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SECOND DIVISION [A.C. No. 3745. October 2, 1995.] CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA, complainant, vs. ATTY. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO, respondent.

SYLLABUS LEGAL ETHICS; ATTORNEYS; LOYALTY TO CLIENT SUBSISTS EVEN AFTER THE TERMINATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. — The Court reiterates that an attorney 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. It behooves respondent not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. The relation of attorney and client is one of confidence and trust in the highest degree. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. An attorney not only becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his client's cause, but also learns from his client the weak and strong points of the case. No opportunity must be given attorneys to take advantage of the secrets of clients obtained while the confidential relation of attorney and client exists. Otherwise, the legal profession will suffer by the loss of the confidence of the people. Respondent's plea for leniency 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. A lawyer starting to establish his stature in the legal profession must start right and dutifully abide by the norms of conduct of the profession. This will ineluctably redound to his benefit and to the upliftment of the legal profession as well. RESOLUTION FRANCISCO, J p: Complainant Cynthia B. Rosacia, president of Tacma, Phils., Inc., a duly registered corporation, filed a complaint for disbarment dated October 25, 1991, against herein respondent Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao. Acting on the complaint, the Court in a resolution dated February 24, 1992, resolved to refer the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and recommendation. Commissioner Victor C. Fernandez, the IBP investigating commissioner, found that respondent breached his oath of office and accordingly recommended respondent's suspension from the practice of law for three (3) months. 1 In a resolution dated July 30, 1994, the IBP Board of Governors resolved to adopt and approve the commissioner's report and recommendation. 2 As found by the IBP, the undisputed facts are as follows: "On June 1, 1990, by virtue of a written Agreement (Exh. "3-a"), respondent Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao was hired as retained counsel of a corporation by the name of Tacma Phils., Inc. "On October 31, 1990, the lawyer-client relationship between the respondent and Tacma Phils., Inc. was severed as shown by another agreement of even date (Exh. "3-b"). "On July, 1991, or after almost nine (9) months from the date respondent'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. Thereafter, he agreed to handle the case for the said employees as against Tacma, Phils., Inc. by filing a complaint before the National Labor Relations Commission, and appearing in their behalf." 3 The sole issue to be addressed is whether or not respondent breached his oath of office for representing the employees of his former client, Tacma, Phils., Inc., after the termination of their attorney-client relationship. We agree with the findings of the IBP that respondent breached his oath of office. Respondent does not now dispute this. In fact, in his motion for reconsideration, respondent admitted that he "did commit an act bordering on grave misconduct, if not outright violation of his attorney's oath." 4 However, respondent is pleading for the Court's compassion and leniency to reduce the IBP recommended three months suspension to either fine or admonition with the following proffered grounds: that he is relatively new in the profession having been admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 10, 1990 at the age of 46 when the complained conduct was committed on August 1991; that he is of humble beginnings and his suspension will deprive his family of its only source of livelihood he being the sole bread winner in the family; that he has fully realized his mistake and the gravity of his offense for which he is fully repentant; 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 and to henceforth strictly adhere to the professional standards set forth by the Code of Professional Responsibility. cdll The Court reiterates that an attorney 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. 5 It behooves respondent not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence, but also to

avoid the appearance of treachery and double dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. 6 The relation of attorney and client is one of confidence and trust in the highest degree. 7 A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. 8 An attorney not only becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his client's cause, but also learns from his client the weak and strong points of the case. No opportunity must be given attorneys to take advantage of the secrets of clients obtained while the confidential relation of attorney and client exists. Otherwise, the legal profession will suffer by the loss of the confidence of the people. 9 Respondent's plea for leniency 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 10 must have been still fresh in his mind. A lawyer starting to establish his stature in the legal profession must start right and dutifully abide by the norms of conduct of the profession. This will ineluctably redound to his benefit and to the upliftment of the legal profession as well. ACCORDINGLY, respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three months. Let this resolution be attached to respondent's record in the Office of the Bar Confidant and copies thereof furnished to all courts and to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. LexLibris Regalado, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur. Narvasa, C.J., on official leave. SECOND DIVISION [A.C. No. 2736. May 27, 1991.] LORENZANA FOOD CORPORATION represented by Mr. SOLOMON U. LORENZANA, JR., as its President and General Manager, and/or Mrs. ELIZABETH L. DIAZ, as its Vice-President,petitioners, vs. ATTY. FRANCISCO L. DARIA, respondent. Jose Feliciano Loy, Jr. for petitioners. SYLLABUS 1.LEGAL ETHICS; CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY; A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE; VIOLATED IN CASE AT BAR. — In an effort to extricate himself from this charge, the respondent 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. We find this submission not meritorious. Instead, we agree with the position of the Solicitor General: Respondent's plea is untenable. 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, which, perhaps, would have been in favor of complainant. The delay, by itself, was prejudicial to complainant because it deprived successor-counsel Atty. Loy of time which he should be devoting to other cases of complainant. In fact he had to prepare complainant's position paper which respondent should have done earlier. From the foregoing, it is manifest that the respondent is indeed guilty of negligence, a clear violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility: CANON 18 — A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE, Rule 18.03 — A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. 2.ID.; ID.; A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. — The Solicitor General further found that the respondent 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, the respondent signed the jurat of the San Juan counter-affidavit he (respondent) helped prepare. It is also a fact that the respondent investigated this same charge of estafa while he was still the lawyer of the complainant and San Juan still likewise an employee of LFC. Again, we concur with the findings and evaluation of the Office of the Solicitor General: . . . Respondent, however, tried to extricate himself from his predicament by testifying that the counteraffidavit was prepared by a lawyerfriend, Atty. Joselito R. Enriquez, 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 counteraffidavit to Atty. Enriquez so that he will delete his name and signature, but San Juan did not obey him; and that San Juan filed the counteraffidavit with the office of the Provincial Fiscal with his name and signature still on it. It is submitted that, apart from being a mere afterthought, respondent's explanation is incredible. His foregoing testimony is not reflected in his comment on the complaint . . . We are convinced that the respondent had betrayed the confidences of the complainant, his former client. . . . An attorney 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, and it is not a good practice to permit him afterwards to defend in another case other persons against his former client under the pretext that the case is distinct from and independent of the former case.

RESOLUTION PER CURIAM p: The respondent lawyer, Atty. Francisco L. Daria, is administratively charged 1 on two counts, to wit: 1.Negligence and 2.Betrayal of his former client's confidences. A verified complaint dated February 22, 1985 was filed by Lorenzana Food Corporation (LFC, hereinafter), and received by the Court on February 25, 1985. 2 The Court, on June 10, 1985, resolved to refer this case to the Office of the Solicitor General for investigation, report, and recommendation. After proper proceedings, the Office of the Solicitor General submitted its "Report and Recommendation," dated February 21, 1990 and received by the Court on February 26, 1990. From the findings made by the Solicitor General, the pertinent facts may be summarized as follows: Respondent Francisco L. Daria is charged with negligence and betrayal of his former client's confidences. The following facts are in connection with the charge of negligence: Respondent was hired by complainant Lorenzana Food Corporation (LFC) on January 8, 1981 as its legal counsel and was designated as its personnel manager six months later (tsn. pp. 6-7, Dec. 9, 1985). On May 23, 1983, LFC employee, Violeta Hanopol, filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and other monetary claims against complainant before the Ministry (now Department) of Labor and Employment (MOLE). On May 30, 1983, summons was served on the parties with the requirement that position papers be submitted (Exh. G). During the initial hearing on June 13, 1973 * (sic) Hanopol and respondent tried to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement. Since no agreement was reached the hearing was reset to June 17, 1983. On the pretext that Hanopol was supposed to go to his office on that date respondent failed to appear for the second setting (tsn. pp. 14-15, Dec. 9, 1985). So, the Labor Arbiter was constrained to further reset the hearing to June 23, 1983. Respondent received on June 23, 1983 the Order for the resetting to June 1983 (Exh. J). In the meantime, on June 20, 1983, respondent received an Order in another labor case, setting the hearing therein also on June 28, 1983 (Exh. H-6). Faced with a conflicting schedule, respondent decided to move to postpone the hearing in the Hanopol 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 (Exh. H-5; tsn. p. 16, Dec. 9, 1985). Respondent'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 (Exh. G-1). Respondent had not submitted a position paper. After a month, on July 29, 1983, the Labor Arbiter issued a Decision directing LFC to pay Hanopol the total sum of P6,469.60 in labor benefits, on the basis of Hanopol's evidence alone. Respondent Daria appealed the Decision to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on August 23, 1983 (Exh. 4), The case was remanded to the Labor Arbiter for further proceedings. The case was set for hearing on June 25, 1984 and July 12, 1984 wherein attempts for an amicable settlement still proved futile. The Labor Arbiter set two more dates for hearing: July 27, 1984 and August 8, 1984 (tsn. pp. 21-22, Dec. 9, 1985). In the meantime, the middle of June 1984, respondent signified to management his intention to resign. In the light of this development, management hired Atty. Rogelio Udarbe to take his place on July 16, 1984, the effective date of his resignation (Exh. 2). Respondent endorsed the cases of complainant to Atty. Udarbe (tsn. pp. 23-25, Dec. 9, 1985). During the hearings in the Hanopol case on July 27, 1984 and August 8, 1984, no one appeared for complainant. So, on August 15, 1984, Hanopol filed a "Manifestation and Motion" praying that the earlier Decision of the Labor Arbiter dated July 29, 1983 be revived. (Exh. 5) On September 1, 1984, Atty. Jose Loy, Jr. was hired by complainant LFC vice Atty. Udarbe and he immediately came across the above-mentioned "Manifestation and Motion". On September 5, 1984, he

filed an Opposition (Exh. 6) thereto, and on September 19, 1984, he followed this up with a position paper for LFC (Exh. 7). However, the Labor Arbiter had already revived his earlier Decision dated July 29, 1983 in another Decision dated September 4, 1984, thereby prompting Atty. Loy to appeal the latter Decision (Exh. 3). In a resolution dated May 9, 1985, the NLRC ordered anew the remand of the case for further proceedings (Exh. 8). In connection with the other charge of betrayal by respondent of his former client's confidences, the following facts appear on record: While respondent was still connected with complainant, its general manager, Sebastian Cortes, issued a memorandum dated February 28, 1984 (Exh. C) to its employee, Roberto San Juan, requiring him to submit a written explanation for his alleged double liquidation and unliquidated cash advances. Another memorandum dated March 15, 1984 (Exh. D) was issued this time by complainant's internal auditor, Rosario L. Bernardo, addressed to complainant's president, summing up San Juan's unliquidated advances amounting to P9,351.15. Respondent was furnished a copy of this memorandum (Exh. D-3). The executive committee, to which respondent belongs, investigated San Juan on his unliquidated advances. On account of the gravity of the charge, respondent placed San Juan under preventive suspension, per his letter to him dated April 25, 1984 (Exh. E). On September 20, 1984, when respondent had already resigned, complainant sent a demand letter to San Juan requiring him to restitute the amount of P9,351.15 (Exh. N-2). Since he failed to pay the amount demanded, a complaint for estafa was lodged against him before the Office of the Provincial Fiscal. San Juan thereafter resigned and sought the assistance of respondent in the preparation of his counteraffidavit in January 1985 (tsn. p. 35, Nov. 5, 1985). Respondent prepared San Juan's counteraffidavit and signed it (Exh. F). San Juan then submitted his counteraffidavit to the Office of the Provincial Fiscal (tsn. p. 42, Nov. 5, 1985).3

xxx xxx xxx 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, the respondent is faulted for negligence. The respondent avers that Hanopol should have seen him in his office to work out a compromise agreement, on the scheduled day of the second hearing, June 17, 1983, but did not. 4 It is the finding of the Solicitor General that this excuse by the respondent is not borne by the Constancia 5 setting the case for hearing. The Constancia clearly states: "By agreement of the parties, case reset to June 17, 1983 at 2:00 p.m. as previously scheduled." 6 Since it was signed by both Hanopol and the respondent, the Solicitor General argues that the respondent's explanation is manifestly unsatisfactory. cdll With regard to his second non-appearance for the hearing on June 2, 1983, the respondent justified his absence 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. 7 The Solicitor General avers: . . . It is submitted that respondent's actuation was not warranted by the circumstances. As it turned out, the telephone request apparently did not reach the Labor Arbiter, thereby constraining him to declare complainant in default and render judgment against it. 8 In an effort to extricate himself from this charge, the respondent 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. 9 We find this submission not meritorious. Instead, we agree with the position of the Solicitor General: Respondent's plea is untenable. 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, which, perhaps, would have been in favor of complainant. The delay, by itself, was prejudicial to complainant because it deprived successor-counsel Atty. Loy of time which he should be devoting to other cases of complainant. In fact he had to prepare complainant's position paper which respondent should have done earlier (Exh. 7). 10 From the foregoing, it is manifest that the respondent is indeed guilty of negligence, a clear violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility: 11 CANON 18 — A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.

13 We are convinced that the respondent had betrayed the confidences of the complainant. SECOND DIVISION [A. SO ORDERED. 12 submitted in defense of the latter in the accusation of estafa filed against San Juan by LFC. that after reading it. apart from being a mere afterthought. . the respondent signed the jurat of the San Juan counter-affidavit he (respondent) helped prepare. a transgression of Rule 18. without his knowledge and consent. Enriquez so that he will delete his name and signature. The respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months.] CESARIO ADARNE. Sarmiento and Regalado. June 27.03. It is submitted that. and extends as well to his employees and neither of them should accept employment which involves or may involve the disclosure or use of these confidences. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. . 801 . respondent. . Enriquez so that he will delete his name and signature thereon.. however. 14 WHEREFORE. and the charge of betrayal of his former client's confidences. Let this Decision be entered in the personal records of the respondent and copies thereof furnished to all courts and IBP chapters. complainant. An attorney 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.03 — A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. Padilla. SYNOPSIS . DAMIAN V. His foregoing testimony is not reflected in his comment on the complaint . but San Juan did not obey him. he called up Atty. 4751. . The other accusation against the respondent by the Solicitor General was that he had betrayed complainant LFC's confidences in violation of the then Canon 37 of the old Canons of Professional Ethics. 9. the appropriate Canon now is: CANON 17 — A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. Joselito R. As a matter of fact. It is also a fact that the respondent investigated this same charge of estafa while he was still the lawyer of the complainant and San Juan still likewise an employee of LFC. and that San Juan filed the counteraffidavit with the office of the Provincial Fiscal with his name and signature still on it (tsn. . Melencio-Herrera. Atty. No. in violation of Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. ALDABA. and it is not a good practice to permit him afterwards to defend in another case other persons against his former client under the pretext that the case is distinct from and independent of the former case. A lawyer should not continue employment when he discovers that this obligation prevents the performance of his full duty to his former or to his new client. the respondent is found guilty of both the charge of negligence. premises considered. tried to extricate himself from his predicament by testifying that the counteraffidavit was prepared by a lawyer-friend. prLL Again.Rule 18. pp. who had his (respondent's) name typed on it. . his former client. and even though there are other available sources of such information. Paras. Dec. xxx xxx xxx Superseded by the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent. Canon 18. that he instructed San Juan to bring the counteraffidavit to Atty. respondent's explanation is incredible. to wit: It is the duty of a lawyer to preserve his client's confidences. JJ. 1978. Enriquez. This duty outlasts the lawyer's employment. ATTY.C. 1985). either for the private advantages of the client. The Solicitor General further found that the respondent assisted Roberto San Juan in the preparation of the counteraffidavit. concur. vs. . we concur with the findings and evaluation of the Office of the Solicitor General: .

1 At the hearing of the case on August 7. and Miguel Inokando with the Justice of the Peace of Alangalang. Administrative complaint dismissed. 2. — There is no malpractice to warrant the exercise of the court of its disciplinary powers where the respondent lawyer honestly believed that he had appeared for the complainant and agreed to contact his attorney of record to handle his case after said appearance. ID. The record shows that sometime in 1958. he is not answerable for every error or mistake. the herein complainant Cesario Adarne.ID. 632. warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights. respondent attorney was prevailed upon be 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. there must be filed with the application proof of service of notice of such motion upon the attorney to be substituted. Because of this. and for not taking steps to protect the interests of his client in the face of an adverse decision. who was then present in court to attend the trial of an electoral case. 96. 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. and the attorney who properly appeared last in the cause. before such application for substitution. noting that his attorneys had not yet arrived. Resolving the issue interposed by the appellants. Consequently. and will be protected as long as he acts honestly and in good faith to the best of his skill and knowledge. the defendants were declared in default for nonappearance. 556.ID. After trial on the merits. Damian Aldaba.At the hearing of Civil Case No. The Supreme Court ruled that the judgment by default rendered against complainant cannot be attributed to respondent attorney as the blamed lies with the former for having engaged the services of several lawyers to handle his case without formally withdrawing the authority he had given them to appear in his behalf as to place the responsibility upon the respondent. and exertion of his utmost learning and ability in the prosecution and defense of his client. the plaintiffs therein appealed to the Court of First Instance of Leyte and the case was assigned to Branch VI of Carigara.. At the hearing of the case where respondent was again requested by complainant to appear in his behalf.. the burden of proof rests upon the complainant and for the Court to exercise its disciplinary powers. filed an action for forcible entry against herein complainant Cesario Adarne. JR. (3) the written consent of the attorney substituted. so that he (the lawyer) did nothing more about it. but only a reasonable degree of care and skill having reference to the character of the business he undertakes to do. The case was docketed in the said court as Civil Case No. the same cannot be attributed to the respondent.. Prone to err like any other human being. On the day of the scheduled hearing of both cases. this order was set aside and the case was remanded to the lower court for further proceedings. — The rule followed on matters of substitution of attorneys as laid down by this Court is that no substitution of attorneys will be allowed unless there be filed: (1) a written application for such substitution. Atty. substitution will not be permitted.LEGAL ETHICS. misconduct and malpractice. will be regarded as the attorney of record and will be held responsible for the proper conduct of the cause.. in the manner prescribed by the rules. DECISION CONCEPCION. ID.. DUTY TO ACT TO THE BEST OF HIS SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE. ATTORNEYS.ID. one of the defendants in the aforementioned Civil Case No. — An attorney is not bound to exercise extraordinary diligence. DISBARMENT. REQUIREMENTS. 4.. the Justice of the Peace dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Arturo Mirales and Generoso Casimpan filed the answer for the defendants. Aning Arante. On appeal. however. Finding no convincing proof to warrant the disbarment of respondent attorney. 632 for forcible entry before the Court of First Instance of Leyte. (2) the written consent of the client. prevailed upon the respondent Atty.. ID. ID. SUBSTITUTION OF. Respondent entered a special appearance and was able to obtain favorable action on a motion to dismiss. Unless the foregoing formalities are complied with. the administrative complaint filed against him was dismissed. and (4) in case such written consent can not be secured. a decision was rendered and a writ of execution therefor was issued. NO SUFFICIENT PROOF TO WARRANT DISBARMENT OF RESPONDENT ATTORNEY.. for failure to give his entire devotion to the interest of his client. Isauro Marmita represented the defendants who raised the issue of ownership of the land in question. — In disbarment proceedings. Rufo Cumpio. J p: Administrative action against the respondent attorney for gross negligence and misconduct. respondent argued that defendants be allowed to file an action for quieting of title to be heard jointly with the pending action for forcible entry. 3. the case against the respondent attorney must be established by convincing proof. SYLLABUS 1. And if a judgment by default is rendered against the complainant. the Judge of the Court of First Instance found that the Justice of the Peace Court has jurisdiction over the case and returned the same to the lower court for trial on the merits. ID. 1961.. where it was docketed as Civil Case No. Attys. to appear as counsel for them and ask for the . After hearing the parties. respondent was charged with gross negligence. Leyte. the Justice of the Peace again dismissed the case and the plaintiffs again appealed to the Court of First Instance of Leyte where the case was docketed anew as Civil Case No. Raymunda Cumpio and her husband. 632. CONVINCING PROOF NECESSARY.

Thereafter. Prone to err like any other human being. Upon noticing that the plaintiffs and their counsel were not also present in court." The respondent denied that he ever had any agreement with the complainant with respect to the handling of the latter's case in the Court of First Instance of Leyte. . 10 He also filed a motion by himself.I. before such application for substitution. Aldaba on August 3. will be regarded as the attorney of record and will be held responsible for the proper conduct of the cause. moved for the dismissal of the case. after which both cases would be tried jointly. but only a reasonable degree of care and skill having reference to the character of the business he undertakes to do. 14 It was neither gross negligence nor omission to have entertained such belief An attorney is not bound to exercise extraordinary diligence. no formalities whatever were observed in those changes such that the respondent entered a "special appearance" for the complainant in order that he could ask for the dismissal of the case for the failure of the adverse party to prosecute. 12 Than came Atty. praying: LLjur "Dahil dito. the plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeals. 13 Besides. 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. isinusumbong ko po ang aking Abogado ng 'Mal Practice' pabaya at pahamak sa kliente at sinisingil ko po siya ng pinsala katumbas sa sinisingil sa kin ng akin kalaban. and (4) in case such written consent can not be secured. the court declared the defendants in default for their failure to appear at the hearing set for that day and directed the plaintiffs to present evidence to support their claim. The rule followed on matters of substitution of attorneys as laid down by this Court is that no substitution of attorneys will be allowed unless there be filed: (1) a written application for such substitution. he is not answerable for every error or mistake. upon his appointment to the Department of Labor. the respondent. Generoso Casimpan. and the attorney who properly appeared last in the cause. de Veyra to take his place. The hearing was deferred until after the filing of the action for quieting of title. 1961 and October 23. The respondent. His motion was granted and the case was again dismissed. 1964. at lilikha ng maraming api at habang naghahari ang pang aapi. 6 On September 17. 1964. engaged Atty. 4 Whereupon. O kaya lakarin niya na mapigil ang decision ng Hukom sa C. 2 to which the respondent filed an opposition in behalf of the defendants. 9 The judgment by default rendered against the complainant cannot be attributed to the respondent attorney. ipinauubaya kona po sa kataas taasan Hukoman ang paglapat ng parusa. who is a third degree cousin of the complainant. there must be filed with the application proof of service of notice of such motion upon the attorney to be substituted.postponement of the trial. To add to the confusion. 8 after which a complaint for the disbarment of the respondent attorney was filed. Finding merit in the argument. 5 On June 17. so that he did nothing more about it. 7 Because of this. at kung magkakagayon ang mga mamamayan at — sapilitan sa kumunista sasamba. and entered a special appearance. the appellate court set aside the order of dismissal and remanded the case to the lower court for further proceedings. Cesario Adarne filed the present complaint against the respondent Atty. 1967. instead of asking for a postponement. (3) the written consent of the attorney substituted. Kung hindi niya magagawa ito. After appropriate proceedings. the plaintiffs filed a motion for the reconsideration of the order. However. Unless the foregoing formalities are complied with. substitution will not be permitted. Atty. and will be protected as long as he acts honestly and in good faith to the best of his skill and knowledge.F. Damian V. in view of the non-availability of the complainant's lawyers on said dates. lalaganap ang kriminalidad ng walang tigil at walang katahimikan ang ating Demukrasya. except for the "special appearance" that he entered for the complainant on August 7. Carigara Branch. 3 and the motion was denied. Sapagkat kung hindi po susugpoin ang masamang gawa na ito ng mga ibang abogado na nabibili — lala'la' ang sakit na ito sa profession ng mga abogado. 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. The respondent entered a "special appearance" for the complainant and thereafter argued that the interest of justice would best be served if the defendants were allowed to file an action for quieting of title and the case heard jointly with the action for forcible entry. The complainant wad originally represented by Atty. The case referred to the Solicitor General for investigation. 11 thus implying that he was handling his case personally. the court rendered a decision and a writ of execution was issued thereafter. agreed. Isauro Marmita who. the respondent 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 of October 23. At the hearing of the case on October 23. 1965. 1965. (2) the written consent of the client. It appears that there have been three changes made of the attorneys for the complainant in the forcible entry case. in the manner prescribed by the rules. report and recommendation. at ulitin ang hearing sa Forcible Entry. the court ordered the defendant Cesario Adarne to file an action for quieting of title within one (1) week and the plaintiffs to answer the same within the reglementary period. 1964 before the Court of First Instance of Leyte. the respondent was again prevailed upon by the complainant to appear in his behalf. Arturo Mirales and later.

ACTIcS On April 18. and the latter's niece. 5835. Likewise. IBP Commissioner Lydia A. ATTY. the RTC Branch No. but he failed to do so.00. Manila. and that respondent. 2 This is an administrative complaint for disbarment filed by Carlos Reyes against Atty. Up to and until the present. concurring: Concurs in the results since respondent made only a special appearance on Oct. the legal profession and society at large. took no part. JJ. Jeremias Vitan for gross negligence. He only sent his secretary to represent him during the proceedings. The complaint alleges that sometime in June 2001. was left blank. 23. It was complainant who submitted the supposed letters of the respondent Estelita Reyes and Juliet Alegonza but there were no proofs when they sent and when the same were received by the addressee. Antonio. did not take any action on complainant's case. Nabong. J. Jeremias Vitan for the purpose of filing the appropriate complaint or charge against his sister-in-law.. complainant Carlos Reyes hired the services of respondent Atty. that both women refused to abide with the Decision of Judge Juan C. Julieta P. the case against the respondent attorney must be established by convincing proof.. in Civil Case No. no pleadings was submitted despite respondent's allegations that he was collating evidence to prove his side of the case. We referred the complaint to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation. vs. Santos andGuerrero. of the Regional Trial Court. the present administrative complaint is hereby DISMISSED. JJ. 1964. the complaint submitted by the complainant was only a format in the sense that it was not signed by the respondent. Branch 32. Respondent 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. 2005.C. REYES. . JEREMIAS R. Jr. when he made a creditably showing for complainant. SO ORDERED. Estelita Reyes. 99-92657 ordering the partition of the properties left by complainant's brother Damaso B. In the instant case. the burden of proof rests upon the complainant and for the Court to exercise its disciplinary powers. concur. After going over the evidence on record. . J. Separate Opinions BARREDO. after receiving the amount of P17. report and recommendation. . April 15. it is his sworn duty not to delay no man for money or malice. the undersigned noted that respondent ignored all the Orders issued by this Commission and neither did he comply with any of those Orders. respondent. but also to the court. there is no sufficient proof to warrant the disbarment of the respondent attorney. and there was .. THIRD DIVISION [A. complainant. concurs in the result. Fernando (Chairman) and Aquino. Reyes. the counsel of record of complainant should have been the one to take the corresponding subsequent steps. 3 IBP Commissioner Navarro submitted to the IBP Board of Governors her Report and Recommendation quoted as follows: ".000.It is well settled that in disbarment proceedings. Indeed. Alegonza. J p: A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence 1 and never neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. LexLib WHEREFORE. Navarro issued several orders to respondent directing him to file his answer to the complaint.] CARLOS B. DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ.. 2001.. there was no Civil Case No. Neither is there culpable malpractice to justify his suspension. and to conduct himself in a proper manner not only to his client. No. VITAN.

From then on. He is ordered to return to complainant within five (5) days from notice the sum of P17. cDCEIA . 2002. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. 6 Significantly. it was understood that he agreed to take up the latter's case and that an attorney-client relationship between them was established. We found him guilty of gross misconduct. care and devotion. WHEREFORE. 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. When respondent accepted the amount of P17. 5 we held that Rule 18. Respondent lawyer in Sencio did not return the money to complainant despite demand following his failure to file the case. the IBP Board of Governors passed Resolution No. Lazaro. During the proceedings before the IBP. the recommended penalty by the IBP is too harsh.03 and 18. EcaDCI In Santos vs. but also to the court.00 paid to him for not having extended his legal services to the complainant on a lawyer-client relationship within six (6) months from receipt hereof. The failure to exercise that degree of vigilance and attention expected of a good father of a family makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust reposed in him by his client and makes him answerable not just to his client but also to the legal profession.000. Vitan 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.no proof that said pleading was filed which amounts only to a mere scrap of paper and not a pleading or authenticated document in the legal parlance. taking into consideration the gravity of the offense and the necessity of preserving the integrity of the legal profession. above-quoted." A member of the legal profession owes his client entire devotion to his genuine interest. As it is. More specifically. In Garcia vs. Respondent not only violated Rule 18. should be sanctioned. warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights. XV-2002-406 adopting and approving the above Report and Recommendation of IBP Commissioner Navarro. he covenants that he will exercise due diligence in protecting his rights. the undersigned respectfully recommends that the respondent be suspended from the practice of his profession for a period of two (2) years from receipt hereof.00 from complainant.03. with competence and attend to his cause with fidelity.04 of Cannon 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 utter disrespect of authority and unethical conduct in the practice of his profession. is a basic postulate in legal ethics. Rule 18. malpractice and gross misconduct and suspended him for six (6) months. Jurisprudence shows that lighter sanctions have been imposed for violations of this nature. which declares in part. not only to the client. The facts of Sencio vs. in view of the foregoing. 4 An attorney is expected to exert his best efforts and ability to preserve his client's cause. herein complainant.00 with interest of 12% per annumfrom the date of the promulgation of this Decision until the full amount shall have been returned. with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to his client. We found him guilty of violation of the lawyer's oath. when a lawyer takes a client's cause. the entrusted privilege to practice law carries with it the corresponding duties. it was expected of him to serve his client. 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.00 with interest at 12% per annum from the date of the promulgation of our Resolution until the return of the amount.03 states: "Rule 18. 8 we suspended respondent lawyer from the practice of law for six (6) months and ordered him to render an accounting of all monies he received from the complainant. the courts and society.000.000.000." On August 3. Manuel. respondent Atty. and ordered to return to his client the amount of P12.A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. Indeed. to the bar and to the public. Verily. thus. Calvadores 7 bear a striking similarity to the present case. and refund to the complainant the amount of P17. However. EICScD Wherefore. for the unwavering loyalty displayed to his client likewise serves the ends of justice. Jeremias R. respondent also violated his oath as a lawyer.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. respondent did not file his answer to the complaint nor appeared during the hearing notwithstanding his receipt of notices. nothing had been done by the respondent for the complainant as his client for the legal fees he collected which was paid by the complainant as reflected in the receipts issued by the respondent in handwritten forms and signed by him.

SYLLABUS LEGAL ETHICS. is a manifestation of his arrogance taking undue advantage of his legal profession over the simplicity.That due to his challeng(e). the IBP. 5. the Court required respondent to comment on the foregoing complaint. "Nicanor Gonzales/Serdan" has never . respondent still fail(ed) and stubbornly refused without justification to surrender the said titles to the rightful owners. Miguel Sabacajan on February 14. 6. if he has not in fact transgressed the same. Rule 19. copy of which is attached as ANNEX "B".C. complainants. DECISION REGALADO. which act is tantamount to wilful and malicious defiance of legal and moral obligations emanating from his professional capacity as a lawyer who had sworn to uphold law and justice. complainants were informed by the Register of Deeds of Cagayan de Oro City that the complainants' owner's duplicate of title covering their lands. or threaten to present unfounded charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding. Pantanosas but when demanded (sic) to deliver the said titles to the complainant in a formal demand letter. SO ORDERED. the Office of the Bar Confidant. CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. vs. Apparently. one of whom is his blood relative. respondent. — As a lawyer. the complainants sent a letter to the Honorable Supreme Court for enlightenment.That in spite of repeated demands. SECOND DIVISION [A. Rule 15. marked as ANNEX "A". Carpio Morales and Garcia. to his recollection. innocence and ignorance of the complainants.That respondent admitted and confirmed to the complainants that their titles are in his custody and has even shown the same (to) the complainant Salud B. 8. to the prejudice and damage of the complainants. participate in presenting.07 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall impress upon his client the need for compliance with the laws and principles of fairness. Pantanosas against Atty. October 13. MIGUEL SABACAJAN. ATTY.Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Court Administrator for distribution to all courts of the land. In his unverified "Answer" thereto. 1 the verified complaint wherefore alleges: cdasia xxx xxx xxx 4. his aunt. T-91736 and T-91735 were entrusted to the office secretary of the respondent who in turn entrusted the same to respondent. Respondent has closely skirted this proscription. respondent admitted having met Salud Pantanosas but claims that. respondent should know that there are lawful remedies provided by law to protect the interests of his client. If complainants did have the alleged monetary obligations to his client. Panganiban. for which complainants shudder with mental anguish. and entered into respondent's personal records as an attorney and as a member of the Philippine Bar. respondent has disregarded Canon 15. LAWYERS. 1995. Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. JJ.01 ordains that a lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client and shall not present. that does not warrant his summarily confiscating their certificates of title since there is no showing in the records that the same were given as collaterals to secure the payment of a debt.. 1995. cdtai 7.That sometime in October. Corona. J p: This resolves the administrative case filed by Nicanor Gonzales and Salud B. 2 xxx xxx xxx On March 22. for which the Honorable Supreme Court required 19 legible copies of a verified complaint. respondent refused and continues to refuse without any justification to give their titles (and) when confronted. The Court finds that respondent has not exercised the good faith and diligence required of lawyers in handling the legal affairs of their clients. request(s) and pleas towards (sic) respondent.That respondent's dare or challeng(e). Neither is there any intimation that there is a court order authorizing him to take and retain custody of said certificates of title.] NICANOR GONZALES and SALUD B. respondent challenged the complainants to file any case in any court even in the Honorable Supreme Court. VIOLATED FOR FAILURE TO EXERCISE GOOD FAITH AND DILIGENCE REQUIRED IN HANDLING THE LEGAL AFFAIRS OF THEIR CLIENTS. the complainants here(in). No. 4380. concur. 1994. PANTANOSAS. 1995.

report and recommendation. WHEREFORE. in contrast to the innocence. 1995. If complainants did have the alleged monetary obligations to his client. Atty. cdtai . Rule 19. It follows. Mr. for whom he worked out the segregation of the titles. The Court accordingly finds that respondent has not exercised the good faith and diligence required of lawyers in handling the legal affairs of their clients. 3 Respondent likewise denies complainants' allegation that he is arrogant. that it was incumbent upon him to show that he was legally justified in doing so. Instead. 6 for internal administrative purposes the Court referred this case to the Office of the Bar Confidant for the corresponding evaluation. 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. Samto Uy with whom the complainants have some monetary obligations. However. by way of defense. if not curt. much less the Supreme Court. the two sets of certificates of title appear to be entirely different from each other. or can present a judicial order or appropriate legal authority justifying the possession by him or his client of said certificates. aside from the consideration that the remedy thereon is judicial in nature. Uy. T-91735 and T-91736 or a judicial order or document authorizing or justifying the retention of possession thereof by respondent or his aforenamed client. Also. Respondent has closely skirted this proscription. aisadc From the foregoing proceedings taken on this matter. have been dismissed. instead of merely resorting to unexplained. there is no indication as to the identity of the party who instituted the same. Uy of Iponan. Miguel Sabacajan is hereby 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. the certifications indicate that most of the cases stated therein.07 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall impress upon his client the need for compliance with the laws and principles of fairness. he unjustly refused to give to complainants their certificates of titles supposedly to enforce payment of their alleged financial obligations to his client and presumably to impress the latter of his power to do so. In fact. the Court desires and directs that respondent should forthwith return the certificates of title of complainants. cdta As a lawyer." 5 In its resolution dated June 26. Samto M. The records do not show that he or his client have availed of said remedies. two of which are the subject of the instant case. an examination of the same does not show any connection thereof to respondent's claim. He is further WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar or any other administrative misconduct will be punished more severely. He also claims that he referred complainant Pantanosas to his client. supposedly for the purpose of subdividing the property. Apparently. therefore.01 ordains that a lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client and shall not present. if he has not in fact transgressed the same. respondent should know that there are lawful remedies provided by law to protect the interests of his client. that "the instant action was chosen precisely to browbeat him into delivering the Certificates of Title to them without said certificates passing the hands of Mr. that does not warrant his summarily confiscating their certificates of title since there is no showing in the records that the same were given as collaterals to secure the payment of a debt. Respondent likewise denied that he challenged anyone to file a case in any court. participate in presenting." 7 Respondent attached some certifications to his "Answer" to support his contention that complainants are notorious characters. Cagayan de Oro City. Rule 15. Samto Uy excludes the delivery of said certificates to anyone else. cdasia Canon 19. Sabacajan stresses. At any rate.been to his office. Instead. He also asserts that he was holding the certificates of title in behalf of his client. However. these aspersions on the character of complainants have no bearing on the misconduct of respondent charged in the present case. refusals to accommodate the requests of complainants. He contends that the truth of the matter is that complainants have been charged with a number of criminal and civil complaints before different courts. To ensure the same. he should be placed under suspension until he presents to the Court proof of receipt by complainants of their respective copies of Certificates of Title Nos. that is. 4 Atty. or threaten to present unfounded charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding. all he did was to inform this Court that "his obligation to deliver the certificates to Mr. Respondent likewise submitted xerox copies of certain certificates of title in an effort to explain why he kept the certificates of title of complainants. simplicity and ignorance of said complainants. Neither is there any intimation that there is a court order authorizing him to take and retain custody of said certificates of title. With respect to those still pending. especially those involving fraud. respondent has disregarded Canon 15. Samto M. On the foregoing considerations. the Court finds that respondent admitted having taken possession of the certificates of title of complainants but refused to surrender the same despite demands made by the latter.

No. but rather that the courts and the litigants should not be molested by the intervention in the proceedings of persons with no interest in the estate which would entitle them to be heard with relation thereto. vs. Ignacio & Associates for respondents de Guzman. should be allowed..R. Gatchalian.. REPUDIATION. PERSONS INDIRECTLY EXCLUDED THEREIN. Narciso. C. The law lays down procedures which should be observed and requisites that should be satisfied before a will may be probated. SYLLABUS 1. SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS. — Article 1052 of the Civil Code protects the creditor of a repudiating heir. Rollo). Reselva. the motion to withdraw the probate petition was inconsequential. . ID.Let a copy of this resolution be spread on the personal records of respondent and have copies thereof furnished to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and duly circularized to all courts in the country..ID. FIRST DIVISION [G. There is nothing for the petitioner to accept in her name. & ANTONIO R. 2. p.REMEDIAL LAW. ROSA DEL ROSARIO. JACINTO R. JESUS R. ID.. It was agreed that petitioner's contingent fee would be thirty-five per cent (35%) of the property that Rosa may receive upon the probate of the will (Annex "A". petitioner. SUCCESSION. 100 Phil. prosecute an appeal despite his client's refusal to appeal the decision of the trial court. nor purports to give.] BENEDICTO LEVISTE. Harden.CIVIL LAW. in order to collect his fees. personal or real. Reselva. AMOUNT OF SHARE. We had occasion to rule that one who is only indirectly interested in a will may not interfere in its probate. Petitioner is not a creditor of Rosa del Rosario. it does not necessarily follow that every will that is presented for probate. REYES. — In Paras vs. RITA BANU. Narciso. Harden's) aforesaid share in the conjugal partnership. Benedicto Leviste for and in his own behalf.. The amount thereof is simply a basis for the computation of said fees. RAMON R. HON. . DE GUZMAN. — Article 1052 presupposes that the obligor is an heir. NOT EVERY WILL SHOULD BE FOLLOWED. Narvasa. This Court had ruled in the case of Recto vs. L-29184. entered into a written agreement with the private respondent Rosa del Rosario to appear as her counsel in a petition for probate of the holographic will of the late Maxima C. Since the petition for probate was dismissed by the lower court. SO ORDERED. Mendoza and Francisco. as contended by the petitioner. the petitioner. JJ. Thus: ". 1989. 35 Phil. On September 7. public policy favors the probate of a will. a practicing attorney.. 4. January 30. respondents. 244. PROBATE. concur. Puno. 1427. Under the will. is not that thereby the court maybe prevented from learning facts which would justify or necessitate a denial of probate. 35 Phil. DE GUZMAN. JUDGE LUIS B. 1963. the reason for the rule excluding strangers from contesting the will. CARMEN DE GUZMAN-MARQUEZ. MERELY A BASIS FOR COMPUTATION OF CONTINGENT ATTORNEY'S FEES.J. THE COURT OF APPEALS. Upon the dismissal of her petition for probate of the decedent's will. for while it is true that. ID..) DECISION GRIÑO-AQUINO. J p: The issue in this case is whether or not an attorney who was engaged on a contingent fee basis may. the contingency did not occur. 244.ID. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA. ID. Those procedures and requirements were not followed in this case resulting in the disallowance of the will. Leviste performed the following services as Del Rosario's counsel: (1)Thoroughly researched and studied the law on probate and succession. . In accordance with their agreement. 246. DE GUZMAN. ARTICLE 1052 OF THE CIVIL CODE DOES NOT APPLY TO COUNSEL OF A PROSPECTIVE HEIR.. DE GUZMAN. to the appellee (lawyer) any right whatsoever. a piece of real property at Sales Street. she lost her right to inherit any part of the latter's estate. was bequeathed to Del Rosario. that "the contract (for contingent attorney's fees) neither gives. There being no valid will." 3. — The Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the petition for mandamus. 59. The payment of his fees is contingent and dependent upon the successful probate of the holographic will. in and to her (Mrs. Quiapo. Manila." (Paras vs. Rosa del Rosario is not a legal heir of the late Maxima C.

(5)Presented at the trial the following witnesses: a)Eleuterio de Jesus b)Lucita de Jesus c)Purita L. Llanes. 1965. and . llcd On May 22. petitioner appealed by certiorari to this Court. 66-67. Although the order denying his motion to intervene had become final. The petitioner opposed the motion to dismiss his appeal. 1968. In an order dated November 12. in petitioner's moral obligation to protect the interest of his brother-in-law. 2. petitioner filed a "Motion to Intervene to Protect His Rights to Fees for Professional Services. 63 & 64. He also continued to file pleadings. whom Del Rosario and the other parties in the probate proceeding intended to eject as lessee of the property which was bequeathed to Del Rosario under the will (Annex "B". 3. On March 28. No. Del Rosario and Rita Banu. Proc. Rollo. shall inherit all the properties left by the decedent. the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing his petition for mandamus." This consisted. and took their affidavits. Nonetheless. The private respondents filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on the ground that petitioner was not a party in interest. 58325. Llanes d)Rita Banu e)Jesus Lulod. On November 23. claiming that he has a direct and material interest in the decision sought to be reviewed. informing him that she was terminating his services as her counsel due to "conflicting interest. Upon the denial of his motion for reconsideration.(2)Looked for and interviewed witnesses. Rollo). on August 28. 1965." which was noted in the court's order of December 20. pp. 1967. p. Leviste received a letter from Ms. 58325 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. 1967 the trial court denied the motion to withdraw the petition for being contrary to public policy (Annex "G". according to the letter. 1965 (Annexes "D" and "E". (3)Filed the petition for probate is Special Proceeding No. as well as the pleadings of the other parties in the case. Del Rosario. 1965 the trial court denied his motion on the ground that he had "not filed a claim for attorney's fees nor recorded his attorney's lien. Rollo). p. 1965.) In an order of April 13. pp. petitioner filed a "Formal Statement of Claim or Attorney's Fees and Recording of Attorney's Lien. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for being insufficient in form and substance as the petitioner did not appear to be the proper party to appeal the decision in Special Proceeding No. 77. The case was submitted for decision without the respondents' evidence. Rollo). 60. Gaudencio M. 60. 1968." (p. p." (Annex "B". in lieu of his former client. 41248) praying that the trial court be ordered to give due course to his appeal and to grant his motion for substitution. notice of appeal. Rollo). filed a "Motion To Withdraw Petition for Probate" alleging that Del Rosario waived her rights to the devise in her favor and agreed that the De Guzman brothers and sisters who opposed her petition for probate. the special administratrix-legatee.Assuming the petitioner's right of appeal is doubtful. He also asked that he be substituted as party-petitioner. 65. 1966. (Annex "F".The Court of Appeals erred in finding that the petitioner appears not to be the proper party to appeal the decision in Sp. Rollo. The petitioner filed an appeal bond. the trial judge dismissed the appeal and denied petitioner's motion for substitution: The petitioner filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for mandamus (CA-G. cdrep On September 20. p. petitioner continued to receive copies of the court's orders. Ms. and record on appeal. holding that the legal requirements for its validity were not satisfied as only two witnesses testified that the will and the testatrix's signature were in the handwriting of Maxima Reselva. On August 20. Del Rosario. No.) On November 23. (4)Made the proper publications. the court disallowed the will. assigning the following errors against the Court of Appeals' resolution: 1. Rollo. 58325 (Annex I.R.).

The argument is devoid of merit. Upon the dismissal of her petition for probate of the decedent's will. the latter may petition the court to authorize them to accept it in the name of the heir. Since the petition for probate was dismissed by the lower court. SO ORDERED. This Court had ruled in the case of Recto vs. that "the contract (for contingent attorney's fees) neither gives.] WILFREDO D. Narciso. No. Attorney Leviste is not entitled to his fee. 91958. 1. concur.. There is nothing for the petitioner to accept in her name. Reselva." he has a right to accept for his client Del Rosario to the extent of 35% thereof the devise in her favor (which she in effect repudiated) to protect his contingent attorney's fees. Harden's) aforesaid share in the conjugal partnership. The law lays down procedures which should be observed and requisites that should be satisfied before a will may be probated. Thus: ". LICUDAN and CRISTINA LICUDAN-CAMPOS. His only interest in the estate is an indirect interest as former counsel for a prospective heir. as contended by the petitioner. TEODORO O. respondents. he is a creditor of the latter. Article 1052 presupposes that the obligor is an heir. is not that thereby the court maybe prevented from learning facts which would justify or necessitate a denial of probate. In Paras vs. There being no valid will. should there be any. 244. it may belong. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and ATTY. shall in no case pertain to the renouncer. in Morente vs. Those procedures and requirements were not followed in this case resulting in the disallowance of the will. 1427. Reselva.) Similary. in and to her (Mrs. 1991.R. Furthermore. 21st Supp. said decision being patently erroneous." The Court of Appeals did not err in dismissing the petition for mandamus. but rather that the courts and the litigants should not be molested by the intervention in the proceedings of persons with no interest in the estate which would entitle them to be heard with relation thereto. We held: "We are of the opinion that the lower court 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. 100 Phil. Harden. but shall be adjudicated to the persons to whom. Petitioner is not a creditor of Rosa del Rosario.If the heir repudiates the inheritance to the prejudice of his own creditors. Narvasa. . 40 O.The Court of Appeals erred in not reversing the decision in Sp. The amount thereof is simply a basis for the computation of said fees. Gancayco and Medialdea. in accordance with the rules established in this Code. Costs against the petitioner.3. Proc." (Paras vs. No. That legal provision protects the creditor of a repudiating heir. the petition for certiorari is denied for lack of merit. 58325 denying the probate of the holographic will of the late Maxima C. 35 Phil. We had occasion to rule that one who is only indirectly interested in a will may not interfere in its probate. the reason for the rule excluding strangers from contesting the will. "The acceptance shall benefit the creditors only to an extent sufficient to cover the amount of their credits. petitioners. . DOMALANTA. it does not necessarily follow that every will that is presented for probate. The payment of his fees is contingent and dependent upon the successful probate of the holographic will. 244. Narciso. He had no direct interest in the probate of the will. the contingency did not occur. should be allowed. vs. The excess. to the appellee (lawyer) any right whatsoever. THIRD DIVISION [G. she lost her right to inherit any part of the latter's estate. Rosa del Rosario is not a legal heir of the late Maxima C. Article 1052 of the Civil Code does not apply to this case.prLL Petitioner was not a party to the probate proceeding in the lower court. and that under Article 1052 of the Civil Code which provides: "ART. petitioner argues that by virtue of his contract of services with Del Rosario. . 1052. the motion to withdraw the probate petition was inconsequential. 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. nor purports to give." WHEREFORE. Under his first assignment of error. for while it is true that. Firmalino. 35 Phil. 246. Cruz.G. JJ. January 24. personal or real. public policy favors the probate of a will.

is reproduced below: "Before the court for consideration is a 'Petition for Attorney's Lien filed by Atty.Arnold V . Guerrero & Associates for petitioners. spouses Aurelio and Felicidad Licudan. Courts must guard against the charging of unconscionable and excessive fees by lawyers for their services when engaged as counsel." (Petition. 1979 signed by petitioner Wifredo Licudan and Aurelio Licudan on his own behalf and on behalf of his daughter. in refusing to review and determine the propriety. 1979. Teodoro D. the respondent lawyer obtained a judgment in favor of his clients. counsel for the plaintiff." (Annex "H" of the Petition. 818 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. Domalanta. unreasonable. 818 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. reasonableness and validity of the attorney's fees claimed by the private respondent-attorney. Q-28655 for a sum of money in connection with the redemption of the property subject matter of the two cases covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. is the principal issue. LibLex "The respondent Court. Domalanta for and on his behalf as private respondent. pp.. On August 13. excessive. Q-12254 ordered the annotation at the back of TCT No. Rollo. 818 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City of the respondent lawyer's Contract for Professional Services dated August 30. The grounds relied upon by the petitioners are as follows: "The respondent Court. 54) On September 19. decided the question in a manner not in accord with law or with the applicable decisions of this Honorable Tribunal. c)And that all damages accruing to plaintiffs to be paid by the defendant is for the undersigned counsel. in failing to declare the attorneys fees claimed by the private respondentattorney as unconscionable. b)The undersigned counsel shall have a usufructuary right for a period of ten (10) years of plaintiffs' share of the lot in question. "The respondent Court. J p: The practice of law is a profession rather than trade. In both cases. Plaintiff Aurelio Licudan together with his son Wilfredo Licudan. p. and 2)The Resolution of the public respondent dated January 30. being one of two Orders being essentially challenged in this petition. who appears to be . 1990 which denied the petitioners' motion for reconsideration. Whether or not the award of attorney's fees in this case is reasonable. in upholding the entitlement of private respondent-attorney on the attorney's fees he claimed. 12-13. immoral and unethical. 1989 which dismissed the petitioners' appeal thereby upholding the reasonableness of the respondent lawyer's lien as attorney's fees over the properties of his clients. Rollo. For the protection of the plaintiffs. being in the nature of contingent fees. The said trial court's Order. JR. This petition for review on certiorari assails: 1)The Decision of the public respondent dated September 12. Teodoro O. pp. petitioner Cristina Licudan-Campos. subject matter of this case. His services as counsel pertained to two related civil cases docketed as Civil Case No. the court required the plaintiff Aurelio Licudan as well as his son to appear this morning. DECISION GUTIERREZ. 16-17) The following are the antecedent facts pertinent to the case at bar: The respondent lawyer was retained as counsel by his brother-in-law and sister. 1979. decided the question in a way not in accord with law and with applicable decisions of this Honorable Tribunal. departed from the usual course of judicial proceedings. the respondent lawyer 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 in his favor which provided that: "a)The undersigned counsel is entitled to own 97.5 square meters of the plaintiffs' share of the lot in question. Q12254 for partition and Civil Case No. praying that his attorney's fees be annotated as a lien at the back of Transfer Certificate of Title No. the now deceased petitioners' parents. the trial court handling Civil Case No.

p. the lower court. cdll After the petitioners' Opposition to the said motion was filed.5 square meters of the 271. On October 21.5 square meter lot is unconscionable and excessive. (Annex "J" of the Petition. Rollo. Teodoro M.5 square meters for the partition case to enable the said respondent lawyer to comply with the Order dated September 6. the respondent lawyer filed a second motion for reconsideration of the Order dated September 6. 1979 and notarized before Notary Public Amado Garrovillas as Doc. This motion was denied on October 3. 1979 so as to conform with an additional professional fee covering 31 square meters more of the lot for services rendered in Civil Case No. 1985. 1985. rendered an Order with the following dispositive portion: . 1979 differs from the earlier contractual provisions in that it entitled the respondent lawyer to one-third (1/3) of the subject property or 90. No. Considering the manifestation of plaintiff. 1979 is the additional attorney's fees for handling the redemption case which was but a mere offshoot of the partition case and further manifesting that the additional 31 square meters as compensation for the redemption case must be merged with the 90. 1986. 8. let the same be annotated at the back of TCT 818 of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. 1983 executed by Aurelio Licudan in favor of the respondent lawyer. 32." (CA Decision. 1985. Jr. the trial court. On September 30. pp. XIX. Aurelio Licudan and Alfredo (sic) Licudan that they have entered freely and voluntarily in the said contract of professional services. Series of 1979. The respondent lawyer further asked for the modification of the October 21. On November 15. p. Page 8. p. pp. 1985 explaining that what he sought to be included in the Order dated September 19.intelligent and in fact he speaks (the) English language well. On September 16.5 square meters was alloted to him. Book No. Rollo. for an agreed consideration." (CA Decision. the respondent lawyer filed a motion for reconsideration stressing the fact 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. 1979 to conform with the Deed of Absolute Sale dated May 1. Teodoro Domalanta in addition to the original 90. more than ten (10) months after the Orders of September 6. After the respondent lawyer filed his Opposition to the above petitioners' motion. 7-8. the respondent lawyer filed a motion ex parte to amend the Order dated September 19. 1986 and October 3. the petitioners as substituted heirs of the respondent lawyers' deceased clients filed a motion to set aside orders on the ground that the award of professional fees covering 121. 1985 Order to reflect 60. 1985 which directed him to submit a subdivision plan as required. 1985 and October 21. 1985 had become final and executory. Domalanta. the respondent lawyer filed a motion for reconsideration praying for the amendment of the Order dated September 19. 59) On July 25. 1983 which was executed after the annotation of the original attorney's lien of 90. 1986. 1986 reiterating his position that the Orders of September 6. 1986. 37) On August 22. Both Aurelio and Wilfredo Licudan manifested that they have freely and voluntarily signed the Contract for Professional Services. the trial court denied the motion on the ground that the respondent lawyer cannot collect attorney's fees for other cases in the action for partition. 1985 have become final and are already implemented. The said Order reads: "Acting on the 'Second Motion for Reconsideration' filed by Atty. On October 4. 1985 and October 21. let an attorney's lien be annotated in the title of the property for 31 square meters as attorney's fees of said Atty. the trial court issued the second Order being assailed in this petition. 1985 and October 21. on August 29. finding that the petitioners as substituted plaintiffs are not in full agreement with the respondent lawyer's claim for attorney's fees. On September 23. Q28655 as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale dated May 1.5 square meters and provided for usufructuary rights over the entire lot in question in favor of the respondent lawyer's son. 1985. the trial court ordered the respondent lawyer to submit a subdivision plan in conformity with his attorney's fees contract under which one-third (1/3) of the property or 90. 1986. 1986. 1985. Rollo. 1985. prcd On September 6. 1985. appeared.5 square meters. the respondent lawyer filed a motion to set aside the orders dated August 29. upon payment of the required legal fees. Teodoro Domalanta and finding the same to be justified.32 square meters instead of 31 square meters only since the stipulation in the Additional Contract for Professional Services entitled him to 60.5 square meters.32 square meters. on February 26. 1987. 36-37) The Contract for Professional Services dated August 30. dated August 30. set aside its Orders dated September 6.

Contingent Fees. 1985 cannot become final as they pertain to a contract for a contingent fee which is always subject to the supervision of the Court with regard to its reasonableness as unequivocally provided in Section 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics which reads: "13. good customs.. However."WHEREFORE. the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the respondent lawyer by dismissing the appeal and the prayed for writ of preliminary injunction. The aforesaid submissions by the petitioners merit our consideration. Manila Railroad Co. 139 SCRA 419). 540 [1923]. The fees may be properly adjudged after such litigation is terminated and the subject of recovery is at the disposition of the court. (Ulanday v. the petitioners filed the instant petition. the same could no longer be disturbed. The petitioners fault the respondent Court for its failure to exercise its inherent power to review and determine the propriety of the stipulated attorney's fees in favor of the respondent lawyer and accuse the respondent lawyer of having committed an unfair advantage or legal fraud by virtue of the Contract for Professional Services devised by him after the trial court awarded him attorney's fees for P1. p. where sanctioned by law. p. Court of Appeals.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. and the said orders had already become final and executory. but should always be subject to the supervision of a court. not even by the court which rendered them (Tañada v. good morals.00 only instead of respecting the trust and confidence of the highest level reposed on him considering the close blood and affinal relationship between him and his clients.5 square meters of the subject lot." (CA Decision. 179 SCRA 604 [1989]. petitioner Cristina Licudan-Campos and by the petitioner Wilfredo Licudan who both manifested in open court that they gave their free and willing consent to the said contract." (CA Decision p. 1979 was apparently voluntarily signed by the late Aurelio Licudan for himself and on behalf of his daughter. They are sanctioned by Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics and Canon 20. In the case at bar.000. Their subsequent motion for reconsideration having been denied. It is an equally deeply-rooted rule that contingent fees are not per se prohibited by law. When it is shown that a contract for a contingent fee was obtained by undue influence exercised by the attorney upon his client or by any fraud or imposition. we cannot allow the said contract to stand as the law between the parties involved considering that the rule that in the presence of a contract for . 1979. Intermediate Appellate Court. 97 Phil." (Emphasis supplied). 36) On the contrary. They would be totally deprived of their house and lot and the recovered damages considering that of the 271.. the respondent lawyer is claiming 121. Rollo. 34) On Appeal. Rule 20. 5.01 of the recently promulgated Code of Professional Responsibility. It is a well-entrenched rule that attorney's fees may be claimed in the very action in which the services in question have been rendered or as an incident of the main action. as we have held in the case of Tanhueco v. 7. (see Camacho v. we rule that the questioned Orders dated September 19. . — A contract for a contingent fee. they may have won the case but would lose the entire property won in litigation to their uncle-lawyer. There is no dispute in the instant case that the attorney's fees claimed by the respondent lawyer are in the nature of a contingent fee. LLphil Although the Contract for Professional Services dated August 30. 833 [1955]). The petitioners contend that under the award for professional services. 1979 and October 21.Quirante v. public policy or public order. or that the compensation is clearly excessive. We find reversible error in the Court of Appeals' holding that: "When the reasonableness of the appellee's lien as attorney's fees over the properties of his clients awarded to him by the trial court had not been questioned by the client. Grey v. Court of Appeals. as to its reasonableness. 45 Phil. should be reasonable under all the circumstances of the case including the risk and uncertainty of the compensation. the respondent lawyer caused the annotation of his attorney's fees lien in the main action for partition docketed as Civil Case No. 169 SCRA 769 [1989]). this Court has no alternative but to set aside its orders of 29 August 1986 and 3 October 1986 and declare its Orders of 19 September 1979 and 21 October 1985 irrevocably final and executory. De Dumo (172 SCRA 760 [1989]): ". Insular Lumber Co. . Q-12254 on the basis of a Contract for Professional Services dated August 30. Rollo. p. the Court must and will protect the aggrieved party. There is nothing irregular about the execution of a written contract for professional services even after the termination of a case as long as it is based on a previous agreement on contingent fees by the parties concerned and as long as the said contract does not contain stipulations which are contrary to law.

is.that the stipulations therein are not contrary to law. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court which partly states that: "SEC. It is unconscionable for the victor in litigation to lose everything he won to the fees of his own lawyer. We find the Contract for Professional Services dated August 30. Atty. There should never be an instance where a lawyer gets as attorney's fees the entire property involved in the litigation. Domalanta is awarded reasonable attorney's fees in the amount of P20. with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy." A similar provision is contained under Section 24. f)The customary charges for similar services and the schedule of fees of the IBP Chapter to which he belongs. who is claiming the usufructuary right over the remaining portion of the subject lot is inaccurate. agreement as to fees. public policy or public order (see Philippine American Life Insurance Company v. a lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees. Pineda. . in lieu of the 121. The amount of P20. the extent of the services rendered.00. The records show that the matter of usufruct is tied up with this case since the basis for the said usufructuary right is the contract for professional services the reasonableness of which is being questioned in this petition. This is because aside from the 121. Domalanta took advantage of the situation to promote his own personal interests instead of protecting the legal interests of his clients. Domalanta as attorney's fees. 172 SCRA 111 [1989]). c)The importance of the subject matter. llcd The respondent lawyer's argument that it is not he but his son Teodoro M." All that the respondent 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. Domalanta. the instant petition is GRANTED. there is no doubt that Atty. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.00 as attorney's fees. Considering the close blood and affinal relationship between the respondent lawyer and his clients.Compensation of attorneys. The Court of Appeals' decision of September 12. For the worst scenario that can ever happen to a client is to lose the litigated property to his lawyer in whom all trust and confidence were bestowed at the very inception of the legal controversy. Domalanta. h)The contingency or certainty of compensation. Court of Appeals. good customs. Jr.000. g)The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to the client from the service. The subsequent case for redemption was admittedly but an offshot of the partition case. we uphold the time-honoured legal maxim that a lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession so that his basic ideal becomes one of rendering service and securing justice. unconscionable and unreasonable. and j)The professional standing of the lawyer. they are now practically left with nothing of the whole subject lot won in the litigation. 1979.professional services duly executed by the parties thereto. They are as follows: a)The time spent and the extent of the services rendered or required. We find the ten-year usufruct over the subject lot part and parcel of the attorney's fees being claimed by the respondent lawyer. In resolving the issue of reasonableness of the attorney's fees. i)The character of the employment. e)The probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance of the proferred case.000.5 square meters awarded to the respondent lawyer and the ten-year usufructuary right over the remaining portion of 150 square meters by the respondent lawyer's son. . . A careful perusal of the provisions of the contract for professional services in question readily shows that what the petitioners won was a pyrrhic victory on account of the fact that despite the successful turnout of the partition case. d)The skill demanded. the same becomes the law between the said parties is not absolute but admits an exception .5 square meters awarded to Atty. the said contract for professional services provides that the remaining portion shall pertain to the respondent lawyer's son by way of usufruct for ten (10) years. — An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services. Under Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Rule 20-01 of the same Code enumerates the factors to be considered in resolving the said issue. and the professional standing of the attorney . commensurate to the services rendered by Atty. WHEREFORE. In determining whether or not the lawyer's fees are fair and reasonable. 175 SCRA 416 [1989]. 1989 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. good morals. 24. b)The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved. whether occasional or established. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. in the opinion of this Court. Syjuco v. not money-making.

She was willing to give him ten percent. complainant. Ana averred that the estafa case was filed just to harass her. offered to Atty. unexpectedly. are as follows: cdphil "Ana F. After posting bail. "The employer appealed. 1431-MJ which was filed by Ana F. To avoid detention. SECOND DIVISION [A. In a complaint dated July 24.C. the employer proposed to compromise the claim by paying P4. DECISION AQUINO.000 as compensation benefits. Gorduiz requiring Ana to produce a copy of the decision awarding her workmen's compensation for her husband's death. vs. 1973 Atty. 1979 (Retuya vs. 1970 the Workmen's Compensation Unit at Tacloban City awarded to Ana the sum of P8. The disbarment case against Gorduiz was referred to the Solicitor General. Leyte and which was decided on July 16. respondent. Gorduiz executed an affidavit stating that Ana had misappropriated his attorney's fees amounting to three hundred pesos and that he had demanded payment of the amount from her but she refused to make payment and. No. R-2362 of the municipal court of Maasin. Gorduiz the sum of five hundred pesos as settlement of the case.792. "The employer paid the reduced award on November 16.05. on that same day. (c) P200 as burial expenses and (d) P300 as attorney's fees of Atty. she went to Cebu and stayed there for a long time. In a decision dated December 4. that when she did not accede to his demand. Retuya against Municipal Judge Paulo A. Diola. The facts of that case. RETUYA. Gorduiz and Judge Equipilag. Ana accepted the proposal and directed that the amount be remitted to Fiscal Mamerto Daclan through the Philippine National Bank's branch at Maasin. which also gave rise to this disbarment case. she was served with a warrant of arrest issued in Criminal Case No. C. ATTY. "In spite of the dismissal of the estafa case. "It turned out that on January 12.. Iñego Gorduiz (Case No. did not sign the joint motion to dismiss the claim because he wanted twenty percent of the award as his attorney's fees. Southern Leyte. the acting chief of police filed a motion to dismiss the case on the basis of the affidavit of Atty. Equipilag denied the motion to quash.. 1972. instead. Ana F. Also.] ANA F. . and that she bargained for six hundred fifty pesos but he refused to accept that amount. as lawyer of Ana. 1973.10 for medical and hospitalization expenses. GORDUIZ. Equipilag of Maasin. Gorduiz because he was demanding one third of the award.J. 1388.SO ORDERED.10 consisting of (a) P6. the employer of her husband who died in 1968. Inc. Atty. Feliciano and Bidin. "On November 22. 1974.. 1973. he lowered his claim to eight hundred pesos. "The estafa case was not tried. Then. 1980. (b) P2. Retuya. IÑEGO A.292. 1974 but filed in this Court on October 30. Gorduiz executed on that date stating that the prosecution witnesses had allegedly become hostile and that he was no longer interested in further prosecuting the case. Fernan. in February. During the pendency of the appeal. Gorduiz. "After she had cashed the checks for P4.396. concur. the acting chief of police filed against Ana a complaint for estafa in the municipal court of Maasin. she was not able to contact Gorduiz and pay his fee. Judge Equipilag dismissed the case. Erasmo M. "Judge Paulo A. she asked for the disbarment or suspension of Atty. Equipilag). Retuya felt aggrieved by the proceedings therein. He granted the motion of Atty. J p: This disbarment case is linked to Administrative Case No. March 28. a widow with four minor children. she filed a motion to quash wherein she explained that she did not pay the fees of Atty. "On the basis of that affidavit.05 or only one-half of the total award. The offer was accepted.396. Ana sent to the employer the receipt and release signed by her with a covering letter dated December 19. she had to post bail in the sum of one thousand pesos. JJ. filed a claim for workmen's compensation against Eastern Shipping Lines. 9728). 1972 wherein she explained that her lawyer.

. he was in cahoots with the offended party in a criminal case for the purpose of using the strong arm of the law against the accused in an oppressive and vindictive manner. He had also advanced around two hundred pesos to cover the expenses in the other cases which he had handled for Ana. He further declared that he filed the estafa case because he thought that Ana had absconded when she stayed in Cebu City for a long time (23-24 tsn. therefore. the Court finds that there is justification for suspending the respondent. Jr. in filing the estafa case. It was also possible that someone who had a score to settle with Gorduiz had instigated the filing of this case against him. After reflecting on the conflicting contentions of the parties. 1975 recommended the dismissal of the case. the estafa case was later dismissed when Ana paid Gorduiz the sum of five hundred pesos. 2004. had promoted a groundless suit against his client. contrary to his lawyer's oath."The case against Judge Equipilag was investigated by the Judge of the Court of First Instance of Southern Leyte. 1972 she was willing to pay Gorduiz six hundred fifty pesos as his attorney's fees but he demanded a bigger amount. filed in this Court against Gorduiz a complaint wherein he prayed that Gorduiz be suspended for six months because the latter. there is some basis for concluding that." This Court found that there was no justification for suspending respondent Judge. Separate Opinions ABAD SANTOS. FIRST DIVISION [A. 7 and 8). dissenting: There was no case of estafa against Ana F. The fiscal in her report of July 8.. June 26. December 9. PATRICIO A. She had to post bail in the sum of one thousand pesos. Respondent acted precipitately in filing a criminal action against his client for the supposed misappropriation of his attorney's fees. He explained that he filed the estafa case because after Ana had received payment of the award. he was admonished to be more prudent and circumspect in the discharge of his duties so as to obviate the suspicion that. Retuya. The Solicitor General. A copy of this decision should be attached to his record in the Bar Confidant's office. Antonio and Concepcion. He lodged a complaint for estafa against her and she was arrested. However. J. 1979). He claimed that he spent one hundred pesos of his own money in gathering evidence which was presented in the workmen's compensation case. llcd WHEREFORE. the respondent is suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months counted from notice of this decision. No. The Solicitor General asked the provincial fiscal of Southern Leyte to investigate the case against Gorduiz.C. disagreeing with that recommendation. I am far suspension for six months as recommended by the Solicitor General. As already stated above. respondent's client. It is not altogether clear that his client had swindled him and. NGASEO. When he filed one against her he was guilty of harassment and filing an unfounded suit. imposition or fraud". and lawsuits with clients should be resorted to only to prevent injustice. vs. In his testimony before the investigating fiscal and this Court's legal officer. RAMOS. respondent Gorduiz denied that he demanded as attorney's fees an amount higher than three hundred pesos. Retuya testified before the investigating Fiscal that in December. DECISION . respondent. complainant. he had filed a groundless suit against her and had harassed and embarrassed her. Gorduiz declared that Ana filed the disbarment case against him in order that she could evade the payment of his attorney's fees in the other cases which he had handled for her. JJ. concur. Paragraph 14 of the Canons of Legal Ethics prescribes that "controversies with clients concerning compensation are to be avoided by the lawyer so far as shall be compatible with his self-respect and with his right to receive reasonable recompense for his services. LLphil Ana F. ATTY. she did not turn over to him the attorney's fees of three hundred pesos in spite of her promises to pay the same and his demands for payment (Exh.] FEDERICO N. Baredo (Chairman). 6210. SO ORDERED. for an ulterior motive.

000 square meters of land. went to respondent's office to discuss the legal fees.000. Respondent accepted the complainant's offer.00 of which shall be paid upon engagement and the remaining P20.000.000.00 per appearance. who was deaf and could only speak conversational Tagalog haltingly. of violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility for demanding the delivery of 1. The facts as narrated by the complainant are as follows: Sometime in 1998. plus cash expenses. Pangasinan which the complainant's family lost 7 years earlier through an execution sale in favor of one Alfredo T. 1. Castro. complainant received a demand-letter from the respondent asking for the delivery of the 1.00 per hearing. avers that he has consulted 2 local lawyers but did not engage their services because they were demanding exorbitant fees.00 on September 26. herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex "A". Respondent agreed to handle the case for an acceptance fee of P60.00. the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitled case. in lieu of P3. meals and other incidental expenses. 2003.000.00. Complainant.850.000 sq. the IBP Board of Governors passed Resolution No. respondent Atty. J p: This is a complaint for suspension of respondent Atty. 2000 as allowance for research made. through Dionisio. now assisted by one Johnny Ramos. the delivery of 1. i. 2002. was assisted by his brother Dionisio. a former client. m. P20. 2003. complainant learned that the respondent filed the notice of appeal 3 days after the lapse of the reglementary period. and. complainant Federico N. Ngaseo for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Article 1491 of the Civil Code by demanding from his client. while the other asked for 1/4 of the land in addition to a large sum of money. 1999. complainant also offered to defray the expenses for transportation. if they win. IBP Commissioner Rebecca Villanueva-Maala found the respondent guilty of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a lawyer in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended that he be suspended from the practice of law for 1 year. piece of land which he allegedly promised as payment for respondent's appearance fee. Respondent agreed to handle the case for an acceptance fee of P20.000. 2001. complainant filed a complaint before the IBP charging his former counsel. of land from the land subject matter of the case.000 sq. complainant offered.000 sq. Further. In a report dated July 18.00 of the P3.000. he filed a timely notice of appeal and thereafter moved to be discharged as counsel because he had colon cancer. as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED. On February 14..YNARES-SANTIAGO.00 to be paid after their treasure hunt operations in Nueva Viscaya were terminated. On January 29. Respondent alleged that sometime in the late 1997. the Court of Appeals rendered a favorable decision ordering the return of the disputed 2-hectare land to the complainant and his siblings. SCC 2128. m.000. Pangasinan. Respondent however assured him that they could still appeal the adverse judgment and asked for the additional amount of P3. in April 1998. Ramos. appearance fee of P1. piece of land earlier promised and the remaining balance of P20. Respondent claims that after the trial court dismissed Civil Case No. Since then complainant allegedly failed to contact respondent. Complainant. Subsequently. 2003. In addition.00 plus an appearance fee of P3. transportation and other incidental expenses. of land as appearance fees. a litigated property.000. Six months later. respondent also threatened to file a case in court if the complainant would not confer with him and settle the matter within 30 days.00 per hearing and the cost of meals.000 sq. if they lose. m. Ngaseo. through Castillo. went to his Makati office to engage his professional services in connection with a 2-hectare parcel of land situated in San Carlos. 2003. assisted by one Jose Castillo.00 expenses for the preparation of the appellant's brief. Complainant told him that he would consult his siblings on the matter. told respondent that he was willing to pay an acceptance fee of P40.000 sq. m. complainant went to the respondent's office to inquire about the status of the case. One local lawyer was willing to handle the case for at least one-half of the land involved as his attorney's fee. Patricio A. or from another piece of property. with an offer to double the 1. which compelled him to send a demand letter on January 29.000. In the same letter.000. Complainant alleges that he did not promise to pay the respondent 1. XVI-2003-47 the full text of which reads: 5 RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE. implored respondent to continue handling the case. complainant. The said decision became final and executory on January 18. They came all the way from Pangasinan because no lawyer in San Carlos City was willing to handle the case. 4 On August 30.e.00 acceptance fee.000. Respondent informed him that the decision was adverse to them because a congressman exerted pressure upon the trial judge. Patricio Ngaseo's Makati office to engage his services as counsel in a case 1 involving a piece of land in San Carlos. Complainant. 2 On September 16. 2003. complainant Federico Ramos went to respondent Atty. Federico Ramos and his brother. Complainant. parcel of land which was the subject of litigation. Johnny Ramos made a written commitment and gave respondent's secretary P2. finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on . as payment for his appearance fees.00 and another P2. Dionisio. m. aTADCE On July 18. 3 Although an appeal was filed. complainant however charges the respondent of purposely failing to submit a copy of the summons and copy of the assailed decision.850.

the relation of trust and confidence and the peculiar control exercised by these persons. Quisumbing.. the case has been terminated. SO ORDERED. 9 However. DE LARRAZABAL. No. a reprimand is deemed sufficient and reasonable. with modification. an attorney may easily take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client and unduly enrich himself at the expense of his client. Arsenio Fer Cabanting for six (6) months from the practice of law when he purchased his client's property which was still the subject of a pending certiorariproceeding. XVI-2003-47 for having been issued without or in excess of jurisdiction. The letter of demand dated January 29. respondent filed a petition for review assailing IBP Resolution No. Ngaseo is found guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the legal profession in violation of Rule 20. In the instant case. would not handle a case for an acceptance fee of only P20.. when the appellate court ordered the return of the 2-hectare parcel of land to the family of the complainant. vs. petitioner. the illegal transaction was consummated with the actual transfer of the litigated property either by purchase or assignment in favor of the prohibited individual.000 sq. concur. 7The prohibition on purchase is all embracing to include not only sales to private individuals but also public or judicial sales. Invariably. 2003.Lopez. SCC-2128 became final and executory on January 18. 10 In the consolidated administrative cases of Valencia v. The rationale advanced for the prohibition is that public policy disallows the transactions in view of the fiduciary relationship involved. Ngaseo is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months. Cabanting. FIRST DIVISION [G. Davide. Patricio A. WHEREFORE. 11 the Court suspended respondent Atty. ALBERTO FERNANDEZ. not a prohibited transaction within the contemplation of Article 1491. Even assuming arguendo that such demand for delivery is unethical. where the property is acquired after the termination of the case. of land which was offered and promised to him in lieu of the appearance fees. Carpio and Azcuna. 1979. He is REPRIMANDED with a warning that repetition of the same act will be dealt with more severely. Only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the Court and member of the bar will disbarment or suspension be imposed as a penalty. . JJ . adverse claimant-appellee.] THE DIRECTOR OF LANDS. MARTA C.petitioners-appellants. 2003 was made long after the judgment in Civil Case No. He claims that his acceptance and appearance fees are reasonable because a Makati based legal practitioner. in view of the foregoing. lawyers are prohibited from acquiring either by purchase or assignment the property or rights involved which are the object of the litigation in which they intervene by virtue of their profession. acEHSI We note that the report of the IBP Commissioner. JUAN LARRAZABAL. Respondent further contends that he can collect the unpaid appearance fee even without a written contract on the basis of the principle of quantum meruit. in all cases where Article 1491 was violated.00 per court appearance. Under Article 1491(5) of the Civil Code. Juanito Ll.000. as adopted by the IBP Board of Governors in its Resolution No. m. February 27. On December 11.record and the applicable laws and rules.00 and P1. by virtue of his office. C . SILVERETRA ABABA. Consequently. and considering that respondent have violated the Code of Professional Responsibility for grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a lawyer Atty. respondent's act does not fall within the purview of Article 1491. does not clearly specify which acts of the respondent constitute gross misconduct or what provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility have been violated. 8 It is founded on public policy because. Mere demand for delivery of the litigated property does not cause the transfer of ownership. ET AL.. 2002. XVI-2003-47. The power to disbar or suspend must be exercised with great caution.. Patricio A. Jr. respondent Atty.000. respondent was found guilty of serious misconduct and suspended for 6 months from the practice of law when he registered a deed of assignment in his favor and caused the transfer of title over the part of the estate despite pendency of Special Proceedings No. hence. L-26096. there was no actual acquisition of the property in litigation since the respondent only made a written demand for its delivery which the complainant refused to comply. 98037 involving the subject property. In Biascan v. MAXIMO ABARQUEZ and ANASTACIA CABIGAS. claimants.e. Abao for petitioners-appellants. 12 All considered.. We find the recommended penalty of suspension for 6 months too harsh and not proportionate to the offense committed by the respondent. no violation of paragraph 5. the said prohibition applies only if the sale or assignment of the property takes place during the pendency of the litigation involving the client's property. 6 Respondent argues that he did not violate Article 1491 of the Civil Code because when he demanded the delivery of the 1.J . Article 1491 of the Civil Code attaches.04 of Canon 20 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. i.R.

For while Canon 10 prohibits a lawyer from purchasing ".. ID. — The prohibition in Article 1491 of the New Civil Code applies only to a sale or assignment to the lawyer by his client of the property which is the subject of litigation. . NOT INFRINGED BY CONTRACT FOR CONTINGENT FEE. thus: "A contract for a contingent fee where sanctioned by law.. as to its reasonableness. which Canon 10 condemns. In such event their only means of redress lies in gratuitous service. ID. it would often place the poor in such a condition as to amount to a practical denial of justice." The distinction is between buying an interest in the litigation as a speculation. CONTINGENT FEES. Canon 13. It not infrequently happens that persons are injured through the negligence or willful misconduct of others. the latter filed a cancellation proceeding of the adverse claim before the trial court where it was dismissed. opined that "The Canons of Professional Ethics are legislative expressions of professional opinion. 3. to be derived from the subject matter of the suit... petitioner Abarquez refused to comply with his contractual obligation to his counsel to give the latter 1/2 of the property recovered as attorney's fees. the client is not without remedy because the court will amply protect him. has ruled that Article 1459 of the Spanish Civil Code (Article 1491 of our Civil Code) does not apply to a contract for a contingent fee because it is not contrary to morals or to law. with Manresa advancing that it is covered and Castoln maintaining that it is not covered. or in their ability to find someone who will conduct the case for a contingent fee.ID. The Supreme Court of Spain. CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS.. So that in the event that there is any undue influence or fraud in the execution of the contract or that the fee is excessive.C. — Spanish civilists differ in their views on whether or not a contingent fee contract (quota litis agreement) is covered by Article 1491.ID. 4. More importantly.ID.. 5. in its sentencia of 12 November 1917. allows reasonable contingent fee contract. PROFESSIONAL ETHICS.. speaking through Chairman Howe of the Ethics Committee. in a case which the lawyer undertakes primarily in his professional capacity. N.. including the risk and uncertainty of the compensation. CONSTRUED. ID.C. CONTRACT FOR CONTINGENT FEE IS VALID. . SYNOPSIS After winning a case for annulment of a contract of sale with right of repurchase and recovery of the parcels of land subject matter thereof. 7. should be reasonable under all circumstances of the case. That relations of this kind are often abused by speculative attorneys or that suits of this character are turned into a sort of commercial traffic by the lawyer does not destroy the beneficial result to one who is so poor to employ counsel. — Contingent fees are not prohibited in the Philippines. and that the registration thereof as the only remedy open to him. Abarquez sold 2/3 of the lands to petitioner-spouses Larrazabal." Therefore. and agreeing. but by reason of poverty are unable to employ counsel to assert their rights. annotating his claim on petitioner Abarquez' Transfer Certificate of Title. 2. the sale or assignment of the property must take place during the pendency of the litigation involving the property. The petitioner-spouses appealed from the order of dismissal directly to the Supreme Court contending among others that a contract for a contingent fee is violative of Article 1491 of the New Civil Code. on the other hand. any interest in the subject matter of the litigation he is conducting".ID. — Canons of Professional Ethics have already received judicial recognition by being cited and applied by the Supreme Court of the Philippines in its opinion. CONTINGENT FEE CONTRACT SUBJECT TO SUPERVISION OF COURTS. that Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics expressly recognizes contingent fees as an exception to Canon 10. Hence. an interest in the assets realized by the litigation. Despite said annotation. Atty.. the American Bar Association.ATTORNEY AND CLIENT. SYLLABUS Of the Ruling of the Court 1. which is rarely given. — Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics expressly recognizes contingent fees by way of exception to Canon 10. to accept his compensation contingent on the outcome.. and instead offered to sell the whole parcels of land to the petitioner-spouses Larrazabal. Fernandez. . — A contingent fee contract is always subject to the supervision of the courts with respect to the stipulated amount and may be reduced or nullified. There is a clear distinction between such cases and one in which the lawyer speculates on the outcome of the matter in which he is employed.ID. but should always be subject to the supervision of a court. 6. PROHIBITION UNDER ARTICLE 1491. They are impliedly sanctioned by law and are subject to the supervision of the court in order that clients may be protected from unjust charges. that the adverse-claimant's contingent fee is valid. Fernandez in his own behalf. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's decision and held that a contract for a contingent fee is not covered by Article 1491 of the New Civil Code since the transfer of 1/2 of the property in litigation takes effect only after the finality of a favorable judgment and not during the pendency of the litigation of the property in question. Subsequently. For the prohibition to operate. filed an affidavit of adverse claim with the Register of Deeds of Cebu. the Canons have some binding effect. REASON FOR ALLOWANCE. SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. NATURE. The prohibition does not apply to cases where after completion of litigation the lawyer accepts on account of his fee.Alberto B. his counsel. And they have likewise been considered sources of Legal Ethics. ID. — The reason for allowing compensation for professional services based on contingent fees is that of a person could not secure counsel by a promise of large fees in case of success. substantially complied with Section 110 of Act 496.ID.

SCOPE. J p: This is an appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Cebu dated March 19. the same shall pertain to me and not to said lawyer. executed a document on June 10. and serves as a notice and warning to third parties dealing with said property that someone is claiming an interest in the same or a better right than the registered owner thereof. Since the interest or claim of counsel in the lots in question arose long after the original registration. for the annulment of a contract of sale with right of repurchase and for the recovery of the land which was the subject matter thereof. I have caused my right thumbmark to be affixed hereto this 10th of June. I promise and will guarantee that I will give to said lawyer one-half (1/2) of what I may recover from the estate of my father in Lots No. if no other provision is made in this Act (496) for registering the same. MAXIMO ABARQUEZ. Maximo Abarquez. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court is limited only to money judgments and not to judgments for the annulment of a contract or for delivery of real property. SECTION 37. 5600 and 5602 which are located at Bulacao.. p. Petitioner-Appellant's Brief. 5600 and 5602 were to be divided into three equal parts. Fernandez was retained as counsel by petitioner. Being valid. there is no other provision of the Land Registration Act under which the interest or claim may be registered except as an adverse claim under Section 110 of the Act. unable to compensate his lawyer whom he also retained for his appeal. 5.PLEADING AND PRACTICE. A contract for a contingent fee being valid.. — An adverse claim may be registered only by whoever claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to the registered owner. There being substantial compliance with Section 110 of Act 496. City of Cebu. except 'Attorney's Fees'. The Court of First Instance of Cebu rendered a decision on May 29. Litigating as a pauper in the lower court and engaging the services of his lawyer on a contingent basis. one third of which shall be given to Maximo Abarquez. 1966 denying the petition for the cancellation of an adverse claim registered by the adverse claimant on the transfer certificate of title of the petitioners. 1961 adverse to the petitioner and so he appealed to the Court of Appeals. Agripina Abarquez. the defendant in said civil case. The contents of the document as translated are as follows: Cdpr "AGREEMENT "KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: "That I. make known through this agreement that for the services rendered by Atty. Fernandez. in Civil Case No. Agripina Abarquez claimed the share of her brother. This partition was made pursuant to a project of partition approved by the Court which provided. that Lots Nos. 1961. 10. Pardo. plaintiff in Case No. if the appeal is won up to the Supreme Court. at the City of Cebu. R-6573 was actually the share of the petitioner in Lots 5600 and 5602. Alberto B. SECTION 110.8. — The annotation of an adverse claim is an measure designed to protect the interest of a person over a piece of real property where the registration of such interest or right is not otherwise provided for by the Land Registration Act. 1961 in the Cebuano-Visayan dialect whereby he obliged himself to give to his lawyer or one-half (1/2) of whatever he might recover from Lots 5600 and 5602 should the appeal prosper. The interest or claim cannot be registered as an attorney's charging lien. Atty. ID. THUMBMARK MAXIMO ABARQUEZ" (p.LAND REGISTRATION. 26. rec. it vested in the adverse-claimant an interest or right over the lots in question to the extent of onehalf thereof. The adverse claimant. its registration should not be canceled because it is only when such claim is found unmeritorious that the registration thereof may be canceled.ID. who is my lawyer in this case. ALLOWED. 9. RULE 138. REGISTRATION OF INTEREST OR ADVERSE CLAIM. stating that the latter executed an instrument of pacto de retro prior to the . However. DECISION MAKASIAR. the registration of the adverse claim is valid. — A charging lien under Section 37. Agripina Abarquez". petitioner.). R-6573 of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. "IN WITNESS WHEREOF. R6573 of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. EFFECT. The real property sought to be recovered in Civil Case No. entitled "Maximo Abarquez vs. which were part of the estate of his deceased parents and which were partitioned among the heirs which included petitioner Maximo Abarquez and his elder sister. among others. That with respect to any money which may be adjudged to me from Agripina Abarquez. The interest become vested in adverse-claimant after the case was won on appeal because only then did the assignment of the one half portion of the lots in question became effective and binding. Alberto B. arising subsequent to the date of the original registration.

13.) and the judgment became final and executory on January 22. Petitioners contend that a contract for a contingent fee violates Article 1491 because it involves an assignment of a property subject of litigation. 13 rec. 32996 was issued. 1966. Counsel for the petitioners filed a motion to expunge appellees' brief on December 8. 1961 document was annotated on TCT No.00 which his sister gave to him as a consideration for taking care of their father during the latter's illness and never an instrument ofpacto de retro. 1965 and by notifying the prospective buyers of his claim over the one-half portion of the parcels of land. Notwithstanding the annotation of the adverse claim.). Required to file the appellants' brief. 56. prLL Counsel for the petitioner-spouses filed the printed record on appeal on July 12. 1967. rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. Upon being informed of the intention of the petitioner. as it was not within the purview of Section 37. 1966 while that of the appellee was filed on October 1. p. 1961 by delivering the one-half (1/2) portion of the said parcels of land. . Transfer Certificate of Title No.). Hence. either in person or through the mediation of another: . filed his opposition to the petition for cancellation on March 18. p. Petitioner discovered later that the claim of his sister over his share was based on an instrument he was induced to sign prior to the partition. basis of the interest of Atty. Petitioner-spouses decided to appeal the order of dismissal to this Court and correspondingly filed the notice of appeal or April 1. he instituted an action to annul the alleged instrument of pacto de retro. 13. but the same was denied by this Court in a resolution dated February 13. On April 2. That article provides: "Article 1491. rec. 1966.). By virtue of the registration of said affidavit. resolution of which in turn hinges on the question of whether or not the contract for a contingent fee. 1966 (p. ROA. ROA. the adverse claim for one-half (1/2) of the lots covered by the June 10. over his adjudged share in Lots Nos. 13. an instrument he believed all along to be a mere acknowledgment of the receipt of P700. cdrep Subsequently. p.partition conveying to her any or all rights in the estate of their parents. 1966 with the Court of First Instance of Cebu (p.085 square meters (p. rec. . 1964.). 32996 became the subject of cancellation proceedings filed by herein petitioner-spouses on March 7. 13. 1966. adverse claimant immediately took steps to protect his interest by filing with the trial court a motion to annotate his attorney's lien on TCT No. when it declared that: ". is prohibited by the Article 1491 of the New Civil Code and Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics. Appellee Agripina Abarquez filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied in a resolution dated January 7. adverse claimant filed an affidavit of adverse claim on July 19. 1966 for having been filed beyond the reglementary period. 31841 to petitioner-spouses Juan Larrazabal and Marta C. The records of the case were forwarded to this Court through the Land Registration Commission of Manila and were received by this Court on May 5. 31841 on June 10. married to Anastacia Cabigas. Fernandez and Batiguin) are entitled to only one-third of the lot described in Transfer Certificate of Title No.). These parcels of land later became the subject matter of the adverse claim filed by the claimant. the annotation of adverse claim on TCT No. de Larrazabal. 2. 1966 after having been granted an extension to file his brief. 1966. the petition to cancel the adverse claim should be denied. Atty. 31841 was issued on May 19.The following persons cannot acquire by purchase even at a public or judicial auction. The pivotal issue to be resolved in the instant case is the validity or nullity of the registration of the adverse claim of Atty. 31841 to petitioner-spouses Juan Larrazabal and Marta C. 13. 31841. The Court of Appeals in a decision promulgated on August 27. The case having been resolved and title having been issued to petitioner. p. petitioner-spouses filed the appeal bond and subsequently filed the record on appeal on April 6. rec. ROA. The admission by the petitioners that the lawyers (Attys. Fernandez. Rec. 1966 with the trial court. de Larrazabal. Realizing later that the motion to annotate attorney's lien was a wrong remedy. 57. counsel filed one on August 29. 31841 necessarily had to appear on the new transfer certificate of title. 1966. p. 1964 (p. rec. ROA. 1966. petitioner-spouses Maximo Abarquez and Anastacia Cabigas conveyed by deed of absolute sale on July 29. The trial court resolved the issue on March 19. 1965 two thirds (2/3 of the lands covered by TCT No. 110. 1963 reversed the decision of the lower court and annulled the deed of pacto de retro. Fernandez. ROA. When the new transfer certificate of title No. adverse claimant waited for petitioner to comply with his obligation under the document executed by him on June 10. 5600 and 5602 containing an area of 4. Petitioner refused to comply with his obligation and instead offered to sell the whole parcels of land covered by TCT No. 20. The case was submitted for decision on December 1. Alberto B. 1965 in the name of Maximo Abarquez. This adverse claim on TCT No. 14. but before the same was denied by the trial court. Fernandez. The adverse claimant. p. Record on Appeal. 32966 is the best proof of the authority to maintain said adverse claim" (p. 1966 with the Register of Deeds of Cebu (p.

en cuanto a los cuales tiene incapacidad. individuos del Ministerio fiscal.A. In the instant case. Consiste este. Secretarios de Tribunales y Juzgados y Oficiales de Justicia adquirir por compra (aunque sea en subasta publica o judicial por si ni por persona alguna intermedia). la sentencia del Tribunal Supreme de 25 de Enero 1902. 1978). this prohibition includes the act of acquiring by assignment and shall apply to lawyers. of property which is the subject of litigation. Legal Ethics.Y. 1931] emphasis supplied). Jueces. — El mismo art 1. 1. supra. is contingent upon the success of the appeal. "There is a clear distinction between such cases and one in which the lawyer speculates on the outcome of the matter in which he is employed" (Drinker. A. p. de la administracion de justicia.' "El fundamento de esta prohibicion es clarisimo. As WE have already stated "The prohibition in said article applies only to a sale or assignment to the lawyer by his client of the property which is the subject of litigation. 279). In other words. Henry S. 100 citing A. et al. L-26882. the attorney's fees of Atty.459 del Codigo civil prohibe a los Magistrados.459) algunos casos en que. el proposito de rodear a las personas que intervienen en la administracion de justicia de todos los prestigios que necesitan para ejercer su ministerio. citing App. y la efectividad del pacto de quota litisimplica necesariamente una cesion. persiguese. No solo se trata — dice Manresa — de quitar la ocasion al fraude. judges. Court of Appeals. 'Los bienes y derechos que estuviesen en litigio ante el Tribunal en cuya jurisdiccion on teritorio ejercieran sus respectivas funciones. the payment of the attorney's fees. y siendo tambien extensiva 'A los Abogados y Procuradores respecto a los bienes y derechos que fueran objeto del un litigio en que intervengan por su profesion y oficio. en la estipulacion de que el Abogado o el Procurador han de hacer suyos una parte alicuota de la cosa que se litiga. While Spanish civilists differ in their views on the above issue — whether or not a contingent fee contract (quota litis agreement) is covered by Article 1491 — with Manresa advancing that it is covered. librando los de toda sospecha. extendiendo se esta prohibicion al acto de adquirir por cesion'. aunque fuere infundada. de Laig vs. redundaria en descredito de la institucion. the contract for a contingent fee is not covered by Article 1491. Op. November 21. respecto del ultimo parrafo del articulo 1459. N. prosecuting attorneys. an interest in the assets realized by the litigation" (Drinker. Con este concepto a la vista. "xxx xxx xxx "Debe tenerse tambien en cuenta. the transfer actually takes effect after the finality of a favorable judgment rendered on appeal and not during the pendency of the litigation involving the property in question. the transfer or assignment of one-half (1/2) of the property in litigation will take place only if the appeal prospers.. mas o menos directamente. por excepcion. 5x del articulo 1459 podria pedirse con exito la nulidad de ese pacto tradicionalmente considerado como ilicito. no se aplica el principio prohibitivo de que venimos hablando. Castan. and other officers and employees connected with the administration of justice."xxx xxx xxx "(5)Justices. 110 [4a ed. the property and rights in litigation or levied upon an execution before the court within whose jurisdiction or territory they exercise their respective functions.Prohibiciones impuestas a las personas encargadas. "Por no dar lugar a recelos de ninguna clase. ademas. es para nosortros indudable que el articulo que comentamos no menciona ese pacto. A contract for a contingent fee is not covered by Article 1491 because the transfer or assignment of the property in litigation takes effect only after the finality of a favorable judgment. Fernandez.. Ciu 714). cdphil Likewise. 100 [1953]. clerks of superior and inferior courts. This contention is without merit. como es sabido. puede adquirirlos para otra persona en quien no concurra incapacidad alguna" (Manresa. for the prohibition to operate. estimamos que con solo el num. Tomo X. consisting of one-half (1/2) of whatever Maximo Abarquez might recover from his share in the lots in question. 280. Therefore. the prohibition does not apply to "cases where after completion of litigation the lawyer accepts on account of his fee. p.B. admite el Codigo (en el apartado penutimo del art. maintaining that it is not covered. that is. under American Law. que. que delcara que si bien el procurador no puede adquirir para si los bienes. thus: "Se ha discutido si en la incapacidad de los Procuradores y Abogados esta incluido el pacto de quota litis. opines thus: "C. the sale or assignment of the property must take place during the pendency of the litigation involving the property" (Rosario Vda.. Hence. Article 1491 prohibits only the sale or assignment between the lawyer and his client. Tales . pero como la incapacidad de los Abogados y Procuradores se extinede al acto de adquirir por cesion. p. Consequently. Comentarios al Codigo Civil Español. with respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession" (emphasis supplied). si la sentencia es favorable.

supra). of his Case Book. IV [1951]). porque dicho pacto supone la venta o cesion de una parte de la cosa o drecho que es objecto del litigio. Manresa. not only as affecting his reputation. On the other hand. que no es susceptible de aplicarse el precepto contenido en el nun. but it may be void under other articles of the Code such as those referring to illicit cause. this is likewise without merit. Henry S. Derecho Civil Español. Drinker. Vol. V [1959]. supra. p. 1956]. particularly in view of Canon 13." As pointed out by an authority on Legal Ethics: LexLib "Every lawyer is intensely interested in the successful outcome of his case. 1. it must be noted that this Court has already recognized this type of a contract as early as the case of Ulanday vs. Castan. Op. emphasis supplied). 68-69. Castan. This posture of petitioners overlooked Canon 13 of the Canons which expressly recognizes contingent fees by way of exception to Canon 10 upon which petitioners relied. Therefore. Manresa and Valverde. para el caso de obtener sentencia favorable. negatives the thought that the Canons preclude the lawyer's having a stake in his litigation. the Spanish Supreme Court has held that this article is not applicable to a contract which limits the fees of a lawyer to a certain percentage of what may be recovered in litigation. The distinction is between buying an interest in the litigation as a speculation. Vol. of itself. una parte alicuota de la cosa o cantidad que se litiga). 27]. Legal Ethics. speaking through Chairman Howe of the Ethics Committee. V [1959]. thus: "A contract for a contingent fee where sanctioned by law. p. but also his compensation.son los de que se trate de acciones hereditarias entre coherederos. as this is not contrary to morals or to law . Civil Code of the Philippines. but should always be subject to the supervision of a court. as to its reasonableness. [9a ed. Civil Code of the Philippines. also covers contracts for professional services quota litis. any interest in the subject matter of the litigation which he is conducting". emphasis supplied). pp. . to accept his compensation contingent on the outcome" (Drinker. Canon 13.B. 36. And they have likewise been considered sources of Legal Ethics. Tolentino merely restated the views of Castan and Manresa as well as the state of jurisprudence in Spain. cosa no repudiada por la moral ni por la ley" (Tolentino. p. emphasis supplied). believe that this article covers quota litis agreements. [1953]. . Petitioners further contend that a contract for a contingent fee violates the Canons of Professional Ethics. que en el repetido pacto no hay propiamente caso de compraventa ni de cesion de derechos. Manresa. For while Canon 10 prohibits a lawyer from purchasing ". on the other hand. Scaevola and Castan. The Supreme Court of Spain. 'Algunos autores (Goyena. despite some statements to the contrary in Committee opinions. allows a reasonable contingent fee contract.. which Canon 10 condemns. Manila Railroad Co. like Goyena. (45 Phil. More importantly. however. In the Philippines. believe that such a contract does not involve a sale or assignment of rights. Vol. among the Filipino commentators. the American Bar Association.459 a un contrato en el que se restringen los honorarios de un Abogado a un tanto por ciento de lo que se obtuviera en el litigio. have been declared valid by the Supreme Court" (Capistrano. 37 [1912])" [See footnote 25. Pero Mucius Scaevola oberva. y bastan para estimario nulo otros preceptos del Codigo como los relativos a la ilicitud de la causa'" (Castan. con razon. Tomo 4. Nor.. only Justice Capistrano ventured to state his view on the said issue. in a case which the lawyer undertakes primarily in his professional capacity.A. Legal and Judicial Ethics. holding that: ". 9 [1949]). de cesion en pago de creditos.459 esta comprendido el pacto de quota litis (o sea el convenio por el cual se concede al Abogado o Procurador. 540 [1923]). 35. Civil Code of the Philippines. Dr. and since impliedly sanctioned by law 'Should be under the supervision of the court in order that clients may be protected from unjust . is it believed that. Canon 10 precludes in every case an arrangement to make the lawyer's fee payable only out of the results of the litigation." (Tolentino. and agreeing. Valverde) creen que en la prohibicion del art. Canon 13 specifically permits the lawyer to contract for a contingent fee which. Legal Ethics. thus: "The incapacity to purchase or acquire by assignment. 99. 44. o de garantia de los bienes que posean los funcionarios de justicia. including the risk and uncertainty of the compensation. p. As pointed out by Professor Cheatham on page 170 n. which the law also extends to lawyers with respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession. Such contracts. as follows: "Attorneys-at-law — Some writers. p. where WE held that "contingent fees are not prohibited in the Philippines. Likewise. there is an inescapable conflict of interest between lawyer and client in the matter of fees. . however. under which a lawyer is to be given an aliquot part of the property or amount in litigation if he should win the case for his client. opined that "The Canons of Professional Ethics are legislative expressions of professional opinion (A. 1.supra. the Canons have some binding effect. These Canons of Professional Ethics have already received "judicial recognition by being cited and applied by the Supreme Court of the Philippines in its opinion" Malcolm. in its sentencia of 12 November 1917. 5º del art. has ruled that Article 1469 of the Spanish Civil Code (Article 1491 of our Civil Code) does not apply to a contract for a contingent fee because it is not contrary to morals or to law. should be reasonable under all the circumstances of the case. p. .

" LexLib Contracts of this nature are permitted because they redound to the benefit of the poor client and the lawyer "especially in cases where the client has meritorious cause of action. et al. which involved a contingent fee of one-half (1/2) of the property in question. the client is not without remedy because the court will amply protect him. With these considerations. Consequently. it would often place the poor in such a condition as to amount to a practical denial of justice. Contingent Fees in California. Insular Lumber Co. That relations of this kind are often abused by speculative attorneys or that suits of this character are turned into a sort of commercial traffic by the lawyer. at p. And this Court in the recent case of Rosario Vda. 589 [1940]. In many cases in the United States and the Philippines. 587. Fernandez had exerted any undue influence or had perpetrated fraud on. or in their ability to find some one who will conduct the case for a contingent fee. As held in the case of Grey vs. Revised Rules of Court]). (97 Phil. which is rarely given. the social advantage seems clearly on the side of the contingent fee. Adams 91 S. 293. (supra). WE find that the contract for a contingent fee in question is not violative of the Canons of Professional Ethics... citing the case of Ulanday vs. or that the compensation is so clearly excessive as to amount to extortion. it makes possible the enforcement of legitimate claims which otherwise would be abandoned because of the poverty of the claimants. The same doctrine was subsequently reiterated in Grey vs.. but by reason of poverty are unable to employ counsel to assert their rights. which contingent fees may be a portion of the property in litigation. p. Maximo Abarquez. Rev.W. 28 Cal. It not infrequently happens that person are injured through the negligence or willful misconduct of others. p. the system of contingent compensation has the merit of affording to certain classes of persons the opportunity to procure the prosecution of their claims which otherwise would be beyond their means. held that "contingent fees are recognized in this jurisdiction (Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics adopted by the Philippine Bar association in 1917 [Appendix B. Finally. italics supplied). 1048 [1906]). 427 [1956]). does not destroy the beneficial result to one who is so poor to employ counsel" (id. Manila Railroad Co. In such event their only means of redress lies in gratuitous service. 55 [1949]. Justice George Malcolm. with the sanction of law. also stated that: ". supra: LibLex "Where it is shown that the contract for a contingent fee was obtained by any undue influence of the attorney over the client. a contingent fee contract is always subject to the supervision of the courts with respect to the stipulated amount may be reduced or nullified. Harden (100 Phil. de Laig vs. In the 1967 case of Albano vs. said that: "The contingent fee certainly increases the possibility that vexatious and unfounded suits will be brought. . On the other hand. citing Lipscomb vs. Stressing further the importance of contingent fees. writing on contingent fees. supra. p. . or had in any manner taken advantage of his client. an adverse claim may be registered only by: . 1046. It may in fact be added by way of reply to the first objection that vexatious and unfounded suits have been brought by men who could and did pay substantial attorney's fees for that purpose" (Radin. both under the provisions of Article 1491 and Canons 10 and 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics. but no means with which to pay for legal services unless he can. Of these two possibilities. Under said section. make a contract for a contingent fee to be paid out of the proceeds of the litigation" (Francisco. So that in the event that there is any undue influence or fraud in the execution of the contract or that the fee is excessive. Court of Appeals. the compensation of one-half of the lots in question is not excessive nor unconscionable considering the contingent nature of the attorney's fees. emphasis supplied). Legal Ethics. And. the attorney was allowed to recover in a separate action her attorney's fees of one-third (1/3) of the lands and damages recovered as stipulated in the contingent fee contract. a contract for a contingent fee is valid. Legal and Judicial Ethics. to be derived from the subject matter of the suit. citing Warvelle.charges' (Canons of Professional Ethics)". there is no iota of proof to show that Atty. 833 [1955]) and Recto vs. L. Ramos (20 SCRA 171 [1967]). the court will in a proper case protect the aggrieved party." In the present case. contingent fees are the only means by which the poor and helpless can seek redress for injuries sustained and have their rights vindicated. In resolving now the issue of the validity or nullity for the registration of the adverse claim. Oftentimes. or by any fraud or imposition. Section 110 of the Land Registration Act (Act 496) should be considered. Legal Ethics. Thus: "The reason for allowing compensation for professional services based on contingent fees is that if a person could not secure counsel by a promise of large fees in case of success. Insular Lumber Co. 92. emphasis supplied). the contingent fee is socially necessary " (Malcolm. 294 [1949]. Professor Max Radin of the University of California.

867 [1958]). Agaton Yaranon for complainant. report and recommendation. and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. Indeed. A charging lien under Section 37. And. Moreover. WHEREFORE. . documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his oppossession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid. Rafael G. Said Section provides that: LLphil "Section 37. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court is limited only to money judgments and not to judgments for the annulment of a contract or for delivery of real property as in the instant case. SYNOPSIS A complaint for disbarment was filed by the complainant against his nephew. de Larrazabal. SUNTAY. for the payment of money. supra]. THE DECISION OF THE LOWER COURT DENYING THE PETITION FOR THE CANCELLATION OF THE ADVERSE CLAIM SHOULD BE. Consequently. Court of Appeals. RAFAEL G. which he has secured in a litigation of his client . The one-half (1/2) interest of Atty. Fernandez is to register such interest as an adverse claim.] FEDERICO C. The interest or claim cannot be registered as an attorney's charging lien. as an interest in registered land. Paz Ty Sin Tei vs. since they parted ways because of politics. the registration of the adverse claim is held to be valid. Fernandez. . 69 SCRA 332 [1976]. Fernandez. Fernandez after the case was won on appeal because only then did the assignment of the one half (1/2) portion of the lots in question became effective and binding. vs.An attorney shall have a hen upon the funds. ATTY. 2002. Thereafter. the interest or claim of Atty. making use of confidential information gained while their attorney-client relationship existed." (emphasis supplied). and serves as a notice and warning to third parties dealing with said property that someone is claiming an interest on the same or a better right than the registered owner thereof" (Sanchez. being valid. Fernandez in the lots in question arose long after the original registration which took place many years ago. After almost four years in 1982. Teehankee (Chairman). the only adequate remedy open to Atty. Jose Le Dy Piao. Having purchased the property with the knowledge of the adverse claim. complainant. vs. adviser and confidant who was privy to all his legal. . 103 Phil. DE LARRAZABAL. Jr. Guerrero. As held by this Court: "The annotation of an adverse claim is a measure designed to protect the interest of a person over a piece of real property where the registration of such interest or right is not otherwise provided for by the Land Registration Act. respondent had been filing complaints and cases against complainant. concur. and executions issued in pursuance of such judgments. Juan Larrazabal and Marta C. Fernandez adverse to Maximo Abarquez. there is no other provision of the Land Registration Act under which the interest or claim may be registered except as an adverse claim under Section 110 thereof. Consequently. Atty. Fernandez an interest or right over the lots in question the extent of one-half thereof. Therefore. vested in Atty. there being a substantial compliance with Section 110 of Act 496. financial. they are estopped from questioning the validity of the adverse claim. No. Complainant alleged that respondent was his legal counsel. Jose Lee Dy Piao. EN BANC [A. if no other provision is made in this Act for registering the same . He shall also have a lien to the same extent upon all judgments. they are therefore in bad faith." The contract for a contingent fee. and political affairs from 1956 to 1964. Suntay. respondent.C. . So that when he filed his affidavit of adverse claim his interest was already an existing one. arising subsequent to the date of the original registration . The lower court was correct in denying the motion to annotate the attorney's lien. its registration should not be cancelled because as WE have already stated. Resolution of this case . WITH COSTS AGAINST PETITIONER-APPELLANTS JUAN LARRAZABAL AND MARTA C. JJ. Being valid. AS IT IS HEREBY AFFIRMED. August 7. Said interest became vested in Atty. There was therefore a valid interest in the lots to registered in favor of Atty. They purchased their two thirds (2/3) interest in the lots in question with the knowledge of the adverse claim of Atty. this case was referred to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for investigation. SUNTAY. the OSG submitted its report and recommendation finding respondent guilty as charged.. 1890. Fernandez in the lots in question should therefore be respected. . "it is only when such claim is found unmeritorious that the registration thereof may be cancelled" (Paz Ty Sin Tei vs. However. The adverse claim was annotated on the old transfer certificate of title and was later annotated on the new transfer certificate of title issued to them. . he has a better right than petitioner-spouses. SO ORDERED."Whoever claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to the registered owner. De Castro and Melencio-Herrera.

. DScTaC SYLLABUS LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS. Complainant alleged that respondent's possession and examination of the TCT and the blueprint plan of the property while he was still counsel for complainant provided him with the information that there used to be two (2) creeks traversing the fishpond. — A lawyer shall preserve the confidences and secrets of his clients even after termination of the attorney-client relation. complainant alleged that respondent relentlessly pursued a case against him for violation of PD No. (c) Civil Case No. Complainant filed his Comments thereon as required in our Resolution of 26 July 1978.was delayed due to several motions filed by the respondent. For violating the confidentiality of lawyer-client relationship and for unethical conduct. to consult with lawyers upon what they believe are their rights in litigation. respondent Suntay was suspended by the Supreme Court from the practice of law for two years. respondent had been filing complaints and cases against complainant. inquiry of the nature suggested would lead to the revelation. . report. As found by both the OSG and the IBP investigating commissioner. Hence. it behooves attorneys. Federico Suntay. ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATION. This stern rule is designed not alone to prevent the dishonest practitioner from fraudulent conduct. and that since respondent helped in the administration of the fishpond. 112764. . like Caesar's wife. David—Communications between attorney and client are. Dr. Finally in 2001 the IBP recommended that respondent Suntay be suspended from the practice of law for two years for immoral conduct. As succinctly explained in Hilado v. To make the passing of confidential communication a condition precedent. . making use of confidential information gained while their attorney-client relationship existed. 112764. the necessity of setting down the existence of the bare relationship of attorney and client as the yardstick for testing incompatibility of interests. After review of the records of this case. not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence. and. to make the employment conditioned on the scope and character of the knowledge acquired by an attorney in determining his right to change sides. (d) I. "Magno Dinglasan v. 3 "Magno Dinglasan v.S. Suntay against his nephew. and otherwise harassing him at every turn. Complainant enumerated the following cases filed by respondent to harass him: (a) Civil Case No. Suntay. the court should accept the attorney's inaccurate version of the facts that came to him . Atty. T-15674. cDTCIA DECISION BELLOSILLO. 4726-M. on good taste . respondent acted as counsel for clients in cases involving subject matter regarding which he had either been previously consulted by complainant or which he had previously helped complainant to administer as the latter's counsel and confidant from 1956 to 1964. since they parted ways because of politics and respondent's overweening political ambitions in 1964. financial and political affairs from 1956 to 1964. The investigating commissioner adopted in toto the report and recommendation of the OSG. 4306-M 1 for injunction and damages in 1975. No. and recommendation in our Resolution dated 23 October 1978. if an investigation be held. a complicated affair. In addition. Federico Suntay. . respondent averred that complainant failed to specify the alleged confidential information used against him. In the complexity of what is said in the course of the dealings between an attorney and a client. In 1988. 2"Narciso Lopez v. but as to whether the attorney has adhered to proper professional standard. of other matters that might only further prejudice the complainant's cause. alleging that respondent was his legal counsel. (b) Civil Case No.e. Federico Suntay. 77-1523. i. Rafael G. [T]he question is not necessarily one of the rights of the parties. In view of the penalty involved. the case was forwarded to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). but as well to protect the honest lawyer from unfounded suspicion of unprofessional practice ." where respondent appeared as counsel for the plaintiff involving fishponds which respondent had previously helped to administer. Such defense is unavailing. secret and well known facts. Litigants would in consequence be wary in going to an attorney. 296 4 for the alleged disappearance of two (2) creeks traversing complainant's fishpond in Bulacan covered by TCT No. Only thus can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. J p: This Complaint for disbarment was filed by Federico C. consisting of entangled relevant and irrelevant. And the theory would be productive of other unsalutary results. the Court found the IBP recommendation to be well taken. but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing. As his defense. Thereafter this case was referred to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for investigation." for damages where respondent appeared as counsel for the plaintiff. Required to answer the charges respondent filed a "Motion to Order Complainant to Specify His Charges" alleging that complainant failed to specify the alleged "confidential information or intelligence" gained by him while the attorney-client relationship existed but which he allegedly used against complainant when the relationship terminated. the case was referred to the Court en banc for final action. would not enhance the freedom of litigants. . . adviser and confidant who was privy to all his legal. Federico Suntay. "Carlos Panganiban v. CONSTRUED. The condition would of necessity call for an investigation of what information the attorney has received and in what way it is or it is not in conflict with his new position. It is founded on principles of public policy. lest by an unfortunate turn of the proceeding. in advance of the trial." in 1970 where respondent appeared as counsel for the plaintiff to determine the real contract between the parties likewise involving the two (2) fishponds which respondent had previously helped to administer. . However." for false testimony and grave oral defamation before the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan involving complainant's same testimony subject of the complaint for damages in Civil Case No. which is to be sedulously fostered. With these thoughts in mind. in a great number of litigations. he also came to know that the two (2) creeks had disappeared.

respondent continued to be the lawyer of Magno Dinglasan. Civil Case No. 77-1523.S. By serving as the lawyer of Magno Dinglasan. one count of violating the confidentiality of client-lawyer relationship and one count of engaging in unethical conduct. When the case was dismissed by the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan and it was elevated to the Ministry of Justice on appeal. During the preliminary investigation of the case by the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan.00 as consideration for the destruction of complainant's record in the Bureau. The case stemmed from the testimony given by complainant on December 21. He served as my legal counsel in the Hagonoy Rural Bank of which my family is the majority stockholders. on the same testimony that complainant gave on December 21.S. AQUINO: "Q:As your lawyer from 1956 to 1964. May 21. complainant stated that he once declined the demand of Magno Dinglasan. 1976 before the Court of First Instance of Bulacan in Civil Case No. complainant again consulted respondent. 112764 before the Court of First Instance of Manila. He is our confidant. 112764 was an action for damages filed by Magno Dinglasan against complainant based.S. We have no secrets between us.Respondent committed malpractice when he represented Magno Dinglasan in the case for false testimony and grave oral defamation filed by Magno Dinglasan against complainant before the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan (I. to wit: The evidence presented by complainant which was largely unrebutted by respondent establish two counts of malpractice against respondent. in I. tsn. 1981) . No. He used to help me manage my fishpond. Respondent likewise advised complainant not to heed the demand (pp.000. 3930-M. respondent violated the confidentiality of information obtained out of a client-lawyer relationship. about the demand made in 1957 or 1958 by Magno Dinglasan for P150. No.000. who was then his counsel. In his capacity as lawyer of complainant from 1956 to 1964. 112764 constitutes malpractice as thereby he represented conflicting interests. will you kindly inform the Honorable Hearing Officer what was the nature of the work of Atty. He has complete access in our papers (tsn.In filing a charge against complainant for alleged illegal destruction of dikes. respondent had the following functions: "Witness "A:He was my lawyer from 1956 from the time he passed the bar up to sometime in 1964 and my legal adviser on political matters and legal matters. Respondent's advice was for complainant to disregard the demand as it was improper. Complainant testified in this disbarment proceeding that he consulted respondent. Respondent's representation of Magno Dinglasan in I. Suntay? "A:He handled my cases on the titling of our properties. before the Court of First Instance of Bulacan in Civil Case No. 1. when Magno Dinglasan reduced the amount to P50. 61-62. 1977 with the crime of false testimony and grave oral defamation (Exhibits G and G-1). Rule 138. 77-1523). On account of that testimony. For the same reasons set forth above.00 as consideration for the destruction of complainant's record in the Bureau of Internal Revenue. among others. "ATTY. No. Rules of Court) for respondent was previously the lawyer of complainant and respondent was consulted by complainant regarding the very matter which was the subject of the case. When asked why Magno Dinglasan had testified against him in that case.After almost four (4) years the OSG submitted its Report and Recommendation dated 14 October 1982 enumerating the following findings against respondent.Respondent again committed malpractice when he served as lawyer of Magno Dinglasan in Civil Case No.000. Later. 3. May 21. respondent's representation of Magno Dinglasan in Civil Case No. 2. He is our legal adviser on legal matters. 1981). for P150. 1976. 3930-M.00. a former official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. respondent thus represented an interest which conflicted with the interest of his former client. Magno Dinglasan charged complainant on July 29. 77-1523 constitutes malpractice (Section 27. respondent acted as counsel for Magno Dinglasan.

the fishpond is bounded on the north and northeast by Sapang Caluang and on the west by Sapang Malalim (please see Exhibit 6).The evidence also establishes the commission of unethical conduct by respondent for serving as lawyer of Panganiban and Lopez . Federico Suntay. . Sapang Malalim and Sapang Caluang had disappeared. for violation of Presidential Decree No.Magno Dinglasan v.S. (Exhibit 6) From the foregoing facts. Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan. Manila. Thus. CFI. In the certificate of title. His possession and examination of Transfer Certificate of Title No. After several pleadings on the issue were filed by both respondent and Solicitor Rogelio Dancel. 77-1523. and for himself filing criminal charges against complainant which were later dismissed. there is a violation of professional confidence. Under the circumstances. Respondent did so and the complaint was docketed as I.Narciso Lopez v. The cases filed by respondent were about properties which respondent had something to do with as counsel and administrator of complainant. In a letter dated March 17.Magno Dinglasan v. (Exhibit 6). Branch VII. In 1974. 74-193. No. Sapang Malalim and Sapang Caluang. Suntay and Magno Dinglasan v. Respondent was requested to file a formal complaint with supporting affidavits. The cases wherein respondent served as lawyer for the adversary of complainant or filed by respondent himself against complainant are the following: 1.S. 74-193. it is clear that respondent made use of the information he gained while he was the lawyer of complainant as basis for his complaint for the building of illegal dikes. 4306-M. Suntay. 4726-M. 296. This fishpond was previously traversed by two creeks. The relocation survey disclosed that there were no more creeks traversing the fishpond. 112764. he also came to know that the two creeks had disappeared. I. Civil Case No. Branch II. the fishpond covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. xxx xxx xxx IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. He is an uncle and a political benefactor.S. The Chief State Prosecutor referred the letter to the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan. Federico Suntay. CFI. Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan. 4. . he gained the data which became the basis of his complaint when he was a lawyer and part administrator of complainant. No.Carlos Panganiban v.Rafael G. the Ministry of Public Works conducted a relocation survey of the fishpond. I. The parties for whom respondent filed cases against complainant were former friends or associates of complainant whom respondent met when he was serving as the lawyer and general adviser of complainant.Complainant owned several fishponds in Bulacan. . especially when the professional relationship had ended several years before. Motion to Disqualify Solicitor Rogelio Dancel to Act on this Case and Motion to Suspend Period to File Answer dated 18 January 1983 filed by respondent principally accusing handling Solicitor Dancel of having given unwarranted advantage and preference to the complainant in the investigation of the case. No. the Court in itsResolution dated 22 August 1983 denied respondent's motion to disqualify Solicitor Dancel and required the OSG to proceed with the . Civil Case No. yet under the over-all circumstances of the case at bar it can not be said that respondent acted ethically. 4. Malolos. 2. for violation of P. and 5. 5 Resolution of this case was delayed despite receipt of the foregoing Report and Recommendation in view of theOmnibus Motion to Remand Case to the Office of the Solicitor General. The Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan required the Public Works to conduct a re-survey. . 296. 1973. Federico Suntay. Federico C. The existence of the creeks is shown by the certificate of title and the blue print plan of the fishpond. 3. CFI. While there may be validity to respondent's contention that it is not improper for a lawyer to file a case against a former client. Since he helped in the administration of the fishpond. undersigned respectfully submit that the evidence establishes commission by respondent of malpractice for violating the confidentiality of client-lawyer relationship and engaging in unethical conduct . T-15674. respondent reported the disappearance of the two creeks to the authorities. Federico Suntay. Complainant was not a mere client of respondent.D. among them. T-15674 and the blueprint plan provided him the information that there used to be two creeks traversing the fishpond covered by the title. Bulacan. Bulacan. Civil Case No. Branch XX. Malolos.

. respondent had previously advised complainant to disregard. Rafael G. inquiry of the nature suggested would lead to the revelation. to consult with lawyers upon what they believe are their rights in litigation. 77-1523 for false testimony and grave oral defamation before the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan. The condition would of necessity call for an investigation of what information the attorney has received and in what way it is or it is not in conflict with his new position. . 112764 for damages before the then Court of First Instance of Manila. In our Resolution of 5 September 2001 we noted the foregoing IBP Resolution. . Such a defense is unavailing to help respondent's cause for as succinctly explained in Hilado v. the subject matter of which were the two (2) fishponds which respondent had previously helped to administer. (b). Although respondent denied that there was ever such a demand made by Dinglasan. the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline submitted to this Court on 11 May 2001 Resolution No. After almost three (3) years from the time the records of this case were turned over to it. to make the employment conditioned on the scope and character of the knowledge acquired by an attorney in determining his right to change sides. in A. to the disadvantage of his client. On the other hand. nor shall he use the same to his own advantage or that of a third person.01. namely. David— 9 Communications between attorney and client are. and Civil Case No. his employees or associates or by judicial action. Rule 21. were filed in behalf of Magno Dinglasan.. No. Suntay acted as counsel for clients in cases involving subject matters regarding which he had either been previously consulted by complainant or which he had previously helped complainant to administer as the latter's counsel and confidant from 1956 to 1964. Thus in Civil Cases Nos. As the Code of Professional Responsibility provides: Rule 21. in a great number of litigations. lest by an unfortunate turn of the proceeding. Civil Case No. In addition. 99-12-08-SC. whether there was in fact such a demand. i. However. Carlos Panganiban and Narciso Lopez. 6 After a review of the records of this case. the Court finds the IBP Recommendation to be well taken. Litigants would in consequence be wary in going to an attorney.S. in view of the penalty involved.e. would not enhance the freedom of litigants. would carry much weight against complainant considering that he was the latter's counsel in 1957 or 1958 when the alleged demand was made. As found by both the OSG and the IBP Investigating Commissioner. Suntay be suspended from the practice of law for two (2) years for immoral conduct. use information acquired in the course of employment. regarding whose alleged demand for P150. However.investigation of this case.00 from complainant in exchange for the destruction of the latter's record in the BIR. No. — A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of his client except: a)When authorized by the client after acquainting him of the consequences of the disclosure. if an investigation be held. in advance of the trial. T-15674 by using information obtained while he was in possession of the certificate of title and the blueprint plan of the property.e. namely. No. XIV-2001-169 adopting and approving the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner finding respondent guilty as charged. par. In so recommending the Investigating Commissioner adopted in toto the findings of the OSG in its Report and Recommendation dated 14 October 1982.S. No. 4306-M and 4726-M respondent acted as counsel for estranged business associates of complainant. this case was referred to the Court En Banc for final action pursuant to our Resolution dated 18 January 2000. A lawyer shall preserve the confidences and secrets of his clients even after termination of the attorney-client relation. To make the passing of confidential communication a condition precedent. previously traversing complainant's fishpond in Bulacan covered by TCT No.01. b)When required by law. respondent Atty. respondent initiated the prosecution of complainant in I. No. 74-193 for violation of P.D. 8As his defense to the charges. a former Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) official. unless the client with full knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto. The IBP recommended that respondent Atty. respondent averred that complainant failed to specify the alleged confidential information used against him. of other matters that might only further prejudice the complainant's cause. consisting of entangled relevant and irrelevant. 77-1523 were precisely filed against complainant because the latter had previously testified on the alleged demand made by Dinglasan. — A lawyer shall not. c)When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself. And the theory would be productive of other unsalutary results. 296 7 for the disappearance of the two (2) creeks. a complicated affair. . i. the court should accept the attorney's inaccurate version of the facts that came to him .M. secret and well known facts. Sec.000. In the complexity of what is said in the course of the dealings between an attorney and a client. 117624 and I. 2. no further proceedings were conducted by the OSG until the records of the case together with other cases were turned over to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on 19 May 1988. I.S. the point is that his word on the matter. which is to be sedulously fostered. Sapang Malalim and Sapang Caluang.

00.] FELICISIMO M. Davide.R. INTEGRATED BAR of the PHILIPPINES and Atty. For breaking your promise. MONTANO. but as well to protect the honest lawyer from unfounded suspicion of unprofessional practice . No. May 21. Kapunan. JJ. J p: In a verified complaint filed before this Court on March 9.Thereafter. 2 stating: 28 February 1994 Pepe and Del Montano. complainant. It is founded on principles of public policy. For violating the confidentiality of lawyer-client relationship and for unethical conduct.. complainant paid respondent the amount of P7. even before respondent counsel had prepared the appellant's brief and contrary to their agreement that the remaining balance be payable after the termination of the case. Jr. XIV-2001-169 dated 29 April 2001 is adopted and approved. Ronando L. fifty percent (50%) of which was payable upon acceptance of the case and the remaining balance upon the termination of the case.500. respondent lawyer withdrew his appearance as complainant's counsel without his prior knowledge and/or conformity. Complainant obliged by paying the amount of P4. This stern rule is designed not alone to prevent the dishonest practitioner from fraudulent conduct. since you do not want to fulfill your end of the bargain. Juan Dealca with misconduct and prays that he be "sternly dealt with administratively. Rafael G.00 representing 50% of the attorney's fee. vs. Ynares-Santiago. Montano charged Atty. on good taste . 1993. the necessity of setting down the existence of the bare relationship of attorney and client as the yardstick for testing incompatibility of interests. Returning the case folder to the complainant. SO ORDERED.On November 14. Dealca as his counsel in collaboration with Atty. 37467 wherein the complainant was the plaintiff-appellant.00. not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence. here's your reward: Henceforth. Gerona in a case pending before the Court of Appeals docketed as CA-G. IBP Resolution No.500. 1994. J. . Mendoza. With these thoughts in mind. respondent Atty.000. 4215. Carpio." The complaint 1 is summarized as follows: IcCDAS 1. Vitug. Juan S. 2001. . RESOLUTION KAPUNAN. concur. FIRST DIVISION [A. complainant Felicisimo M. in view of the foregoing. . respondent counsel again demanded payment of the remaining balance of P3. but as to whether the attorney has adhered to proper professional standard. it behooves attorneys.. Complainant later on filed motions praying for the imposition of the maximum penalty of disbarment. respondents. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and all courts throughout the country. the complainant hired the services of Atty. Dealca demanded an additional payment from complainant. CV No. Johnny Complainant claimed that such conduct by respondent counsel exceeded the ethical standards of the law profession and prays that the latter be sternly dealt with administratively. Panganiban.000. Sandoval-Gutierrez. 1992. 4.M. [T]he question is not necessarily one of the rights of the parties. . like Caesar's wife. Austria-Martinez and Corona. Let copies of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant. 2. . Only thus can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice.. JUAN S. Accordingly. Quisumbing. respondent counsel attached a Note dated February 28. Puno. Atty. WHEREFORE. you lawyer for yourselves. When complainant was unable to do so. Suntay is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for two (2) years effective upon the finality hereof. DEALCA.Hence. C.The parties agreed upon attorney's fees in the amount of P15. CAcIES 3.00.Prior to the filing of the appellant's brief. but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and doubledealing. Here are your papers.

However. Please take note again that it was not the respondent but the complainant who sets the date when he will pay. in any case. instead of seeing the respondent.000. Complainant paid P4. 5 . the IBP denied Atty. respondent tried to collect from the complainant the remaining balance of P3. but the latter made himself scarce. but it indirectly would punish his family since he was the sole breadwinner with children in school and his wife terminally ill with cancer.500.00.Even without being paid completely. 9." Respondent counsel sought reconsideration of the aforementioned resolution of the IBP. The true facts. such P3. 8. the motion is improperly laid the remedy of the respondent is to file the appropriate pleading with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from receipt of notice of said Decision pursuant to Sec. 1994. measly as it was." Please take note that. according to him. there was already a breach of the agreement on complainant's part. filed complainant's brief on time. Dealca's motion for reconsideration.000.00 only. respondent sent the February 28. 1997. ethical and proper. xxx xxx xxx 4 Respondent counsel further averred that complainant's refusal to pay the agreed lawyer's fees. report and recommendation. at this juncture. hence.When that "tomorrow" or on a "later particular date" came. 5. Such withdrawal was accordingly granted by the appellate court.Sensing that something was amiss. he could not prepare and submit complainant's appellant's brief on time. thru a messenger. are the following: 1. it was resolved that the penalty recommended by the Investigating Commissioner meted to respondent be amended to "three (3) months suspension from the practice of law for having been found guilty of misconduct. to wit: xxx xxx xxx RESOLVED TO DENY Atty. i. requested the complainant to pay the P3. so he advised the complainant about its completion with the request that the remaining balance of P7. XIII-97-129 dated October 25. Gerona's daughter. The Investigating Commissioner found respondent counsel guilty of unprofessional conduct and recommended that he be "severely reprimanded. respondent.00. 50% down and 50% upon its completion. complainant filed this case. respondent. yet he fails to pay as promised.e. in a Resolution 3 by the IBP Board of Governors on July 26. Gerona was his counsel of record. 3. In its Resolution No.00 be paid.00 remains unpaid until now. alleging that the latter misapprehended the facts and that. 6.00 as promised but word was sent that he will again pay "tomorrow" or on a "later date. the Court in the Resolution of August 1. Ronando L. was deliberate and in bad faith.500.Complainant is being represented by Atty.After the brief was filed. referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation.After respondent counsel filed his comment on the complaint.500. Dealca's Motion For Reconsideration of the Board's Decision in the aboveentitled case there being no substantive reason to reverse the finding therein. 1997. which eroded the public confidence regarding his duty as a lawyer. respondent was able to finish the appellant's brief ahead of its deadline..Due to the ailment of Atty. IDSETA 10. his withdrawal as counsel was "just. 1993 note and case folder to the complainant.500.Complainant went to the respondent to do just that. EISCaD 7.500. As the records would show.Working overtime. 12 [c] of Rule 139-B." Respondent counsel concluded that not only was the penalty of suspension harsh for his act of merely trying to collect payment for his services rendered. prepare and submit his appellant's brief on time at the agreed fee of P15. Gerona in his case on appeal. promising to pay the P3. 2. of his own free will and accord. Moreover.00 "tomorrow" or on "later particular date." However.Respondent was constrained to file his withdrawal with the Court of Appeals because of this case to avoid further misunderstanding since he was the one who signed the appellant's brief although Atty. he did not deserve the penalty imposed. ITEcAD 4. hoping that the latter would see personally the former about it to settle the matter between them." This promise-non-payment cycle went on repeatedly until the last day of the filing of the brief.

1997. 1997 of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines amending the recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of reprimand to three (3) months suspension of respondent from the practice of law for having been found guilty of misconduct which eroded the public confidence regarding his duty as a lawyer. (a)notice and a copy of Resolution No. 1997. 1997 treating the several pleadings filed in the present complaint. (f)comment/manifestation/opposition of complainant praying that the respondent be disbarred. had not yet reached this Court. complainant filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari in connection with Administrative Case No. on February 23. 1997 was already considered by this Court when it referred the case back to the IBP. the Motion for Reconsideration be granted and that the penalty ofREPRIMAND earlier recommended by the Investigating Commissioner be imposed on Atty. XIII-98-42 referring the above-entitled case to Commissioner Vibar for evaluation. and. the Court was not aware that the IBP had already disposed of the motion for reconsideration filed by respondent counsel. finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules. herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex "A". Dealca's motion for reconsideration and as an order for IBP to conduct a re-evaluation of the case. 9 On April 10. XII-97154 be raised to a heavier penalty. on March 28. When the Court issued the resolution of December 10. report and recommendation "in view of the Motion for Reconsideration granted by the Supreme Court. Thus. this Court noted the following pleadings filed in the present complaint. 1997 of respondent for reconsideration of the aforesaid resolution of July 26." The Investigating Commissioner. recommended that his original recommendation of the imposition of the penalty of reprimand be maintained. Dealca. (d)comment/opposition of respondent praying that the motion for the imposition of the maximum penalty be denied. the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner in the above-entitled case. when the IBP was informed of the said Court resolution. 2000. In compliance therewith. 4215 against the IBP and respondent counsel averring that the IBP Board of Governors committed grave abuse of discretion when it overturned its earlier resolution and granted respondent counsel's motion for reconsideration on February 23. after referring the case. the only IBP resolution attached to the records of the case was Resolution No. it should be noted that the IBP resolution denying respondent's motion for reconsideration (Resolution No. 1999. 1998. and (g)rejoinder of respondent praying that this case be dismissed for being baseless.On December 10. XII-97-154 dated July 26. 1997 had already become final and executory. XIII-97-129) dated October 25. XIII-99-48 xxx xxx xxx RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE. hence. XII-97-54 amending the administrative sanction from reprimand to three months suspension. (b)complainant's motion praying for the imposition of the maximum penalty of disbarment. 1997. He claimed that the earlier resolution denying the motion for reconsideration issued on October 25. noting that respondent counsel had served the IBP well as President of the Sorsogon Chapter. for some reason. Hence. the IBP Board of Governors. It failed to notice that its resolution denying the motion for reconsideration was not among those pleadings and resolution referred back to it. TSaEcH (c)motion dated September 15. The IBP assumed that its resolution of October 25. it construed the same as granting Atty. 7 Accordingly. (e)comment of complainant praying that the penalty of three (3) months suspension from the practice of law as recommended by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines pursuant to Resolution No. issued the following resolution: RESOLUTION NO. at the time the pleadings were referred back to the IBP in the same resolution. 8 Complainant asked the IBP to reconsider the foregoing resolution but the motion was denied. . As of that date. Juan S. any further action or motion subsequent to such final and executory judgment shall be null and void. 1999. 6 and referred the same to the IBP for evaluation and report. as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED. the IBP issued Resolution No.

000.] ELMER CANOY. SECOND DIVISION [A.00 as the latter demanded. the labor arbiter hearing the complaint ordered the parties to submit their respective position papers. Ortiz appeared as counsel for Canoy in this proceeding. concur.00 upon acceptance of the case. 12 In the present case. DECISION TINGA.00. Atty. injustice or fraud. In 1998. 2 Atty. respondent Atty. The complaint was filed with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Regional Arbitration Board VI in Bacolod City. Under Canon 22 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.11 under the circumstances of the present case. Dealca's conduct just and proper? We find Atty. reprimand is deemed sufficient. ATTY. on the strength of this Court's resolution which it had inadvertently misconstrued.00. C. Puno. Canoy decided to follow-up the case himself with the NLRC. Dealca's conduct unbecoming of a member of the legal profession. Only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the Court and member of the bar will disbarment be imposed as a penalty. 2005. Pardoand Ynares-Santiago. March 16. JJ. notwithstanding.J. Dealca is REPRIMANDED with a warning that repetition of the same act will be dealt with more severely. No.. There is sufficient evidence which indicates complainant's willingness to pay the attorney's fees. Canoy submitted all the necessary documents and records to Atty. does not agree with complainant's contention that the maximum penalty of disbarment should be imposed on respondent lawyer. And while the remaining balance was not yet due as it was agreed to be paid only upon the completion and submission of the brief. was Atty. Sadly. JOSE MAX ORTIZ. It is regrettable that the procedural infirmity alleged by complainant actually arose from a mere oversight which was attributable to neither party.500. In fact. which does not appear to be deliberate. Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines. respondent. Suspension from the practice is the usual penalty. It should never be decreed where a lesser penalty.C. and there is no reason to deviate from the norm in this case. Dealca's withdrawal was unjustified as complainant did not deliberately fail to pay him the attorney's fees. SO ORDERED. Jr. respondent lawyer failed to act in accordance with the demands of the Code. That the lawyer forsook his legal practice on account of what might be perceived as a higher calling.4 of Canon 20. Dealca withdrew his appearance simply because of complainant's failure to pay the remaining balance of P3.. mandates that a lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort to judicial action only to prevent imposition. 10 Given the above circumstances. election to public office. Jose Max Ortiz (Atty.. a lawyer shall withdraw his services only for good cause and upon notice appropriate in the circumstances. during which Canoy was told to come back as his lawyer was not present. The Court holds that the error is not attributable to the IBP. for not so large a sum owed to him by complainant. the parties not . Davide. he made several unfruitful visits to the office of Atty. vs. we affirm the findings made by the IBP that complainant engaged the services of respondent lawyer only for the preparation and submission of the appellant's brief and the attorney's fees was payable upon the completion and submission of the appellant's brief and not upon the termination of the case. such as temporary suspension. would accomplish the end desired. Atty. Rule 20. After a final visit at the office of Atty. does not mitigate the dereliction of professional duty. the IBP conducted a re-evaluation of the case and came up with the assailed resolution now sought to be reversed. Ortiz in April of 2000. Ortiz) of misconduct and malpractice. Although he may withdraw his services when the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services. This.Hence. The Court. for failure to prosecute. Thereafter. HSATIC Going into the merits. The power to disbar must be exercised with great caution. complainant.500. complainant exerted honest efforts to fulfill his obligation. Respondent's contemptuous conduct does not speak well of a member of the bar considering that the amount owing to him was only P3. As agreed upon. It was alleged that Canoy filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against his former employer. 5485. Ortiz for the preparation of the position paper. WHEREFORE. however. J p: There are no good reasons that would justify a lawyer virtually abandoning the cause of the client in the midst of litigation without even informing the client of the fact or cause of desertion. The situation was aggravated by respondent counsel's note to complainant withdrawing as counsel which was couched in impolite and insulting language. A Complaint 1 dated 10 April 2001 was filed with the Office of the Bar Confidant by Elmer Canoy (Canoy) accusing Atty. complainant nonetheless delivered to respondent lawyer P4. Juan S. in view of the foregoing. He was shocked to learn that his complaint was actually dismissed way back in 1998.500. complainant paid half of the fees in the amount of P7. Ortiz to follow-up the progress of the case.

"he was frankly preoccupied with both his functions as a local government official and as a practicing lawyer. the records show that [Atty. catering to far-flung municipalities and reaching "the people who need legal advice and assistance. he has mostly catered to indigent and low-income clients." 9 According to Atty. Ortiz be reprimanded. CEIHcT Several of the canons and rules in the Code of Professional Responsibility guard against the sort of conduct displayed by Atty. Ortiz with respect to the handling of Canoy's case. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. he hosted a legal assistance show on the radio. a victory which he generously attributes to the help "of the same people whom he had helped by way of legal assistance before. The efforts of private practitioners who assist in this goal are especially commendable. jur2005cda Yet. Rule 18. groups such as the IBP National Committee on Legal Aid and the Office of Legal Aid of the UP College of Law have likewise been at the forefront in the quest to provide legal representation for those who could not otherwise afford the services of lawyers. at considerable financial sacrifice to himself. Ortiz] failed to exercise that degree of competence and diligence required of him in prosecuting his clients' (sic) claim. Canoy alleged that Atty." 7 Canoy was among those low-income clients whom Atty. the problem of under-representation of indigent or low-income clients is just as grievous as that of nonrepresentation. Ortiz.03 — A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him." and he withdrew from his other cases and his "free legal services." and recommended that Atty. 12 The matter was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. he was free to visit or call the office and be entertained by the secretary as [he] would normally report to the office in the afternoon as he had to attend to court trials and report to the Sanggunian office. The Court is sensitive to the difficulties in obtaining legal representation for indigent or low-income litigants. the investigating commissioner concluded that "clearly. The lawyer was apparently confident that the illegal dismissal case would eventually be resolved by way of compromise. Ortiz deigned to represent. Apart from the heroic efforts of government entities such as the Public Attorney's Office. CANON 18 — A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. 8 Atty. "his desire to help was beyond physical limitations. "Mr. thus the prescriptive period had been tolled. Canoy had conveyed a message to him that he had a lawyer to handle the case." 5 At the same time. Ortiz is the epitome of self-hagiography. 11 Nonetheless. Atty. Atty. Canoy should have at least understood that during all that time. Ortiz be likewise warned that a repetition of the same negligence shall be dealt with more severely in the future. 15 The IBP Commission on Discipline adopted the recommendation. Ortiz claims that for more than ten years. mostly indigents" with only two office personnel. much less the fact that he failed to submit the position paper. his law office was a virtual adjunct of the Public Attorney's Office with its steady stream of non-paying clients in the "hundreds or thousands. Ortiz notes that the dismissal of Canoy's complaint was without prejudice. 14 Eventually. owing to their sacrifice in time and resources beyond the call of duty and without expectation of pecuniary reward.04 — A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to the client's request for information. Ortiz had never communicated to him about the status of the case. 3 The dismissal was without prejudice. He attributes this failure to timely file the position paper to the fact that after his election as Councilor of Bacolod City. CANON 17 — A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. but before he could submit the same." 10 He states that it was his policy to inform clients that they should be the ones to follow-up their cases with his office. but this was not favorably acted upon by the IBP in view of the rule that the investigation of a case shall not be interrupted or terminated by reason of withdrawal of the charges. Admirable as the apparent focus of Atty.having submitted their position papers. the Labor Arbiter had already issued the order dismissing the case. xxx xxx xxx Rule 18. He informs the Court that since commencing his law practice in 1987. report and recommendation." Eventually. Ortiz admits though that the period within which to file the position paper had already lapsed. He claims having prepared the position paper of Canoy. with the slight modification that Atty. Ortiz pursued on with this lifestyle until his election as Councilor of Bacolod City. 13Canoy eventually submitted a motion withdrawing the complaint." 6 Atty. as it would be "too difficult and a financial burden to attend making follow-ups with hundreds of clients. thus his office did not insist on refiling the same. his particular representation of Canoy in the latter's illegal dismissal case leaves much to be desired. He claims not being able to remember whether he immediately informed Canoy of the dismissal of the case. though as far as he could recall. Ortiz's legal practice may have been. xxx xxx xxx . aScITE The Comment 4 filed by Atty.

hardly serves to mitigate the liability of Atty. 27 . save by the rules of law. including all information necessary for the proper handling of the matter. Rule 22. It does not escape the Court's attention that Atty. workload. the ignominy of having the complaint dismissed for failure to prosecute could not be avoided. Ortiz to file on time the position paper had Canoy been told of such fact.CANON 22 — A LAWYER SHALL WITHDRAW HIS SERVICES ONLY FOR GOOD CAUSE AND UPON NOTICE APPROPRIATE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. such as governors and mayors.03. there is ever present the need for the client to be adequately and fully informed of the developments of the case and should not be left in the dark as to the mode and manner in which his/her interests are being defended. Ortiz. A lawyer who performs his duty with diligence and candor not only protects the interest of his client.02 requires that a lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall. and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability to the end that nothing be taken or withheld from his client. 26 He cannot now shift the blame to complainant for failing to inquire about the status of the case. it was his duty as lawyer to inform his clients of the status of cases entrusted to him. 17 There could have been remedies undertaken to this inability of Atty. Ortiz faults Canoy for not adequately following up the case with his office. he owes entire devotion to the interest of the client. subject to a retainer lien. and until then. and shall cooperate with his successor in the orderly transfer of the matter. 24 Assuming that Atty. This was highly irresponsible of Atty. Ortiz claims that the reason why he took no further action on the case was that he was informed that Canoy had acquired the services of another counsel. as the failure to file the position paper is per se a violation of Rule 18. Ortiz. Ortiz was justified in terminating his services. the severance of the relation of attorney-client is not effective until a notice of discharge by the client or a manifestation clearly indicating that purpose is filed with the court or tribunal. Ortiz and this new counsel.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Elsewise stated. 21 However. Once he agrees to take up the cause of a client. a lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. cannot just do so and leave complainant in the cold unprotected. The relationship of lawyer-client being one of confidence. the lawyer nevertheless has the choice to withdraw his/her services. Ortiz's schedule. owing to his duty as counsel of Canoy to attend to this legal matter entrusted to him. he. subject to certain prohibitions which are not relevant to this case. His failure to do so constitutes a violation of Rule 18. If much is demanded from an attorney.19 Statutes expressly prohibit the occupant of particular public offices from engaging in the practice of law. warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his client's rights. and in the case of lawyers such as Atty. 23 Still.02 — A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall. and shall cooperate with his successor in the orderly transfer of the matter. as stated above. xxx xxx xxx Rule 22. the attorney-client relationship is terminated. legally applied. subject to a lien. however. IAaCST Atty. the lawyer continues to be counsel in the case. or maybe even the hiring of collaborating counsel or substitution of Atty. aDHCAE In fact. immediately turn over all papers and property to which the client is entitled. The Code of Professional Responsibility does allow a lawyer to withdraw his legal services if the lawyer is elected or appointed to a public office. he also serves the ends of justice. there was no apparent coordination between Atty. Ortiz did not exercise the necessary degree of care by either filing the position paper on time or informing Canoy that the paper could not be submitted seasonably. 22 In such case. 20 and in such instance. city councilors are allowed to practice their profession or engage in any occupation except during session hours. He must serve the client with competence and diligence and champion the latter's cause with wholehearted fidelity. thus allowing Canoy to refile the case. Ortiz proudly claims as his favored clientele. such as a request for more time to file the position paper. it took nearly two years before Canoy had learned that the position paper had not been filed and that the case had been dismissed. care and devotion. much more so considering that Canoy was one of the indigent clients whom Atty. Assuming that were true. and a copy thereof served upon the adverse party. it is because the entrusted privilege to practice law carries with it the correlative duties not only to the client but also to the court. Ortiz. Ortiz should have filed the position paper on time. as his adoption of these additional duties does not exonerate him of his negligent behavior. 16 If indeed Atty. Ortiz's election as a City Councilor of Bacolod City. to the bar and to the public. or physical condition was such that he would not be able to make a timely filing. This simply means that his client is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land and he may expect his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense. does honor to the bar and helps maintain the respect of the community to the legal profession. immediately turn over all papers and property to which the client is entitled. he should have informed Canoy of such fact. since. 18 Neither is the Court mollified by the circumstance of Atty. Since Atty. 25 Indeed. Atty. That the case was dismissed without prejudice. Ortiz as counsel.

or a violation of the lawyer's oath. In a Memorandum dated February 20. JJ. respondent Atty. 1997. July 30. However. the penalty imposed by the Court consisted of either a reprimand. 1998. WHEREFORE. 1 the District Court of Guam informed this Court of the suspension of Atty. EN BANC [B. SO ORDERED. is also a ground for his disbarment or suspension in this realm. 2 a disciplinary case filed by the Guam Bar Ethics Committee against Maquera. Sr.The appropriate sanction is within the sound discretion of this Court. Jose Max S. its reach and breadth have not undergone the test of an unsettled case. the disbarment or suspension of a member of the Philippine Bar in a foreign jurisdiction. Maquera (Maquera) from the practice of law in Guam for two (2) years pursuant to the Decision rendered by the Superior Court of Guam on May 7. aIETCA Puno. Let a copy of this decision be attached to respondent's personal record in the Office of the Bar Confidant and copies be furnished to all chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and to all the courts in the land. then Bar Confidant Atty. No. Austria-Martinez. 1997 to the District Court of Guam requesting for certified copies of the record of the disciplinary case against Maquera and of the rules violated by him. Guam and did not leave any forwarding address. Ortiz from the practice of law for one (1) month. provided the foreign court's action is by reason of an act or omission constituting deceit. 9 However. In a Letter dated August 20. In cases of similar nature. and even disbarment in aggravated cases. suspension of three months. Ortiz is ordered SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) month from notice. 4 Pursuant to this Court's directive in its Resolution dated March 18. Erlinda C. 28 Given the circumstances. malpractice or other gross misconduct. 793 . 1996. J p: May a member of the Philippine Bar who was disbarred or suspended from the practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also been admitted as an attorney be meted the same sanction as a member of the Philippine Bar for the same infraction committed in the foreign jurisdiction? There is a Rule of Court provision covering this case's central issue.M. 10 . six months. 3 Under Section 27. Ortiz's undisputed negligence in failing to timely file the position paper was compounded by his failure to inform Canoy of such fact. Leon G. 6 The Court received certified copies of the record of Maquera's case from the District Court of Guam on December 8. and the successive dismissal of the complaint.] IN RE: SUSPENSION FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW IN THE TERRITORY OF GUAM OF ATTY. LEON G. 2004. The Court referred the matter of Maquera's suspension in Guam to the Bar Confidant for comment in its Resolutiondated November 19. with the warning that a repetition of the same negligence will be dealt with more severely. Verzosa recommended that the Court obtain copies of the record of Maquera's case since the documents transmitted by the Guam District Court do not contain the factual and legal bases for Maquera's suspension and are thus insufficient to enable her to determine whether Maquera's acts or omissions which resulted in his suspension in Guam are likewise violative of his oath as a member of the Philippine Bar. 5 the Bar Confidant sent a letter dated November 13. Lawyers who devote their professional practice in representing litigants who could ill afford legal services deserve commendation. 1996. 8 The IBP sent Maquera a Notice of Hearing requiring him to appear before the IBP's Commission on Bar Discipline on July 28. a fine of five hundred pesos with warning. 1996 in Special Proceedings Case No. Up to this juncture. the notice was returned unserved because Maquera had already moved from his last known address in Agana. The graver penalty of suspension is warranted in lieu of an admonition or a reprimand considering that Atty. SP0075-94. MAQUERA RESOLUTION TINGA. and Chico-Nazario.. where he has also been admitted as an attorney. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. Maquera's case was referred by the Court to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation report and recommendation within sixty (60) days from the IBP's receipt of the case records. concur. 1997. no matter how well-meaning. 7 Thereafter. this mantle of public service will not deliver the lawyer. 1997. the Court finds the penalty recommended by the IBP too lenient and instead suspends Atty. They deserve quality representation as well. from the consequences of negligent acts. It is not enough to say that all pauper litigants should be assured of legal representation. grossly immoral conduct. Callejo.

S. In its Petition. however. 27 The power of the Court to disbar or suspend a lawyer for acts or omissions committed in a foreign jurisdiction is found inSection 27." 26 However. the Committee filed a Petition in the Superior Court of Guam praying that Maquera be sanctioned for violations of Rules 1. was to be sold at a public auction in satisfaction of his obligation to Benavente. the Guam Bar Ethics Committee (Committee) conducted hearings regarding Maquera's alleged misconduct. 17 On January 15. entered into an oral agreement with Maquera and assigned his right of redemption in favor of the latter. the IBP still resolved to suspend him indefinitely for his failure to pay his annual dues as a member of the IBP since 1977. On October 18. The court also ordered him to take the MPRE upon his admission during the hearings of his case that he was aware of the requirements of the Model Rules regarding business transactions between an attorney and his client "in a very general sort of way.S. the amount which Castro was adjudged to pay him. except for the deed itself. in consideration of Maquera's legal services in the civil case involving Benavente. (3) required to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings." 25 On the basis of the Decision of the Superior Court of Guam. 16 On December 31. whereas his legal fees for services rendered to Castro amounted only to US$45. indefinitely suspending Maquera from the practice of law within the Philippines until and unless he updates and pays his IBP membership dues in full. was oral and was not made pursuant to a prior written agreement. and (4) publicly reprimanded. 1996. Maquera had the title to the property transferred in his name. Dollars (US$320.000. It also recommended that other jurisdictions be informed that Maquera has been subject to disciplinary action by the Superior Court of Guam. however. 1987. "there is no evidence to establish that [Maquera] committed a breach of ethics in the Philippines.On October 9. the Superior Court of Guam stated that on August 6.000. he was admitted to the practice of law in the territory of Guam.00). which failure is. Maquera served as Castro's counsel in said case. the creditor of a certain Castro. 1988. 23 On May 7. a parcel of land. 18 Subsequently. 13 At the auction sale. 22 Maquera did not deny that Castro executed a quitclaim deed to the property in his favor as compensation for past legal services and that the transaction. 1994.C. Maquera sold the property to C. Chang and C. and are fully disclosed to. 11 The IBP found that Maquera was admitted to the Philippine Bar on February 28. (2) ordered to return to Castro the difference between the sale price of the property to the Changs and the amount due him for legal services rendered to Castro. The right of redemption could be exercised by paying the amount of the judgment debt within the aforesaid period. Benavente purchased Castro's property for Five Hundred U. retained the right of redemption over the property for one year. Thereafter. XVI-2003-110.5 19 and 1. obtained a judgment against Castro in a civil case. 15 On January 8. 1988. he contended that the transaction was made three days following the alleged termination of the attorney-client relationship between them. in turn. 2003. 1958.00. as he acquired his client's property as payment for his legal services. Castro's property subject of the case. Maquera exercised Castro's right of redemption by paying Benavente US$525.000. 1974. However. Edward Benavente.00). He was suspended from the practice of law in Guam for misconduct. 14 On December 21. 1992. with all but thirty (30) days of the period of suspension deferred. as amended by Supreme Court Resolution dated February 13. 12 In its Decision. the IBP submitted to the Court its Report and Recommendation and its Resolution No. Chang for Three Hundred Twenty Thousand U. 21 The Committee recommended that Maquera be: (1) suspended from the practice of law in Guam for a period of two [2] years. 1987. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court.8(a) 20 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules) in force in Guam. 1987.S. the IBP concluded that although the said court found Maquera liable for misconduct. Dollars (US$500.00 in satisfaction of the judgment debt. Rule 139-A of the Revised Rules of Court. the Committee claimed that Maquera obtained an unreasonably high fee for his services. Castro. Castro. a ground for removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys under Section 10. It also held that Maquera profited too much from the eventual transfer of Castro's property to him since he was able to sell the same to the Changs with more than US$200. which states: . the Superior Court of Guam rendered its Decision 24 suspending Maquera from the practice of law in Guam for a period of two (2) years and ordering him to take the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) within that period.8(a) of the Model Rules that a lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire a pecuniary interest adverse to a client unless the transaction and the terms governing the lawyer's acquisition of such interest are fair and reasonable to the client. The court found that the attorney-client relationship between Maquera and Castro was not yet completely terminated when they entered into the oral agreement to transfer Castro's right of redemption to Maquera on December 21. and understood by the client and reduced in writing. and that the property did not constitute an exorbitant fee for his legal services to Castro. The Committee further alleged that Maquera himself admitted his failure to comply with the requirement in Rule 1.00 in profit. then sold it and as a consequence obtained an unreasonably high fee for handling his client's case.

Section 27. and of the rights of both". or other gross misconduct in such office. as contended by the respondent. or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. immoral or deceitful conduct. 35 Likewise. due process demands that he be given the opportunity to defend himself and to present testimonial and documentary evidence on the matter in an investigation to be conducted in accordance with Rule 139-B of the Revised Rules of Court. constitutes malpractice. or for a willful disobedience appearing as attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so. Maquera's acts in Guam which resulted in his two (2)-year suspension from the practice of law in that jurisdiction are also valid grounds for his suspension from the practice of law in the Philippines. Such transaction falls squarely under Article 1492 in relation to Article 1491. The Court ruled that the lawyer's acquisition of the property of his clients under the circumstances obtaining therein rendered him liable for malpractice. malpractice. 32 The Superior Court of Guam also hinted that Maquera's acquisition of Castro's right of redemption. an attorney may easily take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client 30 and unduly enrich himself at the expense of his client. or at the latter's behest." and Rule 1.00. as contended by the complainant. They are also violative of the Code of Professional Responsibility. . resolution or order of the foreign court or disciplinary agency shall be prima facie evidence of the ground for disbarment or suspension (Emphasis supplied). in breach of the "rule so amply protective of the confidential relations.01 which prohibits lawyers from engaging in unlawful. 29 the prohibition extends to sales in legal redemption. 33 It bears stressing that the Guam Superior Court's judgment ordering Maquera's suspension from the practice of law in Guam does not automatically result in his suspension or disbarment in the Philippines. In either case an attorney occupies a vantage position to press upon or dictate his terms to a harassed client. the attorney acquired his clients' property subject of a case where he was acting as counsel pursuant to a deed of sale executed by his clients in his favor.Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court. Said rule mandates that a respondent lawyer must in all cases be notified of the . Such acts are violative of a lawyer's sworn duty to act with fidelity toward his clients. The Court held: . In that case. the judgment of the Superior Court of Guam only constitutesprima facie evidence of Maquera's unethical acts as a lawyer. 36 More fundamentally. The court held that since the assignment of the right of redemption to Maquera was in payment for his legal services. 34 Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. He contended that the sale was made at the instance of his clients because they had no money to pay him for his services. The Superior Court of Guam found that Maquera acquired his client's property by exercising the right of redemption previously assigned to him by the client in payment of his legal services. dishonest. The case of In re: Ruste 31 illustrates the significance of the aforementioned prohibition. The prohibition ordained in paragraph 5 of Article 1491 and Article 1492 is founded on public policy because. he is liable for misconduct for accepting payment for his legal services way beyond his actual fees which amounted only to US$45. subsequently selling the property for a huge profit.000. the acts which led to his suspension in Guam are mere grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction. — A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit. and since the property redeemed by him had a market value of US$248. grounds therefor . ECcaDT The disbarment or suspension of a member of the Philippine Bar by a competent court or other disciplinatory agency in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also been admitted as an attorney is a ground for his disbarment or suspension if the basis of such action includes any of the acts hereinabove enumerated. Paragraph 5 of Article 1491 28 prohibits the lawyer's acquisition by assignment of the client's property which is the subject of the litigation handled by the lawyer. 1987 (the date when the right of redemption was assigned to him). The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain. and. The requirement of good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the Philippine Bar but is also a continuing requirement to maintain one's good's standing in the legal profession. Whether the deed of sale in question was executed at the instance of the spouses driven by financial necessity. exercising the right of redemption. grossly immoral conduct.220. or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice. The judgment. Under Section 27. paragraph 5 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. which must necessarily exist between attorney and client. his subsequent exercise of said right. specifically. is of no moment. namely: acquiring by assignment Castro's right of redemption over the property subject of the civil case where Maquera appeared as counsel for him. by virtue of his office. Under Article 1492. Canon 17 which states that "[a] lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and shall be mindful the trust and confidence reposed in him. either personally or through paid agents or brokers.00 as of December 21. . at that only if the basis of the foreign court's action includes any of the grounds for disbarment or suspension in this jurisdiction. The Court must therefore determine whether Maquera's acts. violate Philippine law or the standards of ethical behavior for members of the Philippine Bar and thus constitute grounds for his suspension or disbarment in this jurisdiction. and his act of selling the redeemed property for huge profits were tainted with deceit and bad faith when it concluded that Maquera charged Castro an exorbitant fee for his legal services.

37 The Court notes that Maquera has not yet been able to adduce evidence on his behalf regarding the charges of unethical behavior in Guam against him. and the respondent shall be served by the clerk of the Supreme Court with a copy of the complaint with direction to answer the same within fifteen (15) days. if upon reasonable notice. Let a copy of this Resolution be attached to Atty. accompanied with all the evidence introduced in his investigation. — The evidence produced before the Solicitor General in his investigation may be considered by the Supreme Court in the final decision of the case. SECTION 2. The complaint shall set out distinctly. and default in such payment for one year shall be ground for removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys. However. concur. supported by affidavits. Austria-Martinez. Report of the Solicitor General. Rule 139-A of the Revised Rules of Court. SECTION 3. JJ . whichever comes later..J . Sr. Maquera in Guam and to serve upon him a copy of this Resolution. 39 WHEREFORE. nonpayment of membership dues for six (6) months shall warrant suspension of membership in the IBP. In the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General. Jr. Atty. and to be heard by himself and counsel. he shall submit a report to the Supreme Court containing his findings of fact and conclusion. as it is not certain that he did receive the Notice of Hearing earlier sent by the IBP's Commission on Bar Discipline. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Callejo. Atty.. he shall file the corresponding complaint. — If the complaint appears to merit action. there is a need to ascertain Maquera's current and correct address in Guam in order that another notice. clearly. Davide. Complaint of the Solicitor General. Nevertheless. if any. the respondent fails to appear. SECTION 6. Service or dismissal. or upon failure of the respondent to answer. a copy thereof shall be served upon the respondent.. RULE 139 Disbarment or Suspension of Attorneys SECTION 1. — Based upon the evidence adduced at the hearing. within fifteen (15) days from receipt of thisResolution. Motion or complaint. why he should not be suspended or disbarred for his acts which gave rise to the disciplinary proceedings against him in the Superior Court of Guam and his subsequent suspension in said jurisdiction. It is only after reasonable notice and failure on the part of the respondent lawyer to appear during the scheduled investigation that an investigation may be conducted ex parte. C . of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and shall be accompanied with copies of such documents as may substantiate said facts. the respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself. Quisumbing. this time specifically informing him of the charges against him and requiring him to explain why he should not be suspended or disbarred on those grounds (through this Resolution). — Proceedings for the removal or suspension of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court on its own motion or upon the complaint under oath of another in writing. Corona. Maquera's personal record in the Office of the Bar Confidant and copies be furnished to all chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and to all courts in the land. Panganiban. Answer of respondent. the Court agrees with the IBP that Maquera should be suspended from the practice of law for non-payment of his IBP membership dues from 1977 up to the present. Azcuna and Chico-Nazario. Ynares-Santiago.. or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Supreme Court that the complaint is not meritorious. Puno. If the complaint does not merit action. 38 Under Section 10. SECTION 5. the investigation shall proceed ex parte. SECTION 4. Leon G. Maquera is required to SHOW CAUSE. if the respondent had an opportunity to object and cross-examine. and concisely the facts complained of. cDTaSH The Bar Confidant is directed to locate the current and correct address of Atty. Thus. If in the respondent's answer no statement is made as to any intention of introducing additional . the case shall be referred to the Solicitor General for investigation to determine if there is sufficient ground to proceed with the prosecution of the respondent. the same shall be dismissed.. if the Solicitor General finds no sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent. Investigation by Solicitor General. Carpio Morales. whereupon the respondent shall be exonerated unless the court orders differently. is on leave. Evidence produced before Solicitor General available. SO ORDERED. J . Carpio. Maquera is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for ONE (1) YEAR or until he shall have paid his membership dues. — If the Solicitor General finds sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent. may be sent to him. In the meantime. requiring him to answer the same within ten (10) days from the date of service. with the Supreme Court.charges against him. — Upon the issues raised by the complaint and answer. to produce witnesses in his own behalf.

Cagayan. copies of which shall be furnished the Solicitor General and the respondent. SECTION 2. Eastern Samar. A separate Chapter shall be organized in each of the following political subdivisions or areas. and Zamboanga del Sur. Camiguin. the case shall be referred to a commissioner who. Except as hereinbelow provided. and recommendation. Laguna. Romblon. Isabela. Capiz. if upon reasonable notice the respondent fails to appear. — There is hereby organized an official national body to be known as the Integrates Bar of the Philippines. Cavite. Misamis Occidental. SECTION 9. and Surigao del Sur. except that the final order of the court shall be made public as in other cases coming before the court. (g) Western Visayas. Palawan. Procedure in Court of Appeals or Courts of First Instance. wherein a statement is made as to his desire to introduce additional evidence. Tarlac. consisting of the provinces of Batangas. and Siquijor. The Solicitor General or his representative shall appear before the commissioner to conduct the prosecution. South Cotabato. Davao del Norte. consisting of the provinces of Abra. Commissioner to investigate and recommend. determine the Region to which the said province shall belong. composed of all persons whose names now appear or may hereafter be included in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court. Iloilo. or an attorney-at-law for investigation. consisting of the cities of Basilan and Zamboanga. Confidential. SECTION 3. Antique. SECTION 8. Davao del Sur. consisting of the provinces of Aklan. Rules of evidence. Ilocos Norte. Lanao del Norte. — As far as may be applicable. and Quezon City. Ilocos Sur. with the approval of the Supreme Court. The rules of evidence shall be applicable to proceedings of this nature. the procedure above outlined shall likewise govern the filing and investigation of complaints against attorneys in the Court of Appeals or in Courts of First Instance. Marinduque. Surigao del Norte. Pampanga. Nueva Ecija. and Quirino. Negros Oriental. — Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential. and Zambales. the Board of Governors shall. consisting of the provinces of Bohol. Nueva Vizcaya. Kalinga-Apayao. — The fundamental purposes of the Integrated bar shall be to elevate the standards of the legal profession. improve the administration of justice. Samar. — Upon receipt of the report of the commissioner. — Upon receipt of the respondent's answer. the investigation shall proceed ex parte. and the provinces of Cotabato. Negros Occidental. (f) Eastern Visayas.) RULE 139-A Integrated Bar of the Philippines SECTION 1.evidence. Zamboanga del Norte. SECTION 10. — A Chapter of the Integrated Bar shall be organized in every province. consisting of the provinces of Bataan. Davao Oriental. Mindoro. Batanes. Leyte. The respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself. to wit: (a) Northern Luzon. upon the filing of such answer or upon the expiration of the time to file the same. Cebu. the case shall be set down for hearing. Chapters. to produce additional evidence in his own behalf. Sulu. the case shall be set down for hearing before the court. Agusan del Sur. a judge of first instance. may be the clerk of the Supreme Court. (d) Southern Luzon. Pangasinan. Regions. (h) Eastern Mindanao. SECTION 7. Ifugao. — The Philippines is hereby divided into nine Regions of the Integrated Bar. (c) Greater Manila. Mountain Province. consisting of the City of Manila. and Southern Leyte. Quezon and Rizal. However. report. In the event of the creation of any new province. Occidental Mindoro. Lanao del Sur. . and to be heard by himself and counsel. and (i) Western Mindanao. Oriental Mindoro. following which the case shall be considered submitted to the court for its final determination. Purpose. SECTION 4. (b) Central Luzon. Bukidnon. consisting of the provinces of Agusan del Norte. and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively. the judge of the court of first instance or Justice of the Court of Appeals shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which same is based. Northern Samar. Report of commissioner and hearing. Organization. in the discretion of the court. every city shall be considered part of the province within which it is geographically situated. Benguet. In case of suspension of the respondent. Misamis Oriental. La Union.

(d) Caloocan City. by the vote of at least five Governors. but each Chapter shall have at least one Delegate. The President and the Executive Vice President. Malabon and Navotas. Each of the regional members of the Board shall be ex officio Vice President for the Region which he represents. SECTION 5. and every four years thereafter. shall constitute a quorum to do business. The Board shall meet regularly once every three months. Chapters belonging to the same Region shall hold regional conventions on matters and problems of common concern. The Board shall prescribe such other rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of the Integrated bar as well as the provisions of this Rule. Nine Governors shall be elected by the House of Delegates from the nine Regions on the representation basis of one Governor from each Region. Special meetings may be called by the President or by five members of the Board. The House shall hold an annual convention at the call of the Board of Governors at any time during the month of April of each year for the election of Governors. his residence is located. A majority of all the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum to do business. shall ipso facto become members of the Board. Special conventions of the House may be called by the Board of Governors to consider only such matters as the Board shall indicate. A majority of the Delegates who have registered for a convention. The members of the Board shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. city. (f) Cebu City. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter. The By-laws and the Canons may be amended by the Supreme Court motu propio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors. either from among themselves or from other members of the Integrated Bar. Each Governor shall be chosen from a list of nominees submitted by the Delegates from the Region. On or before December 31. 1974. — The Integrated Bar shall have a House of Delegates of not more than one hundred twenty members who shall be apportioned among all the Chapters as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective members. — The Integrated Bar shall have a President and an Executive Vice President who shall be chosen by the Governor immediately after the latter's election.(a) The sub-province of Aurora. (e) Pasay City. in the absence thereof. Officers. SECTION 6. No person may be a Governor for more than two terms. (c) Quezon City. on such date at such time and place as it shall designate. Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte. (b) Each congressional district of the City of Manila. provided that not more than one nominee shall come from any Chapter. Board of Governors. SECTION 7. House of Delegates. — The Integrated bar shall be governed by a Board of Governors. . the Board of Governors shall make an apportionment of Delegates. whether annual or special. The term of the office of Delegates shall begin on the date of the opening of the annual convention of the House and shall end on the day immediately preceding the date of the opening of the next succeeding annual convention. Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court. Each Chapter shall have its own local government as provided for by uniform rules to be prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Supreme Court. the transaction of such other business as may be referred to it by the Board and the consideration of such additional matters as may be requested in writing by at least twenty Delegates. the reading and discussion of reports including the annual report of the Board of Governors. Makati. the Board shall adopt By-Laws and promulgate Canons of Professional Responsibility for all the members of the Integrated Bar. the provisions of Section 19 of this rule notwithstanding. and (g) Zamboanga City and Basilan City Unless he otherwise registers his preference for a particular Chapter. political subdivision or area where his office or. chosen by the Governors from outside of themselves as provided in Section 7 of this Rule. a lawyer shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the province. No person may be a Delegate for more than two terms.

— The Integrated Bar shall be strictly non-political. but no action involving the suspension or disbarment of a member or the removal of his name from the Roll of Attorneys shall be effective without the final approval of the Supreme Court. — In the event the President is absent or unable to act. Fiscal matters. . Voluntary termination of membership. Voluntary bar associations. — A member may terminate his membership by filing a written notice to that effect with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar. Effect of non-payment of dues. Forthwith he shall cease to be a member and his name shall be stricken by the Court from the Roll of Attorneys. — The Board of Governors shall administer the funds of the Integrated Bar and shall have the power to make appropriations and disbursements therefrom. Board of Governors. Non-Political Bar. quasijudicial. The Integrated Bar shall have a Secretary. allowance or emolument from the funds of the Integrated Bar for any service rendered therein or be entitled to reimbursement for any expense incurred in the discharge of his functions. or removal of the President. or an officer or employee of any Chapter thereof shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his position as of the moment he files his certificate of candidacy for any elective public office or accepts appointment to any judicial. default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of membership in the Integrated Bar. who shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court. SECTION 15. No person shall be President or Executive Vice President of the Integrated Bar for more than one term. Journal. no Delegate or Governor and no national or local Officer or committee member shall receive any compensation. SECTION 16. SECTION 11. No lawyer holding an elective. quasi-judicial. Officer or employee of the Integrated Bar. SECTION 18. and such other officers and employees as may be required by the Board of Governors. — This Rule may be amended by the Supreme Court motu propio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors or any Chapter of the Integrated Bar. Reinstatement may be made by the Court in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Court. — Except as may be specifically authorized or allowed by the Supreme Court. SECTION 17. It shall cause proper Books of Accounts to be kept and Financial Statements to be rendered and shall see to it that the proper audit is made of all accounts of the Integrated Bar and all the Chapters thereof. resignation. Vacancies. free copies of which shall be distributed to every member of the Integrated Bar. — The Board of Governors shall cause to be published a quarterly Journal of the Integrated Bar. or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof. SECTION 8. — Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this Rule. Positions honorary. and every activity tending to impair this basic feature is strictly prohibited and shall be penalized accordingly. his duties shall be performed by the Executive Vice President. resignation. — Every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay such annual dues as the Board of Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court. The Presidency shall rotate from year to year among all the nine Regions in such order of rotation as the Board of Governors shall prescribe.The President and the Executive Vice President shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have duly qualified. and in the event of the death. Amendments. —All voluntary Bar associations now existing or which may hereafter be formed may co-exist with the Integrated Bar but shall not operate at cross-purposes therewith. Grievance procedures. and to hold office at the pleasure of the Board or for such term as it may fix. and all other positions of Officers of the Integrated bar shall be as provided in the By-Laws. the Executive Vice President shall serve as Acting President during the remainder of the term of the office thus vacated. or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall be eligible for election or appointment to any position in the Integrated Bar or any Chapter thereof. SECTION 12. A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the collections from each Chapter shall set aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the Chapter and the compulsory heirs of deceased members thereof. removal or disability of both the President and the Executive Vice President to hold office until the next succeeding election or during the period of disability. Whenever the term of an office or position is for a fixed period. judicial. The Executive Vice President shall automatically become the President for the next succeeding full term. SECTION 14. — The Board of Governors shall provide in the By-Laws for grievance procedures for the enforcement and maintenance of discipline among all the members of the Integrated Bar. SECTION 9. SECTION 13. to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board. and default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys. a Treasurer. reinstatement. A Delegate. Said officers and employees need not be members of the Integrated Bar. In the event of the death. Membership dues. SECTION 10. Governor. The filing of vacancies in the House of Delegates. the person chosen to fill a vacancy therein shall serve only for the unexpired term.

there being a quorum. motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers. and five Directors. 1973. Organizational period.SECTION 19. (As amended by Bar Matter No. The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts. The Vice President shall be his alternate. All Chapter organizational meetings shall be held on Saturday. that charges filed against Justices and Judges before the IBP. 1973 for the purpose of electing a Board of Governors. SECTION 20. The Officers so chosen shall immediately assume their respective positions. the same may be dismissed by the Board of Governors upon his recommendation. further. but each Chapter shall have at least one Delegate. or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator that the complaint is not meritorious. suspension. shall immediately be forwarded to the Supreme Court for disposition and adjudication. (Rule 139-A which ordained the integration of the Philippine Bar and the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines did not withdraw from the courts the authority to investigate and decide complaints against erring members of the Bar. even if lawyers are jointly charged with them. the Investigator shall direct that a copy thereof be served upon the respondent. SECTION 5. All investigators shall take an oath of office in the form prescribed by the Board of Governors. may order his disqualification. — Proceedings for the disbarment. a Vice President. Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any of its chapters who shall forthwith transmit the same to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator. The Governors shall immediately assume office and forthwith meet to elect the Officers of the Integrated Bar. initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including those in the government service. 1960. unless the parties sign and enter upon the record their written consent to his acting as such Investigator. 1973. — The National Grievance Investigators shall investigate all complaints against members of the Integrated Bar referred to them by the IBP Board of Governors. How Instituted. personal bias.) RULE 139-B Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys SECTION 1. requiring him to answer the same within fifteen (15) days from the date of service. — This Rule shall take effect on January 16. when special circumstances so warrant. however. effective May 1. Effectivity. Where the Investigator does not disqualify himself. February 17. The Board of Directors of the Chapter shall in proper cases elect additional as well as alternate Delegates. Chapter assistance to complaint. A copy of the resolution of . a Treasurer. The lawyers present at the meeting called to organize a Chapter shall constitute a quorum for the purpose. and Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals and lower courts. National Grievance Investigators. — The Board of Governors shall appoint from among the IBP members an Investigator or. Proceedings in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines SECTION 2. The IBP Board of Governors may. Duties of the National Grievance Investigator. a Secretary. The House of Delegates shall convene in the City of Manila on Saturday. which by majority vote of the members present. An Investigator may be disqualified by reason of relationship with the fourth degree of on sanguinity or affinity to any of the parties or their counsel. The President of each Chapter shall concurrently be its Delegate to the House of Delegates. 2000) A. SECTION 3. including those filed prior to their appointment in the Judiciary. pecuniary interest. If the complaint does not merit action. except where the Chapter is entitled to have more than one Delegate. or at the instance of any person. that all charges against Justices of the Court of Tax Appeals and the Sandiganbayan. the Commission shall cause proper notice of the date. Service or dismissal. The Commission shall initially fix the number of Delegates and apportion the same among all the Chapters as nearly as may be in proportion to the number of their respective members. Provided. — If the complaint appears to be meritorious. or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. SECTION 4. shall be filed with the Supreme Court. —The proper IBP Chapter may assist the complainant[s] in the preparation and filing of his complaints. A copy of the Investigator's appointment and oath shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court. In every case. — The Commission on Bar Integration shall organize the local Chapters and toward this end shall secure the assistance of the Department of Justice and of all Judges throughout the Philippines. time and place of the meeting to be served upon all the lawyers concerned at their addresses appearing in the records of the Commission. a party may appeal to the IBP Board of Governors. Provided. or his having acted as counsel for either party. a panel of three (3) investigators to investigate the complaint. or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio. March 17. including the election of a President.

unless extended for good cause by the Board of Governors upon prior application. — Upon joinder of issues or upon failure of the respondent to answer. the Investigator shall. it being sufficient that the report reproduce substantially from the Investigator's personal notes any relevant and pertinent testimonies. including invalidation of the entire proceedings. (b) If the Board. — The answer shall be verified. It shall be promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the next meeting of the Board following the submittal of the Investigator's report. Thereafter. SECTION 6. However. SECTION 7. No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the distance. The respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself. restitution. Any suitable member of the Integrated Bar in the place where a deposition shall be taken may be designated by the Investigator to assist the complainant or the respondent in taking a deposition. — Depositions may be taken in accordance with Rules of Court with leave of the Investigators. Investigation. — (a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted to it by the Investigator with his report. shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action. upon considering the whole record. The decision of the Board upon such review shall be in writing and shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the reasons on which it is based. determines that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred. With the Philippines. SECTION 10. — No defect in a complaint.dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the Supreme Court which may review the case motu propio or upon timely appeal of the complainant filed within 15 days from notice of the dismissal of the complaint. in accordance with the procedure set forth in the Rule for hearings before the Investigator. and be heard by himself and counsel. —Not later than thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation. Verification and service of answer. Administrative counsel. if necessary. with proof of service of a copy thereof on the complaint or his counsel. the investigation shall proceed ex parte. together with the whole record of the case. or any officer authorized by law to administer oaths. The IBP Board of Governors may thereafter conduct hearings. reprimand. the Investigator shall submit a report containing his findings of fact and recommendations to the IBP Board of Governors. Review and decision by the Board of Governors. depositions may be taken before any member of the Board of Governors. He shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths. The case shall be deemed terminated unless upon petition of the complainant or other interested party filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Board's resolution. the President of any Chapter. The submission of the report need not await the transcription of the stenographic notes. with deliberate speed. notice. Defects. in which event the Board shall take remedial action as the circumstances may warrant. The Investigator shall terminate the investigation within three(3) months from the date of its commencement. the imposition of penalty. which shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action and if warranted. if upon reasonable notice. Such hearing shall as far as practicable be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its commencement. withdrawal of the charges. Willful failure or refusal to obey a subpoena or any other lawful order issued by the Investigator shall be dealt with as for indirect contempt of court. SECTION 8. or failure of the complaint to prosecute the same. by the vote of a majority of its total membership. SECTION 9. the IBP Board of Governors shall within a like period of fifteen (15) days issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendation. SECTION 12. The original and five (5) legible copies of the answer shall be filed with the Investigator. or in the proceeding or the Investigator's Report shall be considered as substantial unless the Board of Governors. together with the stenographic notes and the transcript thereof. answer. proceed with the investigation of the case. SECTION 11. (c) If the respondent is exonerated by the Board of the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is less than suspension or disbarment (such as admonition. the Supreme Court orders otherwise. the respondent fails to appear. compromise. settlement. . to present witnesses on his behalf. and all the evidence presented during the investigation. — The IBP Board of Governors shall appoint a suitable member of the Integrated Bar as counsel to assist the complainant or the respondent during the investigation in case of need for such assistance. Depositions may be taken outside the Philippines before a diplomatic or consular representative of the Philippine Government or before any person agreed upon by the parties or designated by the Board of Governors. it shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations which. Depositions. The corresponding charge shall be filed by the Investigator before the IBP Board of Governors which shall require the alleged contemnor to show cause within ten (10) days from notice. or fine) it shall issue a decision exonerating respondent or imposing such sanction. finds that such defect has resulted or may result in a miscarriage of justice. Report of Investigator.

1988. — All reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in relation to disciplinary and disbarment proceedings are lawful charges for which the parties may be taxed as costs. Proceedings in the Supreme Court SECTION 13. the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to the Solicitor General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower court. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court. All cases pending investigation by the Office of the Solicitor General shall be transferred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors for investigation and disposition as provided in this Rule except those cases where the investigation has been substantially completed. Upon receipt of such certified copy and statement. or disbar the attorney as the facts may warrant. or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Investigators. may suspend an attorney from the practice of his profession for any of the cause specified in Rule 138. — The Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in Rule 138. Confidentiality. further proceedings in Supreme Court. B. — Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential. . in which case the investigation shall proceed in the same manner provided in Sections 6 to 11 hereof. during the pendency of the investigation until such suspension is lifted by the Supreme Court. save that the review of the report of investigation shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court. Common Provisions SECTION 15. — Based upon the evidence adduced at the investigation. the Supreme Court shall make a full investigation of the case and may revoke. motu propio. Investigation by Solicitor General. Section 27. shorten or extend the suspension. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court. Suspension of attorney by Supreme Court. the Solicitor General or other Investigator designated by the Supreme Court shall submit to the Supreme Court a report containing his findings of fact and recommendations together with the record and all the evidence presented in the investigation for the final action of the Supreme Court. C. Section 27. — Upon such suspension. the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases. SECTION 19. SECTION 17. the Supreme Court. Report of the Solicitor General or other Court designated Investigator. However. SECTION 18. SECTION 20. Effectivity and Transitory Provision. — In proceedings initiated motu propio by the Supreme Court or in other proceedings when the interest of justice so requires. until further action of the Supreme Court in the case. the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Expenses. — After receipt of respondent's answer or lapse of the period therefor.(d) Notice of the resolution or decision of the Board shall be given to all parties through their counsel. SECTION 16. — This Rule shall take effect on June 1. A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court. SECTION 14.