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Policies and Internal Procedures

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Pace Law School Honor Board is to promote and uphold the ethical values of the legal profession.  By setting and meeting high ethical standards, Pace Law School students prepare themselves to stand alongside members of the Bar with honesty and integrity.

CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT

All specific charges, names, evidence, and testimony are treated as strictly confidential.  The integrity of an Honor System depends on confidentiality.  All members of the Honor Board have an affirmative duty to preserve confidentiality in all matters investigated by the Board and in all formal and informal proceedings.  The divulgence of names or other confidential information concerning an allegation is cause for removal from the Honor Board.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT

Members of the Honor Board are expected to carry out their duties with the highest standards of integrity. If at any time a Board member believes that he or she may be unable or appear to be unable to maintain professional objectivity in an investigation or adjudicatory proceeding, the member shall recuse himself or herself from any involvement in the case.  Failure to do so is cause for removal from the Board.  Board members shall not hesitate to disclose to and discuss with the President, the Vice President of Investigation, or the Vice President of Adjudication questions about possible conflicts of interest.  Honor Board officers shall honor the request for recuse.

PURPOSE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HONOR BOARD

The Honor Board shall administer, pursuant to the Honor Code and in conjunction with the members of the Academic Standing Committee, all matters concerning academic misconduct and dishonesty by students.  The Board shall also endeavor to increase student interest in and awareness of the ethical concerns of the legal profession.

To accomplish these ends, the Board shall:

1.      Propose, as necessary, amendments to or modifications of the Honor Code;

2.      Maintain a Case File Reporter (Reporter), a copy of which shall be available for public review composed as follows:

For each charge resulting in a conviction whether through informal resolution or after a formal adjudication, the Reporter shall contain a notation of the charge, a summary of the evidence, and a notation of the sanction imposed. 

(a) The Reporter shall not contain the names of any individuals involved with the case other than the adjudicating panel. 

(b) The Reporter shall not contain any information that may identify any individual involved with the case other than the adjudicating panel. 

(c)  The Reporter shall contain no entries whatsoever with respect to any charge not resulting in conviction.

3.      Submit for publication in the law school newspaper and post on the designated Honor Board bulletin board, for a period of one month from the date of conviction, a report of each charge resulting in conviction, whether by informal resolution or by formal adjudication.  The material submitted for publication and posted on the bulletin board shall describe the conduct that constituted a violation of the Honor Code and the sanction imposed, subject to the limitations of Part I (B)(2)(b) as well as maintain records of all cases arising under the Honor Code pursuant to Part III (G). 

4.      Participate in the entering student orientation program to advise all entering students of the existence and significance of the Code, and:

(a) Provide all entering students with a copy of the Code

(b) Make an oral presentation to the entering class in each division for the purpose of instilling high regard for the ethical conduct required by the institution and the profession, including without limitation discussion of plagiarism, the use of academic equipment and subscriptions for unauthorized purposes, and maintenance of high ethical standards in interactions with the legal community generally and specifically with respect to job searches

COMPOSITION OF THE HONOR BOARD

The Honor Board shall be composed of a minimum of 16 students and a maximum of 23 students from the upper-class day and evening divisions.  Under ordinary circumstances, each upper-class year shall have at least one representative on the Board.  If, after due diligence, the Board is unable to draw qualified members from a class, the Board may fill the vacant positions with qualified members from any division.  Every spring semester, the Board shall select members from the non-graduating classes to begin service the following fall semester, replacing graduating members.  The Board may also select students during the year to fill any vacancies that may occur.

All Board members must be in good academic standing as defined by the faculty.  Membership on the Board continues throughout a student’s attendance at the Law School, except that membership shall terminate upon the member’s failure to remain in good standing, conviction of an Honor Code violation, resignation, or for cause.

SELECTION OF MEMBERS

Applications from day and evening students, in any academic year, will be solicited during each spring semester to be received by the Board on or before March 1.  The President of the Honor Board will authorize a selection committee of at least four but no more than seven members to review the applications. Selection of new members should seek to achieve adequate distribution between all academic years in order to assure adequate carry-over of members from year to year. The selection committee will present the names of the proposed new members to the entire Honor Board for approval. A member shall only be selected upon receiving a majority vote. Once selected, new members are expected to serve until graduation.

REMOVAL OF MEMBERS

Any member of the Honor Board may be automatically removed from the Honor Board pursuant to Part I (A)(3) of the Honor Code or for cause.  Cause for removal of a member is determined upon the discretion of the Board members.  Reasons for cause include, but are not limited to:

  1. Repetitive unexcused absences from Honor Board meetings
     
  2. Revealing confidential information to non-Honor Board members
     
  3. Gross misapplication of Honor Board procedures

Any member of the Honor Board may commence the procedure for removal of another member.  The complaining member shall submit a written Recommendation for Member Removal letter.  The recommendation shall include:

  1. The name of the Board member recommended for removal
     
  2. The reasoning constituting cause for removal of the member

The Recommendation shall be given to the Honor Board President, who will notify the member recommended for removal.  In the case that the Honor Board President is recommended for removal from the Board, the recommendation shall be given to the Vice President of Investigation.  The president shall make the issue of removal a matter at the next scheduled meeting at which the complaining member shall state the reasons for his/her complaint to the Board.  The member recommended for removal shall have an opportunity to rebut the charges.  A member shall only be removed from the Board upon a two-thirds quorum vote.

OFFICERS

In April of each spring semester, the Board shall elect a President, Vice President of Investigation, Vice President of Adjudication and a Secretary, who will each serve for a term of one year.  The Board shall also elect a Chair for the Philip B. Blank Lecture Committee.  The Chair for this Committee shall be any member or officer of the Board except the President.

DUTIES OF OFFICERS

PRESIDENT

  • Sets goals and objectives for the year and submits a budget
  • Schedules and presides over all meetings
  • Creates and oversees committees as needed to carry out the business of the Board
  • Appoints chairs for all committees
  • Serves as the official spokesperson for the Honor Board
  • Plans and implements presentations for the entering student orientation program
  • Submits any and all proposed amendments to the Honor Code to the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee
  • Prepares an end of the year report for the Dean of the Law School, the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, and the Chair of the Academic Standing Committee
  • Picks up and oversees all cases
  • Presides over the selection of new members and the election of all new officers
  • Attends faculty meetings and gives status reports as necessary
  • Updates the Policies and Procedures Manual as needed
  • Assumes the responsibilities of the Vice President of Investigation in the event that the Vice President of Investigation is unable to fulfill his or her duties
  • Assigns Board members to serve on any and all judicial committees in the event that the Vice President of Adjudication is unable to do so
  • Arranges the locations of any and all adjudicatory hearings in the event that the Vice President of Adjudication is unable to do so
  • Arranges for the recording of any and all judicial proceedings in the event that the Vice President of Adjudication is unable to do so

VICE PRESIDENT OF INVESTIGATION

  • Presides over all meetings in the absence of the President
  • Assigns Board members to serve on any and all investigation committees
  • Monitors the status of any and all ongoing investigations
  • Maintains, updates, and disseminates any all letter templates
  • Arranges for sanctions to be implemented in cases resulting in conviction (only after completion of the appeals process or passage of the appeals deadline; if informal resolution is accepted the appeals process does not apply)
  • Destroys any and all records of any cases not resulting in a conviction
  • Assumes the responsibilities of the President in the event that the President is unable to fulfill his or her duties
  • Undertakes such special duties as assigned by the President

VICE PRESIDENT OF ADJUDICATION

  • Serves on any and all judicial committees
  • Assigns Board members to serve on any and all judicial committees
  • Arranges the locations of any and all adjudicatory hearings