TITLE IX CHANGES: WHAT COMPLAINANTS NEED TO KNOWCONTACT US NOW FOR A CONSULTATION
Experienced Connecticut-based Title IX Attorneys: Protecting the Rights of Sexual Assault Survivors
- Case Results
- List of Schools
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 collegeSee More Case Results
"I am writing to let any college student who gets accused of something serious by their school know that they need a lawyer like Felice Duffy to defend them. I was accused of something terrible by a student that I would never do and didn’t do. Even though I knew exactly what actually happened, I was very scared that my university might not find me innocent. It was terrifying to think that I might lose my full basketball scholarship or could have been suspended or expelled and that me and my family’s name could have gotten a horrible reputation. I can’t even put into words how I excited I was when I got the letter from the school that cleared me completely of the charges against me and I have Felice to thank for that 100%. Since I’m not in Connecticut, Felice and her investigator used video conferencing to interview me and my witnesses, talk with my parents, and get me fully prepared for every meeting I had with my school. They got all my texts and email that proved my innocence and organized them perfectly for the Dean and the discipline committee. Felice was always very direct and respectful even though the subject matter was very personal, and she was always ahead of the school in terms of getting me and them important information at every step. It was like having the best scouting report ever." Felice obviously knows her stuff but she also deeply cares. You can tell that she loves the work she’s doing to help college kids in really difficult situations.
College Sophomre, Colorado
“The claims leveled against me were terrible, but the wonderful news is that I was fully cleared of all the allegations because of the outstanding work Christine Brown and the team at Duffy Law did on my behalf. The first thing that really impressed me was that from the very first call Christine quickly understood what was going on and was able to read between the lines to understand the complicated dynamics of the situation. Despite my entire career being spent in academia, I didn't know much about Title IX procedures. Her expertise and knowledge of the process was immediately apparent and critically helpful in guiding me and giving me as much peace of mind as possible.. Christine knew how to spot the important subtext throughout the process and made sure I understood the strategic options I had at every stage going forward. I felt very confident in the decisions we made together. I felt vindicated by the decision and that this situation will have no further effects on my career. I am very grateful to Christine and Duffy Law for guiding me through this stressful process and recommend them without reservation to any faculty member facing a similarly challenging situation. ”
Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at a midwest university
“I hired Felice Duffy in the middle of a Title IX sexual assault proceeding. While I had initially retained another attorney on a recommendation, it turns out they did not have much insight to the inner workings of university policy, which I learned is NOT required to follow the basic laws of due process. Felice was absolutely incredible, and as an athlete, she understood my thought process and feelings the entire way. This is what stood out the most to me. At the beginning of my school’s adjudication process, I was an absolute mess. Not only is Felice extremely knowledgeable in law and how school adjudication processes work, but she also really does care about her clients and their well-being. It was initially extremely tough for me to speak about what I was facing. Felice was able to assist me not only in compiling the proper evidence and responding to the school, but also put me in the right state of mind to defend myself and move on with my life after it was all completed. Prior to hiring Duffy Law, I was concerned that I would be relegated to working with a legal assistant or secretary being that my case was in a college setting as opposed to a state court. However, Felice always found a way to make time and was there every step of the way. I feel like an important part of hiring an attorney is being able to trust them to fight for you no matter what the scenario may be and you can rest assured you will be getting that with Duffy Law. I would recommend Felice Duffy of Duffy Law 10 times out of 10 to anyone that may be put in a tough situation like I was”
Female College Freshman, MassachusettsSee More Client Testimonials
Schools Where We've Handled Cases
Here are just some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:
- Amherst College
- Arkansas State University
- Belmont Abbey College
- Bowling Green State University
- Charter Oak State College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Columbia University
- Connecticut College
- Creighton Law School
- Dartmouth College
- Fairfield University
- Flagler College
- Florida State University
- Furman University
- Guilford College
- Howard University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Indiana University
- Lesley University
- Louisiana State University
- Marist College
- Marquette University
- Miami University
- Mississippi University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Plymouth State University
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Rice University
- Sacred Heart University
- South Carolina State University
- St. John's University
- St. Lawrence University
- Syracuse University
- Swarthmore College
- Tallahassee Comm. College
- Touro University
- Trinity College
- Tufts University
- University of Connecticut
- University of Kansas
- University of Lynchburg
- University of Maryland
- 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
- University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
- Utah University School of Medicine
- Vassar College
- Virginia Wesleyan University
- Washington University, St. Louis
- Wesleyan University
- Westfield State University
- Western Washington University
- Wheaton College
- William Smith College
- Yale University
Alert: Biden Orders Fresh Look at Title IX Regulations
On March 8, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order requiring the Department of Education (“DOE”) to review federal regulations, orders and guidance put in place under the Trump administration that apply to how educational institutions handle complaints of sexual misconduct. The DOE will evaluate whether those regulations are “consistent with the policies” of the current administration. The executive order allows the DOE to suspend, revise, or rescind any or all the prior actions if they are found to be inconsistent. This review will likely result in another major shift in how colleges and universities across the nation handle sexual misconduct cases and alter the policies that schools enacted at their institutions in 2020. The attorneys at Duffy Law stay up-to-the-minute on all applicable Title IX regulations, as well as potential changes expected by mid-June, and are available to consult with you during this tumultuous time in Title IX law. The full Executive Order issued by President Biden can be found here.
Recent and significant changes to Title IX guidance have caused substantial uncertainty. People who were sexually assaulted at school may feel worried about whether to come forward. Our highly experienced Title IX and Conduct Code lawyers understand how hard it can be for survivors to come forward, and we provide aggressive and compassionate legal advice and representation. We protect survivors’ rights throughout the investigation process and will bring legal action against schools that do not comply with Title IX requirements.
If you were the victim of sexual assault and are considering reporting it to your academic institution, you need legal representation. To schedule a consultation with one of our highly knowledgeable Title IX attorneys, call Duffy Law today at (203) 946-2000 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Title IX: What You Need to Know
Title IX is a federal law that protects people from sexual discrimination in academic programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance—which makes it applicable to the vast majority of schools, including public high school, colleges, and universities. Among other things, Title IX requires schools to respond to and remedy any instances of sexual assault on campus. Recently, the Department of Education issued guidance that significantly changed how it will enforce Title IX, creating uncertainty for administrators and students alike. Changes to the law include:
- Schools may not use fixed rules or operating assumptions that favor one party over another during sexual assault investigations.
- Any opportunities or rights that a school makes available to one party during an investigation must be made available to the other party on equal terms.
- Schools do not have fixed time frames in which to complete Title IX investigations.
- For the burden of proof in sexual assault cases, schools may now choose between using a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Up for Your Rights
Many critics and observers believe that these significant changes to Title IX elevate the rights of the accused at the expense of victims. While the effect of these changes remains to be seen, never be afraid of reporting sexual assault to your school or the authorities. Victims have legal rights that an experienced attorney can protect.
If you report a sexual assault, your school is required to take immediate steps to ensure your safety—even while the investigation is pending. To this end, your school may impose certain interim measures, including:
- Counseling services and assistance
- Medical care
- Security escorts and increased patrols
- Changes in class schedule
- Limiting the accused’s access to certain facilities
- Changes to housing
- Interim suspension
- Academic assistance
- Changes to employment arrangements
- Extension of time or course-related changes
In response to allegations of sexual assault, schools commonly issue No Contact Orders, which prohibit certain individuals from contacting one another, either directly, electronically, or through third parties. A school can modify these orders as it gathers more information about the incident or as requested by any party to the matter.
When Should You Call a Lawyer After a Sexual Assault on Campus?
Sexual assault is an extraordinarily traumatic experience and something no one should have to go through. The emotional and psychological trauma that survivors experience can make it difficult for them to think clearly and make decisions that are in their best interests. Of course, as a survivor, your first priority should be your mental, physical, and emotional health, and you should seek appropriate treatment from trained professionals. Once you can do so, do everything you can to protect your legal rights—which starts by retaining an attorney that practices Title IX law. An experienced Title IX attorney can help you after a sexual assault by:
- Advising you about whether and how to report the assault to your school and law enforcement authorities
- Connecting you with survivor advocacy resources
- Representing you and speaking on your behalf during any investigation
- In some cases, representing you in any disciplinary hearing that your school conducts
- Ensuring that your school complies with Title IX requirements and implements interim measures that keep you safe and allow you to continue your studies
In some cases, a school can violate your rights under Title IX by mishandling allegations of sexual assault. When this occurs, your attorney may initiate legal action against your school by filing a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights in your state. You must file these complaints within 180 days of an alleged incident, so seek legal counsel as soon as possible. These complaints must comply with certain technical requirements, so anyone considering filing a complaint should do so with the assistance of a lawyer. If OCR investigates the case and the investigation indicates a Title IX violation, it will refer the case to the Department of Justice or initiate proceedings to terminate federal funding.
Call Duffy Law Today to Speak with an Experienced Connecticut-based Title IX Lawyer
Reporting sexual assault and participating in an investigation can be extremely difficult, especially when the law is changing in a way that makes it seem harder for survivors to obtain justice. At Duffy Law, our highly experienced Title IX attorneys are serious about protecting the rights of people who were sexually assaulted and ensuring that academic institutions comply with the relevant laws. To schedule a case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (203) 946-2000 or send us an email through our online contact form.