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Arrieta vs. Llosa [A.C. No. 4369. November 28, 1997]

16 Aug

Ponente: ROBERTO, J.

FACTS:

Complainant Pike P. Arrieta prays for the disbarment of Atty. Joel A. Llosa for certifying under oath a Deed of Absolute Sale with parties and signatories already dead prior to the execution of the said Deed. Respondent admitted having notarized the Deed of Absolute Sale.  But before affixing his notarial seal, he first ascertained the authenticity of the signatures, verified the identities of the signatories, and determined the voluntariness of its execution.  The designated Investigating Commissioner of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines recommended the dismissal of the instant case.  The Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines adopted the above recommendation and resolved to dismiss the instant case after finding no compelling reason to continue with the disbarment proceedings.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent Atty. Llosa should be disbarred.

HELD:

NO. Respondent was only suspended from practice of law for six (6) months.

RATIO:

Respondent’s act of certifying under oath a Deed of Absolute Sale knowing that some of the vendors were already dead, they being his former clients, constituted misconduct. An attorney may be disbarred or suspended for any violation of his oath or of his duties as an attorney and counselor, which include statutory grounds enumerated in Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, all of these being broad enough to cover practically any misconduct of a lawyer in his professional or private capacity. As the Canon of Professional Responsibility provides:

CANON 1 – A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES.

But this being his first administrative offense, such should not warrant the supreme penalty of disbarment.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Case Digests, Legal Ethics

 

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