Academic & Scientific Research Misconduct Attorneys

Services

Allegations of research misconduct and scientific fraud can mean serious, potentially disastrous consequences for the accused, including damage to one’s reputation, destruction of one’s career and loss of federal research grants. KJK’s Research & Scientific Misconduct Practice Group protects graduate students, professors and scientists facing such accusations. 

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Undergraduate Student?

If you are an undergraduate student who has been accused of cheating, plagiarism or another form of academic dishonesty, learn more about how our Undergraduate Academic Disciplinary Misconduct group can help.

What you should know:

Guiding you through Academic Misconduct Investigations

When individuals are accused of research misconduct in the academic setting, we navigate both the academic proceeding and the investigation conducted by the Office of Research Integrity, which is tasked with investigating and adjudicating research fraud involving government funds. Which means, we defend our clients in two separate processes. 

Our experience with academic and administrative proceedings, the criminal justice system and employment issues enables us to provide a comprehensive defense for those accused of research misconduct. 

Attorney helping her client

Important to KNow

COVID-19: Cheating & Plagiarism

Allegations of cheating and plagiarism are skyrocketing due to virtual learning environments imposed by COVID-19. If you’ve been accused of academic misconduct during this time, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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Who We Serve

OUR CLIENTS INCLUDE:

Professors

We help ensure that faculty receive access to fair hearings, collaborating with subject matter experts to aid in their defense. 

GRADUATE STUDENTS

We know that navigating academic misconduct investigations can be overwhelming early in your professional career. That’s why our team is here to guide you through every step of the process. 

SCIENTISTS

Once a report of misconduct is made to an institution, we work to make sure the process is handled impartially through every phase.

Our Process

How we work through your case, together

Academic and Administrative Proceedings

We stand by you to make sure that you get a fair hearing from your institution’s administration.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

Being accused of scientific fraud can pose serious consequences not only for your academic career, but also for your criminal record. Our team has decades of criminal defense experience to help protect your reputation.

Employment

Protecting your reputation is about your present, past and future. Our goal is to make sure that academic misconduct allegations don’t impede your career growth.

What you should know:

What happens during a research Misconduct investigation?

Our experience with academic and administrative proceedings, the criminal justice system and employment issues enables us to provide a comprehensive defense for those accused of research misconduct. Our team represents scientists through a multi-step process. 

Once a report of misconduct is made to an academic institution, we work to ensure that the process is handled impartially through the inquiry and investigative phases. Institutional compliance with policies is essential for fairness in the process. Collaborating with leading subject-matter experts to help unravel the substantive allegations, we are armed and ready to build a defense. 

Woman doing research with a stack of papers

Other Top Questions:

Academic Misconduct
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Our experience with academic misconduct matters?

We have ten years of combined experience dealing with academic misconduct matters. Our cases are all very different, from students using an online platform to gain help during an examination, to failure to properly cite or attribute sources on a paper, to being caught looking over a classmate’s shoulder to gain an answer to a test question.

Further, we have represented the full gamut of students from undergraduate students to those seeking a doctoral degree. We understand that for all students, the stakes are very high when the integrity of a paper or test is being called into question.

How can I prove I didn't cheat?

Our practice has used many creative strategies to prove innocence. Many times, we seek an expert in a given field to look at test responses and compare responses to those of other students. We have also used computer science to show variability in test answers. Each type of allegation requires a different strategy. Our experience in past cases helps us shape the proper defense.

If I am found responsible for academic misconduct, will I be expelled?

Just because a student is found responsible for academic misconduct, doesn’t mean that expulsion is inevitable.

We help the accused student provide mitigating evidence to show that there were extenuating circumstances that should be considered when levying a punishment. By using skillful advocacy, we have seen various reductions of sanctions. We have also seen students be placed on a probationary period and after the time has expired, the probation notation was removed from the student’s academic transcript.

I have been accused of research misconduct. How can you help me?

Sometimes you have to use all resources to defend one’s life’s work from accusations of research misconduct. We use our expertise to shepherd clients through internal investigations by academic institutions or government bodies. No two defenses are the same. Our goal is to find subject matter expertise to support our defense and to help our clients find the witnesses and evidence to clear their reputation and mount an effective defense.

Can I lose my position and/or degree because of research misconduct?

There is a lot on the line when a professor or scientist is accused of research misconduct. Institutions are apt to terminate the employment of an employee rather than face public scrutiny of not showing zero tolerance – even if the allegations prove to be unfounded. We work tirelessly to protect the careers of highly advanced professionals who have dedicated years to their career.

Do findings regarding academic misconduct appear on my transcript?

In our experience working with students, the discipline appears on the transcript and not the reasons for the discipline. For example, let’s say that a student was suspended for plagiarism. The transcript will reflect the suspension and will record either a failing grade in the relevant course and perhaps incompletes in the other courses not completed as a result of the suspension. The transcript will not state that there is plagiarism. However, if a student wants to transfer to another institution, the student will have to explain on an applications why there is discipline on the transcript.

What is our experience representing professors and/or faculty?

Our practice is dedicated to representing students, professors and/or faculty accused of misconduct. Representing employees presents unique challenges. For examples, when a professor is accused of research misconduct, there can be several parallel proceedings that occur back to back. First, a professor will have to defend allegations of research misconduct. Second, if the professor has tenure and there is a finding of misconduct, there may be a secondary hearing on professionalism to determine if the professor should be stripped of tenure and even terminated from employment. Further, if the research is connected to the receipt of federal funds, we have had to defend that employee before the Office of Research Integrity or ORI. Understanding the interlinking proceedings is integral to mounting a proper defense in these cases.

See What Our CLients are Saying

Testimonials

I worked with Melissa during one of the most emotionally trying periods of my life.

She was compassionate and professional towards me at all times. I appreciated her sincerity and straightforwardness. She was available whenever I needed her assistance, day or night and throughout the weekend, in putting my documentation together. Melissa was diligent and thorough; she familiarized herself with all the necessary information in an impressively short time frame given the complex nature of my case. I felt confident that I was able put my best possible case forward because I had Melissa Yasinow on my team. I highly recommend her services and I am forever grateful for the support she provided me.