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Lawyers formerly in government service, C2S29 CPRA

Section 29, Canon II

SECTION 29. Lawyers formerly in government service. – A lawyer who has left government service shall not engage in private practice pertaining to any matter before the office where he or she used to be connected within a period of one (1) year from his or her separation from such office. Justices, judges, clerks of court, city, provincial, and regional prosecutors shall not appear before any court within the territorial jurisdiction where they previously served within the same period.
After leaving government service, a lawyer shall not accept an engagement which could improperly influence the outcome of the proceedings which the lawyer handled or intervened in, or over which the lawyer previously exercised authority, while in said service. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)

1. Lawyers formerly in government service

a. Relative prohibition: 1-year ban rule

Within a period of one (1) year from their separation from government office, former government lawyers are prohibited from engaging in private practice pertaining to any matter before the office where they used to be connected. This limitation is a relative prohibition.

Thus, former government lawyers may engage in private practice and appear before government offices or agencies so long such office is not where they used to be connected.

NB: The provision is unclear in situations involving a former government lawyer who may have transferred to various government offices or agencies, i.e., is the prohibition limited to the last government office that was held?

1) Justices, judges, clerks of court, city/provincial/regional prosecutors

Within a period of one (1) year from their separation from government office, the following are prohibited from appearing before any court within the territorial jurisdiction where they previously served:

1) Justices,

2) Judges,

3) Clerks of court, and

4) City, provincial, and regional prosecutors.

b. Absolute prohibition: No engagements related to cases handled or intervened in or had exercised authority

Without exception and not limited to how long they may have left government office, former government lawyers are absolutely prohibited from accepting an engagement:

1) Which could improperly influence the outcome of the proceedings which the lawyer handled or intervened in, while in said service; or

2) Over which the lawyer previously exercised authority, while in said service.

The above limitation is an absolute prohibition.

References

Canon II, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

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