6.2 Capital University Law School Academic Honor Code

  •  6.2 Capital University Law School Academic Honor Code

    6.2.01 Preamble
    6.2.02 Jurisdiction
    6.2.03 Honor Committee
    6.2.04 Students' Rights and Responsibilities
    6.2.05 Violations
    6.2.06 Procedure in Case of Alleged Violation
    6.2.07 Appeals
    6.2.08 Other Post Hearing Procedures
    6.2.09 Conclusion

    This Honor Code should be read in its entirety and its provisions taken seriously. Penalties for violation of the Honor Code can be severe, up to and including expulsion. Students are advised to pay particular attention to Section 6.2.4, Students' Rights and Responsibilities, including the right to retain counsel.
  •  6.2.01 Preamble

    We, the faculty and students of Capital University Law School, in recognition of our obligations as members of a profession that is responsible for the administration of justice in our society, affirm our belief in the following precepts: 

    • It is essential to the welfare of the legal profession and people whom it serves that the integrity of all of its members be beyond reproach at all times;
    • There is, beyond purely professional considerations, an overriding moral obligation to conduct the learning process in an ethical fashion;
    • The success or failure of an Honor Code is dependent on the willingness of those governed by it to enforce it. If the Honor Code is to be effective, each student must make a personal commitment to comply individually with its provisions and must accept the responsibility of assuring compliance by other students. A student's sense of justice and integrity should obligate him or her to report violations of the Honor Code in order to preserve the academic integrity of the Law School.

    Relying upon the above precepts, we hereby adopt the following rules and procedures as the Academic Honor Code of Capital University Law School.
     

  • 6.2.02  Jurisdiction 

    6.2.2.01 - The Honor Code

    The Code shall serve as the basis for determining whether a Code violation has occurred and shall govern alleged violations of the Code. The Code applies to all any act engaged in as a student at Capital University Law School, all graduate programs, and those students enrolled in the Paralegal Programs. The code has a five year limitation period that begins to run from the date of a student’s graduation.

    6.2.2.02 - Withdrawal/ Dismissal

    The withdrawal of a student from the Law School, or the dismissal of the student for reasons of academic deficiency for other reasons, does not prevent Honor Code proceedings from continuing.

    6.2.2.03 - Scope

    This Honor Code does not limit the power of the University, the Law School, the Faculty, or the Dean or Dean’s delegate to take action that any of them has the power or the duty to take. Specifically this includes but is not limited to:

    1. the decision regarding the certification of good moral character of a candidate for the Bar;

    2. sanctions imposed on students who are determined to have violated the University or Law School rules, regulations, and policies.

  • 6.2.03  The Honor Committee

    6.2.3.01. The Honor Committee is composed of three (3) full-time faculty members chosen by the Law School Faculty or by the Dean or Dean’s delegate; the Day Vice-President of the Student Bar Association (hereinafter SBA); the Night Vice-President of the SBA; and two (2) other students selected by the SBA.

    6.2.3.02 If a member of the Committee is unable to serve, the faculty replacements may be selected by the Dean or Dean’s Delegate, and student replacements may be selected by the SBA.

    6.2.3.03 One of the three faculty members, chosen by the Dean or Dean’s Delegate, shall serve as the faculty co-chairperson of the Honor Committee. The SBA Day Vice-President shall serve as the student co-chairperson of the Honor Committee. The faculty member shall preside over the hearings. The SBA Day Vice-President shall preside at all other times.

    6.2.3.04 The Honor Committee shall designate two members (one faculty member and one student member) as investigators. Neither of the co-chairpersons shall be designated as investigators.

     

  •  6.2.04 Students - Rights and Responsibilities

    6.2.4.01 Student Right to a Statement of the Charges

    An accused student has the right to a clear, concise statement in writing of the charges.

    6.2.4.02 Student Right to Counsel

    An accused student has the right to be represented by counsel or a representative of the student’s choice retained by the student at the student’s expense. The accused student may be accompanied by an attorney or other representative at the hearing. (The attorney or other representative must not be employed by Capital University.) The attorney or other representative may participate at the hearing subject to the rulings of the panel chair.

    6.2.4.03 Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Event of a Hearing.

    In the event of a hearing before the committee, an accused student has the right to:

    A. Adequate notice to prepare any defense for the Honor Committee hearing the student wishes to offer;
    B. A personal appearance before the Honor Committee;
    C. Present oral, documentary, or other evidence in the student’s behalf;
    D. Make an opening and closing statement to the committee;
    E. Examine and cross examine witnesses;
    F. Seek the assistance of the committee in requesting the presence of witnesses and the production of documents or other evidence;
    G. Make sworn or affirmed statements before the committee;
    H. A presumption of the student’s innocence until a majority of the committee is convinced by clear and convincing evidence that the student engaged in the misconduct charged in violation of this code; and
    I. A copy of the committee’s decision in writing, timely upon rendition.

    6.2.4.04 The student may waive any right conferred by giving notice of such waiver in writing to the committee. The student will waive the rights in 6.2.4.03 if the student fails to appear at the hearing without good cause after being duly served.
     

  • 6.2.05  Violations

     6.2.5.01 Cheating on Exams 

    • No student shall give or receive aid during any examination.
    • No student shall attempt to give or receive aid during any examination.
    • Definition:
      • "Aid" means information from any source or help of any nature not specifically permitted by the instructor.
      • "Give or receive" means voluntary transmission or receipt of aid in any manner, and includes (but is not limited to) receipt or aid from persons, notes, books, or objects.

    6.2.5.02  Improper Cooperation on Outside Work 

    • No student shall cooperate with another student, or solicit cooperation from or offer cooperation to another student, in the preparation of outside work assigned to both, unless cooperation on that specific assignment has been expressly permitted by the instructor.
    • No student assigned outside work shall solicit or receive cooperation or assistance in the preparation from persons, sources, or objects (including but not limited to computers), where such cooperation or assistance on the specific assignment has been expressly forbidden by the instructor.
    • Definitions and Explanations:
      • "Preparation of outside work," as used in this section means work involved in or leading to either
        • The production of any written material required to be produced by the student outside of class, as part of a course, and which is to be submitted to and graded by the instructor; or
        • Preparation for any moot court, mock trial, or oral presentation, which is to be conducted as an assigned and graded portion of a course.
      • Preparation includes, but is not limited to the discussion, analysis, or identification of legal issues, format, concepts, sources, and theories pertaining to outside work assigned.
      • "Assigned to both" means that both are required to simultaneously work on the same or opposite sides of the same case or question, or on the same or opposite sides of different but highly similar cases or questions.
    • This section does not apply to:
    • Preparation of ordinary assignments, no matter what research they may require. An assignment is "ordinary" within the meaning of this subsection if it involves neither preparation of a special written project nor preparation for a moot court or mock trial.
    • Such exchange or information as may occur through the observation of the titles of books being read by a student.
    • Such cooperation or attempted cooperation as may occur by the giving, receiving, or soliciting of information as to the location of particular books, sets of books, or types of books.

    6.2.5.03                Plagiarism 

    No student shall submit any of the following for credit:

    • work in which a significant portion was prepared by another person,
    • work copied, in whole or in part, whether word for word or in substance, from the work of another person without clearly identifying it as the work of another with appropriate quotation marks and footnotes or with an appropriate written explanation and attribution.
    • A student may not offer for credit any work the student has previously or contemporaneously prepared for compensation, offered for credit, or prepared for any other purpose unless the student secures the instructor’s written permission in advance of submission.

    6.2.5.04                Fraudulent or Deceitful Conduct 

    No student shall engage in an act, practice or course of conduct, which acts as a fraud or deceit or attempted fraud or deceit on the Law School or any of its faculty members or students.

    6.2.5.05                Misappropriation or Destruction of Property  

    No student shall misappropriate or destroy, or attempt to misappropriate or destroy, the property of the school, the property of another student, or the property of a faculty or staff member.

    "Misappropriate" includes the intentional and unauthorized use, taking, keeping, or concealing of property for any period of time. This offense does not include unintentional failure to return properly checked out library materials within the authorized time period.

    6.2.5.06                Improper Knowledge of Contents of Examination 

    No student shall voluntarily acquire any knowledge of the content of a forthcoming examination without authorization from the instructor.

    No student who has voluntarily or involuntarily acquired knowledge of the contents of any forthcoming examination without authorization from the instructor shall fail to report this fact to the instructor immediately.

    No student who has taken an examination, and who knows that one or more other students are to take the same examination at a later time, shall disclose the contents of said examination, until after all students in the course have taken the examination.

    6.2.5.07                Non-Disclosure 

    No student shall fail to report any violation of the Honor Code, which he or she knows or reasonably believes has occurred. A report to any member of the Honor Committee shall be sufficient compliance with this subsection. See Section 6.2.6.02. Initial Report.

    6.2.5.08                Violation of Secrecy 

    No student who is a member of the Honor Committee or who makes a report to the Honor Committee under section 6.2.6.02 of the Honor Code, or who is called upon to give information to or testify before the Honor Committee shall divulge any information as to any proceedings of either, except as expressly authorized in the Honor Code. This subsection shall be read at the start of every meeting of the Honor Committee.

    The secrecy requirement applies to all stages of the proceedings and continues where there is no finding of guilt. After a final finding of guilt and judgment of penalty, the secrecy requirement shall terminate in all causes.

    6.2.5.09                Perjury 

    No student shall intentionally give false information in any investigation or hearing under the Honor Code.

    No student shall make a report under 6.2.6.02 unless the student reasonably believes a violation of the Honor Code may have occurred.

    6.2.5.10                Unauthorized Alterations  

    No student shall make any changes, without authorization from the instructor, in any writing submitted for a grade after the student has turned in the writing.

    6.2.5.11                Noncompliance with Examination Time Limits 

    No student, without authorization from the instructor or proctor, shall continue to write on an in-class examination after the instructor or proctor has indicated that the time for completion has expired.

    6.2.5.12                Request to Provide Information  

    No student shall fail to respond to a request from the Dean or Dean’s delegate or the Honor Committee or its Co-Chairpersons to provide information relevant to Honor Code proceedings.

  • 6.2.06  Procedures in Case of Alleged Violation

     6.2.6.01                In General 

     

    Honor Code proceedings are neither criminal nor quasi-criminal in nature. The committee is not bound by rules of evidence or procedure except as provided in this Code. The goal of the proceedings is to arrive at the truth through a fair and prompt resolution of reported violations.

    6.2.6.02                Initial Report

    A student, faculty member, administrator, or other person who has reason to believe that a violation has occurred reports such to any member of the Honor Code Committee. A faculty member or administrator should make his or her report in writing. Students may make an initial report in either of two (2) ways:

    Submission of a written report to an Honor Committee member. The Honor Committee may provide a form on which the report can be submitted.

     Give an oral report to a member of the Honor Committee. The Honor Committee member to whom an oral report is made should memorialize the report in writing as soon as possible after the report and request that the reporting student sign the report

    6.2.6.03                Initial Review 

    The Committee investigators shall review the matter and conduct a preliminary investigation. They may consult with the alleged violator, any faculty member or administrator in whose course or activity a violation may have occurred, and any other person who might have relevant information to provide.

    After the preliminary inquiry, the investigators conclude whether or not it is likely that a violation occurred. If the investigators do not conclude that it is likely that a violation occurred, the matter is terminated. If the investigators conclude that it is likely that a violation occurred, the committee investigators have two (2) options (option A or option B):

    OPTION A: In case of less serious violations (those unlikely to be punishable by expulsion or suspension), they may refer the matter to the Dean or Dean’s delegate who then conducts an informal hearing to determine the guilt or innocence of the student(s) accused of the violation(s). In deciding whether to pursue this alternative, the investigators primarily shall consider whether the offense is punishable by expulsion or suspension. Other factors to consider are:

    the need for a quick resolution of the problem;

    the need for quietly resolving a matter;

    the potential for unbiased resolution by the Dean or Dean’s delegate;

    the inherent complications of a particular alleged violation;

    the difficulties in any given case of the Dean or Dean’s delegate needing inordinate amounts of time to resolve a matter;

    the desires of the alleged violator(s); and

    any prevailing exigent circumstances, which normally are limited to the instances such as the pending graduation of the alleged violator(s) or witness(es) and the pendency of examinations or vacation periods.

    OPTION B: In the case of more serious violations (possibly punishable by expulsion or suspension), the matter ordinarily shall be referred to the Honor Committee. It then will conduct an informal hearing to determine the guilt or innocence of the student(s) accused of the violations.

    In determining which option to pursue, the Committee investigators ordinarily shall consult with the Dean or Dean’s delegate.

    The investigators promptly shall write a concise summary of the statement of the charges which promptly shall be delivered to the student, along with a copy of the Honor Code.

    A student may submit six (6) copies of a statement of positions to the Honor Committee investigators within the time established by the investigators. The statement will become part of the record. The statement of position should include:

    the student’s signed response to the statement of charges;

    all tangible and documentary evidence;

    names of all witnesses, the substance of their testimony or their substantially verbatim statements;

    any other relevant evidence or statements the student wishes the Honor Committee to consider.

    6.2.6.04                Hearing 

    The hearing, conducted pursuant to either Option A or Option B, is to be held as promptly as the circumstances allow. The hearing is more analogous to a fact-finding administrative hearing than to a judicial trial.

    The Dean or Dean’s Delegate or the Honor Committee conducting the hearing may consult with the alleged violator(s), the investigators, the faculty member or administrator in whose class or activity the alleged violation occurred, and any other person who might have relevant information to provide.

    The decision of the Dean or Dean’s delegate or of the Honor Committee conducting the hearing is based on the rules of the Law School and the evidence adduced at the hearing.

    The Law School Administration must make every reasonable effort to secure the presence at the hearing of any witness whose attendance is desired by the Dean or Dean’s delegate or Honor Committee conducting the hearing, or by the accused student.

    See Section 6.2.4 for a list of student rights and responsibilities.

    The investigators may not participate in the Honor Committee’s deliberations, and they may not vote.

    A record shall be kept of the hearing.

    6.2.6.05                Sanctions 

    If the Dean or Dean’s delegate or a majority of the Honor Committee conducting the hearing determines, by clear and convincing evidence, that a violation has occurred, and that the accused student committed the violation, then the Dean or Dean’s delegate or the Honor Committee decides upon the appropriate sanctions to be imposed by the Dean or Dean’s delegate.

    On occasion, the consequences imposed on an accused student may be limited to the context of the course or activity in which the violation occurred.

    On other occasions, there may be other or additional consequences such as a requirement to make restitution, reprimand, and disciplinary probation for a fixed or indefinite period of time, suspension for a fixed or indefinite period of time, or expulsion.

    If a student is found to have violated the Honor Code, the Dean or the Honor Committee conducting the hearing may recommend that this fact and the sanction imposed be entered or not be entered on the student's official transcript.

    6.2.6.06                Written report of the hearing 

    After a hearing, the Dean or Dean’s delegate or the Honor Committee conducting the hearing writes a report that states the decision, the reasons for the decision, and the sanctions to be imposed, if any. The report, together with any records of the hearing, is given to the Dean or Dean’s delegate. The Dean or Dean’s delegates decides whether and in what form the decision shall be made public, and whether or not to enter on the student's transcript the fact that the student was found to have violated the Honor Code and the sanction imposed.

    The Dean or Dean’s delegate shall deliver a copy of the Honor Committee’s report to the student.

    Sanctions of suspension and expulsion are always entered on the student's transcript; other sanctions may or may not be so entered. The Dean or Dean’s delegate also makes provision for the retention, return, or destruction of records of the hearing.

    6.2.6.07                Loss of Privileges 

    Students who are found to have violated the Honor Code and who have received a sanction of probation, suspension, or expulsion are not permitted to receive financial aid from Capital University, and are not permitted to engage in extracurricular activities during the period of the probation.

    Violators who receive a less severe sanction may be prohibited from receiving financial aid from Capital University and may be prohibited from engaging in extracurricular activities for a fixed or indefinite period of time.

    Any courses taken at other universities during the period of suspension or expulsion will not be credited toward obtaining a Capital University law degree.

  • 6.2.07  Appeals

    6.2.7.01                In General 

    The Appeals Committee shall be composed of two faculty members and one student member.

    The Dean or Dean’s delegate annually shall appoint the two faculty members, including a chair. The SBA annually shall appoint the one student members. Preferably, at least one member of the Appeals Committee shall have served on the committee in the preceding year.

    The student shall have one appeal as of right from any decision of the Honor committee to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee shall make any decision by a majority vote.

    6.2.7.02                Grounds for Appeal  

    The grounds for appeals are:

    The failure to substantially comply with procedural provisions of the Honor Code, thereby resulting in prejudicial error; or

    A clearly erroneous interpretation of the code, thereby resulting in prejudicial error; or

    A recommended penalty that is too severe in light of the circumstances.

    The Honor Committee’s findings of fact are clearly erroneous.

    6.2.7.03                Procedure for Appeals and New Hearing 

    The student shall file a timely notice of appeal, and within a short time thereafter shall file a memorandum setting forth all of his or her arguments. The co-chairs of the Honor Committee shall establish reasonable deadlines for the filings of the notice of appeal and memorandum and notify the student thereof.

    The Appeals Committee shall meet as soon as possible to determine whether to grant or deny the appeal. At this meeting, the Appeals Committee shall review the record and report of the Honor Committee hearing and the student’s memorandum. The Appeals Committee shall invite the student (and his or her lawyer) and the members of the Honor Committee to appear before the Appeals Committee to give further explanation of their positions and respond to questions of the Appeals Committee members. The Appeals Committee shall determine the procedures to be used at the hearing including, for example, time limitations and the receipt of responsive memoranda.

    If the Appeals Committee sustains the appeal, it shall memorialize the reasons for doing so. The Appeals Committee shall then either make a final decision or remand the case to the Honor Committee for further proceedings that are consistent with the decision of the Appeals Committee, which may include a new hearing. Upon remand, the Honor Committee shall meet and comply with the instructions of the Appeals Committee.

     
  • 6.2.08  Other Post-Hearing Procedures

    6.2.8.01                After all appeals to the Appeals Committee are final, the Appeals Committee shall transmit all records to the Dean or Dean’s delegate. The student may request that the President of the University or the President’s delegate review the Appeals Committee decision. The only basis for this review is the failure to substantially comply with the procedural provisions of the Honor Code, resulting in prejudicial error.

    6.2.8.02                A hearing that results in a finding of a violation can be reviewed by the Dean or Dean’s delegate or by the Honor Committee upon the discovery of new evidence that casts doubt on the earlier finding. The new hearing can be conducted under either Option A or Option B.

    6.2.8.03                A former student who has been expelled or indefinitely suspended after having been found to have violated the Honor Code may apply for readmission as a new student. Such readmission is uncommon, and can be granted only by a majority vote of the law school council. The burden is on the former student to prove that circumstances since the Honor Code violation indicate that the former student is now of good moral character and is highly unlikely to commit another ethical lapse. Because of this burden, several years typically elapse before the faculty entertains a petition for readmission.

     
  • 6.2.09  Conclusion

    This document was the product of collaboration between students and faculty, and was composed in the spirit of cooperation.