Lawyer who allegedly lied about health for deadline extensions should be suspended, hearing board says
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An Illinois lawyer, who reportedly lied and said he had cancer—when he did not—and instead was looking for discovery deadline extensions, is facing potential suspension from the practice of law. He also allegedly lied about having cancer on his University of Chicago Law School application.
In 2015, Vincenzo Field reportedly asked an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois for additional discovery time because he would be out of the office for four months.
According to a Sept. 3 report from the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission’s hearing board, the reason given was that Field was having tumors removed from stomach and abdomen.
But that reason was false, according to the report. It also alleges that Field again said he needed a discovery extension in 2016, on a different case, because his son had stomach cancer and was having surgery to remove part of his stomach and gastrointestinal tract. That was also untrue, the report states.
Field was a lawyer with Loevy & Loevy in Chicago. A partner at the law firm learned about what happened, and then Field filed a motion to correct with the court, admitting that he made false statements. He also sent the disciplinary commission a letter about the situation.
The report also details Field applying to the University of Chicago Law School. He allegedly wrote in the application that his LSAT score increase was due to stomach cancer treatment that he was undergoing when he first took the test. That, too, was a lie, according to the report.
Field did have significant anxiety and sadness, and he described feeling “panic and hopelessness over his inability to meet deadlines,” the report states. A physician who evaluated Field in 2017 diagnosed him with mild depression, a recurrent major depressive disorder and a personality disorder, according to the report.
The physician recommended that Field pursue psychotherapy, which would help him follow the ethics rules. As of 2018, Field had not done that, according to the report.
Testimony from the physician convinced the board that Field is a “caring individual,” who is concerned for others and cares about his clients, the report states.
“These factors caused us to recommend a sanction other than disbarment. We do, however, have serious doubts about respondent’s future willingness or ability to practice responsibly and to comply with proper professional standards, given his behavior, as well as the mental health concerns present. Where such doubts are present, it is appropriate to continue a suspension until further order of the court,” wrote the board, which suggested a three-year suspension for Field.
An ethics complaint about Field was also made in 2019. Mary Robinson, who is listed as his counsel in an answer to the disciplinary commission’s complaint, did not immediately respond to an ABA Journal interview request.