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DE DIOS, respondent  1995: De Guzman engaged De Dios’ services to help her form Suzuki Beach Hotel, Inc. (SBHI), a hotel & restaurant business in Olongapo City. 1996: SBHI was registered w/the Securities & Exchange Commission. De Dios was paid a monthly retainer fee of P5,000.00. Dec. 15, 1997: SBHI required De Guzman to pay her unpaid subscribed shares of stock amounting to P2,235,000.00 for 22,350 shares on or before Dec. 30, 1997. Jan. 29, 1998: De Dios received a notice of public auction sale of her unpaid shares authorized by the Board of Directors. Shares were acquired by Ramon del Rosario, an incorporator of SBHI, who transferred 100 shares to De Dios in payment of legal services rendered as proven by a Deed of Waiver & Transfer of Corporate Shares of Stock. De Dios became company president while De Guzman was totally ousted from the corporation. De Guzman filed a complaint for De Dios’ disbarment claiming that she represented conflicting interests (prohibited by Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility) and acquired property in litigation (CC Art. 1491). She alleged that she relied on counsel’s advice & believed that she will help her manage the corporation. De Dios defense: 1. She appeared as counsel for De Guzman to protect the rights & interest of SBHI, which was her client. 2. SBHI belonged to Japanese incorporators & not to De Guzman. 3. De Guzman misappropriated funds & property of the corporation. Unpaid shares were auctioned to save the corporation from bankruptcy. IBP recommendation: De Dios’ acts were not motivated by ill will. She only acted in the best interest of her client, SBHI. Complainant failed to prove attorney-client relationship except for the pleadings De Dios filed in the trial court were De Guzman was one of the parties.
Issue: WON there was an attorney-client relationship between De Dios & De Guzman which would classify De Dios’ acts as representation of conflicting interests. – YES Ratio: 1. First of all, De Guzman was a majority stockholder. She paid up P745k during the incorporation stage. Even if the sale of her unpaid shares was proper, what happened now to her original shares? 2. De Guzman was the one who engaged De Dios’ services. Latter even appeared as counsel in behalf of former. 3. There was evidence of collusion between the board & De Dios, considering that she’s now the president of SBHI. Thus, there is a conflict of interest of De Dios. She violated the prohibition against representing conflicting interests & engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (CPR, Canon 1, Rule 1.01). She’s expected to act w/honesty & integrity and to uphold & respect the law. Holding: De Dios SUSPENDED from the practice of law for 6 MONTHS w/WARNING that a repetition of the charges will be dealt w/more severely. PNB vs. CEDO  Administrative Matter in the SC. Violation of Canon 6, Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
Complainant PNB charged respondent Atty. Telesforo S. Cedo, former Asst. VP of the Asset Mgt. Group, with violation of Canon 6, Rule 6.03 CPR by appearing as counsel for individuals who had transactions w/ complainant bank in w/c Cedo during his employment w/ aforesaid bank, had intervened. Particularly, Cedo: o Had participated in arranging the sale of steel sheets in favor of Milagros Ong Siy for P200K o “Noted” the gate passes issued by his subordinate, Emmanuel Elefan, in favor of Ong Siy authorizing pull-out of steel sheets o who had since left the employ of PNB, appeared as one of Ong Siy’s counsels in a civil action bet Ong Siy & PNB w/c arose from the pull-out transaction o while being the Asst. VP of PNB’s Asset Mgt. Group, intervened in the handling of a loan account of the spouses Ponciano and Eufemia Almeda w/ complainant bank by writing demand letters to the couple. And when a civil action ensued bet. PNB and the spouses, the latter were represented by the law firm “Cedo, Ferrer, Maynigo & Assocs” of w/c Cedo is one of the Senior Partners Cedo admitted he appeared as counsel of Ong Siy but only w/ respect to the execution pending appeal. He denied ever appearing as counsel for the Almeda’s, contending that the case was only handled by Atty. Pedro Ferrer and that their law firm is not really a partnership since they handle their own cases independently. The case was referred to IBP for investigation, report and recommendation. IBP found: o that Cedo was previously fined for forum shopping Milagros Ong Siy v. Hon. Salvador Tensuan, et. al. o that charges made by PNB are fully substantiated o that his averment that their firm is not really a partnership cannot be entertained given that although he did not enter his appearance, he was practically dictating to Atty. Ferrer what to say and argue before the court in the Almeda case. He also impliedly admitted being the partner of Atty. Ferrer. o That assuming the alleged set-up of the firm were true, it is in itself a violation of CPR (Rule 15.02) since the client’s secrets and confidential records and information are exposed to the other lawyers and staff members at all times o In sum, that Cedo deliberately devised ways and means to attracts as client former borrowers of PNB since he was in the best position to see the legal weaknesses of his former employer. The IBP thus recommended a 3-yr suspension. Issue: WON Cedo violated the aforesaid Canons and Rules of CPR&CPE YES. While the SC agreed with the findings of the IBP, it also emphasized the importance of avoiding representation of conflicting interests. It cited the case of Pasay Law and Conscience Union, Inc. v. Paz w/c cited Nombrado v. Hernandez: o Whatever may be said as to whether or not respondent utilized against his former client 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 other side… o This stern rule is designed not alone to prevent the dishonest practitioner from fraudulent conduct, but as well to protect the honest lawyer from unfounded suspicion of unprofessional practice…the question is not necessarily one of the rights of the parties, but as to whether the attorney has adhered to proper professional standard. He is also in violation of Canon 6, CPE on adverse influence and conflicting interests
Holding: Suspended for 3 years
DEE vs. CA  NAKPIL vs. VALDES  Facts: ♦ 1965 – Nakpil became interested in purchasing a summer residence in Baguio (Moran property). For lack of funds, he requested Valdes to purchase the property for him. They agreed that Valdes would keep the property in trust for the Nakpils until they could buy it back. Valdes obtained 2 loans from a bank which he used to purchase and renovate the property and the title was issued in the name of Valdes. July 8, 1973 – Nakpil died and Valdes acted as legal counsel and accountant of the Imelda Nakpil (widow) Ownership of the Moran property became an issue in the intestate proceedings because Valdes excluded the Moran property from the inventory of the estate. February 13, 1979 – Nakpil sought to recover the property by filing an action for reconveyance with damages. During the pendency of the action she filed a case in order to disbar Valdes She charged that Valdes violated the professional ethics when: o Assigned to his family corporation the Moran property which belonged to the estate he was settling as its lawyer and auditor o Excluded the Moran property from the "inventory of real estate properties" he prepared for a client-estate and, at the same time, charged the loan secured to purchase the said excluded property as a liability of the estate, all for the purpose of transferring the title to the said property to his family corporation. o Prepared and defended monetary claims against the estate that retained him as its counsel and auditor Defense of Valdes o He claims that he did not hold the property in trust o He denied preparing the list of claims against the estate which included his loans of 65,000 and 75,000 for the purchase and renovation of the Moran property. He stressed that the list drawn up by his accounting firm merely stated that the loan was in the name of Valdes were applied probably for the purchase of the Moran property. He claims that probably for purchase did not imply consummated transaction but a projected acquisition. He adds that he has resigned from law and accounting firm as early as 1974 and that it Atty. Cendana who filed the intestate proceedings in court. o He denied that there was a conflict of interest when his law firm represented the estate in the intestate proceedings while his accounting firm served as accountant of the estate and prepared the claims of creditors of Nakpil and Enorn. 1963 – CFI of Baguio dismissed the action for reconveyance. Lower Court held that the Moran property was held in trust but found that Nakpil waived her right over it. CA reversed the ruling of the court. February 18, 1986 (during the pendency of the complaint) – OSG found that there was no trust agreement over the property and that Valdes was the absolute owner. OSG recommended the dismissal of the administrative case.
Issue: WON the demeanor of Valdes would warrant his disbarment from the profession? NO, Valdes is suspended from the practice of law for one year with a warning that a similar infraction shall be dealt with more severely in the future. Ratio: ♦ As a rule, a lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the business transaction must be characterized with utmost honesty and good faith. The measure of good faith which an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings with his client is a much higher standard than is required in business dealings where the parties trade at "arms length. Business transactions between an attorney and his client are disfavored and discouraged by the policy of the law. Hence, courts carefully watch these transactions to assure that no advantage is taken by a lawyer over his client. This rule is founded on public policy for, by virtue of his office, an attorney is in an easy position to take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client. Thus, no presumption of innocence or improbability of wrongdoing is considered in an attorney's favour. In violation of the trust agreement, respondent claimed absolute ownership over the property and refused to sell the property to complainant after the death of Jose Nakpil. Valdes initially acknowledged and respected the trust nature of the Moran property. His bad faith in transferring the property to his family corporation is well discussed in this Court's Decision. Respondent's act of excluding the Moran property from the estate which his law firm was representing evinces a lack of fidelity to the cause of his client. If respondent truly believed that the said property belonged to him, he should have at least informed complainant of his adverse claim. If they could not agree on its ownership, respondent should have formally presented his claim in the intestate proceedings instead of transferring the property to his own corporation and concealing it from complainant and the judge in the estate proceedings. Respondent's misuse of his legal expertise to deprive his client of the Moran property is clearly unethical. Respondent, through his accounting firm, charged the two loans of P65,000.00 and P75,000.00 as liability of the estate, after said loans were obtained by respondent for the purchase and renovation of the property which he claimed for himself. Respondent seeks to exculpate himself from this charge by disclaiming knowledge or privity in the preparation of the list of the estate's liabilities. Respondent violated Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer owes fidelity to his client's cause and enjoins him to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him. Respondent is guilty of representing conflicting interests. It is generally the rule, based on sound public policy, that an attorney cannot represent adverse interests. It is highly improper to represent both sides of an issue. The proscription against representation of conflicting interests finds application where the conflicting interests arise with respect to the same general matter and is applicable however slight such adverse interest may be. It applies although the attorney's intentions and motives were honest and he acted in good faith. However, representation of conflicting interests may be allowed where the parties consent to the representation, after full disclosure of facts. Disclosure alone is not enough for the clients must give their informed consent to such representation. The lawyer must explain to his clients the nature and extent of the conflict and the possible adverse effect must be thoroughly understood by his clients.
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There is nothing in the records to show that respondent or his law firm explained the legal situation and its consequences to complainant. Thus, her silence regarding the arrangement does not amount to an acquiescence based on an informed consent. In the estate proceedings, the duty of respondent's law firm was to contest the claims of these two creditors but which claims were prepared by respondent's accounting firm. Even if the claims were valid and did not prejudice the estate, the set-up is still undesirable. The test to determine whether there is a conflict of interest in the representation is probability, not certainty of conflict. It was respondent's duty to inhibit either of his firms from said proceedings to avoid the probability of conflict of interest Even granting that respondent's misconduct refers to his accountancy practice, it would not prevent this Court from disciplining him as a member of the Bar. The rule is settled that a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for ANY misconduct, even if it pertains to his private activities, as long as it shows him to be wanting in moral character, honesty, probity or good demeanor. HORNILLA vs. SALUNAT
PEOPLE of the Philippines, petitioner, vs. Hon. SANDIGANBAYAN, Mansueto V. Honrada, Ceferino S. Paredes, Jr. and Generoso S. Sansaet, respondents  Paredes was the former Provincial Attorney of Agusan del Sur. He eventually became the provincial Governor & is currently a Congressman. While he was the Provincial Attorney, applied for a free patent over Lot No. 3097-A Pls. 67 of the Rosario Public Land Subdivision Survey. Application was approved. 1985: Director of Lands filed an action for the cancellation of the patent since the land was designated & reserved as a school site. Trial court nullified the patent, finding that Paredes obtained such thru fraudulent misrepresentations in his application. Sansaet served as his counsel in this case & in all subsequent cases. An action for perjury was filed vs Paredes but was dismissed on ground of prescription. Case was filed w/the Sandiganbayan by the Tanodbayan vs Paredes for allegedly using his former position to influence & induce the Bureau of Lands to favorably act on his application. Paredes claimed that he was already charged under same set of facts & case was dismissed. He attached copies of the dismissal order, certificate of arraignment & DOJ recommendation. Case was again dismissed on ground of prescription. Jan. 23, 1990: Teofilo Gelacio, a taxpayer, sent a letter to the Ombudsman seeking the investigation of the 3 private respondents for FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS:
his/her lawyer or it has not been committed yet. The first kind of communication is barred by the attorney-client privilege while the latter is not. In this case, the communications made by Paredes (falsifying the documents) may be characterized as “future crimes” w/c had not yet been committed in the past. He was in the process of committing it. Sansaet was himself a conspirator. A communication between a lawyer & his client is only privileged if it is made for a lawful purpose. An unlawful purpose prevents the privilege from attaching. WON Sansaet qualifies, as a particeps criminis (in a similar offense/crime), for discharge from the criminal prosecution in order to testify for the State. – YES. It is of no moment that Sansaet was charged separately from his co-accused. In criminal law, persons indicted for the same offense & tried together are called joint defendants. Law did not intend that all accused should always be indicted in one & same information. An offender may be discharged as a state witness even if conspiracy is proven making all of the offenders liable for the felony committed. In discharging an offender to be a state witness, one of the requirements is that he does not appear to be the most guilty and not that he must be the least guilty. Precedents: a. People vs. Ramirez: accused was not allowed to be the state witness since he was the mastermind. b. People vs. Roxas: 2 conspirators were discharged & used as state witnesses. c. Lugtu vs. CA: co-conspirator was discharged as state witness since the trial court found that he was not the most guilty, considering that he was poor & ignorant. Court took into account the gravity/nature of the acts committed by the accused to be discharged compared to those of his co-accused & not merely that fact that in law the same/equal penalty is imposable on all of them. d. People vs. Ocimar: Requirements for discharge as state witness: a)necessity of testimony; b) no other direct evidence available; c) testimony could be corroborated; d) does not appear to be the most guilty (meaning, highest degree of culpability/participation in the commission of crime & not severity of penalty imposed. Law prohibits most guilty from walking away free while his co-accused who are less guilty will be sent to jail.); e) no evidence that he has at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude. The test would be the degree of the offender’s actual & individual participation in the commission of the crime. Discharge as state witness is based on certain considerations such as the need to give immunity to one of the accused in order that not all shall escape & that the candid admission of an accused regarding his participation is a guaranty that he will testify truthfully. Sansaet met the requirements set out in P vs. Ocimar: a. Absolute necessity of his testimony & no other direct evidence available - he is the only cooperative eyewitness. b. His testimony can be substantially corroborated on its material points by reputable witnesses (Gelacio, presiding judge, etc.) c. Doesn’t appear that he has at anytime been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude. Although discretion is w/the trial court WON to grant proposal to discharge offender as state witness, discretion should be exercised considering all facts & issues discussed not merely issue of the applicability of the attorney-client privilege. Sandiganbayan has likewise expressed its willingness to discharge Sansaet as state witness.
Honrada, then Clerk of Court & Acting Stenographer of the 1 st Municipal Circuit Trial Court, San Francisco-Bunawan-Rosario in Agusan, allegedly certified as true copies documents purporting to be a notice of arraignment dated July 1, 1985 & transcripts of stenographic notes supposedly taken during the arraignment of Paredes on the perjury charge. 2. Agusan’s Office of Provincial Fiscal issued a certification that no notice of arraignment was received in connection w/perjury case. 3. Presiding Judge issued a certification that perjury case did not reach the arraignment stage. Sansaet revealed that his client, Paredes, made it appear that the perjury case was dismissed after arraignment in order to have a defense of double jeopardy. He alleged that documents were prepared & falsified by Paredes & Honrada in the former’s house. He claimed that he participated upon the instigation & inducement of his client. He was being groomed as a government witness. Ombudsman rejected proposal for discharge of Sasaet as government witness primarily because his testimony/confession is privileged communication between lawyer & client & may be objected to if presented in trial. 3 criminal cases, including one against Sansaet, were filed w/the Sandiganbayan but were later on consolidated for joint trial. Another motion for Sansaet’s discharge as a government witness was filed claiming that his testimony was necessary since there was no other direct evidence to prove the charges. Motion was again denied on the same ground, that the communication was confidential & privileged.
Issues & Ratio: 1. WON Sansaet’s testimony as proposed state witness is barred by the attorneyclient privilege. – NO. Communication is not limited to any particular mode. It may be verbal, written or made by other means. Distinction must be made between confidential communications relating to past crimes already committed & future crimes intended to be committed by the client. By future crimes, we mean future at the time the client communicated the intended act to
Holding: Reliefs sought by petitioner allowed & must be given due course by Sandiganbayan. REGALA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN  Special Civil Action in the SC. Certiorari RP instituted a Complaint before the Sandiganbayan (SB), through the Presidential Commission on Good Gov’t (PCGG) against Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr., as one of the principal defendants, for the recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth, which includes shares of stocks in the named corps. in PCGG Case No. 33 (CC No. 0033) entitled "RP vs. Eduardo Cojuangco, et al." Among the defendants named in the case are herein petitioners and herein private respondent Raul S. Roco, who all were then partners of the law firm Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) Law Offices. ACCRA Law Firm performed legal services for its clients and in the performance of these services, the members of the law firm delivered to its client documents which substantiate the client's equity holdings. In the course of their dealings with their clients, the members of the law firm acquire information relative to the assets of clients as well as their personal and business circumstances. As members of the ACCRA Law Firm, petitioners and private respondent Raul Roco admit that they assisted in the organization and acquisition of the companies included in CC No. 0033, and in keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as nominees-stockholders of the said corporations involved in sequestration proceedings. PCGG filed a "Motion to Admit 3rd Amended Complaint" & "3rd Amended Complaint" w/c excluded Roco from the complaint in PCGG Case No. 33 as partydefendant, Roco having promised he’ll reveal the identity of the principal/s for whom he acted as nominee/stockholder in the companies involved in PCGG Case # 33 Petitioners were included in 3rd Amended Complaint for having plotted, devised, schemed, conspired & confederated w/each other in setting up, through the use of coconut levy funds, the financial & corporate framework & structures that led to establishment of UCPB, UNICOM, COCOLIFE, COCOMARK, CIC, & more than 20 other coconut levy funded corps, including the acquisition of San Miguel Corp. shares & its institutionalization through presidential directives of the coconut monopoly. Through insidious means & machinations, ACCRA Investments Corp., became the holder of roughly 3.3% of the total outstanding capital stock of UCPB. In their answer to the Expanded Amended Complaint, petitioners alleged that their participation in the acts w/ w/c their co-defendants are charged, was in furtherance of legitimate lawyering Petitioner Paraja Hayudini, who had separated from ACCRA law firm, filed a separate answer denying the allegations in the complaint implicating him in the alleged ill-gotten wealth. Petitioners then filed their "Comment &/or Opposition" w/ Counter-Motion that PCGG exclude them as parties-defendants like Roco. PCGG set the ff. precedent for the exclusion of petitioners: (a) the disclosure of the identity of its clients; (b) submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and (c) the submission of the deeds of assignments petitioners executed in favor of its clients covering their respective shareholdings. Consequently, PCGG presented supposed proof to substantiate compliance by Roco of the same conditions precedent. However, during said proceedings, Roco didn’t refute petitioners' contention that he did actually not reveal the identity of the
client involved in PCGG Case No. 33, nor had he undertaken to reveal the identity of the client for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder. In a Resolution, SB denied the exclusion of petitioners, for their refusal to comply w/ the conditions required by PCGG. It held, “ACCRA lawyers cannot excuse themselves from the consequences of their acts until they have begun to establish the basis for recognizing the privilege; the existence and identity of the client.” ACCRA lawyers filed MFR w/c was denied. Hence, ACCRA lawyers filed the petition for certiorari. Petitioner Hayudini, likewise, filed his own MFR w/c was also denied thus, he filed a separate petition for certiorari, assailing SB’s resolution on essentially same grounds averred by petitioners, namely: o SB gravely abused its discretion in subjecting petitioners to the strict application of the law of agency. o SB gravely abused its discretion in not considering petitioners & Roco similarly situated &, thus, deserving equal treatment o SB gravely abused its discretion in not holding that, under the facts of this case, the attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners from revealing the identity of their client(s) and the other information requested by the PCGG. o SB gravely abused its discretion in not requiring that dropping of partydefendants be based on reasonable & just grounds, w/ due consideration to constitutional rts of petitioners PCGG, through its counsel, refutes petitioners' contention, alleging that the revelation of the identity of the client is not w/in the ambit of the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege, nor are the documents it required (deeds of assignment) protected, because they are evidence of nominee status.
WON PCGG has a valid cause of action as against the petitioners NO. It is quite apparent from the PCGG's willingness to cut a deal with petitioners that petitioners were impleaded by the PCGG as co-defendants to force them to disclose the identity of their clients. It would seem that petitioners are merely standing in for their clients as defendants in the complaint. Petitioners are being prosecuted solely on the basis of activities and services performed in the course of their duties as lawyers. Quite obviously, petitioners' inclusion as co-defendants in the complaint is merely being used as leverage to compel them to name their clients and consequently to enable the PCGG to nail these clients. Such being the case, PCGG has no valid cause of action as against petitioners and should exclude them from the 3rd Amended Complaint. WON attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners from revealing the identity of their client(s) & the other information requested by the PCGG YES. Nature of lawyer-client relationship is premised on the Roman Law concepts of locatio conductio operarum (contract of lease of services) where one person lets his services and another hires them without reference to the object of which the services are to be performed, wherein lawyers' services may be compensated by honorarium or for hire, and mandato (contract of agency) wherein a friend on whom reliance could be placed makes a contract in his name, but gives up all that he gained by the contract to the person who requested him. But the lawyer-client relationship is more than that of the principal-agent and lessor-lessee. An attorney is more than a mere agent or servant, because he possesses special powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his client. An attorney occupies a "quasi-judicial office" since he is in fact an officer of the Court & exercises his judgment in the choice of courses of action to be taken favorable to his client.
Thus, in the creation of lawyer-client relationship, there are rules, ethical conduct and duties that breathe life into it, among those, the fiduciary duty to his client which is of a very delicate, exacting and confidential character, requiring a very high degree of fidelity and good faith, that is required by reason of necessity and public interest based on the hypothesis that abstinence from seeking legal advice in a good cause is an evil which is fatal to the administration of justice. Attorney-client privilege, is worded in Rules of Court, Rule 130: Sec. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases: xxx An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to, professional employment, can an attorney's secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity. Further, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states: Sec. 20. It is the duty of an attorney: (e) to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client's business except from him or with his knowledge and approval. This duty is explicitly mandated in Canon 17, CPR (“A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.”) Canon 15, CPE also demands a lawyer's fidelity to client. An effective lawyer-client relationship is largely dependent upon the degree of confidence which exists between lawyer and client which in turn requires a situation which encourages a dynamic and fruitful exchange and flow of information. Thus, the Court held that this duty may be asserted in refusing to disclose the name of petitioners' client(s) in the case at bar. The general rule is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of his client. Reasons advanced for the general rule: o Court has a right to know that the client whose privileged information is sought to be protected is flesh and blood. o Privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has been established. o Privilege generally pertains to subject matter of relationship o Due process considerations require that the opposing party should, as a general rule, know his adversary. Exceptions to the gen. rule: o Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the client's name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyer's advice. Ex-Parte Enzor and U.S. v. Hodge and Zweig: The subject matter of the relationship was so closely related to the issue of the client's identity that the privilege actually attached to both. o Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability, his identity is privileged. Neugass v. Terminal Cab Corp.: couldn’t reveal name of his client as this would expose the latter to civil litigation. Matter of Shawmut Mining Company: “We feel sure that under such conditions no case has ever gone to the length of compelling an attorney, at the instance of a hostile litigant, to disclose not only his retainer, but
the nature of the transactions to w/c it related, when such information could be made the basis of a suit against his client.” o Where the government's lawyers have no case against an attorney's client unless, by revealing the client's name, the said name would furnish the only link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime, the client's name is privileged. Baird vs. Korner: a lawyer could not be forced to reveal the names of clients who employed him to pay sums of money to gov’t voluntarily in settlement of undetermined income taxes, unsued on, & w/ no gov’t audit or investigation into that client's income tax liability pending Apart from these principal exceptions, there exist other situations which could qualify as exceptions to the general rule: o if the content of any client communication to a lawyer is relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which the client seeks legal assistance o where the nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously disclosed & it is the identity w/c is intended to be confidential, the identity of the client has been held to be privileged, since such revelation would otherwise result in disclosure of the entire transaction. Summarizing these exceptions, information relating to the identity of a client may fall within the ambit of the privilege when the client's name itself has an independent significance, such that disclosure would then reveal client confidences. Instant case falls under at least 2 exceptions to the general rule. First, disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to establish said client's connection with the very fact in issue of the case, which is privileged information, because the privilege, as stated earlier, protects the subject matter or the substance (without which there would be no attorney-client relationship). The link between the alleged criminal offense and the legal advice or legal service sought was duly established in the case at bar, by no less than the PCGG itself as can be seen in the 3 specific conditions laid down by the PCGG which constitutes petitioners' ticket to non-prosecution should they accede thereto. From these conditions, particularly the third, we can readily deduce that the clients indeed consulted the petitioners, in their capacity as lawyers, regarding the financial and corporate structure, framework and set-up of the corporations in question. In turn, petitioners gave their professional advice in the form of, among others, the aforementioned deeds of assignment covering their client's shareholdings. Petitioners have a legitimate fear that identifying their clients would implicate them in the very activity for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations. Secondly, under the third main exception, revelation of the client's name would obviously provide the necessary link for the prosecution to build its case, where none otherwise exists. While the privilege may not be invoked for illegal purposes such as in a case where a client takes on the services of an attorney, for illicit purposes, it may be invoked in a case where a client thinks he might have previously committed something illegal and consults his attorney. Whether or not the act for which the client sought advice turns out to be illegal, his name cannot be used or disclosed if the disclosure leads to evidence, not yet in the hands of the prosecution, which might lead to possible action against him. The Baird exception, applicable to the instant case, is consonant with the principal policy behind the privilege, i.e., that for the purpose of promoting freedom of consultation of legal advisors by clients, apprehension of compelled disclosure from attorneys must be eliminated. What is sought to be avoided then is the exploitation of the general rule in what may amount to a fishing expedition by the prosecution.
In fine, the crux of petitioner's objections ultimately hinges on their expectation that if the prosecution has a case against their clients, the latter's case should be built upon evidence painstakingly gathered by them from their own sources and not from compelled testimony requiring them to reveal the name of their clients, information which unavoidably reveals much about the nature of the transaction which may or may not be illegal. The utmost zeal given by Courts to the protection of the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege and lawyer's loyalty to his client is evident in the duration of the protection, which exists not only during the relationship, but extends even after the termination of the relationship. We have no choice but to uphold petitioners' right not to reveal the identity of their clients under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing to their clients, as the facts of the instant case clearly fall w/in recognized exceptions to the rule that the client's name is not privileged information. Otherwise, it would expose the lawyers themselves to possible litigation by their clients in view of the strict fiduciary responsibility imposed on them in exercise of their duties
WON PCGG’s exclusion violates equal protection YES. Respondents failed to show - and absolutely nothing exists in the records of the case at bar - that private respondent actually revealed the identity of his client(s) to the PCGG. Since the undertaking happens to be the leitmotif of the entire arrangement between Mr. Roco and the PCGG, an undertaking which is so material as to have justified PCGG's special treatment exempting the private respondent from prosecution, SB should have required proof of the undertaking more substantial than a "bare assertion" that private respondent did indeed comply with the undertaking. Thus, the Court held that the condition precedent required by the respondent PCGG of the petitioners for their exclusion as parties-defendants in PCGG Case No. 33 violates the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege & constitutes a transgression by SB & PCGG of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The PCGG's demand not only touches upon the question of the identity of their clients but also on documents related to the suspected transactions, not only in violation of the attorney-client privilege but also of the constitutional right against self-incrimination. Whichever way one looks at it, this is a fishing expedition, a free ride at the expense of such rights. Lastly, the invocation by petitioners of the privilege of attorney-client confidentiality at this stage of the proceedings is not premature and that they should not have to wait until they are called to testify and examine as witnesses as to matters learned in confidence before they can raise their objections. The petitioners are not mere witnesses but are co-principals in the case for recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth. The case against petitioners should never be allowed to take its full course in the SB. Petitioners should not be made to suffer the effects of further litigation when it is obvious that their inclusion in the complaint arose from a privileged attorney-client relationship and as a means of coercing them to disclose the identities of their clients. Holding: SB Resolutions ANNULLED and SET ASIDE, petitioners excluded as partiesdefendants in SB CC No. LANTORIA vs. BUNYI 
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