SC disbars lawyer for malpractice, gross misconduct
The Supreme Court ordered the disbarment of a lawyer for violating Rules 1.01, 16.04, and 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
In A.C. 12475, the SC disbarred Atty. Jorge C. Sacdalan and ordered his name stricken off the Roll of Attorneys effective immediately.
Also, the SC ordered him to return to complainant Rosalie P. Domingo P50,000, as legal deposit to cover the expenses related to the expected litigation, and P100,000, as cash advance chargeable against his appearance fees and other fees, with interest of 6% per annum reckoned from the date of the receipt of the decision until full payment.
Likewise, he was fined P5,000 for disobedience to the orders of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines–Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD).
Records showed that complainant engaged the services of Sacdalan in 2016 to recover possession of a parcel of land from illegal settlers in Binangonan, Rizal.
She claimed that she lent P100,000 to Sacdalan in the form of a cash advance charged against his appearance fees and other fees out of compassion since Sacdalan said the money was for his wife’s hospitalization.
When Sacdalan did not give any updates on the status of her case, the complainant inquired directly with the Municipal Trial Court of Binangonan, Rizal and discovered that the former has yet to file any complaint for ejectment.
After being confronted by Domingo, Sacdalan eventually filed a complaint for ejectment before the MTC, which dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.
Domingo sought the services of another lawyer to communicate with Sacdalan, who despite agreeing to return the cash advance, still failed to do so despite several demands.
“[T]he acts and omissions of respondent constitute malpractice, gross negligence and gross misconduct in his office as attorney. His incompetence and appalling indifference to his duty to his client, the courts and society render him unfit to continue discharging the trust reposed in him as a member of the Bar,” the SC said.