September 30, 2023

Crocodiles do not attack lawyers out of professional courtesy.
To Isagani Calderon, regional trial court judge of La Trinidad, Benguet, the comparison is not amusing at all but sometimes, the claim finds meaning by the lawyer’s own making.
Calderon bewailed the fact that the legal advocacy lawyers have been taught and trained to protect society has been tainted by administrative cases against lawyers that eroded the profession’s credibility.
“Lawyers, you must protect your profession,” Calderon told more than 500 lawyers attending an online mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) seminar on April 8.
The seminar was jointly conducted by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines chapters of Baguio and Benguet, Bulacan, Quezon City, Pasay, Paranaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa for the 7th MCLE compliance period.
Analyzing decisions of the Supreme Court that imposed disbarment and other disciplinary measures on lawyers, Calderon said the decisions reflect more of the lawyers’ “reckless imprudence,” which he said can be avoided by lawyers themselves.
The RTC judge said lawyers should not allow themselves to be lured into what he termed as “superhero apparition” where the clients would totally rely on their counsel’s ability to solve their problems or bail them out of trouble despite overwhelming evidence of culpability.
Worse, the lawyers are often blamed when their cases are lost despite the lawyers’ diligent efforts, he said, adding that this is sometimes due to the clients’ wrong impression that lawyers are saviors no matter what.
“Lawyers must tell their clients those that can be done from those that can’t be done,” he said. Lawyers must not allow themselves to be used, he said.
Calderon said lawyers have their own issues to grapple with. There are lawyers who are forced to shell out their own money to be able to comply with court submissions (abuno system), beat horrendous deadlines, and deal with clients who are over-demanding.
“Lawyers are the most maligned professionals,” the judge said. And the line from Shakespeare which says “Let’s kill all the lawyers” did not at all help the profession since the line was understood in the wrong context, he said.
But despite the pressures of legal work, lawyers must not forget the role of their profession in society and the import of their work, Calderon said. He said lawyers must not perpetuate the wrong impressions about the legal profession. – Delmar Cariño