1 — A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws
of the land and promote respect for law and for legal processes.
1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful conduct.
1.02 A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance
of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.
1.03 A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage
any suit or proceeding or delay any man's cause.
1.04 A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid, end or settle
the controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement.
2 — A lawyer shall make his legal services available in
an efficient and convenient manner compatible with the independence,
integrity and effectiveness of the profession.
2.01 A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the
cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.
2.02 In such a case, even if the lawyer does not accept a case,
he shall not refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned
if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latter's rights.
2.03 A lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
primarily to solicit legal business.
2.04 A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily
prescribed unless the circumstances so warrant.
3 — A lawyer in making known his legal services shall use
only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or
statements of facts.
3.01 A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent,
misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement
or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services.
3.02 In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed
name shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased
partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all
its communications that said partner is deceased.
3.03 Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw
from the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name
unless the law allows him to practice law concurrently.
3.04 A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives
of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity
to attract legal business.
4 — A lawyer shall participate in the improvement of the
legal system by initiating or supporting efforts in law reform
and in the administration of justice.
5 — A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal developments, participate
in continuing legal education programs, support efforts to achieve
high standards in law schools as well as in the practical training
of law students and assist in disseminating information regarding
the law and jurisprudence.
6 — These canons shall apply to lawyers in government service
in the discharge of their official tasks.
6.01 The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution
is not to convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression
of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable of establishing
the innocence of the accused is highly reprehensible and is cause
for disciplinary action.
6.02 A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public
position to promote or advance his private interests nor allow
the latter to interfere with his public duties.
RULE 6.03 A lawyer shall not, after leaving a government service,
accept engagement or employment in connection with any matter
in which he had intervened while in said service.
The Lawyer and the Legal Profession
7 — A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and
dignity of the legal profession, and support the activities of
the integrated bar.
7.01 A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false
statement or suppressing a material fact, in connection with his
application for admission to the bar.
7.02 A lawyer shall not support the application for admission
to the bar of any person known by him to be unqualified in respect
to character, education, or other relevant attribute.
7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects
on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public
or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit
of the legal profession.
8 — A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness
and candor toward his professional colleagues, and shall avoid
harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
8.01 A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language
which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.
8.02 A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon
the professional employment of another lawyer; however, it is
the right of any lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper
advice and assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful
or neglectful counsel.
9 — A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in
the unauthorized practice of law.
9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the
performance of any task which by law may only be performed by
a member of the Bar in good standing.
9.02 A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for
legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, except:
Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate
that, upon the latter's death, money shall be paid over a reasonable
period of time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement;
Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business
of a deceased lawyer; or
Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a
retirement plan, even if the plan is based in whole or in part,
on a profit-sharing arrangement.
The Lawyer and the Courts
10 — A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the
10.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the
doing of any in Court; nor shall he mislead or allow the Court
to be misled by any artifice.
10.02 A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the
contents of a paper, the language or the argument of opposing
counsel, or the text of a decision or authority, or knowingly
cite as law a provision already rendered inoperative by repeal
or amendment or assert as a fact that which has not been proved.
10.03 A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall
not misuse them to defeat the ends of justice.
11 — A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due
to the Courts and to judicial officers and should insist on similar
conduct by others.
11.01 A lawyer shall appear in court properly attired.
11.02 A lawyer shall punctually appear at court hearings.
11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing
language or behavior before the Courts.
11.04 A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported
by the record or have no materiality to the case.
11.05 A lawyer shall submit grievances against a Judge to the
proper authorities only.
12 — A lawyer shall exert every effort and consider his
duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice.
12.01 A lawyer shall not appear for trial unless he has adequately
prepared himself on the law and the facts of his case, the evidence
he will adduce and the order of its preference. He should also
be ready with the original documents for comparison with the copies.
12.02 A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the
12.03 A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to
file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without
submitting the same or offering an explanation for his failure
to do so.
12.04 A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the execution
of a Judgment or misuse Court processes.
12.05 A lawyer shall refrain from talking to his witness during
a break or recess in the trial, while the witness is still under
12.06 A lawyer shall not knowingly assist a witness to misrepresent
himself or to impersonate another.
12.07 A lawyer shall not abuse, browbeat or harass a witness nor
needlessly inconvenience him.
12.08 A lawyer shall avoid testifying in behalf of his client,
on formal matters, such as the mailing, authentication or custody
of an instrument, and the like: or
on substantial matters, in cases where his testimony is essential
to the ends of justice, in which event he must, during his testimony,
entrust the trial of the case to another counsel.
13 — A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and
refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence, or gives
the appearance of influencing the Court.
13.01 A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality
to, nor seek opportunity for cultivating familiarity with Judges.
13.02 A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding
a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against
13.03 A lawyer shall not brook nor invite interference by another
branch or agency of the government in the normal course of judicial
The Lawyer and the Client
14 — A lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.
14.01 A lawyer shall not decline to represent a person solely
on account of the latter's race, sex, creed or status of life,
or because of his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person.
14.02 A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and sufficient
cause, an appointment as counsel de oficio or as amicus curiae
or a request from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any
of its chapters for rendition of free legal aid.
14.03 A lawyer may not refuse to accept representation of an indigent
he is not in a position to carry out the work effectively or competently;
he labors under a conflict of interest between him and the prospective
client, or between a present client and the prospective client.
14.04 A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to pay
his professional fees shall observe the same standard of conduct
governing his relations with paying clients.
15 — A lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty
in all his dealings and transactions with his client.
15.01 A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, shall
ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter would involve
a conflict with another client or his own interest, and if so,
shall forthwith inform the prospective client.
15.02 A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privilege communication
in respect of matters disclosed to him by a prospective client.
15.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except
by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure
of the facts.
15.04 A lawyer may, with the written consent of all concerned,
act as mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes.
15.05 A lawyer, when advising his client, shall give a candid
and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the client's
case, neither overstating nor understating the prospects on the
15.06 A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence
any public official, tribunal or legislative body.
15.07 A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the
laws and the principles of fairness.
15.08 A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or occupation
concurrently with the practice of law shall make clear to his
client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.
16 — A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties
of his client that may come into his possession.
16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected
or received for or from the client.
16.02 A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and
apart from his own and those of others kept by him.
16.03 A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client
when due or upon demand. However, he shall have a lien over the
funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy
his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter
to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on
all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as
provided for in the Rules of Court.
16.04 A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the
client's interests are fully protected by the nature of the case
or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to
a client except, when in the interest of Justice, he has to advance
necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.
17 — A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and
shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.
18 — A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and
18.01 A lawyer shall not undertake a legal service which he knows
or should know that he is not qualified to render. However, he
may render such service if, with the consent of his client, he
can obtain as collaborating counsel a lawyer who is competent
on the matter.
18.02 A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate
18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him,
and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
18.04 A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of
his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to the client's
request for information.
19 — A lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within
the bounds of the law.
19.01 A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain
the lawful objectives of his client and shall not present, participate
in presenting or threatening to present unfounded criminal charges
to obtain an improper advantage in any case or proceeding.
19.02 A lawyer who has received information that his client has,
in the course of the representation, perpetuated a fraud upon
a person or tribunal, shall promptly call upon the client to rectify
the same, and failing which he shall terminate the relationship
with such client in accordance with the Rules of Court.
19.03 A lawyer shall not allow his client to dictate the procedure
in handling the case.
20 — A lawyer shall charge only fair and reasonable fees:
20.01 A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining
The time spent and the extent of the services rendered or required;
The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
The importance of the subject matter;
The skill demanded;
The probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance
of the proffered case;
The customary charges for similar services and the schedule of
fees of the IBP chapter to which he belongs;
The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting
to the client from the services;
The contingency or certainty of compensation;
The character of the employment, whether occasional or established;
The professional standing of the lawyer.
20.02 - A lawyer shall, in cases of referral, with the consent
of the client, be entitled to a division of fees in proportion
to the work performed and responsibility assumed.
20.03 A lawyer shall not, without the full knowledge and consent
of the client, accept any fee, reward, costs, commission, interest,
rebate or forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever
related to his professional employment from anyone other than
20.04 A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning
his compensation and shall resort to judicial action only to prevent
imposition, injustice or fraud.
21 — A lawyer shall preserve the confidences or secrets
of his client even after the attorney-client relation is terminated.
21.01 A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of
his client except:
when authorized by the client after acquainting him of the consequences
of the disclosure;
when required by law;
when necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself, his employees
or associates or by Judicial action.
21.02 A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, use
information acquired in the course of employment, nor shall he
use the same to his own advantage or that of a third person, unless
the client with full knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto.
21.03 A lawyer shall not, without the written consent of his client,
give information from his files to an outside agency seeking such
information for auditing, statistical, bookkeeping, accounting,
data processing, or any similar purpose.
21.04 A lawyer may disclose the affairs of a client of the firm
to partners or associates thereof unless prohibited by the client.
21.05 A lawyer shall adopt such measures as may be required to
prevent those whose services are utilized by him, from disclosing
or using confidences or secrets of the client.
21.06 A lawyer shall avoid indiscreet conversation about a client's
affairs even with members of his family.
21.07 A lawyer shall not reveal that he has been consulted about
a particular case except to avoid possible conflict of interest.
22 — A lawyer shall withdraw his services only for good
cause and upon notice appropriate in the circumstances.
22.01 A lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the following
When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct
in connection with the matter he is handling;
When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative
of these canons and rules;
When his inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the
best interest of the client:
When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it
difficult for him to carry out the employment effectively;
When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services
or fails to comply with the retainer agreement;
When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office; and
Other similar cases.
22.02 A lawyer who withdraws or is discharged shall, subject to
a retainer lien, immediately turn over all papers and property
to which the client is entitled, and shall cooperate with his
successor in the orderly transfer of the matter, including all
information necessary for the proper handling of the matter.