When I take on a client's campus disciplinary case, whether it involves Title IX sexual misconduct, a Code of Conduct disciplinary violation, or academic misconduct, not only do I everything possible to get a client and his or her family the best possible result, I welcome input from my client and his or her family, because when all is said and done, my client, his or her family, and I are all in it together.
Today, a client's family and I shared our perspectives regarding the current state of affairs regarding campus student discipline; in this instance, involving Title IX sexual assault proceedings specifically.
Change Must Be Made Regarding Campus Student Discipline
Despite it being the summer vacation at colleges and universities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide, the campus disciplinary process does not stop. The reason I dedicated myself many years ago to defending students accused of campus misconduct was because, while defending a young person who had been being criminally charged with sexual assault in criminal proceedings, I recognized there was a tremendous need for dedicated campus student defense in light of how schools respond to allegations against students. Unfortunately, the shortcomings of the college and university disciplinary system are obvious whether the accused is an undergraduate, graduate, business, law, medical, international, or for that matter, any student who has worked so hard to earn their place in higher education. Recognizing that the consequences in a student disciplinary proceeding can be severe, and that a student's future, both academically and professionally, is at stake when accused of misconduct, I laced up my gloves and stepped in the ring.
Major Shortcomings of the Campus Disciplinary Process
A client's family who I am working with this summer vacation, obviously concerned about the major shortcomings of the campus disciplinary process and what is at stake, looks me to for my insight and counsel as would be expected to be the case. Despite the tragic circumstances at hand, I pride myself on being there every step of the way when a student is accused, whether that involves advocating on a client's behalf to the college or university Office of General Counsel (the school's attorney), the school's Title IX coordinator, and so forth, or just being available to speak by phone with a client and his or her family if a question or concern arises.
The Title IX investigation continues at the school in question, and as we prepare to respond to the next step in the process, my client's family and I continue to strategize as to the best steps forward. Part of strategizing is not only discussing the specifics of the case at hand and how the allegations must be addressed at the specific school in question, but also the present climate at colleges and universities nationwide.
A Kangaroo Court in Many Instances
Today, my client's family emailed me a clip from Fox News that had caught their attention. Having years of experience handling such matters, I recognize the concerns expressed in the following brief video clip. Having been in the trenches of campus disciplinary proceedings, I also recognize that some of what is expressed is not entirely accurate. Nonetheless, despite the stakes being as high as possible in that an accused student's entire future can be at stake, the manner in which many schools handle allegations against students can be equated to a kangaroo court in many instances (and despite arguable best intentions otherwise). I also understand change may be coming. Campus sexual assault must obviously be prevented, but not at the expense of the falsely accused. The hope is the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights and other stakeholders can rectify these concerns as soon as possible.
Pennsylvania Attorney for Student Defense | New Jersey Lawyer for Campus Defense
If you or your student is accused of campus misconduct, whether it involves an alleged sexual assault or Title IX violation, a conduct code disciplinary charge, or an academic integrity issue, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.