How to Defend Against Title IX Sexual Misconduct Charges

Colleges and universities aggressively pursue Title IX charges against students, and the stakes are very high.  Regretfully, some students and parents do not recognize how much is at stake, both immediate and long-term, and as a result, do not take the necessary steps and precautions to try to obtain the most favorable outcome. 

At colleges and universities throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide, students are accused of sexual misconduct resulting from their schools' Title IX policies more often than may be realized is in fact the case.  Schools, due to federal legislation, are under tremendous pressure to aggressively pursue Title IX claims alleged to have taken place both on and off their campuses.  Students, when accused of Title IX violations, are often confronted with language taken directly from criminal codes: rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and the like. 

Despite the quasi-criminal nature of campus Title IX proceedings, students charged with Title IX violations, also known as "respondents," do not have the procedural, evidentiary, and constitutional rights afforded to those accused of criminal offenses.  Even compared to civil causes of action where the rights afforded a defendant are lesser than in criminal court, respondents in Title IX proceedings have lesser rights yet.  In addition, the limited rights that are afforded a Title IX respondent are either minimal or altogether nonexistent.  Students accused of Title IX violations have their academic and professional futures on the line, and it is critical to take the necessary steps to properly defend against such charges.

Do I need to obtain an experienced adviser for my Title IX case?

police, campus police, school administrators, friends, or classmates - See more at: http://dcstudentdefense.com/students-start-here#sthash.DvjgGuOB.dpuf
police, campus police, school administrators, friends, or classmates - See more at: http://dcstudentdefense.com/students-start-here#sthash.DvjgGuOB.dpuf

Title IX cases are difficult for accused students because of the limited procedural safeguards which characterize the campus disciplinary setting.  Regretfully, some students, despite their and their parents' best intentions, proceed with the Title IX disciplinary process without a full understanding of the possible consequences, both immediate and long-term.  Those unfamiliar with the realities of the Title IX disciplinary process often do not realize this until it is too late. 

The proper course of action is to try to obtain a good or acceptable result at the Title IX disciplinary level rather than try to appeal after being found responsible for the charge or charges and sanctioned accordingly.  Trying to mitigate the damage after an adverse finding and sanctions is a mistake because Title IX sanctions will always be severe.  An expulsion or suspension is the expected sanction if a respondent is found responsible for a Title IX charge.  Another major consequence is the stigma of having the Title IX finding and sanction noted on the student's disciplinary record.  Some schools will also include such information on a student's academic record.

Title IX cases also proceed quickly pursuant to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights (DOE-OCR) "recommendations."  Specifically, a Title IX case is generally expected to be investigated and resolved within 60 days.  For this reason, a student should immediately obtain an adviser who is highly experienced in college disciplinary proceedings.  One of the few rights afforded a respondent is that the advisor at almost all colleges and universities, per the Campus SaVE Act, can be anyone of their choosing.  It is well understood that students who retain an attorney experienced in Title IX proceedings will achieve a better result.

The benefits to a respondent of retaining an experienced attorney as their advisor as early as possible during a Title IX investigation are manifold.  An experienced attorney-advisor can: 1) provide objective guidance to the respondent; 2) make strategic decisions to best defend against prospective charges; 3) prepare the respondent for interviews and hearings with the school; 4) ensure that the school follows its own Title IX policies and procedures; 5) provide legal support, negotiate, and advocate with the school's attorneys behind the scenes in an effort to achieve an agreeable resolution; and 6) help the respondent navigate every step of the high stakes Title IX disciplinary process.

Nationwide Representation

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has successfully handled Title IX cases involving serious allegations of sexual misconduct including rape and sexual assault at major colleges and universities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.

Should I respectfully remain silent?

When a student is first contacted by their school and informed that they are the subject of a Title IX investigation, or asked to answer questions as part of an investigation of any kind, students should not speak about the matter to anyone: campus police, public safety, school administrators, professors, friends, or classmates.  The respondent should not mistakenly believe that the problem will "blow over," and should instead involve their parents or family immediately.  If a respondent is summoned to speak about the matter in any capacity, the respondent should respectfully decline to do so until they can exercise their right to obtain and consult with their advisor.  The advisor, as necessary, will also be able to postpone any meetings or interviews regarding the matter until after the respondent and advisor can develop the best strategy to move forward.

How well do I need to understand my college's or university's Title IX disciplinary process?

Colleges and universities use different models in investigating and pursuing Title IX charges against a respondent.  Theses differences can make a fundamental difference in terms of how a Title IX charge is investigated and ultimately resolved.  One of the first steps a respondent facing Title IX allegations should do is familiarize themselves with their particular school's Title IX disciplinary policies and procedures which will available in the school's student handbook, code of conduct, and/or separate Title IX provisions.  These policies and procedures should be reviewed to become familiar with: 1) a respondent's rights and obligations at their particular school; and 2) the limitations on due process at the respondent's school.

Becoming familiar with the school's Title IX policies and procedures will also allow a respondent to understand the Title IX model that will be used during their investigation and proceedings.  Some colleges and universities use the traditional disciplinary hearing model in which the investigation takes place independently of the adjudication stage of the proceedings.  At such schools, an investigation will be conducted often by campus police, public safety, an investigator appointed to the matter, or some combination thereof.  If an investigation reveals that there is enough evidence for Title IX charges to be brought, the respondent will have the right to have a hearing on the matter before a panel or adjudicator where live witnesses can testify and evidence can be presented.  Under such a model, the hearing panel or hearing officer will make determine the findings against a respondent and sanctions as necessary.  The traditional disciplinary hearing model is contrasted by the single investigator model where either an school employee or outside investigator conducts the Title IX investigation, weighs the credibility of witnesses and the sufficiency of evidence, and ultimately determines responsibility and sanctions.  Other schools yet use a blended model in which an investigator makes recommendations as to findings, responsibility, and sanctions, and submits these recommendations to a hearing panel to accept or reject. 

Is there limited due process at best in a Title IX case?

Each Title IX model has its arguable benefits and disadvantages.  The most important consideration is that although a school's Title IX policies and procedures may appear to offer the respondent the requisite due process in light of the seriousness of what is being alleged, these models provide significant limitations on a respondent-student's rights in defending against such allegations.  That is why it is critical that any right that is afforded is utilized to its full advantage.  An experienced attorney will be able to use the most effective methods of defending against Title IX allegations and charges bearing in mind the particular policies and procedures of the given school.

An experienced attorney will also understand that despite the differences in how a college or university handles Title IX claims, there are established factors that almost all schools are subject to because schools make dedicated efforts to comply with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights "recommendations" (which are effectively "mandates" because schools will lose significant federal funding for noncompliance).

Such established factors are as follows:

The standard of proof is low - The respondent in a Title IX proceeding has to be found guilty by a "preponderance of the evidence" per the recommendation of the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. Unlike criminal court proceedings where a defendant has to be found guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt," the standard of proof in Title IX proceedings is significantly lower.  The "preponderance of the evidence" standard is satisfied if what is in dispute is more likely than to be true than not true (a greater than fifty percent chance).  The "preponderance of the evidence" standard is not just lower than the standard used in criminal court proceedings, it is also lower than the "clear and convincing" standard used in most civil court proceedings; where a party must prove that it is substantially more likely than not that what is in dispute is true).  The low standard of proof in a Title IX proceeding is one of the most considerable challenges for a respondent to not be found responsible.

Mediation is not recommended - Whereas mediation is used by colleges and universities to resolve disciplinary cases in certain instances, mediation between the respondent and complainant in a Title IX proceeding is not recommended by the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.  A limited number of colleges and universities do, however, allow mediation in cases that do not involve sexual assault or sexual violence.  At such schools, it will always be the complainant's decision as to whether mediation will be considered, and the complainant will also be able to pursue formal action at anytime during the Title IX campus disciplinary process; even if mediation was initially decided upon by the complainant as a possible method of resolution.

Cross-examination is not recommended - Although cross-examination of a testifying witness is considered an indispensable component of American jurisprudence, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights recommends against "direct" cross examination of complainants in Title IX proceedings.  Outside of Title IX proceedings, cross-examination is primarily used to elicit favorable facts from the testifying witness, or to impeach the credibility of the testifying witness to lessen the weight of unfavorable testimony.   When cross-examination is not abridged as it is in Title IX proceedings, attorneys use cross-examination to represent their client so that the fact-finder, the judge or jury for example, can determine: 1) what happened based on the available evidence; and 2) who should be found responsible.  The theory behind cross-examination is that when attorneys on both sides of a disputed matter are allowed to vigorously represent their clients' interests, the facts will be disclosed, and consequently, the truth will be revealed.

Because the DOE-OCR recommends against "direct" cross-examination of a complainant in a Title IX proceeding, the effectiveness of cross-examination to reveal the truth can be severely curtailed.  Colleges and universities attempt to address this (major) issue by allowing respondents to: 1) submit written questions to; and/or 2) pose verbal questions to an intermediary such as the chairperson of a Title IX hearing panel or the Title IX investigator.  The theory is that the intermediary will thereafter ask the complainant the proposed question.  The intermediary, however, will have discretion as to whether the proposed question will be asked.  Even if an intermediary intends to ask the respondent's question to the complainant as the respondent intended, the question itself can often be misinterpreted or improperly asked by the intermediary.  This unfortunate reality of cross-examination through an intermediary also significantly weakens the prospective benefit to the respondent of being allowed to question the complainant in a Title IX proceeding.

A concurrent criminal investigation will usually not delay Title IX proceedings - The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights recommends that a college or university's Title IX investigation and proceedings not be delayed even when a Title IX respondent, as a result of the Title IX allegations, is under criminal investigation, or even charged with criminal offenses.  Due to the extremely serious nature of Title IX allegations, regardless of the complainant's arguable inherent motivation in reporting the alleged offense(s) to law enforcement, it is standard practice for colleges and universities to recommend that the complainant in fact report the matter to law enforcement.  Even if a respondent is not under criminal investigation or charged with criminal offenses, the prospect remains.  Because of this reality, when a respondent chooses to participate in their college or university's Title IX investigation and proceedings, doing so arguably presents both an opportunity and a major concern.

By speaking to their school regarding the matter, a respondent is exposed to potential criminal charges and/or civil liability.  In addition, a respondent has to be extremely mindful that communicating about the matter to anyone in any capacity (for example: verbally, or in written form; electronically or otherwise) can further complicate the matter. That being said, participating in the Title IX process presents an opportunity for a respondent to give their version of events regarding the allegations as claimed by complainant.

Despite the DOE-OCR recommendation, if a respondent were to choose to not participate in the Title IX disciplinary process in light of the prospect of criminal exposure and/or civil liability, a respondent can very much can exercise that right.  If that is the case, however, the respondent's college or university can proceed with the Title IX disciplinary process against the respondent and sanction accordingly.  In the alternative, a respondent, in certain instances depending on their particular college or university, may be able to temporarily withdraw from school pending final disposition of any criminal charges and/or civil liability.  A respondent must make an informed decision as to what is the most appropriate response to Title IX allegations.  An experienced attorney can assess the circumstances and help the respondent decide the best course of action.  

The respondent and the complainant have equal "rights" and equal limitations on these "rights"- Throughout the Title IX disciplinary process, the respondent and the complainant are afforded equal rights and are also subject to the same limitations on these rights.  These rights will vary depending on the Title IX policies and procedures used at the respondent-student's particular college or university.  For example, if the complainant is allowed to add comments to a Title IX investigation report, the respondent will also be allowed to do so; if a respondent is allowed to present witnesses at a Title IX hearing, the complainant will be allowed to do so; if a respondent is allowed to appeal Title IX findings and sanctions, the complainant will be allowed to do so; and so on. 

Those unfamiliar with the realities of campus disciplinary proceedings may regard such "equality" in the Title IX process as assuring fairness for both parties.  A closer analysis reveals that such "equality" will often work against the respondent.  In theory, it would seem obvious that due process, at a minimum, would call for the respondent and complainant to be afforded the same opportunities to address the allegations at hand.  In practice, however, the fact that the respondent and complainant are afforded the same opportunities can be to the respondent's disadvantage. 

An example of one such disadvantage is as follows: If a respondent is found responsible for a Title IX charge, the respondent may be able to appeal the decision and also the sanctions (this will depend on the particular college or university's Title IX policies and procedures).  If a respondent is allowed to appeal, however, the complainant is also allowed to do so.  An issue that arises is when a respondent is found not responsible for a Title IX charge.  When this occurs, due to these supposed equal "rights," the complainant can appeal the school's decision that the respondent was not responsible for the charge.  By doing so, the complainant gets a "second chance" to have the respondent found responsible for the charge because there is no protection against "double jeopardy" in the Title IX campus disciplinary setting.  Equal "rights" for the respondent and complainant may seem to assure fairness in theory, but it is a much more complicated affair in practice.

Should I build a "record?"

During the college or university's Title IX investigation, decisions have to be made as to what evidence should be included in the "record," which is what will be used in the school's determination whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge the respondent.  The respondent must consult with their advisor as to determine what evidence will be most effective in their defense, and what evidence can weaken their defense.  Although the college or university will investigate Title IX allegations to what it considers the full extent, the respondent must not depend on their school to obtain all relevant evidence and information, regardless of whether the investigation is conducted by campus police, public safety, investigator, or other investigative body. 

In addition to the respondent's own prospective testimony during the investigative stage of the proceedings, it may be necessary for the respondent to submit the names of witnesses who can testify on the the respondent's behalf.  other potentially relevant evidence that should be considered to be brought to the school's attention follows: text messages; social media posts; other communications such as voicemail recordings, letters, or other written correspondence; photographic evidence; video recordings; and dormitory entry and exit logs.  This list is not exhaustive; the particular circumstance's of the respondent's case will determine what kind of evidence will be most effective in the respondent's defense. 

Notwithstanding the fact that a respondent must be proactive in obtaining favorable evidence to their defense, a college or university's investigation can be exhaustive at times.  For that reason, a respondent must be mindful that their advisor is informed of all possible evidence that may exist, both potentially favorable and unfavorable.  Doing so will best allow the respondent's advisor to emphasize potentially favorable evidence and mitigate potentially unfavorable evidence.

Do I need to confirm the record and document everything?

Prior to the college or university making a final determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence or not for a respondent to be charged with Title IX offenses, the respondent must make sure that the factual record is accurate and complete.  Some schools will provide the respondent with a "final" investigative report that will be considered when the decision is made to charge a respondent or not.  Whether the respondent's particular school does so or not, the respondent must be proactive in confirming the accuracy and completeness of the record.  For example, if evidence favorable to the respondent was not included in the final investigative report, it will be necessary for the respondent to demand that such evidence be included; if the final investigative report is biased against the respondent, the respondent must object accordingly. 

Failing to do so can put the respondent in a very compromised position for several reasons; including the fact that once the record is deemed final and complete, it is submitted to the particular school's ultimate decision-maker who will then decide whether the case will move forward, or be dismissed because of insufficient evidence.  The school's ultimate decision-maker will review the factual record which will contain all evidence revealed and all evidence presented during the Title IX investigation.  If a respondent fails to make sure that the record is accurate and complete, and if discrepancies and/or deficiencies do in fact exist, the respondent can jeopardize their rights in later defending against Title IX charges if the case moves forward.

In addition, appropriate demands and objections must be made as necessary, even if disregarded by the school, because doing so can provide a record for an appeal (or potential litigation) if the case does move forward and there is an adverse finding against a respondent.  (Students and parents on occasion ask about the prospect of litigation during the pendency of a Title IX investigation and/or proceedings.  Although litigation at times is appropriate, in many instances, it may not be a recommended course of action even if there is an adverse finding against a respondent - In most instances, the paramount goal for a respondent should be to try to achieve a good or acceptable result at the Title IX disciplinary level.)

It is also highly recommended that the respondent request that their school provide written confirmation regarding all required deadlines and procedural steps that the respondent is subject to per the school's Title IX disciplinary process.  When appropriate, it is often best if the respondent's advisor communicates with the school via email on the respondent's behalf exclusively, or as much as possible in light of the particular school's Title IX policy regarding the role a Title IX advisor can serve.  If anything is disputed at a later time, email correspondence between the respondent's advisor and the school can confirm what was discussed and what took place for example.  Lastly, if concerns arise that the college or university is failing to abide by its own Title IX policies, the respondent must express such concerns in writing to the school (as noted, it is best if the respondent's advisor communicates with the school on the respondent's behalf).

How well should I understand the Title IX atmosphere at my school?

When defending against Title IX charges, as much as it is critical to understand both the general format and the nuances of a particular's school Title IX student disciplinary process, it is also critical to understand the particular school's atmosphere regarding Title IX.  It would be unwise to dismiss such concerns as too ancillary to warrant attention because a school's Title IX atmosphere can greatly impact how Title IX charges are addressed and resolved at that particular school.  Although Department of Education Office of Civil Rights' policies influence the overall Title IX atmosphere at colleges and universities nationwide, a particular school's Title IX atmosphere can also be influenced by factors specific to that school.

The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is responsible for enforcing Title IX compliance on college and university campuses nationwide.  The DOE-OCR is also responsible for investigating colleges and universities alleged to have either mishandled allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, or failed to investigate such allegations altogether.  The shift in the DOE-OCR's aggressiveness in pursuing such investigations is reflected by the increase in the number of schools under investigation.  The 261 colleges and universities under Title IX federal investigation is nearly five times the number only two years ago.

It is not just in the immediate past that addressing campus sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct has been prioritized by the government.  The shift has been consistent in this direction.  Prior federal action includes, for example, the Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault which was launched in 2014.  The Task Force is intended to be an interagency effort to address campus rape and sexual assault, and its mission includes coordinating federal  enforcement  efforts and also helping colleges and universities meet their obligations under federal law; Title IX in particular.  The Obama Administration, in addition to raising awareness of the issue not just on campus, but also in the national consciousness, has also strongly threatened to take away what is arguably the incentive that motivates many colleges and universities to fully comply with Title IX mandates – federal funding.  Colleges and universities are under tremendous pressure from different sources to vigorously address and respond to allegations of sexual assault, and to also avoid potential litigation from complainants who believe their school is not properly addressing their allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct.  

Although the focus of Title IX legislation is arguably aimed at addressing complainants' concerns, schools are also under pressure to avoid litigation from respondents; often male students, but not always. Many respondents' legal suits have not been successful in the past, but as more suits are filed and work their way through federal and state courts, a consensus is developing as to which legal causes of action have a better chance of success and which do not.  Some lawsuits in the more recent past have seen limited success because respondents' legal causes of action have been refined based on recent decisions made by federal and state courts.  Ultimately, with significant federal funding at stake, and also the prospect of negative publicity that legal action against a school creates, colleges and universities try to avoid legal action by both complainants and respondents.

Although DOE-OCR policy is in large part responsible for the general "tone" of campus Title IX investigations and student disciplinary cases, an important consideration that can affect how a particular school addresses a complainant's allegations of sexual assault is the atmosphere on that school's campus.  For example, do strong anti-sexual assault student advocacy groups play a prominent role on campus?  Do college and university decision-makers play a role in these advocacy groups?  Do college and university decision-makers have a history of bias or misfeasance in handling Title IX student disciplinary cases? 

After the fallout at Stanford University caused by both the rape perpetrated by Brock Turner, a student and athlete at the prestigious University, and also the lenient sentence imposed on Turner by a criminal court judge which sparked national outrage, one can expect the school to be more aggressive (than may otherwise have been the case) on behalf of complainants when responding to and addressing future Title IX allegations.  This particular campus rape incident aside, Stanford University has also been the subject of ongoing Title IX compliance issues.  When a college or university such as Stanford is in the critical glare of a federal Title IX investigation, or the media for example, respondents should understand that allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct will be vigorously addressed by their school; possibly even to the point of infringing on respondents' interests and rights.  Such information needs to be considered when defending against Title IX charges at any school because it is critical to understand what a respondent may be up against.

New Jersey Schools Under Title IX Investigation
Pennsylvania Schools Under Title IX Investigation

Although some notable exceptions occasionally make news, Title IX sanctions for students found responsible for sexual misconduct, even arguably "lesser" charges such as sexual harassment and stalking, are almost always severe.   Respondents must understand that expulsion and/or suspension are to be expected for students found responsible for sexual misconduct charges. It is not just the short-term implications of these sanctions that students and parents need to be concerned about.   Schools that are already under a critical eye, because of a federal Title IX investigation or negative publicity caused by past events for example, may be even more likely to impose the most severe sanctions even for "lesser" Title IX charges.

As may be expected, being found responsible for a Title IX charge and expelled from a college or university can make it impossible to find another school that will allow a student's admission.  Even if the lesser sanction of suspension is the result and the student returns to their college or university after the designated period of suspension, graduate schools and future employers will almost always inquire whether the student had been the subject of any disciplinary matters while in school, and if so, an explanation of the charges and the outcome will be required.

Are there equal Title IX appeal rights?

Title IX does not require that colleges and universities provide either a complainant or respondent the right to appeal although most schools do so.   The Deparment of Education's Office of Civil Rights (DOE-OCR) does however, recommend that when schools do provide a Title IX appeals process, that equal relief is provided to both complainants and respondents. 

The DOE-OCR specifically recommends that relief be provided through an Title IX appeals process where there exists procedural error, previously unavailable evidence that could significantly impact the outcome of the case, or a sanction is substantially disproportionate to the findings.   A respondent must understand that appeals often have strict deadlines in order to be considered.  In addition, these deadlines are often very short; sometimes only a day or two after being notified of the Title IX finding and decision, and some schools providing even less time yet to file an appeal.

If a school provides an Title IX appeals process for the findings, sanctions, or both, the school must do so equally for both the complainant and respondent for a school to remain in Title IX compliance.  The DOE-OCR allows individual schools to determine their own Title IX appeals procedure, as long as the entire Title IX disciplinary process from start to finish, including any appeals, provides: 1) prompt and equitable resolutions of complaints involving sexual misconduct, sexual assault, sexual violence, and related charges, and; 2) measures to protect the complainant during the process.  In addition, if a college or university allows for an appeal to be made, the school has discretion to determine the standard of review it applies to an appeal, but the review must be the same regardless of whether the complainant or respondent filled an appeal. 

Ultimately, the Title IX appeals process must be equal for both parties.  For example, if a college or university allows a student found responsible for a Title IX charge to appeal a suspension on the grounds that it is an excessive sanction based on the finding, the school must also allow the complainant to appeal a suspension on the grounds that is was an insufficient sanction based on the finding.  A school's appeals process will necessitate astute judgment on the respondent's part. For example, situations can arise where a respondent has to decide if the potential benefit of appealing a sanction that is otherwise acceptable under the circumstances is worth the risk of doing so.  Although it may be arguably unlikely, some school's can impose a more severe sanction on a respondent based solely upon the respondent's appeal. 

Another situation that can occur is that a respondent may deem it best to appeal a Title IX sanction that is otherwise acceptable on the grounds that it is excessive to the findings out of concern that the complainant may appeal the sanction as being insufficient.  If the complainant appeals in this manner and the complainant's appeal is granted, the concern would be that the appeal deadline would be over for the respondent after the respondent receives a less favorable sanction due to the complainant's appeal.  At times, the decision to appeal can be complicated, and an experienced attorney-advisor can help a respondent decide the best court of action, and altogether navigate the Title IX appeals process.

Conclusion

The stakes are always high when a college student is accused of a Title IX charge whether in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or nationwide.  Regardless of a school's specific Title IX disciplinary process, an accused student and their family have to be concerned about both the short and long-term consequences of an adverse Title IX finding, and consequent sanctions.

Just as colleges and universities have different Title IX disciplinary models, every student and parent may have a different view of what a successful resolution to a Title IX proceeding would be.  Understandably so, many students and parents want no finding of responsibility and for Title IX charges to be dismissed at all costs.  Depending on the allegations and the specific circumstances involved, some students and parents are satisfied with a finding of responsibility as long as the student can continue their education at their present college or university.  Even when this specific scenario is a possible outcome, students and parents have to be concerned that a finding of responsibility can greatly impact a student's future academic and professional goals. 

Students and parents must understand that graduate schools, many employers, and professional licensing boards in the case of students pursuing the goal of becoming a doctor, attorney, or nurse for example, will inquire into a student's school disciplinary record.  This can be the case even if the issue took place years earlier.  Potential long-term implications aside, an accused student and their parents have to consider how more immediate plans can be impacted.  Obtaining an internship, a first offer of employment, or being admitted to graduate school is often highly-competitive.  This reality is not exclusive to the nation's most prestigious schools and employers because almost everything is more competitive today.  As may expected, when a graduate school or employer learns of a student's disciplinary record, especially one involving Title IX findings, it can seriously jeopardize one's chances of acceptance or employment.

Achieving a successful resolution to Title IX charges at any college or university is not easy, but with a definitive understanding of the factors and processes involved, together with an effective strategy, it is very much possible.   An accused student and their parents should be armed with: 1) a strong knowledge of what Title IX is as it relates to campus student disciplinary proceedings; 2) a definitive understanding of what their college or university's specific Title IX policies and procedures are; and 3) in their corner, a highly-experienced and highly-dedicated attorney-advisor who has achieved repeated success in Title IX college and university disciplinary proceedings.

Title IX Attorney Fighting for Clients Nationwide

No student wants to be contacted by their college or university to be informed that they are the subject of a Title IX disciplinary investigation, but when students and parents take the proper steps as early as possible, and approach the matter with an effective strategy, accused students can position themselves to best defend against Title IX charges and to maximize the likelihood of success.

If you or your student is charged with a Title IX Sexual Misconduct offense, contact Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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