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FOUR- FOULD DUTIES OF A LAWYER 1. Duties to Society: a. Should not violate his responsibility to the society; b.

Should exemplar for righteousness; c. Be ready to render legal aid; d. Foster social reforms; e. Be the guardian of due process; f. Be aware of his special role in the solution of special problems; g. And be always ready to lend assistance in the study and solution of social problems. 2. Duties to the Legal Profession: a. Exercise honesty, fairness, courtesy and truthfulness; b. Avoid encroachment in the business of other lawyers; c. Uphold the honor of the profession 3. Duties to the Court: a. To respect and the defend the court from criticism; b. Uphold the court’s authority and dignity; c. Obey order and processes; d. Assist in the administration of justice. 4. Duties to the Client: a. Render entire devotion to the client’s interest. CHAPTER I THE LAWYER AND SOCIETY The Code of Professional Responsibility provides 5 Cannons under this chapter. CANNON 1: A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR THE LAW AND LEGAL PROCESS.

This is the primary duty of the lawyer, enshrined in the Lawyer’s oath which every lawyer in this country has to take before he is allowed to practice law. Lawyers are not only expected to uphold the constitution and obey the laws but also legal orders or processes of courts.

All lawyers are expected to recognize the authority of the Supreme Court and to obey its lawful processes and orders.

Rule 1.01 – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.  This means that a lawyer must always be of good moral character. He is supposed to be a model in the community in so far as respect to the law is concerned. Honesty is essential for every lawyer to retain his standing as a member of the bar. A lawyer must have moral integrity in addition to professional probity.

Rule 1.02 – A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.  This requires that a lawyer should not promote an organization known to be violating the law nor assist it in a scheme which he knows is dishonest. A lawyer should not render service or advice to a client – no matter how powerful or important is the cause – which will involve disloyalty to the laws of the country which he is bound to uphold. What a lawyer should do to advance the honor of his profession? 1

 Render services or advices which are in compliance with the strictest principles of law.  Lawyers must always conduct themselves in accord with the immutable tenet embodied in the lawyer’s oath and the rules of legal ethics.  Because all acts of lawyers which are unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful corrode public confidence in the legal system.

RULE 1.O4 – A LAWYER SHALL ENCOURAGE HS CLIENTS TO AVOID, END OR SETTLE A CONTROVERSY IF IT WILL ADMIT OF A DAIR SETTLEMENT.  Whenever the controversy will admit of fair judgment the client should be advised to avoid or to end the litigation. - This will save the client from additional expenses and help prevent clogging of docket The nature of a compromise agreement is such that a arty must give up some of the rights he has, in consideration of the same act on the part of the other side. o a lawyer cannot, without special authority, compromise his clients litigation. A compromise entered into without authority is unenforceable. It can be ratified by the client, if he so desires.

RULE 1.03 – A LAWYER SHALL NOT, FOR ANY CORRUPT MOTIVE OR INTEREST, ENCOURAGE ANY SUIT OR PROCEEDING OR DELAY ANY MAN’S CAUSE.  Lawyers owe it to the court and to society not to stir up litigations. It adds to the burdens of the court and would result to the clogging of dockets. The reason for this rule is to prevent barratry of ambulance chasing. Barratry – is the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up quarrels and suits, either at law or otherwise. Ambulance chasing – figuratively speaking, is the lawyer’s act of chasing an ambulance carrying the victim of an accident for the purpose of talking to the said victim or relatives and offering his legal services for the filling of a case against the person who caused the accident. An ambulance chaser is a lawyer who haunts hospitals and visits the homes of the afflicted, officiously intruding their presence and persistently offering his service on the basis of a contingent fee.

CANNON 2 – A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN AN EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROFESSION.  A lawyer must see to it that he must handle his cases or legal services either for a fee or not that he do it with efficiency and convenience with the end in view of maintaining the independence, integrity and effectiveness of the profession.

RULE 2.01 – A LAWYER SHALL NOT REJECT, EXCEPT FOR VALID REASONS THE CAUSE OF THE DEFENSELESS OR THE OPPRESSED.  This rule stems from one of the obligations incident to the status and privileges of a lawyer which is to represent the oppressed and the poor in the prosecution of their claims and the defense of their rights.


The defenseless are those who are not in a position to defend themselves due to poverty, weakness, ignorance or other similar reasons. The oppressed are the victims of acts of cruelty, unlawful exaction, domination or excessive use of authority. It is the prime duty of the lawyer to see to it that everyone is accorded with justice. Legal aid is not a matter of charity. It is means for the correction of social imbalance that may and often lead to injustice, for which reason it is a public responsibility of the Bar. A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an indigent unless: a. He is in no position to carry out the work effectively or competently; b. He labors under a conflict of interest between him and the prospective client or between a present client and the prospective client.

Advertisement lowers the standards of the profession. For solicitation to be proper: - It must be compatible with the dignity of legal profession. If made in a modest and decorous manner, it would bring no injury to the lawyer or to the bar. The best advertisement for a lawyer is a welldeserved reputation for competence, honesty and fidelity to private trust and public duty.

RULE 2.04 – A LAWYER SHALL NOT CHARGE RATES LOWER THAN THOSE PRESCRIBED UNLESS THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES SO WARRANT.  What the rule prohibits is the competition in the matter of charging professional fees for the purpose of attracting clients in favor of the lawyer who offers lower rates. The rule does not prohibit a lawyer from charging a reduced fee or none at all to indigent or to a person who would have difficulty paying the fee usually charged for such services.

RULE 2.02 – IN SUCH CASES, EVEN IF THE LAWYER DOES NOT ACCEPT A CASE, HE SHALL NOT REFUSE TO RENDER LEGAL ADVICE TO THE PERSON CONCERNED IF ONLY TO THE EXRENT NECESSARY TO SAFEGUARD THE LATTER’S RIGHT.  But a lawyer shall refrain from giving legal advice if the reason for not accepting the case is that there involves a conflict of interest.

CANNON 3 – A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE ONLY TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF FACTS.  A lawyer may make known his services only by making honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statement of facts and the manner of making it must not be undignified and demeaning to the legal profession. He must not resort to false and misleading information.

RULE 2.03 – A LAWYER SHALL NOT DO OR PERMIT TO BE DONE ANY ACT DESIGNED PRIMARILY TO SOLICIT LEGAL BUSINESS.   The practice of law is a profession not a moneymaking trade. It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares.


A lawyer shall not pretend to a prospective client just to get the latter’s trust and confidence that he is a seasoned lawyer and an expert in a particular law or laws when in truth he is not and had not even prosecuted or defended a case yet in his lifetime.

attract legal business and to avoid suspicion of undue influence. RULE 3.04 – A LAWYER SHALL NOT PAY OR GIVE ANYTHING OF VALUE TO REPRESENTATIVES OF THE MASS MEDIA IN ANTICIPATION OF, OR IN RETURN FOR, PUBLICITY TO ATTRACT LEGAL BUSINESS.  It will debase the reputation of the legal profession.

RULE 3.02 – IN THE CHOICE OF FIRM NAME, NO FALSE, MISLEADING OR ASSUMED NAME SHALL BE USED. THE CONTINUED USE OF THE NAME OF THE DECEASED PARTNER IS PERMISSIBLE PROVIDED THAT THE FIRM INDICATES IN ALL ITS COMMUNICATIONS THAT SAID PARTNER IS DECEASED.   A group of lawyers may establish a partnership for general practice and adopt a firm name. A lawyer is not authorized to use a name in his practice other than the one inscribed in the Roll of Attorneys. The name of a partner should be dropped if appointed as judge because he is no longer allowed to practice law. The same shall also apply if a partner is elected to a government position which prohibits the practice of law. Use of the name of a foreign law firm is unethical. Main law of office and branch office do not constitute two law firms. Death of a partner does not extinguish the client-lawyer relationship with the law firm. Negligence of a member in the law firm is negligence of the firm.

CANNON 4 – A LAWYER SHALL PARTICIPATE IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM BY INITIATING OR SUPPORTING EFFORTS IN LAW REFORM AND IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.  It is a public responsibility for lawyers to help improve the legal system. The lawyer must recognize that the law is part of the social network and he must transcend the narrow limits of technical law. A lawyer must broaden out and continue to grow in knowledge and competence in order to be able to make the law socially responsive. Lawyers may write legal publications or books as an avenue of improving the legal system.

CANNON 5 – A LAWYER SHALL KEEP ABREAST OF LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS, PARTCIPATE IN CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS, SUPPORT EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE HIGH STANDARDS IN LAW SCHOOLS AS WELL AS IN THE PRATICAL TRANING OF LAW STUDENTS AND ASSIST IN THE DISSEMINATING INFORMATION REGARDING THE LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE.  Lawyers must walk with the dynamic movements of the law and jurisprudence. He must acquaint himself at least with the newly promulgated laws, the recent decisions of the Supreme Court and of the significant decisions of the Court of Appeals. Judges must also keep abreast of the laws, rulings and doctrines of the Supreme Court. Legal education does not stop with the lawyer’s admission to the bar. 4


Lawyers must take active part, and not just be passive onlookers or listeners in the pursuit of continuing legal education programs. Lawyers must assist in disseminating information about the law and jurisprudence. To keep the lawyers, especially practicing lawyers, abreast with the law and jurisprudence, continuing legal education are required every 3 years to complete at least 36 hours of continuing legal education activities.






The benefit of the doubt belongs to the prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney is under no compulsion to file a particular criminal information where he is not convinced that he has evidence to prop up the averments thereof, or that the evidence at hand points to a different conclusion. (People v. Pineda, 20 SCRA 748 (1967)) A public prosecutor is a quasi-judicial officer who represents, not an ordinary party to a controversy, but sovereignty. This sovereignty has its obligation to govern impartially. Therefore, the interest in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case but that justice shall be done. (Agpalo) The Canon and Rules in the Code of Professional Responsibility are not intended for the private practitioners alone.  They shall govern the acts of all lawyers including those in the service of the government like the Solicitors of the OSG.

CANON 6 – THESE CANONS SHALL APPLY TO LAWYERS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR OFFICIAL TASKS.  Why is there a need for this provision? Because in public service you are at all times accountable to the people because public service is a public trust. A lawyer could still be held administratively liable if he shall commit an offense without relation to him as a lawyer. Generally, a lawyer who holds public office may not be disciplined as a member of the Bar for misconduct in the discharge of his duties as government official.  However, if his misconduct is of such a character as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or to show moral delinquency, then he may be disciplined as a member of the Bar upon such ground. RULE 6.01 - THE PRIMARY DUTY OF A LAWYER IN PUBLIC PROSECUTION IS NOT TO CONVICT BUT TO SEE THAT JUSTICE IS DONE. THE SUPPRESSION OF FACTS OR THE CONCEALMENT OF WITNESSES CAPABLE OF ESTABLISHING THE INNOCENCE OF THE ACCUSED IS 



All public officials and employees, whether lawyers or non-lawyers are governed by a Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards which was approved on February 20, 1989.  Judges, prosecutors, solicitors and other lawyers in the government service are equally governed by said code.  Art. XI, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with 5


customs, public policy, public order, public safety and public interest.  Shall not dispense or extend undue favors on account of their office to their relatives whether by consanguinity or affinity except with respect to appointments of such relatives to positions considered strictly confidential or as members of their personal staff whose terms are coterminous with theirs. 4. Political Neutrality.  Public officials and employees shall provide service to everyone without unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or preference. 5. Responsiveness to the public.  Shall extend prompt, courteous, and adequate service to the public.  Shall provide information on their policies and procedures in clear and understandable language, unless provided by law, or required by public interest. 6. Nationalism and patriotism.  They shall at all times be loyal to the RP and to the Filipino people.  Promote the use of locallyproduced goods, resources and technology.  Encourage appreciation and pride of country and people.  They shall endeavor to maintain and defend Philippine sovereignty against foreign intrusion. 7. Commitment to democracy.  They shall commit themselves to the democratic way of life and values. 6

1. Commitments to public interest.  Public interest must be upheld above personal-interest;  Government resources and powers must be employed and used efficiently, effectively, honestly, and economically, particularly to avoid wastage in public funds and revenues. 2. Professionalism.  Public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill.  They must have utmost devotion and dedication to duty as they enter public service.  And shall endeavor to discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage. 3. Justness and Sincerity.  They must remain true to the people at all times.  Shall not discriminate against anyone, especially the poor and the underprivileged.  Shall at all times respect the rights of others, and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good

 Maintain the principle of public accountability, and manifest by deeds the supremacy of civilian authority over the military.  They shall at all times uphold the constitution and put loyalty to country above loyalty to persons or party. 8. Simple Living.  They shall lead modest lives appropriate to their positions and income.  Shall not indulge in extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth in any form.  Lawyers in the government service are also prohibited to engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law.  Prohibition will continue for one year after their separation from public office, in connection with any matter pending before the office they used to with.  A prosecutor should lay the pertinent facts with methodical and meticulous attention.  To clarify contradictions and fill up gaps and loopholes in their evidence, to the end that the court’s mind may no be tortured with doubts, that the innocent may not suffer and the guilty not escape unpunished.  This is the prosecution’s prime duty to the court, to the accused, and to the state.

conviction is on appeal, and if he finds no LEGAL BASIS to sustain the conviction.

RULE 6.02. A LAWYER IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE SHALL NOT USE HIS PUBLIC POSITION TO PROMOTE OR ADVANCE HIS PRIVATE INTERESTS, NOR ALLOW THE LATTER TO INTERFERE WITH HIS PUBLIC DUTIES.  Government lawyers, who are public servants, owe utmost fidelity to the public service. For a public office is a public trust.  They should be more sensitive to their professional obligations as their disreputable conduct is more likely to be magnified in the public eye.  Want of moral integrity is to be more severely condemned in a lawyer who holds responsible public office.  GOVERNMENT LAWYERS MUST COMPLY WITH THIS DUTIES: Public officials are required to uphold the public interest over and above personal interest; must discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and sill; act with justness and sincerity; provide service without discrimination; extend prompt, courteous and adequate service to the public; be loyal to the Republic; commit themselves to the democratic way of life and values; lead modest lives.

PROMOTION OF PRIVATE INTERESTS WITH THE USE OF PUBLIC OFFICE PROHIBITED.  Thus, if a lawyer is concurrently allowed to engage in the practice of law, he should not use his public position to enhance his private practice of law or a private business of his for that matter. 7

 A public prosecutor should recommend the acquittal of the accused whose

 It is unethical for a government lawyer to remain secretly connected with a law firm and solicit cases for the said firm with referral fees or monthly retainers for the purpose.  A GOVERNMENT LAWYER SHOULD NOT REFUSE TO PERFORM A DUTY.  Unlike a practicing lawyer who has the right to decline employment, a fiscal cannot refuse the performance of his functions on grounds not provided for by law without violating his oath of office. RULE 6.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT, AFTER LEAVING GOVERNMENT SERVICE, ACCEPT ENGAGEMENT OR EMPLOYMENT IN CONNECTION WITH ANY MATTER IN WHICH HE HAD INTERVENED WHILE IN SAID SERVICE.  Thus, a Congressman lawyer who authored a bill creating an office which became a law, cannot accept a position of employment in that office. RA 3019, Sec. 3(d) (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). o In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: (d) Accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the pendency thereof or within one year after its termination.  RA 6713, Sec. 7(b). In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees not prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and

employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful: (b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto.—Public officials and employees during their incumbency shall not: 1) Own, control, manage or accept employment as officer employee, consultant, counsel, broker, agent, trustee or nominee / in any private enterprise regulated, supervised or licensed by their office / unless expressly allowed by law; 2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions; or 3) Recommend any person to any position in a private enterprise which has a regular or pending official transaction with their office.  These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of 1 year after resignation, retirement or separation from public office, / except in case of subparagraph (2) above, / but the professional concerned cannot practice his profession in connection with any matter before the office he used to be with, / in which case the one year prohibition shall likewise apply.

CHAPTER II The Lawyer and the Legal Profession  MEMORY AID FOR CANONS UNDER THIS SECTION:  Canon 7: Uphold Dignity and Integrity in the Profession  Canon 8: Courtesy, Fairness, Candor towards Professional Colleagues  Canon 9: Unauthorized Practice of Law



The basic postulate of the IBP is that it is nonpolitical in character and that there shall be neither lobbying nor campaigning in the choice of the IBP Officers. The spectacle of lawyers bribing or being bribed to vote did not uphold the honor of the profession nor elevate it in the public’s esteem. (In Re: Election of the IBP,178 SCRA 398 (1989)) More than just paying IBP Membership dues, a lawyer should help achieve objectives and purposes of the IBP, i.e.,  assist in the administration of justice;  foster and maintain on the part of its members high ideals of integrity, learning, professional competence, public service and conduct;  safeguard the professional interests of its members;

Re: Payment of IBP Dues: The integration of the Phil. Bar means the unification of the entire lawyer population requiring membership and financial support of every attorney as condition sine qua non to the practice of law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys ofthe SC.  Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate.  The only compulsion is the payment of annual dues which, the SC, in order to foster the State’s legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require to be shared by all the subjects and beneficiaries – the lawyers.  The fee is a regulatory measure not barred by the Constitution. The only limitation is that the regulation should not impose an unconstitutional burden.  The public interest far outweighs the slight inconvenience to a member. The compulsory nature of payment of dues subsists for as long as one’s membership in the IBP remains, regardless of the extent of practice of a lawyer. (Letter of Atty. Cecilio Arevalo, 458 SCRA 209 (2005))

 cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood;  provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading, practice and procedure and the relations of the bar thereto; encourage and foster legal education;  Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law, and make reports and recommendations thereon. (Agabin)  The act of downloading the test questions from the bar examiner’s PC without the latter’s knowledge and permission was a criminal act of larceny. By transmitting and distributing the stolen questions to his fraternity brothers, he had given them undue advantage over the other bar takers. (Re: 2003 Bar Examinations, 421 SCRA 703 (2004))

RULE 7.01. A LAWYER SHALL BE ANSWERABLE FOR KNOWINGLY MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT OR SUPPRESSING A MATERIAL FACT IN CONNECTION WITH HIS APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR.  Observance of the duties and responsibilities of a lawyer begins even as a law student. A student’s failure to live up to them may be a ground for SC to refuse admission to practice or for disbarment should SC learn later on about his/her transgressions. (Agpalo) If the false statement is discovered before the candidate can take the Bar exam, he will be denied permission to take the exam.


If the false statement is discovered after the candidate had passed the exam but before having taken his oath, he will not be allowed to take his oath as a lawyer. If the discovery was made after the candidate had taken his oath as a lawyer, his name will be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys. It is the fact of concealment and not the commission of the crime itself that makes a candidate morally unfit to become a lawyer.

 He should expose without fear or favor before the SC corrupt or dishonest conduct in the profession and should not hesitate to accept professional employment against a lawyer who has wronged his client. (Agpalo) RULE 7.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN CONDUCT THAT ADVERSELY REFLECTS ON HIS FITNESS TO PRACTICE LAW, NOR SHALL HE, WHETHER IN PUBLIC OR PRIVATE LIFE, BEHAVE IN A SCANDALOUS MANNER TO THE DISCREDIT OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION.  A lawyer must at all times conduct himself properly as not to put into question his fitness to practice law.  He should maintain good moral character. Thus, he should not assist any one in the commission of any crime, or any unprofessional act.  He should maintain the standard of moral fitness required him when he applied for admission to the bar. o He should always be faithful to his oath.

RULE 7.02. A LAWYER SHALL NOT SUPPORT THE APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR OF ANY PERSON KNOWN BY HIM TO BE UNQUALIFIED IN RESPECT TO CHARACTER, EDUCATION, OR OTHER RELEVANT ATTRIBUTE.  It is the duty of a lawyer to his society to do something to prevent unqualified applicant from taking the bar examinations.  His support to an applicant must be solely based on fitness, both intellectual and moral.  He should aid in guarding the bar against admission to the profession of candidates unfit or unqualified for being deficient in either moral character or education.  Public policy demands that any person seeking admission to the bar shall possess such degree of learning and proficiency in law as is necessary for due performance of the duties of the attorney. A lawyer should not readily execute an affidavit of good moral character in favor of an applicant who has not live up to the standard set by law.  He should volunteer information or cooperate in any investigation concerning alleged anomaly in the bar examination. This is to help guard the profession from candidates who are unfit or unqualified.

 The conduct of nobility and uprightness should stay with him whether in his public or private life.  It is a fair characterization of the lawyer’s responsibility in our society that he stands ‘as a shield’ in defense of right and to ward off wrong. In a disbarment proceeding, it is immaterial that the complainant is aware of his marital status or that he was not caught in pari delicto because this is not a proceeding to grant relief to the complainant but one to purge the law profession of unworthy members, to protect the public and the court. Possession of good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession, but its continued possession is essential to maintain one’s good standing in the 10

profession.(Zaguirre v. Castillo, 398 SCRA 659 (2003)) CANON 8. A LAWYER SHALL CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH COURTESY, FAIRNESS, AND CANDOR TOWARD HIS PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES, AND SHALL AVOID HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING COUNSEL.  MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 8:  Rule 8.01 - No Abusive and Improper Language  Rule 8.02 - Not to Encroach on Professional Employment  To maintain the dignity of the legal profession, lawyers must conduct themselves honorably, fairly and candidly toward each other.  Respect generates respect.  They shall avoid resorting to harassing tactics against their opposing counsels.  They must participate in the battle for justice with the armors of courtesy and fairness. RULE 8.01. A LAWYER SHALL NOT, IN PROFESSIONAL DEALINGS, USE LANGUAGE WHICH IS ABUSIVE, OFFENSIVE OR OTHERWISE IMPROPER.
 The fact that one of the lawyers conducts him/herself improperly does not relieve the other from professional obligation in his relation with him/her. (Agpalo)

A lawyer’s language should be forceful but dignified, emphatic but respectful as befitting an advocate and in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession.  His arguments whether written or oral, should be gracious to both the court and opposing counsel and be of such words as may be properly addressed by one gentleman to another.  It should be in keeping with the seriousness and purpose of his calling. It should dignified and temperate.  He shall refrain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged.

COURT MAY EXPUNGE IMPROPER LANGUAGE FROM THE RECORDS.  Any kind of language which attacks without foundation the integrity of opposing counsel or the dignity of the court may be stricken off the records or may subject a lawyer to disciplinary action. Lack or want of intention is no excuse for the disrespectful language employed.  Counsel cannot escape responsibility by claiming that his words did not mean what any reader must have understood them as meaning.

Abusive and offensive language has no place n pleadings; contemptuous.   Their employment serves no purpose and on the contrary constitutes direct contempt or contempt in facie curiae.  A lawyer who uses intemperate, abusive, abrasive or threatening language betrays disrespect to the court, disgraces the bar and invites the exercise of its disciplinary power.



 A lawyer should not steal the other lawyer’s client nor induce the latter to retain him by promise of better service, good result or reduced fees for his services. Neither should he disparage another, make comparisons or publicize his talent as a means to further his law practice. (Agpalo) It would be unethical for a lawyer to exert efforts directly or indirectly, in any way, to encroach upon the professional employment of another. There is no encroachment when previous lawyer was already dismissed.  He may accept employment to handle a matter previously handled by another lawyer, provided that the other lawyer has been given notice of termination of service. Without such notice, he shall only appear once he has obtained conformity or has, at the very least, given sufficient notice of contemplated substitution. A lawyer’s appearance in the case without notice to the first lawyer amounts to an improper encroachment upon the professional employment of the original counsel. (Agpalo)

A client’s proffer of assistance of additional counsel should not be regarded as evidence of want of confidence but the matter should be left to the determination of the client. The 2nd lawyer should communicate with the 1st before making an appearance. Should the 1st lawyer object, he should decline association but if the 1st lawyer is relieved, he may come into the case. (Agpalo)  When there is conflict of opinions between two lawyers jointly associated in a case, the client should decide. The decision should be accepted unless the nature of the difference makes it impracticable for the lawyer whose judgment has been overruled to cooperate effectively. In this event, it is his/her duty to ask client to relieve him/her. (Agpalo)

A lawyer may however interview any witnesses or prospective witness for the opposing side in any civil or criminal action without the consent of opposing counsel or party.  But he should scrupulously avoid any suggestion calculated to induce witness to suppress or deviate from the truth, or in any degree to affect his free and untrammeled conduct when appearing at the trial or on the witness stand.

A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented by a counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but should deal only with his counsel.  A lawyer should not, in the absence of the adverse party’s counsel, interview the adverse party and question him as to the facts of the case even if the adverse party was willing to do so. Neither should he sanction the attempt of his client to settle a litigated matter with the adverse party without the consent or knowledge of the latter’s counsel. (cf. Canon 9) (Agpalo)

A lawyer who has acquired knowledge of the malpractices of a member of the Bar, has the duty to the public and to the legal profession to inform the Supreme Court or the IBP of such malpractices to the end that the malpractitioner be properly disciplined.  He should expose without fear or favor, before the proper tribunals, corrupt or dishonest conduct in the profession, and should accept without hesitation employment against the member of the Bar who has wronged his client.  Advice and assistance to victims of unfaithful and neglectful counsel is proper.


CANON 9. A LAWYER SHALL NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ASSIST IN THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.  Only those licensed by the SC may practice law in this country and a lawyer should not assist anyone who is not a member of the Bar to practice law in this country.  Thus, he must not take as partner or associate in his law firm a person: 1. Who is not a lawyer; 2. Who has been disbarred; 3. Who has been suspended from the practice of law; 4. Who is a foreign lawyer unless licensed by the SC.  Whether such person is knowledgeable about the law is immaterial.  ABA CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY: The prohibition against the practice of law by a layman is grounded in the need of the public for integrity and competence of those who undertake to render legal services. Because of the fiduciary and personal character of the lawyer-client relationship and the inherently complex nature of our legal system, the public can better be assured of the requisite responsibility and competence if the practice of law is confined to those who are subject to the requirements and regulations imposed upon members of the legal profession.  The title of “attorney” is reserved to those who, having obtained the necessary degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been admitted to the IBP and remain members thereof in good standing, and it is they only who are authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction. (Alawi v. Alauya (1997))  A person not admitted to the bar may not hold himself out to the public as engaged in the practice of law, either alone or as associated with a practicing

attorney under a firm name. (US v. Ney (1907)) RULE 9.01. A LAWYER SHALL NOT DELEGATE TO ANY UNQUALIFIED PERSON THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY TASK WHICH BY LAW MAY ONLY BE PERFORMED BY A MEMBER OF THE BAR IN GOOD STANDING.  Public Policy demands that legal work in the representation of parties’ litigant should be entrusted only to those possessing tested qualifications and those who are sworn to observe the rules and the ethics of the profession, as well as being subject to judicial disciplinary control for the protection of the courts, clients and the public. A LAWYER CANNOT DELEGATE HIS AUTHORITY WITHOUT CLIENT’S CONSENT EVEN TO A QUALIFIED PERSON.  Because a client-lawyer relationship is a personal one. Attorneys are selected on account of their special fitness through their learning or probity for the work in hand.  May a lawyer delegate a case to another lawyer within the same firm? If a client has specified the services of one particular attorney, then the case may not be delegated. Otherwise, it may be delegated. - An associate or assistant in a law firm may appeal for the client, unless the client has contracted otherwise.  A lawyer can employ secretaries, investigators, detectives, researches as long as they are not involved in the practice of law (e.g., not “writing” pleadings, appearing in court, etc.) (Agpalo)


RULE 9.02. A LAWYER SHALL NOT DIVIDE OR STIPULATE TO DIVIDE A FEE FOR LEGAL SERVICES WITH PERSONS NOT LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW, EXCEPT: a. Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that, upon the latter’s death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement; or b. Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished or legal business of a deceased lawyer; or c. Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part, on profit-sharing arrangement.  The first two exceptions to the rule represent compensation for legal service rendered by the deceased lawyer during his lifetime, which is paid to his estate or heirs. The third exception to the rule does not involve, strictly speaking, a division of legal fees with non-lawyer employees. The retirement benefits in the form of pension represent additional deferred wages or compensation for past services of the employees (Agpalo) A lawyer can only divide or stipulate to divide fees for legal services with another lawyer who had rendered legal services with him in a case or legal work.  Because it would leave the public in hopeless confusion as to whom to consult in case of necessity and also to leave the bar in a chaotic condition, aside from the fact that non-lawyers are not amenable to disciplinary measures. CHAPTER III THE LAWYER AND THE COURTS

 Canon 11: Respect Courts and Judicial Officers.  Canon 12: Assist in Speedy and Efficient Administration of Justice.  Canon 13: Refrain from Act Giving Appearance of Influence. CANON 10. A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT.  The reason for requiring candor and fairness on the part of a lawyer in his relation with the courts had been clearly explained by the SC – the burden cast on the judiciary would be intolerable if it could not take at face value what is asserted by counsel.  As an officer of the court and as part of the machinery for the administration of justice, a lawyer is continually accountable to the court for the manner he discharges his duties and is always subject to its disciplinary control (Agpalo)  Lawyers have the duty to the dignity and authority courts to which he owes not to promote distrust administration of justice. uphold of the fidelity, in the

 A lawyer should always seek to preserve faith in the courts.  The oath to which all lawyers have subscribed in solemn agreement to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of justice is not a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law to be forgotten afterwards; nor is it mere words, drift and hollow, but a sacred trust that lawyers must uphold and keep inviolable at all times. Ting Dumali v. Torres (2004)) A lawyer’s oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to his duty to his client; its primacy is indisputable. (Cobb Perez v. Lantin (1968)) Example of lawyer’s display of candor:

 Canon 10: Observe Candor, Fairness and Good Faith. 14


To save his client from trouble of waiting for the reconstitution of a case already decided by the Court of Appeals, a lawyer instead of refilling the case informed the Supreme Court that the same had been decided by the Court of Appeals and sent a copy of the decision thereof.

RULE 10.01. A LAWYER SHALL NOT DO ANY FALSEHOOD, NOR CONSENT TO THE DOING OF ANY IN COURT, NOR SHALL HE MISLEAD OR ALLOW THE COURT TO BE MISLED BY AN ARTIFICE.  A lawyer should not conceal the truth from the court, nor mislead the court in any manner no matter how demanding his duties to clients may be. (Agpalo)  He must be truthful and be a minister of truth.  He swore upon his admission to the bar that he will “do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court” and he shall “conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to his clients.” (Young v. Batuegas, 403 SCRA 123 (2003))  In all his dealings, he is expected to act in good faith just as anybody especially in his dealings with the court.  A lawyer has the duty not to mislead the judge.  He shall be held in contempt if he shall mislead a judge by raising issues long laid to rest y final and executor judgment.  CASES OF FALSEHOODS WHICH MERITED DISCIPLINE: 1. A lawyer falsely stating in a deed of sale that property is free from all liens and encumbrances. 2. Lawyer making it appear that a person, long dead, executed a deed of sale in his favor.  

3. Lawyer concealing the fact that he was charged with or convicted of a crime, in an information sheet required by law in connection with this employment. 4. Where a lawyer concealed his lack of the required pre-legal education. 5. Lawyer falsifying a power of attorney and used it in collecting the money due to the principal and appropriate the money for his own benefit. 6. Lawyer denying that he received the notice to file brief which denial belied by the return card. 7. Lawyer presenting falsified documents in court which he knows to be false. 8. Lawyer filing false charges or groundless suits. 9. Lawyers falsifying the sheriff’s return and seeking the default of the defendants. 10. Using in pleadings the IBP number of another lawyer. Offering false testimony in evidence is a crime – Article 148 of the RPC. If a lawyer, through negligence in the performance of his duties as counsel for a party, failed to discover the falsity of the document which he offered in evidence, he may still be dealt with administratively notwithstanding lack of intent on his part to deceive (Agpalo) Every member of the bar should realize that candor in the dealings with the court is the very essence of honorable membership in the profession. (Cuaresma v. Daguis (1975))


 Only from this Tribunal’s decisions and rulings do all other courts, as well as lawyers and litigants, take their bearings. Ever presenting the danger that if not faithfully and exactly quoted, the decisions and rulings of this Court may lose their proper and correct meaning. (Insular Life Employees Co. v. Insular LifeAssociation, 37 SCRA 1 (1970)) – THIS REFERS TO THE DECISIONS OF THE SC.  Thus, ever present is the danger that if not faithfully and exactly quoted, the decisions and rulings of the SC may lose their proper and correct meaning, to the detriment of other courts, lawyers and the public who may thereby be misled.  However, a mere typographical error in the citation of an authority is not contemptuous. - But when the misquotation is intended, the lawyer is subject to disciplinary action. - Lawyers must not intentionally misread or interpret the law to the point of distortion in cunning effort to achieve their purposes. - A lawyer should not cite a decision, knowing that it is invalid or that it has already been overruled. Neither should he cite a statute knowing that it has already been repealed.  A LAWYER SHOULD NOT ASSERT AS A FACT, HIS VERSION OF THE CASE, WHICH HAD NOT YET BEEN PROVEN. NOR, SHOULD A LAWYER ASSERT AS FINDING OF A FACT BY THE COURT, WHICH ACTUALLY IS NOT. Misquoting or intercalating phrases in the text of a court decision constitutes willful disregard of the lawyer’s solemn duty to act

at all times in a manner consistent with the truth. A lawyer should never venture to mislead the court by false statements or quotations of facts or laws.

RULE 10.03. A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE THE RULES OF PROCEDURE AND SHALL NOT MISUSE THEM TO DEFEAT THE ENDS OF JUSTICE.  Procedural rules are instruments in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. They should not be used to derail such ends. They should not misuse them, as by filing multiple petitions regarding the same cause of action of by deliberately misreading the law to seek a reopening of a case long decided. (Agpalo)  The aim of lawsuit is to render justice. And the rules of procedure are precisely designed to attain such objective.  A lawyer should always bear in mind that our rules of procedure are intended to facilitate the delivery of justice to those whom it is due without unnecessary expense and waste of time for truly justice delayed is justice denied. - Any lawyer who uses them to defeat or frustrate the ends of justice deserves condemnation. - Lawyers should not file pointless petitions that only add to the workload of the judiciary.  Technicalities should give way to the realities of the situation.  Technical rules should not be used to evade responsibility. For they are intended to aid the administration of justice and not as a means for its frustration.



 Lawyers must also exert efforts that others, including their own clients and witnesses, shall deal with the courts and judicial officers with respect.  If they have complaint, it must be pursued within the bounds of the law, without in the least promoting distrust in the administration of justice.  The highest sign of respect to the courts is the lawyer’s obedience to court orders and processes.  Court orders must be respected by lawyers who are themselves officers of the court.  If they want to assail court’s orders, lawyers shall do so within the framework of the applicable laws and rules.  Criticisms of courts must not spill the wall of decency.  Lawyer’s duty to render respectful subordination to the courts is essential to the orderly administration of justice. Hence, in the assertion of their clients’ rights, lawyers – even those gifted with superior intellect – are enjoined to rein up their tempers.  Pleadings containing derogatory, offensive or malicious statements submitted to the court or judge, in which the proceedings are pending, constitutes direct contempt.

 Rule 11.01 - Proper Attire  Rule 11.02 - Punctuality  Rule 11.03 - Proper Language and Behavior  Rule 11.04 - Not to Attribute Motives to Judge  Rule 11.05 - Grievance Against Judge  Lawyers’ first duty is to the courts and is not secondary to that of his client.  Where duties to the courts conflict with his duties to his clients, the latter must yield to the former.  Respect due to the courts and judicial officers must be maintained.  Lawyers are bound to uphold the dignity and authority of the court, to which he owes fidelity according to the oath he has taken, and not to promote distrust in the administration of justice.  If the people lose their confidence in the honesty and integrity of the members of the court and believe that they cannot expect justice therefrom, they might be driven to take the law into their own hands and disorder and perhaps chaos might be the result.  Respect is not only towards the justices and judges but also to other officers of the courts like clerks of court, sheriffs and other judicial officers who take part in the judicial work.  Lawyers must be respectful not only in their actions but also in their use of language whether in oral arguments or pleadings.

RULE 11.01. A LAWYER SHALL APPEAR IN COURT PROPERLY ATTIRED.  Courts have ordered a male attorney to wear a necktie and have prohibited a female attorney from wearing a hat. However, the prohibition of a dress whose hemline was five inches above the knee was held to be acceptable as such 17

“had become an accepted mode of dress even in places of worship.” (Aguirre)  Respect begins with the lawyer’s outward physical appearance in court. Sloppy or informal attire adversely reflects on the lawyer and demeans the dignity and solemnity of court proceedings. (Agpalo) To maintain the dignity and responsibility of the legal profession, lawyers who appear in court must be properly attired. 

required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged. This rule is similar to Rule 8.01 but this specifies “the courts” before whom the lawyer is directed to abstain from using the proscribed language.  Scandalous behaviors like unnecessary display of passion, provocative or challenging gestures, shouting at the judges, witnesses or opposing counsel; slapping, boxing or challenging any one in court to a fistfight or duel are not only contemptuous but also reprehensible and extremely degrading to the legal profession.  A lawyer’s arguments, written or oral, should be gracious to both court and opposing counsel and be of such words as may be properly addressed by one gentleman to another. 
Lawyer’s Courtesy:

RULE 11.02. A LAWYER SHALL PUNCTUALLY APPEAR AT COURT HEARINGS.  A lawyer owes the court and his client the duty to punctually appear at court proceedings. (Agpalo)  He shall delay no man for money or malice.  Lack of punctuality interferes in the speedy administration of justice. Consequently, both the judge and the lawyer are in duty bound to perform their duties with punctuality.  A judge who is unpunctual in his habits sets a bad example to the bar and tends to create dissatisfaction with the administration of justice.  Inexcusable absence from, or repeated tardiness in, attending a pre-trial or hearing may subject the lawyer to disciplinary action as his actions showing disrespect to the court make him guilty of contemptuous behavior. (Agpalo)

 It must never be forgotten that a lawyer pleads; he does not dictate. He should be courageous, fair, and circumspect, not petulant, combative, or bellicose in his dealings with the court.  While criticism of judicial conduct is not forbidden and zeal in advocacy is encouraged, the lawyer must always act within the limits of propriety and good taste and with deference for the judges before whom he pleads his client’s cause.  A lawyer should not assail, without basis, the personal integrity of a judge and accuse him of misfeasance in an attempt to hide his own inadequacies and omissions to escape criticism of his client.  The discharge of the lawyer’s duty to his client does not justify or require the use of defamatory or threatening words. Neither does 18

RULE 11.03. A LAWYER SHALL ABSTAIN FROM SCANDALOUS, OFFENSIVE OR MENACING LANGUAGE OR BEHAVIOR BEFORE THE COURTS.  A lawyer’s language should be dignified in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession.  It is his duty to abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor and reputation of a party or witness, unless

the mistake of a judge in some of his rulings warrant the use of offensive language.  There is no defense against the use in a pleading by a lawyer of disrespectful, threatening, abusive, and abrasive language. It cannot be justified by the constitutional right of free speech for such right is not absolute and its exercise must be within the context of a functioning and orderly system of dispensing justice.  Where words are abrasive or insulting, evidence that the language employed is justified by the facts is not admissible as a defense.

important part of the traditional work of a lawyer. As a citizen and as officer of the court, a lawyer is expected not only to exercise his right, but also to consider it his duty to avail of such right. But the cardinal condition of all such criticism is that is shall be bona fide and shall not spill over the walls of decency and propriety. (In Re: Almacen, 31 SCRA (1970)) RULE 11.04. A LAWYER SHALL NOT ATTRIBUTE TO A JUDGE MOTIVES NOT SUPPORTED BY THE RECORD OR HAVE NO MATERIALITY TO THE CASE.

Judge’s Courtesy:

 The duty to observe and maintain respect is not a one-way duty from a layer to a judge. A judge should show no shortness of temper which merely detracts from the equanimity and judiciousness that should be the constant marks of a dispenser of justice.  A judge may utilize his opportunities to criticize and correct unprofessional conduct of attorneys but he may not do so in an insulting manner.

The rule allows such criticism so long as it is supported by the record or it is material to the case. A lawyer’s right to criticize the acts of courts and judges in a proper and respectful way and through legitimate channels is well recognized. The cardinal condition of all such criticism is that it shall be bona fide, and shall
not spill over the propriety. (Agpalo) wall of decency and

Lawyer can demand that the misbehavior of a judge be placed on record. This act is not contemptuous. While lawyers are prohibited to attribute motives to a judge not supported by the record, lawyers must however be courageous enough to expose arbitrariness and injustices of courts and judges.

While a lawyer must advocate his client's cause in utmost earnest and with the maximum skill he can marshal, he is not at liberty to resort to arrogance, intimidation, and innuendo. (Sangalang v. IAC (1989))

 A lawyer has the duty to defend a judge from unfounded criticism or groundless personal attack.

Every citizen has the right to comment upon and criticize the actuations of public officers. The Court also treats with forbearance and restraint a lawyer who vigorously assails their actuations, provided it is done in respectful terms and through legitimate channels. For courageous and fearless advocates are the strands that weave durability into the tapestry of justice. The reason is that an attorney does not surrender his right as a citizen to criticize the decisions of the court in fair and respectful manner, and the independence of the Bar, as well as the judiciary, has always been encouraged by the courts. Criticism has been an

Const Art. VIII, Sec. 6- The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. The SC is the proper authority. The lawyer shall not file an administrative case until he has exhausted judicial remedies which result in a finding that the judge has gravely erred. (Agpalo) 19

The duty to respect does not preclude a lawyer from filing administrative complaints against erring judges, or from acting as counsel for clients who have legitimate grievances against them. (Agpalo) Where a criminal complaint against a judge or other court employees arises from their administrative duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to the SC for determination whether said judges or court employees acted within the scope of their administrative duties. Otherwise, in the absence of any administrative action, the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the Court’s power of administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. (Maceda v.Vasquez, 221 SCRA 464 (1993)) 

 An attorney as an officer of the court is called upon to assist in the due administration of justice – acts which obstruct the administration of justice are condemned. Rule 138 Sec 20(g). Duties of attorneys. – It is the duty of an attorney: (g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any man’s cause, from any corrupt motive or interest. The first duty of a lawyer is not to his client but the administration of justice. As an officer of the Court, it is the duty of the lawyer to advance the Court’s objective of having a speedy, efficient, impartial, correct, and inexpensive adjudication of case and the prompt satisfaction of final judgments. The duty to assist in the administration of justice may be performed by doing no act that obstructs, perverts, or impedes the administration of justice and by faithfully complying with all his duties to the court and to his client. Examples of the former would include the duty to inform the court of any change of his address or of the death of his client. Acts that amount to obstruction of the administration of justice may take many forms. They include such acts as instructing a complaining witness in a criminal case not to appear at the scheduled hearing so that the case against his client, the accused, would be dismissed. Ordinarily, obstruction of justice constitutes contempt of court, and citing the misbehaving lawyer for contempt and punishing him for such misbehavior may be sufficient to accomplish the end desired. However, the misbehavior may be of such character as to effect the offender’s qualifications as a lawyer for the practice of law. In such case, he may be disciplined as lawyer for such misconduct.

CANON 12. A LAWYER SHALL EXERT EVERY EFFORT AND CONSIDER IT HIS DUTY TO ASSIST IN THE SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.  MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 12:        Adequate Preparation (Rule 12.01) Forum Shopping (Rule 12.02) Not to Delay Case (Rule 12.03) Court Process (Rule 12.04) Proper Behavior (Rule 12.05-12.07) Not to Testify on Behalf of Client (Rule 12.08)

CONST. art III, sec 6. All persons shall have the right to a speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies. Speedy and efficient administration of justice is the common aim of the bench and the bar.  It is a joint responsibility of the judges and the lawyers.  The canon directs the lawyer to exert every effort and to consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice.


RULE 12.01. A LAWYER SHALL NOT APPEAR FOR TRIAL UNLESS HE HAS ADEQUATELY PREPARED HIMSELF ON THE LAW AND THE FACTS OF HIS CASE, THE EVIDENCE HE WILL ADDUCE.  A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation. (Rule 18.02)  He must be ready when he goes to trial.  Without adequate preparation, the lawyer may not be able to effectively assist the court in the efficient administration of justice. Nonobservance of this rule might result in: 1) The postponement of the pre-trial or hearing, which would thus entail delay in the early disposition of the case; 2) The judge may consider the client nonsuited or in default; or 3) The judge may consider the case deemed submitted for decision without client’s evidence, to his prejudice.  A newly hired counsel who appears in a case in the midstream is presumed and obliged to acquaint himself with all the antecedent processes and proceedings that have transpired in the record prior to his takeover. A lawyer is adequately prepared if he has a mastery of the facts of his case, the law and jurisprudence applicable thereto and upon which he can appropriately anchor his theory or stance. He must have collated every piece of evidence essential to establish his case and essential to demolish the pretenses of the opponent’s theory and capable of presenting and offering his evidence in an orderly and smooth manner without provoking valid objections.  The lawyer who is presenting documentary exhibits must also be ready with the originals thereof for purposes of comparison with copies thereof – to avoid objections – which ordinarily delay the proceeding.

A counsel for any party is duty bound to prepare for trial with diligence and deliberate speed. Rule 12.01 is reiterated briefly in Rule 18.02 which provides “a lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation.” The latter rule is more comprehensive than the former.

RULE 12.02. A LAWYER SHALL NOT FILE MULTIPLE ACTIONS ARISING FROM THE SAME CAUSE.   A lawyer shall not file an action which is the subject of a similar pending action. The plaintiff or principal party shall certify under oath in the complaining or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief, or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith: a. that he has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending therein; b. If there is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and c. If he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending, he shall report that fact within 5 days there from to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.

Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other initiatory pleading but shall cause for the dismissal of the case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided, upon motion after hearing. The submission of false certification or noncompliance with any of the undertaking therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court, 21

without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions. If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping, the same shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt, as well as a cause for administrative sanctions. (ROC, Rule 7, Sec. 5)

knowledge there is a good ground to support it and that it is not to interpose for delay. The willful violation of this rule may subject him to (1) Appropriate disciplinary action or (2) Render him liable for the costs of litigation. RULE 12.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT, AFTER OBTAINING EXTENSIONS OF TIME TO FILE PLEADINGS, MEMORANDA OR BRIEFS, LET THE PERIOD LAPSE WITHOUT SUBMITTING TO THE SAME OR OFFERING AN EXPLANATION FOR HIS FAILURE TO DO SO.

The prohibition, which is couched in general terms will include the filing of petitions for writs of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition when there are similar petitions already filed or pending. Forum Shopping – There is forum shopping when as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another or when he institutes two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause, on the gamble that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition.  Forum shopping is condemnable and the punishment therefore is the dismissal of all the actions pending in the different courts without prejudice to the taking of appropriate actions against the counsel or party concerned.  Client and not counsel should sign the certificates against forum shopping.  A lawyer must not abuse his right of recourse to the courts.  Forum shopping is a reprehensible manipulation of court processes and proceedings.

Where a lawyer’s motion for extension of time to file a pleading, memorandum or brief has remained unacted by the court, the least that is expected of him is to file it within the period asked for (Agpalo) A lawyer who asked for extension of time must act in good faith.  A lawyer who files a motion for extension of time within which to file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, must comply within the period granted, unless, for valid reasons, he is granted another period, in which latter case, he should comply before the lapse of the last period so granted.  If for one reason a lawyer decided to dispense with the filing of the legal paper he had announced to the court, he should inform the court by filing a manifestation with an explanation of the reason. Informing the court is necessary in order to prevent unnecessary delay in the disposition of the case.

A lawyer has the duty to disclose the prior dismissal of his case by a court of concurrent jurisdiction. Rule 12.02 stresses the affirmative duty of a lawyer to check against useless litigations. His signature in every pleading constitutes a certificate by him that to the best of his

Lawyers should file their pleadings on time or they suffer the consequences.



action or to confess judgment, and if the client is determined to pursue it he should ask that he be relieved from professional responsibility.

A lawyer must consider it a duty to assist in the realization of speedy and efficient administration of justice. Consequently, he must not cause the undue delay of any case, or impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court processes. He should not for any corrupt motive delay any man’s cause. EXECUTION OF FINAL DECISION SHOULD NOT BE UNDULY THWARTED.  Lawyers should not resort to nor abet the resort of their clients, to a series of actions and petitions for the purpose of thwarting the execution of a judgment long final and executor.  He should not enter his appearance in a case which had long been terminated by final decision.

If a lawyer is honestly convinced of the futility of an appeal in a civil suit he should not hesitate to temper his client’s desire to seek appellate review of such decision for unless, he could show sufficient cause for reversal, he would only succeed in planting false hope in his client’s mind, increasing the burden on appellate tribunals, prolonging litigation unnecessarily and exposing his client to useless expenses. Nonetheless a lawyer should not, solely on his own judgment, let the decision become final by letting the period to appeal lapse, without informing his client of the adverse decision and of his candid advice in taking appellate review thereof, well within the period to appeal, so that the client may decide whether to pursue appellate review.

 He should not appeal a decision manifestly for delay as this is a violation of his attorney’s oath and is obstructive of the administration of justice.  A judge should be quick enough to prevent a lawyer from resorting to dilatory tactics which obstruct the administration of justice.  A lawyer should not utilize the rules of procedure to attain the ends of justice and to frustrate them.

RULE 12.05 A LAWYER SHALL REFRAIN FROM TALKING TO HIS WITNESS DURING THE BREAK OR RECESS IN THE TRIAL, WHILE THE WITNESS IS STILL UNDER EXAMINATION.  Coaching of witness during break or recess is condemned. To uphold and maintain the fair play with the other party and to prevent the examining lawyer from being tempted to coach his witness to suit his purpose. The purpose of this rule is to avoid any suspicion that he is coaching the witness what to say during the resumption of the examination

While a client may withhold from his counsel certain facts or give him false information to attain his unlawful ends, a lawyer can easily see through the client’s action either before or at the early stage of the litigation. If after his appearance a lawyer discovers his client has no case, he may unceremoniously abandon the action. should advise his client to discontinue that not He the

RULE 12.06 A LAWYER SHALL NOT KNOWINGLY ASSIST A WITNESS TO MISREPRESENT HIMSELF OR TO IMPERSONATE ANOTHER.  If he knowingly assists, or induces a witness to misrepresent himself as an eyewitness when he is not, or to impersonate a person involved in a case – subjects the lawyer to disciplinary action. He renders himself totally unfit to assist in the administration of justice. 23

A witness who commits the misrepresentation or impersonation is criminally liable for False Testimony under the Revised Penal Code.  There is nothing more fatal to justice than a corrupt witness.  The lawyer who presented a witness knowing him to be a false witness is criminally liable for “Offering False Testimony in Evidence. He shall also be administratively liable.

 Not to be examined except only as to matters pertinent to the issue;  Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him to a penalty for an offense unless otherwise provided by law; or

Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his reputation, unless it be to the very fact at issue or to a fact from which the fact in issue would be presumed. But a witness must answer to the fact of his previous conviction for an offense.

A lawyer may interview witnesses in advance of trial or attend to their needs if they are poor but he should avoid any such action as may be misinterpreted as an attempt to influence the witness what to say in court. Court will not give weight on a testimony of a witness who admits having been instructed. A lawyer who presents a witness whom he knows will give a false testimony or is an impersonator may be subjected to disciplinary action.

A lawyer must always be reminded that his language should always be dignified in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession. The lawyer has a duty to always treat adverse witnesses and suitors with fairness and due consideration. The client cannot be made the keeper of the lawyer’s conscience in professional matters. He has no right to demand that his counsel abuse the opposite party and the latter’s witnesses or indulge in offensive personalities. Improper speech is not excusable on the ground that it is what the client would say if speaking in his own behalf Judges are equally mandated to be courteous to litigants and witnesses.

RULE 12.07 A LAWYER SHALL NOT ABUSE, BROWBEAT OR HARASS A WITNESS NOR NEEDLESSLY INCONVENIENCE HIM.  It is a misbehavior in court for a lawyer to frighten or shout at witnesses, to terrorize them or tear them down arrogantly, cross-examine them with incessant questions beyond what is fair and necessary maligning or abusing them with such other similar acts where disrespect instead of respect, is the tone of the action. Rule 132, sec. 3. Rights and obligations of a witness. A witness must answer questions, although his answer may tend to establish a claim against him. However, it is the right of a witness:  To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or insulting questions, and from harsh or insulting demeanor;  Not to be detained longer than the interests of justice require;


If it is the judge who subjects the witness to harsh treatment, the lawyer has the right to protest in a respectful and dignified manner the action of the judge and to make the incident of record without being held liable administratively or for contempt of court.

RULE 12.08 A LAWYER SHALL AVOID TESTIFYING IN BEHALF OF HIS CLIENT; EXCEPT: a. on formal matters, such as mailing, authentication or custody of an instrument, and the like; or


b. on substantial matters, in cases where his testimony is essential to the ends of justice, in which event he must, during his testimony, entrust the trial of the case to another counsel.  To avoid the self-examination style, the lawyer should entrust the conduct of the examination to another counsel.  He can secure the assistance of an associate partner or in the law office or he may engage another lawyer with the consent of the client for the purpose.

CANON 13. A LAWYER SHALL RELY UPON THE MERITS OF HIS CAUSE AND REFRAIN FROM ANY IMPROPRIETY WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE, OR GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCING THE COURT.  MEMORY AID FOR RULES UNDER CANON 13:  No Extraordinary Attention (Rule 13.01)  No Public Statements to Media (Rule 13.02)  Not to Invite Outside Interference (Rule  13.03)  The principles of justice may be summed up into “rendering or giving one what is due him.”  This is in effect is the administration of our laws. proper

The underlying reason for the impropriety of a lawyer acting in such dual capacity lies in the difference between the function of a witness and that of an advocate. The function of a witness is to tell the facts as he recalls then in answer to questions. The function of an advocate is that of a partisan. It is difficult to distinguish between the zeal of an advocate and the fairness and impartiality of a disinterested witness (Agpalo)  The inhibition is not a question of competency to testify but one of the propriety – for the dual role of being a witness and a lawyer at the same time for a client, will generally invite criticism and confusion in the proceedings.

 Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith. (Article 19, CC)  The lawyer must be guided by the principles of justice. o His cases must be won because they are meritorious and not because of connections, clout, dominance or influence. To do so, he breaks the basic principles of justice which is highly condemnable.

Although the law does not forbid an attorney to be a witness and at the same time an attorney in a cause, the courts prefer that counsel should not testify as witness unless it is necessary and that they should withdraw from the active management of the case. Canon 19 of the Code of Legal Ethics provides that “when a lawyer is a witness for his client, except as to merely formal matters. Such as the attestation or custody of an instrument and the like, he should leave the trial of the case to other counsel. Except when essential to the ends of justice, a lawyer should avoid testifying in court in behalf of his client.” (PNB v. Uy Teng Piao, 57 PHIL 337 (1932))

 A lawyer must not display or boast of being influential to the court. o This will erode the confidence of the public on the fair administration of justice.

Grievances must be ventilated through proper channels (appropriate petitions, motions or other pleadings) in keeping with the respect due to the Courts as impartial administrators of justice entitled to proceed to the disposition of its business in an orderly manner, free from outside interference obstructive of its functions and tending to embarrass the administration of 25

justice. For though the rights of free speech and of assembly are constitutionally protected, an attempt to pressure or influence courts of justice is no longer within the ambit of constitutional protection. (Nestle Phil. v. Sanchez, 154 SCRA 542 (1987)) RULE 13.01. A LAWYER SHALL NOT EXTEND EXTRAORDINARY ATTENTION OR HOSPITALITY TO, NOR SEEK OPPORTUNITY FOR CULTIVATING FAMILIARITY WITH JUDGES.

Discussing cases with the judge privately should be avoided. It is an impropriety for a judge to meet privately with an accused.  The prohibition is to maintain impartiality. Judges should not only be impartial but should appear impartial.  The courts should administer justice free from suspicion of bias and prejudice; otherwise, parties-litigants might lose confidence in the judiciary and destroy its nobleness and decorum.  The common practice of some lawyers making judges and prosecutors godfathers of their children to enhance their influence and their law practice should be avoided by judges and lawyers alike.  A lawyer should not see a judge in chamber and talk to him about a case he is handling and pending in the judge’s court.

Extra-ordinary attention or hospitality to, or see familiarity with judges, to be avoided.

The reason for the prohibition is to protect the good name and reputation of the judge and the lawyer. To avoid misconstructions of motives on the part of both the judge and the lawyer – the observative public may jump into conclusions that these things are being done by the lawyer in anticipation for some favorable reciprocation on the part of the judge. This will surely affect the confidence of the people in the judicial system.

Lawyers should not also seek for opportunity to cultivate familiarity with judges.  The independence of the judges must be protected at all times so that the administration of justice may not be exposed to destructive suspicions before the scrutinizing eyes of litigants and the public as a whole.  A lawyer who resorts to such practices of seeking familiarity with judges dishonors his profession and a judge who consents to them is unworthy of his high office.

A lawyer should not communicate to the judge the merits of a pending case.


Public statements intended to arouse public opinion for or against a party are generally condemned.

Purpose: Newspaper publications regarding a pending or anticipated litigation may interfere with a fair trial, prejudice the administration of justice, or subject a respondent or a accused to a trial by publicity and create a public inference of guilt against him. 26

The character of the act done and its direct tendency to prevent and obstruct the discharge of official duty is the test to determine whether a newspaper publication concerning a pending case is contemptuous. Trial by publicity is prejudicial when there is an allegation and proof that the judges have been unduly influenced.


Lawyers shall not invite interference by another governmental agency in the course of judicial proceedings.
 Rule 11.05. A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to the proper authorities only.

 If the counsel instigated or induced his client to make the public statement or publicity in the media involving a pending case to arouse public opinion and to influence the judge, both the client and the lawyer may be subjected to contempt of court.  The court, in a pending litigation, must be shielded from embarrassment or influence in its all important duty of deciding the case. Thus, what a lawyer can ordinarily say against a concluded litigation and the manner the judge handed down the decision may not generally be said to a pending action. Once litigation is concluded, the judge who decided it is subject to the same criticism as any other public official because then, his ruling becomes public property and is thrown open to public consumption. Televising a court trial would amount to a violation of due process. A carnival atmosphere would be created. Jurisprudence also states that there is nothing that proscribes the press from reporting events that transpire in the courtroom. But there is a reasonable likelihood that the prejudicial news prior to trial will prevent a fair trial. If publicity during the proceeding threatens the fairness of the trial, a new trial shall be ordered.

 The basis for this rule is the principle of separation of powers and to preserve the independence of the judges in the performance of their duties.