict of interest exists when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing
parties. The test is whether or not in behalf of one client, it is the lawyer's duty to fight for an issue or
claim, but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. In short, if he argues for one client, this
argument will be opposed by him when he argues for the other client. This rule covers not only cases in
which confidential communications have been confided, but also those in which no confidence has been
bestowed or will be used. Also, there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new retainer will
require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect his first client in any matter in which
he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first
client any knowledge acquired through their connection. Another test of the inconsistency of interests is
whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of
undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the
performance of said duty. The prohibition is founded on the principles of public policy and good taste.

Here, contrary to Salandanan's futile defense, he sufficiently represented or intervened for Paces in its
negotiations for the payment of its obligation to E.E. Black Ltd. The letters he sent to the counsel of E.E.
Black Ltd. identified him as the Treasurer of Paces. It is clear, therefore, that his duty had been to fight a
cause for Paces, but it later became his duty to oppose the same for E.E. Black Ltd. His defense for Paces
was eventually opposed by him when he argued for E.E. Black Ltd. Thus, Salandanan had indisputably
obtained knowledge of matters affecting the rights and obligations of Paces which had been placed in
him in unrestricted confidence.

7. Abragan vs Rodriguez
AC No. 4346

Facts:

Sometime in 1986, complainants hired the services of the respondent to represent in acase for
Forcible Entry with Petition for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Damages beforethe MTCC of
Cagayan de Oro City. The case was won by the complainants. After the case wasfinally won, and a
Writ of Execution was issued by the Honorable Municipal Trial Court inCities of Cagayan de Oro
City, Branch 3, the same respondent lawyer represented the petitioners.But when respondent
counsel disturbed the association (Cagayan de Oro Landless ResidentsAssociation, Inc.), to
which all the complainants belong, by surreptitiously selling some rights toother persons without
the consent of the petitioners herein, they decided to sever their client-lawyer relationship.On
August 1991, complainants filed a case of indirect contempt against Sheriff FernandoLoncion et al.
Much to their surprise, respondent represented the sheriff. Since the counselem ploy ed
by the com plainants was a form er student o f respondent, said co unsel, by
the suggestions of respondent withdrew the case without the petitioner’s consent. That as a result
ofsuch withdrawal, subsequent events occurred that damage and prejudice of the herein petitioners

Issue: WON violated Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional responsibility

Held:

Yes, respondent clearly violated Rule 15.03 of Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
provides that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all
concerned given after full disclosure of the facts.

As a rule A lawyer represents conflicting interests when, in behalf of one client, it is his duty to contend
for that which duty to another client requires him to oppose.
The obligation to represent the client with undivided fidelity and not to divulge his secrets or confidence
forbids also the subsequent acceptance of retainers or employment from others in matters adversely
affecting any interest of the client with respect to which confidence has been reposed

In the case at bar, petitioners were the same complainants in the indirect contempt case and in the
Complaint for forcible entry in Civil Case No. 11204.[10] Respondent should have evaluated the situation
first before agreeing to be counsel for the defendants in the indirect contempt proceedings. Attorneys
owe undivided allegiance to their clients, and should at all times weigh their actions, especially in their
dealings with the latter and the public at large. They must conduct themselves beyond reproach at all
times.

8. Pormento Sr. vs Atty. Pontevedra

Facts:

Complainant alleges that respondent is his familys legal counsel having represented him and
members of his family in all legal proceedings in which they are involved. The rift between complainant
and respondent began when complainants counterclaim in Civil Case filed with the RTC of Bacolod was
dismissed. Complainant claims that respondent, who was his lawyer in the said case, deliberately failed
to inform him of the dismissal of his counterclaim despite receipt of the order of dismissal by the trial
court, as a result of which, complainant was deprived of his right to appeal said order.
Complainant also claims that in order to further protect his rights and interests over the said parcel
of land, he was forced to initiate a criminal case for qualified theft against the relatives of the alleged
new owner of the said land. Respondent is the counsel of the accused in said case. Complainant claims
that as part of his defense in said criminal case, respondent utilized pieces of confidential information he
obtained from complainant while the latter is still his client.
In a separate incident, complainant claims that he bought a parcel of land located at Escalante,
Negros Occidental. The Deed was prepared and notarized by respondent. Since there was another
person who claims ownership of the property, complainant alleges that he heeded respondents advice
to build a small house on the property and to allow his nephew and his family to occupy the house in
order for complainant to establish his possession of the said property. Subsequently, complainants
nephew refused to vacate the property prompting the former to file an ejectment case with the MTC of
Escalante, Negros Occidental. Respondent acted as the counsel of complainants nephew.
In his defense, respondent argues that he honestly believes that there exists no conflict between his
present and former clients interests as the cases he handled for these clients are separate and distinct
from each other.
Issue: Whether conflict of interest exist in this case.
Held:
Yes, as a rule, A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all
concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.
Jurisprudence instructs that there is a representation of conflicting interests if the acceptance of the
new retainer will require the attorney to do anything which will injuriously affect his first client in any
matter in which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation, to use
against his first client any knowledge acquired through their connection.
A lawyer is forbidden from representing a subsequent client against a former client when the subject
matter of the present controversy is related, directly or indirectly, to the subject matter of the previous
litigation in which he appeared for the former client. Conversely, he may properly act as counsel for a
new client, with full disclosure to the latter, against a former client in a matter wholly unrelated to that
of the previous employment, there being in that instance no conflict of interests. Where, however, the
subject matter of the present suit between the lawyers new client and his former client is in some way
connected with that of the former clients action, the lawyer may have to contend for his new client that
which he previously opposed as counsel for the former client or to use against the latter information
confided to him as his counsel
The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of attorney and client, which is one of trust and
confidence of the highest degree. A lawyer becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his clients
case. He learns from his client the weak points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such knowledge
must be considered sacred and guarded with care. No opportunity must be given him to take advantage
of the clients secrets. A lawyer must have the fullest confidence of his client. For if the confidence is
abused, the profession will suffer by the loss thereof.
Here, we find no conflict of interests when respondent represented herein complainants nephew and
other members of his family in the ejectment case and in the criminal complaint filed by herein
complainant against them. The only established participation respondent had with respect to the
parcel of land purchased by complainant, is that he was the one who notarized the deed of sale of the
said land. On that basis alone, it does not necessarily follow that respondent obtained any
information from herein complainant that can be used to the detriment of the latter in the ejectment
case he filed.
However, we find conflict of interests in respondents representation of herein complainant in
Civil Case No. 1648 and his subsequent employment as counsel of the accused in Criminal Case for
theft.
The subject matter in Civil Case No. 1648 is Lot 609 located at Escalante, Negros Occidental, the
same parcel of land involved in Criminal Case No. 3159 filed by herein complainant against several
persons, accusing them of theft for allegedly cutting and stealing coconut trees within the premises of
the said lot. Complainant contends that it is in this criminal case that respondent used confidential
information which the latter obtained from the former in Civil Case No. 1648.
It cannot be denied that when respondent was the counsel of complainant in Civil Case No. 1648, he
became privy to the documents and information that complainant possessed with respect to the said
parcel of land. Hence, whatever may be said as to whether or not respondent utilized against
complainant any information given to him in a professional capacity, the mere fact of their previous
relationship should have precluded him from appearing as counsel for the opposing side