You are on page 1of 9

RULE 139-B BAR MATTER N0.

1645 (RE: AMENDMENT OF RULE 139-B), dated


Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys October 13, 2015
RULE 139-B Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys
Section 1. How Instituted. — Proceedings for the disbarment,
suspension, or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Section 1. How Instituted. - Proceedings for the disbarment, suspension,
Court motu propio, or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu
upon the verified complaint of any person. The complaint shall state propio, or upon the filing of a verified complaint of any person before
clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported the Supreme Court or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The
by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of
alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts. and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal
knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as
may substantiate said facts.
The IBP Board of Governors may, motu propio or upon referral by the
Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the instance
The IBP shall forward to the Supreme Court for appropriate disposition
of any person, initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring
all complaints for disbarment, suspension and discipline filed against
attorneys including those in the government service.
incumbent Justices of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of
Tax Appeals and judges of lower courts, or against lawyers in the
Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary
government service, whether or not they are charged singly or jointly
of the IBP or the Secretary of any of its chapter who shall forthwith
with other respondents, and whether or not such complaint deals with
transmit the same to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an
acts unrelated to the discharge of their official functions.
investigator.
If the complaint is filed before the IBP, six ( 6) copies of the verified
A. PROCEEDINGS IN THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary
of any of its chapter who shall forthwith transmit the same to the IBP
Section 2. National Grievance Investigators. — The Board of Governors Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator.”
shall appoint from among IBP members an Investigator or, when
special circumstances so warrant, a panel of three (3) investigators to
investigate the complaint. All Investigators shall take an oath of office
in the form prescribed by the Board of Governors. A copy of the
Investigator's appointment and oath shall be transmitted to the
Supreme Court.

An Investigator may be disqualified by reason of relationship within the


fourth degree of consanguinity of affinity to any of the parties of their
counsel, pecuniary interest, personal bias, or his having acted as
counsel to his acting as such Investigator. Where the Investigator does
not disqualify himself, a party may appeal to the IBP Board of
Governors, which by majority vote of the members present, there
being a quorum, may order his disqualification.

Any Investigator may also be removed for cause, after due hearing,
by the vote of at least six (6) members of the IBP Board of Governors.
Section 3. Duties of the National Grievance Investigator. — The
National Grievance Investigators shall investigate all complaints
against members of the Integrated Bar referred to them by the IBP
Board of Governors.

Section 4. Chapter assistance to complainant. — The proper IBP


Chapter may assist the complainant(s) in the preparation and filing of A. PROCEEDINGS IN THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE
his complaint(s). PHILIPPINES

Section 5. Service or dismissal. — If the complaint appears to be Section 5. Service or dismissal. - If the complaint appears to be
meritorious, the Investigator shall direct that a copy thereof be served meritorious, the Investigator shall direct that a copy thereof be served
upon the respondent, requiring him to answer the same within fifteen upon the respondent, requiring him to answer the same within fifteen
(15) days from the date of service. If the complaint does not merit (15) days from the date of service.
action, or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator that
the complaint is not meritorious, the same may be dismissed by the If the complaint does not merit action, or if the answer shows to the
Board of Governors upon his recommendation. A copy of the satisfaction of the Investigator that the complaint is not meritorious, the
resolution of dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the Investigator will recommend to the Board of Governors the dismissal of
Supreme Court which may review the casemotu propio or upon timely the complaint. Thereafter, the procedure in Section 12 of this Rule shall
appeal of the complainant filed within 15 days from notice of the apply.
dismissal of the complainant.
No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the
No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance, settlement, compromise, restitution, withdrawal of the
desistance, settlement, compromise, restitution, withdrawal of the charges, or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same, unless
charges, or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same,unless the Supreme Court motu propio or upon recommendation of the IBP
the Supreme Court motu propio or upon recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors, determines that there is no compelling reason to
Board of Governors, determines that there is no compelling reason to continue with the disbarment or suspension proceedings against the
continue with the disbarment or suspension proceedings against the respondent.”
respondent. (Amendment pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution
dated May 27, 1993 re Bar Matter 356). (Amendment pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution dated May 27,
1993 re Bar Matter No. 356)
Section 6. Verification and service of answer. — The answer shall be
verified. The original and five (5) legible copies of the answer shall be
filed with the Investigator, with proof of service of a copy thereof on
the complainant or his counsel.

Section 7. Administrative counsel. — The IBP Board of Governors shall


appoint a suitable member of the Integrated Bar as counsel to assist
the complainant of the respondent during the investigation in case of
need for such assistance.
Section 8. Investigation. — Upon joinder of issues or upon failure of the
respondent to answer, the Investigator shall, with deliberate speed,
proceed with the investigation of the case. He shall have the power
to issue subpoenas and administer oaths. The respondent shall be
given full opportunity to defend himself, to present witnesses on his
behalf, and be heard by himself and counsel. However, if upon
reasonable notice, the respondent fails to appear, the investigation
shall proceed ex parte.

The Investigator shall terminate the investigation within three (3)


months from the date of its commencement, unless extended for
good cause by the Board of Governors upon prior application.

Willful failure or refusal to obey a subpoena or any other lawful order


issued by the Investigator shall be dealt with as for indirect contempt
of court. The corresponding charge shall be filed by the Investigator
before the IBP Board of Governors which shall require the alleged
contemnor to show cause within ten (10) days from notice. The IBP
Board of Governors may thereafter conduct hearings, if necessary, in
accordance with the procedure set forth in this Rule for hearings
before the Investigator. Such hearing shall as far as practicable be
terminated within fifteen (15) days from its commencement.
Thereafter, the IBP Board of Governors shall within a like period of
fifteen (15) days issue a resolution setting forth its findings and
recommendations, which shall forthwith be transmitted to the
Supreme Court for final action and if warranted, the imposition of
penalty.

Section 9. Depositions. — Depositions may be taken in accordance


with the Rules of Court with leave of the investigator(s).

Within the Philippines, depositions may be taken before any member


of the Board of Governors, the President of any Chapter, or any officer
authorized by law to administer oaths.

Depositions may be taken outside the Philippines before diplomatic or


consular representative of the Philippine Government or before any
person agreed upon by the parties or designated by the Board of
Governors.Any suitable member of the Integrated Bar in the place
where a deposition shall be taken may be designated by the
Investigator to assist the complainant or the respondent in taking a
deposition.
Section 10. Report of Investigator. — Not later than thirty (30) days from
the termination of the investigation, the Investigator shall submit a
report containing his findings of fact and recommendations to the IBP
Board of Governors, together with the stenographic notes and the
transcript thereof, and all the evidence presented during the
investigation. The submission of the report need not await the
transcription of the stenographic notes, it being sufficient that the
report reproduce substantially from the Investigator's personal notes
any relevant and pertinent testimonies.

Section 11. Defects. — No defect in a complaint, notice, answer, or in


the proceeding or the Investigator's Report shall be considered as
substantial unless the Board of Governors, upon considering the whole
record, finds that such defect has resulted or may result in a
miscarriage of justice, in which event the Board shall take such
remedial action as the circumstances may warrant, including
invalidation of the entire proceedings.
Section 12. Review and recommendation by the Board of Governors.
Section 12. Review and decision by the Board of Governors.
a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP
a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Board of Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted to it
Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted to it by the Investigator by the Investigator with his report.
with his report. The decision of the Board upon such review shall be in writing
and shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the reasons on which it is b) After its review, the Board, by the vote of a majority of its total
based. It shall be promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days membership, shall recommend to the Supreme Court the dismissal of
from the next meeting of the Board following the submittal of the Investigator's the complaint or the imposition of disciplinary action against the
Report. respondent.

b) If the Board, by the vote of a majority of its total membership, determines The Board shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and
that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law or recommendations, clearly and distinctly stating the facts and the
disbarred, it shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and
reasons on which it is based.
recommendations which, together with the whole record of the case, shall
forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action.
The resolution shall be issued within a period not exceeding thirty (30)
c) If the respondent is exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary sanction
days from the next meeting of the Board following the submission of
imposed by it is less than suspension or disbarment (such as admonition, the Investigator's report.
reprimand, or fine) it shall issue a decision exonerating respondent or imposing
such sanction. The case shall be deemed terminated unless upon petition of c) The Board's resolution, together with the entire records and all
the complainant or other interested party filed with the Supreme Court within evidence presented and submitted, shall be transmitted to the
fifteen (15) days from notice of the Board's resolution, the Supreme Court Supreme Court for final action within ten (10) days from issuance of
orders otherwise. the resolution.

d) Notice of the resolution or decision of the Board shall be given to all parties
through their counsel. A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the Supreme
Court.
B. PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUPREME COURT

Section 13. Supreme Court Investigation. — In proceedings B. PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUPREME COURT
initiated motu propio by the Supreme Court or in other proceedings
when the interest of justice so requires, the Supreme Court may refer Section 13. Investigation of complaints. - In proceedings initiated by
the case for investigation to the Solicitor-General or to any officer of the Supreme Court, or in other proceedings when the interest of justice
the Supreme Court or judge of a lower court, in which case the so requires, the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to
investigation shall proceed in the same manner provided in sections 6 the Office of the Bar Confidant, or to any officer of the Supreme Court
to 11 hereof, save that the review of the report of investigation shall or judge of a lower court, in which case the investigation shall proceed
be conducted directly by the Supreme Court. in the same manner provided in sections 6 to 11 hereof, save that the
review of the report of investigation shall be conducted directly by the
Supreme Court.
Section 14. Report of the Solicitor General of other Court-designated
Investigator. — Based upon the evidence adduced at the
The complaint may also be referred to the IBP for investigation, report,
investigation, the Solicitor General or other Investigator designated by
and recommendation.”
the Supreme Court shall submit to the Supreme Court a report
containing his findings of fact and recommendations for the final
action of the Supreme Court.

C. COMMON PROVISIONS
C. COMMON PROVISIONS
Section 15. Suspension of attorney by Supreme Court. — After receipt
of respondent's answer or lapse of the period therefor, the Supreme Section 15. Suspension of attorney by Supreme Court. - After receipt
Court, motu propio, or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors of respondent's answer or lapse of the period therefor, the Supreme
upon the recommendation of the Investigator, may suspend an Court, motu propio, or upon the recommendation of the IBP Board of
attorney from the practice of his profession for any of the causes Governors, may suspend an attorney from the practice of his
specified in Rule 138, Section 27, during the pendency of the profession for any of the causes specified in Rule 138, section 27, during
investigation until such suspension is lifted by the Supreme Court. the pendency of the investigation until such suspension is lifted by the
Supreme Court.”
Section 16. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a
Regional Trial Court. 1 — The Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court The amendments shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in
may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named a newspaper of general circulation.
in Rule 138, Section 27 2, until further action of the Supreme Court in
the case. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines is ordered to revise its rules of
procedure in accordance with the amendments to Rule 139-B.
Section 17. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Regional Trial
Court, further proceedings in Supreme Court. — Upon such suspension,
the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit
to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and
a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon
receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall
make a full investigation of the case and may revoke, shorten or
extend the suspension, or disbar the attorney as the facts may
warrant.

Section 18. Confidentiality. — Proceedings against attorneys shall be


private and confidential. However, the final order of the Supreme
Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases.

Section 19. Expenses. — All reasonable and necessary expenses


incurred in relation to disciplinary and disbarment proceedings are
lawfull charges for which the parties may be taxed as costs.

Section 20. Effectivity and Transitory Provision. — This Rule shall take
effect June 1, 1988 and shall supersede the present Rule 139 entitled
"DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF ATTORNEYS". All cases pending
investigation by the Office of the Solicitor General shall be transferred
to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors for
investigation and disposition as provided in this Rule except those
cases where the investigation has been substantially completed.















RULE 140 – superseded (don’t read!) A.M. NO. 01-8-10-SC
Charges Against Judges of First Instance AMENDMENT TO RULE 140 OF THE RULES OF COURT RE: DISCIPLINE
OF JUSTICES AND JUDGES
Section 1. Complaint - All Charges against judges of first instance shall
be in writing and shall set out distinctly, clearly, and concisely the facts DISCIPLINE OF JUDGES OF REGULAR AND SPECIAL COURTS AND
complained of as constituting the alleged serious misconduct or JUSTICES OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE SANDIGANBAYAN
inefficiency of the respondent, and shall be sworn to and supported
by affidavits of persons who have personal knowledge of the facts SECTION 1. How instituted. – Proceedings for the discipline of judges of
therein alleged, and shall be accompanied with copies of documents regular and special courts and Justices of the Court of Appeals and
which may substantiate said facts. the Sandiganbayan may be instituted motu proprio by the Supreme
Court or upon a verified complaint, supported by affidavits of person
Section 2. Service or dismissal. - If the charges appear to merit action, who have personal knowledge of the facts alleged therein or by
a copy thereof shall be served upon the respondent, requiring him to documents which may substantiate said allegations, or upon an
answer within ten (10) days from the date service. If the charges do anonymous complaint, supported by public records of indubitable
not merit action, or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the court integrity. The complaint shall be in writing and shall state clearly and
that the charges are not meritorious, the same shall be dismissed. concisely the acts and omissions constituting violations of standards of
conduct prescribed for Judges by law, the Rules of Court, or the Code
Section 3. Answer; hearing. - Upon the filing of respondents answer or of Judicial Conduct.
upon the expiration of the time for its filing, the court shall assign one
of its members, a Justice of the Court of Appeals or a judge of first SEC. 2. Action on the complaint. – If the complaint is sufficient in form
instance to conduct the hearing of the charges. The Justice or judge and substance, a copy thereof shall be served upon the respondent,
so assigned shall set a day for the hearing, and notice thereof shall be and he shall be required to comment within ten (10) days from the
served on both parties. At such hearing the parties may present oral date of service. Otherwise, the same shall be dismissed.
or written evidence.
SEC. 3. By whom complaint investigated. – Upon the filing of the
Section 4. Report - After the hearing, the Justice or judge shall file with respondent’s comment, or upon the expiration of the time for filing the
the Supreme Court a report of his findings of fact and conclusions of same and unless other pleadings or documents are required, the
law, accompanied by the evidence presented by the parties and the Court shall refer the matter to the Office of the Court Administrator for
other papers in the case. evaluation, report, and recommendation or assign the case for
investigation, report, and recommendation to a retired member of the
Section 5. Action - After the filing of the report, the court will take such Supreme Court, if the respondent is a Justice of the Court of Appeals
action as the facts and the law may warrant. and the Sandiganbayan, or to a Justice of the Court of Appeals, if the
respondent is a Judge of a Regional Trial Court or of a special court of
Section 6. Confidential. - Proceedings against judges of first instance equivalent rank, or to a Judge of the Regional Trial Court if the
shall be private and confidential. respondent is a Judge of an inferior court.

SEC. 4. Hearing. – the investigating Justice or Judge shall set a day of


the hearing and send notice thereof to both parties. At such hearing
the parties may present oral and documentary evidence. If, after due
notice, the respondent fails to appear, the investigation shall proceed
ex parte.
The Investigating Justice or Judge shall terminate the investigation 6. Untruthful statements in the certificate of service; and
within ninety (90) days from the date of its commencement or within 7. Simple Misconduct.
such extension as the Supreme Court may grant.
SEC. 5. Report. – Within thirty (30) days from the termination of the SEC. 10. Light Charges. – Light charges include:
investigation, the investigating Justice or Judge shall submit to the 1. Vulgar and unbecoming conduct;
Supreme Court a report containing findings of fact and 2. Gambling in public;
recommendation. The report shall be accompanied by the record 3. Fraternizing with lawyers and litigants with pending case/cases in his
containing the evidence and the pleadings filed by the parties. The court; and
report shall be confidential and shall be for the exclusive use of the 4. Undue delay in the submission of monthly reports.
Court.
SEC. 11. Sanctions. – A. If the respondent is guilty of a serious charge,
SEC. 6. Action. – The Court shall take such action on the report as the any of the following sanctions may be imposed:
facts and the law may warrant. 1. Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as
the Court may determine, and disqualification from reinstatement or
SEC. 7. Classification of charges. – Administrative charges are appointment to any public office, including government-owned or
classified as serious, less serious, or light. controlled corporations. Provided, however, that the forfeiture of
benefits shall in no case include accrued leave credits;
SEC. 8. Serious charges. – Serious charges include: 2. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more
than three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months; or
1. Bribery, direct or indirect; 3. A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00
2. Dishonesty and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Law (R.A. No. 3019); B. If the respondent is guilty of a less serious charge, any of the
3. Gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial following sanctions shall be imposed:
Conduct; 1. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not less
4. Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment or order as determined by than one (1) nor more than three (3) months; or
a competent court in an appropriate proceeding; 2. A fine of more than P10,000.00 but not exceeding P20,000.00.
5. Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
6. Willful failure to pay a just debt; C. If the respondent is guilty of a light charge, any of the following
7. Borrowing money or property from lawyers and litigants in a case sanctions shall be imposed:
pending before the court; 1. A fine of not less than P1,000.00 but not exceeding P10,000.00
8. Immorality; and/or
9. Gross ignorance of the law or procedure; 2. Censure;
10. Partisan political activities; and 3. Reprimand;
11. Alcoholism and/or vicious habits. 4. Admonition with warning.

SEC. 9. Less Serious Charges. – Less serious charges include: SEC. 12. Confidentiality of proceedings. – Proceedings against Judges
1. Undue delay in rendering a decision or order, or in transmitting the of regular and special courts and Justices of the Court of Appeals and
records of a case; the Sandiganbayan shall be private and confidential, but a copy of
2. Frequently and unjustified absences without leave or habitual the decision or resolution of the court shall be attached to the record
tardiness; of the respondent in the Office of the Court Administrator.
3. Unauthorized practice of law;
4. Violation of Supreme Court rules, directives, and circulars; These amendments to Rule 140 shall take effect on October 1, 2001
5. Receiving additional or double compensation unless specifically following their publication in two newspapers of general circulation on
authorized by law; or before September 15, 2001.