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Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company vs. CA [G.R. No. 86100-03 January 23, 1990]

06 Aug

Ponente:  REGALADO, J.

FACTS:

Petitioner Metrobank filed a petition for review on certiorari after the Court of Appeals ruled that petitioner should pay the certain amountbased on the charging lien on the civil case filed against them which resulted to dismissal. In the dismissed case, private respondent filed a motion to fix its attorney’s fees, based on quantum meruit, which precipitated an exchange of arguments between the parties. Petitioner manifested that it had fully paid private respondent, Arturo Alafriz and Associates. Private respondent countered and attempted to arrange a compromise with petitioner in order to avoid suit, but the negotiations were unsuccessful.

ISSUES:

Whether or not: (1) respondent is entitled to the enforcement of its charging lien for payment of its attorney’s fees; (2) a separate civil suit is necessary for the enforcement of such lien, and (3) private respondent is entitled to twenty-five (25%) percent of the actual and current market values of the litigated properties on a quantum meruit basis.

HELD:

(1)  NO.             (2) YES.       (3) Ruling subject to separate trial.

RATIO:

[A] charging lien, to be enforceable as security for the payment of attorney’s fees, requires as a condition sine qua non a judgment for money and execution in pursuance of such judgment secured in the main action by the attorney in favor of his client

The persons who are entitled to or who must pay attorney’s fees have the right to be heard upon the question of their propriety or amount. Hence, the obvious necessity of a hearing is beyond cavil.

[I]n fixing a reasonable compensation for the services rendered by a lawyer on the basis of quantum meruit, the determination of elements to be considered would indispensably require nothing less than a full-blown trial.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Case Digests, Legal Ethics

 

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