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Case Digest on Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals (296 SCRA 171) Gross Misconduct

November 10, 2010

Facts: Petitioner filed a case for recission against the Quetulios and Abadillas alleging that the former sold the land that had already been expropriated. The Quetulios did not file an answer, but at the hearing on the motion for default, co-defendant Hernando was permitted by the judge to appear as counsel for the defendants and file an answer.

Held:  Case reinstated.  Evidently, when respondent Hernando  appeared before the trial court and filed the Answer/Motion to dismiss, he was still under suspension from the practice of law.  A suspended lawyer, during his suspension, is certainly prohibited from engaging in the practice of law, and if he does so, he may be disbarred.  The reason is that, his continuing to practice the profession during his suspension constitutes a gross misconduct  and a willful disregard of the suspension order, which should be obeyed though how erroneous it may be until set aside.

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