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What You Need to Know About Agpalo Legal and Judicial Ethics PDF



Agpalo Legal and Judicial Ethics PDF: A Comprehensive Guide for Law Students and Practitioners




If you are a law student or a practitioner who wants to learn more about the legal profession and its ethical standards, you might want to check out Agpalo Legal and Judicial Ethics PDF. This is a book written by Ruben E. Agpalo, a former professor of law and a renowned author of several law books in the Philippines. Agpalo Legal and Judicial Ethics PDF is a comprehensive guide that covers the essential topics related to the legal profession, such as its definition, nature, qualifications, duties, responsibilities, admission, practice, fees, advocacy, role as an officer of the court and as a member of society. In this article, we will give you an overview of what you can expect from Agpalo Legal and Judicial Ethics PDF and why it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the law.




AgpaloLegalAndJudicialEthicspdf



The Legal Profession: Definition, Nature, Qualifications, Duties and Responsibilities




The legal profession is defined as "a group of persons who devote their time to the study or practice of law" (Agpalo Legal and Judicial Ethics PDF, p. 1). It is a noble and honorable profession that requires high standards of competence, integrity, morality and service. To become a member of the legal profession, one must meet certain qualifications such as age, citizenship, education, character and fitness. One must also pass the bar examination administered by the Supreme Court of the Philippines.


As members of the legal profession, lawyers have various duties and responsibilities towards themselves, their clients, their colleagues, the courts, the public and the state. Some of these duties and responsibilities are:



  • To uphold the Constitution and obey the laws of the land;



  • To maintain loyalty to their clients and preserve their confidences;



  • To respect the courts and other authorities of justice;



  • To observe candor, fairness and courtesy in their dealings with others;



  • To avoid any impropriety or appearance of impropriety in their conduct;



  • To promote the interests of justice and advance human rights;



  • To improve their professional skills and knowledge;



  • To participate in legal education and reform;



  • To support the bar association and its activities;



  • To render legal aid to those who cannot afford it.



Admission to the Bar: Requirements, Procedure, Disqualifications and Discipline




Admission to the bar is the process by which a person becomes a lawyer and is authorized to practice law in the Philippines. The requirements for admission to the bar are prescribed by the Rules of Court and the Supreme Court. They include the following:



  • Age: The applicant must be at least 21 years old at the time of taking the bar examination;



  • Citizenship: The applicant must be a citizen of the Philippines or a citizen of a foreign country that allows Filipino citizens to practice law therein;



  • Education: The applicant must have completed a bachelor's degree in any field and a four-year course of study in a law school duly recognized by the government;



  • Character: The applicant must have good moral character and no record of any conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;



  • Fitness: The applicant must have mental and physical fitness to perform the duties of a lawyer;



  • Examination: The applicant must pass the bar examination conducted by the Supreme Court every year.



The procedure for admission to the bar involves the following steps:



  • Application: The applicant must file an application with the Office of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court, together with the required documents and fees, within the prescribed period;



  • Clearance: The applicant must obtain clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and other agencies as may be required by the Supreme Court;



  • Examination: The applicant must take and pass the bar examination, which consists of eight subjects: Political Law, Labor Law, Civil Law, Taxation Law, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law and Legal Ethics. The passing grade is 75%;



  • Oath: The successful examinees must take an oath before the Supreme Court or its authorized representatives as lawyers and members of the bar;



  • Registration: The new lawyers must register their names and signatures in the Roll of Attorneys kept by the Clerk of Court and pay the corresponding fees.



The disqualifications for admission to the bar are those that render a person unfit or unworthy to become a lawyer. They include the following:



  • Criminal conviction: A person who has been convicted by final judgment of a crime involving moral turpitude, such as fraud, theft, perjury, falsification, etc., is disqualified from admission to the bar, unless he has been granted pardon or amnesty;



  • Dishonesty: A person who has been found guilty of dishonesty in any examination, such as cheating, plagiarism, impersonation, etc., is disqualified from admission to the bar;



  • Misconduct: A person who has committed any grave misconduct in relation to his application or examination, such as bribery, forgery, false testimony, etc., is disqualified from admission to the bar;



  • Disbarment or suspension: A person who has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law in any jurisdiction is disqualified from admission to the bar in the Philippines, unless he has been reinstated or his suspension has expired.



The discipline of lawyers is the power and duty of the Supreme Court to regulate and control the conduct of lawyers in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility and other rules of ethics. The purpose of discipline is to protect the public, the courts and the legal profession from unscrupulous, incompetent or dishonest lawyers. The modes of discipline are:



  • Disbarment: This is the most severe penalty that can be imposed on a lawyer. It means that he is permanently removed from the Roll of Attorneys and prohibited from practicing law in any form or manner;



  • Suspension: This is a temporary penalty that can be imposed on a lawyer. It means that he is temporarily prohibited from practicing law for a certain period of time;



  • Fine: This is a monetary penalty that can be imposed on a lawyer. It means that he is required to pay a certain amount of money as a sanction for his misconduct;



  • Reprimand: This is a mild penalty that can be imposed on a lawyer. It means that he is given a stern warning or admonition for his misconduct;



  • Censure: This is a moderate penalty that can be imposed on a lawyer. It means that he is publicly rebuked or criticized for his misconduct.



The Practice of Law: Scope, Limitations, Privileges and Prohibitions




The practice of law is defined as "any activity, in or out of court, which requires or preparing legal documents or instruments, conducting legal research or investigation, teaching or lecturing on law, or engaging in any other activity that involves the use of legal knowledge or skill. The practice of law is subject to certain limitations and regulations by the state, the courts and the bar association. Some of these limitations and regulations are: - Authorization: Only those who are duly admitted to the bar and registered as lawyers can practice law in the Philippines. Unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers or by suspended or disbarred lawyers is prohibited and punishable by law; - Jurisdiction: Lawyers can practice law only within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines, unless they are authorized by the laws or treaties of other countries to do so; - Specialization: Lawyers can practice law in any field or branch of law that they are competent and qualified to handle, but they cannot claim or advertise themselves as specialists or experts in any particular field or branch of law, unless they have been certified by the Supreme Court or by a recognized accrediting body; - Malpractice: Lawyers can be held liable for malpractice or negligence in the performance of their professional duties, such as failing to exercise due diligence, care and skill, violating the rules of procedure or evidence, breaching the lawyer-client privilege, etc.; - Conflict of interest: Lawyers cannot represent conflicting interests or parties in the same case or matter, unless they obtain the written consent of all concerned after full disclosure of the facts and circumstances; - Solicitation: Lawyers cannot solicit or induce clients to engage their services by improper means, such as personal influence, false or misleading statements, undue influence, harassment, etc. The practice of law also entails certain privileges and benefits for lawyers. Some of these privileges and benefits are: - Attorney-client privilege: This is the right and duty of lawyers to keep confidential any communication or information that they receive from their clients in the course of their professional relationship, unless the clients consent to disclose it or the law requires it; - Attorney's fees: This is the compensation that lawyers receive for their professional services rendered to their clients. The amount and mode of payment of attorney's fees depend on various factors, such as the nature and complexity of the case, the time and effort involved, the results obtained, the customary charges in the locality, etc.; - Attorney's lien: This is the right of lawyers to retain possession of their clients' papers, documents or property until their fees are paid or secured; - Contempt power: This is the authority of lawyers to invoke the contempt power of the courts to protect their rights and interests as officers of justice and to enforce their lawful demands against their clients or adversaries; - Privilege from arrest: This is the immunity of lawyers from arrest while attending court sessions or while going to or returning from court, except for crimes punishable by death penalty; - Privilege from testifying: This is the exemption of lawyers from being compelled to testify as witnesses against their clients in criminal cases, unless they are charged as co-principals, accomplices or accessories; - Privilege from taxation: This is the exemption of lawyers from paying certain taxes on their income derived from their practice of law, such as professional tax and documentary stamp tax. The Lawyer-Client Relationship: Formation, Termination, Rights and Obligations




or only some of the legal affairs of the client. The lawyer-client relationship can be terminated by any of the following causes: - Completion: The lawyer-client relationship ends when the lawyer has performed the services for which he was engaged and has rendered an accounting of his fees and expenses; - Withdrawal: The lawyer can withdraw from the lawyer-client relationship for any valid reason, such as conflict of interest, loss of confidence, non-payment of fees, etc., provided that he gives due notice to the client and obtains the permission of the court if the case is pending; - Discharge: The client can discharge the lawyer from the lawyer-client relationship at any time, with or without cause, provided that he pays the lawyer his fees and expenses and does not prejudice the rights of the lawyer or the interests of justice; - Death: The lawyer-client relationship ends upon the death of either party, unless the legal matter involves the estate or succession of the deceased; - Disability: The lawyer-client relationship ends upon the incapacity or incompetence of either party, unless a legal representative is appointed to act on their behalf; - Change of status: The lawyer-client relationship ends upon the change of status of either party that affects their legal capacity or interest, such as marriage, divorce, adoption, naturalization, etc. The lawyer-client relationship entails certain rights and obligations for both parties. Some of these rights and obligations are: - Rights of the client: The client has the right to choose his own lawyer, to be informed of the progress and status of his case, to be consulted on important decisions affecting his case, to be represented zealously and competently by his lawyer, to have his confidences protected by his lawyer, to have his property and interests safeguarded by his lawyer, to have his fees and expenses reasonably charged by his lawyer, and to have his grievances against his lawyer redressed by the proper authorities; - Obligations of the client: The client has the obligation to pay his lawyer his fees and expenses promptly and fully, to cooperate with his lawyer in the preparation and presentation of his case, to disclose to his lawyer all relevant facts and documents pertaining to his case, to follow the advice and instructions of his lawyer in good faith, to refrain from interfering with or influencing the conduct of his case by his lawyer, to respect the personality and dignity of his lawyer, and to abide by the rules of ethics and etiquette governing the lawyer-client relationship; - Rights of the lawyer: The lawyer has the right to be paid his fees and expenses fairly and timely, to withdraw from or decline a case for any justifiable reason, to have his authority and discretion respected by his client, to have his reputation and honor defended by his client, to have his professional independence maintained by his client, to have his personal safety and security protected by his client, and to have his professional misconduct reported by his client; his client's confidences and secrets, to represent his client competently and zealously, to advise his client honestly and candidly, to communicate with his client effectively and promptly, to account for his client's money and property, to avoid any conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety, and to uphold the Code of Professional Responsibility and other rules of ethics. The Lawyer's Fees: Factors, Modes, Liens and Recovery




The lawyer's fees are the compensation that the lawyer receives for his professional services rendered to his client. The amount and mode of payment of the lawyer's fees depend on various factors, such as the nature and complexity of the case, the time and effort involved, the results obtained, the customary charges in the locality, the financial capacity of the client, the professional standing and reputation of the lawyer, etc. The lawyer and the client can agree on the lawyer's fees by contract or stipulation, either orally or in writing, before or after the engagement of services. The lawyer's fees can also be fixed by law, by rule or by court order.


The modes of payment of the lawyer's fees are: - Retainer fee: This is a fee paid by the client to the lawyer to secure his services and availability for a certain period of time or for a certain case or matter. It can be fixed or variable, depending on whether it covers all or only some of the services to be rendered by the lawyer; - Contingent fee: This is a fee paid by the client to the lawyer only if the case or matter is successfully resolved in favor of the client. It is usually based on a percentage of the amount recovered or awarded to the client; - Fixed fee: This is a fee paid by the client to the lawyer for a specific service or task performed by the lawyer. It is usually agreed upon in advance and does not depend on the outcome of the case or matter; - Hourly fee: This is a fee paid by the client to the lawyer based on the number of hours spent by the lawyer in working on the case or matter. It is usually computed by multiplying the hourly rate of the lawyer by the number of hours worked; - Quantum meruit: This is a fee paid by the client to the lawyer based on the reasonable value of the services rendered by the lawyer. It is usually applied when there is no express or implied agreement on the lawyer's fees or when such agreement is void or unconscionable.


The liens of lawyers are: - Retaining lien: This is the right of lawyers to retain possession of their clients' papers, documents or property until their fees are paid or secured; the judgment or award obtained by their clients in the case or matter. The recovery of lawyers' fees can be done by any of the following methods: - Demand: The lawyer can demand payment of his fees from his client by sending a bill or statement of account, by making a verbal or written request, or by filing a motion or petition in court; - Suit: The lawyer can sue his client for his fees by filing a civil action for collection, breach of contract, quantum meruit, etc., in the proper court; - Set-off: The lawyer can set-off his fees against the amount due to his client from the adverse party, provided that he has a valid charging lien and that he has notified both parties of his claim; - Arbitration: The lawyer and the client can submit their dispute over the lawyer's fees to arbitration by a third party, such as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any other reputable organization. The Lawyer as an Advocate: Role, Conduct, Ethics and Decorum




The lawyer as an advocate is a person who represents and defends the interests of his client in any legal proceeding or dispute. The role of the lawyer as an advocate is to present the facts and arguments of his client in a clear, logical and persuasive manner, to rebut the facts and arguments of the opposing party, and to assist the court or tribunal in arriving at a just and fair decision. The lawyer as an advocate must act with competence, diligence, honesty, loyalty, candor and courtesy. He must also observe the rules of procedure and evidence, the Code of Professional Responsibility and other rules of ethics.


The conduct of the lawyer as an advocate is governed by the following principles: - Fidelity to client's cause: The lawyer must uphold and protect the rights and interests of his client with utmost zeal and devotion. He must not abandon or neglect his client's cause without valid reason. He must not compromise or settle his client's case without his client's consent. He must not disclose or use any confidential information or communication from his client to his client's disadvantage; - Respect for court's authority: The lawyer must respect the authority and dignity of the court or tribunal before which he appears. He must not defy or disobey any lawful order or judgment of the court. He must not mislead or deceive the court by any false or fraudulent statement or evidence. He must not criticize or malign the court or its personnel in public or in private; them. He must not unduly delay or obstruct the resolution of the case or matter; - Responsibility for public good: The lawyer must uphold the public interest and the administration of justice in his conduct as an advocate. He must not use his legal knowledge or skill for any unlawful or immoral purpose. He must not counsel or abet any crime or fraud. He must not promote or encourage any litigation that is groundless, false or malicious. He must not abuse or misuse his right of free speech or expression. The ethics of the lawyer as an advocate are embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility and other rules of ethics promulgated by the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. The Code of Professional Responsibility consists of 22 canons and 130 rules that prescribe the standards of conduct and behavior expected of lawyers in their relations with their clients, the courts, their colleagues, the public and the state. The Code of Professional Responsibility is binding upon all lawyers and violations thereof may subject them to disciplinary action by the Supreme Court. The decorum o


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