Thursday, March 08, 2012

Mercado vs. Vitriolo

Facts: Rosa Mercado is seeking for the disbarment of Atty. Julito Vitriolo as he allegedly maliciously filed a criminal case for falsification of public documents against her thereby violating the attoyrney client privilege. It appears that Vitriolo filed a case against complainant as she apparently made false entries in the certificate of live birth of her children. More specifically she allegedly indicated that she is married to a certain Ferdinand Fernandez when in fact her real husband is Ruben Mercado. Mercado claims that by filing the complaint the attorney client privilege has been violated. Mercado filed a case for Vitriolos disbarment. 

Issue: Whether or not the respondent violated the rule on privileged communication between attorney-client when he filed the criminal case for falsification 

Held: No. The evidence on record fails to substantiate complainants allegations. Complainant did not even specify the alleged communication disclosed by the respondents. All her claims were couched in general terms and lacked specificity. Indeed the complaint failed to attend the hearings at the IBP. Without any testimony from the complainant as to the specific confidential information allegedly divulged by respondent without her consent, it would be difficult if not impossible to determine if there was any violation of the rule on privileged communication. Such information is a crucial link in establishing a breach of the rule on privileged communication between attorney and client. It is not enough to merely assert the attorney client privilege. The burden of proving that the privilege applies is placed upon the party asserting the privilege.

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1 comments: on "Mercado vs. Vitriolo"

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