Tuesday, February 07, 2012

In Re: Luis B. Tagorda, 53 Phil. 42

Facts: The respondent, Luis B. Tagorda, a practicing attorney and a member of the provincial board of Isabela, admits that previous to the last general elections he made use of a card written in Spanish and Ilocano, which, in translation, reads as follows:

LUIS B. TAGORDA
Attorney
Notary Public
CANDIDATE FOR THIRD MEMBER
Province of Isabela

(NOTE. — As notary public, he can execute for you a deed of sale for the purchase of land as required by the cadastral office; can renew lost documents of your animals; can make your application and final requisites for your homestead; and can execute any kind of affidavit. As a lawyer, he can help you collect your loans although long overdue, as well as any complaint for or against you. Come or write to him in his town, Echague, Isabela. He offers free consultation, and is willing to help and serve the poor.)

The respondent further admits that he is the author of a letter addressed to a lieutenant of barrio in his home municipality written in Ilocano.

The facts being conceded, it is next in order to write down the applicable legal provisions. Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure as originally conceived related to disbarments of members of the bar. In 1919 at the instigation of the Philippine Bar Association, said codal section was amended by Act No. 2828 by adding at the end thereof the following: "The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice."

The statute as amended conforms in principle to the Canons of Professionals Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association in 1908 and by the Philippine Bar Association in 1917. Canon 27 - Advertising, direct or in direct and Canon 28 – Stirring up litigation, directly or through agents,

Issue: Whether or not the respondent violated Canon 27 and 28 of the Code of Ethics?

Held: The court held in the affirmative. Common barratry consisting of frequently stirring up suits and quarrels between individuals was a crime at the common law, and one of the penalties for this offense when committed by an attorney was disbarment. Statutes intended to reach the same evil have been provided in a number of jurisdictions usually at the instance of the bar itself, and have been upheld as constitutional. The reason behind statutes of this type is not difficult to discover. The law is a profession and not a business. The lawyer may not seek or obtain employment by himself or through others for to do so would be unprofessional. It becomes our duty to condemn in no uncertain terms the ugly practice of solicitation of cases by lawyers. It is destructive of the honor of a great profession. It lowers the standards of that profession. It works against the confidence of the community in the integrity of the members of the bar. It results in needless litigation and in incenting to strife otherwise peacefully inclined citizens.

The solicitation of employment by an attorney is a ground for disbarment or suspension. That should be distinctly understood.

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

0 comments: on "In Re: Luis B. Tagorda, 53 Phil. 42"

Post a Comment