Lawyers reminded of ‘duty of loyalty’

The Supreme Court said in a ruling that it is not good practice for a lawyer to defend other persons in another case against his former client under the pretext that the new case is distinct from and independent of the former case.

The SC noted that any confidential information shared by a former client might be used against him or her in a conflict of interest situation.

This as the high bench strongly reminded lawyers they owe their clients “duty of loyalty” even after the attorney-client relationship has ended.

The reminder was issued by the high court as it suspended a lawyer for three months after finding him administratively liable for violating the prohibition.

In its resolution made public on 4 October, the SC ruled that a lawyer’s duty of loyalty to a client “subsists even after the termination of the attorney-client relationship.”

Because of this Atty. Magnificus Cañete was suspended for three months after the SC found him administratively liable for representing conflicting interests.

Records showed that the complaint against the lawyer was filed by businessman Manuel Dy Jr., whose business had been Cañete’s client from 1997 to 2001, and which was later converted into a corporation in 2005 with the spouses Manuel and Jean Dy as principal stockholders.

A case of qualified theft was filed by Manuel Dy against Jean following alleged unauthorized disbursement to transfer corporation money to her personal account.

The trader then filed an administrative case against Cañete for representing Jean in the case.

Cañete argued that his former attorney-client relationship with Manuel was not related to the new case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *