What are the evidentiary standards in a college sexual misconduct case?

The evidentiary standard that would apply in your school's sexual misconduct case will depend on the college or university in question. This would be for cases that are being adjudicated under the school's sexual misconduct policy, rather than as Title IX policy, although there may be similarities. Schools would be at their discretion with their sexual misconduct policies to decide what evidentiary standard they would like to use or what they believe to be most appropriate. They could use the preponderance of the evidence standard, which is also equated to, say, 50% plus a feather in terms of finding a person responsible or not, or the clear and convincing standard.

This is similar to the Title IX Final Rule, which went into effect on August 14, 2020, where schools would have the discretion to also use the clear and convincing standard versus a preponderance of the evidence standard, but in most cases, time will tell, but in most cases, the expectation is that most schools will continue to use the preponderance of the evidence standard. An experienced attorney advisor can help you best understand your school's process and how to navigate such a process and, most importantly, how to protect your rights throughout the process.

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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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