Colleges or university students accused of actions such as sexual misconduct are subject to Title IX disciplinary actions. Campus administrators are responsible for investigating potential violations. The disciplinary process involves a hearing where parties may issue statements and the accused has an opportunity to answer the allegations. Many of those accused find that university officials move hastily with minimal regard for their rights of due process. These actions may have lasting consequences; therefore, students are encouraged to speak with a lawyer. Attorney Joseph D. Lento aggressively defends students in these matters and is available for a consultation.
What is Title IX?
Schools such as colleges and universities must remain in compliance with federal Title IX provisions or jeopardize losing critical federal aid. These rules require that the campus administration investigate alleged instances of sexual harassment, assault or other forms of misconduct. If the investigative efforts show that the violations may have occurred, the institution will follow their established disciplinary procedures. Federal oversight of Title IX is conducted by the Office for Civil Rights--a part of the U.S. Department of Education.
What Should an Accused Student Expect in Disciplinary Proceedings?
Institutions are given some flexibility in how they structure their process for Title IX investigations. There are some guidelines that must be satisfied as follows:
- The procedures should be documented and available to all students
- Must apply to allegations of sexually-based misconduct against students, staff, and others on the campus
- Complaints must be handled in a fair and impartial manner that is “equitable”
- Parties may submit evidence and witness testimony
- The process must be conducted in a “reasonably prompt time frame”
- All parties must be formally notified of rulings concurrently
Potential Penalties or Sanctions
Sanctions and penalties are designed to effectively enforce and deter misconduct. All potential sanctions that a school may impose are documented in their annual safety report. Common sanctions include imposing a disciplinary probation period, a suspension, or dismissal from the university. Appealing an adverse outcome may be an option, but a student and his or her family must take the necessary steps as early as possible in the process to achieve the best possible outcome so that an appeal is not necessary.
Having Legal Representation
Students who are facing allegations of violating Title IX should consult with an attorney that is familiar with this area of practice. This is important because preparation is critical. Your attorney will assess the individual circumstances and devise a comprehensive strategy. This may include gathering evidence that supports your defense such as from witnesses or compiling expert testimony. This preparation will largely focus on drafting impactful statements and responses to the questions that are likely to be asked at the hearing.
Role of Attorney at Hearing
Your attorney will make certain you are organized and comfortable when delivering your opening and closing statements. It is important that your case is presented in a manner that demonstrates confidence and conviction. Depending on the format, hearings may allow for cross-examination. Your attorney will strive to ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the proceedings and able to respond well when unforeseen developments occur.
Arkansas Attorney for Student Title IX Defense
Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm has the experience needed to navigate the Title IX campus disciplinary process in Arkansas. You deserve to have your rights and your future protected. For a case evaluation, contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.
Arkansas colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during hearings, in addition to investigations and appeals, include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Arkansas Baptist College
- Arkansas Northeastern College
- Arkansas State University Beebe
- Arkansas State University Main Campus
- Arkansas State University Mountain Home
- Arkansas State University Newport
- Arkansas Tech University
- Black River Technical College
- Bryan University
- Central Baptist College
- College of the Ouachitas
- Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
- Crowley's Ridge College
- East Arkansas Community College
- Ecclesia College
- Harding University
- Henderson State University
- Hendrix College
- ITT Technical Institute Little Rock
- John Brown University
- Lyon College
- Mid South Community College
- National Park Community College
- North Arkansas College
- NorthWest Arkansas Community College
- Ouachita Baptist University
- Ozarka College
- Philander Smith College
- Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
- Pulaski Technical College
- Remington College Little Rock Campus
- Rich Mountain Community College
- South Arkansas Community College
- Southeast Arkansas College
- Southern Arkansas University Main Campus
- Southern Arkansas University Tech
- University of Arkansas
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- University of Arkansas at Monticello
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- University of Arkansas Community College Batesville
- University of Arkansas Community College Hope
- University of Arkansas Community College Morrilton
- University of Arkansas Fort Smith
- University of Central Arkansas
- University of Phoenix Little Rock Campus
- University of Phoenix Northwest Arkansas Campus
- University of the Ozarks
- Williams Baptist College
Winning a Title IX hearing can mean the difference between achieving one's academic and professional goals or having these goals upended. When accused of sexual misconduct, it is critical to not take the matter lightly and to instead vigorously defend against the allegations. Title IX cases can be won, and Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at colleges and universities throughout the nation and winning. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead, prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing Title IX disciplinary cases in Arkansas and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.