Dean Danilo L. Concepcion
Prof. Concepcion L. Jardeleza
Prof. Concepcion L. Jardeleza
Prof. Ma. Gisella N. Dizon-Reyes
Bar Operations Commissioner
Lazaro Kevin G. Pabiona
Academics Committee Heads
University of the Philippines
College of Law
UP Law Bar Operations Commission 2016
BAR OPS 2016
LEGAL ETHICS 1 I. SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION 2 A. Constitutional Basis 2 B. Regulatory Powers 2 II. PRACTICE OF LAW 2 A. Concept 2 A.1. Privilege 3 A.2. Profession, not business 3 B. Qualifications 3 B.1. Citizenship 4 B.2. Residence 4 B.3. Age 4 B.4. Good Moral Character 5 B.5. Legal Education 5 B.6. Bar Examinations 6 C. Appearance of Non-Lawyers 8 C.1. Law student practice 8 C.2. Non-lawyers in courts 8 C.3. Self-representation 9 C.4. Agent or friend 9 C.5. Non-lawyers in administrative
tribunals 9 C.6. Proceedings where lawyers are
prohibited from appearing 10 D. Sanctions for Practice or Appearance
Without Authority 10 D.1. Lawyers without authority 10 D.2. Persons not lawyers 10 E. Public Officials and Practice of Law 10
E.1. Prohibition or disqualification of
former government attorneys 10 E.2. Public officials who cannot practice law or with restrictions 11 F. Lawyers Authorized to Represent the
Government 11 G. Lawyer’s Oath 11 III. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LAWYER 12 A. In General 12 B. To Society 13 B.1. Respect for law and legal processes 13 B.2. Efficient, convenient legal services 15 B.3. True, honest, fair, dignified &
objective information on legal services 16
B.4. Participation in the improvement
and reforms in the legal system 18 B.5. Participation in legal education
program 18 C. To the Legal Profession 21 C.1. Involvement in the IBP 21 C.2. Upholding the dignity & integrity of the profession 22 C.3. Courtesy, fairness & candor towards professional colleagues 23 C.4. No assistance in unauthorized
practice of law 25 D. To the Courts 27
D.1. Candor, fairness & good faith
towards the courts 27 D.2. Respect for courts & judicial officers 28 D.3. Assistance in the speedy & efficient administration of justice 30 D.4. Reliance on merits of his cause &
avoidance of any impropriety which tends to influence or gives the appearance of
influence upon the courts 34 E. To the Clients 35
E.1. Availability of service without discrimination
E.2. Candor, fairness and loyalty to clients 38 E.3. Client’s moneys and properties 42 E.4. Fidelity to client’s cause 44 E.5. Competence and diligence 44 E.6. Representation with zeal within legal bounds 46 E.7. Attorney’s fees 47 E.8. Preservation of client’s confidences 51 E.9. Withdrawal of services 53 IV. SUSPENSION, DISBARMENT, AND
DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS 54 A. Nature and Characteristics of Disciplinary Actions against Lawyers 54
A.1. Confidential 55 A.2. Other characteristics 55 A.3. Prescription 55 B. Grounds 56 Misconduct in private capacity 57 C. Proceedings 57 D. Discipline of Filipino Lawyers Practicing Abroad 58 E. Discipline of Lawyers in Government 58 F. Quantum of Proof 58 G. Disciplinary Measures 58 H. Effect of Executive Pardon 60
I. Effect of Compromise Agreements 60 V. READMISSION TO THE BAR 60 A. Lawyers Who Have Been Suspended 60 B. Lawyers Who Have Been Disbarred 60 C. Lawyers Who Have Been Repatriated 61 VI. MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL
EDUCATION (MCLE) 61 A. Purpose 61 B. Requirements 61 C. Compliance 62 D. Exemptions 62 E. Sanctions 63 F. Bar Matter 2012: The Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service 63 VIII. NOTARIAL PRACTICE 65 A. Qualifications of Notary Public 65 B. Term of Office of Notary Public 65 C. Powers and Limitations 65 C.1. Powers 65 C.2. Limitations 66 D. Notarial Register 67 D.1. Entries 68 D.2. Closing 68 D.3. Submission 69 E. Jurisdiction of Notary Public and Place of Notarization 69 F. Revocation of Commission 69 G. Competent Evidence of Identity 70 H. Sanctions 70 IX. CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS 71 A. Origin 71 B. Legal status 71 JUDICIAL ETHICS 72 I. SOURCES OF RULES IN JUDICIAL
ETHICS 73 A. The New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary (Bangalore Draft) 73 B. Code of Judicial Conduct 73 II. QUALITIES 73 A. Independence 73 B. Integrity 77 C. Impartiality 78 D. Propriety 82 E. Equality 87 F. Competence and Diligence 89 III. DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS OF THE
JUDICIARY 92 A. Supreme Court 92 A.1. Impeachment 92 A.2. Impeachment of former Chief Justice Corona 92 B. Judges of the Lower Courts and Justices of Court of Appeals and Sandiganbayan 93 C. Grounds and Sanctions 95 III. DISQUALIFICATIONS OF JUSTICES AND JUDGES 97 A. Compulsory Disqualification 97 B. Voluntary Disqualification 98 IV. POWERS AND DUTIES OF JUDICIAL
OFFICERS 98 A. Administration of Justice 98 B. Publicity of Proceedings 98 C. Publicity of Records 98 D. Enforceability of Court Process 99 E. Inherent Powers of Courts 99 F. Means to Carry Jurisdiction into Effect 99 G. Trial, Hearings and Other Acts 100 H. Interlocutory Orders out of Province 100 V. COURT RECORDS AND GENERAL
DUTIES OF CLERKS AND
STENOGRAPHERS 101 A. Clerks of Court 101 A.1. Office of the Clerk of Court 101 A.2. Duties of the Clerk of Court 101 A.3. Taking of Records from Clerk’s Office 102 B. Stenographers 102 C. Dockets and other Records of Inferior
Courts 102 VI. LEGAL FEES 103 A. Manner of Payment 103 B. Fees in Lien 103 C. Persons Authorized to Collect Legal Fees 103 VII. COSTS 104
LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS
Control of the Legal
A. CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS
[1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Sec. 5(5)] The Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged.
The provision recognizes the disciplinary authority of the Court over the members of the bar to be merely incidental to the Court's exclusive power to admit applicants to the practice of law [Garrido v. Garrido, A.C. 6593 (2010)].
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been disputably a judicial function and responsibility [In re: Cunanan, 94 Phil 534 (1954)].
B. REGULATORY POWERS
The power to regulate the practice of law includes:
(1) Authority to define practice of law; (2) Prescribe the qualifications of a
candidate to and the subjects of the bar examinations;
(3) Decide who will be admitted to practice; (4) Discipline, suspend or disbar any unfit
and unworthy member of the bar;
(5) Reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely suspended attorney;
(6) Ordain the integration of the Bar;
(7) Punish for contempt any person for unauthorized practice of law; and
(8) In general, exercise overall supervision of the legal profession.
II. Practice of Law
The practice of law is any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. It is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill [Cayetano v. Monsod, G.R. No. 100113 (1991)].
According to Justice Padilla, in his dissent in
Cayetano v. Monsod, the following factors are
considered in determining whether there is practice of law [HACA]:
(1) Habituality – Practice of law implies customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public as a lawyer. It is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary action.
a. However, an isolated appearance may constitute practice of law when there is a rule prohibiting some persons from engaging in the exercise of the legal profession.
(2) Application of law, legal principles, practice or procedure – It calls for legal knowledge, training and experience.
(3) Compensation– Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to the public for compensation.
(4) Attorney-client relationship – Where no such relationship exists, such as in cases of teaching law or writing law books or articles, there is no practice of law.
In view of the definition of the majority in
Cayetano v. Monsod:
(1) Giving advice for compensation regarding the legal status and rights of another and for one’s conduct with respect thereto constitutes practice of law [Ulep v. The
(2) Preparation of documents requiring knowledge of legal principles not possessed by ordinary layman [Ulep v.
The Legal Clinic, Inc., A.C. L-553 (1993)].
(3) Teaching law is considered practice of law because the fact of their being law professors is inextricably intertwined with the fact that they are lawyers [Re: Letter
of UP Law Faculty, A.M. 10-10-4-SC
(2011)]. A.1. PRIVILEGE
The practice of law is a privilege bestowed only to those who are morally fit. A bar candidate who is morally unfit cannot practice law even if he passes the bar examinations [Aguirre v. Rana, B.M. 1036 (2003)].
A.2. PROFESSION, NOT BUSINESS
Lawyering is not a business; it is a profession in which duty to public service, not money, is the primary consideration [Burbe v. Magulta, A. C. 99-634 (2002)].
Any person admitted to the bar and who is in good and regular standing is entitled to practice law [Sec. 1, Rule 138].
Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be:
(1) Citizen of the Philippines; (2) At least 21 years of age; (3) Of good moral character;
(a) This requirement is not only a condition precedent to admission to the practice of law, its continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law [In the Matter of
the Disqualification of Bar
Examinee Haron S. Meling In The 2002 Bar Examinations and For Disciplinary Action As Member of The Philippine Shari’a Bar, B.M.
1154 (2004)]. (4) Resident of the Philippines;
(5) Produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence:
a. Of good moral character;
b. That no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines [Sec. 2, Rule 138].
Requisites for the practice of law: (1) Admission to the bar:
(a) Citizenship; (b) Residence;
(c) Age (at least 21 years old);
(d) Good moral character and no charges involving moral turpitude; The purposes for this requirement are:
1. To protect the public;
2. To protect the public image of lawyers;
3. To protect prospective clients; and
4. To protect errant lawyers from themselves [Dantes v. Dantes, A.C. 6486 (2004)].
(e) Legal education (consisting of pre-law and pre-law proper);
(f) Pass the bar examinations; (g) Take the lawyer’s oath; (h) Sign the roll of attorneys. (2) Good and regular standing:
(a) Remain a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP);
(b) Regularly pay all IBP dues and other lawful assessments
(c) Faithful observance of the rules and ethics of the legal profession (e.g.: (MCLE));
(d) Be continually subject to judicial disciplinary control [Agpalo (2004)]. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law. Two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be performed, namely: his lawyer’s oath to be
administered by this Court and his signature in the roll of attorneys [Aguirre v. Rana, B.M. 1036 (2003)].
General rule: Only members of the bar are entitled to practice law.
Exceptions: The following are also allowed in exceptional circumstances:
(1) Law students; (2) By an agent/friend; (3) By the litigant himself. B.1. CITIZENSHIP
The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens save in cases prescribed by law [Sec. 14, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution].
Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines. [Sec. 2, Rule 138, RoC]
Ratio: Citizenship ensures allegiance to the Republic and its laws.
The loss of Filipino citizenship ipso jure terminates the privilege to practice law in the Philippines except when citizenship is lost by reason of naturalization and reacquired through RA 9225 [Petition to Resume Practice
of Law of Dacanay, B.M. 1678 (2007)].
A Filipino lawyer who has lost and reacquired his citizenship under RA 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003) is deemed not to have lost his Philippine citizenship. However, he still needs to apply with the Supreme Court for a license or permit to engage in such practice after compliance with the following:
(1) Updating and payment of annual membership dues in the IBP;
(2) Payment of professional tax; (3) Completion of 36 hours of MCLE;
(4) Retaking of the lawyer’s oath [Sec. 5(4), RA 9225].
A Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country and later re-acquires his Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, remains to be a member of the Philippine Bar. However, the right to resume the practice of law is not automatic. RA 9225 provides that a
person who intends to practice his profession in the Philippines must apply with the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice. Thus, in pursuance to the qualifications laid down by the Court for the practice of law, the OBC requires the following:
1) Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship;
2) Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship);
3) Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines;
4) Identification Certificate (IC) issued by the Bureau of Immigration;
5) Certificate of Good Standing issued by the IBP;
6) Certification from the IBP indicating updated payments of annual membership dues;
7) Proof of payment of professional tax; and
8) Certificate of compliance issued by the MCLE Office. [Petition to
Re-acquire the Privilege to Practice Law of Muneses, B.M. 2112 (2012)].
Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be... a resident of the Philippines. [Sec. 2, Rule 138, RoC]
Ratio: His/her duties to his client and to the court will require that he be readily accessible and available.
Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be at least 21 years of age. [Sec. 2, Rule 138, RoC]
Ratio: Maturity and discretion are required in the practice of law.
B.4. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be of good moral character and must produce before the SC satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines. [Sec. 2, Rule 138, RoC]
Good moral character is a continuing qualification required of every member of the bar, it is not only a qualification precedent to the practice of law [Narag v. Narag, A.C. 3405 (1998)].
Absence of a proven conduct or act which has been historically and traditionally considered as a manifestation of moral turpitude. The act or conduct need not amount to a crime; and even if it does constitute an offense, a conviction upon a criminal charge is not necessary to demonstrate bad moral character although it may show moral depravity [Agpalo (2004)].
Good moral character is what a person really is, as distinguished from good reputation, the estimate in which he is held by the public in the place where he is known [In the Matter of
the Disqualification of Bar Examinee Haron S. Meling In The 2002 Bar Examinations and For Disciplinary Action As Member of The Philippine Shari’a Bar, B.M. 1154 (2004)].
The Supreme Court may deny lawyer’s oath-taking based on a conviction for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide (hazing case). But after submission of evidence and various certifications “he may now be regarded as complying with the requirements of good moral character xxx he is not inherently of bad moral fiber” [In re: Argosino, A.M. 712 (1997)].
Concealment of pending criminal cases constitutes lack of good moral character (in petition to take the bar examinations) [In the
Matter of the Disqualification of Bar Examinee Haron S. Meling In The 2002 Bar Examinations and For Disciplinary Action As Member of The Philippine Shari’a Bar, B.M.
B.5. LEGAL EDUCATION I. Pre-law
An applicant for admission to the bar examination shall present a certificate issued by the proper government agency that, before commencing the study of law, he or she had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's degree in arts or sciences.
A Filipino citizen who completed and obtained his or her Bachelor of Laws degree or its equivalent in a foreign law school must present proof of having completed a separate bachelor's degree course. [Sec. 6, Rule 138, RoC; Re: Letter of Atty. Mendoza, B.M. 1153 (2010)].
II. Law proper
All applicants for admission shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have successfully completed all the prescribed courses for the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree, in a law school or university officially recognized by the Philippine Government or by the proper authority in the foreign jurisdiction where the degree has been granted.
No applicant who obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree in this jurisdiction shall be admitted to the bar examination unless he or she has satisfactorily completed the following course in a law school or university duly recognized by the government:
1) Civil Law
2) Commercial Law 3) Remedial Law 4) Criminal Law
5) Public International Law 6) Private International Law 7) Political Law
8) Labor and Social Legislation 9) Medical Jurisprudence 10) Taxation
A Filipino citizen who graduated from a foreign law school shall be admitted to the bar examination only upon submission to the Supreme Court of certifications showing:
1) Completion of all courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree;
2) Recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper authority; and
3) Completion of all the fourth year subjects in the Bachelor of Laws academic program in a law school duly recognized by the Philippine Government. [Sec. 5, Rule 138, RoC;
Re: Letter of Atty. Mendoza, B.M. 1153
Legal Education Board
Under R.A. No. 7662 (Legal Education Reform Act od 1993), a Legal Education Board (LEB) was created in order to undertake appropriate reforms in the legal education system, require proper selection of law students, maintain quality among law schools, and require legal apprenticeship and continuing legal education.
It is comprised of a former justice of the SC or CA (who serves as the Chairman), a representative of the IBP, a representative of the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS), a representative from the ranks of active law practitioners, a representative from the law students' sector (regular members), and the Secretary of the Department of Education or his representative (ex
The functions of the Board include:
a) administering the legal education system in the country;
b) supervising the law schools in the country;
c) setting the standards of accreditation for law schools taking into account, among others, the size of enrollment, the qualifications of the members of the faculty, the library and other facilities, without encroaching upon
the academic freedom of institutions of higher learning;
d) accrediting law schools that meet the standards of accreditation;
e) prescribing minimum standards for law admission and minimum qualifications and compensation of faculty members;
f) prescribing the basic curricula for the course of study aligned to the requirements for admission to the Bar, law practice and social consciousness;
g) establishing a law practice internship as a requirement for taking the Bar which a law student shall undergo with any duly accredited private or public law office or firm or legal assistance group anytime during the law course for a specific period that the Board may decide, but not to exceed a total of twelve (12) months. For this purpose, the Board shall prescribe the necessary guidelines for such accreditation and the specifications of such internship which shall include the actual work of a new member of the Bar; and
h) adopting a system of continuing legal education.
B.6. BAR EXAMINATIONS I. When to file permit
All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required at least 15 days before the beginning of the examination. They shall also file within the same period the affidavit and certificate required by Sec. 5 [Sec. 7, Rule 138, RoC]. ii. Notice
Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers published in Filipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten days before the beginning of the examination [Sec. 8, Rule 138, RoC].
iii. Conduct of examinations
Persons taking the examination shall not bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee. Examinees shall answer the questions personally without help from anyone.
Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to read his answers without much loss of time, the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.
The committee of bar examines shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers or commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. No oral examination shall be given [Sec. 10, Rule 138, RoC].
iv. When and where to take examinations
Examination for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners [Sec. 11, Rule 138, RoC].
Morning Political and
Afternoon Labor and Social
Morning Civil Law
Morning Mercantile Law
Afternoon Criminal Law
Morning Remedial law
Afternoon Legal Ethics and
v. Passing average
A candidate is deemed to have passed his examinations successfully if he obtained a general average of 75 percent in all subjects, without falling below 50 percent in any subject [Sec. 14, Rule 138, RoC].
The relative weights of the subjects used in determining the average are as follows:
Civil Law 15% Labor and Social Legislation 10% Mercantile Law 15% Criminal Law 10% Political and International Law 15% Taxation 10% Remedial Law 20% Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises 5% vi. Committee Of Examiners
Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court as chairman, and eight members of the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one year. The names of the members of this committee shall be published in each volume of the official reports [Sec. 12, Rule 138, RoC].
Pursuant to Bar Matter No. 1161 (2009), two examiners are designated per bar subject. The Bar Confidant acts as a sort of liaison officer between the court and the Bar Chairman on the other hand, and the individual members of the committee on the other. He is at the same time a deputy clerk of court.
Not later than February 15th after the examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the committee shall file its report on the result of such examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be filed with the clerk and
may there be examined by the parties in interest, after the court has approved the report [Sec. 15, Rule 138, RoC].
Candidates who have failed the bar examinations for three times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show to the satisfaction of the court that they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school.
ix. Disciplinary measures
No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the committee, and during examination, the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any assistance. Any violator shall be barred from the examination, and the same to count as a failure against him, and further disciplinary action may be taken in the discretion of the court [Sec. 13, Rule 138, RoC].
x. Civil service eligibility
Under RA 1080, as amended by RA 1844, the Bar examinations is declared as civil service examinations equivalent to:
(1) First grade regular examination for appointment to a position which requires proficiency in law; and
(2) Second grade regular examination for appointment to a position which does not require proficiency in law.
C. APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYERS
C.1. LAW STUDENT PRACTICE
A law student who has successfully completed third year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or
officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school [Sec. 1, Rule 138-A].
The appearance of the law student shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic [Sec. 2, Rule 138-A].
The Rules safeguarding privileged communications between attorney and client shall apply [Sec. 3, Rule 138-A].
The law student shall comply with the standards of professional conduct governing members of the bar. Failure of an attorney to provide adequate supervision of student practice may be a ground for disciplinary action [Sec. 4, Rule 138-A].
Sec. 34, Rule 138 is clear that appearance before the inferior courts by a non-lawyer is allowed, irrespective of whether or not he is a law student [Cruz v. Mina, G.R. 154207 (2007)]. Thus, a law student may appear under the circumstances of Sec. 38, as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, without complying with the requirements of Rule 138-A, e.g., supervision of a lawyer.
C.2. NON-LAWYERS IN COURTS
In the court of a municipality a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar [Sec 34, Rule 138].
Public policy demands that legal work in representation of parties should be entrusted only to those possessing tested qualifications [PAFLU v. Binalbagan, G.R. No. L-23959 (1971)].
However, the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its judicial power, can validly authorize a layman to represent a litigant in court [Agpalo (2004)].
A non-lawyer conducting his own litigation is bound by the same rules in conducting the trial of his case. He cannot, after judgment, claim that he was not properly represented [Agpalo (2004)].
In any court, a party may conduct his litigation in person.
An attorney who is otherwise disqualified to practice law, or has been disbarred or suspended from practice, can validly prosecute or defend his own litigation, he having as much right as that of a layman [Danforth v. Egan, 119 N.W. 1021 (1909)]. When a person conducts his litigation in person, he is not engaged in the practice of law [Agpalo (2004)].
A juridical person may also appear through its non-lawyer agents or officers in the municipal trial court.
Sec. 34 does not distinguish between civil and criminal cases. However, in criminal cases, the rule is qualified:
(1) Under Sec. 1(c), Rule 115, the accused may defend himself in person “when it sufficiently appears to the court that he can properly protect his rights without the assistance of counsel.”
(2) Under Sec. 7, Rule 116, in determining whether a counsel de oficio should be appointed, or, for that matter, whether a counsel de parte should be required (conversely, whether the accused should be allowed to defend himself in person), the gravity of the offense and the difficulty of the questions that may arise should be considered.
While the right to be represented by counsel is immutable, the option to secure the services of counsel de parte is not absolute. The court may restrict the accused’s option to retain a counsel de parte if:
(1) He insists on an attorney he cannot afford;
(2) He chose a person not a member of the bar;
(3) The attorney declines for a valid reason (e.g., conflict of interest) [People v. Serzo, G.R. No. 118435 (1997)].
C.4. AGENT OR FRIEND
When appointed or chosen, the agent or friend is not engaged in the practice of law, since there is no habituality in the activity and no attorney-client relationship exists. He is only permitted to appear in the municipal trial court.
In criminal cases, in localities where members of the bar are not available, the court may appoint any person (i.e., non-lawyer), who is a resident of the province and of good repute for probity and ability to defend the accused, in lieu of a counsel de oficio [Sec. 7, Rule 116]. In relation to Sec. 34, Rule 138, this is only allowed in the municipal trial court.
C.5. NON-LAWYERS IN ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS
A party may also appear on his own behalf, his organization or members thereof, before administrative bodies. This is also expressly allowed in Art. 222 of the Labor Code.
There are laws which allow representation of another by non-lawyers before such bodies. (1) The 2011 NLRC Rule of Procedure,
promulgated pursuant to Art 218(a), Labor Code, allows (a) non-lawyers, who are not necessarily a party to the case, to represent a union or members thereof, (b) non-lawyers who are duly-accredited members of any legal aid office recognized by the Department of Justice or Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and (c) non-lawyer owners of establishments, to appear before it.
(2) Under Sec. 9, Act 2259 (Cadastral Act), a claimant may appear by himself, or by some person in his behalf, before a cadastral court.
In order that these laws will not infringe upon the power of the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law, the following limitations must be observed:
(1) The non-lawyer should confine his work to non-adversary contentions and should
not undertake purely legal work (i.e., examination of witness, presentation of evidence);
(2) The services should not be habitual; (3) Attorney’s fees should not be charged
C.6. PROCEEDINGS WHERE LAWYERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM APPEARING
(1) In small claims cases, no attorney shall appear in behalf of or represent a party at the hearing, unless the attorney is the plaintiff or defendant. If the court determines that a party cannot properly present his/her claim or defense and needs assistance, the court may, in its discretion, allow another individual who is not an attorney to assist that party upon the latter's consent [Sec. 17, Rules of Procedure in Small Claims Cases]. (2) In all katarungang pambarangay
proceedings, the parties must appear in person without the assistance of the counsel or representative, except for minors and incompetents who may be assisted by their next of kin who are not lawyers [Sec 415, Local Gov’t Code].
D. SANCTIONS FOR PRACTICE OR
APPEARANCE WITHOUT AUTHORITY
D.1. LAWYERS WITHOUT AUTHORITY Under Sec. 27, Rule 138, corruptly or willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so is a ground for disbarment or suspension.
D.2. PERSONS NOT LAWYERS
For persons not lawyers as well as lawyers who appear without authority, the following may be availed of:
(1) Petition for injunction; (2) Declaratory relief; (3) Contempt of court;
(4) Disqualification and complaints for disbarment;
(5) Administrative complaint against the erring lawyer or government official; (6) Criminal complaint for estafa against the
person who falsely represented himself as a lawyer to the damage of another.
E. PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND PRACTICE
E.1. PROHIBITION OR DISQUALIFICATION OF FORMER GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS Under Sec. 7(b), RA 6713, public officials and employees during their incumbency shall not: (1) Own, control, manage or accept employment as officer employee, consultant, counsel, broker, agent, trustee or nominee / in any private enterprise regulated, supervised or licensed by their office / unless expressly allowed by law;
(2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions; (3) Recommend any person to any position in
a private enterprise which has a regular or pending official transaction with their office.
These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of one year after resignation, retirement or separation from public office, except in case of the second.
Also, the one year prohibition applies to practice of profession in connection with any matter before the office he used to be with.
E.2. PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO CANNOT PRACTICE LAW OR WITH RESTRICTIONS E.2.A. ABSOLUTE PROHIBITION
(1) Judges and other officials or employees of superior courts as [Sec. 35, Rule 148]; (2) Officials and employees of the Office of
the Solicitor General [Sec. 35, Rule 148]; (3) Government prosecutors [Lim-Santiago v.
Sagucio, A.C. 6705 (2006)];
(4) President, vice-president, cabinet members, their deputies and assistants [Sec. 15, Art. VII, Consti];
(5) Chairmen and members of constitutional commissions [Sec. 2, Art. IX-A, Consti]; (6) Members of the Judicial Bar Council [Sec.
2, Art. IX-A, Consti];
(7) Ombudsman and his deputies [Sec. 8 (2), Art. X, Consti];
(8) All governors, city and municipal mayors [Sec. 90(a), RA 7160];
(9) Civil service officers or employees whose duties require them to devote their entire time at the disposal of the government [Catu v Rellosa, A.C. 5738 (2008)];
(10) Those who, by special law, are prohibited from engaging in the practice of their legal profession.
E.2.B. RELATIVE PROHIBITION
(1) No senator or member of the House of Representatives may personally appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies [Sec. 14, Art. VI, 1987 Consti];
a. The word “appearance” includes not only arguing a case before any such body but also filing a pleading on behalf of a client [Ramos v Manalac, G.R. L-2610 (1951)].
(2) Sanggunian members may practice law except during session hours and provided they shall not:
a. Appear as counsel before any court in any civil case wherein a local government unit or any office,
agency, or instrumentality of the government is the adverse party; b. Appear as counsel in any criminal
case wherein an officer or employee of the national or local government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office;
c. Collect any fee for their appearance in administrative proceedings involving the local government unit of which he is an official; and
d. Use property and personnel of the government except when the
sanggunian member concerned is
defending the interest of the government [Sec. 90(b), RA 7160]. E.2.C. SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS
Under Sec. 1, RA 910, the pension of justices therein is provided with a condition that no retiring justice, during the time that he is receiving said pension shall:
(1) Appear as counsel before any court in any civil case wherein the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof is the adverse party;
(2) In any criminal case wherein and officer or employee of the government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office; or
(3) Collect any fee for his appearance in any administrative proceedings to maintain an interest adverse to the Government, insular, provincial or municipal, or to any of its legally constituted officers.
REPRESENT THE GOVERNMENT
Any person appointed to appear for the Government of the Philippines shall be allowed to appear in court, subject to pertinent laws.
G. LAWYER’S OATH
An applicant who has passed the required examination, or has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall take
and subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office [Sec. 17, Rule 138].
The lawyer's oath is not a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law. Every lawyer should at all times weigh his actions according to the sworn promises he makes when taking the lawyer's oath. If all lawyers conducted themselves strictly according to the lawyer's oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility, the administration of justice will undoubtedly be faster, fairer and easier for everyone concerned [In re: Argosino, A.M. 712 (1997)].
I, ___________________, do solemnly swear that:
I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines;
I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein;
I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court;
I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same;
I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion with all fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and
I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.
III. Duties and
Responsibilities of a
A. IN GENERAL
Under the Rules of Court, it is the duty of an attorney:
(1) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines;
(2) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers;
(3) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law;
(4) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law;
(5) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client’s business except from him or with his knowledge and approval;
(6) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charge;
(7) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any man’s cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;
(8) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed;
(9) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law [Sec. 20, Rule 138].
B. TO SOCIETY
B.1. RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES
Canon 1. A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution,
obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal process.
Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,
dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. NOTE: Canon 1 = 3rd top source of Qs on CPR. It was asked 18 times in the last 20 years as of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
An unlawful conduct is act or omission which is against the law. Dishonesty involves lying or cheating [Agpalo (2004)]
IMMORAL AND GROSSLY IMMORAL CONDUCT DISTINGUISHED
Immoral conduct involves acts that are willful, flagrant, or shameless, and that show a moral indifference to the opinion of the upright and respectable members of the community. Immoral conduct is gross when it is so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act, or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree, or when committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the community’s sense of decency. The Court makes these distinctions, as the supreme penalty of disbarment from conduct requires grossly immoral, not simply immoral, conduct. [Perez v. Catindig, A.C. No. 5816 (2015)]
A lawyer may not be disciplined for failure to pay her obligation [Toledo v. Abalos, 315 SCRA 419 (1999)], but unwarranted obstinacy in evading the payment of a debt has been considered as a gross misconduct. [Constantino v. Saludares, 228 SCRA 233 (1993)]. However, issuance of bouncing checks reflects on the lawyer’s moral character and he may be disciplined. [Lex Pareto, Bar 2001, 2002]
A lawyer is obligated to promote respect for legal processes. This includes order of the commission on Bar discipline of the IBP. (The lawyer’s oath likewise says, “I will obey the duly constituted authorities.”) [Lex Pareto, Bar 2002]
GROSSLY IMMORAL ACTS
(1) Wanton disregard for the sanctity of marriage as shown when the lawyer pursued a married woman and thereafter cohabited with her [Guevarra v. Eala, A.C. No. 7136 (2007)]
(2) Rape of a neighbor’s wife, which constitutes serious moral depravity, even if his guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt in the criminal prosecution for rape [Calub v. Suller, A.C. No. 1474 (2000)]
NOT GROSSLY IMMORAL
(1) Mere intimacy between a man and a woman, both of whom possess no impediment to marry, voluntarily carried and devoid of deceit on the part of the respondent, even if a child was born out of wedlock of such relationship; it may suggest a doubtful moral character but not grossly immoral [Figueroa v.
Barranco, SBC Case No. 519 (1997)]
(2) Stealing a kiss from a client [Advincula v.
Macabata, A.C. No. 7204 (2007)]
Moral turpitude includes everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals. It involves an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a man owed his fellowmen, or to
society in general [Barrios v. Martinez, A.C. No. 4585 (2004)].
Murder, estafa, rape, violation of BP 22, bribery, bigamy, adultery, seduction, abduction, concubinage and smuggling are considered crimes involving moral turpitude.
Rule 1.02. A lawyer shall not counsel or abet
activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal profession. The promotion of organizations, with knowledge of their objectives, for the purpose of violating or evading the laws constitutes such misconduct in his office [In re: Terrell, G.R. No. 1203 (1903)]
Rule 1.03. A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt
motive or interest, encourage any suit or delay any man’s cause.
BARRATRY OR “MAINTENANCE”
The offense of inciting or stirring up quarrels, litigation or groundless lawsuits, either at law or otherwise [Bouvier]
(1) Volunteering advice to bring lawsuits, except where ties of blood, relationship or trust make it a duty to do so
(2) Hunting up defects in titles or other causes of action in order to be employed to bring suit or breed litigation
Unethical practice of inducing personal injury victims to bring suits. The practice of lawyers in frequenting hospitals and homes of the injured to convince them to go to court [Lex Pareto (2014)]
Accident-site solicitation of any kind of legal business by laymen employed by an attorney for the purpose or by the attorney himself. Supports perjury, the defrauding of innocent persons by judgments, upon manufactured causes of actions and the defrauding of injured persons having proper causes of
action but ignorant of legal rights and court procedure.
A lawyer may be disciplined in his professional and private capacity. The filing of multiple complaints reflects on his fitness to be a member of the legal profession. His conduct of vindictiveness a decidedly undesirable trait especially when one resorts to using the court not to secure justice but merely to exact revenge warrants his dismissal from the judiciary. [Saburnido v.
Madrono, A.C. No. 4497 (2001)]
AMBULANCE CHASING AND BARRATRY DISTINGUISHED [Lex Pareto (2014)]
Refers to personal injury
Refers to any action Refers to cases
brought before judicial bodies
Refers to suits before judicial or non-judicial bodies
Rule 1.04. A lawyer shall encourage his clients
to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.
The function of a lawyer is not only to conduct litigation but to avoid it where possible, by advising settlement or withholding suit. He must act as mediator for compromise rather than an instigator and conflict [Agpalo (2004)].
It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and vagaries of the law, on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If he finds that his client's cause is defenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and temper his client’s propensity to litigate. A lawyer's oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to his duty to his client; its primacy is indisputable [Castañeda v. Ago, G.R. No. L-28546 (1975)]
B.2. EFFICIENT, CONVENIENT LEGAL SERVICES
Canon 2. A lawyer shall make his legal
services available in an efficient and convenient manner compatible with the independence, integrity and effectiveness of the profession.
Rule 2.01. A lawyer shall not reject, except for
valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.
NOTE: Asked 4 times in the last 20 years as of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. It could be that for some lawyers, especially the neophytes in the profession, being appointed counsel de
oficio is an irksome chore. For those holding
such belief, it may come as a surprise that counsel of repute and of eminence welcome such an opportunity. It makes even more manifest that law is indeed a profession dedicated to the ideal of service and not a mere trade. It is understandable then why a high degree of fidelity to duty is required of one so designated. [Ledesma v. Climaco, G.R. No. L-23815 (1974)]
Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty. [Sec. 11, Art. III, 1987 Consti]
Legal aid is not a matter of charity. It is a means for the correction of social imbalance that may and often do lead to injustice, for which reason it is a public responsibility of the bar [IBP Handbook, Guidelines Governing the Establishment and Operation of the Legal Aid Office].
Rule 2.02. In such cases, even if the lawyer
does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latter’s rights.
Advice may be on what preliminary steps to take until the client has secured the services of counsel. But he shall refrain from giving
legal advice if the reason for not accepting the case is that there involves a conflict of interest between him and a prospective client or between a present client and a prospective client. [Agpalo (2004)]
Rule 2.03. A lawyer shall not do or permit to
be done any act designed to primarily solicit legal business.
A well-known lawyer has been engaged to run a program in which he encourages indigent party litigants to consult him free of charge about their legal problems over a radio and television network. Has he violated any ethical rules? – YES, as it involves indirect advertising and solicitation and is likewise violative of the confidentiality of lawyer-client relationship. His act may also be considered as a form of self-praise hence subject to discipline [In re: Tagorda, 53 Phil 37, cited in Lex Pareto (2014); Unsangan v. Tolentino, 598 SCRA 133 (2009)]
Law is not a business but a profession. Unlike a businessman, the lawyer has:
(1) Relation to the administration of justice involving sincerity, integrity and reliability as an officer of the court;
(2) Duty of public service;
(3) Relation to clients with the highest degree of fiduciary;
(4) Relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness and unwillingness to resort to business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice, or dealing directly with their clients [Agpalo (2004)]
Thus, the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice [Sec. 27, Rule 138].
Rule 2.04. A lawyer shall not charge rates
lower than those customarily prescribed unless the circumstances so warrant.
Reason for rule 2.04 is that the practice of law is profession and not a trade. It is improper to lower your legal rates just because another lawyer has offered a lower legal fee. [Lex Pareto (2014)]
This rule prohibits the competition in the matter of charging professional fees for the purposed of attracting clients in favor of the lawyer who offers lower rates. The rule does not prohibit a lawyer from charging a reduced fee or none at all to an indigent or to a person who would have difficulty paying the fee usually charged for such services [Agpalo (2004)]
B.3. TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED & OBJECTIVE INFORMATION ON LEGAL SERVICES
Canon 3. A lawyer in making known his legal
services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statement of facts.
Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use or permit the
use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services.
NOTE: Canon 3 = 5th top source of Qs on CPR.
Asked 12 times in the last 20 years as of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially with his brother lawyers, is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced, but must be the outcome of character and conduct [Canon 27, Canons of Professional Ethics; In re: Tagorda, G.R. No. 32329, (1929)].
ALLOWABLE ADVERTISEMENT (1) Ordinary simple professional card; (2) Publication in reputable law list with
brief biographical and other informative data which may include:
(a) Name; (b) Associates;
(d) Phone numbers;
(e) Branches of law practiced; (f) Birthday;
(g) Day admitted to the bar; (h) Schools and dates attended; (i) Degrees and distinctions; (j) Public or quasi-public offices; (k) Posts of honor;
(l) Legal authorships; (m) Teaching positions; (n) Associations;
(o) Legal fraternities and societies;
(p) References and regularly represented clients must be published for that purpose [Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Inc., B.M. No. 553 (1993)];
(3) Publication of simple announcement of opening of law firm, change of firm; (4) Listing in telephone directory but not
under designation of special branch of law;
(5) If acting as an associate (specializing in a branch of law), may publish a brief and dignified announcement to lawyers (law list, law journal);
(6) If in media, those acts incidental to his practice and not of his own initiative; (7) Writing legal articles;
(8) Activity of an association for the purpose of legal representation.
The law list must be a reputable law list published primarily for that purpose; it cannot be a mere supplemental feature of a paper, magazine, trade journal or periodical which is published primarily for other purposes.
ENTERING INTO OTHER BUSINESSES For it to constitute as inconsistent with the lawyer’s profession, it is advisable that they be entirely separate and apart such that a
layman could distinguish between the two functions.
The lawyer must make it clear to his client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.
PROHIBITED ADVERTISEMENTS [Sec. 27, Canon of Professional Ethics] (1) Through touters of any kind whether
allied real estate firms or trust companies advertising to secure the drawing of deeds or wills;
(2) Offering retainers in exchange for executorships or trusteeships to be influenced by the lawyer;
(3) Furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the interests involved, the importance of lawyer’s position, and all other like self-laudation.
A lawyer may not properly publish his brief biographical and informative data in a daily paper, magazine, trade journal or society program in order to solicit legal business [Khan v. Simbillo, A.C. 5299 (2003)].
It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. The law is a profession not a business. Solicitation of cases by himself or through others is unprofessional and lowers the standards of the legal profession. [In re: Tagorda, supra].
In the last analysis, where to draw the line is a question of good faith and good taste.
Rule 3.02. In the choice of a firm name, no
false, misleading or assumed name shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is deceased.
The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is deceased [Agpalo (2004)].
Ratio: All partners by their joint efforts over a period of years contributed to the goodwill attached to the firm name, and the removal of the deceased partner’s name disturbs the client goodwill built through the years. Firms may not use misleading names showing association with other firms to purport legal services of highest quality and ties with multinational business enterprise especially when such firm attached as an associate cannot legally practice law in the Philippines [Dacanay v. Baker and McKenzie, A.C. 2131 (1985)].
Rule 3.03. Where a partner accepts public
office, he shall withdraw from the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law allows him to practice law concurrently.
Purpose: To prevent the law firm from using his name to attract legal business and to avoid suspicion of undue influence.
A civil service officer or employee whose duty or responsibility does not require his entire time to be at the disposal of the government may not engage in the private practice of law without the written permit from the head of the department concerned [Agpalo (2004)]. It is unlawful for a public official or employee to, among others, engage in the private practice of their profession, unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with official functions [Samonte v. Gatdula, A.M. No. P-99-1292 (1999)].
If the unauthorized practice on the part of a person who assumes to be an attorney causes damage to a party, the former may be held liable for estafa.
ABSOLUTE AND RELATIVE PROHIBITION OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS FROM PRACTICE OF LAW:
When any of those absolutely prohibited officials is appointed/elected/qualified, he ceases, as a general rule, to engage in the private practice of law and his right to
practice is suspended during his tenure in office.
Rule 3.04. A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business.
Purpose: To prevent some lawyers from gaining an unfair advantage over others through the use of gimmickry, press agentry or other artificial means.
This rule prohibits from making indirect publicity gimmick, such as furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments, procuring his photograph to be published in connection with cases which he is handling, making a courtroom scene to attract the attention of newspapermen, or arranging for the purpose an interview with him by media people [Agpalo 2004].
It is bad enough to have such undue publicity when a criminal case is being investigated by the authorities, even when it is being tried in court; but when said publicity and sensationalism is allowed, even encouraged, when the case is on appeal and is pending consideration by this Tribunal, the whole thing becomes inexcusable, even abhorrent, and this Court, in the interest of justice, is constrained and called upon to put an end to it and a deterrent against its repetition by meting an appropriate disciplinary measure, even a penalty to the one liable. [Cruz v. Salva, G.R. No. L-12871 (1959)]
B.4 PARTICIPATION IN THE IMPROVEMENT AND REFORMS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM
Canon 4. A lawyer shall participate in the
development of the legal system by initiating or supporting efforts in law reform and in the improvement of the administration of justice. NOTE: Asked 2 times in the last 20 years as of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
(1) Presenting position papers or resolutions for the introduction of pertinent bills in Congress;
(2) Submitting petitions to the Supreme Court for the amendment of the Rules of Court.
The Misamis Oriental Chapter of the IBP has been commended by the Supreme Court when it promulgated a resolution wherein it requested the IBP’s National Committee on Legal Aid to ask for the exemption from the payment of filing, docket and other fees of clients of the legal aid offices in the various IBP chapters [Re: Request of NCLA to Exempt Legal Aid Clients from Paying Filing, Docket and Other Fees (2009)].
B.5. PARTICIPATION IN LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
Canon 5. A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal
developments, participate in continuing legal education programs, support efforts to achieve high standards in law schools as well as in the practical training of law students and assist in disseminating information regarding the law and jurisprudence.
Bar Matter No. 850
(Dated Feb. 15, 2015. Effective Mar. 1, 2015) Re: Rules on Mandatory Continuing Legal Education for Active Members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
xxx The Court Resolved to REQUIRE all members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to file a written entry of appearance indicating their MCLE exemption or compliance number for the current or immediately preceding compliance period and date of issuance thereof before appearing as counsel or engaging in oral argument in open court or before a quasi-judicial body. However, counsels who affixed their signatures in their pleadings and indicated their MCLE exemption or compliance number in their pleadings need not file a separate entry of appearance. Henceforth, all counsels, including partners of law firms whose names appear in the said
pleadings, shall also indicate their MCLE exemption or compliance number.
This resolution shall take effect on March 1, 2015 following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation."
MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION (MCLE) PROGRAM
A program which requires lawyers to show proof of having undertaken improvement in their knowledge as a precondition for renewing their license to practice [Lex Pareto (2014)]
There is no doubt that Atty. Flores failed to obey the trial court’s order to submit proof of his MCLE compliance notwithstanding the several opportunities given him. "Court orders are to be respected not because the judges who issue them should be respected, but because of the respect and consideration that should be extended to the judicial branch of the Government. This is absolutely essential if our Government is to be a government of laws and not of men. Respect must be had not because of the incumbents to the positions, but because of the authority that vests in them. Disrespect to judicial incumbents is disrespect to that branch the Government to which they belong, as well as to the State which has instituted the judicial system." [Rodriguez-Manahan v. Flores, A.C. No. 8954 (2013)]
APPLICABILITY TO GOVERNMENT LAWYERS
Canon 6. These canons shall apply to lawyers
in government service in the discharge of their official duties.
NOTE: Asked 5 times in the last 20 years as of 2014 [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
Ratio: The rule is a reiteration of the principal in public law, which is that a public office is a public trust and a public servant owes utmost fidelity to the public service. A member of the bar who assumes public office does not shed his professional obligation. Lawyers in government are public servants who owe the utmost fidelity to the
public service. A lawyer in public service is a keeper of public faith and is burdened with a high degree of social responsibility, perhaps higher than her brethren in private practice [Vitriolo v. Dasig, A.C. 4984 (2003)].
May a former government lawyer appear in a case against the government? – YES, he may appear in a case unless there is a specific ethical rule or provision of law which prohibits him from doing so. [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
When may a former government lawyer be prohibited from accepting a legal engagement? [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
a. A lawyer shall not after leaving the government service accept engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service;
b. Retired members of the judiciary receiving pensions form the government should not practice law where the government is the adverse party or in a criminal case involving a government employee in the performance of his duties as such
Rule 6.01. The primary duty of a lawyer
engaged in public prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action.
A public prosecutor is a quasi-judicial officer with the two-fold aim which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffers. He should not hesitate to recommend to the court the acquittal of an accused if the evidence in his possession shows that the accused is innocent [Agpalo (2004)].
In criminal cases, a public prosecutor should be present for the following reasons: [Lex Pareto (2014 ed)]
1. To protect the interest of the State (As the criminal case is in reality a crime against the State)