Monday, March 05, 2012

In Re: Terrel [2 Phil 266 (May 15, 1903)]

Facts: Terrel was ordered to show cause why he should not be suspended as a member of the bar of the city of Manila 

He assisted in the organization “Centro Bellas Artes” Club, after he had been notified that the organization was made for the purpose of evading the law 

He acted as attorney for said club during the time of and after its organization, which was known for the purpose of evading the law 

In US vs. Terrel, he was charged with estafa. The court reviewed his testimony and decided that the charges were true and made an order suspending him from office as lawyer in the Philippine Islands. 

Issue: Whether or not the court was justified in suspending Terrel. 

Held: Yes, suspended for one year 

The promoting of organizations, with knowledge of their objects, for the purpose of violating or evading the laws against crime constitutes such misconduct on the part of an attorney, an officer of the court, as amounts to malpractice or gross misconduct in his office, and for which he may be removed or suspended. 

The assisting of a client in a scheme which the attorney knows to be dishonest, or the conniving at a violation of law, are acts which justify disbarment. 

HOWEVER, Terrel was acquitted in US vs. Terrel on the charge of estafa. While unprofessional, is not criminal in nature. Hence, Terrel is suspended for one year (as opposed to permanent suspension).

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