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Lothar Schulz vs Atty. Marcelo G.

[A.C. No. 4219. December 8, 2003]
The petitioner is a German national who filed a verified complaint for disbarment against
the respondent. The respondent was a lawyer of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental charged
of breaching his avowed duty as a lawyer and ethical standards he was strictly bound to
The petitioner alleged that he engaged the services of respondent for purposes of filing a
complaint against Wilson Ong. Respondent advised him that there was no need to refer his
complaint for barangay election yet 3 months later, petitioner was instructed by respondent
to file his complaint with the Lupon Tagapayapa. Wilson Ong did not appear at the
conciliation hearings arguing that he is a resident of another barangay thus, not subject to
the jurisdiction of the barangay where petitioner filed his complaint. Accordingly,
complainant has now filed to the barangay where Wilson Ong is a resident of but then a case
against him was already filed by the latter before the RTC of Negros Oriental. Upon this
occurrence, petitioner alleged that it was respondents fault causing him of being defendant
rather than a complainant against Wilson Ong. He also charged respondent with collecting
excessive and unreasonable fees and of unjustifiably refusing to return his files. In his
Answer, respondent contend the amount of his attorneys fees and appearance fee per
hearing. In the same way, he also explained that it was Wilson Ong who will be made to pay
the side fees.
The Court referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. The IBP Commission
on Bar Discipline submitted a report recommending the respondent be suspended from the
practice of law for 6 months with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts will
merit a more severe penalty.
Whether or not respondent performed his duty as expected and required of being a lawyer
The court ruled in the negative. It is dismaying to note that respondent patently violated
his duty as a lawyer in this case. The breach of respondents sworn duty as a lawyer and of

ethical standards he was strictly to honor and observe has been sufficiently established.
Respondent has fallen short of the competence and diligence required of every member of
the Bar. He committed a serious transgression when he failed to exert his utmost learning
and ability to give entire devotion to his clients cause.
A lawyer must conduct himself, especially in his dealings with his clients, with integrity
in a manner that is beyond reproach. Therefore, the Court agrees with the evaluation of the
IBP-CBD and finds that respondents acts warrant the imposition of disciplinary sanctions
against him.

Concepcion Bolivar vs Abelardo Simbol y Manuel

[A.C. No. 377. April 29, 1966]
Complainant was the sole witness at an investigation on disbarment proceedings. The
court referred the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and
recommendation. In his repost, the Solicitor General stated that complainant made a sworn
withdrawal and desistance. However, he recommended that respondent be disciplined, and
then simultaneously filed the corresponding complaint asking for his suspension for a
period of at least 5 years. The Clerk of Court sent by registered mail to respondent thru his
counsel a letter with a copy of the foregoing complaint, requiring answer thereto in 15 days.
In his answer, the counsel of the respondent requested that the copy of the complaint be sent
directly to said respondent since he reportedly had changed address. Accordingly, a copy of
the complaint was sent by registered mail direct to the respondents reported address but it
was returned to court noting that said respondent was no longer in that address. A hearing
was set where the Solicitor General and counsel for the complainant appeared. They
submitted the case for decision without oral argument since there was no appearance of

1. Whether or not respondent waived his right the opportunity to defend himself

2. Whether or not respondent has failed to maintain the highest degree of morality
expected and required of a member of the bar
1. Yes. The court holds that respondent has had full opportunity to defend himself, and
that he has waived his right to be heard. Respondent knew that the disbarment
proceedings against him were pending. His right to practice his profession was at
stake. It was his duty to inquire as to his fate. He was hidebound by his obligation to
inform the Court of his whereabouts, to the end that notices could reach him. In all
these, he failed. A copy of the Solicitor Generals complaint and notice of hearing
were sent both to his 2 addresses yet there was no action taken on his part. Thus, the
respondent gave the Court ample reason to believe that he purposely stayed away.
2. Yes. The Court is persuaded to say that respondent failed to maintain the highest
degree of morality expected and required of a member of the bar. Convinced by
respondents promise to marry her, complainant and respondent had lived as husband
and wife for 4 years and bore a child. However, the 2 separated for complainant
learned that respondent was already married to another woman. All along, respondent
fed complainant with assurances that he would marry her. To ward off celebration of
marriage, respondent offered varied excuses. Those avowals nevertheless, respondent
turned around and married another. He even concealed the fact of his marriage from
complainant not until the latter discovered the bitter truth. Therefore, respondent is
guilty of grossly immoral conduct within the meaning of Section 27, Rule 138,
Rules of Court.