By Christien Derrick R. Chin JD-1

Canon 1 – A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, Obey the Laws of the land, and promote respect for law and of legal processes.

Rule 1.01 – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral, or deceitful conduct.

  1. This rule provides that a lawyer being one of the embodiment and champions of justice should not in any way be unlawful, dishonest, immoral, or be deceitful in their conducts otherwise they would be the ones who will be breaking the very nature of the laws they swore to uphold. Hence, in Aquino vs. Pascua, 539 SCRA 1, Atty. Pascua was found guilty of misconduct in the performance of his duties for failing to register in his Notarial Register the affidavit-complaints of Joseph B. Acorda and Remingo Domingo.
    1. Misconduct generally means the wrongful, improper, or unlawful conduct motivated by premeditated or intentional purpose. However, this does not necessarily imply corruption of criminal intent. Hence, the mere misconduct, regardless of the intent of the lawyer, is punishable.
      1. In Arieta V. Llosa, 282 SCRA 248, wherein Atty. Joel Llosa notarized a Deed of Absolute Sale knowing full well that some of the vendors therein were already dead, the Supreme Court held that such wrongful acts constitutes misconduct and therefore imposed a penalty of suspension from the practice of law for 6 months.
      1. In Vda. De Rosales V. Ramos, 383 SCRA 498 the Supreme Court revoked the notarial commission of Atty. Mario G. Ramos and suspended him from the practice of law for the violation of the Notarial Law since he did not register in his notarial book the Deed of Absolute Sale he notarized.

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.

  1. A lawyer who causes the simulation of court documents not only violates the court and its processes, but also betrays the trust and confidence reposed in him by his client and must be disbarred to maintain the integrity of the law profession.
    1. In Flordeliza v. Rivera, A.C. NO. 11256, The Supreme Court held that: The moral standards of the Legal Profession expected the respondent to act with the highest degree of professionalism, decency, and nobility in the course of their practice of law. A lawyer must be aware of and is bound by the ethical canons of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which would have been enough to deter him from committing the falsification, as well as to make him unhesitatingly frustrate her prodding in deference to his sworn obligation as a lawyer to always act with honesty and to obey the laws of the land.

Rule 1.03 – A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any man’s cause.

  1. A lawyer should not take advantage of his legal knowledge to promote his own selfish motives, thereby disregarding justice which he swore to uphold. Hence in Flordeliza v. Rivera, A.C. NO. 11256, supra the supreme court disbarred a lawyer on the contention that By choosing to ignore his fiduciary responsibility for the sake of getting her money, he committed a further violation of his Lawyer’s Oath by which he swore not to “delay any man’s cause for money or malice,” and to “conduct [him]self as a lawyer according to the best of [his] knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to [his] clients.” He compounded this violation by taking advantage of his legal knowledge to promote his own selfish motives, thereby disregarding his responsibility under Canon 17.

Rule 1.04 – A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle a controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.

  1. This means that a Lawyer should always find a speedy and public trial. Hence if a lawyer deliberately bogs own the case in order to have some kind of monetary gain on the case, he is violating this canon. In Alicia Austurias v. Atty. Manuel Serrano, the court stated that it will not hesitate to mete out proper disciplinary punishment upon lawyers who are shown to have failed to live up to their sworn duties, but neither will it hesitate to extend its protective arm to them when the accusation against them is not indubitably proven.

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