Cebuana lawyer suspended for representing both spouses in legal separation case

The Supreme Court (SC) has suspended abogada Gloria Lastimosa-Dalawampu for one year for representing both the husband and the wife in a legal separation case.

In a recent 3-page notice of resolution, the SC 2nd Division held Lastimosa-Dalawampu guilty of violation of Canon 15, Rules 15.01 and 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which prohibit conflict of interest.

The SC found that she established a lawyer-client relationship with fellow lawyer Elsa Wilson in a July 2000 meeting where she obtained documents and other information regarding the legal separation case before the Cebu City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9.

Yet, Lastimosa-Dalawampu later represented the husband, Claude Wilson, in the same legal separation case and the related annulment case filed against Elsa.

The Court of Appeals (CA) in January 2004 disqualified Lastimosa-Dalawampu from participating in the Wilsons’ cases, according to court records.

In adopting the recommendation of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to hold Lastimosa-Dalawampu liable, the SC said her actions “run afoul of her duty to avoid conflict of interest, particularly as to representing clients with opposing interests.”

The notice was signed by Division Clerk of Court Maria Lourdes Perfecto.

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