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5. Sanctions for practice or appearance without authority

a. Lawyers without authority

1) Private lawyers who have been suspended

2) Lawyers in the Government who are absolutely prohibited

3) Lawyers in the Government who are relatively prohibited but without authority to practice

1) Sanctions

Supreme Court may impose any of these disciplinary actions/sanctions:

1) Warning

2) Suspension

3) Disbarment

NB: If they are Government officials/employees, their office or agency may impose a separate and/or additional penalty.

b. Persons not lawyers

Against non-lawyers:

1) Indirect contempt of court

2) Estafa

Under the Rules of Court, the unauthorized practice of law by one’s assuming to be an attorney or officer of the court, and acting as such without authority, may constitute indirect contempt of court, which is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. (In Re: Petition to Sign in the Roll of Attorneys, Michael A. Medado, B.M. No. 2540, 24 September 2013)

Estafa is also committed by any person who shall defraud another by means of any of the following false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud, such as by falsely pretening to possess power or qualifications or by means of otehr similar deceits. (Article 315[2], Revised Penal Code)

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