(Question III-A, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 2017 Bar Exam)
Alleging that Atty. Frank had seduced her when she was only 16 years old, and that she had given birth to a baby girl as a result, Malen filed a complaint for his disbarment seven years after the birth of the child charging that he was a grossly immoral person unworthy and unfit to continue in the Legal Profession. In his comment, Atty. Frank argued that the complaint for disbarment should be dismissed because of prescription.
Explain whether or not Atty. Frank’s argument is justified. (4%)
Under jurisprudence, administrative cases against lawyers do not prescribe. Rule
In the case at bar, the lapse of seven years does not affect the administrative case against Atty. Frank since it is imprescriptible. Apply
Thus, Atty. Frank’s comment is unjustified. Conclusion
(Question III-B, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 2017 Bar Exam)
Beth administratively charged her former lawyer, Atty. Rawet, with gross misconduct and gross ignorance of the law for the latter’s inadequate legal representation of her in her suit against her neighbor. Midway during the investigation, Beth decided to migrate to Australia. Learning about her plans, Atty. Rawet approached her and pleaded for her understanding. He was able to persuade her to execute an affidavit of desistance in respect of her administrative complaint. He submitted the affidavit of desistance to the Supreme Court, and moved to dismiss the charge against him.
Will the affidavit of desistance warrant the dismissal of the administrative charge? Explain your answer. (4%)
Under the Rules of Court, no investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance, settlement, compromise, restitution, withdrawal of the charges, or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same. Rule
In the case at bar, Beth’s affidavit of desistance will not interrupt nor terminate the ongoing administrative case against Atty. Rawet. The investigation will proceed until a resolution is reached. Apply
Thus, the affidavit of desistance will not warrant the dismissal of the administrative charge. 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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