State alleges Chicago lawyer used false excuse of stomach cancer to stall cases

By Dan Churney | Mar 1, 2019

Illinois Supreme Court  

CHICAGO — State regulators say there are enough grounds to consider action against the law license of a Chicago attorney who allegedly engaged in several acts of dishonesty, which allegedly included repeatedly delaying court proceedings with false claims that he was suffering from stomach cancer.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recently requested a hearing be set for Vincenzo Field, who has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2011. Field's registered business address is a condominium in Chicago's West Town neighborhood, but he had been with the Chicago firm of Loevy & Loevy, according to ARDC records.

The ARDC wants to look into allegations Field used the phony excuse of stomach cancer several times, reaching back to law school.

Field, who acquired a bachelor of arts degree in 1998, took the Law School Admission Test in December 2005, scoring 158 and retaking the test 10 months later, scoring 173. He applied to the University of Chicago Law School in late 2005, but was rejected, according to the ARDC.

When Field applied again in December 2006, the ARDC alleged Field made false statements to increase his chance of acceptance. Specifically, Field allegedly claimed he took the first law school test in October 2005 and did not perform well because of stomach cancer. The ARDC alleged Field has never been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and never took the test in October 2005.

When Field applied for his law license in 2011, he did not report he had made these alleged false statements, compounding the effect of the original alleged statements, according to the ARDC.

In 2015, Field again allegedly brought up stomach cancer, this time to delay proceedings in a federal case by claiming he had been laid up four months because of operations to remove stomach tumors, according to ARDC documents. The ARDC said Field went through no such medical procedures.

Field used a similar tack in a 2016 federal case to gain additional time to take two depositions, saying his son had to undergo cancer surgery, the ARDC alleged. One month later, Field admitted in a court filing he had no son, saying, "this is something that I have never done before." The ARDC alleged Field's statement was false, because he had engaged in similar behavior before.

The ARDC said it questioned Field about his statements in the 2016 case, alleging Field falsely testified he had only made such false statements in that case and no other. 

Field also allegedly made false statements during 2013-14 in another federal case, obtaining delays because he said he had cancer surgery and needed weekly follow-up treatments. He further sought delay in the case by allegedly claiming he had to attend a family funeral in Canada, then saying he needed still more time, because he was "stuck" in Canada, helping his mother get her affairs in order.

There was no death of any relative or acquaintance, no funeral and no trip to Canada, according to the ARDC.

According to the final allegation, Field invented the identity of an expert witness, who did not exist, to gain time in another federal case, then allegedly piled misrepresentation on top of misrepresentation by saying the witness was not available for a meeting because the witness' daughter had been hit by a car while riding her bicycle. 

If the allegations are found to be true in the hearing, the Illinois Supreme Court could censure, reprimand, suspend or disbar Field. He has no record of prior disciplinary action.

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