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ATTY.

ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

Endaya vs. Oca (09/03/2003)


Ponent: Tinga
D: Much is demanded from those who engage in the practice of law
because they have a duty not only to their clients, but also to the court, to
the bar, and to the public. The lawyers diligence and dedication to his
work and profession is not only to promote the interest of his client, it is
likewise to help attain the ends of justice by contributing to the proper and
speedy administration of cases, bring prestige to the bar and maintain
respect to the legal profession
Facts:
1. On November 7, 1991, a complaint for unlawful detainer was filed
with the MCTC of Taysan, Batangas by Apolonia H. Hornilla, Pedro
Hernandez, Santiago Hernandez and Dominador Hernandez against
complainant and his spouse Patrosenia Endaya.
2. On December 13, 1991, the complainant and his wife as defendants
in the case filed their answer which was prepared by a certain Mr.
Isaias Ramirez. A preliminary conference was conducted which
complainant and his wife attended without counsel.
3. During the conference, complainant categorically admitted that
plaintiffs were the declared owners for taxation purposes of the land
involved in the case.
4. Endaya sought the services of the Public Attorneys Office in
Batangas City and Oca was assigned to handle the case for the
complainant and his wife.
5. Oca appeared as counsel for complainant and his spouse. He moved
for the amendment of the answer previously filed by complainant
and his wife but his motion was denied.
6. Thereafter, the court, presided by Acting Trial Court Judge Teodoro
M. Baral, ordered the parties to submit their affidavits and position
papers within ten days from receipt of the order. The court also
decreed that thirty days after receipt of the last affidavit and
position paper, or upon expiration of the period for filing the same,
judgment shall be rendered on the case.
7. Respondent failed to submit the required affidavits and position
paper
8. The court dismissed the complaint for unlawful detainer principally on
the ground that the plaintiffs are not the real parties-in-interest.
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9. Endaya received a copy of the Decision on October 7, 1992. Two


days later, he confronted Oca with the adverse decision but the latter
denied receipt of a copy thereof. Upon inquiry with the Branch Clerk
of Court, he found out that Oca received his copy back on September
14, 1992.
10. Having lost the unlawful detainer case, on January 12, 1993
complainant filed the present administrative complaint against the
respondent for professional delinquency consisting of his failure to
file the required pleadings in behalf of the complainant and his
spouse. Complainant contends that due to respondents inaction he
lost the opportunity to present his cause and ultimately the case itself.
11. The Office of the Bar Confidant found respondent negligent in
handling the case of complainant and his wife and recommended that
he be suspended from the practice of law for one month. However,
the Bar Confidant did not find complainant entirely faultless for
misrepresenting that he could prove his claim through supporting
documents, respondent was made to believe that he had a strong leg
to stand on.
12. The IBP also concurred with the findings of the Bar Confidant.
Issue:
1.

WON Oca violated the lawyers oath and did not observe due
diligence in performing his duties?

Held and Ratio:


1. Yes, the Court is convinced that respondent violated the lawyers
oath not only once but a number of times in regard to the handling
of his clients cause. The repeated violations also involve
defilement of several Canons in the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

The lawyers oath embodies the fundamental principles that guide


every member of the legal fraternity. From it springs the lawyers
duties and responsibilities that any infringement thereof can cause his
disbarment, suspension or other disciplinary action. Found in the oath
is the duty of a lawyer to protect and safeguard the interest of his
client. Specifically, it requires a lawyer to conduct himself to the best

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

of his knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the
courts as to his clients.
Respondent did not submit the affidavits and position paper when
required by the MCTC. With his resolution not to file the pleadings
already firmed up, he did not bother to inform the MCTC of his
resolution in mockery of the authority of the court. His stubbornness
continued at the RTC, for despite an order to file an appeal
memorandum, respondent did not file any. Neither did he manifest
before the court that he would no longer file the pleading, thus
further delaying the proceedings. He had no misgivings about his
deviant behavior, for despite receipt of a copy of the adverse
decision by the RTC he opted not to inform his clients accordingly.
Worse, he denied knowledge of the decision when confronted by the
complainant about it.

Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which mandates that


a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence.
In this case, evidence abound that respondent failed to demonstrate the
required diligence in handling the case of complainant and his spouse. After
appearing at the second preliminary conference before the MCTC,
respondent had not been heard of again until he commented on the complaint
in this case. Without disputing this fact, respondent reasons out that his
appearance at the conference was for the sole purpose of obtaining leave of
court to file an amended answer and that when he failed to obtain it because
of complainants fault he asked the court that he be relieved as counsel. The
explanation has undertones of dishonesty for complainant had engaged
respondent for the entire case and not for just one incident. The alternative
conclusion is that respondent did not know his procedure for under the Rules
on Summary Procedure the amended answer is a prohibited pleading.

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It was respondents failure to file appeal memorandum before the RTC which
made complainant and his wife suffer as it resulted in their loss of the case. As
found by the Office of the Bar Confidant, in not filing the appeal
memorandum respondent denied complainant and his spouse the chance of
putting up a fair fight in the dispute.
Canon 19 prescribes that a lawyer shall represent his client with zeal
within the bounds of the law. He should exert all efforts to avail of the
remedies allowed under the law.
Respondent did not do so, thereby even putting to naught the advantage
which his clients apparently gained by prevailing at the MCTC level. Verily,
respondent did not even bother to put up a fight for his clients. Clearly, his
conduct fell short of what Canon 19 requires and breached the trust reposed
in him by his clients.
Canon 17 provides that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client
and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.
When complainant received the RTC decision, he talked to respondent about
it. However, respondent denied knowledge of the decision despite his receipt
thereof. Obviously, he tried to evade responsibility for his negligence. In
doing so, respondent was untruthful to complainant and effectively betrayed
the trust placed in him by the latter.
Canon 6 of the Code provides that the canons shall apply to lawyers in
government service in the discharge of their official tasks.

Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which mandates


that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his
negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.

Respondent should have been more judicious in the performance of his


professional obligations. As we held in Vitriola v. Dasig lawyers in the
government are public servants who owe the utmost fidelity to the public
service. Furthermore, a lawyer from the government is not exempt from
observing the degree of diligence required in the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

Respondents failure to file the affidavits and position paper at the MCTC did
not actually prejudice his clients, for the court nevertheless rendered a
decision favorable to them. However, the failure is per se a violation of Rule
18.03.

Jardin v. Villar, Jr. (8/28/2003)


D: Canon 18- A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
diligence

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ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him


and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable
Facts:
1. Redentor S. Jardin, plaintiff in a civil case, engaged the services of
respondent Atty. Deogracias Villar, Jr to represent him. The case went
its course, but later despite several extensions of time given by the
trial court, the respondent failed to file his formal offer of exhibits
2. Thus, RTC dismissed the case. This dismissal prompted Jardin to file a
verified affidavit-complaint for the disbarment of respondent for the
latters failure to formally offer the documentary exhibits which
failure resulted in the dismissal of the case
3. In a Resolution, the court required respondent to comment on the
complaint against him. However, respondent failed to file his comment
despite 2 extensions of time granted to him. Thus SC dispensed with
the filing of respondents comment and referred the case to IBP
4. IBP Commissioner found respondent liable for negligence and
recommended his suspension from practice of law for 6 months.
Issue: WON respondent is negligent and should be suspended from practice
of law
Held: Yes
Ratio:
1. Respondent disregarded the resolution of SC directing him to file his
comment on the complaint. He exhibited similar attitude in failing to
file his answer when required by IBP. This repeated conduct belies
impudence and lack of respect for the authority of the court
2. Respondent has been languid in the performance of his duties as his
counsel for complainant and has fallen short of the competence and
diligence required of every member of the bar: Canon 18- A lawyer
shall serve his client with competence and diligence
3. 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him
and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable
4. It is indeed dismaying to note the respondents patent violation of his
duty as a lawyer. He committed serious transgression when he failed
to exert his utmost learning and ability to give entire devotion to his
clients cause
5. His client had relied on him to file the formal offer of exhibits among
other things. But he failed him. Resulting as it did in the dismissal of
the case, his failure constitutes inexcusable default
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6. Respondent manifestly fell short of the diligence required of his


profession, in violation of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility
7. The trust and confidence necessarily reposed by clients requires in
attorney a high standard and appreciation of his duty to his clients,
his profession, the courts and the public. Every case a lawyer accepts
deserves his full attention, diligence, skill and competence, regardless
of its importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or free
8. Certainly, a member of the Bar who is worth his title cannot afford to
practice the profession in a lackadaisical fashion. A lawyers lethargy
from the perspective of the Canons is both unprofessional and
unethical

Martinez v. Banogon (4/30/1963)


D: Generally speaking, the written contract between the lawyer and client
is what binds them as to the amount of the Attorneys fees. To render such
unreasonable, jurisprudence states eight guiding principles that should be
checked first
Facts:
1. Through a contract for professional services, Atty. Martinez appeared
as counsel for the probate will of Somoza and later for the
administration of the estate left by him
2. The amount of his compensation was stated in the contract (P800)
3. Later, the case was not closed and terminated as expected and up to
the filing of Atty. Martinezs claim for Attorneys fees, he already
received P1320 as compensation for the services he rendered
4. In the case for administration of the estate, Atty. Martinez filed a
petition stating that the reasonable value of all the services rendered
by him up to the termination of the case is P6,000 and that the
amount already paid to him is not a reasonable compensation
Issue: WON the fees for Atty. Martinez were reasonable
Held: Yes
Ratio:
1. As a general rule, a written contract for professional services controls
the amount to be paid therefore unless found by the Court to be
unconscionable or unreasonable

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

2. Whether the fees as provided in the contract was unconscionable or


unreasonable will have to be determined, in accordance with some
guiding principles:
a. the amount and character of the services rendered;
b. labor, time, and trouble involved;
c. the nature and importance of the litigation or business in
which the services were rendered;
d. the responsibility imposed;
e. the amount of money or the value of the property affected
by the controversy or involved in the employment;
f. the skill and experience called for in the performance of the
services;
g. the professional character and social standing of the
attorney;
h. the results secured, it being a recognized rule that an
attorney may properly charge a much larger fee when it is
contingent than when it is not

4. However, Herrera remained in dire financial straits for which he


failed to acquire funding to pay the loans and Canlas fees. Canlas
then offered that he will redeem the property provided that they
execute a transfer of mortgage over the properties in his favor
5. Herrera then found out that Canlas registered the properties in is
name, which was contrary to their agreement. He then claims that the
Deed of Sale and Transfer of Rights of Redemption was falsified
6. Thus, Herrera filed a disbarment case against Atty. Canlas for
betrayal of trust, as well as a criminal complaint for estafa and
falsification of documents. Further, he contends that the attorneys fee
charged by Canlas is unconscionable
Issue: WON the attorneys fee charged by Canlas against Herrera was
reasonable
Held: No
Ratio:
1. By Atty. Canlas' own account, he admitted that no financing entity
was willing to extend Herrera any loan with which to pay the
redemption price of his mortgaged properties and petitioner's
100K attorney's fees. This fact should have tempered his demand
for his fees. For obvious reasons, Canlas placed his interests over
and above those of his client, in opposition to his oath to "conduct
himself as a lawyer ... with all good fidelity ... to clients1
2. Lawyering is not a moneymaking venture and lawyers are not
merchants, a fundamental standard that has, as a matter of
judicial notice, eluded not a few law advocates. The petitioner's
efforts partaking of a shakedown of his own client are not
becoming of a lawyer and certainly, do not speak well of his
fealty to his oath to "delay no man for money
3. It is true that lawyers are entitled to make a living, in spite of the
fact that the practice of law is not a commercial enterprise; but
that does not furnish an excuse for plain lust for material wealth,
more so at the expense of another. Law advocacy, we reiterate,
is not capital that yields profits. The returns it births are simple
rewards for a job done or service rendered. It is a calling that,
unlike mercantile pursuits which enjoy a greater deal of freedom

Canlas v. CA (08/08/1988)
D: Lawyering is not a moneymaking venture and lawyers are not
merchants, a fundamental standard that has, as a matter of judicial notice,
eluded not a few law advocates. The petitioner's efforts partaking of a
shakedown of his own client are not becoming of a lawyer and certainly,
do not speak well of his fealty to his oath to "delay no man for money
Facts:
1. Herrera owns 8 parcels of land in QC. From 1977 to 1978, he
obtained various loans from L&R Corporation amounting to 420K. As
security, he executed deeds of mortgage in favor of L&R
2. For failure to pay his obligation, the lots were foreclosed and were
disposed at public auction where L & R Corporation was the highest
bidder. Pending redemption, he filed for a complaint for injunction
against L&R in which case he was represented by Canlas
3. L&R and Herrera entered into a compromise agreement whereby L&R
extended the redemption period to another year. The properties are
now priced at 600K. It was also stipulated in the agreement that
Canlas is entitled to attorneys fees of 100K. The court approved the
said compromise
1

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From the Lawyers Oath

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

from government interference, is impressed with a public interest,


for which it is subject to State regulation
4. The SC did not find petitioner's claim of attorney's fees in the sum
of 100K reasonable. Further, the extent of the services he had
rendered is not impressive to justify payment of such a
gargantuan amount. The case itself moreover did not involve
complex questions of fact or law that would have required
substantial effort as to research or leg work for the petitioner to
warrant his demands. The fact that the properties subject thereof
commanded quite handsome prices in the market should not be a
measure of the importance or non-importance of the case
5. Thus, the court ordered to reduce the petitioner's fees, on
a quantum meruit basis, to P20,000.00
6. However, the court has ordered Herrera to pay Canlas the 600k
he paid to redeem the property. Canlas, on the other hand, was
ordered to give back the 1M he earned from selling the
properties2

Taganas v. NLRC (09/07/95)


Justice Francisco
D: The validity of contingent fees largely depends on the reasonableness of
the stipulated fees under the circumstances of each case. The reduction of
unreasonable attorneys fees is within the regulatory powers of the courts
Facts:
1. Atty. Taganas represented respondents Escultura et. al. in a labor
suit for illegal diamissal , underpayment and non-payment of
wages, 13th month pay, attorneys fees and damages against the
latters proprietor Ultra Clean Services (Ultra) and the Philippine
Tuberculosis Society Inc. (PTSI). Respondents were humble janitors
2. Ultra and PTSI lost and were ordered by the Labor Arbiter to
solidarily reinstate the respondents along with payment of their

The properties can no longer be reconveyed to Herrerra since an innocent purchaser for value already
acquired the properties
2

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3.
4.

5.
6.
7.

2-D || Ateneo Law School

backwages, differential etc. However, the Arbiter disallowed the


claim for damages due to lack of basis
During the execution stage, Atty. Taganas moved to enforce his
attorneys lien
Respondents Escultura et al felt aggrieved for receiving a
reduced reward due to the attorneys fees and moved to
question the validity of the contingent fee agreement they had
with Taganas except for four of the other respondents who
expressed their conformity thereto
Taganass fee was reduced from 50% of judgment award to
10%. Taganas appealed to the NLRC
NLRC affirmed the Labor Arbiter and ordered the amount to be
paid by the four other respondents who expressly agreed to the
original contingency agreement to also be reduced to 10%.
Hence, Taganas petitioned for certiorari claiming that the
reduction was without basis especially as regards the 4 who
consented to the original arrangement

Issue: WON the reduction of the attorneys fees was correct


Held: The reduction was proper. The contingent fee arrangement was
unreasonable
Ratio:
A contingent fee agreement is an agreement laid doen in an express
contract between a lawyer and a client in which the lawyers professional fee,
usually a fixed percentage of what may be recovered in an action, is to
depend upon the success of the litigation. A contingent fee arrangement is
valid in our jurisdiction and, as seen in Canon 133 and Sec. 24 of Rule 1384, is
under the supervision and scrutiny of the court to protect clients for unjust
charges.

Canon 13: A contract for contingent fee, where sanctioned by law, should be reasonable under all the
circumstances of the case including the risk and uncertainty of the compensation, but should always be
subject to the supervision of a court, as to its reasonableness.
4 Section 24. Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees. An attorney shall be entitled to have and
recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the
importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the
professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as expert
witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its
own professional knowledge. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless
found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.
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ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

Therefore, the validity of contingent fees largely depends on the


reasonableness of the stipulated fees under the circumstances of each case.
The reduction of unreasonable attorneys fees is within the regulatory powers
of the courts
The court took into consideration the financial capacity and economic status of
the client to be taken account in fixing the reasonableness of the fee. The
court took into consideration the fact that respondents were janitors who
received miniscule salaries and no benefits. As a matter of fact Art. 111 of
the Labor Code imposed a limit as to attoneys fees but the court refrained
from applying this rule. Thus, the reduction was proper. Labor cases call for
compassionate justice.
Issue: WON the reduction as regard the 4 respondents who consented to the
original contingent agreement was proper
Held: Yeeeeeees because the contingent fee agreement was unreasonable
and unconscionable. Taganas was also reminded by the court as a laywer he
is primarily an officer of the court charged with the duty of assisting the court
in administering impartial justice between the parties. When he takes the
oath, he submits himself to the authority of the court and subjects his
professional fees to judicial control.
Traders Royal Bank Employees Union v NLRC (03/14/1997)
Justice Regalado
D: Quantum meruit, meaning "as much as he deserves," is used as the
basis for determining the lawyer's professional fees in the absence of a
contract, but recoverable by him from his client. Where a lawyer is
employed without a price for his services being agreed upon, the courts
shall fix the amount on quantum meruit basis. In such a case, he would be
entitled to receive what he merits for his services.
Facts:
1. Traders Royal Bank Employees Union (the Union) and Atty. Emmanuel
Noel A. Cruz, head of the E.N.A. Cruz and Associates law firm, entered
into a retainer agreement on February 26, 1987 whereby the former
obligated itself to pay the latter a monthly retainer fee of PhP3,000.00
in consideration of the law firm's undertaking to render the services
enumerated in their contract. However, the agreement was terminated by
the Union on April 4, 1990.
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2. On September 2, 1988, the NLRC rendered a decision in the foregoing


case in favor of the employees, awarding them holiday pay differential,
mid-year bonus differential, and year-end bonus differential.
3. The Court, in its decision promulgated on August 30, 1990, modified the
decision of the NLRC by deleting the award of mid-year and year-end
bonus differentials while affirming the award of holiday pay differential.
4. Traders Royal Bank voluntarily complied with such final judgment and
determined the holiday pay differential to be in the amount of
PhP175,794.32. The Union never contested the amount thus found by the
Bank. The latter duly paid its concerned employees their respective
entitlement in said sum through their payroll.
5. After Atty. Cruz received the above decision of the Supreme Court, he
notified the Union, the Bank management and the NLRC of his right to
exercise and enforce his attorney's lien over the award of holiday pay
differential, and thereafter filed a motion before Labor Arbiter Lorenzo
for the determination of his attorney's fees. The Labor Arbiter issued an
order granting the motion of Atty. Cruz.
6. After appeal by the Union, the NLRC promulgated a resolution affirming
the order of the labor arbiter.
Issue: WON Atty. Cruz is entitled to compensation on top of the retainer
fee he receives monthly.
Held: Yes. The Court modified the amount to be paid by the Union to Atty.
Cruz. The amount ordered by the Court was PhP10,000.
Ratio:
1. Atty. Cruz is entitled to an additional remuneration for pursuing legal
action in the interest of the Union before the labor arbiter and the NLRC,
on top of the PhP3,000.00 retainer fee he received monthly from the
Union. The law firm's services are decidedly worth more than such basic
fee in the retainer agreement5. Thus, in Part C thereof on "Fee Structure,"
A. GENERAL SERVICES
1. Assurance that an Associate of the Law Firm shall be designated and be available on a day-to-day
basis depending on the Union's needs;
2. Legal consultation, advice and render opinion on any actual and/or anticipatory situation confronting
any matter within the client's normal course of business;
3. Proper documentation and notarization of any or all transactions entered into by the Union in its day-today course of business;
4. Review all contracts, deeds, agreements or any other legal document to which the union is a party
signatory thereto but prepared or caused to be prepared by any other third party;
5. Represent the Union in any case wherein the Union is a party litigant in any court of law or quasi-judicial
body subject to certain fees as qualified hereinafter;
6. Lia(i)se with and/or follow-up any pending application or any papers with any government agency
and/or any private institution which is directly related to any legal matter referred to the Law Firm.
5

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

it is even provided that all attorney's fees collected from the adverse
party by virtue of a successful litigation shall belong exclusively to Atty.
Cruz, aside from the Union's liability for appearance fees and
reimbursement of the items of costs and expenses enumerated therein.
2. Quantum meruit, meaning "as much as he deserves," is used as the basis
for determining the lawyer's professional fees in the absence of a
contract, but recoverable by him from his client. Where a lawyer is
employed without a price for his services being agreed upon, the courts
shall fix the amount on quantum meruit basis. In such a case, he would be
entitled to receive what he merits for his services.
3. The Court has laid down guidelines in ascertaining the real worth of a
lawyer's services. These factors are now codified in Rule 20.01, Canon 20
of the Code of Professional Responsibility and should be considered in
fixing a reasonable compensation for services rendered by a lawyer on
the basis of quantum meruit. These are: (a) the time spent and the extent
B. SPECIAL LEGAL SERVICES
1. Documentation of any contract and other legal instrument/documents arising and/or required by your
Union which do not fall under the category of its ordinary course of business activity but requires a special,
exhaustive or detailed study and preparation;
2. Conduct or undertake researches and/or studies on special projects of the Union;
3. Render active and actual participation or assistance in conference table negotiations with TRB
management or any other third person(s), juridical or natural, wherein the presence of counsel is not for
mere consultation except CBA negotiations which shall be subject to a specific agreement (pursuant to PD
1391 and in relation to BP 130 & 227);
4. Preparation of Position Paper(s), Memoranda or any other pleading for and in behalf of the Union;
5. Prosecution or defense of any case instituted by or against the Union; and,
6. Represent any member of the Union in any proceeding provided that the particular member must give
his/her assent and that prior consent be granted by the principal officers. Further, the member must
conform to the rules and policies of the Law Firm.
C. FEE STRUCTURE
In consideration of our commitment to render the services enumerated above when required or necessary,
your Union shall pay a monthly retainer fee of THREE THOUSAND PESOS (PHP 3,000.00), payable in
advance on or before the fifth day of every month.
An Appearance Fee which shall be negotiable on a case-to-case basis.
Any and all Attorney's Fees collected from the adverse party by virtue of a successful litigation shall
belong exclusively to the Law Firm.
It is further understood that the foregoing shall be without prejudice to our claim for reimbursement of all
out-of-pocket expenses covering filing fees, transportation, publication costs, expenses covering
reproduction or authentication of documents related to any matter referred to the Law Firm or that which
redound to the benefit of the Union.
D. SPECIAL BILLINGS
In the event that the Union avails of the services duly enumerated in Title B, the Union shall pay the Law
Firm an amount mutually agreed upon PRIOR to the performance of such services. The sum agreed upon
shall be based on actual time and effort spent by the counsel in relation to the importance and magnitude
of the matter referred to by the Union. However, charges may be WAIVEDby the Law Firm if it finds that
time and efforts expended on the particular services are inconsequential but such right of waiver is duly
reserved for the Law Firm.
xxx xxx xxx

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of services rendered or required; (b) the novelty and difficulty of the


questions involved; (c) the importance of the subject matter; (d) the skill
demanded; (e) the probability of losing other employment as a result of
acceptance of the proffered case; (f) the customary charges for similar
services and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to which the lawyer
belongs; (g) the amount involved in the controversy and the benefits
resulting to the client from the services; (h) the contingency or certainty of
compensation; (i) the character of the employment,
4. The Court deems it just and equitable to fix in the present recourse a
reasonable amount of attorney's fees in favor of Atty. Cruz. For that
purpose, the Court has duly taken into account the accepted guidelines
therefor and so much of the pertinent data as are extant in the records of
this case which are assistive in that regard. On such premises and in the
exercise of our sound discretion, the Court holds that the amount of
PhP10,000.00 is a reasonable and fair compensation for the legal
services rendered by Atty. Cruz to before the labor arbiter and the
NLRC.
5. For a discussion regarding the distinctions between attorney's fees in the
ordinary and extraordinary concept, refer to the original case. Also refer
to the original case, with regard to the differences between general and
special retainer.
Padillo v C.A (11/29/2001)
D: Attorneys fees as part of damages is not meant to enrich the winning
party at the expense of the losing litigant.
Ponente: Justice de Leon Jr.
Petition filed for the Cause of Action: Petition for declaratory relief and
damages
Petition filed When the Case Reached S.C: Petition for Review on certiorari
Facts:
1. Veronica Padillo filed a complaint (SUIT4) for declaratory relief and
damages against Tomas Averia and Beato Casilang. Padillo allege:
a)that she is the absolute owner of a parcel of land with
improvements in Q.C. province covered under TCT which she
purchased from Marina M. de Vera-Quicho and Margarita de Vera;
b) that Averia and Casilang refuse to turn over the property and c)
that Averia filed a suit for recession of the 2 DoS solely for

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

2.
3.
4.
5.

6.

7.
8.
9.

10.
11.

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

harassment although said suit established Padillos right of ownership


of the property.
Casilang filed his ANSWER averring that he already vacated the
said property
Averia, on the other hand, filed his ANSWER with a COUNTERCLAIM
and MOTION TO DISMISS, invoking the decision rendered in a suit
6for specific performance (SUIT1) filed against Vera-Quicho.
It appears that prior to the institution of the present case, 3 actions
were already commenced involving the same property including
SUIT1
SUIT2 was instituted by Padillo, in view of the restraining order
mentioned in SUIT1, praying that court compel RD of Lucena City to
register DoS which transferred Margarita de Veras pro-indivio
share of property( through Vera-Quicho as attorney-in-fact of
Margarita de Vera) to Padillo.
During the pendency of SUIT2, SUIT3 was instituted by Averia against
Spouses de Mesa and Padillo for recession of the 2 DoS. Averia
claimed ownership of the property by virtue of an unregistered
Contract to sell executed by Vera-Quicho. Case was dismissed for
improper venue. Hence, Averia appealed to CA
In the meantime, SUIT2 was decided by the court, ordering RD to
register the DoS in favor of Padillo. Averia appealed the case but
CA sustained RTCs decision. S.C. affirmed.
At the time that Lwer court resolved SUIT2, the court denied Averias
Motion to dismiss in SUIT4 (Factno.3).
Averia proceeded to appeal the case to CA for SUIT 4. And as such,
Court had to suspend SUIT4 to await the final termination of SUIT2
which at that time was pending in CA. Since no appeal was taken, the
order to suspend case became final
When court in SUIT2 dismissed Averias appeal, trial court in SUIT4
rendered decision in favor of Padillo and declaring him as the owner
of the property
Upon appeal of decision in SUIT4, CA reversed on the ground of res
judicata. To this, CA said that Padilla, not having claimed the
damages she supposedly suffered despite the trial in SUIT2 and

Complaint filed by Averia against Vera-Quicho and RD of Lucena City for SP and/or damages. Court
ordered Vera-Quicho to execute necessary documents over property and enjoined the RD to desist from
entering any encumbrance/transaction on said certificate except in favor of Averia

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SUIT3, she is deemed to have already lost the right to recover the
same
Issue: WON Padillo is barred by res judicata for claiming damages
Held: NO
Ratio:
1. RULE: Bar by prior judgment exists when, between the first case
where the judgment was rendered and the second case where such
judgment is invoked, there is identity of parties, subject matter and
cause of action.
A. It is final as to the claim or demand in controversy, including the
parties and those in privity with tem, not only as to every matter
which was offered and received to sustain or defeat the claim or
demand, but as to any other admissible matter which might have
been offered for that purpose.
2. IN THE CASE, HOWEVER, there is no Res Judicata on the basis of Law
of the case.
A. Law of the case has been defined as the opinion delivered on a
former appeal. More specifically, it means that whatever is once
irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule or decision
between the same parties in the same case continues to be the
law of the case, whether correct on general principles or not, so
long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue
to be the facts of the case before the court.
B. Zarate v. DIR: A well-known legal principle is that when an
appellate court has once declared the law in a case, such
declaration continues to be the law of that case even on a
subsequent appeal. The rule made by an appellate court, while
it may be reversed in other cases, cannot be departed from in
subsequent proceedings in the same case.
C. Distinction between law of the case and res judicata
i. law of the case is akin to that of former adjudication, but is
more limited in its application. It relates entirely to
questions of law, and is confined in its operation to
subsequent proceedings in the same case.
ii. res judicata is applicable to the conclusive determination of
issues of fact, although it may include questions of law,
and although it may apply to collateral proceedings in
the same action or general proceeding, it is generally
concerned with the effect of an adjudication in a wholly
independent proceeding.

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

3. CASE, Due to fact that no appeal was taken, the CA order to suspend
trial became final (fact. No. 9) Thus, even if erroneous, the ruling in
CA has become of the law of the as between Padillo and Averia.
Hence, Padillo cannot be faulted for yielding in GF to the ruling of
CA and to continue to pursue her claim for damages in SUIT4
4. Notwithstanding, the court is NOT inclined to sustain the monetary
award granted by the TC
A. RULE: actual, compensatory and consequential damages must be
proved, and cannot be presumed. If the proof adduced thereon
is flimsy and insufficient, as in this case, no damages will be
allowed.
i. Verily, the testimonial evidence on alleged unrealized income
earlier referred to(150k/year) is not enough to warrant
the award of damages. It is too vague and unspecified
to induce faith and reliance.
B. There is NO BASIS on the award of moral and exemplary
damages in the amounts of P50k and P20k respectively.
i. . It cannot be logically inferred that just because Averia
instituted SUIT3 while SUIT 4 was pending, malice or bad
faith is immediately ascribable against Averia to warrant
such an award
C. With respect to attorneys fees, RULE : counsels fees are not
awarded every time a party prevails in a suit because of the
policy that no premium should be placed on the right to litigate.
i. Attorneys fees as part of damages is awarded only in the
instances specified in Article 2208 of the Civil Code
ii. Attorneys fees as part of damages is not meant to enrich the
winning party at the expense of the losing litigant. Thus,
it should be reasonably reduced P25k

2.
3.
4.

5.
6.

7.

8.

9.
10.

PCGG vs. Sandiganbayan (04/12/2005)


Ponente: Puno
D: "A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept
engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he
had intervened while in the said service."
Facts:
1. In 1976, General Bank and Trust Company (GENBANK) encountered
financial difficulties. GENBANK had extended considerable financial
9 Ad astra per alia fideles

11.

2-D || Ateneo Law School

support to Filcapital Development Corporation causing it to incur


daily over drawings on its current account with the Central Bank.
As a bailout, the Central Bank extended emergency loans to
GENBANK which reached a total of P310 million.
Despite the mega loans, GENBANK failed to recover from its
financial woes.
On March 25, 1977, the Central Bank issued a resolution declaring
GENBANK insolvent and unable to resume business with safety to its
depositors, creditors and the general public, and ordering its
liquidation.
A public bidding of GENBANKs assets was held from March 26 to
28, 1977, wherein the Lucio Tan group submitted the winning bid.
Subsequently, former Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza filed a
petition with the then Court of First Instance praying for the assistance
and supervision of the court in GENBANKs liquidation as mandated
by Section 29 of Republic Act No. 265.
In February 1986, the EDSA I revolution toppled the Marcos
government. One of the first acts of President Corazon C. Aquino was
to establish PCGG to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of former
President Ferdinand Marcos, his family and his cronies.
The PCGG, on July 17, 1987, filed with the Sandiganbayan a
complaint for "reversion, reconveyance, restitution, accounting and
damages" against respondents Lucio Tan et al. The case was
docketed as Civil Case No. 0005 of the Second Division of the
Sandiganbayan. In connection therewith, the PCGG issued several
writs of sequestration on properties allegedly acquired by the
above-named persons by taking advantage of their close relationship
and influence with former President Marcos.
Tan, et al. filed petitions for certiorari, prohibition and injunction to
nullify, among others, the writs of sequestration issued by the PCGG.
After the filing of the parties comments, this Court referred the cases
to the Sandiganbayan for proper disposition. These cases were
docketed as Civil Case Nos. 0096-0099. In all these cases,
respondents Tan, et al. were represented by their counsel, former
Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, who has then resumed his
private practice of law.
On February 5, 1991, the PCGG filed motions to disqualify
respondent Mendoza as counsel for respondents Tan, et al. with the
Second Division of the Sandiganbayan in Civil Case Nos. 0005 and
0096-0099.9 The motions alleged that respondent Mendoza, as then

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

12.

13.

14.
15.

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

Solicitor General and counsel to Central Bank, "actively intervened" in


the liquidation of GENBANK, which was subsequently acquired by
respondents Tan, et al. and became Allied Banking Corporation.
Mendoza allegedly "intervened" in the acquisition of GENBANK by
respondents Tan, et al. when, in his capacity as then Solicitor General,
he advised the Central Banks officials on the procedure to bring
about GENBANKs liquidation and appeared as counsel for the
Central Bank in connection with its petition for assistance in the
liquidation of GENBANK which he filed with the CFI of Manila and
was docketed as Special Proceeding No. 107812.
The motions to disqualify invoked Rule 6.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Rule 6.03 prohibits former government
lawyers from accepting "engagement or employment in connection
with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service."
On April 22, 1991 the Second Division of the Sandiganbayan issued
a resolution denying PCGGs motion to disqualify respondent
Mendoza in Civil Case No. 0005. 7
It appears that Civil Case Nos. 0096-0099 were transferred from
the Sandiganbayans Second Division to the Fifth Division.In its
resolution dated July 11, 2001, the Fifth Division of the
Sandiganbayan denied the other PCGGs motion to disqualify
respondent Mendoza.

ISSUE:
1. WON Mendoza violated Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility8?

It found that the PCGG failed to prove the existence of an inconsistency between respondent
Mendozas former function as Solicitor General and his present employment as counsel of the Lucio Tan
group. It noted that respondent Mendoza did not take a position adverse to that taken on behalf of the
Central Bank during his term as Solicitor General. It further ruled that respondent Mendozas appearance
as counsel for respondents Tan, et al. was beyond the one-year prohibited period under Section 7(b) of
Republic Act No. 6713 since he ceased to be Solicitor General in the year 1986. The said section prohibits
a former public official or employee from practicing his profession in connection with any matter before
the office he used to be with within one year from his resignation, retirement or separation from public
office.
8
"A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or employment in connection
with any matter in which he had intervened while in the said service."

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2-D || Ateneo Law School

HELD and RATIO:

No, The case at bar does not involve the "adverse interest" aspect of
Rule 6.03. Respondent Mendoza, it is conceded, has no adverse
interest problem when he acted as Solicitor General in Sp. Proc. No.
107812 and later as counsel of respondents Tan, et al. in Civil Case
No. 0005 and Civil Case Nos. 0096-0099 before the
Sandiganbayan.
It is, however, alleged that the intervention of respondent Mendoza in
Sp. Proc. No. 107812 is significant and substantial. The SC disagrees.
For one, the petition in the special proceedings is an initiatory
pleading, hence, it has to be signed by respondent Mendoza as the
then sitting Solicitor General. For another, the record is arid as to the
actual participation of respondent Mendoza in the subsequent
proceedings. Moreover, we note that the petition filed merely seeks
the assistance of the court in the liquidation of GENBANK. The
principal role of the court in this type of proceedings is to assist the
Central Bank in determining claims of creditors against the
GENBANK. The role of the court is not strictly as a court of justice but
as an agent to assist the Central Bank in determining the claims of
creditors. In such a proceeding, the participation of the Office of the
Solicitor General is not that of the usual court litigator protecting the
interest of government.
Mendoza had nothing to do with the decision of the Central Bank to
liquidate GENBANK. It is also given that he did not participate in the
sale of GENBANK to Allied Bank. The "matter" where he got himself
involved was in informing Central Bank on the procedure provided by
law to liquidate GENBANK thru the courts and in filing the necessary
petition in Sp. Proc. No. 107812 in the then CFI. The subject "matter"
of Sp. Proc. No. 107812, therefore, is not the same nor is related to
but is different from the subject "matter" in Civil Case No. 0096. Civil
Case No. 0096 involves the sequestration of the stocks owned by
respondents Tan, et al., in Allied Bank on the alleged ground that
they are ill-gotten. The case does not involve the liquidation of
GENBANK. Nor does it involve the sale of GENBANK to Allied Bank.
Whether the shares of stock of the reorganized Allied Bank are illgotten is far removed from the issue of the dissolution and liquidation
of GENBANK. GENBANK was liquidated by the Central Bank due,
among others, to the alleged banking malpractices of its owners and

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

officers. In other words, the legality of the liquidation of GENBANK is


not an issue in the sequestration cases. Indeed, the jurisdiction of the
PCGG does not include the dissolution and liquidation of banks. It
goes without saying that Code 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility cannot apply to respondent Mendoza because his
alleged intervention while a Solicitor General in Sp. Proc. No.
107812 is an intervention on a matter different from the matter
involved in Civil Case No. 0096.
*Discussion on the history of the canons and integrated bar rules are
omitted. Please see original for reference.

4.

5.

6.
Abaqueta v. Florido (1/22/2003)
D: There is a conflict of interest if there is an inconsistency in the interests
of two or more opposing parties, and the test is whether or not in behalf
of one client, it is the lawyers duty to fight for an issue or claim but it is
his duty to oppose it for the other client
D: 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
Facts:
1. On November 28, 1983, complainant Gamaliel Abaqueta engaged
the professional services of respondent Atty. Bernardito A. Florido
through his attorney-in-fact, Mrs. Charity Y. Baclig, to represent him in
a special proceeding9 before RTC
2. Respondent then entered his appearance in the special proceeding as
counsel for complainant and filed complainants objections and
comment to Inventory and Accounting for the exclusion of certain
properties which belong exclusively to complainant
3. Several years later, Milagros Yap Abaqueta filed an action for sum
of money against complainant.10 Respondent signed the complaint as
counsel for Milagros averring that plaintiff and defendant Gamaliel
are the conjugal owners of certain parcels of land. These parcels of
9

The case is entitled, In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of


Deceased Bonifacia Abaqueta, Susana Uy Trazo, petitioner
10
The case is entitled, Milagros Yap Abaqueta v. Gamaliel Abaqueta
and Casiano Gerona
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7.

2-D || Ateneo Law School

land referred to as conjugal property are the very same parcels of


land in the special proceeding which respondent alleged as the sole
and exclusive properties of Gamaliel
In short, respondent made allegations in the civil case contrary to and
in direct conflict with his averments as counsel for complainant in the
special proceeding. Respondents representation of Milagros,
according to complainant, was done without his consent
Thus, Gamaliel filed an administrative complaint against respondent
with IBP Commission on Bar Discipline praying that appropriate
sanctions be imposed on respondent for representing conflicting
interests
In respondents answer, he claimed that he acted in good faith. He
further alleged that the lapse of eight years resulted in the oversight
and lapse of respondents memory of that complainant was a former
client and thus, after discovering that he formerly represented
complainant, he immediately filed a motion to withdraw as counsel
for Milagros
The investigating commissioner found that respondent clearly violated
the prohibition against representing conflicting interests and
recommended that he be suspended from the practice of law for a
period of 3 months

Issue: WON respondent violated Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional


Responsibility and should be suspended for 3 months
Held: Yes
Ratio:
1. Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility explicitly
provides that, A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests
except by written consent of all concerned given after full disclosure
of the facts
2. There is a conflict of interest if there is an inconsistency in the interests
of two or more opposing parties, and the test is whether or not in
behalf of one client, it is the lawyers duty to fight for an issue or
claim but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client
3. There is a representation of conflicting interests if the acceptance of
the new retainer will require the attorney to do anything which will
injuriously affect his first client in any matter in which he represents
him and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation, to use
against his first client any knowledge acquired through their
connection

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

4. SC finds the recommendation of the IBP well-taken. Respondent could


not have easily forgotten that complainant was his former client.
Complainants name is not a common name and once he heard, it will
surely ring a bell in ones mind
5. It is also incredible that he could not recall that complainant was his
client considering that Mrs. Charito Baclig, who was complainants
attorney-in fact and the go-between of complainant and respondent
in the special proceeding was the same person who brought Milagros
Yap Abaqueta to him
6. Lastly, the fact that the subject matter of both cases are the same
properties could not have escaped the attention of respondent. He
did not forget the past but he had simply chose to ignore them on the
assumption that the long period of time spanning his past and present
engagement would effectively blur the memories of the parties to
such a discrepancy
7. 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
8. 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
Artezuela v. Maderazo (4/22/2002)
D: 1. To be guilty of representing conflicting interests, it is enough that
the counsel of one party had a hand in the preparation of the pleading of
the other party, claiming adverse and conflicting interests with that of his
original client
Facts:
1. Due to an accident, Echavias car rammed into Artezuelas carinderia
2. Artezuela engaged the services of Atty. Maderazo to file a damage
suit against Echavia
3. However, the case was dismissed allegedly due to the instance of
Artezuela
4. Because of that, Artezuela filed a verified complaint for disbarment
against Atty. Maderazo alleging that:
a. Atty. Maderazo grossly neglected his duties as a lawyer and
failed to represent her interests with zeal and enthusiasm
b. The lawyer postponed the pre-trial conference even if all the
parties were present
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2-D || Ateneo Law School

c.

Despite Artezuelas follow-ups, Atty. Maderazo did not do


anything to keep the case moving and withdrew as counsel
without obtaining Artezuelas consent
d. That Atty. Maderazo prepared the Answer of Echavia to the
complaint and this was printed in the said lawyers office
5. Atty. Maderazo was suspended by the IBP Board of Governors
because of this and he appealed
Issue: WON Atty. Maderazo was guilty of representing conflicting interests
Held: Yes
Ratio:
1. To be guilty of representing conflicting interests, a counsel-of-record
of one party need not also be counsel-of-record of the adverse party
a. He does not have to publicly hold himself as the counsel of
the adverse party, nor make his efforts to advance the
adverse partys conflicting interests of record
b. It is enough that the counsel of one party had a hand in the
preparation of the pleading of the other party, claiming
adverse and conflicting interests with that of his original client
2. Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Ethics:
It is the duty of a lawyer at the time of the retainer
to disclose to the client the circumstances of his
relations to the parties and any interest in or in
connection with the controversy, which might influence
the client in the selection of the counsel.
It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests,
except by express consent of all concerned given
after a full disclosure of the facts. Within the
meaning of this Canon, a lawyer represents
conflicting interests when in behalf of one of the
clients, it is his duty to contend for that which duty
to another client requires him to oppose.
3. Because of the highly fiduciary nature of the attorney-client
relationship, sound public policy dictates that a lawyer be prohibited
from representing conflicting interests or discharging inconsistent
duties. So, he should not act as counsel for a person whose interest
conflicts with that of his present or former client
4. Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility:

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

a. CANON 15- All lawyers shall observe candor, fairness and


loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his clients
b. Rule 15.03- A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests
except by written consent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of the facts
5. In disciplinary proceedings against members of the bar, only clear
preponderance of evidence is required to establish liability. As long
as the evidence presented by complainant or that taken judicial
notice of by the Court is more convincing and worthy of belief than
that which is offered in opposition thereto, the imposition of
disciplinary sanction is justified
Abragan v. Rodriguez (04/03/2002)
D: The bar must maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as well as
of honesty and fair dealings. To this end, lawyers should refrain from
doing anything that might tend to lessen the confidence of the public in
the fidelity, honesty and integrity of their profession. The obligation to
represent the client with undivided fidelity and not to divulge his secrets or
confidence forbids also the subsequent acceptance of retainers or
employment from others in matters adversely affecting any interest of the client
with respect to which confidence has been reposed
Facts:
1. Sometime in 1986 Abragan et al hired Rodriguez to represent them
in a forcible entry case. Said petitioners won the case. However,
Rodriguez sold some of the rights of the petitioners without their
consent
2. Upon learning this, petitioners severed their lawyer-client relationship
with Rodriguez. They then filed an indirect contempt charged against
Sheriff Loncion and were represented by their new counsel, Atty.
Salva (allegedly a former law student of Atty. Rodriguez)
3. Lancion, on the other hand, was represented by Atty. Rodriguez, much
to the prejudice and dismay of the petitioners. It was alleged that
Atty. Rodriguez influenced Atty. Salva to withdraw the case of
Indirect Contempt against Loncion
4. To make matters worse, Atty. Rodriguez filed a Motion to Withdraw
Plaintiffs Exhibits without the consent of the petitioners. Further,
Rodriguez even fenced a lot (the subject matter of the forcible entry
13 Ad astra per alia fideles

2-D || Ateneo Law School

case) without the consent of the petitioners and proclaimed possession


and ownership of the lot. However, Rodriguez claims that the lot was
awarded to him as attorneys fees
5. The petitioners then filed a disbarment case against Atty. Rodriguez
on the ground that he violated Rule 15.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility
Issue: WON Atty. Rodriguez violated Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility
Held: Yeeeeeees
Ratio:
1. Rodriguez clearly violated Rule 15.03 of Canon 15 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, which provides that a lawyer shall not
represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all
concerned given after full disclosure of the facts.
2. According to the SC, Rodriguez fell short of the integrity and good
moral character required from all lawyers. Lawyers are expected to
uphold the dignity of the legal profession at all times. The trust and
confidence clients repose in them require a high standard and
appreciation of the latters duty to the former, the legal profession,
the courts and the public
3. The bar must maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as well as
of honesty and fair dealings. To this end, lawyers should refrain from
doing anything that might tend to lessen the confidence of the public
in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of their profession
4. The obligation to represent the client with undivided fidelity and not
to divulge his secrets or confidence forbids also the
subsequent acceptance of retainers or employment from others in
matters adversely affecting any interest of the client with respect to
which confidence has been reposed
5. In the case at bar, petitioners were the same complainants in the
indirect contempt case and in the Complaint for forcible entry in Civil
Case No. 11204. Respondent should have evaluated the situation first
before agreeing to be counsel for the defendants in the indirect
contempt proceedings. Attorneys owe undivided allegiance to their
clients, and should at all times weigh their actions, especially in their
dealings with the latter and the public at large. They must conduct
themselves beyond reproach at all times

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

6. The Court will not tolerate any departure from the straight and
narrow path demanded by the ethics of the legal profession

Quiambao v. Bamba (08/25/05)


Chief Justice Davide Jr.
D: Conflict of interest is present when the opposing parties in one case,
one of whom would lose the suit, are present clients and the nature or
conditions of the lawyers respective retainers with each of them would
affect the performance of the duty of undivided fidelity to both clients.
D: Although there are instances where lawyers cannot decline
representation, lawyers cannot be made to labor under conflict of interest
between a present client and a prospective one.
Facts:
1. Felicitas Quiambao is the President and Managinf director of
Allied Investigation Bureau, Inc. (AIB), a family owned corp.
engaged in providing security and investigation services.
2. She procured the services of Atty. Bamba not only for their
corporate affairs but also for her personal cases.
3. Atty. Bamaba acted as Quiambaos counsel in an ejectment case
filed by the latter against the Spouses Torroba.
4. Quiambao resigned from AIB. Six months after her resignation,
AIB through Atty. Bamba filed a replevin suit against Quiambao
for the recovery of an AIB service vehicle assigned to her when
she was still working under the company.
5. Thereafter, Quimbao filed a disbarment suit against Atty.
Bamaba charging the latter for representing conficting interests
when the latter filed a case against her while he was at the time
representing her in another case, and for committing other acts if
dishonesty and double dealing
6. It appears that Atty. Bamba proposed to Quiambao that she
should organize her own security agency and that he would assist
her in its organization. This was the reason Quiambao resigned
from AIB.
7. Quiambao made the following allegations:
a. She incorporated Quimabao Risk Management
Specialists Inc. (QRMSI) where Atty. Bamba was a silent
14 Ad astra per alia fideles

2-D || Ateneo Law School

partner represented by his associate Atty. Hernandez.


He allegedly planned to steal some of the client s of AIB
for the benefit of QRMSI
b. While serving as legal counsel for AIB and a silent
partner of QRMSI, he convinced complainants brother
Leodegario Quiambao to organize another security
agency, San Esteban Security Services, Inc. (SESSI) where
Atty. Bamba will be SESSIs incorporator, director, and
president. The Atty. Bamba and Leodegario then
illegally diverted the funds of AIB to fund the
incorporation of SESSI, and likewise planned to
eventually close down the operations of AIB and transfer
the business to SESSI.
8. On the other hand, Atty. Bamba makes the following admissions
and denials:
a. He did represent Quiambao in the aforementioned
ejectment case and later represented AIB in the replevin
case against her.
b. He, however, denies that he was the personal lawyer of
the complainant, and avers that he was made to believe
that it was part of his function as counsel for AIB to
handle even the personal cases of its officers.
c. Even assuming that the complainant confided to him
privileged information about her legal interests, the
ejectment case and the replevin case are unrelated cases
involving different issues and parties and, therefore, the
privileged information which might have been gathered
from one case would have no use in the other. He
remained Quiambaos counsel due to the latters
insistence.
d. The respondent also denies having agreed to be a silent
partner of QRMSI through his nominee, Atty. Hernandez.
e. He also denies that he convinced Leodegario to organize
another security agency and that the funds of AIB were
unlawfully diverted to SESSI. He admits that he serves
AIB and SESSI in different capacities: as legal counsel of
the former and as president of the latter
9. The investigation Commissioner of the IBP holds Atty. Bamba
guilty of all the charges against him and recommends a penalty

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

of 1 year suspension from the practice of law


10. The IBP Board of Governor did not adopt the recommended
penalty and jut gave Atty. Bamba as stern reprimand
Issue: WON Atty. Bamba was guilty of conflict of interest and doubledealing
Held: Yeeeeeees
Ratio:
Lawyers are deemed to represent conflicting interests when, in behalf of
one client, it is their duty to contend for that which duty to another client
requires them to oppose. The tests which determine when a lawyer represents
conflicting interests are as follows:
(1) Whether a lawyer is duty-bound to fight for an issue or claim in
behalf of one client and, at the same time, to oppose that claim for the other
client,
(2) Whether the acceptance of a new relation would prevent the full
discharge of the lawyers duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client
or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance of
that duty and
(3) Whether the lawyer would be called upon in the new relation to
use against a former client any confidential information acquired through their
connection or previous employment.

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consented to his continued representation in the ejectment case, the


respondent failed to show that he fully disclosed the facts to both his clients
and he failed to present any written consent of the complainant and AIB as
required under Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
A lawyer is also not duty-bound to handle all the cases referred to him
by his client (i.e. cases for AIB, including the personal cases of its officers which
had no connection to its corporate affairs). That the representation of
conflicting interest is in good faith and with honest intention on the part of the
lawyer does not make the prohibition inoperative. Moreover, lawyers are not
obliged to act either as an adviser or advocate for every person who may
wish to become their client. They have the right to decline such employment,
subject, however, to Canon 14 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Although there are instances where lawyers cannot decline representation,
lawyers cannot be made to labor under conflict of interest between a present
client and a prospective one.

The proscription against representation of conflicting interests applies


to a situation where the opposing parties are present clients in the same
action or in an unrelated action. It is of no moment that the lawyer would not
be called upon to contend for one client that which the lawyer has to oppose
for the other client, or that there would be no occasion to use the confidential
information acquired from one to the disadvantage of the other as the two
actions are wholly unrelated. It is enough that the opposing parties in one
case, one of whom would lose the suit, are present clients and the nature or
conditions of the lawyers respective retainers with each of them would affect
the performance of the duty of undivided fidelity to both clients.

Issue: WON Atty. Bambas participation in SESSI as its President is a clear


case of conflict of interest since he is at the same time the counsel of AIB
Held: Yeeeeees
Ratio:
Atty. Bamba has pecuniary interest in SESSI, which is engaged in a
business competing with AIB, and, more importantly, he is SESSIs president.
One cannot help entertaining a doubt on his loyalty to his client AIB. This kind
of situation passes the second test of conflict of interest, which is whether the
acceptance of a new relationship would prevent the full discharge of the
lawyers duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or invite suspicion
of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance of that duty. The close
relationship of the majority stockholders of both companies does not negate
the conflict of interest. Neither does his protestation that his shareholding in
SESSI is a mere pebble among the sands. Atty. Bamba is clearly guilty of
serious misconduct for representing conflicting interests.

At the time Atty. Bamba filed the replevin case on behalf of AIB, he
was still the counsel of record of the complainant in the pending ejectment
case. Although the ejectment case and the replevin case are unrelated cases
with issues, parties, and subject matters, the prohibition is still applicable. His
representation of opposing clients in both cases, invites suspicion of doubledealing. While the respondent may assert that the complainant expressly

NOTE: Atty. Bamba was also guilty of violating RA Republic Act No. 5487,
otherwise known as the Private Security Agency Law, prohibits a person from
organizing or having an interest in more than one security agency. This is in
violation of Rule 1.02, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
which mandates lawyers to promote respect for the law and refrain from
counseling or abetting activities aimed at defiance of the law.

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ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

NOTE: The Court imposed a 1-year suspension from the practice of law in
view of the grave infractions made by Atty. Bamba (Wawa naman si kohya)
Tiania v Ocampo (08/12/1991)
Per Curiam
D: "A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interest except by written
consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts."
D: The Court prohibits the representation of conflicting interests not only
because the relation of attorney and client is one of trust and confidence of
the highest degree, but also because of the principles of public policy and
good taste.
D: The test of the conflict of interest in disciplinary cases against a lawyer
is whether or not the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney
from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his
client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the
performance thereof.
Facts:
1. These disbarment proceedings against Atty. Amado Ocampo were filed
by Maria Tiania and by Spouses Felicidad Angel and Alfonso Angel (the
Angel Spouses). Both cases were consolidated upon the instance of Atty.
Amado Ocampo who, in his answer, denied the imputations.
2. In the first administrative case, Maria Tiania claims that Atty. Ocampo
who has been her counsel in all her legal problems and court cases as
early as 1966, has always had her unqualified faith and confidence.
Tiania claims that she was sued in 1972 by one Mrs. Concepcion Blaylock
for ejectment from a parcel of land. Tiana alleges that Ocampo
appeared in her behalf and also for Mrs. Blaylock. Tiania then
confronted Ocampo, and the latter assured her that everything will be
taken care of. Ocampo then made Tiana sign a Compromise Agreement.
Two years later, Tiania was shocked to receive an order to vacate the
property.
3. On the other hand, Ocampo denies all the allegations thrown against him
by Tiania. Ocampo claims that he was counsel only to Mrs. Blaylock. He
said that Tiania showed to him a document, but he expressed his doubts
regarding its authenticity. This convinced Tiania to sign the compromise
agreement.
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4. In the second case, the Angel spouses allege that in 1972, they sold their
house in favor of Mrs. Blaylock for the amount of PhP70,000. Ocampo
acted as their counsel and prepared the Deed of Sale of a Residential
House and Waiver of Rights Over a Lot. With the money paid by
Blaylock, the Angel spouses bought another parcel of land. Again,
Ocampo prepared the Deed of Sale which was signed by the vendor,
Laura Dalanan, and the Angel spouses, as the vendees. In addition,
Ocampo allegedly made the Angel spouses sign two more documents
which later turned out to be a Real Estate Mortgage of the same
property purchased from Dalanan and a Promissory Note, both in favor
of Blaylock. The Angel spouses never realized the nature of the said
documents until they received a complaint naming them as defendants in
a collection suit filed by Ocampo on behalf of the plaintiff, Commercial
Corporation of Olongapo, a firm headed by Blaylock. Ocampo
reassured them that there was no need to engage the services of a new
lawyer since he will take care of everything. However, the Angel spouses
received a Notice to Vacate on the basis of the two document they
signed.
5. Upon the other hand, Ocampo alleges that Blaylock was his client, who
introduced to him the Angel spouses. He maintains that he merely
facilitated the transfer of PhP20,000 from Blaylock to the Angel spouses,
for the latter's use in repurchasing a property they originally owned in
Fendler St., Olongapo. Such property was then to be sold to Blaylock.
Since the sale of the Fendler property would render the Angel spouses
homeless, they suggested that Blaylock loan them PhP40,000 to purchase
from Dalanan another property in Kessing St., Olongapo.
6. The Solicitor General charged Atty. Ocampo with malpractice and gross
misconduct.
Issue: WON Atty. Ocampo is guilty of representing conflicting interests.
Held: Yes. The Court took into account the advanced age of Ocampo, who
was already 73 years, and merely suspended him for a period of one year.
Ratio:
1. The specific law applicable in both administrative cases is Rule 15.03 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides: "A lawyer shall
not represent conflicting interest except by written consent of all
concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts."
2. The Court prohibits the representation of conflicting interests not only
because the relation of attorney and client is one of trust and confidence
of the highest degree, but also because of the principles of public policy
and good taste. An attorney has the duty to deserve the fullest

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

confidence of his client and represent him with undivided loyalty. Once
this confidence is abused, the entire profession suffers.
3. The test of the conflict of interest in disciplinary cases against a lawyer is
whether or not the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney
from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his
client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the
performance thereof.
4. The Court upheld the findings of the Solicitor. Indeed, acts of Ocampo in
representing Blaylock, and at the same time advising Tiania, the opposing
party, as in the first administrative case, and once again representing
Blaylock and her interest while handling the legal documents of another
opposing party as in the second case, whether the said actions were
related or totally unrelated, constitute serious misconduct. They are
improper to Ocampo's office as attorney.
Dee v CA (8/24/1989)
D: Generally, an attorney is prohibited from representing parties with
contending positions.HOWEVER, at certain stage of the controversy before
it reaches the court, a lawyer ay represent conflicting interests with the
consent of the parties.
Ponente: Justice Regalado
Petition filed for the Cause of Action: collection of attorneys fees and
refund
Petition filed When the Case Reached S.C: Writ of Certiorari
Facts:
1. Dee and his father went to the residence of Atty. Mutuc in order to
seek latter advice regarding the problem of alleged indebtedness of
Dees brother(Dewey Dee) to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Bothe
brothers father was apprehensive for the safety of Dewey Dee,
having heard of the link between the mafia and said gambling place
2. Mutuc assured Dee and his father that he would look into the matter
and that 100k was the price for his services.
3. Thereafter, Mutuc made several long distance calls and two trips to
LA in order to inquire about the status of Dewey Dees debts. Upon
further investigation, Mutuc found out that the outstanding obligation
of $1M was actually incurred by Ramon Sy but Dewey Dee was the
one merely signing the chits
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4. Pursuant to the agreement that Mutuc had with the president of


Caesars Palace, Mutuc successfully convinced Ramon Sy to
acknowledge his debts so that in effect Dewey Dee would be
exculpated from any liability
5. Mutuc showed the acknowledgment letter of Ramon Sy to the casino
and the account of Dewey Dee was cleared
6. Having settled the account of Dewey Dee, Mutuc sent demand letters
to the other Dee brother for the payment of the remaining balance of
P50k as attorneys fees. Brother Dee, however, ignored the same
7. Thus, Mutuc filed a complaint in court for the collection of attorneys
fees and refund of transport fare and other expenses.
8. Brother Dee, in his ANSWER, denied any attorney-client relationship.
He insists that his visit to Mutucs house was an informal one and that
he never contracted the services of Mutuc to handle the problem.
Brother Dee alleges that it was Mutuc himself who volunteered his
services as a friend of the defendants family. The 50k given was
not attorneys fees but merely pocket money solicited by Mutuc for
his trips to LA
9. TC: rendered decision in favor of Mutuc
10. CA: affirmed.
11. CA: reconsidered its decision stating that 50k paid was already
commensurate to the services made considering that at the time he
acted counsel for the Dees, Mutuc was also acting as the collecting
agent/consultant of Casears Palace.
12. CA: reinstated its former decision
Issue: WON a lawyer-client relationship exists
Held: Yeeeees
Ratio:
1. RULE: Documentary Formalism is not an essential element in the
employment of an attorney; contract may be express of imlplied.
A. To establish relation, it is sufficient that the advice and assistance
of the attorney is sought and received in any matter pertinent to
his profession.
B. An acceptance of the relation is implied on the part of the
attorney from his acting on behalf of his client in pursuance of a
request from the latter
2. CASE, no question that professional service was rendered. Dewey
Dees family was freed from the apprehension that Dewey may be
harmed by the mafia which is allegedly link to Caesars Palace/

ATTY. ALIMURUNG

DIZON | LORESCA | LUMINARIAS | SANTOS, K. | SY | TY | VILCHES

3. No conflict of interests present. Mutucs representations in behalf of


Brother Dee were not in resistance to casinos claim as creditor but
were actually geared toward proving the fact that Dewey Dee was
not the debtor but Ramon Sy.
4. Assuming that there was a conflict of interests, such acceptance of
Mutuc of employment from Brother Dee was not unenthical
A. RULE: Generally, an attorney is prohibited from representing
parties with contending positions.
B. HOWEVER, at certain stage of the controversy before it reaches
the court, a lawyer ay represent conflicting interests with the
consent of the parties.
C. Purpose: a common representation may work to the advantage of
said parties since a mutual lawyer, with honest motivations and
impartially cognizant of the parties disparate positions may well
be better situated to work out an acceptable settlement of their
differences.
D. CASE: Brother Dee knew of Mutucs other job. He is now
stopped.

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