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Legal Ethics Cases

Canons 7 - 11

Canon 7 CASE 49: Zeta v Malinao

Campugan v Tolentino FACTS:
1. Tolentino et. al allegedly had a conspiracy 1. Respondent is a court interpreter. He
to reach an amicable settlement regarding a appeared in different courts representing
case or land dispute. people as a counsel.
2. The court does not consider the conduct as 2. Respondent claims that he is doing it for
a ground for disbarment given the lawyer’s free for people in his area who cannot
duty to encourage fair settlement. afford a lawyer.
3. Complainant argued that it violates the CPR
ISSUE: Is respondent guilty of doing illegal practice of
ISSUE: are respondents liable for violating the CPR? law?

No. Respondents did not debase the dignity of the HELD: Yes. Appearing as counsel without being a
legal profession. Upon evaluation that the RTC order member of the Bar constitutes illegal practice of law.
and the registration documents are lawful, they have He was dismissed as court interpreter with prejudice
the ministerial duty to perform – ministerial being a to any position in the judicial branch.
duty performed given a state of facts without regard
to his discretion or judgment. CASE 50: Tan v Balajadia
1. Respondent is not a lawyer but his pleading
Canon 8 in a crim case had the phrase “a practicing
CASE 47: Que v Revilla 2. In his answer, he explained that is was a
FACTS: mistake made by Atty. Aquino’s secretary.
1. Revilla filed different motions for The secretary confirmed this claim.
reconsideration to delay the execution of
an order against his marginalized clients. ISSUE: Did respondent commit illegal practice of
2. He argued that his deceased colleague law?
conspired with complainants in order to HELD:
deprive his clients of their land. No. Intent is a necessary element to
ISSUE: determine criminal liability of one who committed
Is respondent liable for violating the CPR? illegal practice of law. Complainant failed to prove
HELD: any intent to practice law on the part of the
Yes. He imputed wrong doing to another respondent.
lawyer without factual basis and who is now dead,
unable to defend himself. He also violated Canon 10
by using procedural rules to obstruct the speedy CASE 51: Lijauco v Terrado
administration of justice. FACTS:
1. Respondent received P70,000 acceptance
Canon 9 fee from his client.
(Illegal practice of law) 2. Respondent failed to process the other case
and claims that the money was only for the
CASE 48: People v Maceda case to claim P180,000 from the bank.
FACTS: 3. He further claimed that the fee was set at
1. TAtty. Javellana was ordered to be detained P70,000 because it will be divided as a
following the filing of a criminal case. referral fee.
2. Despite detention, Javellana continued to ISSUE: Did respondent violate Canon 9?
practice law. HELD:
ISSUE: Yes. Respondent violated Rule 9.02 which
Is a detained prisoner allowed to practice provides that lawyers shall not divide a fee for legal
law? services with persons not licensed to practice law.
HELD: He was suspended from practice for 6 months.
No. All prisoners either under preventive
detention or serving final sentence cannot practice CASE 52: Plus Builders v Revilla -
their profession or hold office while in detention. His FACTS:
arrest after indictment deemed him placed under 1. Respondent holds to be a partner in a law
the custody of law. partner with persons not licensed to
practice law.
2. Respondent did not answer the accusation
despite being given chance to do so.

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Legal Ethics Cases
Canons 7 - 11

ISSUE: Did respondent violate canon 9?

HELD: Canon 11
Yes. A lawyer shall not delegate to any *Rep v Sereno
unqualified person any task which by law may only FACTS:
be performed by a member of the Bar. 1. Former Chief Justice Sereno made
emotional statements about her quo
warranto case.
Canon 10 2. She attacked the impartiality of the Court
and claims that there is dictatorship of the
CASE 53: Maligaya v Donorilla government.
FACTS: 3. Respondent claims that her statements did
1. Respondent said during trial that not cause a clear and present danger to the
complainant had agreed to withdraw his administration of justice.
lawsuit in another case. ISSUE:
2. Respondent later admitted that there was Is she guilty of violating the CPR?
really no such agreement HELD:
Yes. A lawyer shall maintain respect due to
ISSUE: Did respondent violate Rule 10.1? the courts and the judicial officers. Her statements
HELD: attacked the integrity of the Court and tried to
Yes. Rule 10.01 provides that a lawyer shall influence the public’s opinion. She violated the sub
not do any falsehood nor consent to the doing of any judice rule which restricts comments pertaining to
in court, mislead the court, or allow the court to be pending judicial proceedings. A citizen’s action
misled. To foster peace among disputants should not cannot be judged with the same standard as that of
involve falsehood. a member of the Bar and Bench.

CASE 54: Sebastian v Bajar

FACTS: CASE 56: Barandon v Ferrer
1. Respondent committed forum shopping to FACTS:
pursue his client’s cause as a DAR officer. 1. Respondent was drunk during trial and said
2. Respondent refused to comply with the offensive statements.
court’s orders despite the warnings. 2. Respondent said that the counsel of the
other party should just go back to Ilocos Sur
ISSUE: Did respondent violate canon 10? because he is not originally from Ilocos
HELD: Norte.
Yes. Respondent’s act of filing cases with 3. Witnesses of this outburst include other
identical issues in other venues despite having final counsels, witnesses, and litigants.
orders affirmed by the CA and the SC is beyond the
bounds of law. It is evident in the records that ISSUE: Is respondent guilty of violating canon 11?
respondent filed the cases to thwart the execution HELD:
of a final judgment. Yes. A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous
or offensive language or behavior before the courts.
CASE 55: Perea v Almadro This language is unbecoming of a member of the
FACTS: legal profession.
1. Lawyer respondent, in a disbarment case, Lawyers should use dignified language in
claimed that he did not received the letter their pleadings despite the adversarial nature of the
of complaint. legal system.
2. Sufficient evidence proved that they
actually received the letter of complaint
and that the respondent’s claim is false. CASE 57: Ng v Alar
ISSUE: Is respondent administratively liable? 1. Respondent insulted the NLRC attacking
both its moral and intellectual integrity.
HELD: 2. He accused NLRC of partiality and
Yes. Rule 10.01 provides that a lawyer shall impropriety.
not do any falsehood. He was punished with a fine of 3. Respondent argues that he should not be
P2,000 with a stern warning to avoid doing it again. liable for the insults against NLRC since
NLRC is not a judicial body. Hence he did
not disrespect the court.

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Legal Ethics Cases
Canons 7 - 11

ISSUE: CASE 61: In re: Atty. Almacen

Is respondent guilty of violating Canon 11? FACTS:
HELD: 1. After having his motion for reconsideration
Yes. Although the NLRC is not part of the dismissed by the CA, respondent filed a
judiciary, the respondent is a member of the Bar certiorari review before the SC.
whose first duty is not to his client but to the 2. Upon dismissal of petition by a resolution,
administration of justice. respondent made intemperate remarks
against the Court and its members.
CASE 58: Asean Pacific Planners v City of Urdaneta 3. He also said that he will surrender his title
FACTS: because he is frustrated with the judicial
1. Respondent called the Court of Appeals as system
the “court of technicalities”.
2. They also referred to the RTC judge as an ISSUE:
“incompetent judge”. Is respondent guilty of violating the CPR?

ISSUE: Is respondent guilty of violating Canon 11? HELD:

HELD: Yes. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a
Yes. Respondent lawyers should maintain gross violation of the duty of respect to the courts. A
respect due to the CA and judicial officers, abstain lawyer may be disciplined for intemperate
from offensive language before the courts, and comments about a case even when it has already
refrain from attributing motives to a Judge without attained finality. Respectful subordination to the
factual support. courts is essential in the administration of justice.

CASE 59: Judge Madrid v Dealca CASE 62: In re: Bagabuyo

1. Respondent files many admin and criminal 1. Bagabuyo expressed his opinions in the
cases against different judges. media about Judge Tan who granted bail in
2. Respondent made a statement attacking a criminal case handled by Bagabuyo.
the minute resolution of the Supreme Court 2. He said that Judge Tan studied mahjong
when his appeal was dismissed. instead of the law.
Is respondent guilty of violating Canon 11? Did respondent violate Canon 11?
Yes. Lawyers shall not attribute to Judges Yes. He violated Rule 11.05 for holding a
motives not supported by evidence. The aim of press conference to assail an Order to grant bail. The
every lawsuit is to render justice, not to harass. It is a court is not against lawyers raising grievances
right that must be exercised with good faith. against erring judges but the rules clearly provide for
the proper venue and procedure to maintain respect
for the institution.
CASE 60: Lacurom v Jacoba
1. Respondent attacked the decision of the
RTC by using words like abhorrent nullity,
monstrosity, boner, horrible mistake, etc.
2. Respondent claims that he is not liable and
that it is sub judice to discuss the case
because there is a pending case for the
same issue.
Is he guilty of violating canon 11?
Yes. A lawyer must abstain from offensive
language before the courts and should not attribute
to judges motives without factual basis. Sub judice
does not apply here; the outcome of the case has no
bearing on the resolution for the petition for
certiorari – no identity of issues nor causes of action.

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