CALL US 24/7 AT 203-946-2000

Title IX in New York

Felice and Stephanie standing in a suits

Title IX in New York

With a network of 64 prestigious state colleges and universities and numerous private institutions, the state of New York boasts one of the largest and most impressive student populations in the country. Students in New York—particularly those at the post-secondary level—are known for being top achievers in academics and also in the lead with regard to social and professional trends.

Considering the reputation of the schools, it is not surprising that colleges and universities in New York often take a vigorous approach to investigating and adjudicating Title IX complaints. And considering the reputation of the students, it is equally unsurprising that they often turn to experienced legal professionals to ensure that their rights are properly protected during the process of a Title IX case.

At Duffy Law, our team is based in Connecticut, but we help students, faculty, and staff all over the country enforce the ideals and goals of Title IX while also working to ensure that individual rights are not trampled in the process. We represent complainants and respondents in campus proceedings and lawsuits, so our goal is to help individuals assert their rights when the institutions fail to live up to their obligations.

Understanding Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that has been augmented by numerous regulations and administrative statements over the past 50 years to expand the protections provided to students, faculty and staff at schools that receive federal funding, which covers nearly every college and university in the country. Title IX prohibits institutions from discriminating on the basis of sex, and this has been expanded recently to include gender identity and sexual orientation. The issue of what constitutes discrimination has expanded too. Initially, much of the focus was on providing equal opportunities in academics and sports. Then the focus shifted to preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus.

Schools are required to take numerous steps to educate students, coaches, and other staff about behavior that violates Title IX. In addition, schools are also required to establish procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of Title IX violations. Someone must always be designated on staff to serve as the Title IX Coordinator responsible for implementing Title IX protections. If a student files a complaint, the school must investigate and adjudicate the matter promptly and in accordance with particular rules. The school must also provide support measures for anyone victimized and may not retaliate in any way against someone who has filed a complaint.

School Policies Must Follow Particular Rules

When schools investigate Title IX violations and hold hearings or other proceedings to determine whether someone is responsible for a violation, the Title IX Coordinator on campus and others involved in the proceedings are obligated to follow the campus policies on the subject. Those policies in turn must comply with the federal rules. Obligations can get confusing because the federal standards change according to political agendas. To further complicate matters, federal courts in different states and regions sometimes reach different conclusions about how Title IX requirements should be interpreted or whether certain Title IX provisions are legally enforceable.

The bottom line is that if you are approaching a Title IX case, you need to be intimately familiar with the most recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, which enforces Title IX obligations, as well as federal court interpretations for the jurisdiction at issue. As a law firm focused on Title IX enforcement and student rights, Duffy Law understands the nuances that affect interpretation in different jurisdictions and the most effective approaches to secure the rights of our clients in a wide variety of situations.

Defending Respondents Accused of Title IX Violations

Many of the complaints filed about Title IX violations involve allegations of sexual misconduct such as rape or sexual assault. While these often can also be prosecuted as criminal offenses, a campus Title IX proceeding is quite a bit different. A campus investigation into a Title IX complaint often progresses much faster than a criminal investigation, catching respondents by surprise. Students, faculty, and staff accused of violations are often not aware of the serious nature of the allegations, and they fail to seek legal advice to protect their rights.

The burden of proof is lower in a Title IX proceeding than in a criminal case, so a respondent can be held accountable even if there is reasonable doubt. There is no right to a jury proceeding, and other due process rights expected in criminal law are absent in a campus proceeding. Evidence used in a Title IX adjudication may be shared with law enforcement officials and used to seek a criminal conviction. Even though campus officials cannot impose a jail sentence, the consequences of a Title IX violation on campus can damage the respondent’s reputation and lead to negative effects that last for years.

It is important to treat a Title IX proceeding as a serious legal challenge to your future if you are accused of a Title IX violation. At Duffy Law, we have decades of experience fighting for fair treatment for those accused and defending their rights both on campus and in court when necessary.

Filing Complaints to Enforce Title IX

For far too long, victims of sexual harassment, assault, and other forms of misconduct have been ignored on campuses. Many fear they will not be believed or taken seriously. If you have suffered due to a violation of your Title IX rights, the team at Duffy Law knows how to fight effectively for the justice you deserve. We understand how to take advantage of opportunities on campus and in the courts to ensure your story is treated with respect and that your rights are enforced to the full extent of the law.

Your Future is on the Line in a Title IX Proceeding—Get the Right Protection in New York from Duffy Law

Whether you need to file a complaint about a violation or respond to a complaint filed against you, guidance and advocacy from an experienced Title IX attorney can make a tremendous difference in the process and the outcome. At Duffy Law, we are dedicated to protecting students, faculty, and staff, and we are ready to put our nationwide experience to work to help you achieve justice and protect your future. For a confidential consultation to discuss the ways we can assist, call 203-946-2000 or contact us online today.

How Can We Help?

How Can We Help?