[G.R. No. 139542. June
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this
Court dated JUN 10 2003.
G.R. No. 139542(People Of The Philippines
vs. Inocencio Gonzalez, Jr.)
This refers to the Motion filed by Pastelero Law office seeking
to clarify whether the firm of Velasquez, Rodriguez, Respicio, Ramos, Nidea,
and Prado, counsel for the private complainant-appellee, may call itself "A law
Firm Of St. Thomas More and Associate Members".
In the Motion for Clarification, movant asks: "[I]f lawyers and
law firms are allowed to call themselves the law firm of St. Thomas More, what
will prevent other lawyers and law firms from claiming they are the law firm of
St. Josemaria Escriva who was also a lawyer and recently canonized, or the law
firm of St. Peter and Paul, or even the law firm of Jesus Christ himself[?]"
Directed to comment, the Office of the Bar Confidant ("OBC")
invokes, Rule 3.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states that
"in .the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name shall be
We agree with the OBC. Rule 3.02 is clear. No name not belonging
to any of the partners or associates may be used in the firm name for any
purpose. In one casecralaw,
we have ruled that the use of the firm name of a foreign law firm is unethical
because that firm is not authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction. In
this case, "The Law Firm of St. Thomas More and Associate Members" is not a law
firm in this jurisdiction or even in any other jurisdiction. A "St. Thomas More
and Associates" or STMA is in fact the socio-political ministry or the couples
for Christ, a Christian family-renewal community.cralaw
As pointed out by the OBC:
To appellate to the name of the lawyers "The Law Firm of St. Thomas
More and Associate Members" indeed appears misleading. It implies that St.
Thomas More is a Law Firm when in fact it is not it would also convey to the
public the impression that the lawyers are members of the law firm which does
not exist. To the public, it would seem that the purpose or intention of adding
"The Law Firm of St. Thomas More and Associates Members" is to bask in the name
of a Saint, although that may not really, be the purpose or intention of the lawyers.
The appellation only tends to confuse the public and in a way demean both the
saints and the legal profession whose members must depend on their own name and
record and merit and not on the name/glory of other persons living or dead.
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE
FOREGOING, the law firm of Velasquez, Rodriguez, Respicio, Ramos, Nidea,
and Prado is enjoined from using the appellation "A Law Firm of St. Thomas More
and Associate Members" in any pleading filed before judicial and quasi-judicial
bodies as well as in its professional transactions.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.)LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO
Clerk of Court