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Hilado Vs. David G.R. No. L-961 September 21, 1949 Tuason, J.

Facts: An action by Petitioner Blandina Gamboa Hilado has been brought against Selim Jacob Assad to annul the sale of properties made by the Petitioners deceased husband. Later on, Respondent Atty. Francisco, attorney of record of Assad, has been urged by the legal counsel of the petitioner to discontinue representing Assad on the ground that the petitioner had consulted the former, on which occasion, it was alleged that the petitioner have turned over the papers to Respondent Francisco. The legal counsel of the petitioner, not being answered by Respondent Francisco, filed a formal motion to disqualify the latter for representing Assad. The judge trying the case dismissed the complaint; hence an appeal was made before this Court. Issue: Whether or not Atty. Francisco should be disqualified on representing Assad. Held: Yes. Section 26 of Rule 123 of the Rules of Court provides that "an attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of professional employment;" and section 19 of Rule 127 imposes upon an attorney the duty "to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client." Information received by lawyer is sacred to the employment to which it pertains, and to permit it to be used in the interest of another, or, worse still, in the interest of the adverse party, is to strike at the element of confidence which lies at the basis of, and affords the essential security in, the relation of attorney and client. This rule has been so strictly that it has been held an attorney, on terminating his employment, cannot thereafter act as counsel against his client in the same general matter, even though, while acting for his former client, he acquired no knowledge which could operate to his client's disadvantage in the subsequent adverse employment. In the case at bar, the fact that Attorney Francisco's law firm mailed to the plaintiff a written opinion over his signature on the merits of her case, that this opinion was reached on the basis of papers she had submitted at his office, and that Mrs. Hilado's purpose in submitting those papers was to secure Attorney Francisco's professional services, then, the relation of attorney and client between Attorney Francisco and Mrs. Hilado should be ensued. An attorney is employed-that is, he is engaged in his professional capacity as a lawyer or counselor-when he is listening to his client's preliminary statement of his case, or when he is giving advice thereon, just as truly as when he is drawing his client's pleadings, or advocating his client's cause in open court. The contract may be express or implied and it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of the attorney is sought and received, in matters pertinent to his profession. An acceptance of the relation is implied on the part of the attorney from his acting in behalf of his client in pursuance of a request by the latter.

Rivera vs. Angeles A.C. No. 2519 August 29, 2000 Ynares-Santiago, J. Facts: Petitioners Teodoro R. Rivera, Antonio D. Aquino, and Felixberto D. Aquino, represented by Respondent Atty. Sergio Angeles, are plaintiffs in a civil case where a favorable decision has already been rendered by the Court. Without the knowledge of the Petitioners, the Respondent received partial settlement of the judgement. The Petitioners demanded for the payment received by the Respondent. A complaint for disbarment was then filed by the Petitioners against the Respondent on the ground of deceit and malpractice. The respondent defended that he has the right to retain the said payment as application to the professional fees due to him. Issue: Whether or not the Respondent has the right to retain the amount collected and apply such as part of his professional fees

Held: No. The Court is not oblivious of the right of a lawyer to be paid for the legal services he has extended to his client but such right should not be exercised whimsically by appropriating to himself the money intended for his clients. There should never be an instance where the victor in litigation loses everything he won to the fees of his own lawyer.

Villanueva vs. Ishiwata A.C. No. 5041 November 23, 2004 Sandoval-Gutierrez, J. Facts: Petitioner Salvador G. Villanueva is represented by Respondent Atty. Ramon F. Ishiwata to handle the Petitioners case against J.T Transport for payment of the petitioners unpaid wages, separation pay, and other benefits. A compromise agreement has been entered into by the parties and J.T. Transport later on paid the settlement agreement in full to the respondent. The respondent did not give the full amount collected and has not advised the respondent that such has already been paid in full. Respondent alleged that he secured services of a third person which payments has been made out of the sum collected. Also, the respondent alleged the payment were made in instalments which have been delivered already to the complainant, the receipt of such have been misplaced, after deducting 25% attorneys fee. Issue: 1. 2. Held: 1. Whether or not Respondent has violated the trust reposed upon him Whether or the attorneys fee deducted is reasonable under the law Yes. Respondents failure to return the balance to complainant upon demand gave rise to the presumption that he misappropriated it in violation of the trust reposed on him. His act is indicative of lack of integrity and propriety. He was clinging to something not his and which he had no right. The respondent violated Canon 16 which provides that a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come to his possession, Rule 16.01 which provides that A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client, Rule 16.02 which provides that a lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him, and Rule 16.03 which provides that a lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand The relationship between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in nature.[6] Under his oath, a lawyer pledges himself not to delay any man for money and he is bound to conduct himself with good fidelity to his clients. A lawyer should thus refrain from any action whereby for his personal benefit or gain, he abuses or takes advantage of the confidence reposed in him by his client. Accordingly, any money collected for the client or other trust property coming into the lawyers possession should promptly be reported by him.[7] A lawyer must at all times conduct himself, especially in his dealings with his clients and the public at large, with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach. A violation of the high standards of the legal profession subjects the erring lawyer to administrative sanctions by this Court. 2. Yes. Since the case handled by the Respondent is merely a labor case, his attorneys fee should not exceed 10%, the rate allowed under the Labor Code.

Nakpil vs. Valdes A.C. No. 2040 March 4, 1998 Puno, J. Facts: Late Jose Nakpil had became interested in purchasing a residence where he requested Respondent Carlos J. Valdes to purchase such for him. They agreed that respondent would keep the property in trust for the Nakpils until the latter could buy it back. Pursuant to their agreement, respondent obtained loans from bank used to purchase the property and title was thereafter issued in respondents name. In the intestate proceedings, it appears that the respondent has excluded the property from the inventory of Jose Nakpil. Petitioner Imelda Nakpil, widow of Jose Nakpil, filed an action to recover the property. Petitioner also filed an administrative case to disbar the respondent on the following grounds: 1. 2. 3. That the respondent maliciously appropriated the property in trust and assigned such to the respondents family corporation. That the respondent excluded the property in Jose Nakpils estate yet included claims against the estate representing the loan used for the purchase of the property. That the respondent is in conflict of interest when his accounting firm acted as accountant in preparing the list of claims of creditors against the estate of Jose Nakpil.

The respondent represented in his defense that he is the absolute owner of the property, that the inclusion of the loans is for the probable projected acquisition of the property which did not consummate, and that there are no conflict of interests when his law firm represented the estate in the intestate proceedings and his accounting firm served as accountant of the estate and prepared the claims of the creditors since these creditors are closely related to Jose Nakpil, his representation was with the consent and knowledge of the petitioner as administratix, and the estate and petitioner has forged modus vivendi that is, the subject claims would be satisfied only after full payment of the principal bank creditors. Issues: 1. Whether or not the Respondent demonstrated lack of fidelity to the cause of his client 2. Whether or not the Respondent is in conflict of interest. 3. Whether or not the Respondent could be charged for misconduct if such pertains to his accounting practice Held: 1. Yes. If respondent truly believed that the said property belonged to him, he should have at least informed complainant of his adverse claim. If they could not agree on its ownership, respondent should have formally presented his claim in the intestate proceedings instead of transferring the property to his own corporation and concealing it from complainant and the judge in the estate proceedings. Respondent's misuse of his legal expertise to deprive his client of the Moran property is clearly unethical Yes. It is generally the rule, based on sound public policy, that an attorney cannot represent adverse interests. It is highly improper to represent both sides of an issue. Representation of conflicting interests may be allowed where the parties consent to the representation, after full disclosure of facts. Disclosure alone is not enough for the clients must give their informed consent to such representation. The lawyer must explain to his clients the nature and extent of the conflict and the possible adverse effect must be thoroughly understood by his clients. In the case at bar, there is no question that the interests of the estate and that of its creditors are adverse to each other. Respondent's accounting firm prepared the list of assets and liabilities of the estate and, at the same time, computed the claims of two creditors of the estate. There is clearly a conflict between the interest of the estate which stands as the debtor, and that of the two claimants who are creditors of the estate 3. Yes. Respondent is a CPA-lawyer who is actively practicing both professions. The act is a breach of professional ethics and undesirable as it placed respondent's and his law firm's loyalty under a cloud of doubt. Even granting that respondent's misconduct refers to his accountancy practice, it would not prevent this Court from disciplining him as a member of the Bar. The rule is settled that a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for ANY misconduct, even if it pertains to his private activities, as long as it shows him to be


wanting in moral character, honesty, probity or good demeanor. Possession of good moral character is not only a prerequisite to admission to the bar but also a continuing requirement to the practice of law.

Aldorino et al vs. Pujalto A.C. No. 5082 February 17, 2004 Sandoval-Gutierrez, J Facts: Petitioners Milagros Nicodemus-Aldovino, Virgilio Nicodemus, Angela Nicodemus-dela Cruz, Julita Nicodemus-Soco, Magdalena Nicodemus-Talens and Teodoro S. Nicodemus, represented by Respondent Atty. Pedro R. Pujalte, Jr., has been entitled by virtue of court decision to receive shares from the estate of deceased Arcadia Nicodemus. These shares have been received by the respondent upon representation that he is authorized to receive such and to oversee the distribution to petitioners of their respective shares. The respondent, however, did not deliver the petitioners share. It was only when respondent was threatened with a legal action that he decided to return sum but after deducting his attorneys fees. Issue: Whether or not the respondent have violated Canon 16 when he failed to return the amount collected to the Petitioners promptly Held: Yes. When complainants demanded that the sum be delivered to them, he should have heeded promptly. Had they not hired a lawyer and charged him with estafa, he would not have turned over the money to them. While it may be true that he has a lien over the funds, he should have notified complainants about it in due time. Canon 16 provides that a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession and Rule 16.03 provides that a lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. However, he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court. Clearly, the respondent violated these rules.