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Prohibition against self-promotion, C2S18 CPRA

Section 18, Canon II

SECTION 18. Prohibition against self-promotion. – A lawyer shall not make public appearances and statements in relation to a terminated case or legal matter for the purpose of self-promotion, self­ aggrandizement, or to seek public sympathy. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)

1. Prohibition against self-promotion

Lawyers are prohibited from making public appearances and statements in relation to a terminated case or legal matter for the purpose of:

1) Self-promotion,

2) Self­ aggrandizement, or

3) To seek public sympathy.

Public appearances include any and all forms of discussions that are publicly available, whether done in-person, digital, or online, including social media platforms or other forms of mass media.

See related:

Non-solicitation and impermissible advertisement, C2S17 CPRA

a. Self-promotion

Self-promotion – means “the act of furthering one’s own growth, advancement, or prosperity” or “the promotion of oneself.” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

Self-promotion is also known as self-laudatory remarks.

Under this section, lawyers are prohibited from making public appearances and statements in relation to a terminated case or legal matter for the purpose of self-promotion. Thus, lawyers should refrain from promoting one’s self, such as one’s qualifications, achievements, and similar therewith.

[A lawyer] is not supposed to use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. Nor shall he pay or give something of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business. (Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Inc., En Banc, Bar Matter No. 553, 17 June 1993)

b. Self­ aggrandizement

Self-aggrandizing – means “acting or intended to enhance one’s power, wealth, position, or reputation.”  (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

Under this section, lawyers are prohibited from making public appearances and statements in relation to a terminated case or legal matter for the purpose of self-aggrandizement. Hence, lawyers should refrain from behaving in such a way as to enhance their influence, power, or wealth.

In this day and age, members of the bar often forget that the practice of law is a profession and not a business. Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a money-making venture, and law advocacy is not a capital that necessarily yields profits. The gaining of a livelihood is not a professional but a secondary consideration. Duty to public service and to the administration of justice should be the primary consideration of lawyers, who must subordinate their personal interests or what they owe to themselves. The practice of law is a noble calling in which emolument is a byproduct, and the highest eminence may be attained without making much money. (Burbe v. Magulta, A.C. No. 99-634, June 10, 2002, Per Panganiban, J.)

c. To seek public sympathy

Seeking public sympathy is prohibited.

Under this section, lawyers are prohibited from making public appearances and statements in relation to a terminated case or legal matter for the purpose of public sympathy. As such, lawyers should avoid making public appearances or statements to seek public sympathy or, worse, to rile up the public against individuals or organizations.

Law is a noble profession, and the privilege to practice it is bestowed only upon individuals who are competent intellectually, academically, and, equally important, morally. Because they are vanguards of the law and the legal system, lawyers must at all times conduct themselves, especially in their dealings with their clients and the public at large, with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach. (Dayan Sta. Ana Christian Neighborhood Association, Inc. v. Espiritu, A.C. No. 5542, July 20, 2006, Per Callejo, Sr., J.)

Re: Show Cause Order in the Decision dated May 11, 2019 in G.R. No. 237428 [Republic v. Sereno], A.M. No. 18-06-01-SC, 17 July 2018:

• [Respondent-lawyer’s] reckless behavior of imputing ill motives and malice to the Court’s process is plainly evident in the present case. Her public statements covered by different media organizations incontrovertibly brings the Court in a position of disrepute and disrespect, a patent transgression of the very ethics that members of the Bar are sworn to uphold. This, the Court cannot countenance.

References

Canon II, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

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