The story of Title IX in higher education is long and filled with twists and turns. Since sexual misconduct has been deemed a form of gender discrimination, it has been the responsibility of schools to enforce Title IX via the adjudication of sexual harassment and assault complaints. But whether or not these procedures have been equitable and effective is a contentious issue.
Both sides - the accused and accusers - have expressed concerns about unfairness within the process. Accusers often voice that their school has done very little to make them feel safe, while the accused often claim that procedures are one-sided. These claims must hold some validity, as judges have affirmed through numerous settlements that many colleges and universities have dropped the ball.
But if you're a respondent, the consequences of a flawed process are more tangible. A determination and/or sanction that doesn't come at the result of true justice is inequitable. And the consequences that follow an incorrect or unfair sentence usually entail either a suspension, mark on your record, expulsion, and not to mention the label as a rapist or sexual offender.
The consequences alone should be reason enough for you to involve a legal professional in your case. But if you need a little more convincing, here are a few more reasons:
You aren't familiar with the process
Experience is a quality that is valued in virtually all types of cases. But it becomes especially useful in school proceedings. Hearings conducted by schools to mitigate these complaints are unique in their own right, especially from the processes regulated in the criminal justice system. In order for an attorney to lend effective advice to students, he or she must be familiar with the school's processes. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped many other student respondents in schools all throughout Pennsylvania achieve a fair process and adequately prepare for the future.
You need an advocate
Although schools give students the option to choose anyone they would like as their advisor, it is in a respondent's best interest to choose an attorney to occupy this role. A legal professional has no incentive to turn on you, and they'll be assertive in protecting your rights. School administrators, staff, and coordinators will want to get this case squared away as quickly as possible. In the absence of assertiveness, you'll lose the footing that you'll need to ensure your voice is heard throughout the process.
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.