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Apr 27, 2008

A.C. No. 6408, August 31, 2004


In September 2000, the lawyer issued several Equitable PCIBank Checks in favor of Barrientos and Mercado for the payment of a pre-existing debt. The checks bounced due to insufficient funds, thus, charges for violation of B.P. 22 were filed. The lawyer asked for deferment of the criminal charges and promised to pay her debt several times, but failed to pay the full amount, even after a complaint for disbarment was filed against her.

  • Whether or not respondent is guilty of gross misconduct


The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative.

The failure to pay just debts and the issuance of worthless checks constitute gross misconduct, for which a lawyer may be sanctioned with suspension from the practice of law. Lawyers are the instruments for the administration of justice and the vanguards of our legal system. They are expected to maintain not only legal proficiency but also a high standard of morality, honesty, integrity and fair dealings so that the people’s faith and confidence in the judicial system is ensured. They must at all times faithfully perform their duties to society, to the bar, the courts and to their clients, which include prompt payment of financial obligations. They must conduct themselves in a manner that reflect the values and norms of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility.

The issuance of checks which were later dishonored for having been drawn against a closed account indicates a lawyer’s unfitness for the trust and confidence reposed on her. It shows a lack of personal honesty and good moral character as to render her unworthy of public confidence. The issuance of a series of worthless checks also shows the remorseless attitude of respondent, unmindful to the deleterious effects of such act to the public interest and public order. It also manifests a lawyer’s low regard to her commitment to the oath she has taken when she joined her peers, seriously and irreparably tarnishing the image of the profession she should hold in high esteem.

Mere issuance of worthless checks by a lawyer, regardless of whether or not the same were issued in his professional capacity to a client, calls for appropriate disciplinary measures.


Anonymous said...

What happen to a lady lawyer? Was she disbarred from her profession?

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