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where sustained by local custom and not where by custom this purports to Identify the active members. Facts: Two separate Petitions were filed before this Court 1) by the surviving partners of Atty. Alexander Sycip, and 2) by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio Ozaeta, praying that they be allowed to continue using, in the names of their firms, the names of partners who had passed away. Petitioners base their petitions on the following arguments: 1.A partnership is not prohibited from continuing its business under a firm name which includes the name of a deceased partner as under Art 1840 of the Civil Code. 2.In regulating other professions, such as accountancy and engineering, the legislature has authorized the adoption of firm names without any restriction as to the use, in such firm name, of the name of a deceased partner 3.The Canons of Professional Ethics are not transgressed by the continued use of the name of a deceased partner in the firm name of a law partnership. Canon 33: The continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner when permissible by local custom, is not unethical but care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use 4.No possibility of imposition or deception because the deaths of their respective deceased partners were well-publicized in all newspapers of general circulation for several days 5.No local custom prohibitsthe continued use of a deceased partner”s name in a professional firm”s name 6.Continued use of a deceased partner”s name in the firm name of law partnerships has been consistently allowed by U.S. CourtsIssues: 1.Whether the firms may continue to use of the partnership name despite the death of a partner Held/Ratio: 1.No. The public relations value of the use of an old firm name can tend to create undue advantages and disadvantages in the practice of the profession. An able lawyer without connections will have to make a name for himself starting from scratch. Another able lawyer, who can join an old firm, can initially ride on that old firm”s reputation established by deceased partners. Secondly, Article 1840 treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect rather than of a professional partnership. A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or for business.The difference between the practice of law from those pertaining to business is that the law is a profession. Canon 33 does 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 be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. However, in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allows the 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.
LEGAL ETHICS DIGESTSJUSTICE HOFILENAALS2014B ALS2014B 33 of 176The