The Catholic University of America
RULES OF PROFESSIONALS CONDUCT FOR LAW STUDENTS

RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LAW STUDENTS

 

I. PURPOSES AND SCOPE OF AUTHORITY; ADDITIONAL RULES 

A. Purposes
B. Function and Scope                
C. Additional Rules and Procedures
D. Duty to Notify CUA Law about Criminal Charges
 
A. Student Awareness and Compliance
B. Community Members’ Responsibility to Report Violations
C. Understanding Pertinent Rules for Academic and Co-Curricular Activities
 
A. Composition           
B. Functions                
C. Election and Term of Student Members                
D. The Dean’s Designee              
E. Professional Conduct Orientation         
F.  Continuing Professional Conduct Education
 
A. Lying or Failing to Disclose    
B. Cheating
C. Stealing, Damaging, or Unauthorized Use of the Property of Another                 
D. Failing to Report a Violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct    
E. Harassing                 
F.  Contempt                
G. Additional Violations
 
A. Terminology           
B.  Duty to Report a Suspected Violation  
C. Time Limits for Resolving Allegations against a Student
D. Preliminary Action; Alternatives Prior to a Hearing
E.  Dean’s Designee’s First Meeting with Respondent or Potential Respondent; Rights of Respondent or Potential Respondent         
F.   Right to Refuse to Answer Questions or Participate; Inferences           
G. Subsequent Meetings Between the Dean’s Designee and Respondent or Potential Respondent        
H. Settlement               
I.  Referral for Hearing                
 
J. Disclosure to Respondent Prior to an Adjudicatory Hearing                
K. Summary Dismissal
 
A. Hearing Panel         
B. Timing of Hearing; Bifurcation of Proceedings; Recording  
C. Quorum; Participation in Deliberations                 
D. Respondent’s Refusal to Participate      
E. Witness Presence during the Hearing    
F.   Presentation and Exclusion of Evidence
 
A. Burden of Proof     
B. Inference from a Refusal to Answer Questions or Participate in a Hearing Panel Proceeding              
C. Effect of a Tie Vote                 
D. Determination of Violation and Sanction              
E. Records of Hearing Panel Proceedings; Written Report to the Dean  
F. Action by the Dean
 
A. Possible Sanctions  
B. Sanction Imposition                
C. Bar Report
 
 
A. Right to Appeal      
B. Submitting a Notice of Appeal               
C. Appeal Panel           
D. Review of Hearing Panel Decision         
E. Appeal Panel Decision            
F. Sanction Imposition

 

A. Generally                  
B. Closed Hearings; Exception   
C. Confidentiality after Final Disposition
     
 
 
A. Purposes

The Council on Professional Conduct (hereinafter “the Council”) and the Rules of Professional Conduct for Law Students (hereinafter “the Rules” or “the Rules of Professional Conduct”) have several purposes. The Council’s education efforts and the Rules provide the CUA Law academic community a framework for conducting its programs on a basis of trust in the integrity of all participants. The Council’s efforts and the Rules give notice of specific conduct to be followed by members of the law school community. The Council’s efforts and the Rules prepare law students to participate in a self-regulated profession in which lawyers must comply with an analogous set of standards. The Rules also provide a process for resolution of the possible violations of the conduct standards with provision for education, remediation, and imposition of sanctions when appropriate.
 
B. Function and Scope

The CUA honor process was adopted by the faculty upon a student initiative in 1982. The Rules, as amended in 2012, recognize that the law school’s functioning should be built on a foundation of trust and integrity. Creation of this foundation requires the combined effort of the law school’s students, faculty, and staff in cooperation with the parent University. These Rules require law students, faculty, and staff to report possible violations by law students. The effectiveness of the Rules depends on their implementation by every member of the CUA Law community.
 
Allegations of misconduct committed by faculty or staff are not processed through the Council on Professional Conduct. They are dealt with by the Dean’s Office or through other University procedures. Any member of the law school community who has reason to believe that a member of the faculty or staff has engaged in dishonest or unprofessional conduct should bring that conduct to the attention of the Dean’s Office.
 
These Rules apply to student conduct that occurs between a student’s enrollment in and graduation from CUA Law. If a violation is discovered after a J.D. degree has been conferred, the Dean shall determine what, if any, further action will be taken and the appropriate body to hear any evidence with regard to the matter. Action may include revocation of the J.D. degree. If an issue arises with regard to conduct occurring prior to enrollment at the law school, e.g., a failure to disclose a matter on the application, the Dean will determine whether the matter should be referred to a Council Hearing Panel or to another body. Action may include rescission of admission or expulsion if appropriate.
 
These Rules, and the duty to report violations of them, relate only to conduct that raises questions about the honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness of a student to become a lawyer. In interpreting “honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness,” the law school may refer to the interpretation of this standard by state and federal courts and bars, although no precedent from any particular court or bar will be considered binding. Nothing in these Rules shall be construed to prevent a professor from adjusting a grade downward or entering a failing grade for a student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty in a course taught by that professor. (Throughout this document, “professor” refers to all members of the CUA Law teaching staff including both full-time and adjunct instructors.)
 
C. Additional Rules and Procedures
 
The violations set forth in these Rules in Section IV are not the only rules and standards governing law students. Administrators and faculty members make rules and enforce standards of conduct for law students appropriate to their responsibilities. Serious violation of such rules and standards may raise questions regarding a student’s trustworthiness and fitness to be a lawyer and result in consequences that could include a failing grade, exclusion from a course or clinic, a report of the conduct to bars to which the student applies, or suspension/expulsion from CUA. Violations, which could result in such consequences, include actions that disrupt the law school-learning environment, interfere with administration of the academic program, or involve significant neglect of matters entrusted to the student. Law students also are subject to the University Code of Student Conduct. The Code of Student Conduct is set forth on the University policy website.
 
D. Duty to Notify CUA Law about Criminal Charges
  1. Law students must notify the Dean’s office in writing of any criminal charge against them that occurs prior to law school graduation and has not been previously disclosed, e.g., as a part of the application process. This reporting requirements also applies to charges required to be reported in the following paragraph even if such charges are not designated as criminal, e.g., presented in the form of a traffic citation.
  2. Any situation that involved alcohol use, drug use or property damage is reportable as are charges of “reckless driving” that result in revocation or suspension of a driving license. Parking tickets and minor moving violations are not reportable.
  3. Notification of charges reportable under this section must be made within a reasonable time after the charge, and such time normally will not exceed ten (10) business days.
  4. The law school also may require that the student provide additional information about the charge and its disposition.
  5. Failure to report under this section within a reasonable time or to comply with the law school’s request for additional information is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Law Students as set forth in Section IV.A.8.
  6. If the Dean’s Office has reason to believe that the charge may be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if proven, the Dean’s Office will inform the Dean’s Designee about the matter, and the Dean’s Designee will proceed as provided by the Rules.
  7. The Dean’s Office shall assess whether the matter suggests a serious threat to the health, safety or security of the university community or whether it otherwise raises a substantial question about the student’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to become a lawyer. If so, the Dean’s Office will determine what action should be taken, and such action may include suspension or expulsion. If the Dean’s Office determines the matter does not fall within one of the previous categories, the Dean’s Office may warn the student of bar application reporting requirements. 
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A. Student Awareness and Compliance

Each law student must read and comply with the Rules and commit to maintaining the integrity of the legal profession. See Section III.E setting out the requirement that all entering students affirm in writing that they have read Sections I-IV of the Rules by the end of the orientation period.
 
B. Community Members’ Responsibility to Report Violations

Each member of the CUA Law community must report any conduct he or she has reason to believe violates these Rules, unless the person receives the information in the context of a confidential communication. See Section V.B for the specifics of this obligation and V.B.7 for definition of confidential communication.
 
C. Understanding Pertinent Rules for Academic and Co-Curricular Activities
  1. Each person making an assignment or giving an examination in a law school course or co-curricular activity (hereinafter an “assigning person”) has the responsibility to provide an unambiguous definition of “unauthorized assistance” to all participants in a timely fashion. Unless a student’s resulting work constitutes Cheating as defined in Section IV.B, and in the absence of express instructions to the contrary, students are permitted to meet in groups to discuss reading assignments, to study for examinations, and to prepare for simulations, oral presentations, or clinical work. Unless prohibited by the professor’s definition of unauthorized assistance, students are permitted to use the words or ideas of another without attribution in writing for in-class examinations.
     
  2. Each student has a responsibility to seek clarification of any perceived ambiguity in any professor or other assigning person’s definition of unauthorized assistance with regard to examinations, course assignments or co-curricular activities (see Section IV.B.1) and with regard to authorized recording of classes or other law school presentations or use of recordings (see Section IV.C.8).
     
  3. Each student has a responsibility to apply generally accepted rules on proper attribution of source material, use proper punctuation or indentation to signify use of the words of another, and check all written submissions for any improper use of the words or ideas of another.
 
 
A. Composition
 
The Council on Professional Conduct shall consist of three faculty members and six students. The Dean shall appoint the faculty Council members, and the Dean shall designate one of the three faculty members as the Faculty Co-Chair of the Council. See Section III.C on selection of student members including the designation of a Student Co-Chair of the Council. The Dean’s Designee and any other staff or faculty member with responsibility for professional conduct education or review of possible violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct will serve as ex officio members. The ex officio members will assist the Council by providing information on the types of problems that arise in administration of the Rules or otherwise in the law school that might suggest a need for education of community members or administrative changes to promote greater adherence to the Rules.
 
B.    Functions
  1. Professional Conduct Education                                              
    The Council on Professional Conduct is charged with planning and implementing a curriculum of education on standards of professional conduct for law students relevant to the operation of the law school and to standards that apply to members of the legal profession. Planning this professional education program should include identification of the most important issues to communicate to students. This educational effort may include communication with faculty on such matters as clarity of directions on “unauthorized assistance” and defining plagiarism, as well as other ways that faculty can help promote personal integrity and education in professional conduct. The Council should also solicit suggestions from faculty and administrators on ways honor questions arise, e.g., in exam administration, and how to avoid such situations. After considering what types of education in honor and professional conduct should be available to students during their time at the law school, the Council shall create an agenda for the academic year. The Council shall participate in presentations made at the orientation for new students and cooperate with administrators and faculty in planning and offering at least two programs on issues of particular concern to first-year students. Such topics include issues that arise in the context of research assignments, writing assignments and exams, law review and journal writing competitions, and summer legal employment. The Council also should plan and implement at least two additional honor education programs on topics important to professional conduct as law students or as practicing lawyers. The Council shall establish criteria to determine what professional conduct programs, in addition to those presented by the Council, can be used to satisfy the continuing professional conduct education requirements specified in Section III.F. Without disclosing the identity of the people involved, the Council should inform the law school community about alleged violations that have been reported and the sanctions that have been imposed regarding Rules’ violations. The Council should determine for what period such information should be provided, e.g., the past year or a longer period.

In addition to their roles in planning the content of professional conduct and honor education, student members of the Council are expected to assist in administration of the honor education requirement.

  1. Hearing Panels       
                                                                          
    If an evidentiary hearing on an alleged violation of the Rules is necessary, a panel of three students and two faculty members (hereinafter a “Hearing Panel”) will be drawn from the Council. A Hearing Panel will be chaired by a Council faculty member (hereinafter the “Hearing Panel Chair”). The Council shall establish internal procedures to determine which members should sit on a particular hearing panel, choice of the Hearing Panel Chair, and when recusal of a Council member would be appropriate. If the need for a hearing arises when student members are not available to serve, a Hearing Panel comprised of at least three faculty members may adjudicate the complaint. If there are an insufficient number of faculty members from the Council available to comprise a Hearing Panel, the Dean may appoint substitute faculty members for the panel. The need for such alternative composition of a Hearing Panel is most likely to arise if it is necessary to conduct a hearing during the exam period or the allegation concerns the behavior of a student about to graduate, but other circumstances also may arise requiring an alternative composition. See Section V.C.2 regarding time limits for resolving allegations and the option for Respondent or Respondent’s Representative or Dean’s Designee to petition for an alternative hearing panel if there is a concern regarding timely resolution of a matter or complaint.
A student member of the Council may be asked to assist the Dean’s Designee in his or her investigation of a matter prior to the filing of a complaint, or of a complaint that has been filed with the Council or is pending before a Hearing Panel. See Section V.D.4.b.
 
C. Election and Term of Student Members

The six student members of the Council will be elected or appointed in accordance with the SBA Constitution or By-laws. The Constitution or By-laws shall provide for designation of one of the six students as the Student Co-Chair of the Council. Any vacancies should be filled promptly in accordance with the SBA Constitution or By-laws. Newly-chosen members should attend Council meetings from the time of their election although the official terms will begin on the final day of classes of the spring semester. Newly-chosen members also may be asked to serve on a Hearing Panel if an insufficient number of student members are available. As soon as feasible in the second semester, two additional first-year members will be elected or appointed in accordance with the SBA Constitution or By-laws. The first-year members should attend all Council meetings and participate fully in discussion about the education functions of the Council, but they are not eligible to be appointed to a Hearing Panel.
 
D. The Dean’s Designee

The Dean of the law school will designate one or more bar-admitted professional staff members, deans, or faculty members to serve as the Dean’s Designee. The Dean’s Designee will perform the duties and responsibilities set out in Section V of these Rules. If the appointed Dean’s Designee is unable to serve, the Dean shall choose one or more alternate bar-admitted professional staff members, deans, or faculty members to fulfill the duties of the Dean’s Designee.
 
E. Professional Conduct Orientation

A copy of this document constituting the Council on Professional Conduct and the Rules of Professional Conduct will be given to each entering student and shall be enforceable as part of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law Announcements. By the end of orientation period, all entering students must sign a statement saying that they have read Sections I-IV of the Rules. Failure to sign this statement is not a defense to an alleged violation of these Rules. An “entering student” is a 1D, 1E, or transfer student, as well as visiting or LL.M. students during the period they are enrolled in courses at the CUA campus.
 
F. Continuing Professional Conduct Education

All students must attend six professional education programs during their time in law school. These may be programs planned and implemented by the Council as set out in Section III.B.1, or programs designated as honor education programs under criteria set by the Council as set out in Section III.B.1. The Council shall work with the law school administration to develop a system for recording compliance with these requirements, with student Council members assisting in gathering of attendance records at programs as needed. The Council shall set criteria for compliance with the attendance requirement by alternative means, e.g., certification of listening to recordings of sessions. An online system for students to check their compliance with this requirement will be maintained by the administration in accordance with the Council’s criteria. If a student fails to complete the required six honor education programs, this failure will be noted in the student’s academic record and will be reported to the bars to which the student applies.
 
The following conduct violates these Rules of Professional Conduct if it is dishonest, reflects a lack of trustworthiness, or otherwise raises a question about a student’s fitness to become a lawyer. For the purposes of this section, a reckless state of mind refers to a conscious disregard of a substantial risk that the circumstance described exists or a related or resulting consequence will result.
 
A. Lying or Failing to Disclose

Lying is any act (or omission) in which a student intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, deceives another by stating an untruth, by misrepresenting material facts, or by failing to disclose material facts. Conduct constituting this offense includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Representing the words or substance of another’s work as one’s own in any writing submitted for academic credit or written for a co-curricular activity with intent to deceive.
  2. Representing the words or substance of another’s work as one’s own in any writing submitted for academic credit or written for a co-curricular activity with reckless disregard of commonly accepted definitions of plagiarism.
  3. Failing to disclose past disciplinary complaints under these Rules resulting in the finding of a violation to a professor whom the student asks to act as a reference for that student.
  4. Omitting material information about one’s own academic record, work experience, or law school activities.
  5. Furnishing any person with false or misleading material information about the academic record, work experience, or law school activities of another member of the law school community.
  6. Furnishing false or misleading material information to any professor, any other administrative office of the University, or to a student or nonstudent administrator of a co-curricular or extracurricular activity. “Any other administrative office” of the University includes, but is not limited to, the Admissions Office, the Financial Aid Office, the Career and Professional Development Office, and the Department of Public Safety.
  7. Omitting material information with the intent to deceive or mislead any professor, any other administrative office of the University (as defined in the previous paragraph), or a student or nonstudent administrator of a co-curricular or extracurricular activity.
  8. Failing to report a criminal charge to the Dean’s Office, as set out in Section I.D, within a reasonable time after the charge has been made, which normally would not exceed ten (10) business days. The law school also may require that the student provide follow-up information on disposition of the charge and failure to do so as requested is also a violation.
 
B. Cheating

Cheating is an act (or omission) of fraud or deception by which the student intentionally attempts to gain or give an unfair advantage, or acts in reckless disregard of these possibilities. Conduct constituting this offense includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Receiving, using, or providing unauthorized assistance in connection with an examination, a course assignment, or a co-curricular activity.
  2. Failing to follow instructions, particularly regarding start and stop time, or material allowed during the examination.
  3. Accessing an electronic device during an examination. For the purposes of this section, an electronic device is one that that can be used to communicate, store data, or access information, except computers properly equipped with exam software used by CUA. This includes phones, iPods, and MP3 players. All electronic devices should be turned off and put away during examinations. No such device may be accessed for any purpose during an exam.
  4. Failing to turn in the examination questions, scratch paper, and any other material distributed for use during the examination, at the end of the examination.
  5. Attempting to satisfy the requirements of a course by submission of work that was done, in whole or in part, for another course in the law school or at some other educational institution, or for an employer or an externship, unless the professor has been notified and authorized the overlap.
 
C. Stealing, Damaging, or Unauthorized Use of the Property of Another
 
Stealing, damaging, or unauthorized use of the property of another is any act by which a student takes, hides, tampers with, or damages any property of the University, the law school, or any member of the University community, or otherwise uses the property in a manner that has been forbidden. Such violation occurs when the student acts intentionally to deprive the owner of use of the property, intentionally fails to abide by rules for the property’s use, or acts with reckless disregard of the possibility that such consequences may occur. Conduct constituting this offense includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Removing, without authorization, any property belonging to the law school, the University, or to any member of the University community.
  2. Using the facilities of the law school or the University, including computing and telecommunication systems, in a prohibited manner or without paying any appropriate fees.
  3. Misusing or abusing computer resources of the University or law school, including hacking, as outlined in the CUA Statement of Ethics in the Use of Computers or any related or successor policy.
  4. Using the property of another student, a staff member, or a faculty member without receiving permission or paying any appropriate fees.
  5. Vandalizing or hiding library books or other property.
  6. Tampering with the settings on the computers in the computer labs.
  7. Taking notes, books, computer printouts of study and research materials of other students without authorization.
  8. Making, using, or distributing class or other law school presentation recordings in an unauthorized manner. The proscriptions in this subsection and provision for notification are intended to protect against violations of intellectual property or other rights concerning the unauthorized production, use, or distribution of class or other presentation recordings. They also reflect concerns that everyone whose comments might be recorded should be notified of that possibility. Note: Anyone conducting a class or presentation should seek to assure that those present realize that the class or presentation is being recorded.
a. Students may record a class or other law school presentation only with the express permission of the faculty, staff member, or other person conducting the class or presentation. Recording without this express permission is unauthorized. A faculty member may provide a general written permission, e.g., in the course syllabus.
 
b. A professor or administrator may make audio or visual recordings of a class or other law school presentation available but restrict its use. If such a restriction is imposed, any use beyond that expressly permitted is unauthorized use.
 
c. Unless otherwise expressly permitted by the faculty member or other person conducting the class or presentation, recordings are solely for the academic use of students at CUA Law.
 
d. Students permitted to record a class per a disability accommodation must abide by the law school and Catholic University's regulations and policies concerning such recordings. The Catholic University Disability Services Guideline can be accessed at http://policies.cua.edu/studentlife/disabilitysvcs/disability.cfm. It is unauthorized use for students to make or distribute such recordings or excerpts from such recordings available to anyone other than CUA community members authorized to access the recordings for academic use. 
 
e. Permission to allow lecture recording is not a transfer of any copyrights in the recording or related course materials. Such recordings may be used only for individual study and may not be reproduced, transferred, distributed or displayed in any public or commercial manner. Students must destroy recordings at the end of the semester in which they are enrolled in the class.
 
D. Failing to Report a Violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct

Knowingly failing to report within a reasonable time, to the Dean’s Designee or to either Council Co-Chair, any conduct by a student that the potential Reporting Student has reason to believe violates these Rules. See the reporting standards set out in Section V.B.
 
E. Harassing
 
Harassing is any act in which a student intentionally and falsely uses these Rules against another, or intentionally retaliates against another who is acting under these Rules. Conduct constituting this offense includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Falsely charging another student with violation of these Rules.
     
  2. Retaliating against a person who reports an alleged violation of these Rules.
     
  3. Retaliating against a person who provides information to the Council.
 F. Contempt
 
Contempt is any act (or omission) in which a student intentionally interferes with the proper administration of these Rules, or acts in reckless disregard with respect to the possibility of such interference. Conduct constituting this offense includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  1. Lying in any action or proceeding under these Rules.
  2. Violating an obligation of confidentiality imposed by these Rules.
  3. Failure, without just cause, of any student other than the Respondent to provide evidence or testimony relating to an alleged violation, when requested to do so by the Dean’s Designee, the investigator, the Respondent, the Respondent’s Representative, the Council, or a Hearing Panel. “Just cause” may include the existence of a privileged relationship or a confidential communication as set out in Section V.B.7 of these Rules.
  4. Obstructing compliance with or enforcement of these Rules by any means.
 
G. Additional Violations

If conduct is alleged that would fall within this section, the Dean may refer the matter to the Dean’s Designee for consideration for referral to the Council for Hearing Panel consideration of the matter or initiate alternate procedures to resolve the matter in some other manner.
  1. Discretionary referrals can be made in cases of any conduct that occurs in connection with the academic program, administration, or extracurricular or co-curricular programs of the law school if such conduct raises questions about the honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness of a student become a lawyer. See Section I.B. regarding interpretation of this standard.
  2. Any conduct, when it occurs on the University campus or when it occurs during an officially sponsored University event, that would constitute an intentional tort as defined by the law of the United States or the District of Columbia and that threatens or harms the property, health, safety, or security of another member of the University community. An “intentional tort” includes assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. “An officially sponsored University event” includes any event that is officially sponsored by the University, the law school, or one of their subordinate agencies or organizations, e.g., moot court.
  3. Any conduct, regardless of where it occurs, that would constitute a crime as defined by the laws of the United States or jurisdiction within the United States in which it occurs, and that threatens or harms the property, health, safety, or security of another member of the University community. See Sections I.D and IV.A. setting out students’ obligation to notify the law school regarding pending criminal charges or convictions.
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A. Terminology
  1. “Reporting Student” refers to a student reporting a potential violation of these rules.
  2. “Potential Respondent” refers to a student about whom a matter is reported, before a formal complaint has been filed.
  3. “Respondent” refers to a student accused of committing a violation of these rules.
  4. “Faculty Advisor” refers to a faculty member who has agreed to advise a Respondent or Potential Respondent during the pre-hearing stages of a matter. A faculty member may choose to limit his or her role to advising the student about the procedures under these rules or may also agree to negotiate with the Dean’s Designee. A faculty member who agrees to advise a Potential Respondent or Respondent should specify which of these duties he or she is willing to undertake. A faculty member also may agree to serve as the Respondent’s Representative throughout the proceeding, as set forth in the next paragraph. Students are free to seek advice from any faculty member, but no faculty member is required to agree to become a Faculty Advisor or Respondent’s Representative (as defined in the following paragraph). These Rules provide a general waiver of conflict of interest based on a faculty member’s status as a University employee, but faculty members must consider whether anything about their individual circumstances would constitute a personal conflict. Faculty with questions regarding potential conflict of interest may consult the University General Counsel or Compliance Officer for guidance.
  5. “Respondent’s Representative” refers to the person who represents a Potential Respondent or Respondent and acts as his or her legal counsel, consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern attorneys. A Respondent may be represented by a faculty member who has agreed to accept that responsibility, private counsel retained at the Respondent’s own expense, or by a CUA law student. The possible roles of a Respondent’s Representative include, but are not limited to, investigating the allegations against the Respondent, advocating and negotiating on the Respondent’s behalf with the Dean’s Designee, preparing for an adjudicatory hearing, calling and questioning witnesses at an adjudicatory hearing, and, where necessary, being the Respondent’s advocate when a Hearing Panel considers sanctions or upon appeal of a Panel’s findings and recommendation.
  6. “Administration Liaison” means an individual designated by the Dean to receive and maintain reports from the Dean’s Designee or Hearing Panel Chair regarding alleged violations of these Rules and the disposition of those alleged violations and to consult with the Dean’s Designee as provided by these Rules.
  7. “Matter” means an alleged or potential violation of these Rules by a Potential Respondent prior to the filing of a formal complaint by the Dean’s Designee to the Council.
  8. “Complaint” means a formal accusation filed by the Dean’s Designee with the Council, charging a Respondent with violating one or more provisions of these Rules.
  9. “Parties” means the Dean’s Designate and the Respondent. 
B. Duty to Report a Suspected Violation
  1. Each member of the CUA Law community must report, to the Dean’s Designee or to either Council Co-Chair, any conduct by a student that he or she has reason to believe violates these Rules. See Section IV for an enumeration of those violations. This report must be made within a reasonable amount of time after the community member becomes aware of the possible violation. For this purpose, a “reasonable amount of time” is usually considered not to exceed five (5) business days (not including the day of the suspected violation); however, a failure to report an alleged violation within this five-day period is not a basis for dismissal of a matter or complaint unless the delay has significantly jeopardized the Potential Respondent’s ability to defend against the allegation.
  2. A member of the CUA Law community who suspects a student has committed a violation of these rules should avoid identifying the suspected student to other members of the law school community, except for consultation with regard to guidance on what is necessary to fulfill the obligation to report provided in the previous paragraph. See Section X for further instruction regarding confidentiality.
  3. If the reporting person is an assigning person, as set out in Section II.C.1, that person ordinarily should discuss the alleged violation with the Potential Respondent before reporting it to the Dean’s Designee. This gives notice to the Potential Respondent and an opportunity to explain the alleged misconduct. Similarly a student may, but is not required to, discuss a suspected violation with the Potential Respondent before reporting a suspected violation. If that discussion convinces the community member that the Potential Respondent has not violated these Rules, the community member need not report the matter.
  4. Failure by a student to report a violation is itself a violation of these Rules. See Section IV.D.
  5. If a student reports the potential violation to either Council Co-Chair, the Co-Chair shall refer the reporting person to the Dean’s Designee. At the Reporting Student’s request, the Council Co-Chair may accompany the Reporting Student to meetings with the Dean’s Designee.
  6. When a person reporting a violation informs the Dean’s Designee of a potential violation of these Rules, the Dean’s Designee may withhold the Reporting Student’s identity from the Respondent or Potential Respondent unless and until fairness to the Respondent or Potential Respondent requires that information be disclosed.
  7. Except as provided in this paragraph, any member of the CUA Law community may consult with another member of the university community for the purpose of giving or receiving advice on whether to report a violation of the Rules or how to respond to a notice concerning a matter or complaint involving the Rules. Except as provided in this paragraph, such consultation will be considered a confidential communication. A confidential communication should be held in confidence, and no duty to report will arise from that communication. In some instances, a community member may have a legal duty to report conduct described, e.g., sexual harassment, or may have discretion to do so if it involves a threat of significant harm to a person’s health, safety, security or property. Council members, including ex officio members as set out in Section III.A, play important roles in consideration of violations of the Rules and, because of those responsibilities, are prohibited from entering into a confidential communication concerning matters or complaints involving these Rules. Keeping information about possible violations of the Rules confidential conflicts with the responsibilities of Council members and those who serve as ex officio members.
C. Time Limits for Resolving Allegations against a Student
  1. The Dean’s Designee, the Council, and the Hearing Panel shall fulfill their responsibilities as set out in Section V of these rules as expeditiously as is reasonable and fair under the circumstances of each case. In doing so, they will take into consideration such exigencies as any pending legal proceedings relating to the complaint, the availability of witnesses or other participants in the process, the academic calendar, and any other circumstances that may arise in the course of resolving the complaint.
  2. If either the Respondent (or Respondent’s Advisor or Representative) or the Dean’s Designee believes that circumstances will preclude a timely resolution of a matter or complaint by a Hearing Panel, that individual may petition the Dean to refer the matter or complaint to a Hearing Panel of three or more faculty members for resolution. The Dean will grant or deny the petition in a timely manner. See Section III.B.2 for further instruction on expeditious hearings. 
D. Preliminary Action; Alternatives Prior to a Hearing

When a possible violation of the Rules is reported to the Dean’s Designee, the Dean’s Designee’s options and responsibilities are enumerated below. In deciding among these options and fulfilling these responsibilities, the Dean’s Designee may consult with the Administration Liaison or with other faculty members or administrators.
  1. No violation: The Dean’s Designee will determine whether the alleged conduct would constitute a violation of the Rules. If the alleged conduct would not constitute a violation of the Rules even if proven, the Dean’s Designee will terminate the matter, but may refer the matter to the Dean for whatever other action the Dean may consider appropriate.
  2. Criminal conduct: If the alleged conduct if proven would constitute a crime under the laws of the jurisdiction in which it was allegedly committed, the Dean’s Designee may urge the Reporting Student to report the matter to law enforcement officials. The Dean’s Designee, with the approval of the Dean, also may report the matter to law enforcement officials.
  3. Pending criminal investigation or proceeding: If the alleged conduct is the subject of a criminal investigation or proceeding, the Dean’s Designee, with the approval of the Dean, may postpone taking any further steps under these Rules until the criminal investigation or proceeding has been resolved. This does not limit the authority of the law school to suspend the Potential Respondent or to take other action necessary to protect the health, safety, welfare or property of any member of the university community including the Potential Respondent. This provision also is subject to any legal requirements for the University to investigate allegations, e.g., of sexual assault, or take other actions required by law regardless of the status of any law enforcement agency’s action.
  4. Preliminary inquiry regarding allegations: If the Dean’s Designee determines that the alleged conduct, if proven, would constitute a violation of these Rules, the Dean’s Designee will ascertain whether credible evidence exists to support the allegation. To do so, the Dean’s Designee shall conduct a preliminary inquiry, which may include the following:
a. The Dean’s Designee may speak to any member of the CUA Law community or anyone outside the law school community, who may have relevant information about the complaint.
b. The Dean’s Designee may request that a student member of the Council be appointed to assist the Dean’s Designee in the investigation of the matter as referenced in Section III.B.2.
  1. Informing the Potential Respondent: The Dean’s Designee need not inform the Potential Respondent of the allegation during the preliminary inquiry, unless and until fairness to the Potential Respondent requires it. If it becomes necessary for the Dean’s Designee to contact the Potential Respondent, the Dean’s Designee shall inform the Potential Respondent that an allegation has been made about his or her conduct and direct the Potential Respondent to meet with the Dean’s Designee as soon as possible. This initial meeting shall be conducted as set out in Section V.E. Subsequent meetings with the Potential Respondent shall be conducted as set out in Section V.G.
  2. Termination of matter: If the Dean’s Designee concludes after preliminary inquiries that the alleged violation of the Rules is not supported by credible evidence, the Dean’s Designee will terminate the matter.
  3. 7. Lapse of judgment: If the Dean’s Designee concludes that credible evidence exists that the Potential Respondent engaged in the alleged conduct, but that it is reasonably likely that this conduct reflected poor judgment rather than intentional or reckless disregard of the conduct proscribed by these Rules, the Dean’s Designee may attempt to reach an agreement with the Potential Respondent on a remedial program for the Potential Respondent that will reduce the likelihood of similar lapses in judgment in the future.
a. Such remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the sanctions found in Sections VIII.A.6-12 of these Rules. See VIII.C regarding bar reporting.
b. If the Dean’s Designee and the Respondent are unable to agree upon a settlement, the Dean’s Designee shall file a formal complaint with the Council setting forth the charges against the respondent. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Council shall appoint a Hearing Panel as set out in Section V.J.
c. A Respondent may not introduce evidence that the Dean’s Designee was willing to explore a settlement under this paragraph.
  1. Credible evidence of a violation: If the Dean’s Designee concludes that credible evidence exists that the Potential Respondent has violated these Rules, the Dean’s Designee shall so inform the Potential Respondent and the Potential Respondent’s Faculty Advisor or Representative. At this time the Dean’s Designee will inform the Respondent of the name of all witnesses to the alleged violation, unless the Dean’s Designee has substantial concern that a witness will face significant harm to the witness’s health, safety, or security.
  2. Settlement: The Dean’s Designee will inform the Respondent and the Respondent’s Faculty Advisor or Representative of the possibility of settling the complaint without a hearing, as set out in Section V.I.
  3. Complaint: If the matter is not settled, the Dean’s Designee shall file a complaint with the Council as set out in Section V.J.
  4. 11. Postponement: In compelling circumstances, the Dean’s Designee, in the best interests of the Potential Respondent, the potential or alleged victim, the law school, or both, may submit a report to the Administration Liaison recommending that action on the matter or complaint be postponed until the Dean’s Designee believes it is appropriate to proceed. Compelling circumstances may include, but are not limited to the following: concerns for the physical or mental health of the Potential Respondent, the reporting person, or a key witness; exigencies caused by the academic calendar; the temporary unavailability of a person whose presence and participation is important to a fair resolution of the complaint; weather or other conditions that disrupt transportation. If the Administration Liaison concurs, the complaint will be postponed accordingly.
  5. 12. Report of actions taken under Section V.D: If a matter or complaint is disposed of by any of the methods as set out in Section V.D, the Dean’s Designee shall submit a written report to the