2013 (Legal Ethics) Bar Exam Questions: Essay Question 9

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IX.

Atty. Hermano requested his fraternity brother, Judge Patron, to introduce him to Judge Apestado, before whom he has a case that had been pending for sometime.

Judge Patron, a close friend of Judge Apestado, acceded to the request, telling the latter that Atty. Hermano is his fraternity “brod” and that Atty. Hermano simply wanted to ask for advice on how to expedite the resolution of his case. They met, as arranged, in the fine dining restaurant of a five-star hotel. Atty. Hermano hosted the dinner.

Did Atty. Hermano, Judge Patron and Judge Apestado commit any ethical/administrative violation for which they can be held liable? (8%)

2 comments

  1. Yes. This is literally in violation of the provisions against fraternization. Atty. Hermano violated the Code of Professional Responsibility, in particular, the duty not to influence judges and the prohibition against fraternization with judges before whom they have pending cases. Judges Patron and Apestado violated the Code of Judicial Conduct, in particular the Canons on Impartiality and Propriety. Judges are precluded from socializing with lawyers who have pending cases before them. The Supreme Court has decided in several cases that Judges must not only be impartial, they must also appear to be impartial.

    (Pagod na ako dito sa part na ‘to, at ilan na lang kami sa room namin, may lumabas nga as early as 330).

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