Campus Misconduct Attorneys

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Colleges and universities can have hundreds of rules and regulations that students are expected follow while on campus (which, for many, is all the time).

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While not extensive, 

The most Common types of cases we see are:

  • Academic Misconduct
  • Sexual Assault Allegations
  • Alcohol and Drug Violations 
  • Firearms Charges 
  • Computer Crimes (Hacking and Security Breaches) 
  • Theft
  • Fighting 
  • Property Damage 
  • Plagiarism Allegations 
  • Residence Hall and Dorm Violations
    – Noise Complaints
    – Unauthorized Visitors and Parties 

Important to Know:

Criminal Defense

Our attorneys also have extensive experience with defending Greek organizations and student groups against a variety of misconduct allegations, from hazing to COVID-19 social distancing violations.

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See What Our Clients are Saying

Testimonials

Enough cannot be said for how helpful KJK was...

for me during my allegation process. Susan, Kristina and Melissa were extremely knowledgeable and passionate toward my specific case. They consistently had steps of action to take in my defense and were extremely flexible when working with me. They helped prepare me, both mentally and emotionally, prior to my hearing. Thanks to their hard work, I now have my future back.”
– Successfully defended a pre-med undergraduate student for alleged cheating on a physics lab report and showed that the professor had made a critical error in basic mathematics.

THE TEAM THAT SUSAN STONE PUT TOGETHER FOR ME AND MY SON WAS STRONG, PASSIONATE, KNOWLEDGEABLE AND DETERMINED.

Together, they helped us build a strong IEP and gain one-on-one tutoring during school, all of which I am confident will help my son reach his full potential and then some! I could not be more thankful for my time with Susan, Kirsten and Vivian.

I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF THE HARD WORK SUSAN AND HER TEAM PUT INTO...

defending me against a difficult situation with the school. They had very helpful opinions and were very tenacious in making sure my defense was the absolute best it could be. Susan and her team are very satisfactory and experienced, and they treated us with such compassion and integrity. They were very creative in helping find resources to help achieve a favorable outcome. They are very professional and always have informative responses to my questions. I highly recommend this team!!”
     – Successfully prevailed in an expulsion hearing and kept student in school after serious allegations of misconduct.

Campus Misconduct

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am responsible for violating my college’s code of conduct, should I admit responsibility?

We would need to learn more about an individual case before recommending whether to admit responsibility.  (However, in general terms, we find that it is a rare case where someone is actually responsible for what they are accused of doing.)  Most of the times, there is a miscommunication that needs to be clarified or explained.  Or, there might be mitigating circumstances that should be considered by a university.  These circumstances might not be considered if a student just admits to being responsible for a policy violation.

We would also need to know if a student has any criminal exposure before any admission is made.  That is, whether or not there is any risk of criminal charges being filed. If there is some risk, it is better for the student to remain silent and not make an admission to a college investigator or administrator. Remember, any statement provided to a college is not protected under any privilege, so law enforcement or a prosecutor can gain access to that information and use the admission as evidence in a criminal investigation or case.

Why does my university/college not permit character evidence?

While colleges and universities are not bound by any formal rules of evidence, some principles that shape university policies are based on court rules of evidence. Typically, character evidence is excluded when being used as circumstances evidence to prove that a person acted in conformity with their character.  Just because a student is not likable, does not mean that the student violated a school’s policy.  The converse is also true.  Just because a person is known for positive character traits does not mean that the person did not violate a policy. 

What are the different types of hearings for college misconduct investigations?

Colleges and universities offer different types of hearings and different names are used across the board. Here are some typical examples of hearings:

 

  • University Student Conduct Hearings – These hearings can consist of large panels of students, faculty members and administrators. They have a hearings chairperson and render decisions by either a quorum or majority vote.  The benefit of this hearing is that students can look to other students to be judged by their own peers.
  • University Standards Hearing – These are hearing panels that do not contain any students. Universities typically exclude students when the alleged violation could result in expulsion.
  • Administrative Hearing – these are hearing held between one professional staff member and the accused student. The hearing officer is typically a staff member trained on campus to rule on these matters. In this case, the officer acts as a judge and jury.
Are misconduct findings part of my educational record?

Yes; disciplinary findings are part of an educational record, but the findings are not typically identified on a student’s transcript. Only sanctions are noted on a transcript.  However, there may be a disciplinary file that contains the finding that is maintained in the electronic record of a student. Under FERPA or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, school officials may disclose education records, including disciplinary records, to another institution at which the student seeks or intends to enroll. However, FERPA requires students to provide consent before any release of the record occurs. In 1988, Congress amended FERPA to specify that certain disciplinary outcomes are excluded from FERPA, such as crimes of violence or non-forcible sex offenses.  Some states’ educational records laws allow schools to disclose the final results of a disciplinary proceeding.

What can an advisor do for me?

An advisor can guide a student through the entire misconduct process and make it less daunting.  We work with students the minute there is any information that a charge is going to issue against the student.  We conduct a thorough intake, interview witnesses, gather evidence and evaluate the strengths of a case as a whole. 

After the initial fact gathering occurs, we prepare opening statement, cross-examination questions and advocate for students at the hearing.  We also spend a lot of time helping students prepare to answer questions at a hearing.  We find that our students feel well-prepared during the process, which is key to obtaining a positive finding at the end of a long, arduous road.

What is informal resolution?

This is a way for both parties to resolve differences without the fear and stress associated with a formal investigation and a hearing. Informal resolution can take the form of mediation or restorative justice.   Under Title IX and other misconduct policies, informal resolution is a completely voluntary.  The main advantage of informal resolution is that both students can agree to terms contained in a settlement agreement.  In this case, both sides work through differences without letting a third party make a decision where one party wins and one party loses. 

Is it better to try informal resolution than proceed to a hearing?

There is typically no down side to attempting informal resolution.  Most universities allow students to proceed to a hearing if informal resolution fails. However, there are times when a complainant feels that the case is so egregious that the matter should be adjudicated by an administrative panel.  Likewise, if a person has strong evidence of being falsely accused, there may be no point to making any concessions during an informal resolution.  Again, each case must be analyzed on its own merits, but we generally advocate and encourage our clients to at least consider informal resolution.

Learn more, Read our

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