Blanza and Pasion v. Arcangel
OLEGARIA BLANZA & MARIA PASION vs. ATTY. ARCANGEL
A.C. No. 492; September 5, 1967
The power to discipline members of the Bar is an inherent power lodged in the Supreme Court. Such disciplinary powers, however, must be exercised with due caution lest it deprive a lawyer the opportunity to practice his profession without justifiable cause. In the case at bar, respondent is imputed to have been negligent in the affairs of his client. While there is a slight breach of trust and confidence of the respondent with respect to his client, the Court deemed it proper not to have respondent be reprimanded on the basis of lack of sufficient evidence to warrant such reprimand. The Court, however, stressed that the practice of law is imbued with high standards and a lawyer is not only expected to comply with the minimal technicalities of statutes but to be a community leader and a model citizen as well.
Indeed, as a public servant, a lawyer should always keep in mind the confidence and trust reposed in him by his clients. This is, at the very least, basic in rendering legal services. While it is true that there is insufficient evidence which would warrant a serious disciplinary action for the respondent, we are of the opinion that the Court should have at least gave respondent a reprimand or warning if only to stress the heavy duty and responsibility of lawyers with regard to their respective clients. Imposing such reprimand would be exemplary and would be in line in upholding the dignity of the legal profession. The group, however, concedes to the discretion of the Court in matters on disciplinary actions who is the most competent and knowledgeable in rendering judgment with justice as the ultimate end in mind.