Why a Local Criminal Attorney Won’t Do for College Title IX Defense

Qualified Attorney Representation Matters

Hire a Title IX Academic Administrative Attorney. College or university Title IX charges are a serious matter. Charges of Title IX sexual misconduct threaten everything a college or university student has to gain. Title IX charges may involve no more than false or exaggerated allegations of sexual jokes, comments, innuendo, or spurned sexual advances. Yet even false or exaggerated Title IX charges involving alleged sexual harassment can carry an unfortunate implication of criminal sexual misconduct. After all, federal Title IX also addresses and prohibits outright rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, frightening crimes that involve public safety and security. That's why Title IX charges can quickly derail an education while ruining a reputation and potential career, unless the accused student deals with the charges promptly, properly, and effectively. Thus, an accused student's instinct to hire the best available Title IX academic administrative defense attorney is a great strategy. Indeed, the student accused of Title IX misconduct can do no better than to promptly retain premier national Title IX academic administrative defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and his expert team at the Lento Law Firm. Yes, hire a highly qualified and skilled Title IX academic administrative defense attorney.

Don't Hire a Local Criminal Attorney. But too often, college and university students accused of Title IX sexual misconduct make the mistake of instead retaining a local criminal attorney. Call it a proximity bias. Every college town of any size has criminal defense attorneys to handle the routine minor-in-possession, disorderly conduct, and drunk driving charges characteristic of rowdy college life. A student suddenly facing school Title IX charges is likely to have college friends and acquaintances who know of a local criminal attorney or likely to see those local criminal attorneys' advertisements. Local criminal attorneys are fine for the routine court criminal cases in which they typically appear. You need a court attorney for a court case. You need a criminal attorney for criminal charges. Local criminal attorneys know their way around the local courthouse. But local criminal attorneys don't ordinarily have substantial experience with Title IX academic administrative cases. You wouldn't hire a plumber to fix your roof. You wouldn't go to a foot to treat your heart disease. Don't retain a local criminal attorney to defend your Title IX academic administrative charges.

Discipline Expertise Matters

Retain a Discipline Expert for an Expert's Job. Law is a vast field composed of dozens of discrete disciplines and boutique practices. You retain an antitrust lawyer for an antitrust case, a copyright lawyer for a copyright case, a corporate lawyer for a corporate case, a bond lawyer for a bond case, and so on across dozens of similar examples. You wouldn't retain a trademark lawyer to defend a drunk driving charge, a municipal lawyer for a real estate case, an estates lawyer for a personal injury case, and so on across dozens of similar examples. The same is true for Title IX academic administrative charges. Most attorneys in other fields and disciplines would have little idea of what a Title IX academic administrative charge even is, no less have the specific knowledge, skills, experience, and competence to effectively defend and defeat a contested Title IX charge. Discipline expertise matters. Retain national Title IX academic administrative defense attorney Joseph Lento to help you successfully defend and defeat your Title IX academic administrative charge.

Don't Retain a Generalist to Do an Expert's Job. Despite that law has so many discrete disciplines and boutique practices, some lawyers don't specialize. You could probably find a general practitioner lawyer to take on your Title IX academic administrative case. Some general practitioner lawyers will try anything once or twice, no matter their prospects for competent representation and client success. Yet lawyers with a general practice tend to handle a larger volume of lower-value matters, having less risk and complexity. No one can be an expert in everything, although too many try. If a lawyer is not going to be an expert in a certain field or a small mix of related fields, then the lawyer had better not be handling higher-value matters carrying greater client risks, where mistakes carry greater costs and liabilities. And that's another problem with retaining a general practice lawyer, including a local criminal attorney who handles a wide variety of small criminal and other matters, for Title IX academic administrative defense. Studies show that college graduates make an average of $500,000 to $1,000,000 more over the course of a career than high school graduates make, depending on whether they stop at an undergraduate degree or earn a graduate degree. Those figures are enormous relative to the value of matters that local criminal attorneys and other general practitioner lawyers usually handle. Retain national Title IX academic administrative defense attorney Joseph Lento to defend Title IX charges, not a local criminal attorney, or general practitioner used to handling lower-value matters.

Forum Expertise Matters

Retain an Administrative Attorney. Different kinds of attorneys practice in different forums. Colleges and universities address and resolve Title IX charges not in court but in administrative proceedings. An administrative proceeding is one in which the administrative agency or unit, in this case, the college or university, conducts and resolves the proceeding, rather than resorting to an outside agency such as a court. Administrative rules and regulations govern administrative proceedings. Administrative proceedings don't necessarily follow the rules of evidence and rules of civil or criminal procedure in which most attorneys have substantial education, and many attorneys have at least some experience. Administrative proceedings have their own rules, published in the case of colleges and universities within their own policies. Put another way, colleges and universities pretty much make their own rules and procedures, except where federal or state law requires certain protections. Administrative proceedings can also follow unwritten rules, customs, and conventions that only experienced administrative attorneys learn, know, and deploy for the benefit of their clients. If you face a Title IX academic administrative proceeding, retain national Title IX academic administrative attorney Joseph Lento for the administrative forum expertise your matter requires.

Don't Retain a Criminal Court Attorney. Local criminal attorneys practice law and represent their clients in court proceedings. Criminal cases are court cases. Criminal court cases have trained and skilled judges to govern their proceedings. In contrast, Title IX administrative proceedings have Title IX coordinators or other school officials to govern their proceedings. Those school officials are usually not lawyers, don't generally have court experience, and may not even have significant dispute-resolution training. Local criminal attorneys shape their advocacy to deal with trained and skilled judges in criminal cases. Effective Title IX academic administrative defense attorneys shape their advocacy to deal with untrained school officials having no court experience and little if any dispute-resolution training. Criminal courts follow formal rules of criminal procedure designed to satisfy constitutional protections. Title IX academic administrative proceedings follow informal rules designed to satisfy Title IX regulations and school commitments for a safe learning environment. Local criminal attorneys generally have abundant skill and experience in criminal court matters, not in Title IX academic administrative proceedings. Don't retain a local criminal attorney to defend your Title IX academic administrative matter.

Academic Expertise Matters

Retain an Academic Attorney. Title IX charges occur within the college or university academic environment. Academic environments have different cultures, commitments, and values, just as academic institutions have different missions and goals. Businesses, professions, nonprofit and government agencies, and other organizations and fields have their own culture, norms, commitments, practices, and values. None of them are like the academic environment. Title IX charges get addressed, negotiated, heard, decided, and resolved in collegial environments having the charitable and public goals of student growth and development, public research, social improvement, and economic development. The language, interests, and expectations for dispute resolution are all different in the academic environment, from the language, interests, and expectations for dispute resolution in business, the professions, and other industries and fields. To defend and favorably resolve Title IX charges, you need an academic administrative defense attorney who can speak the academic language, discern the academic interests, and meet the academic expectations. Retain national Title IX academic administrative defense attorney Joseph Lento for the academic reputation, relationships, knowledge, and skills necessary for your effective and successful defense.

Don't Retain a Criminal Attorney. Local criminal attorneys and the prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and judges with whom they deal have their own culture, language, expectations, values, and commitments. Criminal law, with all its violence, danger, threat, injury, death, and damage, shapes those characteristics into forms starkly different from academic norms. Criminal attorneys are properly zealous advocates, even notorious advocates in the view of some. Their role is to demand that the prosecution live up to its public charge to prove every crime element beyond a reasonable doubt. A criminal defense attorney's objective is thus to inject doubt into any possible element of the prosecution's evidence, elements, charges, and case. That function, laudable in the criminal defense arena, generally has no place in the collegial academic administrative environment characteristic of Title IX proceedings. A local criminal attorney is typically a proverbial duck out of water in a Title IX proceeding. Don't hire a duck for an academic attorney's job.

The Applicable Law Matters

Retain a Federal Administrative Lawyer. Title IX charges rely on federal law. To defend Title IX charges, you need an academic administrative attorney who knows federal Title IX law. Title IX is part of the federal Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC §1681 et seq. Federal rules and regulations codified at 34 CFR Part 106 implement Title IX law. Important U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate and district court precedent interprets and applies Title IX law. Taken all together, those federal law provisions and interpretations, and their extensive history of amendment, modification, and reversal, comprise a vast and highly sophisticated body of law, far more extensive and sophisticated than that body of state law with which local criminal attorneys typically deal. National Title IX academic administrative attorney Joseph Lento knows Title IX law like the back of his hand. He and his expert team at the Lento Law Firm also know how Title IX law works to help accused students defend and defeat false, exaggerated, unfair, and unsupported Title IX charges. Retain attorney Lento for an aggressive and effective defense of your Title IX charges.

Don't Retain a State Criminal Lawyer. Local criminal attorneys defend criminal charges that local prosecutors bring under state and local municipal law. State and local law, not federal law, define typical college-town crimes like minor in possession of alcohol, drunk driving, and disorderly conduct. Local criminal attorneys may know those state and local criminal laws like the back of their hand, just as attorney Lento knows federal Title IX law. But local criminal attorneys would not generally have exposure to significant federal administrative law, especially complex federal administrative law, rule, and regulation like Title IX law. Indeed, criminal attorneys generally practice in state criminal court, not federal forums. A small percentage of criminal attorneys accept cases in federal court, brought under federal criminal laws. And those federal criminal cases have their own body of law, rule, and procedure, entirely unlike federal Title IX administrative law. Don't retain an unqualified local criminal attorney to defend college or university Title IX academic administrative charges.

Knowledge of Current Law Trends Matters

Retain an Academic Administrative Attorney Current on Title IX Law. In recent years, Title IX law, rule, and regulation have changed like the swings of a pendulum. With each four or eight-year change in the political party of the administration has come a sea change in the interpretation and application of Title IX law. Those rule swings were especially large from the Bush to the Obama Administrations, reflected in the Obama Administration's 2011 Dear Colleague letter, and from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration, reflected in the newest round of Title IX regulatory changes. The Biden Administration has promised another swing of the Title IX pendulum. To mount an effective Title IX defense, your retained academic administrative attorney must know the latest Title IX interpretations. The current right of the accused to have an attorney cross-examine adverse witnesses is just one of several other key examples. National Title IX academic administrative defense attorney Joseph Lento knows the latest Title IX regulations and how changes or anticipated changes are affecting Title IX charges, procedures, and defenses. Retain a qualified academic administrative attorney who knows current Title IX law and trends.

Don't Retain a Local Criminal Attorney Not Current on Applicable Law. A local criminal attorney will generally have enough on the attorney's plate not to take an interest in the many changes and trends in Title IX law. A local criminal attorney will instead generally know the latest changes, trends, and interpretations in state and local criminal law. Law changes tend to happen around hot issues that have an impact on current cases. Current issues and cases cause legislatures and administrations to make law changes. That dynamic is what makes currency in the attorney's field so important to the attorney's competent practice. Don't retain a local criminal attorney to defend Title IX charges when the attorney knows little or nothing of the changes and trends in Title IX law. You need qualified and current defense, not outdated and ill-informed defense, given the seriousness of Title IX charges.

Interests, Impacts, and Outcomes Matter

Retain an Academic Attorney Who Knows Title IX Charge Impacts. Students facing Title IX charges have very significant interests at stake. Title IX charges are not criminal charges. They cannot in themselves result in conviction and incarceration. Title IX charges rarely even trigger related criminal charges. The student facing Title IX charges shouldn't be concerned primarily with the risk of conviction and incarceration because those risks do not exist within the Title IX proceeding and are remote outside of the Title IX proceeding. Instead, the student facing Title IX charges must be concerned with the risk of school reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion, or other sanction that prevents the student from graduating with a clean and impressive record. The student's interest is in completing the degree and gaining the job and career that degrees ordinarily warrant. Those are enormous interests with lifelong value. The Title IX academic administrative defense attorney knows those interests and knows how to negotiate or win outcomes that preserve and promote those interests. Retain national Title IX academic administrative defense attorney Joseph Lento who knows the interest you have at stake in your Title IX proceeding.

Don't Retain a Criminal Attorney Who Fails to Appreciate What's at Stake. Local criminal attorneys tend to know how to keep college and university students out of jail. That's their role in defense of criminal charges. A local criminal attorney won't generally have the knowledge, skill, and experience to know what's at stake in a Title IX proceeding or how to protect the student's very different interests. Jail isn't the Title IX risk. Loss of education and reputation with any significant sanction is instead the Title IX risk. A skilled and experienced Title IX academic administrative defense attorney will have a range of creative options and effective strategies to negotiate or win administrative relief that keeps