Corpuz v. CA and David

G.R. No. L-40424, 30 June 1980

FACTS:

The defendant was charged administratively by several employees of the Central Bank Export Department of which the defendant is the director. Pending the investigation, he was suspended from office. After the investigating committee found the administrative charges to be without merit, and subsequently recommended the immediate reinstatement of the defendant, the then Governor of Central Bank, recommended that the defendant is considered resigned as on the ground that he had lost confidence in him.

The defendant filed the CFI of Manila a petition for certiorari, mandamus and quo warranto with preliminary mandatory injunction and damages against Miguel Cuaderno, Sr., the Central Bank and Mario Marcos who was appointed to the position of the defendant. Judge Lantin dismissed a case for failure to exhaust the administrative remedies available to the herein defendant.  After they talked about the defendants having lost his case before Judge Lantin, and knowing that the plaintiff and the defendant were both members of the Civil Liberties Union, Rafael Corpus requested the plaintiff to go over the case and further said that he would send his son, the herein defendant, to the plaintiff to find out what could be done about the case. The defendant called up the plaintiff for an appointment, and the plaintiff agreed to meet him in the latter’s office. At said conference, the defendant requested the plaintiff to handle the case because of Atty. Alvarez had already been disenchanted and wanted to give up the case. Although at first reluctant to handle the case, the plaintiff finally agreed on the condition that he and Atty. Alverez would collaborate in the case. 

ISSUE:

Whether or not private respondent Atty. Juan T. David is entitled to attorney’s fees.

RULING:

YES. While there was an express agreement between petitioner Corpus and respondent David as regards attorney’s fees, the facts of the case support the position of respondent David that there was at least an implied agreement for the payment of attorney’s fees. Petitioner’s act of giving the check to respondent David indicates petitioner’s commitment to pay the former attorney’s fees. It is patent then that respondent David agreed to render professional services to petitioner Corpus secondarily for a professional fee. Thereafter, respondent David continued to render legal services to petitioner Corpus, in collaboration with Atty. Alverez until he and Atty. Alvarez secured the decision directing petitioner’s reinstatement with back salaries.

Moreover, the payment of attorney’s fees to respondent David may also be justified by virtue of the innominate contract of facio ut des (I do and you give which is based on the principle that “no one shall unjustly enrich himself at the expense of another.” innominate contracts have been elevated to a codal provision in the New Civil Code by providing under Article 1307 that such contracts shall be regulated by the stipulations of the parties, by the general provisions or principles of obligations and contracts, by the rules governing the most analogous nominate contracts, and by the customs of the people.

It does not appear that any written contract was entered into between the parties for the employment of the plaintiff as interpreter, or that any other innominate contract was entered into but whether the plaintiffs services were solicited or whether they were offered to the defendant for his assistance, inasmuch as these services were accepted and made use of by the latter, we must consider that there was a tacit and mutual consent as to the rendition of the services. This gives rise to the obligation upon the person benefited by the services to make compensation therefor, since the bilateral obligation to render service as interpreter, on the one hand, and on the other to pay for the service rendered, is thereby incurred.

 * Case digest by Vera L. Naataa, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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