Legal Ethics Case Digests – Duty to Client/Accounting of Client’s Money/Negligence
Teodulfo B. Basas vs. Atty. Miguel I. Icawat
A.C. No. 4282. August 24, 2000
Facts: Atty. Miguel Icawat was the lawyer for Teodulfo Basas and some other laborers in their complaint against their employer. The NLRC rendered an adverse decision. Basas and his fellow workers, however, insisted that they appeal the decision. Atty. Icawat, however, failed to file the required memorandum of appeal. Basas filed an administrative complaint, also alleging that Atty. Icawat issued a receipt for an amount less than that which they had paid him.
Held: GUILTY. Respondent’s failure to file the memorandum of appeal required by the NLRC Rules of Procedure reveals his poor grasp of labor law. Respondent practically admitted that he did not file the memorandum. His failure to file the memorandum clearly prejudiced the interests of his clients. Respondent manifestly fell short of the diligence required of his profession, in violation of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates that a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence. Rule 18.03 further provides that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. For his failure to issue the proper receipt for the money he received from his clients, respondent also violated Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states that a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. The Court fined Atty. Icawat in the amount of PhP 500, with a warning that a repetition of the same offense or a similar misconduct will be dealt with more severely.
Legal Ethics Digests
Ateneo Central Bar Ops 2001
Posted on August 21, 2014, in Digests and tagged Legal Ethics Case Digests - Lawyer: Duty to Client/Accounting of Client’s Money/Negligence. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.