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Donald Dee vs C.A. [G.R. No. 77439. August 24, 1989]

16 Oct

Ponente: REGALADO, J.

FACTS:

Petitioner and his father went to the residence of private respondent, accompanied by the latter’s cousin, to seek his advice regarding the problem of the alleged indebtedness of petitioner’s brother, Dewey Dee, to Caesar’s Palace, a well-known gambling casino at Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. Private respondent personally talked with the president of Caesar’s Palace at Las Vegas, Nevada. He advised the president that for the sake and in the interest of the casino it would be better to make Ramon Sy answer for the indebtedness. The president told him that if he could convince Ramon Sy to acknowledge the obligation, Dewey Dee would be exculpated from liability for the account. Upon private respondent’s return to Manila, he conferred with Ramon Sy and the latter was convinced to acknowledge the indebtedness. In August, 1981, private respondent brought to Caesar’s Palace the letter of Ramon Sy owning the debt and asking for a discount. Thereafter, the account of Dewey Dee was cleared and the casino never bothered him.

Having thus settled the account of petitioner’s brother, private respondent sent several demand letters to petitioner demanding the balance of P50,000.00 as attorney’s fees. Petitioner, however, ignored said letters.

ISSUE:

Whether or not there is an attorney-client relationship between parties.

HELD:

YES. Court affirmed the decision of the defendant Court of Appeals. Costs against the petitioner.

RATIO:

[T]here is no question that professional services were actually rendered by private respondent to petitioner and his family. Through his efforts, the account of petitioner’s brother, Dewey Dee, with Caesar’s Palace was assumed by Ramon Sy and petitioner and his family were further freed from the apprehension that Dewey might be harmed or even killed by the so-called mafia. For such services, respondent Mutuc is indubitably entitled to receive a reasonable compensation and this right cannot be concluded by petitioner’s pretension that at the time private respondent rendered such services to petitioner and his family, the former was also the Philippine consultant of Caesar’s Palace.

A lawyer is entitled to have and receive the just and reasonable compensation for services rendered at the special instance and request of his client and as long as he is honestly and in good faith trying to serve and represent the interests of his client, the latter is bound to pay his just fees.

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

 

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