Vermont Title IX Advisor

If your high school or college has accused you of a Title IX violation, it's important you know: the law entitles you to select an advisor to help you prepare your case. Not only that, but that advisor can be an attorney.

That's good news. Title IX is a federal law. It's complicated and can be difficult to navigate. If your school should find you responsible, you could be expelled or, at the very least, suspended. You need the very best help you can find.

In fact, you don't just need an attorney. You need a Title IX attorney. Title IX attorneys focus on this single law. They're dedicated to helping students fight for justice and experienced at getting results.

Title IX Procedures

First things first: what can you expect from your Title IX investigation? Here's just a brief outline of what the law says.

  • Your school has a Title IX Coordinator. Only a complainant (alleged victim) or this Coordinator can instigate an official investigation.
  • If your school does open a case against you, the Coordinator must provide you with written notice of the charges. This notice should include the name of your accuser as well as the important details about the allegation.
  • You have some important rights. In addition to the right to notice, you also have the right to an advisor, the right to be presumed “not responsible” (innocent), and the right to review all evidence against you.
  • The Coordinator will appoint an Investigator to pursue the case. This person will meet separately with both you and the complainant. They will also collect physical evidence and interview witnesses.
  • Once they've completed the investigation, the Investigator will write a written summary of their findings. Both you and the complainant have the right to review this document and suggest revisions. It is then forwarded to the Coordinator.
  • If you are a college student, you are entitled to a live hearing. High schools sometimes hold hearings as well. However, Title IX does not require them to do so.
  • The Coordinator will set a time and date for the hearing. They will also select one or more decision-makers to oversee the proceedings. Typically, decision-makers are drawn from a pool of trained faculty, staff, and students.
  • At the hearing itself, you'll have the chance to present a full defense. You can introduce evidence and call witnesses to testify on your behalf. You may also cross-examine the complainant and any other witnesses against you. The complaint will have the same opportunity to present their case.
  • Once the hearing has concluded, the decision-maker(s) will deliberate and determine whether you are “responsible” or “not responsible.” In doing this, they will likely use a legal standard known as “preponderance of evidence.” According to this standard, they must find you responsible if they are over fifty percent certain you committed an offense.
  • If you should lose your case, you have the right to appeal. However, there will be a time limit on filing this appeal, and you can only appeal for certain very specific reasons, such as the discovery of new evidence or an allegation of procedural misconduct. Keep in mind: the complainant can appeal if you are found “not responsible.”

If you've read through these guidelines carefully, you'll understand why you need an attorney to serve as your advisor. Many aspects of the law are extremely nuanced. For instance, Title IX gives you several important rights, but often you need to know what they are before you can know how to use them to your advantage.

Choosing an Advisor

You know you need an attorney to handle your case. You may be tempted to hire a family or local attorney, someone in your neighborhood, someone who knows you. In fact, a local attorney may even tell you they're the best person to defend you because they know the prosecutors and judges in your community.

Here's the problem with that logic:

  • Local attorneys are experts at state and local laws. Title IX, however, is a federal law. Only someone who has dedicated their career to that law will truly know how to handle your case.
  • Title IX isn't just any federal law. It has a unique history, and it's the subject of frequent political debate. A local attorney won't be up-to-date on recent changes to the law.
  • Your case won't be tried in a court of law. It will take place entirely on campus. You won't be dealing with the police; you'll be dealing with a Title IX Investigator. You won't face prosecutors and judges; you'll face faculty, administrators, and other students. No matter how well a local attorney may know your state and local judicial system, they won't have the experience to take on-campus justice.

Local attorneys do have the advantage of being local. Keep in mind, though: your advisor doesn't need to be from Vermont. Anyone can handle your case. You should look to hire the most qualified attorney you can, not the one with the closest address.

How do you find out whether or not an attorney is qualified to deal with your Title IX case? Start by looking for attorneys who advertise themselves specifically as Title IX attorneys. Then, ask them three important questions:

  • How many Title IX cases have they dealt with?
  • What is their success rate with Title IX cases?
  • What specific strategies would they use to handle your case?

The right attorney will have the right answers to these questions.

Joseph D. Lento Can Help With Your Title IX Case

Joseph D. Lento built his career defending students just like you from Title IX accusations. He knows the law; he knows how schools operate. Whether you're facing a simple charge of verbal harassment or a complex rape allegation, Joseph D. Lento will fight to make sure you're treated fairly, that you get every right you deserve, and that you get the very best possible resolution to your case.

If you or your child have been accused of Title IX sexual misconduct in Vermont, contact the Lento Law Firm's Vermont today and find out how we can help. Call 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.

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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.

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