Pacana vs Pascual-Lopez

July 21, 2017 | Author: Casey Punsalan | Category: Lawyer, Politics, Government, Crime & Justice, Justice
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Pacana vs. Pascual Lopez A.C. No. 8243

July 24, 2009

Facts: Rolando Pacana, Jr. (complainant) filed an administrative complaint against Atty. Maricel Pascual-Lopez (respondent) charging the latter with flagrant violation of the provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Complainant alleges that respondent commited acts constituting conflict of interest, dishonesty, influence peddling, and failure to render an accounting of all the money and properties received by her from complainant. Complainant worked for Multitel and earned the ire of investors after becoming the assignee of majority of the shares of stock of Precedent and after being appointed as trustee of a fund amounting to Thirty Million Pesos (P30,000,000.00) deposited at Real Bank. Complainant sought the advice of respondent and a lawyer-client relationship was established between the parties although no formal document was executed. Complainant learned of the respondent’s clients in Multitel after receiving a demand letter from the latter. Respondent continued to help complainant through the latter paying an amount and even transferring property to the former on different occasions to be used in dealing with the latter’s liabilities. Complainant then went to the US to avoid being arrested while respondent handles his liabilities. When complainant returned to the Philippines, respondent informed him that he has been cleared by the NBI and the BID. Respondent continued that she was willing to return an amount to complainant after all the accumulated legal fees the former had earned from settling the liabilities of both complainant and the clients from Multitel. Complainant accepted the offer of receiving amount but respondent failed to fulfill the promise. Soon, complainant noticed that respondent began to avoid communicating with him. Complainant then wrote to respondent a letter formally asking for a full accounting of all the money, documents and properties given to the latter but respondent failed to provide a clear audited financial report of all the properties turned over by the complainant to the respondent. Complainant filed an affidavit-complaint against respondent before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) seeking the disbarment of respondent.

Issue: Did the respondent violate Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional responsibility, representing conflicting interests? Holding: Yes. Respondent Atty. Maricel Pascual-Lopez is hereby DISBARRED for representing conflicting interests and for engaging in unlawful, dishonest and deceitful conduct in violation of her Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. Rationale: Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional responsibility provides:

“A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after full disclosure of the facts.” Clearly, respondent established a lawyer-client relationship with the complainant while aware that respondent also represents clients of Multitel, who are opposed to the liabilities of the complainant. Moreover, respondent took advantage of the complainant’s situation by giving him advice, and later on, soliciting money and properties from him which were used to satisfy clients of Multitel.

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