Tuesday 14 August, 2018
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Parang gigimik lang? SC admonishes Jesus Falcis for wearing jeans to court

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Be wary of what you wear in courtrooms.

The Supreme Court admonished LGBT lawyer Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III after he appeared in jacket, cropped jeans, and loafers without socks during preliminary conference.

Falcis filed a petition before the SC seeking to lift the prohibitions on same-sex marriage for being unconstitutional.

In a five-page resolution, the SC found Falcis guilty of direct contempt and meted out the sanction of admonition.

Falcis was also warned that a repetition of the same will be dealt with more severely.

“Wherefore, this Court finds Atty. Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III Guilty of Direct Contempt of Court. He is hereby Admonished to properly conduct himself in court and to be more circumspect of the duties attendant to his being a lawyer. He is Sternly Warned that any further contemptuous acts shall be dealt with more severely,” the ruling states.

The SC also ordered that this sanction shall be “included in the personal record”and “entered in his file in the Office of the Bar Confidant.”

In a preliminary conference on June 19, 2018, in preparation for the oral arguments on the same sex marriage case, Falcis appeared in “a casual jacket, cropped jeans, and loafers without socks.”

When he was questioned by SC Justice Marvic Leonen about his attire, Falcis claimed that he had attended a meeting with advocates in Makati earlier that day.

“Throughout the proceedings, he acted as though he was unprepared and without knowledge of the decorum typical to appearing in court,” the SC said.

The SC ruled that under Rule 72, Section 1 of the Rules of Court on direct contempt, Falcis is ruled to be guilty of the same.

“Atty. Falcis is reminded of the requirement under Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers to “observe and maintain the respect due to the Courts and to judicial officers and (to) insist on similar conduct by others. This duty encompasses appearances before the court in proper attire,” it stated.

“This Court does not insist on sartorial pomposity. It does not prescribe immutable minutiae for physical appearance. Still, professional courtesy demands that persons, especially lawyers, having business before courts, act with discretion and manifest this discretion in their choice of apparel.”

“Preliminary conferences and oral arguments are official judicial functions. Their purpose is to aid this Court in resolving weighty issues, often directly involving no less than the Constitution, that affect the state of the nation and the lives of many persons. It is incumbent upon all parties present to observe solemnities of these proceedings. Atty. Falcis has miserably failed to accord this Court and this clients’ cause the dignity and respect they deserve,” it pointed out.

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