Does this newspaper ad violate the Code of Professional Responsibility? Is selling law book practice of law?
Does this violate Atty. Hipolito's duties as a lawyer under the Code of Professional Responsibility? Is writing, marketing or advertising one's law book practice of law? In relation to these questions, here is a part of a piece of jurisprudence on advertising legal services.
Anent the issue on the validity of the questioned advertisements, the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statement of facts. He is not supposed to use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. Nor shall he pay or give something of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business. Prior to the adoption of the code of Professional Responsibility, the Canons of Professional Ethics had also warned that lawyers should not resort to indirect advertisements for professional employment, such as furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments, or procuring his photograph to be published in connection with causes in which the lawyer has been or is engaged or concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the interest involved, the importance of the lawyer's position, and all other like self-laudation. (Bar Matter No. 553; June 17, 1993)
The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer's advertisement of his talents. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession. advertise his talents or skill as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The prescription against advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal business rests on the fundamental postulate that the that the practice of law is a profession. Thus, in the case of The Director of Religious Affairs. vs. Estanislao R. Bayot an advertisement, similar to those of respondent which are involved in the present proceeding, was held to constitute improper advertising or solicitation. (Bar Matter No. 553; June 17, 1993)