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Beltran Jr. vs.

Abad (132 SCRA 453) -1984

Facts of the Case:
Mr. Elmo S. Abad was a successful examinee of the 1978 bar examinations but has not
been admitted to the Philippine Bar in contempt of Court for unauthorized practice of
law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment and had paid the fine. Atty.
Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the complainant, filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE TO ALL
TO PRACTICE LAW. However, a report was found that Abad signed Exhibits B, C and
D and had made appearances in Metro Manila courts despite his denials under oath
where he can be charged for Perjury. Respondent denied that he appeared in the
hearing on December 08, 1983 and that the signatures on the aforementioned Exhibits
are his where he said it could have been made up by Atty. Beltran. Signatures
underwent forensic examination and the aforesaid documentary and testimonial
evidence, as well as the above report of the NBI, have clearly proved that respondent
Abad is still practicing law despite the decision of this Court of March 28, 1983.
Issue of the case:
Whether or not Abad can engage in practice of law
Ruling of the Court:
No. Only those licensed by the Supreme Court may practice law in this country. The
right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege. It is limited to
persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and
certified. The exercise of this privilege presupposes possession of integrity, legal
knowledge, educational attainment and even public trust, since a lawyer is an officer of
the court. The practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even from one who has
passed the bar examinations, if the person seeking admission had practiced law without
license He should know that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to
be performed, namely: his lawyer's oath to be administered by this Court and his
signature in the Roll of Attorneys. (Rule 138, Secs. 17 and 19, Rules of Court.) The
regulation of the practice of law is unquestionably strict. Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71
of the Rules of Court, a person who engages in the unauthorized practice of law is liable
for indirect contempt of court.

People vs. Rosqueta Jr.

Facts of the Case:

Rosqueta Jr and two others were convicted of a crime. They appeal their conviction until
it reached the Supreme Court. Their lawyer (counsel de parte), Atty. Gregorio Estacio,
failed to file their Brief. And so the Supreme Court ordered Atty. Estacio to show cause
why he should not be disciplined for failure to file said Brief. Atty. Estacio failed yet again
to submit his explanation. The Supreme Court then suspended him from the practice of
law except for the purpose of filing the Brief in this particular case. Atty. Estacio then
filed a Motion for Reconsideration where he explained that he did actually prepare an
explanation the same being left with Rosqueta Sr (father of accused) for the latter to
mail it. But then Rosqueta Sr.s house burned down together with the explanation. He
only came to know of this fact when he was preparing for the Motion for
Reconsideration. Atty. Estacio also explained that his clients are withdrawing their
appeal by reason of their failure to raise the needed fund for the appeal.

Issue of the Case:

Whether or not Atty. Estacios suspension should continue.

Ruling of the Court:

No. His liability is mitigated. But the Supreme Court noted that Atty. Estacio has been
irresponsible, has been negligent and inattentive to his duty to his clients. Atty. Estacio
should be aware that even in those cases where counsel de parte is unable to secure
from his clients or from their near relatives the amount necessary to pursue the appeal
that does not necessarily conclude his connection with the case. He should be aware
that in the pursuance of the duty owed this Court as well as to a client, he cannot be too
casual and unconcerned about the filing of pleadings. It is not enough that he prepares
them; he must see to it that they are duly mailed. Such inattention as shown in this case
is inexcusable.