The University of Toledo College of Law Code of Student Professional Conduct
(“Honor Code”) (as amended September 6, 2011)
Purpose. The principal purpose of this Code is to establish certain rules of professional conduct applicable variously to students, former students, and graduates of The University of Toledo College of Law, and to establish procedures for the enforcement of such rules. A secondary purpose is to provide guidance to law students as to the high standards of conduct which they are expected to observe.
PART I. CODE OF STUDENT PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
A. Applicability. Part I, the Code of Student Professional Conduct, applies to the conduct of students while enrolled in the College of Law and to College-related activities of students who have previously been enrolled in the College of Law and who are eligible to re-enroll without the special permission of the College.
B. Code of Student Professional Conduct. The following is the Code of Student Professional Conduct. The College may impose sanctions for the violation of any of its provisions.
1. Academic Provisions.
(1) A student shall follow all instructions and procedures concerning the administration of examinations, whether established by the College of Law generally or by professors or other authorized persons for individual examinations. In addition:
(a) A student shall not begin an examination before the stipulated time or continue working on an examination after the announced conclusion of an examination period.
(b) At the conclusion of an examination, a student shall submit a set of questions, answers, or such other materials as may be required.
(2) Except insofar as may be specifically authorized by the College, professor, or person administering the examination, a student shall not at any time receive or obtain any information concerning the content of an examination, and shall not, during the course of an examination, receive or obtain any form of aid or refer to any materials other than the examination materials.
(3) If a student learns of information other than that released or authorized by the professor which concerns an examination which he or she is scheduled to take, the student shall notify the professor, or, if the professor is unavailable, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The student shall not take the scheduled examination unless specifically authorized by the professor or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
(4) Except insofar as may be specifically authorized by the College, professor, or person administering the examination, a student shall not at any time give or communicate any information concerning the content of an examination, or give or communicate any aid to a person taking an examination, and shall not, during the examination, display any materials inside or outside of the examination room.
(5) A student who is taking or has taken an examination shall not discuss any part of that examination with a person whom the student has reason to believe is taking or will take an examination in that course, or with any other person under circumstances in which the student should reasonably know that the discussion is likely to endanger the security of the examination question.
(6) Once an examination begins, a student shall not communicate in any manner with any unauthorized person, except insofar as may be reasonably required by a personal emergency.
(7) A student shall not take an examination for another, or permit another to take an examination in his or her place.
(8) A student shall not invade the security maintained for the preparation and storage of an examination.
b) Papers and other Work for Academic Credit. A student shall follow the instructions given by the professor or other authorized persons concerning papers or other work for academic credit and shall not consult with persons or receive aid in any form contrary to specific instructions.
c) Plagiarism. A student shall not represent the work of another as his or her own, or use a passage or idea from the written work of another without proper quotation marks, citation, or other explanatory insert.
d) Interference with Academic Materials. A student shall not take, convert, conceal, misfile, deface, damage, or destroy any property related to academic assignments, research, or examinations.
2. Non-academic Provisions.
a) A student shall obey all written University policies or regulations contained in any official publication or administrative announcement of The University of Toledo applicable to students generally or to students in the College of Law in particular. To review these polices, please see http://www.utoledo.edu/policies/
b) A student in the College of Law shall not intentionally make a material misrepresentation concerning any aspect of the student's academic or non-academic University-related performance or activities while a student in the College of Law.
c) A student shall timely report to the Dean any arrest, charge, or conviction occurring before entering law school that is not included in the student’s law school application, or occurring during the period of the student’s attendance at the College of Law. Minor traffic violations, except those involving drugs or alcohol, need not be reported. Entry of an expungement, dismissal, or sealing order does not relieve the student of the responsibility to report. The duty to report continues through graduation.
d) A student shall not commit any act which reflects adversely upon a student’s fitness to practice law, or which endangers the law school community, including, but not limited to, acts involving violence, dishonesty, criminal conduct, breach of trust, or harassment. To review the University harassment policy, see http://www.utoledo.edu/policies/administration/diversity/pdfs/3364_50_01.pdf
e) A student shall provide whatever information is requested by the Dean, Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Chairman, or Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel relevant to a charge that this Code has been violated, and shall appear when summoned to Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel proceedings, except that an accused student is not required to provide information relevant to the accusation against him or her, or to appear at any formal hearing on the charge.
f) Any student who has reason to believe that this Code may have been violated shall so inform the Dean as soon as practicable.
g) A student shall comply with any sanction imposed by the Dean under this Code.
3. General Provisions.
a) Attempt or Conspiracy. An attempt or a conspiracy to commit an act which would violate this Code is a violation of this Code.
b) Inadvertence. That an act otherwise a violation of this Code was committed by the student inadvertently is an affirmative defense. The student shall have the burden of proving the affirmative defense of inadvertence by a preponderance of the evidence.
c) Extenuating Circumstances. Extenuating circumstances, such as pressure from school, employment, or family, shall not be a defense to a violation of this Code, but may be relevant to sanction.
1. General. A student who has been found guilty of violating this Code will be subject to such sanctions as may be imposed by the Dean of the College of Law.
2. Types of Sanctions. The Dean of the College of Law may impose whatever sanctions he or she deems appropriate under the circumstances. Sanctions may include:
a) Permanent expulsion from the College of Law;
b) Suspension from the College of Law for a specified time, or until the Dean revokes the suspension;
c) Loss of credit (i.e., the grade of "F") for any course to which the violation was directly related;
d) Restitution to the University, organization, or person of the property, or the monetary value of the property, taken, misappropriated, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise interfered with:
e) Official public reprimand naming the student, or official anonymous public reprimand, to be prepared by the Dean and posted conspicuously in the College of Law for a period to be determined by the Dean;
f) Probation for a specified time, which shall include removal from, and denial of eligibility for all offices or positions in the Student Bar Association, University student government, student law fraternities or sororities, Law Review, Moot Court, or similar College of Law and student organizations or activities, and which may include any other conditions imposed by the Dean;
g) Loss of College of Law or University services or privileges, such as the use of the Placement Office or College or University computer facilities, for a specified period of time, so far as consistent with the nature of the violation;
h) Recommendation to the President and, with his or her approval, to the Board of Trustees, that a granted degree be withdrawn, in the event that a final determination that this Code was violated is not made by the Dean until after the degree has been awarded;
i) Any other sanction deemed appropriate by the Dean;
j) Any combination of the sanctions listed above.
1. Reporting Possible Violations. Any person who has reason to believe that this Code may have been violated shall so inform the Dean as soon as practicable.
2. Informal Disposition.
a) After receipt of information tending to show that a violation of this Code has been committed, and before the initiation of formal disciplinary proceedings under this Code, the Dean may:
(1) Consult informally with the accused student or any other persons who may have relevant information or who may make recommendations concerning further proceedings;
(2) As to possible violations of Academic Rules of this Code:
(a) Decline to proceed further, dismissing the matter, which dismissal shall terminate all proceedings in the matter except as otherwise required by the Dean;
(b) Accept a voluntary admission of responsibility and impose appropriate sanctions, which action shall terminate all proceedings in the matter except as otherwise required by the Dean;
(c) Initiate formal disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the procedures established by this Code.
(3) As to possible violations of the Non-Academic Rules of this Code:
(a) Consult with appropriate University authorities concerning any aspect of the matter;
(b) Refer the matter to or defer to the jurisdiction of the appropriate University authorities for the purpose of further proceedings at the University level under the University's Code of Conduct and Discipline System or other rules and regulations, which referral or deferral shall terminate proceedings under this Code except as otherwise required by the Dean;
(c) Decline to proceed further, dismissing the matter as to the College of Law, which dismissal shall terminate all proceedings in the matter under this Code except as otherwise required by the Dean;
(d) Accept a voluntary admission of responsibility from the accused student, and impose appropriate sanctions, which action shall terminate all proceedings in the matter under this Code, except as otherwise required by the Dean;
(e) Initiate formal disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the procedures established by this Code.
b) Action by the Dean under this subsection which terminates all proceedings shall be a Final Decision.
c) The Dean shall give public notice of proceedings terminated by a Final Decision before the initiation of formal disciplinary action, but the names of any students involved need not be disclosed. Public notice of referral or deferral of a matter to the University is not required.
3. Initiation of Formal Disciplinary Proceedings. If the Dean, with or without informal consultation with the accused student, determines that formal disciplinary proceedings should be initiated under this Code, the Dean shall, as soon as practicable:
a) Request or require that the person reporting information tending to show a violation submit a written, signed statement describing the acts and circumstances believed to constitute a violation;
b) Notify the accused student in writing of the substance of the allegations made and the provisions of the Code which may have been violated. A copy of this Code and any University rule which may have been violated shall be included with the notification;
c) Appoint two faculty and one student member of the Disciplinary Committee to be a Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel for the purposes of hearing the case. One of the appointed faculty shall be designated Chairman of the Hearing Panel;
d) Refer the case to the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel for determination in accordance with the procedures under this Code.
4. Procedural Rights of Students. Upon the initiation of formal disciplinary proceedings, the accused student has the following rights:
a) To receive a written statement of the substance of the allegations made and provisions of this Code which may have been violated, and to receive a copy of this Code and any University rule which may have been violated;
b) To the assistance of counsel or other advisor, other than a member of the College of Law faculty or administrative staff, at any formal hearing or appeal;
c) To be notified in advance of and to be present at any formal hearing;
d) To present any relevant evidence and to question any witness;
e) To decline to be present or to testify at any formal hearing, which declination shall not prejudice the accused; provided, however, that the Hearing Panel, having given the accused student adequate notice, may proceed in the absence of the accused;
f) To request, in writing and in advance of the first formal hearing, that any formal hearing be open to the public;
g) To request or to oppose a particular sanction;
h) To waive any right or process otherwise provided by this Code;
i) To copy the evidence or the record of any formal hearing;
j) To place a written statement in the record or in his or her College of Law file commenting upon the charges, the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Report, or the Final Decision of the Dean.
k) To submit a written statement to the Dean, and to have a reasonable opportunity to be heard by the Dean concerning a finding of fact, conclusion of law, or recommended sanction contained in the Hearing Panel Report, in accordance with established procedures.
5. Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel: Procedures.
a) Duties of the Hearing Panel Chairman. The Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Chairman, subject to the approval of a majority of the Panel, shall schedule formal hearings; summon witnesses to testify; and provide adequate notice of Panel hearings to the members of the Panel and the accused student. The Chairman shall summon those persons designated as witnesses by the Chairman, the Panel, or by the accused student. The Chairman may informally interview any prospective witness before formally summoning or scheduling the witness to appear at a formal hearing. The accused student does not have a right to be present at such informal interviews.
b) Obligations of Witnesses. A student summoned shall appear before the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel at the designated time and shall provide any information he or she has relevant to the charge. Members of the faculty and administrative and clerical staff have a duty to appear and to provide relevant information. The Chairman of the Panel may request the Dean in his or her supervisory capacity to direct a faculty or staff member to provide relevant information. A witness shall disclose nothing about his or her testimony or about the hearing to any person except as specifically authorized by the Dean or Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel or as required by law.
c) Conduct of Formal Hearings; Evidence.
(1) All formal hearings of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel shall be closed, unless opened by a majority of the Panel upon written request submitted by the accused student in advance of the first formal hearing.
(2) The Chairman of the Panel shall preside at all formal hearings, determining the order of witnesses and questioning, and ruling on questions of procedure and evidence, subject always to the approval of a majority of the Panel.
(3) Testimony received by the Hearing Panel during formal hearings shall be recorded by stenographic or tape recording.
(4) The rules of evidence shall not apply, except that irrelevant evidence may be excluded.
(5) All witnesses may be questioned by any member of the Hearing Panel and by the accused student.
(6) No witness or potential witness, other than the accused, shall be present during the taking of other testimony or evidence, except as specifically permitted by the Panel.
d) Voluntary Admissions of Responsibility. At any time after the initiation of formal disciplinary proceedings and before the issuance of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Report, the student may voluntarily admit responsibility only to the Hearing Panel. The Panel may accept the admission, and make it a part of, and a basis for, its findings. So far as accepted, the voluntary admission of responsibility shall be considered by the Panel in recommending sanction.
e) Decision on the Merits; Presumption of Innocence; Finding of Violation; Recommendation of Sanction.
(1) As soon as practicable after the conclusion of formal hearings, the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel shall decide by majority vote whether the evidence establishes that a violation of this Code has been committed, and what, if any, sanction should be recommended.
(2) The accused student shall be presumed innocent.
(3) The Hearing Panel shall find that a violation of this Code has been committed only on the basis that clear and convincing evidence, including any accepted voluntary admission of responsibility, establishes that a violation has been committed.
(4) In making any finding or recommendation, the Hearing Panel may consider any evidence in the record and any facts, laws, records, or regulations of which judicial notice may be taken, but shall not otherwise consider any evidence or information not in the record.
f) Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Report.
(1) As soon as practicable after making its decision on the merits, the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel shall submit a written Report to the Dean, summarizing the procedures followed by the Panel and the evidence received, and stating its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations as to sanctions together with the basis and reasons therefor.
(2) Any member of the Hearing Panel may submit a concurring or dissenting opinion, which shall be a part of the Panel's Report.
(3) Copies of the Hearing Panel's Report shall be sent by the Panel's Chairman to the student.
(4) The Hearing Panel's Report shall be confidential, except as release is specifically authorized by the Dean or required by law.
g) Rehearing on the Basis of Newly Discovered Evidence.
(1) After the conclusion of the original formal hearings, an accused student may petition the Dean for a rehearing by the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel on the basis that the student has learned of evidence which (a) could not have been available before the conclusion of the original formal hearings; (b) is relevant to the case; and (c) could reasonably affect the Hearing Panel's findings, conclusions, or recommendations.
(2) The petition for rehearing shall be in writing, and shall state the nature of the new evidence, why it was not available before the conclusion of the original formal hearings, and how it could affect the Panel's findings, conclusions, or recommendations.
(3) If the petition is granted by the Dean, all the provisions of this Part shall apply to the rehearing.
6. Dean's Review of Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Report; Procedures
a) Within five (5) days of the transmission of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Report, the student may submit to the Dean a written statement accepting the Report or specifying any objections thereto.
b) The Dean shall review the Hearing Panel's Report. In conjunction with his or her review, the Dean shall give the student a reasonable opportunity to be heard concerning the Report, and shall consider as well any written statement submitted by the student to the Dean concerning the Panel's Report. The Dean may presume the Report's findings of fact to be complete and correct, may refuse to consider any evidence not offered for introduction at any formal hearing of the Panel, may refuse to consider any legal argument not timely made to the Panel in conjunction with formal hearings, may accept or reject any voluntary admission of responsibility made by the student in a written statement or otherwise and not previously made to the Panel.
c) At any time after the submission of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Report and before Final Decision the Dean may remand the case to the Panel for further proceedings in accordance with the terms of the remand.
d) At the conclusion of his or her review, the Dean shall make and issue a Final Decision. The Dean may accept, modify, or reject any finding of fact, conclusion of law, or sanction made or recommended by the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel Report. The Dean may modify or reject only for compelling reasons a finding of fact, conclusion of law, or sanction.
7. Amendment of Written Statement of Substance of Allegations. At any time before the issuance of a Final Decision by the Dean, the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel or the Dean may amend the written statement of the substance of the allegations made and of the provisions of this Code which may have been violated to conform with the evidence.
8. Content and Publication of Final Decision. The Dean shall post conspicuously in the College of Law written notice of Final Decision in the case. If the Dean has modified or rejected any finding of fact, conclusion of law, or sanction made or recommended by the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Report, the Dean shall state the compelling reasons for such modification or rejection in the posted notice. Otherwise, the posted notice shall contain such information as the Dean deems appropriate.
9. Effect of Formal Disciplinary Action Upon Grade Assignments.
a) If formal disciplinary action is instituted relating to a student's performance in any course, seminar, clinic, or graded activity before a grade has been submitted by the faculty member, the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel shall so notify the faculty member. The faculty member shall enter a grade of "Incomplete."
b) Upon a Final Decision finding that a student has violated this Code, the Dean may direct the entry of a final grade of F" for any course, seminar, clinic, or other graded activity to which the violation was directly related. In such a case, the student's College of Law file shall indicate that the Dean directed the entry of the grade.
c) Upon a Final Decision finding that a student was guilty of violating this Code, a faculty member may change any grade previously entered for any course, seminar, clinic, or graded activity to which such violation was directly related, unless the Dean has directed the entry of an F" for such course.
d) Any grade entered by a faculty member may be appealed only through the College of Law grade appeal process.
10. Failure to Comply with Sanctions. The Dean may summarily impose additional sanctions upon any student who fails to comply with sanctions imposed by the Dean under this Code.
11. Records of Proceedings. The Dean and the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel shall maintain files of all written papers submitted and all written notices, orders, reports, and decisions made in connection with a disciplinary proceeding. The stenographic record or tape recording of formal hearings of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panel shall be retained as part of the files. After issuance of a Final Decision, the files shall be consolidated, and retained by the College of Law for at least three (3) years. The files of a disciplinary proceeding shall be confidential except insofar as disclosure is required by law; made by the Dean pursuant to any Final Decision; made by the Dean to bar examiners, licensing or certification authorities, prospective employers, or educational institutions relative to an application of the student; or made after a written waiver of confidentiality signed by the student.
12. Delegation. The Dean may delegate any duty under Part I except the appointment of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Panels, and the making of a Final Decision to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, or other administrative officer of the College of Law.
PART II. CONDUCT OF APPLICANTS
A. Applicability. Part II, the Conduct of Applicants, applies to the conduct of persons who are not enrolled in the College of Law, who are not eligible to re-enroll in the College without special permission, and who are applying for admission, readmission, reinstatement, or for other permission to enroll in the College of Law.
B. Prohibited Conduct. An applicant for admission, re-admission, reinstatement, or for other permission to enroll in the College of Law shall make no material misrepresentation to the College and shall not fail to disclose completely all information required to be disclosed in any application for admission, financial aid, in-state residency status, or other benefits or privileges.
C. Procedures and Sanctions
1. Before Enrollment. If, before the student has enrolled or re-enrolled in the College of Law, the Dean or his or her delegate has cause to believe that an applicant has engaged in prohibited conduct, the College may deny the applicant any and all benefits or privileges applied for, may revoke an acceptance for admission, re-admission, or reinstatement, and may take any other appropriate action. The College will cooperate with the Law School Admission Council or any other national association of law schools in the administration of the national law school admission process. The College may report evidence of applicant misconduct to national law school admission authorities in accordance with established procedures, to the extent not prohibited by law.
2. After Enrollment. If evidence of an applicant's misconduct becomes known to the Dean only after the student has enrolled or re-enrolled in the College of Law, the Dean may take any appropriate action with respect to such misconduct, and impose any appropriate sanction.
PART Ill. CONDUCT OF GRADUATES AND FORMER STUDENTS OF THE COLLEGE OF LAW
A. Applicability. Part Ill, Conduct of the Graduates and Former Students of the College of Law, applies to the conduct of graduates of the College and to students formerly enrolled in the College who are not eligible to re-enroll in the College without special permission.
B. Prohibited Conduct. A graduate or former student of the College of Law shall not intentionally make a material misrepresentation concerning any aspect of the graduate's or former student's academic or non-academic University-related performance or activities while a student at the College of Law.
C. Procedures and Sanctions. If the Dean has cause to believe that a graduate or former student has engaged in prohibited conduct, the Dean may take appropriate steps to correct whatever misrepresentations may have been made, and may take any other appropriate action.
PART IV. MISCELLANEOUS
A. Adoption and Effective Date. This Code shall be adopted upon approval by two-thirds (2/3) of the Faculty of the College of Law.
1. Amendments to the Code may be proposed by the Dean, by written petition signed by not less than five (5) College of Law faculty members, or by written petition signed by not less than twenty-five (25) students. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Dean, who shall place them before the Faculty as soon as practicable.
2. A proposed amendment shall be adopted upon a two-thirds (2/3) favorable vote by the Faculty.
C. Termination. This Code shall be terminated upon a majority vote of the College of Law faculty.
D. Notice. All students who enroll in the College of Law shall be deemed to have notice of this Code and its provisions. The College shall take appropriate steps to inform students concerning this Code, and shall make copies of this Code and other relevant University rules available through the College of Law website, the College of Law Library, the College of Law Registrar’s Office, or the Office of the Dean.