Yes you should have a lawyer present, because of the host of consequenses of loosing; forfieture of tuition, the witholding of your transcripts, academic suspension, expulsion or worse. A charge of dishonesty is one that likely may impact the rest of your carrer.
Whereas I understand your reluctance to antagonize, do you personally want to be in the position of cross-examining the TA who apparently is the only fact witness in this matter? I recomend you hire someone familiar with your university's justice process.
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You absolutely need counsel. The university will utilize counsel (perhaps behind the scenes) and it has far less on the line than you do. Skilled and effective counsel know that antagonism of the university is usually not the best strategy. You need an attorney who has the experience and skill to strike the right note of outrage at what you are being put through and constructive efforts to remediate the situation. You can come in and talk with my partners and if you like -- no charge for the first hour -- we are in Pasadena and experienced with all of the local academic institutions. But, whether you choose my firm or another, you must have counsel. The forward ramifications of this kind of matter can be virtually endless and you cannot deal effectively on your own behalf in this situation. Potentially offending the institution is not the most critical of the possible results of this situation!
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You have too much at stake not to hire an attorney to represent you. In my exeperience, having an attorney sends a signal to the school that you are serious and intend to fight the allegation. This may convince the school that it would be easier to administer a less harsh finding rather than invite a legal fight.Ask a similar question