I. LEGAL ETHICS
MEMORY AID in LEGAL ETHICScSAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW - 2002 CENTRALIZED BAR OPERATIONSReproduction in any form of this copy is strictly prohibited!!!icrErRepro282005 Centralized Bar Operations San Beda College of Law 29
Memory Aid in Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises
LEGAL ETHICS COMMITTEE: Chairperson: Zharone Fritz Japzon; Asst. Chairperson/EDP: Robert Cruz; Members: Rhoscel Abella, Jun Manuel, Clarissa Mendoza, Jennifer Rocetes, Cheryl Roque, Maribeth Sanchez, Maila Santos, Sheila Sulit, Danrex Tapdasan, Grace Tenorio, Aris Valera
2005 Centralized Bar Operations Executive Committee and Subject ChairpersonsMaricel Abarentos (Over-all Chairperson), Ronald Jalmanzar (Over-all Vice Chair), Yolanda Tolentino(VC-Acads), Jennifer Ang(VC- Secretariat), Joy Inductivo (VC-Finance), Elaine Masukat (VC-EDP), Anna Margarita Eres (VC-Logistics). JonathanMangundayao (Political Law), Francis Benedict Reotutar (Labor Law), Romuald Padilla (Civil Law), Charmaine Torres (Taxation Law), Mark David Martinez (Criminal Law), Garny Luisa Alegre (Commercial Law), Jinky Ann Uy (Remedial Law), Jackie Lou Bautista (Legal Ethics)Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises Committee Chairperson: Jackie Lou Bautista Assistant Chairperson: Catherine Jane Vanilla Subject Heads: Ma. Ricasion Tugadi(Legal Ethics), Mary Wendy Duran(Practical Exercises) EDP: Raphy Espiritu Members: John Dale Balinan, Malou Barrios, Catherine Bool-Nuez, Melanie Caparas, Kristian Cristobal, Remegio Dayandayan, Jr., Gerald dela Cruz, Donna Dumpit, JB Roselle Gayona, Rhea Mangubat, Joyce Marie Marquez, Rowena Mutia, Maan Salada, Melamy Salvadora, Vin-Kristine VenturaPRELIMINARY MATTERS
Legal Ethics 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.- It is the embodiment of all principles of morality and refinement that should govern the conduct of every member of the bar.
Primary Characteristics which Distinguish the Legal Profession from Business1. A duty of public service2. A relation, as an officer of the court, to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity, integrity and reliability3. A relation to clients with the highest degree of fiduciary4. 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.
PRACTICE OF LAW
CASE: Any activity in or out of court which requires the application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure and calls for legal knowledge, training and experience. (Cayetano vs Monsod, 201 SCRA 210) Strictly speaking, the word practice of law implies the customary or habitual holding of oneself to the public as a lawyer and demanding compensation for his services. [People vs. Villanueva 14 SCRA 111]
ESSENTIAL Criteria DETERMINATIVE of Engaging in the Practice of Law: (HACA)1. Habituality- implies customarily or habitually holding oneself out to the public as a lawyer2. Compensation- implies that one must have presented himself to be in the active practice and that his professional services are available to the public for compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services.3. Application of law, legal principle, practice, or procedure which calls for legal knowledge, training and experience4. Attorney client relationship
PRIVATE PRACTICEPrivate practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists of frequent or customary actions, a succession of acts of the same kind.
NOTE: An isolated appearance does not amount to practice of law of a public officer if allowed by his superior in exceptional cases.NOTE:The practice of law is not a natural, property or constitutional right but a mere privilege. It is not a right granted to any one who demands it but a privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise of sound judicial discretion. It is in the nature of a franchise conferred only for merit which must be earned by hard study, learning and good conduct. It is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to certain rigid standards of mental and moral fitness. Those standards are neither dispensed with nor lowered after admission. The attorneys continued enjoyment of the privilege conferred depends upon his complying with the ethics and rules of 333the profession.But practice of law is in the nature of a right. While the practice of law is a privilege, a lawyer cannot be prevented from practicing law except for valid reasons, the practice of law not being a matter of states grace or favor. He holds office during good behavior and can only be deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and declared by judgment of the Supreme Court after opportunity to be heard has been afforded him. The state cannot exclude an attorney from the practice of law in a manner or for reasons that contravene the due process or equal protection clause of the Constitution.
Power to Regulate the Practice of Law
CASES: 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. Petition to that end is filed with the Supreme Court as are other proceedings invoking judicial function [In re: Almacen 31 SCRA 562]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. [In re Lanuevo, 66 SCRA 245] The power of the SC to regulate the practice of law includes the authority to:1. Define the term2. Prescribe the qualifications of a candidate to and the subjects of the bar examinations3. Decide who will be admitted to practice4. Discipline, suspend or disbar any unfit and unworthy member of the bar5. Reinstate any disbarred or indefinitely suspended attorney6. Ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar7. Punish for contempt any person for unauthorized practice of law8. Exercise overall supervision of the legal profession9. Exercise any other power as may be necessary to elevate the standards of the bar and preserve its integrity.
On the other hand, the LEGISLATURE, in the exercise of its POLICE POWER may, however, enact laws regulating the practice of law to protect the public and promote the public welfare. But the legislature MAY NOT pass a law that will control the SC in the performance of its function to decide who may enjoy the privilege of practicing law and any law of that kind is unconstitutional as an invalid exercise of legislative power.
WHO MAY PRACTICE LAW?Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. [Sec. 1, Rule 138]
Requirements Before a Candidate Can Engage in the Practice of LawI. He must have been admitted to the Bara. Furnishing satisfactory proof of educational, moral and other qualification;b. Passing the barc. Taking the Lawyers Oath before the SCA lawyers oath signifies that the lawyer in taking such an oath accepts and affirms his ethical obligations in the performance of his duties as a lawyer and signifies likewise his awareness of his responsibilities that he assumes by his admission to the legal profession.d. Signing the Attorneys Roll and receiving from the Clerk of Court of the SC a Certificate of the license to practiceII. After his admission to the bar, a lawyer must remain in good and regular standing, which is a continuing requirement for the practice of law. He must:a. Remain a member of the IBP (membership therein by every attorney is made compulsory);b. Regularly pay all IBP membership dues and other lawful assessments, as well as the annual privilege tax;c. Faithfully observe the rules and ethics of the legal profession; andd. Be continually subject to judicial disciplinary control.
Basic Requirements for Admission to the BarUnder Section 2, 5 and 6, Rule 138, the applicant must be:1. Citizen of the Philippines;2. At least 21 years of age; 3. Of good moral character;(Note: This is a continuing requirement.)4. Resident of the Philippines;5. Must produce before the SC satisfactory evidence of good moral character;6. No charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Phil. [Sec. 2, Rule 138];7. Must have complied with the academic requirements;8. Pass the bar examinations.
Moral Turpitude imports an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the duties which one person owes to another or to society in general which is contrary to the usually accepted and customary rule of right and duty which a person should follow.
ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CANDIDATES1. Must have already earned a Bachelors Degree in Arts or Sciences (Pre-law)2. Law Course completed courses in Civil Law, Commercial Law, Remedial Law, Criminal Law, Public and International Law, Political Law, Labor and Social Legislation, Medical Jurisprudence, Taxation, Legal Ethics. [Sec. 5 and 6, Rule 138]
APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYER IN COURT
MAY A NON-LAWYER APPEAR IN COURT?General Rule: Only those who are licensed to practice law can appear and handle cases in court.
Exceptions:1. Before the MTC - a party may conduct his case or litigation in person with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him. [Sec. 34, Rul