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1. Lawyers who have been suspended

A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any:

1) Deceit

2) Malpractice, or

3) Other gross misconduct in such office

4) Grossly immoral conduct

5) By reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude

6) For any violation of the oath which he is required to take before the admission to practice

7) For a willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court

8) For corruptly or willful appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. (Section 27, Rule 138, Rules of Court)

The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. (Ibid.)

2. RIGHT TO BE HEARD

No attorney shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession, until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him, to produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be heard by himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the accusation, the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte. (Section 30, Rule 138, Ibid.)

1. Lawyers who have been suspended

a. CONCEPT

It is common sense that when the Court orders the suspension of a lawyer from the practice of law, the lawyer must desist from performing all functions which require the application of legal knowledge witl1in the period of his or her suspension. To stress, by practice of law, we refer to “any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training, and experience. It includes performing acts which are characteristic of the legal profession, or rendering any kind of service which requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.” In fine, it will amount to unauthorized practice, and a violation of a lawful order of the Court if a suspended lawyer engages in the practice of law during the pendency of his or her suspension. (Tan v. Gumba, A.C. No. 9000, 10 January 2018)

b. LIFTING OF SUSPENSION

The lifting of a suspension order is not automatic. It is necessary that there is an order from the Court lifting the suspension of a lawyer to practice law. To note, a suspended lawyer shall, upon the expiration of one’s suspension, file a sworn statement with the Court, and that such statement shall be considered proof of the lawyer’s compliance with the order of suspension. (Ibid.)

1) Guidelines on lifting of suspension

1) After a finding that respondent lawyer must be suspended from the practice of law, the Court shall render a decision imposing the penalty;

2) Unless the Court explicitly states that the decision is immediately executory upon receipt thereof, respondent has 15 days within which to file a motion for reconsideration thereof. The denial of said motion shall render the decision final and executory;

3) Upon the expiration of the period of suspension, respondent shall file a Sworn Statement with the Court, through the Office of the Bar Confidant, stating therein that he or she has desisted from the practice of law and has not appeared in any court during the period of his or her suspension;

4) Copies of the Sworn Statement shall be furnished to the Local Chapter of the IBP and to the Executive Judge of the courts where respondent has pending cases handled by him or her, and/or where he or she has appeared as counsel;

5) The Sworn Statement shall be considered as proof of respondent’s compliance with the order of suspension;

6) Any finding or report contrary to the statements made by the lawyer under oath shall be a ground for the imposition of a more severe punishment, or disbarment, as may be warranted. (Ibid.)

Next 2. Lawyers who have been disbarred
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