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Code of Conduct
Article One: Statement of Purpose
The Hamline University School of Law Code of Conduct (herein-after, "The Code") contains the rules which shall govern any student enrolled in any course offered by the Law School and the procedures to be followed in administering the rules. These rules state elemental standards of honesty and integrity to the end that graduates of the School of Law will be academically qualified for the practice of law and possessed of those character traits necessary to the special trust relationships involved in the practice of law.
Article Two: Scope
The Code applies to all conduct (academic and other) that relates to an individual's status as a student of the School of Law. However, The Code is not an exclusive remedy for criminal or tortious acts.
Article Three: Prohibited Conduct
Section 3.01 – Dishonest Conduct or Illegal Acts
Any dishonest conduct, course of conduct, illegal act, or conduct which is cause for rejection of a candidate for admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Minnesota is prohibited. Nonexclusive examples of such conduct are:
- (a) Lying;
- (b) Stealing;
- (c) Cheating;
- (d) Vandalism;
- (e) Extortion;
- (f) Threats; and
- (g) Plagiarism.
- Section 3.02 – Prohibited Conduct – Examinations
This Section provides further examples and specific notice of the type of conduct which the law school regards as dishonest in the examination setting. This Section is not to be construed as limiting Section 3.01 in any way. To engage in any of the following acts in connection with any examination shall be prohibited:
(a) To discuss the examination during the examination with anyone except the instructor or the instructor's substitute unless specifically permitted to do so by the written examination instructions;
(b) To give, receive, or solicit aid during any examination, take-home examination or make-up examination or to give, receive or solicit aid in connection with any make-up examination after the regularly scheduled examination has been administered. "Aid" means any form of information or assistance except that which is specifically permitted by the written examination instructions;
- (c) To use any materials in any examination except those which are specifically permitted by the written examination instructions;
- (d) To exchange materials with another student during the examination unless specifically permitted to do so by the written examination instructions;
- (e) To continue writing any examination answer when the examination time has expired;
- (1) When the examination is customarily ended by announcement, the examination time shall be deemed to have expired when the instructor or the instructor's substitute makes an announcement which would be interpreted by a reasonable person to mean the examination has ended;
- (2) In any other situation, the examination shall be deemed to have expired at the end of the time period which is allowed by the written examination instructions;
- (f) To take, without authorization, conceal or destroy any materials from any library where the result is to deny access to such materials to other students.
Section 3.03 – Prohibited Conduct – Written Work
This Section provides further example and specific notice of the type of conduct which the law school regards as dishonest with regard to written work produced as an assignment for a course or for any extracurricular activity such as Moot Court or the law journals. This section is not to be construed as limiting Section 3.01 in any way.
To engage in any of the following acts in connection with any written work shall be prohibited:
- (a) To engage in any act specifically prohibited by the written instructions governing the assignment;
- (b) To submit as one's own any written assignment partially or totally written by another unless specifically permitted to do so by the written instructions governing the assignment;
- (c) To collaborate with another student in violating either subsection (a) or subsection (b) of this section;
- (d) To take, without authorization, conceal, or destroy materials from any library where the result is to deny access to such materials to other students.
Section 3.04 – Prohibited Conduct – Misrepresentation of Academic or Personal Achievement
This Section provides further examples and specific notice of the type of conduct which the law school regards as dishonest. This Section is not to be construed as limiting Section 3.01 in any way.
To engage in the following conduct shall be prohibited: To make any written or oral misrepresentation with respect to academic or personal achievement such as with transcripts, resumes, or oral statements, including but not limited to the submission of false records of achievements, misrepresentations of grade point averages or academic honors, or altering, forging, or misusing the university's academic records.
Article Four: Code Administration
Section 4.01 – Allegation Filing
Any person may file an allegation of Code violation. A student having knowledge that another student has committed a violation of the Honor Code raising a substantial question as to that student's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to be a lawyer in other respects, should file an allegation of Code violation. Such allegation shall be prepared in writing and shall include (a) the name(s) of the suspected student(s), (b) the specific allegation(s), and (c) the factual basis for the allegation(s).
The written allegation(s) shall be filed with the Dean of the School of Law. A copy of the allegation(s), with matters identifying the filing party deleted, and accompanied by an explanation of the procedure to be followed, shall be served upon the student suspect(s) notifying the student through his/her message box to pick up a notice at the Dean's Office, and by one of the following methods: (a) mail; (b) first class mail to the student suspect's last address on file with the Registrar; or (c) personal service. Although the Administration cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality, attempts will be made to keep the allegations filed in confidence. Only those with a demonstrated "need to know": (e.g. the Dean, the investigator, the Dean's appointed staff handling the procedures of the Code of Conduct, witnesses, if any) shall be privy to any allegation filed.
Section 4.02 – Investigation
Written allegation(s) filed with the Dean shall be investigated by a faculty member appointed to serve as the investigator for that purpose. Investigators shall be appointed as follows:
- (a) At the beginning of each academic year, the Dean shall appoint two tenured faculty members to serve as investigators for the following year. The two persons so appointed shall not all be instructors in the same first year section. In the event the appointed investigators have a conflict of interest or are otherwise unavailable to investigate or prosecute, the Dean may appoint another person to investigate or prosecute.
- (b) Within five days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and law school holidays, of receiving a written allegation of a Code violation, the Dean shall appoint one of the investigators to investigate the allegation. The allegation shall be investigated as rapidly as possible, and the investigator shall make a determination as to whether or not probable cause exists to believe that a violation has occurred. In carrying out this duty, the investigator may request an interview with the accused student(s) during the investigation. The student(s) with whom an interview is requested has the right to decline the request. In making such a request for an interview, the investigator shall inform the student, with whom an interview is requested, of the right to decline the request. If the student consents to being interviewed, he/she shall be informed of the purpose of the interview, the nature of the allegation(s), and of the right to legal or lay representation at the student's expense. Notwithstanding whether an interview has been requested and consented to, a student under investigation may, on his/her own election, present an oral and/or written statement concerning the allegations to the investigator.
The investigator shall complete the investigation and file a written report with the Dean within fourteen days of being appointed, provided however, that the Dean may, upon request of the investigator, and for good cause shown, enlarge the time for the filing of the report. The report shall include a statement of whether or not the investigator found probable cause of a violation. If probable cause is not found, the investigator shall file the report with the Dean as required above and send a copy to the student suspect(s) involved in the manner the allegation may be sent. If probable cause is found, the investigator shall, in addition to the written report, prepare a written complaint according to the requirements of section 4.05. The complaint shall be appended to the report.
The written report and complaint shall be filed with the Dean as required above. The Dean shall cause the written report and complaint, if any, to be served upon the student(s) in the manner the allegation may be sent. The allegation(s) shall be kept in strict confidence as provided for in Section 4.01.
Section 4.03 – Prohibition of Record Keeping
If probable cause is not found by the investigator, the Dean shall notify student(s) within twenty-four (24) hours that probable cause was not found.
The Dean, investigator or any other member of the administrative staff, shall not place in the student's personal file and/or Registrar's files any allegation which has failed to bring forth student violation proceedings due to lack of probable cause. In such cases, the file in the matter, reduced as the Dean deems appropriate to contain limited information, shall remain in the Dean's office for such purposes as confirming at the student's request that no probable cause was found, providing evidence that is relevant to any subsequent investigation or proceeding, and providing information that is responsive to subpoenas or search warrants in compliance with applicable law. Upon written request, students who were the subjects of the investigation may review this file in the presence of a member of the Dean's professional staff.
Section 4.04 – Disposition by Agreement
The investigator-prosecutor and charged student may dispose of any charges by agreement at any point in time prior to a decision by the Academic Discipline Committee. Any such agreement must be approved by the Dean before it will be deemed a valid and final disposition.
Section 4.05 – Complaint
Upon a finding of probable cause, the investigator shall file a formal written complaint with the Dean. The complaint shall include the following:
- (a) the name(s) of the accused student(s)
- (b) the specific charge(s), and
- (c) a complete statement of the facts supporting the charge(s).
The Dean shall schedule a hearing to be held before the Academic Discipline Committee on a date at least fourteen days, but not more than thirty days, from the date on which the complaint was delivered to the student.
On request to the Dean by the student(s) involved, an expedited hearing shall be scheduled as soon as possible.
Section 4.06 – Hearing
The Academic Discipline Committee shall hear the matter on the date set by the Dean pursuant to Section 4.05. The Committee shall be composed of the two tenured faculty members chosen at random if a hearing is required, and two students selected by the Student Bar Association president. If those selected cannot serve for any reason, the Dean may select alternate faculty members and the Student Bar Association president may select an alternate student.
The committee shall choose its own chairperson. Committee hearings shall be closed to the public. Extensions in time for holding the hearing shall be granted by the committee solely upon a showing of good cause. The investigator who prepared the complaint shall act as the prosecutor. The accused student shall have a right to representation at such hearing by legal counsel or lay counsel of the student's own choosing and at the student's own expense. Strict rules of evidence shall not be followed at the hearing, and all documentary or oral evidence offered by the student or by the prosecutor may be accepted. The hearing will be tape recorded. The complete record of the proceeding, including the tape recording, shall be filed in the Dean's office upon completion of the hearing.
Section 4.07 – Witnesses
Upon request of the accused student and/or the prosecutor, the Dean shall compel the presence of the student and/or witnesses at the hearing. Refusal or failure of such a witness to attend shall result in such sanction(s) as the Dean deems appropriate in the circumstances.
Section 4.08 – Decision
The Academic Discipline Committee shall prepare a written Decision. The Decision shall include a determination of whether a violation was committed. A three-fourths majority vote of the membership of the Committee shall be required to make such a determination. Where such a determination is made, the Committee shall also prepare an Order stating the penalty for the violation. The penalty for any second violation shall be expulsion. The Committee shall file its Decision, and Order, if any, with the Dean not later than fourteen days from the end of the hearing. The written Decision and Order shall be made available to the Prosecutor and to the student involved. If the Decision and Order is not appealed within fourteen days thereafter, it shall become final. Where the Committee has determined said student(s) did not violate any honor code provision(s), the Dean, investigator or any member of the administrative staff, shall not place in the student's personal file and/or Registrar's files any allegation or complaint related to cases in which a determination of no violation has been made. Any existing notations of allegations in the student's personal file and/or the Registrar's files or complaints which have resulted in a determination of no violation shall be subject to expungement in accordance with the procedure specified in Section 4.03.
Section 4.09 – Appeal
A student found to have committed a violation shall have the right to appeal the Committee's Decision and Order to the tenured faculty. The tenured faculty members who served as investigator(s) and/or prosecutor(s) in the case under review shall not participate in the review. A majority of tenured faculty members neither disqualified by the preceding sentence nor disqualified on their own initiative shall constitute a quorum. If notice of appeal is timely filed, the Decision and Order shall be reviewable both as to penalties and findings. The notice of appeal shall include specific allegations of error with regard to the Decision and Order.
Section 4.10 – Appellate Hearing
A meeting of the tenured faculty shall be scheduled to consider the appeal within ten days, unless the student charged requests a delay; in no event shall the appeal be heard later than thirty days after filing of notice of appeal, except in the event that a quorum of the tenured faculty is not in residence in the law school. In the event a quorum of the tenured faculty is not in residence, the Dean may postpone the hearing until the first week of the next semester, unless a quorum of the tenured faculty can be secured prior to such time. The tenured faculty will consider the appeal in any manner it deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, review of the taped and documentary record, reopening of the record to take additional evidence and/or argument by the student (or his or her representative), and the prosecutor. A quorum will be as provided in Section 4.09. A simple majority of those present and voting shall be sufficient to make decisions in appellate hearings.
Federal District Court Student Practice Rule for the District of Minnesota can be found at Local Rule 83.8 of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.
Minnesota Supreme Court Rules on Certified Law Students can be found at 52 Minnesota Statutes Annotated, Student Practice Rule.