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1. Complainant Cynthia B. Rosacia, president of Tacma, Phils., Inc., a duly registered
corporation, filed a complaint for disbarment against (R) Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao.

(IBP recommended respondent's suspension from the practice of law for three (3) months; IBPG approved)

2. By virtue of a written Agreement, R was hired as retained counsel of a corporation by the

name of Tacma Phils. Months after, the lawyer-client relationship between R and
Tacma Phils., Inc. was severed. After almost nine mos R’s retainer agreement with Tacma, Phils., Inc. was
terminated, several employees of the corporation consulted the respondent for the purpose of filing an action
for illegal dismissal.

ISSUE: WON R breached his oath of office for representing the employees of his former client, Tacma, Phils.,
Inc., after the termination of their attorney-client relationship.

- R is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for 3 months.
- R owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also after the
relation of attorney and client has terminated as it is not good practice to permit him afterwards to
defend in another case other person against his former client under the pretext that the case is distinct
from, and independent of the former case.
- A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence
reposed in him.
**R pleaded for leniency: (fine or admonition)
-He is new to the profession.
-He is fams bread winner.
- He has fully realized his mistake, that he has severed his attorney-client relationship with the employees of
Tacma, Phils., Inc. by inhibiting himself and withdrawing his appearance as counsel in the labor case against
Tacma, Phils., Inc.; and that he pledges not to commit the same mistake

Plead cannot be granted.

We note that respondent is new in the profession as he was just admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 10,
1990, when the breach of his oath of office occurred more than a year after. Having just hurdled the bar
examinations which included an examination in legal ethics, surely the precepts of the Code of Professional
Responsibility to keep inviolate the client's trust and confidence even after the attorney-client relation is
terminated must have been still fresh in his mind.

1. R , Atty. Francisco L. Daria, is administratively charged on two counts, to wit: Negligence and Betrayal of his
former client's confidences. R was hired by complainant Lorenzana Food Corporation (LFC) as its legal counsel
and was designated as its personnel manager six months later.

2. Months after, an employee (Violeta Hanopol), filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and other
monetary claims against complainant before the DOLE.
3. Hanopol and R tried to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement. Since no agreement was
reached the hearing was reset. On the pretext that Hanopol was supposed to go to his office on that date R
failed to appear for the 2nd setting, so reset. R had a conflicting schedule (he had a hearing for another case,
so he opted to postpone Hanopol’s case) However, instead of filing a written motion for postponement, he
opted to call, through his secretary, the Office of the Labor Arbiter to move for postponement. R’s telephone
message apparently failed to reach the Labor Arbiter, because at the hearing on June 28, 1983, he considered
the case submitted for decision on the basis of Hanopol's complaint and affidavit. R had not submitted a
position paper.

4. In the mean time, While R was still connected with complainant, its general manager, issued a
memorandum to its employee, Roberto San Juan, requiring him to submit a written explanation for his
alleged double liquidation and unliquidated cash advances. Another memorandum was issued this time by
complainant's internal auditor, summing up San Juan's unliquidated advances. About the time R already
resigned San Juan failed to pay the amount demanded, a complaint for estafa was lodged against him. San
Juan thereafter resigned and sought the assistance of respondent in the preparation of
his counter affidavit which R signed and prepared.

5. For failure to appear in two consecutive hearings and to submit a position paper in the Hanopol case which
resulted in complainant LFC's default and judgment against it by the Labor Arbiter, R is faulted for negligence.
R avers that Hanopol should have seen him in his office to work out a compromise agreement, on the
scheduled day of the second hearing, but didn’t. (SG argues R’s explanation unsatisfactory due to the
Constancia clearly stating “By agreement of both parties, case reset to ….”

6. R justified his non appearance for the next hearing by claiming that he had another hearing on the same
date and that he told his secretary to call up the Office of the Labor Arbiter to have the hearing of the
Hanopol case postponed. SG avers that the telephone request apparently did not reach the Labor Arbiter,
thereby constraining him to declare complainant in default and render judgment against it.

7. R submits that since he was able to persuade the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on appeal to
set aside the Decision of the Labor Arbiter and to remand the case for further proceedings, then the charge of
negligence should be considered moot and academic already. But this is unmeritous. The setting aside of the
adverse Decision of the Labor Arbiter cannot obliterate the effects of respondent's negligence. Indeed, had
respondent attended the two scheduled hearings and filed the required position paper, then at least, there
would have been no delay in the resolution of the case

ISSUE: WON R violated canon 17: Duty of Fildelity to the Cause of the Client.


-SG found that R assisted Roberto San Juan in the preparation of the counter-affidavit, submitted in defense of
the latter in the accusation of estafa filed against San Juan by LFC. As a matter of fact, R signed the jurat of the
San Juan counter-affidavit he (R) helped prepare. It is also a fact that the R investigated this same charge of
estafa while he was still the lawyer of the complainant and San Juan still likewise an employee of LFC.
-Also, tried to extricate himself from his predicament by testifying that the counter affidavit was prepared by a
lawyer-friend, who had his (respondent's) name typed on it; that after reading it, he called up Atty. Enriquez
so that he will delete his name and signature thereon; that he instructed San Juan to bring the counter
affidavit to Atty. Enriquez so that he will delete his name and signature, but San Juan did not obey him.

- R had betrayed the confidences of the complainant, his former client.

- found guilty of both the charge of negligence, a transgression of Rule 18.03, Canon 18, and the charge of
betrayal of his former client's confidences, in violation of Canon 17 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. The respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6)


1. R received a copy of the MTCC's Decision on a criminal case convicting complainants of Other Deceits. R had
15 days to file either an appeal or a petition for probation in behalf of the complainants. However, it was only
over a month after the Decision had become final and executory that R filed a Petition for Probation.

2. The MTCC issued a Writ of Execution and the next day, a warrant of arrest was served on complainants and
they were incarcerated.

3. R had (15) days to file either an appeal or a petition for probation in behalf of the complainants. However,
it was only over a month after the Decision had become final and executory that R filed a Petition for

4. R filed a Memorandum in Support of the Petition for Probation. R explained that complainant
raised the money in the belief that an application for probation would not be granted unless all monetary
awards are paid in full. Later on, Complainant approached him and handed to him the money for the
settlement of the civil liability, that he informed her that the application for probation should have been filed
within the period for appeal. The petition for probation was denied.

5. With regard to R’s allegation that he was out of town during the period for filing an appeal, the MTCC
examined the calendars of various courts and ascertained that R had scheduled and attended hearings before
several courts during that period. R also filed a manifestation where he claimed that the complainants only
had themselves to blame for failing to file a timely petition for probation. For complainants failed to comply
with an agreement with R that they would immediately go to R’s office to discuss the steps to be taken should
they receive an adverse decision.

6. While serving their sentence, complainants filed the instant administrative case praying that respondent be
disbarred. R reiterated his account in the Memorandum in Support of the Petition for Probation, his
explanation evolved to: complainants deliberately failed to meet with him seasonably for the signing of the
verification; On MTCC’s finding, he attended the more important cases, and he and his wife were looking for
faith healers to cure his wife’s brain tumor.

7. Commissioner Reyes found that R failed to exercise the proper diligence in dealing with the case of his
clients and recommended that R be suspended from the practice of law for one (1) month. IBPG approved of

ISSUE: WON R is administratively liable for a violating the principles of legal ethics and the Code of
Professional Responsibility in filing the Petition for Probation beyond the reglementary period.
-R is liable.
- The Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
diligence. He shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation. Nor shall he neglect a legal
matter entrusted to him; his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.

- R has attached a death certificate showing that his wife died from cardiac
arrest close to the period in question. However, such is the lawyer's charge that no personal consideration
should stand in the way of performing a legal duty. For Litigants entrust their properties, liberties, and even
lives, in the hands of their lawyers.

-What compounds respondent's negligence is his indifference to complainants' plight. R even blamed his
clients for their ignorance by stating that they were under the wrong impression that the civil liability should
be paid in full before they could ask for probation. The laymen's lack of knowledge of substantive and
procedural law is the exact reason why they hire the services of counsel. It was counsel's responsibility to look
after the welfare of his clients by communicating with them to determine whether they would take the
avenue of an appeal or a petition for probation and to thereafter prepare and file the relevant pleading.

- petition is GRANTED. Atty. Emmanuel A. Akut is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6)
months and ADMONISHED henceforth to be more circumspect in the performance of his duties to his clients ..

1. There is a case for forcible entry. R attorney was prevailed upon the complainant to appear for him and his
co-defendants and to ask for the postponement of the trial as their counsels of record had not arrived. R
entered a special appearance and was able to obtain favorable action on a motion to dismiss.

2. On appeal, however, this order was set aside and the case was remanded to the lower court for further
proceedings. At the hearing of the case where R was again requested by complainant to appear in his behalf, R
argued that defendants be allowed to file an action for quieting of title to be heard jointly with the pending
action for forcible entry. On the day of the scheduled hearing of both cases, the defendants were declared in
default for non-appearance, a decision was rendered and a writ of execution therefor was issued. Because of
this, R was charged with gross negligence, misconduct and malpractice.

ISSUE: WON R is guilty of negligence, misconduct and malpractice.


- The blame lies with the complainant for having engaged the services of several lawyers to handle his case
without formally withdrawing the authority he had given to them to appear in his behalf as to place the
responsibility upon the respondent. To add to the confusion, the complainant had also requested the clerk of
court of the Court of First Instance of Leyte that he (complainant) be furnished with summons and subpoena
accorded to him. He also filed a motion by himself, thus implying that he was handling his case personally.

- R honestly believed that he had appeared for the complainant only for a special purpose and that the
complainant had agreed to contact his attorney of record to handle his case after the hearing. It was neither
gross negligence nor omission to have entertained such belief.
-An attorney is not bound to exercise extraordinary diligence, but only a reasonable degree of care and skill
having reference to the character of the business he undertakes to do.
-Finding no convincing proof to warrant the disbarment of respondent attorney, the administrative complaint
filed against him was dismissed.

1. C Carlos Reyes hired the services of R Atty. Jeremias Vitan for the purpose of filing the appropriate
complaint or charge against his sister-in-law, and the latter’s niece. Both women refused to abide with the
Decision ordering the partition of the properties left by complainant's brother. R, after receiving the amount
of P17,000.00, did not take any action on complainant's case.

2. IBP Commissioner Lydia A. Navarro issued several orders to R directing him to file his answer to the
complaint, but he failed to do so. He only sent his secretary to represent him during the proceedings. R
ignored all the Orders issued by this Commission and neither did he comply with any of those Orders. R even
failed to submit the responsive pleadings he himself requested in his motion and only sent his assistant
secretary to represent him in the scheduled hearings of this case.

3. IBP suggested that R be suspended for (2) years from receipt hereof; and refund to the
complainant the amount of P17,000.00. IBPG adopted and approved IBP Commissioner’s suggestion.

ISSUE: WON R violated Code of Professional Responsibility and the lawyers oath


R not only violated Rule 18.03 and 18.04 of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for having
neglected a legal matter entrusted to him and did not inform complainant the status of his case but also
disregarded the orders of the Commission without reasons which amounted to disrespect of authority.

Further, when respondent accepted the amount of P17,000.00 from complainant, it was understood that he
agreed to take up the latter's case and that an attorney-client relationship between them was established.
From then on, it was expected of him to serve his client, herein complainant, with competence and attend to
his cause with fidelity, care and devotion. The act of receiving money as acceptance fee for legal services in
handling complainant's case and subsequently failing to render such services is a clear violation of Canon 18 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence
and diligence. More specifically, Rule 18.03 states:

"Rule 18.03. A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection
therewith shall render him liable."
An attorney is expected to exert his best efforts and ability to preserve his client's cause, for the
unwavering loyalty displayed to his client likewise serves the ends of justice

-R also violated his oath as a lawyer, that he will not delay any man for money or malice and will conduct
himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity as to the court
AS To his clients.

- The recommended penalty by the IBP is too harsh. Jurisprudence shows that lighter sanctions have been
imposed for violations of this nature.
R is hereby declared guilty of violation of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and is
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months effective upon notice of this
Decision. He is ordered to return to complainant within (5) days from notice the sum of P17,000.00 with
interest of 12% per annumfrom the date of the promulgation of this Decision until the full amount shall have
been returned.

1. Complainants allegedly expelled from the union Paulino Salvador. The latter then commenced with the
DOLE a complaint to declare illegal his expulsion from the union. The Med-Arbitrer declared illegal
Salvador's expulsion and directed the union and all its officers to reinstate Salvador's name in the roll of union
members with all the rights and privileges appurtenant thereto. This resolution was affirmed in toto by the
Secretary of Labor and Employment.

2. Salvador filed a complaint against the complainants herein for actual, moral, and exemplary damages and
attorney's fees. As the complainants' counsel, R filed a motion to dismiss the said case on grounds of (1) res
judicata by virtue of the final decision and (2) lack of jurisdiction, since what was involved was an intra-union
issue cognizable by the DOLE.

3. The Judge granted the motion and ordered the dismissal of the case. Upon Salvador's motion for
reconsideration, however, it reconsidered the order of dismissal, reinstated the case, and required the
complainants to file their answer within a non-extendible period of fifteen days from notice.

4. Instead of filing an answer, R filed a motion for reconsideration and dismissal of the case. This motion
having been denied, the respondent filed with this Court a petition for certiorari. Although that petition and
his subsequent motion for reconsideration were both denied, R still did not file the complainants' answer
upon plaintiff Salvador's motion, the complainants were declared in default, R then filed a motion to set aside
the order of default and to stop the exparte reception of evidence before the Clerk of Court, but to no avail.

5.TC rendered a decision ordering the complainants herein to pay, jointly and severally, plaintiff Salvador for
damages. R asserts that he was about to appeal the said decision to this Court, but his services as counsel for
the complainants and for the union were illegally and unilaterally terminated by complainant Veronica

ISSUE: WON R committed negligence in failing to file for the complainants an answer in the Civil case for which
reason the complainants were declared in default.

-He is liable for inexcusable negligence.

-R admits that it was his duty to file an answer in the civil case. He justifies his failure to do so in this wise:
[I]n his overzealousness to question the Denial Order of the trial court, [he] instead, thru honest mistake and
excusable neglect, filed a PETITION FOR CERTIORARI with the Honorable Court.

-R said that his failure to do so was "due to overzealousness and volume and pressure of legal work."

-Pressure and large volume of legal work provide no excuse for the respondent's inability to exercise due
diligence in the performance of his duty to file an answer. Every case a lawyer accepts deserves his full
attention, diligence, skill, and competence, regardless of its importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or

-R committed a breach of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which requires him to serve his
clients, the complainants herein, with diligence and, more specifically, Rule 18.03 thereof which provides:
"A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall
render him liable."

-R is hereby REPRIMANDED and ADMONISHED to be, henceforth, more careful in the performance of his duty
to his clients.


1. C filed a Complaint-Af4davit before the (CBP) of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines against
R. C alleged in her complaint-affidavit and position paper that sometime C engaged R’s services to file her
petition for annulment. C payed R, however, C did not receive any word from him with regard to the status of
her petition for annulment other than his claim that they needed to wait for her appointment with the
psychologist evaluation.

2. R kept asking for money to pay for the psychological test, the sheriff's fee, among others. C again failed to
receive any update from R. C asked from R to secure copies of her annulment case but C was just given
photocopies of her marriage certificate and her children’s birth certificate.

3. Also when C looked for R’s office, she discovered that no bldg. existed and the 2 nd address was R’s
residence. Further, C also asked R to write a letter to explain to the University of Perpetual Help Rizal the
discrepancy between the surnames appearing in her children's NSO-issued birth certificates and the school
records, R did not mention any pending annulment case in the letter.

4. R denied having been engaged by C to handle her petition for annulment and having been paid. R said that
C was unemployed and could not afford his legal services; also he was the retained counsel of C’s associate,
and in the preparation of the letter, she did not mention her intention to pursue an annulment proceeding
against her husband.

ISSUES: WON R failed to file the requisite petition for annulment for complainant and misrepresented its
status; and WON he used a fictitious office address.

-On the 1st issue, CBD found that R was liable for inexcusable negligence for failing to file C’s petition for
annulment. CBD found as sufficient the documentary evidence of payment submitted by C to prove the
engagement of his legal services.
-On the 2nd issue, CBD found that R used a fictitious office address to deceive C. He did not submit any proof
that such building existed or that he held office at said address. Such act, as held by the CBD, was a violation of
respondent's lawyer's oath to do no falsehood and which consequently rendered him administratively liable.

- Despite the engagement of his services, R did not file the contracted petition. His conduct, amounted to
inexcusable negligence.
*contrary to the mandate prescribed in Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
enjoined a lawyer not to neglect a legal matter entrusted to him.
Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides for the
rule on negligence and states:

Rule 18.03 — A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him
and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.

- In this case, respondent clearly received his acceptance fee, among others, and then completely neglected
his client's cause. Moreover, he failed to inform complainant of the true status of the petition.

- CBD recommended that R be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year; and (b) ordered
to return to complainant, within 4ve (5) days from notice, the sum of P80,900.00 with 12% interest per

- R be suspended from the practice of law for one (1) year is hereby APPROVED. The order to return the
amounts received from complainant is hereby DELETED. (let the complainant claim and collect theamount due
from the respondent in an independent action, civil or criminal).

1. Cs were informed by the Register of deeds that the certificate of title covering their lands were entrusted to
R. Which R admitted and confirmed to Cs that the papers are in his custody. But when demanded to give to
the Cs the title of the land, R refused without justification. R even challenged C’s to file any case against him,
this is a manifestation of his arrogance & taking undue advantage over Cs. (one of the Cs is R’s blood relative,
his aunt).

2. Due to this challenge, Cs sent a letter to the SC for enlightenment. in spite of repeated demands, R still
failed to surrender the titles. Court then required R to submit a comment on the complaint. R denied that he 1
of the complainants has never been to his office, and he denied that he challenged anyone to file a case. He
also claims that he referred Cs to his client, Mr. Samto M. Uy for whom he worked out the segregation of the
titles. R contends that Cs have been charged with a number of criminal and civil complaints before different
courts. He also asserts that he was holding the certificates of title in behalf of his client.

ISSUE: WON R violated the code on PR.

-As a lawyer, R should know that there are lawful remedies provided by law to protect the interests of his
client. The records do not show that he or his client have availed of said remedies, instead of merely resorting
to unexplained, if not curt, refusals to accommodate the requests of complainants. Also, he cannot be
unaware of the imposable sanctions on a counsel who resorts to unlawful means that would cause injustice to
the adversaries of his client.

-Canon 19, Rule 19.01 ordains that a lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful
objectives of his client and shall not present, participate in presenting, or threaten to present unfounded
charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding. Respondent has closely skirted this
proscription, if he has not in fact transgressed the same.
(In addition C15, R15.07): a lawyer shall impress upon his client the need for compliance with the laws and
principles of fairness. Instead, he unjustly refused to give to complainants their certificates of titles supposedly
to enforce payment of their alleged financial obligations to his client

-directs that R return the certificates of title of complainants.

- R is SUSPENDED from the practice of law until he can duly show to this Court that the disputed certificates of
title have been returned to and the receipt thereof duly acknowledged by complainants, or can present
a judicial order or appropriate legal authority justifying the possession by him or his client of said certificates.
He is further WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar or any other administrative misconduct will be
punished more severely.

1. R appeared as legal counsel for Grace C. Hufana in an illegal dismissal case before the NLRC. C received a
notice from the Conciliation and Mediation Center of the NLRC for a reconciliation conference. C sent notices
to Hufana for her to explain her absences and to return to work. In reply to this, R wrote a letter to C
reiterating his client's claim for separation pay. The letter also contained the following threat to the company
stating that if they won’t pay, they will be constrained to file and claim bigger amounts including moral
damages, In addition to multiple charges such as Tax evasion, Falsification of Docus, among others.

2. C filed an administrative complain due to the letter, which R also filed an answer to. R pointed out that C
had no certification against forum shopping, so as a way of counterclaim, R asked for damages and disbarment
of Atty Jocson. A mandatory conference was held but R failed to appear so both parties were required to
submit their position paper.

3. The report of the IBP Commissioner found that C failed to file his position paper and to comply with the
certificate against forum shopping. Meanwhile, R filed with IBP a motion for Reconsideration reiterating his
claim for damages to C amounting to 400M for filing the malicious defamers. C filed petition for review
alleging that he personally submitted and filed with the IBP his position paper. Later on found out that C truly
did. (IBP stamp on the front page of said document shows that it was received by the IBP on 21 December
2005. The registry receipt attached to the same document also shows that it was sent by registered mail to
respondent on the same date, However, he omitted to offer any explanation in his petition before this Court
for his failure to attach a certification against forum shopping in his complaint against respondent.)

ISSUE: WON R violated Canon 19 of the CR.

-Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that "a lawyer shall represent his client with zeal
within the bounds of the law,"
-Rule 19.01 commands that a "lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives
of his client and shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges
to obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding."
-Under this Rule, a lawyer should not file or threaten to file any unfounded or baseless criminal case or cases
against the adversaries of his client designed to secure a leverage to compel the adversaries to withdraw their
own cases against the lawyer's client.
- R did exactly what Canon 19 and its Rule proscribe. Through his letter, he threatened complainant that
should the latter fail to pay the amounts they propose as settlement, he would file and claim bigger amounts
including moral damages, as well as multiple charges such as tax evasion, falsification of documents, and
cancellation of business license to operate due to violations of laws. The threats are not
only unethical for violating Canon 19, but they also amount to blackmail.

-It was not R’s intention to point out complainant's violations of the law as he so gallantly claims. Far from it,
the letter even contains an implied promise to "keep silent" about the said violations if payment of the claim is

R is found liable for violation of Rule 19.01 of Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and is
Reprimanded and given a stern warning.

1. P, a practicing atty. entered into a written agreement with R to appear as her counsel in a petition for
probate of the holographic will. In the will, a piece of real property was bequeathed to R. It was agreed that
P’s fee would be 35% of the property of R in the will. The P performed services to R (Thoroughly researched
and studied the law on probate and succession; Filed petition for probate, among others).

2. P received a letter from R, informing him that she was terminating his services as her counsel due to
"conflicting interest." Saying that P had an obligation to protect the interest of his brother-in-law, Gaudencio
M. Llanes, whom R and the other parties in the probate proceeding intended to eject as lessee of the

3. P filed a "Motion to Intervene to Protect His Rights to Fees for Professional Services. He also filed a "Formal
Statement of Claim or Attorney's Fees and Recording of Attorney's Lien,"

4. R tried to withdraw Petition for Probate but was denied. P filed an appeal bond, notice of appeal, and
record on appeal. R filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on the ground that P was not a party in interest. P
opposed the motion to dismiss his appeal, claiming that he has a direct and material interest in the decision
sought to be reviewed. He also asked that he be substituted as party-petitioner.

5. Upon the denial of his motion for reconsideration, petitioner appealed by certiorari to this
Court, assigning some errors against the CA resolution, one of them is that the CA erred in dismissing his
petition for mandamus.

ISSUE: WON an attorney who was engaged on a contingent fee basis may, in order to collect his fees,
prosecute an appeal despite his client's refusal to appeal the decision of the trial court.


With regards to the issue and the CA’s decision. The CA did not err in dismissing the petition for mandamus,
for while it is true that, as contended by the petitioner, public policy favors the probate of a will, it does not
necessarily follow that every will that is presented for probate, should be allowed. The law lays down
procedures which should be observed and requisites that should be satisfied before a will may be
probated. Those procedures and requirements were not followed in this case resulting in the disallowance of
the will. There being no valid will, the motion to withdraw the probate petition was inconsequential.
-P was not a party to the probate proceeding in the lower court. He had no direct interest in the probate of
the will. His only interest in the estate is an indirect interest as former counsel for a prospective heir.

-Did not err in holding that notice of an attorney's lien did not entitle the attorney-appellant to subrogate
himself in lieu of his client. It only gives him the right to collect a certain amount for his services in
case his client is awarded a certain sum by the court


1. R lawyer was retained as counsel by his brother-in-law and sister, his services as counsel pertained to two
related civil cases. In both cases, R lawyer obtained a judgment in favor of his clients. R filed a Petition for
Attorney's Lien with Notification to his Clients which substantially alleged that his clients executed two written
contracts for professional services: He is entitled to 97.5 sqm of P’s share of the lot and he shall have a
usufructuary right for a period of ten (10) years on lot.

2. Ps filed a motion to set aside orders on the ground that the award of professional fees covering 121.5
square meters of the 271.5 square meter lot is unconscionable and excessive. R stated that the payment of
the professional services was pursuant to a contract which could no longer be disturbed or set aside because it
has already been implemented and had since then become final.

3. Ps contention: The case but would lose the entire property won in litigation to their uncle-lawyer. They
would be totally deprived of their house and lot and the recovered damages considering that of the 271.5
square meters of the subject lot, the respondent lawyer is claiming 121.5 square meters and the remaining
portion of 150 square meters would also go to attorney's fees since the said portion pertains to the lawyer's
son by way of usufruct for ten (10) years.

ISSUE: WON R’s atty fees is reasonable.

-Under Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable
fees. In determining whether or not the lawyer's fees are fair and reasonable.

-All that R lawyer handled for his deceased sister and brother-in-law was a simple case of partition which
necessitated no special skill nor any unusual effort in its preparation. R took advantage of the situation to
promote his own personal interests instead of protecting the legal interests of his clients.

- There should never be an instance where a lawyer gets as attorney's fees the entire property involved in the
litigation. It is unconscionable for the victor in litigation to lose everything he won to the fees of his own
lawyer. (aside from the 121.5 square meters awarded to R as attorney's fees, the said contract for professional
services provides that the remaining portion shall pertain to the R lawyer's son by way of usufruct for ten (10)

-R is awarded reasonable attorney's fees in the amount of P20,000.00.

1. C filed a complaint alleging that R committed the ff: Accepting a case wherein R agreed with his clients to
pay all expenses; Transferring to himself one-half of the properties of the Fortunados, Deliberately misleading
the Court of First Instance and the Fiscal's Office by making false assertion of facts in his pleadings, among

2. R filed an answer denying the accusations against him. The SolGen then submitted his report and
recommended that R be suspended for 6 months. The Solgen found out that R transferred to himself one-half
of the properties of his clients during the pendency of the case where the properties were involved; R falsified
documents purporting to be true copies of an addendum to the land development agreement; R concealing
from complainant the fact that the property subject of their land development agreement had already been
sold at a public auction prior to the execution of said agreement, among others.

3. R then filed a motion to refer the case to the IBP for investigation contention of respondent is untenable. In
the first place, contrary to respondent's claim, reference to the IBP of complaints against lawyers is not
mandatory upon the Court and the SC may conduct disciplinary proceedings without the intervention of the

ISSUE: WON R committed the acts of misconduct


-R violated the law expressly prohibiting a lawyer from acquiring his client's property or interest involved in
any litigation in which he may take part by virtue of his profession [Article 1491, New Civil Code]. The purchase
by a lawyer of his client's property or interest in litigation is a breach of professional ethics and constitutes

R’s contention on the transfer of properties not really implemented, because the land development
agreement was rescinded: Nowhere is it provided in the Transfer of Rights that the assignment of the
properties of the Fortunados to respondent was subject to the implementation of the land development

R failed to disclose to complainant, that at the time the land development agreement was entered into, that
the land covered by had already been sold at a public auction.

On R falsifying documents: Such conduct constitutes willful disregard of his solemn duty as a lawyer to act at
all times in a manner consistent with the truth. A lawyer should never seek to mislead the court by an artifice
or false statement of fact or law

An agreement whereby an attorney agrees to pay expenses of proceedings to enforce the client's rights is
champertous. Such agreements are against public policy especially where, as in this case, the attorney
has agreed to carry on the action at his own expense in consideration of some bargain to have part of the
thing in dispute.

- The Court agrees with the SolGen.

-R Suspended for 6 months.
(mentioned C16 & C17)
1. 52 employees sued the Province of Cebu and then Governor Rene Espina for reinstatement and backwages.
P, Raul H. Sesbreño, replaced the employees' former counsel Atty. Catalino Pacquiao. 32 of the 52 employees
signed two documents whereby agreeing to pay P 30% as attorney's fees and 20% as expenses to be taken
from their back salaries. Court rendered a decision ordering the Province of Cebu to reinstate the petitioning
employees and pay them back salaries. Said decision became final and executory. Likewise, the Province of
Cebu released 2.3M to the petitioning employees through P as "Partial Satisfaction of Judgment." The amount
represented back salaries, terminal leave pay and gratuity pay due to the employee.

2. court modified the award after noting that petitioner's attorney's lien was inadvertently placed as 60%
when it should have been only 50%. Not satisfied, petitioner appealed claiming additional fees for legal
services. P claims that attorney's fees amounting to 50% of all monies awarded to his clients as contingent
fees should be upheld for being consistent with prevailing case law and the contract of professional services
between the parties.

ISSUE: WON P atty’s fees is excessive.



-When the courts find that the stipulated amount is excessive or the contract is unreasonable or
unconscionable. public policy demands that said contract be disregarded to protect the client from
unreasonable exaction.

-Balancing the allocation of the monetary award, 50% of all monies to the lawyer and the other 50% to be
allocated among all his 52 clients, is too lop-sided in favor of the lawyer. The ratio makes the practice of law
a commercial venture, rather than a noble profession.

-Considering the nature of the case, which is a labor case, the amount recovered and petitioner's participation
in the case, an award of 50% of back salaries of his 52 clients indeed strikes us an excessive. Under the
circumstances, a fee of 20% of back salaries would be a fair settlement in this case. In any event, this award
pertains only to the ten private respondents herein. Petitioner has already been compensated in the
amount of 50% of all monies received, by the rest of his clients in the case below.

-Petition: DENIED