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vs. Yes. With the fact of receipt being admitted by the

ATTY. BARTOLOME C. LAWSIN, respondent, it was then respondent’s obligation to return
the money entrusted to him by complainant. To this end,
suffice it to state that complainant’s purported act of
"maligning" respondent does not justify the latter’s failure
to properly account for and return his client’s money upon
Facts: due demand. In this case, despite that singular encounter,
respondent had thereafter all the opportunity to return the
1. An administrative complaint was filed by subject amount but still failed to do so. Indeed, a lawyer
Azucena Segovia-Ribaya against Atty. must deal with his client with professional maturity and
Bartolome C. Lawsin. commit himself towards the objective fulfillment of his
responsibilities. . Except only for the retaining lien
2. It was alleged that they entered into exception23 under Rule 16.03, Canon 16 of the Code, the
retainership agreement for the processing of lawyer should not withhold the property of his client.
the registration of a land within the period of 6 Unfortunately, absent the applicability of such exception or
any other justifiable reason therefor, respondent still failed
to perform his duties under Rules 16.01 and 16.03, Canon
3. In connection therewith, respondent received from 16 of the Code which perforce warrants his administrative
complainant the amounts of ₱15,000.00 and liability.
₱39,000.004 to cover for the litigation and land
registration expenses.
4. However, after the lapse of more than three (3) years
from the retainer’s date, complainant alleged that
respondent, without proper explanation, failed to fulfill
his undertaking to register the subject land and deliver
to complainant the certificate of title over the same. Rule 16.01 – A lawyer shall account for all money or
5. She confronted the respondent at his office and also property collected or received for or from the client.
subsequently sent him two (2) demand letters,5 but all
to no avail. Hence, complainant was prompted to file the Rule 16.03 – A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property
instant administrative complaint. of his client when due or upon demand.1âwphi1 However,
6. In his Comment,7 respondent admitted that he indeed he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much
received the subject amount from complainant but thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and
disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his
averred that after receiving the same, the latter’s
client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all
brother, Erlindo, asked to be reimbursed the amount of
judgments and executions he has secured for his client as
₱7,500.00 which the latter purportedly paid to the land provided for in the Rules of Court.
-that he was only prevented to return the balance
because he was maligned by complainant when she The court also found him liable under Rule 18.03 and
went to his office and there, shouted and called him
names in the presence of his staff.
-that the ownership of the subject land was still under CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT
litigation. WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. Rule 18.03 - A
lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him,
7. The case was referred to the Integrated Bar of the and his negligence in connection therewith shall render
him liable.
Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report, and
recommendation. It found out that he violated Rules 16.01
and 16.03, Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Rule 18.04 - A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the
Responsibility (Code) for his failure to properly account for status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable
time to the client's request for information.
the money entrusted to him without any adequate
explanation why he could not return the same. It
recommended that respondent be suspended from the After a judicious scrutiny of the records, the Court
practice of law for a period of six (6) months and ordering observes that respondent did not only accomplish his
the return of the amount of ₱31,500.00,22 with legal undertaking under the retainer, but likewise failed to give
interest and within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice. an adequate explanation for such non-performance
despite the protracted length of time given for him to do
so. As such omissions equally showcase respondent’s
non-compliance with the standard of proficiency required
ISSUE: of a lawyer as embodied in the above-cited rules, the Court
deems it apt to extend the period of his suspension from
W/N respondent should be held administratively liable for the practice of law from six (6) months to one (1) year.
violating Rules 16.01 and 16.03, Canon 16 of the Code.

2.) Antonio Conlu vs. HELD:

Atty. Ireneo Aredonia, Jr., Yes. The failure to file a brief resulting in the
dismissal of an appeal constitutes inexcusable
negligence.16 This default translates to a violation
of the injunction of Canon 18, Rules 18.03 and
FACTS: 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
respectively providing:
This case is a Disbarment case with prayer for
damages against Atty. Ireneo Aredonia, Jr. on CANON 18 — A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS
grounds of gross negligence filed by Antonio Conlu,
his client in a case for Quieting of Title.
The complainant secured the services of Atty.
Aredonia to represent him. The Court rendered a
Rule 18.03 — A lawyer shall not neglect a matter
Decision against the complainant. The Decision was entrusted to him, and his negligence in
appealed to the Court of Appeals, however the connection therewith shall render him liable.
same was dismissed for failure of Atty. Aredonia to
file the appeallant’s brief.. Rule 18.04 — A lawyer shall keep the client
informed of the status of his case and shall
Atty. Aredonia seek reconsideration on the respond within a reasonable time to the client’s
request for information.
resolution alleging that he did not received copy of
the resolution, but the same was denied because It must be remembered that a retained counsel is
of the late filing of the motion. According to CA, expected to serve the client with competence and
there was a valid receipt by the reapondent as diligence. This duty includes not merely reviewing
shown by the registry return card with his signature the cases entrusted to the counsel’s care and giving
the client sound legal advice, but also properly
The private complainant personally filed another representing the client in court, attending scheduled
hearings, preparing and filing required pleadings,
motion for reconsideration but the same was prosecuting the handled cases with reasonable
denied for the reason that the belated filing of Atty. dispatch, and urging their termination without waiting
Aredonia’s first motion for reconsideration binds for the client or the court to prod him or her to do so.
Antonio. The lawyer should not be sitting idly by and leave the
rights of the client in a state of uncertainty.
Antonio then, appealed to the Supreme Court
but said appeal was denied by the Court. , Atty. Ireneo tried to mislead the appellate court
about the receipt of a copy of its February 10,
Thereafter, Antonio filed the disbarment case 1997 Resolution dismissing the appeal in CA-
before the Office of the Bar Confidant who G.R. CV No. 50075. He denied personally
rendered a Report/Recommendation to the Court. receiving such copy, but the CA found and
The Court in its resolution imposed among others declared that he himself received said copy. The
CA arrived at this conclusion thru the process of
the filing of an administrative case against Atty. comparing Atty. Ireneo’s signature appearing in
Aredonia before the IBP-Commission on Bar the pleadings with that in the registry return card.
Discipline who found him liable under Rule 1.01, Both signatures belong to one and the same
1.03, and 18.03 of CPR and recommended his person. Needless to stress, Atty. Ireneo had
under the premises indulged in deliberate
suspension for 6 months falsehood, contrary to the self-explanatory
prescriptions of Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and Canon
ISSUE: 10, Rule 10.01, which provide:

W/N he vilates CPR

CANON 1 — A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE 3.) Felipe C. Dagala VS. Atty. Jose C.
Quesada, Jr. And Atty. Amado T.

Rule 1.01 — A lawyer shall not engage in

unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
Complainant Dagala, assisted by Atty. Quesada filed
CANON 10 — A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, before the National Labor Relations Commission,
FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT. San Fernando City, La Union a Complaint for illegal
dismissal, overtime pay, separation pay, damages
Rule 10.01 — A lawyer shall not do any and attorney’s fees against Capitol Allied Trading &
falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in Transport on November 8, 1994.
court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to
be misled by any artifice. (Emphasis supplied.) However, the case was dismissed for failure of
complainant and Atty. Quesada to appear during the
Also, Ireneo was determined all along not to two scheduled mandatory conference hearings
submit a comment from administrative case despite due notice.
against him and, in the process, delay the
resolution of the instant case. By asking several Thereafter, complainant engaged the services of
extensions of time to submit one, but without the Atty. Adquilen, a former Labor Arbiter, who re-filed
intention to so submit, Ireneo has effectively his labor case. Similarly, the case was dismissed
trifled with the Court’s processes, if not its due to the parties’ failure to submit their respective
liberality. This cannot be tolerated. It cannot be position papers.
allowed to go unpunished, if the integrity and
orderly functioning of the administration of justice
Complainant and Atty. Adquilen refiled the case for
is to be maintained. And to be sure, Atty. Ireneo
a third time on August 27, 1996.During the pendency
can neither defeat this Court’s jurisdiction over
of the case, the representative of Capitol allegedly
him as a member of the bar nor evade
offered the amount of P74,000.00 as settlement of
administrative liability by the mere ruse of
complainant’s claim, conditioned on the submission
concealing his whereabouts.17 Manifestly, he has
of the latter’s position paper. Atty. Adquilen,
fallen short of the diligence required of every
however, failed to submit one, resulting in the
member of the Bar. The pertinent Canon of the
dismissal of the complaint for lack of interest and
Code of Professional Responsibility provides:
failure to prosecute.
On July 11, 1997, complainant this time assisted by
Atty. Imelda L. Picar filed a motion for
reconsideration from the February 27, 1997 Order,
which was treated as an appeal and transmitted to
the NLRC-National Capital Region. However, the
xxxx NLRC-NCR dismissed the same in a Resolution for
having been filed out of time, adding that the
Rule 12.03 — A lawyer shall not, after obtaining negligence of counsel binds the client.
extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda
or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting Due to the foregoing, Atty. Picar sent separate
the same or offering an explanation for his failure letters dated November 18, 1998 to respondents,
to do so. informing them that complainant is in the process of
pursuing administrative cases against them before
Rule 12.04 — A lawyer shall not unduly delay a the Court. The Court directed respondents to
case, impede the execution of a judgment or comment on the Complaint within ten days from
misuse Court processes. (Emphasis notice. However, despite notices and the extension
supplied.)1avvphil granted, Atty. Adquilen failed to comply with the

directive and the subsequent show-cause Primarily, Atty, Quesada failed to exercise the
resolutions. He also claimed that when he was required diligence in handling complainant’s case
informed of the dismissal of the case without by his failure to justify his absence on the two (2)
prejudice, he advised complainant to re-file the case mandatory conference hearings in NLRC Case
with the assistance of another lawyer as he had to No. RAB-I-11-1123-94 despite due notice, which
attend to his duties as Chairman of the Laban ng thus resulted in its dismissal. It bears stressing
Demokratikong Pilipino for the Second District of La that a retained counsel is expected to serve the
Union Province. client with competence and diligence and not to
sit idly by and leave the rights of his client in a
ISSUE: Whether Atty. Quesada should be held state of uncertainty. To this end, he is oblige to
administratively liable for gross negligence in attend scheduled hearings or conferences,
handling complainant’s labor case prepare and file the required pleadings,
prosecute the handled cases with reasonable
RULING: The Court emphasized that the dispatch, and urge their termination without
relationship between a lawyer and his client is one waiting for the client or the court to prod him or
her to do so.46
imbued with utmost trust and confidence. In this
regard, clients are led to expect that lawyers would
be evermindful of their cause and accordingly Atty. Quesada’s failure to attend the scheduled
exercise the required degree of diligence in handling conference hearings, despite due notice and
their affairs. For his part, the lawyer is required to without any proper justification, exhibits his
maintain at all times a high standard of legal inexcusable lack of care and diligence in
proficiency, and to devote his full attention, skill, and managing his client’s cause in violation of Canon
competence to the case, regardless of its 17 and Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code.
importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or for Moreover, Atty. Quesada acted with less candor
free. He is likewise expected to act with honesty in and good faith in the proceedings before the IBP-
all his dealings, especially with the courts. CBD when he denied the existence of any lawyer-
client relationship between him and complainant,
and claimed that the labor case was handled by
These principles are embodied in Rule 1.01 of
another lawyer,47 despite his previous
Canon 1, Rule 10.01 of Canon 10, Canon 17 and 48
Rule 18.03 of Canon 18 of the Code. x x x admission before the Court of having accepted
complainant's case. To add a perusal of the
complaint49 dated November 8, 1994 in NLRC
CANON 10 – A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, Case No. RAB-I-11-1123-94 reveals that Atty.
FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT. Quesada signed the same as counsel for
Rule 10.01 – A lawyer shall not do any falsehood,
nor consent to the doing of any in court; nor shall he Respondent Atty. Jose C. Quesada, Jr. is found
mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any guilty of violating Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, Rule 10.01
artifice. of Canon 10, Canon 17, and Rule 18.03 of Canon 18
of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He was
CANON 17 – A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO suspended for 1 year.
BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND On the other hand, the administrative complaint
CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. against respondent Atty. Amado T. Adquilen is
hereby dismissed in view of his supervening death.
DILIGENCE. x x x x

Rule 18.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal

matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.

In the present case, the Court finds Atty. Quesada

to have violated the foregoing Rules and Canons.

4.) DELIA LIM, vs. ATTY.  Atty. Mejica argued that the filing of the
AQUILINO MEJICA, case before the MCTC pending the resolution
of his MR before the OPP was made in good
faith. He argued that he did not know that an
oral defamation case may be filed directly with
the MCTC
 On July 16, 2008, Atty. Mejica filed a  According to Atty. Mejica, he consulted
criminal action for grave oral defamation his friend, Atty. Emmanuel C. Apelado, a
against Lim ( Vice Mayor of Oras, Eastern Public Attorney's Office lawyer. He alleged
Samar) that he was advised, that an oral defamation
 He alleged that Lim uttered against him case is not subject to preliminary investigation
the following slanderous words at the Session and as such he could file the same directly with
Hall of the Sangguniang Bayan of Oras: the MCTC|||
"HI AGUS BALDADO NAG KIHA KAN ATTY  He argued that since the criminal
AKI MEJICA HA IBP UG YANA HI ATTY. complaint was filed before the OAPP, its
MEJ[I]CA SUSPENDIDO HIT IYA KA resolution for probable cause would not be a
ABOGADO SAKOP HIN UNOM KA BULAN, bar for the court's judicial determination of
IPAN NUMAT NIYO" |||(Mr. Agus Baldado probable cause considering that in case of oral
filed a case against Atty. Mejica before the defamation, preliminary investigation is not
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and required|||
now Atty. Mejica is suspended from practice of  IBP-CBD issued a Report and
his profession as a lawyer for a period of six Recommendation 18 finding
(6) months, you relay this information Atty. Mejica liable for violating Rule 12.02 of
 Provincial Prosecutor Cornelio M. Umil II Canon 12 of the CPR, and recommended that
issued a Resolution dismissing the complaint he be suspended for a period of six (6)
of Atty. Mejica for lack of probable cause. months.
 A Motion for Reconsideration (MR) was  The IBP Board of Governors, however,
filed, but the same was denied in a Resolution modified the penalty by reducing the
 While Atty. Mejica's MR was still pending suspension to three (3) months.|||
before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor  he IBP Board of Governors, however,
(OPP), he filed on March 31, 2009, for the after considering this Court's previous
second time, the same complaint before the sanctions imposed against Atty. Mejica,
Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Samar. increased his suspension to five (5) years
 MCTC issued an Order 7 dismissing the
complaint of Atty. Mejica on the ground that Issue: whether the instant disbarment
the same had already prescribed. complaint constitutes a sufficient basis to
suspend Atty. Mejica from the practice of law
 Consequently, Lim filed the instant case
for five (5) years for violation of the CPR.
alleging that Atty. Mejica deliberately
committed forum shopping when he filed the Held:
same complaint with the same attachments
with the MCTC during the pendency of his MR Court held that there is no violation of
to the dismissal of his complaint before the the rule against non-forum. The test for
OPP. determining forum shopping is whether in
the two (or more) cases pending, there is an
 Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of
identity of parties, rights or causes of action,
the IBP issued an Order 10 directing
and relief sought."
Atty. Mejica to submit his answer to Lim's
complaint within 15 days from receipt of the

In the present case, the Court finds that that would promote public confidence in the
the second requisite of forum shopping does integrity of the legal profession
not exist since there is no identity of relief.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the
The complaint before the OAPP seeks for Resolution No. XXI-2014-595 dated
the finding by the prosecutor of probable September 27, 2014 of the Integrated Bar of
cause against Lim for Grave Oral the Philippines Board of Governors is
Defamation so that the latter could be held hereby SET ASIDE.|||
for trial. Meanwhile, in Criminal Case No.
The Court, however, finds Atty.
(0)2009-03, the complaint seeks for the
Aquilino Mejica to have violated Canon 10 of
conviction of Lim. in the present case, the
the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is
exercise of the OPP of its investigative
hereby meted out the penalty
power to determine the existence of
ofSUSPENSION from the practice of law
probable cause to the complaint filed by
for SIX (6) MONTHS with WARNING that a
Arty. Mejica is likewise different and distinct
similar offense by him will be dealt with more
from the power of the court to hold Lim for
trial for the offense charged. constitute as a
valid and final judgment because his duty,
should he find probable cause to prosecute
the respondent, is to file the appropriate
information before the proper court. 5.) JOSE ANTONIO F. BALINGIT, ,
However, Atty. Mejica is liable for DELARMENTE,
violation of Canon 10
Nonetheless, the Court finds that Facts:
Atty. Mejica failed to exercise candor and
Complainant is a former Filipino citizen who
courtesy to the court when he failed to
subsequently became a naturalized British
inform the same of the pendency of his MR
citizen. On July 9, 2011, complainant's 2 sons,
before the OPP in connection with the same
Jose Antonio Balingit, Jr. and Carlo Balingit, who
cause of action. Likewise, records show that
were on board their respective motorcycles,
he failed to withdraw his MR before the OPP
figured in a head-on collision with the car driven
despite the subsequent filing of his
by David A. Alizadeh . As a result, a case was
complaint before the MCTC.
filed against David.
Although it is the MCTC that has
Complainant engaged the legal services of
jurisdiction over the complaint filed by
respondents in the filing of the separate civil suit
Atty. Mejica, he made a mockery of the
for damages and an administrative case against
judicial process and further eroded public
confidence in lawyers when he ignored the
proceedings he initiated in the OPP. Atty. Cervantes prepared and signed an
Lawyers should always live up to the Agreement embodying the terms of respondents'
ethical standards of the legal profession as engagement. Addressed to Kristopher, Carlo,
embodied in the [CPR]. Public confidence in and the heirs of Jose Antonio, Jr., but the same
law and in lawyers may be eroded by the did not sign the said agreement.
irresponsible and improper conduct of a
member of the bar. Thus, every lawyer
should act and comport himself in a manner

Complainant paid the sum of P45,000.00 as Ruling:
partial acceptance fee receipt issued by Atty.
It is a core ethical principle that lawyers owe
Delarmente, Atty. Cervantes allegedly received
fidelity to their clients' cause and must always be
P10,000.00 from Imelda Balingit (Imelda),
mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in
complainant's daughter-in-law, without issuing
any receipt. Howeve, respondent failed to file the
civil action. CANON 15 - A lawyer shall observe candor,
fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and
Complainant and the representatives of David
transactions with his clients.
entered into compromise agreement wherein
CANON 16 - A lawyer shall hold in trust all
they agreed to settle and David greed to pay
moneys and properties of his client that may
P1,000,000.00 for the dismissal of the case. Atty.
come into his profession.
Cervantes, upon discovering that complainant
entered into a Compromise Agreement, attended Rule 16.01 - A lawyer shall account for all money
the November 9, 2011 hearing and demanded or property collected or received for or from the
10% of the amount of the compromise as client.
attorney's fees and P5,000.00 as appearance fee
from complainant. Complainant refused on the CANON 17 - A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause
ground that the compromise was entered Atty. of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust
Cervantes sent a demand letter to complainant and confidence reposed in him.
seeking payment of P100,000.00 as attorney's CANON 18 - A lawyer shall serve his client with
fees, representing 10% of the amount of the competence and diligence.
compromise, and appearance fee of P5,000.00
for his attendance in the November 9, 2011 Respondents clearly transgressed the foregoing
hearing. As complainant still refused to pay, Atty. rules when they failed and refused to file the
Cervantes filed a criminal complaint for estafa separate civil action for damages against David
against complainant, his wife, and his sons, as despite their receipt of payment and the relevant
well as a complaint for deportation with the documents from complainant. We cannot give
Bureau of Immigration, on the ground that credence to Atty. Cervantes' defense that
complainant and his family are undesirable British because complainant did not pay the requisite
aliens. filing and acceptance fees, he was not able to file
Complainant then filed the present disbarment the separate civil case for damages. The receipt
case against respondent before IBP. Atty. Delarmente issued clearly indicated that the
sum of P45,000.00 paid by the complainant
Atty. Cervantes in his answer alleged that he covers the acceptance and filing fees for the civil
failed to file the separate civil action because he suit.38chanrobleslaw
has not received the acceptance and docket fees
to file the case. The court also found them liable under Rule 20.4.
Rule 20.4 of the Code of Professional
IBP found respondents guilty og grave
Responsibility advises that xxx A lawyer shall
misconduct and recommended their suspension
avoid controversies with clients concerning their
for 6 months.
compensation and to resort to judicial action only
to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud. xxx It is
improper for a lawyer to impose additional
professional fees on his client that were never
Wether or not respondents violated the Code of mentioned nor agreed upon the time of the
Professional Responsibility. engagement of his services. In the case at bar,
Atty. Cervantes demanded, as success fee for the
criminal case and the Compromise Agreement

was entered in the proceedings, P5, 000.00 told them that he would be initiating a case for
appearance fee and 10% of the settlement. The certiorari in their behalf to nullify the order for the
Compromise Agreement was outside the scope reconstitution of the lost title filed before the RTC;
insinuated that one of their lots would be his
of respondents’ engagement. Matters of fees
attorney's fees.
present an irreconcilable conflict of interests
between a client and his lawyer. The Court held Atty. Bangot unilaterally prepared a
that the respondent is guilty of being remiss in Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which he
their duties as counsel for complainant and that also made Sps Jacinto to sign it. They did not
when a lawyer accepts a case he undertakes to read the agreement because of their full trust to
give his utmost attention, skill, and competence the respondent.
to it. His client has the right to expect that he will
Upon arriving at their residence, they discovered
discharge his duties diligently and exert his best that the technical detail specified in the MOA is a
efforts, learning, and ability to prosecute or is a different lot from which they agreed upon.
defend his client's cause with reasonable That lot was already allocated to one of their
dispatch. children. Plus, the agreed area was increased to
300 meters.
Atty. Teodoro B. Delarmente and Atty. Renato
Aggrieved, they decided to see Atty. Bangot to
M. Cervantes are hereby SUSPENDEDfrom the
revoke the MOA and pay him, instead, in cash,
practice of law for six (6) months. Both
but the latter refused. They were even challenged
are STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the
to file an appropriate case against him. More to
same or similar acts shall be dealt with more
the spouses' surprise,Atty. Bangot only filed a
severely. They are also DIRECTED to return to
Manifestation which is not a preparatory pleading
complainant the amount of P45,000.00. Finally,
for certiorari.
respondents are DIRECTED to report to this
Court the date of their receipt of this Decision to
An administrative complaint was filed against
enable this Court to determine when their
Atty. Bangot by the spouses.
suspension shall take effect.
In his defense, he averred, among others, that the
complaint was just a harassment tactic to
intimidate him from seeking judicial remedies to
settle their dispute on the validity of the MOA. And
that the lot, in the form of attorney’s fees will be
paid on a contingent bases.
JACINTO, VS. ATTY. EMELIE P. IBP issued a resolution on the complaint and
BANGOT, JR., recommended that Atty. Bangot be suspended
from the practice of law for 2 years.

Facts: W/N Atty. Bangot violated the Lawyer’s Oath; and
Sps. Jacinto owns a parcel of land covered by
OCT No. P-3387. Some owners of a land, which HELD:
is adjacent to the land of the spouses, insituted a
petition (to reconstitute a lost title) before the RTC YES. It was not disputed that only the filing of the
of Cagayan de Oro. A court order was issued by two-paged Manifestation for Information
the RTC which caused a private survey team to constituted the respondent's rendition of
be deployed and to survey the owners' land. professional services for the complainants.
Although he did claim that the filing of the
While doing the survey, the said team attempted Manifestation for Information had prevented any
to enter and survey Sps Jacinto's land. Thus, the intrusion on their property, thereby fulfilling his
Sps. Jacinto sought legal assistance from Atty. end of the contract,13 the worth of such minimal
Bangot. Atty. Bangot effort was exaggerated and disproportionate

when taken in the context of the attorney's fees controversies with clients concerning his
being Lot No. 37925-G with 300 square meters in compensation and shall resort to judicial action
area. The two-paged Manifestation for only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud.
Information was not even the procedural
We have said time and again, and this we cannot
precursor of the promised petition for certiorari.
overemphasize, that the Law is neither a trade
Moreover, he did not actually file the petition for
nor a craft but a profession whose basic ideal is
certiorari as he had promised. And, lastly, he did
to render public service and to secure justice for
nothing more after filing the Manifestation for
those who seek its aid. If the Law has to remain
Information. He certainly transgressed the
an honorable profession and has to attain its
Lawyer's Oath by receiving property of a
basic ideal, those enrolled in its ranks should not
substantial value from the complainants after
only master its tenets and principles but should
having made them believe that he could ensure
also, by their lives, accord continuing fidelity to
their land from intrusion by third parties. He took
such tenets and principles.19 The respondent's
advantage of them who had reposed their full behavior and deceit demonstrated a preference
trust and confidence in his ability to perform the for self-gain that transgressed his sworn duty of
task by virtue of his being a lawyer. He was
fidelity, loyalty and devotion to his clients' cause.
definitely bent on obtaining Lot No. 37925-G than
His betrayal of his clients' trust besmirched the
in protecting the complainants' interest in their
honorable name of the Law Profession. These
property. He exhibited this zeal by refusing their
considerations justify suspending him from the
offer to give cash for his attorney's fees instead of practice of law.
the land. We sadly note in this connection that his
changing the property ostensibly agreed upon WHEREFORE, this Court FINDS and HOLDS
with the bigger lot as payment for his legal respondent ATTY. EMELIE P. BANGOT, JR.
services14 reflected his deceit at the start of the
guilty of violation of the Lawyer's Oath and of the
relationship. He maintained the deceit by Code of Professional Responsibility; SUSPENDS
ultimately enforcing the MOA against them him from the practice of law for five (5) years
through the action for specific performance.
effective upon notice of this decision, with
warning that sterner sanctions will be meted on
The agreement between them was not a him for a similar offense; and DECLARES that he
contingent fee where a much higher
is not entitled to recover any attorney's fees from
compensation is allowed in consideration of the the complainants.
risk that the lawyer may get nothing should the
suit failed. In this case, the Moa indicates that the
payment of respondent’s fee by way of real
propertyis being made immediately effective
upon execution of the agreement.

He also breached the following canons of the

Code of Professional Responsibility, to wit:
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful,
dishonest immoral or deceitful conduct.

Canon 15 A lawyer shall observe candor, fairness

and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions
with his clients.

Canon 17 A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of

his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and
confidence reposed in him.

Canon 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal

matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.

Canon 20- A lawyer shall charge only fair and

reasonable fees. Rule 20.4 A lawyer shall avoid