Originally implemented in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education, Title IX is a set of requirements that are enforced at most colleges and universities. The laws were implemented to prevent sexual discrimination in schools. If institutions were to fail to comply with the rules they potentially jeopardize their access to key federal education funding. If a student is said to have acted in a manner that constitutes a violation, such as those involving sexual misconduct, the administration has a duty to investigate. Sanctions may be imposed on violators that include disciplinary probation, suspension or even expulsion. Those facing such accusations should strongly consider consulting with an attorney. The Lento Law Firm is familiar with the campus-based disciplinary process.
Evidence & Hearing
The initial phase involves the administration's inquiry into the complaint. If it is determined that sufficient evidence exists, then a hearing is held where the student is afforded an opportunity to defend against the allegations. These disciplinary hearings do not have most of the legal formalities that are found in criminal or civil actions. In the coming months, the format of these hearings could potentially change to reflect recently proposed federal changes to Title IX.
Burden of Proof
Initially, the Title IX provisions did not specify the burden of proof. Over time, the standard that is used in civil actions was adopted, which requires proving the allegations by a “preponderance of the evidence”. Recently proposed Title IX provisions would allow institutions to use the “clear and convincing evidence” standard. When attending disciplinary hearings, students have a right to be accompanied by an advisor. It is clear that having an attorney fill this role provides the student significant benefits.
Should I Retain an Attorney?
Having attorney representation will lead to some of the following benefits:
- You are likely to be better prepared with an effective defense strategy
- This preparation also should allow you to confidently respond to the questions that will likely be asked at the hearing
- Having effective opening and closing statements
- Better potential access to evidence, with supportive documentation and possible expert input
- To maintain your rights to fairness throughout the process
- Better management of unexpected developments that may occur during the hearing
- You are in a better position if opportunities for cross-examination of accusers and witnesses arise (if applicable)
- Guidance and continual support as you navigate the process
- The attorney may enter negotiations with Title IX coordinators or other campus administrators at any time during the process
- Your attorney will keep abreast on the pending changes to the Title IX provisions
Attorney Role in Appeals Process
Students should avoid taking these matters too lightly. Violations of Title IX can severely impede your long-term educational plans. It is best to retain legal assistance when you are first made aware of the allegations. Having assistance from an attorney will certainly be of tremendous help in showing sufficient cause for the appeals process. Those wishing to appeal a decision should act promptly because educational institutions frequently require notice of intent within a matter of only days or weeks.
Attorney Defends Students in Title IX Disciplinary Matters in Maine
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has a firm understanding of the many aspects of student disciplinary matters. He will review the specific circumstances and evidence that is the basis for the allegations. You deserve representation in Title IX violations that will act according to your best interests. Students in Maine and parents who are in need of these services are encouraged to contact the office for a consultation at (888) 535-3686.
- Bates College
- Bowdoin College
- Central Maine Community College
- Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions
- Colby College
- College of the Atlantic
- Eastern Maine Community College
- Husson University
- Kaplan University Maine Campus
- Kennebec Valley Community College
- Landing School of Boat Building and Design
- Maine College of Art
- Maine Maritime Academy
- New England School of Communications
- Northern Maine Community College
- Saint Joseph's College of Maine
- Southern Maine Community College
- Thomas College
- Unity College
- University of Maine
- University of Maine at Augusta
- University of Maine at Farmington
- University of Maine at Fort Kent
- University of Maine at Machias
- University of Maine at Presque Isle
- University of New England
- University of Southern Maine
- Washington County Community College
- York County Community 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 disciplinary cases in Maine and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.