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CHAPTER V

Disciplinary and Grievance Proceeding

Section 1.  Purposes of the Default System – The success of the New England Law Review depends upon the ability of its members to satisfy its subscribers’ needs for a publication that is both timely and of excellent quality.  Membership on the New England Law Review shall, therefore, be conditioned upon the timely completion of all assignments with the utmost care.  Members shall also be required to attend all mandatory meetings and activities of the New England Law Review.  Additionally, the success of the New England Law Review depends upon the ability of its members to work together and cooperate with one another in a respectful way.  Membership on the New England Law Review shall, therefore, be conditioned upon each member conducting himself or herself in a professional manner when interacting with other New England Law Review members during the course of New England Law Review business.

 

Section 2.  Scope of Review. Any member of the New England Law Review who fails to fulfill his or her duties to the New England Law Review may be subject to appropriate sanctions imposed by either the Executive Committee or a majority of the editors at a special meeting.  A special meeting shall be convened upon a finding of sufficient cause made by the Grievance Board.  The scope of review shall be as follows:
(a) Sanctions may be imposed by a vote of:
(i) a special meeting when the sanction regards a matter that touches and concerns all members of the New England Law Review; or
(ii) a vote of the Executive Committee if the Executive Committee finds good cause or exigency to waive the requirements of this provision.  In this event, the affected member or members can submit written petitions in order to convene a Grievance Committee.
(b) If a matter concerns only one member of the New England Law Review, then the matter is directed to the attention of the Executive Committee by the aggrieved member.  The Executive Committee will then meet with all parties concerned.  Unless one member of the Executive Committee feels that the matter should be referred to the Grievance Board, the Executive Committee will determine what sanction, if any, the situation warrants.
(c) The Editor-in-Chief may either for good cause or exigency impose any authorized sanction.

 

Section 3.  Petition. In order to commence such action against any member, board or committee, a petition must be submitted in writing to the Editor-in-Chief.  The petition may be from any member of the New England Law Review and must contain a description of the circumstances prompting the petition which will be sufficient to put the Grievance Board and the respondent parties on notice as to the nature of the complaint.

 

Section 4.  Convening of the Grievance Board. The Editor-in-Chief shall convene the Grievance Board no sooner than five (5) days nor later than ten (10) days after receipt of the petition to sanction.
(a) Attendance at Grievance Board Meetings.  Attendance at meetings of the Grievance Board is mandatory and seven members shall constitute a quorum
(i) Should a member of the Grievance Board be unable to attend the meeting called by the Editor-in-Chief, an alternate shall take that member’s place pursuant to Chapter IV, Section 1(d).
(b) Disqualification of Members of Grievance Board.  Members of the Grievance Board may be disqualified from hearing a particular matter.  In such a case, vacancies shall be filled as provided in Chapter IV, Section 1.
(i) Any Grievance Board member may voluntarily disqualify himself or herself from considering a particular matter.
(ii) Should a member of the Grievance Board be the person against whom the petition to sanction has been filed, or be the individual whose summary action is the subject of the inquiry, that person shall be disqualified.
(iii) Any party may move to have a Grievance Board member disqualified by submitting a written motion to the Editor-in-Chief.  If more than one such motion is submitted, each shall be voted upon separately by the Grievance Board.
(iv) The initial hearing on disqualification must be held no later than three (3) days and no earlier than five (5) days before the scheduled meeting of the Grievance Board.
(v) A continuance may be granted upon motion and by majority vote of the Grievance Board. The continued disqualification hearing must take place prior to the scheduled sanction hearing.
(vi) Parties who may be present at the disqualification hearing are members of the Grievance Board, the moving party and the subject of the motion to disqualify.

 

Section 5. Procedures for Grievance Board Meeting. The Editor-in-Chief shall call the Grievance Board to order.  The first order of business at the meeting shall be the selection by majority vote of a presiding officer for that hearing.  During the hearing, all present shall speak only upon recognition by the presiding officer or to answer questions posed by one so recognized.
Section 6.   Vote to Convene a Special Meeting. A determination of sufficient cause to convene a special meeting to sanction shall be made upon majority vote of the Grievance Board.
Section 7.  Convening of Special Meeting. If a sufficient case is found, a hearing before the full membership (a special meeting) shall be held no sooner than seven (7) days but no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the Grievance Board vote.
(a) Members Present at Special Meeting.  The special meeting convening after the vote of the Grievance Board may be attended by any member of the New England Law Review, however, only editors will be allowed to vote.  A quorum shall consist of 75% of those eligible to vote
(b) Presiding Officer.  The Editor-in-Chief shall be presiding officer at the special meeting unless otherwise disqualified.  The Editor-in-Chief shall be entitled to a vote on all motions.
Section 8.  Procedures of Special Meeting to Sanction. The special meeting to sanction will be an adversarial proceeding to the extent that both the party bringing the petition and the party against whom it has been brought may present and question witnesses.  There are no rules of evidence and the presiding officer shall determine sua sponte whether a question or line of questioning is permissible.  Neither party may object to a question or line of questioning, but the witness may do so.
Section 9.  Determination to Sanction. A petition to sanction referred by the Grievance Board to the special meeting to sanction shall constitute a seconded and approved motion to sanction and shall be approved upon a vote of 75% of those present and entitled to vote at the special meeting.  No proxies will be allowed.
(a) Selection of Appropriate Sanction.  Following a determination as to the necessity of imposing a sanction, a vote or votes shall be taken to select the appropriated sanction or sanctions.  The special meeting shall consider sanctions.
(b) Sanctions.  The following sanctions may be imposed by the special meeting:
(i) Loss of compensation pro rata attributable to a period during which the compensated editor failed to perform his or her duties.  In addition, the successful correction of deficiencies in performance by the editor shall have no bearing on the forfeiture of his or her compensation or proportionate part thereof;
(ii) Loss of elected or appointed position;
(iii) Loss of editor status;
(iv) Removal of member’s name from the masthead;
(v) Temporary suspension from rights but not responsibilities of New England Law Review Membership;
(vi) Denial of New England Law Review credits;
(vii) Official reprimand;
(viii) Full, permanent removal of New England Law Review membership.
(c) All of the sanctions listed above except (i), (iii), and (viii) may be imposed by a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee.  Any sanction, however, may be imposed unilaterally by the Editor-in-Chief pursuant to Section 2 of this Chapter.  Except for a unilateral action by the Editor-in-Chief under Section 2 of this Chapter, the member affected may have recourse in such a situation to the Grievance Board.  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the following procedures must be completed before the Executive Committee may impose the first sanction:
i. First Offense: Verbal warning to the individual concerned that a particular duty was not completed or fulfilled (e.g., a missed mandatory meeting);
ii. Second Offense: Letter to the individual concerned that a particular duty was not completed or fulfilled (e.g., a missed mandatory meeting);
iii. Third Offense: Letter of warning that any further offense shall result in the imposition of a sanction, and said letter to be forwarded to the Faculty Advisor;
iv. Fourth Offense: Automatic imposition of sanctions;
v. Any subsequent offense may result in a sanction.
(d) Any Associate Member who has not substantially complied with the duties of an Associate Member will be subject to sanctions that the Executive Committee deems appropriate.
Section 10.  Succession. If a member of the Executive Committee is removed, resigns or is dismissed from office, vacancies shall be filled in the following manner:
(a) Editor-in-Chief – Should a vacancy occur in the office of Editor-in-Chief, by reason of absence, death, resignation, expulsion, disqualification, refusal to serve, removal from office, or for any other unforeseen circumstance, the Managing Editor shall succeed to the office of Editor-in-Chief;
(b) Managing Editor – Should a vacancy occur in the office of Managing Editor, by reason of absence, death, resignation, succession, expulsion, disqualification, refusal to serve, removal from office, or for any other unforeseen circumstance, the Business Managing Editor shall succeed to the office of Managing Editor;
(c) Business Managing Editor – Should a vacancy occur in the office of Business Managing Editor, by reason of absence, death, resignation, succession, expulsion, disqualification, refusal to serve, removal from office, or for any other unforeseen circumstance, a special election to fill the vacancy shall be held by the members of the New England Law Review within ten (10) days.
(d) Simultaneous Vacancies – Should two or more vacancies occur simultaneously on the Executive Committee, the vacant offices shall be filled as described above to the extent possible, after which a special election to fill any remaining vacancies shall be held by the members of the New England Law Review within ten (10) days.
(e) Editorial Staff – If any other member of the Editorial Staff is removed, resigns or is dismissed from office, the Executive Committee, in its discretion and by a two-thirds vote, will appoint a replacement within ten (10) days.