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PALE

(Short Paper No. 2)

QUESTION:

Are lawyers liars?

WINDY AWE MALAPIT


LLB / 3rd yr.
SMC College of Law

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A common misnomer labeling lawyers as liars. Society have been fed

with the information that lawyers are like politicians who are masters at the

game of scheming and fabricating the truth. But the answer to the question at

hand is in the negative. Though it may be ideal and rational that lawyers will

only uphold on what is the truth and stand firm to their oath of doing no

falsehood to the courts as to their clients, it will not be that much to think

that perhaps some lawyers may do falsehood just like everybody does.

The point of the matter is that, can it really be said that lawyers

sustain their livelihood by dishing out what is the truth? In an interview to

some lawyers, their answer to the question was a big NO. Attorney A

clearly emphasized that That is an unfortunate and widespread

misconception that what we lawyers do for a living is lie. This simply isnt

true. Lawyers have the duty to conduct themselves as officers of the courts

in which they are admitted to practice. This obligation acts as a check

against bad temptations that might be brought on by the obligation to keep

their clients confidences. Lawyers risk censure, suspension, or even being

disbarred if they lie in court, suborn perjury, hide/manufacture evidence, etc.

While there are always a few bad apples in any professions, most lawyers

therefore do not lie. What lawyers actually do is use the facts and law to

advocate their clients interests In a conversation with another lawyer

Attorney B, in a convivial manner, she answered of course NOT, it is the

witness who tells lies, not the lawyer. Lawyers are merely just arranging the

facts for the benefit of the clients.

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In terms of jurisprudence, Supreme Court decisions enunciated the

vital role of lawyers in doing no falsehood for the effective administration of

justice. Repeatedly pronouncing to live by the Code of Professional

Responsibility, remembering with their hearts how noble the legal

profession. In the case of Que vs. Atty. Revilla1, A lawyer is expected to act

candidly, fairly and truthfully in his work. His duty as a lawyer obligates him

not to conceal the truth from the court, or to mislead the court in any

manner, no matter how demanding his duties to his clients may be. In case of

conflict, his duties to his client yield to his duty to deal candidly with the

court. The canon obligates a lawyer, in defending his client, to employ only

such means as are consistent with truth and honor. More profoundly

explained into words the crucial role of the lawyer in the case of Molina vs.

Atty. Magat2 not to make any false and untruthful statements, as such, The

practice of law is a privilege bestowed on those who show that they possess

and continue to possess the legal qualification for it. Indeed, lawyers are

expected to maintain at all times a high standard of legal proficiency and

morality, including honesty, integrity and fair dealing. They must perform

their four-fold duty to society, the legal profession, the courts and their

clients, in accordance with the values and norms of the legal profession as

embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility.

1 Conrado Que vs. Atty. Anastacio Revilla, Jr.; A.C. No. 7054; December
4, 2009.
2 Rodrigo A. Molina vs. Atty. Ceferino R. Magat; A.C. No. 1900; June 13,
2012.

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The above-quoted judicial decisions are firm undertakings that all legal

practitioners must seriously abide, otherwise, no one will be able to venture

into the practice of law if immensely tainted with fabrication, half-truth or

barefaced lie.

Thus, the Supreme Court have been strictly implementing disciplinary

measures to erring lawyers by way of suspension from the practice of law or

in worse case scenario, perpetually preventing a lawyer to perform legal

services disbarment. Lawyering is a unique and noble profession, hence,

lawyers must exhibit the maximum level of integrity, honesty and

competence, for deceit has no place in a profession wherein the primary and

ultimate purpose is towards the interests of justice.

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REFERENCES:

(a) Conrado Que vs. Atty. Anastacio Revilla, Jr; A.C. No. 7054;

December 4, 2009.

(b) Rodrigo A. Molina vs. Atty. Ceferino R. Magat; A.C. No. 1900; June

13, 2012.