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TITLE IX CHANGES AND HOW THEY CAN AFFECT RESPONDENTS

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Experienced Connecticut-based Title IX Lawyers: Representing Individuals Who Were Accused of Sexual Assault

  • 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 changes to Title IX have resulted in substantial uncertainty regarding the way the law requires schools to handle sexual assault investigations. These changes are intended to remedy what some observers believe was a bias against the accused that existed under guidance issued by the Obama administration. Due to uncertainty in how to apply these changes, however, schools are at significant risk of violating the rights of the accused during investigations into sexual assault, making it critical for anyone facing such allegations to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.

At Duffy Law, we believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we are committed to helping individuals accused of sexual assault move on with their lives with as little disruption as possible. We know how much allegations of sexual misconduct can disrupt a person’s life, and we work hard to protect the rights of the accused. To schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced Title IX and Conduct Code attorneys, call Duffy Law today at (203) 946-2000.

Title IX Basics & Recent Changes

Title IX is a federal law that protects people from sex discrimination in educational activities and programs that receive federal assistance—which includes the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the United States. Title IX requires that schools take certain steps in response to allegations of sexual assault, including some that could significantly disrupt a person’s ability to continue studies—even before actual adjudication of guilt. Notable changes announced by the guidance recently issued by the Office For Civil Rights include:

  • Academic institutions may not use fixed operating assumptions or rules that favor accusers over the accused in investigations related to sexual assault.
  • An institution must make any rights or opportunities available to one party during an investigation available to the other party on equal terms.
  • Schools do not need to complete a Title IX investigation within a particular time frame.
  • When determining guilt in cases involving sexual assault, institutions may now choose between using a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing standard.

Everyone Accused of Sexual Assault Has Certain Rights

These changes are largely seen as strengthening the rights of the accused. For example, to establish responsibility of the accused,  the previous guidance required schools to use an evidentiary standard known as “preponderance of the evidence” in sexual assault cases, under which the school is only required to show that it is more likely than not that a certain event happened. Now schools may choose to show that the accused is responsible by “clear and convincing evidence,” which is somewhere between the preponderance of the evidence standard and the standard used in criminal cases, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Among the most notable changes to the law: Schools no longer should use interim measures solely to protect the rights of those making allegations of sexual assault, and schools should not impose interim measures that deprive any student of an education. Interim measures commonly used by schools during sexual assault investigations include:

  • Security escorts
  • Increased patrols
  • Changes to living arrangements
  • Class schedule changes
  • Exclusion from participation in certain activities
  • Changes to employment
  • Interim suspension
  • No contact orders
  • Limited access to certain facilities

As this list should make clear, interim measures have the potential to significantly damage the lives of the accused. In some cases, interim measures may even make it impossible for the accused to continue with their studies and may derail their professional aspirations—even if they are ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. Fortunately, the representation and advice of a lawyer familiar with Title IX can make sure that your school does not violate your rights and that your life is disrupted as little as possible during a pending investigation.

Retain an Experienced Title IX Lawyer as Soon as Possible

If you were accused of sexual assault on campus, retaining an attorney sooner rather than later can have a significant impact on the ultimate resolution of your case. Even in cases where an attorney cannot represent you during school proceedings, the advice of an attorney can significantly help. In addition, should a concurrent criminal investigation take place into the allegations, an attorney can protect your rights and ensure that the police do not coerce you into saying something that indicates your guilt. The outcome of sexual assault cases often turns on circumstantial evidence, so anyone facing allegations of sexual assault should have an attorney start building a defense as soon as possible.

Call Duffy Law Today to Speak with a Knowledgeable Connecticut-based Title IX Attorney

Mere allegations of sexual assault on campus have the potential to ruin your reputation and destroy your life. In the event that allegations result in a formal investigation, your school could subject you to significant sanctions—many of could disrupt your life for months, even if you are ultimately adjudicated not guilty by the body conducting your hearing. For this reason, do everything you can to protect your legal rights—and start by retaining an attorney. A lawyer familiar with Title IX can help protect your rights during the investigation and may help you take legal action against your school in the event that your school violates your rights under the law. To schedule a case evaluation with one of our highly experienced Connecticut-based Title IX and Conduct Code lawyers, call Duffy Law today at (203) 946-2000. If you would prefer to send us an email, please fill out and submit our online contact form available here.

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