Appealing A Misconduct Charge

ChicagoBear
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Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby ChicagoBear » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:15 pm

I was written up during the test today. I would really not like to go into specifics besides to say that I don't think I cheated, the proctor even admitted that he didn't think I intentionally cheated, and that my "cheating" did not help my score at all. The account given by the proctor corresponds almost entirely with mine, and he has said that if LSAC contacts him, he will tell them that he doesn't think that I maliciously cheated or had my score benefit from my "cheating". He was just of the hard line belief that he had to report anything remotely close to being a violation (he wrote up 3 people in a room of 15).

Anyways, I was just wondering if anybody had any experience with trying to expunge a situation like this from one's record. Do you know when the LSAC would get the report? When they get it, who would I appeal to? In what forum would I get to describe my situation (is there some specific body that deals with this)? Has anybody had success with dealing with something like this? Both the proctor and the supervisor gave me the impression that the LSAC was pretty reasonable and open to hearing out situations like this. Hopefully, somebody here can confirm that.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:18 pm

Depends upon the facts & circumstances of your case--which you are not willing to share.

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lakers3peat
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby lakers3peat » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:19 pm

ughhh what did you do? o.O

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:19 pm

We need more details. Also, the usernames of the first two posters go so well together.

mushybrain
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby mushybrain » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:25 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Depends upon the facts & circumstances of your case--which you are not willing to share.

ha, exactly. Did you have your slide rule out during RC or did you work on a different section during the writing sample? There are way too many things that fall into the realm of "cheating" to answer such a vague question knowledgeably.

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SoPro
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby SoPro » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:25 pm

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:We need more details. Also, the usernames of the first two posters go so well together.


+1

ChicagoBear
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby ChicagoBear » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:28 pm

Alright, this is the furthest in depth I can go: It involves me filling in one guess answer between the buzzer going off and the proctor saying "pencils down." It was a split second decision, and it was quick enough that I actually filled it in a bubble that was not part of the test (i.e. #27 in a 26 test section).

A corollary of the situation is something that I would legitimately like to know: Is time up when the buzzer goes off or when time is called?
Last edited by ChicagoBear on Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tainted_Praise
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby Tainted_Praise » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:29 pm

He wrote up three people in a room of fifteen? Power hungry proctors piss me the hell offfff.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:30 pm

Need to see the instant reply before an opinion ruling can be offered.


P.S. This means that without any video replay available, it's the proctor's word against yours. Unfortunately, the proctor's word is likely to win.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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citykitty
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby citykitty » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:32 pm

That sounds like a seriously fucked up situation and a power hungry proctor. I'm totally anti-cheating, but that's nbd imo. The proctor is supposed to be the time keeper. And, if my proctor were like yours, more than half the class would have been written up. It was a very lax environment. Irritatingly so.

ChicagoBear
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby ChicagoBear » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:34 pm

This thread is quickly becoming about my personal situation which I did not intend (or want) it to. I am more interested in what happens when you challenge a situation like this. Is there a specific group of people that handle situations like this, and will they be receptive and hear situations out? These are the types of questions I would like answered, not anything about my specific situation.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:35 pm

In this situation, your best hope might be to cancel your score before LSAC does, then plead for leniency because of the closeness of the call & the fact that you received no unfair benefit whatsoever.


To be blunt, your chances of successfully appealing a failure to follow the time limits infraction are close to zero percent, in my opinion.

delusional
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby delusional » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:00 pm

Of course, this is easier said by people whose lives are not in the balance, but if, as you say, the proctor doesn't disagree with you, AND he or she wrote up a disproportionate number of test takers, it's worth an appeal. Not so much for LSAC; IMHO, you'll have to take the test again anyway, but it will lend to the plausibility of your future addendum.

I can only speculate that schools don't want people who cheated, but if you score above their 75th, or apply to places slightly below your numbers, they may be inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:56 pm

If "the proctor doesn't disagree with you", then why did he write you up ?

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suspicious android
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby suspicious android » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:30 am

I hate to inject anything relevant here, but . . . Just because you are flagged for a misconduct violation does not necessarily mean your score will be canceled and/or your LSAT report will reflect misconduct. The people at LSAC will review the proctor's report and anything you send in, and then they decide whether or not the situation merits a notice of misconduct on your score report, cancelation of score, whatever. It's possible that they'll decide your actions weren't significant and let you go with a warning or just dismiss the incident entirely. If you do a search, you might be able to find some threads about this, I remember at least one person who had something really, really minor reported (can't remember what) and eventually the matter was dropped by LSAC.

I think the best thing you have going for you is that buzzers are not standard for the LSAT, I've never even heard of a proctor using one. They're supposed to keep official time and then make an announcement when time is up. I believe the official instructions say something about not working after has been called, if you really didn't do anything after the proctor made a vocal announcement, you might be okay.

And by the way, the idea to "cancel your score before LSAC does" is some of the most ridiculous advice I've seen on this website. As though that would make any difference whatsoever, like LSAC is going to say "We think he cheated, but.. well, he already canceled so fuck it."

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PDaddy
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby PDaddy » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:42 am

ChicagoBear wrote:I was written up during the test today. I would really not like to go into specifics besides to say that I don't think I cheated, the proctor even admitted that he didn't think I intentionally cheated, and that my "cheating" did not help my score at all. The account given by the proctor corresponds almost entirely with mine, and he has said that if LSAC contacts him, he will tell them that he doesn't think that I maliciously cheated or had my score benefit from my "cheating". He was just of the hard line belief that he had to report anything remotely close to being a violation (he wrote up 3 people in a room of 15).

Anyways, I was just wondering if anybody had any experience with trying to expunge a situation like this from one's record. Do you know when the LSAC would get the report? When they get it, who would I appeal to? In what forum would I get to describe my situation (is there some specific body that deals with this)? Has anybody had success with dealing with something like this? Both the proctor and the supervisor gave me the impression that the LSAC was pretty reasonable and open to hearing out situations like this. Hopefully, somebody here can confirm that.



Filling in blanks after the bell, for example, may not significantly affect one's score, but it is still a serious violation. It isn't only the effect of the act, but the fact that it occurred. Either you were cheating or you weren't. If you weren't, get an attorney. If you were, I don't feel sorry for you. Also, I'll take the plastic, please.

ChicagoBear
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby ChicagoBear » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:49 am

suspicious android wrote:I hate to inject anything relevant here, but . . . Just because you are flagged for a misconduct violation does not necessarily mean your score will be canceled and/or your LSAT report will reflect misconduct. The people at LSAC will review the proctor's report and anything you send in, and then they decide whether or not the situation merits a notice of misconduct on your score report, cancelation of score, whatever. It's possible that they'll decide your actions weren't significant and let you go with a warning or just dismiss the incident entirely. If you do a search, you might be able to find some threads about this, I remember at least one person who had something really, really minor reported (can't remember what) and eventually the matter was dropped by LSAC.

I think the best thing you have going for you is that buzzers are not standard for the LSAT, I've never even heard of a proctor using one. They're supposed to keep official time and then make an announcement when time is up. I believe the official instructions say something about not working after has been called, if you really didn't do anything after the proctor made a vocal announcement, you might be okay.

And by the way, the idea to "cancel your score before LSAC does" is some of the most ridiculous advice I've seen on this website. As though that would make any difference whatsoever, like LSAC is going to say "We think he cheated, but.. well, he already canceled so fuck it."



Thanks for the advice. I also was sort of surprised by the reactions from people in this thread, telling me that the situation was hopeless and I should cancel. Those positions were much more strongly voiced than the proctor who wrote me up, who inferred that he thought the situation would probably be dropped, or at the very most, that the report would be sent along with my scores.

I truly did not write anything after he said "pencils down", and his own report makes that clear. If what you are saying is true, then, I can't help but feel like this issue may go away.

You mentioned that I could send stuff to LSAC to be included in their decision. Is there any specific channel through which I have to do this? Also, how soon would the decision come? Would it change the date that I get my test back? I will be asking these comments to LSAC tomorrow, but I was wondering if you (or anybody else) had any ideas. Finally, if anybody could link some of those old threads, it would be greatly appreciated.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:56 am

Filling in an answer after time has expired is a clear-cut case. Although you write that the proctor doesn't disagree with you, his write-up does. This is a serious charge that will not be ignored as an above poster suggests. This charge may be reported to all law schools both by yourself as required on law school applications & by the LSAC in their report to law schools to which you have applied. Feel free to ignore my advice, but you should retain an attorney experienced in bar disciplinary matters if you plan to attend law school.

P.S. Just think how ridiculous LSAC would appear if they dismissed this "write-up" simply because you "didn't intentionally cheat " on the LSAT & because "you didn't benefit from your cheating on the LSAT". Essentially, such a ruling would permit "unintentional cheating" on the LSAT & would permit "ineffective cheating" on the LSAT.

P.P.S. In an earlier post, I suggested a way to try to "moot the charge". I suggest that you hire an attorney experienced in bar disciplinary matters & get his or her opinion.

albanach
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby albanach » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:07 am

ChicagoBear wrote:I think the best thing you have going for you is that buzzers are not standard for the LSAT, I've never even heard of a proctor using one. They're supposed to keep official time and then make an announcement when time is up. I believe the official instructions say something about not working after has been called, if you really didn't do anything after the proctor made a vocal announcement, you might be okay.


This, I think, is the determining factor.

The proctor is responsible for keeping time. The test starts when they say it does and ends when they say it does, not when a buzzer goes off. What if another student had brought a digital timer with a buzzer into the test room - it's happened before.

From LSAC's own page about test day:

http://www.lsac.org/jd/LSAT/day-of-test.asp#regulations

    Test administration. The supervisor will tell you when to start and stop work on each separately timed section. Blackening of answer spaces on your answer sheet must be done before time is called for any given section. Supervisors will administer the multiple-choice sections first, followed by the writing sample.

    Time. Supervisors will keep the official time. You may take an analog (nondigital) wristwatch to the test center. No other timers—including electronic and countdown timers—are allowed.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:15 am

Depends upon how the charge was written. Does the write-up of the alleged offense specify a "buzzer violation" or "a time-limit violation of the pencils down command" ?

Did the other test-takers follow the time-limit rule ? Was the buzzer and/or time-limit explained sufficiently ?

An experienced bar disciplinary attorney should be able to help.

P.S. Were you furnished with a copy of the charge ? If so, what does it state ? I know that you want to avoid offering specifics, then you need to avoid listening to generalized advice & obtain experienced counsel. Or you could listen to an above poster & do nothing while hoping that this all magically disappears because you wished it away.

Also, if you did not write anything after the proctor said "pencils down", then why were you written-up & what specifically does the charge allege as wrong-doing ?
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SgtL
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby SgtL » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:23 am

ChicagoBear wrote:
suspicious android wrote:I hate to inject anything relevant here, but . . . Just because you are flagged for a misconduct violation does not necessarily mean your score will be canceled and/or your LSAT report will reflect misconduct. The people at LSAC will review the proctor's report and anything you send in, and then they decide whether or not the situation merits a notice of misconduct on your score report, cancelation of score, whatever. It's possible that they'll decide your actions weren't significant and let you go with a warning or just dismiss the incident entirely. If you do a search, you might be able to find some threads about this, I remember at least one person who had something really, really minor reported (can't remember what) and eventually the matter was dropped by LSAC.

I think the best thing you have going for you is that buzzers are not standard for the LSAT, I've never even heard of a proctor using one. They're supposed to keep official time and then make an announcement when time is up. I believe the official instructions say something about not working after has been called, if you really didn't do anything after the proctor made a vocal announcement, you might be okay.

And by the way, the idea to "cancel your score before LSAC does" is some of the most ridiculous advice I've seen on this website. As though that would make any difference whatsoever, like LSAC is going to say "We think he cheated, but.. well, he already canceled so fuck it."



Thanks for the advice. I also was sort of surprised by the reactions from people in this thread, telling me that the situation was hopeless and I should cancel. Those positions were much more strongly voiced than the proctor who wrote me up, who inferred that he thought the situation would probably be dropped, or at the very most, that the report would be sent along with my scores.

I truly did not write anything after he said "pencils down", and his own report makes that clear. If what you are saying is true, then, I can't help but feel like this issue may go away.

You mentioned that I could send stuff to LSAC to be included in their decision. Is there any specific channel through which I have to do this? Also, how soon would the decision come? Would it change the date that I get my test back? I will be asking these comments to LSAC tomorrow, but I was wondering if you (or anybody else) had any ideas. Finally, if anybody could link some of those old threads, it would be greatly appreciated.


Let us know how it goes. From my brief experience with this site, I think it is relatively safe to say that it's contingency grows after each administration of the test. I'm sure whatever your outcome, it may bring a baseline for others in the future, and hopefully you get a resolution to your liking.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:41 am

OP: Please reread your own post above. Wishful thinking will not make this charge magically disappear regardless of how well the proctor tried to mollify the situation; the proctor still wrote you up & submitted the charge.
Don't be a website test case--hire an attorney experienced in bar disciplinary matters.

P.S. My suggestion of cancelling your score (to moot the charge/issue & to show lack of intent) is only effective for a few days so I recommend meeting with an experienced attorney ASAP so that your situation can be addressed immediately before it goes much further.

P.P.S. Earlier in this thread you wrote that: "Both the proctor and the supervisor gave me the impression that the LSAC was pretty reasonable and open to hearing out situations like this." which suggests that the proctor's supervisor has already reviewed & approved the charge.

ChicagoBear
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby ChicagoBear » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:10 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Depends upon how the charge was written. Does the write-up of the alleged offense specify a "buzzer violation" or "a time-limit violation of the pencils down command" ?Did the other test-takers follow the time-limit rule ? Was the buzzer and/or time-limit explained sufficiently ?

An experienced bar disciplinary attorney should be able to help.

P.S. Were you furnished with a copy of the charge ? If so, what does it state ? I know that you want to avoid offering specifics, then you need to avoid listening to generalized advice & obtain experienced counsel. Or you could listen to an above poster & do nothing while hoping that this all magically disappears because you wished it away.

Also, if you did not write anything after the proctor said "pencils down", then why were you written-up & what specifically does the charge allege as wrong-doing ?


Neither. The write up alleges that I fillled in an answer "after time was called but before pencils down was called." Take from that what you will.

I am certainly not going to hire a lawyer (I don't have the money to do that, and I don't think that turning this into a major situation will help me any).

Edit: You wrote: "P.P.S. Earlier in this thread you wrote that: "Both the proctor and the supervisor gave me the impression that the LSAC was pretty reasonable and open to hearing out situations like this." which suggests that the proctor's supervisor has already reviewed & approved the charge."

The head of the site did not officially review or approve the charge. He simply stated that the LSAC likes to hear reports of anything even borderline suspicious, and that it was not his job to sort out. After hearing the details, he said that I would probably be able to get the accusations dropped by going through the LSAC process.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:22 pm

Good luck. I hope that you are successful. It is difficult to give opinions or advice based on piecemeal information. In my opinion, if you filled in an answer after time was called, then you have committed an infraction. There doesn't seem to be any issue worthy of debate.

P.S. See albanach's post above that states the LSAC rules about time being called. "Blackening of answers on your answer sheet must be done before time is called for any given section.". What do you see as an issue that might decide this charge in your favor ?

albanach
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Re: Appealing A Misconduct Charge

Postby albanach » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:29 pm

ChicagoBear wrote:Neither. The write up alleges that I fillled in an answer "after time was called but before pencils down was called." Take from that what you will.


That is also not what you described as having happened. You said that a buzzer sounded, not that time had been called. As I said above, per LSAC's own guidance, 'The supervisor will tell you when to start and stop work on each separately timed section.'

Did the supervisor explain beforehand that you were to stop writing as soon as their buzzer/alarm/beeper sounds?




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