The federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in higher education is Title IX. This law, though, is also tied to the federal funding that a college receives, so if you have been accused of violating it in Alabama, you can expect your school to come after you with all that it has.
Defend your rights by appointing a lawyer to be your Title IX investigation advisor.
Your Right to an Advisor During the Title IX Process
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct – like harassment, assault, stalking, or rape – on a campus in Alabama, you will face Title IX charges which trigger your right to an advisor. Appointing a lawyer rather than a trusted member of the faculty is the only effective manner to proceed in light of what is at stake. Among many other considerations, choosing an attorney as your advisor has significant advantages:
- Lawyers thrive in adversarial settings like a hearing and investigation
- Attorneys build cases for their clients for a living and have honed the skills necessary to do it well
- Title IX attorneys are familiar with the intricacies and pitfalls of a Title IX investigation
Alabama Title IX Investigations
The Title IX investigation process in Alabama is slightly different for each school. The differences are in the details, though, and most universities follow the same basic theme:
- The complaint initiates the process. The Title IX investigation begins with the complaint when it is filed at your school. This is the formal accusation that alleges you violated Title IX's edicts.
- No-contact orders keep you away from the complainant. Most schools respond to a Title IX complaint by immediately filing no-contact orders against you, prohibiting you from having an contact with the complainant, even if it means reassigning housing and classes. Other "interim" measures can include a ban from living on campus, a ban from playing on sports teams, and even an "interim" suspension while the Title IX investigation is completed.
- An investigation into complaint's allegations. Schools in Alabama then either hire independent investigators or task their Title IX officers with verifying the claims made in the complaint. This usually ends with an interview with you, which can help or severely hurt your case, depending on how it is handled. Many schools decide an accused's responsibility with the completion of the Title IX investigation; some schools, however, forward the investigation results, often through what is called the "investigative report", to a hearing panel to determine responsibility for charges.
- A hearing determines whether there was a violation. At colleges and universities which use a "hearing" model, all of the evidence gathered is presented to a panel at the Title IX hearing. The exact details of this panel and rules for the hearing are different for each school in Alabama, but having a lawyer at this stage is always a good idea.
- Violations lead to sanctions. If the panel determines at the hearing that Title IX was violated, they will issue sanctions against you. You can be warned against future conduct or even be expelled from school.
- You have a right to appeal. You can appeal the severity of the penalty that you received, or can challenge the outcome of the hearing by pointing to an eligible defect in the investigation or hearing process that altered the outcome against you.
Alabama Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense lawyer who can act as your advisor if you have been accused of violating Title IX. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 if you are serious about your innocence and want to protect your future if facing a Title IX investigation or charges in Alabama.
Alabama colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations (in addition to hearings and appeals) include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Alabama A & M University
- Alabama Southern Community College
- Alabama State University
- Amridge University
- Auburn University
- Auburn University at Montgomery
- Bevill State Community College
- Birmingham Southern College
- Bishop State Community College
- Brown Mackie College Birmingham
- Central Alabama Community College
- Chattahoochee Valley Community College
- Columbia Southern University
- Concordia College Selma
- Enterprise State Community College
- Faulkner University
- Fortis College Mobile
- Fortis College Montgomery
- Gadsden State Community College
- George C Wallace State Community College Dothan
- George C Wallace State Community College Hanceville
- George C Wallace State Community College Selma
- H Councill Trenholm State Technical College
- Heritage Christian University
- Herzing University Birmingham
- Huntingdon College
- Huntsville Bible College
- ITT Technical Institute Bessemer
- ITT Technical Institute Madison
- ITT Technical Institute Mobile
- J F Drake State Technical College
- Jacksonville State University
- James H Faulkner State Community College
- Jefferson Davis Community College
- Jefferson State Community College
- John C Calhoun State Community College
- Judson College
- Lawson State Community College Birmingham Campus
- Lurleen B Wallace Community College
- Marion Military Institute
- Miles College
- Northeast Alabama Community College
- Northwest Shoals Community College Muscle Shoals
- Oakwood University
- Prince Institute of Professional Studies Inc
- Reid State Technical College
- Remington College Mobile Campus
- Samford University
- Selma University
- Shelton State Community College
- Snead State Community College
- South University Montgomery
- Southeastern Bible College
- Southern Union State Community College
- Spring Hill College
- Stillman College
- Talladega College
- The University of Alabama
- Tri State Institute
- Troy University
- Tuskegee University
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of Alabama at Huntsville
- University of Mobile
- University of Montevallo
- University of North Alabama
- University of Phoenix Birmingham Campus
- University of South Alabama
- University of West Alabama
- Virginia College Birmingham
- Virginia College Huntsville
- Virginia College Mobile
- Virginia College Montgomery
It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your college or university is handled properly and that the accused student's or employee's interests are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process. One major reason is because even at schools where a finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct charges is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused is found responsible or not responsible for Title IX charges.
Unfortunately, some students, families, and college employees make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when accused of sexual misconduct. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth. In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, sexual misconduct and Title IX charges would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation for a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused's academic and professional future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Alabama and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.