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School of Law Disciplinary Code

I. Jurisdiction

II. Offenses

III. Procedure

IV. Penalties

V. Records

VI. Miscellaneous

I. Jurisdiction:

The Duquesne University School of Law Disciplinary Code (Code) shall apply to every person who has registered for credit or is otherwise in attendance at the Duquesne University School of Law (School) and shall further apply to such persons up to and including the receipt of the Juris Doctor degree. Such persons shall be referred to as “students” and such term shall be construed to mean any person subject to the jurisdiction of this Code.

II. Offenses:

  1. Academic Offenses:
  1.   Offenses Involving Dishonesty:

      (a) Examinations:

        (1) A student shall not cheat, which shall include giving, seeking or receiving unauthorized aid in any form before, during or after an examination.

        (2) A student shall not use any unauthorized materials.

        (3) A student shall not violate the examination regulations.

      (b) Work Product:

        A student shall not commit Intentional Plagiarism nor in any way whatsoever submit or represent another’s work as the student’s own work in connection with any curricular or extracurricular activity or function sponsored, funded or supported by the School.

      (c) Misrepresentation:

        A student shall not furnish false information to any employee of the School, or in connection with any law school application, or in connection with any curricular or extracurricular activity or function sponsored, funded or supported by the School.

      (d) Attendance:

        A student shall not furnish false information with regard to any attendance sheet, certification of attendance, or other method of monitoring attendance at the School.

    2. Other Academic Offenses:

      (a) A student shall not commit Unintentional Plagiarism.

      (b) A student shall not talk, or communicate in any way, with any person during any examination other than a proctor or professor administering the examination.

      (c) A student shall not fail to comply with any rule of comportment established for a class by the professor in that class.

    3. Definitions:

      (a) Plagiarism: Plagiarism shall mean the appropriation, in whole or in part, without full and clear attribution, of the writings of another, or the ideas or language of another.

      (b) Intentional Plagiarism: Intentional Plagiarism shall mean plagiarism with the intent of passing such appropriated matter off as the product of the student. The verbatim, or near verbatim, copying of the words or language of another without appropriate attribution, including failure to indicate that the student is quoting from the cited source, shall be conclusive evidence of Intentional Plagiarism.

      (c) Unintentional Plagiarism: Unintentional plagiarism shall mean all acts of plagiarism other than those that constitute Intentional Plagiarism. Unintentional Plagiarism shall include, but not be limited to, consistent failure to cite to the appropriate authority; where pervasive, however, such consistent failure to cite to the appropriate authority shall constitute Intentional Plagiarism.

      (d) Examination: Examination(s) shall include, but not be limited to, substitutes for in-school examinations, e.g., outside graded or for-credit work, such as drafting problems and exercises, papers, take-home examinations, quizzes and tests, as well as traditional, in-school examinations, quizzes and tests for credit work.

  B. Offenses Involving Property:

    1. Offenses Against School Property:

      (a) A student shall not tear, mutilate, mark or otherwise damage or destroy School property.

      (b) A student shall not conceal library materials or other School property.

      (c) A student shall not remove books or library materials from the library without proper authorization, nor shall a student remove any other School property from the premises or possession of the School without authorization.

    2. Offenses Against Property of Other Students:

      A student shall not damage nor take without permission, the notes, books, papers, or other property of another student.

  C. Other Offenses:

    1. A student shall not engage in any conduct or act that constitutes a violation of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, or that constitutes a crime, or that would subject a person to criminal sanctions or penalties under the laws, either common or statutory, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States of America.

    2. A student shall not fail or refuse to obey or to respond to any rule, regulation, directive or command given by any member of the Faculty or the Administration, or the Director of the School’s Law Library, in the exercise of their responsibility or duties to the School.

    3. A student shall not upon proper request of the Dean, the Disciplinary Officer, or the Disciplinary Committee refuse to cooperate or testify in any investigation or proceeding involving a violation of this Code.

    4. A student shall not aid, abet, cause or otherwise facilitate another’s violation of any provision of this Code.

    5. A student shall not violate any of the rules of the Law School Library including, but not limited to, rules prohibiting drinking, eating and smoking.

    6. A student shall not abuse any means of electronic research or electronic data retrieval or storage in use at the School, including, but not limited to, unauthorized entry into a file, either to read or to change the data, unauthorized transfer or copying of a file or of file data, unauthorized use of another person’s identification number or password, use of such facilities to interfere with the work of another student, use of such facilities to send or receive obscene or pornographic material(s), use of such facilities to send harassing or abusing material(s), use of such facilities to interfere with the normal operation of the School’s computer system.

III. Procedure

  A. Commencement of Proceedings:

    Proceedings shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint with the Dean, which shall occur upon delivery of the complaint to the office of the Dean.

  B. Complaints:

    1. Any person may initiate a complaint by filing a signed written statement with the Disciplinary Officer of the School, who shall have been designated by the Dean of the School. The Disciplinary Officer shall investigate the statement and determine whether probable cause exists for the filing of a complaint and whether a complaint should be filed in the name of the School.

    2. Within thirty (30) days after any person files a statement with the Disciplinary Officer, the Disciplinary Officer shall either dismiss the statement or file a complaint. The Dean may grant one thirty (30) day extension of time within which the Disciplinary Officer must act. Failure to file a timely complaint will constitute dismissal of the statement. If the Disciplinary Officer finds that there is probable cause to file a complaint and that a complaint should be filed in the name of the School, the Disciplinary Officer shall file the complaint.

    3. A complaint may be filed by the Dean, the Director of the School’s Law Library, or a member of the Faculty (collectively a “Complaining Faculty Member”). A Complaining Faculty Member may also initiate a complaint by filing a statement with the Disciplinary Officer. If the Complaining Faculty Member files the complaint, the Complaining Faculty Member shall serve as the Disciplinary Officer unless the Complaining Faculty Member recuses himself or herself.

    4. If a complaint is filed by either the Disciplinary Officer or by a Complaining Faculty Member, the Dean shall forward the complaint to the Disciplinary Committee, which shall review the complaint and determine whether probable cause is present. If the Disciplinary Committee determines that the complaint is sufficient, proceedings shall continue. Otherwise, the complaint shall be dismissed.

    5. If the Disciplinary Committee finds that the Complaint is sufficient, the Dean shall cause a copy of the complaint to be delivered to the accused student. Delivery shall be deemed complete by placing a copy of the complaint in the accused student’s mailbox or student folder, if any, and by sending a copy by first class mail to the accused student’s last known address as set forth in the School’s official records.

  C. Election:

    1. Except as otherwise provided, the accused student shall make an irrevocable election within ten (10) school days after delivery of the complaint (“Election Period”) to plead guilty before the Dean and to accept the penalty imposed by the Dean or to have the matter heard by the Disciplinary Committee.

    2. The election shall be made in writing and shall be delivered to the Dean.

    3. If no election is made, the accused student shall be deemed to have elected as of the last day of the Election Period to have the matter heard by the Disciplinary Committee.

    4. The Dean shall have the discretion in any case to decline to accept a guilty plea. In such an event, the matter shall be referred to the Disciplinary Committee for disposition.

    5. The Dean may impose any penalty authorized by Subparagraph 2 of Paragraph A of Article IV. The penalty imposed by the Dean is final and unappealable.

  D. Hearing:

    1. Unless the Dean accepts a guilty plea, the Dean shall notify the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee to schedule a hearing. The Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee shall notify the accused student of the time and place of the hearing. The hearing shall be held not more than thirty (30) days, nor less than ten (10) days after election by the accused student.

    2. At the close of the hearing, the Disciplinary Committee shall either dismiss the matter or adjudicate the accused student guilty and impose any penalty, or any combination of penalties, authorized by Article IV of the Code. The decision and penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Committee is final and unappealable.

  E. Manner of Hearing:

    1. An accused student may retain legal counsel or other advisors to assist in his or her defense. Regardless of whether the accused student chooses to retain legal counsel or other advisors, the Disciplinary Officer shall present the School’s case.

    2. If the accused student is represented by legal counsel at the hearing, the Disciplinary Officer shall act in a manner similar to a prosecutor in a criminal case.

    3. If the accused student is not represented by legal counsel, the Disciplinary Officer shall:

      (a) be present at the hearing and shall present the School’s case;

      (b) be entitled to call whatever witnesses are necessary to present the School’s case and to question those witnesses and to question any witnesses called by the accused student;

      (c) be entitled to introduce any evidence necessary to the School’s case.

    4. If the accused student is not represented by counsel, the Disciplinary Officer shall not question the accused student at the hearing.

    5. The accused student shall notify the Disciplinary Officer in writing at least five (5) days before the hearing whether the accused student intends to contest the charges or to plead guilty. If the accused student fails to notify the Disciplinary Officer of his or her intent or fails to attend the hearing, all allegations contained in the complaint shall be deemed admitted, and the Disciplinary Committee shall impose any penalty authorized by Article IV.

    6. The accused student, the Disciplinary Officer, or the Disciplinary Committee may call any witness or question any witness, including the accused student, as to any facts associated with the alleged violation(s) as set forth in the complaint. In addition to such questioning, the accused student may reply orally or in writing or both to the complaint. Either the accused student or the Disciplinary Officer or the Disciplinary Committee may introduce any non-testimonial evidence. Evidence shall not be limited to that admissible under rules of evidence in force in Pennsylvania or at common law or in the Courts of the United States.

    7. The Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee shall preside at the Hearing.

    8. The Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee, in the exercise of his or her discretion may, before the expiration of such period, extend the time in which any act required to be done under this Code must be accomplished. The accused student and the Disciplinary Officer shall be informed or notified of any such extension.

    9. The hearing shall be taped.

    10. The proceedings may be transcribed at the option and expense of the party requesting transcripts.

    11. A violation of the Code must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence.

    12. The decision of a majority of the members of the Disciplinary Committee present shall be sufficient to decide or dismiss a case.

    13. Any matter brought before the Disciplinary Committee shall be considered adjudicated when:

      (a) The Disciplinary Committee renders its decision; or

      (b) The Disciplinary Committee accepts a plea from the accused student.

  F. Disciplinary Committee:

    The Disciplinary Committee shall be composed of seven (7) members, five (5) of whom shall be full-time Faculty members, excluding the Dean, and two (2) of whom shall be students. The Faculty members shall be selected by the Dean to serve for a term of one year. The students shall be appointed annually by the President of the Student Bar Association. Five members of the Disciplinary Committee, four of whom must be Faculty, shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of hearing a case. A quorum must be present at each Disciplinary Committee session. If for any reason there are not sufficient members to constitute a quorum to hear a particular case, the Dean shall appoint as many Faculty alternate members as may be necessary, and the President of the Student Bar Association shall appoint as many alternate members as may be necessary. The Dean, in the Dean’s discretion, may appoint additional Disciplinary Committees.

  G. Disciplinary Officer:

    The Disciplinary Officer shall be a full-time Faculty member, excluding the Dean and the Disciplinary Committee members. The Dean shall select the Disciplinary Officer to serve for a term of one year. The Dean, in the Dean’s discretion, may appoint additional Disciplinary Officers.

  H. Pleas:

    1. An accused student is permitted to plea bargain. Any plea negotiations shall be conducted between the accused student, or counsel for the accused student, and the Disciplinary Officer. In any matter brought by a Complaining Faculty Member, the Disciplinary Officer shall not agree to any proposed plea bargain without the approval of the Complaining Faculty Member.

    2. If the accused student and the Disciplinary Officer agree on the terms of a proposed plea bargain, the Disciplinary Officer shall present the terms of the proposed plea bargain to the Disciplinary Committee at a hearing for approval by the Disciplinary Committee. The accused student and his or her legal counsel, if any, shall attend the hearing at which the proposed plea bargain is presented to the Disciplinary Committee.

    3. The Disciplinary Committee may accept or reject the proposed plea bargain. The decision of a majority of the Disciplinary Committee members present shall be sufficient to decide whether to accept or reject the plea bargain. If the Disciplinary Committee rejects the proposed plea bargain, the proposed plea bargain shall be dismissed.

    4. If the proposed plea bargain is dismissed, the Disciplinary Committee shall hear the charges stated in the complaint. If the plea bargain is dismissed, the accused student’s offer to plead guilty to one or more violations of the Code shall be considered as made for purposes of settlement only and shall not be indicative of the accused student’s guilt. Any evidence presented during the plea bargaining stage of the case shall not be grounds for recusing any member of the Disciplinary Committee or the Disciplinary Officer.

    5. Acceptance of a plea bargain shall be considered an adjudication of the accused student’s guilt with respect to the charges set forth in the plea bargain.

IV. Penalties:

  A. The following penalties may be imposed:

    1. By the Disciplinary Committee:

      (a) Restitution;

      (b) Private Reprimand;

      (c) Public Reprimand;

      (d) Failing Grade or Grades, in the case of any conduct relating to a specific course or courses;

      (e) Suspension, for such period or periods as the Disciplinary Committee deems appropriate;

      (f) Permanent Expulsion, which shall include the denial of a degree and any credit for courses taken at the School. Permanent Expulsion shall require the vote of five (5) members of the Disciplinary Committee, four (4) of whom must be faculty.

      (g) Any combination of any or all of the foregoing.

    2. By the Dean:

      (a) Those penalties set forth in Subparagraphs (a) through (d) of Paragraph A.1. of Article IV.

      (b) Suspension, for a period not to exceed one year; and

      (c) Any combination of any or all of the foregoing.

  B. If a student is found to have committed an offense described in Article II.A.2(b) of this Code, the student may be subject to one of the following penalties, which may be in addition to any penalties that may be imposed by either the Disciplinary Committee or the Dean:

    1. The permanent withholding of any grade or any credit for the course in which the examination was given, constituting a withdrawal from the course, or

    2. Re-examination in the course on the next date that such examination (whether a midyear or final) in that course is regularly scheduled. There will be no “make-up” or special examination. The student shall receive credit for the course and be awarded the grade earned on that re-examination. The penalty shall be imposed without regard to the effect it may have on the student’s graduation from the School or the date thereof.

  C. Mandatory Penalties:

    1. If a student is found to have committed an offense described in Article II.A.1(a) or II.A.1(b) of this Code, the student shall be subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of a one semester suspension, which penalty shall be in addition to any penalties that may be imposed by the Disciplinary Committee or the Dean in accordance with the Code.

    2. If a student is found to have committed an offense described in Article II.A.1(a), Article II.A.1(b), or Article II.A.2(a) of this Code in any course in which a grade is given, the student shall be given a failing grade (an “F”) in the course, which penalty shall be in addition to any penalties that may be imposed by the Disciplinary Committee or the Dean in accordance with this Code.

  D. In lieu of any non-mandatory penalty provided by this Code, the Disciplinary Committee or the Dean, as the case may be, may impose any reasonable condition on a student or on a student’s conduct, and may further prescribe those penalties that shall be imposed in the event of a failure to comply with such condition.

  E. All penalties imposed under this Code shall take effect immediately unless the Disciplinary Committee or the Dean shall specifically provide otherwise.

V. Records:

  A. A record of every disciplinary action taken against any student shall be maintained in the office of the Dean. If the Disciplinary Committee shall find that a student has committed an offense under this Code, or a student shall plead guilty to having committed an offense under this Code, such fact and the language of the Code section violated shall be set forth on the transcript of the student. The Disciplinary Committee may recommend to the Dean that a student’s transcript not contain such a notation if the conduct of the student did not involve knowing, intentional or purposeful dishonesty. The Dean may, in his or her sole discretion, accept or reject that recommendation.

  B. Upon the final conclusion of a disciplinary proceeding against a student, the Dean shall by letter advise the party filing the complaint and the accused student as to the ultimate disposition of the case, including the sanction imposed, if any.

  C. The Dean shall issue a public notice, to be posted in the School building, informing the student body of the adjudication of the Disciplinary Committee, the acceptance of a guilty plea, or the dismissal of disciplinary charges, omitting the name of the student. The form of such notice shall be as follows:

Disciplinary Notice

  1. A Complaint was filed on [date] alleging that a student had violated [provision] of the School of Law Disciplinary Code. [Provision] provides that “[a] student shall not . . . “

  2. After a hearing, the Disciplinary Committee dismissed the charges.

[or]

  2. The Disciplinary Committee adjudged that the student had violated [provision] of the School of Law Disciplinary Code. [Provision] provides that “[a] student shall not . . . “ The Disciplinary Committee ordered that the student [description of penalty].

[or]

  2. The student pleaded guilty to violating [provision] of the School of Law Disciplinary Code. [Provision] provides that “[a] student shall not ....” The Dean [Disciplinary Committee] ordered that the student [description of penalty].

_____________

  _____________________________________________

Date

 

Dean

VI. Miscellaneous:

  A. This Code shall be effective for academic years commencing with the academic year in which it is adopted by the Faculty.

  B. This Code may be amended only by the Faculty. Amendments to this Code may be proposed at any time by the Dean, by an Associate or Assistant Dean, or by any Faculty member of the School. The Student Bar Association may also propose amendments. Amendments shall be considered at regularly scheduled faculty meetings and shall be effective for the academic year of adoption, unless the Faculty shall direct otherwise.

  C. Except as provided in this Code, and in accordance with the Duquesne University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct, the Duquesne University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct also shall apply to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the terms of this Code. In the case of any inconsistency, this Code shall control.

  D. Unless specifically stated otherwise, all time periods shall be calculated by including both school days and non-school days and by excluding exam days and shall begin on the day following the occurrence of the action that precipitates the time period. If any time period expires on a non-school day, such time period shall be deemed to have expired on the first school day following the date of actual expiration. For purposes of counting days, Saturdays and Sundays shall be considered as non-school days.