(Question B.11, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 2019 Bar Exam)
The Cultural Heritage Association of Manila filed an injunction case to stop the construction of a 40-storey condominium building owned by XYZ Corp., a well-known real estate developer. Eventually, the injunction case was dismissed with finality by Judge T, and an entry of judgment was issued. Two (2) years later, Judge T bought condominium units in the same 40-storey building owned by XYZ Corp.
Did Judge T commit an act of impropriety? Explain. (3%)
Under the New Code of Judicial Conduct, judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities. Rule
In the case at bar, Judge T was the one who ordered the dismissal of the injunction case against XYZ Corp. for the construction of the 40-storey condominium. That being the case, and despite the lapse of two (2) years, there is an appearance of impropriety if just T would purchase units of the said condominium. It may appear that he had personal interests on the case. Apply
Thus, Judge T committed an act of impropriety. Conclusion
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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