Monday, February 20, 2012

Casals and Sumcad vs. Hon. Cusi, [G.R. No. L-35766. July 12, 1973]

Facts: On December 8, 1972, Atty. Leonido C. Delante as counsel for respondents, stating that while he had received on November 15, 1972 notice of the Court's resolution of November 9, 1972, "no accompanying copy of the petition has been attached thereto, hence the undersigned counsel would not be able to prepare the comments of the respondents as directed in said resolution without said copy." filed his first motion for a ten-day extension of time from receipt of such petition within which to submit respondents' comment. The Court granted such first extension per its resolution of December 15, 1972. 

In his second motion for extension, Atty. Delante's law office cited as reason the fact that he had gotten sick on December 6, 1972 and had just recovered and needed the additional 10-day extension "in order to enable him to finish the comments for the respondents;" 

In his third motion for a last 15-day extension, Atty. Delante assured the Court "that he has already prepared the final draft of the desired comments" and cited "pressure of work in his office" and the Christmas Season for not having "finalized and typed out the comments in a clean copy" which comments never came to be submitted to this Court; 

His present explanation is not even borne out by Atty. Fernandez' medical certificate which shows that he was confined in the hospital for sinusitis only from December 23-26, 1972 and therefore had sufficient time and opportunity to submit the comments by the extended deadline on January 12, 1973; 

Atty. Fernandez' own affidavit as submitted by Atty. Delante belies the latter's claim that the records of the case had been given to the former, for Atty. Fernandez swore therein that when Gregorio Cañeda of respondent corporation saw him at the hospital (sometime between December 23-26, 1972) he advised Cañeda of his inability to prepare the "answer" and Cañeda got back the records of the case from him; 

He submits no explanation whatsoever, why if his "final draft of the desired comments" was "already prepared" since year end of 1972 and only had to be "finalized and typed out" he utterly failed to submit the same notwithstanding the lapse of over six months and worse, in his "explanation" of May 7, 1973 asked yet for "an opportunity to prepare the answer which he will try his best to do it within the period granted by the Honorable Tribunal" when he had utterly ignored and disregarded the numerous extensions granted him which lapsed on January 12, 1973; and 

He likewise submits no explanation for his gross neglect in not seeing to it, assuming that Atty. Fernandez was to prepare the required comment, that the required comment was filed within the last extension (that expired on January 12, 1973) secured by him from the Court on his assurance that the final draft was ready and did nothing for three months until after he received the Court's resolution of April 12, 1973 requiring his explanation. 

Issue: Whether or not the counsel committed gross neglect of his duty for failure to file the required pleadings on time. 

Held: It should also not be necessary to remind attorneys of their solemn oath upon their admission to the Philippine Bar, that they will do no falsehood and conduct themselves as lawyers according to the best in their knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity to the courts and their clients. 

The Court has ever stressed that a lawyer must do his best to honor his oath, as there would be a great detriment to, if not a failure of the administration of justice if courts could not rely on the submissions and representations made by lawyers in the conduct of a case. As stated by the Court in one case, "Time and time again, lawyers have been admonished to remember that they are officers of the court, and that while they owe their clients the duty of complete fidelity and the utmost diligence, they are likewise held to strict accountability insofar as candor and honesty towards the court is concerned." 

Hence, the Court has in several instances suspended lawyers from the practice of law for failure to file appellants' briefs in criminal cases despite repeated extensions of time obtained by them, (except to file the missing briefly), with the reminder that "the trust imposed on counsel in accordance not only with the canons of legal ethics but with the soundest traditions of the profession would require fidelity on their part."

Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Casals and Sumcad vs. Hon. Cusi, [G.R. No. L-35766. July 12, 1973]"

Post a Comment