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Title IX Violations

  • Case Results
  • Testimonials
  • List of Schools

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

“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 senior

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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
  • Bates College
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Black Hills State University
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • Cal State Polytechnic University
  • Campbell 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
  • Dartmouth Medical School
  • 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
  • Long Island University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Marist College
  • Marquette University
  • Miami University
  • Michigan State University
  • Mississippi University
  • Mount St. Mary's University
  • New College of Florida
  • Nichols College
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Pittsburgh 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 Univiersity
  • Touro University
  • Trinity College
  • Tufts University
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 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 Austin
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • 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 Connecticut State University
  • Western Washington University
  • Wheaton College
  • William Smith College
  • Yale University
  • Youngstown State University

Title IX Violations - Duffy LawIn June 1972, President Richard Nixon made Title IX the law of the land. Who knew that 37 words would have such far-reaching implications?

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, in be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” — Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to the 1964 Civil Rights Act ( read the full text here )

The Impact of Title IX on Athletes

Almost every college and university in the country receives some federal funding. With the passing of Title IX, female athletes were able to leverage the law and convince the powers that be to begin to elevate female sports to the same level as men’s. In 1972, there were just 30,000 women participating in NCAA sports, as opposed to 170,000 men. Today’s numbers are more than impressive. According to the NCAA, in the 2017-2018 academic year, 10,586 women’s teams compete in NCAA championship sports, compared with 9,159 men’s teams.

Although leveling the athletic playing field in terms of gender equality has continued to receive the lion’s share of media attention, in the past 46 years, we have seen all of the ways in which Title IX applies to bias and discrimination. Thanks to Title IX, in most schools across the nation, we now have a mechanism for addressing sensitive issues about sexual harassment and misconduct. The protection offered by Title IX extends to both the accuser and the accused. This includes students, faculty, administrators, employees, and any other person doing business with or for the institution.

Reaching well into the community, this law prohibits gender discrimination in academic programs and activities in institutions or facilities receiving federal funds. This can include:

  • Public and private elementary schools
  • Middle and high schools
  • State school districts
  • Colleges and universities

The list of violations is extensive and ever-changing.

  • Gender bias
  • Assault
  • Rape
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Stalking
  • Relationship violence
  • Sexual coercion
  • Housing discrimination
  • Employment
  • Gender bias in the workplace
  • Sexually motivated verbal and non-verbal conduct
  • Discrimination against pregnant or parenting students

Sexual assault on campus is violent, terrifying, humiliating, confusing, and a Title IX violation. Statistics reported by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) reveal only 20 percent of female student victims (age 18-24) will report the incident to the police. Some of the reasons these students have for remaining silent include:

  • Fear of retaliation
  • The act was too personal
  • Believed it was not important enough
  • Did not want to get the perpetrator in trouble
  • Believed the police would not, or could not, help

In 2017, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was quoted by CNN as saying, “One rape is one too many, one assault is one too many, one aggressive act of harassment is one too many, one person denied due process is one too many.”

In 2018, a national study on sexual harassment and assault reported 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime.

Failure To Address Federal Guidelines Is A Title IX Violation

In addition to any criminal charges, Title IX requirements are very specific. Schools have a mandated responsibility to recognize instances of sexual assault and harassment, address the issues, eliminate the situation, and develop a plan to prevent further problems.

To be in compliance, every federally-funded institution must develop, keep current, and distribute a written policy concerning sex discrimination. This document must state that all questions concerning Title IX be directed to a designated Title IX coordinator.

Every school or institution must assign one or more persons as a Title IX compliance officer or coordinator, and every student and employee must be given the name of the coordinator and told how to reach them. This person is to be held responsible for overseeing all complaints of discrimination and be aware of any emerging patterns of violations.

Every school must develop, publish, and distribute procedures for students to file complaints of sex discrimination, harassment, or violence. Schools may use established disciplinary procedures to address the complaints and these procedures must provide a prompt resolution.

Know Your Rights

Under Title IX guidelines, every person with a complaint has a right:

  • To present his or her case
  • To expect an adequate and impartial investigation of the charges
  • To present witnesses
  • To present evidence
  • To know how long it will take the school to investigate the charges
  • For the complaint to be decided by a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence
  • To be notified in writing as to the outcome

Sanctions against the respondent found responsible  may include:

  • An order to stay away from the complainant
  • Transfer to a different class or residence hall
  • Being prohibited from attending classes for a specified period of time
  • Probation for a designated time
  • Suspension from school for a designated time
  • Expulsion

The Title IX Legal Manual from The U.S. Department Of Justice is a comprehensive and complex document (see full text here) detailing all of the nuances and case laws pertaining to the statute.

Title IX Is Full of Controversy

Connecticut allows unrestricted competition for transgender athletes. Recently the Alliance Defending Freedom organization filed a discrimination complaint on behalf of three female athletes. The basis of the claim is that allowing biological males who identify as female to compete in the girl’s division of high school sports constitutes a Title IX violation. Does allowing a biological man to compete in a women’s division of a sport reduce opportunities for the biological females? This is food for thought, and possibly the subject of another blog.

Call Duffy Law if Someone Violated Your Rights Under Title IX

If you believe you are a victim of a Title IX violation, if you are accused of one, if you work for an organization or company that wants to create a policy that complies with Title IX, or if you want to learn more about your rights, contact the highly experienced Title IX and Conduct Code lawyers at Duffy Law at (203) 946-2000.

How Can We Help?

How Can We Help?