Legal Ethics Written Report - Philadelphia Group
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PHILADELPHIA (1993) The Application of the Code of Professional Responsibility
Judge Evelyn Gamutin-Nery Gamutin-Nery
Legal Ethics-A Group 4
Esther Dominic Mayor John Casinabe Diana Mae Bebelone Farhanna Mapandi Kiril Kamenev Paler Ruben Banse Menchie Dardo Faiz Berua Jessa Quimson
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The film tells the story of Andrew Beckett (played by Tom Hanks), a senior associate at the largest corporate law firm in Philadelphia. Although he lives with his partner Miguel Álvarez ( Antonio Antonio Banderas), Beckett hides his homosexuality and the fact that he has AIDS from the other members of the law law firm firm.. On the the day day that that he is assi assign gned ed the the firm firm's 's newe newest st and and mo most st important case, one of the firm's partners notices a small lesion on Beckett's forehead. Shortly thereafter, Beckett stays home from work for several days to try to find a way to hide his lesions. While at home, he finishes the paperwork for the case he has been assigned and then brings it to his office, leaving instructions for his assistants to file the paperwork on the following day, which marks the end of the statute of limitations for the case. In this part of the film, the group members see Beckett’s diligence as a lawyer in accordance with Canon 18 of the Canons of Professional Ethics. Later that morning, he receives a frantic call asking for the paperwork, as the the pape paperr copy opy canno annott be foun found d and and the there are are no co copi pies es on the computer's hard drive. However, the paperwork is finally discovered and is filed with the court at the last possible moment. The following day, Beckett is dismissed by the firm's partners, who had previously referred to him as their "friend." Beckett believes that someone deliberately hid his paperwork to give the firm an excuse to fire him, and that the firing is actually as a result of his diagnosis with AIDS. His belief that the firm has betrayed him is eventually prov proven en in the last ast part partss of the the fil film. Thi This ac acti tion on by his his part partne ners rs is a manifestation of what should not be done by a lawyer to his colleagues. He asks several attorneys to take his case, including personal injury lawyer Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), with whom he had been involved in a previous case. Miller, who is homophobic and knows little about Beckett's disease, declines to take the case and immediately visits his doctor to find out if he could have contracted the disease through shaking Beckett's hand. The group members think that Miller should have not done so because it is not right to deny legal assistance to a defenseless and oppressed person, more so because of his personal opinions about that person.
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The doctor explains the methods of AIDS infection. The doctor then offers to take a sample of Miller's blood, suspecting that Miller was asking about AIDS because he suspected he had contracted it and was trying to hide it. Miller dismisses the request by laughing it off, thinking it a joke. Unable to find a lawyer willing to represent him, Beckett is compelled to act as his own attorney. While researching a case at a law library, Miller sees Beckett at a nearby table. After a librarian announces that he has found a book on AIDS discrimination for Beckett, others in the library begin to first stare and then move away, and the librarian suggests Beckett retire to a private room. Disgusted by their behavior, Miller approaches Beckett and reviews the material he has gathered. It is obvious he has decided to take the case. Upon receiving a summons by Miller, the head of the firm, Charles Wheeler ( Jason Jason Robards), worries about the damage the lawsuit could do to his his busi busine ness ss and repu reputa tati tion on,, alth althou ough gh one one asso associ ciat ate e (Ron Ron Vawt Vawter er ) unsuccessfully tries to convince them to settle out of court with Beckett. As the ca case se goe goes befo before re the co cour urtt, Wheel heele er take akes the stan stand, d, committing perjury by claiming that Beckett was incompetent and claiming that he had deliberately tried to hide his condition. The defense repeatedly suggests that Beckett had invited his illness through promiscuity and was therefore not a victim. In the course of testimony, it is revealed that the partne partnerr who had notice noticed d Becket Beckett's t's lesion lesion had previo previousl usly y worked worked with with a woman who had contracted AIDS after a blood transfusion and so would have recognized the lesion as relating to AIDS. To prove that the lesions would have been visible, Miller asks Beckett to unbutton his shirt while on the the witn witnes esss stan stand, d, reve reveal alin ing g that that his his lesi lesion onss were were inde indeed ed visi visibl ble e and and recognizable as such. Duri During ng cross cross-e -exa xami mina nati tion on,, Beck Becket ettt admi admits ts that that he was was orig origin inal ally ly planning to tell his partners that he was gay, but changed his mind after hearing them make homophobic jokes in the sauna of a health club. When asked about the truth of how he got infected, he confirms that he engaged in anonymous sex with another man at a pornographic movie theater. The grou group p me memb mber erss deba debate te as to whet whethe herr Beck Becket ettt is real really ly immo immoral ral or not not because of this particular act of having anonymous sex at a movie theater. The members however agree that immorality is subjective. It is a norm perhaps that such act is considered immoral, however, in the case at hand, nothing could be more unfair than what the law firm has done to Beckett by discriminating him and at this situation, such is most important.
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However, he and Miller gain an advantage when the one partner who suggested settling out of court confesses he suspected Beckett had AIDS but never said anything, and how he regrets his inaction. Beckett Beckett collapses collapses in court shortly shortly after finishing cross-examinati cross-examination. on. During his hospitalization, the jury votes in his favor, awarding him back pay, damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Miller visits Beckett in hosp hospit ital al afte afterr the the verd verdic ictt and and over overco come mess his his fear fear enou enough gh to touc touch h Beckett's face. After Beckett's family leaves the room, he tells Miguel that he is ready to die. A short scene immediately afterward shows Miller getting the word that Beckett has died. The movie ends with a reception at Beckett's home following the funeral, where many mourners, including the Millers, view home movies of Beckett as a healthy child.
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APPLICATION OF THE CODE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE MOVIE
CANON 8. A LAWYER SHALL CONDUCT HIMSELF WITH COURTESY, FAIRNESS AND
CAND CANDOR OR TO TOWA WARD RD HIS HIS PROF PROFES ESSI SION ONAL AL COLL COLLEA EAGU GUES ES,, AND AND SHAL SHALLL AVOI AVOID D HARASSING TACTICS AGAINST OPPOSING COUNSEL. Atty. Beckett showed how a lawyer should conduct himself towards his coworkers and most importantly towards other lawyers. In the scene, he is upbeat in talking to one of the lawyers he is working with in their office as it is depicted in the way they converse. They treat each other as really good friends; in fact they even have small jokes on each other’s achievements. Furthermore, lawyers are officers of the court whether they are incumbent judges, prosecutors or legal practitioners. They belong to the legal profession, a profession exclusive to those privileged to practice law. To maintain the dignity in the legal profession, lawyers must must condu conduct ct thems themselv elves es honora honorably bly,, fairly fairly and candi candidly dly toward toward eac each h other. other. Respect generates respect.
LAWYER ER SHAL SHALLL SERV SERVE E HIS HIS CL CLIE IENT NT WITH WITH COMP COMPET ETEN ENCE CE AND AND CANON CANON 18. A LAWY DILIGENCE. One of the scenes in the movie showed how dedicated Atty. Beckett is. He stayed up late and even brought his work home just to make sure that he can finish the job on time. This is how a lawyer should be in handling every case or every job at hand, to make sure that the work would be done properly every lawyer should see to it that he will be personally handling the files of the case. Diligence is defined as “the attention and care required of a person given situation and is the opposite of negligence”. It goes without saying that in the practice of law that the price of success is eternal diligence to the cause of the client.
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(Equibal vs. Ferrer, Jr. 450SCRA406; Canoy vs, Ortiz, 453SCRA410; Macarilay vs. Serina, 458SCRA12)
Rule 3.04 A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of .
the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, plublicity to attract legal business. Another lawyer (later on became the counsel of defendant) from the movie violated this rule, he appears on the television mainly to publicly attract legal busi busine ness ss.. This This agai agains nstt the the ethi ethica call stan standa dard rdss for for lawy lawyer erss beca becaus use e the the law law profession is not a trade so to speak. True enough, advertising may then lead to assertion of fraudulent claims, corruption of public officials; more, it will encourage lawyer lawyerss to engage engage in overre overreac achin hing, g, overc overchar hargin ging, g, under underrep repres resent entati ation on and misrepresentation. misrepresentation. It will also lead to the creation of false status and reputation of lawyers which in the end will mislead the public and clients to their detriment in responding trust and confidence on lawyers who may not be competent and trustworthy trustworthy at all.
Rule 15.05. A lawyer when advising his client shall give a candid and honest
opin opinio ion n on the the me meri rits ts and and prob probab able le resu result ltss of the the clie client nt’s ’s ca case se,, neit neithe herr overstating nor understating the prospects of the case. It is true that a private person can readily sue the local government unit for an act of negligence on their part as it is expressly provided in Article 2189 of the New Civil Civil Code, Code, “ provin provinces ces and cities cities and munic municipa ipalit lities ies shall shall be liabl liable e for damages damages for the death of, or injuries injuries suffered suffered by, any person person by reason of the defective roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works under their control or supervision.” However, in the movie the counsel was telling his
client that he has a case when in fact he has none, because it is evident from their conversation that the client really intended to cross that certain part of the street that has a hole in it despite the government’s warning signs posted thereon. The client merely wanted to cause such damage to himself just to have a reason to sue the government and enrich himself there from. It is one of the pledges of a lawyer that he shall not do any falsehood nor consent the doing of any in court. Thus, the counsel on that particular scene violated this provision.
Rule 2.01. A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons the cause of the
defenseless or the oppressed.
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Rule 14.01. A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely on account of
the latter’s race, sex, creed or status of life, or because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person. As a general, a private practitioner is not obligated to act as counsel for any pers person on who who ma may y wish wish to beco become me his clie client nt.. He has has the the righ rightt to decl declin ine e employment. He must on his own responsibility decide what business he will accept as counsel, what causes, he will bring to court for plaintiffs or what cause he will contests for defendants unless you he is a private prosecutor. However, in the movie even though the 9th lawyer to whom Atty. Beckett seek counsel was a private practitioner it is not proper for a lawyer to act in such a manner as to refuse a client who is clearly oppressed and defenseless because because he had a serious, dea deadly dly and com omm munic unicab able le disea iseasse whi which is also lso tanta antam mount unt to racial cial discr discrimi iminat nation ion becau because se it causes causes socia sociall death death to the the perso person n posses possessin sing g such such illness.
lawyer er shal shalll not not hand handle le any any lega legall ma matt tter er with withou outt adeq adequa uate te Rule 18.02. 18.02. A lawy preparation. It is a cardinal rule that every person has a right to have a day in court, thus, it would only be proper that a lawyer must prepare before appearing in court in behalf of his client. Adequate preparation is a must which covers a wide dimension in law practice. It includes among other virtues, sufficient knowledge of the law and jurisprudence, ability in trial technique and high proficiency in the formulation of pleadings. There is no substitute for full and adequate preparation in the pursuit pursuit of the lawyer’s lawyer’s goal to protect protect his client’s interests. In the movie, the counsel asked questions to his prospective client which goes to show how a lawyer should prepare to be able to protect his client.
Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
Rule 1.02. A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the
law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.
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The most important responsibility of a lawyer which he have sworn to,is to uphold the Constitution and the law. In a certain scene in the movie the lawyers to whom the complaint was addressed, after the receipt of the subpoena for the case they eventually conspired as to what would be their contention for firing Atty. Beckett and as to how they will justify such contention to absolve them from their liability even if it would be tantamount to defiance of the law. It is important to note that the great trust of the lawyer is to be performed within and not without the bounds of the law. Thus, a lawyer shall not act in clear defiance of the purpose of the law.
Rule 11.01. A lawyer shall appear in court properly attired.
The reason behind this rule is to maintain the dignity and respectability of the legal profession. True enough, the Court can hold the lawyer in contempt of the court if he or she appears not in proper attire.
Rule 13.02. A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a
pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party. In the movie, the counsels of both parties made statements to the media which is generally a violation of Rule 13.02 because upon making such statements pending or anticipated litigation may interfere with a fair trial in the courts and otherwise prejudice the due administration of justice. However, an exception is, if a particular case involves extreme circumstances which could justify in making a statement to the media.
Rule 11.03. 11.03. A lawyer lawyer shall shall abstai abstain n from from scand scandalo alous us,, offens offensive ive,, or menaci menacing ng
language or behavior before the courts.
lawyer er shal shalll not not abus abuse, e, brow browbe beat at or hara harass ss a witn witnes esss nor nor Rule 12.07. 12.07. A lawy needlessly inconvenience him. A lawyer’s language should be dignified in keeping with the dignity of the legal legal professi profession. on. He should should refrain refrain himself himself from shouting, shouting, making making scandalo scandalous us beha behavi vior orss like like unne unnece cess ssar ary y disp displa lay y of pass passio ion, n, prov provoc ocat ativ ive e or chal challe leng ngin ing g gestures, shouting at the witness as what the counsel of the complainant did in one of the scenes in the movie against his own witness. Lawyers must maintain
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the rule of law and not the rule of the jungle. In a country like ours, raising of one’s voice connotes disrespect.
CANON 11. A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND MAITAIN THE RESPECT DUE TO THE
COURS AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSISTS ON SIMILAR CONDUCT BY OTHERS. It is a well-settled rule that a lawyer being an officer of the court has obligations to the courts as that to the public and to his client. If in any way a conflict may arise as to his duties to the courts and to his clients, the latter must yield the former because a lawyer’s duty to the court is not secondary to that of his client. client. (Wicker (Wicker vs. Arcangel Arcangel 252 SCRA 444). 444). In the movie when the counsel counsel approached the bench after harassing his own witness this is because he was reprimanded on how he should behave himself in court and which he eventually adhered to afterwards.
CANON 19. A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HI CLIENT WITH ZEAL AND WITHIN THE
BOUNDS OF LAW A lawyer’s duty is not to his client but to the administration of justice to that end, his client’s success is wholly subordinate however the lawyer owes entire devotion to the interest of his client. In the judicial forum the client is entitled to the benefit of any remedy and defense so long as it is within the bounds of law. In the movie, the lawyer of the complainant did display this canon with dignity and grace when he spoke before the court. He really believed the cause of his client.
CANON 17. A LAWYER OWES FEDILITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE
SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. For For this this part partic icul ular ar ca cano non n to appl apply y ther there e must must be firs firstt a lawy lawyer er-c -cli lien entt relationship. Once the relationship exists, the Supreme Court then shall enforce compli complianc ance e with with the stand standar ards ds of honor honorabl able e dealin dealing g laid laid down down by means means of disbarment or suspension for example if this confidentiality shall be violated. A lawyer owes loyalty to the client not only in the case but also at the time the case has been terminated. The lawyer shall not disclose any secret information given in confidence as to what the case was about as a matter of respecting ones privacy as well as abiding to the ethical standards set forth by law.
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1 ULEP vs. LEGAL CLINIC, INC. 42 SCAD 387, 223 SCRA 378
-Petitioner asked the Court to direct respondent to cease and desist from issuing advertisements pertaining to the exercise of the law profession other than those allowed by law. -The advertisements complained of by the petitioner are as follows:
SECRET MARRIAGE? P 560.00 for a valid marriage,
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Info on DIVORCE, ABSENCE, ANNULMENT, VISA. THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC. Please call: 521-0767, 8:30 am – 6 pm And: GUAM DIVORCE. DON PARKINSON An attorney in Guam, is giving FREE BOOKS on Guam Divorce through the Legal Clinic beginning Monday to Friday during office hours. Guam Divorce. Annulment of Marriage. Immigration Problems, Visa Ext. Quota/Non-quota Res. Res. & Specia Speciall Retire Retiree’s e’s Visa. Visa. Declar Declarati ation on of Absen Absence. ce. Remarr Remarriag iage e to Filipi Filipina na Fiance Fiancees. es. Adoption. Investment in the Phil. US/Foreign Visa for Filipina Spouse/Children. Call Marivic. THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC. 7F Victoria Bldg., 429 UN Ave., Ermita, Manila nr. US Embassy Tel. 521-7232; 521-7251 522-2041; 521-0767
-Petitioner submits that the above advertisements are unethical and demeaning to the law profession and destructive of the confidence of the community in the integrity of the members of the bar.
advertising. Issue: WON it is prohibited advertising.
Held: A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of the profession, advertise his
talents or skills in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer, in making known his services to others shall use only, true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statements of facts.
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2 PRES PRESID IDEN ENT T JOSE JOSEPH PH EJER EJERCI CITO TO ES ESTR TRAD ADA A vs. vs. THE THE HONO HONORA RABL BLE E SANDI ANDIGA GAN NBAYAN AYAN (SPEC PECIAL IAL DIVIS IVISIO ION N), HON. ON. MINIT INITA A CHIC CHICO ONAZARIO, HON. EDILBERTO SANDOVAL, HON. TERESITA LEONARDODE CASTRO, and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES G.R. No. 159486-88; November 25, 2003
-Atty. Alan F. Paguia, as counsel for petitioner, averred that the respondent justices have violated Rule 5.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct by attending the ‘EDSA 2 Rally’ and by authorizing a uthorizing the assumption of Vice-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the Presidency in violation of the 1987 Constitution. He also contended that the justices have prejudged a case that would assail the legality of the act taken by President Arroyo. -According
Paguia, during the hearing of his ‘Mosyong June 2003 2003,, the the thre three e just justic ices es of the the Spec Specia iall Pangrekonsiderasyon’ on 11 June Divi Divisi sion on of the the Sand Sandig igan anbay bayan an ma made de ma mani nife fest st thei theirr bias bias and and part partia iali lity ty against his client. -Thus, -Thus, he averre averred, d, presid presiding ing Justice Justice Minita Minita V. ChicoChico-Naz Nazari ario o suppos supposedl edly y employed foul and disrespectful language when she blurted out, ‘Magmumukha naman kaming gago,’ and Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro characterized the motion as insignificant even before the prosecution could file its comments or opposition thereto, remarking in open court that to grant Estrada’s motion motion would would result result in chaos and disorder. Prompted by the alleged ‘bias and partial attitude’ of the Sandiganbayan justices, Attorney Paguia filed, on 14 July 2003, a motion for their disqualification. -In a resolution dated 08 July 2003, the Court strongly warned Attorney Alan Pagu Pa guia ia,, on pain pain of disc discip ipli lina nary ry sanct sanctio ion, n, to desi desist st from from furt furthe herr ma maki king ng,, directly or indirectly, similar submissions to this Court or to its Members. -Unmindful of the well-meant admonition to him by the Court, Attorney Paguia appears to persist on end. In fact, on the 7th September 2003 issue of the Daily Tribune, Atty. Paguia wrote to say --- “ What is the legal effect of that violation of President Estrada’s right to due process of law? It renders the decision in Estrada vs. Arroyo unconstitutional and void. The rudiments of fair play were not observed. There was no fair play since it appears that when President Estrada filed his petition, Chief Justice Davide and his fellow justices had already committed to the other party - GMA - with a judgment
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already made and waiting to be formalized after the litigants shall have undergone the charade of a formal hearing. After the justices had authorized the proclamation of GMA as president, can they be expected to voluntarily admit the unconstitutionality of their own act?” a ct?”
Issue: WON WON Atty Atty.. Pa Pagu guia ia co comm mmit itte ted d an offe offens nse e agai agains nstt the the Co Code de of
Professional Responsibility. Held:
-Criticism -Criticism or comment comment made in good faith on the correctness correctness or wrongness, wrongness, soundness or unsoundness, of a decision of the Court would be welcome for, if well-founded, such reaction can enlighten the court and contribute to the correction of an error if committed. However, Attorney Paguia has not limited his discussions to the merits of his client’s case within the judicial forum. Indeed, he has repeated his assault on the Court in both broadcast and print media. -Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prohibits a member of the bar from making such public statements on any pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party. By his acts, Attorney Paguia may have stoked the fires of public dissension and posed a potentially dangerous threat to the administration of justice. -Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that the lawyer should observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers and, indeed, should insist on similar conduct by others. In libe libera rall lly y impu imputi ting ng sini sinist ster er and and devi deviou ouss mo moti tive vess and and ques questi tion onin ing g the the impart impartial iality ity,, integr integrity ity,, and author authority ity of the member memberss of the Court, Court, Atty. Atty. Paguia has only succeeded in seeking to impede, obstruct and pervert the dispensation of justice. -The Court has already warned Atty. Paguia, on pain of disciplinary sanction, to become mindful of his grave responsibilities as a lawyer and as an officer of the Court. Apparently, he has chosen not to at all take heed. -Decision: Attorney Alan Paguia was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law, effective upon his receipt hereof, for conduct unbecoming a lawyer and an officer of the Court.
3 ATTY. ROWENA GUANZON, ET. AL. vs. JUDGE ANASTACIO C. RUFON
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OCT 19 2007; A.M. No. RTJ-07-2038
-Complainants Atty. Rowena V. Guanzon and Atty. Pearl R. Montesino of the Gender Watch Coalition, Asst. City Prosecutor Rosanna Saril-Toledano, Bacolod City, and Atty. Erfe del Castillo-Caldit against respondent Judge Anastacio C. Rufon of the RTC, Branch 52 (same city) for violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Rule on Gender-Fair Language, use of foul, or obscene and discriminatory language, discrimination discrimination against women lawyers and litigants and unethical conduct. -Bagtas-Serios’s account: “… I was shocked when Judge Anastacio Rufon, inside the court with so many people present, said to me ‘next time you see your husband, open your arms arms and legs.’ I felt humiliated humiliated and insulted…” insulted…” -Judge’s answer: admitted his use of “frank language” in court when exhorting litigants to settle their differences and his resort to “strong and colorful” words whenever he has had a drink or two, albeit after office hours
Issue: WON sufficient cause exists to hold respondent administratively liable for
violation of the Code of Conduct of judges.
-Respondent should bear in mind that a judge holds a position in the community that is looked up to with honor and privilege. -It cannot be over-emphasized that no position is more demanding as regards moral righteousness righteousness and uprightness of any individual than a seat on the Bench. -All judges should always observe courtesy and civility and also be temperate, patient and courteous both in conduct and language especially to those appearing before him. -Judicial decorum requires a magistrate to be at all times temperate in his language, refraining from inflammatory inflammatory or excessive rhetoric or from resorting “to language of vilification.” -Judicial decorum requires a magistrate to be at all times temperate in his language, refraining from inflammatory inflammatory or excessive rhetoric or from resorting “to language of vilification.” vilification.” It is very essential essential that they live up to the high standards demanded
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by Section 6, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary which provides: SEC. 6. Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all proceedings before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in relation to litigants, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity. capacity. x x x
4 ELSIE AROMIN vs. VALENTIN BONCAVIL A. C. No. 5135. Sept. 22, 1999
-Ballesteros engaged services of respondent Atty. Boncavil in two cadastral cases. Upon receipt of the adverse decision in the 2 cases, Boncavil did not inform the claimants of the decision, did not file a motion for reconsideration or a notice of appeal, did not file a written offer of evidence despite the directive of the trial court and only filed a motion to substitute 4 years after the complainant’s complainant’s father died.
Issue: WON Boncavil violated the Code of Professional Professional Responsibility.
Held: -Atty. Atty. Bonca Boncavil vil was suspend suspended ed for 6 mo month nthss from from notice notice with a warnin warning g that that
repetition of a similar offense will be dealt with more severely. Boncavil violated Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility providing that “a lawyer should serve his client with competence and diligence” and Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states that “a lawyer must not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.”
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5 BALAOING vs. CALDERON AM No. RTJ-90-580, 27 April 1993
-Atty. Balaoing was severely censured in a Resolution of the Court En Banc for having instituted a patently unfounded and frivolous administrative action against the different judges of Olongapo City and Zambales. -Notwi -Notwiths thstan tandin ding g the censur censure e and suspe suspens nsion ion,, Atty. Atty. Balao Balaoing ing filed filed a seriou seriouss admini administr strati ative ve compla complaint intss agains againstt a number number of judges judges in Olonga Olongapo po City City and Zambales, charging them with grave misconduct for their alleged failure and refusal to issue corresponding writ of execution, prayed for by the complainant, grave abuse of authority, and malicious delay in the administration of justice, which were all dismissed for lack of merit.
Issue: WON WON Atty Atty.. Bala Balaoi oing ng viol violat ated ed Ca Cano non n 2 of the the Co Code de of Prof Profes essi sion onal al
Responsibility Responsibility that a lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the Court and to the judicial officer and should insist on similar conduct of others.
-The -The Co Cour urtt find findss that that the the co comp mpla lain inan antt Bala Balaoi oing ng has has a penc pencha hant nt for for fili filing ng admi admini nist stra rati tive ve char charge gess agai agains nstt judg judges es in whos whose e sala sala he has has pend pendin ing g ca case ses, s, whenever the latter rendered decision or issue orders adverse to him or to his clients. -Balaoing’s wanton disregard of the stern warning not to again file baseless and frivolous complaints which only clog the already full dockets of the Court instead of serving the ends of justice. -Balaoing has utterly failed to live up to the duties and responsibilities of a member of the legal profession. His disbarment is in order.
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