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Petition for Authority to Continue Use of the Firm Name “Sycip, Salazar, etc.

” using the name of the deceased partner in the firm name since such name is a
and In the Matter of the Petition for Authority to Continue Use of the Firm Name partnership asset inseparable from the good will of the firm. Whereas in a
“Ozaeta, Romulo, etc.”, petitioners [1979] professional partnership, the reputation of w/c depends on the individual skill of the
 Petitioners pray that they may be allowed to continue including the names of their members & it has no good will to be distributed as a firm asset on its dissolution.
deceased partners in their firm names. In the case of Sycip, Salazar, they wish to 7. Partnership for the practice of law can’t be likened to partnerships formed by other
continue using the name of deceased partner Atty. Alexander Sycip while on the part professionals or for business. Law on accountancy specifically allows use of a trade
of Ozaeta, they wish to continue using the name of Atty. Herminio Ozaeta. name in connection w/the practice of accountancy. Note that a partnership for law
 Bases of petitions: practice is not a legal entity nor a partnership formed to carry on trade/business/hold
1. CC Art. 1840: Using a deceased partner’s name as part of the property. It’s a mere relationship or association for a particular purpose. Remember
partnership/business name shall not itself make the individual property of the law is profession, it’s different from trade/business. Rt to practice law is not a
deceased partner liable for any debts contracted by such person or partnership. natural/constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. It
2. Other professions allow such (accountancy & engineering). No fundamental presupposes integrity, legal standing, attainment, exercise of a special privilege,
policy that’s offended by doing so at least where firm name has acquired the highly personal & partaking of the nature of a public trust in its possessor.
characteristics of a “trade name.”
3. Canons of Professional Ethics (adopted by the American Bar Association) are not
8. Cited Canon 33 only provides that it does not consider as unethical the continued use
of the name of a deceased partner & allows such only when it’s permissible by local
transgressed, Canon 33 of w/c provides that such be allowed “when permissible
custom. We don’t have a local custom allowing/permitting such. But remember that
by local custom, is not unethical, but care should be taken that no
in our country, firm names identify the more active and/or more senior
imposition/deception is practiced through this use.”
members/partners of the law firm. Decision cited H.S. Drinker who said that use of
4. No possibility of imposition/deception since the deaths of their deceased
deceased partner’s name is proper when sustained by local custom & not where by
partners were well-publicized in all newspapers of general circulation for several
custom this purports to identify the active members. And considering our idea of firm
days. Their stationeries use new letterheads indicating the years when the
names in this country, the use of a deceased partner’s name can lead to deception
deceased partners were connected w/the firm. Petitioners will notify leading
upon the public.
national & international law directories re: deaths of the deceased partners.
9. US Courts allow such because it’s sanctioned by their customs. Not so in our
5. Such is not prohibited by local customs. No custom/usage recognizes that the
jurisdiction where there’s no local custom sanctioning the practice. Besides, Courts
name of a law firm identifies the individual members of the firm.
take no judicial notice of custom, it must be proved as a fact, according to the rules
6. Such is allowed by US courts & accepted in most countries of the world.
of evidence. Juridical custom w/c can supplement statutory law or be applied in the
absence of such statute is different from social custom. Also, we have the Deen &
Issue: WON petitioners should be allowed to continue using the names of their
Perkins cases. They’re part of our legal system & no custom/practice to the contrary,
deceased partners in their firm names. – NO.
even if proven, can prevail.
“The practice of law is not like an ordinary money-making trade. Being a profession, it’s
Ratio:
practiced in a spirit of public service. A member of a profession doesn’t regard himself as
1. Deen Case: Cebu-based law firm was advised to desist from including in their firm
in competition w/his professional brethren. He’s not bartering his services. His service is
designation the name of a partner who has long been dead.
often rendered for no equivalent/for a trifling equivalent & it’s his pride to do what he
2. Register of Deeds of Manila vs. China Banking Corp.: involved the law firm of Perkins
does in a way worthy of his profession even if done w/no expectation of reward.”
& Ponce Enrile w/c continued using the name of Atty. Perkins who was already
deceased. Law firm raised arguments similar to those raised by petitioners in this
Holding: Petitions denied. Petitioners advised to drop the names SYCIP and OZAETA from
case. Court upheld ruling in Deen case explaining that in view of the personal &
their respective firm names but names may be included in the listing of individuals who
confidential nature of the relations between atty & client & high standards demanded
have been partners in their firms indicating the years during w/c they served as such.
in the canons of professional ethics, practice of using deceased partner’s name in the
firm name cannot be allowed since even in a remote degree it could give rise to the
Fernando, Certification: Didn’t participate because he’s related by affinity to one of the
possibility of deception.
senior partners of Sycip, Salzar. He wishes to invite attention to last part of the dispositive
3. Allowing such would go against CC Art. 1815 w/c provides that “Those who, not
portion. He believes it’s a happy compromise.
being members of the partnership, include their names in the firm name, shall be
subject to the liability of a partner.” Provision simply means that names in a firm
Aquino, dissenting: He believes that petitions should be granted on the condition that
name of a partnership must either be those of living partners or in the case of non-
they indicate in their letterheads that the deceased partners are dead or the period when
partners, should be living persons who can be subjected to liability.
they served as partners. It’s obvious that they want to do this to retain the clients who
4. Canon 34, Canons of Professional Ethics prohibits an agreement wherein the widow &
had customarily sought the legal services of deceased partners & to benefit from the
heirs of a deceased lawyer will receive a percentage, gross/net, of fees received from
future business of deceased lawyer’s former clients there being no lawyer & service goodwill attached to these names. He believes that these are legitimate motivations. 
involved. In the same manner, the widow/heirs of a deceased lawyer can’t be held
liable for the transactions entered into by deceased lawyer’s former partners. Dacanay v. Baker & McKenzie
5. It can create undue advantages & disadvantages. Unfair to new lawyers who are Facts:
starting from scratch while advantageous for a lawyer who joins an old firm & rides ♦ Adriano Dacanay was admitted to the bar in 1954
on firm’s reputation established by deceased partners. ♦ November 16, 1979 - Vicente Torres, using the lettterhead of Baker & Mckenzie
6. CC Art. 1840 involves exemption from liability contemplating a hold-over situation in asked Rosie Clurman for the release of 87 shares of Cathay Products
cases of dissolved partnerships or when one partner dies and the other partners International, Inc. to H. E. Gabriel. The letterhead contained the name of 10
continue the business. It deals more w/commercial partnerships rather than a lawyers.
professional one. Commercial partnerships allow succeeding partners to continue ♦ December 7, 1979 – Clurman denied any liability to Gabriel.
♦ Atty. Dacanay filed a verified complaint enjoining Juan G. Collas and 9 other
lawyers from practising law under the name of Baker & Mckenzie.
♦ Baker & Mckenzie is a professional partnership organized in Chicago, Illinois
with members and associates in 30 cities around the world.

Issue: WON the lawyers can practice law under the name of Baker & Mckenzie? NO

Ratio:
♦ Baker & Mckenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the Philippines
(Sec. 1 Rule 138, ROC)
♦ Use by the respondents of the firm name Baker & Mckenzie constitutes a
representation that being associated with the firm they could render legal
services of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises and others
engaged in foreign trade and investment. This practice is unethical because
Baker & Mckenzie is not authorized to practice law here.

Samonte v. Gatdula
Renato L. CAYETANO, petitioner vs. Christian MONSOD, Hon. Jovito Salonga, 3. He worked in his fathers law office then worked as an operations officer in the
Comission on Appointments and Hon. Guillermo Carague in his capacity as Sec. World Bank Group for about 2 yrs in Costa Rica and panama, which involved
Of Budget & Management, respondents [1991] getting acquainted with the laws of the member-countries, negotiating loans and
 Atty. Christian Monsod was nominated by Pres. Aquino to the position of Chairman of coordinating legal, economic and project work of the Bank
the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on 4. He returned to the Philippines and worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief
Appointments (CoA). executive officer of an investment bank and subsequently of a business
 Renato Cayetano opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not conglomerate, and since 1986, has render services to various companies as a
possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for legal and economic consultant or chief executive officer.
at least 10 yrs. 5. As former Secretary-General (1896) and National Chairman (1987) of
 CoA confirmed the nomination. Monsod took his oath and assumed office thereafter, NAMFREL, Monsod’s work involved being knowledgeable in election law. He
 Cayetano thus filed this petition praying that the confirmation be declared null and appeared for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the COMELEC.
void. 6. In the field of advocacy, Monsod, in his personal capacity and as former Co-
Chiarman of the Bishops Businessmen’s Conference for Human Dev’t, has
Issue: WON Monsod can be considered as having been engaged in the practice of law for worked with the under privileged sectors in initiating, lobbying for and engaging
at least 10 yrs - YES in affirmative action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land
reform bill.
 Composition and qualifications of Commissioners in the COMELEC are given in the ff 7. He also made use of his legal knowledge as member of the Davide Commission
provisions: Sec. 1(1), Art. IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections and as a member of the Con-Com and Chairman of is Committee on
composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of Accountability of Public Officers.
the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age,  Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term “practice of law”,
holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective particularly the modern concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the
positions in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority thereof, liberal construction intended by the framers of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod’s past
including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur
engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. of industry, a lawyer negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both rich and
 The SC regrets that there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes the poor—verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement—that he has been
practice of law as a legal qualification to an appointive office. engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years.
 But jurisprudence, and other legal sources have defined practice of law in a rather Held: Petition dismissed
broad scope.
1. In general these sources state that: The practice of law is not limited to the Narvasa, concurring: Concurs in the result. Doesn’t appear that there has been an
adequate showing that that CA’s appointment of Monsod was attended by error so gross
conduct of cases in court. It means any activity, in or out of court, which
amounting to grave abuse of discretion to merit nullification by the SC. Petition denied.
requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and
experience. (Black’s Law Dictionary, Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. v.
Padilla, dissenting: He votes to grant the petition & declare Monsod not qualified.
Dworken, Philippine Lawyers Association v. Agrava, U.P. Law Center [dimension
1. Monsod had not engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 yrs prior to his
of practice of law are advocacy, counseling and public service], and Barr v.
appointment as COMELEC chair.
Cardell)
2. Case is w/in SC’s jurisdiction. It’s the SC’s oblig to interpret the Consti & define the
2. The records of the 1986 Con-Com adopted a liberal interpretation of the term: it
constitutional boundaries (Angara v. Electoral Commission).
does not necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law…as long as lawyers
3. Practice of law defined: The dissent presented several definitions w/c defined practice
who are employed in the CoA are using their legal knowledge or legal talent in
as an actual performance done habitually, repeatedly or customarily.
their respective work within CoA, then they are qualified to be considered for
4. It also mentioned Commission on Appointments memo w/c outlined some guidelines
appointment as members or commissioners…
to determine whether one is engaged in the practice of law. Some of these were:
3. Ironically, the appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once
habituality; compensation; application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure
the most publicly familiar role for lawyers as well as an uncommon role for the
w/c calls for leg knowledge, training & experience; and attorney-client relationship.
average lawyer.
5. J. Padilla believes that if Monsod did perform any task w/c constitute practice of law,
4. In several issues of the Business Star are emerging trends in corporate law
he did not do so habitually for at least 10 yrs prior to his appointment as COMELEC
practice, a departure from the traditional concept of practice of law. The
chair. Rather, these were isolated activities w/c don’t qualify as practice of law since
corporate lawyer now has to be a stakeholder, involved in decision-making
there was no continuity or succession of acts.
within the corporation, adept in legal managerial capabilities vis-à-vis the
managerial mettle of corporations to address a crisis situation, skilled in new
Cruz, dissenting: He votes to grant the petition.
programming techniques that make the systems dynamics principles more
1. SC has jurisdiction despite CA’s confirmation of the appointment since this is not a
accessible to manager—including corporate counsels, skilled in decision analysis
political question. Qualification is dependent on the established facts and not the
—which can be used to appraise the settlement value of litigation, and more
discretion of the CA. Besides, CA’s exercise of that discretion is subj to SC review.
knowledgeable of financial law affecting each aspect of their work.
Note that elected officials, including the Pres of the Phil, may be ousted by the Court
 Atty. Monsod, on the other hand is:
for lack of required qualifications.
1. A UP graduate and member of the Philippine bar and has been a dues paying
2. Ponencia’s definition of practice of law may be too sweeping. One doesn’t have to be
member of the IBP.
a lawyer to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the
2. He has also been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than
application of some law however peripherally. Note that there is hardly any activity
10 yrs
that’s not affected by some law or gov’t regulation. A definition of practice of law as
the “performance of any acts in or out of court, commonly understood to be practice o Be warned that a repetition of similar infraction will be dealt with more severely
of law” tells us nothing. Same goes w/the definition that one doesn’t have to earn his  After investigation, Sec. Ordoñez found him guilty of grave misconduct and recommended
living or at least part of it as a lawyer as long as his activities are incidentally to Pres. Aquino that he be dismissed from the service, w/ forfeiture of leave credits &
connected w/some law, ordinance or regulation. Respondent’s credentials are retirement benefits, and w/ prejudice to re-employment in the gov’t service. The Pres. did
impressive but they don’t show that has been engaged in the practice of law for 10 dismiss him by AO No. 165
yrs as required by the Consti. He got his previous positions because of his experience  Collantes also filed this complaint for disbarment for:
& prestige as a businessman & not as an atty-at-law. o Neglecting or refusing the registration applied for by V&G despite repeated requests
& w/o sufficient justification to obtain some pecuniary or material benefit from
interested parties.
Gutierrez, Jr., dissenting: He votes to grant the petition.
o Conduct unbecoming of public official
1. Monsod has never engaged in the practice of law for even one year. A person may
o Dishonesty
have passed the bar examinations but if he has not dedicated his life to the law, if he
o Extortion
has not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement, then
o Directly receiving pecuniary or material benefit in connection w/ pending official
we can’t say that he has been engaged in the practice of law.
transactions
2. Practice of law is also required for SC justices. How can a person selling real estate, o Causing undue injury to GSIS/Gov’t through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or
managing a business corporation, working in media, etc. be a court justice? gross inexcusable negligence
3. Practice is active, regular & not isolated, occasional, accidental, intermittent, o Gross ignorance of the law & procedure
incidental, seasonal or extemporaneous. It involves committed participation.
4. Every resident in this country who has reached the age of discernment has to know, Issue: WON Renomeron, as a lawyer, may also be disciplined by SC for his malfeasances as a
follow or apply the law at various times in his life. If we define practice of law as the public official
use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor, can we then say that just about  YES, for his misconduct as a public official also constituted a violation of his oath as a
anyone is engaged in the practice of law? lawyer
5. For activities to come w/in the purview of practice of law, they should not only be  The lawyer’s oath (ROC 138, Sec. 17) imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay no
activities peculiar to the work of a lawyer, they should also be performed habitually, man for money or malice. The lawyer’s oath is a source of his obligations and its violation
frequently or customarily. It denotes frequency or succession of acts. Even the is a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary action
Commission on Appointments made use of the habituality guideline.  The CPR applies to lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official tasks
6. Although Monsod may have profited from his legal knowledge, the use of such was (CANON 6).
only incidental & were isolated activities w/c don’t fall under the denomination of  The CPR forbids a lawyer to engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct
practice of law. (Rule 1.01, CPR); or delay any man’s cause “for any corrupt motive or interest” (Rule
1.03)
 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law,
Collantes v. Romeron
nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the
 V&G Better Homes Subd., Inc. requested respondent Atty. Vicente C. Renomeron, Register
discredit of the legal profession. (R7.03)
of Deeds of Tacloban to register some 163 deeds of sale with assignment (in favor of the
 Only those who are “competent, honorable, and reliable” may practice the profession of
GSIS) of lots of the V&G mortgaged to GSIS by the lot buyers.
law (Noriega v. Sison) for every lawyer must pursue “only the highest standards in the
 Renomeron did not act. Another request to approve or deny registration was made, but
practice of his calling” (Court Admin. v. Hermoso)
Renomeron only required V&G to submit proof of real estate tax payment & clarify certain
 The acts of dishonesty & oppression w/c Atty. Renomeron committed as a public official
details about the transactions
have demonstrated his unfitness to practice the high & noble calling of the law. He should
 V&G complied, but Renomeron instead suspended registration of the documents pending
therefore be disbarred.
compliance by V&G with a certain “special arrangement”—that V&G provide him a weekly
roundtrip ticket from Tacloban to Manila plus P2K pocket money per trip/sale of
respondent’s QC house and lot. He then confided that he’ll act favorably on the registrable
DM Consunji v. Esguerra
documents if V&G would execute clarificatory affidavits and send money for round trip
plane tickets.
 V&G sent the plane tickets but not the pocket money & so Renomeron imposed more
registration requirements
 Fed up, they challenged him to act on all pending applications for registration of V&G w/in
24 hrs.
 He formally denied said registration on the ground that the deeds of absolute sale w/
assignment were ambiguous as to parties & subject matter
 Complainant Atty. Collantes, counsel for V&G, moved for reconsideration of denial.
 Renomeron elevated the matter en consulta to Administrator, Nat’l Land Titles & Deeds
Registration Admin (NLTDRA) who ruled that the questioned documents were registrable.
Still Renomeron sat on V&G’s deeds of sale
 So complainant filed admin. charges against him which NLTDRA acted on. Renomeron
denied charges of extortion and of directly receiving pecuniary or material benefit for
himself in connection w/ the official transactions awaiting
 NLTDRA Administrator recommended to Sec. of Justice Sedfrey A. Ordoñez that
Renomeron
o Be found guilty of simple neglect of duty
o Be reprimanded to act with dispatch on documents presented to him for registration;
and
Misamin v. San Juan
Facts:
♦ Miguel A. SanJuan is a captain in the Metro Manila Police force and member of
the Philippine bar. He was charged with being the legal representative of
certain establishments allegedly owned by Filipinos of Chinese descent and with
coercing an employee to agree to drop the charges filed against his employer
for the violation of the minimum wage law.
♦ SanJuan admits as having appeared as counsel for the New Cesar’s Bakery in
the proceeding in the NLRC while he held office as captain in the Manila
Metropolitan Police force. He contends that this is not prohibited in the exercise
of his profession.
♦ SanJuan denies having conspired with the complainant Misamin’s attorney in
the NLRC proceeding in order to trick Misamin into signing an admission that he
had been paid his separation pay. He also denies giving illegal protection to
members of the Chinese community.
♦ During the scheduled the lawyer of the complainant failed to appear. The
complainant also stated that he wished his complaint withdrawn. He explained
that he brought the present action in an outburst of anger believing that
SanJuan took an active part in the unjust dismissal of his complaint in the
NLRC.

Issue: WON the case for malpractice against SanJuan should be dismissed? Yes

Ratio:
♦ Section 27, Rule 138 (ROC) provides for the grounds of suspension or removal
of an attorney. SanJuan’s appearance at the labor proceeding notwithstanding
that he was an incumbent police officer of the City of Manila may be
appropriately be referred to the National Police Commission and the Civil
Service Commission.
♦ Tionko doctrine – the serious consequences of disbarment or suspension should
follow only where there is clear preponderance of evidence against the
respondent. The presumption is that the attorney is innocent of the charges
preferred and has performed his duty as an officer of the court in accordance
with his oath.
♦ This resolution does not in any wise take into consideration whatever violations
there might have been of the Civil Service Law.
♦ While the charges have to be dismissed, still it would not be inappropriate for
the respondent member of the bar to avoid all appearances of impropriety.
Certainly, the fact that the suspicion could be entertained that far from living
true to the concept of a public officer being a public trust, he did make use, not
so much of whatever legal knowledge he possessed, but the influence that
laymen could assume inherent in the office held not only to frustrate the
beneficent statutory scheme that labor be justly compensated but also be at the
beck and call of what the complainant called alien interest. SanJuan should
refrain from laying himself open to such doubt and misgivings as to his fitness
not only for the position occupied by him but also for membership in the bar.