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TITLE IX CHANGES AND HOW THEY CAN AFFECT RESPONDENTS

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Experienced 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 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, Massachusetts

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Schools Where We've Handled Cases

Here are some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:

  • Amherst College
  • Arkansas State University
  • Bard College
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • Charter Oak State College
  • Colgate University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Columbia University
  • Connecticut College
  • Creighton Law School
  • Dartmouth College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Fairfield University
  • Flagler College
  • Florida State University
  • Fordham University
  • Furman University
  • George Fox University
  • Guilford College
  • Howard University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University
  • Lesley University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Marist College
  • Marquette University
  • Miami University
  • Michigan State 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
  • Texas A/M, College Station
  • Touro University
  • Trinity College
  • Tufts University
  • University of California, Riverside
  • 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 Nebraska
  • 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
  • Youngstown State 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 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 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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