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Zaldivar v. Gonzales 3.

that several times, court members called him on the phone asking him
Subject for resolution: to dismiss the cases of 2 court members.
1. Motion dated Feb 9 1988 to cite in contempt filed by Zaldivar against public He also attached 3 handwritten notes from SC interceding for cases in SB.
respondent Special prosecutor Gonzalez. He alleged the courts to have disregarded legal merits of the Zaldivar cases and that they
2. a resolution of this court dated May 2, 1988 requiring Gonzalez to show were retaliating on his position that the SC can’t claim immunity in gov’t prosecution.
cause why he should not be punished from the motion above and or Then he released this MFR with the attachments to the press with other statements. The
subjected to administrative sanction for making public statements against publications were in a frenzy over this for a while.
the court.
Then on May 2, the court issued the following resolutions in the consolidated
Facts: cases.( revenge of the courts?)
Zaldivar is one of the defendants in several criminal cases in the Sandiganbayan(SB). 1. acting on respondents MFR, court required the petitioner to comment
The office of the Tanodbayan(TB) conducted the investigation and filed the criminal within 10 days from receipt.
information. 2. Because Gonzalez had made public statements to the media which not
Sept. 10, 1987, Zaldivar filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus in the SC, only deal with matter subjudice but also appear offensive to and
naming TB Gonzalez and SB. disrespectful to the court and its members. It be a calculated, whether
He assails the Resolution on Feb 5, 1987 by the TB which recommended the filing of crim directly or indirectly to bring the courts into disrepute, discredit and
info against Zaldivar and his co accused. And another resolution on Sept 1, 1987 of the ridicule and to denigrate and degrade the administration of justice. He
SB denying his motion to quash the crim info. is then given 10 days to explain why he shouldn’t be punish for
His main allegation is that respondent lacks authority because under the 1987 consti, the TB contempt or sanctioned administratively. (ex. The courts want him to
no longer had power and authority to investigate and institute crim cases for graft and stop investigating cases against court friends and protégés, and that
corruption against pub. officials and employees, independently. the courts dismissed judges without rhyme or reason and disbarred
So he prays for the crim cases against him to be declared null and void. lawyers without due process.
Sept. 11, the SC issues a resolution asking respondent to comment on his lack of authority, 3. Comment on the handwritten notes.
and ordered SB to cease and desist from hearing the case against Zaldivar and from 4. the court accepts that the resolution on Feb, 16 did not get to him, so
hearing and resolving the State Prosecutor’s motion to suspend dated Sept. 3 the clerk of court is asked to serve it to him.
The parties later filed their own pleadings. May 9, Respondent (now on the hot seat instead of Zaldivar), filed a Omnibus motion
Nov. 19 Zaldivar filed a 2nd petition for certiorari and prohibition in the SC naming Gonzalez, for Extension and Prohibition, asking that judging from the May 2 Resolution it looks like
he assails the Sept. 24 resolution on the TB recommending that additional crim charges that he won’t be judged impartially. That at least 4 judges( he named them) not sit on the
be filed against them. tribunal.
This time, he once again alleges the lack of authority of the TB and asks for the May 19, Gonzalez’s motion was denied, and it’s final and immediately executory.
consolidation of his previous petition. Gonzalez then pleaded in court for Supplemental motion to inhibit(those judges he
Nov. 24, a resolution by the SC without giving due course to 2nd petition required Gonzalez thinks are not impartial), motion to transfer Administrative Proceedings to the
to submit his comment. A TRO which ordered another cease and desist of filing crim info IBP, Motion for Extension of Time, and urgent Omnibus Motion for all motions
from the prelim investigation was inssued. specified. Then by June to September he filed, ex-parte Manifestation, Urgent Ex-parte
Nov 20, 4 days before the resolution, the office of the TB has already instituted a crim case MFR, and Urgent Ex-Parte Manifestation with Motion.
with the SB which later ordered an order of arrest for Zaldivar and his co accused. June 17, Gonzalez complied what was being asked for in the May 2 Resolution.
Zaldivar motioned and the court issued a resolution on Dec. 8 saying: the extension for
comments is granted. It also now considered the SB as party-respondent in pursuance of Issue:
and supplementing the TRO issued on Nov. 24. WON the SC has the authority to discipline officers of the court and Bar members. YES
Solgen filed a comment on the petition. And the SC required petitioner to reply. The constitutional mandate vests in them the duty to regulate admission to the practice of
Feb 9, 1988 Zaldivar filed a motion to cite in contempt against Gonzales, alleging: law. But apart from this, the disciplinary authority of the SC over members of the Bar in
1. having filed crim info against Zaldivar an inherent power incidental to the proper administration of justice and essential to an
2. issuing certain contemptuous statements to the media in relation to the orderly discharge of judicial functions.
proceedings (i.e. in the Phil. Daily Inq.: The SC TRO can aggravate the The SC has the inherent power to punish for contempt, to control in the furtherance of
thought that affluent persons can prevent the progress of a trial). justice the conduct of ministerial officers of the court including lawyers and all other
Well he just basically said that the rich are getting away scot free because the courts are persons connected in any manner with a case before the Court. It is “necessary for its
preventing him to go after them. This is the start of Gonzales being in the one on own protection against an improper interference with the due administration of justice”
the hot seat. and “it is not based upon the complaint of any parties litigant”.
Feb 16, the Court acted upon Zaldivar’s petition and required Gonzalez to comment within There are then two powers of the SC, the power to discipline attorney’s and the contempt
10 days. power. And the disciplinary authority is broader than contempt. For lawyers, contempt
April 27, the court rendered its decision in the consolidated petitions that grants the leads to professional misconduct, hence calls for disciplinary authority. But starting from
nullification of Zaldivar’s crim info. This time another order to cease and desist was given disciplinary authority, the source may or may not be contempt. Therefore, disciplinary
to Gonzalez. power encompasses more.
April 28, Gonzalez filed an MFR raising these issues: It rests on the belief that the lawyer is not only a professional but also an officer of the
1. he’d been approaches by leading court member to go slow on Zaldivar court. He is thus called upon to share in the task and repsonsibilty of dispensing justice
2. he was asked to refrain from investigating the COA reports on the and resolving disputes in society. So any act that visibly obstructs, pervert or impede
courts’ illegal disbursement, or else risk embarrassing the court. justice constitutes both professional misconduct calling for the exercise of disciplinary
action against him, and contumacious conduct warranting application of the contempt justice callous to pleas of justice, etc.” Obviously, he was judged to have exceeded
power. boundaries of fair criticism. “ criticism shall not spill over the walls of decency and
WON the court in exercising the power to punish for contempt, or of the disciplinary Paragas v Cruz MFR contained words like, We do not want Verzosa and Reyes killed again
authority of the Court over members of the Bar, the court acts as party, prosecutor, or and again, killed in the premises of the SC…etc. Then the SC considered these to be
arbiter or all of it? None. The court is dictinct from individual personalities. And only as derogatory to the dignity of the Court. “PPL v Carillo : Counsel should conduct himself
investigators in fulfilling their mandate. towards the judges who try his cases with that courtesy all have a right to expect. As an
This is important because of the plea of Gonzalez of Inhibition or Transfer, in his assumption officer of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not destroy
that the courts will not hear him impartially. unnecessarily that high esteem and regard towards the courts so essential to the proper
In In re Almacen, Almacen was wrong to make it appear that the courts acted as administration of justice.” “ Defense of the rights of clients must never exceed upto
complainants, prosecutors, and judges’ all rolled up into one. As the disciplinary intimidation or proceeding without propriety and respect which the dignity of the courts
proceedings were sui generis, meaning, they do not intend to punish(civil or crim) but require.”
only investigate the conduct of its officers. There is no plaintiff nor defendant. The courts In re Sotto “ As a member of the bar, xxxxxx duty bound to uphold dignity and authority of
only ask for an accounting for his actuations. So, there is no occasion for the court to act this court, to which he owes fidelity according to the oath he has taken as such attorney,
as complainant or prosecutor. Even if the courts are undeniably the aggrieved party, in the and not to promote distrust in the administration of justice. Respect to the courts
exercise of its disciplinary powers, the court acts as an entity separate and distinct from guarantees the stability of other institutions, which without such guaranty would be
the individual personalities of its members. So if there need be a complainant, it would be resting on very shaky foundation.”
the court and not its individual members. And the constitution vests upon them this Salcedo v Hernandez” as a member of the Bar, xxx duty bound to uphold its dignity and
jurisdiction (disciplinary powers), public policy demands that they act upon it. authority and to defnd its integrity not only because it conferred upon him the high
SO, therefore, the court can’t inhibit themselves. There is also no need for the courts privilege and not a right” “ he is now a priest of justice, he neither creates nor promotes
to disclaim any bias or prejudice that would prevent them from acting in accordance with distrust and prevent discontent in the admin of justice”
the exacting requirements of their oaths of office. The court is compelled to exercise their
jurisdiction. Obviously, comparing the acts of the mentioned lawyers to Gonzalez, the court is compelled
to hold Gonzalez in contempt.
WON the statements made by Gonzalez may reasonably be regarded by this court as Respondent’s statements especially the charge that the justices betrayed their oath of office
contumacious or as warranting the exercise of the disciplinary authority of the SC. YES by giving deliberate erroneous decisions in the consolidated petitions, for vengeance,
In Montecillo v Gica, Del Mar, Montecillo’s lawyer in a slander case, in his MFR, implied that constitute the grossest kind of disrespect to the Court, the entire system of administration
the CA “knowingly rendered an unjust judgment and negligence” implied too that the CA of justice. It constitutes contempt and call for disciplinary action.
allowed itself to be deceived. He was held in contempt of court, then he sued the CA
judges for damages. It was terminated with him paying the damages and apologizing to Even if Gonzalez invokes his freedom of speech, we have to remember that this comes with
the judges. But soon petitioned for certiorari on the decision of the slander case. Then he adjustments and accommodation for public interest. It is not absolute.
petitioned for an MFR to ask who voted for or against his case. His MFR was denied, then Gonzalez had the duty apart from being a lawyer and an officer of the court, is also a
he said that had he known who voted against his case, he would sue them as he did the Special Prosecutor of fidelity and respect to the Republic, and to this court, the repository
CA judges. Because the CA judges supposedly reversed the decision because of the of the judicial power.
falsifications done by the opposing team. When asked to explain his statements, he said He had a responsibility to uphold the dignity and authority of this court, and not to promote
that it was because of the rampant graft and corruption. It implied that the courts were distrust in the administration of justice, heavier than a private practicing lawyer.
corrupt and grafters. Here Del Mar is reminded that,” 2nd to the duty of maintaining Criticism should not spill over decency and propriety. Intemperate and unfair criticism is
allegiance to the country and Constitution and laws, the duty of all attorneys to gross violation of the duty and respect to courts, subjecting lawyer to disciplinary action.
observe and maintain the respect due the courts of justice and judicial officers.” Lawyer’s duty to render respectful subordination to the courts is essential to the orderly
“A lawyer must always remember that he is an officer of the court exercising a administration of justice. Tempers must be reined up.
high privilege and serving in the noble mission of administering justice.” “scant Gonzales disclaims an intent to denigrate the court, but the court said he can’t disclaim the
respect for the two highest court of the land when on the flimsy ground of alleged error in natural and plain import of his words. And he didn’t offer an apology nor repentance and
deciding a case, he proceeded to challenge the integrity of both courts.” “We wish to explanation.
point to this case as a reminder for them to imprint in their hearts and minds Even if Gonzalez defends himself that there has been no injury to the judiciary that has
that an atty. owes it to himself to respect the courts of justice and its officers as been shown. The court said that proof of actual damage sustained by the court is not
a fealty for the stability of our democratic institutions.” essential for a finding of contempt. Obstructing the free and undisturbed resolution of a
Surigao v Cloribel, same thing, the counsel for Mc Arthur Minerals wrote disrespectful, particular case is not the only species of injury that a court may redress. Integrity of the
insulting words for the courts. They implied by innuendo that the courts are not civilized judicial institution is at stake.
democratic tribunal, their decisions false, erroneous and illegal …. Etc. “Their slur made a Damage may not be quantifiable now, but if it isn’t stopped, damage will surely be
sweeping aspersion on the whole court not only the chief justice and Justice Castro. And realized. Because level of trust and confidence is not easily measured, but it is
their asking for inhibition for justices who received favors from the petitioners and their critical for the stability of the democratic government.
members as well as the President(absurd since it is the president who favors the
appointment). There is an obvious downgrading of the courts in this case.” “Counsel’s WON punishment for contempt is the proper remedy
words intended to create an atmosphere of distrust, of disbelief, and all lawyers know the YES, since it is the court itself as an institution, libel suit is not adequate.
language required. And yet this court finds the counsel’s style, undermining and degrading
the administration of justice. Hence he is guilty of contempt of court.” Court concludes Gonzalez to be guilty of contempt in facie curiae and of gross misconduct
In re Almacen “he called justice blind, deaf and dumb as they are being administered by as an officer of the court and member of the Bar. He is suspended from the practice of law
present SC, he went to the media calling the practice, obnoxious and unconsti, the SC indefinitely and until further orders of the court, effective immediately.
1985. They returned to Manila but Bonifacio did not live with Carlos as he lived with
Patricia FIGUEROA, complainant vs. Simeon BARANCO, Jr., respondent [1997] his children in Greenhills to let the children gradually accept the fact of the 2nd
 Figueroa & Barranco, townmates in Janiuay, Iloilo, had been sweethearts since 1953 marriage. She would leave for Hawaii regularly and one day she was confronted by a
during their teens. woman who insisted she was Carlos’s lawful wife. Upon finding that out, she left for
 They began having an intimate relationship in 1960 w/c yielded a son, Rafael Honolulu, Hawaii (July 1988) and returned only in March 1989 with her 2 children.
Barranco, born on Dec. 11, 1964. After child’s birth Barranco promised to marry Then Leslie again came to her demanding to know if Carlos has been communication
Figueroa after he passes the bar examination. with her.
 Barranco passed the bar exam in 1970 on his 4th attempt however, he failed to fulfill  Leslie also filed a criminal case for crime of Concubinage but the same was dismissed
his promise. The relationship ended in 1971 when Figueroa learned that Barranco for insufficiency of evidence to establish probable cause for the offense charged,
married another woman. having failed to establish cohabitation of the two.
 Figueroa then filed a petition preventing Barranco from taking his oath as a lawyer.  Leslie then filed a Motion to Cite Respondent in Contempt of the Commission for
He was charged of gross immorality. making false allegations in her Answer and for submitting a supporting document
 Barranco filed 4 motions to dismiss. I believe 3 of them were denied. On the 4 th which was altered & intercalated, in violation of Art. 183&184, RPC and the contempt
motion he cited that he was elected as a councilor of Janiuay & that he had good of the Commission. Apparently, the actual date of marriage was in Oct. 22, 1987, not
standing in the community & considering that this case has been pending for the Oct. 22, 1987 as was shown in the Certificate of Marriage which she attached to
longest time, he should thus be allowed to take his oath. substantiate her claim that she and Carlos got married.
 Sept. 29, 1988: Court dismissed complaint, Barranco allowed to take his oath.  Bonifacio countered that the orig. copy is with Carlos and that she relied on good
 Nov. 17, 1988: oath taking cancelled. Case referred to the IBP. faith on what appeared on the copy of the marriage certificate in her possession.
 (Maraming motions pero paulit ulit lang)
 IBP, May 17, 1997: recommended dismissal of the case.
 Finally, hearing on the case ensued and the Commission submitted its Report and
Recommendation that they fail to find any act on the part of respondent that can be
Issue: WON Barranco is guilty of gross immorality. – NO.
considered as unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to high degree. The
Ratio: Although his acts suggest a doubtful moral character, these do not constitute
Board of Governors of the IBP issued a Notice of Resolution dated Dec. 1997 which
grossly immoral conduct.
dismissed the complaint for Gross immorality for lack of merit but reprimanding
 Grossly immoral act: so corrupt & false as to constitute a criminal act or so
Bonifacio for knowingly and willfully attaching to her Answer a falsified certificate of
unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high degree. It’s a willful,
marriage with a stern warning that a repetition of the same will merit a more severe
flagrant or shameless act w/c shows a moral indifference to the opinion of
respectable members of the community.
 Arciga v. Maniwang: voluntary intimacy between a man & a woman w/o impediment
Issue: WON Bonifacio has conducted herself in an immoral manner for which she
to marry & devoid of deceit is neither corrupt nor so unprincipled even as a result a
deserves to be barred from the practice of law.
child is born out of wedlock.
 NO. Court agreed with the findings of the Commission and adopted the resolution of
 The intimate relationship was consensual, the complainant was already an adult who
the Board of Governors of the IBP.
voluntarily & actively pursued the relationship. Thus, we must rule out her assertion
 Practice of law is a privilege that can b revoked, subject to due process, once a
that she was forced into having sexual intercourse.
lawyer violates his oath and the dictates of legal ethics. While a requisite for
 A man can’t be castigated for going after the partner of his dreams. Marriage is
admission to the practice of law is the possession of good moral character, such
sacred & perpetual & should be entered into because of love & nothing else. What we
possession must be continuous, otherwise loss thereof is a ground for the revocation
have here is an act of revenge of a woman scorned, bitter & unforgiving. Besides,
of such privilege.
the 26 yrs that respondent has been prevented from being a lawyer is punishment
 A lawyer maybe disbarred for grossly immoral conduct or by reason of his conviction
of a crime involving moral turpitude. Immoral conduct is that conduct which is
Holding: Petition dismissed. Respondent who is now 62 yrs. Old (wawa naman. ) is
willfull, flagrant, or shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion
allowed to take his oath as a lawyer.
of the good and respectable members of the community.
 Lawyers, as keepers of public faith, are burdened with a higher degree of social
Ui v. Bonifacio
responsibility and thus must handle their personal affairs with greater caution. If
 Leslie Ui filed before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the
Bonifacio had exercised prudence and been more vigilant in finding out more about
Philippines (IBP) an administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty. Iris
Carlos’s personal background prior to her intimate involvement with him, then she
Bonifacio on the grounds of immorality.
might not have found herself in such a compromising situation.
 Mrs. Ui’s version of the story is that in Dec. 1987, she found out that Bonifacio (from
 Circumstances existed which should have at least aroused respondent’s suspicion
UP College of Law; admitted to Philippine Bar in 1982) was having an illicit
that something was amiss in her relationship with Carlos, & moved her to ask
relationship with her husband Carlos Ui which bore a daughter in 1986. She alleged
probing questions.
that the 2 have been living together at Ayala Alabang Village. She visited Bonifacio
 But although she was imprudent in managing her personal affairs, her relationship
around June 1988 and introduced herself as Carlos’s legal wife. Bonifacio said
with Carlos cannot be considered immoral as she thought there was a valid marriage.
everything was over between her and Carlos. But in Dec. 1988, she discovered that
Immorality connotes conduct that shows indifference to the moral norms of society
the relationship continued and even bore a 2nd child. She met with Bonifacio again in
and the opinion of good and respectable members of the community. Moreover, for
March 1989 and pleaded with her but the relationship still persisted and thus she
such conduct to warrant disciplinary action, same must be “grossly immoral” i.e.
filed the complaint.
must be so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to
 Bonifacio’s version, on the other hand, is to the effect that she knew Carlos to be
be reprehensible to a high degree. But Bonifacia’s act of immediately distancing
single but had children by a Chinese woman whom he had long been estranged. He
herself from Carlos upon discovery of his true civil status belies just that alleged
courted her openly and asked her to marry him. They got married in Hawaii, USA in
moral indifference.
 On the matter of the falsified Certificate of Marriage, her excuses are contrary to both broadcast and print media. Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional
human experience and highly improbable. Any prudent lawyer would verify the Responsibility prohibits a member of the bar from making such public
information contained in an attachment to her pleading, especially so when she has statements on any pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against
personal knowledge of that facts and circumstances therein. Thus, her defense of a party.
good faith cannot stand. It is the bounden duty of lawyers to adhere unwaveringly to ♦ Canon 5.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides:
the highest standards of morality. Their exalted positions as officers of the court
demand no less than that.
o Rule 5.10. A judge is entitled to entertain personal views on political
questions. But to avoid suspicion of political partisanship, a judge
Estrada v. SB shall not make political speeches, contribute to party funds, publicly
Facts: endorse candidates for political office or participate in other partisan
♦ This case deals with the resolution of the court in a petition for certiorari under political activities
rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by Joseph Estrada, acting through his counsel ♦ Partisan Political Activities - relates to acts designed to cause the success or the
Atty. Paguia, against the Sandiganbayan. defeat of a particular candidate or candidates who have filed certificates of
♦ Attorney Alan F. Paguia, speaking for petitioner, asserts that the inhibition of the candidacy to a public office in an election. The taking of an oath of office by any
members of the Supreme Court from hearing the petition is called for under incoming President of the Republic before the Chief Justice of the Philippines is a
Rule 5.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibiting justices or judges from traditional official function of the Highest Magistrate. The assailed presence of
participating in any partisan political activity which proscription, according to other justices of the Court at such an event could be no different from their
him, the justices have violated by attending the ‘EDSA 2 Rally’ and by appearance in such other official functions as attending the Annual State of the
authorizing the assumption of Vice-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the Nation Address by the President of the Philippines before the Legislative
Presidency in violation of the 1987 Constitution Department.
♦ Petitioner contends that the justices have thereby prejudged a case that would ♦ Supreme Court does not claim infallibility; it will not denounce criticism made
assail the legality of the acts taken by President Arroyo. by anyone against the Court for, if well-founded, can truly have constructive
effects in the task of the Court, but it will not countenance any wrongdoing nor
♦ The request of the movant is simply for the Court to include in its Joint
allow the erosion of our people’s faith in the judicial system, let alone, by those
Resolution the TRUTH of the acts of Chief Justice Davide, et al., last January 20,
who have been privileged by it to practice law in the Philippines
2001 in going to EDSA, authorizing the proclamation of Arroyo as president and
♦ Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that the lawyer
actually proclaiming GMA as president.
♦ July 2, 2003 - Sandiganbayan issued an order denying the foregoing motion, as should observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers
and, indeed, should insist on similar conduct by others. In liberally imputing
well as the motion to dismiss, filed by petitioner. As a result petitioner filed a
sinister and devious motives and questioning the impartiality, integrity, and
motion for reconsideration which was also denied.
authority of the members of the Court, Atty. Paguia has only succeeded in
♦ July 14, 2003 – Atty. Paguia filed a motion for disqualification of the two seeking to impede, obstruct and pervert the dispensation of justice.
resolutions. (1st resolution and resolution denying the MFR). The petition was
dismissed for gross insufficiency in substance and for utter lack of merit. Attorney Alan Paguia is hereby indefinitely suspended from the practice of law, effective
♦ Atty. Paguia denounces the decision and he stated that: upon his receipt hereof, for conduct unbecoming a lawyer and an officer of the Court.
o The act of the public officer, if LAWFUL, is the act of the public office.
Saburnido v. Madroño
But the act of the public officer, if UNLAWFUL, is not the act of the
**Administrative complaint for disbarment of respondent of Atty. Madroño for harassment
public office. Consequently, the act of the justices, if LAWFUL, is the
through the filing of multiple complaints against petitioner spouses, which evinces
act of the Supreme Court. But the act of the justices, if UNLAWFUL, is
vindictiveness ⇒ Gross misconduct**
not the act of the Supreme Court. It is submitted that the Decision in
ESTRADA vs. ARROYO being patently unlawful in view of Rule 5.10 of
the CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT, is not the act of the Supreme Petitioners: Spouses Venustiano Saburdino– a member of the PNP
Court but is merely the wrong or trespass of those individual Justices and Rosalia Saburdino – a public school teacher
who falsely spoke and acted in the name of the Supreme Court. Respondent: Atty. Florante E. Madroño – former judge of the Municipal
(Urbano vs. Chavez, 183 SCRA [347]). Furthermore, it would seem Circuit Trial Court
absurd to allow the Justices to use the name of the Supreme Court as
a shield for their UNLAWFUL act FACTS:
♦ Criticism or comment made in good faith on the correctness or wrongness, Antecedent facts:
soundness or unsoundness, of a decision of the Court would be welcome for, if  Before the present case, three other administrative cases against Madroño were filed
well-founded, such reaction can enlighten the court and contribute to the by the petitioners, which caused his discharge from the judiciary and the forfeiture of
correction of an error if committed his retirement benefits:

Issue: WON Atty. Paguia is guilty of conduct unbecoming of a lawyer and an officer of the 1. grave threats and conduct unbecoming of a member of the judiciary for
Court. YES pointing a high-powered firearm at Venustiano
2. reducing the bail in a criminal case without prior notice to the prosecution
Ratio: (this time filed by Asst. Provincial Prosec.)
♦ Atty Paguia has not limited his discussions to the merits of his client’s case 3. allowing other persons to take certain confiscated smuggled goods deposited
within the judicial forum; indeed, he has repeated his assault on the Court in in his court without corresponding memorandum, resulting in loss and
♦ Ago failed to redeem his properties and as a result the sheriff executed the final
 Because of these previous encounters with the judge, the petitioners allege that
deed of sale in favor of Castaneda and Henson.
Madroño has been harassing them by filing numerous complaints against them in ♦ May 2, 1964 – Ago now joined by his wife filed a complaint in the COFI of QC to
order to exact revenge
annul the sheriff’s sale on the ground that the obligation of Ago upon which the
 The cases are as follows: judgment was rendered against him in the replevin suit was his personal
1. Adm. case against Venustiano for Serious irregularity, supposedly for lending obligation, and that Lourdes Yu Ago’s ½ share in their conjugal residential
his service firearm to an acquaintance who then used the gun to extort house and lots which were levied upon and sold by the sheriff could not legally
money be reached for the satisfaction of the judgment.
2. For falsifying an entry in the police blotter to make it appear that Venustiano ♦ COFI of QC issued an ex parte writ of preliminary injunction restraining the
had lost his firearm petitioners, the Register of Deeds and the sheriff of QC, from registering the
final deed of sale, from cancelling the respondent’s certificates of titles and
3. Crim. case for evasion through negligence, supposedly for taking into issuing new ones and from carrying out any writ of possession. A situation
custody (without permission) a prisoner by final judgment, who later escaped arose where what the Manila court had ordered to be done, the QC court
4. Adm. case against Rosalia for violation of the Omnibus Election Code for countermanded.
acting as chairperson of the Board of Election Inspectors despite being a ♦ While the battle on the matter of the lifting and restoring of the restraining
relative of a candidate for barangay councilor
order was being fought in the QC court, the Agos filed a petition for certiorari
 At the time the present case for disbarment was filed, all three cases against and prohibition with the SC under date of May 26, 1966, docketed as L-26116,
Venustiano have been dismissed praying for a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the sheriff from enforcing
 Rosalia’s defense includes the fact that her relative lost while Madroño’s son won in the writ of possession.  dismissed
the election ♦ Ago spouses filed another petition for certiorari and preliminary injunction. The
CA gave due course to the petition and granted preliminary injunction.
Petitioners’ contention:
 The claim that they have been subjected to mental, moral, physical and financial 1. WON the doctrine that a court may not interfere with the orders of a co-equal
damage, which resulted in their children having to stop their schooling because court can be applied? NO
family funds were used up to attend to their legal fees ♦ The COFI of Manila, which issued the writ of possession, ultimately was not
interfered with by its co-equal court, the COFI of QC as the latter lifted the
Respondent’s contention: restraining order it had previously issued against the enforcement of the Manila
court's writ of possession; it is the CA that enjoined, in part, the enforcement of
 For his defense, Madroño contends that (1) the charges of the administrative cases
the writ.
do not constitute moral turpitude, therefore he could not have been disbarred; and 2. WON a writ of possession may not be issued until the claim of a third person to
(2) none of the complaints against petitioners were manufactured half-interest in the property is adversely determined? NO
♦ Lourdes Ago is not a stranger or a third party.
♦ Lourdes Ago is living with her husband and she does not claim ignorance of his
 The SC referred the matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for
business that failed, of the relevant cases in which he got embroiled, and of the
investigation, report and recommendation
auction sale made by the sheriff of their conjugal properties.
 The IBP reported that (1) Madroño and his counsel did not appear and present
3. WON the property is unleviable? NO
evidence in the hearing and, therefore, was considered to have waived his right to
♦ Laches has effectively barred them from raising the issue that the property is
present evidence in his behalf; and (2) did not submit a memorandum as directed
unleviable. The spouses Ago had every opportunity to raise the issue in the
The IBP ruled that there was convincing proof that respondent did commit acts
various proceedings before but they did not.
constituting grave misconduct and recommended that he be suspended for one year
o A wife is normally privy to her husband’s activities
Castaneda v. Ago o the levy was made and the properties advertised for auction sale in
Facts: 1961
♦ 1955 – Venancio Castaneda and Nicetas Henson filed a replevin suit against o she lives in the very properties in question
Pastor Ago in the COFI of Manila to recover certain machineries. o her husband had moved to stop the auction sale
♦ 1957 – judgment was rendered in favour of Castaneda and Ago was ordered to o the properties were sold at auction in 1963
return the machineries or pay a definite sum of money. Ago appealed but the o her husband had thrice attempted to obtain a preliminary injunction
decision was affirmed. to restrain the sheriff from enforcing the writ of execution
♦ August 25, 1961 – trial court issued a writ of execution for the sum of o the sheriff executed the deed of final sale on April 17, 1964 when
P172,923.87. Ago moved to stay the execution but it was denied. The levy Pastor failed to redeem
was made on Ago’s house and lots in QC. The auction sale was advertised and o Pastor had impliedly admitted that the conjugal properties could be
Ago moved to stop the auction sale. levied upon by his pleas "to save his family house and lot" in his
♦ Ago thrice attempted to obtain a writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the efforts to prevent execution
sheriff from enforcing the writ pf execution “to save his family hose and lot” his o it was only on May 2, 1964 when he and his wife filed the complaint
motion was denied and the sale was executed. for annulment of the sheriff's sale upon the issue that the wife's share
in the properties cannot be levied upon on the ground that she was
not a party to the logging business and not a party to the replevin
4. WON Atty. Jose M. Luison have misused legal remedies and prostituted the legal
process to thwart the satisfaction of the judgment? YES
♦ Atty. Luison has allowed himself to become an instigator of controversy and a
predator of conflict instead of a mediator for concord and a conciliator for
compromise, a virtuoso of technicality in the conduct of litigation instead of a
true exponent of the primacy of truth and moral justice
♦ A counsel's assertiveness in espousing with candour and honesty his client's
cause must be encouraged and is to be commended; what we do not and
cannot countenance is a lawyer's insistence despite the patent futility of his
client's position
♦ It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the
intricacies and vagaries of the law, on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If
he finds that his client's cause is defenseless, then it is his bounden duty to
advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the
incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and
temper his clients propensity to litigate. A lawyer's oath to uphold the cause of
justice is superior to his duty to his client; its primacy is indisputable

Decision of the Court of Appeals under review is set aside. Civil case Q-7986 of the Court
of First Instance of Rizal is ordered dismissed, without prejudice to the re-filing of the
petitioners' counterclaim in a new and independent action. Treble costs are assessed
against the spouses Pastor Ago and Lourdes Yu Ago, which shall be paid by their lawyer,
Atty. Jose M. Luison. Let a copy of this decision be made a part of the personal file of Atty.
Luison in the custody of the Clerk of Court.

Ledesma v. Climaco
Mauricio C. ULEP, petitioner v. The LEGAL CLINIC Inc., respondent [1993] FC’s description of marriage as a special contract of permanent union and as an
The Legal Clinic Inc. is a company w/c claims to provide legal support services w/c consist inviolable social institution. It is suggestive of immoral publication of applications for
of giving ready info by trained paralegals to laymen & lawyers. Its advices are non- marriage licenses. The mention of the Sharon-Gabby example connotes that criminal
diagnostic & non-advisory. It makes use of computers & modern information technology in acts such as bigamous marriage are being encouraged.
research & data gathering, encoding & reproduction of documents & pleadings. It assists  While electronic & computerized research & data gathering are encouraged, it must
laymen in obtaining birth, marriage registrations, info about laws of other countries like be prohibited when non-members of the Bar encroach upon the practice of law.
foreign divorce & other matters that don’t involve representation of clients in court.  Illegal law practice ought to be prohibited to protect both the public & the members
of the Bar.
The Legal Clinic’s proprietor, Atty. Nogales, provided info re the company’s structure,  Had respondent catered exclusively to members of the Bench & Bar, he would only
purpose & operations in an article entitled “Rx for Legal Problems,” published in the Jan. be offering technical assistance w/c is legitimate.
13, 1991 issue of Starweek (Philippine Star’s Sunday magazine). In the article Nogales  The assistance of paralegals are recognized but it’s not proper to represent oneself
claimed that their company can take care of any problem even if it’s as complicated as the as a paralegal for profit.
Sharon-Gabby domestic situation. He further claimed that they cater to clients who can’t  Law practice in corporation form is okay as long as its Article of Incorporation & by-
afford the services of big law firms. They analyze a client’s problem then they refer it to laws conform to the Rules of Court (ROC) & CPR.
one of their specialists. Nogales & his staff of lawyers are specialists in various fields of
law. Easier cases are disposed of on a while you wait basis while more complicated ones 2. Philippine Bar Association (PBA)
are dealt w/accordingly.  Respondent is involved in the practice of law & it must yield to the regulatory powers
of the SC. Its own ads announce a certain Atty. Don Parkinson. It’s offering legal
Petitioner, a lawyer who claims to be ashamed & offended by the acts of respondents w/c services thru its reserve of lawyers.
he characterized as champertous, unethical & demeaning of the law profession, prays that
the Court order:  Practice of law – includes all of the ff: conduct of cases in court, drawing of deeds,
1. respondent to cease & desist from issuing advertisements similar to the following: incorporation, rendering opinions, advising clients as to their legal rt & then take
promotion of secret marriage, distribution of books re Guam divorce and aid in the them to an atty & ask latter to look after case in court.
following services: annulment, immigration problems, visa applications, declaration  Only natural persons can engage in the practice of law so as to subject members of
of absence, remarriage, adoption, etc. the Bar to the discipline of the SC. Even if the respondent uses its business name,
2. persons or entities be prohibited from making ads re the exercise of the law the persons & lawyers acting on its behalf are subject to court discipline. The practice
profession other than those allowed by law. of law is a personal rt ltd to persons who have qualified themselves under the law.
Persons acting for respondent are engaged in unethical law practice.
Respondent on the other hand claims that he’s not engaged in the practice of law but only
in the rendering of legal support services thru paralegals. He invokes the US SC’s 3. Philippine Lawyers’ Association (PLA)
decision in John R. Bates & Van O’Steen v. State Bar of Arizona allowing advertisement of  The SC should suppress & punish the respondent & its corporate officers for the
legal services. unauthorized practice of law and the unethical, misleading & patently immoral ads.
 It is engaged in the practice of law specifically because it provides advisory services
The SC requested several lawyers’ organizations to submit position papers focusing in on Persons & Family Relations Law. Respondent’s activities involve the practice of law
particular on the issue of WON respondent’s activities constitute practice of law & if such applying the standards laid down in the Agrava case.
can be the subject of advertisements. Summaries below:
1. Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) 4. UP Women Lawyers’ Circle (UP-WLC)
 Legal support services claimed by respondent are not entirely different from legal  The general public should be protected from the danger of being exploited by
services. unqualified persons/entities purportedly engaged in the practice of law. The Court
 Respondents acts of: document search, evidence gathering, assistance to layman in has to be cautious of persons representing themselves as paralegals w/o being
need of basic institutional services from gov’t or non-governmental agencies like qualified to do so.
birth, marriage, property or business registration, obtaining documents like  The CPR prohibits lawyers from advertising.
clearance, passports, loc or foreign visas constitute practice of law.  With the services provided, the respondent gives a misleading impression that
 IBP opposes the ff: advertisement of legal services, establishment of a legal clinic & lawyers are involved in the company and that it can cure legal problems brought to
advertising such thru newspapers. them.
 Remedy: perpetually restrain respondent from undertaking highly unethical activities  That the company is involved in the practice of law is proven by Starweek article.
in the field of law.
 Company creates an impression that it renders legal services due to the following: its 5. Women Lawyer’s Association of the Philippines (WLAP)
name, advertisements, respondent’s name appears w/the scales of justice, ads  Ads solicit cases for purpose of gain w/c are illegal & prohibited by the CPR. Secret
appear w/a picture & name of person being represented as a lawyer from Guam. marriages and divorces, w/c are illegal & immoral, are being promoted.
 An illegal act can never be justified by whatever merit the illegal act may serve. Thus
 Ads are meant to induce performance of acts contrary to law, morals, public order & even if ads are allowed, US, Canada & other countries, the fact remains that this is
policy. It advertises divorce w/c is not allowed in the country save for Muslim prohibited in the Philippines.
divorces. This is in direct violation of Rule 1.02 of the Code of Professional  In re Taguda: Solicitation for clients by an atty by circulars of advertisement is
Responsibility (CPR)1. It likewise promotes secret marriages w/c makes light of the unprofessional & offenses of this character justify permanent elimination from the
A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in
6. Federacion Internacional de Abogadas (FIA)
the legal system.
 A person engaged in a lawful calling w/c may invoke the knowledge of law such as an  Respondent’s own description of the company proves that it gives out legal info to
architect giving advice re zoning, bldg & fire prevention codes or a person used as an laymen & lawyers. The service doesn’t end w/providing info. Respondent’s paralegals
agent for negotiations re real estate, is not engaged in the practice of law provided will have to explain to the client the intricacies of the law & advise client on proper
that: course of action. The ads say so too. As mentioned above, practice of law is not
a. the legal question is subordinate & incidental to a major non-legal problem limited to client representation in court but it likewise includes legal research, giving
b. services performed are not customarily reserved to members of the bar legal advice, contract drafting, etc. – all of w/c are being done by respondent
c. no separate fee is charged for the legal advice/info. company. This is further strengthened by the Starweek article. It is engaged in the
All of these must be considered in relation to the work for any particular client as a practice of law by virtue of the nature of the services it renders thus it’s covered by
whole. the statutory prohibition against ads.
 CPR Rule 15.08: A lawyer who is engaged in another profession/occupation 2. WON company is prohibited to engage in the practice of law – YES
concurrently w/the practice of law shall make clear to his client whether he’s acting  The respondent company, aiming to be a one-stop-shop for various legal problems,
as a lawyer or in another capacity. provides services w/c are beyond the domain of paralegals & are exclusive functions
 FIA’s stand is that the acts of the respondent should not be automatically of lawyers engaged in the practice of law. It should be noted that in our country
characterized as practice of law. For instance, rendering wedding services such as paralegals are not authorized to engage in the practice of law. Public policy requires
securing a marriage license or making arrangements w/a priest may not constitute a that the practice of law be ltd to those individuals duly qualified in education &
practice of law. It only becomes legal practice if advice is given to parties w/problems character in order to protect the public, court, client & bar from the
similar to the Sharon-Gabby-Richard case. Likewise, purely giving out of info incompetence/dishonesty of unlicensed practitioners.
materials re divorce, annulment, etc. is okay but once their paralegals apply the law  US jurisprudence supports this position. It recognizes that the practice of law is not a
to particular problems then we can say that they are involved in the unauthorized lawful business for everyone. It’s only allowed for those who possess profound
practice of law. Thus, a factual inquiry may be necessary for the judicious disposition knowledge of legal science entitling them to advise, counsel w/, protect or defend
of the case. the rts, claims or liabilities of clients WRT the construction, interpretation, operation
 Ads may be ethically objectionable considering that they give an impression that & effect of law. Such is needed to protect the public against incompetent & unreliable
secret marriages are allowed in the country & they fail to state the limitation that persons.
only paralegal services & not legal services are available.  Respondent suggests that the concept of paralegals as an occupation be applied in
this jurisdiction. But truth is, such concept still has restricted & ltd acceptance here.
ISSUES & RATIO: The law provides that a person not admitted as an atty cannot practice law.
1. WON respondent company is engaged in the practice of law. - YES 3. WON lawyers should be allowed to advertise their services - NO
 Practice of law defined:  CPR provides that a lawyer’s not supposed to use/permit use of false, fraudulent,
1. any activity, in or out of court, w/c requires the application of law, legal misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim re his
procedures, knowledge, training & experience. To engage in the practice of law qualifications/legal services nor shall he pay/give something of value to mass media
is to perform those acts w/c are characteristic of the profession – to give advice representatives in anticipation of or in return for publicity to attract legal business.
or render any kind of service that involves legal knowledge/skill. (position Lawyers should not resort to indirect ads (press releases, etc.). Such is based on the
paper by Attys. Limpe & Migallos) fundamental postulate that the practice of law is a profession & not a trade. Adopting
2. It includes conduct of cases in court, legal advice & counsel, preparation of leg practices of mercantilism degrades the lawyer himself & the profession. The most
instruments & contracts by w/c legal rts are secured. (Howton v. Morrow) worthy & effective ad would be the establishment of a well-merited reputation for
3. 3 types of professional activity: professional capacity & fidelity to trust. This can’t be forced but must be the outcome
of the character & conduct.
a. legal advice & instructions informing clients of their rts & oblig
 Exceptions:
b. preparation for clients of documents requiring knowledge of leg principles a. publication in reputable law lists – ltd to lawyer’s name, professional associates,
not possessed by laymen addresses, tel no., cable addresses, branches of law practiced, date & place of
birth & admission to bar, schools attended w/dates of graduations, educational
c. appearance for clients before public tribunals w/c posses pow & authority degrees, public offices, posts of honor, leg authorship, leg teaching positions,
to determine rts of life, liberty & property accdg to law memberships in bar associations, leg societies/fraternities, references, clients
4. It likewise includes advertising oneself as a lawyer (P v. Castleman), conferring represented (w/their consent). It can’t be a supplemental feature of a paper,
w/clients, giving them advise & taking business to an atty asking latter to look magazine, trade journal, periodical published for other purposes.
after the case in court (Depew v. Witchita Assn of Credit Men), giving advice for b. Use of ordinary simple professional car – ltd to name, law firm, address, phone
compensation (Fitchette v. Taylor) and rendering an opinion as to the proper no. & special branch of law practiced.
interpretation of a statute & receiving compensation for it (Mandelaum v. c. Publication of simple announcement re opening of new law firm or changes in
Gilbert). partnership.
5. Cayetano v. Monsod: It’s the rendition of services requiring the knowledge & d. Telephone directory listing.
application of legal principles & technique to serve the interest of another w/his  Respondent’s ads don’t fall under any of these exceptions considering that they even
consent (Black). A lawyer is one who in a representative capacity engages in contain fees charged.
the business of advising clients as to their rts under the law or while so engaged  Although US allows publication of legal fees for initial consultation, our CPR does not.
performs any act/s either in court or outside of court for that purpose.  Allowing publication of ads would only aggravate the deteriorating public opinion of
6. Philippine Lawyers Association v. Agrava: Practice of law includes work the legal profession whose integrity has consistently been under attack.
performed outside of any court & having no immediate relation to proceedings 4. WON the purpose for w/c the Legal Clinic was created is legal – Not w/in court’s
in court w/c require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill. jurisdiction considering that this is only administrative in nature. Remedy lies w/Sol Gen
7. It covers a wide range of activities in & out of court. who can institute quo warranto action. Referred to Sol Gen.
PETITIONER: Atty. Ismael Khan, Jr., Asst. Court Administrator and Chief of the Public
HOLDING: Information Office
Nogales reprimanded & warned. Repetition of same/similar acts will be dealt w/more RESPONDENT: Atty. Rizalino Simbillo
Respondent restrained & enjoined from: FACTS:
1. issuing/causing the publication/dissemination of any ad in any form w/c is Antecedent Facts:
same/similar to the aforementioned ads
2. conducting directly or indirectly any activity, operation or transaction proscribed  Atty. Simbillo has been placing advertisements in daily newspapers (e.g. Phil. Daily
by law or the CPR Inquirer, Phil. Star, Manila Bulletin) and in Buy and Sell offering his legal services as
In re Tagorda  This fact became known to the Public Information Office (PIO) of the SC
 Luis B. Tagorda, a practicing attorney and member of the provincial board of Isabela  One of the PIO staff members called the phone number included in the ad and
admitted to making use of a card which indicated his being an attorney, notary public pretended to be an interested party
and candidacy for 3rd member with the intimation of the legal service he may  The staff was informed by Atty. Simbillo’s wife that her husband was (1) an expert in
provide. He also admits authorship of a letter addressed to a lieutenant of barrio in
annulment cases; (2) can guarantee a court decree within four to six months,
his home municipality intimating that despite his membership in the Board, he still
provided the case will not involve separation of property or custody of children; and
offers his legal service as lawyer and notary public with a request to inform the
(3) that her husband charges a fee of P48T
barrio people of such accompanied by what kind of legal service he may provide.
Petitioner’s claim (Atty. Khan in his capacity was Asst. Court Admin. And Chief of the PIO)
Issue: WON Tagorda has violated provisions of the Code of Ethics
 YES. Sec. 21 of the Code of Civil Proc. relates to disbarments of the members of the  Atty. Simbillo violated Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.01 of the Code of Profession
bar. It was amended by Act No. 2828 by adding that the practice of soliciting cases Responsibility and Rule 138, Section 27 of the Rules of Court by the use of
at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, improper advertising and solicitation of his legal services
constitutes malpractice.
 Such conforms to Canons 27 and 28 of the Code of Ethics. Respondent’s contention:
 Canon 27 provides that the most worthy and effective advertisement possible is the  He admits everything, but argues that:
establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to
trust. It however prohibits solicitation of business by circulars, personal 1. these are not per se prohibited acts
communications or interviews not warranted by personal relations, procuring 2. the time has come to change our views about the prohibition
business by indirection through touters, indirect advertisement and other self- 3. the interest of the public would not be served by the absolute prohibition
laudations. 4. The SC can lift the ban
 Canon 28 prohibits volunteering advice to bring a lawsuit, stirring up strife and 5. Rationale for the decades-old prohibition should be abandoned
litigation (indictable in common law), hunt up defects, breed litigation by seeking out  He also prays that:
claims to personal injuries, employing runners or agents for that purpose, paying or 1. He be exonerated
rewarding those who bring or influence the bringing of cases to his office. In fact, 2. Court promulgate a ruling that advertisement of legal services offered by a lawyer
common barratry (i.e. frequently stirring up suits and quarrels between individual) is not contrary to law, public policy and public order as long as it is dignified
was a crime in common law punished by disbarment.
 The reason for such is because law is a profession and not a business. The lawyer The Integrated Bar of the Philippines:
may not seek or obtain employment by himself or through others for to do so would  The SC referred the case for investigation, report and recommendation
be unprofessional.
 Solicitation of cases by lawyers is condemned as it:
 It passed a resolution finding the respondent guilty of the charges
oIs destructive of the honor of the great profession  And recommended suspension from practice of law for one year, with a warning
oLowers the standards of that profession that the same or similar acts would be dealt with more severely
oWorks against the confidence of the community in the integrity of the members  This prompted the respondent to file a petition for certiorari with the SC
of the bar; and
oResults in needless litigation and in incenting to strife otherwise peacefully
inclined citizens. RULING: The SC agrees with the IBP’s findings and recommendation
Although it is a ground for disbarment, as this case involves some mitigating
circumstances (unawareness of impropriety, youth and inexperience and Tagorda’s WON the respondent has violated prohibition on advertisement and solicitation.
promise not to commit a similar mistake in the future, a modest period of suspension shall YES.
be metted without prejudice to a penalty of disbarment for similar future cases. RATIO: Solicitation of legal business is not altogether proscribed. However, it must be
compatible with the dignity of the legal profession, done in a modest and
Khan v. Simbillo decorous manner.
**Administrative complaint against Atty. Simbillo for improper advertising and solicitation
of his legal services ⇒ violation of Rule 2.03 and 3.01 of CPR, and Rule 138, LEGAL BASIS:
Section 27 (ROC).** Rule 2.03 (CPR): A lawyer shall not do nor permit to be done any act designed
primarily to solicit legal business