judicial policy to await the final resolution of a criminal case before a complaint against a lawyer may be acted upon; otherwise, this Court will be rendered helpless to apply the rules on admission to, and continuing membership in the legal profession during the whole period that the criminal case is pending final disposition, when the objectives of the two proceedings are vastly disparate. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare and to save courts of justice from persons unfit to practice law. The attorney is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. ( Office of the Court Administrator v. Judge Ruiz , A.M. No. RTJ-13- 2361 [Formerly OCA IPI No. 13-4144-RTJ], February 2, 2016) It must be emphasized that a disbarment proceeding, being administrative in nature, is separate and distinct from a criminal action filed against a lawyer and they may proceed independently of each other. A finding of guilt in the criminal case does not necessarily mean a finding of liability in the administrative case. In the same way, the dismissal of a criminal case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence against an accused, who is also a respondent in an administrative case, does not necessarily exculpate him administratively because the quantum of evidence required is different. In criminal cases, proof beyond reasonable doubt is required. "In administrative cases for disbarment or suspension against lawyers, the quantum of proof required is clearly preponderant evidence and the burden of proof rests upon the complainant." Preponderance of evidence means "evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that which is offered in opposition thereto." ( Cobalt Resources, Inc. v. Atty. Aguado , A.C. No. 10781, April 12, 2016) Generally, a lawyer who holds a government office may not be disciplined as a member of the Bar for misconduct in the discharge of his duties as a government official. He may be disciplined by this Court as a member of the Bar only when his misconduct also constitutes a violation of his oath as a lawyer. In this regard, Rule 6.02 above-quoted is particularly directed to lawyers in the government service, enjoining them from using one's public position to: (1) promote private interests; (2) advance private interests; or (3) allow private interests to interfere with public duties. ( Facturan v. Barcelona , A.C. No. 11069, June 8, 2016)
NOTES ON POLITICAL LAW Excerpts from the 2016 Decisions of the Supreme Court by Atty. C ARLO L . C RUZ 50 The Court finds the need to clarify that although it may entertain a disbarment or suspension complaint brought against a lawyer employed in the government service whether or not the complaint pertained to an act or conduct unrelated to the discharge of his official functions, the investigation should be carried out by the agency or office having administrative supervision over him or her when the allegations of the complaint
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