Case Digest: Hornilla vs. Atty. Salunat

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LEGAL ETHICSIrene Gie S. Dormile LLB-1 Estrellado
BENEDICTO HORNILLA and ATTY. FEDERICO D. RICAFORT, complainants vs. ATTY.ERNESTO S. SALUNAT, respondents A.C. No. 5804. July 1, 2003 TOPIC: Conflict of Interest.Rule 15.03- A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except bywritten consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.| FACTS: * This administrative case is filed by Benedicto Hornilla and Federico Ricafort against Atty.Ernesto Salunat for illegal and unethical practice and conflict of interest. * Complainants alleged that respondent is a member of the ASSA Law and Associates, which was the retained counsel of the Philippine Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA). * Complainants, who are members of the PPSTA, filed an intra-corporate case against its members of the Board of Directors before the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was docketed as SEC Case No. 05-97-5657, and a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, docketed as OMB Case No. 0-97-0695, for unlawful spending and the undervalued sale of real property of the PPSTA. * Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the PPSTA Board members in the said cases. * Complainants contend that respondent was guilty of conflict of interest because he was engaged by the PPSTA, of which complainants were members, and was being paid out of its corporate funds where complainants have contributed. Despite being told by PPSTA members of the said conflict of interest, respondent refused to withdraw his appearance in the said cases. * In his Answer, respondent stressed that he entered his appearance as counsel for the PPSTA Board Members for and in behalf of the ASSA Law and Associates. * Respondent claims that it was complainant Atty. Ricafort who instigated, orchestrated and indiscriminately filed the said cases against members of the PPSTA and its Board. He...
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