FAQ for Attorneys
The information provided on this page is intended to assist attorneys who have been asked to serve as an advisor to a student in a student discipline case. We make every effort to update the information in a timely manner, but please be aware that, in any conflict between this information and the Student Disciplinary Procedures, the procedures will prevail. (You may also benefit from reading our Frequently Asked Questions for Advisors.)
Please note that the answers provided here may not apply if you are advising a student who has been accused of Title IX Sexual Harassment. Advisors in such cases do have the ability to conduct cross-examination in the formal hearing but are otherwise not authorized to speak on behalf of the advisee. For more information about your role in such cases, you should review the Student Disciplinary Procedures and/or contact the assigned investigator.
- I am representing a student facing disciplinary charges from the Office for Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR). How do I establish my representation with the office?
Students are expected to speak for themselves in university disciplinary proceedings. Although a student respondent is entitled to the presence of an advisor of their choosing, the role of that advisor is limited. You may consult with the student quietly in a whisper, exchange written notes with the student, or otherwise communicate nondisruptively, but OSCR staff will communicate directly with the student involved.
- My client was not on campus when this happened. Why is the university even involved?
The jurisdiction of the Student Code is based on an individual's relationship with the university and the university community’s interest rather than the geographic location of the behavior.
- My client is also facing criminal charges for this offense. Can the university’s decision be delayed until the criminal process is complete?
We generally will not delay our processes to accommodate the criminal process. The Director of the Office for Student Conflict Resolution may delay a decision, but only if doing so is in the best interest of the university.
- What will happen if my client refuses to participate in this process?
Our process will move forward even if your client does not participate, and we may make a decision in their case without their input (though we would prefer not to do so). We encourage all respondents to participate and to say as much as they are comfortable sharing. Even if your client is unwilling to discuss the incident/behavior with us, they would still be able to participate in discussions regarding possible sanctions (if they are found responsible).
- Can my client just withdraw to avoid the hearing?
We will not prevent your client from withdrawing with pending disciplinary charges, but our process may continue until the case has been resolved.
- Is my client granted any immunity with the prosecutor's office if they choose to participate in the student discipline process?
No. All student discipline records are subject to lawful subpoenas. This includes tape recordings, written statements, and personal recollections.
- What is the standard of proof in the student discipline process?
We use the preponderance of the evidence standard in all disciplinary decisions.
- I cannot attend the scheduled meeting/hearing time. How can I get the meeting/hearing rescheduled?
If you and your client are meeting with a case coordinator in the Office for Student Conflict Resolution, your client is responsible for taking your availability into account when scheduling the appointment. Although the student may call to reschedule an appointment for good cause, repeated rescheduling could lead to a registration hold or a decision being made in your client’s absence.
The Office for Student Conflict Resolution schedules formal hearings based on the availability of committee members and notifies student participants at least one week in advance.
If you are unavailable during the meeting window provided by your client’s case coordinator or for a scheduled formal hearing, you should encourage the student to choose another advisor.