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of Legal Ethics

What are the main sources of Legal Ethics?

• The first one is Code of Professional Responsibility; therefore we will study the Canons there, 1-22, every
Canon and every rule.

• The second one is the Rules of Court, because mga Rule 130 and up, there are provision on mga attorneys,
so we are also bound by the Rules of Court.

• The third one is the Constitution, dapat number one iyon, but it is not hierarchy, I’m talking about the
importance so the Code of Professional Responsibility is the one on top.

• The fourth one is the Canons of Professional Ethics, actually this is an old Code that has been taken over by
the Code of Professional Responsibility, the problem is that the Supreme Court still cites the Canons of
Professional Ethics, so hindi pa rin natin siya pwede i-ignore.

• The fifth is the Special Laws, we have some special laws, siguro later on na lng we will incorporate some.
Examples of these are the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, New Code of Judicial Conduct (a rule and
not a law, taking about it in generic sense), Rule on Mandatory Compliance on Legal Education, Issuances of
the IBP (nagiging law na rin iyan kasi its being imposed).

What is the importance of Legal Ethics?

Definition of Legal Ethics
• From different authors, they call legal ethics as a moral science. Moral because it is not a science that is
purely based on physical science - no written formula. It is a moral science, so when you say moral it is very
hard to define. What is moral to one may not be moral to the other, what is good for me may be bad for the

• It is a developing science and it is also dependent on the rule that is what is written. And also the IBP, which
is also the official organizations of all lawyers, so nobody can choose to be a member or not, once a person
passes the bar and meets all the necessary requirements, the said person automatically becomes a member
of the IBP.

• When the IBP says that the annual membership due is P2000, one cannot ask to be excused because he/she
is an unemployed new lawyer. One has to pay regardless of how he/ she gets hold of the said value on or
before the deadline.

• When the IBP mandates that all lawyers must attend the annual convention and it is credited as MCLE but a
lawyer fails to attend for 3 consecutive years, then they can make a recommendation to the Supreme Court
for the investigation of the revocation of license and to let the said lawyer explain why his/her license
should not be revoked.

A question in the bar being asked every year: When we say moral science and morality, what is the standard of
morality? Is there really a fixed standard or is the Supreme Court that sets the standard?

• There are two standards of morality, one is the subjective morality it means the person has a conscience, so
each one of us has a conscience, therefore an analysis of whether the lawyer has the opportunity has an
opportunity to deliberate on the action or situation.
• The Supreme Court assumes that lawyers have the ability to determine wants right and wrong. The
subjective morality is also connected with the objective morality or eternal good.

• The eternal good does not depend on the religion of the person since it teaches us the basic principle of

• Like killing a person is eternally bad. These are eternal principles or eternal good. In other words,
jurisprudence evolves, but the basic standards are already known, like killing, based on subjective and
objective morality is bad.

• Example: One question in the bar: The wife is a constant nagger; it is affecting the lawyer husband’s source
of livelihood. Therefore the husband became psychologically unstable since he is losing his clients. The wife
is a compulsive gambler. In fact the Supreme Court even ruled that it is a ground for psychological
incapacity. It is one of the cases where the Supreme Court annulled a marriage.

• According to the Supreme Court, morality also look at the law since the Philippines is a codified system,
unlike in the United States, Anglo-American, where it is dependent on jury law so when the community
says it is morally wrong, then it is bad .

How about maintaining a mistress? Subjective principle and objective principle, does it justify?

• Based on the codified laws on family and marriage, according to the Constitution, family is the basic social
institution and it depends on marriage.

• So that means that if there if a marriage is existing subjectively or based on your conscience, even if there
are other factors like psychological factors while it is existing, it is not susceptible to maintain a mistress.

• The eternal good may also follow that too, so what does the husband do? Annul the marriage perhaps
because that is what the law allows.



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

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

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

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

Disclaimer: May mga tanong na wala talgang sagot na binigay si Justice.

Lawyer’s Oath (in connection with Canon 1)

I, (state your name and municipality of origin), do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted
authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly,
promote or sue any groundless, false, or unlawful suit, or give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for
money or malice, and I will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, with
all good fidelity as well to the court as to my clients; and I impose upon myself these voluntary obligations, without
mental reservation or purpose of evasion. SO help me God.

What is the first commitment in the Lawyer’s Oath?

• It is to maintain allegiance to the Philippines (country) and support the fundamental law of the land
(Constitution) as well as the laws and legal orders of the Philippines.

• For the Republic (allegiance), it does not end there. The Oath gives us the manner to which to give
allegiance and that is abidance by the Constitution, so when we say allegiance to the Republic, the manner
that a lawyer can do is to really follow the Constitution.

• The priority is the Constitution and the laws, because we have observed when we studied Legal Writing,
the Hierarchy of laws and then the processes.

Why is the phrase “orders of the duly constituted authorities” included with the other terms like Constitution and
laws? What are these orders? Why are they placed in the same sentence?

• In Statutory Construction, when terms are included of the same genetic nature, it means that the law
intends to classify those terms and objects as one of the same kind.

• As we have taken up in Legal Writing, court orders is in the same level as laws in the hierarchy of laws. As
stated in the New Civil Code, Article 8 - Decisions of the Supreme Court form part of the law of the land. We
also said ordinances (with limitation within the boundaries of the local territories) and treaties are of
equivalent level in the hierarchy.

Sabi ni Mayor Erap, bawal yung mga trucks diyan sa Lacson, pwede ba iyon?

• They are the ones who have authority for the enforcement and the implementation of the law like barangay
chairmen and mayors.

So how do we know that they are authorized? For example an MMDA enforcer flagged you for violation of the
traffic rules and regulation, is he or she authorized to take your license?

• They Constitution as well as all the related laws regarding the situation must be checked to know if one is
authorized or not in a performing a certain act.

• Justice: Well correct. The constitution is promulgated by the people, so it is the country who officially
affirms and promulgate its constitution. When you say that the constitution is done by a Constitutional
Commission or by a constitutional assembly, as long as the constitution is affirmed by the people for
example a referendum and it is declared to be legal, it is still by the people.

• When we say the second term, laws, this refers to Congress and to local governments.
• This may also refer to the decisions of the Supreme Court because a judicial decision is also a law.
• Therefore a lawyer, who violates a decision of the Supreme Court, may be guilty of violation of the Lawyer’s
Oath which is a ground for disbarment.
• It is crucial to know when we have to obey and when we allowed not to obey.

• These laws are also the Rules of Court issued by the Supreme Court, opinions of the department of justice,
administrative rules like rules by the NLRC, POE, DOTC, DTI (these administrative agencies).
• If you violate any of these as a lawyer, or even as a law student, it may be grounds for the disallowance of
such student to take the bar exam because it is tantamount to disobedience.
• After administrative rules, we have contracts, because it is the law between the parties involved as
provided for in the New Civil Code.
• Therefore all of the law making authorities are included in the laws.

• Therefore the orders of the duly constituted authorities refer to the executive department, specifically
authorized by the Constitution or by law to enforce or implement the law.

• Therefore a mayor who tells that it is illegal for a truck to travel along a national road is not a duly
constituted authority because under the law or under the Constitution, only Congress may enact laws or
limitation, regulation of national roads, ang mayor wala, so therefore a lawyer may disobey the order of the
mayor trying to regulate national roads. It does not follow that if he is a mayor or governor, he can do
• The Lawyer’s Oath gives a limit: “duly constituted authorities”, the phrase “duly constituted” means that he
is duly appointed or duly elected and the orders, which the authority is enforcing is also duly authorized by
the Constitution or by law.

• MMDA is created by law, so if you feel that there is a question if MMDA can get our licenses, look at the
MMDA or the Republic Act which created MMDA, and you can see there that MMDA officers cannot get our
licenses car plates, vehicles.

• Side comment: Actually bawal yon, I don’t know maybe recent circulars have authorized them to tow cars,
maybe there is a special enactment by the Office of the President because it is under the Office of the
• Therefore a lawyer must also see to it that these two requirements are met.

Another one, is a Barangay Tanod, can he arrest a person?

We look at the Local Government Code because it is the law, which creates the powers of the Barangay Captain and
Bthe arangay Tanod. Pwede nga ba?

• Hindi. Because the barangay tanod’s duty is to see to it that order is done and to seek the assistance of the
police. (This is somehow connected with legal research).

The second and third sentences, there is the term falsehood, and on the next sentence there is a repetition of the
basic adjective false, and then there is also the inclusion of the word malice, what do you is the kind of duty (duty
to what)?

Dean Pineda mentioned that there are four general kinds of duties:
1) Duty to the society
2) Duty to the court
3) Duty to fellow lawyers
4) Duty to the clients

What kind of duty is contemplated in the third sentence: “I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in

• Classmate: Duty to the public because it is all encompassing. As a lawyer, we should have no bias as to who
we are serving, hence we should serve the public, our clients and the court as well.

• Duty to the society is the first, second, and third commitment:

1) I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines;
2) I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly
constituted authorities therein;
3) I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court;

Why should the words wittingly or willing be there? Explain.

Classmate: Some lawyers circumvent the laws to achieve their goal regardless of the means on how it was done.

What does the use of wit mean?

• Wit is mental intelligence while will is something that comes from an emotional intelligence.
• This means that the Supreme Court included both ways where a lawyer might abuse his privilege of being a
• Diba being a lawyer, he or she has the edge over the ordinary layman who does not understand the law,
therefore a lawyer is more intelligent, has knowledge of the law or the wit to outsmart a layman and the
layman may not know about it; so with the use of the wit, a lawyer shall not file a suit that is groundless.

• A lawyer may not know that the client does not have a cause of action or merit on a case, but because the
willingness to file only meritorious cases, the Lawyer’s Oath imposes on the lawyer to research, study
more, and investigate more.
• That is willingness to dig more on whether or not the client is telling the truth or not, since a lawyer does
not accept hook, line and sinker.
• Diba yun yung term, yes ka na lang ng yes. (*chika ni madam about investing a man before saying yes*)

• The term willing, is the deliberate intent of investigating the merits of the case before saying yes while the
wit is there to know on whether or not to file a meritorious suit.

What does the term “promote or sue any groundless, false, or unlawful suit give aid nor consent to the same”
mean? How does a lawyer consent to the filing of a groundless suit kung hindi naman siya yung nagfifile?

Classmate: It possibly means that the lawyer, as the one who knows the ins and outs of the law, they should not do
anything to outsmart the other camp into doing something that is wrong or in consenting to such in any court.
Even though that they know that there is something wrong that is happening in court, they should immediately
stop it or report it while a case is being heard.

To whom can a lawyer consent to the filing of a groundless suit? Example.
• If there is a collusion between the parties. For example in a case of legal separation, the other party will
collude with the counselor.
• Therefore, by saying yes to the client for a groundless case, he/she already violates the Lawyer’s Oath.

• Therefore these people may be a client, who says: “Attorney, I really don’t have a title to the land but let’s
fight it out just to harass the owner of the land.”
• Then the lawyer consents because you will receive attorney’s fees either way.

• A fellow lawyer who is a counsel of the other party when you consent to the adverse counsel: “Let’s just
delay this action so we can collect attorney’s fees” but we know that the plaintiff and defendant are family
members which is prohibited in the Civil Code with limitations.

• When the counselor would bribe the judge to lean on the side of a certain party. Therefore there is a
scripted trial.

• Example: Barratry

Explain: “I will delay no man for money or malice”

To discourage the deliberate delay of an action for corrupt purposes.

Why use the conjunction “or” and not “and”? What if it was a probono case but there is no merit on the case
however the counsel still filed a suit.

• Example delaying a man for money: Always filing for an extension to prolong the trial, so that the lawyer
will get more attorneys fees.

• Example of delaying a man for malice: Destroying the reputation of another

What is malice?

• Doing something that is evil, evil motive, deceit or intent to defraud.

Is delaying only limited to cases in court?

Duty to the Society as a whole - to the public (effect of disobedience: destroying the legal system)
I, (state your name and municipality of origin), do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted
authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court;

Duty to the courts and lawyers
I will not wittingly or willingly, promote or sue any groundless, false, or unlawful suit, or give aid nor consent to the

Which portion of the Lawyer’s Oath pertain to the duties of a lawyer towards his/ her client?

• I will delay no man for money or malice, and
• I will conduct myself to the best of my knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity as to the court as to
the clients; and
• I impose upon myself these voluntary obligations, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. SO
help me God.

Bar Question:

If a client approaches you and says: “Attorney, I saw someone stabbing another person because of a fraternity
problem. Can you please accompany me to the police station to file a report against a person [who looks like Bab].”
The witness is very sure that who he saw was Bab.

As a classmate of Bab, you know very well his character and reputation. You know that there is no ground to file a
criminal case against him.

Will you accompany the said client to file a complaint against Bab despite your personal knowledge of Bab’s

• In legal ethics, there is no gray area, therefore you have to choose a side. It is either black or white.
Therefore the answer is to accompany your client, you to remain completely faithful and loyal to your client
and not just because you know Bab, you will have mental reservation.

What part mandates that lawyers should continuously study the law?
• Best of my knowledge and discretion

Why include discretion? What is the difference between knowledge and discretion?
• Role of the discretion: proper decision to make in a particular situation, sound judgment based on all of the
factor, choosing what is right from wrong
• SC said both must go together

• Discretion is the limitation to knowledge since a lawyer may opt to: ______ knowledge (is to attain justice
and not to delay justice)
a. Misuse (ginamit sa iba)
b. Not use (hindi giginagamit ung alam) or
c. Abuse (appeal ng appeal kahit hindi naman kailangan)

Which is to be prioritized, loyalty to the court or to the client?

• Fidelity to the court is legal writing, the word court is mentioned first before clients to signify that the
priority is toward the courts and when you review the basic principles of legal writing when you make a
paragraph, there is a logical connection with each paragraph.
• Which means that the subsequent sentences explain the topic sentence or the first sentence. If you review
the Lawyer’s Oath, “xxx do no falsehood xxx in any court” which means that in so far as the principle of
truth is followed, the duty of the lawyer to be truthful to the court is more important than to that of the
• In other words, if there is a conflict between telling the truth to the court when required to do so, the
lawyer should perform that duty even if it may mean prejudice to the client, but if there is no matter
affecting the expression of truth or falsehood or the court did not require you, the lawyer is not obliged to
voluntarily give information to the court if it will prejudice the client.
• If there is a law, or the court requires you to do so, then the lawyer must be truthful to the court even if it
may mean that your client will be sent to prison.

Legal ethics, is the limitation of the self-preservation principle. There is a really thin line between choosing a
principle or truth, then the lawyer must choose which promotes truth and justice.

Why include the last part?
• It means from this time on and onward that I will fulfill my duties without any conditions and excuses.

2 illegal activities of the lawyers which violates the lawyer’s oath.
• Barratry: Barratry is a legal term describing an illegal act whereby an attorney instigates a dispute or
otherwise encourages the filing of a lawsuit, in order to profit from legal fees. Barratry typically involves
the filing of a groundless claim in order to receive payment from clients.

• Barratry refers to an attorney's illegal instigation of lawsuits with no legitimate claim. For barratry to be a
criminal act, the accused must perform repeated and persistent acts of litigation. It is against the law for an
attorney to look for accident victims in hospitals or at home in an attempt to solicit business.

What sentences are violated?

• I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court;
• I will not wittingly or willingly, promote or sue any groundless, false, or unlawful suit, or give aid nor
consent to the same;
• I will delay no man for money or malice, and I will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my
knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity as well to the court as to my clients;

Ambulance Chasing or Ambulance Chaser
• The term used to describe the attorney with a dubious reputation who solicits his clients from the victims
of accidents. See indirect solicitation.

History of ambulance chasing:
• The term originated from the activities of Abraham Gatner of Manhattan, New York. In 1907, Gatner
persuaded a New York law firm to act as its agent in soliciting retainer agreements from accident victims.
• Gatner would hang around police head- quarters and with the cooperation of a clerk in the police
department succeeded in getting a daily list of accident victims.
• Gatner, who was not a lawyer, eventually set up a 24-hour a day law office in partnership with a lawyer.
• In the early twenties, Gatner was making a net profit of $165,000.00 on a gross of $400,000.00. He was
convicted of fraud in 1928 and served a brief jail term (The Lawyer in Modern Society, by Countryman,
Finman Schneyer, 2nd Ed., 435-436).

Evils spawned by ambulance chasing:

a. Fomenting of litigation with resulting burdens on the courts and the public,
b. Subornation of perjury,
c. Mulcting of innocent persons by judgments upon manufactured causes of actions, and
d. Defrauding of injured persons having proper causes of action but ignorant of legal rights and court
procedure by means of contracts which retain exorbitant percentages of recovery and illegal charges for
court costs and expenses and by settlement made for quick returns of fees and against the just rights of the
injured persons (Hightower vs. Detroit Edison Co., 247 NW 97,86 ALR 509 [1933]).

What do you mean by perjury?

• Perjury is the falsification of public document in order for the lawyer to present to the court to win a suit

What are the elements of Ambulance chasing? (walang binigay na sagot.. I cry)

Persons who cannot practice law:
a) A disbarred or suspended lawyer.
b) Public officials
a. Judges and other officials or employees of the superior court
b. Officials and employees of the Office of the Solicitor General
c. Government Prosecutors
d. President, Vice President, Cabinet Members, cabinet members deputies and assistants
e. Members of the Constitutional Commissions
f. Members of the Judicial Bar and Council
g. Ombudsman and his deputies
h. All governors, city and municipal mayors
i. By special law are prohibited from engaging in the practice of law.
j. Sangguanian Council Members

k. Retired judge or justice
l. Senators and Congressmen

• The prohibition is absolute for the heads of national office like solicitor general and ombudsman.
• Even if they ask the permission of the President, they law is clear that they cannot practice law.
• Moreover, such approval of the President will ratify the defect of the illegal practice of law.

• Also, the head of the office may be administratively sanctioned by the Supreme Court by not following law
or the Code of Professional Responsibility, the prohibition are also including in the Administrative Code of
1987 (the main law of Political Law).
• The main law for political law is the Constitution, syempre the Constitution are divided into Articles noh,
for the details on the Articles on the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, you go to the Administrative Code
of 1987.
• For the Articles pertaining to the Local Government, you go to the local Government Code. Now for the
family, you go to the Civil Code, now there are also laws attached or are cited by reference in conjunction
with the Constitution.
• Now for natural resources and environment, of course we have the Environmental Law, it is really part of
Political Law.

In the Local Government Code, the prohibition is really including with regard to the Sangguniang Members.

• Sanggunian is the council for the local government unit.
• Sangguniang Bayan or Sangguniang Panlungsod is the council for the municipality or city.
• Sangguniang Panlalawigan is the council for the province.
• Sangguiniang Barangay is the council for the barangay.

Are the Sangguniang Council members allowed to practice law?

• NO, because they belong to the government, hence they must serve the government.
• However, there are certain instances wherein they can practice to a limited degree.
• There are three instances and the common denominator of these instances is kailangan hindi adverse party
ang government diba? Or that he is receiving pension or a certain benefit.

• In other words of course, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, otherwise you are a snake, that means you
are a traitor hindi ba? Hindi lang traitor parang worse than a traitor. So ang sabi, your loyalty should be to
the government, the loyalty feeds you, give you salary, your source of livelihood, so do not go against the
government or any of its agencies, choose another client whose case will not go against the government or
any governmental interest; specially the local government in which he should be serving diba? This is sort
of delicadeza, the Supreme Court is fond of using.

Under Sec. 1, R.A. 910, as amended, a retired justice or judge receiving pension from the government, cannot act as

a. In any civil case in which the Government, or any of its subdivision or agencies is the adverse party; or 

b. In a criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the Government is accused of an offense in relation
to his office; nor 

c. Collect any fees for his appearance in any administrative proceedings to maintain an interest adverse to
the government, provincial or municipal, or to any of its legally constituted officers. (Sec. 1, R.A. 910) 

For the retired judge and justices or retired members of the judiciary, we have three aspects of the prohibition:
(1) They cannot practice in a case where the government or any of its instrumentality thereto or any
governmental interest is involved is the adverse party

(2) When the judge or justice even in cases that he is allowed to practice is still prohibited by conflict of
• Reason: Because you may be working on a case in which, he was a judge or justice, he
rendered a decision or order, of course he cannot because it is his decision or order that is
being handled
(3) 2 years after the retirement or separation, the prohibition is absolute, hindi talaga siya pwede magpractice
ng kahit na anong kaso
• Reason: Directive of the Supreme Court, huwag ka munang magpakita for 2 years kasi
naging judge ka or justice ka, so everybody knows you, baka mainfluence yung outcome ng

• To avoid the possibility of influence

Pwede ba sila magpractice ng law undersecretary, assistant secretary, employees of the executive

• (NO) Syempre mga secretary hindi kasi they are the alter ego of the president therefore they are always
one and the same in their decisions being the head of the national government, they are supposed to
represent the government absolutely and in all times, hindi pwedeng may private persons.

Are senators and congressmen absolutely prohibited from the practice of law?
• No, they cannot personally appear as a counsel before any courts of justice or any administrative or quasi-
judicial bodies.

• For Senators and Congressmen, the activities wherein they are more than what they are not allowed.

• They are allowed to engage in other aspects or practice of law like, giving legal advice to clients, or
preparing legal documents, application of law out of court, so that means that they can enter into
arbitration or cases but without representing clients or appearing before the court, so mas marami ang
pwede gawin.

Can the Senators or Congressmen teach law?

• Yes

• Reason: If the prohibition is absolute, then the national government can no longer attract brilliant minds.
As much as possible there is really no prohibition so that the best and the brightest will be attracted to
render government service, syempre alam natin na mababa ang sweldo in the government and if they are
engaged in the offices and are not allowed to practice, wala na magiging part of the government, yun ang
ayaw at that time for civil service since the government should have the best and the brightest of its
citizens in all professions.

• Pwede based on statutory construction, the same rules will apply in the limited practice of law.

Council members of the barangay?
• Yes, statutory construction

Who are Non-lawyers but the can appear in court?

Law student
• Law student practice rule – A law student who has successfully completed 3rd year of the regular four-
year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education

program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or
administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients
accepted by the legal clinic of the law school (Sec. 1, Rule 138-A).
• The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision and
control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any
and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the
supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic. (Sec. 2, Rule 138-A)

Note: The law student shall comply with the standards of professional conduct governing members of the Bar.
Failure of an attorney to provide adequate supervision of student practice may be a ground for disciplinary action
(Circular No.19, dated December 19, 1986).

Supervising authority must be an employee of the school.
What are the mandatory requirements for the law student practice rule:
(1) a) The law student should be part of the legal aid clinic approved by the school. In other words, the law
school approves the legal aid clinic, and also approves the law student as part of the legal clinic (these are
two elements) b) That the law school also approves the supervising lawyer as the one to render
supervision over the law student
(2) Both the legal aid clinic and the law school should be approved by the Supreme Court, aside from the
accreditation of the law school from the Legal Education Board and the approved curriculum by the
Supreme Court
(3) The client must be indigent. Indigent is one that is recognized to be indigent by the IBP or by the school
itself (which has a legal aid clinic) It must be certified indigence, it is under oath.

Note: Both the law student and the supervising lawyer plus the law school can all be sanctioned by the Supreme
Court for contempt or can be charged of estafa, so it is a grave matter not to comply with all the matters.

Exception when one is covered by the ethical standards for lawyers while one is not yet a full-fledged

For a limited degree, the provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility will apply to the law student,
so the canons that we will discuss after this, will apply to the law student.

The only authorized signatory to pleadings will be the supervising lawyer and not the law student, but there is no
prohibition that the law student signs the pleading also, as long as the pleading also contains the signature of the
supervising lawyer.

Can the law student conduct the direct examination of a witness, manifest before the court, and offer evidence
before the court?

• Yes, provided that the supervising lawyer is physically present at the time of the legal activity or court


a. Under the Labor Code, non-lawyers may appear before the NLRC or any Labor Arbiter, if:

1) They represent themselves; OR 

2) They represent their organization or members thereof; (Art 222, PD 442, 
 as amended) (2002
Bar Question) 

3) The representative must be an accredited member and even the organization must be

accredited with the Department of Labor (these are recognized by DOLE, they are presumed to
be lawfully organized)

Note: He is not, however, entitled to attorney’s fees under Article 222 of the Labor Code for not
being a lawyer. (Five J. Taxi v. NLRC, G.R. No. 111474, August 22, 1994)

b. Under the Cadastral Act, a non-lawyer can represent a claimant before the Cadastral Court. (Sec. 9, Act
no. 2259)


• Cases before the MTC: A party to the litigation, may conduct his own case or litigation in person, with the
aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose (Sec. 34, Rule 138, RRC);

Is this in all instances before the MTC?

• Yes to assist, being broad enough, except in complicated criminal case for grave and less grave offenses.
• It is the duty of the court to appoint a lawyer that is known to be wise to assist the person in criminal cases.
• The court can also appoint people in civil cases.

• The term agent or friend does not really require a special power of attorney, it is the bringing of an agent to
explain for the plaintiff or defendant is enough.
• Somebody who the client or the party trusts or represents the party who cannot go to it.

• Before any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally. But if he gets someone to aid him, that
someone must be authorized member of the Bar (Sec. 34, Rule 138, RRC) 

• Note: A non-lawyer conducting his own litigation is bound by the same rules in conducting the trial case. He
cannot after judgment, claim that he was not properly represented. 

Criminal case before the MTC in a locality where a duly licensed member of the Bar is not available, the judge may
appoint a non- lawyer who is a:

1) Resident of the province; AND 

2) Of good repute for probity and ability to aid the accused in his defense; (Sec. 7, 
 Rule 116 RRC) 

3) Any official or other person appointed or designated to appear for the Government of the Philippines in
accordance with law. (Sec. 33, Rule 138 RRC) 
 Note: Such person shall have all the rights of a duly
authorized member of the bar to appear in any case in which said government has an interest direct or
indirect. (Sec. 33,Rule 138, RRC) 

Q: May a party represent himself?

A: In civil cases, an individual litigant has the right to conduct his litigation personally. In criminal cases, in grave
and less grave offenses, an accused who is a layman must always appear by counsel; he cannot conduct his own
defense without violating his right to due process of law.

Note: Even the most intelligent of the educated men may have no skill in the science of law, particularly in the rules
of procedure and without counsel; he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how
to establish his innocence. Where an accused was not duly represented by a member of the bar during trial, the
judgment should be set aside, and the case remanded to the trial court for a new trial. (People v. Santocildes, Jr.,
G.R. No. 109149, Dec. 21, 1999)

With regard to a juridical person, it must always appear in court through a duly licensed member of the bar, except
before MTC where it may be represented by its agent or officer who need not be a lawyer.

Note: Partnership with a non-lawyer is VOID. In the formation of partnership for the practice of law, no person
should be admitted or held out as a practitioner or member who is not a member of the legal profession duly
authorized to practice, and amenable to professional discipline.

How about in the RTC, CA, and SC pwede rin ba an party on his or her own?

Case Index for Canons 1 - 6
Case Title Comment/ Questions of Justice
Leslie Ui vs. Is that the reason of the court for not disbarring her, because she married in another
Atty. Iris country?
Bonifacio, A.C. Finding of the Supreme Court on the fact of marriage.
No. 3319
As defined by the Supreme Court, gross immorality is the “"that conduct which is willful,
(Stern flagrant, or shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the
Warning) good and respectable members of the community." So that is the law on gross
immorality. (doctrine/ ruling)

Applying to the facts of the case why did the Supreme Court say that the acts of Atty. Iris
Bonifacio is not shameless, flagrant, or willful?

The marriage was a result of deception, therefore there is no positive action on her part. It
is not shameless because she was not aware that the man is married.

What Cannon/s was/were violated?
Cannon 1 Rule 1.01 That lawyers shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct. Therefore there was no violation of any law, because to violate a law,
specifically the constitution of marriage, there was no knowledge. In criminal law, there
can be no knowledge and overt on the part of the respondent. It was the result of
Peter T. Rule 1.02 A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law
Donton v. or at lessening confidence in the legal system.
Emmanuel O. Was the lawyer not just affirming that fact that the foreigner is the owner of the land?
Tansingco, Since due to the Occupancy Agreement, Stier is still the owner of the land.
A.C. No. 6057
No, based on the Constitution, foreigners are not allowed to own lands in the Philippines.
(Suspended With this, the lawyer should not have prepared the documents since he knows that Stier
from the cannot own such land.
practice of law
for 6 months) Who is the registered/titled owner of the land? Donton

What is the reason why the Supreme Court is punishing the lawyer who is merely
affirming the truth?

In the occupancy agreement, Stier transferred the land to Donton because he was not
allowed to own lands in the Philippines. Here the condition is the agreement is that even if
the ownership of the land is transferred to Donton, Stier still remains to be the owner of
the land. It circumvented the prohibition on the Constitution for foreigners to own lands in
the Phlippines by making it appear that Donton is the registered owner but Stier is really
the true owner based on their agreement.

By Justice Myra: In other words, aside from the circumvention of the constitution, the
drafting of the agreement itself is falsification of document, which therefore falls not only
under unlawful but also deceitful as we mentioned last time, deceitful is something that
would constitute a scheme to defraud. Actually there are two reasons for that, aside from it
falling under falsification, there is also deception. The Supreme Court used the words
deception, to deceive, and fraud. It is not just violating the Constitution, you cannot see a
violation from the mere Occupancy Agreement, if Donton has not complained, and they
would have gotten away with it. That is the dangerous part there, the fraud that will also
affect the public.
Cynthia Good moral character was defined as what a person really is, as distinguished from
Advincula, vs. good reputation, or from the opinion generally entertained of him, or the estimate
Atty. Ernesto in which he is held by the public in the place where he is known. Moral character is
M. Macabata, not a subjective term but one which corresponds to objective reality.
A.C. No. 7204
Good moral character has four ostensible purposes, namely:
(Reprimand (1) to protect the public;
and Stern (2) to protect the public image of lawyers;
Warning) (3) to protect prospective clients; and
(4) to protect errant lawyers from themselves.

The Court perceived acts of kissing or beso-beso on the cheeks as mere
gestures of friendship and camaraderie, forms of greetings, casual and
customary. The acts of respondent even if considered offensive and undesirable,
cannot be considered grossly immoral. It also found that respondent of act of
kissing the complainant on the lips is not motivated by malice as respondent
immediately apologized through text.

Questions of Justice: (important daw ung personal circumstances sa ethics)

What is the age, work, or other personal circumstances of the complainant? Why
was the lawyer reprimanded if he did not do any immoral conduct? (explanation
for the reprimand) What act was consider is improper?

(the answer is pending for all these questions)

Philippine An attorney cannot, without a client's authorization, settle the action or subject
Aluminum matter of the litigation even when he honestly believes that such a settlement will
Wheels, INC. best serve his client's interest.
ENTERPRISES, What Canon was violated?
INC., G.R. No. Rule 1.04 - A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it
137378 will admit of a fair settlement.

(NO Is there any basis cited by the Supreme Court for the need of authority?
SANCTION) It only said that the lawyer cannot compromise the client’s rights without the client’s

Was the lawyer totally absolved here?
Yes, no penalty because there is not unlawful conduct.

As we have said, unlawful can cover violaton of laws, wherein the law itself expressly
states that it sould not be violated it would cover the term unlawful. In the hierarchy if
laws, contracts is included, all lawyers are also required to abide by what is provided in

the contract. Since the entering of the contract should require the authority of the lawyer,
it is included impliedly in entering a contract to be entered into by a lawyer; and therefore;
it is also the lawyers duty to abide by what is being stated in the contract including the
authority. The case at bar gives us the exception to the rule that if the injured/ aggrieved
party fails to invoke that his right is prejudiced after the contract, the contract may be
deemed ratified.

Unlike when the act is unlawful or the law is violated, even if there is no complainant, the
act would still be considered unlawful. It would also remain to be deceitful if the act is
deceitful. In other words, even if there is no prescription to file a case for example a crime
against a lawyer the act remains to be as such.
As opposed to a contract it can be ratified, even if the lawyer did not fully abide by the
contract if the injured or aggrieved party does not question.
Atty. Alan F. Was the complainant the only one who testified before the commissioner?
Paguia vs. Yes, he was the only one who testified and he failed to submit preponderance of evidence
Atty. Molina, for that Atty. Molina gave false advise, it was just hear day.
A.C NO. 9881

(case How did the Supreme Court define clear preponderant evidence?
dismissed) The allegation of giving false legal advise was not substantiated and bare allegations are
not considered truth.

By Justice Myra:
In other words, the standard of proof needed in order to show that the lawyer committed
unlawful, dishonest, immoral and deceitful conduct is the clear preponderance of evidence.
It is a unique standard of evidence.

For criminal case it is proof beyond reasonable doubt. The standard of evidence is that the
prosecution has to present everything, not only bare allegation but a concrete proof,
absent this one and the accused did not present any evidence, the accused must be
acquitted because the standard of proof is always measured by the evidence of the
prosecution or the plaintiff.

For civil cases it is preponderant evidence pero walang clear. For other administrative
cases, for example labor, the term is substantial evidence. So that means the Supreme
Court medyo elevated the standard of evidence needed for a violation of the Code,
specifically Canon 1, to a stricter evidence than merely preponderant evidence.

The Supreme Court said that preponderant evidence is not merely allegation alone and the
term “bare”.

Bare allegation means an allegation that is not supported by a more concrete evidence.
Concrete is something that is tangible, a document perhaps like in the Occupancy
Agreement. If the complainant can present another witness to testify.

Preponderant evidence means that if I have 2 witnesses for the complainant to show that
the lawyer committed an unlawful conduct, saying that they are witnesses for such
unlawful conduct. The defense must present 3 witnesses. Preponderant evidence is the
evaluation of the quality of evidence on both sides, but not necessarily, it may also

determine the quality of the evidence of both sides, yun ang clear. Whichever has the
greater weight and the more believable evidence consistent with the ordinary course of

That is why we have to stress that an administrative case is more than a civil case but less
than a criminal case. In administrative cases, if the defendant was able to present evidence,
and the complainant was also able to prove evidence, edi pantay na, so para siyang
balancing of weight.
Euprocina I. Due to the multiplicity of his infractions on this front, coupled with his willful
Crisostomo vs. malfeasance in discharging the office, the Court deems it proper to revoke his
Atty. Philip Z. existing commission and permanently disqualify him from being commissioned as a
A. Nazareno notary public.
Where the notary public is a lawyer, a graver responsibility is placed upon him by
(Suspended reason of his solemn oath to obey the laws and to do no falsehood or consent to the
from the doing of any. Failing in this, he must accept the consequences of his unwarranted
practice of law actions.
for 6 months)
By Justice:
The notarization converts a document from a private document to a public one. In fact
when you present a notarized document in court, it would not need a witness because it is
evidence in itself. That is why it is a grave offense to notarized a false and to add to the
falsification of a notarized document. In this case the complaint is a public document, it is
considered as an official document, therefore to allege false facts in the certification
attached to the complaint is already falsification of public document, that’s why the
unlawfulness there is the violation of the Rules of Court because it contains the mandatory
part of the pleading on the certification on non-forum shopping, and therefore it has to be
faithfully and honestly executed. The prevalent filing, it is also tantamount to abuse of
court processes or procedures. It is unlawful and deceitful.
Arcatomy S. Members of the Bar are reminded that their first duty is to comply with the rules of
Guarin v. Atty. procedure, rather than seek exceptions as loopholes. A lawyer who assists a client in a
Christine A. C. dishonest scheme or who connives in violating the law commits an act, which justifies
Limpin, A.C. disciplinary action against the lawyer.
No. 10576,
By Justice:
(Suspended The first directive in Canon 1 is the obedience compliance to the law and other legal
from the processes. It is a personal obedience to the lawyer Rules 1.01 and 1.02 gives us those
practice of law directives. It is also the lawyers duty to see to it that the other persons and society follow
for 6 months) the law. Therefore in the case at bar, it is not a defense that it is a business practice, that is
has been going on, by falsifying the facts and other malpractice. She should have
encouraged the company to follow the Corporation Code.
Melvyn G. Moral turpitude is an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties
Garcia vs. which a man owes to his fellow men or to society in general, contrary to justice,
Atty. Raul H. honesty, modesty, or good morals.

"An absolute and unconditional pardon" which restored his "full civil and political
rights," a circumstance not present in these cases. The Order of Commutation did
not state that the pardon was absolute and unconditional.

So for the offenses covered by the RPC, the Supreme Court explains that not all crimes
involve moral turpitude, those that involve moral turpitude are grave and less grave
offenses. For convictions light offense, generally, they are not crimes involving moral

turpitude; therefore they are not grounds for disbarment. However, the Supreme Court
explains that if the conviction is aggravated by 2 or more aggravating circumstances, it
may be converted into one involving moral turpitude, so it would depend also on the
presence of aggravating circumstances, pero usually if none, and if the offenses are light
felonies under the RPC, then they are not grounds for disbarment.

For offenses covered by special laws (crimes mala prohibita), the Supreme Court said that
automatically, they are grounds for disbarment, so there is no distinction between grave
and less grave, an example would be BP 22, 1 year lang yun, actually it is middle less grave
and light but the Supreme Court said that it is a ground for disbarment, since it is an
offense covered by special law. All crimes of mala prohibita, are grounds for disbarment
including election offenses, so matatataas ang penalties under the COMELEC Election Code.

Note: It is important to know the date of the conviction, whether its final or not, so if it is
still pending appeal but there is conviction in the regional trial court, hindi pa yan
pwedeng ground for disbarment, it has to b e final.

Final means, how to determine finality of a judgement, the Supreme Court explained that
finality of judgment is when it is entered, ang magic word doon ay “entry of judgment,”
kasi hindi yan ma-eentry of judgment kung may naka-appeal pa, wala kang mahahanap sa
court records na entry of judgment, pero kung meron kang makita, ok that is proof that the
judgment is final.

In other words, for a ground of disbarment regarding conviction, one of the mandatory
requisites is the entry of judgment.
Victoria C. In Wilkie v. Limos, the Court reiterated that the issuance of a series of worthless
Heenan vs. checks, which is exactly what Atty. Espejo committed in this case, shows the
Atty. Erlina remorseless attitude of respondent, unmindful to the deleterious effects of such act
Espejo, A.C. to the public interest and public order. It also, manifests a lawyer’s low regard for
NO. 10050 her commitment to her oath, for which she may be disciplined.

(Suspended A lawyer may be disciplined not only for malpractice and dishonesty in his profession but
from the also for gross misconduct outside of his professional capacity.
practice of law
for 2 years) Is default really the term used by the Commission on Bar Discipline?
No, it was waiver of her to participate in further proceedings, so for legal ethics, do not use

Note: Borrowing money from a person, not a client, is not misconduct and that should be
clear, so pwede namang mangutang. The problem is when the misconduct becomes gross,
then it becomes a ground for administrative liability, because it lowers down the standard
expected of the lawyer.

When does borrowing money becomes gross misconduct?
It becomes gross when the incurring of the loan is done through fraud or deceit
(fraudulent acts), or when there is none performance, hindi ka makabayad, again you
commit another fraud or deceit by evading of payment. Like in the case, by issuing
worthless checks knowing that the account is closed, or when there is a series of demand
letters, 3 or more (based on the Supreme Court), so makikita mo sa mga circumstances.
Then during the complaint she did not even deny, so there is really a scheme, fraud, or
deceit, so it becomes gross because it aggravates the act.

Note: Kapag umutang ka at hindi ka nakabayad, at nabankrupt ka, as a lawyer you have to

communicate with your creditor to show good faith, maybe issue a promissory note. Do
not let the creditor just sit there, waiting for to comply.
Anastacio N. Violates Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
Teodoro III vs. Forum shopping exists when, as a result of an adverse decision in one forum, or in
Atty. Romeo S. anticipation thereof, a party seeks a favorable opinion in another forum through means
Gonzales, A.C. other than appeal or certiorari.
No. 6760
There is forum shopping when the elements of litis pendencia are present or where a final
(Censure and judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in another:
Warning) (a) identity of parties, or at least such parties that represent the same interests in both
(b) identity of rights or causes of action, and
(c) identity of relief sought.

While the reliefs prayed for in the initiatory pleadings of the two cases are different
in form, a ruling in one case would have resolved the other, and vice versa, thus an
identity of relief sought also exists.

Why does forum shopping destroy the confidence of the public in the legal system? (What
is the evil effect of forum shopping?)

It would disrupt the decisions of the court, because if one court grants a case while it was
denied in another court, the result would be chaos in the enforcement, so pati ang mga
sheriff, police, and those in the executive department will be confused, alin ba ang
susundin ko, which court is to be followed, it lessens the confidence of the public, the
public would be frustrated (where will I get justice and enforcement of which decision is

The misuse, non-use and abuse of court process, they all violate RULE 1.02
Florencio The actions of respondent in connection with the execution of the “Deed of Sale with
Saladaga v. Right to Repurchase” clearly fall within the concept of unlawful, dishonest, and
Atty. Arturo deceitful conduct under Rule 1.01 of Canon 1. They violate Article 19 of the Civil
Astorga Code. The respondent also showed a disregard for Sec. 63 of the Land Registration
(Suspended Act. Thus, respondent deserves to be sanctioned.
from the
practice of law How was Art. 19 violated so that it became unlawful?
for 2 years)
Respondent dealt with complainant with bad faith, falsehood, and deceit when he entered
into the “Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase” dated December 2, 1981 with the latter.
He made it appear that the property was covered by T-662 under his name, even giving
complainant the owner’s copy of the said certificate of title, when the truth is that the said
TCT had already been cancelled some nine years earlier by T-3211 in the name of PNB.
Erlinda Foster YES. For taking advantage of the unfortunate situation of the complainant, for engaging in
vs. Atty. Jaime dishonest and deceitful conduct, for maligning the judge and the Judiciary, for
V. Agtang A.C. undermining the trust and faith of the public in the legal profession and the entire
No. 10579 judiciary, and for representing conflicting interests.

Disbarrment It is well-established that a lawyer’s conduct is “not confined to the performance of his
professional duties. A lawyer may be disciplined for misconduct committed either in his
professional or private capacity. The test is whether his conduct shows him to be wanting
in moral character, honesty, probity, and good demeanor, or whether it renders him
unworthy to continue as an officer of the court.”

Agtang resorted to overpricing, an act customarily related to depravity and dishonesty.
When a lawyer receives money from the client for a particular purpose, the lawyer is
bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for the
intended purpose. Consequently, if the lawyer does not use the money for the intended
purpose, the lawyer must immediately return the money to the client.

The act of demanding a sum of money from his client, purportedly to be used as a bribe to
ensure a positive outcome of a case, is not only an abuse of his client’s trust but an overt
act of undermining the trust and faith of the public in the legal profession and the entire
Judiciary. As officers of the court, lawyers owe their utmost fidelity to public service and
the administration of justice. In no way should a lawyer indulge in any act that would
damage the image of judges, lest the public’s perception of the dispensation of justice be
overshadowed by iniquitous doubts.

By Justice: For Canon 1 it is not unlawful conduct that is being violated, because there is no
standard or law, limiting on the amount of the expenses, you cannot find that in any law,
wala namang formula na oh ayan, ang attorney kailangan 50,000 lang, o ito ang filing fee,
yan ang ichacharge mo, wala, it will always depend on the actual receipts charged by the

However, in the case, the act is dishonest because he did not divulge the true expenses, as
we said, dishonesty is not divulging the truth while deceitful is making up a scheme or
fraudulent activity like a bribe, how about immoral, there is no mention of the Supreme
Court, it is not directly immoral. I am sure that the Supreme Court mentioned a direct
violation of Rule 1.02 of Canon 1, lessening the confidence in the legal system. Ang judge
naman nababayaran, bakit pa tayo magfifile ng case on the actual merits, pataasan na lang
tayo ng biddings, pagalingan na lang maghanap ng lawyer na kilala lahat ng judges at
payamanan, mawawalan tayo ng judicial system.
Florence Article 48. In all cases of annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, the
Malcampo-Sin, Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to appear on behalf of the
vs. Philipp T. State to take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that evidence
Sin, G.R. No. is not fabricated or suppressed.
In the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, no judgment shall be based upon a
stipulation of facts or confession of judgment.

The task of protecting marriage, as an inviolable social institution requires vigilant and
zealous participation and not mere pro-forma compliance. The protection of marriage as a
sacred institution requires not just the defense of a true and genuine union but the
exposure of an invalid one as well.

What was the sanction towards the fiscal for his failure to do his duty?
The case did not mention it.

By Justice: With this case, take note of Rules 1.02 and 1.04. Rule1.02 speaks of observing
the law, this is the contradictory statement, the positive form of Rule 1.01. 1.02 states that
the lawyers should take steps (ensure) and to promote observance of the law because this
would encourage the public to trust in the judicial system. In other words, Rule 1.02 means
that every lawyer should follow the law, every lawyer is prohibited from engaging in any
dishonest conduct, if there is a need to divulge to the court, client, society, government,
important information which the public should need to know, then the lawyer should
divulge. So that is the positive form of dishonesty. To prevent concealment, the lawyers
should be truthful to avoid scandalous or immoral conduct.

In the case regarding the nullity of marriage where the fiscal failed to appear, is it
Yes, because the law (Civil Code) enjoins all fiscals to appear before actions regarding
nullity of marriage, legal separation, and all other actions regarding marriage.

Reason: Because there is a whole Article on the Constitution pertaining to family.
Moreover, the Constitution is the policy of the State.

Is there any dishonest conduct on the part of the fiscal?
Yes, he ensured and determined that the parties did not collude and conspire with each
other to nullify their marriage that is also dishonesty. You do not manifest to the court,
which is not done by the fiscal like appearing in court and investigating. Therefore he did
not do any steps to determine.

Is it immoral on the part of the fiscal?
No, the morality is not affected but the first 3, I am saying 1.02 because if all marriages can
be conspired by the parties, kung ayaw na nila sa isa’t isa, they can just agree to conspire, it
will really not contribute to the stability of the family diba, and children will also be
adversely prejudiced by the mere collusion or agreement of the husband and the wife. It is
a tall order from the Constitution to ensure that efforts are being made.

Sa Supreme Court, ang alam ko 4 pa lang ang nanunullify ang marriage, ang tagal tagal na
simula noong 1988 (Family Code). I am not talking about Kris Aquino’s marriage, kasi ang
Solicitor-General needs to elevate it. Kaya it is a tall order rin sa solicitor-general, but they
do not really question, depende yun kung malakas ang party oh hindi. Kung walang
umakyat, nobody reversed the trial courts decision on the nullity of marriage, it becomes
final and executory. Marami talagang na nunullify kasi it was not elevated in the CA then
SC. Kaming mga asa CA and SC, bawal kaming mangealam kung wala namang nagappeal,
diba in your Political Law, actual case and proper parties, unlike the Congress and
Executive Department, they can on their own determine cases even without proper

How about 1.04?
If you look at 1.04, all lawyers are mandated to ensure steps to amicably settle cases and
not to as a condition precedent to file court cases.

Unethical: Kawawa ka naman, o let us go to court.

QuAMTO: Can a lawyer volunteer to file a court action?
Answer: It is not proper and unethical (Rule 1.04).

If you are approached by a client asking for legal services, because his interest or property
interest adversely prejudiced by another person, and then you rendered an opinion, telling
that you have a right under the Civil Code, right to damages, right for recovery of
ownership, the client asked, what is the proper or first thing to do?

Answer: Rule 1.04 and not file a court action. This refers to the lawyer’s duty towards the
society, it is over and above towards the lawyer’s duty to the client, to immediately file a
lawsuit. This is because of Rule 1.02. By availing of modes like amicable settlement,
availing of alternative modes of disputes and solutions outside of court, you are promoting
the law, peace and order in the society because you are encouraging to talk muna
peacefully. You are also helping the courts to avoid congestion of cases.

This case in an exception to the rule on amicable settlement, iniiwasan yan, because not all
cases can be settled amicably.

Situation where immediate filing of a court action is allowed:
• Petition on the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
• All Cases involving minor children (their rights and interests are too urgent, too
important to delay, criminal cases, action for support, immediate medical
attention, basta lahat involving minor children)
• Detention prisoners (kung mag-aagree kayo magusap, eh idedelay ng idedelay ng
complainant yan para mabulok sa kulungan, kawawa naman. Paano kung innocent
• Special law: RA 9999 on legal assistance for the under privileged, the law
enumerate: women, youth, urban poor, yung mga squatters, rural folks. They are
under privileged members because of their lack of education, poverty, physical
disability, lack of representation in the government (meron sila laging disability).
They are exempted from amicable settlements unless the specific law provides for
such settlement with the aid of usually the DSWD.
• Supreme Court circular regarding criminal charges against foreign tourists
(kawawa naman, wala silang kilala dito)

Note: I will not ask about modes of amicable settlement, but there are a lot o modes like
arbitration, conciliation, neutral evaluation.
Josefina Oblena is liable for disbarment on the grounds of maintaining illicit relations with Josefina
Royong v. Royong and with the open cohabitation with Briccia Angeles, a married woman.
Atty. Ariston
Oblena An immoral act cannot justify another immoral act. The noblest means he could have
A.C. No. 376 employed was to have married the complainant as he was then free to do so. But to
continue maintaining adulterous relations with a married woman and simultaneously
(Disbarred) maintaining promiscuous relations with the latter's niece is moral perversion that cannot
be condoned.

One's own approximation of himself is not a gauge to his moral character. Moral character
is not a subjective term, but one which corresponds to objective reality. Moral character is
what a person really is, and not what he or other people think he is.

He lived an adulterous life with Briccia Angeles, and the fact that people who knew him
seemed to have acquiesced to his status, did not render him a person of good moral
character. It is of no moment that his immoral state was discovered then or now as he is
clearly not fit to remain a member of the bar.
Natividad In this case, the loan agreements with Navarro were done in respondent’s private capacity.
Navarro and Although Navarro financed the registration of Yulo’s lot, respondent and Navarro had no
Hilda lawyer-client relationship. However, respondent was Presbitero’s counsel at the time she granted
Presbitero v. him a loan.
Atty. Ivan
Solidum, JR. It was established that respondent misled Presbitero on the value of the property he mortgaged
A.C. NO. 9872 as a collateral for his loan from her. To appease Presbitero, respondent even made a Deed of
Undertaking that he would give her another 1,000-square-meter lot as additional collateral but
(Disbarred) he failed to do so.

Clearly, respondent is guilty of engaging in dishonest and deceitful conduct, both in his
professional capacity with respect to his client, Presbitero, and in his private capacity with
respect to complainant Navarro. Both Presbitero and Navarro allowed respondent to draft the

terms of the loan agreements.

Respondent drafted the MOAs knowing that the interest rates were exorbitant. Later, using his
knowledge of the law, he assailed the validity of the same MOAs he prepared. He issued checks
that were drawn from his son’s account whose name was similar to his without informing
complainants. Further, there is nothing in the records that will show that respondent paid or
undertook to pay the loans he obtained from complainants.

Again borrowing money is lawful, it is even allowed in the Constitution under the Bill of Rights,
No person shall be imprisoned for non-payment of debt or poll-tax. The problem happens (going
to 1.02) when the lawyer destroys the trust of the public, so the issue here is not whether it is
unlawful, deceitful or dishonest, but if there is an involvement with the abuse of trust. When you
misrepresent and there is an abuse of trust, it will go to the crime of estafa, or there is fraud or
misrepresentation. It may not be criminal per se, but it will go into 1.02, it destroys the public
trust. The lawyers, because of their knowledge of the law, alam nilang ipaikot. Though it is not
unlawful, it is deceitful when the lawyer starts talking already about misrepresentation and
telling a lie in order to obtain a loan.

When we go to Canon 16, there is an express prohibition that the lawyer should not borrow
money from the clients. For Canon 16 to apply, there should be an attorney-client relationship,
due to the presumption of the law.
Verlita V. The Court declares the respondent guilty of dishonesty and deceit. The respondent certainly
Mercullo and transgressed the Lawyer's Oath by receiving money from the complainants after having made
Raymond them believe that she could assist them in ensuring the redemption in their mother's behalf. She
Vedano, vs. did not inform them soon enough, however, that she had meanwhile ceased to be connected with
Atty. Marie the agency. Everything she did was dishonest and deceitful in order to have them part with the
Frances E. substantial sum of P350,000.00.
A.C. No. 11078 The unfulfilled promise of returning the money and her refusal to communicate with the
(Suspension complainants on the matter of her engagement aggravated the neglect and dishonesty attending
but she was her dealings with the complainants.
disbarred in
2013) Another dereliction of the respondent was her wanton disregard of the several notices sent to her
by the IBP in this case. She thus exhibited her irresponsibility as well as her utter disrespect for
the Court and the rest of the Judiciary.
Fernando W. Every lawyer should not render any service or give advice to any client that would involve
Chu vs. Atty. defiance of the very laws that he was bound to uphold and obey. Any lawyer found to violate
Jose C. Guico, this obligation forfeits his privilege to continue such membership in the legal profession.
JR. A.C. No.
10573 Atty. Guico willingly and wittingly violated the law in appearing to counsel Chu to raise the
large sums of money in order to obtain a favorable decision. He thus violated the law against
(Disbarred) bribery and corruption.

His acts constituted gross dishonesty and deceit, and were flagrant breach of his ethical
commitments under the Lawyer’s Oath not to delay any man for money or malice; and under
Rule 1.01 that forbade him from engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral, and deceitful

Actually bribery is prohibited under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, usually for
unlawful conduct, a grave violation of laws, it will result to disbarment.

Date and Time of the exam: March 20, 2019 (Wednesday) 6-8PM

Coverage of the Exam: From the start of our discussion, that means the:

• Background on legal ethics • Sources of Legal Ethics

All those in Dean Pindea’s book:
• Lawyer’s who cannot practice law
• Lawyer’s who have limited practice of law
• Persons who are not lawyers but can practice law
• What are requirements to practice law
• What are the continuing requirements for the practice of law
• Practice of law, what are the elements (Cayetano v. Monsod)

Terms (lahat nung diniscuss): [side comment ko lang, asa first part ito ng book ni Dean Pineda]
• Morality • Ambulance Chasing • Amicus Curae
• Good Moral Character • Counsel de Officio’ • Attorney at Law
• Barratry • Counsel de parte • Attorney in Fact

Constitutional Basis of Legal Ethics:
Article 8, Section 5, Par. 5

(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the
underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of
cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive
rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by
the Supreme Court.

The whole Canon 1 and the cases we have discussed so far.
I may ask situations analogous to the cases we have discussed to determine which rule/s is/are violated and apply
the facts, which facts there are considered to be the violation of the rules.

Kung ano yung nakay Dean Pineda and yung mga asa syllabus, pati yung mga cases na narecite lang.

Exam type: Halo halo - Merong objective, terms, list down the requirements or elements, mga 3-4 situational cases
(to determine if it is ethical or not)