Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lawyers must not present and offer in evidence any document that they know is false. - sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2013/february2013/9310.pdf

see - sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2013/february2013/9310.pdf

"x x x.

Nevertheless, the Code of Professional Responsibility provides the
limitation that lawyers shall perform their duty to the client within the
bounds of law.22 They should only make such defense only when they
believe it to be honestly debatable under the law.23 In this case, respondent’s act of issuing demand letters, moved by the understanding of a void HLURB Decision, is legally sanctioned. If his theory holds water, the notice to vacate becomes necessary in order to file an action for ejectment.24 Hence, he did not resort to any fraud or chicanery prohibited by the Code,25 just to maintain his client’s disputed ownership over the subdivision lots.

Even so, respondent cannot be considered free of error. The factual findings of the IBP board of governors reveal that in his demand letter, he brazenly typified one of the complainants, Florentina Lander, as an illegal occupant. However, this description is the exact opposite of the truth, since the final and executory HLURB Decision had already recognized her as a subdivision lot buyer who had a right to complete her payments in order to
occupy her property. Respondent is very much aware of this ruling when he
filed an Omnibus Motion to set aside the HLURB Decision and the
appurtenant Writ of Execution.

Given that respondent knew that the aforementioned falsity totally
disregarded the HLURB Decision, he thus advances the interest of his client through means that are not in keeping with fairness and honesty. What he does is clearly proscribed by Rule 19.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, which requires that a lawyer shall employ only fair and
honest means to attain lawful objectives. Lawyers must not present and
offer in evidence any document that they know is false.26 Considering the present circumstances, we agree with the 14 May 2011 Resolution of the IBP board of governors that the penalty of reprimand with a stern warning is appropriate. Notably, no motion for reconsideration27 was filed by either of the parties. Thus, by virtue of the rules for disbarment of attorneys, the case is deemed terminated.28

x x x."