Fact: The Jacoba-Velasco-Jacoba Law Firm is counsel for plaintiff Alejandro R. Veneracion in a civil case for unlawful detainer against defendant Federico Barrientos. The MTC of Cabanatuan City rendered judgment in favor of Veneracion but Barrientos appealed to the RTC. The case was raffled where Judge Lacurom was sitting as pairing judge who issued a Resolution reversing the earlier judgments rendered in favor of Veneracion. Veneracion’s counsel filed a Motion for Reconsideration that uses sardonic, strident and hard-striking adjectives.
Issue: Whether the respondents use of sardonic, strident and hard-striking adjectives is in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility?
Held: Yes, Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as a citizen, to criticize in properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of courts and judges. However, even the most hardened judge would be scarred by the scurrilous attack made by the 30 July 2001 motion on Judge Lacurom’s Resolution. On its face, the Resolution presented the facts correctly and decided the case according to supporting law and jurisprudence. Though a lawyer’s language may be forceful and emphatic, it should always be dignified and respectful, befitting the dignity of the legal profession.46 The use of unnecessary language is proscribed if we are to promote high esteem in the courts and trust in judicial administration. In maintaining the respect due to the courts, a lawyer is not merely enjoined to use dignified language but also to pursue the client’s cause through fair and honest means.