Title IX attorneys assist college students to defend themselves and their families against allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct. These investigations often involve complex disciplinary procedures and can result in expulsion from school, loss or academic credit. These disciplinary proceedings may also damage a student’s reputation and affect his or her career prospects.
Our Title IX Lawyer Dekalb represent clients throughout the United States in university hearings, investigations, and sanctions boards. We do this to ensure that no students are denied an education, nor are they subjected to unfair penalties. Our attorneys are aware that these cases can be sensitive, and know how to work together with the school or Department of Education in order to protect our client’s rights.
Title IX, part of a broader civil rights act passed in 1972 prohibits any discrimination on the grounds of sexuality, gender identity or sex. These policies are enforced by the Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education. The laws aim to empower victims of sexual abuse and provide schools with an incentive to prevent discrimination and harassment. The laws have been interpreted in ways that most people would not expect by federal agencies and courts.
As an example, many Title IX claims revolve around consent. This is a difficult concept to define legally. It can be challenging for administrators to investigate such complaints because they do not operate under the same rules of evidence as a criminal trial. The standards of evidence are also much lower.
Another issue with Title IX investigations is the lack of a statute of limitations. This means that even years later, alleged victims may still bring complaints against ex-classmates. Students may feel intense pressure from their accusers to comply with their demands.
Remember that a Title IX investigative process may be biased. This is due either to employees who align themselves with the interests or students on campus who have an agenda in favor of the complainant. Our attorneys strive to expose any conflicts of interest, and fight for our client’s right.
A school has an obligation to evaluate its current policies and practices in light of Title IX guidelines. If a school finds that it does not meet these standards then it must make changes. The school must also keep a record detailing these evaluations. These records need to be made available for review by the Office of Civil Rights.
If a university has violated Title IX, it must take appropriate disciplinary action. This can involve suspension, expulsion from school, revocations or financial aids, loss of job, and other penalties. Duffy Law has represented numerous college and graduate students in Title IX investigations and hearings. In addition, we advise students facing these allegations in how to respond to the investigation and how to navigate the disciplinary hearing process.