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CANON 10

NATASHA HUEYSUWAN FLORIDO V. ATTY. JAMES BENEDICT C.


FLORIDO
420 SCRA 132
January 20, 2004

Facts
This is an administrative complaint for the disbarment of
respondent Atty. James Benedict C. Florido and his eventual removal
from the Roll of Attorneys for allegedly violating his oath as a lawyer
by manufacturing, flaunting and using a spurious and bogus Court
of Appeals Resolution.
Natasha V. Heysuwan Florido,herein the complainant,
averred that she was the legitimate spouse of the respondent Atty.
James Benedict Florido, the respondent, but that they are estranged
and living separately from each other. They have two children
Kamille Nicole H. Florido, five years old, and James Benedict H.
Florido, Jr., three years old whom the complainant has the custody.
Complainant filed a case for the annulment of her marriage.
Meanwhile there was another related case pending in the Court of
Appeals (Florido v. Abarrientos, et al.)
Sometime in the middle of December 2001, respondent
went to complainants residence in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental and
demanded that the custody of their two minor children be
surrendered to him. He showed complainant a photocopy of an
alleged Resolution issued by the Court of Appeals which supposedly
granted his motion for temporary child custody.
Complainant called up her lawyer but the latter informed
her that he had not received any motion for temporary child custody
filed by respondent. Complainant asked respondent for the original
copy of the alleged resolution of the Court of Appeals, but
respondent failed to give it to her. Complainant then examined the
resolution closely and noted that it bore two dates: November 12,
2001 and November 29, 2001. Sensing something amiss, she
refused to give custody of their children to respondent. In the midmorning of January 15, 2002, while complainant was with her
children in the ABC Learning Center in Tanjay City, respondent,
accompanied by armed men, suddenly arrived and demanded that
she surrender to him the custody of their children. He threatened to
forcefully take them away with the help of his companions, whom he
claimed to be agents of the National Bureau of Investigation.
Alarmed, complainant immediately sought the assistance of the
Tanjay City Police.

On January 16, 2002, respondent filed with the Regional


Trial Court of Dumaguete City, Branch 31, a verified petition for the
issuance of a writ of habeas corpus asserting his right to custody of
the children on the basis of the alleged Court of Appeals resolution.
In the meantime, complainant verified the authenticity of
the Resolution and obtained a certification dated January 18, 2002
from the Court of Appeals stating that no such resolution ordering
complainant to surrender custody of their children to respondent
had been issued.

Issue:
Whether or not the respondent can be held
administratively liable for his reliance on and attempt to enforce a
spurious Resolution of the Court of Appeals.

Held:
Yes. CANON 10. A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS
AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT.
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 any artifice.
Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or
misrepresent the contents of a paper, the language or the argument
of an opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or authority, or
knowingly cite as a law a provision already rendered inoperative by
repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not been
proved.
Thus, a lawyer who used a spurious Resolution of the
Court of Appeals is presumed to have participated in its fabrication.
Hence, Candor and fairness are damande of every lawyer. The
burden cast on the judiciary would be intolerable if it could not take
at face value what is asserted by counsel. The time that will have to
be devoted just to the task of verification of allegations submitted
could easily be imagined. Even with due recognition then that
counsel is expected to display the utmost zeal in the defense of a
clients cause, it must never be at the expense of the truth.

IN RE: ATTY. ARTURO SAMANIEGO


A.C. No. 74
November 20, 1951

Facts:
Prior to 1948, Bernardo Samaniego (a cousin of the
respondent) filed a war damage claim with the U.S.Philippine War
Damage Commission. He was married to Isabel Medina and had
three children, only one of whom is living. In 1944, Bernardo
Samaniego and his wife did not live together for about fifteen years,
during which, however, he cohabited with Alejandra Cruz. Bernardo
Samaniego and Alejandra Cruz had six children, although only four
are living. Bernardo Samaniego died on February 29, 1948.
Sometime before September 21, 1948, a check (No.
383421) for P841.50 was issued by the U.S. Philippine War
Damage Commission in the name of Bernardo Samaniego as a first
payment of his claim. Claiming to be the widow of Bernardo
Samaniego, Alejandra Cruz succeeded in getting the check from the
postmaster of Malolos, Bulacan.
On September 21, 1048, the respondent and Alejandra
Cruz went to the National City Bank of New York, Manila, to encash
the check. The respondent sought the assistance of an acquittance,
Proceso Jodloman, an employee of the bank. After the respondent
had signed the name of Bernardo Samaniego on the check, Proceso

Jodloman (who has known the respondent since 1947) identified the
same by affixing his own signature. After the respondent had again
signed the name of the payee, Bernardo Samaniego, on the check
before the bank teller, the latter paid its amount.
Alejandra Cruz then admitted having received the whole
amount, although she alleged that she gave to the respondent the
sum of P100 in payment of her obligation to respondent's mother.
The respondent claims that he had always honestly
believed that Alejandra Cruz was the lawful wife of his cousin,
Bernardo Samaniego, and that he signed the name of Bernardo
Samaniego in good faith, motivated solely by a desire to help
Alejandra Cruz who needed the money with which to meet her many
obligations and to buy medicine for her sick child. The respondent
further argues that he never represented himself to Proceso
Jodloman as Bernardo Samaniego, the payee of the check, for, as a
matter of fact, he exhibited his residence certificate, car
registration, and license to carry a pistol, as well as a poster of his
candidacy for Governor of Bulacan.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent violated Canon 10, rule 10.01
of the Code of Professional Resposibility
Held:
Yes. 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 any artifice.
In the case, Even if the respondent acted without malice in cashing
the check and did not profit thereby, he knew that he was not
Bernardo Samaniego and he signed the latter's name with full
knowledge that he was dead. The respondent, a lawyer, surely
anticipated that he could not cash the check otherwise than by
signing, not his own name, but that of the dead payee. To this
extent he misled the bank, and thereby committed an act indicative
of moral laxity, least expected from and highly unbecoming a
member of the bar.
Therefore, he is hereby suspended from the practice of law for a
period of one year from and after the date this resolution shall have
become final.

Serana vs. Sandiganbayan


G.R. No. 162059. January 22, 2008.
CANON NUMBER: Canon 10 (Rule 10.02)
FACTS:
Petitioner Hannah Eunice D. Serana was a senior scholar student of
the University of the Philippines-Cebu. She was appointed by then
President Joseph Estrada on December 21, 1999 as a student regent
of UP to serve a one-year term (January 1, 2000 - December 31,
2000).In the early part of 2000, petitioner discussed with President

Estrada the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex in UP Diliman. Within


the same year, petitioner, with her siblings and relatives, registered
with the Securities and Exchange Commission the Office of the
Student Regent Foundation, Inc. (OSRFI). One of the projects of the
OSRFI was the renovation of the Vinzons Hall Annex. President
Estrada gave Fifteen Million Pesos (P15,000,000.00) to the OSRFI as
financial assistance for the proposed renovation. The source of the
funds, according to the information, was the Office of the President.
The renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex failed to materialize. The
succeeding student regents consequently filed a complaint for
Malversation of Public Funds and Property with the Office of the
Ombudsman. On 2003, the Ombudsman, after due investigation,
found probable cause to indict petitioner and her brother Jade Ian D.
Serana for estafa.
Petitioner moved to quash the information. She claimed that the
Sandiganbayan does not have any jurisdiction over the offense
charged or over her person, in her capacity as UP student regent.
Petitioner claimed that Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019, as amended by
R.A. No. 8249, enumerates the crimes or offenses over which the
Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. It has no jurisdiction over the crime
of estafa. It only has jurisdiction over Crimes Committed by Public
Officers of the RPC. Estafa falling under Crimes Against Property
Book of the RPC is not within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
She also argued that it was President Estrada, and not the
government, that was swindled. Even assuming that she received
the P15,000,000.00, that amount came from Estrada, and not from
the funds of the government. Petitioner likewise posited that the
Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over her person. As a student
regent, she was not a public officer since she merely represented
her peers, in contrast to the other regents who held their positions
in an ex officio capacity. She added that she did not receive any
salary as a student regent. She further contended that she had no
power or authority to receive funds. Such power was vested with the
Board of Regents (BOR) as a whole. Since it was not alleged in the
information that it was among her functions or duties to receive
funds, or that the crime was committed in connection with her
official functions, the same is beyond the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan.
The Ombudsman opposed the motion. Section 4 (b) of Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 1606 clearly contains the phrase "in relation to
office," thus, the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the charges
against petitioner. In the same breath, the prosecution countered
that the source of the money is a matter of defense. It should be
threshed out during a full-blown trial. According to the Ombudsman,
petitioner, despite her protestations, was a public officer. As a
member of the BOR, she had the general powers of administration
and exercised the corporate powers of UP. Compensation is not an

essential part of public office. Incidentally, compensation has been


interpreted to include allowances. By this definition, petitioner was
compensated.
The Sandiganbayan denied the motion of petitioner for lack of merit.
Section 4 (b) of R.A. 8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan also has
jurisdiction over other offenses committed by public officials and
employees in relation to their office because the primordial
consideration in the inclusion of these officials is the nature of their
responsibilities and functions
(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of governmentowned or controlled co rporations, state universities or educational
institutions or foundations.
Finally, this court finds that the contention of accused-movant that
the same of P15 Million was received from former President Estrada
and not from the funds of the government, is a matter a defense
that should be properly ventilated during the trial on the merits of
this case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the counsel of petitioner, in


misrepresentation of reference, liable under the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. The counsel of the petitioner, Renato G. dela Cruz,
misrepresented his reference to Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606 as a
quotation from Section 4 of R.A. No. 3019. The Court urged the
counsel of Serana to observe Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, specifically Rule 10.02 of the thereof stating that a
lawyer shall not misquote or misrepresent Thus, Renato G. dela
Cruz is liable under the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Young vs. Batuegas


A.C. No. 5379. May 9, 2003.
CANON NUMBER: CANON 10 (Rules 10.01, 10.02 and 10.03)
FACTS:
On December 29, 2000, Atty. Walter T. Young filed a Verified
Affidavit-Complaint for disbarment against Attys. Ceasar G.
Batuegas, MiguelitoNazareno V. Llantino and Franklin Q. Susa for
allegedly committing deliberate falsehood in court and violating the
lawyer's oath.
Complainant is the private prosecutor in a pending criminal case for
murder (People vs. Crisanto Arana, Jr.). On December 13, 2000,
respondents Batuegas and Llantino, as counsel for accused, filed a
Manifestation with Motion for Bail, alleging that the accused has
voluntarily surrendered to a person in authority. As such, he is now
under detention." Upon personal verification with the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where accused Arana allegedly
surrendered, complainant learned that he surrendered only on
December 14, 2000, as shown by the Certificate of Detention.
Respondent Susa, a Clerk of Court of RTC Manila, calendared the
motion on December 15, 2000 despite the lack of notice of hearing
to the private complainant, violation of the three-day notice rule,
and the failure to attach the Certificate of Detention. Respondents
filed their respective comments, declaring that on December 13,
2000, upon learning that a warrant of arrest was issued against their
client, they filed the Manifestation with Motion for Bail with the trial
court. Then they immediately fetched the accused in Cavite and
brought him to the NBI to voluntarily surrender. However, due to
heavy traffic, they arrived at the NBI at 2:00 a.m. the next day;
hence, the certificate of detention indicated that the accused
surrendered on December 14, 2000. They argued that there was
neither unethical conduct nor falsehood in the subject pleading as
their client has voluntarily surrendered and was detained at the NBI.
As regards the lack of notice of hearing, they contend that
complainant, as private prosecutor, was not entitled to any notice.
Moreover, the hearing of a motion on shorter notice is allowed under

the Rules of Court.


Respondent Susa argues that he was no longer in court when his corespondents filed the Manifestation with Motion for Bail. Ms. Teofila
A. Pea, another clerk, received the said Motion and noticed that it
was set for hearing on December 15, 2000 and the Certificate of
Detention was not attached. However, the presiding judge
instructed her to receive the Motion subject to the presentation of
the Certificate of Detention before the hearing. Thus, the inclusion
of the Motion in the calendar of the court on December 15, 2000
was authorized by the presiding judge and, thus, was done by
respondent Susa in faithful performance of his ministerial duty.

ISSUE: Whether or not complainants violated Canon 10 of the Code


of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. As an officer of the court,
his high vocation is to correctly inform the court upon the law and
the facts of the case and to aid it in doing justice and arriving at
correct conclusion. The courts, on the other hand, are entitled to
expect only complete honesty from lawyers appearing and pleading
before them. While a lawyer has the solemn duty to defend the
rights of his client and is expected to display the utmost zeal in
defense of the cause of his client, his conduct must never be at the
expense of truth.
Respondent fell short of the duties and responsibilities expected
from them as members of the bar. Anticipating that their Motion for
Bail will be denied by the court if it found that it had no jurisdiction
over the person of the accused, they craftily concealed the truth by
alleging that accused had voluntarily surrendered to a person in
authority and was under detention. Obviously, such artifice was a
deliberate ruse to mislead the court and thereby contribute to
injustice.
In this jurisdiction, whether bail is a matter of right or discretion,
reasonable notice of hearing is required to be given to the
prosecutor or fiscal, or at least, he must be asked for his
recommendation. In the case at bar, the prosecution was served
with notice of hearing of the motion for bail two days prior to the
scheduled date. Although a motion may be heard on short notice,
respondents failed to show any good cause to justify the nonobservance of the three-day notice rule.

Rudecon Management Corp. & Atty. Tacorda v. Atty.


Camacho
A.C. No. 6403, August 31, 2004

CANON NUMBER: Canon 10

FACTS:
On September 3, 1998, SisenandoSingson, represented by
respondent Atty.Manuel N. Camacho, filed with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Quezon City a complaint against the complainant
Rudecon Management Corporation for damages and reconveyance.
It was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-98-35444. The case was
originally raffled to Branch 79, RTC,Quezon City but was eventually
re-raffled to Branch 85 of the same court. On September 21, 1998,
Singson, again represented by Atty. Camacho, filed with Branch78,
RTC, Quezon City a "Motion for Intervention (With Attached Answer
in Intervention with affirmative Defenses and Compulsory
Counterclaim)" in Civil Case No. Q-98-35326, entitled, "Rudecon
Management Corporation, plaintiff-appellee vs. Ramon M. Veluz,
defendant appellant," a case for unlawful detainer on appeal before
said court. On November 23, 2000 Rudecon Management
Corporation and Atty. Rudegelio D. Tacorda filed with IBP a verified
complaint for disbarment or suspension from the practice of law
against Atty. Manuel N. Camacho for committing forum shopping
which violates Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Manuel N. Camacho is liable for violation of
Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
NO. Rudecon Management and Atty. Rudegelio D. Tacorda failed to
present clear and preponderant evidence to show that respondent
willfully and deliberately resorted to falsehood and unlawful and
dishonest conduct in violation of the standards of honesty as
provided for by the Code of Professional Responsibility which would
have warranted the imposition of administrative sanction against
him. Although respondent was held to be guilty in forum shopping,
the court agreed with respondent that there was no intention on his
part to mislead the court by concealing the pendency of Civil Case
No.Q-98- 35444 in Branch 79 when they filed the Motion for
Intervention and Answer in Intervention in Civil Case No. Q-9835326 in Branch 78. Indeed, the first paragraph of the said Answer
in Intervention shows that respondent and his client called the trial
courts attention with respect to the pendency of Civil Case No. Q98-35444.Herein complainant, which is the plaintiff in Civil Case No.
Q-98- 35326, does not dispute respondents allegation that the
latter and his client attached to their Answer in Intervention a copy
of their complaint in Civil Case No. Q-98-35444. Complainants seek
the disbarment or suspension of respondent from the practice of law
for his having allegedly violated Canon 10 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, however, in administrative cases for
disbarment or suspension against lawyers, the quantum of proof
required is clearly preponderant evidence and the burden of proof
rests upon the complainant. Moreover, an administrative case
against a lawyer must show the dubious character of the act done
as well as of the motivation thereof.

Atty. Valfor-Fabroa v. Atty. Oscar Paguinto


A.C. No. 6723, March 15, 2010

CANON NUMBER: Canon 10

FACTS :
Complainant, Atty. Iluminada M. Vafor-Fabroa, who was Chairperson
of the General Mariano Alvarez Service Cooperative, Inc.
(GEMASCO), was removed as a member of the Board of Directors
(the Board)and thereafter, respondent, Oscar Paguinto and his group
took over the GEMASCO office and its premises, the pump houses,
water facilities, and operations. Complainant thus filed a complaint
for annulment of the proceedings of their removal as well as other
members of the Board and a complaint against respondent for
disbarment alleging that respondent had violated the Code of
Professional Responsibility particularly Canon 10. Canon 10 A
lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court, when
having ordered to submit position papers. Despite the Courts grant,
on respondents motion, of extension for time to file Comment,
respondent never filed any comment. The Court thus required him
to show cause why he should not be disciplinarily dealt with, but just
the same he failed to comply.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents acts constitute a violation of the
provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly,
Canon 10?

HELD:

YES. Lawyers are called upon to obey court orders and processes
and respondents deference is underscored by the fact that willful
disregard thereof will subject the lawyer not only to punishment for
contempt but to disciplinary sanctions as well. In fact, graver
responsibility is imposed upon a lawyer than any other to uphold the
integrity of the courts and to show respect to their processes. The
Court further noted that respondent had previously been suspended
from the practice of law for violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, however, that respondent has not reformed his ways.
Hence, a more severe penalty is thus called for, respondent was
subjected to suspension for two years.
CANON 10 CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE
COURT

Libit v. Oliva
Adm. Case No. 2837, October 7, 1994
FACTS: Judge Domingo Panis in the case of "Pedro Cutingting
versus Alfredo Tan issued an order to the Director of the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an
investigation with the end in view of determining the author of
the Sheriff's Return which appears to have been falsified and
to institute such criminal action as the evidence will warrant
After conducting the necessary investigation, the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI), through herein complainant,
find out that sometime in May 1984 in the City of Manila, at
the Regional Trial Court, Branch XLI, Manila, Philippines,
ATTYS. EDELSON G. OLIVA and FLORANDO A. UMALI ,as
Counsels for PEDRO CUTINGTING in Civil Case No. 84-24144,
Defendant, did then and there, knowingly, willfully
introduced/presented in evidence before the aforesaid
Regional Trial Court, a falsified Sheriff's Return of Summons
during the hearing of the aforesaid Civil Case thereby
impending and/or obstructing the speedy administration
and/or dispensation of justice.
Pursuant to Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court and the resolution
of the Court En Banc of April 12, 1988, the case was referred
to the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report, and
recommendation.

In view, however, of the report of the National Bureau of


Investigation to the effect that the signature above the
typewritten name Florando Umali on the last page of the
complaint in said civil case is not his signature, complainant,
through counsel, agreed to the dismissal of the case with
respect to Atty. Umali.
With respect to Atty. Edelson G. Oliva, the IBP submitted the
following report and recommendation that there is ample
evidence extant in the records to prove that Atty. Oliva has
something to do with the falsification of the Sheriff's Return on
the Summons
ISSUE: WON Atty. Oliva violated Code of Ethics?
HELD: Yes. After a careful review of the record of the
case and the report and recommendation of the IBP, the
Court
finds
that
respondent
Atty.
Edelson
G. Oliva committed acts of misconduct which warrant the
exercise by the Court of its disciplinary powers. The facts,
as supported by the evidence, obtaining in this case
indubitably reveal respondent's failure to live up to his
duties as a lawyer in consonance with the strictures of
the lawyer's oath, the Code of Professional Responsibility,
and the Canons of Professional Ethics. A lawyer's
responsibility to protect and advance the interests
of his clients does not warrant a course of action
propelled by ill motives and malicious intentions
against the other party. It is well to stress once again
that the practice of law is not a right but a privilege
bestowed by the State on those who show that they
possess, and continue to possess, the qualifications
required by law for the conferment of such privilege.|
In this case, respondent Atty. Edelson Oliva has manifestly
violated that part of his oath as a lawyer that he shall not do
any falsehood. He has likewise violated Rule 10.01 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility which provides:
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 any artifice.
Accordingly, the Court resolved to impose upon Atty.
Edelson Oliva the supreme penalty of DISBARMENT. His
license to practice law in the Philippines is CANCELLED and

the Bar Confidant is ordered to strike out his name from the
Roll of Attorneys.

Adez Realty, Inc. vs. Court Of Appeals


G.R. No. 100643. October 30, 1992
FACTS: Atty. Dacanay made some intercalation in the decision of
the Court of Appeals when he appealed before the SC. Due this,
the Court had suspended him indefinitely. In his EXPLANATION of 1
September 1992, Atty. Benjamin M. Dacanay "humbly prostrates
himself before the Honorable Court and throws himself at, its
mercy," and explains that
". . . whenever he prepares petitions either for the Court of Appeals
or the Supreme Court, he, dictates to his secretary and if portions of
the decision or order to be appealed from have to be quoted, he
simply instructs his said secretary to copy the particular pages of
the said decision or order.

Attached to his EXPLANATION as Annex "A" is an Affidavit of Alicia A.


Castro, purportedly his Secretary, stating among others that:
when I copied the particular pages of the decision of the
Court of Appeals as instructed by Atty. Benjamin M. Dacanay, I did

as instructed, but it was only after our office received the copy of
the decision of the Supreme Court in G.R. No. 100643 . . . that Atty.
Dacanay confronted me and asked me where I got that portion
which was added to the particular paragraph noted by the Supreme
Court, that it was only then that I realized the mistake I committed.

ISSUE: WON Atty. Benjamin M. Dacanay violates the Code of Ethics


and be subject to disbarment?
HELD: Yes. Well-entrenched in our jurisprudence is the rule that,
save in certain instances, factual findings of the Court of
Appeals are binding upon this Court. The distortion of facts
committed by counsel, with the willing assistance of his secretary, is
a grave offense and should not be treated lightly, not only because
it may set a dangerous precedent but, rather, because it is a clear
and serious violation of one's oath as a member of the Bar. Rule
10.02, Canon 10, Chapter III, of the Code of Professional
Responsibility directs that "[a] lawyer shall not knowingly
misquote or misrepresent the contents of a paper, the
language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the text
of a decision or authority, or knowingly cite as a law a
provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or
amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not been
proved"
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. Thus, the fact that Atty. Dacanay made the
intercalation on the CA decision makes him liable under such rule

FERNANDEZ v. DE RAMOS-VILLALON
Adm. Case No. 7084. February 27, 2009
CANON:
Canon 10 A Lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to
the court.
FACTS:
Carlos O. Palacios filed a civil case alleging that he was the owner of
a lot located in Barangay San Lorenzo, Makati City that he inherited
from his mother. In June 2004, he became awRe that his lot was
being eyed by a land-grabbing syndicate that attempted to obtain a
copy of TCT No. under his name. Palacios received information that
Fernandez could help him oppose the syndicates petition. Therefore
they eventually seek for the assistance of Atty., Augusto P. Jimenez
and Palacios agreed to pay Fernandez P2M for the services he

rendered in the LRC Case. On September 2005, Palacios bumped


into Mrs. Jocelyn Lirio who was interested in his property in San
Lazaro which was being sold by Fernandez. Thus, Palacios
investigate because he has no intention of selling the property and
found out that Fernandez had falsified a Deed of Donation. Then, he
employed the services of respondent Atty. Villalon to file a
Complaint for the declaration of nullity of the Deed of Donation that
became the basis for the issuance of a title in Fernandez name.
Fernandez claimed that the transfer of title in his name was proper
and alleged that it was Palacios who falsified Deed of Donation by
forging their signatures and notarized. Thus, Fernandez filed a
complaint for disbarment against Atty. Villalon for violation of Rule
10.01, Rule 10.02, and Rule 10.03 of the Canons of Professional
Responsibilty. Thud, referred to IBP for investigation.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Villalon violated Canon 10 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.
HELD:
No. The SC ruled that they agree with the recommendation of IBP
Commissioner Funa wherein the charges against the respondent do
not constitute sufficient grounds for disbarment. A lawyer, as an
officer of the court, has a duty to be truthful in all his dealings.
However, this duty does not require that the lawyer advance
matters of defense on behalf of his or her client's opponent. A
lawyer is his or her client's advocate; while duty-bound to utter no
falsehood, an advocate is not obliged to build the case for his or her
client's opponent. The respondent's former client, Palacios,
approached her to file a complaint for the annulment of the Deed of
Donation. This was the cause of action chosen by her client.
Assuming arguendo that the respondent knew of the presence of
the Deed of Absolute Sale, its existence, is, indeed, a matter of
defense for Fernandez. We cannot fault the respondent for choosing
not to pursue the nullification of the Deed of Absolute Sale. The
respondent alleged that her former client, Palacios, informed her
that the Deed of Absolute Sale was void for lack of consideration.
Furthermore, unlike the Deed of Donation, the Deed of Absolute Sale
was not registered in the Registry of Deeds and was not the basis
for the transfer of title of Palacios' property to Fernandez. Under the
circumstances, it was not unreasonable for a lawyer to conclude,
whether correctly or incorrectly, that the Deed of Absolute Sale was
immaterial in achieving the ultimate goal the recovery of Palacios'
property.

DE LOS SANTOS II v. ATTY. BARBOSA


Adm. Case No. 6681. June 17, 2015
CANON:
Canon 10 A Lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to
the court.
FACTS:
Complainant Victor D. De Los Santos II, filed a complaint with the
prosecutor charging the respondent Atty. Nestor C. Barbosa for
obstruction of justice. However, the prosecutor dismissed the
obstruction if justice complain for insufficiency of evidence because
the respondent argued that the name of his client Canacos son was
Victor C. De Los Santos and not Victor P. De Los Santos as stated in
the Information charging Canaco with violation of PD No. 651. In
February 2005, De Los Santos filed a petition for disbarment with
the Court charging the respondent with multiple gross violations of
his oath as a lawyer and Canons of Professional Ethics for unlawfully
obstructing and delaying the proceedings. Thus, referred to the IBP
for investigation.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Nestor C. Barbosa committed a multiple gross
violations of his oath as a lawyer and Canons of Professional Ethics
for unlawfully obstructing and delaying the proceedings?
HELD:
Yes. After a careful study of the records. The SC approves the
findings of the IBP Commission and the IBP Board of Governors and
resolves to modify the recommended penalty of suspension from
the practice of lW to a period of one (1) year. Under Canon 10 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, lawyers owe candor, fairness,
and good faith to the court. Particularly, Rule 10.01 provides that
"[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
any artifice. " A lawyer is, first and foremost, an officer of the court.
A lawyer's first duty is not to his client but to the administration of
justice. In this case, the respondent deliberately misled the MeTC,
the Commission and this Court into believing that Victor Canaco De
Los Santos (Canaco's son whose birth certificate is at issue in the
criminal case) and Victor P. De Los Santos (named in the
Information) are different persons. The Court agrees with the

findings of the IBP Commissioner that the difference in the middle


initial is a mere typographical error on the part of the City
Prosecutor. Members of the Bar are expected at all times to uphold
the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and refrain from any
act or omission, that might lessen the trust and confidence reposed
by the public in the fidelity, honesty, and integrity of the legal
profession.
Canon 11
BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA V. HON. OMBUDSMAN VASQUEZ AND
ATTY. ABIERA
Facts:
Petitioner Bonifacio Sanz Maceda, Presiding Judge of Branch 12 of
the Regional Trial Court of Antique, seeks the review of the following
orders of the Office of the Ombudsman: (1) the Order dated
September 18, 1991 denying the ex-parte motion to refer to the
Supreme Court filed by petitioner; and (2) the Order dated
November 22, 1951 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration
and directing petitioner to file his counter-affidavit and other
controverting evidences.
In his affidavit-complaint dated April 18, 1991 filed before the Office
of the Ombudsman, respondent Napoleon A. Abiera of the Public
Attorney's Office alleged that petitioner had falsified his Certificate
of Service 1 dated February 6, 1989, by certifying "that all civil and
criminal cases which have been submitted for decision or
determination for a period of 90 days have been determined and
decided on or before January 31, 1998," when in truth and in fact,
petitioner knew that no decision had been rendered in five (5) civil
and ten (10) criminal cases that have been submitted for decision.
Respondent Abiera further alleged that petitioner similarly falsified
his certificates of service for the months of February, April, May,
June, July and August, all in 1989; and the months beginning January
up to September 1990, or for a total of seventeen (17) months.
Then, petitioner contends that he had been granted by this Court an
extension of ninety (90) days to decide the aforementioned cases
and that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over said case despite
this Court's ruling in Orap vs. Sandiganbayan, 2 since the offense
charged arose from the judge's performance of his official duties,
which is under the control and supervision of the Supreme Court. In
Addition, the investigation of the Ombudsman constitutes an
encroachment into the Supreme Court's constitutional duty of
supervision over all inferior courts.
Issue:
Whether or not the investigation made by the Ombudsman

constitutes an enroachment into the Supreme Court constitutional


duty of supervision over all inferior courts.
Held:
Rule 11.05 states that a lawyer shall submit grievances against a
Judge to the proper authorities only. Hence, under Article VIII,
Section 5(5) of the Constitution; Proper Authority: The Supreme
Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and
personnel thereof.

Besides, a judge who falsifies his certificate of service is


administratively liable to the Supreme Court for serious misconduct
and under Sec. 1, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, and criminally
liable to the State under the Revised Penal Code for his felonious
act.
Moreover, the complaint must be filed with the proper authorities
only, that is, with the Supreme Court (through the Office of the
Court Administrator), if the case is administrative in nature or with
the Office of the Ombudsman if the complaint is criminal and not
purely administrative in nature.
ATTY. BALAOING VS. CALDERON
A.M. no. RTJ-90-580
April 27,1993
Facts:
Atty. Balaoing, the complainant, filed several administrative
complaints against different judges of Olongapo City, Zambales.
Balaoing charges the judges with grave misconduct for their alleged
failure and refusal to issue corresponding writ of execution, grave
abuse of authority, and malicious delay in the administration of
justice, which were all dismissed for lack of merit. The complainant
Balaoing was severely censured of the Court en banc for having
instituted a patently unfounded and frivolous action against the
judges.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Balaoing committed an unethical conduct
under canon 11.
Held.
Yes. The court ruled that the complainant Attorney went out of
bounds when he filed his baseless and frivolous administrative
complaints against respondent Judges Calderon and Maliwanag, with

no other plain and clear purpose than to harass respondent Judges,


and thus, exact retribution on them for rendering adverse
judgments against him and his clients. Furthermore, complainant
actions were volatile of Canon 11, rule nos. 11.03 and 11.04 of Code
of Professional Responsibility which serve to regulate a lawyers
conduct. Therefore, complainant Balaoing was proved to be unfitted
to hold the license to practice law.

Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan


G.R. Nos. 159486-88. November 25, 2003
CANON NUMBER: CANON 11
FACTS:
Attorney Alan F. Paguia, speaking for Petitioner then President
Joseph Ejercito Estrada, asserts that the inhibition of the members of
the Supreme Court from hearing the petition is called for under the
Code of Judicial Conduct prohibiting justices or judges from
participating in any partisan political activity which proscription,
according to him, the justices have violated by attending the 'EDSA
2 Rally' and by authorizing the assumption of Vice-President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo to the Presidency in violation of the 1987
Constitution. Petitioner contends that the justices have thereby

prejudged a case that would assail the legality of the act taken by
President Arroyo. The subsequent decision of the Court in Estrada
vs. Arroyo is, according to petitioner, a patent mockery of justice
and due process.
Attorney Paguia first made his appearance for petitioner when he
filed an Omnibus Motion on 2003, before the Sandiganbayan, asking
that 'the appointment of counsels de officio be declared functus
officio' and that, being the now counsel de parte , he be notified of
all subsequent proceedings in criminal cases pending therein.
Finally, Attorney Paguia asked that all the foregoing criminal cases
against his client be dismissed. The Sandiganbayan issued an order
denying the foregoing motion, as well as the motion to dismiss, filed
by petitioner. Forthwith, petitioner filed a Motion of Reconsderation
of the foregoing order. According to Attorney Paguia, during the
hearing of his Motion for Reconsideration on 11, the three justices
(Hon. Minita Chico-Nazario, Hon. Edilberto Sandoval and Hon.
Teresita Leonardo-De Castro) of the Special Division of the
Sandiganbayan made manifest their bias and partiality against his
client. Thus, he averred, Presiding Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario
supposedly employed foul and disrespectful language when she
blurted out, 'Magmumukhanamankaminggago,' and Justice Teresita
Leonardo-De Castro characterized the motion as insignificant even
before the prosecution could file its comments or opposition thereto,
remarking in open court that to grant the motion of Estrada would
result in chaos and disorder. Prompted by the alleged 'bias and
partial attitude' of the Sandiganbayan justices, Attorney Paguia filed
a motion for their disqualification. Petitioner received the two
assailed resolutions, i.e. ., the resolution, denying the motion for
reconsideration of petitioner; and the resolution, denying the motion
for disqualification of petitioner.
The instant petition assailing the foregoing orders must be
dismissed for gross insufficiency in substance and for lack of merit.
The Sandiganbayan committed no grave abuse of discretion, an
indispensable requirement to warrant a recourse to the
extraordinary relief of petition for certiorari under the Revised Rules
of Civil Procedure. On the one hand, petitioner would disclaim the
authority and jurisdiction of the members of this tribunal and, on the
other hand, he would elevate the petition now before it to challenge
the two resolutions of the Sandiganbayan. He denounces the
decision as being a patent mockery of justice and due process.
Criticism or comment made in good faith on the correctness or
wrongness, soundness or unsoundness, of a decision of the Court
would be welcome for, if well-founded, and such reaction can
enlighten the court and contribute to the correction of an error if
committed. "The ruling in Estrada vs. Arroyo, being a final judgment,
has long put to end any question pertaining to the legality of the
ascension of Arroyo into the presidency. By reviving the issue on the

validity of the assumption of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the


presidency, Attorney Paguia is vainly seeking to breathe life into the
carcass of a long dead issue. Attorney Paguia has not limited his
discussions to the merits of the case within the judicial forum;
indeed, he has repeated his assault on the Court in both broadcast
and print media.
The Court hereby orders Attorney Alan Paguia, to show cause, why
he should not be sanctioned for conduct unbecoming a lawyer and
an officer of the Court. Atty. Paguia submitted his compliance with
the show-cause order wherein he repeated his earlier claim of
political partisanship against the members of the Court.
The Court ruled that Canon 11 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility mandates that the lawyer should observe and
maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers and,
indeed, should insist on similar conduct by others. Atty. Paguia, in
failing to observe the aforementioned Canon, was indefinitely
suspended from the practice of law.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Paguia violated Canon 11 of the Code of


Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. In liberally imputing sinister and devious motives and
questioning the impartiality, integrity, and authority of the members
of the Court, Atty. Paguia has only succeeded in seeking to impede,
obstruct and pervert the dispensation of justice. Attorney Alan F.
Paguia is hereby indefinitely suspended from the practice of law,
effective upon his receipt hereof, for conduct unbecoming a lawyer
and an officer of the Court.

Lacson Jr. vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 113591. February 6, 1995.
CANON NUMBER: CANON 11
FACTS:
In the resolution of July 1994, this Court denied with finality the
motion to reconsider the resolution of May 1994 which denied the
instant petition for the failure of the petitioners to sufficiently show
that the respondent court committed any reversible error in
rendering the challenged decision and directed the counsel for the
petitioners, Atty. Mario G. Fortes, to show cause why he should not
be held in contempt of court and declared liable for misconduct for
his apparently malicious and unfounded accusation that this Court
did not read the petition and for craftily suppressing from the body
of the petition the final decision in CA-G.R. CR No. 11465.
In his compliance, Atty. Fortes admitted the charge but tried to
explain that This is the first time that counsel led a petition of this
kind and nature. The latest resolution has greatly enlightened
counsel and broaden its outlook on the kind and nature of a petition
that counsel might file in the future . . ." and justified his outbursts
and offered his apology thus: "considering counsel was only
motivated with his enthusiasm to protect the interests of his clients,
verily those statements were made without malice. Counsel was
grateful to the Highest Tribunal for its enlightening Resolution. It is
with deep regret that this thing happened. Counsel sincerely offers
his apologies for the wrong done to the Supreme Court. Counsel
assures this Honorable Court that this incident will not be repeated.
Counsel also promises to be more discreet in his statements in his
pleadings."
He sought therein the reconsideration of the resolution of May 1994
which he denied the instant petition. He contends that "the petition
was denied wholly on the basis of technicality"; that the "denial did
not consider the fraud sought to be stopped"; and that in
peremptorily denying the petition, this Court disregarded the
purpose of judicial proceedings, i.e., "to seek the truth," even as it is
"unusual that the Resolution failed on this aspect," and upheld "the
fake and falsified OCT No. 730 of the Tuazons.
Indisputably, the assertions of Atty. Fortes in the motion for
reconsideration that the petition was denied wholly on technicality;
that the Court's peremptory denial disregarded the purpose of
judicial proceedings, which is to seek the truth; that the Court
upheld the fake and falsied OCT No. 730 of the Tuazons; and, worse,

that the members of the Court did not read the petition or that if
they did, they simply refused to understand the arguments "in order
not to blur [their] preconceived resolution of this case," are patently
unfounded and malicious. His sole purpose was to show and prove
to his clients that he was all the time correct and this Court dismally
wrong not only for veering away from the true purpose of judicial
proceedings and for suppressing the truth and upholding an illegal
title, but, worse, for not even reading the petition or if it did, for not
understanding it in order to hide its prejudgment of the case. In so
doing upon a matrix of false and unfounded premises, Atty. Fortes
did an immeasurable disservice to this Court by putting it into
dishonor, disrespect, and public contempt, diminishing public
confidence or promoting distrust in the Court, and assailing the
integrity of its Members and even charging them with violating their
duty to render justice.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Fortes violated Canon 11 of the Code of


Professional Responsibilty.

HELD:
Yes. In Surigao Mineral Reservation Board vs. Cloribel, this Court
said: "A lawyer is an officer of the courts; he is, 'like the court itself,
an instrument or agency to advance the ends of justice.' His duty is
to uphold the dignity and authority of the courts to which he owes
fidelity, ' not to promote distrust in the administration of justice.
Faith in the courts a lawyer should seek to preserve. For, to
undermine the judicial edifice 'is disastrous to the continuity of
government and to the attainment of the liberties of the people.'
Thus has it been said of a lawyer that '[a]s an officer of the court, it
is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not destroy
unnecessarily that high esteem and regard towards the courts so
essential to the proper administration of justice." His explanation
that this is the first petition that he has filed with this Court and his
justification that he was only motivated by his enthusiasm to protect
the interests of his clients are unacceptable. Under the Surigao
Mineral Reservation Board doctrine, "A client's cause does not
permit an attorney to cross the line between liberty and license.
Lawyers must always keep in perspective the thought that 'since
lawyers are administrators of justice, oath-bound servants of
society, their first duty is not to their clients as many suppose, but
to the administration of justice; to this, their client's success is
wholly subordinate; and their conduct ought to and must be
scrupulously observant of law and ethics'

CANON 11
IN RE Letter Dated 21 FEBRUARY 2005 Of Atty. Noel S.
Sorreda
A.M. NO. 05-3-04-SC

CANON NUMBER: 11 (Rule 3 and 4)

FACTS:
This case is an en banc Resolution resolved by the Supreme Court
concerning the letters written by Atty. Noel S. Sorreda, addressed to
the Chief Justice, Associate Justices, other government entities, RTC
judges and counsels listed thereunder, which expressed his
frustrations over the unfavorable outcome of and the manner by
which the Court resolved the ten cases he filed. The first letter was
dated April 2, 2001. In an the banc Resolution of August 14, 2001,
the Supreme Court required Atty. Sorreda to show cause why he
should not be properly disciplined "for degrading, insulting and
dishonoring the Supreme Court by using vile, offensive, intemperate
and contemptuous derogatory language against it". As a response to
this show cause order, Atty. Sorreda addressed two more letters
dated December 2, 2001 and June 16, 2002 to the Supreme Court.
Two resolutions were dispensed by the court dated January 15, 2002
and August 27, 2002 noting the intemperate, insulting, offensive,
and derogatory language of the subject letters. Another show
cause order was required of him to which he bluntly said that there
is no need for him to do so because the cause has already been
shown as clear as day. Atty. Noel Sorreda insinuates that there has
been a manipulation in the assignment and raffle of cases and the
overwhelming failure of all his petitions in the ten cases he filed.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the letters of Atty. Noel Sorreda constitutes direct
contempt and is a qualified transgression
of the Code of
Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
YES. Unfounded accusations or allegations or words tending to
embarrass the court or to bring it into disrepute have no place in a
pleading. Their employment serves no useful purpose. On the
contrary, they constitute direct contempt of court or contempt in
facie curiae and a violation of the lawyer's oath and a transgression
of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Canon 11 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility expects that [a] lawyer shall observe
and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers
and should insist on similar conduct by others. Furthermore, Rule
11.03 and Rule 11.04 specifically address the issue at hand:

Rule 11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from


scandalous, offensive or menacing language
or behavior before the courts.

Rule 11.04 A lawyer shall not attribute to a


judge motives not supported by the record or
having no materiality to the case.

A lawyer is entitled to voice his criticism within the context of the


constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech which must be
exercised responsibly. After all, every right carries with it the
corresponding obligation. Freedom is not freedom from
responsibility, but freedom with responsibility. He is entitled to
criticize the rulings of this Court, to point out where he feels the
Court may have lapsed with error. But, certainly, this does not give
him the unbridled license to insult and malign the Court and bring it
into disrepute.

Judge Rene B. Baculi vs. Atty. Melchor A. Battung


A.C. 8920

CANON NUMBER: 11 (Rule 3)

FACTS:
On July 24, 2008, during a hearing on the motion for reconsideration
of a case, respondent Atty. Melchor A. Battung acted disrespectfully
by shouting while arguing his motion. Petitioner, Judge Rene Baculi,
had advised respondent to tone down his voice but the respondent
consistently kept shouting, even when he was warned that he would
be cited for direct contempt. Eventually, after being cited for direct
contempt and was imposed a fine of P100.00,the respondent left.
However, while other cases were being heard, respondent reentered the court and shouted Judge, I will file gross ignorance
against you! I am not afraid of you! He was escorted out of the
courtroom and was again cited for direct contempt for the second
time. Respondent also uttered the same lines when he saw
petitioner at the hall of the courthouse afterwards and even
challenged the latter to a fight. He was then escorted out of the
building. Based on the tape of the incident and the transcript of
stenographic notes, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)
Investigative Commissioner Jose de la Rama, Jr. found that the
respondent was the one who shouted first at the complainant,
despite the latters claim that he was provoked by the petitioner.
The Commissioner further stated that the respondent failed to
observe Rule11.03, Canon 11 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall abstain from
scandalous, offensive or menacing language or behaviour before the

courts. The IBP Board of Governors passed a Resolution adopting


and approving the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating
Commissioner.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondent violated Canon 11 of Code of
Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
YES. As an officer of the court, it is the duty of Atty. Battung to
uphold the dignity and authority of the courts. A lawyer who insulted
a judge inside a courtroom completely disregards the latters role,
stature and position in our justice system. Respects for the courts
guarantee the stability of the judicial institution and without such,
the courts would be resting on very shaky foundations and will thus,
lose the confidence from the people. By threatening to a file a case
against the judge, Atty. Battung seems to erode public confidence in
the petitioners competence. However, incompetence is a matter
that, even if true, should be handled with sensitivity in the manner
that is provided under the Rules of Court, and not how the
respondent handled the situation. The respondents actions, being
scandalous and offensive to the integrity of the judicial system,
clearly showed a violation of the Rule 11.03,Canon 11 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

CANON 11 RESPECT DUE TO COURTS

Guerrero v. Villamor
G.R. Nos. 82238-42, November 13, 1989
FACTS: Petitioner George D. Carlos, thru his lawyer and herein copetitioner Antonio T. Guerrero filed before the Regional Trial Court of
Cebu City an action for damages against respondent Judge Adriano
R. Villamor of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16 of Naval,
Subprovince of Biliran, Leyte,||| for knowingly rendering an unjust
judgment in the aforesaid consolidated criminal cases. The
complaint and summons were served on respondent judge.
On the following day, the respondent judge issued an Order of Direct
Contempt of Court against herein petitioners, finding them guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of direct contempt and sentencing them

both to imprisonment of five (5) days and a fine of P500.00 for


degrading the respect and dignity of the court through the use of
derogatory and contemptuous language before the court.
The derogatory and contemptuous language adverted to by
respondent judge are the allegations in the complaint in Civil Case
No. CEB-6478 reading:
"12. That the dismissal of criminal cases Nos. 0989,
0990, 0991, 0992 and 0993 for qualified theft was
arrived at certainly without circumspection without
any moral or legal basis - a case of knowingly
rendering unjust judgment since the dismissal was
tantamount to acquittal of the accused Gloria P. Naval
who is now beyond the reach of criminal and civil
liability - all because the defendant Hon. Adriano R.
Villamor was bent backwards with his eyes and mind
wilfully closed under these circumstances which
demanded the scrutiny of the judicial mind and
discretion free from bias . . .;"
xxx xxx xxx
"14. By the standard of a public official and a private
person the conduct of defendant Honorable Judge
not only shocking, but appalling in giving the
plaintiff before his court the run-around is at the very
least distasteful, distressing and mortifying and moral
damages therefore would warrant on this kind of
reprehensible behaviour . . ."
"15. That
the
aforecited
manifestly
malicious
actuations, defendant judge should also visit upon
him . . . for reducing plaintiff his agonizing victim of his
disdain and contempt for the former who not only torn
asunder and spurned but also humiliated and spitefully
scorned."

To stop the coercive force of the Order of Contempt issued by


respondent judge, petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari
with preliminary injunction or restraining order. The Supreme Court
issued a temporary restraining order enjoining and restraining
respondent Judge Adriano R. Villamor from enforcing his order of
Direct Contempt of Court.

ISSUE: WON the alleged derogatory language employed in the Civil


Case complaint constitutes direct contempt?
HELD: No. Based on the facts prevailing in the case, the Supreme
Court sustained petitioners contention that the alleged derogatory
language employed in the complaint did not constitute direct
contempt but may only, if at all, constitute indirect contempt subject
to defenses that may be raised by said, petitioners in the proper
proceedings. Stress must be placed on the fact that the subject
pleading was not submitted to respondent judge nor in the criminal
cases from which the contempt order was issued but was filed in
another court presided by another judge and involving a separate
action, the civil case for damages against respondent judge.
[L]awyers, on the other hand, should bear in mind their basic duty
to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice
and judicial officers and (to) insist on similar conduct by
others. (Canon 9) This respectful attitude towards the court is to be
observed, not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the
judicial office, but for the maintenance of its supreme importance.
And it is through a scrupulous preference for respectful language
that a lawyer best demonstrates his observance of the respect due
to the courts and judicial officers.
Order of Direct Contempt declared NULL and VOID. The Temporary
Restraining Order is made permanent.

De Gracia v. Warden of Makati


G.R. No. L-42032, January 9, 1976.
SYNOPSIS: Petitioner filed an application for the issuance of a writ
of habeas corpus alleging that inspite of his service of sentence for
a conviction of serious physical injuries, his release from
confinement was ordered held by respondent judge who relied upon
respondent fiscal's reason that, the victim of the crime having died,
an amended information will be filed.
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition as moot in view of the
respondents' return of the writ stating that petitioner was no longer

in their custody and had already been released and petitioner's own
manifestation the he has, in fact, already been released from
confinement.
FACTS: Petitioner filed an application for the issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus as it is the appropriate remedy for release from
confinement of a person who has served his sentence. It is on such
a doctrine that reliance is placed by petitioner Manuel de Gracia in
this application for the issuance of such a writ. It is undisputed that
while the information against petitioner charged him with the
commission of frustrated homicide to which he pleaded not guilty, it
was later amended to one of serious physical injuries. It is to such
lesser offense that on September 10, 1975, he entered a plea of
guilty. On the very same day, respondent Judge Reynaldo P. Honrado
imposed upon him the penalty of four months and one day
of arresto mayor without subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency. That period of confinement he had duly served by
November 19, 1975, considering that he had been under detention
since July 18, 1975. This notwithstanding, the petition alleged that
he was not set free, the reason being that on November 19, 1975,
the last day of the prison term imposed upon him, "respondent
Assistant Provincial Fiscal Marciano P. Sta. Ana filed with the
respondent Judge, in the very same case where your petitioner was
convicted and for which he served sentence, Criminal Case No.
15289, a 'Motion to Order the Warden to Hold the Release of Manuel
de Gracia (your petitioner)' alleging as a ground that the 'father of
the victim, Gilberto Valenzuela, informed the movant (respondent
Asst. Fiscal, not the People of the Philippines), that the victim in the
above-entitled case died and for this reason the undersigned will file
an amended information||| There was a motion for reconsideration,
but it was fruitless. Hence this petition.|||
On December 8, 1975, this Court issued the following resolution:
"The Court [issued] the writ of habeas corpus returnable to this
Court on Friday, December 12, 1975 and required the respondents
to make a [return] of the writ not later than the aforesaid date. The
Court further Resolved: (a) to set this case for hearing on Monday,
December 15, 1975 at 10:30 a.m.; and (b) to [grant] the motion of
petitioner to litigate as pauper in this case.
As no return of the writ had been filed on the date set for hearing by
respondent wardens, a resolution of the following tenor was adopted
by this Court: "When this case was called for hearing this morning,
Atty. Salvador N. Beltran appeared for the petitioner while Assistant

Provincial Fiscal Marciano P. Sta. Ana, Jr. and Major Edgardo Maristela
appeared for the respondents. Thereafter, the Court resolved (a) to
require Assistant Provincial Fiscal Marciano P. Sta. Ana, Jr. to file a
[return] of the writ for the respondent wardens not later than 10:30
a.m. of Wednesday, December 17, 1975; and (b) to [reset] the
hearing of this case on the aforesaid date and time.|||
On the morning of December 17, 1975, respondent Assistant
Provincial Fiscal Marciano P. Sta. Ana, Jr. and the two aforesaid
wardens appeared. Neither petitioner nor his counsel,
Salvador N. Beltran, was present. There was this manifestation
though: "[Petitioner], thru counsel, respectfully manifests that he
has already been released from confinement, for which reason the
present petition has been rendered moot and academic|||
ISSUE: WON Atty. Salvador Beltran is subject to disciplinary action?
HELD: No. But merit for a call for guidance for future actuations. In
the case at bar, there was a lapse in judicial propriety by petitioner's
counsel who did not even take the trouble of appearing of the Court
on the very day his own petition was reset for hearing, a lapse
explicable, it may be assumed, by his comparative inexperience and
paucity of practice before this Tribunal. It suffices to call his
attention to such failing by way of guidance for his future actuations
as a member of the bar.

RE: LETTER DATED 21 FEBRUARY 2005 OF ATTY. NOEL S. SORREDA


A.M. No. 05-3-04 SC. Jluly 22, 2005
CANON:
Canon 11 A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to
the courts and to judicial officers and to judicial officers and should
insist on similar conduct by others.
FACTS:
Atty. Noel S. Sorreda wrote a letter addressed to the Chief Justice
over his frustrations of the outcome of his cases decided by the SC,
wherein it contained derogatory and malignant remarks that are

highly insulting. The Supreme Court accorded Atty. Sorreda to


explain but instead of appearing to the court, he wrote another
letter which has a insulting remarks as the first one. Therefore, the
Court was offended by it.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Noel S. Sorreda can be held guilty of contempt
due to the remarks he has made in his letters addressed in the
court.
HELD:
Yes. The SC ruled that unfounded accusations or allegations or
words tending to embarrass the court or to bring it into disrepute
have no place in a pleading. Their employment serves no useful
purpose. On the contrary, they constitute direct contempt of court
or contempt in facie curiae and a violation of the lawyer's oath and
a transgression of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Atty.
Sorreda's conduct likewise violated the Code of Professional
Responsibility, specifically Canon 11 A lawyer shall observe and
maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers and
should insist on similar conduct by others. While a lawyer owes
absolute fidelity to the cause of his client, full devotion to his client's
genuine interest and warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of
his client's rights, as well as the exertion of his utmost learning and
ability, he must do so only within the bounds of the law. A lawyer is
entitled to voice his criticism within the context of the constitutional
guarantee of freedom of speech which must be exercised
responsibly. After all, every right carries with it the corresponding
obligation. Freedom is not freedom from responsibility, but freedom
with responsibility. The lawyer's fidelity to his client must not be
pursued at the expense of truth and orderly administration of
justice. It must be done within the confines of reason and common
sense. Atty. Sorreda, as a citizen and as an officer of the court, is
entitled to criticize the rulings of this Court, to point out where he
feels the Court may have lapsed with error. But, certainly, this does
not give him the unbridled license to insult and malign the Court
and bring it into disrepute. Against such an assault, the Court is
duty-bound "to act to preserve its honor and dignity and to
safeguard the morals and ethics of the legal profession.

Canon 12
RODOLFO MILLARE VS. ATTY. EUSTAQUIO MONTERO
A.C. no. 3283
July 13, 1995
Facts:
Respondent Montero was rendered guilty of malpractice by the
IBP and recommend that he be suspended from the practice. This
was from his unethical actions of filling six appeals to frustrate the
execution of the MTC judgment where his client was ordered to
vacate the premises of the complainant.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent Attorney violates Canon 12 of Code
of Professional Responsibility.
Held:
Yes. Canon 12 of Code of Professional Responsibility provides
that a lawyer is required to exert every effort and consider it his
duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice.
Under Rule 12.02- A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising
from same cause. Also, rule 12.04 provides that a lawyer shall not
unduly delay a case, impede the execution of judgment or misuse
court processes.
The court explained that, it is unethical for a lawyer to abuse or
wrongfully use the judicial process, such as the filing of dilatory
motions, repetitious litigation and frivolous appeals for the sole
purpose of frustrating and delaying the execution of a judgment.
And such filling of multiple petitions constitutes abuse of the Court's
processes and improper conduct that tends to impede, obstruct and
degrade the administration of justice and will be punished as the
contempt of court.
As noted by the Committee of Bar Discipline, in filling a number
of pleadings, actions and petitions, respondent has made a mockery

of the judicial processes and disregarded canons of professional


ethics in intentionally frustrating the rights of a litigant in whose
favor a judgment in the case was rendered, and thus abused
procedural rules to defeat ends of substantial justice.

CRAIG L. FORD VS. ATTY. ESCOLASTICO DAITOL


A.C. no. 3736
November 16, 1995

Facts:
In this case, respondent Attorney seeks the reconsideration of
IBP for his suspension from the practice of law for a period of one
month after he was found to have been remiss in the performance
of his duties as counsel of Craig Ford, the complainant.
Complainant Ford rendered the service of the respondent in
1987. While After learning that the CA had issued a resolution on
April 4, 1991 stating that the case had been submitted for decision
without appellees brief and not failing to remind respondent to
submit such brief, complainant filed a letter-complaint praying for a
disciplinary action against respondent. During the hearings,
respondent did not show up and did not submit any explanation for
his failure to submit the Appellee's brief and twice move to postpone
the schedule of the hearings. Furthermore, respondent was given a
last opportunity by the Commision to submit evidence in his own
behalf but still failed to comply. Therefore, the court finds that the
suspension of respondent from the practice of law is proper.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent attorney in failing to file the
appellee's brief of his client violates rule 12.04 of Canon 12 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.

Held.
Yes. Rule 12.04 of Canon 12 of Code of Professional
Responsibility promulgates, that a lawyer shall not unduly delay a
case, impede the execution of judgement or misuse court processes.
As the court held in previous cases, it considers a lawyers failure to
file brief for his client constitutes inexcusable negligence on his part
(People v. Villarreal) and has indeed committed a serious lapse in
the duty owed by him to his client as well as to the court not to
delay litigation and to aid in the speedy administration of justice
(People v. Daban).
Respondent Attorney was suspended from practice of law for a
period of three months and also directed to return to complainant
the fees he had received.

Edrial vs. Quilat-Quilat


G.R. No. 133625. September 6, 2000.
CANON NUMBER: CANON 12 (Rules 12.03 and 12.04)
FACTS:
Respondents Pedro, Gabriela, Isidra and Estanislao all surnamed
Quilat-Quilat filed an action for recovery of a parcel of land
against Petitioners Remedios, Mauro Jr., Marylene, Idelfonso,
Rosalind, Mary Jean all surnamed Edrial and Susan EdrialValenzuela.
Atty. Gerardo Lituanas, a lawyer of the LAPIL (IBP) Negros Oriental,
who was also an election registrar of the COMELEC, filed the
complaint in 1975. Atty. Lituanas was able to present evidence on
the following dates:
First witness of plaintiffsAtilano Ramirez, 73 years old, was
presented (July 10, 1981). Continuation of the testimony of Atilano
Ramirez (July 16, 1981, August 21, 1982 and November 20, 1984).

Direct Examination of 2nd Plaintiffs' witness Ignacio Tomias. Crossexamination was waived (February 28, 1984).
Plaintiff Pedro Quilat-Quilat was presented on direct examination
(August 21, 1985).
On 1986, the Citizen Legal Assistance Office (CLAO) entered its
appearance as new counsel of private respondents after Atty.
Gerardo Lituanas has filed his withdrawal. The subsequent events
are as follows:
The case was set for hearing on April 21, 1987 (February 23, 1987).
The hearing was reset due to the projected amendment of the
complainant to implead PrimitivaTorrecampo (April 21, 1987). The
third amended complaint was admitted (June 19, 1987). Hearing
was postponed at the instance of the defendants [herein petitioners]
(September 9, 1987). The hearing was suspended for the reason
that the Court would require the private respondents to submit a
certification from the Bureau of Forest Development that the land
involved in this case was not a part of the public forest (October 22,
1987). The hearing was postponed at the request of thecounsel of
the private respondents for the reason that she would be attending
a conference in Cebu City (December 17, 1987).
The hearing was aborted due to the fact that the Bureau of Forest
Development report had not yet been finished (March 18, 1988).
The hearing was reset upon agreement of both counsel (July 5,
1988). The hearing was reset upon the instance of the Court
(September 15, 1988). No hearing was held as the certification from
the Bureau of Forest Development was being awaited (December 8,
1988 March 16, 1989).
The testimony of Private Respondent Pedro Quilat-Quilat was
suspended after a question was propounded that would require him
to use reading eyeglasses which he did not have at the moment
(May 25, 1989). Hearing was reset due to the illness of the counsel
of private respondents. (December 14, 1989).
Atty. Eleccion, counsel of petitioners did not appear despite due
notice. The private respondents rested their case (September 20,
1990). Atty. Eleccioncounsel of private respondents did not appear
(October 15, 1990). Hearing was reset during which Atty. Eleccion
did not appear (October 16, 1990). Hearing was reset to December
10 - 12. Atty. Eleccion asked for postponement (December 10,
1990). Hearing was reset during which Atty. Eleccion did not appear.
The case [was] submitted for decision as of that day (December 11,
1990).
The transcript of stenographic notes which was taken down by
stenographer Alexander Yberley, was missing. He was ordered to
produce the transcript (August 21, 1992). Witness Atilano Ramirez

was recalled for cross-examination since stenographer Yberley


manifested that the record was burned. Despite due notice, nobody
appeared for the [petitioners]. So as of this day, the crossexamination of Atilano Ramirez was considered waived and the case
was finally submitted for decision (October 30, 1992). Court granted
the prayer of Atty. Sedillo and the case [was] set for hearing on
March 22, 29 and April 5, 1993 (December 11, 1992).
Atty. Sedillo did not present evidence but instead moved for a
resetting of the hearing to April 12, 1993. He [was] advised by the
Court to be prepared on the next scheduled hearing (March 22,
1993). Judge was on leave. Hearing was reset to July 2, 1993 (June
4, 1993). FlavianoUmbac was presented as first witness of
petitioners. Hearing was scheduled for August 27, 1993 (July 2,
1993). Petitioners moved for a resetting October 7, 1993 (August
27, 1993). Atty. Bongaciso was presented as second witness for the
petitioners. His testimony was terminated and hearing was reset to
December 13, 1993 (October 7, 1993). Judge was on leave. Hearing
was reset to February 14, 1994 (December 13, 1993).
Hearing was reset at the instance of Atty. Sedillo who wanted to
recall his witness Atty. Bongaciso. Hearing was reset to March 23,
1994 (February 14, 1994). Hearing was postponed to May 6, 1994 to
find avenue for settlement (March 24, 1994). Due to the conflict of
schedule by Atty. Sedillo and due to the absence of recalled 2nd
witness of petitioners Bongaciso, hearing was reset to June 17, 1994
(May 6, 1994). Atty. Sedillo asked for postponement. He would
attend a Kiwanis Training Conference. Hearing was reset to July 4,
1994 (June 17, 1994).
Atty. Sedillo was present but Atty. Rosalinda Ybanez was available
at 10:00 a.m. so the case [was] reset to August 15, 1994 (July 17,
1994). Judge was on leave. Hearing was reset to October 3, 1994
(August 15, 1994). The hearing was reset to November 17, 1994
due to non-availability of the witness of petitioners Atty. Roque
Bongaciso who was on recall (August 15, 1994). There was talk
about a proposed settlement, hearing was held in abeyance
(November 17, 1994).
Since no settlement was realized a motion of private respondents to
set the case for hearing was filed and the case was reset to
February 27, 1995 (January 6, 1995). Earlier, counsel of petitioners,
Atty. Sedillo filed a motion for postponement as he would be
appearing in a case in Manila. Atty. Ybanez manifested that on
February 26, 1995 Atty. Sedillo was in Dumaguete and further that
this case had been delayed by the failure of the petitioners to
complete the presentation of their evidence. The Court then ordered
the case submitted for decision for the third time (February 27,
1995). The Court issued an order reconsidering the February 27,
1995 order upon motion of Atty. Sedillo and set the case for the

petitioners for June 16, 1995 with a stern warning to the petitioners
(March 16, 1995). The hearing set for this daywas cancelled as the
Judge was on leave and reset to September 8, 1995 (June 16, 1995).
The counsel of petitioners did not appear. Hearing was reset to
November 16, 1995 (September 8, 1995). The counsel of petitioners
did not appear. Neither did his client. The hearing [was] reset to
February 13, 1996 (November 16, 1995).
The counsel of petitioners filed a motion to withdraw as counsel. The
Court granted the withdrawal. The petitioners were directed to
immediately engage the services of a new counsel The Court issued
an order setting the case [for] April 26, 1996. This order was
received by the wife of the [Petitioner] Mauro Edrial, Jr. (February
1996). There was no appearance from the petitioners. Hence, the
case was submitted for decision for the fourth time (April 26, 1996).
Atty. Sedillo filed a motion to reopen the case and in effect
reentered his appearance (July 8, 1996). Private respondents thru
counsel filed opposition to motion of the petitioners (August 20,
1996). The Hon. Judge issued an order denying the motion to reopen
hereby affirming the April 26, 1996 order submitting the case for
decision. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration (September
1996). The Court denied the motion for reconsideration (October
1996).
The CA dismissed the appeal of petitioners because, in issuing the
questioned Orders, the trial judge committed no grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. In giving petitioners
more than ample time to complete their presentation of evidence
and in granting their Motions for Postponement, the judge was
accommodating them more than they actually deserved.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the reversal of the CA ruling would have allowed
petitioners to have more time to complete their evidence.
2. Whether or not the CA violated the right to due process of the
petitioners.
HELD:
No.
The Code of Professional Responsibility requires that lawyers, after
obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda or briefs,
shall not let the period lapse without submitting the same or
offering an explanation for their failure to do so (Rule 12.03).
Moreover, they should avoid any action that would unduly delay a
case, impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court
processes.

True, respondents also asked for continuances, but petitioners were


ultimately to blame for the inexcusable delay. The case was
submitted for decision three times. After having failed to take
advantage of opportunities to ventilate their claims below, parties
may no longer be accorded the same chances, in the absence of
grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court. Counsel for
petitioners further avers that he had difficulty in presenting Atty.
Roque Bongaciso because of prior commitments of the latter which
conflicted with the scheduled trial dates. The last witness was Mauro
Edrial Jr., but counsel had the wrong address on file. He should just
have adjusted the order of presentation of witnesses and called
Edrial Jr. later. Such move could have prevented the postponement.
Besides, finding an available date in his calendar would not have
taken Atty. Bongaciso three years.

Villasis vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. L-34369. September 30, 1974.
CANON NUMBER: CANON 12 (Rule 12.01)
FACTS:
On 1970, petitioners as appellants received notice through their
counsel Benjamin M. Valente to submit the brief of appellants within
the reglementary forty-five (45) day period to expire on August 9,
1970. On August 10, 1970 (the last day of the reglementary period,
August 9 being a Sunday), Atty. Valente, led a motion to withdraw as
counsel due to his having been employed as technical assistant in
the Supreme Court, with a prayer that the newly engaged counsel of
appellants be given sufficient time to file their brief. Said new
counsel, Atty. Esdras F. Tayco, filed on August 18, 1970 his
appearance with the appellate court.
On September 1970, the appellate court required both counsels of
appellants, Atty. Valente (whose withdrawal it held in abeyance until
he led a proper motion in verified form with the signed conformity of

the clients as per its resolution of August 18, 1970) and Atty. Tayco
to comment on the dismissal motion. Withdrawing counsel Valente
led his manifestation dated September 28, 1970 alleging inter alia
that he had not received a copy of the dismissal motion and could
not therefore comment thereon and submitting therewith the signed
conformity of his clients to his withdrawal and reiterating his prayer
for the court to grant his withdrawal and to grant appellants
sufficient time to file their brief. New counsel Tayco led no comment
whatsoever.
The appellate court granted withdrawing counsel's motion to
withdraw per its resolution of October 9, 1970 but meanwhile issued
no resolution on the motion of appellees to dismiss the appeal.
On June 25, 1971 or eleven months later, without appellants having
led their brief at all, the appellate court issued its resolution
granting the dismissal motion and dismissing the appeal on the
ground stated by appellees in their motion that appellants had failed
to file their brief within the reglementary45-day period. It was only
then that new counsel Tayco apparently stirred from almost a year
of inaction and led a motion dated July 13, 1971 for reconsideration
of the dismissal of the appeal on the ground that he as new counsel
had not received the notice to le brief. The appellate court per its
resolution of August 17, 1971 denied the motion for reconsideration,
pointing out that the appearance of Atty. Taycowas entered on
August 18, 1970 after the period for filing brief had already expired
on August 10, 1970. New counsel Tayco led a second motion for
reconsideration which the appellate court denied.

ISSUE: Whether or not Canon 12, Rule 12.01, of the Code of


Professional Responsibility has been violated.

HELD:
Yes. The appellate court committed no error in dismissing the
appeal. Petitioners -appellants have shown no valid and justifiable
reason for their inexplicable failure to file their brief and have only
themselves to blame for the inaction and gross indifference and
neglect of their counsel in not having filed their brief for a year since
receipt of due notice to file the same. They could not even claim
ignorance of the notice of the appellate court to file brief since it
had required withdrawing counsel Valente to secure their written
conformity before granting his withdrawal as counsel, and certainly
they must have ascertained from him as well as new counsel the
status of their appeal which accounts for the repeated prayers of
Atty. Valente in his two motions for withdrawal for the granting of
sufficient time for new counsel to file the brief. They had almost a

year thereafter to make sure that their new counsel did attend to
their appeal and did file the brief.

CANON 12
Siy Lim v. Atty. Carmelito Montano
A.C. NO. 5653

CANON NUMBER: Canon 12

FACTS:
This is a complaint filed against Atty. Carmelito Montano by John Siy
Lim for gross misconduct in filing a recycled civil case (Civil Case No.
C-19928 entitled Spouses Tomas See Tuazon and Natividad See
Deecho v. John Siy Lim and the Register of Deeds of Caloocan City)
which has already been decided and is final and executory. The
latter is the defendant in the Civil Case No. C- 14542 then pending
before the RTC of Caloocan City, Branch 131, for reformation of
contract, quieting of title, with damages. After trial, the RTC, ruled in
favor of John Siy Lim, the defendant in the said civil case, and

declared that the deed of sale executed by the parties on July 15,
1987 was an absolute and unconditional conveyance of subject
property by the plaintiff in favor of John Siy Lim. On motion for
reconsideration, the trial court reversed itself. The case was
appealed to Court of Appeals, to which the appellate court reversed
the ruling of the RTC and reinstated its original ruling. Undaunted,
the aggrieved party elevated the case to the Supreme Court to
which it affirmed the decision of appellate court and denied the
petition on October 3, 2000.

Come January 4, 2002, Atty. Carmelito Montano filed a Notice of


Appearance as counsel for Tomas See Tuazon (the losing party) in
Civil Case No. C- 14542 before the RTC of Caloocan City, Branch
131. Consequently, Atty. Carmelito Montano in behalf of his clients
filed a complaint against John Siy Lim. This prompted the latter to
file a disbarment case against the counsel for gross misconduct.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the elements of res judicata are present in the case
as to bar the filing of Civil Case No. C- 19928, thereby making the
respondent guilty of misconduct?

HELD:
YES. By the principle of res judicata: (a) the judgment in Civil Case
No. C-14542, upholding the validity of the absolute deed of sale, had
attained finality; (b) the court which rendered the decision had the
required jurisdiction; and (c) the disposition of the case was a
judgment on the merits. The counsel is guilty of forum shopping,
which is tantamount to misconduct. Forum shopping is the filing of
multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of
action, either simultaneously or successively, for the purpose of
obtaining a favorable judgment. It exists when, as a result of an
adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion in
another, or when he institutes two or more actions or proceedings
grounded on the same cause to increase the chances of obtaining a
favorable decision. The filing of another action concerning the same
subject matter, in violation of the doctrine of res judicata, runs
contrary to Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
which requires a lawyer to exert every effort and consider it his duty
to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. By his
actuations, respondent also violated Rule 12.02 and Rule 12.04 of
the Code, as well as a lawyer's mandate "to delay no man for money
or malice."

Spouses Alejandrino v. CA
G.R. NO. 114151

CANON NUMBER: Canon 12

FACTS:
The late spouses Alejandrino left their six children named Marcelino,
Gregorio, Ciracio, Mauricia, Laurencia, and Abundio a lot in Cebu
City. Upon the death of the spouses, the property should have been
divided among their children, however, the estate of the Alejandrino
spouses was not settled in accordance with the procedures.
Petitioner Mauricia (one of the children) allegedly purchased portion
of the lots from the shares of her brothers: Gregorio, Ciracio, and
Abundio. It turned out, however, that a third party named
LicerioNique, the private respondent in this case, also purchased
portions of the property from Laurencia, Abundio, and Marcelino.

However, Laurencia (the alleged seller to Nique) later questioned


the sale. The trial court resolved the matter in favor of LicerioNique
and declared him the rightful owner of the lots. Likewise, the
appellate court dismissed the petition and the subsequent motion
for reconsideration. The petitioner elevated the matter to the
Supreme Court. Petitioner argues that partition of the property
cannot be effected because private respondent is also a defendant
in Civil Case No. CEB-11673. She asserts that Exhibit 16, the
extrajudicial settlement of estate referred to in the questioned order
of the lower court, was not discussed in the decision of the lower
court and even if it were, she could not be bound thereby
considering that she was not a party litigant in Civil Case No. CEB7038. On the contrary, the private respondent retorts that the
instant petition is a qualified forum shopping. He charges counsel
for petitioner with exhibiting "unethical conduct and practice" in
appearing as counsel for petitioner in Civil Case No. CEB-11673 after
he had appeared for complainant Laurencia in CA-G.R. CV No. 33433
or Civil Case No. CEB-7038.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there is a qualified violation of Circular No. 28-91 on
forum shopping?

HELD:
NO. Forum shopping exists where the elements of litispendentia are
present or where a final judgment in one case will amount to res
judicata in the other. 17 Because the judgment in Civil Case No.
CEB-7028 is already final and executory, the existence of res
judicata is determinative of whether or not petitioner is guilty of
forum shopping. For the principle of res judicata to apply, the
following must be present: (1) a decision on the merits; (2) by a
court of competent jurisdiction; (3) the decision is final; and (4) the
two actions involve identical parties, subject matter and causes of
action. The fourth element is not present in this case. The parties
are not identical because petitioner was not impleaded in Civil Case
No. CEB-7028. While the subject matter may be the same property
of the Alejandrino spouses, the causes of action are different. Civil
Case No. CEB-7028 is an action for quieting of title and damages
while Civil Case No. CEB-11673 is for redemption and recovery of
properties.

CANON 12 DUTY TO ASSIST IN SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT


ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

Li Kim Tho v. Sanchez


G.R. No. L-2676. January 31, 1949
FACTS: The petitioner Li Kim Tho, lessee of a building administered
by Fernandez Hermanos, Inc., sublet the ground floor of said
building to the respondent Go Siu Kao, who, during the Japanese
occupation, had been deprived of his own house by the military.
Needing the entire building for himself after liberation, the petitioner
required the said respondent to vacate the portion sublet to him,
and the demand having been refused, he brought suit in the
Municipal Court of Manila to have him ejected from the premises.
Judgment was rendered in favor of petitioner; but respondent
appealed to the Court of First Instance and, having again lost in that
court, took an appeal to the Court of Appeals. After an adverse
judgment in that court, he took the case to the Supreme Court, but

met with failure when his petition for certiorari was dismissed.
Undaunted, respondent sought to prevent his ouster when the case
was remanded to the Court of First Instance for execution. As a
means to that end, he then filed an action to have himself declared
as the direct lessee of the premises in question by virtue of an
alleged contract with Fernandez Hermanos, with a petition for a writ
of preliminary injunction to suspend the execution of the decision of
the Court of Appeals in so far as his ouster was concerned.
Defendants in said action are Li Kim Tho, the Sheriff of Manila, and
Fernandez Hermanos, Inc. The preliminary injunction was granted
but was, upon a motion for reconsideration, lifted, with the result
that the respondent was ejected from the premises by the sheriff of
Manila. Upon a motion for reconsideration, however, filed by said
respondent, the same court, now acting through another judge,
issued a writ of mandatory injunction to restore him in the
possession of the premises, thereby putting into effect again the
writ of preliminary injunction which another judge had ordered lifted.
That writ of mandatory injunction is now the subject matter of the
present petition for certiorari.|
ISSUE: WON the Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in
issuing the writ of mandatory injunction?
HELD: Yes. It is, of course, settled that the stay of execution of a
final judgment may be authorized whenever it is necessary to
accomplish the ends of justice as, for instance, where there has
been a change in the situation of the parties which makes such
execution inequitable. But we are persuaded that such is not the
case here. The filing by respondent Go Siu Kao of a new action to
litigate again his right to continue in the possession of the premises
in controversy as an alleged basis for suspending the execution of a
final judgment which denies him such right, savours of a mere
scheme to delay or frustrate the execution of the judgment in
question. Obvious is the fact that the issue raised in the new case is
something that has already been passed upon by the Court of
Appeals in connection with the denial of respondent's motion for
new trial based on an alleged contract of lease between him and
Fernandez Hermanos.|
Litigation must end and terminate sometime and
somewhere, and it is essential to an effective and efficient
administration of justice that once a judgment has become
final, the winning party be not, through a mere subterfuge,
deprived of the fruits of the verdict. Courts must therefore

guard against any scheme calculated to bring about that result.


Constituted as they are to put an end to controversies, courts should
frown upon any attempt to prolong them|||

Bergonia v. Merrera
Adm. Case No. 5024, February 20, 2003
A motion for extension to file an appellant's brief carries with it
the presumption that the applicant-lawyer will file the pleading
within the period granted. Failure to so file the brief without any
reasonable excuse is a violation of the Canons of Professional
Responsibility. For such violation, a lawyer may be
administratively sanctioned, especially if it results in damage to
the client.|||
FACTS: Complainant, together with her relatives, filed a case for the
quieting of title (docketed as Civil Case No. U-4601) against her
niece Josephine Bergonia, as well as Spouses Rodolfo and Remedios
Parayno and their minor daughter Gretchen. After due trial, the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Branch 49,
promulgated its Decision in favor of the Parayno spouses and their
daughter. On appeal, the CA affirmed the ruling of the trial
court and the Decision became final and executory.
Since the disputed land was still in the possession of complainant,
the Paraynos instituted Civil Case No. U-6061 to recover
possession. After the Answer was filed, respondent became her
counsel of record. After due trial, Branch 48 of the same RTC
rendered its Decision ordering her to vacate the premises and to
surrender possession thereof to the Parayno spouses.
Thereafter, complainant appealed the RTC judgment to the CA.
Respondent, as counsel, received a Notice to File Brief on December
17, 1997. Acting on his Motion for extension to file the appellant's
brief, the CA in its February 18, 1998 minute Resolution granted hire
until March 17, 1998 to do so. Even before the first extension had
lapsed, however, he again filed an Urgent Second Motion for
extension to file brief, praying that he be given until April 16, 1998
to submit the required pleading. The CA again granted his Second
Motion. Eventually, the deadline, which had already been extended

twice, lapsed without his filing the appellant's brief. Hence, the CA,
upon motion of the appellees, dismissed the appeal in its June 25,
1998 Resolution. Thus, this administrative case seeking the
disbarment of Atty. Arsenio A. Merrera for violating Canons 12 and
18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Complainant alleged
that his inexcusable negligence, while acting as her counsel, caused
the unceremonious dismissal of her appeal.|
ISSUE: WON Atty. Arsenio A. Merrera is subject to disbarment for
violating Canon 12?
HELD: No, but Atty. Merrera is suspended for 6 months. Rule 12.03,
Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, requires all the
members of the bar to observe the following:
"A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time
to file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period
lapse without submitting the same or offering an
explanation for his failure to do so."
Expressly stated is the requirement to show good and sufficient
cause for requests of extension of time to file appellate
briefs. Section 12 of Rule 44 of the Rules of Court provides that an
extension of time for the filing of a brief shall not be allowed, except
when there is good and sufficient cause, and only when the motion
is filed before the expiration of the extension sought.
From time to time, a request for extension becomes necessary when
an advocate needs more time to study the client's position.
Generally, such request is addressed to the sound discretion of the
court. Lawyers who, for one reason or another, decide to dispense
with the filing of the required pleading, should promptly manifest
this intent to the court. It is necessary for them to do so in order to
prevent delay in the disposition of the case. Those who file motions
for extension in bad faith misuse the legal process, obstruct
justice, and thus become liable to disciplinary action.

A lawyer who requests an extension must do so in good faith and


with a genuine intent to file the required pleading within the
extended period. In granting the request, the court acts on the
presumption that the applicant has a justifiable reason for failing to
comply with the period allowed. Without this implied trust, the

motion for extension will be deemed to be a mere ruse to delay or


thwart the appealed decision. The motion will thus be regarded as a
means of preventing the judgment from attaining finality and
execution and of enabling the movant to trifle with procedure and
mock the administration of justice.
Further discussion: Respondent claims that he never planted false
hopes in the mind of complainant. Upon receiving the Decision in
Civil Case No. U-6061, he purportedly advised her that her chances
of winning in the appellate court were slim, because the ownership
of the disputed land had already been adjudicated to the other party
in Civil Case No. U-4601. He avers that he tried to persuade her to
accept her defeat "like a good soldier."
We are not persuaded. If, indeed, respondent failed to convince
complainant to drop her appeal, he should have just withdrawn his
appearance. Based on his arguments in his Opposition to the Motion
for Execution and Demolition, however, we do not believe that he
even tried to convince her, to withdraw the appeal. We are inclined
to believe that this excuse was merely an afterthought to justify his
negligence.
Moreover, respondent claims that after filing the Motions for
Extension, he surmised that the appeal would be useless, because
he could not show sufficient cause to reverse the Decision.
This justification is even more inexcusable. Respondent should have
checked first if there was a good ground to support the appeal. If
there was none, he should have been forthright in his evaluation of
the case. THIASE
Lawyers should fully familiarize themselves with the causes of their
clients before advising the latter on the soundness of litigating. If
they find that the intended suit is devoid of merit or that the
pending action is defenseless, they should promptly inform and
dissuade their clients accordingly.

CANON 12
Sebastian v. Bajar
A.C. No. 3731, September 7 2007
Facts:
The respondent is the lawyer of Fernando Tanlioco and Bureau of
Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) of the Department of Agrarian
Reform. As an agricultural lessee of the complainant Manuel
Sebastian an ejectment case was filed against Fernando Tanlioco in
order to convert the land use from agricultural to residential.
A judgment was rendered by Regional Trial Court making
Tanliocos ejectment subject to the payment of disturbance
compensation as it was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court.
On the other hand, Atty. Emily Bajar (respondent) filed a case
for Specific Performance to produce the conversion order and
eventually it was dismissed by the RTC due to res juridicata and lack
of cause of action. After which a subsequent case was filed for
Maintenance of Possession with the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board.
Petitioner then filed a disbarment case against respondent on
the reason of obstructing, disobeying, resisting, rebelling, and
impeding final decisions of the Supreme Court and for submitting
those final decisions for review and reversal of the Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Emily Bajar be disbarred due to
obstruction, disobedience and resistance to the decisions of the
Court?
Held: The court finds sufficient evidence to the support the IBPs
findings that: respondent appealed a case for purposes of delay
which amounted to an obstruction of justice and Atty. Bajar abused
her rights of recourse to the courts by her filing of multiple suits that
should have been avoided and her acts where tantamount to forum

shopping.
Atty. Bajars acts constitute gross misconduct and willful
disobedience of lawful orders of the superior court. Wherefore, she
was ordered for suspension for three years.
Salomon Jr. vs. Frial
AC no. 7820, September 12, 2008
Facts:
Atty. Ricardo M. Salomon Jr. charged respondent Atty. Joselito
C. Frial with violating his Lawyers Oath and gross misconduct
arising from his actuations with respect to two attached vehicles.
Complainant, owner of the vehicles in question asked that
respondent be disbarred.
In the case of Lucy Lo vs. Ricardo Salomon et al, in which a
writ of preliminary attachment was issued in favor of Lucy Lo, the
respondents client. The writ was used to attach two cars of
complainant.
According to Atty. Salomon, instead of depositing the attached
cars in court premises, it was turned over to Atty. FrialLos counsel.
Petitioner further alleged, when in misuse of the car was reported,
paving for Liquigans apprehension, Atty. Frial, in a letter
acknowledged having authorized Liquigan to bring the car in
custodial legis to a mechanic.
In his response, respondent Atty. Frial admitted taking custody
of the cars thru his own undertaking, without authority and
knowledge of the court. He then denied personally using or allowing
others the use of cars.
Issues: Whether or not Atty. Frial used the cars for his personal
benefit?
Whether or not Atty. Frial was guilty of infidelity in the custody
of the attached properties?
Held: On the basis of the foregoing premises, the Commission
concluded that Atty. Frial committed acts clearly bearing on his
integrity as a lawyer, adding that he failed to observe the diligence
required of him as custodians of the cars. The Commission thus
recommended that Atty. Frial be suspended from the practice of law
for 1 year.
A writ of attachment issues to prevent the defendant from
disposing of the attached property, thus securing the satisfaction of
any judgment that may be recovered by the plaintiff or any proper
party.

A lawyer is first and foremost an officer of the court. As such,


he is expected to respect the courts order and processes. Atty. Frial
miserably fell short of his duties as such officer.

Canon 13
CESAR L. LANTORIA VS. ATTY. AIRINESS L. BUNYI
A.C. No. 1769
June 8, 1992
Facts:
Complainant Lantoria seeks a disciplinary action against
respondent Attorney Bunyi on the ground that the said respondent
allegedly committed acts of graft and corruption, dishonesty and
conduct unbecoming of a member of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines, and corruption of the judge and bribery in connection
with respondent's handling civil case prescribed over by Municipal
Judge Galicia. The administrative case immersed from the cases for
ejectment of squatters in Constacia Mascarinas land, where
respondent Bunyi was the counsel and was allegedly one who
prepared the decisions.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent Attorney is guilty of unethical
conduct.

Held:
Yes. The court explained that the subject letters attached in the
case indicate that respondent had previous communication with
Judge Galicia regarding the preparation of the draft decision in his
handling civil case and which he actually prepared. The mere fact
that Attorney Bunyi prepared the decision is a conclusive conduct of
unbecoming of a lawyer and an officer of the court.
A lawyers attempt to influence the court is rebuked and
prohibited in canon 13 and rule 13.01 of the new Code of
Professional Responsibility. Canon 13 provides that 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 and Rule 13.01 that a lawyer shall not extend extraordinary
attention or hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for, cultivating
familiarity with judges.

Respondent Attorney is hereby suspended from practice of law


for a period of one year.

ESTRADA VS. SANDIGANBAYAN


G.R. Nos. 159486-88
November 25, 2003
Facts:
Attorney Alan Paguia, as counsel for petitioner Estrada, asserts
that the inhibition of the members of the Supreme Court from
hearing the petition is called for under Rule 5.10 of the Code of
Judicial Conduct. Such rule prohibits justices from participating in
any partisan political activity which prescription was violated by
Chief Justice Hilario Davide when he attended the EDSA 2 rally and
authorized the assumption of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the
presidency in violation of the 1987 Constitution. Atty. Paguia
contends that the justices have thereby prejudged a case that
assails the legality of the act taken by President Arroyo.
Atty. Paguia did not limit his negotiations to the merits of his clients
case within the judicial forum, and instead repeatedly assault on the
court in both broadcast and print media.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Paguia is guilty of unethical conduct under
Canon 13.
Held:
Yes. Atty. Paguia has violated Rule 13.02 of Canon 13 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility. The above provision empowers the
prohibition of the members of the Bar from making public
statements in the media on a case that may tend to arouse public
opinion for or against a party. Furthermore, the attention of
petitioners counsel Atty. Paguia has also been called to the
mandate of Rule 13.02 but regrettably, Atty. Paguia has persisted in
ignoring the Court's well-meant admonition. Wherefore, Atty. Paguia
is hereby suspended from practice of law.

Rau Sheng Mao v. Velasco


[Adm. Case No. 4881, October 8, 2003]

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.

FACTS:
Complainant Rau Sheng Mao is a Taiwanese national who
went to the Philippines to invest in a beach resort for leisure and
recreation. He engaged the services of Atty. Velasco both as a
legal consultant and as a retained counsel. However, he now
seeks respondents disbarment for alleged deceit in the conduct
of business, immorality and implying influence over judges.
Unfortunately during the investigation of the IBP, complainant
was not able to present evidence to support his claims of being
deceived by respondent in the business. On the other hand he
was able to present sufficient evidence of his immorality and
implying influence over judges. Respondent was alleged to be
living with a woman not his wife and has produced three
children, which he denied. He also wrote letters to complainant
asking money in favor of judges holding the cases of
complainant, which he neither denied nor claimed to be true.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Velasco should be punished for the
complaints against him.

HELD:
Yes. Atty. Velasco should be held responsible for two out of
the three complaints against him. There being no evidence
presented for his alleged deceit, this complaint was dismissed.
However, for his immorality, evidences were presented. The
evidences showed the other woman using his surname in some
transactions, while all the children born of said illicit relationship
were all acknowledge by respondent as shown by their
surnames, which they use in their records. Rule 1.01 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility a lawyer shall not engage in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Keeping of
mistress is considered as a defiance of the mores and sense of
morality of the community. Canon 13 states that a lawyer shall
rely on the merits of his cause and refrain from any impropriety
which tends to influence, or give appearance of influencing
court. Respondents written letters which complainant presented
as evidence gave the impression that the decision of the judge
can be influenced, by certain amounts of money. Thus he was

sentenced to for a 2 year suspension.

Bueno v. Raeses
[Adm. Case No. 8383, December 11, 2012]

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.

FACTS:
Complainant hired Atty. Raeses to represent her in Civil
Case No. 777. Complainant paid respondent his retainer fee, for
which she was not issued a receipt aside from this she agreed to
pay him 800 pesos for every hearing that he will attend.
However, he was sometimes absent or late. On november14,
1988, respondent asked for 10,000 pesos from complainant, for

a supposed fee to be divided by him and Judge Nidea in order to


win the case. Sometime in December 1988, respondent asked
for another 5000 pesos, because the initial amount was
insufficient. Complainant later found out that respondent failed
to comply with the courts directive regarding the case, a
development she alleged to have been concealed from her.
Complainant confronted respondent regarding the matter, but he
simply told her that he did not receive any decision. He even
denied knowledge of the decision even after complainant
showed him a court -issued certification that he was able to
receive the decision.

Raeses failed to attend the following hearings and answer


Buenos complaint. The court asked Bueno to present her
evidence and file a formal offer, which she was not able to do.
Meanwhile, the IBP- CBD received a Time Motioned request for
copies of the complaint and supporting papers filed by Atty.
Raeses. He claimed that he was not furnished with the copies of
the complaint, however it was later found out that the registry
return card refutes his claim.

ISSUE:
Whether respondent is liable for the following charges
against him: 1. negligence, 2. soliciting money.

HELD:
1. No. Respondent is not liable for negligence. The complainant was
not able to file a formal offer and present evidences which were
stated in her affidavit. Although the said evidences can be
procured easily.
2. Yes. Respondent is liable for the charge of soliciting money.
Canon 13 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that
lawyers are instructed to refrain from any impropriety tending to
influence or from any act giving appearance of influencing, the
court. Respondent did not only do the former impropriety but
also engaged himself in fraudulent act, tarnishing the reputation
of the judge and of the justice system itself, by soliciting money
from complainant several times claiming that it is for the judge.
The sentence was to disbar him and remove him from the roll of
attorneys.

CANON 13
RE: Suspension Of Atty. Bagabuyo, Former Senior State
Prosecutor
ADM. CASE NO. 7006

CANON NUMBER: Canon 13

FACTS:
The administrative case has its roots from the case of People v. Luis
Bucalon Plaza heard before the sala of Judge Jose Manuel Tan,
Regional trial court of Surigao City, Branch 29. Luis Bucalon, was
found to be guilty of homicide and not murder with the evidence as
basis. Counsel of the defense thereafter filed a motion to fix that
amount of bail bond, with which Senior state prosecutor and
deputized prosecutor of the case Atty. Rogelio Z. Bagabuyo contests
stating that murder is non-bailable. Atty. Bagabuyo thereafter filed a
motion for reconsideration which was consequently denied. Hence,
instead of resorting to his available judicial remedies, respondent
caused the publication of an article in the August 18, 2003 issue of
Mindanao Gold Star Daily. Atty. Bagabuyo again resorted to the
media, after he was ordered arrested and put up a bail of
P100,000.00 this time at Radio Station DXKS. He attacked once
again Judge Tan and his disposition on the proceedings of People v.
Luis Bucalon Plaza.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Bagabuyo has violated the Code of professional
conduct.

HELD:
Yes. Atty. Bagabuyo is found guilty of violating the code of
professional conduct Canon 13, Rule 13.02 which states that a
lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a
pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.
That instead of resorting to the available judicial remedies before
him, Atty. Bagabuyohas degraded the dignity and authority of the
court and the presiding judge, as well as promoted distrust in the
administration of justice when he resorted to media and declared his
complaints there. Atty. Bagabuyo is also cited for violation of Canon
11, when he disrespected the courts and the judicial officers and
Rule 11.05 when he did not submit grievances against a judge to
proper authorities only.

Foodsphere, Inc. v. Atty. Melanio Mauricio, Jr


A.C. NO. 7199
CANON NUMBER: Canon 13

FACTS:
Foodsphere, a corporatation engaged in the business of meat
processing and manufacture of canned goods of CDO filed an
administrative complaint against Atty. Melanio Mauricio, Jr. for
violation of the code of professional responsibility. The case at hand
involved a certain Alberto Cordero who purportedly found a colony
of worms inside the can of liver spread by CDO and Foodsphere that
he bought from the grocery. The Cordero family sued the company
for P150,000 for damages, but the companies did not agree to the
demands. The Corderos thereafter threatened to resort to the
media, if their demands are not met. Consequently, Atty. Mauricio
the counsel of the Corderos, was involved in various media
productions such as being a writer/columnist of tabloids including
BalitangPatas BATAS, Bagong TIKTIK, TORO and HATAW!, and a host
of a television program KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS telecast over UNTV
and of a radio program Double B-BATAS NG BAYAN aired over DZBB.
Atty. Mauricio, in many cases utilized these media outlets to place
the said company in a bad light by declaring to the masses the liver
spread of worms; even after his receipt of the Order addressed to
him to desist from further publishing, televising and/or
broadcasting any matter subject of the Complaint in the instant case
more specifically the imputation of vices and/or defects on plaintiff
and its products. Even after the parties have performed an
agreement, signed by the Corderos and Atty.Mauricio himself
resulting in the dismissal of the Cordero case, Atty.Mauricio still
inexplicably launched a media offensive to the companies.

ISSUE:
Whether or not, Atty. Mauricio has violated the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. Atty. Mauricio has violated the code of professional
responsibility. His recourse to the Media, even after being told to
desist from such was a clear violation of Rule 13.03 of Canon 13, A
lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a
pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a
party. His action has put not only the company Foodsphere and
CDO in a bad light, but has also degraded the dignity and authority
of the legal system. Besides the above, he has also violated Canon
1.01 by engaging in deceitful conduct taking advantage of the
complaint against CDO to advance his own interests, and Canon 8,
when he used abusive and offensive language in his dealings.

Cruz v. Salva
G.R. No. L-12871, July 25, 1959
CANON NUMBER: Canon 13
FACTS: Manuel Monroy was killed in 1935. Subsequent to appeals
and reinvestigation, counsel for Oscar Castelo (accused) and his co-

defendants

wrote

to

respondent

Fiscal

Salva

to

conduct

reinvestigation of the case presumably on the basis of the affidavits


and confessions obtained by those who had investigated the case at
the instance of Malacaang. Consequently, respondent Salva
proceeded to conduct such reinvestigation. In connection with said
preliminary investigation, herein petitioner was subpoenaed by
Salva to appear at his office. Atty. Baizas, appearing for petitioner,
questioned the jurisdiction of the committee, particularly Salva, to
conduct preliminary investigation in view of the fact that case
involving the killing of Monroy was pending appeal.
ISSUE/S:1) WON respondent had the authority to conduct a
preliminary investigation or reinvestigation of the case pending
appeal; 2) WON the manner in which the respondent conducted the
investigation was proper.
HELD:
1) Yes. Ordinarily, when a criminal case in which a fiscal intervened
though nominally, is tried and decided and it is appealed to a higher
court, the functions and actuations of said fiscal have terminated;
usually the appeal is handled for the government by the Solicitor
General. However in this case, the court ruled in favor of Salva for
having established a justification for his reinvestigation to protect
the innocent.
2) No. The investigation was conducted not in the respondents
office but in the session hall of the Municipal Court of Pasay City,
accommodating

the

big

crowd

that

wasted

to

witness

the

proceeding, including members of the press. Furthermore, Salva


accorded

the

unusual

privilege

of

asking

questions

to

newspapermen and newsmen against the accused. Despite refusal,


the newspapers certainly played up and gave wide publicity to what
took place during the investigation; the case seemingly being
retried and redetermined in the press. Members of the Court, greatly
disturbed and annoyed by such, hold that respondent be publicly
reprehended and censured for the uncalled for and wide publicity
and sensationalism that he had given and allowed in connection

with his investigation, which they consider and find to be contempt


of court.
Nestle Philippines, Inc. v. Sanchez
G.R. No. 75209, September 30, 1987
CANON NUMBER: Canon 13
FACTS: Intermittent pickets in front of the Padre Fauragate of the
Supreme Court continued to occur even after the union leaders have
been received by Justices Pedro L. Yap and Marcelo B. Fernan as
Chairmen of the Divisions where their cases are pending. Atty. Jose
C. Espinas, counsel of the Union of Filipro Employees, had been
called in order that the pickets might be informed that the
demonstration must cease immediately for the same constitutes
direct contempt of court and that the Court would not entertain their
petitions for as long as the pickets were maintained. Atty. Espinas,
along with other union leaders were required to appear before the
Court on July 14, 1987 at 10:30 A.M. and then and there to show
cause why they should not be held in contempt of court. Atty.
Espinas was further required to show cause why he should not be
administratively dealt with.
ISSUE:WON Atty. Espinas should be administratively dealt with.
HELD:No. The court realizes that the individuals conducting the
pickets are non-lawyers and thus are not knowledgeable of the
intricacies of substantive and adjective laws. They are not aware
that even as the rights of free speech and of assembly are protected
by the Constitution, any attempt to pressure or influence courts of
justice through the exercise of either right amounts abuse thereof, is
no longer within the ambit of constitutional protection, nor did they
realize that any such efforts to influence the course of justice
constitutes contempt of court. The responsibility and duty of
advising them, therefore, rest primarily and heavily upon the
shoulders of their counsel of record, Atty. Espinas, which he did not
fail to do. He has well-apprised his clients on matters of decorum
and proper attitude toward courts of justice through explaining to
the picketers why they actions were wrong and that any delay in the

resolution of their cases is usually for causes beyond the control of


the Court and that the SC has always remained steadfast in its role
as the guardian of the Constitution.

CANON 13
In Re Lozano
54 Phil 801, July 24 1930
Facts:
On April 29 1930, El Pueblo, a newspaper published in Iloilo
and edited by Severino Lozano, printed an account of the
investigation written by AnastacioQuevedo, said to be an employee
in the office of the Judge under investigation.
The article then suffices evidence of the different witnesses of
the investigation of the Judge. Quevedo alleges that the facts
therein contained are false, malicious, and untrue and that said

report took sides with the respondent judge. The Solicitor General
was designated to conduct the investigation of the charges, and
pursuant to said designation, and investigation was conducted
secretly as in customary in cases of this character.
In the same connection, the Solicitor General states that the
newspaper report does not contain a fair and true account of the
facts disclosed at the investigation.
Under the following circumstances, the observations of the
Solicitor General must be necessarily be accepted and true.
Issue: Whether or not Severino Lozano and AnastacioQuevedo are
guilty of contempt of court?
Held:
Yes, the Court ordered each to pay a nominal sum of P20 within 15
days. The rule is well established that the newspaper publications
tending to impede, obstruct, embarrass, or influence the courts in
administering justice in a pending suit or proceeding constitute
criminal contempt, which is summarily punishable by the courts.
Respect for the Judiciary cannot be had if persons are privileged to
scorn a resolution of the court adopted for good purposes, and if
such persons are permitted by subterranean means of diffuse
inaccurate
accounts
of
confidential
proceedings
to
the
embarrassment of the parties and the courts.

In re: Abistado
557 Phil 668, December 1, 1932
Facts:
On October 20 1932, Paz Luzan filed a charge of malpractice
against Atty. Ramon Sotelo, and attached to her complaint 13
exhibits.
Atty. Ramon Sotelo called then the attention of the court to
the fact that there had been published in the weekly newspaper,
The Union on October 24th, a statement as to the filing of the
charges, with the notice that in the subusequent issues the
complete charges and the exhibits attached thereto would be
published. Sotelo requested that it was contrary to a resolution of
the court providing that administrative charges against attorneys
and judges of first instance should be confidential until finally
disposed of.
The motion of Atty. Sotelo by the resolution of the court was

referred to the Attorney General for proper action. Notwithstanding


the resolution of the court and the fact that Sotelo had brought the
matter personally to the attention of the respondent who is also an
attorney and published in the issue of October 31st the charges
against Sotelo.
Respondent then filed an explanation wherein he stated that
he assumed the duties of editor of The Union on November 1 and
had nothing to do with the articles in question published prior to
that date that the publication of the new referred to does not
constitute contempt against the court and freedom of the press be
recognized under the Constitution.
Issue: Whether or not respondent guilty of contempt of court?
Held:
Yes, First, that the respondent is an attorney-at-law and as member
of the bar it was peculiarly incumbent upon him to respondent and
obey the rules and resolutions of the court and secondly the
respondent did not try to purge himself of his contempt but sought
to justify his contemptuous conduct and lastly respondent was
contumacious, and in open and utter disregard of the action of the
court persisted in publishing the charges and the exhibits in
question after he had been cited for contempt.

Canon 14
VERONICA SANTIAGO ET. AL VS. ATTY. AMADO FOJAS
A.C. no. 4103
September 7, 1995
Facts:
Complainants herein are former clients of the respondent
Attorney Fojas. They prayed that the latter be disbarred for
malpractice, neglect and other offenses which may be discovered
from the actual investigation of their complaint. They alleged that
they lost their case to Judge Capulong and other appeals because of
the respondents malpractice of law and negligence. However, the
respondent denies the above allegations and explain that the
unfavorable judgment was not imputable of his mistakes but to the
merits of the case.
Herein complainants, as officers of FEUFA were found guilty for
illegal dismissal of Paulino Salvador from the union. The DOLE favors
Salvador. Subsequently, Salvador filed a complaint against the
complainants for actual, moral and exemplary damages and
attorneys fees, which respondent Fojas filed a motion to dismissed
the case. However, the case was reinstated upon Salvadors motion
for reconsideration and the complainants were ordered to file their
answer. However, respondent Fojas as counsel of the complainants,
instead of filling an answer just keep on filling a motion for
reconsideration and dismissal of the case.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondent committed a culpable negligence
under the Canon 14.
Held:
Yes. The court ruled that Canon 14 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility empowers, once a lawyer agrees to take up the cause
of a client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must always
be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. That a lawyer
must serve his client with competence and diligence, and champion
the latters cause with wholeheartedly fidelity, care and devotion. In
relation to the above case, this simply means that the complainants
are entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy and defense
that is authorized by the law of the land and they may expect him to
assert such remedy or defense. And respondent Fojas failure to file
an answer is also his failure to comply with his duty.

ATTY. AUGUSTO NAVARRO VS. ATTY. ROSENDO MENESES III


A.C. no. 313
January 30, 1998
Facts:
Atty. Navarro, the complainant, in behalf of Pan-Asia International
Commodities, Inc. (Pan-Asia) charges respondent Atty. Meneses III
with the following offenses: malpractice and gross misconduct
unbecoming a public defender; derelict dereliction of duty, by
violating his oath to do everything within his power to protect his
clients interest; willful abandonment; and loss of trust and
confidence, due to his continued failure to account for the amount of
P50,000.00 entrusted to him to be paid to a certain complainant for
the amicable settlement of a pending case.
Pan-Asia engaged the legal services of respondent Atty.
Meneses. While serving as counsel, Atty. Meneses handled various
cases; one of the litigations handled by him was the case of People
vs. Lai Chan Kow and Arthur Bretaa.
On December 24,1993, respondent received P50,000 from Arthur
to be given to Gleason as consideration for an out-of-court
settlement and with the understanding that a motion to dismiss the
case would be filed by respondent. Despite of repeated requests,
respondent failed to show to his client the receipt acknowledging
that Gleason received such amount. As verified in RTC Makati, his
client discovered that no motion to dismiss or any appeals had been
filed, and the supposed amicable settlement was also not
concluded. Despite of repeated demands for an explanation, as well
as the turnover of all documents pertaining to the aforementioned
case, respondent Meneses consciously ignored the pleas of herein
complainant.
Issue:

Whether or not the respondent committed an unethical conduct


under Canon 14.
Held.
Yes. Canon 14 of the Code of Professional Responsibility endows
that once a lawyer agrees to take up the cause of a client, he owes
fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and
confidence reposed to him. Respondent Attorney Meneses had the
obligation to present to his client the status of the case and to
respond within a reasonable time to his clients request for
information. A lawyers failure to communicate with his client by
consciously ignoring its request is an unjustifiable denial of its right
to be fully informed of the developments and status of its case.

Francisco v. Portugal
Adm. Case No. 6155, March 14, 2006

CANON 14
A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.
Rule 14.01- a lawyer shall not decline to represent a person
solely on account of the latters race, sex, creed or status of life, or
because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person.

FACTS:
On March 21, 1994, complainants were involved in a shooting
incident, which resulted to the death of two individuals and the
injury of another. Informations were filed against the accused for
murder and frustrated murder at Sandiganbayan. Accused plead
not guilty, but was found guilty of homicide and attempted
homicide. This is where respondents services were employed.
Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and with the
Sandiganbayan, but was denied. Due to this he filed an urgent
motion for leave to file Second Motion for Reconsideration,
pending resolution from sandiganbayan respondent also filed a
petition for review on certiorari (Ad Cautelam) on May 3, 2002.

That was the last that the complainants heard from him. After
more than a year, the complainants were shocked to find out
that the court already has a decision dated July 3, 2002, denying
the petition for late filing and non-payment of docket fees. Due
to this, a warrant of arrest was already issued against them.
They believe that respondent did nothing to prevent the
reglementary period seeking reconsideration from lapsing.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent committed gross negligence or
misconduct in handling the case of complainants.

HELD:
Yes. Respondent is guilty of gross negligence or misconduct
in handling the case complainants. In criminal cases similar to
the one handled by respondent, he has higher duty to
circumspect in defending accused, because their right to liberty
and life are at stake. The results of the investigation of the IBP
shows that respondent was negligent in the conduct of his work.
In Armin v Bonavil, it was ruled that once a lawyer agrees to take
up the cause of the client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause
and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed
in him.
In addition to this he also committed a misconduct in his
offensive appalation which respondent called the shooting
incident, this was not appreciated by the court. Rule 14.01 of the
Code states that lawyers are not to discriminate clients as to
their belief of the guilt of the latter. It was deemed
unprofessional to call the incident as salvage, where in the case
in pending. Thus he was sentenced to six months of suspension
of license to practice law.

Telan v. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 95026, October 4, 1991

CANON 14- a lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.
Rule 14.01- a lawyer shall not decline to represent a person
solely on account of the latters race, sex, creed or status of life, or
because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person.

FACTS:
Spouse Pedro and Angelina Telan, herein petitioners, rented a
lot owned by Luciano Sia for 50.00 pesos per month. Due to its
strategic location the petitioners decided to set up businesses
along the way. This action was followed by private respondents.
Petitioners were asked to leave the place because it was already
sold to private respondents by Sia. Private respondents executed
a deed of sale with assumption of mortgage with Sia. Soon after
the mortgagee of Sias lot foreclosed the mortgage. Private
respondents alongside mortgagee filed a suit to evict petitioners,
however it was dismissed. On September 22, 1986 one of the
private respondents secured a certificate title under his name,
over the contested lot. Due to this, respondents were able to file
an AccionPubliciana against petitioners. Petitioners hired Atty.
Paguiran, for the case, which they were not able to win. Thus
petitioners filed an appeal, however their counsel was disposed
to do so.
Petitioners, asked another person to defend them. Ernesto
Palma, who was an acquaintance of Angelina and introduced
himself as a lawyer to sign in for them. However he was later
found to be a fake, after they have come to know the dismissal
of their appeal and the courts resolution in May 1990.
Petitioners asked Atty. Barot to help them with the case. He filed
a motion for reconsideration with motion to admit attached
appelants brief.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the representation of the petitioners by a fake


lawyer, amounts to a deprivation of right to counsel and hence
lack of due process.

HELD:
Yes. The representation of the petitioner by a fake lawyer has
resulted to their deprivation of right to counsel and hence a lack
of due process. Like in a criminal case the right of an accused to
be assisted by a member of the bar is immutable. This right
maybe invoked at all times and does not only exist in the trial
courts but also on appeal. Rule 14.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibilities prohibits a lawyer from declining to represent a
person solely on account of the latters race, sex, creed or status
of life, or because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said
person. Thus insisting that the petitioners have no right to
appeal since the reglementary period has elapsed due to the
negligence of a fake counsel is preposterous. Since Palma was a
fake, he cannot be considered as a counsel.
CANON 14
OlegariaBlanza v. Atty. Agustin Arcangel
A.C. NO. 492

CANON NUMBER: Canon 14

FACTS:
Complainants OlegariaBlanza and Maria Pasion complain that way
back in April, 1955, respondent Atty. Agustin Arcangel volunteered
to help them in their respective pension claims in connection with
the deaths of their husbands, both P.C. soldiers, and for this
purpose, they handed over to him the pertinent documents and also
affixed their signatures on blank papers. But subsequently, they
noticed that since then, respondent had lost interest in the progress
of their claims and when they finally asked for the return of their
papers six years later, respondent refused to surrender them. He
admitted before the Solicitor general having received the
documents from complainants but explained that it was for
photostating purposes only. His failure to immediately return them,
he said, was due to complainants' refusal to hand him the money to
pay for the photostating costs which prevented him from
withdrawing said documents from the photostat service. Anyway, he
had already advanced the expenses himself and turned over, on

December 13, 1961, the documents, their respective photostats and


the photostat service receipt to the fiscal. The fiscal found the
respondent's explanation satisfactory and recommended the
former's exoneration, on at most, that he be reprimanded only. The
Solicitor General, however, feels that respondent deserves at least a
severe reprimand considering (1) his failure to attend to the
complainants' pension claims for six years: (2) his failure to
immediately return the documents despite repeated demands upon
him, and (3) his failure to return to complainant Pasion, allegedly, all
of her documents.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Agustin Arcangel may be held administratively
liable for his actuation?

HELD:
NO. The court ruled that there is no clear preponderance of
evidence substantiating the complaint. However, since the
respondent counsel volunteered his professional services, he was
not legally entitled to recover fees. Moreover, this absence of
agreement of compensation as the counsel for Blanza and Pasion
does not strip him of the duty to attend to complainants claims with
all due diligence. His conduct must, perforce, be par excellence,
especially so when, as in this case, he volunteers his professional
services. It was unnecessary to have complainants wait, and hope,
for six long years on their pension claims. Upon their refusal to cooperate, respondent should have forthwith terminated their
professional relationship instead of keeping them hanging
indefinitely.

People v. Gaudencio Ingco


G.R. NO. L-32994

CANON NUMBER: Canon 14

FACTS:
Respondent Alfredo R. Barrios, a member of the Philippine Bar, who
was appointed counsel de oficio for the accused in this case,
Gaudencio Ingco, sentenced to death of September 28, 1970 for the
crime of rape with homicide, was required in a resolution of this

Court on September 9, 1971 to show cause within ten days why


disciplinary action should not be taken against him for having filed
fifteen days late a motion for the extension of time for submitting
the brief for appellant Ingco. The explanation came in a
manifestation of September 11, 1971. It was therein stated that
respondent "was then busy with take preparation of the brief of one
Benjamin Apelo" pending in the Court of Appeals; that while he had
made studies in preparation for the brief in this case, during such
period he had to appear before courts in Manila, Quezon City, Pasay
City, Bulacan and Pampanga; and that likewise he did file, on July
27, 1971, motions for extension in the aforesaid case of Benjamin
Apelo with the Court of Appeals, which motions were duly granted.
He would impress on this Court then that he was misled into
assuming that he had also likewise taken the necessary steps to file
a motion for extension of time for the submission of his brief in this
case by the receipt of the resolution from the Court of Appeals
granting him such extension.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Alfredo Barrios violated Canon 14 of Code of
Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
YES. The respondent counsel is woefully negligent considering that
the accused is fighting for his life, the least that could be expected
of a counsel de oficio is awareness of the period within which he was
required to file appellant's brief. The counsel has exhibited sheer
inattention tantamount to grave neglect of duty deserving of severe
condemnation. It is clearly unworthy of membership in the Bar
which requires dedication and zeal in the defense of his client's
rights, a duty even more exacting when one is counsel de oficio.

ABAQUETA v. FLORIDO
A.C. No. 5948, January 22, 2003
CANON NUMBER: Canon 14 (Rule 14.03)
FACTS: On November 28, 1983, Gamaliel Abaqueta, engaged the
professional

services

of

respondent.

Accordingly,

respondent

entered his appearance as counsel for herein complainant in Special


Proceedings No. 3971-R. Several years later, Milagros Yap Abaqueta
filed an action for sum of money against complainant docketed as
Civil Case No. CEB-11453. Herein respondent signed the Complaint
as counsel for plaintiff Milagros Abaqueta. The "parcels of land"
referred to as conjugal property of complainant and Milagros YapAbaqueta are the very same parcels of land in Special Proceedings
No. 3971-R which respondent, as lawyer of complainant, alleged as
the "sole and exclusive properties" of complainant. In short,
respondent lawyer made allegations in Civil Case No. CEB-11453
which were contrary to and in direct conflict with his averments as
counsel for complainant in Special Proceedings No. 3971-R.
ISSUE: WON Atty. Florido had sufficient and serious cause to decline
rendering legal service to Milagros Yap Abaqueta.
HELD: Yes. It is axiomatic that no lawyer is obliged to act either as
adviser or advocate for every person who may wish to become his
client. He has the right to decline such employment, subject,
however, to Canon 14 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Once he agrees to take up the cause of the client, the lawyer owes
fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and
confidence reposed in him. He must serve the client with
competence and diligence and champion the latter's cause with
wholehearted fidelity, care and devotion. A lawyer may not, without

being guilty of professional misconduct, act as counsel for a person


whose interest conflicts with that of his former client.
Respondent, indeed, had sufficient and serious cause in
declining to render his professional services to Milagros Abaqueta.
However, he asserted that the lapse of 8 years resulted in the
oversight of his memory that complainant was a former client. This
justification, nevertheless, does not excuse respondent from his
violation of Rule 14.03, further, Rule 15.03 against the prohibition
against representing conflicting interests.

IN RE: ATTY. LOPE E. ADRIANO


G.R. No. L-26868, February 27, 1969
CANON NUMBER: Canon 14
FACTS: RemegioEstebia was convicted of rape by the CFI of Samar,
and sentenced to suffer the capital punishment. On December 14,
1996, Lope E. Adriano, a member of the Bar, was appointed as
Estebias counsel de officio. He was required to prepare and file his
brief within thirty days from notice. However, despite extensions
given to him, no brief was filed. On September 25, 1967, Adriano
was ordered to show cause within ten days from notice thereof why
disciplinary action should not be taken against him for failure to file
appellant's brief despite the lapse of the time therefor. Adriano did
not bother to give any explanation.
ISSUE:WON Atty. Adriano, being appointed as counsel, may decline
to render professional aid to Estebia.
HELD:No. By specific authority, this Court may assign an attorney to
render professional aid to a destitute appellant in a criminal case
who is unable to employ an attorney. Correspondingly, a duty is
imposed upon the lawyer so assigned "to render the required
service" (Section 31, Rule 138, Rules of Court). A lawyer so
appointed "as counsel for an indigent prisoner," our Canons of
Professional Ethics demand, "should always exert his best efforts
and professional ability in behalf of the person assigned to his care.
His is to render effective assistance. In this case, no excuse at all

has been offered for non-presentation of appellants brief


The accused defendant expects of him due diligence, not
mere perfunctory representation. We do not accept the paradox that
responsibility is less where the defended party is poor. It has been
said that courts should "have no hesitancy in demanding high
standards of duty of attorneys appointed to defend indigent persons
charged with crime." For, indeed, a lawyer who is a vanguard in the
bastion of justice is expected to have a bigger dose of social
conscience and a little less of self- interest. Because of this, a lawyer
should remain ever conscious of his duties to the indigent he
defends.

CANON 14
Lames vs. Lascieras
89 SCRA 186, 1979
Facts:
Respondent was admitted to the bar in 1972, was charged by
Carmen Lames with negligence in handling the defense of her son in
a criminal case of the municipal court of Sariaya Quezon.
In the case of Petitioners son was accused of qualified theft
and she faulted that respondent Atty. Lascieras for not appearing at
the promulgation of the judgment although she gave him ten pesos
for transportation expenses.
Respondent lawyer in his answer to the charges alleged that
as counsel de oficio he secured a bail bond for the accused and he

has acted as one of the sureties and presented three witnesses for
the defense and he submitted a memorandum in behalf of Lames
after telling his mother that he need the transcript of stenographic
notes and could not attend to the promulgation of the judgment
because he had a hearing in the Circuit Criminal Court.
Issue: Whether or not respondent should be taken into disciplinary
actions?
Held: No, there is no basis for taking disciplinary action against the
respondent. His conduct as counsel de oficio was not characterized
by deceit, malpractice or gross misconduct and incompetence.
The possibility that a lawyer, more experienced and
competent that the respondent could have been defended
complainants son with more skill and ability is not ground for
holding that respondent is not fit to be a member of the bar.
Respondent absence at the promulgation of judgment is not
sufficient ground subjecting him to disciplinary actions.

People v. Daeng
49 SCRA 221
Facts:
The defendants were indicted for the crime of murder before
the Circuit Criminal Court holding sessions in Pasig, Rizal. They were
accused of killing another inmate hence they were charged for
murder.
Atty. Jose Galvan was appointed by the court as their counsel
de oficio. Guilty plea was initially pleaded by the by the three
accused. The trial court judge then issued a soul searching which
implies that the accused should have changed their plea. Ultimately,
the accused changed their plea from not guilty to guilty as they
were convicted and sentenced to death.
Issue:
Whether or not the conviction should be set aside?
Held: Yes, the accused were not afforded due processes and their
conviction is attended by dubious circumstances. A judge must
refrain from accepting with alacrity an accused plea of guilty, for
while justice demands a speedy administration, judges are duty
bound to be extra solicitous in seeing to it that when an accused

pleads guilty he understands fully the meaning of his plea and the
the import on an inevitable conviction.
On the other hand, the court noticed that Atty. Galvan has
been repeatedly assigned as counsel de oficio by the same trial
judge in other cases therein. The Supreme Court cautioned against
frequent appointment of the same attorney as counsel de oficio.

Canon 15
LETICIA GONZALES, vs. ATTY. MARCELINO CABUCANA
A.C. No. 6836
January 23, 2006
Facts:
On January 8, 2004, Gonzales filed a petition before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) alleging that: she was the
complainant in a case for sum of money and damages filed before
the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Santiago City, she was
represented by the law firm CABUCANA, CABUCANA, DE GUZMAN
AND CABUCANA LAW OFFICE, with Atty. Edmar Cabucana handling
the case and herein respondent as an associate/partner. A decision
was rendered in the civil case ordering the losing party to pay
Gonzales the amount of P17,310.00 with interest and P6,000.00 as
attorney's fees. Sheriff Romeo Gatcheco, failed to fully implement
the writ of execution issued in connection with the judgment which
prompted Gonzales to file a complaint against the said sheriff with
this Court; in September 2003, Sheriff Gatcheco and his wife went to
the house of Gonzales; they harassed Gonzales and asked her to
execute an affidavit of desistance regarding her complaint before
this Court; Gonzalesthereafter filed against the Gatchecos criminal
cases for trespass, grave threats, grave oral defamation, simple
coercion and unjust vexation; notwithstanding the pendency of the
civil case, where respondent's law firm was still representing
Gonzales, herein respondent represented the Gatchecos in the
cases filed by Gonzales against the said spouses; respondent should
be disbarred from the practice of law since respondent's acceptance
of the cases of the Gatchecos violates the lawyer-client relationship
between complainant and respondent's law firm and renders
respondent liable under the Code of Professional Responsibility
(CPR) particularly Rules 10.01, 13.01, 15.02, 15.03, 21.01 and
21.02. In his Answer, respondent averred: He never appeared and
represented complainant in Civil Case No. 1-567 since it was his
brother, Atty. Edmar Cabucana who appeared and represented

Gonzales in said case. He admitted that he is representing Sheriff


Gatcheco and his wife in the cases filed against them but claimed
that his appearance is pro bono and that the spouses pleaded with
him as no other counsel was willing to take their case. He entered
his appearance in good faith and opted to represent the spouses
rather than leave them defenseless. The civil case filed by Gonzales
where respondents brother served as counsel is different and
distinct from the criminal cases filed by complainant against the
Gatcheco spouses, thus, he did not violate any canon on legal
ethics. Gonzales filed a Reply contending that the civil case handled
by respondents brother is closely connected with the cases of the
Gatchecos which the respondent is handling; that the claim of
respondent that he is handling the cases of the spouses pro bono is
not true since he has his own agenda in offering his services to the
spouses; and that the allegation that she is filing the cases against
the spouses because she is being used by a powerful person is not
true since she filed the said cases out of her own free will.
Commissioner Demaree Raval of the IBP-CBD then directed both
parties to file their respective verified position papers.
Commissioner Reyes submitted his Report and Recommendation,
portions of which are quoted hereunder: The Undersigned
Commissioner believes that the respondent made a mistake in the
acceptance of the administrative case of Romeo Gatcheco, however,
the Commission (sic) believes that there was no malice and bad
faith in the said acceptance and this can be shown by the move of
the complainant to unilaterally withdraw the case which she filed
against Atty. Marcelino C. Cabucana, Jr. However, Atty. Cabucana is
reminded to be more careful in the acceptance of cases as conflict
of interests might arise. It is respectfully recommended that Atty.
Marcelino C. Cabucana, Jr. (be) sternly warned and reprimanded and
advised to be more circumspect and careful in accepting cases
which might result in conflict of interests. Respondent did not only
represent the Gatcheco spouses in the administrative case filed by
Gonzales against them. As respondent himself narrated in his
Position Paper, he likewise acted as their counsel in the criminal
cases filed by Gonzales against them.

Issue:
Whether or not Cabucana violated 15.03 of Canon 15 of the CPR.

Held:
YES. Rule 15.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interest
except by written consent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of the facts. It is well-settled that a lawyer is barred from
representing conflicting interests except by written consent of all

concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Such prohibition


is founded on principles of public policy and good taste as the
nature of the lawyer-client relations is one of trust and confidence of
the highest degree. Lawyers are expected not only to keep inviolate
the clients confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of
treachery and double-dealing for only then can litigants be
encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of
paramount importance in the administration of justice. The claim of
respondent that there is no conflict of interests in this case, as the
civil case handled by their law firm where Gonzales is the
complainant and the criminal cases filed by Gonzales against the
Gatcheco spouses are not related, has no merit. The representation
of opposing clients in said cases, though unrelated, constitutes
conflict of interests or, at the very least, invites suspicion of doubledealing which this Court cannot allow. Respondent further argued
that it was his brother who represented Gonzales in the civil case
and not him, thus, there could be no conflict of interests. We do not
agree. As respondent admitted, it was their law firm which
represented Gonzales in the civil case. Such being the case, the rule
against representing conflicting interests applies. His claim that he
could not turn down the spouses as no other lawyer is willing to take
their case cannot prosper as it is settled that while there may be
instances where lawyers cannot decline representation they cannot
be made to labor under conflict of interest between a present client
and a prospective one. We shall consider however as mitigating
circumstances the fact that he is representing the Gatcheco spouses
pro bono and that it was his firm and not respondent personally.

LIM-SANTIAGO v. ATTY. SAGUCIO


A.C. No. 6705,
March 31, 2006
Facts:
Ruthie Lim-Santiago (complainant) is the daughter of Alfonso Lim

and Special Administratrix of his estate. Alfonso Lim is a stockholder


and the former President of Taggat Industries, Inc. Atty. Carlos B.
Sagucio (respondent) was the former Personnel Manager and
Retained Counsel of Taggat Industries, Inc. until his appointment as
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Tuguegarao, Cagayan in 1992.
Sometime in July 1997, 21 employees of Taggat (Taggat employees)
filed a criminal complaint alleging that complainant withheld
payment of their salaries and wages without valid cause from 1 April
1996 to 15 July 1997. Respondent, as Assistant Provincial
Prosecutor, was assigned to conduct the preliminary investigation.
Respondent is now charged with violation of Rule 15.03 of the CPR.
Complainant contends that respondent is guilty of representing
conflicting interests. Respondent, being the former Personnel
Manager and Retained Counsel of Taggat, knew the operations of
Taggat very well. Respondent should have inhibited himself from
hearing, investigating and deciding the case filed by Taggat
employees. Furthermore, complainant claims that respondent
instigated the filing of the cases and even harassed and threatened
Taggat employees to accede and sign an affidavit to support the
complaint. Respondent refutes complainants allegations and
counters that complainant was merely aggrieved by the resolution
of the criminal complaint which was adverse and contrary to her
expectation. IBP Commissioner Funas Report and Recommendation
(Report) finding respondent guilty of conflict of interests, failure to
safeguard a former clients interest, and violating the prohibition
against the private practice of law while being a government
prosecutor. The IBP Board of Governors recommended the
imposition of a penalty of three years suspension from the practice
of law.
Issue:
Whether or not Respondent violated rule 15.03 of the CPR.
Held:
NO. The Court exonerates respondent from the charge of
violation of Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. In
Quiambao v. Bamba, the Court enumerated various tests to
determine conflict of interests. One test of inconsistency of interests
is whether the lawyer will be asked to use against his former client
any confidential information acquired through their connection or
previous employment.[ In essence, what a lawyer owes his former
client is to maintain inviolate the clients confidence or to refrain
from doing anything which will injuriously affect him in any matter in
which he previously represented him. In the present case, we find
no conflict of interests when respondent handled the preliminary
investigation of the criminal complaint filed by Taggat employees in
1997. The issue in the criminal complaint pertains to non-payment
of wages that occurred from 1 April 1996 to 15 July 1997. Clearly,

respondent was no longer connected with Taggat during that period


since he resigned sometime in 1992. Evidence must be presented to
prove that respondent used against Taggat, his former client, any
confidential information acquired through his previous employment.
The fact alone that respondent was the former Personnel Manager
and Retained Counsel of Taggat and the case he resolved as
government prosecutor was labor-related is not a sufficient basis to
charge respondent for representing conflicting interests. A lawyers
immutable duty to a former client does not cover transactions that
occurred beyond the lawyers employment with the client. The intent
of the law is to impose upon the lawyer the duty to protect the
clients interests only on matters that he previously handled for the
former client and not for matters that arose after the lawyer-client
relationship has terminated. Further, complainant failed to present a
single iota of evidence to prove her allegations. Thus, respondent is
not guilty of violating Rule 15.03 of the Code.

Northwestern University Inc. v. Arquillo


[Adm. Case No. 6632, August 2, 2005]

CANON 15- a lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty in


all his dealings and transactions with his client.
Rule 15.03- a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests
except by written consent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of facts.

FACTS:
In a consolidated case before the National Labor Relations
Commission, herein respondent has been alleged to have
engaged in conflicting interests. Complainant alleges that
respondent represented and acted as counsel for both
complainants and respondent in the same consolidated case. In
the evidence presented by the complainants it was shown that
on August 12, 1997 as a counsel for one of the respondents in a
consolidated case a Motion to dismiss was submitted by him
before the NLRC of San Fernando, La Union. After 16 days,
respondent filed a Complainants consolidated position paper as
representative and counsel for some of the complainants.
Respondent both failed to file his answer to the complaint
and attend the hearings. However he tried to justify his acts in

his motion for reconsideration, citing the judgment of the labor


arbiter, on the consolidated cases, wherein the respondent that
he represented was absolved from the case. Thus leading him to
believe that both complainant and the respondent that he was
representing were on the same boat.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent has engaged in conflicting
interests.

HELD:
Yes. Respondent has engaged in conflicting interests. Canon
15 of the Code of Professional Responsibilities requires a lawyer
to observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all their dealings and
transactions with their clients. Rule 15.03 states that they shall
not represent conflicting interests, except with the concerned
clients written consent given after a full disclosure of facts. In
this case respondent has acted as counsel for opposing parties
and protected his other client in the position paper of the other
party, violating rule 15.03.

Bergonia v. Merrera
[Adm. Case No. 5024, February 20, 2003]

CANON 15- a lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all
his dealings and transactions with his client.
Rule 15.05- a lawyer when advising his client, shall give candid
and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the clients
case, neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case.

FACTS:
Merrera was complainants counsel in a civil case which she
appealed to the Court of Appeals. This was for the quieting of
title against complainants niece, spouses Parayno and their
minor child. The Regional Trial Court of UrdanetaPangasinan
favored the Paraynofamily, upon appeal the CA affirmed the
decision of the RTC. Since the land was still in complainants
possession, another civil case was filed by Parayno in order to
recover possession. Complainant, herein, was ordered to vacate
said lot. Complainant appealed the judgment of RT. Respondent,
herein, was asked to file a Brief on December 17, 1997.
Respondent failed to do so, despite the extended time given by
the court due to the two motions for extention of time to file
brief and Opposition to the Motion for the Execution and
Demolition. During the investigation, respondent said that he
tried to convince complainant not to file an appeal, but she did
not heed him.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent was negligent in the performance
of his duties as counsel.

HELD:
Yes. Respondent was negligent in the performance of his
duties as a counsel. Rule 12.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility requires all members of the Bar to observe the
following: a lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time
to file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse

without submitting the same or offering an explanation for his


failure to do so. His claims of trying to persuade complainant
from not filing an appeal was unacceptable, since he filed two
motions for extension of time and an opposition to the motion for
execution. His actions belie his claims.
Rule 15.05 requires that a lawyer when advising his client
shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and
probable results of the case, neither overstating nor understating
the prospects of the case. He should have dissuaded her
accordingly.
Rule 18.03 requires that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal
matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection
therewith, renders him liable.

CANON 15
JULIAN PENILLA vs. ATTY. QUINTIN P. ALCID, JR.
A.C. No. 9149, September 4, 2013

CANON NUMBER: Canon 15

FACTS:
Complainant Julian Penilla entered into an agreement with Spouses
Rey and Evelyn Garin (the spouses) for the repair of his Volkswagen
automobile. Despite full payment, the spouses defaulted in their
obligation. Thus, complainant decided to file a case for breach of
contract against the spouses where he engaged the services of
respondent as counsel. Respondent sent a letter demanding a
refund of complainants payment. When the spouses failed to do so,
respondent advised that complainant would file a criminal case of
estafa against the spouses. Complainant asserts having made
numerous and unsuccessful attempts to follow-up the status of the
case and meet with respondent at his office. He admits, however,
that in one instance he was able to talk to respondent who told him
that the case was not progressing because the spouses could not be
located. In the same meeting, respondent asked complainant to
determine the whereabouts of the spouses. Complainant returned to
respondents office on January 24, 2005, but because respondent
was not around, complainant left with respondents secretary a
letter regarding the possible location of the spouses. Respondent

explained that it was not a matter of indifference on his part when


he failed to inform petitioner of the status of the case. In fact, he
was willing to return the money and the documents of complainant.
What allegedly prevented him from communicating with
complainant was the fact that complainant would go to his office
during days and times that he would be attending his daily court
hearings.

ISSUE: WON respondent is guilty of violating Canon 15 of the Code


of Prof. Responsibility?

HELD:
NO.Complainant was only able to prove respondents violation of
Canons 17 and 18, and Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, and the Lawyers Oath. Complainant
failed to substantiate his claim that respondent violated Canon 15
and Rule 15.06 of the Code of Professional Responsibility when
respondent allegedly instructed him to give a bottle of Carlos
Primero I to Asst. City Prosecutor Fortuno in order to get a favorable
decision. Similarly, complainant was not able to present evidence
that respondent indeed violated Rule 16.01 of Canon 16 by allegedly
collecting money from him in excess of the required filing fees.

Atty. Quintin P. Alcid, Jr, respondent, is hereby found GUILTY of gross


misconduct for violating Canons 17 and 18, and Rules 18.03 and
18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, as well as the
Lawyers Oath. This Court hereby imposes upon respondent the
penalty of SUSPENSION from the practice of law for a period of SIX
(6) MONTHS to commence immediately upon receipt of this
Decision.

ALMIRA C. FORONDA, vs. ATTY. JOSE L. ALVAREZ, JR.


A.C. No. 9976, June 25, 2014 [Formerly CBD Case No. 09-2539]

CANON NUMBER: Canon 15

FACTS:
The complainant (FORONDA) is an overseas Filipino worker in Dubai.
In May 2008, she returned to the Philippines to institute a case for

the nullification of her marriage. The respondent (ALVAAREZ) was


referred to her and the complainant agreed to engage his services
for a fee of P195,000.00 to be paid as follows: 50% or P100,000.00
upon the signing of the contract; 25% or P50,000.00 on or before
June 10, 2008; and 25% or P45,000.00 before the filing of the
case.3The complainant paid the amounts as agreed. After being
informed by the respondent that the petition for the annulment of
marriage was ready for filing, the amount of P45,000.00 was paid.
The complainant averred that the respondent promised to file the
petition after he received the full payment of his attorneys fee, or
on June 11, 2008. After a series of updates regarding the said case,
complainant found out that it was only filed on July 16, 2009.

In June 2008, respondent obtained [P]200,000.00 from complainant


with the promise to pay the same with interest at 4% per month
starting July 2008 until June 2009. Respondent issued complainant
eleven (11) checks for [P]8,000.00 each postdated checks monthly
from 10 July 2008 until 10 May 2009 plus a check for [P]108,000.00
payable on 10 June 2009 and another check for [P]100,000.00
payable on 8 June 2009. When presented for payment, the first two
(2) checks were good but the rest of the checks were dishonored for
being drawn against a closed account. When complainant
demanded payment, respondent issued to her eight (8) new
replacement postdated checks dated 25th of every month from June
2009 to January 2010. All of the replacement checks, however, were
likewise dishonored for being drawn against a closed account. When
respondent was unable to pay respondent, complainant filed a
criminal complaint against him for violation of BP 22 before the
Office of the City Prosecutor of Muntinlupa. The criminal complaint
was eventually dismissed after complainant executed an affidavit of
desistance after she was paid a certain amount by respondent.

ISSUE:
WON respondent is guilty of violating canon 15, 17 and 18 of the
code of prof. responsibility?

HELD:
YES."[a] lawyer, by taking the lawyers oath, becomes a guardian of
the law and an indispensable instrument for the orderly
administration of justice." It was established that the complainant
engaged the professional services of the respondent. She expected
the immediate filing of the petition for the nullity of her marriage
after the full payment of attorneys fees on June 10, 2008. However,
the respondent filed the said petition only on July 16, 2009. The

respondent gave out different reasons for the delay in an attempt to


exculpate himself. At the end, the respondent admitted the delay
and apologized for it. It cannot be gainsaid that the complainant
through her agent was diligent in following up the petition. The
different excuses proffered by the respondent also show his lack of
candor in his dealings with the complainant. The respondents act of
issuing worthless checks is a violation of Rule 1.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which requires that "a lawyer shall not
engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.".
"[T]he issuance of checks which were later dishonored for having
been drawn against a closed account indicates a lawyers unfitness
for the trust and confidence reposed on him, shows such lack of
personal honesty and good moral character as to render him
unworthy of public confidence, and constitutes a ground for
disciplinary action.

This Court finds that the respondent is liable for violation of Canons
15,17, Rule 18.04, and Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Respondent Atty. Jose L. Alvarez, Jr. is SUSPENDED
FOR SIX (6) MONTHS from the practice of law with a stem warning
that a repetition of any of the offenses involved in this case or a
commission of similar acts will merit a more severe penalty.

ROSACIA v. BULALACAO
A.C. No. 3745, October 2, 1995
CANON NUMBER:Canon 15 (Rule No. 15.01)
FACTS:On June 1, 1990, by virtue of a written Agreement,
respondent Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao was hired as retained
counsel of a corporation by the name of TacmaPhils., Inc.
On October 31, 1990, the lawyer-client relationship between
the respondent and TacmaPhils., Inc. was severed as shown by
another agreement of even date.
On July, 1991, or after almost nine (9) months from the date
respondent's retainer agreement with Tacma, Phils., Inc. was
terminated, several employees of the corporation consulted the
respondent for the purpose of filing an action for illegal dismissal.
Thereafter, he agreed to handle the case for the said employees as
against Tacma, Phils., Inc. by filing a complaint before the National
Labor Relations Commission, and appearing in their behalf.

ISSUE:WON respondent breached his oath of office for representing


the employees of his former client, TacmaPhils., Inc., after the
termination of their attorney-client relationship.
HELD: Yes. The Court reiterates that an attorney owes loyalty to his
client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also
after the relation of attorney and client has terminated as it is not
good practice to permit him afterwards to defend in another case
other person against his former client under the pretext that the
case is distinct from, and independent of the former case. The
relationship of attorney and client is one of confidence and trust in
the highest degree.
Respondents plea for leniency cannot be granted. A lawyer
starting to establish his stature in the legal profession must start
right and dutifully abide by the norms of conduct of the profession.

SANTOS VENTURA HOCORMA FOUNDATION v. FUNK


A.C. 9094, August 15, 2012
CANON NUMBER: Canon 15 (Rule 15.03)
FACTS: Atty. Richard V. Funk used to work as corporate secretary,
counsel, chief executive officer, and trustee of Santos Ventura
Hocorma Foundation from 1983 to 1985. He also served as its
counsel in several criminal and civil cases.
On November 25, 2006, Atty. Funk filed an action for quieting
of title and damages against Hocorma Foundation on behalf of
Mabalacat Institute, Inc. Atty. Funk did so, according to the
foundation, using information that he acquired while serving as its
counsel in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR)
and in breach of attorney-client relationship. As a defense, Atty.
Funk contended that he was hired by Mabalacat Institute by Don
Teodoro Santos in 1982 to serve as director and legal counsel. He

emphasized that, in all these, the attorney-client relationship was


always between Santos and him. He was more of Santos personal
lawyer than the lawyer of Hocorma Foundation. Santos left for
America to get medical treatment. The former and Atty. Funk agreed
that the latter would be paid for his legal services out of the
properties that Santos donated or sold to the Hocorma Foundation.
After Santos died, respondent was elected President of Mabalacat
Institute. However, the foundation later refused to pay Atty. Funks
fees, thus he severed his ties with Hocorma. Four year later, he filed
a suit against the foundation.
ISSUE: WON Atty. Funk betrayed the trust and confidence of a
former client in violation of the CPR when he filed several actions
against such client on behalf of a new one.
HELD:Yes. Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the CPR provides that a lawyer
cannot represent conflicting interests except by written consent of
all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Here, it is
undeniable that Atty. Funk was formerly the legal counsel of
Hocorma Foundation. Years after terminating his relationship with
the foundation, he filed a complaint against it on behalf of another
client, the Mabalacat Institute, without the foundation's written
consent. An attorney may not, without being guilty of professional
misconduct, act as counsel for a person whose interest conflicts with
that of his present or former client. This rule is so absolute that good
faith and honest intention on the erring lawyer's part does not make
it inoperative.
IN RE: ATTY MELCHOR E. RUSTE
Adm. Case No. 632, June 27, 1940
CANON NUMBER: Canon 16
FACTS: Atty. MelchorRuste appeared for and represented, as
counsel, the San Juan spouses in a cadastral case filed with the CFI
of Zamboanga. The spouses claimed lot No. 3765; and as a result of
said proceedings, an undivided eleven-twentieth (11/20) share of
said lot was adjudicated to them.

Ruste demanded for his fees but the couple did not have
enough money to pay him so he asked them to execute in his favor
a contract of lease and a contract of sale, of their share of Lot No.
3764, intending to apply a portion of the would-be proceeds as
payment for his fees. The spouses complied, although in fact and in
truth, they received neither of the considerations in said contracts.
By virtue of the deeds of sale executed by Atty. Ruste, Ong Chua has
taken possession of said 11/20 share in Lot No. 3764. The PhP370
payment of Chua of the lot through Ruste never reached the hands
of the San Juan couple.
ISSUE:WON Atty. Ruste committed malpractice.
HELD:Yes. There is evidence to show that the respondent has failed
to account to the aggrieved spouses for the various amounts
received by him on account of the transactions effected by him
pertaining to the portion of lot No. 3764. For having improperly
acquired the property mentioned above; which property was then
the subject matter of a judicial proceeding, in which he was counsel,
the respondent is found guilty of malpractice and is hereby
suspended for a period of one year, reserving to the complainant
and his spouse such action as may be proper for the recovery of
such amount or amounts as may be due from the respondent.

CANON 15
Nakpil vs. Valdes
A.C. No. 2040, March 4, 1998
Facts:
Jose Nakpil was the husband of the complainant, became
interested in purchasing a summer residence in Moran St. Baguio
City. Due to the reasons of insufficient funds, he then requested
Valdes, respondent to purchase the Moran Property for him. They
agreed that respondent would keep the property in thrust for the

Nakpils until the latter could buy it back .


In respect to their agreement, Atty. Valdes obtained two loans
from a bank which he used to purchase and renovate the said
summer residence and the title was then issued on respondents
name.
When Jose Nakpil died the ownership of the Moran estate
became an issue in the intestate proceedings. Respondent then
acted as legal counsel and accountant of his widow. Atty. Valdes
then excluded the property from the inventory of the deceased and
transferred his title to his company, the Caval Realty Corporation.
Issue: Whether or not there was conflict of interest between the
respondent Atty. Valdes and the complainant?
Held: Yes, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law
for one year. There is clearly a conflict of interest between the
interest of the estate which stands as the debtor and that of the two
claimants who are creditors of the estate.
Respondent undoubtedly placed his law firm in a position
where his loyalty to his client could be doubted. In the intestate
proceedings the duty of the respondents law firm was to contest
the claims of these two creditors which claims were prepared by
respondents accounting firm. It was respondents duty to inhibit
either of his firms from said proceedings to avoid the probability of
conflict of interest.

Maturan vs. Gonzales


AC no. 2597, March 12 1998
Facts:
Petitioner was instituted as an attorney in fact through an SPA
by his mother and father in law to file ejectment cases and criminal
cases against illegal settlers occupying a certain lot. Respondent,
Atty. Gonzales prepared and notarized the SPA and engaged
respondent as counsel for the ejectment cases.
The said lot was registered in the name of a a certain
CelestinoYoukingko, Antonio Casquejo had however, instituted a
case for reconveyance of property and declaration of nullity against
the former and respondent filed a case of Forcible Entry and
Damages and judgment was rendered on their favor as a writ of

execution was issued.


While the writ of execution was pending and without
withdrawing as counsel for Maturan, Atty. Gonzales filed in behalf of
Yokingko an action to annul the judgment rendered in the previous
case due to lack of authority on the part of Maturan to represent
Casquejo couple.
An administrative complaint was filed against respondent Atty.
Gonzales for immoral, unethical, and anomalous acts and asked for
his disbarment.
Respondent denied allegations and he contended that he was
on the belief that filing a motion for issuance of a writ of execution
was the last and final act in the lawyer-client relationship between
himself and petitioner.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Gonzales is guilty of representing
conflicting interests?
Held: Yes, respondent was suspended for 2 years. It is improper for a
lawyer to appear as counsel for one party against the adverse party
who is his client in a related suit, as a lawyer is prohibited from
representing conflicting interest is in good faith and with honest
intention on the part of the lawyer does not make the prohibition
inoperative.

ERLINDA R. TAROG vs. ATTY. ROMULO L. RICAFORT


A.C. No. 8253
March 15, 2011
CANON 16
Facts: In 1992, the Tarogs went to see Atty. Ricafort regarding their
bank-foreclosed property. Respondent required the Tarogs to pay
P7,000.00 as filing fee and explained the importance of depositing
P65,000.00 in court to counter the P60,000.00 deposited by the
buyer of the foreclosed property. On November 7, 1992, the P
65,000.00 was delivered when Arnulfo Tarog said that he had first to
encash the check, respondent persuaded Arnulfo that he will be the
one to en cash it and deposit the amount in court. The Tarogs
visited respondent for updates but they were informed that he had
not deposited the amount in court, but in his own account. He
promised to return the money, plus interest. Despite several
inquiries about when the amount would be returned petitioner
received mere assurances from respondent. Arnulfo then demanded

in his letter dated December 3, 2002 toreturn the P 65, 000.00 plus
interest, and the P 15, 000.00 paid for the filling of the
memorandum.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Ricaforts act constitutes a grave
violation of the Code of Professional responsibility.
Held: Yes, Atty. Romulo Ricafort is guilty of grave misconduct in
dealing with the Tarogs by violating Canon 16 and Canon 17 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and disbar him. As a lawyer he
was required to hold in trust any money and property of his clients
that was in his possession, and is needed to be always mindful of
the trust and confidence his clients reposed in him. Thus, having
obtained the funds from the Tarogs in the course of his professional
employment, he had the obligation to deliver such funds to his
clients. Respondent is ordered to return to Erlinda R. Tarog the sums
of P65,000.00 and P15,000.00, plus interest of six percent per
annum reckoned from the demand made on December 3, 2002,
within twenty days from notice.

CANON 16
MENESES v. MACALINO
A.C. No. 6651
February 27, 2006

FACTS:
Complainant Eduardo P. Meneses alleged that sometime in March
1993, respondent Atty. Rodolfo P. Macalino offered his legal services
to complainant to help secure the release of complainants car from
the Bureau of Customs. Respondent proposed to handle the case for
a package deal of P60,000. Complainant agreed and initially gave
respondent P10,000 for processing of the papers. In June 1993,
respondent asked for P30,000 to expedite the release of the car. In

both instances, respondent did not issue a receipt but promised to


furnish complainant with a receipt from the Bureau of Customs.
Since then, respondent failed to give complainant an update on the
matter. Complainant repeatedly went to respondents house to
inquire on the status of the release of the car. Complainant was
always told that respondent was not around and to just return
another day. This went on for more than a year. In April 1994,
complainant went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to
file a complaint for estafa against respondent. On 22 January 1996,
the NBI, through Director Mariano M. Mison, found insufficient
evidence to prosecute respondent for estafa. Nevertheless, the NBI
advised complainant to file a complaint for disbarment
againstrespondent.
Commissioner
Funas
Report
and
Recommendation finding respondent guilty of violating the Code of
Professional Responsibility. The IBP Board
of Governors
recommended the imposition on respondent of a penalty of one year
suspension from the practice of law.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent violated Canon 16 of the CPR.
HELD:
The Court finds respondent liable for violation of Canon 16, Rule
16.01, Rule 16.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The
Code mandates that every lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and
properties of his client that may come into his possession. The Code
further states that [a] lawyer shall account for all money or property
collected or received for or from the client. Furthermore, [a] lawyer
shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due and upon
demand. When a lawyer receives money from the client for a
particular purpose, the lawyer is bound to render an accounting to
the client showing that the money was spent for the intended
purpose. Consequently, if the lawyer does not use the money for the
intended purpose, the lawyer must immediately return the money to
the client. Respondent specifically received the P40,000 for his legal
services and for the processing fee to facilitate the release of
complainants car. Since respondent failed to render any legal
service to complainant and he also failed to secure the cars release,
respondent should have promptly accounted for and returned the
money to complainant. But even after demand, respondent did not
return the money. Again, respondent waited until complainant filed a
complaint with the NBI before he refunded the P20,000. Even then,
respondent failed to return the balance of P20,000 as he promised.
Respondents failure to return the money to complainant upon
demand is conduct indicative of lack of integrity and propriety and a
violation of the trust reposed on him. Respondents unjustified
withholding of money belonging to the complainant warrants the
imposition of disciplinary action.

CELAJE v. SORIANO
A.C. No. 7418
October 9, 2007
FACTS:
Complainant Andrea Balce Celaje alleged that respondent Atty.
Santago C. Soriano asked for money to be put up as an injunction
bond, which complainant found out later, however, to be
unnecessary as the application for the writ was denied by the trial
court. Respondent also asked for money on several occasions
allegedly to spend for or to be given to the judge handling their
case, Judge Milagros Quijano. When complainant approached Judge
Quijano and asked whether what respondent was saying was true,
Judge Quijano outrightly denied the allegations and advised her to
file an administrative case against respondent. In his Answer,
respondent denied the charges against him and averred that the
same were merely concocted by complainant to destroy his
character. He also contended that it was complainant who boasted
that she is a professional fixer in administrative agencies as well as
in the judiciary; and that complainant promised to pay him large
amounts of attorneys fees which complainant however did not keep.
In the Report and Recommendation dated January 24, 2006, IBPCommission on Bar Discipline Commissioner Dennis A.B. Funa found
respondent guilty of Gross Misconduct in his relations with his client
and recommended that respondent be suspended for three years
from the practice of law.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent violated Canon 16 of the CPR
HELD:
YES. The Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), particularly
Canon 16 thereof, mandates that a lawyer shall hold in trust all
moneys and properties of his client that may come into his
possession. He shall account for all money or property collected or
received from his client and shall deliver the funds and property of
his client when due or upon demand. it was established that
respondent could not account for P5,800.00 which was part of the
sum given by complainant to him for the purpose of filing an
injunctive bond. Respondent admitted having received from
complainant P17,800.00 on April 19, 2002 for the preliminary
injunction and admitted to having a balance of P9,000.00 in his
promissory note to the Manila Insurance Co., Inc. dated April 23,

2002, which was reduced to P5,800.00 by reason of an additional


payment of P4,000.00, leaving an amount of P5,800.00 unaccounted
for. Respondents failure to return the money to complainant upon
demand gave rise to the presumption that he misappropriated it for
his own use to the prejudice of, and in violation of the trust reposed
in him by his client.

Bautista v. Gonzales
Adm. Case No. 1625, February 12, 1990

CANON 16-a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of
his client that may come into his possession.
Rule 16.04- a lawyer shall not borrow money from his client
unless the clients interest are fully protected by the nature of the
case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to
a client except, when in the interest of justice, he has to advance
necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.

FACTS:
Complainant charged herein respondent Atty. Gonzales with
malpractice, deceit, gross misconduct and violation of lawyers
oath. The court required respondent to answer the charges
against him, and on June 19, 1976 a motion for a bill of
particulars asking the court to order complainant to amend his
complaint by making his charges more definite. On July 15, 1976
complainant submitted an amended complaint for disbarment.
Among the alleged charges by complainant against
respondent are the accepting of a case with his clients and him
agreeing to a contingent fee of 50% of the value of the property
in litigation and filing of various cases to harass complainant and
acting as counsel to defendants of civil case no. Q-15143 in Civil
Case No. Q-15490, while he acted as counsel for the
complainants in Case No. Q-15143.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the agreement on the contingent fee


between the respondent and his previous clients amount to a
contradiction of one the Rules of the Canons of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. The court finds the agreement made by respondent with
his client regarding the contingent fee, contrary to rule 16.04 of
the code. A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless
the clients interests are fully protected by the nature of the case
or by independent advise. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a
client except when in the interest of justice, he has to advance
necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for his
client. However, this is subject to reimbursement, in the
agreement made by respondent and his client, the
reimbursement was not provided. Thus violating said rule.

Agot v. Rivera
[Adm. Case No. 8000, August 5, 2014]
CANON 16- a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of
his client that may come into his possession.
Rule 16.01- a lawyer shall account for all money or property
collected or received for or from client.
Rule 16.03- a lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his
client when due or upon demand. However, he shall have lien over
the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to
satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly
thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent
on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as
provided for in the Rules of Court.

FACTS:
Complainant hired respondent Atty. Rivera to facilitate the
issuance of her United States Visa because the latter
represented himself as an immigration lawyer. On November 17,
2007, they entered into a contract of legal services. Complainant
paid respondent 350,000 pesos as a down payment for the
service. As a part of their agreement, if ever complainants
application was denied for reasons other than her absence on
the day of the interview or records for criminal action or any
court issued hold departure order, respondent is obliged to
return said down payment.
Respondent failed to perform his undertaking within the
agreed period and complainant was not even scheduled for
interview. Complainant demanded the refund of the down
payment, but respondent was not able to do so. Thus this
administrative case. During the investigation it was found that
respondent was not a immigration lawyer and his failure to
comply with his obligation can be attributed to the pretenses of
a certain Rico Pineda, who believed to be a consul for U.S.
embassy.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is liable for violation of the Code
of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:

Yes. Respondent is liable for violating several canons and


rules of the Code. Canon 1- a lawyer shall uphold the
Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for
law and legal processes. Rule 1.01 states that a lawyer shall not
engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
Respondent misrepresented himself as an immigration lawyer,
resulting to complainant seeking his assistance in the facilitation
of the issuance of her U.S. visa. Canon 18- a lawyer shall serve
his client with competence and diligence. Rule 18.03- a lawyer
shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his
negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. Once
a lawyer takes up a the cause of his client, he is duty bound to
serve him with competence, whether it was accepted for a fee or
for free. Canon 16- a lawyer shall hold in trust all money and
properties of his clients that may come into his possession. Rule
16.01- a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected
or received for or from the client. Rule 16.03- a lawyer shall
deliver the funds and property of his clients when due or upon
demand.
Respondent violated Canon 16 and its rules when he failed to
refund the amount paid by complainant. Respondent was
suspended for a period of 20years.
CANON 16
SUZETTE DEL MUNDO, vs. ATTY. ARNEL C. CAPISTRANO
A.C. No. 6903, April 16, 2012

CANON NUMBER: Canon 16

FACTS:
On January 8, 2005, Suzette and her friend Ricky S. Tuparan
(Tuparan) engaged the legal services of Atty. Capistrano to handle
the judicial declaration of nullity of their respective marriages
allegedly for a fee of PhP140,000.00 each. On the same date, a
Special Retainer Agreement2 was entered into by and between
Suzette and Atty. Capistrano which required an acceptance fee of
PhP30,000.00, appearance fee of PhP2,500.00 per hearing and
another PhP2,500.00 per pleading. In addition, Atty. Capistrano
allegedly advised her to prepare amounts for the following
expenses:Php 11,000 for filng fees; Php 5000 for Summons; Php
15,000 for Fiscal; 30,000 for Psychiatrist; and Php 15,000 for
Commissioner. In accordance with their agreement, Suzette gave
Atty. Capistrano the total amount of PhP78, 500.00. For every
payment that Suzette made, she would inquire from Atty. Capistrano

on the status of her case. In response, the latter made her believe
that the two cases were already filed before the Regional Trial Court
of Malabon City and awaiting notice of hearing. Sometime in July
2005, when she could hardly reach Atty. Capistrano, she verified her
case from the Clerk of Court of Malabon and discovered that while
the case of Tuparan had been filed on January 27, 2005, no petition
has yet been filed for her. on July 28, 2005, where she demanded
the refund of the total amount of PhP78,500.00, but Atty. Capistrano
instead offered to return the amount of PhP63,000.00 on staggered
basis claiming to have incurred expenses in the filing of Tuparans
case, to which she agreed. However, Atty. Capistrano only returned
the amount of PhP5,000.00 on August 15, 2005 and thereafter,
refused to communicate with her, prompting the institution of this
administrative complaint on September 7, 2005.

ISSUE:
WON Atty. Capistrano
Responsibility?

violated

the

Code

of

Professional

HELD:
YES.Atty. Capistrano committed acts in violation of his sworn duty as
a member of the bar. In his Manifestation and Petition for Review, 12
he himself admitted liability for his failure to act on Suzettes case as
well as to account and return the funds she entrusted to him. He
only pleaded for the mitigation of his penalty citing the lack of
intention to breach his lawyers oath; that this is his first offense; and
that his profession is the only means of his and his familys
livelihood. Commissioner Quisumbing and the IBP-CBD Board of
Governors correctly recommended the appropriate penalty of one
year suspension from the practice of law for violating the pertinent
provisions of the Canons of Professional Responsibility, thus: CANON
16 a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client
that may come into his possession. RULE 16.01 A lawyer shall
account for all money or property collected or received for or from
the client. RULE 16.02 A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client
separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him.
Canon 18 a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
diligence. RULE 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter
entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall
render him liable. RULE 18.04 A lawyer shall keep the client
informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the clients request for information.

SPOUSES NICASIO DONELITA SAN PEDRO, vs. ATTY. ISAGANI


A. MENDOZA
A.C. No. 5440, December 10, 2014

CANON NUMBER: Canon 16

FACTS:
On or about November 21, 1996, complainants engaged the
services of respondent to facilitate the transfer of title to property,
in the name of Isabel AzcarragaMarcaida, to complainants.
Complainants then gave respondent a check for P68, 250.00 for the
payment of transfer taxes. They also gave respondent a check for
P13, 800.00 for respondents professional fee. Respondent failed to
produce the title despite complainants repeated follow-ups. Several
letters were sent by respondent explaining the delay in the transfer
of title. However, respondent still failed to produce the title. On May
8, 2000, respondent sent another letter to complainants. He
promised to settle the transfer of the land title. However,
respondent reneged on this promise. Complainants were then forced
to obtain a loan from Philippine American Life and General Insurance
Company to secure the transfer of the title to the property in their
names.
Respondent contested the allegations of complainants. According to
him, it was complainants who caused the three-year delay in the
transfer of title to complainants names. Complainants were not able
to furnish respondent several important documents: (a) original
copy of the deed of extrajudicial petition; (b) affidavit of publication
with the clippings of the published item in a newspaper of general
circulation; and (c) a barangay certificate from the barangay where
the property is located as required by the Bureau of Internal
Revenue.

ISSUE:
WON respondent violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility?

HELD:
YES.The administrative case was referred to the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and recommendation.
The parties were then called to a mandatory conference before the
IBP Commission on Bar Discipline. On July 8, 2008, the Investigating

Commissioner, Atty. Salvador B. Hababag, submitted his findings


and recommendation. The Investigating Commissioner found that
respondent violated Canon 16, Rules 16.01and 16.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. A lawyers duty under Canon 16 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility is clear: The fiduciary nature of
the relationship between counsel and client imposes on a lawyer the
duty to account for the money or property collected or received for
or from the client[,] [thus] . . . [w]hen a lawyer collects or receives
money from his client for a particular purpose (such as for filing
fees, registration fees, transportation and office expenses), he
should promptly account to the client how the money was spent. If
he does not use the money for its intended purpose, he must
immediately return it to the client. His failure either to render an
accounting or to return the money (if the intended purpose of the
money does not materialize) constitutes a blatant disregard of Rule
16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Respondent Atty. Isagani A. Mendoza is SUSPENDED from the


practice of law for three (3) months. He is also ordered to RETURN to
complainants the amount of P68,250.00 with 6% legal interest from
the date of finality of this judgment until full payment. Respondent
is further DIRECTED to submit to this court proof of payment of the
amount within 10 days from payment.

MANALANG v. ANGELES
A.C. No. 1558, March 10, 2003
CANON NUMBER: Canon 16 (Rule 16.03)
FACTS: Petitioners HonorioManalang and Florencio Cirillo filed a
case against their employer, Philippine Racing Club Restaurant, for
their overtime and separation pay before the NLRC and respondent
Francisco Angeles as their counsel. They obtained a favorable
judgment and their employer was asked to pay PhP6,500. However,
Atty. Angeles compromised and was only able to collect PhP5,500,
and it was allegedly obtained without consulting his clients.
Thereafter, the Office of the Solicitor General conducted
several hearings but the respondent only appeared three times. It
was then transferred to the Committee on Bar Discipline of the IBP.
Either party appeared despite prior due notice. The Committee
issued a resolution recommending that respondent be suspended

from the practice of law for two years.


ISSUE: WON Atty. Angeles should be suspended from the practice of
law for violating Canon 16, Rule 16.03 of the CPR.
HELD:Yes. The Court found that the respondent breached Canon 16,
Rule 16.03 of the CPR when he failed to deliver, upon demand, the
amount intended for his clients. Respondents act of holding on to
his

clients

money

without

their

acquiescence

was

conduct

indicative of lack of integrity and propriety. He was clinging to


something which was not his, and to which he had no right. He
appeared oblivious of the admonition that a member of the legal
fraternity should refrain from an act or omission which might lessen
the trust and confidence reposed by the public in fidelity, honest,
and integrity of the legal profession. This, for grave misconduct, the
Court suspended the respondent from the practice of law for a
period of six months and ordered to return the amount of
PhP2,275.00 each to the two complainants.

Cantiller v. Potenciano
A.M. Case No. 3195

December 18, 1989

CANON NUMBER: CANON 17


FACTS: Complainant is the sister of PeregrinaCantiller who is a
defendant in an action for ejectment. Later on Peregrina likewise
filed an action for reconveyance with damages. Both actions
involved the apartment unit being rented by complainant and her
sister. Peregrina came out the losing party in both cases. They were
served a notice to vacate. The sisters consulted Sheriff Pagalunan
and the latter introduced them to respondent. The parties impliedly
agreed that respondent Humberto Potenciano would handle their
case.

According to complainant, they were made to sign a "hastily


prepares, poorly conceived and haphzardly composed petition for
annulment of judgement. Respondent promised for the necessary
restraining order because the judge was his close friend.

Respondent demanded 1000 for attorney's fees. When the case was
raffled, presiding judge asked respondent to withdraw on ground of
their friendship. Respondent asked for 2000 from complainant to be
given to another judge who will issue the restraining order. Sisters
were only able to raise 1000. Respondent informed complainant that
they needed to file another case of "Specific performance,
Annulment of simulated or spurious sale with damages" to retain
possession and that they needed to prepare 10,000 to be deposited
with the Treasurer's Office of Pasig. Another 1000 was asked from
them to cover the expenses of the suit. The complaint was filed.

At the hearing for preliminary injunction, respondent withdrew his


appearance as counsel. Complainant was not able to secure another
lawyer. No preliminary injunction was obtained. The complainant
later came to know that the 10,000 deposit was not needed and
despite the demands of complainant for respondent to return the
amount, the money was never returned.

ISSUE: Whether or not the lawyer acted with propriety.

HELD: No. The court agrees that the petitions filed by respondent
were poorly prepared and written. The little time involved is no
excuse. Complainant reposed full faith in him. His first duty was to
file the best pleading within his capability.

When a lawyer takes a client's cause, he thereby covenants that he


will exert all effort for its prosecution until its final conclusion. The
failure to exercise due diligence or the abandonment of a client's
cause makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client had
reposed on him. The acts of respondent in this case violate the most
elementary principles of professional ethics .

The Court finds that respondent failed to exercise due diligence in


protecting his client's interests. Respondent had knowledge
beforehand that he would be asked by the presiding judge in Civil

Case No. 55118 to withdraw his appearance as counsel by reason of


their friendship. Despite such prior knowledge, respondent took no
steps to find a replacement nor did he inform complainant of this
fact.

Respondent is ordered to return the sum of eleven thousand pesos


(P11,000.00) to complainant with legal interest from date of
resolution until it is actually returned.

ERLINDA R. TAROG vs. ATTY. ROMULO L. RICAFORT


A.C. No. 8253
March 15, 2011
CANON 16
Facts: In 1992, the Tarogs went to see Atty. Ricafort regarding their
bank-foreclosed property. Respondent required the Tarogs to pay
P7,000.00 as filing fee and explained the importance of depositing
P65,000.00 in court to counter the P60,000.00 deposited by the
buyer of the foreclosed property. On November 7, 1992, the P
65,000.00 was delivered when Arnulfo Tarog said that he had first to
encash the check, respondent persuaded Arnulfo that he will be the
one to en cash it and deposit the amount in court. The Tarogs
visited respondent for updates but they were informed that he had
not deposited the amount in court, but in his own account. He
promised to return the money, plus interest. Despite several
inquiries about when the amount would be returned petitioner
received mere assurances from respondent. Arnulfo then demanded
in his letter dated December 3, 2002 toreturn the P 65, 000.00 plus
interest, and the P 15, 000.00 paid for the filling of the
memorandum.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Ricaforts act constitutes a grave
violation of the Code of Professional responsibility.
Held: Yes, Atty. Romulo Ricafort is guilty of grave misconduct in
dealing with the Tarogs by violating Canon 16 and Canon 17 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and disbar him. As a lawyer he
was required to hold in trust any money and property of his clients
that was in his possession, and is needed to be always mindful of
the trust and confidence his clients reposed in him. Thus, having
obtained the funds from the Tarogs in the course of his professional
employment, he had the obligation to deliver such funds to his

clients. Respondent is ordered to return to Erlinda R. Tarog the sums


of P65,000.00 and P15,000.00, plus interest of six percent per
annum reckoned from the demand made on December 3, 2002,
within twenty days from notice.
CELIA ARROYO-POSIDIO vs. ATTY. JEREMIAS R. VITAN
A.C. No. 6051
April 2, 2007
CANON 16
Facts: Celia Arroyo-Posidioalleged that she engaged the services of
respondent for a Special Proceeding and paid the amount of
P20,000.00 for his legal fees. However, on June 6, 1990, respondent
withdrew his appearance as counsel in the said case. Sometime in
August 1996, respondent contacted complainant to show some
documents, he then convinced the complainant to file another case
and demanded P100,000.00 as legal fees therefor. After several
months, respondent failed to institute any action. Complainant
decided to forego the filing of the case and asked for the return of
the P100,000.00, but respondent refused despite repeated
demands. OnMarch 31, 1999, the trial court rendered a decision, in
favor of the complainant and against the respondent ordering the
latter to: pay plaintiff the sum of P100,000.00 with interest of 12%
per annum from September 7, 1996 until fully paid and/or satisfied;
pay plaintiff the amount of P8,000.00 for the attorneys fees; pay
the cost of suit. Atty. Vitanissued a check dated May 31, 2001 in the
amount of P120,000.00, upon presentment for payment, the check
was dishonored the account was already closed.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Vitan violated Rule 16.01, Canon 16 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held: Yes, respondents refusal to return complainants money upon
demand, his failure to comply with the lawful orders of the trial
court, as well as the issuance of a bouncing check, reveal his failure
to live up to his duties as a lawyer in consonance with the strictures
of his oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. Rule 16.01,
Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility requires the
lawyer to account for all money or property collected or received for
or from his client. Wherefore, respondent Atty. Jeremias R. Vitan is
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year
effective from notice, with a stern warning that a repetition of the
same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

CANON 17
SPOUSES VIRGILIO and ANGELINA ARANDA v. ATTY. EMMANUEL F.
ELAYDA
A.C. no. 7907
December 15, 2010

FACTS:
Spouses Aranda alleged that Atty. Elaydas handling of their case
was sorely inadequate, as shown by his failure to follow elementary
norms of civil procedure and evidence. On February 14, 2006
hearing of the said case, the case was ordered submitted for
decision spouses Aranda and Atty. Elayda did not appear because
respondent failed to inform complainants of the setting. Despite
receipt of the order dated February 14, 2006, Atty. Elayda never
informed them of such order notwithstanding the follow-up they
made of their case to him. Atty. Elayda did not lift any single finger
to have the order dated February 14, 2006 reconsidered and/or set
aside as is normally expected of a counsel devoted to the cause of
his client. The court naturally rendered a judgment dated March 17,
2006 adverse to Complainants which copy thereof was sent only to
Respondent and complainants did not receive any copy thereof,
certified xerox copy of the decision. Complainants were totally
unaware of said judgment as Respondent had not again lifted any
single finger to inform them of such adverse judgment and that
there is a need to take a remedial recourse thereto. On July 19,
2006, they wasted no time in verifying the status of their case and
to their utter shock, dismay and disbelief, they found out that they
have already lost their case and worst the decision had already
become final and executory. In his response, Respondent narrated
that he was not at fault that he was not able to file the necessary
pleadings in court because the complainants did not get in touch
with him and that he cannot contact the spouses for the latter failed
to give their contact number to him nor did they go to his office to
leave their contact number and that the spouses were negligent in
their I dont care attitude towards their case and for this reason that
they alone should be blamed for what happened to their case. After
the submission of the parties position papers, Investigating
Commissioner Jordan M. Pizarras came out with his Decision[ finding
Atty. Elayda guilty of gross negligence, and recommending his
suspension from the practice of law for a period of six months.
ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Elayda violated Canon 17 of the CPR.


HELD:
YES. The Court finds no cogent reason to deviate from the
findings and the conclusion of the IBP Board of Governors that Atty.
Elayda was negligent and unmindful of his sworn duties to his
clients. In Abay v. Montesino, the Court held:
The legal profession
is invested with public trust. Its goal is to render public service and
secure justice for those who seek its aid. Thus, the practice of law is
considered a privilege, not a right, bestowed by the State on those
who show that they possess and continue to possess the legal
qualifications required for the conferment of such privilege. Verily,
lawyers are expected to maintain at all times a high standard of
legal proficiency and of morality which includes honesty, integrity
and fair dealing. They must perform their four-fold duty to society,
the legal profession, the courts and their clients in accordance with
the values and norms of the legal profession, as embodied in the
Code of Professional Responsibility. Any conduct found wanting in
these considerations, whether in their professional or private
capacity, shall subject them to disciplinary action. In the present
case, the failure of respondent to file the appellants brief was a clear
violation of his professional duty to his client. The Canons of the
Code of Professional Responsibility provide: CANON 17 A LAWYER
OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE
MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. It is
clear that Atty. Elayda is duty bound to uphold and safeguard the
interests of his clients. He should be conscientious, competent and
diligent in handling his clients cases. Atty. Elayda should give
adequate attention, care, and time to all the cases he is handling.
As the spouses Arandas counsel, Atty. Elayda is expected to monitor
the progress of said spouses case and is obligated to exert all efforts
to present every remedy or defense authorized by law to protect the
cause espoused by the spouses Aranda.

ANGEL L. BAUTISTA v. ATTY. RAMON A. GONZALES


A.M. no. 1625
February, 12, 1990
FACTS:
Respondent Ramon A. Gonzales was charged with malpractice,
deceit, gross misconduct and violation of lawyer's oath. complainant
submitted an amended complaint for disbarment, alleging that
respondent committed the following acts: Accepting a case wherein
he agreed with his clients, namely, Alfaro Fortunado, Nestor
Fortunado and Editha Fortunado [hereinafter referred to as the
Fortunados] to pay all expenses, including court fees, for a
contingent fee of fifty percent (50%) of the value of the property in
litigation.Acting as counsel for the Fortunados wherein Eusebio
Lopez, Jr. is one of the defendants and, without said case being
terminated, acting as counsel for Eusebio Lopez, Jr.. Transferring to
himself one-half of the properties of the Fortunados, which
properties are the subject of the litigation, while the case was still
pending. Inducing complainant, who was his former client, to enter
into a contract with him on August 30, 1971 for the development
into a residential subdivision of the land involved, claiming that he
acquired fifty percent (50%) interest thereof as attorney's fees from
the Fortunados, while knowing fully well that the said property was
already sold at a public auction on June 30, 1971, by the Provincial
Sheriff of Lanao del Norte and registered with the Register of Deeds
of Iligan City. Submitting to the Court of First Instance of Quezon City
falsified documents purporting to be true copies of "Addendum to
the Land Development Agreement dated August 30, 1971" and
submitting the same document to the Fiscal's Office of Quezon City,
in connection with the complaint for estafa filed by respondent
against complainant. Committing acts of treachery and disloyalty to
complainant who was his client. Harassing the complainant by filing
several complaints without legal basis. Deliberately misleading the
Court of First Instance and the Fiscal's Office by making false
assertion of facts in his pleadings. Filing petitions "cleverly prepared
(so) that while he does not intentionally tell a he, he does not tell
the truth either." The Court referred the case to the Office of the
Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation. In
the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent violated Canon 17 of the CPR.
HELD:
YES. A careful review of the record of the case and the report
and recommendation of the Solicitor General, the Court finds that
respondent committed acts of misconduct which warrant the

exercise by this Court of its disciplinary power. The Court has held
that the purchase by a lawyer of his client's property or interest in
litigation is a breach of professional ethics and constitutes
malpractice. However, respondent notes that Canon 10 of the old
Canons of Professional Ethics, which states that "[t]he lawyer should
not purchase any interests in the subject matter of the litigation
which he is conducting," does not appear anymore in the new Code
of Professional Responsibility. He therefore concludes that while a
purchase by a lawyer of property in litigation is void under Art. 1491
of the Civil Code, such purchase is no longer a ground for
disciplinary action under the new Code of Professional Responsibility.
This contention is without merit. A lawyer is disqualified from
acquiring by purchase the property and rights in litigation because
of his fiduciary relationship with such property and rights, as well as
with the client. And it cannot be claimed that the new Code of
Professional Responsibility has failed to emphasize the nature and
consequences of such relationship. Canon 17 states that "a lawyer
owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the
trust and confidence reposed in him." notwithstanding the absence
of a specific provision on the matter in the new Code, the Court,
considering the abovequoted provisions of the new Code in relation
to Art. 1491 of the Civil Code, as well as the prevailing
jurisprudence, holds that the purchase by a lawyer of his client's
property in litigation constitutes a breach of professional ethics for
which a disciplinary action may be brought against him.

Anderson, Jr. v. Cardeo


Adm. Case No. 3523, January 17, 2005

Canon 17
A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be
mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.

FACTS:
Complainant is an American citizen who filed an action before
the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, to recover the title and
possession of a parcel of land against spouses Maybituin,
Cessado and Ramos. The defendants won the case, however
complainant filed an appeal, wherein the previous decision was

modified. The judgment was not appealed and was duly entered.
On February 16, 1985 complainant filed an amended complaint
before the Regional Trial Court of Binangonan, Rizal, Branch 67.
His Counsel, at that time, died. Thus he employed respondent.
Complainant alleged that respondent was responsible for the
adverse ruling against him.
Complainant alleged that when the respondents of the civil
case filed a demurrer to evidence, respondent did not file an
opposition thereto. In addition he also alleged that respondent
did not file a motion for reconsideration after the court found
that the respondents demurrer to evidence were meritorious.
Respondent on the other hand, stated that the complainant was
not cooperative or helpful to him. That he only saw him once,
and little information was given to him to work with.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of neglect.
HELD:
Yes. Respondent was guilty of neglect. In the case of Paguinto
citing Gamalinda v Alcantara, Canon 17 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility- a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of
his client and must be mindful of the trust and confidence
reposed in him. In view of his actions towards the case and of his
reasons, it was found that he did not exhaust all his resources,
because he only referred to the information given by the client. It
is his job as counsel, specially that his client is residing outside
of the country to exhaust all means of research and prepare well
for the case.
Canon 18 of the Code- states that a lawyer shall serve his
client with competence and diligence. It is his duty to prepare
the trial, and undertake case that he can handle. Although the
complainant is also to blame for his little to no participation
attitude. Respondent is sentenced to six months of suspension to
practice law.

Samson v. Era
[Adm. Case No. 6664, July 16, 2013]

CANON 17
a lawyer owes fidelity to to the cause of his client and he shall be
mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.

FACTS:
Complainant Samson was a former client of respondent Era in
a criminal case against Emilia Sison and other officers of ICS
Corporation. Samson and his relatives were one among the
investors who fell prey to the pyramiding scam perpetrated by
Sison and other officers of the ICS Corporation. After preliminary
investigation, Sison and her other companions were formally
charged with estafa in the Regional Trial Court, Branch 96 in
Quezon City. In April 2003, respondent convinced complainants
to have an amicable settlement with Sison and her cohorts. A
property of of the ICS Corporation in Antipolo City will be
exchanged for their desistance, to which they agreed.
However, in order to liquidate the said property,
complainants need a deed of sale. They asked respondent to
issue them a deed of sale to which he obliged. But, respondent
also told them that his obligation and job with the complainants
ends there. Complainants later found out that the title of the
property given to them does not belong to the ICS corporation
anymore. They wrote respondent a letter reminding him of his
promise to settle issues with Sison and her cohorts,
unfortunately they did not hear anything form respondent. This
has prompted them to find a new counsel, since respondent did
not also appear during hearings. They were shocked to know
that Samson was no representing Sison in her other criminal
cases. Thus this administrative case was filed.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent violated the Code of Professional
Responsibilty by representing Sison in her other criminal cases.

HELD:
Yes. Respondent Era violated the Code of Professional Responsibilty
by representing Sison in her other criminal cases. Rule 15.03, Canon
15 provides that a lawyer shall not represent conflivting interests
except by written condent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of facts. Respondent despite saying that his obligations
towards Samsons group is finished, it was not formal and his
obligations were not yet finished. He still has to take care of the
implementation of the amicable settlement. Thus, he should have
taken the consent of the complainants first, before acting as counsel
to Sison. Canon 17 states that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of
his client. The representation of Sison in her other criminal cases,
should have been consulted with his previous clients, so as to
prevent any sense of betrayal. The court found respondent guilty of
representing conflict of interest.

CANON 17
MARY ANN T.MATTUS vs. ATTY. ALBERT T. VILLASECA
A.C. No. 7922, October 1, 2013

CANON NUMBER: Canon 17

FACTS:
Complainant, German Bernardo D. Mattus and Dexter Aligan were
the accused in Criminal Case No. 10309-02 a case for estafa thru
falsification of public document filed in the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 20, Imus, Cavite. The complainant and her husband,
German, engaged the services of Atty. Villaseca to represent them in
the proceedings. The complainant maintained that she and German
were convicted due to Atty. Villasecas gross and inexcusable
negligence in performing his duties as their counsel. In her
complaint-affidavit,1 the complainant alleged, among others, that
Atty. Villaseca: (1) was often absent during court hearings but still
collected appearance fees; (2) frequently sought the postponement

of trial when he was present; (3) failed to ask the RTC to direct a
National Bureau of Investigation expert to examine the signatures of
the spouses Leslie and Zuraida Porter 2 in the special power of
attorney (SPA); (4) failed to file a demurrer to evidence despite
having been granted sufficient time by the RTC to submit one; (5)
failed to present evidence on behalf of the defense, and only filed a
memorandum; (6) did not inform her and German of the dates of the
presentation of defense evidence and the promulgation of
judgment; and (7) erroneously indicated the wrong case number in
the notice of appeal. According to the complainant, Atty. Villasecas
negligence in handling the case resulted in her own and her
husbands conviction.

ISSUE:
WON respondent violated the Code of Prof. Responsibility?

HELD:
YES. A lawyer "is expected to exert his best efforts and ability to
preserve his client's cause, for the unwavering loyalty displayed to
his client likewise serves the ends of justice." 8 Once a lawyer agrees
to take up the cause of a client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such
cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence
reposed in him. He owes entire devotion to the interest of the client,
warm zeal in maintenance and defense of his clients rights, and the
exertion of his utmost learning and ability to the end that nothing be
taken or withheld from his client, save by the rules of law, legally
applied. A lawyer who performs his duty with diligence and candor
not only protects the interest of his client; he also serves the ends of
justice, does honor to the bar, and helps maintain the respect of the
community to the legal profession. Atty. Villaseca showed a wanton
and utter disregard to his clients cause; his failure to exercise due
diligence in attending to their interest in the criminal case caused
them grave prejudice. Under the circumstances, we find a five-year
suspension from the practice of law to be a sufficient and
appropriate sanction against him. The increased penalty serves the
purpose of protecting the interest of the Court, the legal profession
and the public. Atty. Albert T. Villaseca is found guilty of negligence,
in violation of Rules 12.03 and 18.03 and Canon 17 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. He is hereby SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for five (5) years, effective upon his receipt of this
Decision, and STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or
similar offense will be dealt with more severely.

DOLORES C. BELLEZA v. ATTY. ALAN S. MACASA


A.C. No. 7815

CANON NUMBER: Canon 17

FACTS:
On November 10, 2004, complainant went to see respondent on
referral of their mutual friend, Joe Chua. Complainant wanted to
avail of respondents legal services in connection with the case of
her son, Francis John Belleza, who was arrested by policemen of
Bacolod City earlier that day for alleged violation of Republic Act
(RA) 9165.[1] Respondent agreed to handle the case for P30,000.The
following day, complainant made a partial payment of P15,000 to
respondent thru their mutual friend Chua. On November 17, 2004,
she gave him an additional P10,000. She paid the P5,000 balance on
November 18, 2004. Both payments were also made thru Chua. On
all three occasions, respondent did not issue any receipt.On
November 21, 2004, respondent received P18,000 from complainant
for the purpose of posting a bond to secure the provisional liberty of
her (complainants) son. Again, respondent did not issue any receipt.
When complainant went to the court the next day, she found out
that respondent did not remit the amount to the court.Complainant
demanded the return of the P18,000 from respondent on several
occasions but respondent ignored her. Moreover, respondent failed
to act on the case of complainants son and complainant was forced
to avail of the services of the Public Attorneys Office for her sons
defense.

ISSUE:
WON respondent disrespected legal processes; WON grossly
neglected the cause of his client; WON respondent failed to return
his clients money; and WON respondent failed to uphold the
integrity and dignity of the legal profession?

HELD:
YES.Respondent was given more than enough opportunity to answer
the charges against him. Yet, he showed indifference to the orders of
the CBD for him to answer and refute the accusations of
professional misconduct against him. In doing so, he failed to
observe Rule 12.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility: Rule
12.03 A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file

pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without


submitting the same or offering an explanation for his failure to do
so.

YES.Respondent undertook to defend the criminal case against


complainants son. Such undertaking imposed upon him the
following duties: Canon 17 a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his
client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in
him. Canon 18 a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
diligence. Rule 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter
entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall
render him liable. Canon 19 a lawyer shall represent his client with
zeal within the bounds of the law.

A lawyer who accepts the cause of a client commits to devote


himself (particularly his time, knowledge, skills and effort) to such
cause. He must be ever mindful of the trust and confidence reposed
in him, constantly striving to be worthy thereof. Accordingly, he
owes full devotion to the interest of his client, warm zeal in the
maintenance and defense of his clients rights and the exertion of his
utmost learning, skill and ability to ensure that nothing shall be
taken or withheld from his client, save by the rules of law legally
applied

YES.When a lawyer collects or receives money from his client for a


particular purpose (such as for filing fees, registration fees,
transportation and office expenses), he should promptly account to
the client how the money was spent. If he does not use the money
for its intended purpose, he must immediately return it to the client.
His failure either to render an accounting or to return the money (if
the intended purpose of the money does not materialize) constitutes
a blatant disregard of Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

YES.Lawyers should always live up to the ethical standards of the


legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Public confidence in law and in lawyers may be
eroded by the irresponsible and improper conduct of a member of
the bar. Thus, every lawyer should act and comport himself in a
manner that would promote public confidence in the integrity of the
legal profession.

Villafuerte v. Cortez
A.M. Case No. 3455 April 14, 1998
CANON NUMBER: CANON 17
FACTS: From the records of the case and the Report submitted by
the Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP), it would appear that sometime in January 1987,
complainant, upon the referral of Atty. Rene A. V. Saguisag, went to
the office of respondent lawyer to discuss his case for
"reconveyance" (Civil Case No. 83-18877). During their initial
meeting, complainant tried to reconstruct before respondent lawyer
the incidents of the case merely from memory prompting the latter
to ask complainant to instead return at another time with the
records of the case. On 30 January 1987, complainant again saw
respondent but still sans the records. Complainant requested
respondent to accept the case, paying to the latter the sum of
P1,750.00 representing the acceptance fee of P1,500.00 and
P250.00 retainer fee for January 1987. Respondent averred that he
accepted the money with much reluctance and only upon the
condition that complainant would get the records of the case from,
as well as secure the withdrawal of appearance of, Atty. Jose Dizon,
the former counsel of complainant.

Allegedly, complainant never showed up thereafter until November


1989 when he went to the office of respondent lawyer but only to
leave a copy of a writ of execution in Civil Case No. 062160-CV, a
case for ejectment, which, according to respondent, was never
priorly mentioned to him by complainant. Indeed, said respondent,
he had never entered his appearance in the aforenumbered case.

In its report, IBP-CBD concluded that the facts established would just
the same indicate sufficiently a case of neglect of duty on the part
of respondent. The CBD rejected the excuse proffered by respondent
that the non-receipt of the records of the case justified his failure to
represent complainant. The IBP-CBD, through Commissioner Julio C.
Elamparo, recommended to the IBP Board of Governors the
suspension of respondent from the practice of law for three months
with a warning that a repetition of similar acts could be dealt with

more severely than a mere 3-month suspension.

Both respondent lawyer and complainant filed with the IBP-CBD


their respective motions for the reconsideration of the foregoing
resolution.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent has acted with fidelity to his


clients cause

HELD: No. The Court is convinced that a lawyer-client relationship,


given the circumstances, has arisen between respondent and
complainant. Respondent lawyer has admitted having received the
amount of P1,750.00, including its nature and purpose, from
complainant. His acceptance of the payment effectively bars him
from altogether disclaiming the existence of an attorney-client
relationship between them. It would not matter really whether the
money has been intended to pertain only to Civil Case No. 83-18877
or to include Civil Case No. 062160-CV, there being no showing, in
any event, that respondent lawyer has attended to either of said
cases. It would seem that he hardly has exerted any effort to find
out what might have happened to his client's cases. A lawyer's
fidelity to the cause of his client requires him to be ever mindful of
the responsibilities that should be expected of him.

Respondent is suspended from the practice of law for a period of


one month from notice hereof, with a warning that a repetition of
similar acts and other administrative lapses will be dealt with more
severely than presently.

CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA vs. ATTY. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO


A.C. No. 3745 October 2, 1995
CANON 17
Facts: Cynthia B. Rosacia, president of Tacma, Phils., Inc., a duly
registered corporation, filed a complaint for disbarment dated

October 25, 1991, against Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao.On June 1,


1990, by virtue of a written Agreement, Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao
was hired as retained counsel of TacmaPhils., Inc. On July, 1991, or
after almost nine (9) months from the date respondent's retainer
agreement with Tacma, Phils., Inc. was terminated, several
employees of the corporation consulted the respondent for the
purpose of filing an action for illegal dismissal. Thereafter, he agreed
to handle the case for the said employees as against Tacma, Phils.,
Inc. by filing a complaint before the National Labor Relations
Commission, and appearing in their behalf.
Issue: Whether or not respondent breached his oath of office for
representing the employees of his former client?
Held: Yes. The Court reiterates that an attorney owes loyalty to his
client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also
after the attorney-client relationship has terminated. It is necessary
not only in keeping the client's confidence, but also to avoid the
appearance of treachery and double dealing for only then can
litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys
which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice.
The attorney-client relationship is in the highest degree of
confidence and trust. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client
and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in
him. No opportunity must be given to attorneys in taking advantage
of the secrets of clients obtained while the confidential relationship
between the lawyer and client exists. Otherwise, the legal
profession will suffer by the loss of the confidence of the people.
Respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three
months.
VIRGILIO and ANGELINA ARANDA vs. ATTY. EMMANUEL F. ELAYDA
A.C. No. 7907December 15, 2010
CANON 17
Facts: In 2006, Atty. Emmanuel Elayda was hired by Spouses Virgilio
and Angelina Aranda to be their counsel in a civil case. However, to
their surprise in July 2006, an adverse judgment was issued against
them, thus they lost possession of their car. Apparently, their
counsel never appeared in court for them. Atty. Elayda failed to
inform the spouses of the date of hearing as well as the order of
judgment. No motion for reconsideration or appeal was interposed
by the lawyer as well. In his defense, Atty. Elayda said that it was

the spouses who never went to court; that the spouses neglected to
check on their case in court; that one time when their case was
scheduled, he even notified the court stenographer to notify him if
the spouses are in court so that he could be there for them as he
was in another court branch for another case.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Elayda should be sanctioned
by the court.
HELD: Yes. It was established that Atty. Elayda was remiss and
negligent in handling the Aranda case. Although it is true that the
client and their counsel must equally share the burden of
communication, it is the primary duty of the counsel to inform the
client of the status of their case in court and the orders which have
been issued by the court. He cannot simply wait for his clients to
make an inquiry about the developments in their case. Close
coordination between counsel and client is necessary for them to
adequately prepare for the case, as well as to effectively monitor
the progress of the case. Also, his excuse that he did not appear in
court because the spouses failed to appear in court is not tenable.
His attendance at the hearing should not be made to depend on the
whether the spouses Aranda will come or not.
The IBP Board of Governors recommended a 6 month suspension.
This was adopted by the court.

CANON 18
OFELIA R. SOMOSOT v. ATTY. GERARDO F. LARA
A.C. no. 7024
January 30, 2009
FACTS:
Complainant alleged that she retained the services of the
respondent as her counsel in a Civil Case entitled Golden Collection
Marketing Corporation v. Ofelia Somosot, et al., filed against her and
her co-defendants for the collection of a sum of money amounting
to P1.3 Million. The complainant expected the respondent to
perform his duty as counsel and to defend her interests to the
utmost. She alleged, however, that after filing the Answer to the
Complaint, the respondent failed to fully inform her of further
developments in the case. She only heard about the case when
there was already a decision against her and her co-defendants.
Complainant claimed that the respondent represented her interests
in a half-hearted manner, resulting in the grant of the plaintiff's
motion for judgment on the pleadings. Allegedly, the respondent
failed to properly oppose the motion and she was thereafter
deprived of the chance to present her evidence. She found the
respondents excuse that he could not contact her because she had
changed her office address to be unsatisfactory. She accused the
respondent of miserably failing to comply with his oath as a lawyer
and to discharge his duty of ably representing her. Respondent
denied that he failed to exercise the diligence required of him as
counsel alleging that he pursued the complainant's case according
to his own ability and knowledge. Complainant maintained that she
had never transferred her residence where she could be reached
had the respondent exerted a meaningful effort to contact her. She
claimed that the respondent was able to do so later when he was
collecting the balance of his legal fees. The respondent contended
that he had good reasons not to continue as the complainant's
counsel. He reasoned out that under the Code of Professional
Responsibility, a lawyer may withdraw from a case upon a good
cause such as when the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for
the lawyers services, or fails to comply with the terms of the
retainer agreement, or when the lawyer is elected or appointed to
public office. Two of these possible causes applied to his situation;
he was appointed legal consultant at the BOI

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Lara violated canon 18 of the CPR.

HELD:
YES. As the IBP did, the court found that the respondent
deserves to be sanctioned for having fallen short of the standards
required of him as defense counsel. He violated the basic rule,
expressed under Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence.
The respondent failed to precisely allege in his submissions how he
tried to contact the defendant on or about the time the
interrogatories and request for admission were pending. It appears
that he really had not; by his own admission, his attempt to contact
the complainant came in December 2001 and only to inform her of
his government appointment and to collect his billings. It was only
after the discovery of the closure of the defendants office did the
respondent try to contact the complainant and her husband by
cellular phone, but they could not be reached. The
interrogatories/admission issue happened in August 2001, which
tells us that the respondent at about that time was already very
sensitive about his billing issue against his client as he had not been
paid from May to August 2001. Assuming the non-payment to be
true, such failure should not be a reason not to inform the client of
an important development, or worse, to withhold vital information
from her. As the court held in Luisito Balatbat v. Atty. Edgardo Arias,
a client must never be left in the dark for to do so would destroy
the trust, faith and confidence reposed in the retained lawyer in
particular and the legal profession in general. Respondent failed to
provide details on the developments that led to the adverse rulings
on the interrogatories/admissions and the judgment on the
pleadings. The non-payment of fees is a factor that we cannot
simply disregard. As a rule, law practice is not a pro bono
proposition and a lawyers sensitivity and concern for unpaid fees are
understandable; lawyers incur expenses in running their practice
and generally depend, too, on their law practice income for their
living expenses. Complainant never made any effort to contact the
respondent to follow up the status of her case, expecting instead
the respondent to take full and complete initiative in this regard.
While the respondent, as counsel, has the obligation to inform his
client of the material developments in the case, particularly of the
aspects of the case that would require the clients instructions or
participation, this obligation is balanced by a complementary duty
on the part of a party-litigant to remain in contact with his lawyer in
order to be informed of the progress of the case. The court cannot
also disbar the respondent as the complainant demands in light of
the complainants own contributory faults.

JULIAN PENILLA v. ATTY. QUINTIN P. ALCID JR.


A.C. no. 9149
September 4, 2013

FACTS:
Complainant .Julian Penilla entered into an agreement with
Spouses . Rey and Evelyn Garin (the spouses) the repair of his
Volkswagen automobile. Despite full payment, the spouses
defaulted in their obligation. Thus, complainant decided to file a
case for breach of contract against the spouses where he engaged
the services of respondent as counsel. Respondent advised
complainant that he would file a criminal case for estafa against
said spouses. Respondent charged P30,000 as attorneys fees and
P10,000 as filing fees. Complainant alleges that when the case was
submitted for resolution, respondent told him that they have to give

a bottle of Carlos Primero I to Asst. City Prosecutor Fortuno to


expedite a favorable resolution of the case. Complainant claims not
hearing from respondent again despite his several letters conveying
his disappointment and requesting for the return of the money and
the documents in respondents possession. Complainant then
sought the assistance of the radio program Ito ang Batas with Atty.
Aga to solve his predicament. Complainant filed before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Commission on Bar Discipline (IBPCBD) the instant administrative case praying that respondent be
found guilty of gross misconduct for violating the Lawyers Oath and
the Code of Professional Responsibility, and for appropriate
administrative sanctions to be imposed. Respondent denied
charging complainant P10,000 as filing fees for the estafa case and
claimed that he charged and received only P2,000. He also
countered that the payment of P30,000 made by the complainant
was his acceptance fee for both the estafa case and civil case.
Respondent likewise denied the following other allegations of
complainant: that he assured the success of the case before the
prosecutor; that he asked complainant to give a bottle of Carlos
Primero I to the prosecutor; that he promised to fix the case; and
that he charged P10,000, as he only charged P5,000, as filing fee for
the civil case. He averred that he should not be blamed for the
dismissal of both cases as his job was to ensure that justice is
served and not to win the case. the IBP-CBD recommended the
suspension of respondent from the practice of law for six months
for negligence within the meaning of Canon 18 and transgression
of Rule 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent violated Canon 18, Rule 18.04 of the
CPR.
HELD:
YES. The court sustained the findings of the IBP that respondent
committed professional negligence under Canon 18 and Rule 18.04
of the Code of Professional Responsibility, with a modification that
we also find respondent guilty of violating Canon 17 and Rule 18.03
of the Code and the Lawyers Oath. To be sure, after the complaint
for estafa was dismissed, respondent committed another similar
blunder by filing a civil case for specific performance and damages
before the RTC. The errors committed by respondent with respect to
the nature of the remedy adopted in the criminal complaint and the
forum selected in the civil complaint were so basic and could have
been easily averted had he been more diligent and circumspect in
his role as counsel for complainant. What aggravates respondents
offense is the fact that his previous mistake in filing the estafa case
did not motivate him to be more conscientious, diligent and vigilant
in handling the case of complainant. The civil case he subsequently

filed for complainant was dismissed due to what later turned out to
be a basic jurisdictional error. Clearly, respondent is not only guilty
of incompetence in handling the cases. His lack of professionalism in
dealing with complainant is also gross and inexcusable.

RASMUS G. ANDERSON JR. VS. ATTY. REYNALDO A. CARDENO


(A.C. No. 3253, January 17, 2005)
CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH
COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.
FACTS:
Petitioner filed an administrative case against Atty. Reynaldo
A. Cardeno for malpractice and neglect of duty, stemming from his
alleged neglect or deliberate mishandling of a case involving herein
petitioner, resulting to the latters prejudice.
Complainant filed an action before the then Court of First
Instance of Rizal to recover possession of a land against the spouses
Juanito Maybituin and Rosario Cerrado and Fernando Ramos. The
case was dismissed by the trial court which declared the defendants
the true and lawful owners of their respective portions of land in
question.
Atty Cesar S. de Guzman, the original counsel of the
petitioner, died. Upon referral by a friend, Anderson Jr. engaged the
services of herein respondent, Atty. Cardeno.
On July 19, 1990, petitioner filed an administrative complaint
before the Court wherein he alleged that respondent caused the
loss or the adverse ruling against him in the aforementioned case
before the RTC, Civil Case No. 0110-B. Complainant concluded that
Atty. Cardeno abused his clients trust and confidence and violated
his oath as a lawyer in failing to defend his clients cause to the very
end. Complainant prays that Atty Cardeno be disbarred.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Cardeno should be disbarred due to
neglect of duty as a counsel.
HELD:
No. Clearly, the respondent was guilty of neglect of duty and
this is a violation of Canon 18 of the Code Professional Ethics which
provides that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
diligence. Rule 18.03 thereof which states that a lawyer shall not
neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in

connection therewith shall render him liable. He likewise breached


his duty to the Honorable Supreme Court to report corrupt judges
for appropriate disciplinary action with the aim of improving the
quality of justice and helping restore the peoples faith in our judicial
system.
But, the apparent lack of interest on the part of the
complainant to further pursue his case when he failed to appear
personally and present evidence to support his allegations made the
Commission reach the conclusion to adopt and approve to
recommend that Atty. Reynaldo A. Cardeno be suspended from the
practice of law for six months and that he be warned that a graver
penalty would be imposed should he commit the same offense in
the future.
CHAMELYN A. AGOT VS. ATTY. LUIS P. RIVERA
(A.C. No. 8000, August 5, 2014)
CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH
COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.
FACTS:
In her Complaint-Affidavit, complainant alleged that she was
invited as maid of honor in her best friend's wedding on December
9, 2007 at the United States of America. To facilitate the issuance of
her United States (US) visa, complainant sought the services of
respondent who represented himself as an immigration lawyer.
Thus, on November 17, 2007, they entered into a Contract of Legal
Services (Contract), whereby respondent undertook to facilitate and
secure the release of a US immigrant visa in complainant's favor
prior to the scheduled wedding. In consideration therefor,
complainant paid respondent the amount of PhP350,000.00 as
downpayment and undertook to pay the balance of PhP350,000.00
after the issuance of the US visa. The parties likewise stipulated
that should complainant's visa application be denied for any reason
other than her absence on the day of the interview and/or for
records of criminal conviction and/or any court-issued hold
departure order, respondent is obligated to return the said
downpayment.
However, respondent failed to perform his
undertaking within the agreed period. Worse, complainant was not
even scheduled for interview in the US Embassy. As the demand for
refund of the downpayment was not heeded, complainant filed a
criminal complaint for estafa and the instant administrative
complaint against respondent.In his Comment dated December 5,
2008, respondent claimed that his failure to comply with his
obligation under the Contract was due to the false pretenses of a
certain Rico Pineda (Pineda), who he had believed to be a consul for

the US Embassy and to whom he delivered the amount given by the


complainant. Respondent elaborated that he had a business
relationship with Pineda on the matter of facilitating the issuance of
US visas to his friends and family, including himself.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent should be held administratively
liable for violating the CPR.
HELD:
Yes. Under Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the CPR, once a lawyer
takes up the cause of his client, he is duty-bound to serve the latter
with competence, and to attend to such client's cause with
diligence, care, and devotion whether he accepts it for a fee or for
free. He owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of
the trust and confidence reposed upon him. Therefore, a lawyer's
neglect of a legal matter entrusted to him by his client constitutes
inexcusable negligence for which he must be held administratively
liable, as in this case.

CANON 18
JOSE ALLAN TAN, vs. PEDRO S. DIAMANTE
A.C. No. 7766, August 5, 2014

CANON NUMBER: Canon 18

FACTS:
In 2003, complainant, Jose Allan Tan secured the services of Atty.
Diamante in order to pursue a case for partition of property against
the heirs of the late spouses Luis and Natividad Valencia-Tan. After
accepting the engagement, respondent filed the corresponding
complaintbefore the RTC of Bacolod City. The complaint was
eventually dismissed by the RTC in an Orderdated July 25, 2007 for
lack of cause of action and insufficiency of evidence. While
respondent was notified of such dismissal as early as August 14,
2007, complainant learned of the same only on August 24, 2007
when he visited the formers office. On such occasion, respondent
allegedly asked for the amount of P10,000.00 for the payment of
appeal fees and other costs, but since complainant could not
produce the said amount at that time, respondent, instead, asked

and was given the amount of P500.00 purportedly as payment of


the reservation fee for the filing of a notice of appeal before the RTC.
On September 12, 2007, Tan handed the amount of P10,000.00 to
respondent, who on even date, filed a notice of appeal before the
RTC. The RTC dismissed complainants appeal for having been filed
beyond the reglementary period provided for by law. Respondent,
however, did not disclose such fact and, instead, showed
complainant an Order dated November 9, 2007 purportedly issued
by the RTC (November 9, 2007 Order) directing the submission of
the results of a DNA testing to prove his filiation to the late Luis Tan.

To make some clarification about the technical requirements for


such kind of testing, complainant proceeded to the RTC and
requested for an extension of the deadline for its submission where
he discovered that the November 9, 2007 Order was spurious, as
certified by the RTCs Clerk of Court he also found out that, contrary
to the representations of respondent, his appeal had long been
dismissed.He filed the instant administrative complaint for
disbarment against respondent.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable for
violating the Code of Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
YES. Respondent Pedro S. Diamante is DISBARRED for Gross
Misconduct and violations of Rule 1.01, Canon 1, and Rule 18.04,
Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. As an officer of
the court, it is the duty of an attorney to inform his client of
whatever important information he may have acquired affecting his
clients case. He should notify his client of any adverse decision to
enable his client to decide whether to seek an appellate review
thereof. Keeping the client informed of the developments of the case
will minimize misunderstanding and loss of trust and confidence in
the attorney. The lawyer should not leave the client in the dark on
how the lawyer is defending the clients interests. In this connection,
the lawyer must constantly keep in mind that his actions, omissions,
or nonfeasance would be binding upon his client. Concomitantly, the
lawyer is expected to be acquainted with the rudiments of law and
legal procedure, and a client who deals with him has the right to
expect not just a good amount of professional learning and
competence but also a whole-hearted fealty to the clients cause.
Under Rule 18.04, Canon 18 of the CPR, it is the lawyers duty to
keep his client constantly updated on the developments of his case

as it is crucial in maintaining the latters confidence. Respondents


conduct of employing a crooked and deceitful scheme to keep
complainant in the dark and conceal his cases true status through
the use of a falsified court order evidently constitutes Gross
Misconduct.His acts should not just be deemed as unacceptable
practices that are disgraceful and dishonorable; they reveal a basic
moral flaw that makes him unfit to practice law.

ROBERT VICTOR G. SEARES, JR., vs. ATTY. SANIATA LIWLIWA


V. GONZALES-ALZATE
Adm. Case No. 9058, November 14, 2012

CANON NUMBER: Canon 18

FACTS:
Atty. Gonzales-Aizate is the legal counsel of Sears Jr. when he ran for
the position of Municipal Mayor of Dolores, Abra in the May 2007
elections; that after he lost by a 50-vote margin to Albert Z.
Guzman, she filed in his behalf a "Petition Of Protest Ad Cautelam"
in the RTC in Bangued, Abra; that the petition was dismissed for
being "fatally defective;" that several months later, she insisted on
filing a Petition of Protest in the RTC, but the petition was also
dismissed on the ground that it was already time-barred, and on the
further ground of forum shopping because the certification against
forum shopping was false;
that the RTC declared her as
professionally negligentSeares, Jr. asserts that Atty. Gonzales-Alzate
thereby violated Canon 15, Canon 17 and Canon 18 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility for negligently handling his election
protest, for prosecuting him, her former client, and for uttering false
and hurtful allegations against him. Hence, he prays that she should
be disbarred.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Gonzales-Alzate violate the prohibition against
representing conflicting interests when she assisted Turqueza in his
administrative case against Seares, Jr., her former client?

HELD:
No.The complaint against Atty. Gonzales-Alzate is unfounded and
devoid of substance. For administrative liability under Canon 18 to

attach, the negligent act of the attorney should be gross and


inexcusable as to lead to a result that was highly prejudicial to the
clients interest. Accordingly, the Court has imposed administrative
sanctions on a grossly negligent attorney for unreasonable failure to
file a required pleading or for unreasonable failure to file an appeal,
especially when the failure occurred after the attorney moved for
several extensions to file the pleading and offered several excuses
for his nonfeasance. The Court has found the attendance of
inexcusable negligence when an attorney resorts to a wrong remedy
or belatedly files an appeal or inordinately delays the filing of a
complaint or fails to attend scheduled court hearings. Gross
misconduct on the part of an attorney is determined from the
circumstances of the case, the nature of the act done and the
motive that induced the attorney to commit the act.
Yet, a reading of the June 8, 2007 order of the RTC (Branch I) in
Bangued, Abra shows that the true cause of the dismissal of Seares,
Jr.s Petition For Protest Ad Cautelam was its prematurity in light of
the pendency in the Commission on Elections of his Petition to
Suspend Canvass and Proclamation.The RTC cogently held that
(t)he primary objective of this petition is to pray for the issuance of
a Preliminary Precaution Order xxx (but) a prayer for the issuance of
the protection of ballot boxes, Books and Lists of Voters and other
election paraphernalia in the recently concluded elections is well
within the power of the Commission on Elections. The court see no
trace of professional negligence or incompetence on the part of Atty.
Gonzales-Alzate in her handling of Seares, Jr.s protest, especially
because she even filed in his behalf a Motion for Reconsideration,
a Comment on the Courts Dismissal of the Protest Ad Cautelam
and a Motion to Withdraw Cash Deposit.Besides, her explanation
that it was Seares, Jr. himself who decided not to pursue the appeal
and who instead requested her to move for the withdrawal of his
cash deposit was very plausible.

Also, the court cannot find Atty. Gonzales-Alzate professionally


negligent in respect of the filing and eventual dismissal of the
subsequent Petition for Protest. The verification and certification
against forum shopping attached to the petition contained
handwritten superimpositions by Atty. Gonzales Alzate, but such
superimpositions were apparently made only to reflect the
corrections of the dates of subscription and the notarial document
number and docket number for the verification and certification.

Sencio v. Calvadores
A.M. Case No. 5841 January 20, 2003
CANON NUMBER: CANON 18
FACTS: Complainant Emily Sencio asked for the legal services of
respondent Atty. Robert Calvadores when the formers son died in a
vehicular accident and she wants to prosecute the civil aspect of the
case. Sencio initially paid P1,200.00 and then completed the
P12,000.00 fee. From that time on, the complainant has regularly
contacted the respondent to update her on the status of the case.
The respondent said that everything would be alright.

However, the complainant found out that the respondent did not file
a case which the
latter admitted. Calvadores promised that we would return the
money. Sencio returned several times to Calvadores house to no
avail. Sencio filed a disbarment case against the respondent. The
trial has been moved several times because of the absence of
Calvadores even with due notice.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent violated the Code of Professional


Responsibility.

HELD:Yes. A lawyer-client relationship existed between the


respondent and the complainant. As such, the respondent, under
Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, owed fidelity to
the cause of his client. Once a lawyer agrees to handle a case, he
should undertake the task with dedication and care; less than that,
he is not true to his oath as a lawyer. He is also guilty of violation of
Canon 16 for not delivering the funds or property of the client upon
demand and of Canon 18 for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to
him.

Calvadores is suspended in the practice of law for six months and to


return the amount of P12,000.00 to Sencia within 30 days with
interest at 12% per annum from the date of the promulgation of this
Resolution until its return.

Moton v. Cadiao
A.M. Case No. 5169 November 24, 1999
CANON NUMBER: CANON 18
FACTS: Atty. Cadiao was Motons counsel in a civil complaint
against Castillo. It appeared that Atty. Cadiao failed to present
evidence in Motons behalf because he was handling another case in
Antique.

On November 20, 1991, Atty. Cadiao filed with the Court of Appeals
a petition for certiorari alleging that the trial court acted with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it
dismissed the case. On October 23, 1992, the Court of Appeals
dismissed the petition for lack of merit. On January 20, 1993,
respondent filed with the Court of Appeals a Withdrawal of
Appearance.

Hence, this complaint.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent lawyer is guilty of negligence


for his failure to present evidence in his clients behalf

HELD: YES. Canon 18, Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional


Conduct provides than a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter
entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall
render him liable. By reason of Atty. Cadiaos negligence, actual loss
has been caused to his client.

He should give adequate attention, care and time to his cases, this

is why a practicing lawyer may accept only so many cases that he


can efficiently handle otherwise his clients will be prejudiced. Once
he agrees to handle a case, he should undertake the task with
dedication and care. If he should do any less, then he is not true to
his oath.

ELPIDIO JAVELLANA vs. NICOLAS LUTERO


G.R. No. L-23956
July 21, 1967
CANON 18
Facts: On March 29, 1963 Archbishop of Jaro, Iloilo filed a detainer
complaint against ElpidioJavellana with the municipal court of Iloilo
City, presided by Judge Nicolas Lutero. The hearing was postponed
several times due to the reasons given by the defendants lawyer,
Atty. JoseHautea. On July 24, the municipal court already gave a
warning that no further postponement would be entertained, on the
next scheduled hearing neither the defendant nor his counsel
appeared. The plaintiff's counsel objected the postponement on the
ground that the defendant and his counsel were well aware of the
court's previous admonition that no further postponement of the
case would be granted. The trial proceeded and, on the basis of the
plaintiff's evidence, the court on the same date rendered judgment
for the plaintiff and against the defendant. A motion to set aside
judgment and for new trial was filled by the defendant but was
denied. About 50 days later, the defendant filed a petition for relief
with the Court of First Instance, praying that the decision in question
be set aside, that the detainer case be set for trial. Counsel for the
petitioner averred that his absence on the date of the trial was
excusable and that before his departure for the latter city, he
verbally informed the respondent judge that he might not arrive on
time for the trial of the case as set, that he exercised utmost
diligence and precaution by calling and sending a telegram, the
municipal court nevertheless proceeded with the trial in his absence
and that of his client, allowed the private respondent to present his
evidence ex parte, and rendered a decision against the petitioner,
thus depriving the latter of his day in court.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Hautea was negligent in his duties as a
lawyer.

Ruling: A counsel for any party in a judicial controversy, by mandate


of the canons of legal ethics, and with due regard for the elementary
standards of fair play, is duty bound to prepare for trial with
diligence and deliberate speed. This norm of conduct is no less
applicable in a detainer case, such as the one at bar, even if the
issues are essentially simple and uncomplicated. It is obvious that
the counsel for the petitioner-appellant has been remiss in this
respect. The case was reset for hearing several times, which means
that the appellant's counsel had more time to adjust his schedule of
activities as to obviate a conflict between his business transactions
and his calendar of hearings. His absences was not occasioned by
illness or some other supervening occurrence which unavoidably
and justifiably prevented him from appearing in court. It was the
bounden duty of the said counsel, under the circumstances, to give
preferential attention to the case. As things were, he regarded the
municipal court as a mere marionette that must ever await his
pleasure. This attitude on his part is censurable as it reveals more
than just a modicum of disrespect for the judiciary and the
established machinery of justice. Accordingly, the decision appealed
from is affirmed. As this appeal is patently frivolous and dilatory,
this Court, under the authority of section 3 of Rule 142 of the Rules
of Court, hereby assesses treble costs against the petitionerappellant ElpidioJavellana, said costs to be paid by his counsel, Atty.
Jose Hautea.

ATTY. ELMER C. SOLIDON vs. ATTY. RAMIL E. MACALALAD


A.C. No. 8158
February 24, 2010

CANON 18
FACTS: Complainant, asked respondent to handle the judicial titling
of a parcel of land owned by complainants relatives, he accepted
the task to be completed within a period of eight months and
received P50,000.00 as initial payment; the remaining balance of
P30,000.00 was to be paid when complainant received the
certificate of title to the property. Respondent has not filed any
petition for registration over the property sought to be titled up to
the filing of this case. In the Complaint, Position Papers and
documentary evidence submitted, complainant claimed that he tried
to contact respondent to follow-up on the status of the case six
months after he paid the initial legal fees. He did this through phone
calls and text messages and through a letter but did not receive any
return communication. Complainant sought the disbarment of
respondent for violations of Rule 16.01, Rule 18.03, and Rule 18.04
of the Code of Professional Responsibility involving negligence in
handling a case. Complainant argued that he had no intention of
reneging from his obligation, as he already had prepared the draft
petition, and he failed to file it because it lacked the needed
documentary requirements that his clients should have furnished
him.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent violated Rule 16.01, 18.03
and 18.04.
RULING: Yes, Rule 16.01, 18.03, and 18.04 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility was violated. A lawyer bears the duty to
serve his client with competence and diligence, and to exert his best
efforts to protect, within the bounds of the law, the interest of the
client. The records in this case tell us that Atty.Macalalad failed to
act as he committed when he failed to file the required petition. He
cannot now shift the blame to his clients since it was his duty as a
lawyer to communicate with them. He had been given initial
payment and should have at least undertaken initial delivery of his
part of the engagement. Atty. Macalalad was suspended for six
months and was ordered to return the amount of Php 50, 000 with
interest of 12% per annum.

Canon 19
ESPINA vs. CHAVEZ
A.C. No. 7250
April 20, 2015

FACTS:
Atty. Ricardo M. Espina and his law firm in an ejectment suit filed
against Remedios C. Enguio. Atty. Jesus G. Chavez represented
Enguio. During the pendency of the ejectment suit, Atty. Chavez
committed an act apparently in his official capacity, endorsing
through a letter (transmittal letter) to the Provincial Prosecutor, the
filing of a criminal complaint for Violation of Article 172 (Falsification
by private individual and use of falsified document) of the Revised
Penal Code(RPC) against Atty. Espina, his wife (who is a partner in
his law office) and his parents.
The criminal complaint was based on Enguios affidavitcomplaint alleging that "in order to fashion a case for Ejectment,
respondents made an untruthful statement in the narration of facts
(par. 4, Article 171)."
This

prompted

Atty.

Espina

to

file

his

Complaint

for

Disbarment/Suspension with the IBP for violation of Canon 19, Rule


19.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Chavez violated Canon 19 Rule 19.01
RULING:
Atty. Espina's position unmeritorious and without basis. What
Rule 19.01 prohibits is the filing or the threat of filing patently
frivolous and meritless appeals or clearly groundless actions for the
purpose of gaining improper advantage in any case or proceeding,
Atty. Espina fails to substantiate is allegations.
First, the fact that Atty. Chavez endorsed the criminal complaint
to the Provincial Prosecutor was, in itself, not contrary to Rule 19.01.
Second, the criminal complaint was not patently frivolous and
groundless. Finally, unlike in the cases cited above, there is no clear
and concrete proof that the falsification complaint was filed to
ensure improper advantage to Enguio.

TOLENTINO vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


G.R. No. 218536
January 26, 2016

FACTS:
Henry Manalo won the 2013 barangay elections the position of
Barangay Captain in Barangay Calingcuan, Tarlac City and Rolando
P. Tolentino, his opponent immediately filed an election protest.
After the revision of votes, the MTCC proclaimed Tolentino as the
winner. The MTCC also gave due course to Manalo's appeal.
Tolentino filed his answer and moved for the reconsideration of the
TRO which the MTCC denied.

Tolentino, through Atty. Ramon D. Facun, wrote a "Final Request"


to the COMELEC City Election Office demanding the implementation
of the writ of execution pending appeal with an accompanying
threat that he would file contempt charges if immediate
implementation would not take place.
Respondent Atty. Cristina R. Guiao-Garcia, Election Officer IV,
endorsed the matter to the Commission's Law Department which, in
turn, made its own endorsement to the First Division where the case
was pending.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Ramon D. Facun violated Canon 19 Rule
19.01
RULING:
Atty. Ramon D. Facun is WARNED. He already knew that the
MTCC refused to enforce the writ of execution pending appeal after
having lost jurisdiction over the case. Yet in his zeal to advance the
interests of his client, Atty. Facun threatened an election officer with
the filing of a baseless contempt charge in violation of Canon 19.01
of the Code of Professional Responsibility in relation with Section
261 (f) of the Omnibus Election Code. Atty. Facuns threatening
action in this case dangerously lies at the margins of Rule 19.01 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility, and did not spill over into a
violation of this Rule only because of the liberality of this Court.
Given this warning, any repetition of this or other similar acts shall
not be liberally dealt with.

FERNANDO MARTIN O. PENA VS. ATTY. LOLITO G. APARICIO


(A.C. No. 7298, June 25, 2007)
CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL
WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW.
FACTS:
Atty. Aparicio appeared as legal counsel for Grace Hufana in
an illegal dismissal case before the National Labor Relations
Commission. Sometime in August 2005, complainant Fernando

Martin O. Pena, as President of MOF Company, Inc. received a notice


from the Conciliation and Mediation Center of the NLRC for a
mediation/conciliation conference. In the conference, respondent in
behalf of his client submitted a claim for separation pay arising from
her alleged illegal dismissal. Complainant thereafter sent notices to
Hufana for the latter to explain her absences and to return to work.
In reply to thus return to work notices, respondent wrote a letter to
complainant reiterating his clients claim for separation pay. The
letter also contained threats of multiple charges like tax evasion and
falsification of documents in the case that these claims are not paid
on August 10, 2005.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Lolito G. Aparicio should be disbarred
because of the threats to file criminal cases designed to their secure
a leverage to compel adversaries to yield or withdraw their own
cases against the lawyers client.
HELD:
No. In the case at bar, respondent did exactly what Canon 19
and its rule proscribe. Through his letter, he threatened complainant
that should the latter fail to pay what they proposed as settlement ,
he would file and claim a bigger amounts including moral damages
as well as multiple charges such as tax evasion, falsification of
documents, and cancellation of business license to operate due to
violate of laws. The threats are not only unethical for violating
Canon 19, but they also amount to blackmail. However, while the
writing of the letter went beyond ethical standards, the court held
that disbarment is too severe a penalty to be imposed on the
respondent, considering that he wrote the same out of his
overzealousness to protect his clients interests. Accordingly, the
more appropriate penalty is reprimand.
RURAL BANK OF CALAPE, INC. (RBCI) BOHOL, VS. ATTY.
JAMES BENEDICT FLORIDO
(A.C. No. 5736, June 18, 2010)
CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL
WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW.
FACTS:
This is a complaint for disbarment filed by the members of the
Board of Directors of the Rural Bank of Calape, Inc. (RBCI) Bohol
against respondent Atty. James Benedict Florido (respondent) for
'acts constituting grave coercion and threats when he, as counsel
for the minority stockholders of RBCI, led his clients in physically
taking over the management and operation of the bank through
force, violence and intimidation.

On 18 April 2002, RBCI filed a complaint for disbarment


against respondent. RBCI alleged that respondent violated his oath
and the Code of Professional Responsibility (Code).
According to RBCI, on 1 April 2002, respondent and his
clients, Dr. Domeciano Nazareno, Dr. Remedios Relampagos, Dr.
Manuel Relampagos, and Felix Rengel (Nazareno-Relampagos
group), through force and intimidation, with the use of armed men,
forcibly took over the management and the premises of RBCI. They
also forcibly evicted Cirilo A. Garay (Garay), the bank manager,
destroyed the bank's vault, and installed their own staff to run the
bank.
In his comment, respondent denied RBCI's allegations.
Respondent explained that he acted in accordance with the
authority granted upon him by the Nazareno-Relampagos group, the
lawfully and validly elected Board of Directors of RBCI. Respondent
said he was merely effecting a lawful and valid change of
management. Respondent alleged that a termination notice was
sent to Garay but he refused to comply. On 1 April 2002, to ensure a
smooth transition of managerial operations, respondent and the
Nazareno-Relampagos group went to the bank to ask Garay to step
down. However, Garay reacted violently and grappled with the
security guard's long firearm. Respondent then directed the security
guards to prevent entry into the bank premises of individuals who
had no transaction with the bank. Respondent, through the orders of
the Nazareno-Relampagos group, also changed the locks of the
bank's vault.
Respondent added that the criminal complaint for malicious
mischief filed against him by RBCI was already dismissed; while the
complaint for grave coercion was ordered suspended because of the
existence of a prejudicial question. Respondent said that the
disbarment complaint was filed against him in retaliation for the
administrative cases he filed against RBCI's counsel and the trial
court judges of Bohol.
Moreover, respondent claimed that RBCI failed to present any
evidence to prove their allegations. Respondent added that the
affidavits attached to the complaint were never identified, affirmed,
or confirmed by the affiants and that none of the documentary
exhibits were originals or certified true copies.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Florido violated Canon 19 and should be
held liable.

HELD:
Yes. Canon 19 of the Code provides that a lawyer shall
represent his client with zeal within the bounds of the law. For this
reason, Rule 15.07 of the Code requires a lawyer to impress upon
his client compliance with the law and principles of fairness. A
lawyer must employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful
objectives of his client. It is his duty to counsel his clients to use
peaceful and lawful methods in seeking justice and refrain from
doing an intentional wrong to their adversaries. Lawyers are
indispensable instruments of justice and peace. Upon taking their
professional oath, they become guardians of truth and the rule of
law. Verily, when they appear before a tribunal, they act not merely
as representatives of a party but, first and foremost, as officers of
the court. Thus, their duty to protect their clients' interests is
secondary to their obligation to assist in the speedy and efficient
administration of justice. While they are obliged to present every
available legal remedy or defense, their fidelity to their clients must
always be made within the parameters of law and ethics, never at
the expense of truth, the law, and the fair administration of justice.
A lawyer's duty is not to his client but to the administration of
justice. To that end, his client's success is wholly subordinate. His
conduct ought to and must always be scrupulously observant of the
law and ethics. Any means, not honorable, fair and honest which is
resorted to by the lawyer, even in the pursuit of his devotion to his
client's cause, is condemnable and unethical.

CANON 19
Fernando Martin O. Pena v. Quisimbing
A.C. No. 7298, June 25, 2007

CANON NUMBER: Canon 19 (Rule 19.01)

FACTS:
Atty. Lolito G. Aparicio (respondent) appeared as counsel for Grace
C. Hufana in an illegal dismissal case before the National Labor
Relations Commission (NLRC). In a mediation/conciliation conference
respondent submitted a claim for separation pay, however,
complainant rejected the same for being baseless. Complainant
thereafter sent notices to Hufana to explain the latters absences
and to return to work but respondent wrote a letter reiterating the
claim for separation pay which also contained a threat to the
company for multiple charges such as tax evasion, criminal charges
for tax evasion and falsification of documents and cancellation of
business license. Believing that the contents of the letter deviated
from
accepted
ethical
standards,
complainant
filed
an
administrative complaint.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Aparicio violated Canon 19 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
YES. Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that
a lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within the bounds of the
law, reminding legal practitioners that a lawyers duty is not to his
client but to the administration of justice; to that end, his clients
success is wholly subordinate; and his conduct ought to and must
always be scrupulously observant of law and ethics.

In particular, Rule 19.01 commands that a lawyer shall employ only


fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client
and shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to
present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper
advantage in any case or proceeding. Under this Rule, a lawyer
should not file or threaten to file any unfounded or baseless criminal
case or cases against the adversaries of his client designed to
secure a leverage to compel the adversaries to yield or withdraw
their own cases against the lawyers client.

In the case at bar, respondent did exactly what Canon 19 and its

Rule proscribe. Through his letter, he threatened complainant that


should the latter fail to pay the amounts they propose as
settlement, he would file and claim bigger amounts including moral
damages, as well as multiple charges such as tax evasion,
falsification of documents, and cancellation of business license to
operate due to violations of laws. The threats are not only unethical
for violating Canon 19, but they also amount to blackmail.

Maria Christina Pitcher v. Atty. Rustico B. Gagate


A.C. No. 9532 October 8, 2013

CANON NUMBER: Canon 19 ( Rule 19.01)

FACTS:
Maria Christina Pitcher claimed to be the legal wife of David B.
Pitcher, who passed away on June 18, 2004. Prior to his death, David
was engaged in business in the Philippines and owned, among
others, 40% of the shareholdings in Consulting Edge, Inc. In order to
settle the affairs of her deceased husband, complainant engaged
the services of respondent. On June 22, 2004, complainant and
respondent met with Katherine Bantegui, a major stockholder of
Consulting Edge, to discuss a settlement. Prior to the scheduled
meeting, complainant was prevailed upon by respondent to put a
paper seal on the door of the company assuring her that it was
legal.
On
the
scheduled
meeting,
Bantegui
expressed
disappointment, which impelled her to just leave the matter for the
court to settle. Respondent thereafter caused the change in the lock
of the companys office door, which prompted Bantegui to file a
complaint against the complainant and respondent. On November
18, 2004, the Prosecutors Office issued a resolution finding
probable cause to charge complainant and respondent for grave
coercion. Warrants of arrest were then issued against them.
Respondent advised complainant to go into hiding until he had filed
the necessary motions in court, however, respondent eventually
abandoned the case and stopped communicating with complainant.
Thus, this present administrative case.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Gagate violated Canon 19 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
YES. The relationship between a lawyer and his client is one imbued
with utmost trust and confidence. In this regard, clients are led to
expect that lawyers would be ever-mindful of their cause and
accordingly exercise the required degree of diligence in handling
their affairs. For his part, the lawyer is expected to maintain at all
times a high standard of legal proficiency, and to devote his full
attention, skill, and competence to the case, regardless of its
importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or for free. To this
end, he is enjoined to employ only fair and honest means to attain
lawful objectives. These principles are embodied in Canon 17, Rule
18.03 of Canon 18, and Rule 19.01 of Canon 19 of the Code.

Complainant's right over the properties of her deceased husband,


David, has yet to be sufficiently established. As such, the highhanded action taken by respondent to enforce complainant's claim
of ownership over the latters interest in Consulting Edge was highly
improper. Verily, a person cannot take the law into his own hands,
regardless of the merits of his theory. In the same light,
respondent's act of advising complainant to go into hiding in order
to evade arrest in the criminal case can hardly be maintained as
proper legal advice since the same constitutes transgression of the
ordinary processes of law. By virtue of the foregoing, respondent
clearly violated his duty to his client to use peaceful and lawful
methods in seeking justice, in violation of Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of
the Code.

Fernandez v. Novero, Jr.


A.M. Case No. 5394 December 22, 2002
CANON NUMBER: CANON 19
FACTS: Rizalino Fernandez and others filed a disbarment case
against Atty. Reynaldo Novero, Jr. for alleged patent and gross
neglect in the handling of their civil case against the Bacolod City
Water District. The complainant imputed that the respondent did not
attend the scheduled hearing nor seek a postponement, for which
reason the trial court considered respondent to have waived further
presentation of his evidence and directed him to formally offer his
exhibits. However, respondent failed to formally offer his exhibits,
prompting the trial court to order the dismissal of the case.

The respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of


dismissal however he did not file his motion within the reglementary
period. He even tried to shift the blame on complainant by claiming
that the latter insisted on presenting his sister from Manila as their
last witness. The truth was that complainants sister had already
testified. The respondent submitted his Answer and averred that the
complaint filed against him was baseless, purely malicious and
speculative considering the fact that it was not made under oath. He
contended that complainant engaged his legal services after the
first counsel had withdrawn and he had no knowledge of what had
happened in the case before he handled it because complainant did
not furnish him with the records and stenographic notes of the
previous proceedings despite his repeated requests. He alleged that
he failed to formally offer the exhibits because complainant tried to
take over the handling of the case by insisting on presenting more
witnesses who failed to appear during trial.

The Office of the Bar Confidant submitted a report finding


respondent guilty of violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and recommending his suspension. The Integrated
Bar of the Philippines also submitted a report and recommendation
for the suspension of respondent from the practice of law for a
period of six (6) months.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent is guilty of gross neglect in the


handling of the civil case.

HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court held that a counsel must constantly
keep in mind that his actions or omissions, even malfeasance or
nonfeasance would be binding on his client. A lawyer owes to the
client the exercise of utmost prudence and capability in that
representation. The respondents attempt to evade responsibility by
shifting the blame on complainant due to the latters failure to turn
over to him records and stenographic notes of the case only
highlights his incompetence and inadequacy in handling the
complainants case. The respondent Atty. Novero is found guilty of
neglect of his clients case and is Suspended from the practice of
law for one (1) month with Warning that repetition of the same

negligent act will be dealt with even more severely.

Ong v. Unto
A.M. Case No. 2417 February 6, 2002
CANON NUMBER: CANON 17
FACTS: This is a disbarment case filed by Alex Ong against Atty.
Elpidio D. Unto, for malpractice of law and conduct unbecoming of a
lawyer. It is evident from the records that he tried to coerce the
complainant to comply with his letter-demand by threatening to file
various charges against the latter. When the complainant did not
heed his warning, he made good his threat and filed a string of
criminal and administrative cases against the complainant. They,
however, did not have any bearing or connection to the cause of his
client.
The records show that the respondent offered monetary rewards to
anyone who could provide him any information against the
complainant just so he would have leverage in his actions against
the latter.
ISSUE:Whether or not Atty. Untos acts constitute malpractice.
HELD: Yes. Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
mandates lawyers to represent their clients with zeal but within the
bounds of the law. Rule 19.01 further commands that a lawyer shall
employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of
his client and shall not present, participate, or threaten to present
unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage in any
case or proceeding.

VERLEEN TRINIDAD vs. ATTY. ANGELITO VILLARIN


A.C. No. 9310
February 27, 2013
CANON 19
Facts: Sometime in 2003, a complaint was filed with the Housing
and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) by the buyers of the lots in
Don Jose Zavalla Subdivision against Purence Realty Corporation.

The HLURB ordered the owner and developer to deliver the Deeds of
Sale and the Transfer Certificates of Title to the winning litigants.
Thereafter, HLURB issued a Writ of Execution. Then respondent
appeared to represent Purence Realty. He then filed an Omnibus
Motion to set aside the Decision and to quash the Writ of Execution
for being null and void on the ground of lack of jurisdiction due to
the improper service of summons on his client. On 4 December
2003, respondent sent demand letters to complainants he
demanded that they immediately vacate the property and surrender
it to Purence Realty within five days from receipt. Atty. Villarin filed a
complaint for forcible entry before the Municipal Trial Court against
the complainants herein. As found by the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines and affirmed by its Board of Governors, complainants
asserted in their respective complaints that the demand letters sent
by Villarin had been issued with malice and intent to harass them.
They insisted that the letters also against the HLURB Decision
ordering his client to permit the buyers to pay the balance of the
purchase price of the subdivision lots. Villarin denied the allegations
of harassment and claimed that no malice attended the sending of
the demand letters.
Issue: Whether or not respondent should be administratively
sanctioned for sending the demand letters.
Held: Yes. The Code of Professional Responsibility provides the
limitation that lawyers shall perform their duty to the client within
the bounds of law. They should only make such defense only when
they believe it to be honestly debatable under the law. The factual
findings of the IBP board of governors reveal that in his demand
letter, he brazenly typified one of the complainants, Florentina
Lander, as an illegal occupant. However, this description is the exact
opposite of the truth, since the final and executory HLURB Decision
had already recognized her as a subdivision lot buyer who had a
right to complete her payments in order to occupy her property.
Given that respondent knew that the aforementioned falsity totally
disregarded the HLURB Decision, he thus advances the interest of
his client through means that are not in keeping with fairness and
honesty. What he does is clearly proscribed by Rule 19.01 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, which requires that a lawyer
shall employ only fair and honest means to attain lawful objectives.
Lawyers must not present and offer in evidence any document that
they know is false. Wherefore, in view of the foregoing, respondent
Atty. AngelitoVillarin is REPRIMANDED with a warning that a

repetition of the same or a similar act shall be dealt with more


severely.
MARY ANNT.MATTUS vs. ATTY. ALBERT T. VILLASECA
A.C. No. 7922
October 1, 2013
CANON 19
Facts: German Bernardo D. Mattus and Dexter Aligan were the
accused in Criminal Case for estafa thru falsification of public
document filed in the RTC in Cavite. The complainant and her
husband, German, engaged the services of Atty. Villaseca to
represent them in the proceedings. The complainant maintained
that she and German were convicted due to Atty. Villasecas gross
and inexcusable negligence in performing his duties as their
counsel. The complainant alleged, among others, that Atty.
Villaseca: (1) was often absent during court hearings but still
collected appearance fees; (2) frequently sought the postponement
of trial when he was present; (3) failed to ask the RTC to direct a
National Bureau of Investigation expert to examine the signatures of
the spouses Leslie and Zuraida Porter2 in the special power of
attorney (SPA); (4) failed to file a demurrer to evidence despite
having been granted sufficient time by the RTC to submit one; (5)
failed to present evidence on behalf of the defense, and only filed a
memorandum; (6) did not inform her and German of the dates of the
presentation of defense evidence and the promulgation of
judgment; and (7) erroneously indicated the wrong case number in
the notice of appeal. According to the complainant, Atty. Villasecas
negligence in handling the case resulted in her own and her
husbands conviction. On September 10, 2008, Atty. Villasecadenied
the allegations thrown against him.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Villaseca was grossly negligent in
performing his duties as a lawyer.
Held: Yes. The Supreme Court held that Atty. Villasecas failure to
submit a demurrer to evidence constitutes inexcusable negligence;
it showed his lack of devotion and zeal in preserving his clients
cause. Furthermore, Atty. Villasecas failure to present any
testimonial, object or documentary evidence for the defense reveals
his lack of diligence in performing his duties as an officer of the
Court; it showed his indifference towards the cause of his clients.
Considering that the liberty and livelihood of his clients were at
stake, Atty. Villaseca should have exerted efforts to rebut the
presented prosecution evidence. The Court emphasized that while a

lawyer has complete discretion on what legal strategy to employ in


a case entrusted to him, he must present every remedy or defense
within the authority of the law to support his clients
cause.Wherefore, Atty. Albert T. Villasecais hereby SUSPENDED from
the practice of law for five years, effective upon his receipt of the
Decision, and sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar
offense will be dealt with more severely.

Canon 20
VALDEZ vs. VICTORIA
A.C. No. 10958 (Notice)
January 13, 2016

FACTS:
The complainant and the respondent entered into an
arrangement where the former would be handling a land registration
case involving the latter's sister. Respondent was named attorneyin-fact of his sister in that case. A complaint was filed against Atty.
Daniel C. Victoria, Jr. for grave misconduct committed by a lawyer
arising from his absence of concern for another lawyer's plight, and
abject or callous refusal to heed a plea and give justice to the
complainant. This case was filed before the IBP Commission on Bar
Discipline.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Daniel C. Victoria, Jrs actions constituted
Rule 20.04 of Canon 20

RULING:
No. There is hardly any solid indication in the pleadings filed that
the respondent is attorney-in-fact. Even if it be accepted that

respondent may have obligations to the complainant as a


consequence of their arrangement, it is extremely doubtful whether
the resort to the administrative complaint is appropriate to enforce
what is normally a personal commitment that does not approximate
per se a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility that calls
for sanctions.

Nonetheless, this dismissal is without prejudice to complainant


seeking relief to obtain what he feels is due him as attorney's fees.
Respondent, as a responsible member of the Bar, is advised to act
accordingly.

AGUSTIN vs. CARRERA


A.C. No. 9250 Formerly CBD No. 10-2629
July 27, 2016

FACTS:
Sometime in 2006, Dioveni and his wife, engaged Atty. Carrera
to represent them in filing a complaint for permanent disability
benefits against Centennial Transmarine, Inc. (CTI). Through a letter
Dioveni terminated the services of Atty. Carrera. The NLRC rendered
a decision in favor of Dioveni and he filed an Urgent Motion for the
Issuance of a Writ of Execution but Atty. Carrera filed a Motion to
Recognize and Enforce his Attorney's Lien which was denied. The
present complaint was instituted asserting that Atty. Carrera
disregarded his duties as a lawyer when he filed his appeal, which
was intended to delay the execution of the judgment. Carmelita M.
Agustin, representing Dioveni Agustin, filed a complaint for
disbarment against Atty. Rebene C. Carrera .

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Carrera is entitled to attorneys fees

RULING:
Yes. The Court agrees that Atty. Carrera had the right to be paid
for
the legal services he had extended to his client. Considering that his
legal services was discharged without any justifiable cause, he
should be entitled to the full compensation as agreed upon in the
Retainer Agreement.||| Because unless expressly stipulated,
rendition of professional services by a lawyer, whether such service
was solicited or offered to the client, is for a fee or compensation
and is not gratuitous. Rule 20.01 of Canon 20 of the CPR specifically
provides guidelines in the determination of attorney's fees.

LUZVIMINDA C. LIJAUCO VS. ATTY. ROGELIO P. TERRADO


(A.C. No. 6317, August 31, 2006)

CANON 20 - A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND REASONABLE


FEES.

FACTS:
On February 13, 2004, an administrative complaint was filed
by complainant Luzviminda C. Lijauco against respondent Atty.
Rogelio P. Terrado for gross misconduct, malpractice and conduct
unbecoming of an officer of the court when he neglected a legal
matter entrusted to him despite receipt of payment representing
attorney'sfees.
According to the complainant, she engaged the services of
respondent sometime in January 2001 for P70,000.00 to assist in
recovering her deposit with Planters Development Bank, Buendia,
Makati branch in the amount of P180,000.00 and the release of her
foreclosed house and lot located in Calamba, Laguna. The property
identified as Lot No. 408-C-2 and registered as TCT No. T-402119 in
the name of said bank is the subject of a petition for the issuance

of a writ of possession then pending before the Regional Trial Court


of Binan, Laguna, Branch 24 docketed as LRC Case No. B-2610.
Complainant alleged that respondent failed to appear before
the trial court in the hearing for the issuance of the Writ of
Possession and did not protect her interests in the Compromise
Agreement which she subsequently entered into to end LRC Case
No. B-2610.
Respondent denied the accusations against him. He averred
that the P70,000.00 he received from complainant was payment for
legal services for the recovery of the deposit with Planters
Development Bank and did not include LRC Case No. B-2610
pending before the Regional Trial Court of Bian, Laguna.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the P70,000.00 legal fees for the recovery of a
P180,000.00 savings deposit is too high and in violation of
Canon 20
HELD:
Yes, the Investigating Commissioner observed that the fee of
P70,000.00 for legal assistance in the recovery of the deposit
amounting
to
P180,000.00
is
unreasonable. A
lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees.
Respondent's
disregard for his client's interests is evident in the iniquitous
stipulations in the compromise agreement where the complainant
conceded the validity of the foreclosure of her property; that the
redemption period has already expired thus consolidating ownership
in the bank, and that she releases her claims against it. As found by
the Investigating Commissioner, complainant agreed to these
concessions because respondent misled her to believe that she
could still redeem the property after three years from the
foreclosure. The duty of a lawyer to safeguard his client's interests
commences from his retainer until his discharge from the case or
the final disposition of the subject matter of litigation. Acceptance of
money from a client establishes an attorney-client relationship and
gives rise to the duty of fidelity to the client's cause. The canons of
the legal profession require that once an attorney agrees to
handle a case, he should undertake the task with zeal, care and
utmost devotion.
Respondent's admission that he divided the legal fees with
two other people as a referral fee does not release him from
liability. A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal
services with persons not licensed to practice law, except in certain
cases.
Atty. Rogelio P. Terrado is found GUILTY of violating Rules 1.01,
9.02, 18.02 and 20.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He
is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months effective
from notice, and STERNLY WARNED that any similar infraction will be
dealt with more severely.

VALERIANA U. DALISAY VS. ATTY. MELANIO MAURICIO, JR.


(A.C. No. 5655, April 22, 2005)
CANON 20 - A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND REASONABLE
FEES.

FACTS:
The instant case stemmed from a verified letter-complaint
dated February 21, 2002 filed with this Court by Valeriana U. Dalisay
against Atty. Melanio "Batas" Mauricio, Jr. for demanding and
receiving exorbitant attorney's fees but did not take any action on
her case.
In her complaint, Dalisay alleged that she was impressed by
the pro-poor and pro-justice advocacy of respondent, a media
personality. So she engaged his services as her counsel in Civil Case
No. 00-44, wherein she is the defendant, pending before the
Municipal Trial Court of Binangonan, Rizal. After consulting with
respondent, she handed to him all the pertinent documents. In turn,
respondent demanded P25,000.00 as acceptance fee which she
paid. Then respondent asked her to pay P8,000.00 as filing fee. She
paid the amount although she knew that Civil Case No. 00-44 was
already filed with the court.
After a month, complainant approached respondent to followup her case. Respondent demanded additional acceptance fee,
or a total of P90,000.00, with the explanation that he can
give a discount should she pay in cash. Respondent also asked her
to pay him P3,000.00 as appearance fee.
Complainant raised an additional amount and paid respondent
the total sum of P48,000.00. Adding to this amount P8,000.00 filing
fee, her total payment was P56,000.00.
Complainant further alleged that notwithstanding her payments,
respondent never rendered any legal service for her in Civil Case No.
00-044. As a result, she terminated their attorney-client relationship
and demanded the return of her money and documents. However,
he refused to do so.
In his comment, respondent denied complainant's charge. He
claimed that Atty. Oliver Lozano referred her to him to defend her in
Civil Case No. 00-044. He explained to her that she is not covered by
the free legal services being rendered by his office. Thus, she would
be treated as a regular client. Accordingly, his acceptance fee would
be One Hundred Thousand (P100,000.00) Pesos. In addition, she
would be charged for any pleading and paper filed with the court,
plus an appearance fee of P3,000.00.

A few days later, Atty. Lozano called respondent and asked


him to reduce his acceptance fee. He then agreed and
asked only P25,000.00 for which complainant was very grateful.
Respondent denied demanding P8,000.00 as filing fee in Civil
Case No. 00-044. He clarified that such fee was intended for another
case he would file for complainant, aside from Civil Case No. 00-044.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Mauricio, Jr. violated Canon 20
HELD:
Yes. Just like any other professional, a lawyer is entitled to
collect fees for
his
services.
However,
he
should charge only a reasonable amount
of fees. Canon
20
of
the Code
of
Professional
Responsibility mandates
that
"A lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees."
There
is,
however, no hard and fast rule which will serve as guide in
determining what is or what is not a reasonable fee. That must be
determined from the facts of each case. The power to determine
the reasonableness or the unconscionable character of a lawyer's
fee is a matter falling within the regulatory prerogative of the Court.
It is now clear to us that since respondent did not take any step to
assist complainant in her case, charging P56,000.00 is improper.
While giving legal advice and opinion on complainant's problems
and those of her family constitutes legal service, however, the
attorney's fee must be reasonable. Obviously, P56,000.00 is
exorbitant.
CANON 20
Alex B. Cueto v. Atty. Jose B. Jimenez, Jr.
A.C. No. 5798. January 20, 2005

CANON NUMBER: Canon 20 (Rule 20.4)

FACTS:
In October 1999, Engr. Cueto, herein complainant, engaged the
services of respondent as notary public, the latter being the father
of the owner of the building subject to Construction Agreement to
be notarized. After notarizing the agreement, respondent demanded
P50,000 as notarial fee. Despite his surprise as to the cost of the
notarial service, complainant informed respondent that he only had
30,000 in cash so the latter persuaded complainant to issue a check
for the remaining 20,000. Complainant paid all his cashand issued a
check dated December 28, 1999 for the balance. Before the

maturity date of the check, complainant requested respondent not


to deposit the same for lack of sufficient funds but still, respondent
deposited the check which was consequently dishonored for
insufficient funds. Subsequently, Atty. Jimenez lodged a complaint
for violation of BP 22 against Cueto. In the meantime, Cueto filed his
own administrative complaint against Jimenez on November 16,
2001. He alleged that Jimenez violated the Code of Professional
Responsibility and Canons of Professional Ethics when he filed the
criminal case against Cueto so he could collect the balance of his
notarial fee.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Jimenez violated Canon 20 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
The Court agrees with the IBP that respondent's conduct in filing a
criminal case for violation of BP 22 against complainant (when the
check representing the P20,000 balance was dishonored for
insufficient funds) was highly improper.

Canon 20, Rule 20.4 of the Code of Professional Responsibility


mandates that lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients
concerning his compensation and shall resort to judicial action only
to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud. There was clearly no
imposition, injustice or fraud obtaining in this case to justify the
legal action taken by respondent. As borne out by the records,
complainant Cueto had already paid more than half of respondents
fee. Although we acknowledge that every lawyer must be paid what
is due to him, he must never resort to judicial action to recover his
fees, in a manner that detracts from the dignity of the profession.

Teresita D. Santeco v. Atty. Luna B. Avance


A.C. No. 5834. December 11, 2003

CANON NUMBER: Canon 20

FACTS:
In 1997, complainant filed an action to Declare Deed of Absolute

Sale Null and Void and for Reconveyance with Damages. In 1998,
complainant terminated the services of her then counsel and
engaged the services of respondent Atty. Avance as her counsel.
Complainant paid 12,000 as acceptance for her services and the
sums of 1,500.00 and 500.00 in full satisfaction of their acceptance
fee. However, respondent refused to issue receipts despite demands
to do so. In an order, the Makati City RTC expunged from the record
the testimony of a witness for complainant. Respondent filed a
motion to reconsider but the same was denied. Subsequently,
respondent made representations with complainant that she was
going to file a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. For
the proposed service, respondent charged complainant the total
sum of P3,900.00, which the latter paid. Without any word from
respondent, complainant personally verified with the Court of
Appeals whether or not a petition was filed and was dismayed to
discover that no such petition had been filed. Complainant
thereafter filed an action against respondent. Respondent, however,
repeatedly failed to appear at the conciliation proceedings, despite
notice of the hearings. Since then, respondent persistently avoided
complainant and failed to represent her in Civil Cases Nos. 50988
and 97-275. According to complainant, respondent just stopped
appearing as her counsel of record without any justifiable reason

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Avance violated Canon 20 of the
Professional Responsibility?

Code of

HELD:
YES. On March 14, 2002, Investigating Commissioner Lydia A.
Navarro submitted a Report finding respondent culpable as charged
and recommended that she be suspended from the practice of law
for two (2) years. She found, among others, that respondent
violated Canon 20 when she discontinued her legal services for
complainant without any notice of withdrawal and even ignored the
issuances of the Commission for her to answer the complaint filed
against her.

Yu v. Bondal
A.M. Case No. 5534 January 17, 2005

CANON NUMBER: CANON 20


FACTS: Atty. Renato Lazaro Bondal (respondent) stands charged in
a complaint filed by Jayne Y. Yu (complainant) for gross negligence
and violation of Rule 16.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
arising from his alleged failure to attend to the five cases she
referred to him and to return, despite demand, the amount of
P51,716.54 she has paid him.

In the Retainer Agreement dated March 30, 2000, complainant


agreed to pay respondent the amount of P200,000.00 as
Acceptance Fee for the five cases, with an Appearance Fee of
P1,500.00 pesos per hearing; and in the event that damages are
recovered, she would pay respondent 10% thereof as success fee.
Complainant later issued two checks in the amount of P30,000.00
and P21,716.54, respectively. Despite receipt of above-said
amounts, respondent failed to file a case against Swire Realty and
Development Corp.; due to respondents negligence, the case for
estafa against Lourdes Fresnoza Boon was dismissed; respondent
negligently failed to inform complainant, before she left for abroad,
to leave the necessary documents for purposes of the preliminary
investigation of the case filed against Julie Teh which case was
eventually dismissed and respondent compelled her to settle the
two cases for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 against Mona Lisa San Juan
and Elizabeth Chan Ong under unfair and unreasonable terms.

Complainant thus demanded from respondent, by letter - of June 14,


2001, for the return of all the records she had entrusted him bearing
on the subject cases. Respondent did return but only the records
bearing on the estafa case against Lourdes
Fresnoza Boon and the B.P. Blg. 22 case against Mona Lisa San Juan.
Complainant also demanded the refund of the amounts covered by
the above-said two BPI Family Bank Checks amounting to
P51,716.54.

As respondent failed and continues to refuse to comply with


complainants valid demands in evident bad faith and to her
prejudice, she filed the present complaint charging him with flagrant
violation of Canon 16 and Canon 16.03 of the Code of Professional

Responsibility.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent should return the money paid by


the complainant.

HELD: No.The only payment given to complainant by respondent is


the amount of P51,716.54, then complainant still owes respondent
more, as respondent rendered his legal services in 4 out of the 5
cases. An acceptance fee is not a contingent fee, but is an absolute
fee arrangement which entitles a lawyer to get paid for his efforts
regardless of the outcome of the litigation. That complainant was
dissatisfied with the outcome of the four cases does not render void
the above
retainer agreement for respondent appears to have represented the
interest of complainant. Litigants need to be reminded that lawyers
are not demi-gods or magicians who can always win their cases
for their clients no matter the utter lack of merit of the same or how
passionate the litigants may feel about their cause

The complaint is dismissed, however respondent is directed to


return all records related to the case in his possession.

Miranda v. Carpio
A.M. Case No. 6281 September 26, 2011
CANON NUMBER: CANON 20
FACTS: Complainant Valentin C. Miranda is one of the owners of a
parcel of land located at Barangay Lupang Uno, Las Pias, Metro
Manila. Complainant initiated Land Registration Commission (LRC)
Case for the registration of the property. During the course of the
proceedings, complainant engaged the services of respondent Atty.
Carpio as counsel in the said case when his original counsel, Atty.
Samuel Marquez, figured in a vehicular accident.

In complainant's Affidavit, complainant and respondent agreed that

complainant was to pay P20,000.00 as acceptance fee and


P2,000.00 as appearance fee. Complainant paid respondent
the amounts due him, as evidenced by receipts duly signed by the
latter. During the last hearing of the case, respondent demanded
the additional P10,000.00 for the preparation of a memorandum,
which he said would further strengthen complainant's position in the
case, plus 20% of the total area of the subject property as additional
fees for his services.

Complainant did not accede to respondent's demand for it was


contrary to their agreement. Moreover, complainant co-owned the
subject property with his siblings, and he could not have agreed
to the amount being demanded by respondent without the
knowledge and approval of his co-heirs. As a result of complainant's
refusal to satisfy respondent's demands, the latter became furious
and their relationship became sore. A Decision was rendered,
granting the petition for registration, which Decision was declared
final and executory.

Complainant went to the RD to get the owner's duplicate of the


Original Certificate of Title (OCT). Respondent insisted that
complainant first pay him the PhP10,000.00 and the 20% share in
the property in exchange for which, respondent would deliver the
owner's duplicate of the OCT. Once again, complainant refused the
demand, for not having been agreed upon.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Carpio violated Canon 20

HELD: Yes. Respondent's claim for his unpaid professional fees that
would legally give him the right to retain the property of his client
until he receives what is allegedly due him has been paid has no
basis and, thus, is invalid.

In collecting from complainant exorbitant fees, respondent violated


Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates
that a lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees.

It is highly improper for a lawyer to impose additional professional


fees upon his client which were never mentioned nor agreed upon at
the time of the engagement of his services. At the outset,
respondent should have informed the complainant of all the fees or
possible fees that he would charge before handling the case and not
towards the near conclusion of the case.

Respondent's further submission that he is entitled to the payment


of additional professional fees on the basis of the principle of
quantum meruit has no merit. "Quantum meruit, meaning `as much
as he deserved' is used as a basis for determining the lawyer's
professional fees in the absence of a contract but recoverable by
him from his client." The principle of quantum meruit applies if a
lawyer is employed without a price agreed upon for his services. In
such a case, he would be entitled to receive what he merits for his
services, as much as he has earned. In the present case, the parties
had already entered into an agreement as to the attorney's fees of
the respondent, and thus, the principle of quantum meruit does not
fully find application because the respondent is already
compensated by such agreement.

CANON 20: A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND REASONABLE


FEES.
Case 1 Miranda vs. Carpio, AC No. 6281
FACTS:
In 1994, complainant Valentin C. Miranda, one of the owners of a
parcel of 1,890 squared meter land in Barangay Lupang Uno, Las
Pinas, filed a case before the Regional Trial Court of Las Pinas,
Branch 275 to register the property in the Land Registration
Commission. The complainant engaged the services of respondent
Atty. Macario D. Carpio as counsel since the original counsel, Atty.
Samuel Marquez, figured in a vehicular accident.
In complainants affidavit, complainant and respondent agreed that
complainant was to pay respondent P20,000.00 as acceptance fee

and P200.00 as appearance fee. Complainant paid the said


amounts, with corresponding receipts as evidence. During the last
hearing however, the respondent demanded an additional
P10,000.00 for preparation of memorandum and plus 20% of the
total area of the subject property as additional fees. Complainant
refused to pay such dues demanded and claimed that he co-owned
the property with his siblings.
Subsequently the relationship of complainant and respondent
became sore.
On January 1998, a decision was rendered
transmitting the decree of registration of the title of the property. On
April 2000, complainant went to the Register of Deeds to get the
owners duplicate of the title and was surprised to discover that the
same has already been claimed and released to respondent on
March 2000. Complainant talked to respondent over the phone and
asked him to turn over the owners duplicate of the Original
Certificate of Title (OCT). Respondent insisted that complainant first
pay him the P10,000.00 and the 20% share in property equivalent to
378 square meters; in exchange for the OCT. Again, complainant
refused to pay as it was not agreed upon.
On June 26, 2000, complainant learned that in April, respondent
registered an adverse claim on the subject OCT wherein he claimed
that the agreement on the payment of his legal services was 20% of
the property. To date, respondent has not returned the owners
duplicate of OCT No. 0-94 to complainant and his co-heirs despite
repeated demands to do the same.
ISSUE:
WON respondent has violated Canon 20, Rule 20.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility
HELD:
Yes. Since the IBP-CBD found no proof of any agreement between
the complainant and the respondent that the latter is entitled to an
additional professional fee, consisting of 20% of the total land area
covered by the OCT, the latter has failed to uphold his duties as a
lawyer. Respondent has unlawfully withheld the delivery of the title
due to his alleged entitlement to the additional fees. Such is a
violation of Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
which mandates that a lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable
fees.
The Supreme Court ordered Atty. Carpio SUSPENDED from the

practice of law for six (6) months and is ordered to RETURN to


complainant the owners duplicate of OCT No. 0-94. He is also
WARNED that any repetition of the same or a similar act shall be
dealt with more severity.

Case 2 Licudan vs. CA


On August 1979, respondent lawyer Atty. TeodoroDomalanta was the
counsel of his sister and brother-in-law Mr. and Mrs.Licudan. He
represented both in two civil cases and in both, obtained judgment
in favour of his clients. Domalanta filed a petition for Attorneys Lien
with Notification to his clients which provided that:
(a) He is entitled to own 97.5 sq m of his clients share of the lot in
question;
(b) He would have usufructuary right for 10 years of his clients
share in question; and
(c) All of the damages accruing to his client is for the undersigned
counsel. The trial court ruled in favour of the respondent lawyer.

The petitioners fault the respondent Court for its failure to exercise
its inherent power to review and determine the propriety of the
stipulated attorney's fees in favor of the respondent lawyer and
accuse the latter of having committed an unfair advantage or legal
fraud by virtue of the Contract for Professional Services after the
trial court awarded him attorney's fees for P1,000.00, instead of
respecting the trust and confidence of the highest level reposed on
him considering the close blood and affinitive relationship he shares
with the clients.
The petitioners contend that under the award for professional
services, they may have won the case but would lose the entire
property won in litigation to their uncle-lawyer. They would be
totally deprived of their house and lot and the recovered damages
considering that of the 271.5 square meters of the subject lot, the
respondent lawyer is claiming 121.5 square meters and the
remaining portion of 150 square meters would also go to attorney's
fees since the said portion pertains to the lawyer's son by way of
usufruct for ten (10) years.
ISSUE:

WON the attorneys fees in this case were reasonable


HELD:
No. Under Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a
lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees. While it is a
deeply-rooted rule that contingent fees are not per se prohibited by
law and that the attorney's fees claimed by the respondent lawyer
are in the nature of a contingent fee, the Supreme Court claims that
case at bar was not befitting for such claim to fees. All that the
respondent lawyer handled for his deceased sister and brother-inlaw was a simple case of partition which necessitated no special skill
nor any unusual effort in its preparation. In resolving the issue of
reasonableness of the attorney's fees, the Supreme Court invoked
the time-honoured legal maxim that a lawyer shall at all times
uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession so that his
basic ideal becomes one of rendering service and securing justice,
not money-making. Therefore, the Court of Appeals' decision of
September 12, 1989 was reversed and Atty. Domalanta is awarded
reasonable attorney's fees in the amount of P20,000.00.

Canon 21
SENIOR MARKETING CORPORATION vs. BOLINAS
A.C. No. 6740 (Notice)
February 26, 2014
FACTS:
Atty. Aquilino Bolinas acting as Senior Marketing Corporations
counsel from 1995 to 2002, he had access to the documents related
to the cases he handled; that due to business reversal and financial
constraints, complainant terminated his services as retainer; that his
termination irked him and in obvious vindictiveness, he accepted
cases filed against complainant by its employees; and that Atty.
Bolinas' act of accepting the cases and in representing
complainant's employees in a case filed against complainant
without its consent violated his oath of office.
ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Bolinas was allowed to accept the case of


complainant's employees one year after his termination
RULING:
No. The termination of the attorney-client relationship does not
justify a lawyer to represent an interest adverse to or in conflict with
that of the former client except where there is an express consent
from the former client. Atty. Bolinas clearly violated the prohibition
against representing conflicting interests when he accepted the
cases filed against complainant by its employees notwithstanding
the fact that he was previously the retained counsel of the
complainant and that the latter consulted him on the possibility of
filing complaints against its erring employees and had access to
documents material to their prosecution.
Atty. Bolinas is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of
SIX (6) MONTHS with a warning.

SAMALA vs VALENCIA
A.C. No. 5439
January 22, 2007

FACTS:
The complaint is filed by Clarita J. Samala against Atty. Luciano
D. Valencia for Disbarment for serving on two separate occasions as
counsel for contending parties. Records show that in a civil case for
nonpayment of rentals, Atty. Valencia while being the counsel for
defendant Valdez, also acted as counsel for the tenants Lagmay,
Valencia, Bustamante and Bayuga by filing an Explanation and

Compliance before the RTC.


ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Valencia violated Canon 21
RULING:
Yes. It is evident that respondent's representation of Valdez and
Alba against Bustamante and her husband, in one case, and Valdez
against Alba, in another case, is a clear case of conflict of interests
which merits sanction.
The reason for Canon 21 is in the relation of attorney and client,
which is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. A lawyer
becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his client's case.
He learns from his client the weak points of the action as well as the
strong ones. Such knowledge must be considered sacred and
guarded with care.
Atty. Luciano D. Valencia is GUILTY of misconduct and violation of
Canon 21of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three (3) years.

ATTY. CARMEN LEONOR M. ALCANTARA, ET. AL VS. ATTY.


EDUARDO C. DE VERA
(A.C. No. 5859, November 23, 2010)
CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND
SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT
RELATION IS TERMINATED.
FACTS:
The respondent is a member of the Bar and was the former
counsel of Rosario P. Mercado in a civil case filed in 1984
with the Regional Trial Court of Davao City and an administrative
case filed before the Securities and Exchange Commission, Davao
City Extension Office.
Pursuant to a favorable decision, a writ of execution pending
appeal was issued in favor of Rosario P. Mercado. Herein respondent,
as her legal counsel, garnished the bank deposits of the defendant,
but did not turn over the proceeds to Rosario. Rosario demanded
that the respondent turn over the proceeds of the garnishment,

but the latter refused claiming that he had paid part of the money
to the judge while the balance was his, as attorney's fees. Such
refusal prompted Rosario to file an administrative case for
disbarment against the respondent.
On
March
23,
1993, the IBP
Board of Governors
promulgated a Resolution holding the respondent guilty of infidelity
in the custody and handling of client's funds and recommending
to the Court his one-year suspension from the practice of law.
Following the release of the aforesaid
IBP
Resolution, the respondent
filed a series of lawsuits
against the Mercado family except George Mercado. The
respondent
also
instituted
cases
against the family
corporation, the corporation's accountant and the judge who
ruled against the reopening of the case where respondent
tried to collect the balance of his alleged fee from Rosario.
Later on, the respondent also filed cases against the chairman
and members of the IBP Board of Governors who voted to
recommend his suspension from the practice of law for one
year. Complainants allege that the respondent committed
barratry, forum shopping, exploitation of family problems, and
use of intemperate language when he filed several frivolous
and unwarranted lawsuits against the complainants and their
family
members,
their
lawyers,
and the family
corporation. They
maintain
that the primary
purpose of the cases is to harass and to exact revenge
for the one-year suspension from the practice of law meted
out by the IBP against the respondent. Thus, they pray
that the respondent be disbarred for malpractice and gross
misconduct under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. De Vera should be disbarred from the
practice of law because of violations of Canon 21
HELD:
Yes.
The nature of the cases
filed
by the respondent, the fact of re-filing
them after being
dismissed, the timing of the filing of cases, the fact
that the respondent
was
in
conspiracy
with a renegade
member of the complainants'
family, the defendants
named
in the cases and the foul language used in the pleadings and
motions all
indicate
that the respondent
was
acting
beyond the desire
for
justice
and
fairness. His act of filing a barrage of cases appears to be an
act of revenge and hate driven by anger and frustration
against his former client who filed the disciplinary complaint against
him for infidelity in the custody of a client's funds. The cases filed
by the respondent against his former client involved matters and
information acquired by the respondent during the time when he
was still Rosario's counsel. Information as to the structure and

operations of the family corporation, private documents, and other


pertinent facts and figures used as basis or in support of the cases
filed by the respondent in pursuit of his malicious motives were all
acquired
through the attorney-client relationship
with
herein
complainants. Such act is in direct violation of the Canons and will
not be tolerated by the Court.

FEDERICO SUNTAY VS. ATTY. RAFAEL G. SUNTAY


(A.C. No. 1890, August 7, 2002)
CANON 21 - A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND
SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT
RELATION IS TERMINATED.
FACTS:
A complaint for disbarment was filed by the complainant
against his nephew, Atty. Rafael G. Suntay. Complainant alleged that
respondent was his legal counsel, adviser and confidant who was
privy to all his legal, financial, and political affairs from 1956 to
1964. However, since they parted ways because of politics,
respondent had been filing complaints and cases against
complainant, making use of confidential information gained while
their attorney-client relationship existed. Thereafter, this case was
referred to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for investigation,
report
and
recommendation. After almost
four
years
in
1982, the OSG submitted its report and recommendation finding
respondent guilty as charged. Resolution of this case was delayed
due to several motions filed by the respondent. In 1988, the case
was forwarded to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Finally
in 2001 the IBP recommended that respondent Suntay be
suspended from the practice of law for two years for immoral
conduct. The investigating commissioner adopted in toto the report
and
recommendation of the OSG.
In
view of the penalty
involved, the case was referred to the Court en banc for final action.
For
violating the confidentiality of lawyer-client relationship
and for unethical conduct, respondent Suntay was suspended
by the Supreme
Court
from the practice oflaw
for
two
years. After review of the records of this
case, the Court
found the IBP recommendation to be well taken. As found by
both the OSG and the IBP investigating commissioner, respondent
acted as counsel for clients in cases involving subject matter
regarding which he had either been previously consulted by
complainant or which he had previously helped complainant to
administer as the latter's counsel and confidant from 1956 to 1964.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Rafael G. Suntay is guilty of violating
Canon 21 and may be held liable therefor
HELD:
Yes.
Communications
between attorney and client are,
in a great
number of litigations, a complicated
affair,
consisting of entangled relevant and irrelevant, secret and well
known
facts.
In the complexity of what is said
in the course of the dealings
between
an attorney and a client,
inquiry of the nature suggested would lead to the revelation, in
advance of the trial, of other matters that might only further
prejudice the complainant's
cause.
For
violating the confidentiality of lawyer-client relationship
and
for
unethical conduct, respondent Atty. Rafael G. Suntay is SUSPENDED
from the practice of law for two (2) years.

CANON 21
Wilfredo Anglo v. Atty. Jose V. Valencia
A.C. No. 10567 February 25, 2015

CANON NUMBER: Canon 21 (Rule 21.01)

FACTS:
Complainant alleged that he availed the services of the law firm
Valencia CioconDabao Valencia De La Paz DionelaPandanRubica Law
Office for two consolidated labor cases where he was impleaded
respondent. The labor cases were terminated on June 5, 2008 upon
the agreement of both parties. On September 18, 2009, a criminal
case for qualified theft was filed against complainant and his wife by
FEVE Farms Agricultural Corporation acting through a certain
Michael Villacorta. The same law firm that handled complainants
labor cases which represented Villacorta. Aggrieved, complainant
filed this disbarment case against respondents alleging they
violated Canon 15 and Canon 21 of the CPR.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents violated Canon 21 of the
Professional Responsibility?

Code of

HELD:
YES. A lawyer is prohibited from representing new clients whose
interests oppose those of a former client in any manner, whether or
not they are parties in the same action or on totally unrelated cases.
The prohibition is founded on the principles of public policy and
good taste. The respondents' pronounced liability is not altered by
the fact that the labor cases against complainant had long been
terminated. Verily, the termination of attorney-client relation
provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest
adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client. The client's
confidence once reposed should not be divested by mere expiration
of professional employment

William S. Uy v. Atty. Fermin L. Gonzales


A.C. No. 5280. March 30, 2004

CANON NUMBER: Canon 21 (Rule 21.01)

FACTS:
In April 1999, William S. Uy engaged the services of respondent
lawyer to prepare and file a petition for the issuance of a new
certificate of title. When the petition was about to be filed,
respondent went to complainants office in Greenhills and
demanded a certain amount from him other than what they had
previously agreed upon. Expecting that said petition would be filed,
complainant was shocked to find out that instead of filing the
petition for the issuance of a new certificate of title, respondent filed
a letter-complaint against him for Falsification of Public Documents
hence the present administrative case.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Gonzales violated Canon 21 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
NO. A scrutiny of the records reveals that the relationship between
complainant and respondent stemmed from a personal transaction
or dealings between them rather than the practice of law by

respondent. Respondent dealt with complainant only because he


redeemed a property which complainant had earlier purchased from
his son. It is not refuted that respondent paid complainant
P340,000.00 and gave him ample time to produce its title and
execute the Deed of Redemption. However, despite the period given
to him, complainant failed to fulfill his end of the bargain because of
the alleged loss of the title which he had admitted to respondent as
having prematurely transferred to his children, thus prompting
respondent to offer his assistance so as to secure the issuance of a
new title to the property, in lieu of the lost one, with complainant
assuming the expenses therefor.

As a rule, an attorney-client relationship is said to exist when a


lawyer voluntarily permits or acquiesces with the consultation of a
person, who in respect to a business or trouble of any kind, consults
a lawyer with a view of obtaining professional advice or assistance.
It is not essential that the client should have employed the attorney
on any previous occasion or that any retainer should have been
paid, promised or charged for, neither is it material that the attorney
consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which the
consultation was had, for as long as the advice and assistance of the
attorney is sought and received, in matters pertinent to his
profession.

Considering the attendant peculiar circumstances, said rule cannot


apply to the present case. Evidently, the facts alleged in the
complaint for EstafaThrough Falsification of Public Documents filed
by respondent against complainant were obtained by respondent
due to his personal dealings with complainant. Respondent
volunteered his service to hasten the issuance of the certificate of
title of the land he has redeemed from complainant. Respondents
immediate objective was to secure the title of the property that
complainant had earlier bought from his son. Clearly, there was no
attorney-client relationship between respondent and complainant.
The preparation and the proposed filing of the petition was only
incidental to their personal transaction.

The alleged secrets of complainant were not specified by him in his


affidavit-complaint. Whatever facts alleged by respondent against
complainant were not obtained by respondent in his professional
capacity but as a redemptioner of a property originally owned by his
deceased son and therefore, when respondent filed the complaint
for estafa against herein complainant, which necessarily involved
alleging facts that would constitute estafa, respondent was not, in
any way, violating Canon 21. There is no way we can equate the

filing of the affidavit-complaint against herein complainant to a


misconduct that is wanting in moral character, in honesty, probity
and good demeanor or that renders him unworthy to continue as an
officer of the court. To hold otherwise would be precluding any
lawyer from instituting a case against anyone to protect his personal
or proprietary interests.

Natan v. Capule, Administrative Case No. 76, July 23,


1952
CANON NUMBER: CANON 21
Facts: Complainant SimplicioNatan is the judicial administrator of
the estate of the deceased Maria Sandoval de Patero, appointed by
the Court of First Instance of Palawan, and is in possession of all the
properties of said deceased. In 1949, Natan filed an action of
forcible entry against Francisco Edonga, Jose Cabugan, and
PiloromoRaon (Civil Case No. 15, in the Justice of the Peace Court of
Coron, Palawan) for having illegally occupied and detained portions
of the Hacienda Minit under Natans administration, and contracted
the services of the respondent herein, Simeon Capule, for the
hearing of the case. The respondent did not arrive on the date of the
hearing, and as

the judge refused to

grant postponement,

complainant handled his case personally being a lawyer himself,


without the presence of respondent.
The above are the facts involved in the first charge. With respect to
the

other

charges,

it

appears

that

when

Natan

contracted

respondents professional services in the month of August, 1949, he


delivered to respondent various documents.Towards the end of the
month of November, 1949, according to respondents own witness
OlimpioPatero, the latter had talked to respondent in connection
with his claim to the Hacienda Minit, based on his pretension that he
was a recognized child of the deceased Santiago Patero . After
respondent was employed by OlimpioPatero, several incidents took

place. The respondent herein represented OlimpioPatero in his case


with regard to his claim in the disputed Hacienda Minit and also in
the estafa case filed by Patero against the tenants of his former
client and caused the detention of such tenants.

ISSUE: WON Simeon Capule violated the Code of Professional


Responsibility
HELD: YES. As to the first charge, however, we find that
respondents failure to appear, as he had agreed and promised, was
involuntary on his part, because it appears that he had never
expected that the judge before whom the case was pending would
refuse to grant his motion for postponement.
It is evident from the foregoing that respondent, because of his
previous relationship with the complainant herein, was disqualified
to accept the case of OlimpioPatero, who claimed ownership of the
Hacienda Minit. The immediate objective of Patero was to wrest
possession of the Hacienda Minit from respondents former client,
Natan, which possession it was the latters duty to protect and
support. The fact that respondent herein retired from the forcible
entry case on November 21, 1949, prior to retaining the case of
OlimpioPatero, did not relieve him from his obligation of fidelity and
loyalty to his former client.The inconsistency between his position as
attorney for OlimpioPatero and that as attorney for complainant was
so apparent that it could not have escaped respondents attention.
What makes the violation of his obligation of fidelity more improper
is the fact that in forwarding Pateros interests, he did actually utilize
the papers, knowledge, and information which he had received in
the course of his employment as lawyer for complainant herein.

Palm v. Iledan, Jr., Administrative Case No. 8242,


October 2, 2009

CANON NUMBER: CANON 21


FACTS: Complainant is the President of Comtech, a corporation
engaged in the business of computer software development. From
February 2003 to November 2003, respondent served as Comtech's
retained corporate counsel. In a meeting held on 1 October 2003,
respondent suggested that Comtech amend its corporate by-laws to
allow participation during board meetings, through teleconference,
of members of the Board of Directors who were outside the
Philippines.
Prior to the completion of the amendments of the corporate by-laws,
complainant became uncomfortable with the close relationship
between respondent and Elda Soledad (Soledad), a former officer
and director of Comtech, who resigned and who was suspected of
releasing unauthorized disbursements of corporate funds. Thus,
Comtech

decided

to

terminate

its

retainer

agreement

with

respondent effective November 2003.In the proceedings of the


estafa case filed by Comtech against Soledad before the City
Prosecution Office of Makati ,respondent appeared as Soledad's
counsel.
On 26 January 2005, complainant filed a Complaint 1 for disbarment
against respondent before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP). Respondent alleged that from February to October 2003,
neither Soledad nor Palm consulted him on confidential or privileged
matter concerning the operations of the corporation. Respondent
further alleged that he had no access to any record of Comtech.
Respondent alleged that there was no conflict of interest when he
represented Soledad in the case for Estafa filed by Comtech. He
alleged that Soledad was already a client beforehe became a
consultant for Comtech. He alleged that the criminal case was not
related toor connected with the limited procedural queries he
handled with Comtech

ISSUE: WON Felipe Iledan Jr. violated the Code of Professional


Responsibility when he acted as counsel for Soledad?
HELD: In a Report and Recommendation dated 28 March 2006, 3
the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD) found respondent
guilty of violation of Canon 21 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and of representing interest in conflict with that of
Comtech as his former client.
The

Supreme

Court

cannot

sustain

the

findings

and

recommendation of the IBP. In addition, although the information


about the necessity to amend the corporate by-laws may have been
given to respondent, it could not be considered a confidential
information. Further, whenever any amendment or adoption of new
by-laws is made, copies of the amendments or the new by-laws are
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and
attached to the original articles of incorporation and by-laws. There
was nothing in the records that would show that respondent used
against Comtech any confidential informationacquired while he was
still Comtech's retained counsel.

CANON 21: A LAWYER SHALL PRESERVE THE CONFIDENCE AND


SECRETS OF HIS CLIENT EVEN AFTER THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT
RELATIONSHIP IS TERMINATED.
Case 1 Pormento, Sr. vs. Atty. Pontevedra
FACTS:
Complainant alleges that between 1964-1994 respondent lawyer
Atty. Elias A. Pontevedra is his familys legal counsel having
represented him and members of his family in all legal proceedings
in which they are involved, and that they share a very good
relationship with each other. Complainant claims that respondent,
who was his lawyer in the said case, deliberately failed to inform
him of the dismissal of his counterclaim despite receipt of the order

of dismissal by the trial court, which therefore deprived complainant


of his right to appeal said order, and that he only came to know of
the existence of the trial courts order when the adverse party in the
said case extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage executed over the
parcel of land which is the subject matter of suit. In order to recover
his ownership over the said parcel of land, complainant was
constrained to hire a new lawyer as Atty. Pontevedra refused to
institute an action for the recovery of the subject property.
Complainant also claims that in order to further protect his rights
and interests over the said parcel of land, he was forced to initiate a
criminal case for qualified theft against the relatives of the alleged
new owner of the said land. Respondent is the counsel of the
accused in said case. Complainant claims that as part of his defense
in said criminal case, respondent utilized pieces of confidential
information he obtained from complainant while the latter is still his
client. Complainant claims that respondent is guilty of malpractice
and misconduct by representing clients with conflicting interests and
should be disbarred.
Respondent contends that he was never a direct recipient of any
monetary support coming from the complainant. He also denies that
he did not inform complainant of the trial courts order dismissing
the counterclaim in and claims that within two days upon his receipt
of the trial courts order of dismissal, he delivered to complainant a
copy of the said order. As to his representation of the persons
against whom complainant filed criminal cases for theft, respondent
argues that he honestly believes that there exists no conflict
between his present and former clients interests as the cases he
handled for these clients are separate and distinct from each other.
ISSUE:
WON respondent should be disbarred due to malpractice and
misconduct
HELD:
Yes. The Supreme Court claims to find conflict of interests in
respondents representation of herein complainant in Civil Case No.
1648 and his subsequent employment as counsel of the accused in
Criminal Case No. 3159. Following the ruling in Maturan vs.
Gonzales: The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of
attorney and client, which is one of trust and confidence of the
highest degree. A lawyer becomes familiar with all the facts
connected with his clients case. He learns from his client the weak

points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such knowledge


must be considered sacred and guarded with care. No opportunity
must be given him to take advantage of the clients secrets. A
lawyer must have the fullest confidence of his client. For if the
confidence is abused, the profession will suffer by the loss thereof.
Respondent was found GUILTY of representing conflicting interests
and was FINED in the amount of P10,000.00. He was WARNED that a
repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more
severely.

Case 2 Anglo vs. Valencia, AC No. 10567


FACTS:
Complainant Wilfredo Anglo alleged that he availed of the services
of the law firm Valencia CioconDabao Valencia De La Paz
DionelaRubica Law Office. In September 2009, a criminal case for
qualified theft was filed against complainant and his wife by FEVE
Farms acting through a certain Michael Villacorta. Villacorta,
however, was represented by that law firm, the same law office
which handled the complainants labor cases. Aggrieved
complainants claimed that such was a violation of Canon 15 and
Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondents
thereafter admitted that they indeed operated under the same law
firm but explained that their association is not a formal partnership
and claimed that they do not discuss their clienteles with other
lawyers and associates; unless they agree to handle the cases
collaboratively. The IBP commissioners report and recommendation
found respondents guilty of representing conflicting interests.
ISSUE:
WON respondent lawyers are guilty of representing conflicting
interests
HELD:
Yes. The Supreme Court ruled the respondents representation of
FEVE Farms as a violation of Canon 21: A lawyer shall preserve the
confidences and secrets of his client even after the attorney-client
relationship is terminated. As such, a lawyer is prohibited from
representing new clients whose interests oppose those of a former
client in any manner, whether or not they are parties in the same

action or on totally unrelated cases. The prohibition is founded on


the principles of public policy and good taste. In this case, the Court
concurs with the IBPs conclusions that respondents represented
conflicting interests and must therefore be held liable.

Canon 22
WARRINER vs. DUBLIN
A.C. No. 5239
November 18, 2013

FACTS:
Administrative complaint filed by spouses George Arthur
Warriner and Aurora R. Warriner against Atty. Reni M. Dublin for
gross negligence and dereliction of duty. They secured the services
of respondent in the filing of a Complaint for damages in a civil case.
However, after a lapse of almost two years, respondent had not yet
complied with the resolution requiring the Comment.
Atty Dubin claims accepted the case because he was challenged
by Warriner's criticism of the Philippine judicial system but later on
discovered his scheme. He then had a heated argument with
Warriner during which the latter threatened him with a disbarment
suit after which the complainants no longer saw him or inquired
about the status of the case and that he could not be held
administratively liable for filing a belated Formal Offer of
Documentary Evidence as he only did the same to protect the legal
profession and in accordance with his oath not to do any falsehood
or promote unlawful causes.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Dublin mishandled the case by the non-

compliance of directives rather than withdrawing from the case


RULING:
Yes. The respondents deliberately mishandled the Civil Case to
the prejudice of herein complainants. He admitted that he
deliberately failed to timely file a formal offer of exhibits because he
believes that the exhibits were fabricated and was hoping that the
same would be refused admission by the RTC. This is improper. If
respondent truly believes that the exhibits to be presented in
evidence by his clients were fabricated, then he has the option to
withdraw from the case. Canon 22 allows a lawyer to withdraw his
services for good cause such as "[w]hen the client pursues an illegal
or immoral course of conduct with the matter he is handling" or
"[w]hen the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative of
these canons and rules."
Atty. Reni M. Dublin is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for
six months with a warning.

CENIZA vs. RUBIA


A.C. No. 6166
October 2, 2009

FACTS:
Maria Earl Beverly C. Ceniza sought the legal services of Atty.
Vivian G. Rubia in regard to the share of her mother-in-law in the
estate of her husband CarlosCeniza. As she had no money to pay for
attorney's fees, respondent made her sign a promissory note for
P32,000.00. After her mother-in-law arrived and paid the loan, they
kept on following up the progress of the complaint. However, after
three months when complainant verified the status of the case with
the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court of Davao del Sur, she
was informed that no case with said title and docket number was
filed. Amidst complication, Atty. Rubia then severed the lawyer-client
relationship due to overwhelming workload demanded by her new
employer Nakayama Group of Companies.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Rubias withdrawal from the case proper

RULING:
No. Respondent's transgression is compounded further when she
severed the lawyer-client relationship which constrained her to
return the money received as well as the records of the case,
thereby leaving her client with no representation. Standing alone,
heavy workload is not sufficient reason for the withdrawal of her
services, violating Canon 22. Clearly, respondent violated the
Lawyer's Oath which imposes upon every member of the bar the
duty to delay no man for money or malice.
When a lawyer accepts to handle a case, he undertakes to give
his utmost attention, skill and competence to it, regardless of its
significance. Failure to fulfill his duties will subject him to grave
administrative liability as a member of the Bar. For the overriding
need to maintain the faith and confidence of the people in the legal
profession demands that an erring lawyer should be sanctioned.
Atty. Vivian G. Rubia is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for
six (6) months.

PHILIPPINES AND ATTY. JUAN S. DEALCA


(A.M. No. 4215, May 21, 2001)
CANON 22 - A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR
GOOD CAUSE AND UPON NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
FACTS:
Complainant
engaged the services of
respondent lawyer only for the preparation
and
submission
of the appellant's
brief
and the attorney's
fees
was
payable upon the completion and submission of the appellant's brief
and not upon the termination of the case.
There is sufficient evidence which indicates complainant's
willingness to pay the attorney's fees. As agreed upon, complainant
paid half of the fees in the amount of P7,500.00 upon acceptance
of the case. And while the remaining balance was not yet due as it
was agreed to be paid only upon the completion and submission
of the
brief,
complainant
nonetheless
delivered
to
respondent lawyer P4,000.00
as the latter
demanded.
This,

notwithstanding, Atty. Dealca withdrew his appearance simply


because of complainant's failure to pay the remaining balance of
P3,500.00, which does not appear to be deliberate. The situation
was aggravated by respondent counsel's note to complainant
withdrawing as counsel which was couched in impolite and insulting
language.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Dealcas conduct was just and proper?
HELD:
No. Atty. Dealca's conduct unbecoming of a member
of the legal profession. Under Canon 22 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, a lawyer shall withdraw his servicesonly for good cau
se and upon notice appropriate in the circumstances. Although
he
may withdraw his services when the client deliberately fails to
pay the fees for the
services, under the circumstances of the present case, Atty. Dealca's
withdrawal was unjustified as complainant did not deliberately fail to
pay him the attorney's fees. In fact, complainant exerted honest
efforts to fulfill his obligation. Respondent's contemptuous conduct
does not speak well of a member of the bar considering that
the amount owing to him was only P3,500.00. Rule 20.4 of Canon
20, mandates that a lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients
concerning his compensation
and
shall resort
to
judicial
action only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud. Sadly, for not so
large a sum owed to him by complainant, respondent lawyer failed
to act in accordance with the demands of the Code.
The Court, however, does not agree with complainant's
contention that the maximum penalty of disbarment should be
imposed on respondent lawyer. The power to disbar must be
exercised with great caution. Only in a clear case of misconduct that
seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an
officer of the Court and member of the bar will disbarment be
imposed as a penalty. It should never be decreed where a lesser
penalty, such as temporary suspension, would accomplish the end
desired. In the present case, reprimand is deemed sufficient.
TERESITA D. SANTECO VS. ATTY. LUNA B. AVANCE
(A.C. No. 5834, December 11, 2003)
CANON 22 - A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR
GOOD CAUSE AND UPON NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
FACTS:
Complainant Teresita D. Santeco filed a complaint against
respondent lawyer,
Luna
B.
Avance, for mishandling
her

case for annulment of a deed of absolute sale (Civil Case No. 97275). The said case was dismissed for failure to prosecute.
After the case was dismissed, respondent made representations
with
complainant
that
she
was
going
to
file a petition for certiorari with the Court
of
Appeals,
assailing the dismissal of Civil Case No. 97-275. For the proposed
service, respondent charged complainant the total sum of
P3,900.00, which the latter paid. After waiting for some time without
any word from respondent, complainant personally verified with the
docket
section
of the Court
of
Appeals
whether
or
not a petition for certiorari was filed. She was dismayed to discover
that no such petition had been filed.
The Supreme Court found respondent lawyer guilty of gross
misconduct. According to the Court, respondent was grossly
remiss in the performance of her duties as counsel for complainant.
Her failure to appear during the hearings constitutes inexcusable
negligence as it proved fatal to the cause of complainant. She even
made representations with complainant that she would
file a petition for certiorari with the Court
of
Appeals
assailing the trial court's dismissal of Civil Case No. 97-275. For
the filing and preparation thereof, she charged and was
paid the sum of P3,900.00 by complainant. Respondent, however,
did
not
file the petition
without
notifying the
complainant. The incidents showed respondent's lackadaisical
manner in handling her client's cause. Respondent was suspended
from the practice of law for a period of five (5) years. She was
directed to return to complainant the amount of P3,900.00.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Luna B. Avance should be disbarred due
to gross misconduct.
HELD :
No. According to SEC. 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of
Court: Disbarment and suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court,
grounds therefore. A member of the bar may be disbarred or
suspended from his office as attorney bythe 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 the admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience
appearing as attorney for a party without authority to do so.
The penalty of suspension "for a period of two (2) years"
recommended by the Board of Governors of the IBP is too light and
inadequate given the prevailing facts of this case. For the deliberate
violation and defiance of not merely one but several Canons
of the Code of Professional Responsibility, coupled with palpable bad

faith and dishonesty in her dealings with complainant, respondent


deserves a graver penalty that of suspension for a period of five
(5) years from the practice of law.
CANON 22
Humberto C. Lim v. Atty. NicanorVillarosa
A.C. No. 5303, June 15, 2006
CANON NUMBER: Canon 22
FACTS:
Mrs. LumotJalandoni has two sons-in-law, namely Dennis G. Jalbuena
married to her daughter, Carmen J. Jalbuena, and Humberto C. Lim
Jr., the herein complainant married to her daughter, Cristina J. Lim.
Mrs. Jalandoni organized a corporation namely the Penta Resorts
Corporation (PRC) where she owned almost ninety seven percent
(97%). In other words, PRC is a single proprietorship belonging to
Mrs. Jalandoni. Respondent represented Lumot A. Jalandoni and
TottiAnlapGargoles in a case for the recovery of possession of
property involving Hotel Alhambra, a hotel owned by PRC.
In Lim v. Vicente Delfin, Spouses Dennis and Carmen Jalbuena,
respondent was counsel for Delfin and the spouses Jalbuena. In this
case, plaintiff Cristina Lim sued the spouses Jalbuena and Delfin on
the basis of two checks issued by PRC for the construction of Hotel
Alhambra.
Respondent withdrew as counsel for Lumot A. Jalandoni to fulfill an
alleged retainership agreement with the spouses Jalbuena in a suit
by PRC, through Cristina Lim, against the Jalbuenas and Delfin. In
respondents comment, he stated that it was he who was not
notified of the hiring of Atty. Alminaza as the new counsel in that
case and that he withdrew from the case with the knowledge of
Lumot A. Jalandoni and with leave of court.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Villarosa violated Canon 22 of the Code of
Professional
Responsibility?
HELD:
YES. It has been held that the right of an attorney to withdraw or
terminate the relation other than for sufficient cause is considerably
restricted. An attorney may only retire from a case either by written
consent of his client or by permission of the court after due notice
and hearing, in which event the attorney should see to it that the
name of the new lawyer is recorded in the case. A lawyer who

desires to retire from an action without the written consent of his


client must file a petition for withdrawal in court. He must serve a
copy of his petition upon his client and the adverse party at least
three days before the date set for hearing, otherwise the court may
treat the application as a mere scrap of paper. Respondent made no
such move.
The appearance of Atty. Alminaza in fact was not even to substitute
for respondent but to act as additional counsel. Mrs. Jalandonis
conformity to having an additional lawyer did not necessarily mean
conformity to respondents desire to withdraw as counsel.
Respondents speculations on the professional relationship of Atty.
Alminaza and Mrs. Jalandoni find no support in the records of this
case.
Angelita C. Orcino v. Atty Josue Gaspar
A.C. No. 3773, September 24, 1997

CANON NUMBER: Canon 22 (Rule 22.01)

FACTS:
Angelita C. Orcino engaged the services of Atty. Josue Gaspar to
prosecute a criminal case she intended to file against several
suspects in the slaying of her husband. Complainant bound herself
to pay respondent legal fees to be paid on or before the conclusion
of the case and 500.00 per appearance before the court and fiscal
which was embodied in a contract. Respondent attended the bail
hearings for the accused however, respondent failed to attend the
hearing schedules August 1991 where the court granted bail to the
accused. After the hearing, complainant confronted respondent of
his absence and accused him of jeopardizing the case by his
absence. Respondent thereafter filed a Motion to Withdraw as
Counsel but complainant refused to sign her conformity. When the
hearings in the case continued, respondent did not appear at the
hearings nor did he contact complainant which then compelled the
latter to engage the services of another lawyer. Hence, this
complaint.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Gaspar violated Canon 22 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility?

HELD:
YES. A lawyer may withdraw his services from his client only in the
following instances: (a) when a client insists upon an unjust or
immoral conduct of his case; (b) when the client insists that the
lawyer pursue conduct violative of the Code of Professional
Responsibility; (c) when the client has two or more retained lawyers
and the lawyers could not get along to the detriment of the case; (d)
when the mental or physical condition of the lawyer makes him
incapable of handling the case effectively; (e) when the client
deliberately fails to pay the attorney's fees agreed upon; (f) when
the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office; (g) other similar
cases.

The instant case does not fall under any of the grounds mentioned.
Neither can this be considered analogous to the grounds
enumerated. As found by the Commission on Bar Discipline, this
case arose from a simple misunderstanding between complainant
and respondent. Complainant was upset by respondent's absence at
the hearing where bail was granted to the suspected killers of her
husband. Complainant did not expressly terminate respondent's
services. She made this clear when she refused to sign his "Motion
to Withdraw as Counsel."
Assuming, nevertheless, that respondent was justified in terminating
his services, he, however, cannot just do so and leave complainant
in the cold unprotected. The lawyer has no right to presume that his
petition for withdrawal will be granted by the court. Until his
withdrawal shall have been approved, the lawyer remains counsel of
record who is expected by his client as well as by the court to do
what the interests of his client require. He must still appear on the
date of hearing for the attorney-client relation does not terminate
formally until there is a withdrawal of record.

Gonzaga v. Villanueva, Jr., Administrative Case No.


1954, July 23, 2004
CANON NUMBER: CANON 22
FACTS: This is a case that has been finally been given a resolution
after 25 years. Several incidents, such as both the parties getting ill
and later on the death of the complainants, are the factors that
contributed to the delay of the case.
In 1978, in a verified complaint filed before the Court, the

complainants alleged that on July 30, 1977, Immediately after the


incident, their sister who was wounded, was confined at the Makati
Medical Center. Respondent Atty. Eugenio Villanueva, Jr., came to
the Makati Medical Center, ostensibly to condole with them. At that
time, the murder of their parents was under investigation by the
Makati police. Representing himself to be a relative, the respondent
volunteered

his

assistance

in

the

criminal

investigation

by

accompanying the complainants to the Makati Police Department.


Feeling

grateful

of

respondents

apparent

solicitude,

the

complainants decided to formally request the formers services as


legal counsel in the criminal case.
On the afternoon of 1 August 1977, while the complainants were
busy attending to many people inside the San Antonio Church in
Forbes Park, Makati, for the misa requiem, the respondent came and
handed them a half-page piece of paper for their signatures and told
them that it was his authority to appear in the criminal case.
Without scrutinizing the contents of the half-page paper and trusting
respondents integrity, the complainants hurriedly signed the piece
of paper so they could continue to arrange for the misa requiem.
In Bacolod City, the complainants, before the burial of their parents,
hired the services of Atty. Mirano to institute intestate proceedings
on the estate of their deceased parents. Even with this fact, still the
respondent herein continued making his appearance as counsel in
the intestate proceeding for the herein complainants.
ISSUE: 1) Whether the respondent employed deceit in obtaining the
signatures of the complainants on the document giving him
authority to file the petition for the administration of the intestate
estate of their deceased parents; and (2) Whether respondents
continued appearance in the intestate proceedings after the
appointment of the complainants as special co-administrators was
improper.

HELD: 1) Yes. The respondent herein presented the piece of paper


to the complainants while they were busy preparing for the misa
requiem of their parents. The complainants made it clear that the
respondent is to respresent them only in the criminal case and not
to the intestate proceedings. However, the respondent deceived
them because the paper really grants the counsel the authority to
represent them in both proceedings.
2) Yes. Evidently, respondents obstinate refusal to withdraw from
the intestate proceedings was improper. Since his unauthorized
appearance was willful, he could have been cited in contempt as an
officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions.
[30] In addition, he may be disciplined for professional misconduct.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court resolved to SUSPEND respondent Atty.
Eugenio V. Villanueva, Jr., from the practice of law for a period of six
(6) months effective upon service on him of a copy of this
Resolution, with a WARNING that a repetition of the same acts
subject of the complaint in this case or of similar acts will be dealt
with more severely.

Venterez, et al., v. Cosme, Administrative Case No.


7421, October 10, 2007
CANON NUMBER: CANON 22
FACTS: Complainants contracted the legal services of respondent in
a civil case

for the Declaration of Ownership with Damages.

Respondent represented the complainants, who were defendants in


said case, until a Decision thereon was rendered by the MTC on 25
February

2004.

The

MTC

ruled

against

the

complainants.

Complainants alleged that they directed the respondent to either file


a Motion for Reconsideration or a Notice of Appeal, but respondent
failed or refused to do so.
On March 2004, a Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution was filed

by the plaintiffs in the aforesaid civil case but then the respondent
never bothered tofile an ooposition and so the motion was
eventually granted. Two months after respondent received a copy of
the Decision, the respondent filed his Notice of Retirement of
Counsel.
Hence, this instant administrative complaint against him.
ISSUE: Whether the respondent committed culpable negligence in
handling complainants case, as would warrant disciplinary action.
HELD: Yes. No lawyer is obliged to advocate for every person
who may wish to become his client, but once he agrees to take up
the cause of a client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and
must be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.Among
the fundamental rules of ethics is the principle that an attorney who
undertakes an action impliedly stipulates to carry it to its
termination, that is, until the case becomes final and executory. A
lawyer is not at liberty to abandon his client and withdraw his
services without reasonable cause and only upon notice appropriate
in the circumstances.
CANON 22: A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR
GOOD CAUSE AND UPON NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
Case 1 Bengco vs. Atty. Bernardo, AC No. 6368
FACTS:
Around April 15, 1997 to July 22, 1997, Atty. Pablo Bernardo with the
help and in connivance with a certain Andres Magat wilfully and
illegally committed fraudulent act with intent to defraud herein
complainants Fidela G. Bengco and Teresita N. Bengco by using false
pretenses, deceitful words to the effect that he would expedite the
titling of the land belonging to the Miranda family of Tagaytay City,
who are the acquaintance of complainants herein. They convinced
the complainants that if they finance and deliver to him the amount
of P495,000.00 as advance money he would expedite the titling of
the subject land and further by means of other similar deceit like

misrepresenting himself as lawyer of William Gatchalian, the


prospective buyer of the subject land, who is the owner of Plastic
City at Canomay Street, Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Respondent also
claims to be the one handling William Gatchalians business
transaction and that he has contracts at NAMREA, DENR, CENRO
and Register of Deeds which representation he well knew were false,
fraudulent and were only made to induce the complainants to give
and deliver the said amount. The complainants content that
respondent lawyer violates his duties in keeping with his oath as a
lawyer. The RTC of Pampanga charged respondent with Estafa under
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.
ISSUE:
WON Atty. Bernardo is liable for acts committed
HELD:
Yes. The Court adopts and agrees with the findings and conclusions
of the IBP. It is first worth mentioning that the respondents defense
of prescription is untenable. The Court has held that administrative
cases against lawyers do not prescribe. The lapse of considerable
time from the commission of the offending act to the institution of
the administrative complaint will not erase the administrative
culpability of a lawyer. Respondent is found guilty of violating the
Code of Professional Responsibility and is SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for ONE YEAR effective upon notice hereof.
Case 2 Campos v. Atty. Campos, AC No. 8644
FACTS:
The case at bar is a complaint for disbarment on grounds of serious
misconduct, immorality and dishonesty filed against Atty. Eliseo M.
Campos (Eliseo), former presiding judge of the Municipal Trial Court
of Bayugan, Agusan del Sur. The complainants are his wife, Aida R.
Campos (Aida), and their children, Alistair R. Campos (Alistair) and
Charmaine R. Campos (Charmaine). Eliseo and Aida were married in
1981. Alistair was born in 1982, and Charmaine, in 1986.
In 1999, Eliseo purchased by installment a 936-square meter lot (the
property) in Bayugan, Agusandel Sur from a certain Renato
Alimpoos. The lot was registered in under the name of Alistair.
On July 16, 2008, Eliseo filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Bayugan, Agusandel Sur, Branch 7, a Petition for the Declaration of

Nullity of Marriage on grounds of psychological incapacity. On


September 10, 2008, Eliseo executed an Affidavit of Loss wherein he
represented himself as the owner of the property covered by OCT
No. P-28258. He declared that he unknowingly lost the owners
certificate of title which used to be in his files. On November 26,
2008, Alistair filed before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of
Bayugan, Agusandel Sur a complaint for perjury against Eliseo.
Alistair stated that the owners copy of OCT No. P-28258 was in his
possession. Eliseo was aware of such fact, but he still deliberately
and maliciously asserted a falsehood.
On June 4, 2010, Aida, Alistair, and Charmaine filed the instant
complaint for disbarment against Eliseo. They alleged that Eliseo
committed acts of dishonesty, immorality and serious misconduct in
(a) causing the issuance of OCT No. P-28258 in Alistairs name; (b)
subsequently misrepresenting himself as the real owner of the lot
covered by OCT No. P-28258; (c) falsely declaring under oath in the
Affidavit of Loss executed on September 10, 2008 that the owners
copy of OCT No. P-28258 is missing despite his knowledge that the
said title is with Alistair; (d) stating in his Petition for Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage that he is a homosexual albeit admitting to his
children that he has an intimate relation with another woman; and
(e) choking and boxing his children on September 14, 2009.
ISSUE:
WON Eliseo committed acts of dishonesty, immorality, and serious
misconduct
HELD:
Yes. Eliseo violated the Code of Professional Responsibility when he
conducted himself in a manner not befitting a member of the bar by
engaging in the scuffle with his own children in the chamber of
Judge Casals on September 14, 2009 and recklessly expressing his
doubt anent the legitimacy of his son Alistair during the hearing
before the CBD. Furthermore, the Court viewed with disfavor Eliseos
statement during the hearing conducted by the CBD on March 18,
2011 that he doubts Alistair to be his biologiocal son. As a lawyer,
Eliseo is presumably aware that ascribing illegitimacy to Alistair in a
proceeding not instituted for that specific purpose is nothing short of
defamation.