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Balgami v. CA Her failure to deliver to Atty.

Barrera the copy of the


decision is not a valid justification for giving due
Facts: course to the appeal. The SC has held that the
negligence of clerks is binding upon the lawyers.
Balgami, et. al filed a complaint for
partition, accounting with damages with a plea for a Despite the suspension of Atty. Barrera, it
writ of preliminary injunction of the cadastral survey did not relieve the secretary from her duty to hand
over a parcel of land against Aplomina in the RTC. over the decision to any of the associates in the law
office. Remember, Aplomina was represented by the
Aplomina was represented by the law firm firm and not Atty. Barrera alone. Thus, Atty. Barreras
of J.T. Barrera & Associates (Aplominas counsel). suspension did not sever the lawyer-client
However, his counsel Atty. Barrera was suspended relationship. When a client employs the services of a
from the practice of the law by the Court for one firm, he does not employ only the lawyer assigned to
year. The counsel of Aplomina did not notify the TC handle the case. Rather, he employs the entire firm.
and Balgamis counsel.
Perfection of an appeal in the manner and
The TC rendered a decision in favor of period laid down by law is not only mandatory but
Balgami, ordering partition of the property. A copy of also jurisdictional. The failure to perfect an appeal
the decision was served on Aplominas counsel on has the effect of defeating the right to appeal of a
July 1, 1993. No notice of appeal was filed by them. party and precludes the appellate court from
Thus, the trial court issued a writ of execution upon acquiring jurisdiction over the case. It is not a natural
motion of Balgami. right but a statutory privilege.

On Dec. 21, 1993, Aplomina filed a notice Failure of Aplomina to appeal properly had
of appeal on his own. He alleged that he learned of the effect of rendering the judgment final and
the TC decision recently after he was told that Atty. executory.
Barrera had been suspended by the Court. He further
stated that he was still looking for a new lawyer to
handle his case on appeal. Of course, this was
opposed by Balgami on the ground that it was filed
out of time.

The appeal was first denied by the TC but


later reversed itself after a motion for reconsideration
filed by Atty. Barrera himself (after serving the
suspension). This was affirmed on the grounds that
there was no showing that Atty. Barrera had received
the copy of the decision as he was under suspension
that time.

The records were elevated to the CA.


Balgami filed a motion to strike off appeal but was
denied. Thus it now files a petition for certiorari and
prohibition under Rule 65 with the SC.

Issue:

Was there a perfected appeal?

Decision:

No. Delos Santos, the secretary of the law


firm, received the decision of the TC on July 1, 1993.