chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience Archives

Adventures in the Law: A Compelling Personal Story

Norm Tabler


  • Vince Field's compelling personal story, including a battle with stomach cancer, played a pivotal role in his admission to the University of Chicago Law School and subsequent legal career.
  • However, a shocking revelation emerged when the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission discovered that Vince had fabricated his cancer diagnosis, son's illness, and other falsehoods.
  • The Commission charged him with multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, including lies in court pleadings and during disciplinary proceedings.
  • Despite being cancer-free, Vince faced a three-year suspension and further court order.
  • The case, known as In Re Field, sheds light on the complex legal repercussions of an attorney's deceitful actions.
Adventures in the Law: A Compelling Personal Story

Jump to:

Vince Field had a compelling personal story. Those who heard it were genuinely moved, starting with the University of Chicago Law School. The school had denied Vince’s application in 2005 but admitted him in 2006.

Why the turnabout? In part, because Vince had taken the LSAT a second time and improved his score, but more importantly, because of his compelling personal story.

Vince’s Own Story

In 1999 Vince was diagnosed with stomach cancer and underwent four separate surgeries to remove tumors, along with radiation therapy and countless minor surgeries to stanch gastric bleeding. Those medical conditions and procedures had forced his withdrawal from the University of Michigan, delayed completion of his MA degree, and stalled progress toward his PhD at McGill University.

When he took the LSAT the first time, he was suffering from the effects of recent surgery and radiation therapy. His low score was more attributable to his poor physical condition than anything else.

Vince graduated from law school, was admitted to the Illinois bar, and became a litigator with a Chicago firm. Sadly, though, by 2013 the cancer had returned, necessitating two more surgeries and a two-month leave from his firm, rendering him unable to meet discovery schedules in pending cases.

In 2014, he was forced to rush home to Montreal for a funeral, necessitating an extension to respond to a summary judgment motion.

In late 2015, Vince was again on four-month medical leave to deal with removal of stomach tumors, and again forced to seek a deadline extension in one of his cases.

When it rains, it pours: Vince’s son was diagnosed with stomach cancer. When the son required surgery, Vince needed a continuance of a deposition.

Vince’s expert in a federal case was forced to withdraw when his daughter was struck by a car and seriously injured, requiring a delay in the litigation.

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that Vince is now cancer-free, and the worries about his son’s cancer and the injuries of the expert’s daughter are over.

The bad news for Vince is that the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission discovered that Vince never had cancer˗˗ever. His worries about his son are over because he never had a son˗˗ever. And the nonexistent son has company: the nonexistent expert and his nonexistent daughter.

The Commission’s Proceedings

The Commission appointed an Administrator to conduct a hearing and file a report. The report charged Vince with seven counts of violating the Rules of Professional Conduct, including falsehoods in his law school application; in his bar application; in communications with colleagues and opposing counsel; in court pleadings; and even during the disciplinary proceedings.

The Administrator charged that Vince had even managed to lie in a pleading in which he apologized for lying in a pleading: His motion to recant his representation about his son’s health contained the false representation that “this is something I have never done before.” He repeated the lie to the Administrator, resulting in an additional charge.

Nothing if not legalistic, the Commission exonerated Vince on the charges of lying in his law school and bar applications on the grounds that at the time of the lies he was not yet a member of the bar. The Commission found Vince guilty on all five remaining charges: in all, 13 Rules violations.

Rejecting the Administrator’s recommendation of disbarment, the Commission ordered Vince suspended for three years and until further order of the Court.

There is no truth to the rumor that when Vince testified, his pants burst into flames.

The case is In Re Field, Hearing Bd., Ill. Att. Regis. & Disc. Comm.