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Section 26, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:

Sec. 26. Change of attorneys -- An attorney may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding,
by the written consent of his client filed in court. He may also retire at any time from an action or special
proceeding, without the consent of his client, should the court, on notice to the client and attorney, and
on hearing, determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. In case of substitution, the name of the
attorney newly employed shall be entered on the docket of the court in place of the former one, and
written notice of the change shall be given to the adverse party.
A lawyer may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding with the written consent of his
client filed in court and with a copy thereof served upon the adverse party. Should the client refuse to
give his consent, the lawyer must file an application with the court. The court, on notice to the client
and adverse party, shall determine whether the lawyer ought to be allowed to retire. The application
for withdrawal must be based on a good cause.23
What constitute good cause for the withdrawal of services by the counsel are identified under Rule
22.01, Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides:
CANON 22 -- A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR GOOD CAUSE AND
UPON NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
Rule 22.01-- A lawyer may WITHDRAW his services in any of the following cases:
a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in connection with the
matter he is handling;
b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative of these canons and rules;
c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the best interest of the client;
d) When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out
the employment effectively;
e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services or fails to comply with the
retainer agreement;
f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office; and
g) Other similar cases.
The instant case does not fall under any of the grounds aforementioned. Neither can the circumstances
of this case be considered analogous to the grounds thus explicitly enumerated. Contrary to
respondent’s contention, his professional relations as a lawyer with his clients are not terminated by
the simple turnover of the records of the case to his clients. Respondent’s defense completely crumbles
in face of the fact that Salvador Ramirez is not even a party in Civil Case No. 981 and, hence, had no
authority to withdraw the records of the said case from respondent or to terminate the latter’s services.
Assuming, nevertheless, that respondent was justified in withdrawing his services, he, however, cannot
just do so and leave complainants in the cold, unprotected. The lawyer has no right to presume that his
petition for withdrawal will be granted by the court.24 Until his withdrawal shall have been approved,
the lawyer remains counsel of record who is expected by his clients, as well as by the court, to do what
the interests of his clients require.25 He must still appear before the court to protect the interest of his
clients by availing himself of the proper remedy, for the attorney-client relations are not terminated
formally until there is a withdrawal of record
QUESTIONS:

Update: called court yesterday (924-3901)

1. Order was received March 19, count 5 days – so we have until Monday to file
comment/opposition
- We did not receive notice of the rescheduled hearing?
- Ask for 15 days to file comment per your original instruction

Hi Ma’am,

This in reference to the case of Guartilla v. Iturrios. I spoke to Sir Vistan this afternoon and he decided
that he will assign the case to me since I have read the files and met with the client already. Attached is
the Case Assignment Memorandum for your reference.

Very briefly po, the case stemmed from a small claims case filed with the MeTC against our client. The
MeTC ruled in favor of the plaintiff adjudging Ms. Iturrios liable. The MeTC decision was affirmed by
both the RTC and the CA, and the decision became final and executory sometime May 2018. At present,
the plaintiff, Ms. Guartilla filed a Motion for Execution which was set for hearing on 11 January 2019
but which was postponed to 8 March 2019. The two documents we recently received refer to this
Motion and they are as follows:

1. Order dated 8 March 2019 - The Order stated that the case was called for hearing on the Motion
for Execution but our client the defendant, Ms. Alma Iturrios, did not attend. Plaintiff was given
a period of five (5) days from receipt of this Order within which to submit proof that defendant
received a copy. On behalf of the defendant, we are given the same period of five (5) days to
file a Comment and/or Opposition.
2. Compliance dated 12 March 2019 - This was the proof by the plaintiff of his compliance with
the Order dated 8 March 2019.

Both documents and the Motion for Execution are attached in this e-mail as well for your perusal. We
received the Compliance 13 March 2019 and the Order 19 March 2019.
I inquired po with the previous LI, LI Santos, the status of this case as it seems that, from the case file,
we already intended to terminate our legal relations with the client twice before: First, in 22 July 2015,
we sent a termination letter even before the CA decision was released, and then, second, on 31 May
2018, we sent another termination letter. In said letter, we stated that if we do not hear from the client
in 10 days from receipt of said letter then our legal relations are deemed terminated. However, upon
checking with OLA this afternoon, the termination letter was sent back to OLA on 6 August 2018,
stamped “Return to Sender” as it was “Unclaimed”. Further, we are still the counsel of record before
the MTC.
On Wednesday, I asked for the status of the Motion with QC MeTC Br. 40 and they informed us that it
is already submitted for resolution.
Respectfully, Ma’am, upon my review of the case file of Ms. Iturrios, I see no ground anymore to file a
Comment or Opposition to the Motion as the decision has long been final and executory. However, if
we are to file, we may raise the issue that we were not notified of the rescheduled hearing of the said
Motion. According to client, she was also not notified of such rescheduling. However, this may not help
in any way as the Motion the plaintiff filed was noticed for hearing and therefore, not a mere scrap of
paper and it is the court which failed to notify us of the rescheduling.
I am unsure, Ma’am, in what way we can help our client in this case. I propose that maybe we can assist
the client in offering a settlement with the plaintiff in order to reduce the amount she is adjudged to
pay. I am under the impression that this may still be possible as the sheriff would still allow the parties
to come to an agreement if there’s a possibility of such. However, I have yet to ask the client if she
thinks this is an option.
That is all, Ma’am. Good evening. Thank you so much!

Respectfully,
LI Cala

For: SL Atty. Marianne P. Lozada Marquez

Re: CONSULTATION

Date: 1 MARCH 2019

LAW INTERN CASE PURPOSE OF CONSULTATION


Guartilla v. Iturrios
Cala, Ellen Charmane Advice re: actions to be taken on
Motion for Execution of small
S. the case
claims case against client, Iturrios
In re: Berdigay, Jr.
Termination Letter per Director’s
HLURB administrative case: Intra-
instruction
association dispute
In re: Vecida Closing memorandum per
Civil case for damages against bus Director’s instruction – PIF was not
company accepted.

Chan, Johanna Celine Applicant wants to have her


New PIF
Mari marriage annulled.

Manzano, Tennessee Update: court scheduled a hearing


People v. Jayan
Denise on April 22 for rebuttal evidence

Marquez, Gabriel New PIF Correction of entries.