October 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Legal and Judicial Ethics

Here are selected October 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on legal and judicial ethics:

Attorney; dishonesty.  It is clear from the records that respondent Atty. Ediza deceived the Spouses Floran when he asked them to unknowingly sign a deed of sale transferring a portion of their land to him.   Respondent also made it appear that the original owner of the land conveyed her rights therto to respondent and not to the Spouses Floran.  When the sale of the Spouses Floran’s land pushed through, respondent received half of the proceeds given by the buyer and falsely misled the Spouses Floran into thinking that he will register the remaining portion of the land.  Lamentably, Atty. Ediza played on the naïveté of the Spouses Floran to deprive them of their valued property.  This is an unsavory behavior from a member of the legal profession.  Aside from giving adequate attention, care and time to his client’s case, a lawyer is also expected to be truthful, fair and honest in protecting his client’s rights.  Once a lawyer fails in this duty, he is not true to his oath as a lawyer.  Respondent lawyer violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, Canon 15, and Rule 18.03 of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for which he is suspended from the practice of law for six months.  Nemesio Floran and Caridad Floran v. Atty. Roy Prule Ediza.  A.C. No. 5325.  October 19, 2011.

Attorney; grave misconduct.  Respondent attorney was found to have violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.  Respondent’s actions clearly show that she deceived complainant into lending money to her through the use of documents and false representations and by taking advantage of her education and complainant’s ignorance in legal matters.  As manifested by complainant, he would have never granted the loan to respondent were it not for respondent’s misrepresentation that she was authorized to sell the property and that complainant could register the “open” deed of sale if respondent fails to pay the loan. By her misdeed, respondent has eroded not only complainant’s perception of the legal profession but the public’s perception as well.  Her actions constitute gross misconduct for which she may be disciplined.  Tomas P. Tan, Jr. v. Atty. Haide V. Gumba.  A.C. No. 9000.  October 5, 2011.

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