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RILLORAZA vs.

ETPI [1999] o The RADA retainer agreement
 Petition for review on certiorari of a decision of the CA  Court held that RADA is entitled to attorneys' fees, but is unconvinced with
 Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (ETPI) represented by the RADA's arguments that the services they rendered merit the amount they
law firm San Juan, Africa, Gonzales & San Agustin (SAGA), filed w/ Makati, are claiming.
RTC a complaint for recovery of revenue shares against PLDT. Atty.  First, RADA contends that Atty. Rilloraza initiated the filing of the complaint.
Francisco D. Rilloraza, a partner of the firm appeared for ETPI. But when a client employs the services of a law firm, he employs the entire
 After ETPI rested its case, it paid SAGA the billed amt P100K. TC granted law firm. Thus, RADA could not claim to have initiated the filing of the
ETPI's application for preliminary restrictive & mandatory injunctions. complaint considering that ETPI hired SAGA. Besides, ETPI already paid
During this period, SAGA was dissolved & 4 of the junior partners formed SAGA P100K representing services performed prior to the termination of
the law firm Rilloraza, Africa, De Ocampo & Africa (RADA), w/c took over as SAGA contract.
counsel in the case for ETPI and ETPI signed a retainer agreement with  Second, petitioner claims that under the retainer agreement, the firm is
counsel. entitled to 15% of the amounts collected or the value of the property
 RADA presented the 3 aspects of the main case in the TC and in this acquired or liability saved, as was therein stipulated.
connection, ETPI filed with the TC 2 urgent motions for restraining order. As  However, the retainer agreement has been terminated. It cannot be ignored
the applications were not acted upon, ETPI brought the case up to the CA that an attorney-client relationship between petitioner & respondent no
 Then, RADA received a letter from ETPI signed by E. M. Villanueva, Pres. longer existed during its culmination by amicable agreement. To award the
& CEO stating that ETPI was terminating the retainer contract. attorneys' fees amounting to 15% of the amounts collected (roughly
 Thus, RADA filed w/ the RTC a notice of attorney's lien, furnishing copies to P175M) would be too unconscionable.
ETPI, to the signatory of the termination letter & PLDT. RADA also sent a  In any case, whether there is an agreement or not, the courts shall fix a
letter to ETPI attaching its partial billing statement. In its notice, RADA reasonable compensation which lawyers may receive for their professional
informed the court that there were negotiations toward a compromise services. The amount must be determined on a quantum meruit basis.
between ETPI and PLDT. After confirmation of such by RADA, such was  Quantum meruit, i.e. 'as much as he deserved', is used as a basis for
entered as a judgment. determining the lawyer's professional fees in the absence of a contract but
 Then, RADA filed a motion for the enforcement of attorney's lien w/ Makati recoverable by him from his client.
RTC and appraised SC by manifestation.  Recovery of fees on quantum meruit basis is authorized when:
 PLDT filed w/ the TC a manifestation that it is not in any manner involved in (1) there is no express contract for payment of attorney's fees agreed
the lien being asserted while ETPI filed its opposition upon between the lawyer and the client;
 TC denied the motion for enforcement of attorney's lien thus RADA with the (2) when although there is a formal contract for attorney's fees, the fees
TC a notice of appeal to the SC. ETPI filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal stipulated are found unconscionable or unreasonable by the court; and
contending that the case could be brought to the SC only via a petition for (3) when the contract for attorney's fees is void due to purely formal
review on certiorari, not by a mere notice of appeal. TC dismissed appeal defects of execution;
on same grounds. (4) when the counsel, for justifiable cause, was not able to finish the case
 Hence, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the SC, w/c SC remanded to its conclusion;
to CA. CA dismissed the petition, ruling that the judge committed no abuse (5) when lawyer and client disregard the contract for attorney's fees.
of discretion in denying petitioner's motion for enforcement of attorney's  Elements to be considered in fixing a reasonable compensation for the
lien. services rendered by a lawyer on the basis of quantum meruit:
 [On the procedural note, SC held that despite technical deficiencies, it (1) the importance of the subject matter in controversy,
resolved to give due course to this petition as the case on its face appears (2) the extent of services rendered, and
to be impressed with merit.] (3) the professional standing of the lawyer.
 The TC has the principal task of fixing the amount of attorney's fees, hence,
WON petitioner is entitled to recover attorney's fees amounting to the necessity of a hearing.
P26,350,779.91 for handling the case for its client ETPI though its services were  As regards the charging lien, RADA contends that pursuant to Rule 138,
terminated in midstream & the client directly compromised the case with the ROC, it is entitled to a charging lien. SC, however, disagrees.
adverse party.  A charging lien to be enforceable as security for the payment of attorney's
 NO. Petitioner's claim for attorney's fees hinges on 2 grounds: fees requires as a condition sine qua non a judgment for money and
o The fact that Atty. Rilloraza personally handled the case when he was execution in pursuance of such judgment secured in the main action by the
working for SAGA; and attorney in favor of his client23. A charging lien presupposes that the
attorney has secured a favorable money judgment for his client.24 From the
facts of the case it would seem that petitioner had no hand in the settlement
that occurred, nor did it ever obtain a favorable judgment for ETPI.
 ETPI entered into a compromise agreement when it ended the services of
petitioner and through the effort of ETPI's new lawyers, the law firm
Romulo, Mabanta, Buenaventura, Sayoc and De los Angeles. Whether
there was bad faith in the substitution of the lawyers to avoid compliance
with the retainer agreement could only be determined after a trial of the
case on the merits.

Holding: Petition granted, CA decision reversed & case remanded to court a
quo for determination of amt of attorney's fees RADA is entitled
URBAN BANK vs. PENA [2001]  It is not within the IBP’s jurisdiction to determine who should pay; it should
be left to the proper court
Facts:
 The only issue is: WON RESPONDENT COMMITTED MALPRACTICE,
 Union Bank bought a parcel of land from Isabela Sugar Company (ISC) DECEIT AND GROSS MISCONDUCT IN THE PRACTICE OF HIS
 Agreement included a condition that ISC will cause the eviction of all the PROFESSION AS A MEMBER OF THE BAR. NO. Because there was
occupants of the property refusal to pay just compensation, Atty. Peña merely instituted the
 Union Bank alleges the following facts: proper action.
o ISC contracted the services of Atty. Magdaleno Peña for the purpose of  Recommended dismissal
evicting the occupants
SC agreed with the IBP’s findings and recommendation, saying that
o Atty. Peña then asked for a letter of authority granting him authority to Complainant failed to meet the required burden of proof in order for the Court to
represent Complainant in maintaining possession of the property and in exercise its disciplinary power:
any court action that may arise in connection with the said duty
 Complainant has not proffered any proof that the letter of authority was
o Union Bank issued a letter of authority, but also a clarification that it obtained through machination or other deceitful means
was ISC that contracted his services  Those who issued the letter was never presented as witnesses, nor were
o Atty. Peña requested some modifications, thus a new letter of authority their sworn statements submitted
was issued  The letters presented cannot by themselves be accorded strong probative
o Letters of correspondence were presented to prove that it was ISC who weight in the face of (1) Atty. Peña’s emphatic assertion that he has never
engaged the lawyer’s services seen any of them; (2) the lack of indication that copies were received by
him; and (3) the absence of his signature or the date or time he took
 13 months after the eviction of all the applicants, Atty. Peña filed a collection possession of them
suit against Union Bank for recovery of attorney’s fees, expenses, damages  Furthermore, the basis for the action was not the letter of authority but an
and agent’s compensation on the basis of the letter of authority issued by oral contract of agency purportedly entered into by Atty. Peña with the duly
Union Bank’s officers Atty. Bejasa and Mr. Manuel, Jr. authorized officers of Union Bank (proved by averments in the complaint in
the other case in Bago City RTC).
 Union Bank filed this case for disbarment alleging that Atty. Peña is guilty of  With or without the letter, Atty. Peña could have instituted a collection suit.
deceit, malpractice and gross misconduct when it instituted a collection suit  The amount of compensation (10% of the market value of the property) was
on the basis of the letter of authority while knowing fully well the reasons for not even mentioned in the letter but was apparently settled in the course of
the issuance of said letter of authority the oral conversation.

 Atty. Peña interposed the following counterclaims: Holding:
Dismissed disbarment complaint. He was in the lawful exercise of a right:
1. Case should be dismissed for forum shopping because there is another invoking the aid of the court in recovering recompense for legal services which
case involving the same parties pending in the RTC of Bago City
he claims he undertook for the complainant, and which the latter does not deny
2. That his services were engaged by duly authorized officers of Union to have benefited from.
Bank
3. There is no reason for him to deceive Union Bank into writing the letter
of authority because he knew fully well that a verbal agreement is
sufficient to establish a lawyer-client relationship; such was only done
as a formality
4. Union Bank accepted the benefits of his services
Report and Recommendation by the IBP
 No forum shopping because the respondent party in one case is the
complainant in the other and vice versa
BAUTISTA vs. GONZALES [1990] ♦ The record shows that respondent prepared a document entitled "Transfer
Facts: of Rights" which was signed by the Fortunados on August 31, 1971. The
♦ A verified complaint filed by Angel L. Bautista on May 19, 1976, respondent document assigned to respondent one-half (1/2) of the properties of the
Ramon A. Gonzales was charged with malpractice, deceit, gross Fortunados for and in consideration of his legal services to the latter. At the
misconduct and violation of lawyer's oath. time the document was executed, respondent knew that the
♦ Alleged acts of Gonzales: abovementioned properties were the subject of a civil case pending before
o Accepting a case wherein he agreed with his clients, to pay all the Court of First Instance of Quezon City since he was acting as counsel
expenses, including court fees, for a contingent fee of fifty percent for the Fortunados in said case In executing the document transferring
(50%) of the value of the property in litigation. one-half (1/2) of the subject properties to himself, respondent violated the
o Acting as counsel for the Fortunados in Civil Case No. Q-15143, law expressly prohibiting a lawyer from acquiring his client's property or
wherein Eusebio Lopez, Jr. is one of the defendants and, without said interest involved in any litigation in which he may take part by virtue of his
case being terminated, acting as counsel for Eusebio Lopez, Jr. in Civil profession. It has been held that the purchase by a lawyer of his client's
Case No. Q-15490. property or interest in litigation is a breach of professional ethics and
o Transferring to himself one-half of the properties of the Fortunados, constitutes malpractice.
which properties are the subject of the litigation in Civil Case No. Q- ♦ Gonzales contends that his action is no longer a ground for disciplinary
15143, while the case was still pending. action under the new Code because Canon 10 of the old Canons of
o Inducing complainant, who was his former client, to enter into a Professional Ethics, which states that "the lawyer should not purchase any
contract with him on August 30, 1971 for the development into a interests in the subject matter of the litigation which he is conducting," does
residential subdivision of the land involved in Civil Case No. Q-15143, not appear anymore in the new Code of Professional Responsibility.
covered by TCT No. T-1929, claiming that he acquired fifty percent o Argument is without merit because the Canon states that “a lawyer
(50%) interest thereof as attorney's fees from the Fortunados, while shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote
knowing fully well that the said property was already sold at a public respect for law and legal process”
auction on June 30, 1971, by the Provincial Sheriff of Lanao del Norte o This underscored the role of the lawyer as the vanguard of the legal
and registered with the Register of Deeds of Iligan City system. The transgression of any provision of law by a lawyer is a
o Submitting to the Court of First Instance of Quezon City falsified repulsive and reprehensible act which the court will not countenance.
documents purporting to be true copies of "Addendum to the Land Gonzales violated article 1491 of the CC and he must be held
Development Agreement dated August 30, 1971" accountable both to his client and the society.
o acts of treachery and disloyalty to his client ♦ Agreement of 50% contingent fee and provision the Gonzales would defray
o Harassing Bautista by filing several complaints without legal basis all expenses for the suit including court fees is contrary to Canon 42 of the
o Deliberately misleading the Court of First Instance and the Fiscal's Canons of Professional Ethics which provides that a lawyer may not
Office by making false assertion of facts in his pleadings properly agree with a client to pay or bear the expenses of litigation.
o Filing petitions "cleverly prepared (so) that while he does not Although a lawyer may in good faith, advance the expenses of litigation, the
intentionally tell a he, he does not tell the truth either." same should be subject to reimbursement. The agreement between
respondent and the Fortunados, however, does not provide for
♦ Report of the Solicitor General: Suspended for 6 months and guilty of:
reimbursement to respondent of litigation expenses paid by him. An
o transferring to himself one-half of the properties of his clients during the
agreement whereby an attorney agrees to pay expenses of proceedings to
pendency of the case where the properties were involved enforce the client's rights is champertous Such agreements are against
o concealing from complainant the fact that the property subject of their public policy especially where, as in this case, the attorney has agreed to
land development agreement had already been sold at a public auction carry on the action at his own expense in consideration of some bargain to
prior to the execution of said agreement have part of the thing in dispute. The execution of these contracts violates
o misleading the court by submitting alleged true copies of a document the fiduciary relationship between the lawyer and his client, for which the
where two signatories who had not signed the original former must incur administrative sanctions.

Issue: WON Gonzalez committed the acts of misconduct alleged? PARTIAL Ruling: Suspended from the practice of law for 6 months
ONLY
RESEARCH & SERVICES REALTY vs. CA [1997]
Ratio:
• 3, Nov. 1969, Research and Services Realty Inc. entered into a joint unreasonable, and RTC and CA no jurisdiction because RTC had no final
venture agreement(JVA) with the Carreons to develop subdivide administer adjudication on MOA.
and promote the land of the latter. The proceeds would be paid to PNB ISSUE
against the mortgage of the land, and the net profits would be divided 50- WON the CA committed any error. YES WON fees should be granted. YES but
50. P600k is excessive.
• 4, April, 1983, the Carreons and Patricio Sarile went to court asking for a • CA was wrong to rely on the stipulation, since it said ON. But RTC was right
rescission on the JVA and prelim injunction and later a permanent one to rely on the quantum meruit. Research is also correct on the 2nd error
enjoining any sale of the lots. They also ask that the petitioner be made to relying on Fonacier’s admittance that he didn’t participate in the MOA,
pay 15% per annum of the outstanding obligation to PNB, including atty’s leading to the 3rd error logically that Fonacier didn’t do anything spectacular
fees, exemplary damages, litigation expenses, and costs. or out of the ordinary except to ask for the suspension of proceedings,
• Research’s answer was prepared and signed by Atty. Apolonio Reyes, making P600k unreasonable and excessive. 4th error, the trial court
seeking the denial and dismissal of the complaint and payment for its favor: intimated that the MOA would be dismissed and that no money adjudication
P10m actual damages, P5m return of the advance given to the Carreons to would be given to Research, therefore no atty’s lien would exist.
pay PNB to allow the work done, P100k exemplary damages, other • So Research is upheld but not necessarily on the strength of their
damages upto P4,638,420 under the Performance Bond in favor of the NHA arguments.
and P50k atty’s fees, plus costs. • Parties agree that their lawyer-client relationship was governed by the
• ON APRIL 9, 1985, Atty. Manuel S. FONACIER, Jr. only then was engaged retainer contract. Provisions for office, furnishings(phone, table, etc), legal
to appear. services referrals to corporation’s clients, minimal allowance and contingent
• Pending the case with the Carreons, July 24, 1992, Research went into a basis on collection cases aside from atty’s fees, costs of litigation outside
MOA with another developer(Filstream international inc.) unbeknownst to Manila like transpo and lodging.
Fonacier, which the latter found out LATER. The MOA included assignment • The contract was gen. Retainer type, and the fixed retainer fee of P800, is a
of rights and obligations under the JVA for P28m payable within 24 months. preliminary fee paid to secure the lawyer’s future services, to remunerate
• 31, March 1993, Research terminated the services of Fonacier, and the him from being deprives of rendering services to the other party. Absent of
former already received P7m from Filstream. agreement of the contrary, it is apart from what the client has agreed to pay
• Upon knowing of the MOA, Fonacier filed an Urgent Motion to Direct for the services which he has retained to perform. AND the contract they
Payment of Atty’s fees and/or Register Atty’s Charging Lien asking among executed did not envision that the retainer fee is the atty’s fees for the
other things, P700k as contingent fee in this case. services, that’s why there were provisions for the contingent fees.
• RTC granted P600k on the basis of quantum meruit. Fonacier was still • Even if the contract didn’t mention about the non-collection cases, absent
under contract when the deal was made, a lawyer-client relationship such stipulation doesn’t bar the atty from getting additional atty’s fees.
existed. The contract signed stipulated, 10% of the amount received, and it • 2 basis principles come into play: that the retainer fee is neither made nor
was Fonacier who paved the way for the relaxing of effects of injunction to received for services contemplated unless contrary is provided and that
allow the negotiation with Filstream. And before he was terminated P6m unless expressly stipulated, professional services of an atty is for a fee or
was already received. And a laywer of Research testified(Atty. Atienza) that compensation and is not gratuitous(facio ut des- I do you give). And §24
Fonacier did contribute so that the MOA can exist. RTC denied the MFR. rule 138,” an atty is entitled to recover reasonable compensation for his
• Petitioner appealed to the CA, saying that Fonacier didn’t even try to services”.
amicably settle and did nothing in the negotiations(direct) of the MOA, and • Accordingly as to non-collection cases, there was no supplemental
that P600k was unreasonable and fantastic. CA also decided for Fonacier agreement on this case that he will collect addt’l fees, but Fonacier is wrong
using the contingent basis stipulation in the retainer contract. The contract when he said that he gets 10%, the case is still unresolved. And the amount
said that minimal allowance of P800 per month plus contingent fees AND in the MOA couldn’t be made the basis, because of 3 reasons: his own
collection cases aside from atty’s fees. And that a previous P50k non- motion saying fees due and demandable only when petitioner can get a
collection case granted him P5k already. favorable decision in the MOA case, 2nd P28m is not a judgment or award, it
• Reserch again filed an MFR saying that what was stipulated was contingent was consideration of a transfer of rights and obli. 3rd Research was right
fees ON collection cases. that Fornacier was not party to the MOA.
• They assigned these errors: decision was against law and facts, GADALEJ • SO the fees that he is entitled is only through quantum meruit. As in §24,
in awarding the atty’s fees, GADALEJ that the fees were excessive and Rule 138, court said is based on ff. a. amount and character of service, b.
labor time and trouble, c. nature and importance of litigation, d.
responsibility involved, e. amount of money and value of prop affected by SC. SC: reversed lower court’s order of dismissal & remanded the case for
controversy, f. skill and experience called for, g. professional and character further proceedings.
standing of atty. H. if it is contingent then higher fees charged.  Corpus wrote David enclosing a check amounting to P2k for legal services.
• Rule 20.1 Canon 20 also gives ff. guide to atty in determining fees. Time, He mentioned in the letter that he wanted to give him more and to offer
Novelty and difficulty, importance of subject, skill, probability of losing other some token of his appreciation for David’s participation in the legal fight. He
employment, customary charges of IBP chapter where he belongs, amount also mentioned that he looked forward to the continuation of the case in the
involved in case, contingency or certainty of compensation, occasional or lower court.
regular, professional standing.  David returned the check, saying that his service was motivated by how
• Considering this, LOOKing at the decision, P600k was considered much he valued their intimate relationship in the past & not primarily for a
unreasonable. professional fee. He claimed that Corpus’ appreciation is enough
compensation but he’d be happy if Corpus would remember him when the
Petition granted, directed to pursue case on proper lien. case would finally be resolved in his favor.
 This time, lower court decided in favor of Corpus. It ordered his
R. MARINO CORPUS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS & JUAN T. reinstatement & payment of his back salaries & allowances. Affirmed by SC.
DAVID, respondents [1980]  David’s law office made a demand upon Corpus for the collection of 50% of
 Corpus, director of the Central Bank (CB) Export Dept, was charged amount recovered by latter. However, Corpus objected, claiming that he
administratively by several employees of said dept. He was represented by expected to net only P10k after reducing all expenses & taxes and that
Atty. Alvarez. Pending investigation, he was suspended. However, even there was really no formal agreement between them regarding the
after the investigating committee’s pronouncement that the charges were compensation/fees. David then wrote the CB Gov. requesting that the
w/o merit & that he should be reinstated, then CB Gov. Cuaderno still amount due Corpus be divided & issued in 2 checks (50-50), one in favor of
recommended that Corpus be considered resigned on ground of loss of Corpus & the other representing professional fees. However, David was not
confidence. The Monetary Board declared him resigned as of the date of able to obtain the desired relief thus, he filed this complaint against Corpus.
suspension. Lower court ordered Corpus to pay David P30k for professional fees. CA
 Corpus filed a case against CB, Cuaderno & Marcos, the person who affirmed.
replaced him as director. He assailed Cuaderno’s decision. He was still  While case was pending appeal w/the SC, David filed a petition to remand
represented by Atty. Alvarez. Dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative the case to the lower court for execution of the decision granting him P30k.
remedies available. He claims that the CA decision is deemed affirmed by the SC for latter’s
 Atty. David claims that 6-7 days before the expiration of the period for failure to decide the case w/in 18 mos (Sec. 11.2, Art. X, 1973 Consti). He
appeal, he chanced upon Corpus’ dad in a café. David knew Corpus then filed a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution of the decision.
because they were close friends (on nickname-basis) and they were both Lower court then, through Judge Tecson, issued a writ of execution & a
members of the Civil Liberties Union (CLU). Corpus’ dad requested David notice of garnishment on Corpus’ bank deposits in the Commercial Bank &
to go over the case & find out what could be done about it. Corpus & David Trust Co. w/c prevented Corpus from making w/drawals from his bank
met & the former asked the latter to handle the case because Alvarez had account.
already been disenchanted & wanted to give up the case. David was initially  David, Tecson & the bank were all asked to comment on Corpus’ letter
reluctant but he eventually agreed on the condition that he would asking the SC to inquire into the seeming irregularity in the issuance of the
collaborate w/Alvarez. notice of garnishment. The bank claims it was merely complying w/
 Corpus’ side: He claims that even prior to the dismissal of the case, David Tecson’s order. Tecson likewise submitted his comment. David, on the other
was already interested in the case. Counsel was present during the hand, requested that he be excused from making a comment since Corpus’
hearings of the case. He even prepared a memorandum w/c he gave to letter was unverified.
Corpus when they met after the case was dismissed. According to David,  SC: set aside Tecson’s orders along w/the writ of execution & notice of
the memorandum can secure the reversal of the order of dismissal. garnishment. Tecson & David were asked to show cause why they should
 David filed a MFR of the dismissal order, argued said motion during the not be held in contempt for proceeding w/the case while such was pending
hearing; filed a Memorandum of Authorities. However, MFR was likewise appeal. David asked the SC en banc to resolve the merits of his compliance
denied. & he subsequently asked for the inhibition of the CJ & members of the 1st
 Corpus, thru David, appealed w/the SC. He prepared a 232-page brief, division.
submitted such to the SC in Baguio, and orally argued the case before the
Issues & Ratio:
1. WON David is entitled to atty’s fees? – OF COURSE!   Although Atty. Alvarez laid down the basic theory & foundation of the case,
 Even if there is no formal contract expressing agreement between the 2 David also advanced legal propositions. He likewise came in it a crucial
parties, there is an implied agreement for the payment of the atty’s fees. stage in the case.
a. Corpus gave David P2k saying he wished to pay him more w/c  Benefits secured for Corpus: reinstatement, recovery of back salaries &
constitutes a promise to pay more upon his reinstatement & payment of vindication of his honor & reputation.
back salaries.
b. David’s letter to Corpus saying the he (David) will be happy if Corpus 4. WON Atty. David should be held in contempt of court . – YES.
remembers him when he obtains a favorable decision. David continued  He disrespected & disregarded the authority of the Court as the final arbiter
to be Corpus’ counsel. He even secured the a favorable decision for of all cases duly appealed to it. He violated Revised Rules of Court, Rule
Corpus. 138, Sec. 20b & Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 1.
c. Corpus only assailed the decision ordering him to pay David the a. He filed a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution knowing fully
amount of P30k, but he did not deny latter’s rt to atty’s fees. He even well that the case was still pending appeal before the SC.
admitted that he was willing to compensate David but only to the extent b. He filed a motion w/o the necessary certification from the SC w/c will
of P10k. Proof enough that Corpus was aware of his responsibility to affirm CA’s decision pursuant to Sec. 11.2, Art. X, Consti.
pay David’s fees. Such belies his claim that David rendered his service  In a previous case he handled, Atty. David requested for the issuance of
gratuitously. certification based on aforementioned Consti provision. The request was
d. Failure to reduce in writing the agreement for fees should not be taken not given consideration. Thus, he’s expected to be more prudent & cautious
against David who was acting based on the special relationship he had in filing w/the lower court any motion for execution.
w/Corpus & his father. Such relationship was based on mutual truth &  There was a taint of arrogance & defiance on his part in not filing a
confidence. comment on Corpus’ letter, giving the lame excuse that it was not verified.
 Payment of attorney’s fees is also justified by the innominate contract of  David should have exercised nobility & exemplary forbearance knowing that
facio ut des (I do & you give) w/c is based on the principle that “no one other cases require immediate/preferential attention.
shall unjustly enrich himself at the expense of another.”
a. New CC Art. 1307: contracts regulated by the stipulation of the parties, 5. WON Judge Tecson should be held in contempt of court. – YES.
gen provisions/principles of obligations & contracts.  His acts were presumptuous & precipitate in granting the motion for
b. Perez vs. Pomar: as long as services were accepted & made use of by execution.
one, it must be considered that there was a tacit & mutual consent to  He disrespected & disregarded the authority of the SC because he knew
the rendition of the services w/c in turn gives rise to the obligation upon that case was still pending appeal. Court has yet to make a pronouncement
the person benefited by the services to make compensation therefor. on the Consti provision involved. Tecson cannot assume the SC’s role.
 Their acts Invite a suspicion of connivance.
2. WON David was entitled to a contingent fee (that is, 50% of the
amount Corpus will get). – NO.
 Contingent fees depend on an express contract. Since there is no written Holding:
contract regarding this matter between David & Corpus, former is not 1. Corpus directed top pay Atty. David P20k as atty’s fees.
entitled to a contingent fee. Nevertheless, he’s entitled to a reasonable 2. David & Tecson declared guilty of contempt and are hereby reprimanded w/
compensation under the innominate contract of facio ut des. a warning that repetition of the same/similar acts will be dealt w/more
severely.
3. What would be the reasonable fee for David based on the facts &
circumstances of the case? – P20,000.00 NARIDO vs. LINSANGAN [1974]
 Reasonable – must be on a quantum meruit (what he deserves) basis.  Administrative Cases in the SC
 He handled the case for 4 yrs.  Flora Narido, one of the adverse parties in a workmen’s compensation
case, warned the adverse counsel, Atty. Jaime S. Linsangan to withdraw
 He appealed the first order of dismissal. Subsequently, he prepared
the affidavit of Milagros M. Vergel de Dios, w/c affidavit Narido claims to be
pleadings, made appearances during hearings, orally argued the case
perjured. But, Linsan Atty. Linsangan w/ disbarment should he insist in
before the SC. (see p. 442 for a complete list of his contributions)
offering gan refused
 Mrs. Narido & Atty. Rufino Risma threatened the affidavit. Still, such affidavit
was filed (Facts taken from Sol. Gen’s investigation)
 Thus, Mrs. Narido filed a complaint against Linsangan for allegedly violating
the attorney's oath by submitting a perjured statement
 When required to answer, not only did he deny the complaint but also held
Atty. Risma accountable for having instigated his client (Narido) a false &
malicious complaint. The cases were referred to the Sol.Gen for
investigation, report and recommendation

WON Linsangan violated his oath by submitting a perjured stmt
 NO. Sol. Gen. reported that it was found as a fact that there was nothing
improper in presenting such affidavit, its alleged falsity not being proven.
Even if it were otherwise, still there was no showing of respondent having
violated his attorney's oath for submitting a perjured affidavit. There is no
evidence showing Atty. Linsangan's awareness of the falsity thereof,
assuming arguendo that they are indeed false. As testified by Atty.
Linsangan he has no intention whatsoever of misleading any court or
judicial body, or of violating his attorney's oath. This recommendation was
adopted by the SC

WON Risma instigated his client to file a false and malicious complaint
 NO. The report stated that Linsangan believed that Atty. Risma 'by virtue of
his financial interest in the Award,' instigated the filing of the admin case to
accomplish a short cut in winning a case.
 Contrary to this belief, the Sol. Gen found it unkind to allude evil motive to
Atty. Risma, being more inclined to believe that Atty. Risma's missionary
zeal to fight for the rights of his clients triggered him into filing the admin
case. Narido was a destitute woman, and the Sol. Gen believed Atty. Risma
was only championing the cause of the poor.
 There being no direct evidence to show the alleged bad faith of Atty. Risma
in advising his client to file the admin case against Atty. Linsangan, the
benefit of the doubt should be resolved in favor of Atty. Risma.
Consequently, the charge of instigating the filing of 'disbarment proceedings
against a brother attorney with improper motives and without just ground'
necessarily fails
 These recommendations were also adopted by the SC

WON Atty. Risma should be penalized for seeking to more than the max
percentage of the recovery obtained by his client as provided in the
Workmen’s Compensation Act.
 YES, however, he is only admonished.
 Although it was not one of the charges in the counter-complaint filed against
Risma, the investigation also noted that Risma sought to collect 15% of the
recovery obtained by his client, contrary to the explicit provision in the
Workmen's Compensation Act allowing only a maximum of 10%. There was
also a recommendation for admonition or reprimand.
 The Court held that the contract between Risma and Narido for entitling
Risma to 15% shall have no force and effect. But the penalty imposed shall
only be ADMONITION since Risma had made no effort to collect on the
same and had even advanced expenses for a poor client.
PEREZ vs. SCOTTISH UNION, ETC. [1946] because of the latter’s insistence, he would have gotten rid of said lawyer
Petitioner: Atty. Perez, previously counsel for Miguel Mitre in an arson case after losing faith in him
Respondents: Scottish Union, insurance Co. for Miguel Mitre  Mitre does not appear to be so ignorant to blindly accept a lawyer he has no
Miguel Mitre faith in

FACTS: The amount is neither unconscionable nor unreasonable:
 Atty. Perez is seeking to recover:  Several days of trial
 Situation for Mitre was grave because he was facing imprisonment from 10
1. P6,000 as attorney’s fee in a criminal case for arson against Miguel
to 12 years and payment of P101,115 in indemnity
Mitre, which was supposed to be paid out of the P12,000 proceeds of a
 Performed duty with competence and success, as evidenced by the
fire insurance policy (Exhibit D)
acquittal by the CA where lawyer orally argued and submitted a 78-page
2. P1,485 for four other cases
brief
 Miguel Mitre acknowledges the agreement of paying P6,000 out of the
insurance policy but asserts that: On the claim that (1) Perez was only receiving a monthly salary of P157 as
1. The agreement was only a simulation conceived by the lawyer justice of the peace, (2) that the highest fee ever previously collected by him
intended merely to bar all claims to the insurance proceeds that may was only P1,500, (3) that he had to borrow money from the PNB and a certain
arise from his criminal liability Saturnino Benito; and (4) he was only admitted in the bar in 1933:
2. The real amount agreed upon and owed is only P550, which has been
fully paid
 The income of a lawyer is not a safe criterion of his professional
ability. Many very good lawyers earn but small incomes, while lawyers of
3. The total of P100 for the four other cases has also been fully paid
inferior ability may prosper financially.
4. That Perez volunteered his services because of his relationship with  Neither is the length of time a lawyer has practiced.
Mitre’s wife and because he wanted to gain popularity as a criminal  His competency must be judged by the character of his work.
lawyer, which would help his candidacy for a seat in the House of Rep.
SC also ruled:
ISSUES: 1. The claim for fees for four other cases were not supported by a
I. WON PEREZ IS ENTITLED TO THE P6,000 COMING OUT OF THE preponderance of evidence
P12,000 INSURANCE PROCEEDS. YES, Exhibit D should be given its 2. That the TC erred in ordering the insurance company to pay the Collector of
full force. A written contract for services shall control the amount to Internal Revenue because the CIR never filed any pleading whatsoever
be paid unless found by the court to be unconscionable.
The written contract is enforceable: AFFIRMED:
 Even admitting that the agreement is only a simulation, its validity can only 3. Mitre must pay the P6,000 with legal interest
be invoked by the third parties who were defrauded and not by Mitre who 4. Insurance company is ordered to pay said amount to Perez
undoubtedly became a willing party to the misrepresentation
 The disavowal of the agreement is merely an afterthought to avoid paying
his lawyer because he was acquitted by the CA
 If the really intended to protect the insurance proceeds, they should have
couched it in terms that would cover the full face value of the policy, which
is P12,000, and not merely half of it
 The relationship with the wife does not necessarily carry the inference that
the plaintiff could be capable of making such a gratuitous offer because it is
a lawyer that is devoid of dignity and pride who will do what is imputed to
him
 Also, this claim of voluntary gratuity is inconsistent with his other claim of
agreeing and paying the lawyer P550
 There is also the fact that he retained the services even after losing in the
trial court; if he was merely induced to engage the lawyer’s services
SATO vs. RALLOS [1964]
Facts: Ratio:
♦ Case for collection of attorney’s fees. ♦ There seem to be no question to Our mind that appellant Sato actually
♦ Near the close of the special proceedings, Simeon Rallos engaged the rendered the services alleged and that the estates and the distributees
services of Primitivo Sato for the purpose of securing a reduction in the were greatly benefited by such services
assessment of inheritance taxes on the estates. It was verbally agreed ♦ Simeon Rallos made implied admissions in his answer that he accepted the
upon that the compensation will be contingent upon the successful offer of services tendered by appellant when he said: "That naturally the
reduction of the assessed taxes to an amount less than 30,000. His defendant could not refuse the generous offers of politicians, one of them
compensation would be equivalent to 20,000 and one hectare of any of the the plaintiff. ... ."
commercial-residential lots of the estates. ♦ Aldamiz vs. Judge of the CFI of Mindoro provides for the correct procedure
♦ November 15, 1951 – Inheritance tax was reduced from P30,076.43 to
for collection of attorney’s fees:
P22,545.47. This amount was subsequently paid. o The correct procedure for the collection of attorney's fees, is for the
♦ Demand letters were made for the settlement of the attorney’s fees but no counsel to request the administrator to make payment and file an
settlement was effected. On September 3, 1955 a complaint was filed for action against him in his personal capacity and not as an administrator
the collection of the fees. should he fail to pay
♦ Defense of Rallos: o If judgment is rendered against the administrator and he pays, he may
o He remembers one time that Sato thru a third person voluntarily include the fees so paid in his account to the Court.
offered, as Congressman of Cebu, just as Congressman Zosa, Cuenco o The attorney also may, instead of bringing such an action, file a petition
and Logarta did, to help defendant in the revision of the amount of in the Testate or Intestate Proceeding asking that the Court, after notice
inheritance tax demanded by the Collector of Internal Revenue to all persons interested, allow his claim and direct the administrator to
o Naturally he could not refuse the generous offers of politicians, one of pay it as an expense of administration.
them the plaintiff, especially that the offer of the plaintiff was done not
in his capacity as a lawyer, inasmuch as the defendant had already his
♦ Sato not only filed against the administrator as such and as a distributee but
lawyers to appear for him in his case, but in the plaintiff's capacity as a also against the other distributees which is more than the legal procedural
congressman and a politician requirements.
o According to the third person who was requested by Sato to convey the ♦ Article 2142 of the Civil Code provides that no one should unjustly enrich
offer for help to Rallos, Sato had made mention of his desire to ask for and/or benefit himself at the expense of another and as such Sato has a
a small lot where he can build a small house in the city as a gift, the right to attorney’s fees.
defendant did not say anything, because he believed that he did not
need very much the services of another lawyer Ruling: Court allowed attorney’s fees. P12,500
o Changed his request from a small lot for a small house, to a lot of one
hectare, to which Rallos naturally had to refuse, inasmuch as he REGALA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN [1996], supra
believed that the same was too much for an unnecessary service
inasmuch as he already had his lawyers working on the case in Blandina Gamboa HILADO, petitioner, vs. Jose Gutierrez DAVID, Vicente
addition to Congressman Zosa, Cuenco and Logarta and another third Francisco, Jacob Assad & Selim Jacob Assad, respondents [1949]
person  Hilado filed case against Selim Jacob Assad (SJ Assad) seeking to annul
♦ January 30, 1956 – included as defendants Gerundia, Guadalupe, and the sale of several houses & lot executed during the Japanese occupation
Genoveva, all surnamed Rallos, who were distributees of the estates. by Hilado’s deceased husband.
♦ June 20, 1957 – after the death of defendant Simeon Rallos, plaintiff  SJ Assad was originally represented by Attys. Ohnick, Velilla & Balonkita
but were later on replaced by Atty. Francisco.
presented a Second Amended Complaint so as to include, Juan Borromeo
who became the administrator of the estates of Simeon Rallos.  At this point, Hilado’s counsels sought the disqualification of Francisco.
♦ August 11, 1958 – a third amended complaint was again filed due to the They claimed that Hilado consulted w/Francisco regarding the case & she
even turned over some papers to the counsel. Francisco then sent her his
death of Gerundia Rallos, making Josefina Rallos a party-defendant.
written opinion on the merits of the case. The opinion outlined the reasons
♦ Lower court dismissed the case. why he thought the case would not prosper (buyer had the right to presume
that Mr. Hilado had the legal rt to sell the property, the price was adequate
Issue: WON Sato should be able to claim attorney’s fees. YES & the fact that it was sold during the Japanese occupation and that the real
purchaser was not a citizen of the Philippines cannot be used to avoid the  Sources higher than written laws & rules require such. Information obtained
transaction). He likewise declined to appear in the proceedings in behalf of from a client is sacred & must necessarily be protected to maintain the
Hilado. He returned petitioner’s documents. element of confidence in an atty-client relationship.
 Francisco’s defense: (testimonies of Francisco & his stenographer)  Applicable even if nothing of confidential nature was revealed (Christian vs.
1. A real estate broker informed him about the case filed by Hilado Waialua Agricultural Co.). Amount of knowledge acquired from client is
against a Syrian to annul a real estate sale. He opined that the sale immaterial. Requiring the presence of confidential information or
was valid even if it was made during the Japanese regime & paid considering the amount/content of knowledge obtained might only further
w/Japanese military notes. He also manifested that he would have no prejudice the complainant’s cause w/the risk of revelation of otherwise
objection to defending the Syrian. confidential matters. This might in turn, discourage litigants in going to an
2. A month after, Hilado came to see him. He knew Hilado’s husband. atty. Thus, lawyers should adhere to proper professional standard, keep
She wanted to change lawyers. However, he told her that hers was a inviolate his client’s confidence & avoid appearance of treachery & double-
lost case, giving the same reasons she discussed w/the broker. dealing.
3. A few days after, Hilado visited Francisco’s office & was received by his  Francisco may have acted in good faith, but he still cannot take up the
assistant, Atty. Agrava, who requested Hilado to leave her documents cause of the adversary of the party who sought & obtained legal advice
w/him. Francisco then told Agrava that they should not handle the case from his firm. His conduct was highly inexpedient. It tends to bring the
& they should return the papers. Agrava’s attention was called to what profession into public disrepute & suspicion.
Francisco already had said to Hilado. Other things discussed:
4. Agrava prepared a letter for Hilado explaining why her case was  Retaining fee: preliminary fee given to an atty to insure & secure his future
rejected. Francisco signed the letter w/o reading it. Letter & the services & induce him to act for the client. It’s intended to remunerate the
documents were delivered to Hilado. counsel for being deprived, by being retained by one party, of the
5. About 6 mos later, SJ Assad went to Francisco’s office & asked him to opportunity of rendering services to the other & of receiving pay from him. It
handle his case. He consented. has no relation to the oblig of the client to pay his atty for the services w/c
 Lower Court dismissed the case claiming that Francisco & Hilado have not he has retained him to perform.
yet created an attorney-client relationship.  Fact that it was Agrava who wrote the opinion mailed to Hilado & Francisco
Issues & Ratio: merely signed it is immaterial. They belong to the same law firm and info in
1. WON Francisco & Hilado have established an atty-client relationship. one firm is available to all associates or employers. Besides, it was signed
– YES. by the head of the firm w/his initials intended to convey the impression that
 Francisco’s law firm mailed to Hilado a written opinion over his signature on it was dictated by him personally.
the basis of papers she submitted at his office. Hilado submitted those  Delay in seeking Francisco’s qualification is immaterial. A previous case
papers to secure counsel’s professional services. allowed a similar objection while the case was already on appeal.
 Formality is not essential element of the employment of an atty. It may be Professional confidence once reposed can never be divested by expiration
express/implied. It’s sufficient that the advice & assistance of the atty is of professional employment.
sought & received in matters pertinent to his preofession. Acceptance is  Certiorari vs Appeal - Certiorari is the proper remedy. SC has jurisdiction of
implied from atty’s acting in behalf of his client in pursuance of a request by the courts over lawyers & it may compel them to do whatever specific acts
the latter. may be incumbent upon them in their capacity of attorneys to perform.
2. WON it was proper for Francisco to represent SJ Assad. – NO. Mere Upholding the principles of equity & policy, the courts will guard the clients
relation of atty & client ought to preclude the atty from accepting the from any undue consequences resulting from a situation in w/c they may
opposite party’s retainer in the same litigation regardless of what info was stand unequal to the lawyer. Lawyers are officers of the court, essential in
received by him from his first client. Although the rule is not in express the administration of justice & thus subject to the disciplinary authority of the
terms, it’s implied in our laws. courts.
 Rules of Court, Rule 123, Sec. 26c: an atty cannot, w/o the consent of his
client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or Holding: Motion for disqualification allowed.
his advice given thereon in the course of professional employment.
 ROC, Rule 127, Sec. 19e: an atty has a duty to maintain inviolate the MONTANO vs. IBP [2001]
confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his  Administrative Matter in the SC. Misconduct
client.
 Complainant Felicisimo M. Montano hired the services of Atty. Juan S. become final & executory; hence, any further action or motion subsequent
Dealca as his counsel (w/ Atty. Ronando L. Gerona) in a case pending in to such final & executory judgment shall be null and void.
the CA wherein Montano was the plaintiff-appellant.
 They agreed on P15K as attorney's fees, 50% of w/c was payable upon WON IBP BOG committed grave abuse of discretion when it overturned its
acceptance of the case & the remaining balance upon the termination of the earlier resolution and granted Dealca’s MFR
case. Accordingly, Montano paid Dealca P7.5K  NO. When SC noted several pleadings, it should be noted that the IBP
 However, even before Montano had prepared the appellant's brief & resolution denying Dealca’s MFR, for some reason, had not yet reached
contrary to their agreement, Atty. Dealca demanded an addt’l payment from this Court. As of that date, the only IBP resolution attached to the records of
Montano. Montano obliged by paying P4K the case was the resolution amending the admin. sanction from reprimand
 Prior to the filing of the appellant's brief, Montano again demanded payment to 3 months suspension. Thus, at the time the pleadings were referred back
of the remaining balance of P3.5K. When Montano was unable to do so, to the IBP in the same resolution, the Court was not aware that the IBP had
Dealca withdrew his appearance as complainant's counsel w/o his prior already disposed of the MFR filed by Dealca
knowledge &/or conformity. Returning the case folder to the complainant,  Hence, the Court holds that the error is not attributable to the IBP. It is
Dealca attached the note stating: “For breaking your promise, since you do regrettable that the procedural infirmity alleged by complainant actually
not want to fulfill your end of the bargain, here's your reward: Henceforth, arose from a mere oversight which was attributable to neither party.
you lawyer for yourselves. Here are your papers.”
 Montano claimed that such conduct by Dealca exceeded the ethical WON Dealca’s conduct was unbecoming of a lawyer
standards of the law profession and prays that the latter be sternly dealt  YES. SC affirms that Montano engaged Dealca’s services only for the
with administratively. Montano later on filed motions praying for the preparation & submission of the appellant's brief & the attorney's fees was
imposition of the maximum penalty of disbarment. payable upon the completion & submission of the appellant's brief & not
 After Dealca filed his comment, SC referred the case to IBP for upon the termination of the case. There is sufficient evidence which
investigation, report and recommendation. The Investigating Commissioner indicates Montano's willingness to pay the attorney's fees. But despite
found Dealca guilty of unprofessional conduct and recommended that he be Montano paying him P4K before the agreed upon time, Dealca withdrew his
"severely reprimanded" which penalty was amended to “3 months appearance simply because of Montano’s failure to pay the remaining
suspension from the practice of law for having been found guilty of P3,5K, w/c does not appear to be deliberate. This is aggravated by
misconduct, which eroded the public confidence regarding his duty as a Dealca’s note which was couched in impolite & insulting language. Thus,
lawyer.” the Court found Atty. Dealca's conduct unbecoming of a member of the
 Dealco sought reconsideration, alleging that the latter misapprehended the legal profession.
facts and that, in any case, he did not deserve the penalty imposed. He  Under Canon 22, Rule 22.01, CPR, a lawyer shall withdraw his services
gave his version of the “facts” to the effect that he worked overtime and only for good cause & upon notice appropriate in the circumstances.
thus requested for the remaining balance to w/c Montano agreed but then Although he may withdraw his services when the client deliberately fails to
Montano deliberately & in bad faith refused to pay the remaining P3.5K pay the fees for the services, under the circumstances of the present case,
when he repeatedly requested for it. Hence, his withdrawal as counsel was Atty. Dealca's withdrawal was unjustified as complainant did not deliberately
"just, ethical and proper." fail to pay him the attorney's fees.
 IBP denied Atty. Dealca's MFR. SC noted certain pleadings (including  Dealca’s contemptuous conduct does not speak well of a member of the
Dealca’s MFR) & referred the same to the IBP for evaluation & report. bar considering that the amount owing to him was only P3.5K. Rule 20.4 of
IBP referred the above-entitled case to Commissioner Vibar for evaluation, Canon 20, mandates that a lawyer shall avoid controversies w/ clients
report & recommendation "in view of the MFR granted by the SC." concerning his compensation & shall resort to judicial action only to prevent
 The Investigating Commissioner, recommended that his original imposition, injustice or fraud.
recommendation of the penalty of reprimand be maintained and the IBP  Court, however, disagrees with Montano that disbarment should be
Board of Governors granted the MFR and maintain the penalty of imposed on Dealca and instead reprimands Dealca with a warning that
REPRIMAND. repetition of the same act will be dealt with more severely.
 Montano asked the IBP to reconsider but the motion was denied.
 Thus, Montano filed a petition for review on certiorari against the IBP &
Dealca averring that the IBP Board of Governors committed grave abuse of
discretion when it overturned its earlier resolution and granted Dealca’s
MFR. He claimed that the earlier resolution denying the MFR had already
DOMINGO vs. AQUINO [1971]  In accordance with Rule 13, Section 8 of the ROC, service by registered
mail was deemed completed and effected upon the addressee’s failure to
FACTS: claim his mail on the 5th day after the first notice of the postmaster
 This case involves the estate of deceased Luis Domingo, Sr.
 2 special administrators were appointed: (1) Asuncion Domingo Sta. Maria,  When new administratrix filed MFR, it was filed out of time
who has long resigned as such with the permission of the intestate court;
and (2) Atty. Luis Domingo, Jr., who was removed from his trust by the
intestate court’s order for having squandered cash funds of the estate SC also ordered counsel for petitioner to pay treble costs for falsely
 Before being removed, Luis Domingo, Jr. engaged the services of Atty. representing to the Court that the CA had granted “new and further relief”
Jose Unson as counsel for the estate to Aquino when, in fact, he had duly prayed for the relief awarded and for
filing unmeritorious cases that clog the court dockets
 The CA affirmed TC’s decision approving the money claim of Atty. Pedro
Aquino and ordering the administratrix to pay the sum of P20,000 plus
interest of 12% and P500 as attorney’s fees
 Atty. Unson did not receive the notice and copy of the CA’s decision,
although it was sent to him by registered mail; the counsels for the intestate
proceedings were verbally informed by counsel of Pedro Aquino

 Mrs. Consuelo Domingo de Lopez, as judicial adminstratrix of the estate
filed an “appearance with motions for substitution and to be served with a
copy of the judgment” through her own counsel instead of Atty. Unson
 She also wished to file a motion for reconsideration of the CA’s decision
 This was opposed by Aquino on the ground of finality
 Thus, CA denied MFR
 Administratrix filed this action for certiorari alleging that the CA’s decision
was entered in excess of jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion.

WON THE CA’S DECISION HAS BECOME FINAL. YES.
 Although it was Luis Domingo, Jr. who engaged the services of Atty. Unson,
it did not make the lawyer his personal counsel, but the counsel of the
estate. Therefore, even though Luis Doming, Jr. has been removed, Atty.
Unson was still the counsel of the estate
 Records show that Atty. Unson never filed any withdrawal as such counsel.
1. Although his motion for withdrawal as counsel in the intestate court was
granted by virtue of his being appointed to the public office of Asst.
Administrator of the Sugar Quota Administration, it was only true insofar
as the intestate court was concerned
2. he did not file a withdrawal as counsel for the estate
3. nor did Mrs. Domingo de Lopez inform the court of any change of counsel
4. also, no appearance of any new counsel for the estate was ever filed with
the CA

 Notice and copy of the CA’s decision were duly served to Unson’s recorded
address
OBANDO vs. FIGUERAS [2000] court, an attorney who has already been dismissed by the client is allowed
Facts: to intervene in a case in order to protect the client's rights
♦ 1964 – Alegria, Strebel Figueras, together with her stepsons, Eduardo and
Francisco, filed a Petition for settlement of the intestate estate of her
deceased husband Jose Figueras. Alegria died during the settlement of the
case. Hardly had the proceedings in both intestacies begun when Eduardo
was served a Petition for Probate of what purported to be Doña Alegria's
Last Will and Testament, filed by Felizardo S. Obando, a nephew of Doña
Alegria The alleged Will bequeathed to Petitioner Obando and several other
members of the Obando clan properties left by the Figueras couple,
including two parcels of land in Gilmore Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City.
♦ Eduardo insisted that the alleged Will was a forgery, the document was
submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for examination and
comparison of Doña Alegria's alleged signature therein with samples which
both parties accepted as authentic.
♦ February 20, 1990 – the probate court denied Eduardo's Motion for
authority to sell the aforementioned two parcels of land in New Manila.
Despite the denial he sold the land in New Manila. New titles were issued
in favour of Amigo realty.
♦ June 4, 1992 – Obando filed a complaint against Eduardo and Amigo
Realty for the nullification of the sale. Subsequently Obando was removed
as co-administrator of the estate of the Figueras spouses. As such, a
motion to dismiss was filed and it was granted by the trial court.
♦ Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for certiorari.

Issue (relevant point only)
WON the trial court could act on a motion filed by a lawyer who was allegedly no
longer Eduardo's counsel of record? YES
♦ Petitioners claim that when Atty. Yuseco filed the Motion to dismiss, he no
longer represented the respondents.
♦ Representation continues until the court dispenses with the services of
counsel in accordance with Section 26, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court
♦ Requisites for substitution:
 new counsel files a written application for Substitution
 the client's written consent is obtained
 written consent of the lawyer to be substituted is secured, if it can still
be; if the written consent can no longer be obtained, then the
application for substitution must carry proof that notice of the motion
has been served on the attorney to be substituted in the manner
required by the Rules
 Eduardo did not dismiss Attorney Yuseco. In fact, the former manifested
that he had been tricked by Petitioner Obando into signing the aforesaid
Manifestation and Motion and Compromise Agreement. Besides, the filing
of the Motion to Dismiss was not prejudicial but beneficial to the said
respondent; hence, he had no reason to complain. At the discretion of the