1. Causing damage to client either
a. by any malicious breach of professional duty, or
b. by inexcusable negligence or ignorance.
2. Revealing any of the secrets of his client learned by him in his
Here, damage is not necessary.
3. Undertaking the defense of the opposing party in the same case,
without the consent of his 1st client, after having undertaken the
defense of a client or having received confidential information from
Communications made with prospective clients to a lawyer with a view to
engaging his professional services are already privileged even though
the client-lawyer relationship did not eventually materialize.
The confidential matters or information must be confided to the lawyer
in the latter’s professional capacity.
Mere malicious breach without damage is not violative of Article 209; at
most he will be liable administratively as a lawyer, e.g., suspension or
disbarment under the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Several acts which would make a lawyer criminally liable:
(1)Maliciously causing damage to his client through a breach of his
professional duty. The breach of professional duty must be malicious.
If it is just incidental, it would not give rise to criminal liability,
although it may be the subject of administrative discipline;
(2)Through gross ignorance, causing damage to the client;
(4)Revelation of secrets learned in his professional capacity;
(5)Undertaking the defense of the opposite party in a case without
the consent of the first client whose defense has already been
People v. Sandiganbayan
The Supreme Court held that not all information received by counsel from
client is classified as privileged. A distinction must be made between
confidential communications relating to past crimes already committed, and
future crimes intended to be committed by the client.