YNARES-SANTIAGO; August 19, 2003
ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court and SPECIAL
CIVIL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Certiorari.
- Atty. Rizalino Simbillo publicized his legal services in the July 5, 2000 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer via a paid
advertisement which read: “Annulment of Marriage Specialist 532-4333/521-2667.”
- A staff member of the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court took notice and called the number posing as an interested party. She spoke to Mrs. Simbillo, who said that her husband was an expert in handling annulment cases and can guarantee a
court decree within four to six months, and that the fee was P48,000.
- Further research by the Office of the Court Administrator and the Public Information Office revealed that similar ads were published in the August 2 and 6, 2000 issues of the Manila
Bulletin and August 5, 2000 issue of the Philippine Star.
- Atty. Ismael Khan, Jr., in his capacity as Assistant Court Administrator and Chief of the Public Information Office filed an administrative complaint against Atty. Simbillo for improper advertising and solicitation in violation of Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Rule 138, Section 27 of the Rules of Court.
- The case was referred to the IBP for investigation, report and recommendation.
- IBP found respondent guilty
- Respondent filed an Urgent Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied
- Hence, this petition for certiorari
WON Atty. Rizalino Simbillo is guilty of violating Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Rule 138, Section 27 of the Rules of Court
Yes. Petitioner was suspended from the practice of law for one year and was sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar offense will be dealt with more severely.
Ratio The practice of law is not a business. It is a profession in which duty to public...