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It’s double whammy for disbarred lawyers

/ 04:50 AM July 20, 2022
Facade of the Supreme Court

FILE PHOTO: The Supreme Court building in Ermita, Manila. INQUIRER /EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines — Lawyers who have already been dropped from the roll of attorneys may still be held administratively liable for the infractions they committed when they were members of the bar, according to the Supreme Court.

In a decision involving a disbarred lawyer, the high court’s First Division ruled that errant lawyers may also be suspended from the practice of law and ordered to pay fines even after they have been banished from the legal circle.

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“[T]he court does not lose its exclusive jurisdiction over other offenses committed by a disbarred lawyer while he/she was still a member of the law profession,” the tribunal said in its June 15 resolution released on Tuesday.

“In fact, by imposing a fine, the court is able ‘to assert its authority and competence to discipline all acts and actuations committed by the members of the legal profession,’” it stressed.

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The tribunal spelled out this policy as it upheld the December 2019 resolution of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) that imposed a six-month suspension on Leonardo Real based on a complaint filed by a couple.

The IBP found that Real continued to provide legal services while suspended, thus, barring him from lawyering from October 2016 to April 2017.

—MARLON RAMOS

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