Posted by: Elmer Brabante | September 1, 2009

In Re Santiago


IN RE SANTIAGO

Admin Case No. 923

June 21, 1940 

 

FACTS:

                Ernest Baniquit, who was living then separately from his wife Soledad Colares fro nine years, sought the legal advise of respondent Atty. Santiago, a notary public in Negros Occidental.  Santiago assured Baniquit that he could secure a separation from his wife and marry again, and told the latter to bring his wife that afternoon to process the document which authorized each other to marry again and waive whatever right of action one might have against the party so marrying.  Relying on the validity of the document, Baniquit on June 11, 1939, contracted a second marriage, with Trinidad Aurelio. 

ISSUE:  

                Whether or not the contract prepared by a notary public annuls a marriage of Baniquit to his (first) wife. 

HELD:

                The contract executed between husband and wife upon the advice, prepared and acknowledged by a lawyer and notary public is contrary to law and morals, and tends to subvert the vital foundation of the family.  The advice given by the respondent as well as the preparation and acknowledgement by him of the contract constitute malpractice which justifies disbarment from the practice of law.

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