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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
September-1939 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 46562 September 13, 1939 - BARDWIL BROS. v. PHIL. LABOR UNION

    068 Phil 436

  • G.R. No. 46673 September 13, 1939 - ANDRES P. GOSECO v. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

    068 Phil 444

  • G.R. No. 45596 September 18, 1939 - MARCOS LIPANA v. DOMlNGO LAO Y OTROS

    068 Phil 451

  • G.R. No. 46412 September 18, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOJI

    068 Phil 471

  • G.R. No. 46497 September 18, 1939 - ANTONIO S. SANAGUSTIN v. CONRADO BARRIOS

    068 Phil 475

  • G.R. No. 46170 September 20, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERMIN PUNTO

    068 Phil 481

  • G.R. No. 46780 September 20, 1939 - FISCAL OF CAMARINES NORTE v. JUDGE OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CAMARINES NORTE

    068 Phil 483

  • G.R. No. 46108 September 22, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DATU GALANTU MEDTED

    068 Phil 485

  • G.R. No. 46109 September 22, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NICOLAS CARPIO

    068 Phil 490

  • G.R. No. 46197 September 22, 1939 - KINKWA MERIYASU CO. v. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS

    068 Phil 501

  • G.R. No. 46302 September 22, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TORIBIO C. COSTES

    068 Phil 503

  • G.R. No. 46578 September 22, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANICETO MARQUEZ

    068 Phil 506

  • G.R. No. 46580 September 22, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO DE GUZMAN

    068 Phil 508

  • G.R. No. 46602 September 22, 1939 - YAP TAK WING & CO. v. MUNICIPAL BOARD

    068 Phil 511

  • G.R. No. 46686 September 22, 1939 - TRANQUILINO RUBIS v. PHILIPPINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES

    068 Phil 515

  • G.R. No. 46715 September 22, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EMILIO DE JESUS

    068 Phil 517

  • G.R. No. 46068 September 23, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSTAQUIO CAROZ

    068 Phil 521

  • G.R. No. 46650 September 23, 1939 - MARIO BENGZON v. AUDITOR GENERAL

    068 Phil 527

  • G.R. No. 46652 September 23, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CASIMIRO CONCEPCION

    068 Phil 530

  • G.R. Nos. 46802-46812 September 23, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RESURRECCION B. PEÑAS

    068 Phil 533

  • G.R. No. 46739 September 23, 1939 - PAMPANGA BUS CO., INC. v. PAMBUSCO EMPLOYEES UNION

    068 Phil 541

  • G.R. No. 46668 September 26, 1939 - GOVERNMENT OF THE PHIL. v. PAMPANGA SUGAR MILLS

    068 Phil 547

  • G.R. No. 46729 September 25, 1939 - KAPISANAN NG MGA MANGAGAWA SA PANTRANCO v. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

    068 Phil 552

  • Adm. Case No. 879 September 27, 1939 - PEDRO DE GUZMAN v. TOMAS B. TADEO

    068 Phil 554

  • G.R. No. 46080 September 27, 1939 - GUILLERMO A. CU UNJIENG v. HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING CORP.

    068 Phil 559

  • G.R. No. 46094 September 27, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO C. QUEBRAL

    068 Phil 564

  • G.R. No. 46237 September 27, 1939 - ROSALIO MARQUEZ v. BERNARDO CASTILLO

    068 Phil 568

  • G.R. No. 46350 September 27, 1939 - TAN CHAY v. GOVERNMENT OF THE PHIL.

    068 Phil 572

  • G.R. No. 46470 September 27, 1939 - JUAN CASTILLO v. DIRECTOR OF LANDS

    068 Phil 577

  • G.R. No. 46539 September 27, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VALENTIN DOQUEÑA

    068 Phil 580

  • G.R. Nos. 46553-46555 September 27, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEON FABILLAR

    068 Phil 584

  • G.R. No. 46615 September 27, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO AQUINO

    068 Phil 588

  • G.R. No. 46727 September 27, 1939 - PAMBUSCO EMPLOYEES’ UNION v. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

    068 Phil 591

  • G.R. No. 46168 September 29, 1939 - INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER CO. OF THE PHIL. v. DELFIN MAHINAY

    068 Phil 597

  • G.R. No. 46336 September 29, 1939 - REVEREND ULRIC ARCAND v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

    068 Phil 601

  • G.R. No. 46458 September 29, 1939 - ERLANGER & GALINGER v. HERMENEGILDO G. ALAGAR

    068 Phil 610

  • G.R. No. 46725 September 29, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMINO AQUINO

    068 Phil 615

  • G.R. No. 46023 September 30, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS FLORENDO

    068 Phil 619

  • G.R. No. 46252 September 30, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONOR DE MOLL

    068 Phil 626

  • G.R. No. 46298 September 30, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DATU AMBIS

    068 Phil 635

  • G.R. No. 46390 September 30, 1939 - CASIMIRO TIANGCO v. PROCESO FRANCISCO

    068 Phil 639

  • G.R. No. 46396 September 30, 1939 - ALEJANDRO DE GUZMAN v. VISAYAN RAPID TRANSIT CO.

    068 Phil 643

  • G.R. No. 46451 September 30, 1939 - PAZ CHUA v. SECRETARY OF LABOR

    068 Phil 649

  • G.R. No. 46484 September 30, 1939 - SANTIAGO SAMBRANO v. RED LINE TRANSPORTATION CO., INC.

    068 Phil 652

  • G.R. No. 46724 September 30, 1939 - CRESCENCIO REYNES v. ROSALINA BARRERA

    068 Phil 656

  • G.R. No. 46728 September 30, 1939 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO MONTENEGRO

    068 Phil 659

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 46396   September 30, 1939 - ALEJANDRO DE GUZMAN v. VISAYAN RAPID TRANSIT CO. <br /><br />068 Phil 643

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 46396. September 30, 1939.]

    ALEJANDRO DE GUZMAN, Petitioner, v. VISAYAN RAPID TRANSIT CO., INC., NEGROS TRANSPORTATION CO., INC., and NICOLAS CONCEPCION, Respondents.

    Licerio Floirendo and Eulogio de Guzman for Petitioner.

    E. P. Virata for Respondents.

    SYLLABUS


    1. ATTORNEY AND CLIENT; ATTORNEY’S FEES; SERVICES OF ADMINISTRATIVE NATURE. — Although the professional services rendered by the petitioner are purely administrative and did not require a high degree of professional skill and experience, the fact remains that these services were rendered and were productive of substantial beneficial results to his clients. It is clear that for these services the petitioner is entitled to compensation.

    2. ID.; ID.; CIRCUMSTANCES DETERMINING ATTORNEY’S FEES. — The following are the circumstances to be considered in determining the compensation of an attorney: the amount and character of the services rendered; the labor, time, and trouble involved; the nature and importance of the litigation or business in which the services were rendered; the responsibility imposed; the amount of money or the value of the property affected by the controversy, or involved in the employment, the skill and experience called for in the performance of the services; the professional character and social standing of the attorney; the results secured; and whether or not the fee is absolute or contingent, it being a recognized rule that an attorney may properly charge a much larger fee when it is to be contingent than when it is not. The financial ability of the defendant may also be considered net to enhance the amount above a reasonable compensation, but to determine whether or not he is able to pay a fair and just compensation for the services rendered, or as an incident in ascertaining the importance and gravity of the interests involved in the litigation. (Delgado v. De la Rama, 43 Phil., 419; Panis v. Yangco, 52 Phil., 499.)

    3. ID; ID.; ID. — The importance, merits and value of professional services of a lawyer are measured not alone by his work taken separately, but by his work taken as a whole. There are services which, when taken separately, may not in themselves have any noticeable special merit, but when considered in connection with the other works and services of the lawyer to which they are related, acquire an unquestionable value. That is why even the time employed is not in itself an appropriate basis for fixing the compensation. (Haussermann v. Rahmeyer, 12 Phil., 350; Bachrach v. Teal and Teal Motor Co., 53 Phil., 631, 634.)

    4. ID.; ID.; ID. — "It is elementary that an attorney is entitled to have and receive the just and reasonable compensation for services performed at the special instance and request of his client. . . That is to say, as long as the plaintiff was honestly and in good faith trying to serve and represent the interest of the client, he should have a reasonable compensation for his services. . . (Wolfson v. Anderson, 48 Phil., 672, 675.)

    5. ID.; ID.; ID. — The amount of the professional fees to be paid to the petitioner had not been fixed, but the intention and promise to pay him is evidently shown by the records in this case. And in any case, whether there is an agreement or not, the courts can fix a reasonable compensation which lawyers should receive for their professional services. (Panis v. Yangco, 52 Phil., 499, 502.) No hard and fast rule can be stated which will serve even as a guide in determining what is or what is not a reasonable fee. That must be determined from the face in each case. (2 Thornton on Attorney at Law, p. 783.)

    6. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. — Facts and circumstances considered, Held: That the reasonable compensation of the petitioner is P7,000, deducting therefrom, however, the sum of P1,280 which the petitioner had already received.


    D E C I S I O N


    LAUREL, J.:


    This is a petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals of September 20, 1938, in the above-entitled case on various alleged errors of law.

    The Visayan Rapid transit Co. and the Negros Transportation Co., Inc., during the time the legal services are claimed to have been rendered by the petitioner, were operating automobile lines in the Province of Occidental Negros. The respondent, Nicolas Concepcion, was at the time the president, general manager, and controlling stockholder of these two transportation companies. In January, 1933, Concepcion engaged the professional services of the petitioner, who was then a law practitioner in the City of Manila. The employment was for the purpose of obtaining the suppression, reduction and refund of certain tolerates on various bridges along the line operated by the respondent transportation companies. According to the petitioner, these toll bridges are in places known as Bago, Calatrava, Danao, Hinigiran, Malogo, Talavam Daco Talabangay, Bagacay, Binmalayan and Sicaba. At the time of the employment of the petitioner, it appears that the respondent transportation companies had paid the sum of P89,816.70 as toll charges up to December 31, 1932, an amount said to represent one-seventh of their gross income up to that date, and in view of their high rates, the payment of the toll charges were detrimental to the transportation business of the respondent if not remedied in time. The herein petitioner accordingly took steps to obtain first the suppression, and later the reduction of toll rates on said bridges and also the refund of P50,000 of toll charges already collected by the Province of Occidental Negros. For this purpose, he appears to have signed Exhibit A which Concepcion brought to Manila, asking that the Bago and Malogo bridges be declared free, and said petition was filed with the Secretary of Public Works and Communications in January, 1933.

    Believing that the suppression of tolls on the bago and Malogo bridges could not be effected, the petitioner filed with the said Secretary of Public Works and Communications, petition Exhibit B asking for the reduction of toll charges over the eleven (11) bridges in Occidental Negros. This fact was brought to the knowledge of Nicolas Concepcion who in turn wrote to the petitioner, Exhibit K-1, the pertinent part of which reads thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Now compadre if this toll business will not at all be effected I would like to request you therefore to work for at least 50 per cent reduction on all toll bridges, so that our little business will prosper a bit. We will always hope of course for the best to come." (In English.)

    The Insular authorities readily saw the justice of the transportation companies’ petition and urged the provincial board of Occidental Negros to act favorably. The provincial board, however, declined to follow the suggestion. The Secretary of Commerce and Public Works warned the provincial officials by sending them the communication, dated April 23, 1934, with the admonition that "if the toll rates have not been revised . . . by June 15, 1934 this office, much to its regrets, will be forced to withdraw its approval of the existing toll rates." By reason of this communication, the provincial board, on March 7, 1934, with the conformity of Nicolas Concepcion, adopted a resolution, reducing the tolls for 2-ton trucks or more, the only kind of motor vehicles operated by the respondents, from P1.20 to P0.60 on one bridge, and from P1.20 to 0.40 on the other. And on April 10, 1935 "upon authority of the Insular Auditor, concurred in by the Department of the Interior" the provincial board refunded P50,000 as bridge tolls illegally collected from the Visayan Rapid Transit Company, Inc., and the Negros Transportation Company, Inc., said amount to be applied to future payments for tolls by said companies. As a result of this reduction of tolls, the respondents have been benefited with an economy of P78,448 for every eighteen months. (Exhibit V.)

    The various incidental questions raised by the petitioner revolves around the reasonable compensation to which he is entitled, and we pass on to the consideration of this point.

    Although the professional services rendered by the petitioner are purely administrative and did not require a high degree of professional skill and experience, the fact remains that these services were rendered and were productive of substantial beneficial results to his clients. It is clear that for these services the petitioner is entitled to compensation, and the only question is the reasonable amount to which he is entitled. He claimed in the lower court the sum of P20,000. The trial court awarded him P10,000. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reduced this amount to P3,500.

    Section 29 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that "a lawyer shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for the services rendered, with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, to the extent of the services rendered. and the professional standing of the lawyer . . ." The following are the circumstances to be considered in determining the compensation of an attorney: the amount and character of the services rendered; the labor, time, and trouble involved; the nature and importance of the litigation or business in which the services were rendered; the responsibility imposed; the amount of money or the value of the property affected by the controversy, or involved in the employment, the skill and experience called for in the performance of the services; the professional character and social standing of the attorney; the results secured; and whether or not the fee is absolute or contingent, it being a recognized rule that an attorney may properly charge a much larger fee when it is to be contingent than when it is not. The financial ability of the defendant may also be considered not to enhance the amount above a reasonable compensation, but to determine whether or not he is able to pay a fair and just compensation for the services rendered, or as an incident in ascertaining the importance and gravity of the interests involved in the litigation. (Delgado v. De la Rama, 43 Phil., 419; Panis v. Yangco, 62 Phil., 499.)

    The services of the petitioner in this case were not limited to the preparation and filing with the authorities concerned of the petitions Exhibits A and B and other papers submitted in evidence, for he appears to have had various conferences with the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Labor and the Insular Auditor, and had otherwise taken steps to secure the objectives of his clients. The importance, merits and value of professional services of a lawyer are measured not alone by his work taken separately, but by his work taken as a whole. There are services which, when taken separately, may not in themselves have any noticeable special merit, but when considered in connection with the other works and services of the lawyer to which they are related, acquire an unquestionable value. That is why even the time employed is not in itself an appropriate basis for fixing the compensation. (Haussermann v. Rahmeyer, 12 Phil., 350; Bachrach v. Teal and Teal Motor Co., 63 Phil., 631, 634.)

    The respondents in their brief insinuate that the services of the petitioner were unsolicited and unauthorized. The trial court as well as the Court of Appeals, upon the proof submitted, concluded that the employment of the petitioner was duly made and solicited by the president and manager of the respondent corporations, and such finding cannot be disturbed. "It is elementary that an attorney is entitled to have and receive the just and reasonable compensation for services performed at the special instance and request of his client. . . . That is to say, as long as the plaintiff was honestly and in good faith trying to serve and represent the interest of the client, he should have a reasonable compensation for his services. . . ." (Wolfson v. Anderson, 48 Phil. P672, 675.)

    The amount of the professional fees to be paid to the petitioner had not been fixed, but the intention and promise to pay him is evidently shown by the records in this case. And in any case, whether there is an agreement or not, the courts can fix a reasonable compensation which lawyers should receive for their professional services. (Panis . Yangco, 52 Phil., 499, 502.)

    No hard and fast rule can be stated which will serve even as a guide in determining what is or what is not a reasonable fee. That must be determined from the facts in each case. (2 Thornton on Attorney at Law, p. 783.)

    We have noted in the beginning that the services here were rendered in a case of an administrative nature. But that does net alter the application of the proper rule:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Professional services, to prepare and advocate just claims for compensation, are as legitimate as services rendered in court in arguing a cause to convince a court or jury that the claim presented or the defense set up against a claim presented by the other party ought to be allowed or rejected. Parties in such cases require advocates; and the legal profession must have a right to accept such employment and to receive compensation for their services; nor can courts of justice adjudge such contracts illegal, if they are free from any taint of fraud, misrepresentation, or unfairness." (Stanton v. Embry, 23 Law. ed [U. S. ], 983, 985.)

    As warranted by the records, it is obvious that as a result of the reduction of the rates of the tolls of the bridges in the said province, the respondents were benefited with an economy of P78,448. The refund to the said corporations of the amount of P50,000 is a great relief and enhancement of their business. Facts and circumstances considered, we are of the opinion that the reasonable compensation of the petitioner is P7,000, deducting therefrom, however, the sum of P1,280 which the petitioner had already received.

    The judgment of the Court of Appeals is accordingly modified, without pronouncement regarding costs. So ordered.

    Avanceña, C.J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, and Concepcion, JJ., concur.

    G.R. No. 46396   September 30, 1939 - ALEJANDRO DE GUZMAN v. VISAYAN RAPID TRANSIT CO. <br /><br />068 Phil 643


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