Legal Ethics Chapter II – Lawyer and Society
The Lawyer and the Legal Profession
CANON 7 – A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession, and support the activities of the integrated bar.
Rule 7.01 – A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making false statements or suppressing a material fact, in connection with his application for admission to the bar.
Rule 7.02 – A lawyer shall not support application for admission to the bar by any person known to him or be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute.
Rule 7.03 – A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor should he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
- Upright character; not mere absence of bad character.
- A lawyer must at all times conduct himself properly as not to put into question his fitness to practice law.
- Avoid scandalous conduct; not only required to refrain from adulterous relationships or the keeping of mistress but must also behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the public by creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards.
CANON 8 – A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor towards his professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
Rule 8.01 – A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.
Rule 8.02 – A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional employment of another lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer without fear or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel.
- It is the duty of a lawyer to inform the SC or the IBP of such malpractice to the end that the malpractitioner be properly disciplined.
- Not to use in pleadings and in practice the following: disrespectful, abusive and abrasive language, offensive personalities, unfounded accusations or intemperate words tending to obstruct, embarrass or influence the court in administering justice.
- Want of intention: not an excuse for the disrespectful language used. It merely extenuates liability.
CANON 9 – A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of law.
Rule 9.01 – A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the bar in good standing.
Rule 9.02 – A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, except:
- a. Where there is a pre-existing agreement, with a partner or associate that , upon the latter’s death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to the persons specified in the agreement; or
- b. Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or
- c. Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part of a profit sharing arrangements.
- Lawyer shall not negotiate with the opposite party who is represented by a counsel. Neither should lawyer attempt to interview the opposite party and question him as to the facts of the case even if the adverse party is willing to do so.
- Lawyer should deal only with counsel, even if there’s a fair agreement.
- Lawyer may however interview any witness or prospective witness for the opposing side. Limitation: avoid influencing witness in recital and conduct.
- A lawyer must not take as partner or associate one who:
- is not a lawyer
- is disbarred
- has been suspended from the practice of law
- foreign lawyer, unless licensed by the SC.
- A lawyer cannot delegate his authority without client’s consent even to a qualified person.
Legal Ethics Reviewer