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PUBLIC MATTER FILED FEB 1 0 200: STATE BAR COURT CLERK'S OFFICE ‘SAN FRANCISCO. STATE BAR COURT OF CALIFORNIA. HEARING DEPARTMENT - SAN FRANCISCO. In the Matter of Case Nos. 05-0-00815-PEM (06-O-11153; 06-0-12173)s 06-O-12344 (Cons.) BENJAMIN T. FIELD, Member No. 168197, ) ) ) ) ) DECISION ) ) A Member of the State Bar, L Introduction “[A]II the interests of man that are comprised under the constitutional guarantees given to ‘life, liberty and property” are in the professional keeping of lawyers . .. [who must stand] ‘as a shield’ . . . in defense of right and to ward off wrong. From a profession charged with such responsibilities there must be exacted those qualities of truth-speaking, of a high sense of honor, of granite discretion, of the strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility.” (Schware v. Board of Bar Examiners of the State of New Mexico (1951) 353 U.S. 232, 247.) In this contested disciplinary proceeding, an overzealous deputy district attomey is charged with multiple acts of serious professional misconduct in four criminal matters. Contrary to the “professional keeping of lawyers,” respondent Benjamin T., Field abused his prosecutorial power, concealed relevant and material evidence and violated the constitutional rights of defendants. The court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that respondent is culpable of most of the charged acts of misconduct, including failing to maintain respect to the court; failing to disclose exculpatory evidence; misleading a judge; failing to obey court orders; committing acts of moral turpitude and dishonesty; making mistepresentations; and failing to comply with laws of the United States and of this state. Based upon the serious nature and extent of culpability, as well as the applicable mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the court recommends, among other things, that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for five years, that execution of suspension be stayed, and that he be placed’on probation for five years with conditions, including an actual suspension of four years from the practice of law and until he shows proof satisfactory to the State Bar Court of his rehabilitation, present fitness to practice, and present learning and ability in the general law, pursuant to standard 1.4(c)(i) of the Standards for Attomey Sanctions for Professional Misconduct. IL, Pertinent Procedural History A. _ First Notice of Disciplinary Charges On October 10, 2007, the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar of California (State Bar) initiated this proceeding by filing a Notice of Disciplinary Charges (NDC). On November 5, 2007, respondent filed a response. On May 13, 2008, the State Bar filed an amended NDC. On May 19, 2008, the parties filed the First Stipulation as to Facts and trial commenced on May 20, 2008 through May 23, 2008. B. Second Notice of Disciplinary Charges ‘On June 11, 2008, the State Bar filed a second NDC and respondent filed his response on June 27, 2008. ‘The two NDCs were consolidated and the matter was continued for trial on August 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22 and September 4, 2008, Deputy Trial Counsel Cydney Batchelor and Donald R. Stedman represented the State Bar, Attorney Allen J. Ruby represented respondent, Following receipts of closing briefs from the parties, the court took this proceeding under submission on November 21, 2008. IIL. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law The following findings of fact are based on the evidence and testimony introduced at the proceeding and on the parties’ stipulation, which was admitted into evidence. Shortly after respondent was admitted to the practice of law in 1993, he began his legal career as a deputy district attomey with the Santa Clara County District Attomey's Office and has been employed there in the past 15 years. ‘This case involves respondent's serious prosecutorial misconduct in four criminal matters. © Inthe Minor A. matter, respondent unlawfully obtained evidence in violation of a court order by subjecting a minor to a dental exam in 1995; © Inthe Auguste matter, respondent failed to disclose exculpatory evidence (secret interview with a witness who challenged the credibility of the alleged victim), submitted a false search warrant affidavit, sought improper search warrants and made misrepresentations to the court in a habeas corpus matter in 2003; © Inthe Ballard matter, respondent again failed to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense (secret interview with a co-defendant who pointed the finger at another co-defendant as the shooter in a murder/robbery) in 2003; and © Inthe Shazier matter, respondent disobeyed court orders in his rebuttal closing argument at trial in 2005, which the appellate court later found his action to constitute prosecutorial misconduct.