THE PHILIPPINE Supreme Court (SC) has disbarred a lawyer who had been stricken off the roll of lawyers by the SC of California in 2000.
In a statement on Tuesday, the high court said it has the authority to disbar or suspend a member of the court for violations committed in a foreign country based on the Revised Rules of Court Resolution.
According to the resolution, the recognition of foreign judgment only requires proof of that ruling in the foreign jurisdiction. In this particular case, a copy of the California court decision was obtained and was found to be sufficient proof.
The lawyer was banned from practicing law in the state of California for mishandling settlement funds amounting to $25,000 that he received on behalf of a client for a bodily injury case.
“The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege that is clothed with public interest. To enjoy the privilege of practicing law as officers of the Court, lawyers must adhere to the rigid standards of mental fitness and maintain the highest degree of morality,” the SC said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez