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Experienced Attorneys Representing Title IX Respondents
- 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
“I hired Duffy Law 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
“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
“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.
Duffy Law’s truly unique background and deep experience with navigating the school’s process was amazing. They made it clear that our son was the client, not us (his parents). They worked with him extensively and earned his total trust. He felt empowered that he had the right people in his corner to defend him. They 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 Duffy Law to a friend who’s son was caught up in a serious, very complicated conduct code charge, and I will continue to recommend them to any student or parent without reservation.”
Parent of a male southwest private college seniorSee All Client Testimonials
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
- Bates College
- Belmont Abbey College
- Bowling Green State University
- Brandeis University
- Brown University
- Cal State Polytechnic University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Central Connecticut State University
- Charter Oak State College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Colorado State University
- Columbia University
- Connecticut College
- Creighton Law School
- Dartmouth College
- Elim Bible Institute and 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
- Johns Hopkins University
- LaSalle University
- Lesley University
- Louisiana State University
- Marist College
- Marquette University
- Miami University
- Michigan State University
- Mississippi University
- Nichols College
- Pennsylvania State University
- Plymouth State University
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Rice University
- Sacred Heart University
- South Carolina State University
- Southern Connecticut 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 Buffalo
- University of California, Davis
- University of California, Riverside
- University of Central Florida
- University of Connecticut
- University of Hartford
- 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 New Haven
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Pittsburg
- University of Redlands California
- University of Rhode Island
- University of Texas
- University of Vermont
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
- University of Wyoming
- Utah University School of Medicine
- Vance-Granville Community College
- 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
Ensuring Fairness for Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Many people consider Title IX to be the law that protects students from sexual misconduct on college and university campuses. In reality, Title IX offers numerous protections for all students of publicly-funded institutions, from kindergarten through higher education. Even when students are accused of sexual misconduct, they still have important rights and protections under the law.
When the focus is on the accuser, an accused student’s legal protections can easily fall by the wayside. However, over the past year, the Department of Education has clarified guidance regarding the Title IX protections of every student, even those facing sexual assault allegations. The guidance requires that students receive proper due process and unbiased treatment during any disciplinary proceedings. This is highly important, as a finding of sexual misconduct can result in loss of scholarships, disqualification from collegiate athletics, expulsion from school, and difficulty gaining acceptance into new educational programs or obtaining professional licenses.
There is too much at risk to try to defend against sexual misconduct allegations on your own. You need an attorney who believes in standing up for the rights of respondents in Title IX actions. Our highly experienced Title IX and Conduct Code attorneys at Duffy Law believe in fairness for all parties involved in Title IX actions. We represent clients who are complainants or respondents. We have a unique perspective on these cases, and you can trust us to advise you of all your rights and options when facing disciplinary proceedings. Call our office to find out more about how we can help you.
Due Process for Title IX Respondents
Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education recently proposed new policies that bolster the rights of respondents in numerous ways to ensure due process. Some changes include:
- Allowing schools to choose their own evidentiary standard between “preponderance of the evidence” and the higher “clear and convincing evidence” when deciding on suspension or expulsion of a student
- Allowing mediation as an informal resolution between the students
- Allowing respondents access to all investigatory evidence, even if it will not be used in a hearing
- Allowing respondents to request evidence from and to cross-examine complainants
- Requiring schools to handle Title IX complaints with impartiality and to conduct objective investigations that lead to equitable resolutions
- Requiring schools to handle investigations and hearings with the presumption that the accused student is innocent until proven guilty
In the past several years, guidance by the Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) led schools to give so much deference to complainants that the accused often did not receive fair and unbiased treatment. Assuming that a male student is guilty without proper investigation and proceedings violates a student’s rights against sex discrimination under Title IX, just as allowing sexual misconduct to occur is a violation. While it is imperative to protect students from sexual assault and harassment, schools should never take it so far that it affects a respondent’s right to an education free from sex discrimination.
How We Can Help
Universities and colleges these days don’t want a reputation for creating an environment that allows sexual assault, so schools often aggressively pursue allegations against students. The stakes are high in any Title IX sexual misconduct case and, unfortunately, too many students and their parents fail to realize the full scope of potential immediate and lasting consequences if they don’t take steps to protect the student’s rights. Fortunately, there are many ways an attorney can advise you during the Title IX disciplinary process to help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible.
At Duffy Law, we evaluate each case on an individual basis, though the following are some ways we may help Title IX respondents:
- Explain the Title IX process and policies of your school, as well as your rights under the law
- Identify the types of information and evidence that you can use to support your narrative and help gather such documentation and evidence
- Craft arguments to rebut any presumptions or claims made by the complainant
- Help you present facts in a clear and comprehensive manner
- Help you use appropriate language and a calm demeanor when discussing sensitive and personal sexual information
- Help you understand and present a consistent and convincing narrative of consent
- Assist you with interactions and communications with investigators and Title IX staff at your school
- Help you practice your narrative to ensure you have a clear presentation even when under the stress of a live hearing
- Help you anticipate certain questions and provide coaching and advice before and during a hearing
- Draft documents including written statements, correspondence with Title IX staff and investigators, and appeals if needed
- Identify when your school acts in violation of its own policies or your Title IX rights and take proper legal action on your behalf
In addition, some students facing Title IX allegations also face criminal charges for sexual assault. In many cases, we can advise you regarding your criminal defense and your Title IX hearing.
Our highly knowledgeable Title IX and Conduct Code lawyers believe that no school should deny students their constitutional and legal protections in disciplinary hearings. Without proper legal representation, it is all too easy for a student to receive overly harsh consequences based on biased and wrongful disciplinary findings. Our attorneys have unique and personal experience with Title IX actions and thoroughly understand the college disciplinary process, which allows us to best represent clients facing sexual misconduct allegations.
Contact Our Nationwide Title IX Attorneys to Discuss Your Situation
It can be stressful and even terrifying when someone accuses you of sexual assault or harassment. You may be uncertain your school’s policies for disciplinary hearings and of your future. You shouldn’t hesitate to contact Duffy Law to learn about your options. Our highly experienced Title IX lawyers believe in every student’s rights to be free from sex discrimination. If you would like to discuss your particular case, please call us at 203-946-2000 or contact us online to schedule your case evaluation today.