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Benjamin Thomas Field - #168197

Current Status:  Not eligible to practice law (Not Entitled)

See below for more details.

Profile Information

The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.

Bar Number: 168197    
Address: South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council
2102 Almaden Rd Ste 114
San Jose, CA 95125
Phone Number: (408) 606-2060
Fax Number: Not Available
e-mail: Not Available 
County: Santa Clara
Undergraduate School: Columbia Univ; New York NY
District: District 6    
Sections: None Law School: UC Berkeley SOL Boalt Hall; Berkeley CA

Status History

Effective Date Status Change
Present Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA
9/10/2010 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA  
12/14/1993 Admitted to The State Bar of California

Explanation of member status

Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California

Effective DateDescriptionCase NumberResulting Status

Disciplinary and Related Actions

Overview of the attorney discipline system.

9/10/2010 Discipline w/actual suspension 05-O-00815 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA 

Administrative Actions

This member has no public record of administrative actions.

Copies of official attorney discipline records are available upon request.

Explanation of common actions

State Bar Court Cases

NOTE: The State Bar Court began posting public discipline documents online in 2005. The format and pagination of documents posted on this site may vary from the originals in the case file as a result of their translation from the original format into Word and PDF. Copies of additional related documents in a case are available upon request. Only Opinions designated for publication in the State Bar Court Reporter may be cited or relied on as precedent in State Bar Court proceedings. For further information about a case that is displayed here, please refer to the State Bar Court's online docket, which can be found at: http://apps.statebarcourt.ca.gov/dockets/dockets.aspx

DISCLAIMER: Any posted Notice of Disciplinary Charges, Conviction Transmittal or other initiating document, contains only allegations of professional misconduct. The attorney is presumed to be innocent of any misconduct warranting discipline until the charges have been proven.

Effective Date Case Number Description
9/10/2010 05-O-00815 Opinion [PDF] [WORD]

California Bar Journal Discipline Summaries

Summaries from the California Bar Journal are based on discipline orders but are not the official records. Not all discipline actions have associated CBJ summaries. Copies of official attorney discipline records are available upon request.

September 10, 2010

BENJAMIN THOMAS FIELD [#168197], 46, of San Jose was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an actual four-year suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect Sept. 10, 2010.

The State Bar Court review department found that Field, a former Santa Clara County deputy district attorney, acted unethically prosecuting four cases. He violated a court order by obtaining a dental examination of a minor accused of sexual assault. As a result, the court ordered the evidence suppressed.

In another sexual assault case, he intentionally withheld a witness’ statement that was favorable to the defense in a habeas proceeding. The judge handling the case found that Field committed a discovery violation. He also withheld a defendant’s statement that would have helped co-defendants in a murder case. The court dismissed a 25-year gun enhancement.

In the fourth matter, Field made an improper closing argument in a sexually violent predator (SVP) case. The appellate court reversed the judgment committing the defendant as a SVP and described Field’s closing argument as “deceptive and reprehensible.”

The bar court’s review panel found that Field abused his office and violated the due process rights of several criminal defendants and said he “disregarded prosecutorial accountability in favor of winning cases.”

In recommending the harsh punishment for Field, review Judge Catherine Purcell wrote, “Although our system of administering justice is adversarial in nature and prosecutors must be zealous advocates in prosecuting their cases, it cannot be at the cost of justice.

“Field lost sight of this goal . . . and in doing so, he disregarded the foundation from which any prosecutor’s authority flows — ‘The first, best and most effective shield against injustice for an individual accused . . . must be found . . . in the integrity of the prosecutor.’”

The court gave Field credit for extensive mitigation, including his cooperation with the bar’s investigation, an impressive record of pro bono service and “an extraordinary demonstration of good character.” In particular, it expressly noted the testimony of former Santa Clara District Attorney George Kennedy, who lauded Field’s “extraordinary professional skills and good character” and said he considers Field an honest person who is not intentionally corrupt.

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