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TITLE IX CHANGES: WHAT COMPLAINANTS NEED TO KNOW

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Experienced Connecticut-based Title IX Attorneys: Protecting the Rights of Sexual Assault Survivors

  • 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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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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • Vassar College
  • Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Washington University, St. Louis
  • Wesleyan University
  • Westfield State University
  • Western Washington University
  • Wheaton College
  • Yale University

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.

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