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PALE – PART 5 exchange for which, respondent would deliver the owner's

duplicate of the OCT. Once again, complainant refused


MIRANDA VS ATTY CARPIO the demand, for not having been agreed upon. On June 26,
FACTS: Complainant Valentin C. Miranda is one of the 2000, complainant learned that on April 6, 2000,
owners of a parcel of land consisting of 1,890 square respondent registered an adverse claim on the subject
meters located at Barangay Lupang Uno, Las Piñas, OCT wherein he claimed that the agreement on the
Metro Manila. In 1994, complainant initiated Land payment of his legal services was 20% of the property
Registration Commission (LRC) Case No. M-226 for the and/or actual market value. To date, respondent has not
registration of the aforesaid property. The case was filed returned the owner's duplicate of OCT No. 0-94 to
before the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas City, Branch complainant and his co-heirs despite repeated demands to
275. During the course of the proceedings, complainant effect the same.
engaged the services of respondent Atty. Carpio as
counsel in the said case when his original counsel, Atty.
Samuel Marquez, figured in a vehicular accident. In ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Carpio has violated Canon
complainant's Affidavit,[2] complainant and respondent 20, Rule 20.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
agreed that complainant was to pay respondent Twenty
Thousand Pesos (PhP20,000.00) as acceptance fee and
Two Thousand Pesos (PhP2,000.00) as appearance fee. HELD: An attorney's retaining lien is fully recognized if
Complainant paid respondent the amounts due him, as the presence of the following elements concur: (1)
evidenced by receipts duly signed by the latter. During the lawyer-client relationship; (2) lawful possession of the
last hearing of the case, respondent demanded the client's funds, documents and papers; and (3) unsatisfied
additional amount of Ten Thousand Pesos claim for attorney's fees. Further, the attorney's retaining
(PhP10,000.00) for the preparation of a memorandum, lien is a general lien for the balance of the account
which he said would further strengthen complainant's between the attorney and his client, and applies to the
position in the case, plus twenty percent (20%) of the total documents and funds of the client which may come into
area of the subject property as additional fees for his the attorney's possession in the course of his employment.
services. Complainant did not accede to respondent's As correctly found by the IBP-CBD, there was no proof
demand for it was contrary to their agreement. Moreover, of any agreement between the complainant and the
complainant co-owned the subject property with his respondent that the latter is entitled to an additional
siblings, and he could not have agreed to the amount being professional fee consisting of 20% of the total area
demanded by respondent without the knowledge and covered by OCT No. 0-94.
approval of his co-heirs. As a result of complainant's
refusal to satisfy respondent's demands, the latter became
furious and their relationship became sore. Clearly, there is no unsatisfied claim for attorney's fees
that would entitle respondent to retain his client's
property. Respondent's unjustified act of holding on to
On January 12, 1998, a Decision was rendered which complainant's title with the obvious aim of forcing
transmitted the decree of registration and the original and complainant to agree to the amount of attorney's fees
owner's duplicate of the title of the property. On April 3, sought is an alarming abuse by respondent of the exercise
2000, complainant went to the RD to get the owner's of an attorney's retaining lien, which by no means is an
duplicate of the Original Certificate of Title (OCT) absolute right, and cannot at all justify inordinate delay in
bearing No. 0-94. He was surprised to discover that the the delivery of money and property to his client when due
same had already been claimed by and released to or upon demand. Atty. Carpio failed to live up to his
respondent on March 29, 2000. On May 4, 2000, duties as a lawyer by unlawfully withholding and failing
complainant talked to respondent on the phone and asked to deliver the title of the complainant, despite repeated
him to turn over the owner's duplicate of the OCT, which demands, in the guise of an alleged entitlement to
he had claimed without complainant's knowledge, additional professional fees. He has breached Rule 1.01
consent and authority. Respondent insisted that of Canon 1 and Rule 16.03 of Canon 16 of the Code of
complainant first pay him the PhP10,000.00 and the 20% Professional Responsibility. Further, in collecting from
share in the property equivalent to 378 square meters, in complainant exorbitant fees, respondent violated Canon
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20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which complainant and despite the facts that the former
mandates that “a lawyer shall charge only fair and is already m a r r i e d a n d w i t h t h r e e ( 3 )
reasonable fees.” It is highly improper for a lawyer to children.
impose additional professional fees upon his client which
C o m p l a i n a n t s e n d s h i s t w o s o n s t o persuade
were never mentioned nor agreed upon at the time of the
Lisa to go home with them, which she did.
engagement of his services.
In the celebration of respondent’s marriage with Lisa
he misrepresented himself as a bachelor.
The principle of quantum meruit applies if a lawyer is
On August 24, 1982, complainant filed with the Court of
employed without a price agreed upon for his services. In
First Instance, a petition for declaration of nullity
such a case, he would be entitled to receive what he merits
of the marriage.
for his services, as much as he has earned. Respondent's
further submission that he is entitled to the payment of Subsequently complainant filed a disbarment
additional professional fees on the basis of the principle complaint on the ground of grave abuse and betrayal
of quantum meruit has no merit. "Quantum meruit, of the trust and confidence reposed in him.
meaning `as much as he deserved' is used as a basis for
determining the lawyer's professional fees in the absence Respondent in his answer filed a motion to dismiss for
of a contract but recoverable by him from his client." In lack of cause of action. As he contends that complaint
the present case, the parties had already entered into an fails to allege acts constituting deceit, malpractice, gross
agreement as to the attorney's fees of the respondent, and misconduct or violation of his lawyer’s oath.
thus, the principle of quantum meruit does not fully find On March 23, 1983, the case was referred to the OSG
application because the respondent is already
compensated by such agreement. Dec 28, 1983,the 1st division of this court declared the
marriage between respondent and Lisa null and void ab
initio;
WHEREFORE, Atty. Macario D. Carpio is On March 19, 1984, respondent filed with the OSG an
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six Urgent Motion to Suspend Proceedings[10] on the ground
(6) months, effective upon receipt of this Decision. He is that the final outcome of Civil Case No. Pq0401-P poses
ordered to RETURN to the complainant the owner's a prejudicial question to the disbarment proceeding. It
duplicate of OCT No. 0-94 immediately upon receipt of was denied.
this decision. He is WARNED that a repetition of the
same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely Respondent sought refuge in this Court through an Urgent
Motion for Issuance of a Restraining Order.[11] In the
Resolution dated December 19, 1984, we enjoined the
OSG from continuing the investigation of the disbarment
proceedings.[12]
COJUANGCO VS ATTY PALMA
(1998)The case was referred to the Integrated Bar of the
FACTS: Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline.
Commissioner issued the following order: Considering
The complainant Eduardo Cojuangco is a client of
the length of time that this case has remained pending and
ACCRA, w h o a s s i g n e d t h e c a s e t o A t t y .
as a practical measure to ease the backlog of this
P a l m a , t h e respondent. The former hired
Commission, the parties shall within ten (10) days from
the latter as his personal counsel for his
notice, manifest whether or not they are still interested in
business. Atty. Palma becomes very close to the
prosecuting this case or supervening events have
family of Cojuangco, and he dines and goes with
transpired which render this case moot and academic or
them abroad. He even tutored, complainant’s 22 -
otherwise, this case shall be deemed closed and
year old daughter Maria Luisa Cojuangco (Lisa).
terminated.[13]
On June 22, 1982, respondent married Lisa in
Hongkong without the knowledge of the

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complainant manifested and confirmed his continuing immoral conduct and violation of his oath as a lawyer, and
interest in prosecuting his complaint for disbarment it is recommended that respondent be suspended from the
against respondent. practice of law for a period of three (3) years and which
later lessen to one (1) year. According to IBP:“At the
On the other hand, respondent sought several
outset, it must be stressed that the law profession does not
postponements of hearing on the ground that he needed
prescribe a dichotomy of standards among its members.
more time to locate vital documents in support of his
There is no distinction as to whether the transgression is
defense. The scheduled hearing of December 4, 2001 was
committed in the lawyers professional capacity or in his
reset for the last time on January 24, 2002, with a warning
private life. This is because a lawyer may not divide his
that should he fail to appear or present deposition, the case
personality so as to be an attorney at one time and a mere
will be deemed submitted for resolution.[15] Respondent
citizen at another. Thus, not only his professional
again failed to appear on January 24, 2002; hence, the
activities but even his private life, insofar as the latter may
case was considered submitted for resolution
reflect unfavorably upon the good name and prestige of
ISSUE: the profession and the courts, may at any time be the
subject of inquiry on the part of the proper
WON the civil case (validity of his marriage to Lisa) authorities.”Professional competency alone does not
poses a prejudicial question to the present disbarment make a lawyer a worthy member of the Bar. Good moral
proceeding. character is always an indispensable requirement. The
WON respondent’s acts constitute deceit, malpractice, interdict upon lawyers, as inscribed in Rule 1.01 of the
gross misconduct in office, grossly immoral conduct and Code of Professional Responsibility, is that they shall not
violation of his oath as a lawyer that would warrant his engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
disbarment. YES! conduct

RULING: ANITA PENA VS ATTY PATERNO

1. NO. A subsequent judgment of annulment of marriage FACTS:


has no bearing to the instant disbarment proceeding. For Anita C. Peña personally knew Atty. Christina C. Paterno
it is neither purely civil nor purely criminal but is rather as respondent was her lawyer in a legal separation case,
an investigation by the court into the conduct of its which she filed against her husband and the
officers. Thus, if the acquittal of a lawyer in a criminal aforementioned property was her share in their property
action is not determinative of an administrative case settlement. Complainant stated that she also knew
against him, or if an affidavit of withdrawal of a personally one Estrella D. Kraus, as she was respondent’s
disbarment case does not affect its course,[ then the trusted employee who did secretarial work for respondent.
judgment of annulment of respondents marriage does not
also exonerate him from a wrongdoing actually Paterno suggested that she (complainant) apply for a loan
committed. So long as the quantum of proof --- clear from a bank to construct townhouses on her property for
preponderance of evidence --- in disciplinary proceedings sale to interested buyers, and that her property be offered
against members of the bar is met, then liability as collateral. Paterno assured Peña that she would work
attaches.[36] out the speedy processing and release of the loan. Peña
discovered that her apartment was already demolished,
and in its place, four residential houses were constructed
2. YES.There is no question that respondent as a lawyer, on her property, which she later learned was already
is well versed in the law, fully well that in marrying Maria owned by one Ernesto D. Lampa, who bought her
Luisa he was entering into a bigamous marriage defined property from Estrella D. Kraus.
and penalized under Article 349 of the Revised Penal
Code. The respondent betrayed the trust reposed in him Complainant learned that her property was sold to
by complainant. He was treated as part of the family and Krisbuilt Traders Company, Ltd., and respondent was the
was allowed to tutor Maria Luisa. For the foregoing Notary Public before whom the sale was acknowledged.
reasons, it is submitted that respondent committed grossly Krisbuilt Traders Company, Ltd., through its Managing

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Partner, Estrella D. Kraus, sold the same to one Ernesto for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid
D. Lampa. agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.
Complainant stated in her Complaint that she did not sell Given the facts of this case, wherein respondent was in
her property to Krisbuilt Traders Company, Ltd., and that possession of complainant’s copy of the certificate of title
she neither signed any deed of sale in its favor nor to the property in Marikina, and it was respondent who
appeared before respondent to acknowledge the sale. She admittedly prepared the Deed of Sale, which complainant
alleged that respondent manipulated the sale of her denied having executed or signed, the important evidence
property. of the alleged forgery of complainant’s signature on the
Deed of Sale and the validity of the sale is the Deed of
Sale itself. However, a copy of the Deed of Sale could not
Respondent alleged that complainant took hold of the
be produced by the Register of Deeds of Marikina City,
Deed of Sale. Complainant allegedly told respondent that
as it could not be located in the general files of the
she would inform respondent when the transaction was
registry, and a certification was issued stating that the
completed so that the Deed of Sale could be recorded in
Deed of Sale may be considered lost. Moreover,
the Notarial Book. Thereafter, respondent claimed that
respondent did not submit to the Clerk of Court of the
she had no knowledge of what transpired between
RTC of Manila her Notarial Report for the month of
complainant and the Spouses Kraus. Respondent stated
November 1986, including the said Deed of Sale, which
that she was never entrusted with complainant’s
was executed on November 11, 1986.
certificate of title. Moreover, it was only complainant who
negotiated the sale of her property. According to Hence, Investigating Commissioner Sordan opined that it
respondent, complainant’s inaction for eight years to appears that efforts were exerted to get rid of the copies
verify what happened to her property only meant that she of the said Deed of Sale to prevent complainant from
had actually sold the same, and that she concocted her getting hold of the document for the purpose of
story when she saw the prospect of her property had she handwriting verification from an expert to prove that her
held on to it. Respondent prayed for the dismissal of the alleged signature on the Deed of Sale was forged. The
case. failure of respondent to submit to the proper RTC Clerk
of Court her Notarial Register/Report for the month of
November 1986 and a copy of the Deed of Sale, which
ISSUE: was notarized by her within that month, has far-reaching
WON Paterno should be disbarred. implications and grave consequences, as it in effect
suppressed evidence on the veracity of the said Deed of
Sale and showed the deceitful conduct of respondent to
HELD: withhold the truth about its authenticity. During her
YES. Pursuant to Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of testimony, it was observed by the Investigating
Court, a lawyer may be removed or suspended for any Commissioner and reflected in the transcript of records
deceit or dishonest act, thus: that respondent would neither directly confirm nor deny
that she notarized the said Deed of Sale. For the
Sec. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by Supreme aforementioned deceitful conduct, respondent is disbarred
Court on what grounds. – A member of the bar may be from the practice of law. As a member of the bar,
removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the respondent failed to live up to the standards embodied in
Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross the Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly the
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by following Canons:
reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is CANON 1 – A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey
required to take before admission to practice, or for a the laws of theland and promote respect for law and for
wilfull disobedience of any lawful legal processes.
order of a superior court, or for corruptly or wilfully Rule 1.01 – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,
appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
authority to do so. The practice of soliciting cases at law

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Rule 1.02 – A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities but also to refrain from doing any falsehood in or out of
aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in court or from consenting to the doing of any in court, and
the legal system. to conduct himself according to the best of his knowledge
and discretion with all good fidelity to the courts as well
CANON 7 – A lawyer shall at all times uphold the
as to his clients. xxx In this light, Rule 10.01, Canon 10
integrity and dignity of the legal profession, and support
of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that
the activities of the Integrated Bar.
“[a] lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the
Rule 7.03 – A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that doing of any in Court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the
adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor should Court to be misled by any artifice.”
he, whether in public or private life, behave in a
Atty. De Vera is found guilty of violating the Lawyer’s
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
Oath and Rule 10.01, Canon 10 of the Code of
DISPOSITION: Respondent Atty. Christina C. Paterno is Professional Responsibility by submitting a falsified
DISBARRED document before a court. Disciplinary proceedings
against lawyers are designed to ensure that whoever is
granted the privilege to practice law in this country should
remain faithful to the Lawyer’s Oath.

UMAGUING VS ATTY DE VERA Yes. A case of suspension or disbarment may proceed


regardless of interest or lack of interest of the
FACTS: Umaguing ran for the position of SK Chairman complainant. What matters is whether, on the basis of the
but lost to her rival. Complainants lodged an election facts borne out by the record, the charge of deceit and
protest and engaged in the services of Atty. De Vera. grossly immoral conduct has been proven. This rule is
According to the complainants, Atty. De Vera moved at a premised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A
glacial pace; he rushed the preparation of the documents proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not a civil
and attachments for the election protest. Two (2) of these action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the
attachments are the Affidavits of material witnesses, respondent lawyer is a defendant. Disciplinary
which was personally prepared by Atty. De Vera. At the proceedings involve no private interest and afford no
time that the aforesaid affidavits were needed to be signed redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and
by the witnesses, they were unavailable. To remedy this, prosecuted solely for the public welfare. They are
Atty. De Vera look for the nearest kin of the witnesses and undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of justice
ask them to sign and he had all the documents notarized. from the official administration of persons unfit to
He hastily filed the election protest with full knowledge practice in them. xxx The complainant or the person who
that the affidavits were falsified. In further breach of his called the attention of the court to the attorney’s alleged
oath, the integrity and competency of Atty. De Vera, the misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no
complainants withdraw him and for lack of trust and interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may
confidence in as their counsel. Complainants sought Atty. have in the proper administration of justice.
De Vera’s disbarment.
ISSUES:
TAN VS ATTY BELTRAN
Whether or not Atty. De Vera should be held
administratively liable. ”Before this Court is an administrative complaint against
respondent, Atty. Nestor B. Beltran. His derelictions
Whether or not a case of suspension or disbarment may allegedly consisted of his belated filing of an appeal in a
proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest of the criminal case and failure to relay a court directive for the
complainant. payment of docket fees in a civil case to his clients -
complainants Heirs of Sixto L. Tan, Sr. represented by
HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that, fundamental
Recto A. Tan. The latter also accused him of unduly
is the rule that in his dealings with his client and with the
receiving ₱200,000 as payment for legal services.”
courts, every lawyer is expected to be honest, imbued with
integrity, and trustworthy. Xxx The Lawyer’s Oath FACTS : After agreeing to pay attorney's fees of
enjoins every lawyer not only to obey the laws of the land ₱200,000, complainants engaged the services of
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respondent counsel for the filing of cases to recover their This Court referred the administrative case to the
commercial properties valued at approximately ₱30 Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation,
million. Complainants filed a criminal action for report, and recommendation.IBP found respondent guilty
falsification of public documents and use of falsified of neglect in handling the criminal case and recommended
documents against Spouses Melanio and Nancy Fernando his suspension from the practice of law for three months.
and Sixto Tan, Jr., this case was dismissed by the
provincial prosecutor of Albay.
Respondent was notified of the order of dismissal. He ISSUES:
filed an appeal via a Petition for Review before the Whether respondent neglected legal matters entrusted to
Secretary of the Department of Justice (SOJ). It was, him when he belatedly filed an appeal before the SOJ,
however, filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period to resulting in the dismissal of LS. No. 2001-03 7
perfect an appeal. The SOJ dismissed the belated Petition
for Review. Respondent no longer filed a motion for Whether respondent is guilty of violation of the Code of
reconsideration to remedy the ruling. Professional Responsibility and other ethical standards
for failing to inform complainants of the RTC Order to
Complainants instituted a related civil suit to annul the pay the balance of the docket fees in Civil Case No. 2001-
sale of their commercial properties before the Regional 0329
Trial Court (RTC) of Naga City. After being given ₱7,000
by his clients, respondent tasked his secretary to pay the Whether respondent unduly received ₱200,000 as
docket fees computed at ₱1,722. Unfortunately, the Clerk attorney's fees
of Court erred in the assessment of the docket fees. To
correct the error, the RTC required the payment of
additional docket fees through an Order which respondent RULING:
received. However, two weeks earlier, he had moved to
The Court set aside the unsubstantiated recommendation
withdraw as counsel with the conformity of his clients.
of the IBP Board of Governors. Its resolutions are only
No separate copy of the Order was sent to any of the
recommendatory and always subject to this Court’s
complainants.
review.
The balance of the docket fees remained unpaid. The RTC
dismissed the civil case, citing the nonpayment of docket
fees as one of its bases. Complainants wrote this Court a In the first issue:
letter-complaint asking that disciplinary actions be meted
out to respondent. They likewise contended that he had The Court ruled that failure of the counsel to appeal
unduly received ₱200,000 as attorney's fees, despite his within the prescribed period constitutes negligence and
failure to render effective legal services for them. As for malpractice. The Court elucidated that per Rule 18.03,
the dismissal of the civil action for nonpayment of docket Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, "a
fees, respondent disclaimed any fault on his part, since he lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him
had already withdrawn as counsel in that and his negligence in connection therewith shall render
case.1âwphi1Anent his receipt of ₱200,000 as attorney's him liable." In the case at bar, respondent similarly admits
fees, respondent denied collecting that amount. He only that he failed to timely file the Petition for Review before
admitted that he had received ₱30,000 to cover expenses the SOJ. As a result of his delayed action, his clients lost
for "the preparation of the complaints, docket fee, the criminal case. this Court sanctions him for belatedly
affidavits, and other papers needed for the filing of the filing an appeal.
said cases."13 He did not deny his receipt of ₱7,000 for In the second issue:
fees and other sundry expenses, of which ₱l,722 had
already been paid to the Clerk of Court for docket fees. In Respondent argues that he was no longer bound to inform
any event, Atty. Beltran argued that ₱200,000 as complainants of the RTC Order requiring the payment of
attorney's fees was inadequate, considering that the full docket fees, given that he had already moved to
property under dispute was worth ₱30 million. withdraw as counsel with the conformity of the latter. We
find that argument unjustified. Taking into consideration
the attendant circumstances herein vis-à-vis the
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aforementioned administrative cases decided by this Tulio filed a Motion to Disqualiy Atty. Buhangin for his
Court, we deem it proper to impose on Atty. Beltran a unethical conduct in gross violation of his duties and
two-month suspension from the practice of law for responsibilities as a lawyer. The lawyer subsequently
belatedly filing an appeal before the SOJ. We also filed a Motion to Withdraw counsel on the ground of
admonish him to exercise greater care and diligence in the conflict of interest. Tulio alleged that the actions of
performance of his duty to administer justice. Buhangin were deliberate and intentional in order to serve
his own personal interesent against the interest of his
clients. Thus this complaint for disbarment was filed.
In the third issue: Atty. Buhangin, in his Comment, admitted that he had
been engaged as legal counsel of the Estate of Angeline
In administrative cases against lawyers, the quantum of Tulio and represented the sublings. However, he asserted
proof required is preponderance of evidence. that his legal representation was neither personal nor
Preponderance of evidence means that the evidence directed in favor of Complainant Tulio alone but instead
adduced by one side is superior to or has greater weight in the latter’s capacity as an heir of Angeline. He disputed
than that of the other. The Investigating Commissioner that Tulio personally engaged his services as a counsel
did not explain the recommendation for the restitution of and insisted that his legal representation was made for and
that sum. Moreover, complainants do not contest that in behalf of all the heirs. He also alleged that Tulio abused
respondent received this sum for fees and other sundry the confidence given by his siblings by executing the deed
expenses. Neither do the records show that they of waiver of rights in his favour for the purpose of
demanded the return of this amount from respondent. In depriving them of their lawful shares. He maintained that
consideration of these facts, the proper corrective action there was no conflict of interest when he filed the
is to order the accounting of the full sum of ₱35,278. complaint for the declaration of nullity of the waiver of
rights as he was in fact merely protecting the interests of
the other heirs of Angeline Tulio.
TULIO VS ATTY BUHANGIN
FACTS: Arthur Tulio has been acquainted with Atty.
Buhangin even prior to the latter becoming a lawyer as he ISSUE: Whether, in representing the heirs of Angeline
was the surveyor who prepared survey plans for the Tulio, Atty. Buhangin did not personally represent Tulio
complainant in connection with the estate left by his alone, and thus is not precluded from representing Tulio’s
mother. On June 29, 2000, by virtue of Tulio’s agreement siblings in a case against him
with his siblings, Atty. Buhangin prepared and notarized
a Deed of Waiver of Rights signed by all of Tulio’s
siblings in his favour. Thereafter, Tulio engaged the HELD
services of Atty. Buhangin to represent him in filing a
No. Under Canon 15 and Rule 15.03 of the Code of
civil case before the RTC Baguio. Through his efforts,
Professional Responsibility, it is explicit that a lawyer is
Tulio claims that he and the defendants in said agreed to
prohibited from representing new clients whose interests
a settlement and that he exclusively paid the defendants.
oppose those of a former client in any manner, whether or
On December 10, 2005, Atty. Buhangin represented not they are parties in the same action or on totally
Tulio’s siblings and filed a complaint against him over unrelated cases. The prohibition is founded on the
legal matters which he entrusted to him. The complaint principles of public policy and good taste. It behooves
was for the rescission of the deed of waiver of rights lawyers not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence,
which the lawyer himself prepared and notarized. Tulio but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-
claimed that Atty. Buhangin made misrepresentations in dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to
the complaint since he know beforehand that his siblings entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of
waived their rights over the parcel of land they inherited paramount importance in the administration of justice.
and even before such recent case was filed.

There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents


inconsistent interests of two or more opposing parties.

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The test is "whether or not in behalf of one client, it is the property before and after the filing of Civil Case No.
lawyer's duty to fight for an issue or claim, but it is his 4866-R, to the preparation of the Deed of Waiver of
duty to oppose it for the other client. In brief, if he argues Rights in favor of Tulio runs counter and in conflict to his
for one client, this argument will be opposed by him when subsequent filing of Civil Case No. 6185-R and his
he argues for the other client." This rule covers not only imputation of fraud against Tulio. There is no question
cases in which confidential communications have been that Atty. Buhangin took an inconsistent position when he
confided, but also those in which no confidence has been filed Civil Case No. 6185-R against Tulio whom he has
bestowed or will be used. Also, there is conflict of defended and protected as client in the past. Even if the
interests if the acceptance of the new retainer will require inconsistency is remote or merely probable or even if he
the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect has acted in good faith and with no intention to represent
his first client in any matter in which he represents him conflicting interests, it is still in violation of the rule of
and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation conflict of interest.
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 Atty. Buhangin was held guilty of representing
new relation will prevent an attorney from the full conflicting interests in violation of Rule 15.03, Canon 15
discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to of the CPR and was suspended from the practice of law
his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double for a period of 6 months with a warning.
dealing in the performance thereof.

RAMISCAL VS ATTY ORRO


Atty. Buhangin's allegation that he represents for and in
behalf of the Heirs of Angeline Tulio and not personal or Facts: Complainants engaged in the legal services of
exclusive to complainant cannot be given any respondent to handle a case in which they were defendants
credence. First, Atty. Buhangin himself admitted in seeking the declaration of nullity of title to a parcel of land
his Motion to Withdraw that he was withdrawing his in Isabela. Respondent received P10,000 acceptance fee
appearance in Civil Case No. 6185 against Tulio due to from them and handled the trial of their case until RTC
conflict of interest. Secondly, it cannot be denied that decided in their favor. Plaintiffs appeals to the CA to
there was an exclusive attorney-client relationship which the respondent requested from the complainants an
between Tulio and Atty. Buhangin as evidenced by the additional P30,000 for the preparation and submission of
demand letters which Atty. Buhangin prepared their appellee’s brief in the CA. The CA reversed the
specifically as counsel of Tulio. Thirdly, as correctly decision of the RTC but the respondent did not inform the
observed by the IBP, other than his bare assertion that he complainants. They had trouble communicating with
was representing the estate and the Heirs of Angeline respondent. When they finally reached him, he requested
Tulio, Atty. Buhangin failed to satisfactorily show any for an additional P7,000 as fee for filing a motion for
circumstance that he was actually representing the Heirs reconsideration which he did not file. Complainants lost
of Angeline Tulio and not solely for Tulio. their property measuring 8.479 hectares with a probable
worth of P3,391,600.

Also, in both Civil Case No. 4866-R (Heirs of Angeline


S. Tulio represented by Arthur S. Tulio vs. Heirs of Issue: Whether or not the respondent may be suspended
Artemio Patacsil) and Civil Case No. 6185-R (Deogracias from the practice of law due to his gross misconduct.
S. Tulio, et al. vs. Arthur Tulio), the subject property
under dispute, particularly TCT No. T-67145, is one and
the same. This is also the same subject property of the Held:
Deed of Waiver of Rights which the plaintiffs in Civil
While complainants and respondent did not appear during
Case No. 6185-R have executed and signed in favor of
the mandatory conferences set by IBP, the IBP found that
Tulio, which Atty. Buhangin later on used against Tulio.
the respondent violated Canon 18, Rules 18.03 of the
Clearly, the series of Atty. Buhangin's actions in
Code. The Court agreed with the IBP’s findings that
protecting the rights and interest of Tulio over the subject
8
respondent did not competently and diligently discharge Court (MCTC)] and reversed by the RTC, in the exercise
his duties as the lawyer of Ramiscals. The Court believes of its appellate jurisdiction to favor respondent and his
that the respondent violated the Lawyer’s Oath which client/s”.
contravenes the Code of Professional Responsibility,
Complainant charged respondent with grave misconduct
particularly Canon 17 and Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of
when he defied the accessory penalty of his dismissal as
Canon 18. He failed to discharge his burdens to the best
a judge. Respondent worked as Associate Dean and
of his knowledge and discretion and with all good fidelity
Professor of the Naval Institute of Technology (NIT) –
to his clients and his unexplained disregard of the orders
University of Eastern Philippines College of Law, which
issued to him by the IBP to comment and to appear in the
is a government institution, and received salaries therefor,
administrative investigation of his conduct revealed his
in violation of the accessory penalty of dismissal which is
irresponsibility and disrespect for the IBP.
his perpetual disqualification from reemployment in any
government office.
MALABED VS ATTY DE LA PENA In his Comment dated 16 December 2007, respondent
basically denied the charges against him. Respondent
Facts: In her Complaint1 dated 7 August 2007,
alleged that “the [Certificate to File Action] he used when
complainant charged respondent with dishonesty for
he filed Civil Case No. [B-]1118 for quieting of title
“deliberately and repeatedly making falsehood” that
before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16, Naval,
“misled the Court.” First, complainant claimed that the
Biliran was the certification of Lupon Chairman, the late
Certificate to File Action in the complaint filed by
Rodulfo Catigbe, issued on May 9, 2001.”
respondent refers to a different complaint, that is the
complaint filed by complainant’s brother against Respondent also claimed that the free patent title was
Fortunato Jadulco. In effect, there was no Certificate to attached to the folio of the records in Civil Case No. B-
File Action, which is required for the filing of a civil 1118 and he furnished a copy of the same to
action, in the complaint filed by respondent on behalf of complainant’s counsel. Assuming opposing counsel was
his client Fortunato Jadulco. not furnished, respondent wondered why he raised this
matter only upon filing of the instant complaint.
Second, complainant alleged that respondent did not
furnish her counsel with a copy of the free patent covered Respondent argued that notarization of the deed of
by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 1730, but donation had no relation to the case filed against the
respondent forwarded a copy to the Court of Appeals. occupants of the lot. Respondent likewise stressed that the
Complainant claimed that she could not properly defend matter regarding Judge Asis’s rulings favorable to his
herself without a copy of the title. She further claimed that clients should be addressed to Judge Asis himself.
the title presented by respondent was fabricated. To
As regards the charge of grave misconduct for defying the
support such claim, complainant presented Certifications
accessory penalty of dismissal from the service,
from the Department of Environment and Natural
respondent admitted that he accepted the positions of
Resources (DENR) and the Registry of Deeds in Naval,
Associate Dean and Professor of the NIT – University of
Biliran, allegedly confirming that there is no file in their
Eastern Philippines College of Law, which is a
offices of OCT No. 1730.
government institution. However, respondent countered
Complainant also alleged that respondent was guilty of that he was no longer connected with the NIT College of
conflict of interest when he represented the occupants of Law; and thus, this issue had become moot. Respondent
the lot owned by complainant’s family, who previously further claimed that his designation as Assistant Dean was
donated a parcel of land to the Roman Catholic Church, only temporary, and he had not received any salary except
which deed of donation respondent notarized. honorarium. Respondent stated that he even furnished the
Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) and the MCLE Office
Complainant further accused respondent of conniving
a copy of his designation as Associate Dean, and since
with Regional Trial Court (RTC), Naval, Biliran, Branch
there were no objections, he proceeded to perform the
16 Judge Enrique C. Asis, who was his former client in an
functions appurtenant thereto. He likewise submitted an
administrative case, to rule in his clients’ favor.
affidavit from Edgardo Garcia, complainant in the
Complainant narrated the outcomes in the “cases of
administrative case against him, who interposed no
Estrellers which were filed in the [Municipal Circuit Trial
9
objection to his petition for judicial clemency filed before dignity of the legal profession, a lawyers language even
this Court. in his pleadings must be dignified.
Complainant filed a Reply-Affidavit4 on 22 January For using improper language in his pleadings, respondent
2008. Respondent filed a Rejoinder to Reply on 20 violated Rule 8.01 of Canon 8 of the Code of Professional
February 2008. Complainant filed a Sur- rejoinder to the Responsibility which states:
Rejoinder to Reply on 20 February 2008. All these
Rule 8.01 - A lawyer shall not, in his professional
submissions basically reiterated the respective arguments
dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
of the parties and denied each other’s allegations.
otherwise improper.
The IBP Commissioner noted the foul language used by
Non-submission of certificate to file action
respondent in his pleadings submitted before the IBP. The
Commissioner found the respondent guilty of dishonesty Respondent misrepresented that he filed a certificate to
and grave misconduct and recommended his suspension file action when there was none, which act violated Canon
for 1 year. 10, Rule 10.01, and Rule 10.02 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, to wit:
CANON 10. A LAWYER OWES CANDOR,
ISSUE: WON Respondent is guilty of dishonesty and
FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT.
grave misconduct.
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood; nor
consent to the doing of any in court; nor shall he mislead,
HELD: Respondent is guilty of gross misconduct
or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice.
Using of foul language in pleadings
Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or
In his Comment, respondent called complainant's counsel misrepresent the contents of a paper, x x x.
"silahis by nature and complexion"10 and accused
complainant of "cohabiting with a married man x x x
before the wife of that married man died."11 In his
Failure to furnish opposing counsel with copy of title
Rejoinder, respondent maintained that such language is
not foul, but a "dissertation of truth designed to debunk With regard to respondent's alleged act of not furnishing
complainant's and her counsel's credibility in filing the complainant's counsel with a copy of the free patent title,
administrative case."12 we find that it does not constitute dishonesty.
We are not convinced. Aside from such language being Conflict of interest
inappropriate, it is irrelevant to the resolution of this case.
Notarization is different from representation. A notary
While respondent is entitled and very much expected to
public simply performs the notarial acts authorized by the
defend himself with vigor, he must refrain from using
Rules on Notarial Practice, namely, acknowledgments,
improper language in his pleadings. In Saberon v.
oaths and affirmations, jurat, signature witnessing, and
Larong,13we stated:
copy certifications. Legal representation, on the other
x x x [W]hile a lawyer is entitled to present his case with hand, refers to the act of assisting a party as counsel in a
vigor and courage, such enthusiasm does not justify the court action.
use of offensive and abusive language. Language abounds
Violation of prohibition on reemployment in government
with countless possibilities for one to be emphatic but
office
respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating
but not offensive. The prohibition on reemployment does not distinguish
between permanent and temporary appointments. Hence,
On many occasions, the Court has reminded members of
that his designation was only temporary does not absolve
the Bar to abstain from all offensive personality and to
him from liability.
advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a
party or witness, unless required by the justice of the The Supreme Court suspended Atty. Dela Pena for 2
cause with which he is charged. In keeping with the years.
10
SISON VS ATTY CAMACHO Section 23, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court specifies a
stringent requirement with respect to compromise
Facts: Sison charged respondent Atty. Camacho with
agreements, to wit:
violation of the CPR for dishonestly entering into a
compromise agreement without authorization and for Sec. 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients. - Attorneys
failure to render an accounting of funds supposed to be have authority to bind their clients in any case by any
paid as additional docket fees. agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in
taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial
Atty. Camacho was the counsel of Marsman in an
procedure. But they cannot, without special authority,
insurance claim against Paramount Life and General
compromise their client's litigation, or receive anything in
Insurance. He proposed to increase their claim against the
discharge of a client's claim but the full amount in cash.
said insurance company and require additional docket
fees. The money for the payment of additional docket fees Glaringly, despite the lack of a written special authority,
was given to Atty. Camacho who promised to issue a Atty. Camacho agreed to a lower judgment award on
receipt. Atty. Sison discovered that RTC had rendered a behalf of his client and filed a satisfaction of judgment
decision in favor of MDAHI granting its insurance claim before the RTC. The said pleading also failed to bear the
plus interests on May 26, 2011. However, on August 11, conformity of his client.24 Although MDAHI
2011, Atty. Camacho sent a letter to MDAHI subsequently received the payment of P15M from
recommending a settlement with Paramount Insurance. Paramount Insurance, it does not erase Atty. Camacho's
MDAHI refused to offer a compromise. Even without the transgression in reaching the compromise agreement
written conformity, Atty. Camacho, entered into a without the prior consent of his client.
compromise agreement.
Atty. Camacho denied all allegations against him and
stressed that he had the authority to enter into the
compromise agreement, and that the docket fees given to
him by MDAHI formed part of his atty’s fees.

Issue: WON Atty. Camacho has authority to enter a


compromise agreement in behalf of his client.

Ruling:
Those in the legal profession must always conduct
themselves with honesty and integrity in all their dealings.
Members of the Bar took their oath to conduct themselves
according to the best of their knowledge and discretion
with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to their
clients and to delay no man for money or malice. These
mandates apply especially to dealings of lawyers with
their clients considering the highly fiduciary nature of
their relationship
In the practice of law, lawyers constantly formulate
compromise agreements for the benefit of their clients.
Article 1878 of the Civil Code provides that " [s]pecial
powers of attorney are necessary in the following cases:
xxx (3) To compromise, to submit questions to
arbitration, to renounce the right to appeal from a
judgment, to waive objections to the venue of an action or
to abandon a prescription already acquired xxx."

In line with the fiduciary duty of the Members of the Bar,


11