TITLE IX DUE PROCESSCONTACT US NOW FOR A CONSULTATION
Due Process in Title IX Cases
- 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.
Title IX provides due process to both complainants and respondents in sexual assault cases on the campuses of educational institutions or at school-sponsored events. Due process refers to the procedures and rules that ensure the fair treatment of individuals who are involved in disputes. The Office For Civil Rights, however, recently created considerable confusion and uncertainty about certain aspects of Title IX investigations and the rights afforded to all parties involved.
At Duffy Law, our highly experienced Title IX attorneys understand the complicated and personal natures of these cases and work with both Title IX complainants and respondents. We strive to minimize the disruptions these investigations can cause and are committed to holding schools responsible when they violate the rights of faculty, staff, and students. To schedule a consultation with one of our Connecticut-based Title IX lawyers, call Duffy Law today at (203) 946-2000 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Title IX: Due Process Basics
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination at academic institutions that receive federal funding—which is virtually all schools, including all public high schools, colleges, and universities. The law requires schools to take appropriate measures when a student files a complaint alleging sexual assault. This is true whether the alleged assault took place on campus or at an off-campus event. Both victims and the accused have due process rights in all investigations and hearings. Under Title IX, however, schools can violate a person’s due process rights in a sexual assault case through:
- A biased or inadequately trained hearing panel
- An inability to introduce evidence
- The refusal of a request to cross-examine a witness, the accuser, or the accused
- Interfering with attempts to consult an attorney
- An application of the wrong standard of proof
- Nondisclosure of evidence against the accused
Due process requirements can vary widely based on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. The best way to protect your due process rights is to contact an attorney as soon as you can. If, however, your case has already come to a conclusion and you believe that a school violated your due process rights, an attorney may still help after the fact. In addition, you may initiate a Title IX enforcement action against your school that could potentially result in compensation for you. To discuss the specifics of your case with one of our highly knowledgeable Title IX and Conduct Code attorneys, call our office today.
Title IX Changes May Favor the Due Process Rights of the Accused
Many see changes to the law outlined in recently issued Office For Civil Rights (OCR) guidance as strengthening the rights of the accused. Previous guidance issued by the Obama administration required schools to use a legal standard of proof referred to as the “preponderance of the evidence.” Under this standard, to adjudicate the accused guilty, a hearing panel only needed to find that it was more likely than not that the alleged assault occurred. Under the new guidance, schools may choose between this standard and the more stringent standard of “clear and convincing evidence,” which lies somewhere between the “preponderance” standard and proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is used in criminal prosecutions.
The changes were made in response to what some saw as schools going too far to protect victims’ rights to the detriment of the accused’s rights to due process. A perceived injustice that the changes seek to eliminate are schools’ overuse of “interim measures” that can hurt the accused’s ability to continue to pursue studies during a pending investigation. Interim measures that schools can employ while a sexual assault case is pending include:
- Issuing a no-contact order between the parties involved
- Changes to living arrangements
- Changes to class schedules
- Changes to employment
- Exclusion from certain facilities or school-related activities
- A mandatory leave of absence
Anecdotally, many people were accused of sexual misconduct and had their lives upended, and only later did the schools clear them of any wrongdoing. In extreme cases, the above interim measures were so disruptive that they forced people to leave school and never return. Instances like these motivated some changes to the law, which seek to restore due process rights to people who were accused of sexual assault—much to the chagrin of victims’ rights advocacy organizations.
Other changes to the law, in addition to allowing schools to raise the standard of proof, include:
- Schools must afford any rights or opportunities made available to one party to the other party.
- Schools are not allowed to used fixed operating assumptions or rules that favor accusers over the accused in investigations related to sexual assault.
- Schools no longer have to resolve Title IX cases within 60 days.
Call Duffy Law Today to Speak with an Experienced Connecticut Title IX Attorney
If you are involved in a sexual assault case involving an investigation conducted by an academic institution, call an attorney as soon as possible, because the representation of a lawyer will ensure the full protection of your legal rights. At Duffy Law, our lawyers have extensive experience with both Title IX and college code violations, and we will do everything we can to bring your case to a successful resolution. To schedule a case evaluation with one of our Connecticut-based Title IX attorneys, call our office today at (203) 946-2000 or send us an email through our online contact form.