The Arizona Summit Law School provides and will continue to provide equality of opportunity in legal education for all students, with respect to applicants for admission, enrolled students, and graduates, without discrimination, segregation or harassment on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or veteran status. Arizona Summit Law School does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities.

Where to File a Complaint / Designation of 504 and Title IX Coordinator

The Dean of Students serves as the designated Coordinator for Section 504, Title III of the ADA, and Title IX grievances as well as the individual with whom to file all student complaints alleging discrimination under federal, state or local law. The contact information for the Section 504 Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator is as follows:

  • Frank Guebara
    Director of Student Services

    Arizona Summit Law School
    One North Central Ave.
    Phoenix, AZ 85004

    (602) 682-6917
    Email: fguebara@azsummitlaw.edu

Complaint Procedures

Revised Date: July 2013
  • Applicability: This Policy and Procedure applies to allegations arising from conduct by students, faculty, employees, administrators and outside third parties who have contact with students, employees or faculty. Violations covered by this procedure may include allegations of discriminations based on race, color, and national origin, disability (Section 504 and Title III of the ADA) including failure to accommodate, sexual orientation or preference and sex/gender. Title IX sexual harassment claims are covered under a separate policy and investigative procedure.

    Location: ALL Summit anti-discrimination policies and procedures are located in several places: the Student Handbook, Employee Handbook, on the Summit website, and in hard copy upon request from the Dean of Students or the Director of Human Resources.

    Reference and Incorporation of Additional School Policies.

    Issues relating to Accommodations for students with disabilities. Student requests for accommodations are reviewed initially under the Accommodations Guide.  The Guide details the procedures that are to be followed to request accommodations and also provides a copy of all forms that must be submitted. The Accommodations Guide also includes timelines to be followed by the School and by the Student in order to assure the timely provision of accommodations. The Accommodations Guide further explains how to grieve/appeal a determination of accommodation.

    A person alleging discriminatory failure to accommodate under either or both Section 504 or Title III of the ADA may file a complaint pursuant to the procedure detailed below.

    • Issues relating to Sexual Harassment and Title IX
      Sexual Harassment Procedures are covered under the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure as contained in the Student Handbook and the Employee Handbook .The Sexual Harassment and Title IX Procedures are separate and distinct from the procedures outlined in this document.

    PURPOSE: Arizona Summit Law School shall follow this process for the investigation and resolution of reports of violations of the Summit Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, including claims made pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title III of the ADA, and Title VII for any violation of the statutes or the regulations implementing those statutes. The purpose of these procedures is (1) to provide all members of the Summit community with a process for making the School aware of potential violations of the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, and (2) to provide assistance and guidance to the Dean of Students and the Human Resources Department in carrying out their responsibilities in administering and enforcing the Arizona Summit Law School policies.  The School shall review these procedures every two (2) years and may amend these procedures as necessary.

Procedures

  • Reporting of Violations
    All members of the Summit community have a responsibility to contact the Dean of Students if they observe or encounter conduct that may be a violation of the Anti-Discrimination Policy. Violations may include allegations of discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, disability (Section 504 or Title III of the ADA) including failure to accommodate, sexual orientation or preference and sex/gender.

  • Confidentiality
    Any and all Summit employees who receive reports of violations of the Anti-Discrimination Policy shall maintain the confidentiality of the information that they receive except where disclosure is necessary to facilitate legitimate School processes, including reporting, investigation and resolution of allegations, or as is required by law.

  • To Whom May Violations be Reported and Designation of Section 504 Coordinator
    Reports of violations of the Anti-Discrimination Policy may be made to any faculty member, manager, supervisor, or other administrator. The Director of Student Services is the person to whom all reports must be immediately forwarded. The Director of Student Services is also the Designated 504 Coordinator. His contact information is:

    • Frank Guebara
      Director of Student Services

      Arizona Summit Law School
      One North Central Ave.
      Phoenix, AZ 85004

      (602) 682-6917
      Email: fguebara@azsummitlaw.edu

    • The contact information for the Director of Student Services is also available on the Summit website.

    • If the Complaint is against the Director of Student Services or any of his staff, the Complaint shall be filed directly with the Dean.

  • Duty to Timely Report Complaints Received
    Any Summit employee, including faculty, managers, supervisors, and administrators shall notify the Dean of Students within 1 business day of any violation of the Policy of which they become aware.

  • Limitations of Time to Report for Internal Investigation
    Although there is no jurisdictional statute of limitations for the time to report alleged incidents or violations, all reports should be made within sixty (60) days after the alleged violation unless good cause exists to support a delay, and in any event no later than 180 days of the most recent alleged violation. Prompt reporting enables the School to investigate the facts, determine the issues, and provide an appropriate remedy or action. While the School shall respond as best as it can to reports of violations of the Policy brought after 180 days of the most recent alleged violation, the amount of time that has passed since the alleged conduct occurred will be taken into account and Summit may decline to investigate.

  • Employee relations issues and/or collegiality issues and Honor Code issues shall be addressed through normal supervisory channels and applicable policies.

Making a Complaint

  • Informal Resolution

    Individuals making reports of violations of the Policy may wish to resolve the matter through an informal process or reach a resolution through alternatives to the investigative process. The goal of an informal resolution is to resolve concerns at the earliest stage possible, with the cooperation of all parties involved. Informal resolution is an option when the parties desire to resolve the situation cooperatively and/or when an investigation is not likely to lead to a satisfactory outcome. Parties are not required to participate in informal resolution prior to the School's decision to initiate an investigation. Any informal resolution process shall require the mutual consent of the involved parties and the School.

    Means for informal resolution shall be flexible and encompass a full range of possible appropriate outcomes. Informal resolution includes options such as facilitating an agreement between the parties, separating the parties, referring the parties to counseling programs, imposing appropriate remedial action as determined by the School, conducting targeted educational and training programs, or remedies for the individual harmed by the violation of the Policy. Informal resolution efforts, including any mutually agreed upon outcome, shall be documented.

    If a mutually acceptable solution cannot be reached through the informal resolution process, an investigation will still be made through the Dean of Students, Human Resources or Legal Affairs. A party may opt out of the informal resolution process at any time and request a formal investigation. In cases alleging harassment, no party shall be required to confront an alleged harasser during the informal resolution process.

  • Formal Investigation.

    To initiate a formal investigation, a report of a potential violation of the Policy which if true would constitute a violation of the applicable statutes and the regulations implementing the statutes, and which involves a student will be in writing and submitted to the Dean of Students. Reports of violations of the Policy should set forth as much information as possible, including:

    1. The full name and contact information of the reporting or complaining party;
    2. The name of the individual(s) alleged to have violated the Policy;
    3. A clear and concise statement of the facts that constitute the alleged violation of the Policy including dates and as much identifying information as possible;
    4. Names and contact information or any other identifying information available regarding any other individuals who may provide information and/or be witnesses during the course of an investigation;
    5. Any request for remedy or relief.

    If the complaint is not made in writing to the Dean of Students, then the person to whom the report is made verbally shall notify the Dean of Students or her designated staff of the verbal report within one (1) business day. The employee to whom the verbal report is made will document the complaint in writing with as much information as possible.

    The Law School shall respond, to the extent possible, to reports of potential violations of the Policy made anonymously or by third parties not directly involved in the alleged violation. However, the response to such reports may be limited if information contained in the report cannot be verified by independent facts. Anonymous or third-party reports of potential violations of the Policy may be addressed through an informal resolution process and a formal investigation may be declined.

Investigative Process

  1. Responsible Party/Who Shall Conduct Investigation. All investigations conducted pursuant to this Policy will be adequate, impartial and reliable. For investigations involving students, the investigation will be conducted by the Dean of Students Office or the Legal Affairs Department if so directed by the Dean. During any investigation under this Policy the Dean of Students may seek the advice and assistance of the Legal Affairs Department and the Human Resources Department, as appropriate. For investigations that do not involve students, the investigation will be conducted by the Director of Human Resources or the Legal Services Department if so directed by the Dean.

  2. Complaints against Students. When an investigation involving a complaint against a student is referred to the Dean of Students, the investigation shall be substantively the same as that detailed in herein and shall also be conducted in accordance with the student disciplinary procedures under the Student Code of Conduct. After the completion of the civil rights investigation under this Policy the disciplinary aspect of any determination shall be forwarded to the Honor Court for disposition. If during an Honor Court proceeding any Honor Court Member become aware of allegations that if true could constitute violations of this Policy, then the Honor Court Member shall immediately refer those allegations for investigation under this process.

  3. Notice of Investigation and Opportunity to Respond. In all investigations, a Notice of investigation and allegations will be provided to the individual(s) accused of violating the Policy and to the Complainant.  All parties(s) shall also be provided the opportunity to provide information and respond.  Additional notice may be provided to individuals with a legitimate need to know, including appropriate administrators such as Deans, Directors, Academic or Administrative Unit Heads or faculty, who may have an obligation to monitor the environment to ensure that retaliatory action does not occur during or after the investigative process. All parties shall have the opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

  4. Witnesses and Document Review. The Dean of Students, and her staff, or the Director of Human Resources and her staff, shall take action to investigate and determine (i)whether the allegation makes a prima facie case for discrimination; (ii)whether  there is a reasonable basis to suspect that a violation has occurred; and (iii) to confirm the appropriateness of any preliminary evaluation and/ or indicate the need for additional assistance. The investigation may include consultation and interviews with faculty, students, supervisors, managers or administrators receiving reports of violations of the Policy, witness interviews, review of documents and other action deemed necessary to make an appropriate evaluation. All parties shall have the opportunity to present evidence and be heard. All evidence gathered during the investigative process shall be evaluated. The standard of proof to be used to make the investigative determination to resolve a complaint shall be a preponderance of the evidence.

    No department or individual shall enter into any kind of discussion regarding settlement without prior approval from the Legal Division and the Dean.

  5. Interim Protections or remedies during Investigation At any time during the investigation, the investigator may recommend that interim protections or remedies be provided by appropriate School officials. These protections or remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, or making alternative classroom, working or other arrangements deemed appropriate by the Dean of Students.. Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections may be considered a separate violation of the Policy.

  6. Time Frame for Investigation. The investigation shall be completed as promptly as possible and in most cases, within 60 days of the date the investigation request was filed. Additional time may be required in the event that School is on break or the allegation is made when faculty or students are not in session.  If more than 60 days is necessary to complete an investigation, then the Dean of Students shall notify the parties, and explain the reasons for the delay and provide an estimate of when the investigation will be completed.

  7. Written Report Upon the completion of the investigation, the Dean of Students, the Director of Human Resources, Legal Affairs or its designee shall prepare a written report, including whether a policy violation has been established by a preponderance of the evidence.

  8. Submission of Report to the Dean Within 10 business days and after review by Legal Affairs, a copy of the written report shall be provided to the Dean or her designee, for acceptance, rejection, or modification of the findings.  The Dean or designee shall provide a copy of the determination within 20 business days to all parties including specifically the reporting party, the party accused of violating the policy, and the appropriate School administrator. A final decision of the Honor Court shall not require review by Legal Affairs and may be submitted directly to the Dean or designee for acceptance, rejection or modification of the Court Findings and Recommendations.

Request for Reconsideration of Findings

  • Review of Findings requested by Student or Faculty Member.

    1. Review of findings under this section is limited to the investigative findings of the Dean of Students, Director of Human Resources, Legal affairs or its designee. The reconsideration will not be a de novo review.

    2. Where there has been a finding that a faculty member or student has violated the Policy either party may request a review of that finding by the Dean no later than 15 days after being notified of the finding. The request for reconsideration must be in writing and include:

      1. Documentation to support the appeal, if any;
      2. An explanation of why the Complainant feels the factual information was incomplete;
      3. Why the analysis of the facts was incorrect and/or the appropriate legal standard was not applied; and
      4. How this would change Summit’s determination in this case.

      Failure to provide this information may result in the denial of the request for reconsideration.

    3. The Dean may exercise discretion and grant a waiver of the 15 day time frame for reconsideration where:

      1. the complainant was unable to submit the request for reconsideration within the15-day timeframe because of illness or other incapacitating circumstances and the reconsideration was filed within 10 days after the period of illness or incapacitation ended; or
      2. unique circumstances generated by Summit’s action have adversely affected the complainant.
    4. The 15 day period includes only the time when school is in session. Semester breaks and summer recess are not included. The Office of the Dean shall make a determination as to whether there has been a violation of the Policy, which determination shall be final.

  • Request for reconsideration by a Non-faculty Member.

    1. Where there has been a finding that a non-faculty employee has violated the Policy, that employee may request a reconsideration of that finding by The Head of Human Resources no later than 15 days after being notified of the finding. The Head of Human Resources Officer shall make a determination as to whether there has been a violation of the Policy, which determination shall be final. The request for reconsideration must be on writing and include:

      1. Documentation to support the appeal,if any;
      2. An explanation of why the Complainant feels the factual information was incomplete;
      3. Why the analysis of the facts was incorrect and/or the appropriate legal standard was not applied; and
      4. How this would change Summit’s determination in this case.
      5. Failure to provide this information may result in the denial of the request for reconsideration.
    2. The Dean may exercise discretion and grant a waiver of the 15 day time frame for reconsideration where:

      1. the complainant was unable to submit the request for reconsideration within the15-day timeframe because of illness or other incapacitating circumstances and the reconsideration was filed within 10 days after the period of illness or incapacitation ended; or
      2. unique circumstances generated by Summit’s action have adversely affected the complainant.

Remedial Action. If the report substantiates a violation of the Policy, the Dean or Head of Human Resources of his designee shall determine and consider if remedial action is necessary to stop the ongoing activity or actions, remedy the effects of the discrimination, and prevent further discrimination. Such remedial action may include but not limited to, disciplinary action and training.

Action or Dismissal. In such instances where the Dean or Head of Human Resource or his designee determines that the policy violation warrants the disciplinary action of dismissal or suspension without pay, review of such disciplinary actions will be conducted under the applicable procedure for the employment classification of the employee who has been found to have violated the Policy whether they be administrators, faculty, professional staff or other classification of employee and shall comport with all due process requirements. Disciplinary action involving students shall ne in accordance with the Student Handbook and Honor Code Procedures.

Anti-Retaliation Retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in the grievance procedure included in this policy or the Accommodations Guide is strongly prohibited and shall be considered an independent violation of the Anti-Discrimination Policies of the Law School.

Records Retention

  • Faculty or Employee The written report and referenced exhibits developed or created as a result of an investigation which relate to an employee or faculty member, shall be retained by the Head of Human Resources or Legal Affairs for the length the employee’s term of employment and for a period of 5 years from the time of separation of employment by the employee. All other related documents, materials and records shall be destroyed in accordance with the records retention policy.

  • Students Student records related to or arising out of an investigation by the Director of Student Services shall be retained in accordance with student records retention policies and procedures.