Question B.19, 2019 Legal Ethics Bar Exam

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

B.19.

(Question B.19, Civil Law, 2019 Bar Exam)

Mr. A entered into a lease contract covering one of his commercial buildings with XYZ Company, a partnership composed of X, Y, and Z, as lessee, for use as an office space. Upon failure to receive the rental payments when they fell due, Mr. A immediately sought payment of the same from X, Y, and Z, asserting that the individual partners are solidarily liable together with the partnership for its debts.

X, Y, and Z disagreed with Mr. A’s contention, arguing further that in any event, rentals should not be paid up until Mr. A makes the necessary arrangements for the repair of the defective electrical wirings in the office that caused power outages and hence, made it difficult, if not impossible, for them to conduct their usual business operations.

Rule on the parties’ respective arguments. (5%)

Suggested Answer:

1) On the claims of Mr. A:

They are incorrect. Answer

Under the Civil Code, a partnership has a separate juridical personality from the partners. It is the partnership that is primarily answer for its liabilities. If the assets of the partnership are insufficient, it is only when the general partners may be held liable. Rule

In the case at bar, there is no showing that the assets of the partnership are insufficient to cover the liabilities for rental payment. The partners cannot be made liable until this requirement is complied. Apply

Thus, the claims of Mr. A is incorrect. Conclusion

2) On the claims of X, Y, and Z: 

They are correct. Answer

Under the Civil Code, the lessee may suspend the payment of the rent in case the lessor fails to make the necessary repairs or to maintain the lessee in peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the property leased. Rule

In the case at bar, the defective electrical wiring in the office that caused power outages fall under necessary repairs. This is made evident by the fact that it has become impossible for the partners to conduct their usual business operations.  They can suspend payment until necessary repairs are made by the lessor. Apply

Thus, the claims of X, Y, and Z are correct. 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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Political Law, Labor Law

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