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CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY


Question No. 22 (2010). Canon 1 / Rule 1.01 Question No. 3. (2007). Canon 18 of the CPR (10%)

A retired member of the Judiciary is now engaged in Attorney M. accepted a civil case for the recovery of
private practice. In attending hearings, he uses his car title and possession of land in behalf of N.
bearing his protocol plate which was issued to him Subsequently, after the Regional Trial Court had issued
while still in the service. a decision adverse to N, the latter filed an
administrative case against attorney M for disbarment.
Pass on the ethical aspect of the judge’s use of the He alleged that attorney M caused the adverse ruling
protocol plate. (2%) against him; that attorney M did not file an opposition
to the Demurrer to Evidence filed in the case, neither
SUGGESTED ANSWER: did he appear at the formal hearing on the demurrer,
Absent any express prohibition to use the plates by leading the trial court to assume that plaintiff's counsel
official members of the bench, it is still imprudent, if not (attorney M) appeared convinced of the validity of the
unethical for the judge to use of his protocol plate after demurer filed; that attorney M did not even file a
his retirement since he no longer holds that position. motion for reconsideration , causing the order to
become final and executory; and that even prior to the
The CPR enjoins respect for law which extend to the above events and in view of attorney M's apparent loss
society, the legal profession and to the court. Rule 1.01 of interest in the case, he verbally requested attorney
prohibits lawyers from deceit which in turn involves M to withdraw, but attorney M refused. Complainant N
misrepresentation which can he implied if the plates are further alleged that attorney M abused his client's trust
used after retirement. and confidence and violated his oath of office in failing
to defend his client's cause to the very end.

Question No. 2 (2007). Canons 16 and 17 of the Code Attorney M replied that N did not give him his full
of Professional Responsibility (10%) cooperation; that the voluminous records turned over
to him were in disarray, and that appeared for N, he had
C engages the services of attorney D concerning various only half of the information and background of the
mortgage contracts entered into by her husband from case; that he was assured by N's friends that they had
whom she is separated, fearful that her real estate approach the judge; that they requested him (M) to
properties will be foreclosed and of impending suits for prepare a motion for reconsideration which he did and
sums of money against her. Attorney D advised C to give gave to them; however these friends did not return the
him her land titles covering her lots so he could sell copy of the motion.
them to enable her to pay her creditors. He then
persuaded her execute deeds of sale in his favor Will the administrative case prosper? Give reasons for
without any monetary or valuable consideration, to your answer.
which C agreed on condition that he would sell the lots
and from the proceeds pay her creditors. Later on, C Suggested Answer:
came to know that attorney D did not sell her lots but Yes. Lawyer M appears negligent because of his failure to
instead paid her creditors with his own funds and had file an opposition to the demurrer, appear at the
her land titltes registered in his name. Did attorney D demurrer hearing, and not filing a motion for
violate the Code of Professional Responsibility? Explain. reconsideration. Under the Code, a lawyer shall not
handle any legal matter without adequate preparation
Suggested Answer: (18.02). He shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to
The decision of the Supreme Court in the case of him and his negligence renders him liable (18.03). Canon
Hernandez v. Go, A.C. 1526, January 1, 2005, is squarely 18 provides that the lawyer shall serve his client with
applicable to this problem. Under the same set of facts, competence and diligence. Thus, the voluminous record
the Supreme Court held the lawyer to have violated is no justification for the failure of Attorney M to file an
Canons 16 and 17 of the Code of Professional opposition to the demurrer to evidence or failing to
Responsibility, which provide as follows: attend the hearing thereof.
 Canon 16. A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys
and properties of his client that may come into Giving the motion for reconsideration to the friends of N
his possession. for filing is another instance of negligence on the part of
 Canon 17. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of Atty. M. He should have filed his motion himself.
his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and (Francisco v. Portugal, A.C. No. 6155, March 14, 2006)
confidence reposed in him. Atty. M also violated Canon No. 13 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides that “a lawyer
When attorney D acquired the properties of his client, he shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from
did not only violate these canons but also Article 1491 of any impropriety which tends to influence or gives the
the Civil Code, which prohibits him to acquire by appearance of influencing the court.” Furthermore,
purchase even at a public auction or judicial auction, refusing to comply with N’s request to withdraw from
property of his clients the sale of which has been the case violated the absolute right of the client to
entrusted to him unless the consent of the client has terminate his lawyer at any time with or without cause.
been given. (Section 26, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court)

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Question No. 1. (2008). Code of Professional actually performed by B & S for Acaramba was the
Responsibility, Canon 19, 21, & 14 review of a lease agreement and representation of
Acaramba as a complainant in a bouncing checks case.
Christine was appointed counsel de oficio for Zuma, Acaramba stopped paying retainer fees in 2002 and
who was accused of raping his own daughter. Zuma terminated its retainer agreement with B & S in 2005. In
pleaded not guilty but thereafter privately admitted to 2007, Temavous, another telecommunications
Christine that he did commit the crime charged. company, requested B & S to act as its counsel in the
following transactions: (a) the acquisition of Acaramba;
a. In light of Zuma’s admission, what should Christine and (b) the acquisition of Super-6, a company engaged
do? Explain. (3%) in the power business.

Suggested Answer: In which transactions, if any, can Bianca & Sophia Law
Christine should suggest to Zuma that he should plead Office represent Temavous? Explain fully. (7%)
guilty to the crime as charged.
Suggested Answer:
Canon 19, Rule 19.02 of the CPR states that “a lawyer Bianca & Sophia Law Office cannot represent Temavous
who has received information that his client has, in the in the acquisition of Acaramba because the Canons of
course of the representation, perpetrated a fraud upon a Professional Ethics (Canon 6) and the Code of
person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to Professional Responsibility (Canon 15) provide that a
rectify the same, and failing which he shall terminate the lawyer shall not represent parties with adverse interests
relationship with such client in accordance with the Rules to one another. Even though their relationship had
of Court.” already been terminated the Code further provides
(Canon 21) that a lawyer should safeguard the
b. Can Christine disclose the admission of Zuma to the confidences of his former client. In the case of
court? Why or why not? (2%) acquisitions, B&S would definitely have an undue
advantage (Rule 21.02-.03), or to appear to have such, in
Suggested Answer: assisting Temavous’ acquisition of its former client due to
No, Christine cannot disclose Zuma's admission to the its prior relationship. In contrast, as to the case of Super-
court. 6, B&S may represent Temavous because such a
transaction is in no way connected to its prior
Canon 21, Rule 21.02 of the CPR provides that “a lawyer relationship with Acaramba.
shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, use
information acquired in the course of employment, nor
shall he use the same to his own advantage or that of a Question No. 3. (2008). Code of Professional
third person, unless the client with full knowledge of the Responsibility, Canon 13)
circumstances consents thereto.”
Christine cannot disclose the admission without violating Dumbledore, a noted professor of commercial law,
the abovementioned canon. The information disclosed is wrote an article on the subject of letters of credit which
in the nature of a privileged communication, hence, she was published in the IBP Journal.
cannot disclose it to the court without Zuma's consent.
a. Assume he devoted a significant portion of the
c. Can Christine withdraw as counsel of Zuma should he article to a commentary on how the Supreme Court
insist in going to trial? Explain. (3%) should decide a pending case involving the
application of the law on letters of credit. May he be
Suggested Answer: sanctioned by the Supreme Court? Explain. (4%)
Christine cannot withdraw as counsel of Zuma. Suggested Answer:
Yes, he may be sanctioned by the court.
Canon 14, Rule 14.01 of CPR states that “a lawyer shall
not decline to represent a person solely on account of the Canon 13, Rule 13.02 provides that “a lawyer shall not
latter's race, sex. creed or status of life, or because of his make public statements in the media regarding a pending
own opinion regarding the guilt of said person.” case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a
party.”
Despite the admission of Zuma, Christine cannot
withdraw as Zuma's counsel because Zuma is still As a lawyer, Dumbledore should not have made such
considered innocent until proven guilty. Further, there statements regarding a pending case so as not to
may be mitigating circumstances that Christine may raise influence the court in deciding the case or giving the
as a defense that is favorable to Zuma. public the impression that the court was influenced by
his commentaries, should the court arrive at a decision
similar to that of Dumbledore's comments.
Question No. 2 (2008). Code of Professional
Responsibility, Canon 6, 15, 21
b. Assume Dumbledore did not include any
In 1998, Acaramba, a telecommunications company, commentary on the case. Assume further after the
signed a retainer agreement with Bianca & Sophia Law Supreme Court decision on the case had attained
Office (B & S) for the latter’s legal services for a fee of finality, he wrote another IBP Journal article,
P2,000 a month. From 1998 to 2001, the only service dissecting the decision and explaining why the
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Supreme Court erred in all its conclusions. May he be
sanctioned by the Supreme Court? Explain. (3%)

Suggested Answer:
No, he may not be sanctioned by the court. Question No.5 (2008). Code of Professional
Responsibility, charging lien)
Dumbledore's commentary in the IBP journal is not
unethical. What the CPR prohibits is the making of public The vendor filed a case against the vendee for the
statements regarding pending cases before the courts. annulment of the sale of a piece of land.
Dumbledore's article in the IBP Journal is about a decided
case already. Once a case has been decided, it is already a. Assume the vendee obtained a summary judgment
open for public consumption hence anyone can criticize against the vendor. Would the counsel for the
or make known their opinions regarding the conclusion defendant vendee be entitled to enforce a charging
of the case. lien? Explain. (4%)
Question No.4 (2008). Code of Professional
Responsibility, Canon 20) Suggested Answer:
No, vendee's counsel would not be entitled to enforce a
Chester asked Laarni to handle his claim to a sizeable charging lien. A charging lien to be enforceable there
parcel of land in Quezon City against a well-known must be a judgment for money. In the case at bar, there
property developer on a contingent fee basis. Laarni was no mention of a judgment for money in favor of the
asked for 15% of the land that may be recovered or 15% vendee thus vendee's counsel cannot enforce a charging
of whatever monetary settlement that may be received lien. However, if there would be a judgment for money
from the property developer as her only fee contingent vendee's counsel would be entitled to enforce the
upon securing a favorable final judgment or charging lien.
compromise settlement. Chester signed the contingent
fee agreement. b. Assume, through the excellent work of the vendee’s
counsel at the pre-trial conference and his wise use
a. Assume the property developer settled the case of modes of discovery, the vendor was compelled to
after the case was decided by the Regional Trial move for the dismissal of the complaint. In its order
Court in favor of Chester for P1 Billion. Chester the court simply granted the motion. Would your
refused to pay Laarni P150 Million on the ground answer be the same as in question (a)? Explain. (3%)
that it is excessive. Is the refusal justified? Explain.
(4%) Suggested Answer:
Vendee's counsel would still not be entitled to enforce a
Suggested Answer: charging lien. A dismissal on motion of the plaintiff would
Yes, the refusal is justified. Canon 20 of the CPR states certainly not include a judgment for money. Therefore,
that “a lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees.” the counsel cannot enforce a charging lien.
Although under a contingent fee agreement lawyers are
entitled to greater remuneration because of the
possibility of receiving nothing at all, the fee charged Question No. 6. (2008). Code of Professional
must still be fair, reasonable and conscionable. In this Responsibility, Canon 3.
case, the 150 million fee is excessive and unconscionable.
Atty. Abigail filed administrative cases before the
b. Assume there was no settlement and the case Supreme Court against Judge Luis. Thereafter, Atty.
eventually reached the Supreme Court which Abigail filed a Motion for Inhibition praying that Judge
promulgated a decision in favor of Chester. This time Luis inhibit himself from trying, hearing or in any
Chester refused to convey to Laarni 15% of the manner acting on all cases, civil and criminal, in which
litigated land as stipulated on the ground that the Atty. Abigail is involved and handling.
agreement violates Article 1491 of the Civil Code
which prohibits lawyers from acquiring by purchase Should Judge Luis inhibit himself as prayed for by Atty.
properties and rights which are the object of Abigail? Explain fully. (6%)
litigation in which they take part by reason of their
profession. Is the refusal justified? Explain. (4%) Suggested Answer:
No. Being the subject of an administrative case is not one
Suggested Answer: of the grounds for disqualification of a judge from
The refusal is not justified. The transfer of the land to handling case provided by the Code of Judicial
Laarni would not violate Article 1491 of the Civil Code Responsibility in Canon 3 Rule 12.
because said article does not cover contingent fee
agreements. This is because in a contingent fee
agreement a transfer would only occur in case a favorable Question No. 7. (2008). Code of Professional
judgment is obtained. Further, the case reached the Responsibility, Canon 21.
Supreme Court which means that Laarni spent so much
time on the case and much of her skills were demanded In need of legal services, Niko secured an appointment
hence the 150 million is a fair and reasonable fee. to meet with Atty. Henry of Henry & Meyer Law Offices.
During the meeting, Niko divulged highly private
information to Atty. Henry, believing that the lawyer
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would keep the confidentiality of the information.
Subsequently, Niko was shocked when he learned that c. A suspended lawyer allowing his non-lawyer staff to
Atty. Henry had shared the confidential information actively operate his law office and conduct business
with his law partner, Atty. Meyer, and their common on behalf of clients during the period of suspension.
friend, private practitioner Atty. Canonigo. When (3%)
confronted, Atty. Henry replied that Niko never signed
any confidentiality agreement, and that he shared the Suggested Answer:
information with the two lawyers to secure affirmance Yes. Canon 9, Rule 9.01 states that “a lawyer shall not
of his legal opinion on Niko’s problem. Did Atty. Henry delegate to any unqualified person the performance of
violate any rule of ethics? Explain fully. (7%) any task which by law may only be performed by a
member of the bar in good standing.”
Suggested Answer:
Canon 21 provides that an attorney shall preserve the d. Keeping money he collected as rental from his
confidence of his client and further articulates this point client’s tenant and remitting it to the client when
in Rule 21.03-.04 by clarifying that he may not disclose asked to do so. (3%)
such information to outside agencies without the
consent of his client and that he may disclose such Suggested Answer:
information to firm partners unless prohibited by his Yes. Canon 16, Rule 16.01 provides that “a lawyer shall
client. In the case of Atty. Meyer, he was a firm partner account for all money or property collected or received
and as such is covered by Rule 21.04 and not being for or from the client.” A lawyer should account for all
explicitly prohibited by Niko Henry committed no wrong money he collected immediately. He should not wait that
in giving information to him. However in the case of Atty. the client would ask or demand for the money.
Canonigo who was not in any way connected to the firm
Henry committed a gross violation of Rule 21.03. In either e. Refusing to return certain documents to the client
case the mere entry into the attorney-client relationship pending payment of his attorney’s fees. (3%) XXX
obviates the need for a confidentiality agreement. (Rules of Court)

See Miscellaneous
Question No. 8. (2008). Code of Professional
Responsibility, Canon 18, 16, 9 f. An unwed female lawyer carrying on a clandestine
affair with her unwed male hairdresser. (3%)
State, with a brief explanation, whether the lawyer
concerned may be sanctioned for the conduct stated Suggested Answer:
below. No. Both parties are of age and qualified to marry each
other hence the affair is not one which is grossly immoral.
a. Filing a complaint that fails to state a cause of action, It is not so corrupt nor so unprincipled to warrant
thereby resulting in the defendant succeeding in his sanction from the court.
motion to dismiss. (3%) g. Not paying the annual IBP dues. (3%)

Suggested Answer: Suggested answer:


Yes. Canon 18, Rule 18.02 states that “A lawyer shall not Yes. Default in payment of IBP dues for 6 months shall
handle any legal matter without adequate preparation.” warrant suspension of membership to the IBP and
A lawyer should have exercised diligence and made default in payment for one year shall warrant for the
adequate preparations to ascertain that the complaint removal of the member in the Roll of Attorneys.
stated a cause of action to prevent the dismissal of the
complaint.
Question No. 9. (2008). Code of Professional
b. A suspended lawyer working as an independent legal Responsibility, Canon 3.
assistant to gather information and secure
documents for other lawyers during the period of his State, with a brief explanation, whether the judge
suspension. (3%) concerned may be sanctioned for the conduct stated
below.
Suggested Answer:
Yes. Under the law, only lawyers in good standing can a. Refusing to inhibit himself although one of the
perform or engage in the practice of law. In the case of lawyers in the case is his second cousin. (3%)
Cayetano vs. Monsod, the Court held that the practice of
law involves rendering service to the general public that SUGGESTED ANSWER:
calls for the professional judgment of a lawyer, the No. Under Canon 3, Rule 3.12 a judge should take no part
essence of which is his educated ability to relate the in a proceeding where the judge's impartiality might
general body and philosophy of law to a specified legal reasonably be questioned. One of the cases would be
problem. Clearly, the act of working as a legal assistant in where the judge is related by consanguinity or affinity to
gathering information and securing documents for other counsel within the fourth degree. A second cousin is a
lawyers is within the scope of practicing law. A suspended relative within the 6th degree, hence it is not covered by
lawyer is temporarily prohibited to practice the legal the prohibition.
profession therefor he cannot engage in the mentioned
acts.
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b. Deciding a case in accordance with a Supreme Court any confidential information acquired through their
ruling but adding that he does not agree with the connection or previous employment”.
ruling. (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Question No. 15. (2009). Canon 39 and Canon 9 of the
No. There is no law or rule prohibiting such conduct. Canons of Professional Ethics.
Regardless of his opinion, the judge still followed the
Supreme Court's ruling thus there is really nothing wrong Atty. Manuel is counsel for the defendant in a civil case
with such act. Further, his opinion will not have any pending before the RTC. After receiving the plaintiff’s
bearing as it is not part of the decision. Pre-Trial Brief containing the list of witnesses, Atty.
Manuel interviewed some of the witnesses for the
c. Dictating his decision in open court immediately plaintiff without the consent of plaintiff’s counsel.
after trial. (3%)
a. Did Atty. Manuel violate any ethical standard for
SUGGESTED ANSWER: lawyers?
Yes. A judge should uphold the integrity and
independence of the judiciary. He must not hastily issue Answer:
decisions. NO. Statutory law provides that a lawyer may interview
a prospective witness for the opposing side in a civil or
criminal case without the consent of the opposing
Question No. 7 (2009). Code of Professional counsel or party. This is supported by Canon 39 of the
Responsibility, Canon 15. Canon Professional Ethics.

Lawyer cannot refuse to divulge the name or identity of b. Will your answer be the same if it was the plaintiff
his client (True or False) who was interviewed by Atty. Manuel without the
consent of plaintiff’s counsel? Explain.
Answer:
FALSE. There are certain exceptions where in the lawyer Answer:
may refuse divulge the identity of his client. He may do YES. A witness is distinct and different from the adverse
so: party. The rule earlier enunciated does not include
1. Where a strong probability exists that permission to interview the adverse party without the
revealing the identity would implicate the consent of his counsel. This is supported by Canon 9 of
client in the very activity for which he sought the Canons of Professional Ethics.
the lawyer’s advice.
2. When disclosure would open the client to
civil liability. Question No. 18 (2009) Rule 7.03, Canon 7, Chapter 2,
3. Where the government’s lawyers have no CPR
case against an attorney’s client unless by
revealing the client’s name. Atty. Hype, a bachelor, practices law in the Philippines.
On long weekends, he dates beautiful actresses in Hong
Kong. Kristine, a neighbor in the Philippines, filed with
Question No. 8 (2009)) Code of Professional the Supreme Court administrative complaint against
Responsibility, Canon 15, Rule 15.03 the lawyer because of sex videos uploaded through the
internet showing Atty. Hype’s sordid dalliance with the
What are three (3) tests to determine conflict of actresses in Hong Kong.
interest for practicing lawyers? Explain each briefly.
In his answer, Atty. Hype (1) questions the legal
Answer: personality and interest of Kristine to institute the
In the case of Quiambao vs Bamba the SC held that complaint and (2) insists that he is a bachelor and the
“developments in jurisprudence have particularized sex videos relate to his private life which is outside
various tests to determine whether a lawyer’s conduct public scrutiny and have nothing to do with his law
lies within this proscription. One test is whether a lawyer practice.
is duly-bound to fight for an issue or claim in behalf of one
client and, at the same time, to oppose that claim for the Rule on the validity of Atty. Hype’s defense. (5%).
client. Thus, if a lawyer’s argument for one client has to
be opposed by that same lawyer in arguing for the other Suggested Answer:
client, there is a violation of the rule. The first defense does not lie because the legal
personality and interest of Kristine to initiate the
Another test of inconsistency of interests is whether the complaint is not material to the disbarment case.
acceptance new relation would prevent the full discharge Disbarment proceedings are siu generis, and are not
of the lawyer’s duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to considered as civil actions, is not required in disbarment
the client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double- cases. Public interest is the primary objective of
dealing in the performance of the duty. disbarment cases and not merely private interest.
Atty. Hyde’s defense that his private life has nothing to
Still another test is whether the lawyer would be called do with his practice of law is not meritorious. The CPR
upon in the new relation to use against a former client specifically provides that lawyers should not engage in
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conduct that adversely reflects his fitness to practice law, and (b) his client will commit perjury on the witness
nor behave in a scandalous manner to discredit the legal stand? Explain.
profession, whether private or public. Thus, there is a
ground for sanctions ions or even his disbarment. Answer:
a) Atty. Romualdo cannot and is not obliged to reveal
to the judge that Vicente is guilty of murder. Under
the rule on privileged communication, admission of
a crime already committed is deemed privileged.
Attorney-client privilege attaches and he is bound
Question No. 19 (2009). Canon 20, CPR under such rule to keep secret what his client,
Vicente, told him in confidence.
Atty. Wilmar represented Beatriz in a partition case
among heirs, and won. When Wilmar demanded b) Under the circumstances that his client expressly
payment of attorney’s fees, Beatriz refused to pay. told him that he will commit perjury when he takes
Wilmar sued Beatriz for the unpaid attorney’s fees and the witness stand, such communication is no longer
obtained a favorable judgment. Thereafter, Beatriz filed privileged since it pertains to a crime yet to be
an administrative complaint against Wilmar claiming committed. What Atty. Romualdo must do first is
that he lied when he stated in his claim for attorney’s discourage his client to commit perjury, since a
fees that the subject of the partition case involved the lawyer must impress upon his client to obey the
entire estate of the deceased when, in fact, it covered law. If he cannot convince him, then the CPR directs
only 50% thereof. Wilmar set up the defenses that (1) him and gives him a ground to discontinue his
Beatriz filed the complaint only to delay the execution services. (Rule 15.07, CPR). Prudence and practice
of the judgment ordering her to pay attorney’s fees and show that it may not be in his best interest to be the
(2) Beatriz engaged in forum-shopping. Are the one to reveal to the judge that Vicente will commit
defenses of Atty. Wilmar tenable? Explain. perjury on the witness stand since this revelation
lies outside the Attorney-Client privilege.
Answer:
1) YES. The defenses of Atty. Wilmar are tenable since
Atty. Wilmar had already obtained a favorable Question No. 22 (2009). Rule 13.01, Canon 13, CPR
judgment both his client’s case as well as his
demand for payment of attorney’s fees due him. On a Saturday, Atty. Paterno filed a petition for a Writ
Under the circumstances where services has of Amparo with the Court of Appeals (CA). Impelled by
already been rendered, and his demand passed the urgency for the issuance of the writ, Atty. Paterno
upon by a court, the subsequent administrative persuaded his friend, CA Justice Johnny de la Cruz, to
complaint can be gleaned as a delaying tactic on the issue the Writ of Amparo and the notice of hearing
part this time of the client. without the signature of the two other Justices-
members of the CA division. Are Atty. Paterno and
2) NO. There is strictly no forum shopping. Forum Justice de la Cruz guilty of unethical conduct? Explain.
shopping is the result when there is an adverse (4%)
opinion in one forum, and a party seeks a favorable
decision (other than by appeal or certiorari) in Answer:
another forum. Here Beatriz, instead of filing an YES. Atty. Paterno violated the CPR which provides that
appeal or a certiorari in a higher court to contest the a lawyer shall rely on the merits of his case and refrain
award for legal fees, chose to file an administrative from any improperly which influence or gives the
complaint based on the ground of dishonesty which appearance of influencing the court. Atty. Paterno’s act
is not exactly the identical with the issue raised in of using his friendship with Justice de la Cruz in order to
the demand for legal fees. acquire the Writ of Amparo without a hearing is not in
accordance with this rule. Atty. Paterno should have let
Otherwise put, the issues pertaining to the demand for the process continue on its own without using
legal fees have been rendered and are due for execution. connections or influence.
The issues Beatriz is raising, whether meritorious or
otherwise, do not involve the same causes of action. Another Suggested Answer:
Rather, it pertains to an aspect of the facts of the case YES. Justice dela Cruz violated the NCJC which provides
which should have been agreed upon at the onset. that judges shall, in their personal relations with
individual members of the legal profession, avoid
situations which might reasonably give rise to the
Question No. 21 (2009). Rule 15.02 and 15.07, Canon 15, suspicion or appearance of favoritism or partiality. By
CPR issuing the Writ of Amparo alone, in violation of the law,
he has violated this rule.
When Atty. Romualdo interviewed his client, Vicente,
who is accused of murder, the latter confessed that he Question No. 4 (2010). Canon 7.
killed the victim in cold blood. Vicente also said that
when he takes the witness stand, he will deny having Atty. XX rented a house of his cousin JJ on a month-to-
done so. Is Atty. Romualdo obliged, under his oath as month basis. He left for a 6-month study in Japan
lawyer, to inform the judge that (a) his client is guilty without paying his rentals and electric bills while he was
away despite JJ’s repeated demands.
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Obiter: Moral turpitude is a moral delinquency that
Upon his return to the Philippines, Atty. XX still failed to affects the fitness of a member of the bar to continue as
settle his rental arrearages and electric bills, drawing JJ such and includes conduct that outrages the generally
to file an administrative complaint against Atty. XX. accepted moral standards of community.

Atty. XX contended that his non-payment of rentals and


bills to his cousin is a personal matter which has no Question No. 3 (2010). Canon 8.
bearing on his profession as a lawyer and, therefore, he
did not violate the Code of Professional Responsibility. Atty. Y, in his Motion for Reconsideration of the
Decision rendered by the National Labor Relations
a. Is Atty. XX contention in order?(3%) Commission (NLRC), alleged that there was connivance
of the NLRC Commissioners with Atty. X for monetary
SUGGESTED ANSWER: considerations in arriving at the questioned decision.
No. The Supreme Court ruled when a lawyer incurs He insulted the Commissioners for their ineptness in
debts, he has the moral duty and legal responsibility to appreciating the facts as borne by the evidence
settle them when they become due. presented.

Lawyers must at all times faithfully perform their duties Atty. X files an administrative complaint against Atty. Y
to the society, to the bar, to the court and to their clients. for using abusive language.
As part of their duties, they must promptly pay their
financial obligations. (Wilson Cham vs. Atty. Eva Pata- Atty. Y posits that as lawyer for the down-trodden
Moya, 556 SCRA 1,2008) laborers, he is entitled to express his righteous anger
against the Commissioners for having cheated them;
b. Cite two (2) specific Rules in the Code of that his allegations in the Motion for Reconsideration
Professional Responsibility, violation of which are absolutely privileged; and that proscription against
subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action by the the use of abusive language does not cover pleadings
Supreme Court although the acts complained of are filed with the NLRC, as it is not a court, nor are any of its
purely personal or private activities that do not Commissioners Justices or Judges.
involve the practice of law. (2%)
Is Atty. Y administratively liable under the Code of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Professional Responsibility? Explain. (3%)
Rule 7.03 – A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that
adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall SUGGESTED ANSWER:
he whether in public or private life, behave in a Yes. Case law has it that it is unavailing to presume that
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal labor practitioners are entitled to some latitude of
profession. righteous anger. Likewise, the Court is not deterred from
exercising supervisory authority over lawyers who
Rule 7.01 – A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly misbehave or fail to live up to that standard expected of
making a false statement or suppressing a material fact them as members of the Bar.
in connection with his application for admission to the
bar. NLRC exercises quasi-judicial functions and should be
accorded with the same respect and demeanor due to
courts of law.

Canon 8 of the CPR states that a lawyer shall conduct


Question No. 7 (2010). Canon 7 himself with Courtesy, Fairness and Candor towards his
professional colleagues. Relative thereto, Rule 8.01
Atty. Candido commented in a newspaper that the profers that a lawyer shall not, in his professional
decision of the Court of Appeals was influenced by a dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
powerful relative of the prevailing party. The appellate otherwise improper. In a bid to maintain respect due to
court found him guilty of indirect contempt. courts and to judicial officer, Rule 11,03 again states that
a lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or
Does this involve moral turpitude? Explain. (3%) menacing language or behavior before the courts.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: In addition, Rule 11.04 specifically states that a lawyer


No. Moral turpitude has been defined as everything shall not attribute to judge motives not supported by the
which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or good record.
morals, an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the
private and social duties which a man owes his Obiter: Canon 7 states that lawyers should at all times
fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to justice, uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession
modesty or good morals. and continues in Rule 7.03 to state that lawyers should
not behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the
Atty. Candido act of attributing corruption in the court is legal profession.
contemptuous under the CPR but does not constitute
moral turpitude.
Question No. 6 (2010). Canon 9.
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Atty. Monica Santos-Cruz registered the firm name For services to be rendered by Atty. Delmonico as
“Santos-Cruz Law Office” with the Department of Trade counsel for Wag Yu in a case involving 5,000 square
and Industry as a single proprietorship. In her meters (sq.m.) of land, the two agreed on a success fee
stationery, she printed the names of her husband and a of P50,000 plus 500 sq.m. of the land.
friend who are both non-lawyers as her senior partners
in light of their investments in the firm. She allowed her The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Wag Yu
husband to give out calling cards bearing his name as which became final and executory.
senior partner of the firm and to appear in courts to
move for postponements. After receiving P50,000, Atty. Delmonico demanded the
transfer to him of the promised 500 sq.m. Instead of
Did Atty. Santos-Cruz violate the Code of Professional complying, Wag Yu filed an administrative complaint
Responsibility? Why? (3%) charging Atty. Delmonico with violation of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and Article 1491 (5) of the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Civil Code for demanding the delivery of a portion of the
Yes. The CPR clearly provides that a lawyer shall not, land subject of litigation.
directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice
of law. (Canon 9) Is Atty. Delmonico liable under the Code of Professional
Responsibility and the Civil Code? Explain? (5%)
Clearly the husband and friend are non-lawyers who
cannot be partners in a law from otherwise it constitutes SUGGESTED ANSWER:
unauthorized practice of law. Similarly, Rule 9.01 states- No. Rule 16.03 – A lawyer shall deliver the funds and
A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the property of his client when due or upon demand.
performance of any task which by law may only be However, he shall have a lien over the funds and may
performed by a member of the bar in good standing. apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his
lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly
thereafter to his client.
Question No. 15-A (2010). Canon 13.
He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all
Rico, an amiable, sociable lawyer, owns a share in judgments and executions he has secured for his client
Marina Golf Club, easily one of the more posh golf as provided for in the Rules of Court. Here the land is no
courses. He relishes hosting parties for government longer subject of litigation because the case was already
officials and members of the bench. final and executor.

One day, he had a chance meeting with a judge in the


Intramuros golf course. The two readily got along well Question No. 3 (2011) Canon Law, Rule 20
and had since been regularly playing golf together at
the Marina Golf Club. Atty. Francisco’s retainer agreement with RXU said that
his attorney's fees in its case against CRP "shall be 15%
a. If Atty. Rico does not discuss cases with members of of the amounts collected." Atty. Francisco asked the
the bench during parties and golf games, is he trial court to issue a temporary restraining order against
violating the Code of Professional Responsibility? CRP but this was denied, prompting him to file a
Explain. (3%) petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals to
question the order of denial. At this point, RXU
SUGGESTED ANSWER: terminated Atty. Francisco’s services. When the parties
YES. Atty. Rico is liable for violating Canon 13 Code of later settled their dispute amicably, CRP paid RXU P100
Professional Responsibility, he should refrain from any million. Because of this, Atty. Francisco came around
impropriety which tends to influence or gives the and claimed a 15% share in the amount. What should
appearance of influencing the court. This is especially be his attorney’s fees?
true if Atty. Rico is regularly practicing in the court of the
judges. Answer:
(A) Nothing because the compromise came after
Also, Rule 13.1 states that – A lawyer shall not extend RXU terminated him.
extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor seek (B) 15% of what CRP paid RXU or P15 million.
opportunity for cultivating familiarity with judges. In (C) A reasonable amount that the court shall fix
playing golf regularly with judges, familiarity will upon proof of quantum merit.
certainly arise and whether or not they discuss cases is a (D) Nothing since he was unable to complete the
non-issue. work stated in the retainer contract.

Case law has it, constant company with lawyer tends to


breed intimacy and camaraderie to the point that favors Question No. 5. (2011), Canon law
in the future may be asked from the judge which he may
find hard to refuse. (Padilla v. Zantua Jr.) Sheryl, Eric's counsel, once asked for postponement
and the court granted it since the opposing counsel,
Bernadine, did not object. Eric then asked Sheryl not to
Question No, 8 (2010). Canon 16.03. allow any further postponements because his case has
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been pending for 8 years. When trial resumed, 14 January 2007. With OGCC’s approval, NWD hired
Bernadine moved to reset the trial because of her Atty. Arthur in his place. When Atty. Arthur sought the
infant's ailment. What must Sheryl do? dismissal of the actions that Atty. Chito had instituted,
the latter objected on the ground that his term had not
Answer: yet expired and Atty. Arthur had no vacancy to fill up. Is
(A) Remind the Court that it has the duty to Atty. Chito right?
promptly decide the case.
(B) Interpose no objection since she too once Answer:
sought postponement without Bernadine's (A) No, because Atty. Chito’s continued
objection. appearances in the cases was without authority
(C) Vehemently oppose Bernadine's motion for since 14 January 2007.
being contrary to Eric's wishes. (B) No, because Atty. Arthur would have violated
(D) Submit the motion to the Court's sound the rule on forum shopping.
discretion. (C) Yes, because Atty. Chito’s retainer and
authority remained valid until 17 April 2006.
(D) No, because Atty. Chito has the duty to
Question No. 7 (2011) Canon Law, rule 7 expose the irregularities committed by the
members of Faction B.
Which of the following statements best describes the
distinct traditional dignity that the legal profession
enjoys over other professions? Question No. 16 (2011), Canon Law, Canon 10

Answer: Noel and Emily who were involved in a road accident


(A) People are quite dependent on lawyers for sued Ferdie, the driver of the other car, for damages.
their skills in getting them out of trouble with the Atty. Jose represented only Noel but he called Emily to
law. testify for his client. During direct examination, Emily
(B) Its members strive to maintain honesty even claimed that her injuries were serious when Atty. Jose
in their private dealings. knew that they were not. Still, Atty. Jose did not contest
(C) Its members earn by charging specified such claim. Ferdie later sued Emily for giving false
emoluments or fees. testimony since her own doctor’s report contradicted it.
(D) The profession is anchored on a fiduciary He also sued Atty. Jose for foisting a false testimony in
relation with the client. court. Is Atty. Jose liable?

Answer:
Question No. 14 (2011), CANON law (A) No, because he did not knowingly arrange for
Emily to lie in court.
After Atty. Benny got a P2 million final judgment in his (B) Yes, because he did not advise his client to
client’s favor, he promptly asked the court, without settle the case amicably.
informing his client, to allow him a charging lien over (C) No, because Emily did not permit him to
the money in the amount of P500,000, his agreed fees, reveal the falsity to the court.
The Court issued a writ of execution for the whole (D) Yes, because he knowingly let Emily's false
judgment in Atty. Benny's name with an order for him testimony pass for truth.
to turn over the excess to his client. Is Atty. Benny’s
action correct?
Question No. 17 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 16
Answer:
(A) No, since his fees are excessive. In settling his client's claims, Atty. Cruz received from
(B) Yes, since he was merely asserting his right to the adverse party P200,000 in cash for his client. Which
collect his fees. of the following is an IMPROPER way for Atty. Cruz to
(C) Yes, since he would anyway give the excess to handle the money?
his client after getting his fees.
(D) No, since he did not disclose to his client the Answer:
matter of getting a charging lien and a writ of (A) Ask his client to prepare a check for his fees
execution in his name. for swapping with the cash.
(B) Deposit the cash in his own bank account
and later issue his personal check to his client,
Question No. 15 (2011), Canon Law less his fees.
(C) Turn over the cash to his client with a request
On 17 April 2006 NWD, a local water district entity, that the latter pay him his fees.
hired Atty. Chito as private counsel for a year with the (D) Tell his client about the settlement and the
consent of the Office of the Government Corporate cash and wait for the client's instructions.
Counsel (OGCC). Shortly after, a leadership struggle
erupted in NWD between faction A and faction B. Siding
with the first, Atty. Chito filed several actions against Question No. 20 (2011) canon law, canon21
the members of faction B. Eventually, the court upheld
Faction B which thus revoked Atty. Chito’s retainer on
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After representing Lenie in an important lawsuit from Question No. 28 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 12.02 (forum
1992 to 1995, Atty. Jennifer lost touch of her client. Ten Shopping)
years later in 2005, Evelyn asked Atty. Jennifer to
represent her in an action against Lenie. Such action Counsel for Philzea Mining appealed a decision of the
involved certain facts, some confidential, to which Atty. Bureau of Mines, which was adverse to his client, to the
Jennifer was privy because she handled Lenie's old case. Environment Secretary. At about the same time, he
Can Atty. Jennifer act as counsel for Evelyn? filed a special civil action of certiorari with the Court of
Appeals for the annulment of the same decision. Did
Answer: counsel commit any ethical impropriety in his actions?
(A) No, but she can assist another lawyer who
will handle the case. Answer:
(B) Yes, but she must notify Lenie before (A) Yes, since the action he filed with the Court
accepting the case. of Appeals was barred by the pendency of a
(C) No, because her duty to keep the similar action before the Environment Secretary.
confidences of previous clients remains. (B) Yes, since he was evidently shopping for a
(D) Yes, but she cannot reveal any confidential sympathetic forum, a condemnable practice.
information she previously got. (C) No, since his appeal to the Environment
Secretary was administrative, not judicial.
(D) No, since he has to exhaust all available
Question No. 24 (2011), Canon Law, Canon 19 remedies to serve his client’s interest.

A difficult client directed his counsel to bring up to the


Supreme Court the trial court’s dismissal of their action. Question No. 29 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 1 (ambulance
Counsel believes that the trial court acted correctly and Chasing)
that an appeal would be futile. Which of the following
options should counsel take? Atty. Melissa witnessed the car accident that resulted
in injury to Manny, a friend of hers. While visiting him
Answer: at the hospital, she advised him about what action he
(A) Withdraw from the case to temper the needed to take regarding the accident. Is Atty. Melissa
client’s propensity to litigate. subject to disciplinary action if she eventually handles
(B) Engage a collaborating counsel who can assist the case for him?
in the case.
(C) Submit a new retainer proposal to the client Answer:
for a higher fee. (A) No, because Melissa did not directly
(D) Elevate the case to the Supreme Court as volunteer her services.
directed by client. (B) No, because Manny happened to be a
friend.
(C) Yes, she engaged in typical ambulance
Question No. 25 (2011) Canon Law, Rule 11 chasing.
(D) Yes, because she should have offered her
Although not counsel in a particular case, Atty. Anthony services for free.
asked Lisa, the RTC clerk of court, if the case records
have already been remanded to the MTC as the Court
of Appeals directed. Lisa said no, saying that the RTC Question No. 33 (2011), Canon Law, rule 6.02
had not yet received a certified copy of the Court of
Appeals’ decision. When Lisa suggested that Atty. Atty. Eliseo represented Allan in a collection suit against
Anthony first secure such a copy, the latter scolded her. the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). After
Shamed by this, Lisa filed a disciplinary action against his election as sangguniang bayan member, the court
him for encroaching on the work of the lawyers of rendered a decision in PCSO’s favor. Still, Atty. Eliseo
record. Anthony defends his follow-up action by appeared for Allan in the latter’s appeal, prompting the
claiming good faith and the possibility of entering his PCSO to question his right to do so. In response, Atty.
appearance later. Is Anthony liable for his record follow Eliseo claimed that the local government code
up? authorizes him to practice law as long it does not
conflict with his duties. Is Atty. Eliseo right?
Answer:
(A) Yes, because he did not inform Lisa of the Answer:
basis of his interest in the case. (A) No, because he cannot appear against a
(B) Yes, because none of the parties to the case government instrumentality in a civil case.
authorized him to do such follow up. (B) Yes, because his official duties do not conflict
(C) No, because he acted in good faith with a with his private practice.
view to a possible retainer. (C) No, because he works on his private case at
(D) No, because following up the records of any the sacrifice of public service.
case does not constitute practice of law. (D) Yes, because he does not appear in the case
as a municipal official.

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Question No. 34 (2011), Canon Law, Canon18 (C) Woman counsel appearing in court dressed in
business attire.
Which of the following instances demonstrates (D) Counsel addressing the court as "Your
counsel’s LACK of diligence in serving his client's Honor" at all times.
interest?

Answer: Question No. 40 (2011), Canon Law, Canon 20


(A) Failing to file his client’s appeal brief despite
2 extensions upon the excuse that the client did Atty. Arthur agreed to represent Patrick in a personal
not coordinate with him. injury case after the latter signed a retainer agreement
(B) Failing to send to client a requested legal for a 33% fee contingent on their winning the case. In
opinion until after the latter gave him the the course of trial, Patrick dismissed Atty. Arthur after
additional documents he requested. he presented their evidence in chief and engaged Atty.
(C) Failing to rehearse his client on his testimony Winston another lawyer. They lost the case. What fee
before the trial. would Atty. Arthur be entitled to?
(D) Updating his client about the status of his
case by phone and electronic mail. Answer:
(A) Thirty three percent of the fee actually paid
to Winston.
Question No. 37 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 8 (B) The reasonable value of his services.
(C) A flat hourly rate for the time he invested in
After hearing in a sensational criminal case, counsel for the case.
the accused told television viewers how the judge (D) Absolutely nothing.
unfairly ruled to stop his witness from testifying fully
about certain aspects of the case that would help the
accused. Counsel said that the public should know the Question No. 42 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 16
injustice to which his client was being subjected. Can
counsel be disciplined for his utterances? Which of the following characteristics pertains to a
charging lien?
Answer:
(A) Yes, because rather than defend the judicial Answer:
system as was his duty, he attacked it. (A) It cannot attach to judgments for delivery of
(B) No, since counsel did not use obscene real estates.
language. (B) It involves documents placed in the lawyer's
(C) No, so long as counsel did not knowingly possession by reason of the retainer.
make false statements or act in reckless (C) It does not need any notice to the client to
disregard of truth. make it effective.
(D) Yes, even if the judge may have actually made (D) It may be exercised before judgment or
unfair rulings in the course of trial. execution.

Question No. 38 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 22 Question No.45 (2011), Canon law, Rule 2

Which of the following is required of counsel when On November 28 Atty. Patrick wrote in a newspaper
withdrawing his services to a client in a case? column that the Supreme Court already decided in
favor of the validity of the Executive Order that created
Answer: the Truth Commission upon a vote of 13-2. But, as it
(A) Counsel's desire to withdraw, expressed in turned out, the Court actually rendered an adverse
his motion. decision only on December 7, and upon a vote of 10-5.
(B) Payment of withdrawal fee. Asked to explain his misleading article, Patrick said that
(C) Opposing counsel’s conformity to the his constitutionally protected right to free expression
withdrawal. covered what he wrote. Can the Court cite Patrick for
(D) Client's written consent filed in court. contempt?

Answer:
Question No. 39 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 11 (A) Yes, because his article obstructs and
degrades the administration of justice.
Which of the following demonstrates the lawyer's duty (B) No, because the right to free expression
to give the court the respect it deserves? occupies a high rank in the hierarchy of
cherished rights.
Answer: (C) No, because courts must simply ignore public
(A) Counsel consistently appearing in court on opinion and the media when rendering
time. decisions.
(B) Counsel obeying court's orders and (D) Yes, because he wrote a lie in his column.
processes.

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Question No. 46 (2011), Canon Law, Rule 1 Limot’s notice; he did receive the notice by mail but
immediately shredded it to defeat Limot’s claim.
Atty. Ramon borrowed his client's (Menchu) land title.
After eight months, Menchu demanded its return but If you were Atty. Bravo, what would you do in light of
he failed to comply and changed his residence. After your client’s (Carlos Negar’s) disclosure that he perjured
Menchu tracked him down, she confronted him about himself when he testified? (8%)
the title. He then offered to just buy the property and
gave her five checks for it but these bounced. Charged SUGGESTED ANSWER:
with malpractice, Atty. Ramon answered that his If I were Atty. Bravo I shall promptly call upon Carlos
license to practice law cannot be in issue. He merely Negar, my client, to rectify his perjured testimony by
incurred civil liability for a failed transaction. Will the recanting the same before the court.
malpractice action prosper?
Should he refuse or fail to do so I shall then terminate my
Answer: relationship with him (Code of Professional
(A) No, because his failure to pay his obligation Responsibility, Canon 19, Rule 19.02) stating that with his
only makes him civilly liable. having committed perjury he pursued an illegal conduct
(B) No, since Menchu did not transact business in connection with the case (Ibid., Canon 22, Rule 22.01).
with Atty. Ramon as a lawyer.
(C) Yes, because it is professionally reprehensible Since my client Limot refuses to forego the advantage
for a lawyer to be unavailable to a person in thus unjustly gained as a result of his perjury, I should
need. promptly inform the injured person or his counsel, so
(D) Yes, he having taken advantage of Menchu that they may take the appropriate steps (Canons of
who was not fully protected and had no Professional Ethics, Canon 41).
independent advice.
Finally, as part of my duty to do no falsehood, nor
consent to the doing of any in court (Code of Professional
Question No. 50 (2011), Canon law, Rule 17, 18 Responsibility, Canon 10, Rule 10.01, and the Attorney’s
Oath). I shall file a manifestation with the court attaching
Which of the following demonstrates a lawyer’s fidelity thereto the notice of termination as Limot’s counsel.
to known practices and customs of the bar regarding a
case he is handling?
Question No. 2 (2013). Canon 12.
Answer:
(A) Treating his client’s disclosures as Atty. Serafin Roto is the Corporate Secretary of a
confidential but not the documents he submits construction corporation that has secured a multi-
for review. million infrastructure project from the government. In
(B) Meeting with his client’s opponent over lunch the course of his duties as corporate secretary, he
to discuss settlement without telling his client. learned from the company president that the
(C) Accepting a tough case although he is new in corporation had resorted to bribery to secure the
practice, trusting that his diligence would make project and had falsified records to cut implementing
up for lack of experience. costs after the award of the project.
(D) Inviting the judge hearing the case to dinner
with no purpose to discuss the case with him. The government filed a civil action to annul the
infrastructure contract and has subpoenaed Atty. Roto
Question No. 1 (2013). Code 19, 22, 10 to testify against the company president and the
corporation regarding the bribery. Atty. Roto moved to
Atty. Bravo represents Carlos Negar (an insurance agent quash the subpoena, asserting that lawyer-client
for Dormir Insurance Co.) in a suit filed by insurance privilege prevents him from testifying against the
claimant Andy Limot who also sued Dormir Insurance. president and the corporation.
The insurance policy requires the insured/claimant to Resolve the motion to quash. (8%)
give a written notice to the insurance company or its
agent within 60 days from the occurrence of the loss. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Motion denied. The motion should be denied because
Limot testified during the trial that he had mailed the Atty. Roto did not learn of the bribery and falsification in
notice of the loss to the insurance agent, but admitted connection with a lawyer-client relation. Being a
that he lost the registry receipt so that he did not have corporate secretary does not create a lawyer-client
any documentary evidence of the fact of mailing and of relation because membership in the Bar is not a
the timeliness of the mailed notice. Dormir Insurance requirement to perform functions of a corporate
denied liability, contending that timely notice had not secretary. Consequently, Atty. Roto does no owe any
been given either to the company or its agent. Atty. obligation of confidentiality to the corporation.
Bravo’s client, agent Negar, testified and confirmed
that he never received any notice. Atty. Roto may be compelled to testify. As an officer of
the court, a “lawyer shall exert every effort and consider
A few days after Negar testified, he admitted to Atty. it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient
Bravo that he had lied when he denied receipt of administration of justice” (Code of Professional
Responsibility, Canon 12). Furthermore, “a lawyer owes
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candor, fairness and good faith to the court” (Ibid., He has likewise violated the ethical responsibility that his
Canon 10). appearance in court should be deemed equivalent to an
assertion on his honor that in his opinion his client’s case
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER is one proper for judicial determination (Canons of
Professional Ethics, Canon 30, 2nd par., last sentence).
Motion granted. It is true that being a corporate
secretary does not necessarily constitute a lawyer-client In counselling on the contradictory positions, Atty.
relation. However, Atty. Roto may be considered in the Doblar has likewise counseled or abetted activities aimed
practice of law if part of his duties as a corporate at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the
secretary is to give legal advice to or prepares legal legal system (Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon
documents for the corporation. Thus, a lawyer-client 1, Rule 1.02) because conflicting opinions may result
relationship may have been constituted between Atty. arising from an interpretation of the same law.
Roto and the corporation. Consequently, it is his duty as
an attorney “to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at Atty. Doblar could not seek refuge under the umbrella
every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his that what he has done was in protection of his clients.
client” (Rules of Court, Rule 138, Sec. 20, par. e, This is so because a lawyer’s duty is not of his client but
paraphrasing and arrangement supplied). to the administration of justice. To that end, his client’s
success is wholly subordinate. His conduct ought to and
Atty. Roto learned from the company president of the must always be scrupulously observant of the law and
bribery and falsification, while Atty. Roto was in the ethics (Ernesto Pineda, LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS, 211
course of his performance of his duties as corporate (1999), citing Maglasang v. People, G.R. No. 90083,
secretary. Thus, he could not be examined in that matter October 4, 1990).
without the consent of his client (Ibid., Rule 130, Sec.
24(b)). Any means, not honorable, fair and honest, which is
resorted to by the lawyer, even in the pursuit of his
devotion to his client’s cause , is condemnable and
Question No. 4 (2013). Canon 1 unethical (Ibid.).

Atty. Doblar represents Eva in a contract suit against


Olga. He is also defending Marla in a substantially Question No. 7 (2013). Canon 4.
identical contract suit filed by Emma. In behalf of Eva,
Atty. Doblar claims that the statute of limitations runs In an action to prevent the condominium developer
from the time of the breach of the contract. In the from building beyond ten (10) floors, Judge Cerdo
action against Marla, Atty. Doblar now argues the rendered judgment in favor of the defendant
reverse position – i.e., that the statute of limitation developer. The judgment became final after the
does not run until one year after discovery of the plaintiffs failed to appeal on time. Judge Cerdo and
breach. Atty. Cocodrilo, counsel for the developer, thereafter
separately purchased a condominium unit each from
Both cases are assigned to Judge Elrey. Although not the the developer.
sole issue in the two cases, the statute of limitations
issue is critical in both. Did Judge Cerdo and Atty. Cocodrilo commit any act of
impropriety or violate any law for which they should be
Is there an ethical/professional responsibility problem held liable or sanctioned? (8%)
in this situation? If a problem exists, what are its
implications or potential consequences? (8%) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Judge Cerdo and Atty. Cocodrilo did not commit any act
of impropriety nor did they violate any law.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes. There is an ethical/professional responsibility The prohibition imposed by the Civil Code, Art. 1491(5),
problem that results from the actuation of Atty. Doblar prohibiting judges and attorneys, and that contained in
in arguing the reverse positions. the Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 10, with regard
to purchase of any interest in the subject matter of the
The signatures of Atty. Doblar on the pleadings for Eva litigation both refer only to instance where the property
and Maria, constitute a certificate by him that he has is still the subject of the litigation.
read the pleadings; that to the best of his knowledge,
information and belief there is good ground to support The prohibition does not apply to instance, such as in the
them; and that the pleading were not interposed for problem, where the conveyance takes place after the
delay (Rules of Court, Rule 7, Sec. 3, 2nd par.). Atty. Doblar judgment because the property can no longer be said to
could not claim he has complied with the foregoing the “subject of litigation” (Director of Lands v. Ababa,
requirement because he could not take a stand for Eva G.R. No. L-26096, February 27, 1979).
that is contrary to that taken for Maria. His theory for Eva
clearly contradicts his theory for Maria. He has violated ALTERNATIVE ANSWER
his professional responsibility mandated under the Rules Atty. Crocodilo did not commit any ethical violation nor
of Court. did he violate any law when he purchased a
condominium unit from the developer. The prohibition
under the Canons of Professional Ethics and under the
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Civil Code, Art. 1491(5) finds application only while the and notarization of documents. He put up a solo
property is still the subject ogf litigation. With the practice law office and was assisted by his wife who
judgment having attained a state of finality, the property served as his secretary/helper. He used a makeshift hut
can no longer be said to be the “subject of litigation” in a vacant lot near the local courts and a local transport
(Director of Lands v. Ababa, G.R. No. L-26096, February regulatory agency. With this strategic location, he
27, 1979). enjoyed heavy patronage assisting walk-in clients in the
preparation and filing of pleadings and in the
While technically, Judge Cerdo has not violated the preparation and notarization of contracts and
provisions of the Civil Code, Art. 1491(3) when he documents. He had the foresight of investing in a good
purchased a condominium unit form the developer heavy duty copier machine that reproduces quality
because the judgment has attained a state of finality, documents, and charges a reasonable fee for this
there may be some concerns on the ethical aspect of service. He draws electric power from an extension wire
what he had done. connected to an adjoining small restaurant. He put up a
shingle that reads: "Atty. Novato, Specialist in Small
Familiar is the maxim, Non omne quod licet honestum est Claims, Fastest in Notarization; the Best and Cheapest
(Not everything that is legal is ethical). Judges, like Judge in Copier Services."
Cerdo should be free of any whiff of impropriety. Judges
shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of Is Attorney Novato’s manner of carrying out his
impropriety in all of their activities (New Code of Conduct professional practice – i.e., mixing business with the
for the Philippine Judiciary, Canon 4, Sec. 1). practice of law, announcing his activities via a shingle
and locating his office as above-described – in keeping
His purchase of a condominium unit from the developer with appropriate ethical and professional practice?
might be interpreted by some quarters as a (8%)
consideration for his having decided the case in favor of
the defendant developer. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. Attorney Novato’s manner of carrying out his
professional practice is not in keeping with the
appropriate ethical and professional practice. He has
Question No. 8-MCQ (2013). Canon 14 disregarded the law profession which may result to loss
of respect to lawyers as a whole.
Vito is a notorious gangster in the province who has been
accused of raping and mercilessly killing a 16-year old The use of a makeshift hut standing alone would create
girl. Sentiments run very strongly against him and the the impression that the lawyer does no have a
local Bar Association met and decided that no lawyer in permanent address which is required to be stated in all
the locality would represent him. Vito could not afford pleadings he signs as well as required to be shown in
the services of an out-of-town counsel. documents he notarizes.

Choose the most appropriate legal and ethical His shingle shows that he has considered the law
characterization of the decision of the local Bar profession as a business. He should have a separate
Association. (1%) shingle for his copier services business.

Answer: When he included in his shingle the phrases “Specialist in


(A) It is within its right to make, since lawyers Small Claims” and “Fastest in Notarization,” he has
may freely decide who to represent and who not transgressed the rule that a lawyer in making known his
to represent. legal services shall use only dignified information or
(B) It is unethical; it constitutes a collective statement of facts (Code of Professional Responsibility,
denial of Vito’s right to the assistance of counsel. Canon 3). So also the norm that a lawyer shall not use or
(C) It constitutes an anticipated act of contempt permit the use of any misleading, undignified self-
towards the court that may order any of the laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his
members of the association to represent the qualifications or legal services (Ibid., Canon 3, Rule 3.01).
accused.
(D) It must be concurred in by each member of The use of the phrases “Specialist in Small Claims” and
the Bar Association to have any binding force. “Fastest in Notarization” is misleading advertisement
(E) It is unethical because the Bar Association because they are likely to create an unjustified
already prejudged Vito. expectation about the results the lawyer can achieve or
implies that the lawyer an achieve results by improper
SUGGESTED ANSWER: means (ABA Model Rule 7.1.b.).
(B) It is unethical; it constitutes a collective denial of
Vito’s right to the assistance of counsel (Code of [NOTES AND COMMENTS: The examinees have sixteen
Professional Responsibility, Canon 14, Rule 14.01; 1987 (16) minutes to answer each essay question. Thus, they
Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 2). have more than ample time to write exhaustive answers
to the questions. The citations are merely guides.
Question No. 10 (2013) Canon 3 Examinees should get full credit even if they do not
include the citations]
As a new lawyer, Attorney Novato started with a
practice limited to small claims cases, legal counseling,
14
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
Question No. 11 – MCQ (2013). Canon 14 Answer:
(A) It is unethical since he counseled civil
Candido engaged the services of Atty. Lebron in a servants to disregard a court order.
criminal case. In the course of their consultations, (B) It is ethical, since he acted in accordance with
Candido admitted to Atty. Lebron that he committed his honest conviction after considering that the
the crime and in fact actively planned its commission. court’s conditions have not been met.
He stressed, however, that under no circumstance (C) It constitutes indirect contempt, but the
would he admit or confess to the murder charge he is lawyer cannot be disciplined because he acted
facing and, in fact, would enter a plea of "not guilty" on out of his firm and honest conviction.
arraignment. (D) It is neither contemptuous nor unethical
since he was performing his duties as city legal
If Candido insists on his planned plea, Atty. Lebron officer.
should __________. (1%) (E) It is unethical since the City Legal Officer was
simply blindly following the Mayor’s wishes.
Answer:
(A) discontinue his representation; to continue SUGGESTED ANSWER:
would be unethical since he would then be (A) It is unethical since he counseled civil servants to
aiding the accused in foisting a deliberate disregard a court order (Code of Professional
falsehood on the court Responsibility, Canon 12).
(B) allow Candido to choose his course of action;
Atty. Lebron’s duty is to protect all his legal and
statutory rights Question No. 13-MCQ (2013) Canon 15
(C) convince Candido to plead guilty and
withdraw from the case if Candido refuses to The mediator assigned to a civil case happens to be your
heed his advice law school classmate and he makes a doctrinal
(D) file a manifestation, if Candido pleads "not statement about the rights of the parties. You knew
guilty," declaring to the court what he knows of that the statement, although favorable to your client’s
the truth. case, is incorrect.
(E) play matters by ear and wait for The ethical move to make under the circumstances is to
developments as Candido may still plead guilty. __________. (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Answer:


(B) Allow Candido to choose his course of action; Atty. (A) correct the mediator and state the right
Lebron’s duty is to protect all his legal and statutory doctrine
rights (Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 14, (B) just keep quiet because the other counsel
Rule 14.01). might learn about your relationship with the
Or mediator
(C) Convince Candido to plead guilty and withdraw from (C) reveal your relationship with the mediator
the case if Candido refuses to heed his advice. and ask the opposing counsel if he has any
objections
(D) request the Mediation Supervisor to
Question No. 12-MCQ (2013). Canon 12 immediately change the mediator
(E) simply withdraw from the case because of the
A Regional Trial Court issues a temporary restraining unfair advantage that you enjoy
order ( TRO ) halting the demolition order issued by the
City Mayor who has long loathed the cluster of shanties SUGGESTED ANSWER:
put up by informal settlers along the road leading to the (A) Correct the mediator and state the right doctrine.
city’s commercial district. The TRO, however, carried This is part of my duty as a lawyer.
conditions that must be in place before the threatened Or
demolition can be fully halted. (C) Reveal your relationship with the mediator and ask
the opposing counsel if he has any objections (Code of
The city legal officer advised the City Engineer’s Office Professional Responsibility, Canon 15, Rule 15.04).
and the local PNP chief that the TRO’s conditions are Question No. 14 –MCQ (2013) Canon 2
not in place so that the demolition could proceed. The
city filed a manifestation reflecting the city legal Wanda finally became pregnant in the 10th year of her
officer’s position, while the informal settlers’ counsel marriage to Horacio. As her pregnancy progressed, she
sought its own clarification and reconsideration from started having difficulty breathing and was easily
the court, which responded by decreeing that the fatigued. The doctors diagnosed that she has a heart
conditions have been fulfilled. Despite this ruling, the congestion problem due to a valve defect, and that her
city legal officer insisted that the conditions have not chances of carrying a baby to full term are slim. Wanda
been fulfilled and thus gave the PNP clearance to aid is scared and contemplates the possibility of abortion.
the City Engineer’s Office in proceeding with the She thus sought legal advice from Diana, a lawyer-
demolition. friend and fellow church member, who has been
From the perspective of professional ethics, how would informally advising her on legal matters.
you characterize the city legal officer’s actions? (1%)
What is Diana’s best ethical response? (1%)
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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
(D) No. Horacio and Wanda are married, any
Answer: advice given to Wanda is deemed to have been
(A) Beg off from giving any advice because it is a given to Horacio as well.
situation that is not purely legal. (E) No. Giving advice to Wanda is not necessarily
(B) Advise Wanda on the purely legal side of her acting against Horacio’s interest; Diana was
problem and assure her that abortion is allowed giving advice based on the couple’s best interest.
by law if the pregnancy endangers the life of the
mother. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(C) Advise that it is a religious problem before it (A) Yes. The decision of whether to have an abortion
is a medical or legal one, and Wanda should should be decided by both spouses; thus, Diana should
consult and follow the advice of her religious not have provided legal advice in the absence of
confessor. Horacio whose concerns and positions are unknown to
(D) Advise Wanda that abortion, above her (Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 15).
everything else, is a moral problem and she Or
should only have an abortion if it is an act she can (C) No. The decision on whether or not to have an
live with. abortion lies solely with Wanda; it is her body and
(E) Refrain from giving any kind of advice as health that is in issue (Code of Professional
abortion is a serious matter that cannot be Responsibility, Canon 5 and Canon 18); (Reproductive
resolved through informal consultations with Health Law).
friends and fellow church members.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Question No. 17-MCQ (2013). Canon 15


(B) Advise Wanda on the purely legal side of her
problem and assure her that abortion is allowed by law Under the same essential facts as the preceding
if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother (Code Question XVI, assume that you have resigned from ABLE
of Professional Responsibility, Canon 2, Rule 2.01-2.02). Law Office and that you were never impleaded as a co-
defendant, but during your stay with the firm, you
assisted in handling the Cobra Co. account, which is
Question No. 15-MCQ (2013) Canon 15 largely owned by Cable Co.

Based on the same facts as Question XIV, assume that The prosecutor handling the case against Santino and
Diana, aside from being a family friend of the couple, the law firm asks you, as a former law firm member, if
has been formally and informally acting as their lawyer you can help strengthen the prosecution’s case and
in all their personal and family affairs. She has hints that you, too, may be impleaded as a co-
represented them in court in a case involving a car defendant if you do not cooperate.
accident and in the purchase of their family home, for
which they formally paid the attorney’s fees that Diana What is your best legal and ethical course of action?
billed. (1%)

In this instance, Wanda asked about her legal rights but Answer:
did not formally ask for a written opinion from Diana. (A) Offer to testify on what you know and
Horacio never had any input on the query as he was provide evidence against the defendants in
then away on an out-of-town trip for his office. exchange for a guarantee of immunity from
prosecution in the case.
Diana advised Wanda that she is fully protected in law (B) Offer to provide evidence against Santino,
and her best course of action is to have an abortion but clarify that you cannot testify against Santino
while her pregnancy is not yet far advanced. because of the privileged communications rule
(C) Decline to testify against the defendants and
Did Diana violate the prohibition against representing to provide evidence in the case as the attorney-
conflicting interests when she provided legal advice to client privilege lasts even beyond the
Wanda without Horacio’s knowledge? (1%) termination of the relationship.
(D) Decline to testify against the defendants as
Answer: whatever information you acquired from
(A) Yes. The decision of whether to have an Santino and Cable Co. in the course of the
abortion should be decided by both spouses; lawyer-client relationship is privileged.
thus, Diana should not have provided legal (E) Alert the law firm to the prosecution’s offer
advice in the absence of Horacio whose concerns so that they can prepare for the evidence within
and positions are unknown to her. your knowledge that the prosecution may use.
(B) No. Diana did not give any formal advice that
would constitute legal practice calling for the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
strict observance of the conflict of interest rules. (C) Decline to testify against the defendants and to
(C) No. The decision on whether or not to have provide evidence in the case as the attorney-client
an abortion lies solely with Wanda; it is her body privilege lasts even beyond the termination of the
and health that is in issue. relationship (Code of Professional Responsibility,
Canon 15, Rule 15.02).

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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
Answer:
Question No. 19-MCQ (2013). Canon 12 (A) Agree to draft the deed of sale, subject to
your usual 10%commission.
You are a lawyer working at the Office of the Special (B) Refuse to draft the deed of sale, as Armin has
Prosecutor and you are part of the team handling the not presented a special power of attorney that
case against former Senator Avido who is charged with would support the deed that he is asking you to
plunder. Based on your assessment of the evidence that prepare.
the complainant Linda submitted, you know that the (C) Refuse to draft the deed of sale, as Bobby is
case against former Senator Avido is weak, although not present to sign the deed of sale and verify
you instinctively feel that he is guilty. You inform your that he is indeed selling his lot to Armin.
friend Atty. Curioso (who works with the office of (D) Agree to draft the deed of sale, since it is only
Senator Elmismo, a known political rival of Senator a draft that Bobby still has to consider and sign.
Avido) regarding your instinctive feeling about Senator (E) Refuse to have anything to do with Armin’s
Avido. Atty. Curioso springs a surprise by giving you a request because it is a potentially problematic
recording of the wiretapped conversation between situation given the price of lots in downtown
Senator Avido and Napo, a private party co-accused, Calamba.
about the transaction complained of and how they
would split the proceeds. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(B) Refuse to draft the deed of sale, as Armin has not
What will you do under these circumstances? (1%) presented a special power of attorney that would
support the deed that he is asking you to prepare (Code
Answer: of Professional Responsibility, Canon 18).
(A) Disregard the wiretapped conversation as it
is inadmissible and will not serve any useful
purpose in the trial of the case. Question No. 16-MCQ (2013). Canon 15, 10. Privileged
(B) Present the wiretapped conversation in Communication Rule
court; although inadmissible, its introduction
and the disclosure of its existence is a right that ABLE Law Office has a retainer agreement with Santino,
the public is entitled to. a businessman with shady connections, who has
(C) Leak the wiretapped conversation to the recently been charged with laundering money for an
media, to let the public know what really illegal drugs syndicate using Cable Co., Santino’s
happened. holding company. The lawyers of ABLE Law Office
(D) Submit the wiretapped conversation to the assigned to handle Santino’s account have been
Senate which is in the best position to determine impleaded as co-defendants for incorporating and
what to do with it. actively handling the affairs of Cable Co.
rd
(E) Let Napo privately know, through 3 parties,
that you are aware of the existence of the taped In its bid to strengthen its case against the defendants,
conversation, with the hint that he can still hope the prosecution approached you (as the least guilty
for a lighter penalty if he would cooperate. defendant who would qualify for a discharge as a state
witness) and offers to make you a state witness.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(A) Disregard the wiretapped conversation as it is Can you accept, within the bounds of professional
inadmissible and will not serve any useful purpose in ethics, the prosecution’s offer? (1%)
the trial of the case (Code of Professional
Responsibility, Canon 12). Answer:
(A) No, as Santino’s lawyer you are duty-bound
to protect his interests, ably represent him in
Question No. 20-MCQ (2013). Canon 18 court, and not turn against him.
(B) Yes, as an officer of the court, you have the
Armin, holding a transfer certificate of title to a lot in duty to disclose to the court information crucial
downtown Calamba in the name of Bobby, shows you to the case.
the title and claims that Bobby sold him the lot. He then (C) No, the information you acquired involving
asks you to draft a deed of sale covering the the criminal case against Santino is covered by
transaction. In reply to your query on where Bobby is, the privileged communications rule.
Armin explains that Bobby is currently out of the (D) Yes, a lawyer may testify against his client
country but he (Armin) has his general power of provided he first severs the lawyer-client
attorney which he also shows to you. The power of relationship.
attorney empowers Armin to do everything that Bobby (E) Yes, the law of self-preservation is akin to the
can do with the Calamba lot, but you note that it does law of self-defense and stands higher than any
not specifically authorize Armin to sell the property. obligation you may have with your client.
Armin also assures you that he wants the deed of sale
drafted so he can send it to Bobby for his signature even SUGGESTED ANSWER:
while overseas. (C) No, the information you acquired involving the
criminal case against Santino is covered by the
How will you act under the given circumstances? (1%) privileged communications rule (Code of Professional

17
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
Responsibility, Canon 15, Rule 15.02); (Privileged
Communication Rule).
Or
(B) Yes, as an officer of the court, you have the duty to
disclose to the court information crucial to the case
(Code of Professional Responsibility, Canon 10, Rule
10.01).

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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT b. What qualities should an ideal judge possess
under the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the
Question No. 5 (2007). Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Philippine Judiciary? (5%)
Conduct (10%)
Suggested Answer:
During the hearing of an election protest filed by his Qualities of an ideal judge under the New Code of
brother, Judge E sat in the area reserved for the public, Judicial Conduct are:
not beside his brother's lawyer. Judge E's brother won 1. Independence (Canon 1);
the election protest. Y, the defeated candidate for 2. Integrity (Canon 2);
mayor, filed an administrative case against Judge E for 3. Impartiality (Canon 3);
employing influence and pressure on the judge who 4. Propriety (Canon 4); and
heard and decided the election protest. 5. Competence and Diligence (Canon 5)

Judge E explained that the main reasons why he was


there in the courtroom were because he wanted to Question No. 1 (2009). NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL
observe how election protest are conducted as he has CONDUCT) Admin Matter No. 03-05-01-SC
never conducted one and because he wanted to give
moral support to his brother. True or False. The Bangalore Draft, approved at a
Roundtable meeting of Chief Justices held at The Hague,
Did Judge E commit an act of impropriety as a member is now the New Code of Judicial Conduct in the
of the judiciary? Explain? Philippines (True or False, explain)

Suggested Answer: Answer:


Judge E committed an act of impropriety by appearing in True. The Bangolore Draft was adopted by the Philippine
another court at the hearing of his brother’s election Supreme Court through admin matter No. 03-05-01-SC
protest. In the case of Vidal v. Dojillo, Jr., A.M. No. MTJ- and which took effect on June 1, 2004.
05-1591, July 14, 2005, which involved the same facts,
the Supreme Court held as follows:
Question No. 11. (2009).) Rule 3.12 of the Code of
“Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge Judicial Conduct
to avoid not only impropriety but also the mere
appearance of impropriety in all activities. Even if In a case for homicide filed before the Regional Trial
respondent did not intend to use his position as a judge Court( RTC), Presiding judge Quintero issued an order
to influence the outcome of his brother’s election for an arrest of the accused, granted a motion for the
protest, it cannot be denied that his presence in the reduction of bail, and set the date for the arraignment
courtroom during the hearing of his brother’s case would of= the accused. Subsequently, Judge Quintero
immediately give cause for the community to suspect inhibited himself from the case, alleging that even
that his being a colleague in the judiciary would influence before the case was raffled to his court, he already had
the judge trying the case to favor his brother.” personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding
the case. Is Judge Quintero’s inhibition justified?
Explain.
Question No. 6. Canon 1 of the Code of Judicial
Conduct ( 10%) Answer:
YES. Rule 3.12 of the CJC Expressly provides that judges
a. A and B are accused of Estafa by C, the wife of should take no part in the proceeding where the judge’s
Regional Trial Court Judge D. Judge D testified impartially might be reasonably questioned which
as a witness for the prosecution in the Estafa includes among other, having personal knowledge of
case. Did Judge D commit an act of impropriety? disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding.
Give reasons for your answer. (5%)
Question No. 11 (2010)
Suggested Answer:
If Judge D is a material witness to the offense being On the proposal of Judge G, which was accepted, he and
prosecuted, he should testify and his action cannot be his family donated a lot to the city of Gyoza on the
considered improper. However, if his testimony can be condition that a public transport terminal would be
dispensed with, being corroborative in nature, Judge D constructed thereon. The donation was accepted and
should refrain from testifying as it may be viewed as a the condition was complied with.
subtle attempt to influence the outcome of the case. He
should refrain from influencing in any manner the The family-owned tracts of land in the vicinity of the
outcome of litigation or dispute pending before another donated lot suddenly appreciated in value and became
court or agency. (Canon 1.03, New Code of Judicial commercially viable as in fact a restaurant and a hotel
Conduct) were soon after built.

Did the Judge commit any violation of the Code of


Judicial Conduct? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
NO. There is no clear showing that the Judge violated any NO. Strictly construed, Judge X will not incur any liability
of the provisions of the CJC. There is no prohibition on for making such a comment or speech which is an
donating properties, especially if the same is to serve expression of an opinion to a case already decided upon
public purpose or welfare. by the SC. What is enjoined to be abstained from is
making comments on a pending or impending case. (Rule
There is no clear showing or evidence that the increase 3.07, CJC)
in value of their adjacent properly motivated or was
made a precondition of the donation. As such, no malice Furthermore, Canon 4 allows Judges to engage in
or corrupt intent amounting to misconduct or corruption activities to improve the law, the legal system and the
can be directly imputed to the Judge. administration of justice.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Question No. 15-B (2010). Rule 2.03 YES. Openly criticizing the decision of the SC, by a
member of the bench does not speak well of the judicial
Rico, an amiable, sociable lawyer, owns a share in system, much less the administration of justice in
Marina Golf Club, easily one of the more posh golf relation to the perception and confidence of the people
courses. He relishes hosting parties for government on the people who run the system. Unity and stability
officials and members of the bench. within the judiciary is essential to the integrity of the
judicial system as a whole.
One day, he had a chance meeting with a judge in the
Intramuros golf course. The two readily got along well Depending on the extent of the criticism and the
and had once been regularly playing golf together at the language used, he may thus be administratively liable for
marina Golf Club. simple misconduct. A judge should so behave at all times
as to promote public confidence in the integrity and
b. How about the members of the bench who grace impartiality of the judiciary.
the parties of Rico, are they violating the Code of
Judicial Conduct? Explain. (3%)
Question No. 12 (2010). Rule 3.12.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
YES. Canon 2 enjoins judges to avoid impropriety and the Rebecca’s complaint was raffled to the sala of Judge A.
appearance of impropriety in all activities. Canon 1 states Rebecca is a daughter of Judge A.’s wife by a previous
that judges should be the embodiment of competence, marriage. This is known to the defendant who does not,
integrity and independence, of which integrity includes however, file a motion to inhibit the Judge.
impartiality.
Is the Judge justified in not inhibiting himself from the
Rule 2.03 of Canon 2- A judge shall not allow family, case? (3%)
social or other relationships to influence judicial conduct
or judgment. The prestige of judicial office shall not be SUGGESTED ANSWER:
used or lent to advance the private interests of others No. The Judge is not justified in not inhibiting himself
nor convey the impression that they are in a special since Rebecca is his step daughter and is related to him
position to influence the judge. by one degree of affinity.
Case law has it that the actuation of a judge constantly
eating and drinking in public places with a lawyer who The Code of Judicial Conduct expressly provides that a
has cases pending in his or her sala, public suspicion may judge should take no part in a proceeding where the
be aroused, thus tending to erode the trust litigants in judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
the impartiality of the judge. These cases include among others, proceedings where:
the judge is related by consanguinity or affinity to a party
litigant within the sixth degree or to counsel within the
Question No. 17-A (2010). Rule 3 & 4 fourth degree.

Judge X was invited to be a guest speaker during the


annual convention of a private organization which was Question No. 16 (2010). Rule 5.10.
covered by media. Since he was given the liberty to
speak on any topic, he discussed the recent decision of Judge L is assigned in Turtle Province. His brother ran
the Supreme Court declaring that the President is not, for Governor in Rabbit Province. During the election
under the Constitution, proscribed from appointing a period this year, Judge L took a leave of absence to help
Chief Justice within two months before the election. his brother conceptualize the campaign strategy. He
In his speech, the judge demurred to the Supreme Court even contributed a modest amount to the campaign
decision and even stressed that the decision is a serious kitty and hosted lunches and dinners.
violation of the Constitution.
Did Judge L incur administrative and/or criminal
a. Did Judge X incur any administrative liability? liability? Explain. (3%)
Explain. (3%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
SUGGESTED ANSWER: YES. Judge L can be said to be administratively liable but
not criminally liable.
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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16

Rule 5.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a Judge Cristina has many law-related activities. She
Judge is entitled to entertain personal views on political teaches law and delivers lectures on law. Some in the
questions, but to avoid suspicion of political partisanship government consult her on their legal problems. She
a judge shall not make political speeches, contribute to also serves as director of a stock corporation devoted to
party funds, publicly endorse candidates for political penal reform, where she participates in both fund
office or participate in other partisan political activities. raising and fund management. Which of the following
statements applies to her case?
The rule above does not make kinship an exemption
from compliance with the prohibition.
Answer:
(A) She should not engage in fund raising
Question No. 6 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule activities.
3.12 (B) Her activities are acceptable except the part
where she is involved in fund management.
In a verified complaint, Kathy said that Judge Florante (C) She can teach law and deliver lectures on
decided a petition for correction of entry involving the law but not do the other things.
birth record of her grandson, Joshua, who happened to (D) All of her activities are legal.
be child of Judge Florante's daughter, Pilita. Judge
Florante insisted that he committed no wrong since the
proceeding was non-adversarial and since it merely 2011, Question (19) Code of Judicial Conduct,
sought to correct an erroneous entry in the child’s birth
certificate. Is Judge Florante liable? One of the foundation principles of the Bangalore Draft
of the Code of Judicial Conduct is the importance in a
Answer: modern democratic society of
(A) Yes, because Florante breached the rule on
mandatory disqualification. Answer:
(B) No, because Judge Florante has no pecuniary (A) a judicial system that caters to the needs of
interest in the proceeding. the poor and the weak.
(C) No, because it is true the proceeding was (B) public confidence in its judicial system and
non-adversarial so it prejudiced no one. in the moral authority and integrity of its
(D) Yes, since the correction in the child’s record judiciary.
affects the details of birth of the child. (C) the existence of independent and impartial
tribunals that have the support of its
government.
Question No. 13 (2011) Code of Judicial Conduct, (D) judges who are learned in law and
jurisprudence.
On appeal, RTC Judge Rudy affirmed the MTC’s
conviction of Lorna for violation of the bouncing checks
law and awarded Agnes, the complainant, Php1.6 Question No. 30 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct,
million in damages. Two years later, upon Lorna’s Canon2
motion and after ascertaining that her counsel never
received the court's decision, Judge Rudy recalled the A Court Administrator's auditing team found that
entry of judgment in the case, reversed himself, and Judge Ruby used business cards which stated, in
absolved Lorna of guilt. Claiming an unjust judgment, addition to her official title as presiding judge of her
Agnes filed an administrative complained against Judge court, that she is bar topnotcher, her law school’s "class
Rudy, saying that it is plain from the circumstances that valedictorian," and "one of the most sought after
he connived with Lorna, her counsel, and the handling private law practitioners" before she joined the
prosecutor. But she offered no further evidence. Rudy judiciary, all of which are true. Asked to explain this
denied the charges and asserted that any error in his seeming impropriety, Ruby pointed out that business
judgment is correctible only by an appeal, not by an cards can include the person’s "title" which is broad
administrative suit. Should Judge Rudy be disciplined? enough to include in her case her standing in the bar
and all the honors she earned. Did Ruby commit an
Answer: impropriety?
(A) No, because Agnes' complaint is merely
based on suspicions and speculations. Answer:
(B) No, because Agnes has yet to establish that (A) Yes, unless the cards were given to her as a
Rudy's decision is plainly erroneous. gift.
(C) Yes, because he gravely abused his discretion (B) No, because all she stated in her business
in recalling the entry of judgment. cards are true.
(D) Yes, because reconsidering the judgment of (C) Yes, because she showed a hunger for
conviction that the MTC and he earlier issued publicity and recognition that debases her
shows anomaly in Judge Rudy's action. judicial post.
(D) No, because she is free to include in her
business cards details that say who she is.
Question No. 18 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct,
21
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16

Answer:
Question No. 31 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct (A) curative.
(B) punitive.
Serving as counsel de oficio, Atty. Mamerto advised (C) corrective.
John of the consequences of his plea of not guilty to the (D) both punitive and corrective.
charge. Before trial could be held, however, the
presiding judge died. As it happened, Atty. Mamerto
was appointed judge and John’s case was assigned to Question No. 26 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct
him by raffle. John quickly moved for the judge’s
disqualification. Is Judge Mamerto under obligation to Administrative proceedings against Judges of all courts
inhibit himself from the case? and Justices of the Court of Appeals and the
Sandiganbayan shall be
Answer:
(A) No, because his service to John was just Answer:
momentary. (A) private and confidential.
(B) Yes, because his knowledge of John’s case (B) public but subdued.
affects his judgment. (C) private but transparent.
(C) No, because he was merely a counsel de (D) public.
oficio.
(D) Yes, because he served as John's counsel.

Question No. 6 (2013). Rules of Court, Code of judicial


Question No. 36 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct, conduct

What unhealthy attitude of mind should a judge avoid An audit team from the Office of the Court
falling into? Administrator found that Judge Contaminada
committed serious infractions through the
Answer: indiscriminate grant of petitions for annulment of
(A) Hearing and adjudicating cases is an marriage and legal separation. In one year, the judge
important job. granted 300 of such petitions when the average number
(B) Courts are made for litigants. of petitions of similar nature granted by an individual
(C) Litigants are made for the courts. judge in his region was only 24 petitions per annum.
(D) Courts should dispose of their cases on time.
The audit revealed many different defects in the
granted petitions: many petitions had not been
Question No. 48 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct verified; the required copies of some petitions were not
furnished to the Office of the Solicitor General and the
After the prosecution cross-examined Shiela, a witness Office of the Provincial Prosecutor; docket fees had not
for the accused, Judge Pedro asked her ten additional been fully paid; the parties were not actual residents
questions that were so intense they made her cry. One within the territorial jurisdiction of the court; and, in
question forced Sheila to admit that her mother was some cases, there was no record of the cross-
living with another man, a fact that weighed on the case examinations conducted by the public prosecutor or
of the accused. This prompted the latter’s counsel to any documentary evidence marked and formally
move to expunge the judge’s questions for building on offered. All these, viewed in their totality, supported
the prosecution's case. Judge Pedro denied the motion, the improvident and indiscriminate grant that the OCA
insisting that bolstering a party’s case is incidental to found.
the court’s desire to be clarified. Did Pedro commit an
impropriety? If you were the counsel for Andy Malasuerte and other
litigants whose marriages had been improperly and
Answer: finally annulled, discuss your options in
(A) No, his ten questions could not be considered administratively proceeding against Judge
an undue intervention. Contaminada, and state where and how you would
(B) No, because the judge is free to inquire into exercise these options. (8%)
any aspect of the case that would clarify the
evidence for him. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(C) Yes, because he effectively deprived the As counsel for Andy Malasuerte, I have the option of
defense of its right to due process when he participating in the administrative proceedings by filing a
acted both as prosecutor and judge. verified complaint in writing against Judge Contaminado,
(D) Yes, because nothing connects his desire to with the Office of the Court Administrator, supported by
be clarified with the questions he asked. affidavits of persons who have personal knowledge of
the facts alleged therein or by documents which may
substantiate said allegations. The complaint shall state
Question No. 49 (2011), Code of Judicial Conduct clearly and concisely the acts and omissions constituting
violations of standards of conduct prescribed for judges
Administrative penalties imposed on judges are by law, the Rules of Court, the Code of Judicial Conduct
22
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
(Rules of Court, Rule 140, Sec. 1) and the new Code of
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary.

(NOTES AND COMMENTS: The question clearly refers to


“administratively proceeding against Judge
Contaminado.” It is suggested that some credit should be
given if the examinee discusses the options available for
Andy Malasuerte to obtain relief with regard to his
improperly and finally annulled marriage.)

Question No. 8 (2013).Code of Conduct for the


Philippine Judiciary

The criminal case arising from the P10-Billion Peso pork


barrel scandal was raffled to Sandiganbayan Justice
Marciano Cobarde. Afraid that he would antagonize the
parties, his political patrons and, ultimately, his judicial
career, he decided to inhibit from participating in the
case, giving "personal reasons" as his justification.
If you were to question the inhibition of SB Justice
Cobarde, on what legal basis, and where and how will
you do this? (8%).

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The grounds relied upon by Justice Cobarde for his
inhibition conveys the impression that “the partis” and
“his political patrons” are in a special position improperly
to influence him in the performance of his judicial duties
(New Code of Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, Canon
4, Sec. 8). Furthermore, the Sandiganbayan sits in
Divisions, so the fears of Justice Cobarde are unfounded.
Justice Cobarde should not shirk from the performance
of his judicial duties.

I would file a motion with the Division of the


Sandiganbayan in which Justice Cobarde is sitting for the
remittal of his voluntary inhibition. I would advance in
motion the reasons why the “personal reasons” set forth
by the Justice are insubstantial and does not merit his
inhibition. I would likewise set the motion for hearing as
appropriate.

(NOTES: The decision of Justice Cobarde to inhibit


himself on account of “personal reasons” is not
conclusive and his competency may be determined on an
application for mandamus to compel him to act (Palang
v. Zosa, G.R. No. L-38229, August 30, 1974).

The voluntary inhibition of Justice Cobarde is not subject


to mandamus because voluntary inhibition involves his
exercise of discretion (Gutang, et al v. Court of Appeals,
et al, G.R. No. 124760, July 8, 1998).

23
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
NOTARIAL LAW notarial act if he is a spouse, common-law partner,
ancestor, descendant, or relative by affinity or
Question No. 7. (2007) Rules on Notarial Practice (10%) consanguinity of the principal within fourth civil degree.

a. What evidence of identity does the 2004 Rules


on Notarial Practice require before a notary Question No. 14 (2009). Section 2, Rule IV of the 2004
public can officially affix his notarial seal on Rules on Notarial Practice
and sign a document presented by an
individual whom the notary public does not Atty. Sabungero obtained a notarial commission. On
personally know? (5%) Sunday, while he was at the cockpit, a person
approached him with an affidavit that needed to
Suggested Answer: notarize. Atty. Sabungero immediately pulled out from
Section 12, Rule II of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice his pocket his small notarial seal, and notarized the
defined competent evidence of identity as referring to document. Was the affidavit validly notarized? Explain.
any of the following identification of an individual:
1. at least one current identification document Answer:
issued by an official agency bearing the NO. The affidavit was not validly notarized in accordance
photograph and signature of the individual; or with the Rules on Notarial Practice. The rules provide
2. the oath or affirmation of one credible witness that a notary public shall not perform a notarial act
not privy to the instrument, document or outside his regular place of work or business. A cockpit is
transaction who is personally known to the clearly not a notary public’s regular place of business.
notary public and who personally knows the
individual, or of two credible witnesses neither Atty. Sabungero’s notarization of the affidavit is not
of whom is privy to the instrument, document or valid. Furthermore, the facts in the case at bar is not one
transaction who each personally knows the of the exceptional occasions or situations where a
individual and shows to the notary public notarial act may be performed outside the notary
documentary identification. public’s office and territorial jurisdiction.

b. When can Judges of the Municipal Trial Courts Question No. 2 (2011)
(MTC) and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts (MCTC)
perform the function of notaries public ex The acknowledgment appearing in a deed of sale reads:
officio, even if the notarization of the "Before me personally appeared this 30 August 2010
documents are not in connection with the Milagros A. Ramirez, who proved her identity to me
exercise of their official function and duties? through witnesses: 1. Rosauro S. Balana, Passport
(5%) UU123456; 1-5-2010/ Baguio City; and 2. Elvira N.
Buela, Passport VV200345; 1-17-2009/ Manila. "Both
Suggested Answer: witnesses, of legal ages, under oath declare that:
MTC and MCTC judges assigned to municipalities or Milagros A. Ramirez is personally known to them; she is
circuits with no lawyers or notaries public may, in the the same seller in the foregoing deed of sale; she does
capacity as notaries public ex-officio, perform any act not have any current identification document nor can
within the competency of a regular notary public, she obtain one within a reasonable time; and they are
provided that: (1) all notarial fees charged be made for not privy to or are interested in the deed he signed."
the account of the Government and turned over to the What is the status of such a notarial acknowledgment?
municipal treasurer (Tabao v. Asis, A.M. No. RTJ-95-1330,
January 30, 1996; Lapena, Jr. v. Marcos, A.M. No. 1969- Answer:
MJ, June 29, 1982); and (2) certification be made in the (A) Questionable since the notary public is not
notarized documents attesting to the lack of any lawyer shown to personally know the principal party.
or notary public in such municipality or circuit. (Doughlas (B) Ineffective since it included parties not privy
v. Lopez, Jr., A.M. No. MTJ-96-1076, February 9, 2000; to the deed.
Gravela v. Villanueva, A.M. No. 02-1414-MTJ, January 28, (C) Invalid since the evidence of identity is non-
2003) compliant with the notarial rules.
(D) Valid since it is a manner of establishing the
identity of the person executing the document.

Question No. 9 (2009) A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC Rule IV—


Powers & Limitations of Notaries Public, Section 3 Question No. 8 (2011), Notarial law

A notary public is disqualified from performing a Raul sought Ely's disbarment for notarizing a deed of
notarial act when the party to the document isa relative sale knowing that four of the sellers were dead. Ely
by affinity within the 4th civil degree. (True or False) admitted that he notarized the deed of sale but only
after his client assured him that the signatures of the
Answer: others were authentic. Later, Raul moved to have the
True. Under Sec. 3 Rule IV of the 2004 Rules of Notarial complaint against him dismissed on the ground that it
Practice notary public is disqualified from preforming a was filed because of a misunderstanding which had
already been clarified. This prompted the IBP to
24
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
recommend the dismissal of the complaint. Can the (A) Yes, provided Alex states in the deed of sale
dismissal be allowed? that he knew Myra personally.
(B) No, Myra needs to produce a valid
Answer: identification document of herself.
(A) No, unless the complainant executes an (C) No, since Alex is not himself a party to the
affidavit of desistance. document.
(B) Yes, since no compelling reason remained to (D) Yes, since Alex had a valid identification
continue with it. document.
(C) Yes, but recall Ely's notarial commission since
the charge against him seems meritorious.
(D) No, given Ely’s admission that he notarized Question No. 1-MCQ (2013). A.M. No. 02-8-13 SC Rule 2
the document when some signatories were Sec. 12
absent.
Under the 2004 Rules of Notarial Practice, what may be
used to satisfy the requirement of “competent evidence
Question No. 9(2011), Notarial law of identity”? (1%)

When will Atty. Antonio's notarial commission expire if Answer:


he applied for and was given such commission on 12 (A) Passport, Senior Citizen card, HMO card.
November 2010? (B) Police clearance, credit card, Professional
Regulatory Commission ID.
Answer: (C) Voter’s ID, NBI clearance, Driver’s license.
(A) 31 December 2012 (D) Ombudsman’s clearance, private office ID,
(B) 31 December 2011 PhilHealth card.
(C) 11 November 2011 (E) All of the above.
(D) 11 November 2012
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(C) Voter’s ID, NBI clearance, Driver’s license (Notarial
Act, Sec. 12).

Question No. 11 (2011) Notarial law

Which of the following will subject Atty. Lyndon, a


Manila notary public, to sanctions under the notarial
rules?

Answer:
(A) Notarizing a verification and certification
against forum shopping in Manila Hotel at the
request of his Senator-client.
(B) Refusing to notarize an extra-judicial
settlement deed after noting that Ambo, a
friend, was delisted as heir when he was in fact
one.
(C) Performing signature witnessing involving
his brother-in-law and recording it in his
register.
(D) Notarizing a deed of sale for someone he
knew without requiring any proof of identity.

Question No. 32 (2011), Notarial law

Myra asked Atty. Elma to notarize her deed of sale.


When Elma asked for Myra's competent evidence of
identity, she explained that she does not have any
current identification document nor could she get one
soon. Instead, she presented her friend, Alex, who
showed Atty. Elma his driver’s license and confirmed
her Myra’s identity. Is Alex’s identification of Myra
valid?

Answer:

25
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
MCLE
Answer:
Question No. 1 (2011), MCLE (A) required to make up for his absence by
attending lecture sessions in other MCLE
Atty. Mike started teaching Agrarian Reform and providers
Taxation in June 2001 at the Arts and Sciences (B) sanctioned because he circumvented or
Department of the Far Eastern University. In 2005, he evaded full compliance with the MCLE
moved to San Sebastian Institute of Law where he requirements
taught Political Law. Is Atty. Mike exempt from (C) excused because he attended to profession-
complying with the MCLE for the 4th compliance period related tasks, and fully studied the courses
in April 2013? through the materials and CDs he secured
(D) penalized by forfeiting all his earned MCLE
Answer: units
(A) No, since he has yet to complete the (E) excused because attendance by proxy is a
required teaching experience to be exempt. widespread and tolerated MCLE practice
(B) No, because he is not yet a bar reviewer.
(C) Yes, since by April 2013, he will have been SUGGESTED ANSWER:
teaching law for more than 10 years. (B) sanctioned because he circumvented or evaded full
(D) Yes, since he updated himself in law by compliance with the MCLE requirements (Mandatory
engaging in teaching. Continuing Legal Education, Rule 12, Section xx).

Question No. 22 (2011), Notarial Law, MCLE Question No. 27 (2011), MCLE

In what documented act will a notary public’s failure to When does the initial MCLE compliance period of a
affix the expiration date of his commission warrant newly admitted member of the bar begin?
administrative sanction?
Answer:
Answer: (A) On the first day of the month of his
(A) In the jurat of a secretary's certificate. admission.
(B) In the will acknowledged before him. (B) On the tenth day of the month of his
(C) In the signature witnessing he performed. admission.
(D) In the document copy he certified. (C) On the third year after his admission as
member.
(D) On the first year of the next succeeding
Question No. 23 (2011) MCLE compliance period.

Provincial Governors and Municipal Mayors who are


lawyers are MCLE exempt because

Answer:
(A) they handle cases of their constituents for
free.
(B) the Local Government Code prohibits them
from practicing their profession.
(C) they are rendering public service.
(D) As experts in local governance, it may be
assumed that they are updated on legal
developments. RULES OF COURT
Question No. 1 (2007), Lawyers Oath (10%)
Question No. 5. (2013). Mandatory Continuing Legal
Education, Rule 12 What are the duties of an attorney?

In order to comply with the MCLE requirements, Atty. Suggested Answers:


Ausente enrolled in a seminar given by an MCLE Per the Attorney’s Oath:
provider. Whenever he has court or other professional 1. To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the
commitments, he would send his messenger or a Philippines;
member of his legal staff to register his attendance at 2. To support its Constitution;
the MCLE sessions so he could be credited with the 3. To obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the
required qualifying attendance. He would also ask them duly constituted authorities therein;
to secure the printed handouts and the lecturers’ CDs, 4. To do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of
all of which he studied in his free time. any in court;

Atty. Ausente should be __________. (1%)

26
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
5. To avoid wittingly or unwittingly promoting or Section 20, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, or the duties
suing any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor under the Code of Professional Responsibility, as any of
give aid or consent to the same; these provisions sufficiently state the statutory basis of
6. To delay no man for money or malice; an attorney’s duties.
7. To conduct himself as a lawyer according to the
bets of his knowledge and discretion with all
good fidelity well to the courts as to his clients Question No. 17 (2009) Section 17 of Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court
Per Section 20, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court:
1. To maintain the allegiance to the Republic of the Write the complete text of the attorney’s oath.
Philippines;
2. To maintain the respect due to the courts of Answer:
justice and judicial officers; I___________ of ___________ do solemnly
3. To counsel or maintain such actions or swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of
proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey
such defenses only as he believes to be honestly laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted
debatable under the law; authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to
4. To employ, for the purposes of maintaining the the doing of any court; I will not wittingly nor willingly
causes confided to him, such means only as are promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or
consistent with truth and honor, and never seek give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for
to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer
artifice or false statement of fact or law; according to the best of my knowledge and discretion
5. To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients;
every peril to himself, to preserve the secret of and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligations
his client, and to accept no compensation in without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So
connection with his client’s business except from help me God.
him 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 Question No. 2-MCQ (2013).
by the justice of the cause with which he is
charged; The following are duties of a lawyer but only one of
7. Not to encourage either the commencement or these is expressly stated in the Lawyer’s Oath. Choose
the continuance of an action or proceeding, or the express duty that the Oath contains. (1%)
delay any man’s cause from any corrupt motive
or interest; Answer:
8. Never to reject, for any consideration personal (A) To maintain a respectful attitude towards the
to himself, the cause of the defenseless or courts.
oppressed; (B) To uphold the honor and dignity of the legal
9. In the defense of a person accused of crime, by profession.
all fair and honorable means, regardless of his (C) To act with courtesy, candor and fairness
personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, toward other lawyers.
to present every defense that the law permits, to (D) To do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing
the end that no person may be deprived of life of any in court.
or liberty, but by due process of law. (E) To respect the courts and uphold the dignity
of the profession.
Per the Code of Professional Responsibility:
1. Duties to society in general – to uphold the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Constitution, obey the laws of the land and (D) To do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any
promote respect for the law and legal in court (Lawyer’s Oath).
processes;
2. Duties to the legal profession – to uphold the
dignity and integrity of the legal profession; Question No. 8. (2008). Code of Professional
3. Duties to the court – to be candid with and Responsibility, Rule 138, sec37
promote respect for the courts and judicial
officers, and to assist the courts in rendering State, with a brief explanation, whether the lawyer
speedy and efficient justice; and concerned may be sanctioned for the conduct stated
4. Duties to the client – to observe candor, below.
fairness and loyalty to the client; hold the
client’s money and property in trust, serve e. Refusing to return certain documents to the
the client with competence and diligence, client pending payment of his attorney’s fees.
always mindful of the trust and confidence (3%)
reposed by the client in him; (Rules of Court)

N.B. It should be sufficient that the answer contain either SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the attorney’s oath, the duties of an attorney under
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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
No. Rule 138, Section 37 of the Rules of Court states that Atty. Simeon persuaded Armando, Benigno and Ciriaco
“an attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, documents to invest in a business venture that later went bankrupt
and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his Armando, Benigno and Ciriaco charged Atty. Simeon
possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees with estafa. Simultaneously, they filed an
and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such administrative complaint against the lawyer with the
funds to the satisfaction thereof.” Hence, he may keep Supreme Court.
the documents pending payment of his attorney's fees.
a. If Simeon is convicted of Estafa, will he be
disbarred? Explain. (3%)
Question No. 2 (2009). RULE 138 Attorneys and
Admission to Bar (Sec 37).
Answer:
A charging lien, as distinguished from a retaining lien, is YES, if Atty Simeon is convicted of estafa, he will be
an active lien which can be enforced by execution. disbarred because estafa is a crime involving moral
turpitude. Under the law, conviction of a crime involving
Answer: moral turpitude is a ground for disbarment.
A lawyer to insure the payment of his professional fee is
either to retain the funds, documents, and papers of his b. If Simeon is acquitted of the estafa charge, will the
client which may have lawfully come into his possession, disbarment complaint be dismissed? Explain.
or to enforce it upon any judgement for the payment of
money he may secure in favor of his client. And it has Answer:
been held that the retaining lien is dependent upon It depends, if the acquittal is based on the ground that
possession and does not attach to anything not in no crime was committed, than the administrative case
attorney’s hands. The lien exists only so long as the may be dismissed. But if the acquittal is based merely on
attorney’s retains possession ends. (De Caina vs. reasonable doubt, than the disbarment case may still
Victoriano) continue. The purpose of the disbarment case is to
determine whether a lawyer still deserves to remain a
member of the bar.
Question No. 6. Rule 138-A, Rules of Court

What is the student practice rule? Question No. 5 (2010). Rule 138

Answer: When is professional incompetence a ground for


Under this rule, a law student who has successfully disbarment under the Rules of Court? Explain. (3%)
completed his 3rd year of the regular four year prescribed
law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law SUGGESTED ANSWER:
school’s clinical legal education program approved by the Professional incompetence of a lawyer may be a ground
Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in for disbarment when his incompetence is so total, gross
any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial and serious that he cannot be trusted with the duty to
court, tribunal board or officer, to represent indigent protect the rights of clients.
clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school. Gross incompetence in handling a case constitutes
malpractice or gross misconduct in office which are
Question No. 10.(2009). Rule 115 of the Rules of Court; grounds for suspension or disbarment under Sec. 27,
Rule 138, Sec 34 Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.

May a party appear on his own counsel in a criminal or Obiter.


in a civil case? Explain. Canon 18- A lawyer shall serve his client with
competence and diligence. Rules 18.01- A lawyer shall
Answer: not undertake a legal service which he knows or should
Yes. In criminal cases, Sec 1(c) of the Rule 115 of the know that he is not qualified to render. However, he may
Rules of Court provide that upon motion, the accused render such service if, with the consent of his client, he
may be allowed to defend himself in person when it can obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is
sufficiently appears to the court that he can property his competent on the matter.
right without the assistance of counsel.
On the other hand, with respect to civil cases, Rule 138,
Sec 34 states that “in the court of Justice of the peace a Question No. 11 (2010) Rule 138, Rule 139-B.
party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of
an agent or friend appointed by him for the purpose, or After passing the Philippine Bar in 1986, Atty. Richards
with the aid an attorney. In any other, a party may practiced law until 1996 when he migrated to Australia
conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney where he subsequently became an Australian citizen in
and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly 2000. As he kept abreast of legal developments,
authorized member of the bar. petitioner learned about the Citizenship Retention and
Re-Acquisition Act of 2003 (Republic Act No. 9225),
pursuant to which he reacquired his Philippine
Question No. 20 (2009). Section 27, Rule 138 citizenship in 2006. He took his oath of allegiance as a
Filipino citizen at the Philippine embassy in Canberra,
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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
Australia. Jaded by the laid back life in the outback, he No. In pari delicto will not exempt the lawyer. Case law
returned to the Philippines in December 2008. After the states that in a disbarment proceeding, it is immaterial
holidays, he established his own law office and resumed that the complainant is in pari delicto because it is not a
his practice of law. proceeding to grant relief to the complainant, but one to
purge the law profession of unworthy member, to
Months later, a concerned woman who had secured protect the public and the courts. (Mortel v. Aspiras)
copies of Atty. Richards’ naturalization papers with
consular authentication, filed with the Supreme Court Obiter. Rule 1.01 states that: A lawyer shall not engage
an anonymous complaint against him for illegal practice in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
of law. Immoral conduct is that which is willful, flagrant, or
shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the
a. May the Supreme Court act upon the complaint opinion of the good and respectable members of the
filed by an anonymous person? Why or why not? community. (Arciga v. Maniwang)
(3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. An unverified complaint cannot be given due course Question No. 20. (2010). Rule 139-B.
since the rule requires that the complaint must be sworn
to by the complainant. (Evangelista v. Baes) Arabella filed a complaint for disbarment against her
estranged husband Atty. P on the ground of immorality
As a rule, anonymous complaints are not actionable and use of illegal drugs.
except when the charges can be fully borne by public
records of indubitable integrity, thus needing no After Arabella presented evidence and rested her case
corroboration by evidence to be offered by the before the Investigating Commissioner of the IBP
complainant whose identity and integrity could be Committee on Bar Discipline, she filed an Affidavit of
material and I of public interest. ( In re Echiverri) Desistance and motion to dismiss the complaint, she
and her husband having reconciled for the sake of their
Obiter. children.
A jusge cannot be found guilty on hearsay
affidavit.(Negado v. Autajay). You are the Investigating Commissioner of the IBP.
Bearing in mind that the family is a social institution
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: which the State is duty-bound to preserve, what will be
YES. Rule 139-B states that Proceedings for the your action on Arabella’s motion to dismiss the
disbarment, suspension, or discipline of attorneys may complaint? (3%)
be taken by the Supreme Court, motu proprio or by the
IBP upon the verified complaint of any person. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
I will accept the Affidavit of Desistance and put on hold
The case at bar shows a complaint by an anonymous the administrative charges against Atty. P. In the case at
person which the Supreme Court, may or may not take bar, there is no compelling reason to continue with the
cognizance of. Should the SC act in the affirmative, it proceedings since there is clear showing that the parties
would normally direct the IBP to investigate, verify the have fully reconciled and the causes of action on which
allegations and thereafter file the verified complaint, the complaint was filed no longer exist.
subject to the right of the attorney to be heard before
any removal or suspension under Rule 138. The rule admits of exception on the general rule is that
no investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by
b. Is respondent entitled to resume practice of law? reason of the desistance, settlement, compromise,
Explain. (5%) restitution, withdrawal of the charges or failure of the
complainant to prosecute the same unless the Supreme
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Court motu proprio or upon recommendation of the IBP
Yes. Atty. Richard’s being a former member of the bar in Board of Governors, on the ground enunciated above.
good standing can resume the practice of law in the
Philippines, provided he observes the procedure in Case law supports the following: withdrawal of the
reassuming the practice of law. complaint and there is no more evidence that could
substantiate the charge, then it is dismissible (In Re
Tipon) and that lack of interest to prosecute may justify
the dismissal of the case. (Worthington v Fernandez;
Luyon v Atencia)

Question No. 9 (2010). Rule 139-B.


Question No. 17-B. (2010) Rule 140.
Is the defense of Atty. R in a disbarment complaint for
immorality filed by his paramour P that P is in pari Judge X was invited to be a guest speaker during the
delicto material or a ground for exoneration? annual convention of a private organization which was
Explain.(3%) covered by media. Since he was given the liberty to
speak on any topic, he discussed the recent decision of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the Supreme Court declaring that the President is not,
29
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
under the Constitution, proscribed from appointing a
Chief Justice within two months before the election. Obiter: If he is guilty of a serious charge, he may be
In his speech, the judge demurred to the Supreme Court sanctioned with dismissal from service, forfeiture of
decision and even stressed that the decision is a serious benefits, disqualification from reinstatement or any
violation of the Constitution. public office, suspension and/or fine.

b. If instead of ventilating his opinion before the b. What defense/s can Judge X raise in avoidance of
private organization, Judge X incorporated it, as an any liability? (2%)
obiter dictum, in one of his decisions, did he incur
any administrative liability? Explain. (3%) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Judge X can raise the defense of denial of due process by
SUGGESTED ANSWER: questioning the time and manner of notice as well as the
YES. Strictly construed, the loyalty of and faithfulness of lack of opportunity to be heard, answer the charges
the judge to the law vis a vis the Supreme Court with an against him and produce witnesses in his behalf and be
open and public criticism of the SC decision can heard by himself or counsel. He can raise defenses of
constitute simple misconduct which will render him hearsay evidence, lack of evidence that meets the
liable for less serious charges under Rule 140. His quantum of evidence required to render him guilty of
criticism undermines the authority of the SC and even if charges set forth.
bona fide, must still be ventilated. If ever, in the proper
forum and proper procedure and not thru the obiter
dictum. Question No. 6 (2013). Rules of Court, Rule 141, Sec. 1
payment of fees
Obiter: Of more important consideration is the fact that
Plaintiff Jun Ahorro filed a complaint for collection of
his decision must be based on the law and not his
sum of money before the Regional Trial Court of Manila.
personal opinion. It is hard to imagine how the issue of
Because of the large amount of his claim, he had to pay
midnight appointments can he related to the issues in his
a sizeable docket fee. He insisted on paying the docket
decided case, and therefore inappropriate and irrelevant
fee and other fees in installments because staggered
under the circumstances.
payment is allowed under Rule 141, as amended. The
Office of the Clerk of Court (OCC) refused to accept the
Guidelines in the efficient rendition of judgment or
complaint unless he paid the full amount of the docket
judicial opinion include: if the personal views of the judge and other required fees.
contradict the applicable doctrine romulgated by the SC,
nonetheless, the judge should decide the case in Plaintiff Jun Ahorro’s position __________. (1%)
accordance with the doctrine (Albert v CFI) and not in
accordance with his personal views (SC Circular No. 13, Answer:
1987). This is to maintain the stability of precedents. (A) is allowed because of the large amount of the
However, he is not prohibited from expressing his views docket fee
if only to invite constructive attention on the matter. (B) is justified because it is discretionary on the
part of the OCC to accept staggered payment
(C) is incorrect because the amendment on
staggered payment has been suspended
Question No. 13 (2010). Rule 138, 140.
(D) is not allowed because the full payment of
Reacting to newspaper articles and verbal complaints docket fee is jurisdictional
on alleged rampant sale of Temporary Restraining (E) cannot be allowed because of its prejudicial
Orders by Judge X, the Supreme Court ordered the impact on the judiciary’s financial operations
conduct of a discreet investigation by the Office of the
Court Administrator. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(D) is not allowed because the full payment of docket
Judges in the place where Judge X is assigned confirmed fee is jurisdictional (Rules of Court, Rule 141, Sec. 1).
the complaints.
Question No. 3 (2013). Rules of Court Rule 138
a. What administrative charge/s may be leveled
against Judge X? Explain. (3%)
Miguel Jactar, a fourth year law student, drove his
vehicle recklessly and hit the rear bumper of Simplicio
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Medroso’s vehicle. Instead of stopping, Jactar
Judge X could be charged with Serious Charges
accelerated and sped away. Medroso pursued Jactar
punishable under Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, which
and caught up with him at an intersection.
specifically include: bribery and dishonesty and
In their confrontation, Jactar dared Medroso to sue,
violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
bragged about his connections with the courts, and
Law(R.A 3019) when he made the issuance of TRO’s for
even uttered veiled threats against Medroso. During
sale.
the police investigation that followed, Medroso learned
that Jactar was reviewing for the Bar examinations.
In addition, such gross misconduct can also be
constitutive of grounds for disbarment under Rule 138 of
the Rules of Court.

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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
Under these facts, list and justify the potential
objections that can be made against Jactar’s admission
to the practice of law. (8%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The potential objection that can be made against Jactar’s
admission to the practice of law is the absence of good
moral character (Rules of Court, Rule 138, Sec. 2).

Jactar’s bragging about his connection with the courts


and uttering veiled threats against Medroso are
indications of his lack of good moral character. His acts
are contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals
(In re Basa, 4 Phil. 276). He has acted in a manner that
has violated the private and social duties which a man
owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary
to the accepted and customary rule of tight and duty
between man and man (Tak Ng v. Republic, G.R. No. L-
13017, December 23, 1959).

[NOTES: Any answer which explains the nature of


absence of good moral character should be given full
credit.

The following additional objection should not result to a


deduction nor should an absence of the additional
objection also result to a deduction].

B. If light threats would be filed against him, then


another potential objection would be the pendency of
charges against him, involving moral turpitude (Rules of
Court, Rule 138, Sec. 2).

The question states, “Under these facts, list and justify


the potential objections that can be made against
Jactar’s admission to the practice of law.”

The question requires that an assumption be made that


Jactar has passed the Bar Examination and is about to
take his oath as an attorney. It is suggested that the
better question should have been: “Under these facts list
and justify the potential objections that can be made
against Jactar’s being admitted to take the Bar
Examination.”

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MISCELLANEOUS a party may conduct his litigation on person, will the aid
of an agent or friend appointed by him for the purpose,
Question No. 4. (2007). or personally or by aid an attorney. In any other court, a
party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an
When is recovery of attorney's fees based on quantum attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or
meruit allowed? (10%) by a duly authorized member of the bar”.

Suggested Answer:
The recovery of attorney’s fees on quantum meruit is Question No. 12. SC Administrative Circular (AC No. 25
allowed in the following circumstances: of June 9, 1989)
1. When there is no agreement as to attorney’s
fees. After being diagnosed with stress dermatitis, Judge
2. When the agreement as to attorney’s fees is Rosalind, without seeking permission from the
invalid for some reason other than the illegality Supreme Court, refused to wear her robe during court
of the object of the performance. proceedings. When her attention was called, she
3. When the attorney and the client disregard the explained that whenever she wears her robe she is
contract for attorney’s fees. reminded of her heavy caseload, thus making her tense.
4. When the amount of the attorney’s fees is This, in turn, triggers the outbreak of her skin rashes. Is
found to be unconscionable (Section 24, Rule Judge Rosalind justified in not wearing her judicial
138 of the Rules of Court). robe? Explain.
5. Where the stipulated fees are in excess of what
is expressly fixed by law. Answer:
NO. Judge Rosalind is not justified in not wearing her
judicial robes, absent a clear exemption granted to her
Question No. 3 (2009) Practice of Law -Legal Concepts by the Supreme Court from mandatory compliance with
(Bienvenu v. Factor’s of Traders Insurance Cp., 33 SC Administrative Circular (AC No. 25 of June 9, 1989)
La.Ann.209) requires the wearing of black robes by judges during
sessions in their respective courts.
An attorney ad hoc is a lawyer appointed by the court
to represent an absentee defendant in suit in which the Her medical condition per se is not a defense and is
appointment is made. (True or False) untenable since she is not in a position nor has the
authority to disregard a clear directive.
Answer:
TRUE
Question No. 3. (2009). Rule 138, Sec2; Chapter 2,
Canon 7, CPR
Question No. 4 (2009) Rule 138.
Cliff and Greta were law school sweethearts. Cliff
What is the object of the bar examinations? Explain became a lawyer, but Greta dropped out. One day, Cliff
Answer: asked Greta to sign a marriage contract. The following
Jurisprudence has provided that “the practice is not a day, Cliff showed Greta the document already signed by
right but privilege bestowed by the State upon those who an alleged solemnizing officer and two witnesses. Cliff
show that they possess, and continue to possess, the then told Greta that they were already married and
qualifications required by law for the conferment of such Greta consented to go on a honeymoon. Thereafter, the
privilege.” Therefore, in order to stay true with the couple cohabited and begot a child. Two years later,
aforementioned principles, the object of the bar exam is Cliff left Greta and married a Venezuelan beauty.
to serve as a mechanism to determine who are qualified Incensed, Greta filed a disbarment complaint against
to practice law. Cliff. Will the case prosper? Explain.
Answer:
YES. The disbarment case will prosper against Cliff for
Question No. 5. RULE 138 Attorneys and Admission to lack of continuing requirements as a lawyer. In case
Bar (Sec 33). analogous to the instant case, a lawyer who led a woman
into believing that they had been married civilly was
May a party appear as his own counsel in a criminal or disbarred because the court considered the lawyer
in a civil case? Explain complained of as lacking in integrity and good moral
character for him to remain as a member of the bar.
Answer: (Cabrera vs. Agustin, Phil 106. 256)
Yes. In criminal cases, Sec. 1 of Rule 115 of the Rules of
Court provide that upon motion, the accused may be
allowed to defend to defend himself in person when it Question No. 16 (2009). 2002 Internal Rules of the Court
sufficiently appears to the court that he can properly of Appeals
protect his right without the assistance of counsel.
Court of Appeals (CA) Justice was administratively
On the other hand, with respect to civil cases, Rule 138, charged with gross negligence of the law for having
Sec. 34 states that “ in the court of in justice of the peace issued an order “Temporarily enjoining” the
implementation of a writ of execution, and for having
32
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
issued another order for the parties to “maintain the (A) No, because she has to represent her sister
status qou” in the same case. Both orders are obviously who was a minor.
without any legal basis and violate CA rules. In his (B) No, because the Court can always dismiss the
defense, Justice Juris claims that the challenged orders case without prejudice to a genuine conciliation.
were collegial acts of the CA Division to which he (C) Yes, because what Sarah did was deceitful
belonged. Thus, he posits that the charge should not be and amounts to fraud.
filed against him alone, but should include the two (D) Yes, because as a lawyer, she is absolutely
other CA justices in the Division. Is the contention of forbidden to appear in barangay conciliations.
Justice Juris tenable? Explain.

Answer: 2011, Question (12), RA 910, Sec1


NO. The contention of Justice Juris is untenable. Case law
has it had it that while actions of a case pending in the Justice Frank, a retired Court of Appeals justice,
CA are actions of that court as a collegial body, the 2002 appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of
Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals provides that it is Landbank, a government bank, in a case involving the
the ponente who initiates the actions on said motions, compensable value of the property taken from a
papers and pleadings. Hence, there can be no action on landowner under the agrarian reform law. The
a motion, paper or any other incident except upon prior landowner questioned Justice Frank's appearance in
instruction of the ponente. He has the primary the case, pointing out that the same is unethical and
responsibility of ensuring that the pending incidents in a smacks of opportunism since he obviously capitalizes
case assigned to him are properly and promptly acted on. on his judicial experience. Is Justice Frank's appearance
(Orocio v. Roxas, A.M. nos. 07-115-CA-J and CA-08-46-J, in the case valid?
19 August 2008).
Answer:
(A) Yes, because the law allows such
Question No. 4 (2011), Citizenship appearance as long as the government is not
the adverse party.
Lee became a lawyer in 1988 under a claim that he is a (B) No, because he cannot enjoy his retirement
Filipino like his parents. Efren sought Lee’s disbarment pay and at the same time work for a government
on the ground that he really is a Chinese. To prove he is institution.
a Filipino, Lee cited an Albay regional trial court’s final (C) Yes, since Landbank does not perform
judgment in an action to recover real property which government function.
mentioned his citizenship as Filipino. This final (D) No, he should have waited for at least a year
judgment resulted in the correction of his birth records to avoid improprieties.
in a separate special proceeding to show he is a Filipino,
not Chinese as there stated. Is Lee’s claim to Filipino
citizenship valid? Question No. 41 (2011), General Principle (practice of
law)

Answer: Ronnie, a paralegal in a law firm, helped Beth in a


(A) No, since the mention of his citizenship in property dispute in which she was involved by giving
the land case was just incidental. her legal advice and preparing a complaint that she
(B) No, since those rulings were not appealed to eventually filed in court under her own signature. When
the Supreme Court. the lawyer for the defendant learned of it, he told
(C) Yes, because the rulings in his favor have Ronnie to desist from practicing law. But he disputed
become final and executory. this, claiming that he had not practiced law since he did
(D) Yes, since his parents are Filipinos based on not receive compensation from Beth for his help. Is
what he said in his bar exam petition. Ronnie correct?

Answer:
Question No. 10 (2011), Katarungan Pambarangay (A) Yes, because he could as a paralegal provide
competent legal help to litigants.
Elaine filed a complaint against Fely before their (B) Yes, for so long as he did not sign the
barangay concerning a contract that they entered into. complaint or appeared as Beth's lawyer.
During conciliation, Fely came with Sarah, who claimed (C) No, unless Beth was ill-advised in filing her
the right to represent her minor sister. The barangay complaint in court.
captain let Sarah assist her sister. Eventually, the (D) No, because receipt of compensation is not
barangay issued a certificate to file action after the the sole determinant of legal practice.
parties failed to settle their differences. When Sarah
formally appeared as lawyer for her sister, Elaine filed
an administrative complaint against her for taking part Question No. 43 (2011), General Principle
in the barangay conciliation and preventing the parties
from taking meaningful advantage of the same. Is Sarah To whom may the Supreme Court refer complaints
liable? against lawyers for investigation?

Answer: Answer:
33
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
(A) Integrated Bar of the Philippines. represented Luisa's two cocomplainants. In due course,
(B) Office of the Bar Confidant. the NLRC reinstated the three complainants with
(C) Judicial and Bar Council. backwages and awarded 25% of the backwages as
(D) Office of the Court Administrator. attorney’s fees, 15% for Atty. John and 10% for Eric, a
non-lawyer. When WXT appealed to the Court of
Appeals, Atty. John questioned Eric’s continued
Question No. 44 (2011), General Principle (prescription) appearance before that court on Luisa’s behalf, he not
being a lawyer. Is Eric's appearance before the Court of
After several years as a private practitioner, Ben got Appeals valid?
appointed as Regional Trial Court judge. Five years after
his appointment, he received summons directing him to Answer:
answer a disbarment complaint that pertained to a (A) Yes, for Eric has a personal stake, the fees
document he notarized more than 10 years ago from awarded to him, in defending the NLRC's
appointment date. He sought the dismissal of the decision in the case.
complaint arguing that the cause of action has (B) No, since John can very well represent Luisa,
prescribed. Must the complaint be dismissed? she being in the same situation as his own
clients.
Answer: (C) No, because the representation of another
(A) No, because such complaints do not in courts can be entrusted only to lawyers.
prescribe. (D) Yes, since that appeal is a mere continuation
(B) Yes, because the complaint creates a chilling of the labor dispute that began at the NLRC.
effect on judicial independence.
(C) No, but the complaint should be verified to
ensure transparency. Question No. 18-MCQ (2013). Permissible acts
(D) Yes, because actions on contracts prescribe
in 10 years. You are a lawyer working in the Public Assistance Office.
Yolly, a key witness in the case (reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide) you are handling, is indigent and
Question No. 47 (2011), General Principle illiterate. While Yolly is willing to testify in court, you
worry that the judge might not be able to appreciate the
Atty. Alfredo Prado appeared in a case as legal officer impact of her testimony, as she has a difficult time
of the Land Registration Authority (LRA). His opponent, answering English questions. You also worry that this
Atty. Armando, knew an Atty. Alfredo Prado from his might affect her credibility. Further, Yolly has indicated
province who had been dead for years. When Atty. that she might not have the money to pay the fare to
Armando checked with the Supreme Court, only one attend the trial. You are presenting her as a witness for
Alfredo Prado was in the roll of attorneys. What action the defense at the hearing next week.
can Atty. Armado take against Vicente who had taken a
dead lawyer’s identity? Which of the following is NOT a permissible act for you
to do? (1%)
Answer:
(A) File direct contempt action against Vicente Answer:
for deceiving the court. (A) Provide Yolly with money for fare to ensure
(B) Criminally prosecute Vicente for estafa for her attendance in court.
making money upon false pretense. (B) Interview Yolly before trial, so that she will be
(C) Criminally prosecute Vicente for theft of more at ease when she testifies before the court.
Alfredo's identity and law practice. (C) Prepare a judicial affidavit of Yolly’s
(D) Institute a disbarment case against Vicente testimony, which she will then verify before the
for misrepresenting himself as lawyer. court.
(D) Provide her with sample questions that you
might ask in the hearing tomorrow.
Question No. 35 (2011), General Principle (E) All the above are permissible.

What is the method of national inquiry into the conduct SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of Supreme Court magistrates? All the above are permissible. All are permissible;
therefore, (E) should be equivalent to none of the
Answer: above.
(A) Administrative investigation.
(B) Disqualification.
(C) Impeachment.
(D) Disbarment.

Question No. 7-MCQ (2013).


Question No. 21 (2011), Non-lawyer appearing in Court
Atty. Anunciante is engaged in the practice of law and
Eric, a labor federation president, represented Luisa, a has a regular, live, weekly TV program where he gives
dismissed WXT employee, before the NLRC. Atty. John advice to and answers questions from the audience and
34
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
program viewers concerning U.S. immigration (D) There is no ethical objection to her acceptance of
problems. Occasionally, advertisements inviting the engagement because the case is neither criminal
viewers to watch his TV program are shown outside his nor administrative in character.
regular program schedule. Because of the popularity of
his TV program, the number of his law practice clients There is no conflict of interest since the case involved is
increased tremendously. an expropriation case (R.A. 910, Sec. 1).
The TV program of Atty. Anunciante is __________.
(1%) Question No. 10-MCQ (2013).

Answer: Your client is the plaintiff in a civil case for damages


(A) permissible because it is public service in arising from a car accident where he sustained serious
nature physical injuries and damages amounting to P1Million.
(B) objectionable because the work involves The counsel for the defendant asks you to give him a
indirect advertising or solicitation of business proposed amount for purposes of settlement and you
(C) improper because it gives him an unfair are aware that whatever amount you tell him would
advantage over other lawyers not readily be accepted and would probably be cut into
(D) ethically allowable because it does not half.
violate the traditional standards of the legal
profession What is your best legal and ethical course of action?
(E) None of the above. (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Answer:


(E) None of the above. (A) Inflate your proposal to make allowances for
a compromise.
(B) Tell the defendant’s counsel the correct
Question No. 9-MCQ (2013). amount of damages.
(C) Offer him a reasonably low amount so that
Graft Investigator Atty. Retirada served the Office of the case can immediately be settled.
the Deputy Ombudsman for eight years before retiring (D) Ask the defendant’s counsel to first submit
from the service. While still a Graft Investigator, she his negotiating figure.
investigated a government contract for office supplies (E) Play hard-to-get and initially refuse all the
where Mr. Sakim was the supplier. The transaction was defendant’s initiatives to settle.
supposedly overpriced. Atty. Retirada recommended
that no charges be filed against the officials involved SUGGESTED ANSWER:
and the recommendation benefited Mr. Sakim as the (D) Ask the defendant’s counsel to first submit his
supplier involved in the transaction. negotiating figure. It is the defendant that must submit
first the negotiating figure.
After her retirement from the service, Atty. Retirada’s
services as counsel were engaged by Mr. Sakim as
counsel to represent the Sakim family in a claim against Question No. 3-MCQ (2013). Striking out of names in
the State arising from a family property that had been the Roll of Attorneys
expropriated. Atty. Retirada now consults you about
the ethical permissibility of accepting the engagement. Atty. Avaro has consistently failed to pay his annual IBP
What advice would you give Atty. Retirada? (1%) dues for several years. Demand letters have been sent
to him and he has acknowledged receipt of these
Answer: letters. However, all the IBP’s efforts proved futile. As a
(A) Having been in government service, she result, the IBP sent Atty. Avaro a notice that his name
cannot now represent a party with a claim would be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys.
against the State.
(B) Having once handled a case involving her Was the IBP’s action correct? (1%)
prospective client, a conflict of interest would
exist if she were to accept the engagement. Answer:
(C) Representing the Sakim family would involve (A) No, because default in the payment of annual
the unethical use of information she obtained dues only warrants suspension of Integrated Bar
while in government service. members.
(D) There is no ethical objection to her (B) Yes, because non-payment of annual dues is
acceptance of the engagement because the case an indicator of the lawyer’s moral fitness; refusal
is neither criminal nor administrative in to pay is refusal to honor his obligation to the
character. IBP.
(E) Acceptance of the engagement should be on (C) No, because failure to pay affects a member’s
condition that Atty. Retirada would withdraw if capability to practise, but not his membership in
a conflict of interest situation arises. the Bar.
(D) Yes, because payment of membership dues
SUGGESTED ANSWER: and other lawful assessments are conditions sine
qua non to the privilege of practising law and to

35
Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
the retention of his name in the Roll of
Attorneys. Did Atty. Hermano, Judge Patron and Judge Apestado
(E) None of the above choices is correct. commit any ethical/administrative violation for which
they can be held liable? (8%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(E) None of the above choices is correct. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The striking out of names in the Roll of Attorneys can be Yes, the three (3) of them committed
ordered only by the Supreme Court. Also, due process ethical/administrative violations for which they can be
must be observed. held liable.

The Constitution vests upon the Supreme Court the For hosting the dinner, Atty. Hermano acted in
power to integrate the Philippine bar (Legal and Judicial contravention of ethical standards. A lawyer should
Ethics (2009 Ed.), Agpalo, p. 132; Constitution, Art. X, refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence or
Sec. 5). give the appearance of influencing the court (Code of
Professional Responsibility, Canon 13). A lawyer shall not
extend extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor seek
Question No. 4 (MCQ). Irregularity in the payment of opportunity for cultivating familiarity with judges (Ibid.
the notarial fees Canon 13, Rule 13.01). Marked attention and unusual
hospitality on the part of a lawyer to a judge, uncalled for
Ms. Seller and Mr. Buyer presented to a commissioned by the personal relations on the parties, subject both the
notary public a deed of sale for notarization. The notary judge and the lawyer to misconstruction of motive and
public explained to them the transaction the deed should be avoided (Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon
embodies and asked them if they were freely entering 3, 2nd par., 1st sentence). Even if the purpose of the
the transaction. After the document was signed by all meeting was merely to “ask advice on how to expedite
the parties, the notary public collected the notarial fee the resolution of his case,” Atty. Hermano still acted
but did not issue any BIR-registered receipt. outside of the bounds of ethical conduct. This is so
because a lawyer deserves rebuke and denunciation for
The notarization of the deed is __________. (1%) any device or attempt to gain from a judge special
personal consideration or favor. (Ibid., Canon 3, 2nd par.,
Answer: 2nd sentence).
(A) neither unlawful nor improper because he
explained the basis for the computation of the Both Judge Patron and Judge Apestado may be held
notarial fee liable for having the dinner meeting with Atty. Hermano.
(B) unlawful because he did not issue a BIR- Judges shall ensure that not only is their conduct above
registered receipt and did not post in his office reproach, but that it is perceived to be so in the view of
the complete schedule of chargeable notarial a reasonable observer (New Code of Conduct for the
fees Philippine Judiciary, Canon 2, Sec. 1). Judges shall avoid
(C) proper because he is not required to issue impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of
receipts for notarial fees their activities (Ibid., Canon 4, Sec. 1). Their having dinner
(D) improper because he did not ask Ms. Seller with Atty. Hermano, a practicing lawyer, could be
and Mr. Buyer if they needed a receipt construed as appearance of impropriety.
(E) proper because any irregularity in the
payment of the notarial fees does not affect the Judge Patron for having allowed himself to used as a
validity of the notarization made. “bridge” by Atty. Hermano, his fraternity “brod”, to meet
with Judge Apestado exhibited judicial misconduct in the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: following manner: Judges shall refrain from influencing
(E) proper because any irregularity in the payment of in any manner the outcome of litigation or dispute
the notarial fees does not affect the validity of the pending before another court (Ibid., Canon 1, Sec. 3).
notarization made. (Ocampo v. Land Bank of the Furthermore, in allowing Atty. Hermano to take
Philippines, G.R. No. 164968, July 3, 2009) advantage of his fraternity bond, Judge Patron allowed
the use of the prestige of judicial office to advance the
private interests of others, conveyed or permitted his
Question No. 9 (2013). Ethical/administrative violation fraternity “brod” to convey the impression that he is in a
special position to influence the judge (Ibid., Canon 1, Sec
Atty. Hermano requested his fraternity brother, Judge 2, 2nd sentence).
Patron, to introduce him to Judge Apestado, before
whom he has a case that had been pending for The specific violations of Judge Apestado were
sometime. committed when he allowed himself to be convinced by
Judge Patron to have the dinner meeting with Atty.
Judge Patron, a close friend of Judge Apestado, acceded Hermano to discuss how the case may be expedited. In
to the request, telling the latter that Atty. Hermano is performing judicial duties, judges shall be independent
his fraternity "brod" and that Atty. Hermano simply from judicial colleagues in respect of decisions which the
wanted to ask for advice on how to expedite the judge is obliged to make independently (Ibid., Canon 1,
resolution of his case. They met, as arranged, in the fine Sec. 3). Finally, in having a dinner meeting with Atty.
dining restaurant of a five-star hotel. Atty. Hermano Hermano who has a pending case with his sala, Judge
hosted the dinner.
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Compiled by BSU-Law, 3rd Year students SY 2015-16
Apestado has exhibited an appearance of impropriety in On the other hand, if Atty. Repatriar has lost his
his activities (Ibid., Canon 4, Sec. 1). Philippine citizenship, he must submit the following:
a) Petition for Re-acquisition of Philippine
Citizenship;
Question No. 5 (2013).RA 9225 b) Order (for Re-acquisition of Philippine
citizenship);
Atty. Repatriar, a law school classmate, approached you c) Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the
on your 25th Class Reunion, with questions on how he Philippines;
can resume the practice of law in the Philippines. He left d) Identification Certificate (IC) issued by the
the country in 1977 after two (2) years of initial law Bureau of Immigration.
practice, and migrated to the United States where he
was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New The loss of Filipino citizenship means termination of Atty.
York. He asks that you give him a formal legal opinion Repatriar’s membership in the bar; ipso jure the privilege
on his query. to engage in the practice of law. “Under R.A. No. 9225,
natural-born citizens who have lost their Philippine
Outline briefly the steps and the supporting legal citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizen of
reasons you would state in your legal opinion on what a foreign country are deemed to have re-acquired their
Atty. Repatriar should do to resume his Philippine Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance
practice. (8%) to the Republic. Thus, a Filipino lawyer who becomes a
citizen of another country and later re-acquires his
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225, remains to be
Atty. Repatriar must prepare a sword petition to acquire a member of the Philippine Bar” (B.M. No. 2112, In re:
the privilege to practice law in the Philippines. He should Petition to re-acquire the privilege to practice law in the
manifest in his petition his desire to resume his law Philippines, supra).
practice in the Philippines, and he is not disqualified to
practice law. The “right to resume the practice of law” is 2) Certification from the IBP indicating updated
not automatic. R.A. No. 9225 provides that a person who payments of annual membership dues;
intends to practice his profession in the Philippines must 3) Proof of payment of professional tax; and
apply with the proper authority for a license or permit to 4) Certificate of compliance issued by the MCLE
engage in such practice. It can not be overstressed that: Office. (Ibid.)
The practice of law is a privilege burdened with 5) A certificate of good moral character attested to
conditions. It is so delicately affected with public interest by at least three (3) members of the bar; and
that it is both the power and duty of the State (through 6) A certification from the State Bar of New York
this Court) to control and regulate it in order to protect that Atty. Repatriar does not have any previous
and promote the public welfare. or pending disciplinary action files against him
before that body.
Adherence to the rigid standards of mental fitness,
maintenance of the highest degree of morality, faithful
observance of the legal profession, compliance with the
mandatory continuing legal education requirement and
payment of membership in good standing in the bar and
for enjoying the privilege to practice law. Any breach by
a lawyer of any of these conditions makes him unworthy
of the trust and confidence which the courts and clients
repose in him for the continued exercise of his
professional privilege” (In re: Petition to re-acquire the
privilege to practice law in the Philippines, Elfanio B.
Muneses, B.M. No. 2112, July 24, 2012).

He should file the petition with the Supreme Court,


through the Bar Confidant to accompanied by the
original or certified copies of the following documents:
1. Showing that he is still a Filipino Citizen. “
The court reiterates that Filipino citizenship
is a requirement for admission to the bar and
is, in fact, a continuing requirement for the
practice of law” (In re: Petition to re-acquire
the privilege to practice law in the
Philippines, B.M. No. 21122, supra). Having
retained Philippine Citizenship could be
evidenced by the Philippine passport, the
U.S. Green card showing Philippine
citizenship and U.S. residency or other
authentic documents which the Supreme
Court may reacquire.

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