Blog

New Standard of Proof Options for Colleges: What That Means for Students

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

With Obama-era Title IX guidance in the distant past, new Education Secretary Betsy Devos has implemented fresh guidelines that allow schools a newfound level of flexibility when it comes to the enforcement of Title IX. The renewed guidance is presented in the form of a question-and-answer document, giving federally funded schools substantial options as to how to address cases of sexual misconduct on campus.

Under the relatively new administration, the “Dear Colleague” letter - which put pressure on schools to respond promptly and appropriately to complaints - has also been rescinded. Devos also rid time restrictions placed upon schools to mitigate and resolve cases. Institutions formerly had a 60-day timeframe to resolve sexual misconduct complaints to fulfill the “prompt and appropriate” response expectation. Now, there is no deadline under which a school must complete a Title IX investigation.

One of the more controversial features of the interim guide is the option to choose between two standards of evidence when determining guilt: the “preponderance of evidence” standard and the “clear and convincing” standard. An apparent massive shift from the 2011 Dear Colleague letter that identified the preponderance of evidence as the current standard of proof in sexual misconduct cases.

The implications of either making the choice to keep proof policies intact in the midst of new rules, or to modify policies have put immense pressure on schools. Institutions that choose to adopt the clear and convincing standard of proof are opting to require a more rigorous standard than the preponderance of evidence. (Both of these standards are lower than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is used in criminal cases).

For due process advocates, the option to implement a higher standard of proof is a victory. They have continually asserted that that the preponderance standard is too low for the complex and circumstantial nature of sexual misconduct cases. Traditionalists, on the other hand, claim that the the standard is appropriate for school cases that may or may not constitute a crime. They also say that it will be confusing, given that it offers students different protections at different schools.

Due to these changes, you, as a student should be aware of how they affect will affect you. Knowing your school's policies will let you know what to expect, and give you leverage in a case. Check your school's handbook to gain an understanding of how your school resolves these cases, and to confirm which evidence standard is adopted in your institution's processes.

Student Defense Attorney Helping Clients Nationwide

Sexual misconduct allegations are a big deal, and should be treated as such. If you value the investment you've made into your young adult's education, retaining a student defense attorney is a must.

Joseph D. Lento has dedicated entire his career to helping students in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and nationwide who have been in this predicament prevail in hearings and overcome their charges. He can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. 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, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

footer-2.jpg

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu