ATTY. RICARTE B. MADERAZO
This is a case about the petitioner filing a complaint before the Supreme Court for disbarment against the respondent for his failure to meet the standards of professional ethics. The petitioner alleged that respondent grossly neglected his duties to her as a lawyer in a damage suit and failed to represent her interests with zeal and enthusiasm. According to her, when her case was scheduled for pre-trial conference, respondent asked for its postponement although all the parties were present. Notwithstanding complainant’s persistent and repeated follow-up, respondent did not do anything to keep the case moving. He withdrew as counsel without obtaining complainant’s consent and that the respondent is engaged in activities inimical or contrary to her interests. Issue: (1) Whether or not respondent is guilty of representing conflicting interests. (2) Whether or not the requirement of notice and hearing connotes full adversarial proceedings Held: Yes. He is guilty of representing conflicting interests prohibited by Rule 15.03 of Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. To be guilty of representing conflicting interests, a counsel-of-record of one party need not also be counsel-of-record of the adverse party. He does not have to publicly hold himself as the counsel of the adverse party, nor make his efforts to advance the adverse party’s conflicting interests of record--- although these circumstances are the most obvious and satisfactory proof of the charge. It is enough that the counsel of one party had a hand in the preparation of the pleading of the other party, claiming adverse and conflicting interests with that of his original client. To require that he also be counsel-of-record of the adverse party would punish only the most obvious form of deceit and reward, with impunity, the highest form of disloyalty.
As to the second issue, the Court ruled No. The requirement of notice...