Integrated Bar of the Philippines Code of Professional Responsibility Rule 15.06 - "A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public official, tribunal or legislative body." Clearly that prohibits a lawyer from telling a client that he (the lawyer) is personal friend of the governor, so can get special favors for his client. But is this a two-edged sword? Does it also prohibit the lawyer from threatening harm to his client because of what powerful people he (the lawyer) knows? Here's the background: I have friend who inherited property from his grandmother. She was friends with a lawyer, who stated to the grandson that he would help the grandson get the property transferred to the grandson's name, no charge because it's a favor for the grandmother. So far, so good. Then the lawyer changed his mind, and did want to charge my friend, still not so bad because the lawyer incurs expenses. The lawyer presented an OR to my friend, along with a title. Upon examination of the title I saw two serious problems. 1. The title bears my friend's name, but it predates my friend's birth. 2. The technical description reads in part: "IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that a certain land situated in the Municipality of Calbayog, Province of Samar, bounded and described as follows: A parcel of land . . . situated in the Barangay of Biwas, Town of Tanza, Province of Cavite, Island of Luzon." Well now, that is geographically inconsistent, as Samar Province is not on the Island of Luzon. The title is a fraud. Then things turn sour. The lawyer told my friend he wants another P20,000 or else he will sell my friend's property without my friend's consent. The lawyer said he can do it because he is a lawyer and he knows the officers in my friend's municipality. So my friend wants to file a complaint based on two issues, Rule 15.06 and the fraudulent title. But there may be a third problem that renders the first two moot: I searched the registered lawyer database and cannot find the lawyer's name. He may be impersonating a lawyer, and I would think that means trouble for him, too.