2016 Bar Suggested Answer In Legal Ethics

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State the duties of a lawyer imposed by the Lawyer's Oath. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: The following are the duties ofla lawyer imposed by the lawyer's oath: 1.

To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines,


To support its Constitution,


To obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities,


To do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of the same in any court,


Not to wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor to give nor to consent to the doing of the same;


To delay no man for money or malice,


To conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity to the courts as to his clients,


To impose upon himself that voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.


State at least five (5) instances where judges should disqualify themselves from participating in any proceedings where their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: Any five (5) of the following instances provided in Section 5, Canon 3 of the New Code of Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary:


The judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceedings;


The judge previously served as a lawyer or was a material witness in the matter in controversy;


The judge or a member of his or her family has an economic interest in the outcome of the matter in controversy;


The judge served as executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or lawyer in the case or matter in controversy, or a former associate of the judge served as counsel during their association, or the judge or lawyer was a material witness therein;


The judge's ruling in a lower court is the subject of review;


The judge is related by consanguinity or affinity to a party litigant within the sixth civil degree or to counsel within the fourth civil degree; or


The judge knows that his or her spouse or child has a financial interest, as heir, legatee, creditor, fiduciary, or otherwise, in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceedings".

Section 1, Rule 137, of the Revised Rules of Court, provides for similar grounds. III

Differentiate "retaining lien" from "charging lien."


SUGGESTED ANSWER: A retaining lien gives the lawyer the right to retain the funds, ome into his documents and papers of the client which have lawfully c possession, until his lawful fees and disbursements

have been paid.


charging lien is a lien upon all judgments for payment of a sum of money and

executions thereof, to ensure payment of his fees and disbursements in the said case. A retaining lien is a passive lien; the lawyer is not required to perform any act except to hold on to the client's funds, documents and papers, until his fees and disbursements are paid. A charging lien is an active lien; the lawyer is required to file a motion in court, with copy served on the adverse party, to have a statement of his claim to such fees and disbursements charged or attached to the decision in such case and executions thereof. A retaining lien is a general lien; it may be resorted to in order to secure payment of the lawyer's fees in all the cases he has handled and services he has rendered to the client. A charging lien is a special lien; it can be utilized for the purpose of collecting only the unpaid fees and disbursements of the lawyer in the case where the judgment for a sum of money may be secured.

IV [a]

A sign was posted at the ciuilding where the law office of Atty. Redentor Walang-Talo is located. The sign reads: Atty. Redentor A. Walang-Talo Chairman, IBP Legal Aid Committee Makati City IBP Chapter Free conciliation, mediation and court representation Suite 210, Galaxy Building, J.P. Rizal Street, Makati City Does the posting constitute solicitation? (2.5%)


There is nothing wrongwith this advertisement. The statement that he is the chairman of the IBP Legal Aid Committee is factual and true. Canon 27 of the Canons of Professional Ethics states that "memberships and offices in bar associations and committees thereof" may be included in a lawyer's advertisement.

The statement that he gives free

consultation, mediation, and court representation services is for the purpose of promoting the IBP Legal Aid Committee. [b]

Suppose the sign reads: Atty. Redentor A. Walang-Talo Attorney and Counsel-at-Law General practitioner (Accepts pro bono cases pursuant to the IBP Legal Aid Program) Does the posting constitute solicitation? (2.5%)


On the other hand, this advertisement is for the benefit of the lawyer alone, and constitutes solicitation.


This does not constitute solicitation. The lawyer does not claim to be a specialist, but only a "general practitioner". accepts pro bono cases is

not for the

The statement that he

purpose of promoting


"business", as "pro bono" means "for free".

V Constantino was accusediof estafa by Hazel, the wife of Judge Andres, for

misappropriating the ring she entrusted to him. Since Judge Andres was present when Hazel handed the ring to Constantino, he was compelled by his wife to testify as a witness for the prosecution in the criminal case. Did the judge commit any violation of the New Code, of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary? Explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: Section 4, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary provides that "Judges shall not participate in the determination of a case in which any member of their family represents

a litigant or is associated in any manner with the case." Judge Constantino's appearance as a witness in the criminal case in which his wife was the offended party is violative oil this rule. It may also be violative of Section 3, Canon 1, which provides that "judges shall refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of litigation or dispute pending before another court or administrative agency".

VI Andrew engaged the services of Atty. Juju under a contingent fee agreement to help him file a complaint for damages against his employer, Wilkon Shipping, Inc. Atty. Juju handled Andrew's case for two (2) years before the Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), filing the necessary pleadings and attending several hearings. The complaint, however, was dismissed. To improve his chances, Andrew replaced Atty. Juju with Atty. Jen, who eventually succeeded in getting a favorable decision from the Court of Appeals, which became final When Andrew's claims were satisfied by Wilkon, Atty. Juju filed a collection suit against him claiming that he (Atty. Juju) is entitled to attorney's fees for the services he rendered for two (2) years. Will the collection suit prosper? Explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: The collection case willnot prosper. The agreement for attorney's fees between Andrew and Attyh Juju was a contingent fee agreement. A contingent fee agreement is pne in which the lawyer will be paid a fee only when he is successful in handing the case of the client. In this case, Atty. Juju was not successful in handlig the case of Andrew. It was Atty. Jen who won the case for the client.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Atty. Juju is entitled to attorney's fees based on quantum meruit. The case Court of Appeals. In appealed was decided in favor of Andrew by the cases, the t is presented during the hearings, and appellate court relies on wha no other t stage. evidence is presented at tha

VII Apollo hired Atty. Dennis to file an action for damages. Since Apollo has no money, he entered into a contingent fee agreement where Atty. Dennis will shoulder all expenses of litigation and will not charge for legal services. In case of a favorable decision, Apollo agreed to transfer to his lawyer a lot in Cebu. Eventually, Apollo won the caw. Atty. Dennis asked Apollo to execute the deed of sale, but the latter refused upon advice of a friend that the agreement is illegal. Due to threats of legal action by his lawyer, Apollo filed a complaint before the Supreme Court alleging that the agreement is a champertous contract. Rule on the legality of the agreement on contingent fee and the propriety of getting the property of Apollo. Explain. (5V0) SUGGESTED ANSWER: The contract for attorney's fees between Atty. Dennis and Apollo is indeed a champertous agreement. A champertous agreement is similar to a contingent fee agreement wherein the lawyer will be paid only if he is successful in handling the case.

But what makes it champertous is the

provision, as in this case, that the lawyer will shoulder all the expenses of litigation. That makes the lawyer a businessman who invested in the case in the hope that he will profit from such investment. A contingent fee contract is valid, while a champertous agreement is invalid. With regard to the acquisition by Atty. Dennis of Apollo's property in Cebu, the same will not be in violation of Article 1491 of the New Civil Code, if the contract was simply a contingent fee contract, because the property in Cebu was not involved in thel case that Atty. Dennis handled, and the lot will not be transferred to Atty. Dennis until the case was terminated.


0.00. Arthur hired Atty. Jojo to file a complaint for the collection of P500,00 He 0 as acceptance fee and agreed to pay Atty. Jojo the amounts of P100,000.0 partial payment of the P100,000.00 as success fee. Arthur paid P50,000.00 as nce of P50,000.00 after acceptance fee with the promise to pay the bala e-trial, the defendant paid to Atty. presentation of Arthur's evidence. During the pr

Jojo the amount of P100,000.00 as partial payment of his debt. Considering that he has not yet been paid of the balance of his acceptance fee, Atty. Jojo applied P50,000.00 to the balance of the acceptance fee and the remaining P50,000.00 was deposited in his bank account for safekeeping. Despite the lapse of one (1) month, Arthur was not informed of the payment. Arthur sued Atty. Jojo for keeping the money and argues that the latter violated the rules under Canon 16 of the CPR that a lawyer shall holds in trust all monies of his client that may come into his possession. Atty. Jojo claims he has a lien on the monies paid to him by the defendant. Rule on the complaint and explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: Atty. Jojo violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that "a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession", and Rule 16.01, which provides that "a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client".

Atty. Jojo received P100,000.00 from the defendant as

partial payment of his debt to Arthur. Instead of holding the said amount in trust for Arthur, Atty. Jojo applied P50,000.00 to the unpaid balance of his acceptance fee, and deposited the other P50,000.00 in his bank account. While Rule 6.03 provides that a lawyer shall have a lien over the funds of his client and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees

and disbursements, the Supreme Court has held that this is applicable only if there is an agreement between the lawyer as to the payment of his fees and the client is notified of the receipt of payment for him. There was no notice of the payment made to the client, and no agreement between Atty. Jojo and Arthur as to when the balance of the former's acceptance fee should be made.

In fact, Arthur promised to pay the same after presentation of his

evidence. Moreover, when Atty. Jojo deposited the balance of P50,000.00 in his bank account , he violated Rule 16.02 which provides that "a lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate an from his own and with those of others kept by him".

d apart

IX Atty. Tristan filed a motion to disqualify Judge Robert from hearing a civil case on the ground that the latter was the classmate and fraternity brother of Atty. Mark, Atty. Tristan's opposing counsel. Judge Robert denied the motion on the ground that under Rule 3.12 of [the Code of Judicial Conduct, he is not required to inhibit in all cases where his classmates and fraternity brothers are participating lawyers in cases before him. Is Judge Robert correct in denying the motion? (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: Judge Robert is correct in denying the motion for inhibition on the ground that he was the classmate of Atty. Tristan's adverse counsel. That one of the counsels in a case was a classmate of the judge is not a mandatory ground for his disqualification (Vda. de Bonifacio v. BLT Bus Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-26810, 34 August 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 618 [197011, Santos v. Lacurom, A.M. No. RTJ-04-1823, August 28, 2006). However, he may inhibit on the discretionary ground that his refusal to inhibit may reasonably cause the parties to lose trust and confidence on the court.

X Atty. Harold wrote in the Philippine Star his view that the decision of the Supreme Court in a big land case is incorrect and should be re-examined. The decision is not yet final. Atty. Alfonso, the counsel for the winning party in that case, filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Harold for violation of the sub judice rule and Canon 11 of the CPR that a lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts. Explain the sub judice rule and rule on the disbarment case. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to g case, pending judicial proceeding, not only by participants in the pendin also to the public members of the bar and bench, litigants and witnesses, but in rder to avoid prejudging general, which necessarily includes the media, in o the ministration of justice. A issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the ad

violation of this rule may render one liable for indirect contempt under Sec. 3 (d), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. The specific rationale for the sub judice rule is that courts, in the decision of issues of fact and law should be immune from every extraneous influence; that facts should be decided upon evidence produced in court; and that the determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies.

(Marantan v. Diokno,

SCRA 164, G.R. No. 205956, February 12, 2014).


After a case is decided;

however, the decision is open to criticism, subject only to the condition that all such criticism shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the walls of decency and propriety. "A wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the one hand, and abuse and slander of courts and the judges thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross violation of the duty of respect to courts. It is such a misconduct that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action" (In re Almacen, G.R. L-27654, 18 February, 1970, 31 SCRA 562 119701). In this case, the published comment of Atty. Harold was made after the decision of the Supreme Court was rendered, but the same was not yet final. The case was still pending.

Hence, the publication of such comment was

inappropriate, and Atty. Harold may be penalized for indirect contempt of court. ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Although the comment of Atty. Harold was made while the case was technically still pending, it was made after a decision was rendered, and the comment made is within the grounds of decency and propriety. Hence, the lawyer does not deserve punishment for the same.


George, an American citizen doing business in the Philippines, bought a lot in e required Manila and secured the services of Atty. Henry for the execution of th sing the name of documents. Atty. Henry prepared a Deed of Sale of Land u George's friend, Pete, as the buyer. In order to protect George's interests and ensuring his free and undisturbed use of the property for

an indefinite period of

time, Atty. Henry also prepared a Counter Deed of Sale and Occupancy Agreement signed by Pete in favor of George. A competitor of George filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Henry on the ground that he violated the Constitution and the CPR. Rule on the complaint and explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: I will rule in favor of the complainant,

In the case of Donlon v.

Tansingco, (A.C. No. 6057, June 27, 2006, 493 SCRA 1 [2006]), which involves the same facts as in this case, the Supreme Court held that in preparing Occupancy Agreement, the lawyer foreigner


in the said case advised and aided a

in circumventing the constitutional prohibition against foreign

ownership of land. Thus, the Supreme Court held that the lawyer used his knowledge

of the

law to




end, which amounts to

malpractice in his office, for which he may be suspended. That ruling is equally applicable in this case.


Jaybee engaged the services of Atty. Pete to defend him in a criminal case for murder. During trial, when the defense was presenting its evidence, Jaybee admitted to Atty. Pete that he killed the victim in the case. Atty. Pete withdrew from the case. Jaybee sued Atty. Pete for disbarment alleging that the latter violated Canon 15 of the CPR that "a lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealing and transactions with his client" and Canon 17 of the CPR that "a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. " Rule on the case and explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: I will rule in favor of Atty. Pete. A lawyer's duty of entire devotion to his client's cause must be performed within the bounds of the law. Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that "a lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within the bounds of the law". Canon 15 of the Canons of Professional Ethics also provides that: "The lawyer owes 'entire devotion to the interest of the f his rights client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense o

and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability,' to the end that nothing be taken or be withheld from him, save by the rules of law, legally applied. No fear of judicial disfavor or public popularity should restrain him from the full discharge of his duty. In the judicial forum the client is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land, and he may expect, his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense. But it is steadfastly to be borne in mind that the great trust of the lawyer is to be performed within and not without the bounds of the law. The office of the attorney does not permit, much less does it demand of him for any client, violation of law or any manner of fraud or chicanery. He must obey his own conscience and not that of his client". Moreover, Rule


of the

Code of Professional


provides that "a lawyer who has received information that his client has in the course of his representation, perpetuated fraud upon a person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to rectify the same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship with such client in accordance with the Rules of Court".

But, of course, the Atty. Pele [should] not reveal what Jaybee

revealed to him, because the same is covered by the duty of confidentiality under Canon 21 of the same code.

XIII Atty. Dennis is the head of the Provincial DILG Office in Sultan Kudarat. In view of the lack of lawyers and notaries public in the province and because of numerous requests that the DILG provide a notary public, Atty. Dennis was constrained to apply for a commission for the RTC, which was granted. He was able e only to notarize thousand of documents and affidavits until Atty. Antonio, th notary d violation public in the province, charged Atty. Dennis with misconduct an of the CPR. Is the charge correct? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER: The performance of the duties of a notary public constitutes practice of


A lawyer in the govei1nment service may either be prohibited from

practicing law during his tenure, or allowed to practice but subject to some restrictions. There is no law prohibiting a Provincial DILG Officer from practicing his profession. But as a Civil Service officer, he can do so only with the consent of his Department Head (Catu v. Rellosa, A.C. No. 5738. Feb. 19, 2008).

XIV Sonia, who is engaged in the lending business, extended to Atty. Roberto a loan of P50,000.00 with interest of P25,000.00 to be paid not later than May 20 2016. To secure the loan, Atty. Roberto signed a promissory note and issued a postdated check. Before the due date, Atty. Roberto requested Sonia to defer the deposit of the check. When Atty. Roberto still failed to pay, Sonia deposited the check which was dishonored. Atty. Roberto ignored the notice of dishonor and refused to pay. [a]

Did Atty. Roberto commit any violation of the CPR? Explain. (2.5%).


Atty. Roberto committed a violation of Canon

1, Rule


Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 in issung a bouncing check. He should very well know that the issuance of a bouncing check is an unlawful act, a crime involving moral turpitude (Co v. Bernardino, A.C. No. 3919,January 28, 1998) . [b]

Can he be held civilly liable to Sonia in an administrative case for suspension or disbarment? Explain. (2.5%)


No. The sole issue in an administrative case is the determination

of whether or not a lawyeris still fit to continue being a lawyer. Supreme Court will not ordr the return of money which is not

The intimately

related to a lawyer-client relationship (Wong v. Moya, A.C. 6972, October 17, 2008; Sps.Concepcion v. Atty. de la Rosa, A.C. N

o. 10681, Feb. 3, 2015).


Atty. Alex entered into an agreement for his legal services with Johnny where it is provided that the latter will pay him P100,000.00 as acceptance fee and P100,000.00 upon submission of the case for decision. The court granted Johnny moral damages, exemplary damages and attorney's fees of P100,000.00. After execution of the judgment, Atty. Alex kept the P100,000.00 as his attorney's fees. Johnny sued Atty. Alex for violation of the CPR claiming that the attorney's fees award by the court belong to him. Decide the case with reasons. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: I will rule in favor of Johnny. moral

damages, exemplary damages

The P100,000.00 awarded to him as and

attorney's fees, are

damages which are due to him as plaintiff in the case.



Attorney's fees

awarded to a party pursuant to Article 2208 of the New Civil Code, constitute extraordinary attorney's fees which belong to the client, not to the lawyer. It is not the ordinary attorney's fees which is the compensation due from a client to his lawyer.

XVI Pedro was accused of the crime of murder before the RTC and was found guilty of homicide. His counsel, Atty. Nestor, told him that he will file an appeal before the Court of Appeals (CA) because he believes that the claim of selfdefense of Pedro will be given merit by the appellate court and that he will be acquitted. Pedro explains that he is amenable to the penalty imposed upon him. Despite the opposition of the accused, Atty. Nestor went on with the appeal. The CA decided that the conviction should be for murder in view of the qualifying circumstance. A petition with the High Court proved futile. Pedro hires you to file a disbarment suit against Atty. Nestor. What cannon or rule of the CPR will you use as ground for the suit. Explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: I will base my action on Canon 19, particularly Rule 19.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that "a lawyer shall not allow the client to dictate the procedure in handling the case." The other sid this rule is that the substantive aspects of the case are w

e of the

ithin the sole

coin of

authority of the client to decide. The lawyer's authority is limited only to the procedural aspects of the case. Certainly, the matter of whether or not to appeal an adverse decision is a substantive matter which is exclusively for the client to decide. Having filed an appeal against the decision of his client, the lawyer should be held liable for its negative result.

XVII Jojo, a resident of Cavite, agreed to purchase the lot owned by Tristan, a resident of Bulacan. Atty. Agaton, Jojo's lawyer who is also a notary public, prepared the Deed of Sale and Jojo signed the document in Cavite. Atty. Agaton then went to Bulacan to get the signature of Tristan. Thereafter, Atty. Agaton went back to his office in Cavite where he notarized the Deed of Sale. Is the notarization legal and valid? Explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: The notarization is not legal and valid. Rule IV, Section

2 (b) of the

2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides that a person shall not perform a notarial act if the person involved as signatory to the instrument or document is not personally in the notary's presence at the time of notarization. Tristan was not in Atty. Agustin's presence when the latter notarized the deed of sale in his office in Cavite; moreover, Tristan signed in Bulacan which is outside the Atty. Agustin's territorial jurisdiction.

XVIII City Prosecutor Philip prosecuted the criminal case for the murder of the city mayor against the accused Reynaldo, the losing mayoralty candidate. There was no private prosecutor and Phillip personally handled the prosecution of the case from arraignment up to the presentation of the evidence for the accused. Before the trial, Alfonso approached Phillip and confessed that he is the killer of the city mayor and not Reynaldo. When the case was called for trial, Phillip manifested before the court ayor that Alfonso approached him and admitted that he killed the m and asked the court he counsel for the for whatever proper action it may take. T accused took advantage of was placed on the witness the presence of Alfonso, who stand and elicited testimonial ventually acquitted Reynaldo. evidence. The court e The heirs of the city mayor filed a e against Phillip on the ground disbarment cas

that it is his duty to see to it that the criminal is convicted and punished. They believed Reynaldo is the real killer and Alfonso was only a fall guy and that Reynaldo could not have been acquitted were it not for the disclosure of Philip. Phillip argues that the City Prosecutor is not for the offended party or the heirs of the victim but it is his main duty that "Justice be done". Did Phillip commit any violation of the CPR? Explain. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: Phillip


not commit any violation of the Code of Professional

Responsibility. Rule 6.01 categorically states that "the primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action".

A public prosecutor "is a representative not of an

ordinary party in a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all" (Suarez v. Platon, 69 Phil. 556, G.R. No. 46371, 7 February, 1990).


St. Ivan's Hospital, Inc. (St. Ivan's) and Allied Construction Co. (Allied) separately retained the legal services of Tomas and Benedicto Law Offices. St. Ivan's engaged the services of Allied for the construction of a new building but failed to pay the contract price after the completion of the works. A complaint for sum of money was filed by Atty. Budoy, a former associate of Tomas and Benedicto law Offices, on behalf of Allied against St Ivan's. St. Ivan's lost the case and was held liable to Allied. Thereafter, St Ivan's filed a disbarment complaint against Atty. Budoy. It claimed that while Atty. Budoy has established his own law office, an arrangement was made whereby Tomas and Benedicto Law Offices assign cases for him to handle, and that it can be assumed that Tomas and Benedicto Law Offices collaborate of with Atty. Budoy in the cases referred to him, creating a conflict interest. Rule on the complaint with reasons. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: st Atty. Budoy. St. Ivan's was I will rule in favor of St. Ivan's and again a ffices, of which Atty. Budoy was a client of Tomas and Benedicto Law O

associate attorney. As such, St. Ivan's was also his client, because of the

principle that when a party hires a law firm, he hires all the lawyers therein. Moreover, Atty. Budoy was in a position to know the information transmitted by St. Ivan's to the firm. "There is conflict of interest if the acceptance of a new retainer will require the lawyer to perform an act which will injuriously affect his new client in any matter in which he represents him, and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first client any knowledge acquired during their relation" (Hornilla v. Salunat, 453 Phil. 108, A.C. No. 5804, July 1, 2003). "As such, a lawyer is prohibited from representing new clients whose interests oppose those of a former client in any manner, whether or not they are parties in the same action or on totally unrelated cases. The prohibition is founded on the principles of public policy and good taste" (Anglo v. Atty. Valencia, A.C. No. 10567, February 25, 2015).

XX Atty. Gail was separated from her husband, Dino, for more than ten (10) years due to incompatibility. She fell in love with Mica who was also separated from her husband. She filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage with Dino, and also a petition for the declaration of nullity of the marriage of Mica with her husband. While the cases were pending, Atty. Gail and Mica lived in their respective residences but were often seen together in parties, events and in public places. Dino filed a disbarment complaint against Atty. Gail for immorality, alleging that Atty. Gail and Mica are lovers. Decide whether Atty. Gail should be sanctioned for immorality. (5%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: I will rule in favor of Atty. Gail. In the first place, being seen together of with Mica in parties, events and public places is not sufficient proof willful, flagrant immorality, which has been defined as "that conduct which is or opinion of good shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the and a v. Maniwang, A.M. No. respectable members of the community" (Arcig 1608, sides, I will be mindful of the August 14, 1981; 106 SCRA 591). Be

injunction in Section

1, Canon 5 of the New Code of Conduct for the

Philippine Judiciary, which provides that "a judge shall be aware of, and understand, diversity in society and differences arising from various sources, including but not limited to race, religion, national origin, caste, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, social and economic status and other like causes."

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