Solicitation of legal


Problem Areas in Legal Ethics
Arellano University School of Law – Arellano Law Foundation


Code of Professional Responsibility


Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of
the defenseless or the oppressed.
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
extent necessary to safeguard the latter's rights.
Rule 2.03 - A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
primarily to solicit legal business.
Rule 2.04 - A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily
prescribed unless the circumstances so warrant.


Code of Professional Responsibility

Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent,
misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or
claim regarding his qualifications or legal services.
Rule 3.02 - In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed
name shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner
is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications
that said partner is deceased.
Rule 3.03 - Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from
the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law
allows him to practice law currently.
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.

Rule 138

Sec. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by Supreme Court on
what grounds. - A member of the bar may be removed or
suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for
any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office,
grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime
involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he
is required to take before admission to practice, or for a wilfull
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for
corruptly or wilfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case
without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at
law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid
agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.


A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal business. Atty. FOR ANY CORRUPT MOTIVE OR INTEREST.  RULE 1.  This rule proscribes “ambulance chasing” (the solicitation of almost any kind of legal business by an attorney. 6672. Linsangan v.03 of the CPR  Rule 2.Rule 2. 2009 5 . A LAWYER SHALL NOT.03 . No.03 should be read in connection with Rule 1.03. personally or through an agent in order to gain employment) as a measure to protect the community from barratry and champerty . ENCOURAGE ANY SUIT OR PROCEEDING OR DELAY ANY MAN’S CAUSE. A.C. September 4. Tolentino.

A LAWYER SHALL CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH COURTESY. without fear or favor. 6 . it is the right of any lawyer. encroach upon the professional employment of another lawyer.  Rule 8.A lawyer shall not.02 . to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel. directly or indirectly. FAIRNESS AND CANDOR TOWARDS HIS PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES.Do not “pirate” a client  CANON 8 . however. AND SHALL AVOID HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING COUNSEL.

integrity and reliability. Simbillo. Khan Jr.The following elements distinguish the legal profession from a business:     1. 2003 7 . A. Atty. and in which one may attain the highest eminence without making much money. A relation as an “officer of the court” to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity. . A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor. 5299. or dealing directly with their clients. fairness. v. A relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary. of which the emolument is a byproduct. and unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice. 4. 2. 3. No. August 19.C. A duty of public service.Atty.

C. Tolentino. either personally or through paid agents or brokers . A.General rule  Hence. a ground for disbarment. September 4. Linsangan v. 6672. lawyers are prohibited from soliciting cases for the purpose of gain. Such actuation constitutes malpractice. Atty. No. 2009 8 .

App.Rptr.Geffen v. 687 [1975] 9 ." .3d 215. 53 Cal. 125 Cal. “Solicitation or obtaining of professional employment by any means of communication. Moss.

In re Krasner 204 N. but it is an overreaching of the other members of the profession who adhere to the standards fixed by canons of ethics and the dictates of good conscience.Solicitation or Ambulance chasing  We need not labor the point that solicitation or ambulance chasing . To permit such conduct to continue undeterred could only result in unsavory competitions and consequences materially detrimental to the dignity and honor of the legal profession as a whole.2d 10 (1965) 10 . so-called. Not only does it provoke derision and disrespect in the eyes of the public. . is conduct which is reprehensible and inimicable to the traditions and best interests of the legal profession. either directly or indirectly through the services of runners or others.E.

A.Linsangan v. 2009 11 . Tolentino.Ambulance chasing  This rule proscribes “ambulance chasing” (the solicitation of almost any kind of legal business by an attorney. September 4. .C. No. 6672. personally or through an agent in order to gain employment) as a measure to protect the community from barratry and champerty. Atty.

Champertous contract  Champerty n. 12 . an agreement between the party suing in a lawsuit (plaintiff) and another person.) In Common Law this was illegal on the theory that it encouraged lawsuits. who agrees to finance and carry the lawsuit in return for a percentage of the recovery (money won and paid. usually an attorney.

that no fraud is committed or imposition applied . – Fabillo v. with the sanction of law. a contract for contingent fee is valid and enforceable. No. but no means with which to pay for legal services unless he can. the contingent fee arrangement is the only means by which the poor clients can have their rights vindicated and upheld. Oftentimes. make a contract for a contingent fee to be paid out of the proceeds of litigation .R. IAC G. L-68838 March 11. 1991 13 ." As long as the lawyer does not exert undue influence on his client.Contingent fee is valid   Contingent fee contracts are permitted in this jurisdiction because they redound to the benefit of the poor client and the lawyer "especially in cases where the client has meritorious cause of action. or that the compensation is clearly not excessive as to amount to extortion.

5534. 2005 14 . . but is an absolute fee arrangement which entitles a lawyer to get paid for his efforts regardless of the outcome of the litigation. No. Bondal.Yu v. January 17.Acceptance fee  An acceptance fee is not a contingent fee. A.C.

  Touters .someone who advertises for customers in an especially brazen way. Common barratry consisting of frequently stirring up suits and quarrels between individuals. 15 .

Linsangan v. . September 4. 2009 16 . 6672. Tolentino. A.C. No. Atty.Only way to announce legal service  For this reason. lawyers are only allowed to announce their services by publication in reputable law lists or use of simple professional cards.

. Simbillo. it would bring no injury to the lawyer and to the bar.Atty. for solicitation to be proper. Khan Jr. Atty. 5299. A. August 19.C. No. the solicitation of legal business is not altogether proscribed . it must be compatible with the dignity of the legal profession . Nonetheless. However. v. 2003 17 . If it is made in a modest and decorous manner .

Tolentino. 2009 18 . Linsangan v. For this reason. 6672. No. Atty. September 4.C. lawyers are only allowed to announce their services by publication in reputable law lists or use of simple professional cards . A.

September 4. No. 2009 19 . . A. Professional calling cards may only contain the following details: (a) lawyer’s name. (c) address. Tolentino. 6672. (d) telephone number and (e) special branch of law practiced. Atty.Linsangan v. (b) name of the law firm with which he is connected.C.

5299. August 19. 2003  20 .Atty. branches of law practiced. 6. 9. and. cable addresses. the names and addresses of references. the fact of listings in other reputable law lists. addresses. 2. 10. Khan Jr. 12. degrees and other educational distinctions. with their written consent. 8. legal teaching positions. v. schools attended with dates of graduation. the names of clients regularly represented.C. 5. legal authorships. 13. public or quasi-public offices. Atty. membership and offices in bar associations and committees thereof. posts of honor. No. 3. date and place of birth and admission to the bar. 4.Brief biographical and informative data Such data must not be misleading and may include only the following: 1. . telephone numbers. Simbillo. a statement of the lawyer’s name and the names of his professional associates. in legal and scientific societies and legal fraternities. 11. 7. A.

C. it cannot be a mere supplemental feature of a paper. Atty. 2003 21 . or to lower dignity or standing of the profession. A. management. Simbillo. a lawyer may not properly publish his brief biographical and informative data in a daily paper. August 19. 5299.Acceptable law list publication  The law list must be a reputable law list published primarily for that purpose. Nor may a lawyer permit his name to be published in a law list the conduct. or contents of which are calculated or likely to deceive or injure the public or the bar. magazine.Atty. trade journal or society program. . magazine. For that reason. trade journal or periodical which is published principally for other purposes. No. Khan Jr. v.

Khan Jr. address. v. 2003 22 . A. is not objectionable. Atty. 5299. Simbillo.Atty. No. August 19. telephone number and special branch of law practiced. The publication of a simple announcement of the opening of a law firm or of changes in the partnership . associates. firm name or office address . The card may contain only a statement of his name. . being for the convenience of the profession. the name of the law firm which he is connected with.C.Acceptable publication  The use of an ordinary simple professional card is also permitted.

5299. v. 2003 23 . Simbillo. A. . Atty.Atty.C. Khan Jr. August 19.Telephone directory  He may likewise have his name listed in a telephone directory but not under a designation of special branch of law . No.

and Prado may call itself “A law Firm Of St.. a Christian family-renewal community. 139542 June 10. G. A “St. Thomas More and Associate Members”  We agree with the OBC.PP v. No.02 is clear. 2003 24 . “The Law Firm of St.R. Rodriguez. Thomas More and Associates” or STMA is in fact the socio-political ministry or the couples for Christ. In one case. Gonzalez. Ramos. Thomas More and Associate Members” is not a law firm in this jurisdiction or even in any other jurisdiction. Jr. Rule 3. In this case.Whether or not the firm of Velasquez. No name not belonging to any of the partners or associates may be used in the firm name for any purpose. Nidea. . we have ruled that the use of the firm name of a foreign law firm is unethical because that firm is not authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction . Respicio.

Thomas More and Associates Members” is to bask in the name of a Saint . G.. be the purpose or intention of the lawyers. It implies that St. Jr. – PP v. The appellation only tends to confuse the public and in a way demean both the saints and the legal profession whose members must depend on their own name and record and merit and not on the name/glory of other persons living or dead. although that may not really. Thomas More is a Law Firm when in fact it is not it would also convey to the public the impression that the lawyers are members of the law firm which does not exist.R. 139542 June 10. 2003 25 . Thomas More and Associate Members” indeed appears misleading . Gonzalez. No. To appellate to the name of the lawyers “The Law Firm of St. To the public. it would seem that the purpose or intention of adding “The Law Firm of St.

Atty. A. which reads: “ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE Specialist 532-4333/521-2667.Philippine Daily Inquirer.” . 5299. v. 2003 26 . No.Atty. Simbillo.C. Khan Jr. August 19.

of brief biographical and informative data is likewise allowable. the use of simple signs stating the name or names of the lawyers. 2003 27 . as well as advertisement in legal periodicals bearing the same brief data. in a manner consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by the canon.C. the office and residence address and fields of practice. Atty. No. Publication in reputable law lists. A. August 19. Atty. Even the use of calling cards is now acceptable. are permissible. Simbillo. Thus. 5299. v. Khan Jr.

Tolentino 28 .Calling card of Atty.

convinced his clients to transfer legal representation. To induce them to hire his services. 29 . Complainant alleged that respondent. Respondent promised them financial assistance and expeditious collection on their claims.000 . in exchange for a loan of P50. To support his allegations. he persistently called them and sent them text messages. with the help of paralegal  Fe Marie Labiano. complainant presented the sworn affidavit of James Gregorio attesting that Labiano tried to prevail upon him to sever his lawyer-client relations with complainant and utilize respondent’s services instead.

04 – A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice.C. when in the interest of justice. Linsangan v. Atty. by engaging in a money-lending venture with his clients as borrowers. Tolentino. September 4.  Moreover. No. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except. he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client. A. 6672.04: Rule 16. respondent violated Rule 16. 2009 30 .

Tolentino. A. Atty. September 4. It seeks to ensure his undivided attention to the case he is handling as well as his entire devotion and fidelity to the client’s cause. cash bond or premium for surety bond.  The rule is that a lawyer shall not lend money to his client. stenographer’s fees for transcript of stenographic notes. etc. The only exception is . 6672. 2009 31 . No. he has to advance necessary expenses (such as filing fees. .) for a matter that he is handling for the client. when in the interest of justice.Linsangan v. The rule is intended to safeguard the lawyer’s independence of mind so that the free exercise of his judgment may not be adversely affected.C.

. or to accept a settlement which may take care of his interest in the verdict to the prejudice of the client in violation of his duty of undivided fidelity to the client’s cause.Linsangan v. the lawyer in effect acquires an interest in the subject matter of the case or an additional stake in its outcome. Atty. 2009 32 .C. A. September 4.Lending money to client  If the lawyer lends money to the client in connection with the client’s case. 6672. Either of these circumstances may lead the lawyer to consider his own recovery rather than that of his client. Tolentino. No.

that he was a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States . The emphasis of this relatively uninformative fact is at least bad taste.In re: R.S. in large capital letters.M.J. 455 U. . 191 [1982] 33 .Uninformative fact  Somewhat more troubling is appellant's listing.

Including a government lawyer in a business card  Thus. Gatdula. the fact that his name appears on the calling card as a partner in the Baligod.M. 6713. P-99-1292 [1999] 34 . No. . while he may not be actually and directly employed with the firm.Samonte v. Tacardon. Atty. Dimailig & Celera Law Offices give the impression that he is connected therein and may constitute an act of solicitation and private practice which is declared unlawful under Republic Act No. Gatdula A.

being an alien law firm. Baker & McKenzie. et. Case No. Rules of Court). al. Adm. Baker & McKenzie is a professional partnership organized in 1949 in Chicago. and nine other lawyers from practicing law under the name of Baker & McKenzie. As admitted by the respondents in their memorandum. Respondents. Rule 138.Dacanay v. . 1. sought to enjoin Juan G. cannot practice law in the Philippines (Sec. aside from being members of the Philippine bar. a law firm organized in Illinois  We hold that Baker & McKenzie. Illinois with members and associates in 30 cities around the world. 2131 [1985] 35 . Collas.A verified complaint. are members or associates of Baker & Mckenzie. Jr. practicing under the firm name of Guerrero & Torres.

al. Dacanay v. This is unethical because Baker & McKenzie is not authorized to practice law here. Baker & McKenzie. Adm. 2131 [1985] 36 . Case No. As pointed out by the Solicitor General. et. respondents' use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie constitutes a representation that being associated with the firm they could "render legal services of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises and others engaged in foreign trade and investment“.

Room.Director of Religious Affairs v. Consultation on any matter free for the poor. 2-41-60. 105 Tel. March 20. No. L-1117. Everything confidential. 1944  Sunday Tribune of June 13. Bayot. 1943.C. Legal assistance service 12 Escolta. which reads as follows: Marriage license promptly secured thru our assistance & the annoyance of delay or publicity avoided if desired. A. and marriage arranged to wishes of parties. 37 . Manila.

. Bayot. . is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but must be the outcome of character and conduct.C. 1944 38 . March 20. even for a young lawyer. No.“ .Director of Religious Affairs v. A. .Admonition to a young lawyer  "The most worth and effective advertisement possible. L-1117.

and is willing to help and serve the poor. As a lawyer. as well as any complaint for or against you.Unacceptable advertisement LUIS B. Echague. — As notary public. can renew lost documents of your animals. he can help you collect your loans although long overdue. can make your application and final requisites for your homestead. TAGORDA Attorney Notary Public CANDIDATE FOR THIRD MEMBER Province of Isabela (NOTE. Come or write to him in his town.) 39 . and can execute any kind of affidavit. He offers free consultation. Isabela. he can execute for you a deed of sale for the purchase of land as required by the cadastral office.

Canons of Professionals Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association in 1908 and by the Philippine Bar Association in 1917.In re: Tagorda. relationship or trust make it his duty to do so . but it is indictable at common law. except in rare cases where ties of blood. 37 (1929) 40 . Stirring up strife and litigation is not only unprofessional. 53 Phil.Volunteer [legal] advice is malpractice  It is unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring a lawsuit. Canons 27 and 28 of the Code of Ethics .

the canon of the profession tell us that the best advertising possible for a lawyer is a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust . He easily sees the difference between a normal by-product of able service and the unwholesome result of propaganda. That publicity is a normal by-product of effective service which is right and proper.Your best advertisement as a lawyer   We repeat. Legal Clinic 223 SCRA 378 41 . A good and reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to generate it and to magnify his success. . which must be earned as the outcome of character and conduct.Ulep vs. Good and efficient service to a client as well as to the community has a way of publicizing itself and catching public attention.

the importance of the lawyer's position. 37 (1929)    But solicitation of business by circulars or advertisements.Prohibited advertisement or solicitation In re: Tagorda. defy the traditions and lower the tone of our high calling. It is equally unprofessional to procure business by indirection through touters of any kind. whether allied real estate firms or trust companies advertising to secure the drawing of deeds or wills or offering retainers in exchange for executorships or trusteeships to be influenced by the lawyer. and all other like self-laudation. Indirect advertisement for business by furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments concerning the manner of their conduct. and are intolerable. the magnitude of the interest involved. 53 Phil. or by personal communications or interview not warranted by personal relations. 42 . is unprofessional.

and especially with his brother lawyers. . is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust . even for a young lawyer. but must be the outcome of character and conduct . This cannot be forced.In re: Tagorda. 37 (1929) 43 .Best mode of advertisement  The most worthy and effective advertisement possible. 53 Phil.

occuring through an inadvertance.U.W." stating that they had established an office for the general practice of law in all the courts of the Islands and that Bosque would devote himself especially to consultation and office work relating to Spanish law. and with one exception. sending out a circular signed "Ney & Bosque. 8 Phil. to carry on business together. but with the words "Ney & Bosque .“ . juris consulto español .W. Juan G.S. vs.C. The paper was headed "Law Office . Ney. Bosque. Ney and Bosque. papers from the office were signed not with the firm name alone nor with any designation of the firm as attorneys. abogado americano. a practicing attorney. abogado. Ney.Law firm with a foreign lawyer as partner   In the year 1904 he made an arrangement with the defendant Ney. 146 (1907) 44 .Ney & Bosque.C." Since that time the defendant Bosque has not personally appeared in the courts.

no false.A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false.02 . not effectively qualified by the addition that he would devote himself to consultation and office work relating to Spanish law. Xxx.  45 . misleading. fraudulent. undignified. amounted to an assertion of his right and purpose. Rule 3. deceptive.01 . misleading or assumed name shall be used. Moreover the firm circular in setting forth the establishment of an office for the general practice of law in all the courts of the Islands.  Rule 3.In the choice of a firm name. self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services.

Thank you for your attention!! 46 .