LEGALETHICSPRIMARY CHARACTERISTICS WHICH DISTINGUISH THE LEGAL PROFESSION FROM BUSINESS 1. A duty of public service. 2. A relation, as an officer of the cour t, to the administr ation of justice involving thorough sincerity, integrity and reliability. 3. A relation to clients with the highest degree of fiduciary 4. A relation to the colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness and unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice, or dealing directly with their clients. Definitions LEGAL ETHICS o Body of all principles of morality and refinement that should govern the conduct of every member of the bar. o Living spirit of the profes sion. o Branch of moral science which treats of duties which an attorney owes to the court, to his client, to his colleagues, and to the public. Terms used to describe a member of the legal profession: o Lawyer, Attorney, or Attorney-AtLaw. o Advocate, Barrister, Counsel or Counselor. o Proctor, Solicitor. o Spanish: Abogado. o Filipino: Manananggol. The term refers to that class of persons who by license are officers of the court empowered to appear, prosecute, and defend. A person who is a member of the Philippine Bar who, by warrant of
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTORYPreliminary Legal Ethics 1. Branch of moral science which treats of the duties which an attorney owes to the court, to his client, to his colleagues in the profession and to the public. 2. It is the embodiment of all principles of morality and refinement that should govern the conduct of every member of the bar The law is not a trade nor a craft but a profession. Its basic ideal is to render public service and secure justice to those who seek its aid. Those enrolled in its ranks should not only master its tenets and principles but also accord continuing fidelity to them. Obligation not an easy task due to commercialism in all fields of human endeavor. To fulfill obligation: 1. Professional standards be constantly inculcated among lawyers. 2. M a ual of equipment n rules and ethics of the profession collated, readily available to every attorney. Sources of Legal Ethics: 1. The 1987 Constitution. 2. Applicable Jurisprudence. 3. Code of Professional Responsibility. 4. New Civil Code. 5. Rules of Court. 6. Revised Penal Code. 7. Local Government Code.
LEGALETHICSanother, practices law, or acts professionally in legal formalities. Those who passed the Sharia Bar not ent itled to be called A ttorneys unless admitted to the Philippine Bar. Counsel de parte: o An attorney retained by a party litigant, usually for a fee, to prosecute or defend his cause in court. o Implies freedom of choice either on the attorney or the litigant. Counsel de oficio: o Attorney appointed by the court. o To defend an indigent defendant in a criminal action. o To represent a destitute party. Attorney of record: o Attorney whose name, together with his address, is entered in the record of the case as the designated counsel of the party litigant. o To whom judicial notices are sent. A lawyer of counsel is an experienced lawyer, who is usually a retired member of judiciary employed by law firms as consultant. Amicus Curiae is: o An experienced and impartial attorney invited by the court to appear and help in the disposition of issues submitted to it. o It implies friendly intervention of counsel to call the attention of the court to some matters of law or facts which might otherwise escape its notice and in regard to which it might go wrong. o Appears in court not to represent any particular party but only to assist the court. Amicus Curiae par excellence bar associations who appear in court as amici curiae or friends of the court. Acts merely as a consultant to guide the court in a doubtful question or issue pending before it. Bar refers to the legal profession. Bench refers to the judiciary. Client one who engages the services of a lawyer for legal advice or for purposes of prosecuting or defending a suit in behalf and usually for a fee. Lawyer this is the general term for a person trained in the law and authorized to advice and represent others in legal matters Attorneys-At-Law that class of persons who are licensed officers of the courts empowered to appear, prosecute and defend, and upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities are developed by law as a consequence. Attorney in fact- simply an agent whose authority is strictly limited by the instrument appointing him. His authority is provided in a special power of attorney or general power of attorney or letter of attorney. He is not necessarily a lawyer. Bar Association an association of members of the legal profession like the IBP where membership is integrated or compulsory. House Counsel one who acts as attorney for business though carried as an employee of that business and not as an independent lawyer. Lead Counsel the counsel on either side of a litigated action who is charged with the principal management and direc tion of a partys case, as distinguished from his juniors or subordinates. Practicing Lawyer one engaged in the practice of law who by license are officers of the court and who are empowered to appear, prosecute and defend a client s cause.
LEGALETHICS Pro Se - an appearance by a lawyer in his own behalf. Trial Lawyer one who personally handles cases in court, administrative agencies of boards which mean engaging in actual trial work, either for the prosecution or for the defense of cases of clients. that will control the Supreme Court on its function to decide who may enjoy the privilege of practicing law. Could be considered unconstitutional. SC POWER TO REGULATE PRACTICE OF LAW includes: 1. Authority to define that term. 2. Prescribe qualifications of a candidate and the subjects of the bar exams. 3. Decide who will be admitted to the practice. 4. Discipline, suspend, or disbar any unfit or unworthy member of the bar. 5. Reinstate any disbarred attorney. 6. Ordain the integration of the Philippine bar. 7. Punish for contempt any person for unauthorized practice of law. 8. Exercise overall supervision of the legal profession. 9. Exercise any other power as may be necessary to elevate the standards of the bar and preserve its identity. Power to regulate the practice of law is not an arbitrary or despotic power to be exercised at the pleasure of the court. It is the duty of the court to exercise it by a sound and just judicial discretion.
Power to regulate practice of law The Constitution [Art. VIII, Sec. 5(5)] vests this power of control and regulation in the Supreme Court. The constitutional power to admit candidates to the legal profession is a judicial function and involves the exercise of discretion. Const art. XII, sec. 14. o The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases prescribed by law. The SC acts through a Bar Examination Committee in the exercise of its judicial function to admit candidates to the legal profession. Thus, the Committee is composed of a member of the Court who acts as Chairman and 8 members of the bar who acts as examiners in the 8 bar subjects with one subject assigned to each. Practice of law is impressed with public interest. o Attorney takes part in one of the most important functions of the State The Administration of Justice. o Duty of the State to control and regulate the practice of law to promote public welfare. Practice of law is inseparably connected with the exercise of its judicial power in the administration of justice. LEGISLATURES EXERCISE OF POLICE POWER may enact laws regulating the practice of law but may not pass a law
Nature of office of attorney An attorney is more than a mere agent because he possesses special powers of trust and confidence reposed in him by his client. Independent as the judge. In a limited sense, a public officer, although not in the constitutional or statutory meaning of the term. Occupies a quasi-judicial office because he is in fact an officer of the court. The title Attorney is reserved to those who has:3
LEGALETHICS1. obtained the necessary degree in the study of law; 2. successfully taken the bar exams; 3. admitted to the IBP; 4. remain members thereof in good standing; 5. been authorized to practice law in the Philippines. Membership in the bar is in the category of a mandate of public service of the highest order. Lawyers are oath-bound servants of society whose conduct are clearly circumscribed by the inflexible norms of law and ethics. Primary duty is to the advancement of the quest of truth and justice. proper to assume and discharge the responsibilities of an attorney. 5. Has the privilege to set the judicial machinery in motion. He can stand up for his right or the right of his client even in the face of a hostile court. He has the right to protest, in respectful language, any unwarranted treatment of a witness or any unjustified delay. The rights and privileges which they enjoy as officers of the court are necessary for the proper administration of justice as for the protection of attorney and his client. There can be no strong bar without courage ous and fearless attorneys. As a man of law, his is necessarily a leader in the community, looked up to as a model citizen. Integrity, ability, and learning often makes him qualified to administer the Executive Departments or the Legislative bodies.
Privileges of an attorney 1. Privilege and right to practice law during good behavior before any judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative tribunal. 2. Attorneys enjoy the presumption of regularity in the discharge of his duty. (His statements, if relevant or material to the case, are absolutely privileged regardless of their defamatory tenor. He can speak freely and courageously in proceedings without the risk of criminal prosecution.) 3. Other privileges inh