SC revokes lawyer's license for faking CA decision

This case concerns the complaint for the disbarment of Atty. Marie Frances E. Ramon for violating Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Lawyer's Oath for deceiving the complainants in order to obtain the substantial amount of P350,000.00 on the pretext of having the foreclosed asset of the latter's mother redeemed.

GMA NEWS: The Supreme Court (SC) has disbarred a lawyer who allegedly drafted a fake decision of the Court of Appeals (CA).

The High Court also ordered that Marie Frances E. Ramon's name be immediately stricken off the Roll of Attorneys "without prejudice to the civil or criminal cases pending and/or to be filed against her," SC Public Information Office chief Brian Hosaka said Tuesday.

The Court found that Ramon "defrauded her clients by drafting a fake, spurious and sham decision regarding the purported acquittal" of one Tirso Fajardo, the cousin of a client, of drug-related charges and used the names of three CA justices to "accomplish her ill-motives."

The case against Fajardo was actually raffled to a different associate justice, the SC said.

The complainants, CA justices Fernanda Lampas-Peralta and Stephen Cruz and SC justice Ramon Paul Hernando, who was formerly with the CA, alleged that Ramon claimed she could influence CA justices to secure the acquittal of a person accused of a crime and that she defrauded the relatives of an accused to earn "a large amount of money."

Ramon was found to have violated the Lawyer's Oath and several canons of the Code of Professional Responsibility and committed grave misconduct.
"The Court held that Atty. Ramon has tarnished the image of the legal profession and has lessened the public faith in the judiciary," the SC PIO said in a media briefer. "Hence, the ultimate penalty of disbarment must be imposed upon her."

SOURCE: NICOLE-ANNE C. LAGRIMAS, GMA News (2019). Supreme Court disbars lawyer who faked CA decision. Published March 5, 2019 3:18pm. https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/686945/supreme-court-disbars-lawyer-who-faked-ca-decision/story/

QUOTE FROM THE SUPREME COURT: The respondent deserves severe chastisement and appropriate sanctions. In this regard, the IBP Board of Governors recommended her suspension for two years from the practice of law, and her return of the amount of P350,000.00 to the complainants. The recommended penalty is not commensurate to the gravity of the misconduct committed. She merited a heavier sanction of suspension from the practice of law for five years. Her professional misconduct warranted a longer suspension from the practice of law because she had caused material prejudice to the clients' interest. 23 She should somehow be taught to be more ethical and professional in dealing with trusting clients like the complainants and their mother, who were innocently too willing to repose their utmost trust in her abilities as a lawyer and in her trustworthiness as a legal professional. In this connection, we state that the usual mitigation of the recommended penalty by virtue of the misconduct being her first offense cannot be carried out in her favor considering that she had disregarded the several notices sent to her by the IBP in this case. As to the return of the P,350,000.00 to the complainant, requiring her to restitute with legal interest is only fair and just because she did not comply in the least with her ethical undertaking to work on the redemption of the property of the mother of the complainants. In addition, she is sternly warned against a similar infraction in the future; otherwise, the Court will have her suffer a more severe penalty. (A.C. No. 11078. July 19, 2016)

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