Petitioners base their petitions on the followingarguments: 1) A partnership is not prohibited fromcontinuing its business under a firm name whichincludes the name of a deceased partner as under Art.1840 of the Civil Code; 2) In regulating otherprofessions, such as accountancy and engineering, thelegislature has authorized the adoption of firm nameswithout any restriction as to the use, in such firm name,of the name of a deceased partner; 3) The Canons ofProfessional Ethics transgressed by the continued use ofthe name of a deceased partner in the firm name of alaw partnership. Canon 33: The continued use of thename of a deceased or former partner when permissibleby local custom, is not unethical but care should betaken that no imposition or deception is practicedthrough this use; 4) No possibility of imposition ordeception because the deaths of their respectivedeceased partners were well-publicized in allnewspapers of general circulation for several days; 5) Nolocal custom prohibits the continued use of a deceasedpartner’s name in a professional firm name; 6)Continued use of a deceased partner’s name in the firmname of law partnerships has been consistently allowedby US Courts.ISSUE:Whether or not the firms may continue to use thepartnership name despite the death of a partner.RULING:No. The public relations value of the use of an oldfirm name can tend to create undue advantages anddisadvantages in the practice of the profession. An able
lawyer without connections will have to make a namefor himself starting from scratch. Another able lawyer,who can join an old firm, can initially ride on that oldfirm’s reputations established by deceased partners.Secondly, Art. 1840 of the Civil Code treats more of acommercial partnership with a good will to protectrather than of a professional partnership.In the Philippines, no local custom permits or allowsthe continued use of a deceased former partner’s namein the firm names of law partnerships. Firm names,under our custom, identify the more creative and/ormore senior partners or members of the law firm.D. Petitioners cited Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar Association" in support of their petitions.It is true that Canon 33does not consider as unethical the continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner in the firm name of a law partnership when such a practice is permissible by local custom but the Canon warns that care should betaken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use.It must be conceded that in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allowsthe continued use of a deceased or former partner's name in the firm names of law partnerships. Firm names, under our custom, Identify the more active and/or more senior members or partners of the law firm.A glimpse at the history of the firms of petitioners and of other law firms in this country would show how their firm names have evolved and changed from time to time as the composition of the partnership changed.