Legal Ethics

Petition to Sign the Roll of Attorneys by Michael Medado

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B.M. No. 2540 – 718 Phil. 286 – 706 SCRA 264 – Legal Ethics – The Legal Profession – Admission to the Bar – Signing in the Roll of Attorneys

Michael Medado passed the 1979 bar exams. He took his oath but was not able to attend his scheduled roll signing because he misplaced his notice. Years passed and he forgot about the signing. In fact, for a while he thought that he signed the roll but it was too late when he realized that what he could have signed was just an attendance sheet at the PICC. Nevertheless, he held positions at the Laurel Law Office and other prestigious companies.

In 2012, he finally filed a petition to be allowed to sign the roll. The Office of the Bar Confidant actually denied his petition on the ground that Medado could not offer a satisfactory explanation why he neglected signing the roll.

ISSUE: Whether or not to allow Medado to sign the Roll.

HELD: Yes. Not allowing Medado to sign in the Roll of Attorneys would be akin to imposing upon him the ultimate penalty of disbarment, a penalty that we have reserved for the most serious ethical transgressions of members of the Bar. The SC still considered good faith on the part of Medado.

However, since he has been practicing law since the 1980s, the SC decided to impose a penalty akin to suspension. And that suspension is by way delaying further Medado’s signing of the roll by one year from his receipt of the Resolution (B.M. No. 2540). He was likewise fined the amount of Php32,000.00 and was sternly warned that he will be dealt with severely if he shall practice law prior to signing the Roll of Attorney.

The SC emphasized that the practice of law is reserved to the members of the bar in good standing and the final act for one to be a member of the bar is the signing of the Roll.

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Note: For those wondering, yes Atty. Medado was able to sign the Roll.

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