The federal civil rights law that prohibits acts of sexual misconduct on college campuses is Title IX. While the idea behind Title IX is admirable, its execution is very problematic because it ties a school's federal funding to how it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct like harassment or assault.
If you are the one being accused of sexual misconduct, you can count on your school trying to keep its federal funding at your expense. Having an attorney as your advisor can protect your rights and interests.
The Benefits of Appointing an Attorney as Your Title IX Advisor
If you have been accused of violating Title IX in Oklahoma, you have a right to an advisor to walk you through the process. Appointing a lawyer to the position rather than a family member or a trusted faculty member has strong benefits:
- A lawyer is familiar with the confrontational attitude of investigations and hearings
- Attorneys are much more skilled at building a strong case and putting it forward
- Title IX defense lawyers intimately understand the process
Oklahoma's Title IX Process
While each university handles a Title IX case in its own unique way, schools in Oklahoma always follow a similar process:
- The initial complaint: All Title IX cases begin with the complaint. This is the initial claim that you violated Title IX's prohibition against sexual misconduct by the alleged victim.
- School's response: Many schools respond to a Title IX allegation by immediately sending the accused a no-contact order to stay away from the purported victim, even if it requires housing or class reassignments.
- Investigation; While many schools have their own Title IX officer to conduct investigations into the allegations made in the complaint, other colleges in Oklahoma will bring in an independent investigator. In either case, the investigation often builds up to an interview with the person being accused of a Title IX violation. At many schools, a finding a responsibility will be determined at the end of the Title IX investigation.
- Hearing: At some colleges and universities, the culmination of the case is the hearing, which is where many schools have their own unique rules and requirements. While the differences are often found in the student handbook, the general theme is the same: A group of board members will hear evidence against you and in your defense to determine if you violated Title IX.
- Sanctions, if a violation is found: If the hearing ends with a finding that Title IX was violated, the panel will issue sanctions against you that can range from a simple warning all the way up to expulsion from school.
- Appeals: If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you can appeal it by pointing to an eligible defect in the process, or you can challenge the sanction that has been levied against you.
Joseph D. Lento: Oklahoma's Title IX Defense Advisor
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense attorney who advises those who have been accused of violating Title IX in Oklahoma. If you have been accused of sexual misconduct and face Title IX charges and/or sanctions, you need his help. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 if you want a skilled advisor working on your behalf.
Oklahoma 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:
- Bacone College
- Brown Mackie College Tulsa
- Cameron University
- Career Point College
- Carl Albert State College
- Connors State College
- DeVry University Oklahoma
- East Central University
- Eastern Oklahoma State College
- Family of Faith College
- Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College
- ITT Technical Institute Oklahoma City
- ITT Technical Institute Tulsa
- Langston University
- Mid America Christian University
- Murray State College
- National American University Tulsa
- Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
- Northeastern State University
- Northern Oklahoma College
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University
- Oklahoma Baptist University
- Oklahoma Christian University
- Oklahoma City Community College
- Oklahoma City University
- Oklahoma Panhandle State University
- Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology Okmulgee
- Oklahoma State University Main Campus
- Oklahoma State University Oklahoma City
- Oklahoma Wesleyan University
- Oral Roberts University
- Redlands Community College
- Rogers State University
- Rose State College
- Saint Gregorys University
- Seminole State College
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University
- Southern Nazarene University
- Southwestern Christian University
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University
- Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
- Tulsa Community College
- University of Central Oklahoma
- University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
- University of Phoenix Oklahoma City Campus
- University of Phoenix Tulsa Campus
- University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
- University of Tulsa
- Vatterott College Tulsa
- Western Oklahoma State College
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 Oklahoma and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.