Title IX is a federal law that condemns discrimination “on the basis of sex” in federally funded institutions. Sexual misconduct is considered gender discrimination. Therefore, any actions that constitute sexual misconduct will be regarded as a violation of Title IX. In compliance with this law, colleges and universities will internally adjudicate all alleged instances of sexual misconduct committed by/and or against students.
Throughout the entire process, students will need the assistance of an outside party, known as an advisor, to help them navigate the process.
The Role of an Advisor
People who bring allegations (complainants) and those who respond to said allegations (respondents) are afforded the right to select anyone they would like to occupy the role of an advisor. This right is extended because both complainants and respondents will need assistance in the intricate and confusing Title IX process. Choosing the right person will make all the difference in maintaining an equitable process and achieving a favorable outcome.
The Benefits of Choosing an Attorney as Your Advisor
An attorney's help is invaluable in this process. They've been through the process numerous times, and understand what respondents must do to adequately prepare for a hearing or investigation. An attorney will also be able to ensure your rights are protected and properly exercised.
The Title IX Process
- A complaint is filed: higher education institutions encourage all members of the campus community to report any rumored, witnessed, or experienced instances of alleged sexual misconduct. Any person can virtually file a complaint, from an alleged victim to spectators and staff.
- Interim measures: If deemed appropriate, a school may implement interim measures to minimize the interactions between respondents and all other involved parties. Measures like a no-contact order, housing rearrangements, class schedule changes, and even restricted access to certain parts of campus may be imposed upon respondents.
- The investigation: A formal investigation will be conducted by a sole investigator or a hired outside team. At some schools, the process ends here. All parties are interviewed and an investigator comes up with a determination.
- The hearing: In other schools, the Title IX charges are resolved via the hearing process. The hearing is the final opportunity for both parties to share their account of the alleged incident. A panel comprised of students and staff will hear statements, testimony, witness accounts, and the presentation of evidence and deliberate. Based on the facts, they will come up with a determination.
- Sanctions: If an investigator or hearing panel determines a respondent is indeed “responsible” for violating Title IX and committing sexual misconduct, a range of sanctions may be imposed. Respondents have experienced sanctions like treatment orders, the removal of scholarships, suspension, and expulsion.
- Appeals: An appeal is a request for a school to reassess a decision based on an error made at some point during the process. Any party that is dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation finding or panel decision may file an appeal - a process in and of itself.
Tennessee Title IX Advisor
If you attend a Tennessee college or university and are facing sexual misconduct allegations, it is crucial you contact an attorney. For students who haven't been through this process before, it can be confusing and scary. Preparation is the key to favorable results. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience preparing respondents for an investigation and the entire Title IX process. Contact him today for help.
Tennessee 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:
- American Baptist College
- Aquinas College
- Argosy University Nashville
- Austin Peay State University
- Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences
- Belmont University
- Bethel University
- Bryan College
- Carson Newman College
- Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers
- Chattanooga State Community College
- Christian Brothers University
- Cleveland State Community College
- Columbia State Community College
- Cumberland University
- Daymar Institute Clarksville
- Daymar Institute Murfreesboro
- Daymar Institute Nashville
- DeVry University Tennessee
- Dyersburg State Community College
- East Tennessee State University
- Fisk University
- Fortis Institute
- Fortis Institute Nashville
- Fountainhead College of Technology
- Free Will Baptist Bible College
- Freed Hardeman University
- Hiwassee College
- International Academy of Design and Technology Nashville
- ITT Technical Institute Chattanooga
- ITT Technical Institute Cordova
- ITT Technical Institute Johnson City
- ITT Technical Institute Knoxville
- ITT Technical Institute Nashville
- Jackson State Community College
- John A Gupton College
- Johnson University
- King College
- Lane College
- Le Moyne Owen College
- Lee University
- Lincoln Memorial University
- Lipscomb University
- L'Ecole Culinaire
- Martin Methodist College
- Maryville College
- Memphis College of Art
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Miller Motte Technical College Chattanooga
- Miller Motte Technical College Clarksville
- Miller Motte Technical College Madison
- Milligan College
- Motlow State Community College
- Nashville State Community College
- National College of Business and Technology Nashville
- Northeast State Community College
- Nossi College of Art
- O'More College of Design
- Pellissippi State Community College
- Remington College Memphis Campus
- Remington College Nashville Campus
- Rhodes College
- Roane State Community College
- Sewanee The University of the South
- South College
- Southern Adventist University
- Southwest Tennessee Community College
- Tennessee State University
- Tennessee Technological University
- Tennessee Temple University
- Tennessee Wesleyan College
- The Art Institute of Tennessee Nashville
- The University of Tennessee
- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
- The University of Tennessee Martin
- Trevecca Nazarene University
- Tusculum College
- Union University
- University of Memphis
- University of Phoenix Chattanooga Campus
- University of Phoenix Knoxville
- University of Phoenix Memphis Campus
- University of Phoenix Nashville Campus
- Vanderbilt University
- Vatterott Career College Memphis Appling Farms
- Vatterott Career College Memphis Dividend Drive
- Victory University
- Virginia College School of Business and Health
- Visible Music College
- Volunteer State Community College
- Walters State Community College
- Watkins College of Art Design & Film
- William Moore College of Technology
- Williamson Christian 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 Tennessee and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.