(Question X, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 2018 Bar Exam)
In a complaint for disbarment, Connie alleged that she engaged the services of Atty. Cesar Corpuz in the preparation and execution in her favor of a Deed of Sale over a parcel of land from her common-law husband. Subsequently, Atty. Corpuz filed a civil case on behalf of Constancia, the legal wife of Connie’s common-law husband, for the annulment of the Deed of Sale, impleading Connie as defendant.
In his defense, Atty. Corpuz asserted that, with the permission of Constancia, he wrote a letter to Connie informing the latter of Constancia’s adverse claim and urging her to settle the same, but Connie ignored his letter. He also said that Connie did not object to his handling of the case on behalf of Constancia; therefore, he felt free to file the complaint against her.
Is Atty. Corpuz guilty of misconduct for representing conflicting interests? (5%)
Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Rule
In the case at bar, there is no showing that Atty. Corpuz obtaining a written consent of all concerned parties after a full disclosure of the facts. His letter to Connie is only a notice. As to the claim that she did not object, if true, it appears to be verbal only. Similarly, on the side of Constancia, Atty. Corpuz did not obtain a written consent as well. Both parties should have given their written consent. Apply
Thus, Atty. Corpuz is guilty of misconduct for representing conflicting interest. 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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