Valencia v. Antiniw A.C. No. 1302, A.C. No. 1391, A.C. No. 1543

Facts: Respondent was DISBARRED from the practice of law, and his name is ordered stricken off from the roll of attorneys. Subsequently, after his disbarment, the respondent consistently yearly appealed to the court his reinstatement and that he showed show his remorse and repentance, and to demonstrate his willingness and capacity to live up once again to the exacting standards of conduct demanded of every member of the bar and officer of the court. after multiple manifestation, resolution and testimony of various civic, humanitarian and religious groups attesting to the reformed good moral character of the respondent, after 15 years of disbarment, the court ask the Commission on Bar Discipline for comments and resolution which was sent to the IBP Board of Governors for approval.

Issue: Whether the Respondent how is Disbarred to practice law and who consistently showed show his remorse and repentance, and to demonstrate his willingness and capacity to live up once again to the exacting standards of conduct demanded of every member of the bar and officer of the court is eligible to be readmitted in the bar.

Held: Yes, During respondent’s disbarment for more than fifteen (15) years to date for his professional infraction, he has been persistent in reiterating his apologies and pleas for reinstatement to the practice of law and unrelenting in his efforts to show that he has regained his worthiness to practice law, by his civic and humanitarian activities and unblemished record as an elected public servant, as attested to by numerous civic and professional organizations, government institutions, public officials and members of the judiciary. Moreover, it is well-settled that the objective of a disciplinary case is not so much to punish the individual attorney as to protect the dispensation of justice by sheltering the judiciary and the public from the misconduct or inefficiency of officers of the court. Restorative justice, not retribution, is our goal in disciplinary proceedings. Guided by this doctrine and considering the evidence submitted by respondent satisfactorily showing his contrition and his being again worthy of membership in the legal profession, the Court finds that it is now time to lift herein respondent’s disbarment and reinstate him to the august halls of the legal profession, but with the following reminder That practice of law is a privilege burdened with conditions. Adherence to the rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest degree of morality and faithful compliance with the rules of the legal profession are the conditions required for remaining a member of good standing of the bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law. The Supreme Court, as guardian of the legal profession, has ultimate disciplinary power over attorneys. This authority to discipline its members is not only a right but a bounden duty as well. That is why respect and fidelity to the Court is demanded of its members. Of all classes and professions, the lawyer is most sacredly bound to uphold the laws, as he is their sworn servant; and for him, of all men in the world, to repudiate and override the laws, to trample them under foot and to ignore the very bonds of society, argues recreancy to his position and office and sets a pernicious example to the insubordinate and dangerous elements of the body politic.

 

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