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Office of Student Conduct

General Information for Attorneys

Non-Academic Misconduct:

Attorneys are permitted to participate fully in proceedings regarding non-academic misconduct (see Code of Student Conduct, part 36). Upon request, copies of documents kept in the Office of Student Conduct regarding a student's file will be made available. To ensure confidentiality, the Office of Student Conduct will not disperse records of any other student except for the student that you are representing unless written consent (release) is given to the office by that student.

Every student enrolled at the university must abide by the Code of Student Conduct. Please read the Code of Student Conduct thoroughly, especially Section 36 and the corresponding footnote, infra, pertaining to Attorneys and Representatives.

According to the Code of Student Conduct:

Attorneys and Representatives

36. Representatives of both complainants and respondents in hearings pursuant to this Code have the right to call witnesses to testify, to question in person all witnesses who appear at the hearing, to voice timely objections, to make opening and closing statements, to petition for recesses in the proceedings and to zealously and lawfully assert their client's position under the Declaration of Student Rights and the Code of Student Conduct. 42 All presenters and representatives who participate in disciplinary hearings and disciplinary conferences shall not:

  1. intentionally engage in conduct to disrupt a hearing;
  2. intentionally attempt to improperly influence an officer of the Office of Student Conduct, a hearing advisor or member of a judicial board;
  3. intentionally fail to obey a reasonably definite and specific order by a presiding officer;
  4. knowingly make a false statement of material fact, law or representation of the Code to other participants in a hearing;
  5. knowingly fail to disclose a material fact in a hearing when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a future criminal or fraudulent act;
  6. knowingly offer false evidence, falsify evidence, counsel or induce witnesses to testify falsely, or offer improper inducements to testify;
  7. recklessly and unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence, or alter, destroy or conceal material not protected by privilege having potential evidentiary value;
  8. if the representative is an attorney, otherwise fail to follow any obligations under relevant standards of professional responsibility in matters pertaining to the representation.

Code, Annotation 42: The dynamics of a judicial hearing in a university setting are not the same as those of a courtroom. Strict adherence to the conventions of courtroom advocacy may not be in the best interest of clients in university administrative judicial proceedings.

The presiding officer and the board advisor are authorized to take reasonable measures to maintain control over the proceedings in order to elicit relevant facts, to prevent the harassment of participants, to insure that proceedings are not disrupted and the interests of fairness are served. This may include regulating the timing, length and manner of presentations and objections, declaring recesses in the proceedings, and other appropriate actions. Presiding officers should have training and experience appropriate to the demands of the office.

Academic Misconduct:

Attorneys may take on a limited role in cases of academic misconduct. According to the Code of Academic Integrity:

Advocates and Advisors

  1. (a) The accused student may be assisted by an advocate, who must be a registered, degree-seeking student at the University. The role of the advocate will be limited to:

    1. Making brief opening and closing statements, as well as comments on appropriate sanction.
    2. Suggesting relevant questions which the Presiding Officer may direct to witness.
    3. Providing confidential advice to the student.

    (b) The accused student may also be accompanied by an advisor, who may be an attorney. The role of the advisor during an Honor Review will be limited to providing confidential advice only to the accused student, not the advocate, provided such advice is given without interfering with or disrupting the Honor Review. Even if accompanied by an advocate and/or an advisor, the student must take an active and constructive role in the Honor Review. In particular, the student must fully cooperate with the Honor Board and respond to its inquiries without undue intrusion by an advocate or advisor. In consideration of the limited role of advocates and advisors, and of the compelling interest of the University to expeditiously conclude the matter, the work of an Honor Board will not, as a general practice, be delayed due to the unavailability of an advocate or an advisor.

Attorneys representing University of Maryland students for allegations of misconduct at the University are encouraged to speak with staff from the Office of Student Conduct to discuss pertinent processes and procedures as well as students' rights.

For non-academic misconduct:

Vanessa Taft
Assistant Director
301.314.8204
vtaft@umd.edu

For academic misconduct:

James Bond
Assistant Director
301.314.8204
jebond@umd.edu