Proposed Rule On Mandatory Legal Aid Service For Practicing Lawyers (Bar Matter No. 2012) at Philippine e-Legal Forum

Proposed Rule On Mandatory Legal Aid Service For Practicing Lawyers (Bar Matter No. 2012) at Philippine e-Legal Forum.

2 responses to “Proposed Rule On Mandatory Legal Aid Service For Practicing Lawyers (Bar Matter No. 2012) at Philippine e-Legal Forum”

  1. “WHAT! Is the Supreme Court (SC) kidding?

    Question: What percentage of bar passers actually venture as law practitioners?

    This rule will further dwindlethe number of practitioners?

    Does the SC want lawyers to be ambulance chasers? Does the SC want to further clog the dockets in court because practicing lawyers need that Docket numbers to comply with this Rule?

    As defined, ‘Free legal aid services refer to appearance in court or quasi-judicial body for and in behalf of an indigent or pauper litigant and the preparation of pleadings or motions.’

    Now how about government lawyers, PAO and prosecutors, who are not exempted from this Rule? It seems that they have been serving indigent litigants, BUT this Rule is over and above of what they do. Does this mean that when they would render free legal service in compliance with this Rule they would have to file a leave of absence without pay, otherwise it wouldn’t be free since they are actually being paid by the government? And in case they would be allowed to serve indigent litigants on government time to comply with this Rule, isn’t this an unconstitutional classification because private lawyers spend their time without pay just to comply with this Rule?

    How about government and private in-house counsels, considered by this Rule as practicing lawyers, who work 8 to 5, Monday to Friday. When will they render this free legal service? Would they have to work on a Saturday or Sunday to render this service, but would further take away time from their families? And when they appear in court in compliance with this Rule, will they, too, file for a leave of absence without pay to compl with the ’so-called’ FREE legal service?

    If I am Lawyer who by law are not allowed to appear in court, why should I be penalized by filing an annual P2,000 contribution?

    If I work in a Barrio or some far-flung region away from the Courts, should I venture into the City just to comply with this Free Legal Service, but will cost me board and lodging expenses?

    Recently, I heard in the radio that a known human rights lawyer will file with the SC a Motion or Petition for the court to reconsider this Rule. I asked myself, how will you file a case to declare the Rule as unconstitutional due to involuntary servitude with a Court who unanimously passed the Rule.

    Common, what is the SC really up to? Is this FAIR?

    Would somebody please explain to me the wisdom of this Rule by addressing the questions stated above?

    The IBP National Convention is coming up this March. Lawyers make a stand on this issue!”

    1. Well, actually in my case, I’m more of a corporate lawyer (though I’m not an in-house counsel) and don’t appear in court much. So what I did, even before the Rule came out, was to join the IBP Free Legal Aid. I handle a couple of pro bono cases, and for inspiration I watch The Guardian on AXN. 🙂

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