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Legal Professions Notes Vena V.



Atty. Sundiam
I. Why am I here in law school? o considered as quasi-judicial officers
- How to pass the bar? o become officers as they appear in court
II. Rights and Priveleges of a Lawyer
- Duties and Obligations of a lawyer Qualifications for admission in the Legal Profession
III. Different fields of Lawyers 1. Filipino citizen – can be natural-born or naturalized
IV. Integrated Bar of the Philippines 2. Must be a resident of the Philippines
3. In oath-taking – must be at least 21 years old
4. No conviction of crime involving moral turpitude
Chapter 1: Why am I Here in Law School? How to Pass the Bar? 5. No charges in court of crimes involving moral turpitude that are filed or
pending against you
Legal Profession  crimes involving moral turpitude
- is not a trade, not a business, is not a craft, not a profession, but a noble o all crimes punished under book 2 of the RPC
profession. Its basic ideal is to render service and secure justice tot hose o 1 crime which does not involve moral turpitude – art. 365
who seek its aid. If it has to remain an honorable profession and attain reckless imprudence – a quasi-offense; there is no intent to
its basic ideals, its members should not only master its tenets and commit the act
municipals but should by their lives accord continuing fidelity to them. o not convicted in Philippine courts
Noble profession – even without money you can be compelled by law to render 6. Submit 3 affidavits presented by 3 respected people
your services o who will attest under oath hat you have good moral character. If
you cant submit 3 affidavits of good moral character, you cant
Terminology: take the bar
1. Lawyer  No need to be charged in court to be disqualified
2. Attorney  In bad moral character, no case is needed to be filed in
3. Attorney-at-law  a member of the legal profession court
4. attorney-in-fact  may be a lawyer or not  It may be a sin against the church, but not against the
 power of attorney – authorized to do a specific act while a
o Goes on until death
person is absent
 agent / representative of someone absent
Enumeration of instances ruled as bad moral character by
5. advocate  advocates something legal; something in court the Supreme Court
6. barrister  member of the bar 1. false statement in your application to take the bar
7. counsel - any error will disqualify one from taking the bar
8. counselor / counselor-at-law 2. Falsification of affidavit of good moral character
9. proctor 3. Impersonation of another person
10. solicitor - Using another person’s school transcript
4. Conviction and charge of crime of moral turpitude
Lawyer 5. Living of an adulterous life
- class of persons who by license are officers of the court and who are - Even if there are no charges against you
empowered to appear in court to prosecute, and defend, and on whom 6. Entered into a bigamous marriage
peculiar duties and responsibilities and liabilities are devolved by law as a 7. Involvement in a bar anomaly even if acquitted or
consequence absolved.
o licensed – pass the bar - Must prove beyond reasonable doubt
o empowered – only lawyers are allowed to appear in court 8. unauthorized representation of self as a lawyer

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9. issuance of bouncing checks 3. Poor penmanship

- estafa and against RA 2022
- unethical and questionable checks 9. Oath0taking – 4 tickets
10. Concealment of a material fact 10. Signing the book for attorneys – roll number for life
- Obtaining credits through concealment of material 11. Membership in the IBP
facts - IBP #, date of issue, place of issue  requirement for every pleading
filed in Court
7. Educational qualification – 4 years pre law; 4 years law proper
8. Pass the bar Chapter 2: Rights, Privileges, Duties, and Responsibilities of a Lawyer
- the only professional test not under the control of the professional
regulation commission Rights and Privileges
- It is given by the Supreme Court
1. To practice law in judicial, quasi-judicial, and administrative tribunals (all
- It is only held in Manila and everyone takes it all at the same time courts in the Philippines
- No such thing as partial passing
a. Judicial – regular courts
o fail one, fail all; fail one; repeat all b. Quasi-judicial – NLRC
o passing: 75% no subject should be below 50% c. Administrative – SEC
- can only be taken 3 times, on the 4 th take, must go back to 4th year 2. To seek in judgment in every case and set the judicial machinery in
law school and get a certification (as a refresher course); 7 th take, go motion (as quasi-judicial officers, lawyers are parts of the courts)
back to 4th year again, and so on… 3. To seek positions in all courts, prosecution offices, and other legal
departments in government offices
- Administrative order by the Supreme Court which will take effect on
4. To enjoy the presumption of regularity (done in good faith)
July 15, 2004; you can only take the bar 5 times, if you fail by that
5. To enjoy immunity from liability so long as he has not materially departed
time, you will be forever disqualified
from his character as a quasi-judicial officer
o Before 3rd and 5th take, take a refresher course 6. A statement made by a lawyer in court, of relevant, pertinent and
o There will be a board of examiners material to the issue and subject of inquiry is absolutely privileged
- held on all the 4 Sundays of September in DLSU despite its defamatory tenor and presence of malice
8:00 – 12:00 nn and 1:00 – 5:00 pm 7. Stand up for your right and even in the face of a hostile court or judge
o 1st Sunday: Political Law and Labor Law because you are allowed great latitude of pertinent comment
- stand up for your right
o 2nd Sunday: Civil Law and Taxation - the bench is the symbol of his authority – respect it
o 3rd Sunday: Commercial Law and Criminal Law 8. in passing the bar, you are a first grade (requires knowledge of the law)
civil service eligible
o 4th Sunday: Remedial Law and Legal Ethics & Practical
second grade – no knowledge of law  in government service
9. As a lawyer, you are seen as a model citizen and a leader in the
- all applicants names are published in the newspaper community
o BEFORE and AFTER the bar
10. As a lawyer, given the privilege of authority to be appointed in executive
o So that anyone who wants to oppose an applicant can still and legislative positions in the government
go to the Supreme Court
- You cannot learn in one night what you must learn in 4 years Duties and Responsibilities
- Name in the application should be the same name in his/her birth 1. Maintain allegiance to and support the constitution of the Philippines and
certificate obey its laws
2. Maintain respect to the courts
Pitfalls in taking the bar: - the bench on which the judge sits
1. Because of the law school where you came from 3. Maintain or counsel only those actions or proceedings you believe are
a. Teachers not good honestly debatable under the laws
b. Inadequate materials - best aversions are your clients
c. Bad foundation 4. Employ only means that are consistent with truth and honor and never to
2. Examiners do not know how to express themselves mislead or make false statements of facts and the law
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- everything you say is recorded - ex. For the BIR

- falsus inomnibus – caught lying once, deemed to lie everywhere 3. Practice of law outside of the courts and other government agencies
- avoid using dirty tricks - when you give legal advice, prepare and execute legal documents
- subject to criminal liability and disbarment and instruments – practice law outside of courts and other
5. Keep the secrets of your clients government agencies
- client-lawyer privilege communication
- rules of court – does not allow priests Who may practice law? (or continue to practice law?)
6. To act accordingly when appearing in courts  Any person who has been duly licensed as a member of the bar in accordance
- act appropriately in courts with no offensive personality with the statutory requirements and is in good and regular standing
- come on time – late: case can be dismissed for failure to prosecute
- eating gum, reading newspaper, etc Statutory requirements
7. not to encourage either the commencement or continuance of an action a. educational (pre-law), moral and other qualifications
or delay any man’s cause for corrupt motive or intent b. pass the bar
- knowing that the case has corrupt motive c. take your oath
8. Never to reject for any monetary reason or personal considerations the
case of the defenseless or oppressed How to remain in good and regular standing?
9. Regardless of opinion, present the defense of the accused by fair and  continuing requirements til death
honorable means that the law permits so that no person may be deprived a. remain a member of the integrated bar of the Philippines
of life or liberty but by due process of law. b. regularly pay all IBP dues and other assessments (depends on
- can use any means to defend client the chapter)
10. Don’t delay justice c. pay privilege tax (on or before Jan 20 of every year)
 Subordinate your personal duties and interest to those without you d. faithful observance of the rules and ethics of the legal profession
owe the court as a quasi-judicial offer and to your client i. continuous good moral character
e. continually subject self to the disciplinary control and
Chapter 3: Practice of Law and the Different Fields in which I can Engage supervision by the Supreme Court and the IBP
Fields of Specialization
 There is no exact definition
A. Government Service
 Widely Accepted definition
1. Member of the Supreme Court
o To do any of those acts which are characteristic of the legal a. Nominated by judicial bar council and appointed by the President
profession embracing activities in or out of court which 2. Member of the Court of Appeals
require the application of law, legal principles, practice, or a. 69 members; 23 divisions, 3 in each (1-17 division Manila, 18-
prudence and calls for legal knowledge, training and 20 division Cebu. 21-23 division Cagayan De Oro)
experience b. Meet en banc to decide administrative matters
 Can be out of court as long as he applies c. Cases are raffled – division decides; not decided; there is a
knowledge of law in what he was doing special division created with 5 members (3 wins), majority is the
 Restrictive definition ponente
o Practice of law implies customarily or habitually holding d. Salary Php 28,000; receive Php 24,000
one’s self out to the public as a lawyer for compensation as e. Allowance Php 15,000 with 13th month pay
a source of livelihood
i. Plus: Xmas bonus Php 20,000; JDF Php 3,000; Car
(Php 5,000/month gasoline, driver and plate #10)
Three parts
3. RTC Judge
1. Practice of law in the regular courts
a. Workhorse of the judiciary – perform some appellate functions
- when you have control and management over the proceedings in
court b. Court of 1st instance – where the trial is done
2. Practice of law before other government agencies other than the courts c. Salary; bonus; JDF; Plate# 16
- when present evidence before them and make interpretation and 4. Municipal Trial court Judge / Metropolitan Trial Court (city)
application of the laws a. Court in each municipality

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b. Plate number 18 - the official lawyer of government controlled and owned

5. Sandiganbayan corporation
a. Hears cases which involve public officials 17. Executive and Legislative Department
b. A trial court heard by a division 18. Officer of any legal office
c. Salaries and privileges same as Court of Appeals 19. NBI Agent
6. Court of Tax Appeals - a lawyer or a CPA
a. Hears cases which only involve tax issues 20. Special investigators
b. A trial court 21. Chief of Police
c. Decisions directly appeal able to the Supreme Court
B. Private Sector / Business Sector
 Appointed by the President, from a list of nominees submitted by the Judicial 1. Professional notary public
Bar Council a. Can earn more than practicing lawyers
Retire: 5 year lump sum b. A lot has been charged with falsification of public documents
76 years old onwards: receive salary again every month until you die c. The act of signing documents matters – if it is a public document
2. Corporate lawyer
7. Shariah Courts a. Lawyer of a corporation who handles its money
- Jurisdiction to solve controversies of the Koran / Muslim Law b. Also the corporate secretary
8. Ombudsman c. Knows the corporation code and deals with the SEC
- Watchdog of government offices d. Some are already being dealt with the RTC
9. Court Administrator 3. Labor lawyers
- supervises all courts in the Philippines a. 2 kinds
10. Judicial bar Council i. for the union / employee – have them understand the
a. Composed of 7 people law
b. CJ as chairman, Sec as secretary, HRET representative, former ii. for management – aim: maintain peace
SC, representative of Academe, Law professor, Representative of b. needs qualities
Private Sector i. diplomacy
11. Arbiter: National Labor Relation Commission ii. tactfulness
a. Hear cases regarding labor iii. patience
b. Divisions of 3 members c. knows the labor code
12. Commissioner of COMELEC d. practice with the National Labor Relation Commission and Court
13. Fiscal of Appeals
a. Lawyer of the People of the Philippines in a minimal case 4. Tax lawyer
b. Conducts preliminary investigations a. Unlawful: tax evasion – do not pay taxes (criminal)
c. He who files information in Court b. Lawful: Tax avoidance
d. Can be asked to man police precincts - use legal loopholes and apply to the clients
e. If promoted: RTC - apply facts of case to law to avoid taxes – applies statutory
f. Counterpart in the US: district attorney construction
14. State Prosecutor c. know the tax code
a. Under the DOJ, appointed by the President from a list of d. Court of Tax Appeals and Bureau of Internal Revenue, and
recommendation from the Secretary of DOJ Commissioner of Customs
b. Review decisions of provincial prosecutors rendered in 5. Patent Lawyering
preliminary investigations 6. Real estate lawyering
c. Involves high profile cases a. May be:
d. Brought to the province to handle cases of prominent politicians i. House counsel
e. Promotion: Court of Appeals 1. hold office in the corporation with a specific
15. Solicitor General salary
- The official lawyer of the Republic of the Philippines 2. cannot practice outside
16. Government Corporate Council 3. employee of the corporation
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ii. Retainer counsel 4. per hour fee arrangement

1. have law office outside - Americans like this arrangement but Filipinos don’t like this
2. handle cases as a retained lawyer - Americans presume that everybody is honest
3. have agreement 5. per appearance fee arrangement
7. Special projects lawyering - everytime you go to court, postponed or not, gets paid
- handles joint ventures, etc… - province: Php 1,000-1,500
- manila: Php 2,000 – 3,000
C. Trial Practice (the real McCoy) - promotes prolonged cases – one of the reasons of delayed cases
- going and arguing in court 6. acceptance and success fee
1. de parte counsel - acceptance fee – win or lose  lawyer
- lawyer retained by a party litigant for a fee to prosecute or defend a - recover something, get a percentage of it
case for a party litigant
7. per appearance and success fee
2. de oficio lawyer - everytime go to court, paid
- lawyer appointed by court to defend an indigent defendant /
- win – get percentage
accused on a criminal case or represent a destitute in a civil case 8. acceptance and per appearance fee arrangement
9. acceptance + per appearance + success fee arrangements
De Parte Counsel De Oficio Lawyer
Lawyer Paid Lawyer not paid  if you want to earn, do the American way
Client has a choice Client has no choice  law is harder than medicine
3. Counsel of record - the law changes everyday by stare decisis
- name and addresses entered in the record of case as designated - you have to go to the supreme court for recent decisions, while
counsel of litigant and to whom notices are sent for medicine, they are fed by the med reps
- notices sent to him binds the client  In law, you have to be specific
- only one sent notices - has to be accurate – with words, sentences, and punctuations
4. Amicus curiae / Friend of the Court - do not be careless when you write
- Impartial and experienced attorney invited y the court to appear
and help the court in the disposition of intricate issues
º join big law firms first – to get experience
º advertisements not allowed

Attorney’s Fees
- has different styles: Chinese, American, Filipino
- Some do not prosper due to their mentality (Filipino Culture)
- Always put agreement in writing

Different arrangements:
1. contingent fee
- agreed upon only in losing cases
- lawyer not paid anything if case is lost. If won, high percentage of
lawyer’s fees
- reasonable success fee: 20 – 30%
- higher than regular
2. straight fee
- arrangements demanded by abogados de campanillas, big lawyers
- win or lose you have to pay
3. sharing in the property recovered
- resorted to by provincial lawyers where case involves land
- a relative of contingent fee
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