Filed September 3, 2020

In re Vincenzo Field
Attorney-Respondent

Commission No. 2018PR00015

Synopsis of Hearing Board Report and Recommendation
(September 2020)

Respondent made false statements in pleadings and in communicating with opposing attorneys and court personnel as to his reasons for seeking extensions of time. Respondent also made false statements about his health on his law school application and did not disclose those false statements when he applied for admission to the bar. Respondent made additional false statements to the ARDC and work colleagues. The Hearing Board found that Respondent thereby violated multiple Rules prohibiting dishonesty and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, but that Respondent's conduct before becoming a lawyer did not violate the Rule prohibiting dishonesty by lawyers.

Given the seriousness of the misconduct and the need to ensure that Respondent is fit to practice before he resumes doing so, the Hearing Board recommended that Respondent be suspended for three years and until further order of the Court.

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

VINCENZO FIELD,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 6305911.

Commission No. 2018PR00015

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE HEARING BOARD

SUMMARY OF THE REPORT

Respondent made false statements in pleadings and in communicating with opposing attorneys and court personnel as to his reasons for seeking extensions of time. Respondent also made false statements about his health on his law school application and did not disclose those false statements when he applied for admission to the bar. Respondent made additional false statements to the ARDC and work colleagues. The Hearing Board found that Respondent thereby violated multiple Rules prohibiting dishonesty and engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, but that Respondent's conduct before becoming a lawyer did not violate the Rule prohibiting dishonesty by lawyers.

Given the seriousness of the misconduct and the need to ensure that Respondent is fit to practice before he resumes doing so, the Hearing Board recommended that Respondent be suspended for three years and until further order of the Court.

INTRODUCTION

The hearing in this matter was held on February 5 and 27, 2020, at the Chicago offices of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) before a Panel of the Hearing

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Board consisting of Stephen S. Mitchell, Chair, John D. Gutzke and Daniel G. Samo. M.D. Sharon D. Opryszek represented the Administrator. Respondent appeared at the hearing and was represented by Mary T. Robinson.

PLEADINGS AND ALLEGED MISCONDUCT

In a seven-count amended complaint, the Administrator charged Respondent with misconduct based on false statements in applying for admission to law school, applying for admission to the Illinois Bar, seeking extensions of time, communicating with co-workers and testifying before the ARDC. The Administrator alleged that Respondent thereby violated Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (1990) and Rules 3.3(a)(1), 4.1(a), 8.1(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010). Respondent's answer admitted many of the factual allegations, but did not admit misconduct.

EVIDENCE

The Administrator presented testimony from Respondent as an adverse witness. Administrator's Exhibits 1 through 35 and 39 through 41 were admitted into evidence. Administrator's Exhibit 38 was also admitted, under seal. (Tr. 205-206, 307).

Respondent testified on his own behalf and presented testimony from Tara Thompson and Stafford C. Henry, M.D. Respondent's Exhibits 1, 2, 4 through 8 and 10 were admitted into evidence. (Tr. 299-302).

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

In an attorney disciplinary proceeding, the Administrator has the burden of proving the misconduct charged by clear and convincing evidence. In re Thomas, 2012 IL 113035, par. 56. This includes the responsibility to prove each of the elements of the misconduct charged. In re Harris, 2013PR00114, M.R. 27935 (May 18, 2016). Clear and convincing evidence requires a

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high level of certainty, which is greater than a preponderance of the evidence, but less stringent than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In re Santilli, 2012PR00029, M.R. 26572 (May 16, 2014). The Hearing Board determines whether the Administrator has met that burden. In re Edmonds, 2014 IL 117696, par. 35.

I.    In Count I, Respondent is charged with violating Rule 8.4(a)(4) by making false statements on his law school application as to his medical condition and treatment. 

A. Summary

In applying for law school, Respondent represented that cancer treatment delayed him in completing past degrees and affected his LSAT performance. Those statements were false. However, Rule 8.4(a)(4) applies only to conduct by lawyers. As Respondent was not a lawyer when he made the statements, the Administrator did not prove he violated Rule 8.4(a)(4).

B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered

In 2005, Respondent took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and applied, unsuccessfully, to the University of Chicago Law School. In 2006, Respondent retook the LSAT and obtained a higher score. He also reapplied to the University of Chicago Law School and was admitted. (Answer to First Amended Complaint (Ans.) at pars. 2, 3, 4; Tr. 63-64).

Respondent submitted an addendum with his 2006 law school application, in which he stated that, in 1999, he was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a form of stomach cancer. He described extensive treatment he purportedly received, including multiple surgeries and radiation therapy. According to Respondent's statements, that illness and treatment delayed him in completing master's degree and caused him to withdraw from a Ph.D. program. Respondent also stated that, when he first took the LSAT, he had undergone surgery and was receiving radiation treatment, which affected his health. Respondent reported that, by 2006, he was in good health and scored well when he retook the LSAT. (Ans. at pars. 5, 6).

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Those statements were not true. As Respondent knew, he had not been diagnosed with or treated for leiomyosarcoma. (Ans. at pars. 7, 8, 9; Tr. 65).

In fact, mental health symptoms had interfered with Respondent's education. Respondent testified that he misrepresented his medical condition in order to explain the gap in his academic record. While that gap occurred because of illness, Respondent was embarrassed to have a mental health problem. Respondent used cancer to explain the gap, as he considered cancer less shameful. (Tr. 68, 98, 102-108, 111, 121-24).

C. Analysis and Conclusions

A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. Ill. Rs. Prof'l Conduct R. 8.4(a)(4) (1990). Count I charged that Respondent violated Rule 8.4(a)(4) based on the statements in his law school application concerning his purported cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Those statements clearly were false. Under past cases, false statements on a law school application could support a Rule 8.4(a)(4) violation. E.g. In re Friedman, 08 CH 32, M.R. 23720 (May 18, 2010).

Such cases, however, predate In re Karavidas, 2013 IL 115767. Under Karavidas, professional discipline cannot be based on behavior, bad though it may be, that the Rules of Professional Conduct do not prohibit or define as misconduct. Karavidas, 2013 IL 115767 at pars. 79, 103.

By its clear terms, Rule 8.4(a)(4) applies only to conduct by lawyers. As Respondent was not a lawyer when he made the statements in his law school application, the Administrator did not prove that Respondent violated Rule 8.4(a)(4) by making those statements.

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II.    In Count II, Respondent is charged with misrepresentations on his bar application due to his failure to disclose the false statements on his law school application, in violation of Rules 8.1(a), 8.1(b) and 8.4(c).

A. Summary

When he applied for admission to the Illinois bar, Respondent did not disclose the false statements he had made on his law school application. By that conduct, Respondent violated Rule 8.1, which applies to bar applicants. The Administrator did not prove Respondent violated Rule 8.4(c), as that Rule applies only to lawyers and Respondent was not a lawyer at the time.

B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered

We consider the following admitted facts and evidence, in addition to those discussed in Section I B.

Respondent was admitted to the Illinois bar in November 2011. Previously, in May 2011, Respondent submitted an application and detailed Character and Fitness Questionnaire to the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar (Board). (Ans. at pars. 13, 14, 20; Resp. Ex. 2).

On the questionnaire, Respondent replied "(n)o" to Question 53, which asked whether there was: "any additional information with respect to possible misconduct or lack of moral qualification or general fitness on your part that is not otherwise disclosed by your answers to questions in this application?" (Ans. at pars. 17, 18). Thereafter, Respondent did not change that answer or give the Character and Fitness Committee further information about his law school application. (Ans. at par. 18).

Although he did not submit it himself, Respondent's law school application was before the Board as part of his bar application. Based on Respondent's testimony, the information he personally provided to the Board was accurate and complete. (Tr. 116-22, 138-39, 141-44; Resp. Ex. 2).

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Respondent testified that he could not specifically recall answering Question 53 or his thoughts when he answered that question. However, the law school had advised its students to be sure to include every traffic ticket, missed credit card payment and the like in responding to the questionnaire. Respondent testified he would have considered that advice, and those types of matters, when he answered Question 53. Respondent testified that, when he completed his bar application, he was not thinking about the addendum he submitted with his law school application. (Tr. 143-44).

C. Analysis and Conclusions

1. Rules 8.1(a) and 8.1(b)

Rule 8.1 encompasses conduct by applicants for admission to the bar. Ill. Rs. Prof'l Conduct R. 8.1 (2010). As relevant here, a bar applicant shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact, (Rule 8.1(a)), or fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter. Rule 8.1(b).

Consistent with due process principles, a disciplinary complaint must clearly identify the alleged acts and Rule violations charged. See Karavidas, 2013 IL 115767 at pars. 72-73. Despite Respondent's contrary arguments, we found no ambiguity in the First Amended Complaint as to the misconduct charged or the facts which allegedly constituted that misconduct.1

Respondent was asked for any additional information, not otherwise disclosed by his answers on the application, with respect to possible misconduct or his lack of moral qualification or general fitness. This is a broad inquiry which triggers a responsibility to disclose prior significant misrepresentations made when seeking admission to law school. Cf. Friedman, 08 CH 32 (Hearing Bd. at 26-27).2

Respondent's misrepresentations involved purported health problems, which Respondent used to explain his initial LSAT score and apparent educational gap and thereby improve his

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chances of being accepted to law school. Those misrepresentations were neither inconsequential nor immaterial in considering whether Respondent should be admitted to practice law. Compare In re Chandler, 161 Ill. 2d 459, 469, 641 N.E.2d 473 (1994) (failure to list a purported alias which applicant never used). By failing to disclose those misrepresentations when he applied to the bar, Respondent made a false statement of material fact, for purposes of Rule 8.1(a), and failed to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension, for purposes of Rule 8.1(b). Friedman, 08 CH 32 (Hearing Bd. at 26-27).

We next consider whether Respondent acted with the requisite mental state. See In re Bilal, 05 CH 87, M.R. 22687 (Jan. 20, 2009). Rule 8.1(a) prohibits knowingly making a false statement of material fact. Rule 8.1(b) is triggered where the applicant knows a misapprehension has arisen. Both Rules thus require actual knowledge of the fact in question. See Ill. Rs. Prof'l Conduct R. 1.0(f).

Respondent denied knowingly making a false statement or knowing that any misapprehension had arisen. Based on Respondent's testimony, he was not thinking about the false statements in his law school application when he applied for admission to the bar.

Knowledge and intent are seldom proven directly, but can be inferred from the conduct and surrounding circumstances. In re Borzeka, 99 CH 111, M.R. 188891 (Sept. 24, 2003); see Rule 1.0(f). We need not be na?ve in evaluating the evidence, including circumstantial evidence. Borzeka, 99 CH 111 (Review Bd. at 9). As the trier of fact, we may reject testimony we find inherently improbable based on the circumstances, even where that testimony is not rebutted directly. In re Bourgeois, 01 CH 97, M.R. 19087 (Jan. 20, 2004).

Respondent was applying for admission to the Illinois bar. In doing so, and as he had been informed, Respondent was obligated to respond fully and accurately to all questions in the

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application. See In re Jordan, 106 Ill. 2d 162, 165, 478 N.E.2d 316 (1985). Respondent had used an elaborate lie on his law school application to improve his chances of being accepted. We found it utterly incomprehensible that Respondent would forget that when he later sought admission to the bar. Respondent was well aware of his prior false statements and acted with the mental state required under Rule 8.1(a) and Rule 8.1(b).

The Administrator proved Respondent violated Rule 8.1(a) and 8.1(b).

2. Rule 8.4(c)

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. Ill. Rs. Prof'l Conduct R. 8.4(c) (2010). Finding a Rule 8.4(c) violation might seem to logically follow from a finding of a Rule 8.1 violation. See e.g. Bilal, 05 CH 87 (Hearing Bd. at 13). However, professional discipline cannot be based on conduct which, while wrongful, does not constitute the professional misconduct with which the attorney was charged. Karavidas, 2013 IL 115767 at pars. 79, 103. Rule 8.4(c) is directed to conduct by lawyers. As Respondent was not a lawyer when the conduct at issue occurred, the Administrator did not prove Respondent violated Rule 8.4(c).

III.    In Count III, Respondent is charged with making false representations, to opposing counsel and in pleadings, as to the reasons he needed additional time to complete discovery, in violation of Rules 3.3(a)(1), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d).

A. Summary

In communicating with opposing counsel and in a motion for extension of time, Respondent represented that medical problems prevented him from meeting discovery deadlines. No such problems existed. The Administrator proved Respondent violated Rules 3.3(a)(1), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d).

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B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered

Respondent represented the plaintiff in Sulemani v. Moats, et al., in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Under the schedule set by the court, discovery was to close on January 31, 2016. (Ans. at pars. 23, 24).

On December 8, 2015, Respondent sent an email to opposing counsel, Assistant United States Attorney Gerard Brost, seeking Brost's agreement to additional time for discovery. In that email, Respondent stated that he had been away from the office for most of the preceding four months due to a medical issue, involving removal of tumors from his abdomen and stomach. (Ans. at par. 25; Adm. Ex. 8 at 10).

Brost responded that he did not object. On December 16, 2015, Respondent filed an agreed motion for extension of time. In that motion, Respondent stated that he had been unable to engage in discovery due to serious illness requiring surgery. The court granted the motion and extended discovery. (Ans. at pars. 28, 29, 30, 34).

As Respondent knew, the statements in his email to Brost and motion for extension of time were false. Respondent had not been away from the office for a prolonged time and did not suffer from an illness requiring surgery or removal of tumors. Respondent did not inform the court of his false statements before he withdrew from the case, on August 2, 2016. (Ans. at pars. 26, 27, 32, 33, 36, 37, 38).

C. Analysis and Conclusions

1. Rule 3.3(a)(1)

A lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law the lawyer previously made to the tribunal. Ill. Rs. Prof'l Conduct R. 3.3(a)(1). Respondent clearly violated Rule 3.3(a)(1).

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Respondent filed a pleading in which he falsely represented that serious health issues prevented him from meeting the discovery deadlines set by the court. Respondent knew that his statements were false and that he did not have the health problems described in the motion. An attorney who files a pleading in which the attorney has knowingly made a false statement of fact violates Rule 3.3(a)(1). See In re Hernandez, 2017PR00121, M.R. 29954 (Sept. 16, 2019).

Respondent's failure to correct the false statements in his motion is also a violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1). See In re Argoudelis, 2012PR00160, M.R. 27036 (Jan. 16, 2015). As Respondent knew the statements in his motion were false, and he had ample time to correct those false statements, but did not do so. Additionally, the false statements were material, as they involved the basis for Respondent's motion, as well as for Brost's agreement to that motion. See In re Ducey, 03 SH 123, M.R. 23053 (May 18, 2009).

2. Rule 8.4(c)

Rule 8.4(c) prohibits lawyers from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. An attorney's intentional filing of a false document with a court constitutes dishonest conduct. In re Barry, 09 SH 5, M.R. 24439 (Mar. 21, 2011).

Respondent knowingly made false statements, in a pleading and to opposing counsel, as to the reasons he needed an extension of time. Respondent thereby engaged in dishonest conduct and violated Rule 8.4(c). Hernandez, 2017PR00121 (Hearing Bd. at 11-12).

3. Rule 8.4(d)

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Ill. Rs. Prof'l Conduct R. 8.4(d). Conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice can be found where an attorney intentionally files pleadings requesting relief based on false factual statements. In re Ma, 2012PR00099, M.R. 27227 (May 14, 2015).

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Here, Respondent relied on fictitious health issues as his reason for obtaining an extension of the discovery schedule. This misconduct was a misuse of court resources and delayed the litigation and, therefore prejudiced the administration of justice.

Respondent violated Rule 8.4(d) as charged in Count III.

IV.    In Count IV, Respondent is charged with fabricating a family medical emergency and using it as the basis for seeking additional time to complete discovery, in violation of Rules 3.3(a)(1), 4.1(a), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d).

A. Summary

Shortly before two scheduled depositions, Respondent informed opposing counsel that he had a family emergency and later elaborated that his son needed surgery. Those statements were false. Respondent used those statements, in communicating with opposing counsel and court personnel and in his motion to extend discovery, as his basis for seeking additional time. Respondent thereby violated Rules 3.3(a)(1), 4.1(a), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d).

B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered

We consider the admitted facts and evidence discussed in Sections II B and III B. In addition, we consider the following admitted facts and evidence.

Respondent represented the plaintiff in Harris v. Baccus, et al., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Assistant United States Attorneys Virginia Hancock and Gina Brock represented the defendants. (Ans. at pars. 41, 47).

Defendants, Kevin Cronin and John Rotunno, were to be deposed on July 19 and 20, 2016. Respondent was not prepared to take the depositions, and discovery was set to close on July 30, 2016. Respondent had asked opposing counsel if they would agree to extend discovery, but they declined. The court had denied a prior agreed motion to extend discovery. (Ans. at pars. 43, 44, 45, 46; Tr. 86-87, 157).

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In a series of emails on July 19, 2016, Respondent represented to Hancock and Brock that a problem had arisen which would prevent him from taking these depositions. Specifically, at 7:38 a.m., Respondent informed Hancock and Brock that he had a family emergency and would have to cancel Cronin's deposition. Respondent apologized for the late notice. He also stated that he recognized this likely would mean he could not depose Cronin, but he intended to have Rotunno's deposition proceed. At 1:22 p.m., Respondent "checked in" and stated that his child was about to have surgery and he had limited access to his phone. (Ans. at pars. 47, 51).

As Hancock's responses reflect, opposing counsel accepted Respondent's representations. In fact, Hancock suggested that Respondent contact the judge's chambers to see if the schedule could be revised. Respondent informed the judge's clerk, Melanie Foster, that he would be requesting additional time to complete discovery due to a family emergency. (Ans. at pars. 48, 54, 55).

In an email to opposing counsel shortly thereafter, Respondent described his contact with Foster, her instruction that he file a motion and her expectation that the judge would grant the motion, given the circumstances. In response, Hancock informed Respondent that she and Brock did not oppose the motion and had also spoken with Foster. (Ans. at pars. 58, 59).

On July 19, 2016, Respondent filed an Agreed Emergency Motion for Extension in which he represented that his son was having surgery that afternoon. Respondent requested an extension ostensibly so that he could be with his son. The court granted the motion the next day. (Ans. at pars. 61, 62).

In an email, on July 25, 2016, Respondent thanked opposing counsel and elaborated that his son had leiomyosarcoma, necessitating removal of part of his stomach and gastrointestinal

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tract. Respondent also represented that, over the past five years, he and his fianc? had fostered children with serious illnesses. (Ans. at par. 65).

As Respondent knew, these statements were false. There was no family emergency. There was no surgery and no leiomyosarcoma. Respondent did not have any children or foster children. (Ans. at pars. 49, 50, 52, 53, 56, 57, 63, 64, 66, 67).

A partner in Respondent's law firm learned about the false statements in the motion for extension. Subsequently, on August 31, 2016, Respondent filed a motion to correct, in which he admitted making false statements in his extension motion and in his communications with Foster and opposing counsel. He also sent the ARDC a letter reporting his misstatements. (Ans. at par. 68; Tr. 72-73).

In the motion to correct, Respondent stated: "this is something I have never done before." (Ans. at par. 68). That statement was false. (Ans. at par. 69). Respondent testified, at the time, he was not thinking of other situations and did not realize his statement was not true. (Tr. 162).

The Harris case settled in September 2017. At that time, the court had not ruled on the motion to correct. (Ans. at par. 71; Tr. 74; Adm. Ex. 10 at 21-22; Adm. Ex. 17).

C. Analysis and Conclusions

1. Rule 3.3(a)(1)

Rule 3.3(a)(1) prohibits a lawyer from knowingly making a false statement of fact to a tribunal. Count IV charges that Respondent knowingly made false factual statements to the court in his motion for extension and motion to correct filed in the Harris case. The Administrator proved this charge. See Hernandez, 2017PR00121 (Hearing Bd. at 9).

In the motion for extension, Respondent used a purported emergency surgery as the basis for requesting additional time. All of this was fabricated, and Respondent knew it. He did not have a son, and there was no surgery or emergency.

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In his motion to correct, with reference to his false statements in seeking an extension, Respondent stated this was something he had never done before. This also was false, and Respondent knew it. Several months earlier, Respondent used a fictitious health problem as the basis for seeking additional time in the Sulemani case. Respondent also had used a non-existent health problem, the same illness he identified here, on his law school application to improve his chances of admission. Despite Respondent's contrary testimony, the circumstances convinced us that Respondent knew his statement was false.

2. Rule 4.1(a)

In representing a client, a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person. Ill. Rs. Prof'l Conduct R. 4.1(a). Count IV charges that Respondent violated Rule 4.1(a) based on his representations to the judge's clerk and opposing counsel that a family emergency prevented him from complying with the discovery schedule.

As stated above, in the Harris case, Respondent falsely stated that his son was having surgery. The statements were material, as they were used to support Respondent's request to extend the discovery schedule, which the court previously declined to extend. The Administrator proved that Respondent violated Rule 4.1(a). See Hernandez, 2017PR00121 (Hearing Bd. at 10).

3. Rule 8.4(c)

Under Rule 8.4(c), it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. As discussed above, Respondent intentionally filed two pleadings in the Harris case which contained false factual statements. This constitutes dishonest conduct. See Barry, 09 SH 5 (Hearing Bd. at 24). Respondent also made false factual statements to opposing counsel and the clerk. This is also dishonest conduct. See Hernandez, 2017PR00121 (Hearing Bd. at 11-12). Respondent violated Rule 8.4(c).

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4. Rule 8.4(d)

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Rule 8.4(d). Attorney misconduct which causes additional proceedings or additional work by other attorneys or the court prejudices the administration of justice. In re Haime, 2014PR00153, M.R. 28532 (Mar. 20, 2017). An attorney's false statements as to the basis for requesting relief can also prejudice the administration of justice. See Ma, 2012PR00099 (Hearing Bd. at 21).

The court had set a schedule for the Harris case and denied an agreed motion to extend that schedule. Based on that false representation, opposing counsel agreed to an extension, the clerk presented the matter to the court promptly and the court adjusted the schedule. This clearly delayed the Harris proceedings, and was a use of the time and resources of the court, opposing counsel and court personnel. The Administrator proved Respondent violated Rule 8.4(d).

V.    In Count V, Respondent is charged with falsely telling the ARDC that Harris was the only case in which he misrepresented facts to obtain an extension of time, in violation of Rules 8.1(a) and 8.4(c).

A. Summary

During his sworn statement to the ARDC, Respondent stated that Harris was the only case in which he misrepresented the reasons he needed an extension. As Respondent knew, he also made false statements in seeking extensions in other cases. Respondent violated Rules 8.1(a) and 8.4(c).

B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered

We consider the following admitted facts and evidence, in addition to those outlined in Sections III B and IV B.

On October 21, 2016, Respondent gave a sworn statement at the ARDC's offices. In response to questions from counsel for the Administrator, Respondent indicated that the Harris

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extension motion was the only time he filed a false pleading and that the Harris matter was the only time he made false representations as to the reasons he needed an extension of time. Those statements were not true. (Ans. at pars. 74, 75, 76; Tr. 162). Respondent had also made false statements in seeking extensions in the Sulemani case and in the Johnson case, which is the subject of Count VI. (Resp. Ex. 4 at 24-25, 67).

Respondent testified that, at the time of his sworn statement, he did not realize his statements were not true and he did not have the other cases in mind. Respondent had filed extension motions in various cases based on his workload and schedule. In Sulemani, Respondent filed multiple extension motions, some of which were based on Sulemani's health problems. Respondent testified that he confused those motions with the motion in which he made false statements about his own health. (Tr. 90-91, 162-65).

C. Analysis and Conclusions

As relevant here, Rule 8.1(a) provides that a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter. Rule 8.4(c) prohibits lawyers from engaging in dishonest conduct.

A lawyer who appears for a sworn statement in the Administrator's investigation of the lawyer's conduct and knowingly testifies falsely about matters pertinent to the investigation violates Rule 8.1(a). In re Meacham, 2016PR00018, M.R. 28730 (Sept. 22, 2017). Respondent's statements clearly were false and made in connection with a disciplinary matter. The statements also clearly related to a material fact, as they purported to limit the scope of the misconduct. The only real issue is whether Respondent misrepresented the facts knowingly.

Knowingly denotes actual knowledge, but knowledge can be inferred. Rule 1.0(f). Respondent denied actual knowledge. We are not required to accept that testimony, if it is not credible given the circumstances. See In re Forrest, 2011PR00011, M.R. 26358 (Jan. 17, 2014).

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Respondent was testifying in connection with the ARDC's investigation into his conduct, a situation in which Respondent should have recognized the need to provide complete and accurate information. See Forrest, 2011PR00011 (Hearing Bd. at 13). Only a few months before his false statements in the Harris case, Respondent lied, to opposing counsel and in pleadings, as to the reasons he needed an extension of time in the Sulemani case. Sulemani was only one of a number of matters in which Respondent misrepresented facts in seeking additional time. We were convinced that Respondent knew his statements, seeking to confine his misconduct to Harris, were false. The Administrator proved Respondent violated Rule 8.1(a).

A lawyer who has violated Rule 8.1(a) also violates Rule 8.4(c). See In re Holzman, 2016PR00099, M.R. 29677 (Mar. 19, 2019). We conclude Respondent violated Rule 8.4(c) based on the same facts that led us to find that Respondent violated Rule 8.1(a).

VI.    In Count VI, Respondent is charged with making false statements, to opposing counsel and in pleadings, as to the reasons he needed additional time to comply with deadlines, in violation of Rules 3.3(a)(1), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d).

A. Summary

In emails to opposing counsel and pleadings filed in court, Respondent represented that health problems, medical treatment and a funeral prevented him from meeting deadlines and appearing at a deposition. These statements were false. Respondent violated Rules 3.3(a)(1), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d).

B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered

Respondent represented the plaintiff in Johnson v. Winnebago County Jail, et al. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. (Ans. at pars. 80, 81). Between August 2013 and November 2014 Respondent made false statements to defense counsel, Louis Varchetto, David Jasinski and Assistant State's Attorney William Emmert, and in pleadings he filed in that case.3

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Statements Seeking Discovery Extensions

On August 12, 2013, Respondent sent Emmert and Varchetto an email, asking if they would agree to an extension of discovery, which was scheduled to close on August 31, 2013. Respondent stated that he had been out of the office for most of the past two months, dealing with a serious medical issue that necessitated two surgeries to remove tumors from his stomach. Respondent also stated that he was still receiving treatment, but was back in the office. Opposing counsel responded that they did not object and suggested that the motion also seek to extend the October 15, 2013 deadline for filing dispositive motions. (Ans. at pars. 88, 89, 92, 93).

On August 12, 2013, Respondent filed an unopposed motion for extension of time, in which he represented that medical circumstances had interfered with the parties' ability to fully engage in discovery. The court granted this motion, extending discovery to October 15, 2013 and the date for filing dispositive motions to November 29, 2013. (Ans. at pars. 94, 95, 98).

As Respondent knew, his statements about his medical condition were false. Respondent did not have medical problems as described in the email or motion. (Ans. at pars. 90-91, 96-97).

On October 14, 2013, Respondent sent Emmert and Varchetto an email, seeking their agreement to a further discovery extension. In this email, Respondent stated that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons, was scheduled for surgery the following week and did not anticipate returning to the office before the New Year. Respondent also stated that a newly-hired associate would be covering the Johnson case in his absence. Emmert replied that he had no objection. (Ans. at pars. 99, 102).

On October 15, 2013, Respondent filed an unopposed motion for extension of time, in which he represented a medical condition interfered with the parties' ability to conduct

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discovery. The court granted this motion, extending discovery to December 5, 2013 and the deadline for filing dispositive motions to January 15, 2014. (Ans. at pars. 103, 104, 107).

As Respondent knew, his statements in the email and motion were false. Respondent did not have an upcoming surgery, was not taking a leave of absence and did not have a serious illness which had interfered with taking discovery. (Ans. at pars. 100, 101, 105, 106).

Respondent filed two additional motions for extension of time, on November 26, 2013 and February 28, 2014. In each of these motions, Respondent falsely stated that serious medical circumstances had interfered with his ability to conduct discovery. The court granted both motions, such that discovery was extended into May 2014 and dispositive motions were to be filed in June 2014. (Ans. at pars. 108-118).

Johnson was scheduled to be deposed on May 14, 2014. On May 13, 2014, Respondent sent opposing counsel an email stating that he could not proceed with the deposition because his doctor had rescheduled a medical treatment he needed, and it conflicted with the deposition. (Ans. at par. 119).

On May 22, 2014, Respondent filed a joint motion to extend discovery, in which he stated that Johnson's deposition had to be cancelled because of a conflict involving Respondent's medical treatment. The court granted the motion, extending the time to complete depositions until June 19, 2014. Respondent knew his statements about his medical treatment were false, because he was not undergoing medical treatment. (Ans. at pars. 120, 121, 123-27).

Statements Seeking to Extend Filing Deadlines

The defendants filed motions for summary judgment. After the court allowed one extension of time, plaintiff's response was due on November 17, 2014. (Ans. at pars. 130-32).

On November 9, 2014, Respondent sent an email to Emmert and Jasinski, asking if they would agree to a short extension to file plaintiff's response because he had to go home to

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Montreal for a funeral. Jasinski and Emmert indicated that they did not object. (Ans. at pars. 133, 136, 137).

On November 10, 2014, Respondent filed an agreed motion, seeking an extension to respond to the summary judgment motions, stating that he had to travel home to Montreal for a funeral. The court granted the motion, extending the deadline to November 20, 2014. (Ans. at pars. 138, 139, 142).

On November 17, 2014, Respondent sent Emmert and Jasinski an email, indicating that he needed additional time, as he "got stuck in Montreal helping my mom get her affairs in order after the funeral." (Ans. at par. 143). Emmert and Jasinski had no objection. (Ans. at pars. 146, 147).

On November 17, 2014, Respondent filed an agreed motion stating that he remained in Montreal longer than expected, to assist his mother to get her affairs in order. The court granted the motion. (Ans. at pars. 148, 149, 152).

As Respondent knew, the statements in his emails to opposing counsel and in his motions were false. None of Respondent's family or acquaintances had died, there was no funeral, he had not traveled to Montreal, and he was not helping his mother with her affairs. (Ans. at pars. 134, 135, 140, 141, 144, 145, 151).

The Johnson case concluded in March 2015. Respondent had not advised the court or defense counsel of his false statements. (Ans. at par. 154; Tr. 78).

C. Analysis and Conclusions

1. Rule 3.3(a)(1)

Section III C 1 sets out the elements of Rule 3.3(a)(1) and the legal principles used in determining whether that Rule has been violated. We incorporate that discussion here.

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Respondent filed five motions for extension of discovery in the Johnson case, in which he identified medical problems or treatment as the reason he needed additional time. As Respondent knew, those medical problems did not exist and he was not undergoing the treatment he described. Respondent also filed two motions seeking additional time to respond to the defense motions for summary judgment, stating that he needed additional time related to a funeral. As Respondent knew, his statements were false. By that conduct, Respondent knowingly made false statements of fact to a tribunal, in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1). See Hernandez, 2017PR00121 (Hearing Bd. at 9).

Respondent never corrected any of those false statements. The statements were material, as they involved the reasons Respondent gave the court for the relief he was seeking, as well as the basis for opposing counsel's agreement to Respondent's motions. See Ducey, 03 SH 123 (Review Bd. at 19-20). This provides an additional basis for our finding that Respondent violated Rule 3.3(a)(1). See Argoudelis, 2012PR00160 (Hearing Bd. at 14).

2. Rule 8.4(c)

Section III C 2 sets out the elements of Rule 8.4(c) and the legal principles used to determine whether an attorney has violated that Rule. We incorporate that discussion here.

In seven motions he filed in the Johnson case, Respondent based his request for relief on statements that he knew were false. Respondent also sent opposing counsel multiple emails in which he gave reasons, which he knew were false, as to why he could not meet a deadline or proceed with a scheduled matter. An attorney who makes false statements to a tribunal and to opposing counsel has engaged in dishonest conduct. See In re Margolis, 2014PR00031, M.R. 27546 (Sept. 21, 2015). Respondent violated Rule 8.4(c).

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3. Rule 8.4(d)

Section IV C 4 sets out the elements of Rule 8.4(d) and the principles used to determine whether an attorney has violated that Rule. We incorporate those discussions here.

Respondent's misconduct in the Johnson case clearly prejudiced the administration of justice. On multiple occasions, Respondent provided reasons that he knew were false for his inability to meet a deadline or attend a scheduled matter. Those false premises served as the basis for opposing counsel's agreement to Respondent's extension requests and for the court's action granting those requests. Respondent's misconduct began in August 2013 and continued into November 2014, delaying the progress of the Johnson case, and needlessly using court resources. Respondent violated Rule 8.4(d). See Ma, 2012PR00099 (Hearing Bd. at 21).

VII.    In Count VII, Respondent is charged with making false statements to co-counsel in relation to a purported expert witness, in violation of Rule 8.4(c). 

A. Summary

Respondent sent emails to co-counsel regarding a person Respondent had purportedly retained as an expert. Respondent had not retained an expert, and the statements were false. Respondent thereby violated Rule 8.4(c).

B. Admitted Facts and Evidence Considered.

In 2014, Respondent worked for the law firm of Loevy and Loevy, as did attorneys Sarah Copeland Grady and Thomas Kayas. All three attorneys had filed appearances for the plaintiff in Powell v. Buncich, et al., a prisoner civil rights case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. (Ans. at pars. 157, 158, 159, 160).

The court had set September 11, 2014 as the final deadline for plaintiff to disclose any expert witnesses. Prior to August 26, 2014, Respondent told Grady that he retained Fred

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McClinton as an expert. This was false. Respondent had not retained any expert and made up the name Fred McClinton. (Ans. at pars. 158, 161, 162, 163, 167).

On August 26, 2014, Grady asked Respondent for McClinton's contact information. In multiple subsequent emails to Grady on August 27, 2014 and in emails to Grady and Kayas on August 28 and 30, 2014, Respondent made numerous, detailed statements which Respondent knew were false. Those statements made it appear that Respondent was actively working with McClinton, who would be helpful to the case, but there was a last minute change in plans and Respondent found another expert. Respondent's false statements included representations that:

(Ans. at pars. 164-73).

Respondent also sent Grady and Kayas copies of an email he purportedly sent McClinton, expressing gratitude for McClinton's help and regret for his daughter's injuries. Respondent sent that email to an address he knew was fictitious. (Ans. at pars. 174, 175, 176, 178, 179).

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C. Analysis and Conclusions

Rule 8.4(c) prohibits lawyers from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. Rule 8.4(c) encompasses anything calculated to deceive, including the suppression of truth and the suggestion of falsity. Edmonds, 2014 IL 117696 at par. 53.

In a series of email communications, Respondent sought to mislead Grady and Kayas into believing he had retained an expert for the Powell case and that the expert became unavailable due to a family emergency. None of this was true, and Respondent knew it. He had made the expert up and likewise fabricated all the numerous surrounding details.

Respondent's statements were clearly dishonest. Respondent violated Rule 8.4(c).

EVIDENCE IN AGGRAVATION AND MITIGATION

Respondent's academic background was very impressive, with prestigious scholarships and extremely favorable recommendations from professors. Before and during law school, Respondent engaged in volunteer activities, working with a horse shelter, a program serving homeless mothers and their children, high school students, an animal shelter and groups advancing human and animal rights. (Tr. 112-15, 129-31; Resp. Ex. 1).

Loevy and Loevy, the firm where Respondent began working as a lawyer, represents plaintiffs in civil rights cases. Respondent regularly worked more than twelve hours per day and often seven days a week. Respondent remained at that firm until 2017. He was dedicated to his clients, made himself accessible to them at virtually any time and assisted them with various matters, including matters unrelated to legal work. (Tr. 145, 153-56, 209-212).

Attorney Tara Thompson worked with Respondent at Loevy and Loevy. Thompson described Respondent as extremely diligent, with an incredible work ethic and one of the most empathetic people she had ever known. He cared deeply about his clients, many of whom were

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indigent and lacked resources. In Thompson's experience, Respondent was very honest and would not try to deceive others in order to profit from deceit. (Tr. 209-217).

Around 1998, Respondent began experiencing significant anxiety and sadness. Over time, Respondent's symptoms would abate and recur. Based on Respondent's testimony, early on, his symptoms affected his ability to be productive and led him to attempt suicide. (Tr. 98, 102-103, 105-108, 111, 122-25, 128-29). Respondent testified that, around the time of at least some of the matters at issue, he was experiencing anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. He described feeling panic and hopelessness over his inability to meet deadlines. (Tr. 153, 156-57, 184).

Respondent had had limited mental health treatment. Psychotherapy was recommended, but Respondent's care has consisted primarily of medication. Since 2007, Respondent has taken Wellbutrin, which provided some relief of his most severe symptoms. (Tr. 78-83, 87-88, 90, 128, 185-86, 262-68; Adm. Ex. 38).

Stafford C. Henry, M.D. evaluated Respondent for purposes of these proceedings. In 2017, when they first met, Respondent told Dr. Henry that he had not experienced recurring depression since he began practicing law. Dr. Henry met with Respondent again in 2019, and his diagnosis was dysthymia, recurrent major depressive disorder and a personality disorder. (Tr. 258-60, 272-76; Resp. Exs. 5, 6).

Dr. Henry concluded that Respondent presented a very complex case. Based on Dr. Henry's testimony, Respondent was capable of "goal directed, organized, self-serving behavior," but was also "thoughtful, smart, kind, compassionate and likeable." (Tr. 279). Dr. Henry noted that, given his personality disorder, Respondent might not accurately perceive his circumstances. However, Dr. Henry also testified that Respondent's personality disorder was not a malignant one and that Respondent was not a person without regard for the truth. (Tr. 277-78, 296).

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Dr. Henry did not see a causal connection between Respondent's mental health issues and his misconduct. However, he still considered Respondent's mental condition relevant to the case. Dr. Henry recommended that Respondent obtain proper psychiatric care, including psychotherapy and medication changes. In Dr. Henry's opinion, if he followed those treatment recommendations, Respondent should, from a mental health standpoint, be able to adhere to ethical norms. (Tr. 278-79, 288-91).

Respondent has not pursued the care Dr. Henry suggested or sought psychotherapy. Respondent was reluctant to pursue psychotherapy, at least partly because he feared that information he revealed in therapy might be disclosed. (Tr. 87-88, 173, 176-78, 181-82, 290-91).

On August 29, 2016, Respondent sent the ARDC a letter reporting his misconduct in the Harris case. Respondent stated this was something he had never done before. Respondent testified that, at the time, he did not have other cases in mind and did not recognize this statement was false. (Tr. 72-73, 162; Adm. Ex. 9).

On February 19, 2018, Respondent sent the Inquiry Board a letter, in which he stated that he had met with Dr. Henry and had sought additional psychiatric care. At that time, other than renewing his Wellbutrin prescription, Respondent had not sought psychiatric care. (Tr. 70-71).

In August 2018, Respondent informed the ARDC of his false statements regarding the Powell case and the Johnson case about attending a funeral. At that time, Respondent did not disclose his additional false statements in the Johnson matter about a purported illness, but he did so later. Respondent attributed that failure to confusion about the scope of the ARDC's request and uncertainty about the facts. (Tr. 75-78, 148-49, 166-67, 171-72, 189-91, 195; Adm. Ex. 22; Resp. Ex. 4 at 67-68).

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Respondent testified he was ashamed of his behavior and this was not something he would ever repeat. (Tr. 187-88).

Prior Discipline

Respondent has no prior discipline.

RECOMMENDATION

A. Summary

We recommend that Respondent be suspended for three years and until further order of the Court. The nature and repetition of Respondent's misconduct warrants a significant sanction, and the circumstances as a whole require that Respondent prove fitness before he resumes practice. The mitigating factors present, particularly Respondent's dedication to a disadvantaged clientele, persuaded the panel not to recommend disbarment.

B. Analysis

In determining the sanction to recommend, we consider the proven misconduct, as well as any aggravating and mitigating factors. In re Gorecki, 208 Ill. 2d 350, 360-61, 802 N.E.2d 1194 (2003). We also consider the purpose of discipline, which is not to punish the attorney, but to protect the public, maintain the integrity of the profession and protect the administration of justice from reproach. In re Edmonds, 2014 IL 117696, par. 90. While the system seeks some consistency in sanctions for similar misconduct, each case is unique and the sanction must be based on the circumstances of the specific case at issue. Edmonds, 2014 IL 117696 at par. 90.

The proven misconduct is very serious. Honesty is an important element of good moral character and general fitness to practice law. In re Polito, 132 Ill. 2d 294, 303, 547 N.E.2d 465 (1989). Respondent, however, lied to courts, opposing counsel and colleagues. His actions were premediated and deliberate, as evident from Respondent's detailed descriptions of circumstances

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which a recipient naturally would accept and accommodate. The fact that Respondent intentionally made false statements to courts raises particular concern. Such misconduct undermines the efficacy of the legal system and the integrity of the legal profession. See In re Barry, 09 CH 05, M.R. 24439 (Mar. 21, 2011). Respondent engaged in additional serious misconduct by knowingly making a false statement under oath to the ARDC. See In re Golden, 09 CH 88, M.R. 25509 (Nov. 19, 2012). Respondent also knowingly made a misrepresentation on his bar application. This represents further serious misconduct, although the seriousness of that misconduct here is somewhat tempered by the fact that Respondent's application was primarily accurate. Compare In re Jordan, 106 Ill. 2d 162, 179-80, 478 N.E.2d 316 (1985).

Aggravating factors are present. Respondent's misconduct was not a single, unreasoned failure of judgment, but multiple acts, over a prolonged period. See In re Smolen, 2013PR00060, M.R. 27199 (Mar. 12, 2015) (pattern of dishonesty). The proven misconduct began in 2011 and continued into 2016. The pattern of dishonesty began even earlier, as evident from Respondent's misrepresentations on his law school application. While not part of the proven misconduct, that deceit is appropriately considered in aggravation. Cf. In re Storment, 203 Ill. 2d 378, 400, 786 N.E.2d 963 (2002) (uncharged misconduct).

Evidence regarding an attorney's cooperation with the ARDC is relevant in determining the sanction. In re Masters, 98 CH 60, M.R. 17674 (Mar. 8, 2002). Lack of candor with the ARDC an aggravating factor. In re Smith, 168 Ill. 2d 269, 296, 659 N.E.2d 896 (1995).

On the one hand, Respondent informed the ARDC of some of his false statements, such as those regarding the expert for the Powell case. On the other hand, after his sworn statement, Respondent did not undertake the investigation necessary to accurately respond to whether there had been any additional incidents until after the Administrator had asked this question multiple

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times. Even if, as Respondent argues, he misunderstood the scope of the Administrator's requests, Respondent was not fully forthcoming with the Administrator. Apart from the Administrator's inquiries about additional incidents, Respondent sent the ARDC two letters in which he affirmatively misstated facts. Thus, we considered, in aggravation, Respondent's false statements in his letter self-reporting the Harris misconduct and in his February 2018 letter when the case was before the Inquiry Board.

Respondent has no prior discipline and has done volunteer work. We considered those factors in mitigation, but did not give them significant weight, as Respondent's misconduct began early in his legal career and his volunteer work was remote in time. See In re Czarnik, 2016PR00131, M.R. 29949 (Sept. 16, 2019).

More significantly, any harm to clients was limited and there was no intent to cause harm. These factors are mitigating. See In re Yamaguchi, 118 Ill. 2d 417, 428, 515 N.E.2d 1235 (1987). Most of Respondent's misconduct was undertaken in an effort to obtain additional time to complete tasks on behalf of his clients. Other than some resulting delay, there was no evidence that Respondent's misconduct harmed any of his clients.

Character evidence is also mitigating. In re Hernandez, 2017PR00121, M.R. 29954 (Sept. 16, 2019). We accepted Tara Thompson's description of Respondent as an attorney genuinely committed to his clients and their well-being. We gave that factor significant weight in mitigation, particularly as the clients Respondent represented while at the Loevy firm were disadvantaged individuals. See generally In re Jordan, 157 Ill. 2d 266, 623 N.E.2d 1372 (1993).

We also considered the evidence regarding Respondent's mental health. On the one hand, we did not give this factor significant weight in mitigation, given Dr. Henry's testimony that Respondent's mental condition did not cause his misconduct. See In re Alpert, 09 CH 104,

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M.R. 26028 (May 22, 2013). However, Dr. Henry also testified that Respondent suffered from a complex mental health situation, which was relevant to the case and amenable to treatment. We considered Respondent's elaborate fabrications against the backdrop of Dr. Henry's testimony and concluded that his behavior likely had some mental health overlay. We gave Respondent's mental health some consideration in mitigation, as it had some role, albeit minor, in his misconduct. See Smolen, 2013PR00060 (Hearing Bd. at 19).

This leaves us to determine the sanction to recommend. Respondent suggests a suspension followed by probation. The Administrator suggests disbarment.

Probation is not appropriate here, since Respondent's misconduct involved intentional, repeated and prolonged dishonesty. See In re Passman, 93 CH 573, M.R. 12249 (Mar. 26, 1996). Further, no condition that probation might serve to correct caused Respondent's misconduct and Respondent is not in any type of effective treatment program.

Some attorneys who have engaged in a pattern of deceitful conduct or been dishonest in applying for admission to the bar have been disbarred. E.g. Jordan, 106 Ill. 2d at 181; In re McBride, 95 SH 877, M.R. 14540 (June 30, 1998). However, disbarment represents the utter destruction of an attorney's professional life, character and livelihood. In re Timpone, 208 Ill. 2d 371, 384, 804 N.E.2d 560 (2004). That ultimate sanction is not the only option, even for serious misconduct with elaborate dishonesty. See In re Chandler, 161 Ill. 2d 459, 641 N.E.2d 473 (1994) (suspension for three years and until further order of the Court).

On the one hand, commensurate with the seriousness of the misconduct, the sanction in this case must be a significant one, to uphold the integrity of the profession and leave no doubt as to the absolute unacceptability of Respondent's behavior. Respondent has demonstrated a clear propensity, over time, to lie. On the other hand, testimony from Thompson and Dr. Henry

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convinced us that Respondent is a caring individual, genuinely concerned for others and dedicated to his clients, who can perform a valuable service, particularly to disadvantaged individuals. Further, Respondent's misconduct entailed limited harm to clients. 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. E.g. In re Haley, 06 CH 92, M.R. 22235 (May 19, 2008); see also In re Denison, 2013PR00001, M.R. 27522 (Sept. 21, 2015). Such a sanction protects the public in the same manner as disbarment, by requiring the attorney to seek and obtain leave of Court before resuming practice. Timpone, 208 Ill. 2d at 388. That process requires the attorney to establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that he or she is rehabilitated and possesses good character and current knowledge of the law. In re Kipnis, 2012PR00142, M.R. 25660 (Nov. 20, 2013). In this case, that would include evidence of some successful course of treatment.

In each of the following cases, the attorney engaged in serious misconduct and a pattern of dishonest behavior. The Court suspended each of these attorneys for three years and until further order of the Court. Chandler, 161 Ill. 2d 459 (the attorney induced a bank to lend her $85,000, by grossly misrepresenting her income and employment history and submitting false supporting documentation. She also misstated her Social Security number on her bar application and failed to disclose the fraudulent loan application); In re Friedman, 08 CH 32, M.R. 23720 (May 18, 2010), (the attorney purposefully omitted information from his law school application. He also used falsified law school transcripts on job applications and failed to disclose that

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conduct on his bar application); In re Rosen, 2012PR00088, M.R. 27362 (Sept. 21, 2015) (the attorney engaged in conversion of client funds and a pattern of dishonesty, which included false testimony during his disciplinary hearing). Despite their distinguishing elements, we found these cases sufficiently analogous to provide a good reference point for the sanction here.

For these reasons, we recommend that Respondent, Vincenzo Field, be suspended for three years and until further order of the Court.

Respectfully Submitted,

Stephen S. Mitchell
John D. Gutzke
Daniel G. Samo, M.D.

CERTIFICATION

I, Kenneth G. Jablonski, Clerk of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and keeper of the records, hereby certifies that the foregoing is a true copy of the Report and Recommendation of the Hearing Board, approved by each Panel member, entered in the above entitled cause of record filed in my office on September 3, 2020.

Kenneth G. Jablonski, Clerk of the
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary
Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois

_______________________

1 The Administrator alleged that Respondent violated Rule 8.1(a) by failing to disclose, when he applied for admission to the bar, the false statements he made on his law school application concerning his purported diagnosis and treatment for leiomyosarcoma. It is clear from Count II that the Administrator alleged this occurred by Respondent's failure to affirmatively reveal those prior false statements, combined with his negative response to Question 53 and his failure to correct the false impression that response had created. The basis for the alleged violation of Rule 8.1(b) also is clear from Count II. Specifically, Respondent allegedly violated Rule 8.1(b) by failing to correct the impression that there was no information as to Respondent's moral fitness that he had not disclosed on his bar application, an impression that was false given the false statements Respondent made when he applied for law school.

2 The fact that Karavidas implicitly overruled other portions of Friedman does not affect Friedman's continued precedential value as to alleged violations of Rule 8.1.

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3 The Administrator alleged that Respondent made an additional false statement, in May 2013. Respondent admitted making that statement, but denied that it was false. (Ans. at pars. 85-87). As the evidence did not prove that the May 2013 statement was false, we did not consider it in determining the charges in Count VI.