A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.
The relation of attorney and client may be created not only by the voluntary agreement between them but also by the appointment of an attorney as counsel de oficio for a poor or indigent litigant, and the attorney so appointed has as high a duty to the indigent as to his paying client.
Rule 14.01.| A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely on account of the latter’s 1. race 2. sex 3. creed, or 4. status of life, or 5. because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person.|
Rule 1138, S. 20(h). Duty of attorneys:
x x x never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed.
Rule 138, s.20 (i).
In the defense of a person accused of a crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion to the guilt of the accused to present every evidence that the law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law.
Rule 14.01 however is not applicable in civil cases because of obvious reasons. It is the lawyer’s duty –
“(c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear o him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law.” (Rule 138, section 20 (c), RRC)
when the lawyer signs a complaint or answer, his signature is deemed a certification by him “that he has read the pleading; that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief, there is good ground to support xxx” (Rule 7, Section 5, ROC). For violating this rule, the lawyer may be subjected to disciplinary action.
Rule 14.02.| A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and sufficient cause, an appointment as counsel de officio or as amicus curiae, or a request from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any of its chapters for rendition of free legal aid.|
I. COUNSEL DE OFFICIO
Rule 138, s. 31. Attorneys for destitute litigants:
A court may assign an attorney to render professional aid free of charge to any party in case, if upon investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ an attorney, and that the services of counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty of the attorney so assigned to render the required service, unless he is excused therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown.
Rule 116, s.7 – Appointment of counsel de oficio
1. members of the bar in good standing;
2. any person, resident of the province and of good repute for probity and ability, in localities without lawyers WHAT CONSIDERED:
1. gravity of offense
2. difficulty of questions that may arise
3. experience and ability of appointee
II. AMICUS CURIAE
Rule 138, s. 36
Experienced and impartial attorneys may be invited by the court to appear as amici curiae to help in the disposition of issues submitted to it.
Definition: bystander; “friend of the court” whose function is “to remind the court or tribunal of some matter which otherwise might escape its notice and in regard to which it might be wrong. One who gives information upon some question of law in regard to which the judge is doubtful or mistaken, or upon a matter of which the court may take judicial cognizance.
Rule 14.03.| A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an indigent client unless: a. he is no position to carry out the work effectively or competently; b. he labors under a conflict of interest between him and the prospective client or between a present client and the prospective client;|
The rule involves indigent clients who come to a lawyer for legal...