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PER CURIAM; October 6, 1989

An inquiry into the 1989 Elections of the integrated bar of the Philippines.
The Supreme Court, en banc, exercising its power of supervision over the
Integrated Bar, resolvd to suspend the oathtaking of the IBP officers=elect
and to inquire into the veracity of the reports.

June 3, 1989, the election of the national officers of the Integrated

Bar of the Philippines (IBP) was held at the Philippine International
Convention Center (PICC).
The newly elected officers were set to take their oath of office on
July 4, 1989, before the Supreme Court.
However, because of widespread reports about the intensive
electioneering and overspending by the candidates, the Supreme
Court resolved to suspend the oath-taking of the IBP officers-elect
to investigate.
the elections were led by the main candidates for the office of IBP
President, namely Attorneys Nereo Paculdo, Ramon Nisce, and
Violeta C. Drilon.
Among the allegations were the use of government planes, and
the officious intervention of certain public officials to influence the
voting, all of which were done in violation of the IBP By-Laws.
(poured heart, soul, money and influence to win over the 120 IBP
Emil Jurado (Manila Standard) reported that there was rampant
vote-buying by some members of the U.P. Sigma Rho Fraternity as
well as by some lawyers of ACCRA, and that government positions
were promised to others by the office of the Labor Secretary.
There was also the billeting of out-of-town delegates in plush
hotels where they were reportedly wined and dined continuously,
womened, and subjected to endless haggling over the price of
their votes xxx which ranged from P15K to P20K, and on election
day, to as much as P50K.
In a resolution calling for investigations, the Court called to mind
that a basic postulate of the IBP xxx is that the IBP shall be nonpolitical in character and that there shall be no lobbying nor
campaigning in the choice of members of the Board of Governors
and of the House of Delegates and of the IBP officers.
Article I, Section 4 of IBP By-Laws emphasizes the strictly
nonpolitical character of the IBP:
SEC. 4. Non-political Bar. the IBP is strictly non-political,
and every activity tending to impair this basic feature is
strictly prohibited and shall be penalized accordingly. No
lawyer holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial, or
prosecutory office in the government xxx shall be eligible

for election or appointment to any position in the IBP or

any chapter thereof.

Section 14 of By-Laws enumerates the prohibited acts relative to

IBP elections:
1. Distribution of election campaign material;
2. Distribution of campaign material other that a statement of
the biodata of candidate not more than one page of legal
3. Campaigning for or against any candidate, whle holding an
elective, judicial, quasi-judicial, prosecutor office in Govt;
4. Formation of tickets, single slates, or combinations of
candidates, as well as the advertisement thereof;
5. For purpose of influencing a member, by payment of dues or
other indebtedness of the member; giving of food, drink,
entertainment, transpo, any article of value; making a
promise or causing an expenditure to be made.
Section 12(d) of the By-Laws prescribes the sanctions:
Violation of the by-laws of the IBP shall be a ground for the
disqualification of a candidate or his removal from office if elected,
without prejudice to the imposition of sanctions upon any erring
member xxx

Atty. Paculdo admitted having spent some P250K during his three
weeks of campaigning;
Atty. Nisces hotel bills at the Hyatt amounted to P216K ++, not
including previous expenses for his campaign;
Atty . Drilons campaign rang up over P600K in hotel bills (Westin).

ISSUE: WON the candidates are guilty of massive electioneering,

inappropriate use of government resources, and vote-buying during the IBP
national elections

IBP elections should be as they are annulled.

The provisions of the IBP By-Laws for direct election by the House
Delegates of officers, IBP President, and exec. VP be repealed.
Former system of IBP President and Exec. VP elected by Board of
Governors from among themselves should be restored.
At the end of Presidents 2-year term, the EVP shall automatically
succeed to the office of the president. The incoming board of
governors shall elect an EVP from among themselves.
It is evident that the manner in which the principal candidates for
the national positions in the Integrated Bar conducted their
campaign preparatory to the elections violated Sec. 14 of the IBP
By-laws and made a travesty of the idea of a strictly nonpolitical

IBP shrined in Sec. 4 The candidates and many of the participants

in that election not only violated the By-Laws of the IBP but also
the ethics of the legal profession which imposes on all lawyers, as
a corollary of their obligation to:
a. Obey and uphold the constitution and the laws;
b. Duty to promote respect for law and legal processes;
c. Abstain from activities aimed at defiance of law or at
lessening confidence in the legal system.
It is speculated that the IBP ticket to the Judicial and Bar Council as
provided in Art. VIII Sec. 8 may be the reason why the position of
IBP president has attracted so much interest among the lawyers.
The decision is meant to impress upon participant the seriousness
of their misconduct, and to restore the non-political character of
the IBP.

MENDOZA; January 20, 2000
Petitioners Claim:


-Llamas has not indicated proper PTR and IBP OR No and data in
his pleadings, he merely indicates IBP Rizal 259060 as his PTS and
IBP OR No for 3 years as shown in various court pleadings.
-Llamas last payment of IBP dues, as certified by IBP pres, was
in 1991
--in the context of Rule 138 section 1 that only a duly admitted
member of the bar who is in good and regular stnding is entitled
to practice law and Rule 139-A,Section 10 which provides that
default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall
warrant suspension of membership in the integrated bar,and
default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the
removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of
-respondents track record shows that he was once dismissed as
Pasay City Judge, and was convicted of estafa.
Respondents Comment:
-SC has already dismissed the case for his dismissal as well as the
criminal case, and he was in fact promoted as RTC Judge,
-Respondent is engaged only in a limited practice of law,his
principal occupation being a farmer
-Being a senior citizen he is exempt from payment of taxes,and he
honestly believes that his dues with the IBP is covered by such
-in fact he does not exercise his rights to vote as an IBP member
-he is willing to pay his dues should he be in fact not exempt from
payment thereof

1.WON RA 7432 (Senior Citizen) exempts respondent from payment of his

dues with the IBP.
2.WON respondent is guilty of misleading the court of his standing with the
IBP for using the same IBP OR number for at least six years. YES

RA 7432 exempts him only from payment of taxes but not from
payment of his association dues such as IBP dues.
Since he openly admitted that he was still engaged in the practice
of law eventhough his practice is already limited he is still subject
to the payment of IBP dues and failure to do so would warrant his
suspension under Sec 10 of Rule 139-A.
He can only engage in the practice of law by paying his dues and it
doesnt matter if his practice is limited.
By Indicationg IBP Rizal 259060 in his pleadings, he is guilty of
misrepresenting to the public and the courts that he has paid his
dues to IBP Rizal Chapter and of violating Code of Professional
Responsibility which provides:
Rule 1.01-A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,dishonest,immoral
or deceitful conduct.
CANON 7 A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and
dignity of the legal profession,and support the activities of the
Integrated Bar.
CANON 10 A Lawyer owes candor,fairness nd goodfaith to the
Rule 10.01- A lawyer shall not do any falsehood,nor consent to the
doing of an court;nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be
misled by any artifice.
Disposition Because of his old age, respondent was only
suspended from practice of law for one year or until he pays his


PER CURIAM; February 4, 2004
NATURE: ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Bar Scandal.

On September 22, 2003, the day following the bar examination in

Mercantile Law, Justice Jose C. Vitug, Chairman of the 2003 Bar
Examinations Committee, was apprised of a rumored leakage in
the examination on the subject.
He then reported to Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. and to the
other members of the
Court, recommending that the examination on the subject be
nullified and that an investigation be conducted forthwith.
On September 2003, the Court adopted the recommendation of
Justice Vitug and resolved to nullify the examination in Mercantile

Law and to hold another exam on the said subject against which
petitions were filed.
The petitions voiced out the support to nullifying the exam on the
said subject and not to take another exam due to the emotional,
physical and financial burdens it will cause the barristers.
Alternative proposals were submitted to the Court. The Court
moved to nullify and to spread out the weight of the Mercantile
Law among the remaining seven bar subjects.
The Court resolved also to create a Committee composed of three
retired members of the Court that would conduct a thorough
investigation of the incident subject of the September 23, 2003
The Investigating Committee found that the leaked test questions
in Mercantile Law were the questions which the examinee, Atty.
Balgos had prepared and submitted to
Justice Jose Vitug.
His questions constituted 82% of the questions asked in the
examination in Mercantile Law in the morning of September 21,
2003, Sunday, in some cases with slight changes which were not
substantial and in other cases exactly as Atty. Balgos, 71 years
old, proposed.
The circumstances that the leaked test questions consisted
entirely of test questions prepared by Atty. Balgos proves
conclusively that the leakage originated from his office, not from
the Office of Justice Vitug.
Atty. Balgos claimed that the leaked test questions were prepared
by him on his computer. Without any doubt, the source of the
leaked test questions was Atty. Balgos computer.
The culprit who stole or downloaded them from Atty. Balgos
computer without the latters knowledge and consent, and who
faxed them to other persons, was Atty. Balgos legal assistant,
Atty. Danilo De Guzman, who voluntarily confessed the deed to the
Investigating Committee.
De Guzman revealed that he faxed the test questions, with the
help of his
secretary Villasis to his frat brods in Beta Sigma Lambda
Fraternity, namely, Garvida, Arlan, and Erwin Tan.
In turn, Garvida faxed the test questions to Iigo and Bugain. Iigo
passed a copy or copies to other Betan Guiapal who gave a copy
to the MLQU-Beta Sigmas Most Illustrious Brother, Ronald Collado
who ordered the printing and distribution of 30 copies to the
MLQUs 30 bar candidates.

ISSUE: WON Danilo De Guzman should be disbarred


He should be disbarred plus he ought to make a public apology

and pay damages to the Supreme Court
Atty. Balgos should be reprimanded by the Court and make a
written apology as a result of his negligence. He is not entitled to
receive any honorarium as examiner for that subject.
Further examination of the others should be held to show
accountability and also to find out how De Guzman was able to
secure a copy of the Supreme Courts CALR database without the
courts permission.
Atty De Guzmans act of downloading Balgos test questions in
mercantile law from the latters computer, without his knowledge
and permission, was a criminal act of larceny.
It was theft of intellectual property.
Besides theft, De Guzman also committed an unlawful infraction of
Balgos right to privacy of communication and to security of his
papers and effects against unauthorized search and seizure
rights zealously protected by the Bill of Rights of our Constitution.
He transgressed the very first canon of the lawyers Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall
uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land, and promote
respect for law and legal processes.
De Guzman also violated rule 1.01 of Canon 1, as well as Canon 7
of the Code of Professional Responsibility for members of the Bar,
which provide:
Rule 1.01A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct.
Canon 7A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and
dignity of the legal profession and support the activities of the
Integrated Bar.

He is guilty of grave misconduct unbecoming a member of the

Bar. Also, the Investigating committee does not believe that he
acted alone. Palma, secretary of Atty. Balgos and Atienza knew of
the password.
Certain brods should also be investigated.
The committee does not believe De Guzman did this out of love for
the fraternity. There must have been an ulterior material
consideration for his breaking the law and tearing the shroud of
secrecy that, he very well knows, covers the bar examinations.
Atty. Balgos is also negligent.
He could have just used the typewriter considering his lack of
adeptness with the computer.


CHICO-NAZARIO; May 9, 2005

NATURE: Bar Matter in the Supreme Court. Request for Exemption from
Payment of IBP Dues.

Petitioner, Atty. Cecilio Y. Arevalo, Jr., is being assessed P12,035 in

IBP dues for the years 1977-2005
After admittance to the Philippine Bar in 1961, he became part of
the Phil Civil Service from 1962 to 1986, then migrated to, and
worked in, the US from 1986 to his retirement in 2003.

ISSUES: WON Petitioners inactivity in the practice of law that is, when he
was in the Civil Service and when working abroad, entitles him to
exemption from payment of IBP dues.

The integration of the Philippine Bar means the official unification

of the entire law population.
This requires membership and financial support of every attorney
as condition sine qua non to the practice of law and the retention
of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of the SC.
This is toward defraying the expenses of regulation of the
profession to which they themselves belong.
Membership in the bar is a privilege (as opposed to a property
right) burdened with conditions, one of which is the payment of
membership dues.
Failure to abide by any of them entails the loss of such privilege if
the gravity thereof warrants.
Disposition Wherefore, petitioners request for exemption from
payment of IBP dues for the years 1977-2005 is Denied within 10
days from receipt of this decision, failure to do so will merit
suspension from the practice of law.

NATURE: Petition for Disbarment on the ground of Gross Immoral Conduct
(Adulterous Relationship).

Complainant and respondent met while working in the NBI.

Respondent courted complainant and promised to marry her while
representing himself to be single.
Soon they had an intimate relationship that started sometime in
1996 and lasted until 1997.
During their affair, respondent was preparing for the bar
examinations which he passed.
On May 10, 1997, he was admitted as a member of the Philippine

It was only around the first week of May 1997 that complainant
first learned that respondent was already married when his wife
went to her office and confronted her about her relationship with
On September 10, 1997, executed an affidavit, admitting his
relationship with the complainant and recognizing the unborn child
she was carrying as his.
On December 09, 1997, complainant gave birth to a baby girl,
Aletha Jessa.
By this time however, respondent had started to refuse
recognizing the child and giving her any form of support.


that he never courted the complainant;

what transpired between them was nothing but mutual lust and
he never represented himself as single since it was known in the
NBI that he was already married and with children.;
complainant is almost 10 years older than him and knew
beforehand that he is already married;
the child borne by complainant is not his, because the complainant
was seeing other men at the time they were having an affair.
He admits that he signed the affidavit dated September 10, 1997
but explains that he only did so to save complainant from
Also, he did not know at the time that complainant was seeing
other men.

The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline found Atty. Castillo guilty of

gross immoral conduct and recommends that he be meted the
penalty of indefinite suspension from the practice of law.

1. WON respondent is guilty of gross immoral conduct. YES
2. WON it is relevant to this case if the complainant knew he was married.
3. WON the respondent should be disbarred. NO

The Court agrees with the findings and recommendation of the IBP
The Code of Professional Responsibility:
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct.

CANON 7 - A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and

dignity of the legal profession, and support the activities of the
Integrated Bar.
Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely
reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor should he, whether in
public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the
discredit of the legal profession.
Immoral conduct has been defined as:
xxx that conduct which is so willful, flagrant, or shameless as to
show indifference to the opinion of good and respectable members
of the community.
Furthermore, such conduct must not only be immoral, but grossly
immoral. That is, it must be so corrupt as to constitute a criminal
act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree or
committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to
shock the common sense of decency.
Siring a child with a woman other than his wife is a conduct way
below the standards of morality required of every lawyer.
Moreover, the attempt of respondent to renege on his notarized
statement recognizing and undertaking to support his child by
Carmelita demonstrates a certain unscrupulousness on his part
which is highly censurable, unbecoming a member of a noble
profession, tantamount to selfstultification.
This Court has repeatedly held: as officers of the court,
lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral character
but must also be seen to be of good moral character and
leading lives in accordance with the highest moral
standards of the community.
More specifically, a member of the Bar and officer of the court is
not only required to refrain from adulterous relationships or the
keeping of mistresses but must also so behave himself as to avoid
scandalizing the public by creating the belief that he is flouting
those moral standards.
Complainant he seeks understanding from the Court, pointing out
that men by nature are polygamous, and that what happened
between them was nothing but mutual lust and desire.
The Court is not convinced. In fact, it is appalled at the
reprehensible, amoral attitude of the respondent.



That complainant entered into a relationship with him knowing full

well his marital status does not absolve him of gross immorality for
what is in question in a case like this is respondents fitness to be
a member of the legal profession.
It is not dependent whether or not the other party knowingly
engaged in an immoral relationship with him.

In Mortel vs. Aspiras: In a disbarment proceeding, it is immaterial

that the complainant is in pari delicto because this is not a
proceeding to grant relief to the complainant, but one to purge the
law profession of unworthy members, to protect the public and the
The illicit relationship with Carmelita took place while
respondent was preparing to take the bar examinations.
Thus, it cannot be said that it is unknown to him that an
applicant for admission to membership in the bar must
show that he is possessed of good moral character, a
requirement which is not dispensed with upon admission
to membership of the bar.
This qualification is not only a condition precedent to admission to
the legal profession, but its continued possession is essential to
maintain ones good standing in the profession.

Clearly therefore, respondent violated the standards of morality

required of the legal profession and should be disciplined
As consistently held by this Court, disbarment shall not be meted
out if a lesser punishment could be given.
Records show that from the time he took his oath in 1997, he has
severed his ties with complainant and now lives with his wife and
children in Mindoro.
As of now, the Court does not perceive this fact as an indication of
respondents effort to mend his ways or that he recognizes the
impact of his offense on the noble profession of law.
Nevertheless, the Court deems it more appropriate under the
circumstances that indefinite suspension should be meted out
than disbarment.
The suspension shall last until such time that respondent is able to
show, to the full satisfaction of the Court, that he had instilled in
himself a firm conviction of maintaining moral integrity and
uprightness required of every member of the profession.
The rule is settled that a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred
for any misconduct, even if it pertains to his private activities, as
long as it shows him to be wanting in moral character, honesty,
probity or good demeanor.
Disposition Court finds respondent GUILTY of Gross Immoral
Conduct and ordered to suffer INDEFINITE SUSPENSION from the
practice of law.


Que accused Atty. Revilla of violating certain provisions of the CPR.

Among other things,
Revilla lost in an unlawful detainer case and he repeatedly
raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction of the MeTC and RTC
in the cases even when knew that these courts had
jurisdiction. It is alleged that he did this to overturn the
decision against his clients.
Revilla also filed two petitions for annulment of title, a
petition for annulment of judgment and later on a petition
for declaratory relief in a different court in order to further
delay the execution of the judgment against his clients.
He also brought up certain falsities in his motions for

Issue: should he be disbarred?

Held: Yes.

A lawyer is not at liberty to maintain an action through means

inconsistent with truth and honor. He must not encourage
multiplicity of suits or engage in forum shopping.
His repeated attempts to go beyond legitimate means
allowed by professional ethical rules in defending the
interest of his clients are uncalled for measures to avoid
the enforcement of the final judgment of the trial courts.
He violated rule 10.03 of the CPR that makes it obligatory for a
lawyer to observe the rules of procedure and not to misuse
them to defeat the ends of justice.
He used the procedural rules to thwart and obstruct the speedy
and efficient administration of justice.
He committed willful, and deliberate falsehood in the
pleadings filed with the lower courts. He neglected to file
the proper remedy when it became available.
He is also guilty of violating 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 mislead by an
He concealed the truth from the court. His duties to his
clients yield to his duty to the court.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby AFFIRM Resolution
No. XVII-2005-164 dated December 17, 2005 and Resolution No.
XVII-2008-657 dated December 11, 2008 of the Board of
Governors of the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline insofar as
respondent Atty. Anastacio Revilla, Jr. is found liable for
professional misconduct for violations of the Lawyers Oath; Canon
8; Rules 10.01 and 10.03, Canon 10; Rules 12.02 and 12.04, Canon
12; Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility; and Sections 20(d), 21 and 27 of Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court. However, we modify the penalty the IBP imposed,

and hold that the respondent should be DISBARRED from the

practice of law.
VITUG; March 22, 2000
NATURE: ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Violation of the
Code of Professional Ethics

9 students from the AMA Computer College (AMACC), all members

of the Editorial Board of DATALINE, allegedly published certain
objectionable features
the Student Disciplinary Tribunal found them guilty and the
students were expelled
the 9 students appealed but were denied by the AMACC President
giving rise to a civil case calling for the Issuance of a Writ of
Preliminary Mandatory Injunction with Camacho as their counsel
and Pangulayan and associates representing the defendant,
while the case was pending, letters of apology and readmission
agreements were separately executed by and/or in behalf of the
students by their parents
following this, the Pangulayan Law Offices filed a Manifestation
stating, among other things, that 4 of the students had
acknowledged their guilt and agreed to terminate all proceedings
apparently, Pangulayan procured and effected the re-admission
agreements through negotiations with said students and their
parents without communicating with Camacho

ISSUE: WON Pangulayan is guilty of disregarding professional ethics


this action violates Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Ethics

which states:
A lawyer should not in anyway communicate upon the subject of
controversy with a party represented by counsel, much less should
he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but
should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer
most particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a
party not represented by counsel and he should not undertake to
advise him as to law.
respondent violated professional ethics and disregarded a duty
owing to his colleague
the Board of Governors of the IBP passed a resolution suspending
Pangulayan for 6 months and dismissed the case
against the other respondents since they took no part in it
the court concurred with IBPs findings but reduced the suspension
to 3 months

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Luis Meinrado C. Pangulayan is

ordered SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of THREE
(3) MONTHS effective immediately upon his receipt of this
decision. The case against the other respondents is DISMISSED for
insufficiency of evidence.



A complaint for disbarment was filed by Pedro Linsangan against

Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino for solicitation of clients and
encroachment of professional services.
Complaint alleged that respondent, with the help of paralegal Fe
Marie Labiano, convinced his clients to transfer legal
Respondent promised them financial assistance and expeditious
collection on their claims.
To induce them to hire his services, he persistently called them
and sent them text messages.
his allegations,
complainant presented
sworn affidavit of James Gregorio attesting that Labiano tried
to prevail upon him to sever his lawyer-client relations with
complainant and utilize respondents services instead, in exchange
for a loan of P50, 000.00.
respondents calling
Respondent, in his defense, denied knowing Labiano and
authorizing the printing and circulation of the said calling card.

Issue: Whether or not Tolentinos actions warrant disbarment.

W/N Atty. Tolentino is guilty of advertising his services
Held: Yes.

Rule 2.03 of the CPR provides that a lawyer shall not do or permit
to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal business.
Hence, lawyers are prohibited from soliciting cases for
the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or br
Such actuation constitutes malpractice, a ground for disbarment.
Rule 2.03 should be read in connection with Rule 1.03 of the
CPR which provides that lawyer, shall not for any corrupt motive or
interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any mans
This rule proscribes ambulance chasing (the solicitation of
almost any kind of legal business by an attorney, personally or
through an agent in order to gain employment) as a measure to
protect the community from barratry and champerty.

In the case at bar, complainant presented substantial evidence

(consisting of the sworn statements of the very same persons
coaxed by Labiano and referred to respondents office) to prove
that respondent indeed solicited legal business as well as
profitedfrom referrals suits.
Through Labianos
law practice was benefited.
Hapless seamen were enticed to transfer representation on the
could produce a more favorable result.
Based on the foregoing, respondent clearly solicited employmentvi
olating Rule 2.03, and Rule 1.03 and Canon 3 of the CPR and
section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.
Any act of solicitations constitutes malpractice which calls for the
exercise of the Courtsdisciplinary powers.
Violation of anti-solicitation statues warrants serious sanctions for
initiating contact with a prospective client for the purpose of
obtaining employment.
Thus in this jurisdiction, the Court adheres to the rule to protect
the public from the Machiavellian machinations of unscrupulous
lawyers and to uphold the nobility of the legal profession.
Canon 2: A lawyer shall make his
legal services available in an efficient and convenient manner com
patible with the independence, integrity and effectiveness of
the profession.
Rule 2.03: A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any
act designed primarily to solicit legal business
Atty. Tolentino suspended for violating Rules 1.03, 2.03, 8.02 and
16.04 and Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
With regard to Canon 3, the practice of law is a profession and not
a business.
Thus, lawyers should not advertise their talents as merchants
advertise their wares.
To allow lawyers to advertise their talents/skill is a
commercialization of the practice of law (degrading the profession
in the publics estimation).
With regard to Rule 2.03, lawyers are prohibited from soliciting
cases for purpose of gain, either personally or through an agent.
In relation to Rule 1.03, which proscribes ambulance chasing
(involving solicitation personally or through an agent/broker) as a
measure to protect community from barratry and champertry.
As a final note regarding the calling card presented as evidence by
Linsangan, a lawyers best advertisement is a well-merited.
reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust based on
his character and conduct.
For this reason, lawyers are only allowed to announce their
services by publication in reputable law lists or use of simple
professional cards.

Professional calling cards may only contain the following details:

(a) lawyers name;
(b) name of the law firm with which he is connected;
(c) address;
(d) telephone number and
(e) special branch of law practiced.
Labianos calling card contained the phrase with financial
The phrase was clearly used to entice clients (who already had
representation) to change counsels with a promise of loans to
finance their legal actions.
Money was dangled to lure clients away from their original
lawyers, thereby taking advantage of their financial distress and
emotional vulnerability.
This crass commercialism degraded the integrity of the bar and
deserves no place in the legal profession
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino for violating
Rules 1.03, 2.03, 8.02 and 16.04 and Canon 3 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of
Court is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period
of one year effective immediately from receipt of this resolution.
He is STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar
acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely.


Pardo, J. G.R. No. 89591-96

Jan. 24, 2000

This case stems from denial by the SC of the Peoples motion

seeking reconsideration of our August 13, 1990 decision holding
that respondent Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda committed no grave
abuse of discretion in issuing the order of August 8, 1989 giving
custody over private respondent Avelino T. Javellana to the Clerk of
Court of the Antique RTC, Atty. Deogracias del Rosario, during the
pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355.
At that time, sufficient reason was shown why Javellana should not
be detained at the Antique Provincial Jail.
The SC stated that the trial courts order specifically provided for
Javallanas detention at the residence of Atty. Del Rosario.
However, private respondent was not to be allowed liberty to roam
around but was to be held as detention prisoner in said residence.
It was however found that the order was not strictly complied with
because Javellana was not detained in the residence of Atty. Del
He went about his normal activities as if he were a free man,
including engaging in the practice of law.

On April 7, 1997, Senior State Prosecutor Henrick F. Guingoyon

filed with the Supreme Court a motion seeking clarification on the
following questions: "
(1) Does the resolution of this Honorable Court dated July 30,
1990, prohibiting Atty. Javellana from appearing as counsel refer
only to Criminal Case No. 4262?
(2) Is Atty. now (Judge) Deogracias del Rosario still the custodian of
Atty. Javellana? and
(3) Since it appears that Atty. (now Judge) del Rosario never really
held and detained Atty. Javellana as prisoner in his residence, is
not Atty. Javellana considered an escapee or a fugitive of justice
for which warrant for his arrest should forthwith be issued?"

Issue: Whether or not Atty. Javellanas mere house detention allows him to
continue practice law, since he has not been convicted and a trial has not
Held: NO

Private respondent Javellana has been arrested based on the filing

of criminal cases against him.
By such arrest, he is deemed to be under the custody of the law.
The trial court gave Atty. Deogracias Del Rosario the custody of
private respondent Javellana with the obligation to hold and
detain him in Atty. Del Rosarios residence in his official capacity
as the clerk of court of the regional trial court.
Hence, when Atty. del Rosario was appointed judge, he ceased to
be the personal custodian of accused Javellana and the succeeding
clerk of court must be deemed the custodian under the same
As a matter of law, when a person indicted for an offense is
arrested, he is deemed placed under the custody of the law.
He is placed in actual restraint of liberty in jail so that he may be
bound to answer for the commission of the offense.
He must be detained in jail during the pendency of the case
against him, unless he is authorized by the court to be released on
bail or on recognizance.
Let it be stressed that all prisoners whether under preventive
detention or serving final sentence can not practice their
profession nor engage in any business or occupation, or hold
office, elective or appointive, while in detention.
WHEREFORE, the August 8, 1989 order of the trial court is hereby
SET ASIDE. All accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355,
including Avelino T. Javellana and Arturo F. Pacificador are ordered
detained at the Provincial Jail of Antique, San Jose, Antique,
effective immediately, and shall not be allowed to go out of the jail
for any reason or guise, except, upon prior written permission of
the trial court for a lawful purpose.

A.M. No. P-220 December 20, 1978

Administrative complaint against Felicisimo Malinao court

interpreter of the Court of First Instance of Catbalogan, Samar
charging as follows:
appearing in the municipal court of this town for parties like
attorney when he is not an attorney. He makes it his means of
livelihood as he collects fees from his clients. He competes with
attorneys but does not pay anything.
GRAVE MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE. Being employed in the
Court of First Instance he would instigate persons, especially in his
barrio to grab land rob or coerce. In fact he has cases in the
municipal court in this town involving himself and his men. He
incite them telling them not to be afraid as he is a court employee
and has influence over the judges. Those persons being ignorant
would believe him and so would commit crimes.
CRIME OF FALSIFICATION. Information has it that he is
unfaithfully filing his time record in the CFI. Even he has been out
practicing in the municipal courts sometimes he would fill his time
record as present.
VIOLATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER AND CIVIL SERVICE LAW.WE have reliable information it is prohibited for a civil service
employee to engage in private practice any profession or business
without permission from the Department Head. Mr. Malinao we are
sure has not secured that permission because he should not be
allowed to practice as he is not an attorney.
Respondent averred that his participation for defendants' cause
was gratuitous as they could not engage the services of counsel
by reason of poverty and the absence of one in the locality.
Inspite of diligent efforts exerted by the Court to subpoena the
complainant, Julio Zeta, who is said to be a resident of Zumarraga,
Samar the same had failed because the said Julio Zeta appears to
be a fictitious person, nevertheless the Court proceeded to
investigate the case against him by calling several Judges.
Judge Restituto Duran of Sta. Rita, Samar, declared that according
to his docket books the respondent appeared as counsel for
Vicente Baculanlan in criminal case for grave threats and in
criminal case for the same accused and Romulo Villagracia for
illegal possession of firearm on August 5, 1960 and on September
17, 1970.
Judge Miguel Avestruz of Daram, Samar, declared that the
respondent appeared as counsel in civil case, entitled Felix
Versoza versus Victor Payao, et al., for forcible entry on December
15, 1962, January 26, 1963, February 18, 1963 and on March 1,

Judge Juanito Reyes declared that on March 27, 1969, the

respondent appeared as counsel for the defendant in civil case
entitled Restituto Centino versus Jesus Tizon for forcible entry and
again on June 17, 1970 in the same case.
Comparing the dates when the respondent appeared before the
aforementioned Municipal Courts with his daily time records, he
made it appear that on December 15, 1962 and February 18, 1963
he was present in his office although according to the testimony of
Judge Miguel Avestruz he was before his Court on December 15,
1962 as well as on February 18, 1963. Again according to Judge
Juanito Reyes the respondent appeared in his Court on June 17,
1970. The respondent again made it appear in his daily time
record that he was present with an undertime of five hours. The
respondent did not offer any plausible explanation for this

ISSUE: Whether or not Felicisimo Malinaos acts constitute illegal practice

of law.
HELD: Yes.

It is clear to Us that respondent, apart from appearing as counsel

in various municipal courts without prior permission of his
superiors in violation of civil service rules and regulations, falsified
his time record of service by making it appear therein that he was
present in his office on occasions when in fact he was in the
municipal courts appearing as counsel, without being a member of
the bar, which, furthermore, constitutes illegal practice of law.
We, therefore, adopt the above findings of fact of the Investigator.
In the premises, it is quite obvious that the offense committed by
respondent is grave, hence it warrants a more drastic sanction
than that of reprimand recommended by Judge Zosa.
We find no alternative than to separate him from the service, with
the admonition that he desist from appearing in any court or
investigative body wherein Only members of the bar are allowed
to practice.
WHEREFORE, respondent Felicisimo Malinao is hereby ordered
dismissed from his position as interpreter in the Court of First
Instance, CFI, Zumarraga, Western Samar with prejudice to
reemployment in the judicial branch of the government.

Tan vs. Balajadia


Respondent Balajadia was charged for contempt by the

petitioners, Tan, et al.

Before that, the respondent filed a criminal case against the

petitioners with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Baguio City.

In his complaint-affidavit, the respondent asserted that he is a

practicing lawyer based in Baguio City. However, certifications
issued by the OBC and the IBP showed that the respondent was
admitted to the Bar.

Respondent asserted that the allegation that he was a practicing

lawyer is an honest mistake.

He claims that the secretary of Atty. Paterno Aquino prepared the

complaint-affidavit patterned after Atty. Aquinos affidavit.

Liza Laconsay, Atty. Aquinos secretary, admitted the mistake of

copying Atty. Aquinos complaint-affidavit and instead of stating
that Respondent Balajadia is a businessman, he was erroneously
referred to as a practicing lawyer.
Issue: Whether not the respondent is liable for direct contempt.

The affidavit of Liza Laconsay attesting to the mistake in drafting

the complaint- affidavit conforms to the documentary evidence on
record and the allegation was indeed a result of inadvertence and
doesnt establish intent to make him liable for indirect contempt

Respondent has satisfactorily shown that the allegation that he is

a practicing lawyer was the result of inadvertence and cannot, by
itself, establish intent as to make him liable for indirect contempt.

In the cases where we found a party liable for the unauthorized

practice of law, the party was guilty of some overt act like signing
court pleadings on behalf of his client;[12] appearing before court
hearings as an attorney;[13] manifesting before the court that he
will practice law despite being previously denied admission to the
bar;[14] or deliberately attempting to practice law and holding out
himself as an attorney through circulars with full knowledge that
he is not licensed to do so.

In the case at bar, no evidence was presented to show that

respondent acted as an attorney or that he intended to practice
law. Consequently, he cannot be made liable for indirect contempt
considering his lack of intent to illegally practice law.

However, while the evidence on record failed to prove

respondents deliberate intent to misrepresent himself as an
attorney and act as such without authority, he is hereby warned to
be more careful and circumspect in his future actions.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.

CARPIO; June 10, 2003
NATURE: Administrative matter on unauthorized practice of law, grave
misconduct, violation of law and grave misrepresentation


On May 21, 2001, one day before respondent Edwin Rana

participated the oath-taking of successful bar examinees as
member of the Philippine bar, complainant Donna Marie Aguirre
filed against respondent a Petition for Denial of Admission to the
Bar on the ground of unauthorized practice of law, grave
misconduct, violation of law, and grave misrepresentation.
The Court allowed respondent to take the oath, but did not allow
him to sign the Roll of Attorneys.
The complainant charges him with unauthorized practice of law
and grave misconduct since she claims that he already appeared
as counsel for and in behalf of Vice Mayoralty Candidate of
Mandaon, Masbate, George Bunan before the Municipal Board of
She also claims that he signed the pleading dated 19 May 2001
entitled Formal Objection to the Inclusion in the Canvassing of
Votes in Some Precincts for the Office of Vice- Mayor as counsel for
the said candidate.
On the charge of violation of law, complainant claims that the
respondent is a municipal government employee and as such, he
is not allowed by law to act as counsel for a client in any court or
administrative body.
On the charge of grave misconduct and misrepresentation,
complainant accuses respondent of acting as counsel George
Bunan without the latter engaging respondents services.
Complainant claims that respondent filed the pleading as a ploy to
prevent the proclamation of the winning vice mayoralty candidate.
Respondent claims though George Bunan sought his specific
assistance, he decided to assist and advice Bunan, not as a
lawyer but as a person who knows the law. He also admitted
signing the pleading, but not as a lawyer.
In reply to the charge of violation of law, he claims that he already
resigned from the said government post May 11, 2001.
He further claims that the complaint is politically charged since the
complainant is the daughter of the losing candidate for mayor of
Mandaon, Masbate.
In the complainants reply to the respondents comments, she
further alleges that on May 19, Emily Estipona-Hao filed a petition
for proclamation as the winning candidate for mayor wherein the
respondent signed as counsel for her.
On July 17, the Court referred the case to the Office of the Bar
Confident (OBC). The OBC found that the respondent indeed
appeared before the MBEC as counsel for Bunan, as seen in the
minutes of the MBEC proceedings.
The OBC also believes that respondents unauthorized practice of
law is a ground to deny his admission to the practice of law.

ISSUE WON the respondent should be denied admission to the Philippine

HELD: Yes.

Records show that he indeed appeared as lawyer for Bunan.

He also signed the pleading as his lawyer. In the first paragraph of
the same pleading respondent stated that he was the
(U)ndersigned Counsel for, and in behalf of Vice Mayoralty
Candidate, GEORGE T. BUNAN.
Bunan himself also wrote to the MBEC that he had authorized
Atty. Edwin L. Rana as his counsel to represent him before the
MBEC and similar bodies.
Emily Estipona-Hao also wrote to the MBEC that the respondent
will be the legal counsel for her party.
The respondent also signed the pleading as their lawyer.
All these happened before he took his lawyers oath. It is clear that
he engaged in the practice of law.
It is also irrelevant the respondent has already passed the bar and
taken his oath, for it is the signing in the Roll of Attorneys which
makes one a full-fledged lawyer.
As for the charge of violation of law, it is clear that the respondent
has already resigned from the said position before appearing as
On the charge of grave misconduct and misrepresentation,
evidence shows that Bunan indeed authorized respondent to
represent him as his counsel before the MBEC and similar bodies.
While there was no misrepresentation, respondent nonetheless
had no authority to practice law.
Disposition. Respondent is denied admission to the Philippine Bar



The present was complaint was prompted by the alleged inability

of the respondent lawyer to meet his end of the bargain after
collecting excessive lawyers fees.
He was the counsel of the petitioner who gave him P 70,000 for
the recovery of P 180,000 from the Planters Bank and the release
of the petitioners foreclosed lot in Laguna as well.
It was also alleged that he only appeared as counsel for the
petitioner for the recovery of the bank deposit and did not appear
in the hearing of the Writ of Possession of the lot in Laguna.
In his denial, the respondent claims that the amount he collected
was only for the recovery of deposit and not for the recovery of the
foreclosed lot.
He claimed further that the amount was not excessive for it was
the referral fees for two other individuals who were non-lawyers.

Upon investigation, it was found that he was involved in the

release of the foreclosed Laguna lot because he was the one who
made the Compromise Agreement in favor of the client.
The IBP-Commission on Discipline found his acts violative of the
Code of Professional responsibility.

Issue: Whether or not he indeed violated the Code of Professional


The Supreme Court approved the decision of the Commission on

discipline that he violated the Code of Professional responsibility
specifically Canon 9.2.
By openly admitting he divided the Php 70,000.00 to other
individuals as commission/referral fees respondent violated Rule
9.02, Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which
provides that a lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee
for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law.
The practice of law is a privilege bestowed on those who show that
they possessed and continue to possess the legal qualifications for
it. Indeed, lawyers are expected to maintain at all times a high
standard of legal proficiency and morality, including honesty,
integrity and fair dealing. Respondents claim that the attorneys
fee pertains only to the recovery of complainants savings deposit
from Planters Development Bank cannot be sustained.
Records show that he acted as complainants counsel in the
drafting of the compromise agreement between the latter and the
bank relative to LRC Case No. B-2610.
Acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorneyclient relationship and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to
the clients 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.
WHEREFORE, 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. He is further
ordered to RETURN, within thirty (30) days from notice, the sum of
P70,000.00 to complainant Luzviminda C. Lijauco and to submit to
this Court proof of his compliance within three (3) days therefrom.








The respondent herein is the counsel of the tenants/ farmers in

cases regarding the properties owned by the petitioners Plus
Builders, Inc.
The respondent allegedly resorted to unlawful strategies and
machinations after the Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite rendered a
decision against the tenants regarding ownership of the subject
Among these machinations and strategies include his involvement
in the unauthorized practice of law by allowing a group of nonlawyers to submit a pleading collectively representing themselves
as law partners in KDC Legal Services, Law Officers, and
Associates and solicited fees for such.
The respondent contends that he only did such in good faith to
exert utmost efforts to defend his clients, no matter how guilty he
may appear to be.
This prompted the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Commission
on Bar Discipline to review the matter and eventuall yfound the
respondent guilt of unlawful practice of law because he was not
able to deny that the allegations were true, violation the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

Issue: Whether or not the respondent is guilty of violating the Code of

Professional Responsibility specifically Canon 9.
Held: YES

He indeed violated Canon 9. The Canon states that " A lawyer

shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of
'Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person
the performance of any task which by law may only be performed
by a member of the Bar in good standing.'
In the present case, respondent claims good faith in pursuing the
cause of his clients. The records show, however, that his course
of legal action was obviously a stratagem to delay unduly the
execution of the provincial adjudicator's Decision.
the silence or failure of respondent to challenge the allegation that
he allowed non-lawyers to engage in the unauthorized practice of
law may be deemed an admission of the truth of the accusation.
The lawyer's duty to prevent, or at the very least not to assist in,
the unauthorized practice of law is founded on public interest and
Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited to those
individuals found duly qualified in education and character.
WHEREFORE, Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. is hereby found guilty of
gross misconduct and is SUSPENDED for two years from the
practice of law, effective upon his receipt of this Decision. He is
warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt
with more severely