10 February 2009
Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service
Section 3. Scope
Practicing lawyers to render FREE LEGAL AIS SERVICES IN ALL CASES (civil, criminal, or administrative) involving indigent and pauper litigants. It shall also govern the duty of members of the legal profession to support the LEGAL AID PROGRAM of the IBP.
Section 4. Definition of Terms
1. Practicing lawyers exclude:
- Government employees and incumbent elective officials not allowed by law to practice
- Lawyers who by law are not allowed to appear in court
- supervising lawyers of students in law student practice in legal clinics and lawyers of NGOs and peoples' organizations who by nature of their work already render free legal aid to indigent and pauper litigants
- Lawyers not covered by above subparagraphs including those who are employed in private sector but do not appear for and in behalf of parties in court of law and quasi-judicial agencies
2. Free legal aid services refer to:
- appearance in court or quasi-judicial body for and in behalf of an indigent or pauper litigant and the preparation of pleadings or motions
- assistance by practicing lawyer to indigent and pauper litigants in court-annexed mediation and in other modes of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
- services rendered when a practicing lawyer is appointed counsel de officio
Section 5. Requirements
- 60 hours of free legal aid services in a year to be spread within a period of 12 months, with minimum of 5 hours each month
- secure and obtain a certificate from Clerk of Court attesting to the number of hours spent
- compliance to be submitted to the Legal Aid Chairperson of the IBP
- Failure to meet the minimum prescribed 60 hours shall mean that practicing lawyer shall be required to explain. If no explanation is given, he shall be recommended to to declared a member who is not in good standing.
- The "not in good standing" declaration shall be effective for 3 months. During said period, the lawyer cannot appear in court or any quasi-judicial body as counsel.
- Any lawyer who fails to comply for at least 3 consecutive years shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings to be instituted motu proprio and if found liable, shall be suspended for 1 year.
- A lawyer who falsifies a certificate shall be administratively charged with falsification and dishonesty without prejudice to filing of criminal charges.