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Legal Profession
  Sec 2-6 Requirements for applicants for admission to the bar CASE # 3 Re: Application for Admission to the Philippine Bar, Vicente Ching B.M No. 914, October 1, 1999. TOPIC: Requirement for admission to the bar Facts:    Vicente Ching is born from a Filipino mother and a father of Chinese national on April 11, 1964.    He took the bar exam subject upon submission of proof of his Phil. Citizenship.    He passed the bar at the age of 35 years old.    There was a question regarding his citizenship therefore he was not allowed to take oath. The Solicitor General was asked to give comment on the case at bar. ISSUE: WON Ching can be admitted to take oath in consideration of the status of his citizenship. RULING:    The court ruled that Ching, being the legitimate child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother born under the 1935 Constitution was a Chinese citizen and continued to be so, unless upon reaching the age of majority he elected Philippine citizenship 1 in strict compliance with the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 625 entitled An Act Providing for the Manner in which the Option to Elect Philippine Citizenship shall be Declared by a Person Whose Mother is a Filipino Citizen.    He should elect his Phil. Citizenship within a reasonable period of time upon reaching the age of majority which is 21 years old at that time.    With almost 14 years that elapsed upon reaching his age of majority, Ching failed to exercise such right of citizenship election beyond a reasonable period of time therefore he cannot be admitted in the Phil. Rolls of atty. for being a Chinese citizen. Good Moral Character CASE #4 In Re: Argosino B.M. No. 712 July 13, 1995 TOPIC: Good moral character; admission to the bar; oath of taking FACTS:    This is a matter for admission to the bar and oath taking of a successful bar applicant.    Argosino was previously involved with hazing that caused the death of Raul Camaligan but was sentenced with homicide through reckless imprudence after he pleaded guilty.    He was sentenced with 2 years imprisonment where he applied for a probation thereafter which was granted by the court with a 2 yr probation.    He took the bar exam and passed but was not allowed to take oath.    He filed a petition to allow him to take the at torney‘s oath of office averring that his probation was already terminated.    The court note that he spent only 10 months of the probation period before it was terminated. ISSUE: WON Argosino may take oath of office . RULING:    The court upheld the principle of maintaining the good morals of all Bar members, keeping in mind that such is of greater importance so far as the general public and the proper administration of justice are concerned, than the possession of legal learning.    Hence he was asked by the court to produce evidence that would certify that he has reformed and have become a responsible member of the community through sworn statements of individuals who have a good  reputation for truth and who have actually known Mr. Argosino for a significant period of time to certify he is morally fit to the admission of the law profession.    The court also ordered that said a copy of the proceeding be furnished to the family/relatives of Raul Camaligan. CASE #8: In Re: Lanuevo 66 SCRA 254 August 29, 1975 TOPIC: Admission to the Bar; judgment; SC exclusive power; practive of law is priviledge, not right; etc. FACTS:    This is an administrative proceeding against Victorio Lanueva who was the Bar Confidant during the 1971 Bar Examination emanating from the revelation of one   Oscar Landicho, a bar examinee of the same bar exam, in his confidential letter that the result of the bar exam of one of the bar examinee later identified as Ramon Galang was raised before the result was released to make him pass the bar.    Acting upon said letter, the court called the 5 bar examiners and the Bar Confident Lanuevo to submit their sworn statements on the matter.    It appears that each of the 5 bar examiners were approached by Lanuevo with the examination booklet asking them to re-evaluate the grades of the bar examiner explaining that it is a practice policy in bar exams that he will review the grades obtained in all subjects by an examinee and when he finds a candidate to have extraordinary high grades in other subjects and low grade in one subject he can bring it to the examiner for reconsideration to help the candidate pass.    In good faith of trust and confidence to the authority of Lanuevo, the examiners re-evaluated the exam of the candidate and reconsider the grade they give for each subject matter.    Further investigation also revealed that Ramon Galang was charged with crime of slight physical injuries in the Mla. MTC but did not revealed the information in his application to take the bar examination. ISSUE: WON Lanuevo has the authority to ask bar examiners to re-evaluate and re-correct the examination result of a bar candidate.  RULING:    The court ruled that it is evident that Lanuevo has deceptively staged a plot  to convince each examiner individually to re-evaluate the grades of Galang in order to help him pass the bar without prior authorization of the Court.    His duty as a Bar Confident is limited only as a custodian of the examination notebooks after they are corrected by the examiners where he is tasked to tally the general average of the bar candidate.    All requests for re-evaluation of grades from the bar exam shall be made by the candidate themselves. With the facts fully established that   Lanuevo initiated the re-evaluation of the exam answers of Galang without the authority of the Court, he has breached the trust and confidence given to him by the court and was disbarred with his name stricken out from the rolls of attorneys.    Galang was likewise disbarred for fraudulently concealing the criminal charges against him in his application for the bar exam while under oath constituting perjury.    The court believed that the 5 bar examiners acted in good faith and thereby absolved from the case but reminded to perform their duties with due care. CASE #11 LEGARDA V COURT OF APPEALS PER CURIAM; June 10, 1992 FACTS  -   Victoria Legarda was the defendant in a complaint for a specific performance with damages filed by private respondent New Cathay House Inc (NCHI). The complaint is aimed at compelling Victoria Legarda to sign a lease contract involving her house and lot which Cathay House Inc. intended to use in operating a restaurant. As prayed for in the complaint, the lower court issued a TRO enjoining Victoria Legarda and her agents from stopping the renovation of the property. -   Thereafter, Antonio Coronel of the Coronel Law office entered his appearance as counsel for Legarda. -   He filed an urgent motion for extension of 10 days which was granted by the court. However, Legarda was not able to file her answer within the 10 days given so she was declared in default, thereby paving way for the presentation of evidence ex parte -   The lower court then rendered a decision by default leaving Legarda on the losing end. Upon appeal, the CA found the petition unmeritorious and dismissed it. It said, ―It is our belief that this case is one of pu re and simple negligence on the part of the defendant‘s counsel, who simply failed to file the answer in behalf of the defendant.‖   -   But inspite of the CA‘s tirade on his professional competence, Atty. Coronel did not lift a finger to file a motion for reconsideration, neither did he initiate moves towards an appeal on the decision which was adverse and prejudicial to his client. Thus the CA decision became final. -   Victoria Legarda then got a new lawyer and won the case. -   The court then required Atty. Coronel to show cause w/in 10 days from notice why he should not be held administratively liable for his acts and omissions w/c resulted in grave injustice to petitioner. -   He filed for another 30-day extension. Then another 30-day extension. Not filed in time, the 2 nd  motion was denied ISSUE   WON Atty. Colorado was negligent thus violating Canon 18 of the Professional Code of Responsibility HELD Yes. -   Atty. Colorado violated Canon 18 which states that ― A lawyer shall serve his client w/ competence and diligence ‖ specifically Canon 18.03, ― a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable .‖   -   This is not the only case wherein in dealing w/ the court‘s orders,  Atty. Coronel appears to exhibit a pattern of negligence, inattention to his obligations as counsel, sloppiness and superciliousness. In Imelda Marcos vs PCGG, the court imposed a fine on him after he was found guilty of negligence  Ratio -   Lawyers are indispensable part of the whole system of administering justice in this jurisdiction. At a time when strong disturbing criticisms are being hurled at the legal profession, strict compliance w/ one‘s oath of office and the canons of professional ethics is an imperative. -   Lawyers should be fair, honest, respectable, above suspicion and beyond reproach in dealing w/ their clients. The profession is not synonymous w. an ordinary business proposition. It is a matter of public interest.  Authority to Bind Clients Section 23.  Authority of attorneys to bind clients.   —  Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure. But they cannot, without special authority, compromise their client's litigation, or receive anything in discharge of a client's claim but the full amount in cash.   CASE # 14 ―As a general rule, a client is bound by the mistakes of his counsel. Only when the application of the general rule would result in serious injustice should an exception thereto be called for.‖  - Villa Rhecar Bus v. Dela Cruz Ponente: Justice PUNO, 1994 FACTS: –   Petitioner prays that the Resolution of Undersecretary Laguesma declaring respondent union as the soleand exclusive bargaining agent of all the Magnolia Sales Personnel in Northern Luzon be set aside forhaving been issued in excess of jurisdiction and/or grave abuse of discretion. –   Petitioner questions the appropriateness of the bargaining unit sought to be represented by respondentunion. It claimed that its bargaining history in its sales offices, plants and warehouses is to havea separate bargaining unit for each sales office Petitioner’s Counsel   –   Atty. Batalla withdrew petitioner's opposition to a certification election and agreed to consider all the sales offices in northern Luzon as one bargaining unit. –   Petitioner appealed to the Secretary of Labor. It claimed that Atty. Batalla was only authorized to agreeto the holding of certification elections subject to the following conditions:(1) There would only be one general election;(2) In this general election, the individual sales offices shall still comprise separate bargaining units. ISSUES: Petition for Certiorari W/N Respondent Union represents an appropriate bargaining unit W/N Petitioner is bound by its lawyer‘s act of agreeing to consider the sales personnel in the North Luzon Sales Area as one bargaining unit DECISION: Court dismissed the petition.Court finds that the respondent union sought to represent the sales personnel in the various Magnoliasales offices in northern Luzon has: (1)Similarity of employment status for only the regular sales personnel in the north Luzon area is covered. (2) Have the same duties and responsibilities and substantially similar compensation and workingconditions. (3) Commonality of interest among the sales personnel in the north Luzon. In fact, in thecertification election held on November 24, 1990, the employees concerned acceptedrespondent union as their exclusive bargaining agent. –   Clearly, they have expressed their desire to be one. –   Court has categorically ruled that the existence of a prior collective bargaining history is neither decisive nor conclusive in the determination of what constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit. –   In the alleged mistake of the substitute lawyer, the court finds that the mistake was the direct result of the negligence of petitioner's lawyers. –   It will be noted that Atty. Ona was under the supervision of two (2) other lawyers, Attys. Jacinto de la Rosa, Jr. and George C. Nograles. –   There is nothing in the records to show that these two (2) counsels were likewise unavailable at that time. Instead of deferring the hearing, petitioner's counsels chose to proceed therewith. –   Lawyers allegedly actively involved in SMC's labor case should have adequately and sufficiently briefed the substitute lawyer with respect to the matters involved in the case and the specific limits of his authority. –   The negligence of its lawyers binds the petitioner. CASE # 15 People v Salido
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