Question A.2, 2019 Legal Ethics Bar Exam

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor


(Question A.2, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 2019 Bar Exam)

Y, who is a businessman, and Atty. X are good friends. Due to their closeness, Atty. X was able to borrow ₱300,000.00 from Y, which amount was intended to refurbish Atty. X’s law office.

Months after, Y got into a contractual dispute with Z, one of his business partners. Hence, Y sought the legal services of Atty. X for the filing of the proper action against Z. In consideration for his legal services, Y paid Atty. X an acceptance fee of ₱50,000.00.

Unfortunately, Atty. X and Y’s relationship turned sour. Thus, all communications between them were cut, and worse, Atty. X failed to file the required initiatory pleading against Z on the date agreed upon. Aggrieved, Y filed an administrative complaint, seeking that Atty. X be sanctioned and that the ₱50,000.00 acceptance fee and the ₱300,000.00 personal loan be returned to him.

(a) What administrative violation/s did Atty. X commit, if any? Explain. (3%)

(b) May Y’s prayer for the return of the ₱50,000.00 acceptance fee and the ₱300,000.00 personal loan prosper? Explain. (5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Atty. X violated the prohibition against negligence. Answer

Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. Rule

In the case at bar, Atty. X had accepted the engagement and has already been paid by Y to initiate a case against Z. Failure on the part of Atty. X to file the required pleading against Z on the date agreed upon renders Atty. X liable for violation. Apply

Thus, Atty. X may be held liable for his negligence. Conclusion

As to the Php300,000.00 loan, based on the facts, Atty. X borrowed the sum prior to Y being made a client. There was no attorney-client relationship between them yet. Further, there is also no indication that Atty. X refused to pay the loan nor are there any interests of Y as a client were prejudiced. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Thus, there was no violation resulting from the loan.

(b) The prayer for acceptance fee may prosper, but not the personal loan. Answer

Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. Rule

In the case at bar, Y as a client made a judicial demand for the acceptance fee via the administrative case. Since Atty. X did not perform any professional service, he must return the amount to Y. As for the personal loan, Y has to institute a separate action for a collection of sum of money since the amount was not given under an attorney-client relationship. Instead, the personal loan is an ordinary loan by a borrower from a creditor Apply

Thus, the prayer for the acceptance fee may prosper. However, the prayer for personal loan will not prosper. 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.)



Political Law, Labor Law

Question 2, 2017 Labor Law Bar Exam

II. (Question II, Labor Law, 2017 Bar Exam) Procopio was dismissed from employment for stealing his co-employee Raul’s watch. Procopio filed a complaint for illegal

G. Appropriation and re-alignment

Frequency: ★★★☆☆ 1. No transferring of appropriations – with exception GENERAL RULE: No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations. (Section 25[5], Article

E. Crimes against public morals

Frequency: ★★★☆☆ CHAPTER 1: GAMBLING AND BETTING 1. Gambling a. CONCEPT Article 195. What acts are punishable in gambling. – (a) The penalty of arresto

L. Crimes against honor

Frequency: ★★★★★ GENERAL PROVISIONS 1) Persons responsible Any person who shall publish, exhibit, or cause the publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or

4. Penalties

Frequency: ★★☆☆☆ a. Imposable penalties No felony shall be punishable by any penalty not prescribed by law prior to its commission. (Article 21, Ibid.) 1)

E. Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001

Frequency: ★★★★☆ “Covered Institution” refers to: 1) Banks, non-banks, quasi-banks, trust entities, and all other institutions and their subsidiaries and affiliates supervised or regulated by

C. Legal Separation

1. GROUNDS FOR LEGAL SEPARATION Grounds for legal separation: 1) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or

error: Content is protected.