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Campus Sexual Misconduct: Important Steps To Take If You're A Respondent

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Students accused of sexual misconduct (respondents) very quickly find out that they get fewer rights at the collegiate level than they would in a courtroom. With their futures at stake, these students will face significant obstacles unless they come up with an effective course of action.

Obtain an Experienced Advisor

Make no mistake about it, this process is more difficult to navigate as a student respondent than your counterpart's for many reasons. One notable challenge is the stigma. Facing allegations of this nature means that you're automatically guilty in the minds of some people. This bias may be prevalent in your case and affect your ability to get a truly equitable process. Another obstacle is a lack of understanding of the process. You've never been in this position before, so naturally, you aren't going to know what to do to increase your chances of success.

This is why you need an attorney with extensive experience and knowledge of the process to serve as your advisor. An attorney who has advised respondents throughout the Title IX process before can help you prepare for an investigation and/or hearing and adequately defend yourself in the process. Getting an attorney to represent you as soon as you become aware of your allegations is important. Too often, students reach out for support after being sanctioned, and there aren't many options to choose from. But in my experience, it is much easier to get a reasonable result during the disciplinary process, rather than after the fact.

Overall, there are many perks to obtaining an attorney-advisor. And with all that is at stake, it's your best course of action.

Know the Ins and Outs of Your College's Policies and Procedures

As of now, there is no standard disciplinary model. The way the process is conducted is widely up to your school's discretion. Immediately after retaining an attorney, you should review your school's policies and procedures, which can be found in a student handbook, code of conduct, and/or a stand-alone Title IX policy. Understanding the basics of the process will make things easier for you, and give you an idea of what to do to prepare.

Document Everything

During an investigation, you and your advisor should be collecting evidence that supports your account of events. You should not rely on the college to do this for you, as the process is heavily student-driven. Beyond your testimony, should be collecting the following: text messages, phone call history, instant messages, social media postings, witnesses, dormitory logs, video recordings, and photographic evidence.

Nationwide Title IX Advisor

The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents, especially, the assistance of an attorney advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at universities and colleges locally and nationwide while concurrently fighting in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, and New Jersey. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand universities and colleges across the United States. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide.

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