Problematic Mistakes Commonly Made in Title IX Investigations

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

When Title IX investigators make a mistake in your case, it can have jarring consequences. Identifying these mistakes to ensure they don't occur in your case is important. Here are some common mistakes investigators make when resolving sexual misconduct matters.

The Improper Assessment of Credibility

The assessment of credibility is a nuanced process that extends past the parameters of mere truths and falsehoods. Investigators establish credibility in sexual misconduct cases by weighing the veracity and accuracy of evidence. Properly establishing credibility consists of several fundamental efforts, including a thorough evaluation of the evidence's content, the sources who have provided it, and its soundness in light of other evidence. When all of these factors are deemed strong, credibility is strong. But being provided with very credible evidence in sexual misconduct cases rarely occurs, as most pieces fall in the middle of the spectrum - ranging from 100% percent credibility and absolutely no credibility at all.

The most damning misconception of the process of assessing credibility is that it's perceived as purely truth-finding. Credibility and sincerity aren't identical notions. Both parties may be completely transparent when describing their account of events, yet provide information that doesn't seem too credible, and vice versa. It is the duty of the investigator to distinguish lies from misinterpretations, verify the impact of inconsistencies, and determine if arguable evidence is sufficient enough to establish a policy violation.

Turning a Blind Eye to Personal Biases

Since we're all human beings, we all have biases. However, investigators must not let these biases influence investigations or resolutions. A good investigator identifies their biases and actively works to prevent them from impacting a finding.

Effectively identifying biases and keeping them in check is only accomplished with the development of cultural competence. When one truly understands that their preferences and beliefs are influenced by their respective culture, upbringing, experiences, and environment, one can acknowledge that their perspective is one of many. This is the most pivotal step in the path to putting yourself in other people's shoes and seeing events from other people's perspectives. The failure to take these necessary steps weakens the integrity of the process and leads to unfair determinations and disproportionate sanctions.

Leaving Room for Ambiguity and Assumptions

An investigation is like a puzzle. When it is strategic and appropriately conducted, each piece connects together, leaving very little room for ambiguity. To only gather some parts of information or evidence - due to neglect, discomfort, or a presumptuous approach - is a disservice to all parties involved.

It's incredibly easy for an investigator to misstep in this process. Some may allow witnesses or parties to provide vague answers to questions, while others may refuse to ask the uncomfortable but necessary questions for clarification. An investigation must entail all puzzle pieces be put together for the most accurate and fair finding possible.

Title IX Attorney Helping Clients Nationwide

If you've been accused of violating Title IX at your school, you need the help of a skilled student defense attorney. Contact national Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 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. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Mr. 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 has 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 school-related issues and concerns anywhere in the United States.


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

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!


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 our offices 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.