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VILLARAZA, Reinald Kurt E.

Legal and Judicial Ethics Review

CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL: UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND
AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND FOR LEGAL PROCESSES.

All lawyers are sworn constitutionalists. As protectors of the Constitution, lawyers are expected to be life-
long students of the Constitution. They are expected to know, understand and upheld the Constitution.
The lawyers oath is a source of obligations and its violation is a ground for suspension, disbarment. And
other disciplinary proceedings.

RULE OF THE LAW sometimes called the supremacy of the law, provides that decisions should be
made by the application of known legal principles or laws without the intervention of discretion in their
application. The phrase to promote respect for law and for legal processes means it is the duty of a
lawyer to uphold the Rule of Law.

Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

Duty to Act with Honesty, Morality and Lawful Conduct - Any of the three would be sufficient ground
to file disciplinary proceedings against a lawyer. The dishonesty, gross immorality and violation of a law
need not to be committed in relation to his professional duties; the lawyer may be sanctioned for acts
committed in his private affairs.

Exceptions:
- Conviction for illegal recruitment and attempt to evade the payment of taxes due to the
government while wrong and unlawful, does not involve moral turpitude.
- Engaging in premarital sexual relations with complainant and promises to marry suggests a
doubtful moral character on his part but the same does not constitute grossly immoral conduct.

Grossly Immoral conduct defined:


- it is so corrupt as to constitute criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree or
committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the common sense of decency.
- Gross immorality need not to be scandalous, punishable by law, neither it should be related to
professional duties not there is lawyer-client relationship

PRIVATE AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE:


There is no distinction as to whether the transgression is committed in the lawyers professional capacity
or in his private life or in his private transactions. This is because a lawyer may not divide his personality
as to be an attorney at one time and a mere citizen at another, and his private life may reflect unfavorably
upon the good name and prestige of the profession and the courts.

Unlawful Conduct defined:


- Includes violation of the statutory prohibition on a govt employee to engage in private practice of his
profession unless authorized by law.

GENERAL RULE ON LAWYERS FINANCIAL DEBT:


- A lawyer may not be suspended or disbarred, and the court may not ordinarily assume jurisdiction to
discipline him, for misconduct in his non- professional or private capacity.

REASON: poverty is not a crime; if all lawyers will be disbarred because of non-paying of debt, all
lawyers will all be in the jail because not all are rich.

BUT ISSUANCE OF WORTHLESS CHECKS to settle financial obligations is gross misconduct in view of
its DELETERIOUS EFFECTS TO THE PUBLIC INTERESTS AND PUBLIC ORDER.

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Gross misconduct defined:
- any inexcusable, shameful or flagrant unlawful conduct on the part of the person concerned in the
administration of justice which is prejudicial to the rights of the parties or to right determination of the
cause.
- It is generally motivated by premeditated, obstinate or intentional purpose, but doesnt necessarily imply
corruption or criminal intent.

AQUITTAL IN CRIMINAL CASE NOT A BAR IN DISBARMENT PROCEEDINGS because:


a. The standards of legal profession are not satisfied by conduct which merely enables one to escapes
the penalties of criminal law.
b. The court in disbarment proceedings is acting in an entirely different capacity from that which courts
assume in trying criminal case.
c. Administrative cases of lawyers belong to class of their own. They are distinct from and may proceed
independently of civil and criminal cases.

Rule 1.02 - A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at
lessening confidence in the legal system.

Rule 1.03 - A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or proceeding
or delay any man's cause.

Two duties:
1. Duty against barratry - Encouraging suits or legal actions must always be with noble intent to pursue
or protect a right.
2. Duty not to delay any mans cause - Must not hider a person in his pursuit of protection or right.

Barratry the offense of frequently exciting or stirring up quarrels and suits, either at law or otherwise.
- The person who engaged in barratry is a barretor or barrator.

Maintenance is the intermeddling of an uninterested party to encourage lawsuit.

Rule 1.04 - A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will admit
of a fair settlement.

Compromise and settlement of cases is encouraged:


The law does not limit compromise to cases about to be filed or filed, it can be effected even after final
judgment as authorized by the Civil Code.

NATURE OF COMPROMISE AGREEMENT:


1. A party must give up some of his rights that he has, in consideration of the same act on the part of the
other side.
2. Lawyers need written special authority to compromise their clients litigation or receive anything in
the discharge of a clients claim or full amount in cash.
3. A compromise agreement signed by a lawyer in behalf of a party to the agreement without authorization
of the latter is not void but unenforceable.
4. An agreement between a lawyer and his client that forbids the client from entering a settlement without
the lawyers consent is against public policy and not permitted.

CASE: SORIANO v. ATTY. DIZON (A.C 6792, January 25, 2006)

FACTS:
Atty. Dizon was driving his car on his way home. Soriano, taxi driver overtook his car driven by Dizon who
was under the influence of liquor. Dizon tailed Soriano until the latter stopped. Dizon stopped his car held
Soriano by his shirt. To stop the aggression, the Soriano forced open his door causing the accused to fall
to the ground. Soriano got out of his car to help him get up. But Dizon, by now enraged, attempted twice

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to deal Soriano with a fist blow twice. Dizon went back to his car and got his revolver and shot Soriano.
Soriano survived but sustained a spinal cord injury which disabled him for his job as a taxi driver. Dizon
filed an application for probation which was granted on the condition that he satisfy the civil liabilities
imposed by the court in favor of Soriano. Dizon failed to comply with this undertaking and even appealed
the civil liability. IBP recommended that Dizon be disbarred from the practice of law for having been
convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

ISSUE:
1. Whether Atty. Dizon violated Canon 1 of the CPR.
2. Whether Atty. Dizon should be disbarred from the practice of law.

HELD:
1. YES. It is glaringly clear that respondent violated Canon 1 of the CPR through his illegal possession of
an unlicensed firearm and his unjust refusal to satisfy his civil liabilities. He has thus violated the law and
disobeyed the lawful orders of the courts. Dizon has shown through this incident that he is wanting in
even a basic sense of justice. He obtained the benevolence of the court when it suspended his sentence
and granted him probation. And yet, it has been four years since he was ordered to settle his civil
liabilities to complainant. To date, respondent remains adamant in refusing to fulfill that obligation,

2. Under Section 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude is a
ground for disbarment or suspension. By such conviction, a lawyer is deemed to have become unfit to
uphold the administration of justice and to be no longer possessed of good moral character. Moral
turpitude has been defined as "everything which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an
act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellowmen, or
to society in general, contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals." The totality of the facts
unmistakably bears the earmarks of moral turpitude. By his conduct, respondent revealed his extreme
arrogance and feeling of self-importance. As it were, he acted like a god on the road, who deserved to be
venerated and never to be slighted. Clearly, his inordinate reaction to a simple traffic incident reflected
poorly on his fitness to be a member of the legal profession. When lawyers are convicted of frustrated
homicide, the attending circumstances not the mere fact of their conviction would demonstrate their
fitness to remain in the legal profession. In the present case, the appalling vindictiveness, treachery, and
brazen dishonesty of respondent clearly show his unworthiness to continue as a member of the bar. Atty.
Dizon is DISBARRED.

CANON 2 - A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN AN EFFICIENT AND
CONVENIENT MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND
EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROFESSION.

Duty to be an efficient lawyer:


- The efficiency demanded of a lawyer must not be realized at the expense of the independence,
integrity and effectiveness of the profession.
- To be efficient does not mean the abandonment of ones integrity in order to achieve a given
cause at all cost.
- The lawyers efficiency must not be obtained at the price of compromising the effectiveness of the
entire legal profession

Duty to be proficient in English Language

Rule 2.01 - A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or the
oppressed.
Duty to the Defenseless and the Oppressed

General Rule: Lawyer is duty bound to serve these marginalized citizens. The rule mandates all lawyers
to accept as clients those who may have found themselves in the fringes of society

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Rule 2.02 - In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to render
legal advice to the person concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latter's
rights.

Duty to give Legal Advice on the Rights if the Defenseless and the Oppressed
This rule in the only exception to the general rule that consultation creates a lawyer-client relationship
Even if no lawyer-client relationship is created, a lawyer is still duty bound to give legal advice to the
defenseless and the oppressed in protection of the latters rights

Rule 2.03 - A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal
business.

Duty to Shun Vulgar Solicitation


- It is highly unethical for a lawyer to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares.
- Law is a profession and not a trade.
- Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a money-making venture, and law advocacy is not a capital that
necessarily yields profits.

Practice of Law vs. Business


1. A duty of public service
2. A relation as an officer of the court to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity, integrity
and reliability
3. A relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary
4. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness, and unwillingness to resort to
current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice, or dealing directly with their
clients.

Dignified Solicitation Allowed


If it is made in a modest and decorous manner, it would bring no injury to the lawyer and to the bar.
Thus, the following are allowed:
1. Use of simple signs stating the name or names of the lawyers, the office and residence address and
fields of practice
2. Advertisement in legal periodicals bearing the same brief facts
3. Publication in reputable law lists of brief biographical and informative data

Good Reputation as the Best Advertisement


Canon 27 of the Canons of Professional Ethics

The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially with its
brother lawyers, is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to
trust. Must be the outcome of character and conduct

Permitted Advertising
1. May include only statement of the: Lawyers name; the names of his professional associates; short
biography; contact addresses/numbers.
2. The law list must be a reputable law list published primarily for that purpose
- It cannot be a mere supplemental feature of a paper, magazine, trade journal or periodical which is
published principally for other purpose
3. Ordinary simple professional card is permitted: may contain a statement of his name, his law firm
name, address, and special branch of law practice.
4. Simple announcement of the opening of a law firm or of changes in the partnership, associates, firm
name or office address
5. His name listed in a telephone directory but not under a designation of a special branch of law.

Not allowed advertising

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1. A lawyer may not properly publish his brief biographical and informative data in a daily paper,
magazine, trade journal or society program
2. A lawyer may not publish his name in a law list in which the conduct, management or contents are
calculated or likely to deceive or injure the public or the bar, or to lower dignity or standing of the
profession.

Ambulance chasing, defined.


- One seeking out persons in negligence cases and directing them to an attorney in consideration of a
percentage of the recovery
- A term descriptive of the practice of some attorneys, on hearing of a personal injury which have been
caused by negligence or wrongful act of another, of at once seeking out the injured person with a view to
securing authority to bring action on account of the injury.

Prohibiting professional advocacy to promote his law practice or to solicit clients


Canon 26 of the Canons of Professional Ethics
- Lawyer openly may render professional services before legislative or other bodies regarding proposed
legislation and in advocacy of claims before departments of government
- It is unprofessional for a lawyer so engaged, to conceal his attorneyship, or to employ secret personal
solicitation, or to use means other than those addressed to reason and understanding, to influence action.

Rule 2.04 - A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily prescribed unless the
circumstances so warrant.

Duty to Shun Cut-throat Rates


Cut throat rates - lowering legal fees to attract paying clients.
The rate for legal services that is customarily prescribed is generally dictated by market forces.

CASE: IN RE: TAGORDA (G.R. No. 32329, March 23, 1929)

FACTS:
The respondent, Luis B. Tagorda, a practicing attorney and a member of the provincial board of Isabela,
that he made use of a card written in Spanish and Ilocano and distributed it to their municipality so he
could render legal service to them. Respondent also admitted having written a letter in Ilocano addressed
to a lieutenant in his home municipality in Echague, Isabela in which he stated his continued exercise of
his profession as a lawyer and a notary public, besides being a Member of the Board of the municipality
of Ilagan, Isabela. He also stated that he would be willing to render his legal services to the people who
have not contracted any other lawyers services. Respondents service is based on the registration of land
titles and charge people three pesos for every registration.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the suspension of Luis B. Tagorda is meritorious under the code of professional
responsibility by advertising and soliciting legal work by distributing pamphlets?

HELD:
The respondent was suspended for 1 month under the Rule 2.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility because it is stated in the rule that A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act
designed primarily to solicit legal business. Practice of law is not a trade or a business. It is a profession
in which duty to public service, not money, is the primary consideration.

CANON 3 - A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE ONLY: TRUE,
HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF FACTS.

The Duty of honest and dignified pronouncement of legal services:


The embellishment and exaggeration of credentials is not only frowned upon. It is sanctionable because
there is a certain degree of dignity that must be maintained.

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Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal
services.

Duty not to use Fraudulent or misleading pronouncement of qualifications:


All communications regarding the lawyer must contain information that is necessary for the client to be
informed about the professional competence of a lawyer. This information would include:
1. Office information law firm name, and contact numbers.
2. Relevant biographical information
3. Description of the practice but only designations and definitions authorized by the agency.
4. Permitted fee information.

Some self- laudation must be limited and others prohibited:


- Information on scholastic honors, or election in public office may be disseminated.
- the lawyer may not announce the successful results he has obtained on behalf of his clients or
the lawyers record in obtaining favorable judgments for the reason that past performance of the
lawyer is not an indication of future performance, and because no lawyer can guarantee the
results of any legal action.
- Testimonials from previous clients are not allowed.

Rule 3.02 - In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name shall be used. The
continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in
all its communications that said partner is deceased.

Duty of Honesty in the Firm name and selection of the Firm Name:
1. Generally, the law firm name is derived from the surnames of the founding members of the law firm.
2. Usually, firm names identify the more active and/or more senior members or partners in the law firm.
3. Art. 1825 of the Civil Code prohibits third person from including his name in the firm name under pain of
assuming the liability of a partner.
4. A lawyer is not authorized to use a name other than the name inscribed in the Roll of Attorneys in his
practice of law.
5. Lawyers cannot practice under a foreign law firm name because the foreign law firm is not authorized
to practice law in the Philippines and to avoid confusion on part of future clients.

Use of a deceased partners name:


- It is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is deceased.

Reason why it is permitted: An able lawyer without connections will have to make name for himself
starting from scratch. Another able lawyer who can join an old firm, can initially ride on the old firms
reputation established by the deceased partner.

Continued use of Retired partners name:


A retired partner can be in a of counsel status and retain his name in the firm name esp. if the firm name
has been long- established and well- recognized and communications about the lawyers status clearly
indicate that he is retired.

Use or Assumed Trade Name is not allowed:


A partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. It is a mere relationship or association for a
particular purpose. It is not a partnership formed for the purpose of carrying on a trade or business or of
holding property.

Application of the word associates in the firm name:


Associates describe those who are employees of the firm. It can be misleading in two situations:
1. Where two lawyers are partners and they share both responsibility and liability; and
2. Where two lawyers practice separately sharing no responsibility and liability.

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Firm Name for Solo Practitioners:
A solo practitioner may not use a firm name which is misleading such as: use of associates or affiliates, or
designate himself as senior atty. Where he is the only atty. in the law firm. But he may use the term Law
Firm, which may consists of many lawyers or only a single practitioner.

Use of the Term Of Counsel:


- A counsel assists in certain specialized services rendered by the law firm. The relationship of a counsel
with the law firm must be close, personal and regular with frequent and continuing contact, and not that of
partner, shareholder, or associate.

Rule 3.03 - Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdrawal from the firm and his name
shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law allows him to practice law currently.

Public officials that are prohibited to engage in the practice of law:


1. Judges and other officials or employees of the superior court;
2. Officials and employees of the Solicitor general.
3. Govt prosecutors;
4. President, Vide- President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants;
5. Members of the Constitutional Commissions
6. Ombudsman and his deputies;
7. All governors, city and municipal mayors;
8. Prohibited by special law.

Exceptions:
- Under Sec. 7 of RA 6713/Code of Conduct of Ethical Standards for Public officials and
Employees, a public officer is prohibited to engage in the private practice of their profession
unless authorized by the Constitution or law provided that such practice will not conflict or tend
to conflict with their official functions.
- Member of congress who are lawyers may practice law provided they may not personally
appear as a counsel before any court of justice, or before electoral tribunals, or quasi- judicial
and other administrative bodies. Hence, they may retain their names in the law firm names.
The same also applies to Members of the Sangguniang who are lawyers.

Rule 3.04 - A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of the mass media
in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business.

- Payment to media for publicity is a callous contempt to commercialize the legal profession
because it attracts legal business for legal profession is a public service profession.
- However, the lawyer is not mandated to decline genuine media attention to his advocacies which
have generated public interest or the participation of the media is indispensable such as
advocacy to expose corruption in the govt.

CASE: CABARRUS, JR. v. BERNAS (A.C. No. 4634 September 24, 1997)

FACTS:
On August 30, 1996, Mr. Jesus Cabarrus, Jr. filed an administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty.
Jose Antonio Bernas for alleged violations of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code and Code of
Professional Responsibility. In his complaint-affidavit, complainant alleged that respondent Atty. Bernas,
the counsel on record of the respondents in Civil Case No. 65646, is the same lawyer who instigated a
criminal complaint at the NBI for forgery and respondents themselves conspired and confabulated with
each other in facilitating and insuring the open, blatant and deliberate violation of Art. 172 of the Revised
Penal Code. He further alleged that respondent should be disbarred for having instigated, abetted and
facilitated the perversion and subversion of truth in the verification and certification of non-forum shopping

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which are contrary to Canon 1, Rule 1.01, 1.02, Canon 3, 3.01, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility for Lawyers.

ISSUE:
Whether or not herein respondent should be disbarred for violation of Code of Professional Responsibility,
specifically Canon 1, Rule 1.01, 1.02, Canon 3, 3.01, and Canon 10.

HELD:
After a careful scrutiny of the records, the Court find the administrative complaint bereft of merit and
should be dismissed. The core issue to be resolved here is whether respondent Atty. Bernas transgressed
Circular No. 28-91, Revised Circular No. 28-91, and Administrative Circular No. 04 - 94 on forum
shopping. Wherefore, the instant complaint is hereby DISMISSED.

CANON 4 - A LAWYER SHALL PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM BY


INITIATING OR SUPPORTING EFFORTS IN LAW REFORM AND IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.

Duty to Support the Improvement of the Legal System


Lawyers should participate in proposing and supporting legislation and program to improve the legal
system, without regard to the general interests or desires of clients or former clients. He should
encourage the simplification old laws and the repeal or amendment of laws that are outmoded.

Duty of Lawyers to assist the judicial and Bar Council (JBC)


- A lawyer may with propriety endorse a candidate for a judicial office and seek like endorsement from
other lawyers.
- But a lawyer who endorses a judicial candidate or seeks that endorsement from other lawyers should be
actuated by a sincere belief in the superior qualifications of the candidate for judicial service and not by
personal or selfish motive.
- A lawyer believes that the candidate lacks the essential qualifications for the office or believes that the
opposing candidate is better qualified, should have the courage and moral stamina to refuse the request
for endorsement.

CASE: CORDOVA v. LABAYEN (A.M. No. RTJ-93-1033, October 10, 1995)

FACTS:
On March 5, 1993, the Municipal Trial Court (branch II) of Batangas City rendered judgment for petitioners
with respect to four ordering the ejectment of private respondents and ordering them to pay monthly
rentals of P50,000.00 starting April 7, 1992 until they shall have vacated the lots and surrendered their
possession to petitioners and the sum of P20,000.00 as attorney's fees. On March 29, 1993, petitioners
moved for the execution of the decision in their favor, alleging that although private respondents had filed
a notice of appeal, the latter had not filed a supersedeas bond nor make a deposit every month of the
reasonable value of the use and occupation of the properties as required by Rule 70, sec. 8. Private
respondents opposed the motion, claiming that they are co-owners of the lots from which they were
ordered to be ejected and that to grant immediate execution of the decision would render their appeal
moot and academic.

ISSUE:
Whether there was a late filing of Supersedeas Bond.

HELD:
The petition is not meritorious. As a general rule, a judgment in favor of the plaintiff in an ejectment suit is
immediately executory, in order to prevent further damage to him arising from the loss of possession of
the property in question. The motion for execution was filed eighteen days from the date the petitioners
received a copy of the MTC's decision, after the appeal had already been perfected. Because no
supersedeas bond had been filed within the period for appeal, a writ of execution should have been
issued as a matter of right. Petitioners manifestly failed to adduce a compelling reason to justify a

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departure from the afore cited rule. Lawyers as officers of the court must assist in the administration of
justice.

CANON 5 - A LAWYER SHALL KEEP ABREAST OF LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS, PARTICIPATE IN


CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS, SUPPORT EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE HIGH
STANDARDS IN LAW SCHOOLS AS WELL AS IN THE PRACTICAL TRAINING OF LAW STUDENTS
AND ASSIST IN DISSEMINATING THE LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE.

Duty to Keep Abreast of Legal Developments


A lawyer must not only be guided by the strict standards imposed by the lawyers oath, but should
likewise espouse legally sound arguments for clients.

Radio and television talk shows; legal columns writers; Guidelines for lawyers who write or speak
on legal matters for the consumption of the general public
1. The lawyer should carefully refrain from giving or appearing to give a general solution applicable to all
apparently similar individual problems
2. Talks and writing by lawyers for laypersons should caution them not to tempt to solve individual
problems upon the basis of the information contained

Relation to Canon 40 of the Canons of Professional Ethics


A lawyer may write articles for publications in which he gives information upon the law
He could not accept employment from such publication to advice inquiries in respect to their individual
rights.

Genesis of the MCLE


August 22, 2000, the Supreme Court adopted Bar Matter No. 805. On December 01, 2001, the Supreme
Court approved the MCLE implementing regulations which paved the way for the full implementation.

Purpose: To ensure that throughout their career, they keep abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain
the ethics of the profession and enhance the standards of law practice.

Requirements of Completion of MCLE


Members of the IBP, unless exempted under Rule 7, shall complete every 3 years at least 36 hours of
continuing education activities.

Parties Exempted from the MCLE: those who hold public positions such as senators, ombudsman, and
even Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of law who have teaching experience for at least
ten (10) years in accredited law schools

CASE: DE ROY v. COURT OF APPEALS (G.R. No. 80718, January 29, 1988)

FACTS:
The firewall of a burned out building owned by petitioners collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop
occupied by the family of the private respondents resulting in injuries to private respondents had been
warned by petitioners to vacate their shop in view of its proximity to the weakened wall but the former
failed to do. In the RTC, petitioners were found guilty of gross negligence. On the last day of the 15 days
period to file an appeal, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration which was again denied. The
Supreme Court finds that Court of Appeal did not commit a grave abuse of discretion when it denied
petitioners motion for reconsideration. It correctly applied the rule laid down in Habulayas vs Japzon.
Counsel for petitioner contends that the said case should not be applied non-publication in the Official
Gazette.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Supreme Court decisions must be published in the Official Gazette before they can be
binding.

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HELD:
There is no law requiring the publication of Supreme Court decision in the Official Gazette before they can
be binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It is bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active
law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme Court as embedded in Canon 5 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, particularly where issues have been clarified, consistently reiterated and
published in the advance reports of Supreme Court decisions and in such publications as the SCRA and
law journals.

CANON 6 - THESE CANONS SHALL APPLY TO LAWYERS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICES IN THE


DISCHARGE OF THEIR TASKS.

Duties Apply to Lawyers in government Service


General Rule: a lawyer who holds a government office may not be disciplined as a member of the Bar for
misconduct in the discharge of his duties as a government official.

Exception: If his governmental infraction also constitutes a violation of his oath as a member of the bar.

Higher standard of integrity is required from government lawyers than private practitioners
This is expected because delinquency of a government lawyer erodes the peoples trust and confidence
in the government

When a public officer is sanctionable as a public officer and when as a lawyer


1. Violations of RA 6713 ("Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.")
are not subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Professional Responsibility unless the violations
also constitutes infractions of specific provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility
2. A disbarment case may be filed following a finding of guilt in an administrative investigation by the
proper government authority.
3. A disbarment case may be filed against a Register of Deeds who was dismissed by the President of the
Philippines for the illegal issuance of TCTs.

Rule 6.01 - The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to convict but to see
that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable of
establishing the innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary
action.

Duty of a Public Prosecutor to see that Justice is done


The public prosecutor does not side with either party but instead should be guided by what evidence is
presented by the contending parties. He should not institute criminal charges when he knows that the
charges are not supported by probable cause. He should also make known any evidence that tends to
negate the guilt of the accused, mitigate the degree of the offense, or reduce the punishment.

Rule 6.02 - A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position to promote or
advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his public duties.

Duty to separate Public Duties from Private Interests


- A public office is a public trust.
- The prohibitions are those which may be found under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act

The revolving door between government service and private practice


The practice of some lawyers in using government service as a mere stepping stone to jobs outside
government service may cause some prejudice to the government service as a whole

Rule 6.03 - A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or
employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service.

Duty to Avoid Conflict of Interest after leaving the government service

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The word intervene is limited to mean only an act of a person who has the power to influence the
subject proceedings and which act should not be insubstantial and insignificant. Section 7(b) of RA 6713
prohibits certain transactions and interests during the incumbency of the public official and for a period of
one year after his resignation, retirement or separation from the public office.

Relation to Canon 36 of the Canons of Professional Ethics


A lawyer should not accept employment as an advocate in any matter upon the merits which he has
previously acted in a judicial capacity.

CASE: PNB v. ATTY. CEDO (A.C. No. 3701, March 28, 1995)

FACTS:
After having arranged the sale of steel sheets for Mrs Siy, the latter became implicated in a civil case with
the complainant PNB. After having stop employment with PNB, respondent Atty. Cedo appeared as
counsel for Mrs. Siy. A similar situation also happene when spouses Almeda were implicated to a case
with complainant PNB counsel for Sps. Almeda is the Cedo, Ferrer, Maynigo & Associates. Atty. Cedo
was AVP of the Asset Management group of complainant bank, where such loan transaction of Sps.
Almeda came under his purview. Respondent asserted that in the former case, he did not participate in
the litigation before the court, while the latter, it was another partner of the firm that handle the case. IBP
made its report and recommendation for suspension for having deliberate intent to devise ways and
means to attract as clients former borrowers of complainant bank since he was in the best position to see
the legal weaknesses of his former employer.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Atty. Cedo be held administratively liable.

HELD:
SUSPENDED. According to Canon 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, A lawyer shall not,
after leaving government service, accept engagement or employment in connection with any matter in
which he had intervened while in said service. Having been an executive of complainant bank,
respondent sought to litigate as counsel for the opposite side, a case against his former employer
involving a transaction which he formerly handled while still an employee of complainant, violated said
Canon.

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