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Rule 1.

01 Unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct

C.E. PIATT, vs. PERFECTO ABORDO 58 Phil. 350 (1933) – MALCOLM, J.:
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
The Petitioner, C.E. Piatt, filed a complaint WON Perfecto Abordo, a member of the Yes, Atty. Abordo should be suspended - Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 which
to Perfecto Abordo, a member of the Philippine Bar, should be suspended. because he attempted to engage in an provides “A lawyer shall not
Philippine Bar, who accepted the offer of opium deal in direct contravention of the engage in unlawful, dishonest,
two individuals to sell him a quantity of criminal law of the Philippine Island. He as immoral or deceitful conduct.”
opium, a prohibited drug in the Philippines. a member of the bar he should sacredly - Section 21 of the Code of Civil
Abordo was picked up, by one of the bound to uphold the laws. He violated the Procedure enumerates the
individuals who had made him the opium Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 which provides “A grounds for the suspension or
proposition, and was taken to Rizal Avenue lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, disbarment of a lawyer.
Extension outside of the city limits where dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.”
they found a number of persons awaiting and also it is indicated in the Section 21 of
them in an automobile. The can which the Code of Civil Procedure enumerates
contained opium was loaded in the the grounds for the suspension or
automobile which brought Abordo to the disbarment of a lawyer.
scene of the delivery, but in returning to
Manila another automobile overtook them
and pretending to be constabulary soldiers,
told him to stop. Instead Abordo drew his
revolver and commanding the driver of the
car to turn into Calle Vito Cruz was able to
evade his pursuers and to arrive safely at
his home in Pasay. When he got home, he
examined the contents of the can and
found it to contain fake opium and sand.
Thereupon Abordo reported to the Luneta
Police Station of Manila that he had been
robbed of P600. Two individuals were later
arrested, charged with the crime of estafa,
and convicted.

He admitted that he entered into the

transaction, adding that "he is sincerely
sorry for it and vows not to repeat". His
defense is that "there being no evidence in
the record establishing the relationship of
attorney and client between the
respondent and the malefactors", and "the
act complained of not having been
committed in the exercise of his profession
of attorney-at-law", the acts he committed
could not affect his status as attorney-at-
law and could not, therefore, constitute a
ground for disciplinary action.
Ui vs. Bonifacio
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
Lesli Ui filed an administrative complaint Whether or not Atty. Iris Bonifacio NO. The practice of law is a privilege. The CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD
for disbarment against Atty. Iris Bonifacio conducted herself in an immoral manner bar candidate does not have the right to THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS
on the ground of immorality, for allegedly for which she deserves to be barred from enjoy the practice of the legal profession OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE
carrying an immoral relationship with the practice of law. simply by passing the bar, he must also RESPECT FOR LAW OF AND LEGAL
Carlos Ui, her (Lesli) husband. have a continued possession of good PROCESSES.
moral character. A lawyer may be
disbarred for grossly immoral conduct , Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in
which has been defined as the conduct unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and conduct.
which shows a moral indifference to the
good and respectable members of the
community. Lawyers, as keepers of public
faith, are burdened with a higher degree of
social responsibility and thus must handle
their personal affairs with great caution.
In the proceeding before the IBP
Commission on Bar Discipline, Iris Iris Bonifacio was imprudent in managing
attached a photocopy of a marriage her personal affairs. However the fact
certificate that said that she and Carlos got remains that her relationship with Carlos,
married in 1985 but according to the clothed as it was with what she believed as
certificate of marriage obtained from the a valid marriage, cannot be considered
Hawaii State Department of Health, they immoral. Immorality connotes conduct that
were married in 1987. shows indifference to the moral norms of
society and the opinion of good and
respectable members of the community.
For such conduct to warrant disciplinary
action, it must be “grossly immoral”, it must
be so corrupt and false as to constitute a
criminal act or unprincipled as to be
reprehensible to a high degree.
A lawyer is not only required to refrain from
adulterous relationships but must also
behave himself as to avoid scandalizing
the public by creating the belief that he is
flouting those moral standards. Her act of
distancing herself on her discovery that
Carlos was married proves that she had no
intention of flaunting the law and the high
moral standard of the legal profession.
On the matter of the falsified marriage
certificate, it is contrary to human
experience and highly improbable that she
did not know the year of her marriage or
she failed to check that the information on
the document she attached to her Answer
were correct. Lawyers are called upon to
safeguard the integrity of the Bar, free from
misdeeds and acts of malpractice.
Canon 1, Rule 1.01 – No Unlawful, Dishonest, Immoral, Deceitful Conduct
Figueroa v Barranco (SBC Case No. 519, July 31, 1997)
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
Respondent Simeon Barranco and complainant WoN the IBP erred in their No. The facts do not constitute gross immorality -CANON 1 Rule 1.01
Patricia Figueroa were townmates in Janiuay, decision to allow the oath- warranting the permanent exclusion of respondent from
Iloilo. They were dating since 1953, and taking. legal profession. Engaging in premarital sexual relations
complainant first acceded to sexual congress in with complainant and promises to marry may suggest a
1960. Their intimacy yielded a son, Rafael, in doubtful moral character, but the same does not
December 11, 1964. Alleged by the complainant, constitute grossly immoral conduct.
respondent made multiple promises of marriage if
he passed the bar exams. Respondent passed the Respondent and complainant were sweethearts whose
1970 bar exams after 4 attempts. Their sexual relations were evidently consensual. She
relationship ended when she learned that in 1971, continued to be respondent’s girlfriend even after the
respondent married another woman. Before he birth of their son, until 1971. Complainant was an adult,
could take the lawyer’s oath, complainant not a young girl who could be led astray. SC stated: “We
petitioned to the court to disallow him from take cannot castigate a man for seeking out the partner of his
the oath. dreams, for marriage is a sacred and perpetual bond
which should be entered into because of love, not for any
In 1974, respondent prayed to dismiss the case, other reason.”
which was denied by the Court. The respondent
made 2 more attempts to dismiss in 1979 and The complainant acted like a vengeful woman who was
1982, which were denied. In his 4th attempt in scorned, bitter, and unforgiving to the end. She intends
1988, by citing his civic works and good standing respondent to suffer perpetually it seems, sacrificing the
in the community, he was almost granted a profession he worked very hard to be admitted to.
schedule to take the oath, only to be denied again
by the court in response to complainant’s The 26 years that respondent has been prevented from
opposition. In 1993, the case was referred to the practicing law constitute sufficient punishment for his
IBP. past actions.

IBP’s report dated May 17, 1997 recommended Instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.
the dismissal of the case and respondent be
allowed to take the lawyer’s oath.

Topic (if first case under the topic)

AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR v ATTYS. ANTONIO M. LLORENTE and LIGAYA P. SALAYON AC No. 4680, 29 August 2000, 339 SCRA 154 – Mendoza, J.
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
Petitioner, Pimentel who was running for senator in Whether or not respondents The court finds the respondents A lawyer who holds a government position may not
the 1995 elections, filed a complaint for disbarment were guilty of misconduct guilty be disciplined as a member of the bar for
against respondents Antonio M. Llorente and and violation of the lawyer’s misconduct in the discharge of his duties as a
Ligaya P. Salayon for gross misconduct, serious oath. government official. However, if the misconduct
breach of trust, and violation of the lawyer's oath in also constitutes a violation of the Code of
connection with the discharge of their duties as Professional Responsibility or the lawyer's oath or
members of the Pasig City Board of Canvassers in is of such character as to affect his qualification as
the May 8, 1995 elections a lawyer or shows moral delinquency on his part,
such individual may be disciplined as a member of
the bar for such misconduct

Petitioner alleges that, in violation of R.A.No. 6646, By certifying as true and correct the SoVs in
section 27(b), respondents tampered with the question, respondents committed a breach of
votes received by him, through illegal Rule 1.01 of the Code which stipulates that a
padding. He maintains that, by signing the lawyer shall not engage in "unlawful, dishonest,
Statements of Votes (SoVs) and Certificate of immoral or deceitful conduct." By express provision
Canvass (CoC) despite respondents' knowledge of Canon 6, this is made applicable to lawyers in
that some of the entries therein were, the latter the government service. In addition, they likewise
committed a serious breach of public trust and their violated their oath of office as lawyers to "do no
lawyer’s oath. falsehood."

Respondents denied the allegations against them.

They alleged that the preparation of the SoVs was
made by the 12 canvassing committees which the
Board had constituted to assist in the canvassing.
They claimed that the errors pointed out by
complainant could be attributed to honest mistake,
oversight, and/or fatigue.

In his reply, complainant counters that respondents

should be held responsible for the illegal padding of
the votes considering the nature and extent of the
irregularities and the fact that the canvassing of the
election returns was done under their control and
Rule 1.01
Salvacion Cordova vs. Atty. Laurence Cordova
GR NO. AC No 3249 (1989) – Ponente
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
Petitoner Salvacion Cordova, filed a Whether or not Cordova should be merely No. He should be suspended indefinitely
complaint against his husband Atty. reprimanded. until he presents evidence that he has
Laurence Cordova (respondent Cordova), been morally reformed and that there was
with immorality and acts of an true reconciliation between him and his
unbecoming a member of the Bar in the wife. Before a person can be admitted to
IBP Commission. The Comission ordered the bar, one requirement is that he
petitioner to submit evidence against her possesses good moral character. That
husband but she failed to do so and she requirement is not exhausted and
informed the Commission that she and dispensed with upon admission to
Atty Laurence had already “reconciled”. membership of the bar. On the contrary,
They were ordered to file a motion to that requirement persists as a continuing
dismiss but they failed to do so. According condition for membership in the Bar in
to the IBP Commission’s investigation, good standing. The moral delinquency
Respondent Cordova is cohabiting with that affects the fitness of a member of the
Fely Holdago who is also married to bar to continue as such includes conduct
another man. Fely moved to Surigao Del that outrages the generally accepted
Sur with respondent Cordova, they lived moral standards of the community,
as husband and wife, respondent conduct for instance, which makes “a
introducing fely as his wife and Fely mockery of the inviolable social institution
Holdago is using Fely Cordova as her or marriage” such was the case in the
name. After a year, Respondent Cordova case at bar.
reconciled with her wife (Salvacion
Cordova) and promised to leave Fely and
he brought his legitimate family to Surigao
Del Sur but after sometime Respondent
would, however, frequently come home
from beerhouses or cabarets, drunk, and
continued to neglect the support of his
legitimate family. complainant found,that
respondent Cordova was no longer living
with her (complainant's) children in their
conjugal home; that respondent Cordova
was living with another mistress, one
Luisita Magallanes, and had taken his
younger daughter Melanie along with him.
Respondent and his new mistress hid
Melanie from the complinant, compelling
complainant to go to court and to take
back her daughter by habeas corpus. The
Regional Trial Court, Bislig, gave her
custody of their children.

Notwithstanding respondent's promises to

reform, he continued to live with Luisita
Magallanes as her husband and
continued to fail to give support to his
legitimate family.

People vs. Tuanda [A.M. No. 3360 January 30, 1990]

Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions

Dissents, if any.
Atty. Fe Tuanda was convicted by the Whether or not the imposed suspension NO. Motion to Lift Order of Suspension Lawyers; Suspension; Moral
Regional Trial Court of Manila in violation for Atty. Tuanda may be lifted. denied. Turpitude; Criminal Law; Bouncing
of B.P. 22 with a fine and subsidiary Checks Law; Violation of B.P. Blg. 22 is a
imprisonment in case of insolvency and to The crimes of which respondent was serious criminal offense which affects
indemnify the complainant Herminia convicted also import deceit and violation public interest and public order; it is a
Marquez. Respondent appealed. The of her attorney’s oath and the Code of crime involving moral turpitude, hence,
Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the Professional Responsibility under both of conviction of such crime justifies
decision of the trial court and imposed which she was bound to “obey the laws of petitioner’s suspension from the practice
upon Atty. Fe Tuanda, in addition, the the land.” Conviction of a crime involving of law.
suspension from the practice of law until moral turpitude might not (as in the instant
further orders from the Supreme Court. case, violation of B.P. Blg. 22 does not)
The respondent filed a Notice of Appeal relate to the exercise of the profession of
with the Court of Appeals. The Court of a lawyer; however, it certainly relates to
Appeals noted respondent’s Notice of and affects the good moral character of a
Appeal and advised her “to address her person convicted of such offense.
Notice of Appeal to the Honorable
Supreme Court, the proper forum.” In the
said motion, responded stated:
that suspension from the practice of law is
indeed a harsh if not a not painful penalty
aggravating the lower court’s penalty of
fine considering that accused-appellant’s
action on the case during the trial on the
merits at the lower court has always been
motivated purely by sincere belief that she
is innocent of the offense charged nor of
the intention to cause damage to the
herein plaintiff-appellee.

Canon 1(Rule 1.01)

Castillo vda. de Mijares v. Villaluz A.C. N0. 4431 (1997) – Ponente
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
Complainant (De Mijares) is the presiding judge (respondent, entered into subject marriage in an effort to 1.01 of the Code of
of branch 108 of the RTC, Pasay. Whether or not Justice Villaluz is save the complainant from the charge of immorality against Professional
guilty of immoral conduct in her) Responsibility
Respondent (Villaluz) a retired justice of the CA, violation of rule 1.01 of the Code
now a consultant at the Presidential Anti Crime of Professional Responsibility by SC: regardless of the intention of respondent in saying
Commission (headed by VP Joseph Estrada) marrying another woman “I do” with complainant before a competent authority,
subsequent to his marriage with all ingredients of a valid marriage were present. His
De Mijares consent thereto was freely given.
A sworn complaint for the disbarment of Judge ( The judgment in civil case declaring the annulment of
Pricilla Castillo vda de mijares to Onofre Villaluz, marriage between respondent and the first wife had not
with gross immorality and grave misconduct. attained complete finality)

Judge Mijares is actually widowed by the death of SC: If so, then the marriage between complainant and
her first husband, Primitivo Mijares. She obtained respondent is not void but only voidable.
a decree declaring her husband presumptively
dead, after an absence of 16 years. By saying that his marriage to petitioner was just a sham
marriage will not justify his actuations. It does not convince,
She got married to respondent (Villaluz) after it does not speak well of respondents sense of social
the reception, the newlyweds resumed to their propriety and moral values. This is aggravated by the fact
usual work and activities. At 6pm the respondent that he is not a layman nor even just an ordinary
(villaluz) fetched complainant (De Mijares) from lawyer, but a former Judge of the Circuit Criminal
her house. When they reached the condominium Court and, thereafter, a Justice of the Court of Appeals
unit of Villaluz, De Mijares got a call from a who cannot but have been fully aware of the
woman offending her with insulting remarks. She consequence of a marriage celebrated with all the
confronted Villaluz on the identity of such caller necessary legal requisites.
and they had an argument and an exchange of
harsh words.
From the foregoing, it is evident that respondent dismally
Since then they lived separately. fails to meet the standard of moral fitness for
Several months later De Mijares learned from continued membership in the legal profession.
Manila RTC judge that he solemnized a
marriage between the former justice Onofre The nature of the office of an attorney at law requires
Villaluz and a certain Lydia Geraldez. that he shall be a person of good moral character. This
qualification is not only a condition precedent for admission
Complainant then filed a complaint against to the practice of law; its continued possession is also
respondent for disbarment for the latter essential for remaining in the practice of law. Under Rule
immorally and bigamously entered into 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a
a second marriage while having a subsisting lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
marriage and distorted the truth by stating immoral or deceitful conduct. The commission of
his civil status as single. grossly immoral conduct and deceit are grounds for
suspension or disbarment of lawyers.
In his defense (Villaluz), he contended that his
marriage to the complainant judge was a However, considering that respondent is in the declining
“sham marriage”; that he voluntarily signed years of his life; that his impulsive conduct during some
the marriage contract to help her in the episodes of the investigation reveal a degree of aberrant
administrative case for immorality filed against her reactive behavior probably ascribable to advanced age;
by her legal researcher. Likewise, he maintained and the undeniable fact that he has rendered some years
that when he contracted his marriage with of commendable service in the judiciary, the Court feels
complainant, he had a subsisting marriage with that disbarment would be too harsh a penalty in this
his first wife because the decision declaring the peculiar case.
annulment of such marriage had not yet become
final and executory or published. WHEREFORE, finding herein respondent, former Justice
Onofre A. Villaluz, GUILTY of immoral conduct in
Judge Purisima found the respondent guilty violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility, he
of deceit and grossly immoral is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a
conduct submitted his report and period of two (2) years effective upon notice hereof, with
recommendations to the SC. the specific WARNING that a more severe penalty shall be
imposed should he commit the same or a similar offense
Canon 1, Rule 1.01 – No Unlawful, Dishonest, Immoral, Deceitful Conduct
Stemmerik v. Mas [AC No. 8010, 16 June 2009; 589 SCRA 114]
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
Complainant Keld Stemmerik is a citizen and WoN the respondent Yes. The respondent is guilty of culpable violation of the Code of -CANON 1 Rule 1.01
resident of Denmark. He visited the Philippines should be disbarred Professional Responsibility, the code of ethics in legal -Sec 7, Art XII of
and met Atty. Leonuel N. Mas, herein respondent. profession. the Constitution.
Atty. Mas helped Stermmerik in acquiring a real CANON 1 A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE
property in Quarry, Agustin, Cawag, Subic, CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE
Zambales. He assured the petitioner that the LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW
property was alienable. AND LEGAL PROCESSES.
Petitioner returned to Denmark and entrusted the Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in
processing of the necessary documents to the unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
respondent. Respondent prepared a contract to conduct.
sell the property between petitioner and Bonifacio
de Mesa, the owner of the property. Respondent Lawyers should not simply obey the laws, they should also inspire
made it appear that de Mesa undertook to sell the respect for and obedience thereto by serving exemplars worthy of
property to petitioner and that de Mesa thereafter emulation. The oath taken by them to support the Constitution is
sold the property to Gonzales who made the neither formal ceremony nor hollow words. It is a sacred trust that
purchase for and in behalf of the petitioner. The should be upheld and kept inviolable at all times.
petitioner gave Php 3.8M to respondent as the
purchase price of the land. The respondent also violated Sec 7, Art XII of
The petitioner tried to contact the respondent; the Constitution.
however the latter refused to answer petitioner’s
calls and messages. Petitioner then visited the SEC. 7. Save in cases of hereditary
Philippines and later found out that aliens cannot succession, no private lands shall be
own land under Philippine laws. transferred or conveyed except to individuals,
IBP Olongapo Chapter informed the petitioner that corporations, or associations qualified to
the respondent had already abandoned his law acquire or hold lands of the public domain.
office in Olongapo City.
The petitioner filed a complaint for disbarment By advising the petitioner that a foreigner could legally and
against respondent in the Commission on Bar validly acquire real estate in the Philippines and by assuring
Discipline of the IBP. petitioner that the property was alienable, respondent
deliberately foisted a falsehood on his client.
Respondent is disbarred
A.M. No. 3249 November 29, 1989


Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
- Complainant and respondent Cordova got married on 6 June 1976 and out of this WON the Atty. Cordova Cordova is SUSPENDED indefinitely
marriage, two (2) children were born. should be penalized and/or until further orders.
- In 1985, respondent Cordova left his family as well as his job as Branch Clerk of suspended from his practice
Court of the Regional Trial Court, Cabarroguis, Quirino Province. of law for his immoral - After a review of the record, the
- He went to Mangagoy, Bislig, Surigao del Sur and cohabited with one Fely G. practices in the case at bar. Court agrees with the findings of
Holgado. fact of the IBP Board that
- Fely G. Holgado was herself married and left her own husband and children to stay regardless of the reconciliation
with respondent. They lived together as husband and wife. Fely even introduces between complainant and
herself as Fely Cordova. respondent, it does not excuse
- Respondent Cordova gave Holgado funds with which to establish a sari-sari store in and wipe away the misconduct
the public market at Bislig, while at the same time failing to support his legitimate and immoral behavior of the
family. respondent carried out in public,
- In 1986, respondent Cordova and his wife had an apparent reconciliation. He and necessarily adversely
promised that he would separate from Holgado and change for the better. However, reflecting upon him as a member
he still frequently come home from beerhouses or cabarets, drunk, and continued to of the Bar and upon the Philippine
neglect the support of his legitimate family. Bar itself.
- When her daughter was hospitalized in 1987, complainant found, upon returning from - Respondent is then suspended
a trip to Manila that respondent Cordova was no longer in their conjugal home. He from the practice of law
was again cohabiting with another mistress, Luisita Magallanes, and had taken his indefinitely and until farther
younger daughter Melanie with him. orders. The Court will consider
- They even hid the child from the complainant, compelling her to go to court and to lifting his suspension when
take back her daughter by habeas corpus. The Regional Trial Court, Bislig, gave her respondent Cordova submits
custody of their children. proof that he has and continues to
- Notwithstanding respondent's promises to reform, he continued to live with provide for the support of his
Magallanes as her husband and continued to fail to give support to his legitimate legitimate family and that he has
family. given up the immoral course of
- SalvacionDelizo charged her husband, Atty. Laurence D. Cordova, with immorality conduct that he has clung to.
and acts unbecoming a member of the Bar. The letter-complaint was forwarded by - An applicant for admission to
the Court to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Commission on Bar Discipline. membership in the bar is required
- Respondent was declared in default for failure to file an answer to the complaint within to show that he is possessed of
fifteen (15) days from notice as Ordered by the Commission. good moral character. That
- The same Order required complainant to submit before the Commission her requirement persists as a
evidence ex parte. But instead of complying, the complainant asked to reschedule the continuing condition for
hearing thrice then failed to appear on the day itself. membership in the Bar in good
- Finally the Commission received a telegram message apparently from complainant, standing.
stating that complainant and respondent had already reconciled with each other. The
Commission the required the party to file a formal motion to dismiss the complain
within 15 days but neither party responded and nothing was heard from both of them
since then.
Adm. Case No. 1474 January 28, 2000

CRISTINO G. CALUB, complainant,

In the morning of January 20, 1975, while Calub was away, Atty. Abraham A. Suller went WON the Atty. Suller should Abraham A. Suller is DISBARRED "A lawyer may be disbarred or
to the complainant's abode in Aringay, La Union. be penalized and/or from the practice of law and his name suspended for misconduct,
suspended from his practice be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys. whether in his professional or
As the respondent was a friend of the family and a neighbor, the complainant's wife let him of law for his immoral private capacity, which shows
in. Thereafter, respondent began touching her in different parts of her body. When she practices in the case at bar -The testimonies of witnesses in the him to be wanting in moral
protested, respondent threatened her and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. criminal complaint, particularly that of character, in honesty, probity
When Calub entered the house, he saw his wife and respondent having sexual intercourse the complainant suffice to show that and good demeanor or
on the bed.She was kicking Atty. Suller with one foot while the latter pressed on her arms respondent acted in a grossly unworthy to continue as an
and other leg, preventing her from defending herself. reprehensible manner in having officer of the court."
carnal knowledge of his neighbor's
On January 23, 1975, complainant filed with the Municipal Court, La Union a criminal wife without her consent in her very
complaint for rape against respondent. On June 3, 1975, Cristino G. Calub filed with the home.
Supreme Court the instant complaint for disbarment. -Suspension for one year
recommended by the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines is not sufficient
The Court required respondent to file an answer within ten (10) days from notice. punishment for the immoral act of
Respondent filed his answer. He denied the accusation as a fabrication.The Court referred respondent.
the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report, and recommendation. -The rape of his neighbor's wife
constituted serious moral depravity
In 1991, the investigation of the case was transferred to the Committee on Bar Discipline, even if his guilt was not proved
Integrated Bar of the Philippines. On January 23, 1992, the Committee issued an order beyond reasonable doubt in the
terminating the proceedings and considering the case submitted for resolution as notice criminal prosecution for rape.
to complainant remained unserved while respondent failed to appear despite due notice. -The privilege to practice law is
bestowed upon individuals who are
The Board of Governors, Integrated Bar of the Philippines issued a resolution competent intellectually, academically
recommending that the disciplinary penalty of suspension from the practice of law for a and, equally important, morally.
period of one (1) year be meted on respondent. "Good moral character is not only a
condition precedent to admission to
the legal profession, but it must also
The record discloses that the Court of First Instance acquitted respondent Suller for failure be possessed at all times in order to
of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Such acquittal, however, is maintain one's good standing in that
not determinative of this administrative case. exclusive and honored fraternity."
ALFREDO B. ROA vs. ATTY. JUAN R. MORENO, A.C. No. 8382, April 21, 2010 – Carpio, J
Facts: Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
1. The case stemmed from a transaction of sale of a parcel of land entered into by the 1. WON a Moreno violated Dissents, if any.
parties; Rule 1.01 of the Code 1. Yes. The Court ordered Moreno
2. In September 1988, Moreno sold a parcel of land to Roa for P70,000 in cash as full of Professional to be suspended for two (2) Section 27. Attorneys
payment; Responsibility; years from the practice of law. removed or suspended by
3. Moreno failed to issue a deed of sale, and instead issued a temporary receipt and a 2. WON the Court may However, the Court stated that Supreme Court on what
Certificate of Land Occupancy to Roa and assured the Roa that he may used them compel Moreno to they cannot sustain the IBP’s grounds. — A member of the
from then on; return the sum of recommendation ordering bar may be removed or
4. Roa found out that the CLO could not be registered with the Registry of Deeds. money to Roa. respondent to return the money suspended from his office
When he went to see Moreno, the latter admitted that the land belong to another paid by complainant. In as attorney by the Supreme
person, and that the real owner was a certain Rubio, and that the parcel of land had disciplinary proceedings against Court for any deceit,
pending legal controversies; lawyers, the only issue is malpractice, or other gross
5. On February 2001, Roa sent a demand letter to Moreno, demanding the return of whether the officer of the court is misconduct in such office,
the money that was paid as consideration for the land; still fit to be allowed to continue grossly immoral conduct, or
6. Roa filed a criminal case against Moreno at MTC Branch 2 of Antipolo. The trial as a member of the Bar. by reason of his conviction of a
court rendered a decision in favor of Roa, convicting Moreno of the crime of other crime involving moral
forms of swindling under Art. 316, par 1 of the RPC and sentencing him to suffer Even though the parties gave turpitude, or for any violation of
the penalty of 1 month imprisonment and 1 day and compelling him to return the two (2) different set of facts, the the oath which he is required
amount of P70,000 to Roa; High Court gave credence to to take before the admission to
7. Moreno appealed to the RTC Branch 74 of Antipolo, and the RTC reversed and set Roa’s version. The Court noted practice, or for a wilfull
aside the decision of the MTC, acquitting Moreno for lack of evidence establishing that Moreno’s credibility was disobedience of any lawful
Moreno’s guild beyond reasonable doubt. The RTC further added, in their Decision highly questionable. Moreno order of a superior court, or for
dated 20 December 2005, that Roa’s remedy was to institute a civil case for even issued a bogus Certificate corruptly or willful appearing as
recovery of the sum of money paid to Moreno; of Land Occupancy to Roa and an attorney for a party to a
8. On February 2006, Roa field a case with the IBP against Moreno. In Moreno’s contains a verification by the case without authority so to do.
answer to the complaint lodged at the IBP, he explained that what he sold to “Lead, Record Department” that The practice of soliciting cases
complainant was merely the right over the use of the lot, not the lot itself. He the lot plan “conforms with the at law for the purpose of gain,
maintained that he never met the Roa during the negotiations for the sale of said record on file”. It is even printed either personally or through
right. He claimed it was a certain Benjamin Hermida who received the purchase to a parchment paper strikingly paid agents or brokers,
price. Moreno further alleged that it was one Edwin Tan, and not Roa, who paid the similar to certificate of title and constitutes malpractice.
purchase price; can easily pass off as a
9. Upon hearing, Roa narrated that it was Moreno who personally sold to him the document evidencing title. Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the
parcel of land in question and that Moreno assured him that the papers would be Code of Professional
processed upon payment. Moreno did not appear at the hearing despite receipt of 2. However, the Court stated that Responsibility provides:
notice; they cannot sustain the IBP’s
10. The Commissioner of the IBP CBD found Moreno guilty of violating Rules 1.01 and recommendation ordering Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not
7.03 of the CPR. IBP CBD recommended that Moreno be suspended from the respondent to return the money engage in unlawful,
practice of law for 3 months and immediately deliver the amount paid for the land to paid by complainant. In dishonest, immoral, or
Roa; disciplinary proceedings against deceitful conduct.
11. The IBP BoG forwarded the case to the SC. lawyers, the only issue is
whether the officer of the court is
still fit to be allowed to continue
as a member of the Bar.
Respondent failed to live up to
the strict standard of
professionalism required by the
Code of Professional
Responsibility. Respondent’s
acts violated the trust and
respect complainant reposed in
him as a member of the Bar and
an officer of the court.

Topic (if first case under the topic) Rule 1.01 No Unlawful, Dishonest, Immoral, Deceitful Conduct
JOCELYN DE LEON vs. ATTY. TYRONE PEDREÑA, A.C. No. 9401, October 22, 2013– Bersamin, J
Facts: Issue/s Ruling: Relevant Provisions
 Jocelyn de Leon filed a criminal case against Atty. Pedrena (a PAO lawyer) 1. WON his acts Dissents, if any.
for acts of sexual harassment against a female client (acts of lasciviousness) constitutes a violation of Yes.
 De Leon’s version: Sec. 27 of Rule 138 of Section 27.Attorneys removed
She went to PAO to inquire to Atty. Pedrena about her case case (child Rules of Court His acts against De Leon constituted or suspended by Supreme
support case against her husband for their 2 minor children). She waited for a misconduct. Court on what grounds. — A
him then they ate lunch together and discussed the it. He insisted on giving a member of the bar may be
ride to De Leon to the jeepney station. While they were in Atty.Pedrena’s car, Immoral conduct is gross when it is so removed or suspended from
he held her hand and insisted her to get closer with him. She responded by corrupt as to constitute a criminal act, his office as attorney by the
saying “AYOKO HO!” but he persisted in trying to get hold of her hand and or so unprincipled as to be Supreme Court for any deceit,
continued rubbing her left leg. As she was attempting to remove his hand reprehensible to a high degree, or malpractice, or other gross
from her leg, he grabbed her hand and forced it to put on his penis and when committed under such misconduct in such office,
pressed his finger against her private part. scandalous or revolting grossly immoral conduct, or
 He let her out of the car after she insist and reminded her to see him on Feb circumstances as to shock the by reason of his conviction of a
1, 2006 for the continuation of hearing of her. She brought her five-year-old community’s sense of decency. crime involving moral
child to avoid another incident but she wasn’ able to see Atty, Pedrena so turpitude, or for any violation
she just signed some papers. His misconduct is aggravated by the of the oathwhich he is
 Atty. Pedrena’s version: fact that Public Attorneys are required to take before the
He gave a ride to De Leon but denied making sexual advances on her. She mandated to provide free legal admission to practice, or for a
sat very close to him that he even had a hard time shifting gears and the ride service and disregarded his oath as wilfull disobedience of any
lasted for only 2-3 min. He also had another passenger in the car by the public officer to serve others and to lawful order of a superior
name of Emma Crespo who witnessed that De Leon took Pedrena’s be accountable at all times. court, or for corruptly or willful
cellphone from the handbrake box of the car (thus his basis for his complaint appearing as an attorney for a
of theft against De Leon) Yet, even though the Court agree with party to a case without
 IBP Investigating Commissioner recommended the disbarment of Atty. the findings of the IBP, the Court authority so to do. The practice
Perena and striking off of his name in the Roll of Attorneys considers the recommended penalty of soliciting cases at law for
IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved with modification the report of the of suspension for six months not the purpose of gain, either
Commissioner and imposed a suspension of 3 months but is later increased to 6 commensurate with the gravity of the personally or through paid
months after denying Pedrena’s motion for recon offensive acts committed. agents or brokers, constitutes
The Supreme Court ordered Atty
Pedreña to be suspended for 2 years
from the practice of law with STERN
WARNING that a repetition of the
same or similar acts will be dealt with
more severely.

In determining the appropriate penalty

to be imposed on Atty. Pedreña,
therefore, the High Court took into
consideration judicial precedents on
gross immoral conduct bearing on
sexual matters.

Advincula v. Macabata – lawyer

kissed her client on the lips –
offensive and undesirable but not
grossly immoral -reprimanded

Barrientos v. Daarol – dibarred– illicit

sexual relations + deceit. Proposed to
marry 20-year-old girl, breached
promise to marry, suggested to abort
the baby and later deserted them

Delos Reyes v. Aznar – married man

had carnal knowledge with student
under threat to flunk her with all her
subjects if she refused – disbarred
for grossly immoral conduct
Acts committed by Atty. Pedrena are
not of the same degree as acts cited
under judicial precedent. He did not
employ scheme to satiate his lust,
instead, he desisted upon the first
signs of the complainant’s firm refusal
to give in to his advances.

611 scra 508

Garrido v Garrido
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.

- MaelotiseaGarrido filed a complaint-affidavit and a supplemental affidavit for WON both Atty. Garrido and YES. (1) DISBAR Atty. Angel E. Garrido from the lawyers oath,
disbarment against the respondents Atty. Angel E. Garrido (Atty. Garrido) and Atty. Valencia committed practice of law for gross immorality, violation of the Section 20(a) of
Atty. RomanaP.Valencia (Atty. Valencia) before the Integrated Bar of the gross immorality that would Lawyers Oath; and violation of Rule 1.01, Canon 7 Rule 138 of the
Philippines (IBP) Committee on Discipline charging them with gross warrant their disbarment and Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Rules of Court,[29]
immorality. Responsibility; and and Canon 1 of the
- Maelotisea contention: (2) DISBAR Atty. Romana P. Valencia from the Code of
- She is the legal wife of Atty. Angel Garrido by virtue of marriage on June 23, practice of law for gross immorality, violation of Professional
1962 at San Marcelino Church, Ermita, Manila Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility -]all of
- That they had 6 children Responsibility. which commonly
- That Atty. Garrido cheated on her and left their conjugal home sometime in Immoral conduct involves acts that are willful, require him to obey
1993 flagrant, or shameless, and that show a moral the laws of the land.
- That since he left the conjugal home he failed and still failing to give the indifference to the opinion of the upright and
needed financial support to the prejudice of the children who stopped respectable members of the community. Immoral
schooling because of financial constraints. conduct is gross when it is so corrupt as to constitute
- As side from her petition of disbarment, she also filed a case of bigamy in trial a criminal act, or so unprincipled as to be
court. reprehensible to a high degree, or when committed
- Atty. Angel Garrido’s contention: under such scandalous or revolting circumstances
- he alleged that Maelotisea was not his legal wife, as he was already married as to shock the communitys sense of decency. We
to Constancia David (Constancia) when he married Maelotisea make these distinctions as the supreme penalty of
- Atty. Garrido denied that he failed to give financial support to his children with disbarment arising from conduct requires grossly
Maelotisea, emphasizing that all his six (6) children were educated in private immoral, not simply immoral, conduct.
- He further alleged that Maelotisea knew all his escapades and understood his Atty. Garrido
bad boy image before she married him in 1962 Garrido committed multiple violations relating to the
- That he met Atty. Valencia. He became close to Atty. Valencia to whom he legal profession, specifically, violations of the bar
confided his difficulties. Together, they resolved his personal problems and admission rules, of his lawyers oath, and of the
his financial difficulties with his second family ethical rules of the profession.
- Atty. Garrido emphasized that all his marriages were contracted before he
became a member of the bar on May 11, 1979, with the third marriage he violated his lawyers oath, Section 20(a) of Rule
contracted after the death of Constancia on December 26, 1977. Likewise, 138 of the Rules of Court,[29] and Canon 1 of the
his children with Maelotisea were born before he became a lawyer. Code of Professional Responsibility -]all of which
- Atty. Valencia’s contention commonly require him to obey the laws of the land.
- She denied that she was a mistress since the marriage between Atty. Garrido he committed the crime of bigamy, as he entered
and Maelotisea was null and void due to the subsisting marriage of this second marriage while his first marriage with
Atty.Garrido to Constancia. Constancia was subsisting.
- She claimed that Maelotisea knew of the romantic relationship between her
and Atty. Garrido,andMaelotisea just kept silent about the scenario
- He violated ethical rules of the profession- Rule 1.01
of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
- Parties filed the following motions before the IBP Commission on Bar commands that he shall not engage in unlawful,
Discipline: dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct; Canon 7 of
- the respondents filed a Motion for Suspension of Proceedings- (in view of the the same Code, which demands that [a] lawyer shall
concubinage filed by M, and the Petition to Nullify the marriage filed by Atty. at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the
Garrido) The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline denied this motion for lack legal profession; Rule 7.03 of the Code of
of merit. Professional Responsibility, which provides that, [a]
- respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaints after the Regional Trial lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely
Court of Quezon City declared the marriage between Atty. Garrido and reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor should he,
Maelotisea an absolute nullity. The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline also whether in public or private life, behave in a
denied this motion. scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal
- Maelotisea filed a motion for the dismissal of the complaints she filed against profession.
the respondents, arguing that she wanted to maintain friendly relations with When he violated the law and distorted it to cater to
Atty. Garrido, who is the father of her six (6) children. The IBP Commission his own personal needs and selfish motives, he
on Bar Discipline likewise denied this motion. discredited the legal profession and created the
public impression that laws are mere tools of
convenience that can be used, bended and abused
to satisfy personal whims and desires. In this case,
he also used the law to free him from unwanted

Atty. Valencia: (arguments)

While Atty. Valencia contends that Atty. Garridos
marriage with Maelotisea was null and void, the fact
remains that he took a man away from a woman
who bore him six (6) children. Ordinary decency
would have required her to ward off Atty. Garridos
advances, as he was a married man, in fact a twice-
married man with both marriages subsisting at that
time; she should have said no to Atty. Garrido from
the very start. Instead, she continued her liaison
with Atty. Garrido, driving him, upon the death of
Constancia, away from legitimizing his relationship
with Maelotisea and their children. Worse than this,
because of Atty. Valencias presence and
willingness, Atty. Garrido even left his second family
and six children for a third marriage with her. This
scenario smacks of immorality even if viewed
outside of the prism of law. the celebration of their
marriage in Hongkong leads us to the opposite
conclusion; they wanted to marry in Hongkong for
the added security of avoiding any charge of bigamy
by entering into the subsequent marriage outside
Philippine jurisdiction.
Atty. Valencia did not mind at all sharing her
husband with another woman. This, to us, is a clear
demonstration of Atty. Valencias perverse sense of
moral values.
We find that Atty. Valencia violated Canon 7 and
Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, as her behavior demeaned the
dignity of and discredited the legal profession. She
simply failed in her duty as a lawyer to adhere
unwaveringly to the highest standards of morality.
A.C. No. 9608 November 27, 2012
 Complainant Maria Victoria B. Ventura filed on July 29, 2004 a WON Affidavit of WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Danilo S. Violation of his
Complaint for Disbarment or Suspension before the Integrated Bar of the Desistance during the Samson is hereby DISBARRED for Gross oath of office, and
Philippines (IBP) Commission on Bar Discipline against respondent Atty. pendency of this case will Immoral Conduct, Violation of his oath of office, Violation of Canon
Danilo S. Samson for "grossly immoral conduct." have an effect in the and Violation of Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and Canon 7, 1, Rule 1.01 and
 Sometime in December 2001, at around midnight, while Ventura was Disbarment of Atty. Samson Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Canon 7, Rule 7.03
sleeping in the maid’s room at respondent’s house when respondent entered Responsibility of the Code of
and went on top of her. Respondent kissed her lips, sucked her breast, and Professional
succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her. She felt pain and found Responsibility
blood stain in her panty. Respondent asked her to go with him to the farm. The possession of good moral character is both a
He brought her to an old shanty where he sexually abused her. Thereafter, condition precedent and a continuing requirement
respondent gave her five hundred pesos and warned her not to tell anyone to warrant admission to the bar and to retain
what had happened or he would kill her and her mother. membership in the legal profession. It is the
 In her Sworn Statement dated 19 April 2002 and a Supplemental-Complaint bounden duty of members of the bar to observe the
dated 10 May 2002 stating therein that the crime of RAPE was committed highest degree of morality in order to safeguard
against her person sometime in December, 2001 and on 19 March 2002 the integrity of the Bar. Consequently, any errant
when she was merely thirteen (13) years of age by herein Respondent behavior on the part of a lawyer may be it in the
ATTY. DANILO S. SAMSON, then thirty eight (38) years old, married to lawyer’s public or private activities, which tends
Teresita B. Samson. to show said lawyer deficient in moral character,
 However a RESOLUTION was issued dated 10 June 2002 dismissing the honesty, probity or good demeanor, is sufficient to
charge of RAPE and finding the existence of probable cause for the crime warrant suspension or disbarment.
of QUALIFIED SEDUCTION and issued the corresponding
 Complainant filed a MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION dated 26 From the undisputed facts gathered from the
August 2002 which was denied in the RESOLUTION evidence and the admissions of respondent
 The petitioner elevated the case to the SC himself, we find that respondent’s act of engaging
in sex with a young lass, the daughter of his
 Respondent alleged in his Answer that:
former employee, constitutes gross immoral
 Respondent admits the allegations in paragraph 2 of the complaint to the
conduct that warrants sanction. Respondent not
effect that Maria Victoria Ventura filed a complaint against him for Rape at
only admitted he had sexual intercourse with
the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office with qualification that the said complaint
complainant but also showed no remorse
for Rape was dismissed. Respondent, however, has no knowledge or
whatsoever when he asserted that he did nothing
information as to the truth of the allegation that she was 13 years
wrong because she allegedly agreed and he even
 Respondent denies that his act constitute grossly immoral conduct and that
gave her money. Indeed, his act of having carnal
the truth is that the sex was done with mutual agreement with the
knowledge of a woman other than his wife
manifests his disrespect for the laws on the
 Respondent respectfully submits that his act of having sex with sanctity of marriage and his own marital vow of
complainant once does not constitute… grossly immoral conduct fidelity. Moreover, the fact that he procured the act
 That the complaint is instigated by Corazon Ventura who was an employee by enticing a very young woman with money
at the Law Office of respondent herein. The said Corazon Ventura showed his utmost moral depravity and low regard
for the dignity of the human person and the ethics
entertained hatred and had a grudge against the herein respondent who of his profession. Respondent has violated the trust
terminated her services due to misunderstanding and confidence reposed on him by complainant,
 He alleged therein that complainant usually stayed late at night with her then a 13-year-old minor, who for a time was
male friends when her mother was out of the house. He claimed that he under respondent’s care. Whether the sexual
heard rumors that complainant had sexual affairs with different boys encounter between the respondent and
 Then, on December 14, 2006, complainant and her mother appeared before complainant was or was not with the latter’s
the public prosecutor and executed their respective Affidavits of consent is of no moment. Respondent clearly
Desistance. Complainant stated that what happened between respondent committed a disgraceful, grossly immoral and
and her in March 2002 was based on mutual understanding. Thus, she was highly reprehensible act. Such conduct is a
withdrawing the complaint she filed against respondent before the RTC as transgression of the standards of morality required
well as the one she filed before the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline. of the legal profession and should be disciplined
Accordingly, the criminal case against respondent was dismissed. accordingly.
 the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline recommended that respondent be The practice of law is a privilege burdened with
suspended for a period of one year from the practice of law for immorality conditions. Adherence to the rigid standards of
with the warning that repetition of the same or similar act will merit a more mental fitness, maintenance of the highest degree
severe penalty. of morality and faithful compliance with the rules
 Complainant now moves to reconsider the IBP Resolution. She argues that of the legal profession are the conditions required
the penalty imposed by the IBP is not commensurate to the gravity and for remaining a member of good standing of the
depravity of the offense. She contends that respondent committed grossly bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law.
immoral conduct by forcing himself to have sexual intercourse with a
young and innocent lass of 13 years of age. He also took advantage of his
moral ascendancy over complainant considering that she was then staying
at respondent’s residence. Moreover, there was a betrayal of the marital
vow of fidelity considering that respondent was a married man.
The fact that complainant filed an Affidavit of
Desistance during the pendency of this case is of
 Meanwhile, respondent also filed a Motion for Reconsideration13 of the no moment. Complainant’s Affidavit of
IBP Resolution. He asserts that complainant has not presented any proof of Desistance cannot have the effect of abating the
her minority. Likewise, during the sexual encounter, complainant was not instant proceedings in view of the public service
under their custody. He contends that complainant’s mother even testified character of the practice of law and the nature of
that her daughter stayed at respondent’s house only until February 2002. He disbarment proceedings as a public interest
further stresses that because of his admission and remorse, and since this is concern. A case of suspension or disbarment is sui
the first time he has been found administratively liable, he is entitled to a generis and not meant to grant relief to a
reduction of the penalty to one year suspension from the practice of law complainant as in a civil case, but is intended to
cleanse the ranks of the legal profession of its
undesirable members in order to protect the public
and the courts. A disbarment case is not an
investigation into the acts of respondent but on his
conduct as an officer of the court and his fitness to
continue as a member of the Bar.

[ GR No. 159486-88, Nov. 25, 2003 ]
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions, Dissents, if any.

 Atty. Allan Paguia, speaking for WON Atty. Paguia committed a violation of WHEREFORE, Attorney Alan Paguia is  “Rule 5.10. A judge is entitled to
Joseph Estrada asserts that the the Code of Professional Responsibility. hereby indefinitely suspended from the entertain personal views on
inhibition of the members of the practice of law, effectiveupon his receipt political questions. But to avoid
Supreme Court from hearing the hereof, for conduct unbecoming a lawyer suspicion of political partisanship,
petition is called for under Rule and an officer of the Court. a judge shall not make political
5.10 of the Code of Judicial speeches, contribute to party
Conduct.  Criticism or comment made in funds, publicly endorse
 This prohibits justices from good faith of a decision of the candidates for political office or
participating in any partisan Court would be welcome for such participate in other partisan
political activity which prescription reaction can enlighten the court politicalactivities.”
was violated by Chief Justice and contribute to the correction of
Hilario Davide when he attended an error if committed. However,  “Rule 13.02 of the Code of
the EDSA 2 rally and authorized Attorney Paguia has repeated his Professional Responsibility
the assumption of Gloria assault on the Court in both prohibits a member of the bar
Macapagal Arroyo to the broadcast and print media. from making such public
presidency in violation of the  The act of the Chief Justice was statements on any pending case
1987 Constitution. not a partisan political activity. tending to arouse public opinion
 Petitioners contends justices The taking of an oath of office by for or against a party. By his
have thereby prejudged a case and incoming President of the acts, Attorney Paguia may have
that assails the legality of the act Republic is a traditional official stoked the fires of public
taken by President Arroyo. function of the honest magistrate. dissension and posed a
 Canon 11 of the Code of potentially dangerous threat to
Professional Responsibility the administration of justice.”
mandates that the lawyer should
observe andmaintain the respect
due to the courts and judicial
officers and, indeed, should insist
on similar conduct byothers.
 The Court has already warned
Atty. Paguia, on pain of
disciplinary sanction, to become
mindful of hisgrave
responsibilities as a lawyer and
as an officer of the Court.
Apparently, he has chosen not to
at alltake heed.
G.R. No. 1203 May 15, 1903

In the matter of the suspension of HOWARD D. TERRELL from the practice of law.
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
Howard D. Terrell, an attorney-at-law, was WON H.D. TERRELL need to be the court below found, and decided as a Rule 1.02 – a lawyer shall not counsel or
ordered to show cause in the Court of suspended for his misconduct as a fact, that the charges aforesaid made abet activities aimed at defiance of the law
First Instance, in the city of Manila, on the lawyer. against Howard D. Terrell were true, and or at lessening confidence in the legal
5th day of February, 1903, why he should thereupon made an order suspending him system
not be suspended as a member of the bar from his office as a lawyer in the
of the city of Manila for the reasons: Philippine Islands, and directed the clerk
of the court to transmit to this court a
certified copy of the order of suspension,
as well as a full statement of the facts
upon which the same was based.
First, that he had assisted in the The Supreme Court carefully considered
organization of the "Centro Bellas Artes" these facts, and have reached the
Club, after he had been notified that the conclusion that they were such as to
said organization was made for the justify the court below in arriving at the
purpose of evading the law then in force conclusion that the knowledge and acts of
in said city; the accused in connection with the
organization of the "Centro Bellas Artes"
Club were of such a nature and character
as to warrant his suspension from
Secondly, for acting as attorney for said The promoting of organizations, with
"Centro Bellas Artes" during the time of knowledge of their objects, for the
and after its organization, which purpose of violating or evading the laws
organization was known to him to be against crime constitutes such misconduct
created for the purpose of evading the on the part of an attorney, an officer of the
law. court, as amounts to malpractice or gross
misconduct in his office, and for which he
may be removed or suspended. (Code of
Civil Procedure, sec. 21.) The assisting of
a client in a scheme which the attorney
knows to be dishonest, or the conniving at
a violation of law, are acts which justify
It is therefore directed that the said
Howard D. Terrell be suspended from the
practice of law for a term of one year from
February 7, 1903.

Rule 1.02 - No Counselling to Defy Law

WILLEM KUPERS, Complainant,

Title of the Case A.C. No. 5704 May 8, 2009 – A.C. No. 5704
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
PROCEDURAL: Willem Kupers 1. Whether Atty. Hontanosas violated the 1. Yes. In preparing and notarizing the
(complainant) filed an administrative case Code of Professional Responsibility by illegal lease contracts, respondent
against Atty. Hontanoasas (respondent) notarizing leases of 49 years and 50 violated the Attorney’s Oath and several
Respondent alleges that respondent had years to foreigners canons of the Code of Professional
prepared and notarized contracts that are Responsibility.
both invalid and illegal for being violative 2. Whether Atty. Hontanosas violated
of the limitations on aliens leasing private the rule “No counseling to defy Law” 2. Yes. Rule 1.02 under Canon 1 states:
lands in the Philippines. The respondent "A lawyer shall not counsel or abet
was found guilty. activities aimed at defiance of the law or
at decreasing confidence in the legal
SUBSTANTIVE: systems."

Complainant’s Accusations 3. Respondent Atty. Johnson B.

Hontanosas, is found GUILTY of
 Respondent prepared and violating the lawyer’s oath and gross
notarized contracts that are both misconduct.
invalid and illegal as these
contracts violated the limitations 3. Atty. Johnson B. Hontanosas,
on aliens leasing private lands; is SUSPENDED from the practice of law
 Respondent refused to furnish for six (6) months with a WARNING that
copies of the contracts he a repetition of the same or similar act
notarized to the parties thereof; will be dealt with more severely.
 Respondent notarized
documents without keeping RATIO:
copies thereof and
 Complainant claimed that as
1. Respondent, by drafting the questioned
counsel for Hans and Vivian
lease agreements, caused his clients to
Busse, respondent had prepared
violate Section 7 of R.A. No. 7652 which
a memorandum of agreement
and a contract of lease between
the spouses Busse and Sec. 7. Penal Provision. — Any contract
Hochstrasser, a Swiss national. or agreement made or executed in
Under said agreement, violation of any of the following prohibited
Hochstrasser would lease Vivian acts shall be null and void ab initio and
Busse’s property in Alcoy, Cebu both contracting parties shall be punished
for fifty (50) years, renewable for by a fine of not less than One Hundred
another fifty (50) years.5 thousand pesos (₱100,000) nor more
 Respondent prepared a similar than One million pesos (₱1,000,000), or
agreement and lease contract imprisonment of six (6) months to (6)
between the spouses Busse and years, or both, at the discretion of the
Karl Emberger, a Swiss national, court:
over another parcel of land in (1) Any provision in the lease
Alcoy, Cebu. This time the lease agreement stipulating a lease
contract was for a period of forty- period in excess of that provided
nine (49) years renewable for in paragraph (1) of Section 4;
another forty nine (49) years. All
four (4) documents were (2) Use of the leased premises
notarized by respondent. for the purpose contrary to
existing laws of the land, public
 Respondent drafted two deeds of order, public policy, morals, or
sale over the leased properties good customs;
of Spouses Busse to Naomie (3) Any agreement or
Melchior, a Filipina, and Karl agreements resulting is the lease
Novak, a German National.
of land in excess of the area
approved by the DTI: Provided,
That, where the excess of the
totality of the area leased is due
to the acts of the lessee, the
lessee shall be held solely liable
therefor: Provided, further, That,
in the case of corporations,
associations, or partnerships, the
president, manager, director,
trustee, or officers responsible
for the violation hereof shall bear
the criminal liability. (Emphasis

2. Respondent violated the Attorney’s

Oath and several canons of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. One of the
foremost sworn duties of an attorney-at-
law is to "obey the laws of the

The other canons of professional

responsibility which respondent
transgressed are the following:
Rule 15.07- A lawyer shall impress upon
his client compliance with the laws and
the principles of hairness.
Aside from constituting violation of the
lawyer’s oath, the acts of respondents
also amount to gross misconduct under
Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of
Court, which provides:

SEC. 27. Disbarment or suspension of

attorneys by Supreme Court, grounds
therefor. ― A member of the bar may be
disbarred or suspended from his office as
attorney by the Supreme Court for any
deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral
conduct, or by reason of his conviction of
a crime involving moral turpitude, or for
any violation of the oath which he is
required to take before admission to
practice, or for a willful disobedience
appearing as an attorney for a party to a
case without authority so to do
Respondent’s Defense

Respondent avers that the assailed

contracts are valid under Republic Act No.
7652 (R.A. No. 7652), entitled "An Act
Allowing The Long-Term Lease of Private
Lands by Foreign Investors."

 Respondent adds that these contracts

should not be viewed purely as lease
contracts since they allow the leasor to
nominate a Filipino citizen or
corporation to purchase the subject
property within the lease period.


 Commissioner Doroteo Aguila required

the parties to file their respective
memoranda due to the limited period is
given by the Court. The parties did. The
Commissioner found that respondent
had prepared and notarized contracts
that violated Presidential Decree No.
471 (P.D. No. 471) since leases of
private lands by aliens cannot exceed
twenty five (25) years, renewable for
another twenty five (25) years.

Rule 1.04 – Encourage Client to Avoid


Castaneda V. Ago

G.R. No. L-28546 / July 30, 1975 / J.


Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions / Dissents, if any

Disclaimer: Nahilo ako sa case na ‘to lol. WON Atty. Jose M. Luison violated Rule YES. Due to the attorney’s actuations, i.e.
Ang daming procedurial / remedial 1.04 of the Code of Professional resisting execution of the judgment thru
actuations / counter-chenaloo. Ginawa ko, Responsibility i.e. “Encourage client to manifold tactics in and from one court to
I focused on the remedial history (kasi ito avoid controversy.” another (in SC 5 times petitioned), which
ang dahilan kung bakit natalo ung all in all lasted for 14 years, the rightful
respondent sa case) and sa ruling owner have long been denied the fruits of
(maraming aspects ang in-address ng their victory in the replevin suit.
SC), nag-focus lang ako sa pag-address
sa ginawang exhaustion ni attorney sa
legal remedies para lang ma-stop ung writ
The respondents, thru their attorney,
of possession for the petitioners, when in
misused legal remedies and prostituted
truth and in fact, kina petitioner na talaga
the judicial process to thwart the
dapat ung levy. Had to make this
satisfaction of the judgment, to the
explanation baka mailto kayo. Ako kasi
prejudice of the petitioners.
mismo nalito. Texts in italics are my
opinion, not SC’s. Hehehe

The SC condemns the attitude of the

respondents and attorney who far from
viewing the courts as sanctuaries for
FACTS: those who seek justice, have tried to
subvert the very ends of justice.

Events chronologically arranged:

As a lawyer, Atty. Luison has allowed
himself to become an instigator of
controversy instead of encouraging the
PRE-AUCTION clients to avoid controversy.

- 1955: petitioners filed a replevin --------------------------------------------------------

suit against Pastor Ago in the CFI of --
Manila to recover their machineries.

- 1957: judgment was made in favor

of the plaintiffs, ordering ago to return the In case itanong, on the actual issue, the
machineries or pay money. CA’s decision to issue prelim. Injunction
was set aside and the case before the
- Ago appealed before CA. Both CA CFI-Rizal (I think they meant QC) has
and SC affirmed the judgment of CFI. been dismissed. The main reason being
- The case was remanded to CFI Lourdes Ago, the wife, is also bound by
where the latter issued a writ of execution the replevin against her husband for which
for P172,923.87.00 their conjugal properties would be
answerable (coz ‘diba ni-raise na reason
- Ago moved for a stay of execution ni Ago is hindi pwedeng i-extend ung
but his motion was denied and levy was attachment ng levy sa share ni wife sa
attached on Ago’s house and lots in QA. bahay kasi kanya un and ung issue is
personal obligation ni respondent
- The Sheriff then advertised the
husband, not his wife’s. Sabi ng SC,
house and lots for auction for sale.
absurd daw un, kasi which part of the
- Ago moved to stop the auction house would be vacated by respondent,
sale. The motion was denied, so he filed a and which part would Lourdes continue to
petition for certiorari before CA. stay in? So the wife is also affected. hehe.

- CA dismissed the petition.

- On appeal, SC affirmed the

decision of CA.

- Ago then attempted to obtain a writ

of prelim. Injunction to prevent the Sheriff
from enforcing the writ of execution,
primarily because he wanted to save his
family’s house and lots. He attempted

- All motions were denied.

- Sheriff sold the house and lots

through an action where the petitioners
won as the highest bidders.

- Finally, Sheriff executed a final

deed of sale. The CFI of Manila then
executed a writ of possession.


- Unsatisfied (and probably being

persistent for all the wrong reasons), Ago
filed a complaint w/. CFI [THIS TIME OF
QC] to annul the sheriff’s sale, saying that
the obligation of Ago upon which the
judgment was rendered against him was
his personal obligation and not his wife’s
who has ½ share of the conjugal house,
therefore the levy couldn’t not be attached
extensively to the wife’s property.

- CFI then issued a writ of prelim.

injunction to prevent the petitioners,
Register of Deeds, and the sheriff of QC
from registering the deed of sale, and
basically awarding the house and lot with
finality to the petitioners.

- So basically, what the Manila CFI

ordered (bigay niyo kay petitioners ang
bahay at lupa) was countermanded by
Manila QC (itigil ang pag-register kay


- CFI-QC lifted the prelim injunction

and issued new titles to petitioners.

- But the writ of possession was

prevented from being enforced since CFI-
QC issued another TRO,

- A TRO which it then lifted…

- …but restored…

- …and with finality, lifted again.

While the battle re: lifting and restoring

of TRO was being fought in CFI-QC,
pumunta sina Agos sa SC to file a
petition for certiorari and prohibition.

- In the petition, they prayed for a

writ of prelim. injunction to stop the sheriff
from enforcing the writ of possession.

- SC dismissed petition.

- Motion to reconsider denied.

- Respondent then filed with CA a

similar petition.

- CA dismissed.

- Respondents appealed to SC. SC


- Respondents filed another petition

before CA (same prelim. injunction

- THIS TIME, CA granted the prelim

injunction. (huhuhu)

- The petitioners (Castaneda and

Henson) filed a motion to reconsider but
failed to obtain such. (huhuhux3)

Hence the present case with SC.

Rule 2.01 - Not to Reject or Oppressed Defenceless or Oppressed Services

Ledesma v. Climaco [GR No. L-23815, 28 Jun 1974; 57 SCRA 473] – Fernando, J.

Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions

Dissents, if any.
Petitioner Adelino Ledesma was appointed WON petitioner can withdraw his NO, since in criminal cases, there can be
Election Registrar for the Municipality of appointment of being counsel de officio no fair hearing unless the accused be
Cadiz, Province of Negros Occidental. As due to him being appointed as Election given an opportunity to be heard by
he was counsel de parte (an attorney Registrar counsel. The right to be heard would be of
retained by a party litigant, usually for a little avail if it does not include the right to
fee, to prosecute or defend his cause in be heard by counsel because w/o such, he
court), he filed a motion to withdraw as may be convicted not because he is guilty
such but was denied by the court and but because he does not know how to
appointed him as counsel de officio (an establish his innocence. It is essential that
attorney appointed by the court to an the court should assign one counsel de
indigent criminal defendant) for the two officio for him if he so desires and he is
defendants. He filed an urgent motion to poor, or grant him a reasonable time to
withdraw as counsel de officio due to the procure an attorney of his own. At present
policy of COMELEC for full time service and the immediate future, there is not likely
and the volume/pressure of work. an exorbitant demand on his time w/
regards to being an Election Registrar.
Duty to court and to client takes
precedence over the promptings of self-

Rule 2.03 - No Solicitation

Ulep v. Legal Clinic [BM No. 553, 17
June 1993; 223 SCRA 378] – Regalado,
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.

In 1984, The Legal Clinic (consist of mostly 1. WON the Legal Clinic is engaged in 1. Yes, The Legal Clinic is engaged
paralegals) was formed by Atty. Rogelio the practice of law; whether such is in the practice of law however,
Nogales. Its aim, according to Nogales was allowed considering they are mostly such practice is not allowed. The
to move toward specialization and to cater paralegals Legal Clinic is composed mainly
to clients who cannot afford the services of 2. WON its advertisement may be of paralegals. The services it
big law firms. Now, Atty. Mauricio Ulep filed allowed offered include various legal
a complaint against The Legal Clinic problems wherein a client may
because of the latter’s advertisements avail of legal services from
which was presumed to be illegal since it simple documentation to
promotes extramarital affairs and specialty complex litigation and corporate
specifically divorce of marriage. It is also undertakings. Most of these
alleged that The Legal Clinic published an services are undoubtedly beyond
article entitled “Rx for Legal Problems” in the domain of paralegals, but
Star Week of Philippine Star wherein rather, are exclusive functions of
Nogales stated that they The Legal Clinic lawyers engaged in the practice
is composed of specialists that can take of law. Under Philippine
care of a client’s problem no matter how jurisdiction however, the services
complicated it is even if it is as complicated being offered by Legal Clinic
as the Sharon Cuneta-Gabby Concepcion which constitute practice of law
situation. He said that he and his staff of cannot be performed by
lawyers, who, like doctors, are “specialists” paralegals. Only a person duly
in various fields, can take care of it. The admitted as a member of the bar
Legal Clinic, Inc. has specialists in taxation and who is in good and regular
and criminal law, medico-legal problems, standing, is entitled to practice
labor, litigation and family law. These law.
specialists are backed up by a battery of 2. Anent the issue on the validity of
paralegals, counselors and attorneys. the questioned advertisements,
As for its advertisement, Nogales said it the Code of Professional
should be allowed in view of the Responsibility provides that a
jurisprudence in the US which now allows lawyer in making known his legal
it (John Bates vs The State Bar of Arizona). services shall use only true,
And that besides, the advertisement is honest, fair, dignified and
merely making known to the public the objective information or
services that The Legal Clinic offers. statement of facts. The
standards of the legal profession
condemn the lawyer’s
advertisement of his talents. A
lawyer cannot, without violating
the ethics of his profession,
advertise his talents or skills as
in a manner similar to a
merchant advertising his
goods. Further, the
advertisements of Legal Clinic
seem to promote divorce, secret
marriage, bigamous marriage,
and other circumventions of law
which their experts can facilitate.
Such is highly reprehensible.
The Supreme Court also noted which
forms of advertisement are allowed. The
best advertising possible for a lawyer is a
well-merited reputation for professional
capacity and fidelity to trust, which must
be earned as the outcome of character
and conduct. Good and efficient service to
a client as well as to the community has a
way of publicizing itself and catching
public attention. That publicity is a normal
by-product of effective service which is
right and proper. A good and reputable
lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to
generate it and to magnify his success.
He easily sees the difference between a
normal by-product of able service and the
unwholesome result of propaganda. The
Supreme Court also enumerated the
following as allowed forms of
• Advertisement in a reputable law list
• Use of ordinary simple professional
Listing in a phone directory but without
designation as to his specialization

Rule 2.03-No Solicitation (Rule 138 Sec 27,Rules of Court)

Linsangan v. Tolentino [ A.C. No. 6672 (2009)] – Corona,J
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
1. WON Atty. Tolentino is guilty of Complainant presented substantial RULE 2.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT DO
This is a complaint for disbarment filed by solicitating of clients and encroachment of evidence (consisting of the sworn OR PERMIT TO BE DONE ANY ACT
Pedro Linsangan against Atty. Nicomedes professional services. statements of the very same persons DESIGNED PRIMARILY TO SOLICIT
Tolentino for solicitation of clients and coaxed by Labiano and referred to LEGAL BUSINESS.
encroachment of professional services. respondents office) to prove that RULE 1.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT,
Complainant alleged that respondent, with respondent indeed solicited legal FOR ANY CORRUPT MOTIVE OR
the help of paralegal Fe Marie Labiano, business as well as profited from referrals INTEREST, ENCOURAGE ANY SUIT OR
convinced his clients to transfer legal suits. PROCEEDING OR DELAY ANY MANS
representation. Respondent promised Although respondent initially denied CAUSE.
them financial assistance and expeditious knowing Labiano in his answer, he later
collection on their claims.(Supported by a admitted it during the mandatory hearing.
sworn affidavit of complainant's client). Through Labianos actions, respondents
Complainant also attached respondents' law practice was benefited. Hapless
calling card, questioning its propriety. seamen were enticed to transfer
---- representation on the strength of
Front Labianos word that respondent could
produce a more favorable result.
NICOMEDES TOLENTINO Based on the foregoing, respondent
LAW OFFFICE clearly solicited employment violating Rule
CONSULTANCY & MARITIME 2.03, and Rule 1.03 and Canon 3 of the
SERVICES CPR and Section 27, Rule 138 of the
With regard to respondents violation of
Fe Marie L. Labiano Rule 8.02 of the CPR, settled is the rule
Paralegal that a lawyer should not steal another
lawyers client nor induce the latter to
1st MIJI Mansion, 2nd Flr. Rm. M-01 Tel: retain him by a promise of better service,
362-7820 good result or reduced fees for his
6th Ave., cor M.H. Del Pilar Fax: (632) services.
362-7821 Respondent committed an unethical,
Grace Park, Caloocan City Cel.: (0926) predatory overstep into anothers legal
2701719 practice. He cannot escape liability under
Rule 8.02 of the CPR.
Respondent's-contention RULE 1.03. A LAWYER SHALL NOT,
1. Atty. Tolentino denied knowing FOR ANY CORRUPT MOTIVE OR
Labiano. (Which he later then admitted) INTEREST, ENCOURAGE ANY SUIT OR
2. He also denied authorizing the printing PROCEEDING OR DELAY ANY MANS
of such calling cards. CAUSE.

Rule 2.03 No Solicitation


Title of the Case GR NO. XXXX (Year) – A.C. No. 6622 July 10, 2012

Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions

Dissents, if any.
PROCEDURAL: complainant Manuel G. 1. Whether respondent violated the Code 1. The charge of dishonesty is
Villatuya (complainant) charges Atty. Bede of Professional Responsibility by DISMISSED for lack of merit.
S. Tabalingcos (respondent) with unlawful nonpayment of fees to complainant
2. Respondent is REPRIMANDED for
solicitation of cases, violation of the Code
2. Whether respondent violated the rule acts of illegal advertisement and
or Professional Responsibility for
against unlawful solicitation, and solicitation.
nonpayment of fees to complainant, and
gross immorality for marrying two other 3. Whether respondent is guilty of gross 3. Atty. Bede S. Tabalingcos is
women while respondent’s first marriage immoral conduct for having married DISBARRED for engaging in bigamy, a
was subsisting. thrice.6 grossly immoral conduct.
Complainant’s Accusations 1. Dishonesty for nonpayment of share in
the fees
 On February 2002, he was employed
by respondent as a financial consultant SC affirm the IBP’s dismissal of the
to assist the latter on technical and first charge against respondent, BUT
financial matters in the latter’s do not concur with the rationale
numerous petitions for corporate behind it.
rehabilitation filed with different courts. Based on the allegations, respondent had
Complainant claimed that they had a agreed to share with complainant the
verbal agreement whereby he would be legal fees paid by clients that complainant
entitled to ₱ 50,000 for every Stay solicited for the respondent. Complainant,
Order issued by the court in the cases however, failed to proffer convincing
they would handle, in addition to ten evidence to prove the existence of that
percent (10%) of the fees paid by their agreement.
2. Unlawful Solicitation of Client
 That, from February to December 2002, Considering, that complainant has not
respondent was able to rake in millions proven the degree of prevalence of this
of pesos from the corporate practice by respondent, SC affirm the
rehabilitation cases they were working recommendation to reprimand the
on together. Complainant also claimed latter for violating Rules 2.03 and 15.08
that he was entitled to the amount of of the Code
₱ 900,000 for the 18 Stay Orders A review of the records reveals that
issued by the courts as a result of respondent indeed used the business
his work with respondent, and a total entities mentioned in the report to solicit
of ₱ 4,539,000 from the fees paid by clients and to advertise his legal services,
their clients.9 Complainant appended purporting to be specialized in corporate
to his Complaint several annexes rehabilitation cases. Based on the facts of
supporting the computation of the fees the case, he violated Rule 2.0347 of the
he believes are due him Code, which prohibits lawyers from
soliciting cases for the purpose of profit.
A lawyer is not prohibited from engaging
in business or other lawful occupation.
 That respondent engaged in unlawful Impropriety arises, though, when the
solicitation of cases in violation of business is of such a nature or is
Section 27 of the Code of conducted in such a manner as to be
Professional Responsibility. Allegedly inconsistent with the lawyer’s duties as a
respondent set up two financial member of the bar. This inconsistency
consultancy firms, Jesi and Jane arises when the business is one that can
Management, Inc. and Christmel readily lend itself to the procurement of
Business Link, Inc., and used them as professional employment for the lawyer;
fronts to advertise his legal services or that can be used as a cloak for indirect
and solicit cases. Complainant solicitation on the lawyer’s behalf; or is of
supported his allegations by attaching a nature that, if handled by a lawyer,
to his Position Paper the Articles of would be regarded as the practice of
Incorporation of Jesi and Jane,10 letter- law.48
proposals to clients signed by
Rule 15.0850 of the Code mandates that
respondent on various dates11 and
the lawyer is mandated to inform the
proofs of payment made to the latter by
client whether the former is acting as a
their clients.12
lawyer or in another capacity. This duty is
a must in those occupations related to the
 That, on the third charge of gross practice of law. The reason is that certain
immorality, complainant accused ethical considerations governing the
respondent of committing two counts attorney-client relationship may be
of bigamy for having married two operative in one and not in the other.51 In
other women while his first marriage this case, it is confusing for the client if it
was subsisting. He submitted a is not clear whether respondent is offering
Certification dated 13 July 2005 issued consultancy or legal services.
by the Office of the Civil Registrar 3. Bigamy
General-National Statistics Office
(NSO) certifying that Bede S. SC found him guilty of gross
Tabalingcos, herein respondent, immorality under the Code.
contracted marriage thrice: first, on 15 For purposes of disbarment proceeding,
July 1980 with Pilar M. Lozano, which these Marriage Contracts bearing the
took place in Dasmarinas, Cavite; the name of respondent are competent and
second time on 28 September 1987 convincing evidence proving that he
with Ma. Rowena Garcia Piñon in the committed bigamy, which renders him
City of Manila; and the third on 07 unfit to continue as a member of the bar.
September 1989 with Mary Jane The documents were certified by the
Elgincolin Paraiso in Ermita, Manila.13 NSO, which is the official repository of
civil registry records pertaining to the
birth, marriage and death of a person.
Having been issued by a government
agency, the NSO certification is accorded
much evidentiary weight and carries with
it a presumption of regularity. In this case,
respondent has not presented any
competent evidence to rebut those
Respondent’s Defense
Furthermore, no distinction has been
Respondent denied the charges against
made as to whether the misconduct
was committed in the lawyer’s
 That complainant was not an professional capacity or in his private
employee of his law firm – life. This is because a lawyer may not
Tabalingcos and Associates Law divide his personality so as to be an
Office14 – but of Jesi and Jane attorney at one time and a mere citizen at
Management, Inc., where the former is another. He is expected to be competent,
a major stockholder. honorable and reliable at all times since he
who cannot apply and abide by the laws in
his private affairs, can hardly be expected
 That complainant was unprofessional
to do so in his professional dealings nor
and incompetent in performing his
lead others in doing so. Professional
job as a financial consultant,
honesty and honor are not to be expected
resulting in the latter’s dismissal of
as the accompaniment of dishonesty and
many rehabilitation plans they
dishonor in other relations. The
presented in their court cases.
administration of justice, in which the
lawyer plays an important role being an
officer of the court, demands a high degree
 That there was no verbal agreement
of intellectual and moral competency on
between them regarding the payment his part so that the courts and clients may
of fees and the sharing of rightly repose confidence in him.
professional fees paid by his clients.
He proffered documents showing that Respondent exhibited a deplorable lack
the salary of complainant had been of that degree of morality required of
paid.17 him as a member of the bar. He made a
mockery of marriage, a sacred institution
demanding respect and dignity.57 His acts
 As to the charge of unlawful solicitation- of committing bigamy twice constituted
That, his law firm had an agreement grossly immoral conduct and are grounds
with Jesi and Jane Management, Inc., for disbarment under Section 27, Rule 138
whereby the firm would handle the legal of the Revised Rules of Court.58
aspect of the corporate rehabilitation
case; and that the latter would attend to
the financial aspect of the case’ such as
the preparation of the rehabilitation
plans to be presented in court. To
support this contention, respondent
attached to his Position Paper a Joint
Venture Agreement dated 10 December
2005 entered into by Tabalingcos and
Associates Law Offices and Jesi and
Jane Management, Inc.;18 and an
Affidavit executed by Leoncio Balena,
Vice-President for Operations of the
said company.

 On the charge of gross immorality,-

respondent assailed the Affidavit
submitted by William Genesis, a
dismissed messenger of Jesi and Jane
Management, Inc., as having no
probative value, since it had been
retracted by the affiant
himself.20 Respondent did not
specifically address the allegations
regarding his alleged bigamous
marriages with two other women.
 Complainant filed a Motion to Admit
Copies of 3 Marriage Contracts.21 To the
said Motion, he attached the certified
true copies of the Marriage Contracts
referred to in the Certification issued by
the NSO.22 The appended Marriage
Contracts matched the dates, places
and names of the contracting parties
indicated in the earlier submitted NSO
Certification of the three marriages
entered into by respondent. The first
marriage contract submitted was a
marriage that took place between
respondent and Pilar M. Lozano in
Dasmarinas, Cavite, on 15 July
1980.23 The second marriage contract
was between respondent and Ma.
Rowena G. Piñon, and it took place at
the Metropolitan Trial Court Compound
of Manila on 28 September 1987.24 The
third Marriage Contract referred to a
marriage between respondent and Mary
Jane E. Paraiso, and it took place on 7
September 1989 in Ermita, Manila. In
the second and third Marriage
Contracts, respondent was described
as single under the entry for civil

 Respondent further informed the

Commission that he had filed a Petition
to Declare Null and Void the Marriage
Contract with Rowena Piñon at the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Biñan,
Laguna, where it was docketed as Civil
Case No. B-3270.27 He also filed
another Petition for Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage Contract with Pilar
Lozano at the RTC-Calamba, where it
was docketed as Civil Case No. B-
3271.28 In both petitions, he claimed that
he had recently discovered that there
were Marriage Contracts in the records
of the NSO bearing his name and
allegedly executed with Rowena Piñon
and Pilar Lozano on different occasions.
He prayed for their annulment, because
they were purportedly null and void.

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.

Khan vs. Simbillo [A.C. No. 5299, August 19, 2003] – Ponente: Ynares-Santiago, J.
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
- Respondent Atty. Rizalino T. Simbillo - WON Respondent Atty. Rizalino T. - Yes. Respondent Atty. Rizalino T. - Rules 2.03 and 3.01, Code of
advertised himself in some leading Simbillo is guilty of violating Rules 2.03 and Simbillo was found guilty for violating Rules Professional Responsibility:
newspapers as an “Annulment of Marriage 3.01 of the Code of Professional 2.03 and 3.01 of the Code of Professional
Specialist.” Responsibility and Rule 138, Section 27 of Responsibility and Rule 138, Section 27 of Rule 2.03 – A lawyer shall not do or permit
- Petitioner Atty. Ismael G. Khan, Jr. filed the Rules of Court. the Rules of Court. to be done any act designed primarily to
an administrative complaint against Atty. - He was suspended from the practice of solicit legal business.
Simbillo for improper advertising and law for one (1) year and was sternly
solicitation of his legal services. warned that repetition of the same or
- Respondent Simbillo admitted the acts similar offense will be dealt with more Rule 3.01 – A lawyer shall not use or
imputed to him, but argued that advertising severely. permit the use of any false, fraudulent,
and solicitation per se are not prohibited - Practice of law is not a business. It is a misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-
acts; that the time has come to change our profession in which duty to public service, laudatory or unfair statement or claim
views about prohibition on advertising and not money, is the primary consideration. regarding his qualifications or legal
solicitation; that the interest of the public is Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a services.
not served by the absolute prohibition on money-making venture, and law advocacy
lawyer advertising; that the Court can lift is not a capital that necessarily yields - Rule 138, Section 27, Rules of Court:
the ban on lawyer advertising; and that the profits. The gaining of a livelihood should Section 27 – Disbarment or suspension
rationale behind the decades–old be a secondary consideration. The duty to of attorneys by Supreme Court;
prohibition should be abandoned. public service and to the administration of grounds therefore. – A member of the bar
justice should be the primary consideration may be disbarred or suspended from his
of lawyers, who must subordinate their office as attorney by the Supreme Court for
personal interests or what they owe to any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
themselves. misconduct in such office, grossly immoral
conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a
crime involving moral turpitude, or for any
violation of the oath which he is required to
take before admission to practice, or for a
willful disobedience of any lawful order of a
superior court, or for corruptly or willfully
appearing as an attorney for a party to a
case without authority so to do. The
practice of soliciting cases at law for the
purpose of gain, either personally or
through paid agents or brokers, constitutes

Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions

Dissents, if any.
Consolidated petitions were filed before ISSUE: WON the surviving partners may
this Court 1) by the surviving partners of be allowed by the court to retain the name RULING: NO.
Atty. Alexander Sycip(desceased), and 2) of the partners who already passed away RELEVANT PROVISIONS
by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio in the name of the firm?  Article 1815 of the Civil Code ART 1840 OF THE CIVIL CODE
Ozaeta(deceased), praying that they be that names in a firm name of a Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional
allowed to continue using, in the names of partnership must either be those Ethics
their firms, the names of partners who had of living partners and. in the case ARTICLE 1815 OF THE CIVIL CODE
of non-partners, should be living
persons who can be subjected to
Petitioners base their petitions on the liability. Petition may be granted with the condition
following arguments:  Art. 1815. Every that it be indicated in the letterheads of the
partnership shall two firms (as the case may be) that
1. Art 1840 of the Civil Code operate under a firm Alexander Sycip, former Justice Ozaeta
name, which may or and Herminio Ozaeta are dead or the
may not include the period when they served as partners
The use by the person or name of one or more of
partnership continuing should be stated therein.
the partners.
the business of the  Those who, not being
partnership name, or the members of the Purpose: Retain the clients who had
name of a deceased partnership, include customarily sought the legal services of
partner as part their names in the firm Attorneys Sycip and Ozaeta and to benefit
thereof, shall not of itself name, shall be subject to from the goodwill attached to the names of
make the individual the liability, of a partner. those respected and esteemed law
property of the practitioners.
deceased partner liable  Article 1840 of the Civil Code
for any debts contracted within Chapter 3 of Title IX of the
by such person or Code entitled "Dissolution and
partnership. 1 Winding Up." The Article
primarily deals with the exemption
2. In regulating other professions, from liability in cases of a
such as accountancy and dissolved partnership, of the
engineering, the legislature has individual property of the
authorized the adoption of firm deceased partner for debts
names without any restriction contracted by the person or
as to the use, in such firm name, partnership which continues
of the name of a deceased the business using the
partner partnership name or the name of
3. Canon 33 of the Canons of the deceased partner as part
Professional Ethics adopted by thereof. What the law
the American Bar Association contemplates therein is a hold-
declares that: over situation preparatory to
formal reorganization.
... The continued use of  A partnership for the practice of
the name of a deceased law cannot be likened to
or former partner when partnerships formed by other
permissible by local professionals or for business. For
custom, is not unethical one thing, the law on accountancy
but care should be taken specifically allows the use of a
that no imposition or trade name in connection with the
deception is practiced practice of accountancy. A
through this use. ... 4 partnership for the practice of
law is not a legal entity. It is a
4. There is no possibility of mere relationship or
imposition or deception association for a particular
because the deaths of their purpose
respective deceased partners  Canon 33 does not consider as
were well-publicized in all unethical the continued use of
newspapers of general the name of a deceased or former
circulation for several days partner in the firm name of a law
5. No local custom prohibits the partnership when such a practice
continued use of a deceased is permissible by local custom but
partner's name in a professional the Canon warns that care should
firm's name; be taken that no imposition or
6. The continued use of a deceased deception is practiced through
partner's name in the firm name of this use.
law partnerships has been  It must be conceded that in the
consistently allowed by U.S. Philippines, no local
custom permits or allows the
continued use of a deceased or
former partner's name in the firm
names of law partnerships.


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.

Dacanay vs. Baker and McKenzie [A.C. No. 2131 May 10, 1985] – Ponente: Aquino, J.
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
-Atty. Vicente Torres sent a letter to one - WON respondents (10 lawyers) can make - No. Baker & McKenzie, being an alien - Rules 3.02, Code of Professional
Rosie Clurman, represented by Atty. use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie law firm, cannot practice law in the Responsibility:
Adriano Dacanay, asking Clurman to Philippines. Such use of foreign law firm
release some shares to Torres’ client name is unethical therefore Torres and his Rule 3.04 – In the choice of a firm name,
-The letterhead contained the name “Baker law firm are enjoined from using “Baker & no false, misleading or assumed name
& McKenzie”. Dacanay denied Clurman’s McKenzie” in their practice of law. shall be used. The continued use of the
liability and at the same time he asked why name of a deceased partner is permissible
is Torres using the letterhead “Baker & provided that the firm indicates in all its
McKenzie”, a foreign partnership communications that said partner is
established in Chicago, Illinois. deceased.
-No reply was received so Dacanay filed an
administrative complaint enjoining Torres
from using “Baker & McKenzie”.
-Later, Torres said that he is an associate
of the law firm Guerrero & Torres; that their
law firm is a member of Baker & McKenzie;
that the said foreign firm has members in
30 cities all over the world; that they
associated with them in order to make a
representation that they can render legal
services of the highest quality to
multinational business enterprises and
others engaged in foreign trade and

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.

SAMONTE VS. GATDULA, February 26, 1999

Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions

Dissents, if any.
The complainant, Julieta Borromeo WON Gatdula is guilty of infraction.
Samonte charged Rolando R. Gatdula with Yes. The inclusion/retention of his name in
grave misconduct consisting in the alleged the professional card constitutes an act of Section 7 of RA 6713 (Code of Conduct
engaging in the private practice of law solicitation which violates Section 7, sub- and Ethical Standards for Public Officials
which is in conflict with his official functions par. (b)(2) of RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and Employees) - Engage in the private
as Branch Clerk of Court. The complainant and Ethical Standards for Public Officials practice of their profession unless
represents her sister as plaintiff in a civil and Employees) which declares it unlawful authorized by the Constitution or law,
case for ejectment. Contrary to their for a public official or employees to, among provided, that such practice will not conflict
expectation that execution will proceed, others: (2) Engage in the private practice of or tend to conflict with their official
they instead received a temporary their profession unless authorized by the functions
restraining order. Santos contends that the Constituion or law, provided that such
order was hasty and irregular as she was practice will not conflict with official
never notified of the application for functions.‖
preliminary injunction. Gatdula, when WHEREFORE, respondent is reprimanded
asked by the complainant of the reason of for engaging in the private practice of law.
the decision, blamed Santos‘s lawyer for He is further ordered to cause the
writing the address in the complaint for exclusion of his name in the firm name of
ejectment and told her that if she wanted any office engaged in the private practice
the execution to proceed, she should of law
change her lawyer and retain the law office
of respondent, at the same time giving his
calling card with the name ―Baligod,
Gatdula, Tacardon, Dimailig and Celera.
The decision of the Court continued not to
be favorable to Samonte, which cause her
to file administrative complaint against


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.

Cruz vs. Salva [G.R. No. L-12871 July 25, 1959] – Ponente: Montemayor, J.
Facts Issue/s Ruling Relevant Provisions
Dissents, if any.
-A certain Manuel Monroy was murdered. - WON Respondent Salva conducted the - No. The members of the Court were - Rules 3.04, Code of Professional
CFI Pasay found Castelo, De Jesus, investigation properly? greatly disturbed and annoyed by such Responsibility:
Bonifacio, Mendoza, Berdugo, et al. guilty publicity and sensationalism, all of which
of murder. They all appealed and Castelo may properly be laid at the door of Rule 3.04 – A lawyer shall not pay or give
sought a new trial. Castelo was then respondent Salva. In this, he committed anything of value to representatives of the
again found guilty. what was regard a grievous error and poor mass media in anticipation of, or in return
-President Magsaysay ordered a judgment for which we fail to find any for, publicity to attract legal business.
reinvestigation. The Philippine excuse or satisfactory explanation. His
Constabulary questioned people and got actuations in this regard went well beyond
confessions pointing to persons other the bounds or prudence, discretion and
than those convicted. good taste. It is bad enough to have such
-Castelo, et al. wrote to Fiscal Salva to undue publicity when a said publicity and
conduct a reinvestigation on the basis of sensationalism is allowed, even
these new confessions. Fiscal Salva encouraged, when the case is on appeal
conferred with the Sol. Gen. and the and is pending consideration by the
Justice Secretary decided to have the Tribunal, the whole thing becomes
results of the investigation made available inexcusable, even abhorrent, and the
to the counsel of the appellants. Court, in the interest of justice, is
-The Chief of the Philippine Constabulary constrained and called upon to put an end
furnished Fiscal Salva copies of the to it and a deterrent against its repetition by
affidavits and confessions. Salva meting an appropriate disciplinary
organized a committee for reinvestigation measure, even a penalty to the one liable.
and subpoenaed Timoteo Cruz, who was - Salva is publicly reprehended and
implicated as instigator and mastermind in censured for the uncalled for and wide
the new affidavits and confessions. publicity and sensationalism that he had
-The investigation was conducted in the given to and allowed in connection with his
session hall of the Municipal Court of investigation, which we consider and find
Pasay City to accommodate the big crowd to be contempt of court.
that wanted to witness the proceeding,
including the members of the press.
-Cruz’ counsel questioned the jurisdiction
of the committee and of Salva to conduct
a preliminary investigation of the case
because it was still a pending appeal in
the Supreme Court. The counsel now filed
this present petition.
-Salva said that he subpoenaed Cruz
because of Cruz’ oral and personal
request to allow him to appear at the
-The SC issued a writ of preliminary
injunction stopping the preliminary