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TitleCASE DIGESTS LEGPROF (96-114).docx
TagsLawsuit Complaint Pleading Lien Lawyer
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Total Pages15
Table of Contents
                            98. Rubias v. Batiller
Document Text Contents
Page 1



 Jose Nakpil was interested in a piece of property situated in Moran, Baguio. He went
into an agreement with Atty. Carlos Valdes for the latter to buy the property in trust
for Nakpil.

 Valdes did buy the property by contracting 2 loans. The lands’ titles were transferred
to his name.

 When Jose Nakpil died, Imelda Nakpil (his wife) acquired the services of Valdes and
his accounting and law firms for the settlement of the estate of Jose Nakpil.

 What Valdes did was to exclude the property in Baguio from the list of assets of Jose
Nakpil (he actually transferred the property to his company, the Caval Realty
Corporation) while including the loans he contracted.

 What Imelda did was to file a suit for reconveyance in the CFI. While the case was
pending, Imelda also filed an administrative complaint for disbarment against Valdes.

 The CFI dismissed the action for reconveyance. The CA reversed the CFI.
 The complaint for reconveyance went up to the SC and was decided in favor of

Nakpil. The SC held that Valdes only held the lots in trust for Nakpil.

 W/n Atty. Valdes should be administratively sanctioned for his acts, namely:
o Excluding the property in Baguio from the estate of Jose Nakpil;
o Including his loans as claims on the estate; and
o Apparently, representing conflicting interests when his accounting firm

prepared the list of claims of creditors Angel Nakpil and ENORN against the
estate of Jose Nakpil, which was represented by his law firm.


 The SC found Valdes guilty of misconduct and suspends him for 1 year.
 The Court held that the first two acts clearly show that Valdes broke the trust reposed

on him by Imelda Nakpil when the latter agreed to use his professional services as a
lawyer and an accountant. It was clear that Jose Nakpil and Atty. Came to an
agreement that the latter would be buying the property in trust for Jose. By his act of
excluding the property from the estate and including the loans he contracted (and
used for his own benefit) as claims, Valdes took for granted the trust formed between
Jose and him (they had a close relationship since the 50’s), which was the basis for
Imelda’s decision to use his services.

 As to the third charge, we hold respondent guilty of representing conflicting interests
which is proscribed by Canon 15 Rule 15.03. In the case at bar, there is no question
that the interests of the estate and that of its creditors are adverse to each other.
Respondent's accounting firm prepared the list of assets and liabilities of the estate
and, at the same time, computed the claims of two creditors of the estate. There is
clearly a conflict between the interest of the estate which stands as the debtor, and
that of the two claimants who are creditors of the estate.



Page 8

expenses of the suit. Respondent stressed to the complainant the need and urgency
of filing the new complaint. At the hearing of the preliminary injunction in Civil Case
No. 55118 on October 30, 1987, respondent, contrary to his promise that he would
secure a restraining order, withdrew his appearance as counsel for complainant.
Complainant was not able to get another lawyer as replacement. Thus, no
restraining order or preliminary injunction was obtained. As a consequence, the
order to vacate in Civil Case No. 6046 was eventually enforced and executed.
Sometime thereafter, it came to complainant's knowledge that there was really no
need to make a deposit of ten thousand pesos (P l0,000.00) relative to Civil Case
No. 55210. After further inquiry, she found out that in fact there was no such
deposit made. Thus, on December 23,1987, complainant sent a demand letter to
respondent asking for the return of the total amount of eleven thousand pesos (P
11,000.00) which the former earlier gave to the latter. However, this letter was
never answered and the money was never returned. Hence, complainant lodged this
administrative complaint against herein respondent.

ISSUE/S: WON Respondent lawyer violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD: Yes, this Court finds Atty. Humberto V. Potenciano to be guilty of the charges
against him and hereby SUSPENDS him from the practice of law for an indefinite
period until such time he can demonstrate that he has rehabilitated himself as to
deserve to resume the practice of law.

RATIO: When a lawyer takes a client's cause, he thereby covenants that he will
exert all effort for its prosecution until its final conclusion. The failure to exercise
due diligence or the abandonment of a client's cause makes such lawyer unworthy
of the trust which the client had reposed on him. The acts of respondent in this case
violate the most elementary principles of professional ethics. The Court finds that
respondent failed to exercise due diligence in protecting his client's interests.
Respondent had knowledge beforehand that he would be asked by the presiding
judge in Civil Case No. 55118 to withdraw his appearance as counsel by reason of
their friendship. Despite such prior knowledge, respondent took no steps to find a
replacement nor did he inform complainant of this fact.

105. Santiago et al. v. Atty. Fojas


Complainants Veronica Santiago, Benjamin Hontiveros, Ma. Socorro Manas, and
Trinidad Nordista were the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Auditor,
respectively, of the FEUFA. They allegedly expelled from the union Paulino Salvador.
The latter then commenced with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
a complaint (NCR-OD-M- 90-10-050) to declare illegal his expulsion from the union.
Complainants Veronica Santiago, Benjamin Hontiveros, Ma. Socorro Manas, and
Trinidad Nordista were the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Auditor,
respectively, of the FEUFA. They allegedly expelled from the union Paulino Salvador.

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