Monday 24 September, 2018
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Velasco finds SC’s 2-year suspension for ambulance-chasing father-and-son lawyers too harsh

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Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. has cast the lone dissenting vote in the disciplinary case of a father-and-son tandem of lawyers found guilty of ambulance chasing, finding the penalty of two years’ suspension too harsh.

In his 4-page opinion, Velasco said his SC colleagues should have “shown compassion” for Pedro Linsangan and Gerard Linsangan and meted out a shorter 6-month suspension instead.

Injured seafarer Jerry Palencia accused the Linsangans of approaching him while confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital and of deducting excessively from his US$95,000 settlement to the point that he was given only US$20,756.05.

The Linsangans had erroneously computed their fees and that of their Singaporean collaborating counsels separately, when their agreement with Palencia provided for them to jointly share 35% of his monetary award.

Velasco noted the Linsangans’ indiscretion only “lies in their erroneous computation and application of attorney’s fees which they already rectified” when they complied with an order to account for the funds.

“At any rate, considering that this is respondents’ first administrative case and they fully participated in the proceedings before the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines), I find the penalty of two-year suspension too harsh,” he said.

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