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College Student Bias-Motivated Conduct Defense Attorney

  • Case Results
  • Testimonials
  • List of Schools
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Case Results

Here are some representative results we’ve achieved for our clients.

Female complainant’s rights, health, and safety protected throughout lengthy proceedings

Our client was sexually assaulted by a male student acquaintance. We became involved to support our client in getting proper medical treatment, preserving and collecting evidence and witness testimony, and securing therapeutic support. We helped her understand and navigate the many complex options available to her, including a criminal complaint, an informal complaint process, a formal complaint process, or doing nothing. We guided her through the informal process and then the formal process, including interviews with various school and law enforcement officials, and worked closely with the school to put in place appropriate accommodations ensuring that all interviews and hearings did not retraumatize her. The male student was found responsible and was expelled.

Large private university

Witness to sexual violence protected from intimidation

We represented a female witness to a dating violence case on campus who was being pressured to speak with the police and the school investigators about a violent matter she had witnessed on her dorm floor. We immediately communicated on her behalf to the local police, school administrators, and the Title IX investigators to protect her right to choose to not testify and ensure her safety on campus. She was very relieved not to be pressured by the school, the title IX office or the police to attend the hearing and testify about fellow students.

Small private college

Investigation of sexual assault complaint concludes with no charges filed

Our client contacted us immediately upon receiving notice by his school that a claim of sexual assault was made against him by a female student. We assisted him in preparing his detailed answer to the complaint, and then prepared him and accompanied him to his interview with the campus safety police officers. We worked with the school Title IX administrators and helped our client find evidence to show inconsistencies with the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint when presented with these inconsistencies and then recanted. The investigation ended and our client was not charged with anything.

Midsized private college

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Client Testimonials

I was introduced to Attorney Duffy by my criminal defense attorney because I was fighting both a criminal charge and a conduct code violations charge. Felice's office responded right away and she and I met by Zoom video. She and her team were respectful, professional and super knowledgeable. They made everything clear and easily understandable. They knew exactly what questions to ask the school officials to get them to focus on the facts that supported my case. I was incredibly well prepared. I knew what I was going to say before I went in to my interviews and how to react to the many questions that would have tripped me up. I got probation, which was definitely the best possible outcome and I couldn’t have gotten that without Attorney Duffy’s help.

College Junior

“When your kid is accused of a serious conduct code violation at his college, you quickly learn that there’s a whole different set of rules in place than in the real world. There are no legal standards, no assurances of a “fair trial.” You're presumed guilty and you have to backtrack and prove why you’re NOT guilty. We pretty quickly realized that we needed strong legal representation and guidance. Our son was completely falsely accused and we were ready to dig in to clear his name.

Felice's truly unique background and deep experience with navigating the school’s process was amazing. She made it clear that our son was the client, not us (his parents). She worked with him extensively and earned his total trust. He felt empowered that he had the right person in his corner to defend him. Felice gave our whole family a sense a calm and confidence.

Thanks to incredibly hard work by Felice and her team, our son was found “not responsible” (meaning innocent of any wrongdoing). The outcome was everything we could have hoped for.

I have already recommended Felice to a friend who’s son was caught up in a serious, very complicated conduct code charge, and I will continue to recommend her to any student or parent without reservation.”

Parent of a private college senior

“I selected the firm after doing extensive research trying to locate an attorney that specializes in sexual assault cases on university campuses. Late one night I emailed her for a consult just to see what she had to say. By 6:30am the next morning she had already emailed me back leaving her information for me to call her. I was impressed by her promptness and early morning response. Our criminal attorney informed our family that this simply wasn’t his specialty and strongly recommended we hire someone who really understood how university disciplinary systems work.

In our culture, we are not often trusting and it took a huge step of faith to consider someone we didn’t know (much less one from out of state) to defend our son.

Based on her collegiate athletic background I felt that she would have a better understanding of our case as our son is a D1 athlete. Based on that and her professional accomplishments I felt like she was driven and determined and she clearly had the ability to understand the laws associated with Title IX.

Bottom line is that our son was found 100% not responsible (meaning not guilty) of the extremely serious charges that were brought against him by a female student.

Felice Duffy and her team were professional, focused, responsive and did a great job throughout the entire stressful ordeal. When we think about how badly and unfairly our son might have been treated by the school, we truly count our blessings that we found Ms. Duffy.”

Parent of a College Sophomore, Ohio

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Colleges We Serve

Here are just some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:

  • Amherst College
  • Arkansas State University
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Charter Oak State College
  • Colgate University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Columbia University
  • Connecticut College
  • Dartmouth College
  • Fairfield University
  • Flagler College
  • Florida State University
  • Guilford College
  • Howard University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University
  • Lesley University
  • Marist College
  • Marquette University
  • Miami University
  • Mississippi University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Plymouth State University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Sacred Heart University
  • South Carolina State University
  • St. John's University
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Syracuse University
  • Tallahassee Comm. College
  • Touro University
  • Trinity College
  • Tufts University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Mass. Med. School
  • University of Miami
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • University of Texas
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Utah University School of Medicine
  • Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Washington University at St. Louis
  • Wesleyan University
  • Westfield State University
  • Wheaton College
  • Yale University

Protecting the rights of college students accused of violating their school’s code of conduct

Each college and university has an extensive code of conduct setting out unacceptable acts by students attending the school. Because higher-learning institutions often place significant emphasis on acceptance and diversity, schools often have particularly strict rules against acts that may be considered to be bias-motivated conduct and set out harsh penalties for violators. Allegations of bias-motivated conduct may be based on unfounded suspicion and may arise from an incident that involved a simple assault or other offense. For this reason, you can face substantially inflated consequences for certain actions if your school believes it was a crime.

If you have been accused of bias-motivated conduct by your college or university, it is imperative to seek representation by an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call 203-946-2000 for a consultation with attorney Felice Duffy at Duffy Law, LLC today.

What constitutes bias-motivated conduct?

Bias-motivated conduct occurs when an offense is motivated by prejudice or bias against an individual or group due to protected factors such as race, religion, or sexual orientation. Bias-motivated conduct is further intended to cause fear, terror, or psychological or emotional harm to the targeted victim. Examples of acts on college campuses that may be considered to be bias-motivated conduct include:

  • A physical assault accompanied by derogatory comments or slurs.
  • Graffiti or other types of vandalism directed toward certain individuals with derogatory words or symbols (e.g. spray painting a swastika on the housing of a Jewish individual).
  • Burning a cross on the lawn of a largely minority fraternity.

These are only a few examples as a wide array of unlawful acts may be considered to be bias-motivated conduct if biased motivation is inferred. To show biased or prejudiced motivations, however, an investigator must prove what you were thinking at the time of the act. Often, even if you did not say or display anything specifically prejudicial or offensive, a school administration may allege bias-motivated conduct based on circumstantial evidence.

Potential penalties for bias-motivated conduct violation

If a school administration determines that you were responsible for bias-motivated conduct in violation of the code of conduct, a lengthy suspension or expulsion will be the likely consequence. Colleges and universities have very low tolerance for bias-motivated conduct and often will discipline you to the fullest extent possible. In addition, if the alleged bias-motivated conduct in question also qualifies as a criminal offense, your school may report the incident to law enforcement and you may face charges in state court. These charges have severe penalties including probation or jail time, as well as a conviction on your permanent record.

Contact an experienced college student bias-motivated conduct defense lawyer for help today

Accusations of bias-motivated conduct by your college or university should never be taken lightly. Consequently, your first call should be to Duffy Law, LLC to consult with an experienced college student defense attorney regarding your case. Felice Duffy has worked as both a federal prosecutor and a Division I head coach and has a unique knowledge of both criminal defense and collegiate procedures. Please call at 203-946-2000 for a confidential consultation with Attorney Duffy today.

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Duffy Law’s full staff is working remotely and we’re fully operational during this health crisis. Colleges are still moving forward with their Title IX and disciplinary actions, and many state and federal criminal proceedings are ongoing. We’re here for you 24/7.

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