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U.S. v.

Ney
G.R No. 3593 – 23 March 1907
J. Tracey (En Banc)

Topic: A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of law

Plaintiff: United States


Defendants: C.W. Ney and Juan Garcia Bosque

FACTS:
• 1902: Court ruled Bosque was not entitled to admission to the practice of law in the Philippines as he
chose to remain a Spanish subject after sovereignty, hence not qualified for admission to the bar
• 1904: Bosque and Ney, a practicing attorney, put up a law office. Bosque said he would devote himself
to consultation and office work relating to Spanish law. The paper was headed "Law Office - Ney &
Bosque. Juan G. Bosque, jurisconsulto español - C.W. Ney, abogado americano."
• Bosque has not personally appeared in courts, and except for one oversight, papers from the office were
signed not with the firm name alone nor with any designation of the firm as attorneys, but with the words
"Ney & Bosque - C.W. Ney, abogado."
• On two occasions (1 May 1905 and 15 Sept 1906), the Court refused to consider petitions signed with
the name of the defendants
• 2 October 1906: The Court sent the papers to the Attorney-General to take appropriate action, which
resulted to the filing of this case

ISSUES: W/N either of the defendants should be punished for contempt

HELD: YES, both are guilty of contempt


• Sec. 102 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) states every pleading must be subscribed by the party or
his attorney and prohibits names of any other persons; agents or otherwise
• This offense was aggravated by the fact that one of those who signed was denied admission to the bar
• Contempt is defined by Sec. 232 of the CCP as:
1. Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, judgment, or command of a court, or
injunction granted by a court or judge;
2. Misbehavior of an officer of the court in the performance of his official duties or in his official
transactions.
Where the law defines contempt, the power of the courts is restricted to punishment for acts so defined.
(Ex-parte Robinson)
• Bosque is liable for contempt under 232 (1): Disobeyed the court order disallowing him to practice law
o Irregular signature to papers, though affixed by his associate, had his authorization and constitutes
a substantial attempt to engage in practice
o The law office of the defendants amounted to an assertion of his right and purpose, not qualified
by saying he would devote himself to consultation and office work relating to Spanish law
o Bosque saying that he was a Spanish lawyer is not a disclaimer of his status to practice law in the
Philippines
o Conduct of the Bosque amounts to disobedience of an order made in a proceeding to which he was
a party (when the Court decided he cannot be admitted to the Bar)
• Ney is liable under Sec. 232 (2) for signing the pleadings
RULING: Defendants are fined 200 pesos, to be paid into the office of the clerk of this court within ten
days